Monday, July 30, 2007

A Bump in the Road

Keelie has been a lean baby since we brought her home - not a chubby baby at all. She’s always had plenty of energy and has been feisty and strong. Remember from our previous entries that she’s been really fussy? Well, she might have been burning up too many calories with her crying and kicking and yells.

We discovered this past Thursday that little Keelie had lost weight when she should have been gaining it. After a visit to her pediatrician, we took her in to a hospital. She was admitted to the hospital and all sorts of tests were done, and lots of questions were asked. Her feeding schedule was normal. She was getting her nutrients. Yet, she had lost weight.

Kori stayed with Keelie in the hospital, and I would run errands and otherwise be there all day, but go home overnight. People Kori used to work with and someone she went to school with stopped by as part of their jobs. That was the silver lining to being in the hospital.

Grampa Pellman came down to hold Keelie on Saturday, and Nanny came down to hold her yesterday. Keelie really liked being held by them. Puma and Granddaddy Keel would have been there, too, but they were out of the state when all of this went down. We kept in contact via phone calls.

There has been no definitive conclusion about Keelie’s condition. It could simply be a matter of Keelie burning up too many calories. That's would probably be the "best" cause.

Keelie was given a new feeding regimen and we brought her home yesterday. Hopefully, this new feeding schedule will be enough to put Keelie on the right track. If she fails to gain the right amount of weight, it could be an indication of something more serious. We have lots of follow-up appointments scheduled.

Poor Kori, who had been in the hospital the whole time with Keelie, is running on very little sleep. I am exhausted, but I’ve had a lot more sleep than her! I took the day off so I could catch up on sleep, and make phone calls, and run errands related to keeping Keelie healthy.

There have been a couple of changes for Keelie along with the new feeding frequency. She’s not as fussy, though it hasn’t gone away completely. And - she’s finally started to send some of the milk back up. She had never done that before.

Thanks for reading, thanks for checking in with us, and thanks for all of your advice, prayers, and encouragement. Oh- and if you want to send us a message instead of leaving a comment here, you can do so at KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Here are a couple of cell phone pictures. One is in the hospital and the other is from when we got back home and I was holding her while she slept.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Keelie is Five Weeks Old

We continue to get acquainted with our little bundle of joy, who hit five weeks old today. Keelie often tries to stick her fist in her mouth to suck on, but her arms don’t cooperate for long and she gets frustrated when her hands move away from her mouth.

This is Keelie at exaclty four weeks old.

Keelie likes being the the snuggly, as long as Kori keeps moving around. While she is still fussing and crying most of the time she is awake and not eating, there are some moments now when she will quietly look around. We also received our first order of Gripewater. That seems to help Keelie to sleep most of the night, waking up only for feedings. She’s surprisingly strong with her grasping, pushing, and kicking.

When I can, I will take Keelie into another room when she is full-but-fussy, and Kori needs sleep. If I recline with Keelie on my chest, she will lift her head and maneuver around – the precursor to crawling. The best is when she simply rests her head against my chest and falls asleep.

She still doesn’t like pacifiers most of the time, but there is a different one we’ve tried that she will accept on some occasions. She still prefers one of Mommie’s fingers or Daddy’s pinky knuckle, as you see above.

We went to Pasadena on Friday so I could have my typical doctor visit and we could take Keelie to see her Nanny, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The scale, surprisingly, said I’d lost two pounds since my visit to the doctor four months ago. Woo-hoo! I celebrated with a combo burrito, chili cheese fries, and a chocolate shake from Hi-Life Burgers. Just kidding. We went to Nanny’s and ate by her pool.

Below you can see a rare moment where the pacifier is working for Keelie.

Saturday, we went to get a professional picture of Keelie and she was her usual fussy self. They did manage to get an okay photo of her where you can't tell she is crying. It took a long time, though.

From there, we went to a Mongolian BBQ place that Craig & Kristen like (we like it too) so we could meet up with them and their two girls and introduce them all to Keelie. Craig & Kristen picked up the check – bless them!

