Monday, 25 April 2016

You've Arrived at Crazytown

I had a whim to check on my little family blog that I started and was absolutely awful at maintaining. It's been three years since my last post--- Brenden's 3rd birthday. The stinker is now 6; he's doubled in age since then! Brielle is now 4 1/2!

I finished school and started working full time. Juggling the parenting and the working left the blog on the back burner. I'm unsure if I'll start it back up, but I just wanted to come type a few words. Life became very crazy.... It's now getting even crazier! Perhaps I will pick the blog back up simply to maintain my sanity!

I have considered starting a running/fitness blog. Partially for accountability reasons and partially for race reviews. I'm always looking for race reviews when searching for marathons and half-marathons to run... why not join the party? I'll be running marathon number 8 is coming up this weekend!

Take care xx

Monday, 8 April 2013

Brenden's Birthday Weekend

I realized tonight how much my life has changed since I got pregnant with Brenden. I was looking back on the weekend and thinking how it has been one of the best weekends in a while. Saturday was Brenden's 3rd birthday, and we were able to have a party that day to celebrate. It is safe to say that the party was a success-- Brenden was beside himself with excitement all day. That night we went to dinner (kept it classy with Pizza Hut!) with some very good friends, one of which has a 4 1/2 year old boy who B absolutely adores. They giggled, chased each other, and basically ignored us for the most part during the entire dinner. Once we got home and got the kids in bed William and I tried to watch an episode of Big Bang Theory, but I passed out about 10 minutes in. That's right, I went to bed about 20 minutes after the kids- I was exhausted!!

Today started out with me and Brenden watching Hotel Transylvania, which he got for his birthday, while eating cake for breakfast (I'm the mom; I make the rules). Then we got ready and went to his buddy Ava's birthday party and he bounced himself silly in the bouncy castle. When we got home the sun was shining (as it has been all weekend!) so the kids played outside while I washed the cars--- the Cozy Coupe cars that is! Both kids' car got washed so they are ready to cruise this summer! It was so good to soak up the vitamin D and watch the kids play with sidewalk chalk, played on the slide, and got their toes in the grass. Next we took a walk as a family. Brielle got pushed in the stroller while Brenden rode his brand new Lightening McQueen BIG BOY BIKE (which I have not gotten pictures of yet, forgive me!). He had issues at first with the brakes engaging when he pushed the petals back, but by the end of the walk he was a pro! We walked to the elementary school and played on their huge playground. It is the kind of playground that I wish my school had when I was kid-- totally awesome! Then we got home, William grilled out BBQ chicken while I made a pasta salad. Right before it was ready Brielle started fussing and I couldn't figure out why. She then took her diaper off and went upstairs. I figured she was tired (neither kid napped today) and wanted to take a bath and go to sleep. NOPE- she wanted to use the upstairs potty! She sat down and peed then went back downstairs! Amazing! So then we ate, the kids bathed, Brielle went to the potty and peed AGAIN before her diaper got put on, we read books, ate vitamins, brushed teeth, and the kids got tucked into bed.

So as I was saying, my life has changed so much. My incredible weekend revolved around those kids and spending time with them. Oh, the sunshine didn't hurt either! Four years ago an incredible weekend involved going to and partying then sleeping in and watching movies all day!!  My oh my how times have changed and I'm loving it.

Without further ado, may I present you with photos from Brenden's party....

These invites are just the cutest. A HUGE thanks to my good friend Betsy for designing them. She is a new stay at home mom and launched a graphic design business (because the twins aren't keeping her busy enough ;) ). I see very big things in her future! Her shop is Momma Cat Studio. Go check her out! She also did the food labels (you'll see those soon) and the thank you cards.

Welcome to the party! I got this great vinyl banner for free on Vistaprint. I had to pay something like $6 in shipping and handling, but I couldn't resist! I love it.

