Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rockin On The Railway

Last weekend Chris and I took the kids to ride on the North Pole Express! It is a yearly ride on antique train cars (made in the fourties and fifties) With hot chocolate, "The Night Before Christmas" and a visit from Santa and his Elves! Chris discovered the Tennessee Central Railway Museum when he and Rogan went out for the day by themselves. Chris was trying to find a place that Rogan could look at the trains around Nashville and this little gem popped up on the GPS. It is a tiny museum, but the inside of the building is not really the attraction here. It is the working railway that the own and give rides on all year long! They do everything from murder mystery rides, to fall and spring foliage viewing, They give exclusive rides to home schooling groups, "Thomas the Train" even comes to visit in September! We knew that we had to get tickets to ride the North Pole Express, being that Rogan is so fascinated by all things train right now. He was so excited Friday night that it took him forever to fall asleep! We got there about thirty minutes before boarding time, so Ameryn and Rogan had time to check out all of the model trains they had in the waiting room.
Rogan was not to happy that I made him stop for a photo op with Santa's elves :)
Oooh, look at the trains!
See the bridge Mommy?
Here comes Santa Claus!
Is he still there?

They had such a good time, and Rogan is still tells people that he got to ride a train! I can definitely see this becoming a tradition for us. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fall Creek Falls

A few weekends ago we had some beautiful upper 60's lower 70's degree weather. So what did the Bates household do? Took a day trip to Fall Creek Falls! We didn't realize that it was a two hour drive when we set out, but we went with it:) . It is such a beautiful place and the kids loved all of the waterfalls, not to mention getting to stand on the edge of cliffs. I was surprisingly not overly fearful of them tumbling down into the abyss ( which may have to do with the iron grip I had on them), and only almost had a panic attack while walking across the suspension bridge. Not because I was afraid of falling, but because I kept having flashbacks of a very scary incident at Wonder Works Emporium (in Gatlinburg). I will just say that it had to do with Rogan, an inversion tunnel, and a shoe. Anyway, here are some pictures of our adventure!

Leave it to beaver :)
Rogan is really excited in this one!
The scary swinging bridge.
He loves his sister!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ameryn Says the Dampedest Things

Last Sunday Ameryn and Rogan spent some time hanging out with my parents and siblings while Chris and I went out with some friends. Ameryn had started saying that her ear hurt a little earlier in the afternoon, but as it was Sunday and no Drs. offices were opened, we decided to give her some Tylenol and take her in the morning. She was doing fine when we dropped them off with some happy meals and kisses, promising to see them later that evening. I left my cell phone at home because we were taking the motorcycle, and I would have nowhere to keep it. I thought that Chris had his on him, but he had left his at home as well. Ameryn's ear really started to hurt later in the evening, and her fever started to spike. She was pretty pitiful, I was told, and spent the evening snuggled up to her Mimi. At one point my brother David came in to the room and asked if Ameryn would like to sit with him for awhile. She said yes and they settled down in a chair together. "Wow Ameryn, you're really hot. Let me go get you a damp rag" he told her. He got up to get her a nice damp rag, and Ameryn went back over to Mimi. They waited for about ten minutes for David to come back (he doesn't get in any kind of hurry), when Ameryn looked up at her Mimi and said in the sweetest little voice " Mimi, where's my dam rag?" My mom did her best to hold in the laughter and asked her what she said. "Where's David with my dam rag? I really need a dam rag." What made it even more hilarious is that she was saying this with the sweetest, most pitiful little voice. She really needed that dam rag!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

So SmOoOoky!