There's that pacifier again.

There’s not much else to report these days. We’re tired and spending most of our time at home. Although I enjoy my job, I miss my ladies terribly when I am in the office.

Alison (Kori's half sister) & Steve sent this great contraption pictured below. I put it together. I made the plastic and painted it and everything. Okay, not really. Like I said... they sent it to us and it was easy to assemble. It enthralled Keelie for fifteen minutes straight, which is hard to do.

Yes, Shelby is still handling things well. She has accepted Keelie as part of the family all along, even though she is confused as to why we get on her case for barking even as Keelie wails away.

Here is a picture I took of Mommie and baby earlier tonight, after Keelie passed her five-week birthday! As you can see, the excitement wore her out.

I've made another heartfelt comment on fatherhood over at the other blog right here.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mid-July Update From the Pellmans

Wow, it has gotten harder to provide updates now that I’m back to work. The last entry was from July 3. Keelie will be a month old in just a few days, and thus, officially no longer a newborn. Considering how fast my nephews grew up - one just turned 15, the other will be turning 17 next month – I believe people when they tell us that time will fly by.

The evening of July 3, we discovered that Keelie doesn’t like taking a bath. Then again, she cries almost all of the time she is awake anyway. She must be working on her lungs - she does have singers in her family, after all. She’s quiet once she’s settled in to eating, riding in the minivan, and being held by a “new” person (usually), and when sleeping. Dirty diapers don’t bother her. Hiccups don’t bother her. She cries most of the rest of the time, including when those diapers are being changed.

That's Keelie on her first Independence Day.

Being the wild and crazy bunch we are, we stayed home July 4th and watched KCAL 9's fireworks show. They were 13 minutes into it before someone figured out that the sound (music, narration) wasn't hooked into the broadcast. It was also odd that the spectators interviewed to fill time talked about "HD" being one of the reasons they were happy to be there. Uh, they were in person. Only the audience at home would care about KCAL's HD capabilities.

Below you can see Keelie in her bassinet.

She likes the one side for some reason. Notice the pacifiers. She almost invariably hates them. She tries to stick her own hands in her mouth, but that hasn't quite worked out yet. She prefers one of Kori's fingers, or a knuckle of my pinky, or she'll pretend to be hungry, only to fall asleep when in position to eat.

On Thursday, July 5th, Jenn & Dave brought over dinner - bless them!

We drove up to have lunch with my mother (Nanny) and sister (Aunt Binky) on Friday the 6th. Aunt Binky is especially ga-ga over Keelie.

My mother likes to share meals with us - bless her! I pack on the pounds, Vicky has done a good job of dopping pounds and keeping them off.

Speaking of dropping pounds, Kori is has been doing very well and is pleased with herself (I'm pleased, too!) with the progess she's been making in losing the prengancy weight. She fits into almost all of her tight clothes now. We'll have to get a good picture and upload it soon.

Also on Friday the 6th, James & Chrissy brought over dinner - bless them!

On Sunday the 8th, we drove up to Glendora for Homecoming and another couple got to meet Keelie for the first time - Aaron and Cherise.

This past week, I went back to work on a regular basis. It was hard to peel myself away from the two ladies. I didn’t use Family Leave for my time off, so I still have that to fall back on if needed.

Aaron and Cherise brought over lots of yummy food this past Tuesday – bless them!

Wednesday evening was Kendra’s birthday dinner, so all of us were at Puma and Granddaddy’s. Puma and Granddady sure love having the gang over and feeding us all - bless them!

This past Friday, I made a run for Costco. Going alone is a little dangerous, because I can spend forever in the media section looking books, CDs, and DVDs. In the evening we went to introduce Keelie to everyone at Donna B’s monthly Hometown Buffet get-together of current and former cast members. Keelie showed off her crying skills. A lot of people assume that a crying baby means hunger, a dirty diaper, or being too hot or cold. That isn't always the case. There are babies that simply cry a lot, often to release energy, and only so much a parent can do to quiet the crying.

