Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sean's Birthday, 4th of July, & Mom and Dad R Visit

We had a lot going on over the past week and a half! Sean's birthday was on July 2, so the Saturday before we held a cook-out at our house for our friends and their kids. It was fun breaking in our new patio and all the kids seemed to enjoy themselves with the water activities we had set out.

I forgot to get action shots of the kiddos, but here are some of the mommas (and Hawkins!)

Dads on duty
Splashing in his "pool"!

Aftermath of the water and other outdoor activities

Summer picnic with Hutcheson, Jeff and Ashleigh!
Thomas and John Andrews!

Perfect way to break in the new grill!

On Sean's actual birthday, Mason and I put together a big breakfast for him before he headed off for work. Then Mason and I hung out before I took him to my parents house. He napped there and had a jam-packed afternoon of car washing, playing in the creek, sno-cones, and other summer fun before spending the night there. Having the afternoon off gave me time to get some errands and house cleaning done before Sean's parents arrived the next day. That evening, Sean and I had a date night at Patrizio's. The weather was beautiful and we were actually able to sit on the patio. The rest of the diners had the same idea - hardly anyone dined inside that night! It was a wonderful evening out alone with my hubby.

I guess this is the best picture we can expect the valet guy to take!

Sean's parents came in on the 3rd and we had a wonderful visit with them through Monday. Mason changes so much from month-to-month and they were shocked at his vocabulary and improved fine and motor skills! We spent a lot of time relaxing at home, enjoyed a busy 4th of July, some shopping and dining, swimming, and another cook-out to celebrate Sean's birthday with our families (I'm just realizing he had three birthday celebrations - not too shabby!). Our dinners at home are always one of my favorite parts of visiting with Sean's parents. They start with appetizers and drinks on the patio, followed by a delicious meal, and then interesting post-dinner conversation and drinks. Apparently Mason picked up on how fun these meals are as we'd spot him watching us when he was supposed to be asleep!

On the 4th of July we started the morning by attending our neighborhood parade. We've been in this house for nine years and this was embarrassingly the first time we've attended! It won't be the last though. Almost everyone participates in the parade, and there are very little people in their yards watching it go by. Mason got to ride the train for the parade, and it ended in a cul-de-sac with sno-cones, more train rides, a balloon artist, tons of food, hula hoop contests, sack races and door prizes! It reminded me of a small town 4th and we'll definitely participate from now on. After Mason's nap that afternoon we headed out to my parents house for a fun cook-out with festive drinks, food and dessert. Then we all packed up to go watch fireworks in Richardson. I'm not sure if Mason has ever been up that late but the amazement in his eyes made it all worth it!

Hazel looking patriotic
Riding the train in the parade!

Happy 4th!

Eating a sno-cone and rollin' in a firetruck with Zion sippin' a Capri Sun

The beautiful spread at my parents cook-out. I mean, look at that flag cake! A work of art by Aunt Patsy!

Patriotic fun!

Absolute amazement at the fireworks

As I mentioned, we had a family birthday get-together for Sean the Saturday after his birthday. We are so blessed to have such a fun and loving family that gets along so well. My brother Doug is in Austria guest conducting for work, so he was unable to attend, but otherwise it was a great time.

Sitting around the bar after a round of Sean's vodka, raspberry-lemonade, and muddled strawberry concoction!

Water fun with Madison, Hazel's ridge, and a fruit tart for Sean's birthday dessert. Again, hats off to Aunt Patsy for this one!

Mason was asking all day yesterday where Grandma and Grandad went and I know he's anxiously awaiting the next time he sees them. He's been taking rockstar naps the past two days to catch up on all the fun he's been having (which explains all the recent blog posts)!

Hope everyone had a Happy 4th! Happy Birthday, Sean!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Baby Update - 29.5 weeks

Just because I haven't blogged much about this pregnancy doesn't mean it isn't just as exciting to us as it was when I was pregnant with Mason! Finding time to sit at the computer for an extended stretch has been difficult to come by lately, but it's about time I share some of our love for this baby!

Overall I am feeling great. If I've had a particularly active day, I'll get RLS in the evenings which can get pretty uncomfortable, but laying down usually helps. In certain positions I'll get a shooting pain in my tailbone area that prevents me from moving for a few seconds. This is not fun at all but is really my only complaint!

