Monday, January 31, 2011

Gaga for Gaga

What can I say?  My taste in music is bound to rub off on Bradley.  For the past 3 weeks, whenever we get in the car, he hollers for "Barnes!"  Aparently, B loves the first track on Dave Barnes' newest cd, "Little Lies," and asks for it by name.  I am also in the process of explaining that "Barnes" has more than just one song, and that all the other songs on the cd are also by Dave Barnes, when he hollers after track #1 has ended.

Bradley's also grown up listening to the Glee soundtracks, and has taken a strong liking to the Glee cast version of "Bad Romance."  (In fact, he asks for this song by name after he's gotten his Barnes fix.)  And this little gem of a video was taken while waiting in traffic on the exit ramp on our way to church last Sunday. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

You've got a friend in B

Holy Moly, where has the first month of 2011 gone?  The start of this year was marked with a new beginning for me, a lot of snow, Bradley's first school performance, George's birthday, uncle Jack's passing, and another trip to ER... all in one month!  Craziness. 

This month's blog title, You've Got a Friend in B, is of course a reference to the Toy Story song, which Bradley is still obsessed with the Toy Story movies (currently TS3), plus it's a play on all the pictures taken this month of various family members with Bradley.

Bradley and some crazy early morning bedhead
 Bradley & Papa
 Waiting for the daycare music program to start
 Bradley & aunt "Yaura."  The 'L's' aren't quite coming out clear just yet
Bradley & uncle George, in their matching shirts
 Me & Bradley in our matching homemade jammies from Mom.  Right here, B is pretending to be Woody, and I'm supposed to be Bullseye!
Pretty much the only toys Bradley will play with:  Buzz & Woody 

Reading with Grandma B
 Bradley with aunt Vicki & uncle Rusell
B in his Buzz Lightyear raincoat.  Can you tell that he loves when it rains and he gets to wear this jacket???

So long, January!
*As of January 31, 2011, make that 2 cases of strep throat during the month of January*

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shoe Stories

My uncle Jack was married to my aunt Peggy for almost 50 years before his passing last week.  He was hard of hearing, and so he talked abnormally loud, and if you were ever around Jack, you know he was always talking, and always telling a story!  He was such an animated and gifted storyteller.  He was also a gifted salesmen, and made his living selling shoes. 

Right around the time I started high school, those awful Birkenstock moccasins had come in style, and so one summer during a visit with Peggy and Jack, we went to the mall, to the Parisians where Jack worked at the time, and he was able to get Laura and I each a pair of those Birkenstocks for a great discounted price.  Up til now, I had a knock-off pair of the Birkenstock "Jesus sandals" that had been popular, but now I was the proud owner of these new Birkenstock moccasins.  I wore these shoes out!  My good friend Bethany and I even had an inside joke where we referred to our moccasins as "Mat Hollis' shoes."  These shoes absolutely define my high school years.

With uncle Jack's passing, it made me think about shoes, and how a particular style can mark an era in your life.  For me, these would be:
  • Jellies (which I wore out playing in the backyard during my young Tennessee summers)
  • Keds (reminiscent of my years at Lakeview Elementary)
  • Mary Janes (Oh, the awkward middle school Cameron years!)
  • The Birkenstock moccasins (high school)
  • New Balance tennis shoes (the college years... On, On, U of K!)
  • Clark's Wallabies (My casual twenties)
I would love to hear from you readers about your own significant shoe-style-eras!  I believe a pair of shoes can embody so many memories, and say so much about a person.  Ready, set, Go!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

mid year update

It's been a while since I've done an update with Bradley.  Well past the two-and-a-half mark, Bradley weighs a healthy 34 pounds.  I have no idea how tall he is but he is slowly slimming down, losing his "buddah belly," and getting taller.  He has adjusted to daycare very well and loves his teachers Ms. Nikki and Ms. Gena.  We have a lot of made up games we play that I wanted to make sure I documented.

