Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brady's 1st Visit to Disney World!!!




After our adventures at Sea World, it was time to head to Disney World! I was so excited, not only because I still feel like it's magic, but because this was Brady's first visit and I couldn't wait to see his reaction. He watches Mickey Mouse every day on TV and has several stuffed Mickey Mouses and will dance around with them. The last time I was in Disney was February 19, 2008, 2 years to the day that Brady was born. Coincidence? We woke up early so we could be at the park when it opened and even before it opened, there were people everywhere. They were all fighting to get inside the gates to watch the welcome show. We could see everything just as well from outside the gates, without being packed in like sardines. They have the people from Main Street come out and sing for a little while, then they have the train pull up with all the characters. Brady spotted Mickey Mouse right away and started smiling and waving to him. I started to cry because it was so great to see him happy and loving that we'd brought him here to see his favorite character. Once the show was over, all the people waiting outside the gates made a mad dash for the entrance and thanks to many years watching football at Heinz Field, we moved to the very end and got in immediately because there were no lines there.



The first thing we did w
as get pictures with Pluto. Brady was having a hard time waiting in line because he could see Pluto and wanted to go to him. When it was his turn, Pluto got down on all fours for him and Brady ran to him. He was so happy! We then walked up Main Street so we could get pictures in front of the castle. We went through the castle into Fantasy Land and got in line for the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride, which is newer, so I'd never been on it. They must have learned over the years that little kids don't like to wait in line, so there was a little play area within the line so the kids could run around and play with Winnie the Pooh themed activities. Brady loved that, but it spoiled him for the rest of the day since none of the other rides have those play areas. We noticed that they are making a huge addition to Fantasy Land that will be opening in 2012, so it still won't be ready when we make our next trip.



Our second ride was the Tea Cups and there was no line,
which makes it the best ride in my book. Brady loved the spinning and wasn't quite strong enough to spin the wheel himself, although he tried. After the Tea Cups, we decided it was time for some drinks to stay hydrated. Andy got a frozen lemonade and taught Brady to drink from a straw! It was really cool watching Brady suck it up through the straw. We were close to Tomorrow Land, so we got fast passes for Buzz Lightyear and headed to Adventure Land to check out the rides there. We tried out the Jungle Cruise and once again, Brady called all the animals puppies.


We headed back to Tomorrow Land to cash in our fast passes and rode Buzz Lightyear. Brady helped us out by controlling the joy stick to turn the car so that we could shoot the targets. After this, it was the time we had decided we would head back to the hotel for Brady to take a nap. By the time we made it to the bus to our resort, he was already passed out. He stayed asleep the whole bus ride to the resort, then woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep. We ate lunch and headed to the pool to cool off. Brady had a blast. After an hour, we decided it was time to head back to the park to catch the character parade.



Since Brady didn't sleep when we got back to the resort, he was very crabby by the time the character parade came around. It didn't help
that Andy had just come out of the sweets shop and gave him chocolate. When the chocolate was gone, he still wanted more and wouldn't accept that he was done. It was cool because Cinderella's step-sisters walked up to us and told us that they're the best dancers in the parade which had us laughing. Their mother was walking around ordering little kids to sit down and they were definitely obeying. By the time we walked to the back of the park to check out wait times, he was asleep again. This time, we decided it was just as well to hang around and let him sleep in the stroller. The day before in Sea World, when he needed a nap, we were jealous of all the parents who were pushing around sleeping kids. At Sea World it would have been great because they let you keep your stroller to watch the shows if your kid is sleeping, but in Disney, you can't get in any line with a stroller. We let him sleep for an hour before waking him up to ride more rides and meet more characters. We had to change his clothes because he was soaked through with sweat.



When he was in clea
n, dry clothes, we walked over to have our pictures taken with Jesse and Woody from Toy Story. The line for them was long and every 5-10 minutes, they had to take a break to get water. He was still a little sleepy, so even though he went to them, he wouldn't smile for the pictures. Our next stop was the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. He liked being in the boat and didn't mind the dark. Andy was holding him and said he tensed a little at the only drop. We went over to Dumbo next since the line for that had died down since our first trip to Fantasy Land. He liked watching the ride while in line and called the Dumbos puppy. He wanted to control the joy stick when we got on, but we managed to get in the only Dumbo whose controls were broken :(


Since we'd only met three characters so far, I was determined to find more. As a kid, I remember them being around every corner, so I was getting frustrated that we'd seen so few. I was getting really frustrated after a while and feeling a little ripped off. We must have walked up Main Street 5 or 6 times before Andy went to check out some theater that had a picture of Mickey on it. He came back and said that the wait time wasn't to watch a Mickey movie, but to actually meet Mickey. I was so relieved. The wait time was only 25 minutes and Andy likened it to meeting the president. It was set up so that you wait in line and then get taken into a smaller room, where they open a door and let a few people in at a time to have their private audience with Mickey. Andy's quote was "Mickey doesn't mingle with the common folk." Brady was so happy to see both Mickey and Minnie when we finally got to them. He gave them both a hug and wanted them to pick him up. They had another line to meet all of the princesses, but Brady's a boy so it wasn't worth it to us. This had to be newer because the princesses definitely used to walk around so kids could meet them.

