Sunday, January 31, 2016

Date Night at Midtown Global Market

Midtown Global Market has become a favorite family date night spot for us! I usually like to peruse the offerings before committing, but both of us were in the mood for a burger.  We headed straight to Andy's Garage! They have phenomenal fresh made burgers and hand cut chips and fries.
I went a little out of the box this time and got the Quarky Corki! It has cream cheese, spicy jam, bacon, and pepper jack cheese. Jimmy got what we affectionately call the "Lesa burger" since it is my usual favorite. The Rugged Burger has onion rings, BBQ sauce, bacon, and cheddar. Both were served on super soft and fresh brioche buns! Fries are a $1 upgrade from the chips, but worth it. The chips are delicious too, so we shared!
Parker loved the play area as always and it gave us some time to just chill and chat about the week.
We left without dessert this time, but there are some great places for sweets too.  There was also a new Mexican place that looked amazing.  We may have to grab some dinner there next time.  Have you had any fun date nights lately?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Overnight with Grandpa and Nana

We decided to take dinner over to my parents house on Friday.  We'd been craving some Italian and it has become a habit of picking up food at Sweet Taste of Italy and bringing it over.  I think this was the 3rd time.  Their food is great and it doesn't hurt that they have a Groupon you can buy 5 times!  My mom also asked if Parker and I wanted to spend the night, so we did.  Jimmy had to work the next day, otherwise he may have too!

Routines typically become very prominent for kids on the spectrum.  My dad started having Parker sit with him after getting his jammies on.  He will just sit and snuggle until it's time for bed.  Grandpa really likes to brag about it!  It is so cute and I love how good of friends they are becoming.  I am also pretty jealous of the snuggles, I rarely get them at home!
 Parker's favorite part of weekends in the country is the hot tub!  Saturday morning was a little breezy, so we put a hat on him.  We also didn't let him stay in as long this time.  He knows right away when it is hot tub time!
 Later in the morning I actually ended up getting a few snuggles when Parker hit his head on the end table.  He rarely cries when he hurts himself which I find interesting.  I think most kids cry out of pain or fear, but he usually just wimpers a bit and comes over for some snuggles.  It will be interesting to see how baby girl is.  I have a feeling it's going to be a whole new experience.
 We also got a chance to play outside in the snow!  It was really cold for a few weeks and finally started to warm up, so we had to take advantage!
 We even went for a ride on the twister!  We had to take it pretty slow so our faces didn't freeze, but we had fun visiting the cows and driving down the road.
It looks like the weather will stay warmer for a while, so hopefully we will get to play outside some more.  I hope you had a great weekend too!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nebraska Christmas Trip

Our annual Nebraska Christmas trip was this weekend.  We have made a habit of having express trips and this one was no different.  Jimmy has been dealing with a minor stomach bug and decided not to make the trip, so Parker and I carpooled with my parents and nephew Jayden.  We left our house about 3:30 on Friday, made a quick stop for dinner and arrived at my aunt and uncles house by 10.  So much of our trip can be driven at 70MPH these days that I forget how fast we can get there.

This was the first time Parker and I shared a bed, but he was very courteous.  I woke up once in the middle of the night and he was snuggles up close! 
 We woke up pretty early and headed to my dad's hometown for breakfast with a bunch of my mom's siblings and some of my cousins.  I had a great sausage omelet and Parker loved the pancakes!  He even ate their free form sausage patties!
 6 of the 12 kids in my mom's family were there.  We don't see them as much as we used to since my grandparents passed away, so it was fun to get together.
 It was a snug fit with 3 in the back seat, but my Jayden was a trooper.
 We arrived to my aunt Glenda's just before noon and Parker just made himself comfortable.
 As usual, Parker had to help with dishes!
 And even managed to find an air conditioner to "inspect."
 After some quick family pictures we played a few games of cards and just hung out.
 Parker even managed to squeak in a snooze amongst the coats.
 The party was winding down, so we hit the road home just after 6.  We grabbed a quick twist cone snack about 30 minutes in and kept on rolling.  The trip home was even quicker since we didn't have to stop for a meal.
 I drove the whole way home, which gave everyone a chance to snooze.
It was nice to be home and just enjoy a relaxing Sunday.  It was brutally cold today, so we mostly just hunkered down.  I hope you had a great weekend and have a great week to come!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

