June 28, 2011

Vacation in Orlando Continued

Tuesday morning started off much like Monday except rather than comment on being bored Rebekah asked how long we had been there because it felt like a week. Ha!

 We decided to just hang out around the hotel and the pools!

Yup, Bradley got to experience a big pool for the first time. He was honestly too cool to comment on the matter. Personally, I think he enjoyed the bath afterward a little bit more, but he will neither confirm nor deny those thoughts. 

The video of his first time in the kiddy pool is below! (Warning: It's long. I'm really white. And I use the word rectal. Yup, I have no boundaries.)

That evening Rebekah and I decided to run the running trail outside.

Before I tell this story you should know a couple of things.

1. Rebekah and I are basically the same person except she got all the athletic genes and dark skin (see above).

2. I like to torture myself and in that mindset signed up for a 5k race.

So I needed to run and Rebekah wanted to run. Got it?

Well, we first went by the front desk to get a map of the trail. The kind hostess told us that the trail was well lit and had signs marking where to go.It sounded super simple.

We started at the water fountain. I told her my plan was a walk/run method. She said that she'd meet me back at the fountain cause let's get real. She was going to smoke me. And we were off.

I kept up with Rebekah pretty well at the beginning. Then , about 1/4 of a mile in she was gone and I was walking. Oh, and I do wish I was kidding.

Then, about half a mile in the trail seemed to disappear. There was a sign pointing left with a sign saying 3.3 miles out of 10. Umm... the hostess said the running trail was 1.5 miles. That 10 mile trail was not for me. So  I decided to follow the sidewalk and go straight which led me past the security gate, out of the hotel, and on to a main street with no signs for the trail!

I decided to continue to follow the sidewalk to the left until it ended. I turned around and decided that the trail must be to the right. But then it never turned back to the hotel.

And then I realized that I was semi-lost.

And since Rebekah and I are the same person, she was lost too. My baby sister was lost!

I quickly decided to turn around and head back. I'd been running/walking for a mile at that point so Rebekah should already be back or coming close to being back. If she wasn't, I was going to steal the valet's golf cart and find her.

Being the good sister I am, I attempted to run the whole way until I realized that the whole way was up hill. That's when I decided it was okay to walk back too... as long as I was fast at it.

Thankfully, just as I got to the water fountain I noticed Rebekah was coming my way. Whew!! No need to steal that golf cart.

And what would you know? The first thing she said was, "Did you get lost?? Cause I ran past the security guard, out of the hotel, and then went one way until the sidewalk ended and then went this long way around. I think we need to study the map before our next run."

Yup. We are the same person. The funniest part, though, was that she actually thought I was going to run with her again. Ha!

June 27, 2011

Vacation in Orlando

A few months ago, Jeremy told me that he had training for work in Orlando and thought it would be fun for Bradley and I to go along.

A few months ago, I feared doing anything outside of our home.

But I didn't have any reason not to go since being a stay-at-home mom basically makes my schedule flexible.

So I told Jeremy, we'd see. (Classic non-committal response, right?)

Well, two months ago, he brought it up again.

Two months ago, I was more confident as a parent.

Two months ago, I was smart and asked my little sister to come along.

And two weeks ago, we went!

Before we left, I broke out in hives and wondered what I had gotten myself into. Packing for three people is slightly nightmarish add in a dog and you might as well say a prayer that you survive the event of packing. We looked like we were going cross-country not 6 hours away. And poor Rebekah had to fit all her belongings in a carry-on sized suitcase. Thankfully, Parker and all his things were being left with my other sister, Megan, and so that gave Rebekah a little more room.

The hotel we stayed in was really nice.

(view from our room)

It had four pools (a lap, kiddy, family, and adult), a golf course, running trails, and security guards at the entrance. But the best part was that within 10 miles was two outlet malls, one regular mall, IKEA, Universal Studios, and Disney.

(view from our room)

Yes, shopping was number one on my list.

We woke up a little late on Monday and so we ended up spending the morning in the hotel room while Bradley napped. I told Rebekah we'd go to the first outlet that afternoon.

At about 10:30 a.m., Rebekah commented that she was bored. I told her sorry. We have a baby. Go wonder the hotel.

At around 11:30 a.m., we left for the outlet.

At 4:00 p.m., we left to meet Jeremy at IKEA.

At 6:00 p.m., we went to the regular mall.

At 8:30 p.m., I suggested we take it easy the next day and just hang around the hotel and at the pools. Rebekah said that sounded like a great idea.

Yes, I am glad that Rebekah came along. Not only was she a wonderful help and fun company while Jeremy was so busy, but she was also great humor.

Can't wait to share more with you!

June 22, 2011

The Doctor and I had a talk

We are blessed with a really easy baby. He sleeps great, eats well, and honestly there just aren't many complaints. It is great; we praise Jesus.

