Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday's Favorite

It's the last Friday in April, and May is knocking at the door. I'm looking forward to sunshine and flowers, but I'm not sure how it's possible it's the end of April already.

Still, since it is still April for one more day, I'm posting some pictures from Easter (technically, the day before Easter) for this week's Friday Favorite.

I had mentioned in an earlier post (you can read it here) that Braden calls our church the party. The Saturday before Easter Sunday they had a HUGE Easter event for the kids. There were balloons, an Easter egg hunt, a petting zoo, crafts, train rides, jungle gyms, emergency vehicles and a school bus the kids could walk on and explore....and I know I'm leaving some things out.

It was a blast! Braden had a great time and we had just as much fun watching him. He was not intimidated by crowds or older kids, but he was also very well mannered and patient. We couldn't have been more proud.

One of my favorite parts of the day was a guy in a bear suit. This thing was enormous. Mr. Bear was handing out candy and giving the kids hugs, high fives, and photo ops. We weren't really sure what Brady would do, but we told him he could go see the bear if he wanted to, no pressure. Then the B-Man, all by himself, walked up to this big bear, gave him hugs and kisses, and just petted him ever so gently. It was such a sweet, tender moment.

I don't have any actual pictures from the "party" itself because I wanted to be able to focus on Brady experiencing it and not spend the day trying to capture pictures of Brady experiencing it. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes when you're concerned with getting good (or in my case, tolerable) pictures, you can lose out on living the moment. I didn't want to miss this moment.

So, here are the pictures...taken after the event with Brady sitting on our trunk.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Tuesday.

I loved today, even though I couldn't think of a decent title for today's blog.

My morning consisted of Brady and I sneaking off to Bed, Bath, and Beyond (ok, I guess it wasn't technically sneaking since Mike was waving good-bye to us as we drove off) in search of some empty spray bottles. When our search left us empty handed (with the exception of some yummy flavored K-Cups), we stopped by Target, which is across the street from Lowes (not a fact that's really important to anyone except Brady, who mentioned it...repeatedly). Still no empty spray bottles. Sigh.

Maybe I should specify. I'm not looking for just any hum-drum run of the mill empty spray bottle. I am searhing for a bottle with some iota of style, something that I'll want to use. I've mentioned it before, but we are striving to use more all natural products, and that includes the items we use to clean. Therefore, I am going to start using my very own, homemade household cleaner. Which is why I need some empty spray bottles (yes, I realize it's weird, Mike already told me...repeatedly). I think I may have to resort to ordering some from the Container Store.

Our day was filled with randomness and fun, but the highlight of the evening is when Brady put on my hoodie. The pictures aren't the greatest. He was moving around so much I had a hard time getting a clear shot. I realize this is probably not a challenge for more advanced photographers, but alas, I am but an amateur.

Nevertheless, I love these pictures and the mood they captured. Listen closely...can't you almost hear him laughing?

For the purpose of full disclosure I should tell you Braden finds the word "booby" hilarious. As in laugh-until-you-fall-down hilarious. Before you ask, I have no idea where he heard it or why he finds it so funny (I blame his father). Whatever the reason, I (unashamedly) used it to my advantage to get these pictures. I was desperate for some genuine smiles instead of his cheesy grin he gives when he's hamming it up for the camera (not that I don't love that grin too). So, after saying booby more tonight than I've probably said in my entire life, I can tell you I'm happy with these pictures (even if they are on the blurry side).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend in Review

We woke up Saturday to the sound of a downpour. The morning was something I want to remember for years to come. The three of us snuggled up on the couch under Mike's childhood Star Wars blanket (that thing is comfy cozy for sure) and munched on homemade fresh-from-the-oven blueberry muffins. We took our time, laughed, shared bites, and then cleaned up all the crumbs that didn't make it into Braden's mouth.

And it was still raining. A lot. What to do? Hit the garage sales! We did what we call the "quick get ready" which means just that: get ready as quickly as possible. For me, that usually means donning a baseball hat to hide any sights of unruly bedhead (not that I ever have that). We piled in the car and headed out for the sales. We managed to make a solid morning of it, even though we didn't actually get out of the car. We are big fans of the drive-by method, especially when it's a monsoon (nobody had anything good, anyway). It was still nice to get out, despite the rain.

We managed to get home just in time for the B-Man's nap (always convenient). We were delighted to see the sunshine when he woke up and headed to our neighborhood park to revel in it.

We managed to get in some swinging,

and some "sliding",

and some of this.
Then, he spotted it. The puddle (there were many to choose from). I was thankful we had the forethought to put on his rain boots. By the way, don't you just love his watch? It was actually one I used to play with when I was little and Braden has recently taken up with it. It cracks me up!

Mike (the clever man that he is) looked up at the sky and saw bright skies on one side, and doom and gloom on the other. He made the recommendation we head to the car, like now.

The picture doesn't really do it justice, but you'll get the idea. It was dark and moving in, fast.

We managed to make it to the car and get safely buckled just as the rain started falling, along with the hail. Talk about timing!

Sunday was nice and relaxing. We made it to the later service of church, which Braden calls the party (more on that later) and just enjoyed the day together. It wasn't a super productive weekend thanks to the rain, but, thanks to the rain, it sure was relaxing!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday's Favorite

Happy Friday!

I've decided to dedicate Friday's to pictures I never got around to posting on Facebook or sharing with family and friends. I'm calling them Friday's Favorite.

