Saturday, November 29, 2014

Silver Dollar City Holiday Fun

When we ran the Run to the Lights 5k at Silver Dollar City at the beginning of the month we each received a pass to Silver Dollar City (SDC) in our race packets.  The pass had to be used during the week, not the weekend, and before the end of the year.  We talked about when to go and realized if we went the Friday after Thanksgiving Ty could go with us because he had the day off.  We planned to head out at Carter's naptime so he could sleep in the car on the way there, we'd have some daylight to ride rides, and then we could see all the lights once it got dark.  Once we made the decision on when to go I started looking forward to the trip immediately.  I was so excited Friday morning that I dressed Carter in his new shirt my mom made him that said "All I want from Santa is a sister."  I put on a shirt my mom bought me that was emblazoned with "Jingle Bellies" in rhinestones and glitter lettering.  We spent the morning decorating the house and then headed out right after lunch.
Carter ready for some holiday fun in his new shirt!
Posing as a gingerbread man in SDC.  It cracks me up you can see me.  I was helping him reach the face hole.

Carter was excited immediately upon our arrival when he saw the buses driving people to and from the park.  He pointed at the buses yelling out, "bus" the whole way to the entrance.  The weather was perfect as we didn't need coats until the sun went down and then we just needed a jacket or light coat then.  Once inside we headed toward the kid's area to ride the train.  Carter loved seeing the train and couldn't stop talking about it.  Exclaiming "choo choo train!" and saying "bye bye choo choo train" as each train left the station.  Everyone waited in line to ride the train while Carter and I played at a play area where we walked across nets and crawled through holes much too small for me and my awkwardly large belly.  Thomas came and got us when it was our turn to enter the train station and Carter started back up with the "choo choo train" and excitement.  He enjoyed the ride, but not nearly as much as he enjoyed watching the trains.  When we got off the train the line for the carousel was really short so Carter and I got in line to ride.  He was afraid of the carousel at first with me and cried after I set him on the horse.  I started to think we'd have to get off because he just wasn't having it.  Then Ty came over and put him back on a horse and he wasn't as scared anymore.  He didn't seem excited but he wasn't crying so we went ahead with the ride.  I guess Carter just needed to know he was extra safe with daddy!  While we were waiting in line for the carousel I heard someone tell their kid that the tree lighting ceremony was in 10 minutes.  We decided to head up to the entrance area to see the big tree light up and then we headed to dinner.
Waiting to ride the train with Opa.
Looking at Christmas lights while on the train with Oma.
Afraid to ride the carousel with mommy.

Feeling better about it with daddy.
He didn't seem to enjoy the ride, but he wasn't afraid.
Watching the tree lighting from daddy's shoulders.
Carter and Ty watching the giant tree light show.
After dinner we walked around a little bit and then decided to find a place to watch the Christmas parade.  While we were waiting Jeremy, Thomas, Ty, and dad all headed off to ride a couple rides.  It was packed for the parade so I put Carter on my shoulders and climbed onto a short rock wall around trees.  We didn't have a very good view but we could see the taller floats.  One was a train that had fake steam blowing out of it's smoke stack and Carter loved it.  He even waved at Santa as he went by.  Afterward he kept saying, "Choo choo train, bears" because his favorite floats were the train and one with a polar bears on it.
Watching the parade from my shoulders.
Didn't realize my belly was visible with my light coat on!
I had figured we would leave after the parade so mom, Carter, and I headed down toward Thunderation (the ride the guys had been on) to meet up with them.  They wanted to ride some more rides and Carter was still doing pretty well although it was past his bedtime so we decided to head back to the kid's area while they rode some more rides.  We played in an area where you can climb through nets up in the trees and Carter loved bouncing as he walked.  Mom went through with him and lost her phone so she had to go back through to find it.  Then I went through with him again and felt like I pulled a muscle in my stomach trying to stand up after crawling through a hole so I went through the next one a different way and it put pressure on my bladder just right to where I tinkled a little bit as I stood up.  I decided we were done with that area after that and we headed to play in the sandbox.  While we were playing another little boy came over and was talking about the foods he was making in the sand.  Carter decided he was making food too and would tell us what he was making.  Then he put his food in the bucket which was the oven and told us it was hot.  His imagination is really taking off!  Around that time we realized there wasn't much of a line for the train so we decided to ride it again now that it was dark and we could see the lights better.  While on the train Ty texted that they were done riding rides and would meet us at the exit of the train.
Oma and Carter walking out of the play area.
Me deciding I was way too big to be trying to crawl through the small openings!
Playing in the sand box.
Talking about what food he was making.
When we got off the train they were getting ready to start the 9 pm Christmas parade and there weren't many people standing around to watch it so we decided to watch the parade again, this time closer where Carter could see more.  He enjoyed the train but not quite as much as he had the first time due to being tired.  Carter fell asleep shortly after we left the park and slept until we had only 30 minutes until we made it home.  He woke up screaming and crying.  Sweet little boy was just miserably tired and uncomfortable and it was nearing 1 am.  I was impressed that once I started talking to him he was able to calm down and sat quietly talking with me about all the fun stuff we'd done at SDC until we made it home.  I changed him into jammies and sat down to rock him while he kept asking to eat so I asked Jeremy to bring us a piece of cheese thinking he must be hungry.  He sat and held the cheese in his hand while I rocked him and then I ended up eating it after I laid him down for the night.  This morning Carter slept in until 9:40 am which is an incredible record for him!  I couldn't believe it.  All that playing and enjoying holiday festivities really wore him out!   
All the roller coaster riders were waiting for us when we got off the train.
Ready to watch the parade for a second time.

