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December 31, 2008

11:54 pm—(Posted by Becky)—Two from Monday and one from yesterday:

We slept in this morning because Max spent the night with my parents last night. I went to pick him up mid-morning for our lunch date. We met our friends Kate and Eric for lunch. After lunch we came home for Mr Max’s afternoon nap. Max slept for about half an hour. Then, after waking up, he smiled and jumped in his jumper most of the rest of the afternoon.

We went to my parents’ for dinner tonight. After we ate Mom and I fed Max his least-favorite menu item—rice cereal. Mr Max surprised us all by eating all of his cereal tonight. He seemed to actually enjoy his cereal. Maybe we’ve rounded the cereal corner!

As we look forward to crossing into the new year in the next few minutes, I have to stop and think, What a year! 2008 will always be very special because this is the year I met little Max, my miracle. I can hardly believe the miracle we’ve been given. Mr Max is nothing but a true miracle to our whole family. We love him very much!

Happy New Year to everyone!

December 30, 2008

11:26 pm—Max is spending the night with his Mimi and Grandpa tonight. They kept him this evening while Becky and I went to pay our respects to the Parker family. They lost Mr Billy Parker, father of Kerri Lawson, wife of my cousin Lee.

Last night wasn’t too kind to Max. He woke us up around 1:00 am crying with his eyes shut. He must have been having a bad dream. As Grandpa would say, he might have dreamed that the milk truck ran off the road. The little fellow woke up around 6:00 am laughing, cooing, and wanting to get up, and even though we wouldn’t budge, he never cried. When we finally got up around 9:00 am, he was still laughing.

I had the little fellow all to myself this morning because Becky had a dental appointment. When she returned we ran some errands and had a bite of lunch before heading home.

Max wasn’t home long before his Mimi showed up on Grandpa’s golf cart to steal him away. She relented, though, we she saw the little fellow taking a siesta in his swing. She told me to call her as soon as he woke up and she’d come back to get him. And that’s exactly what happened.

When Becky and I headed out this evening, Mimi was giving Maxipoo a shampoo in her sink. It’s a good thing the sink has two drains, because we have it on good authority that the Maxster sprung a leak that traveled from one side of the sink to the other.

Mimi and Grandpa worked together to feed Max his cereal. Grandpa, father of perhaps the most resourceful woman on the planet, came up with the ingenious idea of cutting a slit in some newspaper and draping said paper on the Maxster. Grandpa says that eating cereal is not Max’s favorite thing. He said that if Max could talk, he’d tell us to throw away the cereal and let him eat the box, that he’s sure the box would taste better.

Max is going walking with Mimi and Grandpa in the morning, and then we plan to spend the day with him ourselves.

December 29, 2008

9:38 pm—Three from Saturday and yesterday:

11:33 pm—Max spent the night with Mimi and Grandpa last night. This morning he went walking with Mimi and Grandpa at the Mall of Georgia. We went over to pick him up shortly before lunch and we stayed and visited for a while.

When we came home we let Max take a nap in his crib for the very first time. He seemed to enjoy it, especially the jungle mobile attached to the crib. I regret that we didn’t take a picture of his first time in his crib.

Max has taken a handful of naps today, smiled a lot, put up with his gums, was tricked into ingesting five baby spoonfuls of cereal, had his picture taken this evening, and is resting or asleep in his bassinet beside our bed. We’re about to join the little fellow and look forward to when he can snuggle up with us in our bed.

December 28, 2008

11:00 pm—Max, Becky, and I went to Granny’s this morning for breakfast. Max stayed with Granny while we came home, washed clothes, took down Christmas decor, and finished other chores.

Granny said Max took frequent catnaps and that his naps would’ve been longer were it not for the ringing telephone. I know what she means. The little fellow hates to let go and drift off to sleep, and most any stimulus is sufficient to keep him awake.

Thanks to Granny’s being an eager babysitter, Becky and I went out and had dinner together. Becky’s parents phoned earlier in the day to ask if they could keep Max. Becky told them that Max was at Granny’s and that he could spend the night with them tonight. That was music to their ears, so that’s where our Maxiboy is right now.

December 27, 2008

9:18 pm—Six images from Christmas Day:

11:18 pm—Today was nice and easy. Max let us sleep until 9:30 this morning. The little booger must be worn out from all of the holiday festivities. As we write this, he’s asleep in his swing.

Max and Becky enjoyed a nap in our bed this afternoon. They slept peacefully for about an hour-and-a-half.

Max’s gums seem to be bothering him, so we tried rubbing Orajel on his gums for the first time today. That seemed to help. Max isn’t really upset from his gums, but he can get a little fussy when he can’t get his fingers in his mouth. His fingers seem to offer a little relief from teething. Mimi and Grandpa bought him a refrigerated teether that we’ll try tomorrow.

We put a pillow under Max’s jumperoo so he can steady himself more easily. Becky and I got a little down as we talked about how fast Max is growing and how he soon won’t need a pillow and how we’ll be adjusting the jumperoo to accommodate his increasing height.

Becky continues to torture the poor boy by spoon-feeding him cereal. He hates that stuff. Granny and Mimi seem to have much better luck with the cereal than we’ve had so far. Our pediatrician says that the goal is for Max to learn how to be spoonfed, not the actual ingestion of cereal. We’ve made a little progress but not a whole lot.

Becky and I agree that we’ve never had a single bad day because of Max. When Max was less than two weeks old, we had a bad night, but that was our fault. We fed him as much as our parenting books suggested and concluded that he wasn’t hungry, but we were wrong. If we’d just fed the little rascal, things would have been smooth. Max is an extraordinarily pleasant kid, and we’re so very, very fortunate to have him as our son. I have no idea what I ever did to deserve such a wonderful child. Maybe that’s what many parents say when their firstborn is only four months old…

December 26, 2008

11:07 pm—A dozen images from Monday, Tuesday, and Christmas Eve:

Today was Mimi’s sixtieth birthday. Max and Becky helped celebrate by taking Mimi to Bugaboo Creek in Duluth for lunch. After lunch the trio went shopping for decorations for Mimi’s birthday party next weekend.

Today Mr Max rolled over for the first time, and Becky and I were there to see it. He was in our bed and rolled over from his stomach to his side toward Becky. He’s a little late with this developmental milestone, but he’s very seldom on his stomach for more than a couple of minutes at a time.

I worked on the above images for a large portion of the afternoon, and we met at Mimi and Grandpa’s for dinner. My mother joined us. We enjoyed pizza from Costco and salad and Mama’s sweet potato pie and coconut cake. Max entertained us from his jumper and later joined us from my lap to have some cereal and a bottle.

I came home but Max and Becky stayed behind so Mimi could give Max a bath. It took Granny, Mimi, Great-Gran, and Becky to give the little fellow a bath. When Max came home he was sound asleep and smelling sweet. He’s still sound asleep as we write this, and we’re about to join him.

December 25, 2008—CHRISTMAS

11:09 pm—Max had a very merry Christmas today. It was exhausting for him, too, because there wasn’t enough of the little fellow to go around, and also because the festivities ran pretty much non-stop. Max made this family’s Christmas very, very special! I believe Max brought great cheer to everyone who got to be with him today.

The morning began too early for Becky and me but not early enough for Mr Max. He got us up around 7:15 and refused to go back to sleep. We pleaded with him and tried to get him to latch onto his paci and drift off to sleep, but he wouldn’t have any of that nonsense.

So we got up and summoned Mimi, Grandpa, Granny, and Great Gran to come over to see Max open his presents from Santa and us. They all made their way over quickly and arrived at the same time.

Santa brought Mr Max a Rainforest Jumperoo, penguin suit, some soft blocks, small toys for grasping, clothes, and a teether. He really took to his Jumperoo and jumped until he just couldn’t jump any more. His feet barely reach the floor; actually, he’s on the tips of his toes on one foot. His mommy, the teacher, gives him an A for effort.

After opening presents here, we all went to Mimi and Grandpa’s for breakfast. Since they live just five driveways away, it was a short trip. There were more presents for Max than I can possibly remember. I recall that the sitting room was overflowing with wrapping paper. Max got an Elmo that’s bigger than he is. All this unwrapping and observing wore out our Maxipoo. He whimpered a time or two and we laid him down for a nap.

We stayed at Mimi and Grandpa’s for most of the afternoon and evening. Granny stayed, too. Becky, Max, and I visited my uncle Larry before dinner. Max warmed Larry’s heart with all those precious smiles from under his Santa hat. Mimi and Grandpa hosted dinner for a bunch of our neighbors, friends, and us. Max gave everyone smile after smile until he just couldn’t smile any more. Then he took a short nap and was back up and smiling again.

When Max returned home late this evening, he played with his new Jumperoo for about half an hour. Then he whimpered a bit for a bottle. Becky fed him while I got a shower and put him in his bassinet beside our bed for the night.

I’m too tired to work on any images tonight, but I should have some time to get some images posted tomorrow. Becky and I are really tired and need to get a better night’s sleep than we got last night.

December 24, 2008

11:49 pm—(Posted by Becky)—Here are three images from Sunday:

Max stayed with Mimi and Grandpa last night. He got a bath this morning before coming home. My grandmother, Max’s great-grandmother, helped with Mr Max’s bath. She combed the Maxster’s hair and really enjoyed helping out!

Max took his first trip to Wal-Mart today. Jaddie, Max, and I went out to do some last-minute Christmas shopping there. Boy, we think everyone in Buford had the same idea! Wal-Mart was packed with lots of last-minuters.

Our family all came to our house for Christmas Eve dinner tonight. This included Mimi, Grandpa, Granny, and Great-Grand. We had a delicious dinner and lots of fun together. Max entertained us all. After dinner, Jaddie and Grandpa were little elves and got things ready for Christmas. Mimi, Granny, and I fed Mr Max his rice cereal. He’s just learning to eat with a spoon, so this is a sight to watch. He really gets very frustrated and usually gets quite upset. It was neat to see two pros at work. Mimi and Granny had Mr Max eating his cereal in no time. I really hope I learned some tricks to make this go more smoothly when they aren’t here.

While I write this Jaddie is working on the pictures above, and Mr Max is in his bassinet by our bed with visions of sugarplums dancing in his head. He’s waiting for the Big Man in the Red Suit to make his visit! We hope to join him soon for a long winter’s nap. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

December 23, 2008

11:15 pm—Max had another dandy day today. He sat in his Bumbo babyseat facing us while we had breakfast, and then we both played with him until he got tired and needed a nap.

Becky kept Max while I went Christmas shopping today. She took him over to Mimi and Grandpa’s. Becky’s grandmother Louise came up from Nashville, Georgia, to spend Christmas with Grandpa, Mimi, Becky, me, and Max, and she’s staying with Mimi and Grandpa. So Max had a bunch of folks to keep an eye on him today.

Tonight we all had dinner at Mimi and Grandpa’s, and then we were going to the Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands. When we made it to the road that leads to the Islands, traffic was stopped for miles and miles, so we made a U-turn and went on our own Christmas-light expedition. We had a pretty good time, though Maxipoo saw only the backs of his eyelids. The poor little fellow was sacked out for the whole trip.

Mimi wanted to keep Max tonight, so that’s where he is right now. He was still asleep when I left him shortly after 9:00 tonight. Mr Max gets tuckered out from having too much fun.

I hope to have some time tomorrow to process some images to share here. Becky and I are both zonked out and can hardly wait to follow Max’s lead and hit the hay.

December 22, 2008

9:16 pm—Six images from the past few days:

Today has been just dandy. I kept Max this morning while Becky and her dad went Christmas shopping. While Max was standing in my lap, we phoned Granny on speakerphone. When Max heard Granny’s voice, he got excited and squealed and yaa-yaa’ed at the phone in delight several times. Then we phoned Becky to see if he’d repeat this behavior, and he did in grand style. We tried reaching Mimi but she wasn’t at home.

Shortly after Becky and Grandpa returned from shopping, my friend Jefferson came over for a short visit. We talked about Max, Macs, and photography. Jefferson’s family owns Bickerstaff Buick Pontiac GMC in Chamblee. I’ve known these folks for over ten years and can personally vouch for them. If you’re in the market for a new Buick, Pontiac, GMC; or certified, top-notch pre-owned vehicle, .

Shortly after Jefferson’s visit, Becky put Max in a Santa suit. We managed to get a few acceptable pictures but no show stoppers. Max was tired and wasn’t in the mood for a photoshoot.

Then Mimi and Grandpa dropped by to see little Max Claus. He was napping when they arrived, so after waking him we couldn’t cajole too much exuberance from him. He did, however, give us at least a few smiles.

Later this evening, I processed the six images above and put more than fifty more images onto our computer that we shot today. While I was working on the computer, Becky and Max sat beside me and watched. Max got tickled by seeing himself on the computer display. I told him that if I were as cute as he, I’d get tickled by seeing myself, too. I wish we had made a video of Max looking at himself on the computer display. He was delighted and enthralled with his own images, and it was extremely gratifying for us to see him so.

While I was working on Max’s images, Becky put together his Johnny Jump Up, a doorframe-mounted swing that helps build coordination and muscle tone of the hips and legs. He really liked sitting in his new jumper. He spun himself around a few times, but within a few minutes he realized he could move himself with his feet and seemed to enjoy moving himself around. Of course, we took plenty of pictures and will share those in the next day or two.

As I write this, Becky’s making a late-evening run to the dollar store, and Max is asleep in our bed. He’ll wake for another feeding, and after playing with him for a bit, we’ll all go to bed for the night, or at least I hope that’s how the rest of tonight is going to pan out.

December 21, 2008

10:35 pm—Max spent the night with Mimi and Grandpa last night, and Becky and I went to Gwinnett Arena to see 3 Doors Down. We ran into our friends Phyllis, Mac, and Jefferson Bickerstaff and enjoyed the concert with them.

Granny has a cold so we didn’t have breakfast as usualwith her this morning. Becky spent the morning and early afternoon at her parents’ house with Max. Mimi and Becky gave Max a bath, and then everyone took a nap, even Grandpa.

Max had cereal for the first time today, and we don’t think he liked it very much. He made a heck of a mess and fussed a lot, and we’re not sure he actually swallowed any cereal. We took pictures and even captured some video of Max’s first experience with semi-solid food. (We picked six other images to share here tomorrow, so it may be Tuesday or Wednesday before we post his cereal pictures.)

Max watched Max’s Christmas on DVD tonight from his bouncy seat. He wasn’t focused on the television exclusively; he played with his hands, bib, and watched our cat, George, prance about.

Max took a lot of naps today. I’m guessing he’s tired from all the festivities at Mimi and Grandpa’s. They hosted Becky’s birthday party on Friday night and had a cookout last night. I’m sure Max received lots of attention and wore himself out.

Max has already received three Christmas presents (and too many to count from Mimi and Grandpa). Our friends Eddy, Jodi, Danielle, and Lillianna Banks gave Max a box set of dinosaur books. If he’s like his cousin Trey, he’ll really dig those! Our friends and neighbors Steven and Dale Moore gave Max a precious monkey set that included a rattle and rattling slippers. Candy Perkola, another good friend and neighbor, gave Max a Santa suit and a Christmas ornament photo frame. We appreciate your kind gifts and know Max will, too.

Becky just swaddled him and put him in his bassinet beside our bed, so we’re shutting down for the night.

December 20, 2008

3:43 pm—Six images from the past week:

Today is Becky’s thirty-seventh birthday, and today Max is four months old. Becky, Max, and Grandpa went down to the airport this morning to pick up aunt Ann’s SUV—and for Becky to be able to show off Sir Maxcelot to Ann and cousin Chase, who are going to Europe for a couple of weeks.

Maxipoo is going to stay with Mimi and Grandpa tonight because Becky and I are going to Gwinnett Arena to see southern rockers 3 Doors Down. I’m still under the weather, so I just hope I can last long enough to get us back home.

December 19, 2008

11:07 pm—Sorry. No pictures again today. I had a handful of things to do today, and I had both hands full with Mr Max. The little fellow just didn’t want a nap. Between 10:00 this morning and 5:00 this afternoon, the little fellow snoozed less than fifteen minutes. I had him in my lap while I worked at the computer. He was in a good mood all day, so that made taking care of him fairly easy. He’s a wonderful little boy.

It was on this day exactly one year ago when Becky and I learned that our first try at in vitro fertilization was successful. We were having dinner at Chili’s when she told me. And as I write this, the fruit of our labor is drifting off to sleep in his Baby Papasan swing—after having been a smashing hit at his mother’s birthday party earlier this evening.

Today is also special because we received our new camera, Canon’s new EOS 5D Mark II. With this camera we have twenty-one megapixels of resolution and HD video. We haven’t shot our first frame with it yet, though, because the batteries are still charging. We’ve had our 20D since September 2004 and have taken nearly 26,000 images with it. We plan to continue using the 20D.

Becky turns thirty-seven tomorrow, and tomorrow will be Max’s four-month birthday. It’s kind of neat that Max shares my birth month and Becky’s birthday. Mimi and Grandpa had a big party for her tonight, but the Maxster was the star of the show.

He’s finally spending the night at home tonight. I’ll do my best to get some pictures posted tomorrow.

11:40 pm—I just learned that Mimi asked to keep Max overnight yet again. This time Becky wouldn’t have it, though. Becky said she misses the little fellow. I appreciate the love this family shows our little Maxiboy. Rumor has it that Mimi’s going to get a very large tattoo of Max’s name on her right bicept.

December 18, 2008

10:10 pm—Max spent the night with Mimi and Grandpa last night and woke up hungry at 5:00 this morning. He didn’t eat much during the day yesterday because he wasn’t feeling well.

Grandpa brought Mr Max to me around lunchtime. When Max saw me, he lit up like a Christmas tree. Man, that’ll really warm a person’s heart! I played with Max, gave him a bottle, played with him so more, and let him take a nap.

Soon after Becky came home the three of us went Christmas shopping for Max. Next year we won’t be able to take him shopping for his own Christmas presents, but we thought we could get away with it this year.

Max is getting a Rainforest Jumperoo for Christmas. Several of Becky’s friends and colleagues heartily recommended it.

After Christmas shopping the three of us went to IHOP for dinner. Mr Max was all tuckered out from shopping, so he slept through dinner. He never whimpered even once during the entire time we were shopping and having dinner. When we made it home, Becky gave Max a bottle, and then we played with the little fellow.

Believe it or not, Mimi and Grandpa called to ask if they could keep Max overnight again. There’s just not enough of the little fellow to go around. I’m glad they’re willing and able to keep him tonight because I’m still not over this cold and/or sinus problem. So that’s where little Maxiboy is tonight.

Earlier tonight Becky and I chose six images to share here. I’ve edited the images and will post those here tomorrow.

We plan to send our Christmas cards tomorrow. Thanks to those who’ve sent cards to us this holiday season!

December 17, 2008

9:08 pm—I apologize for not posting more images. I’ve not been feeling well, and I hope to have the energy to post some tomorrow.

Last night was tough. I woke up coughing several times, and every time I coughed, I was afraid I’d wake Mr Max. Sometimes I woke him, and sometimes I didn’t. I gave him a bottle this morning at 7:00. Boy, did I ever feel awful! But on the bright side, Max got to see his Mommy before she left for school.

Max had a good day here at home with me. He played in his jungle gym, spent nearly half an hour on his tummy-time mat, sat in his Bumbo babyseat, and stood in my lap until approximately 2:00 pm, at which time Mimi and Grandpa came over to pick up the little fellow.

While with his Mimi and Grandpa, he was fussy and threw up. We believe this could be related to the shots he received yesterday from his pediatrician. Becky gave Max some Tylenol and Max seemed to respond well. When Becky brought Max back home, he was a happy little camper. His face beamed with smile after smile.

Mimi and Grandpa wanted to keep Mr Max tonight, and since I’m still feeling as though I’ve been run over by a big truck, I gladly agreed. If I can get a good night’s rest, maybe I’ll be on the mend.

Becky has just two days of school left before having two whole weeks here at home with her two favorite fellas. Max and I will be glad to have her home.

December 16, 2008

10:26 pm—Mimi and I took Max to his pediatrician for his four-month checkup this morning. He weighed fourteen pounds and one-and-a-half ounces and is twenty-four-and-a-half inches tall. We’ll be introducing Max to cereal very soon, perhaps as early as this weekend. Dr Smiley noticed Max’s crossed eye and suggested that we have a specialist check it just to be safe, so we made ol’ Maxiboy an appointment to have his eyes examined in January.

Max stayed with me this afternoon. He was tired and slept, and I was so glad because I was and am feeling terrible. I felt so guilty for hoping he didn’t require much from me this afternoon. Becky went to her grade level’s Christmas party this evening, and she took Max to Granny’s while she was gone. Mama was glad to see Mr Max, and I was definitely glad to have willing and able help while I’m trying to get over my recent sinus troubles.

December 15, 2008

10:31 pm—Max spent the night with Mimi and Grandpa last night. They went shopping at the Mall of Georgia late in the morning, and then they had lunch at The Olive Garden.

I worked in Atlanta all afternoon. When I finally made it back home, ol’ Maxipoo was tuckered out on the sofa. After dinner the little fellow began to wake up. He smiled with his whole face when he saw me. That made me feel pretty darned good. Becky took a few pictures of Max and me playing together. Maybe we can share some of those images tomorrow.

Becky and I just returned from taking Mr Max back down to Mimi and Grandpa’s, where he’s going to spend the night again tonight. Mimi wants to give the little booger another bath, and she and I are going to take Max to his pediatrician in the morning for his four-month check-up. We’ll have his weight and height to share tomorrow.

I have a nasty sinus infection, and both Becky and I are worn out. It’s so extremely nice to have willing and able grandparents who live just five doors away. Maybe we can get some rest tonight and be ready to take on tomorrow with renewed energy.

December 14, 2008

10:40 pm—Max slept pretty well last night. The three of us went to Granny’s this morning for breakfast. Granny fed Mr Max a bottle after breakfast, and he paid her back with lots of smiles. The little fellow really knows how to warm a person’s heart!

The afternoon was filled with play and nap sessions. We went to Mimi and Grandpa’s for dinner, and Mr Max is spending the night with them tonight. Max was quite an entertainer this evening. He smiled exuberantly at all of us, and often. Grandpa had been out of town to help his mother move, and it was obvious that he really missed Max. Max didn’t skip a beat; he smiled at Grandpa right away and just kept right on going with his grand show all evening.

Mr Max received a Christmas present today. Becky’s cousin Leslie and her family gave Max a Christmas sweater and outfit. It’s really cute and we’re looking forward to snapping Max’s picture. Max also received a present from the Sinclairs, members of Becky’s parents’ Sunday school class. They gave Max four hardcover children’s books that we look forward to reading to Max in the near future. Becky and I are very appreciative of the kindness everyone shows our Maxiboy.

December 13, 2008

11:09 pm—Three from the past couple of days:

Today wasn’t a typical Saturday. We didn’t begin the day with breakfast from Grandpa because he’s helping his mother in Nashville, Georgia. I went to our doctor with sinus trouble and got two shots. My client with whom I had an appointment today very graciously allowed me to reschedule. When I got back home, Mimi and Becky were getting Max ready to head to the Mall of Georgia, and that’s where they spent a large chunk of the day, going from one store to the next. Max was a jolly mall-goer and especially enjoyed watching the train that’s visiting the mall for the holiday season.

In the late afternoon, Mimi, Max, and Becky made it home, but Becky immediately headed right back out to get envelopes for the Christmas cards we’re sending. I gave Max a bottle and he napped for about half an hour.

We’re hoping he sleeps well tonight. He’s not had a long nap all day, and he’s been fighting sleep vigorously. I fed him an eight-ounce bottle shortly after 9:00 pm, which is a lot for him, so we hope he’s comfortable and gets a great night’s rest.

December 12, 2008

9:40 pm—Max has had a pretty good day after a not-so-good night. He began yacking around 3:00 am. I’d give him his paci and he’d go back to sleep. I must have shoved that paci into his kisser two dozen times before finally giving up. Max has gotten into the habit of putting fingers from his left hand into his mouth. Maybe he’s teething. I believe his unrest stemmed from his inability to get his fingers into his mouth (he was swaddled).

Today he took short naps and five six-ounce bottles. As I write this, Becky is feeding Max his last bottle of the day.

When Becky got home from school, she spent a little time with her favorite fellow, and then the two of them headed out to do a few errands. Max was asleep when they returned.

Becky will have Max to herself for most of tomorrow because I have to go to work in Atlanta.

December 11, 2008

9:50 pm—(Posted by Becky)—Max rested most of the day. He was really tired from spending the day with Mimi and Grandpa yesterday. When he stays with them he always comes home tired.

Grandpa came by to visit his favorite grandson this morning. Max was sleeping when he arrived, but Grandpa woke him up. He played with Max while Jaddie did a few things on the computer for him.

When I arrived home Max was still sleeping but soon woke to see his mommy. Max, Jaddie, and I chilled out and watched some TiVo.

For dinner tonight we joined Mimi and neighbors Greg and Renae. We all enjoyed Mr Max at dinner. Greg and Renae continue to be amazed at what a good baby Max is. And, quite frankly, we are, too! We are so very blessed! Our little blessing is drifting off to sleep and we aren’t far behind the little fellow.

December 10, 2008

11:08 pm—Here are six images from last Saturday:

Max spent the night with Mimi and Grandpa last night. Becky went by and saw the little fellow this morning, but I didn’t see him until late this afternoon. I certainly have missed my little boy and am looking forward to spending the day with him tomorrow.

While at Mimi and Grandpa’s today, Max went for a four-lap stroll of the Mall of Georgia, and he got a bath. Grandpa said Max slept well last night, and Mimi hated to give ol’ Maxiboy back to us this afternoon.

After Max returned home, he and Becky played for a while, listened to Christmas carols, and watched Winnie the Pooh Christmas. Max had a bottle, got a little fussy, and then crashed in his swing, which is where he is right now. We’re about to scoop him up and head to bed.

December 9, 2008

10:12 pm—Max slept until 9:00 this morning. Becky was home this morning because she had to see our doctor about her sinus infection. It’s a good thing that she’s not contagious. We definitely don’t want to make Max sick. After Becky went to school, Max got a house full of visitors. First, Granny came over to see her favorite Maxiboy. Max was tired when she arrived, but he didn’t fail to disappoint. He was full of smiles and exuberance.

Mama brokered a deal with Wal-Mart for my favorite soda, Pepsi One, so she wanted to go pick up a truckload of twelve-packs. I didn’t want to drag Max along, so I phoned Mimi and asked her if she could come and sit with Max while Mama and I went to Wal-Mart. She and Grandpa were all too eager to get down here to see the Maxster. While Mama and I were gone, Mimi, Grandpa, and Max all enjoyed an afternoon siesta, and when Mama and I returned, Max gave us a number-two.