So when my easy baby stopped sleeping at night, I just knew he had to be sick. Why else would he go from sleeping 12 hours to waking up every hour?

Sickness. Yup, that was the answer.

So off to the doctor we went.

And after giving Bradley a thorough look over, our doctor concluded that he was indeed not sick.

My first thought: How do I make him go back to being easy??

However, this is what actually came out:

Me: So why isn't he sleeping??

Doctor: Well, typically during this time a baby's sleep patterns change. They sleep lighter and start to realize that if they cry, you come.

Me: So what do I do? I need sleep.

Doctor: I think it's time you make him cry it out.

Me: I what?

Doctor: Let him cry until he exhausts himself and falls to sleep on his own.

Me: How long does that take?

Doctor: Well, it depends. It may be an hour or it may be two.

Me: You mean, I have to let him cry for two hours... without going in there and making it stop.

Doctor: Yes. You have to let him get to the point where he does that hiccup cry and wears himself out to the point that he falls to sleep on his own. He needs to learn how to soothe himself.

Me: I can't.

Doctor: But you must.

Me: No, I don't think you understand. I really can't.

Doctor (laughs): If you want to sleep, you really have to. You have a couple of options. You can just let him fully cry it out. Or you can do the Ferber method, However, sometimes babies catch on that eventually you will come get them and so it may take  longer to get them to go the whole night. Or you can put him in bed with you, but he may never leave your bed.

Me: So hold on. You mean, I have to just let him cry until he falls back to sleep.

Doctor: Yes. I recommend you get a sound machine for his room to help drown out other noise and then one for your room to drown out his sound machine and his crying. I also usually suggest you do this over a 3 day weekend like this past weekend.

Me: So this is going to take a few nights??

Doctor: Yes, it usually takes 3 nights. How do you soothe him now?

Me: Well, we try a pacifier first, then rocking, and then we've been putting him in our bed once we are too tired to get up anymore.

Doctor: I'd put as many pacifiers as you can in his bed. That way he can always grab one and soothe himself first.

Me: So let me get this straight, I have to let him cry until he falls asleep?

Doctor: Yes. You can do this.

Me: I don't know...

Doctor: You have to.

Me: I suppose...

And so I went home and talked with Jeremy. We decided to give it a try and let him cry it out that night. We put three pacifiers in his crib and I put my teddy bear, Ziggy, that I had when I was little. I figured Ziggy comforted me and he probably still smelled like me so why not.

Bradley went to bed at 7:30 p.m.

At 8:30 p.m. I hear a blood-curdling cry.

This cry was not a cry that said, "I need to cry it out." This cry said "I'm dying. I need my mommy now."

I ran upstairs as quickly as possible to find that Ziggy had fallen on top of Bradley. This caused Bradley to think that Ziggy was going to eat him. With Ziggy removed, I kissed Bradley convinced that in the morning he would no longer let me within 10 feet of him since I will be the mother that abandoned him.

And our official crying it out night began.

At 1 a.m., he started crying.

At 2 a.m., I started crying.

At 3 a.m., Bradley fell asleep.

At 4 a.m., I fell asleep.

At 7 a.m., Bradley woke up and smiled at me. Thankfully, he inherited his short-term memory from his father.

And you know what? That was the only night we had to make him cry it out. I'm telling you, we are so fortunate and very aware that we probably won't get this lucky twice...

June 10, 2011

Video of the Week: I'm a Scootin' Baby

Bradley is a nut and apparently really strong.

While he is not yet crawling, he is moving all around our house in seconds... on his head.



You have until 10 a.m. to place your votes.

To vote for Steven Clawson as CMT's Next Superstar,

1. Text STEVEN to 32709

2. "Like" the CMT Next Superstar Facebook page and vote in their voting section or you can vote online at www.cmtnextsuperstar.com (But you must be logged in for the vote to count!).

You can vote 10 times per method per day!! So what are you waiting for?? Get voting!!

June 9, 2011

Book Review: Water for Elephants

After seeing all the movie previews for Water for Elephants, I just had to read the book. I'm under the philosophy that 9 out of 10 times the book is always better and the movie is best understood after reading the book. So I dug in full of excitement.

It didn't take long for mouth to drop. If I could rate this book with the ratings used on television shows, I would have to rate it TV-MA. It is not for the naive, faint of heart. There are many, many sexual scenes and coarse language throughout the book. This is your warning.

In saying that, the book was a delightful look into the circus life circ. 1930s. The imagery was beautifully written and allowed one to feel as though you were in the audience watching the parade of animals or riding the train to the next town. Written from the perspective of an old man reminiscing on his young adult life, this book is a wonderful love story with an ending that made the book worth reading. 

While I would give The Book Thief a rating of 5 out of 5, I'd only give Water for Elephants a 3.5 out 5.

