News 2001 - 2002

12.26.02 - The First Christmas - Week 43 Day 298

Owen has hit some major milestones in the past couple of weeks. First, he will give you a kiss if you ask him - showing he is beginning to understand language. Sunday before last Yvonne came into the bedroom to see Owen kneeling in the crib and holding onto the head-rail. This was the first time we've found that he could pull himself up. Later in the week she found him actually standing in his crib. A few short hours after seeing him kneel she saw him crawling across the floor. Not just rolling and maneuvering around to get to where he wants. It's more of a military crawl, dragging his body behind as he drags forward with his elbow and hand. He is very quick and into absolutely everything. Yvonne notes he managed to get from the crawling position to a seated position on his own recently.

All this, of course, means we can't leave him out of our sight for a second. He is particularly interested in Monty's waterbowl as he heads straight for it whenever he sees it.

His latest game is to drop things onto the floor either to watch them drop, or to make us get it for him. This he finds particularly amusing, especially when shopping where he'll purposely throw things out of the cart and laugh hysterically.

He's had his first Christmas and just sat and watched as Yvonne opened his presents for him. He became obsessed with a blue book (his favorite color, it appears) and refused to put it down, even when being changed for bed.

On Christmas day Yvonne swears she heard him point at me and say "Daddy." I was deeply engrossed in a program so I missed it, but we're working on getting him to do it again. Hopefully we'll have video of this next month.

Other big news is that we've finally begun building the new room. See the Renovation section for progress and photos.

- Added new photos
- Added two new video clips. One is from the ultrasound video, the other is of Owen and Monty interacting with each other
- Updated growth chart


11.30.02 - Trick or Treat - Week 39 - Day 272

Ok, so we're a little late with this one.

For Owen's first Halloween we dressed him - like pretty much every other little boy out there - as Spider-Man and was met with squeals of delight whenever someone peeked behind me at the door and saw him sitting on Yvonne's lap. (monty continued his tradition of being Count Monty of Cristo). There is another, better picture in the Photos section. Owen has crossed over from being a baby to being a little boy now.

Meanwhile, things continue as normal. His diet has expanded to a slightly broader range of baby foods and we now put a few Cheerios in front of him which he picks up very daintily and attempts to put in his mouth. Yvonne has begun preparing her own food - buying sweet potatoes and mashing them up, or mashing leftover carrots and green beans for him.

He loves to play "Where's Owen" ~ we put a towel over his head and he whips it off, giggling. He'll even yank it off us and his toys.

Tooth number five came in and this was a little more troublesome than the previous four - lasting a full two days rather than one. Tooth six appears to be on the verge. Much to Yvonne's dismay, he has begun grinding what teeth he has.

While not technically crawling he is certainly mobile on his belly. Usually he'll push himself backwards, but he'll utilize rolling to get at whatever he's aiming for. Only a matter of time before we'll have to cage him up while we take showers, etc.

He has also begun to rock to music. The Proclaimers "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" was an early favorite and never fails to get his attention. He's also fond of a few tracks from the new George Harrison album.

He is terrified of the vacuum all of a sudden for some reason but doesn't to react to other loud noises.

Good news is that after nearly a freaking year we will finally begin building our extension to the house on Monday the 2nd!

- Added new photos
- If you haven't checked, the 6.06.02 and 7.11.02 videos has been "remastered" for better sound and video quality. Also the "Banana video" has been extended slightly.
- Adjust Updates to reflect more accurate weekly counts


10.15.02 - Gabba Gabba. . . Hey - Week 33, Day 226

Owen has become quite the chatterbox lately. While previously he would only test his vocal chords by making various sounds in various pitches (deep throat growling, high pitched screeching, etc), he is now apparently mimicking the way we speak. Video of this, as well as his raspberry blowing, can be seen in the video section.

Latest developments include:
- Sitting Upright Unsupported - Pretty much mastered this. He still tips sideways or backwards on occasion, but he has realized that going stiff as a board will not get him anywhere. He has also realized that he can look around corners, and will crane his neck to track someone as they walk out of the room.
- Baby food - He is eating proper baby food these days and while he will occasionally pull a face at a new flavor (such as peas and I don't blame him, I don't think I've had them since I moved out of my parents house) future attempts will result in his eating the entire jar. We have yet to come across something he refuses to eat outright. Yvonne gave him a single Cheerio and he spat it out in disgust.
- Pepsi - No, we're not feeding it to him, but he is keenly interested whenever one of us is holding a can of the magical elixir. Won't stop staring.
- Figuring out how things go - While he hasn't figured out how to put his toys away, he has figured out how to get his pacifier in his mouth the right way. He will locate it in his crib or hidden amongst his toys scattered around him and pick it up and put it in his mouth.

