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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Begging forgiveness

So, predictably, I have no time. (As witnessed by the billion posts I posted today... er...) Most of the day is spent feeding Kessa and napping with her to make up for the lost sleep the night before. I feel really great about myself if I do one really productive thing during the day. Like the other day we took a walk to the bank and deposited a couple of checks. I thought I was amazing. Today's big goal is catching up on all the blogs I've been meaning to write. (I did some of that yesterday, too.) I think this is my last one. If I get a second wind later, I'll start working on my couponing. I think that's my next project, seeing as how the piles are starting to take over my kitchen. And they're probably half expired by now, too.

Needless to say, I've been somewhat of a social recluse. Other than my mom and sister (who are my sounding boards and baby advisors) I haven't made any phone calls, really. I haven't gone to visit anyone. I entertain guests when they come... if I'm not in the back nursing when they knock on the door. (We haven't made it to the point of nursing in public yet.)

Now, don't get me wrong. I want to be social. I want to return all y'all's phone calls and answer the door when you come. But... I've somehow gone from a 24-hour day to a 10-hour day. At least, that's what it feels like.

Please forgive me? Please don't think I hate you or anything. Please still call and come over. Maybe if you're lucky, I'll be where I can answer. And I promise, there will come a day when I won't have a newborn, and will have a bit more freedom. And then we can be friends again. Deal? :D


Frugal steps

I started cloth diapering the other day.

Y'all done gasping and fainting now? Good. :D

It's really not all that bad. We've definitely done more laundry over the last few days, but that's easily remedied by increasing our stock of diapers. I wasn't sure I'd like the diapers I chose, and I didn't want to buy a whole bunch then hate cloth diapering, but feel obligated to continue because I'd spent so much money. So I only had something like 6 or 8 diapers. (Someday, I'll count. But every time I think about it, they're in the washer.) With a newborn, those go really fast.

Really, it's not that bad. I'm using bumGenius diapers, which look and act just like disposables, for the most part. See the velcro? There's no pins, no folding, no scariness. Just treat them just like a regular diaper. Except, when you're done cleaning up, instead of throwing it in the trash, you throw it in a diaper pail.

There's also a pocket in there for liners, so if your baby is a heavy wetter at night, you can put extra absorbency in. Brilliant, no?

But, ew! The cleanup! I don't wanna touch a poopy diaper! Actually, the newborn cleanup is quite easy. Just throw it in the washer. It's once they start solids that it becomes more of a pain, I hear. If the poop is solid enough, you just pop it in the toilet. If it's not solid... well... this is where most people squeal and faint at the idea of cloth diapers. Choices? 1) Swirl the diaper in the toilet. 2) Get a diaper sprayer and spray the mess off. We'll see how I feel when I get to that point.

And yes, bumGenius diapers are rather pricey. I could save tons of money by going with pre-folds... but I'm a woman of convenience as well. Plus, I want people to be willing to babysit. Besides, even with the more expensive bumGenius brand, I'm still gonna make up my cost by around 8 or 10 months (depending on how many I buy) and then while all y'all poor saps are still forking out money for diapers, I'm gonna be pocketing that extra cash for Wii games or a Disneyland trip or something. (Ok, it'll probably be something more practical like paying off our mortgage faster...) For multiple kids. I think a little extra inconvenience is worth it.

So far, so good. I just bought 12 more yesterday, so we'll see if that's enough. And we'll see how I'm feeling about them in a few months, when I have more than a few days experience with them.

I'm optimistic about this.


Our baby is cross-eyed. Or perhaps she just really enjoys looking at her nose... I'm holding on to hope that she'll outgrow this once she can focus better, and am currently just enjoying the entertainment that it brings. Let me invite you to laugh with us.

Soft Claws

Remember Ella? The cat we were so pleased about before Kessa was born? Anyone wondering what happened to her?

Well, she's still as playful as ever. Perhaps even more so. Many of us have scratches all over our hands to prove it. Our biggest challenge for the last few weeks has been trying to get her to not scratch or bite. Especially now that Kessa is at Ella's mercy. We've taken to keeping her out of our bedroom for the most part, which means she wants in there even more than ever. She regards the water bottle trick as a challenge. "Ooooh. If I get up on the table, I get squirted with that water bottle. I wonder if I can get up on the table, run all the way across, and jump down before she has time to squirt me."

