We Are So Blessed!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We Spent a "Day Out With Thomas"!!

This is from last November (11/2010):

Oh man was this a treat for Maletch!! As everyone knows, Maletch is a HUGE 'Thomas the Train' fan, and so when I found out they had a "Day Out with Thomas" event- I was ALL over it! It turns out that they only have ONE Thomas (it is a real train that drives on real railroad tracks) and is an exact replica of Thomas. Since there is only one, they travel the country and stay about 10 days in each city. So when I looked into it originally (thinking it would be a cool birthday idea) they happened to be back east someplace, and wouldn't be here until November (the closest location to us was Perris, CA) so I bought tickets about 6 months in advance and we couldn't wait to go. Even though it wasn't going to be a birthday deal, we decided to still make it a surprise to make it more fun! I also surprised my dad and Denise with tickets, since I knew it would mean so much to them to experience it with him. Thankfully they live close enough and were able to make it!
It was held at the Orange Empire Railway Museum, which is a cool place all by itself- having many antique trains that still work, and offering rides with reasonable ticket prices- something we will most likely be doing in the future.

Anyway, back to our 'Day Out with Thomas':
They had so many areas at this huge place set up for kids, they had:
* A store that was filled with EXCLUSIVE Thomas merchandise (exclusive to event-goers only, not available in any store)- which I took well advantage of buying scrapbooking supplies, clothing, picture frames, toys, and more!
* Movie watching room, where kids could watch movies (Thomas films of course) being played on a huge screen TV
* A ginormous play area with every type of Thomas track and so many train tables and trains that you can imagine
* A couple of huge Bouncy House Castles
* Petting zoo
* Meet Sir Topham Hatt area with photo op
* Tattoo Station
* Story Telling & Live Music areas for entertainment
* Arts & Crafts station
* Photo ops with Thomas (in between passenger trips)
* Additionally, there were all of the museum things to see and there were plenty of trains that the kids were allowed to climb on: some antique trains/cabooses and they also had several neat wooden trains (not real) that were meant for kids to climb on.

All of these activities made this an all-day event. When we purchased tickets, we had to choose a Departure time out of the many trips Thomas would make throughout the day. I chose one of the later times, and we had plenty to do while we waited to board Thomas for our 25 minute train ride.

Maletch loves to tell the "Train Station Story" and he tells it everyday, or he asks me "Mommy, can you tell me the train station story again?" Often times he wants to tell it over and over (many times in a row).

This is how the story goes when Maletch tells it (these are ALL his words verbatim):
"Mommy and Daddy took Maletch in the car but they didn't tell him where we were going. I said, mommy where are we going, and she said, I can't tell you it's a surprise. Then Maletch fell asleep in the car and mommy said, wake up Maletch, we are here. I said, where are we mommy? She said, it's a surprise. Right then, a train whistled, I said, I hear a train mommy. Mommy said, yes you do, take a look out the window and see who it is. It's Thomas, it's Thomas! Mommy said, yes it's Thomas, it's REAL Thomas, and guess what? We get to ride on real Thomas! I said, No way really? Mommy said, Yes we do. I said, Can we go? Let's go! Then we got to ride on the coaches Annie and Clarabel and Thomas pulled us forwards and backwards. Grandma and Grandpa came too. We also got to meet Sir Topham Hatt and Sir Topham Hatt said, what's your name, and I said Maletch. He said, nice to meet you, and I shook his hand. We took a picture with Sir Topham Hatt. I got a Thomas tattoo too and mommy gave me a Thomas whistle surprise. Let's see, what else did we do? Oh yeah, I also got Shake n' Go Thomas and Day out with Thomas toys at the train station store."
Maletch is quite the story teller, and he is 100% correct in his version, and it is almost the same way I tell it to him. The only thing that he doesn't know is that John and I teared up seeing his initial excitement and reaction. It was awesome, and the look on his face and the excitement he had is something I will never forget!

