Friday, February 25, 2011

Great Subject!

Playing around with the camera some more, it is amazing how different this is. I haven't ever worried about ISO, so with a big purchase like this and the endless amount of possibilities I have decided that I should learn full Manual control of my camera, worrying about ISO really does change the way your pictures turn out, it is not all just about Aperture & Shutter Speed. So I was playing with it last night and got some good pics of Bray!

My colors are a little dull, but that is why I like to shoot my pictures in RAW format, I have the freedom to change it.
He is so intently trying to get those stacked on top of one another! (Excuse his rash on his cheek, that is from Daddy giving him whisker rubs)

Priceless! Amazing! Love!
Face is a little dirty from who knows what... That is Bray!

At first I wasn't so keen on this picture, but the more I looked at it and analyzed it, the more I love it, did you notice Reese is laying in the background chewing on a toy! There is just a calmness to it...
Again Bray looks a little washed out, but that can be fixed...
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Playing Around Early in the AM

Braylon has figured out how to open his bedroom door, and every other door that we have in our house, so we frequently get a late night/early morning visitor in our bed! This morning Bray came in about 6:00 and said he wanted to watch Cars, I was just getting ready to get in the shower, so I put it on for him. Got in the shower and when I got out he was playing on the Kitchen floor with Doc Hudson (Judge, Doctor & Racing expert from the Movie Cars) so I grabbed my new camera and stood far enough back (thanks to my 70-300mm lens, I could have been nearly standing in the neighbors living room and still gotten the pictures) that he didn't realize I was taking his picture (he is in a mood lately, where he doesn't want his picture taken!). I love candid pictures, especially on such an adorable subject!


Lounging on the floor

The moment he realized I was taking his picture!

Now I need to get Adobe Lightroom so that I can do some good editing! These were great first pictures though!
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So Excited I could Pee!

I got it!!!! I am finally the proud owner of the Nikon D7000! It was one of the most exciting purchases I have ever made! Ben is having a little trouble seeing the value in it, but he soon will I am sure of that! He told me that if I keep it for 7 years and use it as often as I say I am going to, then it will have been worth it... There is so much to learn with this camera, I can't wait to start. Last night I had to let the battery charge over night, so I didn't get to do anything except smile at it :) But I got up early this morning so that I could play around with it a little bit! I am so excited to learn everything about this camera, it has so much to offer and I can't wait to know it all! I contemplated taking the day off so that I could just sit and play with it! Again Ben doesn't understand my excitement over a camera, to him it is just something that takes a picture, exciting, yippee, but to me it captures priceless memories and are things that we can forever look back on and enjoy!

I purchased a package deal from Best Buy, that included the Nikon D7000 along with an 18-105mm VR lens and a 70-300mm VR lens, and a camera bag. It looks like a piece of heaven to me :)

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Great Company!

Porter accompanied me over to Mankato last night so that I could pick up my new camera! Porter has been in a phase where he does NOT like to be in places that he doesn't have the freedom to roam and be down to run and play with whatever he can get a hold of! So I was a little nervous bringing him to Best Buy where there are a lot of breakable things that he could get his little hands on. He did fantastic, he allowed me to talk to the sales women and get what I needed and get out the door. He started to have a little bit of a melt down while we were standing in line waiting to checkout, but that was easily fixed with me holding him. He was so good that he was rewarded with a new Mickey DVD, Mickey's Numbers Roundup, it came with a Mickey remote, he thought it was pretty awesome to have his very own remote, especially since it is in the shape of Mickey's head! We swang through Wendy's on the way home, and grabbed him some Chicken Nuggets, since it was already 6 and I knew he wouldn't wait for me to get home and make something, so while I drove he scraffed down 8 chicken nuggets, a handful of french fries and a bottle of water!

Eating Nuggets and watching Mickers!
I am hoping that this is a good sign that he will tolerate the 3.5 hour drive to La Crosse tomorrow! Thank goodness Ben is going with :)
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Creative Play Lab

On Saturday the boys and I went to the Creative Play Lab in Mankato and Candon, Coley, Kevin and Grams came too! It is such a cool place, the boys had so much fun! Well worth the $3 per person!

Candon and Bray playing with the Barn.

Bray and Candon playing in the tape play place. Very cool! Porter had a ton of fun playing in it too, but I was to busy chasing that I didn't get pictures of him in it!

