Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Later, I found out that he continued to "practice" feeding Elmo for a good half hour - taking Elmo into Molly's room, laying him down in her crib, and then laying down with Elmo himself, covering the two of them up with a blanket, feeding Elmo the bottle, and then saying "Night night".
I hope it's this easy once the baby comes! ;-)
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Now, I read my daily journal maybe every 3 days or so, if I'm lucky. Any personal quiet time I get, I pass out cold. I have napped more during the day or fallen asleep early at night, than I ever did before. I'm sure it has something to do with running after a little toddler while growing outwards in all dimensions, but still. I can hardly catch my breath most days to remember that I'm pregnant (I could, quite possibly, also still be in denial). I have to force myself to lie down for 5 minutes and read my journal, stop to feel the little kicks and somersaults and flips that he's doing (constantly) and wonder what he'll be like. Will he be anything like Logan? Will he be the exact opposite? Will he be more like me or more like Jon? It's fun to think about but I have to admit, I don't think about it near as much as I feel I should.
Each morning when I wake, and see a bigger belly in front of me, I wonder where the hell did THAT come from. Because I certainly didn't see THAT protruding out from my shirt the night before. I'm definitely growing much faster this time around, at least it seems, but what do I know. I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning. Perhaps I just don't remember my first pregnancy as well as I think I do.
Logan's school is closed for the week so Jon and I have been taking it easier, splitting our time with work and parenting. I took the Logan shift all day yesterday (and hung out with Kim for the day, working a bit here and there and watching the kids play) while Jon played Mr. Mom today since I needed to be in the office for a few meetings.
I love most of my colleagues, I really do. And I'm pretty close to most of my team. I enjoy every one of their company. We are all buddies and I'm one of the guys (being the only gal). So it shouldn't surprise me the things that come out of their mouths, given a filter is never turned on. And yet, sometimes it still does.
This morning, while walking past one of my co-workers, he exclaims:
"WHOA. Bree! Your belly is SOOOO BIG!!"
Yes, yes it is.
"But, you're pretty far behind my wife, aren't you?" (his wife is also expecting)
Yes, yes I am.
Yes, I'm sure. This is your wife's first pregnancy, right?
Right. Well, this isn't my first. Come talk to me again in a few years.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Ohhhhhhh yeah. 'Tis the holidays.
On Christmas Eve, we had a lovely visit from Tia Catherine. She brought her two new pet rats for Logan to see, which he loved and was keenly interested in. We let them out to play in the bathtub several times during the day - and all he wanted to do was get in the bath with them and turn the water on. He also insisted on feeding them snacks, which we had to watch over carefully since the little rats are still babies and not yet trained to be gentle on little fingers. Here, he's getting a little tickle on his ear. :)
Kim, Nathan and Molly got Logan a great birthday present which now takes up half our living room (thanks Kim!). It's a little pop up "play tent" in the shape of Mack, the Truck, from the movie Cars. How perfect is it? Oh, it is deliciously perfect let me tell you. While cranking out one dish after another in the kitchen on Christmas morning, I suddenly realized it was creepily quiet and Logan wasn't to be found. I looked in all the rooms, calling his name. I finally found him sneakily peeking out at me from his Mack Truck in the living room, all grins.
Another time, I heard him quietly humming and talking to himself, looked inside his little "fort" and he had all of his cars and books circled around him, reading aloud the ABCs of one of his mini-board books Santa left for him.
Logan actually spent the night at my parent's on Christmas Eve (because we were over at their house late eating dinner and opening presents). But, that didn't stop us from having an exciting Christmas morning at our house (upon my insisting Jon go pick him up early). :)
I made homemade biscuits and gravy while Jon wired up our living room for a live video streaming of Logan opening up all of his presents (on Justin.tv of course!). It was a bit strange and surreal, knowing we had several family member's eyeballs watching us - but many of our family is remote and they really enjoyed "participating" on the big day.
Logan made out like a bandit with a million gifts. Of course, it's not too hard to guess what his favorites were. Is it a surprise to anyone that the majority were from "Cars"?
