Bramell, Party of Five: 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a great Christmas this year! One thing I know for sure? My children are spoiled! We tried really hard not to go overboard on the gift-giving. But, apparently, my family didn't get that memo. Clearly, they are not the ones having to keep all the toys picked up around here!

I spent yesterday afternoon organizing Becca's bedroom and making room for all her new loot. Of course, the child doesn't understand the concept of getting rid of things she doesn't need/play with anymore. She doesn't even want to give them to kids who don't have any toys! Guess we need to work on that...

Here is my favorite photo of the kids. We took this on our trip to Branson. Becca is still not keen on visiting with the "real Santa," so I was thrilled that she at least sat for this picture with the big guy. This Santa was in one of the shops we visited. IF I had done Christmas cards this year, this would have been our photo. LOVE IT!

Fergie was checking out all the Christmas morning loot. Becca got just what she asked Santa for in her letter, text and e-mail that she sent him: a race car with a track, a Barbie and a big girl Dora doll that talks and has a hair brush.

Lee & Becca checking out her stocking.

The babies got to watch all the fun from the front row.

Becca loved this gift from Tracy and Jonathan--matching raincoat, umbrella and boots!

Our little elf Evan enjoyed his new gift too!
What a year it's been for the Bramells. Who knew our life would change so much so quickly? We are very lucky and very loved. Our house may be a wreck and there may be mountains of dirty laundry, but we are hanging in there. We have 3 healthy, wonderful kids and a minivan that we love! Happy New Year everyone!

Catch up Pictures

Just ran across these pictures from our Thanksgiving visit to Wynne.

Carley and Becca stayed with Dad and Karen on Black Friday while Lee and I went to Jonesboro for the day. Evan stayed with Grammy and Nanny.

This was the funniest thing EVER! Dad has this Rooster in his kitchen....Becca decided to give it a ride. Very entertaining, to say the least.

Pop and Carley hanging out on the couch.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Branson 2010

We made our (almost) annual December trip to Branson the first weekend of the month. We celebrated Tracy and Jonathan's birthdays, saw some Christmas lights and let our little fishy enjoy some pool time.

We had hoped to try Silver Dollar City for the first time with Becca and the babies, but it turned out to be too cold and windy. Plan B was hitting the Dixie Stampede Christmas show (indoors), but that didn't happen either....sold out. I was pretty bummed out and missing the holiday cheer. The drive-thru light display was pretty good and pretty cheap, so that's what we got to do.

It was nice to spend some more time with the family, but it was hard being gone from home two weekends in a row. The kids were all well-behaved, though, so it was ok.

Here is our own little WEB GEM created when we went to dinner at Shorty Small's. Enjoy, Uncle T...your pig riding skills made the blog highlights!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Party in the USA

This may be my most favorite video of Becca, EVER. This was last night during dinner. We had the radio on, trying to eat and get out Christmas decorations all at the same time.

Not sure who she got her moves from.....but she can work it. Turn up your sound and enjoy!

Our super reader

Lee recorded a new video last night, so as I was going through the camera, I also found this one. Becca was reading to me before bed one night. She is still crazy about her books. Most nights we have 3-5 bedtime stories. She also likes to take a pile of books with her when she naps. It's the cutest thing! We are thrilled that she loves books.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trick-or-Treat Fun

Halloween fell on Sunday this year. There was much discussion in the state about changing trick-or-treating to Saturday instead. The towns in our area left it on Sunday, which was no big deal, really. What are they gonna do, move it every year for the next 4 years, too?

Lee took Becca back to our old neighborhood so she could trick-or-treat with her buddy Madison, as she has done for the past two years. Now that we've moved, they don't get to see each other anymore. I stayed home with the wee ones to hand out candy at the door. We had a big night of eating Gerber green beans and listening to Fergie bark at the costumes.

I really would have loved to see this! Madison is Elmo (again!), Princess Becca and the Fairy Greenlee, who is the daughter of the family renting our old house. Lee said it was all three daddies and their girls hitting the streets. Priceless!

Becca has always been too shy to knock on doors or say "trick-or-treat." Last year, she let Madison do all the work and she just held out her pumpkin for candy. This time, Lee reported that she was right in the action. She liked to ring the bell and the girls would say "trick-or-treat" and giggle. So fun for her!

We got all the kids in their costumes and wanted to visit a couple of our neighbors to let Becca practice. Carley the Sleepy Penguin crashed on the couch before we made it out the door. Becca was itching to go NOW. Sweet Bear Evan was just hanging out in his bouncy seat trying to figure out what was going on. I'm sure future Halloweens around here are going to get crazy!

Halloween 2010

Here are some photos of our pre-Halloween festivities. The kids celebrated on Friday, with a party at their school. Grammy came to visit for the weekend, but wasn't able to stay for trick-or-treating on Sunday evening.

