Thursday, June 30, 2011

Prayers Needed

I know everyone has their own personal beliefs and opinions regarding prayer. I, however, believe that God's Word is the truth and it says in James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." My heart is so heavy for so many people right now and it's easy to feel helpless when others are hurting. This blog is getting an average of about 800 views a day, that's a LOT of people and while I know many of you may not pray, I'm hoping that at least some of you will. Prayer is powerful and asking for prayers for these people in need is a way that I feel I can help them.

*The Green Family: Many of you that read my blog also read Katie's. You can read all about her sweet third baby from her own blog entry about their situation here. Please lift this family up in prayer. Her example is SO amazing and I'm beyond impressed with their unwavering faith in God. I know God can do anything and prayer is powerful - I pray that this baby can keep beating odds and that further tests will reveal better news. If that is not God's will then I pray that the Green's will continue to find strength and will continue to count all the many blessings in their lives while coping with such pain and sadness.

*The Boruff/Davis Family: I blogged back in November about Devan and Taylor's awesome wedding. Today I am heartbroken that I will be attending the visitation for Taylor's funeral tomorrow. Devan is so, so young to know such tragedy in her life and I simply cannot even fathom the emotions she is going through. It's a situation where no words or good deeds can even come close to comforting her, all I can do is lift her up in prayer to God and trust that He will guide her through this dark time.

*Titus/The Megow Family: On Monday I babysat for Crissy and had the scariest experience of my life. Going over the details of everything that happened is not really something I want to do here as it's painful for me to relive and tough for Crissy to have to read - but they are thinking that Titus (who is 10 months old) had a seizure under my care and that is what caused him to go unconscious, having to be rushed to the hospital via ambulance. I am so thankful that he is okay and I ask you to pray that his tests results later this month give them answers to what happened and a way to prevent something like it from happening again. I hate that they won't be able to do the testing until the END of JULY as I know it's scary for Seth and Crissy to have that fear that he could potentially have another seizure at any time. Please also pray that he continues to be the happy, healthy little man he is and that they don't witness such a horrible sight again like I had to deal with on Monday.

*Hayden/The Vinson Family: I have blogged before asking for prayers for Hayden. He recently turned one and the family still does not know exactly what is going on. They are still doing test after test trying to figure out why he is behind developmentally. A full year of unknowns. Of hopes getting raised on answers only to be shattered by more "nos." Since she doesn't have a blog (although she totally should - her positive outlook and deep devotion to her son would inspire SO many, as it has me!) I wanted to share something Bobbie posted on her Facebook on Hayden's birthday. I cannot read it without crying and I hope each of you will add Bobbie, Hayden and their family to your daily prayer list.

My Trip To Holland

When you're going to have a baby, its like planning a fabulous vacation trip- to Italy. I bought a bunch of guide books and made my wonderful plans. The coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. I learned some hard phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. I packed my bags and off I went. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes on and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!" I said, "What do you mean Holland?! I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy!" But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there I had to stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken me to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place fully of pestilence, famine and disease. Its just a different place.

So I had to go and buy new guide books. And I had to learn a whole new language. And I met a whole new group of people I never would have met. It was just a different place. Its slower paced than Italy. Less flashy than Italy. But after I had been there a while, and I caught my breath, I looked around...and I began to notice that Holland has windmills....Holland has Tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone I know was busy coming and going from Italy...and they were all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of my life, I will have to say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, EVER go away...because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if I spent my whole life mourning the fact that I didn't get to go to Italy, I may never had been free to enjoy the VERY special, the VERY lovely things....about Holland!

Someone gave me this poem "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley soon after we realized my trip to Italy was re-routed. This poem has helped me accept that plans change...and its OK.  I LOVE HOLLAND! This past year has been one of the longest, if not THE longest year of my life. But through our faith in God, and with the help of prayers and support from friends and family (and even some strangers) we made it through! THANK YOU to all of you who have helped in one way or another. Big or small.

Our trip is not over......I don't know if it ever will be. Hopefully, someone will come around with answers telling us "Its time to go to Italy" (it's always possible) But if not, we will stay in Holland and it will be the trip of a lifetime!

