Friday, April 29, 2011


These are the pictures Liam and Dash are going to beg me not to show their girlfriends in a couple decades. Behold, the bums:
*Pinch*Pinch*Pinch* Two cute little tooshies ready for a bath.

Bath time has so much built-in freedom: freedom from the diaper, freedom to have crazy hairstyles, freedom to wildly splash and splash and splash.

The tub is this magical place where no one ever cries and baby boys are so perfectly happy. Liam bumps his head on the wall? No biggie. Mom wipes Dash's face with a cloth? Fine by him. Only a few square feet to explore? Excellent, if there's water, the possibilities are endless.

Cute and happy. And clean. Just the way I like 'em.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I think it's funny how proud parents feel when their kids read books. Look, MY child is so intellectual, he's reading a BOOK. La tee da.

That's me imitating myself. Because I'm one of those silly proud parents.
It's not like they love to get lost in the story at this age. But they love the bright, bold pictures and the big, curly lines that represent words.

Not to mention the super neat way books are constructed- who wouldn't want to turn hinged pages over and over?!

And then if you add extra flaps, whoa boy, instant favorite. I'm just glad that they're cultivating a love of all things book. I'm also glad for tape- we've had lots of repairs. They like to show their literary love with lots of pulling and tearing.

This reminds me: I've been published again! It's a paper from my grad school work (love the speed of scientific information dispersion), read the abstract here. I was going to be first author but more data was needed after I graduated, so my supervisor got top billing. I also like how Scott entered my nickname for authorship again- at least he's consistent. The paper was published in Synapse a couple of months ago. I guess I've had my attention diverted from mentioning it sooner. Liam and Dash and Sean always get top billing for me!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sleepy Pup

Speaking of Pogo, she's such a sweetheart. When she's sleeping.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Hiding Spot

Pogo has a little hiding spot under a table next to the couch where she squirrels herself away when she doesn't want to be bothered by little babes (well, she always doesn't want to be bothered, so I guess when she especially wants to be alone).
Or should I say, she had a hiding spot, until Liam discovered it the other day, followed quickly by Dash. They crawled in, sat down, looked at each other, and giggled giggled giggled. I guess they knew how sneaky they were being.

I, too, was trying to be sneaky with my picture-taking, peaking through a little opening, but Liam must have sensed the intrusion- see him looking around for the culprit.

Dash spots me first, being closest to the entrance. And gave me a rather proud look at making such a fine discovery.

Pogo, on the other hand, is not the least bit excited.

Monday, April 25, 2011


How often do you get to experience your first Easter? Exactly, just once. So we had to do a little egg dying on Saturday to commemorate the occasion.
We started out letting them take part in the action but it quickly became a wrestling match between parents and the cup-coveting boys.

So into the high chairs they went. It was a power play on Sean and my part.

We asked them if they wanted to use this or that color to dye their eggs and, so agreeably, they never said no!

Dash's very own egg!

Liam's very own egg!

Then on Sunday, we did an Easter egg hunt! We hid them in plain sight in the middle of the rug and they found them. So smart.

"mmph, iht dohen't fiht ihn my mouh"

I think Dash is giving the egg one of his kisses.

Liam considers if maybe this one will fit in his mouth.

Dash wants to share his egg. That's the Easter spirit!

This Easter didn't quite end up how I expected. The boys had some adorable plaid shirts on and I was so excited to take their pictures in them. But wouldn't you know it, Liam somehow doused his with water and Dash had his first blowout in three months. Plus, my poor husband finally had his turn getting sick so he was down for the count most of the day. I, after doing some yard work during nap time, was too tired to make a nice meal so we just had leftovers. No, Easter day wasn't the lovely affair I imagined.

But I did get to teach Liam and Dash how Christ died for us so that we can return to live with Heavenly Father again. And because of His sacrifice, we can be together as a family forever. With that in mind as we played together and giggled and loved each other, Easter really did turn out just wonderfully.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Boys in the Box

All I have to say today is...
I love you, Liam and Dash.

So very, very much.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daddy's home!

We three non-workers of the Bradley Clan just love when Daddy comes home.

I love to gaze at his entracing visage, those deep eyes, that perfect nose, that fantastic smile...

Excuse me, my heart got a little side-tracked.

The boys love to have someone else to cuddle and roughhouse. They've started to key in that the garage door opening means someone special is about to show up.

