Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Fun

Well that's not exactly true. It has been more ice than snow and in my opinion not exactly fun. At least not the latest snow. I was totally excited about the snow on Christmas since I don't think I will see that again in my lifetime. Christmas night Brad and I laid in bed with our blinds up watching the HUGE snowflakes fall. Braden loved going out and making snow angels and playing, but this snow...not so much.

Before the meltdown....

and after!
Brad looks like he is having as much fun as Parker!

And this is what you see if you greet me first thing in the morning! But the baby sure is cute!

Sunday night the snow was really pretty coming down, but when I was up at 4 am with the boys (Parker is teething, Braden woke up running a fever) and I heard the sleet hitting the windows it was not so cool. Monday morning Braden wanted to go outside and play so we waited until Parker took a nap, since he pitched a fit the whole time we were outside when it snowed in December. We got all bundled up and then crunched our way to the backyard. Yes, crunched. It was not beautiful fluffy snow it was hard, icy snow. There were lots of slick spots and the yard looked more like a frozen pond than yard filled with soft, powdery snow. Braden didn't even want to stay out very long and I was glad! The funny thing was that when Brad opened our front door Monday morning there was a "snow mountain" at the door over a foot of snow that had blown in. Braden thought it was the funniest thing and kept talking about our mountain of snow at the backdoor.

Braden was sooo excited about the mountain of snow!

Slipping on the ice, but Daddy caught him!

Trying to catch some of the snowflakes!

Now it is Thursday and school is still out- possibly even tomorrow because the roads are so slick. I guess this means we will be losing our Winter Break, which stinks because that is when were gooing to try to move. Braden ran a fever off and on until yesterday and his pediatrician's office was closed, so they called him in a prescription and yesterday morning I woke up with the worst sore throat, which ended up being strep throat. Luckily my doctor's office opened up yesterday so I was able to be seen. The good thing is I have gotten some packing done and been able to spend lots of cuddle time with my boys. But I am really hoping that this is the last of the snow for a while!

Big Changes

I hate change. I really, really do. However, after LOTS of prayer I have decided to stop fighting. We are going to rent our house and move to my grandparents' house. There really are a lot of great things about moving and I am focusing on them. For starters, it is 2 minutes from the school, as opposed to my 35 minute drive now. Not to mention the gas we will be saving in my not so economy beast of a vehicle. We will be close to my parents which will be nice, especially when my dad has his surgery (they are having to reschedule because of the snow/ ice). We will have more bedrooms and the boys will have a larger playroom, though our bedroom, bathroom and closet will be MUCH smaller. We will have an AWESOME backyard with a great back porch and super nice neighbors that I have known since I was a little girl. Our garage will be bigger and it has a large storage closet in the garage, not to mention the storage building in the back yard- no more sharing the garage with the riding lawnmower! The downside is there are 2 staircases and it makes me SUPER nervous! The first thing we are going to do is put up baby gates and hopefully that will make me feel MUCH better. Also the house needs lots of updating- I hate wallpaper and it is in several rooms and all of the bathrooms, but we did lots of updates to our house now, so I know it will just take time.
I am actually getting kind of excited when I'm not overwhelmed with thinking about packing and wondering how I am going to get it all done with my two little munchkins being under my feet all the time. But I know that it will all work out and hopefully once we are all settled in (probably mid- late Feb.) I will finally be able to relax...Well maybe a little! Parker trying to "help" me pack! Braden is hiding under the red blanket in the backround.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Braden is 4!!


Today you are 4 years old...and it makes you sooo happy...and it makes me feel a little sad. You reminded me that you were growing up when you marched into our bedroom early this morning and said, "I'm 4! I'm not 3 (free is how you say it) ANYMORE!" You had so much passion and declaration when you said it. With every year passing it means a year less that I have to protect you and swaddle you in love, kiss your boo boos away, scare away the monsters or in your case the owls, read you bedtime stories, and be your hero. When I look back on this year I see how much you have grown. In many ways you were still a baby when you turned three, but now at four you are a boy.