We have solved the majority of our problems though this past week. Soft Claws. What a wonderful invention. Simply glue these little plastic covers over your cat's claws and voila! No more scratches! I really thought Ella would fight them. They warn that there may be an adjustment period where the cat tries to bite or scratch them off. She hasn't even noticed them. As soon as we let her go after putting them on, she ran off to play with a ribbon we keep lying around for her. She has a bit more trouble climbing up on our bed, but not enough to keep her from doing it. But it's wonderful. Now when she tries to climb my back to play with my ponytail, instead of getting long strips of pain down my back, it feels like she's just resting her paws on my back and combing my hair. Now when she makes it past our defenses and paws at Kessa's head, I'm more concerned about teaching her that Kessa is off limits than worrying if Kessa now has a scratch across her head. Now when she follows me around the house and attacks my ankles as I walk, I don't have to kick her across the room to protect my delicate skin.

I love Soft Claws. Love them. I'm refinding my love for my dearest baby kitten (who is growing so big!) again. Especially right now as she sleeps so adorably next to my computer.

Now if we can only figure out how to get her to stop biting...

Kessalyn's stats: 2 weeks

Kessa had her 2 week doctor visit yesterday. Overall, she's looking "wonderful." (Her pediatrician loves that word, I've noticed.) She's back up (and a little past) her birth weight, which soothes a lot of concerns. She had her second PKU test, which she hated. (Can you blame her? Would you want your heel poked and someone squeezing your foot to make blood come out for 5 minutes?)

And now... stats:

Weight: 7.58 lbs. --- 22.33%
Length: 19.5 in. --- 14.23%
Head Circumference: 13.3 in. --- 4.26%

Yup. We have ourselves a little girl. I have no doubt that she'll grow, though. She's got the Homer feet. It won't be long before her toes are longer than mine. I'm sure she'll get the height to go with them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Weekend for Celebration

Saturday was our anniversary. We couldn't really do a lot to celebrate, since we have a newborn, so we spent the day at home. I baked while BJ played with Kessa and the Wii. We both enjoyed our day. :) What did I bake? Well, I'm glad you asked, because I'm sinfully proud of my accomplishment.

That afternoon we went up to BJ's parents' house. His sister, Jessa, had just gotten back from Peru and hadn't yet met her niece. We figured we should rectify that. Besides, they were willing to watch Kessa while we went out on a date to see Up (which, btw, I heartily endorse. Loved it. Also, I think the Pixar short is one of my favorites yet.) and made us a very yummy dinner afterwards. To repay them, we shared some of our Fathers' Day treats with them.

Sunday morning, Father's Day, I got up and made BJ breakfast. We had our traditional Sunday muffins, plus eggs and bacon. We also took Kessa to church for the first time. What a perfect Father's Day. At least the morning portion. I went to church with wet hair, which always makes me a bit colder than normal, so I ended up wearing BJ's jacket before we even took the Sacrament. By the time talks started, I was wearing the extra blanket that we brought for Kessa. By the time Relief Society was over, I was shivering ridiculously with the jacket, blanket, and Kessa cuddled up with me. By the time we got home, I was light headed. So to celebrate Father's Day, I let BJ take care of me. He made me hot chocolate, he started dinner, and he let me nap for hours once we discovered that I had a fever. Don't worry, by the time we went to bed, my fever had broken and I was feeling much, much better.

I'm glad I at least made those cupcake/brownie burgers the day before, so we got some Father's Day celebration in. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Kessalyn - Photo Album

I created an online photo album for Kessa that will automatically update as we put new pictures on my computer. Instead of overwhelming you all with pictures of our darling little one all the time, we'll put on our favorites here and there, and leave those of you who want to see more with the link to the album. All you have to do is click right here and it will open it up. Enjoy!

