Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The terrible Twos

Something weird is going on.  I sincerely believe I have been cursed with a case of the terrible twos- and it has nothing to do with Bradley.  Just last week, I attempted to enjoy a couple beers with my pizza.  The first beer went down fine, no problem, but upon receiving my second beer, my stomach was so full I couldn't bring myself to imbibe the brew.  Not only could I not finish it, I barely began it before letting it waste in dismay.  And here's another two-fer: I only ate 2 pieces of pizza that night.  No, we're not talking about crap-in-a-box pizza, we're talking about mouthwatering Mellow Mushroom.  No matter how intoxicating the smell and taste of it this night, I could not force myself to eat another piece, or even bite, and I am a notoriously famous over-eater, if by famous you mean among my close personal friends and family.  Two pieces of pizza was all she wrote that night. 

Days later we went to get ice cream.  I spurged and ordered a double scoop on a sugar cone.  Two wonderfully complimentary flavors, one tasty crunchy cone, one disapointed me.  I could not make a dent in that cone.  I'd say I barely finished one scoop before I had to relent, and force my cone upside down in a cup to be thrown away, mostly uneaten.  I didn't even make it to the deliciously sweet and crunchy cone! 

What is going on here?  Are pigs flying here?  Is oil spilling in the Gulf of Mexico?  My stomach is shrinking, I am being deprived of my favorite comfort & coping mechanism- eating large quantities of my favorite foods- and I am being tormeneted with a tough curse of the terrible twos.  What's a gal in distress to do???

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Let's Go Surfin' Now...

Everybody's learnin' how, come on and safari with me!  Once Mom had been at it for an hour, she proclaimed she was spent!  We had paid for a 2 hour surf lesson, so Brian wasted no time taking his turn.  Of course he did great, but he had also surfed years ago when he was stationed in Japan.  Look at him go!
Baywatch-esque running shot of the guys
Catching a wave, and sittin' on top of the world
After Brian took a turn, Ben turned to me and asked me if I wanted to try.  Sensing my hesitation, he chided, your mom did it.  And that did it.  Despite my heart pounding in my chest, I realized it was now or never.  Mom tossed me her rash guard, and off I went. 
Practicing standing on the board, with Brian & Ben holding the board in shallow water

My surfing video!
The gauntlet had been thrown, and since Mom, Brian, & me had already tried, it was now Laura's turn to surf. 
paddling out to sea
Laura's money shot!

We were all sore the next day, but it was totally worth it!  I would highly recommend Innerlight Surf Shop (locations in Destin/Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach, FL) for anyone who would like to take a private or a group surf lesson.  It was so much fun, a great workout, and a once in a lifetime experience.

Surfin' USA

For mother's day this year Laura & I got mom a 2 hour surf lesson with a personal instructor.  She has always wanted to surf as a child growing up in the 60's, and this event was at the top of her "Bucket List."

The weekend they were here for B's birthday we set up her lesson with Ben from Innerlight Surf Shop, none too soon too, as the oil is infringing on the beaches as we speak.  Ben met us out at Navarre Beach, and taught mom the ABC's of surfing.  Ironically, the ABC's started neither with A, B, or C.  Here is mom and Ben, having their lesson on the beach.
Time to get out in the water!
I have to admit, I was scared for mom.  She's not the strongest swimmer, and it was a Red flag that day, meaning "dangerous surf" aka the waves were pounding pretty hard.  Here she is starting to stand up.
Check out our Little Surfer Girl
Coming in to take a break
Getting the seaweed out of mom's hair
Yay, mom! 
Surf's up, dude!  Mom poses with Ben, her surf instructor

Finally, a short video compilation of all her surf attempts caught on film

Elmo's World

For Bradley's 2nd birthday party, I had everything planned to a tee for an Elmo's World birthday party at Tiger Point Park.  The kids would play on the playground, the adults could stay under the pavillion and nosh on snacks.  I had decorations galore, and had thought of everything- a magic marker to write names on drinks, coolers to keep the cupcakes and ice cream cold, extra toilet paper for the park bathrooms, and even a towell to dry off the playground equipment should a rain cloud pass.  I was stressed-out, but prepared!  However, no matter how much I thought I had everything under control, there was one thing out of my control... the weather.

What appeared on the radar as a few tiny rain blips before we left the house turned into a full on monsoon just as the party was about to start.  I began to field phone calls texts from party guests left  right as we tried to decide how to handle things, &  I remained in panic mode, beyond discouraged by the rain.

Bradley with Grandma Ann, Grandma B & Papa
Family photo- notice the pouring rain in the background, our soaking wet clothes, & windblown-decorations!
This face says it all.  I had wanted a picture-perfect photo of me and the birthday boy, and this is what I got... wet clothes, soaked hair, and a fussy boy not wanting to smile for the camera!  If there is one picture that represents the day, it's this one.

After 30 minutes of heavy rain, thunder, & lightening, we gave up and took down the decorations at the park and loaded everything in the middle of the thunderstorm back into the cars, and relocated the party to our house.  20 adults and 10 kids in my house on a rainy day was not my ideal party scene, but you know what?  Bradley had no idea what was going on, and so I'm sure he was happy no matter what.  The kids played inside and out back on the patio, the adults hung out, and everyone celebrated our little man turning two.

the party decor
Blowing out the candles... the cute Elmo 2 candle got lost in the shufle between the park & our house, so I settled for two regular birthday cake candles.

