Monday, February 27, 2012

Belly Dancing Friends and Toothful Grins

I am so in love with our tiny little human. I'm her mom so of course I think she's precious, but really, is there a cuter baby? We've had a fun couple of days despite being sad about losing Cosby. I am thankful that even when I'm feeling down I have a cuddle bug who loves to play with her mama.
Friday night Ryan, Eva, & I went to meet up with some friends to celebrate my best friend Erica's birthday. We went to a Lebanese restaurant in Addison that was complete with ..... a belly dancer!
Thanks, Auntie Erica, for Eva's first time to watch a belly dancer :) We kept hoping Erica would dance too, but for some reason she refused. But seriously, since it was a cultural thing it was fun and the food was really good, too.

Saturday we had a full day of family and friends. Eva and I went to Dallas and had lunch with my friend Brooke, also known as Aunt BB. Eva had lots of smiles for Aunt BB! Afterwards we took Brooke home and went over to visit my Grandma Dede (Eva's great grandmother). She recently moved into a smaller apartment after my grandfather's death so I wanted to stop by and see it all set up. When we got there my mom and uncle were there helping her get settled in and then my dad came by to see me - and by me, we all know that really means Eva. It's okay, I'm glad she loves to play with her Grandpa!

Today my mom came over to babysit for the afternoon so that Ryan and I could go on a date. We hadn't been out just the two of us in two whole months! So it was a nice break to get to go out. We picked up muffins from Central Market, coffee from Starbucks, and went to see The Vow. I'd recommend it to anybody that likes romantic movies and Rachel McAdams.

Finally, when we got home my mom had put Eva down for a nap. She was talking casually to us and mentioned that she got to feel Eva's tooth. Umm, her what? I didn't believe her at first but she said it was there. After Eva woke up from her nap I washed my hands well and poked my finger around her gums. Sure enough, there is a little tooth there. If you can trick her to open her mouth and move her tongue out of the way you can even see it. How did I not realize that my baby was teething? I have no idea. But we're excited for her. Here's to more smiles!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Goodbye Cosby

I apologize in advance that this is one of the saddest posts I've ever written, but I need to write it anyway. Last night we had to put our dog, Cosby, to sleep. It was a sad, terrible, long night. We got home from Bible study and he was fine. He went outside like he normally does and when Ryan and I went to bed around 11:30PM, Cosby went right to his bed like he always does. About 45 minutes later I woke up because it sounded like he was sick to his stomach. He wasn't, but he was walking around strangely and making sounds so that I couldn't tell if he was sick or couldn't breathe. I carried him outside and knew right away that something was wrong. The way he was standing was wrong, the way he walked was wrong and he looked like he was in pain. I carried him back inside and he fell over and couldn't get back up. Ryan also noticed that his stomach was very bloated and hard. We had to make a terrible middle of the night decision. We decided that it would be best for Ryan to take him to an all night vet clinic because we knew that otherwise we wouldn't sleep at all and would worry all night. We also knew that we were most likely going to be putting him to sleep since he was old, has had other health problems, and we didn't have much money to spend to treat him. I gave him lots of goodbye kisses and petted his soft head and furry ears. I told him that I loved him so much and that he had been the best dog ever for the past 6 1/2 years. It was so incredibly hard to say goodbye and let Ryan take him away but I knew it was the right decision.

Ryan said the vet was so kind and agreed that with his age and other conditions it was the best thing for Cosby to put him to sleep. Ryan stayed with him and told me that he looked like a tired old man that was ready to go. The vet said that he likely had a stroke along with another stomach condition. She relieved some stomach pressure so that he would be able to breathe and not be in too much pain before he died.

So last night was a very hard night. Ryan got home around 3:30 AM and I was still crying. We finally went to sleep right around 4 AM, exactly when Eva decided to wake up. Being so sad and so tired is a hard place to be.

I truly loved Cosby so, so much. When I rescued him he was already potty trained, never chewed anything, never barked. He was friendly, if not slightly awkward, around others. He made parties with college friends more entertaining. He posed for countless pictures with roommates and other dogs. When I lived in a house with no backyard fence, he never ran away - he would simply walk around the yard and wait on the front porch when he was ready to come inside. He cuddled with me on cold nights or when I was sad. Until his later years he was always happy to see me when I got home from work. He loved to stand on the edge of our couch and look out the window. He grew to tolerate and then love Ryan. I've actually had Cosby longer than I've known Ryan. He was good with kids and let our nieces and Eva pet him. He was more of a family member than a pet.

