Friday, June 25, 2010

Father's Day and Family News. . .

This Father's day, my mom and dad arrived in the evening. My dad had a work meeting in the area, so it was an added bonus that I got to see him on Father's Day. I have more recent pictures of my dad and I, I'm sure, but I like the one above, taken six years ago at my wedding. I am grateful to have such a wonderful dad. He is such a great example to me in so many ways. My dad is dependable, responsible, a hard worker, an outdoor enthusiast, helpful, traditional, patriotic, a fantastic grandfather to my kiddies, and much more. Love you, dad!

I am also grateful to be married to a man who is seriously the greatest daddy ever to our bambinos. The picture below is from October 2008, and I love it. Happiness all around when Anna and Benjamin are with their daddy. Not only does he actively and creatively plays with the kids all the time (something I think he loves just as much as them), but he changes diapers, gives baths, gets up at night with them, takes them out for fun whenever I need a break, cleans up yucky kid things, tucks them in with a song, reads stories, and the list could go on. I am one lucky wifey. (I of course do the things above as well, except baths, but when Ethan is home, he is super helpful, and takes over a lot of the kid things.) Thank you, Ethan, for being such an amazing father to our kids. Love him!

So, that brings me to my last bit of news, that most of you probably know about, but which I have not officially mentioned on here. Ethan gets to use his amazing fathering skills on another little Rayhorn baby, due to join our family this November. We are super excited for the third (and final :) addition to our family!
So, we have felt like there was one more little one that belonged in our family, but just couldn't decide on the timing. It made sense to wait until Ethan was done with school, but we didn't want a huge age gap. Most importantly, for health reasons, I didn't want to wait too long. Pregnancy just does not agree with me. :) Physically I feel fine when I'm pregnant, besides the typical queasiness, and being a little less motivated than normal. However, I had pre-eclampsia with both Anna and Benjamin, and there is a greater risk for it the older you get. That has already proven to be correct with me. So, this pregnancy has already had it's fair share of complications, additional appointments, extra testing and lab work, etc...and that should only increase as the pregnancy goes on...bleh. (I am 16 weeks right now.) Luckily, we'll be moving to Marquette at the end of July, and then all the extra appointments won't be so stressful because of all the family around to help out.
Anna and Benjamin were both full term when the pre-ecplampsia occurred, so it was not really a big deal. They were simply delivered immediately, at 37 and 39 weeks. So all of this pregnancy drama is kind of new to me, and it's a little scary. And to clarify, I don't officially have pre-eclampsia yet, just high blood pressure that needs to be closely monitored. It's pretty inevitable though. So we are hoping, and praying, I will get as far along as possible before it happens.
Some exciting news - earlier this week I had an appointment with a high risk OB. Little did I know that an ultrasound would be part of the appointment. So, on Wednesday, without any warning, we found out we are having another baby BOY!! Before we found out, everyone was asking what we were hoping for. Obviously, I would be happy with either. Benjamin is a little more of a handful right now than Anna ever was. So I would occasionally think, "Oh, another sweet little girl would be so nice and easy...not to mention all of her adorable clothes that could be handed down." (And yes, I realize that all types of personalities come in both genders...there's no guarantee. :) But, from the beginning I felt like I was having a boy, and was hoping for that. I really liked the idea of Anna always being my only girl, and that the boys would be close in age instead of a five year age difference between Anna and a little sister.
Anna was really hoping for a little sister, but she took the news well. I pointed out all the reasons it would be nice to be the only girl, like having her own room. And even though we will now be outnumbered, Anna and I have already decided that we will still be in charge, of course. :) It's so fun that Anna is older now and really understands the pregnancy, and is so excited for the baby. We were at the store to pick up a few groceries the other day, and happened to walk by the baby section. Anna was just drawn in, and wanted to buy EVERYTHING in sight for her new baby brother. I let her pick out one little thing, and she chose an adorable little teddy bear. I have saved all of Benjamin's things, so we are pretty set. However, he was born in April, and this little guy will be born in November, six months later in the year. We might need a couple weather appropriate things for the time of year, but we'll wait and see.
Oh, one last bit of info from my appointment with the High Risk OB. My due date was moved up to December 6th, and the OB recommended I deliver at 37 weeks, if I make it that far without pre-eclampsia. That puts the approximate time of arrival around the 23rd of November, the week of Thanksgiving. Mark your calendars. :)
WAIT! Baby names. Ethan and I can't decide on one. I think it'd be fun for a 'C' name, then it would be A-nna, B-enjamin, C-____. But we're not going to force it. We're considering Caleb, Elijah, Isaac, Jacob, Charlie, Joshua. The middle name will be Jones. Suggestions, anyone?!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Crossroads Village . . .

We were lucky enough to go to Crossroads Village not one, but two times at the beginning of June. The kids had a blast, as the following pictures will show. Enjoy!

Anna and Benjamin resting up in a tree for a bit. (The kids are wearing socks with their sandals because of bugs...just thought I'd clarify. :)

Our first trip to Crossroads village was the end of year activity for the playgroup the kids and I attend here in Clio. It was on a Saturday, so even Ethan got to go. Yay!

Part of the attraction is a restored town from the 1800's. Anna was old enough to begin to understand what "a long time ago" means. She began to grasp that people lived differently back then, and thought it was pretty interesting. And Benjamin was little enough to be interested in everything regardless. I love the picture of the woman helping the kids churn butter. Ben-Ben was a pretty aggressive churner. And it was so amusing how cool Benjamin though this little church house was. He kept saying, "I go church too. Go nursery, sing songs." How do you explain to a two year old, that this church is just for looking? Hmmm...

