Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keeping up with the kids

Today was our first day at home since the birth of Eden without my mom here to help us - yikes! Thankfully, Michael is at home this week to help out so between the two of us we were able to keep the four of them fed and entertained.

So while Eden slept in her Moses basket (love that basket!) downstairs after her feeding, this is what the other kids got busy doing this afternoon...

Avery had a picnic on the screened porch with her tea cups and goldfish crackers...

Ryan and two of his friends from across the street enjoyed playing on the Slip and Slide (even though it started to rain!)...

And Emma put on her high heeled dress up shoes and pretended she was a showgirl (I have high hopes for this one!)...

And afterwards we all brought lunch out onto the porch and ate. So far so good. Now let's see how things go next week when it is just me and the four kids for the first time!!!

Ryan, Eden and the doctor's appointment

Ryan spent time at Papa and Nana's in Anderson, SC while Michael and I were in the hospital with Eden. He arrived back home on Monday afternoon and got to meet his newest little sister for the first time.

He is a proud big brother and is very sweet to her. He is constantly doting on her and exclaiming, "She is the cutest baby!"

Tuesday morning was another big day for Eden as she had her very first doctor's appointment. They schedule all new babies' appointments first thing in the morning which is appreciated by parents everywhere. There is nothing like getting very little sleep the night before and having to awaken to an alarm so you make sure you don't sleep through your appointment!

But we got up and ready and Eden got a clean bill of health. She will not go back for another two weeks.

One of the items Ryan brought back from his stay with Papa and Nana was a book about knights which included a chess game and some (very minor) instructions. He has been itching to play his new chess game each evening and unfortunately, none of us have ever learned to play chess.

Grandma spent Tuesday afternoon with Ryan and they spent some time at the library and out to lunch. While they visited the library they checked out a new book that explains in more detail the rules of chess, so they were able to set up the chess board and play a round. Of course Ryan won.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Home sweet home...

We were discharged from the hospital today so we got Eden decked out in her "coming home" outfit and left the hospital.

Emma and Avery seemed excited to see all of us and were anxious to get close to the baby. I think they are going to make great big sisters!

My mom fixed us a wonderful dinner of basil chicken lasagna, salad, rolls and brownies for dessert - delicious! And I was able to lay down and take a nap this afternoon which was so nice. It is fabulous having someone helping out at home with the kids and the house and I am so thankful I have wonderful parents to do just that!

I am heading upstairs to get a little sleep so I am able to wake up and handle the middle of the night feeding/s! Thank you to everyone for the well wishes! We are all doing very well.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Eden's special visitors

Eden is now a day old and she had a busy first day. Not only did she get to be dressed up for a hospital photo session, but she had some very special visitors today.

Her special visitors brought lots of lovely gifts for her including several new rattles, some onesies, a new bath towel, a lion blankie and some beautiful flowers.

My parents have been in town watching over Emma and Avery while we are in the hospital so they brought the girls over to meet their new little sister for the first time.

Here they are checking Eden out. Emma was funny - I guess after she saw Eden's first pictures online last night she became very worried about her unusual belly button (that is clamped right now). We changed Eden and she got to take a look at her belly button up close. Like a good big sister she was concerned that Eden's belly button hurt.

Eden got to meet her Grandma and Grandpa O'Brien for the first time...

My dad with Eden...

My mom holding Eden...

Eden has been doing wonderfully. She is eating well and sleeping well. Michael and I were even able to take a nice nap this afternoon.

Tonight Michael is running out to pick up some Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the nurses here to thank them for all of their wonderful care and help. And he is picking us up a couple of salads from California Dreaming for dinner - yum!

It looks like we will be able to be discharged from the hospital tomorrow morning so we may be heading home sooner than I had originally anticipated.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's a girl!

We are excited to announce the birth of our daughter and the newest member of our family...

Introducing Eden Presley...

Born at 9:25 a.m. on July 24th, Eden entered the world with a great set of lungs and a head of black hair.

She weighed in at 8 lbs, 8 ounces and is 21 inches in length. Big girl! My biggest baby yet!

She is healthy and beautiful and we feel extremely blessed being her parents. I'm sure many more photos will follow over the next few days/week!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The duck race - otherwise known as our agonizing afternoon

I had read about the Midlands Boys & Girls Club annual rubber duck race in the newspaper and thought it might be a fun event for the kids. It was held Sunday afternoon so we let the girls forgo their naps and took everyone over to Saluda Shoals Park. We were running a little late - the race was supposed to begin at 3:00 p.m. and it was already around 2:30 p.m. When we pulled up to the park gates we saw that everyone had decided to get there at the same time - traffic was backed up all the way through the park.

Not only that but they stopped letting people drive into the park to try and find a parking space and were asking everyone to park in the front of the park. Since we were under a time element to get our three rubber ducks registered for the race, Ryan and I hopped out of the car and decided to walk to the registration while Michael and the girls (who had fallen asleep) park and join us.

Not the best of ideas. I sometimes forget that I am 39 weeks pregnant and can't briskly walk long distances like I used to. Top that with the lovely 90 something degree weather and all I can say is that I was near tears as we walked pretty much the entire length of the park to reach our destination.

But we finally got there and quickly got our three ducks registered...

We then placed our ducks in the front of the tractor to be dumped into the river for the start of the race. You can see Emma and Avery's ducks labeled in the giant pile above.

