Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chateaux de Samples

My goodness, has it been a month since I posted? Holy cow where has the time gone! Not sure if you all know this, but I mainly use this blog as a running journal of our lives. I think it's great that our friends and family can see it, but at the end of every year I have all my posts printed into a coffee table book so we have a running list of pictures and my journaling of what we did that year!This month, August, has been a BUSY one! Our great friends, Matt, Wendi, Abbey, and Emma, are living in DC for two years while Matt is on "assignment" with PNNL. They absolutely love it back there and now I see why! We decided to take a week long vacation out there to see them and spend some fun time touring DC!

First things first ... at 9 months here are Braxton's stats: 23lbs (85% percentile), 31inches (97% percentile), 7.5 head circum (75% percentile). He started crawling AND pulling himself up while we were in DC too (9.5 months). Now he is into everything! He loves to crawl to the fireplace and stare at himself in the glass! His schedule is 7am - bm & yogurt, 11am - bm & fruit, 3pm - bm, 5pm - dinner, 7:30pm - bm and to bed! He sleeps until about 6am sometimes 7am if I'm lucky!

He is such an easy baby and Blake and I feel soooooo lucky! He has so much personality and I love to hear him babble! His favorite word to say is "da-da" but he also likes "ga-ga, ba-ba, and sometimes I get a "maaaaaaam" He loves to clap and waves at everyone (we tell him he is very polite!) and now dances by moving his butt back and forth on the ground and turning his hands together ... touching the backs of each of his hands together in front of his chest and moving them in and out!). Every stage gets more and more fun! We can't wait to see what's next! But my favorite part of the day is at night when he's eating his bedtime bottle and we just stare at each other. I hope I never forget that feeling.

Back to Chateaux de Samples....we arrived on Monday evening and in true Wendi fashion, our entire trip was scheduled. (this is a trait both Blake and I love! We love being busy and on the go!). Monday night I had a shoot (Yes, she put me to work in DC) and then we spent the night just hanging out in their gorgeous townhouse. Wendi is stellar at decorating so she could turn a shack into something out of a magazine!

Tuesday Blake and Matt had to work, so Wendi, myself, and the kiddos went to the mall for the better part of the afternoon! She introduced me to great stores like Papaya and Charming Charlies! That evening Matt & Wendi babysat Braxton and I took the Metro into DC too meet Blake for a date night! We saw Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center (A-M-A-Z-I-N-G) and had a great sushi dinner! Wednesday Wendi, me, and the kids drove into Alexandria ... a photogs dream. Colorful staircases, beautiful, old architecture and buildings, unbelievable textures. I could have died taking pictures there!

That night we hung out at the Samples house for a great dinner and after everyone went to bed, the real fun began. Wendi and I had the best bonding night of our friendship. Here's the only way I can explain it ... when I was little, my Mom's life-long friends (namely Aunt Nancy!) would come to visit. I loved to hang out with them and would always be sad when I had to go to bed. I wanted to just be around them and feel "adult-ish" and hear their stories and see what it was they talked about. I can remember laying in bed and hearing them a floor above me LAUGHING until the wee hours of the morning and even at 8 years old wondering, "what are they talking about? How can they talk and laugh for so long?" ....well, Wendi and I have turned into my Mom. Now I know what my Mom and her friends were talking about! Old times, growing up, marriage, kids, life, things that shaped us, and everything in between. This conversation started about 9pm and lasted until after 2am!!! During it I peed my pants, Wendi cried from laughing, and we ate more Greek Russian Mexican treats than our stomach and thighs would like to remember. What we talked about will have to go to the grave with me, but here are some inside joke highlights to keep you guessing .... Wendi, here's to:
Dips bars; looking at people with towels on their heads sitting on couches and having an ah-ha moment; the forbidden FB; two words = middle school; bagels; kissing in backyards in the middle of the night; becoming bf/gf through a note; how the same person can change your life, then ask you to a dance and not remember changing your life; and through all of this ultimately ending up exactly where you were supposed to be in life ... but a little smarter.

