We introduced Caeli to her older siblings a few hours after we got home. Ryan and I wanted to try to sneak in a little nap before Beth, Luke, and Jack realized we were home. We woke up after 9 am and Ryan invited them in our bedroom to meet their new sister. I think their faces explain their excitement! I have never seen such authentically happy smiles on their faces.
Not too long after, Grandma and Grandpa came over to meet Caeli and make brunch for everyone. Ryan said a prayer welcoming Caeli into our home before we ate.
The next day we let the big kids hold their littler sister. (I have been very selfish in holding Caeli. There's just something about her- I don't want to put her down or let anyone else hold her. I figure it's some sort of instinct and bonding mechanism so I'm indulging myself in sweet baby smells, kisses, and snuggles. Sorry to everyone else. ;-)
Ryan, Beth, Luke, and Jack made a birth day cake for Caeli!
On Sunday, my gradmother came over to visit and meet her newest great-grandchild. She was also very pleased it was a girl- she wanted Beth to have a sister because she has such a loving relationship with her sisters- she wanted Beth to have the same friendship. I hope and pray my girls grow up to be best friends even though they're 7 years apart!
My mom stayed with us after my Dad and brothers had to leave to go back to school. We were lucky to keep her for almost two full weeks after they'd left, and I also felt we were lucky that Caeli came before her flight! We were so appreciative of the help she provided in caring for the bigger kids and cooking... I am not sure we would have fared so well in the beginning without her help! Thank you Mom!
That first weekend, Ryan did a few special activities with the older kids, including building a fire in the backyard. They did it a couple of different nights, all had lots of fun, and they even made smores a few times!
Jack has been in so much love with "baby gumbo" as he still calls her. He looooves to kiss her. He's been such a good big brother!