In the past, our family usually goes out to see a movie (or two) on Christmas day. But, because we can't bring Logan with us to the movies (without potentially upsetting an entire audience and/or leaving), we decided to spend the day watching movies at home instead.
My brother Zane volunteered to host Christmas day at his house - so we all brought various dishes for a potluck type of dinner and spent the day and evening lounging around (Logan stayed in his pj's the entire day), watching movies and playing games.
The day after Christmas, Daddy got extremely motivated and made us french toast for breakfast....all by himself and without any prompting from Logan nor I. It was delicious!! :) (I had to document it, since Jon is rarely seen cooking in our kitchen)
We spent the day being lazy and once Logan woke up from his nap, we headed back to my parent's for another family get together, this time with my Aunt Pam, Uncle Mike, Cousins Tim and Gigi and their two kids, Jordan and Sophia.
Sophia is about 4 months older than Logan and Jordan is 5 years old. Here they are playing with Logan's new play-doh set. Sophie is the only one who paid any attention to me, actually looking up and smiling anytime I said to say "cheese!" :)
Though Sophie is closer to Logan's age, Logan was mesmerized by the older big boy Jordan. Jordan was also verrrrrry taken with Logan and it was adorable. The two didn't leave each others' sides! Several times, Jordan had the most adorable comments to Logan (who probably didn't understand Jordan as much as Jordan thought he did).
At one point, Jordan asked Logan, "Do you ever have a boys day out Logan?"
I said, sure Jordan. What did you have in mind?
He said, again, directed to Logan, "You should come and spend the night - all you need to bring is your sleeping bag and that's it!"
Later on, he stopped by to tell Logan, "You're my favorite cousin, Logan." Can we say awwwwwww??? :)
We had a wonderful dinner and a perfect holiday family gathering. I'll leave you with one last Christmas story that I felt amusing to share....
I didn't get a snapshot of it, but Jordan and Logan also had fun climbing up on the dining room chairs and watching the various pictures my dad has running on his digital picture frame. Every time a family member flashed by that either of them knew, they would yell out the name.
"Mommy!" Logan would say.
"Aunt Ellen, Daddy's Sister!" Jordan would say.
"Logan!" Logan would say.
"Logan's Daddy!" Jordan would say.
"Zafu!" Logan would say.
"That guy that won't stop bothering me!" Jordan exclaimed, pointing to my brother Zane (who loves to tease and poke and tickle the boys non-stop).
I couldn't help but snort and snicker with glee at that one. Ahhh yes, perfect family gathering indeed. :)
Friday, December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas to all!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Last Friday, Logan (and his teachers from school) made Jon and I a beautiful little photo box, very similar to the one I made for Jon for Father's Day, but much nicer in my humble opinion, since Logan contributed to the art as well. :) The present was wrapped in paper with a beautiful big bow, but Logan insisted on unwrapping it for us that night when we got home (and when I say insisted, I mean he pitched a fit). So, we got an early Christmas present from our little boy this year!
It's now sitting on my desk at work. I didn't think to snag a proper photo of it before taking it in, so a snapshot from my iPhone will have to do instead.
Today, when I picked him up from school, we had two little Christmas tree ornaments waiting for us. We put them on the tree tonight and they are so cute, filled with Logan's scribbles and all! I'm sure this is just the beginning of many more handmade crafts to come.
They really finish off the look of our tree, don't they? ;-)
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I'm glad we did - Logan had great fun putting up the ornaments and/or telling me where they belonged! I skipped any crystal this year since his little grubby hands were just a littttle too eager to grab at the ornaments. Perhaps next year when he understands "breakables" a little better. ;-)
Jon also did not let me put up my ancient-from-the-80's 49ers ornament. Booooo.
He's sitting very verrrrry low on my pelvic floor at the moment (to which I responded so THAT'S why I'm not very comfortable these days!!) but the doc assures me that in the next couple of weeks I'll feel a bit of relief from that pressure once my uterus grows up and out (to which I responded uhhh, it already seems to have grown up and out!!)