Disclaimers: These photos seem to sort in no particular order, and there are random ones in there that have nothing to do with Kessa. I will be doing my best to clean those out. But if you see pictures of say, bread, please feel free to ignore them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Star Wars Revelations

I'm a pretty big Star Wars nerd. I probably watched the original trilogy twice a month as a kid, I own a fairly large collection of Star Wars Collectible Cards (from Decipher's Collectible Card Game), and there are two Star Wars photomosaics hanging in our front room. I know who General Rieekan is, and the names of the various models of starfighters.

Yes, I'm definitely a Star Wars nerd.

Tianna had never really watched any of the Star Wars movies, so over the last year we've watched the original trilogy. For my birthday earlier this year, my parents gave me the prequel trilogy on DVD. (I no longer feel the need to apologize for myself.) Tianna had seen parts of Episode I in high school, but hadn't really watched it, so tonight we found some time to start the prequel trilogy.

Note: If you haven't seen Star Wars Episode I, there's a semi-major spoiler coming up. I've warned you.

Tianna was trying to figure out how she recognized the various actors. Liam Neeson she recognized from Batman Begins. Ewan McGregor she recognized as a "heartthrob", but couldn't think of anywhere she'd actually seen him. (Later she looked him up on IMDB and recognized him from The Island and Emma.) When we started seeing Queen Amidala a lot, she asked who the actress was. Now technically, when you see "Queen Amidala" at first, it's not actually Natalie Portman; they've got the whole "decoy queen" thing going on, and Natalie Portman is actually playing one of the handmaids. But I couldn't very well tell her that, since you're supposed to think they're the same person the whole movie. So when I told her it was Natalie Portman, she said "Huh. I was thinking... like... Keira Knightley or something." I laughed and said "Nope!"

You guys. That's Keira Knightley. It was her first major role (in typical Star Wars fashion), and apparently Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley looked so much alike in their makeup that even their parents couldn't tell them apart.

I'm stunned. I had no idea.


(Oh, by the way, Tianna enjoyed the movie.)

Rainbow Road

I just want to take a moment of your time and brag a little.

I just took first place on Rainbow Road on Mario Kart for the Wii.

Thank you, Jess and Kyle, for leaving it here for us to play whilst you're off getting married. My skills have definitely increased now that Kessa is sleeping more during the day, as witnessed by the above feat.

We won't mention that I was only on 50 cc. That is utterly beside the point.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bili free!

It's a happy day! I believe I missed a few updates in the bili saga of 2009, but Kessa's bili levels got up to 15.6 the other day and we've been struggling with the bili table day in and day out. We've had some really rough nights (and some cheating nights where she ended up sleeping with me instead of on the table, because she would actually sleep that way) and some really sad days when people would come visit and couldn't hold her.

Today we got her levels tested again and they were down to a 13.5. They decided that we could be done! No more poking her foot; no more sleepless nights on a table! This is a very happy Momma.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bili and hearing updates

Her left ear passed the hearing test. Huzzay! Thanks for your prayers, everyone! Unfortunately, they have no record of testing the right one... even though they say she passed it, they never recorded it anywhere. So now we get the fun times of going and getting that checked, too.

As for the Bilirubin... [sigh] ... her levels haven't changed at all. She's still at 14.2. The pediatrician was surprised; staying at the same level is unusual. But, staying steady is better than going up, so it definitely could be worse. So it's back on the bilibed for her for another day. At least we get to keep one at home and can be here with her while she's on it. None of this taking her away from me and keeping her in the nursery stuff. Our goal is to get her down to 13. She also hadn't had a wet or stinky diaper since 4 this morning, and since that's how the bilirubin gets passed out, it's not a huge shocker. But she had a good one this afternoon, so we're staying hopeful.

So, I wrote that a few days ago and was waiting for a picture to put on. Since then, Kessa continued to not have wet or messy diapers and was having me really concerned, especially since she had started to eat a lot better. So a lot was going in and nothing was coming out (except really stinky toots). And her biliruben levels were still at 14.2. No drop at all. And, of course, the on-call pediatrician that I had been working with was out of town for the rest of the week, so I had no game plan, no goal, nothing. So I finally got a new pediatrician (thanks for all the input everyone! You are all wonderful!) and talked to the nurse who was equally concerned and we got an appointment for first thing this morning.

