Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fun day

Braeden's been in school for three weeks and they've already had their first day off. Monday was a teacher workday and the after-school was closed as well. Mat started back up at Elon, so I took the day off to spend with him. We decided that he and I got a fun day while Mat and Gage had a Monday. :)

In the morning we went to the children's museum. There's a giant red chair in the lobby the kids can climb on and sit in. Braeden had me take about six different pictures as he posed for the camera. The first one I took is above. But this next one was one of my favorites.

He's just such a ham!

After the museum we went over to the Fresh Market for a few fun things--kiwis, blueberry yogurt-covered pretzels, chips and salsa, gummy worms and letters, and cookies. And then came home for lunch. In the afternoon I wasn't feeling very well, so Braeden watched a bunch of Scooby Doo episodes and played with his Lego's.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Graduation came and went

Braeden's graduation from his pre-school happened at the end of May. Yeah, I'm a little slow at getting around to blogging about it. He had a great time at the graduation. Mat and I did not.

I went into it with really high expectations. I loved last year's event where Braeden's class sang a couple of songs. I guess I tuned out any part of last year's ceremony that didn't directly involve my kid. (I suppose that's how I'll get through the many years of band concerts, recitals, etc. that we have in our future!) Each class of graduating kids did a little something--Braeden's class sang a song about the rules of the classroom (much cuter when he's singing it one-on-one) and they each named something they loved. Braeden's thing was letters and numbers (and counting in Spanish, too). The kids also got to tell the parents what it was they wanted to be when they grew up. A lot of the boys said fireman or police man. A couple said dog catcher. :) Braeden said he wanted to be a professor or a fireman. I'm sure Mat was touched.

After the class performances, they played some country song with a whiny guy singing about how kids grow up so fast. Why must all country songs sound so whiny and cliche? Then the woman who owns the day care stood on the stage and delivered what I'm sure was the exact same speech she gave last year about how the graduates represent the day care when they leave so each kid has to act his or best so people know the day care did a good job caring for and teaching them.

Seriously? That was the best thing she could come up with to say? She wouldn't rather have used her time to talk about how proud they all are of the kids and how much they've all grown? Some of these kids were there from three months on...they learned to walk, talk, count, speak some Spanish, share (sometimes), and so much more in those years. Wouldn't it have been nice if she could have talked about some of those things?

I just don't get it! Mat and I texted back and forth throughout her entire speech. (He was down front hoping to get pictures of Braeden getting his diploma so we couldn't just whisper to each other.)

The kids were called to the stage to receive their diplomas in the order the woman pulled them from the basket so there was no way of knowing when Braeden would get to walk across the stage. Braeden ended up being near the end so I filmed all the kids but the video didn't turn out very well. The lighting in the church made it hard to take any good pictures. The other pictures we took later at home. Braeden loves his cap and gown. He wears the gown all the time when he's in a dress-up mood. He likes to run in the gown because it billows out behind him. It also reminds him of a lab coat which suits his aspirations of becoming a professor (or a scientist) to a T.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Growing up

I've half-written a few posts and never finished them, so here's an oldie but goodie from the end of June...

It's half-birthday time for the boys...it just doesn't seem possible that it's been six months since we celebrated their second and fifth birthdays.

Braeden continues to crack us up with the things he says and does. He's always been into dressing up but it's gotten so much more involved now. He'll disappear up to his room and come down with a jacket on (and yes, it's like 95 degrees here!!), his red rain boots, and a hat (a red one, of course, that he decorated at school). Then he accessorizes with 15 silly bands and whatever else he has lying around (a UNCG lapel pin, a pirate eye patch and sword, plastic bead necklaces...). The silly bands were gifts from girls. Yes, our kid is the mack daddy of the playground. His friend Alex (who we do play dates with) gave him most of them, but Makena gave him one, so did Kiera, and a little girl at the pool gave him one Sunday afternoon. We haven't bought any of the bands ourselves...why should we?? UPDATE: We've now bought him a couple of packages. He can't wear them to kindergarten so they seem to have lost some of their luster for him.

