Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Videos from Charleston

Here are a couple of short videos I shot while we were in Charleston. You can see a cute one of Braeden at the firehouse on his blog...

Instead of sleeping Friday night, Gage just wanted to play. Our friend Lori reminded me that he is in a pack-n-PLAY, so I shouldn't be too surprised!

And here's Braeden and Gage playing together in Camp Carolina at the SC Aquarium. There are a couple of small terrariums in the log with salamanders. There are fish in the glass tank by the stairs Gage climbs. There's even a skunk sleeping in a barrel in another part of the camp. I assume the skunk had his smelly, skunk glands removed first. :)

For the full story on our trip to Charleston, check out Braeden's blog!

More Charleston

In my description of what we did in Charleston, I totally forgot to mention the visit to the firehouse Friday. They had a few new trucks we looked at, but Braeden really enjoyed playing on the old truck. When we got there, the firemen were playing basketball behind the station. They were glad to show Braeden the trucks and talk to Mat about how the older ones operated. I was happy to shoot my first video with my new flip! My birthday present from mom and dad...thanks, guys! I love it!

Monday, March 30, 2009


So I was afraid to talk about this before we left (exposing too much detail online and all), but now I can tell you all about our weekend away in Charleston. Mat had a student accepted to a conference hosted at the College of Charleston. As the advisor, he had to go along. And when he mentioned it a couple months ago, I leaped at the idea of going along with him. We LOVE Charleston! The idea of spending a weekend there sounded so good.

We left Friday morning and arrived around 2:00 after stopping for lunch at Chick-fil-a somewhere in SC. We were able to check into the hotel, the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. The previous times we've been to Charleston, we've stayed downtown. But those were work trips; this time we were footing the bill for the hotel. The worst part about staying in Mt. Pleasant is that you have to drive into the city and park the car somewhere if you want to do anything. And parking is so expensive! But it was nice to get out of the city at the end of the day and it's hard to beat the view.

Our first stop in Charleston was at a local yarn shop, Knit. Mat and Gage went down to the CoC bookstore and Braeden and I visited Knit. The yarn on the left is going to be a pair of socks. The yarn on the right could be a washcloth. I haven't made up my mind.

After Knit, we went to the Market. Mat wanted to go in a shop filled with flags, history books, etc. He took Braeden this time, and Gage and I wandered the length of the market looking at all the stuff, most of it crap. Then we met up and went to dinner at A.W. Shuck's, a place we ate at last time.

Gage slept in the pack-n-play and Braeden had his own bed in the room. To get them both to sleep, we turned off the lights and I climbed into bed with Braeden to snuggle. Mat went back into the city with a couple of the students to walk around. We all ended up falling asleep. At 8:30!

Saturday morning, Mat went off to the conference and we got to play. We went to the aquarium first. Right inside the front door, they have this big tank with fish and a turtle. On our first trip to the aquarium, Braeden was fascinated by the tank and that turtle. This time around, he was more interested in the remote-controlled sub that was inside. Besides, he was a little more interested in seeing the sharks this time around.

The newest display at the aquarium is a tank of penguins. They were so cute! And they loved the kids standing on the ledge in front of the tank. They would swim up to the glass and tap on it.

Braeden liked the penguins but his favorite part of the trip was the boat they had set up for the kids to play on. He loved driving the boat. It was tough to get him to leave but it was time for lunch.

We drove into the city and had lunch at a deli on King Street. Braeden liked eating a grilled cheese sandwich and eat potato chips. He also liked helping me with Gage, picking up Gagey's sippy cup and admonishing Gage not to throw his food. I love that he likes to help like that. We went back to the hotel and I managed to get both boys down for a short nap, just over an hour.

Then we went outside to the hotel's "beach". The hotel is on the harbor so there's not a real beach, but they have sand.

Braeden loves playing in the sand. Gage liked it too. He wasn't really sure about it, so he tried eating it at first.

Braeden wanted to take pictures of the sand, so I handed over the camera. This was his second time taking his own pictures. I posted the first batch to facebook but haven't put them on here yet. I'll add that to my to do list. Anyway, here's his picture of the sand.

I love those toes!!

