February 20, 2009

One week old today

Introducing... Tessa Kae Ririe

Born February 13th, 2009, this little girl has lit up our lives and home. She is learning about life outside the womb as she gets over the disappointment of setting up shop in my uterus. She also has a knack for knowing right when Mom drifts off to sleep - a situation she lets us know about in no uncertain terms. We're getting the hang of feeding, (not) sleeping, diapers, pumping, quick showers, and nursing bras. All she has to do is open her eyes and coo and we just melt.

I've heard the clamoring for pictures, so without further ado, here are several from the last week.

Ted made me breakfast the morning of, not knowing we'd have to wait 8 hours from the time of eating due to the c-section because of anesthesia side effects. Ted poked his head in the bathroom that morning and said, "You want bacon for breakfast?" Say no more!!!

I had to lie down most of the day, hence the squinting. Ted donned his spacesuit while the four of us (including my mom and sister) played along with Jeopardy. It was very annoying for the anesthesiologist to come in and explain the procedure during Final Jeopardy. That and the crazy woman who stuck our baby's heel twice because she was talking too much after the first time, causing the blood to dry up, were my only complaints about the day.

Notice they had to strap me down. Ted walked in and said, "Whoa. Getting crucified, sweetie?"

Her entrance into the world - slimy, bloody, and screaming. I was behind the curtain and couldn't see, but Ted said he just looked at her in awe. She's truly a miracle.

Ted making the "ceremonial" cut. Of course he did his usual meticulous job. He doesn't know this, but as the nurses were rushing around and doing everything that had to be done (yanking what looked like a massive liver from my incision, etc), I peeked from behind the curtain at him. He stayed near our baby, and I saw him just gently touch her cheek, her tummy, her head, her hand, and couldn't stop staring at her. It was one of the sweetest moments I've ever seen.

Mom doing her "ceremonial" skin-picking and eye de-boogering. It's a bad habit.

Dad and Tessa.

Grandma Deanne Kae and Tessa Kae.

Not surprisingly, the girl's got some lungs.

Aunt Shannon and Tessa.

Another mommy pic. I can't believe she's mine. So perfect, so baby-smelling, such a gift.

The poor thing had dagger-like fingernails when she was born, so these shirts with the mittens is all she's been wearing. She's got quick reflexes, though, and gets to her face before we can get to her hands. Don't tell Phi-Phi, but we have no problem dressing her in the most chic fashions; off-the-shoulder is so vogue.

I couldn't resist. The bow is stuck on with boob cream.

No no! No pictures! Where's my bodyguard??

One of the few shots with her eyes open. She still has issues focusing, so she looks a little freaky.

Her first outing with just mommy! Where'd we go? To get wrangled by a lactation consultant. My nipples are still recuperating.

...And her little piggies.

Publish Post

Thanks for stopping by!

February 17, 2009

Friday the 13th

We're now the proud parents of a beautiful, bouncing baby girl!  Tessa Kae was born (via c-section) at 8 pm on Friday the 13th - let's hope the timing isn't a bad omen.  Tessa's a big girl, coming in at 9 pounds 1 ounce and 21 inches long.  We headed home yesterday and we're all tired (especially poor Allison), but we're doing well.  Thanks for your love and prayers, and we hope you get to meet our new addition soon.

Our first family portrait

February 12, 2009

Past Due: Second Notice

I went in for a Non-Stress Test yesterday. I didn't know what they were until this whole ordeal called "getting knocked up", so I'll quickly explain that it's where they monitor the baby's heart rate in conjunction with any contractions or baby's movement. They're making sure the heart rate goes up when there's a contraction and you lie there for 20-30 min until there are enough movements to ensure the baby's doing fine. I was only there for 15 because this baby was moving all over the place. At least 4 times, some doctor or nurse poked her head around my curtain, looked at the printout from the computer and said, "Ooh! Happy baby!" I could have told them that - there's just no hope of her emerging. Maybe one of you has informed her how much nicer it is in there compared to the horror of meeting her crazy and bumbling parents. In that case, I don't blame her.

But then there was a glimmer of hope. One doctor came in and began to tell me they would schedule me for another similar test over the weekend since the baby seemed to be doing great in there and since I had PLENTY of fluid (and there I was thinking, "Ooh! Quick weight loss!" I'm so awful). And then she checked my vitals. Here's the lowdown.

