As most of you know, Matt has a small problem with sugar. If he has too much (and by too much I mean ONE sugar crystal), he gets HYPER and starts to spaz out! When he was little, he couldn't have red Kool-Aid or syrup on his pancakes because of this small problem! HAHA!! It appears that Grace may have inherited some of his sugar intolerance. Check out this video of Grace after eating ice cream on her blackberry cobbler!!
Looks like red Kool-Aid won't be allowed in this house either!! HAHA!!
On Saturday, Mom, Grace, and I went to the Fruit and Berry Farm in Halls. I've been wanting to take Grace for a while now and was excited to bring home some fresh fruit.
You can go spring through fall and pick whatever fruit is in season. They even have hayrides and fun activities during the fall that I'm already excited about!! We got to pick blackberries and blueberries which I was thrilled about since blackberry cobbler is one of my FAVORITE things to eat!
Grace did pretty well in the blackberry patches, and we got just enough for a cobbler. She was bored (and HOT) by the time we reached the blueberries so out came Nana's tic-tac distraction that lasted long enough for us to get a good number of blueberries.
Their website stated that they had a "petting zoo." When I asked the owners about it, they smiled and said they had some goats and horses in a fenced in area but we shouldn't reach in and touch them. That might defeat the purpose of a petting zoo, but Grace was still thrilled to see the animals nontheless. Unfortunately, a goat had escaped out of the fence so we couldn't get too close. Not that Grace was afraid of it. She tried to get as close as she could to it.
We headed back to the store to weigh in our fruit and check out what other goodies they had to offer. They had apple butter, honey, jams, BBQ sauce, etc. for sale. YUM!! BUT the most exciting thing was their slushies!! DELICIOUS!!
They were SO good, Mom and I decided to have 2 while we waited on Grace to finish hers!! HAHAHA!! Sad, but true!
We had such a fun morning! We came home with plenty of blueberries and blackberries, apple butter, honey, and a couple slushies to go!! Nana made us a blackberry cobbler that I've eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!!!
Nana came down for a visit while Matt was gone for his annual "B.B." golfing trip and I am so close to my due date. We have had so much fun with her here. Her visit turned into an extended stay since my doctor told me I'm well on my way to having this baby! YAY!
I wanted this to be our "last hoorah" ,if you will, before the baby is born and plan LOTS of fun, girly things for us to do.
On Friday morning, I was dying for Grace to try a "fluffernutter." We used to have these at our Nana's house when we visited and it's something I always looked forward to. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's peanut butter and marshmallow cream on toast. Yes, I know it's horrible for you and FULL of sugar but you only live once people! I see nothing wrong with breaking the rules from time to time! As it turned out, she wasn't nearly as excited about it as I was and asked to have banana bread instead! HAHA!! Oh well!
I wanted to treat Nana to lunch and a pedicure since she has been so helpful to us this summer. The pedicure didn't quite turn out the way I planned! Grace got to pick out some polish and have her toenails painted. And then I got my pedicure.......BUT poor Nana didn't get hers since Grace was OVER IT by the time I was finished! We did get to treat her to lunch at the Apple Cake Tea Room afterwards though. It's such a fun, girly place to take people from out of town and the food is DELICIOUS!!
After my OB appointment, I got to run a few errands before I met mom and Grace at Mellow Mushroom for some pizza. Those of you who know us know we VERY RARELY go out to eat so 2 restaurants in 1 day was pretty exciting for Grace! Sad but true! HAHA!! After pizza, we took Grace to Maggie Moo's for ice cream where she picked out chocolate ice cream with reese's pieces........yep, she's my child!! The more chocolate, the better! Maggie Moo's also got to experience what Grace is like after a little sugar..........hyper, screaming, running around in circles, speaking gibberish.......HILARIOUS!!
Grace and Nana have also started a nightly ritual of dancing to The Little Mermaid. Look for pics and a video in my next post!!
I have a few small favors to ask as I approach this last week of my pregnancy.
First to the meterologists: Would it be too much to ask that I see an extended forecast of temps that are.........I don't know maybe around 85 degrees? I recently heard our local weather man talking about a "cool down" in the forecast and I started jumping for joy. Ohhhhh hooray! It's finally going to get back to the "normal temps" for this time of the year.......or so I thought. When I saw the forecast and realized that the "cool down" he was speaking of was 88 degrees, I nearly started to cry! Really?!?! Is it too much to ask that the temps go down to an icy 85 degrees and the humidity lower to around 60% so that I don't instantly have sweat dripping between my gigantic belly and the things right above my belly that now resemble something out of National Geographic?? I swear my cankles get twice as swollen the minute I walk outside. And it's no wonder that this poor child is already showing signs that he/she WANTS OUT!! The poor thing is going to be born with a tan resembling George Hamilton and screaming, "It's like a sauna in here!"
To the makers of public bathroom stalls: Is it absolutely necessary that you make these stalls as SMALL as possible? I understand that you want to squeeze as many stalls as possible into the small space you're given. And believe me, I do appreciate that when I'm standing in line for 3 hours as a sporting event, concert, Mickey Mouse on Ice, etc. Let's consider this though......how about eliminating only a few stalls so that when a 38- week pregnant woman goes to the restroom I don't have to rub up against EVERY SQUARE INCH of the stall and come out completely covered in foreign ecoli since I can't get close enough to the door (due to my gigantic belly) to avoid the spray of toilet water after the automatic flush that I swear would suck me into the sewer system if I'm not careful! It's just a thought I recently had. Maybe you all can make it happen!
