Sunday, July 10, 2011

First Smiles

Last weekend right around his 4-week birthday, Silas starting showing us his adorable smile. While he wasn't too generous at doling them out initially, I see a few more everyday--and boy, are they cute! Not surprisingly, I get most of them right after he eats. He really likes to eat, so it makes sense that he would be the happiest when his tummy is full! Of course it's nearly impossible to have the timing to catch them on camera, but I have managed to get a few shots. Here are a couple of our happy little man.

4th Fun!

I'm a little late on getting it posted, but I just can't seem to get much of anything done these days besides holding a baby boy! At any rate, here are some pics of our 4th of July fun at the parade in Sully. The day also included fun swimming with cousins in Grandpa & Grandma Nikkel's pool and fun with water balloons and fireworks in the evening. It was a good but exhausting day!

Uncle Duane and Cousin Emily leading the parade in his cool squad car

Brent was thrilled to get an orange slice as part of the loot we gathered during the parade. Mason got a whole bagful of candy! The Sully parade never disappoints...

How Mason watches every parade that includes any type of emergency vehicle. Also how he watches fireworks and, well, anything that might possibly make noise.

Our patriotic 3-year-old proudly waving his grand old flag.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Here are a few pictures of my boys on this Father's Day. Thanks for being such a hands-on, loving daddy and a helpful husband, Brent! I'm so thankful to have a parent-partner like you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Welcome, Silas!

Introducing Silas Dean!
Born June 5, 2011, at 11:58 am.
7 lb. 11.6 oz., 20.5" long
Head of dark hair
Adorable little face
Jury still out on who he looks like

Here I sit in our living room, feeling a little nostalgic. I'm remembering similar moments 3 1/2 years ago when I set Mason's car seat down on the floor beside me and laid down on the couch, celebrating bringing our new son home, shedding tears of joy and hormones and wondering what life would now look like. Here I sit today. It's a new baby in the car seat--Silas Dean, who just arrived to join us two days ago. Now here I am, celebrating bringing our new son home, shedding tears of joy and hormones and wondering what life will now look like. Oh man, how I already love this little guy! So much. So, so much.

Mason loves him too. When I called to tell him of his arrival on Sunday around lunchtime, Mason's squeal was priceless. I'm told it was accompanied by a priceless one-legged dance. He excitedly came to the hospital multiple times wanting to hold "his baby" over and over again. He left the hospital broken hearted at least twice that he had to leave "his baby," which was hard on Mommy too. But I'm thrilled that Mason is so excited about his brother. The width of his smile and the twinkle in his eye are hard to match when he enters the room to see "his baby." I know this will mean that I will have to be a vigilant protector of "his baby" at times because 3-year-old love can be quite boisterous!

I'm looking at Silas' head of dark hair as he sleeps, noting how different he looks from Mason and how blessed I am to have my two special boys. I feel so grateful to God to have a healthy baby boy and a healthy big boy. It has been such a gift for us these last few days to experience this process again, to welcome this new life and to begin to establish a new family of four. I'm especially thankful to be on this side of labor and delivery! But I must say I find myself wondering how we got here already--where did the last 3 1/2 years go? the last 9 months? the last 3 days? Wow, as we start this new and exciting chapter of our family, I need to pay attention because it's so amazing and the moments so fleeting all at once.

Welcome, Silas Dean! We love you so much, and we're so glad you're home with us! The exciting adventure of the Gaulke family continues...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"I'm the Dutch Man!"

We got Mason to don his Dutch costume today, so we could snap a few pictures before the Tulip Time crowds move in. Thankfully he really liked the costume and repeatedly said in a silly, deep voice, "I'm the Dutch man!" I also convinced him that his black crocs are his Dutch dancing shoes this year. I really think he would be pleased with wooden shoes because he would like nothing more than to make that loud "klompen" noise as he walked along, but the crocs will have to do for this year! We had Dutch Family Singers practice this afternoon (this very pregnant lady is a spectator this year), and Mason did several of the dances with the kids. Should be a fun Tulip Time year if our usual lack of naps doesn't hinder our joy! The Gaulkes are always excited about another Tulip Time of food and fun! Bring it on!

Here are some of the pictures we snapped today! You'll notice that we get the same *very large* smile a lot. In the picture with his arm out to the side, he really is saying somewhat mechanically, "I'm the Dutch man!"

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ice Cream PJ Party!

Today we are celebrating! Mason has moved into his big boy bed! He is very excited, and so am I. It feels like a big relief to me to begin this transition--another thing that makes me feel a bit more ready for Baby Boy to come! (It will be even more exciting when Grandma Gaulke makes his new quilt, which she has been waiting for me to make decisions about.) I really like how the boys' room lays out, and the rocker fits in our room okay too. Yay! I actually really like changes like these--keeping things fresh and being practical to make our space work.

To officially mark the occasion we surprised Mason with an Ice Cream Pajama Party and took him to Dairy Queen in his pj's tonight. He ate a little of his Dilly Bar, but mostly just enjoyed running around DQ like a wild man! He didn't take a nap today, so I think that makes it a good night for the switch. He's so tired that it was easy to settle him in. So far he actually loves it, so if we can keep him from jumping on it when he is supposed to be sleeping, we should be in good shape!
Did I mention that he was a wild man?

Mason's 3 kitties joined us at DQ as well.
It was quite a party!

Reading "David & Goliath" to us in his new bed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Marking Time

I know, it has been FOREVER since I've even attempted a blog update. I've decided that's okay. And I'll just keep doing the best I can. But I do want to keep it going so I can continue to mark the times and seasons of our family, especially as we add a little guy in less than two months. I always love to go back and read and remember.

Brent and I just got back from Florida on Wednesday, and I decided that a vacation is a good "time marker." Therefore, a good time to post on the blog again. We spent time beforehand (B.V. - Before Vacation) planning, anticipating and packing. Then we thoroughly enjoyed! Now we're back home (A.V. - After Vacation), and it's time to get serious. In fact, on one of our flights I spent time listing the things that need to happen B.B. (Before Baby). There are 15 items on the far.

I also made a list of things I learned and observed while on vacation. If you're looking for depth, you'll only find the very slightest bit here, so don't be disappointed. Hopefully there will be more to come on the Gaulke blog in the near future, but I make no promises.

A Few Things I Observed & Learned on our Florida Vacation

  1. Putting "Express" in the name of a restaurant doesn't make it fast.

  2. Seeing families having fun together is good.

  3. A little girl in a swimming pool can sound like a small yapping dog.

  4. It's good not to have a schedule. I'm getting better at it.

  5. I really like to spend time with my husband. It's fun.

  6. SPF 30 is not enough for white skin and beach sun. When will I learn to go all the way with the sunscreen?

  7. There are many poor swimsuit choices made every day.

  8. I like eating out, but it's expensive.

  9. Uninterrupted time laying by a pool in a warm place is still a favorite activity of mine, though rarely experienced.

  10. I don't like birds at all, especially not the swooping kind that tend to like to be around people at beaches and resort pools.

  11. It's easy to be grateful when facing no adversity. On the other hand, those can be the times that I most often forget to stop and be thankful.

  12. It's dumb to have a bad cold on a Florida vacation; to blow my nose while sitting by the pool or lounging on the beach just feels wrong.