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October 29, 2003

Splish Splash

Last night Kate got her very first tub bath. At first she really, really enjoyed it (as you can see from her pictures). After too long though, she was ready to get out. She calmed down again once we got her all cozy in a warm, dry towel.

Keeping Kate's skin clean, cool and dry has become of more importance this week than ever before because of a recent outbreak of baby acne. Like the linked article says, the bumps aren't very attractive. Unfortunately there's not much more we can do other than ride it out. Better now than at puberty…finger's crossed!

This wasn't Kate's very first bathing experience. Until now, we had been giving her sponge baths. Her first one was October 16 and of course we took pictures. ;-) Like with the tub bath, Kate was mixed with emotions. By the time we had her dried and dressed, she was happy and making faces with dad.

October 26, 2003

A Toothless Grin

We finally got a first toothless grin from our baby Kate. Of course we had seen Kate smile in her sleep as her brain worked all of her muscles and reflexes, but this was the first time we could discern a true smile while Kate was awake and interacting with us. And, it wasn't a gassy grimace or bowel movement moment. Unfortunately we weren't ready with the digital camera, but we'll be sure to try to catch it next time. We can't wait to see more and more of Kate's smiles as the weeks, months and years unfold.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 09:57 PM

October 22, 2003

My Future's So Bright...

With the exception of a trip to the pediatrician last week, Kate and I haven't left the house since we arrived home from the hospital. We've been lucky enough to have dad around to do our errands for us. It gets a little dreary sitting around the house all day long, so we decided that today was a good day to make our way into the outside world. To rid ourselves of the shut-in blues, we indulged in a quick shopping spree at BabiesRUs and lunch at the Golden Arches. Dad, of course, chauffeured. The day was beautiful -- breezy and in the 80s. It was a little on the sunny side, but like all smart glamour girls, Kate was prepared with her tiny pink shades.

By the way, Kate loved wearing her shades. Every time I raised them to see how she was doing, she furrowed her brow, wrinkled her nose and squinted at the sunlight almost to say, "Mom, stop fooling around. The sun's in my eyes."

October 21, 2003

Jackpot!

Today Kate is officially 2 weeks old, and with each day that passes our lives and schedules become a little more regular. As we get a better grasp on our new situation, we also get the opportunity to slowly introduce Kate to each of her new toys. Maybe it's because she's too young or has such a short attention span, but until today nothing had made a great impression on her. I think, though, this was the day that we finally hit JACKPOT!

This afternoon Kate tried out her Fisher Price Aquarium Cradle Swing and was quickly lulled into a light napping state. And this was without even turning on the music, overhead mobile, or fancy water globe light. It will be interesting to see if this baby soothing device can work its magic once Kate is in the midst of a fussy spell.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 08:11 PM

October 17, 2003

Take Your Daughter To Work Day

Sometimes it takes new parents months before they can get their newborn to sleep without a hitch. Forget packing your kid into their car seat for long drives or rocking them for hours and hours in a glider. Ken's idea is much, much better. Take them to the home office and let them sit in on a few client calls. Heck, I think this little trick may even work with some adults.

By the way, doesn't Kate have the cutest little feet and piggies?

Results of Guessing Kate's Arrival, Weight and Height

The results for Kate's 'guessing game' are in. Many of you did very well guessing either her weight, height or due date, but no one picked all three exactly. Some of you jumped in at the last minute (after Kate's announcement was sent out) and either added or updated your guess. I took this into account so those of you who had a longer-standing guess were ranked higher than those who guessed more recently.

Without further ado, here are the results:

HEIGHT
  1. Nana Carol
  2. Genie Strong
  3. Karen Charlap
  4. Ralph Morales
  5. Alyson Wellens
  6. Paul Fochtman
WEIGHT
  1. Sean Flynn
  2. Paul Fochtman
DUE DATE
  1. Kevin Maier
  2. Alyson Wellens
BEST GUESSER OVERALL
  1. Sean Flynn


FULL RANKING
(closest guesses to height, weight and date with preference given to those who had longer-standing guesses)
  1. Sean Flynn
  2. Kristen Premer
  3. Nana Carol
  4. Kate's Dad
  5. Terri Bridgwater
  6. Kate's Mom
  7. Barri Wells
  8. Sandy
  9. Ralph Morales
  10. Connie
  11. Johnny Teti
  12. Cisar
  13. B Keesler
  14. Monika Maier
  15. Karen Charlap
  16. Nuvia
  17. Christina Lombardo
  18. Mark Bridgwater
  19. Greg Redmond
  20. Genie Strong
  21. Jerri Torres
  22. Sergio Sanchez
  23. Suzy Butler
  24. Kevin maier
  25. Joey
  26. Paul Fochtman
  27. Keith
  28. Chris P.(Supa Fly)
  29. Alyson Wellens
Posted by Ken at 11:43 AM

