Thursday, November 18, 2010


If you know my child, you know that he has a serious friendship with his Yo Gabba friends.  Tonight I went to see my nephew and have a dinner with his cub scouts at this school.  When I left, Brayden told me "I very miss you Mommy"...meaning he would miss me while I was gone {aweeee}.

When I got home, he was upstairs, he came down asking Daddy who was here.  Daddy said he didn't I hid around the corner and popped out thinking he would be all excited to see me {you know, because he was going to miss me so much while I was gone}....and Brayden just plainly looked at me and said "Oh, I thought Plex was here".

Oooohhhh...well okay then!!!  Guess the Mommy novelty thing is running thin these days.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Doe re me...

Lastnight as we were getting ready for bed, Brayden came running into the bathroom with the extension from the vacuum using it like a microphone singing his little heart out!  He threw me for a loop when I heard him sing {and pretty on key} "Doe Re Me Fa So La Tee Doe"

I used to sing that to him about a year or more ago over and over again as he played the piano so he would start to recognize keys and notes.  He loved when I sang that to him, but never repeated it, and had not attempted it until lastnight.  I cannot believe he even remembered that!  I told Ron this was my baseball moment...that my child is singing, and loves it, and is actually good at it.  When I was pregnant I used to say that I was going to have a little boy that loved singing as much as I do, my little Josh Groban...haha!  I was so proud of my peanut lastnight, my heart swelled a little bit. 

Honestly...if he never enjoyed singing at all, I wouldnt mind, but since its been such a big part of my life, I kind of hoped he would love it, or at least be able to do it well.  I just thought it was really special, and very cool.  Mommy was impressed Bray!


The other night Brayden and Daddy decided to have Oreo's together.  Daddy taught Brayden how to dunk his cookies in milk, and Brayden could'nt have loved it more!  He dunked and ate oreo's and dunked some more.  His face, fingers and shirt were covered with drippy crumbling oreo goodness.  It was certainly a Daddy and Brayden moment to remember.  I sat on the couch giggling at them both and snapping pictures of course.  I love moments that are simple and perfect like this.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My little flying monkey...

For the last few years, I have really been wanting to make Brayden a Flying Monkey costume from the Wizard of Oz.  I wasn't quite sure how I would pull it off exactly, but knew I wanted to try making this for him.  This year, this Momma was on a mission to get it done.  I searched everywhere for grayish/blue furry fabric so I could match the monkey exactly to the old movie.  I could not find it anywhere.  {sigh}

I finally settled on some white furry fabric and decided it would still look cute even so!  Next, I searched for really cool feathers so I could hand make the wings for the costume.  I bought 6 bags of feathers, ended up only needing two of I'll just hope that I need them for something else soon!!!

I started making his costume on Saturday, October 30th...yes I am a huge procrastinator.  I cut, and sewed and cut {ran and bought another yard of fur}, and continued sewing for most of the day!  I finished Halloween Day at about 2pm...phew!

I will add that although Brayden DID end up liking his costume, that on Saturday he was trying on the suit before it was finished and got fur in his mouth.  He immediately started dry heaving, and yelling "get it off me, I don't like it anymore...fur is not my favorite snack!"  I'm not even kidding...this dramatic little child of mine ;-)

Thankfully by Sunday, he was ready and raring to go putting his costume on.  He was so excited, and looked like such a soft little monkey, I just wanted to pet him!  ha!

I added some fishing wire to his tail so it would wag as he walked, and the wings turned out so cute...even if they did require me sitting gluing each one on one by one for over 4 hours!!! Gotta love hot glue gun burns though right?  Well...they were totally worth it, he looked adorable.  I am so happy with how this whole costume turned out!  Most importantly...he had a blast trick or treating.  He kept telling people "thank you" and "Happy Halloween", and even knocked on one door screaming "Hello, Lakewood Fire Department!!!"  He's a hoot!

Happy Halloween 2010 Brayden...or....Flying Monkey I should say!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Diapers + Baby Showers=Diaper Cakes!!!

Last weekend I was invited to my cousin Alicia's baby shower for baby #2.  This was more of a diaper party actually because she knows she is having another boy, and really did not need anything other than just that...diapers.

So, I decided to make her a fun little diaper cake.  Really...these are so practical, fun and so cute!  It was a huge hit at the party, and she enjoyed it very much.  I {heart} baby showers.

Here is the diaper cake I made for her which included: 100 size 1 diapers, baby shampoo, lotion, body wash, wipes, 2 pacifiers, desitin, and baby powder.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Brayden and I went to a play date today at my good friend Paula's house with Miss Rosalie and Benjamin, two of Brayden's best friends.  Benjamin and Rosalie are closer in age to eachother, and Brayden is almost a year older than both of them, so watching them all play is interesting.  Today, Benjamin pushed Rosalie down a few times, and Rosalie began to cry each time.  After one of Benjamin's time outs today Brayden says to Rosalie "Im sorry Benjamin hit you Rosalie, I make you happy now-I make Benjamin happy now too!"  I thought it was sweet that Brayden recognized the interaction between Rosalie and Benjamin, and that he was trying to play peace maker in the situation. 

On our way home Brayden was chatting with me about his day, which is typically what he does when we leave play dates.  Today, this was our conversation, and it was just so sweet!!!  It was just so like him to feel this way, and to express it as he did, it stole my heart.  God I love him....

