Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Fun

We've been very busy lately.  I feel like we never have a free weekend!  A couple weekends ago we went up to visit Justin's parents at their mountain house they bought a little bit ago.  It is a fixer upper so they go up every so often to work on it and the boys will help out as well.  But it's nice to have a small get away and also some babysitting!  Justin and I went to Haunted Tweetsie while we were there and it was def a waste of money.  The haunted portion was very lame, and the rides were not enough to make up for the money spent.  We also went to another haunted house at an old abandoned school while we were up there for $5 and it was much scarier than Haunted Tweetsie!  During the day we took the kids to a corn maze and they had some bouncy houses and games for kids so that was fun.  Here are a few pics of our trip to the mountains:

Last weekend we also went to Carowinds.  We purchased 2014 season passes for the family so they let you go for free one day this year.  They kids had fun.  Brayden couldn't ride very much since he is not 36" but he still enjoyed it.

This past weekend the Disney Store was hosting a Halloween celebration to come dressed as your favorite Disney princess or character.  I just happened to have two Disney costumes laying around so we decided to go.  Here are my little Snow White and Tigger!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Kaitlyn's 4th Birthday!

This year Kaitlyn's 4th birthday fell on a Saturday.  Other than her first birthday party with family, she has never had another party so I felt guilty and decided to through her one.  Overall it went pretty well.  We didn't have much money so we chose a location at a park near our house and then just had a cake and light snacks and a piñata for the kids.  She loved it which is what really matters.  She had a pretty good turn out as far as children too so that was good.  Even for something so low key it was still a lot of work, so I definitely don't think I will be throwing yearly birthday parties.  Maybe just every few years for each kid.  Here are a few pictures from the party:

The Set Up

Swinging at the Piñata  
 Brayden taking a turn
 After all the kids had a few turns, the piñata was still not showing any signs of breaking so reinforcements had to be called in!
 The aftermath
 Blowing out the candles
 My Mom made her some cute playhouses out of felt for her birthday
Also just a few updates on life with Kaitlyn at age 4:  She is loving her preschool that she goes to.  The teachers have told me that she is doing really well and very advanced for her age.  Although she is pretty much the oldest in her class, so I imagine she will probably be advanced for a few years until that starts leveling off.  She knows all her letters and sounds they make and has started reading some of the Bob Books.  She still has a hard time putting different sounds together though.  Kaitlyn and Brayden are currently still sharing a room and it is working out fine.  Eventually she will move in with Allie.  She is a very sweet and considerate kid.  Her favorite games are Chasing games.  Where someone pretends to be a wolf and chases her.  She also loves Bear Hunts and anything where people play with her.  She HATES to play by herself.  She is still afraid of pretty much all Disney movies and her favorite shows are probably My Little Ponies, Horseland, and Diego.  She has a very large vocabulary and likes to try and use new words she hears, but she is still very hard to understand.  We even debated if she needs speech therapy, but I'm going to give it another year.  She doesn't have a probably talking, just pronouncing and enunciating different sounds.  I can understand most everything she says but a lot of adults cannot.  So we shall see!  Hopefully she will get better with age!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Allie's 4 months!

Allie is now 4 months old!  She had her well visit a couple days ago and got her 4 month vaccines.  I hate them, but pretty much just go along with them b/c I also don't want her to contract a disease and potentially die!  But they really do make me nervous and I hate the side effects from them on a baby so small.  She got a really bad fever from this round and was really fussy.  I really wish I could delay them, but my practice I go to is so strict!  Anyway here are her stats for the 4 month visit:

Weight: 14 lbs 2 oz. 50 %
Height: 24"; 30%
Head Circumference: 40.5 cm; 25-50%

Overall she is doing great.  She is a wonderful addition to our family!  She started sleeping through the night at about 8 weeks, but lately wakes up multiple times a night when her paci falls out!  Grr.  She goes right back to sleep as soon as you put it in, but it is pretty annoying.  I guess it could be worse though!  She is a very happy baby.  Probably the happiest of any of my kids so far.  She smiles and laughs all the time.  But she can also go from happy to screaming her head off in a split second!  She is a pretty good mix between Kaitlyn and Brayden.  Kaitlyn was by far the worst, and Brayden was my content laid back baby.  We don't usually start solid foods until about 6 months so she is currently drinking pumped breastmilk every 3 hours during the day.  We offer her 6 ounces but she doesn't usually drink all of it.  Things she enjoys: napping in her swing with her blanket up around her face, sitting in her bumbo as long as I am near her, and being carried around front facing. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Allie 1 & 2 month Stats

