Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Kayci's 6-Month Checkup

Last week was weird, and this week is starting out that way, too. On Wednesday last week Kayci started running a fever. She was happy and playful still, but was just hot. Actually, she did have some unhappy times, but they were few and far between. Kayci continues to amaze me. Her fever only lasted a couple of days, but she continued to have trouble sleeping through the weekend. She also didin't want to eat anything because she had a sore throat, so she only had formula- and not much of it- for a few days. She finally ate again yesterday and now everything is back to normal.

Kayci has been staying with either Mommy or Daddy during the day for most of last week and the first couple of days this week because her sitter's kids are also alternating being sick. 

Kayci's all better. In fact, she had her 6-month checkup this morning and the doctor said she looked and sounded much better. Also, the Bitty is 17 lbs 9 oz and 26 3/4 inches. She's in the 90% for her age, which means that she's a tall girl!

Kayci is also getting really close to being able to crawl. She can get up on all fours now and rocks back and forth. She scoots around in circles very quickly now and turns at will. In fact, she's so quick that yesterday when I put her on the living room floor to play she turned around and got into her Christmas presents. She opened one- she LOVES the crinkly sound that the tissue paper makes- and wanted nothing to do with the toy inside.

Last week Kayci also got to meet Santa. She thought it was a lot of fun, as you can see by the photo on the photos page.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Getting Ready For Christmas

It's been a rough couple of weeks at work for Daddy, which is why I'm just updating Kayci's site.

Everyone is well again. Kayci is back to her normal happy, loveable self. The Christmas decorations are up and Kayci loves looking at the lights on the tree.

Kayci is getting really good at scooting around in a circle during tummy time. We think she'll be crawling by Christmas- then watch out because she's going to be fast! She already loves to GO!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Miss Kayci Has a Cold

Miss Kayci has a cold. She started feeling bad on Friday with a runny nose and a wet cough. Adam and Katie came over to stay for a couple of days Friday night and got the short end of that stick. Friday night was really rough. It was almost like the first couple fo weeks after she came home from the hospital. She woke up every two hours. Poor little baby was having trouble sleeping because she was couging and stuffy. So we camped out on her floor that night while she slept in her crib. Hearing her scream because she felt bad and not being able to do a thing about it is a gut wrenching experience. 

To make matters worse, we got conflicting advice on how to treat her. Baby medicine we were advised to give her said to call the doctor for children under 2 years old. One of our baby books said to take her off of milk products (formula), but keep fluids coming in. The book also said to put a humidifier in her room and put a pillow under one side of her mattress. The on-call nurse at the doctor's office also said to remove her from formula and solid foods and to give her Pedialyte ever 2 hours until she was feeling better. The nurse also said that humidifier wasn't necessary, but to take her in a steamy bathroom every few hours. So we took her off formula and gave her nothing but Pedialyte for almost 24 hours. Kayci had a low grade fever and was sleeping quite a bit more than usual.

On Monday when Kristi finally got to talk to the doctor's office they first said that nothing was wrong with Kayci until the nurse heard her cough over the phone in the background. That's when the nurse backtracked and decided that maybe she did need to come in after all. When Kristi took Kayci in (she weighs 16 lbs 10 oz, by the way) the doctor said that she should not have been taken off her formula and that the nurse on the phone was wrong. 

Apparently, that nurse is known to prescribe Pedialyte. We were very upset because when we call the doctor's office we expect to get the same quality of advice from the on-call nurse as we would from the doctor's nurse. That also means that poor little Kayci went almost a day without any real nourishment. That breaks my heart that we did that to her, but we're new parents acting on the nurse's advice. What the hell do we know?

It turns out that Kayci has a little cold and a double ear infection. Kayci got some medicine and hates taking it. Why do they make baby medicine taste like bubble gum? How is a baby supposed to know what bubble gum is, much less taste like? If they were smart they'd make it taste like a blanket or rice cereal or something else that a baby might know the taste of.

But in typical Kayci fashion, she's trying so hard to be the smiley girl that she normally is. She'll look at you and smile and you can watch as her facve changes because she doesn't feel good and she fusses a little. She wants so badly to be playful and happy. I love that little monkey.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

That Sleeping Through the Night Thing... Yeah. Not So Much.

So, the sleeping through the night thing didn't take. The last couple of nights have been rather rough. Sunday night Kayci was up either hungry or with a gassy tummy either 3 or 4 times. Last night she slept with us because of the nasty weather (Kristi insisted) and got up 3 times. Like I said before, I'm ready for a full night's sleep on a regular basis again. That's not to make it seem like we're up all night or anything, but those nights when I have first feeding are rough. Sleeping for 2 or 3 hours and then having to get up is not one of my favorite things. It's one of the reasons I never joined the military.

This past week Kayci has had some pretty painful gas, which was painful for us to watch and help her get through. We've tried a variety of changes in her diet without a whole lot of luck. At this point it seems like bananas are the main culprit. Peas also make her gassy and she's developed a taste for pears after initially grimacing every time we gave her a spoonful. Right now we've decided to go back to the basics to try to figure out what's making her so gassy. So it's back to rice cereal, pears and sweet potatoes. Then we'll introduce new foods again gradually and watch her for a couple of days to see if it has any effect.

Kayci is sitting up mostly on her own now. She can't pull herself up to sitting yet, but if you sit her down just right she can sit for several seconds without falling over. When she starts to fall, she can usually adjust herself and stop it.
She's also goten to the point where she doesn't mind tummy time anymore. She can even scoot a little- backwards. She'll also wiggle herself around in circles.

She's such a happy baby. We're truly blessed. Whenever things are really getting heavy all I have to do is play with Kayci for a little bit and everything seems okay. She has the biggest smiles and I am constantly amazed at her. She radiates such love. Being a Daddy is the best thing ever. I really believe that if everyone had the time to be with thier baby and to love on them that the world would be a better place. I know that sounds a bit Utopian, but having a baby makes you do things for her and for Mommy, not just for yourself. It makes you see the entire world and the people in it a different way. I dread the day that Kayci will ever get hurt or have to deal with some of the jackasses out there. I wish I could put these days in a bottle.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Kayci Slept Through the Night!

KAYCI SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT! Kayci slept through the night! Kayci slept through the night! Kayci slept through the night! Kayci slept through the night! Kayci slept through the night! Kayci slept through the night! Kayci slept through the night! Kayci slept through the night! Kayci slept through the night! Kayci slept through the night! 

I don't know whether it had anything to do with it, but Kayci didn't go to bed last night until between 9 and 9:30. She also didn't take her power nap in the evening. I don't know what did it, but it happened.

Kristi had first feeding last night. She woke me up at 5am and asked me if I had gotten up and fed Kayci during the night. I told her I hadn't and then realized that something might be wrong. She told me nothing was wrong, but that she had slept all night. It was a really weird feeling. So THAT's what 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep was like... I like it! I want more.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Kayci Loves Sammy Bearkat

We've had a great week with Kayci. This week we introduced her to two new foods- pears and bananas. She likes bananas, but the pears didn't go over so well. We went to Nana's house for dinner on Wednesday and that's where she had pears for the first time. I wish I hadn't forgotten the camera, because with every bite she made this really great "who farted?" face. I'll try to get some shots of it this week.

On Saturday Kayci went to her first football game. We went up to Huntsville for Sam Houston's homecoming. Kayci LOVED it. Of course, she loves being outdoors and there were so many people and things to look at. Of course, the game covered part of naptime, so she slept through a good portion of the game, including the part where I got to dress up as Sammy Bearkat during the 3rd and part of 4th quarters and came and held her. It was in the 50s, so she was bundled up for the first time- something Mommy and I aren't good about yet. We realized that we're totally unprepared for winter, so we went to Target on the way home and got Kayci a couple of warmer outfits. We're still looking for mittens in her size, though. We used socks.

Once she woke up, Kayci got to meet Sammy Bearkat, whom she loved. She just looked at him, probably wondering which weird family memeber this was. She did smile at him a couple of times. This little girl isn't afraid of anything. Boy, are we in trouble.

On the way home we stopped for dinner at a little pizza place that we love in Willis. That's where Kayci sat in a high chair for the first time. She did really well. She really enjoyed being up like a big girl and looking around at all the people and the shiny box in the corner. We were feeling brave, so we gave her a pizza crust to chew on, but mostly she just hit herself in the head with it. Boy, are we in trouble.

And finally this week, Kayci got her own sippy cup. Kristi's mom put a glass of water to Kayci's mouth last week and Kayci wanted to drink from it. So we went and got her a sippy cup that she could grab with both hands. I hope Grandpa doesn't let her drive his car anytime soon or we'll have to run right out and buy her a car, too. Back to the cup. She grabs it, but can't quite figure out how to get it up to her mouth. She tries to bring her head down to the cup instead, but that's still awesome because she knows where her mouth is and that it goes there. Besides, she's not even 5 months old yet. I don't think I learned how to drink from a cup until some time during high school.

