Last Days Before “Leo”

Both Kye and Britt arrived prior to their due dates. With this pregnancy being a summer pregnancy and with some of my pre-term labor concerns Zach and I really assumed this baby would be my earliest yet. Well…we were wrong! 

I know I posted a lot on Instagram about tricks and such that I tried to get the baby here, but honestly I wasn’t as rushed about it as I probably seemed. I knew it was a God’s timing type thing and, for the most part, I managed to be pretty patient (up until the day before I delivered anyway!). I tried to look at it as a chance to spend as MUCH time as a family of four as we could. I wanted to take full advantage of our “freedom” while we had it! 

Even though I had already completed our list of “must do” summer items…we still managed to find even more things to do to pass the time and to keep up the fun summer theme! 

I asked Kye for some ideas of things to do and he mentioned bowling so we went bowling πŸ˜‰ Once I was close to my due date Zach scheduled work stuff mega close to home so he was home early in the evenings and we had a good solid two weeks of just family time. I was 100% ready for Leo’s arrival and found that going out and keeping busy was the best way for me not to become frustrated at the wait! We ended up having two weekends left to do fun things! We kicked off weekend 1 with our bowling adventure Friday evening. 

This was actually our first time ever going bowling as a family!

And Britt’s first time ever bowling πŸ™‚

Kye, as usual, was very serious about his game

Britt never even watched her ball, she was too busy celebrating

We all four bowled and ended up only playing one game because someone (coughBRITTcough) wasn’t very patient waiting for their turn. She fussed a good bit about it so we decided to def stick to just the single game!

Three way tie!

In case you were wondering…yes. Zach is also really good at bowling. Zach is one of those people who is annoyingly good at everything. Being that he was a football player in college you know he had a fluff schedule and took bowling class like three semesters haha. It’s actually the class where he met my high school friend who ended up introducing us. So I guess I should be thankful for bowling! Another side note…this bowling ally parking lot is actually the first time we ever officially met. I will never forget him driving up in his trailblazer acting super conceded haha.

Final scores! Yes, my 5 year old beat me and, yes, I was legit trying to play!

Leo was def bigger than a bowling ball at that point!

Mr. Rusty had his biopsy to check for prostate cancer (praise the Lord he’s cancer free!) and after the procedure he really wanted to just see all of his children and grandchildren. So, so sweet. We took them breakfast that Saturday morning and spent the whole morning over there relaxing together. The kids and I even rocked our shirts in support of Katie Adams! She is doing AWESOME in her fight against brain cancer…please continue to lift this family up in prayer!

The kids went down to Big Daddy’s and got some fresh eggs!

When we got home we looked over the list of things left to do before Leo arrived…I had completed my list, but Zach still had a couple items left. One of them was to take down my old toys from the attic. I knew I had some things up there that were age appropriate for Britt and thought it’d be fun to have new things to play with when the new baby arrived! I’m SO glad my parents held onto so much and super thankful they gave it all to me when we got married! Check out these old school Disney stuffed animals…still in great shape!

The jackpot find though was my Little Tykes doll houses. I still have ALL the people and accessories and they were all still in AWESOME condition!!! I was surprised how pumped Kye was about it all too…and the kids and I had so much fun going through everything and setting it all up (yes, I washed it all first!). 

Another thing on Zach’s list? Get my push present πŸ˜‰ Usually he goes and picks something out on his own but Kye has been REALLY wanting to buy me a gift so Zach wanted to include him this time around. And, of course, wherever Kye goes Britt also wants to go. 

One of my goals was to go to eat at all my favorite places before Leo arrived. I asked Mrs. Charlotte if she wanted to go with me to lunch at Chicken Salad Chick. I knew she was going to be a HUGE help when Leo arrived and I wanted to do one last fun thing just the two of us before my life became homebound πŸ˜‰ The food was amazing but my ability to be fun company was awful. I feel so bad! We were there for over two hours and I think I spent most of it crying!!! The emotions of our concerns over Mr. Rusty combined with my emotions about my mom just caused an overflow and I was a sappy mess. I just feel bad being a burden on Mrs. Charlotte and her having to help me so much. But she was amazing about it all and so sweet and supportive and I left feeling a lot better. It was actually my only legit emotional breakdown so that’s not too bad!

That same night Jolee came over and babysat for us and Zach and I had our last date night before becoming the parents of THREE!!! Who knows when we’ll be able to find someone brave enough to babysit three kids at once πŸ˜‰ We had a gift card to The Bistro and went there, followed by dessert at The Mix. 

