Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Story time...

As is the normal routine around here, Denise read the kids a story before bed. However this was the first time she did it with Deanna. So everyone got a story tonight! Desirae also did a VERY GOOD job cleaning up her room tonight. Much better than she normally does - we were both REALLY PROUD of her!

Deanna is doing really well! Her color is great! Her umbilical cord has come off today though it still isn't healed, so that is going to take some more time. We were also able to keep her awake for a good portion of the day so HOPEFULLY she will sleep good tonight!

Well, here is the outcome of the work to rearrange the office. We now have both the computer and the sewing stuff in this room and I think it is working out great. The real test will be when Denise tries to sew something.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sleep... What sleep...

We have now entered the zone where Deanna sleeps all day and fusses all night. So Denise is trying to get sleep in whenever she can. I have been getting Devin ready for school the last week and that has given Denise a few more hours of sleep. One thing I just can never understand is WHY babies will sleep all day and then stay up when it is dark and quite... Maybe it reminds them of the womb or something, but it was pretty much this way with Devin and Desirae too.

Today was busy too... I spent most of the time installing a ceiling fan, moving the office, and moving the sewing stuff into the office. The end result of this, the office is cooler and the dinning room looks HUGE. We are still contemplating moving the book shelves into our room which would give us a TON of room in the dinning room. Oh, and for those of you just tuning in, we didn't realize the dinning room was in THAT room so we made it into a library/crafts area. I think this new configuration is going to work out VERY well and will make the new table (that we haven't bought yet) fit perfectly. So finally we can get ride of that damn SMALL table we have had for the last 5 years (maybe longer).

Monday, August 29, 2005

I think were getting tired...

Now I know this is more difficult for Denise since she is breast feeding, but the little tike kept Denise up all night, and in return I didn't get a sound sleep either. This made for a pretty long day. Desirae and I did make another venture into town to buy the RIGHT diapers (since I bought the wrong ones last time) and other baby paraphernalia. So I THINK we have what we need now, but I am sure we will remember something else soon enough.

Anyway we are both beat...

Sunday, August 28, 2005


So, what do you call a popping, buzing sound, with diming lights, and a nice eletrical burning smell??? Well, that would be our BRAND NEW dishwasher going up in smoke! Denise actually heard it start going and everyone made it into the kitchen for the last flicker of light (and life) from the dishwasher. We don't know what really happened, and the service tech will not be here until September 1st, but it is dead. I mean deader than dead. The only good thing is that the kitchen didn't actually catch on fire. I mean, that would have just really sucked...

Okay, on to more news! It was a sad day for another reason too today. Nana and Max packed up their stuff and headed home. It was really wonderful having Nana (my mom) here for the entire week and I am REALLY glad that Max came down to see Deanna again and pick my mom up. The other option would have been to take the train back, but I think another visit was just the ticket! A BIT too much driving, but everything should calm down a bit now!

So tomorrow Devin is back to school, and I still have the week off (baring any major problems at work). There are still alot of things to do around here and I know this week is going to fly by.

Deanna and Denise are both doing great, and each day Deanna's color looks better and better.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Wow - today was kind of uneventful. I think everyone was just tired, or it may just have been me. We did have a nice dinner, Max had brought down some peppers that were made with chess and batter. They were REALLY good. I also thought they looked pretty good so I took the photo above - actually that was the only thing I photographed today.

Deanna is looking GREAT - she keeps getting pinker all the time.

Well, that's about it for today... I am going to shut down and get some sleep - or at least try to!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Max is back!

Max made the trip back down here to see the kids and take my mom back! She made really good time and got here quicker than expected. She also brought down a DVD of the first time her and Nana road their quads. The kids, all of them, curled up with her to watch the video.

Desirae and I did go into town to do some running around and to make a Costco run. I think this was probably the first time the two of us have gone someplace together. Devin and I have done this before but never Desirae and I. She was WONDERFUL and it was a lot of fun. We went to Jack-In-The-Box for lunch, hit the bank, made a VERY quick run to JC Penny, and then did the Costco thing. Again, she was great during the entire trip - and it was a lot of fun! The only bad thing is that I didn't take the camera - so I didn't actually get any pictures of us today... Oh well...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's all about the girls...

