Thursday, June 23, 2016

He's Here!!!

Beckham Hayes arrived at 6:35 PM, 7 lbs 12 oz and 21" long. Thank you so much for the prayers and kind words! We were blessed with a second VBAC + the easiest, fastest delivery yet!!! We're all doing well and so in love with our littlest man! I will post more soon =)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My Last Day {Ever} Being Pregnant

Tomorrow is the big day! It's Nick's and my ninth wedding anniversary, and I am scheduled to be induced at 7 a.m.!!! I thought this day would never come, and now I can't believe it's really here! I can't believe I'm HAVING A BABY tomorrow!!!

Nick and I went to my appointment with Dr. Snead on Tuesday morning, and sadly there was still no change. Five weeks- ZERO change, despite the fact I have had every sign in the history of man that labor was "eminent" .. how is that even possible?? Anyway, I cried and Dr. Snead showed me his collection of fire ant molds to make me feel better, so it really ended up being an appointment for the books.

Dr. Snead's last day of work before vacation is Friday, so before my appointment I had decided to go ahead and schedule my induction for Thursday morning. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and even though I'm nervous to be induced, I'm more nervous to show up at the hospital with no clue who my doctor is.

At first I was hoping the baby wouldn't come on our anniversary, but when we realized his birthday would be within days of the 23rd no matter what (so it's not like we will be going out of town on our actual anniversary for the foreseeable future), I thought it would be sweet to have our last baby on the same day we were married. I can't think of a better present! And honestly, for completely practical reasons, it was the day that worked best with Nick's work schedule too. TOMORROW IS THE DAY!!!!

My friend Carol said with your last baby it's easy to get caught up in everything being the final time, and the challenge is to focus on the joy of it all instead. Today I couldn't help but think how strange it is to be my last day of ever being pregnant for the rest of my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm ready to be finished and I'm really not sad about it. It's just that I spent so many years dreaming about what it would be like to be pregnant and have a baby, and then wanting a baby, and then the vast majority of the last five years I've either been pregnant or nursing. So it's just a weird feeling to think that chapter of my life is completely closed (the being pregnant part anyway).

Our last day as a family of four was such a good one! I woke up early before anyone else (rare!) and spent some quiet time in the nursery. Nick was playing in a golf tournament this afternoon so it worked out that he was able to be home with us all morning. When the boys woke up we went to Einstein's for breakfast, and Logan insisted on wearing this sweet getup:

I am far too pregnant and it's far too hot outside for me to fight that battle. Footie pj's and flip flops it was. YOU DO YOU, man... that's about all I can say about that.

We never, ever eat out for breakfast, so it was a really fun change of pace! After breakfast Nick and Everett left on a secret errand, and Logan and I went to run a few not so secret errands of our own. Listen, that is one huge benefit of knowing when a baby is coming- there is no stone unturned around here. I went to the chiropractor, my car is washed, we got the cracked iPad screen fixed I've been needing to take care of, the laundry is all folded and put away, the boys' suitcase is packed, my toes are properly polished...  as much as I didn't want to be induced, there is definitely something to be said for the planning aspect of it!

Logan and I came back to the house, and Nick and Everett met us there with gorgeous flowers and a really sweet anniversary card. It wasn't even on my radar, and I was so touched Nick took the time to do that. Not to mention, a few weeks ago he also surprised me with the most gorgeous ring. My wedding rings haven't fit in a couple of months so it was a good time to take them in to be cleaned up and have a few loose diamonds fixed. Nick was sneaky and had our jeweler make another ring at the same time. I was completely shocked. It is absolutely gorgeous and such a thoughtful, meaningful gift I will always treasure! 

The rest of the afternoon was pretty low key. Nick left to play golf, and the boys and I worked on a Ninja Turtle puzzle and played at home. I spent an extra long time putting both boys down for naps- I was feeling pretty sentimental- and Logan was thrilled to get three books, plus two made up stories, plus a song and a back scratch; his best things ever. Firstborns can be pretty high maintenance when it comes to their sleep routines, and we rarely ever indulge his unending list of requests. Today though, I was happy to do so. 

Emilee came over for a couple of hours while the boys napped, and I treated myself to a pedicure and a trip to the blow dry bar. Totally unnecessary, but definitely a perk of having a baby-sitter plus a planned delivery.
Tonight Nick picked up dinner from a new restaurant we both like as a sort of anniversary/last night as a family of four/I didn't feel like cooking celebration. We let the boys stay up extra late and watched Zootopia on the couch afterwards. 
We tucked the boys in for bed, I set their suitcase out in the hall, and Teri and Al will be here bright and early in the morning when they wake up. Just like that we are turning into a family of five! It's so surreal!

