Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas and Our Gift Baby

Christmas Eve already? This month has been a blur. This year we let Sophia (nearly three years old) do much of the tree decorating. Mom and dad were simply tired from interrupted sleep and she was in her element, enjoying it all so much. In the end, Kevin helped redistribute some of the ornaments to the top of the tree. This year we don't have enough energy to care about perfection! Sophia's job is good enough and we are grateful that someone had tree trimming enthusiasm!
Many of the traditions went by the wayside this year but we did manage to make our tree trimming cookies.  
Carson had some worrisome weight gain issues for the first 2 1/2 weeks of his life. He showed weight loss at several follow-up doctor appointments. Finally we started giving him a bottle, which he loved. He has some tongue/sucking issues and this is what he needed to start gaining weight. He is doing well now and we are just grateful that he is healthy and we figured out the problem. We think he is pretty much the cutest thing ever and are enjoying loving on him!!

December is a fun month to have a baby. As people around the world exchange gifts, I am reminded that there is no material thing that compares to the gift of a child. We are so grateful for little Carson and so glad he is a part of our family.
Winter-in-general is a fun time to have a baby because you can just snuggle up on the couch and enjoy some cuddle time, while the cold wind whips around outside. You are warm and cozy with your newborn. And it is wonderful.

  Posted by Picasa

Brave Clara

Right now Clara is my hero.  She has had a rough time lately, after a scar revision surgery, but she has handled everything in stride and has been so brave.  It was an early morning surgery and Kevin took her to the hospital in the wee hours.  She didn't flinch or act scared as she faced this trial.  In fact, she thought it was an adventure because the nurse let her drive an automatic Barbie car back to the operating room.   

She has had a lot of swelling and bruising on her face (it got a lot worse than what shows in the picture below), which we were told to expect.  But she hasn't been self-conscious or worried.  On the second morning after surgery, her eyes were completely swollen shut and Kevin had to carry her in to her doctor's office for a follow-up appointment because she couldn't see to walk.  Her eyes were only slightly improved after the appointment but she still insisted she wanted to go with her dad to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.

Clara, your positive outlook and love of life, despite setbacks, will serve you well in life.  You are one tough little girl.  I am so proud of you!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Carson Michael enters the world!

After a date night to see Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, contractions started heating up a little bit and my bag of waters broke at 3:30 a.m. the following morning, December 2, 2012.  If you have seen the movie, you can easily understand why it would send a woman into labor.  The first five minutes of the movie are worth the price of admission.  I kept leaning toward Kevin and grabbing his arm because I was afraid I would grab onto the woman next to me by accident!  

Here I am on Thanksgiving Day, 10 days before baby's arrival!

Shortly before noon, we welcomed a baby BOY into the world!  What a SHOCK.  We had decided not to find out the gender because we would have been completely happy either way and decided a surprise "Christmas present" would be fun.  But I guess I thought it was another little girl because that's what I make!  Ha!

Shortly before our little guy made his appearance, the doctor turned to Kevin and said, "Okay dad, you are going to be the one to announce the gender."  Kevin said something like, "Oh my gosh! It's a boy!!"  We both couldn't stop laughing.  I think at the end of my life, it will probably rate in the Top Ten most memorable experiences.  It was SO fun. We are both so glad we waited to find out the gender.    

Here he is!  Carson Michael Koons, weighing in at 7 lbs., 4 oz. (our smallest baby!!) and 21" long.
Needless to say, he has four mommies and gets LOTS of attention!  We love him and think he is pretty perfect.  

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Carving with Dad

Thankfully the kids have a very fun and very patient dad, who loves to carve pumpkin heads with them every year!


Ha!  Cleaning the pumpkins out is the boring part.  The kids totally ditched Kevin and here he is all alone doing the dirty work.

Clara drew this face on her pumpkin.  Kevin told her, "Sorry babe, but I don't think I can carve that."

Sophia loved her happy "baby pumpkin."

Kevin helps Clara revise her pumpkin face design:

Nobody really likes them but we always toast pumpkin seeds.  It's tradition.


All lit up and enjoying the glow.




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Hope You Dance

Some moments in life are just too precious for words but I will try. 

Often at dinner we ask the kids what the best and worst parts of their day was.  We had a good day yesterday and if I had been asked the best part of my day, I could have mentioned a lot of things.  But one thing stands out that makes me smile and makes me happy: Clara’s love of life. 

We had gathered at a friend’s house.  The moms had tea and talked.  The kids played.  After a while my friend asked her son to play three piano pieces that he had been working on for a recital this weekend.  I sat my large pregnant self on a comfy couch and the kids sat opposite me, on a long bench, to listen to our friend. 

The third song was particularly upbeat and happy.  All the kids were swaying and smiling. 

Suddenly I see Clara’s eyes shine brighter and her dimple get deeper.  She turns to a little boy next to her, smiles at him sideways, and holds out her hands.  The look in her eyes says, "You know you want to."  He ducks his head and then he smiles bigger too.  Then he takes her hands and they both get up and do a jig right in the middle of the living room floor.  They swing around and around and dance their hearts out, to the laughter and delight of all the children and adults. 

Clara, I am proud of you for choosing to dance.  I am proud of you for being the one to seize the happy moment.  In good times and in hard times, I hope you always choose to dance.


I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance 
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances, but they're worth takin'
Lovin' might be a mistake, but it's worth makin'
Don't let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin' out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance 

- Lee Ann Womack

Friday, October 26, 2012


Oh yes, and an important development for Meredith.  Her long-awaited dream of having her own room came true.  I let down my defenses for a moment and agreed that she could choose her own paint color ... whatever she wanted.  So, this is what we got!  Actually, she did let me talk her down a few shades of pink. She originally wanted it much darker than this.  One night when Kevin worked late I painted the room all by myself and I do think that it turned out nicely.  We ordered a picture from the Costco image gallery--which I love!!--and hung up a few other pieces of art we inherited from a friend.  Said friend also gave us this Pottery Barn bedspread, that her daughter had outgrown.  And wha-la!

We decided to buy this trundle bed for Meredith because we still want Clara to be able to have sleepovers with her sister.  And, in fact, nearly every Friday night they have a special sleepover together.  I want them to keep the bond they developed from sharing a room these past five years.  Clara is always asking, "Is it Friday night yet?"  

Meredith especially likes her French Memo Board.

How did I get such girly girls?  They are super into nails and love to give each other pedicures.  Actually, I can't complain.  Meredith can give a pretty decent foot massage and I have been the happy beneficiary on several occasions! 
Posted by Picasa

Out and About

One of the best new discoveries this year was Hoosier Outdoor Experience, which is held near Indy every September.  We will definitely go again!  It is put on by the DNR and the goal is to encourage a love of the outdoors in kids.  We had a blast.  There were so many activities it was impossible to try them all.  

Sophia is a fearless third born.  Here she is trying her hand at rock climbing. 

And here, my lefty is teaching my righty how to swing a golf club.

One of the kids' favorite activities was canoeing. Near this pond was a demonstration of fly fishing and that was Kevin's favorite.  It was fun to meet people who are passionate about various outdoor sports and learn from them.  

And the pictures below are from a family art night where we had a dinner and learned about etiquette and then did our own paintings.  The kids loved it.  In the first picture, the kids were learning that they should wait 90 seconds between each bite of dessert they take.  Kevin set the timer on his phone to show them how long that is exactly.  It was excruciating for them! 
Posted by Picasa