Thursday, May 28, 2009

Carter had his follow up pediatric appointment today

He gained 5 ounces and is back up to his birth weight!  His Mom, on the other hand, is way under her birth weight and is looking great, but, I think she always looks great (insert a Tigger "growl" here). 

The doctor says his color is looking much better as well. 

She said he won't need to come back until he is a month old.  I kind of laughed to myself as I thought he would still technically be 3 days away from his initial due date.
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Playground monitor

Nichole sent me these pictures that she took on her cell phone.

A Big Sister is never off-duty!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First time at camp

This past Sunday marks Carter’s first visit to camp. It turned out to be a gorgeous day. It wasn’t too cold (as long as you weren’t in the shade) nor was it too hot…in other words it was perfect sleeping weather.

Of course, the first thing Athena did was wade into the river to get a drink.

Carter got to spend some quality cuddling time with Gramma & Grampa before we left.

We continued a family tradition on the way home as well. We always stop at Felder’s in Redwood to get our post-camp ice cream treat.

Between the car rides, the sunning and cuddling, Carter was pretty well worn out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

It just occurred to me...

..just how our little family unit really works.

Mommy is the tour manager...setting up tour dates, negotiating gigs.

Daddy is the driver/roadie...setting up & tearing down the sets & equipment.

Athena is head of security...always keeping an eye out for "situations", sniffing for bombs (& occasionally leaving her own).

And Carter is the VIP...the first person asked about in all conversations & the man most requested to be at all the hot parties.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

First official family walk...

..and "someone" slept through it.
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Friday, May 22, 2009

Athena, Carter...Carter, Athena

Well, the build up of the meeting did not live up to expectations. I guess I should've known...she's been an only child for 9 years and he is less than 2 weeks old. What did I think he was going to do...throuw a tennis ball for her?

We brought Athena home last night after an extended vacation at Uncle John & Aunt Ann's. She sniffed his feet a little, then went on to other things. He pretended to not even notice.

I think they both thought, "Well, you can't be staying here too long."

After a while, they seemed to at least acknowledge each other's presence.

Shortly after, it was time for Carter to eat so Athena did relax and observe from afar. After that, we lay him down in his bassinet to catch some rays as we made dinner. Every now and then his binky would escape his gravitational pull and he would let out a little squeal. This got Athena's attention.

She would tip toe into his room and peak over the edge to see what the commotion was about. She did this a few times until both of them settled down.

Over the course of the night, Athena started to pay more and more attention to him. She even gave him a few little kisses on his head whenever he started to fuss or cry, which I'm sure peaked Carter interest quite a bit!

"Excuse me sir. I was wondering...which way is the beach?"

UPDATE: Nichole is telling me that Athena is following her around the apartment and "alerting" her whenever Carter is crying. As if to say, "Uh...are you going to take care of that?"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First bath at home

The overnight stay at the hospital went very well. We all came out unscathed. The doctor wanted to check Carter's bilirubin level one more time before discharging us mid morning. That came back acceptable and off we were.

I don't know if I was expecting him to ask us a lot of questions about the place once we brought him into the apartment, but Carter mostly slept all day. That night, we planned on giving him his first bath at home without the professional guidance of the NICU staff.

We thought we had begun to develop a routine with him. You see, he has the tendency to eat himself to sleep (sound like anyone else we know?) very quickly. So to avaoid irritating him with a diaper change afer, we had started to change his diaper right after he woke, feed him, burp him, and back to sleep. He seemed okay with that.

So, back to the bath...

It seemd to us that the logical place to insert the bath segment was after the diaper change (or in this case, removal) and before the feeding. We are pretty sure this was the order in which we witnessed it at the NICU.

So, our little man wakes up, we disrobe him and we, what some would say, successfully bathe him. I like to think he is partial to having his little head of hair washed as he starts to drift off to happy land when I have done it (once so far). He doesn't really care for the whole washing of the rest of his body though (is that a boy thing?).

I do remember one crucial piece of advice that the nurse gave us...cover up the "danger zone". It is well known that when stimulated with cool air certain body parts kick into action. So we made sure to keep that "area" covered as much as possible...little did I realize that area was the least of my worries.