Brayden: Mommy, Im sorry.
Me: Why are you sorry baby, you didnt do anything you need to be sorry for, why are you saying you are sorry?
Brayden: Well, my feelings are hurt.
Me: Why are your feelings hurt baby?
Brayden: um, uh, well....Benjamin hurt my feelings when he pushed Miss Rosalie, and and um...she cried, and it hurt my feelings....
Me: It hurt your feelings when Rosalie was sad?
Brayden: Yeah, Rosalie cried and it hurt my feelings....but I make her happy, and I make Benjamin happy too!
Me:  Awe....I think its very sweet that you felt bad for Miss Rosalie Bray, but Benjamin didnt mean to hurt her feelings, or your feelings...he is younger than you are baby.
Brayden: Benjamin tell Miss Rosalie Sorry....
Me: Yes, Benjamin did the right thing by saying he was sorry to her, that was very very nice of him, and Im glad that you tried really hard to make both of them happy afterwards too, that is a good big boy thing to do and Mommy is proud of you buddy!
Bray: I knowwww......thank you Mommy!

I drove silent for a moment taking all of that in.  My mind was piecing together the events of the day, and his reactions, and our conversation.  I sweet is it that he felt sadness observing Rosalie's hurt feelings, and also sadness for Benjamin becuase he knew Ben didnt want a time out, and that it hurt his feelings too.  I was proud that Bray felt compelled to make them both happy again, and that he recognized that was the right thing to do.  It was kind, it was genuine, and it was compassionate.  It's one of those moments you realize that all of your reminding, nagging, correcting, and talking to your child DOES make sense to them, and they are in fact taking it all in within their little worlds.  I'd like to think he will never lose that part of his personality, and that his first instinct will always be to attempt to make others feel better.  Maybe I am doing this right afterall....right now at least anyways ;-)

Tooth Fairy 101

Brayden has been infatuated with Yo Gabba Gabba lately.  He loves the new episode where Muno is talking about losing his teeth, and the entire process of your tooth falling out, the tooth fairy, etc.  I have seen the episode several times and have heard the story about the tooth fairy and so forth, its all good and fine.

Today on our way to a play date Brayden told me that his tooth was falling out.  {He is purely being facetious} but either way I responded with "No honey, your teeth are not going to fall out like Muno's for a few years, you still have some time love."  I then thought it was a perfect opportunity to dramatically tell him the story of the tooth fairy, and how when he loses his first tooth, we will place it under his pillow in a neat little container, and when he's fast asleep, a beautiful tooth fairy will fly into his bedroom, lift his pillow and take the tooth, but that she will probably leave him some money or something else really special in return for getting his tooth.  There was silence for a moment, and I knew he was just trying to process that information, thinking he would be all tickled and excited about this great story of the tooth fairy I had just told him.  Instead he replies very bluntly and without expected enthusiasm saying, "No Mommy, that's not true, just not true Mommy."

"Ugh, yes it is baby!"  He says, "No, no Mommy, that's NOT true!" 

I quickly changed the subject and started in on Santa Claus instead...praying all the while he would not dispute me on this one...which thankfully he didn't ;-)

What a stinker.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Brayden's Yo Gabba Gabba Birthday Bash-3 years old!!!

This year Momma went bonkers!!!  I really really wanted to throw Brayden a party he would never forget.  I asked him a few months ago what type of party he wanted, and he immediately said Yo Gabba Gabba.  Unfortunately...I could not find many of the things I wanted for his party at any stores....which meant making most of everything.  My Mom and Aunt JoAnn, and good friend Bonnie helped me with tissue papering, as one Gabba character took almost a whole day to complete.  Here are some of the fun pictures from his party!!!  He had such a great time, enjoyed the 60 some people that attended, and even got up to the microphone and sang Happy Birthday while telling everyone "thank you everyone for coming to my party-have to go eat cake now".

{When Brayden first arrived at the fire hall before anyone else}...he was quite shocked and excited!!!

The Yo Gabba characters I made {thankfully with help}
Party hats and horns!!!
Tables with puffs I made in Gabba colors...
Foofa wands I made in all different colors for the kiddos.
Marshmallow & frosting sticks...

Animal cracker scones
The crayon aprons my mom made for each child at the party...
Ron took the children on a tour of the fire trucks and each one got to sit inside and have their picture taken by their parents.  Lights on and all!
Brobee cake!!!  I made it and after it was mixed realized I added 1/2 cup of oil where I should have used 1/3 was a moist cake I must say, but very yummy!!!
Gift time!!!
Mommy and Brayden the next day at Applebees for his actual birthday.  They sang Happy Birthday to him and gave him his very own "special surprise" as he called cream sundae!!! 

Hope you had the best birthday ever bubby...we love you!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010


Last weekend Ron was in his best friends wedding.  It was beautiful and special.  I will post more on that later...but that meant that we had to drive to Erie to pick up his tuxedo.  At the tux place they had a ping pong table, and Brayden had so much fun playing it the few times we were there in the last few weeks before the wedding. 

Today we drove back to Erie to pick up Grandma from the airport.  As soon as we headed down the main strip to the mall Brayden asked us if we were going to the "Ping Pong place".  Ron and I giggled that he knew and recognized where we were.

As we passed the "ping pong place" headed toward the airport, our GPS started telling us which way to go.  From the backseat Braydens says "what?"  to the female voice on the GPS.  Ha ha I know.  I started to explain to him that its just a voice on a machine that tells Mommy and Daddy which way to go in the car so we don't get lost.  I didn't get an immediate response, and I figured I wouldn't because that's alot to understand for a two year old right?  Brayden then says.."Um...well....Ma'am...where is the ping pong place?"...."Ping pong place where are you?". 

We were doubled over in hysterics at that point.  What a funny little guy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Our baby will soon be 3!!!

