Magical Night of Lights

On Monday night Dan and I decided that we would venture out to Lake Lanier to see the Magical Night of Lights display they have.   We were a little skeptical on how Parker would hold up since it’s about a 45 minute drive there and takes about 20 minutes to get through the park, and another 45 minutes home.  Our GPS took us through a neighborhood that ended up being a huge short cut, and wallah, we were there before we knew it.  But not without a little help from these guys:

I have to say, that I really enjoyed watching these in the back seat with Parker probably as much, if not more than he did.  I love Charlie Brown and it brings back so many great childhood memories of hanging out a Nannie and PawPaw’s house.  I’m really excited to start some new Christmas traditions with Parker now that he’s starting to understand a little more.  Each year will be more and more exciting.  The Elmo DVD was really good too. It had all kinds of big name actors that made some great appearances. My favorite was Jamie Fox and his rap-style Nutcracker piece.  Classic.

Surprisingly, Parker really enjoyed the lights.  The weather wasn’t so bad, so we had Parker bundled up and rolled down the window so he could see the lights from a less obstructed view.  He loved to point and say “Lighssss, Lighssss”.  After going through the maze of roads that consisted of the “12 days of Christmas” display, various Christmas characters, and snowflake lane, we headed to “Santa’s Workshop”.  This place is awesome.  Every year they have two huge fires in front of the house where toasting marshmallows takes place.  Oh yeah… We absolutely took part in that.

A new thing they had this year that Parker absolutely LOVED was a little petting zoo.  Parker has seen animals before, but this is the first time he was able to run around and chase them in a petting zoo setting.  Never mind that it was almost 8pm and getting close to bedtime.  He was just fascinated by the furry animals.  The most notable thing, was when Parker tried to eat the rabbit.  He always mouths his stuffed animals in the face at home, so when he saw the bunny, he was trying to do the same thing!  Simply adorable.

That trip certainly put is in the Christmas Spirit.  The only downside was that they charged $60. to enter the park, which was a complete rip off! They jacked the price up the week of Christmas, and we didn’t realize it until it was too late (and we had driven so far to see it).  We know now next year to not only come on a week night, but to come early in the month of December to avoid the hefty price tag. We still had a wonderful time.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Calming my paranoia

The past week has been rough. It started with Dan and I attempting to paint the nursery. We had considered hiring painters, but after getting our first quote of $350, we decided that it was best for us to do it ourselves. We decided on using eggshell finish (okay, I decided, Dan really wanted to use flat) because of its wipe ability on the surface. We used a flat finish in Parker’s room, and there are quite a few spots that aren’t easy to wipe up. The decision to use eggshell was the start of the nightmare.  We rolled a coat on and then later realized that I had applied gentle pressure, where as Dan had applied firm pressure and it seemed a bit uneven.  We brushed close to the ceiling and in the corners to ensure that we had covered everything.  We thought another coat would do the trick, but sadly, each roll mark and brush stroke was extremely apparent from the other.  Especially the brush strokes.  We never knew the rule to basically NEVER use a brush when using any paint with a gloss.  It looked like someone had gone around the room with a dirty paint brush and painted the cut-in work close to the ceiling and the wall corners with a MUCH paler version of our paint color.  This was still the case even after applying two very generous coats and an entire day of painting this nursery.  It sucked… all of the anticipation of a beautiful,  well painted nursery went out the window.  Dan and I didn’t handle it well and we didn’t want to bring it up since it became such a sore subject of…“okay, really… WTF happened here!!…” So, to spare our marriage, we decided to just take a break and give it a day or so to figure it out.   If it wasn’t for this magnificent little bundle growing inside of me…I assure you I would’ve thrown back a drink or two…and quite possibly a xanex.

