Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Resolution

This year the new years resolution will hopefully be quite simple, but of course difficult as always. For me this past year, I have realized it’s the little things that tend to escape me. I have decided that those will be those things I will work on this year.

1. Have my house picked up by bedtime

2. Lose 15 pounds

3. Eat a healthier diet

4. Be more consistent at writing (blogging, writing on my own time)

5. Finish the second children’s story

6. Work on getting the first children’s story published

7. Spend about two hours a week working out (trust me it’s better then what I’m doing now)

8. Keep an active journal

9. Be consistent at Family Home Evening

10. Complete the first five chapters of my non-fiction book

11. Make my bed everyday (or most days….right now it’s rare)

12. Build up food storage

13. Allow my husband to make more of his own decisions where he will face the consequences himself, but hope he will recognize many or most of the decisions he makes will have a direct impact on our family (meaning me and Bradley and himself of course)

14. Potty Train Bradley

15. Write an article for the Church

We’ll see what this year brings. I know there’s a lot going on and I’m sure my resolutions will come with some revisions but this is what I have feel and feel are my goals at this point….I’m hoping that at the beginning of every months we will be able to check up on the resolutions and see how far I’ve come and if I’m being consistent at doing them….This in no means replaces our family theme, which still remains the same….Hope.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pillar of Hope

With recent activity in life and the world around us, I have felt the need to hope. In the Book of Alma we read that we "hope for things that are not seen but true." Written years ago it applies to every day situations for most of us. Through this life and in the world today we tend to see a lot of turmoil, confusion, disgrace and poverty. On top of all of that the many important feelings and emotions vital to every day life there is an issue with or lack of love, faith, trust. For many people I feel it often leads to despair.

Why bring this up now in a season that is supposed to start new resolutions and reflection on the year past? The reason is just as Alma had testified, we need to hope for things that are true. Yes some of them may not be seen and some we may be able to see in the distant or near future. My husband and I have decided that hope will be our theme for 2010. We have a lot to hope for and to wish for. We know that if we remain honest and faithful to our beliefs, ourselves, our family and our friends that we will be taken care of.

I know we are faced with difficulties in this life but I also know that Heavenly Father wouldn't be give us anything we couldn't handle. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and that through faith in Him we will be able to have all the provisions we need. Chris and I have a lot to hope for both individually and together as a family. While my husband is Atheist I know that he still believes in hope and I know he has a lot to hope for. With him graduating in August many things are uncertain in our future but we do know with planning, preparation and our belief we will be taken care of.

I am very grateful for my family and my beliefs. I am grateful for the knowledge I have of Heavenly Father and His plan for us. I am grateful for the church and their support and finally I am grateful for a wonderful little boy and a very understanding husband. We have a lot to hope for this year and that pillar of hope is going to make all the difference in our life. I say these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Planet Mom


This is my second year attending MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers). Last years theme was "Adventures in Mothering" and the picture that accompanied the theme was a roller coaster. The theme this year is, "Planet Mom."

At the beginning of this month, MOPS showed a video and it talked about the difference, or changes that occurred from being who you were to who you are now as a mom. The woman in the video discussed who she was before kids and then all of a sudden she was a mom and her needs definitely did not come first. We heard how she struggled finding her identity. Would she ever be the woman she was just months prior or would she be on this foreign planet forever. She discussed how she felt and how she wanted to put her child first and at the same time wished she remembered who that woman was and she truly missed her.

As new mothers I think we all fall into that category. In our discussion groups afterward we discussed if we missed who we were before we were moms. I definitely agreed with one mom and felt like I still wasn't sure if I truly ever figured out or was comfortable with who I was. I know who I am now and I do miss what it was like in some senses of who I was, even though I'm not 100% sure who she really was. Before having a baby it was much easier just to pick up and go, fly to California, pack for just the two of us, have constant company over, but now it's different. It's rare if I stay up past 11, and even at that time I'm exhausted. I do miss the spontenaety between me and my husband, I miss a lot of those years. The definite pre-pregnancy body that I now long for.

At the same time as all the missing, I couldn't imagine life without my son. He brightens my day. I love watching him discover new things, listening to him play and his little imagination go wild. I love that I stay home with him and watch him grow, develop, try and learn new words, meet new milestones, etc. So this year I am learning how to grow as a mom and keep that little piece of me from before in there. I'm not really sure what it will be yet, maybe striving harder to do my hair in the morning, work out more, put on make up everyday, maybe all of it, but regardless it's finding that medium between being a mom and being you. Never lose sight of who you are and know the Lord is always there if you need help and guidance, all you have to do is ask. He will guide you, love you, listen to your frustrations and He will show you how much he cares, for me it often shows up from the heart of my little boy unexpectedly.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For the Love of Food

I absolutely LOVE food. Anyone who knows me knows this. Yes there are some quirks in my food life, such as not being a fan of icecream. I used to love it, now and for the past several years I dislike it. Every once in awhile I'll have some but I'm not the type of girl that has it stocked in her freezer and when it is sitting in there, it sits for quite a long time until my husband or house guests eat it. For my son's birthday party I almost forgot to buy some, if it wasn't for my mom and best friend reminding me to purchase it.

My husband LOVES icecream, to the point where he'd prefer an icecream cake over the regular kind. I think it's crazy, but then again I'm probably just as crazy for not loving it.

As part of loving food so much I have enjoyed cooking to such great extents. Currently I'm working on my pot and pan collection and actually found a set I really like. Of course I found them at my friend (more like an acquaintance but she's super nice) Sarah's house and they are Pampered Chef which means they are very expensive but she swears by them and to tell you the truth I love they are guaranteed for life. Of course one of the best parts of the Pampered Chef Pans are who they are sold by. I'd rather buy them from Sarah then some random person I met at a party. Yes Sarah sells Pampered Chef so if you ever want a delicious party give me a call or send an email and I'm sure Sarah would be more then pleased to have a "cooking show" with you. To make it even better I'd probably buy some stuff at your party as well.

My extent of cooking involves me trying new recipes constantly. I will cook new meals for my family, bake breads and even whip up new desserts. The problem with this is eating. I eat while I cook, I eat the food when it's first ready, I eat left overs when it's cold. Now this will clearly run up caloric intake and well...that's a problem.

