Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Stand and Deliver

Since she got two rubber duckies in her stocking, Rachel has been getting to take baths instead of showers for the past few nights. She really seems to love it, and it saves water. We only fill the bath up 6-8 inches and it's enough for her to splash around in. She's shown crawling-like inclinations as she tries to get to ducks out of reach and she talks to them. The baths also allow Lori to participate a little more; she can sit outside the shower on the floor with the shower door open and play with the baby, too. Last night, Lori had left to take care of some stuff and the door was still open. Rachel leaned towards the edge of the shower, walked her hands up the side of the tub, until she could grasp the ledge that would be outside of the shower doors, to keep water in the shower. Then she began to pull herself up. The first two times, she started to fall to one side partway up. But if I sat her back down in the water, she would splash for a few seconds and then lean forward and try it again. She seemed to do more pulling with her arms than pushing with her legs, but pretty soon she was standing on her own repeatedly without falling to one side in the process.

I really think the past few days have hit another milestone... she just seems more perceptive, more alert and much closer to talking and walking than she did even just a few days ago. Still, no signs of a desire to walk. I think it's because she's learning a lot by observing and she doesn't see us crawling.

Last night she ate the whole bowl of rice cereal without making a mess. The only mess was when I dribbled some on her (ok, and me too.)

Another toy she got for Christmas is a Baby Winnie that Pooh that 'magically dances' It comes with a baby rattle and when that is shaken, the toy wiggles around. Pretty clever, and you could see her starting to realize the cause and effect. It's so awesome to see discovery and thought in her, or any child or adult for that matter... that look of "dawning" as they start to put two and two together.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Well Baby

Rachel had her six-month "Well Baby" appointment yesterday. She had to get stuck four times. She didn't enjoy that, but it's interesting how quickly babies seem to forget shots... like a few seconds after each one, they're fine and happy again. The pain is fleeting. To have that kind of innocence would be awesome. At least in situations like that.

She is 25-3/4" long and 16lb6oz and her head is 17-1/4" in circumference. Length and weight are right at the 50th percentile and the head is a little larger. The fluid in her ears from the ear infections looks much better, but she did have to have one ear scraped so the doctor could see into it -- she has narrow ear canals. She did not like that.

She threw such a fit at one point that the doctor said "ooh, a bit of a temper." and we were both thinking to ourselves "Nuh-uh. Not our sunshine." But, it could be true, she could end up with a temper, with me as her dad. On that, still working on the being positive and learning from her thing. She does have such a happy life.

With support, she thinks about the walking thing, sometimes taking a few steps. If she's sitting on the bed and we come up and lean against it, she will grab onto us and try to pull herself to standing. She isn't yet pushing enough with her legs, trying to do all the work with her arms. The other night she was in her playpen and all of the sudden we looked over and she was at the edge with her arms over gazing out. Really not sure how she was able to get to that stage. She wasn't in any danger, but if she repeats that too much, then we'll need to abandon the bassinet attachment and just use the larger playard area, which will bum her out because she seems to love sitting up so high, surveying the room.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Can You Hear Me Now?

Rachel's cold was on its way out when she got a fever. Back to the doctors and yep, ear infections in both ears. Grrrrr.... So she went on amoxicillin(sp?) and a day and a half later the fever broke. She seems to be getting much better and she's been mostly sleeping through the night and actually sleeping quite a bit during the day, too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hello, darkness my old friend

Ah, it's like heaven. The heat is back on in our house and Rachel has blessed us with two nearly complete nights of sleep. She has also given us her cold. Hopefully it passes quickly.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Cold Watch 2004

Rachel's cold seems much better today. She's still a little stuffy, but the conjunctivitis seems to be completely gone. We're still doing the eye drops and she's still hating it, but overall, she seems much happier, especially when she's sitting on mom's lap looking around. When I hold her she cries and wants to go back to mom.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Still Sick

Rachel's still got a cold. The eye gunk was separate -- conjunctivitis, aka pink eye... highly contagious to child and adult alike. Fortunately, we've not gotten it, but we do now have to give Rachel eye drops three times a day. She really hates it, but forgives us quickly. She seems to also be teething a lot. The dog running around the dining room entertained her for awhile today. And the baby tylenol seems to have helped. She's still coughing, but she doesn't whine/cry after each cough anymore, just sometimes. The doctor's advice is just to ride it out. Easier said than done.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


MSNBC.COM -- This was an interesting article (link above). On one hand, our pediatrician said that we were some of the calmest first-time parents he had encountered (did he tell a lot of parents that? did he mean we were too calm? probably not), we had planned to buy that thing that sits in the grocery cart seat, which this article points to as a visual indicator of someone who's over-parenting. Guess we'd better cross that off the list.

Study: Laptop Use Could Lead to Infertility

MSNBC.COM -- A recent study cautions men against using laptops balanced on their laps, suggesting that the act of sitting with one's legs together, and then the laptop on top would lead to warmer temperatures and possibility fertility problems.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Sounds Like

If there's no sweeter sound than my baby's laugh (ok, it's a tie with Lori telling me she loves me), then there is no sadder sound than a baby crying because she doesn't feel good. Rachel's got a mild cold. Last night it was coughing and a gooky eye, and today it's just the cough, though possibly more of a cough. But Rachel feels cruddy and you can just tell by her cry. I am thankful that it's only her second cold and that I'm better about it. With her first cold, I was pretty ticked off at the daycare. This time, I'm all about taking care of her and hoping it passes quickly. I spent the day with her. We went to the mall and walked around and Christmas shopped.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

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If they could just stay little

I don't know how it is for her mom, but I struggle constantly wishing Rachel could walk/talk/eat solid foods/play N64, but at the same time, wishing she would always stay tiny, have the cute little crew cut and be tiny enough to dance on my stomach. I hope that doesn't make me discontent, or unappreciative of this amazing little creature. Her wonderment, her simple joy, the way she lights up my life is just amazing. Why would I possibly want her to change? I guess it's a desire to share, to teach, to impart. And maybe some of that comes from her inherent desire to explore her world... to see her reach for the keyboard as I type, to see her frustration when she wants to communicate with us but we're just not understanding what she wants to tell us.

But one reason I wish she could always stay little comes from what we were reading last night.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen. -- Ephesians 4:29

As she grows and begins to be able to converse with us, will her sweet nature continue to compell us to be sweeter, or will my negative attitudes and cutting wit wear off on her? Will she be calling other drivers bastards or shouting "Go back to Georgia" when she sees an out of state license plate? Or will we be saying "Honey, look at those flowers growing alongside the freeway!"

The clock is ticking...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Study: Ultrasounds won't hurt baby

MSNBC.COM -- A new study done in Australia says that there are no effects of having multiple ultrasounds done. Which I think is great news because that was the best part about going to the doctor with Lori -- was seeing the little baby.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Wow...Teething Sucks

Rachel had severe teething pain over the weekend. I've never heard her scream like she was doing Sunday night, even after Orajel was applied. I really don't like her having to go through all that in order for her teeth to break through. James and I talked about it, and he said that maybe it's like a butterfly in a cocoon. If they don't fight their way out and have pain and struggles, they won't be strong enough to fly. I'd like to think it's something similar and that the experience will make her stronger and better able to handle hurt in the future. Although I'd much rather have her not be hurt in the future, but I guess that's a part of life and something for which we'll need to prepare ourselves.

She has continued to have fussiness this week, and it's been tough at times keeping her her little chipper self. She doesn't want to be held, doesn't want to be in the bouncer, doesn't want to be in the playyard playing with toys, doesn't want blanket time...but at least those times pass. I think once the first few teeth break through, it'll be much easier and not so painful for her. Plus, she'll be able to start eating much more fun things than rice cereal, so yay!

And through the teething times, if you talk to her, she'll smile right at you, even when she has tears still on her face from the pain she's been feeling. Sweet little baby.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Happiest Time of the Year...?

A tree in the living room covered with sparkling lights, mommy and daddy singing happy songs, there's a certain something in the air... it's the baby. Screaming at the top of her lungs. The poor girl is teething. On the advice of the pediatrician, we gave in and gave her a little bit of Baby Orajel. Many giving advice recommend against it because if it numbs their mouth too much, it can stiffle the gag reflex and they can choke. But, the doctor said so, so we tried it. I think we had a little success with it. But, we didn't want to send her to bed with it, for fear of the gag problem, so we let it wear off before we sent her to bed. But, we mixed in a little Baby Tylenol with her rice cereal, so hopefully that will take the edge off. She did not sleep well (so, natch, neither did we) last night and was fussy much of the day. At the moment, she is sleeping peacefully in her crib. On her side, of course -- her new favorite position for sleeping. Guess she gets that from her dad.