*Me: I know you have been able to tell that this week has been difficult for me. I mentioned it in both of my posts on Tuesday and Wednesday. The experience with Titus was horribly emotional enough then adding the sad news of Taylor Davis and Katie's baby only made me struggle more. I truly do believe that the devil is trying to use these tragedies to affect my faith and I refuse to allow that to happen. I feel more afraid for my own unborn baby than I ever have before, even in my entire pregnancy with Kye. On top of all those things I also had a couple scares with Kye this week - he fell off a small bridge while at the beach (more to come in those posts, he's fine, but it was scary to witness) and last night he fell down our flight of stairs (again, thankfully he's okay, but it was another scary, stressful moment for me!). I know I am SO blessed in this life and part of me doesn't understand why I am being blessed while others are experiencing hurt. I know I can't question God and I know that I, too, will face hardships along the road. I am thankful for the examples that Katie, Devan, Crissy, and Bobbie are all setting for ME. I ask you to pray that I can give my worries up to God and not continue to carry them with me, I pray that my ultrasound on Tuesday goes PERFECTLY and that Blitzen is 100% healthy!

I'm thankful to each of you for keeping all of these in need close to your hearts and in your thoughts. It is such an honor when someone asks you to pray for them and I take that duty very seriously - I hope you do too!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday!

I'm not going to lie...this has been a VERY emotional, stressful, scary, difficult week. It's time like these that I'm thankful for Jaime at This Kind of Love for hosting What I Love Wednesday! I NEED to "find the good" (like I talked about yesterday) and this forces me to do just that :) Thanks Jaime!!!
I'm loving the strength and faith of those around me who are facing sadness right now. Each and every one of them has turned towards the Lord during their pain when so many people would turn away from him. All of these special people in my life are such wonderful examples to me of how we ALL should handle times of crisis. I pray that when I am faced with hardships in life that I can follow the example each of you are leaving for me. Thank you for sharing your stories and for allowing me to be part of the powerful group of prayer! Prayer is so strong and I know it makes a difference. Maybe it can't change every situation, but it can bring all of those experiencing it the peace and comfort they need. 

I'm loving that tomorrow Kye and I are going to see Cars 2! I don't particularly love the first one (I'm a Toy Story girl myself) but Kye does and we are going with his best buds (his cousins) so he's going to be PUMPED!!!!! I haven't even told him yet for fear that he'll bug me to death about it :) We plan to go see it multiple times so that Zach will be able to go with us at some point too. Disney is gonna make some dough off us Parkers ;)
I'm loving that we leave Friday for our annual trip to St. Augustine for the 4th! It's my FAVORITE vacation of the year and right now we need it more than ever! I can't wait for another yearly picture on a cannon :)  
I'm loving that while we relax in our hotel room this weekend during naps that we will get to watch MORE of The Office Season 5! I'm so ready to just cuddle up next to Zach and laugh together. Our Office time is some of my most treasured (that and The Bachelor/Bachelorette shows of course!)
I'm loving that the 4th means another yearly tradition of hanging out with one of our favorite families! We meet up with Katie's fam at their beach condo every year and I can't wait to say our reasons we love America and sing American songs! 
I'm loving that Big Brother starts up next week!!! My mom introduced me to it a couple years ago and I'm hooked...I typically get Showtime so I can watch the live After Dark feeds and everything (don't know if I have the time/energy for that this year, we'll see!). While I'm excited about this season, NOTHING will compare to the first season I watched! I had just had Kye and would spend all my nursing time watching Jeff and Jordan develop their adorable relationship. Jeff is my total celebrity crush!!! I wish he could become a LEGIT celeb so I could actually see him again haha
I'm loving that Crissy announced her pregnancy yesterday! That's Baby #4 in under four years! I am excited that one of my bffs and I get to share our pregnancies together and that Blitzen will have a good buddy so close in age (although she's hoping for a boy while I'm hoping for a girl). Kye LOVES her girls (esp Stevie!) so it'll be nice that our families will continue to grow together!
I'm loving that Zach and Matt have to work up in Atlanta next week because Robyn and I have an excuse to go up there too! We are going to take the kids to Zoo Atlanta and the Ga Aquarium for their first visits. Being originally from the Atlanta area, I'm more pumped for the zoo. I have so many wonderful memories there (and cute pics on the statue of Willy the gorilla!) that I'm eager to share with Kye. And Zach's glad I'm not trying to talk him into going ;) 
I'm loving that in a little over a week some of my favorite family members will be coming to visit! They are coming to town to see Mom but it'll be nice that we will get to visit with them too! We have a LOT to do on the house but if it doesn't all get done, I don't mind. After this week I decided to just let it go and not stress about it. I mean they are FAMILY right? It doesn't have to be perfect!
I'm loving feeling Blitzen move like a wild child! I'll discuss this more on Friday but OH MY GOODNESS. I feel constant, strong, all over the place movement. So strong that Zach can even feel it and I'm only 16 weeks pregnant. With all my fears this week, maybe this is God's way of helping remind me how blessed I am and that Blitzen is healthy :) I can't WAIT to get to see him or her on Tuesday!!!
I'm loving, loving, loving the blessings in my life. So many people right now around me are hurting and it's hard sometimes to see past all the pain but I keep reminding myself that I need to live for now and not worry for the future. Right now I'm so happy and beyond blessed. I have an AMAZING, hard-working, extremely attractive, spiritual, fun, and loving husband and he has given me such an adorable, smart, crazy, precious, perfect son. I have everything I've ever dreamed of in these two loves of my life and I'm so eager to welcome our second blessing to our family. My eyes fill with tears just thinking about how much I love Zach and Kye and I am thankful to God for making them MINE! :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our 4th Wedding Anniversary

