Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our October is complete...Opal is here.

 We have been waiting ALL MONTH (actually, a lot longer than that) to welcome the Ryans' sweet bundle of joy, so we were thrilled to get the call the other day that she was on her way.  (We think she knew there was already a lot of energy between our two families so in order to stake her place in the crew, she waited for a hurricane in order to arrive).  We hurried over there for some playtime with the older kids.  Pizza, dress-up, and Little Bear videos were fine until this little babe was carried in the door.
 Opal Therese, you have a pretty big fan club.

 She's sweet and beautiful and thankfully pretty mellow in the midst of excitement!  (We are, of course, experts on sweet, beautiful baby girls)

Delaney is beyond excited that she now has a partner for pizza night. Pictures were not available of her, however, because the instant we would turn out attention to baby Opal, Delaney would dash up the Ryan's stairs in search of the choking-hazard Legos in the attic. But soon those two are going to be best buds. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Eleven Years Ago

Still the best reception that we have ever attended...little did we know the best was yet to come.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Break

Our girls had a few days off school so here's how we spent it.  We would have rather spent time cuddling the Ryan's new baby but since he or she hasn't felt like making an appearance yet we settled for forts, leaves, parks, and cardboard boxes.

What happens when I tell my girls to get dressed for a bonfire

They come up with as many possible colors and accessories as possible. Please note the frilly skirts over jeggings and the fact that at least Delaney looks seasonally-appropriate.

Grandma Deni! Pumpkins!

 It's October which means it's time for Grandma Deni to visit for hayride and pumpkin fun.  We tried a new place this year, Kerber's Dairy, and were pleasantly surprised. Homemade ice cream isn't necessarily something we'd expect with our hayride, but who are we to complain?  Delaney loved her first hayride but wasn't too sure about the cones that the rest of us were holding.  We opted for pumpkin painting this year rather than the labor-intensive carving.  WAY easier and just as cute.

Pajama Day!

Brinn's class earned enough cotton balls in the "Kindness Jar" to celebrate with a pajama day.  As usual, Brinn used it as an excuse to wear as much purple as possible.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ten Months Old

 Check out our sweet, docile little baby here.  What a calm personality, right?  Um, not exactly.  This little firecracker of ours has been keeping us hopping lately.  I turned my back for one minute the other day (after making sure the safety gates were secured and toilet seats were down, of course) and THIS is what I find:

Yes, that is Laney over halfway up the ladder of her sisters' bunk beds. She was so dismayed that I wouldn't let her go further.  Thankfully the camera was close enough I could hold he with one hand (or Carrigan's help) and capture the moment in pictures.  She's a fast one, that girl.

Lane is still loving her toddler "school" and friends there but is glad to have Mommy to herself afterwards and see her sisters later.  She creeps and crawls her way through the house finding anything possible to put in her mouth.  She also likes pencils, crayons, and the computer keyboard, as opposed to actual toys.  Maybe we have a future journalist?  We're thankful she's still nursing about six times a day and is extra-cuddly in the early morning.  She's been known to shed a few tears for her daddy when we leaves in the morning and he's a total sucker for her. Actually, that's true for all of us.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Five to end the week

1.  Great quote from one of my favorite blogs, The Happiness Project.
 Look, Papa.”
“It’s a rhinoceros beetle,” he tells her.
“Mama!” she cries. “Look! A rhinoceros beetle!”
She is nine. Danny is seven. These years are endless, but they cannot be remembered.
–James Salter, Light Years

One of my goals for this blog is to document all of the little, ordinary elements of this season of our lives so they are not forgotten.  So here goes:

2) Mali and Brinn thoroughly enjoyed their field trip at the zoo yesterday.  Brinn's favorite part was the fact she was able to stay all day at school for the first time.  When she skipped off the afternoon bus in her way-too-big RLS t-shirt (cinched at the waist with a purple hair-tie.  So eighties!) and her Hello Kitty jeans she looked so grown-up to me.  I reached for the camera to find the battery exhausted.  Problem being fixed right now.

3)  Is there any better baby book than Pat the Bunny?  Delaney loves it as much as Mali did.  That author is brilliant at capturing the inquisitive mind of little ones.  I remember Mali pumping her arms up and down in anticipation of it.  I had to take it away from Laney at naptime the other day.  It was distracting her too much to sleep!  (Don't worry--we read it later.)

4) Jonathan and I have been using late summer/early fall weather as running time. We ran the best race in Pittsburgh, the 10K Great Race on September 30th.  Both of us PR'd with times of 42:31 for him and 51:50 for me.  Following a training plan (and running the hills in our neighborhood) made a difference.  I'm thinking bigger races may be on the horizon.

5)  Amalia continues to be enamored by her first-grade teacher.  She's copying her hairstyle and now wants to polish her shoes to be like hers. (I currently do not spend much time polishing footwear). It's pretty sweet. We are blessed by that place.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Five to start the week

1)  We had a great time this weekend with Grandpa Gregg and Grandma Sandy visiting.  As usual, we were too busy to snap many pictures but here's a quick one of Brinn and her grandma and their belated birthday chocolate fudge cake.  Doesn't Brinn look pleased as punch about it?  Try to look past her'll be seeing it again in a few weeks.

2) We have entered the decade and Jonathan has a smartphone.  Loving it.  More options to video these kiddos!

3) Carrigan's finally adjusting to preschool. It's taken her a while to feel comfortable there but Thursday was a breakthrough day for her.  So proud.

4)  Amalia's making progress in reading too, slowly but surely.  It's fascinating to me to watch how writing comes more easily to her in terms of words and sounds.  Science, art, and math are still her favorites.

5) I WISH I had pictures of Delaney's self-appointed new job at bath time.  She decided the other day that she would stand by the side of the tub and try to grab her sisters to scrub them.  Carrigan's curls are the most tempting.  Laney also grabs the soap and shampoo bottles and tries in earnest to make them work. Her enthusiasm tumbled her right into the tub on one occasion.  Fully dressed of course, with shoes.  Thankfully, I was right there.  She found it hysterical and tried to tell Jonathan about it.


Friday, October 12, 2012

First Day of School

Another reason for the lack of blog posting...I'm back to work for the first time in five years!  I feel very honored to serve as the Parent/Toddler Program Teacher at my girls' school (Redeemer Lutheran).  It's a unique program that provides pre-school experiences for parents and teachers together.  It meets during the time that Carrigan has preschool so that limits extra travel time other jobs would require.  And look how cute my teaching assistant is!

Idlewild Birthday!

Let's not address how woefully behind I am in posting.  But before even more fun things happen around here, I need to post the pictures of how we celebrated Brinn turning five.  Instead of a big party, we took a family trip to Idlewild Park with our friends the Bindenwalds.  Love, love, loved it.  The weather was perfect (early September is ideal for amusement parks) and the park provided fantastic rides on picturesque grounds.  Carrigan especially loved the fast rides and could barely wait to get off of one (i.e. the roller coaster) before planning her next venture.  I think we'll be hitting this place again.  It was a special day for a special girl.