Monday, June 30, 2008

Walking Like a Pro

Bronwen was definitely working on her walking before we left, and she practiced a tiny bit at the beach; she would take a few steps in a row here and there. Since we arrived home, however, she is a walking machine. The thing is, she holds something in her hand and toddles all over the house with it. It may be my kitchen rug, a pillow (I like the pillow, cushions the fall,) or the cat bed. She had just been walking around holding the cat bed when I shot this video. Of course she wouldn't hold it again during filming, but I think you'll see what I mean about her walking methodology.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Please pardon my messy room--I have the hamper out because we were unpacking, and Pepper is holding down my suitcase!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Trying to Phone Pepper

I know--no movies of the ocean yet. Sadly, there aren't any. I didn't see an easy way to film and supervise. Plus, she really didn't care for the beach and clung to me desperately the entire time. Now the pool she loved. She kept trying to take off on her own, not realizing that she can't breathe under water.

We have lots of pictures of the beach and pool, and I'll post more when TJ uploads them.

I really did try not to say "bye bye" at the end of this, but then Bronwen's pretend game took its own path and as you can hear, I had no choice.


Here is Bronwen having a grand time playing in our tower room. It wasn't really a tower, but it was the top floor. I had plans of taping her on the couch, but she wasn't cooperating. I don't trust her on the couch unless I have an extra set of hands.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Floor Buffer

I have no idea what she is doing here--she came up with this game on her own. Reminds me of those toys they had when we were kids--the once where you sat in the middle, held onto the wheel, and spun yourself around.

We'll be back from the beach tomorrow!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


We went to the library, so I could begin a project Aunt Jana and I have cooked up, and Bronwen delighted herself with crawling all over the floor. Since she was having such a grand time, I took her to the kids section. Oh my. She found stuffed animals, rocking chairs, and nice librarians who fussed all over her. She even got invited to a library party in July. And she isn't even 2.

Here is a pic I took with my phone. If I had known it was going to be such an event I would I brought my real camera.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Books, Pigs, and More

You hear me saying "Uh oh because I was trying to get her to practice her cheek slap. She wasn't in the mood. I also keep ending the upcoming videos with "Say ByeBye!" because I'm not sure how to end them. I'll try to come up with some new material.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Hello my dear Blog readers! My friend Barbara and I were discussing how we really enjoy blogging, not for the intrinsic satisfaction of a job well-done, or for the joy of creating something to save (perhaps?) for posterity, but simply because we crave validation, attention, and most importantly comments! I hope my semi-dry sarcasm reads well there. I am kind of kidding; "kind of" because I really do love blogging, but I also really want more reader participation.

Anyhow, what I am trying to say, is I love comments and feedback. I plan on saving this blog for Bronwen with the comments included. I see via my tracker that there are people who visit daily, all over the country, but just pop in, see what's happenin', and skirt out again with nary a word. (As an aside, thank you to all who leave comments! They are all appreciated!) It occurs to me that many don't want to sign up for Google, are technologically impaired, or don't understand how to leave a comment without an account. If this applies to you, just click on comments below the post, click on the circle beside "Anonymous" and leave a comment. I do ask that you sign your name, though, just so I know who has written. The comment will not immediately appear, because it gets emailed to me for approval.

If you don't leave commentary because you don't think you're funny, or you believe only have lame things to say, try anyway. I still have supreme authority not to publish your comments if I find them lame or inappropriate. (this has only happened once, ahem Mom.)

If you are just swinging by and have no idea who we are, feel free to just let me know how sweet Bronwen is.

Okay, I'll step off my soapbox now. And to all you guys who check each day and try to send me comments here and there--once again thanks and keep them coming!

If you have something to add--please feel free to...comment. Let me know why you don't comment, can't comment, or have nothing to say. If you just want to practice, that's okay too. Like I said, I don't have to publish every comment I receive. Hm. I wonder what I should title this entry? Any ideas?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Random Moments

T.J. makes a valiant attempt to get some shots of Bronwen where she isn't only looking at the camera and smiling. We want reality! Life! Bronwen's daily grind, raw and uncut. The conundrum lies in the fact that Bronwen is:
1. Typically smiling
2. Usually posing
3. Completely aware of a camera

Still, there were some pics he took that were just moments in time, when Bronwen is just being...well, herself.

