Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jazz It Up

What a fun past 24 hours we've had! Let me share it with you. Saturday evening we went to Denton for the Arts & Jazz Festival. Things that are awesome about this Festival: live music, Denton, food, interesting people and things to look at, friends. Ryan and I both love Denton so much. I hope Eva decides to go to UNT and follow in our footsteps. She should get a full scholarship based on all of our alumni donations, right? (Haha....we've never given any alumni money....sorry UNT). Back to the Festival. We got there around 5pm and it was a cool 90 degrees outside. I was thankful that I packed Eva's sweater and leggings in case she got cold.

Ryan and I have gone several times before, but this was our first time with a baby. We have become what we have always affectionately referred to as, "stroller people," aka the people who have to walk slower and take up more room than is reasonable due to the fact that they are pushing a stroller and have young children. I apologize to all of the people we annoyed.

While we were sitting and enjoying our corny dogs I decided to call one of my good friends to see if she was there. She was! I love that I could call her with good certainty that she would be walking around somewhere and want to hang out for a bit. After listening to music together, walking around more, and eating some more food we decided to call it a night and get Eva home. I guess we stayed a bit too long because she was very upset in the car and screamed the entire way home. Oh, well, I'm still glad we went.

Today after church we were sitting around the apartment trying to think of something fun and free to go do and Ryan suggested that we go to Cabela's. When we were making our game plan Ryan said, "I think Eva would like it because they have lots of stuffed animals." I was interpreting that as it being a place with a bunch of toy, stuffed animals that Eva would play with. I was wrong.... he meant actual animals that had been hunted, stuffed, and put out on display. It was so cool to walk around and see all of the areas they have set up. If you've never been before I'd definitely recommend it. It was like the zoo, except the animals were dead and we were inside enjoying the air conditioning. And they sell hunting and outdoors stuff too if you're into that. 

One exhibit had a talking pioneer robot. Eva was very interested in staring at him while he gave his talk about hunting elk. 

Too little for camping.

They have a restaurant there that smelled amazing, but we went between lunch and dinner times and somebody needed to get home for a nap. I hope we can go back again soon! I never thought I'd say that about a store that sells boats and guns. Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sleepy Heads

Last night was a tough one for Eva. She is teething her two top incisor teeth at the same time - ouch! I only had to feed her once in the middle of the night but she woke up crying loudly several times starting at 9pm (only one hour after her bedtime). Finally in the wee hours of the morning I asked Ryan if he would get up and give her some Tylenol and another dose of teething tablets. He laid down with her in the guest bed and calmed her down so we could all get a bit more sleep. This was the the beautiful sight I saw when I went in to wake everybody up this morning. It was such a sweet moment, the photo doesn't even come close to capturing it. I wish I could have cuddled up with them but I knew we needed to get up and get going. Just another example of what a wonderful man my husband is :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Family Day: Making Splashes!

Today we've had an amazing family day. Ryan has been super busy and worked for about two straight weeks in a row so today was a nice break for him to finally get to spend some fun family time with us! We started off our day with a visit to Starbucks followed by a quick stop at Target. (Sadly, we are officially out of our Target gift cards that we received as baby shower gifts. Bummer.) We came home, Eva napped, we ate lunch and then headed to..... the pool!!!!!

I love the pool. I could spend the entire summer in the pool. It is vitally important that Eva learn to enjoy it as well. We've had summer weather for months now and people started swimming in the pool back in March so I figured today was warm enough for us to at least dip our toes in. We lathered on the sunscreen and suited up. I love Eva's swimsuit!

She wasn't quite sure at first. She loves water in the bathtub but the pool is obviously bigger and colder. The water was cool but not bad. We kept her in the tiny baby end for now since the water is very shallow and therefore warmer.

Eva was interested in all of the water sounds including the fountain. I'm sure within the coming weeks she'll be able to venture out into the big pool with her baby float. I can just lay on my big float beside her right? Haha, JUST KIDDING. I plan on being extra, extra safe with her when it comes to being in or near any water. She's my most precious baby so safety always comes first.

We played for about 10 minutes and then it was time to head back inside for her afternoon nap. Ryan was so nice and stayed inside with her while I went back to the pool by myself. 30 minutes of alone time in a tropical paradise? It was amazing. I have the best husband in the world.

PS. It is exactly one month until Hawaiian Falls opens. Getting excited...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So Serious

Each Wednesday Eva and I have continued to go to Baby Time at the library. We have a fun time singing and doing rhymes and reading stories with all the other moms and babies. At least, I know that I have a fun time. I think Eva enjoys it but its hard to say because she is so serious. She isn't sad or fussy. Just really, extremely serious. I mean, what baby wouldn't stay serious when you are singing happy songs and making silly faces? Most of the time she stares at Miss Barbara, the librarian, and watches every move she makes. Miss Barbara will wave and smile. Eva stares. Miss Barbara leads the read alongs and songs. Eva stares. Hopefully it means that she is great at paying attention and will be a super student in school one day.