Brayden is turning 3 this weekend.  I cannot believe how fast the last 3 years have gone.  I told Ron the other night that I remember saying, "I can't wait until he can smile, laugh, crawl, walk, talk, sing, dance, hug, kiss, snuggle, being potty trained, his big boy bed...everything"....but now that he has done, and he doing all of those things...I am craving just wanting my baby baby back ;-( 

It makes you realize very quickly that you need to embrace every single moment in their lives.  Take time to enjoy the simplest of moments.  Those moments when he wants to snuggle on the couch and watch cartoons on a lazy non busy day.  Moments when we are blowing bubbles, playing with him in the tubby, combing his hair, or snuggling with him at bedtime.  We never get those moments back, so we should inhale them every second we can. 

Right now Brayden is growing like a weed.  He is 3ft. 3 inches tall already, and 46 pounds!!!  He is a tank.  I can barely lift him up anymore.  He loves baseball and is actually quite good at it.  He loves singing songs, shaking his tooshy while saying "uh oh"...and talking with Mommy and Daddy.  He is very sociable, and not shy at all!!!  He loves to make people laugh with his one liners he knows he will get a reaction "Are you kidding me" or "Pee-U Good Night" or "Oh my shucks"...."Jeeze Louise"..."you're making me crazy nuts"..."Im mad and I quit {care of Ni Hao Kailan}"..."Im runnin away {care of Little Bill}"..."Hey Dude, come here"..."seriously!"..."Hey babe!" or "Honey, babe...Honey!"  {Thats usually what I say to Ron so Brayden naturally copies that}...yes yes I know those are all things that make him appear as quite the stinkbutt, but really he isnt.  He is polite, well mannered and very sweet in nature.  He always says please and thank you and your welcome.  He calls ladies Miss, or Ma'am, tells Mommy "You're beautiful Mommy", and says "I love it" whenever he is truly excited about something!!!  He is just a trip.  He makes me giggle when I least expect it.  He is intuitive and gentle.  He doesn't bite, or kick or hit.  He takes turns with toys at play dates, and loves to give hugs.  Ok...Ill stop gushing over my peanut, but I am proud of the little guy is growing up to be. 

I am constantly reminded there is a God when I look at my son.  I am reminded that I have more in life than I could ever hoped for, and am grateful and happy that we are all happy and healthy. 

Brayden has recently started saying prayers every night before bed.  He sounds so precious...I need to tape record it some evening so I will never forget how adorable he sounds while saying this every night before bedtime: "Dear Lord, thank you for everything.  Thank you for my family,  my friends, and my pets.  Please Guardian Angels...always watch over me and my family and pets...keep us safe, and happy and healthy.  Tell my family in heaven I said hello.  I love you God...Amen."  Occasionally he will add names like..."thank you for my brookey {his cousin} or Grandma, or Shadow and Chewbacca, or Mommy and Daddy.  It is soooo sweet.  We read Playful Puppies every night before bed at his request....then he tried to read it to us.  He ALMOST has the entire book memorized...and copies the same voice inflection.  Its too adorable.

Although I am excited to celebrate his 3rd birthday and grateful to God for this beautiful little boy he gave us...I am sad he is growing up so fast.  Its breaking my heart a little bit. 

Happy Birthday baby....we love you so much!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This is AWESOME!!!

Yo Gabba that is...yes...Brayden's 3rd Birthday is right around the corner, and I have been working like a mad woman trying to make everything for his party.  A few months back we asked him what kind of party he wanted, and he insisted on Yo Gabba Gabba!!!  He named off a list of things he wanted which included Lemonade, chocolate covered strawberries, a chocolate Brobee cake, Brobee games, and strawberry ice cream.  He has NON STOP been talking about his party ever since.  He is inviting everyone he sees by saying "come to my party please?". 

So, I searched for supplies to buy, but fell short both with funds, and finding places to buy Yo Gabba themed items.  I did however find a whole host of ideas online from other savvy Momma's that have already thrown Gabba themed parties.  So...I have been creating at my dining room table for the last few weeks now.  So far....we have like 30 of these puffs...
All Yo Gabba primary colors of course.  I have also been painstakingly...{and that is NO understatement} been making these with tissue EVERY.SINGLE.CHARACTER.

We will also be having all of these fun things as well...ALL HANDMADE...

It has become nothing short of insane.  Not to mention our guest list is already over 100 people, 60 of which have RSVP'd they are coming.  We will have Yo Gabba music, games, a Brobee cake, ice cream, yummy food, balloons galore, Foofa wands, and Yo Gabba Land will be complete for the day!  I am so happy I can do this for Brayden, and he is sooooo excited.  I hope he loves his birthday party, and has a wonderful day. 

I will happily post pictures once all of my projects are complete, and add tutorials on how to make everything too!  Its been a TON of work, but will definitely be worth it. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Looking up to Daddy...

Recently Ron was voted into one of our local fire departments as a new volunteer.  He has truly enjoyed volunteering for the department thus far, and is learning so much.  This new endeavor of his has also afforded him the opportunity to ride along in, and help out during fires, medical calls, etc.  He loves being in a position to be able to help people, be involved in his community and further his education through them.  Brayden loves that this means Daddy also got a key to the department, and can go and tour the fire trucks whenever he wants too...which means Brayden gets his fill of seeing the big fire trucks whenever he requests to do so.  A few months ago...Ron took him to the station for the first time so Brayden could climb in the trucks, rescue boats, and tour the department.  Brayden was nothing short of awestruck.  I think Daddy was too a little bit by being able to bring Brayden there.  Brayden thinks Daddy is more than way cool now!  Here they are "playing" at the fire station in the big fire was truly fun to watch them be boys that day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Be still my heart

Today after Brayden and I hit the local Wegmans picking up some things for dinner...we arrived home and I {not wanting to make more than one trip inside with groceries}....grabbed all of the bags and carried them to the side door to set them down and get Brayden out of the van. 