I'm feeling super excited and also a little anxious. The weird thing is, I really don't have any sort of worries about having a newborn again or having three kids. I think that part will mostly be great! (Probably, I'm being a little naïve but that's okay.) What I'm anxious about is the fact that we haven't seen this baby boy on a sonogram since 18 weeks and we didn't do any sort of genetic testing this time around (we had late sonos and did testing with the other two). I'm very anxious to know that he's healthy. I have absolutely no clue what he looks like at all, which is both thrilling and daunting. And what if he's not actually a he? Anything's possible, right? Haha! 

I am also nervous about the delivery itself- I don't have a doula this time around, but my chiropractor/acupuncture/doula friend is on standby and has told me no less than ten times to text her at any time and she'll be there in a jiff. Besides the baby being healthy, mostly what I'm nervous about is being induced. I hope I made the right decision on that. I was induced with Logan at 40 weeks and ended up having a c-section. With Everett though, my water broke at 38 weeks, and I had a VBAC. My VBAC was such a wonderful experience, I do hope I get to go that route again. Given the circumstances I really think this was the best decision, and I am hopeful everything will go great!

Nick is super excited about tomorrow and keeps saying how much he can't wait to meet baby boy #3, although he's not looking forward to the newborn phase. Ehh.. it will go quickly, and we'll all survive just like we did before.

The boys are absolutely beside themselves with excitement! Logan's excitement especially is off the charts. Earlier in the week he kind of threw me for a loop by having quite a bit of anxiety about the whole thing- me going into the hospital, what it would be like, if it would hurt me... I wasn't expecting that at all, but I'm pretty sure we've talked enough and looked at enough pictures of when Everett was born that he's moved past that. This evening they were both bouncing off the walls and talking non-stop about tomorrow and about their new brother.

I can't believe that tomorrow- TOMORROW!!!- we will all meet the last member of our family! What a completely joyful way to celebrate nine years of being married!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bugs, Swim Lessons & Father's Day

You always hear people say God has a sense of humor, and I have no doubt about that. Sometimes I can't help but wonder is He laughing at me or with me... 

The brothers are all about bugs these days. 
They live for going outside and searching for bugs of any variety and then putting them in a cage. Bugs actually don't bother me too much. I took an entomology class [study of bugs] as my science credit sophomore year of college, and it was surprisingly interesting. It's almost like that class was a preparation for my life to come, and I didn't even know it... Anyway, most of the time I oblige the boys and touch their crawly critters and ooh and ahh along with them. 

This morning I was getting dressed, and Logan walked in the bathroom with a handful of snails he had gathered up from the backyard. I admired his snails and then asked him to kindly and promptly take them back outside. 

A few minutes later he came back into the bathroom with some unfortunate news to report. "Ummm mom... I was trying to take the snails outside, but Everett and I wanted to look at them first and we kind of dropped them all over the carpet and can't find them.

The thing is, who have these boys morphed me into because I wasn't even that disgusted. Like, I'm not sure what alternate universe we're living in where the thought of snails sprinkled all in my carpet doesn't make me keel over dead. I've come a long way in four short years and come to expect these things without even flinching anymore.

I did the only thing I could think to do and pulled out the vacuum, praying I sucked every last one of them up. Oh but the fun didn't stop there, because what I didn't know was that Logan had also captured three worms and left them sitting in his bug cage on the fireplace. SURPRISE! When we came home from the movies this afternoon all three worms had magically vanished from the cage. The cage with holes all in it, perfectly sized for worms to squeeze right through. ICK!!!

Now this registered several levels higher on the scale of disgust. I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the thought of three worms on the loose around our house, and the only thing that could even help my mental state was to spray down every surface of the living room with sanitizing spray and then run the vacuum again. I have also now instituted a strict a no worm policy and more rigid bug capturing rules.

Offish boy mom problems.
While the worms were plotting their escape, we went with our neighbor friends Kylee and Mallie and Macy to see Finding Dory. The irony is not lost on me that I actually look like one of the whales in the movie. [Stillll pregnant, peeps. Stillllll pregnant.]

On Friday Kimba and the girls came over to swim and have lunch while Logan finished up his last day at nature camp. 
Friday night they came back over, along with our family, for a pizza party and more swimming because it was the boys' swim class "show off."
This is our third summer with Mr. Kaleb's Swim Skool, and once again Mr. Kaleb did not disappoint. We had him come to our house this year for private lessons with group of friends, and it was definitely much more convenient.

It is amazing what he's able to get the kids to do in four short classes. I know his militant style isn't for everyone or for every kid, but it works. Both boys can jump in the pool, swim, dive for rings and float on their backs.
Everett 

Logan ^
Everett ^
Logan ^

I will post a couple of videos at the bottom of the post for the great grandparents to watch, or if you're local and interested in using Mr. Kaleb. We were all so proud of the boys, but seeing how proud they were of themselves topped everything! They LOVED showing off all their new tricks and what they have accomplished!

