Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Forbidden fruit

Gage did the silliest thing the other night. Mat immediately told me it had to go on the blog. And he was right!

After dinner one night, Braeden asked me for a piece of gum. We almost always have gumballs or gummy squares (chiclet-type squares in different flavors), but we got down to the flavors he doesn't like and threw them all away. All I had was some gum in my purse. It's not a flavor Braeden really likes, but he wanted gum so he was willing to compromise.

We went into the living room together and I got the gum out of my purse, opened the package and gave him a piece. Gagey whined about wanting one but I explained he's too little for gum. I went back into the kitchen and left the boys watching cartoons.

A few minutes later, Gage came into the kitchen and threw something away. We didn't think too much of it...he's a good little helper and likes to pick up and throw junk away.

He wandered back in a couple minutes later and I heard Mat ask him what was in his mouth. I turned and noticed him chewing on something. I tried sticking my finger in his mouth but he clamped his teeth down. But I could smell the gum, so I forced my finger in and grabbed it out of his mouth.

That kid had gone into my purse, found the package, opened it, taken one stick out, unwrapped it, put the package back in my purse, thrown the wrapper away in the garbage, and was very happily chewing on a piece of gum.

Cute, but naughty too. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009


Here's something exciting...a set of random pictures of the boys. In truth, I have no idea how old some of these are (I'm at work and the originals are saved in dated folders on my home laptop) so let's just pretend they're a few weeks old.

This is Gagey eating a snack. I think it's cheerios. I know I took the picture because I loved the way he grabbed a handful from the bowl and shoved them in his mouth using both his hands to be sure they stayed in there.

This next one is Braeden and me at the table after dinner one night. For a snack he was eating jelly belly jelly beans. I dumped some out of the baggy and he started matching them up by color and counting the number of each. It's a little trickier than it sounds because there's more than one shade of most of the colors. We did this a few nights in a row and it never got old. For either of us.

This one is definitely a mommy-fave! Braeden brought the first pillow and blanket into the kitchen. Then Gage wanted to lay down with him and Braeden freaked out about Gage wanting to share the pillow. Mommy to the rescue with a second pillow (and the camera). Braeden, always willing to ham it up for the camera, was trying to help by turning Gagey's head to look at me. (Not the first time Bray tries to help out like this.)

OK. The jig is up. I know when I bought this little table at IKEA so I now know just how old this picture is. I could lie, and you would probably believe me because Braeden is wearing snowman PJs, but...the truth always comes out in the end, right? This was October. Middle of the month-ish.

I bought the table because I thought it would mean I would get my dining room table back. We eat our meals there, sure, but dinner is always accompanied by 12 matchbox cars, a block tower, whatever stuffed animal is the current favorite, or some other random toy. The new little table didn't have quite the desired effect, but it sure is cute to see Gagey sitting there to eat a snack.


Well, this one has been a long time coming!!

Braeden was a fireman for Christmas this year. We found the costume at Costco and bought it incredibly early as we were worried it would sell out if we waited. Braeden loved it. He hates trying on new clothes and is not crazy about hats, but he was thrilled to put this on Halloween night.

But just because he got dressed right away didn't mean he was prepared to cooperate on all fronts. He did not want his picture taken, so this was the first shot of him I got.

After his initial refusal, he cooperated enough that I could take a few more.

It's almost like he's daring me to take his picture in this one.

For all that Braeden loved his costume, Gage hated his. Just as Braeden was the year he was two, Gage was a duck this year. He was incredibly miserable when I first put the costume on him (just like Braeden was three years ago). He mellowed out when we finally got outside and even got into the fun of trick or treating after a little bit. But the only pictures I could get were of him crying and carrying on.

It was getting dark, so the photos outside aren't the best. But I love this one of him walking. He just looks so little. The thing that finally really calmed him down was getting a couple pieces of candy. The whole night he walked around with a 3 Musketeers clutched in one hand and a Snickers in the other. He would not let them go. By the time we pried them out of his hands so he could have his bath, they had lost all the physical properties of candy bars. Needless to say, I threw them right away when he wasn't looking!

