Note: I am putting the most current posts on the top of this page. To read things in their proper order you should actually start at the bottom and read up. To view entries posted since April, 2004 click HERE.
Update: 29 APR 04
Imagine my surprise when I opened my anniversary present and discovered that I had a new blue shirt to hang in my closet. I could not believe it! I had no idea the shirt I wanted so bad would actually be mine.
As you know, Laura and I went miniature golfing at a place called The Greens here in Valencia. We had dinner then golfed 18 holes. It was a really nice course. It wasn't your typical "miniature golf" place. It was designed by a PGA professional and was really well done. The landscaping was perfect and there were lots of ducks, rabbits and frogs that kept us company all evening.
After golfing we went to Marie Calendar's for pie and coffee (Laura had the decaf). All-in-all it was a perfect evening.
We were both a bit surprised when we found out which wrapping paper we had chosen for each other's gift. We didn't have it planned, and we didn't share the same roll of paper. Coincidentally, we each went out and chose the same exact color in which to wrap the other one's gift.
Update: 28 APR 05
This has pretty much been a normal day around the house. I didn't get home until pretty late. Laura spent the day running errands and going back down to Azusa Pacific University to take care of some administrative things. Tomorrow's our anniversary so I am guessing she stopped of at the store to pick up my present. Actually, I made a pretty big deal out of a shirt I saw last weekend at Macy's in Burbank. I almost bought it, but was quickly reminded that our anniversary was coming up. I'm guessing that shirt will be hanging in my closet 24 hours from now.
Laura and I plan to go miniature golfing for our anniversary. Sounds a bit corny, but it also sounds fun and we're always up for that.
Tonight was the night I was supposed to pick up the ceramic dog from the Paint a Dream store that my niece Julia painted with me last Saturday. It should be done cooking/curing by now. Unfortunately, I got home tonight after the place closed for the evening. I'll try again tomorrow.
In a lapse of judgement a few days ago, I bought something online called a "Lubesuit." It is a garment that is worn under a wetsuit and is supposed to make the wetsuit easy to get on and off. Well, it doesn't work. As a matter of fact, it makes the whole process more time consuming. It arrived in the mail today and I had to give it a try. It was advertised on the website of the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) so I figured I had a good chance that it would work. Oh, well!
Our anniversary tomorrow will mark Laura's and my 9th year as a married couple. For our tenth I hope that we will be renewing our vows with our same pastor, Ralph, conducting the ceremony. This time will be extra special as we'll have our little kid with us for the first time.
Laura is feeling the baby move quite a bit now. I have been trying to feel it, too, but haven't been so lucky yet.
Update: 25 APR 05
Sunday has been a very relaxing day around the house. We thought we would start thinking about the baby's room and how we would be furnishing it. We have an idea of how we want it to look and the general theme of the room, so we set out to see what was available. We went to Ikea in Burbank and looked at some of the things they have. We saw plenty and got some very good ideas. Although we didn't buy anything today, we'll probably end up back there once we've seen all that's available. We then went to the Macy's across the street from Ikea and looked at linens and got even more ideas. Our trip ended with a nice lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.
Considering we're pretty confident about how we want the room to look, our best bet will probably be buying things online. We've found lots of places to get exactly what we need, so that will probably be the route we take.
I made what I think will be my final video clip from our Hawaii trip. I only took about 6 minutes of video the entire time so I don't have much material with which to work. This last clip is 23 seconds long and is a panoramic shot from the beach. In the background you can see the island of Molokai and then Lanai. It ends with a shot of Molokini Crater where Dan, Tara and I spent the morning diving. Click HERE to see the clip.
I've put together some pictures of our trip and set them to music. The pictures are those contained in the photo albums I've already placed here. I think the music in the background makes them even more special. The slide show lasts for 3:57 so it will take quite a bit of time to download. I hope that everyone on the trip will take the time to check it out, though, as it is really worth it...In my opinion. Click HERE to check it out.
Tonight it's a barbeque on the patio and a simple, relaxing evening at home.
Update: 24 APR 04
Finally, Saturday is here and I had a piece of good news: The KISS T-Shirt I ordered for our little one has finally arrived. I want to make sure our kid will be able to show everyone who his/her favorite band is while playing with all the other kids. The shirt features Paul Stanley who is the brains behind the KISS operation. It's a shirt every small child would be thrilled to wear. I set it next to my sandals so you can see what a small shirt it really is.
