Thursday, July 31, 2014

in July

I love having a pool in our complex. I can feel less pregnant for a second and my kids are continually branching out and trying more and more adventurous things.

The Davis's made it possible for us to go on our awesome aquarium date, and we returned the favor by babysitting for them too. Our kids are all friends, which is great.

We recently set up the baby crib in our bedroom, which necessitated rearranging certain pieces of furniture. That brought the keyboard out of Mom and Dad's room and into the living/dining room. It has become quite the popular entertainment spot amongst all three kids. I'm really, really glad we have headphones for it...

I "graduated" from therapy again! I've been going weekly for about three months, working hard to deal with the trauma triggers that have come with being pregnant and anticipating giving birth again. I finally reached a point about a week ago when I felt like all that was left to do was to have the baby--so no more therapy until baby is here and we process the new birth story. YAY ME!!! I celebrated with a doughnut from the QT gas station--best doughnuts ever.

Chris has been an amazingly wonderful husband during this whole pregnancy, and it only becomes more and more obvious the bigger and more uncomfortable I get. I wanted to paint my toenails and after watching me struggle through one foot, he painted the other for me. I didn't even ask him to, he just did it.

Our friends the Carrons had borrowed our baby swing for their son born in January. They recently returned it in anticipation of our own baby coming, and we're close enough that it wasn't worth storing it away. That mostly means that it's already set up in the living room which allows for moments like this, when Ben climbs in and can't figure out how to get himself out. And I make him wait for me to take a picture before I'll help.

Last but not least, we don't get out of the house as much as usual lately. It's just a bit beyond my daily ability to wrangle all three kids anywhere for very long. On one brave morning, though, we dared venture to the park. I'm glad we went. We went early, beating both the crowds and the heat.

We were there long enough to chase the geese, too.

Happy summer! Only about two more weeks until school starts, three weeks until baby is due (but hopefully less until he actually comes!).

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Real Birthday

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Our official THREE YEAR OLD. 
Man, you're old.

It was really cute to watch him get ready for church. He so wants to be big now and do everything himself. His latest accomplishment is learning how to do up buttons, for which he frequently sings the song from the Daniel Tiger show.

Poor kid had to wait all the way until after church to open his presents.

He's been asking me for a fire truck since about a week after his second birthday. I'm happy to say he's quite pleased with it.

He also got a new tractor earlier this week using money sent from Grandma and Grandpa Wampler. This boy's heart definitely lies in the realm of things with big wheels.

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer of the Frogs

Just because we keep documenting random amphibians, reptiles and the like that we encounter this summer, it seems only fair to continue that tradition.

Here is the frog Chris found out in the breezeway of our apartment this evening.

Apparently it's a requirement to bring such things into the house.

It was admittedly significantly larger than most recently apprehended frogs, so there is that.

I still made him take it back outside, though. (I know he would have eventually, I just desired it sooner...)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Birthday Boy!

Benjamin Ryan isn't quite three yet, but we had his birthday party today. We invited the ward playgroup over for swimming and cupcakes at our pool. We had an awesome turnout and Ben definitely felt special for his birthday.

Audrey is still doing great with going underwater.


Happy (almost) Birthday, Bud!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Atlanta's Finest

Ever since we moved to Atlanta, we've heard from just about everybody that we needed to go to the Aquarium. It's amazing, it's awesome, you've got to see it some time while you can. I have really wanted to, but at nearly $40 per ticket it was a little out of our budget to take all the kids.

That said, we really needed a real date. Chris has been working hard to finish his summer class, which has been a killer, and I'm just getting more pregnant and trying to get everything ready for a baby to come. We just wanted a minute to be together and not stress about all the other stuff. Lucky us (or rather, blessed us), we managed to find two friends with memberships that include guest passes and a babysitter for several hours. Hooray! We totally got into the aquarium for the price of parking--$8 instead of $80. Score.

To answer the question I just know is on the tip of your tongue, YES, the aquarium is that good. One word: whales.

We ended up at the whale tank--to be accurate, they are whale sharks--in time for a feeding. That was pretty cool to watch. They suck in tons and tons of water in the process of getting the krill they actually eat, then all the bigger fish they sucked in would get squirted out their side gills. Quite interesting to watch.

Other cool things that I have no proper names for--a glow in the dark sea horse looking thing.

And these little worms that would rise up and down out of the sand. Totally reminded me of Oscar the Grouch's worms on Sesame Street.

