Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Snow!

So we only received 7-8 inches of snow yesterday, but as you can guess, I was not disappointed!

Here are a few pictures for you Texas folks who don't get to see much of this beautiful powdery stuff.

Snow!

Snow!

Snow!

Snow!

Snow!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

And His Name Shall Be Called...

I love this man

So Chuck's finally decided to go with my choice for a name for the baby! Being the more decisive one, I'm just so glad it's resolved. I don't handle ambiguity very well, obviously. What's funny is, we're in New Hampshire and we keep getting reminded of this name:

We keep seeing this name...

Maybe it sticks out for a reason?

So, whaddaya think of the name Chandler James Thier? Personally, it has the ring to it I've been wanting, and works well with Charlie and Chance. In fact, it almost seems to be a cross between to the two.

Ok, well, here's the recap of our trip so far. We drove up to Austin, dropped off the boys (which they had no problem saying goodbye, I'm hoping its just because they didn't know how long we'd be gone...), and began our adventure. We were in airports from noon - 7 Texas time, which really wasn't bad. The weather was perfect, and both flights (we had a layover in Baltimore) actually arrived early! Yay for Southwest Airlines!

We got settled in our bed and breakfast, which I must say, has surprised me with how great it is. You'd think a bed and breakfast would always be better than a hotel, but I thought this one lacked certain hotel amenities (i.e. a bathtub, hot tub, and swimming pool), that would make me prefer a hotel. BUT this b&b more than makes up for the shortcomings. The owners are so nice and helpful, there's an endless supply of good food available (a must for a pregnant woman), and it's just a beautiful home very close to Chuck's work. We feel very safe here and are really enjoying it!

Saturday we drove 1.5 hours through beautiful hill country - I dare say even more beautiful that our Texas Hill Country (Gasp!) - to the Christmas party for Chuck's company. It was held at the home of one of the founders, and it was beautiful. They were tucked back in some snow covered hills, where - get this - they don't even need curtains or window coverings. That definitely struck a cord with my country loving self! They said the only ones who look thru their windows are moose!! The party was so fun, and I was able to really get a feel for Chuck's new employer. They are so laid back, and this was the first Christmas party I'd been to that was completely casual for a company! I dressed in slacks and a lace shirt and felt a bit overdressed. Not only that but many folks brought their kids, which was so so cool, although it made me miss the boys all the more. It was also hard to not whip out my camera and take pictures of all those beautiful kids! Overall, I'm just in awe of how God has blessed us with this new company. I have a lot of respect for how they run things and treat their employees.


[Scenes from the drive up to Hanover, NH]
Scenes from NH

Scenes from NH

Scenes from NH

Scenes from NH

Sunday (today) we went venturing to the coast and I was able to see the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. The weather was beautiful again, and perfect for travel. The reason I mention the weather so much is that tomorrow a "Noreaster" is coming in, which is a snow storm that's due to drop 12+ inches of snow tonight-tomorrow!! While all the locals are groaning (they usually get 1 to 2 inches a week normally), we are ecstatic. So I'll probably blog more pics tomorrow. ;) Anyhow, it was fun to have a day long date with Chuck (we considered it our delayed Anniversary celebration), and go explore a beautiful small town (Portsmouth, NH).

Hampton Beach & 31 Weeks
[Am I showing yet!?! 31 weeks down, 9 or less to go until we meet Chandler!]

Exploring Hampton Beach, NH
[I found a sand dollar to bring back for the boys.]

Market Square in Portsmouth, NH
[The Market Square that we walked through...and I found a coffee shop with White Hot Chocolate, my favorite!]

2 bridges' Reflection
[We ate lunch overlooking this river, watching big ships be pushed in by tug boats - and watched the draw bridge in action.]

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

365 Days

His serious face

"You can't take my picture, Mommy!"

Happy Boy

I'm in denial that Christmas has passed.



Ok, the reason for the posting of pictures above is in fulfillment of my recent commitment: 365 days of a child. Lots of people take a challenge, usually starting on January 1, where they attempt to take a photo a day. I am attempting to take a photo of each of the boys a day (and baby3 when he gets here). As camera happy as I am, you'd think this would be a cinch. But the truth is, I don't usually pull the camera out every day. And with a third child coming, I have a feeling that'll get even harder. But I know I won't regret it. Today I wouldn't have pulled the camera out, except that I remembered this challenge...and was able to get the pictures above. I am hoping that a year from now I can look back on this discipline and see how much I've learned.

