Friday, November 23, 2018

State of the Family 2019

Everyone is happy and healthy. Jaedyn started Kindergarten and enjoys it immensely. (We don't enjoy waking up 2 hours earlier than we had to previously, though.) Kaleb is a chatterbox and a menace, and he gets away with murder because he's so darn cute. Kyla is still a part-time Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and is working toward getting certified as a lactation consultant. Jake still works at Oracle but has switched to a product management role.

In February, we welcomed a new pet into our home: a black cat named Lila. She and Daphne get along well, and all accounts she's well-adjusted and happy.

As for travel, we spent 2 weeks in the Yucatan as we attended a destination wedding of some of our best friends, then toured 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites before spending a week in Belize with Kyla's family. The kids took their first trip to Disney Land, and we spent a weekend in the Colorado Rockies.

We would also like to announce that we are pursuing international adoption of a little girl from China. We've just started the application process with a reputable agency. Kaleb must be 3 years old before we can start getting matched, which will be this coming June — so we don't anticipate it happening until late 2019 or 2020. We'd appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we navigate the process.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

State of the Family 2018

We're sad to report that we've lost our dog, Lily. She had a serious liver condition and survived years longer than was predicted. She was a scrapper, but it was time. She lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks from not eating and had become incontinent. Nonetheless we celebrate the joy she brought.

The rest of the family is happy and healthy. Jaedyn and Kaleb still get along well and are learning new things every day. Jaedyn is looking forward to resuming her dance and gymnastics lessons next year. Kaleb is astoundingly coordinated for his age; we think he is destined to be quite the athlete. He got tubes put in his ear due to frequent ear infections.

There are no changes in employment for Kyla and I to report. Kyla still works part-time at a pediatric clinic, and I still work on social media products at Oracle. I got certified as a project manager (PMP), and Oracle paid for most of it. Kyla got certified as a breastfeeding / lactation specialist, most of which was also paid by her employer. We both continue to play on our coed soccer team.

2017 was the year of travel. We'll have to cut back in 2018 with Kaleb getting old enough to have to cost money for airfare.


Missouri - St. Louis, Cahokia Mounds
Louisiana - New Orleans (Family Gras), Poverty Point


Georgia - Atlanta, Great Smoky Mountains
Kentucky - Mammoth Cave
Tennessee - Nashville, Chattanooga


Idaho - Boise
Oregon - Bend, Crater Lake


California - San Francisco, San Jose, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Mount Shasta, Redwood Forests
Nevada - Reno


Louisiana - New Orleans
Minnesota - Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester

In January of 2018, we'll also be in the Yucatan for a couple weeks. We'll start out in Cancun as we are in the wedding party of our good friends' destination wedding, then we'll tour UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the area before heading down to Guatemala to see Tikal National Park. From there we'll move on to Belize to meet up with Kyla's mom to celebrate her birthday. Kyla's mom will be taking care of the kids while we tour the Yucatan and bring them with her to Belize. Suffice it to say, we're a little anxious with all the coordination that will involve.

We wish you happiness and health in 2018!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

State of the Family 2017

It's that time of year again ... the time of year I remember that I'm terrible at blogging. ;) But seriously, it's been a crazy year.

Kaleb Emmanouel Carlson was born on June 16th, 2016, just before 1600 hours. He was 8 pounds 13 ounces, and 20.25 inches long. We did things a little differently this time around. We hired a doula who coached Kyla to a successful natural birth. We had a bit of a scare as his shoulder got stuck during delivery, but we were fortunate to have great doctors that were able to safely deliver Kaleb. He's now 6 months old, happy and healthy.

Jaedyn is enjoying being a big sister. We love watching her learn and grow every day. She is involved in gymnastics, dance, soccer, and Mandarin classes. She attends a curriculum-based daycare on weekday afternoons.