Needless to say, he has been asking when we can go see Thomas again. I wish we could do this more than once a year, but that is the only time they are in our area. If you ask Maletch about this, in addition to the story, he will tell you that, "Thomas is coming from the Island of Sodor to California in November."
He also adds, "First it will be Halloween, THEN Thomas." And yes that is all true, that is where Thomas lives, and he will be here in November, so Yay- that is only next month now!! I hope my dad and Denise can come again, Maletch has been asking about that! I really hope we can make this an annual tradition (until Maletch looses interest in Thomas). I suspect he will 'be into' Thomas longer than most, since we have such an elaborate train set-up.

I have SO many pics and videos from that day- scroll down to see the slide show and videos. In the last video, you will see Maletch 'watch' one kid high-five another kid, and he wanted a high-five too, but he was too late.
... oh and of course be watching for our new adventures with Thomas next month! Hard to believe that last time I was 3 months pregnant with Sariah (so technically she went too, LOL) but this time she will get to see it for herself!

**Don't forget to pause the music player (at the bottom of the blog) before you play the video clips (or the sounds will be battling). The pause button is towards the top left corner of the music player, the same button can start the music again if you wish.

"Our Day Out with Thomas" Slideshow!!

Day Out with Thomas Nov 2010 VIDEO!

Day Out with Thomas Nov 2010 VIDEO! (2)

Day Out with Thomas Nov 2010 VIDEO (3)

Friday, November 5, 2010

13 Weeks Checkup!

Well, I have made it through the 1st trimester which is a terrific milestone! I have met with my High-Risk OB twice now and I am on the 2nd trimester schedule which means I visit him every 2 weeks. My due date has been altered by just one day to May 11, and my appts will fall every other Wed (unless changed due to scheduling conflicts).
This past Wed, I was 13 weeks exactly and that meant that I was due for another ultrasound (YAY, my favorite) among some other routine tests. We got lucky and had a trainee (being trained by a qualified tech) doing the US-- which meant it took much longer than usual and it was a treat to watch the baby for SUCH a long period of time. We even got to see the baby in 4D. It is the most awesome sight to see inside the womb: every little kick and turn and hand movement- just amazing!! The baby is much more substantial in size now than the first US, so it was much easier to see things. The baby is also way more developed and looks totally human now (not like a turtle at all). The leading technician was a very sweet guy and gave us MANY photos to take home! Everything on the US looked good so far, and they gave a very thorough exam. I will scan the photos as soon as John fixes the scanner- weird- we had a black-out and it won't power on now, he plans to look at it later today. I will upload a few US pics to this post the minute he gets it working...

