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It's been a long time...

At a quick glance, here are some of the things that have happened since September 3rd.

Our oldest son started riding lessons. His Papa takes him and he really likes it. I knew how to ride when I was around 10 and I really liked it. Both my parents have horses so it's great that he wants to ride. He says he likes to trot. I bet I was a gallop lover myself.

The biggest news was the birth of our daughter Maggie Joy; September 22nd. A newborn is definitely a good reason not to blog I'd say. She was born with Bilateral cleft lip and palate (BLCLP for short). This is something that runs in my family so it was not a huge shock for us, just a bit more work; with special bottles for feeding and surgeries to look forward to.

Proud Daddy
This tape was supposed to help push her gums back into her mouth more. It didn't work well enough so a surgery was needed.

You can really see the two front teeth portion of her gums sticking out here. 
Pretty in pink.

There was halloween. I like to make home made costumes. Here's a look at the Cat in the Hat with his buddies Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Owen began Karate this year and now had his 1st stripe on his black belt. He's looking forward to joining the next class (hopefully with his cousin Ella).

Maggie had her 1st surgery (the lip adhesion; where they take the side lips and attach them to the center portion) December 8th and we were back home the next day. Sadly, it was kind of nice to be in the hospital. First of all, I only had one child to care for for a while (instead of all 4) and there were staff there to help if/when I needed. Maggie was a trooper and handled the arm restraints and syringe feeding like a pro. Thank you to all the friends and family that were praying for us. I certainly felt the hand of God taking care of us all. Maggie went from a voracious hand sucker to not even trying to suck pretty much over night. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow...

Tape to help her not tear the fresh stitches

A week later the tape came off, but she's still sore and swollen here.

With that all behind us we looked forward to Christmas at home with a new baby to dress up and coo over. We had so much fun and we all ate very well. I must say I was proud to not have over done it myself, but when you are the cook, you often don't wanna eat the food by the time it hits the table anyway.

Once the kitchen was cleaned from Christmas, we moved on to New Years. We've hosted a New Years party pretty much ever year since our 1st son was born (took a year off last year; it was sad). This time the theme was Iron Chef. We had done this twice before and everyone had so much fun. It goes pretty much like the show on Food Network. My challenger for the past three years was my cousin's wife Krista. She is quite an accomplished baker and a very good cook, so I was in shock when I won the first two competitions. We have had a pear battle, battle potato and this year the secret ingredient was bacon. We had so much fun, but my brain was NOT as into it as in the past. We both blame it on baby brain (after all her son was born only a year ago as well). This year it was a tie and the judges had to pick a winner in the end, though I think Krista kicked my butt fair and square. Next year she can take on someone else in the Dawe kitchen stadium and I will gladly take on the roll of Chairman.

I don't have photos of us in action, but this is Krista (holding Maggie in Christmas outfit #2). Hopefully I will have video to post sometime before next year.

From there we move on to Owen's birthday. It's hard to think that i have a 6 year old boy now. To me he's still just a little boy, but in reality he's turning into quite the little man. It really hits me when I see him wearing a wrist watch. It seems to odd on his little arms (well they aren't so little anymore). So with another birthday comes another cake. Since his favorite food is the hot dog, I thought it would be fun to make a cake of it. After all the peanut butter icing on Joey's cake was so good, I just had to make it again.

That brings us up to date and I for one am looking forward to "normal" life for a while (and a clean kitchen would be nice).

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