Costume pics to follow. I only get to sit down for 5 minutes, you know!

My sweet girls are just crazy about each other!

Our little pumpkins dressed for school on Friday! Don't they look happy?

Impromptu photo shoot with my crew. Where's Fergie anyway?

Grammy changing one last diaper before she left. He's her favorite grandson!

Mr. Jack O. Lantern, masterpiece of Lee Bramell and his assistant, Becca.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Potty-Training SUCCESS!

No photos to post right now, but I wanted to get this written because I want to remember it forever!

HAPPY HAPPY, JOY JOY: At 3.5 years old, Becca is finally potty-trained! I can't even remember her last accident and she's even staying dry all night long. She doesn't want to wear Pull-Ups to bed, so we aren't making her. And she's doing great! She got up during the night to go use the potty last night. She's going at school now; not holding it all day long.

Want to hear something hilarious? Of course you do! One night a couple of weeks ago, Becca told me that she wanted to say her own prayer before bed, instead of repeating after me (like we usually do). She is really just now understanding the concept. This was her sweet, wonderful, hilarious bedtime prayer:

"Dear God,

Thank you for poop in the potty. I can go to Jump Zone now. The End."

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Do you think we had been bribing her, or what? And yes, her prayer was answered : D

Friday, November 5, 2010

Formula Update

It's been a couple of months now since the Similac recall, and it's still not back on the shelf. We were using Target brand for a while, but they never seemed to keep enough in stock. We need A LOT. So, we have finally settled on the Parent's Choice brand at Walmart. It's so much cheaper than name brand and the babies are doing fine on it.

I just wanted to post a picture in case you are out shopping and happen upon the formula aisle *ahem*. Then, at least you will know which kind to buy. If you are shopping for formula, that is. : )

Becca and Grayson sittin' in a tree...

Yes, our child has a boyfriend! She just doesn't know it....haha. This post has been a long time coming, but I haven't found the time.

Oct. 16 we left the babies with our neighbor Sara, and took Becca to a birthday party at the Ozark Corn Maze in Cave Springs. We were celebrating Dalton's 2nd birthday. Here is the back story on the Cox boys.

Becca went to daycare for a year in Farmington, where Grayson was in her class. Every day we got to hear her talk about "my Gracie" and see her eyes light up when she talked about him. A couple of times, I even got hugs and kisses from him when I dropped her off at school. One day, another mom approached me during drop-off. It went like this--

Her: "Are you Becca's mom?"
Me: "Yes."
Her: "I'm Grayson's mom. I think we saw you last night in the grocery store. Grayson insisted that 'that's Becca's mom,' and begged to go back and see you, but I wasn't sure he knew what he was talking about."
Me: "Well, it was me. " (Becca was not with me)
Her: "Grayson talks about Becca all the time. I think he likes her."
Me: "She calls him her Gracie."
Her: "He says he likes her pretty hair!"

So, at the end of May, we changed daycares since we had moved to Springdale. I was really tore up about leaving Grayson behind. Right after the babies were born, I called his mom to ask for a playdate. It was the first time I'd really been around her and our first real playdate. You might remember that post--we went to Jump Zone.

Fast forward a couple of months....Grayson's mom, Stephanie, and I have become friends on Facebook. She posted that she was trying to get together some people to play in Fayetteville's kickball league. I replied that Lee and I would like to play! So--if you didn't know--we played in a 6-week league this fall. Every Monday, we had friends who would keep the kids while we played. It was so fun! And we got to know the Cox Family, who might very well be our in-laws someday.

All that to say....Dalton is Grayson's younger brother. This was his party. We all had a blast!

petting zoo

Swinging at the park before the corn maze

Silly kids eating lunch at the park--never got them both looking at the same time!

This is the cow train. Look right in the middle and see me crammed in that thing with Becca. She wouldn't ride alone. It was the most uncomfortable thing EVER.

Man, I'd love to know what they were talking about! Checking out the corn.

Green mouth from birthday cupcake.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Turkey Trot 2010

On October 9, we got up really early and took the show on the road to Yellville for Turkey Trot. That's their town festival every fall. We've been a couple of times before, but this year was a lot more work with the Party of Five and one in the middle of potty training.

The theme of the festival was "pirate", as you can see from the photos. By sheer miracle, we were up and on the road by 7:30 to make it to the parade by 10:00. Becca was so excited that we didn't think she'd sleep the night before. Parade and candy were her main focus of the day.

Not sure about dinosaurs and pirates, but oh well. A dino in a parade was something to see.
Can't have a town festival without a bouncy house, right? Becca's favorite. And, with the potty training in progress, all I could think was "I hope she doesn't pee in that thing!!" She didn't.

Becca and Lee collecting their booty at the parade.

