Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Lights Are On

It must be Christmastime...

Watching the Lights

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Visiting Santa

We took the kids to see Santa Claus last night.

Evy put the letter she wrote to him in his mailbox and hopped right up on his sleigh. She said she was a good girl this year and told him everything on her Christmas list.

Then it was Brandon's turn.

Visiting Santa

He didn't have a chance to share his list.

It's OK, though. We're sure Santa already knows what Brandon wants (other than to get off of his lap).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Number Nine

Evelyn and Brandon are excited to add another blog to the family. You'll see it on the sidebar in the Links section.

There are still a few more months to wait until the arrival of their new cousin, but you can get a sneak peak now by checking out the Bradley Baby Blog.

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

When my birthday is over it is officially time to decorate our house for Christmas.

After getting all (what seemed like) 114 bins out of the attic, Evelyn and Brandon had fun getting ready for the holidays. They hung stockings, checked strings of lights, set up festive tchotchkes and, of course, trimmed the tree.

Evy placed all of the ornaments on the bottom third of it.

Trimming the Tree

Brandon then took them off.

Removing the Ornaments

More pictures of Christmas prep are on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What are you thankful for?

Evelyn's preschool teacher asked each child in the class what they are thankful for this year and then displayed all of the answers on a bulletin board in the hallway.

Evy's choice? "My brother."

What are you thankful for?

During Thanksgiving week we also found out that she is thankful for a few other things, including cousins, the castle playground, wampum necklaces, model trains, headbands and cranberry sauce.

Brandon is thankful for apples, things that beep and his firetruck pajamas.

More pictures from our Thanksgiving celebrations are on Flickr.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween stretched out over almost an entire week this year. We started out with costumed dance class, visited the mall, had a preschool party and finished up with neighborhood trick-or-treat on Halloween night.

Smile at DuskCaptain Kid

Evy still likes to hand out the treats more than anything else. Brandon was partial to the fire truck with firemen who were passing out candy bars.

Me too.

More pumpkin carving and Halloween fun on Flickr.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall, Continued

Evy and Brandon are still enjoying autumn. We've had picnics and visited playgrounds and jumped in leaves.

To prep for Halloween they both climbed on the pumpkins at Trax and then got in the car to check out the fall festivities in the middle of the state.

Pumpkins Portrait

LOTS more pictures of fall are on Flickr.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Bunch of Animals

Brandon's first trip to the zoo gave him the chance to finally show off his roar to a real lion. He also got to see elephants, monkeys and a camel (and make their noises, too).

Evy had been there before so she acted as Brandon's tour guide.
Welcome to the Zoo

Everyone had a great time. More from the zoo on Flickr.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome, Sarah!

Evelyn and Brandon have a new baby cousin!

Sarah Catherine arrived this morning in Harrisburg.

Congratulations Aunt Missy, Uncle Rob and William!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Start of Fall

Even though the autumnal equinox was less than two weeks ago, Evelyn has already had an entire season worth of fun.

On Friday she visited Trax Farms on a school field trip and took a hayride, learned about bees and drove the tractor.

On the Tractor

And yesterday Evy took part in the Hay Day celebration. You know, Fall stuff. Like a huge inflatable slide.
Big Sliiiiiide

More Fall fun is on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Move Over Mikey

Brandon likes it, too!
Brandon Likes It

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Half-Birthday Air Show

Evelyn celebrated turning four-and-a-half by going to the Wings Over Pittsburgh airshow. She loved it.
Flight Helmet

Evy had a great time watching the USAF Thunderbirds, talking to a real pilot, sitting in the cockpit of a C-130, and wearing her ear protectors.

At the end of a long, tiring day on the tarmac, she still had enough energy to eat a half-birthday cupcake. Just enough...

Half-Birthday Cupcake

She slept in the next morning.

More from the air show is on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Preschool v2.0

Today was Evelyn's first day of three-day-a-week preschool. She has been looking forward to this morning with excitement since last week's orientation.

She woke up early and reminded us that it was, indeed, the first day of school. She was dressed and had her shoes on before 7:30am.

School starts at 9:00am. It is three minutes away.

Do you see what I mean? Excited.

After school Evy told us all about the teacher, her classmates, the activities and the snack. Then she started looking forward to her second day of school.

More first day pictures are on Flickr.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three Theme Parks

Evelyn and Brandon have had a busy summer touring theme parks across Pennsylvania.

First we visited Kennywood, then Dutch Wonderland, and finally (on the last operating day of the season) we drove to Idlewild Park.

Cruising Past

They had a lot of fun at all three. In fact, if you ask Evy which park was her favorite, you'll get a different answer every time.