But especially right now, with a poor little sick Liam (and I'm sure Dash will soon too fall victim), they just wanna snuggle in their daddy's arms. I don't blame them, his cuddles always make me feel better, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Sometimes when I'm taking pictures of one child, the other one scurries over and demands equal attention. Except, he's just inches from my face so I have to hold out the camera at arms length and hope for the best as I snap pictures. As was the case here:
Doesn't this just scream, "It's my turn, mooooom!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Raspberry Bubbles

When raspberries turn to bubbles:
raspberry bubbles
They shall henceforth be known as RaspBubbles. Hear ye and forthwith. Hoorah.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I like to eat...

Wii remote covers,

dog collars,

and Cheerios!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Ever wanted to see a heart transplant? Me either. It's incredibly awesome that it's possible but blood just isn't my thing. It doesn't, however, bother my hubs. And he has, incidentally, seen a heart transplant. Thanks to the surgery rotation.


Sean's nearly 2/3 into the rotation and, man oh man, it's a busy one. Today marks his 12th straight day working. Almost every day lasted about 12 hours. It hurts me to even imagine working that much.


He started the rotation with a couple weeks in the ER where he examined lots of patients and helped determine surgical candidates. Those were generally 12-hour shifts, sometimes night, sometimes day. Sean had some crazy sleep adjustments those weeks.

Then he tried out two weeks in cardiothoracic surgery. They have some crazy devices to help out your heart! There was even a guy who just got the first continuous flow artificial heart (which means he has no pulse!). The hours were beastly- the day he was part of the heart transplant was an 18-hour day. There were several days he didn't get to see the boys at all (Sean missed them so bad!). But he did get to learn a lot of technique and scrub in on a lot of fascinating surgeries. One patient didn't handle their ventricular-assist device replacement surgery well and ended up having so many temporary tubes and machines in her chest that they couldn't sew her up. So, obviously, they just cut up an IV bag and had Sean sew it around the hole. Problem solved! Yipes.

Now he's doing general surgery. Although he has 12 hour days, since he starts so early, he usually gets to come home an hour or two before the boys go to bed. He gets to see a whole lot of surgeries and is getting rather good at stitching people up. But he's getting rather tired of hernia repairs. There was one guy who had been so ravaged by necrotizing fasciitis (skin-eating disease) that tissue at least an inch deep had to be removed. Ack.

Sean thinks surgery's pretty cool so far, especially the laproscopic stuff. Could it be his future? Possibly. I shudder to think about a surgical residency though. Would we ever see him? He wouldn't do cardio surgery, though, too many hours. Happily, his family comes first :)

I, for one, am so very excited for the surgical rotation to be over.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Panel of Experts: Easily Awoken

Oh Knowledgeable Ones, I am again in need of your assistance. I have some possible solutions in mind but none that I like. Maybe one of you brilliant people can bring me inspiration. On to the problem!

How do I keep the babies from waking up when Sean's getting ready in the morning? The biggest culprit is his alarm and it's not even loud! Yet I often hear them wake up within seconds of the little tune. If it's not the alarm that wakes them, then there's the shower or the cabinet opening to get breakfast or the garage door/car start. After a night of quiet, any little noise seems to chase the Zzz's away.

The timing of all this is interesting. Right now, Sean wakes up at about 4:30 am (!!!) so, actually, even if they do wake up, I can be sure they'll eventually fall back asleep (still frustrating that they and I are awake when we need our sleep) after 30-40 minutes (sometimes shorter). But when Sean wakes up about an hour before they'd naturally waken, in all likelihood, it's a done deal. And don't get me started if it's just one child (out of whack schedules, cranky babies, blah blah blah). The whole time, from alarm sounding to Sean's exit, I'm holding my breath (yes, figuratively) listening for the tell-tale squawks and crib mattress thuds as once sleeping babies start wiggling. Gives me ulcers.

I can think of two possible solutions:

A) Adjust the boys' schedule to have both their and Sean's morning wake-up to coincide. Why I won't do it: Nuh uh, not having them wake up at 4:30. Plus, Sean's schedule's changing every few weeks and that's just crazy talk to suggest I try moving the boys schedule that often. Plus, that'd mean an earlier bedtime and less time with their daddy. Nothin' doin'.