I do feel guilty that during his last few months his world changed when we brought a baby home. Of course, I loved Eva more and had to give her much of the attention that he used to get. I know that is right and normal. I think he was okay and adjusted well, but I do wish I could have played with him more. I know I have to be okay with how things were and let this go, but right now it's hard.

I do feel so thankful for the years I got with him. When he was sick a while back with heart problems and Cushings disease the vet told us that he probably had 2 weeks to live. That was 2 1/2 years ago, so we did get extra time to love and cherish him. Extra holidays, extra walks, extra snuggles under the covers.

Our memories of him won't be forgotten. Thank you to everyone who has sent us kind messages. We sure loved our silly old man of a dog.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Miss Bradley Goes to the Library

This morning we went to Baby Time at the library. They have a fun story room where a librarian leads babies and mamas through some songs, rhymes, and read along of board books. I really liked that each baby got their own books to follow along while everyone read aloud with the librarian. Eva had a good time reading, dancing, and seeing so many other cute babies! Our favorite part was when we did rhymes about monkeys and each baby got to play with a small stuffed monkey to act out the words. I enjoyed a fun get out of the house activity. Plus it was at the perfect time (right after her morning nap) and the perfect length (25 minutes).

On our way out Eva saw a book in the baby self-help section that she wanted to look at :) We will definitely be going back to Baby Time next week!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What to Wear

Like all future fashion diva's Eva likes to dress up. Or maybe it's her mom who likes to dress her up, but we'll just says it's her for now. What has she been wearing this week?
A floppy sun hat.

Polka dotted jammie jams that have a little white poodle on them.
Be unstylish in the crib? She doesn't think so.

No diva wants the sun in her eyes.

A princess crown.
Sometimes a baby wants to feel fancy.

Nothing at all.
Love tub time and LOVE having a baby girl.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Little Ava

When we were expecting a baby, we put a lot of thought into what to name our child. We didn't want anything too popular. Our original girl name was Bella but thanks to all of you Twilight fans, we had to rule that out. We didn't want anything too strange. Nothing like BonQuiQui. We wanted something that was spelled traditionally. Not like when I tried to spell my name Cayte i 6th grade (not cool). We wanted something that didn't have to be shortened. All my life I've had to say, "I go by Kate." when people called me Katherine (my real name). These were all the hopes we had when we named our baby girl.

Yes, we did discover the name Eva after watching the movie Wall-E. But it fit all of our criteria. Plus it sounded good with Kate as a middle name, which we also really wanted. So when our bundle of joy was born we named her Eva Kate and thought all was well.....

We didn't realize that we would get asked multiple times a week, "How is little AVA?" Oh, little Ava. I did not see that coming. We always politely respond, "EVA is doing great!!!!" and hope that they catch on. It honestly doesn't bother me, I just laugh that we tried so hard to avoid confusion. We could always make a game out of it and pretend that Ava is Eva's secret evil twin. I also think it's ironic that everyone can remember that our dog is named Mr. Bill Cosby but they get confused about our baby's name. Maybe we should have named her Claire Huxtable.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's that magical day of love again. The day that brings chocolate and romance. Or friendship and hugs. Either way, I hope that you are feeling loved today! (PS. The picture above is so much cuter if you click on it to make it bigger.)

We celebrated Valentine's Day yesterday since Ryan was off work. Since we celebrated Thanksgiving on a Friday and Christmas 2 days early, we figured that it didn't matter too much. We had a nice quiet lunch at Macaroni Grill in Grapevine. Eva was with us but slept in her carrier most of the time. There were only a few other people in the restaurant. We hadn't been to Macaroni Grill in years but had a left over gift card from Christmas (one of those great ones that can be used at multiple places). I like the bread and olive oil to dip in that they serve there. I also love drawing on the table!

After lunch we went to Main Event. Did you know they currently have unlimited $5 bowling Sunday - Thursday? What a deal. We bowled 4 games - the most I've ever bowled at once! Plus they had fun 1990's music videos playing and we were the only people bowling for most of the time.

Strike! This was probably my only strike all day, and we caught it on camera! It might have been a spare, but I can't remember so we'll just say it was a strike.

Eva tried to bowl but she was too little. Ryan rolled the ball for her and we let her watch it roll down slowly and knock over some pins.

The bowling expert. How is Ryan so good at bowling? Isn't that a nerdy thing to be good at? Maybe I'm just jealous. He can bowl better with his eyes shut than I can concentrating. Some people have all the talent.

