Monday, July 28, 2008

Mizerany Family Photos

Another session with our awesome photographer, Heather Swanner, resulted in more great photos. For Myra's birthday (back in January), we gave her a session with our photographer so she could get some family photos. It took us 6 months to coordinate our calendars, but it worked out great. Since this was their 50th anniversary year, they had photos taken of just them, some with their grandchildren, and of course the whole group. Each family also had the opportunity to get some shots. It was a hot 85 degrees at 8am in the botanical gardens a couple of weeks ago, and though we were all complaining about the humidity and sweat, I think everyone was pleased with the results. So, here are a few of our favorites...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy 50th Anniversary Myra & Big Lou!

WOW...50 years of marriage....that is a LOOOONG time!! However, Myra and Big Lou have surpassed all of the odds and have had a long, happy and healthy marriage! Last night we celebrated by helping coordinate a big party for them with all of their friends and family. People came from near and far to offer them their well wishes for many more happy years. It was a great time, and memories were recalled in several ways.

At the entrance, we had a guest book and Myra's wedding dress and veil on display along with the receipt for their first pieces of furniture they bought as a young married couple (their mattress & box springs were only $60!). Then we had another table full of family photos through the years, as well as their wedding album. The anniversary cake even used the cake topper they used 50 years ago on their wedding cake! Lastly, we played a video of pictures taken through the years.

It was a very nice affair that started with the father of the church blessing their marriage. They didn't want to renew their vows, as they felt that they had done something right for the past 50 years, but no one can turn down a blessing for more happiness and health in their future. Then he blessed the food and the fun officially began.

Everyone ate while we played the video, and then the band started. Bennett was the first one on the dance floor...getting her groove on. She had a memorable "first dance" with her Daddy, and then she butted into her Mimi and Papa's dance (not wanting to be left out). She loves to bop to music so she enjoyed exerting her energy that way all night.

Bennett did surprisingly well throughout the night, even though she was up way past her bedtime (2 hours past). She let just about anyone hold her, and she loved the attention from all of the young girls there. Of course her cousins, Sara and Maria helped a great deal, but then there were others who wanted to help, and she didn't mind. It was nice for us too, so we could get around and mingle with everyone.

Overall, I know that Myra and Big Lou had a great time, as I believe all of the guests did. Any excuse to gather friends and family usually turns into fun, and last night was no exception. So, I thank Louis & Michelle, Dan and Steve (on behalf of Myra & Louie) for planning a great party! There is no replacement for family!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sept 17th!!

The delivery date has been set for Sept 17th, and I couldn't be happier! I went in for another check-up this morning and since I measured a couple of weeks behind and haven't gained any weight in the past month, my doctor wanted me to have another ultrasound to make sure he was gaining weight. I explained that I snack all day, and was surprised that I hadn't gained weight, but she didn't believe me.

Thankfully this little guy hasn't suffered. In fact, he has gained an approximate 1.5 lbs from 12 days ago (recall me saying that he should be gaining 1/2 lb per week). So, in reality he is 1/2 pound over (of course who really knows because it is all estimations). Either way, he was active and looks healthy, so no worries.

So, it looks like I have 8 weeks and 2 days left to get myself more procrastinating!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Zoo Time

Yesterday morning Bennett and I went to the Birmingham Zoo again with Brian and Christian. In order to beat the heat, we went as soon as they opened at 9am. Though everyone else seemed okay, I was sweating like a pig. With this extra weight (and my normal sweating issues), I was extremely sensitive to the heat. The sweat was literally dripping from my hair, but I hung in there for a couple of hours as we explored some of new exhibits of the zoo.

Now that Bennett is walking, she is much more interested in exploring things on her own. She got a big kick out of the various bird exhibits, and loves pointing at the animals. We hurried around checking out as much as we could before our window was expired with them. Christian loves trains, so we went on a ride around the zoo. I think we all enjoyed the scenery, but I especially loved the breeze.