There's now some protein in my urine.
My blood pressure spiked 7 points in two days and more over the course of the last two weeks.
They didn't like the swelling in my feet (not that I can blame them).

I don't (as yet) have any visual problems, headaches, or liver pain, but all of these are signs of oncoming preeclampsia (which can lead to seizures for me and low food and oxygen for the baby, among other things), so after discussing with another doctor and two nurses, the group concluded I need to be induced. They gave me an option of tomorrow (now today) or the next. I chose Friday the 13th. heheheehehehe

Wish us luck!

February 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME, and ONLY to me!

It has historically rained on most of my birthdays I can remember, and when it hasn't, I've had to work. But this year, I've been on maternity leave AND the sun came out! The day had "potential" coming out of its ears!

I lived up my morning with some much-needed sleep, some incredible wake-up kissing and part of a Toblerone for breakfast, shortly followed by bacon and mango nectar for lunch. Ted fried up the bacon himself, but only after I stuck out my lower lip and requested it for my birthday. He redeemed himself with its crispy goodness and fabulous gifts later on that night.

After my taste buds calmed down a bit, I thought about what I wanted to do for the day. Well, by golly, I wanted to walk around and get this baby out! So I called my friend Megan to accompany me to Descanso Gardens (she's off-track teaching, kidless, and was lying around in a robe reading about genetic anomalies when I called). I brought my camera and we had a ball. A few years ago, when we lived together, we decided to take a 10-day trip to Hawaii for our birthdays (they're 6 days apart). We had a ball then, too, and we talked about how glad we were that we did that before husbands and pregnancies flew into the mix. She's 10 weeks, and I'm 40+. Here's a shot that brought up the lush memories of that awesome trip:

And here are a few more shots out in the beautiful sunshine:

And a very cool goose. It was not shy, and since I was on a roll with having what I wanted to eat on my birthday, I fantasized about a nice orange glaze all over this rotisseried sucker. Alas, "don't feed (on) the animals".

Now, Ted has tried to put his foot down about my lack of a filter. To that, I say he knew what he was getting into when he knelt in front of me with that ring. So if there's a finger to point anywhere, SWEETIE...

That said, Megan and I couldn't pass up this photo op:

In case the message isn't large enough,

They claim it's the name of a particular owl. But come on - who was inebriated in the taxonomy office that day?

We enjoyed a bit more sunshine on one of the many benches that surround the place and then my mind wandered to that little white and black shop perfectly situated on the corner of the two streets that lead to the Gardens. I asked Megan if her pregnancy was letting her tolerate sugar. She said she could do it (lucky little tramp), so we headed out to indulge ourselves.

Megan told me she's never been into a See's candy shop to just buy a few pieces for herself. WHAT?? It's my godsend! For the past several weeks, I've visited one of these shops right after my OB appointment since it's just down the street and I feel I have to reward myself after peeing all over my hand trying to get that blasted stream inside the cup. Anyhoo, I think I found a convert. What chocolate joys! Thank you, Mary See, for blessing my life over and over again. God has a place reserved at His right hand for you, I'm sure.

Ted had asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday as far as dinner, and I have had serious cravings for Cheesecake Factory's Avocado Eggrolls with that amazing tamarind cashew sauce. It's an appetizer, so I just ordered that so we'd have room for four desserts. The banana cream cheesecake was the decorated one because I felt I should get some nutrition during my indulgent day. The others weren't as good for me.

Thank you to all the friends and family who showed up last minute! With this baby past due, I feel a bit like a ticking time bomb, so Ted's email to the group included a caveat about reserving the right to cancel at the last minute due to bathroom floor flooding and spousal ring-of-fire pain, but this little girl showed her first instance of blind obedience and didn't bother mommy's special day. Now I won't have any problem loving her!

February 9, 2009


It appears Allison forgot her husband still reads the blog. I know it's been a while since I made a post here, but seriously...this is quite a string of naughty posts. I guess that's why she's been referred to as the "irrepressible" Allison. I'll make sure we get back on track with a string of posts on easy 'n fun recipes, inspiring stories and craft ideas.

