Valentines Day, Doggie Date & Spring Fever

Last Friday, we attended a Valentines playdate with some friends from Hip Mamas Happy Babies playgroup.  Parker had so much fun, rocking his Lovasaurus shirt, and enjoying some freshly decorated Valentines cookies as well as jumping in the ball pit and playing with friends.  We had so much fun there.  There were all sorts of toppings to make your own special Valentines cookies- sprinkles, icing, even heart shaped marshmallows.  Yum!  She also had a “create your own valentine” area with cardstock, stickers and stamps to make a perfect little heart creation for that special somebody. Ashley always has great ideas for playdates, and unlike me, seems to have little anxiety about having so many toddlers in her house at one time.  It was so much fun!  Dan had to travel on Valentines Day, which was a bummer. We’re not real big on celebrating this holiday because its so close to our anniversary (March 19th) which we find way more important and sentimental. For Valentine’s Day, Dan got me these adorable pillow covers from Etsy that I’ve been craving, and I got him a shooting range tote bag that he’s had an eye out for. It’s all about practical “would like to have” gifts these days!

Last night, Parker and I went to see my former Verizon side-kick and currently, my favorite single gal pal Danielle.  She recently got a new pup, so I wanted to come and show some love and bring him a girl friend.  So, our dog Lizzie came to play as well. She brought Dawson a little Valentine, which he loved and devoured within moments.  It was nice to have dinner together, have some girl talk, and just catch up.  She’s dating a new guy friend, and it makes me so gitty to hear all the details.  Ohh….the in love days! =)

I’m really diggin’ this new weather we’ve been having. I absolutely love taking Parker to the park, wagon rides, dog walks, cool breezes and playing ball.  Nannie came over on Tuesday and we enjoyed a great day such a great time soaking in the sunshine!

Spring fever has officially set in.  We have been looking at beach condos for the spring.  Our thought process was that we would go when Mason was young, that way he’d be more portable and still in the “I’ll sleep everywhere, all the time” stage.  We also wanted to go somewhere that we could drive to.  So, we originally considered the Georgia coast.  I remembered vacationing there when I was a kid, and really enjoying it.  I’ve also seen a few travel channel specials, and it looked so serene and peaceful.  Well, peaceful it is, but not exactly a kid mecca.  After doing some research, we realized that if we only wanted to spend time on the beach- and do nothing else, then this would be a great place.  A nice peaceful place, but perhaps maybe a place that Dan and I go back to without kids one day.  There really wasn’t much going on there.  It was almost too quiet  for a family that had a toddler to entertain, and could quite possibly hate being at the beach every single day, even if I was bathing in the sunshine and loving it.  So… after talking to some friends, we decided to check out the Destin area.  I was suprised at what we found.  I was expecting it to be a Myrtle Beach style experience with budget resorts and seedy areas.  No, no no my friend.  This place is a little paradise!  How come I’ve never been here?  Hawaii? Check, Europe?? Check… Beautiful white sand beaches with amazing emerald coastline…soon to be CHECK!!  We wanted something affordable, so we decided to book early. We’ll be leaving mid- May, which helped to drop the price by 1k!  We found an amazing resort in Mid-Destin that has some incredible amenities,  including several lagoon pools, indoor spa, fitness and sauna room.  Of course it’s also right on the beach and is within walking distance to several restaurants, cutesie shops, and even a water park.  There is a Gulfarium,  a Zoo and Botanical Gardens, as well as beautiful parks that would be great for picnics.  Much more that we were ever going to find in Amelia Island, or St. Simons, where we originally considered vacationing.  We found this beautiful condo at a reasonable price on the 8th floor in a beautiful resort, and we are SO incredibly stoked to go.  Dan will be taking Parker to swim lessons starting in a week to get ready for all the fun water sports!  I feel so blessed, and I’m excited to have some fun times booked with the family…my new little family of four.

A bad stretch of days

It all started on Friday night.  I had two days in a row of an intense work out on the ol’ cross trainer at the gym, and I think I over did it.  By night’s end my pelvic area was so sore that it hurt to walk up the stairs, get in and out of the car, and pretty much do anything.  I hated it!  I already had some pain, which I attributed to Pelvic Girdle Pain that started about a week ago, but was amplified by the work out.  Unfortunately, that put me into lazy mode most of Saturday.

