Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bounce, Bounce, Bounce!

So file this one under I am "that" mom! Anderson's 2nd birthday is fast approaching and I have totally been in a nesting frenzy. This time around I am not just stressing over the nursery...I am stressing over everything...big boy bedding, landscaping and even the plans for Anderson's birthday party. When I was pregnant with him I was put on bedrest at week 29, just 3 short weeks from where I am with Lydia right now. My fear (however irrational it is) is that something will happen and Anderson will get a jipped for his birthday. Definitely NOT alright with me, especially considering that this will be his last as an only child...again...I know it's totally irrational!

So...when checking into renting a blow up bouncy house for his party we discovered that to rent one was the same price as buying one at Toy's R Us...so now I am "that" mom...you know the one that has now spoiled her son by buying him his very own industrial size bouncy house...seriously, it comes with it's own motor! Ha! They had a replacement plan for 15 months for only 20.00, and I know a friend who bought the same model and has used it for two years now without incident. It's a pretty durable toy! We have used it about 5 times in two weeks, so I think we will be getting our money's worth! When we get ready to deflate it we tell Anderson that "bouncy" that is what he calls it, is going nite-nite. He'll run over and kiss it nite-nite. The next morning before he is even lifted out of his crib he asks if "Bouncy" is awake...so adorable.

Last week we had Jennifer and Giulianna over to try it out. They are so cute together. Anderson's whole demeanor truly does change when she comes over. I think he has a little crush! The kids bounced themselves silly and both slept very soundly that night!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Two Lydias and maybe even Two Andersons???

Ok, this is quite possibly the most strange, chill bumps up your spine, completely weird set of coincidences I have ever experienced or even heard of for that matter!

Jeff and I actually got the name Lydia from another blog...I know...how 21st century of us! My friend Julie has a friend Chelsea who has another friend Cassie...and all of these blogs list links to one another, so I occasionally check these other blogs to see cute pics of their babies, etc...even though I don't really know them. Well almost a year ago I ran across Cassie's blog, which I found so interesting because they were an American couple living in Scotland (for work) and raising their daughter there. Her name is Lydia. I immediately filed the name away if we should have a girl. I even told Jeff about it and he agreed that he really like that name for a girl too. SO....fast forward several months and ooops we were pregnant a little sooner than planned. So as talk came up about boy and girl names we both went back to Lydia as our top choice for a girl name.

Now...the night before the ultrasound I was so nervous...about the health of the baby, but also the fact that I was scared I might be disappointed if it wasn't a girl. I had all of the classic "girl" symptoms (craving sweets, bad nausea, etc...), but I was really thinking that a girl may not be in the cards for us. Now don't get me wrong I would have loved a baby boy as well, but I knew this is our last baby and another boy meant no girl...ever...and I was just not sure I was OK with that. That night I happened to blog jump and landed on Cassie's page again and noticed something I had never noticed before in her "about me" section. Her Lydia's birth date was August 8th...which is my due date! Not only a due date, but since we are doing a repeat c-section it is actually already scheduled for that day, so it will very likely be our Lydia's birth date as well. I told Jeff and we both were like....whoa...that's got to be a sign. The next day we found out we were having a girl!

I thought about contacting this far away friend-of-a-friend in Scotland to tell her about this, but just got busy and never did. Finally last week I did it. I decided that if someone saw Anderson's name and loved it that much I would want to know, so I commented on her blog to tell her the story. WELL...

...she emailed me back the next day to tell me that the coincidences don't stop there. She is pregnant again and guess what her boy name is....Anderson!! They don't do "gender" ultrasounds there so they aren't sure what they are having, but if it is a boy they like Anderson and Brayden. And hold on to your hats for one more twist, she is due June 25th. Our Anderson's birthday is June 22.

So we very well could have two Anderson's with the same birth date and two Lydia's with the same birth date...just an ocean away! How cool is that??

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

He never met a source of water that he didn't like!

Anderson LOVES water. He has been that way pretty much since he stepped foot out of my belly. Bathtime is his favorite time of day and when the warm weather comes around he's hard to get out of a pool or sprinkler. Recently after a hard rain he even discovered the wonderful world of water puddles...dirty water...EVEN BETTER!! Enjoy a few pics from recent water fun!

Friday, April 18, 2008

All things new...