That Monday night I planned a Girl’s Night Out with my friends to get Mexican one last time! I went with Kori prior to the dinner and we got our nails done. I figured I’d be having Leo that Wednesday (Zach and I both had a hunch he or she would be born on July 23rd) and figured if I got gel nails they would make it through the labor as well as through newborns (spoiler alert: they didn’t even make it TO labor!). We decided to try out a Mexican place I’d never been to…and it turns out they had karaoke. Casey was all about busting out a song and I couldn’t let her go at it alone πŸ˜‰ Of course everyone took videos of it…so if you wanna see the awful evidence of my lack of dancing and singing abilities you can watch these πŸ˜‰ (and yes, the Parkers are not only ball hogs in sports but also mic hogs in karaoke haha) video 1, video 2, video 3

That next day I went and got my hair done! With Kye and Britt I had hair appointments scheduled on the day I ended up going into labor so I never was able to get it done. This time Leo gave me plenty of time to have a fresh look πŸ˜‰

After my 38 week appointment I felt like it could be awhile before we had a baby (spoiler alert: it was another 8 days!). That was the point where I started “trying tricks” to induce labor. Really though? I didn’t try all that hard. I did a couple things but didn’t want to do anything that would cause fake labor signs. I already struggle enough to know when it’s legit labor and didn’t need fake symptoms confusing me even more confusion!!! The same day as my appointment Zach needed some stuff from Lowe’s so I tagged along and we made it a family outing. I figured the more walking I did, the better! We also stopped by and got me a pineapple smoothie as I read pineapple helps get things going. I did NOT like it but I did drink the whole thing. And, no, it didn’t work at all!

The kids made a card to each give to Leo when he or she was born!

In the days leading up to the baby’s birth Kye became VERY excited and eager. He would talk about it all the time and worked hard at completing his Super Sibling book from the sibling class we took awhile back. Every night before bed we’d talk about if he woke up in the morning and Uncle Jordan was there that it meant the baby was coming! One morning he came down and said “Ugh! When is this baby gonna COME?!?!” I said it must just be waiting for the right time and he said “when? Christmas?!?!” haha. 

Doesn’t his Super Sibling guy look like Will Smith from Men in Black? 

Part of the book asked him to write down his favorite baby names and draw a picture of what the baby will look like. He chose two girl names and two boy names and asked me how to spell them. Then he also drew a couple different options for what the baby would look like since we didn’t know if he or she would have hair or not!

Baby talk was a constant around our house. It was even talked about more than Disney World. Britt became very obsessed with her baby dolls and would talk about a baby being in her belly. I love how Kye was the dr and he checked on the baby πŸ˜‰

When Leo didn’t arrive on the day we had predicted, I put out on Facebook that I was completely free and would love to do something with friends while we waited on baby! Ashley mentioned getting together so we met up at a local playground to play for a couple hours and then hit up Chick Fil A for an ice cream treat and some more play time! It worked out great and the kids had a blast!

Kye was, and still is, a very cautious child. He’s adventurous but he’s careful about it. Britt? She just goes for it head first! Child knows no caution and it made me very nervous at the playground. She was climbing up everything and was running everywhere! I’m so thankful for the age differences of my kids because Kye found another group of little boys and ran and played with them and I was able to keep a close eye on Britt. I also wanted to give Kye his space. He RARELY gets to play with kids his own age, let alone a little older. These boys were 7 and I didn’t want to embarrass Kye (I didn’t even take a single picture of him!) and I also wanted to observe and see how he’d do with them. I was glad to see he wasn’t ugly to anyone and was playing nicely. It was cute to see him following the older boys around and trying to fit in. They were very accepting of him and I heard one kid tell another little boy that their game was only for kids ages 6 and older and Kye was standing there with them and the kids said “oh yeah ages 5 and older” πŸ˜‰ Kye did tell me later that the boys were nice but that they said a few mean things. I told him I was proud of him for not saying the same mean things but that it was also good he was nice to those boys even though they made a couple bad choices!

Crazy climbing girl!

All of Britt’s climbing resulted in exactly what I feared would happen. See this ladder? Girl climbed all the way to the top of it then fell through the top rung and the playground. I was standing behind her as she climbed it and therefore couldn’t reach her to catch her because she fell between. All the way to the ground. Landing on her face. I felt so bad for her but she handled it great! The girl with the book bag handed me a bottle of water and I went and sat with her on a bench for a little bit. Her lip was bleeding (shocker…child always busts her lip) but after just a few minutes she asked to get down and go play again. I sent Zach this picture and told him what happened. I didn’t realize he was working super close to the playground until he showed up there to check on her!!!! Such a sweet daddy πŸ™‚

Literally minutes after the fall she was back at it again!