Hard to believe Allie is already 2 months old!  This time around has not been too bad.  Overall she can be a fairly demanding baby, but I think I am just more laid back about it this time around.  I guess that happens the more kids you have!  You learn not to stress out about the little things that don't really matter.  Allie is much more similar to Kaitlyn's personality as a baby than Brayden.  Brayden was the happiest, most laid back baby there was!  He pretty much only cried if he was really hungry.  Allie (like Kaitlyn) cries a lot!  Mostly b/c she is a pretty gassy baby.  We have started making homemade gripe water that we put in all of her bottles.  At first we bought some, but at $10 a bottle that was outrageous!  We have to remake the gripe water every 3 days, but it is worth the savings!  Plus you can really tell a difference that it makes in Allie,  The homemade gripe water makes more than 3 days worth, but it starts to lose its effectiveness around then and you can definitely tell when it is wearing out!  She also usually wants to be held.  Brayden was content wherever, but Allie always wants to be in your arms.  Which would be a lot easier to do if I didn't have to take care of two others! haha!

One bonus though, just like Kaitlyn is that she is already sleeping through the night!  Kaitlyn started around 6 weeks and Allie was right at 8 weeks.  Brayden was not until about 4 months.  So that has helped!  I am so grateful to have her in our life.  Both Brayden and Kaitlyn have adjusted very smoothly to having her around and there really has not been any jealousy which has been great!  Even though there are plenty of days I want to scream, I really love how close in age they all are.  I think it will be great as they get older and all will somewhat enjoy the same things and playing together.  Here are Allie's 1 and 2 month stats:
 Allie 1 month:
Length: 20 1/2 inches (25 %)
Weight: 8 lb 10 oz (30%)
Head Circumference: 36 cm (10-25%)

Allie 2 months:
Length: 21 3/4" (25%)
Weight: 10 lb 11 oz (25-50%)
Head Circumference: 38 cm (25-50%)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Allie's Newborn Shoot

We had Allie's newborn pictures taken when she was about 2 weeks old by a good friend from church.  She has a wonderful photography business where 100% of the proceeds go directly to different charities around the world.  And best of all she does a wonderful job!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Allie Brooke Wood's Birth Story

Allie's labor and pregnancy was probably my least enjoyable of the 3.  I was basically in labor for 3 days before I finally delivered.  My pregnancy was not bad, but just very tiring.  But I think that is in part due to having to take care of two small kids and not getting much resting time.  On Thursday morning ( 5/16/13) around 5:00 AM I woke up to contractions.  They were coming regularly about every 5-10 minutes for about 3 hours and then they just stopped.  That had never happened with either of my other pregnancies so I was confused.  The contractions start up off and on all day and continue that way for 3 days!  It was soooo annoying.  They were still painful contractions and came regularly for hours at a time and then would just stop.  I was getting so frustrated and also tired b/c they would mostly happen during the night and I was getting no sleep. Saturday (5/18/13) was mine and Justin's 6th anniversary.  One that day arrived I was actually hoping NOT to go into labor b/c I didn't want to have a baby on my anniversary!  But that evening around 4PM my contractions start up strong.  They start coming every 3-5 minutes regularly and are much more painful than the previous few days.  I go ahead and call the dr. office to let them know to expect me at the hospital and we head out around 6PM.  On the car ride over to the hospital they stop again!  I was furious at this point.  We had rearranged our schedule to have my mom watch the kids for the past 3 days b/c we kept thinking I was going into labor and it never happened.  I go into the hospital and tell them what happened, but also that I don't really want to pay to check myself in if this is just another false alarm.  They say it is up to me so I decide to wait until they come back.  I walk the hospital a few times but they are still not strong again.  We decide to just go back home.  Then around 10:30 or 11PM they start up strong, fast and very painful.  But me being the super cheap person that I am wants to wait to check in until after midnight!  I really don't want to pay for a full hospital day's stay when I would only have been there for about 30 minutes!  So we get everything together and head back to the hospital.  We get there about 11:40pm and just wait in the car until after Midnight while I am in pain in the car! haha!  Once I get checked in I am already at 6cm and the contractions are getting unbearable quickly.  I ask to get my water bag started ASAP.  They try and get my IV in and it goes horribly.  They have to poke me 3x before they are successful.  It was so painful.  My water bag seems to drip so slowly I can't stand it.  I start freaking out like a crazy person saying that my bag is never going to finish.  They check me again and I am already at 8cm.  I am progressing at this point at about 1 cm every 30 minutes!  It was so painful.  The nurses cheat for me and go ahead and call for my epidural.  I finally am painfree and they check me again and it is time to push!  I start pushing at 2:09AM and Allie is born at 2:13 AM on Sunday 5/19/13!  So the entire labor process was extremely fast!  Only about 2 hours! Allie was born 6 lb 5.5 oz. 

