So, this year, I knew, no question, that I didn't have it in me to have a birthday party at my house. What with the move and the pregnancy and everything else, so a few months ago I began to look into options of other party places. I thought I had found the perfect place on our town's square--reasonably priced, just the kind of thing that Ada loves (the kids make jewelry and stuff like that), I just show up with a cake, perfect--well, about a month or so ago, that place closed. Yikes. So, we decided on chik-fil-a, but it turns out chik-fil-a doesn't do parties on the weekends, and a weekday just wasn't going to work. At that point, I was sort of out of ideas. It was around that time that I found out that residents of Georgia get into the aquarium for free on their birthday!! Considering two members of our family share a birthday, this was a good deal for us. So, I began to talk to Ada about a family day rather than a friend party. She was hesitant at first, but when I threw in the Children's Museum, she was on board. So after a Sunday night of tacos (her request), cake, and presents, we loaded up the van on Monday and headed into Atlanta, something we really should do more often.
We packed our day full, but it was so. much. fun. It really was. It was so good to spend an entire day simply having fun together. Scott has been working a lot lately, and I haven't been myself--so tired and hormonal--and life has been a little bit chaotic, so it was such a gift to pause in the midst of this crazy summer and just spend a day having fun. It reminded me of the feeling I had last summer when we went to the beach.
We parked at the aquarium, with plans to end there, and then we walked to the Children's Museum. We have been to the museum twice before, and both times it was so crowded that we could hardly even enjoy it. So, we went with fingers crossed that on a Monday morning at the end of summer, the crowds would be smaller. It was great. Such a smaller crowd, and Ada and John were able to fully enjoy the museum, and I didn't feel the stress of losing my kids in a crowd. Their two vastly different personalities were glaring in that setting. Ada was flitting from activity to activity, hardly able to enjoy what she was doing because she was already thinking about the next thing to try. John on the other hand started at one station--the balls, for those of you familiar with the place--and there he stayed, absolutely obsessed. Scott stayed with him, and I would check in from time to time, worried that John would miss the entire museum because he was so focused on the balls. He did finally try other things, but again, whatever thing he was doing, he was very focused, and it never really crossed his mind to move on to anything else unless prompted.
Finally, when Ada had done everything there was to do, some things more than once, we decided to head to the aquarium to get tickets before going to lunch. It was an easy walk from Imagine It to the Aquarium, but for my largely pregnant self, I confess that I was a bit out of breath, but thankful for the exercise. However, once we had the tickets and began our walk to lunch, things took a turn for the worse. Scott had his heart set on Ted's Montana Grill for lunch. And since it was his birthday, and everything else was focused mostly on Ada, I wanted to go to his choice, but we weren't exactly sure where it was, other than on the other side of Centennial Olympic Park. So, off we went, in hopes that it wouldn't be too far. Well, the humidity was high, the walk was mostly uphill, and I was in desperate need of some water. I could not have felt more out of shape or more pregnant than I did during that walk across the park. At one point, I thought, I can't do it. I can not go forward or backward; I am stuck right here in this spot. But, alas, we did make it, and after guzzling two glasses of water, I felt much better, and the walk back to the aquarium was not nearly as bad ;)
I should also add that had I been dressed in "running clothes" and "running shoes," it all would have felt easier, but on we went with the day.
The aquarium, I think, was an even bigger hit than the children's museum. I really think John and Ada loved it (especially John). We had one minor setback when we tried to watch the dolphin show, and John went into a state of terror at the sight of the room before the show even started. We couldn't quite decipher from his three year old explanation what he was scared of, but we had John in tears because he was scared, and Ada in tears because she didn't want to leave the show. Finally, though, John's terror (it was more than a normal level of fear) won, and we headed out to look at the rest of the aquarium. They loved it; we loved it. It was so much fun. We never do stuff like that. ever. And they are both at a good age for that type of thing. They were tired, but not so young that they couldn't handle the long day. Because we are moving into more baby years, which will naturally keep us closer to home, I was thankful for the day. By the time we left at 6 pm (having started the day at the children's museum at 11 am), we were absolutely exhausted. Every inch of my body hurt, and I have never been so glad to get to our car. John was asleep before we even got out of the parking deck, I think. But it was such a satisfying tired. A very full, very fun day, with so many good memories made.
Now for some pictures. All we had was our phones, and both of our batteries were dying by the time we got to the aquarium, so there aren't many pictures from the second half of the day.