This was the first year I think Halloween really worked in our neighborhood. On our street, there are three other families with little kids. Michelle and Shaler are our neighbors two doors down, and they have a daughter named Kendall who is four months younger than Gage. She's a beautiful little girl with blond curls. Shaler was on his way back from somewhere, so Michelle and Kendall went out with the four of us.

We went to the houses on our street then walked around the block. When we got to the street behind ours, it was packed with families. Kids in costume, some being pulled in wagons, dogs on leashes (always an issue with Braeden), and one family being chauffeured around in a golf cart (so lazy!). It felt like we were part of a community. I loved it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vacation (it's about time, right??!!)

I've had these pictures ready to go for weeks now...I've just been too lazy to post them. So I've posted a bunch of pictures and there's also a lot of links to posts from the past four years of trips. A fun walk down memory lane.

Every October we meet my parents in Virginia Beach for a long weekend. We stay at their timeshare, and we never do very much. We hang out, Braeden makes my parents read him the same seven books over and over again, we dig in the sand, sometimes we feed bread to the seagulls, we go to the aquarium (not this year), we take our picture in front of the Neptune statue...

One afternoon Mat, Dad, and Braeden went to check out the old Cape Henry Lighthouse. They had a great time learning its history and climbing to the top. Once there, Braeden told everyone who came up the story of the old lighthouse and the new one. Braeden knows I'm afraid of heights, so when he got back he cautioned me against going because I would have to climb up a ton of stairs and then a ladder to get to the top of the lighthouse. Sweet, huh?

Here's Dad and Braeden headed up the stairs to the lighthouse.

That is one happy kid!

Braeden has a couple of hats but he doesn't wear them very often. He does wear them when we're around my dad (who lives in hats!).

Each year we take a family picture at the beach. This year's was taken in front of the Neptune statue after we rode a surrey (one of those four-people bikes) from our place on 5th to the park at 31st street. It was a long ride into the wind. Luckily for us, Mat did most of the work! Gagey rode in the basket in the front (I say basket, but it's meant for babies and has a seatbelt). Braeden rode in the back between my parents. Mat did all the steering and had his fun by driving my side of the bike into the bushes lining the path. Fun for him, not so much for me.

I think you can tell from these pictures that it was cold again this year. Cold last year, cold this year. Rainy and windy too. Monday was okay...it was starting to clear up and warm up some. And Tuesday was perfect. Of course we were in the car by 10:00 headed back to Whitsett, so we were a little bitter about that.

Mom and I took Gage to a yarn store while the boys were at the lighthouse. We stopped at an Atlanta Bread Company for coffee and cupcakes on our way back. Gage loved the cupcakes, but what a mess! Saturday morning Mat ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K along the boardwalk. He was pretty happy with his time and running this one has inspired him to run more. (He just ran the Turkey Trot, another 5K, at Elon; is registered for the 5K portion of the NC Marathon in March 2010; and put the date for the Charlotte Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on his calendar. I know he'll run that one, too, if he can.

Sunday we went over to Ben and Stephanie's house in Chesapeake for lunch with her parents (Mat's godparents), Don and Debbie, and Mat's parents. Their house is great, and Stephanie made a ton of fantastic food including macaroni and cheese and hot dogs for the boys. She also made this amazing chocolate eclair dessert. Speaking of which, she gave me the recipe and I really ought to make it to bring to work one day. Monday night, Mat and I went back to Chesapeake to have dinner with Ben and Steph (minus kids and parents). We were so excited to go to a Thai place (and to spend more time with the two of them!). We hardly ever get Thai...it's a pretty tough sell with Braeden. They'll be headed to California in February or March (Ben's in the Navy), so it was really great to spend this time with them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hamming it up

We had a lot of rain this weekend and Mat realized water was backing up into our crawl space. He spent a few hours outside Sunday afternoon digging a trench to divert the water downhill into the easement between our property and our back neighbor's. He also got into a snit with the neighbor, but no one wants to hear about that...

After his nap, Braeden watched some football with me and ate cheez-its. And when he got bored I suggested he go out on the deck and watch Mat work. It was in the low 50s and sprinkling so I worried he would be too cold in his light jacket. I got down my winter stuff bag and found a very soft scarf I had crocheted years ago. I knew he would like the feel of it around his neck. He insisted on mittens. I know we have gloves for him but I couldn't find them, so he's wearing mine instead.