In other news, I saw the doctor this morning, I've gained 23 pounds (28 if you count the 5 I lost then gained back), and everything's perfectly in place. He's even in position. It's always fun to hear his heartbeat. I'll find out around Valentine's Day if we'll induce up to 2 weeks early based on his weight. Also, my doctor said I can start taking claritin for the Cedar Fever (Thank You, Lord!!) and I'm clear to travel this week.

Oh, and my challenge will be on hold Friday-Thursday, as I'll be away from the boys for a whole week! I'm accompanying Chuck to New Hampshire (New Hampster is what Charlie calls it) for his business trip. I can't wait to get away from the Cedar, although I'll be missing two very special little boys... ;) And if you think of it, pray for mine and Chuck's folks as they care for the boys while we're gone.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Love the Zoo, hate the Cedar

S.W.A.K.

Yesterday Charlie came down from his room fully dressed for the day. He often changes his clothes throughout the day, and I've about given up on keeping his clothes organized in his dresser because of it. But anyhow, he actually asked me to take his photo, he was so proud of his outfit. I was floored, and of course, dropped everything and ran to get my camera before he changed his mind...


He dressed himself

Anyhow, since my last post, I've found that the Cedar X helps, but it is not bringing these darn Cedar allergies under control. I'm now convinced that God decided Central Texas should be covered in pollen instead of snow each winter. This is the best time of the year for weather here, yet also the only time of the year when I consider moving! :) But, the guilt nags me, as the boys get stir crazy from being cooped up inside, that we need to be outdoors. So today, since it was raining and overcast (which means less cedar pollen), a friend and I decided to take the boys to the zoo. Everything was great until the clouds rolled away and the air became toxic again. Then my friend and I were sniffling and sneezing, and eventually gave into the idea of taking the kids home. But, as you can guess, I still managed to get a few pictures... (Did I mention, I'm LOVING the new lens?!)


Explorer Boys
[The boys and their friend William, running to see the elephants.]

Scoping Flamingos
[Checking out the flamingos.]


[Sweet Elizabeth joined us, too. When she's around, I always warm up to the idea of having a daughter...Uh oh! ;)]

Feeding Lory birds
[Charlie was very brave this time, as we fed the Lory birds. It was his first time to do it alone!]


[Our friend Ethan joined us, too. He is so cute!]


[Chance enjoyed the lion statues.]


[He even kinda posed for me while waiting to ride the "choo choo."]


[One of these days, I'm gonna dig out all the pics of Charlie in this butterfly, to show how he's grown!]

So as we returned home, Chance took a short nap, which meant he wouldn't sleep once we got settled...so thankfully Chuck let me take a nap once he got off work...but none of this seems to be helping the Cedar suffering. I'm ready to fly away like a Cedar Bird...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Gorgeous Day

McNay Art Museum

Today was 75 degrees and sunny, so how could we not go out adventuring? We spontaneously decided to go to the McNay Art Museum. My only regret is I didn't dress us for the occasion. It is a beautiful place to take pictures and the boys love running around on the grounds. It was Chuck's first time to go, and he was impressed with what a beautiful place it is. Thus, he took most of the pictures.

McNay Art Museum
[This one was totally un-staged. Charlie loved imitating the statues!]

McNay Art Museum
[We managed to get Chance to smile for the camera...not always an easy feat!]

McNay Art Museum
[Both boys enjoyed climbing a tree.]

McNay Art Museum

McNay Art Museum
[We even got a side profile of baby3.]


It was a fantastic day, and tomorrow promises to be more of the same! Not bad for January!

The one thing that has made me feel like a prisoner in my own home over the last 2 weeks is Cedar Fever. Since we received extra rain this year, the cedar pollen is even more abundant. And since I'm pregnant, there's nothing I can take to help me cope. Even as we discussed getting out today, I was leery of the effects the pollen would take on my sinuses. However, I had read an article about a product that is only made here in San Antonio, and not on a large scale, but a little "Institute" makes it. It's called "Cedar X" and it's an aromatherapy thing. I don't know much about aromatherapy but this one makes sense to me...It's a bit of Cedar oil plus other things, and you dab a little on your wrists, and that amount of Cedar is enough to keep your allergies at bay for about 4 hours. It wasn't very expensive, and it's safe for pregnancy, and I read tons of testimonials about how it works, so we picked it up on our way to the museum. Did it work?! It sure seems like it. I didn't sneeze once while we were there, which is huge. I've been sneezing and having itchy, watery eyes non stop for over a week. And it's even more pronounced if I step outside. So, basically this stuff gives your body enough Cedar to cause your immune system to chill out. It's not a drug, so no side effects, yay! Anyhow, if you want more info, here's the website: Cedar X. You may have to scroll down to find it. Here are a few articles on it: Daily Times, My SA, and WOAI. Here are the testimonials, too. And also, I have a few samples, so email me if you want one.