And in case you want to read with me, my next book is The Help by Katheryn Stockett.



To vote for Steven Clawson as CMT's Next Superstar,

1. Text STEVEN to 32709

2. "Like" the CMT Next Superstar Facebook page and vote in their voting section or you can vote online at www.cmtnextsuperstar.com (But you must be logged in for the vote to count!).

You can vote 10 times per method per day!! So what are you waiting for?? Get voting!!

June 8, 2011

An insight into my family....

In case you are unaware, I have a slightly funny family.

Story #1:

Rebekah and I are at a local Greek restaurant when she notices the word "Gyro" to which she pronounces "Gie-row". I quickly correct her explaining that it is pronounced "Hero". She then exclaims, "Oh! So it's Spanish."

Story #2:

Megan smells smoke at her apartment. She opens her front door where she notices smoke and tiny flames coming out of her front porch light. She calls 911. Ten minutes later, the firemen are outside taking pictures of her "fire" which come to find out is a bird's nest... not her apartment.

Story #3:

Can only be shown through the following e-mail exchanges and video... (address has been blocked out for obvious reasons).

Dear Family Members,

I write to you with despair in my heart and tears in my eyes. In case you have not heard the terrible news, Aladdin, my beloved fish of 8 years has passed away this evening. I know he has a special place in all of our hearts and we should honor him since he was a loved family member. I have asked the funeral home to freeze him until we can all gather together, which will be next week. I do not want to over shadow Rebekah's special graduation day therefore we shall have Aladdin's burial Friday, May 20th at 7:15pm. We will gather at XXXXX in the sunroom for wake then burial immediately afterwards. Please be respectful and dress in black. I am sorry for ruining everyone's evening with this news. I know you all will need time for mourning.

Best regards,



Dear Megan,

I am dreadfully sorry to hear this sad news. Aladdin was a bright, lively fish and will be missed dearly. I know in my encounters with him, he grew great in size and might and was a noticeably wonderful swimmer. His life was long and beautiful.

I feel extremely awkward asking this, but was wondering if it were possible to move the wake and funeral up to 6:30 p.m. so that your nephew could pay his respects to such a dear friend.

You are in our thoughts with love,



I greatly appreciate your kind words. I know Aladdin was always excited to see you. I was not quite sure if you and Jeremy would be comfortable introducing Bradley to such a sensitive subject but it is fine with me to move the wake and burial to 6:30pm on Friday. I would love to have the additional support as I approach this difficult time.



Dear Megan,

My heartfelt sympathy is extended to you at this time of great loss.  I pray that you will always carry with you the joy and good memories that Aladdin brought over the past 8 years.  Please know that everything will be prepared for the funeral.  If you have any additional requests, I will be happy to assist you.

In sympathy,



Dear Megan,

My deepest sympathy for your loss. I have fond memories of feeding Aladdin extra fish flakes, because I wanted to keep him full and happy in his lifetime, but as I am writing this I am sensing a horrible correlation of the extra fish flakes to Aladdin only being able to swim upside down because his belly was so big. I hope that my bonding with Aladdin did not contribute to his untimely passing. As for the funeral arrangements I will be in attendance. I must let you know, however, that I do not own an outfit that is entirely black, but I do have a dark grey suit I will wear and, with your permission, a blue shirt that very much resembles the blue ocean that Aladdin once swam in long ago. I hope this tiny of bit of color is acceptable to you and could hopefully help remind us all that Aladdin is now swimming in a bigger ocean: heaven.

With much love and heartfelt sorrow,




Yes I remember Aladdin always love seeing you because you would give him extra attention through fish flakes. I do not, and would never blame you for his untimely death. I am so thankful God allowed him to be with us as long as He did. I hope Aladdin is able to swim right-side up now that he is in Heaven. I know he is lighting up Heaven as we speak with his quite large bright orange body.

As for the attire, I think it is an excellent idea to add some blue to make it feel more homey, as the symbolism will help me realize that Aladdin is in a much happier place.

I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to help honor such a dear family member. I know Aladdin is looking down from Heaven very pleased.



From my dad:

To:         Megan Poehler  
From:     Open Oceans Funeral Home (Where the oasis awaits your love ones)

