Saturday, October 31, 2009

It’s BASKETBALL time in Tennessee!

Sure – right this very second we are sitting in our living room watching College Gameday (the FOOTBALL version).  We’ve watched the highlight of Tennessee nearly beating Alabama.  They’ve given Tennessee the edge today (must be the home field advantage) over number 25 South Carolina.  Lee Corso has said, “Not so fast my friend” about 100 times already.  And we are hardly paying attention to it at all.  I guess it’s sort of a “basking in the afterglow”…

Because a significant event happened last night.  Bruce Pearl officially unveiled the 2009-2010 basketball team!  And what a team it is.  Fast on offense with lots of fast breaks packed with an unrelenting defense that guards the ball for the full 94 feet.  And they let it loose last night against North Alabama last night in a 117 to 79 exhibition victory.

And that’s not all.  Obviously, in an exhibition game, you don’t have all of the pieces plugged together yet.  Bruce has enough talent this year that is having trouble getting it down to a 8 or 9 man rotation (he played 14 people last night).  And even with scoring 117 points, Bruce admitted that he only has about 10% of the offensive plays in place. 

So sure – we’ll be watching some football today.  And we’ll watch Tennessee take on “the ol’ ball coach” and South Carolina tonight.  But watch out.  Roundball is coming to a television near you!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Nursery Is Complete!

Yes indeed.  Little Mike’s room is ready for his arrival! 

Well – ok.  You caught me.  It’s not really 100% ready – but it’s finished enough to give you guys a few pictures!  We still have two small things left to do.  We still need to hang the valance – but we need a rod first.  And we need to put the rocker in the room – but we need to get a rocker first!

So here’s the story on the room.  About two years ago (yes, you read that correctly – two years ago) we had talked about what to do with this room.  We decided that it would be a multi-purpose room.  Music for Bryon.  Crafts and scrapbooking for Darlene.  Darlene decided that she wanted it painted a calming color – perhaps a blue color.  One weekend when Darlene was out of town, Bryon decided to whip the room into shape.  Rip up carpet.  Paint the room.  Put down some laminate flooring.  Hang some crown molding.

Darlene laughed when she came back home.  “It looks like a baby boy’s room”!!!

Fast forward two years and we decided to try and have a baby.  The home pregnancy test shows the double line.  The ultrasound confirms it.  A baby is on the way!  Call it parents intuition (or the fact that we already had a blue room), but we always felt that it would be a baby boy.

So since the room was already blue – only some slight remodeling was in order.  Bring in the baby crib.  Hang up some shelving.  Put up a few decorations.

We picked out some colors based on the crib bedding.  It is primarily blue (the same blue as the paint on the walls) with some green and brown in it.  We matched the green and the brown to paint some accents.  The brown paint had a great name for a baby’s room.  “Melted Chocolate” – yum.  The green on the other hand was not such a baby name.  “Cabbage Green”. 

So mix up some baby blue.  Add a little melted chocolate.  Top it off with some cabbage green.  And viola!  A room for Mike!

The ultrasound agrees that it’s a boy.  However, Bill Cosby (who has become a parental reference of sorts) has told us that God has a sense of humor.  Here’s His chance!  A girl would REALLY throw us for a loop!


DSC_0002 Notice the Smiley bank at the bottom.  That’s from Bryon’s room when he was little!  And the dresser it is sitting on is from Darlene’s room!


“M” is for Mike!


It’s hard to see in this picture – but above the bed is a quote that says “Every good and perfect gift comes from above…”


And for those of you following along with the countdown – Forty bottles of beer on the wall.  Forty bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around.

To be continued…

Friday, October 23, 2009

Birth and Babies graduation

We’ve done it.  We are trained professionals.  Five weeks of grueling training.  10 hours of actual classroom experience.  We’ve graduated and are completely planned out and prepared for the birth of this baby.

Ha!  Not in our wildest dreams!  While it’s true that we have completed the class (and we have the “diploma” to prove it) – not even the two of us are naive enough to believe that!  At best, we’ve learned that we need to put together a plan (which we’ve done) and that we need to be prepared to throw the whole plan out the window!  We’ve heard that babies don’t always do what we plan for them to do…

So our course was called “Birth and Babies”.  The first four classes were all about “birth” (and the planning and then why you might need to throw it out the window).  The last class was “babies” and some fundamental care (did you know you have to feed these things?).

So we get to class and check out our assigned “baby” – ours was a girl named Diana.  We covered all of the basic creams, lubes, ointments, sterilizers, umbilical cords, circumcision (poor little fella), pacifiers, bottles, formula, milk storage, etc, etc, etc. 

Then we moved on to the actual baby.  We learned how to swaddle.  It certainly was easy with the plastic doll.  I’m certain that Mike will be just as still and cooperative.  We got to undress and dress the baby.  Again – we excelled at this and we are both positive that Mike will lay still and allow us to change his clothes at will.  We got to change diapers.  This was yet another easy task and again, we are certain that Mike will lay still while we wipe his butt, lube him up, and put on a fresh diaper.  And our practice baby didn’t pee on us or puke on us.  Again, we have talked with Mike and he seems agreeable to this.

