Thursday, December 20, 2007

Santa's Tiniest Elf

Last year during the pregnancy, we found a Santa hat that reads Baby's 1st Christmas. Well, we dug it out of the closet tonight and were able to get a few good pictures....our faves...

First trip to see Santa

2 nights ago, Gillian was accompanied by an entourage of people to see her sit on Santa's lap for the first time. Aunt Amy rode along with us to Crown Center and we were met by Shaun and Lisa and Sara and Jason. We had a great time, and Gillian didn't cry one time. Since we had to wait around an hour to visit with Santa, I'd say that's a pretty big accomplishment for her (especially since I forgot to pack toys in the diaper bag!).

While patiently awaiting her turn to sit on the big guy's lap, she decided (well, we sat her down, but who's keeping track) to take a seat in the Crayola playhouse.
Here she is with Santa Claus...

Here is a great picture of her with Sara and Jason...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2 posts in 2 days???

I know, I looked outside this morning and there were no pigs flying, so you thought there was no way that I could POSSIBLY post today.....well, I've somehow defied logic and decided to post again. I put together a little montage and wanted to share it. I had planned on emailing it to the Smith family, but it was around 30 MB when I was done, which far exceeds any attachment size limits that I've seen. So, I was relegated to sharing it this way. Thank you to Abby for taking the pictures at Grandma and Grandpa's...they lent themselves well to a montage :)

Also, I know this may be cheesy to some of you, but it humbled me a little bit. I heard about this site on the way to work this morning. After they talked about it for a bit, they played the song that you can find on the website. Just a reminder about all of our troops serving our country who will not be able to be with their families this Christmas. The site.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Life at a breakneck pace

I am so sorry it's been so long since I've written. I last posted on Thanksgiving; which seems like just yesterday, but somehow we're only 8 days away from Christmas. In the past few weeks, Gillian has grown so much. She can sit on her own for a little bit and is doing her level best to crawl. We still think she's a few weeks away from being mobile, but it won't be long...

We have been dealing with quite a bit of weather over the past 2 weeks, and luckily everyone that we know here in Kansas city has avoided the worst of it. Unfortunately, 2 of Michelle's siblings and their families were hit pretty hard with the ice storm and were without power for a time. You can see more pictures and read a narrative of the storm on Don's website. Mother Nature is truly amazing sometimes; I just wish we could have the picturesque scenes without the hardships that are endured as a result of the storms.

This past weekend, we spent our time in Iola at the Smith family Christmas. This is my mother's side, and all of her sisters were present with most of all of their children present. Gillian was able to visit extensively with all kinds of people. She was especially excited to see her second cousing Caitlin. They had not seen each other since cousin Eric's wedding.

I keep thinking of things to write about, so I apologize if this doesn't flow very well....last week, Gillian was at the babysitter and her friend Campbell decided that Gillian was being a pest, so Campbell bit Gillian on the face, directly below her eye. We took some pictures, but the pictures really didn't do it justice in hindsight. Other than the initial shock of being bitten, Gillian is showing no ill effects from the incident...however, that being said, you should see the other kid :). Just kidding, no retaliation was taken in this incident.

On a much more serious note, the family of the girl who bit Gillian experienced a great loss this morning around 3 am. Their house burned in Kansas City, KS. At this time, I do not have any more information, but please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers, especially during this special time of year. I will post any more information that I may receive.

In addition to all of this, I saw something today that deemed worthy of posting. George Martin, former NFL defensive end for the New York Giants is walking across the country. Unlike so many other efforts, this is not to gain notoriety for performing such a feat. He is doing it to help raise money and awareness for the heroes of 9/11. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of individuals who are suffering from the toxic combination of dust and airborne particles that accompanied the Twin Towers' collapse in lower Manhattan 7 years ago. You can read more about George Martin in Peter King's column for; or you can visit George's website. An extremely interesting read....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

One of my favorite holidays is upon us...maybe it's because it involves football and food :), but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Michelle and I are truly blessed to have so many beautiful people in our lives, and lucky for us, today gives us the opportunity to give thanks for so many blessings.

We are spending our holiday weekend in Tulsa with Grandma and Grandpa Youngman, Aunt Catherine, and Uncle David. We escaped KC in the midst of our first winter storm yesterday afternoon. Living in the heart of the midwest, I truly believe you can experience all 4 seasons in a 24 hour time was 75 degrees on Tuesday, and 31 and snowing yesterday (Wednesday). I was wearing shorts last weekend for cryin' out loud!!!

Lots to update with our Gilly bean. We went to the doctor on November 14 and Gillian weighed 14 lbs. 11 oz. (which put her in the 80th percentile for weight) and was 25 3/4" long (90th percentile for height). The weight thing I can understand...but since when do I have any genes that would allow her to be tall.....regardless of how old she is....??? We were in Gas with Nana and Pops last weekend when Gillian rolled over from back to belly. That happened on Saturday, when she was 4 months and 5 days old. Now that she's accomplished that, she has made a habit of rolling around the front room, as if to say 'look at me, I'm mobile!!' Earlier this week (Monday the 18th, I believe) we gave her cereal for the first time. It's a lot of fun, but definitely messy!!

Enjoy your turkey day!!

Here's a little treat that I put this together on the Office Depot website....

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Gillian meets cousin Josh

Here is a link to an album that I meant to put out here last week but didn't get a chance. Angela and Joshua visited from Houston for the baptism and the Saturday that they got in, we went to the Farmstead where Michelle worked up until Gillian was born. We took a hayride, pet the goats, got to sit on an antique tractor, and visited the turn-of-the-century 1-room schoolhouse where Abby was the School Marm (yes, that would be my brother's wife Abby). I've attached some of those pictures here, and if you would like to see the entire set, go here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Tonight, we took Gillian over to the Shawnee Safe-Scare for a little trick-or-treating before we came back to our house to hand out candy. Gillian went down to bed about an hour ago and Michelle and I have been watching Halloween H20. We've only had about 15 trick-or-treaters tonight. We were hoping it would be more, but maybe next year....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Baptism pictures

I don't have too many pictures, but I know that there are several people who have a lot more than we were able to get. Our batteries died not too long afterwards, so there are no pictures of the reception. However, I will share what Garret was able to take for us! As always, you can find the album here, or view it through the slideshow below...

Baptism weekend

Yesterday, Gillian was baptized at Good Shepherd Catholic Church where we belong as parishioners. It was such a special day and a very incredible ceremony. We enjoyed the company of around 30 of our friends and family afterwards at a reception held at our friend Eric's art gallery. It was a perfect day. Once I get the video downloaded to the computer, I will be sharing it for everyone to see. There was a lot of talk about my inability to update the blog in a timely fashion, so I'm making that a big priority as Gillian begins to discover new things and amaze us even more.

I will upload pictures as I receive them from everyone, but before I close for now, I wanted to share this very special story with everyone.

Before I start the story, I want to point out that as you walk into our house there is a fireplace and a mantle directly to your right. To help keep my mom forever in our hearts and the forefront of our minds, a picture of her sits on the mantle. Our nephew Josh, who is 4 shared this with his Mom, Angela this weekend.
Josh: Mommy, who is that? (gesturing towards the picture)
Angela: That's your Uncle Matt's mommy.
Josh: Where is she?
Angela: Well, she is in heaven.
Josh: I don't want her to be in heaven because I haven't had a chance to meet her yet.

