Monday, June 25, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth - Part One

I had a seminar on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week, so my Mom, Autumn and I headed to Orlando a few days early to spend some time at "the happiest place on earth." 

Our Saturday morning flight left at 7:50am, so it was a very early morning.  I got up before 5am and we woke up Autumn right before we left, changed her diaper and put her in the car in her PJ's.  Tia was also flying out of Hobby that morning, so we picked her up on the way to the airport.  It was nice to have an extra hand in the airport, because between Autumn and all of our bags we had our hands full. 

The flight there was not too bad at all.  We had a stop in New Orleans, but we did not have to change plans.  We were also lucky enough to manage a row to ourselves on both flights.  We chose not to buy Autumn a ticket, because kids under 2 can fly for free in your lap.  This meant that if the plane was not completely full we could end up with an extra seat for Autumn, but there were no guarantees.  Autumn was generally pretty easy on the flights to Orlando. The iPad came in handy, although we couldn't find earphones that really worked well for her.  She didn't seem to mind though.  About 5 minutes before we landed in Orlando baby girl finally fell asleep.

Happy girl

Autumn and Mommy, the pacificer came in handy on the plane rides.

Asleep in the Orlando airport while Mommy and Grandma grabbed some lunch.
We arrived at our hotel around 2pm and had to wait for our room to be ready.  We checked our bags with the bell hop and grabbed a snack.  After our room was ready we quickly changed clothes and packed up to head to Hollywood Studios for the afternoon. 

We stayed at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort (because my seminar was being held there and we are Hilton Honors members).  I give it a 3 out of 5 stars.  My main complaint was that the hotel did not have any self-service laundry facilities.  I understand that it was a higher end resort, but it also caters to familes (since it is located on Disney property) and families need to clean clothes.  Their laundry service was way too expensive to consider, so our last night there I actually hand washed a few items in the sink.  Also, their toilets seemed to be the low flow kind that don't flush well. My other main complaint was the timing of their cleaning service seemed to always come during Autumn's nap time (roughly 12:30 to 3 or 4).  We informed them of this the first time and they seemed to adjust a little bit, but it was still a pain somedays when our room wasn't cleaned until we came back late in the evening.  The hotel did have a very nice pool, which included a lazy river and a beach entry.  They also showed family movies on the lawn every evening, which you could actually view from inside the pool.  Also, kids ate free in the family friendly restaurant for breakfast and dinner.  The hotel offered a free shuttle to/from the Disney Parks every 30 minutes or hour (depending on the park).  I would definitely consider staying here again next time we visit WDW.

Once we got on the shuttle and headed to Hollywood Studios; we realized that the shuttle actually stopped at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and then Hollywood Studios.  Autumn was getting kinda fussy, so we decided to just get off at the first stop - Magic Kingdom.  This ended up working out well.  We got to see a Mickey show, eat a snack, ride the tea cups and ride Dumbo.  After having a lot of fun Autumn started to get a little fussy, so we decided to call it an early night.  We ate dinner back at the hotel and got to bed relatively early.  We realized on Saturday, that it gets very hot in the afternoon, so we decided our game plan would be to start early each monring and then head back to the hotel for a nap during the heat of the day before going back to the park for dinner, rides and the nighttime shows.  I don't have any pictures from our first day.  It was a little hectic, just getting the feel of everything.

Sunday, we started early, heading to Hollywood Studios.  While there we met Mickey, saw the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, did some shopping, and ate at the 50's Prime Time Cafe.  Autumn loved the Voyage of the Little Mermaid.  Ariel is her favorite princess.  I have had NO influence on this at all (insert sarcasm).  After lunch we headed back to the hotel for nap time.  Getting Autumn to take a nap during this trip was super easy, since she was so worn out from all of the fun she was having.  After nap time we headed to Epcot.  Autumn's favorite part of Epcot was the Living Seas, which included a Nemo ride and a lot of aquariums to view.  She loves fish.  We ate dinner in Mexico at the Hacienda, which was mediocre at best (coming from Texas, we just expect better Mexican food).  After dinner we walked around the countries before the nighttime fireworks show.  I think Epcot is my favorite park.  I kept thinking - I wish I wasn't pregnant so I could drink.  They had margaritas in Mexico, wine in Italy and beer in Germany.  Next time I go to WDW I will not be pregnant.  I could really use a drink after a day of toting a toddler around.  The Epcot nighttime fireworks show was neat, but we didn't have a great view of it.  I recommend securing a good view early.

Okay, enough typing, I'll leave you with some pictures from Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  I will post more on the rest of our trip soon.

Meeting Mickey

Autumn was not a fan of her stroller.

Hanging out with Mickey.

More Mickey.

We loved our paci.

Hugging Pooh.  Autumn wasn't very familiar with Pooh, so she seemed a little wary of him.

Hanging out with Mommy and Pooh.

More Pooh Bear.

Fell asleep on the shuttle back to the hotel with her new Daisy.

Nap time.

Visiting the Fish at Epcot.

Hanging out with Nemo's turtle friend.

Working on saying "cheese."

Waiting with Grandma on dinner in Mexico.

Wearing her new Minnie Mouse ears.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Baby Walker Gender Reveal

A week ago, on Thursday, we had a "Gender Reveal Party" to reveal to our family and ourselves Baby Walker's gender.  Immediately after our ultrasound on Wednesday I went to The Sweet Boutique (TSB)  in the Sugar Land Town Square and placed an order for two dozen chocolate cake pops with either pink or blue cake inside.  I had e-mailed back and forth with Martin, one of the bakers there, about placing my order.  I wanted to be able to give them an envelope with the baby's sex written on a piece of paper inside and leave without knowing exactly which cake pops I was ordering.  This worked out perfectly, because my friend, Carey, who is one of TSB Managers was working there when I arrived.  I knew that the blue cake pops would be a little more expensive than the pink ones, because they have to make the cake dough custom vs. just using the strawberry cake dough for the pink.  Since I knew there was a cost differential I told Carey I did not want to know my final total for the cake pops, so I wouldn't figure out which color I was ordering.  TSB was great and they handled the order perfectly. 

