Thursday, December 31, 2009

2 months!!!! What?!?!

I guess I am interrupting Randy's series of posts about Kylar's birth. But oh well. He was taking too long to finish it! :)

The past 2 months have flown by! Kylar seems like a completely different baby!! And she looks like a completely different baby as well!!
As you can see...


Her neck is strong, she is "dealing" with tummy time, sleeps through the night and she even smiles!!

A little blurry, it's from my phone.

Randy and I have done a lot of changing and growing the last few months as well. We went from a 2 person 2 dog family, to a 3 person 2 dog family. We went from husband and wife to mommy and daddy, while still trying to remain husband and wife. And that has been our biggest challenge. It is hard to make time for us when we are so consumed with our beautiful baby girl. But we are both confident that we will be back to going on dates and having "normal" meals together. We were able to pack Kylar up and head to the movies Thanksgiving weekend though. We went to see Old Dogs. We typically do not see movies like this in the theater, but it was the shortest movie being shown. She did great. She slept the whole time. I am not sure we will be able to do that again since she is more alert, but the one time we did, it was a very nice treat. We are also able to go out to eat with her and she behaves great.....usually!!
Nothing else too different going on. We are trying to get a better night-time routine down, but it is hard. Right now she goes to bed at 1ish. Our goal is between 9 and 11. The past few nights have been rough, she is just NOT ready for bed. But I am confident that we will be able to make it work. We have gotten though all the other obstacles!! But, if anyone has any tips, we are more than willing to try them!!
Here is one last pic of our little lady! I am adding more pictures to shutterfly, so check them out!

Not the best pic, but check out those neck muscles!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kylar's Birth- Off to a Rough Start

Around 7am (10/31/09), roughly 4 hours after I had returned to Mal in our new room awaiting the arrival of our newborn baby so we could finally be together as a family, just the three of us for the first time, we awoke in shocking fashion.  Mal woke me as she sat up in bed and yelled "Randy, where's Kylar?!"  I told her I didn't know trying to stay calm thinking if she isn't with us, I'm sure it's all for a good reason and only precautionary.  Mal immediately picked up the phone and paged the nurse's station to which they responded that our nurse was supposed to inform us that Kylar was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  Mal immediately began to cry and I tried to stay calm but my nerves shot through the roof.  There was no way to hold back my feelings this time.  I mean who the hell moves your baby to a unit like that hours after they are born and not tell the sleeping parents?!?!?!?!

We rushed over to the NICU, located right down the hall from our room, and demanded we see Kylar right away.  Mal was still in her hospital gown and I was half asleep, hoping this was all a bad dream, when we were brought to Kylar who was sleeping, encased in a clear box that had two small holes on the front, and wires and sensors attached to her small body.  It was probably the saddest thing Mallorey and I had ever seen.  And it was so hard to believe why things like this seem to always happen to us.  Nothing seems to ever go as smoothly as we planned it.  We expressed our disgust to the doctor on duty, Dr. Forbes, as soon as we could.  And rightfully so.  They had to hear what a piss-poor job they did at informing us the way they did.  The doctor apologized multiple times and assured us what was done was solely for precautionary reasons.  Apparently after I had left the nursery from Kylar's bath, she was recognized as having a hard time breathing on her own and called our pediatrician's office who then ordered her to be placed in the NICU.  They were treating her for either possible bronchitis or pneumonia. But they had no explanation as to why we were never told.  The doctor said they were willing to do whatever necessary to make things right.  I looked down at Kylar and said as straight as I could "You can make sure that our baby daughter will be alright."  Mal and I broke down in tears as they let us each slide a hand into the transparent box, me touching her leg and Mal rubbing her head.  If it were up to us, none of this would have ever happened.  And with that, another nurse came over to us and advised us there is nothing that can be done about what has happened, but rather to focus on moving forward with Kylar's care.  As frustrated as we were, she was right.  Despite the fact Dr. Forbes told us Kylar would likely be kept in the NICU for 7-10 days, our daughter was what was most important right now.

Being apart from our newborn daughter, with her in the NICU and us in our hospital room, was probably the hardest thing Mal and I have ever had to deal with.  The thought of Kylar alone would make me cry whenever I thought about her and what she might be going through at that moment.  Mal did her best to breast-pump in the room so Kylar would still get her needed nourishment, while I fielded the phone calls and informed our family and friends that they were more than welcome to visit us later, but there was also a possibility they would not be able to see her that day.

Eventually we were allowed to go back to the NICU and see Kylar as often as we wanted.  But when visitors came, we could only take one person back at a time.  It made it even more difficult because we were made to literally "scrub in" and wash up from our finger tips to our elbows.  But I completely understand the logic behind that.  Newborns are vulnerable to all kinds of germs and so everyone had to stay as sanitized as possible.  As the day wore on, our family and friends helped to cheer us up, but our thoughts were still with Kylar.  Once our family and friends decided to give us some time alone, Mal and I found ourselves going to the NICU to see Kylar about ever 15 minutes.  We simply wanted to be with our baby girl.  And if nothing else, so she would know we were there for her.

Later that night, Kylar was eventually upgraded because of her improved breathing, and she was let out of her isolate box, and we were allowed to hold her.  It was a small step in reality, but to us it was a huge emotional bonding moment.  Seeing her all hooked up to strange machines while we held her was heartbreaking.  But tears of joy streamed down our face as we held our baby.  We knew for the very first time we were really taking care of her.  And Mal was also encouraged to breast feed her inside the NICU as well.  Things seemed to improve over the next few hours, as grueling as they were, and Kylar was moved to an isolation room which was part of the NICU and eventually taken out of her isolate box and moved to a hospital-grade crib.  So after 17 hours since she was first admitted to the NICU, we started to see `a glimmer of hope and one step closer to going home together.

