As I have mentioned before, I recently came on board as co-host/producer at my friend's kindie-rock family radio show "Kids Rock Nashville" and have been having a great time with it. Last Thursday we had the treat of having Grammy nominated hit singer/songwriter (and close family friend) Deborah Allen and my dad, Bobby Braddock (whose praises I have sang before) on the show. Deborah discussed her new children's book, The Loneliest Christmas Tree" (with illustrations by Brooks and Dunn's Kix Brook's daughter Molly) and sang her rollicking "Rockin' Little Christmas". My dad performed his first number one song, Tammy Wynnette classic D-I-V-O-R-C-E (which I got the honors of singing) and he did a funny version of All I Want For Christmas is my Two Front Teeth". We had a blast! And Music Row ran an item about it yesterday, there is also a link to where you can hear the archived version...check it out! :)
Today we went to a family holiday brunch for Sony Tree Publishing. My dad got a longevity award today for writing with them for 45 years, congratz Grandbobby! It is always a super nice event complete with balloon animals, a photo booth and Santa Claus. Now the Santa Claus element was a minus for us for a while as Little Man was terrified! When he was a little baby, before he knew better (his first and second Christmas) we have pictures of him with Santa. His third Christmas he was starting to get apprehensive and wouldn't sit on his lap but held onto the sleigh instead. BUT the past three years we haven't been able to get him anywhere near the big guy in red! Even a trip to the mall would be met with major anxiety about a chance encounter with Old St. Nick. We would have to beg and promise we wouldn't go anywhere near where he'd be! So, today at the brunch I was totally taken by surprise when he suddenly decided to go hop on Santa's lap, happy as can be! When Santa asked today what he wanted for Christmas he said "I don't want to tell you because I am a little afraid of you". But then, he did break down and tell him "legos!" Then he asked "are you the real Santa?!" To which, shockingly, Santa was able to provide him with some identification! (He later asked me if it was a fake ID-hahaha!) I commended him on his bravery today. What a lovely Christmas reunion!
Thank you to my little boys teachers for doing this special surprise. Got it in my mailbox sent from his school a couple of days ago--probably the best gift anyone can get is to hear what others appreciate about you. In fact, I just read about something along those lines that we are going to do for our Thanksgiving dinner this year. Make placemats for each person and have everyone write on them what we are thankful about that person. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Jacie, the founder of the radio show I am now co-hosting, and I interviewed Jill Swenson from Santa's Reindeer Tour on the Kids Rock Nashville show last week. She told us all about the reindeer they have at Strickland Farms in White House, TN 30 minutes from downtown Nashville. When I told Little Man about it he asked if reindeer really fly and then said "wait a minute, bats are the only mammals who can fly!" Then chalked it up to Santa's magic powers being able to make the non-flying mammals fly! This weekend Jacie and I took our kids to meet the reindeer in person. The kids were in awe and got to have their pictures taken with the reindeer. It was a sweet outing for the kids and a great Christmas card photo op!
Congratulations to my dad, songwriter/producer Bobby Braddock for gettig the 2011 ICON award from BMI. We went to the awards on Tuesday night and it was amazing. Miranda Lambert and The Piston Annies performed his song D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Blake Shelton, "Same Old Song", John Anderson, "Would You Catch A Falling Star" and Vince Gill and Leann Rhimes "He Stopped Loving Her Today". So proud of my daddy and happy to see him get that wonderful recognition! :)
Hope all y'all that celebrate fall had a great Halloween or harvest celebration! Little Man had a great time at a friend's block party and his Harry Potter costume was super-cute! Got an excellent report card that day too, so proud of my little guy!!!
Had a blast with Jacie on our Halloween Kids Rock Nashville show Thursday with our special guest singer/songwriter Aaron Raitiere (in photo). We also premiered "Jeep on the Street", "Jeep" is my nickname from childhood/now radio-name, trying to stay Forever Young-baby! Jeep on the Street is a series of interviews with kids and this week's question was "why do we celebrate Halloween" and their answers were cute! To hear a recording of the show go to kidsrocknashville.com and follow prompts to the Halloween show!
Got kiddos costume finally yesterday, he is officially going to be Harry Potter (he is all about "magic" now and we are in the middle of reading the second HP book). The Daddy will be understated in Elvis sideburns only and I believe I will be rockin' a classic witches hat ;) I was also considering getting a t-shirt and writing "Muggle" or "Mudblood" on it to go along with the Harry Potter theme, but---maybe not. Today we are making jack-o-lantern rice crispy treats for his school party tomorrow. Will post pics later (if they come out good!)
