Monday, December 31, 2007

Not All Good News At Our House
Now than Alan has made it home safe and sound, we've had a great deal to be thankful for. But such is life, nothing is just right. Paddington, our enigmatic and extremely lovable cat, has not been heard from since we left for the hospital last Wednesday morning. He does live outside, so this isn't a situation that is dire...yet. Paddington spends a great deal of his time near our home and to not have seen him in so long does concern us.
In other pet news, Alan's introduction to our family and into our home has not disrupted anything as far as the pets are concerned. The curiosity is palpable, but nothing out of the ordinary to report, and we couldn't be more pleased.
Alan Gets Some Rest After A Tough Week

Home At Last
Alan has fought the fight and turned some heads in the NICU with his quick recovery. We spent last night in our own beds, and by spent the night I mean mostly awake as you parents know. Alan is pictured above before his first car ride.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Alan's Ready To Go Home

Some Roller Coasters Are Fun
Our moments of pleasure in the hospital are few and far between, but last night we were visited in our room by a nurse from the NICU who brought us news of a breakthrough. Alan has begun to process his sugars more consistently and has maintained levels satisfactory enough to have been disconnected from his IV yesterday afternoon and continued progress enough to be released from the NICU and spend the night with us for the first time since he was born. Everything is going very well, and all of his test results are further indications that he may very well have put the NICU behind him for good and we may even be released from the hospital today and spend the night at home!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Hits Keep Coming
Today marks Alan's fourth day in the NICU and progress has slowed. From what we can understand we'll likely be discharged from the hospital prior to his release from intensive care. Its a bitter blow for us, especially Angie, who in spite of her cool exterior is truly hurt to think we may be going home without him.

On Being A Parent
Becoming a parent gives you a true moment of clarity. It’s very lonely and isolating but its like becoming a different person and achieving a new level of growth. However, with Alan being in the NICU we feel detached, and in some ways, not parents at all. We sit in our hospital room by ourselves, resting and watching movies as if the whole thing never happened. We visit him every 3 hours for feeding and then start the process over again.

His condition is a fairly normal one for children in the NICU, but most cases are not for term babies. He is healthy looking, feeling and is feeding well but in the end he’s still just a few days old and his system is still recovering from stress in utero. His system is still growing and maturing and the organs that are used to process sugars are getting in line every day. It looks as if we’ll be leaving the hospital on Monday, but we’ll be leaving him behind if he does not make big strides in the next 24 hours. The nurse practitioner encouraged us and gave us a lot of positive energy, but told us that in the event we do leave the hospital without him it would be “the worst day of our lives.”

Being a parent has been wonderful but full of emotion and confusion. We can hardly sleep between times we visit him and nervously await his next progress report.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Alan’s Story Continues
Today is Alan’s third day in the NICU.
Progress is slow but sure and if not for all of the equipment he’s attached to he’d look healthy and happy. He’s feeding very well and controlling his own intake nicely. However, he’s not holding on to his blood-sugar as well as yesterday and looks to have had a step backwards. But we have definitive goals for him and are working really hard to help him to achieve them. His condition continues to baffle the nurses and we can’t help but get frustrated by the circumstances. Angie is doing a really great job and motherhood is coming naturally. She took a walk out of the hospital today for the first time since we got there Wednesday morning and she’s coping really well with the situation. Our stay at the hospital ends for sure on Sunday and we anxiously await every glucose test result, for which he has had countless pricks to his little heels. The tests are very tough for us to stomach, and there’s no telling what he must think, but he’s tough and we know when he gets out of this he’ll be stronger than ever.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Alan’s Story (So Far…)
Oh, Boy! Alan Wyn did not come quietly into the world. Well, it depends who you ask. Angie woke up to what felt like water breaking at 4 o’clock on the morning of the 26th and we headed to the hospital full of hope that it was finally the day we were introduced to our son. Upon entry to the hospital, we got a negative result for water breakage, but through the various devices she was plugged into, it was noted that in response to contractions, Alan’s heart rate would drop at a rate of concern to the attendant nurses. As it was early, we awaited word from our OB/GYN as to the next step to take. Pitocin? Patience? We were in no rush, but we were the only ones, and at 7.30am the nurses and our doctor determined that a Cesarean Section was needed to relieve Alan of this stress. By 10.30am, Angie was prepped and ready for surgery.

21 minutes later, Alan arrived. He has a full head of long, dark, straight hair and didn’t so much as utter a sound upon entering the world, but for a small cry. His quiet disposition led us to believe we may have a laid-back little guy, and we were happy to have him here with us in any case. He came back to the room with Robert as Angie was finishing up surgery and met his paternal grandparents while getting a run of tests. He weighed 6.9 pounds and was 19.5 inches long, but he was critically low in blood-sugar and as fast as he left the operating room, he was put in the NICU, where he remains today, trying his best to get back to a blood-sugar level that can set him straight and get him back with us where he belongs.