I had asked everyone to dress in either blue or pink, depending on whether they thought we were having a boy or girl.  It was fun to see the guesses.  After everyone arrived, before we even started eating dinner, we decided to dig into the cake pops, so we could see if we were having a girl or boy.    I passed out the cake pops to everyone and told them to wait.  Autumn was going to bite into the cake pop first.  She knew exactly what to do.  That girl loves her some cake pops.  After a couple of bites Autumn got into the cake and we could tell that the inside was PINK!  We are having another sweet baby girl.  I am so excited for Autumn to have a little sister and for me to dress them alike!  I think Andrew has decided to forego a college savings and just start saving for weddings.  Andrew has always said that he would be perfectly happy with all baby girls, so I knew he wouldn't be upset that he wasn't getting a little boy to play with. 

We really enjoyed sharing this special moment with our families.  I loved the gender reveal party idea.  It was such a fun way to celebrate our little girl.

Here are some fun pics from the party!

Big girl excited to party!

Playing with Nana's cane.

More cane action.

Passing out the cake pops.

Cake Pops!

Tia guessed girl!

Let's get this party started!

Why is everyone so interested in me eating?

Proud Mommy and Daddy.

Big sister digging into a corn on the cob!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Anatomy Ultrasound

Yesterday we had our anatomy ultrasound at 18 weeks 6 days.  Baby Walker #2 looks great!  (S)he is measuring right on track for a November 8th due date.  This was very reasssuring news, since our antomy ultrasound with Autumn indicated that her growth was not on the "normal" curve.  I ended up being diagnosed with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) with Autumn at the beginning of my 2nd trimester and went on modified bed rest not too long after that.  We feel very blessed that Autumn was just a small baby, but was otherwise very normal.  I am so happy that we have been blessed with a healthy baby and a smooth pregnancy so far.  We have our gender reveal party tonight, and I cannot wait!!!  Here are a few pics from our ultrasound and a couple of cute pics of my big baby.

Perfect profile.

So that's the fist that keeps punching me!

Tiny feet!

Happy girl.

My big girl loves to eat, even broccoli.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

20 Months

Autumn is 20 months old today.  20 Months just seems so close to 2, and Autumn is definitely getting closer to the Terrible (and Wonderful) Two's.  Here are some updates on what she is up to lately:
  • Weight approx. 23 lbs, give or take half a pound.
  • Height 33 inches or so
  • Diaper Size 4
  • Shoe Size 5
  • Clothes - 12-18 months in pants, skirts, and shirts; 18-24 months in dresses; 2T in PJ's
  • Autumn's hair is getting longer and curlier.  I love her soft curls in the back.
  • Autumn is becoming more demanding and defiant.  She likes to tell us where to go and what to do and if we don't do what she wants WATCH OUT!  :-)  She will shake her little index finger at you and say something like "bad".  It's hard not to laugh at the cuteness of it.  I'm not quite sure where she has picked this up from either.
  • Autumn does not like time out's, but Mommy and Daddy have found them to be very effective. 
  • Autumn loves to give hugs and kisses and a few months ago her kisses started being more normal.  She used to only give open mouthed kisses.
  • Autumn loves her baby dolls and stuffed animals and she likes to hug them when you ask her to.
  • Autumn thinks she is having a "sees".  I like to ask her where Mommy's baby is and she points to my belly.  Last weekend I asked her if she wanted a sister or a brother and she said "sees".  I think she may have just been repeating what I said, but I am taking it as her prediction of baby #2's gender.  We'll find out soon enough though (ultrasound tomorrow and gender reveal party on Thursday).
  • Autumn is a big helper.  She throws away her trash, diapers, etc.  She likes to wash her hands and brush her teeth and she likes to bring you things you ask for.
  • Autumn still loves shoes.  If you are in our house barefoot she will find your shoes and bring them to you.  She did that this weekend to Tia's Dad (Abuelito) who was barefoot (in his own house mind you).  Autumn brought him his house shoes.
  • Autumn LOVES chocolate.
  • Autumn is still a great eater.  Some meals she eats more than others, and she generally snacks a lot, but I don't think I have found anything she won't eat.
  • Our project to "Disneyfy" Autumn has gone well.  She loves Minnie and Mickey.  I can't wait to see her reaction when we get to Disney World this weekend.  I am hoping and praying for good weather.
Autumn, you are so much fun at this age.  You like to test out your boundaries and can drive Mommy and Daddy nuts, but then you turn around and do something that just melts our hearts.  You are talking more and more every day and you understand so much.  Mommy and Daddy love you very much and we think you will be a wonderful big sister.

Several days ago Autumn and Daddy were rough housing (Daddy was tickling Autumn and she was running away from him).  She tripped and fell and hit her head on the corner of her bed.  She had to have "glue" put on her boo-boo.  We were glad that it didn't require stitches, although the trip to the Minor ER Clinic was not fun for any of us.

Eating chocolate - YUM!

More chocolate at Tia's baby shower in San Antonio.  Side note - Autumn bit me and had to go in time out after I refused to let her have a 2nd chocolate covered strawberry.

Hanging out at the bay house.

Enjoying the beach.