Monday, December 29, 2008

mama, Mama... MAMA!

JT & Mama, Christmas 2008

I mentioned that I took somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pictures during Christmas, right? Do you know there are exactly 3 of me with JT (or just of me anyway). This is the best of those three.

Once again, John was chided for never taking over the camera. At some point, even a bad photo is a good photo when it's all you have. And shame on me for not handing over a camera to other family members. I had two cameras with me the whole time anyway...

So if I saw you over Christmas and you have pics of me... please send my way. Please.

And this red-headed boy I am holding in the photo? He sure loves his Mama. I couldn't even go to the bathroom without him running around yelling, "mama? Mama? MAMA?!"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

holday wrap-up

Christmas came and went with a flurry of activity and traveling. We visited John's family in St. Clairsville for Christmas eve and Christmas day. Most of John's family looked like they had seen a ghost when they saw JT. They say he looks exactly like John did.

new fire truck

We spent Friday night with Aunt Joan and Uncle Wayne in Canton. JT spent the evening amazing them with all the tricks and new words he has learned since Thanksgiving.

On Saturday we visited with my Grandma and my dad's family in Akron. JT was more attracted to GG's tree than any others he has been around. But his Grandpa was sure to keep the tree safe...

no, no, no

When we got home on Saturday, we started opening all the new toys and checking them out. The fun continued into Sunday. I think by now we have opened everything and all toys are in their new locations ready to go. Here are John and JT trying out the Tonka race track:

playing with new toys

I think I have something like 300 pictures from the holidays... will share more soon.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

celebration, round 1

This morning was Christmas with my parents, brother and sister-in-law. Luckily, Santa knew where to find us today...
Santa was here!

JT didn't want anything to do with the presents until he had some breakfast...
but let's have breakfast first

It took a while to get all the presents open because JT had to play with each as he opened it. Of course, once everything was opened, the combination of presents got a little awkward (well, awkward for some of the other presents)...
playing with elmo

Grandpa also quite enjoyed his Christmas present... not sure where Santa was with the wrapping on this one... he just hid it in the back of our car!
weapons for Christmas

We took a break mid-gift-opening to have some breakfast. Grandpa made pancakes for everyone... and yes, JT ate AGAIN...
making breakfast

Uncle Bill and Aunt Theresa got JT a big dump truck. It took him a bit to figure out if he was supposed to ride in the back of the truck or just push it around. Turns out this is a toddler-powered truck...
new truck

Finally after bugging Grandpa all day, JT convinced him to go for a walk. Grandpa found out that JT is not so much about holding your hand on a walk. He's a big boy and can walk, er run, on his own, Grandpa...
a walk with Grandpa

Friday, December 19, 2008

wrapping presents

wrapping presents, originally uploaded by brungrrl.

JT helped me wrap presents last weekend. He isn't very good at it. But he is a little better than he was last year. ;-)

We'll see if he is better at unwrapping them soon... this weekend is Christmas with my family. It should be a wild ruckus of a good time! Stay tuned...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

need more weekend

How long 'til Christmas?, originally uploaded by brungrrl.

Let me summarize our weekend:

- Friday night had pizza with B&J.
- Put on jammies.
- Spent Saturday working on presents.
- Sunday morning, finally changed out of jammies when JT spewed all over me, him, and the couch.
- Couch still smells like vomit... putting a severe damper on the holiday spirit! *gag*

Can I get some more weekend before Monday morning, please?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