Yup, this was definitely a special weekend.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lots to update

It's been almost a month since I posted anything out here, and I truly apologize. I know all of you out there who haven't gotten to see Gillian any time recently. She is getting very big and we've certainly noticed that the carrier is much heavier than it used to be. She is hardly the same little baby we brought home over 3 months ago. It's hard to even qualify her as a newborn anymore, but she is still the cutest baby I've ever seen!

Last time I posted, Gillian was starting to come down with a cold. She seemed to only be sick for a couple days where she was just really congested and had a runny nose. Now that she seems to have licked that, she's happy as a lark most of the time. She's doing wonderfully at the babysitter and is making all kinds of new friends! One of her new favorite things is to roll over. We have it on video and I fully intend on putting that video out here as soon as I get a chance.

Everything else is going very well. I also have pictures of our trip to South Dakota to our cousin Eric's wedding that I will be putting out here as well.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Haven't forgotten

I promise I haven't forgotten about everyone. Things are going great with Gillian. She is fighting a small cold right now, but other than that things are going swimmingly. Michelle started back to school last Monday so we're all trying to figure out how exactly to handle early mornings and early nights.

Gillian (at her last Dr.'s visit) weighed 11 lbs. 4 oz. and measured 22". She is growing like crazy!

I will post more stuff later, but wanted to let everyone know that I have not abandoned this blog by all means!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

All smiles

Last night before we put Gillian down, she decided to give us a little smile show...don't mind Michelle's finger in the bottom corner, she just wanted to add her own little touch.

And if you're reading this and looking for updates, make sure that you read on down for a while, this is the 5th post that I've put up today. Enjoy!

Gillian rolled over!!

Before we get to the big news of the post, I thought I would recap last weekend. We left KC on Friday and got to Nana and Pops' house a while later. The next day, Gillian got to swim for the very first time in her brand new Dora swimsuit! Look for those pictures in the slideshow below...

That night, we took Gillian to Mom's grave site for the first time so she could officially meet her Grandma Janet. It was a pretty special moment for me. I know she's in heaven smiling down on us, but it made fatherhood seem so much more real to me, and it meant everything for us to be able to take her out there.

On the way to Tulsa Saturday night, we drove through Coffeyville, KS. Even though it was dark, we could tell that the entire north side of town had been ravaged by the flood. There were no streetlights, and oil and water marks on everything that were sometimes 8-10 feet off of the ground. Unbelievable.

We had a very fun visit with Ma and Pa and we were also able to see Aunt Catherine's dorm room at the University of Tulsa. Very cool...we can't believe she's in college already!

On Tuesday, as I was working on getting things together, Michelle decided to put Gillian down on her belly for a little tummy time. After about 10 minutes of lying there and getting more frustrated by the minute, Gillian rolled over! Michelle did manage to get before and after shots.

After...(she looks so accomplished...)


We took over 250 pictures over the course of the last 2 weeks and these were the best ones that we could find. Maybe someday I'll get them all cataloged and posted somewhere, but for now, this is gonna have to do. You can find the web album here.

Here is the slideshow...

Gillian, her Bumbo, and Einstein

One night Michelle and I thought we would try out the bumbo/baby einstein combination. It worked for a little's a video of her first Einstein experience.

1 of many posts of today

We've had a lot going on, and I wrote about it in my last post, but I finally have pictures and videos to prove it!! I'm going to do several different posts and put them in the order that they occurred...

First is a video from when I went to Wisconsin and Michelle stayed home with Gillian. I hadn't seen this one until last night, so it was a surprise for me too...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Big update

The days all run together, but I will do my best to recap what has gone on in the past 3 weeks or so. Michelle's sister Angela came to visit for a few days and to get in her Gillian time. There were several pictures of Gillian by herself during Angela's visit, but only a handful of Gillian with her Aunt Angela.

After Angela left, Gillian had a doctor's appointment the following week on the 14th of August. At that appointmnet she weighed 8 lbs. 10 oz. (50th percentile) and was 21 1/2" long (90th percentile). Rupel also mentioned that she was in the 30th percentile for head circumference (up from the 25th percentile at the 1 week visit. Last week on the 24th, Michelle had her first post-partum visit and while the nurse was taking her vitals, Dr. Sarah took Gillian to see how much she weighed. With all of her clothes on (which can't weight all that much) she weighed 9 lbs. 10 oz. She gained a full pound in 10 days!! She's getting so big!!

Anyway, back to the task at hand....the weekend of the 18th and 19th, Adam (cousin) and I trekked to Wisconsin for a float trip for Eric's (another cousin) bachelor party. The only problem was that it was only 60 degrees and it rained the entire time. I overheard someone saying that the river temperature was 51 degrees. Needless to say, we did not float the river!! Adam and I left KC on Friday afternoon and returned early Sunday evening. It was a fun trip, but I missed my girls! I didn't think I would say this, but it was nice to get back to the KC heat after such frigid weather up north. It certainly felt like football weather, I'll say that much!

This past weekend brought the Danz Family, consisting of Michelle's sister Mary, Mary's husband Don, and their 2 boys Drew and Will, to Kansas City. Don flew back to Tulsa on Sunday and I came back to work on Monday but the girls and all of the kiddos went out to the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead for a little fun in the sun.

Last night, the Dave Matthews Band made their annual stop in Kansas City at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Michelle and I decided a few weeks back that we would definitely go to the concert this year, since it fell so close to our anniversary (Thursday, the 30th). Anyone who knows me would be very surprised to learn this was my first DMB concert, given the enormity of my man-crush on Dave. The man-crush (or man-buddy) discussion is one to be had at another time....anyway.....we bought our tickets a couple weeks ago from someone who is a member of the Warehouse (the DMB fan club) and so we had pretty good seats, but then yesterday Margaret K. sent Michelle an email offering their seats to us. Margaret's tickets came with VIP parking and access to a VIP tent, where we could enjoy drinks and a catered dinner, so we opted to take those tickets instead. As it turns out, the seats from Margaret were center-stage, 8 rows back. I don't think I've ever used the word awesome as much as I have today. I still have that perpetual stupid silly grin on my face and the concert has been over for over 12 hours.'re probably wondering what we did with Gillian last night, huh? She kicked it with her Uncle Josh and Aunt Abby. She told us on the way home that she had a great time and can't wait to do it again....neither can we, Gillian...

This weekend brings us a trip to Iola to visit Nana and Pops and to see Great-Grandma and Grandpa, then we'll go out to see Grandma Janet for the first time with Gillian, which is just a few miles from where Pops and Nana live now. After that, we'll be heading to Tulsa to see Ma and Pa and to check out Aunt Catherine's new dorm room at the University of Tulsa.

Okay, enough of my rambling. The only other thing I wanted to make sure I was telling you was that Gillian is smiling all the time now and holding up her head very, very well. Here's another picture slideshow for you to enjoy!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just a quick picture or two

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. We have a ton of great pictures of Gillian taken of late, but I haven't had time to get them all organized and posted. I plan on posting more very soon (hopefully in the next 2 days), but I thought I would offer a little tease of what our little girl is doing now....

This next one is one of my favorite recent pictures. I'm not quite sure what she was doing, but it looks pretty hysterical.

At last week's doctor visit, she weighed 8 lbs. 10 oz. so she's definitely growing!!

More to come....

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

how long has it been?