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Kayci's First Halloween

Halloween was fun with Kayci. Of course, she didn't understand any of it, but she loved being outside and having so many things and people to look at. We went down to Ronny & Amy's church where they have an annual Halloween festival. It was a lot of fun, which you might see by the photos. Kayci was a pumpkin for Halloween courtesy of Auntie Lynn. After the trick-or-treating we went by and saw Nana since she lives just around the corner from the church. But it was Kayci's bedtime and she was getting tired, so it was a short visit.
This week Kayci started carrots and peas, both of which she likes. Apparently, she's going to love her veggies like her daddy. In fact, she likes the veggies so much that she doesn't care for the bland cereal anymore.
We also decided that we're not going to let her "cry it out" after all. We're not unhappy with her schedule at night. The only reason we considered changing anything was because all the books, doctor, friends, etc. say that she should be sleeping through the night by now. But she's obviously hungry when she cries at night- it's not as if she just wants to play. Also, I think the time change last week really screwed up her schedule and that was a large part of it. One thing has changed, though. We're not letting her sleep with us anymore during the week because she won't go back to her crib after she's started with us at night. We're all sleeping better for it. And by all, I mean me and Mommy.

Monday, November 3, 2003

"Start as you mean to go on..."

Okay, so if you read James’ last journal, you know that I did some reading this weekend. I got out my Baby Whisperer book and read all about how Kayci should be sleeping in her crib with no problem and how she should be sleeping through the night by now. Well, she definitely doesn’t sleep through the night and she definitely prefers sleeping in between Mommy & Daddy. The Baby Whisperer blames Mommy & Daddy for both, and I can’t disagree. I like it when Kayci sleeps with us, darn it. The days go so fast and there’s so much to do…I just love her little warm body cuddled up against me during the quiet hours of the night. On Thursday nights when James goes to Band practice, Kayci and I curl up in bed and watch “Extreme Makeovers” together (well, Mommy watches and Kayci snores). That’s my favorite night of the week—I’m always ready for Daddy to get going so we can start cuddling…it’s nice to have her to myself for a couple of hours! Chapter 9 is all about undoing bad habits you’ve trained your child to have. Well, I can think of worse habits, quite frankly. I’d like to say the important thing is that Kayci is a happy, healthy baby who doesn’t question her place in this world. She knows she’s #1, and that’s the way it should be. I know that we would all sleep better if Kayci would sleep in her crib. And I know that we would all benefit from a full 7-8 hours of sleep (10-12 for one of us!). Maybe this is just the first time Mommy’s gonna have to loosen the apron strings. Not cut them—not for a long, long time. Wonder if they’ll stretch down the hall?

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Kayci Won't Sleep

Last night was rough. First, Kayci decided to bypass her power nap at 6ish and just go right to sleep at 7. That was fine, except when she woke up at 10 thinking she had just gotten up from her power nap and wanted to play. She didn't want to go back to sleep. Every time I tried to put her back down in her bed, she would wake up immediately and either cry or want to play. So we brought Kayci to bed with us, where she went immediately to sleep. She's old enough and aware enough now to know where she is and to like sleeping with us. However, neither of us sleeps as well when she's with us. Also, we've gotten her in the habit of needing one of us to hold her and rock her to sleep at night. So now we face a challenge: is it time to let her cry it out one night? Kristi doesn't think that going cold turkey is the answer. She thinks we need to go back and consulty the books and try to gradually get Kayci to put herself to sleep. I don't think there's any real way to do that. I think that if she fusses for a little bit she'll put herself to sleep without one of us having to hold her. Of course, the ultimate goal is for Kayci to go to sleep in her own bed by herself and to sleep there through the night. We just don't want to break her in the process, but she's getting (or at) an age now where if we don't make some tough choices it will be tougher to break her of some bad habits later.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Cereal and Hermann Park

This week Kayci started eating cereal. Later in the week, we started her on yams. It's a been a really fun week with Kayci. Mommy has a lot of patience when feeding Kayci. Daddy tried to feed her, but Kayci was too hungry and just cried. More food gets on her than in her because she hasn't quite figured out yet what to do with her tongue while she eats. But she loves eating food. She makes a really cool growly "aaaaahh" sound after she takes a bite.

Kayci has really started squealing quite a bit this week. She does it when she's happy. It comes out as a really high pitched, loud squeal and it's really fun to listen to.

We went to Hermann Park this week and rode the miniature train, which Kayci really couldn't have cared less about. She'll love it when she gets a little older, but at this point she was more excited that she was outside and that Grandpa was there.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Working Mom Blues

Okay, if this comes as a shock to anyone, I apologize. But I think it’s time to admit that I’m not SuperWoman. I can’t do it all, and I definitely don’t WANT to. It’s getting harder and harder to go to work in the morning knowing what I’ll miss during the day. I was sick 2 days last week (really sick, not just day off sick) and I can see how it would be really easy to get into the habit of working 2 or 3 day weeks :). Don’t get me wrong—I love, love, love my job. We say Cimarron is the “best school in the world,” and I truly believe it is. My job is amazing, and I work with amazing people (my Assistant, Elaine, could do my job AND her job blindfolded, and never miss a step). If I didn’t love my job, I think I’d be pretty hard to get along with right about now. When I’m at work, I’m AT work, and I enjoy it. But times like now, when I have a break and I can stop and think, I just miss my Kayci. And I miss her Daddy. And I just want to be in my little house on Laguna with my family, doing family things. Like laying on the floor on my tummy with Kayci, watching her play and kick. Like hanging out on the couch giving her a bottle and halfway hoping she’ll fall asleep in my arms so we can cuddle for a while. Like changing diapers and changing clothes and eating lunch and watching the Bitty sleep on her tummy with her hootie in the air. So, this is where I am. I love my life. I love my girl. I love my job. But more and more, I dread the 8 or 9 hours I’m away from my family each day. Argh. This, too, shall pass. 

To backtrack, before Kayci was born, I really thought I could do it. I thought I could do it ALL, and do it all well. Well, that’s out the window. I don’t care if my floor is spotless, as long as it’s clean enough to throw a blanket down for Kayci. I don’t care if there’s dust on the TV, or the buffet, or the pictures on the wall, if that’s 30 more minutes I can play with my Bitty. Right this second, there are dishes in the sink. For those of you who really know me well, you know that you won’t notice any of these things, and that the house is actually probably pretty clean. But if you look closer, it’s not Kristi-clean anymore. James got mad at me one day for nagging him about making the bed (I can’t STAND coming home to an unmade bed) and said “There are more important things in life than making the bed!” Boy, was he mad at me. But it stuck, and it runs through my head every day when I have to choose between doing something mundane that probably doesn’t really NEED to be done and spending time with Kayci. I can do laundry after she goes to bed, and if we take an hour before church on Sunday to clean bathrooms and floors and dust, I’ll live. 

And now, back to work. Time for round 2.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

The Sleep and Eats Report

Last night Kayci slept in her crib without her side pads, which are foam pieces that are designed to keep her from rolling over while she's sleeping. In the last couple of nights, she's been rolling over from her side to her tummy in them, anyway. So we tried to let her sleep without the pads heeping her in place. She did really well. She started out the night wanting to sleep on her tummy. After her 3am feeding I put her to sleep on her back, but when I went in to check on her this morning, she was on her tummy again. That obviously means that she rolled from her back to front during the night- which is something she's never done before. As mentioned before, she's rolled from front to back.

Also, Kayci started on cereal this week. The first day we tried to feed it to her, she couldn't quite figure out what to do with her tongue and ended up making a big mess. So we beat her and sent her to bed. Tuesday and Wednesday she did MUCH better and actually ate some of it, although she kept asking us to give her Lucky Charms. I was so proud.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Daddy's 10-Year Reunion

The last couple of weeks have been really busy for me, so that's why Kayci's site hasn't been updated in awhile. I'm trying to teach Kayci how to use the computer so she can update her own website, but every time I leave her alone to practice and walk away I come back a few minutes later to find her trying to order things off of BabiesRUs.com and drooling on my keyboard. So it's up to me for awhile.

Last weekend was my 10-year high school reunion. On Friday night there was a mixer for families. We were a little worried about Kayci being up late, but being outside was enough to keep her in a good mood. She got to meet lots of other babies, some only a couple of weeks away from her age. It was really fun showing Kayci off to my old high school friends. We're obviously very proud of her. 

Kayci also got to meet my best friend Gary this week. Gary is a Marine and just returned from Iraq. Kayci took right to him. I think she liked his red hair.

Monday, October 6, 2003

Kayciversary Report

Today is Kayci's Kayciversary. 

This has been a really fun week. The weather this week was incredible thanks to a couple of cool fronts- highs in the 70s and lower 80s, lows from the mid 50s to lower 60s. Simply awesome for Houston. It's finally starting to feel like fall, and the entire Pharaon family is enjoying it. We spent a lot of time outside this week taking walks and playing in the backyard, etc. Kayci loves fall because she LOVES the outdoors. Now I just need to teach her how to climb a tree and make monkey sounds.

