Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Change of Plans

Just as my siblings were leaving yesterday, our dear cousin arrived [they missed each other by that much!]. She and her mom, our Great-Aunt chauffeur, have enjoyed having RJ to play with. I am eternally grateful for their willingness to spend time with him, since I have had many other duties which begged my time today.

Our morning was spent readying and loading furniture to move into Great-Grandpa's new home at the assisted living center. We arrived on-site with our fully-loaded trailer to find his room empty of the borrowed furniture the center had been letting him use until now, ready and waiting for us to get him settled. The men set to work bringing up piece after piece and setting them in the hallway, as a nurse had just arrived to check on Great-Grandpa and give him his lunchtime meds. Since my present condition prevents me from carrying heavy furniture, I was able to sit in on the 'exam', listen to the nurse's remark, and ask a few clarifying questions; much detail was gleaned which has previously been unknown to many of us. As the visiting nurse left, we escorted Great-Grandpa down to the dining hall for his noon meal and began setting up his room for him. Before we knew it, the resident nurse came to talk to us, alerting us to the discussion she had with his doctor and the visiting nurse and their decision to send him to the hospital for a few days - he had been retaining water quite severely, and there was concern for a more forceful approach to remedy the situation.

Some shuffling of peoples was needed before we could head to the hospital, but there wasn't an urgent need for him to be seen immediately. We were able to take RJ back to Grammy's house for a nap with a Great-Aunt and cousin to keep an eye on him. Grammy, Grandpa and I then went back to the center to pick up Great-Grandpa and get him checked-in at the local ER. The center sent with us a write-up of his condition and recommendations for treatment, and we were soon taken back to a room for a few tests. It was determined that he would need to be admitted, but the process could take a few hours, so he sent us away to get some dinner. 

Once we were all fed and RJ was bathed and in bed for the night, we were able to again leave him under my Great-Aunt's care and return to the hospital to see about the admission progress and Great-Grandpa's prognosis. We arrived just as they were finishing up all the paperwork and were able to walk with him up to his room in the Vascular Unit. Once he was settled, we learned from his nurse that his heart was a concern as well - a condition we were previously unaware of. As of now, he is being carefully monitored and his nurses will update us as they can.

Originally, the plan was for us leave town this evening, off on our next adventure. However, given the circumstances, we've decided to stay the night and re-evaluate in the morning. If things are still going well, as they seem to be now, we'll be on our way before noon. For now, we just wait and see.

Before heading to the hospital, we took time for a quick photo 
of Great-Grandpa with RJ, myself, and my dear cousin.

RJ enjoyed some quality play time while Momma was away:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On, Wisconsin

Early this morning we loaded ourselves up in Grandma's van (along with Grandpa, Uncle A, and Aunties Boo & K) for a flight to Wisconsin. Arriving in a new climate, we report only one fatality of travel - a sippy cup that was accidentally left with Grandma [good thing I always pack a spare!]. We were greeted by a Great-Aunt, who loved snuggling RJ, and quickly headed off to Grammy's house. With only moments to spare, Grandpa took RJ and me to lunch at a near-by assisted living center, where Great-Grandpa has been calling home for the past few weeks. A lovely lunch was shared - both Grandpas enjoyed having RJ along, and he charmed anyone who would look our way.

The Aunties and Uncle joined us again after lunch for some quality family time with Great-Grandpa. The three of them unfortunately had to fly home this afternoon, but we were able to squeeze in a couple of hours together before they headed back to the airport.

Great-Grandpa, RJ, Grandpa & Uncle Aaron
Four Generations of Browne Men

Four Generations
Great-Grandpa, RJ, Grandpa, Momma

After things quieted down, Grandpa and I set to work choosing and cleaning furniture for Great-Grandpa's new home. Until now, he had been a temporary resident, but his health has dictated that he stay permanently where there is someone qualified to care for him. We are relieved that he is being taken care of, and glad that we can be here to help with the move. Located were a bed, dresser, two night tables, and his recliner - to be moved in tomorrow at noon. Another quick sleep awaits us tonight before it's back to work tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And we're off!

This morning, RJ and I boarded a plane bound for Texas (our trip includes multiple destinations - both grandparents' homes and more!). He's such a big boy now, he even sat in his own seat part of the time.

Our evening was completed with a family dinner at Grandma & Grandpa's house (minus Daddy, of course - he'll be joining us in our travels later on). After a quick sleep tonight, we're off on another plane tomorrow morning. Northward, ho!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Family Day

The laundry didn't get folded, the dishes waited a little longer than they should have, and the house hasn't been cleaned since the last time we had company. But we spent the day as a family, playing together and enjoying each other's company. And that's really what matters, isn't it?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eleven Months

Would you believe that a month from now 
we'll have a one-year-old running around our home? 
Oh, my!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cloth Diapering - Take II

The flushable liners we were waiting on came in the mail today, so we've finally been able to start cloth diapering full-time. So far, so good. It takes a few tries to get the fit just right and avoid leaks, but we figured most of that out with the nighttime diapering over the last few days. Daddy's still a little nervous about the whole thing, but with a little more practice, we'll be on a roll.

