Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Claus or the Big Balloon Bear?

Bradyn got to enjoy his first hockey game with Oomba and Oompa Lee...well, he enjoyed the "hockey" part of the game, but not the opening of the show. When we arrived at the game, he was SO excited (as most of you know...he's obsessed with ALL sports), he could hardly contain his excitement. They started preparing for the opening of the game by inflating this large bear that the hockey players would skate through. We sat and watched them inflate this thing and Bradyn was so excited and then...he started screaming and crying uncontrollably when the bear was about half of the way inflated. We had to take him out of the arena to try and settle him down. Once the bear was deflated and off the ice, we were able to return and he loved watching the rest of the game. This all happened around Thanksgiving...still to this day he continues to talk about "The Big Balloon Bear" with concern! So, we were very concerned when we found out that Santa was coming to visit Bradyn at his daycare...we figured if a Big Balloon Bear got that kind of a reaction, Santa may bring on the same fears. When I picked him up from daycare, I asked him if he saw Santa and he said, "Yeah...big guy." Oohh boy, I thought I knew where this was headed and then his teacher said, "He LOVED Santa! He RAN to him and jumped on his lap, and grabbed his santa hat and wore it!" Yes, I was floored, he loves the "big guy". So, this weekend we headed out to see Santa again and get his picture taken with him, something we never imagined we'd be doing this year! When we got there, he was so excited to see Santa again, but even more excited to see the 3'x3' bag of candy canes next to him! Santa really made Bradyn's day when he asked Bradyn about Mater...one of his favorite "Cars" characters! Ho Ho Ho!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Little Behind on Posts...

Wow! So much has happened since my last post, so get ready for updates:

Gotcha Day!
We celebrated our "Gotcha Day" with Bradyn on October 28th. Hard to believe that it has been 1 year since we have been blessed with his presence. We decided we would go out to dinner for our celebration especially since Bradyn does so well in restaurants. Well, that didn't work so well, he showed his true 2 year old colors and made for a very fast dining experience. We had cake when we got home and he opened a gift that we got for him in Russia. We also put together a package to send to the baby home.

Our 5 Year Wedding Anniversary!
We spent the weekend in Park City with great plans to play in the snow with Bradyn. Well, it didn't snow and the ground was completely bare! Plan B...we enjoyed ourselves in the swimming pool and did some window shopping.

Oompa and Oomba Lee joined us for Thanksgiving this year! Bradyn got his usual "A Present A Day" gifts from them. We had lots of fun with them and even took Bradyn to his first Hockey game. He LOVED the hockey but didn't care for the large inflatable Bear that the hockey players skated through at the beginning of the game. We also went to the zoo and Bradyn showed Oomba and Oompa around.

My Dad's 75th Birthday Celebration!
Our whole family surprised my Dad with a birthday party for his 3/4 of a century celebration! Everyone in the family wrote letters to him on their memories with him, then compiled it into a book. We succeeded in surprising him and spent the time reminiscing about good times.

Now here we are in the midst of the holiday season and counting down the days until Santa comes. Bradyn has become obsessed with the characters from Toy Story and says that Santa is bringing him a Buzz Lightyear. He has enjoyed getting ready for Santa with our daily advent calendar countdown. We've also made cookies and gingerbread houses. And Bradyn has even helped wrap the presents...well, he has added about 5 or 6 gift tags to every gift. We are so excited for Santa to get here...he comes to Bradyn's daycare on the 18th and he says he's going to sit on his lap...we'll see.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Potty Time

Well, we are knee deep in potty training...not because Mike and I wanted it, but Bradyn has been SO excited for it! So, we went out and bought him a potty chair. Bradyn picked it out and it is, of course, a baseball chair! The chair is equipped with a baseball "flusher" that cheers for you when you push it. Well...we pushed it and the sound scared Bradyn SO badly that he started "shushing" it and telling it to be quiet. After that he wouldn't go anywhere near it. So, during naptime, Papa dissassembled the baseball flusher and now we have a potty-loving baby! We had plans of keeping him in diapers for quite awhile, but he kept showing such an interest, that I guess we are now full on potty training. He is so proud of himself when he uses it and then we get to do the potty dance! Even Eiger joins in the dance, and when Papa is at work, he gets to listen to us do the potty dance on the phone! Such exciting stuff!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

1 Year Post Placement Completed

When you adopt from Russia you are required by their government to give the courts reports on how your child is doing. We had to do a report at 1 month, 6 months, and now at 1 year. This isn't just a report that you write yourself, but you have a social worker come into your home and assess the conditions of the home, child, etc. Then the social worker writes the report and sends it to our adoption agency, who in turn sends it to Russia. Well, our 1 year report is done! Woo Hoo! Our social worker was amazed at how well Bradyn is doing and how he fits into our lives so perfectly. His comment was "You guys really do have a perfect family". We agree!

