GregoryBrand.com

It’s Brand-tastic.

GregoryBrand.com header image 1

August 2012

September 4th, 2012 · No Comments

August was a month of high-highs and low-lows.

Our dearest Greg turned 30!  We had a great time celebrating the world’s best human with the help of family and friends.  On his birthday eve, we went to the Wolverine Brewery with the Dwyers, Bob and Brie, and even Alison and Paul who made the trip all the way from Pittsburgh!  It was a lot of fun.  The next day, there was a large family gathering at Grace and Jerry’s and we continued the celebrations the next day at my parents’ house.

Lloyd has finished up the “Summer Camp” series of his schooling and will start preschool proper this week.  This past month he had a lot of fun bringing his favorite stuffed animal “Lumpo the Lion” the an herbal tea-party they had at his school.  The tea, of course, was made from herbs they planted in the spring.  It’s a very adorable place to learn and grow.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before, it’s certainly been going on for a while, but one thing Lloyd does is dictate what he wants the conversation to be… exactly.   He’ll direct, “Mom, you ask me, ‘Lloyd, what are you thinking about?’” or, “Dad, you tell Henry, ‘What is Lloyd doing now?’”  Once we say our words, he’ll carry the conversation forward.    Three-year-old’s sure do love being in control… but I guess 27 year-olds do, too.

 

Henry running to pick up Lloyd from school.

Henry has had a very challenging month.  Two teeth trying to cut through, combined with the continuous nap battles resulted in fairly constant tantrum throwing.   Luckily, between hissy fits, Henry shows us glimpses of his extremely sweet and silly personality.   There are a couple of new words: “Uh, Oh” “No!” “Ball” “Bubble” and “Ooo yea.”

 

Is this a Greg face, or what?

But of course the main event in August was the passing of Pa. Alton passed peacefully in his sleep, in his home, with Jerry close by.  He will be dearly, sorely missed, but we do comfort each other knowing he’s much more comfortable in heaven, and happily enjoying a reunion with Granny.

 

 

→ No CommentsTags: Family

Lloyd at 3.5 – more anecdotes

August 6th, 2012 · No Comments

Just a couple more Lloyd things I don’t want to forget…

- The other day he asked, “Before I was a baby in your belly, did I have a body? Did I have feet? and legs? and knees? and a butt? and a penis? and a belly? and a belly button? and nipples? and pits? and arms? and hands? and a face? and a head? and hair? and ears and eyes and a nose and a mouth?” It was the “pits” that really killed me.  I told him he didn’t have those parts because he was just a bunch of ingredients floating around.  Then we talked about the ingredients you need to make cement.

- If you tell Lloyd something he doesn’t want to hear (like we have to go in 5 minutes) he’s started saying, “Don’t say that! Let’s not talk about minutes…”

Another stall tactic is that he runs and grabs three books and gets settled with them on the couch and tells me when can go in just a minute, he’s going to just read these books “really fast!”

Love him.  He’s too smart.  It’s nuts.

 

→ No CommentsTags: Family

July 2012

August 4th, 2012 · No Comments

July was the month Lloyd made HUGE strides with his friendship skills.

He continues to have fun with his brother as Henry grows into a more engaging playmate. They love to play “catch” together with a ball, and they definitely love to wrestle.

 

Caught playing together

Lloyd reading to Henry

 

Lloyd enjoying a special Fourth of July snack.

I first witnessed a big change in how Lloyd interacts with kids close to his age when he was playing with Libby – a frequent playdate buddy who’s just a month younger than Lloyd.  They started playing lions together, and now are perfectly happy playing together alone in a room.  Listening to their conversations is very heartwarming, as Lloyd has been so reluctant to play with other children.

That time with Libby really helped Lloyd be a more sociable friend when we had a couple of visits with Irene (a 2-year-old dear friend who came to stay over for a weekend with her parents Dustin and Metta) and Kylie (our 2-year-old niece who stayed at my parents’ house for a week with Caitlin and Reggie).   These girls are very social and Lloyd had been so skittish in the past.  The fact that the ladies have developed larger vocabularies and Lloyd’s turning of a new leaf lead to really nice visits.

 

Lloyd with Irene

Kylie and Lloyd

And Lloyd has absolutely LOVED playing with his “cousin” Logan over at Pa’s house.  They run around in the backyard and laugh.  I know those two will have a fun-filled future together.

So I’m very hopeful that these skills help Lloyd come out of his shell even more as he starts preschool again.  Lloyd’s been attending the school’s “summer camps” two mornings a week and will start going three mornings a week when the school year formally begins in September.

More Lloyd anecdotes HERE.

Lloyd wearing Olympic Medals

Henry is a caveman!  He is very active and physical – hence the lack of still photos.  However, I have made a couple of short movies of the dude in action:

Here he is playing hide and seek. He’s covering his “eyes” and “saying” “1,2,3, READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!”

Here he is playing Bouncy Baby. He’s wearing his Underpants Hat of Shame, which I make him don when he is being a stinker who won’t nap.

Here he is clogging. At the dishwasher he’s pointing to the letters (he thinks every one is the letter M), and then he shows us his Henry dance.