Fast forward to the next day.  My follow-up ultrasound with the perinatologist.  I was SO incredibly anxious about this day.  I had thought about all of the possible things that could be wrong and became a Cyberchondriac the moment I had access to a computer after hearing the news.  I had replayed all the questions I would ask in my mind and all the possible scenarios, and I had gotten SO worked up about it.  Waiting for the appointment was the worst.  I arrived extra early and finally got in after an hour of waiting.  They had asked that I come 30 mins early to fill out “new patient” info, but that consisted of about three sheets on a clipboard, which I raced through.  There was a sonographer that started the ultrasound and we started to talk about the previous ultrasound and its findings.  I realized that I wouldn’t be getting the  3D ultrasound as previously hoped because it wouldn’t give them the visuals they needed to see inside the brain.  As soon as she got to the head measurements, I started to ask questions, where she promptly replied “I’m not allowed to respond about the findings, your doctor will go over everything”  After15 mins of silence and poking and prodding on my belly and taking measurements she finally concluded and said that the doctor would be in with “the findings”.  Tears began to weld up in my eyes…I just couldn’t take the anticipation any longer.  I just KNEW her stone cold facade was hiding some kind of horrible news that I just couldn’t bare to hear.

So, in comes the doc… very professional.  “Let’s have a look” he says and proceeds to wand my belly again as the first lady did.  After much viewing and LOTS of measuring, he says something like this ” Well, I can see that one side is a little larger… but the good news is, it looks like it’s still within the normal range.  It’s just a little asymetrical, which is completely normal.”  of course I followed up with a few questions of my own, but ultimately… it was SO nice to hear! And just like that… my paranoia started to subside.  Thank you God!! was all I kept repeating to myself.  My boy is just a little lopsided… Welcome to the family!  Aren’t we all just a little lopsided? Yes, my friend…we are.

From then on things started on the up and up.  Instead of obsessing over possible spinal bifida and down syndrome in my unborn son, I turned my obsessive energies back into getting the nursery painting debacle fixed.  I had read some conflicting things online, so I decided to call home depot for some advice.  Dan ultimately decided that it was the brush strokes that were making the difference in the wall, and decided to go back over it with a roller to see if that would fix it.  Wallah!  Just like that…the nursery is in an acceptable painted fashion.  Perfect?  No.  Acceptable, yes!  Dan really worked hard on it and I feel bad that I pushed the eggshell finish so much since that was really what was to blame for the apparent unevenness.  Bottom line…my husband is awesome, and always comes through.  Even when I’m a whiny complaining wife.  Now we have the room painted, almost all of the furniture delivered, and the fan installed.  This has been my much needed prozac for the week!

Ultrasound leaving me ultra-paranoid

Today I’m 27 weeks, 2 days pregnant. I can’t believe I’m already in my third trimester! I went in for a doctor visit and a follow-up ultrasound due to the location of my placenta in relation to my cervix, which I talked a little about here.  I was very happy to learn that the placenta has moved and is about 2.75″ away from the cervix, and will continue to move away the larger I get.  They confirmed that it is indeed a boy, and I was also happy to see on the ultrasound that Mason already has a head full of hair waving in the amniotic fluid.

Now, for the “scary” part.  After double checking all of the organs, the measurements for the head seemed larger.  At a closer look it looks as if  the left ventricle of the brain has about a mm of extra fluid.  Normal range is 5-10, and this was an 11.  The ultrasound technician and doctor reassured me that it’s probably nothing, and they’ve seen as much as 3mm of extra fluid, and the child has been born completely normal without any issues, but as a precaution, they want me to go to a perinatologist for a more in depth 3D ultrasound to take a closer look at it.  Of course me…being the worrywart that I am, started to panic.  Even with the “oh, it’s probably nothing, and will work itself out” message from the doc, I can’t help but wonder, and inquire about all of the “worst case scenarios”.  Exactly NOT what I wanted to hear.  I know God is in control of this and I’m praying that this will work itself out. I was really hoping that this would just confirm that everything was A-okay, but it just HAD to be something else!

Also, in addition to this news, it looks like my genes for having big babies hasn’t let me down.  Mason is no different, and he is in fact measuring big.  I asked if there was anything I could do since I have been diligent in my workout routines and watching my weight gain.  She said that Mason isn’t showing a lot of fat deposits, but just measuring overall bigger in his bone structure (body, head, legs, etc.) and that it’s not that he’s a “fat” baby, he’s just a big baby due to bone structure.  Geez, I guess it could be worse, I could be a small petite girl, but God blessed me with wide hips and jolly green giant figure, so hopefully that’ll be enough to push out this toddler.

