Sunday, December 30, 2007
Avey went to the movie theater for the first time yesterday. We were hoping to see Enchanted, but it was sold out, so we instead saw The Golden Compass. I, having read the entire trilogy twice, was actually quite pleased with how well they followed the book, but also a bit disappointed that there was not time for more detail. I suppose that's how it is with any movie made from a book.
I will not speak of the BYU @ Boise State game.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
There are basically four types of gifts, each with a certain accompanying message.
1. Cash/Money - this is certainly the safest gift, as it tells the receiver you do not think you know him or her well enough to know exactly how they will spend the money. The disadvantage, of course, is that the receiver now knows exactly how much you spent on him or her, and will probably base your relationship on that value to some extent (at least in this country).
2. Gift Cards - this is pretty safe also, as it has the advantage of leaving the final choice up to the receiver. So you're probably okay if you know the person wants clothes, or really enjoys board games, or whatever. But there is still the disadvantage that it's a little more specific; for example, if you give me a gift card to a Chinese Restaurant, you'd better be darn sure that I like Chinese (and I do), and that I like that restaurant (and I do, as long as it's Chinese), or you just wasted that specific amount of money and blatantly showed me that you don't know me very well.
3. A specific gift - these can be hit or miss. Some advantages are that they are never exactly sure of how much you spent, meaning you can get something on clearance and the receiver can't feel cheated. Also, if you hit it right on and they love it, it strengthens your relationship and shows that you are close (or that you've been reading in the other person's journal) or that you, at least, went to the trouble of checking with someone who is close to the receiver.
Of course, the disadvantage is that the receiver gets what he or she gets: no choice, and if you're wrong, awkwardness looms over your head for the rest of your life around that person.
But then, there's the gift receipt - your "get out of jail free" card. If you include the gift receipt with the gift, it doesn't matter how far off you are, the ball is in their court. And if they return the gift, they now ruined your relationship by placing no sentimental value on your gift. It's a trap!
4. What my wife calls a "thought gift" - This is something that usually doesn't cost money, but that you put a lot of thought into that would have a deep, special meaning to the receiver. This is dangerous ground. If you're dead on, you've spent probably several hours working on whatever the gift is, and you make the person cry, and then you hug and all that jazz. If you're wrong, either you've wasted your time, misread the person, and possibly offended him or her, or all of the above.
Yet, we all do this little equation in our heads every single year, don't we? And somehow, we've managed to keep the tradition of gift-giving up and running. Fascinating.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Avey, aside from being a model at heart, has been sleeping 8 and 9 hours straight at night. This, of course, leaves Mom and Dad feeling much better than they had been. Of course, she still likes to stay up until midnight or so, then Dad has to get up at 7 no matter what, but Mom gets to sleep a bit longer. To balance it out, though, she's been more fussy than usual during the day.
Kira's cousin and her husband babysat yesterday so that Mommy and Daddy could go to a BYU basketball game. It's good to remember what life was like before Avey, but even better to come home to her and get a nice smile. She really is worth it all.
Dad is just about an hour and a half away from being completely done with all his graduate school applications! It's been a long road, and I hope I don't have to do this ever again! I'll keep you informed on what happens next. Thanks for reading!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Her second public appearance was at church today! No no, Kira's not dead, she just wanted to come and see Daddy conduct a couple of songs at church, and Avey wanted to hear Mommy and Daddy sing in the choir. Unfortunately, she missed it because she was asleep through the entire meeting.
Please don't think we're blasphemers by taking a picture of our daughter in a manger. We're not trying to compare her to the Savior of the world; she's just so darn cute and we had a manger already. You can see the bind we were in.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
We blessed Avey on Sunday, the 25th. Several people gave their compliments and said it was very nice. It was a wonderful experience. She slept all through the meeting, and was zonked out during the blessing too.
Speaking of spoiling her parents immensely, for the last two nights I was there, Avey slept 6 hours in one stretch at night! My sister-in-law with whom we stayed (mother of two) is convinced that we have no idea what "real" parenthood is like. Our second will probably wail 24/7, but in the meantime, we're happy as can be.