Playing with the racquetballs after church: Playing in her nursery (note church dress crumpled on floor) and making a mess:This one seems posed, but she was playing in the dirt and just moments before, there had been a lovely pink flower in front of her. Enjoying the breeze before a storm:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Time Travel

I tried to upload the photo session video four separate times last week, and it wouldn't work. Just for laughs, I tried once again tonight, voila! It worked! The post was scheduled to be published on the 19th, so you'll have to go back a bit to find it. Hope this isn't too confusing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

One Year Pictures

Pictures are here!
Click here
Click on "My Proofs"
Password: stromain


Girly Girl Pt 2

Apparently she does watch me carefully. I couldn't believe it when she started to powder her nose! I told TJ last night we need to be careful what we do--no nose picking or inappropriate scratching. She is starting to imitate us :-) Good thing we don't really do anything obscene. Unless you count laughing at bodily functions. I'm sure that won't fly in kindergarten.

Girly Girl

This occurred shortly before the couch video. Bronwen likes to snap closed my compact. As she was doing it, we were practicing her "uh-oh" face.

Photo Shoot

Sorry for my lame "Oooooo" at the end. Unfortunately my camera died, and this was all I had time to get. Still cute! Her pictures should be ready in a couple of days, and I'll post the link. Bronwen was a great model, but she never gave her really big grin. Still, she wasn't fussy or cranky at all, and she loved the cake.

Bedtime Hilarity

I think this is pretty self-explanatory. This is Bronwen about 5 minutes before she went to bed. TJ was on the phone with Barbara and said, "She isn't going to bed anytime soon." I put her in her crib, and she was out with nary a peep. Every once in while you see my hand popping up--I was so scared she'd flop right off the couch, but she never did--I just couldn't bear to spoil her obvious fun. I had to tell TJ to tickle her because I couldn't!

So watch and see if you don't end up laughing along. I dare you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Play Date

This afternoon we went to play with Bronwen's friend Owen. Owen was born a week after Bronwen, and as I said before, is a bit on the stoic side. Little did we know that there would be 4 other kids there. It was a little crazy, as some of the kids were around 2, and much better at walking. Still, Bronwen held her own just fine, enjoying eating half of a banana, sipping a fruit smoothie, and contentedly playing by herself most of the time.

She must take after me--finding a quiet corner to contemplate life.Here is Bronwen playing with Owen, or perhaps just beside him.Bronwen plays a game of peek-a-boo through the book's cutout.I really like the ethereal light in this picture.The best part of the play date was the trip home; as Barbara can attest (she was on the phone with me) Bronwen just giggled over nothing the entire way home. Nonstop. It was hilarious.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Changing table fun

Hm, not so sure the photography class was a good idea. Nothing is sacred! I might remove these photos before she sees them, otherwise I'll be in big trouble.Leslie: Note the annoying little hairs growing in...just wait! One of the things no one really tells you about pregnancy.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sneaky McGee

Sometimes she is too smart for comfort. Nothing is safe.
Oh, you can see her 3rd bottom tooth in that second picture. You know, the one where her bum isn't in the air.

Playing in the Yard

In the evenings once it cools down a bit, we like to go outside and play before dinner. Bronwen is finally interested in the other aspects of her swing set--the slide, ladder, and steering wheel. Why one would put a steering wheel on a stationary object, I have no idea. Bronwen realized she wasn't steering it anywhere after about 30 seconds. Still, she had fun standing there while I sang the theme song from "Gilligan's Island." You all are singing it in your heads now, aren't you? "A three hour tour...a three hour tour..."She got bored pretty quickly and moved on to the garden, helping me once again with my weeding. Our definitions of what constitutes a "weed" are quite opposite, but I figure she can pick whatever she wants, so long as she doesn't ingest it.Finally, we gazed at the purple martin babies, sticking their heads out of the house (you can see two here. Then on the other side of the house we saw a daddy martin bringing dinner for the babies. You can click on the pictures to make them larger. See, Tiff, we have babies too!