I wanted to take them to the real beach, but the wind was blowing so hard and they were predicting thunderstorms. I was afraid we'd get caught in it, so I didn't want to stray too far from the hotel. When it got too much for me, I brought the boys back inside and we watched cartoons and ate goldfish. When it was time, we met Mat downtown for dinner. We didn't really have a plan, but we ended up at our favorite Charleston restaurant, Basil. Amazing Thai food! We ate there twice the last time we were in Charleston. The boys did great! They ate a bunch of rice and shared an order of chicken satay. And since Braeden was so good in the restaurant, I promised him a treat. Fortunately, Cupcake was still open so we slipped in just before closing and ate cupcakes! So good.

Sunday we got up, packed everything up, checked out of the hotel, and drove into Mt. Pleasant to find a diner for breakfast. Then we were on the road home again.

Great weekend!

Fifteen months

This morning I took Gage in for his fifteen-month appointment. As I put Gage on the scale, I was whispering to him to think heavy thoughts. It didn't work, though.

Gage weighs 18 pounds 10 ounces. He's below the 3rd percentile but at least he's still on the chart. The doctor reminded me that he wasn't at nine months! He's 29 3/4 inches long putting him in the 15th percentile. And his head measures 18 1/2 inches.

Before we went this morning I checked Braeden's fifteen-month stats (of course). He was 24 lbs 13 oz, 30 inches long, and his head was 20 inches. That kid always had a big head! Braeden was in the 50th percentile for weight. I know I'm torturing myself a little by looking at B's stats. And I truly don't spend any time at all comparing one boy to the other. But I can't help it when these appointments roll around.

Aside from shots and bloodwork, this was an incredibly uneventful visit. The doctor asked a few questions: does Gage point to things, does he follow simple instructions, does he play with things and mimic playing with things, does he say three to six words. The answers to all the questions except the last one were yes. Our doctor said he was developing normally and she wasn't concerned about his weight. I almost feel like I could copy and paste this update from the last one. And the one before that.

Gage had to have two shots this morning and blood drawn for a follow-up check of his iron. I'm still waiting to hear how his level is. If it's in the normal range then we can step down to a half-dose daily of the iron supplement for a couple of months. If it's not then we continue as we've been doing for another couple months when we check it again. In the meantime, someone's got to start eating red meat. I'm thinking roast beef. :)

Gage is such a good boy. He really is the sweetest kid. This is the age that Braeden started throwing tantrums when he didn't get what he wanted. It's so hard for me to imagine Gage doing that. Obviously I know he will, but I truly believe his tantrums will never come close to matching Braeden's. Their temperaments are just SO different.

Braeden still has these amazing freak-outs about stuff. He is so dramatic. And he really likes his routine. He knows he gets a special breakfast on the weekend. One Saturday night I asked him if he wanted to go out with me the next morning. I was going to take him to Panera for a muffin and coffee, just mommy and Braeden time. He was so excited. But the next morning, he refused to go. He insisted I make him pancakes instead. No screaming, just a complete insistence on doing things the way we always do them. Last night on the other hand...

Every night after Gage's bath, Mat sends him out to the gate at the top of the stairs to find mommy. I head up and we meet at the gate. Braeden sometimes likes to come too. Last night I went up without pausing the TV. I figured Braeden could. He knows how. Instead he started screaming that I had to pause his cartoons. Then he was screaming because he was missing Gage. Things got a little crazy upstairs then when Gage peed on the carpet! His first time doing that. :) I used that to entice Braeden upstairs. It worked.

Maybe I'll write more about this when Gage starts going through some of this. For now, I think I'll just leave it alone and concentrate on the cuteness in my house. I've got to download pictures and video from our weekend in Charleston. I'll post all that on Braeden's blog later.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Too cute

Braeden learned how to do the crab walk on the Tumblebus and he was showing off for us the other night. I convinced Mat to show off his walk, and the next thing I know he was giving Braeden a ride around the house!

This next video is actually a couple weeks old...I had such a hard time loading the video of Gage outside playing with the gutter that I waited a while to upload this one to youtube. Amazingly enough, these two videos loaded in just a few minutes!

Braeden always helps Mat put away the paper towels and toilet paper we buy at Costco. It looks like they have a new little helper!

What's been going on?

What has been going on?? Not much to blog about, it seems.

I've been having cloth diaper issues lately. I was in the kitchen one morning getting ready to leave for work and I hear Mat yell from the other room that he'd just broken one of our diapers. Since I almost always know exactly where each diaper is, my heart sank knowing he was talking about one of my favorite dipes. A GAD. A chocolate brown GAD with a baby blue inner, in fact. Luckily, CD-making moms are great about customer service. Shannon from Green Acre Designs told me to send it in and she would repair it. For free. So now I'm waiting to get it back. And when I do, I have to send in a second GAD (the blue one he's wearing in the video) for snap repair. Drama.