Kayci is really starting to vocalize now. She's definitely expirimenting with the range of her voice. She loves to squeal and then yell as loud as she can. It's really cute. She also can make a raspberry sound with her tongue when she wants to- and she loves it, apparently. Also this week, Kayci basically walked up Grandma's chest. Kayci will pick up her feet and make stepping motions as if she's walking. It's really funny when she tries to run. She's also gotten VERY interested in watching us do things, including eat. The doctor says that's a sign that she's almost ready for cereal, so I'm sure we'll get some this week. Watch for those photos next week.

We also tried letting her sleep on her tummy a couple of nights this week. She doesn't sleep any better on her tummy and she's a lot more vocal. In fact, Mommy and Daddy are so paranoid now because of all the "Don't let your baby sleep on her tummy" reports that we woke up at every little coo and grunt she made for two nights. It didn't make for very restful sleep for any one, so we decided not to tempt fate and just to go back to her back and side positions until she can turn over and sleep on her tummy by herself if she wants to.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Kayci's Baptism

It's been a milestone week. First, Kayci rolled over. Then she laughed for Kristi for the first time on Wednesday (she laughed for me on Thursday.) Then Sunday she was Baptized in the morning and we had the Babycue in the afternoon. That's a whole 'nother story. But it's been a great week. And it looks like fall is here. As I'm writing this, it's 63 degrees outside and sunny (of course it's only 8am- in Texas it could still get up to 100 by noon,) but it's going to be a beautiful day.

Kayci enjoyed the Baptism service. She slept through most of it, but she LOVED it when she got the water poured on her head. She thought she was getting a bath, and she loves baths.

Kayci also did really well at the Babycue. She took a couple of catnaps that got her through the day. She was generally happy all day, even with everybody wanting to hold her and play with her. Last night was little rough, though. She was so tired that she couldn't stay asleep. But she woke up this morning rested and playful as always, no I guess no permanent damage was done.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Kayci Rolls Over

Wow. Today was a big, eventful day in the life of Kayci. This morning she rolled over for the first time!!!! Then, thisevening she sat at the big table in her high chair for the first time while we ate dinner. My little girl is growing up! Here's how it happened:

This morning, Kayci woke up extra early at 6am and didn't want to go back to sleep. So we played with her and kept her up thinking that she would take a nap as soon as she got to Michele's. I called the gas company this morning to come out because Kristi said she smelled gas in the kitchen (make your own gastrointestinal joke here). The gas man drove up just as I was backing out of the driveway to take Kayci to Michele's house, so we unloaded and went back inside with the gas guy. While the gas man was fixing things, I fed Kayci a bottle. She ate about half of it and zonked clean out. I decided to put her down for a nap at home and that I would take her to Michele's house when she woke up. The gas man finished and once again prolonged the day when I blow myself up because of something stupid. After Kayci slept for about 45 minutes, she woke up. I had layed her on her tummy and she had her head raised way up when I went in to get her. It was the most I had seen her raise her head, so went and got my camera to take one of the hundred or so photos of Kayci that I take every week. While I was taking some pictures, she put her butt in the air and rolled over onto her side. I almost dropped the camera in disbelief. But I managed to get a "before" and "after" picture.

She lay on her side for a few minutes looking around and up at her mobile. I'm sure she was just as stunned as I was at what she had just done. I ran and got the video camera because I knew that Kristi wouldn't believe me- I'm a known liar when it comes to Kayci's accomplishments (such as having as special sound that only means "daddy," even though it's also the sound she makes jus before she lets a really big one.) So I rolled her back over on her tummy to see if she would do it again- and sure enough she rolled right back over. So being a man, I thought, "hmmm this is fun- I wonder how many times she'll do this in a row. So I turned her over again. This time I just ticked her off. She tried to turn, but it quickly devolved into a screaming hissy fit, which I dutifully got on tape. She never did turn over again, but I got one on tape at least just so Kristi (and everyone else) would know I wasn't a total liar.

That's about it. This evening I decided to put together Kayci's high chair and see if she would sit in it while we ate. Much to my surprise, she not only sat in it for the majority of our meal, she actually seemed to like it.

She was a tired girl, so Mommy put her down this evening. More on future rolling over incidents to come... Right now I'm just reveling in the fact that I'm the only one she's done it for. Woohoo!

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Family and Kemah

This week Kayci got to visit with her Nana and Meema (Daddy's mom & grandma, for those actually trying to keep up). They had a good visit and Kayci was in a good mood while they were here. Then, Kayci's Jhido (Daddy's dad) and Uncle Adam came over. Jhido had been out of town for several weeks and hadn't really had any Kayci time. We all loaded up and went down to Kemah to the Aquarium. Kayci LOVED looking at the fish. It was like watching a HUGE "shiny box" for her. She was mesmerized. Even though it was rainy, we had a good time.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Pretty Princess Kayci

This has been a whirlwind week. Kayci is just becoming more amazing every day. She got to meet her Uncle Bill this week and got to see Aunt Peggy for the first time since she was in the hospital. As you can see below, she LOVED her Uncle Bill.

Kayci also got to be a pretty princess at a friend's 5-year old dress up party. And then there was the Texans game. Kayci watched as much as she could stand with Daddy and Unka Johnny. She loves to sit and look at the "shiny flashy box." Just like her Daddy did when he was her age, she turns like a contortionist to try to see it. Unlike Daddy, Kayci is interested in more than just the commercials.

Also, Kayci developed a little bit of what we think is an ear infection let in the week. Even though she obviously doesn't feel good, she still tries to be a hapy little girl. She wants so badly to be smiley and playful, but then that darn ear starts hurting again. Daddy is taking her to the doctor today to find out exactly what's wrong.

It turns out that she just had some fluid behind her ear and that it wasn't infected. She was just feeling that pressure and pulling at it.

Monday, September 8, 2003

Kayci Drools A Lot

Wow. Last week flew by, but it was busy. After being in Kansas for a week, getting back to work was actually a welcome thing. Kayci did really well at the sitter. She only got written up four times. Just kidding, of course, but I know the day will come- she's my daughter, after all.

Kayci's been doing really well sleeping her own bed this week. We've dicovered that she LOVES to sleep on her side. She's also started taking naps on her tummy. The idea was that it would help with her tummy time. It turns out that she sleeps really well. I know, all the new conventional wisdom says not to let your baby sleep on her tummy, but I figure that means at night. Besides, every baby I've ever known and every baby since the beginning of time until about five years ago did it and is just fine. So I figure Kayci will be okay taking short naps on her tummy.

Kayci has really started drooling a lot. I don't think it's a coincidence that it started at about the same time that she began getting interested in putting things in her mouth to chew on. I know she's not teething yet- she's way too young. She just likes to grasp her rattle or a toy and suck on it. She does the same thing with her hands if she doesn't have a toy available. Until recently, she only put things in her mouth if she was hungry. Now, I think she's trying to figure out what things actually taste like before everybody starts telling her that everything tastes like chicken.

Tuesday, September 2, 2003

First Time at the Sitter

Today we took Kayci to the sitter for the first time and I wanted to reach into my chest and rip my heart right out. It tore me up to have to leave her. Not that she's not in great hands.... it's just that she's been a constant fixture in our lives for the past 10 weeks and it's really hard for her to be away from me for a whole day. I never thought that this day would get me as emotional as I am. Now I know how Kristi felt when she had to go back to work. It was really hard leaving her, but I did it- eventually- after about 20 minutes of giving her to Michelle and then taking her back and holdng her and kissing her a little bit more. Before I left I held her up so she could see me and she gave me a huge smile. That's what is going to get me through the day. I know it's irrational, especially for a baby at this age, but I have some deep fear that she'll spend all this time during the day away from home and away from me and Kristi and that we'll be strangers to her. We'll just be the people she goes with to go home and sleep and bathe and change clothes. Kristi and I are in agreement- time in the mornings and evenings at home with Kayci is family time. I know she loves the two of us more than anyone else in the world (and vice versa). It's important for me to try to make her aware-on some level- that even though she's not with us during the day that we're a family and that there is no one in our lives more impostant than that smiley little girl.

Monday, September 1, 2003

Back from Kansas

Well,we're home from Kansas. It was a taxing trip, both physically and emotionally. We're all glad to be home. I think getting back into a routine is going to be a good thing for all of us. Today is Labor Day and I'm trying hard not to do too much work. I'll save that for tomorrow. We spent a lazy morning in bed. Kayci took her first tummy nap today while I was sitting with her. She liked it, apparently, because she slept for about two hours. She needed a good nap. She usually just gets to sleep and then wakes herself up. She's like her Mommy and Daddy- afraid she's going to miss something. Nana came over yesterday for some Kayci time and that went well. For the first time in a long time Kayci wasn't fussy while Nana was here. They had a good visit.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

An Unexpected Trip to Kansas

Kayci is amazing. We got a call early Friday morning that Kristi's grandma (the Clara of Kayci Clara) in Kansas wasn't expected to last more than a couple of days. So Kristi's mom and dad and Kristi and Kayci and I piled in the car and drove to Kansas. That's where we are now. We reached Kansas Friday morning at about 11am and went directly to the nursing home to see Grandma. We were all shocked at what we saw. We had just made the trip three weeks before and during that trip she wasn't really there mentally, but she looked just about the same as she has for the past couple of years. But walking into her room, she looked like a completely different person. She was literally skin and bones and ivory white. 

