Monday, November 23, 2009

Disney Live

The picture we had taken with the cardboard Mickey and Minnie. Emma thought they were real!

For some reason this event was such a big deal to me as a parent. Emma has been a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan since she was about six months old. She danced to the music very early and the pictures and music caught her attention earlier than I expected. She has three Minnie Mouse stuffed animals around the house and one Mickey Mouse that stays in the car. She has to hold one of them while watching the show. One of her first words was also "Mi Mou" for Mickey Mouse and soon after came "nienie" for Minnie. She also became very observant in stores when seeing a Mickey - she would point and say his name. Her favorite book is a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Christmas book. So, when I saw that Disney Live was coming to our area we had to go.

Emma before the performance began

Emma slept the whole way leaving the house, dropping off Hannah and then to Norfolk. She woke up knowing we were somewhere different. We walked in the building and all of the Disney merchandise made her light up. I was really afriad she would not make it through the show, but she did. She was awake the whole time and continued to point and dance through the whole performance. She was precious. My mom even had a special Minnie outfit made for her to wear, which she got tons of compliments on.

Emma waiting for it to start. I kept telling her Mickey Mouse would be there and she kept looking!

As a parent you feel so good when you are able to do something special for your child that makes them extra happy. After tickets, food, cotton candy, a Mickey hat, a picture taken with a cardboard Mickey/Minnie and a photo program we had contributed our share to Disney for the day. I know I will remember the day more than Emma, but I know she had a great time. It was a special day for her. To make things better we got to move to floor seats after intermission and see the characters closer. I remember the days when my parents took me to shows like this and I could not believe I was sitting there doing the same thing with my husband and child. This was just one of those days I will always remember.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Ride

I have been driving for almost 12 years and I have had five cars. After three weeks of having two children Bo and I decided it was time for number six. The last car we owned was an SUV - a nice Honda Pilot. It was a great car and never left us stranded, however it was not equipped for two children, two car seats and a double stroller. It had a third seat that we could put up, however it left us no storage room in the back when you add in the huge double stroller. Additionally, nobody could get in the third seat because of the two car seats in the middle row. Pretty much, nobody could go anywhere with us if our family of four was in the vehicle. Moreover, traveling would be a nightmare because we would have no room for luggage.

So, we began the search in the summer. I did not want a large SUV - too hard to park and too much gas. We knew a midsize SUV would not work - as mentioned above. What else is there to consider but a van? Yes, that is what we purchased a Honda Odyssey. Many people have laughed at me, and that is fine! It was my decision and it is what I wanted.

It is loaded with the satellite radio, rear backup camera, sun roof, built in window screens for the kids, DVD player, wireless headphones, heated seats, IPOD hook up, electric everything, the store and go seats, automatic doors that open and close (and will stop if a child gets in front of them) and the best storage that any vehicle could offer for all of the "baby stuff" plus more for luggage space when we travel.

So far I love it. It is a child friendly vehicle - and let's face it - that is what we need. I like that I can take my mom, sister and whoever else along with us somewhere. Emma loves watching Mickey on the DVD player and starts pointing to it whenever we get in. She can watch her cartoons while I can listen to my music. I can press the button on my keychain and the doors open so I can handle both children getting in and out without putting one of them down to open or close a door.

View from the backseat.

I know - I am 28 and I am driving a van. But, I am a 28 mom of two. It is convenient, spacious, entertaining for the kids, SAFE, and easy to load up whoever I want and take off to any mall I need to get to - haha! I will worry about having another "cool" car when I am done with carseats, strollers, diaper bags, bottle carriers, etc. I am a mom - this car is for my kids and if it takes driving a van to keep our family together and comfortable then I am all for it :)

Check out this storage! Who wants to go somewhere?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

First Night Out

So, this Friday was our first night out with the four of us. I have been so scared taking the girls anywhere with all of this flu stuff going around. But, Emma got her H1N1 vaccine this past week and I feel a little better taking them places. We decided to go to MacArthur Center, take a look at the Christmas decorations and eat some dinner at Max and Erma's. First, we caused such a big scene coming in the restaurant with our enormous double stroller and getting a high chair and a sling for the baby carrier. Everyone is staring at us, oohing and ahhing over the girls. I bet everyone was thinking "wow, they are close in age." Anyway, we just went on with our business. Then, some friends of ours happened to be there with their little girl, who is Emma's little friend. So, our table expanded with another high chair. Now we really were the center of attention. Emma and her little friend did a great job until they were ready to get up. Bo and Jeremy had to take them for a walk in the mall while my friend, Lindsay, and I enjoyed talking. They joined us again for dessert and Bo had to resort to taking out the Blackberry and playing an episode of Mickey Mouse to entertain them for the last part of the night. It is funny what you do as parents to keep your child happy! I was happy because I enjoyed my first drink in a LONG time!! We had a great evening. Here are Emma and Allie watching Mickey in the restaurant. How cute are they?