We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating the dads and Scat's birthday. 
On Saturday morning we went to visit Scat at her fun, new senior living apartment and take her to breakfast. Logan insisted on wearing his skating garb, even though he had on no skates. This picture of Everett is funny, I'm not sure what he's doing but the pose is the total opposite of his personality. You would see this picture and think he were some shy, meek child. Ha!
That night we went over to my aunt & uncle's to celebrate again, and Logan wore his same gear plus the skates. 
I look at this picture and Avril Levigne instantly pops in my head. "He was a skater boi. She said see ya later, boi!" He insists he doesn't need a nap, but we're not even in the car five minutes and he's sound asleep.

Sunday was all about dads. We are so lucky to have such wonderful dads in our life between my own dad, Al and Nick. 
I always knew Nick would be a great dad someday, and watching him with the boys brings me so much joy. They absolutely adore Nick! There are definitely things we're not great at doing in tandem- home improvement projects of any scope or size is the one that comes to mind- but we make a great team when it comes to parenting. We have a pretty good mind meld when it comes to raising kids. I personally think Nick is at his very best when it comes to being a dad, and he and the boys have so much fun together.

I have to share these two pictures, because they made me laugh! 

Here is the 2016 version of watching a show on a tiny screen with your dad:
 Here is the 1987 version:
I came across this jackpot of a picture recently and died laughing. WHAT. ON. EARTH. We are "camping" out in the bed of a truck in my grandparents' carport watching what was probably a 9 inch black and white TV. Notice the fan and the can of Off so generously thrown out to ward off any discomforts.

This picture is like my parenting Ace Card! Anytime my kids complain about ANYTHING EVER I'm pulling it out. Oh yeah, you're bored?? Let me show you what we used to do as kids! You're hot?? I'll show you hot... You're bed is uncomfortable? There's nothing to watch on the iPad? I mean- this picture practically has infinity applications. I need to laminate it to keep on hand for all situations. 

Maybe my next post will involve a tiny human and a giant smile of relief from me? Here's hoping!! 


Mr. Kaleb Swim Show Videos:







And two of my other favorite videos of the boys lately-- The first may be my most favorite ever!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

If I Had A Quarter... Situations @ 38.75 Weeks

What a week it's been! It's almost like the stifling heat and humidity match the heaviness weighing on everyone's hearts and minds after the back to back tragedies in Orlando. Oppressive is the word that comes to mind to sum it all up. 

There was a post on Facebook I thought was so poignant. I will put a link to it HERE, if anyone's interested, but I'm not sure if you can open it. It's long, but here is a screen shot of the first part. 

Amidst all the noise and opinions swirling around on social media, this really stood out to me. She goes on to say (after my screen shot) that we have become a nation of blamers and shamers. Here was one more part I really liked:

And how are accidents allowed to happen if we can’t blame someone? Surly, they can’t, right? I mean, random acts of nature, unpreventable tragedies, and fateful life changing events that take place in a matter of nanoseconds cannot possibly take place if everyone is being a responsible parent, right? NOPE.
They can’t, because this country and its population of perfect pitchfork carrying mothers and fathers sitting behind keyboards needs to accuse. They NEED TO BLAME, to disparage, to criticize in every damn way and at every damn corner, the parenting of another.

It's good food for thought, and I'm as guilty as the next person. Sometimes I think we default to that as a personal defense. It's almost like, rather than face the absolute horror of a situation, it's easier to justify it with reasons why it could only ever happen to someone else. ("Well those parents weren't watching their kids as carefully as they should" OR "There were clearly no swimming signs" OR "Well the little boy went behind the barrier before falling in that gorilla cage, and where where the parents then??" OR whatever the case may be.) As a Christian, this post challenged me to choose love and compassion as a default instead of judgement. It's sobering to think, what if I were judged and blamed soley on my oversights and missteps as a parent? YIKES! Scary thought!!

In other, much more shallow news- it IS oppressively hot and humid and I AM still pregnant. {Incredibly pregnant.} {And huffing and puffing, and sweating and waddling, and contracting, and tossing and turning, and not sleeping much at all.}
Daily pep talk to self: Dig way down deep and find some freaking gratitude to even be at this point, to even have one baby, let alone three, and try to appreciate it b/c this is your last time to do this, sister! GAME FACE! (And let's be real, it's not like you're any less tired once they actually get here.)

I rarely go anywhere without getting comments from strangers, and most of them are very nice and kind and well received. The exception being today when I was buying a birthday gift and a lady asked, "ARE YOU SURE THERE'S ONLY ONE IN THERE? HEH HEH HEH." (Or when well meaning family members call and say "WHERE'S THAT BABY??? ISN'T IT TIME TO HAVE THAT BABY ALREADY???") Words that are not very nice and/or kind cross my mind, but I manage to bite my tongue. I might not bite it much longer though.