Becky wanted to haul Max to school so she could show him off at PTA. And show him off she did. She said everyone was goo-goo gaa-gaa over Mr Max. He even got to meet his little sweetheart, Bella, who’s a single day younger than he. Becky and Angela, Bella’s mom, have a running joke that has Max and Bella getting married one day.

On the way home, Becky made the mistake of phoning her parents. They, as usual, wanted her to stop by their house so they could get their hands on Max again. Well, that’s where the little fellow is right now. They asked if Max could spend the night with them. That’s so amazing! They just kept the little booger on Sunday night, and it’s just Tuesday. It becomes more and more apparent every single day that this family is in love with Mr Max. He has the sweetest, gentlest disposition and is the most handsome male baby there ever was.

We’re lucky. Very, very lucky.

December 8, 2008

8:45 pm—Mimi said Mr Max woke up with a smile this morning. Before going to work, Becky stopped by her parents’ to see her favorite little fellow, and he had some smiles for her, too. When she walked in, Max was taking his bottle but looked up at her and smiled. She says that melted her heart. Mimi and Grandpa took Max walking with them this morning at the Mall of Georgia. When they returned, Max stayed with Grandpa while Mimi went to the gym for more exercise. He phoned me to ask me about how to mix Max’s formula.

When Mimi returned from exercising, it was bath time for Mr Max. Mimi and Grandpa said Max didn’t complain one bit and even seemed to like getting his bath.

When Becky left school she went by her parents’ to visit and pick up her little boy.

Becky has caught a cold, developed a sinus infection, or both. She made an appointment with the doctor for in the morning. She doesn’t want to touch Max and risk making him sick, so Max is solely my responsibility until we hear from the doctor.

Max is asleep in his swing right now after fighting it for a long time. He’s due for one more feeding tonight, and afterwards we’ll put him to bed.

December 7, 2008

8:25 pm—Mr Max slept in this morning—way in. I believe it was nearly 10:00 before he was up and running. Last night’s party really wore him out. After his bottle he played for about thirty minutes, and then he went back to sleep for a large portion of the afternoon. Becky and Max went over to Mimi and Grandpa’s. Max stayed with them while Becky ran a few errands. We all met there for dinner. Max was a little grumpy and needing yet another nap. That’s where the little booger is right now. So, to recap the day, it was nap, nap, nap, and yet another nap. Maybe he’ll be caught up on his sleep tomorrow. He’s spending the night with Mimi and Grandpa tonight.

December 6, 2008

10:33 pm—Yesterday we mentioned Max’s drowning our bed and that we had laundry going all evening. Well, this morning Max unexpectedly spat up some milk in our bed, so the sheets are in the laundry room once again. Luckily, we had another bottom sheet to use, so the clean up of this morning’s mess wasn’t as involved as last night’s.

It wasn’t long after we were awake when we went to Mimi and Grandpa’s for breakfast. Max was tired, so he slept on the sofa while we ate. Becky and Max stayed at Mimi and Grandpa’s a good part of the afternoon to help prepare for tonight’s neighborhood annual Christmas party. They came home in time for Max to grab a (very) short nap before getting dressed for the party. He also got to visit with his aunt Jean and cousin Linda, who stopped by on their way to the mall.

Max commanded all the attention at tonight’s soiree. He must have been held by at least a dozen of our neighbors. Everyone just gushed about how handsome and sweet Max is. It was nice to see our new seven-year-old neighbor, Josh Hemer, play with Max for so long. Josh must be a caring little boy and have patience and a tender heart, because he sat next to Max when Max was in his swing and interacted with him for the better part of an hour. That’s a long time for a first-grader. Max smiled at Josh and interacted with him just as delightfully as he interacts with us.

Mimi, a highly social person, didn’t go to the dessert portion of our progressive dinner party because she wanted to stay behind and sit with Max to keep him from going out into tonight’s cold air. That’s love right there, as Mimi never misses any parties. And then when we left to come home, she told us to wait while she found Max another blanket to cover up with while on his way to the car—and the boy was already wrapped up in a blanket!

As I write this, Maxiboy is fighting sleep like Ali. I shoved a paci in his kisser and his eyes are walling. He’s in his swing and soon he’ll be conked out. Becky’s gone back to her parents’ to get Max’s favorite paci, the blue one he first clamped onto at the hospital.

If all goes as planned tomorrow, we’ll be able to share some images from the party.

December 5, 2008

10:21 pm—Max’s cries woke Becky up this morning. Eerily, Max wasn’t awake. He was crying in his sleep. Becky gave him his pacifier, which seemed to comfort him. I feel bad for not hearing him. When he’s in his bassinet, his head isn’t more than two feet from my own.

Max had a good day today. He smiled, laughed, and cooed a lot. Becky, Max, and I met my aunt Shirley and uncle Bill at Golden Corral this afternoon for an early dinner. Shirley can’t get enough of Max, even after he wet her top today. We were shocked to see that Max had an accident that his diaper didn’t contain. Luckily for Max and us, Becky had a change of clothes in Max’s diaper bag. But we didn’t have a change of clothes for poor ol’ Shirley. She said it didn’t bother her. Maybe after raising two boys and a girl, such mishaps are expected and accepted, but Becky and I aren’t to that point yet.

Believe it or not, Max wasn’t done. As soon as we got him home, we undressed him and got him ready to get in the shower with me. While the little fellow was bare-bottomed, Becky whipped out the camera to take a few pictures of his tushy. Big mistake! At some point during the two-minute photoshoot, Max whizzed enough to soak through a double-folded blanket, bedspread, another blanket, top and bottom sheets, and a mattress pad. We’ve had laundry running since we got home.

After emptying his bladder with such grand style, he cried for a bottle. Becky fixed him six ounces and Max guzzled all six in less than ten minutes. I fixed him two more ounces and he made short work of that, too. At about that time, Mimi and Grandpa came over to see their favorite grandboy on their way home from running errands. Mimi said she wanted to stop by and get her "some clean, sweet sugar." Now the little fellow is asleep and swinging in his swing with a paci in his kisser. After Becky finishes her bath, we’ll make the bed, put Max in his bassinet, and hope for a drier day tomorrow.

December 4, 2008

7:30 pm—Three from the past few days:

Max has been a happy little boy today. He got a good night’s sleep, stayed with his Mimi for a couple of hours while I ran an errand, took a long nap once back home, and then played with Becky and me for a little while before I went upstairs to process the images above. As I write this, Max and Becky are upstairs watching Wheel of Fortune.

10:00 pm—Mimi and Grandpa came over tonight to see Max. Mimi fed Max a bottle and then Max put on a big show of giggles and talking for us. Now he’s sacked out in his bassinet, and the lid gets hoisted upon another day.

December 3, 2008

10:52 pm—Max slept until nearly 8:40 this morning. I gave him a bottle and played with him until he got grumpy. Then I put him in his swing and let him go to Sleepytown. The little fellow slept about four-and-a-half more hours. I guess Mimi, Grandpa, Becky, and I wore him out yesterday.

Max was awake when Becky got home and greeted her at the top of the stairs. Becky played with Max until he got grumpy again, and then we put him back down for a nap. This process repeated itself once or twice more this evening.

Grandpa and Mimi came over to pick up Becky and Max and take them to their house. Max talked to Mimi for a while, swung in the swing they bought for him, and watched Christmas in Rockefeller Center.

Something new for Mr Max today was his making chewing motions with his jaws and lips. Becky read that this is a sign of teething. I asked him several times, “Boy, are you chewing gum?” He never would fess up.

When Mr Max came home from Mimi and Grandpa’s, he was completely tuckered out. He went to his bassinet and, as we write this, he’s still asleep. Hopefully, it’s late enough for him to sleep late in the morning again.

December 2, 2008

10:20 pm—Mimi and Grandpa came over last night to lay claim to the Maxster. They said he slept soundly last night and was “as happy as a lark.” They kept Max until Becky and I voted later this afternoon. When we picked Max up at Mimi and Grandpa’s, we noticed that he was sporting a new outfit his Mimi gave him. Grandpa asked for Max to stay with them until tonight, but Becky wouldn’t hear of it. And, actually, I was missing the sweet little fellow myself.

Becky had an appointment to get her hair done and was missing Max, so she made me go with her and Max to get her hair done. Max and I sat in the car for forty minutes while Becky got a new ’do. I fed the little rascal, but he kept interrupting the process. He wanted to stand up in my lap and check out everything around us. He was such an active observer.

We then went to IHOP for dinner and had to eat in a hurry because we saw Max making this face. It was only when we saw that face that we realized we left the diaper bag at home. We inhaled dinner, hurried our waiter for our check, and rushed home to clean our boy.

After taking care of Max, Becky got ready to go to Christmas Tea with her mother. While Becky was gone, Max and I took in an episode of The Sopranos. Max quickly went to sleep but woke up before the show was over and cried for a bottle. I fed him four ounces, and it was a long feeding because the little fellow kept falling asleep. As I write this, he’s still sound asleep.

Becky said that lots of folks approached her at Christmas Tea to tell her that they’d heard all about Mr Max from Mimi and had seen lots of his pictures. Becky said that Mimi talked about Max all the way to and from Christmas Tea.

There’s no denying that Max has a fully dedicated, full-time staff to love and care for him.

December 1, 2008

6:52 pm—This morning was a rough one. Max got up with Becky’s alarm and I fed him six ounces, but he gave most of it back—all over his clothes, me, the bed, and the carpet. Getting that situation straightened out took a while. The sheets and dust ruffle are still in the dryer. But other than first thing this morning, he’s been an angel today. The little rascal took a five-hour nap beginning around 10:40 this morning.

When Becky got home she and Max had some time together before Max began his next nap. He got another bottle when he woke up a short time later. Now he’s sitting up with us on the sofa while Becky plays with him with one of his toys. He’s beginning to get a little fussy, so I’ll close for now and try to figure out what’s got his diaper in a bunch.

November 30, 2008

10:00 pm—Three from the past couple of days:

Max let us sleep until 8:40 this morning. I never heard the little fellow, but Becky did, so she got up with him. After finishing his bottle, he went back to sleep until nearly 10:00 am.

The three of us got up and went to Granny’s for breakfast. I forgot to take a DVD slideshow of Max’s first three months to Mama, so I went back a second time a couple of hours later. Mr Max stayed with Granny while we went home and made the DVD and prepped some images for Granny’s new digital photo frame.

While I was gone to Granny’s for the second trip, Becky finished decorating our home for Christmas. There’s a new stocking on our mantle this year. Also on our mantle is a 16x20 portrait of the Maxster sporting his elf hat.

Once I brought Max back home, he played with Mommy for a bit before taking a short nap. After his nap, he refused to sit down. He wanted only to stand. If we sat him down, he cried; if we stood him up, he laughed. This pattern continued until we were both tired from holding him up.

Once Max was ready for another catnap, we went upstairs to work on our Christmas card. Max napped in his bouncy seat beside our computer desk while we worked. Becky left to go get dinner while I processed today’s images. While she was gone, Grandpa called and that was the end of Max’s nap.

Max was especially fretful after waking up. Becky and I figured that he couldn’t be hungry and tried everything else we could think of to console the little fellow. Finally, we gave up and fed him, and that’s what he wanted. We fed him six ounces and he downed that in a hurry. One of these days, Becky and I will learn to stick a bottle in that poor boy’s kisser when all else fails, even if he just ate.

Mimi and Grandpa came over this evening and brought Max’s first Christmas present, a baby’s rattler Christmas tree ornament. Mimi rocked Max and sang him lullabies before putting him to bed. Grandpa asked to keep Max tonight, but Becky wanted her little boy to stay home.

As we write this, Max is asleep in his bassinet beside our bed. He lost his paci a few minutes ago and cried for help. Becky said that when she returned his paci to him, he quickly went back to sleep.

November 29, 2008

7:58 pm—Max is sitting in his Bumbo babyseat and playing with his little lamb. He likes the Bumbo because it lets him sit upright. The little fellow wants to either sit upright or stand.

Becky and I stayed up until nearly 2:00 this morning. She was working on a slideshow of images showing Max’s first three months. We hope to share it soon here. Grandpa phoned this morning at 9:00 to tell us that breakfast was ready. Becky wasn’t here because she was gone to Krispy Kreme. She surprised us all with hot, original glazed doughnuts. Those were a big hit!

Mimi and Grandpa said Maxiboy slept soundly all night last night. When he awoke in the 6:00 hour, they fed him a bottle and then put him in bed with them. They said he was all smiles for about an hour.

After breakfast Max and Becky helped Mimi put up her Christmas tree. They came home at the beginning of the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game only to watch the Dawgs get stung by the Jackets 45 to 42. After the game my uncle Larry and cousin Dakota came over. Larry was sporting his Georgia Tech gear just to rub it in.

We’ve been doing a bunch of nothing this evening and look forward to going to bed at a decent hour tonight.

November 28, 2008

4:51 pm—Max let us sleep a bit later this morning. I believe it was around 7:40 am when we got up and fed him. We put him in bed with us, but he wouldn’t go back to sleep. I got up with him this morning, took him downstairs, and put him in his swing. Then he went right back to sleep. But just like Becky yesterday morning, by that time I was wide awake and couldn’t go back to sleep.

Mimi asked if she could keep the Maxster tonight, so that’s where he’ll be tonight. Folks can’t get enough of Max. My aunt Shirley phoned today just to let us know how much she enjoyed keeping Max last Tuesday and that she wants to come over for another visit with the little fellow. Tonight at Mimi’s, friends Sue and Julie are going to visit with Max. My uncle Larry and cousin Dakota came over to see Mr Max this afternoon, and Dakota got a new iPod touch and had me set it up for her. According to Larry, Dakota begs him often to carry her over to see Max. Max is glad to see all who come to see him.

As I write this, Max is almost asleep in his swing as Christmas music plays over our living room speakers.

November 27, 2008—THANKSGIVING

7:24 pm—Three from today:

Max’s very first Thanksgiving has been nice and easy—well, except for his getting us up at 5:40 this morning and then refusing to go back to sleep. Due to my recent surgeries, Becky took pity on me and got up with him. She said she put him in his swing and then he went to sleep, but by that time, Becky was wide awake.

My mother joined us for a Thanksgiving feast. We defied tradition by not having a turkey at our feast. Becky and Mama settled on ham. We also had mashed potatoes, zipper peas, green beans, macaroni and cheese, broccoli casserole, and sweet potato soufflé. For our youngest in the crowd, we had a bountiful supply of milk. For dessert we had turtle pumpkin pie and pecan pie. Mama made the former, Becky the latter, and both were delicious.

My uncle Jack just brought us some of my aunt Jean’s famous chocolate cake. Oh, this is the cake of all cakes! It has chocolate frosting so heavy that it penetrates the multiple layers of the cake beneath, and it’s so sweet that you can almost feel the granules of sugar between your teeth as you chow down on this very special treat. Thank you bunches, Jean and Jack!

Mimi couldn’t stand staying away from her Maxiboy, so she and Grandpa are cutting their trip to south Georgia short. As I write this, they’re en route to our house from south Georgia to see Mr Max.

We’ve really enjoyed our day with Max. Mama enjoyed it, too. Except for the times when he was a bit grumpy from fighting sleep, he was all grins. The proof is in the pictures above. Finally, the little fellow is asleep in his swing.

7:45 pm—Update: Maxiboy is up and in my left arm now. This little fellow doesn’t want to miss a thing.

November 26, 2008

8:59 pm—Three from the past few days:

Max must have had a bad dream last night. At around 6:00 this morning he cried very loudly in his bassinet beside our bed. We looked over to see what was going on, and he got quiet. Becky got up and fed the little rascal.

In the afternoon the three of us went to Fuddrucker’s in Duluth for a late lunch. Max sat in his car seat on the table. He was alert during the whole meal but never got fussy. Maybe he enjoyed the music and watching other patrons.

Mimi called from south Georgia to check on her favorite grandson. At the time she called, Max was asleep next to me as I watched TiVo.

It wasn’t long after that when he got really fussy. Becky fed him a bottle while I processed the images above, and after his bottle he fought sleep. Becky gave him a paci, swaddled him tightly, put him in his bassinet, and turned on his lullabies. He’s sound asleep now.

Overall, today was nice and easy. It was nice having Becky home all day again.

I’m doing well after yesterday’s surgery. I’m not having any pain, which is very unlike the past few surgeries. Hopefully, this abscess has been put to rest for good.

Oprah.com is offering eight holiday songs as free downloads. How nice!

November 25, 2008

7:45 pm—(Posted by Becky)—Today Jaddie had another surgery related to his recent abscess. I had to work because it was the last day before a holiday, so we had maneuvering to do to take care of Max and Jaddie. Jaddie’s mom and uncle Bill went with Jaddie to surgery, and aunt Shirley gladly took care of Mr Max. My parents are out of town for Thanksgiving. We’re so lucky to have such a willing and able family.

Shirley said Mr Max was a joy. He smiled and laughed for her all day. We have know idea where the Maxster gets all his happy juice. Later this afternoon we had more visitors. We had cousins Trey, Cami, and Kerri come over. Mr Max seemed to really enjoy all of his company by smiling a lot. After everyone left Granny fed Max a bottle and he sat and talked to his dad while Granny and I ate. When Granny left Mr Max crashed. He’s getting some much needed rest from his big day!

November 24, 2008

9:10 pm—Max stayed with Mimi and Grandpa this morning until shortly after noon. I’m thankful for their help because I was able to sleep late and accomplish a few things before they brought Max home.

According to Mimi, Max was a tad fussy this morning. We put him down on his tummy-time mat and let him play with the mat’s toys for fifteen to twenty minutes. The little fellow became fussy again, so I picked him up and played with him for a while. That satisfied him for a few minutes, but when he became fussy again, I put him in his swing and let him go to sleep. He slept for a little more than an hour, and then I changed his diaper and gave him a bottle. He and I played for half an hour or a little longer and then he went back to sleep until long after Becky got home.

He was fussy when he woke up for his evening bottle. When I got out of the shower, I took him and played with him for a while, which seemed to perk him up. Currently, we can get him to stop fussing if we either stand him up and hold him or let him sit up straight. If he’s sitting down and leans the least bit backward or forward, he cries. While I was playing with him, Becky took a few pictures, and I hope to be able to share those images in the next couple of days. (I might not be able to post any images tomorrow.)

The three of us went to Marchello’s for dinner this evening. Max slept through the meal but woke up as we were leaving. He was in an agreeable mood when he awoke.

Now we’re back home and are getting ready to put a lid on the day. Mr Max just finished his last bottle of the day and he’s standing up in front of Becky (with support, of course). He’s trying to carry on a conversation with her. We have no idea what he’s saying, but it sounds happy.

We’re about to go upstairs and let Becky get a bath while Max and I wind down with TiVo.

According to Canon USA spokesperson Chuck Westfall, the new EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera body begins shipping from distributors to dealers in the US tomorrow. Becky and I hope to get the new 5D as soon as Adobe’s RAW-file processors support it, and as soon as we can get a plate to attach the camera to our tripod and monopod.

November 23, 2008

11:59 pm—Max is staying with Mimi and Grandpa tonight after staying with his Granny most of the afternoon. I’ve had a bunch of projects that had to be done today, so I’ve been busy and am appreciative for the help from Becky’s parents and my mother.

We went over to my mother’s shortly after lunch to have breakfast. Max got us up around 6:00 this morning, but Becky was able to go back to sleep. We’ve been tired and busy all day. Max has been a little fussy. It seems that the only thing that will comfort him is letting him stand up. If we help him stand up, his fretfulness seems to go away.

November 22, 2008

11:59 pm—Three images from the past few days:

Max got up at 7:20 this morning. Though we tried to convince him to sleep longer, he wouldn’t hear of it. We went to Mimi and Grandpa’s for breakfast. Becky and I came home after breakfast, but Max stayed behind and received a bath from his Mimi. She said his bath made him mad, but it also wore him out, causing him to need another nap.

After his nap Mimi, Becky, and Max went to our neighbor’s bank’s grand opening. Max had been owing us a dirty diaper. He figured there’s no place better to make payment in full than a bank. So that’s what the little fellow did, and Becky and to change him in her car.

Next they went to the Mall of Georgia and strolled Mr Max around a couple of stores. He slept most of the time, but he woke up and wanted a bottle near the end of their excursion. When the milk ran out, they came home.

After getting the little booger fed, he decided he needed another nap. Max is either eating or sleeping. Grandpa says he’s going to be lazy.

Max is asleep in his bassinet right now, and we’re about to join him upstairs. We hope he’ll sleep a little later into the morning.

November 21, 2008

10:54 pm—Max was fairly tuckered out today, though he was smiling when he was awake, so he was lucky that the day allowed him to catch up on his beauty rest. Max was at home all day except for a quick jaunt to Mimi and Grandpa’s with Mommy. Mimi stopped by this afternoon to see Mr Max and to bring him three new outfits, all of which are footed and zip up. Footed outfits are better for the cold weather we’re having, and the zippers are easier for us during diaper changes. Mimi even bought us a pizza, so we appreciate her generosity.

Max and Becky are upstairs asleep. Becky is zonked out from getting up at 6:30 every morning and getting back in the groove at school. She’s looking forward to sleeping late in the morning and having a full day with Max.

November 20, 2008

11:18 pm—Max is in his bassinet sound asleep after a day packed with love, family, and giggles. I’m tired and it’s late, so I’m going to be concise.

Max smiled and laughed today more than any other day so far. Maybe he knew he turned three months old today and he was as happy as we are to have him.

My aunt Shirley and uncle Bill came over to see Max today. My mother came over, too, and we all went to Golden Corral for an early dinner. Max sat in his car seat and smiled and cooed at us for almost the whole time. He was tired, though, and he eventually went to sleep in his Granny’s arms.

We came back home, Max fought sleep for a while, but eventually lost the battle. We wanted him to wake up and be perky for a photoshoot to commemorate his being three months old today. We never did get any time in the studio, but we got some fantastic candids that we hope to share here tomorrow. Mimi and Grandpa came over close to 9:00 pm to see Max. He was sound asleep then, but we eventually managed to get him awake. Once he was awake, he was full of joy, smiles, laughs, coos, and general ebullience.

This family is passionate about Max the Magnificent and getting more so every day.

November 19, 2008

8:46 pm—Here are three images from the past week:

Max slept a lot today, perhaps in an effort to recover from yesterday’s frenetic pace. The day didn’t start off easy, though. I fed ol’ Maxiboy five ounces of milk this morning and he gave it all back to me. I was soaked from my head to my belly. Stinky soy milk was everywhere. I had to wash Max, change his clothes, wash a load of clothes, and get a quick shower myself. I worked about an hour and ten minutes before I could catch my breath. The rest of the day was a breeze.

Becky made it home from school at 3:35 pm, a very respectable time for a full-time professional. She fed Max a bottle and then took a nap with the little fellow. We let Max stay with Mimi and Grandpa while we went to IHOP for dinner. Everyone has to have a little time with the Maxster.

Max took a catnap when he got home tonight, and Becky and I processed the three images above. Then Max woke up and had some time with his mother. He looked up at the light over the recliner and seemed to either talk to it or comment about it. Becky says it made her heart swell. I know what she means. Max has the sweetest little voice.

Max will be three months old tomorrow and is exactly thirteen weeks old today. Becky says we have to do a little photoshoot with the fellow tomorrow.

As I write this, Max is taking a bottle from Becky. He might stay up a little later tonight since he slept so much during the day. We hope he continues his pattern of sleeping all night. He’s a super-fine boy.

November 18, 2008

10:48 pm—After spending the night with Mimi and Grandpa last night, Max made his rounds today. Mimi and Grandpa kept him this morning while I ran an errand. I picked him up around noon and fed him a bottle. Mimi said Max slept all night last night and hadn’t whimpered a bit all morning.

From Mimi’s Max and I went to the drugstore for my mother and then to her house for a visit. Mimi had bundled her Maxipoo up in a heavy jacket and a blanket for his ride in the car. Judging by the way she bundled him up, I believe she thought I was going to haul Max in the back of a truck. When we strapped him in his car seat, the straps were tight and Max looked like the Michelin man. He whimpered and whined on the way to Granny’s. When we went through the drive-thru at the drugstore, I could hardly hear the pharmacy tech because of his crying. I was glad to get to Granny’s so I could get him out of that seat. The poor little fellow was wet with perspiration and was glad to get out from under clothing that’s better suited for a polar climate. Ah, but it’s so sweet how his Mimi wants him to stay warm.

Once Max and I made it back home, it was time for another bottle. He didn’t have much time after he finished his bottle before Becky got home. Becky fed Max yet another bottle not long after she was home, and then she and Mimi took Max to Holiday Fest at Publix. He had his picture made with Santa again and soon went to sleep, oblivious to the hustle and bustle around him.

From Publix Mimi dropped Becky off at school for Reading Night. Max went home with Mimi and stayed with her and Grandpa until Becky and I picked him up after 8:00 pm.

He was sacked out when we brought him home. Becky used the opportunity to clip his nails. As we write this, he’s asleep in our bed. We’re about to put him in his bassinet beside our bed and join him for what we hope will be a long winter’s nap.

I realize it’s been a while since we’ve posted any pictures. I’ll do my best to post some tomorrow.

November 17, 2008

10:41 pm—(Posted by Becky)—Max slept all night last night. I woke him up right before heading to work. Jaddie fed the little man and he went back to sleep. Max slept until 10:30.

During the day the Maxster and his dad enjoyed a long conversation about nothing. Jaddie said it was really fun watching Mr Max try to talk. I wish that I could have witnessed this sweet event.

We went to my parents’ for dinner tonight. After dinner my mom and I went grocery shopping while the three fellows stayed home. Jaddie and my dad worked on the computer while Mr Max laid on his boppy. That was until he got hungry. Jaddie fed him when he began to fuss and a pacifier wouldn’t do the trick. After a while he calmed down and was chilling when we returned from the grocery store.

The Maxster is staying the night with his Mimi and Grandpa tonight. They are so excited. We just called to check on him and he has already headed to bed. Sounds like a good idea, so I think that’s where I’ll go.

November 16, 2008

8:21 pm—Max got us up at 4:30 am for a feeding, and we've been in a daze all day. This is the first time he’s gotten us up before 6:30 am in at least three weeks. We fed him and tried to get him to go back to sleep, but he just didn’t want to. I guess we let him go to bed too early last night.

He just polished off seven ounces of milk, and he’s still wide awake, (in fact, he’s sitting up with us on the sofa watching us write this), so we hope to sleep through the night tonight.

