Sunday, May 30, 2010

A well-traveled baby

Well we're back in Texas! And it is hot. As we expected. I haven't stopped sweating. John took his first road trip with us and did really well. It took 3.5 days to get from Salt Lake City to San Antonio. For the last 1.5 days he was less tolerant of being in the car seat. But overall he was pretty happy.

Peter and I love road trips and we always try to make them into a little vacation with stops along the way. And since we had to stop anyways every 2.5 hours for little J to eat, we tried to make it fun.

The first night we made it to Moab in southern Utah. The only problem on our trip was that we didn't reserve hotel rooms ahead of time. We didn't know how far we would get each day since we had to stop so often with the baby. In Moab we got one of the last rooms in town and had to pay out the nose. There is a film being shot there so the hotels were all full.

The next morning we went to Arches National park for John's first hike out of utero. We hiked to the delicate arch. This is surely the most famous landmark in Utah.

John was like that little Expedia travel gnome posing here and there at famous sites. As you can see the excitement is too much for him.

That afternoon we tried to stop by the four corners where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet. We thought it would be fun to tell John that he had been in four states at once before he was 3 weeks old. But...

Thursday night we spent the night at a dingy super 8 in Alamosa, Colorado. I Would not recommend it. But Friday morning we stopped by Great Sand Dunes National Park. I had never been there before. It is beautiful. And the contrast between the sand and the mountains is so striking! I'd love to go back. Again, John is worn out from all the excitement.

Later that day we pulled over to eat lunch and enjoyed the spectacular view below. Peter was so excited to be in the mountains with his boy. They will have so much fun when John can stay awake long enough for a hike.

We stayed Friday night in Roswell, New Mexico. Where, again, we had trouble finding a room. There was some sort of football convention. And again we had to pay through the nose. But that's fine. The important thing is that we didn't have to sleep in the car.

Saturday we were going to attempt to stop at Carlsbad caverns but decided against it since John was becoming weary of the trip. We made it to San Antonio Saturday night where my mom had Caparelli's pizza waiting for us. This is the best pizza in SA.

And we're going to head back to Houston on Monday or Tuesday. We will really miss being out west. We love the west! Maybe we'll be back.

Side note: We invested in an ergo baby carrier. It's the carrier we're wearing in all the pictures. It was expensive but I think it's totally worth it. We needed a good carrier since we intended to go on a hike. I think it is the most versatile and well-designed carrier I have seen. You can wear the baby on your front, back or side. It distributes the weight around your waist, shoulders and back. Most of the others I've seen only use your shoulders and back. And it has a nap hood to hold the baby's head up if he falls asleep. And that hood also doubles as a sun shade- at least that's what we used it for. So, we've only used the carrier twice but so far I love it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mama and Baby

Here is another one. I sure love my wife and baby! They are the cutest. They like to snuggle sometimes.

Nap time at the Ness house

Friday, May 21, 2010

Our dear little boy

I had to share this one. John it just so peaceful and cute. Don't get me wrong, there are a few minutes here and there when he fusses, but overall he is such a good little boy. Leslie is doing a great job taking care of him and feeding him.

Little John in his mama's lap after GG (Leslie's mom) combed his hair into a mohawk.
(by the way, we did not arrange him for the picture, he naturally was sitting like this)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Someone peed in their pants...

... And it's not the person that you would expect. (Disclosure: this post is probably tmi, especially for the squeamish.)

I wasn't very surprised by very much that happened to me during my labor/delivery/postpartum periods. Having been a labor and delivery nurse I had a pretty decent idea of what to expect. But one of the things that did come as a shock is how little bladder control I had after delivery. (I'm writing this assuming that everyone has this issue but it might just be me...but I hope not). The first time I got up to use the bathroom the urine just flowed right out. (fluids leaking, isn't that the theme of childbirth?) I was peeing and I didn't even realize it and I could definitely not control it. So this was a little surprising. Gradually this problem is clearing up as my battered pelvic muscles recover from pushing out an 8.5+ pounder. So, there's no need to worry about me sitting on your couch if I come over for a visit or anything.

