We're outta here!

We'll, it's been a good run, but due to the events of the past week or so, it only seems fitting to retire our "Keller Family Four" status and move on to bigger and better things...

Our poll showed an incredible response to the new blog name of "Four Chicks and a Daddy" and that's what we've become. So our new address is, http://www.fourchicksandadaddy.blogspot.com/.

As of now, we are blogging over there and hope that you'll choose to follow us and change our address in your favorites, because we sure would miss you if you didn't spy ... I mean ... check in on us any more.

So long, Keller Family Four. It's been a good ride...


Family of Five

Well, I hardly would have imagined that I would describe a stay at the hospital as relaxing, but that's honestly what it's been.

We're just finishing day 3 of our stay and will leave to go home tomorrow late morning. We've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to bond with our new baby girl and I've enjoyed the opportunity to rest and recover from my surgery.

Baby Claira is doing so well. She is still eating well and although she was a bit jaundice, her levels seem to be evening out now. Looks like we'll go home all together tomorrow to begin our new life as a family of five.

The girls (Lauren & Jillian) have been up every day and sometimes a few times each day to visit with mommy, daddy and their new sister. Jillian especially loves the new baby. Lauren, as expected, will need to be given space to warm up to her on her own terms. Which is just Lauren's way and totally fine with us.

Tonight, we got our first family photo and some really sweet pictures of Jillian "holding" her new sister.

It's still a little surreal that all this is happening, but at the same time, so beautiful. You can set up in your mind what this transition will look like, but letting it play out has been surprising in some very pleasant ways.

Thanks to everyone for all your prayers and well-wishes.

We look forward to sharing in our new life with all of you!


Claira Rene Keller is here!

We welcomed our new baby girl, Claira Rene Keller, to the world yesterday morning at 8:23 am. She is beautiful and so sweet. I think everyone was surprised by our name choice - no one even came close with their guesses. We thought the name Claira (or Claire) was a sweet and classic name and Rene is my middle name.

The Prep
I felt great all the way to the end. I wasn't nervous about the surgery, but certainly had a lot of anxiousness in preparation for it. I slept about 3 hours on Wednesday night and the rest of the night just layed there thinking about how much life was about to change.

The Delivery
We arrived at the hospital at 6am. They took all my vitals and talked me through the procedure. When I went back for the surgery, I received my anesthesia. I started to panic a little bit, but the nurse helped me calm down and soon Andy came in and we got started.

Right before they pulled her out the doctor told me she had lots of dark hair. Another surprise! I don't know how I have these girls with all this beautiful dark hair. My hair is not beautiful and not dark (at least it wasn't dark when I was born).

She weighed 8lb 5oz (I had guessed 8lb), and was 20 1/2" long. Perfect in every way - ten fingers and ten toes. I'm so grateful that none of my babies have been taken to a NICU or needed special attention at birth. We've been really blessed that way.

The First Day
We had lots of family here to welcome baby. She seems very content and has caught on well to feeding (another blessing).

As I type, she is sleeping in her bassinet beside me and looks so peaceful.

In looks, we think she's a good mix of her sisters - Jillian's body shape and hair. Lauren's nose and mouth. All around, she's pretty darn sweet. I think we'll keep her.

Just showed up to the hospital - 6 a.m. and ready to go!
Getting ready to go in to surgery!

First moments of life in the OR.

Hi Daddy!

Hi Mommy!

Day 2 - Our little sweet pea!


A Fourth of Fun

We had a great holiday weekend. Andy had Thursday and Friday off, so we were very spoiled with Daddy time.

Thursday evening, Andy and I took the girls to CarmelFest. There wasn't much for them to do at this age. It was mostly vendors selling merchandise or greasy food. So, we partook of the greasy goodness. They had their first corndog (well, Jillian did - Lauren wasn't interested). Lauren was happy to eat the french fries.

Friday morning, we headed to the Carmel parade. I was so excited about the parade and anxious to see if the girls liked it and after a morning scare of being rained out, we braved the weather and headed out. The girls had a great time and it was fun to experience this "first" with them.

After the parade, we went to my bro's house for lunch and then home for some R&R. That evening my parents came over and we headed to the Carmel fireworks that night.

The girls were a little unsure of the fireworks at first, but Jillian especially liked them and would use her "sign" for more and say "mosh" (which is what "more" sounds like when she says it).

Jilli's first corndog.

Sharing a snack with her cousin before the parade.

Lauren loved the marching bands and would hand me her sucker so she could clap when they passed by.

She really liked the suckers and Smarties, too.

The parade crew - Jaime, Jacklynn and Cara (in the back), our niece, me, Jilli, Jason, Shan and Lauren up front.
Fun at the fireworks with Gam and Papaw.