Or gig, or somethin' like that! I am now officially the new co-host of Kids Rock Nashville, along with my friend Jacie who had the fabulous idea and started this very groovy kindie-rock weekly radio show. It is located on 107.1 locally or streaming on radiofreenashville Thursday's from 3:00-5:00. (For radio I will be using my childhood nickname of "Jeep"!) If you miss our live broadcast, you can catch it on the website generally the next day at www.kidsrocknashville.com. If you get a chance to go check out last weeks show it was very informative and inspiring! It was an anti-bullying show and we had some great guests...the Kids on the Block program came with their puppets, "three dad's on a mission" kindie-rock band Ka*Pop and Rascal Flat's keyboardist, Tim Akers, co-wrote and produced a song that was chosen to be part of a national anti-bullying campaign on Oct 26th! To hear more about it go check out www.kidsrocknashville and follow prompts to the anti-bullying show. I am excited about this new venture. If anyone has any ideas for possible guests or music of cool kindie-rockers please lay it on me! Peace!
This past weekend, after being canine-less for about 4 years, we adopted a rescue dog.We figured that every boy (and girl) needs a dog and this girl needed a family. I THINK she is around a year old and appears to be an English Pointer mix. (hopefully the doggie DNA test I bought will shed some light on that :) ) We are still trying to get her and the cats acclimated and properly potty train her and name her. The name the rescue folks gave her was Gracie, but that is Little Man's cousin's name and we may want to give her a name ourselves. Contenders are Daisy, Lucy or Lulabelle. Open to any input/suggestions! My life just got a little busier, but she is a sweetheart.
Looking forward to being the guest co-host tomorrow with the fabulous Jacie Puthoff Doerschuk on Kids Rock Nashville on WRFN 107.1 FM! Music City's favorite family radio show where you can find hip music for the entire clan! Tune in between 3:00-5:00 CST on Thursdays. You can hear us locally on 107.1 fm or stream our show at radiofreenashville.org. Think I may even sing the "Mud Mama" song that this blog was named after live-should be fun! :)
In a completely uncharacteristic move, I woke up at 6 am and "ran" a 5K this weekend! 5k equals 3.1 miles and I walked most of it, but still...I was quite proud of myself! :) My girlfriend Margaret ran it, too and we snapped a photo together before she ran the whole thing. I usually don't run unless someone is chasing me--so I thought 39 minutes for mostly fast walking wasn't too bad! Little man came along for the kids fun run afterwards and "won" a metal. Big fun and a healthy great way to start off our day!
Forgive me, for it has been a month since my last post. Bad mommy! Just busy--lots o' life goin' on---mostly good!
The only way I can possibly tie in my silly pun title for this post is to tell you that we recently went to an event here in Nashville that was serving hot dogs from a place I love the name of..."I Dream of Weannie" LOVE it! I got a veggie dog of course (being a sudo-vegetarian)
Little Man has had a GREAT first month of school- thank you thank you thank you and knock on wood. Kindergarten was a big adjustment for learning how to sit still etc. I think he has really gotten the hang of this following the rules thing--and he LOVES to learn! He wakes up and says things like "I love school!" That thrills me. He brought home his first spelling test and got 100% on it! His handwriting is really coming along too which is a big deal since we have been working hard on fine motor skills. One happy Mama. On a homework assignment this week he was supposed to illustrate good, better and best. For good he drew school, better/home and best Disney World! Love that kid!!!!
We are waiting to hear about another potential adoption situation. It is complicated and who knows what will happen--just hoping for the very best for all involved...especially the child. The agency we were with doesn't really seem to be happening for us right now and China which I wanted to do so badly seems to have road blocks now too--just trying to trust if it is meant to be it will be and we will know what drection to go in!
I had a blast last weekend performing the Songwriter Series at the Country Music Hall of Fame with Don Henry. We performed in the same Ford Theater where my dad (songwriter Bobby Braddock) was inducted this Spring and it was so much fun. We did a bunch of our own songs and a couple of daddy's. I am going to try to share a video from that day which kind of ties in with my blog title...Lost Dawg!
After the performance we went with my dad and some friends to see my dad's exhibit and commemorative plaque for the first time since the induction. My sweet boy without prompting kissed his Grandbobby's plaque---so dear! (That is the picture that is at the top of this blog)
I cannot believe that I have a BIG FIRST GRADER! He has his own desk now and everything! The half day yesterday went well in spite of (my) nerves. He is disappointed not to have a couple of friends from kindy in class but thrilled to have some old friends there and the new teacher seems super nice. He did ask me why they are doing the same stuff as in kindergarten. I guess he decided to jump from coloring to calculous?! He says he "loves first grade" and I am SOOO glad!