Brayden asked me why I dropped the bags, and I chuckled and told him they were heavy!!!  He quickly bent over and grabbed a bag with all his little might and said "I help you Mommy-it's heavy!"  I opened the side door and he waddled up the stairs and all the way into the kitchen carrying it for me.  He worked so hard, and was so proud of himself for being a big helper!!! 
I thought for sure he would get inside the door and set it down before making it all the way, but he did'nt, he struggled and worked so hard!!!
 I was so proud of him for being such a great little guy!!! 
 Moments like these remind me we are doing something right....

♥ Be still my heart ♥

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


My poor camera has over 400 pictures stored on it now that I cannot get off and onto the computer.  It's seriously been like two months of taking pictures that are stuck on my camera card. My camera cord is not working {for some reason} and our disk drive is broken on the laptop so I cant even get them on a disk to upload them...argh!!!!  I promise I have tons of pics to post, just need to find a solution to my camera debacle first. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day...

Since this is really the first official year that Brayden can speak well enough to actually tell me Happy Mother's Day...this day proved to be a very special one.

After some prompting from Daddy....Brayden ran up to me with a huge and beautiful smile and told me very gently "Happy Mother a Day Mommy!"

As soon as I smiled and cheered because he was so sweet...he got even more happy and gave me a huge hug and a kiss.

What more does a Momma need on Mothers Day?

I did it!

I did something I have feared doing for a long time. 

I got back on a stage, under the spotlights, and in front of an audience, and sang my heart out.

I sang "I love Paris in the Springtime".

I felt nervous at first, but it melted away the second I took one step back on the stage.

It was the old Shannon I remembered being growing up performing on a stage.

It was the old voice I remember hearing growing up performing on stage.

It's amazing when you think you've lost something you once loved so much...

It was the most amazing feeling Ive had in a really long time.

I was not lost...the old me is still very much there...and I cannot wait to do it again.

The song even sounded better on stage than it had during my rehearsals...

It's like I came alive on stage again ;-)

I felt strong, I felt confident, and afterwards...proud of myself...

Sometimes doing things you fear is worth it.  I showed myself that I could do it again. 

I did it!

{hopefully I will have some video to post soon}

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Beautiful Day to Play...

Today Brayden begged me to go outside in the yard to play with him.

He asked me with such zeal and excitement in his made me feel young again.

We ventured into the yard and he told me it was a "beautiful day to play Mommy!"

Indeed it was.

I sat down in the damp grass with my camera to watch him play, and capture his zest for the most simple and pure fun two people could have together...the appreciation of the others company, and the joy we would soon find in it...together.

He picked Dandelions and handed them to me.

He then picked a few more and wanted me to place them behind his ears because he says he is a "rich princess"...something he has clearly picked up from his 4 year old cousin Ryleah.

Then he wanted to blow the white whispy weeds into the wind...and I took pictures because he was so determined and adorable.  I giggled quietly as I observed him.

He knew my undivided attention was on him, and only him.

He kept running over to me and giving me hugs and kisses.  He would stand behind me at other times and wrap his little chubby arms around my neck and kiss my head telling me he loved me.

He sang to me, danced for me, played hide and seek with me, and even sat with me while we took pictures of ourselves together. 

He melted away my day to day life for a few hours today.

We ignored responsibility...

We ignored the phone...

We ignored anything and everything else going on in the world except for the little world we created for ourselves in our own backyard...

After was in fact...

 a beautiful day to play!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This week...and weekend...

{I should first warn you I have no pictures because I can't upload them anymore on my computer-it's having issues...and my poor camera card is racking up more pictures than I can keep track of, so we are apologies.  Hopefully I can figure this out soon...have some cute ones to show...when I can}

This week Brayden has had the flu bug.  We spent most of Tuesday on the couch trying to catch up on some sleep.  Monday night as I crawled into bed rather late {or early I should say since it was morning} I discovered Brayden was running a fever.  I tried to give him Motrin to cool down his fever, but he was not even trying to take that at 4 a.m.  He started crying in hysterics, and rather than stress him out any more with that or the thought of a warm tubby...I decided to do the cold wash cloth over his head.  He eventually started to cool off, but only to wake with projectile vomit all over Ron and I. 

At this point it was almost 5:30am, and we decided to just pack up the sick arsenal and head downstairs.  Towels, blankets, pillows, thermometer and Motrin soon took residence in our livingroom, with Brayden laying comfortably on the couch with a bucket next to him.  We watched cartoons, and he found his second wind at about 6am.  Needless to say-and to make a long story short...I only slept for two short hours from 9am-11am roughly when he finally crashed again.  I then stayed up all day until 10:30 pm Tuesday evening before I finally hit the bed so hard I was a bit frightened I might never wake again ;-) At that point, I had calculated that I had been awake {-my two hours of sleep Tues. morning}...for 34 read correctly...34 hours awake!!! 
Surprised I am still not asleep aren't you?

I have since figured out what day it is, and have sprayed my poor house from top to bottom trying to rid it of the ick.  Brayden is feeling a little bit better, but has not fully recovered all the way.  He keeps asking to go to the that's a good sign...but then he throws up again, and I wonder when we will ever make it back there???

