Baby K Maternity

Baby K Maternity

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cruisin Through Summer

It is the end of July and it is only just now feeling like the lazy, care-free, days of summer. Connor has spent most of this past week near the water. We've done a dinner picnic at the beach, we had a swim play date with Nathaniel, and we've gone down to grandma's multiple times to enjoy her pool. Why is it I can hear the school bell so clearly already? It makes me sad (and gives me a twitch). I love these wonderful moments with Connor and I do not take them for granted. It is all passing by much too quickly and the ride seems to be gaining momentum. We're already planning his first birthday party. WOW!

When I say cruising through summer, I mean just that. He is in the cruising stage. He goes everywhere he wants "walking" by holding on to anything he can...including the dog. I thought I was golden having a drop down living room. Nope, the step up didn't phase him one bit. He wants to go everywhere, and throws a fit when he's corralled back into his play area in the living room. There happens to be a gate at grandma's and he will stand there shaking it hoping to escape to whatever adventure he can find. He is a dare devil for sure, and there have been some harrowing examples of his fearlessness recently where someone has been there to scoop him up in the last second before he reaches the floor. He sees the edge of something and heads straight for it. Boy, oh boy- takes on a whole new meaning.

Now that we are enjoying these easy days of summer we were able to go visit daddy at his new job. Same building, different floor, new office, and a fancy name placard. I love that the Broward Sheriff's Office really is one big family. He can still connect with his old office, and yet be welcomed so nicely into this new one. We are so proud of his hard work and effort. It is no question to see where his priorities lay when you walk into his office and see Connor plastered everywhere.

A few more weeks of summer are left and we still have one more trip planned. I am greatly looking forward to taking Connor to North Carolina. No summer is complete without a trip up, and last summer I was preggo. This summer we are passing down the tradition to a new generation. I am so excited for the mountains, the cool air, the birds singing, and the tranquil lake. Grandpa Gary has already asked for a grocery list....I say s'mores for dinner every night!

If you can't tell from the pictures I think we're expecting more teeth soon. Below is a good shot of the 8 he has already!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The First Game

What a crazy, busy, and tiring few weeks it has been in the Petersen household. We have just returned from an amazing trip to Alaska and while the memories we have from that trip are some of the best memories of recent time, it was our adventure this past weekend that will go down as one of the most special for me. To say that I am obsessed with the Red Sox might very well be an understatement. We named our dog Roxy, our cat Fenway and I own enough Red Sox shirts to wear one every day for a month and never duplicate. This is a passion that I intend to share with my Son. It is this passion that drove us to drive 4.5 hours to Tampa after a work day, 28.5 hours after we returned from Alaska. We drove to Tampa so we could take Connor to his first ever Boston Red Sox Baseball game.

The Red Sox rarely make it this far south but, thanks to playing in the AL East, make the trip to Tampa to play the Rays several times a year. Every season, I try my hardest to attend at least one game and often Tampa is the easiest due to proximity. However, having a baby is a new factor to consider. Anyway, several months ago, prior to the season even starting, I happened to mention to a family friend, Darlene, that I wanted to come to Tampa to see the Sox. Darlene is the President of the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce and a few days after mentioning this, she sent me an email kindly informing me that she had tickets, as well as accommodations, if we were still interested in coming to a game. Being the die hard fan that I am, nothing was going to keep me from this unexpected treat. Of course, at that time, I failed to realize that we would need to drive the 4 hours to Tampa the day after catching the Red Eye from Anchorage to Chicago, then to Fort Lauderdale…but like I said, Die Hard!

Well, Alaska came and went, and was awesome. I went to work and we were on the road by 6pm. We arrived at our hotel at around 10:30pm and got settled in. Our hotel was nice and we had a balcony that faced the ocean. After breakfast the next morning with Darlene we met with 2 gentlemen who were helping her film a promotion for Clearwater Beach. Darlene had previously asked if Kristin and Connor would mind being in a portion of this video. Of course, they didn’t mind but much to my surprise, the wanted to use all of us. It turned out to be a lot of fun. The shot consisted of Kristin, Connor and I walking along the beach and after a few feet looking up at a parasailer flying over the beach (which will be added at a later date) and wave. It could not have been more perfect. Our little future Oscar winner waved on cue every time. They even filmed a little portion of just Connor sitting in the surf playing with the sand.