My Christmas present came early this year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Laughing Girl

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Letting Sleeping Babies Lie

I'm home with the baby today. Her daycare is closed all week and part of the agreement to get time off when I have none to take (including one last week) was that I'd get at least eight hours in between the two days at home today and that I'd work the day after Thanksgiving. Imagine my dismay when they said that on that day we'd start at 6 am. The only consolation I have is that there are two others who will also be there that day at 6 am. Anyhow, this about the baby. I have a whole separate blog where I can whine about stuff like that if I choose.

Fortunately, Lori's obsession with organization and detail has left me with a chart of every diaper change, every amount of food she's eaten, many of the naps she's taken since the day she was born. It has been helpful today to look back and see how much she should be eating and things like that. The daycare has taught me to check the diaper every hour, unless she's asleep, and that it is possible to get her to nap.

We visited J last night to take her and Y and little M some dinner. J is on bed rest after a fall that resulted in early contractions on baby #2. She was telling us how little M would wake up in the middle of the night just like Rachel is now doing. She agreed that much of it probably was teething, but also related how M would go to sleep with a pacifier, but then spit it out while sleeping. Then as the night wore on, she would stir, realize the pacifier was gone and wake up completely upset. They started putting her to bed without a pacifier. For a month, she cried a lot when going to bed, but wasn't waking up in the middle of the night. Eventually the crying stopped at bedtime.

This morning I thought she ought to have a nap so I could get some work done. I put her in her crib without a pacifier, but with the aquarium and mommy bear both on. She probably cried for less than 15 minutes and then.. silence. Just a few minutes ago I was feeding her and instant messaging on the laptop with Lori. I would alternate between holding the bottle and letting Rachel hold it all on her own. In one of the periods where I was holding it, I looked down to see little Rachel fast asleep. She hasn't really stirred since then.

By the time she fell asleep, I had watched nearly everything on the TiVo and had turned it back to a music station, but I do worry... are we making it impossible for Rachel to sleep without background noise? They say not to tiptoe around babies (like my parents did) because then any little noise will wake them up. But can the opposite be true, can a baby be trained not to be able to sleep when it's too quiet (like Lori)?

As I typed that last paragraph, I turned down the music. As I type this paragraph, the little baby is looking up at me, blinking, smiling and looking pretty tired. Maybe I need to transition her to her cradle for a little longer nap, though I fear that will result in more heart-breaking crying...

Thursday, November 18, 2004


You don't need no friends
get back your faith again
you have the power to believe
another dissident
take back your evidence
it has no power to deceive

I'll believe it when I see it, for myself

I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive

I sit with them all night
everything they say is right
but in the morning they were wrong
I'll be right by your side
come hell or water high
down any road you choose to roam

I'll believe it when I see it for myself

I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive, yeah

darling, I believe, Oh Lord
sometimes it's hard to breathe, Lord
at the bottom of the sea, yeah yeah

I'll believe it when I see it for myself

I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive

I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset
I can see the sunset
I can see the sunset
I don't need no one
I don't need no one
I don't need no one
I don't need no one
To tell me about heaven
I believe

-- Birds of Prey

I'm surprised I never posted these lyrics. I actually paid my 99 cents to buy the WMA file right after we got back from the hospital. Then I found I couldn't use it Microsoft's Photo Story or Movie Maker. *sigh*

Is it 4:45 am already?

The baby's been pretty consistent recently with waking up at 4:45 am. It's brutal when the alarm is set for 5 am. So I end up re-setting it for 5:15 or 5:20 hoping to go back to sleep. Sadly, that doesn't always happen. She's been getting hungry. She's also rolling over much more now and we'd often find her with her face up against the side padding. So, we've removed that. So, now she's mastering the art of spitting her pacifier out so that it bounces across the mattress and falls on the floor. And then she cries and we have to get up and wash it off. I told Lori we need to put a row of them across the dresser near her bed. We've been trying to be more consistent with getting her to bed earlier, but last night we had small group and we always get started late and one of the questions in the book was about how we could make the group better and someone said they always feel rushed. So, sometimes it's not quite possible to get her to bed as early as we'd like.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Let Them Be Little

I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand
Felt so good in it, no bigger than a minute
How it amazes me, you're changing with every blink
Faster than a flower blooms they grow up all too soon

So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little

I've never felt so much in one little tender touch
I live for those kisses, prayers and your wishes
Now that you're teaching me things only a child can see
Every night while we're on our knees all I ask is please

Let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little

So innocent, a precious soul, you turn around
It's time to let them go

So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little

Let them be little

Singer: Dean, Billy (singer)
Writers: Dean, Billy and McDonald, Ritchie
Copyright: Haneli Publishing / Sony/ATV Tree Publishing

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one." ~Leo J. Burke

And I would say "Amen to that!" We had people over at our house last night and as a result, Rachel went to bed a little later than what we're trying for now. She then decided it would be great idea to wake up, oh, half a dozen times throughout the night. We kept soothing her back to sleep, but she woke up at around 3:45 and would have none of that. I fed her (which took half an hour) and tried to put her back in her cradle after she'd fallen asleep at the end of the feeding. Perhaps I should have just left her in bed with us, but I figured she'd get better sleep if I put her back in the cradle and she didn't wake up when we got up.

I needn't have worried about that, because she didn't end up falling back asleep until about 5:30, after a changing and several tries on our part to get her to fall asleep again. James finally put her in the crib in the nursery. She quieted down for a few minutes, then roused and did some more hollering. After laying there in frustration and nearly in tears thinking "Why won't she let me sleep?!", I finally got up shortly after 5:00 and just started to get ready for the day. It's so much easier to face the fussiness if you're not laying there trying to get some sleep.

You'd think I would be used to the sleep deprivation by now. You would be wrong.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

That Can't Be Good

When comparing notes with other new parents, it would seem that we must be bad parents. Because our child watches TV and looks at the computer. Well, the only TV we specifically let her watch are the Baby Einstein videos and Bear in the Big Blue House. She especially loves when bear presses his nose right up into the screen and sniffs as if he's sniffing the baby. She giggles when he does that.

Well, anyhow, before the show, they have little things talking about exploring and thinking and stuff like that. But one of the interludes shows a child on his hands and knees dressed up like Sherlock Holmes, with a magnifying glass. And he's examining a trail of ants.

A boy with a magnifying glass looking at ants.

Ummm... let me say that again. A boy with a magnifying glass looking at ants. Was no one at Disney actually thinking when they put that together?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Sweetest Face Ever

It's amazing to me how quickly Rachel changes and learns new things. On the one hand, it's somewhat a gradual process. On the other hand, it seems like last week when she was a tiny baby who didn't do much but eat, sleep and dirty her diaper, and now she's playing the keyboard and "chatting" with us regularly.

It's also amazing to me how seeing my daughter can lift my spirits in a way nothing else can. There's just something about seeing this little person who's a part of you, grinning at you with their innocent, sweet little face looking at you. Yesterday at work was just a sucky day. I tried to get out of my crappy mindset before picking up James. Didn't happen. So I was crabby the whole way to pick up Rachel at school. But we walked into her classroom, and she looked at us and started to smile, and my crabbiness just disappeared.

Rachel did something new yesterday, too. It was a subtle thing, but pretty neat nonetheless. Usually when I pick her up and hold her against me, chest to chest, she kind of looks around and sees what's going on. When I picked her up last night at school, I looked down at her and she was looking right back at me. She did that several times last night, and it's like she has a new awareness of interacting when she's that close. She's becoming more and more aware of what's happening all around her. It's awesome to watch.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Write On

Lori's often talked about her desire to stay home with Rachel, and she's talked about writing children's books as a way to do it. I've asked her if she's given it much thought, but she says she hasn't had the time. Today I was reading in Reader's Digest about a guy who gave up a life as a computer programmer to become a teacher, but to make ends meet on the salary cut, had also enlisted in the reserves. The story was about him being called to duty in Iraq. I didn't get too far into the article, but he had also written a couple of children's books and the name of one of the characters made me think about a stuff animal Rachel had. The animal had a name on the tag, but we didn't like the name, so we came up with a new name for the animal. I asked Lori if she thought that would be a good name for a children's book character and it just seemed so obviously. A search on Amazon yielded only one book with that character name in the title, published in 1978 and now out of print. Further searching, however, led us to Wikipedia where we learned that there was a Muppet character on Sesame Street in the 90's with that name. Out of respect/fear for The Jim Henson Company and Disney, we sadly abandoned the name, even though the name might be retired. But, by changing a few letters, we had a new, just as good name that Wikipedia and Google could find now such existing character name for. In the clear!

Very quickly, the ideas began flowing and we had the premise for 5 or 6 books and a different discovery idea for each... one would be a pop-up book, one would be about colors, another about textures, another about letters, another for numbers, you name it. One more idea too cool to even reveal here yet. Nothing really new in those concepts, but they are repeatable concepts appearing over and over in books. We also came up with two additional little story devices that we haven't come across in children's books that we think will excite a publisher.

