Friday, December 30, 2011

Look who won!

Congrats to Miss Abigail Ryan in winning the Baby Guess Game for the person formerly known as "Baby D.".  Abigail's secret to her success may have simply been guessing her wishes--she hoped for a baby girl arriving early enough for the Ryans to meet before their Wisconsin vacation.  Abigail and her big brother Jack visisted Delaney less than 24 hours after she was born and brought treats, homemade Christmas cards, and dinosaur drawings for her.  We have a feeling this is the start of a long friendship between these two.

(By the way, at the bottom of the guessing scores were Delaney's daddy and Abigail's mom.  Maybe Abigail can teach you guys a few skills)

Delaney's First Week

What a week it has been!  Delaney had a lovely first few days at the hospital with roughly a million visitors.  UPMC Mercy treated us quite well, including a celebratory steak/salmon dinner.  Then she came home to flurry of activity starting with our traditional Thanksgiving home-from-the-hospital dinner.  Oh, and it just happened to be Christmas Eve.

On Christmas morning we opened presents for our first celebration of the season.  Both grandmas were still here and we are overwhelmingly grateful for their company and help.  This four-kid gig is a tremendous amount of work, but we've been coping well, thanks to their contributions.  It was sad for all of us to say good-bye to Grandma Deni on Tuesday night.  We look forward to a trip to Michigan in the not-too-distant future. Somewhere in the midst of all this, Brinn & Carrigan had a mild dose of the stomach flu and Delaney has gone through packs and packs of diapers. But we're overall holding up very well.  My recovery is progressing nicely and we are so thankful to our talented midwives for managing every detail of labor, delivery and post-partum care so well.

A few other observations from week.  Amalia immediately declared "Brinnly and Carrigan have each other.  Delaney is mine".  She sealed that deal by holding Delaney on her lap while watching the Steeler-Rams game with their daddy as soon as we got home from the hospital.  Who needs sons?

All of the girls love Delaney whole-heatedly.  Carrigan asks immediately after waking up "Where's my little baby?" and demands to hold her.  Other times Carrigan struggles to find her place in the new dynamic.  She's not quite as big as the other girls, but certainly not a baby.  She's also asked "Why Mali and Brinnly not in school"?  and for Grandma Deni to come back. A return to our normal routine next week will probably be good for her.

And now Grandpa, Aunt Kara, and Uncle Josh are here are another round of celebrating. We're ending 2011 on a fantastic note. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."--C.S. Lewis

Thanks be to God for his many, many gifts. May you know and celebrate his best gift of his son, Jesus, this Christmas.
Jonathan, Kaethe, Amalia,
Brinnly, Carrigan, & Delaney Ward

Friday, December 23, 2011

All we wanted for Christmas was...

Delaney Fay Ward!  Our fourth precious daughter was born on December 22nd, at 6:34 pm.  She is healthy, strong, and beautiful.  Her labor was longer than expected but the actual delivery went smoothly and once again, both of her grandmas were there to meet her soon after her birth.  Her name was chosen as her Grandma Deni and her late Great-Grandma Opal both had Fay as a middle name. Our midwives were as wonderful was ever.  Kellie graciously brought the excited big sisters to the hospital right away so they could greet her too.  They were so anxious to know if they had a brother or sister and are quite pleased with the result.  We couldn't be more thrilled with this 6 pound, 13 ounce Christmas gift.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A few quick pics of Redeemer's Christmas musical

Christmas Dress #1

Christmas Dress #2

Christmas Dress #3--who needs a reason to dress up?  Audience members need to look their best too!

On their way to backstage with preschool & Kindergarten buddies

Mali carrying in her sign for "a song"....each Kindergarten student represented a part of from "Do you hear what I hear"

The Kindergarten class along with the middle school choir.  Mali is front and center, singing her heart out.  Brinnly's class joined the group later but I couldn't quite capture her in the group.  Carrigan was content to provide audience entertainment and Baby D. graciously stayed low-key the entire time and didn't steal any spotlight.  Yet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Brinnly's Big Day

Nothing says "Birthday Party for Jesus" like an Eat-n-Park cookie.  Brinnly, of course, devoured every morsel of hers, even after her classmates were long done.  She also loved the singing, crafting, and game-playing at her little party.  She has a sweet group of friends there and her teachers really know how to reach out to our precious Bug-a boo.  The whole event tired her out so much she's currently napping in the infant bouncy seat.

39 1/2 Weeks

We are just a few days away from D-day and all is well.  Brinn's class party was yesterday and I was happy to be able to be there for that.  Unless there is any dramatic change in the next few hours, I plan to be watching the Redeemer school program and both of my big girls in there tonight.  Grandmas arrive Thursday so anytime after that is ideal. We'll take this little bundle whenever he or she comes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Carrigan's Stage Debut (aka First Trinity's Sunday School Program)

Our #3 angel made her stage performance debut today the same way her sisters did in previous years...singing "Away in a Manger" for a Sunday School program.  She was very excited to do so, although we had to remind her all the way to church that she was going to sing that hymn, rather than something from the score of "Annie".  We're hearing a lot of "The sun will come out tomorrow" around here lately.  The kids all did great for a sans-nap day, including Baby D. who managed to not to make an appearance during that particular time period.  His or her sisters never would have forgiven that one.

Polka Party

An early birthday celebration at Hoffbraushaus...
Needless to say, the children far outnumbered the adults, which is typically the case these days.  Thankfully, the atmosphere was noisy and festive enough for everyone to enjoy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Members Night at the Museum

A penguin visiting from the avairy
We decided to try a two-family celebration with the Ryans this year since the past few years we have just had to send care packages to each other for Christmas.  We opted for the member's night at the Children's Museum.  The museum is always impressive, but we were pretty disappointed in the lack of Christmas, well, anything.  There was a definite winter-focus, but nothing too extraordinary. But at least the company was delightful.

Mali has always loved her pengos.

The closest thing to Christmas lights

You can never go wrong with the attic room

The "winter fairy".  The girls didn't believe she really brings the snow.  I think she looks like a character from "The Hunger Games".

The new make-shop

More creating

The CLO singers/dancers did captivate our crew.  Especially their version of Mariah's "All I Want for Chrismas"

But it really doesn't get much cuter than this one.