Friday, September 30, 2011

Brady Wears a Bra

Brady loves being in our room. He knows that it's Andy's routine to come home from work and go into our room to change, so as soon as he gets through the door, Brady opens the bedroom door for him and hangs out while he changes out of his work clothes. Sometimes there are baskets of laundry on the floor in our room and he likes to climb into them and lay down like it's a soft bed.

One day, he grabbed one of my sports bras out. He is always in my room when I'm changing and knows that I put that on. He start
ed trying to put it on and wasn't successful, so I helped him out. He was having a really good time playing with the pre-shaped cups. When I was little I had a Dress & Dazzle set for dress up and it was purple and blue. I was able to con both my brothers into this dress and have pictures of both of them in it around the same age (3 years old). I was going through things in my room at my parents house and found that I still have it, so I'm sure Brady will be the next boy in the family to have to play dress up with me ;)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mom's Night Out

Last night, I got a rare night out. My mom's group here in South Carolina organized a night out for all of us to go to the movies. Since Brady was born, I think I've seen about 9 movies and 5 of those Brady was with me. We went to go see The Help. The basic premise of the movie for those who haven't seen it is 1960s Mississippi where African Americans are still second-class citizens. One of the white young women fresh out of college, starts noticing how her friends are treating their African American maids and even how her own mother is treating theirs. She realizes that she has to do something to make a stand and show the world how it is that far south. She enlists the help of several maids in telling their stories and publishes a book anonymously. Those are the bare bones, but it was funny and touching. Some of the things they said about the African Americans had my eyes wide most of the time. It was unbelievable the way they were treated, especially when they were raising the white children when their own children were at home being raised by someone else. It was amazing that these women could treat them so badly when some of the maids were there long enough to raise them.

After the movie (around 10PM), we were looking to get some dessert to discuss the movie. Unfortunately, we are down south and everything closes right about then. One of the moms had an epiphany and realized that the Waffle House would be open 24 hours. We went there and several of us got the chocolate chip waffles (me included). We had a really great time hanging out and talking and it was nice for me to get out of the house. I hope we get to do it again soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tech Savvy

We live in a very digital age. Our kids are now born into a world that is much different than the one we were born into. I was one of the fortunate kids with a dad who was very into computers, so we had one in our home since the time I was born. My dad still likes to tell people that I stuffed Cheerios into his hard drive ;) Andy was not so lucky. His dad is not very computer literate, so they didn't get a computer in their home until 1994 and Andy was 11. Brady is surrounded by technology and he knows it. There are studies that show that kids his age are better with technology than some adults.

He definitely has the hang of the iPhones and iPad. He knows there are apps on all of them that are just for him and he knows which ones they are from the pictures on the screen. He can get into the apps and always picks the right ones. His favorites are the ABC Elmo app, Baby's First TV, and Netflix. It has gotten to the point where if we even have one out, he will want it and scream until we give it to him. He will then only sit there and watch it instead of playing. This has led us to the decision that we hide our phones and iPad during the day. Yesterday was the first day and he made it to 7:30PM before he found one of our phones and it was all over. At that point in the evening it's alright because he's played all day and that's when we start to watch our evening shows that aren't geared for kids. Leap Frog just came out with a touch pad for kids with all learning apps, but it's for kids aged 4-9 so we'll have to wait a few years for that.

He can now climb up onto the computer chair and does any time someone leave the chair not pushed in. If the computer is off, he will click the mouse trying to turn it on. His favorite thing to do on the computer is watch videos of himself. He will laugh out loud at himself doing anything on video.

He's also very sneaky when it comes to the remote control. We keep it hidden, but he's figured out our hiding spot (behind those pillow's he's laying on above). When he gets it, he knows he's being sneaky and gets the biggest smile on his face. He pushes buttons and changes the channel, but can't get it back where he wants it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brady Climbed Out of his Crib this Morning!

This morning Andy and I went in to get Brady out of his crib. He was in there playing and then decided he wanted a toy that was outside of his crib. He put his foot up on the edge and pulled up so that he would flip out. Luckily, he decided to do this for the first time while Andy and I were in the room. I immediately thought that we would have to convert the crib to a toddler bed. Andy put him back in the crib to see if he'd do it again and he did. Andy took off the front to make it into a toddler bed (something we thought we would never get to do since we're going to Germany and he will get a big boy bed when we get back). Brady was having a blast jumping in and out of bed and the freedom he had. We immediately started thinking about how we were going to keep him in there long enough to fall asleep because he can open doors now and we could just imagine him getting out while we were still asleep. We figured out how to lock his door from the outside (don't judge) to keep him safe.