Once the bath was completed, we spent a few minutes snuggling and drying off. He likes the snuggling, not so much with the drying off.

We walk back to his room, where I was planning on administering a new diaper & fresh clothes happened.

Years from now, this occurrence may be known as "The Thunder from Down Under", but right now we are referring to it as "Crap!".

In what actually took about 2 seconds, but seemed like an eternity, our little man (without breaking eye contact with me) scrunched up his face and proceeded to deposit a gift for me in his bath towel. More precisely, right where my hand was supporting him. Then the little bugger gave me a smirk!

My first thought..."When did he start eating corn?"

So, my little man eats himself to sleep, can polish off a bottle in seconds flat, and is showing proficiency in the potty humor department.

That's my boy!

Monday, May 18, 2009

We're going home!

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

I want to get a hampster for Carter's room.

It's said that you pass your knowledge on to your children. I just assumed you'd keep a little for yourself.

This is a conversation Nichole & had today:

Me: "I want to get get a..."
Nichole: "A what..."
Me: "A ha...a ham..."
Nichole: "Huh?"
Me: "Uh, a hampster...I think. What do you call those things you put dirty clothes in?"
Nichole: "Ooh, a ham..a hammock? No wait, a hamper!"

I hope this is not an indication of how our conversations will be from now on...
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Top of his class

On Saturday, Carter graduated to a big-boy bed, passed his car seat test & passed his hearing test. He did all of this despite the "trauma" from his...ahem, procedure.

The doctor informed of another little program they offer at the hospital. On the last night (and yes, this means Carter is practically locked in to coming home Monday) they let both parents stay in a room near the nursery with the baby to get a sense of reality while having the security of professional help hearby.

Then the next morning, the baby is discharged and they all leave the hospital (for the last time) together into a brave new world.

Very exciting!

The timing is perfect as we just have a few tiny finishing touches left for Carter's room at home. On Saturday, my parents visited and brought some homemade goodies (peanut butter cookies, mmmm) and a couple of gifts for Carter: one to wear and one to get changed in.

Dad has made most every piece of furnite we have. One piece in particular is a long, waist height dresser with a mirror mounted to the back. Considering that room in our apartment is at a premium, we thought that this dresser would be perfect to "convert" the top to a changing station while utilizing all of the already exisiting storage space for his clothes, diapers, blankets, etc.

So, Dad made the changing station add-on and it looks like its been a part of the dresser a along.

Now we just need to figure out where we're going to store all of the toys & "exercise equipment" he's been receiving.
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in to the maternity ward...

Nichole was finally released into my custody yesterday. She has to wear one of those ankle bracelets and can't leave the city limits...just kidding.

She was discharged yesterday. She did kind of act like a parolee though. She was amazed with the green of the trees, the orange of the construction signs, the taste of her favorite sub.

We returned to the hospital last night to bathe, feed & change Carter. As I mentioned yesterday, Nichole is still feeling sore & therefore walks a little slow. We made our way onto the elevator at the same time as a few other people. The man closest to the control panel asked (us) what floor and, as he glanced over at us, answered his own question:

"Oh, floor 2?", he said with a slightly tilted head and a sympathetic smille. Floor 2 is the maternity ward.

As the elevator stopped and emptied onto 2, it was all Nichole could do from breaking out into gut-wrenching laughter (which in her case is quite literal).

Anyway, we had a great time with Carter. He's not real excited about getting a bath, but he seems to love being swaddled right after.

We left the hospital with a little somethin-something for his big sister. We had her smelling one of his blankets that he briefly used, but we thought this would really entice her olfactory senses!

As luck would have it, we ran into "the elevator guy" on the way out of the hospital. He gave us a look that we swear said, "False alarm, huh?".

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eat, Sleep, & Laugh

Nichole had lots of success feeding Carter yesterday...until I showed up.

He was finicky at times and then seemed to give up quickly at others. Nichole then asked if I could bottle feed him (she had been "stocking" the pantry). He got all set up and the little man chugged that bottle! I had tears in my eyes..."Just like his old man" I thought.

