Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lowry Park Zoo

On Tuesday of our vacation, we visited the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. It was about a 45 min. drive form our condo and well worth it! Parents magazine had an article about the best zoos to visit in the US a few months ago and Lowry Park was in the Top 10,maybe even #1....I don't remember, but I decided then that since we were going to be so close we should try to visit. My friend Emily was coming up to visit us for the day so she met us at the Zoo.

Last summer we took Braden to Zoo Atlanta and he really enjoyed it. He was a little timid at the petting zoo at first but we stopped by on our way out of the park and he loved it. The patting zoo at Zoo Atlanta is really the only interactive area, as far as petting animals, but at Lowry Park Zoo you can pet a giraffe, ride a camel, feed lorikeets, and pet stingrays. Plus they have a really awesome children's area with water activities. The one thing that I wanted to do was pet the wallaroos, but it was closed for the summer.

We asked Braden which animal he wanted to see first and he said the monkeys, since he tells us that is his favorite animal. The monkeys were really neat, but I did miss seeing the gorillas at Zoo Atlanta. Next we visited the giraffe. It is amazing! He walks right up to a watch tower and will eat out of your hand and let you pet him. He has a HUGE tongue.

In one area of the zoo there is a camel that you can ride. Brad asked Braden if he wanted to ride the camel and he said yes. However, when he was on the camel he changed his mind! Brad had to hold onto him really tight because he was ready to get down! Oh well! He also rode the carousel which he loved, petted sting rays, fed birds, watched manatees swim, and played in the fountain! We only stayed for about 3 hours because it was SO hot, but it was a great zoo and we would love to visit it again!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Vacation 2009

Last Sunday we left early and I mean really early....4:30 am to be exact...headed to Madeira Beach, FL. I was a little apprehensive about traveling with a 2 year old like I always am , but he had his movies and snacks and he was great the entire trip! He woke up when we put him in the car, but fell asleep an hour later and slept until we stopped for breakfast around 7:30.

We arrived Sunday just after 12:00 and we decided that we would walk Braden out to the beach, then hit the pool and come back in to get ready for an early dinner. Our routine for the week was pretty much the same: On the beach by 11:00, lunch back at the condo around 12:15-12:30, back at the pool by 1:00 and Brad would bring Braden up for his nap around 2:15-2:30 and I would stay out for another hour, get ready for dinner, eat out, rest for the evening. It was such a nice relaxing week!

A few highlights from the week:
- We took Braden to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa on Tuesday. It was awesome! That will be another post.
- My good friend Emily and her boyfriend, Joe, met us at the zoo on Tuesday and hung out with us at the condo for the day.
-On Wednesday, Brad got stung by a stingray in the ocean and was in some serious pain for about 5 hours.

Braden had a great time. His new thing is telling us his favorites. A couple of times during the week he would say, "Beach is my favorite momma", "I love the ocean", etc. And of course everything we did was "This is so much fun". It was well worth the long drive to see him get so excited about playing in the ocean. He referred to the condo as our "White House" while we were there and on the way home he said he wanted to stay at the white house and not back to the brown house (our house)! We felt the same way!

We did our traditional beach pictures on Thursday night...we had to bribe Braden with candy to get his picture taken...and the wind was blowing my hair everywhere, so I wasn't super impressed with our pics this year. Oh, I also got burned our 2nd day there....yes me who NEVER burns. I actually did all week. I think it has something to do with the prenatal vitamins I'm on, b/c I even wore 15 SPF and usually I only wear 6 SPF. I know that is bad and I don't need a lecture!

We did bring home a ton of fresh seafood that we cooked for my parents, brother and his girlfriend on Sunday. Until next year...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vacation Here We Come!

Tomorrow morning, bright and early (5 am) we will be leaving for the beach! We are taking the laptop so I may try to blog while I am gone, but I doubt it! Check back next week for vacation pics!

