Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Soy Random

From Mommie:

In spanish, "Soy Random" would mean "I am Random," but in this case it means that we may have finally gotten to the bottom of her fussiness and problems. It appears that she has a milk allergy. We have switched her formula to soy, and she is doing so much better.

She is, however, hoping to have a cocktail with Aunt Sam soon.

Three Cheers for Mommie

Mommie is single-handedly saving the day. Random is having trouble with digestion for some reason. We don't yet know whether it's milk allergy, acid reflux, pyloric stenosis, or some other condition, but it's keeping her up all nights and days.

I'm back to work, so for 19-21 hours a day, Mommie's on duty, getting her food every 45 minutes or cleaning up vomit. She's doing great, so hear three cheers for Mommie! Hip Hip Hooray!

When Random Smiles

Random smiled for the first time, while awake, last week. Nicole was so excited she had to call me right away. Since then I'd not really seen it much, until last night.

She smiled at me for a good long time.

It's those tiny moments that give you the strength to weather the long nights and days.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sleeping In

G got up Friday morning around 7 a.m. and while Nicole heard him get up, she thought he went back to his room. She has the night shift and sleeps in Random's room, so she just laid there waiting for Random to wake, evenutally falling back asleep.

When she finally got up at 8:15 and went out to the kitchen, who was there?


He was sitting on the living room floor putting the last piece into his puzzle. He had been quietly working on it all by himself. Mommie was so proud that she rewarded him with hugs, kisses, and a couple of white chocolate chips.


Gamble has gotten in the habit of walking away when he gets mad. Sure, he storms away to his room, but he no longer yells or cries while he's going.

So this afternoon, when Mommie cut off his snack of chicken nuggets in favor of eating dinner together as a family in a couple hours, he got upset, and stormed toward his room.

Just before he got there, however, he paused to adjust the hallway rug. He pushed it so it wasn't on the threshold to his room. And then he got an idea.

He pushed it closer to the living room. Farther towards the living room than it should be by about two feet. And then he taunted Nicole.

"Mom! I moved the carpet closer to the puzzle."

She didn't really look up. "Gamble, that's okay. You're a good boy." What she didn't see was the grin on his face, and the defiantly crossed arms.

His face fell. His mother hadn't really noticed his carefully crafted ploy to get under her skin. So he pushed the rug almost all the way down the hall. He stood there again, defiant and indignant.

You could read his mind from the look on his face: "Oh, Mother. You'll rue the day you ever conceived of bringing a mobile floor covering into this house. I've shown you. I have the power to rearrange things!"

I tried so hard not to laugh. I sure like this better than the screaming and crying we used to get.

My Nuggets Are Serious


"Mommie? I need some more ketchup for my chicken nuggets.

"Gamble, please wait. I am feeding Random."

Some small amount of time elapses, and out of nowhere, we get a Wonderpets-style operatic moment

"My nuggets, my nuggets are getting cold... This is serious."

Nicole was laughing so hard that I had to get up and get him his ketchup.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

One Extra Lick

So Gamble had some leftover Valentine's Day candy from school that he brought home yesterday. One of these, the one that he wanted very badly, was a heart-shaped hard candy lolly that he kept asking about over and over.

So we typically don't do candy, but we're trying to relax a little bit for him right now, so we said that he could have a few licks if he would throw it out afterwards. He agreed, and negotiated three licks.

And after three licks, he dutifully walked it over to the garbage.

He held it close just before he put it in the garbage. Then he gave it one last tiny lick. Just a little act of defiance. I didn't call him on it. He's been through quite a bit the past couple weeks.

And still I wonder whether I should have.

Viva La Random

So after Gamble-R went to bed, Random ate quite a bit and fell fast asleep. She was toted downstairs and set up in a comfy sleeping throne, where she slept quietly and comfortably while Daddie was able to get a half hour in on the treadmill, watching Season Two of Viva La Bam on DVD.

After that, she woke up, and we sat and watched TV while she ate another few ounces. We're trying soy out on her, since she's had a few problems with throwing.

We've still got the raisin. It's hanging by a sickening thread. Like a baby tooth about to come out.

Now we're hanging out, watching Bam's Unholy Union on Tivo together. Well, she's fussing a little, and I'm comforting her.

And little Viva La Gam is upstairs fast asleep.

Sunshine Angel

Well, another milestone. Gamble is now starting to refuse to be called "Angel" by Mommie, and now wants to be referred to as "Sunshine."