Laura's sisters and our niece came to visit today. Laura and her sisters went out to lunch and miniature golfing for Laura's birthday. I stayed with our neice and had a pretty good time. We walked over to the park, played on the swings then walked to a place called Maggee Moo's for some ice cream. Our 3 year-old neice, Julia, ordered bright yellow marshmallow ice cream and had them add even more marshmallows to it. After we finished the ice cream we walked over to a place called Paint a Dream where we selected a small ceramic statue, in this case a little dog, and got to paint it. We had a pretty good time. Unfortunately, the ceramic dog didn't. He's now brown with silver and black spots. Julia did it all by herself. When she was done, she walked it up to the lady at the back counter and gave it to her. The lady said she would bake it in the oven for us and it would be ready on Wednesday afternoon.
Laura is feeling really good and the pregnancy is coming along just fine. Right now we're past the first trimester, which means we've made it past the toughest part. The second trimester has been wonderful so far as Laura is feeling better than ever. Once the third trimester comes we'll finally have to opportunity to begin preparing to have a third person at home. That, to me, is when the fun will really start.
I made another video clip this afternoon. This time it's Dan, mom and me in the ocean while in Maui. Keep in mind that mom is blind and can't walk very well. Add to that the fact that the beach is very rocky under the water. To her credit, she wanted to swim in the ocean. She did a tremendous job and we all agree that this was probably the most memorable day of the trip. Click HERE to see the clip. Remember, it will be choppy the first time you look at it, but the second time will be just fine.
Update: 23 APR 04
Once again, Laura is feeling very good. She went to her yoga class this morning and had a great workout. She really enjoys the class as it helps her keep fit and is very good for the baby. The class lasts for about 90 minutes each session.
We went to our usual place for Friday night dinner, but the wait was too long so we ended up at another place across town. It wasn't quite as good as our regular place, the waitress was really mean to everyone and we don't think we'll be going back anytime soon.
I've been working on the website a bit the past couple nights. I am trying to learn how to create a short (under a minute) movie with music in the background that can be placed on this page. I think I have come up with something that is OK for a first try. It's a video of our drive back down the 13,000 foot Haleakala Crater. It was very cold that day and we were up above the clouds. The funniest part of the trip was seeing all the people (just like us) that showed up in shorts and sandals. Some of the really funny people were wrapping beach towels around themselves trying to stay warm. Quite a sight.
Click HERE to download and view the movie. It may take some time, but once it's been completely downloaded you can play it and it will probably look somewhat normal. It took me 12 minutes to upload it and I'm on a DSL line. Anything slower and you may want to forget it. The clip lasts 53 seconds. Perhaps I'll keep my future movies to about 20 seconds so it won't take you so long to see it. Make sure you turn your speakers on so you can hear the music. The frist time you download it you'll notice it's very choppy. Let the download finish then play it over. The second time through it will be pefect.
I'm still waiting for Dan's underwater pictures from Hawaii to come back from the shop. Once they're here I'll get them online immediately.
Update: 22 APR 04
Laura is feeling very good today. She went to her yoga class then drove down to Azusa Pacific University to speak with her counselor about finishing her master's degree. She's got about 3 classes to go and it'll be done. She stopped off and had lunch with her good friend, Molly, then headed back home.
We listened to the baby's heartbeat with our Doppler radio tonight and it was very loud and very strong. That makes us extrememly happy. Hopefully we'll know on May 6th if we're having a boy or girl.
Yesterday Tara and Dan sent the links to their Hawaii pictures using the Shutterfly sevice. I liked that idea so much I copied it. You can see our pictures by clicking HERE.
I'm working on getting some video online, but it may take me a couple days to figure out how to do it.
Update: 21 APR 04
It's Laura's birthday! Hopefully it was a good day for her. She woke up this morning to her presents then I had to go to work. Her flowers arrived a few hours later and we went out to dinner at the Outback Steak House here in town and had some very good food. She had the ribs, I had the Mahi Mahi and we shared some crab legs. All in all it was a wonderful time. Later this evening we'll have some birthday cake.
As you know by now, we spent last week on Maui. We ended up having a wonderful time with everyone. There were a total of eleven people on the trip and I would venture to say that all of us had more fun than we had expected. Considering mom is handicapped and would be somewhat difficult to move around, we thought there would be more work involved than there actually was. She had her helper, Alicia, with her and they had their own room (#418). They ended up spending most of their time in and around the hotel, by the pool and by the beach. We made several day trips together where we all went to the beach and spent the time having fun and just relaxing.
The trip began on Saturday the 10th when we all flew over. The eleven of us ended up taking three different flights. Everyone except Laura and I flew directly from LAX to Maui. We flew to Honolulu first then caught a flight to Maui. We arrived about 10 minutes before mom and Alicia did and Dan met us in the airport. He had rented a minivan and we had rented a car. We went to pick it up, returned to the terminal, met mom and Alicia, then followed Dan to the Aston Ka’anapali Shores. It was dark by now but the weather was absolutely perfect. We rolled the windows down and tuned the radio to 99.9 which was playing 80’s tunes. It was a great drive.
