Night two in the books


I am home with the three big kids after having spent the night with Audrey and Karissa at Evergreen. We were hoping that during the night she would rally. We thought things were headed on the right path when they decided to cut off her already fairly minimal supply of IV fluids once the antibiotics got into her system. They did just that and for the first time in a couple of days, Audrey was wireless. She might have been wireless but she was not very hungry for a long time…too long in fact, and they took the block off the IV and hooked her back up to the pump.

After a while I was able to get her asleep and laid her down in the crib. She thankfully laid there for the balance of the night (1:30-6:30). However, here we are on day 3 and she still does not have much of an appetite. The good news this morning was when she woke up, I tried to give her a bottle, which she rejected, instead opting for a snuggle and some milk from mama. This of course encouraged Karissa deeply.

We are both at peace knowing that little Audrey is in the Lord’s hands and she will get her strength and appetite back. Until then, we drink lots of coffee. By the way…Karissa’s favorite drink is a grande, half-decaf, 2 pump, white chocolate mocha. To follow along from the beginning: 1, 2, 3.


Top Requests


For those of you wanting to pray here are the top three reqests from Audrey’s mama:

1. For Audrey’s IV to last one more night so that it can deliver the meds appropriately and that they don’t have to put in a new one.

2. Audrey’s appetite would return and she would be motivated and able to take enough fluids to nourish her little body.

3. Regarding number 2, that Audrey would start nursing again.

Thank you for your prayers.  To follow along from the beginning: 1, 2, 3.

-Chris and Karissa

The latest on Audrey

Well, it looks like a 2 night stay for Audrey at Evergreen.  The good folks there think it would be best for her to remain on the IV fluids and also get one more round of IV antibiotics over night.  Audrey is a long ways away from being able to eat enough to get the green light to go home.  She needs to get to about 24 oz. in a 24 hr. period and today she got to 10.  The tests on her urine came back faster than usual because of how bad the infection in her kidney was.  We are also waiting for the results from her blood work to rule out any spreading of infection into her blood stream.  However, the nurse said that becasause Audrey is not acting too sick, any spreading of the infection is highly unlikely.  So, it looks like Karissa and I will be spending the night with Audrey tonight.  Although we will be in the room, I am not sure how much sleep we will actually get.  The three big kids get to stay at home and sleep in their beds, so that is good.  Karissa and I are grateful for all the support and prayers we have received.  You guys are amazing!  Read this and that for all the Audrey news.


Audrey update

Hello all,

I just got back from the hospital and Audrey was looking much better (if you don’t know what is going on make sure you read here).  She is still on IV fluids and is not eating well.  The times that she does eat, she is taking a bottle.  It is good that she is getting fluids from a bottle, but her mama would prefer that she goes back to nursing.  The lactation consultant was saying that Audrey is on a “nursing strike.”  Just one more thing not to like about unions.  I think her great grandpa who was the President of National Right to Work for 35 years, might have something to say about the little strike that she is on.  

She is not her usual smiling self, but I was able to get a bit of a smile out of her while holding her today.  Karissa got some rest last night with the help of dear friends and family.  Audrey will get to come home when she is able to stay hydrated sufficiently on her own without the aid of the IV fluids.  

Thank you to all who have prayed.  We are hoping she comes home tonight but it is likely that she will stay one more night.  Please continue to pray that her body would fight off the Kidney Infection with the aid of the antibiotics and that she would begin to nurse again.  Also pray for continued rest for Karissa.


Unexpected visit to Evergreen

That’s what happens when your little 6 month old baby gets a kidney infection and decides not to eat for over 8 hours.  The infection, most likely due to the fact that she was born with some reflux in her kidneys, is now being treated with IV antibiotics.  After 30 minutes (3 different nurses and five attempts) of trying to get the IV started they took a break and called in the resident expert.  During the break Karissa called as many people as she could in that brief amount of time to pray for a successful next attempt.  God answered the prayers of those who prayed and the 6th time was the charm.  The last I heard Audrey was doing better and was even taking a bottle, which she has never done before.  Karissa is weary, not only with everything that happened today, but also because the night before Audrey was up all night (now we know why) and only got a few hours sleep while I took a few shifts.  Thanks for any prayers for our little one and her mama.  This was not how we would have chosen to celebrate her half birthday today, but we know she is in the Lord’s hands.  


Chef Mom

Audrey Rose almost 6 months old!

Heard today at home:

Rylee (while putting her socks away, to herself) – “These are my husbands socks, his feet are just so big!


Me (doing math with the kids on our walk): “If you add all our kids and all Kim’s kids, how many do you get?”

Rylee: “A lot….let’s see….it takes both hands….eight, eight kids!”


Caleb – “Did you know my dad has MckGuinness socks Nana!” (Nana bought him Guinness beer socks in Ireland last month)


Kids calling me from the family room: “Cook, can we please order 15 goldfish and 6 almonds?”