Since food is such an important part in my life, I have to try and be careful. Notice it's try to be careful. So how do I be a stay at home mom, who adores cooking and baking and not weigh 200 pounds? Recently I found this TV program called, "Cook Yourself Thin." I was so intrigued by the recipes I looked them up. I highly recommend you do. I ate a full dinner with a side of stuffing (which was not on the menu and was as unhealthy as you can get) and my calories for dinner was STILL less then what I normally eat. Tonight we ate the Mediterranean Chicken and Tomatoes. It was divine! I've also made the chocolate biscotti which was wonderful as well. These recipes really do taste amazing and the caloric intake is low.




Not only have I been trying new, healthier and just as fulfilling recipes, I've been trying harder to exercise, which involves running again and my beloved long walks with my son. Honestly I do love food but if there's one thing I do know is the calories add up fast so you have to burn some. I'm hoping in about four more weeks I'll be down ten pounds, if I keep following the guidelines. Try the website, "Cook Yourself Thin" and let me know what you think. We are most definitely going to continue using these recipes in my house and if anyone wants to get me something for Christmas, either Pampered Chef Pans or the Cook Yourself Thin Cookbook. I hope you enjoy! Bon appetit!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Two Ears to Listen



Growing up my father always told me that I have two ears in order to listen twice as much as I talked. From that point on I always tried to remember to listen more. Clearly it didn't always work out. When I thought I was over learning those wise methods from my father, I quickly was reminded once again in college. At Oswego State I took a course called Living Writers. It was a requirement as a Writing Arts Major and basically covered how to get your work published, agents, publishing, different avenues for each and current books, authors, what's hot, what's not, etc. It was in this class, taught by one of my favorite professors who preferred to be called Ira and would give us extra credit if we could figure out how to spell his last name....Suka....Suka...Sukarungrung (I think the spelling is correct). Ira was born in Thailand but lived in the States since he was young. He was quite a large man who loved his cocker spaniels, adored his wife and loved the candy aisle at Wegmans Grocery Store.



It was during his class the old saying was brought up. Clearly I was wondering how this would play into the Living Writers course and the answer was quite simple, in order to be a successful writer, you should read twice as much as you write. At the time I thought it was crazy, because I just wanted to write and write and write some more. I did know, however this theory is correct. It was stressed that no matter what, you need to sit down every day and write, even for five minutes. Therefore it means I have to read for ten minutes a day....interesting.

As I think about my husband I often reflect on how often he studies his programming, programming lanuages and then finally sits down to brainstorm and finally starts programming. He does this in school, outside of school and I'm pretty sure in his sleep. Being a mom of a toddler I find it's hard to write and let alone read. I have decided, however, I can write often but am I really listening? The answer is no. Well sort of. Currently I will read some blogs, magazine articles but in all honesty I need to listen more.

The concept of the whole listening thing is to learn what's hot in the writing world and what' not so hot, like everything else it continually changes. Another writing professor had said to write verbatim what another author had written. By doing this exercise you learn to write like them, gain the same techniques they had. This will only improve writing skills.




Finally there's encouragement. My husband is a constant source of encouragement for me to write. My parents are too and sometimes my brother but no one encourages me like my husband. He reads all of my blogs and will comment on them all to me personally. He reads them when I least expect them to be read. The whole reason for me starting to blog was to get "practice" for my book, which has been a dream and goal of mine since I was a young child. I wrote a book when I was in middle school and sent it out for publication. It wasn't published but an editor at Dell Publishing Company actually read it and sent it back to me with an encouraging letter. I still may have it somewhere, not really sure where though. I will never forget my first rejection letter. It isn't something that brought me down but uplifted me and encouraged me to write even more.

I still have more reading to do, and planning, but the book will be on it's way shortly, this I know. Until the book is done I probably won't discuss it anymore other then frustrations of writer's block or too much in one section or another. Until then I will read the encouraging comments on this blog, which I will continue writing in as well. Your comments encourage me that one, two or more people actually read my work. I often have unexpected people call and tell me they read my stuff. Clearly only a few comment in writing, but regardless it encourages me to think some things are worthy enough to be read by others.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Time Changes Everything

Now that I am a mommy I look at everything differently. I think about my past and I tell my toddler, "Don't, please don't pull some of the stunts Mommy or Daddy did." It's not just me that thinks like this. Chris informed me when Bradley is a teenager we are both getting stick shifts because he won't know how to drive them and therefore won't be able to steal our vehicles like he stole his father's truck when he was fifteen. Chris also informed me that it gives me plenty of time to practice my driving skills, since I haven't driven stick since my freshman year in college, which involved Kristi's red little "clown car" and what felt like ten clowns piling in and out of it.

With Halloween coming up, I often wonder what we will do for trick or treating. As a kid we always went in our neighborhood. After we were all done we would sort through the candy to pick out the "safe" and "unsafe" ones to eat. Oswego however....isn't somewhere I normally trust. I know the college does some sort of trick or treat thing for kids so maybe we'll do that. I do not however feel comfortable to take my son to many houses around here, maybe the neighbors on each side but other then that....I think we are headed elsewhere.




It's not just Halloween that is a concern. Neither Chris nor myself want to raise our son here. We would prefer a more...well...happier, honest, loving, safer area. Growing up we never locked our doors, would leave our keys in our car, etc. Here....not so much. We lock up every night, we always lock the car and we take the extra steps needed. On top of all that as a kid we would walk to school. I would often ride my bike with a friend, who has now passed on. In Oswego I definitely wouldn't even think about it.

I also look at kids, teenagers, people my age and think how disrespectful they are. Today I saw my neighbor and of course said hello to him. I also called him Mister Murphy. He laughed and said I should just call him Kevin, but I think to myself I want my son (who was with me at the time) to call his elders mister, miss, misses, whatever it would be. What's wrong with a little hospitality, respect, politeness. Of course Mister Murphy was probably saying this because I'm an adult, but regardless it's how I was raised. In fact for a while it was, "Yes, ma'am," "No, ma'am," "Yes, Sir," "No, Sir." Yes I would like this for my child, it's just respectful. I remember moving up to New York and I got in trouble by my first grade teacher for calling her ma'am.

I want my son to know how to not only respect others, other's property but I think it's equally as important to respect oneself. I look at kids and see how they don't respect the language out of their mouth (I think it's hideous and unattractive), not to mention their lack of respect for others. Oftentimes I wonder, what in the world did their parent(s) teach them. Seriously everything has just gone downhill in my eyes. I want my child to respect his toys, clothes, body, self and self worth. I want my child to know he is loved. I want my child to know his manners.

