Friday, January 21, 2011

The Stork to visit again!!

Aby and Mac have something to say. They hope a baby brother is on the way!! We are very excited to announce that we will have a new addition to our family in September of this year. McKinley hasn't quite caught on to what is going on and Aby is dying for a brother to put makeup on =) Chris and I are prayerfully asking for a healthy baby that makes it full term.

I had the pleasure of surprising Chris this time. I knew this is the last time, so I held on to the secret and surprised him with a cookie cake. Luckily I had the help of the Rainey's, otherwise I never would have kept it to myself.

After I surprised Chris, we then surprised our parents. We've never had the opportunity to tell them together. So, we invited them over for dinner. Aby was showing them our Disney pictures and at the end of the book was a picture of the above cake. It was funny watching their expressions and it FINALLY dawned on them what it meant. Then there were a lot of high pitched noises!!!! It was quite comical =) This puts Chris' parents with 7 grand kids, and my mom with 8. I am very curious about this little one. Already curious if he/she will have blonde hair like Mac, or brown like Aby. Will there be more blues eyes like Mac or brown like Aby. Or will he/she be completely different. Will she/he be made for school like Aby? Be adventurous like McKinley? I guess we'll have to wait and see. But I do know that this little one will be smothered with love by the bigger sisters.

Six and Sensational

We found out we were pregnant in July of 2004 with our most precious Abigayle Elisabeth. Her name means the Father's Joy. And boy does she live up to that on MANY levels. My pregnancy was really good with her. I didn't have any problems with morning sickness or anything until about 6 months in. I started having some high blood pressure. It wasn't too bad just needed to be watched closely. Then on the day after Martin Luther King Day (2005) I woke up bleeding. I just knew it was a mistake and would stop, so I went to school ready to teach anyway. Luckily I was surrounded by smart people who urged me to be checked out. =) Good thing I did I had started dilating and my blood pressure was scary high. I was immediately admitted and put on bed rest. They ended up giving me magnesium to stop contractions. (that stuff is so nasty and burns like fire going in through the IV). I hung out in the hospital for the rest of the week. I was clueless as to the real repercussions of Pre-Eclampsia, and was titled the easiest patient. It's a good thing I didn't know side effects or I would've been freaking out. I went through a lot that week. I've never broken a bone or had a major surgery, but that week I endured everything from urine cultures to an EKG. It was quite the experience.

On Friday morning I was so tired and don't remember a whole lot except sleeping the morning away. By lunch time my food didn't come and the nurse was wondering why. About that time the Dr. came in saying it was time to induce. At this point they had tried to send me home (the night before) but my blood pressure was through the roof. So, everything flew into high gear. By 4:00 I was wheeled into the delivery room with a team from the NICU and my Dr and her team. By 4:30 Chris was holding our first precious baby girl.

Here she is being weighed in at a whopping 4lbs. 12 oz.

(listen ladies, just cause they are smaller doesn't mean they are any easier to push out)

Chris getting ready to show her off on as he walks her to the NICU

She was such a good car sleeper. (Still is) I love how this picture shows just how small she was. She needed two head supports in her car seat.

Here she is on Mother's Day being dedicated. In the background is one of her good buddies Brodan Elliott.

Here she is at 4 months on her first visit to South Padre Island.

She LOVED sitting out on the balcony and listening to the waves.

My oh My how quickly these 6 years have gone by. Aby has most definitely turned into a beautiful little lady. She is quick to laugh and her laugh is infectious. She is smart and loves school. Friends are very important to her. She wants to make sure that everyone feels important and cared for. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is very sensitive. This girl is definitely a dancer. She has been taking dance since she was 18 mo. She loves getting dolled up in costume and hitting the stage.

For her 6th birthday we took a family trip to Disney World instead of having a big birthday party. Our gift to her was taking her to the Bibbidi Boppity Boutique. We had a wonderful time and was certainly a great way to remember her 6th birthday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Little Pixie Dust (part2)

The next 5 days we spent spreading our time out at all the Disney parks. We started with the Magic Kingdom. This is by far my favorite park. They are in the middle of renovating a lot of it, and from all the signs we saw there will be some really neat new additions. Two of the additions will be a Beauty and the Beast Castle with a restaurant, and a Little Mermaid ride. We got there as the park opened. And they have a little show for the opening of the park. All the Classic characters along with some princesses come riding in on the train to help Mickey open the park.

