Thursday, December 29, 2011

San Antonio, In Brief

Since my midwife would not allow me to fly home for Christmas (sob), we decided to take a family trip to San Antonio instead. Jon had to work Christmas Eve Eve, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services, so we left on Monday, the day after Christmas. And guys, it was a great trip, God blessed us. We seemed to randomly miss really long lines and busy spurts pretty much everywhere we went! Brennan slept great in the hotel (always a concern with him), I felt pretty good, and we got to do what we really wanted to do. Our hotel was right by the Riverwalk so we were close to most everything. Here's a brief synopsis. It's hard to choose which pictures to post when there are so many!

Our first day there, we ate Tex Mex at Pappasito's thanks to a gift card, and then took a FREE boat taxi on the riverwalk. The riverwalk was beeeautiful at night all lit up with Christmas lights!

It was pretty chilly for Texas!

Tuesday we ate a free breakfast at the hotel due to a groupon voucher. The hotel we stayed at was gorgeous St. Anthony Riverwalk Hotel (thank you, Groupon). Then we headed out to the Alamo.

Part of the hotel lobby

Typical tourist photo in front of The Alamo.

I took the audio tour while Jon graciously walked through with Brennan. I love history (I was a history minor in college), and really enjoyed learning all about the Alamo and it's past. It passed from Spanish owned, onto Mexico, onto Texas and for awhile was a merchants warehouse. The room that really got to me was the room women and children stayed in during Santa Anna's assault on the Alamo. General Santa Anna let them all go after the defeat to warn the rest of Texas of his army's strength. Instead, it caused Texans resolve to go up and eventually was a turning point in the war. If your a history nerd-o like me, you can read up on the Alamo here. As we were leaving the Alamo, we saw the huuuge line of people waiting to get in that we just happened to miss.

After the Alamo, we ate lunch on the Riverwalk and then headed back to the hotel for B's nap. It worked out well because Jon was able to meet with one of his 3104Studios clients who is based in SA while Brennan napped in the hotel. Afterwards, we took a river boat tour (again, just missing a super long line) on the Riverwalk, ate dinner and shopped around. Brennan was kind of a disaster from about 6:00 on so we made a quick night of it.

Wednesday, Jon ran out and bought us bagels for breakfast, we checked out of the hotel, and headed to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. The gardens were beautiful, there was a kids butterfly exhibit, cactus garden, rose garden, log cabin, ampitheatre, japanese garden, sensory garden, waterfalls, etc. Jon set up our camera on a tree branch and we were finally able to get a family photo:

Playing around with the butterfly exhibit

As we were leaving the gardens, we saw a huge group of people entering and were thankful it was so quiet while we were there. We headed back to Houston after that (and stopped briefly for Brennan to pee on the side of road, in which he refused). I miss seeing our families at Christmas, mainly because we love them. :) I dont' care about holiday traditions, but I do care about seeing all of them! But I'm thankful we were able to do this together just the 3 of us before Baby #2 shows up and I'm so glad it was a good time. As they say down here, go hug the neck of your loved ones! Adios!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Bench.

A few months ago, Jon moved offices from the main building to the admin building. The Met re-did all of it's children's spaces and the move was part of all that. There was a desk that they were trashing, but it still had some good, solid wood pieces left. So Jon brought it home and made a bench out of it! I picked out a design I liked from Ana White's website. I wanted to be able to put bins of shoes underneath it. Ana White's website is amazing if you're looking to build your own furniture. There are tons of free designs and tips to choose from.

Anywho, here's the finished product, didn't he do an awesome job??

Now, onto planning my next house project. . . . (insert evil laugh).

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pregnancy Faves

I thought it'd be fun to share a few new maternity items I found this time around that I LOVE.

*First up, Motherlove Belly Salve. This stuff is awesome. I'm not one to spend a lot of money on products like this, but this one is welllll worth it. It keeps your blossoming belly moist, smells wonderful, is all natural, and really helps keep stretch marks away. I owe my friend, Crystal, for introducing it to me.

*I bought a few Motherhood Maternity nursing bras when pregnant with Brennan and I hated them. But I didn't want to go out and buy more, so I stuck with them the whole time I was nursing Brennan. This time around, I knew to stay away from MM (I'm not a fan of their clothes or the way they fit), and decided to hit up one of my favorite stores (Nurtured Family) for nursing bras. I ended up buying a Bravado bra and love it so far.

*Ok, and lastly, LUSH products. We have a big soaker tub in our bathroom and I've really enjoyed taking hot baths (yes hot, shhh, don't tell anyone) with LUSH products. I like the bath bars, not the bombs, so I can chip off pieces of it at a time and have it last a lot longer. If you don't want to pay shipping, most Macy department stores carry them! When I'm pregnant, I have a rib that pops out of place, so baths are wonderful. :)

If you have any pregnancy favorites, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hello, People!

Hi Guys!
After a guilt trip from my very sweet and loving sister (Hi Meg), and some subtle hints from my sister in law (Hi Erin!) and a little nudge from my Aunt Sue on her Christmas card (Hi Aunt Sue!), I am finally sitting down and blogging again. Tell me how proud of me you are!!

Brennan is pretty sick with a case of explosive diarrhea (Merry Christmas to me) and has fallen asleep on the couch for the first time in his 2.5 years. Kennady is crawling around the office exploring so we'll see if we can bust out a post while they are both preoccupied. Crossing my fingers.

I'll backtrack to our visit to Michigan in November. B and I flew up early and got to spend some time with the Ackermans before Jon flew in on Wednesday night. I also spent an evening in GR for the annual AUE with my college girls.

(Michele, Me, Wendy, Sarah, Marissa, Suz and April in Nashville via Skype. I love technology)

My heart wishes I could have spent more time with them, but it's not the phase of life we're in right now and that's okay.

It worked out super awesome that my brother's girlfriend, Sarah, planned a birthday dinner/get together the same night I was in GR for the AUE. So I got to surprise Andy at his birthday dinner at 25 Kitchen and Bar.

(Sarah, Catherine, Me, Andy, Dave, John)

Please hold. Sleeping toddler is now up and wants to be held. . .

End of pause. Continuing on. . .
We had such a great time in Michigan! We helped both parents put up their Christmas trees. ..

And played a lot of Can Jam with the O'Neill's. . .

This is my Grandpa McMahon, who flew in from Buffalo, NY to be with us for Thanksgiving, and my Grandma/Grandpa O'Neill. I am so thankful for all three of them.

My parents bought Grandpa McMahon an iPad 2 for Christmas so he could skype with all of us. It was slightly hilarious to see my Dad and Jon teaching my Grandpa how to use it. I wish I had some photos of that!

We went to the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo with the Ackerman's. It was way cool! I recommend it to all you Michiganders with young kiddos. This is Brennan riding in the hot air balloons...

Even Preggers McGee drove an airplane. . .

We also walked downtown St. Joe to see the Christmas lights, which were unfortunately all up, but not on. It was fun to see the storefronts and getting Biggby's coffee afterwards. I truly miss Biggby's. Starbucks is the only chain coffee place in Houston and I'm not a huge Starbucks fan.

I love Brennan's little monster hat (Thank you, Mom A!). There's been a lot of exciting happenings in our family lately. . . my brother John and his wife, Kym, just welcomed a baby boy named Easton last week! And Mark and Erin Zubert had a baby girl two days ago!! We are SO so excited to meet baby Easton and Macy, I cannot wait to hold them!! Hopefully it works out that we're able to see them both SOON!

Gotta jet, adios!