Grandma Weseloh died later that night at about 10:30. We had gone back to where we were staying and were in the process of getting Kayci down and ready for bed when we got the call. We all rushed to the nursing home, along with the rest of Kristi's cousins and aunts and uncles and everyone else. We were there until almost 12:30am and Kayci slept through the whole thing. She was so tired, but I'm glad she did. It allowed Kristi to focus on where she needed to rather than on Kayci.

I mentioned that we're still in Kansas. Today is Sunday. The funeral is on Wednesday, so we'll be here a few days more. Kayci was awesome today. We got up this morning and bathed her and went to breakfast. She and I took a nap together and she napped and played off and on throughout the day. This afternoon after a changing she layed on the floor and looked at me and just smiled and smiled. She made all kinds of talking noises and coos and she and I had a great conversation for about 30 minutes. As I said before, Kayci continues to amaze me. I was enjoying our "talking time" so much that I didn't want to come to dinner, which some in Kristi's family thought was a little odd. You just have to know the importance they place on meal times, I guess. I guess some of those old fogies just forgot what a rush it is when your baby looks up at you, recognizes you and lights up and begns to "talk." I wouldn't have traded that time for anything- even a good home cooked Kansas meal.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

9 weeks old

Kayci is 9 weeks old today. I've been really bad about writing in this journal. Maybe at some point in the future I'll go back and fill in the 2-month gap. Obviously a lot has happened. Until then, I'm just going to proceed with a (hopefully) daily journal from here on.

Kristi started back to school on Monday. Today's Wednesday. I'm keeping Kayci for a couple of weeks until after Labor Day when we'll send her to a sitter- Michelle Applegate. It's been good watching Kayci the past few days, but it's also extremely frustrating. I can't get any real work done during the day because we've spawned a baby that doesn't like to sleep on her back- or for more than 20 minutes at a time during the day. In fact- there she is now... Maybe I'll just let her cry this time. I tried that a few days ago. I made it almost 27 seconds before hurdling over cats and furniture to comfort her. Gotta go.

As I was saying, it's really hard to get any work done, which is bad because work has been really slow lately and I need to be finding more work. Kayci just eats up attention. Ever try to type or design a web site with a baby in one hand and a bottle in the other? Even in the Baby Bjorn® it's not easy. Like I said, she doesn't like to sleep very long during the day yet. I have great respect for stay-at-home moms.

In other news... on Sunday Kayci slept in her crib for the first time at night. She's been sleeping either in her pack & play in our room or in between us. Since then, though, she's only slept in her crib once more. I tried to put her there last night when I woke up to her kicking me in the ribs, but she woke right up. So she slept the rest of the night with us.

Friday, August 15, 2003

2-month checkup

Kayci went to the doctor for her 2-month checkup today and got several of her shots. She actually did really well. And she weighed in at 11 lbs 7 oz. She measured 22.5 in. She's really filling out!

Friday, June 20, 2003

Wow…20 June 2003 - Mommy's Perspective

It’s funny; we can’t believe she’s here, but we can’t imagine life before her, either. I don’t think I’ll try to sum up the last 48 hours in words—the pictures do a pretty good job of it. We went to the doctor on Wednesday hoping to hear “you’re REALLY dilated—looks like you’ll be going into labor any second now!” We were getting a little impatient waiting for Friday to come…typical of James & Kristi. Anyway, that’s not what happened. Dr. Thompson was concerned because we were dilated to 3 cm, but she couldn’t feel a membrane (there was a possibility that the membrane had ruptured and was leaking fluid). I hadn’t noticed anything, and I’d been watching like a hawk for ANY signs of labor. We went immediately over to the hospital to Antepartum Testing, where they monitored Kayci and me. Her heartbeat was great, and I was having fairly regular contractions (not the earth-shaking kind, thank goodness!). We went over to Ultrasound so they could look at Kayci, check the amniotic fluid level, and do a biophysical profile. Kayci was pretty active and showed off for the technician, but absolutely refused to show us her face. Between her hands and her feet, we couldn’t even get a peek, and believe me, the technician tried EVERYTHING. The ultrasound results were kind of iffy; the fluid level was on the low end of normal and she scored 6 out of 8 on the biophysical profile (whatever that means). The radiologist and the Antepartum nurses spoke with Dr. Thompson, then I spoke with her, and she decided it was best for Kayci to make her debut pretty quickly. They started a penicillin IV, and away we went…

We got upstairs to Labor & Delivery right at 7. We got to know our nurse, Jennifer, and she took down our vital information. She hooked both of us up to the monitors again, and between the monitors and the IV, my nervous tummy & I had a heck of a time running back and forth to the potty! Daddy was pretty excited (read, nervous!). He distracted himself by getting out the video camera to film the beginning of our labor & delivery adventure. I was not into the whole camera thing—I was just beginning to come to grips with the fact that I was about to a) have major surgery and b) they were going to be removing Kayci from my body, and I’d be a “real” Mommy forever and ever. That’s a lot to take in all at once; I still had really mixed feelings about not being pregnant anymore (I LIKED having Kayci with me 24/7 and being able to touch her & talk to her whenever I want…I wasn’t ready to face the thought of being away from her for any length of time). Anyway, I had a 20-30 minute freak out while we were waiting for an operating room to open up. Once Jennifer came in with Dr. Miller and said the room was open and it was time to go get the epidural, I was fine. James had to wait in the room while they got the epidural going, and a nurse would come and get him in 20ish minutes. I went to the OR and they started the epidural. It didn’t go exactly as the anesthesiologist wanted it to; he had to skip the spinal block (or something—they skimmed over it, I guess so they wouldn’t make me more nervous). It took longer than they expected for the epidural to take effect; I think they finally went to get James an hour later. Once he came in, everything went FAST…the next thing I knew, somebody was pushing on my tummy and Dr. Miller said “She’s definitely a girl!” and then James and I were both crying. I didn’t get to see her right away, but James went over and took pictures of her and showed me on the digital camera. She cried while the nurses were working on her, but calmed down when James leaned down and talked to her—she knew Daddy’s voice because she’d been hearing it since the day we found out we were pregnant! They brought Kayci to me as they were taking her out of the room, but I was numb up to my throat (once the epidural kicked in, it REALLY worked!) and my hands and arms were numb. I couldn’t hold her, but just looking at her and talking to her and touching and kissing her were more than I ever imagined. James didn’t get to hold her at all in the OR, but he was able to accompany her up to the 4th floor to the nursery. On the way, the nurse stopped so that Kayci’s fan club could meet her. I don’t really know what happened after that; I know that she had to be tested and all kinds of stuff in the nursery, but I don’t know any specifics. They stitched me up and I went to Recovery to be monitored until I was ready to go to my room. It took about 3 hours for the epidural to wear off (what a weird feeling to be basically paralyzed; it really freaked me out). James came in with the video camera and showed me some of the footage of Kayci in the nursery and our family’s reactions to her. Since I wouldn’t get to see my parents until the next day, James filmed me telling about our evening. I thought I was pretty “with it”, but watching the video I look like I’d been on drugs. I think it was just exhaustion and coming down off the nervous energy/excitement. In Recovery, we got the bad news that no private rooms were available Thursday night. Our nurse tried to talk the Charge nurse into letting us skip ahead on the list, but no dice. So, at 12:45 they escorted us up to the 4th floor to a semi-private room. 

Wow…continued 29 July 2003

Long story really, really short now…Kayci came in at 2:45 am on 6/19 and James and I spent several hours just holding her and looking at her (and I learned to breastfeed). Thursday was a long, but great day of visitors and nurses and just BUSY. Kayci had a meltdown right after we moved into our private room, and we realized we’d overdone it. So, Friday & Saturday we only took a few visitors and didn’t really let anyone hold Kayci. Things went MUCH better! We even sent her to the nursery in between feedings at night so we could all rest. By Saturday, we’d worked out the breastfeeding thing (we thought) and decided we could go home. Then the Baby Blues kicked in, and I think I spent most of Saturday morning in tears. I couldn’t explain why—I wasn’t in TERRIBLE pain, I wasn’t sad…I think it was just the realization that this was it—it was time to take Kayci Clara home and become a family. What a lot of pressure on someone who’s just had major surgery and not much rest! So…

We went home. And we had a couple of rough days with a screaming banshee because I wasn’t producing milk (it didn’t come in for over a week). We started what would become weekly visits with Dr. Byrd the Monday after we came home. She put Kayci on a formula supplement, and it worked like a charm. I had a UTI that started that Sunday, also, so there was a lot of unhappiness in our house. After Kayci could rest with a tummy full of formula, things got better than we ever imagined. We had lots of visitors, of course, and just spent lots of time sitting and holding Kayci or just looking at her. (That’s what we STILL do…) James and I adjusted pretty quickly to working as a team to take care of Miss Kayci 24/7. There are no breaks, and nurses don’t come around offering fresh ice water and food…or to take Kayci to the nursery so we can rest. There IS no nursery…

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Kayci Journal 6-18-03 - Daddy's perspective

So we went in to Dr. Thompson’s office this afternoon at 3pm for our final prenatal appointment. After sitting in the little room for what seemed like three hours (it was actually on two and a half), Dr. Thompson came in to see us. She did her thing down there under the sheet and said that Kristi was 3cm dilated. Cool. But she was concerned because Kayci hasn’t been very active the last couple of days and there was something about a lack of membranes. 
Then all of a sudden an ultrasound machine appeared. Dr. Thompson looked inside and said that there wasn’t much fluid left in there and that there might be a slow leak. She couldn’t tell much so she decided to send us over to the hospital to monitor Kayci’s heartbeat and to do a more precise ultrasound.