Thursday Blake, Braxton and I went to the Air & Space Museum and then that night we all went to our other friends' Pete & Anna for a BBQ. It was there we all noted how life had changed. A few years ago, we were all at Jackson's after work. We were having a beer and no one had anything to rush home to. We laughed, took our time eating, talked, laughed and finally left the bar at who knows what time. Skip ahead 4 years. Shouting threats at the older kids, "If you don't eat your dinner you can't play" ... Blake and I rotating Braxton from lap to lap so one of us could eat and hold him so he didn't destroy the Tensmeyer's house as he pulled everything from every shelf. As we talked, every other sentence someone had to feed a child, change a diaper, discipline someone, or remind them (ah-hem, Braxton) not to eat carpet fibers from the rug. Ahhh life as parents.

Friday was awesome! Wen watched Brax all day and evening so Blake and I could go into DC and do all the tourist stuff! We went to all the monuments, memorials, and tourist attractions like the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, White House, Ford's Theater, and the Smithsonian museums. Blake and I love museums so that was our favorite part! I even got to see Dorothy's ruby red slippers (they wouldn't have fit on my big toe!! ... I'm pretty sure she had her feet bound ... lol).

Saturday we spent the day at National Harbor walking around the shops, eating great food, and then flew home! It was sad to leave them because we had such a good time. But also nice to get home and back into a routine....however I miss my dungeon at the Samples (their guest room is in the basement and it's cool and dark and we love sleeping there!) One morning I slept until 11am!! Thank goodness Blake was there to take care of Brax!

Vacations like that always make me feel recharged and ready to go! I can't wait to see them next ... we love you guys like family and are so happy our families get to grow up together and have lots more nights eating too much, drinking great wine, and laughing way to loud!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

This week in Kluse-land!

Here are some updates! The pics below is my first time meeting my niece Alena! My parents and I drove to Seattle to see Blake and Lesli when she was about 2 weeks old! She is so cute and small! Braxton was already trying to eat her! Blake and Lesli are doing well ... just sleep deprived, as can be expected!

The pic of Braxton is his newest favorite way to sleep --- headlocking his poor Lamb! He grunts at the Lamb until he falls asleep then puts it into a headlock. Pretty funny!

The videos are also hilarious ... Braxton rolling like CRAZY and Blake figuring out a "unique" way to weigh him :)

Love you all!





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Monday, June 21, 2010

Blake's 1st Father's Day!

Blake had a great 1st Father's Day yesterday! The day started with Brax and I going to get him coffee (his typical routine on Sat & Suns with Brax!) ... which was more work than I expected, so I'm eager to let him have his job back! Then we had breakfast, Blake did some yard work, we ran errands, and topped off the evening by making a homemade veggie pizza! Ohhhhh was it delicious!! And of course, had to go to Dairy Queen for Blizzards!

Below is a pic and video of Braxton eating. He is doing this new thing where he blows rasperries when you put a bite of food in. Well this time it backfired, and he blew before the food was in his mouth, so he blew it up off the spoon and it went backwards and landed on his face! HA - serves him right! Blake and I wear 1/2 of his dinner each night! Had to capture this :)

Love you Braxers!!!



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Friday, June 11, 2010

Jumping in June

Hey, everyone! June has been a really fun month! This is my FAVORITE age for Brax! He has so much personality and is so fun ... but still not mobile! YAY! :) ...he loves to babble now (started on this 7 month bday) and says "dadadadadadadadadadada" all the time with a very stern look on his face! I wish he'd say "mama" more, but at least that was his first word!

He had his first ride in the big boy seat at Target! I was so proud! I basically walked around the store just taking pics of him in the cart and forgot half the stuff on our list! Oh well ;) The other pics are some I snapped of him playing! When we get up in the morning we spend time playing with all his toys, then use the afternoons to go on walks and run errands! Mommy gets to watch the Today show that way ;)

I also love the pics of Blake and his parent's dog, Winston. They were watching Baby Einstein together. How cute!!!