Umbilical Be Gone

Kate's umbilical cord fell off this morning. Well within the week prediction the pediatrician made when we visited yesterday.
Posted by Ken at 09:05 AM

October 16, 2003

First Pediatrician Visit

Kate had her first visit to the pediatrician today. It also marked the first visit for the three of us out of the house since coming home from the hospital. Our biggest fear was Kate getting upset/hungry while we are out, so Jean-Marie tried to feed her before we left. That was enough to get us to the doctors office (although, as a side note, Kate really hates the car seat).

While waiting in the office Kate didn't last long so we were admitted into our check-up room early so Jean-Marie could feed Kate one last time. This did the trick, but it also resulted in two diaper changes right before the doctor appeared.

Kate checked out all okay. She's lost 10 ounces since birth (which is normal) and he said her umbilical cord should fall off in the next week. Our next visit to him in a month will also be Kate's first set of shots. Ouch. Otherwise, all appears to be well.
Posted by Ken at 05:58 PM

Dinner for Two and a Babysitter Too!


It's been some time since I've posted anything, but needless to say I've had my hands very full lately. Between taking care of myself following the c-section and taking care of Kate as her sole source of food, I've had little time for email, phone calls, sleep, TV and sometimes even warm meals. Kate's on-demand meals always come first.

My girlfriend did such a kind deed Tuesday evening, though, that I couldn't let it go unnoticed for too long. It's definitely a treat that should be shared with family and friends of other new parents who have the time and opportunity to pass on the same kindness. Christina stopped by with a homemade dinner for two and warm arms to hold dear Kate. While we ate some tasty, WARM food downstairs, Christina was giving Kate a cozy chest to sleep on upstairs.

I cannot even begin tell you how delicious dinner was. The spread included tortellini spinach soup, peppers and potatoes, muffins and cookies for dessert. Christina says we enjoyed it so much because we must've been hungry. In reality it probably was that as well as the fact that it was really very good and that Ken and I finally had some quiet time together. It may have only been a few minutes, but it felt like hours.

October 14, 2003

Saturday's Going Home Photos

Jean-Marie and I took photos of our entire going-home process this past Saturday and I only now had the opportunity to download the photos off the camera.

Saturday started early when Dr. Parl came in to check and discharge Jean-Marie. Part of his visit involved removing Jean-Marie's staples from her surgery -- which went surprisingly smooth, fast and painless. Dr. Parl delivered Kate, and since we did not get to take any photos in the delivery room, he was kind enough to pause for a photo before we left the hospital.

After Dr. Parl left us, Jean-Marie and I were left packing up the room and getting ready to leave. The final step was to "pack" Kate up. We put Kate into her "going home" outfit and shortly thereafter she feel asleep. Jean-Marie and I were very jealous because we were so tired, but Kate was so cute that it was worth staying awake ;-)
 
... and here she is all cozy in the carseat waiting to be put into the car.
   

At the house, Kate was given a quick tour and we placed her into her crib. These pictures were taken within minutes of her laying down (We did not want to disturb her so no flash was used which caused the reddish tint. The object above her in the last 2 photos is Kate's CribCam).
   
Posted by Ken at 10:27 PM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2003

Arrived Home

We arrived home very late today. Getting out of the hospital was a slow process -- we had no sleep last night and it took some time to get moving. I made 4 trips down to the car to pack up all our belongings and gifts before bringing Kate and mom down. When we were packing for the hospital we "overpacked" in the event we needed more clothes -- it was good we did, because of having to stay the extra day.

The drive home was great -- Kate slept the entire time and we were even able to stop off at a drug store to try and fill Jean-Marie's prescription without waking Kate up. Unfortunately, they did not have all the medication available so I opted to head out later to fill it.

Let's just say things did not work out as hoped when we finally made it home. Kate needed feeding and started crying; some baby-related items I thought we wouldn't use actually became required with some last-minute assembly; the dinner we bought was cold by the time we ate it; Jean-Marie developed a fever; we found other house-prep items needing "quick-fixes" now that Kate is home; and we still didn't have the antibiotic prescription filled the hospital prescribed. I ended up filling the prescription at 2am and am only now getting to sleep. With the hour or so sleep from the night before, this day totally wore us out.