So we went over to the hospital and they hooked Kristi up to some machines. It was like a little baby seismograph. We watched Kayci’s heartbeat and Kristi have some little contractions. The best part was that we got to watch VH1.

Then we went down to Radiology and they looked around with the ultrasound. This ultrasound was nothing like the last one in February. No real baby parts- just lots of blobby things. That’s not exactly true. We did see her hand clutching her little foot, which was still right in front of her face. In fact, it was so much in front of her face that we couldn’t get a good look at her face.
So the radiologist called Dr. Thompson, and she decided that it would be best for Kayci to be born tonight due to the lack of fluid in the uterus.


It’s actually kind of weird because in the baby journal on today’s date there’s a little picture of a ladybug. We joked about how ironic it would be if she were born today because of that. Also, it’s Kristi’s half-birthday. Today is the day that she always wished was her birthday growing up and now it looks as if Kayci will have that birthday.

The next several hours are really a blur. It seems like only about 15 minutes, but as I’m writing this, Kayci is four hours old and it’s almost two in the morning.

The nurses took Kristi off for her epidural and I stayed in a little room to watch TV. They gave me some paper scrubs to wear, which was cool. I looked just like a really frugal doctor. I could almost feel my net worth increase as I put the scrubs on. Anyway, they told me that the epidural would take about 20-30 minutes and that they would come and get me when I was time. I had time to watch a whole hour long documentary on Garth Brooks while I waited. I went out to the waiting room at one point to talk to my dad and Kristi’s parents and I honestly thought, “well hell… I missed it. They probably came to get me and I wasn’t there. They’re probably delivering Kayci right now and I’m sitting here missing it, learning about Garth Brooks. As time went by, I started to get really nervous. Finally a nurse came down and got me. It was time! I only remember being flustered. In fact, I was so flustered and shaky the entire evening that I was having trouble speaking in complete sentences. I’m glad the parking attendant spoke Neanderthal because I basically just pointed and grunted. 

Being there in the delivery room was a really strange experience. I walked in and there was Kristi, lying on the operating table with lots of doctor-type people all around her, including one guy sitting behind a big computer and the machine that goes “BING!” It was really weird because no one gave me any instruction at all- not where to stand, not when to take pictures, not to quit playing with the scalpels- nothing. So I just stood there next to Kristi’s head because that’s where the Daddy stood in the video we watched in childbirth class. Kristi was really drugged up, but she was very happy- her eyes showed it. I just hoped I didn’t pass out halfway through.

I watched as the made the incision, opened up Kristi’s belly, pried the muscles apart and opened the uterus. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to see any of that, but from where I was, I got a pretty good look at just about everything. Birthing babies is messy business. Pretty soon they reached inside and pulled out this little white gooey thing. It took me a second to realize that was my baby’s little feet and bottom. They left her head inside for a second or two while they prepared to suction the stuff out of her. I started clicking pictures because nobody told me I couldn’t. When they finally pulled Kayci out, she was this little wrinkled up white thing covered in what looked like cream cheese. She kinda looked like E.T. when he got sick in the bottom of the creek bed. For a long moment, Kayci didn’t make a sound. I’m sure my heart skipped and I know I didn’t breath. Then, all of a sudden, she started crying- strike that- screaming. It was the sweetest sound I had ever heard in my life. I was listening to her little voice- that sweet little voice I had been imagining for the past nine months. I’m sure I was grinning like an idiot. I vaguely remember touching Kristi and stroking her hair and feeling a lump in my throat. I didn’t cry!

They moved Kayci immediately over to a small table where they began cleaning her up and suctioning her out. She was still crying very hard and I followed the nurses over to the table to watch. That’s when the most amazing moment of my life happened. It was like a religious experience and it’s when I felt like a Daddy for the first time. I bent down and looked over her. The nurses were talking to her and trying to quiet her and reassure her. I said her name and then told her hello and introduced myself. She immediately stopped crying, like someone turned off a switch, and just lied on the table looking up at me. She recognized my voice! All that talking to the belly and reading stories had suddenly paid off in one beautiful moment that just hung there in time. So I kept talking, and she kept listening. That went on for about twenty seconds until one of the nurses stuck a tube down her throat to suction more gunk out. Even Daddy’s voice was no match for that. That’s about the time I remembered that my camera took MPEG movies, so I started shooting. That piece is on the video page.

Watching her those first few minutes were truly amazing. I remembered to look over at Kristi, but when I did that had her uterus out and were looking it over, so I didn’t bother looking back any more. I turned all my attention to Kayci. They “pinked her up,” took her footprints and other stuff that I don’t really remember. There was just a flurry of activity. One thing that I remember clearly is that Kayci had her first pee and poop right there on the table, just four or five minutes old. I was so proud of her.

They finally moved Kayci and let her lay on top of Kristi. Kristi’s hands were numb and she was upset that she couldn’t feel Kayci, but they lay there looking at each other for a couple of minutes. I got some good pictures of it. Then they wisked Kayci off and told me to come along- we were going to the nursery. In the hallway I walked next to the cart, talking to her as we walked. She wasn’t crying by this point, just looking up with big bright eyes and sticking her tongue out at me. When we got to the elevator outside the waiting room, my dad was the first one out, followed by Kristi’s dad and then the slowpokes. They all oohed and aahed until the elevator came and we went upstairs to the nursery. I wasn’t allowed to go into the nursery, but we all watched through the window as they weighed her and took blood and gave her a bottle. Her little legs looked like a frog’s- up around her head and out to the side. She had some big feet and long toes; monkey toes like mine. Her hair looked dark, but it was wet and there was a lot of gloopy stuff in it, so it was tough to tell what color it actually was. We all stood there and watched her. I just stood there, looking at my baby- my daughter. That lasted about three hours.

Meanwhile, Kristi was in a recovery room. Her epidural was taking a long time to wear off, so they had to monitor her and keep her warm. I checked in on her and gave her updates on Kayci. Having a digital camera and video camera came in really handy that night because I could show Kristi video and pictures of Kayci and what was happening to her. It was killing her, not being able to see Kayci, and I felt bad too.

We finally went to a room around one-o-clock in the morning. There were no private rooms available, so we had to share a room with a woman who was sleeping very soundly. At almost 3am, they finally brought Kayci to our room. We held her and loved on her and looked at her and loved every second of it. When you don’t have a private room, no one but Mommy may stay the night. Kayci had been in the room about twenty minutes when one of the nurses came in and told me I would have to leave and tried to enforce the no “sleep-over” policy. That made my blood boil and I was pretty ugly to her. She left and didn’t press the issue again. After about an hour we sent Kayci back to the nursery so that we could try to get some sleep. It was 4am, and everyone was exhausted. Kristi slept in her room and I curled up on the couch down in the waiting room. It was cold, and I had forgotten to pack any jeans. I was so tired that it didn’t bother me much. I slept for about three hours and went back upstairs.

Before long, the nurse brought Kayci back to nurse. After she did, she went to sleep and Kristi was still very tired and went to sleep also. So I held Kayci against my chest for over an hour. She was so cuddly it amazed me. She wrapped her little legs around my torso and put her head on my shoulder. As she slept, she sang. I sang to her and cried. A flood of emotion swept over me. It was the best thing I have ever felt- my newborn baby in my arms and just sitting there loving on her. I was a father now and everything in my life- my perspective on everything- had suddenly shifted and nothing else in the world mattered.


We’ve started marking time…this is the last Monday morning before Kayci comes…this is the last time we’ll go to Target before Kayci comes…this is the last time we’ll clean the bathroom before Kayci comes…It’s hard to believe that now, in less than 48 hours, Kayci will be a person, with a face and funny little mannerisms instead of just this “baby” wiggling around inside of me. We’re already so close to her, and to know that that feeling is going to intensify is pretty hard to comprehend for us first-timers. It’s hard to imagine how much love we have inside of us, just waiting for a little girl to focus on. And to think that next time, God willing, when Kayci gets a brother or sister, we’ll have even MORE love…more than enough to go around. 