As in her sunshine, her only sunshine, who makes her happy, when skies are grey.


Gamble's so cute. He still doesn't do that well with R's, so he calls her Wandom. Hilawious!

Monday, February 19, 2007


I expect that Random's bellybutton will make an appearance soon. Her raisin's about to fall off.

That's right. Her raisin. She doesn't have that typical stub of cord that babies generally get, because they used the umbilical as a place to run an IV while she was in NICU.

When they took it out, all that was left was a little scab that looked like a raisin embedded into her navel. And now it's really loose. We should see belly-button today...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Daddie and Me: Astronauts

The other day in the car:

"Daddie, I want to grow up and be a hundred, and I want you to be a hundred, too. And I want to get on a rocketship together and go into space."

Wow. I'd love that. I guess I know what I'm going to get Gamble for his hundredth birthday.

Whatever Happened To Me

Days pass. Nights and days. Days and days. Still I don't blog. I now remember the early days of Gamble. It's no wonder that I didn't start blogging until he was 14 or 15 months old.

With Random, it's different.

She's so much more peaceful. She definitely has gas and in/out issues, but they are far less severe than Gamble's.

There's time. There's sleep. It's not bad at all. Sure, the sleep is broken, but overall more of it than with Gamble.

So how is it that I can't write more? Well, things happen, and I forget them. Like the first doctor's appointment where the doctor declared Random adorable and hugged her. Or the time that Nicole was trying to give Random a sponge bath, and she kept squirming to try to get away.

Random's got a remarkably strong neck, back, and legs, and she squirms and kicks so hard it's difficult to get a diaper on her sometimes.

And I forgot that feeding a baby takes both hands. It's obvious, and a phase that doesn't last long, but it's amazing how little you get done with both your hands tied up. And when you do get free, often you don't get to type. Dishes, bottles, laundry all have to be done. We've been very lucky that several people in our parents' group have brought us dinners, so that's freed up some time.

So I will try to continue blogging as best I'm able. I'm sure Nicole will help me remember those things I want to remember to tell people, and we'll all ride this baby wave together.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Late Valentine's Day

Just saying hi with another baby pic.


Well, we're about a week and a half in, and I thought I'd throw a checkpoint out there.

Random does not sleep through the night, but she does sleep in fairly long blocks. For instance, last night, she was up around 2:30, but after feeding, she fell back asleep at 3:30, and slept till 7:00. Even though I have the night shift, I'm still able to get sleep.

So many things are different this time. So far, Random's taking and enjoying normal formula. The kind you can buy in bulk. Not the $25 a tiny can stuff.

Well, and we have a three-going-on-thirteen year-old in the house. The biggest thing seems to be that he's not the jealous type. He adores his little sister and wants to give her kisses all the time. He asks to hold her, and when he does, he'll coo at her quietly, being very gentle, and sometimes sing to her.

He also wants to help. When we change Random, he's there to get wipes, or just to hold the pacifier in her mouth to soothe her. She doesn't like to be changed much.

The only thing we're seeing out of the ordinary with him is a defiant streak. The other night, he was holding a burp cloth. We asked him to bring it to us before it got dirty. He looked at me, looked at Nicole, and then threw it directly to the floor. It was really strange. We'll be keeping an eye on him, but I don't think it's anything other than a typical three year-old thing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Parent: n. Someone that can utter the words, "You're so beautiful" to his or her daughter while she's grunting out a foul, sour, bitter, greenish ooze.

Most Memorable Comment

Last week, when we discovered that Random squeaks, Vince commented that we'd "better get some baby oil."

Now every time she squeaks, I giggle...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

One Thing I Forgot

When the baby has its days/nights inverted, so does the parent. It's 3:30 a.m., and I'm wide awake. Baby is sleeping, and I'm not.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Smirk

There was some quiet time today as Gamble went out with Nic's folks to Chuck E. Cheese, so I got a couple shots of Mommie and Baby together.

In this picture, she's showing off the typical Daddie crooked smile. I can't believe I caught this one.

Baby and Mommie are doing very well.

The Daytime Switcheroo

I've often heard that babies have their days and nights switched around.

Random certainly does. She slept almost the entire day Friday. At three-thirty this morning, she was up wide-eyed, but quietly looking around. She didn't cry, but stayed up for an hour and a half.

