Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our little "Getaway" before baby is born

We found a "Groupon Deal" for a resort on Table Rock Lake in Branson, MO a few months back and purchased it with a plan to go in September (last weekend).  The resort is called Still Waters Resort-it has some great amenities, such as several pools, a nice water slide, it's right on the lake with free fishing, free paddle boat and kayak rentals, and boats and jet skis available to rent.  It is in such a beautiful location in the mountains.  We were hoping for weather that was warm enough to be able to enjoy all of the outdoor water activities, but cooler than the 115 degree weather we have been having in the Austin-area.  I know that is a lot to ask for though in the mountains in September.

We had some excellent company on our trip as well--my parents and my brother, Jason, sister-in-law, Emily and their kids Brody and Kaylee.   So, we stopped through OK and joined them for the short trip up to Branson.  We had all seen the weather forecast, which called for cooler temperatures and rain all weekend, but we were still excited to have some fun.  On Friday, the weather was actually perfect for a day at Silver Dollar City.  Drew, Luke and I welcomed the cooler temperatures (it was in the 60's), and said several times that day that the air actually felt refreshing and made us extremely excited for fall.  We enjoyed some excellent scenery at the park, some delicious food, and Luke even enjoyed some fun rides.   Our trip coincided with the beginning of Silver Dollar City's "Harvest Festival", so there were a lot of great props for photo opportunities.

Grandma and Grandpa with the kids at the park entrance.


Luke was really excited about getting to ride a "real train".  He wanted to bring his favorite puppy along for the trip.

Mommy and Luke enjoying the ride.

Luke liked riding the frogs.

So did Kaylee, Brody and Emily.

Luke especially enjoyed riding these bugs.   He pressed the button, which made the bug fly high, the entire time.

I guess we were arrested for having too much fun.  (cheesy caption)

At the petting zoo area--Luke thought Brody's faces were pretty funny!

I thought this area was pretty.  But, as you can see we weren't quite ready for the picture to be taken--oh well.  :-)
Kaylee found a cute pumpkin. 
Luke found one too--it looks like he is ready to launch it--oh boys!

On Saturday, it rained  So, we made the most of it! We did some shopping in a nearby outlet mall that had a covered walkway.  Then, we decided to take advantage of the amenities at our resort and do some fishing.  The fishing was actually for the kids (anyone over 16 needed to have a license).   But, I will admit, I was extremely excited about this part of the trip.   I love all outdoor activities, especially fishing.  Even when it is 50 degrees and raining.  :-)

A group pic.  Grandma was inside watching Luke--we were pretty sure he would try to jump into the water if he joined us.

Brody displaying our bait,

Brody and Jason trying to catch some fish.

Emily and Kaylee...we fished under a covered boat dock, so the weather didn't affect this activity too badly.

I think it might have gotten too boring after a while for the kids since we didn't catch anything.  I was excited to stand in though!

We didn't catch any fish, so we gave our best fish faces for the camera.

Fish couple

Drew's fish impression.

I guess Jason got hungry.  We had to do something with the bait--the fish apparently didn't want it.  

On Saturday night, we went to a cool shopping area (Branson Landing) for some shopping and good food.  Kaylee poses in front of the fountain.
On Sunday, the weather was BEAUTIFUL!   So, we checked out of our rooms and then went down to the dock and used the free paddle boats and kayaks to explore the lake.  It was a lot of fun.  But, Luke decided to jump into the water off of the shore.  It was actually somewhat of an accident, but very scary regardless.  Luke has absolutely no fear of water and we figured this might happen at some point during the trip.  :-)  I changed his wet clothes and then we headed back to Oklahoma.
On Sunday night, we had some fun family fellowship with our immediate and extended Oklahoma family.   We had so much fun seeing everyone.   It is going to be a while before we get to see them again since we won't get to travel this year for Thanksgiving or Christmas.   :-(    My sister, Holly, bought a cute Cars cake for Luke to celebrate his 2nd birthday while we were there also.   That was a great idea--thanks!

Luke was so cute while everyone sang to him.   He even blew out the candles all by himself!

As we expected, Luke loved the cake!

We were having so much visiting with family, that we didn't take enough pictures.  But, I had to include this one of Linnea, Luke's cousin.  So cute!