Becoming a parent is scary, no question. But there is no book or life experience that can prepare you to see your child hooked up to myriad devices and tubes before you can even put him into his mother's arms for the first time. It hurts, deep. But he’s tough as nails and has taken everything from a feeding tube down the nose, an IV, periodic pricks to the feet for blood-sugar testing and a number of different nurses attending to him all in stride, and with very little complaining. He’s our little hero and we know that sooner rather than later he’ll be here with us to share in his mother’s recovery and get the stores of love we’re ready to give him. But he’s here, showing us what it takes to have strength and have life. Nothing is easy and we all have our fights to fight. He’s winning his, and we’re having the time of our lives supporting him.

Alan’s Story (Part 2)

Alan continues to persevere in the NICU today, and Angie has recovered enough to join him from time to time. His blood-sugar is steadily rising and he’s getting a good deal of nutrition, even some from Mom herself. He’s taking slowing to breast feeding but is a quick study. By the end of today he will have gone from not opening his mouth enough to full on feeding in sometimes 15 minute intervals.

Angie has really bounced back from the C-Section and is walking on her own through the hospital and to the NICU regularly to spend more and more time with Alan. They’ve begun to form that wonderful bond; you can see it in each of them. Alan does sleep a lot, but you can tell that there is no place more comfortable for him than with his Mom. She’s much happier now that the numbness has worn off and she can begin to heal, and the smile on her face when she’s with Alan can light the whole building.

Alan has graduated from the heat-lamped crib to a regular crib this evening and is steadily getting through this difficult patch. His blood-sugar has risen from 13 to as high as 67. No concrete estimate has been given for his release date but we are ever hopeful he’ll be spending the night with us tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Alan Wyn

6lbs. 9oz. 19.5 inches
10.51am


Perfect Timing
Great success! Angie gave birth to our son today at 10.51am via Cesarean Section. More to follow, much more.
Right On Time?
"I think my water may have broken."
-Angie, 4.00am

We're going to the hospital to have everything checked out before we get ahead of ourselves.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mars At Dawn, Christmas Eve 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Angie's Quote of the Day
"I'm pleasantly plump. I'd want to cuddle me."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Atari Misses Out On Pro Bowl But Gains NFL Honor
Our favorite Green Bay Packer, Atari Bigby, is still at it these days. He's a part of one of the NFC's best defensive units and part of a team that has already clinched a first round bye in the NFC Playoffs. This week, Atari was named the NFL Player of the Week. A great honor for a great guy, he's as hard working as they come and his efforts are being noticed. But it didn't hurt to have 4 tackles and 2 interceptions on national TV! Congratulations Atari!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why Not Try Some DIY
While we're waiting at home for AWM to show up, we decided to do something while we're doing nothing. So we've taken to doing some do it yourself projects. Our first project has been to get around buying the mostly overpriced and in some cases unnatural baby wipes. Thanks to our new online resource Z Recommends, we've found a nice recipe for homemade wipes that cost as little as .06 cents per wipe when compared to store bought brands that can cost around 2.6 cents per wipe. Score! We've made our first batch, and they're not only soft but smell very nice and contain no alcohol.

Our other project has been to make a homemade mobile for the bassinet in our bedroom. As we've crammed through books leading up to this delivery, we've learned some valuable lessons about the first few weeks and months of life. It's been noted that an infant's poor vision and awareness may be better suited for brightly-colored and simply-shaped items such as human faces. We've made an impression of our little family to which AWM can acclimatize in his early weeks.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Scared Silent
Our communication with friends and family is approaching absolute zero. Any call originating from us gets people excited and anxious hoping for news of labor and/or birth. AWM is seemingly very comfortable, but he's the only one. Angie is increasingly on edge, never getting comfortable and with constant back and hip aches. We're ready to go with our bags packed and tanks full of gas, but it doesn't look like we'll be going anywhere right away. And we aren't calling anyone with no news, its disappointing more than anything. More to come later....we hope.
No Vacancy

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Coming Soon?: Labor Play by Play
We'll be connected and hopefully be able to take you through step by step (text only of course) of our labor and delivery.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Angie's Quote of the Day
"If it (labor) happens, I want it fast...as in right now, or held off at least until Monday. I can't miss this."
-Angie on needing to see Liverpool FC vs.
Manchester United this Sunday.

