3/31/08 - Updated pictures of the baby girl

I had all intentions of getting pictures of Makenna up for everyone to see, but life is busy, really busy. Raider has been sick (he can't even hold down water) since we got home Saturday afternoon. Makenna has been better, but she is still not back to her previous self. Cristi's car wouldn't start yesterday, and it's still not running today after my wonderful uncle Glenn came by and gave me some help.

With that said, here are the pictures as promised.

These first few are really just some nice black and white pictures we've been able to snap over the last week or so.

On Easter, we had the privilege of hosting a large portion of our family for dinner. Cristi's mom fixed all sorts of food, Aunt Bev provided some meats and my mom brought desserts and I think a few appetizers. Altogether, it was a great effort, we had a great time and the above picture sare just a few from that day. The picture of all of us is awesome, I can't believe everyone, even the dogs, except for Makenna was looking at the camera and smiling.

Apparently, we do a lot more sleeping around here than I realized. It seems like just about every other picture is of someone sleeping holding Makenna, or just Makenna sleeping. Here are four of the most recent good ones.

Last, but not least, I had to show you how Dad likes to babysit, how Mom likes to burp, and of course how cute Makenna looks in her I Love Grandma shirt. Doesn't she look like a little angel.

Finally, if you would like a larger size of any of these pictures, please just leave a comment with the picture number that you are interested in. I like to keep the pictures online smaller in an attempt to save on bandwidth and storage (although at this point, it doesn't really matter, I don't have enough traffic). I don't have a problem uploading a few that you really like. The ones I have posted are the ones that I felt were the best of the bunch, although it is difficult to narrow down from a couple hundred pictures. If there is another one you think I might have, just ask, I can look.


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3/28/08 - Makenna has been sick

So Thursday morning, when Makenna woke up for her morning feeding around 5:00 she was just fine. But then she started getting really fussy. This is not common for our precious little baby, so we were obviously concerned. We assumed it was just gas, so we have her gas drops, then gripe water, then tried Tylenol, but nothing really worked. I had to be at a conference at UALR early, so I left just before 7:00. Cristi said that after I left, she actually fell asleep for about 15 minutes or so, but then woke up screaming. She was obviously in pain.

Cristi called me about 8:00 saying that she had taken her temperature and it was very high. Her training has taught her that any fever on a baby Makenna's age requires immediate attention so she went to the ACH Emergency Room. After getting the regular treatments, they decided to keep her for 48 hours to give her antibiotics and monitor her. They tried to get a spinal tap but was unsuccessful.

Today is the 2nd day, and they tried to get another tap, but still nothing. They have run test after test, but still no reasons why she would have felt so bad and had the fever. We thought it might have been a UTI, but they ruled that out too. At this point, they think it was a viral infection and that the antibiotics have taken care of everything.

I've got to thank my parents, Aunt Bev and Aunt Diane for being there for Cristi. I really wish Cristi's mom could have been here too, I know she was just as worried about Makenna. We should be going home tomorrow morning/afternoon so I'll try to have a much happier update with pictures.

I should also mention that ACH is awesome. I'm actually typing this on the computer in Makenna's room. Its a touch screen monitor that controls the TV, internet, media center, games, and so many other things kids (it is intended for the kids) can do all from their bed. I'll also mention that each room has it's own XBox360 with a library of games avaiable 24 hours a day. I haven't tapped that resource, but the fact that it is there is really cool.


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3/25/08 - Makenna is such a cute little girl

I've uploaded a video to YouTube of our precious little baby girl. As you watch it, just make sure the audio is turned up on your computer. It's only 30 seconds long, but you have to watch the whole thing to truly appreciate the video.

(and yes, I'm pretty sure she got this from her daddy)


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3/24/08 - You don't own the road

This is going to be one of my personal rants. If you don't really care how I feel about things, you can skip this post altogether and visit Rainbow Land. This particular situation has not come up in quite some time, simply because I haven't been shopping or in an area where many people are gathered.

Here's the basic problem: There are some people in this world that thing they are owed something. People who think they have been wronged somehow and therefore think they own the place. Of course, there is a smaller subset of these people who just don't care, and they have other issues I don't care to deal with.

I believe that about every other time I visit Wal-Mart, Target, or pretty much any other large parking lot area, there is at least one person who things that those wide lanes were designed and created so that they could walk right down the middle of it. News flash people, those lanes are wide enough for two cars to drive down it, and they were not designed primarily for use by pedestrians. There have been times that I have come into this situation, and the person turns around to see that a car is coming and they get out of the way. This post is not about them. I'm talking about the person (typically with their five children) who does not even bother to look around to see if there is a car around. Not to mention the fact that unless you are driving an electric car, vehicles are not made to be stealthy. You can hear when a car is approaching. Now let's say that said person (with multiple children, none of which they are paying attention to) can not hear the vehicle and therefore is not moving. I'll give them a little bit of a break on this, but at the same time, why in the world are they allowing their children (assuming they are related somehow) to walk down a road (that's what it is, it's a road, a slow road, but a road with moving vehicles) virtually unattended, that's a different rant altogether.