Maui is somewhat built-up now. There is a K-Mart, Costco, Wal-Mart and Home Depot on the road leading from the airport. The traffic on Highway 30 turned out to be pretty heavy at times.
We arrived at the hotel in about 30 minutes. We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel. It was much nicer than we had expected and was truly a resort-class property. We were very pleased when we noticed that our room opened to a beautiful view of the garden area and the ocean. I was able to see the ocean every morning as I was waking up. We could not have asked for better.
Our rooms were complete with full kitchens. This was great as there was a grocery store across the street. We loaded up on breakfast foods, Popsicles, drinks and snacks and were set for the week.
During the first few days of the trip our schedule was something like this: Wake up, go across the street and load up the ice chests at the grocery store, buy some sushi to go then head to the beach. On some days we’d snorkel, others we’d try and boogie board, and we even SCUBA dived from the shore on Tuesday. On all days we’d have a really good time and pretty much just enjoy being in Hawaii. We always had a view of Molokai and Lanai. At about 3:30 we'd meet by the pool for Happy Hour.
Our first full day on the island was Easter so the kids that were with us participated in the hotel’s Easter egg hunt. It was nice of the hotel to do.
There is quite a bit to write about the trip and I will do that in a separate Hawaii section shortly. Dan and Tara just sent me the pictures they took and we’re still waiting for the underwater shots Dan took while we were diving. In the mean time, you can see the pictures Dan and Tara took HERE. It's easiest to hit the "View as a Slide Show" link then press "Play."
Update: 9 APR 04
The day before yesterday Laura and I had an appointment with our OB/GYN at Glendale Adventist Hospital. We were the first patients of the day to be seen. The visit was simply to check on the health of the baby and to take some ultrasound pictures.
This was also the appointment where the doctor asked us if we wanted to test the baby for the likelihood that s/he would be born with a birth defect. We asked the doctor if we could gain information from the test that could be used to help the baby. He told us that couldn't be done and the results of the test were simply to provide the parents with more information.
We declined the test as we didn't really think there was any reason to go forward with it. Whether or not the child has a birth defect, we will love him or her just the same and try our hardest to be the best parents possible. Some have opined that, in the worst case scenario, we would have a chance to prepare for what lies ahead. Instead, we decided we'd simply continue enjoying the pregnancy as much as we have been and to cross that proverbial bridge when/if it comes. Besides, the ultrasound pictures look so good that we're quite confident everything will turn out just fine.
We were able to have the ultrasound session videotaped. That means we can watched the ultrasound on our TV at home over and over again. That is very special to us. If we weren't going to Hawaii tomorrow, I'd spend the day putting the video here for you to see. Instead, I'll do it when we return home next week.
Speaking of the Hawaii trip, we ran some errands tonight to pick up some things we'll need such as extra cat food and a second litter box. I came home and began packing. I got all my SCUBA stuff into my rolling SCUBA gear bag then logged on to the Hawaiian Airlines website to do the check-in over the internet and to print our boarding passes. I was able to view our seat assignment (in the middle section) and was able to make changes. I read somewhere that you want to sit on the left-hand side of the plane when flying to Hawaii as that's the side that offers a better view. Fortunately, the website allowed me to change our seat assignments and we are now on the left. The seating configuration is 2-3-2 so it will be just us with nobody else. That will be great.
Unfortunately, I saw on the website where the airline charges and extra $80 each way to transport SCUBA gear. I called the airline and explained that I am not taking a tank or weights (I'll rent those there) and was simply taking a wetsuit, BCD, regulator fins and mask/snorkel. They told me I was out of luck and I could pay at the counter when I got to the airport.
Not being one to give in so easily, I unpacked my SCUBA bag and moved all my gear into to regular suitcases. They look nowhere near as cool as the Akona SCUBA bag, but I am hoping I can get this stuff on the plane without having to pay the extra $160.
We fly out tomorrow at 3:05pm and will head to Honolulu then transfer to Kahalui, Maui where we'll meet up with everyone else. Mom and Alicia will be arriving within 10 minutes of us so this should be a pretty fun arrival for all of us. They'll be leaving LAX at about 5:00pm and flying directly to Maui.
This will have to be the last update until we return. I appreciate those of you that have seen the site and let me know what you think. Yes, I know it looks as though I have too much time on my hands. I don't. It's just that I want to chronicle my and Laura's activities during the time we're pregnant so that our child can look back one day and see what we were up to and to truly understand how happy we are to be parents.