Allie came out and didn't cry at first.  I started to get nervous b/c her umbilical cord was wrapped all around her body and she was so quiet.  I kept asking if she was ok and they finally tell me she is fine.  Justin clips the cord and they place her on me for a moment but then say they need to take her away.  He body temperature was dropping and they had to get her warmed up.  They decide the best way is actually skin to skin so they place her on me for a while.  I am getting to zombie state by this point and want nothing more than sleep.  All the nurses, etc do not leave my room until after 5:00AM.  I get maybe 2 hours sleep total and after not sleeping well the past few days I am very tired.  That morning they tell me I can actually leave on Monday if I would like since Allie was born so close to Midnight that she will have met the 24 hour stay requirement.  I decide I definitely want to leave early.  The entire hospital stay was so horrible.  They interrupt you all the time and you never get any peace!  So that was it! Since we left the hospital a day early we had to go to a pediatrician check up the very next day.  Allie had went down to only 5 lb 12oz.  She is definitely not a good eater.  She has a very weak suck.  In the beginning I even had to syringe feed her to get her started sucking on a bottle.  I had a couple lactation appointments to try breastfeeding but her suck was just too weak.  She just wouldn't work for it.  So I am back to pumping exclusively.  But that is fine.  More updates to come.  I just wanted to get her birth story posted!
Heading out to the hospital


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Brayden's 18 month stats

Last month Brayden had his 18 month check-up.  Overall he has been progressing pretty slowly, but I have definitely noticed an improvement in his communication skills.  He has finally started saying a few words here and there, but no sentences.  His only words he does on his own are Mama and Dada.  He also says a few animal sounds if you ask what the animal says.  He will also repeat a few different words if you ask him to, but doesn't speak them on his own.  He has been teething terribly.  All 4 of his canines started coming in the last month or so and he has been sooooo grumpy!  Some of Brayden's favorite things to do is read books and go to the playground and swing.  His 18 month stats are:

Length: 32" (25-50%)
Weight: 23 lb 8 oz (10-25%)
Head: 48 1/2" cm (50-75%)

Another update that we did was move Kaitlyn into Brayden's room.  So far it hasn't been too bad.  I imagine it being much worse if Brayden was able to get out of his crib.  Kaitlyn tries to come out of the room and that causes problems, but if we make her stay in they have adjusted pretty well and go to sleep after about 30 min or so.  Once Allie is sleeping through the night well and on a good solid schedule we will move Kaitlyn back into her room with Allie. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Kaitlyn's swimming lessons & Kaitlyn update

