Friday, December 30, 2011

Santa Came to Longview!

We have decided that it is more important to be with family than to be home on Christmas morning; at least for now.  In order to do this, we had to come up with a "Santa Plan". Meaning, how will Santa visit our kiddos?  Will we leave him a map?  Will his reindeer be able to find us?  Etc, etc...  We decided that Santa will visit our house on Christmas Eve, just like he does every other family.  We just aren't there Christmas morning to see what he left for us--we see it a couple of days later.  We sprinkle reindeer food in our yard before we leave for Lake Charles so that they know to stop even though we aren't home.

This is the second year we have done it this way, and it seems to work well.  It even helps the munchkins to want to come home after our stay with family.  They are never quite ready to leave (I can't say I blame them), so this gives them something to look forward to upon arriving at home.  Plus, it makes Christmas last just a little bit longer :)

This is what we had waiting for us when we got home:

Do you think they were excited??

Here is their first glimpse

Gannon is so over taking pictures.  I have a ton of them, it's just that none are usable.  Little turkey. 

Austyn, on the other hand, is a total cheese ball!

She was so excited that she got a guitar just like Daddy and Gannon!

The best gift of all, I couldn't get photos of....They didn't quite know what it was when they opened it, so I will have to take more photos of them using it.

Those will have to wait for another post, so stay tuned ;)

A Big Christmas Post

Time spent with family is time well spent.

Bryan and I are firm believers in this, and Christmas is no different.  Oh, how I would love to wake up in our own beds on Christmas morning, run into the living room, and see the kids' faces when they see what Santa left them.  But I cannot, for a single second, imagine missing out on all the family get-togethers in Lake Charles!  Maybe one day, but not now.

Christmas weekend kicked off with a Duffy Christmas at Uncle Geno and Aunt Penny's house.  Here are a couple shots of Austyn in the shirt that I made for her.
Not too bad for my first attempt at an applique!

Here she is again, posing with her new "paying toy"

We may have missed soccer registration this year (bad, bad, Mommy!), but G can still play, thanks to Nonnie!  That is a full-size goal in the bag!!

Baby M even got in on the action!  Thanks, Nanny Shawn!

Every year, Mom gives the best photo gifts, and this year was no different.  This is our first Christmas without Pawpaw, and Mom had beautiful photo books made for everyone.  Here is Nonnie opening hers.

And here are Aunt Penny and Nanny looking at another.

I love this picture of Austyn and Shawnee!!

Christmas morning PJ party at Mimi and Pappy's!!

Austyn just loves these nightgowns with the robes.  She calls them her princess jammies.

Whoever though of Angry Birds sure is sitting fat, now!

My little space man!

Of course, more piggy stuff!

I hope that yall had a great Christmas as well!

27 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: Twenty-seven weeks!
I had two appointments yesterday:
The first was with the lab for my glucose screening--yuck!  Pregnant women should never have to fast.  Ever.  It is just mean.  Things are done differently here, and this is one of them.  I didn't have to fast before this test with my first two pregnancies.  Nothing to eat after 8pm the night before was fine (my appointment was at 8:45am, and I can't eat breakfast anyway), but the nothing-to-drink-after-midnight part was torture!  I woke up with the worst cotton-mouth ever, and couldn't drink anything until both appointments were over, which ended up being around ten.
Anyway, enough ranting. 
I am not diabetic!
I am not anemic!
The second was my routine four-week visit.  Everything was perfect.  Some people are worried that I am not gaining enough, but I measured perfectly.  I also asked her about future ultrasounds regarding the amniotic band.  I didn't know if that is something that needs to be monitored throughout the pregnancy.  She said no!  She said that since the specialist couldn't find anything, there was absolutely nothing to worry about!!  She said that we can do another ultrasound for fun (yay), but we don't have to worry about anything!
I also got my RhoGAM shot yesterday.
Because I am Rh negative (my blood type is O-) and Bryan is positive (we don't know his blood type, but both kids are O+), I have to have a RhoGAM shot during all pregnancies.
Now, I am ready to start my two-week appointments....Wait, WHAT???  Two weeks?  Yes, I am already here!  Third trimester starts next week.  This pregnancy is really flying by!

