Friday, December 24, 2004

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Holy Hannah!

Well, as I'm sure most of our family is probably already aware, Hannah came home from the hospital yesterday. Quite the surprise for Mom and Dad, seeing as we were pretty sure she was going to be there for at least a couple of days after failing her car-seat test (No, it's not that we didn't know how to operate her car-seat). Who knew that there was such a thing as a car-bed? For that matter, who was the dumb-dumb that invented it in the first place. If it wouldn't have been so DAMN COLD the day we took her home, I would have walked home, carrying her in my arms since the stupid thing was so hard to operated. Anyways, since coming home, she has discovered that being awake means more cuddling and that crying means Mom and Dad both want to try and cuddle - I think we may be in trouble... Otherwise, she is doing wonderfully and hopefully we can try and work our way back into some semblance of our pre-living-at-the-hospital life.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Congratulations Angela and Marc!

First and foremost: Congratulations to both of you and welcome to the wonderful world of marriage!

By the time you two read this (Hopefully AFTER the big day, not during), I sincerely hope that you are both reflecting on all of the good memories from this special day and enjoying each other's company just that little bit more than you were the day before. Carmen and I would like to send our apologies for not being able to be there on your special day, and want you to know that we were thinking about you both all day and prayed that your day was everything that you had been planning and hoping for all these long years, er, rather months, um, make that weeks... :)

Best wishes to both of you,

Dan and Carmen

Friday, December 17, 2004

You mean it's been a week already???

I'm starting to understand what my parents meant when they talk about how fast we seemed to grow up, despite our insisting that it seemed to take forever. It is almost impossible to believe that it has been a whole WEEK since Hannah came into this world, but it has. Which means that it's been about 4 days since we've given the outside world an update on her progress - our apologies - well, not really, but we weren't intentionally excluding everybody either...

This week has been so very, very busy. Hannah started off doing pretty well with breastfeeding but seemed to be having a lot of difficulty with maintaining enough stamina to get a full feed in. A couple of days of inconsistent feeds, paired with an increase in her jaundice levels convinced the doctor to put her back under the phototherapy light. After what seemed like a couple of decent feeds, Hannah's pediatrician suggested that we stop trying to feed her on a schedule and start trying to feed on demand.

This technique proved to be a whopping success! Her feeding started to become much more lively, not to mention effective. In the first day of this new approach to feeding, she lost 27 grams (We both thought it was a lot, but the pediatrician was thrilled that she lost as little as she did). At her weigh-in tonight however, we were thrilled to discover that she had gained an exciting 15 grams!!!. This is an extremely positive sign that the breastfeeding is working and that she is taking in enough food to grow. One more step towards home.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Hannah update: 78 hours

Well, Hannah certainly has continued to surpass expectations...

Breast feeding was an overwhelming success today. Hannah's daily success story started during when her 8:00 feeding saw her take half of her feeding straight from Carmen. Which is a little better than what the nurses were expecting at this stage. Then at her 11:00 feeding, things went so well that the nurse refused to believe that Carmen weighed Hannah correctly when the weight indicated that she drank her whole feeding, meaning that she got double-fed. She must have inherited her daddy's hollow leg... This amazing feat was then re-enacted at her 2:00 afternoon feeding when, under the direct supervision of the nurse, she drank 2 milliliters more than she was expected to drink in total, all straight from Carmen.

On a somewhat less positive (although still not negative) note, Hannah's bilirubin count climbed high enough that the doctor put her under the bilirubin lights this afternoon. High levels bilirubin, are common in most babies, but is more even common, not to mention more serious/dangerous in premature babies.

The idea behind the bilirubin light (at least the way I understand it) is to help the liver filter out the bilirubin from the bloodstream until it becomes strong enough to do this work on it's own. If all goes well, she should be out from under the light and back into her bassinet in the next day or so. That way daddy can hold her every spare minute again.

