Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Gil's First Halloween

Mom just couldn't resist. Gil's not a week old and she's already dressing him in ridiculous clothes! Check out some of his wares for Halloween.

Today was a busy day with Gil's first doctor's appointment. Quite enjoyable seeing all the kids coming through dressed in their Halloween clothes. Another couple had their newborn (only a few days before us) in for the first time too. Their second child, they seemed like the steely veterans we hope to be.

The appointment went well. He's packing back on the weight typically lost after birth. And to top it all off he peed on the doctor.

Hey! That's what you get when you strip him down and start jostling around his sensitive junk! Dad was proud!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Day of Firsts

So, Day 3 in the Johnson homestead. Gilbert, Kristen and myself are adjusting nicely. We've had a few bumps along the way, but Team Johnson is persevering!

Gilbert has had a bit of reflux - mainly in the evening - but Kristen quickly adjusted his feeding and now Gilbert is doing better. The nights have been fun. We have a 'Moses Basket' - basically a little portable wicker basket designed for newbies. Our plan was to have him sleep in it and be in our room. He's slept between us on the bed both nights. We just can't get enough of him!

The beginning of many firsts - yesterday we took him out for his 'first' stroll around the block. He's a natural behind the wheel of the car! If he could only reach the turn signal, though... But seriously, testing out the stroller, it was great to be outside after days of being relegated to the hospital room.

He also had his first 'birdie bath' in preparation for seeing Grandma Taya. She came in for the day to visit Gil and he responded by sleeping the entire time!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Exclusive! Pictures of Gilbert!

Unfortunately, People Magazine wasn't buying the exclusive rights to the Baby J birthing or his first photos (like Kristen would let me sell them anyway!) so for the first time seen by the outside world, herrrrrreeee's Gilbert!

Saturday, October 27, 2007



Gil was born Friday morning, October 26th at 4:19am. Mom and son are feeling great after a long night and lots of amazing work done by my wife. She is definitely my hero!

Gil weighed 7lb. 9 oz. and was 20 inches long; fully equipped with a full head of hair, beautiful dark blue eyes, a great set of vocal chords, and overflows with life. Well, at least when he's not sleeping! Kristen and I are overwhelmed with joy!

I promise pictures will show up on Sunday once the family is back home!

Oh yeah, for those who followed the clues, you are probably wondering how you can get initials from G and J. Well, the nickname - at least my idea for one - is GM.

The way the little guy is going to run our lives, he's in essence our manager or for those sports fans out there...he's our little "GM" - General Manager!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday's Clue

Here you go. Another clue!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Clue

Another piece of the name is revealed. Oooh! Aaaah!

Good luck!

Kristen continues to be doing well. Had her latest doc appointment on Tuesday. Had to take a stress test b/c the little guy hasn't been moving as much, or at least seemed to be.
Heartbeat strong, but like his mom he's enjoying the warmth darkness and 24/7 access to food and is being stubborn about giving those things up!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Just getting this out of the way now as Baby J could arrive anyday!

As you've read in my prior blogs, Northwestern Memorial now has a new women's hospital. Included in this post is a map of the hospital's campus along with the location of Prentice and parking garages.

Here is the information you need:

The New Prentice Women's Hospital at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
250 E. Superior

Hospital Operator - (312) 926-2000
Visiting Hours: 9am - 8:30pm


Valet : $16 for seven hours or less
Self parking is available in the Huron/St.Clair parking garage, 222 East Huron St.

Discount rates are available for patients and visitors.
$9.00 for seven hours or less
$18.25 for eight to 24 hours

*Parking receipts must be validated at customer service desks located in Feinberg/Galter Pavilions

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Pics of My Niece

Just got these from my sister. Maddie is now 3 1/2 months old. She's mastered the art of 'tummy time'!
She's in full action mode!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Week 39

The countdown continues. Kristen is done working...lucky girl! We continued to take advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a walk along the lakeshore. Extremely windy, it was, but beautiful nonetheless.