First is a fairly good profile shot.
Second is "proof" that we're having another boy! (the amnio has also double, triple, quadruple confirmed it). :)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
My doctor's office called to say my AFP screening test came back with a higher risk for Trisomy 21 (Downs Syndrome).
Everything after that was much of a blur for me. I remember being completely calm and collected while on the phone with the doctor's office, asking as many questions as I could while scribbling down notes, asking about whether Trisomy 21 was the only thing that popped up on my test, that I realized these tests had a high incidence for false positives and how that averaged into things, what our next steps should be, etc.
I remember breaking down into uncontrollable sobs immediately after that (I had snuck off to a conference room that was rarely used, once I realized the call was not a good one, so that I could talk in private) and could barely get the news across the phone to Jon when I called him next. He had a different emotional reaction than me, but was freaking out just the same.
I remember sneaking to the nearby bathroom to wash my face with cold water, dry my tears and take as many deep breaths as I could to calm myself down enough to make it to my desk, pack up my bags, and get to my car to drive home. I remember stopping by and talking to a couple of co-workers to tell them a family emergency had come up, I wouldn't be able to make their meetings that afternoon, and could they please reschedule? and then walked away. I remember I had turned into a cold-stoned robot, trying not to think too much and just focused on getting the hell out of the building without breaking down.
I remember crying the entire drive home, one complete mess.
I remember crawling into bed, clothes and all, heaps of pillows and blankets surrounding me, bawling and letting it all out. Jon came home shortly thereafter to comfort and hold me. I remember we talked a little, but were both so stunned and in shock that it was hard to discuss much without me turning into a pathetic hopeless emotional wreck. I remember emailing a good friend of mine for some support and advice, who had a similar experience during her 2nd pregnancy. She responded with a few supportive notes throughout the night and into the following days which helped me get through the stressful times like no other.
I remember Jon and I picked up Logan together that night and went out to dinner as a family, hugging Logan just a little more tightly than we normally do.
Our doctor had referred us to a genetic specialist for counseling (to walk through our test results in more detail), a more detailed ultrasound (to see if they could see anything wrong with the baby that would indicate Downs) and if need be, an amniocentesis.
I had been ultra-paranoid about doing an amnio when pregnant with Logan and though I felt nervous about the idea of doing an amnio this time around, I wasn't as nervous about that as I was about the potential bigger impact these test results could mean. Suddenly, my perspective shifted in a whole 'nother direction.
Last week was our "D-Day" with the center. Unfortunately, our numbers weren't great. Our odds were 1 in 12 for Downs, and when I saw that looming 1 in 12 circled on the paper in front of me, my heart dropped, my stomach sank, and it was all I could do to keep it together. She said that for a 34 year old, the odds are 1 in 366 (or something) for Downs, so I was definitely well past the acceptable "normal" range and in the elevated risk category.
We went through all of our test results in detail with the genetic counselor. She also did a run through of our genetic history, which thankfully, didn't increase the risk any more than the tests had already shown.
We decided to do an amnio because I just needed to know and couldn't wait five months to find out whether we "lucked out" or not. We had already decided we were not going to terminate the pregnancy, regardless of the results, but we did want to be prepared if the baby ended up having Downs.
We had a detailed ultrasound done first - and everything looked perfectly normal there. The genetic counselor had told us that if all was good with the ultrasound, it could decrease our odds by 30-50%. So we were both feeling a lot better after the exam. But, with a 1 in 24 chance (if taking the maximum 50% decrease into account), I still wanted to go through with the amnio and get an actual diagnosis (I'm not one for surprises).
I was pretty nervous about the amnio, but the doctor was super fast and I hardly felt the pinch of the needle at all (side note: I have talked to several women who all seem to talk about the same thing about amnios: the ENORMOUS BIGGER THAN YOU'VE EVER SEEN needle that is AS TALL AS THE CEILING. I'll set the record straight by saying the needle looked pretty average to me, but for me, it was the vial that they were collecting the fluid in, which seemed abnormally large).