They also had tons of different touch pools. I wasn't interested either in getting wet, touching slimy living things, or bending over, so I let Chris enjoy that part on his own while I took pictures.

Chris also enjoyed fully participating in the penguin exhibit.

Once we'd sufficiently experienced the aquarium (which is code for I was too tired to walk around anymore), we went to lunch at Olive Garden. It was great to just sit and be together and take as long as we wanted without worrying about getting back to the kids. Huge thanks to Emily B. and Sarah D. for making this date possible!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I've repeatedly meant to document more of my pregnancy via the blog--I feel like it's a pretty significant chapter in the "My Journey with Postpartum Depression and Traumatic Birth" category. And I still intend to...just not right now. I'm uncomfortable and tired of being pregnant and wish that we could just get on with it already, and I still have five weeks left. Sigh.

My lack of pregnancy enthusiasm has been somewhat apparent to those around me, and it has resulted in some sympathy visitors. Which is totally awesome.

The elders assigned to our ward kept asking and asking and asking if there was anything that they could do to help. I finally said yes and asked them to clean out the inside of my van.

They did a good job while getting some service hours in, and the kids had all kinds of fun helping them, and I love having a van that isn't full of garbage and leaves and crumbs. Win win win.

One of my biggest bothers in my house has been my shower. It was gross, really. Bending over to scrub a bathtub was beyond my current realm of desire/ability and the neglect definitely showed--this is one time that I was too embarrassed even for a Before shot. Brenda and Amanda can both attest as they used my shower while they were here.

A saint of a friend from church volunteered to clean it for me. Oh heavens be, it was amazing. She not only scoured the entire shower and tub, she also let Jane help her which gave her something to do for quite a long time that day instead of just being bored. It was great for everyone. And I will proudly show off the After shot.

So great. Now I can really relax in the bath, which my aching prego muscles thoroughly appreciate. P.S. I love our huge bathtubs.

At the same time that Emily came to clean the tub, she helped me wind the bobbin on Chris's sewing machine so I could make a blanket for the baby. Note: yes, we already made a quilt. Each of my kids has had a baby blanket that was just theirs, and then a bigger blanket that they grew into later. We have the baby's bigger quilt now, but no baby blanket. So I made one.

Look at all this craftiness! Chris helped me cut the fabric, but I sewed it all by myself. Now I'm working on crocheting a cute (but not girl) border around the edges.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rewards 3 AND 4

We have totally rocked the scripture study this summer. We read one chapter, sometimes 2 if they're short, every morning before breakfast. My kids are doing awesome with taking their turns, and we even stop and talk about what's going on in the verses. I love it when they hear a reference to a particular person or story at church and say, "Hey, we read about that!" It's my favorite.

Anyway. We have actually passed two more of our rewards, and we ended up combining them into one night--first was a late night movie (in honor of Enos praying all day and all night) and the second was dinner at McDonald's. By the time we got back from Florida, the kids were not at all interested in going to a restaurant...that was old news right then. So, we opted instead for homemade personal pizzas.

We had all kinds of fun picking the toppings, and getting to eat in the living room all together.

To make it extra exciting, we went to Target to find a new movie that the kids hadn't seen before. Their choice: Charlotte's Web, the original. Good choice.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Accommodations

I've posted about all the highlights of our visit to Florida. The piece I have left out thus far is the side adventure of staying in Michael and Amanda's house. To sum up: 5 adults, 5 kids, 400 square feet. was a tight fit.

We managed to get all the kids into one room--Ivan and Charlotte in their own beds, Megan and Audrey on an air mattress, Ben on some sleeping bags piled up on the floor. For the adults, it was a bit tighter squeeze.

Amanda on the couch, Brenda and Michael on cots, and Chris and I on Michael and Amanda's mattress on the floor. It's been a long time since I had a slumber party!

The first day we were there, Amanda threw a little pre-birthday party for Ben, complete with a festive dessert.

Followed by presents.

The trucks were great fun at the beach.

Quiet time was always somewhat interesting, with the mix of kids who take naps and kids who don't and trying to keep kids quiet so others could sleep but not actually having the space for anyone to lay down... a near-daily adventure.

And the biggest side adventure of them all--3 of the five adults are pregnant. We successfully covered all three trimesters between us.

We attempted a cute pregnancy picture right as we were leaving, but we failed to notice how much the humidity was fogging up the lens, so the exposure didn't exactly work out. It improved with a little editing, and it's probably one of my favorites from the trip despite the blurriness.