As we’re winding down, I find that I’m not worried about the hospital (now that I’ve got pajamas, gowns, and socks all lined out—I was stressing over what to wear. Typical Kristi!). I’m not worried about pain or any of that stuff—although I might eat those words, and soon. I’m not even worried about the huge lifestyle change that we’re facing. I guess more than anything, I’m at peace and ready for what’s next. The only thing that’s nagging at my mind is this disbelief that I’m about to be NOT pregnant. I can’t even imagine what that’s going to be like. Part of me already feels lonely; I’ve gotten spoiled being connected to Kayci all the time, and always knowing what she’s doing, always being able to touch her or talk to her. My hope is that God will take care of this the same way he takes care of everything else, and that once I see her I’ll forget about being a pregnant Mommy and just rejoice in being a Mommy, period. 

On a lighter note, I find myself thinking about food a LOT this week. A few minutes ago I saw a teacher with a McDonald’s bag advertising McGriddles (love ‘em) and thought, “hmm. I should have one for breakfast tomorrow. It’ll be the last time for a while.” Lauren stopped by for a few minutes and we talked about getting together for a meal tomorrow, and I find myself wondering what I’d like to eat…pizza, Chinese, Mexican? I think deep down I must be gearing up for the weeks that we’ll be pretty much homebound. And I’ve been soooooo hungry this week—that’s been a big change.
It’s been kind of fun to see people’s reactions this week when they ask, “when are you due?” I’ll say “any time now” but James says “Friday.” I like to see them squirm a little! We’ve been running around doing last-minute errands, taking care of the things we’ve been putting off, getting ready to “hibernate” for a few weeks. Because I’m me, I had to make sure that we had EVERYTHING we might need at home—toilet paper, paper towels, pet food, etc…all we need is food for us, and I think the grandparents have pretty much cornered that market.

Yesterday we met Kayci’s pediatrician for the first time, and liked her immediately. Of course, last night I started Kayci’s binder to keep track of her medical records, etc. If you don’t know about her binders, don’t ask! I feel better—I didn’t have a lot of questions to ask, but she answered them all before I could even ask them, and answered several questions that we didn’t know enough to ask. We have a lot to learn about parenting, but Dr. Byrd seems like someone who will lead us gently, and make sure we know what’s happening every step of the way. After we left her office, we visited James’ mom in the hospital (I’ll let him explain how she’s doing, but we’re hoping she rallies so she can be at the hospital with us this weekend!). Then we went and visited the neighborhood where James lived with his Mom & Dad when he was 4-12, I think. We’d been there before, years ago, but it was really cool to see where he went to school, which trees he climbed, where his friends lived, the pool where he practically lived during the summers. It was a nice break, and I know it made James happy. Times have changed; I can’t even imagine letting Kayci go to a public pool by herself. In our day, it was just what kids did. Not anymore. 

Today we go to see Dr. Thompson for our final prenatal, and to get our hospital orders. I can’t wait to see how dilated/effaced I am. There’s been a lot going on in there (contractions, pressure, etc.) so I just want to know what Dr. Thompson has to say about it. Kayci hasn’t turned the way she needs to turn (head down) but she sure moves her head up and down quite a bit. Sometimes it’s level with my belly button, sometimes it feels like it’s sitting right in the middle of my chest. I think she curls up the most at night when I’m sleeping; when I wake up to roll over, she’s usually in a tight ball right in the middle of my tummy. I was wondering today if she’s going to be a gymnast or a cheerleader—she seems pretty limber and flexible! We’re pretty excited about today’s visit—who knows, maybe she’ll say “hey, looks like she’ll be here sooner than we thought!” That’d be okay…I’m just ready to see that little girl’s face! And James is tired of me “hogging” her, or at least that’s what he told me at bedtime last night when he was ready to read to Kayci and I was finishing up her laundry and having a snack. He said “just wait; pretty soon she won’t be on YOUR schedule and I can read to her any time I want!” Alrighty. Just make sure you change that diaper while you’re at it, buddy. 

You’d think I’d have something wonderful to say in what will probably be my last journal entry while I’m pregnant with Kayci. I don’t; I’m just tired and hungry. This chapter in our life is coming to a close. It’s been a great one, one that couldn’t have been any more perfect. We’ve been blessed with health and happiness—God has really revealed Himself to us through Kayci and the blessings He’s bestowed upon us recently. I think it’s a lot easier to face being a first-time parent since we’ve learned (just in time, I might add) that we’re not in charge—God is. Now let’s just hope we remember that when Kayci’s crying, or sick, or just not happy with the program. I know we’re about to be tested, but I think we’ll all come through just fine. I can’t wait to see what’s next for our little family, but I also don’t want to “wish” our time away—I want to enjoy every moment!

Monday, June 16, 2003

Babies and Brisket

The weekend went well for the most part. We had a good time playing with the kids. I’d say the highlight was playing in the back yard and eating “cool cups.” The low point is a tie between Reagan getting sick and throwing up all over the couch and trying to go on a picnic at the San Jacinto Monument and being swarmed by mosquitoes while the kids stood there and argued with me about why they should run back to the car.

Father’s Day was interesting and just a little surreal. Technically I am a father now, but I don’t actually have a baby yet so it kind of seemed like I was cheating. Kristi got me a “Best Dad” t-shirt and Kayci gave me a “Daddy’s Girl” onesie. We had the kids make cards for craft time on Saturday and I took the chance to make cards also. I instructed the kids to draw a picture on the front of their card with a fun time they had with their daddy, then with Grandpa. On my cards I chose to draw my dad and I camping when I was a Boy Scout. Good times… And I drew the entire thing with my right hand, so it looked as if an eight-year-old had drawn it. From Kayci, I drew a picture of my dad putting her changing table together. They haven’t had a lot of time together yet- mainly because she’s still in the womb- but I know they’ll spend plenty of time together later. For Kristi’s dad’s card I chose to draw a picture of the two of us running my remote control car in the dirt on a trip we took to Round Rock. Getting a hand-drawn card from an adult who’s a cartoonist may seem like a goofy thing or may seem to get old, but it made me happy and I enjoyed doing it. It made me stop and remember some really good times I’ve had with my father figures. I don’t care what Hallmark says- that’s what Father’s Day is all about.

Sunday evening we got a little excitement. I happened to look over at Kristi sitting on the couch and she had a contemplative look on her face. I asked what was wrong and she said that she though she might be having a contraction. Of course, I became very excited and wanted to know everything she could tell me about what was going on. The contraction wasn’t very long- about 30 seconds- but she said it felt like a cramp. It also turned out that it wasn’t the first one she had had either. She had had one about ten minutes before and hadn’t bothered to tell me. I was pretty mad at her at this point. First of all, this is the one thing I’m able to help with and really be a part of during the actual birthing process and there she was, sitting on the couch, stealing all action for herself. Second, since Kayci is now breech if Kristi starts having regular contractions we have to get her to the hospital.
So we timed the contractions, but they weren’t consistent at all. She had another one after twenty minutes, then nothing else (that she told me about.) In any case, that spurred us to go ahead and finish packing the hospital bag (Kristi packed already, but I still needed to put some stuff together.) We did that and watched a video on breastfeeding. I got my camera and video camera ready to go. I’ve got eight blank tapes ready. At about 90 minutes per tape, I figure I can accurately chronicle the entire three days we’ll be in the hospital. 

Kayci was active and seems to be moving her head around in there, so I have no idea what she’s up to. As I write this on Monday evening, Kayci’s head is down low and off to Kristi’s left side. I bet she’s trying to turn back around. It figures she would since we already dismantled the labor bag we had prepared.

Tomorrow we interview a pediatrician. I know, I know. We waited until the last second. This is James & Kristi style, and we’re okay with that. 

In any case, it’s a little weird to know that by the end of the week we’ll have a Baby Kayci. We’re both very anxious and excited. It’s going to be a long week, but luckily I’ve got a project to work on so hopefully that will help pass the time more quickly. I’m already betting that sleep will be hard to come by on Thursday night. 

It’ll be like Christmas Eve- the anticipation of finally getting to that special day when you get that one little thing you’ve been wanting for what seems like forever, and all you have to do is wait until morning. To this day, I still rarely sleep on Christmas Eve and I’ve never in my life slept past 5:30am on Christmas morning. This has definitely been the hardest present ever to wait for. There’s no peeking (unless you count the ultrasounds- which if followed through with the current analogy- would be like trying to figure out if you’re getting a He-Man or a Skeletor action figure based soley on the size of the package and an X-ray of the box that shows SOMETHING inside with moveable parts.) There’s also no opening the present early. If I had my way, God would have designed a pregnant woman’s belly with a flip hatch so that Daddy could take the baby out, play with her a little bit, then put her back in to cook. Waiting for nine – almost ten – whole months to play with this baby has been like a kid with Attention Deficit Disorder trying to cook a brisket in an EZ Bake Oven. It’s taking an excruciatingly long time, especially at the end.