I'm more than a little sad to write this next part. My baby is growing up. Gage is sitting in the booster seat at the table, and we've taken our high chair to Goodwill. We've transitioned him to pull-ups during the day and cloth for naps and overnights. I had forgotten how crummy wet disposable diapers smelled! The upshot, though, is there's a lot less laundry being done! Gage is getting really good at letting us know he needs to use the potty and at not peeing in the pull-up. But we have had a few accidents...one day we sat him on the potty in the kitchen with no success. I was the one who said he didn't need a pull-up; I figured he'd know when he needed to pee and head over to the potty. Instead Braeden informed us that Gage had just peed on the floor. And the wall. And the window ledge. And after his bath one night, while he stood on the stool to brush his teeth in the bathroom, he peed on the stool and floor. Oh, and Mat's feet. :)

Oh well. Accidents happen and we make sure Gagey knows we're not upset with him. It may not be a straight path from diapers to underwear, but at least Mat and I feel like we're getting somewhere with it now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Since I can't be counted on to actually blog, the least I can do is post a cute picture now and then.

Here are my two boys at the pool Sunday morning.

We've started going in the mornings on the weekends. It means we share the pool with one or maybe two other families, and it's not as hot so it's easier for Gage. The poor kid overheats really quickly. We had the same problem with Braeden but Gage has my fair skin, so we're also worried about sunburns. (And yes, we use sunblock, but it only does so much.)

Gage isn't so sure about the pool. He'd rather stand on the edge. And dip his watering can in to the pool. Then pour the water into a bucket. And pour the water from the bucket back into the pool. And when he talks about the pool, he doesn't just say pool. He says pool water. He wants to play with the pool water. He wants to go to the pool water. It's hard to say no when he asks in such a cute way.

Braeden likes to sit on his noodle and paddle around. Sometimes he wears his goggles...not that he puts his face in the water or anything. Yesterday morning he freaked out when I tried to get him to kick without his noodle. I was holding onto his arms so his head was above water, but he freaked out anyway. And then in the afternoon (when Mat took him back after nap), he realized he could touch the bottom in the shallow end and still have his head above water. And with that, he was fine about giving up the noodle and kicking while Mat held him up.

His freak-outs make me laugh more than anything else. They stress Mat out completely. He wants something to invent a special kind of camp for kids like Braeden. Grow-the-fuck-up sleep-away camp. One activity involves giving the kid his most favorite dinner, letting him eat a few bites, then knocking the plate to the ground. Gotta love him!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Each year for Mother's Day the boys and I go to brunch. We've been somewhere different each year...I guess I'm still looking for the perfect spot. Last year we went to the Village Tavern but this year we went to Lucky 32. Mat and I have always liked that restaurant and used to go BK (before kids). It's not that it's not a place you can bring kids, we just tend to go to the easy places now...Mexican, breakfast dinner, pizza, that kind of thing. The waitress was nice enough to take our picture after we ate. No, Mat can't smile. It's not what he does in pictures.

But I can almost always count on Braeden to smile for the camera.

After brunch we stopped by the Fresh Market and came home with green beans, strawberries, sour patch kids, and a few of their amazingly delicious pillow cookies--brownie pillow cookies for the boys and almond for me.

When we got home Mat took a few pictures of the boys and me. I love that one of Braeden and me. Gagey was being stubborn and refusing to sit with us. He just really wanted to sit on the ottoman.

I think we might have bribed Gage to get him in these next pictures with us. Then Braeden and I had to do what we could to make him laugh, but in the end I love these pictures.

Especially this one...

The boys made me some very cute presents at school this year. Braeden's class painted on vases and made tissue paper flowers. And from Gage, I got a travel mug (the kind you can insert photos into) with a couple of cute pictures of him inside.

Mat got me a necklace I'd been admiring from a great store called the vintage pearl.

You are My Sunshine has been one of my favorite songs since high school. It became even more special to me when Braeden and his class sang it at last year's graduation ceremony. Remember that?

Another great Mother's Day!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quiet, lazy weekends rock!

We had one of those quiet weekends spent just hanging around the house. Friday night we went to dinner in Greensboro to one of our favorite places, Tex & Shirleys, for pancakes. They have the best pancakes! And it's incredibly kid-friendly, so no one minds if Braeden dances around our table or if Gage stands up in his high chair and tries to steal food off trays headed to other tables.

Saturday morning I was home with the boys by myself while Mat participated in one of the craziest things ever. He ran up 30 flights of stairs in a tower in Winston-Salem. The stair climb was a fundraiser to benefit MS. He was one of 250 people to do it, and he finished in 4:47...under five minutes to run UP 30 flights of stairs! He finished 5th in his age group and 13th overall! Totally nuts!!