Not only have we been working on our post placement report, but we've been very concerned about Bradyn's Oomba (Grandma Taresh). She wasn't feeling very good and then got progressively worse to the point where her foot went numb and she was in great pain. She ended up being admitted to the hospital and was there for 9 days. They finally figured out that she had vasculitis. Luckily they were able to catch it in time and she is on the mend, although she is taking some pretty serious drugs. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers so that she is back to chasing Bradyn.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

It's hard to believe that summer is coming to a close, but Bradyn has thoroughly enjoyed this season! He loves the great outdoors and can't seem to get enough of it! From playing golf or baseball to exploring ponds and the ducks that reside there, to playing in the dirt while camping! Bradyn also took swimming lessons with Papa this summer and he LOVES the water! It's hard to believe that less than a year ago, we couldn't even get him in a bathtub and now we can't get him out of the water! Bradyn enjoyed swimming lessons, but I think Papa enjoyed that time with Bradyn just as much, if not more! Their swimming lessons are over now, but both of them still play the games and songs they learned... "5 Little Monkeys", "Motorboat", and more!

Bradyn's vocabulary seems to increase daily. He has started saying sentences...granted, his sentences are a conglomeration of the words he knows, so they usually don't make much sense, but nevertheless, he's trying to string words together. His other great speech accomplishment this summer is saying the "s" sound! He likes the sound so much that he puts it at the end of everything, "Papas", "Mommys", "Bye Byes". Not only does it sound cute, but he looks so cute when he says them...he uses his back teeth to make the sound, which means his adorable dimples take center stage!

With summer coming to a close, fall is approaching quickly. That means the mark of our 1 year anniversary of Gotcha Day is close at hand!! So much to celebrate!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So Much to Blog About...So Little Time to Blog

Wow!! I can't believe that it has been a month since I blogged. So, much has happened in that time and I have been so busy that I haven't had a chance to blog about it.

First of all, my wonderful husband threw me a SURPRISE 40th birthday party! He thought of everything and pulled it off without my having a clue!! It worked out for him that I had scheduled to get my hair cut and he decorated the house in an island theme! Bradyn was thrilled with the theme, as Papa got him a swimming pool and that is where he stayed all day!!! Even Eiger and Sierra joined in the fun by wearing leis. Family and friends traveled from afar to help celebrate the big day. I'm still in shock that Mike pulled this off! Thanks to everyone for helping me turn 40 in a fun way! And a HUGE thanks to my husband for making me feel so special!!

Mike had his birthday, too! Yes, the three of us are summer babies! I feel bad that I didn't give Mike quite the same kind of celebration that I got!! He did get to golf on his birthday though, and golfing is always a welcomed thing with him.

Speaking of golf...that is all Bradyn can think about! Golf, golf, golf!! He plays it, talks about it, and likes to watch it on tv! He's getting pretty good at it, too! It's all sports with him!! When he isn't talking about golf, he's talking about baseball, basketball, soccer, or hockey!

Luckily, Mama and Bradyn will have some time to play these sports together!! It's official, I am job sharing with another teacher. That means that I am now working part-time. I work Wednesdays and Thursdays and then alternate every other Friday. So, I get really long weekends with Brady! I'm thrilled that I will be able to spend more time with him, as time seems to go by so fast!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Journeys with a Jeep

It's no secret that Bradyn loves jeeps. From the moment we landed in the States, he's been able to spot them a mile away! His obsession with jeeps has even made Mike and me question whether or not we should trade our car in for one. I guess when you are constantly forced to look for jeeps, you start thinking "hey that one is cute" or "oooh, I like that color". Therefore, it made sense that his first birthday gift from us should be a jeep. We would have preferred it to be a YELLOW jeep, as those are B's favorite, but we had to settle for a green one. Regardless of the color, he loves it!