It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over. My kiddo starts back to school on Thursday for a half-day! I must say that he has had quite the summer, swim camp, bug camp, lots of pool time and we just got back from an almost two week vacation to New York/New Jersey. On the flight to Laguardia he lost his first front tooth. Somehow the tooth fairy found him twice on the East coast! We started the trip off at my sister-in-laws apartment in the Upper East Side of Manhattan where Little Man enjoyed seeing his cousins. On a record-breaking hot day we met up with old friends of mine at Central Park and let our kids run through the sprinker/ fountains. The next day he got to go to his first Broadway show and he LOVED it!!! We saw Mary Poppins and it was a magical experience...particularly when Mary Poppins flies out over the audience and just happened to take a route right over our seats! We also got to visit with some friends of mine AND go to the children's museum AND the Central Park Zoo. (Highlight was seeing the sea lions getting fed, just like on Curious George) It was an acton-packed few days!
Then it was off to the Jersey Shore for lots of fun with friends, Grandparents and cousins. Boardwalk rides, beach and great summer-fun. Lots of pizza, ice cream, etc etc etc. Though it literally made me sick, I rode about 10 rides in a row with him (why didn't those spinny rides make me feel sick as a kid?) and he wanted to ride the log flume so I had a nervous break down as I had to clutch him (behind me!) with one hand and clutch the hand rail with the other as we went up up up the steep ramp and doooooowwwwwwwwwn --only to make it all worth it with the splash and his giggles at the end.
The times have definitely changed. We were in a cab in NY and the cabbie yelled the F-word at a pedestrian (something that wouldn't have fazed me in the least when I lived there) but this time I dressed him down for using inappropriate language in front of a child- ha!
When looking through the eyes of a child you want to keep everything so pure and innocent. There were two incidents that happened our trip that I wish I could have sheltered him from. On a lovely sunset cruise with my in-laws another boat intentionally came up next to our tour boat, going the same speed and there was a completely nude couple, totally having at it, on the deck of the boat in broad daylight. I kind of tackled my little boy and tried to distract him, but geeez! Then, driving back to New York on the last day of the trip we witnessed a bicyclist get hit by a car right in front of us. My little boy saw the whole thing--the cyclist laying still on the ground, my call to 911 (by the time I got them on the phone an NYFD vehicle had stopped) . It was very traumatizing. I took the moment to tell him how important it is to wear helmets and to always be careful around traffic. I haven't been able to find any news about the cyclist so hopefully no news is good news and he survived it/is okay.
But mainly I would say it was a trip of magic and wonder. Litte Man is literally into magic now and asks everyone if they know magic tricks. My friend Sandy told him about a magic store in Manhattan called Abracadabra so I took him there. An in-house magician took a good 30 minutes showing us magic tricks and little guy was enthralled.
I hope he will look back and view his sixth summer as magicall!
Little Man had his first acting gig yesterday! It was a music video for Clay Dustin and it went really well! You just don't know how well a six-year-old little boy is going to take direction but he did great! I was so proud. It was a perfect first gig as we were in and out in just over an hour. He got to run around a table in shot one...perfect...and he got it in two takes! And in the second scene (which may or may not be used) he got to give a "bad guy" the stink-eye he had been practicing, which was pretty comical. He got paid cash too--woo hoo-- and promptly wanted to go spend it on a Wii Mario game...ha! When we first walked onto the set he walked up to the first woman he saw and said "you must be my pretend mommy" He asked about the make-up lady and when they offered to let him get a little make-up if he wanted he matter-of-factly said "no, I am already beautiful" Hahaha! Better work on modesty, kiddo! He told me right before he did it "this is a dream come true" and hugged and thanked me when I told him he was going to get to be in a video. We'll see if the acting bug bites him like it bit his mama!