I am not sure what it was we were watching (I think it was Brat Camp, which is just about the only thing we watched today) but Deanna and Desirae both feel asleep on Denise.

Desirae fell asleep again, and this time we positioned a sleeping Deanna right next to her to get the "sisters" together

Nana was just holding Deanna and this was too good of a shot to pass up!

I know the text is a bit limited, but I am REALLY TIRED and I just want to crash...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The photo shoot...

Denise had asked me to take some "studio" type photos of Deanna since we didn't have any taken at the hospital (I know, I know, I have taken more pictures in the last five days than most people take in a lifetime). Anyway, we hadn't done anything so today was the day we set everything up in the living room, setup an appropriate back drop and lighting, and put Deanna in a very cute dress. Nana helped hold her into position and Denise got to her focus on her. I think the shoot turned out pretty good!

Deanna isn't the only one getting attention around here. Nana and Desirae took a moment today to work on a puzzle together. I am not sure what it is with puzzles, and one would start to think we do them all the time, but we are starting to do them a bit more often. Either way working on a puzzle is much better than watching TV!

I think it was yesterday when Denise found the softball and said, "See I told you that her head was about the size of a soft ball!" So today we positioned the two together to get this comparison photo. I don't know, but I SURE AM GLAD I am a boy!

    Rabbit Update! Well I think I can just about claim VICTORY! on this rabbit thing. I have engaged targets outside the perimeter with one additional confirmed kill and I have not seen any other sign of the enemy lurking about. I do think it may take a few more days to confirm success, but my hopes are high.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

First doctor appointment

Today was Deanna’s first doctor appointment with Dr. Burchett. She is a bit jaundice and the doctor had us go do a quick lab so they could check her blood levels but other than that everything appears good. The doctor did say that we SHOULD NOT be putting her in sun light, especially with the heat. The order of the day is to continue feeding her and if her legs turn the same color as her cheeks then we have to take her back in to redo the test. Otherwise we just press on with what we are doing. She did loose a few ounces and she weighed in at 5 lbs 11 oz (I think) so that isn’t too bad.

Devin started riding the van today. So I went out there with him to get him loaded up. I was beginning to worry because they were running a bit late. The entire school thing this year has been fairly messed up and they just don’t have their act together. So now they want to pick Devin up at 0800 hrs, which is the time he is supposed to be in class, because they don’t have enough van drivers and too many kids. I guess this is going to get worked out soon, but it is still irritating.

Max is using the technology available to stay connected and when Devin and I came back from our walk Nana, Desriae, Denise, and Deanna were all video conferencing on the computer. I thought it was really cool how everyone is able to stay connected so I snapped the this picture.

Monday, August 22, 2005

First day of 1st Grade

Today was a busy day! Today was Devin’s first day of 1st Grade. Because of the birth of Deanna we did not attend the school orientation on Saturday so we did not know who his teacher was or where his class was going to be. There was also confusion on transportation because he will be taking the van again this year. So off we (Devin and I) for the first day of school! The school is also under going construction on a remodel so everything was confused this morning. We had to walk a LONG way to his class and we only found it because we started walking. I mean NO ONE had any clue as to where we were supposed to go or where the classroom really was. We finally found it – and we also found Jade, which helped settle things down quite a bit. It was kind of funny because at first Devin was asking me to stay with him all day and after we got into the class room and he was situated he said, “Okay, bye daddy see you later.” So I figured that was my cue to leave. I came back to pick him up and he walked most of the way and then road in the wheel chair the rest of the way. From what Jade was telling me he walked a lot today.

It was also another eventful day with Deanna too. Today was the first day of her “sun bathing” experience. Because of the jaundice we have to get her sun light for about 15 minutes on each side. This is really helping, however the sun is pretty darn hot this time of year!

