Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The extraordinary Tom Knapp

While I was suffering from Baby Van withdrawals in Colorado Springs for four days, I did manage to fill one of my days with something I had been wanting to see for a long time.

I got to see exhibition shooter, Tom Knapp. He has two shows of his own on the OLN as well regularly appearing on "Impossible Shots" show. It was a blast! He is a super nice guy and went through the crowd before the show introducing himself and shaking hands. He also stayed after the show for a good hour signing autographs on clay pigeons and taking pictures. A real class act.

I had unfortunately missed him the day before when he did a show about 20 minutes from my hotel. Instead, I had to drive almost three hours to Nunn, Colorado to see him. I took a major freeway to a small highway, to a one lane country road, to three dirt roads and viola, I was there (there being the middle of nowhere).

Anyways, if you ever have the chance to catch one of his shows, a three hour drive is totally worth it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Van's First Week

Today Van is one week old!

He has had a full week all full of firsts... first bath, first doctor's visit, first time on tv... you know, all the normal stuff :)

He is a great baby and sleeps all the time. He even slept all through the night last night. Hopefully that will continue!

He is eating great and is plumping up. We went to the doctor yesterday and Van is almost back up to his birth weight.

I am recovering and am feeling almost back to normal, except for the fact that it still hurts to bend over. The only hard thing is remembering to take it easy and relax so I don't hurt myself. Thankfully my mom and Kenny are both here to pamper me and help out around the house.

Here is a quick slideshow of some of Van's firsts during his first week of life.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Meet the family

Van's Photo Shoot Preview

A friend of ours from college, Jennifer Jabbour, is a natural light photographer and offered to come over yesterday to take newborn shoots of Van.

The photo shoot went really well even though Van was awake for most of the shoot. It took a while to get him to fall asleep so we could get a few of the shots, but overall he did amazing.

Check out the sneak peak of the photo shoot. We will post the link to all the pictures once they are finished.


P.S. If you are looking for a photographer, I would totally recommend Jen. She has a great eye and is super patient and fun to work with!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How appropriate...

Our horoscope for today:

If possible, make time to take a nice nap this weekend. You need a bit more sleep.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Van is here!

Van arrived at 4:56pm on 07-08-09! He is 7lbs 8 oz. and 19 inches long. We are at the hospital now and should be released on Saturday morning. Lots of stories to tell, but for now, here are some pictures :)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Car seats and rocket science

Should have been posted on June 21, 2009

Come on people, this is not rocket science.


We are t-minus two weeks to the baby launch and we are finalizing all the small stuff (and some big stuff too). On the baby launch agenda was a car seat. The government in all its wisdom feels the need to protect the youth of the nation by mandating that all children be hopelessly strapped into your vehicle when it is in motion. They will not let you even leave the hospital if you cannot satisfactorily demonstrate your ability to correctly fasten the seat to your car and then insert the child into said seat.

Of course, Jen and I over research, price check, compare and analyze everything. We finally had it down to one car seat but the tough decision was now between the cloth pattern of “Tango in the Tongo” or “Jungle Adventure.” To be fair, we had reached our breaking point in the child related decision making process. Let’s review them shall we:

1. Decide to have a child
2. Take an early peak at the child’s, uh, stuff
3. Having seen the child’s, uh, stuff, pick a name that will forever determine his destiny
4. Breech baby – choose his arrival into this world

That last one did us in.

Now we are forced to decide between the “Tango in the Tongo” or “Jungle Adventure”, which our team of psychoanalysts, statisticians and soothsayers have informed us that a misstep here will permanently and irrevocably screw up our child if the wrong one is chosen.

After many consultations and worry-filled nights we settle on “Tango in the Tongo” and hope for the best.

Three days later, Jen finds another brand of car seat that had been in the running on sale for $25 (original price $80). ARG!

We decide to roll with it and take the bargain car seat and run. Now we need a second adapter base for our other car (please don’t ask about car seat adapter bases – it is a scam for the baby accessory companies). We can get one from the manufacturer for forty bucks, but why pay forty when I can get one off craigslist (and how I love craigslist) for fifteen bucks.

Jen finds one on craigslist lickety-split and we go to check it out. Now, they are actually selling the seat and the adapter base but we really only need the base, but for fifteen bucks we’ll take the adapter and pitch the seat into the nearest Goodwill we can find.

After confirming with the seller twice that she has the base, we hit the road to go pick up our bargain find.

