Saturday, November 29, 2008

Santa visit...

I've been meaning to post this all week, but got behind with our trip to Virginia Beach and then Thanksgiving.
We took Savannah to see Santa on Monday at the Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach. I must say this wasn't Savannah's best day... she hadn't felt good all day and we probably shouldn't have taken her in the first place.
I think Mom and Dad Fitzgerald are right... taking her picture with Santa at this age is much more for us than for her. To me, it's almost like a rite of passage and Pat just humors me.
Last year, Savannah grabbed Santa's beard as she sat in his lap... so the picture was of the two of them sort of staring each other down!
This year, Savannah started fussing the moment we put her in Santa's lap... she didn't want to have anything to do with him. They finally set up a chair in front of Santa... his "magic chair" for little kids who didn't want to sit in his lap.
This picture was captured moments before Savannah got up and started walking towards her Daddy. Her little cheeks, which were red from teething, pretty much say it all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving thanks...

With Thanksgiving just hours away, I wanted to take a few minutes to write down my thoughts about this holiday.
This has been a year of both great joy and sadness for me... happiness because we'll soon be bringing a son into our family, but sorrow because my Daddy died in June and will never really get to know my children. I have laughed and cried... many times during the same day... but as this holiday season begins I feel very fortunate and blessed for the life that I have.
Pat and I are very lucky... we have our beautiful, healthy Savannah and Baby Julius appears to be in good health (if not a little too healthy). We have wonderful family and friends who have been a support and blessing to us.
I look around our little house on the hill and see many things that remind me how fortunate I am... the rocking horse Mr. B made for Savannah, pictures of people who mean the world to me and cards from friends who let us know they were thinking about us.
Pat has to work tomorrow (something I usually did on Thanksgiving during my reporter years), but we'll have turkey dinner before he goes to the office. While we celebrate Thanksgiving in our home, people we love and care about will be celebrating with their family and friends across the country.
I hope each of you have a wonderful holiday and have a chance to think about what you're thankful for this holiday season.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our menu for Thanksgiving dinner...

I've finally decided on the menu for the first Fitzgerald Thanksgiving dinner in our little house on the hill. I thought I made Thanksgiving dinner at least once since Pat and I were married, but I realized the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette bought our dinner in 2006 and I took Savannah to Erin and Joe's house last year.
Our menu will include a mixture of my Mama and Paula Deen's recipes:
Roasted Turkey
Cornbread stuffing
mashed potatoes with brown gravy
stewed squash and onions
butter peas
cranberry sauce
homemade pumpkin pie
homemade sweet potato pie

This will be the first time I've cooked a turkey on my own... I bought one earlier this week and used two coupons (one from Kroger and one from the turkey company) and ended up paying only $4 for a 17-lb. turkey.
Wish me luck... I'm going to need it!


I realized yesterday that we're about to have a tight squeeze in the vehicle department once Julius arrives.
Heather, one of the mommies at the play date we went to yesterday, gave me an extra double stroller that was just taking up space in her basement. The 39-lb. stroller, which is about the average size (and very, very nice I might add), fits into our vehicles but doesn't leave a lot of room for extras.
So once Julius arrives, it's going to be interesting to see how we fit everything into our cars.
Pat and I talked about it last night and decided it wasn't a good time to be going into debt for a new vehicle. Our vehicles are paid off and we can make do with what we have.
We're going to buy a luggage rack for the Scion for extra storage space and keep trucking along.
We'll just have to remember to take the stroller in and out of the car when we're not using it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Play date and learning lab

Savannah and I ventured out today for our first official play date... and we had a great time.
Heather, a stay-at-home mom of two, hosted the event at her house. There were five mommies and seven children (not including Julius).
Savannah was the youngest of the four toddlers and there were three infants (the youngest was two months old).
I'm proud to say Savannah did really well with the babies... all of the talk about petting Maggie softly worked well because she wanted to touch the babies and I told her that she had to touch softly.
Let's hope she does this well when Julius comes home.
She also did well with the older kids (the older two were each 2 years old; Heather's daughter, Brooke, is 20 months; and Savannah is 18 months), but the two older girls were a little too aggressive with her.
Savannah got pushed and hit a couple of times and I tried not to get too upset about it... the mothers got on to their daughters, but Savannah just looked at me like "Why did they do that to me?"... then she would cry.
When the other mothers left, Heather told me they usually pick on Brooke because she's younger and won't hit back... and I'm torn as to how to explain all of this to Savannah and if I should expect and hope she will hit the other children back.
Heather was also kind enough to give me a Graco double stroller... one she bought and used for only two days before she received one her parents bought for her that she liked a lot better. I tried to pay her for the stroller, but she wouldn't take any money.
It's a huge relief to me because that is one of the things we were going to have to buy.
I'm hoping we can have more play dates with just Savannah and Brooke because I could see the two of them becoming good friends. Plus, Julius could already have a friend when he gets here.
After our play date, we went to the University of Virginia's Learning Lab, a teaching facility where they study how children do specific things.
Savannah was tested on how well she could sort various toys into boxes. She was able to take all of the toys and put them into boxes, but she never did separate them by type of toy.
The technician told me there was no pass or fail and that some children were able to sort them while others couldn't even get them in the boxes.
I was proud that Savannah picked up all of the toys and put them away... something I've been teaching her with her bath toys.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fun at the Virginia Discovery Museum...

