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?!?!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Such a big boy

We had a huge night last night with Gage...he used the potty!

It's been at least a month since he wanted it pulled out from under his crib. He really likes to sit on it (fully dressed). He likes taking it apart...standing in it...and trying to put it back together again. A couple weeks ago I was telling him all about it while he sat on it. He started pulling at his clothes and I asked him if I should take them off. He nodded, so then he was sitting naked on the potty.

We talked some more and read a couple books, but he got bored and wandered off to play. We've done that a few more times since then. And last night as I was getting him ready for bed, he went over to the potty and pulled on his clothes.

I got him undressed and he sat down. We talked about the potty again, and he pointed in the bowl. Then he stood up and acted like he was going to pee standing up. Very calmly, so as not to scare him, I explained that's something big boys like Braeden do. And I sat him back down. A few minutes later he stood back up. And the next thing I know he's peeing. Not in the potty, but close to it. :)

Inside my head, I'm freaking out because he's peeing on the carpet but I know he knows he's trying to pee in the potty. I wait until he's done then pick him up and sit him down again. I told him how great he did and told him he could pee some more if he needed to. I called for Mat and when I turned back around, he had peed a little in the potty!

Success!

With Braeden it was such a hassle just getting him to sit on the potty. I just went back and reread the potty training posts for Braeden...like this one, and this one (yikes!!), and this one, and finally this one. And then his little brother loves sitting on his potty. The challenge with him is that he wants to be just like his big brother and pee standing up. We put a couple towels under the potty in his room so we're better prepared for the next time. Maybe tonight!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Good weather = an afternoon at the park

After so much winter weather, we finally had a nice weekend. And of course I had to work all day Saturday for a board meeting. When I finally did out, I took Braeden to Hillsborough to visit one of my favorite yarn shops. I promised him a trip to a coffee shop down the street but it was already closed by the time we got there. Braeden was looking forward to a cookie so he was pretty disappointed. As we walked back to the car, a woman just closing up her realtor's office popped out and offered him a cookie. Crazy, right?

We headed to Chapel Hill next for a trip to Trader Joe's. I had given Braeden a dollar to buy his cookie, so he still had it when we got to TJ's. He was calling it his lucky dollar and I asked him why. "It's my dollar, mommy, so I can call it whatever I want," he said. He just cracks me up!

Sunday was a beautiful day, so after nap time was over we took the boys to the park. Us and about 100 other parents, that is. It was Gagey's first trip to the park and it took him forever to warm up to it. Finally he decided he liked driving the firetruck so that's what he did for about 20 minutes.


Once he decided he liked the park, he was pretty unstoppable. We went down the slide a few times, climbed up and down stairs, walked across a bridge, and even climbed up the rock wall.


One of Braeden's school friends was there so they played together for a while. He was very sweet, though, and kept coming over to the toddler park to check on Gage. And to rest a little. He plays hard all the time! When it finally came time to go, neither kid wanted to leave.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Migration

I'm wondering if anyone will notice...

I took the first step towards combining two blogs into one. Well, that's not entirely true. As far as blogger is concerned, the two blogs have been combined. I exported a file of Braeden's blog (it took about two seconds) and then imported it into Gagey's blog. Ta-da! In less than two minutes, posts I wrote over the course of almost five years merged with ones I've been writing since I found out I was pregnant with Gage.

Now that the hard part is done (ha ha!), I need to do some updates to the layout...make it less "all Gage, all the time" and more "hey, look, there are TWO cute kids". Shouldn't be too hard, right?

And those boys? They're good. Mommy was sick for a couple days at the beginning of the week with a mystery stomach bug but fortunately no one else caught it. We bought a wii Sunday (it's a very long story that starts with an innocent enough request and involves a very determined husband searching high and low for one, but it ends happily enough) and have been playing wii sports resort almost every day. Mat bought a hockey game but it's more complicated than he was expecting. I'm sure he'll get it, but for now he's using archery, baseball, and 100-pin bowling to unwind. And I'm continuing my streak of dominating at basketball. Kind of funny considering the one time I played ended with me breaking a finger.

So, stay tuned for more updates to this space. I promise not to take as long doing that as I did combining the two blogs.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dropping some NYC

It's probably time, right? Christmas was more than a month ago and I haven't posted any stories or pictures about it yet.


Let's start with our trip to NYC. It's a pretty short train ride from Rhinebeck to Grand Central Station. Mat and I have been wanting to take Braeden to the city for a year now. I chickened out last year worried he was still too young to make it through an entire day. He did well this year but I definitely think we were right to wait the year.

We took the train down the Sunday morning after Christmas. I felt bad about it because it was Gagey's birthday but it was the best weather day we had. Braeden had a great time on the train. It's such a beautiful ride down along the Hudson. I was so excited to show him Bannerman's Island which he loved. He started to get antsy just as we reached the city so that was a pretty lucky break. We got off the train and hopped on the subway to the Empire State Building.

Braeden was soooo excited to go up to the top. And I'm not good with heights so Mat took him up and I sat a Starbucks on the ground floor and knit. I can't possibly tell you the whole story of how Mat and Braeden got to the top but trust me when I say it took more than THREE hours of standing in lines, $60, and the kindness of one very understanding employee.





When they finally got back down to the ground we had lunch then went over to Rockefeller Center to see the big tree, the golden man, and the ice skaters (or in our case, the zamboni).



Braeden loved the big tree. And I'm glad we took him to see it, but I've never been around that many people all trying to see the same thing and stand in the same 12 square feet.


But even with all those people, we still managed to get some of my most favorite pictures.


After fighting our way through the crowds at 30 Rock, we went to FAO Schwartz. We certainly didn't get away from the crowds by going there. But we promised Braeden we would take him, and he definitely had a good time looking at all the toys.

The last stop we made was to see the Public Library lions. Mat had a hot dog and Braeden and I had a pretzel before heading back to Rhinebeck.