In an effort to push past my negative emotions, I'm moving on to something happier. Also just for those of you keeping track - all the pictures featured in blog entries from Yellow River Game Ranch to the one with Kye's cute faces were edited in Adobe Lightroom. I'm back to using Picasa now, but I'd love any insight you may have...did you prefer the Lightroom ones or the Picasas? 

Anyway...

Every year for our wedding anniversary Zach and I plan a vacation. It's convenient that we got married on Memorial Day weekend because that means our anniversary typically falls during that time and it's already a long weekend :) This year with Bermuda and Chelsi's Wedding we opted to not go away together. I was pretty bummed because I really do love travel (shocker???). However we got back from the beach the morning of our anniversary (Sat May 28th) and dropped Kye off at my mom's house. We had the whole afternoon and night to spend together and it was nice quality time.

We first ran errands. I know that seems lame, but it was NICE to casually take our time and not feel like we had to rush on a schedule (life with a child always feels rushed ya know it?). We went to Habitat for Humanity to look for some stuff for the house (and found some cool shutters we're going to use as decor!). Then we went to Lemongrass Day Spa for a spa afternoon. Since we had money left over from Bermuda, I wanted to get a couples massage. However, times are tight right now financially for us (back surgery bills and higher house bills are really starting to have an effect on our lives...) and I understood when he didn't think it was the best idea to do that. He did agree that I deserved a massage though (since he did golf in Bahamas) so we came to a compromise...I got a massage and we got a spa pedicure together. The massage was AWESOME. Like the best ever. Sadly, the pedicure was disappointing. It's pricey and not nearly as good as Nails By Chris which is much cheaper. Oh well, lesson learned and we still enjoyed the time together!
After our spa treatments we went to Lowe's to get more stuff for the house and it started to hit me how exhausted I was. Like mega tired. I know it was from the massage and the travel that day but whew! I was DONE. We were originally going to grab a bite to eat and rent a movie but decided instead to pick up take out and just watch our wedding video together. 