Evan and Carley hung out in the stroller most of the day, perfectly happy. They didn't much care for the sirens on the firetrucks, though. These two sure got a lot of attention. Lee was able to see a lot of his friends and people he grew up with. We went to his brother Rob's house to watch the Razorback game and spend some time with the family there. Wondering now why I didn't get any pictures of them with the kids? Probably just too tired at that point of the day....

First cereal for babies

At our 4-month check up, the doctor said we could go ahead and introduce cereal when we were ready. So, a couple of weeks ago we did it. Carley was definitely ready, and got the hang of eating from a spoon pretty quickly. Brother, not so much. But with practice, he's gotten much better. I think it's helping both of them to sleep better at night, having a full belly. We are just feeding them cereal at our dinnertime. This week we tried green beans and they both loved it! Pictures to come...

Of course, big sis wanted in on the action. But she didn't want to eat any rice cereal.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Evan and Carley's 4-month Check up

Babies went for their 4-month check up and shots yesterday. Dr. Davis says they are perfect and looking great! Here are their stats--

Evan: 11 lbs, 4.5 oz and 23" long

Carley: 12 lbs, 9 oz and 23" long

As you can see, Sister doesn't miss a meal!

Things to Note:
  • Evan is sleeping all night. Carley wakes at 4:00 am to eat. Yes, every morning.
  • Doc says we can start them on some cereal if we want to. Going to try and see if this gets Carley to sleep till 6:00, at least. Might also help Evan's reflux.
  • Both wearing size 3-6 month clothes
  • Our Similac RS formula is extremely hard to find, for some reason. We buy out the store every time we find it somewhere. However, due to the Similac recall last week, we started buying the Target store brand formula. WOO HOO ! Why didn't we do this sooner? It's so much cheaper!
  • Babies both enjoy bathtime.

That's all for now. I'm sure I'll think of more later.

Go Hogs Go and Famous Babies

Here is a fun picture we took a few weeks ago with Becca and her little sister. Fun times in the laundry basket.....we sure know how to have a good time around here!

I just had to try the bow on Carley. Still a little overwhelming on her, so we'll try again in a few weeks.

This was the day before the big Hogs vs. Bama game. We were so fired up that we wore our Razorback gear on Friday AND Saturday! You will notice our big girl wearing her panties~ woo hoo! She is doing great so far.

Tracy came to visit for the weekend. We all woke up so excited about the game on Saturday that we decided to load up the circus and take it on the road! We went down to the stadium to hang out with the tailgaters. The babies and Becca did great and loved people watching. We took the double stroller, so Evan could ride with the cooler! HAHA. Well, he did for a while. Then Becca got tired of walking and took the shotgun seat. Carley rode in the carrier strapped to my chest the whole time (and Tracy's some). The weather was beautiful and we ran into a few friends to chat with. And yes, my baby is a tiny bit sunburned....I know, I know (*hanging head*). This isn't my first child, I know to put a hat on them....but I just didn't think about it.

WOO PIG SOOOOOIE! I know my babies are cute!

So, wanna know why our babies are famous? They are going to be in the October issue of Peekaboo magazine, a local family magazine here. Every October the magazine features twins and triplets! How fun! I'm sure it's very difficult to get chosen to be in the magazine, but it might help just a teeny bit that 1) our babies are ADORABLE and 2) I know the magazine editor :D
Anyway, it should be out today but I haven't seen it yet. We got to do another photo shoot with the awesome photographer who took their newborn pics. Sad to say, Evan wasn't exactly cooperative. We didn't get but one decent shot, so I don't know if they are printing that one or one of their beautiful newborn photos. Either way, we'll be happy. I even got to write a little about our experience of finding out we were having twins. I just took what I wrote on that blog post back in February and turned in into a little story. I'll try to post the whole thing on here when I get it.
I've been back at work now for a month, and I am one tired mommy at the end of the day. I'm thankful that I have truly takes teamwork to run this show. His mom would sure be proud of him for being such a great dad and husband.

edit: Hmmm, after looking at these last few all probably think we never brush Becca's hair. Looks that way. Seriously, she leaves the house looking so cute, but the child takes out her bows, barrettes and ponytails at school every day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

To pee or not to pee

We are now on Day 6 of Becca's potty training adventure, or HELL as I call it. It started out very badly, but has taken a nice turn for the better. Let's start at the beginning. Actually, it's not the real beginning. This is about the 3rd time we've "started" this process. This time, we are just making more progress than the other times.

Lee and I took off for a quick trip to KC last Friday night. When we got home Saturday, Becca was wearing her panties (on her request). Grammy and Nanny got the ball rolling with her and we just kept it going. Saturday and Sunday were spent cleaning up puddles in the floor. Monday the girl just held it all day! Then Monday evening, she decided she likes to pee in the backyard. So by this time, she has peed a few times in the yard and pooped once! YES, she POOPED in the BACKYARD. Hey, whatever works. At least she'll be good at camping, right?