Then there’s the whole “no return” policy. Not that I already have one in this size, shape or color. Santa doesn’t accept returns and neither does the stork. There are some kids in the world –I happen to know some – that would be prime candidates for return. They’re obviously broken. Some are just plain evil. Unfortunately, putting them back in isn’t an option. They’d just mess up that room, too, within five minutes of getting there and blame it on someone else.

I don’t really know where I was going with that. I’m getting a little loopy here at the end waiting for my brisket…

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Thursday, June 12 - Little Miss Muffett

We went to the doctor yesterday expecting to find out that Kristi was a couple of centimeters dilated and other such good news. However, we should have known what was coming- it’s almost a full moon after all.

Dr. Thompson felt the bottom of Kristi’s belly and immediately said, “that feels like a butt.” She felt around a little bit more and said that it looked as if Kayci had turned around and was now head up. An ultrasound confirmed it. In fact, not only is Kayci in breech position, but she’s also doing a “pike” in there, too. Her butt is basically covering the cervix and her feet are out in front of her. Little Miss Muffett is sitting on her cervix eating her gelatinous goo. It’s not a serious situation, but it did change things significantly. We had two options- 1. go to the hospital and have the doctor try to turn her around by pushing on the outside of Kristi’s belly or 2. schedule a cesaerian section.

There’s some risk involved with trying to turn a baby and our doctor said that in the position she’s in and for a first child, it’s very unlikely to work. We decided not to take any unnecessary risks with Kayci or to put her through that and just to schedule the c-section.

So as of right now, she’s scheduled to be born on Friday, June 20 at 8:45am. All the news yesterday really hit us hard. We weren’t expecting anything like this. It was a lot to take in all at once, but once it began to sink in it was all very exciting. We finally know exactly when she’ll be here. 

Of course, if Kristi goes into labor before that or if Kayci turns on her own, things will change again. But it just shows that this is definitely our baby. She’s not even born yet and she’s making things interesting for us… I bet she still has one surprise in store for us.

So we made the call to all the parents yesterday and told them what was going on and not to schedule anything else for next Friday. They were all very excited, but perhaps most excited of all was Adam, my little brother. He was really pumped about the prospect of finally being an uncle. Of course this is from the same kid who, when we told him on Halloween that we was going to be an uncle, only said “puh.” And walked into the house.

Kristi and I are very excited about meeting Kayci, and all of our family is chomping at the bit as well. We’re keeping our nieces and nephew- Keely, Reagan and Gavin- for the weekend beginning today. We’ve got all kinds of fun things planned for them- summer stuff like water gun fights, playing in the sprinkler, planting a pumpkin garden and camping in the back yard. This Sunday is Father’s Day and we’ll have my dad and Adam over for lunch, as well as Kristi’s parents and probably Ronny and Amy (the kids’ parents.)

Saturday, June 7, 2003


The Big Slow Down…
Well, it finally happened. Actually, it happened a couple of years ago when I fell off a desk at work & tore up my ankle so I had to learn how to ask for help and let other people do things for me (which was a blessing because that’s when my friendship with Lauren REALLY began!). Here we are again, only this time it’s high blood pressure, not a desk. Last Thursday evening when I went to the doctor my blood pressure was high, and I was put on immediate bed rest—no last day of school, no baby shower, nothing but mandatory horizontal until I went back to the doctor on Monday. I was very good for the WHOLE time, and believe it or not I followed doctor’s orders. I thought it was just a reaction to the end of school craziness and that we’d be fine when we went back on Monday. Well, I lost 5 pounds of fluid and that took care of the swelling, but my blood pressure was still elevated. So, we kind of compromised. I get to work Summer School, half days Monday-Thursdays. I can get up, go to work, then it’s straight home to lay down. Some people might think it’s crazy, but it was really important for me to do Summer School because a) I didn’t want to pack up my classroom, b) we definitely need the money and c) I don’t think ANYONE would want to be around me if I had to lay down 24 hours a day. So far James is still talking to me, so I assume I’m not too grumpy…yet! We went back to the doctor yesterday, blood pressure’s still up, I gained 3 pounds (we don’t know why…probably not a good thing!), and she said I can continue Summer School but absolutely positively nothing but horizontal resting when I’m not at school. That kind of put a kink in our weekend plans—I was hoping I could get up for at least a few hours every day (like I was at school, it seemed reasonable) and get things done. She shot that down pretty quick. We ‘fessed up about the 2 showers this weekend and even though her first word was “no”, Marlene agreed to the shower at our house on Friday (Lynn’s Ladybug Book Shower) and to Jennifer & Denise’s shower ONLY if I go straight to Denise’s, lay around while we’re there, and have somebody else open gifts. I figure I can do that. I know I was up too much yesterday (we went shopping a bit after we left the doctor’s office—I’m a sinner!) so I’m being very good today. It’s almost 11:00, and I’m laying on the couch in my pajamas. I promised James I wouldn’t get up until it’s time to get dressed to go to Denise’s. It’s a little rough to be down today; I’ve got several things I’d like to do in Kayci’s room, not to mention laundry and all of that stuff. James has been WONDERFUL about taking care of stuff, and I couldn’t ask for anything more from him. He’s really shown his true colors this past week, and now it’s a fact—he’s going to be a GREAT daddy; he already is! But, for Type A’s like myself, there’s quite a bit of guilt involved in having someone else do all of the stuff that I feel like I should be doing (laundry, housework, etc.). Lynn came over earlier this week and unpacked all of Kayci’s goodies from the church shower. My Mom will come over next week and wash Kayci’s new clothes (I was caught up on everything, and it’s KILLING me that she has a basket of clothes in there that need to be washed and put away). This is all a God thing, and I know it. Right now I’m exactly where and how He wants me to be, and I would have been too stubborn to stop and rest if He hadn’t forced the issue. So that’s the silver lining, that I’m able to see that this time is a blessing. And it really is; I’m able to focus on Kayci and James and this special time that will never come again. The laundry can wait! (Big talk; I’m sure I’ll be bugging James about clean clothes before lunch!).

Thursday, June 5, 2003

Pregnancy Journal, Misc... Part 4

The New House
Getting into the new house was also fun. First, everything had to be cleaned. It’s not that the new house wasn’t pretty clean to begin with- the old owners seem to be pretty clean people- but it wasn’t Kristi clean. Also, in getting the house ready to move into, my “honey-do” project list kept getting longer and longer. First, Kristi found out there are hardwood floors under the carpet. Kristi doesn’t like the color of the carpet, so she wanted to rip up the carpet and polish the wood floors before we moved in. Also, the bathroom has maroon and grey tiles. As you find out if you’ve ever been in many houses older than 10 or 15 years, people used to put some way groovy colors into their houses- and especially in the bathroom.

So, we finally got all out stuff into the new house. Now came the part I hate- unpacking and putting everything away. It became very clear while we were packing up our house that we had accumulated a whole lot of crap in the past five years. Now we had to figure out where everything went. Of course, some things were easy. Kayci’s stuff went into her nursery. Duh. But other things- such as pictures and the abundance of knickknacks we have was more difficult. By the way, in Kristi’s journal, she did give me credit for packing up the knickknacks. However, what she failed to mention is the sheer number of knickknacks that we have in our house. Anyone who’s ever been to our house knows that we just have crap sitting everywhere. Bricks, clocks, trophies, jars full of various stuff. It’s not junk- most of this stuff is stuff that we either have some connection to personally, think is really cool or is a family heirloom (such as Kristi’s grandfather’s lunchbox.) So I packed the knickknacks, but the knickknacks actually accounted for about 2/3 of the move. We almost needed to rent two trucks because we had so many knickknacks and keepsakes. I think we were both descended from gypsies. It’s a good thing that our ancestors didn’t come to the New World on the Mayflower. It would’ve taken three trips- “Yes, milady, it is true that thine home shall soon be in America and they have an abundance of gourds and cookery there with which to make delectable meals. But perchance thou art forgetting that there may arise a need for this pot with the huge hole in it that was handed down from thy grandmother’s grandmother. And verily I say unto thee, we shall surely need this brightly colored macramé potholder and thy George Foreman roaster…”

Once we moved into the new house Kristi decided that, as I had been telling her, the carpets were fine and they didn’t need to come up. Luckily, we also found out that the stuff we were going to use to redo the bathroom may cause birth defects in California. That’s what the label said, really. That explains a lot about California.
Anyway, after moving in it was a whirlwind of unpacking and getting ready. We had a goal. On May 17 some of Kristi’s friends were throwing a baby shower at our house and it needed to be ready. It was kinda rough, but we got the house ready in time.

Birthing Classes
Ever since about the beginning of the year, at every doctor’s visit they had been asking us if we were taking our birthing classes yet. And we always said, “No- but we will.” Well, in typical James & Kristi fashion, we waited… and waited… and waited. Finally, we got off our butts and started taking the class at the very end of April. It was a one-night a week class for four weeks.