Friday, June 5, 2009

2 Timothy 1:7

Yesterday was one of the scariest days Brad and I have ever had. Brad left work early to go to the doctor with me. My appointment had gotten cancelled the day before and rescheduled for yesterday at 1:30 so I was very anxious to get to my appointment. It was the big day when we were going to get to hear our precious new baby's heartbeat. The sound that I had been praying for and longing to hear for the past 5 weeks.

Dr. Kassam came in and met Brad and then told me that all of my blood work looks great and you know the rest of the drill. It was finally time to hear the heartbeat. Dr. Kassam tried for several minutes to locate the heartbeat all the while telling me that everything sounds great and it is still early to hear the heartbeat. He asked his nurse to go get a different sonogram machine and he continued trying to find the heartbeat for several minutes while trying to reassure Brad and me that it is still very early and everything is just fine. I was trying to remain calm and composed and screaming out in my head and heart to God to just let me me hear a heartbeat. Please Lord let me hear my baby's heartbeat. Brad looked concerned and started rubbing my arm. I think he could sense my panic. My biggest fear seemed to be coming true. Dr. Kassam must have sensed my fear because he asked if I would like an early ultrasound to check on everything and I said PLEASE!

While we were waiting for an appointment to be scheduled at RMC in the outpatient center I tried to not let the tears start rolling but they did. Molly, who works in the front office kept telling me that everything would be ok, but all I wanted was to get out of there so I could have my breakdown. When we got in the car the tears just started falling like crazy and Brad said it would be ok. Then he asked me how early we heard Braden's heartbeat and when I said 8 weeks he broke down also knowing that I was at 10 1/2 weeks already.

We had an hour to spare before our ultrasound appointment so we sat in the car and prayed for our baby and for peace if we were going to lose our baby. We didn't want to call and upset our parents so I called Lori to ask her to pray for us and some of the girls from our church were over for a play date and they started praying for us. I kept remembering what one of the ladies in my bible study class Wed. night had said while 4 of us pregnant ladies were discussing our fears and worries. She quoted 2 Timothy 1:7 which is a verse I'm sure all of us are familiar with: For God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control. I kept repeating this over and over in my head while we were waiting for the ultrasound and I felt a spirit of peace come over me.

When we went back for the ultrasound we finally saw our baby with a BEATING heart! Thank you Jesus! Brad saw it right away and said there is the heart and then tears started rolling down his cheeks again. Do you see why I love my husband?

Thank you Lord for our new precious baby. Thank you for a heart that beats.

Baby Hoffman

Mommy's School

Everyday when we drive past my school on our way home Braden says, "mommy's school" and he is always asking to come. He has visited me at school a couple of times this year and my kids just loved "Braden the baby". It is really funny that they think of him as a baby since he is just 2 years younger than some of them!

The last week of school my mom brought him into play centers and eat lunch with us. We had to eat lunch in our classrooms the last week of school which I hate, but Braden had a blast. Being the typical boy that he is he went straight for the block center with all of the trucks and cars. Here are some pictures from the day.

Playing with the cars and trailers in the block center

Dancing in the middle of the "boys and girls (gurllls)" as Braden says.

Dancing with Amelia...he loves her!

Eating his ice cream treat...YUM!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rockin' the Rod

Most days Braden wakes up from his nap looking rough! You can tell he sleeps hard! We always laugh at his hair and try to smooth it down because it sticks up all over the place! This afternoon when he woke up his hair reminded me of Rod Stewart. It was hilarious! So do you think Braden rocks the Rod as well as Rod Stewart?

Just Like Daddy

Saturday Brad, Braden and I spent the morning working in the yard. Brad was trimming the hedges and Braden was VERY interested in what he was doing. I remebered that Santa had brought Braden a chainsaw for Christmas and he wasn't interested in it at the time so I put it away. After getting it for Braden and showing him how it worked he followed Brad around the yard "helping Daddy cut the leaves". He was so cute. When Brad would put his hedge trimmer on the back of the truck for a minute Braden would sit his right beside it and when Brad would stand back to check what he missed Braden would follow him and stand right beside him to check it out. It was so precious!