She also got her hair washed today which was interesting. Pretty hard to position a little doll like that around to do that. However Denise and Nana had a pretty good system figured out and all I had to do was photograph it.

Nana has been wonderful helping Denise and us out and that has been AMAZING. I don’t know how we would have been able to do this with her help! So THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Everyone’s home…

After a short worry this morning everyone is home! I guess there was some problems with her color and we were not sure if Deanna was going to be allowed to come home today. In the end, everything was cleared up and both Deanna and Denise were cleared to depart the hospital. That did take quite a while and I didn’t actually find out until almost 1500 hrs.

Nana (Max had to leave today for work tomorrow) stayed with the kids while I drove the trip back down to Lancaster. One thing I can tell you is it was a bit odd drive down there the way we went on Friday considering just how close everything was. We could have very easily had Deanna in the van on the way down there, and considering how nervous we were about her being early that would have been EXTREMELY STRESSFUL.

Speaking of that (being early) it appears as though they (the doctors) think they might have been wrong on the due date. So now we are not sure how early Deanna really was. If it wasn’t six weeks it would have been nice to have that little bit of information! That would have also kept the stress level down quite a bit during the short delivery.

Once I finally did get down to the hospital they were very quick to release her and we were on our way within an hour. We did have a bit of a moment when we were trying to figure out the car seat. I had installed it into the Murano, but failed to read the direction on how to adjust it once the baby was actually in it. After two tries (on my part, one on Denise’s) we had it figured out and she was securely fastened in!

Denise did ride in the back with Deanna on the return trip. I think that is one of the frustrating things about rear facing car seats; you can’t actually see anything that is going on. It was a very uneventful (albeit long) trip back. However, it was really nice to be bringing everyone home!

The kids and Nana were eagerly waiting Deanna’s arrival and were poised at the door when we finally came in. Devin, like yesterday, was really excited to see her and wanted to hold her as quickly as he could.

All in all it was a really good close to the day. It was really strange and neat to have the new baby in the house and it is a bit overwhelming.

With all this; going on tomorrow is the first day of school for Devin. I am not sure if I mentioned this yesterday, but school orientation was on Saturday (which we didn’t go to), so we will be going in cold. I am going to take him in tomorrow and his aid Jade should be there again this year, so he will have someone with him again

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Day 2...

We made it to day 2! Deanna and Denise are both doing VERY well and getting closer to coming home. Had Deanna had a movement earlier in the day they would have been able to come home but alas it didn’t happen so they get to stay in the hospital one more day. So day 3 will be the homecoming!

Today was also the day that Devin, Desirae, Nana and Max had their first opportunity to see Deanna! Devin was immediately happy to see her and wanted to spend as much time as possible as close to her as possible. It was really great to see this enthusiasm about her and he kept saying, “She so adorable”, which was very ah, adorable!

Desirae, on the other hand, wasn’t quite a happy to see her. I am not sure if she really understands everything that is going on, and I think she is more associating the birth of Deanna to the absence of Denise. I truly hope this doesn’t become a problem, but for most of the visit Desirae was nowhere near as enthusiastic as Devin was.

Nana and Max also had their chance to hold Deanna and she was very cooperative with all the attention. Actually everyone, including Devin and Desirae, had a chance to hold her. Obviously we were much more guarded with the kids, but it was great. Devin wanted to hold her a lot and Denise finally had to tell him that he would be able to once we came home. There just wasn’t really the support available for him and we didn’t want to risk him dropping her or anything like that.

Denise has also received a lot of telephone calls over the last two days and I would like to say “Thank You” to all those that have connected with her. With us living so far away from the hospital, once we all leave she is there pretty much by herself, and Deanna isn’t much for conversation right now!