  • "You're Not Going to Chase Me Are You?"  Bradley will say this and then laugh as he runs away.  It's the game of chase we play around the downstairs of the house.
  • "Tackle" Bradley will ask me to tackle him, which then turns into tickling
  • "The Snake Game" I take the big stuffed snake that Bradley got from the zoo, and sing the snake charmer song to him, and just when he least expects it, I throw the snake at him and scare him, to his sheer delight.
  • "Hey!"- This is a game Grandma B plays with Bradley.  She lays on his bed, Bradley steals her pillow, and then she shouts "Heyyyy!" and takes the pillow back.  (Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat.)
I'm sure we have more games, but they escape me now.  Bradley still likes Toy Story, doesn't care much for Elmo or Sesame Street any more, and also likes Super Why and Little Einsteins.  As far as toys go, he plays with Buzz, Woody, and Jessie, but doesn't seem to have much of a preference for any other toys.  Potty training is slow and steady.  Bradley is stubborn and will only go on the potty when he wants to.  He is often moody, but very smart, and constantly makes us laugh.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Operation Three Amigos

Lately Bradley has been an extremely restless sleeper.  He's waking up several times a night, and in the process, waking up everybody else in the house too.  It was this restlessness that prompted Operation Three Amigos.

Ever since Christmas, Bradley has been inseparable from Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Jessie, or I have fondly begun to refer to them, the Three Amigos.  These action figures are not your typical cuddly stuffed animals that you'd want to snuggle with in bed- except that Bradley has insisted on sleeping with them ever since he got them.  Convinced that these hard plastic toys were contributing to the sleep problems of my son, I did what any sensible parent would do... I hid them!!!

When we're getting ready for bed at night, I sneak Buzz, Woody, and Jessie into Bradley's stuffed animal bin, and bury them, so they're out of sight, out of mind.  And guess what?  Coincidence or not, it's worked!  Bradley's been sleeping better, and he hasn't even noticed that the Three Amigos are mysteriously absent from his bed.

Confession:  okay, so once in the middle of the night this week he woke up hollering for Buzz and Woody.  In an effort to get Bradley to be quiet and go back to bed, I did fish the cowboy and the space ranger out of the toy bin rather quickly- flung them onto the bed is probably more like it- and this sleep-deprived mama went right back to bed.  But for the most part, Operation Three Amigos has been wildly successful!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bradley's First Music Program

You all know I was a born performer.  I have no shame about the fact that I've been giddy for months, ever since the daycare director told me they would be putting on a "Winter Gala" music program in January.  Each class would perform 2 numbers, and Bradley's class, the Two Year Olds would grace us with astonishing renditions of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and "Shoe Fly, Don't Bother Me."  (That second one was a new one for me.)  They sent home a song sheet wth the 2 songs his class would be singing, and I have been intentional about singing those songs with Bradley to make sure he knew them.  The date's been on my calendar for forever, and tonight was finally the big night.

Me, mom, dad, Laura, & George went over to daycare tonight, claimed our seats, and braced ourselves for the performance of a lifetime.  I was ready with my camera to take pictures, and mom recorded the video.  I know Bradley likes music, and likes to sing.  But I also know that he is not the DIVA that I am.  He is shy around groups of people he doesn't know, and normally won't perform on the spot when asked to, even if it's just for a family member, so although I was a teensy bit disapointed, I wasn't surprised when my son looked like this the entire time:
The Vietnamese lady on the far left is his teacher Ms. Gena.  She's in mid-song right here, singing away while the kids stare at the audience!
 He clasped his hands nervously, and didn't utter a peep of one of those songs.  Apparently a sea full of staring faces was just too much for him and his classmates, because most of them wouldn't sing either!

Once we got home, I got an encore performance of "Shoe Fly, Don't Bother Me" on video. 

 Of course I am still a proud mama, and look forward to many more performances!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

I awoke this morning to a winter wonderland, and was in shock that for once, the weathermen got it right!  Nashville got 3", we had 4" in Franklin, and Laura & George got 5".  Since southerners and snow do not mix, I decided to wait out the rush hour, and go play in the snow for a while instead. 

