This week, the baby has been busy making brain cells and finishing growing out his fingernails and toenails. Reading that reminded me how badly I hated trimming Lee's nails when he was a baby! I never cut him, but it was a constant fear. His brain has taken shape and is working full time to regulate all of his bodily functions, including his body temperature. With all of this hard work, he hasn't had much time to gain weight this week. According to the blog, he still weighs around 3 pounds but has grown a half inch to around 15 1/2 inches. He is really enjoying Helping Hand season, and I feel certain that with all of the indulgences that it brings into our home, he is gaining weight quicker than our blog indicates. His favorite purchase from last week's auction was mini-pumpkin cheesecakes! And what a coincidence that no one else in our house eats pumpkin cheesecake!
As badly as I feel for comparing my baby to a dog, that's what the baby blog compared his current size to...a Yorkie.
Since we don't own a Yorkie (shocker!), I asked Aunt Clara to send me some pictures of her Sammy for a comparison. Here he is being held by Nicholas, who is 7.
Lee's little brother has officially started moving into his new room. So far, the only clothes in his closet are the ones we have gotten as gifts. I'll be washing and hanging up his clothes in the coming weeks. I'm looking so forward to seeing Lee's baby clothes again. We are about 10 weeks away from meeting the newest member of our family, and we can not wait!
I had been seeing in my hometown newspaper for a few days how beautiful Reelfoot Lake was since freezing. I have heard stories my whole life about the last time the lake froze and how people drove cars out there, etc. I have seen it icy many times, but I can't remember ever seeing it completely frozen in my lifetime. So I knew I had to see it in person when visiting family last week, with my camera in hand, of course! I was just mesmerized as I drove around the banks. I drove and drove just in awe and looking for a good photo op. I can only say that only God could have created something so magnificent and beautiful.
This is one of my favorite places at the lake. I spent a lot of time at this park when I was little, and this is the exact place where I was baptized when I was 12. It was July 1st, so it was a bit warmer that day!
I happened upon a group of "Yankee" duck hunters, who obviously were not getting to hunt as anticipated. They were having the best time daring each other to do crazy things, like running and sliding out there. They would bet each other who was brave enough to go further, etc. They finally asked where I was from and if I had ever seen anything like this. They shared that this was a 3 generation trip that they had been planning for 2 years. I felt sad that they weren't able to get in a boat and really enjoy the Reelfoot experience, but they were having the time of their lives right then. I enjoyed being a spectator to their antics.
This weekend, we had to completely empty out our closets to prepare for new shelving to be installed this week. Lee was such a big helper. I had a list of "jobs" ready for him, to keep him busy and out of the grown-ups' way. I was so surprised and tickled when I saw how neatly he had stacked his games and puzzles on the hearth, just as instructed. The best part, for me, was seeing how he paired his boots and set them up so sweetly in front. He did all of this on his own and in record time. He finished his jobs a lot quicker than I anticipated.
Since Lee's room is still painted to coordinate with his baby bedding, we thought it would be nice for him to upgrade with a more masculine room and let "Andy" take over the old room. We took a pillow from Lee's bed to find some paint, and Lee chose this denim blue color to coordinate. Matt laughed when I came home with 3 rollers and 3 pans. He didn't laugh long when he realized the benefits of Lee having his own tools. We appointed him a wall and turned him loose.
He had the BEST time, and even though we're not great painters, Matt and I had fun too. Lee stayed occupied and was content with the space we allowed him. The color turned out great and looks very masculine. We moved his furniture in and decorated, and I think it turned out SO cute! He began sleeping in there immediately and has loved his new space. Andy's room is near completion too. He has a bed, book shelf, and rocking chair now. After the closets are done, we'll have room to move his changing table up from the basement. It's beginning to look like a baby is on the way now! I'll post pictures as soon as the clothes are out of the floor and in the closets!
Baby "Andy" has been growing and growing the past couple of weeks. He is still very active, mostly at night. He does respond to loud sounds and music. I think he is enjoying the American Idol auditions, with "Pants on the Ground" being his personal favorite! I sing to him all the time, and he seems to like it, unlike his very vocal brother, who doesn't hesitate to tell me to stop singing! We are having new shelving installed in the boys' closets, so while both rooms and closets were empty, we decided to get everything set up for him. Lee took the guest room, and we painted and moved his furniture in there this weekend. He made the transition very easily. After Lee's old room was vacated, Matt and his dad put the baby bed together and set it up in there. Next, we moved the bookshelf in and quickly filled it. After the closets are done, all that will be left to move is the changing table. I can hardly wait to begin washing his clothes and hanging them in his closet. Now, on to his progress....