Savannah and I went to the Virginia Discovery Museum today to meet with other parents and their kids for Toddler Time. We were supposed to meet with some mommies we had lunch with several months ago ... but we couldn't find them and ended up venturing out on our own.
Savannah loved the museum... especially the large mirror that was the backdrop for a puppet stage. She kept going back to the stage and looking at herself in the mirror.
We went into a Toddler Time group and listened to a story about a little boy who played music with sticks. When the volunteer handed out the musical sticks, Savannah took two and happily played with the other children in the circle.
But when the music started, Savannah stood up, put her sticks down and started dancing in the middle of the circle. Everyone thought it was cute and it made me proud that she doesn't have any shyness about her.
We'll have to go back to the museum with Daddy so they can explore things together... and I have another set of hands and legs to chase after Savannah.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Savannah's new rocking horse...

Wally Bucci, who I know as Mr. B, built Savannah a rocking horse and shipped it to her all the way from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Mr. B is the stepfather of my longtime friend, Lori, and he is one of the greatest men I've ever met.
He's given me several wooden pieces over the years, but this is most meaningful to me because I know how hard he worked on it. I cried as I unwrapped it from the box.
Lori and her daughter, Brittany, painted the horse... a job Lori's mother, Dianne, would have done herself had she lived long enough to see me marry and have children. Dianne died several years ago after a difficult battle with cancer.
I wanted to share a few pictures of Savannah on her new rocking horse... she still getting comfortable on it so we've been sitting with. She pushed her Daddy's hands away tonight so she could rock herself... she's becoming such a big girl.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Christmas photos...

We had a great session at Sears Portrait Studio today and I came home with the images on CD... a great thing to have because we now "own" the images.
Here are a few of them... I'm a little biased, but I think they turned out really well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Savannah's sleeping habits...

We haven't had a lot of luck lately getting Savannah to sleep in her own bed. She's started teething again and it's kept all of us from getting a good night of sleep.
Savannah and I spent Friday night in the recliner because she didn't want to lay down... I'm not sure if it was the pressure from her new teeth or what, but the only way she would sleep was for me to hold her in my arms.
Last night, we tried two times to put her into her crib. She woke up both times screaming and ended up sleeping between the two of us. When Pat brought her into the living room this morning she was screaming... I had to use Tylenol and teething medicine to calm her down.
I went out afternoon to do some grocery shopping (the best deal I got was a 17 lb. turkey for $4 - thank goodness for sales and coupons) and Savannah stayed with Pat. He called me right as I was leaving Kroger and I could hear Savannah screaming in background... by the time I got home she had cried herself to sleep and he was mentally exhausted!
I'm hoping we'll get a good night of sleep tonight as we have those pictures to take tomorrow. Here is a picture Pat snapped of Savannah (and Maggie) before Savannah went into this bout of teething... I thought it was too cute not to share.

Busy, busy week...

We're gearing up for another busy week here in the Fitzgerald house... it seems like we've always got lots to do and little time to do them all.
Things start off with a bang tomorrow as we have an appointment to get our family holiday photo taken. This will be our last chance to take pictures before Julius arrives and I want to document us now... plus, we haven't had any professional pictures taken of the three of us and I thought that would be nice.
I want Savannah to know we were a family unit before her little brother came into the picture.. so off we go to Sears tomorrow.
On Tuesday, I'm going to get some blood work done to see if I have gestational diabetes... this is a routine test (and one I had to take twice during my first pregnancy because I had a piece of bread that morning). They take your blood, make you drink a nasty glucose drink and take your blood again after an hour.
All of this is after not being able to eat for the eight previous hours... so it's not going to be a fun day for me!
I have play dates set up for Savannah on Wednesday and Thursday. We're going to the Discovery Museum on Wednesday with a few other mommies and children and then meeting some of them on Thursday for an actual play date.
I realized the other week that Savannah really needs to be around other children... she enjoyed interacting with the other kids at the Wiggles concert. I'm secretly hoping the play dates will help wear her out and we can get her on a decent sleep schedule... something she really isn't on right now.
I also have an appointment on Thursday for Savannah at the University of Virginia's Child Language Lab. They asked for volunteers for a study on 18-month-olds and how they interact through language... I thought it would be neat to let Savannah take part in that.
We end our busy week on Saturday night with a trip to Virginia Beach to see Grammy and Papa... that is what we're all looking forward to the most as we hope to take Savannah to see Santa Claus again at the Lynhaven Mall... hopefully she won't pull Santa's beard this time.