Wow. Talk about 2 weeks flying by in a flash. I feel like I just posted my newest compilation out here. Now all of a sudden here we are 2 weeks later and I've not posted anything! Gillian is as happy as they come, unless it's feeding time, and we don't get something in her belly quickly...Late last week, when Nana and Pops were in town, Gillian began to smile. We haven't yet caught one on the camera, but we've been trying. Her hair is getting longer, and she's definitely getting bigger. We have our next appointment at the doctor next Tuesday. We can't wait to see how she's doing! Enough of that...I know you didn't come here to read my ramblings. Let's see some pictures!!

Actually, before we do bout a little story? Well, people have asked how the dogs are handling having another human in the house and to be quite honest, they've been great with Gillian and we've had no major episodes...that is, until last Friday. We had been hanging out around the house, and at one point, noticed that our dogs were nowhere to be found. They're usually underfoot, nearly being trampled. We really thought nothing of it....and then we found out why they were hiding. When we went into our bedroom, I noticed a GIANT wet spot on the bed. Someone decided to empty their bladder on our freshly laundered sheets. Not only that, the doggy potty went through the duvet cover, duvet, top sheet, fitted sheet, mattress pad and onto the pillow top. Are you freaking kidding me??? Needless to say, we had to launder the sheets and pay it due diligence so no stains or smells set in. Well, once we got the sheets back on the bed and were sleeping on them for the first time sans dog pee, Gillian decided that she needed to come in and feed at 2 am. Well, she must have been really relaxed with a really loose diaper because the next thing Michelle feels is a warm spot beneath where Gillian had just laid. Yup, that's right, she peed on the bed too!! I'm starting to feel left out; I guess I should pee on the bed to join the club.....

Okay, enough of my stories....These are a couple weeks old, but I will upload a new album once I get home and transfer the newer pictures to my computer.

Aww....she has Daddy's double chin....

This picture is of Gillian rockin' her tennis outfit and hip ratty sneakers from Nana and Pops.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Nearly 2 weeks old?!?!?

I put this together in my free time and thought it would be fun to share. There is sound, so turn it up if you'd like to get the full effect.

Saturday morning, we woke up early and ventured out to the Farmstead for the 7th annual Chicken Run. We were able to introduce Gillian to all of the Farmstead employees that she has gotten to know so well over the past 2 years. After that, we went home and got a little nap in before Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Smith visited. Gillian is their 2nd great grandchild, so as you can imagine, they were both very excited to meet Gillian. Aunt Amy visited for a few minutes on Saturday before work. Gillian's Great Aunt Angie and Great Uncle Jeff visited on Saturday and helped out around the house that evening and Sunday morning.

Sunday evening, Grandma and Grandpa Youngman, along with Aunt Catherine drove in to visit from Tulsa.

Gillian is doing wonderfully. She is awake much more and for longer periods of time.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Back to work

Well, it was back to work for me this morning. That was definitely the hardest thing about this past week. My intention was to come back this week though as opposed to on Monday...that way I get a couple days off after my first day back.

Anyway...enough about me....Gillian is doing wonderfully. She is sleeping in 3-4 hour blocks of time during the night, so that means she's only up once in between the time we actually go to bed and the time that we get up. VERY cool. Our week has been filled with visitors, which has been incredible. Thank you so much (again) to everyone for your generosity and kindness. We couldn't do this without you.

Gillian's first trip to the doctor was yesterday. She now weighs 7 lbs. 7 oz. and has gained an inch on her length (why is it that when babies are measured, they are in length, but when adults discuss how tall someone is, it's referred to as height? -- possibly because babies are laying down all the time??? one of life's little mysteries, I suppose) Anyway, Gillian's weight puts her in the 50th percentile and her height puts her in the 80th percentile. All of Gillian's stuff aside, the doctor was more concerned with Michelle and I's general health, since we both are having quite a battle with poison ivy. Let's hope it gets better soon....the doctor has already given me 1 cortisone shot, 2 steroid packs, and has now prescribed a compound gel to put on the affected area. If the "PIG Gel" doesn't fix it, we will be forced to let it run it's course. In the meantime, I'm not allowed to hold Gillian at all... :( Dr. Sarah gave Michelle a steroid pack prescription, so hopefully that will kick in very soon too...

I'll leave you all with this picture. This one is definitely inthe running for sweetest picture ever.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Web Albums

I have created 3 web albums for everyone to view. There are pictures from the hospital and then from the 3 days that we have been home. You can either watch the slide shows by clicking on the Play arrow within the pictures you want to see, or if you want to download any of the pictures, follow the links above the embedded slideshow and select "Download Album". Let me know what you guys think. Would you rather view them on this page or go to the web albums to download pictures.....I'm just trying out the embedded player to see if I like it or not.

Gillian's Night

Gillian Day 2 & 3

Gillian Comes Home

The first 3 days have been a dream. The first 2 nights went very, very well, but last night proved to be a bit of a challenge for the first time. That's okay though, we made it through with no major hiccups. That just meant that Mommy and Daddy got to nap when Gillian napped.

We have had several visitors in the past few days. Nana and Pops (Matt's folks) came up for a visit on Sunday and brought Uncle Garry, Uncle Austin, and Garry's girlfriend Morgan. Uncle Josh, Aunt Abby and Aunt Amy also made appearances. Everyone was very excited to get to hold Gillian. Also on Sunday, Dan and Margie Coon stopped in for a quick visit.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty low key. Several neighbors came by to visit and meet Gillian. Megan, Josh and Abby, and Amy were all over at the house at various points. They're addicted to our little Gilly bean :)

In between our visits with friends and family, Michelle and I have just fallen further in love with Gillian Grace. It's amazing what one little person can do to your life's perspective.

To all of you who have been so very kind over these past few days, thank you. It means the world to us. We are so blessed to have such great friends and family. To all those who haven't been able to see Gillian yet, we hope you will be able to soon and we will give her plenty of hugs and kisses from everyone.

One of my favorite pictures from the 1st few days....Uncle Josh is pretty proud...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Gillian on Menorah's website

You can now see Gillian's pictures on the Menorah website. If the link did not work, you can copy and paste this address into your browser:

Everything is going well. Gillian is sleeping great and is generally not too fussy at all. She's absolutely perfect! More pictures later.....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

We have video!

Yesterday morning in the hospital, Michelle took a little bit of video of Gillian for everyone to see. When I went to transfer it to the computer, the file format was something I'd never seen, so it took me a little while to figure it out, but now that I out world!

As I'm writing this, Mom and Gillian are sacked out on the couch together. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I went to grab the digital camera, but I was low on batteries, so I had to settle for the camcorder.

I looked again for Gillian's pictures on the Menorah Medical Center website, but I have yet to find them. I'll keep my eye out, but if anyone else notices them, shoot me an email or comment and I will post the link.

I'm still working on getting all of the pictures in web albums for everyone to peruse, but in the meantime here are a couple more of my favorite pictures from the last 2 days.

Gillian getting ready to head for home in her Chiefs gear!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Gillian's first Saturday morning

At this point, she had only been out of the womb for just under 36 hours, but seemed nail the Saturday morning routine.

She's also had her portrait taken by the hospital photographer and her photos should be updated on the Menorah website within 24 hours. I'll post that link when I get it, but in the interim, here's a shot of Gillian in her special picture day outfit.

More pictures of Gillian

After Gillian was born, the nurse gave her a bath in the middle of the night. Here's a picture from that....

Yesterday brought more visitors and a day full of sleep. Here are a couple more pictures from her busy day.

Far be it from me to not include one of my favorite pictures of the day.

We were able to get a couple pictures with her eyes open yesterday and I wanted to share one of those. You can really see how blue her eyes are! The swelling from the birth is starting to go down, so she's able to open her eyes more often and for longer periods of time. She obviously did not have time to do her hair before this particular portrait.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Welcome Gillian Grace!

