Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

We had a weekend full of activities! Claire's 2010 Halloween celebration started on Friday with a parade at school. I thought I was going to arrive on time (or a little early), but the parking lot was full. I parked down the street, and this slow moving pregnant lady made it just as her class was finishing their turn around the playground. So, I didn't get any actual pictures of the parade, but at least I was there!

After the parade, her class had a little party. They showed the parents some of their activities and games - this was Claire's turn "In the Middle." She was excited, but as usual, a little shy with everyone watching her.

Claire in the Middle!

Next they went trick-or-treating to the other classes. Claire caught on quickly and was the first one to the door each time. It was good practice for the actual Halloween night!

Trick or Treating at school

On Saturday, we went to a festival held at our church's community center. There were several games that Claire enjoyed - she got really excited about the fishing booth and the ring toss! Our friends Jill, Ryan, Kate and Paige were able to join us for awhile, and Kate going in the little kids' bounce house gave Claire enough courage to try it herself. She didn't make it very far past the entrance, but giggled the entire time she was in there (about 3 minutes).

Sunday we had lunch with the McCormicks, and fortunately Claire graced us with a nap so we were able to have a fun Halloween evening. We planned to only go to a few houses around us and see the neighbors we know, but Claire got really into it and wanted to hit every house on the street. A lot of people weren't home, but when Claire would see someone answering the door at a house, she would immediately point it out - "Home! They home!"

First house


So much fun!

That house!

After Claire did her trick-or-treating, we sat outside until bedtime to pass out candy. She really enjoyed seeing the bigger kids in their costumes, although I had to remind her several times that the candy in the bowl was for the kids coming to our house and not meant for her to put into her own bag. :)

Passing out candy

We were so glad that she had such a fun time at Halloween this year!

Sorting her loot

Monday, October 25, 2010

The New "Mom Mobile"

My 4Runner & I have been together for 11 years now, which seems crazy. I bought it a couple of months after graduating from A&M, so it has seen me through most of my 20's and the first half of my 30's - my first job, numerous moves, lots of trips across Texas, first house, marriage, first child, etc. So many memories! Occasionally the topic of getting a new car would come up, but it was still running well and it didn't seem to make sense to replace it.

When we found out I was pregnant with L2, we started talking more seriously about getting a new vehicle. With our frequent guests, we really wanted something that could easily accomodate 2 car seats and 2 additional adults, meaning we definitely needed something with a 3rd row. We also wanted something family friendly that would have lots of cargo space. The obvious answer was a minivan, but I was resistant to the idea at first - although Robert was on board from the beginning!

While I didn't rule out the minivan option, I still held on to the idea of a big SUV - something like an Expedition or a Sequoia. After doing some comparisons at the auto show at the State Fair, though, it was clear that the minivan was the way to go, both for practicality and cost. We quickly narrowed it down to the Honda and the Toyota, and hoped the 4Runner would hold on a little longer until the 2011 Odyssey came out since there was going to be a big redesign. We went and test drove one last week, and all 3 of us liked it so much that we weren't even sure we needed to look at the Toyota. Ultimately we decided we needed to at least look for comparison purposes and were able to go for a test drive on Friday. As we left, we called a Honda salesman that Robert had been working with, headed over to the dealership, and purchased our minivan. :)


I knew I would like it for the convenience, but I've been surprised by how much I actually love driving it. Robert is a big fan, too, and he used the van for all of his errands this weekend. Claire has decided it is hers (she always points and says "Mine!" when she sees it) and gets excited every time we leave the house. We're looking forward to making lots of new memories in it with our family of almost 4!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

36 Weeks

I'm at the 36 week point!

36 Weeks 1

36 Weeks 2

Clearly, the belly is still growing out, and I look a little like I'm carrying a basketball under my shirt. :)

I'm now at weekly OB appointments, and they've stayed pretty uneventful. Lately I've been feeling pretty good. I was feeling a little miserable due to pretty itchy skin, but my OB confirmed that it's not anything serious, and I have found some soap and creams that have helped. The maternity belt still helps with the back pain when I have to be on my feet awhile. I really haven't had much swelling, although I do have some on work days. It's funny that I swell more when I'm sitting at a desk for most of the day versus being up and busy most of the day. I stay mesmerized with all of the movement this baby makes and love feeling little feet and knees as they move beneath my skin.

