5 Weeks of Traveling: Cleveland. Waiting on a Baby

Well, today is the due date for Baby Andrew.  But it appears that he has other plans for the day so far.  Robby arrived yesterday and said, "OK, I'm here...you can have the baby now."  

Caitlin, who never rises early, was up first this morning with shower taken ready to go to town and "walk a baby out".  It was in the 40's with winds about 25 mph and the PERFECT morning for lazing around with hot coffee (sigh...).  However, that was not to be with daughter and dad chomping at the bit to get out of the house.
                                        Poppi and Holli having dessert after lunch today...

With the change of weather, Holli is currently protesting the change from wearing her favorite denim shorts to wearing a heavy coat.  I'm right there with ya, Holli.  We did get out and walk around most of the day but there are still no signs of a baby being born today.  The plan is that if in fact he does not come today, Caitlin will go on the monitor tomorrow morning and schedule to be induced on Halloween.  Yep, there's a good possibility we will have a Halloween Baby!

Meanwhile we wait.  And waiting for a baby to arrive is sort of like watching a pot of water and waiting for it to boil.  You know it's going to happen soon but it seems like forever...

5 Weeks of Traveling: Cleveland. Trick-R-Treating!

After having such a fun day out on Friday, poor little Holli Bug started running fever that night and into the next morning.  Besides having a bit of a runny nose (which, unfortunately I have too), her tummy was bothering her.  However, as the day wore one and she began to feel a little better, Caitlin and I decided to take her to Crocker Park where they were having Trick-R-Treating.
                                  Doesn't this sad little face just break your heart?
                                                           Now, this is much better!
We keep taking a pictures of Caitlin with Holli saying, "This could be your last day as an only child."  I think, however, that Andrew is going to hang on until Poppi arrives on Wednesday.
                                         Crocker Park was all decked out for Halloween!
Tinker Bell had a great time and we ran home quickly to pick her daddy up so he could join us for a little more Halloween fun at the Expo Center that evening.
Caitlin was given tickets so we could attend this indoors Halloween event which was a lot like a carnival, complete with rides and Trick-R-Treating for candy. 
When we got ready to leave it had begun to rain.  And it was turning much colder.  We had gotten a lot done...Just in case Andrew decided to come early.

Sunday morning Kevin had to work so we girls decided to go out for brunch at First Watch...
It had turned much cooler overnight.  It was a crisp 54 degrees.  Yep...I should've worn my coat!
While we were waiting for a table this little munchkin was hugging me and saying, "My YaYa".  Hmmm...I think the others might have something to say about that.  BUT...it sure makes a YaYa feel good!

We grocery shopped after brunch and I was SURE Andrew might come on this lazy afternoon but NOPE.  We continue to wait...




5 Weeks of Traveling: Cleveland. Music, a Picnic in the Park and the Library

There are so many things one can do with young children and I so enjoyed some of the same simple activities with my children that I see my children doing with their own children now. And most of the best things are FREE!  Caitlin wanted to try out a preschool music class to see if Holli would like it. As it turned out, they offered the first class free of charge.  It was held at a place called Gymboree.  Parents and grandparents had to stay and participate with the children.  Having previously been a piano and Kindermusik teacher I was anxious to see what this class was like.
     The class was a little bit of a slow start but Holli soon warmed up and enjoyed playing with some rhythm instruments, dancing and chasing bubbles.  

When music class was over, and since it was such a beautiful, crisp autumn day, we decided to grab lunch and take it to the park for a picnic...
             There were ducks everywhere and Holli had so much fun feeding them bread.
                                        And what a beautiful setting for a picnic this was!
The playground caught Holli's eye right away and we weren't getting out of there without a little play time!

The library was right across the street and we had packed up her books up to return. This library had such a cute children's area and we spent a good bit of time there...

If we had taken it easy the day before, we had a pretty busy day.  And nothing cost a penny except for lunch.  More young parents should take the time to get out of the house and away from televisions and  electronics and enjoy not only outdoor activities but the free resources their communities have to offer. What a fun and relaxing day!

No baby yet but at least we are enjoying the wait!

5 Weeks of Traveling: Cleveland NO BABY YET

Yesterday I went with Caitlin to her weekly doctor's appointment to check on the progress of Andrew.  We found out that she is now 1 1/2 cm. dilated and was told we could expect him any day now!  I'm excited for his arrival yet I know that babies have a mind of their own and I predict he will come when we least expect it.  So our daily routine continues here but with a little less activity than when I was here before.  There have been no outings to the park or hiking. Although Holli has begged for them. We did, however, go down to Crocker Park for a couple of hours after the doctor's appointment.  Mainly for the purpose of getting pedicures!