It was getting later and we were getting hungry. S
ince this was our first time when we'd planned the trip to Disney, we were rookies when it came to planning. We found out quickly that most of the eateries were completely full with reservations. We know for next time, and plan to have a meal where you get to meet more characters, like the entire cast of Winnie the Pooh. Since we didn't know and didn't have reservations, we had to eat fast food in Tomorrow Land. Brady was getting really crabby, but we were determined to stay for the nighttime shows. A full hour and a half before they were scheduled to start, there were people camping out. We got to the castle about 40 min before and luckily found a spot to sit right by the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey. We met a really nice family from Brazil while we were waiting and their two little girls were having fun playing with Brady. It was really sweet because they'd pick up his puppy blankie when he dropped it and would stroke his hair when he began to cry.



They have recently brought back the Main Street Electrical Parade, which I haven't seen since I was 9 in Di
sney Land in California. It was really cool because they turn off all the lights. Next was another new show, where they take 1000s of photos that their professional photographers have taken throughout the day and put them in a show where they project on the castle. Finally, came the the fireworks show. Brady was getting increasingly cranky and Andy kept asking if we had to stay for it and I was insisting. It was great like always and Brady of course loved the fireworks. Andy later told me that although he's been there many times he's never seen that show before and was glad we stayed. After it was over, there was a huge rush of people, like there is every night after the fireworks. The park wasn't closing yet, and those staying at their resorts could stay until 3AM as a perk, so people were going in all directions and we wanted to get to the exit. By the time we made it to the bus, Brady was sleeping again and didn't wake up again that night.


Monday morning, we head
ed to Downtown Disney to do some shopping before hitting the road to go home. We went to the giant World of Disney store, the Lego store, and the ESPN store, where I got Brady a shirt that says he watches ESPN with mommy (not daddy). It was a great weekend and we hated that we couldn't stay longer. We'll be back in December to check out the Christmas decorations. We plan to do a Disney Cruise in about 5 years, but don't plan to make it back to the parks in Orlando until Brady's a teenager. Andy was bummed about that and wanted to come back sooner, but I would rather come back when all the kids can walk themselves and ride all the rides. I told him we would play it by ear if we have the money and vacation time down the road.

P.S. There will be more pictures coming in about a w
eek when I get my digital disk with all the pics the professional photographers took.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sea World Orlando



We got up early Saturday morning and piled into the car, heading south to Orlando for the long holiday weekend. Our first stop for the weekend was Sea World. I've been to the Sea Worlds in San Diego and the one that no longer exists in Ohio, but never Orlando, so it was a new experience for all of us. We arrived around 2:30 and it was hot. 90 degrees and humid. We got Brady covered in sunscreen, but we waited until we got into the park to put ours on since we needed to put our contacts in. It was so hot and sunny, that by the time we got from the car to the park, I was already starting to burn my shoulders. Brady already had beads of sweat on his nose. Poor kid.

Our first stop was the dolphin nursery and Bra
dy loved when they came to the surface. Of course, he called them puppies. We went to the sea otter and sea lion show next, but Brady was not in the mood to sit there and watch since they move slowly and didn't keep his attention for very long. We tried the dolphin show next. He watched for a few minutes, but then they released a lot of birds and they flew right over our heads. He loved that! He screeched so loud that Andy thought it was one of the birds. There was more time spent during that show of people doing acrobatic tricks over the water, than watching the dolphins, so Andy and I joked that the dolphins have unions.


We saved the big
show for last. Shamu! Brady was getting tired and paid a little attention, but Andy had to take him out before it ended. They had five adult orca whales and a baby orca. I haven't seen them in person since I was a little girl, so it was amazing to watch them. They're truly magnificent and graceful creatures. After the show, we got Brady some ice cream (which he of course loved) and then rode the carousel. He liked that too.

