Sunday, August 31, 2008


I wanted to share a little story with you that ran in today's Virginian-Pilot about Mom and Dad Fitzgerald, my in-laws. They'll be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on Sept. 21 and the newspaper ran an article about their life together.
I've always said that Pat learned a lot about being a great husband from watching his parents... who seem to still be in love as much as now as I'm sure they did when they married.
We're working on their big celebration party, but I wanted to share a little link to this story so you can read for yourself.
Here it is:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fresh-grown tomatoes...

I've been dreaming of tomato sandwiches... just a few slices of fresh tomato with mayo, salt and pepper on two slices of bread.
The only problem is you can't have a tomato sandwich using anything bought out of the grocery store. I don't care how fancy or expensive those tomatoes are they will never hold up on a sandwich by themselves.
So after missing out on two roadside vegetable stands yesterday during our trip to Harrisonburg, I drove eight miles out of my way this afternoon to shop at the little roadside stand between Ruckersville and Madison.
I bought tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and peaches... the lady told me most everything she sells is grown from her garden.
I asked her how long her roadside stand would be open this year because I was sure that I would return for more produce... and after eating my wonderfully fresh tomato sandwich a few minutes ago, I'm already planning my next trip!

Where do the Parrottheads go?

Pat and I are going to see Jimmy Buffett on Monday at the Nissan Pavilion outside of Washington, D.C. Buffett is one of Pat's favorite performers... along with Genesis, Led Zepplin and others of the 70s era. He says I have strange music tastes, but he's right there with me.
Savannah is going to spend the Labor Day weekend with her Aunt Kathy and Uncle Tom (they're coming to get her on Sunday) and we'll pick her up after the concert on Monday (actually will probably crash at Kathy's house because I'm sure we'll be exhausted!)
I'll probably be posting a few Buffet videos in the next few days... but this is perhaps my favorite of his songs and the one I put on our wedding CD.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A new toy...

We took Savannah to Harrisonburg today because we had some errands to run and thought it would be different than going to Charlottesville. We had two highlights - the most important was that we got to spend a little time with Savannah's cousin, Samantha (who is a senior at James Madison University).
We met Samantha for lunch and then stopped by her new apartment to visit for a little while... boy, college kids lives a lot better now than they did when I was in school.
We also got Savannah a new toy while we were waiting for Samantha to join us for lunch. We walked down to the little resale store down from the restaurant and found Savannah a talking toy... for $1.50.
It was a Miss Spider Singin' Buggy Bunch... and I included a picture of it above. I checked online and it retails at  $89.99.
This little toy, which includes three babies that you can pull off and put back on their Mommy, kept Savannah entertained while we were at the DMV getting Pat's Virginia license and tag.
It was a very wise investment!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We have a name...

Pat and I have chosen a name for our little guy... Julius Patrick Fitzgerald.
We have spent the last few days going over names and wanted to choose something that flows off the tongue, but is unique and different.
Julius, or Jules or J.P., will be named after Pat's maternal grandfather and favorite uncle.  We thought about names to honor our fathers, but thought that those names were already taken by our brothers and should be used for their children. My brother still has a few years to go before he gets ready to have a child, but I'm not sure my brother-in-law is planning to ever have a son.
We're looking forward to little J.P.'s arrival.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Baby Boy Bean Fitzgerald...