We got Aligatu takeout for dinner (our fav Japanese restaurant in town!) and it was SOOO yummy. We asked for our regular order (no salad, double soup, no veges, double rice, extra shrimp sauce) and they gave it to us in a Bud Light carrier thing. This is the first and last time you'll see a picture like this coming from us!!! It was super funny when Mom came over the next morning and I left the box sitting where she'd see it haha.
Every year we follow the traditional anniversary presents. It's fun! For our 4th anniversary the gifts were: fruit or flowers and linen or silk. For the linen I got Zach an off-white linen blazer and for the fruit I found him some banana glow-in-the-dark boxers :) We didn't go all out in the gift department because we bought ourselves Galaxy Tablets as our anniversary gifts this year!
For my gift, Zach got me a tree! He took me to a local nursery and showed me the tree he picked out for me. He also picked out several bushes (one of which is that yellow one you said is tough to kill Rachael!). I was very sad when we had to cut down a beautiful pecan tree from our front yard (it was simply too close to the house) and I told Zach that I wanted to buy a BIG tree for the front yard. I'm so glad he got it for me as a gift because it makes it more meaningful and because it means I got to have it sooner than I would have if we waited for it to fit in the budget :) He did an awesome job planting it and I love our little island in our front yard!

I think one of my favorite anniversary traditions is watching our wedding video. I love looking back at such a happy day and remembering the FUN that weekend brought! We had a BLAST celebrating our wedding all weekend long and it couldn't have gone better. I'm SO thankful we bought a wedding video and it's funny to watch it every year and every year see something new. Zach hates watching his vows (we said our own as well as the traditional ones) because he was crying pretty hard and he gets embarrassed watching it but we did notice this year (b/c DUH I MAKE him watch them!!!) that his dad (who married us!) was actually laughing during Zach's vows (when he made his reference to his National Championship wins haha). It made us laugh and it was fun to find something that we never saw before :)

Someday I hope to have the time (phhh rrrrrright) to go back and at least tell you all about our special day/weekend since I didn't blog back then (heck, did people blog at all back then???). Here's one picture though of our first kiss as husband and wife to hold you over until that day comes!
I'm so blessed to have spent the last 4 years as Mrs. Parker and can't wait for all the years to come!

Something Good

I remember hearing adults say that childhood is precious because it's a time of innocence and joy before adulthood arrives and makes people jaded and hard. I feel like I've entered that adulthood age of realization that life is not all roses and rainbows. That pain is all around us. That the devil has ownership over so much of this world in which we live.

Right now I'm really struggling. I feel like everyday, everywhere I turn I keep hearing more heartbreaking news. My prayers are overflowing with families in need. It seems like every family I know has been struck with recent tragedy in some form or another - miscarriages, unborn babies with health scares, new babies with health problems, babies who almost die, babies who do die, mommies with scary health conditions, older children diagnosed with difficult health problems. The list goes on, and on, and on.

As a pregnant woman myself, I simply cannot handle it. I know that the devil is using these hard times to get to me. He's trying to make me afraid, and he's winning. I feel like tragedy is unavoidable. That everyone will have to face something terrible. I feel like I'm just a sitting duck...waiting for my turn at pain. I'm terrified. I fell asleep last night with tears in my eyes and fear in my heart. When will my bad thing strike? When will I join this sad, scary club of parents in pain? What is wrong with my unborn baby? Surely this baby can't be healthy and fine like Kye was.

I'm so nervous for my ultrasound next week. What will they find wrong??? Part of me almost says "BRING IT ON." If we're all meant to know tragedy then can I go ahead and get mine over with? Instead of living in a state of fear, let me face the tough stuff and get through it. Then wouldn't I have peace? I'd know my bad thing had come and gone?

I know that there is more good than bad in this world. I know there are more happy families than sad ones. I know there are more healthy pregnancies, unborn babies, newborns, children, and parents than there are hurt ones. I know that it's human nature to focus on the negative - to spread news of the "tough stuff" over the positive things in life. Right now all the bad is overshadowing any good I can see. I know I need to have faith. Trust that God will bring health, safety, peace to those families in need. Trust that He will watch over my own family and protect us. And if we do face such hurt, that He will guide us through.