Then as soon as we're home this is what I get. Say cheese! When it's just us Eva loves the camera. Silly girl.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Shopping Cart Tango

Millions of moms have been taking their children - and babies - to the store with them to do their weekly grocery shopping as long as their have been children and grocery stores. They manage to make it home from the store with both their baby and their groceries. How do they do this????

When I finish my grocery trip at Walmart I push my cart to the car with Eva riding in the top and the groceries in the basket. I do my best to wedge the cart against my car so that I can unload the bags into the hot car while also making sure that the cart doesn't roll away. I am also extremely cautious about where to wedge the cart because I want to make sure that an oncoming driver wouldn't accidentally hit it with Eva inside. That part is tricky enough, but then I have to decide how I will put Eva in and simultaneously put the cart away. Option 1 is to put Eva in the car, take off her cart seat cover (the kind that covers the top of the cart where she sits so she doesn't chew on the gross, germy handle), race over to cart stand, race back to the car, and start the car before she is too hot. Option 2 is to push her in the cart back to the stand, balance her on one hip while I untie her cart seat cover, and then walk back to the car, hoping that my arms are strong enough to hold her all this time and my back doesn't break. Leaving the empty cart next to my car usually isn't an option. With the Texas summer quickly approaching - if it isn't already here - I know that the car temperatures will only get hotter. I can't start the car with her in it because I'm afraid that somebody would jump in and drive off with her (I saw it happen in a movie and people are crazy). I'll also add that I make it a point to park right next to the cart stand even if it means a further walk into the store.

I know that I can't be the only mom out there who wishes she had five arms to get everything done at the same time. I can't even imagine what I would do with multiple children, especially twins. What do other moms do?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Crazy Bird Lady

Is there anything better than being woken up by the sweet song of a bird every morning? Yes. Pretty much everything in life is better than being woken up by a bird. Now instead of imagining this  happening to you with one bird, imagine a whole nest of baby birds and their mother. And instead of just in the morning, imagine it happening every single time you lie down to take a nap. And instead of a sweet song, imagine a terrible loud screeching chorus. This must be how Eva feels.

Every time she sleeps or wakes, there is a horrible chirping sound in her room. It wakes her up early from her nap and early in the morning. Once I tried to lie down with her on the guest bed to help her sleep a while longer and I couldn't. The sound was maddening. I've only noticed this the past few days so I'm guessing it is coming from a new nest of baby birds.

I have become the crazy bird lady trying to figure out where the birds are and how to make them go away. Multiple times I have marched down the stairs to stand in the grassy area with my baby on my hip wondering aloud, "WHERE??? Where are those stupid birds?" I bang on the walls in her room and shout, " BE QUIET CRAZY BIRDS!" but that only works for a moment. However, the fact that they hear me bang and yell makes me pretty certain they are somewhere within the framework of the apartment (like a vent somewhere) and not in a tree outside.

Which brings me to my next point... my theory with animals, insects, spiders, etc. is that they were created to be outside and as long as they are in their home they should be given a chance to live and left alone. For example, if you see a scary spider outside, let it live. It's doing what it's supposed to be doing. If you see a scary spider in your house, ask your husband to kill it so that it doesn't bite you or your child. Seems fair. I do not actually want the birds to be killed, that's too sad, but I do need them to migrate somewhere else.

My mom suggested we put a fake owl on the balcony, but from where the sound is coming from I don't think they'd see it. I called the apartment office and asked for their suggestion. They said they'd check with maintenance and see what options there would even be. I'm not mad at the office at all, I'm not even sure what I'm hoping they'll do.

All of this just adds to my general dislike of birds. Yes, they are cute on some decorations (like my blog background), but what about when they leave unwelcome surprises on your car (or your shirt!) or gather in giant masses near an intersection just waiting to swoop down and make your car fly away? I think it's time for them to all fly north for the summer. Feel free to leave suggestions for our problem. She already sleeps with a white noise sound machine and we leave the AC fan running while she sleeps to block out other sounds. I've tried letting her sleep with a lullaby CD on before but then I can't use the baby monitor to listen for when she's awake.

A Crazy Bird Lady and her Non-Sleeping Daughter

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Can I share once again how much I LOVE having a baby girl? I love, love, love it! It is so much fun to dress her up. After I took this self portrait of us I seriously died laughing. I love that Eva looks so serious wearing her new sunglasses. That girl has swagger.