Monday night she woke up from sleep during the night and peed in the potty! What shock! So this brings us to Tuesday. Since there was no daycare, Lee and I were able to stay with her and practice all day. She finally started using the potty! In the last 24 hours, she has used the potty 3 times, stayed dry all night and had 1 accident at school today. Not too bad, Big Sister!

Keep your fingers crossed that we'll have this girl potty trained in the next week or so. But at least she is not begging for her diapers back.

I'll try to do better about blogging. Where does the time go? I never have time anymore!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Miss Smarty Pants

We were playing out in the backyard yesterday before dinner. I thought everyone would enjoy seeing our little ham showing off her smarts. Then, of course, she wanted to come inside and watch her movies that we made.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2 month checkup and babies' first day of daycare

Believe it or not, these babies are almost 3 months old! We went on Monday for their 2-month well check up and shots. The doctor says they are both doing great and progressing as they should be. Their stats are:

Carley- 11 pounds even and 21" long
Evan- 10 pounds, 5 oz. and 22" long (he is going to be tall and skinny like his daddy) :D

A few weeks ago we decided to switch Evan's formula because clearly he was having reflux and spitting up a whole lot and super fussy. We are now using Similac with rice starch in it. They are changing the packaging, so there are two different looking cans out there. Similac RS or Similac Sensitive for Spit-Up, if you are shopping. Just FYI.

About 2 weeks ago, we had to put Evan on Prevacid for acid reflux. He was having the exact same symptoms and problems that Becca had at this age, so we knew what to look for. It has taken awhile, but we are finally seeing some improvement. The doc says to expect him to stay on the meds until 5 or 6 months old.

This is my last week on maternity leave, so the babies started daycare today with Becca. I figured we could use a few days to practice the routine.

All our babies before daycare this morning. Becca was so happy that Carley and Evan can finally go with her to school! Big Sister even helped them find their room today.

This is a 10 week picture. I just thought Carley and Evan looked cute in these outfits!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Silly Girl

Not sure when Lee took this video. I just found it when I was going through the video camera. This is one of Becca's new expressions.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Playdate with Grayson

Wednesday we had a playdate with Becca's friend, Grayson and his brother Dalton. They are friends from our old daycare. Becca says that Grayson is "her buddy." She is crazy about him, it's so cute!

We went to the Jump Zone in Bentonville then to lunch. Jump Zone is this place that has a bunch of inflatable bouncy houses, slides, etc. The kids can just go crazy in there....and the parents can play, too! I took a few videos. You can totally hear them giggling.

The kids had not seen each other since Becca's birthday, so they were very happy to play together. (oh--and I had to change her clothes because she's not good at drinking from the water fountain yet). HA!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Six Week Update

Yes, it's been SIX WEEKS already! Time flies fast when you don't get any sleep! Since the last post was all about Becca, this one is going to be about Evan and Carley.

The kiddos are growing! We have moved them out of size newborn diapers and clothes. They are into Size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothes.

They are maybe, sorta trying to start sleeping for longer stretches between, if that would stretch during the night, we'd be doing great! We're getting there...slowly.

They are both eating 4 oz. of formula. Much different from where we started, around .5 oz.

Evan and Carley are bunking together in one crib for now. In their own room. They are MUCH too noisy to be in our room; that only lasted for a couple of nights. Forget it!

Becca tells everyone that will listen this, "The babies cry a lot and wake me up." Well, join the club I say.

We have been asked about the products we are using, by our dear friends and family who still want to help out. We prefer Huggies diapers, Size1 now, and Similac brand formula. Carley is taking the regular Similac (blue can) and Evan takes the Sensitive formula (orange can). Just in case you are out shopping and get the urge to buy some formula, you know....wink, wink.

We had some company over the last couple of weeks. Lee's sister Dee came from Boise for a week--BLESSING!! Dee helped so much and let us get some much needed sleep. Then her daughter, Jennifer came for the weekend. We also saw Lee's other brothers Bernie and Rob and their wives for the weekend. It was a big crowd, but we were glad to see them all. It was the first time for them to see Evan and Carley and they all made sure to give them lots of lovin'.

Next to visit was TP. She, too, was a great helper for us. We managed to find time to get out in the garage and finally do some purging and organizing. And--yay--she and I snuck off to see Eclipse at the movies. Thanks, TP!

Sleeping Evan with Becca's boy twin doll.

Sleeping Carley with the girl twin doll.


* Shout out and many thanks to my BFF Lisa for loaning me all her baby boy clothes. We didn't have to buy a thing for Evan! Thank goodness for great friends.

Evan, must be thinking about what's for dinner....


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