Incidentally, his determination in grabbing the remote control from me has prompted me to give him one of his own. That's my boy! Can you say "16 by 9 High Definition TV?" Sure, I knew you could.

- Added new photos
- Added new video
- Coming soon, cleaned versions of older videos


09.08.02 - Six Months - Week 28, Day 189

Owen has just had his six month anniversary! The biggest news right now is that his first tooth has come in (see Photos section). A tiny little nubbin of white hardness whose arrival ends the period in which we would let Owen grab our fingers and put them in his mouth whenever he felt like it. Actually, his second tooth just came in this morning. In the photo you can see the 2nd tooth just ready to pop through.

Owen also had his first earthquake on the morning of his sixth month anniversary.

I can't believe I haven't mentioned in the last couple of updates, but he loves to stand. Assisted, of course, but he prefers it to laying down. We've taken to leaning him up against the coffee table where he just stands there, reaching about.

His hair has started to grow back, although not as dark as it originally was. Time will tell if it will grow back as thick as mine or thin like Yvonne's. His eyes are still a dark blue, however.

- Added new photos
- Moved Pregnancy and First Six Months worth of news to their own pages
- Redesigned Photos section
- Moved Ultrasounds to Photos section
- Added new Growth information (9/11/02)


08.10.02 - First Vacation - Week 23, Day 160

This update marks the one year anniversary of our first ultra-sound. This time last year he was only two inches long. Now he's over two feet!

Owen has had his first real vacation. We went to Wisconsin to see my side of the family.

Of the four hour flight out there, Owen slept for 3.5 hours. He didn't sleep as much on the way back but he was still well behaved and never cried (unlike the dozen other babies on the flight with us). He loved all the attention he received from his nieces and being passed around at the family events. He met his new cousin, Ella, who is three weeks younger, and his future friend, Ryan, who is six weeks older.

Owen has just started on spoon feeding. He fights it at first but eventually gets the idea. Yvonne says the trick is to not do it when he's starving. He insists on grabbing onto the spoon as soon as it comes near his mouth, then he sucks off the cereal.

Meanwhile he has started this thing of going stiff. You hold him on your lap and he locks his legs straight and goes completely rigid and it's like holding onto a board. You lay him on the floor and he arches his back so only his head and feet touch the ground. Then he starts grunting because he can't understand why he keeps slipping off the pillows.

As far as the renovations go, looks like we'll finally begin work near the end of this month. The final plans should be with the city right now for final approval. Approx. two weeks after that we can begin construction.

- Added new photos


07.20.02 - "What am I? Your private Clown?" - Week 20, Day 139

Owen has begun laughing up a storm. Anything will set him off - a burp from Daddy, a weird noise, saying a word a certain way... And, of course, repeating the same thing immediately just makes him laugh again. He loves to be startled - he jumps, then laughs. He likes loud noises on the TV. When I watch a scary program he watches the screen enthralled. Sometimes he'll vocalize at a scary sound. See the video section.

Owen's hair has begun to grow back. Just a bit of peach fuzz now but it should grow pretty quickly. His eyes are still blue and we're hoping they will remain that way, but he still has a little over a month to go before it can be considered permanent.

He likes to grip things, squeeze them, and, yes, stick them in his mouth. Even simple things like a store receipt fascinates him.

He has just the beginnings of his first teeth. You can feel the ridge when you rub his gums and he drools a little more than he used to, but he's not quite ready.

Monty seems to be a tad jealous now. He doesn't like it when we leave with Owen and he has to stay home. We've started to take him with us as often as possible -- taking Yvonne to work, or going to the store while one of us waits in the car. He seems to be happy about this but now whenever he sees the car seat he runs and waits by the car. But, beyond that, there isn't any resentment towards Owen at all (see photo section). In fact, he loves to play with Owen's socks. I found a pair behind the futon where he likes to sleep in the morning.

We'll be taking our first vacation with Owen this week. Flying out to Chicago / Milwaukee / Madison so Owen can meet the rest of his family.

- Added video of Owen laughing (revised from original posting 7/18/02)
- Updated growth chart
- Added new photos


06.10.02 - Owen Speaks! - Week 15, Day 99

I don't know... he's looking a little sly there...

Do they make Rogaine for Babies? Owen is losing his hair in great clumps! Just tonight Yvonne gave him a bath and was brushing his hair and the brush was covered with the stuff.

