Monday, August 31, 2009

Strange days indeed.

So this morning we woke up (that’s always a good thing).  The sun was just starting to peak over the ridge.  Fire up the coffee maker.  Take a look at the thermometer.  Wow!  59 degrees!

Pinch, pinch, pinch.

Nope – I’m really awake.  And it’s still 59 degrees.  And it’s still August.

Well then!  Let’s load up the coffee cup and head out on the deck.  I certainly need to take advantage of this little slice of heaven before the work week begins.

Ahhhhhh.  The smell of fresh coffee.  The dogs running around the yard.  The sun just coming up over the ridge.  A gentle little breeze.  This is the life.  I could get used to this!  If only EVERY August in Knoxville were like this!

And for those of you following the countdown – 97 bottles of beer on the wall.  97 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around… (to be continued).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The final countdown begins…

The day has come.  There are now officially less than 100 days until baby Mike’s due date.  What started out as 40 weeks – 280 days – has now been drawn down to a mere 99 days.  What seemed like a near eternity has flown by and has certainly become something that seems so close!

Of course, we had to do a little celebrating.  We already have a few things for Mike.  A few clothes, some onesies, bibs, hats, and some other little things that we’ve picked up at some consignment sales over the last few weeks.  But now there are less than 100 days.  Now we need to start getting serious!  We need to start making a list and checking it twice.  Wait a minute – that last thing is something for Santa…

So what did we do to celebrate?  We bought a baby bed!  Nothing says “oh my gosh there is a baby that is going to be living here” like having a baby bed.  It is so exciting!

Here's Mike's new bed!

Here’s Mike’s new bed!



And here’s a little tune to help you keep track of the number of days remaining until Mike’s due date…

“99 bottles of beer on the wall.  99 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around”…  (to be continued)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Milestone crossings

It seems that there is always another milestone to cross during a pregnancy.  And today we are officially crossing another on.  There’s not a doctor’s visit, or an ultrasound.  There are no test results or classes attended.  Yet, this particular milestone seems to be among the more significant ones.

What milestone could it possibly be?

As of today, there are only 100 days until the due date!  100 small days.  The last “triple digit” day.  Only two weeks and two days until the third and final trimester.

So – starting tomorrow, the “official” countdown begins.  We want it to be something snappy.  Something that will stick in your head.  Perhaps a little tune where we can all whistle along.  I’m sure you can all thing of a “countdown” song that starts with 99.

Can’t think of what song it could be?  Tune in tomorrow!  And all posts from tomorrow until “due day” will end with the next line in the song!!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Unusual Weather

I’ve lived in Knoxville nearly 13 years.  For the previous 12, if you were to say the word “August”, I would associate it with 95 degree temperatures and 95% humidity which would combine for a heat index of 195 (with evening lows dipping all the way down to 85).  Brown grass.  Sweating just walking to the mailbox at 6am to get the morning paper.  Red ozone alert days with the weatherman telling “healthy” people to not be outside more than an hour and “people with breathing problems” to not go outside at all.  That’s August in Knoxville.

Except for this year!  Blame it on El Nino or El Nina or jet streams or Martians or Saturn’s moons or whatever.  This year has been absolutely wonderful (other than a little wet!).  We’ve only had 11 days above 90 this year (most of them in June) as compared to thirty-some-odd at this time last year, and sixty-some-odd at this time two years ago.  So you can say it’s the jet stream – I think it’s mother nature giving us a break…

So what should you do with this unforeseen gift of nature?  Why you should go outside and enjoy it of course!  And that’s just what we did.  A little backyard campfire.  A couple of cold beers (or lemonade if you happen to be pregnant!).  Sitting around and enjoying the company.  What a night.  We just might do it again tonight – especially since it’s going to be back down to 62 degrees…

backyard campfire

The weather is great – wish you were here!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our most recent doctor visit

Yesterday afternoon, we made our regularly scheduled visit to the OB.  The doctor continues to be pleasantly surprised with how smoothly everything is going!