When I tried to take a picture of him just smiling for the camera, he refused. He insisted on a new pose for each picture and who was I to refuse!!

I love the half-smile he's giving me in this one. He knows how cute he is so he's trying to play it coy.

A little blurry because he's moving. He really wanted me to catch him standing on one foot but his balance isn't that great. (He gets that from me!)

I saved the best for last...this one is my favorite!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween preview

This morning as I was getting ready to leave, Braeden told me when he grows up he wants to work at UNCG so he can stay with me. He didn't like that I was leaving him. I just thought that was the sweetest thing he could say. I had to go back and give him another big hug. No wonder I can't ever make it to work on time in the mornings!

Friday his class is having a Halloween party. The kids can come in costumes if they want. Or as Braeden told me, they have to come in costume. I didn't want him messing up his fireman costume he'll wear Saturday night, so I thought up a couple other ideas...costumes I could easily create with what we already had in the house. I thought my first idea was perfect. Braeden should be a surfer. He can wear his swimmy trunks, a tee shirt, sunglasses, flip flops, and carry his kickboard as a pretend surfboard. Well, apparently you don't wear swimmy trunks to school unless it's pool day. Huh. Guess he told me. My second idea was that he go as NY Giants player. He's got the shirt and a Giants football. I figure he can wear sweatpants. And I was thinking of finding some way to make the black marks under his eyes. He loved this idea, so Friday Braeden will be a Giants guy (his words).

He told me yesterday that Makena's mom doesn't want her getting her real costume dirty either, so she'll be a cheerleader Friday. I love how nicely their costumes will go together. Not that the Giants have cheerleaders...thank goodness! The other upshot to his costume idea is that his teacher is a big Cowboys fan. And sticking it to a Cowboys fan always puts a smile on my face!

Monday, October 12, 2009


I'm trying to ease back into blogging...I think that makes it sound like I was overdoing it and my loved ones had to stage an intervention. And we all know it's just the opposite for me.

Braeden and Gage have become obsessed with the few beanie babies I have. It started with Braeden and the elephant, Trumpet. Then he had to have a sandy-colored bear named Almond. Gage fell in love with the black labrador. There's also a pug that sometimes gets called into action. Those beanie babies are in addition to the 72,000 other animals Braeden insists on sleeping with. Each time he adds someone new to the mix, Mat and I try to edit one out so there will always be room for him in his bed. The best part about it is watching him with the animals. He is so careful and loving with them. He carries them very gently in his arms as he comes down the stairs or brings them into my room at night to snuggle. And Gage is very cute with the black lab. He tucks it up under his arm and toddles around with it. But when he gets bored with it, he just throws it on the ground. But God forbid Braeden should pick it up. Suddenly Gage is all over it again! Mat keeps saying he understands why parents buy two identical toys just to keep the kids from arguing about the thing. He's probably said it four or five times lately so I think you can imagine the scenes we've witnessed when both boys want to play with the same thing at the same time.

Speaking of playing, another favorite game involves pulling all the pillows off our living room furniture and piling them up on the floor. Braeden likes to jump off the chair onto them and I've been trying to train him NOT to do it if Gage is laying on the pillows. In their calmer moods they like to lie on the pillows and under the blankets I keep on the couch. This past weekend Braeden was completely covered by one of the blankets and Gage plopped down right on top of him. Without thinking, Braeden sat up and pushed him off which made Gage topple backward. He bumped his head into the edge of our entertainment center. You just knew it was going to be a bad one. He started screaming immediately and there was an instantaneous bump when he'd hit his head. Poor kid! He seems to have recovered pretty quickly. But of course I panicked that the kid was going to have some kind of head trauma. I put a bag of peas on it (nope, no flexible ice packs in this house). And he was fine. Just like Mat said he would be.

Then he came home yesterday with bite marks on his arm. The same kid bit him twice in about five minutes time. The first time it was over a toy that they were "sharing" and the second time happened while Bitey McBiterson was in timeout. Apparently Gage who seems not to have a mean bone in his body (seriously, where did this kid come from??) went over to Bitey in timeout wanting to play with him again. I really wish the day care would name names. You only find out who the biters and hitters are if you happen to be picking up at the same time as the offender's parents are there.