This year brought a major change to your life- a little brother which meant that you weren't the only- the only one to get all of the attention, all of the time, all of the adoration. However, I think you adjusted just fine and I have seen you grow into a wonderful big brother. You love to run into Parker's room in the morning to get him up and if he gets hurt you go to him and pat him on the head and say, "It's ok brother, it's ok." You love to play with him, but you are still learning to share your toys with him. You always have a watchful eye and alert us if Parker gets into any drawers or pulls something out. I know that you are going to be the best big brother and I pray that you and Parker will always be the best of friends.

Let me tell you that you have some of the nicest manners around. We hear that from all of your teachers. You give the best compliments and will just come up, offer hugs and give me or your dad hugs and kisses for no reason. Hours after we have taken you somewhere or done something special with you, you will walk over to us and say, "Oh thank (fank) you for ____." You can melt my heart like no one else! But, boy oh boy, we have had some struggles with your behavior this year. Not anything too major (mostly concerning your eating habits), but enough that I spent a lot of times on my knees praying for patience and understanding. You have so much spunk and you're so extremely opinionated and strong willed. These are actually qualities that I admire in you, though they do make it challenging at times. Daddy and I have spent lots of time this year finding a balance of discipline and love to suit who you are and who you are growing to be. We are not always perfect, but we are always trying. My favorite time with you is when get to cuddle before you go to sleep at night. Daddy puts you to bed most nights, but on the nights that I get to spend with you I just eat it up. You love to talk, talk, talk and you always want to talk about going to the beach and staying at the white house. You have so much fun when we are there.

You are so very smart. You are already rhyming words, counting by tens to 100 and spelling your first and last name. You are working on your middle name. You can identify all basic shapes, including octagon. You can identify all of the letters in your name and also s, t, z, v, c, and p. You can recognize numbers 1-9. You tell me which direction we are driving on the interstate (east bound to our house, west bound to Grrr and Palpaw's). You were the only child in your class who could tell your teacher your birthdate. And you are so articulate with your words. You have just gotten interested in coloring and drawing pictures, but you hate practicing writing, though you have learned to write your letter "B" and you can type your whole name on the computer. You have become so independent, which makes me both really happy and a little sad. Last week you wanted to make you own peanut butter sandwich and I couldn't believe it! Go Braden! You are also a wonderful helper. You love to help with the laundry, put away the silverware and you have gotten very good at picking up after yourself and putting your dirty clothes in your hamper and picking up your toys before bedtime.

Braden and his teacher, Ms. Melinda, at his school party.

You love Thomas the Train and have been really into it for 2 years now, which has really surprised us. You love cars and trucks and the color red. You prefer to play outside than inside if you have the chance. You can pedal a bike, but still refuse to unless we tell you to get off until you will pedal. You love your new power wheel truck and think you are the coolest kid around when you are driving it. You just watched Toy Story 2 and 3 for the first time and your favorite character is Buzz Lightyear. You love to play in inflatables, "jumpy things" as you call them and we are going to see if you are up for playing soccer this spring.

B, you are one of the funniest kids I have ever met! Around Christmas, you were playing with a kid friendly snow globe that Grr had gotten you a few years back. It plays a lot of different songs, but your favorite was The First Noel. You were having trouble finding it and said, "Can you help me find the first noELF?" I said, "Do you mean the first noel?" You replied, "Noel? Never heard of him." The other day your father and I asked you to clean your room. As you were walking out you said, "Ohhh, this is exasperating!" Today you asked Uncle Chad and Aunt Erica to sing Happy Birthday to you. When Uncle Chad sang it he said you look like a monkey and you smell like one too. You sang it the right way and then announced to him, "THAT is how you sing the song!" Oh Braden, you keep us smiling.
My sweet little picky have come so far this year. Yes it may have involved many frustrating nights at the dinner table, some threats, and even some vomit, but you are doing SOOOOO much better! You now love hot dogs, will eat fish sticks, but prefer bacon. You have eaten bbq, hamburgers, quesidillas, pork chops and chicken. You don't mind eating green beans, though you are still not a huge fan of mac and cheese. This may not sound like a big deal to you 20 years from now when you just finished scarfing down a porterhouse steak , but this is HUGE in our lives right now!