1 Month Old

Hannah was one month old on the 3rd! She has already gained over a pound since her two week appointment. At her 1 month appointment she weighed 8 pounds 14 ounces. She is such an easy baby. It is very different with the second baby. I put her down more, leave her in a room by herself, don't hold her when she sleeps as much, and sometimes she just has to cry a little. There is another child to chase around and care for! She is such a sweetheart though. I think she will be very laid back and easy going - very Bo like. Here is Hannah at one month old!

Our routines had to change a lot with having two babies. I have learned to feed Emma WHILE feeding Hannah her bottle, I have also learned to manage dressing two and bathing two at the same time AND mastered getting two babies to the car at the same time - I never leave one in the house or one in the car by themselves . I have come a long way and feel so confident in myself as a mom this time. Emma still will not let Hannah lean against her for pictures! Here is the best we could get!

Friday, November 6, 2009

First Blog

My goal was to start a blog when Hannah, our second daughter was born. I thought it would be fun to write more in depth about how our lives are with two, I must say, absolutely precious girls.

Life has certainly changed for Bo and I in the past two years. A little background: Bo and I met at Elon, where we went to college. We got married in June 2004 after I graduated, which was five and a half years ago. We knew we wanted a family and decided that if a baby were to come, then that would be great, and if it didn't then we had plenty of time. We ended up getting pregnant in December of 2004. We were extremely excited! It was such a fun Christmas telling everyone. Then, in the middle of January we had an ultra sound and things did not look good. There was a heartbeat, but it was not strong. A few days later I miscarried. I then understood what others had been through and felt the worst pain in my life. Unless you have been through this, it is very difficult to understand. I was beyond heartbroken.

We got the okay from the doctor three months later to try again. A year went by, no baby. Another year went by - nothing. So, we began fertility testing. There was never a targeted problem.

Bo and I then made a move back to my hometown in VA. We both got new jobs, a little apartment and basically started over a new life. We saw a doctor at the Jones Institute, a very well known fertility clinic in the state of Virginia. We went into more testing, more medicine, but never again had an indicated problem. So, we began IUI's. They were not successful. The doctor wanted us to have three IUI's before looking into InVitro. We had one IUI left, and it was December of 2007 - I did not want to go through with it. December had been so hard on me for various reasons and I did not want to waste my last IUI being so stressed out.

January 2008 came and so did a positive pregnancy test - without the IUI. We couldn't believe it. We had our baby girl, Emma on August 23rd, 2008. She was such a blessing. Bo and I had bought a house, jobs were good, we had our baby - life was great.

Then January 2009 came. Emma was 5 months old. We got another positive pregnancy test after noticing I had some symptoms of pregnancy. We couldn't beleive it. We struggled so long to get one baby and then both of our pregnancies just happened! Thus, Hannah was born October 3rd, 2009.

Life has changed dramatically. I never would have beleived I would be at this point in life if someone had told me this five years ago with all of the struggling. We are so thankful to have our two girls. I will never forget that first pregnancy or seeing that first baby on the ultra sound screen. He or she is still part of our lives and we remember that baby everyday. I want to dedicate part of me to understanding and learning about miscarriages and lost pregnancies. I sympathize with those who have gone through what I went through and those who have suffered far worst. It is my hope that my story will give someone hope and strength. You never know what is going to happen. I encourage women to not give up. I know the frustration of seeing other women with their babies at the mall, those who we feel do not deserve children, the stories on the news about what heartless people do to babies, etc. It is very difficult not being able to control something that you want so badly. My life has been changed by this event.
This blog I hope to continue will mark the funny, interesting, new, chaotic occurences happening in the Hamrick household. I am excited to share our stories!