IMG00005-20091013-1907Look at that expert swaddling! 

Then comes the more humorous part of the class.  We got to give Diana a bath.  “Sure”, you say.  “What’s the humor in that?”

Well – Diana had something sticky on her belly.  We had our little tube of water with a little bit of soap in it.  We washed her up, but the unknown sticky substance remained.  In an effort to be nice to the next couple to “adopt” Diana, we decided to try a little more diligently to remove the substance.  More soapy water.  Scrub a little harder.  Little did we know that we had began to draw the attention of Nurse Nancy who was running the class.

The unknown substance was being rather stubborn.  We decided more soap was in order.  We opened up the bottle and poured a little directly on Diana.  That was when Nurse Nancy (with a look of disbelief on her face – after all, we had been star pupils) decided she had better intervene.  “Ummmm – you really don’t need to scrub quiet so hard.  Babies skin is pretty sensitive.  And you should put the soap in the water and not directly on the baby.”

We started laughing which made Nurse Nancy a little more nervous.  I could see that she was beginning to doubt our abilities!  So we quickly showed her the unknown sticky substance and she gave a huge sigh of relief!

And all was good in the world again.  Class ended a short while later, and Nurse Nancy handed us our diploma.  Ahhhhhhh – already a successful parent and Mike isn’t even born yet.  Good thing that he has already agreed to be as cooperative as our plastic training baby!

Are you following the countdown?  If you are – here it goes!  “Forty-four bottles of beer on the wall.  Forty-four bottles of beer.  Take on down.  Pass it around.”

Yikes – it’s getting close now.  Less than two cases to go…

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We’ve been busy!

Yes.  It certainly has been a while since we posted.  But there has certainly been a lot going on!  Rather than run it all together in one long post, we thought we give you a little teaser.  A preview of coming attractions if you will…

First – we have officially graduated from our birth and babies class!  Now we are trained professionals (ha!).  Once again, Bill Cosby comes to mind.  We will fill you in with all of the details very soon!

And we have been working on the baby’s room.  It is now 99% done.  We have just a little to do above the crib.  It would have been finished this weekend, but Bryon made a small mistake that requires a trip to the store.  Oops!  As soon as we get it done, we will snap some pictures for you all to see.

But we don’t want to leave you completely empty handed (so to speak).  Darlene’s sister had a beautiful baby girl!  We put a quick blurb about it in a previous post but there is so much more to tell.  It was a scheduled cesarean and mom and baby are both doing well.  Here’s the story.  Darlene’s sister, Diane, had placenta previa.  It’s a condition where the placenta blocks the cervix making a normal delivery impossible. 

Having a scheduled c-section is a little scary when you had a “normal” delivery with your other two kids.  Darlene made the trip to Stanton to be with her sister while the birth was taking place.  She was prepped.  The spinal tap was inserted.  The tent was raised.  The doctor walked in and gave her a little pinch on her belly and asked “can you feel this?”  Much to his surprise, she said “Ouch!  Yes I can feel that!”. 

The doctor was a little surprised by that.  They made some adjustments.  Turned some knobs.  Pinched again.  “Ouch!”

The doctor then explained that since everything was already prepped, the only thing to do was to use a general anesthesia.  Poor Diana.  She was already nervous enough just having the c-section.  She had never had any sort of surgery in her life and this had now turned in to a full blown major procedure with a general anesthesia. 

Fortunately, there were no additional complications!  Amber Penelope was born mere minutes later and Diane was awake and holding her a short time after that.  They are both home and doing great! 

And here’s an opportunity to make a good ending even better.  As you can imagine, Darlene’s mom was very excited that both of her daughters were pregnant.  It’s a special bond between mother and daughter.  And it’s just as special between sisters.  But when both sisters are expecting, those bonds grow in a way that is truly spectacular.  Unfortunately, Darlene’s mom didn’t get to see those births.  But this is not a sad story!  You see, her middle name was Penelope.  And we we know that she is looking down and smiling and that the bond between Amber Penelope had her mom will be every bit as strong.  Isn’t life truly beautiful…


And if you are following the countdown, we are officially past the halfway point!  Here it goes…  Forty-eight bottles of beer on the wall.  Forty-eight bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around.

To be continued…………………………

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dogs, acorns, and the National Anthem…

If you live anywhere near Knoxville, you have undoubtedly realized that we have had more rainfall than a typical this year.  In some ways, the rain has been nice.  Especially after two years of officially classified “drought conditions”.  Here it is, the second week of October, and most trees still have green leaves while the fruit trees and flowering trees are just starting to turn red and orange.  The fall colors should be spectacular this year.

The fantastic part is that we can enjoy those fall colors just by sitting out on our deck.  Not only do we have the woods behind the house, but our own backyard has several Sugar Maples that provide beautiful pinks and reds.  And the gigantic Pin Oaks and White Oaks in the yard put on a fantastic show of yellows and oranges.  When they are all in full color, you can walk upstairs on a sunny day and it looks like pink lights are on in the rooms.