The Lightening
Angie had her 38th week appointment today and learned that things are moving along surely. AWM has lightened and is engaged, meaning he's on the cusp of his 0th birthday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Memorable Anniversary
One year ago today we left the comforts of home and family on a trip into the unknown of Swansea, Wales. The photo above was in one of our original blog posts (all of which can be found in the 'blog archive' section of this page, in the menu on the right) from our trip abroad and shows our marina home near Swansea Bay. Just writing of this experience brings memories flooding back, and lots of emotions. We found a bit of ourselves we didn't know in Wales, we discovered a passion for adventure and a hunger for all things not us, a new culture and new friends. We often think of our time in Wales and long for the days we'll be able to return, this time for a different sort of homecoming...for AWM, our little piece of Wales we brought home with us.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Angie's Quote of the Day
"The feelings of anxiety I'm getting as I lead up to this delivery are quite similar to those that I've had as I've approached a marathon with minimal training."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A look inside AWM's room.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Like Sands Through The Hourglass...
So are the days of our lives as a couple, as in two. Things are changing around here. All the nursery needs is a baby and we love the smell of Dreft. What more is there to do? Oh, yeah...the birthing. What may have been Braxton Hicks contractions have begun and Angie is increasingly irritable and uncomfortable;
AWM should be here any day now.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Angie At 37 Weeks!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Sort Of Homecoming
We took a break last week and headed up to Dallas. Since Angie's parents moved from Dallas a little over a year ago, we haven't had much reason to visit. That was until the Green Bay Packers came to town to play the Dallas Cowboys in the game of the season thus far in the NFC. Atari is now an established member of the Packers secondary and this would be our first time to see him play professionally. We met up with Angie's dad and had an amazing time watching Atari play in the biggest game of his young career. We had a great experience in the stands as well, sitting in the player's family section with kick returner and defensive back Tremon Williams' father and kicker Mason Crosby's sister.
Atari had a good game in spite of the narrow defeat (
the Pack unfortunately lost 34-24) and we're grateful to him for giving us the opportunity. Thanks Atari!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Honeymoon Is Over
Angie continues to carry on, growing ever bigger and closer to delivery. With a little over a month to go however, things have gotten a little uncomfortable. Her bladder has become a bit of a trampoline of late, and space is at a premium in the belly. But as usual, she makes no complaints and keeps active. Things are close enough now, and the false-labor symptoms are becoming more apparent. We haven't packed the bag for the hospital yet, but the luggage is out of the attic.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

AWM Making Friends
Pinky has always had a keen sense of what will get him the furthest in this world. Be it kitty-catting his way onto Angie's heart strings, or just being cute and lazy, he's got the run of the house and the ultimate benefit of the doubt. Take for instance his latest alignment with AWM. Paws firmly wrapped around Angie's belly, Pinky is making it clear that he comes in peace and welcomes any new additions to our family, further cementing his place amongst the untouchables in the family hierarchy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reader Interviews!
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Q&A we provided. It's been a blast combing through all of the answers and taking notes. Below we've posted the questions and a selection of answers from you and everyone else who responded. We can't thank you enough for your contribution and your friendship. To have people who have been through the process and emerged with crash-tested methods in our lives is truly priceless.
_____________________

1: Aside from strollers, diapers (the usual): What is one parenting "gadget" you could not live without?

The consensus pointed to the simple (or in some cases, vibrating) Bouncer Seat.
*or*
"Baby Bjorn" -Pete & Caroline B., Dallas, TX.

2: What is one "gadget" that is completely useless?

This question got a lot of varied answers,
among the most interesting were any kind of
warming device (i.e. bottle/wipe warmers)

*and*
"A changing table-much better to have a dresser and attach a changing pad-then the dresser is still useful for other things."
-Liz B., Chicago, IL.


3: If you could do it all over again, what would you change (if anything)?

We were happy to see that a lot of readers were satisfied
the way they've done it and wouldn't change a thing!
Three cheers for parental instinct!

*also*
"Read more, eat less." -Trudy W., Conroe, TX.

4: What is one thing you would take to the hospital
that isn't on the lists?

"Vanilla Lavender Aromatherapy Oil"
-Beth E., Denver, CO.


5: If you had one piece of advice for Angie, what would it be?

So many good and thoughtful answers!

"Don't stress out about putting him on a schedule
the first few months. I was freaking out because he wasn't
eating or sleeping at 6 weeks to two months.
It will happen." -Emily M., Houston, TX.


And I'd be a fool not to post this:

"Don't be too hard on Robert, although it will be difficult."
-Holly R., Baton Rouge, LA.


6: You are in the hospital, you have just given birth. What food do you most crave?

Some said thirst was more prominent than hunger,
but something greasy (cheeseburgers/fajitas)
got the most mentions.
*and*
"Sushi. And Italian subs, I ate one everyday in the hospital."
-Victoria N., Boston, MA.

7: What is the most difficult thing about newborns?

No surprise here, Sleep Deprivation was a
prominent answer.
*and*
"Getting the baby to latch on properly for breastfeeding.
The baby is starving and won't latch on and is crying and
getting all worked up because he is starving, their
little nails scratch their little faces.
Get some tiny mittens for his hands for the first 6 weeks."
-Kristine M., Spring, TX.

8: What is easier than you expected?

"Bonding with your baby....it's love at first sight."
-Joy S., Leeds, UK.

9: What about your newborn do/did you find most fascinating?

"It was the first smile, that first real connection,
that melted my heart, and it's just downhill from there.
You fall fast." -Christy S., Harrisburg, PA.


10: How long was your labor?

The shortest non-surgical labor was 4 hours.
The longest was about 36 hours!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Z Recommends
Shuffling through Blogger out of curiosity can be fun and at times even frustrating, but recently I stumbled upon a real gem: Z Recommends. Z Recommends is a blog that goes in search of the truly kid-friendly, kid-accepted and kid-compatible solutions to your child's every need. From time-savers to time-gainers, from good things to downright dangerous things, Z Recommends keeps us in touch with what's hot and what's not, from the eyes and sensibilities of Z.
Z is the daughter of Jeremiah and Jennifer McNichols, who are obsessive product appraisers, invested online community members, occasional consumer crusaders, and tireless blog enthusiasts. Check 'em out!