A shot of some of the spread. The iced tea & juice boxes were Robot Fuel. The water was Liquid Hydrogen. I meant to make strawberry lemonade but whoops. I guess I can still make it and enjoy it all by myself. I'm not at all opposed to that. Disregard the kitchen mess and the countdown that I abandoned pretty early on.... 

The cake. Oh the cake. The cake that I had the BRIGHT idea of making myself. Just like I had the bright idea of having the party at the house. I found some ready to roll icing at Sainsbury's, the supermarket in town. It seemed to be just like fondant, just not rolled out yet. Well, it wasn't just like fondant. I was planning on making rice krispies and covering them with fondant to make a robot. Thank God I found these perfect little wooden robots who didn't mind standing in as a cake topper. The icing would not have worked for all those dials and switches!! I promised William that my birthday cake making days were behind me. It's too stressful and the image in my head never matches the end result. What was the image in my head you ask? Well, it was a mix between this and this. The idea for making gears out of that icing was quickly scrapped and he got random, uneven shapes instead. It still tasted good though.

Next up we have the party favors. These were a big hit and understandably so. 

Lays Kettle Cooked chips disguised as computer chips. See? Promised I'd show you the labels!

Ritz Bits for the boring people-- grinding gears for the party people!

Again, my grand ideas got the best of me. I wanted to make a snack mix of my own. Instead, the guest got Honey Nut Chex Mix Nuts & Bolts. No one complained.

There is no cutesy name for pigs in a blanket as it turns out. We also had ball bearings (blueberries and grapes) and were supposed to have spare parts (remember that pasta salad that I made tonight? Those ingredients just so happened to be on hand....).

I did not get near as many pictures of the kids enjoying the party as I intended. It was chaos and I spent a good chunk of time in the kitchen overseeing an activity. You'll see why in a minute.


The paper chain going across the ceiling was way cuter than streamers. I used robot scrapbook paper and solid cardstock. They are still hanging because they are so precious!

Brenden and Ava enjoying their lollies on the stairs. It was this Ava's whose birthday he went to today. They are only a day apart in age. Sweetness.

 Brenden rocking the robot. Mommy couldn't find the pipe cleaners so there was no headband with antennas. The kids are still going crazy playing with this so I plan on still making antennas to go with it. My friend Bre came over before the party to help with everything. She completely put this together and designed it, along with so many other things. THANK YOU BRE!!! I seriously have the greatest friends who understand my inevitable unpreparedness and are there to step in and help!

Tucker being a robot. That's the Pizza Hut pal.

Activity time! Each kid got a ceramic robot to paint. I was brave and let it happen in my kitchen. Only the floors got messy! Now do you understand why I felt the need to stay in there and supervise instead of being out and being a shutterbug?

He was the first one in there painting and the second to last one out. The kid loves his arts :) I found these robots and aprons  on Oriental Trading. They have the fastest shipping!

Little miss Presley Kate and her pretty blonde hair painting her robot. She was too involved to look at the camera.

Ava, Brielle, and Ella painting their robots. Shame on me for not getting pink paint!

Jamie helping her boys paint the robots.

Present time! I guess it's time for action figures. He's getting so big!

There was a major crisis while opening presents. He hit his eye on a gift bag and when he went to rub it he pushed all his upper eyelashes under his bottom eyelid. You know how bad it hurts when one eyelash gets in your eye? Imagine a whole row of thick, insanely long lashes. He was hysterical and I was quite worried that he scratched his cornea or something. We finally pinned him down and pried his hand off his eye. William got the lashes out and 30 seconds later he was fine. However, he had to sit in Dad's lap for the rest of the present opening.

I made this awesome backdrop so that each kid could put on the robot and have their picture taken. That didn't happen. I did get a picture of Brenden though right before bedtime (rocking his robot PJ's!).