Gillian Grace Madison was born at 10:10 pm on July 12, 2007. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 4 oz. and measured at 19 1/2 inches long. She has a full head of jet black hair and the hair is about an inch long.

All told, Michelle was in labor for just under 12 hours, and is doing wonderfully. We are relaxing for the evening and hope to get a few minutes rest before Gillian comes back for another feeding. Right now, she is in the nursery, basking in the warmth of a heat lamp. She has gotten her first bath, and her hair has been washed. She has a mini-mohawk with all that hair!!

Here are some action photos from the day...

This is Michelle in the midst of her contractions during late morning on the 12th. We headed to the hospital between 1:30 and 2:00. I believe she was consulting with the doctor here and they were trying to determine what the course of action would be.
Here is Baby Gillian at a little after 10 o'clock. This is her first portrait :)

Here is all 3 of us!

I will be uploading a few more pictures to the web share site as soon as I can, so I don't take up blog bandwidth. As for now, Mommy and I are going to retire for the night. We both have a very calm and serene feeling right now. Today was the best day of my life.

My girls....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Michelle is in labor

Michelle went into labor around 10:45 this morning. After a few contractions and talking with the doctor, Dr. Sarah decided that it was time to come in. When we arrived at the hospital around 2 pm, Michelle was admitted. After being admitted, they checked Michelle and she was already dilated to 5 centimeters! She was given the epidural around 3:30. That seemingly slowed labor down and at last check (around 7 pm), she was dilated to nearly 8 centimeters. Michelle is now sleeping peacefully and everyone here at the hospital is playing the waiting game. She is doing wonderfully and we are both so very excited that tonight is the night when we add a new member to our family.

Happy Birthday to Will by the way!! Today is his 1st birthday. With any luck, the cousins will share a birthday.....

I'll post back soon....

not sure if you've heard -- MICHELLE IS PREGNANT

Just so everyone knows, once Michelle either goes into labor or has the baby, I will post just as soon as I can. Michelle thinks it will happen very soon. We've taken walks each of the last 2 nights, and late last night we finished packing our bags.

David, Michelle's brother came in to town last weekend and hung out with us for a while. We visited George Brett's restaurant on the plaza, and then on Saturday night, went and watched the Royals take on the Devil Rays. David hadn't been to a game since the early 90s, so that was pretty fun for everyone. Plus it was Buck Night at the ball park! Hot dogs, pop, and peanuts all for a dollar!

Well, here we go. I know you've all been waiting for these....Michelle's 9-month pregnancy pictures! This first one was taken at her shower given on the 23rd of June.

This was also taken at that shower.

These last 2 pictures were taken on Tuesday night. (Notice her shirt says "Coming this Summer" -- I love that shirt!)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

so many things, so little time...

Among the many things on that there is little time for? The blog of course...

Last Thursday Michelle and I visited the Birthing Ward at Menorah Medical Center for a tour of their facilities. We were able to see the birthing room, along with the post-partum rooms. It looks to be every bit as good as advertised. The address for Menorah is 5721 W. 119th Street Overland Park, KS 66209. There is a very comfy lobby and waiting room, so in the event that anyone does want to come up to see us during the process, you can use Entry B and take the elevator to the 3rd floor. Here's a pretty good map of the facility. From what I remember, visiting hours are 9 am to 9 pm.

We had a visit with Dr. Boylan Thursday afternoon after the tour of the hospital. Since Dr. Fischer was out of town, she wanted us to go ahead and come in to see Dr. Boylan just to make sure everything was normal. As usual, everything went very well, and the visit was fairly quick.

We were finally able to procure the glider for the nursery, and then we also went and purchased the stroller/carrier/carseat combo from Babies R Us on Friday night. On Saturday, as previously mentioned, we ventured out into the monsoon to buy our new video camera. I love new toys like that! We've also begun buying diapers when we make trips to Target. We now have everything that we could conceivably need in order to bring home the baby.

On Tuesday, I took the day off and Michelle and I finished up a couple of landscaping projects that were lingering on for quite a while. Now that all of those outside projects are complete, we really are just waiting on baby to come home.

We had a few friends over on the 4th for a cookout, washers, and beanbags. We lost about an hour to a mid-afternoon thunderstorm, but after that moved out, we had a great time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Birthday wishes and baby showers

It's been a week since I've updated the blog, and I'd say there's been a fair amount of things going on in our world. We went to the doctor last Tuesday and Dr. Sarah told Michelle that she is not dilated at all and at this point, the baby will likely go to term. Another very real possibility is that Michelle will have to be induced. I know I've written this out here before, but it's been several months...Dr. Sarah will not allow Michelle to go any longer than the 25th of July before inducing labor. That's less than a month away!!!

As of last Wednesday we were at 36 weeks and still pre-term by definition. The baby is still putting on pounds and is likely around 6 pounds and putting on an ounce a day! The baby has begun to shed the downy covering of hair and the cream-like substance that allowed it to survive in the amniotic fluid. The baby actually swallows these things and that stuff stays in their bowels and becomes their first bowel movement. GOO!

On Thursday the 21st (Michelle's birthday!), my entire team threw a baby shower for Michelle and I. It was a cookout during lunchtime in the parking lot at work...there was an impromptu washers tournament (which is right up my alley), all kinds of good food and lots of sun. It was a great time. After that was over, I took the rest of the day off and went home to help Michelle celebrate her birthday. We went purse-shopping (and yes, I went voluntarily), and then had dinner at Houston's on the plaza. When we got home, we had received a phone call from the guy who was going to come out and chip the ginormous brush pile in front of our house, so I drug the rest of the brush out there for him to take care of. Later that night, we had a big pile of mulch instead of a brush pile. That was definitely a busy day...

On Friday night, Michelle's parents came up to visit. We visited with them and had a very low-key night. On Saturday afternoon, it was time for the last baby shower. Amy (sister) and Abby hosted. From what I understand, the ladies had a rockin good time, while Austin, Josh and I went out to the ball field to hit some softballs. My favorite gift from the shower was a pair of Royals socks!!

Sunday was moving day for Amy as she moved from her townhouse into an apartment. I went over to help out with that and then went home to prepare for Michelle's birthday dinner. Shaun, Lisa, Amy, Megan, Josh, and Abby came over to enjoy my (burnt) kabobs and chocolate cake! Don't ask about the burnt was not a good situation :)

This week we're finishing up some landscaping and doing last-minute stuff for the arrival of our new addition! We are buying the stroller/carrier this week along with a new video know so I can update the blog with videos!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Baby Laundry

Last week we ventured into the baby's room to get all of the clothing and bedding washed before we bring baby home. It was pretty cool that there was so much laundry, but we could do it all in one load!

We have a doctor's appointment this afternoon at 4pm. I love the fact that we get to hear the baby's heartbeat every time. The baby's movements are much more pronounced now than ever, and Michelle is finding it harder and harder to sleep. Only a few short weeks and we'll be a family of 3!!

Love to last a lifetime

These days are always the most interesting for me. As a dad-to-be in a few short weeks, some days bring overwhelming emotion to me. I don't know what it is or why it happens, but most times things trigger these deep-seeded emotions to well up. Things like this article that I read in the KC Star today at work. Don't ask me why I read it, but I did. It makes me realize how incredibly blessed Michelle and I have been. This article is very powerful, and for me it evoked emotions that are hard to describe, but I wanted to share this with all of you, because that's the point of this journal of our lives. Before you click on the link, I'll give you a brief summary. This article is about a young Kansas City couple who find out around 20 weeks that their child has birth defects and will not be viable outside the womb. This details their decision to carry the fetus to term and their determination to make every moment of Zeke's life worthwhile, no matter how short of time that may be.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

where to begin...