Hello 3rd Trimester! At week 28, he weighed about 2.5 pounds and was 15 inches long. This package that just came was exactly 15 inches long and was about 2 pounds. I was thrilled that it was so close! He can now open his eyes and blink. His eyes have one color now, although it will likely change when he is older. (For the record, Lee's eyes are still the same vibrant blue they were the day he was born:-) He is beginning to look chubby and will continue to build fat over the next few weeks.
At Week 29, he is still gaining fat and now weighs at least 3 pounds and is 15 inches long. The blog I refer to said that he will likely double his current weight by birth, and could even triple it. I just had to laugh when I read that. Lee weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces! I don't believe Andy will weigh that much, simply because he will be born quite a bit earlier than Lee. This week, his brain began controlling his breathing, which is consistent now. He can also cough now. According to the blog, I should be a swollen mess this week, but thankfully, that hasn't come...yet. My hands and feet never swelled with Lee, so hopefully it won't happen this time either. I can't believe that we're less than 3 months away from meeting our sweet angel. On one hand, I can hardly stand to wait another minute, and on the other, I don't want this precious time to be over. Even though he allows me no more than a few hours of sleep each night, I'm going to miss these sweet kicks, punches and flutters and having him all to myself!
Baby Andy is 27 weeks now and is growing, growing, growing this week! I can tell from his movements that he has gotten a lot bigger. This is also a big week for his lungs and immune system development. He can also distinguish voices and supposedly responds to mine the most. That must be why he is so active, with all the singing and goofing that Lee and I do together. I told Lee tonight that he can hear what we're saying, which led to the following...
...a few songs for him,
and a few tickles, jokes and riddles.
It was pretty darn cute! When he was done, there was a huge wet spot on my shirt from his drool. I kept telling him that he didn't have to put his mouth right on my tummy for the baby to hear him, but he kept doing it. At 27 weeks, the baby weighs about 2 pounds and is approximately 15 inches long or the size of this pork loin. Lee was really struggling to hold it today. It was so funny. He was talking to it like it was the baby. He said, "Boy, you've grown this week." He still doesn't have a name. We have a list of 10 names that we could each live with if chosen. However, Matt has his favorite, and I have mine. If I knew we would have another boy, I could commit to a name with no problem. But the thought of not using our favorite names makes me sad. There is one name in particular that I have loved for a couple of years. Matt works with a guy with a similar name, and every time he says it, my heart flutters. It is a name that just makes me happy. I will love whatever we decide on, but I am hoping that a few more of the 10 names we love will become less attractive to us over the next couple of weeks.
This sweet little treat was waiting on me in the mailbox when I got home today. I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but the eyes are buttons and there is stitching around the nose and mouth that make the outfit too cute for words.
Here are the highlights from our trip to Disney World. We left our house at 3:30 AM and headed to the Nashville Airport. Matt had the car hot, and we left Lee in his pajamas, expecting him to sleep all the way there. Boy were we surprised when he was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from the minute we put him in the car. We were quiet, hoping he would go back to sleep. No such luck. He knew where we were headed, and he was too excited to sleep. So just outside of Nashville, we decided to stop at the potty service and to change Lee into his clothes. He thought it was hilarious to get dressed there and said, "I can't believe I'm doing this!" Lee thought everything about the airport was wonderful, right down to taking his shoes off to go through security! He was such a good sport about everything, and I was so thankful that my nervousness about flying hadn't shown to him. He sat by the window and watched everything. The quickest way (& earliest flight) to Orlando included a stop in Atlanta. We basically walked off the plane and were at the next gate. We had time for a quick restroom break, and then were on to the next plane. We were still in shock that Lee had not only had a nap, but was in the best mood. We made it to Orlando before noon, and Lee was immediately ready to go! We used the Disney travel plan, so we didn't even have to pick up our luggage from the airport. All we had to do was catch a bus and start our fun!
We started out at Hollywood Studios. This picture is so funny to me, because normally, we have to fight Lee to get him to wear a coat, hat and gloves in cold weather. But he wanted to keep his jacket on almost the entire time we were there. It was in the 60's every day, and I even wore flip flops and capris. Matt wore short sleeves every day, except when we started home. But by looking at Lee, you would think it was freezing! We did need a jacket at night, especially on the rides. I hadn't thought about the metal on the rides being so cold, so I bought us each a pair of gloves while there.