Recently I was going to submit an essay about what it means to be a woman today. As I began writing, I got angry. I was angry at women in general. Many women say things to me because I am a stay at home mom. I have even had professionals sneer because I wasn't working. Yes it is hard to be an at home mom at times. For me I think it comes naturally, it's how I was raised for the most part. Once at my doctor's office the receptionist had the nerve to make a loud comment under her breath because I wasn't working. When she asked if I did and I said no her response was, "Of course you don't." I was appalled. She is a professional, or supposed to be. Yes we have a lower income because of it, but does that make me any less of a person or lesser of a woman? I do have my Bachelor's Degree....hmmm....maybe I should have said something about that to the receptionist whom I can only assume did not. Yes it is wrong for me to assume, does that make it right? No, but I did and still assume that. Overall most women, I am not ashamed to say, I AM NOT PROUD OF!!



So where is that woman of 2009? I am right here. I am here and I am a mom. I am very proud of my friends and family who serve in the military. I am a stay at home mom. I served my country the best I could. Yes when I was in uniform at my college a faculty member called me a baby killer. Hmmm.....interesting. Why didn't SHE put on the uniform? Regardless I kept my mouth shut, let her yell at me in my uniform then went on my merry way. I do believe women are more outspoken now then every before, but just because you are outspoken doesn't mean you should never keep your mouth shut. I honor and love the woman who puts her family first above her career (yes some families need two incomes, yes some moms need to work). I honor the woman who is striving to make herself better and her family better. Most of all I honor those who teach their child respect, give their child the much deserved attention and love.

Recently I read that everyday you should say, "I love you" and "thank you" to your children no matter what their age. I believe this will most definitely teach love and respect. A parent needs to be a parent before they are their child's friend in my opinion. Then maybe when my son is grown (and starts a family of his own) he won't have to worry about having his children trick or treat in his neighborhood or walk to school like I did.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Trying the Waiting Game....

In the military one would always remember the "Hurry Up and Wait" game. This primarily consists of having to be somewhere or do something at a particular time, which you cannot be late for. Once you get there or have the opportunity to complete the task, you normally have to wait. You wait for paperwork, you wait in a gigantic long line, you wait for signatures, wait in another gigantic long line, wait for your computer to be fixed, wait in another gigantic long line....it can take forever.

Since our miscarriage several months ago we were waiting to "try" again for another. We had to wait a minimum of three months. We waited for about five. Now we are playing the same old game....hurry up and wait.....we sit here and wonder how long it will take....I am now three days late on my "cycle" and we are still waiting....the pregnancy test said negative....so now we wait...even more...we will now wait a couple more days, or maybe even tomorrow to play the hurry up and wait game some more before taking another pregnancy test. If that doesn't work out then we will wait even longer to start the process all over again.

In the meantime the game continues for everything. The hurry up and wait has lasted several months for me, I am now officially: HONORABLY DISCHARGED EFFECTIVE THE 21ST from the Army....a friend told me...now I have to wait for my unit to send me the letter. I guess it will preoccupy me from the baby business. Of course in the back of my mind I'm still going to hurry up and wait, and even though I'm happy to be discharged I'm overcome with extreme sadness, a huge window to my life has closed, I just have to remember another one will open.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Writer's Cramp

I sit here listening to the TV blaring in the background, the occasional laughs from family, dog grunting and obnoxiously loud fan of an XBOX cooling it's overworked insides. I wanted to write something for quite some time now and when I'm driving, in the shower, playing with my toddler or closing my eyes for a night's rest I can think of all the topics. I recite the lines I will rhythmically stroke on the keyboard, making them flow like a soft fall breeze.






As the leaves change color and slip away from the trees, my thoughts change color and words slip away at my finger tips. Instead I just write. I write words that may not work together. I make sentences that don't flow. Finally I make up my mind there isn't anything worthy of writing at this time. I then close the borrowed lap top and hope another day I will collect my thoughts on paper. When that happens I will write about the fall breeze, the chaos of having a toddler, the images of PTSD in the lives around me, the laughter of a very young boy and the wonders of a playful imagination. Until then the unexercised key strokes of the computer will remain untouched as the neglected thoughts remain in my mind somewhere. They are all waiting to once again be discovered in life's little game of what I could only remember as writer's cramp when it is actually called writer's block.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Abuelita


Recently Chris and I were in California for his cousin's wedding. During the stay I had the opportunity to spend time with Chris's grandmother. We all call her Abuelita, which is Spanish for grandma. She prefers that over anything else. Her real name is Clara.

When I look at her she reminds me slightly of my grandmothers and how I miss them terribly. Abuelita is clearly different from them though. She hums as she sweeps her kitchen, speaks only in a foreign language I could only hope to understand and speak fluently, and she sings and claps for baby Bradley, whom she calls bebe because she cannot pronounce his name.

I tried my best to speak what little Spanish I know to her and she tries her best to speak what little English she knows to me. I was once told, "The eyes are the windows to a person's soul," and this holds true with Abuelita. There is something pure and genuine deep inside her soul.

As I looked at her sweeping her kitchen floor, as saw the years of work behind her, living in a foreign country, moving to California, taking care of her children, even though now they are grown, there was something she carried that carried me away with her. I felt like I was miles away, distant from anything around me, foreign to my surroundings.

While in Petaluma, Abuelita and I didn't say much, for even though we were in the same city we were worlds apart, yet connected in some strange way. I looked at her as that foundation that truly did hold her family together. I may never honestly know who is she is or what she is saying, but I can just look into those windows to her soul and be blanketed in her genuine heart.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spa Nails


I absolutely love getting manicures and pedicures, although so far this summer, there has been no pedicure....hopefully someday I will get one again. Maybe my mother in law will go with me in California, my own mother doesn't care for them.

What I love the most about getting my nails done is that some simple little element really makes me feel and look that much better. I always chose the French Manicure. Yes I have fake nails AND they were in exchange for HBO. I felt it was an even trade off. Both have monthly payments. If we get rid of one I'm sure the other would shortly follow.

I don't particularly like the way it feels as they file down my nails (I don't like them real long like some women). The way it feels grosses me out a bit. The only way I can think to describe it is honestly sanding your finger nails. I didn't like it before I put the acrylic pleasures on, so I often left my nails designed by way of the nail clipper.