I had a little bit of cramping just after the procedure, when we were taking care of our paperwork and leaving the office, but nothing more than a little uncomfortable soreness after that. I took the rest of the day off work to lie in bed, watch TV and rest. I remembering being completely drained and emotionally exhausted - and actually fell asleep for a good hour or two that afternoon.
I was under strict orders not to move about too much, nor to lift anything heavy (hello growing toddler!). So Jon did all the heavy lifting (literally) that night, and the few days afterward as I recovered. I worked from home the next day as well - not because I was under doctor's orders to do so, but because I was still a bit distracted, what with the huge black cloud hanging over my head. I DID feel much better that next day though, and even did some light housework (and Christmas cards) to keep me preoccupied during the slow times at work.
Throughout, Jon seemed much more optimistic than I was. Since he viewed it as a 94-96% chance of the baby being just fine. I asked if he'd go to Vegas on those odds, and he said yes he would. However, my stomach dropped anytime the 4-6% number popped in my head. I've always been a 98-100% kinda gal myself.
There were several moments throughout these last two weeks where I'd have a hard time just swallowing without that big lump in my throat and the tears welling in my eyes. I'd look at Logan and my mind just COULD NOT COMPUTE how we'd live with one brilliantly quick and witty child and one who was developmentally and cognitively disabled. It was one of those biggest fears you always dream about but that you never think could happen to you. And, I wasn't sure I was prepared to handle it.
I was afraid I wouldn't be able to care for, and be a good mother to, this child who would so desperately need me completely. I was worried about how he/she would manage in a world so intolerable and misunderstanding of people with disabilities. I was worried how Logan himself, would cope. And, I was worried about how this would affect Jon and my lives - for the rest of our lives.
I knew we'd figure it out and we WOULD do it, with the love and support of our entire family around us, but at that moment I just couldn't picture it.
The waiting game is always so tough, but as much as possible, we've been keeping busy and trying not to think about the potential outcome. It helps to have a fast paced lifestyle like ours, busy with social engagements and a growing toddler, to keep your mind off things. And, I finally resigned myself (to Jon's relief, I'm sure), that there was absolutely nothing I could do about the outcome. I could cross every toe and finger on my body, knock on wood and say a prayer every night - but the reality was, our baby either had Downs, or our baby didn't. Nothing I could say or do in the next week was going to change the test results that were sitting in front of some lab technician. And if anything, stressing about it would only make things worse on me, on my body, on the baby, and on our family.
So I kept it out of my mind most of the weekend. I kept myself in the calmest state possible, all things considered.
But when Monday rolled around, Jon asked the big question. "Are we going to get THE CALL this week? We're supposed to get it this week, right? When do you think they'll call?"
I don't know. They said 7-10 days. So if they're talking calendar days, then it's sometime between Tuesday and Friday of this week. But if they're talking business days, then it's into next week.
There was a part of me that did a great job at keeping it out of my mind. But there absolutely was another part of me that kept a watchful eye on my phone throughout the day Monday.
All day Tuesday, no call.
Then Tuesday evening, just as I was wrapping up a meeting at work, I got a call. My phone read out a number that I vaguely recognized, but not really. And without realizing it, I thought THIS IS IT.
I answered the phone as I waved a good-bye and a "Sorry, need to take this" look to my boss, and walked to a nearby quiet area.
The news, thank goodness, was all good.
Everything after that was much of a blur for me. I remember hearing the lady on the other line (from the genetics center) tell me in this happy cheery voice that our test results from the amnio just came back and that our baby does NOT have Downs. I remember she also said that all other major chromosomal abnormalities had been ruled out (since it was a full DNA test, they looked at all chromosomes, not just the 21st chromosome).
Bottom line, everything looked great.
I remember calling Jon after that and in a foggy haze, still in shock and uncontainable excitement, I breathed, the tests are good, there's no Downs! The baby is healthy and fine. He asked me to repeat it again, and I did.
