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Brady's 3rd Year

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S: B R A D Y W E L L S J O N E S T H E T H I R D Y E A R

BC: B R A D Y I S T H R E E | We wouldn't trade the last year for anything in the world, but we would be lying if we said that we weren't thrilled to have the "terrible twos" behind us. We look forward to all of the "big boy" things that are in store for us this next year, and we are eager to see the next chapter of who you are unfold. We love you crazy, Little Man! Happy Birthday, Brady.

FC: t h e t h i r d y e a r | Brady

1: Oh, B R A D Y | Well, we did it. We survived the "terrible twos." What a roller coaster of a year this has been as we have watched you proudly sever the last few ties with babyhood and stake full claim to the title of "big boy." In the last year, you've ditched the crib, the paci, and diapers. You've started talking, learning your letters, and making friends all on your own. And while day to day your strong will, spirited emotions, and steadfast opinions challenge us as parents, your confidence in being your own person is one of the qualities that we are most proud to see in you. You make us so proud, Brady, and we love you so much. You fill our days with excitement, adventure, and childish wonder. You've transformed our home from one filled with fairies and doll houses and princess crowns to one filled with matchbox cars, toy trains, and legos. We have enjoyed watching you grow, both in size and in personality, this past year, and we cannot wait to see what the next year has in store for you. We love you.

2: We celebrated two rootin' tootin' years with a cowboy themed Kindermusik party this year. You are not always one to enjoy organized activities, so we were thrilled that you not only participated, but enthusiastically loved your party! You danced and clapped and ran around. You laughed and hugged and drummed. You had so much fun celebrating with all of your little buddies! | COWBOY BRADY TURNS TWO.

3: DECEMBER 9, 2011

4: The Details

6: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! | december 16, 2011 | How is it possible that you are two!?! We celebrated your special day with gifts, a trip to the zoo, dinner out, and cupcakes at home. We love you so, so much big boy!

8: CUE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT | When December arrives (and sometimes even a few days before), the | Christmas spirit starts flowing in our house. This year, on the day after Thanksgiving, we were prompted by our elf on the shelf, Rudy, to begin the holiday festivities right away. He brought us a special breakfast, a few treats, a letter, and even some snow from the North Pole. He asked us to be quick and get our Christmas decorations on up because he was feeling a little homesick. We happily complied and trimmed the tree, hung the stockings, and completely decorated our house that | very day. You enjoyed helping put the tree together and hanging many of the ornaments this year. The bottom three feet of our tree has never looked more beautiful! 'Tis the season!

9: november 2011

10: children's museum christmas party | This was our first year to attend the Christmas party at the Children's Museum of Houston. While you enjoyed the cookie decorating and exploring the exhibits around the museum, you were not a fan of Santa Claus this year. Only when he gave you a candy cane and let you and Avery sit in his chair (without him) would you even tolerate being within a three foot radius of him. | December 2011

12: wonderful | time of the year | it's the most | enjoying all of the little things that | make Christmas so special... | (Santa visit, take 2, went much better)

13: at school | at home | christmas eve | This time of year always offers so many ways to celebrate, and this year was no exception. From the photographed moments shown here to all of the little moments in between - late night drives to see Christmas lights, dancing to Christmas music around the house, selecting perfect gifts for loved ones - this season is all about the little moments that we share and celebrate together.

14: Christmas | A V E R Y M E R R Y | Christmas morning is Mama's favorite morning of the year. I am always the first one up, eager to hear the first yawn, rustle, or stretch over your monitor or your sister's. This year, that first little sound came from you. As soon as we heard it, Daddy and I excitedly crept up the stairs and into your room, scooping you up and whispering "Merry Christmas" as we then tiptoed with you through the dark into Avery's room to wake her up too. Christmas morning is so magical, and we spent this one at home, just the four of us. You and Avery were excited to find the new toys and treats that Santa left for you. You equally loved your new tricycle and the candy cane you found in your stocking. Throughout the morning, as you opened gifts and played with your new toys, Daddy and I couldn't stop smiling at how happy you were. Pops, JoJo, Jessi, Kyle, Christie, & Uncle Richard all arrived later that day to celebrate with us.

15: december 25, 2011

16: D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1 | A winter trip to the park.

18: bowling

19: While Daddy had some time off between Christmas & the new year, we took you and Avery bowling for the very first time. You loved every part of it - the bowling shoes, selecting your ball, pushing your ball down the ramp, knocking over pins, giving high fives. You had a great time! | D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1

20: galveston island | We wrapped up 2011 with a drive to Galveston and a morning at the beach. You weren't sure of the sand at first, and you didn't like the ocean at all, but eventually you came around. You had fun building sand castles with Daddy and running up and down the shoreline with Mommy. After a picnic lunch on the beach and a stop for ice cream along the sea wall, you were fast asleep in your carseat before we even made it off the island. It was a good day.