We called it a day after that and headed to our hotel in Disney. It was still warm at 9PM, so we headed to the pool and Brady went right back into swim mode, even though he hasn't had a class since December! He was cold after getting out and you have to leave your towels at the pool, so Andy let him wear the shirt he brought with him an
d he was swimming in it, but so happy. We were all exhausted. We don't know why we even bother bringing a Pack N Play with us when we travel anymore, since Brady insists on sleeping with us in the bed or he screams. Instead of laying the same way as us, he put his head by me and his feet by Andy and in the middle of the night he started to push me to the edge of the bed. Crazy baby.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our Magical Sippy Cup Finder

Brady is very good about letting us know when he wants a drink by going to the fridge and reaching for the handle, and always insists on having a sippy cup in the car (we give him water in the car because milk wouldn't last the whole time we're out and we try to limit his apple juice intake). When we give him a sippy of milk in the house, we try to keep track of it because we don't want it to sit out too long. He's so active that sometimes we have a hard time finding it. Today, Andy asked Brady where his sippy was and normally, Brady just heads to the fridge, which is where he expects it to be. He turned around and went under the couch and pulled out his sippy! We thought it was a fluke until after bath, when we were once again looking for his milk and Andy asked him to get it again. We were standing in the kitchen and he went into the family room, behind the couch towards the computer desk and walked back out with his sippy. He left it there before he had his bath so he actually remembered where he'd left it! We were amazed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Keeping it Fresh




Someone told me a long time ago that it's a good idea to rotate toys so that kids don't get overwhelmed with too many toys, and don't get bored and need new toys. This creates the illusion of new toys every few months because the kid has forgotten about them. Brady has more than his fair share of toys, being the only grandchild and great-grandchild on both sides, in addition to having his birthday and Christmas fall 60 days apart. Last night, Brady was being crabby and we hadn't changed toys in a while (since his birthday). We pulled out a Fisher Price learning piano toy that he got for Christmas and was still in the box. He was thrilled. We haven't even hooked it up to the TV for more learning opportunities. He played with it all last night and all this morning. It has several modes, so the keys can teach different things depending on the mode. It's surprisingly lightweight (maybe 2lb), so it's something that we can easily take it to Germany. What's crazy is that there are at least two toys that we still haven't opened from Christmas and his birthday, so there are actually new toys that will be introduced before we have to start reintroducing old toys as new. I'm already thinking forward to next Christmas and planning on all lightweight things so that he doesn't get them and then have to leave them behind less than a month later when we leave for Germany. It's really limiting, but he's going to see so many things most 2 year-olds don't get to experience, so it evens out in the end.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Brady's 15 Month Doctor Visit


Today, we went to the doctor for Brady's 15 month doctor visit. This was our first time at our new doctor and there were some gaps in communication that had me very frustrated. When we got there, we were 3 minutes late, but that was enough for them to say that we'd "missed" our appointment and had to wait until there was an open spot. This meant we had to wait around for an hour in a waiting room with no toys. While I was filling out new patient forms, the receptionist told me that they didn't have Brady's medical records. I was furious because I had called the old pediatrician and they refused to fax them and instead wanted a written request to have the records released. I put that in the mail a whole month ago. When we got back to the room a nurse told us that they did in fact have his records, but were confused about his 12 month vaccinations. They wanted to know where the record of him having his MMR, Hep A, and chicken pox vaccines were. I told them that he didn't get those yet and they told me that on their schedule, kids get those vaccines at 12 months, so he would have to get them today.

Brady was happy until someone dared to touch him, and then he screamed so loud I swear he was going to burst my eardrums. He even screamed while he was getting weighed. It was cute that they gave him a little gown to wear for his exam. The doctor also gave him a cute little board book to keep. He weighed in at 22lb. 6oz (20th percentile) and 31.5 inches (60th percentile). His length was the same from his 12 month visit so he's becoming a little more proportionate. The doctor told me not to worry about his weight percentile because they've had to adjust it because of obesity. He also said that Brady's eating habits are completely typical of a toddler, where they could eat a huge meal one day and then almost nothing the next. That was great to hear. He had 4 shots (2 in his arms and 2 in his legs). We go back in 3 month for a physical and in 6 months to get the second round of MMR and Hep A vaccines.

Brady says 5 words:

No
Uh-oh
Puppy
Done
Dada

After the doctor appointment, Brady and I ventured down to Georgia to go to the outlets. I made a killing. We've been shopping the sales and clearances for clothes for Brady for next summer because we will have to take everything he needs with us when we leave for Germany because we only get a certain weight to ship via air freight and if we use it all up and buy him summer clothes when we get there, we'll exceed the weight coming home and have to pay the extra.

Here's a list of everything I got:

5 pairs of pants
5 pairs of shorts
4 T-shirts
1 collared shirt
1 pair of pajamas
1 Christmas onesie
1 pair of Crocs for the beach

I got everything listed for $100!