Our next steps are to contact Lori's brother about creating some sample art for us, fleshing out the storylines, and finding a publisher. Hopefully our labor of love will pay off and provide entertainment and education for other families and allow us to spend more time as a family ourselves...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Feels like...

The baby has really gotten into the feel of things, rubbing her hands along any surface she can find, mostly by flexing her fingers as she holds her hand above the surface. She really seems to like rough surfaces and hair. Right now she's in her crib with a bee that has crinkly wings and she's making them crinkle on and on and on.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Leap Frog Discovery Ball

This is the Leap Frog Discovery Ball. Rachel enjoys playing with this toy. But will the toy last? Read my full review on

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Fending for herself

Baby has been bored and fussy today because mom and dad have been laid up with food poisoning all afternoon.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Guilt and Overdocumentation

I took some more pictures of the little one as she was waking up this morning. She didn't appreciate it because she wasn't a morning person this morning. Usually she is, but perhaps she's tiring of me singing "Good morning, good morning! You've slept the whole night through, good morning, good morning to you!" over and over again. Or the medicine she's taking for her cough is making her sleepy. Or, maybe 6 am is just too darn early. It certainly is in my opinion, and by then I've usually been up for an hour. Anyhow, I took a picture of her and her face was all scrunched up in a frown and so I pulled it up on the camera and hit delete and then when it asked me to confirm it, I couldn't do it. I later thought about it and about how with digital cameras and massive amounts of storage, it's far too easy to save way more than we ought.

(Like this whole train of thought I'm now committing to Blogger... is every thought in my head worth being preserved for everyone to read? Fortunately, no, very few things I think actually get preserved and fortunately also if everyone is blogging, there's less chance my thoughts will be read by too many people.)

The other thing... the guilt... we have friends whose children are... well, presenting them with more of a challenge. Not developing certain skills along the standard norms, choosing to do their own thing, basically requiring a lot more time, concern and worry of their parents. More doctor's appointments, more medication, physical therapy, and so on. And it makes me feel guilty sometimes because of how great and easy Rachel has made it for us so far. Sometimes we have a desire to see in our child skills she doesn't yet possess as all parents do, but sometimes I think there is legitimate proof that Rachel is excelling or picking up skills earlier than is typical. (Sure, she won't roll over, but we know she can, she just doesn't seem to want to.)

And then our families interact and I don't know how they feel, but I worry that it becomes a new sense of frustration or disappointment on their part. I don't mean a disappointment in their child, but a disappointment in circumstances. It makes me want to minimize our family's contact with them, to shield them. It's hard to put into words, but I know that when I am faced with challenges, I say "Why me?" or "Why not me?" or "Why them and not us?" Sometimes it's my own doing, but it's so much more frustrating when I can't understand why, or there's nowhere that blame can be attributed or an identifiable cause or solution available to affect change. But, on the flipside, they say God never gives you more than you can handle. Perhaps that's telling of a stronger ability to cope than I possess.

Another family we know was a month or two behind us. They had left the area and we didn't hear from them for awhile, but eventually we heard through friends that their baby had been born, spent the entire first month in intensive care, has to be fed through tubes and the person relaying the information wasn't sure if the baby was expected to live for very long. When I found that out I felt so crushed, so guilty.

Our baby is so beautiful and the process to get to welcoming her into the world was challenging, exciting and in the begining discouraging and frustrating and I remember asking "Why us?" I am convinced that their babies are also beautiful (especially to their parents), but the circumstances are so different that I cannot imagine the emotions they are feeling. But I am reduced to tears every time my mind wanders back to the little baby in the intensive care unit, which is quite often. I remember how bad I felt for the family I saw sitting outside the ICU at Huntington as I rolled Rachel around in the cart just one afternoon the day after she was born. I know if our baby had been in the ICU, that we would have spent every moment we could there, just sitting outside the windows on the floor praying, crying, sitting in shock. I cannot imagine an entire month there as new babies were being born every few hours, most of whom would not see the inside of the ICU. I would be asking if we could have done anything differently and why it had happened. I just don't know how I would handle it.

It makes it even hard to be thankful because it feels like I'm being thankful at someone else's expense, or I have the feeling looming over me that anything could happen at any time. I know a plane could crash into my office building right now, or something could happen to my wife on the way here to pick me up. But you don't think about that. It's so different when it's a little fragile life that you've watched from the beginning. So I try my hardest to be thankful and to pray for her safety and health every day but I know ultimately it's out of my hands. So I pray for my friends and their families as well, because that too is out of my hands and even when I can't understand, God understands and when I can't relate, God knows what it's like to have lost a son and I think He's felt with the parents every time a little child has been lost. No matter what, I know all of the children are so cherished and loved by their parents, no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the outcome.

Please do remember the families in your prayers, even if you don't know who you're praying about, He'll know who you're referring to.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Look who came to visit me at work! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

But I WANT pancakes!

The little one turned four months old yesterday. In the past few days, she's shown a marked interest in what's on our plates. We would typically feed her while we were having dinner, but lately, she's started grabbing the plate and pulling it towards her, trying to grab at food, or just plain stopped eating so she can watch us eat. It'll be a little while still before she gets solids, but she's trying to say she's ready now.

At the moment, she's cooing and shrieking with joy at a Pooh cartoon while we get ready for the day.

D&L, P&M and D&J recently announced their pregnancies. That brings us up to six or seven again. C&J and Y&J had successful ultrasounds, girl and boy respectively.

Monday, October 11, 2004

There Goes My Life

All he could think about was I'm too young for this
Got my whole life ahead
hell I'm just a kid myself
how I'm gonna raise one

All he could see were his dreams going up in smoke
So much for ditching this town and hanging out on the coast
Oh well, those plans are long gone

And he said
there goes my life
there goes my future, my everything
might as well kiss it all good-bye
there goes my life.......

A couple years of up all night and a few thousand diapers later
That mistake* he thought he made covers up the refrigerator
Oh yeah..........he loves that little girl.

Momma's waiting to tuck her in
as she fumbles up those stairs
she smiles back at him dragging that teddy bear
sleep tight, blue eyes and bouncing curls

He smiles
there goes my life
there goes my future my everything
I love you, daddy goodnight
there goes my life

She had that Honda loaded down
with Abercrombie clothes and 15 pairs of shoes and his American express
he checked the oil and slammed the hood, said your good to go
she hugged them both and headed off to the west coast

And he cried
there goes my life
there goes my future, my everything
I love you
baby good-bye

(* Rachel - you were no mistake... I just like this song.)

Tough Little Boys

Well I never once, backed down from a punch.
Well I'd take it square on the chin.
Well I found out fast the bullies just laugh,
And we've got to stand up to him.
So I didn't cry when I got a black eye,
As bad as it hurt I'd just grinned.
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again.

Scared me to death, when you took your first steps,
Well I'd fall every time you fell down.
Your first day of school, I cried like a fool, and
I followed your school bus to town.

Well I didn't cry when Old Yeller died,
At least not in front of my friends.
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again.

Well I'm a grown man but as strong as I am,
Well sometimes its hard to believe,
How one little girl with little blond curls,
Can totally terrify me.
If you were to ask my wife would just laugh,
She'd say, "I know all about men,
And how tough little boys grow up to be Dads
They turn into big babies again."

Well I know one day I'll give you away,
And I'm gonna stand there and smile.
But when I get home and I'm all alone,
Well I'll sit in your room for a while.

Well I didn't cry when Old Yeller died,
At least not in front of my friends.
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again.

When tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Rachel's Recordings (audio)

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

TV Free

I don't remember my parents watching much TV at all growing up. I thought that odd, especially as I began to be out on my own, off to college, studying communications and broadcasting and watching a lot of TV.

Now, the TV back then was pretty lame, but I suspect when Rachel sees reruns of what we're watching now, she may think the same.

But what I suspect actually happened is that time became more and more precious for my parents to the point where there was just no time left for TV. I'm already giving up shows I just started watching. Not because they're not good, but because I just don't have the time. With Lori back at work, our day starts around 5 am, earlier if the baby gets hungry, later if we snooze a little. It's a mad dash to get ready and out the door, off to the daycare, then drop me off at work and then Lori races on to work. In the evening, the opposite. Lori races out the door at work, swings by and picks me up and then it's off to the daycare to collect the little one. And then it's home again... feed the cats, play with the dog, do some laundry, eat some dinner, watch some TV, feed the baby, play with the baby, shower the baby, feed the baby, several diaper changes, and time permitting, clean the catbox or water the plants, and then off to bed to start the whole thing over again. It's not a rut, but it does not leave much time. Thank God for PVRs that can skip commercials with ease.

Mommy and Baby - Laughter (audio)

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Baby was being fussy last night and we held out a clean sock. Her fingers grasped around it, she pulled her arm back and threw it as if to say "What's this? I don't think so." Was quite funny.