Braeden's doing great at school. He hasn't had a bad day in a very long time. In fact, there was a day a couple of weeks ago when he was the only good kid in his room. Which is not to say he doesn't act up at home sometimes. He is one dramatic kid. Or melodramatic, I'm not sure which is more accurate. And of course we think he's brilliant. :) I had Mat bring home a big stack of post-its; I wrote the names of things on them and we taped them all over the downstairs so he could get used to seeing how words are spelled. I'm not sure yet that he's really paying too much attention to them but I'm pretty sure one day he'll surprise me by spelling something from a post-it. His handwriting is pretty good, too. He gets his lowercase b's and d's confused sometimes, but otherwise he's doing well.

He still likes telling riddles...what's blue, really fast, and sounds like this (brrrrrrr)? If you guessed daddy's new car you'd be wrong. Or at least last night you would be. Last night the answer to that riddle was Bill's car. (Bill is our neighbor and he has a blue Nissan Z.) He also likes hearing stories about the house I grew up in in Rhinebeck, especially a certain story about a dog who got stuck in our pool. Last night I told him to ask MeMa and P-Pa about it when we see them next. I'm pretty sure he'll remember. He's good like that. He remembers EVERYTHING!

Maybe with all this writing out of the way, tonight I'll get around to posting the pictures I've taken over the past few weeks. I said maybe, right?? You can't hold me to that. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sing me a song

Braeden's teachers have been teaching them a lot of songs lately. One of them is more like a cheer. For his day care. It's adorable. And he gets a lot of pleasure performing it for us.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


So I didn't manage to get a picture of Braeden in his medal but I did want to tell you about the conversation he and Mat had over dinner last night.

Braeden started asking Mat questions about planets. It started with Mars and Mat explaining that it would take months to get there. Braeden knows Mars is a red planet, thanks to a Backyardigans episode. That episode has a great song, Boinga, that Alicia Keys sings. I'm not at all ashamed to admit it makes me want to dance right along with Uniqua, Pablo, and Austin!

(The video quality isn't great but I wanted you to see the dancing!)

After they got done talking about Mars, Braeden asked about other planets. Mat went through the list...amazingly, he still remembers the order of the planets, something we learned in elementary school. And he also knows that somewhere along the line scientists changed the pronunciation of Uranus to stop people from cracking so many jokes. No more Pluto and now it's Ur-a-nus...this just feels weird to me.

So as Mat's rattling off the list of planets, Braeden brings up the purple planet. Mat seemed confused, so Braeden explained that Dora and Boots visited the purple planet in an episode of Dora the Explorer. :)

Mat took it all in stride and explained that he didn't know about the purple planet but that Neptune was blue. And then he explained to Braeden how it got its name. He asked Bray what else he knew that was called Neptune. Braeden immediately named the Neptune statue in Virginia Beach. And he also remembered there's a King Neptune in Spongebob. He and Mat talked about how Neptune is the king of the sea. And Mat asked him what color is the ocean. Braeden replied blue, and he realized that's why the blue planet was named Neptune.

I had the greatest time listening to the two of them talk about planets, both real and imagined. I love that Mat never talks down to Braeden and is always interested in teaching him something real.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Braeden got an adorable medal at school the other day for being the first kid in his class to know his address and his phone number. We already knew he was a smarty-pants and now we have proof!

I'll try to post a picture later.

Friday, September 11, 2009

All the goings on

Braeden went to a birthday party for one of his friends at a park in downtown Burlington. The park has a bunch of Braeden-sized rides and a train that goes through a tunnel and over bridges.

Here's Braeden with his friend, Zander, on the cars.

Braeden loved the cars! And once he figured out how to work the horn, he honked his way through the entire ride.

He liked the boats but definitely not as much as the cars!

The carousel was the last thing we did before the party ended. He wasn't quite sure he wanted to ride on it at first, but when everyone else went he decided to go too. But he was sure he didn't want to ride one of the horses that went up and down!

