Monday, March 30, 2009

Changing Tables

My theory is that a blog can also be a "soap box"....especially for this for this mom!

Before I was a mom I never walked into a public restroom just to see if there was a changing table....but now I do! I would assume if someone was physically handicapped, they would hope there was a handicap accessible restroom when the visit a public restroom. Isn't it against the law to not have a handicap restroom? Then I believe it should be against the law to not have a changing table in the public restroom. Let me share my experiences!

Casa Fiesta - Fultondale, Alabama
Last summer we stopped to eat at this restaurant for the first time on our way to the beach for vacation. I had to change Parker's changing table. I actually had to sit on the toilet and hold him in my lap!

Stix - Fultondale, Alabama
Once again, I had to change Parker's diaper. And once again, there was no changing table! UGH! I had to lay Parker in between the two sinks. Pretty much Parker's butt was hanging into the whole where you throw your paper towels away!

Arby's - Gardendale, Alabama
Multiple times we visit this fast-food restaurant. We do not get out of church until late on Wednesday nights and Arby's is one of the few places open after 9:00pm. And there is NO CHANGING TABLE! We usually just take Parker to the car. But a couple of weeks ago, Parker's diaper was BAD! Luckily there was a Chevron station next door where Braxton could throw away his diaper....maybe he should have thrown away the shirt!

O'Charley's - Fultondale, Alabama
Parker was trying to recover from an ear infection and the fact that he was teething. I took only a diaper and wipes into the restroom. Once in the restroom, I realized I was going to need the entire diaper bag to get more clothes! The whole ordeal was MESSY!!!! To make it even harder, the changing table was broken. I had to stand with one leg propped up on my knee to hold up the changing table. took forever to change/clean up Parker and the changing table was in the handicap stall. I felt horrible.

MULTIPLE RESTAURANTS - All over the South East
Even though a woman carries a child for 9 months in their stomach, gives birth to the child and wakes up multiple times during the middle of the night for feedings, they are not the only one that needs to change diapers! The father must share in the duties, but if a public restroom does not have a changing table in the men's is just NOT FAIR! UGH!

So here are the NEW CHANGING TABLE LAWS.....

1. At least 1 changing table must be in the women's restroom.
2. "Family Friendly" restaurants should have at least 1 changing table in the men's restroom, especially it the restaurant has more than one television!
3. Changing tables should not be put inside a restroom stall. Sometimes it takes longer to change a diaper than the normal "bathroom time".
4. Changing tables should be checked at least once a week for repairs....a drooping table does not help changing a dirty diaper!

Washington, I come!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Parker is 1 Today!

It is so hard to believe that Andrew Parker Reno is 1 year old!

Braxton and I were talking about the night I went into the hospital unexpectedly. On Thursday, March 13th I had not felt Parker move in over 24 hours and I was worried. I was so swollen that day that I wore flip flops to work. Remember, I work in a professional office! I called the doctor's office and they asked me to come in at 2 that afternoon. They hooked me up to the monitor and we heard Parker almost immediately and of course he was cruisin' around my belly! Although everything was good, they were a little worried about my blood pressure and decided it was time. Dr. Reidy sent me to the hospital immediately, not even allowing me to go back to my office to close things up! I called Braxton in Birmingham and told him to grab the bags and come to the hospital.

Then on Friday, March 14th at 12:00pm I went in for a scheduled c-section. Parker was born at 12:48pm. He was a big boy, weighing 8lbs and 11oz! He was having breathing difficulties and was taken to Huntsville Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery for observation. What started as a 2 hours observation, lasted longer!

Parker ended up staying in the NICU for 7 days. It was tough, emotionally and physically. Working for the Huntsville Hospital Foundation I heard of preemies staying in the NICU for 30, 45, or even 60+ days, but for a baby born full term??? That was the hardest part. I did not even get to hold Parker for 24 hours. Braxton and I shed alot of tears and prayed alot of prayers. Yesterday I was looking through Parker's hospital items and I saw his prayer cloth that we taped onto his bed.
Parker and his space helmet!