Past Due: First Notice

I had my membranes stripped today. I've never been so eager to be stripped in my life. Well, maybe not NEVER, but still.

Yesterday was my due date, so as Shannon put it, I'm now "looking at my due date from the rear view mirror." And my birthday is tomorrow. I've made no small deal about forbidding this child to come on my birthday, but I know she's going to do it anyway, just to spite me. She's already pushing my buttons!

I went to my scheduled OB appointment this morning, and it started off pretty routine: pee in this, step on the scale, smear this on your belly, etc. Then my doctor walked in, looked at me and said, "Still pregnant, huh?" "Tell me about it." She then said she'd check my cervix (finally! This is the first time since my 3 month appointment that they've offered to put something up there!) and then offered to "strip the membrane" meaning separating the cervical opening from the amniotic bag. I know, TMI. Whatever. But I'm at 2 cm dilated, she stretched me to 3 with the stripping, then said I had a high pain tolerance when I asked, "Is that it?" Apparently some of you women out there think that's a pretty medieval procedure. Personally, I was happy to have any progress whatsoever.

This past weekend, we've tried some of these "home remedies" to get things going. I've gone on long walks, purchased and self-administered castor oil (and got the sweaty shakes with no contractions), invited my masseuse friend over, tried vigorous joining behavior, and yesterday after church, Ted even tried shaking a bag of peanut M&Ms and wafting their fumes near my birth canal to try to lure her out.

Saturday night was a birthday gathering for my old friend and former roommate, Megan, who was born 6 days before me. She announced at the party that she is 2 months pregnant (congratulations!) and is therefore still in the sick stage. So we took a picture of the two of us, her just starting, and me trying to end.

I'm kidding. We really don't feel that way, so we had to take a more realistic pose:

So, anyhoo, I really am taking any suggestions for inducing labor at this point. A friend of mine said margaritas were a good idea, so just to be sure, I had two. Ted didn't seem to mind the "imbibing." (Before anyone runs out and calls Child and Family Services, don't worry, those are the most virgin drinks ever made)

Do I need to send our child its first eviction notice? Her lease is up at nine months, and I don't see any rent paid for an overstayed welcome.

February 4, 2009

Rescue 911

Yesterday started out badly and then got really really good.

Ted and I got into a bit of a tiff yesterday morning that really began in the middle of the night, made exponentially worse by my inability to sleep due to congestion and by the fact that impatience and increased hormone production are causing some seriously adverse effects. He left to go to the lab, and I attempted to put together a mobile that had no picture or directions through tears spilling down my face. Time for the girlfriends to come to the rescue, and rescue they did.

Suzy and Sachia had offered to come by my house and fold, put away, and otherwise organize all the "stuff" that I acquired at both showers. It was a huge help, and the chance to just laugh and cavort and eat treats made the owies go away. And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, lo and behold, Sachia offered to go with me down to the local fire station so we could ask the steamy firemen to install our carseats. I heard about this free service from my friend Laura, and was eager to try it out since she said they're lickety split and they get it in better and tighter (and therefore safer) than laymen like myself. To quote Sachia, "You need this, honey," so off we went.

Our arrival at the station:

They took care of my car seat in about 4 1/2 minutes flat, including putting up the little mirror for the bambina to look in.

And then it was on to Sachia's car. As the young guy tackled that car seat, we got schooled on safety tips by the veteran. This guy has NINE KIDS, ranging from 18 yrs to 6 months, all from the same wife. And to quote him, he's "not done yet. I like even numbers." So you think you'll have 10? "Maybe. I'd like 12."

For all you moms out there, once you get in a crash, your car seat is considered no longer safe, so you have to get a new one - same as bicycle helmets. And if you drive an SUV-type vehicle with the stroller, etc in the back, get a cargo net or cage to hold them down back there, because if you brake hard, those things turn into projectiles, ready to take your child's head off. Hey, I promised I'd tell everyone since they were so nice to take care of us.

Meanwhile, the young buck was slaving away, and making sure little Sienna was nice and safe in her seat. SO CUTE! Oh, and he's single. Just bought a house.

I've pretty much sworn off pictures during the last few weeks since there's no possible way I can look good in them, but I made exceptions for the day. Here's a typical pose:

Thank you to Sachia and Suzy (and serviceable, hot men) for making the day great. Note to self: apply makeup after a morning of crying. Oh well.