More Idlewild fun is on Flickr.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brandon's First Birthday

Brandon is one year old! We don't believe it either.

His celebration lasted the entire weekend and included a party, presents and his first taste of cake.

Mmmm. Cake.

He liked it but didn't make too much of a mess. Maybe next year...

More first birthday fun is on Flickr.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

52 Weeks

Brandon's last Thursday picture is uploaded. We're stopping at one year, and it's a good thing we are, because he is getting very difficult to capture on camera.

You can see the whole past year of Thursday pictures on Flickr.

We can't believe he is going to be one year old tomorrow!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Let's Go Bucs!

Evelyn and Brandon attended their first Major League Baseball game on Sunday afternoon.

On the Rotunda

Here is a list of highlights from the Rockies vs. Pirates matchup at PNC Park:
  • Saxophone man on the bridge
  • Free batting helmets
  • Infield box seats in the shade
  • Nearby stroller parking
  • Pirate Parrot shenanigans
  • Us on the jumbotron
  • The Great Pierogi Race
  • The view from the upper deck
  • A wave and "hi" from Evan Meek
  • Climbing Roberto Clemente's bat
It was a great trip for the whole family. As Evy said before bed, "everything went well today!"

More baseball fun is on Flickr.

Friday, July 23, 2010

At the Carnival

We took a trip to our annual local volunteer fire company's carnival last night. Although Evy did make some spin art, both she and Brandon were really only concerned with one thing.

The fire truck parked at the end of the lot. Engine 104. A glimmering beacon of red, white and chrome.

It's actually the same fire engine that has been there in years past. It looks the same but Evy sure doesn't.
Evelyn by the Tire

She and Brandon each took a turn in the driver's seat. Fortunately for all of the other carnival attendees there was a no lights or sirens rule in effect.
Brandon Behind the Wheel

Maybe they'll let him take it for a spin next summer.

More carnival fun is on Flickr.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kennywood '10

This past Saturday was our annual visit to Kennywood Park and Evelyn and Brandon had a blast.

By the Pavilion

Brandon rode the train and his stroller for most of the day. He even fit a nap into the afternoon.

Ride & Rest

Evy rode a real roller coaster for the first time. She was tall enough for the Jack Rabbit this year and was excited just to be standing in line. When we rounded the first bend she even put both hands in the air in preparation for the first hill.

That didn't last long. But she did have a lot of fun - she can't wait to go on another one.

We also spent a lot of time in Kiddieland and watched Uncle Thad and Aunt Stacey ride the Skycoaster. The evening ended with some cold ice cream on a warm night.
Ice Cream + Sprinkles + Summer

Everyone stayed up past bedtime to pack the maximum amount of fun into the day. More Kennywood pics are on Flickr.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend

Evy and Brandon packed a lot of fun into the three day holiday weekend. One or both of them did the following things:

Watched a parade
Ate giant slices of watermelon
Took a nap
Swam in a neighbor's pool
Enjoyed a picnic at the park
Ate Rita's Italian Ice
Attended a big family celebration
Chased a duck
Dripped popsicles
Made homemade ice cream
Ate homemade ice cream
Splashed in a kiddie pool
Stayed up past bedtime
Watched fireworks on television
Heard fireworks in our neighborhood while trying to go to sleep

At the Pond

More from our Fourth of July Weekend is on Flickr.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Beach Week 2010

We went on vacation to Ocean City, Maryland, last week. Everyone had a great time.

Evelyn & Brandon On the Beach

It was Brandon's first ever trip to the beach. He was a little apprehensive about all of that sand until he found out that he could get a reaction from people if he ate some.

One Grain of Sand

Evelyn is an old pro on the beach scene. She has perfected running toward and then away from the ocean.
Run Awaaaay

Evy has also improved her mini golf game since last year. She had five holes-in-one in a single round of golf (six if you include the last hole that keeps your ball).

We also visited the boardwalk, collected seashells and watched the ice cream truck from the balcony. More of our beach week fun is on Flickr.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strawberry Fields

Not content with the selection at the grocery store, Evelyn put her boots on and trudged through the fields in search of the perfect strawberry. Here it is:
The Perfect Strawberry

She found it at Trax Farms. They have pick-your-own strawberries right now and Evy thought that sounded like fun.

She ended up with a whole quart of perfect strawberries.

Evy's Quart

Add that to the five pounds that Steph picked and you have a whole lot of perishable fruit. So far we've had plain strawberries, strawberries in cereal, strawberry milkshakes and homemade strawberry popsicles. We've even given some away.

Any suggestions on what to do with the last two pounds?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pool Boy

Our Memorial Day weekend weather was beautiful. It gave the kids a chance to play outside and get summer started a little early.

