Sunday, September 06, 2009

New Baby Ballard

So, most of you all know that Trace is going to be a Big Brother! Which means this blog is now going to be the Ballard family blog, rather than just Trace's...the first of many things he will come to learn to share. ;) I recently realized that this pregnancy is going by a lot faster than any other; well, because Trace just keeps us super busy! I also realized I hadn't posted a blog dedicated to New Baby Ballard yet; which makes me sad, because I don't want this baby to have middle child syndrome before he/she even makes it into the world. So, here's the latest news on New Baby Ballard:

We're currently 12 1/2 weeks pregnant, which means we're due on March 17th or St. Patty's Day! This due date brings a whole new meaning to March Madness in this house, because that is what I fear my life will look like with 2 children. However, I know the Lord had His hand in this all along; so I trust that He will provide & prepare us all for the new arrival.

As far as New Baby goes, he/she is doing just fine. We've had an 8 week & 12 week checkup and both times the heartrate was 152. So, boy or girl, we do know that he/she is consistant. I get a lot of questions about finding out the gender. However, we really haven't made a decision on that yet. We have an ultrasound at 18 weeks and can find out at that point, but are still unsure what we'll do. On one hand, we think another surprise would be fun; but on the other, we want to prepare Trace for what to expect as much as possible. So, we'll see. ;) But if you ask Trace, he says it's a girl and that he's going to be a "Big Sister"!

Another thing that I can tell you about this child is that he/she does love salty foods. If you know me, you know that I'm a sweets person; but the only foods that I crave are the really salty ones. I had my first glucose test this week, so we'll see how that goes. Prayers for me passing, cause I'm already a picky eater; and I can't imagine having to limit my carb intake.

Well, I think that's all the news we have for now, but we'll keep you posted on all the latest with New Baby. And don't worry, I'm sure we'll still have lots to say about Trace in the meantime. :) With him, there is never a dull moment. I'll leave you with the Trace funny of the day. Today as we were driving home from the Splash Park, he sang this song the whole way home: "Twinkle, twinkle little star; how I wonder what you PRETZELS!!! Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the PRETZELS!!!" Oh, how I wish could have caught it on tape. :)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

First Family Vacation (Part 2 - San Antonio)

The second leg of our vacation was spending a few days at Aunt Robbie and Uncle Dave's in San Antonio and of course, a trip to Sea World.

Trace was excited to go to Sea World and kept saying he wanted to see the dolphins and the fish. So after meeting up with our friend Gabi and her family, we made it to Sea World, where the first stop was the dolphins.

Next we check out the shark tanks. Here's a shot of Trace and his new friend Ben checking everything out:

Next up was our first show of the day, the Sea Lions. Trace loved all the shows. He sat there attentive and followed all the action the entire time. This show was a mystery, where the sea lions help solve a big case over who stole all the fish:

Turns out it was the walrus the whole time:

Next up was a special treat, thanks to Gabi, who used to work at Sea World. We were treated to a back stage meet and greet with some of the actors from the show, including meeting a Sea Lion, Elrod. Now, if you ask Trace today if he petted the Sea Lion, he'll probably say yea, but he was actually terrified of it and wouldn't touch it. He clung onto to Ashley each time that we went near it.

It was cool being so close to the sea lions. I've never been that close to them before, and we got to see the trainers in action too. He would make Elrod yelp, he had him talk on someone's cell phone, smile for picture (see pic above) and even blow us kisses and wave bye.

A big thank you to Gabi for hooking us up with such a cool experience. We finished off the day at Sea World with a couple more shows, feeding an alligator, a visit to the splash park, lunch and popsicles, souvenir shopping and last but not least Shamu!

Feeding the gator:
Enjoying another show:
Splash Park:
Lunch and snacks:


Trace had a blast at Sea World, and we really utilized his new umbrella stroller. That was probably our best purchase on the whole trip. It helped Trace catch a good nap before we left the park.

We had dinner with Gabi and her family later that night at the Alamo Cafe, where Trace had his moments at the restaurant. Let's just say that there was a 3-year old, 2-year old, and a baby at the table and only one of them had to be taken outside the restaurant for a talkin' to. I won't name any names but it was the one who enjoys making high pitched yells in public places and whose name is often confused for Chase. It wasn't really a big deal and we had a good dinner with friends.

The next day, Aunt Robbie came home from work early to hang out with us. We decided to check out a little town called Gruene. It's a cool old time antique village with shopping, restaurants, and snacks along a river that's filled with people tubing. It's a cool place and I recommend checking it out if you're in the San Antonio area.

For lunch, we visited the Gristmill and had a nice view of the river from our outdoor seat.

After lunch it was off to shopping where we checked out the General Store (and everyone took the "Love Test." Ashley ended up with the highest score with Hot Stuff, while Aunt Robbie and I could only get to Passionate). Trace got his first cowboy hat and enjoyed a sucker while the ladies shopped and browsed the antiques.

First cowboy hat:

Trying on Indian feathers:

Enjoying his sucker while shopping:

Of course, falling asleep after and missing the toy store :(

The General Story Love Test and dessert:

Thanks again to Aunt Robbie and Uncle Dave for taking us in for a couple of days and showing us around Gruene. We had a great time.

For the last part of our trip, we drove back to Houston (stopping at Buckees along the way to get lunch, beef jerky and another sucker for Trace) and spent another night at Aunt Cookie and Uncle Jim's. Trace got to go to the park again and spent more time playing with Sandy and Zoey, this time with his allergy medication. We woke up the next day and headed for Baton Rouge. A quick stop at Ikea and lunch at Sonic, then we were on our way home.

It was a great vacation, and I know Trace will be able to look back in a few years and hopefully, remember all the fun we had on this trip.