I am now on the cusp of 39 weeks, and I definitely didn't think I would make it to this point. I went to Dr. Snead on Tuesday and received the same discouraging news... NO CHANGE. WOMP. WOMP. I can't actually wrap my brain around how this many contractions can = zero change, but apparently it can. "Can you not just fix this situation immediately, kind sir???" I want to ask him.

The even less great news is we are now approaching Dr. Snead's week long, out of town vacation. Major WOMP. WOMP. He doesn't have any partners in his practice, so basically- if I don't go into labor before he leaves I will show up at the hospital and whichever doctor happens to be on call will deliver my baby. WOMP WOMP WOMP WOMP WOMP.

This wouldn't be completely awful except that I'm hoping to have a repeat VBAC (once you've had a c-section, every delivery thereafter is considered a VBAC), and rumor is that several of the doctors that deliver at this hospital are not VBAC friendly. Dr. Snead didn't outright confirm this, but he didn't deny it either.

In other words... if your labor is taking too long/if you need Pitocin/all the millions of factors that come into play can mean instant c-section. Not what I'm hoping for! I love + trust Dr. Snead and know what I'm getting with him. For sentimental reasons, I want him to deliver all three of my babies!

If the baby doesn't come on his own, option B is to be induced next week before he leaves for vacay. This also isn't ideal because induction is riskier for VBACs and the chances of it ending in a c-section are much higher, and this fact was confirmed by Dr. Snead and not just a Google myth I drummed up. On the upside, because I do have some "progress," as he calls it, this option is on the table.

All of these thoughts are swirling around in my mind, but I'm really not letting myself get worked up or stressed about it. Either way I think it will work itself out, and I've decided not to make any decisions until my appointment next Tuesday. I REALLLLLY hope he comes on his own before then, and I'm trying everything I can to encourage that.

>>Including: Cashing it in with parenting the other two and letting them wander around the front yard in their pj's/underwear with a bag of jalapeño potato chips before 9 a.m. this morning looking for snails, while I sat on the front porch. SURELY you can't expected to be on your parenting A game when you're this pregnant in this kind of heat, can you??

Today I went to see my chiropractor, and upon feeling my pressure points she announced, "I really can't believe you're not in labor already. Your pressure points feel like you are beyond ready!" Well dang, if I had a quarter for every time I've heard that over the last four weeks.

She asked if I would be okay with acupuncture, so I spent the next little while with ten needles poking out of various spots on my feet, ankles and legs. "I will be really surprised if I don't hear from you in the next day or so, saying you're in labor," she said as I was leaving.

Famous last words, right?? But to her credit, she did call it with Everett, and I have been having lots and lots and lots of contractions ever since I left her office, but AGAIN if I had a quarter for every time that's happened....

Listen, I'm not getting my hopes up until I am checked into the hospital, hooked up to an epidural, and someone is telling me it's time to push. Then maybe I'll believe he's really, actually coming.

This week [aside from front yard wandering and jalapeño chip eating] the boys have had swim lessons with Mr. Kaleb in our backyard every evening, and Logan has been going to camp at the nature center with Hayden in the morning. He is absolutely loving both, and can't wait until his "swim show off class" tomorrow night!

These two were less than thrilled about "camp shirts for picture day" this morning at drop off.

Everett is less a fan of swim lessons themselves, but is excited about learning to swim and showing us his tricks tomorrow night. He has cried the past two days when we leave him with Mr. Kaleb, but when I peek out the window a couple of minutes later he is dry eyed and happily participating in whatever's going on, so I consider it a win. 

The one and only A-gameISH thing going on around here is I made Logan a little chore chart, and it's going swimmingly. Every morning he has his four jobs (throw away his pull up, versus peeling it off and leaving in on his bedroom floor, getting dressed & brushing his teeth and.. making his bed! At night his last task is to help clean up all the toys from the day without being asked.)
If he does these jobs he can earn a quarter at the end of the day to put in his piggy bank. This whole scenario is Logan's complete love language. He is just beaming with pride over his completed jobs, velcro chart, and the amount of quarters he is amassing. 

I was planning to teach him how to make his bed this week, and I was blown away when he came downstairs on the first morning (dressed as usual), and announced his bed had been made. I don't care how his bed actually looks, it's the him-making-it that I care about, and when I peeked in his room later, I couldn't believe it! I should have taken a picture, he did such a good job!! Quilt and sheets pulled tight, throw pillows in place, it looked like I had done it and he had no instruction at all... what on earth???? He shrugged the whole thing off, like, of course I know how to make a bed, mom. Why wouldn't I? 

Old man. Kid's body and kid's emotional maturity level. Someday I'll fully comprehend this fact. 

