Saturday, March 31, 2012

Callaway Gardens in GA

Today we drove over to GA to visit Callaway Gardens.  Mark had been there when he was younger and he wanted to go spend the day there, so off we went.  It started out kind of rainy and a little chilly (70 degrees), but eventually it got much nicer out.




We forgot that GA is an hour ahead of AL, so we almost missed the Birds of Prey show looking for a place to eat lunch, but it all worked out in the end and we got some good pictures on our drive around the resort.


We took the stroller and once again, I’m so glad we brought that thing back with us.  Ben generally really enjoys riding in the stroller and he’s usually pretty content in there.  Abbie goes between running around on her own and then when she gets tired she’ll camp out in the stroller for a bit before she’s off running again.  It’s great!


(I just love baby feet!!)IMG_6278

The Birds of Prey show was pretty neat, although I didn’t get very many good pictures.  It’s hard to take pictures with a 2 year old bouncing all around and a baby in your lap, but I got a few decent ones.


After the bird show we decided to walk to the Butterfly House.  It was a beautiful walk and I would love to go back when our kids are older and we can rent bikes to ride around.  We passed about 70 people riding bikes and it looked like a lot of fun!  But it was also fun wandering along, listening to Abbie tell us about the baby tarantula she was carrying around.  (She has QUITE the imagination these days.)

(Abbie and Mark checking out a lizard.)




Ben enjoyed the Butterfly House.  He was being a snuggly little guy and really checking things out.  We got a few comments today about how alert he is and how he’ll turn his head to follow things he’s watching.  He’s just like Abbie was at his age (God help us), he doesn’t want to miss much.  And I like how he and Mark are dressed in very similar outfits.


We got Abbie a balloon at the Butterfly House and she had a great time dragging that thing all over the place.  I’m surprised she didn’t want to sleep with it tonight.


It took me a while to get this picture of this spider and web, but I finally figured it out!


Not a perfect picture, but the only family picture we got while we were there.  Next time we’ll get Ben out of the stroller.


Lastly we fed the turtles.  I couldn’t believe how many turtles there were!!  Abbie loved feeding them!  She was trying her hardest to get more food to come out of that dispenser.


One more picture by the dog statue.  Abbie did great at Callaway Gardens.  I think she talked the entire time we were there.  =)


However, she was quiet for at least a few minutes on the way home.


Thursday, March 29, 2012



1. What giveaway would you like to do on your blog?  I’m jealous of the giveaways Pioneer Woman can do on her blog.  I would love to give away mixers and Le Crueset pots and iPads.  That would be fun!  But I need to make a lot more money than I do now to do that!  (Considering I’m a SAHM….)

2. If you had to choose between natural artistic ability and natural athletic ability, which would it be?  Athletic.  I wish I could run.  I wish I liked to run and it wasn’t a form of torture for me…  Maybe someday.

3. Do you ditch the coat the minute it becomes "spring" or are you a holdout for more cool temps?  I’m the type that just switches to sweatshirts instead of coats when it’s cold in the first place.  If it’s below 30 or windy, I wear a coat.  Otherwise I wear a sweatshirt.

4. What would you do if you won the mega millions lotto of 1/2 billion dollars?  Pay off everything we owe, give money to friends and family and charity, invest most of it, buy a new wardrobe, buy a vacation home somewhere, etc.

5. You are at a hotel by yourself...what do you do?  SLEEP!!!!!  I miss getting uninterrupted sleep!

The trip to the States

Overall the trip back to the States went really well.  We managed to leave our house at 7am on Friday morning.  We got all of our luggage (4 big suitcases, 2 carry on suitcases, 2 book bags, the pack n play bag, the double stroller + case, and 2 car seats) into the XC90 without having to put anything on top.  My friend, Taryn, rode down with us and drove the car back at put it in our garage.IMG_1896[1]

I was worried about getting the bulkhead seats on the flight since our flight went directly from Venice to JFK in NY.  They have little bassinets they can hook in front of you, so I wanted that so we didn’t have to hold Ben the whole time since we didn’t buy him a seat.  They managed to get Abbie and me seats, along with another guy, in the bulkhead row.  The guy didn’t want to trade Mark seats (he was back about 6 rows) because he had hip issues and needed more room to stretch out.  Luckily, the airline attendant was really cool and she upgraded his seat so Mark could sit with us.  Both kids did pretty well on that flight, although Ben and I both managed to get sick on that flight.  Abbie was already sick, so I think we both picked up her cold.  Not fun.