Eva was the best baby! She sat in her stroller or was passed back and forth. She smiled and laughed. She eventually took another nap in her stroller. We are lucky parents.

Did you notice my new hair cut? I chopped off 10 inches last Thursday to donate to Locks of Love. Ryan always likes it when I cut my hair short so I thought it would be a good change for a while. I will grow it back out when Eva is passed the pulling on hair phase.

The final score from game one. After this we bowled many variations. Granny bowling. Spin bowling. Backwards bowling. Eyes closed bowling. Under one leg bowling. You know what I found out? It does not matter how I bowl, I will average 6 pins. I can do my best and get 6 pins or I can be goofy and get 6 pins.

My valentine for my sweetheart. We didn't have much to spend on Valentine's so we decided to skip gifts and use our $$ to for the bowling instead. I made this giant card for him. It's a little cheesy but I think he liked it. Next to the Reese's it says, "You have stolen our {hearts}" and next to the Subway card it says, "Eva and I want to give you a great big hug and make a big love {sandwich}." I tried to be creative so that Ryan would still feel appreciated. For my Valentine, Ryan wrote Eva a letter for her scrapbook telling her how much he loves her mother. It was thoughtful and will last a long time :)

We got Eva the book Love You Forever as her Valentine's gift. It's a sweet story about a mother who will always love her son even as he grows up. We laughed about the semi-creepy part where the mother sneaks into the house of the grown man at night to rock him as he sleeps. Eva, we'll try to let you grow up and not be stalker parents, but we do really love you so much! Eva mostly wanted to eat it but we've enjoyed reading it twice already. Happy Valentine's Day from our family to you!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baby's First Snow

It's...snowing! Tonight Ryan, Eva & I were headed home from youth. We dropped one of our students off who was having a gathering at his house tonight. Ryan and I wanted to attend the gathering to hear more about a recent mission trip to Romania that some church members went on. We wanted to eat some dinner before we went though so that we wouldn't be the starving people that are eating all of the "snacks" while everyone else is visiting. We decided to visit the new Taco Casa in our area. Ryan was sitting in the front seat eating and I was nursing Eva in the back when it started to snow! Ryan goes, "Oh, wow, it's snowing!" My response..."Bundle up and let's take a picture!" I was so happy that Eva got to see snow this winter. The above photo was taken outside of the home we went back to after dinner. The one below is from Eva's very first snow moment.
We took it in front of the Taco Casa sign so that when she's older we can laugh with her about how excited her young parents were for her first snow. And now, since it's 9pm, we have left the party and are snuggled up at home in our pajamas. Good night, stay warm :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

In Memory of Col. Homer Schmidt

Today we will be having the memorial service for my Papa. As I think back about his life and my time with him these are a few of my favorite memories:
* My parents and I living with him and my grandmother for the first 5 years of my life. Good thing they had a big house!
* Listening to him sing in the church choir.
* Watching him cooking in the kitchen with my mom on holidays. He liked to add lots of cheese and jalapenos to everything.
* Driving in the Cadillac with him as he listened to classical music on the radio.
* Taking family vacations to Kansas City, San Antonio, Estes Park, and Williamsburg, Virginia.
* Seeing him sitting at the head of their dinning room table reading his newspaper when I would stop by to visit (the same table that we now use in our apartment).
* Having breakfast with him at his house when I would come home from college. He would always tell me how proud he was.
* Watching the video of him walk my grandmother down the aisle at my wedding. He wore his military suit and looked so esteemed.
* Letting him hold Eva the day after she was born. A proud great-grandfather.

These are just a few of the good times that I am thankful to have had with him. Although I am sad and will miss his presence in our family, I also feel like his life had such completion. He got to see my mom graduate from college, our whole extended family was in town to celebrate his 81st birthday in January, and spent his 57th anniversary with my grandmother in the hospital the day before he passed.

He had a heart attack 3 days before he passed and I am so thankful that I went to visit him in the hospital. We knew he was aging but not that his time was ending. I had gone just to cheer him up, not necessarily to say goodbye. I am thankful that I got to joke with him in the hospital and see his smile at the end. I am SO THANKFUL that I told him that I loved him before I left that day.

As we celebrate his life this weekend I want to rejoice in the fact that he is now spending eternity with our Lord Jesus. Papa loved the Lord and is now fully healed. In the story of Jesus' Crucifixion, Jesus speaks with to a man who is on the cross next to him. The man puts his faith in Jesus and Jesus tells him, "Today you will be with me in paradise." I believe Papa is in Heaven using his beautiful, deep singing voice to praise God. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for my family. We appreciate being so loved.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

5 Months Old

Dear Eva Kate,

You are 5 months old today! How does every month fly by more quickly than the last? You are such a fun little baby and I love taking care of you every day. Earlier in the week Daddy and I took you out to Southlake Town Square for some fun family time and a mini photo session.

