Rod's Report

Thought I would take a chance to say hello to everyone. As you know, home life is going very well. We are all settled in and it appears that Victoria is going to be as healthy as any other newborn. I had last night off of work, so it was my turn for overnight feeding duties. Much to my surprise, Victoria was in bed around 9 PM and slept until 5:30 AM. She woke up once, but the pacifier put her right back to sleep. At 5:30 AM, she drank 4 oz. of milk in about 4 minutes flat. She was a bit hungry to say the least. Everything is going well.

In a couple of weeks we will be driving down to West Virginia with Grandma Penny to visit Victoria's Great Grandfather. Unfortunately the last time we were there was Christmas of 99'. That was Great Grandmother Mary's last Christmas. We chose the name of Victoria MARY for both of our grandmothers that have passed away. I hope Victoria inherited Mary Feamster's poker skills and southern drawl. I will always remember Easter in Alderson, WV. Hopefully Victoria will have many trips there as well.


Bills, bills, bills

Pre-term visits to the hospital in November: $9,700
Pre-term and delivery in December: $43,800
Surgery and stay end-December: $40,800
Total for Kristin's care in 2 months: $94,300

NICU stay charges: $143,500
Neonatal doctor charges: $50,700
Total for Victoria's care for 2 months: $194,200

Total out-of-pocket cost (so far): $153.00
What more can we say but thank God for insurance?!?


Happy Spring!

Thanks, Uncle Jeff & Aunt Marie for the cute outfit!

By the way... I went back to the doctor today, and I now have bronchitis and atypical pneumonia! So if you're planning on visiting, you might want to hold off for a few days.

On the plus side, Victoria's official weight (at the hospital for her RSV vaccination today) is 9 pounds 3 ounces, and the nurse checked her out and said she's fine. :)


We're slowly lowering the drawbridge to let a few visitors over to see our princess here and there, but still with some restrictions. So if you'd like to come for a visit, please keep in mind the following:

If you're feeling the slightest bit sick, please refrain from visiting. We'd like to keep Victoria home with us for a while, no more trips to the hospital!

No school-age children allowed for a while. The risk of Victoria catching something from kids who are in school all day is much too high still.

Please call in advance, so maybe I can take a shower (or at least put something other than pajamas on)!

Yesterday Uncle Steven, Aunt Pam and cousin Faith stopped in for a little visit.



New Duds

Check 'em out! Just one of the many outfits we picked up the other day.



I can finally celebrate openly! Chris and Amanda are pregnant and due November 20th. I'm so so so thrilled for them both (or soon to be for all 3, unless their luck is anything like Jeff & Marie's...)


Well, I guess the inevitable happened. I had been thinking I'd been doing so well not getting sick. Of course, it's not like I really go anywhere to get sick... But it happened. Apparently strep throat is running rampant around here. We're assuming Rod probably picked it up from one of the many sickies running around at the Station. But he feels bad, and I feel worse. I got put on antibiotics today, hopefully in time to keep whatever it is to a minimum and keep Victoria from getting sick. One positive is that the nurse at the pediatrician's office said because of the antibodies in her system, it's highly unlikely that Victoria will contract the illness. Though we know where we stand in terms of odds... Lots of soup for us!

Busha (my mom) came up yesterday to join Victoria and me in our first mall outing - we had so much fun!!! Of course, we came home with a few new outfits. We can't wait to try them all on!

Happy baby pics for today:



Gotta love a happy baby!!! Uncle Jeff and Aunt Marie came up for a visit Saturday, and Victoria made her first appearance in a restaurant! She did really well, as long as I held the pacifier in her mouth toward the end of the meal.

Here's today's happy baby shot. Oh, yeah - according to our scale, she weighs 9.5 pounds! I told her, and boy, was she surprised!!


Cool New Toy

Uncle Rich, Aunt Cyndi, and Cousin Jordyn were over to visit today. They also dropped off the coolest toy to date. Rich made it himself and I must say he did a great job. See photo. I think he has a retirement job in his future. It was great to finally visit with them since they have had the plague for the past few weeks.


Double Double your...

Excitement? Anticipation? Fear?!?