I am a sleep walker, talker, seeing I have been for as long as I can remember. I once got out of bed, went out the front door, and knocked on our neighbors front door at about three in the morning. I remember falling down in the grass on my way back home, and then nothing until I woke up in my bed later that morning. I was about six. My Dad was sure to engage the chain lock on our door the next night and waited to see if I would attempt my escape again. Sure enough around the same time I came out of my bedroom and started trying to open the door. I could not, so I just stood there pulling repeatedly at the handle. My Dad decided to undo the chain and watch what I was going to do next. I stepped out onto the porch and just stood there for a few minutes. When my Dad asked me what I was doing I replied "Don't you know Dad? I'm floating." I only remember him bringing me back into my bed and asking me what I was doing. I was very insistent that I was in fact floating. I had started to wake up by then, and knew that what I was saying was silly, but just couldn't make myself say anything else! I have continued to do things like this even until now (though I have never to my knowledge left my house again).I even freaked out my newly wed husband by trying to catch the wagon wheel on a pole with giant nails sticking out of it that was falling onto him...twice. For the past few months I will suddenly wake up as if someone had yelled my name, and see a huge spider sliding down his web from the wall toward my face. I will jump out of bed to turn the light on only to find that the spider has disappeared. I have apparently passed this trait onto my children. Ameryn has woken up crying numerous time watching things on her ceiling that I can not see. She also talks, and will even answer questions you ask her with a hilarious "yisssss" when her answer is yes. Well, the night before last something very smooky (Ameryn's version of "spooky") happened. I snapped out of a deep sleep to see not a spider, but a giant black beetle crawling down the wall. Being that I am not as deathly afraid of beetles as I am of spiders, I lay there watching it until it slowly disappeared. As soon as it had faded into oblivion Rogan woke up crying in his room. I went into his room and found him crying, staring at his pillow. "What is it buddy?" I asked. "The cricket" he answered. I searched through his bed, insisting that there was no cricket lurking anywhere in it, until he was appeased enough to go back to sleep. When I got back into bed I told Chris that It was really weird that I had just seen a beetle on the wall and then Rogan wakes up with a phantom cricket in his bed. I went back to sleep only to be woken up with Ameryn about two inches away from my face ten minutes later. "Mommy, there is a beetle crawling down my wall" she said pitifully. I got up and checked it out, finding no beetles. She went back to bed, only to get back up about thirty minutes later tell me that the beetle came back. I rechecked her bed, and let her sleep with the lights on (which is a surefire method of keeping ghost bugs at bay). After that we had no more night time visits of the arthropodian kind, for which I am very grateful! So what do you think, pretty smooky? I thought so!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Ate A Leaf Once...

Ahh Ameryn, my sweet , wonderful, precocious daughter. She says some crazy things!Recently while we were talking I was reminded about a funny thing Amy told me that happened while Chris and I were in Barbados. Brent was asking her where her favorite place to eat was and she replied " McDonalds." " Ok, but if you could eat anything in the world, what would you eat?" Her response? "I ate a leaf once." I was laughing so hard when Amy told me this! I forgot to ask Ameryn about it until She and I were discussing why it is that some people like the way fish tastes and some people don't (this is mainly because she and her Daddy love seafood, but I cannot stand it). I was explaining that it was the same thing as her hating "long beans" (green beans) and me loving them, when she said "long beans just taste like grass, or maybe a leaf." In that moment the "I ate a leaf once" statement came back to me and I asked her to tell me the story of the time that she ate a leaf. "Well," she stated, " It was when David, Kaley, Rogan, Aubrey and I were playing hide and seek outside. None of the other babies were out there, it was just us. Well, I was hiding behind the spider tree"-"Wait, what is the spider tree?" I asked (not only out of curiosity, but so that I can avoid it in the future). " It is the one with all of the baby rocks around it and it has a hip like this" she says as she puts her hand on one hip and juts it out to one side. "Oh, OK" I said even though I still was not quite sure of the one the was describing. "Well I was behind it and there was a stick with six leafis on it. I picked it up and took one off so then there were five leafis on it (the equation is apparently essential to the story). And then I ate one...all of it." She said matter-of-factly. I was trying so hard not to laugh because she was so nonchalant about eating leaves, or leafis, whichever the case may be. "Did you like it?" I asked her. " It tasted kind of like lettuce" She replied. Chris gave her the talk about why we don't eat wild plants, and I don't think that she will be experimenting with exotic tastes anytime soon, but I expected this more from Rogan and not the my little girly girl! :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Busy Busy!

Summer has passed too quickly this year! It seems like it barely got hot enough to swim before it started cooling down again! And we apparently have two monsoon seasons in Tennessee, or at least that is the way it was this year. I am so glad to see the (albeit much cooler) sun last week! Too bad it has hidden its self again! We have been very busy this summer, with Ameryn's and Rogan's birthday's, their combined party, weekend trips to Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Panama City Beach, Family visiting for the Fourth of July, Ameryn getting a new pet, Ameryn starting homeschooling for kindergarten, Ameryn placing first runner up in the fairest of the fair pageant, and Chris and I celebrating our 8th anniversary in Barbados! We have had so much fun this year, and I can't wait for the warm weather to return (I don't do very well in the cold). But now, let me introduce you to my little friend.
This is Josie! She is a sweet little sugar glider:)
isn't she cute!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Conversations With My Son

Rogan is talking so much these days. He has moved on from the talking just to get something to actually carrying on a conversation with you. These are not yet as deep and thought provoking as the conversations that I have with Ameryn, but are great just the same. Here are just a few short examples to let you get a taste of his personality.
ROGAN: Mommy, see my hand (he is showing me his empty cupped palm)?

ME: Yeah buddy, I see it.

ROGAN Sighing: See, there no doughnut.

ROGAN: Mommy I poop my mouth!

ME: Wait, you did what?!

ROGAN excitedly: I poop my mouth!

I am getting slightly nervous now about what he could be meaning when he lets out a little burp.

