Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter, Brady's way!

Have mommy buy eggs. Open eggs.  
Throw eggs in the colored stuff. Wonder why mommy keeps telling me to be gentle.  

Stare at our pretty eggs.  

Inspect round 'balls' to make sure they are ok.  

 Squeeze the green one. Oops. 

Pass out. Dying eggs is hard work.  
 Make a picture for the Easter Bunny!
Wake up and get really excited about the bubbles, playdough and other fun stuff the Easter Bunny brought! 


Get dressed up. Look especially cute.  
 Check out some more eggs just to make sure there nothing is left behind. 
 Check out Easter basket from Nana inside my new hat. 
 Call everyone and tell them that Easter bunny came to Nana's too!

Tell everyone how BIG the easter bunny is! 
 Play with my new toy and my cousins too!
Laugh a lot!
 Whew. Must rest....Easter is exhausting!

(argh, i know a few of the pictures are sideways and I can't get them to go the way they should! If anyone knows an easier way to fix this then uploading them again, let me know! I can't do that now since I'm at work and it seems to happen a lot!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A year and a half

Dear Brady,
I can officially say that you are a one and a half. It's crazy to think that last year at this time you were the chunky six month old with one little curl and two big dimples! You've changed so much yet you are still that same little soul that we love to the moon and back!
Six months                                                    18 months      

You have turned into exactly who I imagine you to be at this age. Curious, loving, sweet, kind and full of life and happiness. You still find a way to make us laugh each day and know when we need it the most. You have turned into such a sweet and caring person and give out kisses and hugs to all that ask. Sometimes, you'll stop what you are doing and run over to plant one on my lips. Sometimes, you don't stop at one. It does nothing short of melt my heart and warm deep down into my soul.  

You are an adventurous one, my love. Climbing, jumping, running and chasing the kitty are all things you love to do! You recently learned that climbing is a fun skill but makes mommy so nervous!
Pour and dump. Pour and dump. Two of your favorite activities. You are so smart and figure things out so quickly. You listen to what we everyone says so intently except of course if we are telling you something you don't want to hear! You crack me up on what you do. The other day we were in your room cleaning and I said to myself that this needed to go downstairs. You picked it up, ran to the other room and tossed it down there!

I have to take a double take when I look at you and each day I swear you've grown as I pick you up. Your chubby little legs have grown into shapely calves and it's just another sign that you are not that tiny baby anymore. You are so proud of all that you do and feel like a big boy but I always tell you, you'll always be my baby!
Blocks are still one of your favorite toys. You have gotten quite good at stacking them high! You get this beautiful sense of accomplishment and always give yourself a little clap aftewards.

You still love shoes, going outside, hats, stroller rides, walks, the kitty, milk and of course balls! You still go to sleep around 8 and when you wake up varies. You wear anyway from 18 month, 24 month or 2T clothes and size 6-7 in shoes! Big feet my boy!

Coloring, drawing, or anything that involves crayons, pencils, pens, or paper is quite a fun thing for you!
You love to 'go to sleep' and will cover up and pretend to sleep! It's so cute! You also grab a pair of shoes and wave good-bye to us as you pretend to 'go to work!' You love to chat on the phone and walk around trying to rest it on your shoulder like daddy does! You are so observant and really pick up on everything!

We played with playdough for the first time and you LOVED it! You never even tried to eat it and kept laughing when I would make shapes! Your favorite part of course was opening and closing the container!
    You can say your name-Beeeedeeee and call the sitter, MiMi. Everytime the kitty walks by your face lights up like you just found her for the first time.  You know the sounds of many animals and my favorite will always be the owl (owl, bird, monkey, snake, lion, tiger, dinosaur, kitty, cow.) You love going to Nana and Papa's and watching the horses or chasing their cat, Joey. Some new words are bowl, outside, Mickey (key) and others I know I am forgetting. You will try to say anything and you do have your own little language.

You know all of your body parts except elbow and knees but you are getting close! You run to the bathroom and shout, pee pee!
You are such a boy. Rocks, dirt, sticks and everything messy. When you go outside on walks, you pick up acorns and shove them into your pocket! Mommy opens the dryer and out comes all the collected rocks and acorns!
You may be all boy but you are still such a cuddler and love your momma!! You've become so much more interactive in a way. You'll point to what you want, tell me what you want to do by pointing or bringing me there. Sometimes, you'll pat the ground because you want me to sit next to you! Of course, after you wake up from your nap (which you have been taking epic naps, buddy. One long nap of at least 2 hours! So proud of you!) you want to lay on the couch with a pillow and a blanket and drink your milk.  You run to the kitchen and point to the cabient I keep your sippy cups in and then run to the couch and pat it!   