Saturday night after a girl’s night out, I came home and was flipping through the netflix que with Dan, and saw the documentary The Business of Being Born, and decided to check it out.  This is a documentary that outlines the positive outcomes to home births and why it is so much better do give birth naturally, than with drugs.  They go into the negative effects that induction has on a baby (particularly pitocin) and why the hospital system has failed us.  Dan only lasted about ten minutes watching the film.  In his words…”this crunchy stuff is stupid”.  I was merely curious as to what they had to say…and who knows, I may have a few take-aways from it.  Let me just say that I have a great deal of respect for Moms that decide to deliver naturally.  I think it’s beautiful, courageous, and a selfless act for your newborn.  However, with that being said, I don’t think that those who choose not, to love their newborn any less.  This movie made some claims that the release of oxitocin during a natural delivery, creates a bond that is unmatched by Moms that deliver with an epidural.  I can’t speak for the Moms that gave birth naturally, but the euphoria after delivery with Parker was pretty intense.  I was so full of love and joy, and we had a bond that was such a precious moment.  I did have an epidural, and I fully intend on having one again with my next delivery.  I don’t  think that makes me a bad Mom or any less loving because of this choice.  I choose this because I am an anxious person and if I have the choice to have something that will ease the pain of delivery and help me have a positive experience, then I am all for it.  I am however, a little apprehensive about the usage of pitocin in deliveries. It is proven that it does cause more intense contractions, which can put the baby in fetal distress, or if is not given when the cervix is ready, can increase the risk of a c-section.  The pitocin causes the contractions to be stronger and closer together, which can be harder for the baby to handle.  This movie has brought that to my attention.  I understand if you are a week or more past your due date and you need pitocin, but there are a lot of hospitals that are giving pitocin to speed up deliveries without even needing it in order to have higher patient turn overs, or to have the deliveries happen at a time that is convenient for them.  I think this is something that pregnant Moms should question.  Before you are given pitocin, ask your doctor what your bishop score is.  This will give you a better idea if you’re a good canidate for pitocin, or if your doctor is trying to speed up your delivery without there being a need to.

So, after watching this movie, I had THE WORST dream about my delivery.  I think it started to scare me a bit knowing that my delivery is coming up pretty soon and also knowing that I birth larger babies.  My dream had me in the delivery room and the baby was already in my arms.  I was completely knocked out during my delivery and had no recollection of the labor at all.  To some, that may be a blessing, but I was not happy with my complete altered state of conciseness at the time.  Thank God it was just a dream.

So, on Sunday I woke up after not only having a horrible dream, but with an excruciating head ache which was attributed to the lack of sleep from a head cold that left me without usage of my nostrils.  I was so exhausted, that I laid around most of the day, missed church…basically being a waste of life.  Then it hit me around 4pm…NAUSEA!  I was a spewing spout… to put it eloquently.  It continued through the night, and turned me into a lump of worthlessness all day Monday.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt that bad during pregnancy.  It’s bad enough that you’re puking every  few minutes, but then to have a baby inside you kicking your belly while you toss your cookies is another!  Fortunately, my Mom came to the rescue and came to help out with Parker while I rested and recovered.  This is the second time during this pregnancy that I got a stomach bug.  What are the chances?  Is someone trying to test me? I was starting to feel better by night’s end last night and settled into a good restful night sleep.

That was until 6:30 am, when Parker started screaming from his room.  This boy…never wakes up at night.  I mean, he could sleep through a hurricane.  This wasn’t a normal baby cry.  This was a SICK baby cry.  I had given my poor little boy the stomach bug.  We’ll spare you the details, but it was so sad when we went to get him.  After we cleaned him up and redressed him, we tried to give him some love and bring him into our bed, but he was in no snuggling sleepy mood.  He was ready to start his day… a cranky pants kind of day.

After dinner he started to snap out of his cranky mood.  Dan even got him to grin from ear to ear and open his arms real big and wide when we say “So Big!”.  I complained all day about how he wouldn’t let me hold him.  However,  tonight when it came time to put him down for bed after reading him a book, I picked him up and went to kiss him, and he wouldn’t let go of my neck.  I would peel him off, and he’d cling again tight just loving on his Mama.  Oh how I love that boy!  That just made my day.

