Saturday, November 28, 2009


Ready for Santa...

Today, while Emerson was napping, Danny and I finished putting up our outside Christmas decorations.  When Emerson woke up, we took her outside and showed her what we had accomplished while she was asleep.  Danny explained to Emerson that we had decorated the house to get ready for Santa Claus to come visit us.  He explained that we had to make it "pretty" for him. 

Side Note:  Occassionally (more like all the time) Hogan will bark at things outside, and will always bark if someone is here or in the driveway.  Emerson will frequently ask if someone is here.  "Is my daddy home?" "Are my Mimi and Birdie here?"  "Is that my Grammy and Papa coming to visit?" 

We came inside after looking at the decorations.  Emerson was busy playing with her toys when Hogan began barking at something.  Remembering the conversation we just had outside;  innocently, are sweet little Emerson looked up from her toys to us and said,

"Is Santa Claus here?"

Not yet sweetheart, but soon....VERY SOON!!

Friday, November 27, 2009


My Toys
If you haven't read my previous "A New Puppy" blog, you might want to do that before reading this (or it might not make much sense to you). 

Today, as we were getting ready to go out and do some shopping, Emerson stopped Danny and I on the stairs.

Emerson: I want to go to Grammy's house! 
Danny: I think we will go there later today, but we are going to go shopping now.  Why do you want to go to Grammy's house?
Emerson: I want to play with my toys!
Brooke:  What toys?
Emerson: My toys!
Danny: What toys do you want to play with?
Emerson: (head to the floor, looking out of the top of her eyes, with a slight sly grin) BRUTUS!!

Big Bird
Yesterday, Emerson and I were upstairs when she went into her room to get a book. 

Emerson: Mommy, I gonna go get my Big Bird book.
Brooke: Okay, who is Big Bird, Emerson? (i know who it is, but wanted to see what she would say)
Emerson: (with a very authoratative voice) Mommy, Big Bird is Elmo's brother!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!


From our family to yours, we wish everyone
a very Happy Turkey Day!!

Our 'lil Turkey!!!

What we are thankful for:
Each Other - we are truly best friends!
Our Precious Emerson - her smile, her laugh, her love
A Loving Family - we really couldn't do it without them.
Supportive Friends - we have some great friends
Great Neighbors - The Hermans, more than neighbors to us, they are family.
Our Health
Emerson's Health
The Unconditional Love from Hogan
A House we can call HOME
Jobs, especially in these economic times
Our Military - thanks to everyone who fights for us on a daily basis
Our Freedom

and on a morning that our precious toddler decided to get up early, we are reminded that we, as parents, are always thankful for our sleep!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A New Puppy!!

Grammy and Papa got an early Christmas present, this past Sunday, in the form of an 8 week old Boxer puppy.  The new puppy is actually an extension of the family as their current Boxer, Buck, sired this puppy a couple of months ago, so this is Buck's son.  Emerson actually got the honor of naming the puppy about a month ago, after he was born.  Lots of ideas were tossed around (all of them having something to do with Ohio State): Sloopy, OH, and Archie were all discussed but Emerson finally chose Brutus; it's just a fun name to say!!  His official name is Senior Master Sergeant Brutus but Brutus for short. 

We went to visit on Sunday after the puppy had made it home and was settled in.  Emerson fell in love right away, but how could you not fall in love.  Brutus is certainly a cutie pie; soft, cuddly, full of energy, and the best puppy breath ever!!  Emerson wasn't too fond of Brutus nipping at her pant legs but that didn't stop her from chasing him and vice versa.  She only let him out of her sight for a minute or two before asking where he was.  We are so glad there is a new puppy in our lives to play with, and we are so glad it is living at someone else's house (wink, wink)!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Show-and-Tell #17 - Minnie Mouse

Danny was in LA/Anaheim all last week (6 days to be exact).  The last time Danny went away for a week, he promised to bring Emerson a present as long as she was a good girl for Mommy.  (You might remember my Pink Presents and Monies blog about the presents Danny brought back to Emerson). This time when Danny was saying goodbye, he went through the same spiel about being a good girl and getting a present.  He asked Emerson if she wanted a pink present, to which her response was, "No Daddy, this time I want red." 

We are in a Mickey Mouse/Disney phase right now in our house.  We are trying to prepare Emerson for our trip to Disneyworld and acclomate her to all the characters and princesses she is going to encounter. (We are hoping she won't be too scared of them.)  Emerson has also recently become a huge fan of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show on the Disney Channel (Thanks Amy).  So, it was great timing that Danny's trip was to Anaheim, home of Disneyland and that his hotel was literally across the street from the entrance.  It's even greater that Minnie Mouse's dress is RED and that is just what color Emerson wanted her present to be.  She loved her Minnie and was so excited to take it to school for Show-and-Tell on Friday.  Let's just hope the Minnie at Disneyworld (that is about 20x bigger than the stuffed one) gets Emerson just as excited and doesn't scare her silly!!