Bradley watched in fascination as Papa cleaned the snow off the cars and shoveled the driveway.  He's wearing his new Buzz Lightyear housecoat that was a homemade Christmas present from Grandma B.

B and I, getting ready to go outside
Chateau Bradley with 4 inches of snow

Bradley's first-ever sled ride

Sledding down the hill after a big push from Papa. "It's not scary," Bradley kept repeating,
Bradley and I in our first big snow together
I tried to sled down the hill on our street, but there was too much powdery snow, and not packed down enough yet. I don't think I've been sledding since that random evening in college where a guy went down the William T. Young library hill naked and on skis, so this made me feel like a kid again for two seconds, until I remembered that I am an adult, and would eventually have to go in to work today. Boo.
Oscar, the wonder sleigh dog!

I did eventually end up going to work, but enjoyed delaying it for a while by enjoying the rare winter wonderland. 

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Catching up with Christmas, part 1

I got so behind in blogging before and during Christmas, that I'm trying to go back now and post a few short updates with pictures.  In the week leading up to Christmas, Laura & George came over one Sunday afternoon and we finally celebrated a belated St. Nick's Day with them.  One of the gifts Laura got from St. Nick was a "Christmas Ween," pictured below with the other two Murdoch weenies, Julius and Max.
While the guys watched football, mom, Laura, and I spent the day baking in the kitchen.  We made all sorts of Christmas cookies that we ended up eating in mass quantities or giving away to neighbors and co-workers. 

Bradley helped out with the sugar cookies.  I was expecting this to be an entertaining experience for him.  Instead it turned out more of an obligation for a photo op, as he didn't have the want or the patience to cut out the cookies or even to decorate them.  So maybe next year he will have more fun with this.  Also, Bradley was fighting a nasty cold and he didn't feel well, so that explains why he looks so sickly in all of these pictures!

I was quite pleased with my cookie tray that I took in to work: 

A goofy shot of me, George, and Laura in our Santa hats
Dad and Stockwell catching a cat nap.  Somebody should really tell Stockwell that he weighs sixty-something pounds and is not a lap dog!
We got too busy on Christmas day to get another picture of us all in front of the tree, so this serves as our Christmas photo of the year. 
And of course we had to get one shot with all of us!
Merry Christmas from the Bradley-Vilendrer-Murdochs!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Purse pouting

I recall back in my early twenties I acquired a growing purse collection.  I would actually change purses daily to match the season and my outfit.  Those days are long gone!  When Bradley came along, gone were the days of buying and carrying new bags.  I kept the same purse for months at a time, and added a diaper bag to tote.  I told myself it wasn't forever- that soon Bradley would be out of diapers, and I wouldn't have to haul an extra bag wherever I went.  But just like that sneaky half-truth they tell you about drinking alcohol when you're pregnant ("it's just for 9 months!"  Well, NO, it's not... not if you plan on nursing for a year!), the elusive promise of ditching the diaper bag is a bunch of crap.  I'm just trying to prepare you future moms, and tell it like it is, because after the days of the diaper bag, you are still hauling in sippy cups, toddler-sized silverware to restaurants (do any restaurants provide this?  I've yet to find any that do), plus toys, books, games, snacks- anything to keep your little one occupied while you shop, eat, run errands, or what have you.  And you can just forget about clutches or any bag without a strap big enough to sling over your shoulder.  When you're carrying a kid, and all their stuff, you need all hands on deck.  And on deck ain't on that stylish clutch purse!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

A Repurposed Frame of Mind

This week Brian and I had mediation where we signed all the papers, and settled our divorce.  In a few weeks, it will be final.  As a new year has come I am filled with questions of how this new year will go, and how different it will be.  Right now I'm picking up the pieces of my old life and trying to start a new one.