Well, I am still pretty well beat, and I am going to shut it down for now. I will post the pictures from today on smugmug, but it will be later, probably tomorrow. So check back later for the link!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Deanna Clarissa Ellison

    DETAILS: Deanna Clarissa Ellison, 19 Aug 2005, 0810 hrs, 6 pounds 3 ounces, 19" long, and (a lot) light brown hair
Hmmm - so yesterday I said I thought it was going to be early September. So it appears as though we were WRONG. It all started about 0530 this morning, well actually it was earlier for Denise but since I am the one telling the story it starts at 0530. Anyway, she woke me up and said, "Something's not right.". We got up and started getting ready. We got the kids loaded up and dropped them off at Angela's house (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, you saved our bacon today) and started the LOOOONG drive into Lancaster. On the way the contractions were getting REALLY close and I was starting to get worried that we wouldn't make it to the hospital in time. Actually, we almost didn't. We landed at the hospital about 0720 and we got them to quickly get us up to Labor and Delivery. I don't think they realized that she was so far along and long story short they ended up rushing her into an OR and she had Deanna at 0810. They didn't even have time to get the bed ready or anything. It all happened WAY TO QUICK. Anyway - the baby is health, Denise is health and everyone is doing well. I think they will come home on Sunday, but I am not sure about that one yet.

The pictures are located here!

And here are two pictures to hold you over until you click the above link!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Were getting closer...

We are definitely moving closer! As you can see from the photo Denise is getting bigger and bigger. She is still scheduled to deliver the end of September. I, however, think it is going to be more like the first week of September. Ultimately we are going to have to wait and see, but forunately everything appears to be going well.

I had tried to take a picture of Devin, who wrote his first sentence on his own yesterday. He wasn't in the mood to be photographed so I wasn't able to get any pictures of that. I will try to do something to get it on the web as it is really cool. I won't yet reveal what it says until I have the photograph to go with it.

I did however take the above picture of Denise and Desirae together. I think it is a really nice shot of the both of them.

Denise had her baby shower tonight and she has not yet returned as I write this blog. From the sounds of it there should have been a good turn out. She is also going to check to see if there is anyone who can watch the kids when the big day comes. Right now we are having some difficulties in that area with everyone being so far away. Hopefully she will have some luck with that.

    Rabbit Update! I did finally get some pellets and I have engaged the enemy. The first battle commenced a few days ago and was long and hard fought. I did manage to engage multiple targets with only one confirmed kill during the offensive. Multiple enemy were wounded during the beginning minutes of the on-slot, however they did seek cover as soon as they realized their furry comrades were falling. The retaliatory strike was felt the next morning when a partly eaten dead rabbit showed up on the front porch next to the door. Now that is a VERY sobering sight! Luckily I went out the front door that day because I think Denise WOULD HAVE KILLED ME had she opened the door and found that present waiting for her.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Puzzle Time!

So, Devin has been working on a puzzle and asked me to help. Really over the last few days he has been wanting to do a lot of things with me. I think I finally got it through my thick skull that when he does that I need to just stop what I am doing and do whatever with him. I really wish he would have just asked me to watch because he was doing a REALLY GREAT job on the puzzle. Everything you see in the these pictures he did himself without help from anyone. It was fun because he was trying to "win" and get more pieces put together than I did. We actually did finish the puzzle!

Denise took the kids today to Paint a Dream and they made ceramic stuff. The end results will be ready Monday evening. So, since Denise forgot a camera (again) I will post pictures of the stuff on Monday when we get it back.

Okay, so I admit it, I have a problem. It's an eBay problem. Well, actually it is a Nikon problem. I want more Nikon glass. I mean, is a wide angle lens too much to ask? Especially with that annoying 1.5 crop factor due to the APS sensor size. Anyway, I really WANT a faster wide angle lens. I keep looking at 20mm 2.8, 20-35mm 2.8, and the mondo expensive 17-35mm 2.8. I am trying to convince myself that a 20mm lens is NEEDED before the baby comes so I can get some really nice photos. I don't know! I do have that 18-70mm lens - but it is SLOW SLOW SLOW. Anyway I have my eye on one auction where I MIGHT be able to get a 20mm for a good deal.