We had been wanting to try and sign Kaitlyn up for some swimming lessons so I looked around for the cheapest places.  We ended up going to the West Blvd YMCA which was 8 classes for $70.  Not too horrible since the Charlotte Aquatic center was double that price for the same amount and time of lessons!  Overall they were horrible!  Kaitlyn is terrified of putting her face in the water.  She would listen to the teacher and do everything else she was supposed to do, but would not do anything that would make her put her face under.  It got to the point where she was dreading swim class and so was I!  On days Justin couldn't make it, it was a nightmare trying to keep Brayden away from the pool and still try and watch Kaitlyn.  I was more than ready for them to be over!  She does like the water and playing in the shallow end.  Just nothing that may require her to go under.  I decided I give up on any more lessons until going under water is not an issue.  The teacher basically just wasted her time on Kaitlyn always trying to get her under.  Sometimes she would just dunk her under.  She told me that is actually what we need to do if I practice with her in a pool is just keep dunking her, so that she gets over the panic and becomes desensitized to it.  But being pregnant and usually having Brayden with me, I was in no mood to get into the pool with her and start causing a scene by having her dunk underwater!  Maybe this summer she will be around water enough to get over it.  So far she won't even do it in the bathtub.   Here are a few pics of her lessons:

I am actually quite concerned about her anxiety and fears of so many things.  It just doesn't seem normal compared to all the other kids her age.  She is still extremely timid and shy around other kids.  It actually breaks my heart to watch her interact with other kids.   I tell Justin all the time I don't know how I am going to handle once my kids are older and they really start getting their feelings hurt by friends, etc.  Just watching her interact with her preschool group makes me sad.  Whenever it is my week to teach she still clings by my side and rarely will go play with the other kids unless I make her.  The other girls talk to her and try and get her to play and she just stands there and looks at them.  I know she wants to but is just so extremely shy and scared.  I actually just made the decision this past week to enroll her into a real preschool next year.  Justin actually pushed for it more than me.  Basically most of our homeschool preschool is going off to kindergarten next year or moving away and I wasn't even sure if there would be enough kids to have one next year.  So anyway I found a preschool near Carowinds that is only $160 a month for 3 days a week.  Even though that will definitely be a financial burden on us, we really feel it will be for the best for her.  She needs to get out of her comfort zone and be around other kids more.  I would have loved one of the great preschools a little closer to home, but they were all about $80 more a month!  So this will have to do!  I am excited about it though.  There is a lady on my street whose kid goes there and they LOVE it.  She only had great things to say and we will probably try and arrange a carpool which would be great.  I went and visited it this week to turn in my registration check and it seems nice enough.  Definitely not up to par with the most well known ones in my area, but the teachers seemed wonderful and the class sizes were nice and small which I liked.  No more than 10 kids per 2 teachers!  It is a play based school, rather than learning based, but I actually think that will be better for Kaitlyn.  I am not concerned at all about her learning skills.  She knows all of her letters both upper and lowercase, all of the sounds that they make, and she is actually starting to read.  Very slowly though.  I bought the Bob books for early readers and we go through those every so often.  Unfortunately I think she is memorizing most of them, but they still help I think!  So anyways, I am really only interested in the preschool for her social skills, not to help her learn.  I can handle that at home, plus she will be almost 6 years old by the time she enters kindergarten due to her late bday. 

So anyway, she has many, many other fears.  She still won't watch ANY Disney movies b/c she is scared of all villains.  She is even scared of the little kid shows on PBS.  Just to give a few examples: she used to love Curious George, but then there was an episode where they went to a play to see Hansel and Gretal and she got scared of the witch.  There was an episode of Daniel Tiger where he had to get a shot at the doctor, and an episode of Calliou where he fell and scraped his knees.  Now whenever any of those shows come one she runs and hides until she can know which one it may be.  Sometimes if she is in her seat eating and I am in a different room and one of her "scary" shows comes one she starts screaming hysterically until I come running in to see what happened only to realize that it is the tv show.  She gets nervous and anxious about even the smallest little things.  Hopefully this is just phase. But I have a feeling she is always going to be an overly sensitive child and that makes me scared, just b/c I am going to feel so bad for her! 

