Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Family Day

Mike returned home from a trip late last night, and we were so glad to have him home! The end of travel season 2013 is drawing closer as the travel schedule winds down a little bit :) I personally always love when he comes home on a Saturday versus Sunday so that we get at least one weekend day together and can go to church together. Today was no exception!

Troy was delighted to "drive" around a car shopping cart at Home Depot earlier today. It was the first thing he talked about when he woke up from nap hours later :)

After that Mike surprised us with the great idea to go to Ko Fusion for dollar sushi today! Back in the day, we used to do this after church quite often but I don't think Troy had ever been there yet. He did awesome using the chop sticks that our waitress crafted for him to practice with, and didn't even touch his fork during the meal. (We did "donate" one dollar piece of sushi to the floor at one point though. Oops.) Ko Fusion is the perfect place for me to get a sushi fix while pregnant since I think every one of their dollar sushi items is fully cooked. It was sooo delish, and made me dream about another trip back to Hawaii someday for more of the amazingly fresh sushi we had while there last year :) 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blues, Brews and BBQ

Just realized none of my pics show anything blues, brews or BBQ related :) But we did listen to the blues! And we did eat BBQ! And Troy mistook the beer truck for a water truck and while I waited in line for some tickets, he turned to someone at the beer truck and said, "I need some water please!" haha

This was a fun night! Much like last week, I wasn't sure if we'd be able to get out there between rain drops... but hooray, we did it again! I never went to this when it was held in Urbana but now that its moved to Champaign, I guess they're making an effort to make in more family-friendly, with FREE inflatables, face painting, a mobile zoo and more. It was good all around, and not that crowded due to the clouds looming in the distance. Any summer day that ends with me telling Troy to "go wash the alligator germs off your hands" when we get home is a good one!
Loving the lemon from our shake up!
A photo below of Troy petting the baby alligator. We visited this alligator THREE times. While we were waiting in the not-very-long line to have his face painted (after the first two alligator visits), he opted for another alligator visit over the lion face paint that he had been talking about the whole time we were there. I made sure he understood there would be no lion face paint if he got out of line and sure enough he never complained about not having face paint. Loved that alligator!

And a photo of the ridiculously huge snake brought out for the occasion. I would have taken a better photo but 1) I was holding my child 2) I was ready to body block said child from snake at any given moment (he was LOOKING at my kid, people!) and 3) I was a little freaked out as I'm not exactly a snake lover. Oh man, did Troy love this though. The lady even let him "hold" part of the snake for a moment. Ahhh!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

25 weeks pregnant

Funny, I don't remember the cauliflower comparison week at all from last time. One of the funnier ones. Now I'm picturing my baby girl as a big round cauliflower...

Since I don't have anything too riveting to report pregnancy-related, I'll leave you with a few Troy pregnancy-related funnies :)

  • Looking at my belly button recently...."Mommy, is it broken???"
  • I completely confused the poor kid today. As he's looking for the school buses that he just realized are missing (three weeks into summer vaca, haha) I said they would be back when it was fall-time. And after the school buses come back, its almost time for baby sister to arrive! Now I pick him up from daycare and he thinks his baby sister is arriving on a school bus. Sigh. 
  • Tonight we were downstairs in the basement playing. He usually is pretty good at entertaining himself in the basement, even though its not necessarily kid-proofed, there's plenty for him to do. Tonight he found an old breast pump I don't need anymore and worked on assembling the various parts for about 20 minutes. Then he "made coffee" with it. Should have snapped some photos of that one :) 
  • Edit: I remembered one more! Troy felt her move for the first time this week. I knew that 2 year old patience wears quickly so I waited until she was moving a LOT and called him over to feel her moving (I try to avoid saying she's kicking, because then he goes "like KICK a soccer ball!" lol) and he looked and me and said "I feel that, Mommy!!!"
I think that's about it. Baby girl likely has her name already. The same name we were "testing out" a few weeks ago appears to have stuck! Hooray!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Troy's New Room!

Just checked in on my boy, happily snoozing away in his new Cars room. We've been gathering the different things to move him into his room for about a month now and finally its all together! He moved into what was our guest bedroom, which came with a much larger bed! I knew he'd be alright in there since he's slept in big beds in hotel rooms recently and such. More photos of his room to come later, but we'll leave you with this one for now...


Here's a photo from his last night in his old bed last night. The crib mattress on the floor has served us well for a long time!