But then there are those people who hear the vehicle, turn around and look, and continue to walk right down the middle...that really gets me, that gets me good. In fact, when this situation comes up, (and Cristi hates this) I will get basically as close to the person as possible (still with plenty of space to stop, of course we are only going about 5 miles an hour) and rev the engine. Basically, I'm tailgating the person/people, and they aren't in a car. I've been tempted to honk, but if I were to do that, Cristi would probably beat me to death with her backhand.

Here's another situation. Wal-mart has the largest pedestrian crossing area in the world. I think the entire area in front of the store is marked as pedestrian crossing. Now, I understand that they have the right of way, but out of consideration, there is no reason to take 5 minutes to cross a 20 foot space. When I come out of Wal-mart, I immediately look both ways to determine if there is anyone coming. If there is, I will simply travel down the sidewalk towards my car instead of impeding the flow of traffic. Once there is a break, I cross and head to my vehicle. Now, if it's busy, I will slowly creep towards the road and wait for someone to pause before entering the crossing zone. Once I'm allowed into the street, I will move at a brisk jog, or at a minimum a fast walk. I recognize that even though I'm not in a hurry, someone else probably is. I'm sure I've been guilty of the things I've mentioned, but I really do make an honest effort to prevent myself from doing these same things.

Last but not least, it's a similar situation in the parking lot, but then when you get into the store, and I'm using Wal-mart again as an example. I will be the first to admit that my wife is guilty of this just as much if not more than anyone else. When you are shopping, and the aisles are just wide enough for two carts to pass each other, DON'T STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF AN AISLE! If I had to guess, I'd say this happens anywhere from 5-10 times every single time I go into the store. What makes it even worse is when you are walking down a major aisle, such as the one in front of the check out counters, someone is in front of you, you've got heavy traffic going in both directions (everyone following the rules of the road, drive on the right), and suddenly the person in front of you, with there entourage of people stops. Comes to a complete stop and you've got to either swerve to avoid hitting them or come to a complete stop yourself and hope the person behind you doesn't hit you. The way I see it, treat the aisles just like you were driving. You don't own the road and you don't own the road, so why do you think you should own the aisle.

Let's say you need to get Tomato soup (a common item on our grocery list). If you have been to wal-mart recently, you know that there are roughly 725 different kinds of soup made by Campbell. And every time you go, they rearrange them. Chicken noodle is on the top row on the left one day, and the next day it's in the middle row on the far right. I understand you have to look for it. But I simply ask this of you, don't park your cart in the middle of aisle next to the macaroni and cheese 20 feet away and walk to the soups. Take the cart with you. Park directly across the aisle from the soup and search while still monitoring your cart. This way, you should be out of the way as people can still pass on one side of you. And if you are in the way of someone (say someone is looking for the tomato paste which you are now parked in front of), you can easily slide your cart a few feet in one direction and everyone is happy.

Some might think that I life a miserable life because there are some many things that get under my skin. I really don't, I just always expect the best out of people and do everything I can to treat others the way I expect to be treated. The above items seem like simple common courtesy and I don't understand why other's can't feel the same way. I do let these things get under my skin more than I should, and I'm sure my blood pressure rises. I would love to get feedback from anyone on why my feelings are wrong, what I should do, or basically whatever you think about what I've said.


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3/22/08 - Diaper Champ Review

The Diaper Champ (in blue and pink) has so far been the best purchase we have made as far as baby products go. We spent quite a bit of time researching the different products including the Diaper Genie II (We didn't even bother with the original Diaper Genie). We also glanced at the Diaper Dekor Plus. After all the research, we decided to go with the Diaper Champ for multiple reasons.

1) The Diaper Champ does not require refills. You can simply use regular trash bags which in the long run, can save you quite a bit of money.

2) The actual cost between out two favorites was the same no matter where we looked. That price was $29.99. By then taking number 1 into consideration, it made sense to go with the Diaper Champ.

3) Our Sunday School class, many of whom have had children of their own, all recommended AGAINST the Diaper Genie for several different reasons. These reasons included difficulty of use and the simple fact that it didn't really keep the odors out very well.

4) From our own research, it appeared that the Diaper Champ would be both easy to use and would actually work. We received no input from others regarding this, but descriptions on the box, analyzing the diagrams on the box, and simple common sense led us to believe it would be the best choice.

Here is what we've learned about it so far. IT WORKS!!! Not only does it work, it is very easy to use. The only downside to this particular item is that there is a rubber ring around the top that can sometimes get caught. When this happens, you have to simply smooth out the area and it will work just fine. For us, this only happens on one side of the lid.