Let's start with the baby. We are officially at 35 weeks today, and that pretty much means that the baby can come any day. Judging by the way the pregnancy has gone, I would say we will be waiting for a good while longer, but that's just my gut feeling. The baby weighs over 5 pounds and has stretched the uterus to 15 times it's normal size! The baby is also 18" long. Her kidneys and liver are now fully developed. Guess it's almost time!!!

The baby now hiccups regularly and I felt it for the first time last night. I know I've written several times that I don't know when it will be real, but it's now officially real for me. I don't know if there was a specific event that triggered this, but I know that when we go to the hospital, we're bringing home our child. I shared this with Michelle this morning...I had my first poopy-diaper dream last night. Apparently in my world, the baby comes home at the age of 2 and you can ask the baby whether or not they have a poopy diaper and they'll tell you. Michelle tells me that this is not the case :(

We had a great time on Saturday and a big thank you to everyone who was able to attend. It was so much fun to see everyone and create new memories.

We heard about a couple of great baby stores in the Kansas City metro and Michelle scouted them out earlier in the week, and then we both went on Monday night. The name of the store is Once Upon a Child and there are 2 of them in Kansas City (both in or around Overland Park). It is a consignment store, with mostly gently used items, but some items are new. It was nice to know that not everything has to cost a bundle of money!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Congrats John and Anna Marie!

John and Anna Marie Vitale welcomed their newest addition to their family yesterday afternoon at 1:58 PM. Joseph Michael (JoMike) weighed in at 9 lbs. 15 oz., was 22" long, and had a headful of dark hair, just like Mom.


the smell of a freshly painted room

Over the weekend, we had a living room painting party. Megan came over on Saturday morning and while Michelle was working at the farmstead, we began to paint the front room, stairwell and hallway. During the day, Grandpa Smith stopped by to change the locks on the house. The house was a rental before we owned it, so we don't want any extra keys floating around :) Throughout the day there were numerous cameos by different Madisons. Josh and Abby stopped by to lend a hand with the painting, Amy stopped by for a little bit, and Garret and Morgan even made it over for a cookout later on Saturday. Garry and Morgan were in town to do a bit of shopping, so we gladly accepted the company.

Sunday brought lots of sunshine and good weather to KC. Michelle and I went to the 10:00 mass and then came home and then did our best to finish up the outstanding painting that needed to be done. We were on quite a roll when we had to stop and go to a benefit at the Farmstead where we volunteered. The benefit was for the Farmstead, Operation Breakthrough, and the Jewish Community Center. It was VERY fun and we were able to meet some awesome people. We can't wait to do it again next year!

Yesterday Michelle worked on putting the final touches on the paint so we could put things back in their rightful places today. There were a couple spots that she couldn't quite get to so we finished the job completely after softball games last night. We'll be taking pictures tonight and I will load them up sometime soon.

Late this morning, we went to our doctors appointment. Normal heartbeat and everything was measuring normally. The sleepless nights will only get worse Dr. Sarah tells us. Speaking of Dr. Sarah, she managed to cut her thumb open deep enough to require stitches, and she's been directed to not do any surgeries or put on latex gloves. Let's hope we don't go into labor anytime soon! She did also mention that if Michelle does go into labor now, they will not stop it, as the baby is now viable outside the womb.

One of the new fun things that Michelle has discovered is that she can feel hiccups. It's a very rhythmic movement and typically lasts no longer than 2 or 3 minutes. Pretty cool...
Michelle's also been woken up each of the last 4 or 5 nights by her hunger. Now, you might think that being pregnant, she would reach for a slice of pizza, or a brownie dipped in ketchup, or a chocolate garlic pickle....but not my wife. Nope, 2 nights ago she polished off the bowl of cantaloupe in the fridge...for those that know Michelle, that's pretty typical...and pretty funny!

One more thing...nothing like a little FREE FOOD for a Tuesday afternoon/evening!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

sorry for the delay

These long weekends really get me off on my days. I was thinking it had only been 4 days since I posted, but it's been 6. Lucky for me, that's not my longest streak yet. Let's hope this post will kick off a stretch of quite a few days in row. Though that seems a bit too much like a Royals winning streak -- it probably won't happen. :)

We are at 33 weeks today. Our next doctor's appointment is next Tuesday. At this point, the baby really hasn't changed much in it's size, but his skin is less wrinkled and has lost the red coloration for the most part.

Our weekend was jam-packed, as we volunteered at the Great American Barbecue on Friday and Saturday. Saturday we just couldn't seem to avoid the rain. Every time the sun would come out, another thunderstorm would form right behind it. The sun made for some interesting allergy problems for me on Saturday. That led to us not being able to do much on Sunday for the barbecue, but the rain seemed to chase people away anyway. The food was excellent, and the fun was even better. We can't wait to do it again next year.

On Sunday, my parents came up for a visit and to see Josh and Abby's new apartment, so we stopped by and had a little barbecue in between storms.

On Monday, Michelle was able to get into the baby's room to do some touch-up painting and hopefully we'll be able to hang curtains and begin putting things on the wall this week.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Sorry it's a few days late and well overdue, but a great big Congrats to the 2007 graduates in our respective families. Josh graduated from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. Garret graduated from Iola High School in Iola, KS. Finally, Catherine graduated from Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, OK.

This week has been absolutely nuts. After the weekend festivities, Josh and I hustled back up to Kansas City to play in a couple of makeup softball games. Then on Monday morning Michelle flew back to Kansas City from Tulsa. I picked her up from the airport, dropped her off at work and then headed to work myself. I found out on Monday that my team was to give a client demo on Wednesday afternoon at 5pm. That led to a lot of work in just 2 days time, so I apologize that I'm just now getting to the blog.

We do have pictures of the graduations and I will be adding those very soon.

As for the baby, Michelle has mentioned this week that she really feels pregnant. The baby's movements are much more prounounced and when I feel the baby move, it actually feels like a human being. It is so weird to think that in a few short weeks, our lives will change forever.

We had an appointment on Tuesday that I unfortunately missed because of the client deliverable that we had on Wednesday. The baby's little heart was pumping away at over 150 beats per minute. Michelle said that Dr. Fischer told her that she would see us in 2 weeks "unless your water breaks or you go into labor". I think that means we're getting close!! As of yesterday, we're at 32 weeks. Some significant things...the baby now has fingernails and toenails and some babies have a headful of hair by now. The baby is around 4 pounds and about 17" long.

This weekend is the Great American Barbeque. Both Michelle and I are on the Beer & Ice committee, so we'll be out there driving our little carts around and delivering whatever is needed by the contestants. Come on out and see us....I'm sure we can find time to take a little break! You can see the complete schedule of events here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Amy!

The length of a traditional quarter in a school year is all that remains between us and the due date. 31 weeks and the baby has developed most of it's internal organs, the main thing left now is for the baby to gain fat. The baby weighs around 3 pounds and is around 16" long.

It has been pretty busy this week around the house. Michelle received a surprise baby shower from her 5th graders on Wednesday afternoon. It absolutely made her week. The thoughtfulness of her class was amazing. At the age of 10 and 11, you don't expect kids to be that selfless, but these kids were. It was greatly appreciated. We are truly, truly blessed. Thank you.