17 months

At 17 months, JT
  • is learning new words every day (boots, church, Jen, baby - rather than "dada").
  • still calls me Mama... which I love.
  • calls his hedgehog puppet "Acha". He likes when Acha reads Sheep in a Jeep.
  • says "ish" all the time, which means "What is this?" He absolutely CRAVES new vocabulary!
  • uses me as his translator... I'm fluent in JT.
  • loves books. Really, we spend SO MUCH of the day reading books.
  • likes watching Sesame Street podcast.
  • watches the Muppets at home and Barney at the sitter's.
  • can feed himself with a spoon fairly well.
  • will put spoon, cup, or food on his head if he sits in his chair too long past finishing his meal.
  • asks for a "sip" when he's thirsty.
  • drinks from a straw... he had his first juice box!
  • listens to Lullaby Metallica, Peter Rabbit, or James Taylor cds at bedtime.
  • says shhh holding a finger to his lips and hiding behind our bed from Dada.
  • will grab you by the finger to go see or do what he wants.
  • can identify mouth, nose, ears, and eyes. Even though he taunts us by calling ears, eyes.
  • is losing some stranger anxiety. Didn't cry the past two Sundays when we took him to the nursery at church.
  • is best buddies with James and Bradley at the sitter's.
  • doesn't care if his fingers are frozen solid... he doesn't want to come inside.
  • giggles when I hang him upside-down by his ankles. I think it might be making him taller though...
  • is getting stronger. You can tell when he throws a ball!
  • weighs 25 pounds.
  • still has Dada's red hair.
  • wears larger 18 months and some 24 months or 2T clothes.
  • remembers people between visits. Nana is a favorite, but he also asks for Jen and Geesh (Theresa). He calls Becka Bot and remembers that Jari talks like Elmo when you press his finger!
  • is the sunshine of our lives.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

weekend roundup

snow before Christmas, originally uploaded by brungrrl.

It was an awesome holiday weekend. A lot of relaxing, Christmas tree, music, scented candles, good friends, family, snow, shopping, a holiday party, and most of all... precious time with JT. He has been going through a growth spurt, so it was like getting to know him all over again!

And seriously, snow in December is to be cherished. Getting your new car dinged in a fender bender bites (yes, this happened to John - poor thing), but still... those flakes flying around are just dreamy!

Monday, December 01, 2008

decking the halls

We spent Saturday rearranging the furniture and putting up the Christmas tree. It's always a major, messy production. But this year was much easier since it's the second year with our artificial, pre-lit tree.

the tree goes up

JT didn't actually help much with the decorating. Although, on the plus side he also hasn't been too destructive since we got it finished.

JT helps trim the tree

He took a THREE hour nap, even through all the noise of furniture-moving and cleaning. We really liked how pretty his hair looked when he woke up.

post-nap hair

And here we have it... Christmas at our house.

living room, rearranged and Christmas added.

What do you think of the furniture arrangement? I think it's cozy and more conversational. It's screaming for a fire in the fireplace. I need to get rid of a chair that we just don't need and some other clutter. I also still need to come up with a shelf storage solution to get stuff off the floor and to be better organized. AND we also want to replace the tv with a flat screen. But I think I like it this way. We'll see how it works for us after Christmas before I make it permanent.

How is Christmas coming along at your house?

Friday, November 28, 2008


favorite number

Happy Black Friday! Are you shopping today? I hope to do a little.

Do you have a favorite number? Mine is 3. No concrete reason, really. Do numbers correlate to colors for you? 3 is a little green to me. It's probably just the double e's. Since green is my favorite color, it seems only natural. 3 is good, because no one can eat just one, right? And it's less than a handful... any more would just seem greedy. Then there is the holy trinity thing, which is cool. And triangles... oooh. See, no special reason.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Hope your Thanksgiving Day was full of turkeys...


and gratitude.

Ours sure was...

blog analyzed

Some analysis of my blog reveals that I am type ESTP, a "Doer":
The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.
Oh, I get it. I like dream up and start projects, but not finish them. Sounds about right. Find out what type you are.

My blog is gender neutral, with a slight preference for female. Predictable, since I mostly talk about babies and scrapbooking (with the occasional post about basement remodeling or composting).

It is written at a college reading level. I think that means "unnecessarily complicated sentence structure" or "can't form a cohesive thought" or "too many run-on sentences that are technically correct grammar."

And it's worth about $2258.16. Bah... not going to retire on that.