ZRecs has just published their annual Gift Guide. So if you are ready to get out and do that holiday shopping, don't do it before you check out Z Recommends and see if it passed mustard with a real child first!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Evil Clocks
Waiting around for the inevitable can get into your head. We have just 6 weeks remaining until we check into the hospital as a team of two and check out of the hospital as a gang of three. But time passes oh-so-slowly for Angie. The more time we have to wait, the more time she has to consider all of the possible ways labor and delivery will go. The way it has gone is as more time goes by, the worse it gets in the delivery room. Hours of labor, epidurals, episiotomies, Cesarean sections! The fear is creeping in and there is still a lot of time on the clock, the evil clock! How about a short, painless delivery? Not a chance.
You Know That Your Spouse Is A Dork When....
She gets visibly excited when the FranklinCovey catalog comes in the mail.

Friday, November 02, 2007

We're Not Good At Building Registries, But...
We're in the process of finalizing our baby registries. We've been encouraged to expand our options by adding Target to our original Babies "R" Us registry.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Notable Birthdays In December and Beyond
Since we're fast approaching Angie's due date, I thought we'd (hastily) post some notable people with December birthdays that are on or around December 26th give or take 2 weeks.

December 12:
Daniel Agger
December 14:
Michael Owen
December 15:
Robert's Father, Matt
Gustave Eiffel
December 18:
Stephen Spielberg
December 21:
Robert's Maternal Grandfather, Dale
Paco de Lucia
December 26:
Ozzie Smith
December 27:
Angie's Paternal Grandmother, Maria
December 28:
James Blake
December 30:
Angie's Sister, Jill
Tiger Woods
December 31:
Henri Matisse
January 3:
JRR Tolkien
January 4:
Angie's Sister-In Law, Guerdy
Sir Isaac Newton
January 8:
Stephen Hawking

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"I Don't Need That Crap. I'm Not Broken, You Know"

Monday, October 29, 2007

Alive and Kicking
AWM is alive and kicking...Angie's rib cage. While it's a positive sign that he may be moving in the right direction and out of his transverse position, Angie is finding that he being situated head down and feet up can have painful consequences. He's been nudging his appendages into Angie's lower ribs all day today, causing visible and audible pain. Much to her chagrin, she reminded herself there may be up to 2 more months to endure.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Totally Phat!
Angie at 32 weeks.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Choosing A Pediatrician
In the coming weeks, we hope to settle on a pediatrician for A.W.M. Since I know some of our potentially 11 readers have children and have gone through this process before, we'd like to know if there is any one thing to look for when choosing a pediatrician. You can comment anonymously to this post below
.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007
A swift breeze (leaves leaves) everywhere, a clear blue sky above. At home, 3.05pm. Summer is behind us.

Monday, October 22, 2007

If I Had One Wish....
I need to preface this post by saying that we are by no means a divided household. I know all the words to
"White and Gold" and "The Ramblin' Wreck", have traveled to Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta to see them play Notre Dame and have witnessed a Georgia Tech appearance in the Final Four in 2004. I even have a healthy dislike for all things UGA. We love Georgia Tech and all it represents but we haven't even stepped foot in the state of Arizona to see the mighty Sun Devils of Arizona State! So while the football team in Maroon and Gold are 7-0 and in the Top 4 in the BCS for the first time since it was created in 1998, I'd like some time to enjoy the moment (however short-lived it will be).
All things being equal, if I had one wish for our son it would be that he turn out like the kid in this video: Go Devils!



Sunday, October 21, 2007

Vote Atari Into His First Pro Bowl
Our brother-in-law Atari Bigby is having a dream season so far with the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have started the season 5-1 and the defense is 13th in the NFL in Total Defense. The polls are open for fan voting for the 68th annual celebration of the NFL's best players. Atari is second only to Nick Barnett in total tackles for the Pack, and ranks ahead of the Packer's 2006 1st round draft pick (5th overall) AJ Hawk in all defensive statistical categories. Not bad for an undrafted free-agent.

So log on to NFL.com (link) and cast your vote to send Atari to Hawai'i as the best Strong Safety in the NFC. He deserves it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

"The Worst Feeling In The World."
It's not that dramatic. However, being pregnant can fray your emotions to their ends. Angie is a beautiful pregnant woman, I know that coming from her husband is more than expected. And I want to give a lot of credit to all of the women, especially our friend Holly, who have handed down maternity clothing and allowed Angie to relax in her own skin and dress beautifully at the same time. She's a wonderfully optimistic person and I'm so glad to be going through this with her.
As mentioned, were into the single digits as far as scheduled weeks to delivery, and Angie is on schedule to gain the appropriate and expected weight associated with pregnancy. But the pants are getting a little tighter and time and space is running out for the 'stretch' in the stretchy pants continuing to give. The pants without stretch are right out! As Angie described her last moments in her last remaining pair of pants without 'stretch': "It's the worst feeling in the world."

