Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pros and Cons

* Note on pictures:
Pic 1- Ryan's feelings about putting the car seat in last night
Pic 2: Emily 37 weeks preggers
Pic 3: Emily 18 weeks preggers
Pic 4 JT at 32 weeks
Pic 5: JT at 7 weeks

I think anyone who has ever had a baby remembers the point in pregnancy when you kind of feel like you are about at the end of the rope. Considering I’m almost 38 weeks, it’s been over 100 degrees every day for the past week, and being so far away from family and friends, I think I’m just about there. Now I’m definitely not miserable, and I am really treasuring these last few weeks with just Ryan and I. We have had a lot of fun living up life with just the two of us and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. I have also really enjoyed being pregnant, and it is not an experience that I take for granted. It truly is a miraculous thing to experience. However I thought it might be fun to try to remind myself of all the “pros” for all the “cons” of this time in my life. Thankfully the pros FAR out way the cons! As a side note I have had what my doctor calls an “ideal” pregnancy which is a huge blessing. I get teased by the doctor and nurses for my low blood pressure, lack of swelling, and the fact that the baby loves to kick the Doppler as soon as she puts it on my belly. I think we are going to have our hands full with this feisty child!

Con: Excruciating back pain

Pro: A wonderful excuse for my hubby to give me a back rub every night without feeling the need to reciprocate

Con: Waking up at least ten times a night…and no I’m not exaggerating!

Pro: This is a great way to get prepared for those sleepless nights ahead. Between me waking up and Ryan being on overnight call, conversations at 3 am are quite the norm in our house.

Con: Having a huge belly that requires assistance when moving from place to place

Pro: I never realized what a messy eater I am. The belly collects any and all food crumbs which eliminates the need for sweeping the floor. Also, it makes a convenient table to rest things on such as Hershey kisses as I watch TV and eat them.

Con: Gaining weight

Pro: Not feeling as guilty for eating cake for breakfast…even though I have to confess that I did that before I was pregnant sometimes as well!

Con: Being slightly bored since its summer

Pro: Realizing that I will never again be bored for the rest of my life so I take advantage of every quite moment!

Con: Everyone and their brother wants to make a comment to you, ask you the baby’s name, when he is due, etc. Sometimes you purposely try to avoid eye contact with strangers just so you don’t get sucked in. This can be especially frustrating when you are checking out at stores because the conversation triples the amount of time it takes to pay and move on.

Pro: Most of the people are actually really sweet. When you are waiting in line at a restaurant you get multiple offers for people to relinquish their seat so that you can have it. Perfect strangers step in to make sure you are taken care of and don’t need any help.

Con: Being nailed in the ribs by the baby- ouch! Even the doctor was amazed at his movement.

Pro: Getting to feel him move and roll. There is nothing better than that! Not to mention seeing Ryan talk to him while rubbing the belly and the baby kicking him back.

Con: Nightly leg cramps

Pro: Hearing his heart beat every night with the stethoscope and knowing that all the pain, sleepless nights, and inconvenience is worth it because you already love him so much. Knowing that he has already brought Ryan and I so much joy. Realizing that as beautiful as life is as a couple, it’s going to be even more amazing as a family. We can’t wait to meet you sweet baby!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Catch Up