The good news is that we are (finally) in the comfort of our own home with baby Kate and look forward to starting fresh tomorrow.
Posted by Ken at 03:14 AM

October 11, 2003

Many Sleeping Positions of Kate

     

Kate enjoys stretching and putting her limbs in awkward positions when she sleeps. Here you can see her feet "clapping" and even "hanging" in the air. That last photo wasn't just a snapshot of her feet moving in the air. She really sticks her legs out and sleeps like that. No wonder her leg muscles are so strong when we try changing her diapers!
     
Posted by Ken at 12:42 PM

October 10, 2003

Ken Feeds Kate Today

The lactation consultant stopped by to see how Jean-Marie was progressing with breast feeding and they had a discussion about using a breast pump in the future. Jean-Marie wanted to give the pump a try so the hospital set her up with a machine to use. We did not want to waste the milk that was pumped, so the lactation consultant used a feeding technique they commonly use on NICU babies.

Since babies are very impressionable, introducing a bottle this early could have a very negative effect on their ability to breastfeed (bottles express milk without the need to suck very hard and can train babies to give up on breastfeeding since they are used to not working as hard to get milk). The alternative to a bottle is to feed Kate using a syringe and small plastic tube. The tube was attached to the tip of my finger and as Kate would suck, I would depress the syringe to squirt milk out of the tube. This technique let us (a) help Kate stretch her jaw muscle to get around my finger (pseudo-nipple), and (b) let us control the flow of milk so she has to work hard to drink.

After feeding Kate this way, I can say without a doubt that I have a renewed respect for women who breastfeed their babies. For a baby only a few days old, Kate could create an unbelievable amount of sucking-pressure on my finger. Her suction was so strong, that pulling my finger out of her mouth was very difficult! I can only imagine what this must feel like to a woman while feeding! Wow, ouch!
Posted by Ken at 05:25 PM

Staying an Extra Night

This was a tough night -- Kate was feeding a lot and we had very little sleep. We then awoke to the doctor visiting around 6am to let us know we were not going home today. Because of Jean-Marie's high temperature readings, they wanted to keep her another day (until Saturday) to prescribe an antibiotic and keep an eye on her. We can understand the need, but this was a huge disappoint for us since we wanted to go home. The thought of going through one more day/night here is mentally draining.
Posted by Ken at 08:17 AM

October 09, 2003

Only One More Day to Go

Mom is doing better today and is walking more. The nurses are very happy with her progress considering she just had surgery. Mom had one high temperature reading but the rest were fine.

Kate has a voracious appetite feeding sometimes as long as an hour in one sitting. Breastfeeding has been very tough since Kate does not have a wide mouth and doesn't always 'latch' on properly.

The hospital has a relationship with a professional photographer to offer parents the option of getting newborn photos to send to friends and family. We met with the photographer and decided it was best to get the photos rather than look back and kick ourselves for not having them done. We dressed Kate up in her "going-home" outfit and they took the photographs right in our room on a "mobile studio." Kate absolutely *hates* the flash from a camera, so she was not a happy camper. Jean-Marie and I still have to figure out what photo package we want to order.

Tomorrow we are scheduled to leave the hospital. It's been great having the ability to ask the occasional question to ease our minds, but both of us have been staying (trapped) here in this hospital room for the last 2 days and really want to go home.
Posted by Ken at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

October 08, 2003

Making Friends with the Pediatrician

Kate had a very busy day today with visits from nurses, doctors and guests. She passed her hearing test with flying colors and already shows signs of turning her head towards mom and dad's familiar voices when we call her. I always thought newborn babies don't open their eyes, but Kate regularly opens her eyes and looks around. I also underestimated how strong she can be -- she has no problem moving her head around and she is a very strong kicker!

The pediatrician gave Kate a thumbs up for today too. When asked if we could take his picture while examining Kate, he was excited at the idea and started posing for the camera. At one point when I was finished, he made us take another picture so he could pose while holding his stethoscope. Too funny.
Posted by Ken at 03:04 PM

First Pictures

The gallery of Kate's delivery photos are online. Kate has been a very good girl nursing and has already had some very good poopies (blech!). Both mom and Kate are doing their best to catch some much needed rest.... and now that these photos are online, daddy is going to do the same ;-)

See the image gallery
Posted by Ken at 03:01 AM | Comments (6)

October 07, 2003

Kate's Arrival!