(Excuse the big gash on her face, she fell off the porch on Wednesday night and scraped her face and busted her lip.  Talk about a very scared Mommy when Emerson picked up her head and all I saw was blood coming from her mouth.)

Getting her RED present

Show-and-Tell Day - 11.20.09


Two new Emersonisms for everyone to enjoy (read, laugh at):

A New Age Santa List
Saturday night we went to dinner with Mimi and Birdie and then we headed to Sam's Club to look for some Christmas garland.  While in Sam's, we checked out the toy section (which has extensively expanded for the holidays).  Emerson was going around, showing us things she wanted.  Danny told Emerson each time that he would text Santa and tell him that she wanted that particular toy, and if she was a good girl, Santa might bring it to her.  (Apparently the new rage is texting your list to Santa since they seem to have done away with the good ol' letter to Santa.) Each time Emerson would go up to a toy, Danny would ask her if she liked it and would usually get a response of yes, to which, Danny would then say, "Okay, let me text Santa."  But for one toy (funny, I don't even remember what it was) Emerson ran up to it and said, "Daddy, I really like this, will you text Santa!!"

Fun at Sam's

Car Entertainment
After Sam's, Mimi and Birdie took Emerson so Danny and I could do a bit of shopping and then we swung by and picked her up from their house.  When we went upstairs, Mimi said, "Emerson, who did we listen to on the way home?"  Emerson's response, "Jackson Michael."  We joked with her and started singing Man In The Mirror because that's what Mimi was listening to and told Emerson it was one of her favorites.  On the way home, Emerson started singing a song, low and behold, it was Man in the Mirror.  The memory of an elephant I tell ya'!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Big Sister

Last week, Emerson and I had the privilege of babysitting for Baby Jordan, the two month old baby girl of one of my co-workers.  Emerson was so excited that we would have a baby "to play with" that night.  Danny was in California for the week so it was just me, a toddler and a newborn.  ( I agreed to babysit before I knew Danny would be gone.)  From the second Jordan arrived, Emerson was enamored.  She was such a big help when I needed something for Jordan.  She even helped me make Jordan's bottle by shaking it up to mix the formula and water (Don't worry, Becky, I gave it another vigorous shake after Emerson).  Emerson sang to Jordan and read her books, she patted her and rocked her, and she even got to hold her with Mommy's help.   The only hard part came when it was time to put Emerson to bed.  Jordan's fussy time at night was right about Emerson's bedtime.  So, I had to read to Emerson, and sing her bedtime songs and tuck her in, all while I was soothing a fussy infant.  It all worked out though and Emerson seemed to be okay that her bedtime routine was disturbed for the night....believe me, Baby Jordan could do no wrong.  I think when the time comes (which might be awhile)....Emerson will be a great BIG SISTER!!!

My how our Emerson's grown in 2 years!!!
(I got this chair out for Baby Jordan to use while she was here, but Emerson insisted that Baby Jordan use the swing, so Emerson decided to use the bouncy!!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flashback Friday

It's Flashback Friday Y'all!!!
September Update

September wasn't TOO crazy of a month for our household; it was basically birthdays and sports for us, oh and illness wrapped up in a stomach bug first and then that little bug HIN1.  Danny had trips to Jacksonville and to Charlotte for a golf tournament.  I actually slowed down a bit at work and had time to get caught up a bit.  We celebrated Danny's birthday and Amy and Macie Herman's birthdays.  Danny and I attended the Alumni Basketball game with the Hermans.  It was pretty cool to see all our players back in one place.  We also attended the first Tar Heel Town and football game of the 2009 season with the Hermans.  Emerson had so much fun.  Here are more highlights from the month:

  • UNC Alumni Basketball Game - Amy and I both took tons of pictures.  Amy was organized enough to write a blog about it (see here), so I am deferring to her for the content of the evening (Thanks Amy).  I just got my act together enough to upload the best of my 524 pictures onto Kodak Gallery.  (Don't worry, there are only 54 on Kodak!) Click here for my pictures.   
  • Softball (see here for blog) -Emerson went to one of Danny's rec softball games and had a blast.  She loved it so much that Monica sent her a glove and ball of her own.  We are working on holding the glove to catch the ball and then "pulling it in".
  • Tar Heel Town - Emerson had a great time at her first Tar Heel Town for the 2009 football game and an even better time at the football game.  (see blog post here)
  • Illness - we had two bouts of illness in September...the first (see blog) was a nasty tummy bug and the second (see blog) was this season's pandemic H1N1 flu.  She was a trooper through both of them. 
I hope you enjoy the pictures from this month....only one more month to go and we will be up-to-date and then, I can really flashback! Until next week.....