Well after my long sleep I do feel a lot better. I am not really sure what the deal was or why I was so run down. Personally I think it was stress related from the storm, the briefing (which went okay), and the ordeal with Norm and his seizure.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I feel like crap so there isn't an update today...

Monday, August 15, 2005

It this ever going to stop?

Oh my god… I didn’t think it was going to stop raining this evening. I mean I knew a storm was coming our way, but give me a break. It started around 1730 and just didn’t let up. At first we thought it was interesting and after I moved the Murano into the garage we kind of just sat and watched the rain, hail, and sleet. It was pretty impressive and was coming down REALLY hard! I mean the hail just kept getting bigger and bigger. The road started to disappear under water and with the increased hail size we quickly made room in the rest of the garage for the van. When the hail died down a bit I ran out and moved the van inside.

When we came back into the house we were greeted with damp spots in the dinning room ceiling. We checked the rest of the house to see if anything else was leaking and other than the vents in kitchen and bathrooms we were okay. When I checked the outside of the house both sides were flooded and it appeared as though the water was rising to the foundation line. The roads, including the drive way were under water and most of the front lawn was under water. At this point water was already starting to come into the garage, but not by much.

Our lawn trim started floating away as well. We were really starting to get worried wondering what we were going to do when the water reached over the foundation. I mean I don’t have any sand bags or anything like that and it would have taken way to many to really do anything considering the quantity of water. Fortunately when we reached this point it stopped raining and the water started to reseed.

We are not really sure how much damage, if any, we actually took on this storm but it sure was stressful. We have never experienced anything like this before and it could have been much worse had the weather not let up…

More pictures of this wet day can be found here!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Bright Night...

I normally do not post more than once a day, but last night was so interesting that I just couldn't help myself. I had just finished up yesterday's blog entry when Denise came in to take a look. While reading she noticed flashes of lightening outside the window. So, like any dumb Californian would do I grabbed my camera and tripod and headed outside! It was really an amazing light show that was really pretty close to us. The lightening was all around (meaning in front, side, back not like in the front yard or anything like that. I squeezed off a few frames and I think I caught a couple of keepers! Since this isn't something that generally happens out here it was really kind of cool.

I added a gallery of the pictures on Smugmug and it can be found here!

Another step forward...

I forgot my camera today so I didn't get any captures... The main event for today was when we went to lunch. I told Devin I would give him $1 if he would walk into Ramons with one cane. It was VERY slow going, but he did it! He made it from the car into the restaurant and almost to the booth. I actually gave him an out on that one and let him quit when he was just about there. But it was a good distance and the first time outside the house! This was a really good move forward! His confidence is starting to increase, but the real driver is the money. Again I REALLY hate that, but it seems to be working so we are going to stick with it.

I did however take the above picture of Desirae laying on Denise the other day...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Red Lobster…

So, do you think they have a blue lobster? Maybe a purple lobster? I know, I know, a GREEN lobster! Okay so it isn’t the most original name, but that is where we went today for lunch. We were trying to do something a little special for Denise’s birthday and this is where she wanted to go. In keeping with the diet we didn’t go crazy but we did have a nice lunch! I had some fishy thing and Denise had some scallops and clams. It was really good, and since we were eating light it didn’t cost us a fortune.

The only other things we wanted to do in town was to get a new food scale and some cook books. So off we (me and the kids) went to Barnes and Noble and (Denise) Linens-n-Things. Denise did find the scale she was looking for and it basically looks like our bathroom scale, except a lot smaller. This should really help out in the food-weighing department and definitely should help in the diet thing. She also found me a water pick – I asked her to look for one because of the tooth problem I am having. I REALLY HOPE that helps!

The B&N experience was alright. We did find a couple of cook books and I also found a couple of photographic magazines I wanted to get. I was hoping to get a good basic photography book, but that didn’t go so well. They did have a good selection of books, but they all pretty much sucked. Oh well.

Today was also the day of Alicia’s (Amsler) birthday party. It was also their house warming party. We got there about 40 minutes late but fortunately we were not the latest folks. I took a TON of pictures, and if interested they can be found here!