Update: 5 APR 04
Today has been another regular kind of day. Laura got her hair trimmed and we ran a few errands in preparation for our trip. We ran up to Sport Chalet to get a dive flag that we need to plant on the shore when we're underwater then it was back over to Wal-Mart to buy some beach shoes for Laura and check the price of Boogie Boards. We wanted to see if it would be worth it to buy them here and carry them over, or if we'd be better off to just buy them in Hawaii.
Dan had a good idea: we could use ice chests as luggage then use the ice chests in Hawaii to hold lunch and drinks when we are on the beach. I thought that was a great idea. Additionally, having my clothes in an ice chest means they wouldn't be crunched like they would in a soft-sided case.
In the "Just when you though everything was going to be OK department," I received yet another solicitation from a National Hockey League Club. Seems as though the Tampa Bay Lightning have some interest in our little one. They told me they knew several teams had contacted us and they just wanted to be kept in mind as the little guy/girl grew older. Fair enough.
Laura thought she felt the baby move tonight. That's pretty exciting. Only a few more days and we'll know the gender. Again, very exciting.
Update: 4 APR 04
Well, the results of our motorcyle race a couple weeks ago came in. Remember, this was the Prospectors Motorcycle Club's Goldrush Enduro. It was an event that challenged riders to keep certain speed averages over relatively difficult terrain. As the event progressed, the speed averages went higher while the terrain became more difficult. There were two groups of riders: those who would ride two loops (about 80 miles) and those who would ride one (about 45 miles). Dan rode both loops while I rode only one.
There were 225 riders riding both loops. Of those, Dan finished 70th with a 6th place finish in his B VET OPEN class aboard his new KTM 300 M/XC. When you consider the course was too tough for 84 of the riders (they failed to finish), you'll agree that Dan's finish was very good.
There were 109 riders who only did the first loop. Of those, I finished 53rd with a 2nd place finish in the D SEN 250 class. There were only two riders in the one loop group who failed to finish.
Our day today was spent with friends in Westminster. We had a nice lunch in the park near their house, then we came back home to do laundry and get ready for the week at work.
Laura and I will visit our doctor this Thursday. It is our hope that we will know whether we're having a girl or a boy. If we find out, I'll make sure and get that information on the website by noon. I'll put the information here as soon as we know. Even if we aren't able to tell whether we're having a girl or a boy, we'll probably have some pretty nice ultrasound pictures. That will be very exciting for us.
Update: 3 APR 04
Today has been pretty nice insofar as it is Saturday and I got to sleep in. Around noon we set out to run some errands and to get ready for our vacation next week. I'm very lucky that my coworkers gave me a gift certificate to Sport Chalet for my birthday as it allowed me to get a few things I'll need for the trip. Considering Laura gave me the entire vacation as a 40th birthday present, this has turned out to be a pretty sweet deal for me.
I found the wet suit I was looking for. I decided against the "shorty" and went with a full-body suit by O'Neil that's 2mm thick. It should be perfect for the Hawaiian waters and, because it'll cover all of me, I won't have to worry about getting sunburned while diving. I also got a nice new bathing suit and a hat that will help keep the sun off my face. It's not that I don't have a million hats laying around already, but this one has the dive flag on it so I thought it especially cool for a dive trip.
After Sport Chalet it was a quick trip to Wal-Mart to get kitty litter and sunscreen. Laura got the SPF 4 stuff that makes it easy to tan while I got the SPF 45 and the SPF 30 lip balm. Basically, I buy the highest number they have. If they had SPF one-million I'd get that even though people often tell me, "You know, after 30 it doesn't make a difference." Maybe not, but I sunburn easily and it always hurts. I'm just not willing to gamble. Besides, they cost the same so I don't think it really matters.
Our next stop was the book store where we got a Maui guide book. Once we got home I was on the Internet for a bit looking for good shore dive sites. I spoke with Dan on the phone today and we were talking about diving and how many dives we would be making next week. He and Tara will have the two kids with them. They're too young to dive and would probably get bored spending too much time on a boat. Mom would also have a very bad time on a boat. Considering Laura is with child, she can't dive, either. We figured doing some shore dives would be the hot ticket. That way we could all be together, some people could snorkle, some could dive, and we could all be on a more relaxed schedule. I found 22 shore dive spots so it looks as though we'll have plenty to see.
I began packing tonight because I don't want to be rushed at the last minute. I cleaned my SCUBA gear, rounded up Laura's mask, snorkle and fins and started gathering everything in one place.
Later that night we used our Doppler radio to listen to the baby's heartbeat then fell asleep. Life is very good right now.
Update: 1 APR 04
It looks as though we survived April Fool's Day without too many problems. For the most part, it was a pretty normal Thursday. Laura made a visit to Costco and did a bit of grocery shopping and picked up three shirts for me which was very nice of her. This evening we visited with friends and their two year-old daughter at their home here in town. We had a good time and watched "The Apprentice" and the Lakers vs. Houston game then came home.
