Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Last weekend we went to the Neptune Festival at Virginia Beach and they did a huge sandcastle building contest. It was really cool to see what everyone did. They had a whole section of professional individuals and professional teams that did amazing jobs! (how would you like to say that you are a sandcastle builder by trade? Haha!) There are so many people out there with creativity that I will never even begin to understand! Click on the pictures to make them bigger if you want. It makes it a lot easier to see the details.

This is the overall first place winner (it was done by a team of professionals). I didn't get the best picture of it, but it is a mermaid kissing a...well, I don't really know what he is but what is really cool is that they were able to carve out bands of sand behind his head. I have no idea how you do that. They even made the sand around it look like ocean water.

I thought this one was quite creative. It was called "No Strings Attached" I think. It had all sorts of instruments hidden in this persons head.

A fearless knight who has won the maiden (the dragon that was slain is laying behind them)

Fire thingy.

I love the facial expressions on these guys!

Fun and creepy/scary all at the same time...

This was my personal favorite. It was called "Dancing with the Stars". The sun and the moon are dancing (you can see their hands clasped in front and it's hard to see from the picture but the sun has his hand behind the moon's back or head or whatever you'd call it). Again, they did the bands of sand around the outside of the sun. These people are amazing.

A random guy with his parrot

We stopped to let Braden crawl around on the grass. The grass was a little bit pokey though. So he just opted to stay in this cute little pose for a while.

Isn't he a handsome man? :)

A couple of Firsts

The other day, Braden discovered the joy of getting into the toilet paper! :) I have to laugh because I was in the shower and he was playing there in the bathroom with some toys. I got lost in my thoughts for a few minutes and then came back to reality and thought "hmmm...I haven't heard Braden in a little while." I stuck my head around the curtain and sure enough, there he was with a pile of toilet paper. He thought it was just great fun!
This is going to sound a little funny, but this was a really fun and somewhat momentous occasion for me. I know, you're thinking toilet paper is momentous? But when I was working with kids who had disabilities there was a particular family who I was very close to who had a little boy who had some major physical disabilities. And when he was around 2 years old that mom and I celebrated the day that he used his walker to get into the bathroom and pulled all the toilet paper down. He was finally developmentally advanced enough that he could get into mischief!
So it just makes me smile to see Braden finding a way to get into some mischief. Don't worry, we aren't going to have a toilet paper party or make a habit of pulling the whole roll of toilet paper out or anything, but it just does my heart good to see him discover things like that! :)

Braden sits in the sink and "helps" me get ready everyday. He is particularly fond of the blush brush and reaches up to brush my face with it. It is so stinking cute!

Another first around here is Braden drinking out of his little cup! I took off the lid with just a little bit of water in there and gave it to him to practice and he drank it down like a champ! I had to put more in the cup for him. He just thought he was the coolest thing ever.

And, of course, this is the end result caught in action. I'm sure the not dumping the water all over your tray will be a work in progress for a long time to come. :)A few random pics:
We finally got to wear this cute little sailor outfit (thanks Dana!) and it just looks so cute on him. He's sporting his sad little puppy dog eyes in this one. Probably because he really just wanted the camera, not me to take a picture of him with the camera.

Braden has started kneeling lately to play with things, so that he can have both hands free. And then I just really love this mid-crawl snapshot. He gets so excited to go and get things.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a Very Green and Unexpected visitor!

I came home the other night from a Relief Society activity with Braden and when I got to the door there was the cutest little frog just perched halfway up the door! I sat and looked at him and thought that was about the funnest thing I've ever had on my door. It was a tree frog - which, in my opinion, are way cuter than any other kind of frog. I'm sure he was probably excited about all the moths and bugs flying around our porch light.
Anyway, I didn't want to scare him away so I called Justin on his phone (he was inside the house) to have him come around from the back and see this cute little visitor. Unfortunately, he didn't answer his phone. So I carefully opened the door a little and hollered in for him to come quick and see this frog on our door! Apparently I shouldn't have been afraid of him jumping away, I should have been more careful about him jumping into the house! Who knew?! I really never thought he would come in! Or that if he came in it would be so hard to get him out! He really enjoyed our little linen closet for some reason.

I couldn't believe how far he could jump - at one point he did a suicide dive and jumped from the ceiling (limbs flailing) across the hallway to the floor! It didn't even seem to phase him. I guess he does jump for a living. So, I took a few pictures as he took a tour of our house - during all of this Justin was trying to catch him. As it turns out frogs are also very slippery and hard to catch. Just in case anyone wanted to know. :)

Justin finally got him inside a cup and we let Braden take a closer look at him before setting him free back into the wild. I'm sure he'll think twice before he comes into anyone's house again! Oh, and you may ask what I was doing to help the situation of catching the frog? Absolutely nothing. I sat there fascinated and kind of freaked out all at the same time. I jumped and gave a little gasp every time the frog did anything. I have no idea why! I have no fear of frogs. I actually quite enjoy them. But I just didn't know what to do with myself! Braden was fascinated with the whole thing...between his dad leap
ing all over the place chasing after this little green thing and his mom jumping with the frog, he had quite the show. Anyway, it was a pretty exciting night in the Peterson home.