Last night she had 3-5 messy diapers (depending on when you count one finished and another one beginning), most of which were in the course of about an hour. (Needless to say, I'm quite sleepy today.) She also had about 4 wet diapers. We went to the pediatrician anyway.

Kessa is now 6 lbs. 5.5 oz. Don't worry, it's normal for a baby to lose up to 10% of their birth weight. She should have it back by her 2-week appointment. He says she looks great and now that she's started to get rid of everything she's eating, he's not too worried. He had us skip the bilirubin test today and just keep her on the lights, then test her tomorrow. He's pretty confident that she'll drop now and we'll be able to take her off the lights tomorrow. Apparently, bilirubin levels tend to peak on day 3-5 and today is day 5, so with all considered, we should be good. Keep your fingers crossed! I'm a little tired of this not being able to hold my baby unless I'm feeding her business. And I feel bad for all of our visitors who get limited to no holding time because she's busy being stuck on a table. But it's for her good, so I'm not too upset. I'm just getting anxious to be able to hold my baby girl more often.


K, this is a real quick post (I promise more updates and pictures to come), but I'm at a loss and am seeking advice from you Utah Valley parents out there. I need a pediatrician. We just used the on-call pediatrician at the hospital and we really need our own (he's out in American Fork). We're hoping for someone in Orem (Bonus points if they're located near Timp or Orem Community hospitals...I'd rather not have to drive all over the place) but thus far, all the recommendations we've gotten are not accepting new patients.

Recommendations? Anyone?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bili Blue

Sometime in the middle of the night, the nurse came in to tell me that Kessa's Bilirubin level was at 14.5, which is high. So they needed to put her under bili lights to lower them. Whenever she's not in with me being fed, she's in the nursery under the lights. I must admit, it's awfully lonely in here without her. My mom went down to the nursery earlier and got these pictures of her through the window. My favorite is the second one, because the binky and the eye covers make her look like an alien of some sort. I also like the last one because of how her legs are just having fun up in the air. They're going to test her again around 3 to see how much her Bili levels have dropped so we know what her future treatment plan will be.

In other news, when the nurse told me just now that they're retesting her at 3, she also mentioned that they're retesting her hearing in her left ear because she failed last time. News to me. But she also said it was common for babies to still have fluid in their ears, so they retest later. So everyone, please say a little prayer for Kessa that her hearing will be fine.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Nonsensical sleep-deprived father

Neither BJ nor I have gotten much sleep the last couple of days, so I wasn't too surprised when he said some pretty funny things this morning. At that point, Kessa hadn't figured out how to latch on to me to feed, so I had been pumping and we had been using that to try and trick/train her to latch on. Kessa had let me sleep for about an hour between feedings, but she woke me up this morning around 6, rooting around for food. I tried to get her to latch on, but, as always, she wouldn't. So I decided I needed to pump, since it takes about a half an hour total (since I was two weeks early, my body needs a little encouragement to expel the colostrum) to pump, and I knew she was already hungry, I decided to pump immediately. Problem was, I had a cute baby on my chest, and I can barely walk. The pump was across the room, next to the sink. I was already starting to feel like the needy patient, so I didn't really want to call the nurse to ask her if she could hand me something from across the room, so I decided to wake up BJ.

Me: "BJ. BJ!"
BJ: [grunt]
Me: "I need you to get up and get the pump for me."
BJ: [gets up and makes it as far as the foot of my bed where Kessa's bed is, and started to look around for something]
Me: "What are you looking for?"
BJ: "The switch."
Me: "The switch for what?"
BJ: [grunts and motions towards Kessa, who at this point is crying] "The reset switch."
Me: [confused] "For Kessa? You mean a pacifier?"
BJ: [frustrated] "No. For the tank!"

At this point, he turned around and crawled back into bed. By this point, I'm giggling, certain that he's walking and talking in his sleep. However, the fact remained that Kessa was hungry, and I had no pump.

Tianna: "Umm... reset button aside, I still the pump."

BJ then stood up, kind of made a disgusted kind of face, then with much gusto, flung himself back onto the bed and curled up tightly under his blankets, fast asleep.

10 minutes later I actually got him to wake up (sort of) and get me the pump, and I started telling him about what he had done.