I'll leave you with us singing Brenden "Happy Birthday." The joy on his face says all you need to know about how much fun his party was! The Blogger video hosting is terrible quality, hence the YouTube link. Sorry!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Orange Rhino Challenge

Isn't it funny how just when you need something, you get it? I have been feeling like quite the sub-par parent lately. I'm in my last semester of school and taking my marketing capstone class and intermediate accounting, both of which require hours of sitting in front of the computer or with my nose in my schoolbook every day. William has really stepped up with taking on most of the cooking, a hefty share of the cleaning, and taking care of the kids while I work on homework. He is really amazing. However, it's left me feeling even worse about my abilities as a parent than ever.

I am not an even-tempered person. I get angry. I lose my cool. I yell at my kids when they are bad. I yell at my kids when they are being kids. I spank little bottoms when things get to that point. Brenden and Brielle are both sponges right now. The first three years of a child's life are critical for learning everything, including social/emotional behaviors. What am I teaching my kids? That it's okay to lose it when you're angry? Clearly Brenden has already learned that from me. He screams back, throws things, and hits me. And these aren't even his tantrums!! Brielle is starting to hit Brenden when she gets mad at him; no doubt she has learned this from him, but I feel that we need to correct this behavior before it gets worse.

So that brings me back to finding what you need just when you need it. I was browsing Pinterest for Valentine's gifts for teachers (which reminds me, I still need to do....) and came across an awesome blog called Happy Home Fairy with a lot of great ideas. I noticed there was a button on the side saying that the blog was a finalist in the 2013 Parents Blog Awards for the "Most Likely to Make Like as CHO* Easier." CHO meaning, Chief Household Officer. Cute. Normally, I'd ignore that, but I was drawn in. *Click*

Looking at the other blogs I saw one titled The Orange Rhino Challenge under the category of "Most Likely to Help You Achieve a Personal Goal." Again, *click*

This mom realized that she yelled a lot. Too much. She committed to no yelling at her kids (I think the husband is fair game!) for 365 days. If she yells, she starts over at Day 1. If she goes into a "raging scream" (oh yeah, been there more times than you'd believe) she's set back to Day -2. Woah. That's a serious challenge. My initial thought was, "nuh uh, no way, not with my two." I went to the beginning and saw that for the first couple of weeks she started over a lot. That was encouraging. After searching the blog a little more I found the most appropriate post ever. To say it brought a tear to my eye would be an understatement. I spent a good ten minutes crying after reading it because it resonated with me so much. I realized that to have a more positive relationship with Brenden I've got to be compassionate towards his needs, which are more challenging than most kids. He's just like me and therefore I should be the one who knows best how to help him. So that's what I'm going to do.

I hereby pledge to take the challenge. She just wrapped up her 365 days on Wednesday, February 6. I found her blog 2 days later. I found it right when I should have-- when I was at a breaking point and once she was finished. Seeing another scream-happy mom go a whole year without let me know that I CAN TOO. 

I've already told a few super special friends of mine about this. They are working towards it too. I love that I'll have some of my best friends on board with me to help me when times get tough. Thank you ladies <3

Friday, 18 November 2011

Brielle Madison Vessels

Throughout my pregnancy I was pretty sure that Brielle would not wait until 40 weeks to be born. To be honest, I wasn't even sure if I would make it to full term (37 weeks). When I hit that milestone I was so excited and just knew that any day would be the day!! 37 weeks came and went... then 38 weeks.... then 39 weeks... then I was at my due date. I could not believe that I was still pregnant! Miserable, huge, and waddling I was desperate. Sadly, I was only 1 cm dilated and 0% effeced so my midwife refused to induce me before 41 weeks.

At 40 weeks and 6 days I went in to have a foley bulb placed. Basically, this helps my cervix dilate so that I will have a better chance at having a successful induction. When it was placed I was about 1.5 cm dilated and about 50% effaced. Progress!! But still not anywhere near where I shoud be. So that was put in and fell out at about 9 pm that night which I thought meant I was dilated to at least a 4, so I was pretty stoked.

