Monday, April 2, 2012

Kids at the Compound. Hotlanta. And a false alarm.

We just got back from Atlanta yesterday. What a fun trip! Even though Chad was working it was fun to get away and eat some good food and shop around.

We arrived Wednesday night around 7pm. On our way, we were trying to decide what we wanted to eat for dinner. It's hard to trust the Google on decisions like that, so we went for the trusted FaceBook. You can always trust your FB peeps on important matters like eating in a foreign city. The first suggestion we received was a place called Six Feet Under, and there were many delicious-sounding suggestions that followed, but when my fellow foodie friend (who is married to an Atlanta native) chimed in with her recommendations and also suggested the Six Feet Under place, we went for it. And it did not disappoint! It's a pub and fish house and they specialize in fresh seafood. They also have an amazing rooftop deck with crazy awesome views, so the atmosphere is great. It reminded me of a place you'd find at the beach. And the food ... sooo good. We started with the fried calamari appetizer (which also included some zucchini fries and deep fried jalepenos, to our surprise), and it's served with a sweet chili sauce and some type of ranch sauce. We loved it. For an entree, Chad chose the fish & chips, which came with home made potato chips and jalepeno hush puppies. He loved it. I ate the baked shrimp & scallops, which come out piping hot and still wrapped in the parchment paper that they are cooked in; for the side items we tried their grits and their "killer" coleslaw, which has cilantro in it (a.k.a. just send me straight to heaven.) The slaw alone was worth the trip. I'm going to try to make it at home and serve it with some of my margarita-pork tacos. It was excellent. Everything was sooo good and we will definitely go back. Thanks to all who provided recommendations and hopefully we can hit some of the other spots next time we're in the big city. Here's a glimpse of our food, just to make your mouth water...

After dinner we went to the hotel to get checked in. And um, the hotel was insane - very modern and wayyyy different from any hotel I had ever set foot in; I kinda felt like I was walking into an expensive nightclub. Everything was black - the walls, the floors, ceilings, and everything was dark (as in no lighting), except for the walls had glittery strobe lights within them that would kind of light up to the music.

Oh, and there was dance music playing at full blast.
So, I did what I knew I had to do.

 I dropped it like it was hot.

Or not.

To be honest, I felt a little out of place being 9 months pregnant and all.
The hotel room echoed the modern club theme; our room was gray and purple with accents of glitter and lime green. Glitter. As in, our bathroom floor and countertop was black with glittery specks all through it.

It was all a bit much. I'm more of a Hampton Inn type gal, but hey, we weren't paying,
so who's gonna complain?
Not me.
I just acted like I was straight from the Hollywood hills and went with it.

(This was the $13 jar of gummy bears that was just one of the snack options in our room. Umm no.)

On Thursday morning, Chad had to leave early to go to work. I slept until about 9am then showered and decided to tackle Ikea.
I have a love-hate relationship with that place.
I love it because, well, it's Ikea, and they have everything. Everything.
But that's also why I hate it. I get anxious before I walk in because I know how overwhelming it can be, even when you sort of kind of know what you need.
I had a list of things I wanted to get and found just about everything, except for those blasted spice racks that everyone sees on Pinterest and uses for book storage in kids' rooms. I found the display one, just like I did last time I was here, and the tag said, "This item can be found in the Kitchen Showroom" which of course I had passed like 20 miles back (and SCOURED, by the way, for the item).
That's another reason I hate it; instead of having aisles to walk down, it's like a journey; it's one long path that you walk and is kinda like a maze and if you see something in the kitchen section you HAVE to get it then, cause when you get to LAMPS you ain't gonna want to walk back to Kitchen Land. I wasn't turning around so I left without the spice racks. Oh well.
I love it because they have lots of little, every day items that are cheaper than Walmart/Target stuff; you can stock up on these items and save some cash.
I also hate it because they have lots of little stuff, and that's where they get you - the drawer organizers, the place mats, the kids' plates and cups, napkins... you know, all that stuff that is like $1.99 that you grab because it's $1.99 and then you get to the checkout and realize you've spent $200 on $1.99 items. Yeah, that stuff.
I love it because they have good ice for their fountain drinks.
I hate it because their fountain drinks are Pepsi products. Gross.
I love it because their shopping carts are huge.
I hate it because their shopping carts have swivel wheels and a mind of their own and you literally feel like you've done P90X after walking through the store trying to control those crazy buggies while they swish and swerve whichever way they choose. 
Talk about an ab workout! Next time I'm taking some rollers skates. I think this would solve that issue.
So you see, the love/hate list could go on and on.

Here are a few of the things I found...

