Wednesday, August 21, 2013

{Backblogging} May 2013

May was spent enjoying our summer and getting ready for baby. There were a lot of doctor and dentist visits we crammed in before there was a newborn to care for. I assumed I would go at least until my due date (May 24th), so we had most of the month to prepare. We worked on the nursery, cleaned out closets, and organized as much as possible. We squeezed in a few more PT and speech sessions. Everyone got their teeth cleaned. We were ready to settle in for a month or so of not having too much that must be done.

The girls love swinging on the playset.  One favorite game is for the parent doing the pushing to stop the swing, tell the child to close her eyes, put pixie dust on her head (tickle the top of the head), instruct her to think happy thoughts, and then swing her as HIGH as possible without her looping back over the swing set.

Matt, Amanda, and Huck came up to the lake for Memorial Day.  This was right after my due date, so we knew we would either be able to hang out with them at the lake (which would be fun) or have them come to the hospital to meet the new baby (also fun).  It turned out that we got to have an enjoyable last hoorah at the lake before the big event. 

40 weeks and 1 day
Luisa got to experience her first boat ride, which she LOVED,  She also got to swim in the lake for the first time.  She loves her swim classes at Lakeshore, so I knew she would love that part.


"Goat Island"

The boat always puts the babies to sleep
Matt tried to bounce me into labor by hitting every wave head on.  Didn't work.

Swimming with Pop

The month ended by meeting our new baby girl.  More on that next time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

{Backblogging} Happy 4th, Luisa!

With a new addition to the family expected a week or so before Luisa's birthday, her FIRST birthday with us, we decided to celebrate early so that she could have ALL the attention that day.

We kept it small and low key so as not to overwhelm her. She chose a Winnie the Pooh cake from the catalog at Publix. A few friends came over to play; no activities were planned. The weather cooperated beautifully. May in Alabama can be very hot, but this day was perfect. The kids had a good time playing outside, running up and down the ramp on the playset that my dad built for Lu. We had snacks, cake, ice cream, and presents. I think she has a really good time, and I enjoyed how easy it was to just let the kiddos PLAY.

On her third birthday, my family was visiting together at my parents' lake house.  We had a cake in her honor, with her on another continent not knowing yet that we loved her and wanted her home.  We are so thankful this year we got to see her eat her cake!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

April 2013: Babymoon, Big Girl Bed, and Waiting on Baby

In April, Philip and I took the opportunity to get away one last time just the two of us.  Since I like to breastfeed for the first year, we knew it would be awhile before the chance would present itself again.  We strongly believe in purposefully investing in our marriage.  One way we do this is by taking a night or two to travel together without kiddos from time to time.  When we first left Caroline for such a weekend, I felt guilty.  Then we received what I consider to be superb advice from a very godly couple that we know and admire.  They said, "One of the best things you can do for your parenting skills is to invest in your marriage."  Admittedly, this was much easier when we had one kid.  Thankfully my parents live close by and are willing to spoil spend some time with our girls when we ask them to. 

This time we went to Chattanooga.  We love to visit this city!  It is a great place for a family to spend the weekend or just a day.  We have in the past visited the Aquarium, walked around the downtown area, visited the shops and park along the river, experienced a fairly cheesy dinner theater, and enjoyed several great restaurants.  This time we hit an attraction that I haven't seen since childhood, Ruby Falls.  The story of its discovery is interesting, and the hike through the caverns was a lot of fun.  After that, we spent some time walking around the River Walk area (way more time than I thought I could handle at 8 months pregnant, although I did have some mega swollen ankles and leg cramps after).  We got some extraordinary pizza (best gluten free crust I've ever had) made with local ingredients at Lupi's Pizza.  I highly recommend them if you are in the area.  Superb service and food.  We ended the evening with a visit to a local (not-so-gluten-free) bakery, where we made up our own sampler box of mini cupcakes. 

One big event in the Ryle household was the combining of the big girls into one bedroom.  Luisa moved from the crib in the nursery to a big girl bed in Caroline's room.  They were so excited to get to share a room!  The transition was exceptionally smooth.  We were unsure if Luisa would stay in her bed, or talk to Caroline all night, but she settled right down.  In the mornings, they get up and play in their room until a lamp in their room comes on (set on a timer for 6:45).
Both of them trying it out

Big Sis tucking in Little Sis

So excited to be a big girl!
The newly vacated nursery then got a makeover.  We painted the walls grey, and my mom and I began working on the bedding for the baby of unknown gender.  I chose navy and lime as the main colors, and planned to throw in hot pink if it was a girl.  I'll do a full nursery reveal later (it still lacks finishing touches).

All four of us were getting excited to meet The Baby.  The pregnancy was going very smoothly.  I was leaning a little more toward thinking I was having a boy.  I could tell the baby was bigger than Caroline had been, and much stronger.  These kicks were actually painful at times, unlike my first pregnancy.   Caroline really wanted a brother this time, and his name was to be Freddy.  (A baby sister would be Sally.)  I really enjoyed not knowing the gender!  It seems so counter to my planning nature, but I would totally go that route again.