Kyla still enjoys working weekday afternoons at a pediatric clinic and being home with the kids in the morning. She is on her way to becoming certified as a lactation consultant, which has been a goal of hers for a long time. I left my job a startup to be a software development manager for a social media web application at Oracle, a well-known software giant. I'm gaining valuable management experience while helping to solve new and challenging problems. This past year I also got more serious about my health and lost over 100 pounds. Let's hope I can keep the weight off this coming year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

State of the Family 2016

I'll just skip the part where I call attention to the fact that I haven't made a post since last State of the Family and move along ...

The big news is that Kyla is preggers (again!) and we will be blessed with an additional squirt in June of next year. We will be finding out the sex by the end of the year. We will update you with a name once we find out the sex and go through our arduous naming process.

We're amazed every day at how Jaedyn is growing. She learns new words every day and repeats just about everything we say. Ugh, time to finally clean up our language, I guess. She is doing very well at preschool and is looking forward to seeing her new baby brother or sister.

Lily is still alive. She's a scrappy little sucker. Daphne is still tuddling around, albeit about 10 pounds heavier from all the table scraps she gets from Jaedyn.

Kyla is working weekday afternoons at Austin Diagnostic Clinic. She's enjoying her time in the morning with Jaedyn before she kicks her to the curb at preschool around noon. This pregnancy has been harder on her than the first, leading many to believe that we're getting a boy. We'll see ...

I had an opportunity to go to China with Apple but in the end didn't feel like the deal worked for our family, so I turned it down. I left Apple to go back to MicroVentures as CTO.  I am enjoying getting some management experience in a small startup as I think it will offer me better opportunities in the future -- possibly opportunities to go back to China in a management capacity.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

State of the Family 2015

Okay, so the whole 'blogging more' resolution totally didn't happen. I'm no better than the folks that start out January 1st running for exercise and quit within a week. Maybe worse. Oh well.

2014 was another year of transition for us. Kyla left Dell Children's Hospital mid-year and picked up part-time work at Austin Diagnostic Clinic on some weekend days. Kyla is able to stay home with Jaedyn during the week, and then either I or Kyla's mom takes care of her on weekend days that she's at work. So far it's working out great, but Kyla is looking to increase her hours at ADC (and it's looking like that's going to happen early next year). We've signed Jaedyn up for part-time daycare with a flexible start date, so we'll be prepared when that happens.

I have been enjoying being done with school and being able to focus on work. I left my full-time position after 1 year and took a position with Apple here in Austin. It's been a bit of an adjustment working for a huge corporation, but it's a great resume builder and valuable experience. I'm a contractor though and don't get the precious Apple employee discount, so nobody ask me if I can get them cheap Apple merchandise (believe me, I'm as bummed as you are).

Jaedyn is over one and a half. She's walking (running!) and learning new words. It's amazing how much she understands. I'm enjoying this age tremendously even though she can be a handful. I made the following video for Grandparents Day that sums things up pretty well.

And here she is at Halloween in the panda costume Kyla made for her:

Monday, January 6, 2014

State of the Family 2014

2013 was a crazy year for us.

Kyla finished her Master's of Science in Nursing degree just days after giving birth to our first child, Jaedyn Amara Carlson. She received her Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certification in the summer. She's still working at Dell Children's Hospital part-time and is starting another part-time gig as a PNP at another clinic here in Austin for a few days a month. We are grateful that she is in a position to spend most days with the baby. On days that she is away and I'm onsite with a client, we have a nanny part-time that is working out great.

I finally graduated with his Communication (Graphic) Design degree after 12 long years of [mostly part-time] school. About three weeks before Jaedyn was born and just finishing up my final semester, I tore my ACL playing soccer. Two days later, our house guest tore his ACL as well. So poor Kyla was nine months pregnant and having to wait hand and foot on two gimps. Luckily, I was able get to the point of walking by the time the baby was born. I had my ACL surgery a couple weeks after. This time my parents were staying with us to help take care of me during my recovery while Kyla took care of our brand new baby. If that weren't enough, I got gallstones just before Thanksgiving and had to have them removed. With school out of the way, I've had more time to focus on my business, which has kept me very busy.