Although it was not an easy task, I was able to get Laura to pose for a few pictures. It will give you a chance to see how she looks right now. She went to Mervyn's yesterday and bought some maternity clothes. Here she's modeling a new blouse. She also got some new things for our trip to Hawaii later next week.
Speaking of our SCUBA diving trip to Hawaii, I'll be looking for a new wet suit this week. I have a cold water suit that is 7mm thick and good for the California ocean, but in Hawaii the water will be a bit warmer and I think I'm going to need a suit between 1.5mm - 3mm thick. I'll also get a "shorty" as I really don't need to be covered from head-to-toe, but simply want to wear something that will protect me from jellyfish and from getting a sunburn. Laura, obviously, won't be able to dive, but I'm hoping she'll be able to join Dan, Tara and me on the boat near the Molokini Crater dive site. She can snorkle and still see plenty of beautiful things.
Update: 30 MAR 04
Although today was another somewhat average day, we did get some very good news from our CPA. Laura and I drove down to our accountant's office in Arcadia this evening for our annual "hour of stress." This year we expected things to go pretty well and, for the most part, they did. We were pleased to learn that, even though our little person has not yet been born, s/he is helping in ways we never imagined. We learned that the invitro fertilization procees is tax deductable! Yes, that's right, we were able to deduct the cost of the procedure as well as the trips back-and-forth to San Diego.
After the appointment we came back to Valencia and went out to get something to eat. That's it!
Update: 29 MAR 04
Today has pretty much been a regular day. Laura has been quite sick. We went out to dinner which proved to be a great way to end the day. I spent some time cleaning the garage and organizing motorcycle parts and Laura visited with family on the phone. I am a bit concerned in that I ordered a KISS T-Shirt for our newborn a couple weeks ago but it has not yet arrived. I figured the little guy/girl would want to let the world know who his/her favorite band is. How many kids get to cruise through Valencia sporting a shirt with Paul Stanley on it?
Teddy bears? Little lambs? Bunnies? Right...
Update: 28 MAR 04
This was a pretty standard weekend with not too much going on. Saturday was just a day to relax around the house and catch up on some sleep from a very busy week. Sunday morning we went to visit mom and took the Doppler heartbeat detector with us. We had a nice visit, talked about the upcoming family vacation to Hawaii and just sat around and visited. As we were listening to the heartbeat the baby hiccupped which surprised us all. I think the most surprising part was that is was so clear. We felt very fortunate that our baby's grandma-to-be was there to hear the baby's very first hiccup. We also noticed that the heartbeat seemed much stronger and more pronounced today. Sounds funny, I know, but these are the sorts of things that make for wonderful memories.
Our trip home was a bit rough in that Laura got pretty sick. We had stopped at the McDonald's near mom's house for a bottled water and a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait. I guess that didn't sit too well with the little guy as Laura got very sick. Let's just say that I'm glad she carries plastic bags in her purse! We made it home safely, but not before pulling to the side of the road once so Laura could "get sick." She sure has been a trooper during the whole process. She never complains and will usually say something like, "It just means the baby's healthy and we should be thankful for that." We are.
After we got home, Laura said she felt she could eat a couple corn dogs, so I went out and got those. As she was eating them I was working on motorcycles in the garage and getting ready for the next event. We walked across the street to the grocery store then came home and made dinner. Our neighbors were celebrating their daughter's second birthday so Laura went over and had some cake.
Our next doctor's appointment is April 8th. He'll try to tell us whether we're having a girl or a boy and will also tell us if we're safe to fly to Hawaii two days later. We're very excited to find out.
Update: 25 MAR 04
Yes! The Doppler heartbeat detector arrived this afternoon and we couldn't be happier. I was at work when the FedEx guy dropped it off at our front door. Laura couldn't wait to use it so she unpacked it and played with it a little bit. She got it to work and became familiar with how it operates. Once I got home we played with it a little more then decided to make a digital recording of our baby's heartbeat.
To do this, all we had to do was smear some of the ultrasound gel on Laura's tummy and start moving the wand around until we could detect the heart. The fascinating part of this process was that the baby was actually moving around. When Laura first used the device, the baby was on her left side. Later in the evening the baby had moved to the right. Although we don't know for sure, we believe we woke the baby up as we were trying to make our recording. At first, the heartbeat was very faint. Presumably, this is when s/he was asleep. After poking around a bit, the heartbeat grew stronger. Either we woke the baby up or we just got better at detecting the sound of a beating heart.
Either way, it has been a fabulous learning experience and we can't believe how lucky we are to be going through this.
Turn your speakers up then click here to hear our baby's Heartbeat! The recording may take a moment to transfer, but it's well worth the wait. The heart beats for 22 seconds.