When he first got it, he'd get in, press the gas pedal, lurch forward, and then jump out!! This went on for several days and the poor lonely jeep would spend a lot of time outdoors not being driven. So, we parked it in the garage. One day, the three of us were in the garage, Mike and I were talking. Next thing we know, Bradyn is in the jeep with the pedal to the metal backing up and almost ran me over. I got out of the way in time, but my car was behind me...near miss! No damage, luckily! We hurried and switched it to forward instead of reverse and he was off! Down the driveway, over the rock bed, through the grass, and into the fence! No more lurching forward and stopping I guess...now he throws the pedal down and goes!

Other moments with the jeep have been fun, like experimenting where you sit...he's sat on the roof and with Mama's distaste...standing on the roof!! He also likes to feel the wheels when he drives.

My favorite moment though, happened yesterday. He had driven the jeep to the side yard, stopped, and just sat there! Impatient Mama wanted him to get a move on it and get back to the backyard. After much prodding I said, "Give it some gas, let's go". Next thing, I know he gets out of the jeep and starts pulling at the grass. I said, "What are you doing?" and he said "Gas, gas." Then he throws some grass into the jeep and then jumps in and takes off. It took me a few seconds, but then I realized what he was doing...I said to "give it some gas" and that is how he says grass - gas, since he can't say the r sound yet. So, he "gave it some gas"! If only gas were that cheap!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bradyn's Big Birthday Bash!

He's 2! He's 2!! Yes, our baby turned 2 years old and to celebrate we held a big birthday bash...this was his first "American" birthday celebration, so we had to make it extra special! We began by inviting our family and friends. Then the decorations...we had a Mickey Mouse celebration and Mickey himself attended (okay, maybe just the balloon version of Mickey, but Mickey nonetheless).

We decided to have the party when he woke up from his nap, so that we could decorate while he was sleeping and then he could be surprised. Well, his nap was a short-lived one and once he came downstairs he wanted to start in on the festivities...even though most of the guests had not arrived. Here he is trying to open his presents and the party hadn't even started yet:

We finally lured him outside to detain him until people could arrive.

Finally, the bouncy house we ordered arrived and the set up of it had Bradyn mesmerized and a bit scared. As a matter of fact, he never got in the bouncy house...luckily the other kids were thrilled by it and they were entertained all afternoon!

Then the gift opening began...paused...began again...paused...and began again. I say this, because Bradyn had to get each gift out of the packaging and play with it before the next gift was opened...needless to say it took a long time!! You can tell that family and friends know him so well...he LOVED every gift and now we need to get a new house with a 3 car garage, just to fit all of his new vehicles, sports equipment, and art supplies!

After a bit of dinner (and a diaper change), we moved on to the Mickey Mouse birthday cake! Bradyn was SO excited and he even blew out his candles! He thoroughly enjoyed his cake, so much that he forgot about his fork and hands and did a face plant bite into the frosting!

The long day ended with a very happy (and a bit overwhelmed) baby sleeping peacefully. The next day was like a party all over again as he discovered and played with all his new toys! Thanks everyone for making Bradyn's 2nd Birthday so special!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Do You Know the Muffin Man?

Here's our little Muffin Man with his first baking experience. He is such a great helper and we made yummy banana bread. Then I found out that at daycare today, he made cupcakes for his birthday! I guess we have a little cook on our hands!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

Happy Father's Day!! Yay, we get to celebrate Papa!! And if we didn't have Bradyn, we wouldn't be able to do that!!! Mike is a wonderful father...sweet, caring, kind, fun, and the list goes on! The look that is on Bradyn's face when he sees his Papa is a testament to the kind of father Mike is!! And when Bradyn doesn't see his Papa, he's always asking for him! We've waited a long time to be parents and I always knew that fatherhood would suit Mike perfectly! Now that he is a father, he has not only stepped into that role, but embraced and flourished in it! Bradyn is blessed to have Mike as his Papa and I'm blessed to have him as my husband! Happy Father's Day Mike, we love you!

And of course, Mike has a wonderful role model, his Dad! Happy Father's Day Dave (Oompa), we love you!

And my Dad has always been my inspiration and rock! Happy Father's Day Dad (Oompa), we love you, too!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Look Out Brett

Will Brett Farve be seeking the quarterback position for the Green Bay Packers in the year 2028 or will he finally retire? Well, all we have to say is look out Brett...Bradyn Lee is getting ready! Go Green Bay or as Bradyn says "GO Gogoomba!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


It's hard to believe that a month has gone by without me posting! Time flies when you are having fun and when you are sick. Bradyn seems to be building his immune system. After he finishes one daycare cold, he gets another!! In the meantime, we have had the chance to provide Bradyn with some more "firsts".