I remember him saying something about getting drunk that night but I was quickly fading from pure relief.
I remember finishing up the day at work as if I hadn't just received the world's biggest and impactful news of our lives. I remember picking Logan up from school that night and hugging him just a little more tightly than I normally do.
I feel like we have escaped the Big Bad Wolf by the skin of our teeth. And I feel our lives will, in some way, always be impacted by this experience. I feel like the last two weeks has all been a dream...yet a harsh wake up call on the difficult decisions and tough realities of parenting that we will continue to face down the road.
Several more times, no doubt.
As it is now, we are relishing in our current relief and bliss of all good news, and looking forward to an exciting holiday season ahead. I am now half way through my pregnancy (Did you hear that Internet? Halfway through. Already! Can you believe it?!) and enjoying the tickles and flutters of another active little boy growing inside me.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Everything with a two year old is larger than life. The emotional swings Logan goes through are insane - he has always been one to switch from hot to cold in a moment's notice but the reactions nowadays are much more extreme. I ask him to put on his jacket before we go outside - COMPLETE MELTDOWN. Two seconds later I say ok, you need to wear a jacket if you want to go outside. How about you tell me which one you want - this one, or that one?
That one. He says, with a huge smile and arms out wide for me to put on the jacket. No problemo - it's as if he wasn't just stomping and screaming and running in the opposite direction 5 seconds ago.
His excitement for all things (usually BIG) is hilarious however, and we soon forget about his tantrums. In fact, if he's screaming from the backseat while driving to school, I can usually get him to forget about his tears if there's a bus or truck rolling by - we both squeal with delight and excitement and hey whaddya know. Happy kid who then points out EVERY. SINGLE. TRUCK. after that.
Though sometimes frustrating, I don't find the snippy little defiant attitude Logan has taken to be quite as bad. Like all toddlers, he picked up on the word "No" early on and has used it pretty consistently. But he's recently adapted that "No" to "Nope" which frankly, is a helluva lot cuter than NO.
So, I'll ask him if he's hungry and he'll say "Nope!" without even looking up (usually focused on his train set or cars instead). I'll ask him if he's ready for bed and he'll say "Nope!" I'll ask him if he needs his diaper changed - "Nope!" We always have had, and always will have, our hands full with this guy - luckily, both his parents are probably ten times more stubborn than he is. So I think for now, we've still got enough energy to outlast him in these "Nope" contests. ;-)
Within the past month, Logan has continued to increase his vocabulary and interest in the world. He sings to us as we change his diaper and helps us read his book before bedtime (lately it's been The Giving Tree which he loves; pointing out the tree, the little boy, asking the boy to pick up the apples, the leaves, telling him he loves him and to sit down when we've reached the end of the story). He's becoming more and more inquisitive - we've heard him ask "Why?" a few times which causes both Jon and I to look at each other with that "OH SHIT WHAT ARE WE IN FOR" look. But usually his favorite question is "(Whatcha) Doing?" or "(Where'd) doggie go?"
He has also taken to repeating any word you say. Which, if you know Jon and Jon's vocabulary, has already created some funny stories. Usually these stories happen in the car - when Jon is known to display his most colorful of words. While traveling over Thanksgiving, Jon missed a green light by a few seconds and had to stop at the red. So he said "Oh man we just got effed!"
Logan happily piped up in the backseat "Effed! Effed! Effed!" while I glared at Jon with a you better watch it look.
Because the rain always brings out the best in California drivers, Jon got cut off when driving home the other day and immediately yelled out "Mother Fucker!"
Logan happily piped up in the backseat "Fucker! Fucker! Fucker!"
I wasn't in the car to glare at Jon - but he did have the quick good sense of mind to say "Doctor! Doctor! Doctor!" at which Logan then started repeating instead.
Still, it's really only a matter of time where Logan will not only be repeating our words more frequently, but out in public amongst others. Ohhhhh, I can't wait.