I continue to have my thyroid and blood antibody monitored monthly and they are posing no risk to the pregnancy. My glucose screen was last week and my levels looked great, which means I do not have gestational diabetes (it's a standard test done in all pregnancies). I am now going for OB check-ups every two weeks.

My final sonogram was performed last Friday, when I was 29 weeks. Sean's parents were in town and were able to attend, as well as my parents, my Aunt Patsy, and of course, Sean. People rotated in and out of the lobby to watch Mason. The baby has progressed perfectly and on Friday was estimated to weigh 2 lbs, 12 oz. According to my Baby Center updates, he's about the size of a butternut squash! The perinatologist surprised us at the end of our visit and turned the 3D image on and caught a beautiful picture of our little boys face. He looks just like Mason to me!

His nursery is slowly but surely coming along. Thankfully we can use all of Mason's furniture, but are switching out the bedding, paint, accessories, and other things to make it special for our new love. I will post pictures when it's complete. At the rate we're moving though, that might be the day before I deliver!

Here's a little pregnancy survey I found online that I thought I'd fill out:

How far along: 29.5 weeks
Total Weight Gain: About 12 pounds
Sleep: It takes me a few minutes to get in position for the night, but once I do I'm great! I get up about once a night to use the restroom.
Best Moment This Week: Several times the baby has made huge movements while Mason was in my lap. Mason's eyes will get big, he'll gasp and then ask "what's that, Mommy?" 
Movement: All the time! Others can see and feel him moving as well. I absolutely love the sensation and thinking about what he's doing in there.
Gender: Still a boy. Confirmed that fact last Friday!
Labor Signs: None, thank goodness! This baby can cook as long as he wants to!
Belly Button: Still in.
What I Miss: Stereotypically, alcohol. A nice summer-y drink would be so great on the patio. I've snuck several sips of wine and beer though. :)
What I am Looking Forward to: Finalizing a name! We have several that we like and we won't keep it a secret once we decide.
Milestones: I'm officially in the third trimester! His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain.

Here is a picture of me at 28.5 weeks before Sean and I went to dinner for Sean's birthday. And then there's a picture of a picture of our last sonogram. Such a cutie if I do say so myself!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend in Mississippi

A couple of weekends ago, my mom, Mason, my niece Madison, and I took a road trip to Yazoo City, MS to visit my Aunt Patsy and to go blackberry picking. We picked Mason up from summer camp on a Friday afternoon and drove the straight six hours with only one or two stops. Both kids did great in the car, and Madison was a life-saver when it came to keeping Mason entertained.

Aunt Patsy is the best cook and baker I've ever been around and she thoroughly spoiled us in the kitchen this weekend! Everything was made from scratch, including the cheese, ice cream, and bread. When she makes goat cheese, she uses milk from a goat down the road. It doesn't get more fresh than that! She taught Madison and I how to make mozzarella, and let Mason and Madison help her with the ice cream. Every meal was delicious, including her famous desserts.

We timed our visit with opening blackberry weekend for nearby Locust Grove Berry Farm. We were some of the first visitors to pick berries from them this year and it was a thrill! And don't you know we had homemade blackberry cobbler that night. Yum!

We had a couple of other outings, but mostly hung out around her beautiful home and enjoyed each others company. She lives near a train track and Mason LOVED running outside to see it drive by every time he heard it. One notable activity was our tour of the Yazoo City cemetery, which is to this day still segregated into sections of black, white, Catholic and Jewish and holds a mass grave of unknown Confederate soliders. The "Witch of Yazoo City" is also buried here. Click here to read the spooky tale!

After a delicious and relaxing weekend, we headed home mid-morning on Monday. Our trip was timed perfectly to stop in Monroe, LA for lunch and visit the Duck Dynasty headquarters! Sean and I love that show and it was exciting to see where they work and where a lot of the show is filmed.

Thanks for a wonderful weekend, Aunt Patsy!

Sleeping on the road trip with his headphones and dump truck!

Berry picking!

This was half our loot!

Aunt Patsy, Madison and my mom

Successful morning!

Aunt Patsy's beautiful home

Her flowers are incredible!

I may have overpacked his trucks just a little...

Madison taking us on a spin in the Polaris!

Mason and I shared the king bed in the guest room. He looks so small in there alone!

The grave of The Witch of Yazoo City

Walking to see the train with Mimi (Aunt Patsy)

So glad we made time to stop at the Duck Commander Headquarters!