We went to Granny’s this morning for breakfast. She fed her little pumpkin a bottle and was sad to see him go. She’ll get to see him again on Tuesday, though.

When we got back home, Becky put Max in his Bumbo seat so he could sit up and watch her wrap Christmas presents and put them under the tree. He was really interested in that. He played with some wrapping paper as Becky wrapped. Becky had Christmas tunes playing loudly from our computer. They had a good time together.

Mimi asked Becky to bring Max to her so she could give him a bath and take a nap with him. She said he didn’t sleep long, which is another indication we might get a good night’s rest tonight. Becky and I tried to get in a catnap while Mr Max was gone. Becky succeeded, but I never could fall asleep.

Max stayed with his Mimi and Grandpa this evening while Becky and I went to Carrabba’s for dinner. We got Max back home, gave him seven ounces of milk, and we’re about to begin our going-to-bed routine.

November 15, 2008

11:15 pm—Max let us sleep until 7:30 this morning. We fed him a bottle and let him sleep with us for a couple of hours before he summoned for another bottle. Then we went to Mimi and Grandpa’s for breakfast.

Max went with Mimi and Becky to Kohl’s and Red Lobster today. They said Max was a good boy while out and about, observing his environs and smiling.

Becky and I picked three pictures of Max we want to share here, but I had to do some work for a client and haven’t processed those images yet. I’ll get to it tomorrow.

After drinking two bottles of milk, Max crashed at about 7:00 pm. He’s asleep in his bassinet beside our bed, so I’m about to join the slumber party and hope it lasts until at least daylight. Becky and I should have joined Max much sooner than now.

November 14, 2008

10:15 pm—Today was almost the inverse of yesterday. Max wasn’t awake for half an hour yesterday while Becky was at school; today, he wasn’t asleep for half an hour during the day. He finally sacked out this evening when his Mimi and Grandpa were here. He wasn’t really fussy today, just awake, alert, and observant. When about an hour had passed since his last feeding, he’d squeak a time or two, and I’d get him another bottle. This process was repeated four or five times before Becky got home. The three of us went to a local Italian restaurant, Antonetta’s, for an early dinner, and Max took part of a bottle near the end of the meal.

Max’s current pattern is to wake up at 6:30 am and feed. The little rascal likely will get us up bright and early in the morning to continue this pattern. I must say, though, that getting up at 6:30 and 8:30 is so much easier than getting up at 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, and 8:00! If we were smart, we’d plan to hit the sack just as soon as Max falls asleep. We could get about ten hours of uninterrupted rest if we did that.

Being at home with Max is pretty enjoyable so far. He’s a sweet kid.

November 13, 2008

10:25 pm—Today was a today of firsts. It was Becky’s first day back at school, and it was my first day to have Max all day by myself. The day couldn’t have been any easier. Max was awake for only half an hour for the whole time Becky was at school. But when she got home, the little fellow awoke and wanted to feed non-stop until this evening.

Becky and Mimi went to our neighborhood Bunco party tonight, and I kept Max. Tonight wasn’t as easy as today because Max gave me a dirty diaper, but it turned out to be easy to take care of. Max was a little fussy between feedings. Mimi and Grandpa came over after the Bunco party to wish Max a good night.

Max is sound asleep in his bassinet right now and we hope he continues his pattern of sleeping the whole night through.

November 12, 2008

10:10 pm—Three images from today (all taken by Becky):

Today was a blue one. First, Becky, Mama, and I went to my aunt Amy’s funeral. Amy was my father’s sister and cancer claimed her, just as it did Daddy. Amy’s adopted family, the Thomases, attended and spoke this morning. They took good care of Amy during her last dozen years.

Today is Becky’s last day of maternity leave. Tomorrow, she’ll be back in her second grade classroom full-time, and it’ll be my first day as a full-time stay-at-home dad. I’m privileged to work from home most of the time, and when I have to leave home for work, I have three grandparents ready, willing, and able to keep Mr Max for me.

Life moves on and tomorrow is the beginning of a new routine and responsibility for me. Becky is saddened by having to leave Max to return to work, but hopefully after a day back in the saddle, she’ll feel that familiar groove and it won’t be so bad. I made Becky promise that she’d rush home at the end of the school day to see her two favorite fellows.

Mimi and Grandpa are keeping Max tonight. They’re going to take him walking with them in the morning and will bring him to me when they come back home. I don’t have anything special planned for the little fellow. He keeps us busy during the day with many feedings, but at least he’s sleeping all night now. In the last couple of weeks, I haven’t noticed Max napping for more than forty-five minutes at a time. He’s been awake and alert—and fussy if it’s been more than a couple of hours since his last feeding.

Max is twelve weeks old today. When we look at his first images, we can hardly believe how much he’s grown.

Free demos of Adobe’s new Creative Suite 4 programs are now available for download.

November 11, 2008

10:55 pm—Six images from Sunday through today:

Today Becky and Mimi took Max to ride the Pink Pig at Macy’s at Lenox Square and to see Santa. Our friend Jeannie West suggested this adventure. Much to our surprise, Max actually had a bowel movement while sitting in Santa’s lap! And we have the picture to prove it (see the last image above). We are counting all the money we’ll be able to save on Christmas presents for Max when we show him that he pooped on Santa. I mean, what kind of presents can you expect to get when you do that sort of thing? Santa was a true professional; he kept a smile the whole time.

Max seemed to enjoy riding the Pink Pig. He rode one time with his Mimi and then a second time with his mommy and Mimi. Mimi, Becky, and Max never had to stand in any lines today to ride the Pink Pig or to see Santa.

When Max finally made it back home this afternoon, he was a bit fussy. He wanted to eat non-stop. Becky left Maxiboy with me while she ran out to get our dinner, and while she was gone, Max gave me the same treatment he gave Santa earlier today. Thank goodness for Becky’s being almost home when that happened, because during our clean-up, Mr Max decided to continue moving his bowels and hosed us down with his firehose. That changing ended up creating two loads of laundry and a bath for Max.

But after all of that trouble, little Maxiboy took another couple of ounces of milk and then went to sleepytown after Becky swaddled him and put him in his bassinet beside our bed.

November 10, 2008

9:22 pm—We began our day with Max’s protesting from his bassinet at 6:45 am. I got up to check on the little booger, and he’d wiggled out of three layers of cover at his feed and his socks. His feet were bare and were as cold as blocks of ice. His teeth would have chattered if he’d had any. We fed Max and put him in the bed with us for a couple of more hours.

Next we had breakfast at IHOP. Then Becky, Max, and Mimi went out to do errands. They went to Hobby Lobby, the drugstore, the bank, and the library. At Hobby Lobby Mimi and Becky picked out a Christmas stocking for the Maxster. Becky plans to get the stocking monogrammed. They also bought a frame a 16x20 Christmas print of Max. While Becky, Max, and Mimi were out, Grandpa changed the oil in Becky’s car, and I worked on a client’s Web site.

By the end of their errand running, Mr Max began to protest, so Becky took Mimi and Max back to Mimi’s while Becky ran a few more errands. We picked up the Maxster tonight and he was fussy, we think from gas, so we hit him up with some Little Tummys gas drops and gave him his last bottle for the night. Now the little fellow is getting some much-needed rest in his bassinet beside our bed.

November 9, 2008

9:55 pm—Max had a busy day. We went to my uncle Bill’s birthday party at 9:00 am, and then we went to my aunt Helen and uncle Vanus’s sixtieth wedding anniversary party in Jefferson early this afternoon.

Max got to meet a lot of folks on my father’s side of the family for the first time. He was passed around like a breadbasket because everyone wanted to see the little fellow. There must have been more than eighty people there. We’ll share pictures tomorrow.

My uncle Larry gave me a T-shirt today that reads, “Mr New Dad.” The shirt’s art depicts Mr New Dad watching football on television while he diapers the dog and his baby eats the dog’s food.

Max a was a fussbox on the way home from the anniversary party. He drank seven-and-a-half ounces of milk when he got home. That’s a record for him. He was even fussy after he finished his milk. We made sure he had a clean diaper and was given his medicines for acid reflux. We just ignored his whimpers for a few minutes and then he was sound asleep. As we write this, he’s still sound asleep. Apparently, all of today’s partying really tuckered him out.

Grandpa cooked dinner for all of us this evening. Mimi was glad to see her Maxiboy.

November 8, 2008

7:50 pm—Two images from today:

Becky and I forgot to take a picture of Max yesterday. It was the first day he didn’t have his picture made. I imagine this will be one of our smaller mistakes as parents.

More later.

9:19 pm—As we write this, Max is with his Mimi and Grandpa getting a bath.

Grandpa cooked breakfast for us this morning. He said it wouldn’t be too long before he’d be cooking for Max, too.

Max has been a good little boy today. He watched the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Kentucky Wildcats. Becky thinks Max chomped down on his paci a few times when the score was close.

After the game we listened to Christmas carols while Becky and I put up the Christmas tree. Becky held Max when we plugged in the tree. He was mesmerized by the lights. We had to buy new lights this year because only half of our old lights still work. Becky and Max made a run to Target to get the lights.

Becky also worked on a tree for Max’s bedroom. It has monkey, giraffe, zebra, lion, and elephant ornaments on it. At the top of the tree there’s a giant pineapple. She made it match his nursery’s safari theme.

November 7, 2008

9:41 pm—Three images from yesterday:

Max slept ten hours and twenty minutes last night before waking us, establishing a new record for uninterrupted sleep. He wasn’t even crying when he finally awoke. He was just doing his little stretch-and-grunt routine.

Today, I don’t believe he slept for more than an hour at a time the whole day, so maybe we’re in for another nice, long night of uninterrupted rest.

This morning the three of us went over to Granny’s (my mother’s) for a late breakfast. Granny gave Max a bottle while Becky and I had breakfast. We didn’t stay long after breakfast because I had to get back for a photoshoot.

Mimi and Grandpa came over this evening to see Max. We watched Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. Grandpa answered more questions than any of the rest of us.

November 6, 2008

10:24 pm—Six images from the past week:

Max slept at his Mimi and Grandpa’s last night, and when Becky went over to pick him up this morning, Mimi wouldn’t let Max go. Mimi and Grandpa took Max to the Mall of Georgia and walked four laps for their health. They took the Maxster with them, and Mimi said he was interested in all the lights.

In the early afternoon, after opening Max’s savings account with gifts from family and friends, Becky returned to her parents’ to retrieve our little boy. Again, Mimi didn’t want to let him go, but Becky wanted Max home, so home he came. Max wasn’t home long before Grandpa came to get us on his golf cart. He and Mimi cooked hamburgers and roasted potatoes for us, and I took my own veggie hotdogs. So by 7:00 pm, ol’ Maxiboy was back at his Mimi and Grandpa’s.

He slept in his bouncy seat beside the table while we had dinner. We woke him up, took him into the living room, and he made us a boomboom diaper. Becky, Mimi, and I cleaned the little fellow up, and Mimi gave him a mini-bath.

Grandpa and Mimi brought the three of us back home on their golf cart. They kissed him good night and said they’d see him tomorrow, and I jokingly said that if I didn’t drop the little fellow, he’d be here. Mimi said to me, “You’d better not drop him! You’d better be in New York City before his butt hits the ground!”

I believe Mimi loves her grandboy.

We took a few pictures of Max today and may have them ready to share tomorrow.

November 5, 2008

10:09 pm—Max was fussy today on his eleven-week birthday, but only because he was hungry. We’d feed the little rascal five ounces, and then in two hours, he’d be telling the news and eating his hands. The little fellow must be growing.

Neither Becky nor I left home today. Only Maxiboy ventured out. His Mimi and Grandpa came down this afternoon, and Mimi asked if Maxiboy could stay with her tonight. So that’s where the little fellow is right now. Mimi loves her grandboy—that’s a fact that’s evident and undeniable every single day. If ever I can’t find Max, my first thought would be to call Mimi.

We don’t have any pictures to share with you today, but we did a short shoot with the Maxster this evening in his Halloween costume, and have picked six images to share with you tomorrow. I worked on a handful of images today, but they were 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, and 16x20 prints.

Max is now sleeping most of the night through. He made a few little squeaks around 3:30 am and soon fell right back to sleep. It’s certainly nice to be able to sleep uninterruptedly for longer periods of time. Another trend is his not going back to sleep after 8:00 am, even after a feeding. He’s ready to rock and roll. We spend about thirty minutes trying to get him to go back to sleep by appeasing him with his paci, and Becky and I argue back and forth over whose turn it is to put the paci back in Max’s kisser.

Another big trend is conversation. It may be unintelligible at this point, but the little fellow likes to share what’s on his mind. It might just be jibber-jabber, but he seems to enjoy the interaction. It’s really rewarding to have him make noise and look into our eyes for our expressions. Then we coo back at him, and sometimes he lights up and coos back, and other times he seems to make further comments as if he needs to further explain himself.

Max is one sweet little boy, and he has a lot of folks who love him dearly.

November 4, 2008

6:10 pm—Becky fixed a big breakfast this morning before heading out with Max and me to a doctor’s appointment. We squeezed in trips to Kohl’s and Steinmart before returning home. We dropped Max off with his Mimi and Grandpa and then went to vote.

I voted for myself as a write-in for county sheriff, probate judge, and against another judge I don’t like. Gwinnett County Probate Judge Walter Clarke is an idiot. I wasn’t going to vote for Saxby Chambliss or Jim Martin for US Senate, but Saxby’s commercial featuring his ninety-one-year-old mother made me change my mind. I hated the way Saxby and Jim Martin hijacked our television with their mudslinging, but it was hard not to just love Saxby’s mother, Emma. Mrs Chambliss said of her son when he was a youngster, “He was a red-headed devil,” and then, with a beaming smile, said, “I probably shouldn’t have told y’all that.” Saxby got our votes.

As I write this, Maxiboy is still at his Mimi and Grandpa’s. Becky wanted to go get him while ago, but even after cleaning up a dirty diaper, Mimi wanted Max to stay.

I’ll do my best to get at least a couple of pictures of Max posted tomorrow.

Our copy of Adobe’s new Creative Suite 4 hit our doorstep today, and I’ve already installed it and copied a handful of plug-ins over from Creative Suite 3.

8:34 pm—Becky, Max, and I just returned from having dinner at Mimi and Grandpa’s. Mimi fixed chicken and rice and cornbread. Max sat in his bouncy seat while we had dinner, but when we finished, Mimi scooped him up and held him for at least an hour. Max has had two bottles since 5 pm, and he seems a little fussy. His digestive tract could be causing him some discomfort, or he could be tired. After all, he had a pretty active day today.

November 3, 2008

8:55 pm—Becky and Mimi took Max to Sam’s, Chili’s, and Belk earlier today, and he slept for most of their outing. He’s vacillated between general contentedness and mild fussiness today. He has a slight rash on his torso, but his pediatrician doesn’t believe this is any cause for concern.

Becky said that Mimi proudly showed Max to her pharmacist at Sam’s, and the pharmacist said she’d never seen a grandmother glow as much as Mimi. Mimi had been telling her pharmacist about Max and was glad to finally show him off.

Grandpa has been painting a chest for Maxiboy, and he came over on his golf cart to take Becky to see it. He painted the chest to match the crib and changing table given to us by my mother and aunts Shirley and Jean.

I stayed with Max while Becky went to the grocery store late this afternoon. He slept on his boppy in our bed as I watched the Red Bull Air Racing World Series.

Becky was rummaging through Max’s diaper bag and found another new outfit his Mimi bought him. It has a little pocket on the front for his paci. We’ll have to take a picture and share it here.

Speaking of pictures, I just haven’t felt like sitting up at our upstairs computer to do any editing. Actually, I haven’t been up to taking any pictures, either, but Becky will take pictures when I fail to.

This abscess is pulling me down. Even with strong pain medication, the pain from the abscess causes me to perspire. Then I begin thinking about Becky’s going back to work a week from Thursday, and the sweat really starts to pour.

Ah, enough with the negative. We have too many cards stacked in our favor.

November 2, 2008

8:49 pm—Mr Max took it easy today. The three of us went to IHOP this morning, my mother came over to see Max early this afternoon, and then returned later in the afternoon after going to dinner with her sister and brother-in-law. Aunt Jean and uncle Jack got to see ol’ Maxiboy today when they came over

We got caught up on some shows we recorded on TiVo and took a half-dozen catnaps. Max has gotten into a good pattern of doing more catnapping during the day and more hours of continuous sleep at night.

I enjoyed a nice little fantasy for Max and me today. I was thinking about how we might get our pilots’ licenses together one day. That’d be kind of fun. I believe he can begin learning to fly at age sixteen, but he can’t get a full private pilot’s license until he’s eighteen. By golly, when Max is eighteen, I’ll be fifty-seven. Learning how to fly would be an awesome threshold to cross together.

Mimi and Grandpa came over this evening to see Max. The little fellow was a little fussy when they first arrived, but it wasn’t long before he was sound asleep. Mimi wanted to keep him tonight, but Becky said he’d better stay here with us.

It’s worth repeating what I said the other day: it’s fantastic to have such willing and able help so close to us. It’s nice to know that if we really needed someone to look after Max for a while, that position is filled at least three layers deep.

I’m going to have to have at least one more surgery to get rid of this abscess permanently. I hate how things have gone with the abscess, but there’s nothing I can do other than deal with it as best I can and with the limited information available. Even with pain medication, I still ache and my body can’t figure out if it’s hot or cold. I expect the situation to improve.

As I write this, Max is eagerly taking a bottle, and I believe we’re about to go to bed soon.

November 1 & October 31, 2008

9:34 pm—(Posted by Becky)—Yesterday was another crazy day! Jaddie had to go back to the doctor and ended up back in surgery. This surgery required an overnight stay in the hospital. Mr Max spent the day with his Granny, and stayed the night with his Mimi and Grandpa again. They dressed the Maxster in his leopard costume and went to Foster’s Grille with neighbors Greg and Renae. They also watched Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? We made sure they took a lot of pictures, and we hope to share those soon. We really missed Mr Max yesterday. He was all we could talk about.

Today we rushed home from the hospital to get our little Max. He seemed happy to see us. He was smiling and was trying to talk to us. What a special fellow! Later this afternoon we watched the Georgia-Florida game. Mr Max was all decked out for the game in his Georgia warm-up suit. Too bad it didn’t help the Bulldogs win. What a beating they took from the Gators! It was hard to watch. Max and I finished the game at a birthday party for Greg and Renae. The party was held at my parents’ house.

We’re about to head to bed after feeding Maxiboy. It’s nice to be back together as a family tonight.

October 30, 2008

9:45 pm—Mr Max stayed with his Mimi and Grandpa for much of the day today, and he’s spending the night with them tonight.

I’m having further complications with an abscess and had to make a run to my surgeon in Atlanta today. I have a follow-up appointment tomorrow, so Mimi volunteered to keep Max. We’re so fortunate to have such willing and able help during times like these.

We were going to take Max to Bert’s Pumpkin Farm tomorrow, but we’ll have to settle for seeing the Maxster in his Halloween costume. Maybe we’ll be able to visit Bert’s next year.

October 29, 2008

7:52 pm—We had another uneventful day here at Chez Dodd. The three of us chilled out all day after our busy day yesterday. I still have a lot of pain, so I stayed in bed for most of the day.

This afternoon Mimi and Grandpa came over to see Mr Max. Mimi asked if Max could stay with her for a while, and then she and Grandpa asked if Max could spend the night with them. That was fine by us. Becky took care of Max all by herself last night and today, so she needs a break. I’m hoping the pain and swelling from my surgery will ease off soon so I can get back in the game.

Becky and I feel blessed more and more each day to have Max. He’s such a sweet and handsome little buckeroo, and it’s a joy to experience his developments with him. He’s just a pleasure to be around. As I write this, Becky is at her parents’ house to visit with Max.

October 28, 2008

9:15 pm—Max saw his pediatrician today for his two-month visit, and I saw a doctor today myself. Max got two shots that made him wail until he was purple, and I had surgery that’s hurting me. Max had his two-month shots. I believe they vaccinated him against things such as whooping cough and diphtheria. My surgery was a follow-up procedure for the abscess I had a couple of months ago.

Max weighs twelve pounds and is in the forty-sixth percentile for weight for babies his age.

It was Mimi and Becky who took Max to the doctor this morning. My mother went with me to the hospital for out-patient surgery. When Becky got back home, she went to work preparing a great birthday dinner for my mother. Mimi kept Max so Becky could make dinner. Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday and we had her birthday dinner tonight. Mama’s two sisters and brother and Becky’s parents joined us. As I write this, Max is in his aunt Shirley’s arms.

I feel awful. My body hurts and the pain medication is making me itch. My brain has taken a leave of absence, so I’m going to have Becky look over this and edit it before she goes to bed.

October 27, 2008

10:57 pm—Today was uneventful for Mr Max. He rested without actually going to sleep very often. He ate on an erratic pattern today—two ounces here, four ounces there, another ounce shortly afterward, etc.

Max and I didn’t leave home all day. Becky went out to run some errands, and we had no visitors today.

Tomorrow Max has a checkup with his pediatrician. Becky’s already written a list of questions for Dr Smiley. Poor Mr Max doesn’t know it, but he’s going to get at least a couple of shots tomorrow.

We hope to have some new images to share on Wednesday.

October 26, 2008

11:00 pm—We went to Mama’s this morning for breakfast. Max was a bit fussy until we gave him a bottle. He’d just had a bottle shortly before we left, so we were surprised to see him wanting more.

Max was fussy most of the afternoon. Becky fed him five ounces of milk, and then an hour later I fed him two more. He must be experiencing a growth spurt.

Becky and her mother took Max to Buford’s fall festival, and Max pitched a hissy fit for more milk while they were out. Mimi wanted Max to stay with her after the festival so he could have some time with Grandpa. Max was fussy with Mimi and Grandpa until they fed him. He slept for a while and then woke up when Becky and I went to get him. Then he was fussy again, so we fed him again.

He was fussy even after we got him back home, but he simmered down in his swing, and that’s where he is as we write this.

I don’t know what caused Max’s fussiness today. It could be hunger, but it could be some other gastrointestinal distress, too. We’re glad Max has a routine checkup this week. Maybe Dr Smiley will lend some words of wisdom for this situation.

We really don’t have any more photos worth sharing. We took a few pictures of him last night just before we fed him, but those were just to document the day. The same thing is happening tonight. Max zonked out on us before we could get good images from him.

October 25, 2008

10:26 pm—Max slept really well last night, and we hope this path continues. He’s asleep right now, and when he awakes in an hour, we’ll feed him as much milk as he’ll drink and then go to bed.

Grandpa fixed breakfast for us this morning. Max was a bit fussy, but that was only because he was hungry. Shortly after breakfast, Max, Becky, Mimi, Grandpa, and our friend Renae went to a fall festival in nearby Sugar Hill. Max wore his pumpkin suit. Becky says Max was a good boy the whole time they were gone, not getting fussy even once. Becky and Max returned home just in time to see the UGA-LSU football game. We stayed in this evening and let Max get caught up on his beauty rest.

October 24, 2008

11:30 pm—Here are six images from the past couple of days:

Today the three of us spent the whole day together. Not a one of us left the house. Becky stayed in her PJs all day, and Max was an angel, so today was just peachy.

We did a brief, impromptu photoshoot in the mid-afternoon, and four of the six images above are from today’s shoot. Becky draped black fabric over Max’s boppy and put Max on our sofa. We put a reflector under Max to bounce a little light on our little pumpkin.

Late in the afternoon Mimi and Grandpa stopped by to visit the Maxster. They were on their way to dinner. Grandpa kept urging Mimi to let go of Max and go get some dinner, but Mimi wouldn’t budge. She was completely taken with her nine-week-old pride and joy. While they were here, we got the Maxster’s handprints for his baby book. This is something we’ve been putting off because we knew it’d be messy. It took all four of us to get this done.

We’re getting ready to fill Max’s milk tank and see if we can get a repeat performance of last night, when he slept from 11:30 pm until 5:20 am, and then to 10:24 am. We can’t complain about that.

Shirley, Mama says you want to come up and get a Max fix. Come on!

October 23, 2008

11:28 pm—Mimi didn’t want to give Max up this morning, but Becky just had to have the little fellow back home. He wasn’t back home long until his uncle Larry and cousin Billy came to see him. Billy and his wife, Juanita, gave Max a 2008 US Mint proof set of coins. What a cool gift! Later in the day the UPS man brought Max a Salisbury pewter cup from one of my clients and his wife. The cup has Max’s name engraved on it, and we’re thankful for such a thoughtful gift.

Two notable developments Max is showing right now are making more vocalizations and blowing bubbles with whatever is in his mouth.

One notable development for me today is cleaning up a major number-two diaper all by myself. I appreciate Max’s patience.

As I write this, Max is about an ounce away from finishing his last bottle of the day, and then we’re going to bed.

October 22, 2008

11:27 pm—Max is nine weeks old today. Last night he set a new record for length of uninterrupted sleep. He slept from 11:30 pm until 6:40 am. He went with Becky and me to get our flu shots this morning, and then went to lunch with us at Chili’s. Later in the afternoon he went with his Mimi and Mommy to visit with my mother. Becky brought him back home for a little while before we went to Mimi and Grandpa’s for dinner. And that’s where the little fellow is right now. To be less than two feet tall, the little fellow gets around. He’s going to spend the night with Mimi and Grandpa tonight.

Speaking of records, Max also set a record for consuming the most milk during a single feeding. He drank six full ounces this evening before conking out.

Becky and I are thankful to have her parents so close to us and willing to keep the little booger. With a full night of rest tonight, we’ll have more energy to devote to him tomorrow. We love our little Maxipoo; he means the world to us.

October 21, 2008

11:45 pm—Here are three images from yesterday:

Today was great for all of us. Max got to spend time with us, Mimi and Grandpa, and neighbors Sue and Renae.

Becky and I went to our doctor for flu shots and saw Max’s birth announcement affixed to the wall behind the front desk. We were surprised and elated. There wasn’t anything near or around Max’s birth announcement; it stood all on its own, as if it were announcing the birth of our doctor’s baby. The receptionists said they’d just been speaking of us. They wanted to see Max, but he was being loved on by his Mimi. The receptionists were disappointed, made us an appointment for tomorrow, and asked us to bring Max. They said they’d keep Max out of harm’s way while we were there. It was so wonderful to see Max’s birth announcement proudly displayed behind our doctor’s front desk. Becky and I have been patients of our doctor since he first graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in 1997, and we’re very honored by his prominent display of the Maxster’s birth announcement.

Mimi gave Max ten new outfits today, including a Santa suit! I bet Max’s wardrobe now spans close to a hundred outfits. I hope he gets to wear everything at least once. We have various sizes all the way up to eighteen months, but at this rate, he’s bound to outgrow some pieces before getting the chance to wear them.