I have two video clips of Anderson with some of his "new" preferences. One is of his new favorite phrase....we have graduated from the dramatic "OH NO!" to an even more dramatic "Oh Gosh!" Hilarious...I have no idea where he gets this stuff from.

The other clip is of him talking about his new favorite show. That's right...Jeff and I are in mourning. He has officially moved on from Curious George. From about 12 months until a month or so ago "Gorge" was the only guaranteed 30 minutes that I had uninterrupted. He would watch it wothout blinking...I swear the kid thought there was a quiz at the end or something. Now he has lost all interest and the replacement is....drumroll please...Little Eisnsteins. Jeff and I really don't like the show...these poor kids take off in their rocket to explore places like...The United Nations in New York City. Seriously people they are just toddlers...is that really necessary? And to add to the cheesy factor every episode's problem is solved somehow by music and features an instrument and famous classical composer. I am all about music education, but to be honest...I still prefer a monkey that gets himself into trouble all of the time...reminds me of a little monkey, er...I mean Boy...I know! Sorry it is sideways...I don't know how to rotate a video.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A-Day!!! Roll Tide!!

We had a great weekend! A-day (the University of Alabama fotball scrimmage) was this past weekend and the weather was beautiful! We started out the morning at a tailgate...yes...for the scrimmage...at our friend Bill's new law office downtown. He has done an amazing job restoring a historic building into his new office. We enjoyed visiting with he and Niccole and their new baby girl Sally. Then we headed over to the Ezell stadium house to visit with some friends. The picture below is of Jennifer Hitchner, me and Dee.

Then we headed down to the stadium for the scrimmage. We were lucky enough to be invited to sit in "The Zone" club level with our friends Liz and Leon. It was so nice to be able to go in and out of air conditioning! We watched the scrimmage and were excited about the progress our team has made during Spring practice. We had the number ONE recruiting class this year so we know that two years from now we will be in the running for a national championship...we hope! :-) One thing I love about Alabama football...there were over 78, 000 fans in the stadium for a SCRIMMAGE!!! Last year we set the national record at 92, 000 and they had to close the gates when the stadium reached capacity. Gotta love the south!!

Of course we managed to pick up some goodies for the kids (that still seems so weird to say...kids...as in... plural!). A cute little bubble for Lydia and a big boy windsuit for Anderson! I can't wait to see them both dressed to support the team!!

Can we say teacher's pet???

Anderson's class picture from his Mother's Day Out program came home in his backpack last week. Just like last year's pic...guess who is hanging out in Mrs. Alicia's lap?? What a kiss-up! :-)

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Babymoon...

...that's what they are calling the vacation before the baby these days...we call it SANITY and a great thing for our marriage! :-) Jeff and I decided to take a babymoon before baby number 2 arrives. Originally we planned to go to Vail in January, but when we found out we were pregnant we cancelled that trip...no skiing, no yummy red wine, no hot tubs...basically no fun for me! Then we began planning this trip as a nice little getaway before we have 2 kids and never get to leave the house again! HA! Our anniversary is Wednesday, so this was an early anniversary present to us from us.We left Tuesday afternoon to stay at Mom's and Jeff and I flew out first thing Wednesday morning. We got back to Birmingham around 7:30 on Sunday night. My mom took Anderson for the 5 days we were gone and they had a blast! I knew that they would or else I don't think I could have stayed away for 5 whole days. Knowing that he was going to the zoo, the park, the playground, etc...everyday made me feel a little better about the situation. He loves to stay with Pop and GiGi! We enjoyed our getaway so much! It was so nice to get to spend some serious quality time with each other. We love Anderson to pieces, but having that many meals without having to cut up someones food or beg them to eat and all the other drama that goes along with a toddler was heaven!

We arrived on our first day mid afternoon, so we didn't do a ton that day. We basically hung out around Fisherman's Wharf where our hotel was. We did walk down to the Ghirardelli chocolate factory...all I can say is YUM! I normally don't love sweets but this pregnancy really has me craving them! Obviously Lydia has a sweet tooth! In Ghirardelli Square we happened upon a quaint little bakery called Kara's Cupcakes. I am not kidding when I tell you that is the best cupcake I have EVER had! They were super moist and the icing was so light and creamy it just melted in your mouth. My favorite flavors were carrot cake, Lemon meringue (injected with lemon filling), and the Ghirardelli chocolate one with caramel filling and sea salt sprinkles...YUM! It was so close to our hotel that we went there everyday but one! I am not the only one who thinks they are great. The owner told us that her store is being featured on the Martha Stewart Show later this month!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

San Francisco- Day 2

On our second day in the city...after sleeping in (never a possibility with Anderson in the house!) we chartered a city tour on this double decker red bus. It really was the quickest and most informative way to see the city. San Francisco is only 7 miles by 7 miles, but it is a very dense 7 miles. We were thankful to see parts of the city that we might have been to tired to try to get to otherwise!