These pictures were taken the very first (and so far, only) time Brady saw a frog. In typical B-Man fashion, he was fearless and pretty excited. Although, at the time he was also eating orange jello (which he made!), so the frog had some pretty stiff competition. Nevertheless, our little guy was excited. I can't help but feeling like this is an important event, even if it is just a frog.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Today we woke up to the sound of rain and, I've got to tell you, it was so nice! Don't get me wrong, I love sunshine, but there is something so nice and relaxing about having the windows open and listening to the rain. There was a gentle breeze blowing in and a coolness to the air and it just felt invigorating.

Here at the Butler household we have been trying to buy, make, and use more all-natural products. We are in no way totally there yet, but we're on our way. In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share with you two of my favorite recent finds. The first is Burt's Bees Toothpaste (you can get a sample or a $1 coupon by clicking here). The second is Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash. My face has never felt cleaner or smoother, and Mike said the same thing about his. We're hooked!

I also wanted to share with you one of Braden's more recent projects. We purchased a seed kit that included biodegradable pots, pellet soil, and seeds and I thought it would be a fun activity for the B-Man and I to do together. Well, the little guy took the project and ran with it. He laid out all the pots individually, put the pellet soil in a bowl, added water, and mixed it. I helped him put some soil in each of the pots and then he (totally by himself) put three seeds in each pot (we had some extra so two pots got four seeds). We topped them off with soil and watered. We water them and check on them every morning and, here's what they look like now:

Let me tell you, the little man is proud of these little plants. He knows he did it and he beams with pride when we tell him what a good job he did. Soon, when they get a little stronger and a little bigger, these plants will make their way into our garden and produce yummy orange peppers...all thanks to Braden's work...and the Lord's miracles.

Happy Earth Day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Uncle Dance

As Braden and I were finishing up planting some flowers (technically I was finishing, Braden was too busy, well, being Braden), a car pulled up to our house. The B-Man instantly recognized his beloved Uncle Dance and ran right to...his car. Yup, that's Braden for you.

After my brother (who's actual name is Lance but has lovingly been renamed) chased the little guy around the yard, the cars, and into the house, we sat down and ate dinner together (mad props to Mike for grilling his most amazing burgers ever!). Then it took effect....

"What's it?" you ask? It is this strange thing that happens to my usually calm little boy when he's in my brother's presence...think Road Runner meets Woody Woodpecker. Ok, maybe that's not the best comparison, but I'm telling you: the kid gets whacky! He giggles, spins in circles, falls down...just an outright goofball. I don't understand it and, to be honest, I don't entirely mind it either. It's always good for some laughs.

In the midst of the madness, I did manage to get this:

Say it with me: awwwww!

Braden must've had a good time, too. We heard him still laughing long after we put him to bed. It was the kind of laugh that's contagious and, before we knew it, Mike and I were giggling right along with him as we listened.

These are nights I love.

A side note: You may have noticed the watermark on the above picture. All pictures from here on out will have one. It' s just a security thing and a way for me to protect my images.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunshine on my Shoulder

With the weatherman predicting a week worth of rain and thunderstorms starting tomorrow, we decided to take advantage of the sunshine and head to our favorite park.

Nothing like taking time to smell the flowers.

And the flowers-to-be

Of course with so much to see and do, you can't really expect the little guy to stay in one place too long...

After some running around it was time for a yummy snack of cucumbers.

After the park, we made a short trip to Lowe's in search of a new weedeater. We left empty-handed (being the nerds we are, we decided to research before purchasing) and headed to Andy's to get some ice cream. The best part? It was free!

We had Braden in the front seat with us, which was a special treat. It was working perfectly until he discovered he could pull a lever and squirt windshield wiper fluid and make the wipers go. He excitedly exclaimed "I did it!" and became slightly obsessed with a repeat performance.

And just when we thought the day couldn't get any!

We must've worn him out because he pretty much fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. Here's hoping he sleeps in until 6:30 tomorrow!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Last Monday we made plans to go to the lake and go fishing this past Saturday. Right after the plans were made we told Braden we were going fishing Saturday, there was going to be water and rocks and he could splash (one of his favorite activities). Needless to say, he was excited. We must have had the following coverstaion hundreds of times...

Me: Where are we going Saturday?
Brady: Fishing!
Me: And what's going to be there?
Brady: Water!
Me: And what else?
Brady: Rocks!
Me: And what are you going to do with the rocks?
Brady: Splaaaashhhh!

Finally, Saturday arrived. It was worth the wait. Braden had a blast, and we had a blast watching him have a blast (isn't it funny that's how it is with kiddos?). Our fearless little guy headed right for the water...and walked right in!

Unphased by the coolness of the water (or the depth), he instantly started searching for rocks. Not just any rock would do, he took his time searching until he found it...the perfect rock. Who knew there were so many perfect rocks on the bank?

Found it!

Hmmm...better make sure...

Don't judge me for this next picture. Besides, dirt builds up immunity, right?

Now for the toss...

Did you see that?

The day wouldn't have been complete without another Brady first: roasted marshmallows!
He wasn't really sure what to think...

But, in typical Brady fashion, he gave it a try with gusto!
(Again, please excuse the dirt)

And, finally, one last picture. Brady, the 21 month old.

All in all, a pretty great day.

The Beginning

Today marks the beginning of yet another adventure...blogging!

As the B-Man turned 21 months on Saturday, I realized how quickly time is slipping by. In just three short months (that's a little less than 13 weeks, folks!), my once tiny, little baby boy will be two. While we do our best to live in the moment and treasure every second, I found myself wondering "will I remember all the little things that make this life so special?". The answer: probably not. So, with that, here is our blog.

For the future, brace yourself for an overload of parentheses (I'm a big fan), quirky posts (and probably some boring ones), lots of pictures, and hopefully some touching and unforgettable moments that will be forever captured in cybyerspace and thus solidify them in my memory.

Without further adieu, welcome to Life with the Butlers.