She's becoming more steady in standing when we hold her arms. If we sing, she "dances". And she sent her second email this morning. At one point, she found the caps lock key and so most of it was in caps. But in some more amazing randomness, she hit the alt and s keys simultaneously and suddently "Your message has been sent." appeared and the little envelope flew away. Or perhaps, intentional as she was becoming fussy.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Happy Birthday, Mommy! Posted by Hello

Monday, September 27, 2004

Gasp... a clasp

Baby went to the doctor today. The absence of a fever or runny nose made the doctor think that it's pretty mild and is even safe for her to return to daycare soon. Good, because mom's got a busy week firing people and can't take much time off and dad is out of sick days due to a dumb company policy requiring you to take all of them before you go on a paid family leave. Yeah, great, leave the dad with no sick days. Dumb policy.

Anyhow, the baby is wheezing less and coughing less, but her cry is still different, more subdued, like "I don't feel good." But when she's not crying, she's her happy self, smiling, giggling.

A few new developments presented themselves in the past few days. She's "dancing" -- I hold her in a standing position and she wiggles and waves her arms, and she's now hugging stuffed animals and tonight she was clasping her hands together -- and did it repeatedly, something Baby Center says you should look for in month six.

Last night she sent her first e-mail. We could not read it, but she would press on the keys and look at the screen. The spacebar and the m-key were here favorite keys. And today she helped with a birthday card for mom. She holds a pen in her hand and I hold the paper and she moves it around. She did that for cards to her grandparents last month, but this time I was smart and put plastic on the table first so there was less chance of pen on fabric or table. She wasn't that interested today, though, so there wasn't much in mom's card. (I was feeling funny... the 4 cats and dog also all signed another card by biting it/slobbering on it.)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Baby's First Cold (audio)

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, September 13, 2004

Squeaky Baby

The baby has learned "Where's the baby?" -- it is, of course, the game where you cover the baby's face with a light cloth and ask where the baby is and then pull the cloth away, or let the baby pull the cloth away. Then you say in a silly voice "There's the baby." You get giggles, laughs and outright squeals of joy.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

More Baby Music (audio)

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Gas We Pass

As Rachel screams because of pressure built up in her body that she's been unable to relieve by burb or otherwise, I suddenly had a thought... we go through several phases of gas-passing.

Phase I - we cannot pass the gas regularly and it hurts. Our parents cheer when we successfully break wind.

Phase II - we can pass the gas regularly. Boys cheer other boys when they rip a good one.

Phase III - we can pass the gas regularly. But for some reason, it's no longer cool. This was decided the first day of 5th. grade when I was growing up. I don't know who decided it. When there are no girls around, it's still OK to cut the cheese.

Phase IV - we can pass the gas regularly, but there's never a good time. At work, that's just bad form. At home, you're keeping up appearances for your spouse or trying not to encourage a "bad habit" in your children. In the bathroom, the bowl just amplifies the noise. (Is that a cruel irony, or what?)

Phase V - the gas passes. Whether you want it to or not. Sometimes you're not even be aware of it, or aware that it was you who dealt it.

Ah, success. Little Rachel has kept her dignity and instead spit up.

The audio of Rachel at the keyboard took over 24 hours to arrive and sadly, it didn't turn out well. I guess we'll have to go back to the studio for another recording session, probably tomorrow. It's Rachel's 3rd. month of life today and her parent's 5th. anniversary.

Play that funky music (audio)

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, September 10, 2004

Play that funky music

I posted an audio blog last night, but it's gone MIA. It was the baby playing the piano. Well, it's actually a synthesizer. And I hold it up and she kicks it with her feet. She seems to know what she's doing, and she seems to really enjoy steel drums and piano type instruments, but hates the organ sounding ones, probably because she plays more flat keys and those sound like horror movies.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


We were talking about children this morning and one of my volunteers Barbara was relating something she had recently and wished she had known about when she was raising her kids. She said she's tried it with the grandkids and it's worked like a charm...

Basically, treat outtings and bedtimes like the closing of a store.

"Your Target store is closing in 15 minutes. Please make your final selections and come to the registers to make your purchases. Thank you for shopping your Target store."

That is, before it's time to leave the park, or before it's bedtime, give them a countdown. Give them an opportunity to do "the last thing they want do to before they go." That allows the children to believe they have sense of control. And helps you keep things under control, too.

It'll be nice when our little baby is old enough to understand the logic and not keep us up until 2 am. :)

The Agony of De-sleep

Or, alternatively "No sleep 'til 18." but I figured 18 wasn't close enough to "Brooklyn" to be a decent title...

The baby does not nap. Doesn't need to, doesn't want to. She got that from her daddy. Once I'm up for the day, I'm up. Naps? Pfffttttt....

I took the day off yesterday and stayed home with the family. We did a number of short trips in the car. Invariably the car causes naps, so the baby had probably three naps, two of an hour and one of three hours. And then we went walking and eventually the sway and bump of the stroller won and her little eyes stopped snapping open to see what she was missing.

So? The sleep clock was reset, she had some sleep hours banked. So we get home from the walk and start to prepare the nightly routine. But, see, she knows what's going on. The minute I step into the shower with her and water hits her, she lets out this shriek louder than any I've heard from her before. I step out of the water and recheck. Ok, it's on the chilly side, but it's reasonable. I warm it a little but to no avail. She's not having any of it. The shower is step two in the going to bed routine and she napped today, so it's not fair that it's time to go to bed.

Meanwhile, I've got visions of neighbors frantically dialing 911, police cruisers and suburbans screeching to a stop on my lawn, a full complement of fire engines and paramedics clogging the street out front and helicopters with night suns illuminating all the windows while the SWAT rips the security door off of our house and swarm the house -- Elian Gonzales-style -- looking for the baby being tortured.

So we knock on the wall, the signal to mom that the shower is complete. She comes in with the towel, takes the baby and goes for step three, the pajamas and step four, the last feeding. Nope, the screaming continues. By feeding time, it's a wimper and fussiness and no desire to eat.

So we do the checks...diaper was just changed, chilled teether is unwanted, pacifier is spit across the room, little hands won't grasp the crinkley bee... lying in the crib is torture, being held and swayed is unwanted. The bouncer is unwelcome, the car seat is not the place to be either. Only the living room sitting with mom on the couch is ok.

So she keeps up until after 2 am. And then she wants to eat at 6 am and she wants to make a "mmmm" sound with each drink.

So despite having given up coffee a few weeks ago, I'm on cup two for the day. It tastes so good and I'm all jumpy.

Hey, entry #100. Woo hoo.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Crying, Crying, Everywhere

When I first tried to get into Blogger, Lori was sittiung with Rachel in a chair a couple of feet from me. The baby was holding Lori's thumb with one hand and her fingers with the other, pulling and pushing to make Lori's hand open and close. And then she'd spend some time crying. She seems to cry every night, fighting sleep.

It has been hard finding time to do updates. I feel like I've been behind ever since returning from Virginia. The trip was a smashing success and Lori and I wondered for a moment what it might be like to move. However, there wasn't any hint that a job would be available, houses cost the same over there as they do over here and we couldn't afford over here if we were shopping now. And there's the whole issue of all that snow over there.

Anyhow, I was working on a project and came in the house to hear a song playing on one of the Sirrius music channels that DISH has seen fit to give us at no extra cost. It immediately gave me chills and by the time it was over, I was crying. Tears and everything.

I went to find my wife and she was in the bathroom, having just gotten out of the shower and trying to do her makeup. Baby was in the bouncer on the floor of the bathroom. I say trying to do her makeup, because she wasn't having much luck. She had heard the song and was crying, too.

The Streets of Heaven
Sherrie Austin

Hello God, it's me again. 2:00 a.m., Room 304.
Visiting hours are over, time for our bedside tug of war.
This sleeping child between us may not make it through the night.
I'm fighting back the tears as she fights for her life.

Well, it must be kind of crowded,
On the streets of Heaven.
So tell me: what do you need her for?

Don't you know one day she'll be your little girl forever.
But right now I need her so much more.
She's much too young to be on her own:
Barely just turned seven.

So who will hold her hand when she crosses the streets of Heaven?

Tell me God, do you remember the wishes that she made,
As she blew out the candles on her last birthday cake?
She wants to ride a pony when she'd big enough.
She wants to marry her Daddy when she's all grown up.

Well, it must be kind of crowded,
On the streets of Heaven.
So tell me: what do you need her for?

Don't you know one day she'll be your little girl forever.
But right now I need her so much more.
She's much too young to be on her own:
Barely just turned seven.

So who will hold her hand when she crosses the streets of Heaven?

Lord, don't you know she's my angel
You got plenty of your own
And I know you hold a place for her
But she's already got a home

Well I don't know if you're listenin'
But praying is all that's left to do
So I ask you Lord have mercy, you lost a son once too

And it must be kind of crowded,
On the streets of Heaven.
So tell me: what do you need her for?