I have also been rehearsing like a mad woman this week for a show I am in this weekend.  It's called "Come Fly with Me", and is put on as a fundraiser for Holy Family Catholic Church in town.  My childhood friend Ylsa and her husband run a company that puts on these fundraisers, and I am really excited to be a part of it.  I will admit though-that I am more nervous than I ever had anticipated I would be.  First I was supposed to be singing the song "Georgia on my mind"...but's a really boring song to me-and although I had it figured out, just did not feel 100% confident with we gave that to another girl...and I am now singing "I love Paris in the Springtime"...which is more in my range, and I can really have fun with it.  Did I mention the show is Saturday night?  Yes, and I just started this new song wish me lots of..."break a legs". 

I am excited about it though...performing is something I've always done all my life, but had been away from it for so long that it feels good to be back at it.  Hopefully this is just me getting my feet wet before I decide to dive back into theater too!  Time will tell....actually my performance in this will tell.  Ha!

Ron has started a new job, and so far is enjoying it-so that is good.  He is also busy volunteering for the local fire department, getting ready to return to college, playing baseball on the adults men league and coaching Babe Ruth as well as the Allstars this he is nothing other than very busy these days...and we are not in any shortage of a full summer calendar full of games to attend ;-)

So...other than all of that exciting news...we are just enjoying the beautiful weather we have been having, doing a little spring cleaning curb treasure diving {projects to come soon}...and most importantly we are hoping Brayden is back to his playground loving, sun kissed skin and rosy cheek days here shortly!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A heavy heart

Do you ever have the feeling that your heart is heavy and you can't pinpoint exactly why?  I suppose that is where I am at right now.  This last year was hard on us.  Emotionally, physically, and in a way that makes you happy and sad all in the same breath.  This is not to say "whoa is me" or anything, I know many others go through struggles too, this post is not about that.  It's just a way to try to communicate to myself in writing, and to document growth and experiences in our family-be them happy or sad...and yes....we all have both moments in our lives.  The really great ones we want to embrace and hold onto, and the ones that make you want to learn, grow and yes...sometimes grieve.

I have had some strange experiences in the last month or so.  It has really grabbed me in an emotional way that makes my heart heavy.  I am not depressed or anything, just feeling emotions I did not allow myself to feel for awhile...God only knows why. 

Some of the really important and fundamental foundational relationships of my life are in dissaray right now.  Relationships with those thiat were once my rock, once my breath of fresh air, my place of safety and comfort, and that were once a very big part of who I was when I was in their presence.  Relationships that have been there so very long that they define a huge part of who you are, and how you feel on a daily basis.  Those kind of realtionships.

Not just one person....many actually, all at the same time.  So quickly things changed with all of them that I spent a week almost daily in tears.  I spent many many moments reflecting and replaying events, and thinking, and crying some more.  There are so many things I don't understand.  The worst part is wondering if it's actually that I don't get myself, not that I don't get them.  The scariest part is wondering if I have this vision of myself that really isnt so.  The hardest part has been finding who I am without them around, or without having them in my day to day life.  The loneliest part is feeling like what you thought was there at one point maybe was never actually there at all...if you are just one of these people that sees things through rose colored glasses until you are hit with this epiphony that all was not what you thought it was at all.  Argh!

I know probably a lot of that doesnt make much sense.  It doesnt to me either, so don't feel bad!

Although Ron and Brayden are my whole {and wonderful} world....not having those other important connections in my life are hard.  It has been a month full of reflection and introspection.  I hate these moments in my life quite honestly.  I hate dissention.  I hate hurt feelings, and I hate feeling angry and sad at the same time, both so equally that it hurts my heart.  I hate that I have regrets of things I should have said years ago.  I have regrets of not standing up for myself earlier and making it clear to others that even though I need their help and support at times, that I deserve respect too!  I am a human being with feelings too!  I am no saint, but can say I have always been careful about others feelings and not to hurt anyone in a way that would shake them emotionally.  I think that is the worst kind of pain you can impose on another human being and it's wrong.  I've been shaken.  I am mad at myself for it....because I am stronger than that...this....whatever it is.

This is the time in my life I dreamed about once.  I dreamed I would have lots of family around my child-who would want to be around him, be around me, watch and encourage my child, play with him-me-us...and to be quite must have been those damn rose colored glasses.  Instead-those things don't really happen.  At least they don't here.  Maybe that's why I embrace every little moment I can.  Maybe that's why I relish and really love those times when I know it's going to be awhile until I again have that wonderful opportunity.  I dreamed that I would hold onto those that knew me best for if anything were ever to happen to me someday with all of my health issues that these fundamental people would be there to tell my son stories about who I was, what I believed in, what I wanted most for him, and that he would be close enough to them to feel the same safety I once felt from them. Those things feel gone now.  That feels scary, and that makes me angry.  The people that you would expect to understand you the most instead mock you for being exactly who you are, and for the circumstances you face.  I feel foolish, like they thought or think I am some joke or something.  I know I am not, but it does not make it any easier.

 I am scared that someday something will happen to me.  I am scared that Brayden will be lost, will have questions, will have feelings that are going to be too strong for him to navigate on his own.  I am scared Ron will shut down and not be much of immediate support for Brayden.  I am scared of a lot of those things.  I am scared that everyone who knew me up until now that I kept close to my heart is no longer close to where does that leave Brayden?  I know you probably think it's silly for me to worry about these things, but what kind of mother doesnt?  Especially one with lots of health issues and no resolve for those in the near future?  Those thoughts haunt me the most when events like these occur in my life.  Maybe that is why my heart feels heavy, yet heavy in a way that makes me more grateful than the average person because I know I have to be, want to be, and need to be for that he can learn happiness from me, love from me, safety from me before I can't be here to teach him those things on my own.  I need to show him enough love and stength that should he need those tools someday he can emulate-navigate his way through those fears with the tools he once saw me embrace. 