The transition to a toddler bed has gone without a hitch *knocks on wood*. Logan sleeps BETTER in it than he did in his crib! Why we didn't think about switching him over earlier is beyond me but I (and my belly, and my back) am so glad we did. He often calls himself "Logan Big Boy", thumping his chest with pride. He's quite right - he's really grown up fast before our very eyes this past year.
For Logan's birthday, we had a very quiet dinner with my parents and brother who were in town. I randomly chose an Italian restaurant in Palo Alto that had good reviews and had a decent menu from first glance. When Logan and I pulled up, I was delighted to see it was actually a restaurant I had passed week after week when pregnant with Logan, since the pre-natal yoga class I was taking at the time was just around the corner. Every week I'd remind myself that the restaurant looked pretty good, authentic, and we really needed to try it out.
Two years later, and we finally did. ;-)
It was excellent and authentic and we had a really nice night out (though the picky two year old refused to try some of his birthday gelato!). We got home too late to open presents but had Logan open a few the next morning before his doctor's appointment - at which he exclaimed (with every single present) - WOOOWWWW!!!!! Asking us to help him "open Logan's box" after each one, so he could get his hands on the new toy and start playing. :)
Happy Birthday Love.
At Vasona, however, you get to drive through the park and see the lights from the comfort (and dryness) of your own car, complete with Christmas music tuned into a specific radio station they had set up. It was a lot of fun and Logan really enjoyed the evening. I would say of all the "stations", the dinosaurs were his favorite.
He also really enjoyed Santa playing hoops, and Santa going fishing (no pic available of that one).
Afterward, we went to the Jodoins house to put the kids down for the night and spend some time catching up amongst the adults. It was our first try at using a new "travel" bed that I recently bought for Logan - an inflatable toddler bed complete with miniature "railings" on the side. He and Robert were immediately taken by the new bed and for a minute I thought they might want to spend the night together they were having so much fun! :) I'm happy to report, Logan slept wonderfully the entire night we were visiting (whew!). The bed will definitely come in handy for our future travels or visits with friends and family - especially since he's outgrown the little travel tent we've used (and abused) over the last year! :)
We continue to treat Lola for lymphoma since she was only in full remission for 4-6 months before the cancer came back. She's also recently started to become incontinent - which Jon and I seriously suspect is due to her overall ailing condition but which our oncologist assures us is totally not related to the cancer.
So, between her already small bladder, meds that make her drink gallons of water a day, and the incontinence, she's ruining every piece of furniture we have in the house.
Last night, she peed on our bed (we forgot to shut our bedroom door before leaving for dinner and a Christmas light show with friends) and it soaked all the way through to the mattress. Since she's still on chemotherapy, her urine is actually radioactive, so we can't treat the mattress and keep it (especially with me being pregnant). She has already ruined our futon couch as well (which we've now delegated as her pee bed), so Jon and I had to sleep on the other two couches last night and spent the morning mattress shopping.
Let me just say, neither of us had a good night's rest and we were pretty cranky.
UGH. Not a great way to spend the weekend - particularly when we didn't NEED a new mattress and ended up spending a fortune on a new one (I can't believe how much they cost these days!!!). :( The salesman talked us into buying a waterproof mattress pad to help protect the mattress this time around, and I also bought a few of those cargo waterproof pet liners online, normally meant for the car but in our case, will be draped over the remaining pee-free couches and new bed that we have left.
We'll see, but I hope for Lola's sake, they all work - since I won't be able to keep Jon from abandoning her at the side of the road, next time around...
Friday, December 11, 2009
He weighs 28 lbs, 10 oz (65%) and measures 35.25 in tall (75%). Dr. Safir thinks he'll be about 6 ft tall when he's full grown, so clearly my genes are at work there. ;-) They don't measure his head anymore but I'm sure if they did, THAT number would be enormous, something he inherits from his Daddy.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Now we just need to get Jon vaccinated...