Fathers and Feathers

Bronwen had a great weekend. Saturday we journeyed to the LA Science and Art Museum to check out the Jim Henson exhibit. Bronwen enjoyed laughing at the muppets while T.J. and I tried to skim all the information before her boredom set in. She especially enjoyed pointing and smiling at every available person. Of course they smiled back. Father's Day was great--Bronwen helped me covertly make a delicious breakfast casserole the night before by distracting her daddy during her bath. We enjoyed it after church Sunday morning. Then we just spent the day enjoying each other! Here is an excerpt from this morning:

Sorry it is so dark--the room seemed bright as I was filming!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Spoon, Part Deux

The first try she was eating grits. Tonight--mashed potatoes. Let's see how she fares:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Whip It

Bronwen and I were playing in her nursery yesterday, and when I looked over at her, I was reminded of something or someone. I knew she was trying to do one of her many impressions (see: Harry or Ralphie), but I couldn't quite place it. A safety flare? Match? Stop sign? Then with a jolt, I realized exactly what "look" Bronwen was trying to achieve.

Yes, Bronwen wants to become an honorary member of Devo!!**

**Warning, if you were not a child of the 80's, this may make absolutely no sense to you whatsoever. Personally, I pity the fool who does not remember Devo.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cereal Taste Test Day 2

Day 2: Same methodology, only I used Cereal "B." My enthusiastic subject was once again fresh and unfed. Total count of Brand "B" on the floor: 29. Yes, that is an almost 50% increase of rejected cereal pieces!

Now for the reveal:

Brand "A"=Cheerios
Brand "B"= Wal-Mart Toasted Oat Cereal

Cheerios is the winner! I think I will mix the cereals to keep her guessing. Hopefully her sophisticated cereal preferences will not translate to other generic types of food!

Cereal Taste Test--Day 1

Thanks to all who voted on my poll (you know who you are) and now, without further ado, the results!

Day 1: I give Bronwen Cereal "A." My method was to measure 1/3 cup onto her tray. I gave her the cereal before any other food that day, so she was hungry.

She ate some, tossed some on the floor. Final count of Cereal "A" on the floor: 19.


Yesterday afternoon, Bronwen and I were playing in her nursery. I don't even remember what I did, but I let out my typical "Uh Oh!" I look up, and Bronwen had the funniest look on her face. After laughing with her uproariously, we decided that we call the look, "Surprise!" I'll tell her to look surprised, she'll do the "look," and then we'll both laugh. You can see why. It's the hand. Too funny.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Putting Things Away

T.J. is a great husband and an amazing father (here comes the dreaded word), but if I had to choose one pet peeve, it would be that he doesn't put things away. I know he tries, and I am pretty patient, but I always feel like I'm telling to put stuff back where it originated. Case in point: A cooler sat in our living room, like an extra end table, for two weeks before I finally nagged him into putting it back into the garage. I can't remember the last time a cooler grew legs and walked back to its "home" on its own, but apparently T.J. would have been content to find out how long it would take! Anyhow--I tried to tell him to put his graduation gifts away someplace safe, but he wouldn't listen. And this is what happened:

Little Miss Sneaky (blurry because I caught her in action): Proud to be standing on T.J.'s fairly expensive digital picture photo frame. Yes, it is in the box. Grrrrr.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eating with a Spoon

I think it's too early, but T.J. says she is ready. Since he gives her a bath every night, I've given him some latitude. What he really needs: patience, perseverance, lots of paper towels, and quite possibly...a poncho.

Personal Trainer

T.J. finally convinced me to hire a personal trainer for him. It's been a tough argument--I think personal trainers are expensive and somewhat pointless; he countered that it was important for his health. T.J. tries to exercise each day, but he said that he needs the extra push of a hired tyrant breathing down his neck. Luckily this one was available. I would even say her rates are fairly reasonable.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I am Batman

It's big-head Batman. I think it looks more George Clooney; T.J. swears it's more Michael Keaton-esque. I say look at the thin top lip; T.J. says the bone structure in the face proves him right. Input?

