I Have Five Great Kids

I am the proud father of five great kids. I didn't start out wanting FIVE kids, but life happens and it's turned out very well. I married fairly young at 22 and had my first child at 25. My wife at the time and I wanted our first to be a surprise, so when we saw a big wig of black hair coming out, we still didn't know if it would be Nico or Kelsey entering the world. The doctor brought the baby out and said, "It's a girl!" Tears streamed down my face. I honestly didn't care whether or not it was a boy or girl. A healthy baby to start our family was all I was concerned with.

Kelsey Leyna was an only child for almost exactly two years until her little brother Nicolas (Nico for short) Henry was born two years and sixteen days after her. One of each - how cool is that?? Unfortunately, there was a divorce (not my idea) and I was a single dad for about a month. I met my wife very soon after my ex-wife filed for divorce - not exactly great timing, but I knew she was special.

My wife had two kids from a previous marriage and they hadn't seen their bio-dad (that title is being nice) in six years...and he lives just over an hour away. It wasn't the greatest for them, but it actually worked out better in the long run for everyone. First, their bio-dad didn't care about them. Secondly, I did care about them and wanted to adopt them as soon as possible (I wanted them to feel secure and safe and a part of a solid family unit with a mother AND father under the same roof).

Just after my wife and I married (two years after we met), I adopted her two kids and they now share our last name.

Morgan Denielle is Kelsey's older sister by two years and Kolby Christopher is Nico's younger brother by a year and a half. Funny enough, we all look very similar and biologically speaking, we could have had all four naturally as far as a timeline goes, so no one suspects that these aren't all of OUR kids.

My wife really wanted another child. My reaction was like, "Um, we already have four...isn't that enough?" She felt that she wasn't done being a mother and she had never had the experience of co-parenting. She never had any help when she was pregnant and she didn't have anyone with her to raise an infant, change diapers, feed the baby in the middle of the night, etc. She also had never been a stay at home mom and really wanted that experience. Naturally, I really, really wanted those things for her. I had worked my tail off so that my ex-wife could be a stay at home mom and I am very proud of that.

So, we decided that we'd try to have a baby after we got married. My wife had had a tubal pregnancy years and years before, so she only had one tube. Her doctor told her that it'd be difficult at best to conceive, so we figured that if it was going to happen, it was going to happen and we'd just stop using contraceptives.

We were married April 4, 2004 (4-4-4 for those who care about that sort of stuff) and our baby was conceived roughly the week before my birthday which is April 29. Oy. So much for one tube. Apparently I've got some very strong swimmers! Gianna Leigh was born on January 14, 2005. A healthy baby girl.

After our first trimester, my wife and I had the kids sit on the floor, close their eyes and place one hand out palm up. We told them that we had a surprise that we made for them. When I was sure they weren't peeking, I placed a peanut in its shell into each of their hands.

We then told them to open their eyes. They looked very, very confused. I said to them that we weren't done making their surprise, but that it was currently as big as that peanut in their hand. I then said, "Your surprise is being made right in here." and placed my hand on my wife's stomach. The kids shrieked and started giggling. They loved the news and couldn't wait to meet their new sibling. It was very exciting.

My wife then pointed out to all of the kids that this new baby would be the only person in our household blood related to every single person in our home. The kids thought that was very cool. They all started calculating how old they'd be when this new baby was in first grade or when she/he graduated high school, etc. It was a good day.


Gianna is just a spark plug. She is the most secure, confident, loving, tough, sweet, hilarious kid I've ever met. She has four older siblings who adore her and best of all, she has her mom and dad there every day of her life. A very lucky kid. With six other people in the house, it was no surprise that she spoke early. She has held full conversations since she was less than a year and a half and now some people can't tell if it's Gianna or Kolby on the phone because she speaks so clearly.

Kolby (age 9) is a silly boy who is coming into his own now. He's a natural athlete and loves to goof around and play. Nico (age 11) is a very smart kid (he's scored 100% on each of his last three national math tests), but a total dork when it comes to everyday things. Nico starts middle school this year. He and Kolby love to play video games together, but during the school year, video games are only allowed on non-school nights and weekends and even then they are limited. So, what do they do when they can't play video games? That's easy, they talk about video games. Oy.

It's a very different world now and my wife and I have to kick their butts outside to play. They can't stand to be outside! We hope it's a phase, but it's just nuts that they'd rather be indoors. My wife and I remember being called home and pretending we didn't hear our parents. We'd stay outside all day if they'd let us. We did sign the boys up for indoor soccer this year and they loved it. We'll keep that going, but it's very difficult to have four kids involved in four different team sports. We live in a rural area where the top of the county is over 30 minutes from the bottom and inevitably we have games going on at both ends at the same time.

Morgan will be 15 in August and starting her sophomore year in high school (WHAT??!?!?). She has turned into a beautiful, smart (3.8 average in her freshman year while taking chemistry, biology, Spanish, etc.), and athletic young woman (she plays softball). She's well-rounded with her social skills and school work and has a healthy balance with the two.

Kelsey just turned 13 and has one more year of middle school before she too is in high school. Wow. She is more of a social butterfly than Morgan, but also gets great grades. We threw her a giant 13th birthday party (we did the same for Morgan) where we had a DJ, games, prizes, food, cake, etc. She had a great time and so did all of her friends.

My wife and I love to do a search for our last name on our local newspaper's web site because the results come up with many links to published honor rolls with all of our older kids on it. We're very proud.

I have coached girls softball for seven years now and I'm also on the board of directors for the league (for five of those years). Because Kelsey and Morgan are two years apart, it has worked out where I coach both of them one year and then just Kelsey the next year and we're now coming up on a year where I'll be coaching both of them again. They like my coaching style and are always begging me to coach them. It should be fun this year. Both girls want to help me coach when Gianna is old enough for Bobby Sox softball. Gianna is already showing signs of great athletic ability and she certainly has the attitude for it. I tell you, I get choked up thinking about coaching Gianna with my two other girls as my assistant coaches. Freakin' awesome.

So, that's my story. I love all of my kids and I'm very proud of each and every one of them. I never expected to have five kids, but we manage and it certainly helps that our kids are so great. We can't imagine if they didn't get along or were always in trouble or having trouble in school. We are very aware how lucky we are and we constantly tell them how proud we are and how much we love them.

Okay, here's an addition just for marjl:

My ex-wife met someone at work and it was easier to run to that person than stay and work on things. I knew that at the time, but she wasn't listening. She has since admitted it and apologized. What's done is done. We have 50% custody, so Kelsey and Nico spend Sunday through Wednesday morning with me, Wednesday through Friday with their mom and we alternate Saturdays. So, I get my kids for a full weekend at least twice a month which is nice.
SpringForward2k8 SpringForward2k8
41-45, M
2 Responses Jun 27, 2007

Okay marjl, I updated the story at the end. Sorry, I was trying to keep the story positive, but I see now that I needed to explain that part a bit more. Thanks for reading!

It sounds like you have some fantastic kids, and that you have a lot of love for them all. And I have found that most people who are really scientifically or math minded tend to be real dorks when it comes to everyday life, just like you son, so I am sure he will be in good company. It sounds like all of your kids are destined to grow up to be a real positive force in the world.