It was my great pleasure a couple of weeks ago to take part in a benefit here in Nashville at the Red Rooster for the tornado victims of Hacklesburg, Alabama. The event was aptly named "Face The Music" because Bob Schieffer, the host of CBS's Face The Nation who also moonlights as a country songwriter, was one of the hosts, and guest of honor, of the event. I was thrilled to get to sit in along with some other girlfriends on background vocals while he sang his song "TV Anchorman". It was great to spend a little time with him and his lovely wife as well. I was also honored to get to sing with my dad, Bobby Braddock, on his song D-I-V-O-R-C-E and to do the "oohs and ahhhs" with him while he performed "He Stopped Loving Her Today". (both cowrites with Curly Putman) Very proud of my daddy (who recently got inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame!) and thank him for letting me tag along :) Here are a few pics from the event. There were a lot of talented people there that night that I enjoyed hearing and getting to know. I love my hometown! Thank you Kat Speers for the great pics and Rebecca McCabe/Tamy McDonald for your talents/work in putting it together!
Little Man has had a busy, fun summer so far. I am loving taking time to just chill with him as well. Last week he had swim camp and "bug camp" put on by a real-life biology professor at Belmont college. I think what impressed him the most was the live tarantula that was shown off there. But the big deal last week was swim camp. It is no secret that my kiddo is a wee bit impulsive and pretty fearless, but the water has always scared him. That is why i signed him up for swim camp, to give him a full week to work on it and it has worked.. he is swimming now! He was pretty horrified about the finale of the week...jumping off the diving board to the swim coach. The first day he did nothing but stress out about it. The final day though, in spite of his fears he went for it! Sure the coach was holding his hands from the water and caught him...but then he swam to the wall in the 9 feet all by himself. Then he did it again two more times! He was so proud of himself and I am so proud of him! So--that brings us to today. A songwriter that I met at the Face The Music event I did a couple of weeks ago asked me if I would participate in a songwriter night tonight. I don't usually accompany myself alone on guitar (like never...I usually like to sing while someone else plays) but I decided to be brave like my little guy and do it even though it is slightly out of my comfort zone. Here is to jumping off the diving board!
Paul McCartney is having a "Maybe I'm Amazed" covers contest so we decided to have a little fun with it and do a "what if" scenario.. Pleeease check out the link and "like" it and I will be ever so grateful! The one with the most likes on you tube wins some cool Paul McCartney merch and I am a lifelong fan. Thanks!!!!! :)
Find it here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGAFfW6Tzks (Lauren Braddock, Maybe I'm Amazed Covers Contest, Palin srah-nades the president).
I cannot believe that my little boy has graduated from kindergarten! When I went to pick him up on the last day of school the music teacher was cranking Alice Coopers "School's Out For Summer" from the PA and everyone, including the principal, was jamming out! It was a year of transition, but a year of huge growth. He made "good choices" all second semester long and he is reading like a second grader! I am so proud of my "rising first grader"!!!!!!!!
Sunday night was a magical and surreal evening. My dad, songwriter Bobby Braddock, got inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame along with icons Jean Sheppard and Reba McIntire and I couldn't be more proud! He is a very low-key person so all of the hoopla, limo ride-red carpet, was a bit strange for him (I however LOVED it-ha!) He quipped during his speech that he couldn't tell what the fans outside were saying because he isn't good at reading lips, then he realized it was "who's that guy?"-ha! Songwriters are definitely used to "flying under the radar". Thanks to the CMHOF for recognizing writers! The program/induction ceremony they put together was out of this world. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, Tracy Lawrence, Billy Currington and George Jones all sang my dad's songs and Bill Anderson did a wonderful job inducting him. Other artists to perform were Vince Gill, Bill Anderson/Elizabeth Cook, Tricia Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Martina McBride and Kelly Clarkson ... and Dolly Parton inducted Reba...it was amazing! Kudos to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Kyle Young was a great MC and the little man was thrilled to hear that he was included in his speech. Kyle made the point that my dad's 6-year-old grandson doesn't call him Grandad or Grandpa, but "Grandbobby" which is appropriate because Bobby is grand! As totally unbiased family members we couldn't agree more and are endlessly proud of him!!! (pictured above with me and hubby, PR dude Jim Havey)
Here is some video footage of the event http://countrymusichalloffame.org/2011-medallion-ceremony
If anyone is in Nashville and gets a chance to check out the display for the "class of 2011" it will up all year. Don Henry and I will actually be playing the Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter series in the Ford Theater there on September 3rd, so that might be a good time to visit...y'all come! :)
I hope this has been a wonderful day for everyone! I woke up to Little Man coming in with a bag of goodies he made for me at school. There was a mom survey...what does she do was one of the questions..."clean"...wha'?! That makes me laugh on a couple of different levels! He was very sweet though and proud of all the little gifties. It was a busy week at his school. One day I went there with another kindergartener's mom who is a friend of mine and fellow performer, and we combined their two classes and did theater games with them. Wow! It was definitely fun...had them do stretches and warm up their bodies, do mirror exercises and explore different emotions. Forty kindergarteners acting excited, mad, etc. at the same time was, um... loud! They were super-cute though and I was really happy to be able to share this experience with my kiddo! (So he can see me doing something other than cleaning-ha!) I hung out for field day another day (his favorite part was the music teacher in the DJ booth!) and then, on Cinco de Mayo I got to relive my days of waitressing at the Iguana restaurant when I helped hand out chips and salsa to the kids in the cafe while they listened to a Latin trio. What a cool school he goes to! I can't BELIEVE he only has three weeks of kindergarten left! Unbelievable! Let us all savor these glory days and sneak in a pampering (or two!) for yourselves this week as well!