Sleep, is overrated

I have just returned from my final pump of the day, and I have discovered how truly wonderful a smile can be. As I climbed into the van this evening to head to the hospital I envied Dan his place in our nice warm bed. Upon arriving at the hospital however I discovered my little Hannah crying disdainfully as her nurse hurriedly bathed her. Now how could I, not take the extra time to comfort my child after such an ordeal. My envy for Dan quickly turned to sympathy as Hannah's unhappy screams settled to whimpers and then to an amazingly alert little baby who was ready to chat. And then the highlight of my day, she smiled, and not just smiled but what could more only be described as a giggle. Of course Hannah has smiled before, and this certainly wont be the last but it is the moment that I will probably always remember as when Hannah said "Hello" to me.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Hannah update: 48 hours

Well our little miracle certainly was full of surprises today! We got to the hospital this morning to find out so many new things:
  1. Hannah's sucking reflex started, so Carmen could start trying to breast-feed
  2. She has been tolerating formula well enough that she will probably lose the IV tonight
  3. She got to move out of the isolette (incubator) and into an open bed (Basically a clear plastic bin
  4. One of the more reliable nurses said that she could be sent home in as little as a couple of weeks
All in all, a pretty good day. Oh and by the way, NEW PICTURES!!!
(Remember to click on any picture of Hannah to see more pictures from the same set)
Hannah - Click for next image

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Slee-eep? Where are you Sleep? Are you under here Sleep?

Those parents who are lucky enough to get to bring their kids home after the birth no longer have anything to complain about. Getting up to feed the baby every 3 hours? Piece of cake! Try dragging yourself off the couch/chair/floor/steering wheel where you most recently collapsed just to drive down to the hospital to do the feeding every 3 hours. ~8 feedings/day * ~20 minutes of driving each feeding = ~160 minutes or 2 and 2/3 hours more rest that the parents of an at-home baby get over the parents with newborns in nearby hospitals...

Hannah update: 29 hours later

Wow, apparently I have dad genes buried under all those layers of geek... I took a turn in the pilot's seat while trying to change Hannah this evening, and tada! (Very) Wet Diaper off, bum cleaned, new diaper on - No tears, no fussing, just quiet happy baby. Okay, maybe I picked up a few ideas and pointers from when Carmen tried it this morning...

The hospital started to feed her through a tube today, which seems to be working fairly well. After getting some much needed food into her tummy, she settled right down and we had a good visit with our little Angel. After supper though, she must decided that this thing up her nose wasn't very comfy and promptly pulled it out. She probably gets that from her mother

Seems that every nurse has a different idea on when we will be able to take Hannah home. Some say that it will be well into January, others speculate that it could be as early as a few weeks. I think that we're going to stick with the thought that if she's home for new-year's eve we'll be happilly surprised.

Hannah update: 23 hours later

Well, we finally had a chance to talk to the doctor about Hannah this afternoon. Hannah is doing remarkably well considering having been born 8 weeks early. She is breathing fairly well all on her own, they are going to try and start tube feeding her this afternoon, and if that goes well, Carmen can start breastfeeding shortly after that.

As for the question of when do we get to bring her home, that will not happen for at least 3 1/2 to 4 weeks. Sorry mom. Despite how well she appears to be doing, it is hospital policy to keep premature baby's under constant supervision until they are at least 36 weeks. No, they're not being mean, most all premature baby's suffer from apnea (Baby forgets to breathe) and brads (when the heart-rate drops suddenly because the brain forgot to tell it to beat). This traditionally stops at around week 36.

Today was another day full of firsts:
  1. I got to hold Hannah - forget the "New Car" smell, somebody needs to bottle the "New Baby" smell (No, not the dirty bum smell)
  2. Carmen got to actually visit with Hannah for more than 30 seconds without her being whisked off to the NICU
  3. We got to try to change her diaper - Hey, it's not as easy as it sounds with IVs and sensor wiring running all over the place

And for those of you that had to hear about the birth through the grapevine and not by a phone call from us, we are terribly sorry, but I'm sure everybody out there understands that we've been more than just a little pre-occupied

Friday, December 10, 2004

Say hello to Hannah!