 To be Continued...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kylar's Birth- The Beginning

I can honestly say I'm a proud Papa now, but I should have written this blog sooner than this.  Shame on me.  But I will play the "busy card" and use that as my excuse haha.  For anyone who doesn't know, Kylar Marin Burns was born October 30, 2009.  The following is my version of the long journey to Kylar's birth

It was Thursday, October 29 and I had been off from work the entire day preparing for the long week ahead considering Mallorey and I would have a new addition to our family soon enough.  That morning started out just like any other but the back of my mind continuously swirled thoughts of what to expect later that night.  Even though Arby's was technically the last meal that we had together before our daughter was born, I must say our version of the "Last Supper" together was roughly a week before at El Caporal for Mexican food.  As always, it was simply delicious and, as usual, we got stuffed to the brim!  And all things considered, the Arby's wasn't that bad either.

As "Game Time" (8pm) drew closer and closer, the more anxious I got.  I specifically remember my nerves jumping all around my body like I was ready to run a marathon about 3 hours beforehand.  I don't think there is any foolproof advice I could give any other Dads-to-be out there.  What I mean by that statement is that there isn't anything you can do to calm yourself for what will unfold at the hospital or what might happen.  Just try to make the best of your anxious moments and go-with-the-flow.  But most importantly, be there for the one you love.

There was a sad moment that occurred, however, just before we left the house for the last time as a child-less married couple.  The hospital bags were packed and everything was in tow, but Mal had yet to say her goodbyes to our dogs Wiley and Lola.  They had no idea that their worlds were about to be turned upside down when we would eventually come home with a newborn.  Mal felt so awful that she sobbed as she hugged them, and told them we would be back home soon.  I made sure that I didn't rush her and in a matter of minutes we were off to the hospital.

Checking in and registering was a breeze.  We got to the delivery room and Mal slipped into her hospital gown that she would dawn for the next few days.  The nurse on duty administered the initial checkup and the first few I.V.'s and so our stay at the hospital had officially begun.  A few hours later, while Mal and I watched tv and talked, her parents made a quick visit as they drove down from the suburbs of Chicago to see their first grandchild.  Since they were staying at our place, I left Mal for a few minutes so they could follow me to the house.  In the past few months, we had enjoyed so many visits with Mal's obstetrician, I stopped off and picked up some Halloween style mini Reese cups as a small gift.  When I came back to the delivery room at the hospital, Mal was right where I left her, sitting up in the bed and all hooked up to the surrounding machines.  We snapped a few more photos of the two of us to add to the sequence of our experience, then we talked some more and even played a travel card game that we had picked up earlier that day.  We insisted to each other that we simply weren't tired but when 2am rolled around we found ourselves stating the opposite.  The nurse had been increasing the dosage of pitocin on Mal every 30 minutes since we had been there, but even by 4am she hardly had any pain.  That's when I decided to lay down on the pull out chair they had provided in the room to get a little bit of sleep since I knew the next day would prove to be long enough.

About 3 1/2 hours later, around 7:30am, the doctor walks in the room in full scrubs and carrying a thin needle that measured about what seemed to be 2 feet long.  I was still half asleep when she walked in, of course, so I was thinking to myself "what is that you have in your hand and where are you going to put it???!!!"  Moments later Mal's water was intentionally broken and labor was underway.  During the three hours I was asleep, Mal said she experienced some pain in what were very small contractions that the pitocin had caused.  But after her water was broken, the next few hours were not only painful for Mal, but for me as well.  The nurses had conveniently left on a computer screen that recorded her contractions as they happened.  I sat next to Mal in a chair next to her bed and held her hand and stroked her hair as the contractions took their toll.  Every few minutes she would clinch her eyes, bury her head in her pillow, squeeze my hand extremely hard and let out a moan as if someone were bending her fingers backwards one by one.  It was frustrating to me knowing there was nothing more I could do for her other than what I was already doing.  The nurse gave her some medicine that took the edge off her pain and even caused her some drowsiness which allowed her to doze off and sleep for about 20-30 minutes at a time.  But eventually the medicine was no match for the size and tension of the contractions.  So we were convinced that now, at almost 12pm, it was finally time for the epidural.  I was made to leave as the anesthesiologist entered the room.  Apparently it was their hospital policy that no visitors, husbands included, are allowed in the room when the epidural is administered.  So I took the opportunity to grab a quick lunch at Chick-fil-a.  It was a great meal but it felt even better to get some fresh air and take a break from the four walls of the hospital.

Keep in mind the pain Mal was experiencing at the time I was made to leave.  When I returned about 45 minutes later, I opened the room door and the next thing I heard before I even saw her face was "HI BABY!".  Mal looked just peachy and was sitting up with a big smile on her face.  It made me feel 110% better that she was not in pain anymore.  And it blew me away that I would look at the computer screen and see contractions three times the size what they were before I left and she was feeling no pain whatsoever.  It also made me feel good to know that Mal actually had the chance to get some much needed sleep so she could power up for the delivery.

While Mal slept, I sat by her side and played around on our laptop.  It was around 9pm that most of the action started to happen.  Mal's doctor had anticipated nothing would happen until about 7pm but her dilation was not that far along yet.  But some how, some way, she became dilated faster as time elapsed.  Both of our parents and my sister and brother-in-law had all come to visit and were waiting for the big moment.  Unfortunately, for them, they had no way of knowing how long it would take for Mal to get 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced, ready to have Kylar.  So on that note, around 10pm my sister and brother-in-law headed home.  I felt sorry for them because about a half hour later Mal had reached the point she needed to be and finally Kylar was ready to be born.  The nurse asked which three visitors would be in the room for the delivery and it turned out that Mal's mom would be alongside us.

By 10:30, Mal was pushing her hardest to match the pressure of the contractions which would ultimately push Kylar out.  The funny part in all of this was when I had to do an enactment of the umbilical cord cutting with the nurse.  I wanted to make sure there was absolutely no way I was going to hurt Kylar.  I mean were talking about cutting flesh with a pair of scissors here!  I couldn't believe how good Mal did during the labor process and the nurses couldn't believe how much hair Kylar had on her head even before she popped out!