Snow Day 2013

It finally snowed here enough to actually go outside and play in it.  Kaitlyn was excited to go out.  Me not so much.  I hate being cold, but we all bundled up and headed out.  It was actually a really nice snow. Like real powder snow!  It wasn't too wet or slushy and was perfect for building a snowman!  Justin started rolling up the balls for the snowman.  I didn't even know that's what you were supposed to do!  Unfortunately making the snowman pretty much depleted most of the snow from our yard.  But Kaitlyn enjoyed it.  I am not sure about Brayden.  He just looked cold the whole time and had a lot of trouble walking in it.  He kept falling face first into the snow and crying. We also tried going sledding in a part of our neighborhood with a pretty steep hill. Kaitlyn went down it one time and then was pretty over it b/c it scared her. Here are some of our snow day pics. Ignore how horrible Kaitlyn's outfit is! It was all I could find warm enough to put her in and it was given to us free from a neighbor! haha!

Brayden's 15 month Stats

By the time I made Brayden's appointment for his 15 month check up he was already almost 16 months.  But that's fine.  I prefer to wait as long as possible to delay the vaccines.  Just in case b/c you never know what to believe.  His stats were:
Length: 30 inches (10-25%)
Weight: 23 lb 8 oz (25-50%)
Head: 47.5 (50%)
We finally had a nice streak of about a month with no sickness!  Everyone but myself I guess.  But mine was more of a sinus infection that went out of control!  It lasted about 5 weeks and was so bad that I literally could not even blow my nose most days it was that completely clogged.  I tried a neti pot but it just went up into my head or ears and hurt so bad b/c my nose was too clogged for it to work.  It started traveling up to my eyes and I would wake up with my eyes crusted shut from the infection.  I even went through a whole 10 day bottle of Antibiotics and it still didn't even finally clear up after that for another week.  It was seriously horrible.  But at least Kaitlyn and Brayden were finally better and that always makes things easier!  As for Brayden's 15 month accomplishments, he is pretty behind I would say.  He is definitely on track for the physical skills (walked at 12 months, can climb onto furniture, etc) but his communication skills are way behind.  He still even at 16 months does not say any words.  He does like to Roar or make Growling animal sounds a lot but that is about it.  He will occasionally say Mama when he is extremely upset but only then!  It's so weird I can't tell if it is just coincidence or not b/c it is only when he is hysterically crying about something.  But I am convincing myself to just give it time.  Kaitlyn was a very slow talker as well and now she is fine.  She can say most anything now.  She still isn't a very clear talker, but she talks.  So I'm sure he will get there in his own time. 
Brayden has also gotten to his independent stage.  He is starting to refuse to ride in grocery carts.  He keeps trying to stand up, but then if you buckle him in he throws a fit and I just have to keep doing my shopping with a crying baby looking like "that mom."  He also has started getting pickier about his food which I do not like.  Sometimes if he is hungry and I put something on his tray and it is not what he wanted he gets mad and starts throwing it around with his hands.  It drives me crazy!  He also throws things when he's mad.  Even himself!  He will fling himself onto the floor and roll around crying!  If we are at home, it is funny and I laugh, but of course out in public not so much :)  Overall though as long as he is not sick he is a very even tempered baby.  He is still a very sweet boy.  In the mornings when I get him out of bed, he either immediately needs to be fed his cereal or else he has to be held by me.  No one else.  If Justin tries to take him from me he gets mad and throws a fit.  Unless it is for his cereal.  Both my kids love their morning cereal.  Which is easy enough for me.  Always either Frosted mini wheats or rice krispies.  I do enjoy finally having a baby that likes to cuddle.  If he is grumpy after a nap he likes to be held for a while as well. 
Brayden and Kaitlyn have also gotten to a stage where they have started to play together well.  In fact Brayden is by far Kaitlyn's best friend!  She always wants him around.  If he is napping I am convinced that she is loud on purpose so he will wake up.  But I will really be happy once he is talking and they can really play together.  But for now they play really well in their play kitchen and Kaitlyn loves to "read" him books while he just sits there.  It's cute.  I wish I had a picture to go with Brayden's 15 month post but unfortunately I am an extremely slack photographer.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Work Notice & Brayden's surgery