He had so much fun that we took him back the next weekend when Mat's parents were in town. I love the little kid birthday parties and hate them all at the same time. This was, hands-down, one of the best. The food was simple (Chick-fil-A nuggets, grapes, those puffy, crunchy cheese balls, and juice boxes) plus a cake. The kids got to go on the rides for about an hour and a half before we met up in the gazebo for food, cake, and presents. The presents weren't out of hand, and most of the family saved their presents for a more private setting. I decided to make the little girl a backpack. I had fun shopping for girly fabric and finding just the right design for her backpack.

If I did it again (and I'm pretty sure I will), I'll make a lined backpack instead of unlined and find something better to use for the straps. But this one got the job done. And pretty cutely too!

Braeden and I also went to Will's second birthday at the Science Center. Gage had an ear infection and some kind of skin thing. The doctor thought it might be a case of hand, foot and mouth. Not serious but it is contagious. And the poor kid was pretty pathetic--temperature, not eating well, itching. So Mat and Gage stayed home. Braeden had a great time at the party petting the animals (who knew chinchillas were so soft??!!), using the animal tracks stamps, eating the most beautiful multi-colored cupcakes, and celebrating Will! For Will, I wanted to give him something very, very special so I knit him a vest.

I actually knit one for Gage earlier in the summer and kept it off the blog because I knew right away that I wanted to do one for Will. And I really wanted to surprise Emily with it.

For Gage's, I had bought this brown wool cotton yarn in November with no idea what to do with it. I found the vest pattern this spring and realized I had the perfect yarn already. How often does that happen? Since Gagey's turned out so well, I knew I would knit one for Will. And then I took a big chance and asked Braeden if he wanted one. Not suprisingly he said yes. In red. The big question is, will he wear it? Stay tuned.

For Will and Braeden's vests, I got to buy a brand of yarn I'd been dying to try. Their vests are made from organic cotton. Will's is a beautiful shade of green called basil which I thought would go perfectly with his big brown eyes and white blond hair.

What else? Braeden had a case of fifth disease. We noticed it Sunday evening, but it really looked like he had wind burn or maybe a little sun burn from the pool that afternoon. When Mat took him into day care the next morning, they said it looked like fifth. Then they told him some of the other kids in his room had it. I was pissed that they wouldn't tell the parents that or put up a note on the day care door to explain it to parents. It bugs me that they told Mat about the other kids after they noticed it in Braeden. Fortunately fifth is a mild rash that never progressed past the barely noticeable stage. Braeden liked to tell people he had the disease. He was pretty proud of himself.

I absolutely adore this picture of Braeden! He was watching Mat use the pressure washer on our back deck. He wanted to help but he wasn't sure he wanted to get too close to the spray. I just love that face!!

Braeden and I went to Southern Season a few weekends ago. I needed to pick up a few things for a package and we needed a few things from Trader Joe's (just down the street). Braeden and I had brunch at the Weathervane, the restaurant at Southern Season. He had chocolate chip pancakes and milk I had a breakfast quesadilla and a mocha. Weathervane is kind of fancy and kind of not. It was fun taking him someplace like that. We usually just eat at our local, favorite Mexican place (in a strip mall). I like that he and I can go out together somewhere nice (with cloth napkins) and eat together. We sat up at the bar on tall stools. He loved it!

Check out Gagey's blog because I updated that one too!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So much to say

I know it's been a long time since I posted when Mat complains about it. I've got no excuse. I guess we've just been living our lives, going about our business, not that there hasn't been a lot of cuteness that I ought to be chronicling. It just hasn't made it from life to the blog, I guess.

He loves playing under the sewing cabinet. Where's Gage?

Let me try to do a quick recap of the last month...

Gage is (finally) starting to say a few things. He loves trucks and calls them guck. He also points to ducks but again, guck. He's been saying cat for a while. Or dat and pointing at the cat. He's been waving forever but he just started saying bye bye when he does it. So cute! He says shoes which comes out more like sues. This weekend we got him saying cracker, more like cra-cka really, and cookie. When we see a dog, he'll say doe. He's been saying ball (baa) for a while now. I think that might be it for now. I'd love to get him saying Braeden or whatever form of that he could get out. I think Braeden would love to tell people Gage can say his name.

I went into the living room the other night to check on the boys. They were watching cartoons, very quietly and peacefully. And this is how I found Gage.

I love his sweet face!