At 11:14pm, on Friday October 30th, when Kylar finally entered this world, she had a delayed reaction not quite knowing what to think and then came the screams and the cries.  And she wasn't the only one crying.  Mal and I both had tears of joy in our eyes.  As purple as she was, Kylar was still the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and the moment was almost indescribable.  The whole experience was simply amazing.

The doctor immediately laid Kylar on Mal's belly for the initial bonding moment and then I was allowed to cut the cord.  It all happened so fast.  From there Kylar was shifted to a cleaning table where she was given a vitamin k shot in her leg and drops placed in her eyes.  The delivery team was great because they encouraged me to take multiple pictures while they were doing their jobs.  Kylar weighed in at 6lbs and 14oz. and measured 18 3/4 inches.  After all that was finished, and they patched up Mal, the next part made me proud to be a daddy for the first time.  They swaddled Kylar in a blanket and put a hat on her head to ensure she would remain warm.  And that's when I was allowed to hold my baby daughter for the first time and again, tears of joy.  Kylar was passed on to Mal in what they call "The Golden Hour" for mother-baby bonding and nursing.  It was during this time that Mal's sister Marin and her boyfriend Justin walked in the delivery room as a huge surprise.  Mal had no idea they too had driven down from Chicago to see us.  Pictures and videos of Kylar ran wild for the next hour and we were exhausted beyond belief.

When our family departed the hospital and the three of us were moved to the Mommy-Baby Unit for postpartum  care, Mal was on bed-rest for a little while, so I took the opportunity of following the nurse down to the baby nursery where Kylar would be given her first bath and have her footprints taken.  On this floor, your ears would feel as if you would go deaf from all of the newborns crying away.  But video taping Kylar's first bath was well worth taking the ear pounding noise.  She looked so cute despite the fact she was screaming just as loud as the other babies, but what do you expect?  I mean how would you feel if you were suddenly in a strange place not knowing what you were looking at, cold, and not to mention, having this strange liquid being rinsed all over your body from head to toe.  It didn't take too long for the attending nurse to finish her up, and she told me that Kylar had some extra amniotic fluid left in her lungs and she was simply crying it out as normal.  She said within about 30 minutes or so they would have her ready to bring up to the room.  This was not the case.  And so began our nightmare.  Only we were awake when it started.

To Be Continued...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 15, 2009 - Mal's 27th Birthday!

"I'm fine with just stuffed shells" she said with a wave of her hand as if it doesn't matter.  That is what Mal has traditionally had every October 15th for her birthday dinner.  And for the 2nd year in a row she has wanted nothing but stuffed shells and nothing more...presents included.  For anyone who knows what goes down on my usual birthday knows it typically involves a family and friends get together for a Louisville Bats baseball game with drinks and good times that follow at Browning's located less than a block from the ballpark.  So when Mal tells me all she wants for her birthday is stuffed shells I always get an awful feeling in my stomach because in no way do I think that is fair to her.  So, seeing as how I had already gotten her a pink laptop over the summer as her early surprise birthday gift, I didn't let her go empty handed last year on HER day and I was not about to let it happen this time.

My gifts to her this year included a scrapbook organizer and stock card paper.  I purchased these the day before her birthday right before I picked her up from work to go to our doctor's appointment for a checkup on Kylar.  When she hopped in the car I showed her more than a half dozen books I picked up for Ky at Half Priced Books and told her she wasn't allowed to look in the back of the car (it's hard to believe Kylar will be her in less than 3 weeks!).  I'm sure Mal knew I was going to pick her up something scrapbook-related from Michael's for her birthday, seeing as how I already had two 40% off coupons in my wallet coupled with the fact she had told me these were things she wanted just days before.  BUT...what she was not expecting was me to pick up cards for her later that night.  AND I took a long break at work on her birthday and scurried to the store to pick her up a vase of 3 roses and a slice of Hershey's chocolate pie.  When I showed up at her office with both of those in my hands, the expression on her face was simply amazing!  If that is the only look I saw on her face for the rest of our days together it would not bother me one bit.  It was definitely one of the biggest surprises of the day for her and I know for certain she had no clue that I was going to show up with flowers and a treat for her on her special day.

Later that night, I left her to her own devices as I concocted pumpkin bread, which was another request, before getting to the famous stuffed shells.  I must say I was never a huge fan of flavored breads like banana nut and things of that nature, but once I licked the batter mix off of the spatula my taste buds were jumping with excitement and my tongue was left watering for more!  Oh...yeah...Mal liked it too :)

While the bread was baking for nearly an hour it was time to move on to the traditional stuffed shells for "Mal Mal".  Now, last year I followed a recipe from that was called turkey and artichoke stuffed shells.  But this year was a little different as Mal specifically said she wanted the same stuffed shells she had had so many years of her 27-year-old life.  This recipe called for your ordinary everyday ground beef and Italian sausage browned and mixed with pasta sauce that was poured over shells stuffed with ricotta cheese in a Pyrex dish.  Sounds pretty basic right?  Believe me, once you add that extra baked top layer of mozzarella cheese you'll be saying "Mmmmmmm" over and over again.  Right Mal?  Hehe

But before we dug into this nose rattling birthday dinner, I let Mal open her birthday gifts and cards from our family and friends.  I let her open mine last because I knew I would get a particular reaction.  What reaction do you ask?  She got teary eyed over the mushy card because I'm cheesy like that.

Everyone's thoughts and gifts, not to mention that her birthday wishes were posted all over Facebook and her phone would not stop ringing the entire day, meant that she had a wonderful birthday.  And that's what matters most.  All of a sudden I don't feel so selfish anymore.