After we got back from our cruise, it was hard getting back into daily life.  I've been really stressed out lately.  Work was picking up and it was just getting to be too much so I decided I needed to go ahead and turn in my notice...again.  I really do enjoy working with house plans and getting to help design new plans, but I have definitely noticed the toll it takes on my life as well as my parenting.  Even only working my own hours, it was still just too stressful.  I would find myself just always making Kaitlyn go play by herself or watch a show so I could work and especially with a third baby coming, I just need to step away...for good.  I told Shea they needed to hire a new replacement and that is scary b/c they will no longer need me at all anymore.  The bad thing about AutoCAD as well as codes and construction is it is like computers.  It is always changing, so by me stepping away and not working for even 5+ years, it will have changed so much that I will be pretty useless.  So I most likely won't ever do much with it again.  So that makes me sad, but if we were financially able for me to never have to work again then I would be just fine with that! haha!  So even though I know it is the right thing to do, I was sad.

Towards the end of the month there was a lot more stress b/c Brayden had to be hospitalized.  One afternoon I was sitting in a chair and Brayden walks over to me and falls right before he reaches me and busts his lip on the side of the chair.  He immediately starts hysterically crying due to his lip and that is when I notice that he had also been chewing on a little tip of a crayon.  During his crying, he also starts choking on the bits of crayon.  He starts coughing and throws up twice.  It's mostly just saliva and there is bits of crayon in the throw up.  After about 10 minutes he is fine and not bothered by anything.  It was his nap time so I go ahead and put him down for his nap as usual.  Justin comes home and we all eat dinner.  Brayden eats a full meal and I'm still going about normal life, except I notice that Brayden has this constant wheezing sound now when he breathes.  But other than that he is happy and fine!  Finally Justin and I decide we should just go ahead and get it checked out.  We were planning on going to Urgent Care, but they were all shut down early b/c it happened to be one of the rare NC snow/sleet days.  Roads were fine, but you know how that goes.  So we stop at the CMC Steele Creek ER.  They run x-rays and tests and determine that they can't do anything.  He has to go to Levine Children's hospital.  By this time it is already past 10:00 and I am so annoyed.  They try to make us go by ambulance, but I refuse.  Now before you think I'm a horrible parent, remember that he is breathing perfectly and eating and everything!  Just making a wheezing sound.  So I figure that extra 5 minutes by ambulance is not worth the additional money we would have to pay.  So we drive ourselves.  Once we get to Levine they run more test and more x-rays...just to keep on charging us more and more money.  They never find anything on the X-rays so the surgeon comes in and says that he is pretty confident there is something in the airways, it is just not showing up.  But unfortunately the only way to know is to get in there and check it out.  So Brayden is prepped for surgery.  They wheel us up to the surgical floor and try to get an IV in him but are unsuccessful and finally end up putting it in his foot!  It was so horrible watching him suffer through that.  They end up making us leave to the waiting area.  Since Brayden had eaten sooner than is allowed for general anesthesia, they had to pump out his stomach.  Poor Baby!  Then he was put to sleep and they started the bronchoscopy.  I didn't get to see anything, but the doctor came in after to tell us it went well.  They did find a crayon particle and it had already started irritating his tracheal tube.  They gave us some pictures they took while they were in there.  You can see the crayon particle  under the bubble in the circled picture.  Then they showed the healthy clear side, and then the side that is all irritated after they removed the crayon. 

They said it is lucky that we did bring him in soon, b/c most of the risk of things like this comes from infections and complications from the foreign object being stuck in the trachea.  Once the doctor came in, Justin went ahead and took Kaitlyn home since it was about 2:00AM.  I have to keep waiting until Brayden wakes up from the general anesthesia, and then we go to a waiting room where he is monitored for another hour.  At about 4:00AM we are finally sent to a room.  Brayden is put on Morphine and sleeps until about 8:00AM.  I am like a zombie at this point, but it is so cute when Brayden wakes up.  He had his head facing me and immediately sits up looking away getting upset, but then turns around and sees me and his face lights up!  It was so sweet.  He hates being hooked up to all the tubes and stuff and keeps trying to rip them out.  The nurse had delivered him a full Pancake, bacon and egg breakfast.  He eats his entire plate of eggs and 3 pancakes!  I guess after having his stomach completely emptied, poor little guy was starving!  Finally that afternoon he gets discharged and we all go home.  He still makes a weird breathing sound for the next couple days so I get worried that they didn't get it all, but it eventually went away and now he is perfect!   