Anyway, things are going great. I was still having trouble getting Owen to sleep at a regular time, but then we realized he would regularly nap in the mornings about the time Yvonne would leave for work. So I started putting him down shortly after she'd leave and hopped into bed myself. We usually get about 60-90 mins out of this, sometimes as much as two hours! This is a good recharge for me. I still nap when Yvonne gets home from work.

He is getting better at supporting his head and seems to get frustrated if we keep him on his back so we prop him up to a sitting position as much as possible.

Owen has had two more babysitting sessions - both in the same day - and he pretty much slept through both of them.

Perhaps the most exciting development is that he is starting to "talk" much more often. Previously it was just the occasional gurgle but now he sits there gabbing away. I recently managed to capture some of this on the video camera. You can find a brief segment of this in the Photos and Videos section.

I've also added two pages of photos, including photos of Grandma and Grandpa Gutierrez on their first meeting.

House remodeling is just around the corner. We are just awaiting the city's final approval on the revised plans.

- Added two pages of photos
- Revised naming convention on the Photos page. Now listed by date added.
- Added new video with sound


05.12.02 - Long Awaited Update - Week 10, Day 70

Haven't had much time to do any updates for the last few weeks. A lot going on I won't get into, plus the fact that there's not a lot to say about a baby that just lays there, sleeps and poops.

Yvonne has returned to work full time now. She went part time for the first few weeks back to get us all adjusted to the new schedule. Owen sleeps for eight hours now, waking up just in time for his morning feeding and leaving time for Yvonne to get ready for work before I come home to take the morning shift. I try to get Owen to take a nap around 2pm (when I'm ready for bed as well) so by the time Yvonne gets home from work he's just waking up and ready for another feeding.

He has begun smiling a lot when he sees us, which is always a thrill each time we see it. I really need to get a picture of that.

We got him his first passport. Poor kid is going to be stuck with a passport picture of him at four weeks until he's five! And it's your typical, horrible, looks nothing like him, passport photo too.

Monty continues to grow more fond of Owen each day. In fact, when we come home the first one he greets when we come through the door is Owen in his car seat. When Owen is on his play gym Monty will inevitably lay near him, sometimes resting part of his body on the gym itself. He gives Owen lots of kisses these days. We try to get him to not kiss Owen's face so instead he licks his hands. He also comes running if he hears Owen fussing. He still gets depressed when people come over and immediately turn their attention to Owen rather than himself as he's used to so. He sits by the fireplace with his back to us.

Owen also had his first babysitter while we went to a concert. During the practice feeding before we left Owen refused to take the bottle from anyone other than Yvonne, but after we left he was perfectly content and slept most of the evening.

Our remodeling of the house is finally on track. Plans are currently with the city for review and pending any unforeseen changes, we should begin construction within the month.

- New photos added
- Added growth chart


03.26.02 - The Perfect Baby - Week 3

You know, saying that is probably a really bad idea.

Three weeks into it and Owen is still a very passive baby. Our pediatrician told us not to bother waking him up every four hours overnight -- "He'll let you know if he's hungry" -- so we don't. He usually passes out around 9.30p and wakes up around 2-3am for feeding then back to sleep.

He still never cries. At worst he fidgets when he wants something, like if he drops his pacifier or wants to be held. We taught Monty not to bark and instead he huffs air at us when he wants our attention. Maybe this rubbed off. Yvonne's parents were in town over the last week and they never heard him cry.

Monty has accepted Owen as a new part of life but has yet to accept him as a member of the family. He'll wander up and sniff around but doesn't really go near Owen unless we're with the baby. In recent days he has made a few tentative licks at Owen's forehead and hands.

So, really, there's not much to say. He pretty much just lays there and looks around, taking in the scenery.

Oh, yeah, he digs the Beatles. Cries when the cd stops.

What's new on the site:
- Cleaned up the index. Moved Ultrasound pages to their own section.
- Added link to Baby Shower photos.
- Added emails we received while the Guestbook was down.
- Added the story of how we came up with the name
- Added links to the Wedding and Monty sites.
- Added new photos.
- Added new video.


03.10.02 - So far so good.

I love that picture. Just a fluke. I was trying to get a good tight close-up shot of his face because there was good lighting and he just started crying.

Yvonne and Owen came home on March 4th. So far everything has been going great. Owen rarely cries. He either eats, sleeps, poops (is it supposed to sound like a cannon shot?), or just lies there staring at you. He has started smiling, usually when he is just about to fall asleep. He seems most comfortable with his hands raised over his shoulders, which is how he was mostly seen in the ultrasounds.

