Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Baby #2: Boy or Girl?

Last Thursday, our little family headed to our doctor's office for a gender reveal ultrasound! They didn't offer this option when I was pregnant with Natalie, so we went a little further away to Lexington to find out early (16 weeks) with her. The excitement of a new baby joining the family is just too much for us to contain, apparently :) They quickly took us back to the ultrasound room where we got to take our very first look at Baby Godin #2. Seeing your baby for the first time, even if it's on a tv screen, is just surreal and oh so wonderful. So, after convincing the baby to move it's little foot out the way, the tech froze the frame and said, "Here it is! It's a..." I was honestly surprised at her announcement because the ultrasound looked very different from Natalie's, but we'll take her trained and experienced word for's a girl!!!

Very early on in this pregnancy, I had hoped for a girl because I wanted to Natalie to grow up with a sister. I love my sisters dearly and can't imagine life without them. Getting to raise sisters who are close in age is sure to be an adventure. Disclaimer: After the initial excitement of this pregnancy settled down, I got excited about the possibility of having a boy as well. We had a boy name picked out, which really vamped up my eagerness to find out the gender, so I was going to be really excited either way! We are still working on choosing this baby's name, although we are finally making some progress! Alex and I both agree that choosing boy names is far easier for us as we have very different taste when it comes to girl names.

On the Saturday after our ultrasound, we invited our parents, local siblings, nieces and nephew over for a gender reveal party. I was absolutely exhausted and thus did not put forth as much effort into cute decorations or any party games as I would have liked to, but it still turned out nice. And the main focus is finding out the gender anyway, right? The week of the gender reveal, I learned to crochet baby booties and found a cute pattern for a boy's style bootie and a girl's Mary Jane style shoe and went ahead and made a pair of each. I wrapped each pink bootie in several layers of tissue paper for each set of grandparents to open.

My mom (in the blue shirt) said she had managed to stay neutral on the boy vs. girl debate, so she felt genuinely excited by the news that she would have a 5th granddaughter (there are no grandsons on my side so far!). My mother-in-law said she had anticipated a boy, but she was happy about having her 5th granddaughter as well.

We spend the rest of the party just visiting, noshing, and tossing baby name ideas around. We had a really great time!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

NH Vacation Part 2: The Rest of the Trip

 The day after we arrived in New Hampshire, we went to a family reunion on Alex's mom's side of the family. The kids swam in the ice cold water of the swimming pool pretty much the entire time we were there. The adults, however, only endured the water for a few minutes at a time to appease the begging children :) Natalie enjoyed playing with some water toys on dry land:
 Alex's Aunt Kathy had a tire swing in her yard that made for a great photo op:

 Tuesday, we went to a creative playground that reminded me so much of the wooden playground we had where I went to kindergarten. They seriously need to build one of these where we live. The closest one to us is 75 miles away. I wish I'd taken a picture of the whole thing because the little kiddy area where these pics were taken does not do it justice.

 At the same park, there were walking trails that led to this river (we are so not a photogenic family!):
 Friday, we hung out at Alex's Aunt and Uncle's for a few hours. Except for the first few days of the trip, it was around 100 degrees and soooo humid the whole time we were there. Natalie and Alex tried to cool off on a hammock in the shade:
 Natalie looking fly in daddy's sunglasses:
 Before we headed home on Saturday, we stopped to say goodbye to Alex's Grammy, Aunt and Uncle. Natalie was barely awake and hadn't eaten breakfast, hence the look of sheer delight on her face...ha!

We drove home separately from our little caravan so that we could stop to visit my lifelong friend, Boo, and her husband, Tim, in Pennsylvania. We have been friends since we were two years old. She was my maid-of-honor and now she's expecting her first child, a little girl, in August. Boo was a good sport and let us get a belly pic at 7 in the morning before we headed back on the road.
So, that about sums up our vacation! Natalie was a great little traveler and didn't get very fussy in the car. We kept her supplied with snacks and she watched a little Elmo, but for the most part, she napped, ate and played with toys and books. When we got home, she was excited to see her puppy, Layla, again and ran around the house doing a dance. I think she was glad to be free from her car seat after two long days of car riding!

Monday, July 8, 2013

NH Vacation Part 1: The Ocean, a Love-Hate Relationship

Well, we just got back from an 11-day family vacation to New Hampshire where Alex's family is from. Natalie went to bed fairly easily, leaving me plenty of time to upload the pictures from the trip. Alex's parents, sister, grandma, three nieces and a nephew drove up with us, making up a 3-car caravan. The 1,000 mile trip was an adventure, but it actually went much more smoothly and was far more enjoyable than I had expected. On Monday, we drove to NH's only ocean-front beach, Hampton Beach. The weather was cool and drizzly when we arrived, and then it just stayed cool and overcast for a little bit before deciding to rain buckets on us, driving us away to come back again on Wednesday. So, here was Natalie's first experience with sand and the ocean:

This last picture is one of my favorites from our trip, as awful as that sounds. It's just real and raw and honestly, it makes me laugh. She was tired, the weather was unpleasant, the water was frigid. I don't blame her for being less than impressed with the ocean! We ended the torture and went back to our blanket to feed some seagulls.

My mother-in-law and the kids found a tiny star fish, clam, and hermit crab:

Thankfully, we got another opportunity to go back and this time, the weather was absolutely perfect. Sunshine, warmth, fewer and fewer clouds as the day went on. And after a long nap in the car and eating lunch, Natalie was ready to give the beach a second chance.

 There had been a sand sculpture competition the week earlier, but the sculptures were still on display for everyone's viewing pleasure. The castle behind us was our favorite.
 Because of the downpour two days earlier, there had been some damage to the sculptures, but they were still cool to look at.

 Our nephew, Sky, loved being buried in the sand:
Drea had to give it a try, too!
I got a nice sunburn on my shoulders and the backs of my legs the second day, but we still had a great time!