Sure – it is certainly more exciting when you go to the doctor and get an ultrasound or a battery of tests and those results all come back normal.  But it is really comforting when the doctor says that everything is so normal that there is no need for any special tests or ultrasounds.

So she poked and prodded a little and she answered some questions.  She used her little portable doppler to measure Michael’s heartbeat.

That was the most exciting.  She put the goop on the probe and started listening.  Immediatly we heard the heartbeat – no rubbing the probe around and searching for little Mike!  The monitor said the heart rate was a healthy 140 beats per minute.

We had been listening to the reassuring lub-DUB lub-DUB lub-DUB for just a couple of seconds.  Then little Mike must have realized that attention was focused on him because suddenly from the doppler speaker there was a loud BOOM followed by a lot of rumbling!  Apparently, Mikey decided to kick the doppler probe and dance a little jig.  The doctor giggled a little and said “Wow!  He sure is active today!”

After a few minutes of flipping around, his heart rate had climbed to 150.  The next thing you know – he’s going to be asking for a little exercise bike to pass the time.  And he’ll deliver a little poke to the bladder as a reminder.  He is such a bad little boy – I love him!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The foyer is complete

Hey everybody!  We just wanted to post a quick pic of the completed foyer work!  It really looks great and we highly recommend that you come and see it in person!!!!  Not bad for a day and a half of work.

And this concludes our remodeling for a while.  Are we finished?  Of course not!  There’s always more plans and ideas in the works.  But for now – we are going to kick back and enjoy the new digs.  So come on over and kick back with us!


DSC_3074 The completed foyer tile marks the end of the downstairs remodel!

Friday, August 14, 2009

More Tile Work!

Zak and Mitch from Exact Tile are back at the house today.  For those of you who have been following the tile saga – I’m sure that you just gasped and are wonder what has gone wrong this time…

The answer is – nothing has gone wrong!  The kitchen tile is still absolutely wonderful and is as sturdy as it has ever been.  They are back today to replace the old foyer tile with tile that coordinates with the kitchen tile.  Since the living room touches both the foyer and the kitchen tile – it makes since to have them coordinate rather than be two different styles!  I had better watch out.  I may be working towards a new career as an interior designer.  Ok – maybe not…

At any rate, it looks fabulous!  The old tile is long gone (it only took about an hour to get it out) and the new tile is about 75% done!  Tomorrow will be the grout and viola – it’ll be done!  Two quick and fairly painless days.  Not too bad!

So once again, our thanks to the the Exact Tile crew – the owners, Marnie and Zak, and their sister Jennifer and the installers Bruce and the twins (Zak and Mitch).  If you are in the Knoxville area and need tile work – I would highly recommend them!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

And the baby’s name is…

Deciding on a name for your baby is something that can be a daunting task.  On the surface it seems easy enough.  Just pick out some names that sound good together.  You’ve even got a head start – the last name has been decided for you!

So the discussions start.  Sitting around the living room.  Hearing a name on TV and saying “Hey, that sounds like a good name”.  Or asking some co-workers for some ideas.  Our favorite was “Barack” – not because that is the name of the current president but because of how it sounds combined with the last name.  Try it for yourself and say Barack Lee.  Does it remind you of a green vegetable?

So we quickly learned that we need to be careful with the name.  And we decided that we wanted to include a family name.  After all, the baby will be carrying on our family tree.  We agreed that if the baby was a girl then the family name would come from mom’s side and if the baby was a boy then it would come from dad’s side.

As most of you know, we recently found out that we are having a boy!  But we had names picked out for both.  For the girl, the name was going to be “Madison Penelope”.  We both agreed that Madison was a pretty name.  Penelope was Darlene’s mom’s middle name and fit well with Madison.  So Madison Penelope Lee.  A pretty name – it’s almost too bad we can’t use it!  Maybe will try again after our boy is born…

For the boy’s name, we agreed on Michael.  We both liked the name, and the more we talked about it the more we realized a personal connection to it.  There is a Priest, “Father Michael”, who has helped us through some difficult times.  He helped Darlene while she was going through RCIA and he was the one who baptized Darlene.  He has truly been instrumental in our lives.   So Michael it is.  And the middle name?  We decided on the name of Bryon’s grandfather, Robert. 