Maybe Mason just needs a little bit of attention.  You know, with him being the second child, he’s got to “make his mark” so to speak right?  He just wants to get some cool 3D pics of himself just so he can then be the one to wave them in Parker’s face and say Nah Nah, I got 3D pictures and you didn’t!  I could also see Mason bragging to his pals…”Well, you think YOU were a large baby… guess how much I weighed!”

Oh, how I love you SO, my baby Mason.  I can’t wait to meet you! Just stop scaring the heck out of me will ya? Thx, Mom



It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas…

The past few months I’ve been really fired up about Christmas this year. Mostly because I know Parker will start to enjoy it more and more, and we could enjoy some memorable family time. Because of that, I thought we’d get a real tree this year that was hand picked from a farm in North Georgia and it would be the best tree in town. Well, that was until practicality hit me. Do I really want to say “NO!” every five seconds to my VERY curious, exploratory, lightning fast toddler? Do I really want there to be a negative association and the added frustration with this “special” tree that he can’t touch? Not so much. So, we decided that it probably wasn’t the best idea, and that my dreams of picking our fresh smelling holiday tree from a north Georgia farm would need to wait a year or so. Instead, we opted to do a small, but still real, tree in our little alcove above the fireplace. It’s the perfect little spot for this cutie little holiday shrine. We didn’t decorate as much this year, but we still managed to spread some holiday cheer around the home to put us in the holiday spirit.

Thanksgiving, Renunion and such

This Thanksgiving was wonderful.  We got a chance to spend time with a lot of family, which is hard to do when you don’t live near everyone. It was great to see family come together and exchange stories and memories.  I love being able to catch up with my cousin Patrick.  We used to be pals back in the day when we were just kids.  I’d say we were the more artsy/eccentric ones in our family, and I think we bonded because of that.  He had fun spending time with Parker too, which was sweet to see.  We also got to see quite a bit of my family up in NC.  We enjoyed seeing my brother, his wife Lisa and their two boys.  It made me look forward to have two boys that would be “kids”.  They seem to be so much fun!

Last weekend was also special because I got to go to my ten year high school reunion.  It’s crazy to think that it’s actually been ten years.  I remember as a part of our final in English class as a senior, we had to write where we thought we’d be in ten years.  That was interesting to do at the time, and it seemed like such a lifetime away.  I’m happy to say that I’ve been blessed way beyond what I had anticipated when I was in High School.  I was just in such a different place in my life then.  Now I have a beautiful family, home, and living a great life. God is good!  It was also interesting to see where everyone else is in their journey.  Some people seemed like the same ol’ folks just older, and some had traded in their midland accent for a thick southern draw.  Or, maybe they always had an accent, but I never noticed until I left and came back.  Its always great to see Jess and her fiance Chad.  I’m thankful for our friendship through the years post-graduation.  It was also really nice catching up with new faces that I haven’t seen in SO long.  We had a small class with only 80 or 90 something people graduating.  At the time, we thought our school was pretty lame because it was so small and didn’t have much to offer in the way of extra curricular activities and sports, but now it has expanded to a two story school with an elevator and is the most desirable school in the area.  There was about 20-30 people who turned out for the reunion, which I thought was a great turn out.  We had a nice dinner with a small group of us beforehand at Caffe Phoenix, which turned out to be a great restaurant in downtown Wilmington.  We had a great date night, and Parker apparently had a wonderful time visiting with Grandma and Grandpa at their house while we were out.

Parker was a champ on the trip up and back.  Sure, we had some of those moments, but all in all, it was a success.  Much of the credit has to do with our entertainment system in the Lexus and “Sid the Science Kid” DVDs.  We just turned his carseat around, because come to find out it is only rated for rear facing up to 20lbs, which Parker exceeded a month or so ago.  I don’t know what it is about “Sid”, but it is his absolute favorite for sure.  He just loves the catchy songs (even though it drives us crazy the umpteenth time on replay) and the show has bright colors and friendly voices.  I even think it has Elmo beat.  We decided to split the 8hr trip up into two days and stay in a hotel with some of Dan’s Hilton points.  That made it a little bit easier for Parker, plus gave us time to take it easy.

Overall it was a nice Holiday and trip.  This was our last road trip before baby Mason comes!  It’s crazy to think that we’ll have two boys…a family of four, for our next trip.  I’m a little excited, yet terrified on how those road trips will be!