Holding all three of my girls - The girls were a little scared at first and only wanted mommy. I love when that happens.

By the end of the fireworks show, Lauren was getting pretty sleepy and wanted to snuggle daddy.


Take a guess!

I'm not good at lying. Which is probably a positive quality. So, since we've chosen to conceal the name of our new baby girl until her arrival, I've worried that someone would correctly guess her name and I wouldn't be able to conceal the truth.

There have been many guesses, but no one has come close.

But, since exactly one week from today, we'll be meeting her face-to-face, I thought I'd toss out the opportunity to make some guesses. You can't see my face when I read your comments, so if there's a correct guess, I won't have to "lie" to you or force an unconvincing "poker face."

Let's hear your guesses for...

1) Name: First and middle
2) Height
3) Weight
4) Hair color

Backyard pool

I've told you about my least favorite part of the day, but let me now tell you about my favorite. It's 6:30p - 8p... Daddy's home, tummy's are full and energy is high. The girls are so happy this time of day and are playing together SO well lately.

We set up the backyard pool and the girls spent two hours going down the slide, laying in the water, dumping water out of the pool, etc.

It was wonderful. I sat watching, feeling so grateful for my little miracles and this life God has entrusted to me to live.

"Sissy, I think you need some help getting wet!"

Just laying around.

The princess waves from her castle.

I thought it was funny that they chose to lay down in the water.

Look at those beautiful blues... she's got Daddy's eyes for sure.


Life Group Get-together

We love our Life Group. We've been with this group going on three years now and it's been amazing to watch all our lives evolve and grow closer in friendship.

On Sunday, we got together at the Vermilion's to grill out and then walked over to watch the Fisher's Freedom Fest fireworks show.

We got a babysitter, so we were actually able to sit and enjoy good food and conversation.

Chris and Andy, playing with Chris's kids, Emma and Carter.

Yummy food and lots of laughs. It doesn't get much better than that!

Reagan Doll was a trooper and stayed up to watch the fireworks.

Here's the Vermilion family ready for some fireworks action.

Impromptu day of fun

Sunday we had a really nice day hanging out with Andy's parent's and brother. It started at the spray park. We went to all the trouble of getting them in their suits, lotioned up and out the door, just in time for the ugly storm clouds to roll in.

But, no worries, the rain was only a sprinkle and it soon passed and we were on to the water.

We called Andy's folks to join us at the park and they ended up hanging with us all afternoon. I love unplanned days like that. The girls get QT with their grandparents and Andy and I get to sit and watch. But, it was just relaxing to come back to the house, grill some burgers, lay around, play a little Scrabble and enjoy the company.

Hanging out with Emily

Andy and I watched Emily the other day, while Ryan and Shannon took Jake to see Thomas the Train. She was so sweet and we enjoyed spending some quality time with her.

Up from a great nap and ready to party! (Don't worry, Andy was sitting right with her while she was in the bean bag chair.)

Because this is what happens when you leave a baby unattended (no worries... it's just a doll!)

Yummy - Prunes and Chicken and Noodles. Life is good!

Watching a show.


What we love about summer

This summer has been a lot of fun so far. Life is about to change for us in a major way, so here are the treats we're savoring...

1) Water! The girls love the water this summer. Whether it's the three-ring pool in our backyard, the Monon Center, friend's neighborhood pools, the McCord family barn, or the spray parks. It's fun fun fun in the sun.

2) Food! Summer has also opened the door to some fun summer treats. Popsicles are a new one. We had them on Father's Day and then again yesterday at the McCord's party barn. These were tropical flavored and mommy was stealing a taste any chance she got!

3) Friends! I've had lots of fun with my friends and the girls with theirs... but two I have to give a shout out to are Jaime and Shannon! These girls have helped me tremendously as I juggle two toddlers and my ever-growing belly. I swear they've been my sanity. They've kept me going by planning lots of fun activities and are always willing to lend a hand when they see me hitting the wall (figuritively).

4) Naps! I realize that adding a new baby is going to totally disrupt the beautiful schedule I have in life right now. Naps have been awesome - especially after the water activities! I shower and sometimes nap, too. I'm trying to take full advantage of it while I can :)

5) Tan lines! With all this outdoor fun, I'm actually getting a tan for the first summer in years!

Shutter makeover

Our great friends, the Blands, came over this week and we had pizza and strawberry shortcake and the boys painted the shutters.

Their son Lucus is just a month or so younger than the girls and they all seem to get along nicely. He's a super-cutey.

It's amazing what a little paint can do. It turned out so nicely.

Thanks Blands, for being such good friends. We'll come paint your shutters next! (Or your kitchen! Whatever you want!).

All the kiddos looking at their daddies out the window.

The top is the "before" and the bottom shutters are the "after."

Lauren had fun pretending with the roller brush.