You are such a busy bee and have really gotten into other toys lately like cars, play animals and puzzles. Not too long ago, you got the piece fitted into the puzzle and said, "I did it!" You surprise us like that sometimes buddy! Out of the blue, you'll say something so perfectly clear and it is something new!
I've said it before but you LOVE being outside. We have had a lot of yucky weather and you'll sit by the window and watch. You look for the birds, squirrels and each time a loud car drives by you get all excited! You are noticing everything, even all the thunder!
Easter was a wonderful day for us. You got up and the look on your face made me and daddy smile. You loved spending time with your family and especially your cousins. You are so loved and we know you feel it. I can see it in the way you smile and in the way you move. That alone makes me know I'm doing my job well.

In the past week, I've been lucky enough to hold you while you fell asleep several times. It had been way to long but it truly made me realize how much you have grown and how much you have changed our lives.

The wonder and curiosity in your eyes never cease to make me smile. The big kisses and all of the cuddles touches my heart. The beauty of your laughter and the perfect curl of your sweet lips touches deep down into my soul.

In eighteen months, you have made us parents. You have made us happier than we could have ever been but more than anything you have given us a new way to look at the world and for that we are truly lucky.

We love you, Beeedeee!

Monday, April 25, 2011

More tales of a toddler

In the span of a few hours my child ....
  • Practically catapulted out of his crib. Yep. Enough said. 
  • Ok, we'll go into the whole crib thing. Went to get him out and had I not been there the kid would have flipped over and probably would have injured something. Luckily, I caught him. We both stood there confused as to what the heck just happened. 
  • Pulled an open soda off of our kitchen table and before I could get to him, he shook it with all his might. 
  • While mom was cleaning us said mess, the kid grabbed it again and shook it again. Yes, mistake learned. 
  • Realized my child is tall enough to not only pull things off of our kitchen table but also the counters.
  • Learned to climb onto our kitchen chairs. 

 ( Man, (my child has some big feet!) 
  • Took the vent cover off and then proceeded to FALL into the open vent. 
  • Told me No!  
  • Ate me out of house and home.
  • Gave me a ton of kisses.
  • Chased after the killy and tried give her kisses. 
  • Chased after the kitty to pull her tail 
  • Realized my baby will be 18 months old in a few days.  
  • Realized my baby is not so much anymore.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


St. Louis has not had a good run with the weather this year. I posted about our friend who basically lost everything after the New Year's Eve tornados hit.Then, Tuesday and again last night St. Louis and surrounding areas were hit again. Some harder than others and some left devastated. Luckily, we are ok as is our home but others are not as lucky. Tuesday was worse for us as I literally felt our house shake.

It's an odd feeling to see the damage on the news and wonder if everyone you know is okay.

Today, I feel blessed and my heart goes out to those who were affected. In December, I saw the devastation. I saw in person what it looked like when a tornado hit and it was not easy to look at. It was then that I felt  a sense of unpreparedness.

Had our friends not gone into the tiny corner/doorway of their basement, they would not be here today. Everything else in their home was GONE. I started to think that me sitting in the middle of our basement wasn't as safe as I once thought.

I share this of hoping that you'll remember this too.

As we sat downstairs in the basement both nights (one night which it was just Brady and I, can you say, freak out when you hear the newsman say that one was spotted RIGHT near you?) I remembered sitting down there with my baby boy last spring. He was still a baby and clueless to what was going on around him. I also remember feeling more nervous and anxious about what could happen--being a mom can do that to you.

I kept wondering what I would do if the tornado hit. I didn't think twice about jumping on top of him to keep him safe and do what I could to protect him.  I kept him as safe as I could in my belly and I would never hesitate to do the same outside. 

You want to be able to protect your child and keep them safe from everything. I sat there last night, looking at my son who is not such a baby anymore. In a few short days, he'll be 18 months old. Both warnings went on well past his bedtime and that meant I was able to rock my baby to sleep for the first time in way too long.

I kept wondering when he got so long and so heavy. He certainly is not a baby anymore. Especially after he almost flipped out of his crib this morning (oh, it's been one of THOSE mornings.) In the midst of it all, there was a little blessing in all the chaos. 

 (picture from my dying cell phone)

I sure am one lucky momma.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wyatt's Warmth

Did you know that Congenital Heart Defects affects 1 out of 100 babies?

I had no idea until I heard about a sweet boy named Wyatt.

I first heard about this sweet baby through his mommy's friend. Wyatt was born with a congenital heart defect, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome which means that the left side of his heart was undeveloped. There are currently three surgeries that help rewire the heart in order for HLHS patients to live. When Wyatt was six months old he underwent his 2nd surgery to fix his heart. Sadly, Wyatt did not recover.