When we got back from Georgia, we met up with Andy for lunch at Long John Silvers, which is a rare treat for us. We had a great lunch, and of course we let Brady ring the bell when we left.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our First 5K



Today, Andy and I participated in our first ever 5K. It was sponsored by weight watchers and it happened to come after a long week at the gym. It didn't rain, but unfortunately, the high today was 96 degrees. The 5K started at 6PM, but the temperature was still 91 degrees. We had a great time, but soon realized why we prefer to go to the gym and drop Brady off at day care, rather than taking nightly walks. About 2/3 of the way through, he started to scream because he was bored and wanted to run around. We plied him with plenty of goldfish and he drank two sippy cups of water. Our finish time was 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 30 seconds.

We knew we were going to have a very active day, so we made plans to head to a Chinese restaurant after the walk. This was the first time we'd gotten C
hinese since moving to South Carolina 4 months ago. Brady ate a good deal of the crunchies meant for Andy's soup, had some rice and chicken and beef from our plates, and then ate a whole fortune cookie! He was very pleasant the whole time we were there, which is rare these days because he likes to move around and sitting in a high chair is not so fun anymore.

We are coming up on a busy week and will be preparing for our big we
ekend trip to Orlando in only 6 days! I can't believe it's happening, when we've been talking about it for the last 7 months!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Uncle Pat & Aunt Leecie Visit


Andy's brother, Patrick, and his girlfriend, Chaleece, came to visit us yesterday. They spent the night with us before heading to Myrtle Beach this morning. It was really nice of them to come to see us because it was a little out of the way. They came yesterday right after Brady's nap and he was very happy to play with them and show them all of his tricks. It was funny when they came because I heard their car doors and said to Brady "what's that?" He immediately went to the laundry room door, expecting daddy, but I told him it wasn't daddy, so he went to the window and peeked out the shades. He's so used to just looking out and when he saw someone there, he came back a little freaked out.

We drove up to California Dreaming for dinner in Greenville. It's a great restaurant that's a chain only located in SC, GA, and AL. On the car ride up there, Brady started saying the word no for the very first time. It took me a minute to realize what he was saying. He started saying it over and over again and it was so cute that we were all laughing and encouraging him to say it more (in hindsight that might have been a bad idea). Dinner was great and when we got home, we put Brady to bed. We all played a game of Scene It on the XBox (Andy won of course, which isn't fair because he started as a film major), then we moved onto the Kinect. It was hilarious because Chaleece was determined to beat Andy's high scores and when she did, Andy would get fired up and try again. Chaleece still has the high score for the whack-a-troll. We all sat down to play a game of Phase 10 Twist, then separated so the boys played NCAA Football and Chaleece and I played Rummi 500. Andy and I both lost our best out of 3 match-ups and we ended up staying up until 3AM! It was really great having them here and we wish they could have stayed longer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Accident Prone Son

We couldn't quiet make it another 24 hours without an incident. Some people have really mild-tempered little boys, but not us. We were at Gymboree today and Brady likes to climb in and out of the inflated inner tubes. He's very good at getting one leg over, then sitting with one leg on each side, then lifting his back leg in. He'd done it several times in a row, and the last time, his back leg got caught and he went face first into the floor. There was lots of screaming, so his face was red. When he calmed down, I noticed a nasty rug burn above his right eye. Poor kid can't catch a break.

On a more positive note, I was wearing one of my many Pitt shirts and one of the other moms asked if I was from Pittsburgh. When I replied that I was, she told me that she and her husband only moved down here a year ago, and they'd lived there for 5 years while he completed his residency at UPMC. Her son was even born at Magee a few months after Brady. Unfortunately, they'll be moving to Florida this summer.

Big Boy Bath for Brady


The last time Brady was in the bath, he started to try to stand up in his aqua ring. When that happens, is when the instructions say it's no longer safe to be used. So, tonight we decided to try the bath without the aqua ring, with much less water, of course. It went really well. Brady sat down and played with his bath toys for the first few minutes, then started to crawl around, and eventually stood up and walked around. By the end of the bath, he started to lay down and kick with his legs and scoop with his arms, just like when we took swim classes back in Michigan. It was great to see that he knew enough to keep his mouth out of the water and even remembered how to swim, even though it's been a little over 4 months since his last lesson. I can't wait for the pools to open in a little over two weeks. The local YMCA offers family summer memberships and they have a pool area for kids that's similar to something you'd see at a water park with spraying and a mushroom that water pours down from. I'm sure Brady's going to love it!



After his bath, Brady saw the laundry basket I was using and decided to climb in. Andy saw this as an opportunity, and picked up the basket, Brady and all. Brady was content to sit in the basket and be carried around. He even took his pre-bedtime
sippy while in the basket.