21: d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 1

22: h e l l o 2 0 1 2 | w h a t a b e a u t i f u l s t a r t t o a n e w y e a r | We started the new year off at one of our favorite places - the park. The weather was cold, but beautiful. Grandma and Papaw were in town visiting, so it was a treat for them to be there to watch you run and play. If this day was any indication of what our year will be like, it should be good one. Happy 2012.

23: j a n u a r y 2 0 1 2

24: last nap in your | C R I B

25: It was with mixed emotions that we made this big transition. On one hand, I was so sad when I went in to your room that last afternoon knowing that it would be the last time you would be smiling over the rail at me, paci in mouth and duck in hand. Avery came with me, like she often does, and the two of you played your game where you throw your duck out and she throws it back in while both of you squeal with giggles. And while the end of this era was sad, it marked the beginning of a new, very exciting one. You were so proud when Daddy converted your bed to a toddler bed. You and Avery jumped and played all afternoon, and when bedtime came, it was such a treat to be able to snuggle with you and read to you in your own little space. What a very big boy you are becoming. | january 2012 | first night in your | T O D D L E R B E D

26: Happy | Valentine's | Day, | Heart | Breaker

28: bed | big boy | he grew and he grew, and one day, the time came for the...

29: february 2012

30: Houston Rodeo Parade

31: F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 2

32: Pony Rides Petting Zoo Really Big Tractors Cowboys Ice Cream | spring break fun at the livestock show and | HOUSTON | RODEO

33: m a r c h 2 0 1 2

34: playground | the

35: Very few things make you happier than a trip to the playground. When we pass by any playground in the car, you point and say, "dat! dat!" You love to climb, slide, and swing, and you are never ready to go home. On this particular morning, we met up with some of your friends from playgroup at a playground near our house. I spent the morning watching you play, totally smitten with your infectious smile. | m a r c h 2 0 1 2 | swings, slides, & things to climb - the playground is your happy place

36: fire station | KATY

37: Spring Break provided the opportunity to do lots of things through the week that we otherwise would not be able to do. One of those things was a private tour of the Katy Fire Station with Avery and her friends. You surprised us all by climbing into the paramedic's lap when we toured the inside of an ambulance. You surprised us again when you decided that you liked wearing the fire hat given to you. After our tour, we stopped at a nearby park to play and have a picnic lunch. It was a fun day! | m a r c h 2 0 1 2

38: Froberg's Farm | The day started out a little rough for you. When we arrived at the strawberry farm, you wanted nothing to do with it. You threw such a fit that all we could do was walk away from you and give you some space to vent. It didn't take long for you to figure out that you could not only pick, but eat the strawberries too, and after that, you were much happier. | Alvin, Texas

39: You kept right up with Avery and her friend, Brenna, and by the end of the morning, we had three full pails of strawberries. Yours was easy to distinguish from the girls' -- it was the one full of half-eaten berries. Before heading home, we picked up some fresh produce in the farm's general store and had a picnic lunch and snow cones under a shady tree. It was a great day. | March 2012

40: Bluebonnets

41: We know that Spring has arrived when little patches of bluebonnets begin popping up along our roads and filling otherwise empty fields. This year was no exception. We found a nice big patch close to home and stopped to take some pictures one evening in late March. You cooperated for all of about two minutes, but that was all we needed. You are growing up so fast, Big Guy, and we love you so, so much. | March 2012

42: Easter Traditions | april 2012

43: Dyeing Eggs ~ The Egg Hunt ~ Failed Family Photos

44: trick or treat? | Easter Weekend | The rest of our

45: Water guns. Caterpillars. Bean bags. Golf lessons. Crawfish. Cooler Dancing. | We spent Easter weekend in Sour Lake with Pops, JoJo, Jessi, Kyle, and Christie. The weather was perfect, which made you happy because it meant that we were able to spend lots of time outside. You helped us all beat the heat with your new water gun and kept us all entertained with your cooler dancing skills. Memaw and Billie came over for crawfish one afternoon, and while you didn't care for the crawfish, you kept yourself entertained playing bean bag toss with Kyle and playing golf with Daddy. | a p r i l 2 0 1 2


47: MUSEUM OF HOUSTON | a p r i l 2 0 1 2

48: gone | fishin' | your first fishing trip

49: april 2012

50: Where's Wormy? | who says fishing trip fun has to end once you get home?

51: april 2012

52: m a y 2 0 1 2 | crawfish boil | BLOCK PARTY

53: The spring crawfish boil has become a tradition on our block. This year, we hosted the gathering in our cul-de-sac, and you had a ball playing in the splash pool, making a big mess on the sand table, and running around with all of the other kids who live on our block. It is such a joy to see you finally able to hold your own with the "big kids." This is sure to be a fun summer.