Living in a state of constant fear and sadness isn't right. It's sinful. I'm to give those fears to God and focus on the things in life I can control. Do my best to keep my child safe. To protect those I love. To grow the healthiest baby I can inside of me. I'm just struggling with all of this right now...it's hard to be happy and hopeful when I'm surrounded by so much pain and hurt.

I know today I may be hearing more bad news, I know that two families I care about are having tests done today that could mean more sadness. I'm not going to stop worrying for them or praying for them, but today I need a favor from you...could you please help me see the GOOD? I'm blessed to have so many wonderful friends in this online world and I need that right now. I need to hear some positive things going on in your lives and some happy news. Something to help remind me that God conquers all and that maybe I'm not doomed to have something horrible happen.

It may seem silly to feel this way - I feel guilty that my faith and trust in the Lord can be tested like this. I don't like walking around with a dark cloud over my head and with a sick feeling in my stomach. I want to be positive, I want to be EXCITED about seeing my new baby for the first time instead of afraid, I want to enjoy my time with Kye not because I fear he could be gone tomorrow but simply just because he's fun and he makes me happy.

Please continue to pray for all of those families facing difficulties right now or still recovering from painful tragedy in the past...but also pray for the blessings in life. For the wonderful things we all do have and the times we want to cherish. I'm hoping I can pray such prayers as well and that I can get past this funk to see all the wonderful things God has in store for us all.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

16 Weeks Pregnant

Sorry it's a day late - we were at the beach yesterday so I wasn't able to post my weekly pregnancy update, but I did it the moment we got home :)
Baby Growth: Blitzen is the size of an avocado and is measuring 4 1/2 inches from head to butt and weighing 3 1/2 oz. Here's what he or she looks like right now!
Belly Picture: We were at the beach with Seth and Crissy so Seth was sweet enough to take some pictures for me (I'm so proud of myself for remembering to pack my weekly stickers!)

My Symptoms: I have been headache free for over a WEEK!!! I'm so pumped!!! Stacy's recommendation to drink a little caffeine has REALLY helped. I try to drink one glass of a caffeine drink a day (which is tricky for me b/c I don't really like any of them) and it's kept my headaches at bay. YAY!

Still having a lot of energy, of course not at the moment because we were up so late with Seth and Crissy at the beach ;) Totally worth being tired though! Duh! Also still lots of discharge and feeling lightheaded when I first stand up. I'm more careful about it, but sometimes I forget and jump out of bed (or out of the sitting position in general) and I'll feel a little bit dizzy. 

You know how you hear pregnant people say that they wake up one morning and BAM nothing fits right? Um...I had my morning! Wednesday I woke up and just felt different. I feel PREGNANT in a way I haven't felt yet this pregnancy. I feel more uncomfortable overall, tougher to get comfortable when sleeping, and clothes don't fit as well. My pants and all still fit but I did pull out the Bella Band and will probably be wearing it this week (I got away with wearing all comfy cotton pants and shorts at the beach so I didn't need it). I also bought some Belly Bands but even the smallest setting doesn't fit yet. I'm just at that in-between size! My clothes were uncomfortable on Wednesday as well as my wedding rings - they just felt tighter so I didn't wear them. I'm still wearing them out in public but not around the house.

My belly also feels (and looks...even though the pictures don't really show it!) more pregnant and I can actually FEEL the baby!!! Blitzen is located halfway between my pubic bone and naval and I can actually feel a harder spot down there where he or she is. Also when I pee now it takes longer b/c I feel like I can't fully empty my bladder...I guess due to pressure from the uterus?

I've been told many times this week that I look really good. Always fun to hear right? I guess I have that pregnancy glow going! Mom came over a couple nights ago for a few minutes and went on and on about how I have cheekbones now and how pretty my hair looked and my skin. I mean I wish this pregnancy side effect would last forever ;) 

Weight: Since I wasn't home on Friday I didn't weigh myself, but I will this coming Friday. I'm hoping that I only continue to gain a lb a week (or less) so I can stay right on track! We'll see!

Gender: Still naturally say the girls name to myself when I think about Blitzen, but really am cool with it being a boy. Kye says "sister" when we ask him, but I think that's only because all his friends are girls and have sisters.

