• ~Psalm 46:4-5~

    There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
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My High Energy Girl

running from Mama

Bridoodle’s been full of energy lately. We went shopping this afternoon and she ran away from me at least five times in the store. Thankfully, my awesome sister-in-law held onto my purse while I chased my sprinter from one end of the store to the other. I was seriously sweaty by the time we left!

smiley

In all the commotion, we did manage to find two adorable dresses at extremely great prices. So on the way back to Mimi and Gampa’s house, I decided to let Bri run off some steam in a nearby field in her brand new dress. She’s a running machine, I tell you what!

full tilt

Works For Me Wednesday – Paint Swatch Entertainment

Our little prodigy knows all (and I do mean ALL) of the Sesame Street characters. Of course you do have to speak toddlerese to understand her. She recognizes Uwnie, Buwht, Showy, Scarscar, Grobuh, Kiki, BidBurd and Elmo when we hold her diapers up like flashcards. Elmo is on the back of all of them and then various cast members grace the front. (Ten points if you know what brand of diaper we use! Twenty points if you can translate that list!)

While we are quite enamored with her insane memory regarding these cute furry monsters, we’re also hoping that she’ll learn more, umm, useful information too. You know like the colors and the shapes that they love to go on and on and on about on Sesame Street.

elmo and zoe

(Just for honesty’s sake, I must admit that she loves to sing the alphabet song and can make it pretty far on her own. Yesterday she got as far as dubba-u. And I know she’s not even two yet, so it’s okay if she majors in Sesame Street sociology right now.)

So on a trip to the local Wam-Lart today, I decided to keep her entertained and practice her color memorization at the same time. The girl needs to learn some colors! Our first stop was the paint section. There I picked out the standards – red, yellow, blue, purple, orange and green from the free paint swatches. Then I let her hold the swatches as we roamed around the store, and I prompted her to say each color. She loved it! And I loved the price. (Those Elmo stickers start to add up after a few trips.)

Meemaw in the mirror

The original version of this fabulous idea came from my Meemaw. She told me that my cousins like to get the Mickety Mouse swatches from nearby home improvement stores. They use the swatches to play memory games or to make flash cards for their elementary school aged kids. Bridoodle’s not quite old enough for that, but I can’t wait to try it when she grows up a little bit.

Today paint swatches worked for me when I needed a tool for teaching colors. What works for you?

Find more fabulous tips visit Works For Me Wednesday hosted by We Are THAT Family.

WFMW

The Best Mother’s Day Present Ever

bri likes burritos

Saturday evening, after I arrived home from the wedding dress shopping extravaganza, Hubs and I started celebrating Mother’s Day. I really milked the weekend for all it was worth. On my way home I stopped by Best Buy to pick out my present. I asked for a new external hard drive for this holiday. I know, right? I’m such a nerd! Hubs grilled me a big fat steak Saturday night and we sat talking together late into the night after Bri went to bed. I reminisced back to the days when Bri was a newborn. Hubs pondered deep theological questions. We stayed up really late, just talking. I love it when that happens.

silly bite face

On Sunday, we slept in until 7am. Then Hubs made pancakes for me and Bri. He gave me salmon colored roses and the promise of a pedicure. Then we all got ready for church. We arrived in the parking lot five minutes early and I exclaimed that we would actually be on time for a change! Hubs laughed and said, “We’re not on time until we walk into the sanctuary.” Sure enough, the nursery worker for Bri’s class didn’t show up, so we ended up waiting around for fifteen minutes before everything was sorted out. We walked into the service as the offering plates were being passed. Awkward!

gimme more burrito

I started to feel woozy during church, so we went home early. After a nice long nap, I felt great again.

Then I watched Hubs clean the house while I played on the computer. (Alright, I may have helped a little bitty bit.) There’s nothing better than having a clean house that you (mostly) didn’t have to clean. Sigh.

The best part of the day was Bridoodle’s present to me. She said, “I luh you!” for the first time. It was so precious! Hubs and I both melted into puddles of butter on the floor. We’ve been trying to coax her into saying “I love you” for the past few weeks. Usually she replies with “No!” So this was a big improvement.

slurping my soda

For dinner, I wanted to go to Moe’s. I figured it wouldn’t be too crowded. So I ordered a Moo Moo Mr. Cow for me and Bri, while Hubs got a Cosocostan. And we all shared some queso dip and the chocolate chip cookie!

pretending to be gross

Hubs and I practiced making silly faces for the camera. We want to be really good at embarrassing Bri when she’s a teenager. We are dedicated parents!

last bite

And that was my Mother’s day weekend. It was fabulous! I can’t wait to go get my pedicure and fill up my external hard drive with lots of pictures.