I did sneak one pic of Kye with a new friend πŸ˜‰ He was precious with his new friends but was even more adorable when he stopped playing with them, on his own, because he wanted to play with Britt. He took her by the hand and told his friends that she was his sister and she was going to play too πŸ™‚

The next morning we went over to Robyn’s mom’s pool to swim. She has an awesome pool and it was a great time for all of us! She had me do the needle test to see if I was having a boy or girl and it said girl πŸ˜‰ 

That night I woke up at 1:30 am having to go to the bathroom and realized Zach had forgotten to lock Levi up in his crate. He was asleep in the bed with me so I scooped him up and tossed him out back to go potty. As soon as I opened the door to put him out he went into a full sprint to chase something that had been on our porch (I’m assuming it was a neighbors cat who always comes and eats our dog food…). It was dark and I couldn’t see but literally within a second of me opening that door Levi bolted and instantly cried out loud cries of pain. Zach and I both rushed outside and I assumed the animal hadn’t been the cat and instead had been something that bit him or hurt him in someway. He was just laying in the grass crying. I started freaking out and felt SO guilty! Zach went to him and picked him up and he just layed in Zach’s arms like a baby. We checked him out and realized we didn’t see any blood or any bite marks of any kind. But he wasn’t putting any weight on his foot and seemed in pain.

Zach took him to the vet the next morning (it was a Saturday so we were lucky they were open!) and they said it was probably a sprain. They gave us meds and said to watch it for a few days. By that Wednesday (the day before I went into labor) Levi still wasn’t putting any pressure on it so we took him back in. They did an x-ray and said they couldn’t tell from the X-ray if it was a break or not and that he’d require surgery to know for sure. So basically we spent $60 for the first visit then $120 for the second visit to know nothing and to still have a dog who is limping around. Awesome timing Levi! I know many of y’all haven’t been reader since the beginning but Levi actually almost DIED the night we brought Kye home from the hospital. I think Levi does this junk around babies being born for the attention haha!

I took a couple pics of Sadie too! We got her groomed so she wouldn’t be stinky when baby visitors came around πŸ˜‰

Pineapple to induce labor was something I’d never heard before…but labor cake?!?! A friend of mine, Claire, posted that she baked a labor cake and she actually did go into labor that following night. So I thought, why not? The kids love to bake so we had a fun time making it and everyone got to eat some! I’m actually not a huge chocolate person and didn’t actually like the cake haha. We ended up throwing over half of it away. I ate one piece but it def didn’t do ANYTHING in the labor department!

Ingredients for the labor cake:

All you do to make it is preheat oven to 350. Make cake mix as directed then stir in pudding, sour cream and chocolate chips. Bake for 45-60 min! Once cooled we frosted it and covered it in sprinkles πŸ™‚

Can you tell Britt did the pink sprinkles? πŸ˜‰

On our last Saturday before the baby arrived we had NO plans and no clue WHAT to do. We decided to go to Wild Adventures but then it was raining. We were out of money for the month (we had actually run out of our money for the month a week prior. I did good coming up with FREE things to do haha) because we had assumed the baby would be here and we didn’t conserve the spending like we usually would! Oops! Luckily Mrs. Charlotte invited us to come to their VBS that day. We figured it was a great way for the kids to have a fun time and a good way to get free lunch hahaha! They had a cute mustache theme and both kids had a blast! They didn’t have a class for Britt’s age group so she got to stick with Kye the whole morning, which duh she loved!

This little girl on the left was hilarious. She was wearing a Lebron James jersey and kept saying her name was Lebron. She even said to one kid “aint nobody mess with Lebron James” classic!

Our VBS takes place over several nights, but at Lakeland Church of Christ they do one big VBS day. It’s a really great idea and the kids moved from station to station. My favorite activity was the one where we all got to color t-shirts πŸ™‚

 Leo rocked a mustache too!

I love how they held hands between stations. It was also so funny how Kye did NOT want to wear a mustache AND did NOT want to wear his shirt. He didn’t care that he was the only one not wearing it, he didn’t want to. Britt on the other hand was pumped about both πŸ˜‰

 Photo booth fun!

That afternoon the weather cleared up and we decided to brave the Saturday crowds at Wild Adventures. Since we have passes it was a free thing for us to do and I was hoping the BEAST of a walk from the parking lot to the splash park would get something movin with labor. I had tried walking laps around my pool the night before and it was miserable…so many gnats and so hot! I knew walking with a purpose (to get to the splash park) would be MUCH better!