Yesterday my dad and Rhonda came to spend the day with us, and we had the very best time! We all really enjoyed their visit! They hung out with Everett and I that morning until it was time to get Logan from camp, and then we picked Logan up and went out to lunch. After lunch Everett napped, Rhonda and I went shopping, and Logan and Pops spent infinity hours in the pool. Naturally we topped off the afternoon with snow cones before swim lessons and dinner, as you should when grandparents visit.
They are off to a wedding in Brenham this weekend, followed by my dad's annual guy's fishing trip, and then we will circle back up with them next week before they head back to Colorado. Maybe we will have a baby to introduce to them, orrrr maybe not. We will see!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Waiting is such sweet sorrow.... or something like that

The waiting never gets easier.

Every day I am convinced our littlest man will make his debut- surely, SURELY this is the day!- but every day he does not.

The fact that I'm only 38 weeks might make a more rational person think, well maybe he's just not ready yet- but the start/stop labor especially in the middle of the night, all the things that are supposed to indicate labor is around the corner, the stronger contractions, and the pressure (oh my gosh the pressure!) really make me think otherwise. But still, no baby.

Nick says it feels like our life is on hold. We are trying so hard to make it feel anything but that way, but he's right. It feels like such an ellipses as we wait and wait and wait some more. We are in between two chapters.

I was reading some hippie website a Google rabbit trail led me to, and it said the reasons labor will start for a few hours and then stop could be:

a) Poor pelvic alignment or the baby in bad position- I don't feel like this is the case because I've been going to my prenatal chiropractor lady getting regular adjustments, and she and Dr. Snead both say the baby is super low and in a good position

-OR-

b) Baby doesn't feel safe and grounded to come out yet- Like a cat finds a secluded dark spot to labor, the website said, so should the mother seek respite from the world so the baby senses a safe, calm environment.

This one was interesting. I've tried walking a lot, I've tried Evening Primrose Oil & Raspberry Leaf Tea, but I haven't given much thought to "finding respite from the world." That's super feasible with a two and a four year old, besides.

Today after nap time Nick took the boys to the jump park to burn some energy. With the precious gift of a quiet house ALL TO MYSELF (!!!) I decided to give it a shot. I turned off the TV, fixed myself a cup of hot tea, turned on some vintage Iron & Wine, and sat in front of the window simply watching the rain. It was surprisingly relaxing, but it did not procure a baby. 

Tonight the boys wanted to take a shower in our bathroom, and I snapped this picture in the mirror as Nick and I watched them. Nick thinks this is the biggest belly yet. I'm not convinced- they've all three been ginormo.
But here we sit. It's a short time, but it feels like an eternity. Every day feels like a month. My hospital bag half packed in the closet, half sitting out on the bathroom counter ^^, wondering if today is the today, feeling a billion contractions... Sitting. Watching. Waiting. On a baby.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Boats & Cars & Trains, Oh My!

I just wanted to do a quick post of some fun things we've been up to this week! I've been trying to strike a balance between resting when I can and doing enough fun things to stay busy and keep my mind off being uncomfortable.

On Wednesday night Logan wanted to spend the night with Al & Teri, so Nick and I enjoyed some QT with our little firefighter. He has an affinity for costumes like his big brother.
We went to eat at Babe's Chicken in Roanoke (which is just about as delicious and good for you as it sounds.) Chicken, biscuits, corn, gravy... YUM! Nick won't miss my up and down emotions, but he sure will miss my pregnancy cravings! We had a fun night with just Everett! I probably say it all the time, but his personality and sense of humor are just the BEST!! We were laughing so hard at all the funny little things he kept saying. He knows he's funny too, and when you laugh he just says more and more. I absolutely love how different our two boys' personalities are, one dynamic and funny, one serious and mature- both are such a gift!

Thursday night the boys and I went to see Hattie's dance recital! (This time the other brother was a firefighter. They must be oblivious to the fact it is 175 degrees outside right now!!)

Oh my goodness, talk about the cutest thing EVER!! Hattie was just a doll and full of personality up on stage doing her tap routine. Seeing all those sweet costumes and little girls dancing did give me a tiny pang- I can't believe I'm never going to have a daughter to do this! Hopefully I will have tons and tons of granddaughters some day. I'm so glad I have Hattie and Nora to live through vicariously for now, ha!

Yesterday we went to The Museum of Science & History to see the Big Bird Planetarium Show and to ride the Forrest Park Train. It was a lot to cram into one day, but those were two things I was really hoping to do with the boys before the baby came, and I'm so glad we got to do them! The train has got to be one of the boys favorite things of all time.
My mom and Teri went with us, and Debbee, PJ and James did the museum and lunch with us. The boys were fun and easy, and we had such a good day with some of our favorite people!
Last night after dinner Jaymi and Cody invited us to go out on their boat for a little while. We all enjoyed it so much! The boys were ecstatic to be with Hudson and Hayden on "Mr. Cody's speed boat." I love these pictures of the four boys. Everett insisted on wearing his sunglasses the entire time, even after the sun set. He was feeling very GQ.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

La La La La, She's Got The Look: 37 Weeks!