The weekend after John was born, however, I got into a situation where the perfect trifecta of incontinence exacerbating factors caused a little accident. Peter and I had to leave the duplex for a few hours. The owners are trying to sell it and some prospective buyers were coming to have a look. So we walked down to a local coffee shop where we sat for a while and both had a drink. Then we walked home. On the way Peter began to recount how he felt when he saw that we had a baby boy. He was telling me that he was glad that the sex was obvious. He went on to say that he knew that "hermaphrodite problems" were rare, but still he was happy to see that it was obviously a boy. I don't know exactly what I thought was so funny about that phrase "hermaphrodite problems" but I started laughing. I had a full bladder since I'd just had coffee, I had been doing a lot of walking and when I started to laugh that created a perfect storm- literally. Once the laughing started I just could not stop the flow. There I was walking down the street peeing in my pants. Luckily we were just about a block away from the duplex when this happened. I hustled up our block faster than I've walked in about 5 months. Also fortunately there was no one around to see me and my wet drawers. Overall the experience was more funny than embarrassing but I might feel differently if we had walked home and our neighbors had been sitting in the front yard as they often are. I narrowly escaped certain mortification.

I'm 26 years old and I have a lot in common with my 7 day old. For a few days last week we were both wearing diapers. And now we're both peeing in our pants. Maybe I should still be wearing the diapers...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Having baby = losing sleep

Wow. Less than 48 hours into my mothering gig I tearfully said to Peter "I'm not sure that having kids was a good idea." Then more tears followed for having let that thought cross my mind. But all things looked immeasurably brighter after a little cat nap and a snack. Last night little J just didn't really feel that sleep was imperative to our well-being. (A sentiment which I heartily disagree with. We'll continue working on his appreciation for sleep.)

Overall things are going so well. He's fulfilling his infant duties with aplomb- and looking cute while doing so! He's particularly good at nursing which I am really thankful for. With him being on the hefty side I was worried he wouldn't be able to get enough food to satisfy him. But those fears were quickly allayed. He caught on to breastfeeding right away and became an uber-focused feeder right after birth. He is his father's son.

We are just waiting to be discharged from the hospital. It's taking a long time since it's Saturday the doctors are slow to come in.

Here is a picture of John modeling the latest in newborn fashions: frogs. Doesn't he look so cute and snuggly?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May we introduce John Wallace Ness!

God has truly blessed our family with the arrival of John Wallace Ness! Leslie and I must take this chance to praise him for his kindness, mercy, grace and sovereign love through this entire pregnancy, labor and delivery.

John was born today, May 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm in Salt Lake City, UT. Leslie and John are both healthy, safe and resting. He weights 8 lbs 10 oz, 19 in long.

And now, please enjoy these, the first of many pictures to come of our dear son.

Post-first bath

Leslie and John

Peter and John

Monday, May 10, 2010

If I were a baby...

...what would make me want to be born?

I have to admit that life in the womb sounds right up my alley. Other than not being able to stretch out your legs there are a lot of other things to recommend it. There are very few responsibilities. It's free rent. Food is delivered. There's no cleaning, rush hour traffic, or alarm clocks to be bothered with. It's constantly warm and cozy and you may nap at will. I'm pretty sure if there was internet access and a sony reader I wouldn't want to come out either.

Though when I was a wee baby I didn't fully grasp the luxury of the womb. Born at 35 weeks, I was eager to get out into the world. That is the first and only time that I have been early for anything.

Peter has been talking to the baby every night trying to coax him/her to come out with a variety of temptations including his scat singing abilities. That will really be something if the scat singing does it. Can you imagine scat singing going on that hotly debated list of natural induction methods for people to discuss for ages to come- does scat singing really induce labor? But he also told the baby that it will be cold and bright out here and maybe that has him/her rethinking moving plans. Perhaps tonight I'll suggest that Peter tell the baby about the abundance of baby blankets that we have waiting. Or that there is chocolate out here and in about a year s/he'll get to eat a cupcake!

That might be why I came so early- because I heard about the cupcakes. As awesome as it is to have a steady flow of nutrients piped in through your belly button, it just doesn't compare to cupcakes (or any sweets for that matter. :o).

