Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rest And Relaxation

This past week, the week in between Christmas in New Years, our office was closed. It was such a nice time to have time off, recoup and get ready for 2012.
Not only was I off work but I got to cash in some of my Christmas gifts. I got some great gifts for Christmas from Jason, Amelia, Bazzle and Muzzy. I didn't give any specifics of what I wanted but I did say I would prefer something relaxing and pampering. Well...my gifts were perfect! I got a 1 1/2 hour prenatal massage, a haircut and a facial. I booked my massage for my week off but I planned on saving the other certificates for when February gets a little closer. I thought I should spread out the pampering over the next few weeks.
The massage was heavenly. I haven't been able to lay on my stomach in months but with the help of the pregnancy pillow, I could. I had to take a picture of the pillow...it looked pretty silly!The holes seemed huge before I got on the massage table but once I got situated in the pillow, it fit pretty good. Fitting into a pillow that looks like the above picture is a little depressingThe massage felt so good...I could definitely tell that I was tense in certain places!
Well after I realized how good it felt to get a little pampering, I decided to book my haircut AND my facial. Haha...so much for spreading out the pampering.
The haircut wasn't anything drastic. Just a trim...it had been since May since I had my last haircut so it was pretty bad. It's amazing what a fresh trim did for me...so refreshing!
The facial was good but it took a bit for me to get comfortable. Because I have a huge basketball for a belly, it makes breathing a little more difficult. Add a steamer, facial masks and warm towels wrapped on my face with just a hole for my nose makes breathing even more difficult. The facial felt so good but there were a few times were I had to sit up to catch my breath or move the towel away from my face so I could breath. I was a little embarrassed to be so fidgety during certain parts but it couldn't be helped.
After my days of pampering, I came home and rested a little more with these two sweet boys. They love snuggling on the couch with their mama...and this mama loves snuggling on the couch with her boys!
It has definitely been a relaxing week and I'm ready to take on the next few weeks before Amelia gets here and I'm out on maternity leave.

Bump Updates: Week 32

Here is the bump update for week 32....
How far along? 32 weeks and 3 days (Saturday, December 31, 2011)
How big is the baby? The size of a honeydew melon
Sleep? Sleep is about the same. Still tossing and turning a lot with some hip pain but I'm still getting pretty good rest, which I'm thankful for!
Food Cravings? Mexican. I'm not sure what changed because I got so sick on Mexican in my first trimester that I never thought I would eat it again but this week I couldn't get enough tortillas!
Gender? It's a GIRL...Amelia Jean
Best moment this week? Laying in bed with Jason's hand resting on my stomach feeling Amelia go crazy. I bet she kicked 30 times in a row...daddy couldn't believe how active his little girl is at night. We just laughed and laughed, which seemed to make her want to kick even more.
Development? Amelia is still putting on some weight...she is growing so much! She has been practicing all of her moves for when she gets out of the womb. She is constantly swallowing, breathing, kicking and sucking. Amelia's skin is no longer see-through. Her skin is like ours now, with fat being added right under her skin.
Noteables? I'm not sure when Amelia will turn and stay turned. I bet she flips, from sideways to up-and-down, multiple times a day. She loves tumbling in mommy's tummy! She also gets the hiccups. She must really being practicing her sucking/swallowing skills because she has hiccuping fits a few times a day. I love being able to feel her flipping and tumbling around...she's getting to be such a big girl!