Around our house is now often seen a fluffy bum:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Living Room ReDo

Having recently aquired new furniture [thanks, GG & Pop!], our living room was starting to look more like a catch-all than a family space. To solve this problem, we simply re-arranged our two couches, recliner, and 70's chair into a more linear layout. And, as a plus, we've been able to corral the entertainment stand to keep RJ from 'helping' with all the buttons [yes, the corral was originally to keep him in with his toys, but he wasn't really a fan of that, so now it's to keep him out of things he shouldn't be playing with - like the DVD player]. We thought we liked the layout before, but we're really diggin' it now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cloth Diapering - Take I

My recent order from Cotton Babies (see Cloth Diapering) arrived a couple of days ago - but with one thing missing: the flushable liners. Designed to make poop clean-up easier, I've been hesitant to use the diapers without them. They're on backorder, and should be on their way to us soon, but in the meantime we've decided to forge ahead - at least for nighttime. RJ is usually only wet when we get him up in the morning, so we should have less poop to deal with on overnights. So off we go, into the land of fluffy bums.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kicks & Wiggles

The baby books say to expect to start feeling movements at about 18 weeks, but here at the 15 week mark this child is certainly making their presence known. Daddy has yet to be able to feel anything from the outside, but Momma is enjoying the flutters and flips. And while this child's gender [and name] remain unknown, s/he is well loved by us all.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hot Dogs

With teeth comes a graduation from jarred meals of blended flavors to recognizable foods that require a bit more chewing. To help ease RJ's transition, we've been trying to introduce foods that are similar to what he's had before. Today's lunch was the 'big boy' version of some baby foods he's seen before - hot dogs. And while I wouldn't touch them with an 89.5ft pole, it seems that both my boys enjoy them very much.

You're going to feed me what?
This is new ...
I think it goes in here.
Hmm ... it's not so bad ...
Hot dogs are yummy!

Friday, March 18, 2011


This weekend is the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Keesler Air Force Base, complete with an air show featuring the Blue Angels. We had quite a nice view of the practice runs from our front yard.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Visitors

If we didn't already have enough activity around here this last week, Grandma & Grandpa showed up last night with Auntie K. Being good hosts, we took them down to play in the gulf with us today. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cloth Diapering

Any way you look at it, I'm a Conservative. The way I vote, my family's budget, our wardrobes, and RJ's full name are all illustrations of the deep conservative streak that runs through me. So when the idea of cloth diapering was brought to my attention, my first thought wasn't in favor. That's something liberals do; I'd never want to be like them, so why would I want to diaper my child in such a way? Nearly all the information on cloth diapering is accompanied by some tree-hugging, earth-friendly, do-it-for-the-environment schpeal, and since I didn't want to deal with all that - or worse, become one of them - I put the whole thing off to the side, never to be thought of again. ...

... until I got re-acquainted with a friend from childhood (in actuality, her little sisters were my friends, she was just the bigger sister who I knew in passing). She also comes from a conservative family. And she cloth diapers her babies. Could there be more to this than liberal fanatics ranting about saving the planet? I was willing to hear what she had to say on the issue.

She won me over with the cost of diapering - cloth is significantly cheaper than disposables, even if you purchase the deluxe models and only wash once a week! But she also made some good points about the environmental impact - we are to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us, and washing diapers is much more steward-esq than throwing away a bundle that will take 500 years to degrade. I spent hours looking through the sites she sent me, and finally decided to take the plunge. 

Assisting my plunge are mid-range models of adorable absorbentness - and these are not your grandmother's cloth diapers. No folding, pinning, and covering with plastic pants. These all-in-one mess-holders are as easy to use as disposables, and much cuter. Not to mention the fact that they're much softer on baby's skin, meaning less irritation and rash - I can definitely go for that!

So far, my stash is made up of 3 bumGenius 3.0s and 8 bumGenius 4.0s. Since RJ is moving into the toddler stage, we're changing less often in a day, and I plan to wash every other day (or every day, if needed), so I don't anticipate the need for additional supply until Baby is born.

Included in my order from CottonBabies was a roll of 100 flushable liners (so we can just dump the poop in the toilet and not have to touch it - yuck!), an extra set of 3 bumper inserts for overnights, and a travel-size wet bag for when we're changing on-the-go. Since my order was over $100, they threw in a free pair of babylegs (leggings for babies!) as well. All in all, about $175 left the bank account, equally what we'd spend in 6 months of diapering with disposables. I plan to reuse most of what we have now when Baby gets here (the 3.0s are Medium, so we'll have to wait a bit to get to those), meaning years of worth for a small fraction of the cost. I know I'll need more for infant diapering (especially in the newborn stage), but even doubling what we've already spent won't even come close to what disposables would cost.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011