Mine and Blake's favorite new pastime is badminton! We have it set up in the backyard and when Brax goes to sleep Blake and I go out and challenge each other! It's really fun for us to do ... and he gets to see my superb athletic skills. Or something like that ... :) There is a pic of Blake showing off his mad jumps. Yes honey, you're amazing.

Below are a couple of vidoes too! Brax loves to bang anything he can get his hands on together, but for some reason he was a little shy when I put the camera on him. Better get over that one kid!







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Monday, May 31, 2010

Good ole fashioned BBQ for Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! We had a great weekend and nice and relaxing! This was the first weekend Blake has been home in a while, so we had some great family time and even set up a badminton set in the backyard! I have negative athletic ability and proved that fully last night. I am the girl who swings and the birdie thing flies right by her ... oh well. I know how to shop and take pictures, so that's gotta buy me something 'eh?

Below are some pics from our weekend! I went with some friends to see SATC2. Not as great as I was hoping for, but a chick flick nonetheless!

*The first picture below is for my ole' father in law. I saw this painting and couldn't help to think that it was a "Mike of year's past" ... wonder what he thinks?!?! look at all that hair!!! Love ya, pops!









Thursday, May 27, 2010

Way too long without a post

Hey everyone! Wow, I really need to get back in the hang of things. Over a month? How unlike me .... so here is to catch you up on the last month of our lives!
1) I started back to work in April part-time; a couple days a week gives me enough time to be a "professional" but most of my time to be a Mommy!
2) Braxton started eating solid foods at 5 1/2 months and two days later slept through the night for the first time!! WAHOOOOO! Our schedule has been amazing since I started this kid on food. That was just what he needed!
*He loves all foods except green beans. He will spit those out every chance he gets! (I hate them too, way to go Brax!)
3) Braxton started swim lessons with his friend, Chaz! They go once a week and he is a waterdog! He loves to go under and we are so proud of our boy! I am in the water with him and proud Daddy stands on the side with video camera in one hand and camera in the other!
4) Braxton started sitting on his own right before 6 months and even though he knows how to roll, up until yesterday (2 days shy of 7 months) he hadn't done it a lot. Now he rolls all over his blanket ... namely when you are trying to change him!
5) In mid-May we flew to Lexington for Pete & Julie's wedding (we set them up!). Brax did great and he was a hit at the wedding and in Columbus (where we went first) so he could meet family.
6) At 6 1/2 months he said his first word --- MAMA!! (I am so happy!)
7) Today (one-day shy of 7 months) he has started babbling like crazy (lalalalalala and ahga ahga ahga are his favorites).+
9) In early April we got our first family car! A Mazda CX9 and I adore it! It is just the space we need for now!
8) Here's Braxton's day at 7 months
630am - breakfast (5 oz BM)
9am - nap
11am - 1/4 c rice ceral and 4T fruit and 6oz BM
1pm - nap
4pm - 1/4 c oatmeal and 4T vegetables 1 T meat
7pm - book, naked jaybird, bath, jammies
730pm - 8oz BM and off to bed
(sleeping thru the night!!!)

All in all life is amazing. It sure is busy, but routine helps make it great. Blake and I find that we can just spend time playing with Braxton on the floor and minutes turn into hours! We love to sing him songs and make them up all day (many of them include his name since we love it so much ;))

As I am writing this I'm thinking back that 7months ago I was in labor. If I remember correctly I was probably dilated to 9cm and I kept thinking ''in just a few hours I get to meet my little boy" ... and now not only is he here, but I know so much about him! Here are a few of things I love about Brax at 7months:
*I love how he sucks in his bottom lip
*I love how he flirts (will give you a big smile then turn his head away shyly)
*I love how he sticks his tongue out of his mouth and curls the tip of it up towards his nose
*I love how he gets super excited when he's playing and takes deep breaths and flails his arms and legs in a crazy way
*I love how he likes to cuddle on my chest and lay his head to the side right under my chin
*I love how he STILL holds my hand when he nurses
*I love what a HAPPY HAPPY baby he is (we feel proud that this is the thing we get the most compliments on)
*I love how he has my blonde hair and blue eyes and that the strands on the top that stick up like a peacock are still longer than any other hair on his head and have been like that since the day he was born!
*I love how he has a tiny strawberry patch on his left eyelid that has been there since the day he was born
*I love how he has learned to put his arms up in the air when he wants up and gets excited when he sees me coming
*I love how he laughs when I tickle his underarms and side
*I love the look on his face when he's milk drunk from his bedtime feeding and he is so sleepy his head bobbles all around
*And as always, I love being his Mommy more every day. He is truly the best thing Blake and I have ever done and in 7 short months I can't even remember what life was like without him.

