When Sunshine Turned 8

Jun 27, 2015

After arriving home from Hawaii, we quickly moved into birthday mode. And not just any birthday, but Sunshine's 8th birthday! Just 24 hours after getting home from Hawaii, Bruce and I celebrated our baby becoming a big girl!

Sunshine's birthday ended up being a really busy day. Sunshine went to school and I taught preschool. Then Man Cub, Beebs and I went down to Sunshine's school to have ice cream sandwiches with her and her class in celebration. After picking her up from school, Sunshine was able to attend her first Activity Days activity, which she was beyond excited about. We did have to get her early from that as her birthday wish was to celebrate by attending the Mesa Temple Easter pageant that evening. My father in law met us at the house, we loaded our picnic dinner and Sunshine's birthday presents into the car, then picked her up from the church and headed across town. As this was the first time we'd all been together all day, Sunshine opened her birthday gifts in the car. She got a colouring book from Beebs, a few new swimsuits from Bruce and I and Bruce's dad got her a basketball and a CTR ring. Bruce and I had also gotten her a new dress for her baptism, but gave it to her early so she could wear it for her birthday photos in Hawaii.

Once we arrived at the temple, we walked around and enjoyed all the beautiful flowers throughout the grounds. Then we settled into our seats and enjoyed our picnic dinner. At the birthday girl's request we had Goodcents subs and a variety of snacks. Then we just waited for the show to begin. As always, it was a fantastic performance and helped to get us all in the Easter spirit as we remembered the great life and sacrifice of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. I absolutely love that this is how Sunshine wanted to spend her 8th birthday. I can think of no better way to get in the right mindset for her baptism that was just 3 days away at the time.

Once the pageant ended, we got back in the car and headed home. With that, Sunshine's actual birthday had ended, but the celebration was far from over!

Bump-Date | Week 40

Jun 26, 2015

Bruce and I with his brother and brother's wife. Yesterday, my brother in law was sworn in as a
detention officer. Welcome to the law enforcement life C&B! 
6 days from my due date and officially in my 40th week of pregnancy. Can someone please tell me how I got to this point so quickly!?! It feels like just yesterday, I was sitting at a restaurant table following my second half marathon when someone at the table next to us squeezed a lemon into their drink. The smell was so strong and intoxicating that I thought to myself "hmmm... I wonder if I'm pregnant!?". The next morning I took a test and sure enough, baby #4 was on its way. How have 36 weeks passed since that time!?

I think I am finally starting to feel a little bit ready for this baby to arrive. I've made significant progress on my mile-long to do list. While my mum was in town last week, we tackled some of the huge projects on my list, like going through the tubs and boxes and bags of baby and children's clothes that were being stored in my garage. We condensed everything significantly and donated 8 jam packed garbage bags full of clothes to DI. We also painted my bathroom and put a base coat of paint in Man Cub's room. Bruce then did the stripes on Man Cub's wall on his days off this past week. We also hung curtains and ran some errands and cleaned house. I am so so grateful that my mum was able to come and help me get some things done. I've also got some of my baby related sewing done, finished editing client photos and I'm almost finished with my final peg order before taking a long break from painting. Now if I can just get my hospital bag packed, I will be ready to have this baby!

Weight Gain: I am happy to report that unless I am swelling, I'm hovering right around the 35 pound mark for weight gain. This makes me so happy. No gain in two weeks! There are days here and there when the heat takes it's toll on me and I swell up (see above photo for proof). On those days I'm a little heavier, but luckily, for the most part, I am able to take it easy and drink plenty of water which seems to help keep the swelling at a minimum.

Cravings: Still just craving all those things I shouldn't be eating. If it is salty, sugary, or a way of drinking my allotted calories, I want it. And self control? What's that!?! Luckily, my appetite isn't very big right now (I think I'm running out of room!), so I'm not eating a ton of stuff I shouldn't. But it is definitely what I'm wanting. I hope my love of healthy foods returns once this baby is out!