Evelyn orchestrated three porch picnics in two days and Brandon had his first experience with a swimmer diaper. He really likes taking a bath, so we thought that he would also enjoy his first dip in the pool.

He did. By the time he was done splashing there wasn't a whole lot of water left in it.


Evy taught him some of the finer points of backyard inflatable kids' pool technique. You know - the beach ball spin, the bucket toss and the somehow get a pound of sand and grass in there.
Pool Lessons

They both had a lot of sunblock and a lot of fun.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Last Day of Preschool

Today was Evelyn's last day of two-day-a-week preschool.
Last Day of School

She has really grown up since her first day of school.

Instead of going to class they had a picnic outside and one last hour of playing with school friends before summer break. She had a great time this year and is already looking forward to going three days a week in the fall.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mother's Day, Take Two

We had another try at Mother's Day today. Having two healthy kids was quite a change from two weeks ago.

It included waffles, flowers and individually-wrapped Twizzlers, of course.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chocolate World

Evelyn and Brandon visited The Sweetest Place On Earth®.
Chocolate World!

They took a ride through the factory and spent a few minutes working on the Hershey's Kisses production line.

And holding up some ridiculously large pieces of candy.
World's Largest Hershey's Bar


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Caterpillar, Chrysalis, Butterfly

A few weeks ago Evelyn received a jar of bugs in the mail. It's OK - we ordered them.
Look What Came in the Mail!

After a while these five caterpillars grew bigger and bigger. They climbed to the top of the jar and hung upside down, creating chrysalides. We pinned them up inside the netting and Evy watched and learned about the process. She waited patiently for a week for something to happen.

Chrysalis Watch

Then one day a painted lady butterfly emerged. Then another. Soon their net house was full of fluttering orange wings. Evy fed them and took care of them.
Feeding the Butterflies

Then it was time to release her five new pets.
One More

And to run around the yard and pretend she was a butterfly.

Evelyn as a Butterfly

See the whole butterfly life cycle on Flickr.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

You'll notice we haven't posted any pictures from Mother's Day. That's because Brandon has his first ear infection and Evelyn has a fever of 103˚. It's not very much fun around here.

We're calling for a Mother's Day do-over in a few weeks.

Here's hoping...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Field Trip II

Evelyn's preschool class just finished up a few weeks of learning about farm animals with a field trip to Round Hill Park and Exhibit Farm to see some real farm animals up close.

Well, not too close...
As Close As She'll Get

Evy almost got within a few feet of a giant pig, a brand new lamb, and a boisterous chicken.

After the farm tour was over all of the kids went up to the playground. Even Brandon was allowed to get in on the fun.

A Light Push

Everyone had a great morning at the farm!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Paleontological Exploration

In other words - we visited the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Siblings by the Giant Turtle

Evelyn had a great time researching prehistoric life. She saw huge dinosaur skeletons, excavated fossils, touched a snakeskin, and held a baby apatosaurus skull. She even crawled inside a life-size replica of a whale's heart. It had a TV in it.

Brandon wore a dinosaur sweatshirt while he rode around in his stroller and smiled at everyone.

More from our paleontology day is on Flickr.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Break

We took advantage of a break in Evy's preschool schedule and did some visiting. The kids had fun hanging out with family and friends, hitting the playground and taking a train ride. A real train ride.
Another Engine

We finished out the week with a special day for Brandon. He was baptized in the same church as Steph and Evelyn.
Inside the Church

More Spring Break pictures are on Flickr.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day

Today was opening day in Pittsburgh and the smallest fans were ready to root, root, root for the home team.

Opening Day - Evy

Opening Day - Brandon

The Pirates beat the Dodgers this afternoon and are tied with St. Louis atop the NL Central. For now. They only need 81 more victories this year to break their active streak of 17 seasons without a winning record!

The kids don't care about about all the losing (although, of course, it's a shame). They just want to dress up in black and gold and wear a baseball glove around the house.

Let's go Bucs!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Brandon's first Easter was filled with marshmallow peeps, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans - for Evy. He did like playing with the plastic eggs, though. And getting dressed up with his big sister.

Easter Best

More Easter pictures on Flickr.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thinking Spring

We marked the first official day of spring with a trip to the park (along with everyone else in the tri-state area).

Still, it doesn't get much better than a bike ride, two playgrounds and a cookout to start the season off right. Remember that we had almost three feet of snow on the ground a month ago...
Tricycle Pose

We also marked Brandon's seven month birthday today. He celebrated by watching the bike ride, two playgrounds and the cookout.

Hi. We're at the park.

He was fine with the plan.

We're all looking forward to many more bright and sunny spring days.