Watching the parade.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Our Thanksgiving 2014 Style

It's hard to believe this year was already Carter's 2nd Thanksgiving.  It was his last 1st holiday during 2013 and I was sad to see the firsts end.  This year it was the last holiday he experienced for the 2nd time, other than his birthday, as this Christmas will be his 3rd!  I'm still amazed when I think of the fact that he's been here for 3 Christmases although he wasn't due until January 9th.  Looking back at everything the timing was so perfect!  I wanted to title this post "Carter's 2nd Thanksgiving" but then what would I do next year?  Title my post "Carter's 3rd Thanksgiving"?  And when would it end, when he's 18?  I'm pretty sure I'll still be all sentimental and thinking about how it's his 18th Thanksgiving and all that, but I seriously doubt any of you will care.  Read about Carter's 1st Thanksgiving here.
Everyone ready to start our Thanksgiving off with a bang!
Our Thanksgiving morning started early with a Turkey Day 5k.  I was really excited for the race because Carter was registered for the 1 Mile Fun Run.  Little Mister loves to run, walk, and be mobile so I couldn't wait to see what he thought of being in his first race.  The fun run started 30 minutes before the start of the 5k so I figured Carter and mom would most likely finish before we started.  Carter and mom headed to the start line and we found a spot a little bit down the road to cheer for them.  As the race started Carter immediately took off running and ran I would guess about 1/10th of a mile before requesting that mom carried him.  I was so excited for Carter that I ran on the sidewalk next to them until mom started carrying him.  Jeremy and Ty followed along with me.  We decided to stop and cheer for racers about a quarter-mile from the start/finish.  It was hilarious seeing kids take off sprinting with excitement as we cheered for them and then begin walking a little ways down the road.  Finally we saw mom carrying Carter toward us not far ahead of the vehicle holding up the rear of the race.  Carter had wanted to walk for a while and would get distracted pointing at things.  We began cheering for Carter and he got so excited he took off running.  I headed out into the street to run with him and he took off even faster.  He requested for Uncie to join us in the street and then yelled for his daddy, veering toward the sidewalk until Ty finally came over to run with us.  Carter was laughing and having a blast as we ran down the hill toward the finish.  Then all the sudden, boom, he tripped and caught himself but still bumped his forehead.  Sadly, he began crying before I quickly scooped him up and continued to cry as we approached the finish.  There were big, inflatable turkeys on either side of the finish line and mom was able to distract him with the turkeys and get him to dry up the tears as they walked across the finish line.  I think he would've ran all the way to the finish had he not fallen.  The head damage aside, I'd say his first run was a success.