24 Weeks

I am 24 weeks pregnant today.  We had a day full of appointments: regular pre-natal, fetal echocardiogram, and a level 2 ultrasound.  It was set to be an exciting day of getting to hear and see baby girl a lot!  It turned out to be a bit of a hard day instead.  My first appointment went well and we headed to University of Minnesota Children's Hospital for the echo.  This is a standard procedure for moms with type 2 diabetes as there is a slightly higher risk of heart abnormalities.  We got in early because the appointment ahead of us was a no-show.  A fetal echocardiogram is basically just an ultrasound focused on the heart.  It was a bit more painful than a regular ultrasound because they have to get much better pictures of just one organ.  My abdomen is very sore tonight from all the digging in.  

The ultrasound tech did about 25 minutes of scans, then came in with the doctor.  This is standard procedure so it didn't concern us.  He reviewed the scans, then took a few more pictures on his own.  He got all the shots he needed and briefed us on the results.  The good news is that baby girl's heart is structurally in tact.  All the chambers look good and it is pumping blood well.  The not good news is that the heart wall is thicker than it should be.  This is commonly called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  He said it isn't the worst he has seen, but it is still something to monitor.  From everything I have read, it sound like this won't go away, but it also won't necessarily mean she will have a major issue.  The doctor did not seem overly concerned, but that only eases a hormonal pregnant woman so much.  I held it together through the appointment, but cried the whole way home.  We will have a repeat echo in about 8 weeks to see how things have progressed.  The increased possibility of a heart issue was never mentioned to me in the past, so it was a bit of a surprise.  It will be even more important for me to keep my blood sugar in control to minimize any further thickening.  The closer we get the end the more difficult it can be to keep in check, so I am concerned about this too.  As you likely know, heart issues are a bit of a touchy subject with us at the moment since Jimmy's dad is awaiting a heart transplant.  For now we will just have to continue praying that she will grow as healthy as possible.  We won't know what it really means until closer to her due date.  
 We had a full anatomy scan this afternoon as well.  I will have once more scan at 28 weeks, then twice weekly starting at 32 weeks.  Her abdomen is measuring a bit small, but everything else looks great.  She was being very proper, with her legs closed and crossed at the ankles, so we didn't get a chance to confirm gender.  Our first tech was very confident, so I trust she got it right.  Baby girl is still head down, which is good if I want to try for a VBAC.  Parker was head up, but flipped during week 32, so we will see if she stays this way.  There is still a lot of room to move around and she could flip a few times.  I am feeling her move every day, which is the best.  I missed this the most once Parker was born.
I had a couple more crying spells this evening.  One just before dinner and one while we were saying bedtime prayers.  I am trying to keep a positive attitude, but also be realistic about what this could mean for all of us.  Your thoughts and prayers for peace in this mama's heart would be appreciated.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Laughing and Learning Weekend!