We are making our way down the "To Do" list, and I feel like the nursery is starting to come together. We don't really have a theme, but we are decorating it blue, red and brown and using a couple of prints of vintage toys that we got at the Main Street Arts Festival the year we got engaged. Mom and Dad are coming this weekend to help paint an armoire that I've had since junior high, and Robert is going to work on a couple of frames for the prints. Hopefully I'll have some photos of the nursery to share after next weekend.

We're still not sure how much Claire understands, although she does talk about "Baby Brother" every day - and tries to feed him through my belly button (what little there is of it now!). She includes him when she lists members of our family, and in who she wants to pray for every night. I think it's still going to be a shock to her when he's no longer in my belly and comes home with us, but I'm glad that she likes to talk about him!

I have two more weeks for work before I start my maternity leave, and I'm staying busy trying to tie up some loose ends. I'm taking the week off of the C-section, and I'm hoping that will give me a chance to make some appointments (dentist, haircut, etc.), rest, relax, and finish up some little projects around the house before L2 arrives. Three more weeks!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day at the Zoo

Claire's school was closed for Columbus Day, so we were able to spend the day together and decided to go to the zoo. Penelope was able to join us, and not only did she make it more fun, but she was a big help in wrangling the toddler. :)

We had so much fun checking out the animals. Claire got really excited about the toads and snakes - I think a lot of it had to do with being able to stand on a little ledge and really peer at them.


She also got really excited about all of the ducks, and told us all about them.




Penelope & Claire getting a good look at the lion.


Penelope posted more pictures on her blog here. I'm glad we were able to squeeze in a zoo trip before little brother arrives - just 3 more weeks until he is here!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Just like Mommy

Baby L2 has decided that he wants to hang out low and directly in the front of my belly. As my doctor said at my appointment on Thursday, I am growing straight out and not widening at all. This means that my back is killing me, because as you can imagine, it's like walking around with a medicine ball strapped to your abdomen. She thought that a pregnancy support belt might give me some relief, so I found one that seemed small enough to wear under my clothes and had good reviews, and had it sent overnight. I put it on as soon as it arrived on Friday and have been wearing it anytime I'll be walking or on my feet for awhile, and while it hasn't eliminated the strain on my back, it has definitely helped.

To understand the rest of the story, you have to see an oh so lovely picture of the belt (lifted from the product page):

So, this morning Claire found a shoe box from a new pair of shoes and had taken all of the packing materials out and left them on her floor. Tonight before her bath, we went in her room and I asked her to pick everything up. I went in her bathroom, and when I came out, she was holding a strip of packing material up around her waist. It took me a minute, but I realized she had created her own maternity support belt.


Her imagination never ceases to amaze me, and I'm so thankful for the daily laughs she gives us! Thank you, Sweet Girl, for helping me see the humor in my big belly!

A Shower for Baby Boy

Last Saturday, the ladies in our church life group (Lisa, Lori, Jennifer, Holly & Lupe) hosted a baby shower to celebrate our sweet baby boy. As I mentioned in my last post, several family members were able to make it as well as some old friends who are now in San Antonio. Baby L2 got lots of goodies, but more importantly, it was so wonderful to celebrate this new addition with our family and friends.

Penelope graciously brought her camera and took lots of pictures for me! Here are a few from the big event:

Mom & Sheila


Lisa, me and the new Boppy pillow (can you believe I never had one with Claire?)


The pregnant ladies raiding the snack table (my friend Kelly, who was one of my sorority sisters at A&M, is also expecting her second child)


Aunt Nancy


Admiring the quilt that Penelope made (she wrote a post about the quilt here with more photos). Love!

Robert's mom, Nancy, Kelly, Robert's sister Carol (who is expecting our new niece in January) and Jill, one of my "A&M Girls"

Who says boys' clothes aren't cute?