What we’ve been up to

The best thing about being a stay at home Mom is not staying at home.  Lately, Parker and I have been busy venturing out with friends, playgroups, and “Play and Learn” classes.  Parker had a blast hanging out with Ms Elise at the Mall last week.  Aren’t they SO cute?

 

We tried Gymboree’s Gym Play and Learn for the first time this week, and it was awesome.  They had a lady who was super silly and captured all the toddlers attention with goofy songs and a playful clown called “Gymbo”.  Parker’s favorite thing was the Parachute circle time.  Lots of silly songs, blowing bubbles, shaking the parachute, going under…and did I mention singing silly songs? Okay, normally I would think this kind of stuff is super lame…boy do things change when you become a parent! I became one of those Moms singing along with a smile from ear to ear.  I know right? I should just go ahead and buy myself some “mom” jeans and turn in my “hip mama” card.

Groupon has become a friend of mine.  Not only did I find an awesome groupon for the Gymboree Play and Learn class I spoke of above, but I found this place called Green Hut Spa, which uses organic and vegan products for manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, etc.  Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!  I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this place before now.  I’ve searched on google for something like this in our area, and I even blogged about opening up my own eco-friendly spa but I’m glad I found this one.  Their manicure and pedicure was delightful, although it took much longer than I had anticipated, but it was still worth it.  I’d love to try out their facials and massage services.  I bet it would be awesome.

It was really nice having some “me” time last weekend and getting a manicure/pedicure.  I’m reaching the “uncomfortable” stage with me being 35 weeks pregnant.  It’s so much harder now than with Parker since I have a little 16 month old that I’m trying to keep up with, chase around, bend and pick up, dance with…and just have fun with.  I think that’s the hardest thing about being pregnant. There are just so many things that you can’t do…and it’s multiplied when you have a toddler to take care of in addition to your other family duties.  I’m on the home stretch though!  I can’t believe that we’ll be holding our sweet little baby boy in a five weeks or less!

We have a lot done in the nursery.  We’re still waiting on the hutch, which will complete the furniture order.  We have some really cute wall decals, a retro colorful rug, and some cute accessories.  Parker and I have enjoyed playing in there, reading books and looking at the small clothes and infant toys.  We’re spreading some warm welcoming vibes in preparation for baby Mason.  Its really starting to look great.  Completion pictures to come!

We just got word today that Parker was accepted to the Mother’s Morning Out program at St. Aidan’s Episcopal church here in Alpharetta.  He will start August this year!  I’m really excited that he’ll get the social stimulation he needs as well as begin to learn some basic skills that will enhance his overall development.  Their program is great, and I love that they have no problem with continuing to use cloth diapers for Parker.  It will be for just two days a week and four hours each day, so it’ll be just the right amount to allow me to spend time with him during the week, but give him another outlet and allow me to focus a little more on Mason, who will be a little over five months at the time.

We’ve been having some great family time lately.  The weather this weekend was absolutely perfect.  I’m so glad we were able to get out and enjoy it.  We took Parker for a wagon ride in Wills Park.  He loves his wagon, and he had so much fun at the park, climbing up the playground and sliding down the slide.  We also had fun taking him around the neighborhood in his wagon, and letting him explore nature.  He loved all of the little gumballs that he found so we picked out a few of those and some nice pine cones and brought them home with us.  I love that everything is so brand new to Parker.  He has such an appreciation for grass, dirt, flowers, pinecones, rocks…It gives me a new found appreciation to see how much he loves to explore this world we live in.  I’m glad that we enjoyed the warm sun and cool breeze this weekend because the weather has been cold and drizzly for the past two days.  At least it’s not a snowy blizzard like a good bit of the north.  Another great reason to live in the south!

Here’s a little video of us on the way to the park…enjoying the car ride and the cool breeze:

 

Sunday was another family fun night.  We met up with our church small group at Monkey Joes for some indoor inflatable fun with friends.  Parker was keeping up with the big kids in this place and had a blast sliding, jumping, and just being his goofy self.  In addition to the inflatables they had a few coin operated trucks, which he loved.  Here’s a picture of Parker with pal Jake taking a ride in the fire truck.

Oh, and did I mention how much he loved the slides?