Little man...

I wanted to put a picture of Pat's step-grandson, Tyler, up on my blog. For all of you who don't know, Pat was married once before and has a stepson, Jamie. Tyler is, of course, Jamie's son and Pat loves both of them very much.
Tyler now in the first grade and he's grown so much since we saw him last year... the last time we saw him he loved The Wiggles and dinosaurs... and I think he's outgrown both of those things now.
It's hard to believe how fast time flies... of course, I guess we shouldn't be surprised since Savannah has grown up right before our eyes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Exercising with the Wii...

A few weeks ago, Pat bought a Wii and Wii Fit in the hopes of helping him get into shape... this is a video game system that allows you to work out ... you can do aerobics, weight training, yoga and other exercises and it keeps track of your progress and weight loss.
We thought this might be a good alternative to joining the gym because we wouldn't have to get into a contract when we don't know how things are going to be down the road.
Pat has been coming home from work each night and doing his exercises... and Savannah has been right there along with him.
He's gotten really good at the beginning aerobics and she lifts her arms and moves back and forth with Daddy! Sometimes she just bends down by his feet and watches as they move.
I'm sorry that I haven't caught it on video yet, but promise I'll do that weekend and get it on the blog.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Savannah having a blast with the Wiggles...

Here are some of my favorite photos... Savannah absolutely had a blast seeing the Wiggles and dancing with the other children.

More pictures from the concert...

I'm just going to post a few more photos... including some of my favorite "Wiggle", Captain Feathersword.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pictures from the Wiggles...

Here are some of the pictures from our fun time Thursday night... the second picture is Savannah's reaction once she realized "Toot Toot" was actually in the building!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blast with the Wiggles...

Savannah and I had a blast seeing the Wiggles tonight... they put on a great show and we were lucky enough to get front row seats!
I found out about the concert weeks after tickets went on sale and had to buy our tickets off eBay... they were supposed to be good seats, but certainly not front row seats.
When we got inside the Coliseum tonight and I handed my tickets over to the usher, she said those seats didn't exist! At first, I thought we had been scammed, but they quickly realized we had early seats and they changed the stage layout after selling those tickets.
We were among 12 people who were then moved to the front row center... I could have looked up their noses if I wasn't so tired from running after Savannah!
She had a blast... and in the morning I'm going to post some of the best pictures from the show.
I hate to say this, but I lost a lot of the pictures during the downloading process (the computer locked up after I unplugged the camera and more than 100 shots were deleted)... I'm lucky to have been able to salvage the ones that I did.
There were lots of great shots that were lost forever, but at least I have these.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pop Goes the Wiggles...

Savannah and I leave tomorrow for a three- day adventure that will include going to see the Wiggles, spending a few nights with Grammy and Papa and then going to visit Cousin Erin on Saturday.
We won't be home again until Sunday... so Daddy will have plenty of time to rest and play with his new Wii Fit (I'm sure he'll try it while we're gone).
I can't wait to see Savannah's face tomorrow when the Wiggles come on stage... I know she's going to have a blast! I just hope I don't cry with excitement for her because I know she'll enjoy every minute of it.
We'll also enjoy spending some time with Grammy and Papa (Savannah's name for her Granddaddy) on Friday because they'll be in bed when we get there tomorrow night. We're planning to leave their house on Saturday and head to Erin's for a Pampered Chef party... and then home on Sunday before Pat misses us too much.
I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow at the concert and post them after Savannah goes to bed.

No more bottles...

Savannah made another transition from baby to toddler this week as she gave up her bottles... and without a fight.
Dr. Mayo said it's was time for Savannah to make the total transition from the bottle to the sippy cup since Julius is on the way. She said that if Savannah made the transition now she wouldn't have a hard time wanting the bottle when the baby comes.
We made the decision not to give her a bottle anymore... even when she was going to bed or down for a nap.
Although she's asked for a "ba ba", she has been satisfied with her sippy cup and hasn't had to have a complete bottle to get her through the night.
Our baby isn't a baby anymore.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A new era...