So, things are not so exciting right now, other than enjoying the new, noisy life we get to hold in our arms. There are some movies I’ve wanted to see, but those will have to wait. Heck, we weren’t getting to the cinema before the birth, either.

I’m also going to miss going to see “Weird Al” Yankovic and his White and Nerdy Band at the Orange County Fair this week. But... that's life. Kori has been doing a wonderful job mothering Keelie and withstanding the lack of sleep. Eventually, a new normal will set in. We'll have to give Keelie her first Disneyland visit before too long. We can keep it nice and short. Unless the place stops her from crying.

Thank you all for your ongoing advice, assistance, and prayers. We're working on "thank yous" for all of you who have given gifts, but let us also say here... THANK YOU!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Keelie Has More Visitors, Goes More Places

Keelie turned two weeks old today!

She has been spending most of her time at home, of course, but there have been some visits out. So far, she likes riding in the car.

This past Thursday, we went to Puma & Graddaddy’s (what we’re calling Kori’s parents now for Keelie’s convenience) so that Puma, Grandaddy, Auntie Kendra, Uncle Steve, Uncle Troy, and Uncle Toby could see her again.

Later, Troy and Toby came over to remove our old, nonworking wall air conditioner that I had started to remove, and install our new one. It was very nice of them to do that, bless them, since Kori and I had been frustrated in trying to get a couple of the big chain stores to do it. Apparently, they only deal with window units and central systems now. Together with the window unit in our bedroom, the whole condo should be kept cool now.

Friday brought Keelie’s first trip to go see a pediatrician since leaving the hospital. She cried the whole time the doctor was present. The doc worked on where Keelie’s umbilical cord had fallen off.

Saturday, Grampa and Grandma Pellman came down for a visit. While my father had been there in the hospital with us, he hadn’t had the chance to hold Keelie yet, and Kathleen had only seen her in pictures. They brought diapers along as another gift – bless them.

That's Kathleen with Keelie, and this is my father with Keelie.

Sunday, we ventured to an afternoon session of Homecoming, our small fellowship of church friends. Jeni & Jon were hosting at their place in Glendora. None of our Homecoming friends had met Keelie yet. Jenn & Dave and James & Chrissy were there, too. Jeni & Jon’s Graci, who was born in August, looks so big now! People took turns holding Keelie. This picture below is me holding her.

From there, we went to Puma & Granddaddy’s again for a family dinner. Everyone was there, including Auntie Kirby, who often misses such dinners due to work.

That's Uncle Steve holding her, and below in Auntie Kendra with Keelie.

I went into the office on Monday to take care of some things and get some work done. It is so hard to peel myself away from my two favorite ladies. Jeni & Jon provided dinner for us. - bless them! Jeni brought it over – homemade enchiladas, chocolate cake, and some veggies. There were enough of the enchiladas to have a full meal of leftovers for later, and enough cake to last for days.

Then, Puma and friend Diana came over to see Keelie for a little while.

Today, we ran a couple of errands together. Dave and Rachelle came over and brought pizza for dinner – bless them! It was nice to sit and talk with them and eat pizza as they met Keelie for the first time and held her.

Shelby, thankfully, does not seem jealous of Keelie. On the contrary, she has been very protective. Her bark and strangers passing by has become more ferocious. One evening, when I took Keelie to the minivan and sent Kori and Keelie away for a short while, Shelby was waiting for me to return to the front door as usual. However, she wasn’t satisfied with my return. She wanted Kori and Keelie to come back, too. But the clearest indication that Shelby has been changed by this is when we were getting ready to go out on Sunday. Normally, when Shelby realizes she is about to be left home alone, she eagerly anticipates an edible chew-treat. On Sunday, however, Shelby refused to accept her treat at first. Instead, she indicated she wanted to go with us. Thankfully, she eventually took the treat.

Thanks again for all of the comments, e-mails, calls, cards, gifts, and visits. We hope your Independence Day holiday is a good one.