Now, some credit to the woman who is doing the majority of the work; Kira is turning into a mom more and more all the time. A prouder parent you've never seen (except for me, maybe), and she loses sleep and spends most of her time feeding and doing things for anybody but herself, but speaks nary a whisper of complaint. Avey and I are truly lucky to have her.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
But still, Kira made it lots of fun for me. She had called my boss and one of my coworkers to make sure they gave me a hard time about my birthday, and they took it a step further and made me wear a huge blue cone hat that said "Happy Birthday" on it. Thing is, people would read it and ask, "is it your birthday?" Ooh, you're quick!
Kira and Avey joined me at work for lunch, bearing balloons and ice cream, and I was happy I got to show off the women in my life.
I got all I wanted and more (except for a full night of sleep). The best gift of all was Avey smiled at me really big as soon as I got home from work that day.
Now, as promised, let's discuss little Avey's cowlicks that she got from her old man. Click on the picture to see the bigger version, and take a look at her cowlicks right up front that form a sort of part down the middle and shoot up and out. It kind of looks like a moustache above her forehead. Now look at mine:
Yeah. She's inherited my cowlicks. But at this point, at least I'm the one with more hair.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Now, if the above picture were squashed down and fattened up, here's what you might expect to see:
Surprise surprise! That's actually Avey's face! Okay, that was probably not all that hard to figure out, but do you see the resemblance? Everybody says she has my cowlicks, which are coming in better all the time. Maybe I'll take a shot of that for next week.
We weighed her yesterday to check her progress and found that she's now 7lbs. 11 oz. That means her growth curve is right where it should be! That's my little butterball! She has been smiling much more lately. Not for very long, but we have gotten her to do it when we really try, and it is certainly the most adorable thing this dad has ever seen.
Everything else is about the same. She sleeps relatively well, is eating great, and keeps Mom and Dad on their toes. We can't wait to show her off everywhere we go!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
And Kira doesn't believe me, but I am almost positive I saw a little satisfied smirk on her little face as I was struggling to get control of the situation. I'm convinced she was saving that up, biding her time until the opportune moment to catch the unsuspecting new dad unprepared. Well, Avey, you may have won the battle, but the war still goes on...
I'm not sure what else there really is to say. She's sleeping very well in between feedings, she seems as healthy as can be, and she's cute as a button (a really really cute button, that is. Not those ugly or less-cute buttons). Kira is positive that she smiled for real for the first time today while I was at church. She's had those random-movements-of-the-face-muscles smiles before, but Kira thinks that she for sure had a sincere reactive smile today. They grow up so fast!
My family came to visit us (meaning Avey) this week. It was a blast to have them here and get an excuse to leave the house and take her out on the town a little bit. This just whetted our appetites for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and corresponding trip home. Nothing quite like family. I just hope Avey appreciates us that much some day instead of sabotaging my attempts at clean bums and then snickering at me in baby language.
More pictures soon...
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
She sleeps a lot during the day also, which is nice in its own way. She has become much more alert at times too, which makes for some fun interaction. The cutest thing is when she sneezes; huff, HUFFF, TTtttssss!
Kira has cut down her pain medications quite a bit and is still not getting enough sleep, but feels better and better physically all the time. She gets a bit of cabin fever every now and then, and so yesterday spent half of the day at her sister's, and today she and I went to clean out her office.
We appreciate all the support! More updates in the near future!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Kira's mother is in town to help out for a couple of weeks, and that allowed me to go back to work this morning. Yay!
Naturally, we had a photo shoot today to celebrate all the progress. What a little angel...
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Her blood and spinal fluid cultures came back clean, meaning no bacteria has grown so far. Obviously, that's a good sign, but doesn't mean the bacteria wasn't there before. The pediatrician also said that her labs are looking like a normal healthy baby now. That's my girl!
The best news of all was that we found out there's a good chance Avey could come home with us as early as tomorrow! We'd have to go up to Salt Lake City, get a PICC intravenous line put in her arm, get trained on how to change her fluid at home, and then we could bring her home with us! We had a little bit of homework to complete to improve her chances, including getting a pediatrician in Provo, getting her to eat well, and filling her diapers more.