What a day! I walk into work a 9:00 this morning after having a wonderful breakfast with my dad to have my boss come up to me saying that I had to get to the hospital right away because Carmen has gone into labor. Needless to say, with 8 more weeks until the due date, I was more than just a little worried. When I made it into Carmen's room at the hospital 15 minutes later (it felt more like 45 minutes later), she was fairly calm and comfortable.

Her water had broken at home at 8:00, 10 minutes after my Dad and I had left the house (go figure) and had phoned our good friend Colleen (who lives about 4 blocks away) to give her a ride when she couldn't get hold of me. By 9:00, she was dilated to 2cm and was definitely going to be having this baby, the question was "How much time do the doctors have to help the baby's lungs mature?". The doctor's were hoping for 24 hours, just enough time for the medicine that was supposed to help the baby's lungs develop to take effect - oh if only it were that simple.

By 12:30, Carmen was starting to get really uncomfortable and decided that it was time for an epidural. After checking her progress revealed that she was at 5cm, the doctor decided that it was definitely time to get an epidural started. What a wonderful thing that epidural was! Now if only they could come up with something that effective for those 3/28 other days of the year. For the next 3 hours, Carmen and I rested and contemplated how glad we were that the baby seemed to be doing well, all the while cursing about her family's December baby curse and how our wonderful little early Christmas present was going to change (more like cancel, actually) our Christmas travel plans.

After a few false signals, at 4:05 in the evening the doctor came in and announced that it was time to push! Wait a minute doc, didn't you say you were hoping for 24 hours? By my math, it's barely been 8. Oh well, better do as the doctors say...

Now for the fun part (and the real reason for getting one of these magic epidural things): 5 Minutes after the doctors announcement, we were blessed with a 5 pound, 10 1/2 ounce healthy baby girl!

Hannah - Click for next image

Click to view the next picture

Monday, December 06, 2004

Snow, at last

It has finally snowed here in Edmonton, 15 cm over two days. Making a mess of the roads and making staying at home a little more enjoyable. I am glad it snowed, looking outside this morning everything just looks a little more Christmassy. Of course if you had talked to me yesterday when we were driving our friends to and from the airport it would have been a different story. I was hoping to get some shopping done this weekend, but thanks to the snow it didn't get done, but the good news is, we live in Edmonton where late night shopping is everynight.

Mark one thing off the list

We have officially switched rooms, one less thing that needed to be done before the arrival of our baby. Now I can spend the rest of this week moving the stuff in the closests, and preparing the nursery for painting.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

December already?

It is hard to believe it is December already. Christmas is only 3 weeks away, Angela's wedding 2 weeks, and even my birthday is coming quickly. It is looking to be a hectic months. We're only two days in and our three person family has become two, we've lost our tenant, and last but the most exciting Dan received some very welcome news. (I wont post what it is but feel free to phone to find out.)

As much as I enjoy Christmas, I have to admit to feeling a little overwhelmed this month. There is just so much to do before the baby gets here. I have to pack up the furniture in our foster child's room. Move our furniture into that room. Paint our current room making it more nursery like, and begin setting up a nursery for which I have yet to purchase a single piece of furniture. I also have hopes of giving the rest of the house an overall cleaning in preparation for the arrival of our first child.

But it gets better, with the news that our tenant is moving out at the end of this month. Comes the realization that January is now booked with painting and making repairs to our basement suite in preparation for a new tenant. (Thank God for the line of credit).

But enough ranting, We are almost done our Christmas shopping and I can't wait to wrap all those present and put them under our tree. (Which will be going up this weekend). I am also looking forward to my birthday because every year my husband spends so much time trying to make it special for me that I can't help but feel I already have the best gift of all.

I will end this very long note with a sappy tone and hopefully my next post will be full of everything I have accomplished rather then a list of what needs to be accomplished.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Measure twice, cut once, then call a carpenter

Well, at least we don't have to live by these words of wisdom (yet). As Carmen's post suggests, we're looking at putting a new door in our house to separate the basement suite from the rest of the house. To our dismay, the size of the opening doesn't match up with any standard door sizes...