Happy Birthday Mal!  Love you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Women - Part 1: This Has to be Told, Part 2: Nocturnal Ky Ky

Part 1: This Has to be Told

First of all, the order of events described here occurred before 8am this morning so details may not be as clear as I'd like them to be.  Working 2nd shift has had this affect on me.  Especially without any morning coffee beforehand to kick start my brain functions.  Anyways, Mallorey and I woke up to start the day this morning just like any other day.  Laying in bed, letting the alarm sound off about 50,000 times before we actually decide we had better get up and start moving otherwise she will be later (than normal) to work.  I like to get up early with her and stay up because I can get things done around the house and focus on my online class for Oracle training as well.  Mallorey normally hops in the shower while I set out her lunch which is usually prepared the night before and concoct the morning's coffee.

Afterwards, she meets me in the kitchen as we put together a sausage biscuit for each of our breakfasts.  This, by the way, was a quicker than McDonald's drive-thru, it felt like, and is definitely a cheaper route.  If you too are finding yourself scrambling out the door to make it to work on time but still want the satisfaction of a hot and light meal for breakfast without the hassle of waisting time or money at a fast food place, you might want to try this out.  Simply pop a biscuit in the oven for about 15 minutes before you hit the shower in the morning, put a Jimmy Dean fully cooked sausage patty in the microwave for about 45 seconds after you get dressed, put the two together and before you know it: BAM you are on your way to the time clock!  Now back to the story at hand...

For those of you who don't know, or were not aware, Mal has had to test her blood nearly 4 times a day since being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes several weeks ago.  Her testing times are normally as soon as she wakes up and then roughly 2-3 hours after every large meal.  The blood tester device itself is actually very compact and is kept in a small black zip pouch about the size of your hand which holds the test strips, the needle, the electronic blood sugar level reader and her log book for keeping track of it all.  On any given workday, Mal ALWAYS leaves the house with the following in her hands: purple water mug, blue lunch bag, breakfast, her purse (which also contains her blood testing kit) and, of course, the car keys.  Today was no different than any other.  Or so we thought.

While finishing up my online training course for the day, around 11:30am, just under 4 hours before Mal left for work, she gives me a call on my cell phone.

"Do you know where my blood tester is?" She asked.
"The last I saw of it," I replied, "was last night when I put it in your purse."
"Well it's not here.  I don't have it."  she countered.
I assured her it was NOT at home by saying, "I'm standing in the kitchen right now and I don't see it anywhere."
You could almost see her head curiously tilt to the side through the phone when she asked me, "Can you check the 'fridge please?"
I hesitated, laughed, and checked.  No sign of it.  "Nope not there," I said with a chuckle.
"Wait a minute, hang on just a second," she said.  She placed me on hold and the elevator music began to play in my ear.
"Maybe she had found it, or found something that closely resembled it" I was thinking to myself as I eagerly awaited her to return to our conversation.
In the meantime, I turned to our pantry and opened the door thinking, "nah, it couldn't possibly...."
The elevator music over the phone fell silent.  "Okay, I'm back" She said quickly.
"You'll never guess what I have in my hand!"  I said with a smirk.
"What?!  Did you find it???"  She asked in desperation.
"Yeah.  I sure did and you'll never guess where I found it."
Laughing hysterically at this point, I said, "In the pantry!!!"

Mal couldn't believe what she had done.  Something that had become so routine throughout the week.  Something that had never really slipped her mind until now had REALLY, I mean REALLY slipped her mind.  And come to find out, she later went on to say how she didn't remember opening the pantry door and if she did, she wasn't looking for anything in particular.  I knew pregnant women are forgetful, but I had no clue they could be so unconsciously random!  Love you Mal :)

Part 2: Nocturnal Ky Ky

A couple of days ago, Mal had been complaining that she thought Kylar had not been moving around enough.  This type of non-action had happened before by our baby daughter, but not so late into the pregnancy.  Mal really started to get worried at work saying she could feel small movements but not much jabbing of the arms and legs that she had gotten so used to as of late.  While I was at work one day this week, a co-worker, who is currently pregnant and has 2 other children, told me that that can happen during the latter stages of pregnancy.  She said it usually occurs because the baby does not have much "wiggle room" inside the mother's womb because they are almost full-term.  I advised Mal of what I had learned but it still did not seem to calm her nerves about the entire situation.  She knew that Kylar has been very stubborn to this point, but was neglecting to give her the benefit of the doubt.  And I don't blame her.  Even my co-worker said that if you aren't sure of what's going on and you're really scared, you should probably go to the hospital to have everything checked out.

Well, being the laid back person that I am, I disregarded the advice of my co-worker and kept trying to reassure Mal that everything with Kylar is normal and there is nothing to worry about.  I still haven't figured out how to make that line work with her.  In fact, she has every right to worry.  I mean after all she is the one who is feeling every punch, kick and flip that Kylar makes.  So if something doesn't seem normal to Mal, I probably should not try to convince her otherwise.

We sat on the couch and watched some television after work that night and I would lightly place my hand on Mal's belly waiting for a reaction by Kylar.  While my hand never jumped off her belly like it had done plenty of times before, I kept my cool and didn't think anything of it.  Later that night, after we had crawled into bed, I knew there had to be something I could do to reassure all of us that everything was, is and will be just fine.  Besides, Kylar usually always moves around for us at night.  Maybe she has the moon and the sun  mixed up?  I don't know what it is.  But that is simply the way her little body operates at this point in time.  So, after turning off the lights, I snuggled next to Mal, reached across her and placed my right hand on her belly and slowly moved it up and down and in a light circular motion.  Next I firmed up the rubbing motion and started to talk to my baby girl.  "Kylar...what are you doing in there?  Are you going to move for daddy?  You going to move for me?"  Those were the only words I could come up with without making it sound like I was having a conversation with our dogs Wiley and Lola.  The words felt weird.  They felt silly.  I even wondered if Mal was taking me seriously.  But regardless of what we thought of those words, someone certainly heard me.  And she responded with a triple kick to my palm.

It's amazing how a gloomy afternoon can ultimately change to an exciting night with a few childish words and a little loving tenderness.  Needless to say, our family rested easy after that.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Ever since Mallorey and I found out we were having a baby girl, which was in mid-June, the makings of her nursery began. And just now, well, let's just say the title of this blog says it all. After working on her room a little bit here and a little bit there, the nursery is 100% finished and we are ready for Kylar Marin Burns to be here!