We've got a new-ish bed time routine with Gage. Mat does the bath then it's "go find mommy" time. Gage comes naked to the top of the stairs and Braeden and I go up to see him. Gage waits until he knows we're coming up then he takes off into Braeden's room. Braeden goes after him and pats his belly while saying fat baby. He heads back downstairs to watch more cartoons and I stay upstairs. We get Gage into his PJs and brush his teeth then he and I head into his bedroom to read books. He has several favorites that we have to read. Dear Zoo was a gift from Emily to Braeden way back when and it continues to be a hit in our house. He also loves Goodnight Moon 123, a counting book. It's how he learned that socks go on your feet and mittens go on your hands. He really likes a book about opposites that was a gift from Abi for Braeden. It has flaps that open up to new pictures. She also gave us a board book called Rainbow Fish that Gage adores. After we've read our books, I tell him to get his pacci. He climbs up on Nanny's chair and gets one off the bookcase. I pick him and carry him over so that he can turn off his light. Then it's over to the crib where he picks up his lovey. I pull the pacci out of his mouth so he can give me a kiss then it's into the crib. He is still so good about bed time. He goes right down and never makes a peep.

Mat got a new car that he absolutely loves, a MazdaSpeed 3. It's fast, a little loud, an incredibly bright (and some might say garish) shade of blue, and so much fun to drive! I got a hair cut and have been knitting, knitting, knitting.

And watching tennis. The US Open is my favorite of the Slams. I adore watching night matches under the lights. I love the play on hard courts. And typically, I love watching my favorite American men kick butt. Not this year though. Andy Roddick and James Blake lost on the same day, depressingly enough. My other favorites went out around the same time. I've been forced to pay attention to players I don't normally notice. There's a 17-year-old girl from Georgia who's beating big names (like Maria Sharapova). She's been fun. I rediscovered a guy I've liked in previous tournaments, Juan Martin Del Potro. And the Bryan Brothers playing doubles. They are just so much fun to watch! Apparently me typing that jinxed them...and they're out!

I updated Braeden's blog too, so check it out!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


We spent last week in Rhinebeck with my parents. The drive up wasn't too terrible. I suppose if Mat was the one writing this blog, he might have something different to say. Braeden is really great at entertaining Gage which is a huge help. Mat packed each boy a bag of toys and books plus a couple of baggies of snacks to tide us over between stops. Three of us slept some in the early morning hours while Mat drove through Virginia. We had breakfast in Winchester, our usual stopping place, and lunch at Wegmans in Wilkes-Barre. We started stopping there a few trips ago and really, really like it. Mat and I are huge Wegmans fans since our college years in Geneva. If only they could open a few dozen stores in NC...we can dream, right??

Anyway, we had a great time in Rhinebeck. Abi and Jeremy came down Sunday for a cook-out. Jeremy paid Braeden a dollar to help him run things back and forth from the house to the grill. Bray was so proud to help Jeremy and especially proud of his dollar which he carried with him the entire time he was helping.

Abi came down again on Wednesday and went to Trader Joe's with mom, Braeden, and me. I like Trader Joe's, but mom and Abi are a little obsessed. Abi's list filled an entire piece of paper! I think I had more fun watching them shop than anything else. Braeden was happy to get little cups of TJ's version of cheerios and a couple packages of cinnamon letter cookies.

One day mom and I went to Tivoli to visit a yarn store I'd been dying to check out. Unfortunately I got the hours wrong so we just ended up having coffee and corn muffins at a weird, little grocery store/diner/coffee bar. Mat and I went back to Tivoli another night for dinner at a fun Mexican place. We drove mom's Miata and ate on the patio. The weather was beautiful, not too hot or humid with a great breeze. After dinner we drove down to Rhinecliff to sit by the river for a little bit. We watched a couple of guys launch out on the river in kayaks. Personally, I thought they were a little nuts but it looked like they did this a lot. It was so nice to get away together for the night, to enjoy a really great dinner, uninterrupted conversation, and a few minutes in one of my most favorite places.