When it came to nap time today, we put him in his room, asked him to lay down in his bed (which he promptly did), and then shut the door and locked it. We could hear him playing around and trying the door several times to get out. After about a half an hour, we could still hear him awake and playing, so we decided to check on him. We walked in and noticed that he'd emptied his entire contai
ner of wipes onto the floor. Of course, he would get into mischief! While he was in there, we were contemplating a crib tent, but they're not inexpensive, so Andy had the idea to take out the part of the crib that holds up the mattress, and to just put the mattress on the floor inside the crib frame. We did that and put Brady in it to test it out. We are happy to say that it's now impossible for him to climb out, but he now knows what freedom was like and wasn't so happy to see it taken away.

Trying to get out any way he can

Trying to climb out

Back in "jail"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bam Bam Brady

Brady is starting to realize how to get out of his clothes. It doesn't help much that his pants are usually too big ;) He can get out of his pants no problem, but is still unable to completely get off his shirt. One day he was wearing overalls and was able to get one of the straps off and spent a good part of the afternoon just having a one-shoulder look. It made me think of Bam Bam from the Flintstones. Combine this with him playing with a huge inflatable hammer and you get the picture of Bam Bam completely ;) All I need now is a redhead girl and they could be Pebbles and Bam Bam for Halloween!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Visit to the Fire Station

Yesterday, my mom's group planned an outing to go to the local fire station. I figured that this would be a fun outing for Brady because what boy doesn't love a firetruck? When we got there, they had us in a room and showed all the kids the equipment that they put on to go into a fire. One of the firemen put on each piece while the other fireman explained why they wear each piece. They even let the equipment make the sounds it would make to alert them that their compressed air was running low. Brady was a little freaked out by the sound. Once the fireman was completely dressed, he got down on the floor to show the kids how to crawl in their home if there was ever a fire. He then encouraged the kids to touch his equipment while he was down on their level. I tried to set Brady down, but he was freaked out because he couldn't see the man's face anymore. Every time I asked if he wanted to touch him, he started to cry. He was happy when the fireman took off his mask and started to take off the rest of the equipment. He said that dry it weighs about 50lbs and when wet, can reach 80lbs.

We then went into the small museum they have at the firehouse. The kids weren't allowed to touch anything, so I knew it was going to be hard keeping a hold on Brady. They had all kinds of old firetrucks and even had mirrors on the c
eiling so you could see into the trucks. Brady was fond of the ceilings because he could wave to himself. Pictured below was Brady's favorite old firetruck. Can you guess why? Yep, it's because of the puppy ;) This firetruck was the oldest they had and was from 1880 and was originally pulled by horses. The fireman told us that they had dalmatians with them because all kind of dogs would chase the wagon and the "fire dogs" were used to help keep other dogs away.

We then got to go out to the current trucks and
the kids got to climb inside. Brady has a hard time waiting and was very impatient to get inside. When he did, he was in heaven. He was walking around, playing with everything. He was the only kid who almost climbed into the front seat and one of the firemen had to retrieve him. Only my kid ;)

When he got down from the truck, he became very interested in the poles that the firemen occasionally use to get down from the second floor quickly. He tried climbing up it when he saw the older kids doing it. I lifted him up once and showed him how they slide down. Then both of the firemen with us went up and showed the kids how they do it all the way at the top.

The last thing was a little animated fireman movie. Brady was more interested in the blinds on the windows. The firemen told us that they work 24 hour shifts and after 3 shifts (MWF), then they get 4 straight days off. Not a bad deal. They kept telling us where we should stand if they got a call and that they're always prepared. As we were watching the movie, the did get a call and one of the firemen with us had to leave. He said that the most they've ever had in a 24 hour shift was 98 calls! That's crazy, even when you consider they take EMS calls. When we left, Brady got a plastic fireman hat and he LOVED it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mall of Georgia

Since we left the Mets game in Atlanta early, we thought it would be a good idea to check out the Mall of Georgia on the way home. It's about 45 minutes outside of Atlanta and an hour from where we live. It's the largest mall in Georgia, and although it was impressive in size, it had nothing on the Somerset Collection mall in Troy, MI, which extends to both sides of the highway through a walkway.