We hooked up the Dr. in Provo, watched her diapers more closely, and after a rough feeding attempt this morning, were close to throwing in the towel, but two further attempts in the afternoon and evening went very, very well, so our hopes are high!
Thank you again for all your comments and prayers. We'll get through this yet!
Monday, October 1, 2007
1. Spinal tap- the results came back this afternoon around 3:30, and were not what we were hoping to get. It turns out that she does have meningitis. In other words, she had or has an infection in her spinal chord. What that means for us is that she is in the hospital for a while longer than we'd thought. She needs to be on the antibiotics for 14 days. The prognosis is good because they put her on antibiotics so quickly after the birth, and the way they figure that she had the infection in her spinal chord is because of her elevated level of white blood cells in the spinal fluid. But even so, it was only moderately elevated, so it's possible that the infection did little or nothing. Best case scenario is that she's just fine. Worst case scenario is deafness, or other neurological problems anywhere from epilepsy to cerebral palsy. For now, we're trying not to think about it too much, except in our prayers.
2. She successfully breastfed tonight! After about four tries in the past two days, and a lot of crying (both baby and mother), she latched on and sucked for just under 10 minutes tonight! We are thrilled at her progress (they grow up so fast!), and hope that this means she's beginning to feel better. To look at her, you would never think she's even sick, except that she sleeps most of the time. We did have a nice treat today when she opened her eyes for 10 minutes or so.
3. A note on Kira: she was up and moving around much better today. She still didn't get much sleep, but she's feeling more herself and much more like a mother. She's right on schedule to be discharged on Wednesday, and we're contemplating our plan for her while Avey's still in the hospital.
Thanks again for the prayers and support. We hope you can all meet her soon!
Because of all the progress, Kira got to hold her for the first time yesterday, and attempted breastfeeding for the first time as well.
An unfortunate turn of events is that, because she was born with pneumonia, they are worried that her spinal chord may have been infected as well. There are no real signs of it, but just to be sure, she is in the process of getting a spinal tap as I write this. It's a fairly routine procedure, but scary for us new parents to think how our little girl is being welcomed into the world.
We'll keep posting updates and pictures as she starts to be more active. Thank you all for your prayers and support. We truly have the best friends and family in the world.
P.S. It looks like Codee, Kira's sister won the bet by just under three hours. Congrats!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
The entire event turned out, in many ways, just as we'd planned. We did want it to happen this weekend, and we both got full work weeks in, I got out of teaching the lesson in Elders' Quorum this weekend, she's a September baby, and she's got everything where it's supposed to be!
In other ways, however, it did not go at all as planned. We made it through a long night and Kira decided it was probably time to head to her sister's place in Draper. On the way, she decided we should just go straight to the hospital; that ended up being a very smart move.
When she was checked, they were shocked to find little Avey's heartbeat at a soaring 185 bpm. Within 15 minutes, she was being prepared for surgery.
I was absolutely blown away at how calm she was through every step of it. She didn't panic, complain, or blame anyone. She was polite and patient with everyone and every step of the surgery.
Avey was delivered by cesarean section, and shortly after being wiped off, weighed and measured, was turning slightly blue. She was taken to the nursery and hooked up to some devices to measure the oxygen saturation of her blood. It was a little low, so they took the proper steps to give her some. She came very close to no longer needing the oxygen, but after two x-rays, two pediatricians, and a lot of waiting, we found that she has pneumonia.
The prognosis is very good; the biggest worry we had was her breathing rate- she was breathing twice what she should have. After another test, they found that her body was discarding the carbon dioxide at an equal rate, so toxicity was not an issue, but she would need to be on antibiotics for at least seven days.
That doesn't mean that she'll necessarily be in the hospital for that long, but we'll have to have someone come to our apartment periodically if she's discharged before that.
Kira is doing very well under the circumstances. She did let the emotion of it all sink in about an hour after it was all over, and we'll probably still feel the surprise and drama of the day for a long time to come, but her spirits are high and she is anxious to get healed and begin this new chapter of her life.