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011: Looking Back

I love looking back at each of the photo folders for 2011...it's amazing to see what all we did the past 12 months. We've definitely had a busy, but awesome past year!
January: In January we were finishing up the last few months of clinicals in California. My mom flew in to see us and we decided to spend New Years day in Pasadena, California at the Rose Parade.
February: This was our last full month in California. We headed to the coast for some last minute Californian sun. We went four-wheeling on the sand duns...so much fun! We also had to pack up our apartment for the next stage, residency. We had no idea how much of a process this would be. How did we get so much?!
March: After we made the 38 hour drive from California to Missouri, we had a week to spend with family and friends before we were packing our suitcases again. While we were home for that week, we found out that Jason matched in his first choice for residency. Anesthesiology at Penn State-Hershey would be our next home. We didn't have much time to celebrate because we had one last clinical rotation to complete. This time we were heading across the pond for a 6 week stay in England so Jason could complete his pediatrics rotation.
April: We had some special visitors come and stay with us for a few days. My sister and niece came to England to help us explore more of the country. We flew home April 29th, the day of the Royal Wedding, and we were beyond grateful for our experience! We had such an amazing time...counting down the days when we can go back!
May: We celebrated three birthdays: Ana, Brock and Lance. It was good to be home to be part of their special days. We also flew to St. Maarten for Jason's medical school graduation. It was so nice to go back to the island for a vacation/celebration! We had to pack up all of our things and load them into a moving POD so we could ensure that our things made it to Pennsylvania before we got there.
June: We made the move to Hershey, Pennsylvania to start the next chapter of our lives. Little did we know how much our lives were about to change. A positive pregnancy test...Yay! I still don't think we'll really know how much our lives are about to change until she gets here..haha.
July: Jason started his residency and I couldn't resist a picture. He is such a handsome doctor!
We also made time to go and explore the chocolate capital of the country. The chocolate factory and the town were toured and conquered! We also got to see our little one for the first time--love at first sight.
August: We went and toured the Indian Echo Caverns. We really made an effort to explore and see as much of the area as possible when Jason had time off. We really enjoyed the cave!
We also started looking for our first house. Our apartment was nice but we wanted to have our own place.
September: We went to our first Harrisburg Senators baseball game at City Island. We were given tickets through my work and we couldn't resist the peanuts and crackerjacks. September was also the rainy season...it rained 29 days out of the month. Because of all the rain, our area was severely flooded during the end of the month and into October.
October: We bought our first house!! We were able to get all the necessary paperwork submitted and we were given our keys to our first home! Such an exciting time. We also went to the National Apple Festival and to Gettysburg. Both were a lot of fun...so much history so close to where we live. At the end of the month, we also got our first big snow (6 inches). It made for a chilly night for trick-or-treating!
November: I participated in a charity walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It was such a rewarding night. My mom came to visit for a few days...she was such a breath of fresh air. It was so nice having her here!! We also spent Thanksgiving with Jason's family in Western Pennsylvania. It was the first holiday with them and it was wonderful!
December: Alissa came to visit us during her vacation week. She not only came to visit but she took our maternity pictures! She's such a great photographer and she gave us some great memories! We also spent our first Christmas in Pennsylvania. Jason was able to get some time off and we had some special visitors.

2011 was AMAZING...I wouldn't trade it for anything but I'm SOOO excited to see what 2012 has in store. God has been so great to our family this past year and in the past years. It's so easy to forget where we've been and how far we've come but looking back at pictures, it's a little easier to remember.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Conway Family Update