Again, let us extend our deepest sympathy in your time of grief. We are so glad you have chosen us to help you with your final arrangements for your dearly departed. We have taken great pains in making sure all your wishes have been met and hope you find everything to your liken. Here at Open Oceans Funeral Home, we know how hard it is to make to those final decisions so we are here to help you. I have directed the staff to change the time from 7:15pm to 6:30pm as you have instructed. We have put Aladdin in cryogenic  suspension and placed him in a comfortable plastic beding until the time you have chosen. Our staff will check on him frequently since he has been tenderly placed close to the ice dispenser. The burial site is the last thing we have to know to complete our preparations. When you feel able to do so, please let one of our friendly staff members know what you have chosen. In case you want to choose another final resting spot, we do offer several burial options that might be more suitable to you. Please allow me to indulge you with our wide variety of choices. We have our popular, "Anchors Away" package that includes a 21 flush salute (a favorite among many of our sailor families). Your dearly departed once is place in a bright white porcelain bowl with blue ocean waters. We also have "I'll Fire Up the Barbie" which is popular with our Austrian families. It includes a BBQ dinner and fish fry afterwards which helps to take your mind off your grief while you enjoy the a good food with love ones.  And of course we have the "It's All Coming Up Roses" which is the one you have selected. It is a simple but elegant way of saying good bye to our gilled friends.
Once again, we mourn with you in the passing of your beloved fish and friend. Please call on us if there is anything else we can do before your ceremony.
We will be in touch as the time draws close.
Sincerely yours,  
Joe Crab Shack Director of Menus and Arrangements

And from Rebekah:

 I say we heat up the grill and have some fish for dinner! I heard goldfish are healthy for you ;) 

And yes, Rebekah, would be the only insensitive one...

So on May 20th, we gathered and mourned. Well.. kinda. Bradley had a fit right before the processional and so we had to pay our respects from another room. Mr. Steve Clawson and Mrs. Cheryl Clawson, though, were able to attend. Mr. Steve, as the minister, officiated and even wrote a song for our dearly beloved.

Yes, we did record the affair.

Oh! You should also note that I made Megan's veil for the occasion.

Yup, and believe it or not I wouldn't trade my family for anything. Because with them I know two things. 1. there is never a dull moment and 2. I will always laugh.



To vote for Steven Clawson as CMT's Next Superstar,

1. Text STEVEN to 32709

2. "Like" the CMT Next Superstar Facebook page and vote in their voting section or you can vote online at www.cmtnextsuperstar.com (But you must be logged in for the vote to count!).

You can vote 10 times per method per day!! So what are you waiting for?? Get voting!!

And turn in to CMT tonight to see  Steven walk the red carpet and perform at the CMT Music Awards!

June 6, 2011

Bradley's Baptism

The beginning of May was a dear time for Jeremy and I as we celebrated the baptism of Bradley and committed to raise him in a Christian home and to pray for and with him for the rest of his life.

We are so honored that the Lord would entrust us with Bradley and are excited to see what God's plans are for him.

The outfit Bradley wore was the same outfit my dad wore 48 years ago at his baptism. I was blessed to have my dad as such a strong Christian example growing up so Bradley wearing his gown was really, really special.

 Bradley and I with my parents

Us with my Grandparents

When I think about my spiritual journey, my grandparent's had a huge impact on it through watching their lives and hearing their story. I was so happy that we could have them at the baptism while they were in town from Texas. Bradley has such a wonderful legacy.

 Bradley with Jeremy's parents

 Bradley with Jeremy's dad and Grandpa

If you can't tell, we has quite a group there and unfortunately we didn't get a picture with them all. Bradley really is one blessed baby to have so many people from family, friends, to our church who love him and will help support us and him in the Lord as we grow.



To vote for Steven Clawson as CMT's Next Superstar,

1. Text STEVEN to 32709

2. "Like" the CMT Next Superstar Facebook page and vote in their voting section or you can vote online at www.cmtnextsuperstar.com (But you must be logged in for the vote to count!).

You can vote 10 times per method per day!! So what are you waiting for?? Get voting!!

June 3, 2011

What are YOU doing tonight??

Cause I know what I am doing.

I'll be in my pajamas watching CMT's Next Superstar.

Wanna know why??

Well, you see. I happen to know one of the finalists.

Yup, Steven Clawson is making it BIG.

He's got one of those stories everyone loves. A boy with huge dreams who grew up in a small town in South Georgia;  a minister for a father and the sweetest mother who happens to be a teacher plus three brothers. He has a beautiful wife who's unending support encourages him onward. And to top it off: a daughter on the way. I mean, really, what's not to love??

Oh. And let's not forget the voice or the super-talented songwriting skills he possesses. (Just head over to iTunes and take a listen for yourself. You won't regret it.)

I cannot tell you just how excited and proud I am of him.

But, to be honest, I'm not surprised. He's had stardom written all over him since we were kids.

So, again, I ask. What are YOU doing tonight?

Cause I'm going to be watching CMT at 9/8c with my phone ready to vote!!

And I totally think you should do the same.

In the meantime, how about stopping over at Facebook to "like" his fan page? (www.facebook.com/stevenclawsonmusic)

Then, get ready to vote!

You'll be able to vote until June 10th via text or www.cmtnextsuperstar.com just in case you can't watch it tonight. And no worries... I'll be sure to update you on the full instructions after tonight's episode.

Thanks in advance for your support!