A quick photo of Ryan with his duck...

Supposedly they had food available as part of the event and although I saw people walking by with cold drinks and hot dogs, they were not anywhere to be seen near the race spot. I figured we'd eat a late lunch there so by now it is after 3:00 and no one has had a thing to eat since breakfast. So we had three tired, hot and hungry children on our hands and one very pregnant and uncomfortable woman!
So we waited in the lovely hot Columbia weather for the duck race to begin. Can you see the look of excitement on all of their faces!?!

It finally began but the kids weren't able to see much of anything because of the crowd of people and dense trees lining the river. 15 minutes later the race is over and we are just waiting around to collect our rubber ducks because the kids REFUSE to leave without their new rubber ducks.

20 minutes later they finally dump the bags of rubber ducks (hundreds of them) pulled from the river onto the grass for people to attempt to claim their own ducks. I'm sure you can imagine the fun of bending over and digging through piles of plastic yellow ducks looking for your specific duck!

To make matters worse, we had decided to wait and go to church Sunday evening so by this time we are really cutting things close to 5:00 p.m. church start time - and we still hadn't eaten since breakfast!

Michael was able to locate one of the three ducks and the other two kids received plain non-decorated ducks to take home with them. We grabbed Wendy's to eat in the car on the way to church and arrived looking and feeling our best! Ha, Ha!

Definitely not one of my brighter ideas...It all seemed like such a fun idea at the time. You sometimes wonder how you went so wrong!

This was the bright spot for the kids...they got to meet a giant yellow duck and had their picture taken. And...the duck gave them a high-5 as they all reported to me after their visit!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Water day

This morning was a "water day" at our house. This is my frugal attempt to keep the kids occupied for a few hours without having multiple neighborhood children in my house, not spending money, and not requiring me to sit out in the hot 90-something degree sun.

We set up the water table, the plastic baby pool and the Slippin' Slide and the kids go at it while I chill with a glass of iced tea on the screen porch.

The Slippin' Slide was the big hit of the day and the kids tirelessly took turns sliding down it multiple times.

Avery thought the end was a type of water fountain because every time she concluded her journey down the slide she would open her mouth for a sip of water!

Back at Lowes again...

We made our bi-weekly visit to Lowes for their latest kid's Build and Grow activity. This past Saturday the kids had the opportunity to build treasure chests. I did actually preregister all three kids this week which I have never done before, however treasure chests are obviously a big hit with kids in the Lexington area because Ryan got the very last kit.

Luckily, they had other kits on hand so the girls got to build a keepsake box.

You can see Emma's completed box above. I think the girls probably appreciated the boxes more than a treasure chest anyway.

The treasure chests were a little more involved than prior projects we have done so Michael helped Ryan build and assemble his.

As you can tell by now, we are big fans of the Build and Grow activity days. They are nice projects that the kids can bring home and you can't beat the price - free! Coming up next at our local Lowes is the helicopter. Check it out if you haven't already. All three of our kids really enjoy it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fun at the park

The three kids and I took another trip to our local park to play before lunch. This time we thought to bring sand toys with us so the kids could dig in the sand surrounding the playground equipment. This is what Emma did the entire time we were there! It makes me think that a sandbox in our own backyard isn't such a bad idea.

Avery did a little bit of everything from playing on the equipment, running around in the spray fountain and playing in the sand.

And Ryan played with his Star Wars figure the entire time we were there while also running around in the spray fountain.

Like I have said before, my quiet, little known park is no longer. There were at least 7 other kids there besides us. Long gone are the days of being the only park visitors!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Playtime in the backyard

These are our everyday activities...playing with the water table. Or in Avery's case dunking yourself as far into the water on the table as possible.

Emma is my gardener. She likes spending time just digging in the wood chips and shifting cartloads around the playground area.

And both of them enjoy a nice tea party...or coffee...or syrup in chocolate milk (as in this case) party on the shaded porch.

And they are both terrific hostesses. They make sure that I get my fill of "syrup" while I lounge on the couch. Of course Avery likes dumping some of hers over her head - notice the sopping clothes and wet hair!

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July festivities

Hopefully everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July. Unfortunately, our television decided to die on us Friday evening so Michael and Ryan spent part of Saturday shopping for a new T.V.

Meanwhile I spent most of Saturday preparing food. Our neighbors invited us over to their house for a cook-out and fireworks so I prepared my sour cream hamburgers, pasta salad (just because this is all I want to eat lately), and buster bar dessert. I don't break out the buster bar very often and it certainly isn't the most nutritious of desserts...crushed Oreo cookies, ice cream, Spanish peanuts and a chocolate topping...but it is GOOD. Michael made his hot dog chili to bring along as well. No BBQ is complete without the chili for hot dogs!

We finally got ready to walk down to our neighbors house that evening and I snapped a few pics of the kids on the front porch.

There were probably 5 families there altogether and about 14 kids. So our children had a great time playing with the others. As you can see above, they organized rocks...

Participated in yard games...

And just basically ran around for several hours outside...

Until they were exhausted. And then it was time to set up the lounge chairs and wait for the fireworks to begin shortly after dark.

I think it was around 10:40 p.m. when our kids finally made it to bed that evening! It was a long but enjoyable day.