T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Our Visit to Narnia...

This week was a long week.

I worked 4 full days with a conference call during my one day off. Add to that, Hubby was also called to jury duty for the 11th time in his life (don't ask). Plus, we had our regular activities of swim lessons and gymnastics. We knew it was going to be a crazy, busy week and we were geared up and ready for it. We promised the kids we would do something amazing at the end of all of it if they stayed on track, did their chores, and hung in there with us.

Our city has a wonderful community theater that does shows year round.  Fortunately for us, this months show is geared directly toward children. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Several months ago, Hubby read this C.S. Lewis classic to the kids and they loved it.  And now, how wonderful that we had it had a chance this week (our super busy week) to see it live!  When we tried to explain what "live theater" was to the kids, they could not quite grasp the concept.  Lil Sister has never even been to a movie theater so she kept thinking we were going to the movies. T was uncertain but as he often does, he just went with the flow and was excited because we were excited.

The show's entire cast was children.  Very talented children.   I have to say we were all very impressed with the quality.  It was the perfect pace and duration. The first half was 45 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission, then another 30 minutes. The main highlights of the story were all there, including the epic battle at the end. They even handled the scene on the stone table very appropriately. Of course, Lil Sister loved Lucy and T loved Peter. The costumes and sets were all masterfully done as well.

We allowed the kids to select their own outfits. We suggested dressing up a bit but T did not want to wear a tie. I was fine with that but I was not expecting him to wear his knight attire with chain mail and helmet, complete with foam sword. Lil Sister wanted to wear her fairy dress I made for her complete with a new princess purse and field journal. She carries a notebook and pen/crayon/pencil around everywhere and is constantly jotting down notes. (That field journal came in handy later.)

During the show, the kids were captivated. They knew the story so they could follow what was happening. When the White Witch came on T covered his ears and hid in his chair. Lil Sister was just enchanted and sat very quiet whispering, "I'm not scared, Mama" as she clutched my hand. At one point I did have to laugh when she asked, "Mommy, why are the animals dressed as children." Then I had to explain it was actually the reverse and I think she finally understood the concept of live theater. When the wolf attacked Peter, T drew his sword and was ready to run onto the stage to battle. He was also cheering during the final battle scene, too. 

We ran into some friends at the show who were there to see the actor playing Aslan (the lion). They brought him over to see the kids after the show. What happened next we were not quite prepared for. While T and Lil Sister were visiting with the Aslan actor, the other actors starting coming up to talk with them. T drew a huge crowd of actors and audience members because of his costume. Many of the actors remarked that his costume was better than their costume battle attire. Then he and his sister started giving their thoughts on the performance and before we knew it, they were surrounded by the entire cast entertaining them with their stories. At that point, Lil Sister pulled out her field journal and insisted they all give their autographs. 

Toward the end, the director came out and said they were shutting down the theater. Yes, we were still there 45 minutes after the show ,visiting with the cast and crew. As we were about to leave, the actor who played Peter suggested he "knight" young T.  It was an epic moment - T was completely awestruck and still thinks he is a knight of Narnia!  We all took a family photo at the lamp post "in Narnia" and then bid everyone farewell. The wonderful cast invited the kids to join them in a few years, if they wanted, to participate in a summer theater production. Apparently, they think T has the whole method acting thing down as he really becomes the character he is dressed as. 

I don't think we will ever top this theater experience. We may do things that are as cool but I think the kids will always remember this as one of the most epic nights of their lives. Us, too, as parents. We decided that it would have been a very enjoyable show and one we would have gone to even if we did not have kids. But let me tell you, sharing this particular experience with our children was truly epic and something we would not otherwise get to experience without being the parents of these wonderful kiddos.

Here are a few more photos, the first from the actual show. As long as there was not flash we could take photos. The last is of our kids in Narnia with the main characters. The red photo is how they did the stone table scene - very classy. For the record, T wants me to note, the Witch/Queen was very scary on stage but very nice as a regular person. I would like to note that Edmund is far from my favorite character but he was my favorite actor to meet. The little actress playing Lucy was ready to take Lil Sis home, too. Today, both kids have been making pretend visits to the theater and insist they are Lucy and Peter. Enjoy these last few photos. We will always cherish them as a reminder of our wonderful evening.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Profile Pic Updates

So, it's been another 4 weeks since I posted profile pics. I will say, I feel like I'm getting big and clumsy but when I look at the photos they seem unimpressive. So, you can be the judge. I know I have body image issues and my mind is like a reverse car mirror - things appear larger than they actually are.