He went to his first baseball game. He didn't realize that he was supposed to sit and watch the game, he thought he was supposed to climb on the chairs and run around the bleachers. In his typical fashion, he enjoyed the ball park foods.

Bradyn went on his first overnight camping trip. He had a great time! He loved playing in the dirt, exploring, and throwing rocks in the river.

And of course...he had to enjoy his first S'more with his friends Anika and Kendal.

And we have another big first coming up soon! Bradyn will be having his very first American birthday party to celebrate him turning 2!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blessed Baby, Blessed Life

We are so blessed! I can't tell you how many times I think this on any given day...but I think today I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for all the blessings in our life! First off, look at these two beautiful women...

they are beautiful inside and out and Mike and I are blessed with being able to call them Mom. Happy Mother's Day Moms...we love you!
Adding to the blessings...I get to be the Mama to a wonderful baby boy who has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives! The blessings continue as Mike and I acknowledge what caring and thoughtful families we have! And not only do we have so many wonderful friends, but there are so many people who have supported us through this amazing journey!
Today we celebrated Bradyn's baptism and what a day it was! Bradyn did a great job in church and kept both sets of Oombas and Oompas busy during the service. All in all he did really well during the baptism. Afterwards, Bradyn relished in all the attention that was lavished upon him from family and friends. We are so blessed!

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Week In Wisconsin

Bradyn, Mike and I boarded a plane on Tuesday with Oomba and Oompa Taresh. We landed safely and tear-free in Minnesota and drove to Mike's hometown in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Oomba and Oompa Lee's. We made the voyage to Wisco so that Bradyn could get baptized in the church that Mike was baptized in. We are especially excited that it will happen on Mother's day with both sets of Grandparents and his soon-to-be Godparents Aunt Lora and Uncle Bob. Bradyn is beside himself with love, affection, and attention from both grandparents, Aunt, Uncle, and cousins! He has made himself right at home at Oomba and Oompa Lee's house! We've had a fun-packed week already visiting a cheese factory, an Eagle preserve, Oomba's work and Leinenkugels! More fun is in store for the remainder of the week...stay tuned!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Take Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

Sometimes we all just need to stop...

and smell the roses (or tulips).

Or the bushes!

And if you just can't get enough of them...just grab the things!

So precious!

Monday, April 27, 2009

First Post Placement Report

Our first post placement report should be in the hands of the Russian officials by tomorrow. April 28th marks 6 months that Bradyn has been in our arms. Russia requires follow up reports sent to them by our Social Worker. We have to do this after the first 6 months, 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months. It is hard to believe that 6 months have already passed! Our social worker gave a very nice report on us and Bradyn won him over with his charm and good looks!

And what a handsome boy he is!! Here he is enjoying his first ice cream cone!! He used to say "ice cream" until he actually tasted it...now he calls it honey!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What A Week! And It's Only Wednesday!

Our week began on Saturday night with Bradyn waking up in the middle of the night coughing and crying. He seemed miserable so we moved him into bed with us. He fell asleep for a bit but then woke up and threw up all over Mama! Which wasn't that big of a deal, but Mama was experiencing bodyaches and fever!

Easter Sunday morning came bright and early at 5:30 since Bradyn decided he didn't want to go back to sleep but would rather wake up Oomba and Oompa and play with them! He had lots of fun looking through both of his easter baskets, finding easter eggs and playing with cousins. He thinks that easter eggs are for throwing as opposed to collecting! (They do look like a ball!)

We all went to school and work on Monday, and when I picked Bradyn up from daycare he had a fever and a rash on his legs. I took him to urgent care and we learned that he has strep throat! Poor little guy! That means no daycare for at least 24 hours! Well, Mama HAD to go to work the next day and Papa HAD to make a daytrip out of town for work...so, we called Oomba T and she drove 2 hours to babysit Bradyn for us.

Tuesday was an exciting day for Bradyn, despite feeling crummy, as Oomba was here and he didn't have to go to daycare! Mama had to go to school because she is working on the 2nd grade program that will be performed in 2 weeks. While she was showing the students the dance steps, she came down on her leg the wrong way and pulled her muscle!! (I guess I'm not a BlazerDancer anymore!) Mama wasn't even able to drive home, let alone, walk! Luckily Oomba was here to help with Bradyn. Papa arrived home in the evening with a sore throat and bodyaches!!

Oomba stayed today to help out and then the snow came...looks like she will be staying another day!!

Despite the tough week, we are all managing. Here are some pics of Easter: