Babyfest 2007 Babyfest 2007
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July 2007
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Notes from New York

July 31, 2007
Filed under: Baby Kenton, Blog — emkenton @ 9:54 pm

So I caught a train bright and early this morning bound for New York City.  For a variety of reasons, I didn’t take the regular “Regional” train and thus was able to experience my first Acela Express ride.  I have to say that I would have been pretty disappointed if it had been my own money I was spending.  It saves only 20-25 minutes between BWI and NYC, has seats that are no bigger than the regular regional trains, and costs $50-75 more.  Crazy.

While I was sitting on a bench waiting for the train to arrive at the station, I’m 95% sure I felt Baboo kick a couple of times.  Or at least some sort of movement.  Definitely different than the general stomach gas-like feelings that have been going on.  So that’s pretty exciting!

I was very close to wearing an obvious maternity shirt today so doting strangers might help me with my luggage.  In the end, I just couldn’t do it (the shirt was just TOO big) so I had to resort to asking the men around me if they could hoist my large suitcase into and out of the overhead baggage compartments.  That worked just fine.  And being preggers gives me carte blanche to take a cab to the office from Penn Station rather than the subway I would usually do since I can’t carry my bags up and down the stairs. 

Anyway, no real news on this end.  It’s nice to be in Lower Manhattan with the narrow streets, even if my hotel room doesn’t have an iron and I have a suitcase full of wrinkled clothes.  Just returned from dinner at an English pub-like place where I enjoyed a delightful chicken pot pie.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy all the martinis and wine being swilled around me, but I did have a lovely ginger ale with a splash of cranberry!

In the Garden (State) with Judah

July 29, 2007
Filed under: Baby Kenton, Blog — emkenton @ 4:11 pm


Seth and I just returned from a wonderful overnight trip to New Jersey.  We were visiting my dear high school friend, Karen, her husband, Warren, and their 7-month old son, Judah.  Judah was born in late December so he is just exactly a year ahead of Baboo.   We are very excited to introduce the two sometime down the line.

In the first picture, Seth is starting his biology teaching early.  The second pic demonstrates the utter cuteness that is Judah, and the third shows his fabulous parents (although he doesn’t look too happy–perhaps because my ultimate camera skills had them squinting into the sun.  Sorry!!)  To learn more about Judah, check out his story at

We had lots of fun catching up, talking about the world of babies, eating tasty food, and playing some Settlers of Catan!   We are so thankful to have the opportunity to be within easy driving distance of our friends!

Random Friday Thoughts

July 27, 2007
Filed under: Baby Kenton, Blog — emkenton @ 8:12 am

–The size comparison for this week is an Onion.  I think I prefer Avocado because at least it’s kinda shaped like a Baboo.  I can’t really see a baby as a spherical object.  Oh well.

–We recently traded in a bunch of credit card points for Best Buy gift cards that Seth used to purchase a small flat-screen TV for the office/guest room.  I guess because it’s HD, he found several new channels that our $12 cable package picks up on that TV that we haven’t ever gotten before.  One of these is SoapNet which happens to show 90210 reruns.   I watched the first 20 seconds of one the other day and was beginning to think it was a different show from the opening scenery when all of a sudden, I put the bus and the “Welcome to New Mexico” road sign together and bam!  I knew it was going to be Steve looking for his birth mother.  All this to say– I know my 90210.  So yesterday, I watched an entire episode and I just have to say:  it’s really bad!!!  The episodes they’re showing currently are from the spring of 1992.  Crazy to think how young we all were and how BAD we were dressing.  The 80s get a bad fashion rap but there were some pretty lean years in the early 90s, as well.   On the flip side– I can also tell you specific episodes where one of the female characters was wearing something from the Gap that I owned, too.  It was always so exciting to see that! :-)

–Why not make this a food blog?  In my continuing quest finally to make old recipes, I made a chicken dish last night from a recipe that Sheils gave me years ago.  Since you first coat the chicken in a flour and cardamom mixture, she also gave me a little jar of cardamom that’s been on my shelf for that long, too.  (Yes, I know you’re not supposed to keep spices very long…)  Anyway, it was funny to open the jar and be overtaken with the thoughts of all the Indian desserts that are cooked in cardamom syrup.  Back when she gave me the spice, we were not the regular eaters of Indian fare that we are now!   The chicken was really tasty cooked up after being coated and then covered with a mango sauce.  According to my handwritten notes, the recipe was originally from Cooking Light, which you know is my favorite magazine ever so no wonder it was good!