Me: “Yes, thank you for saying please but I’m not sure I want to be called cook.”

Kids: “Chef, can we please order…..”

So chef it is, I can deal with that. It implies some sort of excellence in my making of oatmeal, grilled cheese and tomato soup today.

Our fall family pumpkin adventure

  • Gearing up for our annual family pumpkin adventure with Dee Dee and Buzz and this year Isaac too!

    Kyler was serious in his anticipation of the tractor ride to the pumpkin field…

    But once we got there, he warmed up and had some lovin’ for his mama…

    Watching Caleb run free in the tall weeds, I told Christopher “If that boy had land and tasks every day, he’d probably never have another tantrum”. He is SO happy being free to roam and having a job to do-can you find him in this picture?

    His job? Finding tiny pumpkins hidden under huge leaves!

    Rylee loved the tire swing and wore out Dee Dee asking to be pushed…

    Puckering up for a fly-by kiss for Mama

    That’s about it-good fun had by all…what about number four? Not to be forgotten, Audrey enjoyed the day snuggled up with her Daddy in the frontpack!

    Some-other-Nana love

    First of all, let me explain that Sunday’s for me have always been a great challenge since having children. Chris usually goes in to church before us, often hours before and then I come with the kids. Coming with one baby, not too bad. Coming with two, only a year apart in age, really hard at first then fine. Coming with three, a breeze, we had very little trouble adjusting. But coming with four, has been my biggest challenge yet. I’m just so outnumbered, they are small and many. Wonderfully, we’ve been able to go as a family several times lately (great for the gas budget too). But once we get there, he is working and I see him off and on throughout the morning. The dilemma always comes when I need to go to the bathroom or get another kid that is having trouble in Sunday school. Last week I passed Audrey off quickly to someone when my number came up on the reader board during church. This week, the other need arose and I couldn’t find Chris.

    So I began looking for my mom or someone who could hold Audrey for a few minutes, I scanned the huge sanctuary and found my best friends’ mother. Now, she’s not just any other mother. She is the closest thing to a second mother I have. In 1990 when I met her daughter, Kimberly (then Kimi), we were not instant best friends or even close. But as the months passed and memories were made, God was sealing our hearts together in ways we’d never have imagined. Going to high school and junior high together, not becoming clones of each other but relishing in who we both were, we continued on a path of friendship.

    I was rough around the edges to say the least in those early junior high years, another friends parents wouldn’t let their daughter hang out with me lest I be a negative influence. Although I’m sure sometimes they questioned my character, they were always kind to me and welcomed me in their home. They let me come to Hawaii to visit them while their family lived in Honolulu one summer, they brought me to Lake Chelan another time, I cried in their basement when I watched Steel Magnolias for the first time.

    In recent years as Kim and her family have established their home an hour north of us, I have still had the pleasure of bumping into her parents regularly at church. Rochelle, though she might not know how much, has deeply ministered to my heart through some very kind words and compassion in moments where I’m sure God showed her my need for someone to care and to encourage. She has prayed for me in passing at church as I cried about my son and how I didn’t feel fit to be his mother. She has reacted positively and been delighted in learning of yet another pregnancy which is something most people at church didn’t do. She affirmed our perspective on life and has allowed God to speak to my heart through her words. I am grateful.

    I am also grateful for the daughter that is her second born. Kimberly is a friend to me like none other. Though we don’t live nearby and have playdates every week, we have a deep appreciation for the time we do get to spend together. We are still not clones of each other, but God has taken down similar paths as He has directed us to homeschool our children, feed whole foods to our families and do our best to raise the many children God has gifted us with. Kimberly has patiently answered my slews of questions as I am 2 years behind her in the homeschool adventure. She is the first person I told about my pregnancy with Kyler and with Audrey, even before Christopher. Her words and encouragement as I dealt with the reactions of the people at church who couldn’t believe we would have another baby were sweet salve to my hurting heart.

    This friend, this kindred spirit is the reason for Audrey’s middle name. I hope with my whole heart that they share more than a name, I hope Audrey will grow up to love Jesus and love life the way Kim does.

    Kim, here is your mama with my Audrey Rose this morning at church-it was sweeter than I can tell you to come back from the bathroom and see pink-laden Audrey sucking her thumb snuggled up on your mom’s shoulder.

    Got Gentian Violet?

    Well, as strange as she may look, Audrey is not bothered by her joker-like purple mouth. Gentian violet is an age old remedy for many things and in Audrey’s case is treating the thrush (yeast overgrowth) in her mouth. The alternative was heavy duty anti-fungal prescription drugs given orally for 14 day-yikes! We are happy to deal with the purple mess for 3 days instead. The kids think it is paint and can’t quite grasp why their darling sister is ‘painted’ today.