After our pedicures we walked over to the book store to grab a coffee.  The weather is so nice here; an actual autumn. 
        I must say it was a pretty nice day.  But still no Baby Andrew.  Poppi thinks he won't arrive until he gets here. Next week!  Oh well, you can't rush a baby but I'm here, settled in and on call.

5 Weeks of Traveling: From Louisiana to Cleveland, France and Back!

Whew!  Yesterday was a pretty long day.  I got up at 3:30 a.m. To get on a 6 O'clock flight heading to Cleveland. Usually I go straight from Alexandria to Dallas and then on to Cleveland, arriving before noon.  For some odd reason though, I could not get a direct flight from Dallas and instead had to go through Charlotte, NC and THEN on to Cleveland (ugh!).  More stops, more that can possibly go wrong , navigating an airport I'd never been in before AND an arrival time of almost 3 p.m.!  Well, I made it without any problems. However, my luggage did not...CRAP.  It literally had EVERYTHING in it.  So much that it was 12 pounds overweight (yikes!).  But come on...5 weeks is a LONG TIME.  And France...This came on the heels of me mentally kicking myself for filling my LARGE Vera Bradley bag as a carry-on and possibly dislocating my shoulder and breaking my back by carrying it through those airports.  It was around 8 p.m.  I went to bed shortly after getting it back to Caitlin's house.  Only to find that TSA had searched said missing luggage and the inside was a total mess.  Yep...chock it up as  a travel day, go to bed and get up to a hopefully better next day.

The night before I left, I asked the other kids to come over for burgers and s'mores.  I was going to miss doing Halloween with them and HEY...5 weeks is a long time to be away from my other babies (as Parker Ann reminded me...).  They surprised me by all bringing the Halloween costumes I had bought them and tried them on so I could see them...
                                                Parker Ann wanted to be Ariel.
                                                    Lila Kate was a little lamb.
                                                          Livie was a peacock!
And, although Beckett wasn't  there, he sent me a picture of him in his cute little pilot costume!
  We had fun spending some time together...
                                    AND had some of those yummy s'more I promised!

So...here I am in Cleveland now.  Waiting for the arrival of Andrew.  And playing with this sweet little one...
                                Yep...Hot Chocolate fro Starbuck's was first on the agenda!

I plan on trying to document my entire travel as long as my blogger app works in France.  So, feel free to "follow" me on here, my Instagram (BARBARAROGENMOSER) or Facebook page (A Day in the Life of a Mom)

Faith, Food and My Big Fat Southern Family: Baby Dedication for Olivia Ryan

As you most likely know by now Sundays are our Big Family Days.  We all go to the same church and then come back to my house afterwards for Sunday lunch and then football game watching or perhaps even cat napping.  This week was only slightly different because of the fact that it was Olivia's Baby Dedication Day.

The preparations began the day before when Ryan brought us some pork to smoke on the Green Egg and I prepared my Italian Green Beans and Rice Consume'.  Allison prepared the rolls and drinks and her grandmother prepared two delicious desserts!  Since some of Allison's family was coming into town, she and Ryan decided to have Sunday lunch at their house.
Allison set a beautiful table and got to use her wedding china and crystal for the first time on this special occasion.

Baby Dedication Sundays are a really special occasion around our family because it is the time when the parents publicly declare their decision to bring their child up in a Christian home with Christian values and also rely upon the church to help guide them in the Biblical upbringing of their child.

The Baby Dedication service is also very special to me because all of my children were also dedicated in this very church and now they are each coming back to dedicate their own children here.  This will make my fifth grandchild to be dedicated here and it is something that just makes my heart smile.  Because, although, I have made many mistakes over the years, one thing that I attempted to do was to "Bring up a child in the way that he should go..."

It's a Race to the Finish Line...

NO...Don't worry your little head; I've not really entered an official "race".  I'm talking about things around here getting frantic as I attempt to pack for a 5 week trip!  I've been keeping a really close eye on baby Andrew's arrival and the word this week from the doctor was:  "Just cross your legs real tight because I think once YaYa gets here he's coming!"  CRAP...I changed a bunch of appointments and actively started packing my suitcase and then could not get a flight out until Wednesday.  I'm in that phase of waiting for a baby where you keep your phone plugged in on your bedside table, not that it will do any good if he decides to make his entrance into the world before Wednesday.  SO...Here's the deal:  We can drive straight from the airport to the hospital but PLEASE just not before then, Andrew...