Of course, Henry is extremely lovely.  Although stubborn about napping, he generally has a very sweet demeanor and is very quick to warm with strangers.

Henry loves to sit on trucks and to hold his blanket.

Henry is taking over Lloyd’s love for dinosaurs, as Lloyd’s interests have migrated more towards animals – Lions, specifically.  Lloyd loves to play with his stuffed animals and often has them attend picnics in a jungle (or – getting into piles on a blanket).

As for the adults, Greg finished a huge remodeling project he was doing for work with the University of Michigan.   I conquered investment banking earnings reports and made a couple of commissioned quilts.   Greg and I happily celebrated our 10-year dating anniversary and are looking forward to an upcoming trip to Traverse City to celebrate 5-years of marriage.

Sorry for the grainy pics.  I haven’t had the digital camera close by, so have often resorted to my iPad for quick shots.

→ No CommentsTags: Family

June 2012

July 9th, 2012 · No Comments

Henry started off the month engaging in extreme jealousy. At first, this meant that no one could touch me except him – resulting in mini-tantrums whenever Lloyd cuddled me, or Greg gave me a hug. Thankfully, that has ebbed a little bit with the kids still fighting for who gets to sit in Mommy or Daddy’s laps, but hugs being allowed all around.

Henry had a check-up at the Doctor’s office. He was 26 lbs and 34 inches long, which put him in the 70% for weight and the 99% for length. Developmentally he is doing great, with his variety of tricks and “words”. Henry has started saying “Ow” when he’s slightly hurt and “ha-oo” when he needs help. Says “Book” (almost – it’s more like “Boo-OO”) and calls Lloyd “Da” (you know – like half a “Dada” ; ) )

Lloyd and Henry continue to develop a lovely relationship. They playfully wrestle with each other and give each other unsolicited hugs. They’ve taken baths together for most of the month and make each other laugh. When nap schedules get screwed up and Lloyd has to nap without Henry in the room, Lloyd gets upset: “I need Henry to sleep!” We’ve been playing epic games of catch between the three of us where Lloyd throws me the ball, I hand it off to Henry, who throws/delivers the ball to Lloyd – repeat while laughing for 30 minutes.

Lloyd has almost slept through June. He’s still taking naps during the afternoon, which I’ve had to wake-him up from after about the third hour! And he’s sleeping through the night for about 11 hours. We’ve recently had to move up his bedtime back to 7:30, seeing a drastic change in his behavior if we post-pone bedtime too long.

Lloyd’s favorite activity nowadays has been to pretend he’s a ferocious “man lion with a mane who snarls.” Sometimes we “fight” together as lions (meaning slow-motion, growly wrestling). Other times we act out scenes from The Lion King. It’s a lot of fun, and a hardy work-out.

“Dinosaur A to Z” has taken the backseat to “Fifty Nifty United States” as far as Lloyd’s singing repertoire goes. Still trying to capture a movie of the performance, but trust me – it’s impressive. The song involves listing all of the 50 states in alphabetical order and Lloyd almost has it down pat.

Lloyd makes up songs and stories all of the time. Because he’s making up the story as he’s telling it, you often have to give him a lot of time to spit out what he’s trying to say. For example, when we were on a playmate at a friend’s house who has a dog Lloyd dug into a story: “When I was a man… or, right now… at my house… I had a dog with rainbow eyes… and black… and black fur… and… his name was FUMP!” Lloyd has also carried this story-telling ability over into lying territory. When I told Lloyd we had to get ready to go to Busch’s, he told me, “Dad said we could never go to Busch’s because it is under construction.”

Lloyd has been doing so much better at playdates. We’ve recently seen a fellow three-and-a-half year-old boy named Micaihah (who also has a baby younger brother), an almost-three-year-old named Pheobe (who has a baby sister named Penelope), and Lloyd’s best friend is dear Libby – who is a month younger than Lloyd and who has been playing with us since the kids were about 9 months old. Lloyd and Libby are really hitting it off – holding conversations between just the two of them, asking each other to play in various activities (or asking for the other through the proxy of the moms), and willingly touching and hugging each other. Lloyd is also getting closer to some kids at preschool, although there is a summer vacation from school throughout July. In June, preschool had soccer school with a local 18-year-old wunderkind. At first Lloyd was reluctant, but by the second week he was playing for the whole time and liked scoring goals.

Greg is still working in Ann Arbor and had a big win this month selling his company on the idea of using a iPad app Greg jiggered to help maintain punch-lists. For me, work is going well with the variety of investment banking scandals keeping me busy. I’ve also been active with my sewing clubs and learned how to make t-shirts from scratch this month – including learning how to draft patterns from pre-existing t-shirts. Greg is very excited for me to master this skill so I can make him custom under-shirts.

Wishing you a lovely summer. Stay cool!

→ No CommentsTags: Uncategorized

More Videos

June 14th, 2012 · No Comments

I recently made two movies of Henry (age 14 months).  You can check them out….

Here

and Here

 

and then I realized I had uploaded this movie of Lloyd back in January. It’s 4 minutes of him hanging with his dinosaurs.  I filmed it without him knowing and it really melts my heart.  It also has one of my favorite quotes of his every, “I’m not thinking, Mom!  I’m playing!”

→ No CommentsTags: Family