I am seeing things pretty clearly now, and although I don't love what I see all the time it doesnt mean that I cannot make my little safe bubble pleasant.  I am trying to do that right now.  I am enjoying Brayden and Ron and the dogs, and hoping that things smooth out soon, but my expectations are not as high as they once were anymore.  Things are a bit more simplified by all of this dissaray that I dislike so much. 

This too shall pass right?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Five Little Monkeys...

Brayden's favorite book right now is Five Little Monkey's.  I honestly had not remembered the book until I finished reading all of it, and midway through the book I looked at Ron as we lay in bed with Brayden and quietly mentioned that I thought this book was a little disturbing ;-) 

Five monkeys getting gobbled up by the mean old crocodile?  Seriously?  I will admit though, that it turned out okay in the end...and now that I have added lots of theatrical voice inflection and jumping as we read together at night, Brayden enjoys it THAT.MUCH.MORE.  Ha!

So...very matter of factly....Brayden requests this book each night now.  He loves it.  Once we are finished reading it, he wants to read to us...and has memorized the book pretty much....his favorite part is..."SNAP!" when the crocodile eats the monkeys.  Oh well...guess it's not too disturbing if this seems to be his ultra favorite part right?

Too funny.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Love you more!!!

Tonight Brayden went with me to a meeting I had at the theater for an upcoming show I am going to be in {more on that later}....

He played on the stage, sang into the microphone, and ran around the theater much like I did as a child.  I loved watching him enjoy himself so much.  What made it even sweeter, was that he played with my childhood best friend Ylsa's daughter Rya.  It was very sweet to watch them interact, and we giggled at how cute it was and briefly recalled some of our own fun memories.

On the way home I told Brayden how proud of his behavior I was and that I loved him.  The rest of our conversation went like this...
{and I had to post it because it made me gut giggle out loud in the van on the way home}.

Me:  You were such a good big boy tonight Brayden, thank you so much....I love you buddy.

Bray:  I love you too Mommy.

Me:  I love you more...

Bray:  I love you more!

Me:  I love you more than the sunshine!!!

Bray:  I love you more-sunshine ;-)

Me:  I love you more than candy!

Bray:  I love you more-candy ;-)

Me:  I love you more than M & M's....

Bray:  {silence}.....Thanks Mommy!

Stinkbutt doesn't love me more than M & M's ;-) 

Oh least it made me almost spit coffee out of my nose as I gut giggled from his innocent and honest response!!!

Bray:  Mommy, what happened?

Me:  Nothing Bray-you made Mommy laugh-you're funny dude!

Bray:  Oh....thanks Mommy!

God Love Him.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I swear...

I swear that I will be back to blogging more often very soon.  Famous last words eh?  Seriously though...I have a ton of things to write about, and a lot more pictures to upload here soon.  We have been so busy going to the playground every single joke.  I never thought those were words I would say in the same sentence, but they are...and it feels great to get to play with my little man every single day in the gorgeous weather.  I know I am falling behind on documenting his life, our moments, all of it...and I will get caught up now I promise.

So...please check back soon as I have a lot of funny stories to share, and I have vowed to spend a lot less time on Facebook and more time back on my blog...;-) ha ha! 

Lots of smiles-Shannon

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brayden Letter {March 2010}


You are growing so fast right now Mommy and Daddy cannot keep up with you and all of the new things you are doing!  You are talking up a storm lately, and love trying to pronounce big words.  You get such a kick out of it.  {phenomenol} {exquisite} {ridiculous} {awesome} are some of your favorites, and it makes us giggle that you actually use them in the right context!  You are a funny little guy.  You love books and constantly beg us to "buy it" when you see a good one you want to have.  At the store you will play with toys in the cart and ask us to put them "back on shelf" before we leave so they will be there next time you come.  Then you beg for the books....{smart kid}!  You know we won't say no to buying those.

You love pineapples and call them t-apples.  You and bubbles have a serious relationship right now.  You put your sneakers on to go out on the patio daily to play with them...clothes on or not!!!

You tell us you love us, offer us hugs and kisses now.  I love that.

You beg to hold the door open for Mommy whenever you can, and especially at the grocery store when I open the door to get the milk.  You remind me to buy diapers and milk every single time we go to Walmart.  Must mean this is the norm items you always see us buying there.

You are so polite.  You always say thank you, please, and you're welcome.

You crave being our "big helper"  You help Mommy stir everything in the kitchen when I make dinner.  You want to help me push the shopping cart.  You want to help me close the doors in the house. You want to help me do my hair. You want to help me brush my's all so beautiful and so sweet.  I hope you never lose that.

You love to play catch with us.  You throw left handed.  You love to draw and color whenever you can, and mostly you do that as well with a left hand.  Time will still tell on that one Im sure, but I think it's safe to say you will be a lefty.  You love to be outside.  You are getting so much better with walking with us and staying close.  We can now go to the mall sans stroller-and I am not running the whole time.  We can now tell you that is "far enough" and you know that means to stop walking and wait for us. 

You are the best snugglebear there is.  You cuddle so well, and so sweet.  You sleep 12-13 hours a night, and always wake up with a smile on your face saying "morning Mommy".  I love how you pitter patter into the bedroom some nights and want to sleep with us.  I love waking up to you laying on my hair, with drool on my pillow, and even those mornings where you are hot and sweaty and pretty much STUCK to me!!!  I love it, and I would never trade it for anything in the whole world. 

We love you so much Brayden, and cannot wait to watch you continue to grow, make us giggle and teach us that life is about the little things, the moments, and this time right now. 

Love you Bray


Tomorrow it is officially April.  April Fools Day at that!  I can say we have no jokes to share at this time.  Life has been somewhat boring for us lately...and for that I am grateful.  Boring can be good. 