Today, she's sleeping again. She fusses occasionally, but her demeanor is so sweet and easygoing, it's easy to forget she's in the room with us.

Until she squeaks.


And when she sneezes, she sneezes. After the run of hiccups, she snapped off a whopping seven in a row!


She had them a lot in utero, but many, when she gets them now, hoo boy! We're on about 30 min or so.


Daddie has forgotten the art of the burp. Well, he can burp himself just fine, but burping babies, specifically this baby, he's not so good at.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Squeaky Peach

I was talking with Nicole yesterday between visits from nurses, lactation consultants, and the woeful cries of the hungry baby, and I mused aloud that I think, based on Random's coloring and the perfect shape of her head, she looked a little like a peach with eyes.

So I've found a new term of endearment for my newborn: The Squeaky Peach.

And everytime I think that, my sleep-dep self likes to think back to the movie The Mask - specifically the Cuban Pete song.

They call her Squeaky Peach.

Crying Through the Night

When a baby cries through the night, and you are sleeping only on and off - fifteen minutes here, an hour there - and you start to dream, you don't dream about hot tubs and bikini beaches.

Oh no. You dream you're in a massive newborn ward, and they're all crying all around you. Until that din resolves into one little voice, that one that doesn't make you cringe. The one you love already.

And you get up without even thinking. And you just do. These are the early days. Oh, the things I'm remembering...

Somebody Else

You know, all through Nicole's first pregnancy, I loved sitting next to her and talking to her belly. I was always fascinated that there was somebody actually in there. Somebody new. Somebody we hadn't met.

She never really felt Gamble move much, in stark contrast to Random, who we felt move constantly, and who was right near the surface. I would touch her, and she would move. Also in contrast, I didn't talk to her as much.

It was as if the tactile expression that she was in there substituted for entire nights of talking. Nicole reminded me that we ended up at the doctor's office a couple times because she hadn't felt him move for a while.

So as we were waiting for Random, I found myself fascinated with the idea that there was not only somebody in there, but that it was somebody else. Not Gamble. Not some little nobody that does nothing, but somebody who might someday tell Mommie that I told her that "That Jackal has his thumb in his butt, right Daddie?" or who will sing songs of her own devising, or have a preference in where we eat dinner.

Somebody else. Somebody independent. Somebody different.

There's a stranger in the house tonight. Somebody who we get to know. After the harrowing hours of NICU and the whole checkout process, it's nice to have somebody else home, too.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Coming Back

Okay, so I wasn't together enough to be blogging when Gamble was this little. Shoot, I was simply trying to hang on for dear life, let alone enjoy the ride.

This time, however, the hospital gives me the opportunity, and I have the platform for blogging already set up, so Random is giving her dear ol' dad a second opportunity to revisit things he noticed first time 'round.

One thing I'm recalling tonight is that when you have a baby on formula, everything starts smelling a little like formula. The shirt she spit up on, her outfit that she burped on, the burp cloth, the couch, and on and on.

Until you realize that the poo smells like formula as well. And then you start to think that everything around you smells like baby poo. It's a sickening realization.

Oh yes. I'm in love all over again, and this girl is the apple of my eye. And even the constant smell of poo can change that.

First Family Photo

This is our first family photo. Nic's still recovering, so this is as close as we could get, but we wanted everyone to see.

After the Photo Shoot

After the photo shoot, Gamble was asked how he thought it all went.

He said, "No comment."

(Actually, this is a total set-up. He told me that he had an owie on his finger, and this was how he showed me. He didn't want to show me again, but I told him that I was going to send the picture to the Mayo clinic for diagnosis overnight.)

Gamble Holds Random

We treated it liks a celebrity photo op. Like the reunion of Paris and Nicole, or C3PO and R2D2, Gamble's first opportunity to hold Random was a Kodak moment. It was totally staged. See the associated picture.

But like a staged photo shoot, there was a little one-way banter between the subjects. This playful banter included the following two snippets, both of which cracked me up.

"Random, my name has an R in it. But it's silent. I know about stuff. I like to talk all the time."

"Why is she so cute?"

They're so good together.

Power Painter

So there is at least one regard in which Random and Gamble are similar.

If anyone wants a textured wall the color of Similac Advance with Iron, I can offer the name of a good painter.

She's tagged me twice, and now Kathy once. I should have remembered to bring extra shirts.