Max’s new thing is sticking out his tongue. It’s as if he’s figuring out that movement of his tongue is under his control. His vocalizations are slightly more pronounced, too. When we’re playing with him, he’ll smile and coo back at us. That’s just precious.

October 20, 2008

11:46 pm—Max is two months old today, so we took some pictures to document his development. We hope to share a couple of those images tomorrow.

Our friends Susan and Gaylon Holzhausen came over to see the Maxster today. They brought him a UGA diaper bag and night light, and we certainly appreciate their generosity. We’ll put the night light into commission tonight because we generally fumble around in the dark while trying to find our lamps.

Becky took Max down to the Mall of Georgia this morning to walk a couple of laps before the stores opened. Mimi and Grandpa were there, so they got to see Max early this morning.

As usual, Max slept most of the afternoon, but late in the afternoon, Mimi came to get him so she could visit with him at her house for a while. She kept him while Becky and I went out for dinner. After we finished dinner and went back to Mimi’s, Max gradually became fussier until we stuck a bottle in his kisser. That seemed to satisfy the little fellow.

As I write this, he’s taking his last bottle of the day. We hope he’ll finish five or more ounces so we can get five or more hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Mimi is going to keep Max tomorrow while Becky and I get our flu shots. Max’s pediatrician advised us to get flu shots to prevent us from spreading the flu to Max. I haven’t had a flu shot in ten years because my last flu shot caused me to feel as though I had the flu. I guess we’ll see if it has the same effect this time around.

October 19, 2008

11:59 pm—Max stayed with Granny all day today because Becky and I went with a couple of friends to see the Air Force’s elite aviators, the Thunderbirds, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta. Mama said she enjoyed ol’ Maxiboy today because he interacted with her by focusing on her and smiling. He gave Mama a dirty diaper that she had to handle all on her own. He does that nearly every time Mama keeps him. Becky and I missed Max while at the air show. I thought about how Max and I could get our pilot’s licenses together when he turns sixteen. I also thought about how I’d bring Max to air shows in the future, and how I hope he’ll like them. When we returned to Mama’s after the show, Max smiled at us and actually looked glad to see us. As I write this, he’s on his mommy’s chest getting a bushel of kisses. Max will be two months old tomorrow.

October 18, 2008

10:03 pm—Max got us up at 2:09 am and shortly after 7:00 am. Then Grandpa called around 9:30 am to let us know breakfast would be ready soon. Max sat in his bouncy seat while we had breakfast. He was fussy, so we fed him after we finished eating. The little fellow must be going through a growth spurt. Mimi wanted to keep Max, so we left ol’ Maxiboy with her until nearly halftime in the UGA-Vanderbilt football game.

We picked up Max because his other granny was on her way to visit him here at home. Granny fed Max 5.75 ounces of milk, the most I’ve known him to consume during any one feeding. Max was quickly out like a light, and then we had Becky’s chili, a gameday favorite in our home.

Max stayed mostly asleep until his next feeding at 7:00 pm. After resting in Mommy’s arms for a while, he was passed off to me, and we played some “Boo boo, I see you”-type games for a while. I almost got him to give me a full laugh. Mommy took some pictures, which we hope are good enough to share soon.

As we write this, he’s asleep in his mommy’s arms and is wrapped up in an extremely comfortable fleece throw given to us by our friend Jodi Banks.

October 17, 2008

11:15 pm—This morning Max got me out of bed about three hours earlier than Becky. He sleeps in a bassinet on my side of the bed, and I could hear the little fellow beginning to whimper and protest. I brought him downstairs with me and played with him for a bit. When that didn’t keep him happy, I fed him. He’s had a pretty good day today.

My mother planned to come see Max today, but she chickened out because of the rain. Mimi and Grandpa came by to see Max on their way to dinner and a movie. Mimi fed Max while she was here.

Becky, Max, and I left home to rent some movies and have dinner at Marchello’s, an Italian restaurant here in Buford. Max sat in his car seat in the booth with me. I must have put his paci back in his mouth at least fifty times. You’d think he didn’t want it, but let me assure you that if that paci wasn’t in his kisser, he was ready to tell the gospel.

After getting home we watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which was an entertaining movie. Max slept in his swing and on his mommy’s chest. As we write this, Max is asleep in his bassinet, and we’re about to make our way to bed, too.

October 16, 2008

8:07 pm—Three images from today:

10:06 pm—Today was pretty relaxing. Max slept a lot. We stopped by Mimi and Grandpa’s and visited with them for a while. Mimi asked to keep Max again tonight, but Becky said ol’ Maxiboy had better stay with us.

Max nearly laughed at Becky this morning. He had a big smile on his face and made a sound that seemed to indicate that he was quite entertained by his mommy.

Becky put Max into a cute orange-and-white Halloween outfit that had a jack-o’-lantern’s face on the tush, but that outfit didn’t last long. Max whizzed on it and we had to switch him into some clean, dry duds.

As I write this, he’s asleep in his swing. The three of us are about to head to bed.

October 15, 2008

8:32 pm—I haven’t had a whole lot of face time with Mr Max today. We let his Mimi keep him while we ran some errands. When we returned, Becky phoned her mother to see if then was a good time to go get him. Mimi’s replied, “He’s doing just fine. Let him stay with us for a while.” Mimi and Grandpa kept the Maxster all afternoon and are keeping him tonight. I’ve had an upset stomach since yesterday that seems to be letting up a bit, so I’m looking forward to a full night of uninterrupted rest, though I do miss my boy. Becky and I are about to go over to her parents' to feed Max and wish him a good night.

Mimi says Max has hardly slept today and that he’s been a little fussy. Gee, I hope it wasn’t that missed dose of Mylanta that caused him to be fussy.

As I write this, Mimi is bathing the Maxster. We can’t believe how much fuzz he gets between his fingers and toes. I guess his blankets and onesies are full of lint.

While Becky and I were out running errands, we stopped by my father’s grave. He certainly would have been nuts about Max.

Becky, her parents, and Max went to Foster’s Grille for dinner. I stayed home because I knew the last thing my stomach needed was a veggie burger and fries. Becky says she had the best hamburger and fries of her life.

October 14, 2008

9:41 pm—Becky, Max, and I started the day off with breakfast at IHOP. Then Max ran a bunch of errands with his mother. Becky says that Max got upset only once, which was when he lost his paci. Grandpa and Mimi came over to see Max this afternoon, and as I write this, that’s where Max is. He’s been watching Dancing with the Stars with his Grandpa and Mimi. Becky’s friend Jodi came over to bring us a diaper cake from the Sunshine Committee at Ivy Creek Elementary, which looks delicious despite being inedible. I’d write more, but I’m tired and really want to get to bed.

October 13, 2008

4:55 pm—Here are six images from today:

Becky put me in front of the camera this afternoon as we tortured Max through another impromptu photoshoot. Becky thinks the shoot was a success.

As I write this, Max is being a fussbox in his swing, and Grandpa and Mimi are on their way back from Nashville, Georgia, to see their “bay-bay.” At this point, they can have the little rascal—fussiness and all.

9:55 pm—I stayed with Max tonight while Becky and Mama ran an errand, and Max’s fussiness never abated. Becky gave him five-and-a-half ounces of milk at 5:00 pm, so I didn’t think there was any way he could be hungry. But he just finished another five-and-one-fourth ounces of milk, and this feeding began at 9:15. Maybe the little fellow is going through a growth spurt and simply wants more food.

Mimi and Grandpa stopped by on their way in from South Georgia, and they were obviously glad to set their eyes back upon their favorite grandson.

As I write this now, Max is sound asleep. He hasn’t slept for more than half an hour since this morning. I must have forgotten a very important rule that I learned from experience shortly after Max was born: if all else fails and he doesn’t have a temperature, feed him. I believe that if I’d simply fed the poor fellow, he’d have had a much better evening. Shame on me.

October 12, 2008

10:15 pm—Max had an average night last night, but for some reason, it kicked Becky and me in our heads. After two pots of coffee and some sweets, I was able to count my toes and fingers and figure out the day of the week, but by that time it was mid-afternoon.

The three of us went over to my mother’s for breakfast this morning—well, at nearly noon. Mama fed Max as we ate. She hadn’t had breakfast herself, so that was nice of her. Max and I tried to take a nap at Mama’s, but Becky wanted to play with Max, so the nap didn’t happen.

After an easy afternoon we went to Carrabba’s for dinner. It was Max’s first trip to Carrabba’s—well, his first trip outside of his Mommy’s tummy. He was cool the whole time. He slept through salads and bread and gazed upon his parents and other patrons as we finished the main course.

After we got home and I got a shower, Max snuggled in beside me and watched something we had recorded on TiVo. Then he got fussy, Mommy gave him a bottle, and now she’s burping the little fellow. He just had five-and-a-half ounces of milk, so he’s filled to the rim. With some luck, things will be quiet around here until the four-o’clock hour.

October 11, 2008

10:30 pm—Here are three images from the past few days:

October 10, 2008

10:18 pm—Max slept nearly seven hours last night before waking us, and we’re very thankful for that. However, when he woke us up, his bassinet was wet. I don’t know how the bassinet got wet. Max’s diaper was securely fastened about his waist, the leg openings weren’t loose, and his dingus was positioned downward. We couldn’t figure that out at o’dark-thirty this morning, and we still haven’t figured it out.

But thanks to a tip from Becky’s colleague and friend Melissa Lorenz, we simply changed Max’s clothes, gave him a quick bath, stripped the sheet and waterproof pad from the bassinet, leaving Max with a clean and dry sleeping area, and the three of us went back to sleep.

Becky went to see The Duchess this afternoon, and my mother and I babysat Max. He was a good boy while his mother was away. My mother fed him and I diapered him.

Shortly after my mother left, Max’s Mimi summoned him to her house. She needed her Max fix. Mimi played a game with Max in which she had Max track her hand with his eyes, and he played along well. After being with his Mimi and Grandpa for a couple of hours, he came home, took a bottle, and now he’s swinging to music in his cradle swing. The three of us are going to head to bed after Becky gets her bath.

October 9, 2008

9:11 pm—’Twas a rough night last night. Max kept busting out of his swaddling blanket, leaving him cold and fussy. We woke up, fed him, and hoped he’d go back to sleep. We should have just swaddled him again and let him go back to sleep, because when we feed him in the four-o’clock hour, he gave us back about an ounce-and-a-half in grand style, requiring us to wipe down the bed and floor, and requiring me to take a shower. Oh, well. I said yesterday that last night wouldn’t be as easy as the night before. Another day, another learning experience as parents.

Becky and I worked with pictures this afternoon. We made small prints for a couple of frames that hold multiple prints, for Max’s baby book, and for Pevie’s brag book. Our home is quickly becoming a shrine for Max. We didn’t get the chance to work with any new images, though, but maybe we can do that tomorrow.

Grandpa wanted to spend a little time with his favorite grandson this evening, so he kept Max while his Mimi and mama went to the grocery store.

Apple will introduce its new line of Mac notebooks next Tuesday. Becky and I had planned to finally replace our seven-year-old PowerBook G4 when the new MacBook Pros come out, but with the economy in its current state, we’re thinking we’ll just wait and see how things go. There’s a new rumor going around that says Apple may bring a new MacBook to market with retail price of just US$800.

October 8, 2008

2:35 pm—Max is asleep in his swing right now. He’s such a good boy. We got the day started off right—with breakfast at IHOP. Actually, what got the day started off right was a good night’s rest. Max got us up at 4:55 and 8:47 am. Not bad for just seven weeks old! He had his customary four ounces of milk at 7:30 last night and then another half-ounce after his bath at 9:30 pm, and then it was lights out for nearly seven-and-a-half hours. We can definitely live with that. I bet we won’t be as fortunate tonight, but at least we’re heading in that direction.

Max’s most notable developments right now are focusing on the people around him and smiling. I’m pretty sure we’re seeing genuine smiles, because these expressions appear to be in response to our interaction with him, and he’s focused on our eyes when we see these expressions.

Max is a dandy fine fellow. I wish Becky and I were ten years younger so we’d have more time to enjoy the little fellow. I reckon we have to make every day count.

10:30 pm—Max slept all afternoon and then had dinner at his Mimi and Grandpa’s. After dinner we gave the Maxster a bath. It took three of us to hold him down and put the suds to him, but we got ’er done. As I write this he’s asleep in his bassinet beside our bed. Becky and I are looking forward to another day as parents of the world’s most beautiful baby.

October 7, 2008

9:55 pm—Max is doing well after staying with his Mimi, Grandpa, aunt Mary, and uncle Buddy last night. Mimi says she was a little slow in getting Max a bottle at 3:00 this morning, and Max’s wails woke up his uncle Buddy, who was sleeping upstairs. Max doesn’t tolerate hunger, gas, or wet diapers, and he’ll let the whole world know something is ailing him if help doesn’t arrive promptly.

We hauled Max over to my mother’s this afternoon. She kept Max for a couple of hours so we could go to the movies. We saw Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which was really cute. We’ll be glad when Max is old enough to enjoy Disney movies.

Max’s Mimi and our friend Renae came by this evening to visit Mr Max. While they were here, his Grandpa, who’s out of town tonight, called to check on him. After Mimi and Renae left, we gave Max a bath in hopes of helping him to sleep well tonight.

October 6, 2008

7:25 pm—Here are nine images from the past few days:

10:50 pm—Max went to Red Lobster for lunch with his mother, Mimi, and aunt Mary. I have it on good authority that early this morning Max gave his gracious hosts something to remember him by. I heard the phrases “environmental impact report,” “EPA violations,” and “it took both of us to clean him up.”

They must not have minded ol’ Maxiboy too much, though, because that’s where he’s spending the night again tonight—with his Mimi and Grandpa and aunt Mary and uncle Buddy. Becky and I hardly know what to do with two consecutive nights of uninterrupted slumber!

Max was home for only six hours today. He enjoyed is swing for a while before getting hungry and fussy.

Wherever Max goes he brings light and love. We want this to last for as long as possible, ideally for the rest of his life.

October 5, 2008

8:43 pm—Max is staying with his Mimi, Grandpa, and aunt Mary and uncle Buddy tonight. Becky and I are excited about getting to sleep the whole night through without interruption.

We slept way late this morning and then went to my mother’s for a late breakfast. Max was awake most of the time as he sat in his car seat in the middle of his Granny’s table. When we returned home, Becky began making a pecan pie and zipper peas for tonight’s dinner at her parents’.

I haven’t gotten around to finishing more images yet, but I will tomorrow because Becky took a grand-slam picture of Max smiling tonight. Plus, I want to post images from yesterday’s get-together and a picture of Becky’s aunt Mary with Max.

Max’s eyebrows are beginning to come back in now. He had eyebrows when he was born, but they went away within a couple of days. Now they’re coming back.

Max seems mesmerized by ceiling fans and light sources. If he’s not focused on one of those, he’s focused on a person.

9:14 pm—Becky and I just picked nine images we’ll finish and share here tomorrow, one of which we’ll hang on our walls in 16x20 form.

October 4, 2008

9:30 pm—Max has had a very busy day today. The day began with a call from Becky’s daddy. He cooked breakfast for us, so we swooped up Max in a blanket and headed over there. After breakfast Max rocked with Grandpa on his deck swing.

Then Max went shopping with his Mimi and mama. They were gone for most of the afternoon. Becky said Max threw a hissy fit, but he later settled into shopping after taking a nap in his stroller.

My mother came over to see ol’ Maxiboy for the second day in a row. It seems that no one can get enough of our precious little boy.

Many of our family met at Golden Corral late this afternoon for a family gathering. We have new images to share, but those will have to wait until tomorrow.

Max is getting company from Willacoochee, Georgia, tomorrow evening, and he’ll be spending the night with his Mimi and aunt Mary and uncle Buddy. Mary says she can’t wait to see Mr Max in person.

I’m sure my second cousin Trey Lawson would want the whole world to know that he received a Nintendo Wii today for his birthday. Trey’s also proud of his new Ninja toys and his glow-in-the-dark bracelets. Trey will turn eight on October 7. If our Maxiboy turns out half as well as Trey, we’ll be fortunate parents.

October 3, 2008

1:25 pm—Max let us sleep for six hours and fifty minutes without interruption last night! That was fantastic! He had four-and-a-half ounces of milk before going to bed last night, which is half an ounce more than he’s used to. We were going to give him five ounces, but he wouldn’t drink the last half-ounce. We were hoping that he’d drink more milk and give us more time to rest. I doubt that a half-ounce of milk is the sole reason he slept for six hours and fifty minutes, but we’re certainly not complaining.

Today is my late father’s birthday. William Jackson Dodd (W.J.) would have been seventy-seven years old today. He passed away on January 13, 1998 from a cancer that settled in his liver. Daddy would be very, very proud of his new little grandson. He always wanted a boy to carry on the Dodd name.

As I write this, Max is resting in his swing.

10:55 pm—My mother came over this afternoon to visit Max. She fed him and then the little fellow fell asleep for a few hours. Becky’s parents kept Max while Becky, Mama, and I went out for dinner. Gas left Max kind of fussy this evening, but he finally found calm when he was swaddled and put on his side in his mother’s arms. As I write this, he’s still asleep in Becky’s arms, and we’re hoping he’ll wake up soon so we can feed him and go to bed.

October 2, 2008

10:11 pm—Today began quite early for us. We had to leave home at 6:40 am to have enough time to travel to the ear, nose, and throat specialist in Alpharetta. Dr Thomsen believed that Max had a mild problem with his frenulum, and his advice was to clip it in his office this morning. So that’s what we did. The procedure didn’t bother ol’ Maxiboy very much. He settled down within a minute of making his way back to us.

When we made it back home, the men of the house took a nap. Max, George, and I snoozed through the early afternoon. Max was in his bassinet beside our bed, I was in bed, and George rested at my feet.

In the mid-afternoon Max accompanied his mother and Mimi to his mother’s obstetrician for her six-week checkup. He was a good boy, according to his mother.

In the evening Max and his mother went with Mimi and Grandpa to our neighborhood homeowners meeting. Max was a big hit with all of his neighbors.

When Becky and I picked up Max early this morning at his Mimi and Grandpa’s, he smiled a couple of times. We don’t know if those were genuine smiles or just reflexes. His eyes were focused on us and his cheeks picked up his lips, but that could have been simple reflexes.

Max is finishing a bottle as we write this. As soon as he’s done, we’re heading to bed.

October 1, 2008

8:25 pm—Max spent the day with his Granny (my mother, Joyce). I had outpatient surgery today related to an abscess, and Mama kept the Maxster while Becky and I were at the hospital. Now ol’ Maxiboy is with his Grandpa while his Mimi and Mama are gone to get him some more anti-gas medicine and a few other odds and ends. Max is staying with his Mimi and Grandpa tonight to give us a chance to get some rest, but we’ll be up bright and early in the morning to take him to an ear, nose, and throat specialist to see if his frenulum needs clipping. A lactation consultant advised Becky to investigate the possibility of clipping Max’s frenulum to help him latch better at feedings, and to help him avoid speech problems, so that’s what we’re doing in the morning.

Mama said ol’ Maxiboy kept her on her toes today, at least until after 3:00 pm, when he went into a deep sleep and was unwakeable. We’re sure she’ll get a good night’s rest tonight.

John and Gail Barnes from Becky’s parents’ Sunday school class gave them a couple of Georgia Bulldog bibs and two picture frames, one that reads, “I love Grandma,” and one that reads, “I love Grandpa.” Thank you, Mr and Mrs Barnes!

September 30, 2008

8:19 pm—Max met with his pediatrician this morning, Dr Smiley. Max weighed nine pounds and fifteen ounces and was almost twenty-two inches tall. Dr Smiley believes Max’s frenulum may be okay, but she referred us to a pediatric ear, nose, and throat physician for a second opinion. Becky’s parents were down here just a few minutes ago to check on their favorite grandkid. Max has been a joy to be with today, and as I write this, he’s asleep in his bassinet.

September 29, 2008

5:30 pm—Here are six images from the past few days:

Becky cooked dinner for her parents, my mother, Max, and me tonight. We’ll be eating in half an hour or so. Max is with Becky’s parents at the moment.

11:04 pm—Dinner was delicious, especially the pecan pie Becky made using her special ingredient—Mexican vanilla. She’s bought vanilla every time we’ve visited Mexico, and she says it’s the best. Becky went upstairs later this evening to take a bath, and I used the opportunity to inhale the last piece of pie. When Becky came downstairs, she was in search of that last piece of pie. I’ll be in the doghouse for a while for that one. (But, you know, I think that pie was worth it.)

We gave the Maxster a bath tonight in hopes of helping the little fellow sleep better. Max showed us what he thinks about baths by whizzing on us. Becky blocked the stream barehanded, we finished the bath, and let my mother finish feeding him. Then Becky let him wear his new puppy hat, and she took a few pictures of him sporting his new lid. As we write this, he’s sawing logs in his bassinet beside our bed.

September 28, 2008

8:41 pm—Max got us up at 2:50 and 7:00 this morning. Given that we slept until nearly 11:00 am, that wasn’t so bad. Becky and I actually had energy when we finally got the day started. The three of us went to my mother’s for a late breakfast.

Later in the day we were going to do a little photoshoot, but we had to run an unexpected errand in Sugar Hill. While we were there, we stopped by my uncle Larry’s to visit with him for a few minutes. We had to be back at Becky’s parents’ for dinner at 6:00, so we couldn’t stay long. Greg and Renae Puckett joined us for dinner with Becky’s parents. We ate in the garage again.

Towards the end of dinner ol’ Maxiboy got a bottle of milk and was as happy as a clam. His Mimi fed him and then he went to sleep. As I write this, he’s asleep in his swing.

Becky says we’re still going down to the studio to take a few pictures tonight, so we’ll see if that pans out. Unless I get a second wind, though, I probably won’t get to process and post any images tonight.

9:57 pm—The shoot panned out. Becky’s a slave driver. We captured three cool images we’ll share tomorrow. Plus, we have three images from previous days to share, too.

Ken and Marilyn Ledbetter, Sunday school classmates of Becky’s parents, gave Max a very, very cute tiger costume. Thank you so much, Mr and Mrs Ledbetter! We can’t wait to see the Maxster sporting his new duds.

September 27, 2008

10:50 pm—Becky didn’t have a fever when she awoke this morning, and she felt better, so she didn’t visit her doctor. Pevie said Max woke up a lot during the night last night, and she believes it was gas pains that were ailing the little fellow. I had to go to Sandy Springs today to work, and while I was gone Becky and Max went to the grocery store and to have lunch at O’Charley’s. They were waiting for me by our mailbox when I got home.

Becky’s parents had a big neighborhood cookout tonight. They have a big, two-bay, two-story garage with a lot of amenities that make that space a dandy place for large social gatherings.

The evening was focused on the Georgia-Alabama game, which featured an awful first half if you’re a Georgia fan. Becky’s daddy drove us home on his golf cart at halftime, and Becky gave Max a bottle as soon as we got home. As I write this, he’s asleep in his swing.

One of the things I’ll never forget about tonight’s soiree is when Renae Puckett’s mother asked Pevie (Max’s Mimi) if we ever “let” her keep Max. Pevie said, “Yeah, they’re pretty good about letting me keep him.” That’s so funny! Geez, Becky and I would be dead by now if Pevie didn’t keep Max, so we “let” Pevie keep Max at least once a week.

Shirley and Jean, your birth announcements should be sent on Monday. Mama said y’all wanted a picture of Max, so we’ve been waiting for a good 5x7 to send y’all.

If we can get some decent rest tonight, we’ll have some pictures to share tomorrow.

September 26, 2008

9:30 pm—Max got us up a few times last night. One stretch of sleep lasted only two hours. Becky and I are exhausted. She believes she’s coming down with the flu, and she is running a mild fever, but I believe she’s just tired.

I kept Max today while Becky and her mother went to see the new movie Nights in Rodanthe, which they liked. While I was sitting with the little fellow, my mother came over to visit. And while Mama and I were sitting with Max, Becky’s daddy mowed our grass and blew off our driveway and deck. Pevie and Donald came over a little while later to see Max.

Now Mr Max is spending the night with his Mimi and Grandpa because Becky’s afraid she may be contagious. She’s going to the doctor tomorrow to find out.

September 25, 2008

Max has been awake for most of the day, so we hope he’s ready for a long slumber tonight. We did a little photoshoot today in the studio, but Max wasn’t very cooperative. We did manage to get one or two good images, though, and we hope to share those tomorrow. Max’s Mimi dropped by twice today to see her favorite grandboy. We made Max suffer through another bath tonight. His cries woke the dead, but at least he smells baby fresh.

September 24, 2008

11:16 pm—It was so tough to get going this morning. This interrupted-sleep thing is killing me. I have trouble going back to sleep, so it’s difficult for me to get up and stay up for thirty minutes, and then get back to sleep. Sleeping pills won’t work in this situation because they’d prevent me from being a safe driver if we had to make an emergency run to the hospital, and for any sleep aid to be effective, I’d have to set aside at least six hours for uninterrupted rest. Uninterrupted rest? Max says he gives me at least two to three hours of uninterrupted rest every night, so he doesn’t see my problem.

Maxiboy has had a pretty good day. He’s a lot more alert and for longer periods than before, and we occasionally hear a vocalization other than a cry or grunt. We wouldn’t say it’s a coo, but it’s close. He stayed with his Mimi for a few hours this afternoon while Becky and I ran a couple of errands.

As I write this, Max is asleep in his swing, but he’ll be awake in a few minutes. Becky has a cute little teddy bear outfit with a hat that we’re going to put him into when he wakes up. Then we’ll take a few pictures of him, change his diaper, feed him, and head to bed.

Digital Photography Review posted a gallery of sample images from a pre-production Canon 5D Mark II. What’s so impressive about the images is that they’re almost noiseless (i.e., they lack what looks like film grain) at ISO 6400. The noise in images from our 20D that were shot at ISO 1600 are very noisy, and those shot at ISO 3200 are completely unusable without noise-reduction software.

September 23, 2008

7:00 pm—Here are six images from the past few days, four of which were shot by Becky.

10:16 pm—Max and Becky joined Becky’s parents and our neighbors for dinner at Red Lobster. Max conducted himself as a perfect gentleman during dinner. He went back to his Mimi and Grandpa’s and enjoyed the company of a few neighbors. Mimi and Grandpa’s next-door neighbor, Linda Kennedy, her granddaughter Sloan, and Stephen and Linda (Dale) Moore all took turns holding the Maxster.

When Max got home he was a wee bit fussy. He may have been hungry, overstimulated, and fighting sleep all at the same time. As we write this, he’s snoozing in his bassinet beside our bed.