Update: 24 MAR 04
Today was another one of those good news/bad news kind of days. The good news is that Laura is feeling much better. Considering she is nearing the end of her 12th week, we're hoping that everything we've heard about the first trimester being the roughest is true. Now that the second trimester is here, we hope that she can finally look forward to multiple days in a row without being too sick. Although she has been sick quite a bit up to this point, she looks very beautiful and always has a smile on her face and positive things to say. She is definately not the type of person that complains.
The bad news is that the Doppler heartbeat detector still has not arrived. The company sent me a FedEx tracking number. I checked their webste and found that, as of this morning, the package was in Portland, Maine. Maybe it will be here in time for the weekend. Who knows. Regardless, as soon as it arrives I'll have the baby's heartbeat on the website.
Update: 23 MAR 04
Well, the Doppler heartbeat detector did not arrive today. I had hoped to place the baby's heartbeat on the website so you'd have a chance to listen to it. On the positive side, though, I got a very nice letter from the commissioner of the National Hockey League. Apparently, he has been monitoring the website from his office in Toronto, Ontario and noticed that I was a bit concerned that so many NHL clubs were sending our unborn child gifts in hopes that s/he would "Keep them in mind" when draft time rolls around in a few years.
To his credit, the commissioner apologized on behalf of the league and told me that, while his member clubs remained interested in our child, he would encourage them to hold off a few years before making further contact with us. It was nice of him to send us some bibs for the baby to use when s/he arrives in October. We received bibs from the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers.
Laura is feeling better today and we're both very happy about that. I am still quite sore from the motorcycle race on Sunday so I jumped in the Jacuzzi as soon as I got home. Later in the evening we had a nice dinner with people from our "40 Days of Purpose" group in Newhall and then came home to relax and update the website.
Update: 22 MAR 04
This weekend has been very busy. So much so that Laura is very tired right now and today has been one of the hardest as far as being sick is concerned. On top of the sickness associated with the pregnancy, Laura has a touch of the cold that won't seem to go away. She has a sore throat as well. I think the hardest part of this is that she can take no medication. We would rather be safe than sorry and don't think it wise to introduce any medicine into her body other than that needed for the pregnancy. Cold medications will have to wait until October.
Our weekend started with dinner at one of our favorite places in Newhall Friday evening. During dinner we were both thinking that it would be nice to get some fresh air in the morning so it was decided that we would head up to Ventura for a walk along the beach. It was really nice to breathe the ocean air and it really made Laura feel great. We had lunch on the pier, walked around for a few hours or so then left.
Next was a visit to mom's house where we had a poolside barbeque with my brother Dan, his girlfriend and her daughters. As always, it was nice to see everyone again and we all agreed that we are quite excited for our upcoming trip to Hawaii. The girls even had their new mask, snorkle and fin sets already.
After mom's house it was dinner with friends at a nice place in Pasadena. We got home about 11pm and I had to get ready for a motorcycle race the next morning. Dan would be at our house at 5am and we needed to be at the Red Mountain riding area not too far from Ridgecrest by about 7am to get signed up and be ready for the start of the race at 8am.
We arrived in plenty of time and the weather was surprisingly warm for March in the desert. We were assigned to minute 82 which means we would start 82 minutes after the key time of 8am. This is a time-keeping event and they start four riders every minute. The race was delayed, however, as it was reported to us that someone on the course hurt himself and needed to be attended to before the event could begin.
We finally started riding at 10:22am and it was very hot. The race was run in two loops. Dan and I both rode the first loop then he went on to ride the second. I rode in the "Senior D" class which is comprised of guys over 40 years of age that really aren't all that good at enduros. Dan was in charge of monitoring the computer on his handlebars and keeping time for the both of us. He did a fantastic job and he actually arrived on time at every checkpoint on the first loop. I was a bit off on a few of mine but, all things considered, I believe this is the best I have ever done in an enduro. As you can see by my score card, I arrived at checkpoint #1 right on time. At checkpoint #2 I arrived on minute 84:17. Considering I was riding on minute 82, I was 2 minutes and 17 seconds late. I expect to be dinged 2 points for this. At checkpoint #3 I came in on minute 81:10 - about 50 seconds too early. I should be dinged another 2 points for this error. Checkpoints #4 and #5 were perfect. The final checkpoint was the finish line. I arrived 2 minutes late, but I suspect this is a "known" check and I won't lose any points on this one.....we'll see. We'll have our official results in 2-3 weeks.
After Dan finished the second loop we headed home. We stopped in Mojave for pizza and were home by about 6pm. Laura and I went out to eat, came home, and our weekend was finished. Laura did not go to the desert with us as she wasn't feeling well enough to do so and really needed to have all the comforts of home available to her. It was a good thing as Sunday was another rough day in the "sickness" department.