Bridoodle Discovers the Internet

My darling girl has a Sesame Street obsession. She’s not yet two, and she already knows the main characters by name. Her favorite furry little monster goes by Elmo. And there are usually about five exclamation points trailing his name. She gets very excited about him. We’ve been checking out Sesame Street DVD’s from the library and we’ve even purchased a few. (Yes, we live in the stone ages. No such thing as TiVo in this house!) At the end of the movies, there’s always a spot for SesameStreet.com and tonight I though I would explore it with Bri.

skeptical Bri

She wasn’t so sure about this idea at first. But as soon as she saw her friend Elmo, she was all smiles. I made the mistake of pulling out the computer while she was still eating. Ooops! She didn’t touch her food again. Her eyes were glued to the computer screen from then on!

gleeful girl

She sat still, mesmerized by Elmo and his friends, while I grabbed the camera to document it. Occasionally she would look at me in amazement and then point to the screen before shouting, “ELMO!!!!!”

TV dinner

Eventually, she figured out where the controls were on the keyboard. She actually leaned forward and tried to stand up so that she could reach the computer. Crazy kid! I think she got tired of seeing the Count and wanted me to play more videos of the younger muppets. So I obliged her and found a section devoted to Elmo.

elmo and abby cadabby

There were several videos of Elmo with Abby Cadabby. She’s a pink fairy muppet and she loves words. I think she’s just as cute as a button. Bri however didn’t seem to care for her too much.

nail-biting suspense

She seemed a little worried that Elmo and Abby Cadabby might start holding hands. I think Bridoodle feels very loyal to Zoe. We have about five Sesame Street books that picture Zoe and Elmo together all the time. Only one shows a picture of Abby Cadabby and she’s ice skating all by herself. So when I found a video of Elmo and Zoe together, Bri got really excited again.

elmo and zoe

You can see her greasy finger prints on the keyboard. She wanted to get closer to Elmo and Zoe. (Note the missing arrow key. That’s why we don’t let her get close to the computer. She did that when she was six months old. Lesson learned.)

brand new internet addict

All in all, we had a blast playing on the internet together. I think this is the beginning of a whole new adventure. My baby’s growing up!

Hairbow Happiness

bridoodle in fish tails

I spent my free time this weekend on a new craft project. Bridoodle had to have some new hair-bows. We only had white ones and pink ones. Around here, in the “Deep South” as the meteorologist said this morning, all the little girls wear bows to match their outfits. Even a simple cotton dress must be accompanied by a huge bow. It’s a Southern style standard. And the only thing better than a ginormous, head-covering bow would be a set of two identical pig tail bows. But they are stinkin’ expensive to buy.

green polka dot bow

Rather than pay the exorbitant fees that boutiques charge for hair-bows, I decided to make some myself. And other than a slight burn to my left birdie finger, I am extremely satisfied with the results. So is Bridoodle. She enthusiatically modeled them for me. I didn’t even have to direct her to pose. She’s a natural.

my prissy toddler

Bri also has a very generous heart and was quite willing to share her bows with me. I let her arrange them in my hair, periodically checking my new hair-do in the mirror, until we both collapsed in giggles.

putting bows in Mommy's hair

Maybe she’s going to be a hair-dresser when she grows up. I don’t know. It may be too early to tell. Here’s the view from the back of my head. Very nice.

bri helped fix my hair

So after all of that work, we now have a variety of different colored bows. Here’s our current bow collection (but I didn’t make any of the white ones or the pink ones). I made the red, blue, green, yellow and purple bows. (Not pictured: fish tail bows from above – I also made those).

homemade bow holder

Remember the tutu that I made not too long ago? It’s our resident bow holder. The black onesie (which is now too small for Bri to wear) serves as our leotard. When we need a tutu for dress up, I can take it down quickly and Bri can dance around with or without the bow decorations. It’s cute, practical and decorative!