And just one old shot from Troy's first weeks in his crib :) He's slept in that room for 2 1/2 years!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Taste of C-U

This event is turning into a mother-son date tradition :) I just looked back at last year's post and can't believe how chubby my little baby was! He looks a lot different this year, but he's the same kid :) Jamming out to the music and devouring food. He was eager to do the inflatables this year, too. After a pretty rainy day (and some awesome rainy day naps for both of us) we took a chance that it was all over and headed over. I love when things work out perfectly!

One funny story from tonight. Troy has a strong dislike of people dressed up in character costumes. I can't really think of any occasion where he eagerly ran up to a giant alligator or random Disney character walking around, he almost always runs the other way. So one of the wing places tonight had a giant chicken drawing attention to their stand. The first time we saw him Troy did his typical run away in the opposite direction move. Then an hour or so later, we're sitting down listening to one of the bands and he turns to me out of nowhere and says, "I give chicken high five!" I asked him if he was sure and he said yep, he was ready to give the chicken high five. Well we walk over to the chicken station and the "chicken" is taking a dinner break and his chicken head is laying on the ground next to the booth while he eats with his buddies. I had no idea how this was going to work out in Troy's head, so we talked about how he was pretend and taking a dinner break... well I guess that's all it took to help Troy get over his fear, because we checked again before we left and he was back to his post! Troy still wanted to give him high five... after saying high and the quickest high five ever, he was so proud of himself. Its like he knew he overcame something big. I guess he just needed to know it was pretend!
Listening to music and noshing on some thai food. Nitaya Thai, I love you!


Dancing on the kids stage

Trip with friends: Miller Park Zoo

We were excited to have a summer-y outing planned with our friends Michelle and Madelynn yesterday. We didn't know our summer-y outing was going to be on the hottest day of the year so far when we planned it! We headed over to Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington for some fun. 

Overall, the animals were pretty much over the day before it started. Unfortunate for a zoo visit. But I get it. It was hot. They've been at this zoo thing for a long time. No use in hanging out in the sun, so they all found the shadiest (read: farthest) spot away from people to pass the time. Ah well. We still had some fun experiences, like petting a pig and watching otters catch fish. Thanks for a great day, friends!

This goose (?) took a nip at the front of Madelynn's hat when she got close. We all took a step back after that!
Riding the carousel. Troy chose a dinosaur this time. 

We found a pig trying to stay cool in the petting zoo! He barely flinched as Troy gave him some pats. 
Both kids loving on the same goat. Yet another animal trying to stay cool on this hot day! 
After the zoo and a picnic lunch, we cooled off at the splash park outside the zoo. A pretty popular place on a 90 degree day but at least the kids got to cool down. We moved on once they got bored fighting the crowds and started to wander :/

The kids may have cooled down but we moms were still pretty hot... off to get ice cream for the car ride home! I've never seen Troy drink a milkshake so quickly... he barely came up for air!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

my heart

My heart simply melts for this kid. That is all.

24 week update

Hooray for 24 weeks! Closing in on the end of the second trimester in a couple weeks... it doesn't normally hit me how far along I am until I hear of someone else who knows they're pregnant already and they're due in some crazy month like February. February!? My kid will be practically sitting up and laughing at her big bro's antics by February! I don't know why that strikes me but it does :)

Had another midwife check-up this week and all was well. I have the much-loved (not) glucose screening coming up next month BUT they actually sent me home with the glucose drink so that I can drink it ahead of time and avoid that torturous one hour wait in the lab. Ah-mazing! Its the little things, I tell ya.

Baby was moving a lot and wasn't her normal "cooperative" self when it came time to listen to her heartbeat. You could hear her arm or leg swatting away the doppler as the midwife tried to get a good read. The thing I love about midwives? She just says, "well clearly your baby is doing fine in there, we don't even really need to know that heartbeat rate now do we?!" A moment later she gave in, but even still, its just funny. Nothing really noteworthy otherwise. I really need to type up my birth plan and get that on my file, so hopefully I'll motivate myself to do that before next appointment. Much of it will be the same as it was with Troy, so that won't be too difficult. Now let's start praying up that birth!

In all seriousness, would love your prayers for baby girl's birth. I told a friend yesterday that I'm actually really excited for this birth (thank you, Jesus!). I don't feel dread, anxiety, bitterness over what happened with Troy, etc. None of that. I'm just really excited. So I'm praying that 1) labor will start on its own and induction for any reason wouldn't be necessary, 2) labor will progress quickly (relatively speaking of course), 3) baby will be in great position for delivery, 4) I'm able to cope with the pain of my labor well and will  have a natural labor/delivery and 5) baby will deliver easily and we'll both recover quickly! And that my care providers would provide great medical support during this experience. Thanks for joining me in prayer on that!