Climbing on the foam building blocks!

More Barn action...

Porter carrying around the silo of the barn!

If you haven't gone, we highly recommend going! It is so much fun and it will be something that we will do regularly on Saturdays!
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The second that we get home for the day, Porter immediately says "downstairs"... So we have to get all of our winter gear off and then the boys head down stairs while I hang up coats, put mittens and hats away and switch laundry... Then I head down stairs with them and wait for Ben to come home so that one of us can cook supper while the other entertains the monsters :)

Going down the Kiddie Roller coaster without the car, (I had to take it away from the boys, because they were fighting over it, we have 537 toys in our basement and they have to fight over the same one!)

Just being adorable :)

Fun new way to go down! Braylon you should really try this!

Braylon was busy cooking in his kitchen and jumping in the trampoline last night! Every time I tried to get a picture of him, he turned his head and said "no pictures please"! So P was the star last night :)
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The way every week should start!

Ben and I had the Oakhills Bowling Fundraiser yesterday! It is always a good time and we are so glad to be part of such a wonderful cause! I am sure that I will end up there some day, so it is great to support and give back to the Community! I bowled to the best of my ability, 1st game: 93, 2nd game 85, and 3rd game 104. Good thing we were just playing for fun :)
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Uh Oh Mommy, Porter is...

So Sunday morning we made Waffles for breakfast, well after breakfast, I went to switch the laundry and Ben was outside checking out the amount of snow that we had already accumulated! When I heard Braylon say "Uh-oh Mommy, Porter is..." then I didn't hear anything, so I walked into the living room and asked Bray what was wrong, he said "Porter is eating the syrup", as I walked into the Kitchen I see my youngest son standing on the bench at the table DOWNING a bottle of maple syrup! Literally has the bottle tipped back and he is drinking it like water! Only he would do something so silly! Apparently the 2 mega waffles that he had were not filling enough and didn't contain enough syrup on them!
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Nuggle Me Daddy!

Braylon has figured out how to open his bedroom door, not so good on nights that he decides that he doesn't want to sleep in his room and would much rather sleep on the couch! Or the last 3 nights he has come sneaking into our room at 2 or 3 in the morning... Well the other night he wanted to "Nuggle" with Daddy & Reese on the couch... So of course we gave in and let him!

Ben, Bray and Reese snuggling! Lazy Bums!
Bray outlasted Ben... Not surprising :)
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ANOTHER Snowstorm...

The boys were fasinated with the amount of snow that we got! They had lots of fun sitting in the window watching Daddy snowblow!

Braylon hanging out in the window watching the snow fall!

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Cousin Candon!!!!!

Cousin Candon, Auntie Coley, & Uncle Kevin came to visit this weekend. We had so much fun spending most of the day with them, we went to Mankato to the play lab (pictures of that to come later, they are on my home computer), then they came over to eat supper and play with all of our toys! We had so much fun and the best part is that on Friday we get to go to La Crosse to play with all of Candon's toys! Mommy & Auntie Coley kept talking about all of the fun things we are going to do and how we are going to be busy bee's! We heard something about Chucky Cheese, Children's Science Museum, and Toys R Us... Sounds like a great weekend to us!

Braylon getting a ride from Candon, it was a long walk around the basement!

Bray helping get Candon unstuck from the wall!

The boys trying to figure out how to fix the trailer on the tractor!

Porter was there too, he just rode the Kiddie Rollercoaster most of the time!
It was great fun! Thanks everyone for coming and playing! Can't wait to see you next weekend :)
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Lounging with Mickey!

Porter has really gotten into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! He loves to watch and dance to the hot dog song! Whenever it comes on he has to lay down and kick his feet up and "lounge"... Until of course the hot dog song comes on then he has to get up and show us his moves :)

Mickers how you make my mornings bright!

This is literally what he does, he sticks his feet up on whatever he can! Such a goof ball!

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Suprise Playdate!

Friday I got a call from a great friend saying that her family was coming to New Ulm to eat at Happy Joe's and wanted to know if we wanted to join? We jumped at the invitation and met Sam, Maggie and Benjamin at Happy Joe's at about 6 pm. Well Porter is in the stage that we can't take him out in public unless it is some place he can get down and run around and be free to roam, so dinner was less then fun, so we ate quickly and all went to our house so that the boys could play and run around together! It is always wonderful to see them and have playdates! Thank you Schroeder's for the suprise playdate :)

Benjamin and Braylon doing some cooking together! Enjoying a hamburger...
Bray enjoying bread!