Today Becky and I have been married for seventeen-and-a-half years. My, how time flies! In another seventeen-and-half years Max will likely be either a senior in high school or a freshman in college. Time is profound.

Adobe launched Creative Suite 4 today. Just the adjustment brush in Camera Raw 5 should be worth the price of the upgrade. The National Association of Photoshop Professionals has a bunch of free videos in its CS4 Learning Center to get you up to speed. Photoshop’s Principal Product Manager, John Nack, offers a heaping helping of CS4-related information.

September 22, 2008

10:06 pm—After spending the night with his Mimi and Grandpa for the second night in a row, Max attended his first Photoshop seminar today at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Actually, the little fellow didn’t stay all day because he had big business to take care of just a few minutes away. The little fellow had an appointment with a lactation consultant to help him learn to latch better. So Max and his mommy went to their appointment and I stayed at the Photoshop seminar.

Max’s “latch” teacher was Sharon Birdseye of Lactation Atlanta. Sharon believes the Maxster wants to latch and is trying hard to do so, but he can’t because of a “short frenulum,” which can be fixed by clipping the frenulum. Some pediatricians perform this procedure in their offices. We’ll seek Dr Smiley’s opinion next week. Max weighed nine pounds and nine ounces at today’s consultation. The little fellow certainly isn’t starving.

After the seminar, the three of us had dinner at Chow Baby, which now has a location at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Chow Baby is a great place for American stir-fry and is one of our favorite restaurants. The idea is pretty neat—you get a bowl and create your own stir-fry. Then you add whatever sauces and meats you want and give that to the wok chef. In a few minutes, your stir-fry shows up at your table.

One amazing thing to note is how quickly we were able to get home. The Cobb Galleria Centre is located near I-285 and I-75. I’ve been going to these seminars for about ten years and it has always taken me at least an hour to get home and usually an hour-and-a-half. Today it took us only thirty minutes to get home. We have a sneaky suspicion that the gas shortage caused by Hurricane Ike is at least partly responsible for the light traffic.

No sooner did we let our garage door down, we heard the sound of Grandpa’s golf cart’s horn blaring. He was here to pick up Mr Max and Becky to show off to the Wigleys, our neighbors and friends. The Wigleys have a very opulent home at the end of our subdivision that includes as very large pond with lots of geese. I look forward to taking ol’ Maxiboy down there when he’s a little older.

As we write this, Max is sacked out in his swing. He’ll awaken shortly and we’ll change his diaper and feed him. Then we’ll be headed to bed.

Adobe’s Creative Suite 4 launches tomorrow at noon Eastern Time. Tune in if you’re interested in graphic arts.

September 21, 2008

9:36 pm—Max has had a pretty easy day today, as have his parents. The little fellow stayed with his Mimi and Grandpa until around noon, when his mommy took him on a stroller ride through our subdivision. We keep a log of when we feed, diaper, or give Max medicine. I noticed on the log that Max slept last night from 9:30 pm until 3:30 am. That’s the longest we’ve ever known Max to sleep at once. His Mimi fed him four ounces of milk at a time (instead of his usual three), so maybe that’s what helped the little fellow to sleep so long.

My mother came over this afternoon to see little Maxiboy. Max drank five ounces of milk for us while Mama was here, and that’s the most we’ve ever seen him drink. Maybe he’s going through a growth spurt. Mama joined us at Becky’s parents’ for dinner. Max slept in his new bouncy seat while we ate.

As I write this, Max is getting a bath by his Mimi and mama. I didn’t hear any screaming over the phone, so I guess they have the situation under control.

I know we haven’t posted any images in a while, but we’ll fix that on Tuesday. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, but we hope to have the time and energy to not only share more images of Mr Max, but also to do a little photoshoot with him in his sailor suit on Tuesday.

September 20, 2008

11:30 pm—Max is one month old today, and after taking him to Fuddrucker’s for an early lunch, we missed nearly the whole afternoon with him. I had a complication with an abscess and had to go to the hospital. Max stayed with Becky’s parents today. We got home after 10:30 tonight, and I’ll be darned if I didn’t pull some gauze out of me that I wasn’t supposed to remove. Now we’re headed back to the hospital to get that fixed. Since Max was born, my IQ has dropped by at least ninety percent. Max, however, is doing well and is spending the night with his Mimi and Grandpa.

September 19, 2008

10:18 pm—Max strolled the mall again today with his mommy and Mimi and came home with five hats, including a flat cap and a cowboy hat. After his big adventure in retail, Becky got Max ready to go to one of our favorite Mexican haunts, Dos Copas, with her parents. The Maxster slept all through dinner even though the ambient noise level was high.

Things went south when we got home. Becky and I have been running around like maniacs trying to feed, burp, and change him. I was changing a wet diaper when the little fellow tinkled all over himself and me. Luckily, Becky was already taking a bath, so we let Max join her for a quick dunk.

Max began crying and eating his hands, the telltale sign of being hungry. So Becky gave me a two-ounce bottle of milk and let me feed him. After he finished the two ounces, Becky said he was done. Not so. He began wailing again and Becky and I argued about whether or not he should have more milk. Becky quickly saw my side of the situation and fixed the little fellow another bottle. As I write this, he’s finishing up two more ounces. Our pediatrician advised us that we can’t overfeed him, so we’ll keep a bottle in his kisser until he seems happy.

Tomorrow Max will be one month old, and Becky and I plan to take a few pictures to commemorate the event. (Though we take pictures every single day, I didn’t post any yesterday because I was in an exhausted stupor all day, and today I was busy with work.) Becky has picked out a little sailor outfit that will look cute on the little fellow if it fits him.

Max is losing his hair. I guess he’s all stressed out from putting up with two wannabe parents who have no idea what they’re doing. We’ll see if it grows back.

September 18, 2008

10:45 pm—Max is doing well. His two grandmothers came to see him today, and his Mimi even came twice. His Grandpa came down here to adjust our toilet on one visit and to take out our trash on another. Becky and I are so dead tired that we can’t think straight, so we’re hoping for a semi-decent night’s rest tonight.

September 17, 2008

9:54 pm—Max is four weeks old today.

Life with Max was just peachy today. He and Becky accompanied me to the doctor’s office this morning, where I had a little abscess lanced. When the doctor stuck me with a needle, I hollered and so did Max. It seems that we’ve about wrestled his acid reflux and gas to the ground. He still has plenty of gas, but now it doesn’t seem as explosive as it was two days ago. Maybe it’s the soy-based formula, continued use of Zantac and gas drops, and a larger percentage of his diet being milk from mommy, or a combination of the four. As I write this ol’ Maxiboy is sacked out in his swing.

His Mimi (Becky’s mother) came down to see him this afternoon, but he wouldn’t wake up no matter what we did to rile him up. Becky suggested that we go see a movie, so we phoned Pevie and asked if she and Donald would watch Max for a couple of hours. Pevie’s response was, “We’d love to. He can just spend the night with us.”

As we were about to leave Becky’s parents’ and come home, our gorgeous neighbor and friend Teresa Hewell stopped by to see ol’ Max. Her older boy, Jason, just got a job as an EMT and may soon be looking for an apartment for himself. I don’t know if I could ever let Max live out on his own. We hope to build a comfortable home in a few years, and I’d just as soon have Max stay there with the rest of us.

Today was a big day for digital photographers. Canon finally released the successor to the revered EOS 5D. The new EOS 5D Mark II boasts 21.1 megapixels of resolution, a usable ISO setting of 6400, and HD video recording. Becky and I hope to get Max in front of the new camera when it ships in November, and we’re glad we won’t have to spend more money for a dedicated camcorder. For more information about the 5D Mark II, see Digital Photography Review’s thorough preview. Imaging Resource and Rob Galbraith provide excellent coverage of the new camera.

Canon also announced five point-and-shoot cameras today, including the PowerShot G10. Becky and I have the old PowerShot G2 and it still works well.

September 16, 2008

12:15 pm—’Twas another rough one last night. Maxiboy slept for five-and-a-half hours last night, but when he got up, the electricity went down. We changed his diaper, but before we could feed him, he soiled his fresh diaper. We took care of all this by candlelight and a program called Flashlight on Becky’s iPhone. Then we fed the little rascal. Halfway through feeding him, he soiled yet another diaper. These last two diapers were dirty, so cleanup by candlelight and flashlight was difficult. He got us up again in the 7:00 hour and then again around 11:00 am. If either Becky or I had to punch a clock at 8:00 or 9:00 am, we’d be fit to be tied. As I write this, Max is half-asleep in his swing.

5:46 pm—Here are six images from the past few days:

I know the toothless cry image is out of focus, but it’s an image we’ve been trying to capture since we first saw him cry. He’s so cute! I hope we can get a tack-sharp image of this before he begins teething.

Max visited Dr Shannon Cole at Gwinnett Pediatrics today for his follow-up on the acid reflux issue. We concluded that the acid reflux may be under control, but Maxiboy still has a lot of gas. Dr Cole suggested we try a lactose-free, soy-based formula and gave us a couple of samples, so that’s what we’re going to try now. If I’m not mistaken, Max tipped the scales at eight pounds and eleven ounces today. He’s had a great day. He’s been awake and alert but not fussy. He’s swinging with his Grandpa as I write this, and Becky and her mother are running an errand. I’m about to make some prints for Becky and others.

September 15, 2008

9:10 pm—Max stayed with Becky’s parents last night, so we got a good night’s sleep. According to Becky’s parents, Max showed the power of his lungs and vocal cords for a while after we left, but then he settled down and had a good night. He’s been a fairly quiet little fellow all day. Becky’s parents came down for dinner and to see Max. Max slept in his bouncy seat on the floor at our dining room table. As I write this, he’s asleep in his swing.

Becky put Max on his tummy-time mat this evening, and he tolerated it much better than he did the first time we put him on it. He not only held his head up, but he pushed his upper body off the small boppy, almost doing a pushup.

I’m trying to figure out what our conclusions are since putting Max on Zantac and Mylanta. He’s definitely improved, but he still has a lot of explosive gas.

His appetite is good and he’s growing like a weed.

September 14, 2008

4:00 pm—’Twas another rough night last night. Max got us up at 2:00, 5:00, 8:00 and 11:00 am. By the time we get up, change his diaper, prepare a bottle, feed, burp, give medicine, clean up, and perhaps change his diaper yet again, the most sleep we’re getting at one time is two-and-a-half hours. When Becky got up she said, as I said about myself last night, that she felt as though she’d been hit by a train. Becky’s pumping during the middle of the night, so she’s getting less sleep than I. She must have perked up, though, because now she has Max strolling down at the Mall of Georgia.

We went over to my mother’s around noon for a very late breakfast. Max stayed in his car seat in the middle of the kitchen table. After breakfast Becky and I took a short nap at Mama’s while Mama watched Max.

After we returned home, Becky’s parents came down to see ol’ Maxiboy. Pevie got to feed and burp the fussy little fellow. After he soiled a couple of diapers and got rid of some gas, he was a much happier camper.

Becky’s parents brought Max a gift from their Sunday school teacher and his wife. Dale and Hannah Jones gave Max a cute little puppy onesie that I’m sure Max will enjoy in a couple of months when the weather is cooler and he can fit into the outfit. Thank you, Mr and Mrs Jones!

6:52 pm—Here are three images from yesterday and today:

9:49 pm—We had dinner at Becky’s parents’ house tonight, and somehow Becky conned her mother into keeping Mr Max for the night. I’m glad Pevie agreed to keep the little fellow because Becky and I are so very, very tired!

While we were at Becky’s parents’, Jimmy and Sue Davis came over to visit with the Maxster. It was Jimmy’s first time meeting Max.

Max lost his little umbilical stump tonight while we were at Becky’s parents’. Becky put it in a sandwich bag.

Today I noticed Max holding his head up for longer periods of time than previously. He also seems to focus on people and objects more often and more quickly than previously.

September 13, 2008

12:30 pm—Boy, we had a rough time last night! Max got us up several times. Acid reflux, gas, and/or an upset stomach kept him and us awake. Sometime close to 2:30 am we were changing a dirty diaper, and he fired a major scat bomb, wounding Becky with live mortar—and lots of it. The little bomber nailed darned near everything around him. Have you ever tried to clean up kid when everything around him and you is covered in poop? It ain’t easy.

Then Becky woke me up twice for snoring. When 7:30-ish rolled around and Max beckoned for service again, I was dead tired. We changed his diaper and tried to feed him, but he didn’t want much of his bottle. He was crying and we didn’t know what to do. Somehow the crying went away and Becky carried him to her parents’ for breakfast and let me sleep. I got up at 11:30 am and still feel as though it was a rough, rough night. The little bomber is quietly asleep in his car seat on our coffee table.

Becky’s looking forward to watching the UGA football game later this afternoon, and I’m looking forward to the chili she makes on game days. If the coffee and sodas will help get my energy level above my current moribund state, I’ll get to a few pictures.

Today most of you should receive the birth announcements we mailed late Thursday evening.

2:30 pm—Max and his Grandpa swung together in the swing on their back deck this morning for about two hours while Becky met her mother at Goodwill to buy a fireproof safe. We wanted a safe to store archival DVDs of images of Max in case fire were to threaten our home. Becky’s mother found us a decent safe at Goodwill for US$15.

As I write this, Max is awake but sleepy in his swing.

9:48 pm—No pictures tonight. Max is asleep in his swing, and I feel as though I’ve been hit by a train. Oh, how I hope tonight is better than last night!

Max has been asleep most of the day. He’s had more trouble with gas, but we gave him Mylanta, gas drops, and gripe water with his bottle, and I believe that may have helped minimize the problem.

My mother came over this afternoon to see her new grandson. I don’t believe Max was awake for more than five minutes when Mama was here. Friends and neighbors Stephen and Linda (Dale) Moore and Renae Puckett came down with Becky’s parents to see Max during the fourth quarter of the Georgia-Carolina game. Max was a touch fussy at the time. We fed him and changed his diaper a couple of times, and then he went back to sleep.

September 12, 2008

11:02 pm—Max had a pretty good day today. Maybe his Zantac is beginning to have an effect. As I write this, Max is completely sacked out on his Mimi’s (Becky’s mother, Pevie’s) shoulder.

Max woke us up at 2:30 am, 5:30, and 7:20. When I got up the last time to service the little fellow, I couldn’t go back to sleep. Becky, on the other hand, conked out and stayed that way until 11:30, so she feels pretty good right now. I’m tired.

You folks are far too kind to us. Your gifts haven’t stopped coming in. Today Max received a cute little elephant costume from Rebecca Ewing, our good friend and principal of Rebecca Ewing Color & Design. Max also received an adorable “Little Slugger” outfit from Rebecca Fisher, one of Becky’s friends and colleagues at Ivy Creek Elementary. Thank you all very, very much!

My father-in-law said he thought about phoning us this morning to tell us to go fill our cars with gas. Hurricane Ike is about to hit the Texas coast and is shutting down fuel refineries, leading to a fuel shortage and soaring prices. He said he thought about little Max, specifically about how Max didn’t need any more gas. That’s so true!

We hope to be able to share a few pictures tomorrow.

September 11, 2008

Let us not ever forget September 11, 2001.

10:15 am—Last night wasn’t as smooth as the night before, but it wasn’t too awfully bad. We went to bed shortly after 11:00 pm and Max got us up at 2:40 and 6:45. But it wasn’t noise from his mouth that awakened us at 6:45; it was noise from the other end of Sir Maxcelot. Becky and I both exclaimed, “Oh, God!” In becoming an experienced parent, I suggested that we wait for a couple of minutes to pass, lest we unhinge his diaper and put ourselves in the line of fire. That suggestion bore fruit—or, actually, something less colorful. Becky and I cleaned up the little fellow, she fed him, we couldn’t go back to sleep, and so we decided to go to IHOP for breakfast. Becky wants me to add that before we cleaned him up, I suggested that we just run away.

As I write this, Mr Max is asleep in his swing with a paci in his kisser.

10:45 pm—Max has had a rough afternoon and evening. When I got home from work around 5:15 pm, he began crying. I was able to make him relax and rest, but he returned to crying after half an hour. Then Becky wanted to run an errand with him, so we put him in his car seat and away we went. He cried, but when we turned up the volume of the car’s radio, he got quiet and went to sleep. When we turned off the car to run our errand, he began crying again. And again, the loud radio got him quiet and to sleep, but once we were back home and out of the car, we couldn’t get him to stop crying for periods longer than ten minutes. This went on for more than an hour. I had to get a shower, so we called Becky’s mother to come over and sit with Max and Becky. As soon as Max was in Pevie’s arms, he fell quiet and went to sleep. And other than being awake to take a little of his bottle and to sit through a diaper change, he’s stayed asleep. He’s swaddled and sleeping in his bassinet right now.

I hope the little fellow has a better day tomorrow.

September 10, 2008

9:15 pm—Max slept really well last night. We all went to bed at 11:30, and he got us up in the 3:00 hour, 7:20, and 9:20. At 9:20 Becky and I both felt semi-refreshed.

I’ll be back in a little while to jot down the events of the day, but for now here are one image from last night and two from today:

10:54 pm—Max is handling his Mylanta and Zantac well. He gives us a sour expression every time we give him his medicine.

Mama came over to see Max today, and she got to feed the little booger as soon as she got here. Then my cousin Mark came over to see the little fellow. Becky’s parents dropped by a little later to bring us pizza and to get their Max fix. Later Becky took Max for a stroll through our subdivision. She ended up at her parents’ house, and Max and Becky’s daddy enjoyed the swing on their back deck. We’re about to go to bed and hope tonight goes as well as last night.

September 9, 2008

3:30 pm—We had a heck of a rough night last night. Becky went in for a lactation consultation this morning, and Susan Boekel, the lactation consultant, believed Max had a touch of acid reflux. So we made an appointment with Gwinnett Pediatrics this afternoon. We saw Dr Shannon Cole, daughter of the founder of Gwinnett Pediatrics. Dr Cole concurs with the lactation consultant’s diagnosis and prescribed Zantac for the Maxster. Dr Cole has two children of her own and she said they both had reflux. Becky and I both loved Dr Cole.

I have a hilarious story to tell about Max’s visit to the doctor today, and I hope to have it ready to share before we go to bed tonight.

As I write this, Max is asleep in his swing.

Apple introduced iTunes 8 and new iPods today.

9:38 pm—Here are six images from Saturday through yesterday:

As I write this, Max is asleep on his side beside me on the sofa. Boy, did it ever take a whole lot of work to get him calmed down! Dr Cole said it’d take two or three days for the Zantac to be effective. In the meantime, we’re giving him gas drops and Mylanta.

We all had dinner at Becky’s parents’ tonight. While we were eating, Pevie watched her “bay-bay” as he caught up on his beauty rest on their sofa.

11:10 pm—There won’t be any funny-story telling tonight. Becky and I had a rough night last night, and my hindparts are standing a serious chewing. Maybe I can share it with you tomorrow.

September 8, 2008

11:15 pm—We received Max’s birth announcement from the printer today, so the first batch of those is going in the mail tomorrow or Wednesday. I may have to email some of you to get your mailing addresses.

Donald and Pevie say Max was a good little fellow last night while they kept him on his first night way from home. Just as with us, the Maxster got Becky’s parents up three times during the night. We thought keeping Max last night would slow them down today. Much to our surprise, Max only slowed Donald down. Donald had lunch today and said he was going to do just as Max does and have a nap after his meal.

Pevie didn’t get enough of Max last night, so she came back to see him a couple of times today. She loves her “bay-bay.”

Max received a monogrammed L.L.Bean backpack/bookbag from his Grandpa’s business partners and colleagues Doug Hall and Amy Adams. Thank you very much, Doug and Amy! Max can use that to carry his necessities to his grandparents’ houses until he’s ready for pre-K, at which time the bag will become handy for carrying essentials such as fart spray, fake vomit and doggy doo, and a whoopie cushion.

We’ve seen an amazing number of wet diapers today and have no idea what the cause may be. In the past ten hours we’ve changed Max’s diaper about ten times. Isn’t that too much?

I didn’t get around to working with pictures today, but I hope to have some to share tomorrow.

September 7, 2008

3:18 pm—Many, many thanks go to Kris Nix of Nashville, Georgia! She’s been reading this site and suggested that we try Little Tummys gas drops and gripe water. Max is a completely different baby! Wow! It’s so nice to see him looking around and observing his world instead of crying.

Becky’s parents came back last night to bring us gifts from our new neighbors, Bill and Miriam Hemmer. Bill and Miriam gave Max a puppy outfit, duck outfit, and a bath set. We appreciate their thoughtfulness and wish them well with their young family.

Becky, Max, and I went over to Mama’s around noon for a very late breakfast. The Maxster slept in his car seat on the kitchen table. When we returned home, Becky’s parents dropped by to see Max. Pevie would’ve stayed a while longer, but Donald wanted to go home to watch NASCAR.

Becky and I believe we’ll ship ol’ Maxiboy five doors down to his grandparents’ this evening and pick him up in the morning so we can get a good night’s rest. We haven’t had one of those in nearly three weeks.

Max went on his very first stroller ride today. Becky and her mother strolled him through our subdivision and visited with our neighbors. He was sound asleep when he and Becky returned home.

10:31 pm—The house feels empty without the Maxster in it. He’s crashing at his grandparents’ crib five doors down. Becky and I are in desperate need of some uninterrupted rest, so we’ve called for backup. We’ll get the little fellow back in the morning.

Becky, Max, and I had dinner with our friends David and Stephani Asche and Lanna Ptak. David, Lanna, and I share an interest in photography. David made baked potato soup and Stephani made a cherry spice cake with cream cheese icing and homemade ice cream to go with it. Everything was delicious. David flies the big 737 for AirTran, and Stephani is a pastry chef with a degree from the Art Institute of Atlanta. They surprised us with a gift. They gave Max a set of sheets and a sheet saver. I wish we’d had that sheet saver the first night Maxiboy was home, when he turned his little bassinet into a waterbed.

Max was a good boy until the end of the evening, when he cried and we had no idea why. Once we got in the car for the ride home, he was quiet but only for a few minutes. Becky turned up volume on the radio and that seemed to quiet him again. Maybe he was overstimulated at dinner, or maybe he wasn’t able to get a good nap—we just don’t know.

Mama came over yesterday afternoon to see Maxiboy while the UGA football game was on. Max slept most of the time, though Mama did get to feed him.

I just got an update from Becky’s parents. Max is being held at this moment by our neighbor Sue Davis. They say Max isn’t crying and seems to be doing well. Pevie wished us a good night’s rest. We’re fortunate to have their support. Getting a good night’s rest will help us be better parents tomorrow.

September 6, 2008

1:15 pm—Here are six images from Thursday and yesterday:

Max’s special visitors from yesterday were a mama deer and her two babies. It was amazing to see these three creatures outside our home because our home is located less than a mile from the Mall of Georgia, which I believe is the largest mall in the southeastern United States. Our part of the world is made up of asphalt, glass, credit card machines, ATMs, and cash registers, so I’m glad we haven’t run off the deer. These images were shot through a window and a window screen, so I apologize for their lack of quality.

Max will be watching his first UGA football game after while. His mama already has him decked out in a Bulldog onesie.

Becky and I didn’t rest well last night. Max got us up in the 2:00 hour, around 5:30, and again at 8:20. If I could’ve gone back to sleep after the 8:20 diaper change and feeding, I’d be feeling a lot better right now. Becky’s parents came down and hauled the little fellow back to their house. My mother is on her way over, so I’m about to phone Becky’s parents and see if they can bring Mr Max back home.

1:45 pm—Becky’s parents just brought the Maxster back home. I warned them about it being time for Max to make a dirty diaper, and he did—and in a big way. They said they went through the rest of the wipes in Max’s bag and had to wash what they changed him on. Now they probably know what we mean by “poop stamp.” Pevie was careful enough to take Max’s shoes off before changing him. Unfortunately, she’s not used to changing a little boy, and the little fellow whizzed on his shoes.

Becky’s parents didn’t stay long when they brought Max back, and I noticed smoke boiling out from under their golf cart as they squealed away from here. Max might weigh only eight pounds, but he makes every ounce count!

Right now he’s half-asleep in his swing.

September 5, 2008

2:19 pm—Max got us up during the 3:00 hour and got Becky up at 7:00. I got a semi-decent night’s rest, so I’m feeling better than I felt yesterday. Max is doing well. He just had his diaper changed and drank three ounces of milk from his mommy.

Canon posted a new teaser ad related to its digital SLR cameras, presumably about the 5D’s replacement(s). This is a big year for photography. Every two years Photokina, the biggest photography tradeshow in the world, takes place in Cologne, Germany. This year’s show begins on September 23 and ends on September 28. Becky and I are going to upgrade from our 20D camera to the 5D’s successor when it becomes available. We’ve enjoyed our 20D for four years and have shot nearly 24,000 images with it. The biggest feature I’m looking for in the new camera is virtually noiseless images taken at high-ISO settings.

Nik Software released Sharpener Pro 3 today. Sharpener Pro is a Photoshop- and Aperture-compatible plug-in and is one of the best image-sharpening tools I’ve ever used. I use Sharpener Pro along with PixelGenius’s PhotoKit SHARPENER, which was co-developed by the late, great Bruce Fraser. I prefer PhotoKit’s product for print sharpening and Nik’s product for screen-image sharpening. A free demo of Sharpener Pro 3 is available from Nik.

10:51 pm—Max was a fussy boy until his aunt Shirley fed him this afternoon. We believe Max is having a little reflux after eating, so, upon the advice of Gwinnett Pediatrics, we’re making sure Maxiboy is inclined about thirty degrees for twenty to thirty minutes after eating. Plus, we’re giving him Mylicon. His appetite has increased dramatically.

Apparently, breastmilk and formula combined produce the most noxious gas known to mankind. This little eight-pound boy can clear out a room. Sometimes when we change his wet diapers, we end up backing away from him and fanning the vicinity with our hands and magazines. If this methane madness doesn’t subside, we’ll have to install an industrial exhaust fan over Max’s changing station. Of course, then our neighbors would sick the EPA on us.

My aunt Shirley and uncle Bill took Becky, Max, and me out to dinner tonight, and we certainly appreciate that. We also received a funny card in the mail today from Becky’s aunt Odessa, uncle Gathon, and cousin Cheryl. It reads: “Raising a baby boy is no day at the beach,” and then on the inside, “but you will get wet.” Ain’t that the truth!

Max had three very unexpected visitors today, and we’ll share those pictures with you tomorrow—provided we get some rest tonight. You’d never guess who, so stayed tuned.

As we close tonight, Max is asleep on his mommy’s chest.