Maternity Clothes: Not yet...but probably not too far away! I'm def. at the point where I can't where everything in my closet anymore!

Movement: Um...I LOVE IT!!!! This child moves like crazy time and I feel it very, very often. Maybe it's the one caffeine drink a day? Whatever it is, I'm enjoying it and I'm eager for it to get strong enough for Zach and Kye to feel too! Makes me excited to see my little somersault baby in the ultrasound in a couple weeks!

Sleep: It hasn't been good, but then again I've been on an air mattress the last three nights ;) I did take a nap each day at the beach and that probably helped some. It's much tougher to get comfortable and I LOVE my pregnancy pillow. 

Cravings: I realized on the beach trip that I do not have the same cravings as last pregnancy. Zach was SO thoughtful and bought me some Choco Tacos and while they were good they weren't good in that omg-I'm-gonna-die-these-are-so-amazing way. Honestly I wasn't that into any of the junk food we had on the trip (SO not like me). I only ate two bites of the cookie dough we bought and a couple Sweet 16 donuts! I was really more craving the pretzels, chips, and that kind of snack stuff (typically not my thing AT ALL). I also LOVED the shrimp feast we had, so seafood still tops my list! (BTW: hit up Red Lobster right now...they have 4 course meals for $15 and it's AWESOME!)

What I Miss: This was another week where I can honestly say I enjoy being pregnant. Seth and I were even talking about how I'd totally be a surrogate mother for someone if they needed it (however I don't think Zach would want to deal with me being pregnant when it's not our kid haha!). 

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week: Feeling ALL the movement. Feeling pregnant (while uncomfortable, I do like that it feels more REAL now). Being around all of Seth and Crissy's kids - baby Titus made me excited to have a baby again, seeing how great Kye did with all of them made me excited to see him in the older brother role, and playing with Stevie made me excited to (hopefully!!!) someday have a child with a personality similar to mine. Zach and I both left the trip more excited about adding to our family!

Questions/Concerns: When I struggled with nursing Kye I took probiotics to help and I do think they had a big effect on Kye's immune system strength. I want to ask Stacy if it'd be smart for me to take some while pregnant too??? 

Goals for the Week: Get this house FINISHED. I have family coming the weekend of the 9th and it's a great goal to have everything how we want it. There are a few key things I'm not going to possibly be able to get before they come (I've exhausted every store in Valdosta and I simply have to plan an Atlanta trip to get what I need!) but I want the stuff that I can control to be completed. Right now that's my MAIN focus! 

Pregnancy #1 Notes from Week 16: At 16 weeks I had gained 3 lb overall. (As of 15 weeks I was still -2 this time around!) I had my 16 week visit with the dr and they told me for my headaches I could take 2 extra strength Tylenol every 3 hours and drink a mtn dew with it - and that seemed to help me. Good to know in case they come back ;) Around this time last pregnancy Zach and I had the great baby bedding debate...you can read about it here. I think in reading that you can understand why this time around I'm not decorating until AFTER Blitzen arrives ;) I was still not having people notice that I was pregnant (same this time around) and it's funny that I even mentioned in this blog entry that my pants still fit b/c the way my belly was sitting - it's the same way right now!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Few Faces

While at the beach and at our dinner Friday night we were waiting a pretty long time for the check so I took the opportunity to capture some shots of Kye. When boredom strikes, whip out a camera right? I thought these were too cute to decide between so I made a little mini-post with them :) I cannot get over how OLD my child looks!!!






I just want to KISS him in this one!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Rest of our Beach Trip

I've mentioned before how much I LOVE name your own price on priceline.com and, yet again, they didn't disappoint. We got a GREAT room at a Hampton Inn on the beach for only $90 a night on Memorial Day weekend...you can't beat that!