Well, I have been bad again about blogging and I really have no excuses for why. So…I’m going to try to catch up on the next few so I will be up to date. Not a whole lot has been going on in Shreveport these past couple of months but there were a few events that were noteworthy. The first was attending our very first Crawfish Boil. Now for anyone who claims to have been to one of these but it did not take place in Louisiana…sorry but yours just doesn’t count. This is definitely a true “Louisiana” experience. A couple from Sunday school was nice enough to invite us to their family’s crawfish boil which was on the lake. It was really fun and they had done a great job going with the crawfish theme. We got to try all sorts of crawfish dishes and even ate sugar cookies that were decorated like crawfish. Yum! Of course the main reason we were there was for the actual mudbug. Now up until this time I had only tried mudbugs in either dishes with other foods or fried. This time they were boiled in a HUGE pot along with potatoes, sausages, green beans, and artichokes (which I had never seen/eaten an actual whole artichoke). The men would dump this huge pot onto specially made tables with a large whole that fit above the trash can that was below. Then everyone would dig in! Thankfully when people realized that it was our first boil they graciously gave us tutoring lessons on how to eat a crawfish. I tell you what…those little things are a lot of work! I never did acquire a taste for the yellow fat on them and it still makes me kinda sick to “suck the head” but overall they were quite tasty! Ryan was particularly found of them and ate about thirty that day. Overall it was a really fun experience for both of us. Unfortunately crawdad season is over so we will have to wait until next year for some more! A few weeks later it was the end of school. I was so proud of my kindergartners and they were precious in their end of the year ceremony/graduation. Throughout the year they provided me with endless entertainment and stress and I will definitely miss hearing “Mrs. Holland…your stomach is really fat today!” I was terrified to teach kindergarten here but it ended up being exactly where I was supposed to be. The last week of school was also special because my sweet co-teacher Leah and several others threw me a baby shower. It was very humbling to have the school support me in such a huge way when I have only been there for a year. Leah in particular has been a huge blessing, and I am so thankful I got to work with her! Finally just a week or so later we celebrated our four year anniversary. Ryan and I went to Bella Fresca which was quite tasty. I think we treasure these special dates even more now that the baby is on the way….more about him to follow! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Babymoon Getaway

So Ryan and I had been planning on taking a trip during March for some time. We were originally thinking somewhere warm and tropical. However after finding little Holland would be joining us soon we decided our ‘babymoon” plans were going to be a little different. Ryan had not been to Washington DC since he was a kid and since we could fly there straight from DFW with our ticket vouchers we had earned, it was decided that that was the place to visit. As a side note, I knew it would be YEARS before we could take a small child somewhere like that for a vacation so I knew we better jump on the opportunity! Our trip began with flying into DC, riding in this cool car to our hotel, and going to Chinatown for dinner at a well-known pizzeria. Anyone who knows me knows I love pizza- it was awesome! It was in a very crazy part of town and there were so many people milling around. As we were leaving the pizza place it was freezing cold and snowing, and I have to admit I wondered for a few minutes as we walked to the subway with the snow blowing on our faces if we had lost our minds in deciding to come there. Now that I am a deep southern girl I am just not made for wind and snow! The next day it was decided to satisfy our inner geekness and go to the Smithsonian museums. I admit I LOVE history. Ryan will admit that he LOVES science. So of course I chose the museum of American history and Ryan wanted to go see the dinosaurs etc. at a different museum. Ryan was very patient with me as I would have been happy to have read every single poster and watch every video about the history of our country. I tried to be patient with all of his stuff but I admit he was the better person in this situation. We also squeezed in an IMAX movie at the museum which gave us a much needed sit down break. That night we went out to dinner at a steakhouse at the W Hotel. It was right downtown and very cool. As a side note I was paranoid about being cold after our first day experience that I ended up wearing so many layers that I was hot the rest of the trip! The next morning we got up really early because my wonderful friend Ashley had gotten us tickets to go in the White House. I had never done this before so I was pumped about it. She had warned us that the tour would be really quick and would only last a few minutes. After going through security we were walking to the house’s entrance when I noticed the famous first dog, Bo. He was just running around on the south lawn with no one around. We made it into the house and started our tour. However instead of the ten or fifteen minute tour we expected, we ended up being trapped in the white house for over an hour because some lady had passed out in front of us! So Ryan and I hung out with the secret service guys while the ambulance, etc. showed up. Quickly after that we went next door to Old Ebbit Grill for brunch. The restaurant is right beside the White House and presidents as far back as Teddy Roosevelt have eaten there. After brunch we made our rounds to all of the big monuments, etc. I was especially excited to go to the World War II memorial since it wasn’t there the last time I went. My feet were about ready to fall off by the end of the day. Before we knew it, it was time to eat again. This night we ventured into Georgetown to eat at Filomenia. This was one of the neatest places I have ever been to eat. It was an authentic Italian restaurant. When you first walked in you saw an old lady hand rolling all of the pasta that they were serving. When we sat down the front and back of the menu was covered with names of famous people that had eaten there. I saw everyone’s names from presidents to Julia Roberts to Eric Clapton. The food was amazing! We started off with fried rice balls that had been featured in The Godfather movie and then I ordered the seafood cannelloni. The funniest thing about it was that the pasta was black…a little different looking but delicious! We then proceeded to talk about how weren’t hungry but we still ordered the Oreo cheesecake and ate the whole thing! Overall one of the best dinners ever! The next day was Saturday and our last full day in DC. We decided to hit up a couple more museums (Holocaust and Air and Space) and walk around the town a little. Ryan also had to find his important souvenir- space ice cream. For some reason he loves that stuff so we had to make a stop at the Air and Space museum gift shop. The highlight of the day was getting a chili dog from a vendor on the street. I had never had a hotdog with chili and it was great! Yum! Finally we decided to finish off our babymoon with a relaxing dinner in the hotel- I got Subway and Ryan got Chipotle. As I write this I realize that it sounds like all we did was eat. At least we did a bunch of walking to burn it off! All in all it was a great trip and a wonderful break for both of us from the stresses of school/work. Can’t wait to one day go back with baby Holland!