September 4, 2008

2:30 pm—Max’s eyes are clearly tracking now. Yesterday he was looking at me from his moving swing, and his eyes stayed locked on me for at least twenty seconds. He’s a lot more awake and alert than he’s been up to now. He’s also a little bit fussier. When we feed him during the night, he quickly falls back asleep, and we think, Great, now we can all get some rest. But it doesn’t work that way. Within one or two minutes, he wakes up again and cries. So we have to figure out a way to keep him awake and alert so he can get his nutrition quickly and fully so we can all get some rest. I’m foggy headed today and Becky is less so. I’m in a stupor. I hope the sleep situation improves soon.

Max is asleep in his swing now.

9:52 pm—Max went on his first Target run today. He came back with a bat hat for Halloween. With all his new costumes and outfits, he’ll have to celebrate Halloween for a whole week, not just a single day.

We lost Mr Max’s sandals and Becky hasn’t been able to let those sandals go. The whole reason for the Target trip was to find suitable replacement sandals. Surprisingly, as she was strapping Max in for the ride, Becky found Max’s sandals squished under the armrest of the back seat of her car. We thought these sandals were the cutest little shoes ever, so Becky put them on our mantle for safe keeping.

Max was mostly awake and fussy through the afternoon, quieting down when he landed in Becky’s mother’s arms. We had dinner at Becky’s parents’ with Greg and Renae Puckett, and Max stayed with his grandparents while we came home and took showers.

Max spent some time in his jungle-themed bouncy seat today. He was really fussy when we first tried it, but jiggling the seat vigorously seemed to calm Max down. This was a trick we learned from the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD by Harvey Karp.

Max is asleep on his mommy’s chest as we write this. I’m still in a fog. We’re threatening to ship Maxiboy five doors down on Sunday evening so we can get a good night’s rest. His Mimi is excited about keeping her favorite grandson. She still believes she’s going to spring out of bed on Monday morning at 7:00 for four hours of exercise. Becky and I know how she’ll feel come Monday morning at 7:00 if she takes care of Max the night before—and she won’t be singing happy tunes. I don’t know if we’ll actually ship the boy off for a night, though. We miss him if we’re away even for a short time, and he’s our responsibility.

If I have more energy tomorrow, I’ll post more pictures. My aunt Shirley and uncle Bill are going to come visit Mr Max and take us out to eat. People love Mr Max.

September 3, 2008

4:25 pm—Here are nine images from the past few days:

9:40 pm—Though we got up about four times last night to service Max, I feel better today than I did yesterday. The fog is still there, but it isn’t as bad. Becky has more fog on her brain than I do today. I don’t know what tonight has in store for us, but I hope we get some rest.

Becky’s mother and her friend Carol came over around noon so Carol could see Max. Carol is pictured in the last image above. Carol brought Max a couple of pairs of pants that he can wear with some of his cute tops. We certainly appreciate Carol’s thoughtfulness. Carol is a grandmother to triplets. Carol and her husband, Bruce, used to live in our subdivision, but they moved on to bigger and better things on Lake Hartwell.

The UPS man delivered a package addressed to “Master Max Dodd” today. It was a crocheted giraffe blanket featuring custom embroidery with Max’s name and birthday. The blanket is a gift from Mac, Phyllis, and Jefferson Bickerstaff (and their four-legged friends, Princess and Derby). Becky and I really appreciate this gift and know Max will, too. We’ll share a picture in the next few days. These are the same Bickerstaffs who own Bickerstaff Buick Pontiac GMC in Chamblee, Georgia. Jefferson is Mac and Phyllis’s son, and, in addition to being a bona fide Eagle Scout and high-achieving college student, he has his own eBay automotive store. The Bickerstaffs are salt-of-the-earth people and are great to have as friends and business associates. If you or someone you know is looking for a new Buick, Pontiac, GMC, or any used vehicle, Jefferson to get the ball rolling. Becky and I personally vouch for these fine people. Thank you very, very much, Phyllis, Jefferson, Mac, Princess, and Derby!

Becky’s parents came over this evening to see Mr Max. Pevie fed and burped him. As I write this, Becky is feeding him again. Hopefully, we’ll get some decent rest tonight.

September 2, 2008

12:38 pm—Max got us up at 2:00, 6:20, and 8:30. The 2:00 servicing was easy but prolonged by a second stool. I’m foggy headed again today but not as badly as yesterday. Boy, what I wouldn’t give for a solid night’s sleep! Becky bought some more slow-flow nipples, but Max doesn’t like the new ones. He reminds me of me; once I have what I want, I’m reluctant to change. We have an appointment with his pediatrician in an hour. Becky’s mother has already bought Max a Halloween costume. He’s going to be a pumpkin on his first Halloween.

4:15 pm—We’re back from getting a great report from Dr Smiley, Max’s pediatrician. Max gained one pound and one-and-a-half ounces, bringing his thirteen-day-old heft to seven pounds and ten-and-a-half ounces. Max weighed six pounds and twelve ounces a birth. The little fellow is relaxing in his mother’s lap right now. We just changed his diaper and fed him, so he’ll be asleep in a few minutes, though he is spending a little bit more time looking around than was the case a few days ago.

Adobe will demonstrate Creative Suite 4 via Webcast on September 23. Advance registration (free) is advised. I hope this launch goes more smoothly than the launch of Creative Suite 3.

6:15 pm—Max received his Social Security card in the mail today. He’s sacked out on the sofa beside me right now, so I don’t think he’ll be needing a Social Security card anytime soon. We also received thoughtful cards from Becky’s friends Beth Chiasson and Becky Chappelear, and from Becky’s aunt Mary and uncle Buddy. Thanks, guys!

9:19 pm—Max just got his first good bath. His umbilical stump hasn’t fallen off yet, so we weren’t able to let him get his front torso wet, but we used a washcloth with baby bath to gently rub him most everywhere except his face and the area around his umbilical stump.

Why did we bathe him tonight? I bet experienced parents could cast an accurate guess on the first try. Maxiboy let loose of a loud, juicy rumble, so we took him to his little changing station and got right to work. Ah, but he wasn’t done. He still had a few firecrackers to toss our way. No problem. Becky and I were like two goalies on one net; we were doing a good job of containing the explosion. But then he threw us a curveball with his in-ground sprinkler system. Becky blocked that barehanded as I held his fanny up off the table. Max still succeeded in making some mud on the table, what with all the water and dirt, so we figured we either had to hose him off or just give him a bath. We made a few pictures of his first bath and will share those when I have a bit more energy, which hopefully will be tomorrow. As I write this, the Maxster is asleep in his swing as lullabies are pumped into our downstairs speakers from our upstairs Mac.

Becky’s parents came down to see Max this evening. Becky’s daddy fixed our shower door this afternoon. He went on a scavenger hunt to find the part we needed. The part was gold in color, and our piece needed to be silver, so Donald painted it silver. The door fell out of its frame a couple of nights ago when Becky was trying to take a shower, and it fell into the wall, making a long cut and tearing the wallpaper. Becky and Donald have decided to put up some beadboard to cover up the accident. Donald also fixed our toilet and a neighbor’s toilet today, too.

The fog never lifted for me today. I really need a good night’s sleep. Maybe tonight will be better. I may be exhausted, but I still feel pretty positive. To the best of our knowledge, Max enjoys perfect health, so that’s enough to make any new parent very, very thankful. Max is a super-cool kid.

September 1, 2008

12:33 pm—’Twas a rough night last night, at least for me. Max got us up sometime close to 3:00, 6:00, and 8:20. During that 3:00 am diaper change/feeding, I was about to fall asleep standing up as I made sure Max didn’t fall off of his changing table. Then I felt something like a spider running down my leg. When I opened my eyes and looked down, it was a two-foot stream from Max. We scrubbed the floor and changing table clean, sprayed them both with Lysol, and then fed the little fellow. Becky was just as grouchy as she could be. Then at the 6:00 changing/feeding I was still dead tired. Max didn’t whiz on me, but Becky was giggling because I was in a stupor and couldn’t even form a coherent sentence. As I write this, Max is asleep in his swing and my brain is in a fog. But even in this fog, I feel energy from the love we have for Max. And I’m clear enough to remember that it is my father, the late William Jackson Dodd, who made it possible for me to be a parent to my son without having to punch a clock. Thank you, Daddy. I’ll be absolutely sure Max knows what you’ve done for him.

10:59 pm—Becky and I finished Max’s birth announcement today and will send it to the printer tomorrow. We may get it back by the end of the week or the beginning of next week. We’re going to do our best to make sure all of you who emailed us receive an official Maximillian Jaddie Dodd birth announcement. (You know, it could be a collector’s item one day—for better or for worse!)

Becky’s been much less foggy headed than I today, but I hope we both get some rest tonight. Silly boy is sacked out in his swing right now. His head is already changing. It’s getting larger from front to back, and his face is getting longer. The poor boy resembles me as a baby. His left eye isn’t right on track with his right eye, and I hope that straightens up. Max stayed alert for twenty to thirty minutes this evening, which is a change. Normally, the little rascal wakes up, requires servicing in the form of a diaper change and a bottle, and then goes right back to sleep as if we’d fed him narcotics.

Max has an appointment with his pediatrician tomorrow to see how much he weighs. That’ll be interesting to see. He weighed six pounds and nine ounces last week. His appetite has increased by about fifty percent, so I believe he’ll top seven pounds tomorrow—or more with a full diaper!

Becky's parents went to Unicoi state park today to have lunch, and they stopped by to see Max on their way out and on their way in. Folks just can't get enough of the Maxster.

Becky’s friend, colleague, and former student teacher Beverly Hennebaul came over to feast her eyes on the Maxster this evening, and we enjoyed chatting with her. Of course, we have pictures to share, but those will have to wait until tomorrow.

I know I owe a bunch of you return emails, and I’ll get back to you as soon as this mental fog lifts.

I updated Becky’s iPhone today and noticed that she had sixteen voicemails. I didn’t check to see who left messages, but y’all had better call our house phone if you want to make contact with Becky.

August 31, 2008

11:20 am—Being perfect must be tiresome, because my boy is tuckered out all the time.

We’re off to Mama’s for breakfast and will return after while.

3:32 pm—My cousin Lee; Kerri; and their two children, Cami and Trey, just came over to see Max. I’m working on pictures and Max and Becky are about to take a nap. Rumor has it that someone Becky works with is going to bring us dessert tonight!

6:12 pm—Here are fifteen images from Friday through today:

10:45 pm—We asked Mama to keep Max for about an hour tonight while we went out for dinner and then to Publix. According to Mama, Max was “a good boy.” When we made it home, Becky’s parents brought our neighbors, Stephen and Linda (Dale) Moore, down to meet Mr Max. I was upstairs getting a shower when Stephen and Dale were here, but Becky said Max tooted on both of them. And even after his indiscretion, they still proclaimed him “precious.” He tooted on Beverly yesterday, and that was just the beginning of what turned out to be a volcanic eruption.

Becky’s in the shower now, and after she gets finished we’re going to look at the images of Max we have so far to see what’ll work for his birth announcement. We hope to send Mr Max’s birth announcement to the printer tomorrow or Tuesday. As I write this, Max is asleep in his swing as it swings and serenades him with choral music.

August 30, 2008

11:59 pm—Max slept well last night, getting us up only twice during the night. We finally hit the floor when Max wet the bed. Max sleeps in a bassinet beside the bed until the sun comes up, which is when Becky and I like to put the little fellow between us. We paid for that this morning. Becky gave Max a new nickname—Sir Pisselot.

Becky’s aunts Ann and Martha, grandmother Louise, and cousin Chase all rode up from Nashville, Georgia, today to see Mr Max. We’re so glad they came. We’re also glad our cousin Dakota could come over this morning to see Max. I made pictures of everyone holding Max, but I haven’t had a chance to process any yet.

Becky’s friend and colleague Beverly Path brought us some lasagna, caesar salad, garlic bread, and cherry cheesecake. Thank you so very much, Beverly!

Max rode on his grandpa’s golf cart for the first time today. I have pictures of all of this, but it’ll be tomorrow before I can share them. I’m dead tired right now and must get some sleep.

August 29, 2008

11:47 pm—There’s not a whole lot to report today. Max slept pretty well last night, and we all slept in until 11:30 this morning. I’m thankful to have most of my energy back. Becky and Max took a very enjoyable two-and-a-half-hour nap this afternoon. My mother and aunt Jean came over, and we went to Golden Corral for dinner. Fellow patrons stopped by to gawk at Handsome Max and wish him and us well. When we returned Becky’s parents came over to see the Maxster. Becky and I went down in the studio for some feet shots of Max, which we may share soon. Becky manned the camera and I clumsily tried to get my hand in the picture to illustrate scale. Becky’s grandmother, aunts, and cousin from south Georgia are driving up here tomorrow so they can behold our precious Max.

August 28, 2008

5:22 pm—The Maxster got us up only twice last night, so we’re a little more rested today. There’s nothing new to report. Max has been asleep all day except to nurse. I hear Becky making babytalk to him now.

7:43 pm—Here are seventeen images from Tuesday and yesterday:

10:30 pm—Thank you, Teresa and Joe Hewell, Kimberly Sharp, Emily Lee, and Michelle Townsend for all of your culinary contributions to our new life! I may hit three hundred pounds before this non-stop food parade is over. I’ll try to sort through all the fine fixin’s tomorrow. Right now, I’m just too tired. Max is asleep in Becky’s arms. The little fellow stays tuckered out all the time. I know that’ll change soon enough.

Becky’s friend Jodi and her two precious daughters, Danielle and Lilianna, came over today to bring us food from Kimberly, Michelle, and Emily. Then Joe and Teresa Hewell came over with a virtual buffet in tow. Later, Becky’s parents and our friends and neighbors Greg and Renae Puckett stopped by to get their Max fix. Thank you all for your tasty support of our new baby! I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Max will one day be able to read this and see that a large group of people made large, visible gestures to welcome him into the world. Thank you.

August 27, 2008

10:44 pm—Max slept fairly well last night. Becky got up three times to feed and diaper him. I got up to help her on two of those jobs, so I got a better night’s sleep than I got the night before—and especially two nights ago. Still, I’m one zonked puppy. Becky’s pretty tired, too. We’ve both been foggy headed all day.

Becky’s friends Jodi and Beverly surprised us with a beautiful bouquet of flowers today. Thank you, Jodi and Beverly!

We received a thoughtful card from Cole and Freda Ann Breedlove today. I went to school with Cole. Cole’s father and Freda Ann’s husband, Guy, passed away recently, and Becky and I appreciate Cole and Freda Ann’s thoughtfulness during this time of grief.

Max is one week old today. We were too tired to have any celebrations, but we did take a few pictures today. (Believe it or not, Becky complained to me this morning about my “not having any pictures of Max yet.” She must have been deliriously tired because I believe I’ve taken around 700 photos so far. 700 in a week isn’t bad, especially considering how tired I’ve been.)

Becky’s friend Melissa and her sons Brenden and Spencer brought us a whole bunch of food this afternoon. They brought corn-and-tomato linguini, foccacia bread, chocolate walnut brownies, fudgy chocolate chip cookie mix, and molten chocolate cake mix. Holy cow! Thank you, Melissa, Brenden, and Spencer! These two young boys wanted to hold Max, which I think is awfully sweet and a fine reflection of a positive upbringing.

Our neighbor Sue Davis and her daughter Emily dropped by to check out the Maxster. Emily’s a twenty-three-year-old hottie, and she wanted to hold Max. I thought that was sweet until Max tooted on her. I can’t wait to tell Max later on about that. “Son, if you want to attract fine women, one of the first orders of business is not to toot on them!”

My mother came over this afternoon and brought Max a pair of Binky pacifiers. These are similar to what Max was given at the hospital. They leave plenty of space for Max’s beak. Mama joined us for dinner at Becky’s parents’. We carried Melissa’s linguini and foccacia bread over there, and everyone went nuts over both.

Max whizzed on Becky and me this afternoon when we were diapering him. We know better than to leave his little weewang uncovered, but we neglected to address that point during our diapering performance, and we paid for it. Max let loose of a stream that went clear over his own head, soaking his little outfit and other linens. We're having to wash his clothes and linens daily due to these little accidents. We may have to spring for a new washer before Max has his first birthday.

Becky and I saw our obstetrician today for a follow-up on her C-section. Everything looks good except where the nurse removed the surgical tape. I have to apply a little peroxide to one section of the incision a couple of times per day for a couple of weeks.

We have a lot more pictures to share, but they’re still in the camera. I hope to have some time and energy to post a few of those tomorrow. Becky wants to take Max down to the studio tomorrow, but I’m taking a wait-and-see approach. I wouldn’t have wanted to do that today because I’m so tired. Maybe we can get a good night’s rest tonight, and maybe this sinus infection will loosen its claim on my energy, and then we can make some good pictures tomorrow.

As I write this, we’re listening to the lullabies Becky’s friend Jodi gave us, and the Maxster is enjoying the fresh batteries in his swing. We’ll be turning in shortly.

August 26, 2008

4:50 pm—Max had his first appointment in his pediatrician’s office today. Max was checked out by Susan Smiley, MD, one of Gwinnett’s most popular pediatricians. Dr Smiley said Max looked great and saw no reasons for concern. We have a photo of Max with Dr Smiley and will post it later today or tomorrow.

Max has already been over to see his paternal grandmother today. Mama held him while Becky and I had lunch. The little fellow was sound asleep.

Max slept much better last night. Becky and I got up three times during the night to take care of the little fellow. As I write this, Max and Becky are upstairs taking a nap together. I’m a walking zombie but am unable to go to sleep.

Becky and I appreciate Candi and Ann’s bringing us dinner from Mimi’s Café last night. I had the Pasta Primavera, and it was absolutely delicious! I don’t know what Becky had; by the time we had dinner, I was too tired to notice.

8:35 pm—Here are nine photos from Sunday and yesterday:

Becky’s friends Jodi Banks and Tammy Glausier brought us dinner from Chili’s this evening, and we certainly appreciate their kindness! It was a pleasure seeing Jodi’s two precious angels, Danielle and Lilianna. Danielle held Max while we ate dinner. She’ll make a great babysitter one day.

11:00 pm—I should note Max’s most important development so far, which is, I believe, focusing his eyes. I first noticed it yesterday. It’s not all the time, but sometimes he seems to look at something and be able to focus on it for a couple of seconds. I believe he looked me in the eyes when I was feeding him and talking to him yesterday. That sort of focus was something I hadn’t noticed prior to yesterday.

I have to get some fresh D batteries tomorrow for Max’s swing. We’ve pretty much run through the first set. The lullabies are sort of slurred at this point, and the swing doesn’t swing as vigorously as it did yesterday. As I write this, Max is asleep in his sleepy swing.

Canon introduced the EOS 50D today, a fifteen-megapixel digital SLR camera that promises better high-ISO performance than its predecessors. For complete information check out Digital Photography Review’s detailed preview of this new camera.

August 25, 2008

2:57 pm—We had a pretty rough night last night. Max cried a good bit and we took most of the night to figure out that he was hungry. Leave it to two college-educated, middle-aged parents to overlook the simplest solution. We thought we were supposed to feed Max just an ounce to an ounce-and-a-half of milk per feeding. And then we thought we were supposed to wait at least two hours between feedings. We’ve been taught better, but I guess we were too tired to recall what we were taught. At nearly 4:00 am, we fed Max about two-and-a-half ounces of milk and all was good.

Max went to his first restaurant this morning (well, at nearly noon). We all went to IHOP. There were quite a few people in IHOP who came over to see this incredibly handsome fellow we call Max.

Max’s uncle Larry came over to see and hold Max for the first time when we returned from IHOP. Max was sacked out in Larry’s arms, and as I write this he’s still sacked out.

I have some pictures I want to share, but I don’t know if I have the energy to go upstairs and process images. I’m worn out.

3:47 pm—Becky just left Max for the first time. She and her mother are making a Wal-Mart and Rite Aid run. Max and I are here at home alone. Max hasn’t had a dirty diaper since yesterday at 6:30 pm, so I may have my hands full before Becky and her mother return.

As I write this, Max is enjoying his swing and pacifier with his eyes open, and Becky’s daddy is fixing one of our downspouts. It’s very handy and economical to have a real-life Mr FixIt just five doors down.

11:19 pm—Max had a few people come over to see him this evening. Becky’s mother’s friends Candi and Ann, neighbors Renae and Candy, and Becky’s parents came over to feast their eyes on Mr Max. Max wasn’t up for entertaining, though, so he slept in his swing most of the time.

I picked out twelve photos to post, but I’ve had time to process only three:

Tomorrow I hope to have the time and energy to finish the other nine images and four more from tonight.

Becky and I are hoping for a better night tonight. Last night was pretty rough.

As I write this, Max is asleep on Becky’s chest and we’re all listening to some soothing lullabies Becky’s friend Jodi gave us.

August 24, 2008

1:14 pm—Becky, Max, and I went over to my mother’s this morning for breakfast. Max sat in his car seat in the middle of the kitchen table while we had breakfast. This was Max’s first car ride after coming home from the hospital.

I have about eight pictures I’d like to post today, so if all goes well, I’ll get a little computer time after while. As I write this, Max is sound asleep in his swing and Becky’s busy making his next meal.

For those who’d like to come see Mr Max, come right on. Just call us first (770.945.4930) so we’ll know to be home. It doesn’t matter if Max is asleep. He’s been an easy baby so far and seems to handle noise and movement very well.

3:40 pm—Mr Max has been asleep in his swing, so I had a little time to get a few pictures ready:

9:38 pm—Max had some visitors today. His uncle Ralph, cousin Linda, Linda’s friend Lance, Renae, Mukti, Kate, Eric, and Becky’s parents all came over to see and hold him. Becky’s parents held him while Becky and I went upstairs for showers.

Becky’s healing well. The incision from her surgery isn’t bothering her at all; it’s the wound caused by the surgical tape’s being pulled from her skin that bothers her.

We have more images to share, but we’re about to go to bed, so we’ll get to those images tomorrow—if Max will let us.

As I write this, Max looks as happy as a clam as he enjoys his swing. Thanks again, Ronnie and Ann, for Max’s swing!

August 23, 2008

Becky and I were just knee-deep in the poopla. Becky woke me up to ask for help in changing a dirty diaper. Dirty it was. Max had poop on his back and sides—and the little booger just wouldn’t be still. Becky took a leg, I took a leg, and poor ol’ Max had less than a quarter-inch of contact between his scalp and the little mattress of his bassinet. No other part of him was touching his bassinet. We went through five or six little blankets until Max was finally clean. No, we didn’t use blankets to clean him—we used wet wipes—but with all the poop on him, Max was like a poop stamp: back touches blanket—stamp!—pick him up, wipe, put him back down, all the poop isn’t off yet—stamp; repeat—stamp, stamp, stamp—stamping with poop.

Max is being evaluated by Dr Smiley right now. We didn’t make up that name. Dr Smiley is probably the most celebrated pediatrician in Gwinnett County.

We’ll be going home after while. I’m glad I’ll have Becky and she’ll have me to help clean up the little booger. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to clean up such a grisly diaper all by myself. I reckon I’d haul him to the car wash and strap him to the top of my car.

2:37 pm—We’re at home now. We left the hospital at 12:30 pm. Things are going well. Becky’s mother fed and diapered Max, and now she’s holding him as he sleeps. My mother is here, too, and Becky feels great.

5:15 pm—We fed Max at 4:45 and were getting ready to diaper him as he made a few little “boombooms” to let us know that we were just in time. Mama, Becky, and I were on diaper duty. It took all three of us. Becky’s parents, who live just five driveways away, are cooking and bringing dinner.

9:57 pm—I’m beat and am going on to bed. Max was fussy and wasn’t hungry, wet or dirty, or wanting his pacifier. We swaddled him tightly and put him in his Baby Papasan swing. That did the trick. Max was out like a light. I hope to post more images tomorrow, but tonight I’m going to close with just a single picture. Becky took this one of my mother, Max, and me last night in the hospital.

August 22, 2008

’Twas sort of a rough night last night, especially for Becky. Max was hungry but couldn’t latch on very well, and even if he could have, Becky didn’t have a whole lot to offer him. My energy must be traveling Route 66 because I can’t find it anywhere around me. Maybe this sinus infection is laying claim to some of my energy.

Max can hear just fine, isn’t jaundiced, and seems to be enjoying excellent health.

Max has already breached institutional security here at the Women’s Pavilion at Gwinnett Medical Center. Becky and I were changing his diaper when he whizzed on us, wetting his bassinet and his little ankle alarm. When the pee got on his ankle alarm, it broke the circuit, which caused the doors of the Women’s Pavilion to close and lock. A nurse came to our rescue very quickly and got things back under control.

We’ll be heading home tomorrow (Saturday).

If I had more energy, I’d write more, but, honestly, I feel a little guilty with a computer in my lap.

Becky wants me to tell everyone that Max is the cutest baby she’s ever seen. He is quite a handsome little fellow, even if I do say so myself.

If Becky’s milk will come on in, Max learns how to take it a little better, and our energy level returns, things may become very merry.

Here are three images from today:

August 21, 2008

We’re all doing well. Max was taken back at 1:20 pm for his circumcision, and now at 1:38 he’s already done. Becky is having a good bit of pain, but nothing too bad, and she just took some pain medicine. I got a good night’s sleep last night because we let Max stay in the nursery except for feedings, but I’m still a little zonked. My mother and Becky’s mother are on their way over here to see Mr Max, and after they get here I’m going to go home to get a good shower. The nursing staff here at the Women’s Pavilion is taking excellent care of Becky, Max, and me.

1:55 pm—Max is now back with us after his circumcision and he’s crying. They said he didn’t whimper even a little during his circumcision, but now apparently he’s feeling some pain. I believe he was given Tylenol and will be given another dose at 5:45 pm. Aha! We’re supplementing him with a bottle and that has quieted him down.

4:10 pm—I’m at home to take a shower, feed and water George and take care of his box, and to run an errand for Becky. I was just now able to post the Web gallery that we wanted to post yesterday. Here you go.

*August 20, 2008 — Max’s Birthday*

All you folks who want your email inboxes inundated with the first pictures of Max should us to make sure you’re on the list.

4:35 am—Well, little fellow, you’ve kept me awake all night long and you haven’t even been born yet. I wonder how many more nights you’re going to keep me awake.

Though I’ve been awake all night with my heart banging inside my chest as if it were a madman, I feel highly energetic right now.

In less than three-and-a-half hours, you’ll be outside your mother’s womb and we both will have set our eyes upon you. Both of your grannies and one of your grandpas are going to be there. The one grandpa who won’t be there has a good excuse for his absence. He passed away in January of 1998. You will feel his presence in your life, young man, for he is going to open many doors for you. And so will the rest of us.

