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Less than a month :(

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the April 30th, 2008

23 days to be exact, but I am still in serious denial.  In 23 SHORT days, my little monkey will be 1 YEAR OLD!!!!! Where did a year go?  Here are some memories that come to mind as I think of each month of the last year.  You can also read any of my previous entries from the last year in the blog archive.

May-Another little miracle entered the world and stole our hearts :)

June- We went on vacation while Mike had a MONTH off.  We had a GREAT time in The Villages with my parents and Aunt Lisa and Uncle Jack got to meet Mikey AND entertain Braeden

July- The 4th of July BBQ that we had at Mike’s parents house

August- Braeden started school and Mikey was so confused as to where his favorite person went all day

September- Our friend Michael came to visit and brought the boys lots of great Eagles gear

October- Mike’s conference in Fort Lauderdale that the boys, my parents and I got to tag along for; Mikey was a little Froggie for his first Halloween

November- Mikey’s dedication; Our trip to Orlando for Thanksgiving-  Braeden and Harley swam in the heated pool, Mike and I relaxed in the hot tub and Mikey, all bundled up, rocked himself to sleep in his carrier next to us; Mikey learned how to sit on his own

December- Mikey and Braeden’s first Christmas together

January- Baby Bennett was born and was a beautiful addition for Robyn, Paul and Austin; Mikey got his first (2) teeth; We finally got a new car

February- Braeden’s fun 6th Birthday party; I was delighted to have 3 gorgeous Valentines

March- Mikey celebrated his first Easter

April- Mikey is officially on the go……

Yup, that’s right, Mikey started crawling today.  While he was with Mike’s Mom on the weekend, he moved a little on his hands and knees, but wasn’t totally “roaming.” Oh what a difference a couple days can make.  Watch out everyone, Mikey is now able to get everywhere on all fours.  He has been pulling up for about a month, but would move backward and sit himself up any time we tried to put him on his hands and knees.  I don’t think the crawling thing will last long though, not because he doesn’t like it, because trust me he LOVES having the ability to go where he wants, when he wants, but because he is SO close to walking……he took 3 steps the other day.  He did left foot, right foot, left foot and then fell into Mike.  He is standing without assistance for longer stretches too…..you know, 5 seconds instead of 1.  BUT, he wants to be walking (with help) constantly.  It’s so funny because although he has mastered pulling up on whatever he can get a hold of, he hasn’t figured out how to bend back down into a sitting position and just falls down.  He laughs when he does it, so he must think its funny and amusing.  Speaking of amusing, he’s also figured out the game of “fetch,” only he is SMART and HE is the thrower, not the fetcher.  This game consists of me giving him one of his favorite toys, him looking at me, smiling, then laughing as he throws it down……repeat, repeat, repeat until Mama is tired.  He doesn’t seem to EVER tire.  He really just wants to be MOVING all the time.  I really want to know where the child gets his energy because he doesn’t sleep (other than the 20 minute cat naps he has reverted back to) during the day.  Back to the whole crawl/walk thing, Braeden didn’t crawl long either.  He started crawling at 17 months 3 weeks, and walked about a week later.  We are SO in for it with Mikey.  Not only is he moving around 7 months earlier than his big brother, but he is MUCH more intrigued and interested in EVERYTHING around him.  I told a friend the other day that we needed to drop the “i” in his name and add “on.” He truly IS a MONKEY and a very curious one.  For one of his Birthday gifts, we got him a big Curious George stuffed Monkey and book collection.  I truly mean it (in a cute, yet also serious way) every time I call him my little Monkey.  I can not take my eye off him for a second.  Braeden never required intense supervision and I am being totally honest when I say that he NEVER EVER got into ANYTHING, EVER!  He never pulled all the books and magazines of the coffee table, never tried to pull the blinds down, never pulled the towels off the rack, never examined the light sockets with his fingers (we have since covered every one), never tried to turn the TV on or off, never took advantage of Mama’s attention being on writing out a card and snuck out of the living room on his Lion and into the bathroom and put his hand in the toilet (OK, so Braeden never had a lion like Mikey), BUT these are all things that Mikey has done in the last week!  He is nosy, curious and demanding!  He is a VERY happy little guy, but he wants HIS way at ALL times.  And when he doesn’t get his way? Oh, he knows how to throw a fit- throwing his whole body back and all.  He also knows what he is doing.  Before he is about to do something he knows is mischievous, he will look up at us.  For the most part when we say “ah ah” (I HATE the word NO!) he stops and moves away.  If we say “ah-ah” and he continues, we tap his hand.  Naturally this hurts his feelings, BUT we know its working because like I said, the next time he tries to go for it, he will look up at us (his little mind remembers that the last time he touched that particular thing he got a hand-tap).  SO SMART ALREADY!  AND SO DARN CUTE AND SWEET!  I am really enjoying this stage.  Yes, we DO hope the stubbornness and neediness he is going through is just a “Phase,” but lately he is keeping us on our toes and providing un-ending entertainment.  He was with Mike’s Mom last Sat night and she called me laughing to tell me that she was trying to get Mikey to sleep by rubbing his head and when she would stop, he would grab her hand and put it back on his head and move it around to get her to start back up again.  :) My favorite new development other than the crawling and almost walking, (as much as I joke, I really DO love the fact that he is crawling and attempting to walk.  Like I said, Braeden was almost 18 months when he crawled and walked, so it is especially cute to see this tiny little fellow moving around) is that for the longest time I’ve been doing “kisses” with him.  I will say, “kisses” and give him a big kiss (puckering noise and all), finally this week, when I say, “kisses” and don’t kiss him, he makes this little puckering noise.  MELTS my heart! He is kissing us back! :) He is also waving too.  He has known “bye-bye” for awhile.  His “bye-bye” is basically him making a fist and opening and closing it.  Now, when we say, “wave Mikey” he actually waves, with both hands, and looks as if he is doing a break dance pushing his hands away from his body, or doing the chicken dance.  Even cuter, when we say, “YAY” about his waving, he claps for himself!  Yes, this year HAS flown by.  So much so……that I officially…..80% regret having my tubes tied.  Had we not have made that choice, I can almost guarantee that we would be trying for another baby.  I knew that I would feel this way, and THAT is why I had my tubes tied.  You all should be glad too because if I was pregnant, my blog entries would be even LESS frequent and very DULL (remember, I started this thing one month before having Mikey- you missed out on all the “yuck.” Pregnancy and I do not mesh) :) My friend Jennifer is having a baby boy in August so I can get my baby fill when need be. 