One month to go!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Favorite Toys

My biggest girl loves the tiniest toys.  Squinkies, Busy Books, Disney figurines of all kinds are her playthings of choice most days.  She also has a huge affinity for stuffed animals, but it does not rival her love of itty bitty plastic things.  This wanna-be-Montessori mama would love to have nothing but high-quality, open-ended, natural-material playthings neatly lining our shelves, but it is just not to be for this kid.  Thankfully, she likes organization as much as I do, so most of them have homes they return to after playtime.  She can't have Peter Pan, Eeyore, and Cinderella mixing it up (unless, of course, you are pretending that Eeyore is the horse from Cinderella, or one of Pan's Lost Boys).

One day, when she has outgrown playing with these much loved toys, I hope to transform a few into ornaments or something similar.  For now, I enjoy watching her create entire worlds with her animals, princesses, pirates, and such (even if they are brightly colored plastic). 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

{Backblogging} Easter 2013

I have recently admitted to myself that my "temporary" break from my once much-loved hobby of scrapbooking is not so temporary.  This time, space, and money-consuming past time now truly resides in my past.  My free time has been overtaken by the much more worthy endeavor of mothering.  This presents quite the conundrum, since the act of raising kids mandates record-keeping.  However, since I have yet to complete Caroline's baby book, I have decided to cross over to the world of printed photo books from online sources.  (By the way, if you have a favorite printing site for photo books, please let me know.)  Therefore, I am going back to fill in a few gaps so that these memories will be easy to transfer to books.  We pick up in March 2013:

Our first Easter with Luisa!  We celebrated several times with various family and friends.  Her first Easter egg hunt took place in Pensacola. We also enjoyed the weather that weekend by hanging outside blowing bubbles and playing softball.  The weekend was rounded out by a visit with Philip's grandmother, Bebe, and his Aunt Rebecca.


Daddy, Luisa, Caroline, Aunt Rebecca, and Bebe

Ready to hunt!

A swing (and a miss)

Let's go, Lu!
Our next egg hunt was with some neighborhood kids at a friend's house.  The kiddos, all five and under, had fun hunting eggs in the back yard.  Philip and I had realized that week that Luisa, who was so resistant to using her walker, was willing to use it to walk around to yard to gather eggs into her basket.  We actually practiced with her several times that week in our back yard, Caroline running ahead to place eggs on the ground and Luisa laboriously coming behind, stopping at each egg and asking us to pick it up for her.  Her limit was about 20 feet, and this took several minutes.  (It is absolutely amazing to look back and see how she has progressed with her walker.  Just a few weeks prior to this, she was adamantly refusing to use it.)

Sarah, Caroline, Sophie, Luisa, Cade, and Ollie

"A boiled egg? Where's the candy?"

Walking, walking, walking

The new game of Chase the Giant Egg Down the Giant Hill

We spent Easter morning with our church family, and then we headed to Mimi and Pop's for Easter lunch Sadly, the banana pudding I made was "accidentally" left in our refrigerator by Philip, which is now believed to have been a ploy to get all of it to himself.  :) There was another egg hunt and some time to dye eggs that afternoon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy 5th, Caroline!

I cannot believe I have a FIVE year old. Good grief.

Whenever it is someone's birthday, Caroline's first question is, "What kind of birthday are you having?"  This translates to, "What character is on your cake?"  She has been asking since her fourth birthday to have a Mad Hatter Tea Party for her fifth, so we obliged. (She already has ideas for her sixth, and possibly her seventh). This girl is serious about her party themes.

I admit, I am a bit of a kid birthday party planning addict. I just enjoy putting it all together. This one was easy, because we already has so many girly items in fun, bright colors to pull together for a tea party. Pinterest is a wealth of inspiration (as well as a source of shame and self doubt) when it comes to party planning. Actually, some ideas were even original.  Believe it or not, those do still exist.

I should have insisted that all the kiddos (and parents) invited watch the movie as a prerequisite.  So much of the charm is lost on the Alice-uneducated crowd.



We kicked it off with a tea party, where we served "little girl tea" (a.k.a decaf), a cherry tea chosen by the birthday girl, along with lemonade for the non-tea-loving crowd.  I had purchased a mish mash of tea cups and saucers at a local thrift store, which later became the party favors for the guests.



The kids then participated in a Wonderland Relay, which consisted of:

Hopping like a bunny

Crawling through the Rabbit Hole

Finding the Key (hidden in bowl of rice)

Finding the Queen of Hearts

Flamingo Croquet (sans flamingo.  I tried to find a lawn flamingo, and several of my coastal friends and family offered theirs, but apparently none of my local friends are sufficiently tacky.)

We squeezed in a little lunch, and then it was time for cake and ice cream.  This is the first year that I didn't make Caroline's cake.  I have always enjoyed making them, but it sure was nice not having that on my to do list the day before the party.  I am learning as a mom to three littles to just let some stuff go.

The kids got to make their own Mad Hatter hats, which Caroline had been so excited about all week.  I don't have any pictures of the crafting because some Little Bit was hungry at the time, but I had three brave mommas offer to man glue guns. 

It was the present time, and we wrapped up the party with a little FaceTime with Nana and Grumpa and a  round of Pin the Smile on the Cheshire Cat.

The party crowd:

Ainsley slept through most of the hooplah.

The birthday girl snuggled up in bed in her new jammies, made by Mimi, with matching ones for her doll, Marie.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...