Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dudes Weekend

Sean and Mason sweetly decided to give their overheated and exhausted wife/mother a little break this weekend while they spent some time quality male bonding time together outside of the home. After work on Friday, Sean came home to pick Mason up and take him to dinner before heading to my parents house to spend the night. My parents were out of town for the weekend so they had the place to themselves (thanks Hotel BeBe and Papa!). They had a large breakfast on the patio Saturday morning and played in my parents backyard/creek area before cleaning up and heading out to Dick's to look at baseball gloves and tents. Then they enjoyed playing at Chic-Fil-A for lunch before going back to my parents for Mason's nap. When he woke up, they headed out to Dr Pepper Ballpark to watch the Frisco Roughriders play. This was Mason's first baseball game and while he didn't stay interested the whole time, they had a blast. The smaller stadium is easy to manage with a two-year-old, and they had a lot of fun games for kids. The tickets are so cheap that Sean bought front row seats which were cool for them, but he said next time he'd get the general admission ones where they can sit on a blanket on the lawn where a lot of other kids were. They got home around 9:00 on Saturday night which gave me a total of 27 hours to myself! I love my boys but I really enjoyed the 'me' time.

I didn't do anything too exciting while they were gone. Relaxing was my #1 goal and I accomplished that. I caught a movie on Friday night, slept in on Saturday, read an entire magazine over coffee, took a long shower, strolled some shops, and took it easy around the house. I ordered take-out on Saturday night and then when I realized the guys would be home soon, I finally decided to make it look like I had done something and cleaned up a little around the house. It was the perfect amount of time for a little break and I was so excited to see them when they got home. Mason came running into my arms when he came through the door and couldn't get the words out of his mouth fast enough to tell me how much fun he had. Sean shared the same feeling and told me it was one of their best ever days together. Mason didn't throw one fit or give him any issues - I guess the little stinker saves those moments for Mommy!

I'm so thankful for such a thoughtful husband that's also such a great dad. Here are some pics Sean texted me over the weekend.

Not one to let any ice cream go to waste!

Loves his new cow watch from Chic-Fil-A!

I'm thinking this shot won't be making any photo albums. :)

Helping Sean load the truck!

Watching warm-up

This boy is a magnet to bounce houses and found one at the game!
Waving to Mommy from the game!

What's In A Name?

We have finally decided on a name for our newest addition! This has been a discussion from the moment we found out I was pregnant, and probably before. The topic became more popular once we found out we were having a boy. We had a lot of strong contenders, but have decided on:

Harrison Scott Robison

There are a lot of reasons we chose this name. First, we just love it. Also, it sounds very strong and distinguished to us. It allows for a nickname if he so chooses, Harry, which we also like. Scott is a name that pops up on both sides of the family, namely my brothers middle name and Sean's uncles name, plus again, we just love the name. It was a hard choice whether to make Scott the first or middle name. If we go back far enough on my family tree, both Harrison presidents are on there (William Henry Harrison, our 9th president, and his grandson Benjamin Harrison, our 23rd president). Mason & Harrison "go" together to us, and I like having names that end in "son" for our two sons. :)


Harrison Scott

Harrison Robison

Let the monogramming begin! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013

It worked so well for us last year when we planned a last minute vacation to Phoenix that we decided to do it the same way again this year! We had been toying around with the idea of heading to a beach, and tossed everything from Cape Cod to the Cayman Islands or San Diego into the hat. In the end, we decided on Gulf Shores, AL and booked our rental about two weeks before we left (there had been a cancellation so we snagged a great place at a great price!). This allowed us to take a road trip instead of flying which made packing much, much easier since we could basically take whatever we wanted. Plus, my grandmas house is on the way so we were able to stay with her on our way there and way home.

The house we rented was a 3 bed/3 bath which is more room than our family of three (and a 1/2) needed, so we asked my parents and my sisters family if they'd like to join us. Unfortunately it was too late of notice for the Gadek's to join, but my parents and Aunt Patsy were able to come for the first half of the week! We actually left three days early to stay a night at my grandmas, and then spend the weekend in New Orleans before checking into the rental on Monday. It felt like our vacation kept going and going with all the little stops on the way and it was so fun!