So what in particular is it that makes me feel good about my nails that are finished? First off they complete any outfit. Black dress, white dress, shorts, swimsuit, even gym clothes. Sometimes it feels like the forgive all of running out of the house without any make up, hair in a ponytail, not sure how long ago it was now that you actually put effort into it. Then when someone sees the nails and the baby right along with me, they understand and think, "She's doing the best she can to be put together."

I have discovered being a mom requires me, and many other women, more effort into being put together, especially between cries for attention, diaper changes, feedings, etc. When Chris and I were dating, I always curled my hair, put makeup on, picked out the right outfit. Even after we were married, I ran to the bathroom and put mascara or something on before he rolled out of bed, it took me awhile to get used to the idea that he was going to see me without makeup. Now Chris is lucky to see me with makeup. Over the past couple of months I have put in a much more conscious effort into makeup and doing my hair everyday. Now within the past few weeks, as long as I put makeup on it's good progress. It's way too hot to dry my hair and if it's humid out you can forget it, any curls or style I had would be lost in the matter of minutes.

So now every two weeks I go to Oswego Spa and Nails, on West 1st Street and sit down for about half an hour and try to relax as I get pampered. Sometimes I try to stretch out the two weeks farther to fifteen, sixteen days; it all depends on the hitting it right for special occasions like weddings, birthday parties, etc. Also after two weeks, it really is a struggle; even though you have acrylic nails, your real nail still grows and you can't just cut them with normal nail clippers.

Getting my nails done really is my guilty pleasure. I feel guilty every time I go. I know Chris and I could use the money for something else, but we could also use the extra HBO money for something else too. I guess both of them are our guilty pleasures, but in that space of thirty minutes every two weeks, I know it's something just for me.

I don't buy new clothes. I hate clothes shopping for myself now because I'm not comfortable in my new mom body. I am still trying to get used to the idea that I actually HAVE to try something on before I buy it. Who has time for that when you shop with a toddler? When I do go shopping for myself I get something for Chris or the baby instead and I'm ok with that. Recently I just told Chris, who hadn't gotten me my anniversary gift yet, to just let me use the money to get Bradley new clothes, which he desperately needed. You see normally he gets really great quality clothing. I just with my best friend to the outlet mall, during their big sales. Turns out I misjudged what I had for the next size, which he's now starting to go into, so I used my anniversary gift money for my little boy. Do I still want a present? Heck yeah! But it'll have to wait, until then you can see me on West First Street one week from Saturday, enjoying a guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Almost One

Our little boy is almost one year old, next week to be exact. He has grown and changed so much it's amazing. Of course he isn't the only one who has grown up a bit. Chris and I both did too. We went from carefree craziness to slowing down with the family life, which is much more relaxing, I think.

Since many people have been asking us what to get Bradley for his first birthday party (which will be on Saturday, August 22nd from 1-3), I have made a list. I do update the list as soon as I know of something someone has gotten him, that way we don't have multiples. The list is located on the left hand side of the blog and I included the place where I found the item, of course it can be purchased anywhere.




Here's the agenda, as far as I know....Thursday, August 20th - Bradley's actual birthday. We are going to have a little family celebration, just Chris, Bradley and myself. We are going to go to Friendly's and eat dinner and get Bradley some icecream. He LOVES icecream (definitely taking after his daddy). We will also give him a present that day. I'm hoping every year we can have a "family party" before his actual "friend/family party." I have also gotten this wonderful idea from a friend of mine, which is to write a letter to Bradley on his birthday every year and when he's old enough, give him a stack of letters from his mom. I'm hoping I can get his dad into it too, but I don't think Chris is that into it, I'll have to ask.

Saturday, August 22nd - his first birthday party with cake, candles, lots of presents and some of his friends and family. We already have the party favors done and presents wrapped. We're just waiting on food and cake, which it's too early for that stuff right now. We are pretty well prepared for it.



Monday, August 24th - Bradley's one year check up. Probably not very fun.

Thursday, August 27th - flying to California. There's a wedding to attend and possibly another first birthday party with Chris's side of the family. I don't have a confirmation on that one yet, but I'm trying to get one, soon I hope.

Monday, August 31st - fly home and hopefully relax a little.

It's going to be crazy but it's going to be fun. I can't wait for his birthday party and see all of his presents! All is welcome on August 22nd, let me know ahead of time if you are coming, so I have a big enough cake and enough food! Remember I'll keep his list updated and if you need more ideas let me know.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Joys of Motherhood

Recently I have been thinking of the joys of motherhood. I LOVE that I stay home with my little boy and get to see him grow. I wouldn't want to miss it for the world. Bradley knows: nose, mouth, eye. You say them and he will take your finger and point to yours. We are still working on him trying to point to his own, however he doesn't like anyone touching his hands.

As a mom I am absolutely enthralled with almost living a second childhood. Many of you know, as a kid you can't wait to grow up. As an adult sometimes one may wish they savored the moment just a little more. As a parent, I most certainly love my child enjoying experiences I never had, enjoyed myself or thought about but never tempted.

I try to take Bradley with me almost everywhere. Shopping at the mall is ok, because normally we meet up with my best friend and her two kids. Bradley loves the beach and two days ago was actually trying to "jump" over the waves, according to his daddy. I wish I was there to see it, but I was enjoying a much needed break. The baby loves icecream and every once in awhile we take him out for one. If the weather is nice on a Thursday we head to the farmer's market for some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Yesterday, we went grocery shopping together. I have been taking him with me on this adventure more times then not lately. For anyone who is aware of the early toddler years, this can be quite challenging. Not only are you trying to get the things on your list but entertain a young boy (in my case at least). I find I talk to him a lot while shopping and make funny noises when pulling things off the shelf. Now when I go alone to the grocery I make the same swoosh noises or clunk noises I do when I'm with the baby. Once I notice I do this habitual act, I quickly turn to see if anyone saw or heard. Unfortunately sometimes my actions don't go unnoticed.



The grocery store adventure yesterday brought about new surprises and risk taking. As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed an available race car shopping cart. I quickly snatched it up and even though it took me about five minutes to buckle the baby in, the buckles obviously weren't working right, I was bound and determined to make this work. Right away Bradley loved it. He started turning the wheels even before he was buckled. As I was pushing my wide load through the store, this proved to be more difficult then I could imagine. The cart felt heavy and there are no quick easy turns, but very wide. If I came to a stop because I needed to grab something off the shelf, Bradley would turn the steering wheel fast and hard, indicating he was ready to go. The race car made the trip fun for all of us but of course by the end Bradley had enough of it. I did get some sympathy from a mother who loved the cart but said she struggled moving it and eventually decided it wasn't worth it for her kids.

