Monday, September 26, 2011

24-week visit (a week late)

I had to schedule my 24-week prenatal visit a week late since we were at the beach last week. It got off on the wrong foot as soon as I got there because they made me fill out all new registration paperwork. While it was a bit annoying, I understand they changed computer systems and wanted updated information. Ok, fine. What was not fine was having to wait on the SLOW staff to add all the information into the computer and copy my driver's license and insurance card before I could go upstairs to use the bathroom. And making me wait an extra 15 minutes with a full bladder and a 2-year old in tow while all of these other patients came and went was not cool. Aubrey was none too happy about having to sit and wait in a boring waiting room. So, she got frustrated and whiny, which I'm sure nobody was happy about having to hear. Finally they gave me my paperwork and Aubrey and I ran upstairs.

I then had to wait another 5 minutes for the nursing assistant to get me for my weight check (yuck, by the way) and blood pressure, which gave Aubrey just enough time to get hooked to the waiting room toys and scream when I pulled her away. After the vitals were taken, they took us to another waiting room to wait on my room, which is very unusual. After another 5 minutes, we finally were escorted to our room. They were training a new nursing assistant so she was really slow and had to be prompted by her trainer on what questions to ask me. Then, she took forever to end Mason's heartbeat, which was a little nervewracking considering how big he is now. She then threw my flu shot paperwork at me with no instructions and left the room. So I filled out what I thought was needed and placed it on the counter. We waited another 5 minutes before she came back and proceeded to belittle me for not filling out the paperwork correctly. I can't read minds so I had no clue what she needed me to do so for her to put me down was crazy. She came back in with my flu shot, poked my arm, and left us to wait on the doctor. This round of waiting was at least 10 minutes. Now with Aubrey, waits this long or more were typical because the doctors were short staffed. This time around, I am usually in and out of the office in 30-ish minutes because they've added 4 new doctors. By the time I finally saw Dr. Little today, I had already been in the office over an hour. She was super nice and apologized for the wait, even though it wasn't her fault. She said I am measuring right on track and everything looks great. She explained that my next visit would include by gestational diabetes test (ugh) and my Rhogam shot. She ordered a round of blood work today on my way out just to look at antibodies so that was another needle stick. I gave my blood sample, got my next appointment scheduled and finally left the office an hour and 20 minutes after getting there.

So, definitely not a quick easy visit, but we both got good reports so that is what matters. Probably only 8-9 more visits and I'll be finished with prenatal care and that is awesome. Less than 15 weeks to go!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The next step to being a big girl

We've had Aubrey's big girl bed for a while, but decided to wait until October before moving her. We wanted to give her a few months of transition time before Mason needed the crib, so that seemed to be a good time. She seemed pretty happy in her toddler bed so we were a little nervous about going on vacation because we knew she'd be sleeping in a real bed. She's too big for the pack and play and I didn't want her completely on the floor. I thought it would be a twin bed and we might could pull the mattress on the floor.  I was a little shocked when we walked into her room at the resort and saw a queen bed. I just knew it was going to be a long week sleep wise for us. This bed was so high off the ground and huge that she looked like a little peanut when she got in it. We put several pillows around the edges of it and made sure she was tucked in tight and to our surprise she did really well. She was thrilled with the idea of sleeping in a big girl bed, so we figured we might as well take advantage of her excitement and switch her bed when we got home from vacation. We made a big production of the switch by letting her help us set up her bed and then make it up with her new sheets and comforter. She immediately starting crawling in and out of it so we knew was ok with it. We did get the stool out that I used with her crib to help her crawl in out because she was using the comforter to help her climb and that didn't seem very safe. She went to bed like a champ and did great, despite waking up at 6:30 AM. Nap time didn't go so well because we are pretty sure she was either jumping or bouncing on it instead of sleeping so might have to work on sleep training for nap time if that continues to be a problem. We will finish changing out the furniture in the next few months but are in no big rush to make that happen.

Today, we put re-assembled the crib in Mason's room and let Aubrey check it out to see her reaction of it being in his room. She was excited to see it and said she was going to share with Mason so let's hope that attitude will stick once he takes up residence in it.

First shot of the assembled and made up bed

Can you tell she was excited to be there?

Vacation 2011

Finally it has been our turn. We always wait to go on vacation until this time of year for multiple reasons. #1. our anniversary is this time of year and its nice to not have to work on that day. #2. its off-season in most places so its cheaper. #3. The weather is usually cooler. So, after last year's beach trip where we left following the purchase of a weeks worth of time share points, we decided to go back to Myrtle Beach. We considered a few other places, but it seemed to be the best balance of relaxing and family oriented so it won. The saddest part was leaving the dogs for a week because we normally rent a house wherever we go and take them with us. But, since we were staying at a resort the dogs had to stay here, so my mom stayed here with them. We were worried about the weather being too cool because it had gotten pretty chilly right before we left, but it ended up being perfect temperature-wise. Our biggest challenge of the week was the rain. It rained just about every day we were there, which was kind of sad. But, it was usually a quick shower followed by clouds so it worked out ok. 