Enjoying our room
Since Kye no longer sleeps in a crib (I PROMISE a lonnnnng overdue post on transitioning to the big boy bed is coming, I just want to get back on track chronologically first!) he also no longer sleeps in a pack and play when we travel. Waaaaaaay back when we bought Kye's nursery furniture (99% of you don't remember that so you can read about it here) they threw in a free Peapod tent. We thought it was mega cool but literally never used it. Until now. I was researching ideas for places for toddlers to sleep when traveling and it kept popping up! Turns out it's a toddler travel bed!!! I was nervous to use it so we also bought a kid sized air mattress for travel and we've used both. We like the tent the best though b/c it helps block out light and it gives him his own little space. He really loves it and thinks it's super cool (which us making a BIG deal of it totally helped!). We still rig up sheets/blankets around him to help block out the light and of course we bring along his fan for plenty of noise!!!
You may think it's bad...but let's not forget our kid has slept in a shower a time or two when needed!
enjoying his big boy tent
I really enjoyed staying at the Hampton Inn...they have microwaves and fridges in every room (a must when traveling with a toddler) and have awesome breakfast each morning. We took full advantage of it and Kye LOVED it!!! Plus it allowed me to stock up on milk for the rest of the day for him too :)
Kye's favorite thing to do in hotel rooms is to play with the phones. We just unplug it and it provides endless entertainment. Here's a video of him talking away on it!

Another thing he enjoyed about this hotel room was that it was the LAST room on our floor. So every time we went to go to the elevator we had a long walk. Kye enjoyed racing down the hall (here's a video) and it brought back fun memories from my childhood racing with my cousin, Meghan, through the halls when we'd visit Florida. Plus it gave us a little work out too!
After our morning at the beach and pool we relaxed in the room, Kye napped (and so did we!) and we even watched a family movie. We watched Homeward Bound because Zach and I had great memories of it from our childhood...well we won't be doing that again for several years. It had a lot of scary parts in it that Kye was just too young for (for a LONG time you think Sassy, the cat, DIED...ummm we said she was "hiding"). At least we viewed it as a family and didn't let him watch it in the car or something!

We headed out to find dinner and kinda enjoyed that we were on Valdosta time b/c it meant it was only 4:30 Destin time...which meant we had ZERO waits! We found this cute little restaurant on the beach and thought we'd give it a try. My camera was doing that cloudy cold-hotel-room-to-hot-outside thing it does so sorry again for bad quality of the first set of pictures!






LOVED the open windows overlooking the ocean, Kye had a great time watching the kids play!
I wasn't feeling too hungry so I just ordered some hush puppies and they were GOOD!!! I forgot how much I enjoy them :) Zach got a yummy burger and Kye even picked up the bill! What a gentleman :)

We told Kye if he did good all day not throwing any fits (yes,a post is coming up on that too!) then we'd go to get ice cream for dessert. He was an ANGEL all day and we were pretty glad because we wanted that ice cream! My love for Mochi isn't going anywhere, but I've learned that almost every little town we visit has a yogurt type place with MILLIONS of toppings. When will someone open one in Valdosta??? We need one desperately! We got Kye his own little cup (no toppings for him!) and he dug right in, he may look like his Daddy but his love of ice cream is ALL Mommy!
My cup...under a lb this time since I was still in the I'm-not-hungry phase of pregnancy
I didn't even finish the whole thing!
Overall, it was a nice little mini vacation for our family...I DID realize I really need to sit down and type up a "what to pack when we travel" sheet then laminate it and put it up inside a cabinet or something. Pregnancy brain caused me to forget ANY of Kye's pjs and not pack him ANY extra clothes. Poor kid...he was still learning to stay dry and clean all night at that point and of course since I forgot clothes, he had a million accidents. I know once pregnancy brain is gone, Blitzen will be here and then I'll have TWO kids to pack for so I def think the lists are needed!

We also had a great time watching The Office (don't we always?). Friday night after Kye went to bed we watching the FUNNIEST episode EVER. It's Season 5, Episode 13 "Stress Relief." If you haven't seen it, FIND IT. I don't laugh out loud very easily and I was dying. Like laughing so hard I was scared I'd wake up Kye! I've heard the episodes only get funnier so I'm excited to go on another trip soon and watch more!

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