I think that reminded him of what he was there for becuase after I handed him back to Nichole he ate himself into a food coma. I swear he was actively feeding for almost 15 minutes. Maybe it wasn't that long, but he had a good run!

After the feeding we both got in some good snuggle time. Reluctantly, we had to give him up to the nurse as he is on a pretty rigid tanning regimen.

One of the good things about him moving to the incubator is that we can see him more clearly as we walk by the NICU. We would have to almost press our faces up to the window and look to the extreme left to catch a glimpse of his knee before.

I've included a video from the other day when he was still in his old bed. He's a cute little sleeper, aint he?

Okay, now here's a funny story that Nichole has kept asking me if I've blogged about yet, so please know going into this that she has given full approval :)

"Don't worry ma'am, your turn is right around the corner."
"So, when's the big day?"

These are a couple of the comments made to the past couple of days. I am usually with her when people say these things to her.

After the person passes we both let out a good laugh. Of course she couldn't laugh too hard due to her incision, which coincidently is the reaso these people made these comments in the first place.

For quite a few days after Carter was born, Nichole was slowly recovering from the surgery. The discomfort from the incision caused her to walk slowly and also was the source of some back pain. So, as she ever-so-slowly made her way down the hallway of the maternity wing to see Carter, she would also have her hands positioned near her lower back....somewhat similar to pregnant women who also frequent these halls.

So we both shared this innocent laugh as what else would you expect if you saw someone walking & holding themselves like that in a maternity wing?!

I assume it will become less funny if it happens again as the weeks roll on.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yesterday was another day of quasi-milestones

Since Carter came off of the oxygen, Nichole could try feeding him for the first time. This was also the first time she could really hold him as well since his arrival. When she told me what she was going on, I quickly made my way to the hospital to be a witness to this beauty.

With this being their first time, things didn't really take, but they both gave a valiant effort. Afterward, we both got the chance to snuggle with him before he had to return to his bed.

Early this morning I got a text from Nichole (who is still at the hospital) that Carter has "graduated" from his old bed to an incubator and is now off of IV! Movin' on up, indeed!

I returned later in the day, but the NICU was temporarily "off-limits" for a few hours. The Nurses let me sneak in before they did this though and I got to see our little man snoozing away.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Apparently someone's not a big fan...

Our little man is very well demeanored, that is until they try to take his blood pressure or insert a feeding tube.

As I was leaving the hospital last night I stopped by the NICU to see Carter. One of the nurses was just getting done feeding him and let me know that he off of oxygen! This means that he is able to breathe "regular" air. They were keeping the hood by just in case.

Here are a couple of shots from the tanning salon. Nichole thinks he looks like baby Superman just after he arrived on Earth!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today's Update

The little guy is still doing well.

Today they reduced the amount of oxygen in his hood (moving from 30% down to 25%...once he gets to 21% he can get out of the hood). The doctor upped his food intake as well (Mama can't feed him until he gets ouf the hood.

The nurses are also having him work on his beach bod...he's under the lamp. He's even got little
covers over his eyes, just like at the tanning salon.

Last night was the first time that both Nichole & I visited him at the same time. She is back on her feet and unemcumberd by those pesky IVs.

Here's another batch of photos & a video.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Next Chapter... some of you already know, Nichole & I welcomed a new addition to our family.

His name is Carter Howard. He weighed in at 5 lbs even and stretched out to 18 inches (once he quit squirming).

He joined us (almost 5 weeks early) amidst some drama, but everything worked out just fine and both baby & mama are healthy.

So, as the the dynamics of our life change I figured it was time for a change in the blog universe as well. I have decided to shelve CB's World and focus on something a little differnet.

Sure I will miss the "old" material, but I'm sure I will find a away to weave some of the old magic into this new blog. Hey, I'll have plenty to blog about with the baby as it is!

I will start out with afew "safe" pictures. There are others that I feel I should hang on to...that is until he brings home his prom date.

I am also including the first of many probable videos. I'm just so proud of our little peanut!