Todd and I were thrilled to finally get to stay somewhere ocean front and being that close to the ocean just made us bums. We had planned to do a few things around Myrtle that we didn't do last year, but the beach and pool won out on most days. The pool water was a tad chilly with the cooler temps and rain, but the ocean and beach were perfect. We also enjoyed the resort's hot tubs, even if I could only stick my feet in. 

We finally ventured out of the resort on Thursday and walked to the Apache Pier, which is supposedly the longest pier on the East coast. I'll admit, walking that far out in the ocean was a little scary with a toddler ho likes to lean over the rails, but it was an amazing view to see. Its a fishing pier, so you aren't allowed to swim close to it and after a few minutes we saw why. Todd saw several sharks swimming around and before I knew it, there was one swimming close to the top to feed. It was scary and amazing at the same time to watch this deadly creature swim within throwing distance of me.

That afternoon, we decided to take Aubrey to play miniature golf. It was so funny to watch her try to put and hit the ball, but she thoroughly enjoyed it until hole 18 when she knocked her ball in and it went down the chute. Saying she was mad was an understatement. So, we made a quick trip to one of those souvenir shops and a Myrtle Beach teddy bear and shovel made it all better. 

Thursday was our 4th wedding anniversary and Todd's co-worker recommended a restaurant in Little River, SC called Crab Catchers. A complete little whole in the wall tucked back on the water front. But completely yummy food. I enjoy going to small little restaurants like that, especially on vacation because I can eat of most of the chains here at home. I was sad we couldn't go to one of the seafood buffets and gorge ourselves on all you can eat crab legs, but since that's a no-no for me, 5 crabs legs and some crab cakes had to suffice. 

So, all in all it was a good week. It was nice to sit around and relax without the pressure to go, go, go. However, by Saturday we were ready to come home and see the dogs and sleep in our own bed. Being away makes you appreciate the things that take for granted and I was so glad to get back to them.

The shark after it caught a nice little ocean snack.

Aubrey worked so hard at playing miniature golf.

A very nice lady saw me snapping pictures and offered to take a family picture so there is proof of me in front of the camera!

Aubrey being silly on during our last walk on the beach.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 12-18

This week was a pretty quiet week. I spent most of it battling the cold that Aubrey so graciously shared with me so I was pretty miserable. So combing cold symptoms along with minimal sleep made me fun to be around, I'm sure. Aubrey finally started getting better thankfully because us being sick at the same time could have been a disaster.

Somehow the fall weather found us on Friday, and surprisingly I was pretty chilly. I actually had to put a sweater on, which is weird considering I was in shorts and a tank top at the beginning of the week. Plus, the added insulator in my belly usually keeps me pretty warm so being cold was strange for me. But, it was nice to be able to drive to work with the windows and sunroof open, so I won't complain at all.

Saturday, we hung out with my mom while Todd smoked ribs as a thank you to her for watching Aubrey the past few months and for house sitting while we go to the beach. We all put on our sweaters and long pants while Todd hovered over the grill, but the outcome was completely worth it as usual. I'm sad to know that our grilling days are coming to an end as the colder weather comes in. I love sitting outside while Todd mans the grill and Aubrey plays in the grass. Just simple and relaxing in a way hanging out in the house never is. But, I am excited to know that the next grilling season will include a new little one to watch enjoying the warm weather and I can't wait to see that.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Big changes are coming

We have come to the end of an era in our house. Yesterday was my last day as a full-time working outside the house momma. I turned in my notice at work with the full intention of being done with work. Todd and I were perfectly ok with the decision, having planned on it happening since earlier this year. The plan was I was going to stay home and take care of Aubrey full time since Todd is in school and working full time. The long hours in a chair in front of a computer were getting tougher and tougher the further I got in my pregnancy, so the idea of being away from a desk was relieving. We were also so tired of the daycare drama and decided if we wanted it done right, we would have to do it ourselves. So, I turned in my notice on a Friday morning and within an hour, my boss was offering me a chance to work part time. Todd and I did a lot of talking and decided if my mom could continue to watch Aubrey on her days off, we could make it work. There is no way I can work with Aubrey under my feet, plus the work computer is upstairs while her playroom is downstairs. Mom agreed to to keep the part-time nanny gig, so I agreed to work either 10 hours from home or 8 hours in the office. I've had a computer at home for 2 months now, but its only been uses for extra work. So, my boss agreed to the 10 hours from home, so I am stepping down to a "flex" position and working from home. Todd and I had anticipated me having no income and that's what we built our budget around. So having that extra income will only be a bonus. Plus, I still get to feel like I am contributing, which is a good feeling. Mom and Aubrey win because they will get to keep hanging out one day a week, so it really is a win win for all. So, I am taking the next week off (which I am thrilled about) and then I will start working again the last week of September.