Jana, are you sure you still want this? Oh, by the way, his one arm is spring-loaded, so it snaps back up if you pull it down. Bronwen loves it.

My Future's So Bright

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yoga Poses

I went in to wake Bronwen from her nap yesterday--I know, one would think it abhorrent to awaken a sleeping baby, but it was her second nap of the day, and I wanted her to sleep well last night (which she did, by the way). Where was I? Oh yes, I went into her room, and this is what I saw:
One second later:And another second after that:This morning we went to mass and saw her friend Owen. Owen is a week younger and the strong, silent type. The two of them love paying with each other's toys--Owen with Bronwen's wooden spoon, Bronwen with Owen's tiny John Deere tractor. Owen's mom said that she would call us this week for a play date. I hope she does! Stay tuned....


I have decided to conduct a scientific study to determine which circular, oat cereal Bronwen prefers. I have already done some non-official observational field research and now am set to prove that she does indeed prefer one over the other. What do you think the results shall be? Vote now!

Will it be the generic "X" brand of cereal?

Or will she prefer the name brand?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Laughing Pt 2

Of course all the major giggling happened before I started recording, but you'll get the idea.

Laughing Pt 1

I shall set the scene: Dinner time, Saturday, June 7th 2008. T.J. is feeding Bronwen dinner consisting of chicken, sweet potato, home made bread, butter (no, I don't churn my own, thank you), and applesauce. Bronwen grows tired of the bread, so T.J. feeds her applesauce. Bronwen decides it is more fun to dip in a finger and...feed her Daddy. Witness the tomfoolery yourselves below:

Testing 1, 2, 3...

Apologies for having the side-ways video--I am learning!

I am too excited for words. I was planning on buying a new camera, so I could take short videos when low and behold, I found a setting on MY camera that will do it! Now I just need to remember to hold the camera horizontally so my dear readers don't pull valuable neck muscles upon viewing.

Here it is--Bronwen's "almost" first steps! And TJ's sock tan. Greorow!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cutest Curl Ever

The title says it all--we were in the bathroom, playing with the toilet (sometimes we get bored with baby toys, okay?) and I actually gasped aloud at the cuteness of this random curl.
Side view:

You have no idea how hard it was to zoom and and take this picture. Bronwen doesn't like to hold still, even for a second:
And here is just a picture of the other side, so it wouldn't feel shunned. Note the TP has to be kept on the back of the toilet--remember my paper shredding post? Well, toilet paper is MUCH more fun for my shredding machine. Right when you get your cats trained, along comes a baby...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Post Cards

Bronwen may never receive a pen pal letter in the mail, but thankfully both her Aunt Jana and Barbara send postcards!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Things You Will Never Know

Dear Bronwen,
I was thinking about how different life today is from when I was growing up. I can't help but think of all the things I experienced that you will most likely never experience.

1. The feeling of using the World Book Encyclopedia for a report
2. Renting a movie from a video store
3. Writing a letter to a pen-pal. Receiving a letter from a pen-pal.
4. Playing a record or buying a tape, or even a CD for that matter
5. Looking up words in a book
6. Using a card catalog or the microfiche
7. Passing a handwritten note in a particularly boring class like Geometry (Tiff) or Educational Anthropology (Mel)

Added by others:
8. Recording songs off the radio
9. Making mix tapes
10. Using a pay phone
11. Watching a TV station that only played music videos
12. Riding a bike without fear of a head injury
13. Making popcorn in a pot on the stove
14. Remembering phone numbers
15. Using an AAA Triptych
16. Filling up your gas tank with $10.00
17. Programming a VCR

Most of these are items related to computers and technology, but they also tie in with the senses--the smell of old books, the feeling of thumbing through pages and seeing information about different things. The excitement of getting "real" mail or unwrapping the cellophane on a 45 that you desperately wanted.

Readers--add to my list. What are things that you think Bronwen may never experience for herself that we can share with her now? I feel like mine focus on the library--but I'm a self-professed bibliophile, so it fits. What else am I forgetting?