Man, we haven't posted on our blog in quite some time. But I guess halloween dictates a post. We had a busy halloween down on the island this year. Thursday night brought a cold front that not only cooled off the island but brought clean surf to our island. After selling my body to science and for a friends research, I was left with a couple hundred dollars in my surfboard fund and two stitches on my left thigh from which 5 muscle biopsies were taken. Not wanting to miss good swell, I was of course out surfing early friday morning, stitches and all, on clean surf for an hour before work. Saturday continued to bring nice micro waves to our shore, perfect for surf lessons.
Rule #1 of Fatherhood: Don't try to teach your own son how to do anything, it can only end in headaches and evil eyes.
But since I'm not about to fork over serious cash to someone to teach milo how to surf, I've broken rule #1 on multiple occasions. Saturday presented yet another day of good small surf for us to practice on. I was surprised at milo's willingness to go surfing, but also to wear his wetsuit. After having dumped milo on a number of occasions, the boy prefers to "surf" by himself on his body board instead of my longboard. And the one prior time that he tried on his wetsuit, he whined that it was "choking him to death", and promptly took it off.
The boy made me proud by taking to the board in cold water and standing up on it despite shivering. Check out the video of him "shredding" the whitewash (apologizes for the bumpy camera work, apparently ollie tried to eat the camera).
After some refreshing morning surf, we headed out to the Galveston Biker Rally. Every year in october the island hosts the largest motorcycle rally in the southwest. They were estimating 500,000 visitors to the island, but I think there must have been more. We go every year to look at the bikes and kill some cochlear cells. Karrie no longer complains about a surf obsession after seeing what a real midlife crisis can lead too. Large overweight couples covered in leather balancing on very loud machines... it's not a pretty picture. Milo tried on a sweet helmet that was covered in fur and ram horns.
The main event was trick-or-treating (some how this boy got three nights of this, back in my day you only got one!) with friends from our church. Milo was Optimus Prime this year. Notice that he came in both Robot and Semi-truck forms! Milo and co. had a blast as they ran from house to house looting. All and all we had an action packed halloween on the island this year!
Well, after enduring extreme heat and humidity, Karrie was induced this morning at 7am. Today marked her 39th week and the Dr. and Karrie both agreed that it was time to get this baby out, even if the due date was still a week away. So Karrie's mom was nice enough to come down to watch Milo for us and we headed to the hospital. Sure when you are induced it lacks the experience of being able to drive 100mph to the hospital, but it also means you don't have to carry a very uncomfortable 30+ pound basketball around for another week. To make a rather long and somewhat messy story short, Karrie delivered a healthy 8 lbs 13 oz baby boy at 1:02pm today. Now I know what your thinking, how did little, tiny Karrie manage to squeeze out an almost 9 lb baby? All I can say was that there was a lot of mineral oil used and Karrie is one tough cookie. Not only did she push the little tyke out in less than 30 minutes, but she did so with a baby face up in the birthing canal.
Once the baby was out then came the really hard part... naming him. Karrie and I didn't have as hard a time naming Milo. With Milo we knew the middle name way ahead of time, and we had the first name narrowed down to two choices. So the decision was either one or the other. But with our second edition not only were we at a loss for a first name, but we also had no clue for a middle name. Karrie and I had probably three-four first names but we weren't convinced by any of them. As for middle names we felt the name should hold some personal significance for us and this year, but nothing really came to mind. So after much pacing, and hair pulling we felt the name Ollie Stoke Smith was appropriate.
Ollie was a name that Karrie and I had long considered. We both initially loved the name, but with months to procrastinate and few cheerleaders for the name itself we put the name on our list for later consideration. But having held our son, no other names seemed to match him so well. As Milo is to Milo, so will Ollie be to Ollie.
The middle name was all Karrie. She wanted a name that would invoke our feelings for Galveston, for Ike, for life. She suggested a name that could describe the same love, drive, and need I discovered for surfing this past year as well as our expectations and love that we have for life with each other and Milo and now Ollie. She suggested Stoke. For those of you that may be unfamiliar with the term, here's the Webster definition of stoke:
stoke Pronunciation: \ˈstōk\ Function: verb Inflected Form(s): stoked; stok·ing Etymology: Dutch stoken; akin to Middle Dutch stuken to push Date: 1683 transitive verb 1 : to poke or stir up (as a fire) : supply with fuel 2 : to feed abundantly 3 : to increase the activity, intensity, or amount of intransitive verb : to stir up or tend a fire (as in a furnace) : supply a furnace with fuel
In surfing, stoke refers to "that feeling you get from nailing your first wrap or barrel, or sticking that bigspin you have been working on for months. The feeling you get whilst gliding effortlessly down the wave, when your mind forgets all your everyday worries, and its just you and the wave, and you are living just for that moment." It is not merely the joy and adrenaline one experiences from surfing, but also the peace one feels as life slows down for one perfect peel. What better describes the joy and focus that Ollie has brought into our lives. Karrie was thinking of the term as it applies to surfing, but this year and this birth has certainly "poked and stirred and supplied our lives with fuel." Our hope is that one day Ollie will discover this same stoke for his life that we have this past year.