First Night

Last night went okay. Random ate at twelve-thirty, and then got up again at two-thirty and started getting ready for another feeding. We all went back to sleep at three, and she let us sleep okay until about six.

After feeding she stayed up till eight, when she started making unmistakable signals for hunger. Then she dozed on and off until ten.

One difference emerges early. Gamble was always fussing. His gastric reflux always made him upset.

Random is very even-tempered thus far. I don't remember Gamble ever just lying there looking around, but Random will do it for a long time before fussing. She loves just sitting there looking at whomever's holding her, and even when she's getting extremely hungry, she's very patient and doesn't cry very much.

We've heard her wail, but not very often.

So one night under the belt. And not too bad. Life is grand.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

And So It Begins

I was down in NICU feeding Random when the nurse told me that there was a blinking light on the fax machine indicating an incoming message, hopefully the results from the echocardiogram. Although we're at Central Dupage Hospital, they conferenced the procedure in to Children's Hospital downtown. The doctor downtown was the one reading the echo.

Random needed to eat, so we started the process of getting her vitals and getting her ready for dinner.

Now this was not my first diaper, but she was clean and easy. Empty diaper. After changing it, I was giving her the pacifier while waiting for the nurse to get the bottle ready. At that point, I see her clench and hear a bbrrfft! Then the smell.

Oooh the poo.

So I got to change her a second time. This after getting hit with flying vomit twice today. Oh yes, how I forgot how life just throws you into parenting.

The doctor came in, though, and told us that the echocardiogram, if it showed anything, showed something pretty minor, and that we should just follow up with a cardiologist if the pediatrician heard a heart murmur.

So I was told we could have Random join us up in our room. I was so excited. Mommie was sleeping when I came down, so I figured I'd surprise her. I asked them not to tell her.

So we were waiting for the paperwork, and I had my back to the door when I heard my lovely's voice. Nicole had done her extra exercise and gotten up and walked with her wheelchair for support all the way down to NICU! She was so excited to hear that Random was off her monitors, and just waiting there for us to take upstairs.

So now we're upstairs, with Random in our room, and we're one step closer to being a whole family. Now we just need to get everyone home to be with Gamble, too! For now, enjoy the photo of the three of us!


Random squeaks. There's no doubt about it, and so far, everyone who sees her cry can verify it.

When she cries, it's "wah-squeak! wah-squeak! wah-squeak!" as if someone was walking through a room full of dog toys.

She already cracks me up.

Big Brother Stops By

Just got up, and now it's time to go downstairs and see the baby girl. Big brother got to stop in last night. I wanted to share the pic. While he was there, Gamble noticed they were out of rubber gloves.

He notified one of the staff that they were out, and she asked if he could help her refill them. In true Wonder Pets form, he said, "Yeah! What's going to work? Teamwork!" She giggled, and started to walk away to get the boxes.

He didn't know he wasn't supposed to follow, and just went along to help. She had him wait with us, but his undying desire to be helpful just cracks me up. When she got back, she noticed that the box had a couple gloves left, so she gave him the empty box and two rubber gloves.

I set him up. I told him to put on the gloves and told him that he should go ask his grandmother to play a new game, "Cavity search."

He did. Oh, the hilarity!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Mommie Meets Random

Well, finally Mommie got to wheel down to the NICU and see Random. She is recovering so well. After 24 hours with G, she was too doped up to ask about him. This time, she's able to get down to see Random.

It was so exciting for me to see my girls together for the first time. I wanted to post a pic as soon as possible. Hooray! Mommie and Random, together.

Her eyes were open and looking all around today, too!

I'm Pooped

Well, on the third meconium diaper, she got me. While changing her, she pooped right in my hand.

So now I'm pooped.

Day Two - Still Tired From the Move

A great night. Fantastic night.

Last night around 11, I got to go down and see Random in the NICU. She still had the NG tube, but I got to rest and hold her. I was there for an hour.

A restless night, so I was up at six. Back down to the NICU, and everything was going great. The nurse said she was crabby from getting her diaper changed, but she calmed down quickly. It was time to eat, and the NG tube was out. I got to feed her.

After eating, she fell back asleep soundly. She sleeps well, and if she starts to fuss, a couple words, and she was back out. I held her for quite a while, and then I started to feel some wettie farties on the back end. Oh good, I thought. The output's working as well. I got the nurse, and we put her back in the bassinette. I thought I dodged a bullet.