Size of baby: The two websites I use to quote Baby M's development start to differ at this point.  BabyCenter still tracks development every week, but the fruit they use is comparing weight, now.  TheBump is now tracking by month.  The fruit they use is still measuring length, but gives a range for the month rather than the week.  I am going to list both measurements, but I am going to use the fruit from TheBump because, obviously, length is visual and weight is not.
"This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended."
"Your baby's the size of an eggplant!  At 13.6 to 14.8 inches and 1.5 to 2.5 pounds, she's not just getting bigger, she's getting smarter."
Fetal Development:
"She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle."
"She's practicing inhaling and exhaling with her rapidly developing lungs. 
It's official: Baby's showing brain activity!  And her brain will keep on getting more complex."
Movement: Baby M kicks and wiggles more and more everyday. Those rolls and squirms are even waking me mat night sometimes. I absolutely love it!
Heartbeat: 160
Gender: We don't know!

Gut feeling: Nothing has changed here for anyone. The kids and I are saying boy, and Bryan says girl.
Bryan once said, "I don't want any girls, at all."
He said, "All I want is two boys."
When we found out we were expecting a second baby, his feelings didn't change.  "I really want two boys.  If this one is a boy, I am done.  If it's a girl, I'll try again for another boy."
When our little princess, Austyn, was born, he changed his mind--not about wanting a girl; he was still unhappy about that.  "We can't have anymore!  It will end up being another girl!  I cannot have two girls!!"
Well, after all that, when we found out we were expecting Baby M, I figured girl names would be off-limits until we were in the hospital with a no-name baby girl.  He surprised me.  He chose her name just two days after we found out we were expecting!
A couple of days ago, he surprised me again.  He said, "You know, I think I am actually hoping for another little girl instead of a little boy."
Yes, the same man who didn't even like Austyn at first (he was mad at her for being a girl), actually wants another girl!
As for me, obviously, I want a healthy baby (so does B).  I flip-flop on what I think would be better for our family.  I trust that God knows who will fit best in our little family, and I can't wait to meet this little person growing inside me!
Cravings: White gravy!! I want chicken strips or chicken fried steak and white gravy all. the. time! And, pizza rolls!! I know, yuck...but YUM!! haha
Total Weight Gain/Loss: +11 pounds
I am not believing that I only gained three pounds in two weeks.  And, it was over the holidays!!
MaternityClothesThe Stork Exchange.  I made it a point to head over as soon as we arrived.  They have the cutest stuff!  I found some jeans that actually almost fit!  I am in-between sizes, so I am just going to have to accept that maternity jeans will never fit quite right (my regular jeans still fit better--is that sad?).  There is also a shop called Groovy Tadpole, which is another resale shop.  I was able to find more jeans and even a top!  To top it off, I was given a couple of maternity tops and some gift cards--I used the gift cards for more tops.

Sleep: Sleep has actually gotten better...for the moment :)
What I miss: Honestly, I am really, really sad that I can't soak in a really hot bubble bath!
-Morning sickness is still here, but she only visits in the morning. I know better than to try to eat breakfast...I just make up for it the rest of the day!
-Clumsy!! Boy, am I clumsy! I drop everything, I trip over my own feet, and I knock over any glass in my reach. Sheesh! I ran into a tent pole at Academy the other night, and at Subway, I turned to leave the register and ran into the post that makes the line...Oy. I was like this with Gannon, too, but had no sense of recovery. This time, I am able to save at least most of my spills.
-Vivid dreams! I know I have talked about these before, so I won't go into detail about all of them, just let me tell you...Wooo-eeee, there have been some doozies! Ha!
Leg and foot cramps! Yuck :(

-Back/hip pain! This has actually gotten much better since I have been seeing the chiropractor. It isn't gone...but it is much better! My last appointment went great, and I am even able to stretch out my visits from two to three weeks!

Missing Feet-- I am having more trouble every day reaching my feet! Putting on my socks and shoes has become a real chore, ha!
Indigestion!  I didn't experience this with the first two--actually, I have never experienced this, so it's new for me.  It's nasty.  It leaves me nauseated at night when I am trying to fall asleep.  It leaves me starving and nauseated at the same time.  Weirdest. Feeling. Ever!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Look, Mama! No Training Wheels!