I'm sorry it took so long for me to post pictures of our newest one... who appears to be the picture of good health. Unless you're under a rock, on vacation or ignoring your email or phone calls, you probably already know that we're having a boy (or have a 95+ percent chance of having a boy).
I can't begin to tell you how happy Pat and I are... to find out our little baby is healthy and then to find out that we're having a son. It's almost indescribable.
I asked the genetic counselor yesterday before the sonogram if there was anyway we might be able to find out the sex of the baby... because most pregnant women don't get to find out this early unless they have invasive testing via a LARGE needle.
She told me they could make a good guess if the baby cooperated and when I went back into the waiting room to wait with Pat and Savannah I told him we might be able to find out if we're having a son or daughter.
So when we got into the ultrasound room and the technician started, I was hoping the little one would cooperate. I was expecting a 3-D ultrasound, but we only had a 2-D yesterday... although it was amazing how much detail we could see already.
She showed us different parts of the baby and then I asked her about the baby's sex... she poked around some more and then asked us if we wanted to know what we were having... and we said yes and held our breath.
"It looks like you're having a boy," she said. "There are the baby boy parts."
I looked over at Pat and he had the biggest smile on his face... because although we both were just praying for a healthy child, we both wanted a son to complete our little family.
That is when I started to cry.
We have come up with a name... but we're keeping it secret until we decide it is the one we're going with.
Here are  some pictures of the baby... don't be fooled by thinking the third photo is the proof we're having a son... that really is just his arm!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Peeking in on Baby Bean Fitzgerald again...

We have another appointment to look in on the littlest member of our household tomorrow. This time we'll see him or her in 3-D so the doctor can make sure the baby doesn't have any signs of serious medical problems.
We didn't do this when I was pregnant with Savannah, but my age has something with having to have this test now.
I'll blog tomorrow afternoon to let you know how things go... I'm hoping we'll get the thumbs up and that everything with our little one is going great!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tissues in the air...

I noticed Savannah had gotten really quiet earlier this evening and I looked down to find that she had once again attacked my box of tissues. Tissues are something that every pregnant woman needs because she never knows when a commercial, song or thought might send her into a barrage of tears!
I leaned over and asked Savannah what she was doing... and she then started stuffing the tissues back into the box! 
I guess I have taught her something in the month since she discovered the fun of emptying my tissue box!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Money in the bank...

We just got back from depositing Savannah's piggy bank proceeds (and some change collected from Grammy, Grandaddy and Aunt Debbie this weekend) into her savings account.
The grand total of the deposit was $135.53.
We actually rolled most of the change, but now know the credit union won't charge us for bringing in our loose change... as long as we put it in Savannah's account.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Greetings from the road...

We're having a great time visiting Grammy and Grandaddy (or as Savannah says Papa) in Virginia Beach this weekend. Aunt Debbie came to pick Savannah and I up yesterday and it was nice to have time to spend with her this weekend as well.
Savannah certainly has been putting on a show for her grandparents and Aunt Debbie... she wondered from room to room and loved being the center of attention. She fell asleep in Mom and Dad's bed on Saturday night and didn't even have time to visit with her Daddy this morning... she was already entertaining her Grandparents and Aunt Debbie again!
Here are some pictures from our visit... Savannah got her first book bag today thanks to Grammy and Aunt Debbie. 
The first picture is Savannah and her Aunt Debbie (Savannah is modeling her new bag)
The second picture is Savannah entertaining her grandparents.
The third picture is Savannah's view of her grandparents (with Pat's foot thrown in for extra effect).
The last picture captured Savannah's wonderful expression "What you talkin' about Daddy?"

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'll Fly Away - Allison Krauss

I've been thinking about my Daddy a lot in the last week... can't tell you why, but I have. I was searching through Allison Krauss videos and found this one.
On my flight from Charlotte to Atlanta on June 13, I couldn't help but be in wonder by all the beautiful clouds I saw. All I could think of was this was probably the time when we would finally lose Daddy.
I didn't realize it at the time, but Daddy died just before we got on the plane.
I saw this video and had to post it.

Emptying the piggy bank...

Savannah and I emptied her piggy bank today so we could put it in her savings account in Virginia Beach on Monday. Inside the bank were four pounds of coins and bills her father and I (mostly her Daddy) have put in there over the last few months.
There were also a few bills — the $20 birthday gift from her Uncle Andy and a few bills that I put in there... I'm almost positive those were from her Aunt Lynn.
The only coin I left was the 1925 silver dollar I brought home from Daddy's collection after he died...  my brother brought it home to him years ago after finding it along the railroad tracks. It meant something to Daddy and was the only thing of his that I brought back from Georgia after his death.
I want Savannah to have that coin and I figured the best place to put it was in her piggy bank. I just have to remember to sift it out every time we get ready to deposit money into her savings account.
Piggy banks will forever remind me of Daddy because he was always asking about coins and saving money... that way he always had some money even when the paper money was scarce in the house.
I had given him a handful of change when I was home in May and he was excited to have it... I never dreamed it would be the last coins I would give him.