54: The Toddler Class | Teachers: Ms. Stacy & Ms. Tracy {also know as "the most patient two people on Earth"} | Grace Pre-School 2011-2012 | You've come a long way, Kid... | First Day | Last Day

56: my sunshine. | You are such a funny little kid. You feel things so strongly. When you're mad, you're really mad, but when you're happy, you can light up a room. It is instinctive for you to be skeptical of most things at first, but once you decide you like something, your big smile and big personality shine through so brightly. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray, you'll never know, dear, how much I love you...

57: may 2012

58: San Antonio | After your last day of pre-school, we loaded up the car and set out for a long weekend in San Antonio. On the way, we stopped at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in New Braunfels. The funniest moment of our trip happened here, and you had a front row seat - an ostrich grabbed Daddy's glasses right off of his nose. It is a memory that we won't soon forget. We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the lazy river and pool at our hotel, visiting SeaWorld, and exploring downtown San Antonio. It was a great weekend! | weekend getaway to

59: may 2012 | n a t u r a l b r i d g e w i l d l i f e r a n c h s e a w o r l d t h e a l a m o s ' m o r e s | t h e r i v e r w a l k h y a t t h i l l c o u n t r y o s t ri ch e s l a z y r i v e r

60: CHoO, CHoO...

61: There is something special about little boys and trains, and for you, that is no exception. You love your "choo choos" so much right now. You spend time at your train table every day putting together tracks, lining up the little cars just so, and pushing them round and round. While Avery was away visiting JoJo and Pops, you and I headed out early one morning to play at Katy Railroad Park. You had so much fun climbing over and under the little red caboose and calling "choo choo!" to all of the cars that passed by. | ...it's fun to be two! | may 2012

62: Splash Pad | kick starting our summer at the | june 2012

64: Kids in the Tub | r u b - a - d u b - d u b

65: j u n e 2 0 1 2

66: L I F E on | the Lane

67: Good friends. Good neighbors. Good toys. Good times.

68: two and a HALF | Big fits. Big feelings. Big fun.

69: At two and a half, you love "choo choos" and toy cars. Every piece of furniture and every wall in our house have been turned in to roadways or train tracks over the last few months. You love blueberries and fruit chews, and you will do almost anything in the world for a lollipop. You say "pwease" for please and call goldfish crackers "yeah yeahs." Your favorite TV shows are Bubble Guppies and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, though Thomas the Train is gaining ground quickly. Your favorite toy is your plasma car. You make laps round and round the house all day long, and you can pitch a fit like no other if Avery tries to take a turn. You love the water, and you let us know that you want to go swimming by saying, "Ribbet! Wawa! Ribbet! Wawa!" Translation - "I want to go to the pool with the froggy slide!" | june 2012

70: A LOVE | affair | w i t h | Duck Duck | & | P A C I

71: j u n e 2 0 1 2

74: our first garden | summer 2012

75: Early in the summer, we planted our very first garden together as a family. Mommy planted some herbs, Avery planted some sunflowers and watermelons, and you planted green beans. You and Avery had so much fun watering and checking in on our garden all summer long. Each new sprout of green brought about squeals of joy, and the first green beans made you so proud. This was a fun family project. | Jan - Feb 2011

76: s u m m e r

77: o f f u n

78: Potty Training | Coach: Mommy also answers to Mama, Mamia, and Ma | boot camp!

79: Two weeks before you were completely potty trained, you were terrified of the toilet. Terrified. You wouldn't go near it, much less sit on it. One day out of the blue, though, you decided that you were willing to give it a try. We sat, and we sat. I promised a lollipop, so you sat some more. Forty-five minutes later, you decided to get off, and you immediately pee'd on the floor. The next day, we tried again. After another forty-five minutes, you did it! From that point forward, you asked to go potty all the time. A week later, we buckled down for a couple of days of potty training boot camp and ditched the diapers for good. | j u l y 2 0 1 2

80: THE Houston Museum of Natural Science | C O C K R E L L B U T T E R F L Y C E N T E R & H A L L O F P A L E O N T O L O G Y | J U L Y 2 0 1 2

81: In July, we met up with some friends at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Our first stop was the Cockrell Butterfly Center. Naturally, you were drawn to the hundreds of butterflies flying around the rain forest exhibit. So drawn, in fact, that you couldn't quite seem to follow the one and only rule: don't touch the butterflies. After some rather stern looks from the attendants there, we headed to the Hall of Paleontology were you were less than impressed with the dinosaur bones, but thoroughly happy climbing on and running around and around all of the exhibits.