Boring has allowed us to enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having.  We have enjoyed blowing many bubbles outside...on an everyday basis.

Boring has afforded us many trips to the playground, as it IS Brayden's favorite place to go these days...when he is not blowing bubbles that is.

Boring means going to bed early, and laying with Brayden reading books and chatting before bedtime about all of the things we did that day!

We spent much of March being just that.....Boring....and it was PERFECT.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Don't wake a sleeping dog :-(

Hopefully I am officially back to blogging, after my two week hiatus, or more I guess.

We have had a rough few weeks here.  Two weeks ago...Brayden was running into the kitchen and tripped and fell.  The fall would have been fine had he not landed either on, or very close to our 13 year old labs tail {who I think was sleeping at the moment of the fall}.  Just as I went to react to the fall...our beloved dog reacted much faster than I...and bit Brayden right in the face.  Bacca has never bit anyone, he is a loving a caring dog...doesnt growl, nip or otherwise.  I'm sure it was that he hates his tail being touched, and I think Brayden landed on it.  Don't wake a sleeping dog huh?  Not only that, but the fall was loud, and Brayden was right in front of the dog dishes as well.  NOT a good combination. 

Bacca immediately backed off realizing he had just bit Brayden, but I experienced that Mommy adrenaline.  Osteo and all...I lifted our 40 some lb lab off of his feet and relocated him across the kitchen to grab Brayden off of the floor.  At first I glanced at Bray and thought "oh thank God it did not break the skin".  Just as I picked him up...I realized it in fact had broken the skin...and pretty badly.  I carried him into the livingroom and just sat with him for a moment on the couch trying to grasp my thoughts and what had just happened without panicking.  Ron was at work.  Bacca came over and tried to lick me, lick Brayden.  I just held Braydens precious little bleeding face into my chest as I searched around the livingroom for something to put on his face to soak up the blood.  I grabbed the wipes hoping it would not burn, but it was all I had that was clean enough to use on his wounds right mind was racing thinking of infections, scarring, stopping the blood, calming him down...keeping my eye on the was an insane moment I would NEVER want to re-live again.

I carried Brayden and the cordless upstairs to the bathroom.  I called Ron and told him to not to panic, but what had happened, and he hung up saying "I'm on my way".  I only had some antiseptic wash in the cabinets, so I gently started washing his face with that and some gauze we had on hand.  I put neosporin on it, and we pretty much flew out the door within seconds of Ron getting home.  I was calm surprisingly, but terrified at the same time.  Brayden kept saying " me, help me help me".  It broke my heart...I kept telling him that I was helping him, and that he would be okay.  I was praying I was right in my words.  Ron commented that I was so calm...he was surprised.  I was surprised at myself.

Brayden had two wounds on the left of his face that warranted being looked at.  They wanted to immediately do stitches.  This made us very nervous.  We asked to see a plastic surgeon to consult with so we could minimize scarring for obvious reasons.  A surgeon came in and recommended that we allow it to heal as is, for that would help the scars be minimal.  He actually did say that the antiseptic wash was the best thing for us to use immediately because it allows wounds as such to stay moist rather than drying them out like peroxide.  Good to know.  If I had peroxide I probably would have used it.  He said that would have inhibited the immediate healing needed to make sure a bite like this heals well.  Anyways, they gave him antibiotics, and sent us home.

Two days later...he was infected and very swollen.  Poor peanut could not even open his left eye, it was swollen shut from the cut he got on his eyelid from the bite.  The K9 tooth punctured his left cheek and also got an infection in it.  We took him to the pediatrician for four appointments to monitor and give antibiotic shots so he could get better.  What a nightmare all of this has been. 

To make a long story short...he had to be on the antibiotics for 12 days...which resulted in diarrhea for 12 days, motrin, benedryl, and Rx diaper rash ointment from all of the diarrhea.  We have had to consult with the Environmental Health Department about Chewbacca and his demeanor.  We had to observe him for ten days, and report back to them...provide health records for the dogs, etc.  After numerous conversations with them I finally broke down and asked them if they were going to make us put the dog to sleep.  I had heard horror stories about this sort of thing.  They reassured me they would not if his behavior is normal.  Thankfully it has been.

As for the dogs...dogs are dogs...and I am upset with myself for letting my guard down and forgetting that with a loud and silly crazy toddler running around the house these days with two VERY old dogs that would probably much rather go back to life sans baby if they had their choice. They both love Brayden...are very protective of him...but again...dogs are dogs.

We have endured some criticism about keeping the dog.  We are keeping him/them.  If this had been a situation where Bacca seeked out Brayden to viciously attack him....he would be gone.  This was not the case.  It was completely a reactive result of the situation.  I am not happy with the dog at all...but it is what it is.  Now we just have to be pragmatic about it...wishing we had been all along.

We have watched our poor peanut go through pain everyday because of his wounds, tummy, bruising, and brief frights about dogs in general.  We have beat ourselves up because we got comfortable with the fact that our dogs were nice dogs and we never thought honestly that one of them would bite Brayden.  We had actually noticed a few days prior that the dogs were in fact acting more nervous in his presence, but dismissed it like idiots. We should have been more proactive. 

The dogs now spend the day in our entrance hallway which is seperated by a glass french door.  They are comfy and happy in there, and Brayden can run the rest of the house without worrying about running into them.  They also spend time in the fenced in back yard when the weather permits.  They are happy, I feel better, and Brayden is oblivious to it all now.

He is healing very very well, and is feeling so much better.  After 12 days on antibiotics...we took him off finally.  He then ended up get the stomach flu, and threw up for two days, stopped urinating for 12 hours and we visited the ER with him for a second time in two weeks...argh!  After some Zofran for nausea they gave him...he started drinking fluids again, urniating and is back to our normal happy little guy....thankfully.