Some of you have seen what the old computer room "used" to look like. And you may have even cringed whenever you stepped on the stained carpet and got a whiff of the musty smelling room. It had a pale yellow color on all four walls with finished trim along the base boards and doorway. There was absolutely no way possible that we were going to allow our daughter to spend her early childhood days in an environment like that!

The computer room quickly changed to a nursery after I applied primer and three coats of "Hint of Cherry" which we picked up from Lowes. Have you ever walked out of a movie theater on a bright sunny day and squinted your eyes to block the sun until you made it to your car? This is somewhat of an exaggeration here, but that's kind of how I would describe the way this pink paint pops out at you. So right away Kylar's nursery began to take its form. The first change that was made was replacing the four electrical outlets and the light switch in the room. But, I must say the most time-consuming part of the entire room was replacing the original carpet with laminate flooring. I figured it was best to apply the paint to the walls before removing the carpet just in case I made any messes. Once the spare room is complete we will have hard wood flooring throughout. That in itself makes it feel like this house has undergone a total transformation but nothing quite like Kylar's room.
Next came the quarter round which didn't originally exist. Cutting the angles and doing the measuring was a headache from time to time, but definitely made the floors stand out around the perimeter of the room. Of course, Mal wouldn't let me get by with just painting the walls and putting down the new floors. No, that would have been all too simple. So I tackled the closet which was a an astounding 4 foot by 2 foot work area. I felt like Bruce Willis crawling through the air ducts in Die Hard. But nothing a father-to-be couldn't handle :)

The closet walls only needed one coat of Apple green and, of course, quarter round at the bottom. I even used my MIT engineering skills and built a two-sided box to cover up the water shut-off valves to the house that were so conveniently located in the back corner of Kylar's closet. Seriously? Who came up with these blue prints?! We finished out the closet by installing a new rod and Mal applied white contact paper to the shelving. We finished the painting with three or four coats of ultra white along all of the trim in the room. Mal had an idea for using curtains instead of closet doors. She brought up the idea one night and showed me an example online. I was a bit skeptical at first, but after looking at the finished product it looks fantastic. And we won't have to deal with the annoying noises that closet doors can make when they are opened and closed! Especially, when she gets older, if she is anything like her mother, and cannot find anything appealing she wants to wear haha.

Once the cosmetic portion of the room was done, it was time to furnish it and put the finishing touches on it. The crib is definitely the highlight of the furniture. We had actually purchased it months ago, just never had a nursery to put it in until now! Mal had an excellent idea of putting together a tall bookshelf in which she could put all of Kylar's dolls on. I couldn't believe how many dolls she was passing down to her! The last thing we did was hang a mirror that Mal made with Kylar's first and middle name across the top. It looks really nice! And the canvas art that Mal made looks very decorative above the crib.

It feels like a great accomplishment that Kylar's nursery is FINALLY done. And much like a nursery that needed a crib, we are FINALLY ready for our baby girl who will fill that crib :) Only 38 days or less. We simply cannot wait!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The day of the swollen feet!

Last Thursday, I came home from work and my feet were sooooo swollen. Actually, not even when I got home, before I left work it felt like my flip flops were digging into my feet! It was one of the most uncomfortable things of pregnancy to date! Randy and I had dinner and then he kept encouraging me to put my feet up. He stacked some pillows up on the couch and made me sit and relax. He even wiped my feet down with a wet wipe and MY GOSH! That felt good. I had read some "tricks" on to relieve the discomfort from swollen feet. Some of them were obvious, like elevating your legs, take off your shoes, etc. But there were a few bizarre suggestions that would take a lot of money to get me to try. One was stick your feet, one at a time, into the toilet and flush it. thanks! This person said it was like a cold whirlpool for your feet and feels "so good". No. Thank. You. Randy just wiped my feet and that alone felt heavenly! No need for a toilet bath! Thank goodness for sweet husbands!
This is what my feet looked like. If you have never seen my feet, you should know that they are normally pretty skinny. I think it was a trait both my sister and I got from our mom!! They are very boney! But not in these pictures! Ignore the toes in need of a polish change! And YES!!! That is the Soap Net on in the background and it definitely IS 90210!!
Aside from the swollen feet, nothing new. We had a doctor appointment on Friday. Kylar is measuring right on schedule and my doctor was very impressed with my blood sugar numbers. She asked about a version if she is still breech. We told her we did not think we wanted to do one. She said since that is the case, she is going to push our ultrasound back from 34 weeks to 36 weeks! Dang. We should have said we were undecided so we could see her sooner!! Our next appointment is on 9/18, which will be 33 weeks! 7 weeks before we will have a baby. And that will just be a quick checkup.
I am heading up to Chicago this weekend for a Baby Brunch my mom and sister are throwing for me! I cannot wait. That 5+ hour drive is miserable, so we decided instead of me driving and being miserable, I would fly up there! Less wear and tear on the car, plus a more comfortable trip for me! While I am gone, Randy should be getting the few final touches together for Kylar's room (curtains, bookshelf, etc). There is not much left to do, thank goodness!! We got majority of it done this weekend. And we will be setting up her crib this week before I leave for Chicago!! I cannot wait! Her room is actually finally starting to come together as a nursery! And I could not be more proud of Randy and all the hard work he has been putting in! It is difficult because we rarely have a FULL weekend to work on the room. Normally just a few hours here and a few hours there. But slowly but surely, we have been making progress! Once we finish Kylar's room and lay the laminate flooring in the spare room, we are DONE with home repair projects until the spring! I am putting my foot down! When spring hits, it is on to repainting the living room, our bedroom and both bathrooms! Then eventually the outside will get tackled! Anyone know how to remove trees safely??
Here are a few belly pics we took 9/2. Which was exactly 31 weeks pregnant! Oh, and did I mention? Since starting this gestational diabetes diet Randy has been extremely supportive! He only eats what I am allowed to eat. And can you believe it? As I gain weight, he loses weight! What the hell!?!? It should be illegal for husbands to lose weight as their pregnant wives gain!! Maybe I should take a belly pic of him to show his progress!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Less than 10 weeks???? That is now single digits!!

