Monday, August 31, 2009


Ashlyn strikes a pose in her bumbo chair:
Braeden in June 2008:
Braeden in August 2009:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The 40 & 8

Chris and the Kelly Cousins:
Chris and Braeden
(posing just like Chris did with his grandpa when he was little)Chris seems annoyed with picture time now:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Swap Mamas

I love to swap. I can remember back to my girl scouts days when we had our "swap hats." They were plain hats that we covered in tacky homemade doodads. Girl scouts would swap for said doodads....I of course ended up going overboard and filled my hat to maximum capacity....but I digress. What was I getting at? Oh yeah....I love to swap. And I found a great site that I must plug..... Basically, it is just one big swap meet for moms!

Goodbye to Great Grandma

On Wednesday, August 19th, Chris's grandmother passed away after recently being diagnosed with advanced cancer less than a month ago. On Monday, she was given a devastating prognosis that she would only live for another 2 weeks max. She made the decision to go into a hospice/palliative care program.

For the short couple of days in hospice, the staff kept her comfortable. We are thankful she did not suffer and went to be with God and her beloved husband (who passed away in December 2007), rather than suffer on this Earth with her severe illness.

The passing of my children's great grandma is devastating to me. I am saddened to think that my babies will not have memories of their great grandma. Sure Braeden spent a lot of time with her....she was always babysitting him, but he is still so young that I doubt he will carry on those memories of her. We brought him to visit her the night before she died. He started trying to climb into bed with her, and to occupy him, she reached on her bedside table and grabbed a couple crackers. After all, she knew the way to his heart (and to make him behave!) is through food.

On July 4th (before we even knew she was sick), she spent much of the day holding Ashlyn so that I could partake in the family football game. I am so glad that she had that time to bond with her great granddaughter. I am so mad at myself for not taking a picture of them together on that day...She definitely was very found of Ashlyn. When we visited her in hospice care, she was tired and weak, but opened her eyes and held onto Ashlyn's hand. I know that she prayed so hard for Ashlyn when she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and when she had her surgery. She even made sure that Ashlyn was on the Prayers of the Faithful at her church.

The funeral service was hard on me....not only was I emotional about the loss of my husband's grandmother, but I was reminded of my grandmothers who have both passed away. It makes me teary eyed to think that Meme Martin and Meme Herendeen never got to meet their great grandchildren. I know how much they would have loved Braeden and Ashlyn....I hope they are looking down from heaven watching over them. I know how proud they would be to see how I have grown up and started a family of my own.....
It is hard to believe that my babies' only living great grandmother is now gone. The events of the last month or so are surreal and really makes me stop and think how fragile life is. Luckily, with a little faith, we can make sense of this death and see the bigger picture. While, great grandmother is no longer with us physically, she lives on in our memories of her and in the legacy she left behind through her 4 sons, 11 grandchildren, and 8 (I think?) great grandchildren....not to mention all the other lives she was touched.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Slacker Mom

Sorry I have been MIA lately......This past week has been busy, stressful, and saddening.

I am back working 2 12-hour night shifts during the weekends. While it feels good to get out of the house, the transition back to the real world is not fun!

Also, on Wednesday, Chris's grandmother passed away : ( I'll post an update/tribute to Great Grandma at a later time.

In the meantime, here's some pics to get over my blog withdrawal!

Great Grandma knew how to get down! Electric Slide at our wedding on May 17, 2008.
It's Braeden!
Ashlyn keeps growing up and getting cuter and cuter!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Celebrity Baby Style

Sheryl Crow's son Wyatt and Braeden have very similar fashion sense and frugal mommies apparently! Check it out.....Both boys have been photographed (Braeden by the mamarazzi, Wyatt by the paparazzi) in $5 Cherokee t-shirts from Target!

Friday, August 14, 2009

About Time!

Finally, here are the lost JCP portraits.....They were taken back at the end of June, but I had yet to post them because experience with the photographer was not still bums me out thinking about that day.

