Sunday, September 25, 2011

July 6th, 2011


Guess what???? Scott is going to be a big brother!!! (That's what his shirt says and this was the best picture I could get of the shirt and its not totally legible)
So why the title of the post? Well July 6th is the day we found out. But its more significant than that. July 6th, 2009 is the day we found out we were pregnant with Scott. (I remember dates like this, I know its not his birthday but finding out is still a significant day for me. I remember the day Brian and I got engaged and remind him of it every year...I think he panics for a second thinking he is supposed to know, he's totally not, I will just always remember....I know, AWWWE right?!?!) So I can't say it's complete coincidence that we found out on the same day two years later. We had been thinking/trying to get pregnant again and when July 6th rolled around and I celebrated finding out about Scott (in my head, I'm not weird enough to like make a cake on this day or something, not that if someone did that I would judge them, I wouldn't) I thought, wouldn't it be so funny if we found on the same day. I wasn't technically "late" yet but I knew I was in the window where if I were pregnant the test would likely show up positive...and BINGO!
So that's the story of July 6th!
By the time we found out with Scott we were already 9 or so weeks which made the waiting to tell people game easier, this time around we were like maybe 3 weeks...yikes, that means a long time waiting. We of course told our parents right away (via facetime...Scott wore his shirt and we had him "show" it to them) but waited a while on everyone else. My first appointment with my midwife was a week and a half ago and she confirmed I was 14 weeks along and we heard the heartbeat for the first time....which is just as magical as with the first! At my next appointment we will be able to schedule the ultrasound to (hopefully) find out the sex...so sometime end of Octoberish! She gave me a due date of March 17th (holla for a St. Pattie's baby!!!!) but I prefer to just tell myself mid to late March as due dates are seriously rarely accurate and I think it puts far to much pressure on the mommy counting down to a specific day (maybe that's just me, I really was ready when Scott's due date rolled around, I think babies generally come when they are ready so I'm not pressuring myself this time around with an exact date).
We talk to Scott a lot about babies and being a big brother...he's like "yeah, whatev mom and dad". He does point out babies when we are out but I'm pretty sure we are not quite understanding the whole thing yet. We tell him that we will have a baby in our house soon and it will be his little brother or sister he says "beebee neigh neigh"...so I'm pretty sure he thinks he is getting a baby horse in March...hope he's not too disappointed!
We will keep everyone posted as the journey continues! Growing humans is pretty fantastic!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A GeeHaw!

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Scott learned many new words while we were away. Luckily by the time we came home my mom was able to translate a few because I have no idea how long it would have taken us to learn this one. He calls trains: "geehaws". Its the funniest word to me! I love getting him to say it. Similarly, he started calling elephants "whohaws".

Poop Scoot

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So if my son doesn't already hate me for the details I have shared about his life he for sure will now...I give you: The Poop Scoot! Time to start potty training pretty soon? I think so...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Last stop: Paris

We arrived in Paris after a full day of travel on our last Sunday of the trip. It was literally a 12 hour day of buses, planes and trains. We got to Paris around 6 or 7, grabbed a quick (but super delicious) bite to eat and then went to bed...Paris day 1: check. The next day we started out early and walked EVERYWHERE! The concierge at our hotel was incredibly helpful and told us the best way to walk to take in as much as possible...more helpful than Rick Steves himself! We started at Notre Dame and worked our way around the city!

Brian had been to Paris before but it had been many years so he was happy to explore the city with me again! We had amazing weather and got to see everything we wanted and more!


Walked along the river and past the Louvre (didn't go in, we saved that for another day)


Stopped and the Arc de Triomphe

And climbed to the stop for amazing views...



And hilarious views if you looked down...

Then walked to the Eiffel Tower (didn't go up either...saved it for another day)
That night we had what was probably our best meal of the trip. Not probably, it was the best. First of all the food in Paris was to die for delicious...I mean I heard it would be, my expectations were high, but I also thought we would have to hit some fancy schmancy French restaurant to get some of the fab French cuisine. Not so my friend, everything was delicious, even just the little corner cafe. Anyways that night I had a seafood risotto and I seriously wanted to lick my plate clean, I thought better of it, I didn't want to give American tourists a bad name - but seriously, it was THAT GOOD!

The next day was Tuesday. We had planned to spend the morning at the Louvre and the afternoon at Sacre Coeur, but evidently the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays...who knew? Not us. So we went over to Sacre Coeur in the morning and spent most of the day on that side of town. It was gorgeous and a very cool area of Paris.

This was the area that Brian remembered having the "best crepes ever" so that is what we had for lunch. Let me just say that I did amazingly well staying gluten free the entire trip....until Paris where I indulged in half of a croissant and my own serving of banana nutella crepes...totally worth it!

And as we were catching the subway home we walked right past the Moulin Rouge...where I'm sure Brian, as well as the Parisian locals, enjoyed my rendition of Lady Marmalade a la Christina Aguilera...I sound just like her, if you ask nicely I will totally sing it for you....; )

We headed back to our hotel for an hour or two rest (we were seriously dead tired by the time we were in Paris, I'm really proud of us for going out and seeing everything because we literally felt like we could have slept those four days away by that point) then we headed out for our night time stroll to see the city at the night and get some pictures!
Since we had gotten some great views from the top of the Arc during the day we decided to do the Eiffel Tower at night. Amazing views!!! And we decided since there was a 3+ hour line to take the elevator all the way up, not to mention it something like 20 euros per person (redonk!), that we would walk it...workout for the day: check!


We even got to the light show they do apparently every hour (we saw it at 9 and 10) which was so pretty!

