S: The Byrds 2009
FC: The Byrds | 2009
1: "If you think our hands are full, you should see our hearts"
2: The beginning of the year is just full of birthdays. First was Carleena's 4th birthday. She really loved her Ariel cake.
3: Elam's 3rd birthday was up next. He cried when we sang Happy Birthday to him. I have no idea why. Kids are weird.
4: Emalyn celebrated her 1st birthday next. She got lots of help opening presents from her brother and sister and loved the cake.
5: A few days later it was Amanda's turn. For Amanda's birthday we did a geocaching adventure to find out the gender of the new baby. We were all super excited to find out that we were expecting another boy.
6: At the end of March we had a late season ice storm. Even though most of their snow clothes had been packed away they still insisted on enjoying the unexpected "treat".
7: In April we bought an old popup camper and began the six month process of giving it an "extreme makeover".
8: The kids had fun at the Easter Egg Hunt here in Andover. It was more of a "candy grab", but they had a good time anyway. | Good weather, Easter egg hunts, and Saturday night church were all reasons we celebrated Easter a day early this year.
9: Carleena and Elam got their faces both painted like bunnies. After the Easter Egg Hunt we went to Grammy and Grampy's house for Easter dinner and more egg hunting.
10: Spring means rain, and rain means mud. And nothing says fun to a kid like a mud puddle.
11: Spring also means time to get out of the house and get onto the playground. Carleena learned to climb monkey bars this year, Elam became a better climber, and Emalyn loves to swing.
12: The kids love the water. Whether it's the sprinkler, slip n' slide, wading pool or the new YMCA waterpark near our house the kids can't get enough.
13: Carleena played T-Ball this year.She enjoyed her first organized sports experience, and Chris had fun coaching the team.
14: On July 23 we welcomed a new member to our family. Blaine Everett Byrd weighed 9lb, 8oz and was around 20 inches long. It was an awesome delivery and we were very excited to be able to actually bring a baby home with us (no NICU!)
15: The other kids were excited to have a little baby around again and they all tried to be little helpers. Now that our family is complete it is fun to watch the different sibling relationships develop.
16: This fall the older kids got to take their first classes at the new YMCA near our house. | We finally found a constructive outlet for Carleena's climbing abilities (you may remember that she climbed onto the roof when she was just 21 months old and hasn't slowed down since). She took rock climbing classes and was able to make it all of the way to the top of the 50' climbing wall. She really enjoys it and it is awesome that we have such a great facility so close to our house. | Elam took swim lessons and, after a summer of clinging to us when he was in deep water, it was great to see him get more comfortable in the water.
17: Emalyn didn't take any classes this fall because in mid-September she underwent surgery on her bladder to correct a problem with urine reflux that she has had since birth. It was a pretty extensive surgery, she was in the operating room for around 4 hours and had to spend the night at the hospital, but she recovered like a champ, and a couple of days later she was pretty much back to normal. | We also celebrated Chris's birthday in September. As you can tell from the picture it was nothing fancy because we were very busy getting our camper finished up and ready to go...
18: Remember that old ugly camper we were fixing up? Well over the summer we gutted it, redid the entire interior, put new canvas on it and gave it a nice new paint job. | On October 23, having never camped in it, or even really pulled it anywhere before, we hooked it up to the van and pulled out of our driveway headed out on our 2 week Disney World adventure. That's right, we took our four small kids on a 1500 mile road trip to Disney World to spend 10 nights at a campground in an old pop up camper that we had never slept in before. To say that we were nervous about the trip is an understatement, but we were also very excited.
19: We had prepared for the worst from our kids and the camper, but things worked out better than we could have ever expected. The camper pulled really well behind the van, the weather was nice, a little hot but not much rain, and we were really happy with how well camping worked out, especially because we were there for so many nights. Best of all the kids were really well behaved. | We know that the kids will probably not remember much about the trip, but seeing the look on complete awe on their faces made every bit of hard work and planning worth it. We had an "incredible" time!
20: Carleena liked the rides the best. Her favorites were the Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, and Splash Mountain. She really enjoyed visiting all of the countries at EPCOT, getting to meet the fairies and princesses and eating the special treats that she bought with her Disney money. She also had a great time trick or treating at the campground on Halloween | Elam liked the parades and shows but he wasn't very enthusiastic about the rides, although he rode just about everything at least once. His very favorite thing was shopping for toys and spent a lot of time trying to find things to spend his Disney money on. He also really enjoyed our breakfast at Chef Mickey's.
21: Emalyn enjoyed just about everything about Disney World. She was a little hesitant about meeting the characters, but liked watching the parades and going on the rides. She got her first haircut at Magic Kingdom so she got special Mickey ears, and she learned two new, favorite words: "pincess" and "Mickey". | Blaine was the best baby ever! Taking a 3 month old on a trip like this could turn into a disaster, but he is so easy going he did awesome. He traveled really well in the car, hung out in his stroller, met some characters, went on whatever rides we could take him on, and slept great in the camper. We couldn't of asked for more from him. He did amazing!
22: We enjoyed spending Thanksgiving with Amanda's family. Blaine even got to eat some sweet potatoes with us (it was his first real food), and Elam was very proud of his turkey cake. | The kids have had fun getting ready for Christmas and meeting Santa. 2009 has been a fun and eventful year for us and we are excited to see what 2010 brings!