Earlier, Andy got a birthday card from his Uncle Buks and it was a musical card that played the Monday Night Football theme song when you opened it. Brady loved it! He walked around for over an hour, opening and closing it to hear the song over and over. It reminded me of the opening of the movie "Easy A," where the girl gets a musical card for her birthday and plays it over and over again all weekend until the batteries ran out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Brady Takes a Tumble

Brady is crazy. He's had more than his fare share of spills, as many of you know. Well, tonight he was moving around and playing like usually, not even taking a moment to breathe. He has a Winnie the Pooh arm chair that he got for his birthday and thinks its quite funny to stand on it. Well, he started to stand on it and I told him to sit, which he did. This continued about 6 or 7 times, each time, when he sat down he'd give me a devilish look that let me know he was going to stand again. The last time he stood, he decided he was really funny and started jumping up and down. He wasn't paying much attention and never sees the danger in things, so he somehow turned sideways and fell backwards over the chair arm and onto the floor. Fortunately, we were skyping with Nana at the time, so we have a witness. The best part was that because we were on skype, there was a slight delay and he'd already hit the ground by the time Nana had time to gasp. There was no thud and he landed on his back, so no head injury. He was more surprised than hurt, although he did cry a little. Andy was disappointed that he wasn't filming in that moment because it would have been a great entry for America's Funniest Home Videos. He grabbed the camera and tried to coax Brady into the chair, but he didn't want to go near it again. Maybe, he's learned his lesson, but on the other hand, still tries to jump off the changing table if he gets the chance. There's never a dull moment in the Trapuzzano house.

Brady got a Winnie the Pooh rider for Christmas from Nana and it sits next to his crib, so before he falls asleep or when he gets up, he plays with the buttons and starts the music. I heard him playing with it and came in to get him after nap. He didn't get up right away to greet me, but was still on his stomach, reaching through the bars to play with his rider. He had his hand on the small miniature of Pooh and I asked him "Is that Pooh Bear?" He immediately stood up and pointed to the opposite corner of the room where a Winnie the Pooh pillow was sitting. I was a little surprised because we don't watch much Winnie the Pooh since it's not on TV much. He knows Mickey Mouse and will get his stuffed Mickey when asked, so I was really surprised that he knew Pooh Bear.

This evening, I got a surprised when my friend Bethany Reese called me! We met when our husbands started at Bosch in Michigan, but we moved to South Carolina and they got to stay for another 6 months. Her daughter, Ainsley, and Brady got along really well and we really miss them, especially since they had a little boy, Sam, a little over a month ago. We hadn't really talked since we visited Detroit at the end of March, so it was really great to hear from her. I've not really made the same kind of connection with anyone down here. We talked about their upcoming move to Chicago and the possibility of them coming to Germany at the same time we go. That would be so great and they should hopefully know one way or the other by September. It would be really great to go with a friend and get to do some traveling around Europe.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Very Independent Brady

Today, Brady and I went to the YMCA, and again I dropped him off at the day care. This time there wasn't even a whimper when I handed him over. I spent an hour and a half working out and when I came back he saw me but didn't care very much. When the caregiver said, "Brady it's time to go home." He looked at me and started crying. As bad as that made me feel, it really showed that he's independent. We plan to send him to pre-school when we get back from Germany at 2 1/2, even if only for two days a week so he can get used to the environment and it's good for him to socialize with other kids, so it's good to know that he can hold his own when I'm not with him. He doesn't need me nearby. Speaking of Germany, Andy got word that his first day of work in Germany will be January 24, so we will be headed over there a few days before then. It's good to finally have a date, rather than just the ballpark of late Jan/early Feb. This would also mean we get out of Europe just days before the rush of people flying in for the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brady Rides a Watermelon



Every week, I buy tons of fruit. I usually get at least one watermelon, more than a dozen navel oranges, a stem of grapes, and some bananas for the boys. This week was the first week that they had out good cantaloupes and honeydew melons, so I bought those too. Brady is a big fan of all of these fruits and usually gets first taste when Andy cuts them up. He will whine if we don't share with him, when we sit down with a bowl of fruit. Andy laid the watermelon on the ground for Brady to play with and he tried to pick it up several times, but couldn't even get it an inch of the floor, which wasn't too surprising. He then proceeded to roll it around the living room and eventually, tried to ride. He's such a silly little boy. He's becoming very good at using the word "done." He'll tell us when he's done eating or drinking from his sippy cup. Today, I put him down for nap and could hear him on the monitor just saying done over and over. I wanted him to realize that his words mean something and that I understand him, so I came in and got him out of his crib and he proceeded to play for another hour or so. When I laid him back down, he didn't try getting out by saying done, which meant he was ready for nap.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Date Night


Tonight was a rare occasion for Andy and I. We got to go on a date night! I can count on one hand the number of times we have gone out without Brady since he's been born. We asked Andy's cousin, Nicole, to come over and watch Brady so we could go out to an anniversary dinner. We didn't do anything to celebrate last year because it was a busy day (on Mother's Day and my brother graduated from college), so we were glad we could go to a nice dinner this year. I had noticed a Melting Pot in Greenville when we first moved here and we've been talking about going to one for a long time, since there's been one close to every place we've lived in the past 4 years. We'd heard really great things from everyone who'd ever eaten at one.