Third Trimester Symptoms: Heartburn has been pretty minimal lately... I'm thinking the baby has dropped a bit. I'm absolutely exhausted all the time though. This could have something to do with our hot hot heat these days. 115/116 degree temps really suck the life out of me anyway, and being pregnant makes it that much worse. I'm also experiencing a lot of cramping. And the cramping comes and goes very regularly, almost to the point of being able to time it. But it hasn't turned into contractions yet, thank goodness. KJ doesn't arrive for another 2 weeks. I can't have this baby before she gets here!!

Medical Stuff: Nothing new to report here... saw the DO at my practice this past week. He was ok, but I definitely prefer the midwives in the office. He let me know he's not a fan of having patients go to 42 weeks. Luckily, the midwives are completely supportive of my need to be left alone through that point. Eventually, all my babies have come out. And when left to their own devices, they come out very fast.

Something I'm excited about: Finding out what this baby is!!! I've been pretty convinced from the beginning that this is a baby boy, but the closer we get to delivery day, the more I start to waver. I think I'll still be a little surprised if it is a girl, but only because this pregnancy has mirrored Man Cub's so much. I am definitely getting anxious to meet this little one, but still not ready to rush away the last few weeks of this pregnancy.

Something I'm not excited about: As with all my pregnancies, my anti-socialness has set in. This is typical for me around the 38/39 week mark. I get tired of people asking when I'm due and giving me their 2 cents about how ridiculous it is that my doctors "let" me go so far "overdue". My doctors don't let me do anything. I tell them what I want, and unless the baby is in danger, I expect them to grant my wishes. 42 weeks is a perfectly natural length for a pregnancy. I would say normal, except it seems that no one is willing to wait it out anymore. I'm at that point where I find it easier to just be at home, nesting and getting things ready for the baby, than going to church or social events. Even running errands is more effort and socializing than I am up for these days!

Aloha from Hawaii | Days 7, 8 & 9

Saturday was our final free day of the trip. We rented a car once again and headed to the Dole Plantation. We toured the gardens which were magnificent. The wee ones really enjoyed them... especially since they came with little head sets that explained all the different plants. They got a kick out of that. We rode the Pineapple Express train which took us through the pineapple fields and we learned lots of cool pineapple facts (like did you know all pineapple still has to be hand picked!? Every single one.) We ate a delicious lunch including the most amazing Dole pineapple whip I've ever had, topped with fresh chunks of pineapple. Man Cub still talks about the pineapple train and pineapple ice cream every chance he gets. That boy is just like his mama. We would live on fresh pineapple if we could.

We also experienced the pineapple maze which at one point was the largest maze in the world... it might still be. All I know is it made me nauseous to go around in circles in that thing. I could do without the maze, but I enjoyed the rest of the Plantation. At the end of our time there, we bought out the gift shop. Just kidding, but we did pick up a few fun pineapple trinkets. Beebs picked out a bag of $10 pineapple gummy bears. She has rationed them out, eating only a few at a time and just barely finished the bag a week or two ago. They were by far the best gummy bears I've ever had. Wish I'd bought a bag for myself! But I know I wouldn't have had Beebs's self control. I would've eaten the whole bag in one sitting! 

After we got back to the hotel and returned the rental car, we headed to our favourite little part of Waikiki beach and the kiddos played in the water. Man Cub invented a game where he would jump off the little ledge that led down to the sand each time a wave came in and when he jumped he would yell "Catta-boon-yah"! Pretty sure he was trying to say "cowabunga"... though I'm not sure where he ever would have heard that, but maybe little boys just come hardwired knowing that phrase? Anyway- it was the funniest thing to watch and he had the time of his life! After swimming, we headed back to the room and conked out for yet another great night's sleep. (Hawaii sleep is almost as good as Disneyland sleep and long day of snowboarding sleep!)

Sunday was Bruce and his dad's big excursion. As our Christmas gift to Tom, Bruce booked them a day of deep sea fishing, which left the kiddos and I to our own devices. I decided I wanted to check out Hilo Hattie's, a gift shop in the Honolulu area. Being that I was vehicle-less, this meant catching a free shuttle bus that would take us to the shop and back. I am still super proud of myself for figuring out all the details and then making it happen with three little ones in tow. We bought some souvenirs at Hilo Hattie's, including a new Hawaiian outfit for each of the kiddos. I keep forgetting to put the girls in theirs, but Man Cub has worn his to church on several occasions and even wore it to my sister's wedding. Buying my 2 year old a white outfit was probably stupid, but he loved the turtles on it and he looks SOOOOOOO cute in it. Totally worth it! 