While he was in the hospital, they felt so much love through donations and prayers and wanted to give the same love back and found a perfect way to honor their little warrior! Along with a few friends, they started Wyatt's Warmth from the Heart. Wyatt's Warmth donates baby legs to babies with CHD in the hospital and NICU along with books and blankets. In doing so, they hope to raise awareness for CHD as it is the most common birth defect.

Why baby legs? Babies in the hospital have lots of machines and wires attached to them making it hard to wear clothes and baby legs are a cute solution!
It is a beautiful way to honor their son and YOU can help!!
  •  Educate yourself! Not all states test for CHD by performing a simple pulse oximerty test. Pulse oximetry monitoring uses a light source and sensor to measure oxygen in the blood. Request that the simple test be done one your newborn Advocate that it become part of the newborn screening in your state. If you have ever read about sweet Cora, you know how important a simple test like this is. 
  • Write your legislator and ask that the test be required!!!
  •  Visit their Facebook page and become a fan of Wyatt's Warmth or to donate. 
  • Follow on Twitter.
  • Follow 1 in 100 on Facebook and learn more! 
     I have posted here before that I recently became a Thirty-one consultant and I did it purely out of fun and for the discount but when I found a way I could help, I felt like this was my what was meant to happen. It might sound silly but I feel like things happen for a reason. After Blake's brother passed, one of the things we were asked was if he was an organ donor.

    He was and his heart and valves will be able to help someone else and that provides a good level of comfort for those that loved him.  Maybe it will help someone with CHD. 

    I'm happy to announce another way you can help! For every purchase you make here, you are making a donation to Wyatt's Warmth. I'm so excited about this, I can't barely stand it! 

    For everyone that does make a purchase, you will also be entered to win free products!

    Just so you know, do not click send to host so that your purchase can be sent directly to you! Also, for every $31 you spend, you can get our All-in-One Organizer for half off which was featured on my favorite Organizing blog!!
    Spread the word and help keep babies warm!  

    Just a disclaimer, I sadly feel like I need to mention. I'm not making any money off of this and all of what I would have will be donated to Wyatt's Warmth to purchase baby legs.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    The greatest compliment

    As a mom of a little boy, I hope for him to be an empathetic, caring, and nurturing human being.

     I want him to be confident in who he is and in each choice he makes.

    I want him to feel loved and feel comfortable telling others he loves them too.

    I want him to be the one who sticks up for the kid that is being pushed around and bullied.

    I want him to be a father who takes an active role in his child's life. To not be afraid of the dirty diapers and the late night feedings.  To love them and not judge them for their choices and instill them with the values we taught him.

    I've seen a lot of awful comments and backlash surrounding J Crew's new ad lately and it's sad that my child has to live in a world that make such a big deal out of something so innocent.

    What I see in this ad is a sweet moment between a mother and her son. I see laughter and I see love.

    Who nourishes those little boys to grow into men?
    Who kisses their boo boos and teaches them confidence and give them courage to get back up?
    Who tucks them in at night and later tries not to cry when he and his bride walk hand-in-hand down the aisle?
    Who loves him unconditionally from the moment she sees watches that second line appear so faintly?
    Who loves him to the moon and back?

    It is us as moms who nourish our son's bodies, nurture their hearts and make them feel safe. They see us feed and cuddle siblings, put make-up on and even hear us say words we shouldn't. We live in a way we want our children to model and they do.

    They want to do the same things we do- to be like us.

    It is how they learn and how they play.

    It is how each tiny being views our big world.

    Brady is only 17 months old but knows that lotions gets rubbed on your body, a toothbrush is for your teeth, a ball is for throwing and that razor is what daddy uses on his face. I watch him pretend to do the same things.

    If one day, he asks me to paint his nails, I will gladly open the bottle, attempt to paint those tiny wiggly toes and smile as it is the greatest compliment in the eyes of a mom.

    I have done my job and I have done it well.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Day in a life of a toddler

    In the span of 24 hours....

    • Brady practically capitulated out of Target's shopping cart. Yes. My child figured out how to get his legs out and stand up in the shopping cart. Needless to say, he rode in the back for the rest of that trip which didn't go so well either. 
    • He learned how to take off his own pants. I can only imagine that to be a fabulous thing in the future but right now all I can think of is a naked baby running through Target after falling out of the  shopping cart as I turned to grab another gallon of milk (I swear I feel like all i do is buy milk!)
    • I found his jammie bottoms shoved inside the diaper pail. Wonder how the heck they got in there. 
    • Found a sock and 7 clean diapers shoved in the diaper pail. 
    • Opened the dryer and out fell a bunch of acorns (he loves putting things in his pockets!) 
    • I heard a boom. I ran into the playroom to find Brady had carried the cantaloupe from the kitchen floor (we had just got back from the farmers market) and was now throwing it like a ball. In fact, he pointed to it at the store, yelling ball, so I should have saw this coming.  I'm just glad he wasn't strong enough to pick up the watermelon 
    •  I put back all 100 sandwich baggies back into their box. Twice. 
    • Found my child with a pen. Proof is in the pictures.
    • Realized my child is now tall enough to reach all the doorknobs. That can't be good! 
    • Heard my husband tell me that my son handed him two pieces of poop. 
    • Realized my child can take things in and out of the diaper pail. Diapers included. Oh, that is how those jammies got there!
    I also watched my child fall asleep in his highchair for the first time. 

