Bramell, Party of Five: January 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Raise your hand if you have cabin fever!!

In the famous words of Jessica Simpson circa Newlyweds, "Oh. My. Gawwww." Or, as I like to say, "Get me out of this house before I poke my eyeballs out!" So, you are probably wondering what we did to pass the time during The Big Freeze. Let me assure you that being cooped up for 4 days is no vacation. Let's see...

We watched The Muppet Movie roughly a half a dozen times. And yes, Becca can say "muppets." A lot. We must have taken turns reading each book in her extensive collection about 65 times. And since she can't yet put together a sentence, we got "book" and "lap," which came louder and more frequently as the week went on.

In between power surges and internet outages, I tried to do some work for my job. Tried. I sent 42 text messages on my phone, mostly to my friend Sara who has 2 small kids and still no electricity the last I heard. And texts to Lee on the day he ventured out to check on his mom's house and cat. Thank God I added the texting plan a couple of months ago because we couldn't get the phones to call out.

We were so lucky that the longest we went without power was about 4 hours. Francena's house lost power on Tuesday morning, so Lee brought her over to hang out with us. Three days later, I think she was seriously considering going home to a frigid house and mad cat just to get away from us! Lucky for her, the power came back on mid-afternoon on Friday so she could escape us.

The important thing is we're all ok. But I think we've had enough family time to last a while. Fergie is hoping for the 60 degrees they are predicting for today so we can take a nice, long walk.

And this, my friends, is the tale of The Big Freeze 2009. Brrrrr!

Just for Pop!

This picture is for my dad, who just called us. It's Becca having her favorite breakfast--scrambled eggs and hashbrowns. Dad kindly pointed out that we haven't posted any new pictures of the baby lately. Ice storm, yeah but Becca, no. Thanks, Dad. You are just as bad as the women who read the blog!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

S. Washington Street

This is the street where the old house was located.

This is our lot and more of the street.

Ice, Ice, Baby!!

Here are some pictures of Francena's yard and trees in Springdale. At this point our power is on, in Fayetteville, however, it was off for about 3 hours and we are (knock, knock) hoping it doesn't go off anymore.

After driving around in Fayetteville and Springdale today, I now know why it may take weeks for people to get power. It looks like some crazy ice tornado whipped thru NWA and wiped out all the trees, but left the houses.

My guess would be that less than half of the residents and businesses of these big cities have power right now and it may be awhile too... we count ourselves lucky right now (knock, knock).

Well, at least the city will be giving out free mulch this spring!!!

Stay tuned for video of George!!!

I went by Mom's house and this big tree limb fell just inches from her roof. It had not been there about an hour before.

Mom's red bud tree in the front. Probably not going to make it.

This is the view of Mom's house from the street.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not my typical post

I know this isn't the place where I usually lay it on the table. It's usually funny and light-hearted and all about Becca. But I need to get some things off my chest, and I think this is the best place to do it. There's been a lot on my heart and on my mind lately. I haven't shared most of this with a lot of people, so don't be offended if you are just finding out this stuff.

First off, Lee's mom has had a recurrance of her breast cancer. Most of you know she had a pretty rough year last year, not feeling well and trying to find out what was going on. We knew in November that it was the cancer again. There's good news and bad news, though. This time it has spread into her liver and bones....but the good news is that the doctor has put her on the chemo pill, and there are no side effects at all! She is doing well on it so far. We are hopeful that it will work for her.

On top of this, we just found out that my daddy has prostate cancer. When it rains, it pours right? Daddy just met with his doctor today and found out his cancer has not spread--yay! So, he has chosen surgery and will not have to have any chemo. We'll know when the surgery will happen after he hears back from the doc's office tomorrow.

Being around cancer so much every day (at work), I have seen so many crazy things. I know that anything is possible and that medicine is better now than ever before. There is a reason that there are over 10 million cancer SURVIVORS today. I love my job, but I sure hate cancer.

As you can see, we have needed and do need lots of prayers. But, of course, I know that we aren't the only ones going through hard times. While I'm in the sharing mood, I'll just share the list of people I think about and pray for. They need it, too.

Baby Harper---she was born a couple of weeks ago with pneumonia. She's in ICU in Tulsa. I don't know her or her family, but we have a mutual friend. She is getting better every day. Read about her here:

The Santos Family--this family goes to my church and lost their 2 yr. old son at Christmas.