What are you up to at 5 months?
* Rolling over from your tummy to your back. Now that you know how to do this tummy time is quite limited but I just keep rolling you back over.
* Standing up. You much prefer to stand on my lap than to sit especially when you are enjoying play time.
* Reaching out for everything. Hair, rattles, cups, noses. If you notice it, you want to reach it. And then....
* Putting everything in your mouth. We always joke with you that you eat all of your "friends" (your stuffed animals). Once something is in your hand the next step is into your mouth.
* Laughing. You love for me to say the same thing over and over again in different voices or speeds.
* Growing some hair. It's light colored like mine was as a baby, but it is definitely growing longer and filling in. Except for your one random bald spot.

What does your day include right now?
* You sleep for 10-11 hours each night. We're trying to get you to go to sleep earlier but you've decided to just take longer eating at bedtime.
* You sometimes take 2 long naps and 1-2 short naps. We're working on conquering the 45 minute nap beast. Some days are good. Some are not. Today is one of the good days!
* You nurse 5 times a day, occasionally 6 if I feed you in the middle of the night.
* Are you sleeping through the night? It's hard to say. Since you were sick for a big chunk of the month we were up taking care of you more. Now that you're well, you usually wake up 1 or 2 times but you mostly just want your binky. It wakes me up but you fall right back asleep. So to sum it up I'd say that YOU are sleeping through the night, but I am NOT.

How big are you?
* Bigger than the tiny newborn I brought home! I'm not actually sure of your measurements since we don't have a well check visit this month, but I don't think you weigh more than 15 pounds.
* You still fit perfectly into all of your 3 month clothes. You also wear some 6 month clothes because they are your winter clothes. And then there are the newborn dresses that I still put you in and just layer with tights or leggings. I wouldn't say you are a huge baby.

What is my favorite thing to do?
*Give you kisses! I love to kiss your cheeks, your head, and your round tummy. I probably give you a thousand kisses a day.

You bring so much joy into our lives! We love you cuddle-bug!

love, Mama

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our Weekend 2.4.12

Lots of people that I know do weekly postings called Our Weekend in iPhone Pics. They have a collage of cute photos capturing their whole weekend. I would do that, except that I don't have an iPhone. I have a regular old phone that sends texts and calls people. It takes pictures but not good ones. I'm sure that if I had an iPhone I'd love it, but since I never have, I don't know what I'm missing out on and and I'm okay with that. So here is Our weekend in Non-iPhone Pics. Starting with Saturday night where we were invited to.... 2 parties! That's right, the Bradley family is pretty popular :)

My best friend Erica, along me, Ryan, Eva, and many other good friends, attended the Valentines open house at our friend Marianne's house. Umm, who knew that Marianne was so amazingly popular? (Even more so than our Bradley family). I asked one girl how she knew Marianne and she played high school volleyball with her. Of course, Marianne is one of the sweetest people I know, so it makes perfect since that everyone she had ever met would want to hang out at her party. We had a great time and Marianne, I hope you enjoyed the friendship Valentine I left next to your pillow. Cute idea for the card making station!

Then we were on to party number two - a 50th birthday celebration for our friend Rob from church. His wife surprised him with a 9 member mariachi band! His wife and kids also serenaded him with a traditional Hispanic birthday song while the band played. It was incredible. We had so much fun hearing the band and eating amazing food.

And this was Eva's face while the band played. Not quite sure what to think about it all. Alas, the clock finally struck 9:30 PM and we headed home to put our baby to bed. Yep, 9:30PM and the Bradleys had already conquered 2 parties. What can I say, we're party animals.

And finally, a note about Sunday. Right after church on Sunday I found out that my grandfather had passed away. I am going to do a posting in memory of him, but I am waiting for my mom to send me a favorite picture of me with him. I am also wanting to give myself a few more days to reflect on all my wonderful memories of him before I write about it. Yesterday Ryan asked me when I was going to blog about our fun Saturday and I shared with him that my initial reaction was to feel guilty writing about a good day when I had just lost someone that I love. But as I thought about it more I decided that it was okay for me to enjoy writing about Saturday. Writing about fun things doesn't mean that I care any less for my grandfather. I feel like it's okay to balance joy with sadness. So that is what I chose to do.