Wednesday I will be "exactly" 31 weeks pregnant! Pregnancy is 40 weeks! That is only 9 weeks left before Randy and I are officially parents!! And all I have to say is:

It seems like only a few weeks ago we were sitting in the doctor's office and heard him say, "Young Lady....You're pregnant!!" But, in actuality, that was 5 months ago!! And we still have a lot of  work to do in Kylar's room. Randy has done a great job on the room. But with going out of town and Randy's work schedule it is hard to get it all done. I am just glad we have the majority of it finished.

Kylar is doing great! She is kicking up a storm! She has been breech the whole time. The doctor has mentioned a few options if she doesn't flip on her own. The first is to try an external version at 36 weeks to try and get her to flip from the inside out. Unfortunately, they preform versions in a hospital in case baby goes into distress and they need to do an emergency c-section. That seems like a bit risky if you ask us. And the success rate is only 50% and even lower since this is the first time I have ever been pregnant. And, even if the version IS successful, there is still a chance she will flip back over. It just doesn't seem worth it to risk our baby going into distress for a less than 50% chance it will work. The other option is to just have a c-section at 39 weeks. We are going to have an ultra sound in 4 weeks to check her position and growth.  I don't want to curse it or anything, but we are pretty sure she flipped. I am feeling the kicks a lot higher now than before. Maybe it was her daddy encouraging her to flip every night? Maybe it was her Grammy "dragging" us :) on a 2 mile walk around Mundelein? Maybe it was her mommy jumping around in one of those air filled jumpers? Who knows!! But hopefully if she has flipped, she will stay that way!

As far as how I am doing. I am great. I feel like I am growing more and more each day! I love just sitting there and following her little kicks on my big belly. I even put the phone or remote on there to see how long it will take her to move it! That is an entertaining way to pass the time. Unfortunately a few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It is nothing serious or anything. But all the extra hormones and everything going on in my body, make it too hard for my pancreas to turn sugars into insulin. And if this goes untreated, it can cause large babies and some other issues because she will get all that sugar in her system. I am on a pretty strict "meal plan" and I check my blood sugar levels 4x a day. So far I have my sugars under control and it doesn't look like I will need medicine to produce insulin. Randy has been extremely supportive with all this. He will not eat any sweets in front of me and he only eats things that I am able to eat. And he is great when I have my occasionally sweet tooth breakdown. They haven't happened very often, but sometimes it is just a little sad not being able to have something sweet if I crave something sweet. But he is great about reminding me that it is only a short time left and it benefits our beautiful baby girl.

Well, I do not think there is anything else that I wanted to mention. I am sure Randy will be completing Kylar's room within the next 2 maybe 3 weekends! And that will include everything from the flooring to rearranging the furniture. So hopefully he will be blogging about that soon!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Different Ultrasound, Same Results

If the early signs of stubbornness that we have seen from Kylar thus far continue well after her birth, Mal and I have much to look forward to. Another ultrasound was performed this morning to get a better look at her facial features and her diaphragm to make sure everything looks normal. Unfortunately, Kylar decided to play the same games she has been playing since before we found out she was going to be a girl. In fact, this time, not only was she in her normal breech position, her hands and arms appeared as though they hadn't moved from a month ago. They were still crossed over her face so nearly nothing could be seen. And yet again the ultrasound technician gave up. Her words sounded as if "I remember seeing this baby before...I might as well stop now and not waste my time!" Of course Mal and I laughed in frustration at the end of the ultrasound appointment. But in all seriousness, there has got to be something we can do to get her to cooperate, right?

Just the other night, after reading Kylar a baby book before bed, I placed my ear to the bottom of Mal's tummy and talked to my unborn baby girl to see if I could get her to kick. And wouldn't you know it, she booted me in the head about a half-dozen times within about five minutes! My point is, if I can get her to do the things I want by just relaxing her with reading followed by talking to her, shouldn't this technique work all of the time? Oh well, who knows. Perhaps Kylar is acting the way she does because she can actually differentiate her environment from being at home versus being at the doctor's office :)

On a positive note, all of Mal's other checkups (27 weeks and 3 days along) went well. Despite a giant sized needle being shoved into her backside for the rogram shot. Yeeeeeeeeoouuuch!! Our doctor answered all of our questions and our next appointment is scheduled for two weeks from today on August 21st.

If Kylar is still in her breech position at week 36, even after the doctor performs a version attempt of trying to flip her upside down from the outside at week 34, Mal will be required to undergo a C-Section. This is something we both DO NOT want. If that's the way things turn out, then so be it. But we'd rather not have to deal with surgery and the after effects and would prefer to get into our routine once Kylar is at home with us.

So listen up Kylar! Listen closely to your Daddy! You may never hear these words ever again so pay very close attention and take full advantage of what I'm about to say: "IT'S TIME TO FLIP OUT!!!!!!"

We'll keep everyone posted.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Randy's 29th Birthday!!

I am extremely late on posting this. But on Saturday, June 20th (a day early) we celebrated Randy's 29th birthday.

Randy decided this year, instead of his typical Ultimate Feast from Red Lobster, he just wanted to go to the Louisville Bats game. Mandy was able to get the suite for the game from her boss. So that is where we headed

It was super hot this year. And me being the brainiac that I am, decided to get Randy a Reese's Blizzard Ice Cream cake from DQ. Randy's friends were nice enough to pick the cake up for me so Randy did not see that he got an ice cream cake. The sucky part was, it was so hot and the guys were stuck outside for a little while because we were unable to get into the suite since Mandy was not there yet. But thankfully, there was a fridge upstairs so the cake didn't get too mushy.