Happy Thanksgiving. I leave you with a pic from last year... whoa. What a difference a year makes when it comes to babies!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

my DDC

library books

This is too funny... uh, and maybe a little true. Except the nerd part. I had to post all three possibilities because I think it paints the best picture. Here are my "call numbers" based on the Dewey Decimal Classification:

Stacy Brunner's Dewey Decimal Section:
525 Earth (Astronomical geography)
500 Science
Math, astronomy, prehistoric life, plants and animals.
What it says about you:
You are fascinated by the world around you, and see it as a puzzle worth exploring. You try to understand how things work and how you can make them better. You might be a nerd.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Stacy Brunner's Dewey Decimal Section:
061 Organizations in North America
000 Computer Science, Information & General Works
Encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books with quotations.
What it says about you:
You are very informative and up to date. You're working on living in the here and now, not the past. You go through a lot of changes. When you make a decision you can be very sure of yourself, maybe even stubborn, but your friends appreciate your honesty and resolve.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Stacy Brunner's Dewey Decimal Section:
003 Systems
000 Computer Science, Information & General Works
Encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books with quotations.
What it says about you:
You are very informative and up to date. You're working on living in the here and now, not the past. You go through a lot of changes. When you make a decision you can be very sure of yourself, maybe even stubborn, but your friends appreciate your honesty and resolve.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

new philosophy

JT's cookware

I have a new philosophy. It's that bad photos are better than no photos. And since it's going to be winter for a while, expect lots of poorly lit photos on this blog!

Here is a pic of JT playing with the cookware. I think it bothers John when JT plays with the cookware. Like, "why not play with toys... they are actually fun?" Or "hey, we eat off that stuff and you drool a lot." Or perhaps, "I don't get the allure of the steamer basket and isn't that kind of dangerous for a 16-month old?"

Me? I'd let him play with pretty much anything except my x-acto knife. The kid has an insatiable curiosity. And I think if I can raise a good observer and problem solver who continues to be curious, I will pretty much have succeeded as a mother.

A couple weekends ago I traveled to Wooster for a crop with my sister-in-law, Theresa. She was the crop hostess... just me and her in her basement. It was a blast. We were up until 3am both nights and did some shopping during the daylight hours.

Now I have to show you one of the things we made. Theresa had instructions from a book about scrapbooking on the cheap that showed how to make an expandable file folder covered in fabric. We modified the design a bit so that it became a mini-album instead. And oddly enough, Theresa remembered that my brother had given her some screw-posts just like the ones in post-bound albums. So we used those to bind the pages to our books. I don't know where the heck he got those things!

My album is covered in a strechy denim fabric that worked out great. I love the crazy circles on the inside fabric... Theresa nabbed this one from the remnants bin at JoAnn. The red numbers strip is fabric gaffer tape from 7 Gypsies. The chipboard pieces are either painted or embossed.

I thought "b3" was a good familial representation for right now. I'm into numbers at the moment, so I'm working them into my layouts and projects at will.

I'm not sure what will go in this album, could be a while before I finish other projects and have time to think about it. I'll probably decorate it some more when I decide what goes inside.

b3 album

b3 album

b3 album

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Happy Birthday, Nana!

Can you believe it's getting close to Christmas? I've been thinking on a wishlist. Although, I think I am really only getting one thing. I want it, but I think hubz and Nana want me to have it nearly as much... and that is a telephoto lens so I can really get those far-off action shots of JT in the wild. I think I'm a little afraid of so much lens though... we'll see what happens.

Here are a couple ideas that don't come with so much pressure... heee!

Quick & Easy Photo Albums - I'm intrigued by combining photo albums with scrapbook pages lately. I have soooo many pictures that I'll just never be able to scrapbook all of them.

Lap Desk - I like spending cold, dark winter evenings under a blanket in my comfy chair. But the computer doesn't like hanging out with the blanket. With a lap desk, we'd both be happy!

Bracket Punch - Brackets are fun, what can I say?

And if I'm really going to be wishful, I'd also like a lensbaby, a gorillapod, and anything from my Etsy favorites!

Monday, November 17, 2008

16 months

so talented., originally uploaded by brungrrl.