Okay that's about all for right now. Time to take Troy to the pool :)

staying cool

Back at home, we're making regular evening visits to our local pool. Not quite as flashy as the Dells pools, but certainly a blast and just perfect for us :) Couldn't resist sharing this one I took the other night while Troy splashed and played!

Bedtime post vacation

So after a week filled with nearly 24 hours of road tripping, late nights, skipped naps and loads of fun, we found ourselves driving home from our Fathers Day meal with one very, very tired boy. Watch the video below for a glimpse of what a 2 yr old looks like when vacation catches up with him :)

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the two most awesome dads I know (not that I'm biased at all!). These guys got to enjoy a Father's Day beer together while we waited to sit down for our dinner :) Troy wanted to sit at the bar too but Gramma told him that bars are only for Daddies and Grampas. Think that'll work clear until he's 21?? :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Congrats Nate and Cheryl!

...and our travels continue!

We had an out of state wedding to go to this weekend right on the heels of our Dells Vacation. Fortunately, Troy was still down for a road trip and some hotel time. Good thing, since this trip involved both!

Here he is upon checkin at our first hotel. Doubletree gives out warm cookies at checkin... score!


This hotel had a great fish tank. There were fish with "big lips" as he pointed out, and he insisted on saying goodbye to the fish before we packed up and left the next day. 


The obligatory "here is my kid sleeping at a hotel" photo. Passed out after an evening dip in the pool!


After we swam on Friday, I told Mike I thought Troy was getting closer and closer to actually kind of, sort of "swimming". So we practiced again on Saturday. He wants me to let go of him in four feet of water and gets holding his breath, so I let him try it for short times. He can get to the surface and stay there for a moment, and get some motion going forward towards me. We'll keep practicing kicking until he gets all the way there!

Here he is making his way to me in the water. I'm not holding him at this point! #proudmama

Some more driving and a change of clothes later, we arrived at the wedding! Troy wore his first tie (thanks for the loan, Holly!)

This.is.classic. Mom and Dad looking all happy and posed, and toddler with his finger up his nose. Once I saw that one, we had a retake after the ceremony :)

Congrats to the newlyweds!!

Family photo re-do. No fingers in noses this time :) 

Loved these! This was what I would consider a large wedding, with nearly 250 guests and at least 20 (if not more) kids. The mother of the groom made a basket for each kid with their name on it and some dolar store goodies in it ready at their place setting. It was the perfect assortment of things to entertain Troy during the event, and much appreciated!

My little party animal ready to hit the dance floor!

This was Troy's first wedding ever! Thanks, Troy, for being an awesome wedding guest (and not knocking down the cake directly next to our table) and congrats again to Nate and Cheryl on their marriage!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Original Music of Troy: "Go fast, Lightning McQueen"

Troy sang a song he made up himself for several minutes yesterday. We just sat in the next room and listened to him :) The video isn't much to see (since I was around the corner) but if you turn your volume up, you too can enjoy this song, "Go Fast, Lightning McQueen!"


Thursday, June 13, 2013

23 weeks pregnant

Another week update! I feel like I went from pregnant to super-pregnant this week. Thankfully, I still feel great (and felt awesome on vacation) but there were moments where I looked at Mike and said we picked the right time to do this. Another month or so and it would have been a different story :) Still thankful for how smoothly things are going and have gone so far!

Supposedly baby girl can hear things outside of the womb more this week. The examples the website gave were dog barking, doorbell ringing, etc. How about toddler shrieking?? Today on the way to work, Troy was having a good ol' time in the backseat, but he was being LOUD. I told him to quiet down and he said (out of nowhere) "Baby sister sleeping??" And I gladly agreed and said, yes, baby sister is sleeping and we need to be a little quieter. Might as well start practicing for 17 weeks from now early :)

As for me, I've had an insatiable appetite today. I've been eating all.day.long it seems. Don't know if I'm just catching up from all the activity earlier this week (though trust me, I ate plenty while we were on our trip) or if baby is having a growth spurt or what. Regardless, I'm curious to see if this lasts another day or is just a fluke thing.

