I warned you all that the 23rd week wasn’t going to happen. We were visiting family in California that week; I would have had to publish that post the day of our Disneyland trip. Not happening! As I also forewarned: both of these weeks were insane! Hopefully you can all follow my spastic mind as I try to rehash all of the many happenings.
Ok, here we go…
Wisconsin has decided to baptize me with all weather abnormalities as if it’s trying to scare me off or something. We’ve had what the natives swear is an abnormal amount of rain this June; streets keep flooding and the rivers have virtually no beaches because the water is unnaturally high. On the plus side, we have yet to use our sprinkler system. Having grown up in a dry, mostly hot state, I’m loving all of the free water! After you have to pay a lot of money to water your lawn, you grow to appreciate rain. So while all the natives are complaining, I say– bring it on Wisconsin! You’re going to have to do a lot more than shower me with the blessing of free water every other day to drive me away.
The day this picture was taken, we were on our way to a birthday party for the little boy of an old friend of my husband’s. They had rented a bouncy house, so of course it poured rain. Not just drizzled like what is seen in the picture; literally pouring buckets of rain. As a gift, I made a (pretty awesome, if I say so myself) Lego cake which was covered in fondant, and we had quite the time getting it inside the house because the moment we pulled up, all the heavens opened up and let out a torrent. Tyler and I were soaked through, but the cake made it with only a few droplets on it. Once the rain let up, the bounce house was re-inflated and the kids got soaked jumping and slipping and sliding all over it. It was a lot of fun, and the cake was a hit.
Two days later, we were on a plane to California. Baby Ary does not travel well, and despite us booking a month in advance, the airline screwed up our seats for both of our flights, so it was a very long day. Ary was literally screaming on my hip when we walked onto the first flight, and so I thought it would be a cinch to get whichever poor soul who was assigned to the seat next to me to switch with Tyler. But low and behold, I manage to get seated to the one guy on this earth who thought it was a good idea to give me a hard time. “Excuse me sir, but would you mind switching seats with my husband so that we can sit together?”, I yell over a screaming Ary. The guy sighs and asks while rolling his eyes, “Well…does he have an aisle seat?” I try to control my face and fail miserably as I contemplate this odd creature that would actually deliberate sitting next to Ary in her fit-throwing state over moving to a possibly non-aisle seat. If it had been me, I would have taken the middle seat sandwiched between obese, sweaty men so long as it was away from someone else’s screaming baby. Once I realized that this guy was serious, I turn around and yell over Ary and across 7 rows to Tyler and ask if he has an aisle seat. “Sorry, but he has a center seat”, I reply to the odd creature. After more sighing and head shaking, he asks, “Well, can he get my bag up there? I’ll switch if he can get my bag up there.” At this point, I almost wanted to sit next to him and make him endure the wrath of Baby Ary for 2 1/2 hours just to piss him off. Luckily, Tyler was able to get his precious bag next to the inferior seat so the guy switched with him. But honestly, who would choose this pissed off baby just to sit in an aisle seat???
I certainly would not.
Once we finally got to California, we had a great time seeing our family and friends. It was impossible to see everyone that we wanted to, but given that we were only there for a week, I’m so grateful for any time that we got to spend with our loved ones. We went to the LA Zoo, Newport Beach, and Disneyland. Disneyland was at the end of our trip, so the girls were pretty tired. But they still had the time of their lives! Thanks to their awesome parents who waited in line for 2 1/2 hours while they went on rides with the grandparents and Auntie, they got to meet the Frozen sisters. They also scored meetings with Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, Mulan, Snow White, and even got to have a tea party with Alice and the Mad Hatter. When Baby Ary saw Snow White, she went right under the red rope and ran straight to her! It was the most adorable thing in the world. Eowyn is usually so star struck when she meets the characters that she doesn’t talk to them, but by the 6th one (Cinderella), she opened up and actually talked to her! I was so proud that I almost started crying.
We almost got to see Rapunzel, but right as we were walking into the line, a Cast Member literally jumped in front of us and said in a snarky tone, “We’re done!” Now we understand that the characters can only be out for so long, and that if they make allowances for one kid then they have to do it for every other one that comes along. But we were 2 feet away from being in line, and there was no one else trying to get in line behind us. We tried to explain to the guy that we were from out of state and that Rapunzel was one of our daughter’s favorites, but the guy was not budging. He wasn’t out right rude, but he spat out his Disney script with an “I don’t give a shit” tone and sent us away to try to explain to our now crying toddler why she couldn’t meet Rapunzel when she was standing right there. We were so focused on distracting her after that, that it wasn’t until right before we left later on that night that it occurred to me to file a complaint at City Hall. The customer service representative that we spoke to was really nice and felt genuinely bad about what had happened to us. She asked how long we were going to be in town, but we were leaving in 2 days. Then she said, “Well unfortunately, it’s too late in the day to schedule a meet and greet. Do you know when you’ll be coming back for another visit?” If we had thought to go straight to City Hall right after the incident, they would have pulled Rapunzel for a private meet and greet for Eowyn! Disney has the best customer service. How I wish we would have thought about it right away! That would have made Eowyn’s life. So, if any of you ever have any problems while at Disneyland, go to customer service right away. As long as you’re nice and respectful, they will take great care of you.