ROGAN: See, I poop my mouth!!
Wow, I am going to have to work on his terminology!

ROGAN: Mommy, I want night night.
ME: You just woke up buddy, do you really want to go back to bed?
ROGAN: No, I want Mommy night night. He then snuggled into my lap :)

We have longer winded conversations, but these usually happen while he is ahem on the toilet, which is about the only time that he is still for more than a few seconds. I won't get into those on here, as they are often very detailed accounts of what he is doing at the time with some other hilarious things mixed in. I will have to figure out how to post a video on here so that you can actually here his sweet little voice and laugh with us at the way he says things! I don't know what I will do when he stops saying he wants to "holded" something or when he doesn't give an enthusiastic "yeah" when you ask him something!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Little Miss Fairest Of The Fair

Ameryn was in the "Little Miss Fairest Of The Fair" pageant last night. This was the first year that she had to walk the stage all by herself! They would not let parents be backstage, and she was feeling a bit nervous when I had to leave before the pageant started. Chris and I could see her from where we were sitting, and it took her no time to make friends with the little girl beside her. She did so good walking out and smiling in front of the crowd! We were so excited for her when she made top fifteen (there were thirty girls altogether). She pretty much had no idea what was happening when she made top five, but was so excited when they started calling out names and giving out pretty silver plates to the winners. She placed first runner up! She loved having her picture made and showing her fancy plate off to everyone! Being the forgetful person that I am, I did not bring our camera to the pageant, so here are a few shots from when we got home. Katelyn is going to do a photo shoot with her in her dress, so I will have more pictures to post soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Ameryn!

Time flies by when you are having fun. That is so true of the time that we have had with our wonderful firstborn. She has been such a joy for us! It is so hard to believe that it was five years ago today that we were so incomprehensibly blessed with our daughter! I will share with you the day that our lives were so radically, and yet beautifully changed. I went to bed Tuesday night as usual. I felt no different than I had any other night in my final month. I fully believed that I would hold onto this baby until the scheduled induction I had for Friday. You see, I was five days overdue, and the were expecting me to have a giant baby being that I was so huge. I had to have another ultrasound about a month prior to check on her size because they were worried that she would be too big for me! She measured perfectly at that time, and they estimated that she would be between seven and nine pounds at birth. Chris and I were not worried about her size, we had always figured that with both of us being a little more than eight pounds at birth, our kids would be around that too. I had taken Tuesday off from work, figuring that I should take my boss up on the offer to take a day off to relax before I had the baby. I was fully intending to go back to work on Wednesday and work until my induction. Ameryn, thankfully, had other plans for my week! at 12:30 a.m. I startled awake. I really had no idea why, but after laying there for no more than three seconds I heard and felt a little "pop." I rushed into the restroom and sure enough, my water had broken. I tried to call out for Chris, who had fallen asleep on the couch. I finally got up and made my way into the living room to wake him up. I didn't have to do much three words brought him back from his eight hour coma in a snap. "My water broke" and he jumped up and gave me a hug, and voiced the question that was on my mind "what do we do now?" I had not really planned for this. In my mind labor always begun with contractions that you timed and new when things were getting close. We knew that once my contractions were five minutes apart it was time to call Dr. Scott and head to the hospital. I mean geez, didn't this usually happen well into labor, sometimes not until right before delivery? It was not what i was anticipating, but I was rolling with it (but really, there was not anything else I could do:). I called my doctors after hours service, hoping they were not going to tell me to wait around until I started contracting! They didn't. After a few questions to be fairly certain that it was my water breaking, not just some other issue that can happen with a very pregnant woman, the answering nurse put the call into the doctor, assuring me that they would call me back in minutes. I did not wait long before the phone rang again and Dr. Scott told me to head to the hospital. It was her surgery day, so my delivering Dr. would be Dr. Crowe. I had met and had a few appointments with Dr. Crowe, so I was not to upset not to have my regular doctor. Chris and I each got a shower and quickly made our way to The hospital. After a brief test to be sure that things were really happening, we were shown back to our room. I was hooked up to monitoring devices and given my IV. They gave me pitocin to start contractions, being that my water had already broken and I was not having any yet. My Mom and Amy arrived shortly there after. I was going to try and deliver without an epidural, but pitocin brings on hard and strong contractions form square one, and I was having a lot of intense pain from it. I labored for four hours before I gave in and asked for some relief. I was terrified of the giant needle that was about to be inserted into my epidural space, but I was relieved that there was an end to the pain in sight. They would not let Chris hold my hand during the procedure, and I could only get a glimpse of Amy from where the nurse was standing. They had to tell me to calm down a few times and try to slow my breathing ( I was pretty much hyperventilating at this point) but once they were done everything was great! I could watch myself contracting on the monitor, and actually be relaxed enough to relax some. Notice that I said "relax" and not "sleep" people are always wanting you to get some sleep while in labor, and for me that is simply not possible. I don't really know how anybody would be able to sleep with a baby coming, but I digress. I pretty much had no progression and only dilated to about a two before 7:00 a.m. Chris' family and my Dad arrived shortly there after. I was pretty comfortable through the morning, finally progressing to a four at about 10:00 a.m. Dr. Crowe came and checked on my progress at about noon, and discovered that I had progressed two more centimeters to be at a six! They expected me to be at least a few more hours, so Dr. Crowe went to check on a lady who was a bit farther along than I was. I had started to feel a lot of pressure at this point and was feeling that things were really starting to happen. I asked for the nurse to check me again. They really didn't think it was necessary since I had just been checked an hour before, but they went ahead with it and discovered that I was a full 10 centimeters dilated! They paged Dr. Crowe and started to get things ready for the new baby. They decided to let me push, telling me that I would be pushing for at least two hours. After my first attempt the nurse got a funny look on her face and said to get Dr. Crowe immediately. Apparently I was much more efficient than they had anticipated :) . They had me stop pushing (which is next to impossible when your body decides to do it without your help) and Dr. Crowe came running in. In 15 minutes total Ameryn came into this world. It was 1:50 p.m., after 13 hours and 20 minutes of labor. She had beautiful golden blond hair and eyes that were so blue that you knew that they would stay blue. She weighed 8 lbs 4 1/2 oz, and was 20 1/4 inches long. She was such a good baby, and would sleep for five hours at night as soon as we brought her home (that lasted for about a week :). She has been such a blessing in our lives. She has a love for music, dancing, and all things Daddy! We love you sweet girl!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Weekend In Gatlinburg