Sunday, December 6, 2009
That is my long winded way of saying a post about our Thanksgiving trip had to wait until this weekend when I had a breather! ;-)
We took off for New Mexico first, to visit my grandparents. We flew into El Paso, TX which is the closest large airport to my grandparent's town. Logan was a trooper the whole way and did a great job on the flight. Once we landed, we grabbed a bite to eat before hitting the road. The drive to my grandparent's house is about 2.5 hours from El Paso and practically a straight shot the entire way. The land in Western Texas and Southern New Mexico is very flat, dry, barren and wide open. I've actually grown to like the scenery over the years, but I would guess most people thing the terrain is pretty ugly. Logan was most shocked by the lack of cars on the road - there were maybe 60 cars an hour? Hard to say but not too many and we'd have long stretches of just us and the highway. He fell asleep asking where all the cars were. ;-)
We got into my grandparent's house that Friday evening, said our hellos and pretty much settled in. Staying at my grandparent's house with a rambunctious toddler was quite an experience - it was probably most jostling for my grandmother, who is in her mid 80's and recovering from heart surgery she had just a couple of weeks prior, and who isn't used to a lot of action and noise in the house to begin with. Heh. So, I tried to get us out of the house at least once or twice per day, and with the long naps in the middle of the afternoon, I think that helped space things out.
On Saturday, Jon and I took Logan to the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park. They have a lot of natural wildlife available to see from the area which we don't normally see in a typical zoo here. Logan was particularly interested in the mountain lions and bobcats, probably because they just look like bigger version of his cats at home - and anything BIG is good by him. ;-)
On Sunday, Logan and I visited the massive playground along the river while Jon watched football with Clock (who, though he can't see the tv because of his poor eyesight, enjoyed Jon's constant football jabber and score updates throughout the games - it was a match made in heaven). My grandfather Clock was actually probably the most interesting person to Logan on our entire trip - I think because my grandfather would eat with a bib and spill half of his food on his lap - just like Logan! I caught him staring at my grandfather several times when we were at the dinner table together. I can't imagine what was going on in his little head, trying to figure out why an adult was needing just as much help with his food as he did. :)
Over the weekend, we actually sent the nursing help home early one night, because she had some extremely terrible flu-like sickness. And frankly, I was concerned about her exposing any of us at the house (luckily, none of us seemed to catch whatever she had)!! However, that meant that Jon and I (mostly Jon) had to help dress and put my grandfather down to bed for the night (he is paralyzed on the left side of his body since his stroke many years ago). We aren't sure exactly why, but Logan was absolutely TERRIFIED when Jon picked my grandfather up to transition him from the bed, to the wheelchair, and back to the bed again later that night. He screamed and cried, visibly upset and screaming for his Daddy while running to be held by me. We weren't sure if he was just scared and upset, or perhaps jealous.... we saw a little unhappiness from him later in the trip when I was holding baby Stella for a little bit, but it wasn't as extreme as this time with my grandfather. It will be interesting to see how he reacts once the baby arrives in a few months.
Monday, we returned to the playground on the river, this time with Daddy (and a camera for me!). We had an excellent time, as to be expected. Logan was partial to the twisty tunnel slides and took his Daddy on several rides over and over again. We then walked to "The Beach" where we found some ducks (and apparently some geese too, my father tells me) and fed them pieces of bread which Logan was absolutely thrilled about.
Tuesday we had to take off, back on the 2.5 hour long drive to El Paso, to catch a flight over to Austin, TX. We had a wonderful time with my grandparents and I'm really glad we took the opportunity to make our way out to visit them this year.
From Austin, we drove another 1.5 hours before reaching Bryan, TX - where Jon was born and where we'd be spending Thanksgiving with his parents and several siblings and cousins.
The next few days were a whirlwind of activity. We were the first to show up which was actually quite nice since it allowed us and mainly Logan, to settle in and remind himself of the house's layout once more (the last time we visited was last Thanksgiving!). We pulled out the toys we had bought last year and lo and behold, they were still perfectly fine for him to play with. That's the good thing about "new" toys that he hasn't seen in awhile.