The Big News

Okay, anyone who loves us enough to read our blog already probably knows our big news. We are having a baby! People kept asking me when I would blog about it so finally here it is. To make a long story short Ryan and I found out this exciting news a few days before we went home for Christmas. I actually found this out in the wee hours of the morning while Ryan was on overnight call. I knew I needed to think of some way to tell him so after school I stopped by Old Navy to try to find an appropriate outfit to spread the good news. After selecting the ‘My First Christmas” attire I hurried home and stuck it in his stocking for when he woke up. Finally he arose and I told him that Santa had made an early stop. He was ecstatic! And I can honestly say that his excitement if anything has just grown more and more. I don’t know if there has ever been anyone more thrilled than Ryan to get to be a dad. Of course I informed him that we needed to go out to eat to celebrate so I wouldn’t have to cook so we went to Chilies for fajitas and then stopped at Barnes and Noble for a baby name book. We decided to stay with the “My 1st Christmas” theme and wrapped up an outfit for each of the grandmothers to open. Needless to say they were shocked and thrilled. This past year has been such a crazy roller coaster with Ryan matching and the move and now a new baby. Craziness! Before I knew it, it was time to find out what we were having. Ryan and I had always promised ourselves that we would never find out and it would be a surprise. However five minutes after telling our parents they had pretty much convinced us that we needed to reconsider that plan. The day we found out Ryan couldn’t get off work but luckily Marianne was in town and went with me. My doctor was sweet to give us an extra ultrasound so we could go ahead and find out and not have to wait any longer. When she said “boy!” I couldn’t wait to tell Ryan. Once again I wanted to tell him someway special so I drug Marianne to the baby store to look for inspiration. When we found baby blue medical scrubs for size 0 to 6 months I knew that I had to get them. We wrapped them up in a bag with pink and blue paper for Ryan to open when he got home. Needless to say his excitement somehow managed to grow even more! He can’t wait to meet his son. I would have been thrilled with a boy or a girl but of course having an older brother myself I was so happy to be blessed with a boy. Hopefully he will watch over and protect all the other little Hollands to come! I feel doubly blessed to have such an amazing husband to share this experience with. Ryan- thanks for putting up with my 5+ months of sickness and everything else I have put you through so far! We are both so thrilled and excited and feel incredibly blessed by this gift from God. It’s amazing how much you can love someone you have never even met. Baby Holland- we can’t wait till august to meet you!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Weekend in Dallas