The next morning we went to the hospital for my induction. We arrived at about 5:15 am and my Pitocin got started at 5:50 am. Labor started slow, like normal. Then I started feeling it. All. In. My. Back. I felt NOTHING in my belly. It hurt so bad. Apparently Brielle was facing my belly instead of my back which is wrong and causes back labor. At 9 am I finally got a spinal block. I learned from my labor with Brenden to not let the pain get out of control. The spinal block was HORRIBLE. Yes, it relieved all of the pain but I felt like I was covered in mosquito bites. My entire body itched. I would have preferred the pain at that point. After that was going and I was feeling better I finally met Dr. Meldrum and he checked my cervix to see where I was. I was 3.5 cm (he stretched me to a 4 though) and about 75%. He was originally going to break my water to help things along but said that Brielle was still so high up (a -3 station) that he was scared of cord prolapse. This is where the umbilical cord comes through the cervix and during a contraction the blood supply could be cut off by the squeezing and seriously harm or kill the baby. We didn't want that. My goal when I went in was to have a baby around lunch time. He said that it didn't look like I'd be getting my lunchtime baby. I braced myself for another looonnng labor. I started feeling the contractions again as the spinal block wore off so they started my epidural. Let me tell you, I love those things. For 1) goodbye pain!, and 2) apparently I don't dilate without them.

Around noon I was laying in a weird position trying to get Brielle to turn her stubborn self the right way when I heard a pop and felt a gush. I called the nurse in and she rushed to check me to make sure that Brielle's cord hadn't come through when my water broke. It hadn't. She was checking me and said, "I don't feel your cervix..." As it turns out, I was fully dilated! From 4 cm to 10cm in 3 hours.... pretty impressive! The doctor was called and everything was prepared for Brielle's arrival as I labored down. At about 12:30 the nurse asked me to do a practice push. I did and she started yelling at me to stop pushing because Brielle's head was coming out! So after half a push, I stopped!! William's face was priceless, by the way! From then on out every time I had a contraction she would come check and make sure Brielle was still inside of me.

Finally the time had come for me to push her out. The nurses were taking bets as to how long it would take me to get her out. The first one said 3 pushes. Another one said that she would be born by 1:15 (20 minutes from the time she said that). They were both wrong. With one big, long push Brielle was born at 1:00 pm on the dot. No tears. She was a perfect 8 lbs 8 oz and 20 1/2 inches long with a head full of dark brown hair.

After Brenden's 23 hour long labor I was not expecting a speedy 7 hour one. Her birth is one that I would do again any day. It was just the beginning of her perfection. She rarely cries. Only really at night when she is getting tired. She smiles and coos more than ANY baby I've ever see at this age. Oh, and she's gorgeous. I could not have dreamed up a better baby. Lucky does not begin to describe it. My family is truly blessed by our two wonderful children <3

Dr. Meldrum, Brielle, and me (11.15.11)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Where's the motivation?

At the end of a term I am usually pumped to get it over with so am fairly on top of things. Not this time. I have a paper due in 26 hours and could care less about getting it done. In fact, a bubble bath is in order.

This week has been stressful, and I think Brielle is feeling it. Or at least my body is. The past two nights have been full of Braxton-Hicks contractions. They definitely aren't painful, just annoying and it's kind of hard to breathe when I'm having one. Great, can't wait until labor and full-blown contractions.

Brenden is doing great. I think he just went through a growth spurt. His 12-18 month Gymboree clothes were a little baggy on him but now fit him perfect. However, he's now in between sizes with Carter's. The 12 month stuff makes him look like a Jersey Shore castmate, while his 18 month stuff makes him look like a thug. He's still trying to cut his molars which makes me sad. Sorry I don't have more interesting news. Things have been boring.

Oh, he's learned how to give high fives and it just cracks him up to do it. That's pretty cute.