The parks still had all their Christmas decor hanging. They didn't turn the lights on, but it was pretty anyway.
My absolute favorite part of the Magic Kingdom is Cindy's Castle. I love the way it looks. So, I made Chris take a million pictures =) The night time pictures are really neat because the castle changes colors. And not just one color at a time. Different parts of the castle will light up a different color.
Our first character meeting was with Anastasia, Lady Tremaine, and Drizzella, or the mean step mother and ugly step sisters of Cinderella. They were hilarious. I actually liked them the best of all the characters they met.
We had breakfast at Cinderella's castle. Last time we went we had supper and only met the Fairy God Mother. This time we got to spend some time with all the princesses. I have to say this is the way to do it. You get a nice breakfast AND don't have to wait in the long lines to meet only three princesses.

Another place the girls really enjoyed was Pixie Hollow. Mac actually enjoyed meeting the Fairies more than the Princesses.

Here is Aby with Fawn the animal fairy.

Mac was overjoyed to see Tinkerbell. This was the only character that she would go up to and hug on her own.
Aby enjoyed meeting Vidia the wind fairy, Mac enjoyed showing off her belly!

Riding Dumbo
Spinning on the teacups
For Aby's birthday present we made her an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique. She had her own personal Fairy Godmother to fix her hair and do her makeup. Aby was very surprised and quite excited when she figured out what was going on.

The first time she saw herself in the mirror.

We ventured into Epcot and had a great time riding a really awesome ride called Soarin. We also stayed for the night time laser show.

McKinley was very excited to meet up with Daisy. This was another character that she had no problem hugging. I thought she would do the same with Minnie, but she was more shy with her. This was very surprising to me. She loves Minnie. We also met Mary Poppins, the Beast, Alice in wonderland, and Aladdin and Jasmine here at Epcot. At Animal Kingdom we met Pluto, Goofy, Pocahontas, Jiminy Cricket, and Rafiki from Lion King.
On Friday (our last day) we went back to Magic Kingdom to finish up some rides we didn't do on Monday. That's when we met Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder. They had a time of coloring and dancing with the characters before getting in line to take pictures.

On this day Aby started running fever. We ended up cutting the day at the park short because we had reservations at Chef Mickey's that evening and wanted her to have rest. So, we went back to the hotel. We had decided no to go to the restaurant, but Aby was adamant. She didn't have Mickey's autograph or Donald Ducks. We had been saving those two for that night. She was really upset. We also had plans to ride the monorail around a few times. We ended up getting her fever down enough to go. She did enjoy herself and then crashed afterward. Despite our few bumps at the beginning and the end of the trip we had a wonderful time. As always at the end of the trip I'm looking forward to the next time we can go. Of course now with Lil' Pea on the way we'll be waiting a little while to go again, but that's ok because there will be lots of new things to explore. And it's always fun to experience Disney through the eyes of a child who has never been before.

A Little Pixie Dust (part 1)

For New Years we put the girls in the car and headed on a road trip to Florida. Ok, well it wasn't quite THAT spontaneous, but I can pretend. We had been planning for months for our Disney trip (because that's what you do with Disney. You don't go there without a plan). And the girls were quite excited when it was finally time. We struck a deal with Aby that we would go for her 6th birthday to celebrate. This meant that she wouldn't have a big party with all her friends, but she decided it was worth it. I for one am so glad she agreed. I must confess that I LOVE Disney. I could go there at least once a year, but I know Chris would die if we did that. =) So, I am kind to him and allow him to live. But I digress.

We left a few days before New Years Eve. This is the worst part for me. I loathe being in the car. But as usual Chris kept me quite entertained. The first night we stopped in Mobile, Alabama. That night was quite the adventure. We got all settled into our hotel room and had the girls ready for bed when all of a sudden Mac starts throwing up. LOVELY!!! So we called for housekeeping for fresh linens. Only to turn around and she do it again. That was a "fun" night. Every movement the kid made I leaped up for the trashcan. The next morning we found a walk in clinic to take her to. She ended up having an ear infection. And lucky for us that was our only run in with needing to sleep with a trashcan near by. We finally made it to Florida and got ready for our first theme park which was Universal Studios. U.S. has two theme parks. So we went to the older one the first day. It was wonderful. There was hardly anyone there and we walked up to most any ride that we wanted to do.

We spent quite a bit of time at a giant playground where the girls had a wonderful time going through tubes and climbing nets.