I sit here listening to John McCain as he concedes the presidential race to Barack Obama and can't help but think about what my Daddy's reaction would have been had he lived to see a black man win the White House.
He would have taken McCain's defeat has hard as I'm sure any other Republican is tonight because he was one of the biggest Bush and McCain supporters I knew. He stayed glued to Fox News like it was his television Bible... a fact that we talked about on more than one occasion.
Not every Republican who cast a vote today... and I live among more than one of them... voted to keep a black man out of office. But I know it would have been first and foremost on my Daddy's mind and he would have made it clear to anyone who asked him.
Daddy grew up in the 1930's Depression-era South... where poor white people worked alongside poor black people picking cotton and tobacco for shelter and little pay.
He could talk to any black person he met, but I never knew him to have a close black friend. I would be lying if I described Daddy as anything other than a man who clearly thought black people were inferior to whites.
I always thought that it was not only because of Daddy's southern raising, but the fact that he wasn't educated that never allowed him to see past skin color. There would have been no way he could have supported Barack Obama... even had he been Republican.
Obama's win tonight brings about a world of changes... it shows the majority of this country believes we can move beyond our past and start another chapter in our history. I agree with commentators who say this nomination will change the world's perception of our country, but only time will tell if those changes will be positive in the long run.
I have my fears about the years ahead with Obama as president... different fears than I would have had if McCain won. Pat and I both got out today and voted... and you can't complain about the results if you haven't let your voice be heard.
I'm sure all of us will have complaints over the next four years... we'll have to see what happens, but you have to agree it's going to be one helluva ride.

I voted...

I got out on this rainy Virginia morning to cast my vote in the presidential election. It was my fifth time voting for a president and I feel as good about my choice as I guess anyone does.
I'm smart enough to know no one person can go into an office and keep all promises made during election time. I've covered enough politics to know that no matter how honest a politician seems to be at face value, there has to be something that drives them to office... and it isn't just noble public service.
I only had a 10-minute wait at our polling place and I'm hoping Pat will have a short wait when he goes to vote in about an hour.
This will be the first time in 12 years that I haven't been in a newspaper office covering the election... so it will totally different for me.
I can turn the channel when I get tired of hearing about it! Plus, I can look forward to tomorrow when we don't have to see any more campaign ads... that is almost as good as seeing the person you voted for win!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Two healthy children...

Everyone got a clean bill of health at the doctors' today... Savannah remains in the 75th percentile for age and height among 18-month-olds. She weighed in at 26.4 lbs. and is 34 inches tall.
Dr. Mayo says Savannah is really doing well and seems to be a very happy little girl. Savannah also got a flu shot today and handled it like a champ.
A few hours later, we got to take look in at Julius... who officially is a boy! He's been moving around like a good football player for the last week or so and we finally found out why today.
Apparently Julius is in the 90th percentile in measurements for babies at 23 weeks gestation... therefore we're either off our due date by a few weeks or he's going to be a big baby.
I've got a feeling we won't be needing any newborn clothes and will go straight to 3 to 6 months!
The doctor is bringing me in in a few weeks to take another look and see how his growth is... then we'll have to make a decision on when he'll be due.
I'll be posting pictures of Julius later tonight...

Bill collectors...

I just read a story about the increase of bill collectors looking for people who owe money... and Pat and I have experienced some of this ourselves in the last few months.
We've gotten six calls from bill collectors looking for one of my family members... and they never call at 5 p.m. Most of the calls have come before 9:30 a.m.... during the time Pat is trying to get his sleep.
It's frustrating to say the least... especially when you have to explain the person they're looking for doesn't live in the same state and you have little contact with her. Both Pat and I have had to explain this to companies... and then pass the company's information on to the person they're searching for.
The callers never say who they are or what they're calling about, but when you look up the telephone numbers they come back to bill collectors.
The story says bill collectors have to call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. and they can't harass a person... but the story says nothing about harassing family members and neighbors. I found information online that explains debt collectors are now contacting family members and neighbors if they can't get in touch with the debtor themselves.
The story does say that people can only expect this problem to get worse as the economy continues in a downward spiral.
I'm just bracing myself for more early morning phone calls.

Checking on my babies today...