With Bradley wherever we end up, he ALWAYS puts a smile on my face. Yesterday my little comedian tried driving with his feet. And yes he had no socks on because he takes them off and tries to eat them. He most definitely makes the best facial reactions which makes Chris and I laugh. He really is the best kid in my book. All in all Bradley enjoyed his car ride and I think it's another go for the next time.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lumpy Leo



Leo is our AKC registered chocolate lab. His registered name is Leonitis III. Leonitis from the movie 300. My dad calls him Lumpy Leo, my brother in law calls him Lucifer and I call him my pain in the ass.

We bought Leo when I was between four and five months pregnant with Bradley. The pregnancy hormones clearly affected my thought process. Chris had previously wanted a dog before we had a baby and this was my idea of a solution. The ad in the local paper specified the blocky head a lab should have. Yes, Leo is our blockhead through and through.

The spring semester of my junior year in college I had a little extra time on my hands. That Christmas my mom bought me a book, "Marley and Me." I read it in my spare time. I laughed, I cried and I just fell in love with all of it. As Chris and I drove two hours, I laughed as I thought about Marley, the yellow lab, and remembered to check the demeanor of both parents. By the time we arrived at the farm, I had forgotten.

Within the first few days of owning him, I sent the following email to my family:

Day One (Saturday, April 19):

Got him from Amish people. Chris thought he was lazy and not playful enough. He cried a lot. Separation anxiety. He followed me around everywhere. We got bath stuff, toys, crate, food (Puppy Chow), treats a couple retriever magazines and feeding dishes. His name started out as Stewy but got changed to Leo (short for Leonitis). Leo was asked to go to his first birthday party at PetSmart on Tuesday. He stays close to your heels at all times. We went to a cookout and he was the hit of the party. A train went by and whistled, Leo ran mock ten to me and hid. We went home that night, it was late. Chris wanted Leo to sleep with us. He had no accidents in the house.

Day Two (Sunday, April 20):

Chris got up in the middle of the night once to let Leo out. Slept with us all night. Chris didn't get much sleep because he was afraid the dog would poo and it would somehow end up on his face. He sleeps a lot during the day. I tell Chris it's because he's growing. We went outside in the early morning and played. Then Leo and I took a nap. He's a cuddler right now. Ch ris is jealous when we go outside in the afternoon and Leo listens to me more then Chris. There are no accidents in our house. Chris can't get Leo to pee or poo outside, but I can. We played outside again with Leo at night. Chris sat and watched. Then made fun of a preggo lady for running. He said it looks funny.. Chris takes Leo out before going to bed. The dog didn't pee or poo. Leo sleeps with us again. Chris keeps pushing him to the bottom of the bed because Leo breathes in his ear. I keep pulling Leo back up. He wants to lay his head on the pillow.

Day Three (Monday, April 21):

I get up early with Leo. We go outside and go to the bathroom. Then we head back to bed and sleep for another half hour/forty-five minutes. We eat a quick breakfast and put Leo in his crate. We leave at 830 and Leo is crying. He doesn't like being alone. Chris comes home at ten and lets Leo out. He peed in his crate. No big deal, we expect it. He runs with Leo for a little bit. Chris goes to school about ten fifteen, ten thirty. I come home about one. Leo is screaming at the top of his lungs. Leo pooped in his crate. It got all over the three toys Chris put in there. Leo only has a few tennis balls to play with now. I take Leo out. I clean the crate and clean the toys. Leo decides to grab the paper towel roll and try to run with it. I take it from him. Then he grabs the plastic bag I use to put the dirty paper towels in. He doesn't let go. I finally open his jaws and take it. I give him a clean tennis ball to play with. I ask the neighbor if she would watch him for a little so he doesn't cry. We'd be home around 430. She does. We come home at 430, there are no more accidents. I take Leo out to go poop and pee and we run around a little. Chris goes for a run then comes home and takes Leo for a run to the mailbox and a run back. I think Leo is mad at us. I make dinner. Chris is taunting Leo with his hand. Leo tries to bite it. I yell at Chris. I tell him he's teaching Leo to bite hands he says no he's teasing him. I tell him Leo doesn't know the difference. Chris says I'm being mean to him. I tell Chris I'm not and I know a little more about raising dogs then he does. I work on military things. Chris plays with Leo. He isn't good at being stern at telling him no. I have a talk with Chris. He tries. I go to bed. Chris takes Leo to bed with us, I make Chris take him outside first. Chris asked why. I said so he doesn't pee or poop on the bed. Chris takes Leo out he pees. They come back in. Leo knows it's bedtime. We all go to sleep.

Day Four (Tuesday, April 22):

Leo wakes me up at 645. We go outside and go to the bathroom. He doesn't want to go back to bed today. I feed him. He has to go poop so I take him outside again. He goes poop and then comes back in. He still doesn't want to go to sleep. He started to drag the carpet around. I yell at him. I wake up Chris, Chris doesn't want to get up. I tell him he has to. I put the dog on the bed. He cries.. Chris wants to know why he's crying. I say it's because the dog wants to get off the bed and play. He doesn't stop crying. I get up and start playing with the dog. I do laundry. The dog grabs the towl and starts pulling. He doesn't let go. I try to replace it with another toy. It works briefly. The dog is bouncing off the walls the walls today. I make Chris watch him while I take a shower. Chris and the dog are sleeping. It's now 830. Leo is full of shit and vinegar. It must be the puppy chow.





Leo continued to be a Marley. When we got our new house he was very excited. He only went to the bathroom once. Since that day he was officially house broken. While pregnant there were many frustrating points such as Leo jumping in the shower with me. Since he was already in the shower we decided we should just watch him. This would continue for the next few months.