It was pouring outside before we came in. We were early, but the photographer still rushed us in and out. We weren't given a chance to brush through our hair. I had picture ideas bookmarked, but the photographer didn't even ask to see them. When I asked to try a certain pose I saw hanging on their wall, she gave this exasperated sigh and reluctantly agreed.

She kept saying that Ashlyn looked funny because she was only half opening her eyes. Hello, she was 3 weeks old! You need to be patient with newborns, and then you will get a good picture. Just clicking the camera and moving on will not result in a good photo.....

I was hoping to get a good family picture. Unfortunately, I hated how I (mainly my hair) looked in all of them. No way was I going to get a picture blown up to display in the living room with my hair wet from the rain and in my face!

Despite how horrible I looked and the crappy photographer, we got some very cute pics of the babies. After all, Braeden is so photogenic, and Ashlyn is such a precious angel.

If we return to JCP for portraits, I will make sure to request Teresa, the girl who took all of the photographs of Braeden as a baby. She is so patient and fun during the entire session. She asks me for my opinions, and isn't afraid to tell me to get my hair out of my face! And she does this crazy sound effect that makes Braeden put the happiest smile on his face.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bye Bye Uncle Chris

Uncle Chris (my 17 year old brother) is leaving for Corona, California on Saturday. Tonight, we met up for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings...our last chance to see him until Christmas! He is doing the Young Americans program where he gets to perform, travel, and take college classes. It is a great opportunity for him....and for us too because I am sure at some point, we will want to head out to Cali to visit!!

Good luck Uncle Chris......Keep in touch!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Breast is Best!

Finally Forward Facing

I finally got around to turning Braeden's carseat forward. The old recommendation was over 20lbs and 1 year, and you were all set to turn the carseat forward. But at 1 year, B was not 20 lbs so I left him as he was.

Once, he reached 20 lbs, I kept hearing all this hoopla about the recommendation changing to rear facing as long as possible. Well, I thought, that's easy....B is on the smaller side, he should do just fine having rear facing for another year or so. Or so I thought....

B recently figured out how to wiggle out of his shoulder straps. After many readjustments, I realized that it was not my fault or the carseat's fault. B is too smart for his own good! Whenever he wanted to turn around to see me or grab a toy or sippy cup that fell, he would figure out how to move the clip down in order for him to slip his arms out....My little houdini left me no choice....After all a buckled forward facing toddler is a whole lot safer than an unbuckled rear facing toddler!

I turned the carseat around today and am not looking back (and neither is Braeden anymore!). He seemed to enjoy the new view, and I could found it much easier to pass him a toy or sippy cup whenever he started fussing. I could turn around and look right at him at stop lights, and he got a big kick out of that!

New Ashlyn Pics

Here are some recent pictures of my beautiful, silly little girl:
Crazy Lady!

Tummy Time!
She is getting so big....
Happy in Daddy's arms

Little Class at the Little Gym

Summer session at the Little Gym is pathetic....only 3 kids in the Birdie class (ages 10-19 months) on Saturday!

B still had fun...that is until he realized that mommy and baby sister were on the other side of the glass window.....

Balloons! One of B's first words....
Braeden and Daddy's bottom half!

Count the kiddies....1....2.....3.....
Uh oh....B saw me!!
Mr. Dramatic trying to climb up the wall....

Bad Mommy Moment

I am having more and more of these bad mommy moment posts lately! Here is the latest:

Braeden fell asleep in Ashlyn's Boppy Cradle in Comfort Bouncer (love love love this baby product by the way!) with her binky and sans shirt, and I just let him sleep for over 1 1/2 hours. He is still under the max weight limit of 25lbs so at least he won't break one of Ashlyn's favorite baby toys.....

9 Weeks....

9 weeks old! We're almost in double digits people!!

Time for a Change

New blog layout courtesy of:

Any feedback on the new changes?