So the official name will be Michael Robert Lee!  His initials will be MR Lee (as in “mister Lee”).  And if he turns out to be a little redneck, we can call him “Mikie Bobby”!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Class Results

Our first day of “baby classes” is officially over.  This first class was on breastfeeding.  Simple – right?  Hold the baby up when it’s hungry and it’ll automatically latch on a feed until its little heart is content – right?

Well, almost.  It turns out that indeed, the baby will figure it out.  It also turns out that there is a “right” way and a “wrong” way.  Or you could rephrase that to there is a way that will be comfortable for everyone, and a way that will leave momma feeling sore and raw.  Obviously, I’m not going to summarize a three hour class – but if someone who is nursing is reading this and it “hurts” then find a lactate consultant to figure out what the deal is! 

Here is the “down and dirty”.  There are a lot of benefits for the baby.  There are a lot of benefits for mom.  Dad can even get involved too (contrary to what we thought before today).  There is a right way and a few wrong ways (and the right way is specific to the individuals involved!).  Not everyone can do it for many various reasons.  You can work and breastfeed.  Powdered formula is not sterile (and is rather frequently recalled).  If you have to pump – not all pumps are created equal.

Will we breastfeed?  We are planning on giving it a whirl.  We’ve got some homework to do from the class – but we have four months to get it done!  It’s just one of the many exciting things we will do between now and “the big day”!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Off to school on a Sunday?

That’s right.  The proud mom and dad are going back to school – and on a Sunday! 

But it’s not nearly as bad as it may sound (especially to any nieces and nephews that may be getting ready to go back to school).  For us, it’s only 6 days – and it’s only 1 day a week.  And it’s not math or science or spelling or reading – it’s a series of classes on how to take care of babies…

You see – we realized that our new baby won’t come with an instruction book.  And our old trick of “hand the baby back to mom or dad” won’t work when WE are the mom and dad.  So maybe we better get some schooling…

This first class is on breastfeeding.  We aren’t sure if we are going to breastfeed or not.  Actually, Bryon is sure that he is not going to breastfeed (it would be futile).  And if we aren’t sure, then maybe we need to take a class to see what it’s all about.

So it’s tomorrow at 2:30 they are going to tell us all about it and we’ll decide if we want to breastfeed (and pump – that’s part of the class too) or if we want to go with formula.

We’ll give you all of the details tomorrow!

Friday, August 7, 2009

More sad news…

Some of you may have noticed the short hiatus.  We had another sudden death in the family.

Darlene’s mom passed away this past Monday morning.  It was very sudden and certainly unexpected.  Sure – she had a variety of health problems, but had always beaten everything that was thrown at her.  And she had been feeling better in recent weeks and had actually spent a week in Knoxville with us just three weeks ago.

Anyone who has lost a parent understands the grief.  And anyone who has lost both parents can understand even better – both the sense of loss and being lost.  It is nothing that could be put into words.

So we try and focus on the good times.  Her wry since of humor (our baby will always be “little waa waa”).  How happy she was at the fact that both of her daughters were pregnant and she was going to get two more grandchildren.  How proud she was of the two grandchildren she already had.  Oh the stories we could tell.  We could go on and on but that’s for another time.  Someday you will be able to read all about it in “The Adventures of Penelope”…

Sure, we’ll be sad.  But every sad thought will be followed by a happy one (yep – she even called our dogs her “grandpups”!  See, there is another smile that she put on your face).  And we know that she is with Ernest right now, looking down on us and making sure we are ok.

And we would certainly be remiss if we didn’t express our absolute sincere gratitude to Carl Wells, David Davis, and everyone at Wells Funeral Home, Tony Luttrell and every one at Stanton Baptist Church, and all “Granny’s” friends and family who called or stopped by to check on us, made sure we had plenty of food, flowers, and emotional support.  As difficult as this time is, you cannot imagine how much your love and support has made it easier.  We love and thank you all.