Yvonne has been getting plenty of rest -- Owen knows when it's night time and he falls asleep for his suggested four hours between feedings.

Monty has been a very good dog as well. Just tonight, for the first time, he curled up against Owen as we all lay on the floor.

More photos have been added to the Photos section, and there is also a new Video section. The first video up is actually just a test shot, I intended to do something nicer but just never thought of it at the right time. There is no audio.

Big thanks to all those who have sent gifts or flowers. They are all very much appreciated.

Other changes: The Guestbook finally works, no thanks to Bravenet, who lost all my information. Also, I've changed the timer to days only.


03.03.02 - FINALLY!!!

Meet Owen Patrick. Born March 2nd 2002 at 11.11pm weighing in at 7lbs 12oz.

Yvonne's last doctor's appointment was on Feb 28th and Owen still hadn't dropped yet so induction was scheduled for March 6th. However, at 6.30am Saturday Yvonne began to feel the contractions. When they hadn't let up, and began increasing by 1pm we decided to call the doctor who advised us to come in.

Things went pretty quickly after that, considering. While the baby hadn't fully dropped and Yvonne's cervix hadn't dilated to the expected levels when we arrived all it took was a little walking around. Shortly thereafter her water broke. She was given a drug to help speed things along. Owen dropped and the cervix dilated in record time. Yvonne was given an epidural to ease the pain of contractions and when it began too much for her we called in a nurse to assist with the pushing.

Don't ask me how long this went on for, maybe 30-45 minutes, but you see the results. Both Owen and Yvonne are resting and doing great.

More photos can be seen in the Photos section.

Please note that there is also a new guestbook available. At this writing it seems the website hosting it has been temporarily shut down (typical) but should be back up within a day or so.


02.24.02 - Can Blank come out and play?

So yes, it's past the due date and still no sign of Blank.

At our last appointment (Thursday) the doctor commented that Blank hadn't dropped yet and started tossing the C word around -- which we are dead against unless absolutely necessary. There are a few things to be said about the due date, however. We technically have three different ones:

- The Life Cycle fertility predictor software Yvonne used to help get pregnant states a due date of March 4th.
- The 12 week ultrasound, which is statistically considered to be the most accurate prediction of a due date, sets the due date of Feb. 27th.
- We switched doctors at some point after 12 weeks. This new doctor set the date for the 23rd based on her examination.

We feel we still have another week or two to go before we start thinking C-section.

As a result, our doctor wants to see how the baby's developing and determine a course of action then.

So, on Friday we had yet another ultra sound in which they would try to determine the approximate weight of the baby. It should be noted that the doctor who supervised the ultrasound said that the baby was lower than our doctor seemed to think, in position and not "floating." Monday we have a CT screening in which the size of Yvonne's pelvic bone will be measured to see what size baby it will accommodate. If she's a good size they will wait a while longer. If she's small, which our doctor seems to think, they will start to gear towards a C-section.


02.12.02 - All's well.

Just to let everyone know that Yvonne is doing well. We have three doctor appointments a week (once for a proper exam, and twice for a non-stress test). Each time her blood pressure gets taken and drops a little more. We were able to get two new ultra sound shots at the last appointment and have posted them here. I've also done a little work in the photo section.

Cox does not yet have the ability to allow for a Guestbook and I am currently looking for a new one. You can view but cannot sign for the time being.


01.27.02 - Preeclampsia

Getting near the end and we have our first sign of potential problems. Yvonne has been showing symptoms of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia stems from high blood pressure in the mother. It's symptoms include excessive swelling in the hands and feet. It can be dangerous to the baby in that it will restrict the blood flow to the placenta. If gone untreated it can cause the mother to go into convulsions. While it all sounds frightening, don't worry, all is well. Yvonne's has yet to be properly diagnosed. Since she has high blood pressure and has been showing signs they are being cautious. If she does turn out to have it, the case is mild enough and developed so late in the pregnancy that there is little chance of complications. Blood pressure can be relieved by simply lying on one's side. As a result of this Yvonne was signed off work earlier than planned and she gets to lay around the house all day watching tv. We do need to go in to get her blood pressure taken twice a week, as well as get non-stress tests done. If things do become severe Yvonne would need to go into hospital for extreme bed-rest and, worst case scenario, she would have labor induced. We are only one week away from the pre-mature birth deadline, after that, even if we had to give birth earlier than expected, the baby would be considered healthy and on time. You can read more about preeclampsia here.