Thursday was Amy's 22nd birthday, so we joined her and a few of her friends at Brio on the plaza for dinner. It was a fun night. The food was excellent, and it was good to catch up with everyone...I just can't believe my baby sister is 22!!

Within the next couple hours, Michelle and I will be headed to Tulsa for Catherine's high school graduation which will be on Saturday morning. Afterwards there is a reception to honor Catherine. Saturday night, I will be going to Iola for Garret's graduation which is on Sunday, while Michelle stays behind for Catherine's final dance recital. I have a softball doubleheader on Sunday night, so I'm headed back up to KC on Sunday evening and Michelle will fly home from Tulsa on Monday morning.

Only 1 more week of school for Michelle. I think her kids have had spring fever for the last 2 months! And to think that when she starts back, we'll have a new baby...

I probably won't have a chance to update the blog until next week, but will hopefully have pictures of Amy's birthday (this means send me those pictures Amy!) and graduations galore.....if you're really lucky, Garret's take on a popular Stomp routine will be here in the form of video.

Monday, May 14, 2007

low-key weekend

We didn't do too much this weekend. Michelle worked at the Farmstead on Saturday while I cleaned up the house (shocking, I know!). Josh and Abby were in town after going to the Grand March to see Garret walk his date, Morgan in to the prom. Josh, Abby and Amy came over on Sunday afternoon and hung out for a while and then Josh and Abby stayed in Kansas City on Sunday night as they were leaving for a trip to Pensacola, Florida to visit Kevin (one of our high school buddies).

We're only 2 months and 4 days from the due date. Funny how it gets closer by the day :)

Here's a picture of Garret and his prom date, Morgan. Personally, I think he takes after his oldest brother.....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Congrats Josh

Today was officially my little brother's last hurrah as a college student. Some 5 (not 7, as I originally had) years and 2 schools later, Josh has seemingly overnight become an alumnus of the University of South Dakota (again, I screwed this one up, I had Dakota State University...or DSU as opposed to USD). Rest assured, your first letter begging you for a donation has already been mailed (most likely with your diploma). You laugh, but my diploma did come with such a letter (as if school didn't cost enough...)

As for other goings-on, Garret was awarded the Janet Madison Memorial Scholarship for the 2006-2007 school year at Iola High School on Tuesday night. His plans are to attend Allen County Community College for a couple years and kick it in I-town working for the Iola Pharmacy.

We also got word this week that Catherine (Michelle's youngest sister) has chosen to take a pom scholarship at the University of Tulsa. It sounds like an awesome opportunity, and a whole lot of fun. Good luck to both of the high school graduates in the family this year!

As for Michelle and I, we are doing well today, but as always looking forward to the weekend. I'm going to try to get the gutters cleaned out this weekend, weather permitting.

Since Josh finished up his undergraduate degree today, I thought I would pass along a rockin' picture of him when he was a young tyke....

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

75% of the way there

We're at 30 weeks today. The baby is nearly 3 pounds and is over 15" long. The measurements are starting to get closer and closer to measurements of a newborn -- CRAZY.

Megan came over and visited us on Monday night because she had a gift for us. She saw that Dr. Oz (of Oprah fame) had recommended this item for those that have allergies and sinus congestion. That pretty much sealed the deal for her, so she bought it and brought it over to us on Monday. "It" turned out to be a Neti Pot. You're supposed to fill this pot with water and a salt mixture, tilt your head to the side, and pour. When you pour, if you open your moth it drains out the other side of your nose. I took the leap first, and Michelle thought the camera was a good idea while I tried out this little do-hickey. Hope you get as big a kick out of this picture as Megan and Michelle did. I'm sure we can also arrange for all of you to try it as well.....and no, it's not painful (as a matter of fact, you'll feel quite refreshed).

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Fetal heartbeat

Well, here goes nothin. I think I may have figured out how to get this integrated onto the blog. Let me know if it works for you!
Baby Heartbeat
Baby Heartbeat.wav
Hosted by eSnips

Wrestling in Rainwater

Over the weekend, Michelle and I made it to soon-to-be Grandma and Grandpa's house down in Southeast Kansas for a quick visit. It was a pretty miserable day weather-wise, and there were a couple of storms that came through that dumped quite a lot of rain in a short amount of time. Once the rain stopped, the skies cleared a little bit, so we went outside and found that one of the ditches had filled with water. For kicks, Austin and Garret took a little dip.. Lucky for us, I was able to get some video. I edited it down to take out the boring parts. When I did that, it seemed to come out more like a montage of Austin being knocked down....sorry about that buddy.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

new music player

I have added a music player to the page. If it does not work on your computer, right-click and select "Allow". Then you'll need to refresh the page.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

not much new

Well, there hasn't been too much going on here in the blog-world. Maybe that's because there's not that much going on with us in general :).

Today marks 29 weeks -- only 11 weeks to go. Some cool stuff about th 29th week...the baby now weighs about 2 1/1 pounds and is over 15" long. The head is growing to accommodate it's brain--which is busy growing billions of neurons. I'm really not even sure I have billions of neurons in my head. Quite honestly (Josh tells me this), I think I have rocks in my head.

So, I guess I lied in my first little blurb at the beginning...we have been doing a lot. Unfortunately, at the beginning of last week, Dianne Dickenson's mother Faye Peacock passed away. Dianne was Michelle's college coach and mentor. As such, Michelle and I went to the funeral last week. We were able to catch up with Dianne and Kristin, Dianne's daughter, who now lives in the Seattle area. We do not see some people enough :). For those interested in reading more about Faye's life, you can find her obituary here.

On Friday morning I was driving in to the office and I heard one of the more interesting interviews in a while. The guy that was interviewed was very inspiring and uplifting. He talked about dreams and helping others achieve their dreams. His dream started with a lucky penny. It sounds cheesy and a little silly, but if you go to his website you will see what I mean.

We were finally able to get the garage cleaned out on Sunday, and let me just tell you that words cannot express how HAPPY that makes us!! I was so proud I even took pictures of it. (I have a feeling that I'm going to be one of THOSE dads).

This weekend should be pretty cool. I'm headed out to chop and bundle firewood for the upcoming Great American BBQ. The BBQ is Memorial Day weekend. If you're in KC, come on out. It's a great time with all kinds of great food and music and fun for the kids! On Sunday, Michelle and I are heading down to Gas for a visit with soon-to-be Grandma and Grandpa!

Boy, did I pick a bad subject line....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

28 Weeks

Today marks the beginning of a new week in the pregnancy. tells us that the baby now weighs over 2 lbs. and is around 14" long. The baby can now open and close it's eyes and moves it's head to any bright light shown on it from the outside.

Yesterday Michelle had her blood drawn for the glucose test. She drank a sugar drink given to her by the doctor, waited for one hour, and then they took her blood. They will send this off to the lab for analysis. This is where they begin looking for warning signs for gestational diabetes. While she was in visiting Dr. Sarah, she got to hear the heartbeat again. It's beating at around 140 beats per minute. Dr. Sarah still insists that the babies room needs to be pink...we're not ready to make that jump yet! That room's already been painted too many times!

I've been looking all over for a place to store audio files on the web so that I can share some audio (and eventually) video with you all. One of the other things that I've been trying to do is get the audio file of the baby's heartbeat off of the mp3 player and onto my computer. I've not been able to do that at all, but I am going to find out how...there HAS to be a way.