After wrapping up the shoot, we returned to the hotel to get ready for the game. Kristin had asked if we could head over early to try and get some autographs. I was skeptical because every stadium handles this differently. I figured it wouldn’t hurt so we packed up and left. The game was scheduled for 4:10 and we arrived at the stadium around 1:50. As we walked towards the stadium doors, it became obvious that the doors were not open yet. This concerned me since it was 95 degrees and extremely humid thanks to recent rain in the area. Thankfully, we only had to wait about 20 minutes for them to open the gates and we immediately walked to the other side of the stadium to the Red Sox dugout. It was amazing. We were able to walk right up behind their dugout and Connor even got to sit on top for a few minutes. As we stood there, we were able to watch the Sox take batting/fielding practice which was a treat. We got to see all our favorites hit. At one point, Connor was playing with his stuffed Red Sox baseball. At this stage, Connor’s favorite game is the throw game. This game basically consists of him throwing anything he can get a hold of and waiting for mommy or daddy to pick it up. Fun for him, annoying for us. Well, at one point, Connor was doing this with his baseball and like the future Shortstop he is, he nicely threw it towards the field resulting in it falling over the edge and into the Sox dugout. Of course, no one on the field saw this happen and we could not get anyone’s attention. We stood there for about 5 minutes or so before several of my favorite players came running into the dugout. Moments later, all we see is Jason Veritek’s (who happens to be one of my all time favorites) hand pop up over the dugout roof and toss our ball. We were so excited. Shortly after, Terry Francona (Red Sox Manager) walked over to the dugout and started telling people to toss their balls, shirts, programs down for him to sign. He looked over at us, saw Connor and asked for his ball which he proudly signed.

About this time, the players finished warm-ups and returned to the clubhouse to finish preparing for the game. We went to our seats which were 4 rows from the field out in right field. These seats were amazing. The game was great. The Red Sox ended up winning 9-5 and hit 3 home runs into our section including one that flew directly over our heads, hit the wall behind us and bounced back over our heads to someone sitting a few rows in front of us.

All in all, I could not have asked for a better weekend. Although I know Connor will not remember any of it, I am excited that one day I will be able to show him his ball and tell him all about his first (hopefully of many) Red Sox games!


In 9 month news "dada" was finally said and it happened on the way home from the game. He is 29 inches long (90th percentile) and 19.8 lbs (25-50th percentile). His noggin is right on track with his height as well. The doctor couldn't get over how advanced he was, and enjoyed interacting with him while he talked to her, and waved, and clapped, and pulled up, and did just about every trick he knows.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Moose, and Caribou, and Bears. Oh My!

Our Alaskan adventure has come to a close. We got off of the ship in Seward and went to the Aquarium in town while we waited for our train to get to the station that would take us to Anchorage. The Aquarium was wonderful, and we made friends with this curious sea lion who loved to interact with visitors. Our train left at 6pm and 4 hours later we arrived to Anchorage. We saw the beautiful vistas of Alaska along our way and never once had to worry about losing our view due to the sun setting. From Anchorage we visited Talkeetna, and then on to Denali to see Mt. McKinley. Along the way we ate some of the best food of our lives. It's amazing coming off of a cruise ship, but those Alaskans know how to make some food! In Talkeetna at the Wildflower Cafe we had the most amazing sea food chowder that will be talked about for years. Chunks of creamy crab stick out in my mind the most. In Denali we ate at the Salmon Bake twice because we wanted to try more. We shared everything and we can't decide who scored with the best meal, that's how great everything was. Speaking of food we saw so many animals. The count came out to 5 Moose, 4 Grizzly Bears, 6 Caribou, 1 Wolf, 1 Hair, 1 Willow Ptarmigan, countless squirrels, and one too many state birds-I mean mosquito. We went white water rafting on the Nenana and got soaking wet as well as extremely cold. Cat 3 and 4 rapids, freezing cold water, and glacial facials will lend to a great memory. We took an 8 hour tour on a school bus into the park in Denali and surprisingly loved it. At first we were skeptical...a school bus? 8 hours? no way. But it was great, and our eyes couldn't take in everything we were seeing. It was the picture perfect day, and Mt. McKinley decided to come out and show herself. That puts us in the 30% club. Connor was a trooper and it also happened to be his 9 month birthday. He spent it on a bus seeing amazing wildlife and being rocked to sleep on a gravel road with the hum of the engine as his soundtrack. We headed back to Anchorage the next day and that is where we celebrated Tim's birthday. What a great trip to celebrate your birthday on. Another year old, amazing new experiences, and being a daddy. Connor of course remembered to bring daddy's birthday card along, and it was all very special. Our last stop of the trip was Connor's Lake right there in Anchorage, and beautiful little dog park. A nice spot to reflect on the wonderful time we had. I took over 1600 pictures and only added about 300 to facebook. I think we all decided we took more pictures of Connor than of anyone or anything else. What a precious boy he is, and a great traveler.
Here is Connor showing us his new trick. On the trip he discovered how to wave back at all the little old ladies who fawned all over him, and he also learned that he likes to stick out his tongue. All 8 teeth are in and I'm sure there is another one on the way. He's still pulling up on everything and likes to be on the floor playing more than anything else. He's figured out how to bring his knees under him to crawl, and is getting braver at only holding on to things with one hand. His balance gets better every day. He says Mama easily, he has his own way of saying hello and hi, and now is trying his best to say Roxy. We're trying our best to learn Dada....soon we hope!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