Going to Grammy's and Grandaddy's...

Savannah and I are leaving tomorrow for a four-day trip to see Savannah's grandparents in Virginia Beach. We'll be riding down with Aunt Debbie and Pat will be joining us after work tomorrow night.
We have a few things to do this weekend for Mom and Dad's anniversary party (which will be in September) and try to find ourselves a place to stay for that week since Pat will be on vacation. I'm hoping we can find a place near the beach since Savannah hasn't been there since she was a baby.
We're looking forward to getting away for a few days... and I'll enjoy riding down with  Debbie tomorrow.

My brief stint as a crash-test dummy...

I guess I wasn't cut out to be a crash-test dummy!
Today, I got a chance to visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's research center here in Ruckersville... it's actually just a few miles from our house. 
I was working on a story about the center's research on new technology and actually got to drive two vehicles that have features created to prevent crashes. I actually asked if it was OK that I drive the cars because I was pregnant and I had to sign a waiver (everyone does) saying that I was driving at my own risk.
The first car I got to drive was a 2009 Volvo V70, which is currently not available for sale in the U.S. One of the researchers told me that I was actually driving one of two models currently available... I'm not sure if he meant in the U.S. or anywhere.
It was a blast!
My first instruction was to drive the car into the back of a balloon car... I had to get up to 20 MPH and then just let the car run into the back of the balloon. This was to show off the City Safety feature, which prevents you from running into the back of something.
Needless to say, my first reaction was to hit the brakes just seconds before the City Safety feature kicked in. Everyone else in the car thought it was funny, but I was sorta proud of myself for my maternal instincts kicking in.
Then I had to turn around and do it again...  this time I pretended not to look at the blue balloon car as it got closer and closer and closer.
The safety feature kicked in and the car stopped just inches short of the balloon.
I also got to drive a 2008 S80, which retails at $65,000 in the U.S., and got to see all of its bells and whistles.
I had to drive at 45 MPH and watch as the lights flashed and the car beeped as I got closer and closer to the balloon car. The first time I avoided the balloon by going around it and the second time I hit the brakes when the buzzer went off.
But the third time I did nothing and we crashed into the balloon - sending it flying and scaring me senseless! The car is designed to slow down the automobile somewhat if you don't hit the brakes so the impact is lower.
We also got to peek in on the actual crash test dummies and see where they perform all those tests that Dateline features from time to time. The dummies were really interesting to see because it's very technical!
I was totally impressed by what I saw and asked to come back and see some of the actual crash testing they do twice a week.
It was a lot of fun!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tiny dancer...

We have a dancer on our hands. I think Pat has always  hoped Savannah would be a tomboy... like my Daddy wanted me to be. But I can tell you that Savannah is much more of a little girl than I ever was...
She loves dollies and dancing!
She's been carrying around her babydolls for about a week now... sometimes two at a time. She just says "Baby, baby, baby" and carries them around the living room.
She also loves dancing... she moves along to the beat of television shows (and some commercials) and looks forward to the song portions of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and The Wiggles.
I can see ballet classes, and not softball, in her future!
She's such a girl!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Two months already...

It's so hard to believe that this time two months ago Savannah and I were en route to Georgia... trying to get to Daddy's bedside. I had called the hospital that morning and he didn't feel up to speaking with me... I knew that wasn't a good sign and woke Pat up to tell him that I needed to get home.
I knew Daddy didn't have much time, but I certainly didn't expect him to die before I got there to say my goodbyes. But then I had said my goodbyes to Daddy... every day that week when I talked to him on the phone. I told him that I loved him and I knew he loved me... those were things we always said to each other... even when he was mad at me (and that could be quite often).
This is a song that has always made me cry... Daddy wasn't the traditional provider for our family, but he took care of us while my Mama worked long, hard hours. 
He was, and always will be, a gentle giant to me.