We walked inside and happened to be right in the
center of all the children's stores and Old Navy, of course. I went into Old Navy (the largest one I've ever seen) and picked up a few items for fall. We then headed to the Disney Store, which had me really excited because they've recently decided to close half of the stores in existence, so they're harder to find. It's getting closer to Halloween, so they had all the costumes out. Brady was Winnie the Pooh for Halloween last year (we bought the costume before he was born), so we were very disappointed when we went in last year and they didn't have any good costumes. Brady already has his costume for this year, but I'm always on the lookout. We saw pirate costumes and they had a Jack Sparrow wig, so we thought it would be funny to put on Brady. He wasn't so amused (see pictures below). We did get him 2 shirts, a pant and shirt set, and a 3T costume that may or may not fit him next year. We send out Halloween picture cards each year, so we keep costumes a secret until those are sent out, so you will all have to wait until he fits into it to find out what it is ;) They were running a sale on stuffed animals (BOGO free), which is an amazing deal. I was instantly drawn to a stuffed Lightning McQueen because we are doing a Cars theme for Brady's birthday. The problem then came to pick another to get for free. Brady is in LOVE with puppies and has several stuffed ones, including Tramp from Nana Tramposch (get it?) ;) I spotted a stuffed Bolt and knew that was the one. Brady took a liking to him immediately and didn't want to give him up for the woman to check us out. He kept him with him in the stroller while we checked out the rest of the mall (pictured at the top).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brady's 1st Mets Game

I am a Pittsburgh girl, through and through, but there is one area of sports where I defect. I am not a Pirates baseball fan and proud of it. They are in the middle of their record-breaking 19th straight losing season (as long as my baby brother has been alive). My dad is from Queens and when it comes to New York, baseball is THE sport. That being said, I was raised a Mets fan and that has never changed my whole life. Pictured below is me before I was a year old in my walked cheering on my Mets. I remember going to my first Mets game at Three Rivers Stadium. It was a double header and we had amazing seats right behind home plate where my favorite Mets player, Mike Piazza, was the catcher.

I try to make it to about one Mets game a year, although I've never seen a game at Shea Stadium or new Citi Field. Until today, I had always seen them play the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are always pulling stunts to put fans in the seats because they are trying to pay off the new stadium they built for a losing team. I remember seeing the one time and the stadium was packed because they were having a concert and fireworks after the game. The Pirates left the field and went to their locker rooms, while the entire Mets team stood in the dugout and watched the whole thing because in New York they don't need to do something like that to fill the stadium.

Last year was supposed to be Brady's first Mets game, but he came down with a cold the day before the game and it was the forecast called for rain. That meant he stayed home with my parents, while I went with my friend, Dunny. I was very glad I didn't take him to that game because it poured, the game ended up getting delayed, and when we were leaving, I slipped on the polished concreted
and landed flat. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had fallen with Brady in my arms.

This year, we live less than two hours from Atlanta, home of the Braves, who are one of two major divisional rivals for the Mets, so the
y play each other 6 times a year. We got to Turner Field right before the first pitch, grabbed some lunch, and took our seats. We hadn't taken Brady to a sports event since the Pens game in early April, so we weren't sure what to expect from him. I don't think we expected him to get restless so quickly. He lasted one, count it, one full inning. At this point, Andy decided to take him for a walk. He called me at the bottom of the 3rd inning and said there was a Cartoon Network play place for kids near the outfield and I should come check it out. I walked down there and Brady was having a blast. He was getting tired so we watched a little of the game from the outfield balcony. We left at the top of the 5th inning, when the game was tied 4-4. The Mets went on the win the game 7-5. For the Mets it doesn't mean much since they are out of the playoffs race, but they put a dent in the chances for the Braves to make the playoffs as a wild card.

Brady wanted to climb the giant baseball and got very upset when he realized that he couldn't.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chair Potato

Brady LOVES his Winnie the Pooh arm chair that he got for his birthday. Initially we kept it against a wall because when we brought it into the open space, he would stand on it and almost tip it over. He's now old enough to know not to try and tip it and actually spends more time paying attention to the shows on TV, so we moved it so he could sit and watch. He doesn't spend a lot of time in the chair, but will spend a total of 30 minutes throughout the day sitting in his chair. He used to stand in front of the TV and watch, so that's what prompted us to move it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Crazy Brady after a Shower

Brady has taken a liking to taking a shower with Andy since he can't bear to be separated from him whenever he's home. We first had to take him in the shower in March when we traveled to Detroit because the hotel we stayed in didn't have a tub. He hated it then, but has grown to love them. Right after he's all washed up, Andy puts on his hooded towel and sets him loose. I can usually hear him coming. He'll come running into the living room with just the towel hanging on his head and sometimes likes to run and jump on the couches or play with toys. He has a great time running from us when we try to chase him to get him dressed. Everything's a game to him. On one particular day, he got onto his Pooh Bear car and started to ride. He couldn't leave his snacks behind, so he strategically placed them in his lap to cover himself up while he rode around. What a silly kid!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brady Goes for a Ride in the Washer