For a quiet, no-crowd walk I recommend driving down to either the 31st or 39th Street exit. Parking is available (for free!) and you have instant access to walk along the shoreline with great views of the city skyline when walking north.

The nursery has been complete for some time now, but for what will hopefully be our last weekly update photo we took it together this time.
Excited parents-to-be, we are!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


With Kristen officially done working for 'the wo-man', it is time to get Baby J out and into the world, I say!

She'd prefer a few days to herself next week, but being the sneaky guy that I am we had a full day of errands planned - that required lots of walking! Sneaky? Yeah right! She saw right through my pathetic attempt to mask the pain of errands knowing my agreement was to attempt to coerce the little guy into starting labor. Then again, jumping up and down like a little kid who wants his way probably tipped her off as well that I want Baby J here. NOW!

I did the start the day right, though, by indulging Kristen in two of her favorite weekend activities...sleeping in followed by breakfast out! We went to Ina's, over on Randolph Street. An upscale eatery, their menu had the typical breakfast items but with flair. Kristen had whole wheat oatmeal pancakes with bananas. I had a four veggie frittata. FRI-TA-TA. I just like saying that. FRI-TA-TA. FRI-TA-TA. FRI-TA-TA.

Oh, sorry. Anyway, after breakfast it was off and out to do errands. Not a lot of fun, especially in city traffic (and with the Buckeyes playing!), but we made short order of our tasks. Kristen has been in an endless search for a floorlamp in the living room. Totally unnecessary, if you ask me. But then again, she never does! Today's venture produced no lamp. AGAIN! But hey, she scored an incredibly sexy nursing bra. Can't wait for her to slink into the bedroom with that on. Grrrrr!

The day was, that is. A bit warm in the sun, the night was cool and windy so we went for a walk along the river and through the downtown. At a pace that might jumpstart delivery. At Kristen's request, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Back on the couch to watch Michigan beat Illinois, contractions have started. OH YEAH! Sporadic, yes. But they must start somewhere, right?

Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pre-Game Warmups

Yep, game time is close. Kristen's latest doctor appointment revealed Baby J is in position, lowering, and depending on his mood could come "anytime".

A little early, but quite welcomed!

The bags are packed, the birthing plan complete, food stores aplenty (well, is there ever 'enough food'?), and all that remains is one more cleaning of the house - Kristen's request.

Of course, we're holding out for the new hospital - which goes online 8:31am on Saturday. And who wants to be the first one, right? So, if all goes well, Baby J will emerge next week. Then again, he could get stubborn and hold out. If that appears so, tactics will have to be used to coerce the little guy out. You know...spicy food, a little exercise, or some other form of exertion!

Kristen is doing great. Not uncomfortable, but some contractions are occuring. The kid is so close to the surface, I think I saw him smile last night! On the flip side, I'm just waiting for him to pull an "Alien" and pop out through her chest!

Doc made the call Baby J will be 8 lbs. 1oz.

What is your guess?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Clue #3

The first letter is revealed!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

I'm reminded of that Jack Johnson song. Down to just weeks, if not days we're tiding up loose ends and preparing for Baby J's arrival. This weekend is prep weekend.

Bags are packed, food is being made ahead and frozen, and supplies stocked. I find myself reading and rereading sections of the baby books purchased (and given to us) in hopes of gleaming critical information not yet memorized. I'm sure all of you that have gone through this can remember those last days scrambling thinking you hadn't done enough or read enough or simply aren't prepared.

I don't necessarily feel that way, but knowing the Unexpected is waiting for you (and is doing so with a smile!) is slightly unnerving and incredibly humbling.

So I find myself not sitting watching the belly move, while waiting for the day to arrive wishing it would get here now!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Braxton-Hicks. He's no friend of mine!

Yep, you ladies have been there and you know what I'm talking about. The thrills of false labor in the form of contractions known as Braxton-Hicks.