(click here)

*Reminder: the captions for pictures are above the picture and if the caption is too long
and gets cut off...just mouse over it and you can read the whole thing!!! 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tutu Cute!!!

Naturally, being the dancer I am (ahem..was!), I LOVE TUTUS!  There is just something about a tutu that screams GIRL!!!  I especially love them on toddlers and even more than that, I especially love them on toddlers when their little chunky monkey legs peek out from the bottom.  So, it was only a matter of time before I put a tutu on Miss Priss (so fitting) and let her strut around being the GIRLY GIRL that she is.

I found this adorable tutu for Emerson when I was visiting Charlotte (the city, not the person) one weekend.  I loved the fact that it combined classic ballet pink with edgy black.  I really wanted to get some pictures of Emerson this past summer with her tutu on, but time came and went, and life didn't let us get the pics.  I found this great chair at a consignment sale and refinished it just for these pictures (it still needs a monogram - winter project) but I was thinking that I would have to wait until Spring to get her and the tutu in the chair.  But, a couple of Sundays ago (11/08/09) we had an abnormally warm day for a November in North Carolina and I decided to take a stab at capturing Emerson's inner (and outer) girlyness!!!  It also helped that Emerson didn't want to nap and we needed something to fill in the time. Here are ALL of my favorites from the pseudo photo shoot (sorry, there were a lot). 

(If you would like to see one of the pictures larger, just click on it)







Being Cute
(what she does best)

The next couple are some of my favorites,
that deserve to be by themselves!

My absolute FAVORITE!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Show and Tell #16 - 11.13.09

Shortly after Emerson's first birthday, Danny had to take a trip to Minnesota.  We think this was one of the first times that Emerson realized that her Daddy had left for an extended period as she often would say "Dada".  Danny decided to get Emerson a little present to bring home for Emerson and since she was (and still is) so into animals, the My First Barn toy was perfect.  Emerson loved pulling out each animal, squeezing it, and hearing the noise that it makes.  Danny, on the other hand, didn't realize that this would be the first of many presents (see previous post) he would be bringing Emerson from his business trips. 

Sunday Brunch

Last Sunday, Emerson, Mimi and I traveled down to Fearrington Village to have Sunday Brunch with Ms. Betsy.  It is always nice to go back to Fearrington, since that is where the Bandy/Cantrell story started.  It is hard to believe that our family friendship has been going strong for over 30 years.

My Mom and Dad (Mimi and Birdie) lived next door to Betsy and Terry when they were all newlyweds in Fearrington.  (Actually, the story started earlier than that for my Dad and Betsy; they attended two years of Gardner-Webb University together, but didn't know they would end up living next to each other years later.)  Naturally, as neighbors, they became great friends, especially when they were pulling their dogs Tucson and Eitzel apart from fighting.  It also helped that my Mom and Betsy had nursing in common and worked at the same hospital...I think, to this day, they probably talk on the phone at least once a day.  My mom got pregnant with me and then after my arrival, Betsy decided she wanted a baby.  Two years later, Katie was born and later Betsy went on to add Jon.  Our families have been through so much together, both good and bad: family trips to the beach, camping, moves to new houses, moves to new states, Christmases, Thanksgivings, weddings, babies (well, baby - we are waiting Katie and Eric), deaths, cancer, dogs, jobs, and the list goes on and on.  We are so fortunate to have the Cantrells as friends and I am so happy that we now have a third generation to join in the crazy fun and Sunday brunches!!

Emerson always has a great time at brunch.  We always eat at The Old Granary and then walk around to all the stores and shops and eventually we make it to the gardens for some running around.  I hope we can have many more Sunday brunches with the Cantrells, back where it all began!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reciting Books

Last Saturday after Tar Heel Town, Emerson and I headed home just in time for nap.  Before nap, Emerson got to pick out a book to read while she drank her milk.  I wasn't surprised when she picked the "Potty Book" for me to read to her.  In an attempt to get the potty training bug in Emerson's ear, we have been reading this book to her frequently (good thing she likes it).  Emerson and I snuggled into the chair and as she started to turn the pages of the book, she also started to actually "read" the book. 