Although Leo has eaten mold, thrown it up and ate it again while we ran for paper towels, eaten part of our deck, many baby toys, diapers, already dead fish he finds on walks, a plastic kiddie pool and countless items from the garbage he has survived it all. Leo is an angel when it comes to Bradley. The baby pulls on his tail, has investigated Leo's paws, bitten Leo's leg, pulled the skin beneath Leo's eyes and tugged on his ears. Leo takes it all. He has never once snipped, snapped, growled or barked at the baby. The best part is they have a conspiracy together. Bradley feeds Leo any chance he gets, giving Leo a lick of this or that before Bradley pops it into his mouth or just plain hands him food, or leaves him leftovers on the floor. All Bradley asks for in return is to use Leo as a jungle gym. Don't get me wrong, Leo did give Bradley a doggy treat one day. Oh the things you find in the mouth of a toddler with a quick finger swipe.

While Leo has his moments, I will never forget the way he reacted the night before I miscarried. Chris and I already knew our baby had no heartbeat. In a rare occurrence I wanted Leo to cuddle with us in bed. Typically Leo doesn't come over to my side of the bed and if he does it's his attempt to push me off with his legs or his incessant barking at me. The scenario normally ends with me complaining to Chris until it's taken care of. This night in particular Leo laid his head on my belly and closed his eyes, not moving and I didn't want him to move.

While Leo has his funny moments, moments of disaster and frustration he also has a kind, caring, patient and warmer side. Even though his rudder of a tail can knock anyone or anything off it's course he means well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pure Satisfaction




At my first ultrasound with Bradley I knew I was in for it when the technician exclaimed how active my child already was. She also said she had "never seen a baby so active early on in pregnancy like this. " My best friend, Renae, and I looked at the monitor and at seven and a half weeks pregnant, it most certainly looked like he was doing cartwheels, somersaults and any other acrobatic act found in the circus of my uterus.

Bradley's first trip to the pediatrician, as a newborn, only confirmed what the ultrasound technician previous found months earlier. "You are going to have your hands full with this one. He's going to be very active." I looked at my child, he was only days old, maybe a week. How on earth could they tell this? Eleven months later I now chase Bradley at a high rate of speed. Not only does my son crawl faster then a speeding bullet but stands on his own and is learning to take his first steps by himself, a little more courageous every day. I can only imagine he will be running faster then the speed of sound shortly.

One can only guess how difficult it can be to keep up with our little bundle of joy. Two nights ago my husband and I adopted an idea my best friend and her husband strive for. Every night before going to bed, they pick up the house. By the end of the night, it's clear cleaning is the last thing on our mind, but we tried it the first night and it made the next day much easier.

Last night I was very tired and reluctant to follow through with the new rule, but I pushed myself to do it anyhow. The baby was fast asleep by eight. Chris was at school and then he'd be at the gym following his night class. I struggled even more knowing I was on my own without the extra hand to help in the endeavor. About half an hour later a friend of mine stopped by to drop off a shirt. As we sat and talked at my kitchen table I looked around and was very pleased I didn't feel like I had to explain why the dishes weren't done, kitchen still a mess, crumbs from animal crackers trailed throughout the house, juicy cups strategically placed or a sea of toddler treasures scattered like gold on the ocean floor. Instead I sighed in relief as I enjoyed time well spent with a new friend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Everything Blue



This past week at the local grocery store blueberries were on sale, "Buy one get one free with your Price Chopper card." After little contemplation I decided, why the heck not? Earlier in the week I had been craving blueberry muffins and never before had I made them from scratch. I love to cook and bake so I thought it would be a wonderful new baking adventure. Now mind you these little containers weren't the standard small size normally sold at the grocery but quite large, you know the larger strawberry size containers, which reminded me of my childhood.

As a little girl I remember my Aunt Claire and Uncle Neil taking my brother and I blueberry picking. They talked it up and it was going to be a fun adventure. Hours later I hardly had any blueberries in my bucket. I ate a lot of them and I'm pretty sure I had a tummy ache. While at the grocery store I reminisced about what it must have been like in fields picking blueberry after blueberry for hours on end.

As I was unloading the groceries, and the baby, I came to the realization I really did have a lot of blueberries. I needed to do something. The next morning, Friday, I made blueberry muffins as I planned. The only problem was the recipe called for only one cup of blueberries, which really wasn't as much as I thought it was. Regardless the recipe only made twelve muffins and they were delicious. Chris referred to them as blueberry cupcakes all day. Between Chris, Bradley and me we ate about five of them. The remaining seven, although an odd number, we gave to our neighbor Carol, who was more then pleased to have homemade muffins.

The next morning I was determined to use up more of those blueberries. We hardly eat pancakes and I thought it would be a great way to get rid of some of the fruit. I pulled one of our dining room chairs up to the counter and had Bradley stand on it. In my mind I thought it would be fun for my almost toddler to help me cook breakfast. Bradley's idea of stirring the pancake batter was dunking his entire hand in the bowl and squishing it with his fingers. Good thing his hands were clean and it was just us eating the meal. After cleaning up his little mess I thought he would enjoy putting the blueberries in the batter, instead he was taking handfuls of blueberries and shoving them in his mouth. I was dreading future diaper changes. Turns out things weren't nearly as bad as I thought they would be.

Sunday I decided to make more blueberry muffins, this time sending the remaining treats with Uncle Brad. I still have almost a full container of blueberries left. Although I think we are blueberried out, I may try one more recipe of something blue.




To Die For Blueberry Muffins (www.allrecipes.com)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Step in the Right Direction

This week has been a very good one for the Campos Family. Bradley has taken his first steps, at almost eleven months old. These are the only ones we have on video, that we could catch anyway. They are his actual first consecutive steps. We can now get him up to seven in a row at times! Enjoy!!



On top of everything else, Bradley got his first hair cut today. I've only put up a few of the 25 pictures I took! He was a doll and they said it was the first time a baby didn't cry and was cooperative!




Bradley was a little shocked to be getting his hair squirted in the beginning but he was ok with it.


And he was fine with the cape and just watching Lisa (my hairdresser) cut his hair in the mirror.


Some parts toward the end he was squirmy but other then that he was great!


Lisa would stop every once in awhile to give Bradley a squirt in the mouth of her water bottle which he loved!


Shortly after this picture she used the clippers and Bradley didn't mind one bit. He was such a good boy.