The 2 black cube shelving units on either side of the TV. I wanted to make it look like more of an entertainment center instead of just having a TV stand (before picture is below.)
These are the Expedit shelves and I love them. Super easy to put together and very sturdy.

(This is how it looked before; the TV was in the corner.)

The lime green round table in the corner is from the kids section. I already had the blue chairs but you can buy the little stools or the cute little chairs that go with the table too, for super cheap.
(That's another Expedit shelf holding the toys; I love those units.)

And this little red table! This is the "Kritter" table and I found it in the kids section too. 
I was actually looking for a new solid-surface kitchen table because our dilemma has been the fact that we have an antique 'pub' table that we use as our kitchen table right now; it has slats in it and the wood is constantly getting grimy and gross and the slats are always full of crumbs; I've tried using tablecloths but my kids are so messy that I ended up having to wash the tablecloth after every meal, so it was just not worth it. I didn't want to ruin the antique table so I thought we might put it downstairs and just get a new cheap kitchen table to use until the kids were a little older. Then when I saw this red table and the little chiars that went with it, I knew it'd be the perfect solution. Now the kids can eat here while we eat at the bigger table (right beside them) and I won't have to worry about ruining anything. 

Sambo was a happy camper eating his breakfast this morning. 

After Ikea I basically drove around and got lost for most of the day. I was looking for familiar places and did manage to find a Marshalls, a World Market, and several other familiar stores, but by the time I fought traffic and fought people for parking and got out and waddled inside in the 85 degree weather, I was too tired to do anything but walk right back out to my car. So that's what I did, about 5 different times. Finally I decided I'd just go back to the hotel, and I typed the name of the hotel into my GPS and it took me to the WRONG one, in a completely different part of town. As in, through the toll thingy, which makes me way nervous because I don't carry change so I was digging through Chad's car for coins and luckily I had exactly the right amount for the trip through and then BACK through once I realized I was at the wrong location. Ugh. I love Ikea, I love H&M (when I'm not pregnant), and I love fun places like American Girl and the cool malls, etc, but I've realized that I'm just not a fan of the city in general... actually I'm just not patient enough to live here. Or in any place where you have to park in a parking deck to go to Target or Publix. I just don't have the time or energy or patience. Or the loose coins to get me through the toll gate. Props to those of you who face the big cities every day and do it with a smile on your face and zero road rage. I can't handle it.

Anyway... came back to the hotel around 5pm (I know, that's a long time to be lost and hot and impatient). Chad was here so I got to see him for a few minutes before he left to eat with the surgeon he brought here. (Which is one of the reasons I was comfortable leaving town this late in my pregnancy; we are here with 2 of the most successful OBGYN's from Ttown, so I'm in good hands!) I ordered room service and popped open the $8 box of peanut M&M's straight out of the mini-bar. 
I love hotels. Oh yes I do.

On Friday Chad worked again and I was out of the club by 9am and driving around aimlessly again. I did manage to make some progress; bought Chad some birthday gifts (we've been married 5 years and I don't think I've ever bought him a birthday gift. ever.) and also managed to find a Goodwill. Yep, just send me right on to Heaven. Except when I got inside I realized everything was organized and color coded and well, that just ain't my type of Goodwill. I need to be excited about the "dig" if you know what I mean. I can't have it all laid out there all organized and put together. So I left without buying a single thing. I know, shocker. I did find The Container Store, which is AWESOME, but I wasn't in a real organized mood so I left there with only something small for my mom. Also went to Lenox Square Mall which was super nice and walked around for a while. Lots of people stared at me. Probably wondering why I was out in public being this pregnant. Or maybe I'm just self concious and imagined it all. Either way, I got outta there after I felt too many beady eyes fixed on my huge belly. I drank a Smoothie for lunch because it was 89 degrees and the thought of eating something even remotely warm or hot was out of the question. Then I picked up Chad around 2pm and we headed home; but not before stopping one last time at Ikea because I did realize I'd forgotten something. Luckily it was in the self-serve/checkout area so we were able to park and run in and out pretty quickly.

So, here's where the story gets fun and interesting...
On our way home, I started feeling a little bit uncomfortable; had some pain up under my right rib cage, which isn't that uncommon, but this time it would not go away. Soon it began to spread from my rib cage all the way down the right side of my stomach to my groin area, and it becamse increasingly more uncomfortable and painful. I thought it might be contractions but couldn't really feel them coming and going; it just felt like they'd come to stay. Well, this was around 3pm; we got back into town around 4pm and at that point I was worried it might be labor pains, even though I've never really gone into labor. Since it was Friday and almost 5 o'clock, I decided it'd be best if we just go to the hospital just in case, while all the docs were still there at clinic, and let them monitor me to see what was going on. So we pull into the parking deck and I go up to Labor & Delivery on the 3rd floor. I really felt like a crazy person; I didn't even know what to say to the nurses. So it went something like this:

ME: "Hi. Umm, I'm in pain. And I'm pregnant. And my husband drove me here and I don't know what's going on but I'm hurting pretty bad."
NURSE: "Ok honey, is this your first baby?"
ME: "No, this is my third. But I don't have babies."
NURSE: "Excuse me?"
ME: "I mean, I don't have babies this way."
NURSE: "Um..."
ME: "I mean, I don't go into labor. I don't push babies out."
NURSE: "Ohhh ok. So you're scheduled for a cesarean?"
ME: "Right."
NURSE: "Ok, well just sign in over there and we'll get you taken care of."

So I go to sign in, and ended up having to ask them what my birthday was because at this point I was hurting worse and couldn't remember.

Then we went to a room; I get completely undressed, pee in a cup, get hooked up to monitors and get my cervix checked. Awesome. Thankfully I wasn't dilated or thinned out. The monitor showed baby's heart rate a steady 130-140 and my contractions were about 2-4 minutes apart and lasting every bit of 30 seconds. They were about halfway up on the chart (if you've been in labor you know what I mean) so not nearly as intense as the 'painful' contractions would have been. At this point the nurse told me they were going to monitor me for at least an hour while they waited on my urine results. Fine by me. I made myself comfortable as she gathered some paperwork and started to leave the room. When she got to the door, she turned around and said:

"Oh, and before you leave, we'll check your cervix again, and if there has been any change, we'll call Dr. L and they'll just go ahead and do your c-section."

And before I could think, I just blurted out, "NO."

NURSE: "I'm sorry?"
ME: "Well, I can't have her today. I can't."
NURSE: "Honey why not?" (laughing at this point)
ME: "Well, for one thing, I have a whole truckload of stuff from Ikea that I haven't unloaded."
NURSE: laughs
ME: "I just can't do it today."

She was laughing but I was serious! When something like this happens and you totally aren't expecting it, it's just the furthest thing from your mind. I had no bags packed, no car seat, no cute pink hats or gowns, no make-up, nothing! Now I know the reason they tell you to pack your bags so early and have them ready to go. And now, believe me, they are packed and READY. Bring it on.

So anyway, they let me go home after my urine came back clear and my contractions never got worse; Dr. L came in and told me I probably just overdid it on the Atlanta trip with lots of walking and what not, and told me to take it easy the rest of the weekend and to get some rest! 
It was a funny experience (looking back on it), and afterwards we grabbed some dinner then went straight home and I took a hot bath and went to bed. Much needed. 

On Saturday I celebrated the upcoming wedding of my friend Leslie with my high school girlfriends; we had a lingerie brunch for her that morning and then that night we went to a couples shower hosted by Ashley and Brian. Everything was great. I'm so happy for Leslie; she has truly met an amazing, hilarious guy that is perfect for her. I am sad I don't have any pictures but we had a great time celebrating and it's always fun hanging out with my best girls. There are 3 of us pregnant right now; Lauren is due in August and Mary Beth in September, so by the end of this year we'll have 8 babies among the 6 of us! Our kids are taking over!

And finally, while we were up to no good all week, my little babies stayed with their Mimi and Poppa on the Compound. It was everyone's spring break up there, so they went nonstop all week long with water table fun, a new swimming pool (thanks Aunt Vicki!), cookouts, bug hunts, tractor rides, working in the shop with Grandaddy, trips to the park, watching movies and playing with all their cousins.
I don't think they missed being at home one bit - especially since their big tired Mama doesn't have the energy to do all that stuff these days. Thanks Mom and Dad for giving me a break and making their week so much fun. Yall are the best. 

After the shower Saturday night we drove up to my parents' house. On Sunday the entire family (my mom's sisters, their spouses, and alllll their children and grandchildren) surprised my Grandaddy at their church for his birthday. My Grandaddy is the greatest example of selflessness and humility that I've ever met; he tells us he prays for each one of us every single day and every time you see him he tells you how thankful he is for you; he is the absolute best. I couldn't believe that every single one of us made it up there, but at the same time I'm not surprised; it's easy to put plans aside and drive however many miles you need to drive when the reason is to celebrate a man like my Grandaddy. We never thought twice about being there and neither did anyone else.
We ate a HUGE compound-style lunch at their house and then went back across the field to my parents' house where the kids played and the men went fishing until last night; then we drove home with the kiddos. I've got a list a mile long of things that need to be done around here and I'm trying to balance that with the fact that I have one week left with just these two munchkins, so we're throwing some fun in as well (as much fun as I can have when all I can really do is waddle around.)

Can't believe we only have one more week! 
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