Kristen has just begun to enjoy this experience. Take last night for example, I'm working on the computer and she's in the other room watching the tele. All of a sudden an "Ooh" breaks the silence. Being the attentive husband that I am, I jump up to find out what's going on.

Was something cool happening on television? Did she slip, fall, etc?

Nope just false labor in the form of a Braxton-Hicks contraction.

After this occurred a few times last night, I find myself already desensitized toward it, much like a car alarm. The false contractions continued this morning. I made the mistake of calling them false contractions and was quickly corrected by Kristen.

"Oh, they're real alright (explicative here)!" she said.

False contractions, false labor. It is all the same, right? Until it is "go time", it is all false to me.

I'm sure that comment will win me points tonight!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Clue #2

Here's clue #2. Parts of the name is revealed in the images.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Let's Play A Game. Guessing Baby J's Name!

I know the suspense is killing you. I've heard all kinds of names and theories of what Baby J's name will be. This would be easy for all of you if you could accept a Patrick Jr., but no the masses have spoken (not to mention Kristen vetoed it!).

Like all of you with kids, we wrangled, wrestled, and worried over the selection of his name. Will it stand up to the teasing of playground bullies (like P.E. will even be in existence by the time he's in school)?

Would it sound good on television as he sinks a putt to win the Masters, or on the evening news as he runs for the Senate?

Of course, with his last name, we had to make sure it would stand up to the tabloid test as well! Dustin, nope? Who wants a Dusty Johnson. Rusty, well, no need to explain that one. Maybe Harrison. Uh, nope there either!

But alas, a name has been chosen. A secret it is, but perhaps to some of you, it may be revealed in the clues that will follow in weeks to come.

To get the party started, included in this post is a picture of Baby J's crib, literally. Now complete, his name hangs above his future place of domicile.

So, let the games begin. Here's your first clue. He will have a nickname of two letters, just like his daddy.

The Hunt for October Pumpkin

This post is a week late. My bad. Last weekend, Kristen and I headed out to the old 'hood of West Chicago to hang with our friends Tim, Jen, and their daughter Kathryn. Across from their neighborhood is a working Farm called Sonny Acres.

Well, come Fall, they celebrate the annual harvest with rides and entertainment for kids as well as making available for sale an assortment from their harvest - gourds, pumpkins, corn, etc.

In the market for a pumpkin and a last opportunity to visit friends before going into 'baby jail', we planned a Sunday morning visit (had to get back to the house for the abysmal showing called Bears football).

The day was gorgeous and Kathryn had a blast playing in the corn maze with Mom, riding a pony, and doing a sack ride on a slide with Dad. Kristen and I found time for a little fun as well!

Friday, October 5, 2007

36 Weeks

Here's the latest photo of Kristen. This was from earlier in the week (the start of the 36th week). Kristen continues to do well, but she is definitely slowing down and her new center of gravity makes general mobility a challenge at times!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What is rBGH? And how do you and your child avoid it?

rBGH - Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone - is commonly used in milk producing cows to increase their overall milk production. However, the use of rBGH has been deemed controversial as studies have shown the effects of its use on both the cow and those who drink milk with this growth hormone.

Not to dive into too much detail, but basically rBGH increases the risk of some types of cancer in humans and has an affect on the cow which results in the need for antibiotics. As a result, human consumption of milk with antibiotics can lead to a greater level of antibiotic resistance and make it harder for doctors to provide treatment to you - or your child - when becoming sick.

So, want to avoid buying milk with the hormone? Simply pay closer attention to the packaging. Chances are your milk is already free of the stuff. When Kristen became pregnant, I went on a mission to find milk free of antibiotics and hormones.

To my surprise the milk at Costco touts being free of both! Quite a relief when I thought we'd be forking out more cash for the "organic" milk!

By the way, the frozen chicken breasts from Perdue carried at Costco are free of antibiotics and hormones as well.

Just a tip from your friendly neighborhood research junkie!