Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Beach Trip, swimming lessons, and a baby shower

We went down to visit Grammy and Granddaddy for our summer beach trip - which had to be scheduled the earliest possible this summer so I could even travel. We did our favorite activities, but we were a little less busy and a little more relaxed this year (because I needed to be)!

Seth, as usual caught a bucket full of sea creatures - mostly fish, but also a crab this year.

Carolyn dug a hole for a little pool and carried buckets of water in an attempt to fill it.

She had hand-me-down swim suit pieces which looked ok on her, but were a little loose once they got wet, so she got 2 new swimsuits (a one piece pictured here and a skirt/shirt combo for times when a two piece is more convenient). So far, she's only worn the 1 piece. I'm glad she's in adult womens'/juniors sizes now; it makes shopping bargains for her so much easier.

Kaitlyn built a sand castle and spent just a little time in the ocean. (After putting together the first blog book recently and reading and remembering how much she used to love the ocean and run in and out for the entire time we were at the beach, it surprises me that she mostly keeps to the sand these days.)

Alee got as sandy as possible and also got Grammy as sandy as possible. (The sand went almost up to her knees when she was finished.)

Natalie rode the waves on her new Little Mermaid boogie board she bought a few months ago. She loves the ocean and with Seth kept inching out farther than we wanted her.

Everyone loved the pool. 
It was a little cold for me still, so I mostly just put my feet in and watched the kids play. I like it really hot before I get into the water. My swimsuit was comfortable though in actual use.

At Grammy's house, we found a new "toy" of Grammy's she got at Christmas. This fitness board was a hit. All the girls loved twisting on it!

I might need to get one after the baby is born to work off my "baby fat" (once I get the "OK" to exercise). I tried it out a few seconds until my mom walked through the room and fussed at me to get off before I fell. (I couldn't have gone much longer anyways...pregnancy is a real energy drainer!)

Grandma and Gramps came to visit on Saturday before they headed home. (They had been staying at the beach all week.)

(We also saw Jean's family Monday night and visited Daddy Tom on our way out the last day, but I forgot to get pictures.)

Game time! I think SkipBo (and uno) are the two favorite games at the Edwards house. I might add backgammon this year. 

On Monday, Alee got her ears pierced. She's been asking for months. (I have no restraint on time/age when they can get ears pierced. My only rule is that the girls can get one pair and they have to understand that it's going to hurt for a minute and they need to be prepared for that.)

She was excited.

Then she was nervous. (So far only Natalie has cried when they did it. Alee got nervous and started crying before they even started. We told her she could back out up until the moment that they started, but she decided to go through with it.)

Then she was excited and proud of her new earrings.
She must have asked me 20 questions about caring for them and what she was allowed to do and not do, etc. She has started doing the daily care (putting the cleaning solution on them every day with me) to learn how to care for them. And she knows that her 3 week mark is July 3rd for being able to change them.

The day after we got home, we started swim lessons.
Natalie and Alee were the only two I signed up. They have both taken them before, but Natalie had tubes in her ears last time and was too nervous to put her face in the water, and Alee was stubborn and mad that they wouldn't let Mommy in the pool with her, so she refused to participate more than one day.

So 3 years later (I think?), here we are again. This time we are taking them out at the club we joined through Rob's work. The lessons seem a little less pushy than the ones we did a few years ago, however, the girls like the instructors and are much more willing to try the exercises and activities.

In fact, at the end of the first day, they took them to the diving board (yes, all of them! even the non-swimmers!) They had 3 lifeguards out in the deep end to help catch kids and bring them to the side (as needed). Alee needed a little help the first day, but after that, she was good. It's probably her favorite thing to do at the pool. She can jump in, swim to the top, and swim (doggy paddle) to the side. (They are just learning correct form, but they have both gotten the confidence and some basic skills to keep them up within the first few days.)

We stay after lessons so all the kids can swim for a while.
At first, I was in the deep end with Alee to help her in case she needed help diving, but by day 3 she and I were both confident that she was fine. (I'm still in swimsuit ready to drop the phone and jump in if needed, but she's good.)

 Friday I bought some pool toys (floats and diving things) while I was shopping so they have more to play with in the pool. They were a big hit!

It's hard to tell what is going on here - let me share. Carolyn has a little bit of a compulsive personality when it comes to order and organization. (I know I have instilled organization and order into them all - or at least I have tried! But she takes it to a new level.) Here she is arranging the floating things on the shallow end/deep end rope so that they are evenly spaced along the rope.

We got some IKEA furniture on the way home from the beach (knowing I wouldn't be able to travel much and having wanted a few things from there for a month or so). Rob put together the pieces that make our new computer desk. Carolyn put together the new scrapbook shelves. Seth only helped when required.

 She did a good job.

This week's outdoor movie night (which ended up in the garage due to rain!) was preceded by burgers and apple cobbler. (I think I'll alter this recipe a little in the future but it was pretty good, just needs some tweaking.) We do supper just us, but then we invite friends and family over for the movie later that night. Bethany's crew and Kristen's crew came over to watch Finding Dory with us last Thursday.

Saturday Carolyn hosted a baby shower for me (with help from several adults). My mom, my mother-in-law, sister-in-laws, and a few adult women from church that offered help (along with her friends that began the planning) put it all together. I told her I wasn't helping to throw myself a baby shower (that's ridiculous), so she had to do it on her own and give out assignments. And she did.
 Carolyn made the "babies in a blanket", the watermelon baby, and the diaper "tricycle" cake. My mom did the pretzel rods. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law did the vegetable trays and HersHEy bar party favors. My other sister-in-law did the cupcakes. Friends from church helped with punch and decorations and games.

Two creative gifts - this one from my brother Will. (We are not decided on the name yet, but you get the point...right?) I'm not explaining this.
Seth thought it was funny. The girls thought it was gross. No one was put off from eating them.

One of my friends made a "bouquet" of baby things (washcloths, socks, onesies, etc). It was so cute.

While we were at mom's/dad's house, I hit the 8 month mark. And I am feeling it! I forgot how hard it is to move, bend, get up, get down, roll over, etc with this bowling ball on the front of me (plus the decreased energy and swelling).

I've been feeling mostly ok. It's just normal end of pregnancy stuff. I feel about the same as I did with Alee (I think I actually swelled more with her). The kids have been super helpful - all of them, but especially the girls. (Seth is willing, but has to be asked. The girls offer help often, and sometimes have to be asked.)

They haven't complained about extra work, and have been surprisingly grown up about the chores they are able to do. They've even told friends down the street, "sorry we can't play right now, we have chores left to do." No tears.

Seth wins the award for most patient babysitter.
Carolyn wins the award for being able to take on the hardest jobs and do them well.
Kaitlyn wins the award for teamwork.
Natalie wins the award for most available and best endurance when doing chores.
Alee wins the award for efficiency.