He was so good we got icecream afterward. Don't you love the big boy haircut and cute messy little face! He looks so grown up!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mom Friendly


Recently I have tried a new product, it's Sally Hensen hair remover for legs. I had a coupon and thought why the heck not. Spray it on, take it off in the shower. Well I have come to find out it is not really mom friendly. I love the product but as I was sitting in my bathroom, legs white and foamy, not only could I not move because I had to leave the product on for three minutes but I worried about the baby waking up from his nap and me running through our hall white foam flying off my legs in order to get my child. Needless to say in those eternity minutes I paced around the bathroom, carefully trying not to touch anything and thought to myself all the other things I could be doing in those three minutes of nothing. I could have been making the bed, cleaning the bathroom, getting a head start on chopping stuff for dinner, sanitizing toys or a whirlwind of other things. My three minutes didn't last long as I jumped in the shower, one and a half minutes early. I felt like I could do some sort of back bend in order to at least wash my hair while I was waiting. It didn't work and I ended up rinsing my legs too soon. I definitely was amazed to see some of the hair come off my legs but spent the rest of my shower time shaving as usual.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Missing - Shoes


I LOVE shoes. I love a lot of things, but I really LOVE shoes. Now I used to have a moderate collection of them, however they have dwindled just a bit, mainly because our dog Leo has eaten them. Don't get me wrong, Leo wasn't the first dog to eat my favorite pair of shoes, nor are dogs the only problem with me and shoes.

Lucy, my Siberian Husky has, in the past, eaten and destroyed my favorite pair of "jean" shoes. They were this lovely pair of heels that were a sand color, wooden pump with what looked like a mix of rope and burlap for the sandely strap on the top. They had this cute little bow on them. They were great with jeans or capris, they were like a casual heel. Within weeks of owning them they were gone. Those were the only shoes I know of that she ate.

Then Leo.....he ate my next pair of "jean" shoes. They were black and strappy, just on the fronts, nothing going up the side or leg. They looked great with dresses or jeans. Definitely could be casual or more formal. Within months of having Leo in our life they were gone.

Leo has eaten a very comfortable and cute pair of mahogany colored clogs, that were great with jeans and most recently my last pair of black pumps. They were pointy toed and had just an ever so slight black bow on the top heel of the shoe, they were shiney and well fantastic. They are now owned by the dump.

I once had a pair of pink sandled heels that who knows where they went, they too looked great with jeans. I bought them specifically for this dress that was all black and white with this bright pink flower on it. They matched perfectly. Now it just seems lost without it.

I will never forget the red high heels I owned. I towered over many things when I wore those. I think my ex still has them, I definitely don't care about the ex, just my heels.

Then I once owned a pair of what I like to call "brown hooker boots." These boots were great with jeans and zipped up just below my knees, at the top of my calf. I lost those somewhere almost two years ago.


Now I'm down to only owning one pair of great shoes I can wear with jeans and a few outfits. They have a black heel and are a giraffe print, that is silky. I don't have a pair of black heels to really wear out anymore unless I want to look like a business woman, which I'm not.

Most of my shoe shopping is done at Aldo's (www.aldoshoes.com). I used to go there often. Now I just imagine what it would be like to shop there again. Right now I picture myself as a person walking through the mall, stopping at the window of the shoe store and staring inside like a little kid looking through the glass window of a toy store.



Someday I will find my collection of shoes building back up and I once again will live a life in a paradise of gorgeous, colorful and comfy shoes. Until then it's the sparkley flip flops and the occassional business shoe.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Goal Update...


Well here is the update on my goals and new goals that were added....


1. Fit into my size 10 cute white summer dress (I can zip it up now but it's hard to breathe and I have back fat). - I haven't tried it on yet and don't want to until I FEEL more comfortable, another five or ten pounds then maybe....

2. Look and FEEL good in a two piece (or ANY bathing suit). - This is a somedays I feel good and somedays I don't.....during little dippers swim class with Bradley the other day, not so good feeling but a few weeks ago I thought I looked really good!

3. Fit better in my clothes and hopefully a few pre-pregnancy bottoms. - I can fit into some stuff but can't exactly zip them now....getting there though....and I haven't tried on jeans yet....

4. Do either 5K or 10K at the 10Kan run (if I'm not pregnant) - Definitely planning on a 10K in September, but ran into a few bumps in the road recently....medical issues. I did get the go ahead to do it though.

5. Feel good AND attractive about myself - weight was ALWAYS an issue, even when I was A LOT skinnier and in good shape. - My husband has been really good at supporting me and some friends that I haven't seen in awhile when they do see me or a picture, which makes me feel better. I'm still NOT where I need to be.

6. Go down a pant size. - It may be awhile before this, but I do know my current ones fit better, which is a plus...

7. Have people surprised I'm a mom. - I tell everyone right from the start I have a gorgeous little boy and definitely take out the pictures so this may take awhile!! LOL

8. Be hit on again - I lost it all when I got pregnant the first time and I don't think my husband even found me attractive and it's hard today to think he does. - Wasn't hit on but did notice I was getting some stares the other day where my husband very nicely put his arm around me and held me close!! :)


So for the remainder....I have lost five pounds so far, but even more amazing is I lost 6 1/2 inches, mainly in my belly (I lost 3 3/4 inches there). I also lost 1 1/4 inches in my thighs! The rest were like neck, bust, arms, butt. I am very happy with these results. I definitely have more to go..... So this is what I'm adding on...

9. Month of June - lose five more pounds (weight would be at 159)

10. Month of July - lose another five pounds (making total weight loss 15 pounds so far, weight at 154 - pre-pregnancy weight)

11. Month of August - lose another five pounds (total weight loss 20 pounds, weight at 149)

12. 10K Run in September

13. By my birthday in October - another five pounds (making a total of 25 pounds lost!, weight at 144)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Beautiful Angel


I am most definitely partial to my little boy. If you were to ask me I would say he is the smartest and funniest little boy ever. I love and adore my son. He makes me laugh and yes sometimes cry, but this week he has grown in leaps and bounds. He shows me continuous love and forgiveness for burning dinner or taking his toy away. He is my angel because he has changed my life forever and for the better.

This week Bradley is definitely showing favorites, choosing Mommy over Daddy. The doctor said today, at his nine month well visit, "He's going to be an early walker. I give it a month then you're in trouble." My little man is growing in leaps and bounds. The thing is when a day is tough, he now gives ME a hug and will put his head on my shoulder. Today he'd give me a slobbery kiss on my cheek and then hugged me some more! I LOVE THIS!!! I know once he's older he probably won't want the hugs from Mommy or kisses, so I'm taking them as much as he'll give them to me. I am SO LUCKY to have him in my life. I do thank Heavenly Father for my little angel. I wouldn't want life any other way!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Museum of Play




Because Chris had one week off from school, we decided we would visit my mom and dad for a few days. It was nice to relax a bit, although Bradley did NOT sleep well at all and he was in our room so....you can only imagine how grumpy Chris and I were, but we survived and managed to get a date in there. Chris and I went and saw Angels and Demons on Monday. It was fantastic! I was exhausted when we went, the movie started at 9:45 but I was wide awake the entire time, which I was very surprised at.