Anyone familiar with the term white trash? No relevance to the story, just a question.
We pull up to a mobile home (does not imply white trash), and find Bubba in the carport working on his four wheel drive truck on a Friday afternoon (does not imply white trash), without a shirt on (does not imply white trash), with a lady in the back of the truck in a lawn chair with her laptop (does not imply white trash) borrowing someone’s wi-fi. A second lady comes of the trailer looking like Juliette Lewis in Too Young to Die (does not imply white trash) with the car seat.

I ask, “Do you have the base?”

“Uh, I lost it.”


I turn around, walk back to the car and leave. Jen follows.


Not to be broken, we head home and hit craigslist again. We get another hot lead the next day and we are in the car. We pull up to a small home in a quiet neighborhood and give the door a knock. A young Russian girl answers the door and presents the car seat to us for inspection. It is in “god condition” (her words not mine), but, as we have seen already, her English is poor. The car seat is a completely different brand than what she advertised.

I guess it is hard to match the letters on the car seat with the letters on a keyboard when you list a car seat on craigslist.

I turn around, walk back to the car and prepare to leave.

“You don’t like?” she asks confusedly.

All I can do is shake my head.


Having two strikes against it, we take the new car seat over Tonita’s to borrow her baby and do a hands-on test between the bargain seat and the “Tango in the Tongo” seat. After pulling poor Gwizzie in and out of both car seats about a dozen times, Gwizzie decides enough is enough and pukes on my shirt (see puke story).

With its two strikes and a poor showing in the hands-on test, we decide to return the bargain seat and go with “Tango in the Tongo.” But we are still stuck with looking for base. Fortunately, the TT seat is far more common and Jen promises me that there are hundreds of these bases available on craigslist for next to nothing.

Craigslist again provides and we hit the road once again. This is another combo sale, she has a seat and a base for only $10.

As we pull up, my mind is decided. The house is “those neighbors.” Cute house on the left, cute house on the right, drug house in the middle.

We drove all that way, so I knock. A middle-aged Hispanic lady answers the door; she and her six year old son and five year old daughter lead us to the back yard shed.
The kids suddenly feel the need for a pick-up game of baseball. Some how Jen ends up being the catcher as the girl wings a fast ball past the boy’s slow swing of the bat, both the ball and bat missing Jen by inches.

The lady extricates the correct brand of seat and a base out of the shed (success so far) only to show us a filthy, old, disgusting, well you get the point, seat and base.
I turn around, walk back to the car and prepare to leave.

“You don’t want it?” she asks confusedly.

“I’ll pass.”


Can anyone say full price at Target? I think we have a winner.


Should have been posted on June 19, 2009

I got puked on by a baby for the first time today. Sucky thing is that it was not even my kid. Oh come on now.

We borrowed a baby to try out on car seats and somewhere in there she decided to hurl. I was just a second too slow. She smiled, she grimaced and then whamo! Puke out the pie hole. I managed to turn the vomiting child just in time to make sure that I took a hit as well as Jen and the couch.

Is this the start of long road? (deep breath) I think so.


Should have been posted on June 12, 2009

Mugworts it is!

Jen did some research and found that there is an herb called mugwort which is used to help breech babies turn. As it turns out, mugwort leaves are dried and rolled in to sticks that you burn like incense in a process called moxibustion. Jen tracked some down at a place called Nam-Bac Hang Chinese Herbs in the college area. It was great!

Jen actually said, “It must be safe, they are selling it from a store.” Yeah, they only spoke Chinese, they only took cash and the box mentions nothing about the FDA, but sure, it must be safe because we were allowed to purchase it ☺

So we set up our mugwort moxibustion station last night in the gazebo and went at it. I cannot say that I definitively know what pot smells like, but this mugwort herb does has a suspicious smell to it. We propped up Jen, her feet and two burning rolls of mugwort. It seemed to do something because once we started smoking out Jen’s pinky toes Van started turning and rolling. Now we will keep our fingers crossed and hope something turns him.

Head in the clouds

Should have been posted on June 9, 2009

The people at The Ultrasound Experience are the coolest. They did our 4D ultrasound several weeks ago and now let us come back for free to scan Jen and see if Van is still breech.

Yesterday, Jen went to the doctor (under a slightly over-exagerated emergency guise) to have them check. The cool nurse Joanne said that he had flipped! Who-hoo! But she did only an external inspection.

I am sure you can see where this is going: yep, the ultrasound proved otherwise and Van is still holding his head high. Arg. Now we have to wait a week to go to the doctor for our next appointment and possibly schedule the CS then.
The ultrasound people are still cool though; she spend like half an hour trying to find some herb called mugwort or something – she even looked up hogswart (she’s now a big Harry Potter fan and had no clue). Oh well, we will see!