Sunday, May 09, 2010

On my mind

I've had a lovely hymn called This Is My Father's World by Maltbie D. Babcock running through my head lately. There's a version of it that I've heard frequently on Pandora. I don't know who sings it. I'm sure everyone knows about the narrowly avoided bombing in NYC last weekend. It seems like things like that are all we hear about sometimes. But this comforting line has been playing in my mind:

"This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet."

Here's the complete hymn:

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.
I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.
This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

House Pictures

Peter posted earlier today about our experience closing on the townhouse. He had a difficult time and it got very complicated. I was pretty much on the periphery of it all. I just showed up to sign the papers- which is probably not a great way to be involved with major financial and legal decisions. Oh well.

Anyways, we are so thankful that God provided a house that we like so much and that was such a good deal. This was the biggest and most unique property we looked at and it was also the cheapest on a monthly basis and fit nicely within our budget. It was a really good deal. I think the seller actually could have gotten more for it. We put a contract down when it had only been on the market for 11 days. Later we found out that at that time there were 4 other offers as well. So we definitely consider it God's provision that they went with our offer. There was nothing setting us apart as far as I know, we offered lower than the asking price. It was also only by "chance" that we even looked at the place. We only did because there was another townhouse in the same area that we liked but it was a short sale and we didn't think that we'd be able to get a contract on it.We are very excited to have a place to live! I wanted to post some pictures, though they are not the best. But here you go:

Front Door

We're right across the street from the swimming pool

We love the neighborhood because it's eclectic. All the townhouses are a little different

Inside there is an atrium which I think is so fun! It lets in a lot of light.

The house was built in the '60's and this room (the den/office) is reflective of that. It's going to be where Peter smokes his pipe in his robe. (Just kidding.)


Living Room. We're really going to need that fireplace. It'll be nice for those few times that a cool breeze blows through and briefly dries my sweat stains. (Incidentally, every place we looked at in Houston had a fireplace. I'll never understand that.)

As always feel free to come visit, we have an extra room! But the extra room is a den/office and doesn't have a door so you can expect Theodore and Penelope to grace you with their presence. But fear not everyone loves them. You'll probably leave converted into a cat person.

Trials - reasons to rejoice?!

From Peter:

Thursday marked a first for us - we signed papers to purchase our first home! The deal was finalized Friday when the seller signed everything back in Houston. It's not that we have always yearned to own a home, but it is a huge relief to have our housing settled for the duration of our time in Houston (at least 4 years, and only God knows where we will be after I finish residency). I have invested a tremendous amount of time into this process - looking for a home, submitting offers, getting inspections, getting bids on problems found by inspectors, negotiating repairs, etc. etc. etc. It has been trying and frustrating at times. I definitely did not go looking for complexity and difficulties, but they just seemed to come our way. That said, my outlook on these trials is that I would not trade them for the easy road. "That's odd," you say. Well, you have to understand that when the sailing is smooth, I easily get lulled to sleep in a way. I slowly start to subconsciously think that everything is fine and I don't need Jesus' help. This materializes as an apathy in the way that I seek God in prayer and search the Scriptures for wisdom, assurance, truth, peace, God's promises and ultimately God himself. So I must agree with the apostle Paul when he says that

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:18)

If there is any lasting hope in this world, it is based on God's goodness, mercy and grace. So,

"we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)

Through each trial, I am built stronger by the Holy Spirit to endure in the faith with greater character and fortitude, looking to Jesus as my redeemer, savior, brother, Lord and source of hope. My God has been faithful to guide us and preserve us through this trial, which gives me that much more confidence in him to do the same and more in the future.

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)

It is impossible to have too great, too high, too brilliant, too glorious a view of the creator and God of this universe.

So we don't have to look far for our next trial. I'm thinking it will be the birth of our firstborn child followed by moving across the country, all within 3 weeks. Oh yes, then starting my residency 3 weeks after that. I am scared. Also, I can honestly say that I'm excited about coming to depend on God like never before. I pray that our family will only grow closer together and closer to God in this trying time. We ask anyone reading this to pray the same for us.

We'll post some pictures of the new-to-us townhouse (it's over 40 years old, so I can't really call it "new") soon.

Friday, May 07, 2010


Today is my last day of work! I could not be happier. Words cannot even capture my jubilation as I enter into my retirement. I plan to spend the remaining years of my life in pure leisure. Going on cruises, reading books, playing golf, lying in the sun, gallivanting around upon white beaches. Is this not what retired people do?