We decided this past week to take a little weekend trip to Gatlinburg. I started looking on the Internet for cabin rentals, but then we thought that we have never reserved anything before so why start now? Also we thought it might be nice for the kids to have a pool, and I have not seen a cabin with one yet :) . I got us all packed and ready and we started to leave Friday night. I say started because we made it across the green bridge and decided that we would get there so late (like midnight) that it would not be worth it! So we turned around, grabbed some dinner, and headed home. I set my alarm that night for 3a.m., thinking that I would get up and run to Walmart before it was time to go and get a few things that we would need. Didn't happen. I hit the snooze button until 3:30 and finally got up to shower and get ready to go. Chris and I got the car packed and woke the kids up around 4:30. They had a quick wardrobe change and got settled in the car for their long sleep to Gatlinburg! I love it that we were blessed with two very good car riders. Practically any drive longer than 30 minutes and they will go to sleep :) . We did have a hard time with Rogan at first, he would cry and cry in the car. When he turned one, and we were able to turn his car seat to the forward facing position, everything changed. He went from a crabby car rider to a very happy one! He just wanted to be able to see what was going on I guess! After heading out on the road I realized that I had forgotten to pack Rogan some shoes! So when we stopped in Clarksville to eat breakfast I had to run into Walmart and grab him some new ones! I was also able to pick up the few things that we needed then (instead of at 3a.m.), so it all worked out! when we got into Pigeon Forge, our friend Rachel called my phone. they were in Gatlinburg with another couple and wanted to know if we wanted to meet up for lunch. We were just coming up to the shopping center that they were at so we thought that we would stop and say hi right then. After learning what wild and crazy people were, ( going to Gatilinburg in peak season without a reserved place to stay is not for the feint of heart) who were not yet committed to any sleeping facility, they offered us the extra room in the cabin that they were staying in. We were quite shocked at the invite, and had no intentions of intruding on their trip, especially with two children in tow! They were very insistent, however, and we ended up staying with them that night. The cabin was gorgeous, and the kids had their very own jacuzzi bath tub to play in! We had so much fun shopping, go carting and bungee jumping (Skip and Rachel, we just cheered them on :)! We said goodbye to Skip, Rachel, and new friends Steve-o and Susanna, the next morning. It was so blazing hot that we decided to find a good place in the mountain to wade. Chris did an excellent job of finding the perfect spot while the kids and I took a little nap! The water was freezing, and Rogan did not want to go in it for awhile. This of course did not deter Ameryn, and she took to the water immediately! Rogan was quite content to throw rocks into the water for awhile.
I got in as well!
Who says you can't wade in a dress?
Rogan finally got in when he realized that the best throwing rocks are in fact in the water!
He was trying to follow his Daddy in this one. :)
Showing off her weapons of mass destruction.
Rogan is not a fan of wet clothing, so as each item got wet, they had to come off!
My family! We finished the day in downtown Gatlinburg with shopping, an arcade, and dinner at Cherokee Steak House. It was a really fun trip,I can't wait to go back!