We walk through the laundry room from the garage into the house every single day and every day, Brady puts the front half of his body into the washer and spins it. I tease him that one day I'm going to put him in and he'll go for a ride and one day I followed through on that promise. For a few seconds, he didn't know what to think because it was trying to spin underneath him (it wasn't turned on). He had to hold onto the outside to stay upright. He then decided he didn't like it very much and freaked out. He still tries to put his front half in when we pass it sometimes but when I mention putting him in, he definitely runs away ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 - 10 Years Ago Today - Where Were You?

9/11/2001 - I still get chills thinking about that day and every moment has been permanently imprinted on my memory. I can even remember the clothes that I was wearing. I started that day excited because it was my half-birthday and I was excited that in exactly 6 months I would be turning 16. The morning started out like any other and it was early in my sophomore year of high school. I remember leaving 3rd period French with Madame Tatala and hearing someone mention that someone had bombed the Pentagon. I remember thinking to myself, "What's new?" It wasn't until I reaching my 4th period Honors English with Mrs. Bobola, that I realized something was really wrong.

The TV was on and I saw buildings that I've seen all my life, but both of them were smoking. My dad grew up in Queens and my Oma still lives there. We could see those buildings from the park down the street that we would frequent in our summer visits there. The summer I was 9, when we went into the city, we went to the World Trade Center and actually went up to the top. I still had the tourist brochure in my room. No one but me in my English class even knew what those buildings were before that fateful day.

I asked one of my friends why they were smoking and he told me that planes had crashed into both of them. Never in my wildest dreams, even knowing that planes had hit both towers, would I have imagined what I witnessed next. I watched one of the towers collapse and that's when things fell apart around the school. We were on the second floor, so immediately, they had us moved to the lower level. Initially, this move didn't make much sense since we were so far from the danger. There were no TVs in the room we were moved to so I didn't actually see the second tower fall.

After a while, we were all moved into the auditorium where the principal was going to address us. My high school is less than 2 miles away from the runways for Pittsburgh International Airport, and because they were grounding all air travel, the police had notified our principal that there was a plane flying overhead that was not responding to the tower and refusing to land. This plane turned out to be Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, PA. Instead of keeping us in the dark our principal decided to tell us all of this information and basically told us that we could die. They even removed the American flag from the pole outside so that we wouldn't be overly identifiable as a school.

After it was reported that Flight 93 went down, we were released to our regular schedule, although many students were being taken home by their parents. My brother were in middle school and elementary school at this time and they were not even aware of the situation. They were in hallways with books over their heads like in an emergency weather drill. My mom hadn't had the TV on that day and the neighbor came to the door and told her what had happened. My dad was on strike duty in Kentucky and I remember being the one to tell him that the second tower had fallen. I remember trying to reach my Oma by phone and not being able to get through. That day changed our lives.

Just over 3 months later, we were in New York just after Christmas and while crossing the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn, I remember staring at the skyline and thinking how empty it looked. That feeling hasn't changed to this day. The 6 month anniversary of the attacks on that day was my 16th birthday. That day they turned on the twin spotlights in the spot where the towers once stood. Easter was in March that year and we got a week off from school so we went to NYC to see the lights. To this day, I have not been to Ground Zero because my dad refused to take us there.

Now we are now in the process of rebuilding the World Trade Center. Nothing will be built where there original towers stood and they will become memorial waterfalls. They are building 5 towers in a growing spiral formation and Tower 1, which is currently being constructed will be the strongest building in America. They are taking into account that if the same thing happened, that the building would not fall, with thicker, stronger concrete, forming the center of the building, and it standing on a 20 story pedestal to prevent ground attacks. It will be symbolic in many ways, when seen from a certain angle, it will resemble the same shape of the original towers. The top floor will be at 1,368 feet (the same height of the original towers) and when you account for the antenna on top, it'll reach 1,776 feet (a symbolic number to our country). It will then stand as the tallest building in the western hemisphere, edging out the Willis Tower in Chicago. It can now be seen in the skyline of NYC and will be completed in 2013. There will also be a 9/11 museum and a brand new train station at the new World Trade Center. I hope to take my children there someday so they can understand. To them it will be like visiting Pearl Harbor was for me, something that happened before they were born that changed history.

The events of that day have led to several wars and the demise of several dictators and terrorists. I want to thank all of our troops overseas for everything they do and pray that they come home safe to their families.