The Melting Pot features a four-course meal for couples. It starts with a cheese dish. We tried the spinach and artichoke cheese and it came with bread, raw veggies, tortilla chips, and apple slices. The waiter told us to prepare ourselves because he said it's ruined all other spinach and artichoke dips for him because it's so good and he was right. It was the best we'd ever had! Even the apples tasted great dipped in it. It was really cool because they prepare everything for the fondue pot table-side. The next course was a salad and we got a California salad that had walnuts, feta cheese, and served with a great black raspberry vinaigrette. The main course was the meat course. We chose the selection that included shrimp, pork, filet mignon, chicken, sirloin, and corn ravioli. We chose to cook them in a pot of bouillon. The meat comes raw and you place it in the boiling pot for two to two and a half minutes. Every piece of meat was delicious and the provided us with an assortment of sauces to dip in once the meat was cooked. The last course was of course, dessert. We chose the dark chocolate turtle. It came with marshmallows, cheesecake, pound cake, bananas, strawberries, and rice krispie treats. The entire meal blew us away and we now know why everyone recommends it. We would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice night out.

Earlier today, we joined the local YMCA. One of the perks of membership is free child care while you use the facility. Before, either Andy or I had to sacrifice so the other could go to the gym, while the other watched Brady. Now, we both can go to the gym and Brady can play with other kids. I knew that if Andy was there when I dropped him off, there would be a meltdown and if they cry for more than 15 minutes they come and get you. So, I went in with Brady and there was only a small whimper when I handed him over. By the time I got out to the hallway and peeked in the little window, he was playing happily with trains. Andy and I spent about 45 minutes to an hour working out before we went to pick him up. For me this is great because I burned more calories in 20 minutes than it takes me in a hour at home on the Wii Fit. When we picked Brady up, we again peeked in the window and he was playing with toy tools. The caregiver said he was great the whole time and they'd have never known that it was his first time. Next month, he will start swim classes, and in two weeks their mini water park will open for the summer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Andy!!


Yesterday, Andy turned 28. This is the third day in the last 5 days that presents have been exchanged. Early May is always very busy for us with Mother's Day, our anniversary, and Andy's birthday. Andy has been waiting patiently all week to find out what he was getting. He always tries to guess and even if he's right, I tell him that's not it. This year I got him totally off guard. I got him a Kinect sensor for his Xbox360. It was piece of video gaming equipment that he doesn't have and I knew he'd like it. I also got him a sports game for it as well. When he opened it up, he was genuinely surprised and excited to try it out immediately. It was funny because two days earlier, we were watching The Biggest Loser and they were promoting their new game for Kinect and I said to Andy, "We should get a Kinect." He replied, "Not before Germany." I was smiling to myself because I knew he was going to get one.

Yesterday, Brady and I were at Gymboree and his teacher pulled me aside and said he was developmentally ready to move up to the next level. He currently is in the level for 10-16 month olds and he is the only one running everywhere and successfully climbing up the ladder with little help. There are other kids his age in our class, but some aren't even walking yet. There are many crawlers and he has a tendency not to look where he's going and sometimes walks right over them. The next level is for 16-22 month olds and the corporate policy says they can't move a child to the next level a full month early and Brady is 5 weeks away from turning 16 months. She said we can move him up in two weeks and then he'll be the youngest again.

Lately, Brady has started taking all the pillows off of the couches and placing them strategically around the living room and kitchen. He then backs up 6-10 feet, then gets a running start and leaps into the pillows. Last night, he was even carrying a blanket around and doing the same thing. Sometimes, he tries to run so fast to jump on the pillows that his feet get caught up and he falls way short of the pillows. He is such a wild man!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mommy's Snuggle Bug




Today was a very rare day. After Brady had his breakfast, he just wanted to sit on the couch and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We sat there together for almost a whole episode! This is rare because Brady never stops moving all day long. Again, after nap, he just wanted to sit and watch TV with me. This ended the moment he heard the garage door opening and knew Andy was home. It would seem cuddling with me doesn't trump hanging out with his daddy. When daddy got home and saw the size of the watermelon I got at the store, he thought it would be fun to compare it's size to Brady.