If last week was a "rest week" this week was an "I can't get enough done week".  I find my mind racing about this packing.  It's not cold here but in Cleveland and France it is.  I'm having to pack pants and sweaters and coats and boots...all while wearing shorts and flip-flops!  Don't forget the camera or passports or travel documents.  OH MY GOSH...Get every medicine you own refilled so you don't run short of it while on your trip.  STOP.  THINK A MINUTE MORE...tap, tap, tap your finger on your chin.  Perhaps making a list wouldn't be a bad idea after all.

Monday started with a bang.  I got up early and headed over to Sarah's house to baby-sit both Lila Kate and Livie while Sarah and Allison went to appointments.  Next I took in a yoga class and then headed home to do laundry (an endless battle...) and pack.  No...not for my big trip but to go with Hubby down south for a couple of days.  He had meetings and asked if I would like to go with him.  Since one of the stops was New Orleans and David, Codi and Beckett still live there, the answer was OF COURSE!  And so I packed for a couple of days and out we headed Tuesday morning bright and early.  And just for the record...That would be 2 days in a row that started out with me up before the sun and I don't really like to get up before it comes up...Just for the record.

Hubby's Tuesday meetings didn't last too long and we were off to New Orleans where first of all we bought me a coat.  Yes...at this point I still did not have a coat for my trip and Hubby seemed more concerned about it than I did.  I kept telling him I would just get one once I got to Cleveland but I think waiting that long sorta made him nervous.  You see, he's more of the "list maker, neat packer, must unpack your clothes when on a trip" kinda guy.  Me?  "Don't make a list, if you forget it you can always buy it when you get there, leave your clothes in your suitcase the whole trip" kind girl.  Anyway...I got a coat! (Yay!).  Then we caught up with the kids and ate dinner with them...

We stayed at the Le Pavillion while in New Orleans.  Now, let me share what a neat place this is to stay.  Every night at 10 p.m. they put out a Peanut and Jelly Bar.  You heard me right!  A Peanut and Jelly Bar complete with white and chocolate milk and hot cocoa and marshmallows and whipped cream!  This was started September 10, 1988 when a gentleman checked into the hotel and asked the bartender for a glass of milk.  He said that he and his daughter had a glass of milk and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich each night before bed.  The bartender, who was also the general manager that night, turned this man's tradition into one for the Le Pavillion.  Now I'm still Paleo and don't eat peanut butter but Hubby sure does so we went downstairs for him to get a sandwich and milk...and I had a cup of hot cocoa.  I'm thinking that we MUST stay there again with the Grands...they would LOVE this so!

Wednesday morning before Hubby had to leave for his meeting we ate a delicious breakfast at the Ruby Red Slipper on Canal Street...

About that time, Hubby got a call saying that his meeting had been moved up so I told him to just drop me at The Shops at Canal Place.  He thought his meeting wouldn't last that long, however, it lasted pretty much all day.  Have you ever been to The Shops on Canal Street?!  Let's just say I was forced to visit every store there and purchase quite a few items (wink-wink!).

When we headed out of town we immediately knew that traffic was going to be a problem because we would be going through Baton Rouge right around 5 o'clock.  That's never a good thing.  And you see, I had promised the kids that we would meet them at the Parish Fair that evening.  I was trying to get everything I could in with them before I had to leave for such a long period of time.  It took us quite a while to get back and we were a little later than expected but the kids told us they would meet us at the Fairgrounds anyway...AND Hubby was not about to let the Fair come to town without him getting his candy apple!
                                                          First stop...CANDY APPLE!
                                           And Parker Ann's favorite...COTTON CANDY!

                                                               YaYa with her girls!

                                                                  Let the rides begin!

Thank goodness she rode this before I got there!  She did, however, save the Dizzy Dinosaurs for me to ride with her...

The Fair was a success and since I had agreed to baby-sit Livie the next morning while Allison went to help out at Ryan's office, I asked if I could change the time I had to be at their house from 7 to 8.  There were no arguments there (He-He!).
I kept this sweet munchkin all day Thursday and went home around 6 o'clock...exhausted.  Not from keeping her because she truly is the best baby but just from the entire week.  It had finally caught up with me and I was wanting some of that "rest" now.

I got up early (again...) because I had changed my hair appointment when I decided to head to Cleveland earlier, caught another yoga class and then visited with my mother.  When I finally got home Friday evening I had the house to myself because Hubby and Ryan were hunting in Mississippi.  I indulged myself with this...
A nice cup of hot chocolate.  Because it was Friday.  And I had made it through a very busy week.  And it was supposed to finally feel like fall this weekend I was told.  It was going to still be a race to the finish line but I was going to take time to put my feet up for a minute and sip this wonderful hot chocolate.  And dream of baby Andrew and France...(ahhh).