B) Get a white noise machine. I haven't looked into this much. I just don't like the idea of it. I squirm at the idea of Liam and Dash becoming dependent on a certain noise to sleep. But maybe it'd wash out the noise of their daddy getting ready in the morning. Anyone have experience with this?

Now here's where you enlighten me with your ingenious ways of keeping sleeping children asleep. Ready, go!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Pioneer Woman and I are basically best friends

So my blog/photography/cooking/life idol likes my babies.

For those who may be unaware, the Pioneer Woman holds photography contests where participants submit photos according to certain themes. The current theme is Brothers (one I've been eagerly anticipating since she did Sisters about a month ago). So I've been entering pictures of the boys and, ta da!, she featured the one above! I'm in group three and I super-squealed when I discovered it!

It's funny, I don't think it's a particularly good photo, just pretty funny. I guess she thought it was funny enough!

So now that I've met her, we shared the same toilet, and she called my babies cute on her blog, I'm pretty sure we're BFFs.


One plus of living in warm Texas: these guys show up periodically on the screen door. He's trying to get me to switch insurance companies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


(Video: Hall Crawling)

T minus one month until we've got a couple of birthdays to celebrate.

P.S. I think Liam figured out how to drink from the sippy cup yesterday. We'll see if he remembers today.

P.P.S. We've lived in this house for a year and guess what we did this last weekend. Put up our first hanging pictures! Sheesh

P.P.P.S. I love being Liam and Dash's mom. And Sean's wife. I've got it made!

P.P.P.P.S. Here's Liam's new trick:
(Video: Door Stopper Overhead)

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Sleep Stickler

This post may perhaps be enjoyed in two viewings- one perusal of the photographs and another reading the text- for the pictures and words have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Except the human subjects. I have cute Bucket Boys.
I'm a bit of a tyrant when it comes to the boys' sleep. Probably to the point that it's annoying to most other people.

I rarely rarely rarely have them sleep anywhere other than their cribs (or pack'n'play on vacations). Hardly ever in the care seat, hardly ever in a stroller, hardly ever anywhere.

Why? Because I have to keep them happy and synchronized.

What do I mean by keep them happy? Well, if they don't sleep, they get cranky a lot faster. I like happy babies much better than cranky babies. And besides, they're doing a lot of growing, and growers need sleep!

What do I mean by keeping them synchronized? THEY HAVE TO BE ON THE SAME SCHEDULE! Seriously, if they weren't, I'd pull my hair out daily. I need them to fall asleep within minutes of each other. I need them to not wake each other up because they have different sleep needs.

So that translates to always providing a nice, calm environment for sleep.

Let me 'splain further. Say we were away for a long outing somewhere, expecting them to fall asleep in the stroller. In most cases, one baby would fall asleep long before the other and they probably wouldn't sleep as long as they need. And thus we behold cranky, out-of-synch babies. Sleep patterns for the rest of the day would be super whack.

(Not to mention, they always nurse after napping and finding a private place in a public venue to feed two wiggly babies is so... just... not fun)

That means we don't do a whole lot of long outings. We always plan out our excursions. Everything fits around their sleep schedule. Sometimes we miss out on activities, sometimes I'm a crazy woman trying to rush home so the boys can sleep. But it's so worth it to me.

You know, it's pretty funny that it's me being the Sleep Fanatic, because I have horrendous sleep habits myself. I always stay up to late. Every day I kick myself for not going to bed earlier.

Actually, these days, I have tried to go to bed earlier but am completely unable to fall asleep. Whether I go to bed at 10pm or 11:45, I won't be falling asleep before midnight (usually much after). It's lame, because it's not like I ever get to sleep in. Perhaps I'm trying to instill these habits in them so they don't become a poor adult sleeper like me.

I do wonder if I'd be such a Zzz's Zealot if I was dealing with only one baby. The whole synchronization issue would be moot. Yeah, I think I'd be more relaxed about it.

Sean would probably appreciate that. Then I wouldn't be making car alarm sounds so often, trying to keep babies awake as we're driving home. I don't think he values those noises.

As it is, I think I'm doing what's best for them by making sure they get good sleep. We could probably make an exception a little more often, because when I say we rarely do it, I do mean rare. I'm probably trying to protect my own stress levels as well as the boys' sleep.

But I'm okay with my Dreamtime Despot status. The boys show me their appreciation through their happy smiles throughout the well-rested day.