Now the only questions left to ask are why is this the case and how do we fix it? As for the why, we have two complementary theories.

  1. When the previous owners laid tile in the kitchen, the thickness of the new sub-floor plus the thickness of the tile and grout reduced the height of the door from the bottom
  2. Perhaps there used to be a door in this peculiar door-shaped opening and rather than remove the old door-jams, they simply plastered over them, reducing the width from each side and the height from the top

So now we are left with a few different options:

  1. Exploratory Surgery to determine if there are door-jams inside the wall, and where exactly they are.
  2. Do some creative construction to make custom jams to fit an already cut-down door.
  3. Give up on the idea of installing a door and put up a bead curtain

And in case it wasn't clear from this post, any comments or suggestions on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

I hate home construction

The only thing I have to say is "Why don't people sell 78" doors?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Hello? Snow? Where are you?

Okay, I'm glad to see that I wasn't wrong about the snow being gone before Halloween, but to Carmen's credit, the snow did all disappear a couple of days after the fact.

But it's now mid November with no sign of snowfall in sight. That one foot teaser actually had me believing that we were going to get two white Christmases in a row, but I guess that there is still time for the white stuff to come back...

Monday, November 15, 2004

Who ever said that all nighters were for students???

One of the things that I looked forward to the most about finishing my degree was the knowledge that my days of pulling those fabled "All nighters" were now behind me. As of last night, that bubble has officially been burst. That's right, I was in the office from 6:00PM last night to 4:00AM this morning and all I can say is: "Thank god for coffee!"

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Christmas shopping!

For the first time in my life I have got a jump on my Christmas shopping, and I have to say I am proud of myself. Only two more gifts to go. For my family anyways, we plan on waiting until boxing day to shop for Dan's family in order to take advantage of the sales. But until then I can relax and concentrate on stocking stuffers. :)

Monday, November 08, 2004

It's nice to be home

Well we are back after our very quick trip to Saskatchewan. Angela's shower was a success and I am glad we went as it was one of those once in a lifetime sort of things. I must say a huge "Thankyou" to Becky, the host of the shower, she did a great job and made sure it was a memorable occasion for everybody.

Despite having only been gone for one night I sure missed my new bed. I have been truly spoiled. It was especially nice to crawl into after traveling 5 hours in our van for the second day in a row. I must put in a complaint now that I think every rib on the right side of my body is out. I also discovered how much of an impact the position of the baby has on my bladder. The trip to Saskatoon took the expected 5 hours with no unexpected bathroom breaks. The trip home however took 7 hours and I now have a survey of acceptable and unacceptable bathroom stops between Edmonton and Saskatoon.

But enough of my complaining, the trip was defiantly worth it, and I am glad we went.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


So how do you get rid of baby hiccups? I am coming to the conclusion that while baby hiccups can be cute, they have more potential to annoy then anything else. I have recently discovered that when this baby gets the hiccups it really gets them. It can only be described as feeling like my stomach is being violently jostled from the inside. With about ten times more force then the average kick.

I have also decided that while this baby may have my toes, it defiantly has Dan's stomach. That is the only explanation for me eating a combo from Tacotime only an hour after eating a very hearty supper of mashed potatoes, chicken and vegetables.

I'm never wrong!

I continue with the belief that the snow will be gone by Halloween.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Yep, It's official

All last week we kept thinking to ourselves: It's too early for winter, this snow is going to melt and we'll have a another week or two of autumn. Guess we were wrong...

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Goodbye summer - Oh winter, it's YOU again!

So much for having one last weekend to mow my lawn. It's under about 6 inches to a foot of snow :(

Wouldn't be so bad if there was a chance that it was going to melt, but with only a few more weeks until Halloween, odds are that it's here to stay :(

Guess I'm not the only one to wish that Old Man Winter wasn't really here yet though, our elm tree still has about 80% of it's leaves, despite every other tree in the area being almost completely bare :)

Remind me why we wanted cats again...