I wouldn't wish Cedar allergies on anyone, but if you do indeed have it, I hope you can find some relief soon...and get outside and play in this gorgeous weather!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Quick Update

This may seem completely scatterbrained, but I have some things to record that don't relate to each other. Also, I feel funny posting a blog without photos, but I know if I don't get this stuff down now, it'll be gone from my pregnant brain forever.

1. Charlie got his dental work done today. One molar was pulled, another was root canaled and crowned. What a trooper he was! It was so funny...we were in the waiting room after they'd given him a little cocktail of sedatives, and he started acting...shall we say "drunk"?! He was talking slowly and slurring his words. He would say, "Mommy, say what I say: 'Tuh'". So I would say "Tuh," and he'd give this goofy laugh and grin. Then he said, "Mommy, your teeth are standing up, uhhuhuhuh." His slow motion laugh was hilarious. I wish I'd had a video camera. He kept telling me he could walk, and wanted to go play with the toys, but then he'd end up lying on the ground. When the nurse came to get him I told her he can't walk, and he said, "Yes I can" and everyone in the waiting room laughed as he attempted to walk into the office.

He came thru it ok, but was quite fussy when it was over. Thankfully he fell asleep on the way home and slept for over 3 hours. I'm so glad it's over, no more worries about abscessed teeth!

2. New Years... I just had to blog about this. Some very understanding friends came over for games at our house that evening, and it was so much fun! We stayed up til 3 AM and it felt like the early days of our marriage (or even our college days) again. The boys also enjoyed hanging with everyone and they got to do some sparklers outside. Chuck said Chance is a bit daring and dangerous with a sparkler...uh oh! I wouldn't know though, I stayed indoors due to the evil cedar pollen that's blowing around everywhere. I'm looking forward to not being pregnant...then I'll be able to take meds to help me survive ;)

3. Speaking of pregnant, I'll be 30 weeks tomorrow! That means in 8 weeks I'll technically be "full term." This is usually when I start freaking out, but I've already pulled out all of the clothes for his first year and organized them, along with the various baby equipment, so...we're good! Since 2nd trimester was all about nesting, maybe I could just chill out for this trimester?! Hmm, probably not!

4. And about the due date...This year is a leap year, which means it's possible this boy could come a little early...say February 29th?! Wouldn't that be weird?! Also, we're 95% decided on name. Chuck won't let me announce it yet, but stay tuned. Hopefully we have come to a decision! This boy needs a name, as he's already getting nicknames from people, such as Chad, Cade, Champ, Chewbaca, Chiquita, etc. ;)

5. Also, I have to gush about how exciting it is for Chance to be in a big bed. About a week ago I decided to put him in a room at Chuck's parent's house that only had a bed - no toys for distraction. I did the normal bedtime routine, then told him to stay laying down, and I walked out and closed the door. I kept hearing him get up, but I would just tell him thru the door that he needed to go back to sleep, and he would run back to the bed. And that's how it's been ever since. I have the boys in separate rooms for now, but it's really gone smoothly!! The really great things about this are: 1. I don't have to listen to a monitor thru the night for in case he wakes up and needs me to get him out of the crib, and 2. I was able to take apart the crib and put it away, making room for all the new toys they got for Christmas! The only downside so far, is he's been getting up at 7:30 instead of 9 AM...I'm not sure why. But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

lazy dog

6. Hosea. This is about a month overdue. Hosea is our chihuahua that we've had since a few months after we were married. Like my mom, I'm a total dog-lover, and Chuck gave into my wishes and got him for me for my birthday. He was an indoor dog but never fully house trained (my fault, I had no idea how to get him there). 4 years later he was forced to become an outdoor dog because we refloored the house and had a baby on the way. It all went downhill from there. Once we moved to San Antonio, his pen was much smaller, so I tried to let him run free most of the time...until he decided to potty all over our porch, and especially the kids' toys. Also, if ever a door was cracked, he'd run in the house and start marking his territory! I knew quickly that he needed a new home. What I didn't know was how to convince Charlie he needed a new home. Charlie was very attached to Hosea. So, when my mom came to visit for Thanksgiving, she offered to take him home with her. What amazed me was Mom said, "Charlie, do you think Hosea could come live at my house? He'll still be your dog and you can come visit." Charlie thought for a moment and said, "Ok." I could've fainted! So, all that to say, I get reports often on how much Hosea is loving life as an indoor and spoiled rotten dog! Mom says she's even got him house trained! Such a happy ending!