Baby Leighton--son of a KD sister that I don't know. He's in AR Children's Hospital waiting on heart surgery. Read about him here:

Ok, so I'm glad that's all out. Good night.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ernie, Ernie, how do we love thee? Let me count the ways...

Based on Becca's behavior this weekend, I decided to dedicate this post to Dear Ernie. As you know, Ernie is a big part of our lives in the Bramell house. I will let the photos below tell the story.

This is Becca's entire Ernie collection. We have "Other Ernie," "Big Ernie," and "Baby Ernie." Other Ernie lives on the bookshelf in mine and Lee's room. Poor Pop got this Ernie for Becca several months ago, but she has not quite taken to it yet. It is the TMX-style that talks, moves, dances and laughs loudly. That is what Becca is not sure about; and I agree it's a little freaky. Although she doesn't play with him, she will go visit him on the bookshelf--talk to him, wave at him, touch his lovely hair...but that is all.

Big Ernie is our newest Ernie, from Christmas. Now, this is the one she LOVES. Big Ernie has now officially replaced Night-Night Baby as her sleeping buddy of choice. She snuggles Ernie up tight under her arm when she sleeps. In fact, for 3 days IN A ROW last week, Becca's first word upon waking was "Ernie!!" Not "mommy," "daddy" or "hi!" like usual. Ernie is taking over. Big Ernie will sometimes get to eat breakfast with us, too. He really likes pancakes apparently.

Baby Ernie (and Bert, not pictured) came from a cereal box, believe it or not. My Aunt Pam had them put up in a kitchen drawer for a long time because she thought they were too cute to throw away. So, of course, when she heard of Becca's infatuation with Ernie she brought them right over. They are the perfect size for carrying in the diaper bag. And unfortunately, for throwing in the toilet....they have both had to endure the washing machine a few times due to this.

By the way, what she used to say as "Nee" is now more like "Ulnie." So stinkin' cute!

What is this, you ask? Well, Becca got to go to her first toddler birthday party on Sunday (more about that later). Someone brought a gift in a Sesame Street gift out! You know it's bad when the birthday girl's dad brings the gift straight over for Becca to look at. And Becca couldn't have cared less what was actually IN the bag! During the course of the party, Becca stopped to say hi to Ernie about every 15 minutes.
I am starting to wonder if we let Becca watch too much TV....but how in the heck can I deny her Sesame Street when she is so obviously crazy about her Ernie?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tiny Dancer Part II

Here is a day in the life of the Bramell house captured on video. All of these things one may find strange or alarming, but this is the way we roll.

1. Becca getting her groove on. This is a toy that Pop got her for Christmas that makes all kinds of racket. The good news is that it might eventually teach her to count, say the alphabet, speak Spanish and maybe find some rhythm if she's lucky.

2. The house is a wreck. Toys are taking over!

3. Becca tormenting poor Fergie. And Fergie just lets her.

4. Me constantly saying "NO!" It sounds so much worse on video. (Doesn't it??)

5. Becca entertaining us, as usual.

Now, thanks to our handy dandy video cam, she can entertain our blog readers, too. Get ready!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Tiny Dancer

Here is our first attempt to download from the new video camera. Hope it works! This is Becca dancing and playing with her Little People SUV that Santa left her. I swear, we didn't prompt this at all. She just played the song and got up to dance. Now she does it every time. It's hilarious!

Merry Christmas 2008!

Here are some pictures from our Christmas at home. We opted to stay in Fayetteville, so Santa could catch us at our house. Then, we went on to Wynne the day after Christmas to see our other family.

We didn't get to take too many pictures for a couple of reasons. One being that our memory card was full and we didn't know it. The other being that I got a cool little video camera, so we took some videos instead. Now we just have to figure out how to download onto the blog. Stay tuned for that...

Becca learned how to say "Santa" and "snowman." She was thrilled that Grammy had about a million snowmen for her to play with!

Here is the loot after Santa had stopped by. As you can see, Fergie was trying to get her gifts!

Becca had fun playing with her new baby and her stroller for it.

Grandma had to help Becca empty out her stocking. The first thing she pulled out was a book, and immediately stopped so Grandma could read it to her. We were happy that Grandma Francena spent the night with us so she could enjoy this with us.

Fergie is proud of her fancy treats and her new ball that Santa brought her.

This is Becca in her Christmas dress that Ashley got her. She wore it to church the Sunday before we left. She was quite the little priss.

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