PS I actually hate the song Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. I never got why girls would go screaming out onto the dance floor when it played. But it made a good title for this post.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Heart Will Go On and On

Guess what 3D movie we saw today? Yep. Titanic! Umm, can I confess that Ryan and I have been pretty excited to see this? We were thinking for weeks about how we could find a way for someone to babysit Eva for 4 hours so that we could go see it. When my mom volunteered to come stay with her for the afternoon we were psyched. I saw Titanic when it first came out 14 years ago. I can still remember the friends that I saw it with. The Celine Dion theme song was everybody's love song for our 8th grade Valentine's dance. Ryan was too young to go see it (it was rated PG-13......).

While anticipating seeing the movie we were trying to figure out exactly what 3D means. We knew it meant better, but how? I'll tell you. It doesn't mean that everything from every shot pops out like it is going to grab you (I don't know why but that's what I imagined it to be). It's more like watching a play or something happening inside of a shadow box instead of a flat screen. Makes sense when you think about the meaning of three dimensional. Every once in a while there are special effects that make it look like you could reach out and touch something. We were the nerds who joked around and tried :) My favorite 3D effect was when it looked like the water was running off the screen.

Look Jack, I'm flying!

Today was a good day to see it since yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the date the Titanic sank. To enhance our movie experience even more we have been recording lots of Titanic history shows that have been on TV.

Rose, hold on to the back of the ship. Take a deep breath right before we hit the water!

If you have fond memories of seeing Titanic the first time, you'll like seeing it again. As a grown up. Spoiler alert: Jack still dies.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

7 Months Old

Dear Eva Kate,

You turned 7 months old on your first Easter. 7 months just seems like it is getting too close to you being a full year old. I am so thankful to be home with you so that I can take in every moment of you being an infant because I know it won't last. I teared up a little bit after putting you to bed the night before because I know that you'll be a toddler before I know it (and before I'm ready). The best part is that you keep growing and you are healthy and you become more fun every day! (Well most days....) I took your 7 month photo in the chair like we've been doing every month and you were extra wiggly so we tried another pose.

Sitting up on the floor like a big girl! You are doing a great job of sitting up on your own so maybe we'll switch to this pose instead of the chair. I still have to be near you for when you inevitably topple over but you will sit up and play with toys now. I like to put your Boppy behind you to catch you so that I can sit in front of you and play toys with you. You've definitely developed a preference for certain toys and a disliking for having toys put away. You also know to look in your toy bin for the one you want. It's crazy seeing you become so smart.

You aren't talking yet, but based on your responses I think you are understanding some of what we say. You seem to understand a few words like milk, nap, cup, binky, more, and all done.

You love to eat all of the food I make you. So far you eat oatmeal, brown rice, avocado, sweet potatoes, peas, pears, yogurt, and your favorite food - BANANAS! You would probably eat bananas every day if I offered them to you. The other day I gave you a few tiny pieces of cut up avocado to see what you would do. You worked so hard to get the piece in your hand, you opened up your mouth wide, and then you accidentally smushed it up by your eye. It was very funny! Maybe we'll stick with purred foods for a bit longer.

Tummy time is getting much more fun, too! A few times I've seen you rock back into an almost crawl position but that's as far as you want to go. That's okay, crawling can wait. One day you rolled from your back to your tummy twice. Daddy saw it too so I'm not imagining it. But since then you can't quite make it all the way over. I let you play on the floor and put toys just slightly out of reach so that you would have to roll to get them. You have realized that you're going to have to move to get them and you try soooo hard. You'll get there soon!

One of our biggest challenges this month has been nursing. You will go through days at a time when you really don't want to nurse. You are so wiggly and just want to play. And you got teeth so occasionally you decide to bite me. Ouch. There was a moment when I thought we might have to stop but we worked through it and you're doing much better now. I will be sad when you stop nursing one day and I really hope to make it through your first year. My favorite time of day is when I nurse you late at night before I go to bed and you are a still, cuddly baby in my lap. I love to hold you and rock you and pray for you.

Sleeping this month has been pretty good. You are usually out right at 8:00 PM. We are still swaddling your lower half because you sleep so well. I tried letting you sleep unswaddled and it wasn't successful. I think you love feeling cozy :) The worse sleep time of this past month was when you had your first ear infection. We thought you were teething and spent many, many hours up with you at night before deciding to take you to the doctor. It was so sad to hear you cry for hours. I wish you could know that even when you're crying we are always trying so hard to take care of you and love you and make you feel better. Going through that long, sleepless week with you made me realize that God probably feels the same way with us when we take our fears to him. He knows we're sad. He knows how to make us whole again. Sometimes it just takes time and trust. I hope I can teach you this as you grow.