Doctor's visits...

Pat had a doctor's visit today and was expecting to have his blood drawn, but I was the only one who ended up being poked and prodded today!
I needed to have my prenatal blood work done and we decided to squeeze it in between Pat's doctor's appointment, lunch and the time he went to work.
His doctor's visit was short and sweet... they're trying him on a new medication because the stuff he was taking doesn't seem to be working. At least this time they gave him two sample packs... which keeps him from paying $40 or more for something that doesn't work.
I don't think they're optimistic this will help, but ruling out all possibilities.
He fasted because they wanted blood work, but when no one mentioned it we didn't press. I probably should have, but Pat hates needles like most people hate the dentist.
Thank goodness he isn't the one carrying this baby because an hour later I had four vials of blood taken!
Savannah, in the meantime, was happily walking around and chatting with everyone... all she could say was "Baby, baby, baby" at this couple with an 8-month-old little girl.
Our social butterfly always makes you feel better! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Miracle of life...

I've been telling Pat how fortunate we are to have a wonderful, healthy daughter and to now be expecting a second child. There are many people who try for years and are never able to have a child of their own.
I won't bother to tell you what his reaction to this is, but let me just say that he credits himself greatly for our ability to conceive so quickly. We laugh it off, but we both know how lucky we are to have our miracles.
I wish that I could wave a wand and give everyone I know who has struggled with fertility the chance to have their own baby, but it's something that I cannot do.
I just have to take care of my babies and hope those I love get their own miracles soon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sleeping through the night...

I'm proud to say Savannah has started sleeping in her own bed through the night. It's been wonderful to have our bed baby-free as I worry about her somehow falling off of the bed.
Savannah still cries when we put her down for the night, but she's gotten used to her bed enough to sleep in it through the night.
I have to be excited about little victories!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Baby Bean Fitzgerald

We got a chance to peek in on Baby Bean today... and he or she is growing right on schedule. The baby is now 10 weeks, 3 days old (which is what I expected), and the due date is March 2.
I have to go back to the doctor in three weeks to have another exam... this one is for high-risk pregnancies and I qualify since I'm 35 and expecting. They will check for all the disorders that are more common among babies born to older Mamas.
Here is the latest picture of our youngest family member... she or he is flipped over so the head is actually at the bottom. See if you can make out head and tail on our little one.

Victim of theft...

Pat came home tonight and discovered that during the day someone had stolen six of our pathway lights. They apparently walked half way up the driveway and took the lights out of the ground.
He drove around the neighborhood looking for our missing lights, but didn't find anything.
We're assuming it was kids because there is no way someone could have driven up the driveway without them having to back down and I would have seen a vehicle.
It's a little scary to know that someone would steal right under your nose.

Singing Elvis...

I thought I had seen almost everything strange and unusual that deals with Elvis, but today topped anything I've ever seen.
I stopped by Tuesday Morning in my search of stickers for my in-laws anniversary invitations. As I was leaving the store I heard someone say "Hello darling" and looked over to see a life-size bust of Elvis on the counter.
He talks and sings and even makes the little snarl with his lip... and he looks like the young Elvis so that is a bonus.
It was the strangest thing I've seen so I came home and looked him up... and the wonderful YouTube had a video of the bust so you can see him yourself.
Apparently he retails for $170, but our local Tuesday Morning has five Elvis' for the bargain-basement price of $60 each.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


