Thursday, August 30, 2012

Play Date!

When living in Durham, we had play dates all the time - like multiple a week.  I had a lot of good friends with children around our kids ages. It was wonderful and prevented some of the boredom, loneliness, and monotony of being a stay at home mom. I realize that I don't talk a lot, but just being with people and a part of conversations with adults is really good for my sanity. On the contrary, the first 8-9 months here in Augusta were spent mostly with just the kids and I. I didn't really have good friends yet. But starting in the spring and progressing thru the summer, we have started having some more play dates.

Now that both of the big kids are in school everyday, its fun to start afresh and do some things/activities targeted for Graham. Several of my friends here have children age 3 and under. Today we had 2 my friends from Bible study over - both of whom have 2 year olds who are in Graham's class at Bible study. Plus Lydia has a 3 week old brother and Parker is about to be a big brother - so Carsyn will have some new friends too! Graham was really excited and everyone had fun. We played out back and enjoyed some lunch together.

 Lydia, Graham, Parker

 lunch time!

 the boys put many miles on the mowers today!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy 4 Months Carsyn!

Another month has somehow managed to fly by...and Carsyn Ashley is 4 months old already. I feel like we've made some major progress during the last 2 weeks. We've moved out of newborn mode and into infant mode. She's getting a little more predictable; stays awake longer; smiles/giggles/and interacts; and is attempting to develop a routine.

 Avery is a huge helper - she retrieves diapers or pacifiers when needed. She's even changed a poopy diaper! All of the kids love Carsyn and can entertain her pretty easily. Today, Carsyn heard/saw Griffin laughing and she laughed out loud over and over in a really loud chuckle. It was hysterical.

 Being child #4 has brought some challenges. She stays on the go - going to her first tee ball game at 3 days old...Here she is with Big Daddy watching the big kids play soccer. Some days I feel bad for her because she just gets lots of catnaps in her car seat when all she really wants is her bed!

Falling asleep on the way home from getting the boys from preschool has made for kind of rough afternoons. She ends up with a 15 minute nap on our way home - then she feel "rested" enough not to take a nap when the boys are resting - but tired enough that she is not content with anything! This makes for an unpredictable afternoon/evening routine.

Carsyn started sleeping all night this past week - on her own! She has slept all night 4 out of the past 6 nights. Hoping this trend continues. She is normally in bed by 8:00 and I do a "dream feed" around 9:30...and she's been sleeping until 6:30-8:00.  Not too shabby!

 Carysn is full of smiles for anyone who pays her any attention. And she loves to talk. Her fiery streak has died down now that the sleep-thing is coming easier. Her weight is up to 12 lbs, 15 oz. Her ECHO last week showed that her pressure gradient had come we are holding tight and will do another ECHO  in 2 months.

 Graham is in love with and very protective of his baby "sista." He is quick to jam a pacifier in her mouth when she makes a peep. He covers her in blankets at random. He loves to lay under the play mat with her. Sometimes he calls her CoCo; sometimes "baby Ashley;" but mostly recently has begun referring to her as "sista." He kept fussing at Cassidy the other day saying - "No puppy. don't eat my sista!"

Girlfriend loves to suck and chew on anything she can get into her mouth...blankets, toys, your fingers, her hand....she was doing quite a number on her thumb here!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Soccer Again!

Its already soccer season again! The church where the kids played Upward soccer in the spring cancelled their fall flag football and moved soccer to the we are at it again!  Thankfully, both Avery and Griffin's teams practice at the same time this season and then their games are right after each other each Saturday. Makes it easier on momma!  They had their first games this past weekend.

 our littlest soccer star

here he is in action

 Avery is listening attentively to her coach

 a mid-game wave!

 Nina and Big Daddy were  here for their games

avoiding the sun!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Welcome Party for Dr. Barbara!

We broke in our new deck this weekend with a welcome party for Brent's new partner - Dr. Barbara. We had a southern BBQ - Brent smoked a boston butt and 2 beer butt chickens...we had southern green beans, corn/tomato salad, and watermelon...and the meal was made complete with sweet tea, lemonade, and apple pie!

Our kids love Barb and she is such a good sport with them - they surrounded her, each wanting to show her their newest tricks, favorite dress (avery), how they could draw (griff), their sticks (graham), etc....

 Brent and Barb

 enjoying their BBQ

 Kelli, giving mommy's arms a break from Carsyn

enjoying their meal!

Brent and I enjoyed hosting everyone and having it all outside was wonderful. All of the kids played great so the adults were able to eat and carry on conversations without worrying about the little people! We look forward to having many more gatherings!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Our New Porch

Our house originally had 3 separate porches scattered across the back of our house with 3 doors leading inside/outside. The decks were different heights and disconnected and not too we decided to renovate it. We built one deck that spans the length of the entire back of the house. It is also 3 feet wider so that there is room to walk around the table without falling off the deck! This project took a lot longer than expected but we are very pleased with the final result!

 demo done and framing begun

 working on the roof

 columns go up

celing going up

iron railings installed

the final result

 sitting area with TV

 table for 6! (I forsee many a family meal around this table!)

Our entry way - we took the glass doors off of 2 of the doors...much easier to maneuver.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Graham's 1st Day

Graham had his first day of MDO today. He was really excited to go. Loves to wear his backpack and carry his lunchbox...but he totally melted down when I dropped him off. He has never adjusted quickly to being left places. He was happy and playing when I returned though! He'll be going to school Wed/Fri 9:00-1:00 this year.

"helping" me push the stroller

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

First Day of School!

 Its hard to believe that summer has come and gone already...but these two were really excited for school to start today!

Since Avery did 1/2 day kindergarten last year at FBC Augusta, she is transitioning into a new school where she is in first grade. She thinks she is really big stuff and was most excited about learning Spanish and going to the library. I am a little nervous for these first few days - she'll be riding the bus home (which really makes me nervous!) and eating in a cafeteria for the first time.

I am planning on dropping Avery off in the carline most days but since today was her first day she wanted me to  walk her I parked on the side of the road (there were cars everywhere) and loaded the little 2 into the stroller. The school was wall-to-wall with people and I could hardly navigate the stroller down the hall. It was really overwhelming! I left Avery sitting quietly reading a book waiting for class to start...hoping her day goes smoothly!

Griffin is in the four year old class at FBC and goes 9:00-1:00, five days a week this year. He loves his teacher (she was Avery's para pro last year) and thinks he is big stuff getting to go to school everyday now. None of the kids from his class last year are in his new class so he'll be starting from scratch again...good thing he isn't shy and that he loves people!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

End of Summer

Its hard to believe that summer is just about over. The kids start school on Tuesday already. I asked each of them what they still wanted to do before school started - like a "last request." Avery wanted to go to the mall - so we did that last week- we played on the playground, got cookies, and she spent some of her birthday money at Build a Bear. Griffin wanted to go to the pool - so we managed to squeeze 2 more trips to the pool in. Graham wants to go to the beach with Nina and Big Daddy - pretty sure that request can't be filled!

I have taken all 4 kids to the pool a few times this summer. My first attempt was very stressful and exhausting but our trips got better as the summer progressed! For my sanity and their safety, the boys HAVE to keep their vests on at all times. And I just keep my eye on Avery. And thankfully, Carsyn has napped at the pool the last few trips.

 Graham tends to spend as much time eating as he does swimming...

 and here is how Carsyn does the pool
(FYI, she's in the shade and under a ceiling fan...)

sun bathing during "adult swim"