I am all but overcome with awe and the most humbling feelings I've ever known. The moment I saw her head emerge and her face twitching, I knew I would do absolutely anything for her.
I'm off to bed now, but more updates are forthcoming, along with better pictures when we can actually hold her again.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
After many phone calls and a lot of last-minute preparation, absolutely nothing happened. Near as we can tell, it was just her body reacting to the loss of the (sorry for this...) mucous plug. So we still have some time.
How much time? That's for you to guess! We are now taking a poll of guesses for date and time of delivery. Just to get the ball rolling, here's mine:
I'm shooting for September 28, around 11pm. Hopefully that means I can come home from a regular work week, shower and eat, and right then Kira's water will break. And it's a week before the psychology GRE, so not at all conflicting.
There's my guess. Let's hear yours! The winner may be announced by next Sunday. AAAAaaaaahhhhh!
P.S. The estimated delivery date is October 4th.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
My mother's quilt (the pinwheel design) and Kira's grandmother's crocheted afghan are the icing on the cake (or quilt in this case). They've made for an absolutely adorable getup and Avey will be sleeping in luxury for several months to come. Too bad she's too young to appreciate it.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
In other news, I retook the GRE yesterday. A practice test showed an 80 point increase from my first score, but when I took the real test, it was only 10 points above my original. I'm disappointed, but okay with it. My scores aren't terrible, I just don't feel like they reflect my abilities. The thing is, as a psychologist, I will never have to figure out how far train A got compared to train B, let alone figure it out in two minutes. So I still think I have potential as a psychologist.
We are slowly getting unpacked, we have another appointment with the midwife on Tuesday, and Kira and Avey are both doing as well as can be expected. She's gotten all of her clients ready to transfer for when the baby's born, and I'll start putting the crib together tomorrow. Pictures may accompany next week's entry!
Sunday, September 2, 2007
You know, moving may just be the greatest thing in the world. First, you get to take a careful inventory of everything you own, separate it, categorize it by size, shape, weight, and order in which you use it. Such a delight!
Next you get to pack all of that into cardboard boxes, labeling them all the while, and finding a place to stack them until the actual moving day comes. The rapture of it all!
Then comes the best part: the actual move. You get to haul all of your friends (soon to be former friends) and family over to your place (we baited ours with doughnuts) and get them to heft all of your worldly possessions to another dwelling. Our situation was particularly enjoyable because we went from a third floor to a third floor so that we could get an extra good work out on our knees. Does the magic never end?
After burning several hundreds of thousands of calories, your stuff is in your new place... somewhere. That's where you finally end the game by undoing all of your categorizing and packing and making a big mess of the new place! Could it get any better? The answer is no, it could not.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Then the word "shower"; the baby may be getting "showered" with gifts, but aren't they really more for the mother? I guarantee Avey doesn't care what any of the stuff looks like, as long as she can get a hold of it and stick it in her mouth. Oh, and babies don't even shower for at least several months, they get sponge baths. I declare it should be called a "Shower of Gifts Upon a Future Mother". Thank you.
In any case, it was a very nice event, and several people came and were very generous with their gifting. Some of the big hits are shown. My beautiful, talented and virtuous mother made both the quilt and the booties pictured above. They are absolutely adorable and were the cause of much "ooh"-ing and "aah"-ing by the ladies. Much of her handiwork is available for purchase; see her link to the right (LoveLace Creations).
The above picture is a cake made out of diapers, several toys, and a baby food masher. Despite all of my begging, Kira wouldn't even let me take a bite, but instead took it apart and packed it away (sigh).
Now that I've mentioned packing, that was our activity yesterday. We came much farther than I expected and should be all set for our big move next weekend. Remember, if you're reading this and live within 50 miles of Provo, you are now legally obligated to come and help us. I'll let you know how it goes next week.
In the meantime, compare this to the photo of Kira in this same blouse in one of the earlier blogs (Ahh...Freedom!) and let us know if you think she's grown very much.