On the way home on Tuesday morning we stopped at The Strong Museum of Play, in Rochester. I am not sure who had more fun, me or Bradley. Chris got into it a little but not much. There was a Sesame Street City, Wegman's Grocery Store (run by kids), a storybook land and a Bernstein Bears Village, it was all fantastic. Of course there was a ton of stuff in between and Bradley was able to crawl freely, overall it was just great. When we stopped for lunch we had Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. From there we headed right out and to the car, Bradley was so tired he didn't even make it to the car before he was asleep. Anyway take a peek at the pictures. I hope you enjoy.


This was in the Banana City or something like that. It was in the grocery store. Bradley loved crawling around in there.


This was the little steering wheel that Bradley played with. He knows how they run, his walker is a jeep that has a steering wheel so he was turning it all around. There was a button on the left side of the steering wheel that makes some sort of noise that once Bradley realized it, he didn't stop.


This is the side profile of the little bus thing. I couldn't back up any farther, because there were shelves with grocery items right behind me. Doesn't Chris look like he's having fun? Yeah right!!

Bradley loves mirrors and especially that little "friend" that is "always waiting for him."

My little man also loves music and loved "pounding on the keys," literally. But anytime there is music playing on TV or whatever he will stop and listen.

In this area, there was a pirate ship. After going through the ship you could play with these plastic pebble things. Of course as soon as I took the picture I hopped right in there with Bradley and started playing with dump trucks and the whole nine yards with Bradley.


Growing up I always read Nancy Drew so when we were in Storybook Land....I LOVED it! I was in Mystery Mansion and there was a secret room behind the bookshelf and even a picture where you could stand behind and look through the portrait's eyes! It was AWESOME!!



The Bernstein Bear and Campos Families.


This was in the Bernstein Bear Village and Chris and Bradley were using the saw at Papa Bears workshop.


We wondered if Bradley would be scared of the scarecrow. Not in the least. He wanted to touch and play with it right away.


These are the glasses that could go on a giant Mr. Potato Head. I was excited and it matched my shirt!






Finally here is Chris and Bradley playing a duet on the piano. Bradley played the lower notes and Chris the higher ones.

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Adventures in Mothering....

There have been many new adventures in mothering for me. First off, Mother's Day was wonderful. I couldn't have asked for a better day. Chris let me lay in bed a few extra minutes and then I got up and got ready for my day. I did the normal chores, like making the bed and headed downstairs, where I was greeted with breakfast. Shortly after breakfast Chris gave me a beautiful hanging flower plant and some seeds and planting pods to put them in. It was perfect. Unfortunately Chris had finals all the next week so he apologized then headed off to the library to study, but it was no worries. I finished painting my living room. It went from a dark tan color to a very light color, called natural. It's beautiful. I love it. I also had a very pleasant conversation with my mother in law, for about an hour, and my own mother. It was very nice and it actually was nice to have the house to myself for awhile. Bradley blessed me greatly by taking several long naps that day and when he was awake he was very happy and playful, until he was tired again.

Since Chris had finals this past week, I've been trying my hardest to get out of the house with the baby so he could study without any distractions, or very little of them. I honestly don't remember what Bradley and I did on Monday but I'm sure it was fun. I know I went to the gym at five for my workout so I'm thinking we just played at home.

Tuesday, Bradley and I went to the zoo in Syracuse. It was a blast. Before we went there, we had MOPS in the morning and Bradley I think would much rather play with the older kids then the kids his age. We had to leave early because we were meeting my best friend and her two kids in Syracuse. It was good timing though, because my little angel was having a meltdown right before we left. He slept from the building we have MOPS in to the gas station and all the way to the zoo.

Once we were there we did meet up with my best friend and her little boys (Owen, who is two and Adam, who is a week younger then Bradley). It took us a little while to find each other but we did. Bradley was much more interested in what Owen was doing then what the animals were doing, but by the time we got to the penguins he was intrigued. He loved watching those little things waddle, to the point where when we were leaving them he kept turning and looking at them until they were out of sight. Since Bradley loved them so much when we left I got him a little stuffed penguin he thoroughly enjoyed chewing on.


Near the penguin area there was this cutout, the kind where you could stick your head in and have it look like you are a penguin, so Bradley and I got our picture taken in there. He also LOVED the ducks and swans. He was a hoot and a holler at the zoo.




Now you are probably wondering why I haven't mentioned much about my best friend and her two kids....well even though Renae and I very much enjoyed our time spent together, we did have difficulties talking, which is always the case when we get together with our kids. The majority of the time we spent was entertaining them. Regardless it was fun to be able to see her and see how much weight she has lost. She claims she's only lost a few pounds but I think she looks fantastic!!


Bradley and I finished up by watching monkeys swing from branch to branch. I was so fascinated watching them I took video. Normally you don't see these things swing around. I was definitely much more interested in looking at them then Bradley was.


Finally you will see pictures of me and my best friend and our kids at the zoo. I hope you enjoy. And sorry about all the rambling! I think one of my favorite parts of the day was talking to Renae on the phone AFTER the zoo, when she told me how Owen was calling Bradley's name on the way to the car when we went our separate ways.


Mom!!! Too many pictures and we just got here....Here we go again!

This is of my best friend, Renae and her two boys. Owen is in the front and Adam is in the back of her stroller. Oh I have NO idea what I'd do without Renae!!

This is our group shot, we were scouting out people without young kids for this picture.


This was the third time we tried to get a picture of me and Bradley. He kept turning his head to look at me when we were trying to take the pictures. He's such a ham and always interested in what's going on around him.

I think Owen was like, "Lady, give it up with the pictures already!"


I think I was finally able to get a good picture of Adam because he must have been laughing at the crazy lady who wouldn't stop taking pictures!



Finally I think Bradley was saying, "MOM!!! Quit with the pictures already! You're embarrassing me!"




This video is of Bradley waking up....I hope you enjoy!







This video is of the monkeys at the zoo. I LOVED THEM!!