I'm also working on replacing my worn-out bumGenius diapers. One at a time, so it's going to take a little while. They have a one-year warranty and will replace dipes for free. Sweet! The woman e-mailed me to say they have free tab replacement kits, but I'm planning to tell her I don't sew. I want new dipes!! I just got my first replacement dipe Saturday--so thrilling.

Being down a couple of diapers and being bored with my current stash means I ordered two new dipes last month. I was missing having a stash of Thirsties, so I ordered a new sky blue one. And I also ordered a cow print happy heiny. The funny thing (to me, anyway) is that the first two diapers I ordered for Gage were a cow print happy heiny and a Thirsties. It's been almost a year since we started using cloth. Figuring eight diapers a day (a conservative estimate) over the course of 365 days means there are 2,920 less diapers sitting in a landfill because we made the switch.


On Saturday, Braeden I hopped in the car and headed to Durham. I'd been there for work earlier in the week and had time to browse a yarn shop. I bought this beautiful, soft, amazing bamboo yarn and have been knitting a gorgeous scarf with it. Unfortunately, I only bought two hanks and it's going to take three to finish. So, I invited Bray to go with me for the drive. He loves outings and I love spending time with him one-on-one. We bought the yarn first then walked up and down the street a few times. There were benches and chairs for him to sit on, dogs to give a wide berth to, a smoker to smell, and a church with steps to climb. We were going to eat an early lunch at a diner but it was PACKED with people and we didn't want to wait. Instead we went to a coffee shop for a blueberry muffin. Braeden had hot chocolate and I had an amazing mocha. We sat surrounded by Duke students working on papers and reading books and journals. I tried to keep him quiet, but he's four. He bonded with an older copy sitting on a couch, and no one shushed us or gave us dirty looks so I think we were okay. It was a great day!!

In other baby news, Gage is home today with Mat who is on spring break. No girls gone wild for my spring breaker!! Gage's temp last night was 101, and this morning it was 100.4. Mat's got a huge spring break to-do list, so hopefully this is a quick little virus that will be gone by tomorrow. Or at the latest by Thursday since we're headed to Charleston on Friday!!

We cannot wait for the weekend! And I think that's all I'm going to say about that until next week. I started typing then I began to feel weird putting so much information out there on the internet for everyone to see. After Emily's house drama, I'm just not sure I want to be so open about everything. So, check back next week to hear about our amazing weekend!

Monday, March 16, 2009


It took at least three tries and countless hours (of me sitting, waiting) for this video to load. I took it using my camera and learned that you have to hold the camera horizontally otherwise the video turns out sideways. So, since I held my camera vertically, I had to load the video into a movie-editing program to rotate it. Then save it as a file type youtube will comply with. Then upload it to youtube.

It was a lot of work. But I think the video is so good, I had to do it!

I shot another video yesterday afternoon that I'll try to load tonight. This time, I made sure to hold the camera the right way just so I could save myself a few of those steps.

I'm especially loving this video right now because we've had three days of rain and gray skies. I like to watch it and remember just how beautiful it was that Saturday. (I also remember how we had five inches of snow the Monday just before!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Our rain gutter at the front of the house is now Gage's MOST favorite thing! When Gage is outside on the ground he goes straight for it now. It's funny to me that he's so obsessed, even as I worry he might one day be strong enough to rip the gutter off the front of our house. Fingers crossed that sucker's on there nice and tight!

Gage has yet another cold. He's got yucky eyes, runny nose, and an intermittent temperature. And he's fussy, quick to be cranky, and pretty much wants to be held all the time. So much fun. He's at school today, but both Mat and I are prepared for a call from the day care. Braeden is, of course, perfectly fine. That kid just doesn't get sick!

He and I used to snuggle in his bed every night after bath and book time. But now he's decided he wants to snuggle in my bed instead. And he has to have a nighttime toy. Or two or three. It started out that he had to have one of my hair clips. Then it was one of my stuffed bears. Oh, and I bought a spray bottle at the grocery store last week to use when I block something I knit. Yep. It's a nighttime toy. Looks like I'm going to need to buy another spray bottle. It's the socks all over again!