Aside from the Rapunzel incident, it was a really fantastic day. And it would not have happened had it not been for our wonderful friends who signed us in for free, saving us almost $300 in admission costs, which we definitely could not afford.
I ended up making 3 cakes while we were out there. One of my close friend’s son turned one and the person who was going to do the cake flaked on her a week beforehand. She asked if I could do the cake, and honestly I had really wanted to do it from the get go. So even though it was crazy squeezing it in, I’m so honored to have been the one to make the cake for this little guy’s first birthday. My friend and I joke all the time about arranging the marriage of Baby Ary and her son, Declan, so I wanted to be the one to make my future son-in-law’s first birthday cake. The theme was The Great Gatsby, so the cake was art deco inspired. Considering that I was working in a foreign kitchen with different brands of ingredients on vacation, I am damn proud of these cakes. Thankfully one of my best friends came over to the house that we were staying at after spending the day at the beach with us to help me finish it. We started at 9 pm, and she stayed until 1:30 am even though she lived 45 minutes away and had an appointment at 8 am the next morning. I truly have the best friends in the world.
My 24th week started on Disneyland day, so I forgot to get a prego selfie. My mom snagged one of me at the beach 2 days earlier though, so that will have to do.
One of my proudest pregnant moments with this one was at the beach. I’ve had this maternity bathing suit since I was pregnant with Baby Ary, but I started this pregnancy 15 pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight with Ary. While I was swimming in the ocean, my bottoms kept slipping down! So at 6 months pregnant, I can proudly say that my maternity bathing suit is too big! My weight has been such a struggle since having kids, and I finally feel like I’m getting a handle on it. After Henderson is born, I’m going to work even harder to finally shed the baby weight that I put on with Eowyn that’s been clinging on for nearly 4 years.
The third cake that I made was an early birthday cake for my mom. She’s turning 50 in August and I have to miss it. I really wanted to surprise her with a beautiful piano cake, because she loves to play. Unfortunately, the fondant was not playing nicely that day, so her cake is on the Pinstrosity level. But again, I was working in a foreign kitchen, and at this point I was literally running on fumes (I gave it to her on our family get together which was the day after Disneyland). It still tasted delicious and she loved it, which is all that matters. For anyone who was under this false illusion that I’m super woman, take a good long look at this:
I am not perfect. I cannot do it all. But, I always keep trying.
Our week in California went by like a whirlwind. We had a wonderful time, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to go home. We crammed so much into those 8 days, that we’ve spent this last week just trying to catch up on sleep. But I am eternally grateful to my grandmother, who paid for our airfare to come out; my dad and step mom who hosted all of our craziness, let us eat all of their food, and allowed me to turn their kitchen into a bakery; and my mom who treated us to many a lunches and a day at the Zoo. I am very happy to have had that time with all of you.
But of course, Friday was the 4th of July, so we had to crawl out of our post vacation hibernation to celebrate. My in-laws rented a boat and we invited some friends, and had a good old fashioned American 4th. We ate hamburgers for dinner and watched an awesome fireworks show from the middle of the St. Croix River. Of course, I had to make a cake, but I opted for cupcakes this time since it would be cumbersome to serve slices of cake on a boat.
The girls had so much fun watching the fireworks with their friends and it was such a treat to kick back on a boat for half a day. Because of the high waters, there was a no wake rule enforced, so no one could go faster than about 6 mph. That made it a long day, because it took us about 2 hours each way to drive from the port to the fireworks show. But when we were heading back after the fireworks were over, both the girls fell asleep and it was so peaceful to be cruising under the stars in the chilly night air. It was one of the best 4th of July celebrations I’ve ever had.
With all of the happenings the last two weeks, I really haven’t had a chance to focus on poor Henderson at all. Baby #3 has just been going along for the ride. I can say though, that Henderson loved the World of Color show at California Adventure. Baby was moving around from the beginning to the end! Maybe we have yet another dancer coming our way. I’m seeing a lot more of the movements, although I’m always alone when it happens so poor old Dad hasn’t felt or seen anything yet.
Here’s to a week filled with a whole lot of nothing, because this Mama is tired! Oh wait, I have to potty train Baby Ary. Shit.
Baby Stats for Week 23:
-Baby is about the size of a large mango
-Blood vessels in the lungs are developing
-Baby’s sense of hearing is sharpening
Baby Stats for Week 24:
-Baby is about 1 1/3 pounds and 12 inches long (about the length of an ear of corn)
-Baby’s brain is developing faster now
-Capillaries are forming under the skin and inside the lungs
-Surfactant (a substance which helps the lungs to expand) is beginning to develop
-Baby’s nostrils are starting to open up this week, so baby will be doing practice “breathing”
-Vocal cords are functioning now, so I’m likely to begin feeling hiccups soon