In other non-baby news, Braeden’s baseball continues to be so exciting.  Friday night I was at the baseball field for 4 hours (Mike was working) and I had more fun than I’ve had on a Friday night in SO long.  Braeden’s game was first and I thought for sure I’d loose my voice after screaming when the umpire made a terrible call.  It was the last out of the game (not Braeden) and the child on Braeden’s team was safe at first base by over a foot, but the ump called him out and we lost the game.  We stranded two runners on base and could have come back and won if the umpire hadn’t made the bad call.  I was SO mad, but then a little embarrassed for yelling so loud.  Fortunately I was surrounded by other parents who themselves were embarrassed for doing the same thing! :) Harley’s game was right after Braeden’s and equally as exciting.  It’s amazing how much these young boys pride themselves at being little athletes.  They try so hard and it is so serious and competitive for them.  Aside from baseball, Braeden should be loosing his first tooth any day now.  He ever so excitedly mentioned one morning last week that he had a “wiggly” tooth.  He has a dentist appointment next week and I REALLY hope it comes out before then because I don’t want the dentist to offer any help.  It will be so much more exciting for him if he has a true “first tooth loss experience!” He wanted to call everyone and tell them about his loose tooth.  I know it will be a BIG deal for him when he actually looses the tooth.  Other than baseball, and wiggly teeth, Braeden is continuing to learn how to ride his bike (hard to work with him on baseball AND riding a bike, but we are trying), and gearing up for a summer filled with travel.  He will be heading to Panama City to stay with Aaron’s family for 3 weeks (the longest he has EVER been gone) the week he gets out of school,  a week in Chicago with Aaron and his soon to be Step-Mother- YIKES that sounds weird (even though we all really really like Nancy) and then Disney World for a week in July.  Somewhere in between, he will attend baseball camp AND spend some good ole quality time with ME!  Last summer he learned how to swim, so I am really excited to see if he picks up right where he left off.

K, Mike has been gone since Monday and wants to snuggle, so……gotta go! Have a GREAT week!

Oh, I almost forgot- Mikey also fed himself finger foods for the first time on Monday.  He LOVES his sweet-potato puffs!

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This is what Braeden looked like at 7am this morning!  A hood, sun glasses, two watches on (one on each wrist) and sitting on his “freezing” hands.  He IS his own little person.

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Mikey enjoying a beautiful Spring day

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Wounds of a TRUE athlete

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the April 25th, 2008

Real quick before we head to tonight’s game.  Here are some pictures of last nights game.  Braeden had his best game yet and has the scrapes to prove it! He was 2 for 2! 2 doubles.  I guess we should play the lotto and use #2 and variations of 2. 