At 16 months, JT

- loves hide-n-seek
- is having some separation anxiety
- likes being scared... BOO!
- usually takes one two hour nap each day
- has 2 truck books that are falling apart
- runs for his shoes if we say O-U-T-S-I-D-E
- likes racing trucks down the hallway
- calls a drink a "sip"... regardless of beverage
- wears clothes sized 18-24 months
- still fits in last year's wool coat... luckily for us.
- has discovered how to turn on the sleep sheep
- loves playing with Bradley and James all day
- calls "Steve" by name in the Blue's Clues book
- still calls the yobaby babies "dada"
- doesn't watch much on tv
- loves watching Sesame Street podcasts
- is learning to feed himself
- likes to balance his spoon on his head.

Yes, it's covered in applesauce.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm baaaack

Ok, ok, I get it. It's been too long without blog and photos! I've been working, scrapping, and running around crazy. And maybe I'm so busy working with the photos from the past few months, that I haven't been inspired to take a lot of new ones.

But never fear, we did put the sheep costume on JT November 1 so we could get some more photos. John actually took these three...

sinking sheep

Ok, I'll be back on the blog bandwagon, but that's all for now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

our little lambykins!

our little lambykins!, originally uploaded by brungrrl.

*sigh* We are quite fond of this little lamb.

We did "reverse trick-or-treat" with the kids from our youth group tonight. We had a blast... it was a great way to get JT out for the evening.

We'll probably dress him up as the sheep again tomorrow when we go pick up our new car. That's right... our brand new Toyota RAV4. woo-hoo!! Pictures to come...


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

opera tweetup

08Oct0275, originally uploaded by wyliemac.

Tonight I attended my first opera and my first tweetup. Opera Columbus hosted tonight's Columbus Tweetup. Quite frankly, I've never like opera and hadn't really planned to go to any. But I like ballet and other musicals, so this event provided a good opportunity to explore.

Tonight's performance of The Pearl Fishers was the dress rehearsal. Opera Columbus invites students and seniors to watch the rehearsal and hear from the folks who produce the show. It is a great way to get to know opera firsthand. Being new to opera, it was helpful for me to get this introduction. I hadn't realized that modern opera has added a screen with supertitles to let the audience know what the music is about. This makes the opera so much more accessible to "common" folks. (By common folks, I mean those of us who have French teacher moms but still can't understand French! i.e. ME.)

The opera itself was a little cheesy. I think my perspective is distorted by modern film. John rents some great movies and we always investigate the history behind the true stories and watch the extra footage to get the back-story. This story about 19th century Sri Lanka as told for a Victorian Parisian audience just didn't do it for me.

I am a major fan of Les Misérables and have read the book and seen that production both in Columbus and New York. I definitely got the sense that Bizet was influenced by Hugo. It appears that Les Mis was released a year before The Pearl Fishers. And from what I gather on Wikipedia, Bizet adapted music from some of Hugo's poetry, so maybe I'm onto something. (It was Leila's memory of hiding the thief to save him and being rewarded with the necklace that reminded me of Cosette and Valjean.)

At any rate, it seems more research is in order. I would love to learn more about how this opera fits with the culture of 1863 when it first came to the stage. And how can such a piece still be interesting today?

On one other note... Welcome back, Columbus Symphony! The symphony returns this weekend with The Pearl Fishers. There are two performances: Friday, October 24 at 8pm and Sunday, October 26 at 2pm. If you are looking for something to do this weekend, check it out!

Monday, October 06, 2008

a week in the life

Ah, the life...

I finished up documenting a week in our life complete with the journaling on Sunday night. Here are some more of the pics.


popcorn @ youth group

hi pizza man

walkin' in the park

African violets

Now, I'll get right on making these into a mini album! :-)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

document day 3

We're still at it with document our week. I'm downloading today's pictures and writing my notes. Here's a sample...

today's lunch

the ride home

Dada's home!

thinking about climbing

teeter totter

embossed cards

embossed cards

My sister-in-law, Jen, and I made some cards over the weekend. She had a bunch of new embossing folders for her Cuttlebug and some scented embossing powders. I couldn't pass up any of that cool stuff, so we spent Saturday playing.