I was sad about leaving my coworkers and friends in the office, which was the only hesitation I had in leaving. Some of those ladies have become really great friends and I will miss seeing them everyday. Hopefully Aubrey and I can find some great playgroup friends to keep us company, because I do need some adult conversation during the day. My coworkers surprised me yesterday on my last day in the office and threw a baby shower for us. They all chipped in and bought a video monitor, some crib sheets, and a changing pad cover for Mason's room and I love it all. Another coworker bought us a Boppy covert and the breathable crib bumper. And then a second coworker bought Mason his first NC State hat, which of course Todd loves. I created the registry this time around just so we could get the discount coupons at the end to buy the stuff we needed. I really didn't expect anyone to buy things from it this time around. But, my good friend Fran hunted the registry down and bought us some very helpful things and I am so grateful for it. Mason's room is coming together and every little bit helps us out.

So, we will see how this transition goes. I've got to do some work in the office/loft to arrange my work stuff. But, I am excited to have this opportunity given to me. I will not miss that 45-minute each way commute nor the long hours away from Aubrey. I will get to do more with her that I couldn't do while I worked everyday and that is exciting. She is at such a fun age and I have a list of things I'd like us to do before Mason gets here and we have to hunker down for a bit. So, I am fully embracing both of my new roles as a part time work at home mom and mostly full time stay at home mom. Hopefully this will be a great set-up for us all.

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 5-11

Monday was Labor Day so while Todd was off visiting friends, Aubrey and I had a lazy day at the house. It rained most of the afternoon, which spoiled my picnic plans, but it gave us a good excuse to be bums around the house.

Instead of an outside picnic, we had an inside picnic in the kitchen for snack time.

Saturday was Todd's dad's birthday and we threw a surprise party for him at Jeffrey's in Mooresville. It was so much fun to see his surprised face when he walked it and it was nice to hang out with the family that came to town for the event.

My mom and Aubrey, who had no interest in looking at me and my camera while she had crayons in her hand.

The birthday boy and Todd's mom

My sister-in-law Traci and Aubrey

Just for giggles, I thought I'd throw this in. I was washing Aubrey's Anywhere chair cover, so she decided to carry the inserts around everywhere she went. Todd came upstairs to do something and when we looked at the bottom of the stairs, this is what we saw. Silly girl.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


For a better part of this year, I've remembered that this year would be 10 years since that awful September morning, but it seemed so far away that I pushed it out of my thoughts. And that worked pretty well until the past few days. With the constant barrage of media coverage of the 10th anniversary came those overwhelming feelings I felt 10 years ago.

10 years ago, I was working at the group home, which was an overnight sleep-in position. My role was to get the kids up for school and on the bus and then my days were free until they got home from school. I was also in grad school at the time, so I had a class on Tuesday mornings which worked out pretty well with my schedule. On that morning, I got the kids off to school and decided to go back to sleep for a little while because my class wasn't until 9:00. I slept a little longer than I planned and had to haul it to get to school. I can't stand listening to talk radio in the morning (still can barely tolerate it today) so I flipped channels trying to find some music. After not being able to find any music, I just left it on the radio and partially tuned it out. I was in front of the campus at UNCC when I vaguely remember hearing the morning show hosts on 95.1 talking about some plane hitting a building. My first instinct was this was local and maybe some had hit the nuclear plant my dad works at or one of the buildings in downtown Charlotte so I panicked. After listening a little more, I realized they were talking about the World Trade Center tower and while I was still sad to hear it happened, I was able to relax a thinking it was just an accident and I didn't know anyone in New York at that time. After I parked and ran my hardest across campus, I get to my classroom to find only 3 other students and no professor. Class had been canceled and I was a little confused as to why, especially after I had broken a sweat running across campus. I started talking to my classmates and they said both towers had been hit by this point and I was shocked. I started to realize this was no accident and I got scared. I left my classroom and headed towards the library to see if what I could find online. When I got to the library, there were 3 or 4 tvs rolled out in the foyer and they were all on various news channels. By this point, the plane had hit the Pentagon and the news channels were throwing out the words terrorist attacks. This could not be happening, I thought. Then, right in front of my eyes, the first tower fell and everyone in the library seemed to loose it. I couldn't wrap my head around how many people had just lost their lives, but I knew it was bad. I decided to leave the library some time after that and just as I was about to leave, the 2nd tower fell. I had never seen those towers in person but instantly the New York skyline looked wrong and I felt hopeless and confused. I was 22-years old and this was the most awful thing I had ever seen in my life. Never before had I worried about my country or my safety in this way.