Don't you know one day she'll be your little girl forever.
But right now I need her so much more.
Lord, I know once you've made up your mind,
There's no use in beggin'.

So if you take her with you today, will you make sure she looks both ways,
And would you hold her hand when she crosses the streets of Heaven.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Missing Baby

I had to go out of town for business and I miss Rachel like crazy. I miss her mom, too. Last night I stayed up late packing and only got two hours of sleep. I didn't sleep on the plane and now I'm in Virginia, it's nearly 3 am EST and the alarm is going off at 6:30 am and I'm still awake. They put the three of us in a single room and the other two guys are snoring.

But, anyhow, about the baby. I knew that the hotel we were staying at had complimentary wireless internet access, so before I left, I bought two GE Webcams from Target. They're USB. I put one on the computer at home and brought one with me on the trip. So tonight when it was time to get Rachel for bed, I called home and Lori put the phone on speaker and then we opened up MSN Instant Messenger and shared video and could see each other. It worked extremely well. Rachel stared at the screen almost the entire time we were chatting, but occasionally she would look at the phone. She cooed a lot.

But nothing beats last night. We heard clicking noises coming from the cradle at the food of our bed as Lori and I settled down and got ready to pray. We were like "What is that kid doing?" Attached to the cradle is an "Ocean Wonders" aquarium from Fischer Price. It plays music, has lights that fade on and off and a compartment filled with water with plastic fish inside that move when air bubbles are released from the bottom of the compartment and float up. Well, we're laying there wondering what on earth she's doing. Then there's a *click* and the music stops and the lights fade. Did she? Could she? Was it an accident? And then *click* again and the music started back up. That seemed too huge to be coincidental. So we quickly turned in our beds so that our faces were down peering in the crib. Our little baby, her eyes staring intently out the aquarium, was using all her powers of concentration to try to get her arm, which she still doesn't have full motion control over, to hit the big blue button. And by golly, she did it and the music turned back off.

We just started laughing and could not stop laughing for several minutes. This baby, a mere two months old, had figured out how to turn the music on and off just from seeing us do it. She doesn't even have full motion control and here she is, comprehending cause and effect and actually making things happen.

Ok, now I miss her even more. I get back on Tuesday and I don't want to take any more business trips.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Strawberries and Stork Bites

Rachel's got a red spot on the back of her head and smaller red spots on her neck. We looked them up and the spot on her head is called a "strawberry mark" -- they typically appear after birth and normally go away between seven and ten years, but will be covered with hair anyway. The spots on her neck are from dilated veins and are typically called "stork bites" or "angel kisses" and too usually go away with time.

Here's a whole article on about birthmarks.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Baby Talk

When I change Rachel's diaper, often she is crying when I start. Usually eyes closed, full-on bawling. Well, I always call her by name and try to get her attention. Because now, as soon as the sees the diaper in my hand, she quiets down, knowing what's coming next. If she's really cranky, the hold wipe may start her up again, but usually not.

Well yesterday, she was squirmy. Not quite fussy, but not calm either. When I was finished, she made a noise like "eh." So I said "Eh" back. She stopped. Everything. Froze and just stared at me. Then she made the noise again. So I said "eh" back again. She just lit up with the most gigantic smile and her eyes were positively sparkling. I was speaking her language. Though I have no idea what I said. (She'll read this later, claim she remembers the exchange and that I promised her a car and a pony.)

They say that part of the reason babies get upset is because they can't communicate. I think that she thought we were communicating. I tell her I love her all the time, but I don't think she knows what that means yet. I haven't been able to get her to do it again since then, but it was just an amazing thing to behold. She is an amazing thing to behold.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

And the heavens opened...

And angels, in rows, stood wingtip to wingtip, singing "Hallelujah!"

Baby slept non-stop from 1:30 am to 7 am when we woke her to change her (nearly nothing) and feed her. Of course, for most of the day and night, up until 1:30 am she cried constantly (teething?). But as soon as we placed her in her car seat, she went out light a light. Being turned off.

Now, 45 minutes later, she is once again sleep, this time in her crib. The wifey preparing to join her in sleepland while I get ready for work. (Normally I would type grumble grumble here but I was the one trying to placate the baby last night for awhile and from what I hear, she had been problematic all day, so I'm not sure staying home would be more fun than going to work.)

So, it's not easy being a parent. They start out not sleeping very much and you worry and you fret and you stress over your own lack of sleep. Then they do sleep through the night and you keep waking up wondering why it's so quiet and you have to keep sneaking over and tickling their feet to make them make some kind of movement to prove they're still breathing but at the same time hoping it won't be enough to actually wake them.

Friday, July 30, 2004

News to me

So it was explained to me why babies wake up so much.  The biggest reason is that their tiny little stomachs can't hold very much, which is why they eat so much.  Because they're not eating as much as I thought, they're eating enough to get full and then as soon as that's processed, then they're hungry again.

Rachel may be outgrowing #1 diapers.. every one today has failed to do its job correctly.

Thursday, July 29, 2004


Sleep seems to be a constant topic when you have a new child.  Last night would be one of the better nights, I think.  We've started giving Rachel a quick shower each night.  We're striving for the same time each night, but we're not yet consistent.

But she seems to enjoy the shower much better than a bath, and it's quicker.   She seemed very slippery at first, but I've got the hang of holding her tightly.  I just get in there in my underwear and turn the water on to where it's a little cooler than I prefer and then Lori hands the baby to me.   Afterwards, Lori comes in with a towel and I pass her back to Lori.

After the shower we feed her and then put her in the cradle in our room.  She's been sleeping for a few hours consistently after that.  We've also stopped speaking (only whispering) once the shower is over.

We think as we continue to do the schedule that she will start to learn to sleep longer each night.  We're encouraged so far and that leads us to wake up in a better mood each day.

Separately, the meals have ended.  For the past month, three days a week couples from our adult fellowship have been bringing us a combination of homecooked and take-out.  It has been very nice.  We've been exposed to new kinds of food and had some good food we wouldn't have otherwise tried on our own.  We'll be back to fending for ourselves.

And with 6 to 8 babies still on the way in the class, we'll soon be taking meals again ourselves.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

That's What It's All About

Well you work and you slave
And you spend all day in your thankless job
hen you jump in your Ford
And you're door to door with the homebound mob
Then you pull in the drive and you hit the chair
And the one that you love is waiting there

And, hey --
That's what it's all about
Hey, this is the life I couldn't live without
It's a moment frozen there in time
Where the reasons all begin to rhyme
Where love's a little bigger
And you finally start figuring out
That's what it's all about

Well, they won't go to bed
Or do what you said or eat their food
They cry and they fuzz and you can't
even cuss 'cause they'll say it, too
You're tired and you're numb
And you're stressed and you're mad
And she smiles and says 'I love you, Dad'

And, hey --
That's what it's all about
Hey, this is the life I couldn't live without
It's a moment frozen there in time
Where the reasons all begin to rhyme
Where love's a little bigger
And you finally start figuring out
That's what it's all about

-- Brooks and Dunn

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Rollin', rollin', rollin'...

Rachel rolled over a few times this evening from her front to her back. They said that some babies will pick this up by two months, but a majority don't do it until the same time they learn to sit on their own. Rolling the other way, from back to front is much more difficult because of the leg strength and leg and neck coordination required.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Warped Priorities?

I know it's odd, but in the whole raising-a-baby-thing, I have to say, I'm really appreciative of DISH Network's PVR. Basically, it's a no-name TiVO, and it's really wonderful. We are able to record all kinds of shows and movies and when little Rachel keeps us up until 3 am, we can watch something we've recorded. Or when she needs a diaper change, or begins to suddenly wail, we can hit "Pause" on something we're watching. If it's recorded, it waits patiently for us. If it's something live, then it just begins recording for us and we just pick up where we left off. We attend to the baby with the attention she needs and we don't miss out. I know that seems silly, but it's just another stress avoided.

More on why Luv's suck... the tabs are smaller and they have a section of tape. They are mostly the velcro stuff, but they also have tape which can stick to the baby. And they have Barney on them. And as I say, nothing with Barney can be good. We've set aside a lot to toss, but if we find a parent for whom they work, we'll give them away with a warning.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Not Luv'n It...

I'm a little amazed that Luvs is a well-established diaper brand. The ones we've been using are really pretty lame compared to Huggies. They are bigger, have a poorer fit, leak, and don't keep the moisture away from the baby.

We check the baby at every 90-120 minutes to see if she needs a diaper change. We've found it's the easiest way to avoid a meltdown. She can be content for a long time and then all of the sudden, bam. We've found pre-emptive diaper changes has led to a much quieter house. Only with the Luvs, we haven't always made it even 90 minutes. And just recently we had one leak all over the bed while the baby was laying down with mom. Not fun.