I guess Jeff and Marie took my comment to heart when I told them (when I was drugged in the hospital) that giving mom and dad a bunch of grandkids was up to them now. Congratulations, guys!!!

TWINS ON THE WAY!!! Typically, they're referred to as BabyA and BabyB, however it sounds like they're nicknamed Charm and Strange - my next two nieces/nephews!

Check out Jeff's blog for u/s pics!



At least somebody gets some sleep around here! And don't worry - she only sleeps like this when I'm in the same room.



Tryin' so hard to get that thumb in her mouth - she makes it seem so tough to do!



High Five

Nothing new to report. Wanted to thank Bruce for joining my crew of 3rd Shift coppers on Saturday night. I must say, he picked a great night to ride along. We went hot to a few calls and got to meet some crazy people as well as some local punks. I had a great time with you in the passenger seat and I think you would have made a great cop/detective yourself! Bruce was able to get a first had look at what it is we really do....swear...call each other gay....swear some more...make fun of certain command officers...etc...oh yeah, swear some more! Thanks again.

Eating and Sleeping

That's about it these days....and it is obvious that the eating part is working!


Anxiously Awaiting Warm Weather

Can't wait to tear up Petro's Chevette this summer!

Little Miss Chatterbox

Having fun on the play mat - this is a typical afternoon for us these days! Laughing, smiling, and talking - not bad for a two and a half week old (adjusted age)!

Chatterbox video

Gimmie a "V"!

I fear we may have a cheerleader on our hands here... Yay for Victoria's 3-month birthday!

We had a follow-up appointment with the eye doctor yesterday afternoon, and Victoria passed with flying colors. The immaturity he saw before has cleared, and everything looks normal! One less place we have to return to. This time, the wait was only about 45 minutes. Ugh.

Coffee and Life

A good friend sent the below to me in an email. Thought-provoking.

A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of
coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity .. boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, itsoftened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.


No More Metal Mouth

No more braces!!! Yay!!!! The appointment took less than an hour. It feels so great to have smooth teeth again!


2nd Attempt

Here's my second attempt at sharing a short movie or two. Hopefully this works a little better.

Blowing Kisses (sorry for the background noise!)

Sleeping baby sounds (might have to turn the volume up)


First Separation

We survived!!! Rod and I went to Detroit yesterday afternoon - our first time leaving Victoria with anyone (other than the hospital staff, of course!). Grandma Penny came to babysit for the close to 9 hours we were gone, and we all survived just fine. I had the urge to call a few times, but refrained :-)

We had a nice time, lots of great conversation, and came home with some new body art! Well, Rod did, anyway!


Victoria: Pavlov's new "dog"

My dearest Victoria:
I swear, if he could, Pavlov could have used you as his test study!

When you get a bottle, I warm a glass of water up in the microwave, then set the bottle in it to warm up.

Already I think you've learned the sound of the microwave, and assume that it's always in use for you. No matter what stage of sleep/wakefulness you're in, and no matter what is actually in the microwave, you wake up as if it's for you!

I have conceded to the fact that I will eat most of my meals around your schedule, most of the time after they've cooled off considerably and you're done eating. However, that might on occasion mean I need to heat them up in the microwave eventually - and it's for me, not you!!!

Whether this is the case, or just a strange coincidence, doesn't really matter too much. What matters is that I have the ability to love you unconditionally and provide for you the best way I know how. And will continue to prove that to you every day.

I love you, baby girl. And I can't wait until one day when we can read this together, as you learn about what an amazing journey this has been/is/will be!
Yours Truly,

How old are these kids???

Here's what the package shows:And here's how Victoria looks on it:

I don't think she'll be that big for a year!!!


Brynna, where are you???

Okay, this worked before so I'm trying again. Bryn ~ I can't find you anymore! I'm so worried that something happened... I never saw news of a delivery, and that should have been more than a week ago. Please let me know!

My sunshine

What could brighten mommy's day more than this toothless grin???

The doctor's appointment went well yesterday afternoon, other than the hour we sat in the room waiting for the Doc. She weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces on their scale, and received a clean bill of health. We're not due back in there until the next round of shots are due, which is mid-April!!!