Weekend With Nana and Papa

Bridoodle and I went to visit Nana and Papa (my parents) last weekend while Officer Hubs worked several night shifts in a row. We really enjoyed ourselves! It’s hard to keep Bri quiet when we’re home and Hubs has to sleep. We always wake him up, usually by accident and sometimes on purpose. So when we can get away for those weekends, he gets more rest.

bri explores the secret room

My parents spoiled us rotten. Mom and I went shopping and found this cutie pie dress for Bri. We also found a little black dress for me. Bri loved exploring their house, especially the secret room where she slept. She really enjoyed playing with Mom’s giant Pilates ball which was about as tall as her!

climbing the garden stairs

Bri and I wore our new dresses that afternoon to a memorial service for my late grandfather. He passed away last year  and was cremated. Grandmother wanted to lay his ashes to rest. So the family gathered for a small informal service. Lots of fuzzy caterpillars dropped in on us at the garden service and the kids were exceptionally good at spying them.

photo-op with the kids

After the service, we went back to Grandmother’s house for appetizers and family bonding. The other parents brought toys for their kids, but I didn’t even think to bring entertainment for Bri. Oops! Fortunately, my aunt just happened to have a spare Elmo toy in her car and Bridoodle had a blast playing with our favorite furry red monster all evening.

playing with Elmo

Next we went to a fancy shmancy restaurant for dinner. The older kids enjoyed entertaining Bri and the adults with their Elmo performances. I snapped a few pictures while I had a chance. Dinner time can be chaotic with a toddler!

keeping the peace

I tried to get a few candid shots, but one of my aunts caught me. We enjoyed catching up with everyone and spying on the other guests. A table nearby held lots of kids in prom dresses and tuxes. When we walked into the lobby a concert pianist was playing beautiful classical pieces. Bri was fascinated by all of the new sights, sounds and smells. We left later than planned and it was past Bri’s bedtime, but we opted to stop at a local grocery store on the way home. We needed milk and breakfast treats for the following morning. Papa (whom Bri called “Poppy!” all weekend) found a bouncy ball for Bri at the grocery store and the two of them chased it up and down every aisle. She slept like a log that night!

mall mirror

The next day Mom and I took Bri to the Mall of Georgia to go shopping. We snapped this fun picture in the bathroom mirror. Bri loves to say “Baby!” and point to herself in the mirror. She’s such a ham! It was a very fun weekend. We can’t wait to come visit again.

The Kiss of a Stranger

Did that title get your attention? It made me giggle when I thought of it this afternoon. No doubt I’ll get some strange Google searches from that! Anyway, here’s the story:

Bri and I went to Wam-Lart for groceries and assundry items yesterday. I had a massive list because I was preparing dinner for a our friends who just had a baby, breakfast casserole for Sunday School today, and our family’s Easter lunch. Plus I had to round up the ingredients for the coming week’s meals too. My list carried over to the back of my page, and that has never happened before!

We were in the produce section looking for white grapes (which Hubs argues should be called green grapes, because technically they are green) when we saw another baby in a nearby buggy. He seemed to be instantly smitten by Bri. They looked to be about the same age. His mommy was looking for produce as well but she came back to stand by him when he started talking to Bri. The two of us stood there chatting for a minute or two while the toddlers exchanged baby talk.

Then the mom started to push the buggy away and said, “Okay, say bye-bye.”

He looked at Bri and grinned. “Buh-bye.”

The mom could tell that he was enamored with my little girl, so she said, “Blow her a kiss! Can you blow her a kiss? Mwuah!”

The little boy looked at her in confusion. So the mom repeated the gesture a few times. Now I’ve tried to get Bri to blow kisses before, but she’s never been able to do it. Usually she stares at me in confusion. So I was shocked when she put her hand to her mouth and said “Muh!” in a perfect imitation. It was precious.

We clapped and said “Yay!” (because I like to celebrate the little moments). My little ham loves attention, so she blew a few more kisses. It seems that “Yay!” is a big motivator for her these days.