Busy Spring---need to post more soon. But wanted to take a minute and post the pic of our homemade bunny cake from today. This is a classic that my husband grew up on, but I had never made it before. Make two 9 inch rounds of a cake of your choice (we used CARROT). One round is the bunny head, the other round os cut int three pieces..the sides are cut into bunny ear pices and the middle is his bow tie. Ice with the frosting of your choice. Add coconut shavings for fur, draw a nose/mouth and outline of ears and bowtie with gel or decorator frosting, jellybeans for eyes, licorice for whiskers and voila! A bunny!
We just got back from a trip to Disney's Wild Kingdom which, as my buddy Lila remarked, is like the mecca for my little guy. He says he wants to be a "zookeeper" when he grows up. I talk to him about how important the kindness to animals is. I do want to nuture his interest in animals and talk to him about things he could do when he grows up to help animals. We stayed at Animal Kingdom's Kidani Lodge which was amazing. We got an upgrade to a room with a view from our balcony of the exotic animals who roamed the "Savanna". He had a field guide and would wake up and check off who he saw wandering, giraffes, ostrich, opaki.... I think it is something he will never forget!
Just had to record the results of Little Man's Read-A-Thon from last month for posterity. In the three weeks it went on he read (or had read to him) 326 books. The whole school was on a mission and got tons of pledges from eager-readers to help break ground on a (long over-due)new library this year. There was an assembly to give prizes to the top readers and my little guy was so sure that, after reading 100 books in one week, his name would be called. When it was not he rushed the stage with protests! (Yikes...gotta love that impulse control! :) We'll keep working on sportsmanship!) He did recieve a metal for being a "heavyweight reader" and his class got a pizza and ice cream party for their efforts. The funniest thing that happened was that he told me that the Statue of Liberty was at their reading assembly. I later read the PTO's newsletter about the event and saw the pictures and realized that what he thought was Miss Liberty was actually Miss Tennessee in a tiara!
"The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart." -The Little Prince
Friday kicked off the Little Man's school's Read-A-Thon. The kids all dressed as favorite book character's to kick it off. Since we were reading The Little Prince at home he wanted to dress like the Little Prince and was just adorable. The kids were all precious in their costumes yesterday and were so excited. I am excited to see how many books I can read with my little prince over the next three weeks! Off to the library today for inspiration!
With more snow in the forecast, I am snow-dayed out and dreaming of Disney! Much like we had a "smiley face countdown to Christmas" which helped the little guy "make good choices" at school and keep smiley faces on his smiley face chart in December, we are now on a "smiley face countdown to Disney". Now, this is a little bit risky because it is about seven weeks away and if one of the dealbreakers is broken we are all screwed! He is super-motivated though, and I have a loophole in mind anyway, so I think it is all good. We can will it to be-right? And as Jimminy-Cricket crooned ..."When you wish upon a star your dreams come true!"
Happy New Year! Haven't written in a while. Busy 'round here. Getting back into the swing of a new school year for one whole week then we got blasted with snow. Tomorrow will be our forth snow day in a row! (Roads are clear except for some rural parts of the county) We have been having a great time, but...enough is enough! Ready to get back on it. We have enjoyed sleeping in and staying in our jammies, sledding and snow men, fires and hot cocoa. Oh, and today ... snow ice cream! Ok, eating the elements is a little funky (all white, thank you very much) but it was novel and fun. I just added skim milk, vanilla extract and blue agave nectar (in lieu of sugar) Yum. It's been lovely. Now come on spring! :)
Watered-down earth mother, singer/songwriter and actress, Lauren Braddock Havey has penned a parenting memoir, A Journey to the Son, being released October 2009 by Two Harbors Press. She is also concurrently releasing a companion CD, a “folk-rock opera” of the same name. For more info, please visit www.ajourneytotheson.com