We got to meet Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat. This was Mac's first run in with a character. She wasn't too sure of George. Next we headed over to the Barney show. This was a round theater that had some really neat special effects. And of course lots and lots of singing and dancing.
One thing that Chris and I adore are roller coasters. I love waiting in line with that nervousness in the pit of my stomach only to get off the coaster with a huge smile and lots of joy. We are determined for our kids to love them as much as we do. So, we pretty much made Aby ride all the coasters she was tall enough for. Here she is getting off her very first one.

She was not too pleased!! =) Here we are riding it.
Here are a few photos from the playground.

In the second theme park at U.S. is the Harry Potter World. Let me just say that I was so stoked about exploring Hogwarts. And apparently everyone else in Orlando was too. We got there when the park first opened and by the time we made it back to Hogwarts the main ride was already 90 min. long. There was no way that I could stand in line with two little munchkins for that long. Let me tell you that was the shortest amount of time all day!!!! I was highly disappointed. There were so many people in that part of the park they had to shut it down and have a wait line to get in the area. CRAZY!!! We didn't get many pictures because it was wall to wall people. You couldn't even turn around without bumping into someone. We did get a few pics of the castle from a different part of the park.

At the end of the day there was a parade. One of the things I've always wanted to do is go to the Macy's Thanksgiving parade in NYC. This was the closest thing to that for us. It wasn't a long parade, but it had some giant balloons and lots of floats with characters on them. The girls had a great time watching it.

29 going on 30

It's hard to believe that my 30th birthday has come and gone. This year I was royally treated by my sweet husband and dear friends Jenny, Brittany and Lisa. For months they cohorted together with my parents and planned a surprise party at Cathedral Oaks. Little did I know that I played right into it by giving my party planning friend, Jenny a tour of CO. And this is how they did it.

I was a bit (ok a lot) sad that we hadn't made any official plans for my birthday. None of my friends were available to do anything because they were "busy" or going out of town. You would think I'd be used to this since my birthday has been so close to Christmas my WHOLE life. Which is why we usually had my birthday party on New Years Eve. Anyway, I finally convinced Chris and Lisa and Mike to go to the Cheesecake Factory and a movie. Hindsight they were obviously appeasing me. But we did have a great time and wonderful cheesecake! Then Chris suggested that we go to Blora to see the Christmas lights. This is a bit shocking because usually I'm dragging him to the lights. And the plan was for us to swap cars with my dad (At Cathedral Oaks) so all 8 of us could right together to the lights. Then Lisa sent me a text saying they had errand's to run so they would meet us at CO. As we got there my dad sent me a text to say he wanted to show Aby some Christmas decorations so could we come inside. There was a party going on, but they wouldn't care if we came through really quickly. I thought that was weird, but blew it off. So, out we go. And as we get closer to the door it just didn't feel right. Something was off and then they opened the doors. So many people, from many parts of my life, were behind the doors. I was very surprised (and a bit embarrassed). =)

Brittany getting things ready

Lisa setting up Tables are set My Mom ordered these Gorgeous flowers!!! My favorite color
Many yummy foods from my favorite place the YE Old English Bakery
Cold Beverages, favorite being Coke
Rachel, Britt, and Mike
My Favorite Amish Friend, Faith Matt, Lee, and Lisa
One of my favorite musician/friends Alison!

Parents, family and family friends table Greatest neighbors Ever!

Gift table

My favorite "Old" Friend, Melinda =)

My Amish Friend's Husband, Greg. He's Definitely NOT Amish =)
A big thanks to Chris Clark for taking all these great pictures!!!
My favorite Party Planner Friend Jenny doing what she does best, being bossy!
Three ladies who helped make the night a HUGE success

Jenny, Brittany, and Lisa
The Big Reveal
Definitely a bit shocked, embarrassed, and speechless
Enjoying the Happy Birthday SongGetting their grub on!

Enjoying all her hard work
The Wallaces' and my Mom
Sister in Law, Leasha, Brian, The Wiseners and Emalee
One of the trouble making tables =)

You NEVER know what is going on with this crew!!!

Matt and Jonathan hanging out

Ya, not sure what is going on here! Probably posing for her close up!

Love these two!

Where would I be without these two!!
He is so wonderful!!! He did an amazing job getting all this together and keeping it a secret!!! I am one lucky girl!!!
So glad they were in Texas to be here!!! How I Love the Browns.
More of Jenny and my Awesome Neighbor, Susanne and great babysitter, Morgan

This night was full of wonderful surprises and I was feeling the love!!!