My grandma Scat says women get a certain look in their faces before going into labor. What she's saying (without saying it) is, you get a puffy, fat face.

For a couple of weeks now she's been telling me, "Nope, you're not going to have the baby. You don't have that look in your face yet." Lo and behold, this week I've taken a couple of pictures that had me like:


 Exhibit A^
Exhibit B ^

Maybe this means it's getting close!! Here are some deets at 37 weeks.

Weight Gain: I've actually lost a few pounds over the last couple of weeks, making my total weight gain 25 lbs. That's less than I gained with the other two pregnancies, but I started out weighing more so it pretty much evens out. 

Size of Baby: 6/7-ish pound range. Logan was born weighing almost nine, and Everett barely above six. I'm curious what this little guy will weigh!

Cravings: I have not been that hungry at all lately. I've been eating one big meal a day and just doing juice/smoothie/soup or something like that for the others. I don't think there's much room for food, and not much sounds that appetizing.

Symptoms: Okay, here's the thing- I don't want to jinx it- but if I had to guess, I think baby brother will be here soon. Everything that can happen, short of my water breaking or contractions not stopping, has happened. In the last two days I've started feeling exactly like I did at the very end with Everett- lots of pressure and heaviness, stronger contractions and the strangest feeling of all, when the baby gets the hiccups it's way, WAY down low. Such a strange feeling!!!

I've had days where I have lots of energy and feel great, and a couple where I feel like I've been run over by a truck. Last week I was really nervous thinking about labor and if he's healthy and generally just anxious, but in the last day or so I'm excited. If it's a few days, a week, a month (please God, no)- I can't wait! I'm so, so, so, so excited for him to be here!!!!

Other Things of Note: I am so thankful I made it to 37 weeks!! At my appointment this week I was still dilated 2 cm and about 50% effaced, so not much change there, but I feel differently than I did. I also went to a gentle yoga class this week, which felt really good mentally but was actually just very uncomfortable physically. I tried, right? Baby B's nursery was finished and all of his stuff ready to go around 35 weeks. I haven't unpacked my hospital bag, so that's basically ready... we are set and ready- fat face and all- whenever he is!


Here are some other things we've been up to this week...

The rain finally stopped and our pool warmed up enough to swim on Monday afternoon. The boys were so excited! It was chilly, but fun.
Teri and I took the boys to a festival for the library in Southlake Town Square. There were fire trucks to sit in, Minions to high five, free sno cones... Fun was had by all.
Today the library had dump truck story time outside in the pavilion, complete with a real dump truck visit. The excitement was chart topping! My friend Mandy and I took our gaggle of gentleman and had lunch afterwards. 
This afternoon Emilee came over to keep the boys while they napped so I could run a few errands, but Logan ended up skipping his nap and coming with me instead. We got frozen yogurt and just had a really good time! Four can be such a fun, sweet age. He is such a big kid now!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer Fun Activites For Preschoolers

In the summertime, we love a good mix of lazy days, pool days, and more structured days where we have things planned! I'm not quite sure how this summer is going to look with a newborn in tow, but we'll take it one day at a time. Here are some things on our list to do this summer in our area (as well as a few extra we're not doing but sound like fun anyway):

Camps:

 Bob Jones Nature Center Day Camps- Weekly day camps from 9:30-12:30 for kids ages 3/4. (And longer camps for older kids.) The kids have a healthy snack, go on guided hikes, do experiments, art, etc. You can sign up one week at a time, and there is still lots of availability. This is something we're super excited about this summer!

Cooking Camp at Taste Buds Kitchen- Daily and weekly camps and classes for kids ages 4 & up. This is something that I don't know will make the cut for us this summer, but I've heard such great things about it!

Ride With Pride Horse Camp- Ages 3 & up, weekly camps. This was a day camp Logan and Hattie did last summer that was the cutest EVER! They had horseback riding, popsicles, barn chores, crafts and all kinds of fun activities each day. On the last day there was a rodeo for the parents to come watch. For whatever reason Logan was not a fan of horse camp, but Hattie absolutely loved it. I think it just wasn't his thing, but it is a great summer activity!

Fort Worth Museum School Summer Camps- This is another repeat for us from last summer because Logan loved it so much. Each camp is a week long (two hours per day) for kids ages 3 & up. Rivers, dinosaurs and space are the three camp themes available for 3&4 year olds. I can't say enough good things about Museum School!

