Friday, May 31, 2013

"Savannah would be better for you. You'll just get in trouble in Atlanta." -- Mammy to Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind

I don't know if Mammy is right about Atlanta, because I've never been there, but I will say that Savannah, Georgia is one of my favorite cities.  Chad and I spent our second anniversary there and I fell in love with its southern charm.  Luckily for me, I got to go back last weekend with three of my favorite people.  When my mother-in-law mentioned having a Reese girls' weekend in May, she didn't have to twist my arm to get me to agree.  Then when she mentioned Savannah as the potential place, I couldn't WAIT.

We left bright and early on Friday morning and had a blast chatting and laughing all the way to Georgia.  I didn't grow up with sisters, and I'm so thankful I lucked out with such awesome ones when I married Chad.  We always joke, because Meredith (Chad's sister) was the only girl in their family, I am the only girl in my family, and Lauren (Tyler's wife) was the only girl in her family.  It was meant to be.  We threaten Cameron all the time to be sure to find a wife who has no sisters of her own, so her loyalty to them won't supersede her loyalty to us.  

When we arrived in Savannah, we checked into our hotel and then headed to Vic's on the River, one of the top restaurants in the city.  We scored a great table looking over the river and had a gluttonous meal.  Our waiter had a red handle-bar mustache and looked like he was going to break out into song at any minute.  I still can't believe, given our track record from last year's cruise, that we didn't take any photos of the food this trip, because so much of it was GORGEOUS.  Seriously.  It was so yummy.  We left completely stuffed, wondering how we would manage to eat another gourmet meal a mere five hours later.  We managed.

Maybe it's because we worked off some calories at the local TJ Maxx and Ross, which happen to be some of our favorite bargain hunting stops.  

That night, we headed to The Olde Pink House for dinner, which I was super excited about, since it's where Chad and I splurged on our anniversary dinner almost six years ago.  I still remembered how divine the cuisine was after all these years, and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint.  Best of all, this time, I didn't have to worry about post-dinner tummy expansion, since I went in with a huge belly full of Everett.  It's one of the perks of being pregnant:  you don't have to worry about looking pregnant when you leave, because you ARE pregnant.  

We ate at fabulous places the entire weekend, but The Olde Pink House was by FAR my favorite, even though our waiter was pretty much out to lunch most of the time and was a real dud.  The rest of the staff was super attentive, though, and even if they hadn't been the food was spectacular.  The pork tenderloin made me think I'd died and gone to Heaven.  

The next day we started off bright and early to tour the city via a trolley car.  We had a great time admiring all of the beauty the city has to offer.  

 The man who gave us our trolley passes made sure Everett got a "My first trolley ride!" sticker, so we had to take a picture of my bump in front of the trolley.  Here I was at 32 weeks:

Of course, a trolley ride through Savannah wouldn't be complete without stops for, you guessed it, FOOD!

We stopped in to see Paula Deen . . . well, her cardboard cutout, at The Lady and Sons and grabbed lunch while we were there.  

Our waiter had some explaining to do when he told us the soup of the day.  Joy was not pleased with Paula's selection and made sure she told him so by exclaiming, "That sounds disgusting!"  And honestly, it did sound terrible.  And, the waiter admitted he'd NEVER tried it.  Dead.  Give.  Away.  Then, to butter him up afterwards, she made sure he knew how excited we all were that Bobby was finally engaged!  Paula's restaurant is probably paradise for some "hoity, toity Yankee" who never gets good Southern food.  To me, it was good, but not much different from Sunday dinner at Joy's house.  Although, the cheddar biscuits were fabulous, and I may have stashed one in my purse to save for later on the way out.  I do think it's worth eating there, especially if you have a special place in your heart for the butter queen, and I do.  There's a darling cute store attached to the restaurant where you can purchase all things Paula.  

My favorite food stop of the day, and the reason we eventually cancelled our dinner reservation, was Leopold's Ice Cream, which is one of the top ice cream parlors in the United States.  They make all of their ice cream right on site, and when you taste it you know it.  

We were a bit put off at first when we saw the line stretching down the block just to get in.  Johnny Rocket, the most recent trainee, assured us that 1)  it was worth the wait and 2) the wait wouldn't be longer than 20 minutes.  Also, Mr. Rocket, promised us a chilled glass of water to arrive shortly for those waiting in line.  

Well, Mr. Rocket only delivered on number 1.  We never saw him again, but that may have something to do with Joy's threat that, "We will find you," if we had to wait longer than the aforementioned time.

Also, apparently, Savannah is Mecca for Girls Scouts, since the founder started the Girl Scouting program in Savannah a bazillion years ago.  Well, some troop (that'd be a lot more than one) decided to try to weasel their skinny, pre-pubescent heinies in front of us in line, to which I may have vocalized, "Um, we love your thin mints, but you still need to get to the back of the line."  Because Baby Everett was not about to wait five more minutes for his ice cream cone.  

We each got a double scoop and my coconut and strawberry rivaled the gelato in Italy.  And that's saying something.  You can read my tribute to Italian ice cream here.  