I love you so much Baby Balooga. You will forever be our Braximus Maximus!
Love Mommy & Daddy







Friday, April 16, 2010

Sit, sit, sit ... I like to sit!

How lucky was this? I was getting ready for a shoot and Blake was helping me prep the studio room. We had Braxton in there and all of a sudden before we knew it, he was sitting!!! He was balancing with his arms on the ground and as he would start to wobble he would correct himself! He did take a couple of dump-overs, but Daddy caught him and sat him back up! My baby is such a big boy!!! (he's 6 months next week). We'll have to keep practicing and let you know!

**I think he did it cause my good camera was in there and we were in the studio so he knew I could take some great shots of his newest trick!!!

We love you baby!!!





Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My silly peanut!

Check out Braxton's newest game! It's called COVER MY FACE! He will cover his face with anything and he thinks its so funny! The other picture has a funny inside joke to it, but basically it's me, in my evening attire, enjoying my wine!!! :)

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Braxamus Maximus!

Hey everyone (not sure why this is underlining!). Well, I started back at work this week and it wasn't as bad as I was thinking it was going to be. A couple of breakdowns, but I got through the day! There is no way I could work more than 3 days ... by the middle of the afternoon on Thursday I started getting realllly ancy to get out of there!

Blake was gone today on travel, so Braxton and I had a nice day! My cousin, Christine came into town to meet him, so we had fun hanging out with her! We played, went to lunch, took a nap, went on a walk ... it was a great day!

April should be a fairly low-key month. I have a lot of photo shoots, but we are in town every weekend (something kind of out of the ordinary!), so we are hoping to have lots of family time! Every Saturday Blake and Braxton (following his Dad's tradition) go get coffee and bring it back. Usually I wake up two hours later to a slightly watered down iced skinny hazlenut latte... but good nonetheless! It is so nice that I get to sleep in on Sat morning and Blake and Brax get to have Daddy/Son time. This usually consists of going outside and checking on the lawn or watching golf or basketball!

Below are some pics I took for Braxton's 5-month pictures! Hard to believe my baby boy is that old already ... I am treasuring every SECOND with him.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter & Reflections ...

Happy Easter! What a difference a year makes ... last Easter was when we surprised our parents by wrapping the ultrasounds in Easter Eggs and telling them we were pregnant! Now, in the blink of an eye we already have a 5 month old?! How did that happen! He went from a little gummi bear on a piece of paper to my beautiful, happy baby boy!

Easter was terrific! This year we went with my parents to their church (we switch years with the g-parents) and then met up with Blake's parents and all 6 of us had brunch at Meadow Springs. It was great...and after 4 trips thru the line, I was finally full! Sooooo much good food! Nana and Papa made up a cute Easter basket for him (with candy we ate!). Good thing they did, cause we didn't!! As my friend told me last night, "after this year, you'll have to do one EVERY year, so enjoy your last year off!!!" ...AMEN!

Also, last week I had my first day back at work. It was better than I thought it was going to be. I still missed him, but to be honest, I was so busy it really did make the day fly by! I am going to do Tues-Thurs and my best friend, Aunt Julianne, will be watching him! She has her background in early childhood education, so I joke that he'll probably learn more with her than me anyway! Plus it will be good for him to be around a couple more kids on a regular basis. Bryce and Morgan love him and love to "babysit" him so I know he's in good hands!