Ft. Worth Zoo Summer Camp- Kids ages 3 & up

Sunshine Camp at Camp Thurman-  Ages 4 & up (Christian camp). I have heard wonderful things about Camp Thurman from so many people! Sunshine Camp is their day camp exclusively for 4 year olds. Their website is pretty vague, but here is a description the director emailed me:

Camp day runs from 9AM to 1:15 PM.  During that time they will have about 20 activities. They swim everyday, have crafts 3 times a week, Skits every day, and then a variety of activities in the other activity periods.  They may include Water Wagon (a ride on a hay wagon with water guns to shoot at passers-by, SlipNSlide (a 25 foot long slip and slide water slide), Jordan Gully (free play on cargo nets, swings, paddle bridges), K-Klimb (a 12 foot climb up a cargo net and then down a twisting slide), Madman's Mountain (a climbing wall), BBs/Archery (target shooting with bow and arrow or BB guns), Petting Zoo (all kinds of animals come to visit and campers are allowed to pet them), Games (free time games).

All of our activities are challenge by choice.  No one is required to participate, but the counselors do encourage them to try something new.  Swimming will be in pools designed for them and they are required to wear life jackets, which we furnish.

Our Sunshine Days and Uncle Bill's programs are perfect introductions for kids who have never been to camp.  Lots of fun with counselors who enjoy being with them.  

This is a Christian Day Camp, and our day begins with Bible time and throughout the day, counselors make a point of helping the campers understand their relationship to Jesus and how he is an important part of their everyday life.



Indoor Daily Activities:

Big Bird's One World, One Sky Showing at the Noble Planetarium in FW- This is a 25 min show inside the planetarium geared for kids ages 2-7. It's on exhibit, I believe, until July. We have plans to check it out this week.

Omni Theater- Right now Dolphins, Sharks, Bugs and Tornadoes are four of the IMAX features playing. The movies are less than an hour in length. We took Logan this past weekend, and he loved it! Probably not great for kids under the age of 4 though. You could check out the children's museum afterwards!

Southlake Library Daily Kids' Events- Our local library is really stepping up their game this summer and has some sort of event for kids planned every day. This week there is a visit from Paw Patrol Members, Dump Truck Story Time, Art Class and Read To A Dog to name a few. I'm sure we'll be checking out the library activities pretty regularly this summer.

 Urban Air Trampoline Park- Indoor trampoline park, sadly they don't offer jumperoo times (preschool aged kids only) during the summer.

Jump For Fun- Indoor bounce houses with open jump times Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

 Sea Life Aquarium, Grapevine 

 Legoland Discovery Center, Grapevine

Moody Family Children's Museum at The Perot Museum, Dallas- This is our favorite local children's museum by far



Outdoor Daily Activities:

Forest Park Miniature Railroad- A half hour miniature train ride in Ft. Worth, a fan favorite at our house.

Bicentennial Park, Southlake- Newly opened park with a splash pad right in the center!



Periodic Events/Unusual Things To Do:

Fourth Friday Films - Free films starting at dusk at various parks in Grapevine the fourth Friday of each month

Salt Cave Kids' Cave- Something healthy and different to do! Indoor, giant sandbox made entirely out of Himalayan Sea Salt. Each session lasts 45 minutes, you can sit in there and relax and breathe the salty air while your kids play. There are always great specials on Groupon and the first session is only $10.

 Moviehouse Free Tuesday Movies- Every Tuesday morning at 10:00 Moviehouse in Keller has free movies playing for kids (tickets available starting at 9 a.m. first come/first serve). Check out Mommy Mondays, as well!


When All Else Fails:

Welp, here's the iPad. Knock your socks off.

Check out LAST YEAR'S LIST- a few repeats, a few I didn't include this year. And be sure to leave a comment with anything I left off! Yay for summer!!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Vacation Cancellation Consolation

When we told Logan we had to cancel our vacation plans following my doctor's appointment a couple of weeks ago, he cried and cried. I felt HORRIBLE. He had been so excited about going on vacation with Hudson and Hayden, and we had really been talking it up and showing him pictures of where we were going. Mistake 1A. 

Since Nick had already planned to take most of this week off, we decided to find some other local family fun adventures for the boys instead. Tomorrow, Nick and I are planning to surprise Logan and take him to lunch (Chic Fil A will be his place of choosing, 100% no doubt) and to the Omni Theater in Ft. Worth to see a movie about sharks while Everett naps and hangs out with my mom.

On Tuesday Nick had to work for a few hours, and I had my weekly doctor's appointment and a hair appointment. Emilee was keeping the boys for me, but in between appointments I told Logan we could go do anything he wanted (Everett agrees to whatever Logan wants at this point.) Logan chose The Nature Center to look for more bugs. Easy enough! So off we went with Emilee (and her sweet friend who is visiting and hung out with Emilee and the boys that afternoon) in tow.