Aside from the breech thing, all is well. He has stopped kicking per se and now just kind of rolls back and forth. Jen’s belly get a big lump and he turns and rolls… kinda creepy.

We are getting close now and he could really pop out at any time (BTW – do not use the phrase “pop out” when speaking to an EDD lady. I was sternly corrected with “you mean when the baby is born.” Uh, yeah sure whatever lady. Have you ever seen a CS? I think pop out is way more descriptive.

Sorry, I digress. Van is right around the corner and every so often when we put actual numbers and dates to it, like hey he could be only two weeks away, my head starts to swim a bit. I am not scared – the first few years are like raising a dog right? Keep him clean, well feed, basically just keep him alive without any more bodily harm and you are doing okay…. right? I suppose I am 31 years old, but really I feel like I should be closer to 24 or so. Maybe I should go buy a Corvette ☺

40 Weeks!

From Baby Center:

It's hard to say for sure how big your baby will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long. His skull bones are not yet fused, which allows them to overlap a bit if it's a snug fit through the birth canal during labor. This so-called "molding" is the reason your baby's noggin may look a little conehead-ish after birth. Rest assured — it's normal and temporary.

After months of anticipation, your due date rolls around, and... you're still pregnant. It's a frustrating, but common, situation in which to find yourself.

You still have a couple of weeks before you'll be considered "post-term." But to be sure your baby is still thriving, your practitioner will schedule you for testing to keep an eye on him if your pregnancy continues.

Note from Jen:

I cannot believe I made it to 40 weeks and that Van will be here tomorrow!

We had our last doctor's appointment yesterday and Van was still breech and riding way high up. He is not in any hurry to come, which works out perfectly... no emergency c-section for us!

He is still moving around inside and has a strong heartbeat, so he should be healthy and happy after he arrives tomorrow.

I am having major lower back pain and cramping, but not enough to be considered true contractions or labor. It is weird to know that I won't have to really feel any contractions at all and I still get a baby!

So, the plan for tomorrow is:
wake up...
eat something before 8:30 am that hopefully will tide me over for the rest of the day...
avoid thinking about food for the rest of the day (I can't even have water!)...
finish up any last minute cleaning before everyone arrives...
hang out with everyone once they get here...
go to the hospital at 2:20pm...
go to the operating room at 4:30pm...
Van arrives about 20 minutes later!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

39 Weeks

From Baby Center:

Your baby's waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it's likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.

While you're waiting, it's important to continue to pay attention to your baby's movements and let your caregiver know right away if they seem to decrease. Your baby should remain active right up to delivery, and a noticeable slowdown in activity could be a sign of a problem. Also call if you think your water may have broken. Membranes rupture before the beginning of labor in about 8 percent of term pregnancies. Sometimes there's a big gush of fluid, but sometimes there's only a small gush or a slow leak. (Don't try to make the diagnosis yourself. Call even if you only suspect you have a leak.)

Note from Jen:

8 days away! It is getting so close to Van's birthday!

Yesterday we went to the doctor for my appointment and things were very rushed. We were seen by the midwife and she said that Van looked great and that I am hardly dilated at all so I should be able to make it to the 8th. She also guessed that he is under 7lbs. right now and is measuring right on. After the exam she was about to send me out the door and I had to remind her that I was 39 weeks and had a c-section scheduled for the next week so I was pretty sure we needed to see the doctor.

The doctor came in and asked if we had the c-section scheduled. We said that we told her the date last week and she just stared at us blankly and said that it must have never been scheduled. How can you forget to do something like that?!? Anyway, the nurse called the hospital and then told us that there were "no good times" for that date and we would just have to take any time they could give us. Arg! I wonder if we could have gotten a better time had they called last week when they should have?!? Anyway, I didn't hear from them for the rest of the day, so I called around 4:00pm and asked if it was scheduled. They told me that we do have a time... 4:30pm on July 8th! I won't be able to eat all day that day, but at least we have a time scheduled. And who knows, he might just pop out at 4:56pm, making his birthday 4-5-6-7-8-9 :)

I am definitely getting ready to not be pregnant anymore. It is getting harder to move around and I am exhausted. I am going to miss feeling him and watching him move inside of me though...

I am taking it really easy this week so I don't go into labor before the 8th. I haven't had too many contractions and only a little bit of lower back pain, so I think resting is working. Pray that our little guy doesn't do anything rash and try to come before the scheduled time!

Can you believe Van will be here in a week?!?