Today at 11:28am at Plantation General Hospital, Kate Elizabeth Maier made her grand entrance into the world via c-section. At 8 lbs. 14 oz. and 21 inches long, Kate is a beautiful and healthy baby girl. Jean-Marie is doing very well, and we are both ecstatic that Kate is finally here.

We will be updating this website as soon and as often as possible. Check in regularly for the latest news and pictures. We can't wait to show you what a beauty our little Kate is.

You can reach us by email at dad@katemaier.com or by phone in our room at (954) 587-5010 Room 2 (in labor and delivery area).

What a day!

Proud Papa Ken
Posted by Ken at 04:35 PM | Comments (1)

Waiting in Hospital

We made it to the hospital about 30 minutes late... I dropped Jean-Marie off in the front, parked the car, and by the time I entered the hospital she was already being signed in at labor and delivery. Today is a "slow baby day" at the hospital so there are plenty of private rooms available (originally a concern), but we will have to wait about 30 minutes past our scheduled 10am appointment since another delivery is running late. Jean-Marie is getting a little fidgety, but hopefully we'll be on our way soon.

They had me put on scrubs, but apparently they do not make them in my size... I'm wearing a scrub-gown and was already teased by a nurse on how cute I look in a "dress". Lovely :)
Posted by Ken at 10:43 AM

Off We Go!

We are headed out of here for the hospital..... more later :)
Posted by Ken at 07:48 AM

October 06, 2003

Last Night On The Town

The doctor's office scheduled a time with us for tomorrow's c-section. We have a morning appointment so Kate will be with us after lunchtime (my guess). Depending on how much free time we have waiting around in the hospital before delivery, I may try to post an interim update. At a minimum, I'll post an update with the post-delivery details tomorrow afternoon.

Everything has been packed and ready to go so tonight will be some down-time to rest up. Tomorrow will be an exciting day!
Posted by Ken at 06:19 PM | Comments (2)

October 05, 2003

Kate's CribCam Available

Kate's CribCam is now available. Remote friends and family can see what Kate will probably be best at for the first few weeks -- sleeping :) I've also set it up so I can view the most recent image directly on my mobile phone (and this begins the watchful eye of a parent, ha ha).

The schedule for image updates will change when Kate arrives to give her a little privacy, but check back often to see what she's up too! If you catch an interesting pose, save the image (right click on large image in your browser, choose "save picture as") and send it to dad@katemaier.com -- I'll add it to a gallery of Kate's best CribCam photos.
Posted by Ken at 02:13 PM

October 03, 2003

Friday Update...

For those of you wondering, the ultrasound I mentioned earlier revealed Kate is close to 9 lbs. Since she is already that large, the doctor did not want to risk delivery complications so he's recommended a C-Section. The office is going to call us on Monday to let us know what time we are supposed to arrive at the hospital on Tuesday.
Posted by Ken at 08:59 PM

To C or Not to C?

We've been scheduled for an ultrasound today to measure Kate's overall size. The OB has indicated that if Kate is larger than 9 lbs, he would prefer to have a C-section to prevent unnecessary risk to Kate during delivery. Unlike some other women who choose a C-section outright, we would prefer not to have one if possible.
Posted by Ken at 11:03 AM | Comments (3)

October 02, 2003

Cosmic Coincidence

A few weeks ago I joked about my horoscope that alluded to the arrival of Kate that week. Well this week I have a real star-crossed story to tell. For about the past month or so Ken has been working on trading in his old car for a new one. Finally he decided on a car, and the salesperson who helped him with his decision mentioned early on in the process that his daughter Kelly was also pregnant with an induction scheduled in the near future. While we were working on the final paperwork for Ken's car, I asked the salesperson a few question about his daughter's upcoming delivery. Next thing I knew he had me on his mobile phone with his wife Karen, the soon-to-be-grand mom.

So, what do you say to these cosmic coincidences?
  • Kelly has the same OB as I do and we are delivering in the same hospital.
  • We are both expecting girls. (but I forgot to ask what they will be naming her)
  • Although Kelly is due on the 7th and I am due on the 13th, we are both being induced on the 7th. She will be there at 2 am and I will be there at 5 am.
  • Karen's (Kelly's mom) birthday is October 7th, which, if everything goes as planned, will be their baby's and Kate's birthday.
  • Kelly and I have the same birthday, May 20th.
Ken says that the coincidence that Kelly and I share the same birthday is not that amazing, but with everything else considered it's quite a remarkable occurrence.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 12:58 AM