Needless to say, we're looking forward to taking it a little easier in 2014. We can't wait to see Jaedyn grow and learn. She's almost crawling, so we'll be dealing with her being more mobile. Kyla hopes to get a half-time job that utilizes her new credentials so she can keep spending time with the baby. I am happily contracting full-time and look forward to seeing what new opportunities this year brings.

And yes, we are going to try to post more on this blog this year.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jaedyn Amara Carlson: Born 5/15/2013

Jaedyn Amara Carlson was born at 6:35am on May 15th, 2013. Mom and baby are both healthy, in good spirits, and gorgeous. She was 6 pounds 15.7 ounces and 18.75 inches long at birth.

She was due on May 7th, and Kyla's doctor recommended an induction at 41 weeks to avoid complications with the delivery. We tried several things to induce labor on our own. Kyla's doctor recommended "walk walk walk walk sex" (her words, not mine). I asked if it had to be in that order. In my own words, "I got her in there, and now I'm going to get her out the same way!" Alas, the baby was quite happy to stay inside Mommy well past her due date in spite of our best efforts.

We got to the hospital at 7am on 5/14, and Kyla was started on a Pitosin drip to induce labor around 8:30am. Kyla wanted to try to give birth naturally, but a side effect of inducing this way is that contractions can be more painful than labor without intervention. Kyla's mother and I tried to help as much as we could through counter pressure on her hips and massaging other parts of her body during her contractions.

By 11am, contractions became more painful and frequent as labor officially started, but Kyla toughed it out with no meds until around 7pm. At about 7pm, they gave her some Fentanyl through her IV. However, the pain was still too great, and she opted for the epidural around 8pm. It took a little bit to kick in, but Kyla was soon a lot more comfortable and things went more smoothly from then on. The labor went on through the night, and we watched some TV and movies to pass the time in between contractions. By 3am, Kyla was ready to push, but the doctor on call and most of the nurses were doing an emergency C-section on another patient, so we had to wait another hour. At 4am, Kyla started pushing. I held one of her legs at first during the initial pushing, then switched to acting as counterweight at the foot of the bed and pulled on a blanket that Kyla pulled on at the same time. She pushed that sucker out like a boss.

After two and a half hours of pushing, the baby was finally delivered. The labor officially lasted almost 20 hours. I initially thought the idea of cutting the cord was gross, but after seeing everything else, that wasn't a big deal. ;) Kyla had gotten precious little sleep during the labor, and I had gotten none. I was able to squeeze in 45 minutes after the labor, but neither of us really got much sleep until late last night, and right about that time the baby decided it was about time for her to feed like crazy. She's been a voracious little booger ever since. We're both still really tired, but we have a healthy and alert baby, and that's all we can really ask for. We're already about to be discharged (finger crossed), and Kyla is going to try to walk for her graduation (again, like a boss). Have I mentioned how adorable our brand new baby girl is? She has her mother's dimples (and her dad's love of breasts and tendency for the occasional blowout).


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Prenatal Doctor's Appointment #8

Jaedyn is still doing well. She kicked the doctor again when she was listening to her heart. She is now head down with her back on Kyla's right side, rump at the top right, and hands and feet off to the left. Both of us got TDAPs on the spot, which was super convenient. I'll probably stop with the prenatal doctor's appointments going forward unless there is any significant news as they will increase with frequency and decrease with major milestone announcements.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Birthing Class #4

Today was our last class. We talked about caring for the baby. We had little baby mannequins and a basket full of typical products used to care for the baby. The instructor asked how many people had never changed a diaper. I was the only one in the class that raised my hand -- due to my defiant retort to any of my siblings wanting me to change a diaper that I would never do it until I have to. Well now I have to, apparently...

Those baby head washer bristle brushes are awesome. I could just sit there stroking them all day. They need to make a full body version. Just sayin'.

I wiped the mannequin (front to back!!!), changed the diaper, and yes, even swaddled it. I'm the best swaddler of any swaddler that has ever swaddled.

We talked about circumcision. Some of the couples having a boy asked a few questions. I was interested in the topic, so I asked how long after birth they do the circumcision. In spite of what Kyla will tell you (and what I jokingly said on the car ride home), I did not forget that we are having a girl. I was just ... interested.