Friday, October 19, 2007

9½ Weeks
We're into single digits! That's all that's left for our little guy in utero. Time is flying, and our Prepared Childbirth classes are doing a lot to relieve our growing anxiety. But watching birthing videos is strangely reminiscent of watching videos in drivers education: more scaring straight than educational. Expect the unexpected is the lesson and Prepared Childbirth is looking more and more like You Have No Idea What You're In For! But Angie is happy and healthy and AWM is as active as ever, ready for the world but content and comfortable for the time being.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Birth Poll: Results
With 11 votes in the "When will Angie give birth?" poll, we were surprised to see we had more than 4 readers as we originally estimated. Thanks! But its been on 11 total votes for some time now and since it was pinned to the top of the blog taking up space, we felt we should put it to bed and publish the official results!

When will Angie give birth?
0% said December 26th, "On Time"
9% (1 vote) said "More Than 1 Week Early"
18% (2 votes) said "Less Than 1 Week Late"
27% (3 votes) said "More Than 1 Week Late"
45% (5 votes) said "Less Than 1 Week Early"

Watch this space for the official birth date and time!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Very Ferry Foursome
Its difficult to fathom just how long you've known somebody when it stretches back into the decades, but I recently got together with some old friends to attempt to play a regular game of tennis. A quick calculation: between us we've know each other a combined ~64 years! It's a great way to keep in touch and to stay in shape.

Top: Robert · Will
Bottom: Ben · David

Monday, October 15, 2007

Whatshisname Has Initials
While we're still holding his name close to the vest, we have decided that its only right to give a little peek into what were going to name our first child. As you may know, its a boy. But that's about as much information as we've given you. But with leaks here and there, Angie's family knowing his first name by virtue of a few ill-advised clues spread out between family members coupled with their excellent deduction skills, we sit with such a short time to hold on to the last ever secret! But secrets are hard to keep for a reason, and we're excited to know what his name will be and excited to know that spilling the initials won't do much harm. So here we go:

AWM


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oldies But Goodies
This past Saturday, we went to our local library's Fall book sale. Slashed prices on children's books were the order of the day, and we made out with some real gems. 13 books for $6, like Peter Rabbit and Snow White. Most notably however, we came out with a 1976 printing of Curious George Goes To The Hospital. We also found good books to help teach diversity, religion and culture. One of our favorite finds was admittedly more suited to our taste, but with any help from us our son will come to love our discovery of A Middle Earth Album, published in 1979, that includes paintings by Joan Wyatt inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings book series. Thanks Montgomery County Library!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

No Pain, No Gain
Cold compress, check. Prescription pain medication, check. Silver bell for wife assistance, check. Dunce cap?
Who knows what will become of me after all 4 wisdom teeth are removed today. I'm already not the sharpest knife in the drawer, brightest light in the building, etc. Doesn't one need wisdom teeth? I need all the help I can get, a few concussions ago. Fingers crossed I'll get through this and still remember what it was like to have all my wisdom....teeth, that is.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sitting Sideways
As much time as we're spending with our little bump these days, we still don't know that much about him. The nighttime attention to his every move has revealed a few things including that his 'hiccups' are getting more and more frequent. Another thing we've come to learn is that he is positioned transverse, or sideways, in the womb. At this stage of pregnancy babies that sit transverse aren't at risk for any complications, however, the mother faces some discomfort from the child stretching the womb and its supporting ligaments. Thankfully for Angie, there are some exercises she can do to encourage him to move into the more traditional position of head down in the womb. The bad news is that if his position does not change within a few weeks of delivery he will almost surely be delivered via Cesarean Section.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Anniversary #2
Today marks our second wedding anniversary! It feels like just yesterday we hosted friends and family in Colorado Springs for a wedding and brunch in the cool Colorado sunshine. The day of our wedding was a perfectly blue-skied day, and boy were we lucky. The following day, Colorado Springs was dumped on with 2 feet of snow! So here we are, two years down the line and never happier, a baby on the way and those same great friends and family to share our lives with. We'll never forget the lengths that some our friends went to to join us that day two Octobers ago, and we'll raise a glass for them today as we celebrate an unforgettable day.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Word of the Day
Knalf (nâ·f), n., pl. knalves (nä
·vz)
1. When the distinction between the knee and the calf becomes blurred, unnoticeable.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Angie At 28 Weeks!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sleeping Softly
Updated Pillows-In-The-Bed Count: 9

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Barefoot (and Pregnant) Contessa
Angie has turned a new leaf in the bid to keep herself well fed and happy at home. Robert is the resident cook in the house, but Angie has taken over the kitchen in the past week or so. She's been baking her way to food bliss with: blueberry muffins, coffeecake muffins, pecan pie, chocolate soufflé and chocolate chip cookies. But the best was yet to come, a night of Ropa Vieja and tostones capped off a great weekend of indulgence. Best leftovers ever.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Back To School
This week we started our Lamaze® Prepared Childbirth classes at Memorial Herman Hospital, where Angie will eventually be giving birth (hopefully before 2008...as of today, if you ask our pollsters, 44% say he'll come less than a week before his due date.)