Savannah and I both have doctor's appointments today so it's going to be a busy time here at the Fitzgerald house.
We have to get Savannah to the doctor for her 18-month wellness check this morning... it's hard to believe she's already 18 months old! I keep asking myself where the time has gone... so much has happened in these months that it's hard to believe they've gone by so quickly.
This afternoon we go for my 23-week visit to the prenatal clinic and I'm expecting we'll get to see Baby Julius in 3-D... that's really exciting to me as I've been able to really feel him moving around in the last week.
He was practicing football moves the other day and I put my hand on my belly... just in time to get a good kick! I started crying and Savannah (who was sitting in my lap) just looked over and kissed me!
She's going to soon realize that she has a Mama who cries at the drop of a hat (whether I'm pregnant or not)... pregnancy just keeps the hat dropping all of the time!
I'm posting a picture of Savannah I took on Friday morning... after she pulled all the books out of their rest place and started reading!
P.S. Savannah and I have both been battling head colds this week... hopefully we'll be back to our normal selves before we go to the Wiggles concert on Thursday.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A reason for change...

I wanted to post two comments my older sister, Shannon, left on my blog earlier today.
Shannon and I have never had a close relationship... we've made choices and taken different life paths that have only driven us further apart.
This week I decided that I needed to limit my stress level and cease contact with Shannon ... a choice that many people over the years have suggested, but one I've had a hard time actually doing. No one wants to walk away from family... even though it makes sense to do that or stay in some toxic soup we all create together.
I could defend myself on some of these allegations, but it isn't worth it because I see this as a last desperate attempt for Shannon to hurt my feelings... something that I won't give her the satisfaction of doing.
All of you who have been invited to this blog know me pretty well... and you can make your own decision on whether these postings are true.

P.S. You can see the actual comments under the Simplifying My Life... Shannon used our aunt's password to get onto my blog and left these comments... I have left them for you all to see it yourselves.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have brought others sooo much peace of mind as well...I hope you find what ever it is you are lacking in your life...I for one am glad to be rid of you and your need for drama...Your actions this past week are very inmature and child can not cut off people when you share a mother and brother with them...I know you will delate this but I just had to make sure you actually got to read what I thought about this since you never give anyone a chance to get something off their chest.

November 1, 2008 3:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I do not see how much of a people pleaser you are when you have cutt off one sister three times for talking back to you when you have called her spouse a "bum", but your mother and sister between the both of you and when she asked you to stop you cut her off, and the final time when she stood up and told you to stop making assumputions about her and her family. The other "toxic" person in your life that you have told her and others that she would be homeless once your parents died, and is sitting by and watching your mother kill herself, made a assumpution about you, and you could not take that...Pot meet Kettle...You know you have a problem with relationships, you can not hold on to friends for long, they always "upset" you in some kind of way and you let them go, just like you have your aunt, and your grandmother. It is only time before you cut everyone else off too..

This is the time I will communicate with you..everything is off my chest not contact me anymore...

Good ridiance to bad rubbish

A few people we saw yesterday...

Among the ladybugs and princesses we saw out trick-o-treating yesterday, we saw a few unusual costumes... and several that just stood out to me and I had to take their pictures.
The first one had to be the sister and brother duo who stole the show as Sarah Palin and John McCain. It doesn't matter what your political preference is, these two were just adorable and everyone had to snap their pictures.
The little girl had her hair up, a pair of red glasses and was wearing a business suit and shiny silver shoes. She was even carrying a little trending purse.
Her brother, who had to be Savannah's age or younger, had gray hair and was wearing a three piece suit.
Their parents told me the little girl was very excited to be Sarah Palin... and everyone was taking her picture. I think they have a budding politician on their hands.
There was even an older Sarah Palin (not the real one) at The Lawn yesterday... just wish I could have gotten a picture of the two Palins together.
I snapped the third picture as we were leaving yesterday... my Aunt Linda, who reads this blog, loves Tony Stewart. I saw this little boy sitting on the grass and had to snap his picture... he didn't even know I was trying to capture his image and share this Nascar fan with you.

Simplifying my life...

Sometimes you have to move aside and let the craziness of life pass you by.
This is what I decided to do this week after realizing certain people and things in my life were bringing me unneeded stress.
I think it's safe to say that I've always been a people pleaser... someone who tries very hard to make others happy even if it comes at my own mental and financial expense. I've tried to help people when I could and keep my mouth shut against craziness when I probably shouldn't.
It's a trait I learned early in life and have fought against over and over through the years.
This week, I realized that my attempts to people please were causing me too much stress and making me a person I didn't want to be. I spent way too much time worrying about the longterm effects a person's actions were going to have... something I can't control and wasted energy even thinking about.
So I decided that it was time I took action and cut those stressors out of my life.
It has been easier than I imagined and has already brought me more peace of mind than I imagined it would.
I'm learning that you can love people, but not their actions... and sometimes letting them go is the best thing to do.