You absolutely love bath time! We recently had to move your baby tub from the counter into the big bath tub because you make such huge splashes. When those bath toys come out, Hurricane Eva is in full swing!

You have the best baby giggles in the world. I love to hear you laugh with Daddy. You help us start the day off well because you are usually smiling and laughing when we get you up from your crib in the morning. You may be serious with everybody else, but we are blessed to see your true joy. We love you forever.

love, Mama

Monday, April 9, 2012

Eva's First Easter

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a wonderful day celebrating that Jesus is indeed risen and ALIVE! We started our celebration by going to church in the morning.

Our family was at church extra, extra early this week to help get things set up for the service, egg hunt, and brunch. We were expecting extra families so there was plenty of preparation to do. Ryan and other church staff work so hard to make sure that everything is ready when families arrive. Since we were up early and at church early, Eva was already pretty tired by the time the egg hunt started.

Look at all of those eggs! I wonder how many of them Eva will find????

I had to include this photo of some of our middle schoolers as they raced off for the hunt. Can you spot the determination? Wow.

A few of our preschoolers. I love how they would pick one spot to quietly select their eggs.

Ryan took Eva to a spot to get her to pick up an egg. Look there it is.

All you have to do is reach out and get it. Nobody will steal it from you.

And she just sat there.

Back at home after church she got her first Easter basket. No candy for this little one, just some stuffed animals and books.

We had my family over for Easter lunch. I was happy to use my grandmothers' old table linens and crystal that has been passed down to me.

I even folded our napkins to look like bunnies! I joked that after spending the time to fold them nobody could actually use them, but we did.

I served all of the lunch foods in pink dishes. I thought Easter was an appropriate holiday to bring them all out.

This was the cake that I made. How do people on other blogs get such amazing photographs of the food they make? Let me assure you, the cake tasted amazing. It was a 3 layer Snickerdoodle cake with brown sugar butter cream icing. Made with 6 sticks of butter. Yum.

When lunch was finished we headed to Royse City to see Ryan's family for dinner. After eating only part of a slice of my fabulous cake I was so full I didn't think I'd ever eat again. Sadly, it was pouring rain for most of the afternoon so we didn't get to do a Bradley family egg hunt outside like we usually do.

Have you ever seen a baby look so sad to sit in front of a basket of eggs? Maybe next year Eva will be more excited about Easter.

Can you believe they give us these plastic eggs and expect us to look at them and smile?
These eggs don't even have food in them.

I guess if they make enough silly sounds we will look up at them.
Come on, Mallory, let's get this over with.

With Nana and Papa after the rain finally stopped.

This morning Eva had fun playing with some of the prizes from her eggs while I ate breakfast. She was so happy and smiling!

I was hoping to get a great family photo of the three of us dressed up but since my hair had been rained on more than once it didn't quite happen. Oh well, sometimes good enough is good enough. Happy Easter from the Bradleys!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Opening Day

It's opening day at the Rangers' Ballpark in Arlington. I wish we could be there with the crowd on TV but we're not. Instead Ryan timed his lunch break so that we could watch a bit of the game together as a family. I surprised Ryan by putting Eva in a Texas Rangers' romper this morning! Look who is excited to watch the game.... back when the Rangers were in the World Series she had to go to bed before the end of the game so she never found out what happened. Let's not tell her.

Daddy and Eva are both super pumped about today's game!

Even Mama put on a Texas Rangers' tank top to celebrate (you can't tell but I promise it's there). I'm may not be the biggest baseball fan but I am a huge Ryan Bradley fan so I will be excited and enjoy the game. Let's go Rangers!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Easter Bunny Came Early

One afternoon last week we decided to try to take a few Easter photos of Eva. Since I was pregnant with her last Easter, I really wanted to take cute photos of her in an Easter basket surrounded by tons of eggs. I got a basket. I got tons of eggs. I waited until she could sit up inside the basket. I waited until it was a pretty afternoon. I found a good spot in the grassy area outside of our apartment where she wouldn't fall over and the sun wouldn't be in her face. However, I forgot one important thing - to tell Eva how much I really, really wanted these photos and to bribe her to be cute and smile. Oops. So, here are my attempts at the wonderful photos I wanted. She is not looking at the camera in any of them (including the 50 photos I'm not including), but I love them just the same. I love that it captures what she would rather do with Easter eggs. She would rather play with the eggs....

Or drop the eggs out of the basket.....repeatedly.....

Or put them inside of her Easter dress.....

Or maybe just watch some friendly dogs play.

"Okay, Daddy. I'm done with these silly eggs now. No more smiles. You may carry me inside now."

I think that she just wants to celebrate the real meaning of Easter - the fact that the Jesus that loves her is alive and real! He is more real than plastic eggs. He is more beautiful than smiling photos. Happy Easter week!