In our class is a diverse group of parents, if we remember correctly there was a 6-3 expecting a boy to expecting a girl ratio. We were the first to introduce ourselves and held firm to keeping his name a secret, but all the other parents were more than happy to divulge the names they'd chosen. Among them are: Ella, Kason, Luke and Gabriella. There were some worried parents and some prepared parents but all of our classmates, like us, were expecting their first. Angie had the latest due-date of all (December 26th) and the earliest was October 27th! Not long! Next week, we may place bets on if that couple will make it to our last class on October 25th.

It was a good experience, its fun to share this time with others in the same situations. And since we're last on the due date list we can count on our classmates to help us along as the time goes by and they get a little closer than us to the big day. It was a great night for Angie, we practiced massage techniques and relaxation methods. But if you ask me, the women were more happy about the bathroom breaks and the free snacks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Heisman (1994-2007)
Today is a very sad day. Its difficult to find the words to describe the way I feel about the people and animals who have touched my life so soon after they're gone. But Heisman has a very special place in my heart and I will miss him very much.

Please read this touching Eulogy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sleeping Softly
Updated Pillows-In-The-Bed Count: 7
Please Don't Tap The Glass
Pregnancy is fun! At least it seems fun apart from the backaches, swelling, nausea and bladder pressures. Last night was a very cool moment that I wanted to share. We were doing some quiet reading and Angie began to feel some kicking and punching from within. I'm always up for getting kicked, so I turned to her and got my hand close only to see a distinct vertical movement toward the belly button, like a fist under a shirt. Just a brief ripple only lasting a split second...we were watching him move inside the womb! Wonders never cease, and we're loving it. Angie was keen to see more movement and was lightly tapping away at her belly for the next few minutes!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Something Funny About Kids
When our friends Keith and Holly stopped by over Labor Day weekend we had the time of our lives. They have the nicest and most fun-loving children. Sydney, Robert's new best friend, is as sweet as they come. Jack is a curious and hilarious!
When we said goodbye it was a sad day, and when the house was cleaned up of all of the toys and crayons the house seemed so empty. So empty, in fact, that Robert misplaced his watch. Living without a watch is no big ask for Robert so he passed it off as 'its been fun, nice runs and all but its gone.' But fighting a cold over the last few weeks has reaped its benefits, and once the last tissue was pulled from the box...voilá! There was the watch!
Fitting things into appropriately proportioned areas is a skill these two kids have mastered! They found a perfectly great place for a watch, and we found that letting go is essential to truly appreciating something. Welcome back, watch!

Friday, September 21, 2007

B-u-r-g-e-r
I know that I'm probably not the only person out there that find pregnant women utterly hilarious at times. Angie is taking pregnancy in stride and has a good laugh at herself and her new body every once in a while, but since I've mentioned the eating thing a few times before I thought I'd share a story with you.

Trigger (above) has been around for over a decade, and he's picked up some good bits of English along the way. He knows just what "dinner" is, "toy", "lay-down", "speak", all the usual stuff. But unless you want to commit yourself to some time outside walking around the neighborhood, don't say "outside", and definitely steer clear of "walk". These are are amongst the words we casually use between ourselves by spelling them when in the presence of Trigger. Luckily he's none the wiser when we're not in the mood.

Angie, now that she's eating for two and getting some cravings for America's finest, has adopted similar traits. Say "burger" and its pretty certain that's what's for dinner. Too bad she can spell, I'm getting over-burgered. Gotta go...Fuddrucker's Takeout tonight.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

On Freaking Out
In her Interview, Angie said "I'm not as freaked out as I probably should be." And while these thoughts of parenthood become closer and closer to becoming a reality, we're breathing a collective sigh of relief that we're in this thing together and are prepared for, above all, not being prepared. The fundamental piece of parenting advice, from mothers and friends and strangers alike, is that anything can happen. All of the reading we're doing, all of the child-like curiosity that we're throwing upon our parents can do nothing to prepare us for being a parent. Going from having the freedom to read ourselves to sleep about parenting to having bouts with sleep deprivation isn't something that is taught, it seems as though parenting is thrust upon you.
We're steadily biding our time in the frying pan as the fire churns within Angie, and we will, in any case, be ready for anything.

Into The Home Stretch
Today is the first day of the rest of the pregnancy, the third trimester! The shoes are getting a bit tighter, the belly is definitely getting bigger, and the anticipation is palpable!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Cina-Tragedy
Pregnant woman sleeps. She dreams of breakfast. Mmmmm, its only a matter of time before I sink my teeth into those cinnamon rolls topped with that sugary goodness.
Lesson: Ensure that your oven is not set to 'broil'

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Angie Interview, 10 Burning Questions
13 September 2007

1. Angie, thanks for sitting down with us for this in-depth interview about how you and your pregnancy is going. You're now in Week 25, how is everything so far? Is it what you expected?

Angie: I'm glad to contribute, there's a first time for everything!! Everything is great here...I was never really scared of the pregnancy part, just the whole baby part :)

2.
As far as preparation for delivery and the getting ready to be a Mom, what has been the biggest thing for you to try and achieve prior to giving birth?

Angie: To read as much as possible, and harass my mom about what to do about this and that.

3.
How has Robert been throughout this process? Is he an active participant in your pregnancy?

Angie: He's been great!! I can't imagine having to do all of this alone. Once the baby is born, I know Robert will be there to really help out so I'm not as freaked out as I probably should be.