The little boy never did catch on but the mom and I grinned from ear to ear as Bri blew him kisses the rest of the way down the aisle. She then proceeded to shower everyone in the store with kisses. Our cashier and the people all along the way to the car got kisses as well. I laughed all the way to the car.

day 5/7: bri doesn’t like april fool’s jokes

serious bri

Bri needed a diaper change after dinner and when we were finished, I jokingly said “Night, night” and tossed her into the crib. Poor little girl. She’s not old enough to understand a joke, and she started crying. Ooops! So I grabbed her back out of the crib and got the camera out to snap a picture. She was enamored by the auto timer, hence the studious expression. We then spent an hour jumping on Mommy and Daddy’s bed before it was really time for “Night, night.”

PS- I thought about posting a belly shot and saying “Guess who’s preggers? April fools!” But Hubs argued that some people can’t take a joke. So I decided not to do it.

Day 2/7: Yellow Play Rug

The 7days theme for today happens to be yellow, so after a little deliberation, Bri and I decided to pull all of her yellow toys onto the yellow play rug where I valiantly snapped pictures.

bri's yellow toys

The second runner up for my 7days shot was the toes pose below. I love the angle of the shot and Bri’s face. But there wasn’t a lot of yellow in there, and I tried for a better one later. Incidentally, the painted window below was one of my recent painting projects. It turned out rather nice in the end but gave me lots of grief on the way!

toes pose on the fireplace

Bridoodle enjoyed bouncing up and down on my tummy while I was on the floor! She’s such a little nut! Right now she’s a bundle of energy and noise. She  really enjoyed saying “yeah*woh” over and over while she played with her toys.

yeah*woh toys

She runs in a circuit from her toys to the entrance of her play area and then back to me. Rather than give her free reign of the house, when she became mobile, we started barricading off the play area in the living room. These days we let her roam a lot more, but I didn’t want her to escape too far from my camera for our photo shoot!

bridoodle's barricade

Here’s the shot that I chose for my seven days photo today. It captures the theme of yellow and we both made it in there too. Whew! Mission accomplished.

day 2/7

Bri’s Dress Up Box

A couple of weeks ago, I rearranged some stuff in the living room and repurposed some storage containers. A cute green striped box became Bridoodle’s dress up box and was moved to her play area. Initially, she liked to open and close the heavy leather lid. Then she realized that the box could support her weight and she began climbing on top of it where she would perch like a frog.

bri's dress up box

Today she’s discovered that she can fit inside the box too! I wish that I could have captured those first few moments when she was grinning ear to ear sitting inside the empty box, but by the time I ran for the camera and came back, she was already moving along to another toy.

houdini  bri

Undaunted, I tackled her, scooped her up and plopped her back in the box. (Of course, the whole time I’m thinking that I’ll probably be fussing at her for doing this again in a few days, but I need that picture now, dang it!)

playful bri

Well, wouldn’t you know it, but she scrambled back out of the box so fast that all of my pictures were blurry. Lather, rinse, repeat. Of course, now it’s becoming a game. A tackling, tickling, squealing with laughter and trying to hop back out of the box fast kind of game. Not safe for the camera. So I did what any good mommy would do. I stuffed the box with toys and pillows so that she couldn’t get out!

stuck

And voila! Moment semi-captured. New game born.

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Another one of Bri’s favorite activities is to pull all of the DVDs off of the bottom three shelves. She can pull fifty down in the blink of an eye. (Yes, we’ve collected a LOT of movies over the years.) Only lately have I been able to reprimand her and instruct her to put them away. I think Hubs and I were both pretty shocked on Wednesday when I fussed at her for making this mess and she actually cleaned it up! Today, she’s had to do the clean-up herself twice!

**********************************************************************************

This afternoon we took Bri out to the front yard for a practice Easter egg hunt. She was very serious about collecting her eggs and placing them in her basket. The very last one seemed to tip the balance so that all of them fell out. She giggled gleefully and started over. Putting things away seems to be very fun in her world right now.

*********************************************************************************

Warning: This story may bother my two male readers. You can stop now. This is the last anecdote. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Bri has free reign of the house most of the time now. So when I’m home with her alone, I leave the bathroom door open in case something happens. I want to be able to hear her. This also means that she wanders in the bathroom while I’m busy. Frequently. She stands at my knee and chatters away. She doesn’t want to leave. So in order to get out of there, I have to finish up, which means using a tampon when Aunt Flo comes to call. Everytime I open the wrapper, she gets excited and starts saying, “Cheese?” and “Bite?” It always makes me giggle. “No, honey, this is not cheese. It’s not food.”

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