Before I close, I should add that I just received a call from the doctor's office and Michelle's blood came back from the lab and everything looks great!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thoughts and Prayers

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Virginia Tech community. Their campus in Blacksburg, VA was the site of a mass murder this morning. I will not go into details here as I don't have the capacity to keep up with all of the updates. The best place I have found for updates is Planet Blacksburg.

May God be with all of them during this very, very horrible time.

Baby stuff 101

Saturday was fairly uneventful as the weather was still pretty cruddy here. We awoke to snow, but by early afternoon, the temperature was around 50. Even then, the snow seemed to scare us into staying inside :) I had a fair amount of work to get done for Monday, so I worked most of the day.

Sunday is where the real fun was. We had a meeting at 1:30 with a potential daycare provider for Baby Madison. Her name is Michele and she has a small operation near Michelle's school. Michele exceeded our expectations and is everything that we were looking for in someone who will spend so much time with our child. Michelle and I left the meeting with a reserved spot for our little one sometime in September. We are very excited about getting this taken care of!

After that, we headed over to Target to create a baby registry. At first I was overjoyed as I got to carry around the little gun-looking scanner thingy. Yeah, then we got back to the baby section. As it turns out, I know absolutely NOTHING about taking care of a baby. This story should sum up how I was feeling (aside from completely overwhelmed): we started looking at bottles. This was particularly baffling to me as I really thought that Michelle was going to breast-feed. There were a couple of moms there checking out the baby bottle selection, so I didn't feel comfortable asking Michelle such a rudimentary question within earshot of anyone else. So I pulled her aside and to the best of my memory, here's a summary of our conversation:

Matt: So, I'm confused, I thought you were going to breast-feed the baby.
Michelle: I am.
Matt: Okay, I must not understand how it works. Do you put your milk into a bottle when you feed the baby?
Michelle: No, the baby just latches on to me.
Matt (befuddled expression): So then why are we looking at bottles?
Michelle: Because I can't run over to the daycare every time the baby needs to eat.
Matt: Ah. I feel really stupid. you can see I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to this stuff. I think I probably could have figured out that whole situation but once we got the baby section my mind completely shut off and was devoid of any logical thought whatsoever. It was so easy when we registered for our wedding because we walked around and shot that little gun at whatever we liked. This was not like that at all. We were picking items to take care of another human being. Wow.

Friday, April 13, 2007

snow? in April???

So, they've changed our forecast here in KC from rain tonight and tomorrow to anywhere from 1-3" of SNOW, starting at 10 pm tonight. I'm so sick of this! We want to get out and do some things outside and in our garage, but the weather has not cooperated at all. I guess it's another weekend of being indoors!

We have a meeting on Sunday with a potential daycare provider. Michelle has already met with her, but we are going over for another visit, so I can meet her. Michelle is a really big fan, and says she's wonderful. Let's hope that we have found the person who'll watch our tyke next fall...

Other than that, the only thing that we have going on is registering for baby gifts. If this is anything like registering for wedding gifts, than I cannot wait to get that little gun out and scan all kinds of ridiculous things :)...and then get caught....

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend (in spite of Mother Nature)!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

26 weeks -- 1/2 a year

Today marks the 26 week mark. Michelle has begun to notice that sleep is harder to come by than it used to be. Each of the past 2 nights, I think she's spent more time awake than actually sleeping. Usually she has no problems falling asleep, but then her legs will jerk involuntarily and it wakes her up. She's tried quite a few things, but nothing has worked every time. Usually, the thing that works is watching TV till she falls asleep. Let's hope this part of the pregnancy doesn't last too long...

At 26 weeks, the baby weighs nearly 2 lbs. and is about 14 inches long. The nerves in the ear are now fully formed, so the baby is able to hear outside noises. With my spiffy new headphones, I'm going to start playing music for the baby. I'm not into classical music, and I don't want the baby to come out smarter than me, so I'm going to be somewhat selective about the music I play. :) Plus, everyone knows how much of a music snob I am (there I admitted it). I've been reading in several places that one way to help calm the baby after birth is to play music familiar to them. As such, I'll be picking selections that Michelle and I can both tolerate as well. It may be a long shot, but I'm gonna try!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Okay, I suck

It's official -- I suck. I have a blog and I don't write often enough. I know there are things that I keep wanting to add to the blog, but every time I get home, I seem to forget about it for some reason. There are no excuses, and in that vein, I fully intend on writing on this thing a lot more often than I have.

We're coming up on 14 weeks until the baby becomes a part of our world forever. As time passes Michelle and I start to think more and more about how the baby will look. Whose eyes will it have? Whose facial features? Will it have a laugh that only dogs can hear just like his Grandpa Greg?

On my list of things to do this week for the blog...
- Add pictures from sonogram
- Take pictures of house and add them
- Take pictures of finished nursery
- Figure out how to add music to the blog, as there are quite a few songs I'd like to share.

That is my to-do list and those are my intentions. Now that they're in writing, I have to hold myself to them....

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good way to start Good Friday?

Before I forgot, I wanted to share a story with you that got my day started this morning. I ran into Wal-Mart around 7 to pick up a new set of headphones. After I'd checked out and was walking towards the exit, I see a rather disheveled-looking middle age woman making a scene. At first I thought she was a manager at the store, judging by her tone and audience for her fit she was throwing. The dialogue:

Woman: I just walked in the door and there was no one there to greet me.
Old man who greets at the door: I'm sorry.
Woman (beginning to yell): When I walk in to Wal-Mart I EXPECT someone to greet me.
Old man: well, I apologize, I was putting these carts away, but good morning.
Woman: What are you waiting for? Get over there and start GREETING PEOPLE.
Old man: Calm down, ma'am. I am sorry.
Woman: There's absolutely nothing you can do now, you can't go back and change the fact that you didn't greet me. I'll get over it, but you need to do your job better.

This is the part where I left the store, but the exchange was pretty much over. How completely asinine was that?!? Not to mention that the guy she was yelling at was probably drawing social security benefits at least 10 years ago. Come on people.....

Anyway, moving on to baby stuff. We're at 25 weeks now. The time is absolutely flying by and the baby is becoming more active by the day. Last night, the movements from the baby were not as pronounced and sharp as they have been. They were smoother and felt more like the baby was actually moving around as opposed to just throwing an elbow or a knee. According to babycenter the baby is now putting on weight as it is very long and lean right now (about 12-13" and a little over a pound). The hair is very recognizable now as far as color and texture. That being said, Michelle and I are guessing that the baby already has more hair than I have! Let's hope that the baby's hairline does not resemble mine.

I was talking with a friend here at work and she introduced me to the Chinese Birth Calendar. Click on the link and find out how accurate it is with you and your own might be surprised.

Have a blessed Holy Week!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Dr. Visit

On Friday we went to the doctor again. Everything is going very well with both Michelle and the baby. The only real news that came out of the visit was that Michelle needs to get a Rhogam shot due to her blood type of A negative. Apparently this reduces risk in later pregnancies. Dr. Sarah didn't say much about it other than that. At Michelle's next visit to the doctor, she will also take a blood sugar test. They give her a sugar drink and then she sits there for an hour and then the nurse draws blood to test for early indicators of gestational diabetes.

Other than that, all is well in our world. The nursery is complete as we procured a changing table last week. Now we just have to touch up the paint on the tops of the walls near the ceiling and we can say that we're officially done.