An Alaskan Celebrity

July 7, 2011

Connor is truly an international hit! We have spent this past week traveling all over Alaska on the Celebrity Millenium, and Connor is a very popular little guy. We have been to Vancouver, Ketchikan, Icy Straight Point, Juneau, and Skagway. We will now continue traveling to Seward and Anchorage. I can’t forget our stay in Houston though. That’s the beginning of our adventure. We thought we were doing the right thing by starting our trip North West a day ahead of time. Little did we know there would be a huge storm sweeping MIA and grounding the entire airport. We were stuck for 6 hours. I guess you can say we knew right away we were not going to make our connection in IAH. Grandma Glenda realized we needed to start “negotiations” with the gate attendants asap, since clearly we were being held hostage. Initially there were no available flights into Vancouver until Saturday night. No Bueno. The cruise was scheduled to leave port Friday, last passengers on board at 2:30pm, and no….we didn’t get travelers insurance. Wah wah. Finally they were able to put us on an 8am flight from IAH connecting through PHX, hopefully getting to Vancouver 1:37pm, then hopefully making it through customs and driving the 45 min to the port. You can say the stress was at level Red. Sitting in MIA that was all we could do. By the time we got to IAH it was 10:15pm. We then had to wait for our hotel shuttle, since we pricelined a room while we waited in MIA, get to our hotel, and then Tim and I waited for a taxi to take us to Wal-Mart. I had this great plan to purchase bulk items for Connor once we had gotten to Vancouver, thinking it would be easier that way. I knew my route to Zeller’s by heart. New plan; go to Wally world at 1am in an interesting part of town to stock up on diapers, baby food, and an umbrella stroller. I made friends with a “gentleman” who got his eyelids tattooed in prison; he was there getting munchies. Cut to getting back to the hotel at 2am, wake-up call 5:30am. Finally we get through security to our gate and it looks like this flight to PHX is going to be late. Really? Is this happening? This time Tim heads to the counter to ask what can be done and the gate attendant asks why we weren’t just put on the direct flight to Vancouver. Well, because it was full we told her. She very swiftly says, “Not any more” and books us all on the flight. We are elated. Tears were shed. Now to get the baggage switched. We arrive at our new gate, and surprise surprise, it’s delayed because of a maintenance issue. They are not sure when it will be able to take off. Our 9am direct flight is out the window and they say they will give us an update at 10am. If we are not off the ground by 11:15am it looks like we won’t make it. The months of planning and preparation echo through your mind. The plane just makes the window of opportunity and takes off at 11am. We get through customs, we find our baggage and driver. Now picture Amazing Race trying to get to the port. We were one of the last parties on the ship……but, WE MADE IT!

Luxury up the Alaskan coast. Our balcony was wonderful to lounge on. The cruise provided a playpen in our room for Connor. They even pureed him baby food every night. Connor was the youngest person on board, and everyone made a fuss over him no matter where we were. You would hear people whisper, “Oooh, there’s Connor” as they walked by. You know of course he ate up all of the attention. The ports were all wonderful, and the excursions we participated in were fabulous. We did a Duck Tour in Ketchikan that was great, and perfect for viewing bald eagles. This hard core group even did a bike ride in the pouring rain. The views are worth it. For this flat land girl, seeing the beautiful snow covered peaks never gets old. Grandma Glenda and Kaitlyn did a kayak tour that a cute humpback whale found interesting as well. It’s curiosity about the boats brought it up close and personal with the group. We did a whale watching tour in Icy Straight Point and the breaching whales were incredible. Everywhere you looked a whale was in view. I have a picture where you can spot 4 in the frame. I think the most beautiful scenery we have seen was on the train ride in Skagway. All the way up through Canada we encountered one beautiful expanse after another. No picture does it justice. We even got up close and personal with Hubbard Glacier. We now have the title of being the closest any ship has gotten to it all season, within a half mile. Our captain said it was the first time he has ever captained a ship that close to it. Your eyes cannot fathom what they are seeing. It’s huge, craggy, and beautiful. We have all enjoyed each other’s company and the memories we have made have been priceless. This is what vacations are made of. Now, if you catch a glimpse of crazy people dressed up in formal wear, taking absurd pictures at all of the photostops on deck, it may or may not be us.