Another fun part of being in Savannah was getting to tour some of the historic homes.  We toured two:  The Andrew Low House and The Davenport House.

We even managed to catch brunch one day at 700 Drayton, which is part of the Forsyth Mansion.  The atmosphere there was so beautiful.  

It really was such an amazing trip.  A huge thanks goes to Joy for treating us to such a special weekend, her and my sisters for being such fabulous company, and to the husbands for toughing it out at home alone, so we could have a much needed break.

I can't wait for next year's trip . . . . although, it will probably be several years down the road with new babies on the way, before we're able to do it again.  That made this trip even more priceless.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Saying Goodbye to the Bibi

Kaden has long loved his pacifier, or should I say pacifiers.  I'm not sure how it started, but there was a long spell where he had to have three "bibis" (so dubbed by the Kadester himself) in order to fall asleep at night.  One held in each hand and one in the place of honor in his mouth.  For a while, he even had specific color preferences; we always had to have a blue and a white bibi on hand at all times.  Let me tell you, there was many a panicked bedtime that Chad and I were hunting all over the house for a bibi that was the right color.  He was also very particular about the brand.  He would only take a MAM pacifier from the time he was an infant.

We started talking about him getting rid of his bibi nearly a year ago, but it seemed like there was always some reason to put it off.  We were moving into a new house and didn't want to upset his routine anymore than it already was.  We were traveling and wanted him to be able to have it while we were away.  We were spending the holidays with family and didn't want them to have to deal with a cranky, bibi-less toddler.  I was sick and pregnant and loved that the bibi was a perfect nap time bribe.  We did manage to wean him down to only one bibi and to only using that for sleeping.  He would totally stash them in random places, though, and try sneaking them during the day.  I always knew when he said, "Mommy, I just need to close this door," it meant he was going to go for the bibi.  It was hilarious.

Needless to say, we have been talking about the Bibi Fairy coming to claim the bibis for sad babies who need them for a very long time.  Here's how our first conversation about the Bibi Fairy went:

Me:  Kaden, if you give your bibis to the Bibi Fairy, she will bring you a present!  Wouldn't that be awesome?!

Kaden:  Yes!

Me:  What present do you think you'd want her to bring you?

Kaden:  A blue bibi!!!

We decided he wasn't quite ready . . .

The conversation continued to evolve and around the time he moved into his big boy bed, we started telling him it was going to be time to say goodbye to his bibi for good.

We had an entire week leading up to the big send off to emotionally prepare all of us.

On Monday, we talked about it during family home evening.  Chad made Kaden a sticker chart, where he could put a sticker on every day from Monday until Saturday.  He drew all these pictures on Saturday of what we were going to do for the "Bibi Party," and we talked about how he would wake up on Sunday morning and have a present waiting from the Bibi Fairy herself.  Kaden did most of the explaining, since we'd talked about it so much over the couple of weeks prior.  He kept saying, "I'm a big boy," and "My bibi can hurt my teeth."

We faithfully marked off the days on the sticker chart all week.  Every night we counted how many days were left until the Bibi Fairy got to come.

Then, on Saturday, it was too late to turn back.

After Kaden woke up from his nap, it was game time.

We drove to the dollar store to pick out a balloon to send the bibi on it's way to Bibi Fairy Land.  Kaden chose the Spiderman balloon, only to find out that they had no helium left, so we were stuck with the patriotic ones left in the display. I felt a bit guilty when we realized one balloon wasn't going to lift the thing off the ground.  Nor were two.  Or three.  We totally tied a piece of plastic to five foil balloons, and I'm sure some seagull bit the dust somewhere because we showed so little concern for the environment.  Anyway, we went to the park to say goodbye to the bibi.

I love his expression here.  He's definitely not too sure about this.

A little encouragement from Daddy:

 You want me to do what?
 And they're off . . .

 What have I done?

 And this is why we jeopardized the life of a seagull . . . the higher the balloons went, the more excited he became.  The balloon send off was the perfect way to make him excited about the fact that he no loner had his comfort object.

Then we stayed and played at the park for a bit.

 Before coming home and having celebratory cupcakes, which Kaden had helped decorate earlier.
Kaden did have a hard time falling asleep that night.  We had to sing lots of extra songs and give lots of extra cuddles, but he honestly did so awesome!  He asked for a new bibi a few times and said he needed to go outside to see if the balloons were in our yard.  We just kept reminding him that he was a big boy now and that we didn't have his bibi anymore, because he'd given it to the Bibi Fairy.  By ten o' clock the house was silent and we were all going night-night.

And, in the morning, true to her word, the Bibi Fairy had left Kaden two new trucks to play with.

He wouldn't nap on Sunday, which had me SUPER scared, but he did sleep through the night Sunday.  He did take a nap this afternoon without even asking for his bibi, so I am hopeful we can stick with the same daytime routine.

I am honestly so proud of Kaden for being so brave.  I thought this would be a lot harder of a transition for him.  He never ceases to amaze me.  We love you, Kaden Bug!  Way to be!

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