Fires and other firsts

Tonight we had our first fire in our side yard to celebrate the fact that we finally have completed the project (well almost…we’re still missing the top of the arbor).  We added the new fence, finished the fort/slide, added a climbing wall, brought in 6 yards of pea gravel, and built a small outdoor fireplace.  So, Karissa headed off to the store to grab some necessities (marshmallows and roasting sticks) and we roasted the night away.  I was completely impressed with the roasting skills.  Both Rylee and Caleb were doing a tremendous job making mouthwatering nicely browned mallows.  Kyler would put the marshmallow near the flames for about 1 second and bring it back to his mouth, take a bite and repeat step 1.  The big projects are over for now…we are looking forward to many summer nights spent outside with the fire pit.  Any takers?

In other news, Audrey is smiling now.  For the last five days or so she has been responding to her mama and daddy, and I think Dee Dee with the cutest little Audie smiles.  Another first for Audie is that she slept for 6 hours straight, ate, and then went right back to sleep for another 3 (two days in a row now).  I had forgotten what a good night’s rest looks like.  Also, Rylee now puts Audrey to sleep by holding her and gently bouncing up an down on one of our inflatible balls.  It is quite handy having a sweet little girl who adores her little sister.

In the “I’m thirty now” news, it appears that although I am still capable of running a quick 4.5 miles on a whim, my legs hate me for the next three days straight.  Add that to the list.


Audrey’s Firsts

Isn’t it fun to keep track of all those wonderful milestones for our children?  I will be the first to admit that I have a hard time remembering what month this or that happened in the life of our children.  Luckily, I have a beautiful wife who has a steel trap for that type of information.

Audrey experienced a few firsts this week.  We are not talking about the first smile, step, word, or even the first rollover.  I wish we would be celebrating the first night she slept all the way through.  Unfortunately, none of those milestones have been reached.  We will keep you posted on all of that.

This week Audrey outgrew her newborn diapers, got her first stuffy nose, and recieved her first boo-boo.  Who do you think was responsible for giving Audrey her first owie?  It was…(insert drum roll here)…me.  I know, very sad…how coudl you do this Dad?.  I got home from work and saw that she had made some red spots on her face from her fingernails getting a bit long so I thought it was time for another manly moment for Daddy – a little trim for her nails.  So I began to trim her nails as she was sleeping peacefully in my arms.  The next thing I know I hear a little whimper and my heart sank…sure enough there was the tiniest bit of blood as I had just barely got her skin.  I am sure that in our large family of six this will not ber her last boo-boo, but I also know that those boo boos are going to be inconsequential to the amount of love she gets from her Daddy, Mommy, brothers, and sister.

Audrey is growing up and we are cherishing each moment along the way…even the little boo-boos.  I am enjoying the use of this blog to celebrate these little moments in our kids lives.  Those of you with kids, have you discovered a good way to cherish and remember all of the precious moments you share with your children? 


Bugs, Bath, and Back to Work

I am back to work today but wishing I was at home.  We gave Audrey her first bath today, she was a champ.  Rylee of course has been a huge help with everything Audrey.


Here is the team



A little helping hand from her sister
The finished product...a clean Audrey!






Rylee words

Even with all of her efforts at taking care of Audrey, she still has time to learn to write.  Here are a few of her recent words: 


He has had better days...


Unfortunately Kyler got some bug the other day and woke up with a nose full of the junk.  Here he is looking a bit out of sorts.



What about the Boys?

Rylee is so excited to have Audrey as her baby sister.  In fact, many of the pictures we have of her involve Rylee in one way or another.  Yesterday, I sat down on the couch next to her as she was holding Audrey and just watched in awe of my beautiful daughters.  Rylee looked up at me and said “Daddy, out of all the things that I have gotten since the new baby came, the baby is my favorite.”  This just melted my heart.  We had put a bag together full of new toys for each of our kids in celebration of the new addition to our family.

The real question, though, was how were the boys going to react to Audrey when she showed up.  Before she was born, Caleb was asked several times what he thought about the whole deal and his standard answer was “I don’t think about it.”  Kyler of course did not have much to say.

Since she has been home, Caleb has looked at Audrey from time to time, but is kind of pressing on with life knowing she is now a part of it.  Twice now he has asked to hold her, but for the most part he has kept to his usual stuff, baseball, monster trucks, digging in the yard, and throwing balls.

Kyler has probably felt the most change in his status.  He, of course, is no longer the baby and has done his best to demand a bit more attention.  Often this is seen in trying to be funny to get everyone to look at him.  He did this before (he is quite the comedian) but I feel like he has amped it up a bit.  Of course, this morning, he got Dad to himself by virtue of a 5:20 wake up.  Coffee anyone?  The most affection he gives to Audrey is a lick on the head.  I am not sure where he learned that one, maybe from Maggie…

I am anticipating both boys connecting on a deeper level with their  Daddy as Mom needs to spend time bonding with Audrey.  It will be an interesting journey as we watch these two little men grow up in this family of six.  Yesterday Karissa and I looked across the dinner table at each other and just took it in that we really did have a table for six.  We love it and look forward to watching each of these four children grow up learning to love God, love each other, and to serve others generously.


Birth on 405 Southbound? Almost!

Well, we didn’t actually have Audrey on the side of 405, but it was close.  Karissa woke up on the 18th, two days past her due date, with contractions that would not allow her to sleep.  This of course is the day after her 30th birthday where we stayed up way too late with our dear friends.  Karissa and I went to bed hoping that everyone would sleep in, but of course little Kyler was up and ready to go by his usual 7am.  One way or another she was entering a long day without much reserve.


When we didn’t show up for church the rumor mill was out in full force so the text messages started coming fast and furious but we had nothing to report.  The kids all woke up from their naps and it was back to letting mom rest by getting the kids outside.  We played with the neighbor kids, and filled out the evening with more scooters, bikes, and bubbles.  On a side note, we live next to some of the best neighbors.  Their three boys (6, 12, and 14) love to play with our kids and seem to actually enjoy it!  I would continue to check in with Karissa throughout the evening but although the contractions were growing in their intensity, they were still not rapid enough to warrant a call to the midwife. 


A few hours later the kids were put to bed and Karissa and I knew that it was going to be that night sometime so we decided to pass the time with a movie.  At about 10:30pm the contractions really started kicking in hard and fast so we called the midwife.  She told us to meet her in an hour so we began to get things ready.  We woke up Rylee, put her in the car (she was so groggy she couldn’t do it herself) and headed down the freeway to the midwife. 


This is where things got interesting.  Between Karissa adjusting the temperature in the van from full bore AC to heat and back about 20 times, her squeezing my hand until I thought it might fall off, and the very specific driving remarks coming from her it was one of the more interesting drives of my life.  However, at one point I looked over and thought, this would not be good if we did not make it in time.

The love that Rylee has in her heart for Audrey is so precious.


We finally made it to the birth center around 11:50 pm.  We got Karissa into a beautiful room with lit candles and a pre-drawn tub.  She immediately got into the tub and just about three minutes later we met Audrey Rose at 12:02AM on May 19th.  It made for a long day but we could not have asked for a greater gift from God.  Audrey was in great shape, completely beautiful, and the most perfect little head.


Three hours later we were heading North on 405 praising God for this gift and that the freeway was not the location of the birth now knowing just how close it was.