Well, Link (one of our two kittens) has finally come around and spends time with us! (Well after we go to bed, anyways...). The only question I have now is "What exactly were we thinking?". Since Link has decided we're not so bad, we have yet to get a night of un-interrupted sleep. Seems kittens, especially stray ones, are nocturnal and are most active between the hours of 2 and 8 am... So much for the new bed giving us a peaceful nights sleep...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Oh sweet piece of heaven!

Who could ever have imagined that a bed could be so GOOD!

First night in the new bed is now over (well for me anyways, Carmen may never get out of it...), and this morning is the first time in recent memory that I slept more or less through the night AND woke up without a sore back! Not to mention the fact that I got up after the FIRST ring of my alarm.

The moral of the story:

You spend approximately 1/3 of your life sleeping, it's worthwhile to INVEST in a good bed!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

$150 a year for 10 years of good sleep? We'll take it!

Well, we finally broke down and got rid of our broken down old bed. :)

The new bed is gonna be GREAT! First of all, we've upgraded from a double to a queen sized bed, which works out well now that Carmen has a body pillow that shares the bed with us... Add to that the fact that it sits about a full foot higher than our old bed and you've got one sweet night's sleep.

More on how good it is in practice later :)

We've won the war!

I think our cats have finally decided we are not so bad after all. We can finally pick both of them up without fear of losing a finger, and assuming nobody makes any sudden movements they will let us pet them. Even occasionally giving us the much sought after purr. I have been anticipating this moment, as we have kept them locked in our bedroom, and their nightly prowl has been disturbing my sleep for to long now. Talking about sleep, we bought a new bed this weekend and it arrives tonight. It cost way to much money to even mention. I like to cover my eyes, plug my ears and pretend it was free. But despite the cost, I know by tormorrow morning I will have been willing to pay twice as much.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The turning point in the war...

Well, it looks like we may actually be winning the war against our two newest family members. On Monday night we cornered the more skiddish of the two and fed it kitty treats while petting it. Last night, one of them actually voluntarily jumped up on the bed and cuddled with us for a bit. Perhaps this thing will turn out okay in the end after all...

Sunday, September 26, 2004

The wonder of children

It's a wonder that the human race has survived this long, with children being as inherently curious as they are. We were over at a friends house tonight, and watching their 19 month old try and do some of the things that our five year was doing was unforgettable (Remind me never to have an elevated/recessed area in any of my houses). Kurtis was running and jumping off of the two-step drop into the living room on and off all evening. All of a sudden, our hosts 19 month old decided to try the same thing. Needless to say, she bit the dust, quite literally. So the question remains, have kids always lacked a sense of self-preservation, or is this something that we have bred into our children?

Saturday, September 25, 2004

I give in :(

I will finally end mine and Dan's stand off as to who has to post next.

We finally made our first big purchase for our coming baby. A $250 travel system, which comes complete with stroller, infant car seat and base for vehicle. I did a lot of shopping around and checking reviews on the internet before settling on this particular model. I was very disappointed by the quality that I found at some department stores that I had previously respected. I have added Sears and The Bay to my growing list of stores to boycott. I don't think I will ever make a major purchase again without checking out the small business in the area to see what they have to offer.

Travel System with Infant Seat Travel System as Stroller Travel System from front

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Active Kids = Cranky Kids

I don't know what the obsession with kids needing to be physically active these days is, but it is complete and total hogwash! We enrolled Kurtis in gymnastics yesterday and took him to the community league BBQ today and it has spelled complete DISASTER! He has been soooo tired and cranky that we are seriously moving bed-time up by as much as a whole hour, just to try and keep him civilzed. Any mothers out there with words of advice are welcome to give us ideas :)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Something to chew on

Here is a little something that Carmen dug up on the net:

9/11 Pentagon Attack

Now, I wouldn't call myself a conspiracy theorist, but I'm certainly not an American sympathizer either. This video in no way closes off all of the loose ends is exposes, but it certainly does raise some questions about what happened on that fateful day.