Randy and I had found out a week before his birthday that we were having a little girl. We decided we would tell his family the big news during his birthday. We were keeping it a surprise from all his family. We decided to have, "Happy Birthday Daddy Love Kylar" in pink icing on his cake. So when we finished singing, "Happy Birthday" everyone would see the pink writing and know that we were having a girl. Well, that did not go as well as I would have liked. First, I spilled the beans before the big reveal. Not once, but TWICE!! Secondly, everyone thought we were not finding out the sex of the baby until July 10th, so they were all a little confused as to HOW we knew we were having a girl. But oh well. It was still fun!

The next day we went to Randy's parents house for a birthday/father's day dinner. And Randy got to celebrate his birthday a second time. His BIG present from me was a gift he had been dropping "subtle" hints about for a few months! I was originally going to get him something completely different, but all I heard was, "I really want a camcorder for my birthday"!! I decided to be the loving wife that I am and get him his camcorder!! And as many people know, me and electronics are not on an even playing field. I do not understand them! Nor do I know what to look for! All I knew is the print out that Randy so subtly gave me of the camera he wanted was no longer available! So I was on my own! Being the resourceful lady that I am, I turned to my "online friends" and they helped point me in the right direction.

I ended up getting him a Sony Mini DV camcorder. And his parents got him the tapes for it. I am getting used to seeing my husband with the camera in his hand! He loves to "document" what he is doing with Kylar's room and just recording random things. Like me cooking dinner!! But like I said, I am getting used to it. And it will be really nice for him to be able to document our daughter as she is growing up. Especially since so many people live so far away and won't see her often.

All in all, I think Randy had a great birthday! He got the gift he wanted and he got to spend time with friends and family! Heck!! He better have had a good birthday, he got to celebrate his birthday 2 days in a row!!!

On a side note, here is the most recent belly pic! This was taken today, 8/4/09. At 27 weeks!! 13 weeks to go. I cannot believe that I am in the 3rd trimester already! It seems like time is going by so fast, but at the same time so slow!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Stubborn....Part Deux!

As my last post stated, we were supposed to have our BIG ultrasound on June 26th. By BIG I mean finding out the gender of our baby. To our dismay, on our follow up appointment on June 12th, the doctor advised us it would be a better idea to wait until July 10th instead so everything they look for aside from gender is developing normally. I was upset but still had the "whatever" attitude knowing we would eventually find out whether it we will be having a boy or a girl. Mal on the other hand, well, she kicked up the frustration a notch or two. In fact, three days later we found ourselves at Early Images, a photo studio across the river in Indiana that specializes in 3-D ultrasounds and gender determinations. The setting was somewhat different than what you would see at a normal doctor's office. If you've ever had the luxury of sitting in home theater of someone's basement, that's kind of what this felt like. Minus the ultrasound equipment and lack of popcorn and candy. After a few strokes of the magic wand over Mal's belly, the baby was still cross legged. We couldn't believe it! Not again!!! But unlike the doctor's office, there was no giving up with this technician. She had told Mal to drink plenty of cold water beforehand because it seems to make the baby more active as they tend to move away from the cold temperature of the fluid. She also kept telling Mal to take deep breaths as we anxiously looked at the movie theater sized screen on the wall across from us. We kept our fingers crossed and said a few prayers. Well not really. But the answer to the question we had pondered since becoming pregnant in early April had finally arrived. The three lines, or the little hamburger as the technician called it, were pointed out to us. IT'S A GIRL! came the cry from out tech. Mal and I laughed and smiled at each other in relief and happiness. Finally, we knew what our baby was going to be. And more importantly, we didn't have to use the common names of "baby" or "it" as our point of reference. Instead of depressed and left wondering yet again, we were on cloud nine.

I think I can speak for Mal when I say that we would highly recommend a non-medical facility that specializes in early gender determination such as Early Images to any pregnant couple. Especially if you cannot wait to find out the sex of your baby (Mallorey Anne). We even walked away with a 3-D photo of our unborn daughter in the womb. It was interesting to look at to say the least. It appeared as though she was trapped inside of a bubble, with her little hands out in front as if she was trying to push herself out of it. Personally, I think Kylar has already developed Mal's round pointy nose and Mal thinks she has my big movie star chin. Only time will tell!

Flash forward to today. After Mal did her classic routine of showering and shaving for her "OB" or "NKOTB" as I like to call it, we were out the door and in a real hurry consider both of us were starving. I stand corrected. The THREE of us were starving. So we made a pit stop at McDonald's about 15 minutes before our appointment to grab a McGriddle and some pancakes. Turns out we made there in plenty of time and actually were not called back to the screening room until 20 minutes or so after we arrived. Our doctor's office was oblivious to the fact we had determined a few weeks before that Kylar Marin Burns was well on her way. That being said, Mal and I hadn't really discussed how we should react when the nurse reveals the big news. Luckily I followed Mal's lead when she told the nurse "we kind of figured that" as she turned to me and smiled.

The nurse continued the anatomy ultrasound and checked Kylar's bladder, umbilical cord, kidneys, stomach and head sizes, brain and heart. Not to mention the hands and feet. Everything turned out normal. The nurse also attempted to check Kylar's facial features for deformities, specifically cleft lip. And wouldn't you know it, instead of the legs being crossed this time, it was her arms. They were covering her entire face as if to say "hey get that camera out of here!" We all laughed harmoniously and shook our heads in disgust at the same time. And just when we thought the arms might have a chance of unfolding to reveal her beautiful face, Kylar used her apparent gold medal winning gymnastics and pulled her feet towards her head! We couldn't believe it. Just when we thought she couldn't get any more stubborn, she goes and pulls something like this. Too bad we can't discipline her yet haha. Just kidding.