I have this silver frame that we got as a wedding present.  I really love this frame.  In it used to showcase one of my favorite wedding photos of me and Brian.  Tonight I have symbolically taken out the wedding picture, and in its place I plan to frame one of my 30th birthday cards- one that has a cartoon picture of a beauty queen on it that proclaims "Viva La Diva!"  But as poetic justice would have it, when I took the old wedding photo out of the frame, a large piece of the photo paper has been residually left behind.  So tonight I got out the Goo Gone, and set out to clean the glass so that I could re-use the frame.

How appropriate, I thought ironically as I scrubbed the paper shards off the glass, that I am replacing the old wedding picture with a proclamation of my singledom.  As I scraped the glass with the Goo Gone and a paint scraper I was also reminded of a conversation Brian and I had with our pastor Brother Dennis in what seems like ages ago.  He was talking to us about the importance of the vows of marriage, and how when two people marry, their lives are glued together.  He analogized that when they get divorced, the two pieces of wood are torn apart, but the wood doesn't split neatly.  It splinters.  And some of your life is irrevocably connected to theirs, and little pieces of their life are irrevocably connected to yours.  And the splintering of the wood is painful.

Just like my picture frame; I can take the wedding photo out, and put in a new picture, but pieces of the old photo are stuck on the glass of the frame.  So with a little elbow grease, I will clean the glass, and perhaps in the right light you still might be able to see the outline of the old picture, but that's okay with me.  Or maybe there will be faint scratches on the glass from the paint scraper- evidence of the scars left behind, but it won't take away from the cheerfulness of the Diva birthday card encased in that silver frame now.

It's going to take some hard work and scrubbing, even now the Goo Gone is soaking on the glass, but I believe I can repurpose that frame, and make it house something beautiful once again. So that's what I plan on doing, both with that frame, and with my own life.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Christmas week recap

I have gotten so far behind in blogging that I fear I will never catch up.  The week of Christmas, here was my agenda:

Tuesday- Garth Brooks concert with former Penthouse Pets, Rhonda Lu and Emmy Sue

Wednesday- work a half day and pick Conley up from the airport.  Lunch at Chuy's, the beginning of mutant virus aka hoarseness and a severe sore throat

Thursday- drive up to Clarksville and have lunch with Conley and her parents, and said goodbye to her.

Friday- Christmas Eve- Christmas Eve service at church.  I bribed Bradley with the promise of getting to open a present when we got home in exchange for good behavior at church.  I was so hoarse I literally couldn't get any notes out, forcing me to sit and listen to everyone else sing Christmas carols.  Bradley got to open a present at home- a Jessie doll from Toy Story.  They've been inseperable since.

Christmas Eve night- Heather, Jacob, Angie, and Clarinda came over for dinner.  Laura and mom cooked a fabulous dinner- filet, green bean casserole, potatoes, and salad.  Heather & Jacob were responsible for bringing the communion:  bread and wine!  We also had an amazing dessert spread of homemade cookies and cookie bars.  We ended the evening with a $5 Dirty Santa gift exchange.  The Poolar Bear will go down in Dirty Santa history, thanks to Jacob.

Christmas Day- Bradley was super excited to open his door and see the toys from Santa under the tree.  His favorite toys that he's carried around nonstop since Christmas are the Jessie, Buzz Lightyear, and Woody dolls from Toy Story.  We spent a relaxing day at home, playing with toys, and lounging around.  Christmas breakfast was noteworthy- I made monkey bread, Laura made a spinach and bacon quiche, and mom made a hashbrown casserole.  It was just enough food, and great mix between sweet and savory.  George got a toy helicopter that Oscar enjoyed chasing and barking at, and George enjoyed flying.

The 26th and 27th we went to Indiana, and the 28th and 29th were spent in Florida.

I went back to work on the 30th, and so I opted to stay in for new year's eve last night, and was in bed snuggling with Bradley by 10:30 p.m.  No use in staying up to midnight when you've got a little one who's up at 6 a.m.

So there's the fastest recap ever.  I got a new camera so I now need to upload all the pictures and catch up there.  Happy 2011!