A week full of firsts, and it's only Thursday

What a week this has been, first and most excitingly, Carmen can feel the baby moving now (she describes is as something similar to little bubbles popping, I can't wait till I can feel it kicking too). Kurtis started gymnastics today and managed to profoundly shock both of us by remembering detailed instructions on what activities to do, despite have a total mental block about the number 6 with counting.

And last, and by far most disturbing, we had our first snowfall last night! Not that it stuck, but the fact that we got snow indicates that the end of summer is, without a doubt, drawing near. Too bad we didn't get a chance to get the rest of our apples picked, guess that means no apple jelly for everybody this Christmas, maybe next year...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Say "Cheese"

I know at least a few people are looking forward to this, so here it is:

Baby's first picture

There aren't words enough to describe the feeling of seeing your child for the first time and seeing that it has your wife's toes and your father's nose.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Construction tip of the day

When building/renovating, it is important to remember to close off ALL rough openings. I finally tracked down where our two newest family members keep dissapearing to: Under the tub in the basement suite. There appears to be a gaping hole in the wall between the bathroon and the exterior foundation where they slip through. If I EVER get my hands on the previous owners of this house, they are going to get such a lecture!

Cats are way too smart

We managed to spy on the kittens and catch them being smart last night. While we have had little difficulty apprehending the black kitten, we have only seen the tail-end of the gray one a couple of times...

It turns out that the black kitten plays sentry while the gray one eats, warning it to run if anybody looks they they are coming near! Now if only we could find where they run off to...

Our best guess is that they run UNDER the subfloor in the basement, but more on that later :)

Monday, September 06, 2004

I am finally here

After much coaxing by various family members and my husband, I shall make my first post. Today has been one of the least productive days I have had in a long time. My biggest accomplishment being that I took a nice nap, (oh and I swept the floor). However yesterday's activity makes up for today. The next time I decide to make canned apples, apple sauce and apple jelly all in the same day somebody kick me. As Dan has already commented everything turned out delicious, the crab apple jelly even set into a nice jelly like substance, much to my surprise as I didn't think beginners luck applied to canning.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

I'll never look at a jar of Jam the same way again

Well, we finnaly did something with some of the apples from our apple tree. We took a big pail to my grandmother's house and made some preserves. While the first batch of canned apples were a little overcooked, everything else seems to have turned out okay. The jelly is still setting, but it tastes pretty yummy, but who would have guessed that seven cups of concentrated apple juice would take NINE cups of sugar. The second batch of canned apples looks like they will taste pretty good, and the apple sauce should be really, really yummy on ice cream.

At least now we know what we can put in everybody's stockings, APPLE PRESERVES!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

It's about time!

Well, it took us one day more than a full month, but we finally finshed our roof! Amazing how it can take so long to get around to doing the last 2-3 hours of work on a project that took 4 men 2 days to get nearly complete.

From this experience I have gleaned one all-important piece of advice, check for two layers of shingles BEFORE deciding to take on the job with the help of friends and family.

Say NO to Home Depot Also, for those of you thinking about hiring Home Depot to do some home renovations, DON'T! We were going to get them to redo our eaves and fascia, but were continually dissapointed by missed appointments with unreasonably late follow-ups, and then eventually just dropped us altogether. So Angela, if you're up for it, you can add these guys to your list of boycots :)

Who knew little teeth could be so sharp...

Well, thanks to Carmen's recently awakend maternal instinct, we now have two small kittens... While trying to apprehend the more fiesty of the two, I became painfully aware of just how sharp a kittens teeth could be when it decided that my finger was all that stood between it and freedom. Who knew their teeth were sharp enough to puncture a human fingernail... When we manage to corral them again I'll be sure to post pictures so that everyone can contribute to the coming naming contest...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

It finally happened...

Well, looks like we finally caved and built a blog of our own...