Benjamin and Porter taking turns riding the Lightning Big Wheel!
Benjamin testing out the Kiddie Rollercoaster, he gave his approval :)

Porter and Benjamin were so funny to watch, the would crawl towards the middle and then they would start laughing hysterically and both back out of the tunnel!

Thank you again Schroeder's! We can't wait until that baby girl ;0 (I don't know what they are having, just my guess) is born and Porter can spend his time whoo'ing her :)
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Excuse Me!

Last night Braylon decided that he really didn't want to share with Porter, so he grabbed the toy that he was playing with and put it up in the chair and then climbed up and stood behind it, playing with it. Well Porter thought it was now at the perfect height for him to push buttons, make baskets and get a good look at it. Braylon was so adorable, he just kept saying Excuse me Porter... Porter excuse me... Porter stop, you no play! Porter would just laugh and then it turned into a hysterical moment for them both, laughter filled the air!

At this point Braylon was actually tipping it back further so that Porter couldn't reach it!
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cute new looks :)

Here is the boys after pictures!


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Before Pictures!

We are getting ready to start remodeling (or start modeling) our basement, the first place that we are starting is the boys playroom! I am excited to start this project, it is long over due!

This is going to be the playroom (the picture really doesn't do justice for the size of the room). it is filled with storage (over flow from our other storage room, time to throw stuff away!)

The plywood will be gone and it will be sheetrock and painted and full of toys!

This doorway will be turned into a closet.

There will be nice plush carpet and a finished ceiling!

I am so excited for this project! Stay tuned for during and after pictures :)
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Hairs Cut!

Tonight the boys went in to get their hairs cut! It was Porter's first "official" hair cut! The first time that Braylon sat without being held and they both did so good! I can't believe how much older they look when they are all trimmed up!

Porter eating his sucker like a big boy!

A little hesitant at first, but he did really well after this!
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For the Briggs!

So we got exciting news today that we will be welcoming a little girl into the family, congratulations Auntie Coley, Uncle Kevin and Cousin Candon on the great news on a healthy little girl :) We went to Target after work to pick up a pink present and found something that Braylon felt the need to try out for his cousin to be! Pink sure is his color!

Pretty in Pink!

Cooking his momma supper! (with the tutu on)

Congratulations again Briggs family! We are so excited for you! We can't wait to meet her, only 21 more weeks!
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Potty Training Update!

Braylon has had done an amazing job potty training this week! He has begun telling us when he has to go to the bathroom, it is wonderful! Yesterday he and I went to the grocery store and we just got done paying for our groceries and he kept asking me (for the last 10 minutes) "We done know?", so this time he said "we done know?" I said "Yup, we are done know", he said "Me go potty, me butt hurts", so I asked the lady at the checkout if we could leave our cart there while I took him to the bathroom, he proceeded to tell the lady that his butt hurt and that he needed to go poop... I had to explain to him that we don't have to tell everyone that information, just the people that take you to the bathroom.
I even did a "test/trial" last night and waited to take him to the bathroom until he told me that he had to go (we usually make him go potty every 45 minutes to an hour), he did great, last night 3 hours had gone by and he came running into the kitchen and said "Daddy me go Potty", so Ben rushed him into the bathroom and he did his business and off he went! He has not had any accidents this week at all and he has waken up dry the last 3 days (at both nap time and in the mornings). Although when he has gone #2 he still says "Me get sucker!", I am going to have to find a way to break him of that!
We are almost over the hump of potty training our first baby :() Bittersweet moment, I can't believe that he is old enough to be potty trained but I am so glad that we don't have to worry about poppy diapers, diaper rash and making sure that there are enough diapers! Now if only we could get rid of that nuk!!!!

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More Snow...

Braylon eating snow while he waits for me to put Porter in his carseat (at D's)
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Heart Gala

Ben and I attend the 2011 New Ulm Medical Center Foundation Heart Gala this year. It was a lot of fun and will become a yearly event. A good excuse to get dressed up pretty and be a couple for a night!

Ben and I before heading out the door to attend the Pre-Party...