My parents graciously offered to take Mason with them on the first leg of the trip to my grandmas on Friday morning since Sean was working and we couldn't leave until the afternoon. It was such a huge help to have the day to pack everything up and take Hazel out to my sister's, plus Sean and I enjoyed spending some alone time in the car together. My grandma and Uncle Philip had a delicious Cajun dinner ready for us when we arrived and Mason was in a great mood from partying with all the relatives and neighbors that had stopped by!

On our way to New Orleans the next day we stopped at one of our favorite poboy restaurants in Baton Rouge for lunch, Louisiana Bayou Bistro. Mason surprised us all by eating shrimp, oysters and crawfish - his 1/8th Cajun blood was coming out and I was so proud! Then we continued on to NOLA and after checking into the hotel, headed out to where else, Bourbon Street! Let me tell you, being pregnant and with my son and parents provided for a different experience than I'm used to on that street. I was actually pregnant with Mason the last time we were in NOLA so I haven't really been able to experience the city the way it should be for a while now. After walking around and taking everything in, we decided on century-old Pascal's Manale for dinner. My parents have been several times before and couldn't have recommended a more perfect restaurant! The barbecued shrimp was to die for and I heard the soft shell crab and raw oysters didn't disappoint either. On Sunday we rode the trolley from the edge of the French Quarter down beautiful St. Charles Ave. We got off where we could walk through one of the unique neighborhoods to Magazine Street where a bunch of neat shops and restaurants are. Since it was before noon on Sunday many of them were closed, which wasn't great especially since we got caught in a downpour. We made the most of it though and after grabbing a light lunch, took Mason back to the hotel for his nap. My parents and aunt stayed with him while Sean and I ventured back out. We explored several areas before finding ourselves back on Magazine Street for yummy Cajun appetizers, some store browsing and gelato. That evening we headed out for dinner at the delicious Mandina's, a restaurant with huge portions and a friendly atmosphere! Mason tried turtle soup here and asked for more! Monday morning we showered and packed, then headed to a neat grocery store near our hotel before hitting the road for AL.

Bourbon Street

A virgin hurricane for me and dinner at Pascal's Manale

Martinis and raw oysters at Pascal's Manale on the left, and navy polo/khaki short uniform for dinner at Mandina's on the right

This boy was fascinated with the trolley!

Once we arrived at our rental we did what you're supposed to do on a beach vacation: RELAX! We never planned more than two activities a day so that we could spend as much time as possible on the beach with Mason. Mason showed absolutely NO FEAR of the water and wanted to keep going further and further out in it. He loved going over the waves and under the water, and even wanted to try it all on his own but we drew the line there. It was definitely a work-out for us parents and we were always enticing him with things to bring him out of the water and back to the beach. My parents and Aunt Patsy were there for the first two nights and then it was just the three of us for the rest of the week. I let my mom and aunt take over the kitchen while they were there and enjoyed some delicious meals, including fresh (like alive when we bought them!) shrimp and crab, parmesan chicken wings and Sean's famous ribs. In addition to the great food we had some fun outings like a dolphin watching cruise that was also a pirate adventure for Mason, breakfast with pirates and princesses, dinner at the super fun and kid friendly Lulu's - an on the water restaurant with live music, boatloads of sand and sand toys, ropes course, tiki bar and gift shop, and a stop at Alligator Alley where we fed, held and viewed the 200+ gators! The vacation came and went too quickly, but we had a wonderful time and will definitely go back to this family-friendly destination in the years to come.

Our dolphin watching cruise and pirate adventure. We actually saw quite a few dolphins (three of which were getting frisky, if you know what I mean), and they pulled a treasure chest from the ocean filled with treasure for all the pirates on board! It was such a cute and fun adventure for Mason.

Crabs straight from the ocean, to our kitchen sink, then to the pot of boiling water, and eventually in our bellies!

Mason posing with pirates and princesses at a breakfast & pirate treasure chest search.

Hanging 10 with Daddy, sitting in the huge chair with Mommy, then hitting exhaustion and having a little pirate pout.
You'd never notice how long the wait for a table is at Lulu's with all the fun activities going on!  

Beach time fun

Thoroughly enjoying the water and a sunset ice cream treat on the beach

This boy loves to jump off any ledge he can find!