refusing to eat your potato soup

I think about today, about how excited you were about your birthday. About the impromptu hugs and kisses and how you told me tonight while you were getting ready for bed that this was "the best birthday ever!" in your sweet little voice. One of our favorite books is about a bunny and his father who are comparing their love to each other. One of the new things that you are doing is spreading your arms as far as they will go and saying, "I love you this much!" Sometimes I tell you I could just love you to pieces and you are quick to tell me that I should love you "whole". I don't even know how to explain my love to you except to say that I love you as far as the ocean is deep, the earth is wide, to the moon and back, and I'll love you forever and always and even when you are 44, my sweet baby Braden you will be.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Braden's 4th Birthday Party

On Saturday we celebrated Braden's 4th birthday at Game Time. It was a great party with lots of friends and family and Braden had the best time! He loved his cake, his friends, and the "jumpy things"! He didn't have time to stop for any photo ops, so most of my pics of him are on the run! Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our precious little man's day!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Prayers for My Dad

Good news...I will have another 3 day week at school this week since school got cancelled for tomorrow. Bad news...I will be out on Tuesday because my dad is having back surgery at Piedmont. I am asking for prayers for him because he is nervous...who wouldn't be about going under the knife and because this means he really has to take it easy for awhile- like no riding in cars for 2 weeks and no driving for a month and it takes 3-6 months for a full recovery and that means he isn't going to get to spend much time with his two favorite little munchkins which I know is going to be very hard on him. His surgery is at 1pm on Tuesday and I just ask that you send up a prayer for an uncomplicated surgery and an easy and speedy recovery.

I love you Daddy!

with his favorite 12 month old

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Oh yes, yes it is!

This year Brad and I gave the boys their gifts from us early in the day Christmas Eve. Brad wasn't all for it, but we really don't have a chance to do it any other time since we get home so late on Christmas Eve and Christmas day is always so busy with Santa, etc. Braden was excited about giving Brad the Clemson koozie he picked out and we gave Braden an Emily train for his "collection"and a Hot Wheels mac truck. Parker got a radio that plays different tunes and they both got a Toy Story 3 movie, Christmas jammies (matching of course!) and a hat, scarf and gloves. Parker could care less and spent the whole time climbing under the Christmas tree, so Braden was more than happy to open all of his gifts for him!
Then we loaded up the car, put out cookies for Santa and Braden wanted to leave carrots in the yard for the reindeer, and headed to my parent's house for Christmas Eve. My dad and Brad had to run a few errands to help Jolly Old St. Nick out so my mom and I hung out with the boys. When my Chad and Erica got to the house we feasted on Wedge salad, Low Country boil and king crab legs! We were all so stuffed, we probably would have all napped except that Braden was ready to open gifts! Once again, Parker could care less about the gifts so Braden got to open all the presents! After hanging out and spending quality time with the family, we changed the boys into their jammies, loaded up and headed home since it was after 10:00. We were hoping that that the boys would fall asleep as soon as we hit the road, but Braden was too excited to sleep. He talked almost the whole way home and finally fell asleep about 5 minutes before we pulled into the driveway!

Brad and I put the boys to bed, exchanged our gifts to each other, waited on Santa and then headed to bed just after midnight, fully expecting Braden to wake us up early the next morning. He did not however and we had to wake him up! When he walked in he was so excited to see the "Big, black truck from Walmart" that Santa left him! It was the only thing he asked for and the look on his face was worth every penny! Parker came in and headed straight for Santa's left over cookies and hardly glanced at his toys all morning! He did discover the puffs that Santa left in his stocking!

If you look closely you can see the cookie in Parker's hand!

After Santa stuff, my parents and Brad's parents came over for Christmas breakfast (ham quiche made by Brad, bacon, cinnamon rolls, muffins, sausage balls, fruit and Happy Birthday Jesus cupcakes). This year Brad's grandma was in town and it was nice having her with us. After breakfast my parents left and we exchanged gifts with Brad's parents and grandma.

After Brad's parents left we got ready and headed to my aunt's house for Christmas lunch and to see my mom's side of the family. Before we headed home for the night we stopped at Waffle House to eat with my parents, aunt and uncle, cousins and their son. While were there it started snowing - ON CHRISTMAS- it was awesome! It was a super busy, but very special Christmas!

Ahh...Good Christmas memories!

Singing "Happy Birthday Jesus"