Eh, enough crap news.... William will be home sooo soooonnn!!!!! We are absolutely, crazy excited to have him back! I am excited to have him get up with Brenden and be able to sleep in as late as I want!!!! I've missed my husband tons, and I know Brenden has missed his daddy :)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Pampers Rant

Anyone that knows me knows that I cloth diaper. I love it. I have to buy disposables for Brenden to use at the CDC since they don't do cloth, and it drives me crazy. He also uses a sposie at night time since I can't see to figure out a good cloth combo to keep him dry for a 12 hour stretch. I'm going to start working on that again though.....

So what's the appeal of cloth? Sooo many things.

The most important one, to me, is that they don't contain chemicals that will be held against my baby's skin for 24 hours a day (okay, 23.5 if you count bath time and diaper changes). Dioxin, a carcinogen, is not a chemical I want my son to hang out with.

Second, the environmental factor. Disposable diapers are the third largest consumer item filling our landfills, and they take between 250-500 years to decompose. Estimates show that each year about 18 billion diapers are used and thrown away. You do the math - yikes.

Third is the cost. One cloth diaper cost between $15-25, which is about the same as 50 disposable diapers. Those are the "fancy" ones. He has some that cost less than $3 each (the "old fashioned" prefold kind that most people us as burp rags). That's the same as about 10 disposable diapers. I can guaratee you that each of Brenden's diapers will be used more than 10 times.... more than 50 times actually. We're saving lots of money, and would be saving more if the CDC didn't require sposies.

Last, is how freaking adorable they are. Seriously, have you see them? They come in really cute prints and  colors and make me smile.

So what's Pampers doing now? Coming out with Pampers Prints. Oh, vomit.

They have them hanging on a clothesline. Are they saying that you should dry your Pampers out and reuse them? Surely not, because that would decrease their profits... so what are they saying? It REALLY, REALLY drives me crazy that one of the reasons people use cloth is because of how cute they are (although I don't think that is anyone's primary reason) and now Pampers is coming in and trying to take that away. I could go on and on about how I feel about this, but I won't. All I can hope for is that this winds up backfiring and promoting cloth diapers.

End rant. For now.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Adventures of Brenden

Brenden did the CDC Tuesday-Friday this week. Tuesday and Wednesday weren't great, but I'm chalking that up to him cutting his molars. I didn't give him and Tylenol before he went so he was probably hurting and just wanting his mommy. Thursday and Friday were really good though! He had Tylenol before he went so I guess he was feeling good and had AWESOME days. They said he didn't cry when I left and didn't cry AT ALL the entire two hours he was there on Thursday. He played inside great, played outside great, and ate his lunch great. I'm so proud.

But my proudest moment was when I walked in to pick him up on Thursday. The kids were already laying down for a nap. They don't put a cot out for Brenden since I pick him up right before nap time. He was sitting next to a little girl who was laying down. The teacher was sitting on the other side of her patting her back, and he was sitting there rubbing her hair.

Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever heard of? It melted my heart. Yeah, Brenden is as rotten as they come. He loves his mommy and wants 195% of my attention 25 hours a day. However, he's also as sweet as they come.

And we'll turn from his sweetness to his rottenness now.

Brenden has a fascination with the dogs' water bowl. It drives me bonkers. The floor is always wet, he's always wet, it's just a mess. Today he was toting around our Vonage phone, which is fine; he does that a lot. My eyes weren't glued on him which I guess, in hindsight, was a mistake. I heard him splashing in the water and didn't think much of it because it's what he does. I turn around to look at him and he's splashing in the water with the phone. The phone is obviously ruined now. We went on base to the BX to buy a new phone so we could still be in contact with people in the States. All they have is British phones. Yeah, on base. Isn't that messed up?!?!?! I guess I'll have to order a new one off of Amazon and wait a week or so for it to get here. In the meantime, we won't be able to talk to any friends or family in the US :(  I have the phone sitting in a bowl of rice hoping it will dry out and maybe work again...... I don't have high hopes!

Love that kid.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

You gotta have a sense of humor....

Two stories.