"Mommy got me something, whatever could it be?" Emerson said.  In shock, I said, "Very Good, Emerson!"  I finished the next sentence on the page for her.  She turned the page, and I started the sentence, "I've always gone in diapers, that's what they are for." Emerson chimed in again, "But Mom says when I'm ready I won't need them anymore."  Verbatim!!

I was so shocked that she was actually reciting the book back to me.  I wanted to make sure it wasn't a fluke so we read the "Potty Book" again at bedtime and had Daddy come in to witness it all.  No Fluke here....we replayed the nap time reading. 

I will say the "Potty Book" is pretty sing-songy, but it just goes to show you how FAST kids can learn things.  Let's just hope potty training is as easy as learning the words of the book!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday!!

Eleven years ago today, my FIRST baby was born.  Cute, cuddly, soft and so precious; from the moment I saw this little one, I fell instantly in love.  Hogan was originally intended to be a present for Danny (Christmas 1998), but he was really for both of us.  Hogan quickly became part of the family.  He loved playing ball, swimming, doing tricks, and sleeping (he is a great sleeper).  Hogan became the 3rd body in our bed and to this day, still sleeps at (or more like on) my feet.  He traveled with us to Florida in the car (numerous times), and sat in my lap most of the way.  He loved playing in Danny's parents yard and spent hours running after tennis balls.  He even got an extended vacation to Florida when Danny broke his leg, and his parents took Hogan for the 3 months Danny was on crutches.  Hogan would come to my parents house and play with his girlfriend, Chloe (my parents dog at the time).  He and Chloe grew a very close love/hate relationship and it was so funny to see them fight, but realize that they really loved each and missed it when the other was gone.  Hogan was also there, and adjusted, after each of our 5 moves into new places.   

The biggest adjustment Hogan has had to endure, though, was the welcoming of another person into our family.  Yes, Hogan was our baby for 9 years but 2 years ago Emerson came in and that all changed.  Hogan has been a wonderful dog and has really been great with Emerson.  We couldn't have asked for him to be better.  He patiently waits for Emerson to drop her food on the ground, he endures her chasing him around the house, and he has even adjusted to not being the #1 baby anymore.  It's hard, because I told myself that I wouldn't let him become second fiddle when Emerson came, but I was fooling myself.  Although, Emerson is our #1, I still love Hogan with all my heart and I still love it when he jumps on the bed to cuddle.  He has been such a wonderful dog and he deserves a proper Birthday blog post!!!  We love you Hogan...a frosty paws (dog ice cream for those of you without dogs)  is waiting for you in the freezer!!!

Happy Birthday, Hogan!!!

Hogan through the years

Hogan and Emerson

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tar Heel Town(s) 2009

This is the first year we bought season tickets for football.  We figured with Emerson being a bit older that we would all be able to go to the games and really make family outings out of the experience.  This past Saturday we went to our final Tar Heel Town of the 2009 football season (unless I get a wild hair and go with the Hermans solo this Saturday). 

Emerson really has a great time at Tar Heel Town (and the one game she attended) and I am only sad that we couldn't go to more of them this year, having only made it twice. The first was before the Carolina vs. ECU game on September 19th and the second was this past Saturday for Carolina vs. Duke.  We always have a great time when we go.  Emerson loves following Ivie around and doing everything that the big kids do!!  She loves the band, which is evident from the video in one of  my previous posts.  She loves the Old Well Walk and getting on her daddy's shoulders to "hi-five" the players as they walk by.  She also loves all the blow-up play sets like the bounce house and the slide.  At our first Tar Heel Town, Emerson went down the slide with Ms. Amy (Thanks Amy!), but by this past week's Tar Heel Town she was going down by herself. 

I would love to go on and on about our trips to Tar Heel Town but there isn't much that the pictures can't say.  Hopefully we will make it to more than two Tar Heel Towns next year and hopefully Emerson will make it to more than one game!!  Let's hope our Heels finish the season with a bang!! Until next season.....



While we are at it, see how much Emerson has changed since last year's Tar Heel Town!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Kids say the darndest things, right?  Yes they do, and our little Ms. Emerson is no exception being as VOCAL as she is. So, I thought I would start a new series on the blog called Emersonisms to document the funny things Emerson SAYS and DOES.  Hopefully I can look back one day and share all these funny stories with her.  Here's the first installment:

Last night as Emerson and I were finishing dinner (Danny was at the basketball game with Birdie), Emerson, still seated in her booster, pointed to her foot that was on the table.  (Yes, I said her foot was on the table...we are working on it!) 