We had to stop and take a shot first, I wish I could have recorded Ben's toast speech, very funny, very much Ben!
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I want to be just like my mommy...

Porter disappeared into Ben and I's room for a brief moment yesterday...

And when we found him, he looked like this, he wants to be just like mommy! (someone is going to have to tell him that isn't the right way to wear that...)

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Pilot Bray

Braylon was being very silly yesterday and decided that he wanted to wear these goggles while he ate lunch! We then hopped down from the his chair and said "me all done" and then went roaming into the living room, I chased him telling him that he needed to get his face washed, he sat down on the floor and cried hysterically because he didn't want it washed. So I couldn't help but take a picture...

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Valentines Day!

The boys opened their Valentines presents from Ben and I yesterday morning, because Ben works late on Monday's and the boys are usually sleeping when he gets home. Braylon enjoyed three new big semi trucks, Porter got 2 Mickey DVD's and 4 Mickey books, he loves Mickey! Braylon loved his semi's and played with them for most of the morning and afternoon, Porter watched his Movies and sat on the ched and read his books while Mommy and Daddy did some cleaning and cooking!
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Friday, February 11, 2011

1 Year Ago (and a few days)...

Last year at this time we were getting use to a child that no longer poo'd into an illy bag, but poo'd in his diaper like a normal 5 month old should! For the first time we were worried about chronic diaper rash and not tummy rash and irritated skin from his illy bag being removed so many times... But more importantly the long and tiresome journey of doctor visits, waiting rooms, surgeons, nurses and the unknown of whats next was over! We had our baby put all the way back together (minus an appendices because it was in the way and it was one less surgery Porter would end up having later). We were able to enjoy our child, like most parents get to do right away...
Porter did something to me, he changed me forever.
He changed the way that I look at life, my appreciation for it is so much more because of him!
I am stronger, if someone told me that I was going to have to go through all of that I would have laughed and said not me, I will never make it... there were many times that I called my mom crying telling her that I can't possibly handle another thing, I can't take anymore, most of the time there was more, and I found that my words did not hold true, I could handle it and I did, because what other choice do you have?
Porter made me believe, believe that human strength does not come from age, it is something that is instilled in us, one never knows there own limits until those limits are pushed!
I learned gratitude, it amazed me that someone else could truly have his best interest at heart, the doctors and nurses that we saw daily, truly did have his best interest at heart, they cared for him as though he was their own, I will NEVER be able to show them our gratitude and appreciation they are truly amazing human beings.
He taught me patience, that sometimes waiting for something is much better then rushing into it, when Porter was born we were told that he wouldn't go home with an ostomy, that they would do the surgery before he left. We went home with an ostomy and at first I was upset about it, because I wanted my baby to be "normal" when we got home, I didn't want to have to come back and have more surgeries. Had we done the surgery before he left (when he was a little more than a month old) we would have most likely had problems and ended up with a permanent ostomy, it took a lot of patience to come to terms with that. It also took a lot of patience dealing with leaky ostomy bags :)
He taught me about love! With all that Porter had wrong with him that never took away from the love that we had for him! Our love was not determined by the fact the he was a healthy baby, we loved him because he was our child and we had a bond with him, no matter what his condition was. Love is not built on an idea of "normalcy" or "the right way", it is a feeling an ability to allow yourself that connection with someone.
Most importantly Porter taught me to go with the flow, accept change (both of our children did). We were not granted the gift of normal pregnancies, normal births, or normal leaving the hospital/first day home, but we got through it and we appreciated those milestones, that most parents never have, we learned from them and enjoyed them. We had to alter our perception of "normal", we had to get over the thought that we would get to bring our baby home after 2/3 days in the hospital, we had to change our thought that all of our friends and family could come see the us & the baby in the hospital after it was born. Change is a part of life and sometimes we have no choice but just sit back and go with the flow!
Porter is an astonishing child, with an amazing love for life, his personality is derived from his early challenges, I am 100% sure of that. I look at his picture that is sitting in front of me, with that big smile and can't help but tear up, because I am amazed and thankful for all of the things that he has overcome! He is no longer the baby with Gastro or the baby that has Cranio or the infant with an illy bag, he is just a normal 17 month old little boy, who loves life, loves his family and loves to smile, laugh and be silly!
  We love you P!
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