There's a photo of Mat at the end of the stair climb here. There are photos of other people actually running the stairs but none of him. :(

While he was doing that, I made scrambled eggs for the boys then we watched cartoons and went to the grocery store. Since it was just us, I told Braeden we could get a car cart. And it was the best decision ever. Usually Braeden gets his own little cart and my job is to make sure he doesn't hurt anyone or break the store. He loves to run down the aisles pushing his cart, and we're just lucky the store isn't more busy than it is! With the car cart, they're both sitting side-by-side in the top of the cart with their own steering wheels. And neither one of them can get out! So perfect.

Saturday afternoon Mat took Braeden for a walk after his rest time. They went in a house that's being built behind ours. Bray is fascinated by this stuff; he loves to know how stuff is built. I know he had a great time seeing "inside" the walls and hearing where the plumbing will be and how it works. Then they walked down to see an abandoned house. I don't much about it but it used to belong to one of the original owners of the land our development sits on. He went bankrupt, couldn't pay his vendors, and lost the land. Braeden loves exploring, and he loved walking through the woods to the abandoned house. He told me all about it when he got back; then he told MeMa all about it when we talked to her on Sunday.

One night this weekend Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was on TV, so I recorded it for Braeden and Gage to watch. They've been watching in 30-minute increments in the mornings and at night and should finish it tonight. I was worried Braeden wouldn't like it...he's so used to the flashy animated movies they make today, I thought he might get bored. And I had forgotten how dark and scary Snow White was in parts. Near the beginning (after the evil stepmother orders the huntsman to kill Snow White and bring her heart back in a box!), Snow White is running through the forest. There's scary music and all the normal forest stuff looks threatening to her. When it was all over, I made a big point of saying how all the scary stuff was just in her imagination. But Braeden wasn't scared. This morning he watched the part where the stepmother turns into the crone and makes the poison apple. And he's still fine. I'm glad he likes the classic Disney movies as much as he likes the new ones. It's nice to share these with him.

When I think of Snow White, the first thing that comes to my mind is the record we used to have when I was a kid. It must have been my mom's...when we were sick, we would lay on the couch and listen to it. There was a book with the story and the dog (Nipper??) would bark when it was time to turn the pages. Abi and I used to really love it!

No pictures from this weekend. And no updates from Gage on the potty either. In fact, this was a very Braeden-centered post. Oh, and Mat...he never gets any blog love. So, the next post will be all about Gagey! If you think you can stand it...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another Ansel Adams in the making

Since Braeden's birthday falls right after Christmas, we decided to celebrate his half-birthday too. It's fun to have a little party in the middle of the year. Plus, his half-birthday falls on July 4...and who wouldn't want fireworks on their birthday?!?! When he turned 4 1/2 we gave him his own camera. He'd started taking pictures with mine and they were turning out really great.

And since I didn't blog about it at the time, I thought I would post a picture of him with his half-birthday cupcake. That is one happy kid!

Here's the picture I took of Braeden taking his first picture...

And here's the picture he took...

Mat's been bugging me to download the pictures from his camera for months, so yesterday I finally did. 187 pictures! And going through them, I was pretty surprised. Some were blurry or out of focus, but most were really good. Granted, a lot of them were of the furniture and toys. But a number of them were of us.

Gagey seems to be one of his favorite subjects and there are a lot of pictures of him.

Here's Gage after a bath one night...

Gage running towards him...

This one is interesting...there are a number of pictures Braeden took while Gage was still in his crib. So a couple of different mornings, Braeden came downstairs to get his camera and then went into Gage's room when he woke up (and before Mat or I went upstairs) and took pictures of him in his crib. I love that they had these funny little moments together while Mat and I were still sleeping.

And here's Gage in his high chair...

Then there were the pictures of me (or part of me). I'm only including the good ones because that's my prerogative (as Bobby Brown would say).

No, I'm not really sleeping but I did have my eyes shut to protect against the flash. He took several of these!

Me in the kitchen...He took a bunch of pictures of me from below and that's not the most flattering angle, so I think I leaned forward to try to combat that.

This one I like. Just me sitting on the floor in the kitchen...

I also like the ones he took of his toys. I like seeing how his mind works.

His beloved pig...

A half-eaten pretzel rod on the counter with a bunch of my crap...

And a grouping of favorite cars and planes on the floor...

And he also took a bunch of self-portraits. He looks really scary in most, but in this one he actually smiled. And I think it's a terrific picture of him!

And then there's this one...

How cute are those feet?!?!