Last night, we had Andy's cousins over since they were in town and it was nice for them to hang out with Brady. The last time they saw him, he was only 3 months old and has grown quite a bit since then. Brady must have sensed they were family, because he warmed up to them almost immediately and went from person to person at the dinner table, wanting to be picked up. After they went home, Andy and I sat down to watch our wedding video, which is a yearly tradition on our anniversary. It was really fun to watch because of some of the crazy and funny things that people did on camera (whether they knew they were being watched or not).

Monday, May 9, 2011

Our 2 Year Wedding Anniversary!



Today marks mine and Andy's 2 year wedding anniversary. It's been a wild and crazy two years. Who would have thought that I would live to eat the words in my vows when I said that I would follow Andy anywhere his career would take him. In that moment, I was thinking of the summer internship he had already started in Ocean City, NJ. We spent our first summer there, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the roller coaster of moving that our lives have become. We moved from our apartment in Oakland, in the center of everything (at least in my mind), to the suburbs of Detroit, not long after our first anniversary. Six months later, right after this past Christmas, we left Detroit for South Carolina. In another 8 1/2 months, we will be headed to Germany!! The best thing about our so far, short marriage, has been Brady. He was our honeymoon present to ourselves. Everyone thought we were crazy to have a baby right away, since Andy was still finishing his MBA and I was recently graduated with no job, but we knew that we wanted to be parents and have never regretted our choice or our timing. In hindsight, the timing was the best that we could have chosen. Any later and we'd have been in the midst of our moving frenzy and far from family. Brady was able to spend the first 5 months of his life around a family that loves him.




I find it fun and challenging to try and attempt to get Andy at least one gift that's traditional for the anniversary that we're celebrating. Last year was paper, so one of Andy's gifts was a jar of love notes for each day of the year. This year was cloth, so it was easy. I just got him clothes. I usually get him some clothes in addition to the traditional gift because he never buys clothes for himself, so holidays are the only times that he gets new clothes. I got him some new basketball shorts, a seafoam shirt to wear for our summer family portraits, also a pair of blue and gray plaid shorts with matching gray and blue shirts so he can wear them more. Andy always jokes that I should be glad that he doesn't attempt to do the traditional gift because I wouldn't get any jewelry until our 25th anniversary. We exchanged gifts last night right after midnight (which is technically today), because we were still up and Andy just couldn't wait. I let him open his first and he was glad to have some new clothes. I knew he'd gotten me jewelry because when we left the mall last week, Brady had a new stuffed friend, that I knew came from a certain jewelry store. I didn't get anything from Brady yesterday from that store, so I knew it had to be my anniversary gift. It was a small box, so I figured either earrings or a necklace pendant, or even a charm. When I opened the box, I was shocked to see diamond stud earrings!! They are 3/4 ct. between the two of them and are princess cut, to match my engagement ring. I compared them to my engagement ring and they were bigger than the two side diamonds. Andy insisted I try them on and it was amazing how much bigger they look on your ears. Andy really hit it out of the park this time and all he said was "Aren't you glad I don't go for traditional? You'd have to wait another 58 years for diamonds then."




So, our anniversary is following on the heels of the royal w
edding that took place less than 10 days ago. When I had pinups of Prince William on my bedroom walls as a teenager, never would I have thought that I would be married and have a child before he got married or even engaged, especially since he's 4 years older than me. It will be a long time before the world sees another wedding like that and it was an amazing thing to watch. Since it only happens every generation, the next time will most likely will be when Brady is grown.




Andy has some family in town because his cousin is graduating from college tomorrow, so we are having them down for dinner. This same cousin is go
ing to babysit Brady this weekend so we can enjoy a solo anniversary dinner at the Melting Pot in Greenville. Neither of us have been there before, so we are excited to go there, after hearing great things about it from many people.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brady's Bloody Lip


So, we were cooking dinner and Brady was in his play pen. Every time he's in there, he manages to get a toy to the edge and use it as a step and stand on it. He was on top of his cement truck and I heard the crash from the kitchen. When I came in, he was of course screaming, but also had a bloody lip, which meant that he'd hit his chin off the top of the play pen on his way down and bit his lip. Poor kid. Like any man who has an embarrassing accident, they make up a story to make themselves look cooler. Brady told us he was just fighting at baby fight club and things got a little out of hand :)

Happy Mother's Day!



First off, I want to say that today is not only Mother's Day, but my baby brother, Chris's 19th birthday. So happy birthday Chris!!! We miss you, even though we can't blame you for loving California so much. Also, I wish a very happy Mother's Day to all the other mothers out there, including my own mom, who has been a mom for 25 years.