I may love these cards to much to actually send any out in the mail. We'll see how it goes...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the hot air balloon shot I DID get

This shot is actually from yesterday, day one of "document your life" week. We were in the park earlier in the evening. JT pointed out a "boon" in the sky. Wouldn't you know... a hot air balloon was going right over the park!

Of course, the battery on my point-n-shoot camera had just died. I was SO UPSET. Seriously, I haven't been that upset over a missed photo opportunity in a while. It would have been an awesome shot with JT pointing up at the balloon... all in the frame, big as life.

So instead, I got a picture of him at bedtime under the hot air balloon mobile...

document your week

gettin' a bath, brushin' some teeth

Ok, so I'm following along with Ali Edwards' document a week in your life project. I took a bunch of pictures Monday evening. But let's see how I do the rest of the week, especially during the daytime. I tend to fall off the wagon as the week goes on. Tonight's photos were pretty cute. This one in the tub is a favorite from the batch. It's going to take me a while to process and post all of them. Tomorrow's excitement: swimming lesson!

This project should fit in nicely with the start of my Big Picture Scrapbooking class with Cathy Zielske, Design Your Life, that starts October 2. (Holy cow, that's soon.) I convinced Jenny to join me, so it's going to be even more fun to participate in the class with one of my best pals!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Centerville store

custom killing, originally uploaded by brungrrl.

I took this picture over the weekend. It was the local store where John grew up. It's a small store in the middle of nowhere, Ohio. John described it as a "store and slaughterhouse". Apparently, though, they describe what they do as "custom killing" rather than slaughterhouse.

Ahh, how marketing is different by location, eh?

(And yes, I know my car is missing the gas cap. I like it that way.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

life documentation

I might have mentioned that I'm loving the atmosphere, community, and conversations on Twitter. Since I can update status from my phone wherever I'm at, I can make sure that I'm documenting an event while it's in progress.

As an example, here are the tweets just before, during, and after our vacation in June. That was such a precious gift of family time for us. I'm looking forward to documenting it in a scrapbook. These tweets will certainly help me remember the important moments from that trip.

And yes, I hear what you're thinking... "why not just keep a journal and write it down?" That's a good idea, too. And for many trips I have done just that. But on this trip, it was easier to capture the moment in 140 characters or less and upload it to a server for later viewing.

There is a lot less pressure in a 140 letter tweet than 40 lined pages of literary opportunity.

Vacation Tweets:

JT climbed all the way to the top of the stairs tonight when we got home (with me following close behind). I'm not ready for this yet.
Favorite Delete
#grateful for safe travels and wonderful family and friends. Vacation was good... only a little glad to be home.
Favorite Delete
JT speaks loudly into his toy phone, just like grandpa.
Favorite Delete
Tears at departure. All hyped up on Bo Jangles sweet tea for the ride.
Favorite Delete
Pitching pistachios at squirrels in the rain.
Favorite Delete
Last day on beach. JT getting tan. Parents getting sad for vacation to end.
Favorite Delete
We are just gonna stay here. John & I figure we can make friends with new campers every week so we always have lodging.
Favorite Delete
Chasing kitties and making vacation videos.
Favorite Delete
Saw dolphins today. Caught sand fleas. JT petted a sand shark then cried when we turned it loose.
Favorite Delete
Stuffed from another of aunt joan's home cooked meals.
Favorite Delete
JT & I swam with stingrays and jellyfish today. It was freaky, but cool.
Favorite Delete
Heading to the beach
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Introduced JT to gators tonight. He doesn't think they are as cuddly as bunnies.
Favorite Delete
JT loves the ocean! Squeals with delight. Tried to drink saltwater from the bucket.
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JT napping. Gators sunbathing in marsh. Squirrels scavenging deserted campsites.
Favorite Delete
@pwhyte already been to piggly wiggly
Favorite Delete
Arrived South Carolina 0530.
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Rolling in our rented Chrysler 300, JT sleeping.
Favorite Delete
Household chores are getting done one at a time.
Favorite Delete
#grateful for vacation. Next week's tweets from the beach!

Brookgreen Gardens 08