Finally the birthday boy gets what he's been asking for for weeks- Cake!!!

opening presents- a toy guitar
Family members caught sitting around amidst all the chaos- Laura, Ann, Mom &  dad
I hope someday soon we will look back at this party and laugh at the circumstances surrounding it. I'm not to that point just yet, however.

Monday, June 07, 2010

TWO big

My little man is TWO years old today!!  For weeks we have been prepping him for the big day, explaining to him that he will no longer be one (holding up one finger) but two (holding up two), and whenever we asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he would say "Cake" with a big grin.
  • Bradley is talking up a storm these days, putting word combinations together like "phone ringing!" "car beep beep" or my personal favorite, "Bad dog, chew up book" on a particularly naughty day for Chandler. 
  • Speaking of Chandler, Bradley loves to give him bones, and he knows his full name, hollaring out, "Chandler Biiiing" whenever we get home.
  • He knows the names of all his little friends, and most of my friends as well
  • He can spell his name, and thinks that any word he sees in print also spells Bradley
  • He knows his shapes, colors, recognizes numbers, and can count to ten.
  • When we pray at dinner or at bedtime he says Amen with me, and knows that we are talking to Jesus or God.
  • He knows the difference between airplanes and helicopters, and is obsessed with pointing them out.  In the area we live, there are airplanes all the time!
  • I won't have his official stats until we go to the doctor, but I know he weighs around 30 pounds, has a huge buddah belly, and is probably still very short for his age.
  • Thanks to my friend Sondra, we cut his hair this week so the long locks are gone.  Bradley looks much more grown up with his new 'do.
  • Doesn't like most vegetables or fruit- even the ones he used to like
  • Loves spaghetti, french fries, Goldfish, ketchup & ranch dressing
  • Has been pitching the most fantastic temper tantrums lately- any advice with how to control these???
  • For his birthday he got tons of Elmo stuff, balls, a basketball goal, a toy guitar, a portable dvd player, a remote controlled car, bath & beach toys, a slip & slide, and a personalized Elmo cd, among other things.  His birthday party was a blur- more to come on that later!!! 
I love the age Bradley is at now, and as usual, wish I could keep him this way forever, but I'm excited to see how much he will change and learn and grow in the next year to come!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Memorial Day

Bear with me as I'm experiementing with Picasa photo collages, but I wanted to well-document our Memorial Day.  With us expecting an upcoming deployment for Brian, the day honoring fallen soliders had special meaning this year.  I dressed Bradley and myself in patriotic garb, and we even snagged some cheapo fireworks for the occasion.  Brian shot off some spinning, screaming tops called "Crazy Eyeballs" on Sunday night, and on Monday we did sparklers and poppers- both of which Bradley loved fearlessly!
We hosted an impromptu barbeque, and our friend Ami came over to eat with us.  The Himes family made an appearance later on, and even later still our friends Kim, Greg, and Kim's friend Michelle also stopped by.

Aside from the flies swarming around our food, the weather was perfect for a night out on the patio.  We talked, listened to music, and had Brian's special hamburgers, french fries, and corn on the cob.  It was a relaxing evening spent with great friends.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Fun with friends

 I have been behind on posting reguarly, so here's a compilation of pictures from the month of May.  At the same time I can recap our busy social agenda!  Once a week, we still had Kindermusik class, which is over for a few weeks until the summer session begins.  We also met up with moms and kids from our church at different parks in the area.  I wish I had some pictures from these get togethers, and will have to do better about that.

My friend Sara hosted a Dove Chocolate party one Friday night, and even though the stuff was way too expensive to buy, it was fun to sample everything!  I went out earlier that night for sushi with a few girls from church, and then we all went to the chocolate party afterwards- it was the perfect Girl's Night Out!
L to R, Me, Tanessa, a very pregnant (and mid-laughing) Stephanie, & Amanda
Jessica, Sara, and I

Tyler and Felicia had a going away party/housewarming party a few weeks ago.  Bradley & baby Nevaeh got the biggest kick out of kissing each other!

And Bradley and Lukas played really well together.  Here they are inside, examining a bug together.  And no, that's not Bradley's empty Bud Light box.  The boys would eventually trap the bug under Lukas' snack cup, and then they would check on the "buggy" periodically!
The girls:  Me, Jennifer, Felicia, & Amy
I finally joined my local chapter of the MOMS club.  My friend Sara is now the president so she convinced me it was time to join.  Honestly I wish I done this sooner because they plan weekly activities for the stay-at-home moms and kids, like playdates, beach days, and trips to the zoo, which is what these next few pictures are from.  That's Bradley, Andrew, Sophia, and Victoria on the merry-go-round.
And this was my brilliant idea- to get all our kids together for a picture.  Not the easiest task!!!  And not the best picture either... oh well!!
One night last week our friends Justin & Jennifer through a dinner party and invited 3 other families to join in on the fun.  It was so much fun to watch the kids playing together while the adults got some quality time with friends.  Here are all our little ones on the couch.  L to R, Jospeh, Bradley, Andrew, Catalina, & Lukas.
We have made some great friends down here, and can find plenty to get us out of the house and keep us busy!