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He did this to his cheek running out to the field.  I guess this is what I get for telling him to “hustle” in and out of the field.  He face planted!  I am so proud of him though because he was so “tough” around his other teammates.  My usually overly dramatic child (he gets it honestly) nursed his face quietly on the bench while he waited to bat.  I was nervous that he’d be paying so much attention to his face that he’d be distracted while batting.  HA, was I wrong!  He had 2 AMAZING hits.  The team is doing so well.  They lost by two last Sat and again by 2 last night.  BIG difference from the first two defeats!  They are giving it their all and working so hard.  Way to go Reindollars! :)

More soon…..

0 for 2, BUT……

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the April 17th, 2008

Braeden was 2 for 2 last night at bat!  I can’t express enough how proud we are of our little man.  Although the team has been slaughtered their first 2 games (15-4 and 15-1), Braeden hit singles down the third base line BOTH at bats last night.  Practicing has really paid off and he looked great out there!  He definitely does not have the coordination or athletic ability that both Mike and I had as kids, BUT he sure does have the team spirit and WILL to do better.  He has so much fun and to me, that counts more.  There is one little guy on his team who is a great player with a lot of skill, but a terrible attitude.  I would much rather be the parent of a kid that gave it his all, was positive and maybe struggled a bit, than the parent of a kid who knew he was great, threw his helmet down when things didn’t go his way, and called out rude remarks to the other team.  It is so great to see the majority of the kids work as a team and really support one another.  I am SO glad that Braeden is playing and it is especially sweet when he does well.  I had to thank God last night each time he hit the ball.  No parent wants their kid to loose or be the “sucky” player.  Trust me, there are a few far worse players than Braeden, but it still hurts your heart when you see them trying so hard yet not seem to grasp it.  That’s kinda how Braeden was the first game, but last night we saw a different boy, a boy that just might be a great athlete!

Lately, our lives have been consumed with baseball.  It suits me fine, but I am realizing its a lot harder juggling it as the parent than it was as the player.  I LOVED playing baseball (softball) growing up.  I would look out the window all day at school to check the weather and would cry when our games got rained out.  I was very competitive.  Mike continues to laugh at me because I REALLY get into the games (I am not the only parent, or the loudest).  The rec center is packed on game nights with a lot of hollering and cheering going on.  There is food at the concessions, and an overall atmosphere that I LOVE.  Last night Mike’s parents, Mike and I were walking back and forth between Harley and Braeden’s games.  Harley is at a much more advanced level and it is a bit more exciting, but we also love watching Braeden and his team and seeing their enthusiasm.  His next game is on Saturday and my parents will be in town to add to the fan club.  I am not sure there is anyone in the world that loves baseball more than my Dad.  He plays on a team where he lives and has played since he was younger than Braeden.  HE was a natural and very talented ball player! So much so that the Detroit Tiger recruits asked him to come train with them.  Who knows what would have happened had he not have been so young and gotten homesick.  I think just being invited to go is an HONOR!  Be proud Dad.  I know your Mom was. 

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Here’s a picture of Braeden’s team.  He is in the front row, far right.  The team is 6-8 year olds so he is one of the youngest and shortest.

Now, a little Mikey news.  He is as active as ever.  He does not want to sit still for a minute.  He does not want to sleep either.  Quite a few times this week I’ve gone to check on him after he’d calmed down from screaming in protest to sleep, and found him asleep sitting up, head bobbing and all.  That child is SO stubborn!  He gets it honestly though.  I’m sure my parents have a few stories to share about my own stubbornness- I know Mike does! :) Still not walking, but pulling himself up on anything he can get a grip on.  He continues to strengthen his legs by jumping in his jumperoo and rocking himself in his carrrier (we still get several comments every time we are out and people see his famous rocking).  He has been in a big big boy car seat for a few months, but we use the carrier as a “seat” when we are at a restaurant or when we don’t have the stroller.  I will be so sad to see it go because it has been our “savior” more times than I can count.

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Mikey is VERY flexible.  Mama would LOVE to be able to stretch like that. :)

That’s it for now.  Its been a good week.  We are really looking forward to my parents coming this weekend.  We are all gonna work hard to get our yard looking spiffy.  It needs work!

Opening Weekend

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the April 14th, 2008

This blog title has more than one meaning.  Two wonderful things happened this weekend.  One being very powerful and meaningful and the other filled with fun and excitment.  I was re-baptized last night at church- “Opening weekend” for the start of a new-found faith and Braeden had his first baseball game- “Opening weekend for a family-favorite sport!”

