Monday, August 29, 2011

August Camping--our new tradition

We met Grandma Deni at Pokagon State Park in Angola, IN for our first multi-night camping adventure.  The kids did great!  They were so excited to see where their daddy had camped when he was a boy.  Aunt Amber, Uncle Banish, and Carl joined us for a day too. Pony rides, beach play, playgrounds, and campfires took up the majority of our beautiful weather days. The girls also had lots of opportunities for biking and now Mali's on a two-wheeler!  Of course, we're not too die-hard about roughing it to miss an opportunity to eat at the restaurant at Potawatomi Inn in the park or the charming Angola Pizza Hut.  It was wonderful for the girls to be outside all day without so much of a mention of a screen or other technology.  We're making an annual tradition out of this!

23 Weeks

Dear Baby "D",

We know, we the time your oldest sister was this far along we had oodles of pictuers and posts about her. The other two sisters weren't that far behind.  And now we are over halfway along in the pregnancy and finally we post something about you.  Just like your sisters, you are already making mama's tummy quite the sight.  I'm sure all of the BBQ potato chips you've been demanding are contributing to that. You have been noticeably moving and kicking for about five weeks now and Daddy felt you the first time he attempted to try to capture one of those movements.  Your sisters claim they can feel you and even hear you all of the time--wishful thinking, I'm sure. 

We've got a pretty good list of names for you now but we're keeping our mouths shut in order to surprise everyone on your birth day.  We're so thankful that both ultrasounds so far show a strong, healthy baby.  (And no, we certainly didn't ask to see if you were a boy or girl--we love those surprises).  Amalia, Brinnly, and Carrigan were able to hear your heartbeat at The Midwife Center this week.  What a special moment.  They described it as a '"choo-choo" sound and Carrigan immediately asked to hear it again.  They were a little confused by my happy tears.  I just couldn't believe I was hearing all four of my children at once.  I'm sure there will plenty more time I will hear all four of those voices together!  Loudly!

So, #4, we may not have as many pictures or posts about you (yet!), but we certainly hope you know already that you are loved by all five us out-of-the womb Wards as well as plenty others.  Just think, you are the first kiddo int he family to have six big-sister hands all set to cuddle you!

Love, Mommy & Daddy

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

To-Do Today

1)  Take the girls to The Midwife Center for my routine appointment and to listen for the baby's heartbeat.  Actually hear all of my four children at the same time.

2)  Host Amalia's new kindergarten teacher for a home visit.

3) Visit the hospital to meet the newest member of our church family, Phillipa Carter, who was born just last night.

4.  Leave "Baby Pippa" with all of Carrigan's binkys, as big girls don't need binkys anymore. 

Is it just me, or is that a pretty monumental day?

Celebrating Carrigan

She started the two-year-old pre-partying with a chocolate cake in Florida, shared with our other July family birthday, Uncle Josh.  Then, on her actual birthday her first request was a trip to Chuck E. Cheese.  After her sisters prettied-up her hair, that is.  Afterwards she kept saying "Chuck E. Cheese so fun!"  Then we invited a few church friends and neighbors to the Blackridge pool for a "greenie" cake and sing "Happy Day"--also, her choosing.  She beamed the whole time.  Now she uses her birthday present pink water wings like a pro and demands to swim by herself. (With us closely watching, of course).  She's so proud of being a grown up even if she still prefers to tell people she's three instead of two.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Our Day at Disney

Our tricks for managing little kids at Disney?  A 2:1 adult kid ratio and several strollers.

First up:  the carosel outside of Cinderella's Caste

Carrigan was SO ANNOYED by Jonathan here. She wanted to ride all by herself.

She barely tolerated us with her on the teacups and tried to push Jonathan off of the Dumbo ride.  Not that she was scared, just that she wanted to show everyone what a big girl she is.

One of the very best parts was the actual meeting of the princesses.  After a wait (even with the FASTPASS) we were escorted into a room where Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Belle were available for conversation and photo ops.  They were true to character and charming to the girls. Cinderalla encouraged us to be home by midnight.  The girls were completely captivated.

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Overall, it was a fantastic day.  With the help of a great guidebook and the FASTPASS process, we fit in 12 rides from the time opened until dinner. Favorites included the Monsters Inc. show and Buzz Lightyear's ride.  After that we drove back to the  Winter Haven area because a certain husband of mine had been craving BBQ.  Then Brinnly and Carrigan headed to bed while Amalia had a special night out back at Disney with just her mom and dad.  She chattered the whole way there about beating her previous score in the Buzz ride ("Buzz is going to be so proud of me!" she kept saying) and loved taking advantage of a few of the darker rides like the Haunted Mansion and Snow White's Scary Adventure. We were all exhausted the next day but pulled ourselves together to enjoy donuts and good organ music at the clubhouse's coffee hour.

Sunday, August 07, 2011