I was shocked at the CRAZY crowd. Thankful I didn’t attempt to bring the kids solo on a Saturday!!! Zach took Kye to go ride a water slide. They were gone over an hour and, legit, only got to ride one slide one time. Zach said it was the longest wait time of Kye’s life for a ride. Yes, including Disney. He said he kept trying to get Kye to leave the line and do something else but Kye wanted to wait and was super patient about it! They waited an hour in line!!!

 Britt and I were happy to have some girl time and I was thankful for the cool water. My 10 month pregnant self couldn’t stand the heat πŸ˜‰

 She is so funny b/c all she wanted to do was “swim”

Mine was FAR from the biggest belly there…I mean I think Wild Adventures crowds could be the poster child for the obesity epidemic in our country. It’s especially a wake up call to see SO many kids who are SO overweight and unhealthy. It was a good motivator for me to lose this baby weight pronto!

 I was taking pics of Britt and this little girl asked me to take a picture of her too, so cute!

While Britt and I were swimming a little boy kept coming over to me and literally cuddling with me. It was hilarious. He’d sneak his way over with a big, adorable grin and then his parents would come get him and then a few minutes later he came back again. It was so cute and I kept telling his parents I totally didn’t mind! I told Zach I’m thankful our kids aren’t that friendly…I am a nice stranger but gah if he cuddled up next to the wrong person that’s def scary!

Slide time! 

 Britt went down the slide for the first time ever!

The walk to the car was tough. I was hurting for sure. We had to stop for a water break and had to get a refill of water. The kids were both patient (it helped that we had the double stroller so Kye didn’t have to walk this time) and we ended up stopping on the way home for some slushies! I totally wish they made a SMALLER size cup!!!

That Sunday church was tough for me. EVERYONE commented on me still being pregnant. I told Zach if the baby didn’t come before that next Sunday that I would have to miss church. I couldn’t handle going anymore until a baby was in my ARMS!

I found out that Jump N Jax offered free admission with a church bulletin on Mondays so I decided to give it a go. Y’all. You KNOW I was desperate for things to do if I went to a jump place. I LOATHE those places. People never watch their kids and usually I end up having to get onto a million children. Plus those places are so dirty! But it was something free that we hadn’t done in a long, long time so I went for it. I was surprised how much they cleaned up the place and since it was church bulletin night we lucked out and had a good bit of friends (with their WELL behaved children!) who were also there. I enjoyed visiting with everyone and the kids had a BLAST hanging out with their buddies. I did totally forget how HOT it is in there though. It’s located inside a storage unit so it’s not very well insulated and it’s just very very warm. Luckily Zach joined us there and we made it a family event. We were able to divide and conquer to keep an eye on the kids! 

Britt’s first time at a jump place!!!

Crissy was there with her crew and Neela was hilarious. She kept sitting in Zach’s lap and cuddling with him and wouldn’t let him put her down!

Much like our day at the park…I tried to keep an eye on Kye but mostly just leave him be. He had a good bit of friends to play with and I didn’t want to be “that mom” who was cramping his style πŸ˜‰ I trust him to make good choices and he did a great job of checking in with us often AND he did a great job including his sister in his fun πŸ™‚

We didn’t know it then…but this was our last family outing as a family of four!!!

Playing with her cousin, Meghan

Britt really had a BLAST

The sweater you are means the more fun you had πŸ˜‰

We really did have such an amazing summer! While it got tough to stay patient at the end of my pregnancy, these two precious kids kept me smiling and helped me make sure to keep the focus on having FUN!!! I think it’s safe to say it’ll be tough to compete with the awesomeness that was the summer of 2014! 

You know what this means…birth story is coming up soon!!!


  1. Katie1315
    August 13, 2014 / 4:40 pm

    Staying busy is the trick! Looks like ya'll had a lot of fun. I agree about going to church close to the due date…it's so irritating. I went at 41 weeks and vowed to NEVER go back over due. People say the stupidest things…."No baby yet?" "What's taking so long?". Ugh. Ha!

  2. Amanda Jones
    August 14, 2014 / 1:06 pm

    If I haven't said it enough before, you really do have a beautiful family. I mean you and Zach are alright, but Kye, Britt and now Tess are just beautiful (haha I'm all are). I wish the jumpy place near us had Disney themed stuff, that place looks pretty darn cool. Also, I noticed Britt wearing a *familiar* seahorse shirt πŸ˜‰

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