Thursday, September 27, 2012

Motherhood: Round 2

So I just read the article "25 Rules for Moms with Sons" that my friend Amy S. sent. I'm drying my tears before they hit my cheeks, but there's still a lump in my throat. What are friends for, right? I'm being groomed to be a mother of both a daughter and a son, and I have a lot of homework to do. I'll be a good student though. If you have sons, I highly recommend the quick read. And if you're married to a male who treats you right, thank his mother (& him, of course).

I'm now about 18 weeks pregnant with our first little boy, which is a good thing since our 7-year-old daughter said months ago she only wanted a brother because a sister would copy her. When I told her that I had no control over which gender God put in my belly, Little K replied: "Well, you need to focus." :-) She's my strong-willed child and one that I prayed for. 

I've gotten several comments (three this week in fact) about whether my pregnancy was "an accident" or a "surprise" since we have a 7-year-old child & that seems to many just way too big of a gap in age. Besides the fact that I'm floored so many people are that insensitive and impolite, I will say that 1) no, we've tried to get pregnant for some time and that we're happily here despite the trials we faced and 2) it's never anyone's business how a child came to be. And yes, I am trying to be polite here.

All that said, we were overjoyed at the pictures that we saw during the sonogram yesterday. This despite the fact that I waited 2 hours for my appointment and wasn't sure I needed another sonogram since I already had one in August. (Part of the extra tests they run when the mother is over 35 years of age.) I've teased that this photo indicates my son may be a future Aggie (attend Texas A&M University for those of you not from Texas), which has made my father proud. However, I secretly think it's a subliminal sign that in fact this little guy is A-OK! I keep thinking This isn't going to be easy, but it'll be good

Starting over with a newborn when you already have a child who can bathe herself, feed herself, toilet herself and the list goes on will be a challenge. The child being a boy this round is the extra challenge but then again, I don't like easy. Thanks to Tabitha Studer, I now have a list of tips, a lot of prayers and good family to help me raise this little stinker and still pay plenty of attention to my #1 girl, Little K. Ready or not, here he comes. Introductions officially will be made in February.

Until the next nap time...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Recap of our Trip to the new Houston American Girl Store

I've received lots of questions about our trip to the American Girl store that opened today. Trent & I stood in line last night for 45 minutes to get entrance tickets today. We were in group 10 with 100 people in each group. We signed up for notices by text so we knew when to show up & then we waited.

Little K woke me Saturday at 6:45 am since our original plan was to head out by 7 am. With our golden ticket, we waited for notice this morning by making pancakes. I showered & dressed. At 10 am, we learned that groups 1-10 were in queue. My mother-in-law, Cici, arrived & we headed out with Trent as the race car driver. We parked in literally the last row at Memorial City Mall & I knew it would be pouring when we returned.

As we journeyed through the parking lot hand in hand, Little K announced: "I'm so excited I need to scream!" Please don't, we thought.

We spent about 15 minutes in line to enter the store, surrounded by friendly officers. There was plenty to do with face painting, balloon artists & craft tables by local stores. Since the American Girl store is located across from the ice skating rink, there was plenty of activity there. Mall security said the American Girl store expected 15,000 visitors this weekend & there was definitely a plan in place.

As we entered the pink, girl extravaganza, Little K was a bit overwhelmed. We first headed to the hair salon to determine if the doll Kaylee could have her hair styled or if she needed a trip to the doll hospital. (30 minutes later after plenty of shopping, we learned that Kaylee would leave next week to the doll hospital in NY, which devastated Little K but she'll survive.)

There were literally parents packing numerous bags of carefully promoted American Girl boxes as if the world had come to an end. Luckily, it was NOT chaotic but it floored me how much people were spending. You can buy the same stuff online after all. Still, I'm thrilled we had the opportunity to participate in the first day of the store's opening.

Trent asked if we could dine in the American Girl bistro since it was now noon. I had checked online to make reservations but everything was booked. The greeter told Trent that the bistro is booked for weeks on the weekends but that during the week, there are some openings. Instead, we took our haul (after paying of course) & hungry bodies to Becks Prime in the mall. delicious!

When we got home, the parents realized just how tired we were so Mimmy & Daddy slept while Little K played with her new items. It was a good morning & I even look forward to going back... After the crowds die down.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, September 14, 2012

The American Girl Doll Store in Houston Opens on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012

There's a lot of anticipation (this week's vocabulary word) about the American Girl Doll store in Houston opening this weekend. If you're looking for things to do with your daughter, grand daughter or special little girl in your life, this is the place to be. That said, I'd appreciate it if everyone didn't show up since we'll be there and I suspect it's going to be crazy crowded. :-)  Here's an email that I sent Friday to my mother-in-law since she's driving up from Galveston to join us at the store opening. Are Little K & I over-the-top? Highly likely.

The email:
"Little K reiterated this morning that she wants us to get up on Saturday by 6:30 am, get dressed, grab food and head to the Mall. You may have picked up on her excitement.

The mall staff emailed me this: "The nearest entrance to the American Girl store is on the west side of the mall that faces Gessner.  The mall does open at 10AM that Saturday but the American Girl store will be opening at 9AM.  Mall entrances are unlocked at 5:30AM each day so that will be the earliest you will be able to access the mall that morning."