BJ: "I wasn't sleep talking; I was awake. I can defend what I said."
Tianna: "Oh can you?"
BJ: "Yes. You weren't making any sense. I was confused."
Tianna: "Uh... huh."
BJ: "It was based off a dream."

He went back to sleep for awhile. Later, BJ tried to convince me that he had no proof that he had slept; he didn't even have any dreams.

Me: "What about the reset switch for the tank?"
BJ: "That wasn't a dream."
Me: "Oh it wasn't?"
BJ: "No. You weren't making any sense."

So... apparently I wasn't making sense when I asked him to get me a pump, but he was making sense when talking about a reset button to a tank that was based off a dream he didn't have. I think we're going to have an interesting next few sleep-deprived months.

Kessalyn's Here! (Pictures)

12:50 PM, Sunday Afternoon:

Both Tianna and I were pretty exhausted after yesterday. I slept like a rock; Tianna woke me up a few times in the night, and I could have sworn I hadn't slept at all. Seriously, it felt like every time I laid down, she woke me right up. (Apparently I said some rather odd things when she woke me up, but I'll let Tianna post about that.) Anyway, we're both still tired, but doing well, and very happy to have Kessalyn with us.

We know you're all anxious to see pictures, so here are a few.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kessalyn's Here!

8:50 PM, Saturday Night:

At 8:15 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2009, Tianna gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Her name is Kessalyn Elizabeth Homer, and she weighs 7 pounds flat. Tianna did the whole thing without an epidural, too. (She might have asked for one near the end if it would have had any time to take effect, but she did it.)

Anyway, more details in a bit, but here's a picture:

Kessalyn's Coming! (Part 8)

7:00 p.m. Saturday evening -

Hey, this is Tianna's Mom, Tianna is relaxing in the tub and enjoying the "pains" that come with labor - finally. They had to make a major decision - break the membrane or go home. Those of you who know Tianna, know that decisions are not her forte'. However, they decided to have it broken and things have begun to progress. In the past 20 minutes, she has completely thinned and has dilated to a 5. Kessalyn is still doing great! I hope it won't be long now.

Kessalyn's Coming! (Part 7)

1:35 PM, Saturday Afternoon:

Tianna's contractions are getting stronger and more regular, so that's good.

The baby's heart monitor has a speaker that lets us actually hear the heartbeat. Usually they only have it on long enough to get the monitor working correctly, but our nurse left it on last time, so we've been hearing it for a while. We're using this time to get to know our baby.

So far, she sounds like a racehorse. Except for when she kicks the monitor. Then it sounds like a 3-year-old blowing into a microphone.

Good times, eh?

Kessalyn's Coming! (Part 6)

12:20 PM, Saturday Afternoon:

Well, the membrane-stripping didn't seem to do much. In fact, in the last hour her contractions have been less frequent and less intense than previously. We haven't checked her dilation, but we'd be surpried if she's done much, so they're starting her on a Pitocin drip, which should help her body start labor.

In the meantime, we're being our usual nerdy selves and playing Dice Wars. Hopefully there will be some more news soon.

Kessalyn's Coming! (Part 5)

11 AM, Saturday morning:

Still not much happening; Tianna's having contractions every few minutes. Around noon we'll find out if she's back to dilating.

Until then, though, here's a picture of Tianna we took right as we arrived at the hospital. We'll probably put this into a slideshow after everything's over so you can see how she's changed, but for now, it's something to keep the masses entertained.

Isn't she cute?

Kessalyn's Coming! (Part 4)

9:30 am Saturday morning:

The midwife on call changed at 8:00 this morning; we're now working with Claudia. While Tianna's still having contractions every 2-3 minutes, she's been dilated to 4cm since 4:00 this morning and hasn't really been progressing. We decided to have the midwife strip the membranes (essentially, run her finger around the edge of the amniotic sac), which will stimulate a release of Oxytocin, which is the hormone that your body uses to induce labor.

We're hoping that will help her move things along. If we're not seeing any more progress after a couple hours, we may put Tianna on Pitocin (an artificial version of Oxytocin).

For now, Tianna's just relaxing. She got 3-4 hours of sleep last night, but was waking up every hour, so she's happy to get sleep while she can. We expect that when she starts going into more active labor, she won't be able to sleep as easily. For now, though, things are pretty quiet here.