As far as other updates related to baby - not too much to tell. I am starting to have more good days than bad. For example, today has been a not-so-great day. Lots of dizziness, weakness, and nausea. Whereas yesterday, I was great - the kids and I were gone for 7 hours and I did not have a break until 8:00 pm when they went to bed. I even allowed them to skip naps for all our errand running which means no break for me. So, I'm not sure why one day I am great and the next I need to lay around all day. I keep trying to refocus my mind but I think there might be some physiologic process like blood pressure or glucose level that may be over-riding that mental mechanism.

I have my 24 week check up tomorrow so I don't have any new stats like weight gain or fetal heart rate. I can measure my own fundus and I know it's exactly where it needs to be and my blood pressures have been running a bit low but still fine. Fetal movement is good - somewhat aggressive if I do say so myself. Is it that 3rd children need to be tough to survive the older siblings? Especially an older brother who, like my Grandpa Z, gives really strong, somewhat painful hugs.

We started our child birth classes last week in the form of hypno birthing. Honestly, it was the best child birth class I have even been to. There was a whole segment on how the uterus works, specifically during labor and delivery. I think if more women understood that process less fear and hence less pain would be involved. We also talked about fears and over coming those fears related to labor. It was interesting to hear how we, as women, are programed to believe that child birth is supposed to be painful. Everything in the media points to these dramatic birth stories. I recall being at a bridal shower and being 39 weeks pregnant. One of the women there was totally paranoid I would have the baby during the shower. I kept explaining that it is a much longer process than we see in the movies/TV. Someone's water does not just break and the baby is then born 5 minutes later. 

I recall even before I experienced child birth for the first time having random women come up to me and sharing their horrible birth stories. I sure wished someone would have come up to me and told me her wonderful birth story. They do exist. Honestly, with my daughter's birth, it did not get bad until I went the route of meds. Up until that point, I actually was not in much pain, or at least I did not perceive myself to have much pain. Once my body was completely numb I then realized I was actually feeling discomfort prior to then. 

Even now when I explain we are planning a drug-free birth, folks ask, "Why?!?" or they nod their heads with a "yeah right" attitude. The only somewhat only mildly negative feedback I gave once when someone said she was planning a drug-free birth was, "If you have that wonderful experience you are planning, please don't look down on or make the rest of us who have had pain relief feel bad." That has happened to me and it was not fun. Sort of like discrimination and reverse discrimination. Of course, when dealing with pregnant women, is there ever a correct response? For now, I am just practicing being positive when I get the "Why?!?" response.

We also learned the first of some relaxation techniques which have also been helpful to get me sleeping. I've been struggling a bit with insomnia and hip pain so this has been great, too. It is also nice for Hubby to have some tools to use so he feels like he is a more active participant versus a bystander that just cuts the cord.

During our class we also talked about formulating a birth plan, or at least the beginnings of one. Thinking about how we want to deliver related to our environment, our support staff/partners, and the emotional aspect as well. Compared to the basic child birth class I had 6 years ago with my first, this was far superior, even if we end up not going all natural it will have been worth the experience and cost. 

Anyways, here are those photos. 22 weeks then 24 weeks. On a side note, in both these photos, the tops are my regular clothes but the pants are maternity.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

More Pool Time

The kids started swimming lessons this past week. They are actually doing awesome. As it turns out, they are in different levels but their classes are combined so Lil Sister has been so happy to get to take her class with Brother. I like the main instructor but he is kind of a shady looking dude with lots of tattoos and earrings that overstretch his ears. I think he's kind of scary looking which has its advantages - the kids really listen to him, especially in a setting such as swimming which can be dangerous.