As a result of this, it was suggested that we get an ultrasound done at Yvonne's last appointment just to make sure Blank was developing ok. We were quite excited by this! Being less than a month away from birth we'd figured we'd get a wonderful view of the baby. And we did! Well, I did. Yvonne couldn't make anything out from the angle, but I saw Blank's nose and mouth as clearly as looking at a grainy black and white photograph. I asked at the beginning if we could get images printed, we were told yes. You can see what we actually got in the 01.25.02 section. You won't be impressed.

Other new sections include the Remodeling plans, which include the blueprints for the extension to the house, and a photos section. I have not decided how I will work this area yet so for now you will only get a directory of the photos. Click on each to view the picture. Right now there are just photos of the crib and stroller.


12.25.01 -- Christmas

Not much to update the last several weeks. Yvonne continues to grow on a near daily basis. The clothes get tighter and the baby kicks harder. Yvonne would like to know who to write to in getting the rule changed which prohibits pregnant women from using hot tubs. We are pleased that everything is going so flawlessly.

We have finally gotten our butts in gear in getting a third bedroom added to the house. We hope to have this completed by May or so. We are currently awaiting the plans from the architect.

The date for Yvonne's baby shower has been set for January 27th. If you would like to send a gift either for the shower or out of your own generosity, please see the link to our registry at Babies R Us. Items can be ordered via the web, or picked up at your local Babies R Us store. We have decided to go with the John Lennon Collection theme but, really, anything would be appreciated.

We would also like to report that Baby #1 of the Baby 3 Month Club has been born. 1 down, 7 to go.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the recent breakdown of @home, the current link to this site will not work after February 28th. I anticipate the new web address to be but an email will be sent out with the exact address as soon as it's known.


11.7.01 -- England Had It's Effect

While on vacation in England over the last couple of weeks I was finally able to feel the baby kick. Also, while Yvonne lay still, we were able to see her belly wiggle on it's own. I insisted that it was the dodgy Italian we had for dinner that night but Yvonne says otherwise. Since then the baby has been kicking up a storm. This probably has to do with Blank's (that's what we call it now) fetal attendance at a Sunderland football game. Yvonne's belly continues to grow at an alarming rate; the clothes she wore on the trip to England were too tight for the trip home. Now we need to focus our attention on building the extension on the house...

Director's Cut videos of the last ultrasound now available in the Gift Shop.


10.1.01 -- Week 20 - Half Way!

Yvonne has really started to balloon in recent weeks. Literally overnight it became very obvious she was pregnant (it's grown to twice the size it was last month). She still isn't wearing any maternity clothing but is getting close; the stretchy clothing she's been wearing has reached the end of it's effectiveness. Currently it is nearing the eight inch mark and has become very active. About two weeks ago, just before the amnio, she stated sensing fluttering and now feels the baby moving on a regular basis. The baby is still too small for me to feel it through her belly, however.


9.16.01 -- Amniocentesis.

Due to Yvonne's age, she is right at the threshold where birth defects begin to become more prevalent. Our big debate for the last month was whether or not to have this done.

Amniocentesis, for the guys out there, involves drawing a small amount of amniotic fluid from the womb and testing it for chromosomal abnormalities, among other things, which can identify hundreds of genetic disorders. For more information click here.

Why wouldn't we have this done? There is a relatively high (1/250) percent chance of miscarriage.

Ultimately we decided it was best for all of us to have this done. We won't know the results for another week or so but we feel fairly confident that we will have a healthy baby. Yvonne is feeling fine, with none of the typical cramping associated with the procedure.

The process also involved another ultrasound, scans of which can now be viewed. We also received a video of the ultrasound and I'll try to put up a short clip. But video capture doesn't work very well for me so don't hold your breath.

Also, we have discovered the sex of the baby. Some people feel you should wait until birth to find this out, so for those of you who wish to wait, no secrets revealed here. But for those who need to know, click the link to the left.

...and finally, heartfelt thanks to all the emails and guestbook signatures. They mean a great deal to us.


8.14.01 - That's right, we're having a baby!

We've created this web site so our many friends and family members who all live so far away can partake in some of the excitement we'll be experiencing as we have our first child.

We promise not to flood your email boxes with every little update and brag about how wonderful the whole life experience is but you are invited to check back on occasion to see what's new and how things are going.

What we know now: The baby's due date is February 25th 2002 +/- 2 weeks. Sex will be determined around 16-18 weeks. As soon as we know more we'll update here.