82: SWIM | L E S S O N S

83: In January, we started swim lessons together in a "Mommy and Me" class at Houston Swim Club. In just three months' time going once per week, you breezed through the two class levels that we could take together, and by April, you were ready to take all on your own even though you were still a few months' shy of technically being old enough to do so. All spring and summer, you worked hard on learning to float on your back and on being able to swim the width of the pool independently in the "Goldfish" class. In September you passed your float test, and by October you were ready to move up to the "Dolphin" class. Ms. Kara has been your teacher through it all, and you love her so much. We are so proud of the little fish that you have become this year, and we are so happy that you have found an activity that you love so much.

84: destin, florida | august 2012

86: First Day of School | This year of school started off so much better than last year. There were no tears, only shy little smiles as you met your new teachers, Ms. Cynthia and Ms. Julie, and explored your new classroom. On the first day of school, you gave us a quick hug and proudly marched in to your new classroom ready to start your day. We hope that you have a great year.

87: S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 2

88: St. Peter's UMC Pumpkin Patch | october 2012

89: Our annual trip to the pumpkin patch is one of our favorite traditions and usually the first clear sign that fall has begun. You had no interest in picking out pumpkins this year, but you thoroughly enjoyed yourself running up and down and climbing all over the rows and rows of pumpkins.

90: playgroup

91: We were so fortunate, almost two full years ago, to find such a great group of moms and kids to hang out with each week. Whether we're meeting in each others' homes or at the park, you (almost) always seem to have a great time, and your playgroup friends have become some of your very best friends.

92: The Houston ZOO

93: october 2012

94: a texas | FALL | Our Texas Traditions: | playgroup at the park painting pumpkins carving pumpkins with daddy visiting the pumpkin patch "boo'ing" the neighbors | there may not be much of a chill in the air, but that doesn't stop us from celebrating all things fall


97: You loved Halloween this year. In the weeks and days leading up to the big day, you asked over and over, "Twik o Tweet open yet?" When the day finally did arrive, you knew just what to do. You didn't let the older kids hurry you along, and you didn't miss a single house. You chose to dress up as Jake, a pirate from your favorite TV show, Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Your costume came with a hairpiece, but you made it clear that you wearing it was not going to happen. When we got home, you were so proud of your "tandy" loot. The holidays sure are going to be fun this year.

98: Dewberry Farm | november 2012


102: Oh, Mama. | I love you so, so very much, Little Man. You're my buddy, my sidekick, my source of so much entertainment and so much joy. I love our special times together, and I cannot imagine my world without you in it. I love you. Love, Mama

104: SISTER, BROTHER | SIBLING Shenanigans

106: B r a d y o n Instagram

108: A few of Brady's | lollipops | Your love of lollipops has not faded over the last year. You will still do almost anything in the world for one, which often works out in Mommy's favor...and yours. | donuts | Going with Daddy, in your pajamas of course, to pick up donuts on Saturday mornings is easily one of your favorite outings, and your shouts of, "Donut Store!" Donut Store!" whenever we pass by Shipley's in the car always make me smile. | school buses | Whether it be toys at home or actual buses on the road, you are obsessed. In the car, you shout, "Bus! Bus! Bus! I see bus!" until one of us acknowledges that we see it too. | You didn't start talking much until the second half of this year, but before that, you were an expert at getting what you wanted - or at least making what you wanted known - using only your index finger. You used it on us, on dogs, on inanimate objects...and it usually worked! | matchbox cars | I'm not sure how this obsession, or your collection, even really began, but you are smitten with matchbox cars right now...especially "blue cars." You carry them in a tin lunchbox from room to room and line them up. They are your toy of choice for on the go, and like lollipops, you will do almost anything in the world for a new "blue car." | bossing with one finger

109: Favorite Things... | Jake | choo choos | swim lessons | plasma car | Jake and the Neverland Pirates is your all time favorite TV show. You are a huge fan of all things Jake - toys, clothes, pajamas, underwear. A Jake pirate ship was your reward for potty training, and you dressed up as Jake for Halloween. | Before the matchbox car obsession came the train obsession. You play at your train table almost every day, and like school buses (and donut stores), you get really, really excited if you see one out on the road. At least once a day, I hear "Mommy play choo choos?" And I almost always say yes. | Despite being opposed to most organized group activities, you love swim lessons, and you love your coach, Ms. Kara. You are our little fish, and we love that we've found an activity that makes you so happy. | Though it may be a struggle, I can usually convince you to share almost any toy in our home. The big exception is the plasma car. You don't share that one with anyone...especially not Avery. You ride it around the house non-stop. It carries you from the table to the potty, from the couch to the stairs. You are on it constantly. | duck duck | His presence in this book up to this point should be proof enough that Duck Duck is loved, and he is loved very well.

110: Mama's | F A V O R I T E P H O T O S

112: More | F A V O R I T E S

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  • Title: Brady's 3rd Year
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