We bought new shorts for the boys this weekend. Gage looked so so so cute this morning. I meant to take a picture, but we had a little drama over a broken diaper and I got distracted! Hopefully he'll come home wearing the same outfit and it won't be a disaster so I can take the picture. Or, I guess I'll have to wait until the next time he wears his super-cute new shorts and shirt. We went to Old Navy on Sunday to buy the new clothes. Mat went with Gage to the men's section to look at their clearance stuff. Mat LOVES a good $4 shirt, not as much as a free tee, but he's always really proud when he scores a bargain like that. Braeden and I went to the boy's section. He said he hated everything I picked up, so I informed him that I was done asking for his opinion and I would buy whatever I liked. Apparently I got so distracted by his bad attitude (typical from Braeden where clothes are concerned) that I picked out a $20 pair of shorts!! When Mat told me later, I almost fell over. $20?? That's more than Mat's four tee shirts cost! I don't care that Braeden tells me he hates those shorts, he's going to wear them EVERY week!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Swedish Invasion

Early this morning Emily, Jenny, and I left our husbands and boys at home to drive to Charlotte to visit our brand-new IKEA. We had such a great time! There was a little drama as we sat down to eat our swedish meatballs (yum!), but we really did have fun.

The IKEA is HUGE! We got there just after it opened, but there were already a ton of cars in the parking lot. And a whole host of people in red shirts directing traffic. It seemed crazy, but I've never had an easier time parking and shopping.

When we bought the house, I ordered some of our furniture online from IKEA--our entertainment center, bookcase, and dining room table and chairs. I love everything, and it was so easy to get the stuff over the internet. But it was nothing like shopping at one of their stores. I couldn't believe how much stuff they had. And it was all so cheap. 99 cents for a toilet bowl brush (Emily and Jenny bought those), 79 cents for a vase (Jenny bought one), and 99 cents for a potholder (we all bought that one)! We all got some great stuff...Emily wanted a table and chairs for Will and she got a really cute set. I can't wait to see him sitting there drawing pictures or eating ritz crackers. :)

I was looking for bedside tables but didn't see anything I really had to have. But I did buy a great bench, a cool vase, and a tray. And no, that vase isn't going to live that permanently. In this house, one of the boys would break it in about 12 seconds! The bench might not even stay there...but I love it, so wherever it goes, I'll be happy.

But the greatest thing I bought today was a tent for Braeden. He loves turning my couch and chair with all the pillows and blankets into a fort. I thought the tent would make a perfect fort. And I thought it might save me from having to constantly pick up the pillows and blankets. :)

I LOVE this photo of Braeden. And he loves his tent. He ate his snack and drank his juice in it this afternoon. You can close the flaps with velcro. I would close the flaps then he would run out and grab a toy and ask me to close them again. I'm so glad he loves it as much as I thought he would!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pictures make up for not posting in a while, right?

Since I've been a lousy blogger, I'm just going to post some pictures. That's about all I'm up for, I guess.

About nine months ago I met the alumni director from HWS for lunch. She gave me a few things, including this cute tee shirt. I think it's a 24-month size but it fits perfectly now.

Sunday night we got snow and woke up Monday morning to five inches! And no power. And a snow day.

It was a really good thing we brought the snow pants and boots home from Rhinebeck at Christmas. I figured they would just hang in the closet for three years until we took them back to Rhinebeck at Christmas when Gage was four. But here we are with five inches of snow playing outside.

Braeden's favorite part of the snow was crunching the ice that had formed on the street by the curb. We'd had so much rain the day and night before the snow. There was ice on top of water and he loved to crunch through the ice into the slush.

Braeden didn't give up the boots so easily. My kid is the king of the weird outfits!

From the snow Monday to almost 80 degrees Saturday! It was so warm in the house, I put Gage down for his nap in just a diaper. When he woke up I took him outside to see Mat and Braeden. Gage had the best time playing with the drain spout and gutter.

Is he not the cutest thing??

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mat blogs

Funny story…

For some time now, we have known that Bray and his classmates “say their blessings” before lunch each day. I think it bothers Melissa a little, but I think it’s cool because I think Bray should grow up to be humble and thankful for the things he has, regardless of whether it is in a religious context or not.

It seems that last week, Ms. Ann (one of Bray’s teachers) asked each child in the class who they were thanking for their blessings. As you can imagine (this is NC remember), there was a fair share of answers involving “the Lord”, “God”, “Jesus”, and the like.

Then they came to our little Bray. To whom does he ascribe his blessings? Barack Obama! No kidding.

His teachers thought that was the funniest thing ever. They both pulled me aside first thing Tuesday morning to tell me, and they were both laughing hysterically when they relayed the story.