It’s your birthday, birthday zero. Happy birthday, son!

1:40 pm—We have a healthy, happy, and handsome little boy! Becky hasn’t had a chance to pick which images she wants to post, so I’ll just leave a single image for now. We should have more to share in the next few hours. We definitely have a lot of images to share.

3:46 pm—Max just made his his first poopy diaper. Then he sneezed for the very first time.

I cannot get the images Becky flagged for uploading to the Web to actually upload. I can’t get anything related to Apple’s MobileMe to work over Gwinnett Hospital System’s network, so maybe the network is blocking the WebDAV protocol, which Apple’s MobileMe services use. Not to fret, though. You may download all thirty-eight images from this single zip file.

August 19, 2008

Here are some images Becky and I shot last night. Click the thumbnails to see the larger images.

In less than twenty-four hours Becky and I will have held Max.


We’re about to go to IHOP for breakfast, and then we have to meet with our obstetrician and go over to Gwinnett Medical for our pre-op consultation.

9:00 pm—Things are racing along at lightspeed around here right now. We’re trying to get everything packed up and ready to go so there’ll be minimal fuss at 5 am, when we try to leave here for the hospital.

Becky and her mother are at Wal-Mart, Becky’s Daddy is checking out a neighbor’s fancy new deck, Mama’s trying to get sleepy so she can get some sleep before going to the hospital with us, and I’m trying to figure out just what has to be done before we leave.

I won’t get to write anything else before Max is born, but I’ll try to post (unedited) images just as soon as I can, hopefully before 11 am. The C-section is scheduled for 7:30 am, but I don’t know when I’ll have a half-hour of downtime to transfer the images from the storage card to the PowerBook, import them into iPhoto, and upload the images to the Web.

Max, you’ve got me scared to death, boy—and also very excited. Like most every parent, I hope you’ll avoid the valleys I’ve trekked in my life and experience many, many more peaks. Most of all, I hope your mother and I prepare you well for the treks that fall somewhere between the peaks and valleys, for these are the treks of daily life.

It was with a heck of a lot of consideration that we decided to conceive you. Your conception is definitely a deliberate product of the love your mother and I have for each other.

You’re going to be loved, kiddo. Welcome to life.

August 18, 2008

I wish some of you folks would stop calling to ask us if we’re nervous. Heck yes, we’re nervous—I especially. We appreciate your concern, and we enjoy hearing from you, but after being asked if we’re nervous at least a dozen times today, we’re starting to get even more anxious than we already are.

There’s a pleasant anticipation that we’re both feeling—like we’re on the verge of something both all-powerful and sweet. And there’s the brand of anxiety, too, that’s marked by fear and feelings of inadequacy.

This is a major life change. There have been so many of you who’ve said it’s a change for the better. Thank you for your words of support.

Boy, I certainly hope our grown and hopefully well-adjusted son can one day look back and declare with confidence that he has solid, competent, loving parents. Parenting is something Becky and I haven’t done before, and we can neither fail nor quit. I can almost suffocate just thinking I’m doing something in which I can neither fail nor quit. Some parents do fail at parenting, and some parents simply quit parenting. I’d rather die than fail a child I created.

But how can I keep from failing? I’m human, after all, and I have faults. Surely my faults are going to negatively impact my child from time to time. I don’t want to make up for those failings by buying my child something or by giving in on something that shouldn’t be granted. I reckon I’ll make an earnest effort to do better in the future. That may just be a glib thought, though, because I may not have the power to change myself in some ways.

Like right now. This PowerBook is resting on my ginormous gut, and yet I think I’m going to put it aside and run to the nearby jiffy store for some boiled peanuts and ice cream. No, no, no—I’m not going to do that. Max is already getting an old dad. There’s no need for me to shorten the time I have with him.

Becoming a parent is scary—and anxious—business.

August 17, 2008

As has been our habit for about the past seven years, Becky and I went over to Mama’s this morning for breakfast. Becky’s daddy cooks for us on Saturday mornings, and Mama cooks for us on Sunday mornings. We’re pretty lucky that way.

Mama put some color on my hair to knock out some of the gray, and Becky ran to Wal-Mart for Mama while we were coloring my hair. Becky and I were both tired all day, I more than she.

I bought the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 upgrade today and watched about half of The Best of Photoshop User 10 (2008) DVD.

Becky’s daddy wrestled with a water pump for his truck most of the afternoon. Then he and Becky’s mother cooked dinner for us. We had steaks (veggie patties for me), garlic mashed potatoes, homemade biscuits, and salad.

After dinner I tried to get his DeskJet printer working wirelessly with his AirPort base station, but never could make it happen.

Then Becky and I came home, bathed, and washed clothes. Becky read a chapter in The Optimistic Child while I wrote this.

Now we’re headed for bed.

When we awake tomorrow, we’ll be able to say that on the day after tomorrow, we’re going to meet our son face to face.

Holy cow!

Happy birthday and good luck to Miss Cami Elaine Lawson, my good-looking second cousin who’s starting college this week!

August 16, 2008

How’d we spend the last Saturday of our lives without children? Well, I went with Becky’s mother and Renae Puckett to walk at the Mall of Georgia this morning. Becky was tired, so she stayed home and slept in. When we finished walking, Becky’s daddy, Donald, had breakfast ready for us. He’s been making breakfast for us on Saturday mornings for about seven years. I reckon this routine is about to change. After breakfast I helped Donald put a porch-swing frame in his truck so he could carry it to an upholsterer.

Becky’s been out shopping and running errands today. She wanted to do a short photoshoot today, so we shot about fifteen frames this evening. She wants to do another one tomorrow, this time with me in the picture. Oh, geez!

Becky’s daddy brought a rocking chair down here for Becky that he restored and had reupholstered. Becky’s mother bought the chair from Goodwill.

I installed a new Seagate terabyte hard disk drive (the Barracuda ES2, the one that’s designed for 24/7 operation and has a mean-time-between-failure rating of 1.2 million hours) in our main Mac, cloned our previous startup disk to the new drive, and made our old boot drive our backup (Time Machine) drive. Now everything is backed up and is being backed up regularly. We definitely don’t want to lose any of Max’s first pictures.

While waiting for our data to be backed up, I signed up for the Maximum Photoshop seminar with Dave Cross in September and pre-ordered The Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby.

We splurged this evening by having dinner at Carrabba’s. Becky had her usual, a Sirloin Marsala with garlic mashed potatoes, and I had the Margherita Pizza. Becky wanted me to add, “and we enjoyed our caesar salads very much.”

August 15, 2008

The fear and excitement of becoming a first-time parent loom large right now as we head into the last childless weekend of our lives.

This morning we met with Maternal Fetal Specialists for the last time before Max is born. We got the all-clear sign from the doctor for the C-section on Wednesday. Max’s heart was beating at 135 beats per minute, and he was moving his hands and feet all about.

Max will be coming home to two parents who’ll be with him around the clock for the next twelve weeks. He’ll also have three grandparents looking after him. More than two thousand diapers and over eighty outfits await the little booger.

Becky and her mother went to Babies “R” Us’s grand opening near the Mall of Georgia late this afternoon. As I write this, they haven’t made it back home, but there’s no telling what else they bought for Mr Max.

Here are our notes from Pattycakes & Lullabies, the most recent class we took at Gwinnett Medical Center:

  • Overriding philosophy: don’t go looking for trouble; don’t make a problem where there isn’t one
  • Recommended reading: The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp (we already have the DVD), and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby by Tracy Hogg
  • Use a square blanket for swaddling
  • Wrapping baby properly is most important for the first three months
  • When putting baby in his swing, make sure he’s swaddled, buckled, reclined all the way, and put the swing on its fastest speed. Shake the basket vigorously before letting the swing’s mechanism take over.
  • Make sure baby’s calm before putting him in his swing
  • A newborn’s foot is the fattiest part of him. That’s why blood is usually taken from the heel
  • Put Vaseline or Aquaphor on dry, peeling skin. Dry, peeling skin is normal
  • Put Aquaphor or Vaseline around the buttock area to make removal of meconium stools easier—just for newborns up to three days old
  • Don’t use lotions for at least two weeks, preferably a month
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the leading cause of death in infants under one month of age
  • Babies don’t get pillows until they’re two years old (Wow! I can’t imagine sleeping without a pillow!)
  • Get plenty of hooded towels
  • Clean baby with a wipe before bathing him so there’s less chance of having poop in his bath water
  • Put Balmex or Desitin on baby’s bottom to prevent diaper rash
  • Bathe baby every three days, not too often because we don’t want exema
  • Babies should wear a hat for the first twenty-four hours of life
  • Double-bag diaper-changing items for discarding
  • At six weeks pay attention to the three Bs for a bedtime ritual: bath, boob, book. Use soft voices and dim lights
  • Baby could be nursing from Becky while I’m reading aloud
  • Don’t let baby fall asleep while nursing because we don’t want nursing to become a prerequisite for sleep
  • Babies, Bumps, & Bruises is a CPR class that’s very important to take once baby is a toddler
  • Eighty-five percent of babies have some jaundice after twenty-four hours, but only about fifteen percent actually require treatment
  • Playtex offers a good system for bottle feeding

We were delighted to have Sheila Warren, RN, BSN, CCE, as our instructor. Sheila was our instructor for Showing & Glowing, too. We have Sheila’s business card on our refrigerator.

August 13, 2008

Today was my thirty-ninth birthday, my last before our first child is born. In less than a week, I will have held my son. This is scary stuff, and I just can’t get my head around it all.

I finished reading The Optimistic Child today, and I’m going back and rereading bits and pieces of it so I’ll retain more. I figure that the more I retain now, the more I’ll get from it when I give it a second thorough read in a couple of years.

August 12, 2008

Becky and I met with our obstetrician today. As usual, he measured Becky’s belly and listened to Max’s heart. He gave us his orders to give to the hospital when we go in for our pre-op consultation next Tuesday. This thing is getting close.

We hope Max waits until his scheduled time next Wednesday, because our obstetrician will be out of town until Sunday, and Becky’s daddy will be out of town until Friday.

Lenovo came out with a really nice new notebook computer today that’s targeted at photographers and graphics folk. The ThinkPad W700 offers a seventeen-inch display that covers seventy-two percent of the Adobe RGB color space, an option to have two built-in hard drives, a built-in Wacom tablet, an Intel quad-core processor, and an optional graphics card with a gigabyte of VRAM. That sounds like one awesome machine. Apple is due to update its notebooks next month, and I’m hoping Apple will have something to compete with Lenovo’s newest offering.

Also, today Dell came out with some new notebooks whose screens cover the entire Adobe RGB color space. What’s even more amazing is the Dells’ new battery technology that offers a claimed nineteen hours of use between charges. Wow!

If only these new machines could run the ever-fabulous Mac OS.

August 11, 2008

This afternoon Becky and I enjoyed listening to Max’s heart beat for about twenty minutes. Becky was hooked up to a fetal monitor for a routine test, and we listened to Max’s heartrate fluctuate between 120 and 174 beats per minute. Max may have responded to my talking to him through Becky’s tummy. I put my lips right on Becky’s tummy and talked to the fellow for a few moments. Then his heartrate climbed to 162 bpm. Maybe he was scared and trying to get away from my voice, maybe my voice excited him in a positive way, maybe it was coincidence, or maybe it was my voice that the fetal monitor was reading.

We were shocked when the nurse told us that during that twenty minutes, Becky experienced two contractions. They were small contractions that Becky didn’t feel at all, but the writing is on the wall—Max is writing his very own get-out-of-jail card.

Inside Lightroom has some ultra-cool Lightroom presets available for free.

August 10, 2008

I had a couple of fleeting thoughts pass through my mind this morning. Somehow I was able to lasso those so I could record them here:

  • If I’m half as good a parent as I’ve been a pet owner (excepting negligence in my teen years), Max is in for a very comfortable ride. I just wish I could control all the variables in Max’s life to the same extent that I’ve enjoyed with my pets’ lives.
  • Max will be born ten days from today unless he comes earlier. This reminds me of all the space shuttle launches I’ve watched over the years: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1—ignition. Our astronauts get to come back to Earth, but I’ll never again get to be without the responsibility of being a competent and dedicated leader and friend to my children. As I’ve said many times before, becoming a parent is very, very scary business.

August 8, 2008

It’s pretty scary putting a lid on this week, because this is the penultimate week of my life without children. Next week is it, and I mean i-t. For the past few years, my life has been relatively easy. Becky and I have found the time and money to do just about whatever we’ve wanted to do. Life became difficult for me when Becky started putting the screws to me about having children. After considerable cajoling from Becky, I conceded and we began trying to create a person. As any couple who’s struggled with infertility will attest, we lived our lives in very dramatic two-week intervals for about a year. Then Becky wanted to try something more direct than natural means allow. That’s when we attended a fertility seminar at the Emory Reproductive Center in Atlanta, Georgia. If I recall correctly, our chances of getting pregnant using intrauterine insemination was around eighteen percent. In contrast, in vitro fertilization offered us a fifty- to sixty-percent chance of success. We were weary from trying, so our vote was for IVF.

Bingo. It worked on our first try. On December 5, 2007, my parts and Becky’s parts fused in Emory’s laboratory to create about eight embryos. Only two embryos survived, but the two that did survive were judged to be grade-two embryos. Grade one is the best, and grade five is the lowest quality still considered to be viable.

Three days later those two embryos were transferred into Becky, and then on December 19 we found out that one of the embryos had planted its microscopic flag in Becky’s uterine wall. That pioneering embryo is now known to us as Max.

For the rest of my life and longer, Max is my first responsibility. I’ve never embarked upon any journey in which I was allowed neither to fail nor to quit. Becoming a father is a first for me in this way.

I hope I can stay the course and be the father and friend my son deserves.

August 7, 2008

In less than two weeks Becky and I will have the life-changing experience of meeting Mr Max face to face. Becky is upstairs taking a nap as I write this on Thursday evening. She has to return to the doctor for more fetal monitoring because there’s a little bit more fluid in Max’s amniotic sac than the doctors would like. I don’t know what today’s score means, but she scored twenty-one, and twenty-five is the first score to indicate an actual problem (the scale ascends). So she now has three doctor appointments next week and one appointment on the day before Max’s birth. She’s stressing over having to miss more school than she originally planned, but I honestly don’t see the problem. If her doctor believes the issue is important enough for her to miss school, then miss school she will.

Other than having a little bit more water in the amniotic sac than normal, today’s ultrasounds look great. Max currently weighs an estimated six pounds and may weigh as much as seven-and-a-half pounds when he’s born.

I’m switching the way I present images here. Prior to today, I show you thumbnails that are linked to full-size images, and those full-size images open in new browser windows. Now that I’ve discovered Cabel Sasser’s wonderful, hand-crafted FancyZoom, I’m going to have the full-size images pop open right here on this page. You’ll still click the thumbnails to open the full-size image and click the full-size image to close it, but I like this method better and it saves me the trouble of having to create a separate HTML document for every full-size image.

Here are six images Becky and I made two days ago in Max’s nursery:

August 4, 2008

Becky, thirty-six-weeks-and-five-days pregnant, just after her first day back to school after summer break.

August 3, 2008

Becky and I put Max’s swing together this afternoon. It’s a Baby Papasan from Fisher-Price, which was given to Max by Ann and Ronnie Gaskins of Nashville, Georgia. We love this swing and hope Max loves it, too. Thank you so very, very much, Ann and Ronnie!

August 1, 2008

Becky and I are over halfway finished reading The Optimistic Child. We’re getting a lot of what we believe is useful information, and we plan to use what we’re learning from the book. Becky is considering presenting the book to her colleagues at school. (She’s a second grade teacher at Ivy Creek Elementary in Buford, Georgia.) She believes a lot could be accomplished if principles from the book could be implemented into schools’ curricula.

Tomorrow Becky and I are attending Pattycakes & Lullabies, a four-hour class on basic child care, This will be the last class we take prior to Max’s birth.

Last month I said, “Next month I’m going to be a father.” Well, it’s next month, so I reckon I’m going to become a father very, very soon. Oh, my God!

I just got a haircut on Wednesday and I was thinking how that’d be the last haircut I get before Max is born. This is such an eerie feeling!

Last Sunday Becky and I attended a C-section class at Northside Hospital. We thoroughly enjoyed the class, and most especially our instructor, Carol Jane Horn, BCN, RN, IBCLC, ICEA. CJ was an inspirational instructor. She was on a mission to prepare us for our C-sections. She was captivating, intense, and precise, and Becky and I wish we’d had more time with her.

Northside Hospital is a very nice facility, considerably more upscale than Gwinnett Medical Center. Being in Northside Hospital is like being in an upscale hotel. The Women’s Center at Northside has a beautiful atrium, live trees inside, oil paintings and other art, and was at least six floors high. Northside even offers dedicated C-section suites. There was a lot of brick on the interior, which looked stately, and almost all of the navigational signage was set in Nueva, not tired old Times.

Of course, a hospital’s choice of type for signage doesn’t mean that the staff is any better than a hospital that chooses the most boring typeface ever, and while we found Northside’s nursing staff to be both knowledgeable and helpful, I can’t say that Northside’s nurses are any better than Gwinnett Medical’s, though they certainly get more practice. Gwinnett Medical delivers approximately five hundred babies per month, while Northside is busy delivering about 1500 babies per month. Believe it or not, Northside’s Women’s Center is the busiest labor and delivery center in the entire United States.

Well, anyway, here are my bullet points from CJ’s class (again, the information reflects what I didn’t already know):

  • Get a breastfeeding pillow. A “Lullaby” or a “Bosom Buddy” is much better than a boppy for breastfeeding
  • Get an abdominal support. It’s a wrap that attaches with velcro in the front
  • For at least the first couple of weeks following the C-section, ascend steps sideways. (Face the rail, one foot up, then the other foot up)
  • Put refrigerator in upstairs bedroom, along with TV tray. Avoid coming downstairs for the first couple of days, and then come down just once or twice per day for the next couple of weeks
  • Let Dad go home on the third night so that when you go home at least one of you will have had a good night’s sleep
  • There are ten people in the C-section room, plus the baby
  • Ingest lots of carbs the night before the C-section
  • Dads should ask to be able to give their babies their first baths
  • Ask to be present for the administration of the epidural
  • CJ’s proud of the fact that at Northside ninety-seven percent of mothers breastfeed in the hospital, and sixty-three percent are still breastfeeding after six months
  • Tell the anesthesiologist that you want to be alert to breastfeed but sedated while they put everything back together
  • Dads should push up on bottoms of baby’s feet, massage legs and inner arms to mimic crawling
  • Dads should wear socks and supportive shoes while in the hospital with Mom and baby
  • A newborn’s primary sense is touch. His secondary sense is smell
  • In the absence of low blood sugar there’s no reason to give a baby formula
  • The baby’s first signal that he’s hungry may be that his eyes are open and his fists are beside his face
  • The best thing Mom can do to make breastmilk is drink lots of water
  • Percocet is safe for new moms to take. Very little goes into breastmilk. Make sure you have something on your stomach
  • Hot decaf tea with sugar and milk is a good thing to give Mom after her C-section. This helps prevent gas, which is, believe it or not, one of the leading causes of pain following C-sections
  • Every two hours after her C-section Mom should turn, cough, breathe deeply, and feed her baby
  • Max will need to sleep with us for the first six to eight weeks. (He’ll be sleeping with us for a lot longer than that)
  • Babies who stay with their mothers instead of in the hospital’s nursery tend to cry about half as much as babies who stay in the nursery
  • Don’t stand in the shower. Sit in a shower chair
  • Spacing out vaccinations is just as important as using mercury-free vaccines
  • There’s no need to give a newborn a Hepatitis B vaccine (this information came from a class member, not from CJ)

July 31, 2008

Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe have a fresh seven-and-a-half-hour downloadable Lightroom 2 video series on tap. I enjoyed and learned a lot from their Lightroom 1 video series, so I’m looking forward to the new series. They’re charging just US$39.95 for the series or US$34.95 for those of us who bought the Lightroom 1 series.

July 30, 2008

Man, I’m getting too revved up and can’t get revved back down! Max is going to be born in three weeks unless he decides to come early—and that looks like a possibility at this point. Becky’s belly button is now neither an innie nor an outie; it’s stretched tightly and evenly just below the big ball that is Mr Max. Me a father? What a joke! I can hardly direct myself. Whatever am I going to do with an eight-pound baby boy who’s one hundred-percent helpless—and a postpartum wife who’s just had her abdominal muscles cut all the way through?

Thank you, Beverly, for your very kind email. In the back of my mind I know that most everything is going to be okay, but sometimes the foreground of my consciousness gets too revved up when I think of this new role from which I may never resign.

July 29, 2008

Today Adobe announced Photoshop Lightroom 2. Lightroom is the preeminent tool for helping photographers to select the best images from a photoshoot, fine tune exposure and color balance, and get those images out the door. The new version of Lightroom offers a local adjustment brush, better organizational tools, improved output sharpening, and other goodies. A thirty-day demo is available for download. Detailed release notes are here.

Of course, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals is on top of things with an official Lightroom 2 Learning Center. Scott Kelby, president of NAPP, already has his Lightroom 2 book ready for pre-order.

Today Adobe also released Camera Raw and DNG converter version 4.5.

July 26, 2008

Here are some bullet points from Ready & Able, the class Becky and I just finished. These are things I didn’t know, so the information is completely biased toward my lack of knowledge. There’s so much more information in Ready & Able than I’m sharing here. For instance, there’s a ton of information about the labor process itself, but I’m not highlighting any of that information here because we already have a C-section scheduled. Anyway, for better or for worse, here are my notes:

  • An epidural is not a shot; it’s a method of delivery of anesthesia. A needle is inserted into the epidura, and a catheter replaces the needle. The catheter is left in for about twenty-four hours and anesthesia is administered through the catheter
  • The main disadvantage of an epidural is all the monitoring wires and connections
  • The umbilical cord is partially filled with a substance called Wharton’s jelly, and the main purpose of this substance is to keep the cord from kinking in utero
  • Mama needs to do Kegel exercises no matter whether she’s delivering vaginally or through cesarian. Kegel exercises maintain muscle tone of the pelvic floor and decrease the likelihood of requiring an episiotomy. Dads should do Kegels, too, for good prostate health.
  • The toilet is a good place to labor
  • Moms dilate at an approximate rate of one centimeter per hour
  • The time to call the doctor is when the contractions are five minutes apart, last for sixty seconds each, and this continues for one hour (5–1–1)
  • To augment labor Pitocin may be administered. Pitocin makes contractions stronger and more painful
  • Moms should wait until they’ve dilated four to five centimeters before getting an epidural
  • Epidural anesthesia does cross the placenta but doesn’t affect the baby as much as IV anesthesia
  • A C-section incision is only about four inches long and should heal within two to three weeks
  • Moms who’ve had C-sections will be in recovery for about one to one-and-a-half hours, they can breastfeed, and they can take doctor-approved analgesics for pain
  • It’s important to breastfeed as soon after birth as possible, and we should speak with the doctor and nurses about helping us make this happen
  • The newborn’s hands and feet will stay blue for about twenty-four hours
  • Apgar scores reflect the general health of the baby. Common scores are eight or nine. If the score is less than seven, the NICU team will examine the baby. Apgar scores will be taken at one minute and five minutes of life outside the womb. We should ask for Max’s Apgar scores if they aren’t given to us
  • Babies lose five to ten percent of their birth weight and should gain it back within two weeks
  • The baby’s eyes will have an antibiotic ointment applied to them within one hour of life outside the womb
  • A Vitamin K injection will be given to help the baby’s blood to clot
  • A hearing screening will be done twelve to fourteen hours after birth. About three babies in one thousand are born with a hearing problem
  • Circumcision is normally done on the day of discharge from the hospital. The baby should receive some sort of local anesthetic for this procedure. The circumcision should heal within five days
  • The remainder of the umbilical cord should fall off within seven to fourteen days
  • Don’t immerse the baby in water until the cord has fallen off and the circumcision has healed
  • Don’t worry about the color of the baby’s poop unless it’s red or black
  • Expect about eight to twelve poopy diapers per day
  • Expect to breastfeed every two to three hours, or eight to twelve times per day
  • New moms experience very heavy bleeding for the first few days after delivery

Becky and I are attending a class for cesarian delivery tomorrow at Northside Hospital, we have an appointment with our obstetrician on Monday, and we take another class, Pattycakes & Lullabies, on Saturday.

July 23, 2008

Becky and I will finish the three-part Ready & Able class tonight at Gwinnett Medical Center. The class has been both interesting and informative, but it’s geared mainly for women who expect to deliver vaginally. Our obstetrician believes Becky’s pelvis is too small for an uncomplicated vaginal birth, so he encouraged us to opt for a C-section. Becky wanted a C-section from day one, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Becky and I are attending a four-hour class on C-section delivery this Sunday at Northside Hospital. I believe Becky will regret sitting in on this class because of the gruesome details. I’ve been reading about C-sections on the Internet and have watched several videos. My goal is to desensitize myself to the actual surgical procedure so that I don’t faint when I’m witnessing it live.

After this Sunday’s class Becky and I are attending Pattycakes & Lullabies, a four-hour basic childcare class offered by Gwinnett Medical Center. We took a basic childcare class at Northside Hospital a few months ago, but we both feel we’re in definite need of a refresher class.

Max’s birth is drawing so near! Becky and I worked on Max’s birth announcement last night, and I believe we’re really close to finishing it. We wanted to have it done except, of course, for the pictures by the time he’s born. We still have to get our car seat bases installed, Max’s Baby Papasan swing assembled, and a few other projects finished before the big day.

Becky designed a photobook for her father for his birthday. She used Apple’s iPhoto and the template for the large hardcover book. It turned out well, so now we’ve ordered a second copy for Becky’s grandmother. The quality of the book is first-rate and the US$32 price was fair, but the US$8 shipping charge irks me.

Tonight’s class was very interesting. I had no idea that about ninety percent of women experience postpartum blues, and that about twenty percent of women suffer from postpartum depression. Those are some huge numbers. In seventeen-and-a-half years of marriage I’ve never witnessed any symptoms in Becky of major depression or dysthymia, but I wouldn’t believe she’s so resilient as to be in the ten percent of women who don’t experience postpartum blues.

At tonight’s class we learned of yet another class we need to take—car seat safety. Becky tried to sign us up at our first break, but the first available class was going to be held on September 11. So we didn’t register and plan to find a qualified car seat installer to install our seats and bases.

Our instructor was Kathryn Aven, RN, BSN, CCE. She’s very knowledgeable and even more enthusiastic about childbirth and baby care. I hope we get to take another class with Kathryn after Max is born.