Okay, I know I am seriously behind!  It is crazy how out-of-whack the holidays can make you.  Especially when both sides of the family are as big and as close as ours.  I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world; but it's crazy!

The next few posts are going to be terribly out of order, but I am just going to try to catch up the best I can.  We will worry about getting back in order later.

Although I haven't done our Santa post yet, I am going to reveal one of Gannon's gifts. 

Yep!  A bike!  A big-boy bike with no training wheels!!  We went out to Bryan's office to teach him because our neighborhood and driveway are very hilly.  We didn't figure that would be the best place for him to learn this new trick.  He has a Razr scooter that he does very well on, so we didn't think it would take him too long to catch on to this.  Well, Bryan held the seat four about four seconds, and that was it.  He was off!!

This was Austyn's reaction when he did it for the first time:

Gannon!  You did it!!

It was so sweet to see her so proud of her big brother!

Austyn got a tricycle for her second birthday that she has never really been interested in.  Again, it is probably because our street and driveway aren't flat, and it is really hard for her.  Well, when she saw her big brother on his new bike, she jumped on hers!

Look, guys!  I'm figuring it out!!

Gannon only really fell once.  But can you blame him??  Haha!

He was amazed that it didn't hurt at all.  I mean, he wasn't protected or anything ;)

She was more interested in chasing G than riding her trike.

So silly :)

My sweet little angel-baby!  Those pretty blues are turning into some beautiful grey-greens!

The Gannonator in action!

Way to go, Gannon!

More posts are coming...I promise :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Zip Line!

I am very behind on posting, and I am sorry.  I am even going to post out of order.  Again, I am sorry.  The holidays are crazy enough as it is, but throw in traveling...Wowza!  Things are hectic here to say the least.

I finally found a charger to charge my camera battery (thanks Josh!!) so now posts will resume at least some sort of normalcy.  I am skipping Perry and Mike day 26 because the pictures aren't on my memory card.  Hopefully I can post them later.  There are also other photos and stories I would love to share, but they will have to wait.  Today is about Perry and Mike.

This morning, they were easy to spot.  Both munchkins spotted them before getting out of bed.

They made a zip line and were playing just above the kids' heads!

Here is A's face when she saw them:

Gannon, where is Perry?

What are they doing??

G:  I have NO idea!!

See you soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Twice the Fun

So you know that we have two elves, now, but do you know that they like to get into trouble together??
They are just having a little "elfing" fun!

Yep!  They TP'd the tree!!

Mommy!  Look what Perry and Mike did!


Ha!  Those silly elves ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just Hanging Around

Disaster struck here yesterday.  Okay, so it wasn't a disaster, but it's my blog, and I can exaggerate, right??

It never fails...When we come to Lake Charles, I always, always forget something.  Usually, it isn't a big deal.  What did I forget this time?  The charger and spare battery for my CAMERA!!!


So I am making do with a point-and-shoot for now, and hopefully I can find a charger, soon.

Now, onto our mischievous elves!

This was Monday morning/
I know, I know.  I am slacking.  But we are very, very busy running the roads to see everyone we love!

....and there went the camera!

Hopefully, we will be back up and running soon.

Christmas with the Manuels

Sunday, we celebrated Christmas with Bryan's parents, brother, and our nephews.  It was such a beautiful day, so the boys decided to play football outside.  Here are a few photos from the fun.

I just love watching them play together!

He was so proud of himself for hanging with the "big boys".

Pa'pa even got in on the action! 

This is how a princess plays football :)

My silly girl!

She actually played for a few minutes...

Okay, so aren't they just the cutest!  I love when they play together!

Of course, what the kiddos were ready for was presents!  Who isn't ready for presents when they go to their grandparents house for Christmas, right?

These are four of the silliest, sweetest, cutest munchkins I know!  Love them so big :)

And this one, here...Haha!  He was hilarious!  He was so excited about everything!  It was really sweet to watch his face just light up with excitement over and over again.

Ma'Ma got them a Melissa and Doug art easel and supply kit!  So fun!!

Stay tuned for more Christmas festivities of 2011!


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