We walked around on the trails and caught two grasshoppers, then enjoyed popsicles like last time.

Hair appointment: 
Because obviously, no one wants to go and have a baby with their roots showing! Insert Nick's biggest eye roll ever. =)

Yesterday Nick worked half a day and in the afternoon we took the boys to spend the night at Great Wolf Lodge. Once we planned this the sadness of vacation quickly faded away. They have both been so excited!
I'm not sure if you've been to Great Wolf Lodge, but it's... really something. Pretty much, it's my father-in-law Al's worst nightmare. Chuck E. Cheese on steroids. Casey and Kyle took their kids, and as Casey said, "I've never seen so many ten year olds walking around with magic wands and 44 oz Cokes in my life." Precisely. Likewise, it is the biggest population of jorts + t-shirts in the water that I've seen in one location to date. Besides the indoor water park there is a giant arcade, laser tag, candy and ice cream shops galore, toy stores, some kind of wizard/magic wand treasure hunt game, and a buffet consisting pretty much only of kids' food. All for the bargain price of $1 million. (Dinner buffet for instance- entirely pizza, mac and cheese, chicken nugget type foods- $60+ for us, drinking only waters and Everett being free of charge. Candy in the candy shops, $6.)

But-- the other thing Great Wolf Lodge has going for it is BUNK BEDS! Oh, the bunk beds!!
Pretending to sleep when we first got there

Logan has been talking about the bunk beds since we told him about Great Wolf Lodge. When we got there they didn't even want to go to the water park, they just wanted to go straight to our room and play on the bunk beds. When we left today Everett said the bunk beds were his favorite part of the trip.

Other highlights for them were the arcade...




Where money flies from your pockets and you feel like you might fall into epileptic seizure at any moment- so many lights and noise and people and machines!

And of course, the water park.

Clean as a whistle, that water filled with all those jort wearing people and babies with saggy diapers.

Logan was so brave in the water- he spent the majority of his time with Nick at the deep end of the wave pool jumping into waves. (He said this was his favorite part of Great Wolf Lodge.) He and Nick also rode all of the big, twisty slides which I have to say, looked like so much fun! I was a little bummed to miss those. Everett was a lot more anxious in the water. He played in the kids' area some and did some of the small slides, but mostly he just wanted Nick or me to hold him. 

All of that walking and carrying kids and going up and down stairs and swimming was exhausting! The thought kept creeping in my mind, what if my water breaks in this cess pool, will I even know? Will the baby come down with Typhoid Fever or something?? Thankfully that never happened. 

After the water park, a stop by the candy store and baths, we got the boys to bed around 9:00. For close to an hour we kept hearing Logan hiss down from the top bunk, "EVERETT! EV-UH-RIT! Psssst!" but Everett was already sound asleep. 

The sleeping arrangements were just as plush and restful as you might imagine. Nick and I were thrilled to discover that in addition to the walled off bunk bed area for the kids, we had a spacious full bed for he and I and the baby to stretch out on. 

Everett woke up twice during the night, and Logan once, and in between all of that + my countless bathroom trips, Nick ended up pulling out the fold out couch and sleeping on that. We laughed so hard- in addition to the sound of the squeaking springs every time he so much as moved an arm, the bed was literally slanted straight down. His head was about 4 inches lower than his body. I'm pretty sure that bed has been jumped on by more than one kid in its day. It was a restful night for sure!

Just before 6:30 this morning Logan came bee bopping down the bunk bed ladder and announced he was ready to get dressed and wake up. He put on his clothes and crawled in bed with me, where I told him he had to stay until the clock said "Seven oh oh." Every few minutes I would get a report in a very loud whisper voice, "Mom, the numbers say six-three-six. Now the numbers say six-four-one. The numbers say six-five-three. How many minutes is it until seven-oh-oh?"

At seven-oh-oh he happily bounced (or squeaked, rather) over to Nick's bed and dazzled us with a light show using his newly acquired finger lights, until Nick acquiesced and took him downstairs to run around and have breakfast until Everett woke up a little after 8:00.
Everett and I met them downstairs for breakfast, and then it was round two for the arcade and water park before packing up around lunch time to head home.

As tongue and cheek as I made this whole post, I have to say- we really did have the best time!! The entire place revolves around kids, and the boys loved it! I didn't know how it would go pulling out of our driveway yesterday because I was having lots of contractions and pretty uncomfortable, Nick was stressed about work stuff, and neither Everett nor Logan feels 100% still. Since we had already paid for the reservation I thought we would go and see how it went and come home if we needed to. Once we got there we seriously did have so much fun! Nick and I had a blast playing the arcade games and being at the water park with the boys. I'm glad we made these fun memories in our last days (ish) as a family of four!