And finally, I have a BIGthank you to pass along!
To the makers of frozen popsicles, ICEE pops, or whatever you want to call them: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your WONDERFUL product!! I know that each one is packed full of sugar, artificial colors and flavors, but I have to tell you, I couldn't care any less! Your popsicles have become my bribe of the summer for my daughter only because I also want 1-2 each time she eats one. I also secretly pray that she doesn't finish hers so that I get to eat that one! It's sick. I know. But they are absolutely DELICIOUS!! I tend to lean towards purple or yellow, but any color will do! During my labor, I will be offered a popsicle which I will gladly accept knowing full well that it will eventually make its way back up. But in my opinion, it will be well worth it! So thank you again, and I will be sad to see you go in the fall!
We had a weekend full of fun festivities that included many celebrations. On Friday, we headed over to our neighbor Jackson's house for his big 2nd birthday party! Grace and Jackson have become quite the little buddies this summer and she VERY excited to sing Happy Birthday to him as soon as we walked in the door!
Erica made the cutest frog cake and little cupcakes with toy frogs for the kids. Grace inhaled her cupcake in a matter of seconds while Matt watched with horror as she took each bite of blue icing! HAHA!
On Saturday morning, we headed to the Farragut parade with Andy, Erica, and Jackson. We're used to the good ol' Linton parade back home that has several bands, the Shriners riding their little motorcycles (or whatever you want to call them), and lots of ACTION, ACTION, ACTION. This parade was A BIT more low key. BUT Grace had fun nonetheless. She got to see Elmo, Mickey Mouse, and dance while the Farragut band marched down the street. The parade got even better when she got ahold of some "candies." Yep, she definitely gets that honest! :) We got pretty lucky with the weather. The sun stayed behind the clouds for most of the parade so, thankfully, it wasn't a sweatbox the entire time! When you're 37 weeks pregnant, you tend to get hot PRETTY QUICKLY!! Saturday evening Grace had her first experience with fireworks. I bought some while Grace napped, and Matt and I were dying to try some out. Grace does not like loud noises and will cling to me asking to be held if something startles her. So, needless to say, we weren't sure how well she would do. We tried the box of snap dragons........and she LOVED them. She was cracking up at every one that popped on the ground! YAY!! We got a short video of her that I'll post a little later.
On Sunday morning, Matt, Grace, and I became official members of our church that we've been attending for some time. We were called up to the front of the church where Matt gave a lengthy speech to which he received a standing ovation...........WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I DON'T THINK SO!!! For those of you who don't know, Matt wouldn't talk at our wedding so a speech in front of our church congregation was completely out of the question! Love you, dear! But that just made me laugh out loud! In all seriousness, we are very excited to have found our church home here in Knoxville and we are looking forward to getting more involved, meeting new people, and building new relationships.
After Grace's nap, we decided to go for a swim since it was a cool 175 degrees outside! Grace swam on her tummy for the first time and she is getting more and more comfortable with the water each time we go! Later that evening, we had some neighbors come over for our FIREWORKSEXTRAVAGANZA!! Keep in mind this included a few smoke bombs, some small bursts of light, and a couple boxes of sparklers! HAHAHAHA! Our neighbor, Audrey, grabbed a sparkler without any hesitation. It took Grace a bit longer to get comfortable with them, but she was asking for "more, more" by the time they were gone! Luckily, Grace wasn't up until all hours of the night due to fireworks and chaos going off all around our neighborhood. Everyone seemed to be fairly tame and quiet and for that I would like to say, THANK YOU!!
On Monday, we chilled out around the house, had a cookout that was delicious, ate lots of popsicles, and got caught up on some things around the house. Ahhhhh summer!
When we moved to Knoxville, I was anxious, excited, nervous, etc. all at the same time. We didn't have ANY family within a 5-hour radius and we knew only a few people who were also moving with Bowen. Here we are over 4 years later, and I feel so thankful for the friends we have made who have become our family away from "home." Whether we met them through work, our neighborhood, MOMS clubs, etc., we definitely feel the southern hospitality that Tennessee has to offer. These folks offer to help out with Grace when I'm in a bind, bring meals without question after babies are born, look after Pete when we're out of town, and would honestly give
me the shirts off their backs if I asked! We have such a wonderful support group around us and I wish I could express my gratitude to each and every one of them.
Lauren (our next-door neighbor and one of my closest friends in Knoxville) held a baby shower for Erica (also a neighbor and very close friend) and I a few weeks ago. And last weekend, Misty (fellow "Bowen wife" and close friend) also threw me a baby shower. Forget all the baby goodies that come along with showers, it's just nice to get these different groups of ladies together so we can catch up on each other's lives.......and of course eat some cake, brownies, and rice krispies treats!! :) The closet in our nursery is now packed full of diapers and wipes!! We also received bibs, burp cloths, boppy cover, changing pad cover, rattles, butt paste, baby wash, AND a gift card to A Dinner A'Fare!! This includes 6 meals that a chef will prepare for me and I can bring them home to freeze for after the baby arrives!! WHO HOO!!!! Someone (Amy) was also sweet enough to remember Grace and got her a big sister gift (which she loves)!
I feel SO fortunate to have these women in my life! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all that you have done for me and my family since we arrived in VOL country!!