Parker's main health problem was his breathing. Watching his chest rise and fall so rapidly was tough. I would sit by his bed and just wish I could take away the problems. But God was making Braxton and I stronger! I believe that God wanted to show us that He was still in the healing business. Every night when I hold Parker in my arms, I thank God for His beautiful creation! And I repeat the words "He's Been Good"!

Happy Birthday Parker! Mommy and Daddy Love You!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Parker's 1st Birthday Party

What a weekend! It is hard to believe that my little boy turns 1 on Saturday and that he has already had his first birthday party! Time flies! But leading up to his birthday party was a task! Of course Braxton and I had just gotten back from our trip to Asheville. Then on Friday, the musicians and front line singers were asked to perform at Music Explosion in Cleveland, Tennessee. So, we left at 9am and did not return to the church until 9pm. This was the day before I was planning to have 40+ people at my house! Luckily my sister pitched in and stayed Friday night to help with the final preparations.

All in all Parker's birthday was a success. Here is a picture of his cake. Tish Engel, a great friend of mine in Huntsville made his 2 cakes. Remember, he was having a Modern Monkey Birthday Theme. The cake not only looked great, but was absolutely YUMMY!!! Tish, don't forget about next year, the theme...Mickey Mouse! And I can't forget to post a picture of Parker's very own cake.

Unfortunately, I could not convince Parker to take a nap before his party. I think he was too excited to know that Dakota and Gavin were visiting. And there was too much commotion with the balloons as well. We were so fortunate to have mine and Braxton's families at the party. We also had some closes friends who have kids close to Parker's age. And Tish and Jamie Engel (my "cake lady") also came and brought their son Hudson who is good friends with Gavin. It was a HOUSE FULL!
Because of the lack of a nap, we had to rush through some things. After we ate, I started opening presents for Parker. Some people did a great job of sticking with the Monkey theme! He got a couple of shirts that had monkeys, a monkey picture frame and even a monkey piggy bank! Great job, Misty!! But as you can see, Parker was getting a little tired!

Next it was time for cake, and to tell you a funny story. The entire time I was opening presents, I was sitting beside Parker who I left in his highchair. He is a busy body and will not sit still for anything! So I was holding his little birthday cake, getting ready to lite his candle and sing. When I went to sit down in the was not there! Unfortunately we do not have video or pictures of this. But let's just say that the entire house was watching and waiting to see what was going to happen to the cake. I must say, I have lots of balance! The cake stayed in one piece and I simply sat on the floor. Mom, next time don't move the chair!

Parker loved the candle and the flame! Plus his face lit up when everyone sang Happy Birthday to him. It was as if he knew it was all for him!

He didn't do alot with his cake. This was the most he did! He almost looked like he was getting a manicure.

Our happy little 1 year old boy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Trip in Review

Braxton and I had a WONDERFUL trip to Asheville, North Carolina. We left early on Friday morning and arrived in Asheville early evening. Friday night we went to a movie...but not just any movie. We visited a movie theater called Cinebarre. I have been to other movie theaters where you can order "real food", but never where you actually find your seat in the movie theater and you order your food, and eat in the theater. The waiters/waitresses were quick and didn't block your view at all. The food was really good, a little pricey, but good. It was a cool experience and a great concept! I wish we had one in Birmingham! It can be difficult to get a babysitter on Friday night for 5 hours to include travel time, eating dinner out and going to a movie.

Saturday we spent the day at the Biltmore. I asked Braxton multiple times to build me a house just like it! I don't see it happening! The house was amazing! If you have never been, I do recommend making the trip. After touring the house, we took a behind the scenes tour where we learned more details about the house and the Van der bilt family. I didn't really get any good pictures because it started raining harder, but here is a look at us standing in front.

Sunday we woke up and drove to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Braxton made my day and let me shop for about 5 hours! We found some good deals and Braxton got a few things for himself! We checked in to the hotel and relaxed before we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at The Chop House. And while everyone had snow in Alabama, Pigeon Forge got none! Gatlinburg did get some and we drove up to see a little of it.

It was a great time for Braxton and I. We got along the entire weekend (we usually do! =) ) and had a great time relearning how to communicate with each other with no distractions around us. But we missed Parker and we were ready to get home to see his smiling face! Monday was back to realty and a BUSY week!!!