Motorcycle riding has been very important to us over the years. Our child will be exposed to riding and will learn how to ride at a young age. Do we want a professional racer? Not really. Do we want to make the child ride even if s/he doesn't like it? No. Is it just another thing we want our child to be able to do? You bet. It's fun and it's a great way to spend time with people you enjoy. Besides, his/her first motorcycle (1974 Honda XR75 - the same model I received as a 10 year-old) is already in the garage.
Laura and I ordered a Doppler heartbeat detector which means we'll be able to hear our baby's heartbeat. I received an email from the company this morning and they told me it shipped out today via FedEx so it will probably be here tomorrow. Once that arrives I'll be able to record our little one's heartbeat and put it here on the website. I'll put a little button where you'll be able to"click here and listen to the baby's heart." That will be really great.
Update: 18 MAR 04
Today has been a great day. As far as the pregnancy goes, Laura is doing a great job. She doesn't have to give herself shots any longer, but she does have some feelings of nausea that can be pretty tough. She got pretty sick while doing some shopping at Sam's Club this afternon. Fortunately, she has a wonderful attitude about the whole thing and couldn't be happier. We went out to dinner tonight and had a wonderful talk about what it will be like to be parents. To say we're excited is truly an understatement.
We have some upcoming vacations to which we're looking forward. For Spring Break in April we're headed off to Hawaii where we will spend some time on Kaanapali Beach relaxing with about 10 friends and members of the family. My mom, brother, his girlfriend, her daughters, her brother, his wife and kids will all be there. We'll have a great time. I will go SCUBA diving with my brother, Dan, and his girlfriend Tara. We hope to see Molokini Crater from under the water and we might even try and dive off the coast of Lanai, an island I have not yet visited.
In July Laura and I will be headed to South Dakota. I will be attending the University of South Dakota once again (this will be my 4th summer there). This time I'll be taking a class called Educational Administration 885, Dissertation Seminar. Essentially, this will be the final course in a long doctoral program. The goal is to complete the first four chapters of the dissertation by the end of the course then return home to finish the writing. I would like to graduate by December, but it will probably be Spring of '05 when I finally finish this degree off.
The mailman came to our home this afternoon and handed me a package with a Canadian stamp on it. I couldn't help but think, "Oh no, not again!" It seems that the Calgary Flames sent us a little hockey jersey with a thoughtful note that included an invtation to training camp a few years from now. We're considering the invite, but again, our child has not yet been born so we can't make any promises.
Some have wondered where the photos on this page were taken. On the top of the page are pictures we took of each other at the beach in Ventura and a photo that was professionally done. The picture of Laura standing on the bridge in her blue jacket was taken while on vacation in the Czech Republic. As I recall, we were on the grounds of the Prague Biological Institute. The picture of Laura, me, Dan and grandpa was taken in a hotel room in Poland and the shot of Laura in front of the snowmobile was taken during a New Year's Eve vacation to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Update: 17 MAR 04
Well, the beginning of this week has been one of those "Good News/Bad News" kinda weeks. As far as the good news is concerned, Laura visited her doctor in San Diego and had some blood tests run. The doctor was able to give her the news that we have been waiting for for several months: she no longer has to give herself Progesterone injections twice each day. For approximately 5 months Laura has had to inject herself every morning at 8:30 and again at 8:30 every evening. It's interesting to look back and see where we were when we did the shots.
I remember pricking my finger with the needle in the cab of my truck in Lucerne Valley before the start of a motorcycle race, giving shots in the back parking lot of the Carl's Jr. in San Juan Capistrano while in route to the doctor's in San Diego, doing a few shots while driving the freeways and, of course, Laura has had to inject herself in the restrooms at the Long Beach Arena, Centennial Gardens Hockey Arena in Bakersfield and the Staples Center downtown.
Last night was the first time in months that we have been able to go out without having to find a secret hiding place at 8:30. We saw the Los Angeles Kings lose to the St. Louis Blues. It was a good night in that there were no injections involved, but it was unfortunate that the Kings lost the game, and their spot in the playoffs, to St. Louis.
On Wednesday we passed a significant milestone. Laura visited her regular OB/GYN. Until this point the fertility doctor had been the only one involved. Essentially, the fertility guy told us, "I've done all I can do. You're pregnant! It's time to go back to your regular MD." This works out well for us as we had been driving about 150 miles to the doctor in San Diego and now we only have to go as far as Glendale Adventist Hospital. In addition to being a fantastic person, our OB/GYN is the Chief of Staff of the hospital so we know we're in good hands.