I realized after looking over my past blog posts that it's been WAY too long since I've given an update on the whole Conway family.
Jason: Residency has been a definite adjustment over the past six months. It's crazy to think that he will be starting his 7th month of residency in January. In December, Jason was scheduled in the Emergency Room and for January he will be back in the operating room. For anesthesia, he only gets to be in the operating room doing anesthesia for 6 months out of the year and the other 6 months he's used in other specialties around the hospital. He doesn't mind the other rotations but he loves it when his anesthesia months come around. He's really looking forward to getting back in the OR. The first week of January is his second week of vacation that he gets to cash in. Before he started in July, the hospital assigned him three weeks of vacation during his first year (August, January and March) so he's looking forward to having some time off.
Bazzle and Muzzy: Potty training for the boys, when we first moved into the house, wasn't fun. They've always been puppy pad trained(on the island, in California and the Pennsylvania apartment) but for some reason they couldn't figure out where their puppy pads were, so we had some struggles. Since they didn't have accidents in the previous apartments, they weren't kenneled or secluded in a particular room. Well, since October we've had to take a different approach. They've been spending their days, while we are away at work, in the wash room on a comfy bed and a puppy pad. They've been doing so good that the past month we've started giving them a little more freedom. They get to have full reign of the house when we will be gone on short trips (4 hours or shorter) and they haven't had an accident in a pretty long time. I'm hoping that they are getting used to their home, their routine and using the potty soley outside. We'll see how the snow/ice affects their potty breaks but for now they are doing so good.
The boys have also started getting a little more familiar with Amelia's room. I'll be organizing or doing laundry and I'll make an effort to go and do it in the nursery so they get comfortable with her room.
Ashley: Work is going really good and I couldn't be more thankful for my position and the flexibility that comes with it. Right now, the office is closed until January 3rd so I'm taking advantage of my time off and trying to rest up as much as possible. I've filed my short-term disability claim for maternity leave and I've booked Amelia's daycare center. I still need to have a meeting with my direct supervisor to discuss maternity leave details (just in case I go early) because the daycare center isn't available until May 1st.
I'm definitely in the nesting stage...everything needs to be perfect before February rolls around and I don't have time to do as many things around the house. I've slowly started doing research on what to pack in the hospital bag so I'll be making a list and slowly adding to the hospital bag in the next few weeks.
Amelia: Growing, multiple episodes of hiccups, tumbling and sleeping is about all this little girl is up to and that is okay with me. With the scare we had this week, I'm glad that she is taking it easy and still baking! She is so loved that everyone is counting down the days till she will be here with us...56 days until her due date!

The Conway family is doing really good. We are trying to take each day as it comes...some days are harder than others but we realize how blessed we are and we tackle the obstacles that come our way.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Small Scare.... But A Clean Bill Of Health

**This post has some areas that might be considered TO MUCH INFORMATION. Proceed with Caution--You've been warned!
After being on my feet pretty much all Christmas Eve and Christmas, I noticed my Braxton Hicks contractions were more frequent and I noticed that I had a pinkish color when I went to the bathroom. Of course, I start freaking out because Amelia needs to bake for a few more months before she can make her grand arrival. I took a bath to try and help me relax and went to bed a little earlier than normal. When I woke up this morning, I had some extra fluid that gushed out. I immediately ran to the bathroom and started praying. Since this is my first pregnancy, I don't know what each passing week will bring and I started panicking. Even Jason suggested that I call my doctor and try to schedule an earlier appointment. My appointment was originally made for Friday but as soon as the clinic opened this morning, I called and made an appointment for today.
I was glad to hear that I could get in to the office with such late notice, especially since it was the day after Christmas and most of the physicians were off work! Definitely a God thing...he knew how bad I needed to get some assurance, good or bad. Once I signed in and sat down, I realized that I would be weighing in the day after Christmas. I immediately started trying to figure out what I could take off to subtract the pounds. After I saw my new weight, I realized I didn't take off enough. HA...I hate weigh ins!
Jason called me right when I got in my room and told me that he was done for the day and he was heading to the clinic. Definitely another God thing...he knew how bad I needed my husband for support! After a detailed workup, we can now rest assured that everything is fine. I was up on my feet too much the past few days but my cervix is still closed, Amelia is still an active and healthy little girl and this mama is still fit to carry a 3.5 pound baby.
The doctor did find that I have a bacterial infection and she prescribed me an antibiotic to take for the next week.
I'm off of work for the next week so I can make sure that I rest and take it easy before returning to work after the first of the year.
I just keep thanking God for the good news...I now realize that I can't do things like I used to be able to and that's okay.