Since it is so fresh in my mind and has made me feed so wonderful, let me share the Baptism experience first.  The end of last week was quite dissapointing.  The Lord works in ways we don’t always understand.  I believe he has a reason for everything he does and encourages us to see the positive in things that may not be so great.  After sharing my feelings with Mike, he helped me re-focus my thinking, and the dissapointing experience turned into a time of reflection for me.  I was able to see some things that needed to change (within me).  I am so glad that Mike and I are able to communicate and share so well.  The new commitments Mike and I have made have helped us reach a new level in our marriage as well as our friendship.  In my eyes, Mike is perfect, but me…..far from it.  Any issues or struggles we’ve had have been my doing.  Through small talk with God, he lead me to understand that I’ve been very distracted lately by such un-important things.  Last nights service was about regret.  I realized I’ve made choices that have not been in God’s will (just a lot of little things that seem to add up and weigh heavily on my heart) or good for our family.  I haven’t been the strong Christian that I know I am capable of and want to be.  Not only have Mike and I made some decisions for a new road to follow, but I wanted to make a new commitment, a RE-COMMITMENT to get back on the right-track and re-focus my energy and heart on the things that truly matter are are truly important and meaningful in life.  Although I’ve been Baptised in the past (as a baby in the Catholic church and about 4 years ago when I decided I wanted my life to go down a different path than the one I had been on), I don’t think I have ever been truly willing to do it ALL God’s way until last night.  It feels SO GOOD!  I’ve always been very impatient, wanting to do everything NOW.  The saying, “Seek thee first the kingdom of God and he will then provide all you need” is the most important focus for Mike and I right now.  We know that everything else we (think we) need and want will come according to GOD’s schedule for us.  Mike was right there supporting me last night and Braeden was so amazed when I shared with him afterward what had happened.  I do not know how or why I’ve been blessed with such a wonderful man who through it all loves, supports, defends, understands and is so patient UNCONDITIONALLY.  My life simply would not be what it is nor would I be half as good at attempting to be who I want to be, without him.  Whew, that was INTENSE!  Let me make this blog a little “lighter” by sharing with you Braeden’s response to me explaining what Baptism means-                     

Me- “Baptism is when you make a commitment to have the Lord in your heart always.  When you go under the water, you are giving away your old life and your sin’s, when you come up you are starting a new life with God and all your sins have been forgiven if you truly are sorry in your heart!   

Braeden-” Aww man, so if I get Baptised I have to start kindergarten and school all over again?” :)       

On to the FUN part of our weekend- It was opening day for baseball season in Charleston.  The weather could not have been more beautiful and the day itself was awesome!  We arrived at the field early in the morning for team introductions, pictures, prayer for a fun and safe upcoming season and the singing of the National Anthem.  I didn’t make it past the National Anthem without tearing up.  Fortunately Mikey was able to turn those tears (happy ones) into a smile and laughter when he started clapping along with everyone else at the conclusion of the National Anthem.  So sweet.  The game itself was a loss, (15-5) and Braeden struck out both at bats, but the day was a total WIN!  Braeden had so much fun and he DID make contact with the ball once (it just went foul).  He chased a ball that was hit outfield faster than I knew his skinny little legs could carry him.  His first at bat made me particularly emotional.  Not only did it show me yet again how big he has gotten, it also reminded me how much he still needs me-he was a little confused where to stand when hitting and called out to me in the stands, “Right here Mama?” We were all (Mike’s parents, Mike and I) so proud that he tried so hard and had so much fun despite the fact that he is still learning.  The coach is great.  She is so encouraging yet also expects them to give it their all, play as a team and work hard.  She added an extra hour to each practice this week and Mike and I plan to work with him a lot outside as well as take him to the batting cages for some extra practice.  I LOVE baseball, so this will be a lot of fun for me.  By the way, I DO take after my Mom and was the loudest most obnoxious (in a postive, enouraging way) parent on our side of the stands.  I know I embarrased Mike.  I just can’t help it! :) Thanks Mom, now I understand!  Here are some pictures from the day.

4.jpg3.jpg21.jpg I was ecstatic when I found out Braeden was #5 (we did not request it either).  My Dad was number 5 and so was I!  I think it was also my sister’s number and I know is both of our favorites.

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The swingset is finally finished.  One less thing for you to do this weekend Dad! :) Thanks Rodger and Chris for stepping in when Mike hurt his ankle (which is STILL very swollen and sore). Mikey LOVES his little swing and I know he and Braeden will enjoy it together a lot.

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 I hope you all had a great weekend and have a great week!

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