We also stopped by a local bakery while we were out to try some much raved about donuts. They were tasty but we still love Day's donuts up in Provo best of all. The kiddos and I then had my other favourite meal from our trip... since stopping at the shrimp truck on Wednesday, Beebs had been asking for shrimp, her favourite food. Turns out, shrimp is kind of hard to find! I thought it would be like all the fresh fish- easy to come by. But no. Perhaps shrimp is not found in the oceans surrounding Hawaii? I don't know... but the driver of the shuttle that took us out to Hilo Hattie's told us about this little Japanese noodle shop that got rave reviews. I decided it was worth a shot and before we headed to our hotel, that's where we stopped for lunch. It was probably the cheapest meal we ate the entire trip. The kiddos and I all ate for less than $20 and it was to die for. We had udon noodles in broth, tons of different tempura veggies and Beebs's favourite- tempura shrimp. And I finally tried spam musubi. It was all absolutely divine and we have since taken up eating udon noodles and Costco's tempura shrimp on a regular basis here at home.

Once Tom and Bruce got back from their deep sea fishing, we headed to the beach one last time. The menfolk had a good time deep sea fishing, though Bruce got quite sick at one point, which really stinks. His dad loved it though, and caught a 100 pound blue marlin. Bruce caught a small tuna towards the beginning of the trip and got to help his dad reel in the marlin. Tom would love to go deep sea fishing again. Not sure about Bruce... he's glad he went once but we'll see if it's something he decides to do again.

After the beach, Sunshine hung out with Grandpa and Bruce and I took the two little ones for a walk. We ended up at the shave ice stand so Beebs could get one last shave ice before we headed home.

Monday was a sad day... we had to say goodbye to the island we had come to love. Man Cub was not happy to be leaving. You'd think the boy was a Hawaiian native by the time we left, right down to refusing to wear shoes and walking barefoot everywhere he went. He still looks at the picture I took of the girls looking out at the ocean one last time and says "We go home. I no want go home." 

The trip home was uneventful. The shuttle was a little late picking us up which had us slightly panicked, but we made it to the airport with plenty of time and the flight home went perfectly, though Man Cub was still insistent that we were not leaving Hawaii. When we boarded the plane, Bruce gave me a little gift he had picked up for me in the airport... a green onesie with a sea turtle, for the baby. The entire trip I had been meaning to buy a little souvenir for the baby but never actually grabbed something. It was probably the world's most expensive onesie, but I absolutely love that he realized how important it was to me to have something for the baby and that he made it happen.

Our return flight was just as great as the flight there. They served us a yummy dinner and I drank as much of my favourite tropical juice as I could. We landed late, late Monday night and the next morning sent Sunshine to school! In our defense, she was anxious to go... we did let her sleep in and sent her late, but she was very excited to get back and tell her friends all about her big trip. 

I am so so glad we were able to take this wonderful vacation. We made so many amazing memories and I love hearing the wee ones chatter about the things they did and what they remember. I know they won't remember everything, forever, but hopefully this record of our adventures will help stir those memories as they begin to fade. Especially for Man Cub. He's the one I know won't remember the trip, and he seemed to enjoy it most of all! 

Aloha from Hawaii | Days 5 & 6

Jun 25, 2015

Thursday was the day the girls had been looking forward to for months... we took a trip to the SeaLife Park where my sweet girlies got to hang out with dolphins. It was probably the most expensive part of our entire trip, but hearing them talk about their experience and looking through the photos of them getting dolphin kisses makes it worth every. single. penny. I just wish Man Cub and I had been able to participate! 

Beebs was super nervous about her dolphin encounter at first. We were even a little worried that she might back out, but she was super brave and ended up having an absolute blast, as evident by the gigantic grin on her face when getting kissed by the dolphin. Sunshine also had the time of her life and when we got home from Hawaii, she did her final report of the year on dolphins, complete with photos of her and the dolphins from the SeaLife Park as visual aids. This was definitely an experience that neither of the girls will forget any time soon.