There is the small business of child rearing to be addressed but surely that can't take up too much time, can it?

Seriously though, I do not think I will miss work in the least. I might miss certain things about it like getting a check and possibly having adult interaction regularly (I hear that newborns aren't terribly engaging conversationalists). But overall my job has been a source of major internal conflict for me for the past few years. I have never enjoyed nursing. Yet at the same time I've recognized, especially in this economy, how incredibly lucky I am to be able to have a job. On some level I like my job now, and I especially like the people I work with, but the thought of prepping and recovering patients for eye surgery for even one additional day makes me sort of go insane. Some of my co workers have been doing it for 10 years. I just don't understand how they haven't gone off the deep end.

I'm really looking forward to being able to stay home for a while. And I'm thankful that I have a husband that's willing to work to support me in what is sure to become a glamorous and highflying lifestyle of motherhood. (Babies do enhance the glamor in one's life, right? Because if not I might have to totally rethink this thing...)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

40 Weeks, Still Pregnant

No baby yet. Let me just get that out of the way first. But today is the official "due date!" I'm still feeling really good. So I don't mind being pregnant for longer. My biggest concern is that now I'm "on the clock," so to speak. Meaning that if the baby doesn't come within the next few weeks we'll have to forcibly evict him/her. I saw my midwife today and discussed that she would probably want to induce on Monday the 17th. I am really hoping to avoid an induction. Not that it's the worst thing in the world. My perception is skewed towards the more natural route because when I worked as a labor and delivery nurse in Houston almost EVERYONE was induced in one form or another. Usually things turned out well but from my point of view we created a lot of our own problems with excessive medical interventions. The C-section rate at that hospital was over 50%. But of course if there's a good reason for it, than it's useful. I would just prefer to have the least amount of medical interventions possible. A lot can happen in 10 days but I would appreciate your prayers for a safe delivery.

Anywho. I need some advice. My mop broke. It was a cheap magic eraser mop from Target. The house that we're hopefully moving into (we're supposed to be closing tomorrow) is almost all tile. So, I think there will potentially be a lot of mopping going on. So I need mop recommendations. Do most people just use cheap things like the swiffer or a sponge mop (like the magic eraser one that I had)? I searched on just to see what kind of mops are available. I found that you can actually spend up to $100 on fancier steam cleaning mop varieties. Is it worth it to buy something like that? I'm usually a cheapskate but in terms of cleaning I need all the help I can get. I'm not naturally a neat freak so I need whatever will make things the easiest and most efficient. I eventually also plan to discuss vacuums with you all. Mine is about to kill me. But I'll save that for another day!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Why my husband is a really great catch

It snowed buckets this week. Buckets. (I need not point out that it's MAY, for crying out loud!) I should preface this by saying that Peter loves to ski. Within a week of finding out that we would be moving to Salt Lake City, his skis were already being shipped to our friendly neighborhood post office. The storms this week brought 33 inches of snow to the ski resort where he has a season pass. He went skiing most Saturdays of the season. But with all of the recent snow he could have gone skiing today and eked one final day out of his (very expensive) season pass. But he did not. Do you know what he did? He went to a Tulip Festival with me! It was lovely. (And now he's trying to figure out how to put the car seat in the car- what a good husband!)

I never realized how wonderful tulips are. Maybe because I've only seen them in a vase. Or maybe it's the contrast between the dead brown of winter and the vibrant colors of spring that make them such a feast for the eyes. We went to a huge garden called Thanksgiving Point where Tulips of all make and model are blooming. We didn't know if we'd get to go because the whether was iffy. It was snowing (Snowing!) on our way but things cleared up and it ended up being very nice if a little cold.

These two were having a heated dispute over a girl. It was funny to see them waddling furiously through the flowers.

Regarding the Other News that we all are expecting at any time. Nothing Yet. Last week there was a full moon and a blizzard- two things that purportedly bring on labor. Yet I seem to be impervious to such acts of nature. I started feeling more contractions at work on Friday. Which I welcome because I felt exactly nothing until about yesterday. So that's good but still pretty meaningless as far as determining when the baby will actually make his/her debut. I'll keep you posted!