Christmas In Pennsylvania

Since I'm almost 32 weeks pregnant and we didn't find out Jason's work schedule until the last minute, we decide to stay home and not do any long driving to the family's house. We spent Thanksgiving with Jason's family that lives about 4.5 hours away so for Christmas we decided to stay put. We had a pleasant surprise though when Jason's grandpa and aunt made the drive to spend Christmas with us. It was so nice to spend Christmas with family...we really appreciated them spending the weekend with us!
On Christmas Eve we went to our church's evening service. We sang carols, had a special story for all the children and then enjoyed a special message from the pastor. It really helped set the 'Christmas' mood. Christmas morning, we woke up bright and early and excited to see what Santa left us under the tree. Looks like the move to Pennsylvania didn't throw him off...we had so many presents under the tree. Here is our family picture on Christmas morning. Next year, we'll have a sweet little girl added to the picture!!
Even though Amelia isn't here yet, she didn't want her brothers to think she forgot about them. They each had a special gift under the tree. Jason got a few new ornaments for the tree. This one was our favorite. It's perfect because in the operating room he wears green scrubs. We were very spoiled this year. A lot of the things we got will come in VERY handy when Amelia makes her arrival. Amelia had just as many presents as we did under the tree. I had to take a picture of all her new goodies. She got a textured quilt, her own set of doctor scrubs, a teddy bear, a cute bag to take to daycare, Elf on the Shelf with a skirt, a workout kit (more for me while I'm pregnant), two little crocheted hats and a sweet pair of socks. After opening presents, we started cooking Christmas dinner. Ham, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, corn, hot rolls and a pumpkin roll were on the table for lunch. We ate until we couldn't eat another bite, said our goodbyes to the family and then settled in on the couch for a nap. It was such a great weekend. I'm so thankful that Jason was able to have Christmas Eve AND Christmas off! Most people don't get anytime off but he got both days off and we made sure to enjoy our time together as much as possible.
Our first Christmas in Pennsylvania was a success!! We definitely missed our family in Missouri and California but we definitely made the most out of our situation!
Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bump Updates: Week 31

Here is the bump update for week 31....
How far along? 31 weeks and 3 days (Saturday, December 24, 2011)
How big is the baby? The size of four naval oranges
Sleep? Sleep is about the same. Still tossing and turning a lot but I'm still getting good rest, which I'm thankful for!
Food Cravings? No real food cravings this week. Since it was the week leading up to Christmas, I ate a lot of nuts, fruit, cheeses and homemade goodies from the different girls that I work with.
Gender? It's a GIRL...Amelia Jean
Best moment this week? Being able to spend some time with our family from Western Pennsylvania. Grandpa and Aunt Diane came to spend a few days, including Christmas, with us. It was so nice showing them our house and our new town.
Development? Amelia's brain is still growing and developing rapidly. She's working so hard to be a smart little girl! Her bones are hardening but the skull is still soft and flexible. She still has some weight to put on (possibly 3-5 pounds) before delivery but she is pretty close to the length that she will be at delivery.
Noteables? Amelia is such an active little girl. We went to the hospital yesterday to show the family where Jason works and Amelia was in a weird position. She was kicking so hard right on my belly button that I thought I was going to scream. It's the first time that she has kicked and it wasn't enjoyable. I kept trying to push her around but she wasn't having it.
Amelia has more presents under the tree than the rest of the family combined. She isn't even here with us yet but everyone is so excited for her arrival!!
This week I've been having some weird dreams. Last night, I dreamed my water broke and I was running through the hospital screaming, "Page Dr. Conway and tell him his wife is having a baby"...the whole dream was me searching for someone to page Jason. I woke up and was exhausted...haha!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CPR And Infant Safety

Last night, after work, was a class on infant CPR and safety. We were kind of dreading the class because after a full day at work the last thing we really wanted to do was go to a three hour long class. The first part of the class was practicing CPR on the infant and learning how help if the baby starts choking. Since Jason is in healthcare, he already knew most of everything they covered but he didn't realize a few things that needed to be done for a choking child. I was pretty much clueless on how to do CPR on an infant because the only training I've done has been for adults. The CPR portion of the class was very informative and I think it really helped calm us down and put our minds at ease for when Amelia gets here.
The second part of the class was on infant safety, which included car seats, cribs, play toys and how to baby proof every room in the house. This is where I thought I was a little more knowledgeable but after the teacher starting sharing ideas, I realized that I didn't know as much as I thought. Cribs shouldn't have bumpers or mobiles, car seats shouldn't have hanging toys or soft inserts added for comfort, sleep sacks are the best way keep the baby warm, swaddling is being researched by the Academy of Pediatrics for being unsafe and the list goes on and on. I know that everything that was discussed can be disputed but I still like hearing about things, especially when it's dealing with our baby.
Two classes down and two classes to go. Next on the list is a meeting with the anesthesiologist that will be going over the epidural procedure and what can be expected once I go into labor.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend Fun

