Monday, November 23, 2009

Playing

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.

Halloween

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!