I did NOT tell Little K that the mall opens at 5:30 am for fear that she'd want to arrive at that time! I suspect there will be a line so that's the real reason I'm willing to go early but why don't you just call or text me (832-256-6676) when you arrive... at a decent hour. I promised Little K that we could get (her doll) Kaylee's hair redone and I imagine that'll take a while. So, I plan to let Little K look through the store until the hairdo is done. Little K has already circled numerous items in the American Girl Doll catalog that she wants for Christmas so I'm hoping to get a few things this weekend and hide them until December.

I'd love to take you & Little K to lunch somewhere nearby. (My mom will be at the ranch. Bummer.) Apparently, the store has a deli/restaurant but I couldn't make reservations online, which means it's probably going to be a mad house. We can find another place out of the bedlam to eat our lunch.

I told Trent that I've never been to a store opening so I figure I'll embrace this 100 percent. "Of course, you will," he said. I think he's a tad nervous that in years to come a high-end jewelry or clothing store will open and Little K & I will decide that we need to spend a ton at the store opening. In all honesty, she'll only be 7 years old for a bit longer and she'll only be an only child for 6 more months so I'm doing these special, one-on-one things as much as I can. I'm thrilled that you are going to be able to come. Thank you for being a part of it -- again, at a decent hour.

Can't wait to see you!"

As it turns out, there have been some procedural changes with the grand opening, which you can see at My poor husband Trent & I will head to the mall tonight (while Little K stays with a babysitter) so that we can get entrance tickets for Saturday. I'm getting nervous about what exactly I've signed myself up for.

I'll post photos later on Saturday and share any tips (or hazards) that I discover. Here's to a successful store opening!

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Show & Tell Matters

It's not every day that I get to be the topic of Show & Tell for my 4-year-old niece's class. Today was the big day.

This week at St. Rose School, the PreK class is focused on the letter M so Thursday was the day they could bring something to school that starts with the letter M for Show & Tell. As my sister Colyn talked to Miss C about this at home, Miss C shouted that she'd like to take "Miss Aunt Meg!"

I think it's perfect! 

"Don't let it go to your head," my husband remarked. 
He's probably just jealous, I thought. 

Preparations were in full gear. My sister and niece carefully decorated a white shirt with "Miss Aunt Meg" on the front so that everyone in the class would know Miss C's love name for me. Then, they added other M words on the back of the shirt in puff paint. 

Today, I gently put my new shirt on for the first time and the colors sparkled in the sun that barely peaked through the clouds in Houston. As I proudly walked through the parking lot at work on my "lunch hour" at 2:15 pm, bystanders simply stared in amazement. The shirt was gorgeous.

I arrived in the class at 2:29 pm and was greeted by the teacher assistant, who informed me that Miss C almost cried because she thought I'd forgotten. (Show & Tell didn't start until 2:30 pm so I figured I better stay for awhile to ease my niece's concerns. I'm in this thing for the long haul, I thought.) When the teacher called my niece's name, we both jumped up in excitement. The 4-year-old held my hand, walked me to the front of the room, turned me around to face her friends and beamed her sweet smile. 

"Who is this, C?" the teacher asked.

"Miss Aunt Meg!" Miss C replied as if the teacher couldn't read the masterful shirt. She looked at me, laughing and shook her little head.

The teacher briefly explained that I was likely part of C's family since the word "Aunt" was in my nick name. 

"Why did you decide to bring Miss Aunt Meg to Show & Tell today?" the teacher continued.

"Because she's my best friend," C replied, grabbing my hand. 
Yes, everyone heard the tug at my heart at that moment. We both smiled. 

C went on to explain that she really likes Miss Aunt Meg because sometimes her mom lets C come to Miss Aunt Meg's house to play. (Mind you, it's to play with Little K but I'll take the credit this time.)

The class was allowed to ask 2 questions, both of which were about the movie-star-like shirt I wore. Then, I quietly whispered into C's ear. 

She looked at me in confusion. In all the enthusiasm, she had forgotten that her Mommy also provided single packets of M&Ms for each classmate. She showed everyone two large packages of M&Ms and the kids squealed. 

"They're not from me," C said. "They're from Miss Aunt Meg!" (Well, not really but whatever.)

So, we were the hit of PreK Show & Tell today. I'm not sure if it was the shirt or the candy but either way, I think M is a great letter and being an aunt is fantastic. Hollywood, look out. We're growing talent in Houston. (wink!)

Until the next nap time...

Friday, September 07, 2012

Making Trips to Disney Easier with Kids

Thanks to my friend Kristen, who shared a great list of tips for making a trip to Disneyland or Disney World easier with youngsters. These suggestions range from ways to cut costs (like buy souvenirs ahead of time at dollar stores) to how to help your kids prepare for the trip (long lines, HUGE animals that don't talk, etc.) 

I've never been to Disneyland or Disney World with a child so this is great fodder for me. I hope you appreciate it too. Do you have other tips? Please add them to the Comments.

Until the next nap time...