Some San Fran real estate...
The Seven Sisters (probably looks familiar from the opening of Full House TV show)

The pink house to the right of this picture was 2 BR 1 Ba and just sold for 1.2 MILLION!!!

...so just imagine what this beautiful Mediterranean one would sell for?

Pretty Victorian houses
This is the global headquarters for Craigslist...he still runs it out of his house!!

These pictures are from the Golden Gate Park and the Japanese Tea House...gorgeous flowers!

This is the breathtaking view from Twin Peaks atop the city. On one side you can see the city and the Bay an on the other side of Twin Peaks is the Pacific.

Bay Side

Bay Side

Pacific Side

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Happy 3rd Wedding Anniversary Jeff!

Wow...crazy how time flies. We have been married 3 years today! It has been a BUSY three years. Let's see...I moved cities, changed jobs, we bought a new house together, got pregnant, had Anderson, quit my job to be a full time mommy, got pregnant again with Lydia (who is a little more than half-way done baking!). Whew...I'm tired!

To read more about our crazy (we met and were engaged in 6 weeks) love story you can click HERE !

Our wedding was even crazy! We managed to pull off the surprise of the century! We told everyone we were going to be married in Hawaii just the two of us on April 23rd. We planned a "Reception" party for April 2nd, with a fun band and lots of yummy food! After the party started Jeff made a toast and informed our guests that we had been lying all along! We were getting married that night and leaving for Hawaii the next day. No One knew, not our parents, not our friends...no one! It was great! We changed into the gown and tux we had snuck in earlier in the day (we also had a wedding cake brought in on the sly) and were married in the sweetest candlelit ceremony surrounded by all of our friends and family. The guests were completely shocked and it made for a festive and very romantic atmosphere. People still talk about that party! :-) Happy Anniversary Baby...I wouldn't take anything in this world for you!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

San Francisco Day 3

On this particular day we decided to venture out on our own and rented a car to afford us a little freedom! Our first stop was the Presidio area where a whopping 23 years ago Jeff was a resident! At the ripe old age of 18 my sweet Tennessee boy who had never been West of the Mississippi River joined the army and was stationed in San Francisco for about 6 months. While there he worked as an orthopedic tech in the base hospital. In his 4 years in the army he was also stationed in New Jersey and Seoul, Korea where he spent 18 months working at the 121st evacuation hospital. He was 1 of 150 active duty soldiers in the whole army selected to attend the West Point preparatory school and was groomed to be a West Point Cadet. However, after a year of the academy, Jeff decided Army life was not for him...thank God! I don't know that I would have been a very good military wife...not to mention that if he had stayed on that path we would probably have never met! We were able to find the base and even Jeff's old apartment! It isn't an army base anymore and a lot had changed, but it was neat to see the building where he lived! It had quite the view of the Golden Gate Bridge!! Jeff's old apartment
Look at that view....see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background!

After that we headed over the GG Bridge and to the Muir Woods where we saw breathtaking Redwoods that were HUGE!! After being in the city it was like a whole other world that had basically stood still in time! Some of the trees were over 1000 years old! During the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires they wanted to cut down all of the trees and make a reservoir of water for the firefighters. Luckily the man who owned the land was able to get the attention of President Roosevelt and he saved the land by adopting it as the 10th national monument under the 1906 Antiquities Act. I can't imagine clearing that land!!

After our morning walk in the redwood trees we headed over to Sonoma and Napa Valley to check out wine country. It was beautiful! This area lies about an hour from San Francisco, but was so worth the drive there and back! We were able to tour three wineries: Shug, Sebastiani and Ravenswood. My favorite label...La Crema was farther North than we wanted to drive, so we tried to stick to what was near and in a cluster. Sonoma and Napa are huge counties and the wineries are quite spread out! Jeff enjoyed a few tastings, but Baby Lydia and I had to sit that fun experience out. It was fascinating to see the process of each company and the difference in regions, grapes, and ultimately tastes. It was one of our favorite excursions of the trip!!