The SeaLife Park was awesome. I am super anti-Sea World, so I was skeptical of this park. It was awesome though. Smaller than Sea World, with a much bigger emphasis on education. Everywhere we went, there were employees educating the public on the different animals and how to care for them and protect them. Even the shows were totally educational, but fun at the same time. I wish Sea World would take a lesson from the SeaLife Park and realize I don't need stupid shows about birds falling in love with people to showcase the talents of dolphins. But this is not the time for that rant! 

Not only was the SeaLife Park just an awesome place to be in general, it was also located in what I thought was the most beautiful part of Hawaii that we saw. The park butted right up to the ocean where we saw countless number of whales out playing. While the girls watched the dolphin show, Bruce and I couldn't help but watch the ocean just beyond the dolphin pool as we looked for the splash and the big spurts of water from their blowholes. It was amazing. 

And can we talk for a moment about sea turtles? They might just be my new favourite animal. And I know for a fact that they are Man Cub's! There was a large pond area with numerous sea turtles swimming around where the wee ones were able to buy a cup of veggies and feed the turtles. They also got to pet the back of a baby sea turtle that was pretty much the cutest little thing ever. From what the turtle trainer was telling us, it is typically illegal to touch a sea turtle, but as their park has a nursery and breeds baby sea turtles, they are allowed to use a certain number of the babies to educate the public and the public can gentle pet them... with two fingers, on the shell only. It was really neat.

In the gift shop, Man Cub found a small sea turtle stuffed animal that he decided he wanted. I was hesitant to get it for him as the last thing we need in our house is another stuffed animal, but he was pretty insistent. I ended up giving in and "Turtle" has become his bedtime buddy. He sleeps with Turtle every single night and when he wakes up in the morning and comes to my room to snuggle, Turtle comes with him. He loves that stuffed animal so much and will tell anyone who asks that Turtle is from Hawaii. 

After our day at the SeaLife Park, where I accidentally contributed to Man Cub losing his beloved plane from Pearl Harbour {insert very sad mommy face here. So glad I decided to get him Turtle, since I didn't realize we'd lost the plane until later}, we decided to go out for a nice dinner. We headed to Dukes and had what ranked in my top two for most amazing meals in Hawaii. (The other was at a Japanese noodle restaurant on Sunday) At Dukes, we sat outside and enjoyed a phenomenal Hawaiian sunset while eating some amazing food. I had fresh fish, caught that morning, that seriously melted in my mouth. We also got some fruity drinks that were to die for and followed up the meal with a big piece of Hula pie. By all rights, the meal should've put me into a food coma. It was so much food and so delicious. We all loved it. 

Friday we boarded a bus headed for the Polynesian Cultural Center. This was Sunshine's favourite part of the trip and my least favourite. Don't get me wrong- it was a neat place, but one day was definitely not enough time to see all that the center had to offer and by this point in the week we were all exhausted. Man Cub had been on the bus just a few minutes when he conked out and slept through most of the {extra long!} drive to get there. The drive was pretty, but it felt like our bus driver took his precious time getting us to the Cultural Center so by the time we arrived, I already felt done for the day.

It was a beautiful day to be walking about. We even got rained on a little. We walked through a few of the little village areas and the kiddos tried out some games and got "tattoos". Sunshine did a little hula lesson, Man Cub learned to say "Aloha" and all the little ones tried their hand at fishing. We watched a canoe show with some amazing Polynesian dancing. Then we attended a luau where we enjoyed some really yummy food (Bruce's favourite meal of the trip). The luau included a lot more dancing and we ended the night by attending their big show "Breathe of Life" which was even more dancing. I LOVE Polynesian dancing... a lot, but by the end of the day, I felt like I'd spent my whole day watching people dance and I was kind of over it. As were the kiddos... none of them made it through the final show awake. I wish that instead we'd spent more time exploring the villages and trying the different foods and activities.

The bus ride back to the hotel was much shorter than the way there. Thank. Goodness. And the kiddos slept the entire way back. By the time we got to our hotel room it was really late and we all crashed out and enjoyed a very good night's sleep. 
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