The numbers

July 26, 2007
Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 12:00 pm

week 1 diapersOwen has blown through almost 200 diapers since arriving home. Gotta love the Pampers Swaddlers size N.  Here’s a photo of Travis taking out the first 7 days of diapers collected in the DiaperChamp. Impressive.

We were at the pediatrician yesterday for Owen’s goopy eye and found out he weighs 8 pounds, 12 ounces.  He came home on July 7 and weighed about 7 pounds 1 oz, so he’s gained 27  ounces in 19 days.  Clearly, after a bit of a rocky start, he’s eating well. 

Now if we can just get the sleeping thing down….

Other numbers - 2 weeks of paternity leave is a good amount of time to be home. I say, if you can get more, take it!  Newborns are cute, but demanding, and sometimes it seems that 2 parents isn’t actually enough for one 8 pounder who doesn’t want to sit still for a sponge bath or keeps trying to stick his feet in his superfund-site diaper.  With Travis home, we got to take littleO on his 1st stroller walk together, his first babycarrier walk together, and spend some time with each other, which wouldn’t have been possible without Travis home. 

17-week update, etc

Filed under: Baby Kenton, Blog — emkenton @ 11:04 am

Just got back from my doctor’s appointment.  All went well, and I managed to have a delightful bonding session with the OB which of course made me very happy! :-)  As I predicted previously, last appointment’s loss of weight was just a flash in the pan.  I had gained about 3 pounds since the last visit 4.5 weeks ago which I figure isn’t too bad.  The books say it’s normal to gain a pound a week in the second trimester–which puts me slightly under target…depending on when one counts the second trimester as starting–but he said the pound/week thing really starts at 20 weeks.  Oh well.   I’m thinking in any case, I need a celebratory milkshake.  And maybe a sweet potato tempura sushi roll to go along with it.  YUM.

In other related news, apparently my due date is actually January 4th.  (Like Baboo is going to show up when (s)he’s supposed to, anyway.)  The precedent has definitely been set by our friends here for Baboo to be many dates late, but maybe our family trait of being early to everything will carry over to the womb.  We’ll see.

Let me think– what else is new?   Obviously not much since I haven’t been posting very often.  Hmmm….   I made a tasty dish the other night courtesy of my Aunt Margaret.  She gave me a wonderful recipe journal when we got married and had filled in some of her recipes as a start.  The book is now bursting with all kinds of index cards and recipes torn from the paper and magazines and the original ones often get buried.   I was going through it the other day planning some meal stuff and “Hungarian Noodle Sidedish” just called my name.  I threw in some ground beef and made it a meal.  Again, YUM.   Unfortunately, it didn’t get put into the fridge until 4:45 the next morning when I found it whilst (such a fun word to use!) pouring myself a snack of Lucky Charms.  Seth had no qualms eating the leftovers after such a long period of non-refrigeration, but I figured now was not the time for me to be taking chances.  Of course, I found myself leaning up against a hot stove yesterday whilst (!!!) stirring a sauce for homemade mac and cheese (with basil and tomatoes..YUM!)  and suddenly realized I might be cooking Baboo.   Thankfully, Baboo’s heartbeat was nice and strong this morning so I guess (s)he survived the heat.

 Okay, enough babbling for now…

Can’t Escape High School

July 24, 2007
Filed under: Baby Kenton, Blog — emkenton @ 8:04 am

As some of you know, I’m currently involved in “planning” a 10-year high school “reunion” for my graduating class from East High School in Corning, NY.  I have to put both those words in quotes because the weekend events will go down as the most relaxed and laid-back reunion activities possible.  While I’m sure it will be a small group who makes the trip, tracking down classmates has been pretty fun.   We only had 140 in our graduating class so on a day like yesterday, when I got emails from 4 people, it’s no insignificant portion!