She slept for a couple more hours, while I came up to see Nic and get some breakfast. Then I went back down, scrubbed up, and went to see her.

I got there just in time for another feeding. And just in time to change the diaper. The nurse wanted me to get practice.

Meconium. Yeah. Just click. It's the Wikipedia entry.

I got the real thing. Nasty.

But then I got to feed her again, and Nic's folks arrived just in time to see her burp milk out through her nose.

Ah yes. I forget how absolutely messy a baby can be.

Also, some folks ask what the name means. I had a look out at a dictionary site today, and the very first definition they gave: lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern. Given how the whole picking of the birthday, I have to say that she's living up to her name.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Random Jolie Davis - Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Welcome, Random Jolie Davis. This is the first day of the rest of your life. We are pleased to know you.

Many of you know that last week, we went in for the amnio to determine whether Baby Random, then Razzie, had mature enough lungs to breathe out of the womb. She was borderline, so the C Section we had planned for last Wednesday was rescheduled for Tuesday, February 6.

Nicole wasn't happy, as uncomfortable as she was, and it made the house so tense that when Nic's folks offered to take Gamble for the weekend, we said it would be okay. Thursday and Friday, I worked, and on Saturday we rested.

But we were bored, and at the end of Saturday, and beginning of Sunday, Nicole kept asking me, "Well, got any ideas on what to do to kill an entire day?"

I didn't. But Razzie did.

I'd just finished my shower and was on my way upstairs to get bref-kes when I heard Nic call me. "Kevin, I think my water broke."

Sure enough, puddles puddles puddles.

So in a jiffy bags were packed, cars were driven, and hospitals were arrived at. The relatives were jingled, and the big brother was summoned to return through blinding, driving Indiana snow.

And so it was, on Razzie's own terms, that we figured out what we would do on Sunday. Her doctor was in Michigan, so they summoned in the pinch hitter (sorry, wrong sport, but when the pinch hitter's the head of OB, we don't mind). And on Super Bowl Sunday no less. All we could do was look at each other and say, "Go Bears."

We got admitted, and they got Nic on the monitor. Baby was doing fine. Mommie's blood sugar took a dive, but they got an IV in and sugar started. They wheeled her away after several consultations to the O.R., and after quite a few breathless minutes (ok, so I was playing Metroid Pinball on the DS, but then my battery died, so I had to start pacing), they summoned the Daddie to the O.R., too.

I got there, and she'd had a much better spinal than before. Her blood pressure took a serious and dizzying turn while I was out, and the anaesthesiologist had to give her a new IV quick to get some meds in.

A few minutes later, and I was told to look over the curtain. Yep. That's a girl. She was a bloody, purplish, whitish mess, but she was beautiful. I watched as the doctors clamped and cut the cord. They whisked her over to the other side of the room.

The big difference from when Gamble was born was that we heard her cry almost instantly. It didn't really sound like crying. More like quacking. But constant. "Waaak. Waaak. Waaak." After about 10 minutes of hearing the doctors and nurses working with her, and this constant quacking throughout, I began to laugh. Laugh and cry. Holding Nic's hand, I said something along the lines of "Oh my. Just like her brother, she doesn't stop!"

And she didn't stop for well over an hour. I have a couple videos, too big to send out, really, of her just wailing while they measure her vitals:

Random Jolie Davis
37 Weeks
8 lb., 15 oz.
20 in.

After measuring her up, they checked her blood sugar. She was quite low, so she was whisked away to NICU, where they've currently got her on an IV and she's doing well. She had the same fast breathing as her brother, so she's not taking much by mouth and has an NG tube. She's able to take some food by mouth, however, and her color is looking great. We hope that she'll be up in the room with us tomorrow, but for now, I get to go between my girls, keeping them safe.

Gamble has met Random, and he's already so happy with her. He just wants to touch her and see her and is frustrated by all the NICU rules, so we can't wait until they're able to interact more.

Nicole has been moved from 3535 to 3514, for everyone who got the original note. Central Dupage Hospital has a fantastic nursing staff. Well, a fantastic everything. What a great place to see a new baby into the world.

Nic's doing very well, recovering better than any other time I've seen her out of surgery. Hopefully by tomorrow she'll have had a great night's sleep.

Gamble's home with Nic's folks, and hopefully will get to go for a full day of school tomorrow.

As for me, I'm on my way back to NICU to see Random for a little bit before bedtime.

Good night, everyone.