This past weekend, with Jason working nights, I decided that I was going to spend the majority of my time crafting. I love playing around at AC Moore and coming home with goodies. I wish I was more crafty and creative...I'm always second guessing myself during craft projects. My main focus was on the nursery. The nursery is completed, as far as items needed for Amelia's arrival, but there are no decorations so the room still feels a little empty. Here is what my Friday night looked like (along with some classic Christmas movies playing in the background)...
Wooden letters, Modge Podge, a painters canvas, stencil letters, paint and anything else that I that thought would make my craft night complete was scattered throughout the house. Here is a picture of the project half way completed.
I'm really excited about how everything turned out...I think it gives Amelia's room the extra coziness that it needed. I'll show you a finished product picture of the nursery once I get a few things in order--I'm still waiting on the curtains to arrive!
Saturday evening I had to put away the Modge Podge and the paint to attend a Hershey Bears game. Our marketing department at work has a subscription with the hockey team and we are required to go in and set up a table at the game to build up our exposure throughout the hockey season. I hate that Jason was working because I think he would have really enjoyed the atmosphere. When he has some time off, a game will definitely be in our agenda.
Sunday was a lazy day. Since I was at the game WAY later than my bedtime, this mama was tired. I slept in, enjoyed a nice breakfast with Jason, took a nap and then did a little cleaning to get ready for the work week.
Even though Jason was working all weekend, I feel like I had a pretty productive weekend. I sure did miss him but I'm getting more used to these crazy residency hours.
**Just because, here is a picture of me at work this morning. Mama and Amelia at 30.5 weeks..

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bump Updates: Week 30

Here is the bump update for week 30....
How far along? 30 weeks and 3 days (Saturday, December 17, 2011)
How big is the baby? The size of a head of lettuce
Sleep? Sleep is about the same. I'm feel like I'm exhausted all the time...I swear sometimes I could fall asleep sitting at my desk. I'm still tossing and turning a lot because my hips get pains shooting in them if I stay on one side too long.
Food Cravings? I've been eating on the pistachios this week. It is such an easy snack to eat, plus I love all the salt!
Gender? It's a GIRL...Amelia Jean
Best moment this week? I'm not sure I had a best moment this week. I'm really enjoying being pregnant. I'm sure as delivery gets closer, I'll start feeling huge and miserable but right now I love my belly and how being pregnant makes me feel. I also got Amelia's coming home outfit. Jason approved and I placed the order so I could get it in and start getting our bags packed for the hospital.
Development?Amelia's brain is starting to take on the grooves and indentations that are associated with a brain. Her brain is also starting to take over tasks previously assigned to other pars of the body, like temperature regulation. With this new task, she will start shedding lanugo, the soft white hair covering her body that has been helping her regulate her temperature up till now. This week Amelia's hair, on her head, is also getting thicker. Her bone marrow has taken over production of red blood cells, which will help her thrive once she is born. Her organs are finally starting to take on the jobs they were designed to do.
Noteables? This week we went to a breastfeeding class, which was very eye-opening and informative. I think it made Jason and myself realize how soon our little girl will be here!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Breastfeeding 101

Last night was the breastfeeding class that was offered by the hospital. I was pretty excited to go to the 2-hour long class because I wanted to make this whole experience seem even more real AND I wanted to learn more about feeding and taking care of Amelia.