I would like to think that it’s all this high-school thought that led me down the nocturnal path to my harrowing dreams last night–or even Baboo’s power starting to take over–but I fear that I will never be able to shake the nightmarish experiences of reliving scenarios from high school.   The first part of last night’s experience involved being told by the chorus director that I had to sight-read a piano piece (in front of everyone) in order to be accepted into some special program for which I’d applied.  Regardless of the fact that this never happened (nor would it), it was a horrible experience.  What’s kinda funny is that I realized during the dream how much of a complainer and excuse-maker I am:  you should have heard all the reasons I was giving for why I needed more time to practice, how the piano itself was giving me problems, etc, etc.   So I resolve today to make fewer excuses in my daily life. 

I woke up after that first part and really had some problems going back to sleep.  When I finally did, I realized I was headed right back down a familiar path– the forgetting to do the math homework dream. I have this one often.  The kicker in this scenario was that I became aware of the fact I hadn’t done the math problems during Chorus (after the piano fiasco) and actually asked the director if I could skip a period to complete the math assignment.  You can imagine how well that went.

I am fully aware that it’s probably not normal still to be traumatized during sleep by imagined failures connected to high school.  I’ve certainly never had dreams of forgetting to write a paper in college!    As we prepare for the next generation, Seth and I have talked alot about behaviors and habits that we want to pass along to Baboo and those we want to try our hardest NOT to go beyond ourselves.  While I hope Baboo loves school and enjoys learning the way I did, I do hope that (s)he recognizes there are more important things than ceaseless concern about being perfect. 

PS to anyone with whom I went to school– Sorry for undoubtedly being annoying most of the time!!  :-)

The Picture of Efficiency

July 22, 2007
Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 12:34 pm

As I sit here typing with one hand (other is occupied by sleepyO), I marvel that one little guy can completely derail two typeA, organized professionals. Everything has changed and things I take for granted, like taking a shower or checking email whenever I want, have gone by the wayside. Travis and I have developed a tag team system for eating, napping, and the feed-change routine we repeat many times a day. Of course, we’ve had huge help from family and friends so far which has been invaluable. We’ll see what happens to the system when T eventually goes back to work…. 

All of this, of course, is totally worth it.  Owen is great and seems to grow and change every day.  He recently has developed a new efficiency for eating (maybe in response to my blog post?).  Mealtime now takes more like 20 minutes instead of 40 minutes and he’s much more relaxed about the whole process (much less Mr. Furious when he’s hungry). 

One bit of advice for others currently growing babies is to get all the stuff done you can before the little dude/dudette arrives.  Don’t wait on nursery furniture assembly, car maintenance, or other projects because they’ll get a lot harder to complete once the newbie arrives. 


State of the Navel

July 21, 2007
Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 6:16 pm

So Owen’s umbilical stump fell off yesterday.  I was expecting healed skin and a cute belly button underneath, but apparently not yet, as it’s still a bit scabby.  I looked online to make sure it didn’t match the photos of umbilical granulomas or umbilical sepsis and we seem to be ok.

In other navel news, mine has turned from an ‘outie’ to an ‘innie’ again.  I was wondering how long it was going to take post-pregnancy before it returned to something that didn’t look like a mini-donut taped to my belly.  The answer is about 2 weeks.  It was weird still looking ‘pregnant’ after delivery, but things are slowly returning to my normal shape.  I can get into early preggers clothes and some normal clothes, but it’s gonna be awhile before things are back to normal. 

No longer Off the Grid

Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 6:16 pm

So littleO got his first piece of correspondence from the
US government.  He now has a social security card, which they ‘request that he not sign at this time’.  Ummm, ok, I’ll try to keep him from signing his card with spitup. So he’s officially registered as existing with the government.  No more living off the grid for you, buddy.  Now comes health insurance and immunization records….

What to take to the hospital

Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 6:15 pm

We went to a great ‘Prepared Childbirth’ class before BabyO arrived.  There was all kinds of useful info about labor and delivery.  The book they gave us had clear recommendations for what should be in the ‘Go Bag’ for L&D.  Going home clothes for me and baby, slippers, underwear, back massager, lotion, robe, button front pajamas, mini-fan that sprays water, chapstick, washcloths, other back-rubbing things like tennisballs (feels really good, I promise), and about 10 other items.  So we rolled into the hospital with a decent size bag of stuff.  What did we use?  Only the chapstick and mini-fan.  The mini-fan was really useful during the 1 ½ hours I was pushing not-so-tinyO out as I got extremely hot. The chapstick was useful because I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink for a good chunk of my laboring time.  The other 10 pounds of stuff stayed in the bag at the hospital and for about a week after we got home. 

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