Monday, September 12, 2011

23 Week Pregnancy Update

I am approaching the end of my 23rd week in pregnancy already.   We can't believe how quickly the weeks just seem to fly by.  We are already starting to decide on room arrangements for the kids.    We decided that we will move Luke into a different room, that we are calling his "Big Boy Room", shortly after his 2nd birthday next month.   I can't believe our baby will be two in just 3 weeks! We were going to move him straight into a twin bed (one that Drew actually slept on during his teenage year).  But, because we are afraid of fearless Luke jumping off of that bed and breaking a bone, we decided it might be smarter to convert his crib into a toddler bed as a transition for just a little while.  In the meantime, I have been searching craigslist for little girl crib bedding sets.   We also needed a dresser for our little girl.   This weekend we scored!    I went to many garage sales early Saturday morning and found a beautiful pink toile crib set.  I was shocked when the owner said she just wanted $25 for the entire set; the set included curtains, quilt, sheets, pillow cases, bumper, mobile, dust ruffle and even a diaper hamper.   So, after purchasing this, I decided on a shabby chic style bedroom for our little girl.  It will be so much fun finding and making some cute decor for her bedroom.  I will definitely post some pictures when her room is all put together later this year.

We also found a beautiful white crib and dresser on craigslist this weekend for the same price that we would be able to purchase a small cheap chest from Ikea.   The crib we purchased also converts to a toddler bed and full size bed eventually, so this makes it an even better deal!  It feels so good to be prepared with all of big items since after Luke's birthday quickly comes Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and then baby girl!  It will be here sooner than we think!

Our little baby girl has been gracefully making her presence known inside.   I am really hopeful that this means she will be very laid back outside of the womb as well.  We can now not only feel but also see her graceful movements by watching my belly at night.  With all of the presence of morning sickness that just recently started to subside, I had forgotten about how precious these moments are in pregnancy.

I am probably really going to regret this, but I am going to include a few belly bump pictures just to photo document this pregnancy stage.  I have been sick with a sinus cold for the past four days, only getting a couple of hours per sleep per night--that is why I look so tired and frumpy.  I figure that God is preparing me for when our little girl arrives and sleep will be minimal.   :-)  You have to be able to function on very little sleep with a newborn, and this time I will be caring for two little ones on little sleep.  I guess a little preparation here and there is a good thing, right?

Labor Day Weekend Adventures

Labor Day Weekend ended up being a beautiful weekend in Texas!   In the Austin area, we have had over 80 days with temperatures over 100 degrees, so temperatures in the 90s were very welcomed!  We actually traveled to Sugar Land, TX (near Houston) to visit family, and the weather was beautiful there also.  In the mornings and evenings, it was so nice to have temperatures in the 70s.

While we were there, we celebrated our nieces', Audrey and Lauren's, 4th birthday.  Also, Drew's Aunt and Uncle from Findlay, OH visited--we loved spending time with them as well.

Drew's sister, Erica, planned some fun games for the birthday party.  Doug has his game face on.

Lauren was determined to win!

eating lunch at the little kids' table

The birthday girls, Audrey and Lauren, blow out their candles.

We went to a fun kiddie pool while we were visiting.

Being boys in the pool as they try to throw a ball on top of the sprinkler.

Luke loved the slide.  Here, he is racing Mitchell down.

As we were leaving on Labor Day, we grabbed a picture of Luke with his Mimi and Papa and his great Uncle Doug and Aunt Cindy.
We had so much fun visiting with family.  Some sad news though about Labor Day Weekend:  although we had some great temperatures, we still did not get some much needed rain.  We have had a serious drought in our state.  Unfortunately that, combined with the high winds, created some conditions that wildfires love.  There were countless fires that started in the state of Texas on Labor Day weekend.   The most devastating fire in the area of Bastrop (just outside of Austin) is still burning as I type this blog post.  As I am typing this a week later, the fire is still only just over 50 percent contained, with over 34,000 acres burned and 1554 houses destroyed (and counting).  Suburbs all around us have experienced wildfires that have destroyed homes recently.  It literally hits close to home, and our hearts ache for those who are now homeless.  Please keep all of those affected in your prayers--those who lost homes, the thousands of firefighters battling these intense fires, and the communities involved.  Here is a picture that has been recently circulating of the Austin skyline last week.  The smoke is from the Bastrop fires.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Baby Girl Ultrasound at 21 Weeks

Drew and I visited our physician's Ultrasound Suite today to get our baby girl's full anatomy Ultrasound.  Our friends, Sarah and Ford, watched and played with Luke while we took a peek at our baby girl's progression.   Luke had a blast there and didn't miss us one bit.

Our little girl was very cooperative during the ultrasound.  In fact, they said they could use the ultrasound pictures for a textbook.  She looked perfectly healthy and gave us some great pictures.  I am 21 weeks and 1 day today and she measured (based on head and arm/leg bone measurement averages) 21 weeks 3 days.   They said that they like to see the baby measuring a little more than the actual gestational age, so that was also good news.

They provided us with a DVD and lots of pictures.  For our family and friends who are interested, below is part of the video of the Ultrasound that I just uploaded to youtube.   Enjoy!