Since they've been taking lessons, we've also been trying to get as much swim practice in as possible. We are most fortunate to have some dear friends who have a pool. Not just any pool, but a really nice, well kept, heated pool. In contrast to our neighborhood pool which is usually crawling with people and freezing cold, this pool is actually warm enough for my tastes. 

Since the kids first started visiting this pool about a month ago, their swimming skills have been growing by leaps and bounds - literally. You should see T jump into the 8 foot end of the pool without his life vest and swim to either us or the edge. We still stand by for assistance but mostly, he can do it himself. 

Lil Sister has been also trying really hard to keep up with her brother but still cannot quite do solo but she still gets around pretty darn good with some assistance from a noodle, when needed. If I am by myself, I will still often insist on life vests but when both of us can be in the water, I do allow them to go without. Hubby did jump in holding onto Lil Sister so she could be like Big Brother but she still feels a bit shy about doing so alone. (I am glad she still has some hesitations.)

What about Baby Sister? She is great - also growing by leaps and bounds and getting stronger every day. Her little kicks and movements have been getting much more aggressive and she will not put up with the big kids squashing her when they ask for snuggles. Actually, they get a kick (pardon the pun) out of her little taps and kicks and will often not go to bed until she "wakes up and gives kicks".  As we hit our 24 week mark this week, I will post some profile pics later this week but for now, enjoy the pool photos.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fourth of July 2013

I'm a few days behind - okay, 5 days behind on this posting but there were so many great moments for our evening of fireworks that I had to still post the photos.

We purchased a few very kid friendly fireworks to light this year. Since we watched a nearby hill burn for several days just prior to the 4th we also wanted to ensure nothing we bought would pose a fire hazard either.

Some of the items on our list included: sparklers, snakes, snap pops, tanks, pagodas, hens, smoke bombs, and one quiet colorful fountain called Angel Kiss. Next year (note to future self) - more smoke bombs (4-5 packages), more snap pops (6-12 packages), more sparklers (2-4 boxes), snakes (1-2 packages), no hens (they don't lay eggs as the package says), tanks (4-6 would have been plenty - in even numbers for battling), and pagodas (one for each child). The fountain was a good one. The kids don't like loud noises so we let them wear our ear protection and purchased the one fountain that was said to be mostly silent. It was pretty silent but T still did not care for it. We adults enjoyed it, though. The smoke bombs were by far the biggest hit. There was some intrigue from the snakes but. Everyone loved the snap pops. 

We did have one "friendship pagoda" that spun around, twirled, and exploded catching on fire which was great fun to watch but then the kids were sad that there was no pagoda standing. At least we had a few others but a couple were crushed so we did not get to see them pop up. Next year we will inspect before purchasing. 

Overall, it cost us about $40 for all the stuff we had and it took a good hour to light it all off. Our neighbors from across the street came over and enjoyed their fireworks along with ours. And our Good Neighbors from next door also joined in the fun. It's becoming an annual tradition. 

It is amazing to me how quickly time passes. Lil Sister, just two years ago, was sleeping through 4th of July and this year is a full on participant. Next year our newest little girl will hopefully be sleeping through all the excitement. We did have to wrap stuff up fairly early since both Hubby and I had to work the next day. It was actually a pretty quiet day at work for both of us since most folks were off enjoying the holiday. 

Some how kids just make these simple holidays more fun. Snap pops and sparklers would not light my face up unless my little ones were on the other side having a great time. In the end, despite feeling pretty sickly that day, my face was tired from all the smiling. 

Here are some of those photos...

Genie smoke.

Tank Wars.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Staying Cool...

It has been hot this week. Now I used to be able to tolerate 110 degree weather but not so much any more. Especially since early last week it was mid-sixties and I'm pregnant. I won't dwell too much on weather as I get grumpy when that's all my dad talks about when we converse.

Rather, I will share some photos of the kids staying cool. We've had a couple playdates involving water and swimming which is great because the kids start lessons next week and it has been great practice for them. Plus, three hours at the pool equals great naps. By the way, the pool water is not heated so we only go to our neighborhood pool when it's 90 degrees or hotter. I would say 105 today qualifies for that.

She calls this riding her sea horse.
Wrapped in her Wonder Woman towel.

Seahorse racing.