So without further ado, We would like to present to you, our and your Ollie Stoke Smith.
Well, I keep hoping that Karrie will get around to posting about our backyard/front yard overhaul that her family helped us undertake over a month ago, but like everything we do... we get around to it eventually. Anyways, about a month ago Karrie's mom, dad, and little sister came down for a few days during spring break and helped us tear up what was left of our front and backyard. Ike really did a number on our landscaping. Trees, grass, just about everything living was killed, which left us with a salted eyesore. What began as a simple clean-up became an entire overhaul. We completely scraped out and tilled the entire backyard, which included ripping up all of the dead ginger roots that use to be our privacy wall. The entire front yard was tilled and excavated as well. Flower beds were constructed (no they have not been planted yet!), a walkway was made, grounds were leveled and filled, and sod was lain. The end result is something Karrie and I rather love, a clean (well getting there) yard. We couldn't have done it without help from Bruce and Maryann and the supreme Milo sitting skills of Mckenzie.
The rise of youtube has carried many a dork into the spotlight of stardom. While for many their 15 minutes of fame is but a brief blip in our collective conscience, for some they become immortalized to become answers in pop culture trivial pursuit. I fear milo may fall short of the latter, and just be a big dork. But let's be sure of one thing, he goes all out!
Well, it's Mardi Gras yet again on the island, which means an annual invitation to Mona's (a coworker of mine) Mardi Gras celebration. Every year the island has three parades on Saturday and we take Milo to our friends house right on the Seawall. Milo has a blast watching the floats and gathering beads (no flashing, just good clean fun in the parades, get informed!) while we partake in good company and food. This year a coworker of mine had stumbled across the much famed Bacon Explosion and suggested we contribute to the pot luck. Well, I thought to myself how could we celebrate both mardi gras and the recent bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth?
With Bacon-ham Lincoln of course!
Be warned The Emancipation Porklamation* is both patriotic and delicious. Democracy never tasted soooo good! Check out the pictures of both our creation and the festivities!
*deliciousness may cause heart attack and/or stroke!
Well Karrie, Milo, and I went to the hospital yesterday for the BIG ultrasound and the preliminary consensus is that we are expected yet another boy. Which is good news for the pocketbook since we don't have to worry about clothes/toys. It was also good for Milo since the kid wouldn't even entertain the idea that a little sister was a possibility. I'm sure my parents could name a few, but I have never met a boy more stubborn. The mere mention that the baby could be a she would send him into tirades of NO's. So it was with some sadness that we let Milo know that he would indeed have a little brother to play with, knowing that the news would only embolden.
To those that may question what our desires on the matter may have been, I can only speak for myself when I say, no expectations were set. A boy brings the benefit of a playmate for Milo, and the ease of second hand materials. A girl would have completed the set and lowered any future stress of expecting a girl. So either way it was going to be great. Maybe expectations the second time around are always lower, but for us it seemed to be the case.
The baby is due the beginning of July and no, we haven't begun the task of picking a name. As with Milo, all suggestions are welcomed, but I expect we'll just goof around until a week or two before the birth before we give it any serious thought.
We'll try and post a picture of the ultrasound when we access a scanner.
So we are officially bad bloggers since all of our friends had their Christmas posts up like weeks ago and we are just getting around to it. Posting pictures of Christmas three days after the event is so 2008!
We spent Christmas in Dallas with the Families yet again (is there any other way?). We helped move my parents into their new Royce City home the day before Christmas Eve... so you can imagine it was a little hectic.
The usual Smith tradition of looking at Christmas lights Christmas eve and then returning to open Santa's bounty was continued. Milo got to put out his reindeer feed to intice the little creatures nearer to our home.
In all Milo made out like a bandit. Santa brought the lightsaber, the transformers, the guns that he had emailed the big guy (yeah, Santa takes emails now, so what!). Christmas day was spent at the White Family home where more gifts were exchanged.