At the first class we walked in and I felt like it was the first day of a new semester all over again. The room was full of chairs and couples were scattered around the room in various places. Now, this is important- Kristi and I were two completely different kinds of students in school. She was the one on the front row of class taking notes and listening intently and actually trying to, you know, learn something. I, however, usually sat in the back of the classroom and drew cartoons. Every now and then- if my grades were seriously in jeopardy- I would sit in the middle of the class and take notes. I once was forced to sit in the first row by a teacher who assigned seats. I hated every day of that semester and blocked most of it out, and to this day I can’t remember anything about that class except the uncomfortable feeling I had. I did get an A in the class, though…

Those are the roles we fell right back into in the birthing class. Somehow I got to choose where we sat, so we naturally sat toward the back middle of the room, since I wanted to learn something. Birthing class was actually cool because you’re sitting in a little room with about 15 other pregnant couples. Each one of us was sitting there with the confidence that we were the cutest couple in the room and would surely produce the cutest baby. I could just feel it.

Anyway, birthing class consisted of just what you might expect a birthing class to cover- how to make yourself hyperventilate. We learned all kinds of breathing techniques. I think, looking back on the class, that the class is actually designed as a cruel joke amongst the doctors and nurses. I think it’s actually a way for a pregnant couple to look ridiculous one last time before having the baby. It’s not bad enough that a pregnant mother has ballooned to the size of some post-WWI European countries and now has to fend off men with pickaxes trying to climb her “because she’s there,” but now she spends the majority of the most special day in her life making completely ridiculous “hee” and “puff” sounds. And the faces that go with that are just as embarrassing. I’ll bet somewhere in the deep recesses of the hospital, the doctors and nurses are sitting there having a huge chuckle about every last one of them as they count their stacks of (well-earned) money.

The highlight of the entire birthing class for me was the first week when we got to take a tour of the hospital and go to the nursery and pick out a newborn baby to take home for a couple of days and “try out.” That was fun. I guess it’s a pretty standard thing. And I guess that if our baby gets picked, that we’ll be good sports about it, too. I just hope they bring her back in as good a shape as they got her. We didn’t get our deposit back on our baby. We decided that instead of experimenting on Kayci, we’d use little Raul as our guinea pig. We found out that babies don’t like strained brussel sprouts, cat food or being hosed off in the backyard. But little Raul DID like frappacino. Man, that kid could spend some money at Starbucks. He must have had ten or twelve the first day…

Also in our class, one of the couples had their baby in the middle of the class. Well, not actually in the MIDDLE of the class. They moved them off to the side so the screaming wouldn’t disrupt everyone else who was trying to watch the video on “gooey yucky stuff that comes out of your body.” Seriously, though… one of the couples had their baby on the third week of class, so they totally missed the part of the class about how to tell when you’re in labor and what to do afterward. I told them I would take notes and pass it along to them. The couple that had their baby had a really cute baby boy. Some of the other people in the class said they were a Lesbian couple. I couldn’t tell they were Lesbian, but they did look a little effeminate- which I hear is a common trait among people from Lesbia. I told them that I hoped that their little boy would grow up to be a fine Lesbian also.

Leonard - Every Buddy's Best Friend
For awhile, Kristi slept with pillows between her knees when she slept to make her hips feel better. We found out that during pregnancy a woman’s pelvis becomes the consistency of Silly Putty, which accounts for the aching in the hips all the time. So we went to Wal-Mart and bought Kristi a huge body pillow with a leopard print on it. In typical Kristi style, she decided to name it- Leonard. I wanted to find one with a snake skin print and name it Monty, but no such luck.

Sleeping with this body pillow is a very awkward experience. First of all, it’s VERY hot. I guess it has some sort of magical ability to retain heat. We have to turn the AC down to about 55 degrees just to compensate for the heat of this thing. The bad part is when Kristi decided to turn over in the middle of the night and Leonard isn’t between us anymore keeping me warm. I’m getting used to the hypothermia- induced shivering and vomiting, but coughing up blood is a real bummer just to make your wife comfortable.

That’s another thing- suddenly there’s this extra thing in our bed. We had a king size bed for awhile after we got married, but Kristi and I are both cuddly people and it was too big, so we got a full size bed instead. That was perfect until Kristi started getting REALLY pregnant. Suddenly I was having dreams about mountain climbing as I hung precariously off the side of the bed. Now add a whole other body to the equation and there’s Kristi, Kayci, Leonard and me in the bed. It’s gotten very small. I’m getting used to my four and a half centimeters of sleeping room.

And Leonard has a best friend now. Buddy has adopted Leonard as his own and spends most of his time cuddling with Leonard. It doesn’t matter where Leonard is, either. Buddy will follow Leonard around. He’ll go to the couch with Leonard. He’ll climb under the covers. He’ll switch from side to side with Leonard. A couple of days ago, Buddy slept hanging half off the couch just so he could be with Leonard. It’s gonna be ugly when Leonard has to go away. 

Bed Rest
Kristi’s feet and ankles had swelled to Incredible Hulk-size proportions when she went to the doctor on Thursday afternoon. I didn’t go with her because a last minute job had come in that had a tight deadline. That probably just added to the situation. It was the last week of school, so the kids in Kristi’s class were in the middle of losing their friggin’ minds. Kristi had had a rough day, and she got lost on the way to the doctor’s office. So it really wasn’t any surprise when her blood pressure was through the roof. So the doctor put her on mandatory bed rest for the entire weekend- including Friday. When Kristi got home from the doctor’s office, she was pissed. I hadn’t been griped at nearly that much in almost three days, so I knew it was really bad. Just kidding, honey. We were supposed to go to Beaumont for the evening to visit with some of my friends and that was obviously out of the question. Disaster (and divorce) was narrowly averted when Kristi told me to go ahead to Beaumont anyway and I refused. Instead, I went to the movie store and rented eight movies for us to watch over the weekend.

So we watched movies all weekend and layed around. It was actually very nice. I think it was sent by God because we wouldn’t have slowed down and taken time to relax like that if the doctor hadn’t ordered her to do so. We always say we’re going to take it easy and have a quiet weekend, but we never do.

Kristi on bed rest means that I’m basically waiting on her all the time. Suddenly I had my normal everyday work stuff and routine to do in addition to Husband stuff and Daddy stuff and Mommy stuff and Son stuff and Son-in-Law stuff and Friend stuff. It literally took all of my time. It’s been a blur- even more of a blur than normal. 
But Kristi was really good and stayed on her back all weekend like she was supposed to, with the occasional exception of getting up to pee or to flip over. When we went to the doctor on Monday morning, Kristi’s blood pressure was mostly back to normal, she had ankles and regular-looking feet again, and she had dropped five pound in fluid weight. The doctor said she could teach summer school half the day and then spend the rest of the day resting. All was right in Kristiland. 

The Amazing Traveling Baby Shower
On the Sunday of the weekend that Kristi was put on bed rest our church had scheduled a shower for her. Kristi obviously couldn’t get up for it, so I filled in and pulled Daddy AND Mommy duty. It was actually only my third shower EVER, and the first where I actually had to do anything but walk around taking pictures, so I was scared to death. But I had some good help from one of our good friends, and that made it a lot easier. It was actually pretty fun, but I really appreciate Kristi for all the stuff that she does that I have no idea about- such as showers and gift receiving etiquette.

My mom and grandma came to the shower and shot video and photos, respectively. When I got home I played the video for Kristi and as I opened a present on the video I handed the bag to Kristi for her to open, so it was sort of like bringing the shower to her at home. People have since told me that it was a great idea and very thoughtful. Unfortunately, I can’t really take much credit for it- I was just being lazy and figured that it would be easier for her to hear who the present was from as I read the card on the video than trying to remember and screw it up.

The day I almost punched the nurse in her stupid mouth
One of the nurses at the doctor’s office is not my favorite. She’s very gruff and doesn’t have a great bedside manner. When we went to the doctor’s office last week, of course we got “the bad nurse.” When she put the little baby sonar device up to Kristi’s belly so she could hear Kayci’s heartbeat she was a little rough and had the machine turned WAY up. She poked around for a little bit trying to find Kayci’s heartbeat. She found it, but the machine was turned up so loud that Kristi’s belly was jumping in time to Kayci’s heartbeat. Since they’re actually using a little sonar device, we’ve read that Kayci can actually FEEL the sound waves bouncing off her little bones and that it’s not the most comfortable thing in the world for her. So with the machine turned up as high as the nurse had it, Kayci must have been miserable and she jumped with every heartbeat she heard coming from the machine.

Then her heartbeat began racing. The nurse said, “oh- I must have scared her.”
The very thought of my little unborn baby being scared- terrified of something- and having no idea what was happening to her made my sick. I caught myself moving toward the rear of the table where the nurse was standing. I suddenly had this incredible primal urge to SMASH! It was my job as Daddy to stop was hurting my baby and I’m glad I stopped myself. I’m not a violent person at all, but I suddenly had the urge to smack that nurse.
I didn’t, but I wanted to. Even sitting here writing this in Starbuck’s I want to. I may smack the unsuspecting girl at the next table anyway. At least she won’t refuse to birth my baby.