In other news, we took the baby with us to see Dodgeball this afternoon. (Note: If you wait until after the credits, there's an easter egg. But trust me, your life will be better off if you just hightail it out of there during the credits.) The baby did admirably, only the most minor of noise, easily rectified by feeding. (So Rachel, if you ever read this, I owe you an extra $5 in allowance. P.S. Congrats on your first month on the outside. I remember life before you, but I would never go back.)

Thursday, July 08, 2004


I think last night was the best night's sleep I've had in a long time. I do remember being awake at 2:45, but I think I slept all the way through until 10 this morning. Sadly, the same could not be said for Lori who was up a lot during the night with unconsolable Rachel. The baby still has some confusion of night versus day.

The baby is also making some funny faces. We think she must be mimicking faces she's seen me make. And no matter what you say, we believe she's already smiled at us a time or two.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Day 21

Things have gotten interesting. The baby gave us a really easy first week and now is exhibiting behavior everyone warned about. She's not sleeping through the night regularly and it sure is interesting. Or tiring. We're weathering it, but only because we can sleep in. Last night she just did not want to go to sleep. She'd need a change, she'd want to eat, she was fussy because of gas and fussy because she didn't want to sleep. I kept waking up, but Lori was never able to get to sleep. So I finally kicked Lori out and she got about 30 minute's sleep on the couch before Rachel got hungry and I had to go wake up mom. After Lori was asleep again, it wasn't too long before Rachel started to indicate that she was hungry again. I was not waking up poor Lori again so I broke out the emergency Similac. Rachel had no problem taking the bottle and quickly sank the entire thing and then was happier.

It is also fun to watch her become more self-aware. She's starting to learn that she has a tongue. She makes faces and sticks it out repeatedly. And last night she was stroking her own head, feeling her hair. And she's making more faces at us.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

You a so stinking cute

You're gonna read this in a few years and I gotta say... I might be biased, but jeez you are cute. But everyone who sees you says it, too, so maybe it's not just me.

You have now survived three meals out almost flawlessly. At the first, Aloha, we had to feed you at the end, but that was no big deal. At Mo's, Scott came in to town and had lunch with us and you were quiet through the entire meal even though the place was incredibly loud, and then tonight at Mimi's, you were quiet again for the entire meal. You've also allowed us to spend several uninterrupted hours with our friends Heather and Jon. We really appreciate it.

You are, however, having more trouble sleeping through the night and you are preventing us from getting any sleep. We are thankful to be off work because you keep us up a lot. You were laying peacefully next to me just now but then your mom took you for a diaper change and now you're crying so loudly that Carol the cat has left the room.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Lying to the little ones...

I thought it was great when Kevin's brother would applaud and cheer on his little ones when they fail, thus assuring that there would be no crying-for-sympathy -- and that his children would all grow up to jump motorcycles over canyons and buses.

But that's nothing compared to Lori's brother who has his kids convinced that when the truck goes slowly through the neighborhood playing music that this is "The Music Truck" and whenever you hear it, you're to dance.


Da Blues

Lori's mom went home today. She and Lori both cried as we prayed before she got in the car to leave. It was a really nice visit and I probably have no idea how helpful she was to Lori to have around all week while I went off to work each day. I'll probably take a sick day or two to help out this week.

Lori's felt some of the 'baby blues' and cried a couple of times. As her body returns to normal, the hormones are all out of whack. On top of that, her sleep is all weird and the feel sympathy tears when Rachel cries. I feel bad because I can't do anything about it.

On another note, I received Futurama Volume One today for Father's Day. Score! I watched some episodes while Lori and Rachel slept this afternoon, but I ended up falling asleep myself.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Let me tell you...

Having a baby is such a huge thing that it's only natural to want to give advice... because it feels like such a major accomplishment, and with the first one, because there are things you wish you had done differently, so you desire to help the new parents-to-be to avoid those pitfalls. Who can blame you?

But the new parent to be hears it from so many people... many are well-meaning, but some are just bitter about their own situation (like the lady at Toys 'R Us) and some are just plain mean, like Lori's brothers, who each have two kids and have done their best to make raising kids sound as scary as possible. Eventually the parents-to-be eventually become scared, or worn down, or jaded and it becomes hard to discern between the three.

Fortunately, we took it all with a grain of salt, ready to be knocked flat, but also determined to jump right back up and enjoy the experience as best we could.

Lori will take with her forever the woman she encountered at Souplantation about a month ago. We were there with friends of ours who have a 9 month old. Lori was in the bathroom and there was a short line. The woman in front of her, looked at her, smiled and said that Lori should go in front of her because she probably needed the bathroom more. And then later as we were sitting and eating, the woman walked by with her family and smiled at Lori and offered her good luck, promising that she was going to enjoy being a mom. It was just so wonderful that Lori pledged right then and there to try to do the same thing whenever she encountered other new parents to be. You need the cautionary advice, but you need the encouragement, too.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

More photos...

I've uploaded all the pictures to date to the family picture site. If you don't have access to them, e-mail me for an invite.

Monday, June 14, 2004

You've Got Mail, Baby

If you want to write to our little monkey, send an e-mail to her full name at No spaces, dashes, dots, just her full name as one long word, followed by

Don't expect a response anytime soon, though, since she's only 3 days old.

But, when she's old enough to understand things like this, we'll read them to her and transcribe her replies back to you. So, hang on to your e-mail address for a few years, or keep in touch with us so that when she's ready to tell you about her day, we'll have a current e-mail address for her.

Dad Irrelevant

Sometimes we joke and say our part of the process is over so quickly, at the very beginning of the 9 months.

In the hospital, you get to really feel like that. Not so much in delivery, but afterwards in recovery. While it's never really so articulated, it is so not about you. It is about mom's recovery from the ordeal and to watch the baby's first hours of life to make sure everything's ok. The dad is completely irrelevant.

The hospital I stayed at actually had a bed that folds up that the husband can use, and does give the husband 24-hour access to the building. And sheets. But it ends there. The wife's bed folds, moves up and down, has controls for the TV. The husband's bed -- if you're lucky -- doesn't just fold up when you sit on it.

All day long, people will enter. You can tell by their knock if you know them or not. If you know them, it sounds like "knock-knock-knock-silence." If you don't know them, it's like "Knock-door opens-Hi, I'm..." People enter constantly for more reasons that I can even remember. And rarely will any of them even recognize the husband's presence. It's amazing how invisible you become.

Then there's the food. It's cafeteria food, but it's delivered for the wife, who gets to pick from a menu. The guy is left to fend for themselves.

Here's what I propose... every so often, a nurse should take the husband's temperature and check the husband's blood pressure. Make them feel important there and they might be more involved later on.

But, as it stands, you aren't important. Mom and baby are an item, an important focus. Dad, you're irrelevant.

(Disclaimer: I don't believe I am irrelevant and am participating in my daughter's new life.)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Audio - Saturday, 5:40 pm

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, June 11, 2004

The recap

At midnight, June 11, I was watching "Awesomely Bad Videos", a show from VH1 that one of us had TIVO'd.. basically bad music videos criticized by comics.

Lori had gone to bed, but got back up because the contractions were too difficult to sleep through. We decided to watch a video and Lori had gone into the den to select a DVD.

She was in there for awhile and then suddenly races through the house to the bathroom exclaiming that her water had broken.

We got the last few items not already in the car and I raced for Huntington. I had to use the cruise control at 80 to keep myself from doing 90 or more. She held my hand tightly because the pain was increasing.

We were admitted to triage where the confirmed it and tested vitals and then after awhile we were moved to a delivery room. We worked with a nurse on paperwork forever and then Lori got an epidural. I had been banned from the room during the administration of the epidural, but when I returned, the nurse turned out the lights and suggested we get some sleep. (Lori could feel the contractions, but without pain.)

I laid down on the floor and probably got about two hours of sleep, but we're not sure if Lori got any. She thinks she faded in and out. At 6:30, a nurse came in and checked out Lori. Where she had been at 3 centimeters at 12:30, she was now fully dialated.

Skip ahead to 7:15, the doctor's arrived and Lori begins pushing. The epidural is turned off because the machine keeps saying there's a problem. After an hour, Lori's in real pain. They give her a bosix(sp?) which is like an instant epidural and someone shows them how to fix the machine. The pain's gone and Lori's back to pushing. But the baby's not coming.

The doctor suggests using suction. We ask the risks and she explains and then says that her first child was delivered that way. It was the difference between at least another hour of pushing or six more good pushes over two more contractions. So Lori opted for that.

As the baby came out, it was obvious why it had taken so long -- the baby came out with the head looking upwards, the most difficult way for a baby to be born. She came out hollering like a banshee.

But the baby was cleaned up, and soon in our arms. Words cannot describe our emotions, but we know that this is truly a miracle, an amazing miracle from God, that He's entrusting to us.