Yesterday, we noticed something else that the rain has provided for (other than the occasional frog getting trapped in our garage).  You see – yesterday was a fairly windy day as a cold front was sweeping through.  Our smallest dog absolutely loves being outside chasing squirrels and birds and yesterday was no exception.  Even our bigger dog, who prefers more to be inside, couldn’t turn down the great weather.  The weather was so nice that we just left the door open and let them come and go as they pleased.

Then suddenly a gust of wind started blowing and looking out the window it appeared that large brown hailstones were falling from the sky!  The dogs were ducking and running for cover – scattering everywhere with cartoon like motions.

I realized how odd it is that hail would be falling on a relatively sunny day.  Not to mention that they were brown.  Some investigation is in order here!  Carefully stepping out onto the deck (and staying under the protection of the eve of the house) I reached down and picked up one of the “hailstones”  Turns out it was an acorn!

Now these aren’t the normal “pea sized” acorns that normally fall from these trees.  These acorns are larger than quarters and there are hundreds – even thousands – falling from the trees.

The dogs enjoyed the rest of the day from the safety of the house while looking out the window on to the deck.  After being caught in the “storm” they had little interest in being outside.  The hickory nuts aren’t quiet ripe yet – there may be another storm brewing…

Monster Acorn Under attack by monster acorns!

On a completely separate note – a family member sent us a video of some very talented little girls singing the National Anthem and a Texas Tech basketball game.  Some of you may have seen this already – but if you haven’t, take two short minutes out of your day to watch (and listen to!) this short clip.  Sometimes we get too caught up in red states or blue states, being liberal or being conservative, or advancing the party (or worse – ourselves) rather than advancing our country.  24 hour news programs and talking head pundits with radio shows who are more interested in “sensationalizing” a story to boost ratings or promote an agenda.  Underneath it all, we are ALL Americans.  And we live in these UNITED Stated of America.

So for two minutes, listen to these 5 young girls sing and don’t think of yourself as a republican or democrat.  Think of yourself as proud to be an American.


And for those of you who are joining in on the countdown – here it goes!  “Fifty-seven bottles of beer on the wall.  Fifty-seven bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around………”  To be continued!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another “Birth and Babies” class under the belt…

Today was the fourth installment of our birth and babies class.  Four down and one to go.

We completed our “birth” portion of the class tonight.  We now have no disillusions about natural birth, induced birth, birth with “pain relief”, and even cesarean birth.  We’ve even had the opportunity to “watch” each type of birth (obviously on video) and I have to say – the cesarean procedure, while relatively safe, certainly looks scarier than the others!  Who knew that skin (and the abdominal muscle!) could stretch like that…

And tonight we moved on to the “babies” part of the class.  We learned about some of the more “gross” aspects of the few days after birth (as if moms haven’t gone through enough up to this point – I guess a little more “humble humility” gets poured on).  We also learned about the color of poop (who knew?).  And we learned about car seats!  So I guess with one more class to go – we are nearly experts!!!

And if anyone believes that – please watch the following clips regarding experts in childbirth (here’s part one and here’s part two).  Boy, I wish I had that $17,000 Ferrari…



Here’s our little “practice” baby – safe and secure in it’s car seat!


We hope you enjoyed the comic relief!  And if you happen to be following the countdown – Sixty bottles of beer on the wall.  Sixty bottles of beer.  Take on down.  Pass it around……

To be continued!!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Family and friends are the most beautiful thing…

What a big weekend we have had!  I don’t even know where to begin.  It’s easy to say “start at the beginning” – so let’s give that a whirl.

The first big event of the weekend was - Darlene’s sister had her baby this past Friday.  Darlene was actually there in the delivery room and got to be the first person (after the doctor of course!) to get to welcome little Amber Penelope into the world.  It was a wonderful experience that put many of the concerns and fears and anxieties and questions about delivering babies all at ease.  And the reward was a beautiful new niece that will only be a few weeks older than Mike!

Then it was off to Evansville for the weekend.  And an action packed weekend it was!  Saturday, Bryon’s mom (with some help from the special hostess Kiersten) had a baby shower for Darlene.  It really was a wonderful time.  It was enjoyable enough just to see all of the friends and family all gathered under one roof!  We could have sat and visited with everyone all night long.  And the wonderful gifts?  Well that was just the icing on the cake.  We truly love you all!

Of course, we couldn’t see everyone on Saturday.  And those of you who couldn’t make it – we tried to get around to see you all on Sunday.  We made it to a few stops.  But not nearly everyone!  When it was 7:30 (that’s pm - our time!) and just leaving Haubstadt – we decided that we should probably head for the house. 

We really wish the weekend could have been longer and we could have spent long hours with everyone.  But we didn’t get home until 1:30 (that’s a.m.!!!!).  Wow – that made for a really long Monday!  But rest assured that even if we didn’t get around to see everyone in person we were thinking about each and every one of you.  And we consider ourselves the luckiest people in the universe to have the friends and family that we do!!!

And if you are following the countdown…

61 bottles of beer on the wall (Only sixty-one?  Are you kidding me?)  61 bottles of beer (I’m sorry – you must be mistaken. Only sixty-one? ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh…).  Take one down.  Pass it around.

To be continued!