Me: Emerson, can you please take your foot off the table?
Emerson:  Mommy, LOOK!!  (pointing to the lone freckle on the top of her foot)
Me: Yes Emerson, that's a freckle on your foot.
Emerson: Mommy look at it.
Me: I see it, Emerson.  It is your freckle.  It makes your foot so pretty.  Can you say freckle?
Emerson: No Mommy....That's my SPRINKLE!!! (pointing again to the freckle)

Show and Tell #15 - 11.06.09

Another first year Christmas present for this weeks Show-and-Tell item.  Corey (or Coco as Emerson calls him) was the lucky person that got to open this present (see previous post about how we included everyone in present opening for Emerson's first Christmas).  So, I thought this puppy was going to be a great little present for Emerson....not so.  In my opinion, this is probably the most annoying and frustrating toy for a baby/toddler trying to learn.  There are various places on the body of the puppy that you can push for songs, sayings, etc.  When you press a button (ie  - hand, foot, tummy), the music starts, but if you happen to press another button by mistake, the puppy starts in with that needless to say, we never heard a song all the way through.  The buttons on this puppy are super sensitive and initiate song very easily.  What a perfect Show-and-Tell item for a toddler class that is all over the place 100% of the time!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Flashback Friday

It's Flashback Friday Y'all!!!
August update

August was another busy month for us.  I had two huge events at work, a 4-day national conference for NCAC and a kick-off event for one of community programs.  Danny was also busy with trips to Jacksonville (twice) and a trip to New Mexico.  I was staying busy at night putting together Emerson's clothing to sell at two consignment sales, Upscale Resale and Kidseverywear.  But the most important thing about the month of August was that i was back in full swing with my are some of the great posts from August, in case you missed them the first time around. 

(Click on the link to be taken to the original post)
I hope you enjoy the pictures from this month....

 *Reminder: the captions for pictures are above the picture and if the caption is too long and gets cut off...just mouse over it and you can read the whole thing!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

As most families in America, we celebrated Halloween last night.  This year was the year that Emerson actually GOT IT, so she was super excited to put on her ladybug costume and Trick-or-Treat. 

The ladybug costume is a story in itself.  I bought a very cute ladybug costume at a consignment sale, but when I got it home, it wasn't as cute on her as it was on the rack.  (So, if anyone needs a 2T ladybug costume for next year, just let me know.) Plan B, I will buy a ladybug costume and just "fix it up" a bit.  Mimi ended up buying Emerson a ladybug costume that was super cute.  I got it home and kind of forgot about it but then decided I should probably try it on her (good thing I did), it didn't fit.  It was also too big, so I pulled out my sewing machine and tried to take it in with darts.  Emerson tried it on again, still too big; I took it in again, shortened the sleeves, and moved/added velcro so it made the costume smaller.  I was pretty sure Emerson was getting sick of trying on her ladybug "hostume" (as she said), and she wouldn't want to wear it on Halloween night but the last time she tried it on, it fit great!!!  I also added some bling, in typical Brooke style!!  So, although the costume wasn't homemade, I would like to claim that I did have a lot to do with it and spent most every night last week doing something to that costume. 

Okay, on to the night at hand....We started the evening off with dinner.  The Hermans, Mimi and Birdie, and Grammy and Papa all came over for some yummy treats or should I say "Mummy" treats.  Amy got all crafty on us and made these adorable Mummy Dogs for dinner and I provided the sides.  (Check out her blog here for her other crafty treats she made this Halloween.)

I had to get one BEFORE picture of Emerson before it was time to put on her costume.  (I really just wanted a picture of her in curlers since I didn't have one yet.) 

After dinner, it was a mad rush for all the girls to get on their costumes and then we were out the door to do some trick-or-treating; all 12 adults and 4 kids, we were joined by the Hermans, the Cherry's (x 2), the Bandys, and the NC Devers.  We headed up the street to the neighborhood party and then on to the neighborhood across the street for some trick-or-treating.  Emerson had so much fun this year because she actually knew what was going on.  She loved going up to doors and saying TRICK-OR-TREAT and loved that she got candy in return.  The girls couldn't wait until they got home for some candy, so they all indulged in a lolli while they were out.  All-in-all, it was a great Halloween, it was warm, the rain held off and everyone had a great time.  I think I will let the pictures tell the story, as they will do a much better job than I could do.  Until next year...hmm, better start thinking about THAT costume NOW!!!

The Decor

Our Ladybug

Ivie, Macie and Will
 (the other trick-or-treaters)


The Families

The Loot

Show and Tell #14 - 10.30.09

Emerson's school had a Halloween celebration on Friday.  (Actually, they called it a Fall celebration and not a Halloween celebration, since it's a church daycare.)  So in honor of Fall, ahem, Halloween...Emerson took her stuffed pumpkin that she won at the State Fair for Show-and-Tell.