I also used Christian as an excuse to ride a camel (Bennett was too young). Of course Brian was too worried about stinking, and I wanted to go but needed one of kids to go with me so I didn't look like a pathetic adult riding a camel at the zoo. At first Christian was a little timid, but he ended up just loving it!
We also were lucky enough to see some of the large cats today. The lions were out sunning themselves, and the tiger was walking around his indoor-outdoor "home." Bennett loved him, and since he walked right up the window where we were standing, she got a big kick out of that.
We also fed some fish in one of the ponds and looked at some of the smaller ones in an aquarium. It was so funny because Bennett was up against the glass of this huge aquarium looking at everything when this huge snapping turtle came right up to the glass in front of her. It scared her to death and she backed up so quickly, she would have fallen down had I not caught her. The thing must have been 50+ years old, as he looked almost prehistoric. For some reason the tiger didn't scare her, but this turtle did.
No other fun adventures to report on from this weekend. It was so blazing hot that we spent the majority of our time inside while Daddy worked on the fence.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

11 Weeks to Go!!

I will be officially 29 weeks tomorrow, so only 11 (hopefully 10) weeks left! Today I went in for my last monthly exam with my OB, as we have officially been moved to every 2 weeks now. Everything looked good, but since this is when I developed oligohydramnios with Bennett, she had me get an ultrasound to double check.

Fortunately, he looked great and my fluids were normal! As always he was very active so getting a good photo was difficult. They did measure his femur, which helps them approximate his weight - 3 lbs is their best estimate now. So, if he follows the path of gaining 1/2 pound a week, he should weigh in around 8 lbs at delivery. He will look so huge compared to tiny Bennett who was only 5lbs 13 oz.

Stay tuned for more updates...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Avalon 2008

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately, but we just returned from our annual trip to the Jersey shore. Why there you ask? Because my cousin has a beautiful home right on the beach, and the town of Avalon is so charming! We have used her home as an anchor and an excuse to gather my mother's side of the family annually for the past 6 or 7 years. Since our families continue to grow, our family rents one home and my cousin, Lisa, and her family and my aunt and uncle stay with Debbie and John. This year we had a five bedroom home practically across the street, so it was very convenient!

Since the beach thing was new to Bennett (she obviously didn't recall last year's trip when she was only 8 weeks old), we weren't sure how she would do with the sand. Surprisingly she didn't try to eat it too often, and loved playing in it with her cousins. Each day we would coat her with 30 SPF and just let her go. She was very timid around the freezing cold water (which was fine with us), but she loved people watching. The seagulls also provided endless amusement for her, as they swooped down to devour any food that the kids didn't finish.

Brian and Shannon purchased a baby pool for our deck too, just to offer them a break from the beach. Sometimes in the morning they would splash around in that before we made our way to the beach. We had the best weather (not a single day of rain), and lower humidity the whole week. So we all got terrific tans and came home well rested. It was the first time Bennett and Christian have spent so much time with one another, so it was fun to watch them interact. Now that Bennett is walking, they are closer to being on equal playing fields. Needless to say, this did cause some problems as neither one is accustomed to sharing and both thought every toy was just theirs. However, I think the fact that Christian is talking, helped make Bennett more vocal.

They also had a great time playing with Lisa's children (Jenna, Kurt and Grace). Jenna was a great little babysitter and loved entertaining them. Bennett just loved the interaction and attention. It was great to have so many extra hands. Debbie (my cousin) has three boys, although they are really men (15, 18 and 20 years old!), so she loves the little ones. It is amazing to watch her in action too. They all gather around her like she is Mary Poppins. Bennett really took to her and it was sweet to see her reach for her when we left to give her one of her signature open mouth kisses and hugs.

Overall a good time was had by all since we all love to eat and drink. Debbie had the whole week's menu organized by which family brought the signature drink of the night, the appetizer, the main dish and the dessert. That way one person wasn't responsible for the whole thing any one night. It worked out perfectly since we have such a large group of people (20), and eating out really is not conducive. We ate like champions every night, but tried to burn some calories by taking our morning walks on the beach. Steve and I rented a jogger with huge wheels that we could use on the sand, and it worked great!

Bennett with her daddy

The Bantas & Mizeranys

Nene & Poppy with grandchildren

Hovans, Blairs and Forreys

Surprisingly, the kids did pretty well on the airplane. Though the wait in the airports didn't go as smoothly. The traffic can be bad leaving the beach on Saturday mornings since renters are forced to leave by 10 am (they rent from Saturday to Saturday). Of course the traffic wasn't bad, so we had the challenge of trying to entertain the little ones in Philly for 2 hours. Brian got us into Delta's crown room, but that didn't go over very well. After being strapped in carseats for an hour and half, they were both ready to run around and exert some energy. However the other guests of the crown room didn't appreciate the chaos that we brought, so after many dirty looks and "shh's" from the staff in there....we left. Though the accommodations weren't as nice with the rest of the commoners, it served us better. After all of the running around, both kids slept during the flights (thank goodness!!).

Now we are home and just trying to get settled back into our routine and prepared to return to work. UGH! If only we could take a week off every month! Thank you Mom and Dad for a great vacation!