Mark and I were a little worried about how we were going to get all our junk picked up and on our next flight by ourselves.  (Once you go through customs in JFK you have to get all your luggage and recheck it if you come from overseas.)  However, it was a lot easier than we were anticipating, which just proves to me once again that Mark and I are the perfect traveling partners.  With all our luggage plus 2 kids, it was still easy.  Thank God.  We had like 5 hours to kill while we waited for our next flight to Atlanta, so we ate at Chili’s, which was I think the worst meal we’d ever had at one of those.  It was terrible.  Pretty disappointing.  IMG_1899[1]

We got into Atlanta around 9:30pm, after a pretty rocky flight.  Both kids were crabby because we took off at 7pm, which was 2am our time and Abbie hadn’t napped all day.  Ben was just pissy, but the both zonked out about an hour into the flight, which was nice.  We plopped them into the BOB stroller when we got off the plane and they both slept while we got all our baggage, walked to the car rental place, stood in line FOREVER to get the car and then finally got our first rental car.  We had a bit of a snafu at the car rental place.  We had reserved a mid-sized SUV thinking that if we could fit all our junk into our XC90, that we’d be able to fit it all into a mid-sized SUV.  Wrong.  After us playing musical luggage for 30 minutes trying to fit all our junk into the car, the kind people at Avis upgraded us at no charge to the largest SUV they offer.  Thank God.


I was worried about all 4 of us being in a hotel room together and none of us getting any sleep, but it wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating.  Abbie did really well in her own big bed by herself and Ben slept in his car seat.  Ben woke up a few times, as usual, but Abbie did really well and even slept in until we got her up!  Maybe our cruise in July won’t be so bad after all.


We got back on the road around 11am and stopped for lunch at a Chick-fil-a, which was FABULOUS!  They have such outstanding customer service and great food.  Really made us realize even more why we miss living in the States.  We made it to our apartment around 1pm and got all checked in.  Our apartment is a complete dump, but more on that in a different post.  We went to Ross and Target (!!!!) and had dinner at a Lonestar and really enjoyed our first day back in the States.  Jet lag wasn’t bad for any of us, but this is the easy direction to come.  Going back will be much worse, but that’s 2 months away!IMG_1906[1]

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ben at 3.5 months


Ben had his follow up appointment today (3/20/12) from his echocardiogram.  They didn’t tell us anything new.  The doctor was just going over the results, which I already knew.  I was excited to see what he weighed though.  He’s now up to 12lbs 8oz and he’s 63cm long, which is just under 25”.  So he’s gained 3lbs and 3oz since his 2 month appointment which was 6 weeks ago.  That is a LOT for a little guy so he’s back on track with his weight now.  He’s also grown 2 inches longer in 6 weeks and gained 3cm in his head circumference. 

Ben has discovered his hands.  He chews on them and is reaching for things to put in his mouth.  He hangs on to his bottles now also. 

I’ll update you more at his 4 month update, but I wanted to tell you what he was at at his last appt.  More blogs are coming, I promise.  I just haven’t had the time to blog much lately, but things are settling down now!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A walk up the hill

There is a large hill behind our house.  Mark has run all the way up it in the past (there is a small trail), and he discovered there’s a tiny church at the very top called Col di San Martino.  Last weekend we decided to check it out (although we drove most of the way up on a different road).

(A view of our little town on the way up the hill.)IMG_5843

The walk up to the top was pretty steep, but we tested out the BOB on non-paved ground for the first time and I’m in love with that stroller.  It really is great!


The views from the top were really pretty.  Unfortunately it was kind of hazy so the pictures didn’t turn out the best.


I have no clue how old the little church is, but it was really neat to see.  I wonder how long it took someone to rearrange all those rocks.  I think they might hold a festival up there once a year. 



Abbie had a great time hauling her pony all over the place.  Like most 2 year olds, she loves to run around.


Ben chilled in the stroller while we explored and I took pictures.


(This ivy was EVERYWHERE!  It covered everything.)


(Abbie and her pony taking a quick break.)


It was a lot more fun walking back down the hill, than it was walking up it.  We hung on tight to the stroller because that thing would have taken off and Ben would have been in for the ride of his life.


It was such a pretty day.  I can’t get enough of Italy in the spring.  We’re excited to explore more of our area once we get back from the States.  (And no, the stroller isn’t half as big as the SUV, it just looks that way…)


Apparently the pony wanted to look out the window on the way home.  Luckily Abbie didn’t drop her.


More views of the countryside.  I’ll miss living by the mountains when we move.  They are gorgeous.