This is my second Moth
er's Day. Last year, we had a marathon of events and didn't get to spend much time relaxing. My brother, Alex, graduated from college that morning, and it also happened to be mine and Andy's 1st wedding anniversary. We spent the whole day away from home and it was so hectic, there aren't many memories. This year, our anniversary will fall tomorrow and we are far from family, so we can just enjoy simply Mother's Day. Brady (with Andy's help of course) picked out some presents for me earlier in the week and we sat down together this morning to open them. The card from Brady was a talking Elmo card that said "Elmo loves you!" The first gift I opened was a Mother's Day coupon book, which entitled me to things such as, hugs and kisses, relaxation, a day without doing laundry, a movie, etc. The next gift was a beautiful palmetto tree (the SC state symbol) pendant. It's a beautiful momento of our time spent living in South Carolina and I'll remember our life here every time I wear it. The final gift from Brady was a Precious Moments figurine (I have collected several over the past few years). It had a little boy at the beach and had the words "Footprints in the Sand" as the caption at the bottom. That refers to a little religious poem about how God is always along side of you and you only see one set of footprints, when he's carrying you. This poem is ever present in our home as a wall hanging that belonged to Andy's mom and we also have it on an ornament at Christmas. Andy knows this is one of my favorite poems and in addition to my love of the beach, helped Brady pick out the perfect figurine.








The ultimate gift I received for Mother's Day came last n
ight. Brady was getting sleepy and was laying down watching TV with Andy. He started whining and when I looked over, he was headed towards me, crawled up on my couch and fell asleep in arms. He hardly ever falls asleep outside of his crib or car seat and is such a Daddy's boy that it makes me a little sad sometimes. It was an amazing feeling to know that he wanted to cuddle with me.


Friday, May 6, 2011

The Hunger Strike Continues

For the past month, Brady has been very picky about eating. He used to eat so much, we were scrambling to come up with new foods to add to his repertoire. He would gobble down baby raviolis and eat an entire Gerber meal in addition to applesauce or yogurt at every meal. Now the only meal we can count on him eating every day is breakfast. He will eat his cereal without any screaming on his part, or coaxing on our part. He takes in a decent amount of liquids every day, with about 20 ounces of milk and sometimes some apple juice in addition, but he doesn't take in many solids. For example, all he has eaten today was his morning cereal and half a Gerber meal of mashed potatoes, chicken, and carrots. He started screaming when I offered him yogurt and this evening protested even being put in his chair. My mom mentioned that he's exerting his independence and suggested that we allow him to eat while running around (which in my mind screams choking hazard). We have tried this, and it has led to numerous stains on our carpets when he takes a bite of food and then immediately spits it out. He hardly ever asks for food, so I can only assume he doesn't have much of an appetite. There are days here and there where he does eat a decent amount, but they happen once every other week or so. He's currently at 22lb., which is less than a pound more than he weighed in at his last doctors appointment two whole months ago. If he was a girl, this weight would be perfectly around the 50th percentile, but since he's a boy, this places him under the 25th percentile for weight. He's still wearing 9-12 month pants (which are labeled 20.5-24.5lb), and at this rate he'll grow out of them in 4-5 months. If he was shorter, he'd still make the weight limit on his baby carrier car seat.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Sick Boys :(

Yesterday, around lunchtime, Brady started to have a runny nose and I assumed he was getting a cold. I gave him some medicine and put him down for a nap. He woke up an hour and a half later, screaming and pulling on his left ear. He usually never slows down during the day, but laid in bed with me and watched TV, sucking his thumb and whining. However, when Andy came home, he perked up and began his normal routine of running around and playing nonstop. When it came time for bedtime, he started pulling his ear again and we started to suspect an ear infection. Andy has been suffering from itchy, watery eyes, due to allergies, and this morning he woke me up and said he wasn't going in to work because he had pink eye. He had to go in and have it confirmed by the nurse practitioner at work and Brady and I headed to the kids equivalent of a Med Express down the road from us to get his ear checked. He was tired and ready for a nap by the time we were taken back to an exam room and was not at all pleased to have his temperature taken in the most accurate way. He then had to endure having his ears cleaned out by the doctor and he squirmed like no other. It was determined that he has an ear infection in his right ear, which is weird because he was tugging on the left one. I was also discouraged to learn that he's only gained 1 pound since his last doctor visit. We go in 3 weeks for his 15 month visit and will see what the doctor has to say about it. Both boys are on medication and are resting comfortably. Tomorrow, Andy will return to work and Brady will be off to Gymboree.