I went back to the group home and watched more news coverage until the kids got home from school. Another staff member and I talked the kids about what happened and they had so many questions we couldn't answer. I had to go back to school that night for my evening class and my then-boyfriend called while I was in class to tell me that America had started attacking somewhere in Afghanistan. Since I was in school for counseling,  our professor let us just process what had happened that day instead of worrying about our class. Watching the recovery efforts over the following weeks kept the scenes fresh in my mind and made trying to cope even harder. But, as the years went by the feelings softened and I was able to regain some sense of security and acceptance.

I've tried not to watch much of the news coverage over the past 10 years, especially of the towers falling because I remember it too well from the first time. But, today I watched the clips of the 2nd tower being struck and then the towers falling again and I cried. I cried reading the newspaper's commemorative section on 9/11. I cried at 8:46 remembering that first plane. I cried while reading People magazine about children who never met their parent that died that day. I think I cried more today than I did on that day because I understand and know so much more today. It still amazes me that in a few years, I will have to explain these things to my kids when they come home from school asking questions. It makes me wonder if my parents struggled to tell me about President Kennedy being assassinated or the Vietnam War. These were just historical events to me, not part of my life like 9/11. But 9/11 will just be history to my children and I hope to be able to explain it to them in a way that does it justice.

Monday, September 5, 2011

August 29-September 4

The main part of the week dragged by as expected before a long weekend. The exciting part of the week was knowing Wednesday was Aubrey's last day of day care. It was such a relief when Todd picked her up because I knew we wouldn't have to deal with them ever again. The director didn't even bother to tell her main teacher that she was leaving, which I found really odd. Her teacher seemed a little sad that Aubrey was leaving, which made me feel just a bit sad because I knew Aubrey loves her. But, the sadness was gone by the end of the day when they failed to follow directions to gather her stuff before Todd got there. So, I got over my twinge of sadness and felt 100% stoked that we are done with daycare.

Since it was Labor Day weekend, Todd took off for his usual trip to his friend Rob's family's farm for hunting Friday afternoon. So, Aubrey and I were left to fend for ourselves. I actually got to control the remote and watch what I wanted on tv which does not happen very often. Saturday afternoon, Aubrey and I met my friend Fran and her son to go to a local end-of-summer festival. It surely didn't feel like the end of of summer because its was still 90-ish degrees outside. But, Aubrey and Landon had a blast in the heat. They rode the train, flying cars, a merry-go-round, and even ponies. I wasn't sure what Aubrey would think of riding the pony, but she loved it and refused to let me hold her while she was on there. Between the pitiful 45-minute nap, the heat, the fun rides and the long trip back home, Aubrey was wiped out by the time we got home. I put her to bed as soon as we got home and she was asleep before I even shut her door. I spent the rest of the evening teaching myself to use Photoshop CS5 so I could finally finish editing my first newborn "session" from last weekend. I was pretty frustrated by the end, so I gave up decided to try again later.

Sunday was a super busy day. Aubrey and I got up early to eat breakfast and then took off on a grocery run. Todd and I don't take her grocery shopping anymore because she is such a pain to shop with. She hates sitting in the cart and wants to "help" us do everything which makes it a slow process. But, we needed food and Todd was gone so I had no choice but to take her with me. She ended up surprising me by behaving extremely well. She sat in the cart with minimal fuss and let me get my shopping finished quickly. We came home to eat lunch and take a power nap before we went back out. I went to Babies-R-Us to trade in her old stroller and buy her a new booster seat for the table. They refused to let me use my trade-in coupon on the booster which made me mad, but I'm used to getting mad when I'm in there so I really wasn't surprised. We then went over to Concord Mills to do some shopping damage with my collection of Labor Day coupons. It was a nightmare in the mall because its was so crowded. And of course Aubrey decided she doesn't want to behave in the stroller so shopping was quite a chore. I did manage to get some great loot at the Carter's outlet for Mason and the Motherhood store for me. We ended the trip with dinner and another merry-go-round ride to close out the day. After we got home, I decided Photoshop would not kick my butt again so I forced myself to figure out what I needed to do to finish those pictures. I managed to get most of the pictures finished and uploaded, but a few proved to be a bit challenging so I saved them for another day.

All in all it was a good weekend, even if being a single mom was a bit tough. It was nice to spend time doing fun things and hanging out with Aubrey one-on-one. However, we are both ready for Todd to get home and get back to being the family of 3.

Riding the train

The flying cars

She insisted on riding the merry-go-round at Concord Mills after dinner

While I was cleaning her old high chair outside she decided she wanted me to spray her with the hose and squealed with delight every time I'd turn it her way.