The Not-So-Good News: (Scary Situation)
Prior to becoming pregnant:
My chronic sinus infection that was pretty serious prior to becoming pregnant (was classified as acute and chronic and had spread to all of my sinus cavities)... for those of you that don't know: it didn't respond to medication and I was told I needed immediate surgery, got a second opinion with the same results. I went to the surgery consultation and I completely FREAKED out when I was explained the surgery risks (it was a scary consult) so I decided to wait on the surgery and see if I could ever find another solution or if it might heal in time.... The ENT explicitly expressed he thought I was nuts to want to wait, he acted like he had never seen someone let it get as bad as mine, and he didn't understand how I was walking about in that much pain (little did he understand the chronic spinal nerve pain I deal with daily). So I figured if this is as bad as it gets, and it was bad, I could tough it out as long as it took to either feel better about the surgery or better yet find a way around it...
Well 1 1/2 years later, it didn't heal, but it didn't get worse... UNTIL I became pregnant!! Now, apparently due to my suppressed immune system, it decided to go rampant! The pain has become so severe that I have been driven to tears (and I NEVER cry) and I have been wanting to drill a hole in my own head just to release some pressure, I am also feverish and achy. It is so severe that not only am I completely miserable- but I grew concerned for the health of me and the baby. I discussed this with my OB, and he confirmed my worst fear- that if left to go rampant, it has the potential to spread- and could get into my blood and could be fatal. He is referring me to another ENT and my OB has already pre-approved the surgery, and a host of medications and CAT scans to be done-- none of which are EVER done during pregnancy otherwise! It is never a good idea to go under general anesthesia or get CT's when pregnant BUT he is weighing the risks vs. benefits and feels it might be a good idea. Uggh! So, we are awaiting the consult with the ENT, and we will be facing some VERY difficult decisions in the near future! Whether to allow them to test, treat, and perform surgery- which could pose possible threats to the baby -OR- suffer through excruciating pain and hope that it hasn't/doesn't spread into my bloodstream and kill me. There is one major stipulation: my OB wants anything that will be done by the ENT to be done during this (my second trimester) and NOT my third. In the third trimester the risks go from low to extremely high, so we have to decide and act... NOW. I still can't believe that I might have to have surgery while I am pregnant! Oh what a headache- literally and figuratively! Due to the stress and physical pain, I do not want to talk about this too much, but I did want to share so that all of our friends and family can PRAY! We need lots of prayers for the health of me and the baby and for God's guidance (for the doctors and for us) during this pregnancy! I have to constantly reassure myself that ALL is in God's hands!
When we meet with the ENT, I will obviously know more, and I will post the outcome here as soon as that is. My OB's office is scheduling that for me and they will contact me when it is set up. John and I will be seeking a second opinion (on our own) as well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010!

I love Halloween- I love seeing all the kids in costumes, I love dressing up, I love carving pumpkins and I love all kinds of Halloween decorations! It is just so fun!!
This year we were Hansel, Gretel, and umm... lil Hansel?? hehe! And in our story Gretel is 3 months pregnant... hehe (Yay, 1st trimester down- 2 to go!) I was so happy I could squish my belly into my tiny dress that I bought before I knew I was preggo. John and Maletch looked so CUTE in their German Lederhosen! We got LOTS of attention and comments on our costumes, which made the night even more fun! One lady asked Maletch if he could say "Yodle-ay-eee-ooh" and someone else asked him if he had any Ricola, hehe, some people are just witty! We were told it was too bad we missed the costume contest, cuz everyone said we would have won- oh well, we didn't know they even had a contest there!
We started off taking him trick-or-treating for about an hour. He thought everyone that opened the door and gave him candy were his new friends- so he wanted to talk to everyone at each house. Although he didn't want to stop- he kept saying "Let's find another house, let's go this way, let's knock on that door"... we really wanted to take him to the Halloween Festival in Yucaipa, but since it got a little late, we went to the Festival in San Bernardino.
He had fun driving the John Deere Gators. The cars are powered by a gas (foot) pedal. His driving started off a bit crazy style since he was so easily distracted and took his eyes off the road often- but his driving improved a lot after a few minutes and a few collisions.
I posted 2 videos of him driving, the first one is funny cuz he was driving crazy, in the second one, he had the hang of it.
I also posted a video of him talking to the animals, if you listen closely (be sure to pause the music player at the bottom) you can hear him ask the pig, "Do you want some water?" When the pig got nervous, he tried offering reassurance, "It's OK pig, it's OK" Then he told the pig, "If you go poo-poo, you can get surprises." hehe, I guess he wanted to teach the pig about potty-training.
After the Festival, we went out to a late dinner at the Elephant Bar- yummmy! Maletch made friends with our waiter, so Maletch "performed" for him with some dancing and somersaults in the restaurant. I will go through those videos and post one soon!
I am still working on the slideshow of our photos, but I threw together a few for tonight! Be sure to keep scrolling...

Halloween 2010 Maletch 2 1/2 yrs.avi

Halloween Festival 2010 Maletch 2 1/2 yrs.avi

Haloween Festival 2010 Maletch 2 1/2 yrs 027.avi