Not a very good quality pic, but I only had my iPod.  This is right after he came out of surgery and was asleep from the morphine while we are in the Monitoring room.  So sweet!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January Cruise 2013

For Justin and my Christmas present to ourselves we decided to go on a cruise.  Originally we weren't even planning on getting each other anything, but Justin was obsessed with getting in one last vacation before our third addition arrives.  We found a great deal on a 5 night cruise out of New Orleans at the last minute and decided to book it.  Justin's parents agreed to watch the kids while we were away.  Although it was great to get away and a lot of fun, I am not a fan of a January cruise.  It was way to cold!  New Orleans was freezing as well as on the boat.  It only got warm the two days we were in Mexico.  So I was not a fan of that.  On a tropical cruise vacation I want to be hot!  Also I do prefer week long cruises vs. only the 5 nights.  You can tell a difference in the food quality as well as the nicer boats are reserved for the longer cruises.  We went down the night before the boat left and stayed at a really nice hotel that one of Justin's friends was able to get us at a great rate.  It was at the Hyatt convention center literally right across from the cruise port!  It also had the best free breakfast I have ever had.  Delicious!  We were also walking distance to Bourbon street and the French quarters so we went exploring that night.  Neither of us had ever been and I can say that neither of us were impressed AT ALL!  It was one of the dirtiest places I have ever been.  I don't mean dirty like litter, but just dirty bars, sex clubs everywhere, and basically just tons of people that make you uncomfortable.  We had to dart into Harrah's casino to escape these two crazy homeless people that were begging us for money.  Below are a few pics of the trip.

Bourbon street.  Hard to really see much from the picture, but it was gross.  Just bars and sex clubs every other place.
The next morning in front of the Mississippi River.  We did try some of the famous Beignets at Café du Monde and they were delicious!

Mississippi River again
During our stop at Progresso, Yucatan Mexico, we took a tour of the Uxmal Mayan Ruins.  We were going to do Chichin-Itza, but decided against it because apparently it has become so touristy and you are not allowed to climb anything anymore.  At Uxmal we were allowed to climb absolutely anything we wanted except for the main pyramid.  But some of the secondary pyramids were VERY high.  After climbing them, I don't think I would have wanted to attempt the main one!

 Climbing up the secondary pyramid.  Very steep and no handrails! haha!

 About to board our boat in Cozumel.  All we did in Cozumel was walk around the town and make our phone calls back home to the kids who were both doing good.  Kaitlyn would get sad at night, but they were very well entertained while we were gone!  They got to do all kinds of fun stuff.  We also loved Cozumel b/c they have drug stores at like every corner where you can just buy whatever medicine you want!  No prescriptions! haha!  So we bought some antibiotics and extra strong Ibuprofen you can't buy in the states just to have if we need it.
Overall it was a fun trip.  Except unfortunately we got sick on our last day.  And I am still sick 3 weeks later!  Ugh.  I am ready for this baby to be born so I can start taking some stronger medicines again as well as cold/flu season to be over in general.  This has definitely been the worst ever!  But it was very nice to have one last getaway since it will probably be the last one alone for a while since it will be a lot more difficult to leave 3 kids!

Brayden's first Haircut

We got Brayden's first haircut back in December. It was getting pretty long and I have no idea how to cut hair so we had a coupon for one of those special children's salons. I think after this though, we will attempt to do it ourselves just b/c I can't justify having to pay that much money for a baby/toddler haircut when it grows so fast!

I forgot to get a BEFORE/ AFTER at the hair salon, so here is a recent picture before we went: 
At the Salon.  He didn't cry the entire time until the very end when they tried to blow dry the cut hair off of him.

Fresh haircut and of course another shot of how I can never get them both to pose for a good picture!