But no words have rang out so true than when our doctor walked through the door post-ultrasound and said out loud "Who has the most stubborn baby ever?!.....You two do!!!" as she pointed fingers at us. I played innocent and said it had nothing to do with me. So I kindly pointed at Mal and said Kylar is hers :-)

Because Kylar likes to play peek-a-boo without showing her face, she bought us another ultrasound date on August 7th. In the meantime, we'll be starting on her nursery. In all of its pinkness. We'll keep you posted.

What's in a name!?!

As Randy had said, we tried to find out the sex of the baby to surprise the Stevens' side of the family while we were up in Chicago. But, the baby was stubborn.
While we were up there, we decided we would still tell my family the names we picked out. I came up with the idea of playing hangman with the names. It was a lot easier than I originally thought, so it was not as much fun as I hoped. But oh well. I won't go into much detail since everyone knows how to play hangman. The names we decided on are:

Boy: Kooper Collin Burns (we let Collin chose between Collin or Foster for the middle name. He obviously picked Collin).
Girl: Kylar Marin Burns

We will let you know when we find out if the baby is a boy or a girl.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Before going to Chicago this past weekend to visit Mallorey's family and friends in Chicago, we wanted to surprise them all with the gender of our baby. Originally we had told everyone this ultrasound wasn't scheduled until June 12th. It turns out we decided to move up the appointment to the morning of June 4th instead in the hopes of shocking her parents with the gender and the names we had picked out. My family knew of the names we had selected but not the gender, so they too would have been surprised. Mal even went as far as putting together a great idea of playing Hangman with her Mom, Dad, Sister and Brother to guess the names and build the anticipation. Needless to say, the game turned out great, but the ultrasound wasn't exactly what we expected!

Although we were to leave Louisville after work on Thursday, June 4th to head north for the Windy City, Mal had re-scheduled our ultrasound for 9:30am that morning. She and I are always nervous before these appointments simply because you never know what lies ahead or what the nurses and doctors may see. But thankfully, everything up to this point had been "so far so good". We got right in to see the nurse without hardly any waiting at all. Which is always nice considering we always want to know what is going on with the baby. I mean, after all, neither of us have x-ray vision. So after we enter the room and Mal lies down on the chair for the ultrasound, I sit next to her and rub her arm softly to make sure she is as comfortable as possible. We both sit and stare at the blank LCD screen mounted on the wall across from us boiling with anticipation of seeing our baby! The nurse took a seat on the other side of Mallorey and got the ultrasound device ready and made sure we were there primarily to find out the gender. Now, from what we know, and what is usually common knowledge, the gender of any given baby can be seen when the mother is around 20 weeks along in pregnancy. At this particular time, the doctor had said Mal was about 18 weeks so we figured we were in the clear.

The nurse continued to apply the device to Mal's lower abdomen while black and white pictures began to appear on the tv screen across from us. We watched in excitement as my hands turned clammy. Talk about anxiety! But Mal never told me to stop rubbing her arm like she sometimes does when my hands get a little sweaty like that. The nurse located the baby and showed us the heart beating at a steady pace of about 160 beats per minute. It's been said before that a heart rate at that speed would indicate we are having a girl. Not to mention she has had very little morning sickness, if any at all, and both of our parents had a girl as their first child. So Mallorey and I have been thinking this whole time that we are going to have a girl, but we need the ultrasound to PROVE IT to us! Haha

After about 10-15 minutes of moving the device around on Mal's belly, trying to get a good look between the baby's legs and discover what we are going to have, the nurse had to take a break. Baby was not cooperating!!! We got some great ultrasound pictures, which I would have uploaded to this post but Mal has the camera with her at work. So by now, we still didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl. It was a little frustrating as time went by and the nurse had asked Mallorey to lay on her side in the hopes the baby would stir around some and part its legs for us to make the great discovery. After about 5 minutes of relaxing, the nurse came back for round two and we tried the procedure again. Only this time, we couldn't believe our eyes. Baby literally had it's legs crossed the entire time and never once moved them! At one point, the baby's right hand came into view as if it were trying to touch it's knee. I told Mal and the nurse that our baby must be laughing at us from the inside because we can't figure out if it's a boy or a girl and this is a real "knee-slapper"!! Another 10 minutes or more had passed, and unfortunately, the nurse had to call it quits and gave up. We can't blame her for trying. She did the very best she could. Mal and I were happily disappointed but could not BELIEVE the way our baby had behaved! Bad boy/girl.......

Even though we left the doctor's office that day not knowing whether we are going to have a boy or girl, it definitely made for some good laughs during our trip in Chicago. In fact, Mallorey's Mom thinks there is no question that we will be having a baby girl now. The reason is because girls would cross their legs as to not show anything whereas boys would freely do so! The pictures that were captured are fantastic and we can clearly see that our baby has grown. The picture of the baby's toes is my favorite only because they looked SO tiny! We can't wait to go back on June 26th for our next ultrasound appointment. Keep your fingers crossed for us! We'll keep everyone posted!!!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ever growing belly

Just a quick update on the belly.

Here is the picture that was taken 5/2:

And this was taking 5/25:

The baby has officially taken over my belly :)

Next week will be the half way mark! Then a week later we find out the gender! We can not wait!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby on the way!

Like any mother to be, I want to be ready for when my Little Ones joins us. That is very hard to do when we do not know the gender of the baby. But I am trying to be prepared for when we find out that wonderful news.
Here is what we have so far! Majority is stuff we just picked out, but are planning on getting.

The crib:This crib is from Target. It is a little more plain than I would pick if we had unlimited funds. But, there is not really such a thing as unlimited funds "now a days". The color will be determined by the final choice in bedding.

Speaking of bedding. Here are the top choices we have for bedding.
I think it is pretty self explanatory which is for the girl and which is for the boy.

And this was our original idea for the girls room:

And the original curtain rod for the boy:

And now the stuff I have actually purchased! The only thing I have actually purchased has been clothes. Just a few onesies that are gender friendly.

When I have more news, I will post more. But as of now we are just waiting til 6/12 to find out the sex! And we are telling the names to my family 6/6, so after we tell them, I will blog about that as well.