On Wednesday, a couple of Jon's brothers and sisters starting arriving into town: Mark (Jon's brother) and Renee flew in from VA, Curtis (Jon's brother), Renee, Luke and Stella flew in from LA, and Kate (Jon's sister) drove in from Houston. Anne (Jon's sister) and her daughter Sydney showed up for the festivities as well (they both live in town). It was wonderful to see everyone after so long! It was especially fun for Logan to spend time with so many of his aunts, uncles and cousins (a couple for the first time!). He was especially taken by his cousin Luke, who is only a couple of months younger. They immediately became fast friends and the two of them ran around the house after each other, or looking after each other. You'd often times hear Logan yelling out: "Wuke? [Where'd] Wuke go? Wuke, [where] are you?"
Thanksgiving day was an even bigger ordeal with MORE family piling in to visit! It's incredible how far reaching Jon's family is and I don't think I'll ever get completely used to it. :) We had an amazing feast with football blaring in the background on every TV in the house. When eating was done, people broke into smaller groups to play cards, watch TV or sit around and catch up on family gossip. Logan would wander from group to group asking anyone (usually an uncle or grandpa) to play cars with him. He loved the attention and the amount of people to choose from, all at his fingertips. ;-)
On Friday, Doy arranged for a Girl's Day Out at the Spa. It was absolutely wonderful! We all had some combination of a pedicure, facial or massage and then gathered around to chat and drink wine (sparkling grape juice for me) and munch on fruit and cheese. Afterward, Kate took a few of us to a fantastic little chocolate shop, around the corner from Nolan and Doy's house, where she went to school with the owner. Each truffle looked like a piece of art and I was mesmerized. I bought the largest box they had with one of each flavor that I could fit in it! :) (We just had a family dinner with my parents and Zane the other night, so I brought the truffles over for dessert. We polished off EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM in one sitting! It was excellent!! Logan was a fan too ;-) I will have to put in an order or two for Kate or Doy to pick up some more the next time they think of it!)
Of course Saturday was then the Boy's Day Out while we women-folk stayed home with the kiddos. The guys took off with a truckload (no joke) of guns and went to a large piece of land owned by a friend of Nolan's where they could shoot targets and whatnot for fun. Jon had a wonderful time with his dad and brothers of course. ;-) Meanwhile, the women lazed around and continued to cook, eat and visit with relatives. It was joyous and relaxing and so much fun.
Sunday was a tough day to leave - we had such a pleasant visit and enjoyed seeing all of our family that it was really sad to say goodbye. On the other hand, we also missed home, missed our own dogs and cats and were looking forward to sleeping in our own beds. We drove the 1.5 hours back to Austin to catch our flight home - the "Nerd Bird" via Alaska Airlines (Jon got a kick out of the nickname). :) We rented one of those DVD players on the plane so that Logan could watch a movie or two - but he seemed to be more content playing with his cowboys and horses and cars, so it was Jon who ended up watching the movie while Logan kept me entertained. It was a bit of a cramped flight home, especially now that Logan has grown so big and my belly is starting to pop. It was particularly annoying anytime he insisted on folding the tray-table down and then get upset that it wouldn't go down all the way. :) This was our last flight with Logan as a lap-child and though we'll be sad to see the free flights go, it will be good to finally get Logan used to his own seat!
The lady next to me happened to be a mother, grandmother, and 2nd grade teacher from the Bay Area, and was particularly patient and forgiving of our son throughout the entire flight. Once we landed, she turned to thank me for how involved and interactive we had been with Logan the entire time. She recognized how much work it was to keep him entertained and said our involvement really showed - he's a bright beautiful smart little boy who was wonderful the entire flight. She said she hoped we continued to do what we were doing - because we seemed to be absolute wonderful parents to Logan and it really showed (she also commented we are the type of parents that teachers dream of - ha! little does she know...).
We are always very proud at how great our little traveler is, coping with our constant trips around the globe in good spirits, but hearing those words from a complete stranger - especially with how sincere and friendly as they were - really warmed my heart. We couldn't have received a nicer compliment nor perfect ending to a great trip! Hope everyone else had as wonderful a Thanksgiving holiday as we did!
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