Also, I'd like to make note of something. For all you people that nodded your head along in agreement to me last October when I said, "I can't wait to be home for 5 months --- I am going to get so much done around the house." .... well, now I know you were just being polite. The ONLY real accomplishment I got done in the last 5 months was giving birth to my beautiful baby! Everything else out the window. I didn't get my attic organized, I didn't go through all our files and purge stuff, my bedroom still has not been simultaneously clean at the same time as my house, I am still behind on laundry, and to make matters worse, now there are balls of diapers randomly around the house waiting to be taken to the "big" garbage. So this is what being a mom is, huh?

For any of you Mom's who DO have it all together, please do tell.

Below is a quick pic we snapped of him getting ready for Church! What a stinker with that tongue!!! I wish I had my better camera, but iPhone had to do!

We love you Braxamus Maximus ... next year dying eggs will be fun!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

To my 5 month old


To Braxton:

How are you already 5 months old? The black and white picture you were only 10 days old and in what feels like is a blink of an eye you are growing up before me. This past month has been one of a lot of changes for you! I am so proud of all the new things you learned and as a parent am amazed at what children are capable of learning in such a short time. I've fallen even more in love with you and I know that will only continue to deepen! Your Daddy and I love you so much and here are just a few of the things we have come to love about you this month!
* you rolled over at 19 weeks! Daddy and I were laying on the blanket playing with you and right in front of our eyes you just rolled yourself over! We were so happy to have been there to witness it together ... we were so proud of you and started kissing you and clapping for you immediately
* you suck on your bottom lip and make a funny little grin
* you like to grab your ... ahem ... "special part" in the bathtub, and then scream when it hurts (go figure!)
* you laugh out loud so cute when Daddy sings you "Pants on the Ground" (thank you American Idol for that diddy)
* you smile and laugh when we sing you your "Braxton Hunter Kluse" song we made up
* you sleep now from 7pm - 330am (eat) - 630am (twice this month you even slept 7pm - 5am ... we're getting there!)
* you love to look in the mirror, but always look behind you to try and figure out who that baby is!
* I think you know you're lullabye (stay awake, don't rest your head) because when I start to sing it you calm down
* I love the way you feel when I hold you (and yes, you actually feel light to me!) and I hope I never forget what it feels like to hold you. I know I'll miss it when you're 6' 6" one day looking down on me.

More than anything you are the best little boy in the world and you have made your Daddy and I so happy!

We love you, Braxamus Maximus!

****and I still love the way you hold my hand when you nurse!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our first family car!!

We did it! We have a family car now :) We got a screamin' deal on this 2010 Mazda CX9 (only $200 over invoice thanks to a hook-up with the commercial fleet manager at McCurley!). It has so many bells and whistles and I love love love it! Blake is now driving the Accord and "Old Blue" is parked with the boat and has been retired to strictly a hunting/fishing/boating vehicle!! I think Blake feels like he got a new car out of this too!

The first time I put Braxton in he was looking around like, "where am I???" It is so nice having so much more room!!! Now I need to come up with a name for her .... :)




Kauai and Catch Up

We're alive! I didn't fall off the face of a cliff! Life has been soooo busy lately and I am really behind on my blogging. I promise to do better in April! So here's a quick update on everything!

We spent a week in Kauai with Blake's parents which was amazing! We were at a Marriott resort that M&G bought a time share at and it is soooooo pretty! Thanks to Grandma, Blake and I actually got to make it a vacation and sleep in and lay on the beach! With 3 plane rides there and home I was nervous about Braxton, but he did wonderful! We were so proud of him! The last flight from SLC to home he had pretty much had enough, but 5 out of 6 is great!

While we were on the island we basically read books, laid by the beach, got burned (well, ok, only me) and swam! One of my favorite things was snorkeling with Blake. I'm always on the lookout for Jaws when snorkeling in 4 feet of water!

This was also my last full month off from work :( ... I'll be returning in April, but only three days a week. I hope that I can find it to be a nice break rather than be sad I'm missing time away from my baby. Fingers crossed!

Aloooooha! See all the pics HERE.