Short of Ron eating glass in his ice cream out to dinner two nights ago...all is getting better in our household.  No joke....more about that story another time. 

Braydens wounds are healing very well, and we are hoping the scarring will be very very small.  We are so glad this ordeal is almost over.  We shall be back to blogging as normal, hopefully very soon ;-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Through my childs eyes...

Lately as I observe Brayden and listen to him play when he thinks I am not...not only is he exploring this new world everyday, but he is slowly teaching me how to see life through his perspective. 

For example...the roof on his little Wonder Pets schoolhouse is just that...a roof.  Yet Brayden calls it "upstairs" and pretend walks all of his little characters {that he so loves to pieces} up the roof and lets them slide down the center hole all the while saying "weeee-fun!"

He actually believes that when I blow bubbles with my hand and soap while he is in the tubby that Mommy makes "bubble magic".

He thinks the houses on our street and others are "castles".

He pretend plays "scary monster" and pretend whines and begs for us to help him from said monster ;-)
 {he really loves this game-seriously}

He uses his potty as a stage and my hair brush as his microphone.  He stands on it in the center of the livingroom and proudly says "hello everybody-how doin'" and sings and talks up a storm as we clap and pretend to be his audience.

He plays under the covers and says we are camping in the tent.

He tells us his belly is talking {another game we play}, and pulls up his shirt while looking at his belly and says "what belly?"  "what?"...and giggles at himself.

He finds joy in brushing his teeth because we sing a fun song while we brush.  He pretend spits into the sink like Mommy and Daddy.

In the tubby he pretends he is white water river rafting {another game we taught him} and yells "whoa, whoa...oh no...hold on Mommy" as he paddles and splashes all over the place ;-)

He thinks Wubzy and Ni Hao live at Walmart.  He loves to go there and asks us we as we pull in there a few times a week "cited Mommy? cited Daddy?"  {are we excited?}  We give him a few toys to play with in the cart as we shop and he asks them "ready guys?" as he situates each little stuffed animal next to him in the cart.  When we get close to leaving we tell him it's time to put the toys back so they will be here next time we come and he nicely hands each one back to us to put on the "shelf" he says!  He then also knows that means he gets "yellow-browns" which are M & M's.  I hate to always get him snacks, but it beats buying $20 toys everytime we go shopping I suppose.

He loves to play tea party at the diningroom table with measuring cups and my tea pot.  We pretend drink and he says its "elicious" and "yummy good mmmm".  We pretend eat cookies too!  He loves to order things and will point his finger to his cheek and he says "ummm I'll have"....

He's convinced when Daddy says he wants ribs that he is sooo getting tickled. 

He knows it's a good buzzerboo when it makes an awfully loud noise ;-)

He eats his apples with a fork in them, {although he has never seen a candy apple}.

He perfectly inspects his lucky charms and picks out each and every "mellow"...leaving the puffs alone for us to eat.

His little motorcycle he rides on is most definately his "cycle bike".   {sickle bike as he says}

He pretend talks on the phone to everyone in our family.  He holds conversations that go something like this...
{as he's holding the phone up to his ear}
How doin'? really? way
Are you kidding me?
yes...yes...I guess.
Okay, bye!
Ron says he is imitating my phone conversations ;-)  ha ha!

The lamp is a playground with his little people and lets them slide down the legs of the lamp.  He tells them the laptop is a shelf...and periodically makes them play peak a boo from behind the screen as we are on the computer.

His imagination is soaring.  He interprets things in a beautiful and imaginative way.  He has his little friends hug eachother and asks them if they are okay?  He is genuine, he is inquisitive, and he is funny. 

He can tell by just looking at us if something is wrong...even in our best efforts not to show it.  He has really good intuition.  He feels out his surroundings.  He is curious and compassionate. 

He is teaching me to look at everything with a new set of eyes.  We can control how we percieve situations in our lives by changing our previously learned views of things.'s much harder as an adult to change the way you think or feel about certain things, but seeing life through the eyes of a child can offer an immense amount of knowledge if you let it. 

Everything can be a playground if we choose to see it that way sometimes.

We can loudly shout weeeee whenever we choose too and do it just to enjoy the ride of life we are on sometimes as mundane and hectic as it can be.

We can eat with our fingers and put forks in our apples if that is what makes it easier for us. ;-)

We can look at a roof as though it's not just the top of something, but stairs to something better.

Our ride of life can be full of paddling and big splashes...irregardless of the mess it might make.

We can pull up our shirts and ask our belly's "what?" and try to listen to that inner voice so many of us ignore. ;-)

The world can be our stage if we weren't afraid of the reaction we might get from the audience.

We could all giggle at ourselves and play more.

We can dig out the good stuff and leave the rest in the bowl if we want to.

We could believe in magic.  We could accept things that are different rather than question every previously known ideal.

We could trust our surroundings more, and learn to love what we have, not long for what we don't.

I know that although I am trying so hard to shape this little guy of mine in just the right way, that he too is doing his own shaping of us.  He is adapting to life as we adapt to his.  He forces us to be people we would never have been prior to having him in our world.  It's amazing what I see when I look at him.  I see who I once was as a child.  I see who Ron once was as a child.  I see him acting like us, using the same voice inflection, or the same facial expressions that we use.  I see the things that we have taught him coming out in his personality.  It's's's everything we have been and it's everything he will be and more. 

It's him, happily forcing us to see life through his eyes, his world, through a more simple, optimistic and beautiful new perspective. 

It's him.
Thank you Brayden...I love you.