At this morning's appointment the doctor was able to take some 3-D ultrasound pictures. These look fantastic! Our child was moving around quite a bit and the doctor commented that he hadn't seen such an active little person in quite a long time. In looking at the pictures, it is clear that this kid is all legs. The child is big for his young age and it looks as though s/he may turn out to be quite a big one.
If you look closely at the pictures you can see the head, arms and legs. You can even see the bones in the fingers and the ribs. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
This has been a wonderful time in our lives. Laura is looking forward to motherhood and I am beside myself with happiness when I think that I actually get to be somebody's dad. I am looking forward to everything that is involved with fatherhood. I can't wait to change diapers, to wake up in the middle of the night, to fall asleep on the couch with my son/daughter sleeping on my chest and to simply running around town and having my little one in one of those pouches that hang on the front of mom or dad. There is alot in the world to which I want to expose my child and I feel like I only have a short time to do it.
The subject of discussion around the Lorenze home every day is focused on what values we want to teach our child. We both think that our little one needs to be exposed to as much as possible so going away to summer camp, being an exchange student and going off to college in another part of the country will be important. There is no gaurantee that our child will want to go away to school, but Laura went out-of-state for four years and feels it was a terrific way to go to school. We will encourage this in our child all throughout his/her life. Finding her way through life away from us will be an important part of her development in becoming a well-grounded human being. We know it will be hard for us, so we're already starting to prepare for that day.
As far as the "bad news" is concerned, some of my worst fears have been realized. Now that this website has hit the airwaves, we're getting attention from National Hockey League teams. This afternoon we received unsolicited gifts from the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks. While we appreciate the presents, we don't quite know what to make of the accompanying notes that read, "Hoping you'll keep us in mind..."
If you are the representative of a hocky club, please remember that my child has not even been born yet. I realize the arms and legs look strong and you're probably thinking "Defense." Let's allow some time for a stress-free childhood. When the time comes, we'll contact you. Until then, however, I would ask you to be patient. Thank you!
Update: 15 MAR 04
This week begins the 11th week of our child's life. Right now the arms and legs have taken shape. Hearing and vision are both functional. For the most part, the body is completely developed and now just needs to grow.
This is a very happy time in the Lorenze home. As the father of a newborn, my hope is to give our child a happy and carefree childhood. I look forward to such things as playing in the park, learning to ride a bicycle, a first trip to the zoo, visits to the beach, going to the petting zoo, going to kindergarten, swimming lessons and other fairly typical father-child activities. It's all we think about right now and the absolute excitement is almost overwhelming.
Here are a couple pictures of the latest additions to our little one's wardrobe. He/she will be born in October so we need to think about warm clothes. With that in mind, I ordered a jumper from the Toronto Maple Leafs and found a very impressive set of knitted booties that were made to look like ice skates by a lady in British Columbia. I think they are both super and will gets lots of use from our child.
Update: 10 MAR 04
As if things couldn't get any better, the customized Los Angeles Kings jersey we ordered from Canada arrived this afternoon. On the front You'll see the Kings' logo with "Los Angeles" written along the bottom. The letter "A" stands for "Assistant Captain" of the team. On the back, you can see "LORENZE" lettered across the top with the number 2.
Why the "A" and the number 2? Because dad has the "C" for Captain and the number 1. We'll make for a great matched set while watching the LA Kings, Bakersfield Condors or Long Beach Ice Dogs.
Fertilized eggs (embryos) ready to be transfered.
They had been in the freezer for about 7 months. The embryologist removed them about 4 hours prior to transfer time to insure they had thawed.
The transfer in progress.
January 13th, 2004
If you look very closely, you can see the pipet that was used to move the embryos into their new home.
February 3rd, 2004
While it is difficult to see too much in this picture, this was the day when the doctor was able to confirm to us that one of the three embryos had taken hold and we had a viable pregnancy. Three embryos were transfered because we had a statistical chance of 33% that the procedure would be successful with a single embryo. Three times 33% equals 99% so we had a 99% chance one embryo would take.
February 16th, 2004
The baby is still very tiny, but you can see that the growing process is well underway.
February 27th, 2004
Here you can actually see the shape of the child. The chin, nose, eyes and ears are all fairly easy to recognize. When an expert is interpreting the picture you can also see the arms and legs.
February 14th, 2007
While there has been much debate over a student-athlete leaving school, we have decided to delay entrance into preschool and allow the little guy to pursue his passion. After being drafted by the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League in the second round of the 2006 draft, he reported to training camp in Alberta, Canada and began drinking lots of protein shakes in an effort to bulk-up prior to the start of the season. While he is sometimes teased by the other guys, he reports they're all pretty good guys and will often help lift him into his car seat on the team bus.
And if we have a girl?
University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux women's hockey program......
Say Hello to the Lorenze girl.
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