First, I took Brenden to the CDC (Child Development Center... the daycare on base) yesterday for their monthly "Give Parents a Break" program. It's one Saturday a month for 5 hours and it's free. He did SO GREAT! There were only 4 kids in his age group there so the attention was a little more one-on-one I guess. The teacher said he had so much fun playing and that she would take him over the kids in her normal class any day. That made my day. I can't believe this is the same kid who screamed for 2 hours straight up there just a couple of weeks ago. He's really come a long way. Then she kept gushing about how cute he was. She said he's definitely going to be a heartbreaker with his perfect face and eyelashes. My thoughts, but her words. Well, I get a phone call saying that he fell and his tooth cut his lip. This exact same thing happened on Thursday up there. I actually didn't get to the phone because I was shampooing the carpets and didn't hear it- when I checked the message I had to listen to it twice just to make sure it wasn't an old message! Anyways, I didn't call back. I wasn't worried. He's a boy; bumps and bruises come with that. I'd be more worried if he never hurt himself because it would mean that either a) I was being way too overprotective, or b) he wasn't exploring. Anyways, I go to pick him up and they are just apologizing so much and telling me how bad they fell and yada, yada, yada. I kept reassuring them that it was okay!! They couldn't believe how cool I was about the situation. Of course I'm sad that he got hurt - that breaks my heart - but I can't help but laugh at what a little klutz he is. If I freaked out every time he got hurt I'd go crazy. You've got to laugh- you've got to have a sense of humor about things.

Next story.

Today Brenden and I had to go to base to return the Rug Doctor. By the way, my carpets look amazing. It'll probably be less than a week before they show proof that two dogs and a toddler live here, but for now they look great. We were going through the gate and Brielle was trying to escape through the front so I had my hand on my belly trying to keep her in :) The British gate guard checked my I.D. then we had this little conversation:

Him: "Not much longer now, yeah?"
Me: "I've actually still got over 3 months!"
Him: "3 months?!?! You're going to be huge!"
Me" *laughs* "You're telling me!"

At least someone said it, I guess. The looks on people's faces when I tell them I'm not due until Sepember 9 says it all, but no one's actually come out and said it (not strangers anyways!). A lot of women might have gotten offended by this, but if it's the truth then why get offended?? I've got a big belly, and I'm proud of it! I'm cooking a beautiful, healthy little girl and I love it. Again, you've GOT to have a sense of humor!

Not much else going on here. This term is getting ready to come to a close (yessssss!!) so I've been busy with schoolwork. I said this was my last term until January, but I'm addicted to school so I'm taking a speech class this summer. It's face-to-face though so I'm hoping it won't be so bad. Online classes take an insane amount of discipline since you basically have to teach yourself. I'm also taking an online resume writing class, but it's only 4 weeks long and a 1 credit course so I know it'll be pretty simple.

Hopefully I'll have my mom and sister out here to help. Then William will be home. Then my in-laws are coming out. So the journey of the single mom is about to end. Until the next time he's gone, at least.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Brielle Madison {22 weeks}

Today was our big anatomy scan!! Even though we already knew her gender and just saw her 6 weeks ago, I was still extremely excited! With good reason too-- she really hammed it up and showed us her personality which is strikingly similar to Brenden's.... oh boy

First, her adorable little profile. She's got quite a pointy nose. I'm sure it'll turn out looking oh-so-cute though.

 Here's her hand. I'm pretty sure she had her fingers bent in this picture. They look kind of short and nubby, but several times that I saw them I saw long, beautiful fingers. The ultrasound technician kept trying to get a good picture of both of her hands for the radiologist to look at... however, Brielle was being stubborn and was hiding one of them. She was also laying in a way so that we couldn't see her heart to get those measurements. I had to get up and go pee and walk around-- once I came back she had changed positions and we were able to get those measurements. We kept poking at her to get her to move but she just wouldn't do it--- stubborn, stubborn....

Just another profile shot.

This is never my favorite picture. Why they feel inclined to print out this angle I'll never know.... I always find it a bit creepy and skeletal/Darth Vadar-esque. But, we gotta include it.