People always talk about heroes and I've had many of them that have passed through my life over the years... they have helped mold me into the wife, mother and friend that I've become.
I was thinking about heroes today as I looked over my MySpace page because it has a place where you can list your heroes.
When I created my MySpace page a few years ago I mentioned one main hero in my life and that is my Mama. I would have to say that she and my husband, Pat, are my biggest heroes.
I don't need to go into any long speeches as to why Pat is my hero... he takes care of our family and is a wonderful husband and father. I could go on and on about him, but that will be saved for another time.
It's my Mama that I need to wax poetic about at the moment.
Mama was 20 years old when I was born... and she was already the sole support of a family of three. The years between then and now have been filled with her working herself well past her years in age.
Mama injured her shoulder right after Savannah was born and spent almost six months out of work while her injury healed. 
She returned to work full-time right after Daddy died in June and now works six days a week... hard, hard work for very little pay. Mama goes to work with her old knees hurting and barely able to hear, but she continues on.
There are many days I wonder how she does it, but I know it's because she has to do it.
That is just one reason she's my hero.

High gas prices...

Pat and I went to Kroger today to fill up our gas tanks (they give a nice discount if you buy groceries from them - $3.53 a gallon). 
There was a lady who was just finishing pumping her gas when I pulled up. She pumped $2.02 worth of gas, paid at the counter and then left. 
It was just over a half of a gallon of gas.
I've never seen anyone pump such a short amount of fuel... $5 or $10, but not $2.02. I thought that it must be sad to only have $2 to put gas in your car and how far that little bit would take her.
It also made me realize how lucky we are to have enough money to provide for ourselves, Savannah and this new baby on the way. 

Growing up...

Savannah had a great visit to the doctor today (even if she had to miss her swimming class). She weighed in at 24.11 lbs. and is 30.25 inches tall (2 feet 6.5 inches tall). She is in the 75th percentile for children her age and right where the doctor wants her to be.
Dr. Mayo said Savannah was a very social child and was impressed that she seems to always be happy. I asked her about several things (including potty training and weaning her off the bottle) and we'll continue to work on those things, but not be in a big rush.
She also got two shots... and Daddy had to leave the room while Mommy held her down. I guess this is going to be our version of "Good cop, bad cop" and lucky me for having to be the bad cop! She did very well considering she got poked and prodded.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Going to the doctor...

Savannah must miss her swimming class in the morning and instead go in for her 15-month check-up. I knew it was coming up, but there was no way to move it to a later date or time or we would have gone into next month.
I have several things I want to ask the doctor - about potty training and teething - and I hope Savannah is within her weight and height limit on the growth chart. I'll post tomorrow and let you know how healthy she is.
I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday to check in on Baby Bean... and I'm hoping to post a growth picture of the newest family member then.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Savannah's love of water...

Savannah started her second week of swimming lessons today and she's off to another good start. She was the first baby to learn how to jump into the water and go under... and she did it several times in a row before she got aggravated.
She really loves the water and swimming seems natural to her. Pat reminded another Daddy of this today when he told him that his daughter was doing much better in class... and was no longer screaming!
I felt really bad for the Dad, but I knew Pat didn't mean it the way it sounded! I have been teasing him about it though.
Savannah has to miss a day of class this week because she has her 15-month check-up on Wednesday and I couldn't get it rescheduled.
So we only have two more fun days in the pool. Here are a few pictures that I took today... I have a video to upload tonight and I'll put that one online soon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Walt Disney World...

I'm a planner... Pat and anyone who knows me well will tell you that. I like to think about things long before they happen... maybe even over think (or obsess) about them.
Today I got to thinking about my desire to take Savannah and Baby Bean to Walt Disney World, otherwise known as "The Happiest Place on Earth." Pat used to poo-poo the idea of vacationing there, but I think he's loosing up now that our daughter has a love of Mickey Mouse.
This afternoon I was tootling around on the WDW Web site to see how old children should be to really enjoy the park (and of course they say children enjoy it at any age) and how much packages are going for now.
I've decided (in my pre-planning way) that we should our kids to WDW when Savannah is 4 years old and Baby Bean is 2... this would be before she starts school, but when she's old enough to remember. 
That puts us going in 2011... and it's still a little early to start planning. But it's not too early to start saving... I think I'll buy a WDW trip piggy bank to put change in.