Excited and ready for the race to start.
Taking off at the race start running.
Uncie Jeremy, Oma, Carter, and me running with Carter to the finish.
Carter talked Ty into joining us for the race.
Mom carrying Carter across the finish.
After Carter's finish I took off for a short warm up and last minute restroom break.  Carter was a busy boy as after he finished his fun run he went into the stroller to run the 5k with Thomas.  The race was a bit cold in the low 30's and the wind was decently strong so we put his weather shield on the stroller to keep him from getting too cold.  We took off up hill and the first mile was mostly up and down hill.  Heading into the 2nd mile I was pleased to see we would get to run flats.  At the turn around I counted 11 women ahead of me.  I decided my goal was to maintain my position as 12th overall female.  I thought the race was out and back like last year, but it was different which was nice and meant we skipped the hills during the last mile and had a flat last mile as well.  I was having some trouble with my turkey hat which kept slipping back and off my head so I finally pulled it off and stuck it in the band of my pants.  I caught up to the woman ahead of me and was running next to her stride for stride when my turkey hat slipped out of my pants and I turned around and ran back to get it.  It took me a while to catch back up to the woman I had been running with and when I did I was running faster than her so I passed her and then caught up to another female, passing her.  With about a quarter-mile to go the first woman I passed pulled up beside me again and I took off.  I was feeling great.  Lately on runs I either feel great like I'm not even pregnant or I feel much more pregnant than I should with a tight stomach and sore hips.  Luckily today was the not feeling pregnant kind of day.  As I turned toward the finish I heard Jeremy and my mom cheering for me and looked up to see the clock click over to 24 minutes.  I was pleased to finish in 24:10, 7:47 pace which put me 43rd overall out of 464 total finishers.
Thomas rocking it with the stroller.
Crossing the finish line.

Ty finishing.
Jeremy had finished 5th overall male in 20:04.  Dad was also ahead of me finishing in 23:01 and was the 32nd overall finisher.  Thomas ran with Carter in the stroller, finishing in 28:02 as the 106th finisher.  Ty finished in 29:20 as the 135th finisher.  We stuck around for awards, drinking hot chocolate and eating bagels.  As they announced my age group they didn't say me for 3rd place so I assumed I didn't place.  I was shocked when they said I had won my age group.  I'm not sure what happened, if they messed up at the awards ceremony or what, but looking at the online results I was 3rd in my age group.  It turned out that the lady I outkicked at the end of the race was in my age group and placed 4th but I'm guessing they gave her the 2nd place medal.  Jeremy won his age group as did dad.  When we looked at the results online we saw Thomas had actually placed 3rd in his age group, but hadn't received an award.  Ty was 7th in the same age group.
Carter enjoying a bagel with his Oma.
The medalists after the awards ceremony.  Turns out Thomas should've been in there!
Carter wore his "my uncle is faster than your uncle" shirt for the race.
When we returned we showered, Ty made biscuits and gravy and eggs for breakfast, and we played outside with Carter.  After lots of fun outside playing it was time for Carter's lunch and nap time.  Due to timing we had decided to eat our Thanksgiving feast as an early dinner when Carter woke up from his nap.  After Carter woke up and we were waiting for a few things to finish baking mom, dad, Jeremy, and I were in the kitchen while Thomas and Ty were in the living room.  Carter came into the kitchen asking for a cookie.  I debated whether he could have a bite or not and finally decided he could have a little bite.  He ran into the living room with it and gave it to Thomas.  It turned out Thomas had asked Carter to go get him a cookie.  Talk about service!  Last year I was so excited to have Carter sitting at the table eating off his high chair tray with us.  This year it was so cute to have him sitting in a chair with his booster eating off a plate on the table just like us!  He was a bit concerned that the food was so warm, but enjoyed everything on his plate.  It's hard to say what his favorite food was.  I'd have to say it was probably the sweet potatoes or the cranberry applesauce.

Enjoying his Thanksgiving feast.
Last year we went to see the lights turned on at a popular shopping area.  There was a choir group there singing before Santa arrived to turn on the lights.  We got there before everything started and were waiting for a long time, unimpressed with the music.  This year we showed up late, had a hard time finding a place to park, and they turned on the lights as we were walking up so we didn't get to see it.  We stayed around for a little while afterward to check out the lights and then headed home in time for Carter to take a bath and get ready for bed.  Next year we will make sure we get there right around the time it starts rather than early or late.  We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving and have so much to be thankful for.  I hope you all had a fabulous day as well!  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Checking out the penguins at the zoo with Landon.
Arguably their favorite part of the trip was playing with the hand dryers in the bathroom.
Double the snuggles!
Cutest little firefighters you ever will see!
Making a train with his cars on the windowsill track.
Big boy undies with his rain boots!
This is what happens when Carter picks out his outfit!
How Carter greets me when I head in to get him in the morning (just so you know Ty dressed him in mismatched jammies the night before):
No part of a jar of fruit will be wasted in our house!
Is it time to be potty trained when you outgrow your changing table?
He found daddy's turkey hat and was excited to wear it!
Playing at storytime at a library he hadn't visited before.
Hitting balloons with a paddle.

Ready for the listening part of storytime.
All eyes for the librarian.

Grabbed a banana and peeled it all by himself.