It's funny how when I look at myself, I look pregnant. I can feel my growing belly and my baby moving around throughout the day but sometimes it still doesn't feel real. Walking into a room with 15 other pregnant ladies made me realize even more that I'm part of the Pregnant Club.
The class started with introductions and with each person giving a benefit of breastfeeding. There were so many good benefits...some I had no idea about. Here are just a few: Decreases chance of breast cancer in the mom (and possibly baby girl), increases IQ, improves fascial muscle movement, decreases the chance of SIDS, improves digestion, etc.
Once we finished with introductions, the information started flowing like crazy. I have family and friends that have breastfed so I thought I was pretty well educated on the whole process but I realized that there is a lot that I'm going to need to research a little more so I can be ahead of the game when February rolls around.

A few sweet videos were played so we could see feeding cues, appropriate latching and how much bonding takes place between a mother and the baby during feedings. Talk about a tear jerker...I was so emotional watching all the deliveries and then how the baby is given to the mom to instantly start breastfeeding.
I'm so glad that we went to the class...it was so informative. My list of things to buy before Amelia gets here has grown. There are a few necessities for breastfeeding that have been added to the list.

Overall, Breastfeeding 101 was a success in my book. It definitely made me more comfortable with my body and the whole process. Hopefully I can get through the rough first couple of weeks and be successful!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Brain Dump

  • This weekend, I started getting sick. Nothing too serious but just the head cold stuff that is going around. I thought I could sleep it off on Saturday and Sunday but when I woke up this morning, there wasn't any relief. I'm praying that this cold hurries up and runs its course.
  • I started looking for Amelia's coming home outfit and I was overwhelmed pretty much from the start...the choices are endless. In February, Pennsylvania is going to be freezing so I want to make sure that she is warm, comfy and cute. Any suggestions for websites with adorable clothing??
  • Christmas is in less than 2 weeks! I really need to get my house in order before we have visitors. We are having some family come and spend Christmas with us so I want to make sure that everything is cleaned and in its right spot.
  • Tuesday night is my breastfeeding class and I'm really looking forward to it. Jason will hopefully be off in time so he can go with me...I'm not really sure what to expect. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
  • Today is my mom's birthday and I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't the first one to tell her "Happy Birthday". She did get a lovely song but not the first of the day....dang! I guess there is always next year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bump Updates: Week 29

Here is the bump update for week 29....
How far along? 29 weeks and 3 days (Saturday, December 10, 2011)
How big is the baby? The size of a butternut squashSleep? I've been sleeping a little more restless this week. I get some pain on my hips, whichever side I happen to be sleeping on, so I toss and turn a little more often.
Food Cravings? I have a glass of crushed ice almost every evening after dinner. I also happened to find the Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes and I'm needing one of those each night after dinner too :)
Gender? It's a GIRL...Amelia Jean
Best moment this week? I absolutely LOVED taking maternity pictures. I'm so thankful that I now have those pictures as a reminder of my first pregnancy. I LOVE, LOVE watching Amelia move..she is such an active little girl.
Development? Amelia starts gaining a lot of weight this week. She will double, possibly triple, in the next eleven weeks. Her wrinkled skin is smoothing out as she starts developing a layer of fat under her skin. Amelia's body is composed of about 3% body fat so she's starting to get more prepared to make her appearance.
Noteables? I had another doctors appointment this week. Since Jason is working nights, he was able to go to my appointment with me this morning. He was exhausted but he was determined not to miss hearing his baby's heartbeat. This week I also noticed some fluids leaking from the future 'baby feeders', which really made me realize how close she is to making her arrival.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Seriously?!

