Friday, November 15, 2013


Matt and I just can't seem to agree on boys' names.  We had at least 5 girls names picked out when I was pregnant with Niall, but we just kept hoping that, somewhere along the way, we would eventually agree on something if it was a boy.

It was 2 days after I had him and the hospital staff was telling us that time was ticking to pick out a name.  I held his little forehead up to mine, hoping for some kind of telekinesis name epiphany to happen.  But after an hour or so of getting nothing, Matt and I knew it was time to pick from our list of "possibly somewhat agreeable" boy names (there were 2, but I can't remember what the other one was).

Niall meant "champion" in Gaelic, which seemed like a very cool title to have-- that, or it would put an incredible amount of pressure on the kid to be really good at everything.  I like to take the former perspective ;)

So when another boy came along to join our family a couple years later, we knew that whatever name we picked, it would just be settling for something that we both didn't completely hate.


It seemed like a good, strong Irish name.  Not too flashy, not too common.  It would do the trick, although neither one of us were in love with it.  So, we went on about our lives without ever bothering to find out the special meaning of Brendan's name (he IS the second child, after all).

Well, last week, my mom told me that she got one of those name plaques for each of the boys that tells you everything about the meaning of the name.  I was excited because I remembered having one of those when I was little.  (My name meant "dark one"-- a little scary; glad I didn't turn out to be a serial killer).

My jaw almost dropped when I learned the reason behind Brendan's constant death-defying stunts that cause near-heart attacks for me on a daily basis.  Little did we know that we had bestowed this fate upon him ourselves...


That's one way to put it.  I would probably describe it more like "COMPLETELY INSANE."  For Brendan, life is just a game of "Let's see if mommy can keep me alive today."  And he is definitely winning. Some days, I get down on my hands and knees and thank God he is still in one piece at the end of it.

Looking back, he has definitely been testing fate since he was a baby... but now that he is old enough to know what he is doing most times, he doesn't seem to care and it is definitely not stopping him.  It seems to be very entertaining for him to put himself in precarious situations and then flash me an evil look that says "Stay where you are!  If you try to come help me down from this 8 foot high drop-off, I'm going to jump!!".

This would be one of those looks...

He purposely tips the chair until he is teetering and then half the time he falls.  And believe me, he cries-- that is real tile there-- but it's still worth it for him to know that he is doing something wrong and I will try to stop him.  If you are wondering why I don't have him in a high chair, it's because he won't get in one.  That would be too easy.

He also enjoys sticking his fingers in sharp, jagged cans that I have thrown into the recycle bin, putting his head in the toilet, using picnic tables to hoist himself up over railings in an attempt to skydive off our friend's second story deck, stepping on oreos and then eating them off of his shoes, and last but certainly not least-- eating lit candles.

Yes, that just happened.  We were having a little birthday celebration for Niall when Brendan decided to pick up the lit cupcake and insert the flame directly into the back of his throat.  The only reason he didn't cry is because he immediately ate the entire cupcake by fisting it into his mouth as fast as humanly possible.

This might help you get an idea...

Yes, my boy is brave.  I just hope that he might consider toning it down a notch so that his mommy can sleep at night.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween Fail

Well, it wasn't a total failure.  Niall definitely enjoyed himself, but this is pretty much spot-on the way Brendan felt about the whole thing:

He refused to get into his costume, which was previously determined during our test run a few days before at the Assisted Living Home:

That right there-- is Brendan dressed as a ninja turtle.  Green shirt, green pants and a green backpack was as far as he would let me go.  But don't worry, he was still interested in the collecting candy part, naturally.  

I was just hoping he might have a change of heart when he saw Niall all dressed up on the big day... I kept trying to reason with him like he would somehow care that he was going to mess up the entire family costume by not taking part... No chance.

If we ever get a family pic that is not blurry, I might die of shock.
I was also lucky enough to get a bit of parenting advice from my not quite 4 year old.... as I was trying to talk some sense into my stubborn toddler about putting on his turtle shell that I worked so hard on, Niall comes in all high and mighty with: "You know, mom, it's ok if Brendan doesn't want to get into his costume. He can just wear his regular clothes."  Oh, thanks Niall.  You must have learned your excellent parenting skills from yours truly ;)
So the best we could do for Halloween spirit was a Redskins jersey.

The only reason he is smiling in this picture is because I am hitting myself in the head with a bag of candy (that he knows he is about to get a piece of).

Niall, on the other hand, totally lucked out.  When you have a family Halloween costume theme going, you get to be a different ninja turtle every day (or even every hour) for the whole week.  And by the way, when did Halloween become an entire week thing?  I'm not kidding, Niall got in his costume for some kind of activity/ outing every day of that week, including Saturday.

This was a Raphael kind of day.  See the attitude?  He was fully in character.

It's going to be a little weird waking up every day and not safety pinning that yellow felt to Niall's shirts or tying brown ribbons and white tape around all of his limbs... or putting his shell-pack on his back every time we leave the house.  We had a good run, and it was definitely epic.  I'm gonna miss you Raph ;)

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