4.
You are far enough into the pregnancy now to have experienced some highs and some lows. What has been your favorite thing about being pregnant?

Angie: The movements :) It feels like he moves all the time: it's pretty cool!

5. And your least favorite?

Angie: Having to sleep on my sides instead of my back :( It really sucks!!

6. Have you had any embarrassing moments at home or at work when it comes to adjusting to your new body?

Angie: Not really other than burning my belly when reaching over a hot pan last weekend; not real used to the protrusion.

7. You and Robert have decided to keep the name of the baby a secret. What's your motivation and have you kept your secret safe?

Angie: Well we have to have some surprises left! And yes, I've had a minor slip up....it's funny how a good dessert has pretty much the same effect as alcohol these days :)

8. And his name is?

Angie: Hahaha.

9. One last question. You and Robert are big soccer fans. Who do you think your son will support? Leeds United or Liverpool?

Angie: He's a winner, and will naturally support a winner....besides I'm sure he'll look great in red :)

10. Any final words for our 4 readers out there?

Angie: Thanks for reading, we have a great time putting this blog together so its nice to know you're reading and that you're interested! Keep checking in!


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Random Ramblings: Taking Back Tradition
Has America gone soft? I can't remember the last time I saw a house and its trees covered in toilet paper. With a child on the way, 'Wrapping' or 'TPing' houses is something I look forward to doing again. Flaming bags of dog mess is one thing, egging homes is a no-no, but throwing rolls of toilet paper into trees will make a comeback! It was a fun way of saying 'we got you' or even 'I like you' to a secret crush. No one understood it but the kids, but I've kept that understanding over the years and now the tide has turned! Hahaha! Time for a comeback!
So look out neighborhood, see you in 2015!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

24 Weeks And Counting
Best Play Date Ever
We had the great pleasure of hosting our good friends Keith and Holly and their kids Jack and Sydney (pictured above) this weekend. We had an absolute blast with these two and find ourselves a bit empty without the gang here. We had a full weekend of activity that started off with Georgia Tech's defeat of Notre Dame to kick off the college football season and continued with a Houston Dynamo night match that ended in a 1-1 draw. Sunday was a day out at the Whole Hog Brewery with Brew Master Jeffray. Our plans for a swim were washed out, but we managed brewed up a nice wheat beer and had a nice dinner together. Monday was a travel day and we reluctantly said goodbye to our friends as they headed home to Baton Rouge. But wouldn't you know it, they may have left a bit behind to remember them by...we think we're both catching a cold! Small price to pay for such an enjoyable experience.

We miss you guys! Come back soon!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Food Swings
The Complete Idiots Guide To Feeding A Pregnant Woman.
Where is this book? If there is a more difficult task than this, I must know. Take a finicky eater, imagine she is pregnant, try to sufficiently supply this person with food. Renting living space inside the grocery store is more practical than making a list ahead of time and shopping. What do you buy when nothing sounds good? At least ice cream is a lock for dessert.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rise and Shine
We have family all over. Robert's parents in Colorado, Angie's parents in Florida, sisters and brothers in Houston, Lufkin, Miami, Green Bay. Green Bay? The fabled frozen tundra of the Green Bay Packer's Lambeau Field is the home of our brother-in-law Atari Bigby. Atari has been working very hard on building a career in the NFL, and its starting to pay off. From the NY Jets to the Miami Dolphins, from the Amsterdam Admirals to the Green Bay Packers, Atari has been focused on his goal of being a professional football player and in recent weeks has risen to the first-team of the 3-time Super Bowl Champion Packers. So keep your eyes open for #20 coming into your living rooms this season. Congratulations Atari!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Miles Russell
At 4.01pm today Mom Guerdy and Dad Russell welcomed Miles Russell into the world today, weighing 7lbs, 6oz.; Angie is an Aunt for the third time! Congratulations Russell & Guerdy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

House Filler
We've completed our Babies "Я" Us
registry and are hopeful we don't need much more, it's a lot of stuff. So now it's here for anyone to reference and help suggest any changes or products that are recommended that didn't make the list. We're rookies after all and any suggestions are welcome, we've put it up well in advance for this very reason. So click on the link above and check it out, and leave a comment below.
Houston Dynamo 1-0 FC Dallas
Afternoon matches at Robertson Stadium truly are special occasions. Not only do they allow us to see a match and get home before bad time, but they also allow us the opportunity to spend time tailgating with friends before the match. On Sunday, we gathered with about 8 friends and a keg of Whole Hog Brew a few hours before the match and cooked some fajitas and played a few games of washers. But the real treat was watching our home town team defeat the in-state rivals FC Dallas. The win took the Dynamo's league record to 9-2-3 since we arrived back stateside and put them back atop the Western Conference standings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August Madness
Without a doubt, this is our favorite time of year. The English Premier League kicked off its season this past weekend and we were glued to the couch for every minute. The recent subscription to DirecTV satellite service has shown us a new world of sports on television and the Premiership was in the spotlight. We viewed total of 6 Premier League matches, all live, highlighted by Liverpool's 2-1 victory at Aston Villa.
Memories. It was only 4 months ago when we were at Villa Park watching Liverpool and Aston Villa play out a 0-0 draw.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Say Hello To Whatshisname
Yesterday's ultrasound seemed to last forever. It was only about 20 minutes but we got to see 'he who shall remain nameless' from every conceivable angle, moving and kicking as any child of our genes would be expected to. We got some great views; he opened up his mouth a couple of times and stretched his seemingly long legs, and his arms and hands were punching away at Angie's full bladder. According to the technician, his growth indicates he's a week older than previously thought and a new due date of December 19th has been mentioned.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Best Birthday Gift Ever
It's a Boy! Angie turned the page on another year today, but opened the book on what's going on in her growing belly. We're halfway through the pregnancy (20 weeks) and had the extended ultrasound today. What a great gift to get on your birthday! We're having a boy! Any news is good news in this situation, but we're happy its a boy in that Angie's brother Russell and his wife Guerdy are having a boy next month and the thought of having boys so close together made this news extra special.