Imagine this....
Working 11 hours, eating take-out for dinner because you haven't eaten since lunch and taking the time to cook something after work doesn't sound too enticing, driving home like a mad man because your bladder feels like it could explode at any moment, stopping at a stop sign but not sitting there for the full 4 seconds and then seeing red and blue lights in your rear view mirror.
Yes you read that correctly. I got pulled over at the stop sign right before turning into our subdivision. I knew I was guilty...between the hunger pains from smelling my warm plate of nachos and the pressure of my full bladder, I didn't stay stopped at the stop sign as long as I should have.
The officer walks to my door, explains what I did wrong and then asks me for my license, registration and then proceeds to process everything in his car. The officer must have been having a slow moment because 20 minutes later and I'm literally about to bust. I slowly start having a mental breakdown...what if I pee all over myself? keep squeezing Ashley...you can do it! I can't make it too much longer. So after some internal fighting with myself, I slowly open my door, wave my arm to show the officer that I'm not crazy and I have no plans on attacking him. I proceed to say, "Sir, I'm 29 weeks pregnant and I feel like I'm about to explode. I'm not sure I can hold it much longer. Is there anyway you can finish the ticket by my house so I can go to the bathroom?" Crazy question, I know. The officer doesn't know me and he has no idea that I don't have a threatening bone in my body so he shines his light on me and says, "Ma'am, you'll need to get back in your car...this won't take too much longer."
Well that made this hormonal mama dry up those tears and get SO mad! I gave him the stink eye and got back in my car. 10 MINUTES LATER he comes back to my car with a ticket. He tried to make himself feel better by explaining to me that he ticketed me with a lesser offense (no points off my license and a cheaper fee) but this mama didn't care to hear any of his talk.
Once I was released, I rushed home to go to the bathroom, eat and inspect the dang ticket. Can you believe that for not properly stopping at a stop sign cost this mama $111.00??
GRRRRRR! Merry Christmas to me!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Bestie Visits Pennsylvania

This past weekend Alissa, my bestie from the island, made the 8 hour drive from Michigan to Pennsylvania to have some girl time for a few days. I'm so glad that she came...we haven't seen each other since the graduation on the island this summer!
Our first stop on Saturday was Chocolate World in Hershey. We decided to make our own candy bars...such a great idea. Before going in, we were allowed to choose the chocolate flavor we wanted for the base of our bar and all the inside goodies that we wanted added to our chocolate bar. I went with the milk chocolate base with almonds and toffee crunch added to the middle and Alissa chose a milk chocolate base with pretzels, toffee and butterscotch.
It was so much fun watching our chocolate bar move down the conveyor belt and getting made just how we made it.Once the fillings were added, the bar then went through a stream of melted chocolate and a cooler so our bars could be packaged. We designed our own package and then went to the cooling area to pick up our candy bars. It was a lot of fun seeing what exactly goes into making a Hershey's chocolate bar. Once we finished up, we stopped in the food court for some yummy hot chocolate and for a chance to gawk over the huge candy house. Santa was in front of the house taking pictures so I couldn't really get a full shot but you get the idea! The candy house took over 1,500 hours to build and it had so much candy on it...it was pretty unbelievable. Twizzlers, white Kit Kat bars, Cookie and Creme bars, Jolly Ranchers, Hershey Kisses, Hershey Bars and so many more different candies were used to build this 12-foot tall, 100 square foot house. It was pretty amazing!
On Sunday we went to a production of the Nutcracker put on by the Regional Ballet. Each show adds their own touches and this show was no different. We really enjoyed the show! It really made it feel more like Christmas. Once the show was over, we just spent the rest of the day lounging around the house. We made a yummy nacho dinner topped off with some homemade chocolate chip cookies. It was so nice to spend the evening lounging around and eating as many cookies as we could!
Monday was spent taking maternity pictures and then editing them...I'm so thankful for a friend that has an eye for great pictures. I originally had no desire to get pictures done and then when she said she was coming to visit, I figured that was my sign to have her snap a few! Jason also happened to be off that day so we could get some family pictures...I know looking back we will love having pictures of our experience!
Tuesday morning, Alissa had to go home and I had to go to work. She was only here for a few days but I think we made the most of our time we had together. No matter how long it has been since we've seen each other, we always pick right up where we left off. I'm truly thankful for her and her friendship! We're already looking at schedules and trying to arrange our time so we can get together sometime soon!!