Anna's favorite part were the rides. Benjamin was a little apprehensive of most of them, and even got a little nervous watching Anna on the rides. But as you can see, he tried the train ride and was so proud of himself, and Ethan took him on the Ferris Wheel, although I don't think he would have chosen to do that. In the Ferris Wheel picture, Ethan and the kids are in the yellow one on the left.

I went on the carousel with Anna and it is surprisingly fast! I thought I might loose my footing a few times, but managed to stay on. hehe. Anna is pretty fearless and just loved it all.

So, a week later, Anna and I got to go to Crossroads Village again. This was the activity planned for the last shebang for Anna's pre-school. We met up with Anna's best friend from pre-school, and her parents, and the girls stayed together the whole time. The high point of this visit was that the pre-school provided a free train ride for the kids and one adult. I love the picture of the girls chatting up the Conductor. So cute.
My favorite from the pics above, are the girls covering their ears. They were both nervous about the noise of the train whistle. But, we were at the very back of the train, so it wasn't bad at all. We looked around the town again, and rode a few rides. The pre-school also provided a lunch for everyone. It was a very fun day, and extra special that it was a mommy/daughter day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Although we've been having icky summer weather for what seems like months already, Anna finished pre-school last week, and now it feels like summer is officially here. Anna has loved pre-school, and has just thrived there. She didn't quite understand it was done forever, but she's caught on now. I can't believe she'll be going to Kindergarten in a few months.
These two pictures above are from her very last day. The first one shows Anna with the teacher's assistant, Ms. Karen. The second one shows Ms. Rita handing out various papers to add to the load of stuff the kids got to take home that day. Ah, it was bittersweet for this mommy to see. Anna LOVED the sunglasses each of the kids got as a parting gift, and has insisted on wearing them out and about nonstop lately.
There were a few field trips leading up to the end of school. The pictures above are from the field trip to Ligon Outdoor Nature Center. The kids had tons of fun playing around in the woods, and especially loved the bubble machine, and the cookout they had for lunch. I, however, was miserable the whole time. At least it wasn't hot. But it was sticky, damp, and the bugs were RIDICULOUS! I think the kids still have a few marks from bug bites they got that day...and it was two weeks ago. Geesh! It's been a very wet summer so far, so I don't know why I was surprised. I'm glad we went though; it was a fun adventure for the kiddies. Anna's pre-school also had a special end of the year party/field trip to Crossroads Village that Anna was super excited about. I'll write about that next time, and share some adorable pics.

And finally, last weekend we had more visitors. Yay! Meghan and Rorie came for a long weekend visit, and we all had lots of fun. It was mostly a lot of outdoor/water activities to entertain the kiddos. The rest of the time was spent at the apartment with the kids "playing." Which means that Anna mainly did her own thing, and Rorie and Ben-Ben fought over various toys, and yelled at each other. But there were some sweet moments between the cousins too. They were very excited to see each other. Anna really wanted Rorie to stay and Benjamin to go home with Auntie Meghan, but in the end we decided to keep our own kids. :) Until next time, have a beautiful week!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Visitors . . .

Like I said last time, we've had lots of visitors lately, and more on the way. Yay!!! So, I am sad to say that when KC and Melissa visited, I did not take one single picture. Oops! I wasn't feeling well that weekend, and had to miss out on a few activities. We had a great time though, and I would have to say the high point of the visit was the bond Benjamin and Melissa shared. Ben-Ben has definitely gotten over his shy stage, for the most part, and loves when people come to visit. But, I have seen nothing like how he acted around Melissa, except with Ethan and I. If he got hurt, and I'd ask if he wanted a hug or snuggle, he would reply, "Gramma do it." If someone had to get him out of his car seat, it could only be Gramma. If someone asked if he wanted to read a story he would reply, "Gramma read a story." He only wanted to sit by Gramma, hold Gramma's hand, tell Gra Melissa his inner most thoughts, etc. It was adorable!

My parents came for the Memorial Day weekend and we packed in a lot of fun. It was still incredibly hot that weekend...80's and 90's. Swimming at our apartment's pool was a must. My mom also fulfilled one of Anna's dreams: Splash Village in Frankenmuth, an indoor water park. Anna has wanted to go so badly since we drove past it right after we moved here. Two years later, and she got to go with her Gramma Susie. I felt so bad for my mom; Anna couldn't get enough of the water slides, and it took some convincing to get her to go on the Lazy River or different activity. My mom said she was feeling a bit dizzy and queasy by the end. Thanks mom! I didn't get any pictures, but I believe there is one here on my Dad's blog.

While in Frankenmuth, the rest of us toured around, and had dinner at Zhenders. Fun, fun! And delish!

We met up with my Uncle Harry and Aunt Linda at Turkeyville. It's a tourist-y spot, and was a lot of fun. Everyone handled the drive/day pretty well. Benjamin loved looking at the animals the most. Above he is trying to put his hat on the horse. So cute. And I love Anna in her little hat...adorable!
We had a BBQ and picnic on Sunday afternoon. My kids LOVE corn on the cob...just like their mommy. We also went to a hot air balloon launch, which was very cool to see. Again, you can see pictures here. Funny thing, Ben-Ben loves balloons. He gets super excited whenever he sees them, and keeps pointing them out until we all acknowledge the balloon. So, I was very surprised at how much he did NOT enjoy the hot air balloons. I guess I understand since it was pretty noisy, and they are SUPER HUGE up close. I think the thing that worried him the most was that there were actual people lifting up into the sky with the balloon. It seemed like maybe he was nervous he would somehow end up in one of those baskets. Too funny! Once they were further away, he would loosen his grip and started to enjoy it more.
So, now we are looking forward to a weekend with Meghan and Rorie. It's finally cooled down some, but I'm sure swimming will still be on the agenda. I'll keep you posted!