I spent a little more time looking at nursery options for baby girl. I really like the pinks and browns and I really like how there's polka dots and stripes in this set. However, I'm trying to get creative in only getting the crib bedding pieces I know I want and will use without spending money on things like this "coverlet" that I know we won't ever use :/ We'll see what we end up with.

That's about it for today. Headed to a wedding this week and will surely take some photos. You can check back for an updated bump pic then!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dells Vacation Day 3

Day 3 started a little earlier for me than everyone else (thank you, baby girl) but she gave me great time to lay in bed reflecting on all that I'm grateful for and the many blessings God has brought our way. Vacation is just good for that, quiet moments to think and reflect, even when you're sharing a room with a toddler, those times just naturally kind of happen. So grateful to start my day this way, especially as we headed into another incredible day!

Today we had free tickets to one of the larger outdoor waterparks here, Mt Olympus. I was beyond thrilled to get a coupon code via postcard earlier this spring to reserve my free waterpark passes, and for a place that has $40 admission per person, our wallets were beyond thrilled too :) But before we could head over there, we had to wait until opening time at 10am. So we relaxed on our balcony and hung out in the room. Troy LOVES the balcony and people watching. Thanks Hilton Garden Inn, for being awesome!

He asked over and over when it was time to go to the "swimming pool", and finally after a short drive and a LONG walk from the parking lot, we arrived! Water time!!

This park also had several "kid" slides that were pretty decent sized. They just spit the kids out into less than a foot of water so even though the slides are huge to a 2 year old, Troy was able to handle them well. You could tell which ones he REALLY liked because he'd shriek the entire way down, every single time :) Like this one...


I had seen they had a lazy river called "The River Troy" on their website and couldn't wait to stand Troy in front of the sign for a photo op. Then we had to ride it a couple times too!

Look closely to find Mike and Troy :) 
Something about my little guy hanging out in his swim trunks and a backwards hat for lunch made me want to snap a picture of him :) He looks like such a big guy!

More than five hours after we arrived (and well into what *should be* naptime on a normal day), we kicked back on the sandy area overlooking the wave pool. Mike and I joked it was just like Hawaii, but in all seriousness, it really was :) Relaxing on a lounge chair next to my love, no matter where it is, just can't be beat!

So not wanting to put Troy down for a nap right before dinner time, we decided just to keep him up for dinner. He was one TIRED kid by this point, but happily scarfed down some Moosejaw Pizza. If you stop by the Dells, don't pass this pizza place up!

Pretty sure it was Troy's idea that I wear my moose hat too, but when I actually put it on, he acted surprised. Now if only I could have gotten Mike to sport some moose antlers too... that would have been priceless, folks!

Dinner was followed by the easiest bedtime ever for Troy. Another great day with my two favorite guys in the books! Thankful to be having such a great time!

Dells Vacation Day 2

When we woke up Monday morning, all the rain had passed through and it was shaping up to be a beautiful day outside! We first headed to the "Wisconsin Deer Park", a long-time Dells attraction that I'm fairly certain we never visited in my youth. This was a unique one folks, but it certainly was enjoyable! I can't say I've ever mingled with tame deer before but this was our opportunity. Troy was a little clingy for, oh about the first thirty seconds, but as soon as he saw Daddy hearding a crew of three deer he warmed up a bit and decided it was safe :)
Mike Cunningham, deer whisperer
Just starting to warm up to these big guys



After that, we headed to Downtown Dells to explore and have some lunch. They had an awesome riverwalk with a great view of the water!

...followed by a trip to one of the many fudge shops downtown. Troy was beyond excited for his sugary treat, and we were beyond excited for the fudge we bought to try during his nap! (Yes, he did nap after his chocolate pretzel!)

After recharging his batteries with a nap (and Mommy and Daddy on a sugar rush from all the cookies and cream fudge!), we ventured on to another Dells classic... the ducks! If you're not familiar with them, they're essentially boats on wheels, going from land to water to land to water to land again...crazy!
Troy of course was more excited for the water... his first boat ride! This was taken right after splashdown #1!
Soaking up the view
I love when I look over and see my guy all relaxed in "vacation mode" :)
Another Troy fav... waving to people on other boats!
After a just so-so dinner, we headed out to Coldstone for our annual treat. This year I'm feeling we might be needing more than one Coldstone trip, because this sure was delicious!
Enjoying sugary treat #2 of the day. Yep, its vacation alright.
We wrapped up the night with a trip to the hotel pool! Troy worked on learning to hold his breath, and also "swimming" out to me at a distance. He's one brave boy in the water!