More later, but the stats: 7 pounds, 13 ounces. 22 inches long. Blonde hair. Very quiet, easy to calm down when she cries. Seems to be very alert, eyes often wide open and darting around. Recognizes our voices.

Photo - Rachel with Rich and Christi

Rachel with Rich and Christi Posted by Hello

Photo - Lori and Rachel soon after birth

Lori and Rachel soon after birth Posted by Hello

Photo - Lori, Dr. Teng and Rachel

Lori, Dr. Teng and Rachel Posted by Hello

Photo - Rachel with Grandma

Rachel with Grandma Posted by Hello

Photo - Rachel's Birthday

Rachel's Birthday Posted by Hello

Audio - Friday morning, about 9:40 am

this is an audio post - click to play

Audio - Friday, 6:10 am

this is an audio post - click to play

Audio - Friday, 2 am

this is an audio post - click to play


Thursday, June 10, 2004

The Crying Wolf-Boy

We made another trip to the doctor's office today because we had the kind of symptoms that when we had them last time and didn't call right away, they got kind of upset with us.

Turned out to be nothing.

So we got sent home again. Then there were new symptoms, so we called again. They thought it was nothing and said it was probably a result of the exam and to monitor the situation and let them know if it changed.

So, probably nothing.

I think the lack of experience is what makes having the first child so difficult. You don't know what to expect and the symptoms can vary so much from person to person. The descriptions aren't always accurate or don't quite fit and you want to be cautious, but you end up feeling like you're crying wolf. But I expect that's a common feeling shared by many first-time parents-to-be.

Contractions are occuring. The pain is increasing and The Wife is now re-thinking the idea of trying to stick it out and see if an epidural can be avoided. KP told us that she had an epidural when she had D which allowed her to enjoy the process more and really share the moment her husband M versus just having to focus so much on the pain. So, the jury's out. Anyhow, the timing is being monitored and we're ready to go at a moment's notice. Car is all packed except the laptop because the battery is charging because I ran it down earlier today.

But regardless, if we're not up to speed by 9 am tomorrow, in goes the pitocin injection and contractions are sure to ramp up and soon, Baby.

If it all works correctly, I can phone in the announcement and have it appear here as soon as The Baby makes her debut. Otherwise, the silence will mean we're offline for a few days and you can reach us by cell phone.

Status No

The Wife was once asked in a game when her favorite time of the day was and her response? When she was asleep. Well, last night sleep set in and the contractions subsided. So, one more day of work for me.

Me, on the other hand, thought surely this time we must be going to the hospital so I stayed up trying to tie loose ends up at work and finishing a really awful movie I had TIVO'd earlier off a movie channel. More about that here...

Once more, for old time's sake...

We're going to try to get some sleep. If anything's happening, it will wake us up. Otherwise, one of us needs to be rested for work tomorrow.

T-minus nothing, baby

Hurrahs all around. Happy Due Date!

Contractions are happening, discomfort is setting in, in the sides and back.

My feeling of uselessness is growing.

The Wife wonders aloud if it would be possible to create some test to know if you were in labor, the way a test exists to tell you you're pregnant in the first place. There should be plenty of time to get to the world class hospital two towns away, but if not, there's a fire station a stone's throw away, and if you can have a baby that quickly, there's something to be said for that. MW gave birth to H on her living room floor because she only had 15 minute's notice. Her husband made it home, but the baby was out before the paramedics even arrived.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Solid... solid as a rock

Are we? Maybe? We might just be in early labor. Seems like we're having legitimate, regular contractions. But The Wife is saying that she's not experiencing much pain.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Baby? What baby?

Now, when someone asks "Still no baby, huh?" We say things like "No, we had the baby last night but I didn't want to take any time off from work." Or "actually, no, we're calling from the hospital.. can you hold for a second? contraction." Or "The Wife is in labor right now but I felt like coming to work instead." Or tonight, we told The Parents "Well, we had The Baby a few days ago and she's been napping for the past four hours."

Saturday, June 05, 2004

T minus 6 - yeah, yeah, yeah, we've heard it all before

We've not yet been on time to one of our baby doctor appointments. Thought several times, it wasn't our fault, we had even factored in for traffic only to be foiled at the last minute by parking lot paving in progress.

Anyhow, now the word is that the doctor doesn't want us to go past the due date.

So, we have an appointment scheduled for this Friday at 9 am to induce. An appointment at the hospital. Scary.

We're really hoping we don't have to keep that appointment because we would really prefer to avoid pitocin.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Sorry, gotta digress for a second... would it kill them to do a traffic report that covered the 210 freeway?

Anyhow, still no baby. But we're find with that now, we've enjoyed the past few days just taking it easy. The Baby will arrive when she's ready. We have, however, walked every night. I think it's been good for me, too.

Monday, May 31, 2004

Don't make me explain

I want to skip work tomorrow. I am the Boy Who Cried Wolf. I am tired of "Still no baby?" It didn't help that on Friday The Wife picked me up for the appointment, so colleagues saw me running towards the street. They didn't seem to notice me getting into the passenger seat or realize that I was running to nowhere near the parking garage where my car was.

So I'm going to get it all over again tomorrow. "Still no baby?" "I thought they were going to induce." Um, yes, we had The Baby. The Wife is at the hospital but I felt like coming in to work.


We've done a lot of walking, even took the 75 pound monster with us tonight. Not sure when, if ever, he'll get to see The Baby. He's kind of stupid and likes to bite and slobber.

Today was probably the first day we didn't talk about The Baby much. We did some cleaning, watched a movie, went to a BBQ, but mostly just hung out quietly. She'll come when she's ready, I guess.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Walk This Way

The Wife and I did a lot of walking tonight, just in case that might jump start something. She did report some new discomfort, but with nothing to compare against, didn't know if those were contractions.

AS who had a baby in September probably summed it up best... "At this stage, you and your family are your worst enemies."

Dad also called, just to check in. When he handed the phone over to mom, she said that he was very nervous. Oddly, I also found out that they've changed their plans and only intend to be in town for a long weekend. That means I'll be taking more time off to help The Wife care for the baby before Paid Family Leave kicks in.

Friday, May 28, 2004

All That's Missing is Black Socks and Shorts...

This morning as I listened to Duran Duran's "Decade" I thought back to my childhood and how my parents listened to Seattle's KOMO AM 1000, a station of oldies and news and wondered how they could listen to that.  But to them, it wasn't oldies.  It was just slightly older music from a time when life was probably easier... before full-time jobs, car and mortgage payments, before me and my brother.
And I thought "Why am I listening to this? Will my child hate this music?  How can anyone not appreciate Duran Duran?  This is good stuff."  Truth be told, it's probably only semi-good.  But I like it.  Music seems somewhat disposable.  We buy albums and listen to them for a few months or years and then they get relegated to a closet or in a 300-disc changer that's not plugged in and they slowly get covered with dust.  When we pull them out, we don't just remember the tunes, we remember where we were when the tunes came out, what we were doing, what the weather was like, how we didn't have to work full-time, didn't have car and mortgage payments, and so on.  After awhile, we get tired of paying $15 for something we know will eventually end up like the rest of them.  
But it's not just that life is harder or more complex, but I also think it's that we're less patient.  Sure, there is still great music coming out today.  The Wife can't get enough of OutKast's "Shake It" or whatever it's called and I'm really enjoying the current state of Pop Country and Contemporary Christian music.  But I think we're less patient, we don't want to sit through commercials, irrelevant traffic reports (Um, hello L.A. radio... ever heard of the 210 freeway?) and the inane blather of most morning DJ's.  So we pop in a CD, turn it up and regress to a happy memory.  And at the same time, we miss what's on the radio these days until one day we turn it on and say "I can't relate.  What is this garbage you're listening to?  Didn't we raise you with better standards?"
Maybe digital media players and satellite radio will change all that.  We have the opportunity to be exposed again to new music, we can pick and choose what we want to hear, and we can skip the commercials.  The Sony double cassette deck I bought in High School, while still shiny, will look as ancient to her as my grandparent's console record players that doubled as a buffet tables.  She'll never know the joy of listening to tapes warp and then frantically pulling them out of the car stereo only to realize it's too late as the shiny ribbon continues to be pulled from the tape in your hand into the player several feet away.  She may even find the Discman to be a historic novelty or buying music at a store a silly inconvenient waste of time.
How odd...