And kudos to me for the best shot of the day. I'm sorry! I couldn't resist! It was RIGHT THERE!!

Master of his craft

Hav, a fabulous artist, came down from the trees of Oregon for his birthday weekend to attend some art shin-digs. While he was here, he came to church and smiled at me from the back of the chapel. I nabbed him after the meeting to do to me what he'd done to 3 other women, including his wife: sketch the Da Vinci fetus on my growing (grown?) belly. He was almost as excited as I was at the prospect, so while Ted left the house to do a ministering visit, I had a swanky visitor of my own. I got 1/4 naked for him, and this was the result:

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I apologize to him for not having quite the perfect canvas, but I loved it nonetheless.

February 2, 2009

72 Degrees and 100% Chance of Showers

I've been on maternity leave for a week now, which is supposed to mean I should be lounging, elevating, snacking, napping, reading, and snoozing. When I'm not doing any of those things, I'm supposed to be relaxing. Or so they say.

In actuality, I had to write down a list entitled "Before Baby Comes", and if Becky is reading this, we really don't know what her name is yet. We're not just being secretive. And if we did, we'd certainly tell you before we told Kathleen. :)

To get back on track, it's a long list. The most intimidating entry was "write thank-you notes" for the two baby showers that were very graciously thrown me (and the baby, but really, me). It was intimidating because of the sheer number of notes I needed to write. The shower in Utah was great - intimate, best friends and sisters-in-law (and one mother-in-law) present, and a lot of laughing and good advice. The shower in California was a madhouse. All told, there were about 70 people packed into one house, and the mountain of cute packages was an obviously daunting task.

Before launching in to the opening frenzy (and it was seriously a frenzy. I was hot and sweaty by the end of it), I made some stupid joke about it looking better than Christmas growing up. You know, you come into the family room with the presents piled everywhere and you think of how many things you're going to get and you're so excited you can hardly breathe, but then you realize the loot is divided up between 9 siblings and two parents, so you end up with 4 things, one or two of which aren't what you wanted at all. But at your baby shower, they're all for you! And since every friend and family member has cute taste (and how can you have BAD taste for a baby girl??), everything was perfect! If you can get past my double chins and the belly dropping into my crotch, I thought I'd post a few photos. This was a blanket my visiting teacher made. LOVE the orange and the dots - perfect.

These were four of the ladies who took care of the fabulous food. We became pals during our freshman year in college and ended up settling down in SoCal together, so 4 weddings, 7 kids, and 2 feti later, here we are, in all our glory.

I believe I'd made mention a time or two about my love for peanut M&Ms (I registered for large bags of them on our baby registry - despicable, I know). Well, it paid off.

I need to take a picture of it, but a friend I grew up with even knitted me a hand-sized peanut M&M, brown with the white "m" on the front. She put a little rattle inside it. The baby will not be touching it. It is mine.

To make myself feel better, I'm including a picture of two women who are/were due within days of me. Melanie, the girl in pink, *update* had her baby yesterday morning - a big boy, and Doris is due about ten days after me. We get together at church and have misery sessions together. No details given at this point.

With so many like-minded women in one spot, there were bound to be some duplicates of things, and there were, much to the disappointment of the duplicate givers. I've been there, and I've personally felt saddened that the present I gave wasn't original or necessary or whatever. To those folks, I say: the baby is going to be spitting up or pooping on everything, so I figure I'll use the duplicate while the other is in the wash.

What was extremely UNexpected was this duplicate. Are these shoes to die for or what??

One of the givers told me a week or so before the shower that she had just bought my shower present and was SO excited to give it to me, for obvious reasons. I opened hers first and couldn't help but comment that I used to have a pair of underwear that looked just like them and that they'd been my favorite pair out of my entire collection (which was extensive and ridden with personality). Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a duplicate pair - for a one-year old dear. Oh, how I laughed! Am I that predictable??

Ladies, thank you for a VERY memorable and sweet shower. I had a ball, and this baby is going to be dressed to the nines. I will be reminding her over and over how lucky and loved she already is.

The Cooling Rack

Baked goods are only half the story...