This was our first ride experience, and it was obvious that we were rookies! The wait time showed 45 minutes, but since Toy Story is one of Lee's favorites, we decided to do it anyway. Once inside where we could see the line, it was obvious that it was far more than a 45 minute wait. It was too late to turn back though. This Mr. Potato Head provided some entertainment while we waited. Everyone, young and old loved him!
After more than an hour and a half wait, we got to the ride which was in 3D, and Lee LOVED it! We quickly learned that anything in 3D would be a favorite of Lee's.
The ride was a ton of fun, but had we known how popular it was, we would have gotten a fast-pass and come back at a better time.
My personal favorite part of Hollywood Studios was the Osbourne Christmas light display. The Osbournes had this on their property and lent it to Disney to use in their display.
The pictures do not do justice to the magnificence of this light display. It was an entire street decorated from top to bottom with lights, and they were set to music.
If any of you have been to Puryear to see the light display set to music, it was set up like that, only a million times bigger.
It really was something to see. I think it was the only time while there that I wished we had our video camera with us too.
We got back to the hotel to find that Jessie the Elf had followed us to Disney World! Lee was so surprised and excited!
The next day, we headed to Magic Kingdom. It was a beautiful day, and we had so much fun. None of us wanted to stop for a second, even to eat! I had packed water and snacks in my bag, so we kind of snacked while walking to the next ride.
You might have to enlarge this picture to see Lee's hand. He saw someone beside us doing this in their picture. When I asked him what it meant, he said "They were making Mickey ears with their fingers."
Lee loved all the character statues around the park.
A stranger took our picture, and it is a little blurry.
See that ride in the sky to the right? That's the Space Orbiter, and my 4 year old BABY rode that numerous times and loved it! The first time he rode it, he came off laughing so hard, because he said he scared his daddy on it. He had NO fear with any of the rides that he was big enough to ride.
This is the river boat that goes up and down the river throughout the Magic Kingdom. Since The Princess and the Frog had just been released, the characters from that were on it performing songs from the soundtrack. It was incredible. I want to see the movie, but Lee informed me that he doesn't watch princess movies!
Lee's very favorite ride was the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He and Matt are in the seat third from the end. Matt said he would raise his little arms up and say "Wooo." I love roller coasters and want Lee to love them too. But a feeling I've never felt before came over me as I sent my baby through the line to get on it for the first time while I waited outside. I kept wanting to call Matt to make sure they were okay or to talk them out of it.
Once I saw this face, all fear was gone. He loved it!
Although Lee wasn't overly impressed with meeting the characters, he did love seeing his favorites, Woody and Jessie! He got an autograph book while we were there, so each character signed his book when we got to meet them.
Here are some favorites from the Christmas parade.
This is Tiana, the Princess from The Princess and the Frog.
Lee couldn't believe Santa was at Disney World!
One of our favorite shows was the Hall of Presidents. It was 20 minutes long, but we both agreed that we could have watched for an hour. At the end of the presentation, which highlighted numerous Presidencies, each of the "Presidents" stood up and said his name. It was so realistic. I was a weepy mess after watching it. Lee even sat the whole time and acted interested. He kept asking where Barack Obama was, and I was afraid that he wouldn't be included yet. But he was. In fact, the tribute to him was very moving and lengthy.
The Dumbo ride had one of the longest lines, but Lee and Matt were troopers and loved it. Lee kept making his elephant go up and down and said that he scared Daddy.
A ride for Mommy! Actually, there were only a couple of rides that I couldn't ride. I took advantage of the lines and roller coasters to do some shopping and mapping out our route.
Matt's favorite ride was the Teacups. Look at Lee's poor head spinning around. I was not happy with Matt for being so rough, but I guess judging from Lee's begging to ride it again and again, he made it just fine!
Here are 2 very happy boys!
And after 13 hours of Magic Kingdom fun, here is one very tired boy! I let him choose 1 friend to take with him, and he chose a new bear that Santa gave him a few days before we left. I was so sad that he didn't choose Alan the Fireman as his companion. I have been even sadder since getting home to see how quickly he tossed Alan aside for the new bear. I don't know if it is more special since Santa gave it to him, but he has slept with him and toted him around since he got him.
We took his Advent Calendar with us so he wouldn't forget that Christmas would be here when we got home. See the bear?
The next day, we went back to Magic Kingdom to see some things we missed and to see the night parade and fireworks.
This was the happening place to take pictures, so none of them are very good. We tried to get in when the crowds cleared a little, but it was too hectic to really focus on a good picture.