More videos...

I know that the videos take a lot longer to upload, so sorry for that. But being away from family, grandparents in particular, we want to give them the latest fun stuff of Braden! So I will probably be posting a lot more videos than I have in the past. Just so you know. :)
Anyway, here are a few more...and some cute random pictures.

Braden loves this little stick horsey!

I got these pj's out the other day and realized that they fit him. They are so cute! It is the first separate piece (non-onesy) pj's he's had. He looks like such a big boy in them!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

9 months old!

Braden is 9 months old! He is as busy as ever, exploring everything and crawling around everywhere. I am constantly amazed at what he can pull himself up to (like the wall - there's not even anything to hold onto there!). He is a little short for his age right now, but a solid little guy for sure. Some of Braden's favorite things: His stick horse, little soccer ball, stuffed animals, the piano, books, and his daily rough-housing time with daddy! He still eats like a little champ and loves spaghetti.

Guitar Time!
(one of Braden's favorite activities is when Justin pulls out the guitar and plays and sings to him)

Laundry Time - Braden was playing in the laundry while I was folding it the other day and loving playing peek-a-boo with me and the clothes. I was all done folding so I put everything inside our tall laundry basket. I left out the socks for him to play with and what did he do? He crawled up to the laundry basket, with a sock in his hand, pulled himself up, reached as high as he could and dropped the sock in. Then he did his excited little giggle about his new game. He's really good at pulling things out, but this was the first time I had seen him put something in! It was way too cute - and helpful at the same time! Although, he was disappointed when he realized that he had put all the socks in the basket, but could no longer reach them to pull them back out and play with them. :) So we had to pull some of the socks back out so he could take them somewhere else. He's such a fun little boy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Crawling and Cruising!

I know I've been blogging like a madman, but I had to finally get caught up to today and what's going on right now, which for Braden is cruising and crawling all over the place! It's so fun to see him mobile. He has been pulling himself up to everything and cruising everywhere since we got here, but in the last week he also learned how to crawl. His main goal is to walk (and has been since he was 2 weeks old), so at first his crawling was only used to get over to something he could pull himself up to and walk alongside. But now he's realizing more and more that he can get around on his hands and knees! I think he's a lot less frustrated in his playing and can finally do some of the things he always wanted to. :) As my friend Jennifer said, "now the real fun begins!"
He realized I had the camera and left his standing at the couch to come and get it
He's doing really well at cruising from one piece of furniture to the other
It's so funny to see him practicing picking things up. I love watching him learn! He will get a toy or something, pick it up and then drop it on the ground again to see if he can pick it up again. He's doing the same thing with lowering himself to the ground and then pulling himself back up to stand, over and over again.
He discovered bubbles the other day while I was washing dishes. He's not a big fan of how they taste (thank goodness) but he loves to play with them!

White Coat Ceremony!

It's official! He's on his way to being a doctor!
Justin has his white coat! Woohoo! Seeing him put it on on stage with help from one of the doctors on the EVMS staff what so neat! It was also wonderful to hear them reciting the Hippocratic oath. It was touching and exciting to see him in it and feel like we are on our way. Mom Peterson kept commenting on her little baby up there becoming a doctor and pursuing his dream and it struck me how far she's seen him come. She's an amazing mom and has done a wonderful job raising a great boy and a great family. Justin and his mom are so alike, it's almost stunning sometimes - like the fact that on the 4th of July they were in completely different spots, seeing different things, but both thinking how the fireworks reminded them of the bombs and explosions happening when the star-spangled banner was being written and how amazing that song is. Anyway, Justin is a bit of a mama's boy and it was fun to see them together on this special day! I'm so glad both of our parents were able to be there! Thanks Moms and Dads! We love you!

Virginia Beach

We have fallen in love with Virginia Beach. It is a very popular spot and there are always lots of people there, but it is still a lot of fun and I really enjoy the atmosphere. In the evenings there are street performers and music playing everywhere. The water is really nice and we saw a dolphin jump out of a wave the other day. It was pretty fantastic. Braden doesn't love the water yet (it's still a little too scary to him with the waves) but he loves the sand - plays in it, eats it and gets it everywhere!

So, to explain the big eyes from Justin and his dad...nevermind, it's not worth explaining. Just know that they both have their moments of syncronized weirdness. (which is a little scary! :) )

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cape Henry Lighthouse

The Cape Henry Lighthouse looked really cool, but unfortunately closed right as we got there. But although our plans didn't work out it was definitely not a wasted trip because we saw dolphins! It was my first time ever seeing them and it was so fun! They were out there playing and having a great time. It was really cool. No pictures though, sorry.

The lighthouse on the right is the old one, and the one on the left is the one they use today.

Me and dad and Braden enjoying the view of the ocean

Horshoe crabs washed up on shore