We had a great weekend enduring the cold!  Parker and I made our first trip to the Children's Museum since getting our membership.  A lot of exhibits are under construction, but there were plenty of fun things to do.  Parker probably could have played with the blowing cloud the whole time!
They have a great area for kids 4 and under that we spent most of our time in.
They had a fun castle exhibit that wasn't there last time (that was three years ago!)
He always has a knack of finding the things that spin or turn.
Our last stop was "Ramp It Up."  We made a bunch of ramps and watched the balls roll!  I don't think it was too busy for a Saturday, but I don't have much to compare it to.  I hope to get there more when I am home with baby girl too.
We worked on a lot of self help things this weekend as well.  He is great at putting on shirts, but pants are a bit of a struggle still.  He gets it right sometimes, but this was a rough one.  He didn't want to put them back on, so I just left them.  He came waddling out a few minutes later!
We also worked on using a fork.  We haven't enforced it very much yet, but I decided to on Sunday.  He was doing pretty well with it, even with a bit of intervention.
The two videos below just make me smile.  He was being a bit of a DJ with one of his toys and was just giggling during nap time.  We aren't totally sure why, but it might have something to do with his shadow.
The last thing we have been more diligent about is potty training.  I put him in a pull-up when he woke up and prompted him to go potty ever 1.5-2 hours. He stayed dry all day, so he got to watch his Leapfrog movie before bed.  We are still a long way from being fully trained, but this was a big day for us.  He obviously understands all the mechanics and routines that go with it, but he hasn't started to indicate urge yet.  Going #2 will be a whole different story as well, but I am excited for this progress.
I hope you guys had a great weekend!  Unless you are a Packer fan, then you just stink!  Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Basketball Road Trip to Ames 2016

My mom and I took another road trip to Ames last weekend to watch my cousin play basketball.  You can see last years trip here.  The game was earlier in the day this year and there wasn't a snow storm in the forecast!  We headed out about 9 and net up with some family members for lunch.
 Oddfellow's Burger Kitchen is a cute kitchy bar and restaurant that seemed promising as they have a ton of fun burger combos.  Unfortunately all our burgers were overcooked and way too salty.  Good in theory, but not in execution...
As a sophomore, Kaylee is the starting center for the Oklahoma State Cowgirls this year.  It was so exciting to hear her name called before the game!
 They had a pretty good start and were leading going in to halftime.  They stayed steady through the third quarter, but things got rough at the end of the game.  They were outscored 19-9 and lost by 7.  Kaylee was pretty bummed, but it was only the second loss of the season.
We had a great time and can't wait to go back next year.  I learned that I can watch games online as well, so I hope to do more of that.  Go Cowgirls!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Looking Back and Looking Forward

It's that time of year when we look back on the previous year and think about our hopes for the one to come.  Last year I was coming off a time of uncertainty that developed in to something more amazing than I could have imagined.  30 was also staring me in the face, but it really wasn't a big deal when it finally came around.  Two years ago we were still fresh off of Parker's autism diagnosis and had so much hope and expectation.  A couple months after that I vented about my desire for a bigger family, but not feeling like the time was right.  That was so hard to write, but also very therapeutic.

And here I sit, January 3, 2016, looking forward to what just may be the most nerve wracking year I've had.  I am so excited for the little life that is growing, but also terrified to go back to the baby stuff again.  I was wracking my brain last week trying to remember what it was like to have a newborn.  How often do they eat?  How many diapers do they need?  I am hoping it will be like riding a bike, but we will see in less than 4 months!

Overall, 2015 was a pretty amazing year!  Parker started school and also began making amazing strides with speech and social skills.  He is doing so well that we will be taking a break from both speech and occupational therapy until the end of summer.  This is pretty common when a child has been going as long as he has.  It will be a great opportunity for all of us to reset before baby girl arrives.  We took a family trip to Kansas City in April, my brother got married in July, and Jimmy and I got away to Winnipeg for our birthday!  We also learned about baby girl's impending arrival in late August!

We had a pretty great end of the year too!  Parker got to have back-to-back sleepovers with my parents and Jimmy's mom.
 He got a little sad when we dropped him off with Jimmy's mom.  He hasn't done that in a very long time, so we weren't' sure what was bugging him.  We was tearily sulking around with his hands in his pockets, it was utterly adorable!  He must have made a quick recovery after we left because we never got a call!
 We headed to our friends, Nick and Rachel's, house for a New Year's party.  A bunch of folks ended up sick, so it was just us and them!  We ate some delicious appetizers, then decided to go see the new Star Wars movie!  We played a card game and drank sparkling cider as we rang in the new year.  It was a super fun and low-key way to celebrate.
Wishing you all an amazing 2016!