Kessalyn's Coming! (Part 3)

6 AM, Saturday Morning:

Not much to report; Tianna's having contractions every two minutes or so, and has been for hours. She's dilated to a 4 and is 90% effaced (as of 4 AM). She's not complaining about pain at all. Baby's still doing fine. The couch in the room converts into a bed, so I pulled that out around midnight and have been sleeping for most of the night.

They've had her with a baby heart rate monitor strapped to her belly since we got here. Well, that's not quite true. Apparently they let her be on intermittent monitoring (20 minutes every hour) during the night. She loved that because when she's not on the monitor, she doesn't have to unplug anything in order to get up and walk around. They've got her back on the constant monitor this morning, though. (That, or else they forgot to come let her off).

So far, the most exciting thing that's happened this morning is that I got a minor bloody nose when I woke up to write this blog.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kessalyn's Coming! (Part 2)

They've got Tianna hooked up to a baby monitor, so we can see Kessalyn's heart rate. They've also got a contraction monitor on her that shows when she's having contractions. Apparently she's been having contractions every 4-6 minutes since not long after we arrived, but she only started to feel them around 8:45pm. Even then, they're still very light; Tianna says it feels more like the baby is pushing her head against Tianna's pelvis than anything "contraction-y"

Things are still going well. Tianna has actually been finishing up some work from her laptop. (After all, we weren't expecting to be in here quite this soon, and the contractions aren't enough to even bother her yet.)

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention last time; they tell us that Kessalyn is a "petite baby." So... hopefully that means an even easier delivery!

Kessalyn's Coming! (Part 1)

The Mozy for Mac team went out to lunch and a movie this afternoon to celebrate a recent milestone we reached. I hadn't seen Star Trek yet, so we went to the American Fork theaters and saw it as a team. (Fantastic movie, by the way. Worth the hype it's been getting.) We were planning on going up to my cousin's wedding dinner tonight up in Salt Lake, so the plan was that Tianna would pick me up sometime this afternoon and then we'd head up.

Tianna had a midwife appointment at 1:15 this afternoon, and when the movie got out at 3:15 or so, she was near my work so she offered to just come pick me up right then. I was a bit surprised that she was still in the area, since her appointments don't usually go nearly that long.

When I got in the car, Tianna said "So, we're having a baby tonight." Her due date was June 20, but at the midwife appointment, they noticed that her belly has measured the same for the last three visits, so they decided to investigate further. An ultrasound revealed that the amniotic fluid was low and that the placenta is starting to calcify. (Basically, it's getting ready to shut down, like they see in women that are a week overdue.) The baby is fine right now, but they'd rather deliver the baby while the placenta is still delivering nutrients so they decided to induce her tonight

We drove home and packed up a few things, made a few phone calls, etc., and arrived at the American Fork hospital around 6:30pm. Since this was an unexpected turn of events, they were still setting up our room when we arrived. They got us all set up, gave her a small pill to help her begin to dilate, and now we're just hanging out. They're hoping to give her just enough medication to get the body to start labor on its own, and then they'll pull her off and she'll just do her thing.

So yeah. An unexpected turn of events, but we're both doing well, and we're excited to finally meet our little Kessalyn.

I'll post updates as things happen.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Last night BJ and I had FHE at Bonnie's house. This is a weekly thing. This week, however, our typical game/activity was replaced with an impromptu Spoil Tianna session. I have zero complaints. Turns out, Bonnie has a massage table. Who knew? (Well, apparently all of BJ's family knows this, but it's a new revelation for me.) To add to the list of new knowledge, Bonnie is really good at giving massages. Not only did I get an amazing massage from her, but she taught BJ how to massage my legs, feet, and back. She also talked him through my neck and face, but she didn't actually have him practice those ones. Then she sent us home with a massage technique book so that we can learn how to give each other massages.

Talk about spoiled. I left there so relaxed with the smell of lavender putting me to sleep. It was wonderful. I'm convinced that a massage table is now on my "needs" list. So much better than on a bed, couch or floor. Perfect height for the masseuse and soft-yet-firm for the ... masseusee(?)