Here's her little baby foot! Her little strong baby foot. That's the foot that I feel kicking me all day long. Love it.

And last, a body profile. I asked if she was able to get a full body profile, but unfortunately she could not. At this gestational age, the baby is too big to be able to do it. I guess we got lucky with Brenden at 20 weeks... Maybe we just barely did it in time to get that full body shot.

So those are the pictures that I got of our sweet baby girl. The ultrasound tech did check between the legs to make sure nothing "new" had developed. It hadn't. She's still a girl. My insides did a celebratory dance when I saw that! Also, she's measuring pretty much dead on for 22 weeks which is just great. Her head circumference varied from 22w1d to 22w3d. Her femur measured exactly 22 weeks. We saw the 4 chambers of her heart beating perfectly. Everything looked great. She went ahead and figured the measurements out so that she could tell me how much she was weighing.... she's a whopping 1 lb and 1 oz!!! She's still got about 7 lbs to go, but she's getting there! Unfortunately, since she couldn't get the whole body in one shot she was unable to tell me a good guess as to her length. Everything online says that at 22 weeks they are about a foot long. The entire time she was wiggling around. Luckily, she was in a pretty good position, she just wouldn't lay still. The ultrasound tech had to be super quick to take the screen shot that she needed for her measurements.... several times she was too slow and Brielle wiggled and caused her to miss the shot she needed, so she'd have to try again. I was hoping she would be laid back and chill, but if today is any indicator of her personality then we're going to have our work cut out for us!!!

Just like Brenden, I was holding my breath a little bit in the days leading up to this ultrasound... you just never know what they might find. Although I won't get the "official" results until my appointment with my midwife next week, everything seemed perfect.

Of course, how could it be any different? She is our perfect little princess after all.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Brenden's First Easter

Easter was last Sunday, and even though William was not here to celebrate with us we still made the best of it. The day started out with me making French toast for myself and Brenden. Super yummy! Brenden loves my French toast. Something about Brenden gobbling down something I make gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling. After breakfast we wandered into the living room to see what the Easter bunny left for Brenden.

His favorite was the ball. The ball is now sitting, deflated, on our porch. It was deflated within 3 days!!!! I couldn't believe it, and I'm so upset about it. Guess I'll buy a pump or a new ball. Good ole' E.B. also brough him some bubble stuff, Despicable Me on blu-ray, Baby Einstein's World of Words discovery kit, and a few little snacks. We haven't tried watching Despicable Me. Brenden isn't really a T.V. watcher at all. I guess I just buy the DVD's for when he's older.

After we were finished discovering his new stuff and playing with it, it was time to get ready for our day. I had big plans to take us to brunch on base where the Easter Bunny was making a special appearance. Brenden never got to see him due to this or that so I figured this was my last chance. Unfortunately, my car had big plans to run out of antifreeze so I did a mad dash around different stores trying to find some. Brenden was tired, which I knew, and fell asleep in the car. I took him out of the car to run into the store-- this is how he responded:

Nothing. He didn't wake up as I carried him around or put him back in the car seat. I figured brunch probably wasn't a good idea with a baby THIS tired. We went home, and he napped. Once he woke up we went to our friends' house for a big lunch followed by an Easter Egg hunt.

Brenden found 4 eggs. He would have found more, but he was happy with those four. He just popped a squat in the grass and played with them.

I finally corralled him to us, and he still just wanted to play with his eggs and other peoples'....

 He discovered a sandbox for the first time and wasn't real sure what to think. He'll probably be getting one of his own sometime in the future.

We then ate an extremely yummy lunch with some of the best ham I've ever had and a different variation of potato salad that was to die for. Yummm.  After that, Brenden played for a little while then started to get tired.....

.... so I cheered him up, took him outside, and made him get a picture with me before we left. He still wasn't a happy camper so getting a smile from him was out of the question, but at least we got a picture together on his very first Easter.