Monday, August 06, 2007

FA Community Shield Viewing Party
Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea FC (ManUtd win 3-0 on penalties)

To get the Premiership season started in style we hosted a FA Community Shield viewing party with friends. The unofficial start to the English Premier League season, the Community Shield gives us a great excuse to celebrate our favorite time of the year. We served a full English breakfast and watched last season's FA Cup Champions Chelsea FC take on last season's Premier League Champions Manchester United. Manchester United eventually won the match, thanks in no small part to their goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who saved the first 3 Chelsea penalty attempts as his teammates converted their first 3, thus ending the match with a 3-0 shootout victory.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Animal Magnetism
We have seen a vision of our future. Angie has become the intense focus of our pet's attention, so much so that we wonder if the animals (all 4 of them) have a sense that she's pregnant. The attention she's getting has been reminiscent of Uncle Remus in Song of the South. Trigger cries by the bedroom door if she leaves but for just a moment, Jennifer waits by the back door for her to get home from work, Pinky can't seem to get enough sleep-time on the belly, and Paddington has been crying so much from outside that we've let him in to get some time with her as well. Robert feels a bit left out, but when baby comes at least he'll be prepared.
Zip-a-dee-doo-da, zip-a-dee-ay!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Counting The Cost Of gDiapers
After posting about the new gDiapers last week we made an executive decision and invested in a couple of gDiapers starter kits. In last week's post, the diaper question raised the important issue of our impact as parents on the environment and our choice to attempt to limit the potential negative impact disposable diapers could have. When parents count the cost of raising children most will quickly point to the cost of diapering a child, and the thought of investment in a 'greener' alternative could be enough for some to turn their back on their inner idealist and check their wallet.
After some research into the costs of diapers we've come to understand that sacrifice is a part of any revolution and that gDiapers can play a real part in reducing the waste that comes with diapering a child. What we were surprised to find out is that on the average, the cost of gDiapers is quite comparable to other diapers on the market. In fact, gDiapers has only two pricing/sizing categories for their diapers compared to four or five for other manufacturers. For example, Pampers has five unit sizes ranging from 8-14lbs to 27lbs+ while gDiapers has small (6-12lbs) and medium/large (13-35lbs) sizes. Tushies, a company producing lower-impact diapers from renewable resources, also has five unit sizes. Costs on average price per unit for Pampers is $0.34 and Tushies are $0.42/unit compared to gDiapers' $0.37....not bad.
We don't work for gDiapers, we just hope they'll work for us.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

3-2-1 Contact
Angie has been steadily getting over some of the initial discomfort of the pregnancy and now finds herself getting the first difinitive indications that some of these feelings she's been experiencing in recent days are the baby actually moving and poking around. All of a sudden the pregnancy has become very real.
And as mentioned in a previous post we are eagerly anticipating Angie's birthday on August 8th when we'll find out just who and what is giving her these sensations. Pretty cool gift!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Diaper Question
Don't we all have an idealist somewhere inside of us? We do, and it was dealt a vicious blow when we started learning about diapers. We will not even begin to comment on the use of diapers, cloth, disposable or otherwise, since we're not really into insulting ourselves or millions of other people. However, we have asked ourselves the diaper question and struggle with the answers. Society as it stands today is at a point that there's a fine line between pleasure and pain in the ass. And when asked the diaper question, given the simple numbers involved, we tend to see diapers as a plain pain in the ass to us and our environment. A big 'amazed look of impressed awe on the face' to those parents who have had two or more children in diapers at the same time; look no further for someone to look up to.
But how does one combat the conflict of so many diapers in this society and this environment?
While we may be finicky we're slowly coming around to green thinking, which brings us to gDiapers. In our exhaustive research, we've come across these little gems. An idealists innovation, gDiapers seemingly cut out the negative impact of diapers on the environment with biodegradable, flushable diapers/liners. While not eliminating the effort (gDiapers actually add steps to the diaper changing routine), gDiapers do downsize what some would call our carbon-footprint. Not many people read this blog, but if you do and you have an opinion on diapers, please feel free to ask yourself the diaper question and leave some feedback in the form of a comment to this post. We want to know.