Last weekend we decided to meet our wonderful (and only) friends within a thousand mile radius for a fun weekend in Dallas. Obviously we are talking about the Cox family. They had no idea they would be the subject of so many blogs but that’s what happens when you live so “close” to each other! Ryan was able to get us a great deal staying at the Westin Galleria. The best thing was that you didn’t even have to leave the hotel to walk into a huge mall with plenty of great shopping for Marianne and me. After arriving Friday night our adventure began Saturday morning with Joe and Ryan taking the kids to the aquarium so that me and Marianne could get down to business and shop. Later we met for lunch and then went to see where JFK was shot. Me and Madeline felt the need to stand on the “X” in the middle of the road that marks the spot where he died so that we could get our picture taken. Hey- you have to make the most of the moment! We then traveled to another mall for the highlight of the trip (at least for Hayden) which was to visit the Lego store. Unfortunately afterwards the Coxes had to leave, but Ryan and I stayed another night. The next morning we ventured to North Dallas to go to the IKEA store and explore some other furniture venues. After that we went to….another mall. I want to stop for a minute and state that I really do not even like shopping, and I have never gone to three malls in a 24 hour period in my life. But it actually was a lot of fun. That mall had an awesome candy store so we stocked up for the car ride home. Overall it was a great weekend in Dallas, and I’m sure we will be going back again soon.

Let it Sneaux!

Here is a sight you don’t normally see in the deep south. Not only did we get to experience one of the hottest Junes on record the month we moved we also got to experience the 7th largest snowfall in the city’s history. As a side note, this was our second snow day off from school for the year. However the first snow day resulted in no snow whatsoever!

Throw Me Something Mister!!!

Whenever I think of New Orleans I typically think of two things; Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras. Well little did I know that Mardi Gras is actually a statewide celebration. Contrary to popular outside belief, it is not isolated to the New Orleans area and Shreveport has quite a Mardi Gras celebration of its own. My very limited knowledge of this holiday has expanded somewhat, but I think it will take me a few more years of living here to actually get a grasp on it. My first Mardi Gras celebration was in the form of a parade that we had at our school. My job was to pick a king and queen from my class to throw out beads and candy. In addition there would be some Dutch and Duchesses from the local “krewes” that were coming to participate. For anyone who has worked in the school system, you can imagine the excitement my 20 five-year-olds had when they began having candy and beads thrown at them. My hearing was permanently damaged in the process. I was then invited by some of my co-workers to come to their house which was on the “Krewe of Centaur” parade route. From this experience as well as other experiences Ryan and I had during the Mardi Gras season I have compiled a list of things we learned.

1. Mardi Gras is a season. It is not a day or simply one parade. It is various parades, parties, and festivities.
2. King Cakes are a local specialty. There are many types. Be selective with your fillings and they are very good heated.
3. Beads can be hazardous to your health. They especially hurt when they hit your pinkie finger or lip.
4. 4 million beads were thrown out in the one parade that we attended.
5. Catching beads is an art. It helps to make eye contact with the thrower. If they point to you then you know you are in for a special treat!
6. We don’t live in New Orleans but people do dance on their cars waiting for the parade to come by.
7. In order to get the full parade experience, tailgating begins at 8 am for a 8 pm parade.
8. This is no 20 min parade. Plan on 2 hours plus. The 2 hours does not include pre-parade festivities. This is simply the amount of time that the floats go by.
9. Mardi Gras plus Saints at the Super bowl the next day = extra excitement in the crowd
10. Throw me something mister! Code word for give me the goods off that float! And yes I did wave my hands and shout it out and was rewarded with a variety of goodies.

Heaux Heaux Heaux!!!

So I haven’t been very good about blogging lately and since I’m trying to go in chronological order as much as possible I’m going to try to quickly catch up. Christmas this year was extra special in that it was the first time that Ryan and I have gotten to go back home together since we moved. I was a little worried that Ryan wouldn’t be able to get off for Christmas but thankfully he was. We made it into town and began a fun-filled week of family and Christmas traditions. Some of our traditions are many years old, such as having a birthday cake for Jesus at my parents’ house and making the annual trek to Mt. Olive for Christmas Eve. Some are newer traditions, like eating a great brunch at the Holland’s before swinging back over to the Creech household for our typical steak and chicken and pastry dinner. No, we don’t do the traditional turkey or ham but our dinner sure is good! I often get the question of why we eat that for Christmas with my family. Many years ago my wonderful mom started making me and David’s favorite foods for Christmas dinner and the tradition has stuck. Both families got a special Christmas present this year but that will have to wait for another blog. :) By the way, for any non-Louisianans, heaux heaux heaux translates to ho ho ho. That sign was on the road by my school so we decided to use it on our Christmas cards in honor of our new location.