Still not a dad

It actually seems like with each day I'm getting further and further away from actually becoming dad.
At the 38-week appointment today, The Doctor made no mention of the planned induction for next Tuesday.  When we asked, she started to explain the difference between a medical induction and a non-medical one and we stopped her and reminded her that she had said last Friday that we would do a medical one on Tuesday.
She said that she only planned to do that if The Wife's swelling had not gotten any better or if The Wife had gained weight.  Now. she just planned to let nature take its course and if a week had gone by past the due date, then they would induce for medical reasons.
Information that would have been useful LAST WEEK.  I am so ticked off by that omission.  I told all my co-workers that I would be out, nearly definitely, my parents adjusted their flight and hotel plans and we got all mentally ready to welcome The Baby.  Now we're told it could be THREE MORE WEEKS?  Again, information that would have been helpful LAST WEEK. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Well, The Baby's entrance no longer seems like it's going to happen in the NEXT 20 SECONDS so I tried to make today a normal day.  Last night I caught our finances up (more than a week out of date) and finished putting together the furniture in the nursery — I had to wait until I received replacement parts in the mail.  It looks nice, but I don't recommend Sauder.  I had a ban on Sauder, but then was informed that I wouldn't like the prices on what would be purchased if I didn't agree to Sauder.  The piece looks nice, but it took a lot of work to get it all put together, I still have some screws left over, things aren't perfectly aligned (not due to any construction errors on my part) and I had to have them ship me some replacement parts for things that arrived damaged.
But I still got to bed at nearly a decent hour last night, slept incredibly well, didn't snooze too much this morning, got up, played with the dog, cleaned the cat boxes, rode the exercise bike, read the Bible, watched Bloomberg, drank my Slimfast... all the stuff of a normal morning for me. 
It's amazing how much routine helps.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Dress Rehearsal

Nope, that wasn't it. They monitored The Baby and The Wife for a little while, did a test and then dismissed us back home to feel silly. We had some fat free no sugar added ice cream and at and watched the world go by for a little while and then came back here and have vegged.

This might be it...

The Wife called in to The Doctor and reported the symptoms and The Doctor asked how quickly we could be at the hospital. So, we're off. Hopefully not to return home bashfully in a few hours.

KM sorry for not responding to IM earlier, was away from my desk.

No News...

No new news to report. I thought I wouldn't be coming in to work today, so I stayed up really late. I'm now regretting.

The Wife was experiencing pretty mild but fairly regular contractions all night long, but felt tired and was able to sleep all night long.

Here's a story of a baby born from sperm frozen for 21 years.

Baby Watch 2004

This is quite possibly it, folks... minor contractions have started. The Wife is taking the opportunity to get some sleep, but we don't think The Baby's content to wait until Friday to make her debut.

Friday, May 21, 2004

T-minus 7 days?

The Doctor this morning announced that The Baby is probably on the large side of average and she is also positioned lower than most 'first' babies. (Yay, overacheiver!) As a result, The Doctor doesn't want us going to full term, but wants the baby out sooner.

The lower baby position also explains why the swelling is taking longer to go away (when it does go away) and the pain in The Wife's feet. We knew that swelling that didn't go away and pain were possibly symptoms of a problem, so we mentioned them to the Doctor today and she gave us a few more symptoms we should look for before we worry and we haven't seen any of those. (The low baby presses on ateries and makes circulation more difficult to the lower part of the body.)

The Doctor plans to "strip the membrane" next Friday, a technique that in some case causes labor to begin. One person it's worked for 100% of the time is The Wife's Mom, so chances are we could be in labor next Friday. In any case, The Doctor said if that doesn't work, on to bigger attempts (petocin - lame!) early the next week.

The Wife hopes to avoid petocin at all costs. It's pretty effective at starting labor, but can cause more painful labor and other unpleasant side effects.

The HR Director is seeming to now go back on the plans we had approved at least a month ago and is either being incredibly unclear, incredibly unsympathetic to people who need time off or downright ignoring the law. And going on vacation starting next Friday.

In any case, we may be reading the last few entries in the pregnancy journal while holding The Baby.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

T-minus 23 days... sleep, where art thou?

The Wife is now officially on maternity leave from work. So, she stays up late and sleeps in. So, I stay up late, but then get up early to ride the exercise bike, read the Bible, watch Bloomberg and get the bills caught up. So, I'm now not getting enough sleep. And the work is piling on at work. They don't seem to realize that at just about any moment I could suddenly become unavailable for several days and then less productive for awhile after that.

The Wife's mom says that we will be on time or early. I can live with that. Being late would give The Wife extra time off from work, though, which I'm sure she'd appreciate.

We still do not yet have a pediatrician or daycare arrangements. Or our bags packed. Or our call list finalized. Starting to feel overwhelmed.

Monday, May 17, 2004

The Little Girl

Her parents never took the young girl to church,
never spoke of his name,
never read her his word.
Two non-believers walking lost in this world,
took thier baby with them,
what a sad little girl.

Her daddy drank all day and her mommy did drugs,
never wanted to play,
or give kisses and hugs.
She'd watch the tv and sit there on the couch,
while her mom fell asleep,
and her daddy went out.

And the drinking and the fighting,
just got worse every night.
Behind thier couch she'd be hiding,
oh what a sad little life.
And like it always does,
the bad just got worse,
with every slap and every curse.
Until her daddy in a drunk rage one night,
used a gun on her mom,
and then took his life.

And some people from the city,
took the girl far away.
To a new mom, and a new dad,
kisses and hugs everyday.
Her first day of sunday school,
the teacher walked in,
and a small little girl,
stared at a picture of him.

She said "I know that man,
there on that cross.
I don't know his name,
but I know he got off.
Cause he was there in my old house,
he held me close to his side,
as I hid there behind our couch,
the night that my parents died."
(c) John Michael Montgomery

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

T-minus 30 days...

Today's badvice suggests that after the baby is born, there will be no time to eat. I guess we're going to starve to death? Uh, yeah, thanks, no.

The armoire arrived today. Two boxes, one was probably 50-60 pounds and the other was 70 pounds. I got to step 14 before I had to stop for the night. It's going to look good, but I have to call tomorrow and have a few pieces replaced because they were shipped damaged. Wish I could get the rest done first because I'd hate to have to make multiple calls. Hopefully the rest goes smoothly.

Monday, May 10, 2004

T-minus one month

Well, according to our most recent official due date, one month, 32 days, if you count today. We've had one other 6/12 and I'd swear at one point, there was a third, 6/14. Not to mention reasons for other dates, such as 6/1 since her mom and are were born on the first of our respective birthmonths, or the 11th., since it's already a special day each month for her mom and I. Holding out for her to be born on Father's Day does not look likely, though, it's unseasonably late this year. Of course, then there's the daily baby journal we're reading which puts the date at 6/11, or 33 days left.

Status-wise, we're not all ready yet. Phone list of people to call, separated into "call in labor" and "call after delivery"? Check. Carseat? Check. Installed? Uh, not yet. Crib? Check. Assembled? Check. Armoire? On order. Changing table? On its side in the carport, mostly stripped and waiting to be repainted. Bouncer? Check. Mobile? Check. Diapers? Check, sort of. Only about 6-8 days' worth (possibly being too liberal in my estimate) on hand. Bags for hospital? Uh... hmmm... big one on the still-to-do-list.

Over the weekend we had an opportunity to talk to D&SC who had WDC at the end of February. They were confirming TP's promise that we will love being parents and that while it will change things, it won't be the end of the world. A very uninformed very fat very crabby lady at Toys 'R Us offered us congratulations and then pleaded with us to go out to dinner every night because once the baby was born, we would NEVER EVER EVER get to go out to eat again. We smiled politely at her unsolicited badvice and tried to tell her about the baby-swap program in our Sunday school class. She didn't know exactly what to do with that, so she stammered a little bit about how we'd never get to go out to eat again.

It's coming and I'm ready to fully embrace it. Bring it on, baby.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Rest Your Weary Head

Crib's all assembled. Thanks to the good folks at Babies 'R Us who figured out how to get the box into the Santa Fe.

Friday, April 23, 2004

I can see clearly now...

We had some 3-D and 4-D done yesterday. The pictures are pretty cool. I thought I would cry when I saw them, but I was more anxious that we were spending good money to see The Baby covering her face with her hands. But the technician worked hard to get The Baby to move and also giving us breaks where we could try to encourage her to move her hands. Which she finally did. She's also already head-down, which is good news. The Baby Doctor couldn't tell last time we were there, but we saw it in the pictures.

The Wife looks forward to The Baby getting a little larger so that she can't get as much force into her kicks and punches. It is weird to see The Wife's stomach move like there are Mummy-style scarabs under her skin.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Wah wah wah

7 reasons babies cry (Probably mostly saved here for my later reference.

Congrats to T&F P on the birth of MI. :)

Oh... and altitude sickness probably wasn't altitude sickness as we've taken two trips since then to higher altitudes with no problems and on roads far more wind-y.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Canana bans baby walkers

Heath Canada announced a ban on the sale of baby walkers. ( They say it's for the protection of children who can't comprehend where they're navigating or know how to avoid dangers, but I think it's to protect children from neglegent parents who put their child in one and then don't keep a close eye on them until they hear the crying because the baby ran into the sharp edge of a table or tried to go down the stairs. (I've always thought that a lightweight adult version would help older people with mobility problems.)