Our last day we had planned to spend in Versailles at the palace but since we hadn't done the Louvre yet we packed out day and did them both. I got some pictures inside of the amazing art, and of course of the really famous pieces (some of which I totally got, some of which I will never understand why they are so famous, if that makes me uncultured so be it) but it is probably nothing you haven't seen before, and the quality isn't the best (no flash allowed) so I won't bore you with it....
But Versailles....holy cow.....incredible!!!

We walked through the whole palace which takes quite awhile...

Then we walked through the gardens, which if you were to walk through the whole thing would probably take you triple the time....we saw quite a bit and I wish we could have spend 3 days there roaming every path...

I just loved this fountain....we waited here a long time to get a good shot without Joe Schmoe tourist standing behind it



Absolutely beautiful!
Even though we were tired, Paris was a great end to our trip! We were definitely ready to get home to Scott by the end of our time there (and if I'm being honest I was ready to get home to him much sooner than that) but we were also just ready to be home!
We left from Paris and flew back to London, had a few hour lay over then took the 10.5 hour flight to LAX....where my parents and Scott were waiting for us...much past Scott's bedtime (but I really really wanted him to come, I left the final call up to my parents whether it would be a good thing for him to be up that late or not and as luck would have it, Scott had a super duper late nap that day so he was ready to pick us with bells on)
It was the best thing ever to have Scott there to pick us up! He told us all about his adventures on the drive home and we were amazed with how many news words he had and how even his old words had improved! My favorite was that my mom said, "Scott, tell mommy and daddy what we did while they were gone." He said, "SNACK"!!! Good to know he wasn't starving...haha!
Scott also started calling my dad "papa" which is just as cute as can be!
It is a trip I will never forget and now its good to be home and settled back into our routine...just in time for the fall...can't wait!

While Mommy & Daddy are away....

Scott continued to get spoiled by his grandparents...


Whole foods bag = best costume ever!!!

Could be my favorite picture of him from while we were away...bike, snack trap and a horse stamp on his forehead...

Doing some serious work to his wheels...

First driving lesson?

Of course plenty of Parker J. playtime at the park...

Feeding himself yogurt with 2 spoons...mom is definitely not cool enough to let me do this...must have been grammie...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Adventures in Scotland

So we left London on Wednesday and took a train to Edinburgh, Scotland. The train ride was nice and relaxing and we made plenty of friends who told us about things to not miss while visiting. We arrived at the train station almost exactly four hours after leaving London, found our hotel and immediately went out to get dinner because we were starving!

We ended up finding a cute little pub in Grass Market and enjoyed a leisurely dinner

And a leisurely beer...

Then we explored the city for a few hours before it got dark and we went back and crashed...

Scottish Parliament

The hike up Arthur's Seat (which we did the following morning)

A picture for my Dos...not to be confused with Hilary's Bizarre

Shopping for tartans...

Edinburgh Castle

Hollyrood Palace

The next morning we got up and had free, delicious breakfast at our hotel (score!!!) then hiked up Arthur's Seat! St. Anthony's Chapel (seen below) is about a quarter of the way up or so.

Almost the top

A view from the top

After our hike we went on a tour of Edinburgh Castle. I can't say enough about the guided tours we went on during our travels. They were really great and a great way to get a bit more history than you would just showing yourself around...and they are included in the cost of your ticket - bonus!

After the castle it was on to Scotch tasting....


At the end of our little tour we got to see the largest collection of Scotch in the world....3,400 bottles

It was actually quite fascinating (even for me who thinks scotch tastes, and smells, like nail polish remover). We learned about the process of making scotch and the different regions which single malt scotch may come from. Each region has its own unique characteristics and flavors. We also learned that there is no such thing as double malt (only single malt, Brian might have already known this) if its not single malt then its blended. And we learned that scotch no longer ages once its been bottled...so if you have a 10 year old bottle you've been saving for 50 years...sorry to break it to ya but its still just a 10 year old scotch!

The tour included a taste at the end but for just a few pounds more you could sit at the bar and enjoy 4 more tastes - so for some of us this equaled 6 tastes...
6 tastes later and Brian really learned what flavors and regions he really liked and did not like. Very educational, and nice for me to know what kind to tell Santa to put in his stocking!

After such a busy day we rested up then went back out at night for some night pictures...we even hiked halfway up Arthur's seat again at dusk for some great city views, but decided to hike down before it got completely pitch black...good call!

The next day we explored the city even further by walking down Leith Street. We of course had to stop at Scott Monument (For Sir Walter Scott) to get some pictures because it reminded us of the munch!

The coast...

We got to see the Britannia as well...

Our last day in Scotland we took the train to Stirling to see the castle and explore the town for a while...

I really loved this little garden...

Stirling castle (part of it at least)

Scottish countryside...just stunning!

In the little garden I loved so much...

The great hall in the middle of the castle

Drat...I forgot to bring my zoom lens...so waaaaaay off in the distance you can see the Wallace Memorial

Trying out the thrones....perfect fit!

Scotland was completely wonderful in so many ways. First of all it was the perfect place to be in the middle of our trip. It wasn't so crazy and big city as London and Paris. Everything was a bit slower paced. The people were nice beyond measure, by far the nicest people we met on our trip were in Scotland! We thoroughly enjoyed just strolling around the city and peeking into shops and taking our time doing things!
I fell in love with the highland cows, although we didn't actually see any, just pictures everywhere, and we sent Scott a postcard of one and Brian even found him a book about a highland cow...too cute!!! The food left a little to be desired, for me at least, but I survived, soup of the day works wonders! I loved the accents, the lady who was helping us at the train station wanted to take a look at the screen to figure out how to help us best and said, "let me just have a wee looky!" Imagine Mrs. Claus saying that in a Scottish accent...I'm telling you the nicest people in the world!
After four and a half days in Edinburgh it was off to Glasgow to catch a flight to Paris....

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