Guessing how big my belly is



Mom and Sheila were right on!

With the hostesses

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Family Filled Weekend

This past weekend, some of our friends hosted a shower for me and Baby L2 (a separate post is on the way!), and several members of our family were able to come. Our house was a revolving door, and we loved seeing everyone!

On Thursday night, Mom, Dad and Aunt Nancy arrived. Mom came in with 3 gifts - one for me and Robert, one for Baby L2 and one for Claire. Claire was so excited and quickly was able to tell everyone the recipient of each present. We didn't make her wait too long to open hers, and she was thrilled to find a new pair of shoes and a wooden "choo choo" - two of her favorite things!




That night David and Penelope picked up Aunt Nancy so that she could stay with them for a couple of days. On Friday, my sister Sheila arrived, and we had dinner at Clear Springs Restaurant - one of our local favorites.

Robert's mom and Aunt Carol came to town Saturday morning, and Grandmommy had another present for Claire - a wooden cookie set. It was a huge hit, and Claire loved "baking cookies" and organizing them all on the cookie sheet. I think it's about time for a play kitchen!




That afternoon, all of the ladies (except Claire!) headed to the shower, and Robert, Dad & Claire took naps and watched some football. Grandmommy, Aunt Carol and Aunt Sheila all had to return home after the shower, but Penelope, Aunt Nancy and David were able to come back over to the house for awhile.

I made dinner - a sausage, spinach and feta pasta from Southern Living. It's our new favorite recipe and we've already had it a few times this month. I always like it when I can find a recipe we all enjoy!

Sunday morning was church, lunch at Rosario's, naps for me and Claire while Robert and Dad worked outside, and some time relaxing that evening in front of the Amazing Race. Mom, Dad & Aunt Nancy left on Monday morning. We were sad to see them go but feeling blessed that we got to see so many members of our family this weekend!

Monday, October 04, 2010

State Fair 2010

Even though life has been pretty hectic lately, we arranged our schedules so that we could attend the State Fair over opening weekend. It's such a family tradition that we couldn't stand to miss a year!

We drove up to Fort Worth on Friday morning and took Robert's grandparents with us to the Stockyards to catch the Trinity River run of the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Claire loves trains, and we thought this would be right up her alley. She was a little tired, but had a great time on the "choo choo"!





She colored a picture for Great-Grandmommy and got really excited about posing with her artwork. They surprised her with a new "ba ba" (blanket), and it has been a permanent fixture on her bed ever since.



We stayed with them that night, and since this was Claire's first time to sleep away from home since transitioning to her big bed, we tried a mattress on the floor instead of the pack & play. It went great, and we are glad to have that hurdle behind us.

Saturday morning we had breakfast before saying goodbye and heading to Dallas. It was pouring, so we did a little shopping at Pottery Barn Kids and a new fabric store, CityCraft, before we went to the Fair. We were excited to see our friends, the Fairbanks, and spent some time wandering around with them and eating one of our Fair staples, Fletcher's Corn Dogs. We also found the lion cutout for Claire's annual picture. She was a little apprehensive, so Daddy and Mommy gave her a quick demonstration to build her confidence.




For comparison, here are Claire's pictures from year 1 and year 2:

Lion comparison

We spent some time at the Auto Show. We're starting our search for a new family car, so we checked out several vehicles. Claire really liked the hot pink Charger - not sure it would fit two car seats easily, though.


Claire took a ride on the kiddie train, and we were all ready to head out after getting a photo with Big Tex.



We drove up to Frisco to visit my friends Sarah and Randall and their 3 kids. Our friend Alissa and her husband joined us for dinner, and we had a great time catching up after the kids went to bed. It was so nice to be able to be able to spend time with them - we miss you guys!

The weekend flew by, and we left early Sunday morning to get back to San Antonio (although we did manage to make a quick stop in Round Rock at Ikea and Mighty Fine for burgers). Although it was a whirlwind, we were glad we made the trip - our last one as a family of three!