Some of you have reported problems viewing the shower pictures. All you need to do to solve the problem is install a recent copy of the Adobe Flash plug-in.

July 22, 2008

Canon announced new high-definition camcorders today. The HF11 and HG21 were formally introduced in Japan and will succeed the HF10 and HV30.

The HF11’s unique feature is 32GB of onboard flash memory, which yields a total recording time of nearly two hours in full-quality, high-definition format. An SDHC storage card slot is included to extend recording time. The HG21 features a 120GB hard drive that yields a total recording time of over eleven hours in full-quality, high-definition format. The HG21’s hard drive makes the camcorder a little bulkier than the HF11.

Becky and I almost bought the HF10 last week in preparation for filming Max. Given that new technology will be available very soon, I’m glad we didn’t buy the current model. But this puts us in a bit of a pickle. The new cameras won’t ship until late August in Japan, which means we may not see them until September here in the US. Max will be born before then, so what are we to do? I don’t want to spend money on the current technology when newer technology is knocking on the door. I never know what to do in these situations, so I’ll let Becky figure it out.

July 21, 2008

I thought I’d raise Max without a lot of focus on his personal achievements. I don’t want him to feel a lot of pressure to excel. I want him to enjoy the journey instead of being focused on the destination. But, according to The Optimistic Child, achievement is necessary for optimism and good self-esteem. Maybe I can lead Max to achieve by using very little or no pressure. Of course I want Max to have very high self-esteem, but I hope his self-esteem isn’t conditional on achievement. Maybe this mystery will unravel at least a little as I get farther into the book.

Smashing Magazine offers links to seventy beauty-retouching Photoshop tutorials.

Apple posted its quarterly earnings today. The company shipped 2.46 million Macs during the quarter, over 11 million iPods, and about 717,000 iPhones for a total of US$7.46 billion in revenue. Apple’s net profit for the quarter is US$1.07 billion. The company’s press release quotes Steve Jobs: “We’re proud to report the best June quarter for both revenue and earnings in Appleā€™s history. We set a new record for Mac sales, we think we have a real winner with our new iPhone 3G, and we’re busy finishing several more wonderful new products to launch in the coming months.”

July 20, 2008

Yesterday we posted some finished images of Becky’s friend Jodi and her family. We shot these images back around Easter, and we look forward to shooting Jodi and her family again in the future.

How happy or optimistic are you? Take the tests. (Free registration is required.)

July 17, 2008

“Apple Now Third Largest PC Vendor in U.S.”

July 15, 2008

Becky finally got an iPhone this morning. She opted for the 16GB black model. That she got the phone is the good news. The not-so-good news is that she had to take my mobile number because only my number was eligible for a discounted upgrade. So now I have Becky’s old mobile number.

July 14, 2008

Becky and I met with our obstetrician today and received a good report. He believes Mr Max will weigh in at eight pounds or more when he’s born.

I still can’t believe how much stuff you kind folks gave Becky, Max, and me at her showers. The main floor of our home and half of our upstairs look like a Babies “R” Us. Thank you so very, very much!

On this day in 1946 Dr Benjamin Spock’s Common Sense Book of Baby & Child Care was first published.

My anxiety about becoming and being a father is diminishing just a little. I’m beginning to feel a sweet tinge of excitement as I think of meeting this little fellow who’s going to be my son and friend.

Today Phase One introduced a new sixty-five-megapixel digital back for medium-format cameras. The P65+ will go on sale in the fourth quarter for US$39,990. More details are available at The Luminous Landscape.

Early today Apple announced that it sold its one millionth iPhone 3G yesterday, which was the third day the new phone has been available. Apple also announced that over ten million applications have been downloaded from the new iPhone App Store. Those are huge numbers. And I thought Apple was a niche player.

Becky still hasn’t laid claim to the new iPhone. She had one in her hands this morning, but Apple couldn’t give Becky her state employee discount on the service, so she had to leave the phone behind. She plans to try again on Wednesday, this time with American Thieves & Thugs. We were at Lenox Square yesterday, and the line to get in the Apple Store was about half as long as Lenox Square itself. We were on our way to a consulting job in Buckhead, so we didn’t have time to wait.

July 13, 2008

The pictures from Jodi’s shower for Becky are up. Thanks again to everyone who came to the shower—and especially to Jodi for giving Becky such a fantastic event! Much thanks go to Kate and Jodi for taking pictures!

July 12, 2008

Here are a few recent images of Becky and Max. First we have Max’s adorable denim and beige overalls. Then we have a profile shot of Max in utero and his classic boy shot. He certainly doesn’t mind advertising his package. Then we have an image of Becky showing her current level of abdominal distention. Finally, there’s an image of Becky’s belly with Max’s booties on top.

Becky’s at her shower right now. We’ll post images later tonight. We’re celebrating Becky’s father’s sixty-first birthday this evening, so it could be late when we’re able to post Becky’s shower images.

’Twas a huge shower and Becky received a gazillion wonderful and thoughtful gifts. Kate, Jodi, and Becky took over 300 pictures, so we’ll have to cull through those tomorrow.

July 11, 2008

I’m absolutely whipped. I’ve been fighting a wireless network problem since yesterday, and today I dropped US$300 for a new Apple Time Capsule, a wireless router with provisions for automatic, wireless backups. I thought my old wireless router was dying.

Then, when the new one didn’t work any better, I deduced that the problem was with my notebook computer.

To try to rule that out, I configured yet another wireless network device and the new Time Capsule to work together in a Wireless Distribution System. This configuration worked for a few moments and then quit—despite the fact that the two devices were only two feet apart!

Then I was reading Apple’s explanatory text concerning a setting entitled “Use interference robustness.” The explanatory text mentions wireless video monitors. Well, in my mind that didn’t mean a hill of beans to me because I don’t know anything about any wireless video monitor in my house.

Or do I?

As it turns out, I do have a wireless video monitor. You see, Becky’s aunt Martha thought it’d be a good idea to impart to us the wonders of a wireless video monitor so we could see sweet little Max sawing logs in his crib when we’re downstairs and watching our television. Well, thank you, Martha! That was mighty sweet of you.

Except for one thing…

That wireless video monitor completely jams our wireless network!

When we unplugged said wireless video monitor, our network came back to life and my two wireless routers smiled at me with their green lights.


I’m glad the problem is solved, but darned if I’m not worn out from racking my brain over this non-problem.

The next order of business will be to figure out how to use the wireless video monitor and our wireless network at the same time.

On a much better note, we got to see Mr Max this morning. The sonographer asked Becky and me to guess how much Max weighs. I guessed four pounds and Becky guessed four-and-a-half. We were both wrong. Max is growing like a weed and tips the computational scales of the ultrasound at five pounds five ounces. That’s one ounce more than I weighed when I was born, and Max still has almost seven weeks left to grow.

I hope to post some pictures tomorrow, but right now I’m so sick of computers and just want to chill.

So much for getting an iPhone 3G on its opening day. Becky stood in line at the Apple store at the Mall of Georgia and then at AT&T but never got a phone. Hopefully, the lines will be more manageable tomorrow or Sunday, and maybe Becky’s feet won’t swell up quite so much.

Becky’s friend Jodi is hosting a big shower for Becky tomorrow. That Jodi and her husband, Eddy, are super-nice people and great friends. I’ll post pictures from the shower as soon as I get my camera back, and I’ll probably have two or three other pictures posted before tomorrow evening.

July 9, 2008

Becky and I begin another three-part class this evening. We’re attending Ready & Able at Gwinnett Medical Center. This is the last series before Max’s grand debut. Ready & Able doesn’t sound like the appropriate class for me. I wonder if Gwinnett Medical offers Not Ready & Scared Shitless.

Becky and I have begun working on Max’s birth announcement, and we’re reading The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression & Build Lifelong Resilience by Martin E.P. Seligman. Becky’s more excited about this book than I thought she’d be. She’s excited about using what she learns from Dr Seligman and his colleagues not only for our children but for her students, as well.

Becky and I are excited about her getting an iPhone 3G on Friday. The new smartphone goes on sale Friday morning at eight o’clock. For Becky the most attractive feature of the iPhone is its large display that she’ll use for showing all of her friends at school the latest pictures of Max. If the iPhone and its service plan weren’t so expensive, we’d get one for me, too.

If megapixels are your game and money is your name, then by all means check out Hasselblad’s newest offering. The fifty-megapixel H3DII-50 goes on sale in October for US$39,995.

July 7, 2008

Pioneer claims to have developed an optical disc technology boasting 400GB of storage on a single disc. By reducing the potential for interference among layers on a single disc, Pioneer claims it can manufacture discs with sixteen layers. The new technology is fundamentally similar to Blu-ray, which holds 25GB of data on a single layer. There’s no word as to when this new technology will come to market.

Remember the floppy disc that truly was floppy? (If you do, you’re old!) The old five-and-a-quarter-inch floppy, which was common in the mid-’80s, boasted a storage capacity of a whopping 1.2MB. Pioneer’s new discs would hold 333,333 five-and-a-quarter-inch floppies.

This reminds me of a quote from Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

This evening Becky and I finally got around to shooting a few frames. With any luck we’ll have something to post tomorrow. After enjoying a fantastic dinner at Becky’s parents’ house, we’re about to head over to my mother’s to have some cold watermelon.

Tomorrow we’re going to an open house to meet Max’s future pediatricians.

July 6, 2008

I just pumped 17.962 US gallons of premium unleaded into Becky’s car. At US$4.349 per gallon, the total cost of filling her tank was US$78.12. The cost of fuel is out of hand, so our driving habits must change. And here we go adding a reason to drive more…

July 5, 2008

Tonight while Becky was in the tub, Max was having some really strong hiccups or muscle spasms. Becky called me upstairs to see her belly fluttering rhythmically. What a neat sight to behold!

We’ve been trying to do little photoshoots on the fifth of every month to show Becky’s gestational progress. It was on December 5 when a single cell from Becky and a single cell from me joined to become what is now our son, Max. Today Becky and I were too tired to do a shoot, but we hope to shoot tomorrow. Becky’s belly is getting huge!

July 2, 2008

Last night Becky and I attended Breastfeeding: Sweet & Simple, a two-hour class taught by Susan Boekel, a certified lactation consultant, at Gwinnett Medical Center. Susan was a wonderful and enthusiastic instructor, and we learned a lot more than we expected.

The class’s message may be summed up thusly: breastfeed your baby.

My bullet points from the class are

  • Breastmilk offers perfect nutrition for a baby
  • Nursing mothers lose weight more quickly than non-nursing mothers
  • A nursing infant’s poopoo isn’t nearly as noxious as a formula-fed infant’s
  • Nursing mothers will burn 500–1000 additional calories per day simply from the production of breastmilk. This compares to burning approximately 350 calories per day for being pregnant
  • Only about five percent of women cannot breastfeed
  • In the beginning very little breastmilk is required. (Nursing moms shouldn’t worry about not producing much milk right after birth)
  • Get a breastpump with a double electric motor. Medela and Ameda are good brands
  • Breastmilk is critical for optimal brain development and should be fed for at least the first three years (no, that’s not a typo)
  • Regular breastmilk comes in three to five days after birth if the infant has been sucking and latching
  • For the first two days of life outside the womb babies sleep heavily and will miss at least two feedings per day
  • Too much foremilk (colostrum?) can make a baby gassy
  • Women who breastfeed have less risk of cancer and osteoporosis
  • Breastfed babies have less diarrhea, less ear and respiratory infections, better emotional and intellectual development, and less risk of cancer and obesity later in life
  • If the baby doesn’t get any sun, then she might need a Vitamin D supplement, though twenty minutes’ exposure of sun per week on baby’s hands and face is an adequate source of Vitamin D
  • Prolactin turns on the milk-production system, and oxytocin stimulates final delivery
  • Pregnant women begin making colostrum at twentyweeks of gestation. Colostrum helps fetuses’ intestines prepare for digestion of breastmilk
  • Nursing mothers will breastfeed eight two twelve times per day
  • The baby likely will wet six to eight diapers and soil three to five diapers per day (that’s less than what I’ve learned in other classes)
  • Establishing undisturbed skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby from right after birth until after the first feeding is very, very important. Studies show that babies who experience this are better breastfeeders than babies who are separated from their mothers
  • During the first few days the baby may have to be awakened for feedings. Once milk production is in full swing, the baby moves to a demand feeding schedule
  • During a single breastfeeding the milk quality at first is like skim milk, later gets richer to be like whole milk, and progresses to being like cream toward the end of the feeding. The goal is to get the baby to ingest as much of the creamy milk as he or she will take
  • Breastmilk is the only food the baby needs for the first four to six months
  • Let down refers to full milk flow. You can hear baby gulping during let down. Oxytocin facilitates let down
  • Babies experience growth spurts at one week, six weeks, three months, and six months. Babies may feed constantly during these growth spurts
  • Gwinnett Medical’s lactation help line number is 678.312.4743

Yesterday Nikon unveiled an all-new digital SLR camera body. The D700 offers a full-frame 12.1-megapixel sensor, integrated sensor cleaning, and onboard flash. It’ll be available later this month for US$2999. The D700’s only competition is the three-year-old Canon EOS 5D, which now can be purchased new for $1785.

I’m a little excited by Nikon’s new camera because it means that Canon likely will bring a fresh challenger to market, something that will succeed the stellar 5D. And that will be our next camera. For more information about the D700, check out dpreview.com’s preview.

July 1, 2008

Next month I’m going to be a father.

Oh, my God!

June 30, 2008

101 Photoshop tips in five minutes by Deke McClelland.

Deke is a swell guy. I’ve taken a bunch of his classes in person and have read two of his books. I even got to hang out with Deke, Jack Davis, and Bert Monroy at a party in Miami Beach a few years ago.

June 29, 2008

I survived Daddy Boot Camp yesterday. I thought I was in for a doozy of a day when the Daddy Boot Camp Drill Sergeant Shaun Malone wouldn’t allow Becky to stay with me, but the program turned out to be not all that rigorous. The only time we even had to get out of our chairs was to learn how to stand up and breathe deeply.

We practiced deep breathing after Sergeant Malone discussed shaken baby syndrome. To illustrate the point that a baby’s brain isn’t fully formed and can move around in his or her underdeveloped skull, Sergeant Malone shook a clear plastic container with a raw egg inside and broke the egg. The message from that exercise was: “This is your baby’s brain.” [Shake container and break egg.] “This is your baby’s brain when shaken.” It reminded me of the old anti-drug commercial that stated: “This is your brain.” [Drop egg in frying pan.] “This is your brain on drugs.”

My bullet points from the class include

  • Moms who deliver their babies naturally typically have a two-day hospital stay, while moms who have Caesarian sections typically have a four-day stay
  • Northside Hospital delivers approximately 18,000 babies per year
  • Newborns typically eat every two hours
  • Nursing moms need lots of water to help with milk production
  • Invest in frozen dinners from such places as Dinner A’Fare
  • Get a “snot sucker,” which is some sort of blue bulb
  • Gumdrop-style pacifiers are available only at the hospital and are the best
  • Mylicon provides great gas relief for infants
  • Gripe Water helps with digestion and is fantastic for colicky babies
  • Diaper tightness rule of thumb: you should be able to fit two fingers in the waist of the diaper
  • A wipes warmer helps babies to be less fussy during diaper changes
  • Poison Control hotline: 800.222.1222 or 404.616.9000
  • 24-hour nurse hotline (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta): 404.250.5437

I still don’t know how to change a diaper, so I hope I get some sort of handle on this task before having to deal with “live ammo.” I do, however, know that it’s prudent to put a washcloth over a boy’s weewang when changing his dirty diaper, and to wipe from front to back when changing a baby girl’s dirty diaper.

Becky and I are going to a breastfeeding class on Tuesday evening. I think I’ll wear my “got milk?” T-shirt.

Today I posted the first redesign of jaddie.com in at least five years.

June 23, 2008

Last Wednesday Becky, Max, my mother, and I went to Images from the Womb for a 3D/4D ultrasound session. We’d been excited about this for over six weeks. Unfortunately, Max’s other grandmother was unable to attend because she was stuck on a jury that was deciding a complicated armed robbery trial. Above are two 3D ultrasound images that were captured during our session. (Click thumbnails for larger images.)

Max wasn’t being very cooperative for us. He kept his hands in front of his face for most of the session, and sometimes even his feet were in front of his face, as shown in the second image above. We’d hoped for better images, but there wasn’t much that could be done to achieve that. The technician gave Becky grape juice to drink in hopes of getting Max to move his hands and feet away from his face. Max may have moved a little, but he returned his hands to his face in short order. We plan to have a stern talk with Max about this after he’s born.

We even have a DVD showing Max moving in utero, but the digital file weighs in at more than a gigabyte in its current form, so I have to figure out a way to edit it down into a more Web-friendly size.

Becky and I have finished the class Showing & Glowing. Among a bunch of other things we learned:

  • the five Ss for soothing a baby (swaddling, swaying, sucking, side position, shushing)
  • to call a pediatrician when the baby’s temperature gets to 100.4 degrees
  • to keep one more layer of clothes on the baby than we wear. Err on the side of being too warm
  • the amniotic sac is filled mostly with urine. That struck Becky and me as gross, but we were assured that it’s sterile until the mother’s water breaks
  • seven out of ten Hispanic and Asian women don’t require an epidural. Sheila, our instructor, believes their high pain tolerance is a product of their culture
  • exercise and preparation go a long way toward a smoother, shorter delivery

Our next classes are Ready & Able, Patticakes & Lullabies, and then Bumps & Bruises. On Saturday I’ll be taking Daddy Boot Camp at Northside.

June 16, 2008

Pictures from tonight’s neighborhood shower for Becky are up. Thanks, Megan and Mukti, for helping out with pictures, and thank you, Renae and Buice, for giving Becky an awesome shower! Also, thanks to all those who came to the shower!

June 12, 2008

Today Max weighs approximately three pounds and two ounces and is hard at work honing his in utero gymnastic skills. His heart is beating at 146 bpm and the doctor says Max is developing wonderfully.

One interesting thing we learned today is that the fetus is more difficult to see via ultrasound in the third trimester than in the first and second trimesters. We had believed that we’d get better images as Max’s little body developed, but that’s not the case. We will, however, have some 3D/4D ultrasounds to share next week.

June 10, 2008

Here are some recent images (click thumbnails for larger images). From left to right, we have ABC blocks on Becky’s belly, big shoes and little shoes, Becky at twenty-eight-weeks-and-one-day pregnant, and Becky again at twenty-eight-weeks-and-five-days pregnant.

June 4, 2008

Becky and I toured Gwinnett Medical Center’s Women’s Pavilion last night. We were well satisfied with the labor and delivery unit, but were disappointed when we didn’t get to see any fresh deliveries in the nursery. (Hopefully we'll get to see some newborns in the morning when we attend a nutrition class that's being held close to the labor and delivery unit.) Our tour leader was Stephanie Brown, RN, who was also our instructor for the Pickles & Ice Cream class we attended a couple of months ago. Stephanie says Gwinnett Medical Center delivers over five hundred babies per month.

It’s 8:07 pm as I write this and I just felt Max kick or punch from inside Becky’s tummy. Maybe he’s trying to contribute to this blog.

Becky and I are attending Gwinnett Medical’s Showing & Glowing class. This is a three-part class, and we’ve already attended the first part. Sheila Warren, RN, BSN, CCE, is our instructor. The first part of Showing & Glowing was largely a repeat of Pickles & Ice Cream. I’m enrolled in Daddy Bootcamp at Northside Hospital, which is a one-day class held later this month. Next month Becky and I will attend Ready & Able, another three-part class taught by Stephanie Brown.

I had hoped that taking these classes would help me to feel less anxious about my new role and responsibility, but my anxiety is still quite high. The classes have been both informative and enjoyable, but nothing can change the fact that the biggest job I’ll ever do lies before me.

May 28, 2008

Here are two ultrasound images of Max at twenty-two weeks and five days (click for larger images):

May 27, 2008

Tonight at 7:05 pm I felt Max kick for the first time. It was pretty neat. Becky’s been calling me over to feel him kick, but as soon as I put my hand on Becky’s tummy, he’d stop. Max’s kicking is becoming predictable. After Becky eats there’s often a bit of movement. Only ninety-two more days.

10:20 pm—I just felt Max kick twice more.

May 13, 2008

The anxiety of becoming and being a father is wearing me down. Parenting my children will be the most substantial duty I’ll ever undertake, regardless of whether I do it well or poorly. I know I’m going to make mistakes, and of course I hope those mistakes are as minimal as possible. But what if I misguide my children in fundamental ways? My main goal as a father will be to guide my children to be well-adjusted people who are content with their lives. I won’t be focused on achievement. Sure, I’ll expect them to pursue some sort of post-secondary education, but I don’t want them studying day and night, either. I want them to enjoy balanced lives. Maybe this is wrong. Maybe I should focus on achievement. I just don’t know.

But I do know this—once my children reach their mid-twenties and have received the rudiments of their upbringing from Becky and me, I’ll be unable to go back and fix what we did wrong. Our children will have to live the best they can with what we’ve given them, even if what we’ve given them is fundamentally flawed.

Even naming our children presents a problem. Becky and I like the name Maximillian Jaddie Dodd for our first child. I suggested the name Max to Becky, and we both agreed that we wanted his real name to be a little more substantial, hence Maximillian. I suggested Julian as Max’s middle name, in honor of Becky’s paternal grandfather, but Becky wanted our son to have my name. My aunt doesn’t like the name Maximillian. She says his peers will tease him, and she suggests the name Michael. We’ve already given our unborn son a name and already we may have made our first mistake. Oh, how I hope not!

This parenting stuff is very frightening business. I’m so afraid of the mistakes I’m certain to make.

If you have any wisdom you’d care to share with me, please !

May 12, 2008

Amazing fact of the day: there are only a couple dozen engineers working on Photoshop at Adobe. This information comes straight from John Nack, Photoshop’s Senior Product Manager. I would’ve thought there’d be at least a couple hundred engineers working on Photoshop, given the program’s breadth and depth.

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there. This is Becky’s first Mother’s Day as a mother.

May 2, 2008

Make that 1869 diapers.

Holy crap!

April 29, 2008

Below I said that we had a lot of stuff for Max but no diapers. That’s changed. Rite Aid had a sale and we now have 749 diapers. I wonder how much time Becky and I will spend changing 749 diapers.

April 26, 2008

We’ve posted all the images from Becky’s school shower. Thanks to Jodi Banks for pulling camera duty, and thanks to everyone else who also made the shower such a special event!

April 13, 2008

Max already has too much stuff and he’s not even outside of Mama’s womb to enjoy it! The little rascal already has about thirty outfits, and every day someone is buying him a new one. He even has his own pair of high-top Nikes. You know, a growing boy has to have adequate support! Grandpa has a sign in his shop that says, “Broken toys fixed here,” but little Max hasn’t even had a chance to break a toy yet. In fact, he has about 136 days before he even breaks Mama’s water. Today Becky bought Max a “sleep sheep” that has four “soothing” sounds, including mother’s heartbeat, spring showers, ocean waves, and whale songs. There’s all of this and not a single diaper!

April 11, 2008

Our yet-to-be-born son, Max, now has his own domain—maxdodd.com. He’s not even out of the oven yet, and already he’s a studmuffin! His domain will redirect here until we build a site for him, which probably will be quite a few months into his life.

April 9, 2008

Today is the halfway point of Becky’s pregnancy. It’s been a long and complicated road in getting this far, but all evidence we’ve seen shows that our efforts have been fruitful—and our little apple has twenty more weeks before meeting us.

Today my father-in-law and I worked on Mr Max’s nursery, and Becky and her mother went shopping at Babies “R” Us. Max already commands center-stage attention in the family, and we’re thankful for having the resources to make his life a good one.

April 3, 2008

Adobe Photoshop Product Manager John Nack provides guidance on the Creative Suite roadmap, specifically relating to 64-bit support. In short, 64-bit versions of Windows will get full support in CS4, but Mac users probably will have to wait for CS5 for full 64-bit support. Support for 64-bit memory addressing is meaningful only when accessing data larger than four gigabytes.

April 2, 2008

Adobe made a public beta of Lightroom 2 available today. Get it here. John Nack details new features as well as offers links to Lightroom 2 beta coverage.

March 28, 2008

Becky and I found out on Wednesday that we’re having a boy. His name is going to be Maximillian Jaddie Dodd. We’ll call him “Max.” We hope to give Max the best world possible. My late father would be proud of little Max because Max can carry on our family name. I’m looking forward to meeting Mr Max and helping him with his journey.

February 19, 2008

Happy first birthday to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, happy eighteenth birthday to Photoshop, and happy fifth birthday to Camera Raw. All of these essential tools share the same birthday.

February 17, 2008

Yesterday Becky and I attended our first baby education class. It was Baby Care Essentials at Northside Hospital. Reid Tatum was our instructor.

We learned a little about how to handle a baby properly, feeding, diapering, what to do when baby gets sick, how to soothe a crying baby, and some tips for picking a good pediatrician. We learned that for a person to be certified in car seat safety, he or she has to attend a forty-four class. Wow! We thought we’d just strap the seat in and go. We practiced on baby dolls and I was as big a klutz as ever—and the baby I was working with didn’t wiggle a bit.

February 15, 2008

Yesterday Becky and I went for our second appointment with our obstetrician. The baby has nearly tripled in size, growing from 2.17 cm to 6.17 cm in less than four weeks. Her or his heart is beating at 165 bpm. In eight more weeks we'll learn whether the baby is a girl or boy.

January 30, 2008

Today I added more photos to our main gallery. Carol Marika Dye, one of the models featured, was also featured in FHM. Mary Lynn Fuller, another featured model, was crowned winner of the Miss America Majestic Miss competition in 2006. Lisa Jaymes is a former Detroit Pistons cheerleader.

Sony is developing a full-frame CMOS sensor that captures 24.81 megapixels of data. That’s even more than Canon’s mighty 1Ds Mark III. It’ll be interesting to see how the new sensor performs at high-ISO settings.

January 25, 2008

Canon puts mucho DSLR power and goodness into the hands of budget-minded photographers in the form of the new EOS 450D.

January 21, 2008

January 10, 2008

Here’s the new focus of my wife’s and my life (click thumbnails for large images):

My wife and I have been trying to conceive for about a year and finally resorted to in vitro fertilization at the Emory Reproductive Center in Atlanta, Georgia. We were successful on our first try at IVF.

I’ll post every updated ultrasound image we receive, and once our kid is let loose upon this earth, we’ll post a picture a day for his or her first year. Becky’s expected due date is August 27.

January 1, 2008

New content is coming. My life and focus have changed completely.