We got out the inflatable pool and the boys played very happily in it for hours. Gage was so not into it at first. He screamed when I first put him in it. It took at least a couple of hours before P-Pa convinced him to get in it again. He was fine until he slipped and got wet up to his waist. But he really loved using mom's measuring cups to pour water onto himself, the grass, the bushes, and back into the pool. Braeden loved splashing and jumping in the water. He used the measuring cups and an old coffee can to make us food to eat and coffee to drink. And he really, really loved having squirt gun fights with my dad.

I didn't bring my camera so I have no pictures of our visit except for the one I took with my camera phone of Braeden in the pool. Mom took some pictures, so I'll have to wait until she e-mails me a few.

The only trouble we had was with Gagey sleeping. Either he didn't like his room or his crib, or maybe he was just off kilter being in a new place. I don't know. But he had serious trouble sleeping. He wouldn't settle down when I put him in the crib. Most nights (and nap times), mom or I would have to hold him and try to get him calmed down. He was perfectly content to fall asleep in our arms but would wake up the moment we made a move to put him in the crib. Most of the time he had to cry himself out before he could fall asleep. Poor kid.

The drive home was definitely rougher than the drive down. Gage was less thrilled to be in the car than he was on the way down. We made it, though. And as much as we enjoyed the visit, I think we were all glad to be home again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


While Mat and Braeden were in NY, Gage and I had an unexpected visitor. I went out one night to water which means slipping between the front porch and the bushes to hook up the hose to the spigot. Pretty easy, once I got the hang of the so-called quick connect. But before I even got to that point, I had to contend with something else entirely.

When I was unraveling some of the hose from the hose reel I looked over at the bush and saw him.

He wasn't making any noise at all, and he didn't move. He just sat there staring at me. So I sat there staring at him. And all I could think was if I moved he would freak out and fly at my face. Yeah, I can be irrational sometimes.

Anyway, after I looked at him for a while I noticed these little tufts on his head and realized he was definitely a baby. That's when I really started to worry. About him. Had he fallen from a nest? Was he abandoned by his parents? Did he get lost or separated from his family? And then I was thinking I wish Braeden was here to see the baby bird. I really worried about him late that night when the thunder and lightning started. We got an inch and a quarter of rain that night and I stressed that the poor little guy would drown or something. I went looking for him early the next morning and didn't see him. I worried for a minute but then I noticed him on the next bush. Phew. He was safe.

I was glad I had taken a few pictures when a coworker suggested I call a wildlife rehab person I had found online. We were joking about me not knowing what to feed him or if I even should feed him. The woman I spoke with asked that I send her a picture and check to see if he was still there when I got home. He wasn't, but she e-mailed me back to say that he was a fledgling, a toddler bird who was learning to fly. She explained they learn to fly from the ground and are taught by their parents to take cover in bushes. And she told me he's a mockingbird. I'm so glad he found my shrubs to hang out in while he taught himself to fly.

In other news...here are a few pictures of my two boys hanging out.

Look at that smile!!

And here are my boys playing with the hungry hippo. Gagey climbs in and sits (a little awkwardly) and Braeden pushes him up and down the house. It's incredibly sweet and cute. This is a game they both love!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lazy days of summer

Ha! I outsmarted blogger for the first time today. For some unknown (stupid) reason, blogger inserts the photos into the post in the reverse order from the way you loaded them. It's annoying. And it happens every time. So this time (finally) I added the photos in the reverse order and now I don't have to manually move them around. Yea!!

Anyway, we've been having a pretty laid back summer. There's not too much to report. Braeden and Mat went to NY for about a week to visit Grandma and Grandpa Gendle at their farmhouse leaving Gagey and me home alone. They had a great time at the farm and I know Gagey and I had fun in our quiet house while they were gone.

For the most part we've just been hanging out. I think our kitchen stool became a chair/race car one day when it got knocked over accidentally. And now (to my utter dismay) the stool spends more time in this position than it does upright.

Gage is big enough now that he can climb in and out by himself. He's got really good balance for being so young. :)

Braeden came back from NY with this ball (thanks, MeMa) and both boys love it.

Braeden likes to outfit the stool with a pillow from the living room. Then he flips through Mat's bug book looking for his favorites (the walking stick, the water measurer, and some kind of fly with spikes on it).

And what can I say about this picture?? He's just such a beautiful kid! Big blue eyes and always with a smile.

I've got lots more pictures at home to post, so I'll try to do that this weekend.