Sean's alligator masterpiece
Alligator Alley

I regretfully cancelled our beach photographer because I didn't have any cute, beach-y maternity clothes. The guilt consumed me and I made everyone wake up early on our last day for some shots at sunrise. Obviously we got out there too late and the sun was in our eyes and shadows on our faces. Lesson learned - we'll leave it to the professionals next time!

I still love the photos though and the memories with them.

This one precious shot made the whole scenario worth it. I love absolutely every morsel of this beach cutie.

I'm already looking forward to our next summer vacation - next time as a family of four!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Entering the Home Stretch

I'm still working on our vacation blog post but keep pushing it off. We had a blast and the post is coming soon!

In about a week I will feel safe saying we're in the home stretch on the baby front. I'm scheduled to deliver five weeks from tomorrow (September 17), which sometimes feels like forever away and other times kind of puts me in a panic. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for the baby to get here and for our life as a family of four to start, but I'm also enjoying every adventure with my curious, fun, happy 2.5 year old and want to soak up these moments alone with him while I have them. Plus, we're still preparing the house for a baby and need some time to get it all in line!

Despite the Texas heat, I'm feeling as good as can be expected at 34.5 weeks pregnant. I haven't had any swelling, sickness or pregnancy scares. I'm having what I'm thankful to call a "normal pregnancy". I do get completely exhausted in the middle of the day and again in the evenings, but these times fall during when Mason naps so there's a little reprieve.

I've never written about Mason's delivery on the blog. The abbreviated version is that my water broke at home the day after my due date, and 17 hours later I wasn't even dilated at one centimeter (you deliver when you're at a 10, which once you reach a 6, takes about an hour a centimeter). If 24 hours pass between the water breaking and the baby coming, the baby is at risk of infection and at the rate I was progressing, we would have definitely crossed that time period. Plus, every time I had a contraction his heart rate decreased, which could mean a number of problems (the only one I remember is that the umbilical cord could be wrapped around his neck). Although I originally wanted to do all I could to prevent having a c-section, it was clear that the best way to get Mason here safely was using that method, so we agreed to the doctors plan without hesitation. It took me a while to mentally get over it, but I have finally come to peace with it and am happy I live in a day of modern medicine where both Mason and I were guaranteed our health and safety.

This is why we've scheduled baby #2's delivery for a c-section on September 17, three days before my September 20 due date. We had to put a date on the calendar to ensure we could get my doctor, but choosing my baby's birthday is a huge source of anxiety for me so I may let that day come and go so I can go into labor on my own. It's a very difficult decision for me because I know the scheduled time is the safest time for ME to do it, and I would be 39.5 weeks pregnant (a compromise from my doctor - he wanted to do it at 39 weeks and I squeezed an extra four days out of him), which is completely full term and many women go into labor before then anyway (as I might, too). A little voice in my head tells me that the doctor knows best and to follow his orders, but the other side of me tells me the baby knows best and will come when he's ready. I'm stressing myself out just typing this!

Ok, enough about my worry. Here's an updated pregnancy survey and belly pics!

How far along: 34.5 weeks
Total Weight Gain: 20 pounds
Sleep: Could be worse, but not ideal. I wake up several times a night, struggle getting comfortable, and lately have a sweet, stinky-breathed red head coming to say good morning at 6:30 AM.
Best Moment This Week: Buying the carseat and double stroller! Oh, and my friend Dorrie had a baby. Holding that little girl gave me huge excitement. She is so sweet, small, and adorable!
Movement: All the time. He hiccups a lot, too. He kicks, rolls, and readjusts all day long, sometimes all at the same time. Today while listening to the heartbeat at the doctor, we heard a whoosh! sound which was a clear kick. Pretty cute.
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: None
Belly Button: About half-in, half-out. Kind of funny looking to be honest. ;)
What I Miss: Sleeping in any position I want
What I am Looking Forward to: Painting the nursery this weekend. Sean will do it while Mason and I amuse ourselves out of the house. For those interested the main nursery colors are light gray and robin's egg blue, and the "theme" if you will is skyline.
Milestones: Babies born between 34 and 37 weeks with no other health problems generally do fine in the long run. Very reassuring!

Taken on our last day in Gulf Shores, AL

One of the bigger 2-week belly differences I've had