Our first ride was the Railroad again. Here, Lee is showing me how many times he has ridden it...6 times!
Lee and Scrooge McDuck
I was surprised (& thrilled!) that he chose plain Mickey ears for himself and baby Andy. They had every character you can imagine, including McQueen!
Matt did a little shopping too. He chose a onesie for the baby with a picture of Mater that says, "Who backfired?" Nice.
We finally found where Mickey and Minnie were and took pictures.
This was on a train tour around Magic Kingdom.
Lee thought Pluto was funny. He put Lee's book on his nose to sign it. Lee has mentioned that several times since we got home.
I stood in line to get Lee to see Chip and Dale...
while Matt stood in line for Daisy. I wasn't sure it was going to work out, because my line was moving SO slowly. We were just across the street from each other, so we ran and made it just in the nick of time.
We took a break from the Magic Kingdom and went to our resort and rode a boat down the Sassagoula River to Downtown Disney for shopping and seafood. Some Chattanoogans that we met at our resort insisted that we take Lee to the Lego store while there.
It was an absolute ZOO, so we didn't get to appreciate the full experience. Lee did love this huge Buzz Lightyear display. There were numerous displays throughout the store that we enjoyed seeing.
This was just outside in the river and was made out of Legos. I wish I had more information, like how many Legos were used, etc.
Lee found another Buzz, that was not made from Legos.
Back at the resort, we took a restroom break in the lobby restrooms. While Lee and I waited for Matt to come back, he jumped up on this stage and started singing Christmas songs at the top of his lungs. He had no idea that there were people behind him in the bar, who were watching him and were highly entertained. He sang the Chipmunks' Christmas song the best, and the people were laughing hysterically. If he had known they were back there, he would have been hiding behind my legs.
I will confess that I need a "Cinderella's Castle Anonymous Support Group." I could not get enough of it! The Christmas lights and decorations just begged to be photographed. So when we went back to the Magic Kingdom after dinner, I took at least 100 pictures of it. I will never get tired of looking at them.
This was my favorite.Our main objective for the night was seeing the SpectroMagic Parade and fireworks. It did not disappoint. I even got a little teary watching the wonder on Lee's face. It truly was magical.
Much like the Osbourne Christmas Lights, these pictures can't do justice for how amazing the fireworks show was in person. I love fireworks anyway, but the whole atmosphere was unbelieveable.
The next morning, it was time to pack up and spend our last day at Disney. Here are my boys sadly taking our luggage. Aren't these streets beautiful? We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. I have never been to New Orleans, but if it is this beautiful, then I can't wait to go there!
Goodbye New Orleans!
It was then time to see Animal Kingdom! I can't believe they didn't try to keep Lee there. Notice he is still wearing his jacket and hood, and this was the warmest day of our trip. It was nearly 70 degrees. Matt and I were wearing long sleeves, since it was supposed to be 20 degrees when we got home later that night. We nearly roasted in the sun and our long sleeves that day though.
One of Lee's favorite shows was It's a Bug's Life in 3D. Matt and I got such a kick out of watching him duck and dodge things throughout the show.
Here he is meeting Safari Donald.
Our favorite part of Animal Kingdom was the Safari tour. We rode on a jeep like this through a safari and saw tons of amazing animals.
This is the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom.
This was the last ride of our trip. We were so sad to leave and were not at all ready to come home.
Before we left, this cutie had to have his own safari hat. We then went back to our resort and caught the bus to the airport. After catching the last flight of the day and a fairly uneventful trip, we were back in frigid Nashville. Again, Lee loved flying and gave us blow by blow details from sitting by the window. We saw the most beautiful sunset over Orlando that Lee thought was really great. Everything went so smoothly at the airports and resort that it was almost too good to be true. We were so thankful that the terrorist waited for 2 days after we were home to pull his stunt that screwed up all the security at the airports. We were very fortunate in all three airports to not have any scares, delays, or problems. Luckily we had Christmas and all its celebrations to look forward to or we would have all moped around the house for the next week. But we jumped right into Christmas and have had a blast reliving our memories from Disney World. We are already making tentative plans to go back when Andy is big enough. It can't come soon enough for any of us!
We have been married for 11 years and are the proud parents of 7 year old Lee, who is a 2nd Grader at Rhea Elementary, and 2 year old Wade. Buzz is our 8 year old Lab/Golden mix, and Sam is our 1 year old mutt. We live in Paris and can't imagine a better place to raise our family!