The time is flying by....I can't believe we're only 14 weeks away!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Happy 46th, Mom

Today would have been Mom's 46th birthday. These milestone days are the hardest for me, even 7 years after Mom died. It seems like the gravity of life events really does not hit me until we come to these milestone days. Things like my little brother getting married and Michelle and I having a baby--these are the days when I start to wonder what Mom would have said had she been there to witness these special events. Oh, to see her face when she found out she was to be a Grandma....I can't help but think that she's with us every step of the way.

Our next appointment is on Friday....and you better believe that when I hear the baby's heartbeat, I know that somewhere Mom is smiling.

Every year on those special days when I think about Mom a lot, I take myself back to her bedside on the night of January 19, 2000. As we stood around and said our goodbyes, Josh sung to her. And he sung the most beautiful rendition of this song that I've ever heard. It will forever remind me of Mom and her undying devotion to her family. Happy Birthday Mom from all of us!

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance
Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I the king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd have had to miss the dance

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Under 17 weeks to go....

I started thinking today about how close the actual due date is...only 16 weeks and 6 days to go; effectively 17 weeks. Sometimes I try to put the remaining days and weeks into perspective. For example, 17 weeks ago, we told my folks about the baby's birth. It seems like that was just yesterday, which makes me wonder how quickly things will happen once the baby is born.

Michelle is doing very well. She is starting to get a bit uncomfortable and sleeping has become more difficult, but overall things are going better than either of us could have hoped. At 23 weeks, tells us that the baby can now hear loud sounds.

We have been talking more and more about names as the date gets closer. We both think that we'll end up with a list of names for both boys and girls. When the baby is born, I think we'll decide whether the name fits or not.

Here's a 3-D sonogram picture of a fetus at 23 weeks. Technology is an amazing thing....

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

4 chambers

The sonogram went exceptionally well yesterday afternoon. The sonographer said that it was very evident that all 4 chambers of the heart were there. The heartbeat was only at 112 beats per minute (as opposed to the mid 140's previously). I'm pretty sure if my heart's beating at 112 beats per minute, you should call an ambulance. :)

We also found out that the baby weighs 1 lb. 6 oz. right now. Don't ask me how they know!! There were some pretty good pictures taken again. I'll scan them into the computer tonight and post them tonight or tomorrow for all to see.

Right before we left the appointment yesterday, the sonographer asked us to wait while she consulted with the radiologist. When she came back, she explained that she had noticed Michelle was having mini-contractions and wanted to make sure that it would be okay to send her home. The radiologist concluded they were nothing to be concerned about. I didn't realize she could have contractions already...but from what I understand, they're fairly normal and called Braxton-Hicks contractions.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy day-after day after St. Patrick's Day

We had a great weekend catching up with old friends, and as a result I wasn't able to do much blogging. No worries, as I am back on track now!

First off, I wanted to clear up the sonogram nonsense that I was spewing a few posts ago. I totally had the wrong date listed for the sonogram. I had listed LAST Monday as the date, when in all actuality, we get to see the little tyke TODAY. OOps! Sorry about that. The appointment is this afternoon at 3:15, so I'll be meeting Michelle at Menorah Medical Center in just a few hours.

I looked this morning at some of the things happening with the baby this week. Here are a few highlights: the baby is now right around 11 inches long and weighs over a pound. The baby now has the ability to swallow as well. Guess we'll get to see the mini-person this afternoon! If they give us the hard-copy pictures, I'll share those via the blog as soon as I can.

I promised pictures of the pea-green nursery, and I've come through. You can find them on our Picasa site (located here), or I've embedded one so you can get an idea. If you go to the picture site, you'll also see the color of the walls now that they have been redone. In addition to wall color, the crib and dresser/shelving unit are assembled. We purchased the decor for the nursery last weekend, and got all of the furniture put together over the course of the last week. And to top off last week, our neighbor gave us a crib mattress that had very little wear. We disinfected it, dropped it into the crib, and we have a functional nursery. The only thing we are missing is a baby!

Monday, March 12, 2007

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" hits KC

The hit show on ABC has come to Kansas City for the second time. The article that I've linked to shows how deserving this family is of a new house. Extreme Makeover typically airs on Sunday at 6 or 7. If you haven't seen the show, it's well worth your time. It is incredibly humbling and always makes me thankful for everything with which I have been blessed.

How 'bout some paint?

We found the perfect color for the nursery. It was a shade of green that could be called a light green with a twist of lime, pea, and mint. As a matter of fact, it matched one of the colors in the decor (bumper, valance, crib skirt, etc.) that we picked. As such, we bought a gallon of the green paint and set to work.

Initially we painted one wall in the nursery. The color was a bit strong, but we thought for sure once we get the rest of the walls painted it will really balance it out. On Friday night, we painted one more wall. We went to bed thinking it still looked a little strong, but we held out hope that those last 2 walls would really make it come together. Saturday morning came and we got up early and painted the remaining two walls. Wow. The walls are GREEN--I mean really, really GREEN. That's when we thought maybe we should try to tack up the valance to offset the greenness. Still didn't help. That's when we had to make the executive decision that we need to chalk that one up to experience. Off to Wal-Mart we go....

We bought some KILZ, found a yellow paint that works with the decor and headed back home. We got the KILZ up and managed to watch a little basketball as well. We put up a coat of yellow late Saturday night, and finally finished painting for the night around 1 (post time-change).

After getting up on Sunday morning and seeing the paint job in the light, we decided that one more coat of the yellow would do. Trouble was, neither one of us felt like painting....finally, last night around 6, both of us got a nice second-wind. The final coat is on, and the walls just need a few touch-up spots now.

All that said, we had some other excitement this weekend. While Michelle and I were watching basketball on Sunday afternoon, she felt the baby kicking. When she looked down, she could see the baby pushing on her stomach. I happened to glance over and saw it too. That was pretty unreal. I didn't realize that I would be able to see it too. There is some pretty amazing stuff going on right now, as we are getting closer to 22 weeks!

And for anyone interested, I have created a march madness pick 'em.

You can access it by typing
(If you do not have a yahoo ID, you will need one)
Group ID: 102931
Password: basketball

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Sonogram scheduled

Our weekend started wonderfully as we again got to hear our little one's heartbeat. I had ordered an mp3 player/voice recorder from Amazon on the Sunday prior to the appointment, in hopes that it would be on my doorstep in time for the appointment on Friday (I even paid the ridiculously high $10 price tag for 2-day shipping). No dice. The mp3 player showed up sometime Friday afternoon. My ambition was to record the baby's heartbeat and post it out here, but that will have to wait another few weeks.

Everything is going very well with the pregnancy. Michelle is doing a great job taking care of herself and the baby. The kicks are becoming more frequent as the baby is really starting to hit it's major growth spurt.

We had a great visit with all of my immediate family this weekend as soon-to-be Grandma and Grandpa Madison were in town. Josh and Abby were finally able to make it outside the state of South Dakota after a ginormous snowstorm closed I-29 for 2 days. They had planned on leaving on Thursday afternoon, but instead left Saturday afternoon. Mother Nature is absolutely nuts sometimes.

We have the 2nd sonogram scheduled for next Monday. We can't wait to see our baby again! Here's to a big, strong, healthy heart!

One last thing I wanted to mention. I heard this on the radio this morning and thought that it was worth repeating. Operation Quiet Comfort is a not-for-profit organization that puts care packages together for wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany among other places. Often times the troops that are wounded while serving arrive at these medical bases with nothing more than the clothes on their back. Operation Quiet Comfort helps to ease the emotional pain and suffering by showing these brave men and women that people are thinking and praying for them. Thank you for defending our freedom.