    Heard Brady shout, "I did it!" after he got the puzzle piece in the right spot!
    Heard Brady say, "dat tickles' 

    Felt tiny little kisses on my lips. One after another, after another, after another..... kisses that are so purposeful and full of intent. Kisses that never get old. Kisses that he wanted to give to me.  

    Felt a tiny hand in mine as we walked outside. I looked at my son and my heart melted into a thousand tiny pieces as we walked hand in hand down the street. 

    There is something about that little act that leaves you feeling complete and at peace
    It leaves you feeling that every little thing is gonna be alright!

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Heading forward

    Thank you all for your sweet comments here, emails and on facebook. I am lucky to have married into such a wonderful family but it is sad it won't ever be the same. Watching someone so close to death and in my husband's case seeing someone take their last breaths changes you. It's hard to get that vision out of your head and you do not leave that tiny room the same. It still doesn't seem so real. With Matt, I saw him at least once a week so the loss felt immediate. We didn't always see his brother often enough but as Easter is near, it will be felt.

    We are slowly trying to get back to the normalcy of life and with a curious, busy toddler you can get swept away in that and it helps. I'm saddened by the thought that my son will not know so many people that we loved. I'm sad that he lost one of his few uncles he had and won't get to know him. He is so little that he won't have memories and that just plain sucks.

    I know a lot of you are wondering what happened. Maybe one day I'll get into it and to be honest, I'm tired of telling the story. I will tell you that some of his organs were donated and we all got pins/bracelets. It is good to know that out of this, many people will have their lives changed for good.

    Things have been pretty chaotic around here. The weather has turned and that has left Brady and I both feeling like crap. With all this going on, my child is still a busy toddler and he is what keeps us going! Man, does he keep us going.

    Friday, April 1, 2011


    When life gets too crazy, it seems like there is always something that forces you stop in your tracks and take a moment to catch your breath. Those forces of nature might be blessings or they might make you want to hold onto your loved ones and never let go.

    Sadly, this is one of the latter. 

    On Wednesday night, my husband's brother passed away. He was only 44 and left  behind his wife and two children (nine year old son and 19 year old daughter.) We went into the day knowing there was a big chance he would not make it but when it actually happens, it's still really hard to believe. I sit here now wondering how it came to be.

    March used to be a favorite month of mine and has slowly slipped into a month of bad memories in the span of a year. I think we all were slowly started to feel comfortable again and stopped wondering what was coming next. In the best of times, I think there is a good reason for it, a bigger meaning and days like today, I think it's a crock of crap.

     It sucks that we are constantly blinded by grief and sadness and even though I've tried to remain optimistic I wonder why we are constantly being tested. Why we cannot catch a freaking break.

    The first funeral I had ever been to was Matt's and that was probably the single worst experience of my life and this feels eerily similar in so many ways. Some people are lucky to never face something like this but in a short span of time, here we are again.

    I know the days ahead of us won't be easy but I can say this-we will get through it. The past 13 months has been a true test of faith, love and human strength to say the least. People always ask us how we got through. We are strong but we do fall down. We fall hard. I see people complain about mundane pieces of life and wonder what they really have to complain about and I get mad. I get angry and I find myself complaining too.  I see people lie and hurt others and cheat their way through life. I too get caught up in everyday life and forget to appreciate what I've been given. I have to stop and remind myself to stop and take a breath.

     I have always thought of my son as a ray of light through our darkest times but in times like this, I feel he was put here to help us through it. We didn't plan for him to come into our lives when he did and I now know there was a bigger reason. We needed him.

    When you have a child and you are dealing with grief, it can be hard but it is can only be the truest blessing. Meals might be a little late and less than healthy but watching the true innocence and laughter of your child is what gets you through. It shows hope of peace and comfort. Kisses and hugs are magical and healing. You find comfort in his laughter and see yourself smiling again.

    Tonight, while Brady laid his head on my chest, my husband who is beyond loving, caring and genuine, thought of his parents. No matter who we are and what we've been through or have done in our life, we started out small and innocent. We too have set our heads on our mommy's chest to find comfort and that it's ironic that a simple act can bear so much weight to us as well.

    Please pray for his family. For his parents who cuddled him as a child and kissed his boo-boos and for his children that he rocked to sleep and were the lights of his life.