The trash bag we use holds about a weeks worth of diapers, and we could probably put more in, but we didn't want to push the ability of the Diaper Champ to hold in the odor. I found out very quickly that it really does work. I carried the entire thing to the garage to empty it out. As soon as I opened the lid, I was hit in the face with a horrid stench of baby pee and poop. If that smell had been hovering in our bedroom where we are currently keeping it, I would have been either sleeping on the couch or in my truck. Although the smell was bad, it was very easy to contain. Once I tied off the garbage bag, it was gone just as fast as it had arrived. I put in the new bag and back to the bedroom it went.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this item an 8, but only because of the problem we've had with the rubber seal getting stuck. I might could get this fixed with some crazy glue or something to make it stay in place better, but I feel the product should come original with this taken care of. Everything else about this item is wonderful and considering the poor reviews we got on all of the other options, I believe we made the right choice.


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3/21/08 - Newest pictures of the baby

So yesterday, we had the doctor's appointment, and Makenna is a very healthy baby. She has grown 1/2 an inch in length and has lost 1.5 ounces which is normal. The doctor was very pleased about her weight, and her yellow color was not a concern at all.

Today, Cristi got to take Makenna for her first walk since it was so pretty outside. She said it went great, except for the 2nd half of the walk when Makenna started getting hungry and fussy.
Other than that, I don't have much else to comment on, but I thought some pictures might be nice for everyone, so here they are.

Makenna loves sleeping in her grandparent's and parent's arms. She also likes to sleep in the big bed with us, as long as she is swaddled well.

She got her first bath at home the other day, and although you can't really tell from the pictures, you would have thought that we were beating her. Not before, or since, has she yelled and screamed as loud as when she was getting cleaned up by Cristi. Of course you see in the pictures how she left when her daddy held her.

We were told we had to take pictures at out doctor's appointment, but I wasn't sure what we could take pictures of. So here she is all bundled up ready to go, and then with me holding her, wrapped up in a blanket.

Last but not least, these are just a few of the pictures I thought were really cute of her. That is how she fell asleep in the first one. I picked her up like that, she stretched and fell asleep almost instantly. The striped shirt is a 0-3 month outfit and you can see she still doesn't fit in it great. You can also tell she's not a fan of getting her diaper chagned. Finally, it might not be the safest thing in the world, but she stays comfortable and Cristi and I are comfortable with the safety of. But doesn't she just look cute all wrapped up like that?

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3/20/08 - First doctor's appointment

Makenna has her first doctor's appointment this afternoon. We were hoping to see Dr. Robert Choate, who was my pediatrician for the first 20 or so years of my life. He was also my brother's doctor. Instead, we are going to be seeing Dr. Frazier in the same clinic. Dr. Frazier is the father of one of the girls that Cristi and I went to high school with. She was also on the same cheerleading squad as Cristi.

I'll have another update this evening with more pictures, and some information about the appointment. We are hoping that Makenna's yellowish color is not too bad and we can continue breastfeeding. The color has gotten MUCH better in the last couple of days, and her diet and dirty diapers has remained constant and healthy.

This will be her first experience in the outside world (with the exception of the ride home from the hospital. It's a pretty exciting day for her (as well as her proud parents).

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3/17/08 - She's an interesting one...

So far, I can't complain at all about Makenna's personality or behavior. The first two nights were pretty rough, mainly because we didn't know what was going on. We were trying to get her to sleep in her bassinet, but yesterday afternoon, realized that that won't work at this point. After 9 months of being actually part of Cristi, she has separation issues if she is too far away. Because of this, Cristi stayed up all night the first two nights, to make sure she would sleep and eat and stuff.

Last night, we put her in our bed, right between us, surrounded by pillows so we wouldn't roll over on her, and she slept for over 4 hours without waking up once. Needless to say, we both got great sleep last night and if future nights can be like that, I won't have a complaint in the world. In fact, it worked out great for me because I was able to get up super early with her, Cristi fed her, I changed her diaper and she and I watched an episode of SportsCenter together, and then went through my RSS reader, email and other misc websites, all before about 10:00.

I got out this afternoon to pick up a few things and then came back home only to spend the last several hours trying to get my computer setup so I can work from home. I'm almost there, but I basically lost an entire day trying to get things working. I should have it done by in the morning and I can get started on some work. I'm really grateful to Midland for letting me have the opportunity to stay at home for two weeks and only use a week of vacation (this assumes that I work at least a half day average during that time period).

That's all I've got for now. As we start using different baby products, I might start writing about them because I know that there are plenty of other pregnant people out there that just don't have a clue about stuff. My first review will probably be the Diaper Champ....it's sweet.

Last but not least, Makenna is once again an internet superstar with her pictures up on the Baptist website (actually a company they outsource to). You can see her pictures on their website. I have to admit that I personally don't think she looks very cute in those pictures, but you can be the judge.

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3/16/08 - Non-Makenna related....

This is a sad announcement that I will not be hosting a March Madness Pool this year. I am usually able to get plenty of help from my brothers in picking up brackets and getting more players, but this year, with Greg in graduate school, Phillip working and living in Conway, and of course Makenna coming into my life, I will not be able to get the brackets together in time and will not have the energy or the extra time to organize everything. I have all intentions of getting this back next year in full force and I still plan on filling out a bracket. In fact, I will be forming two leagues (not for money, and no work on my part in two places. I will have an update later on showing where they will be hosted. One will be a Google widget, the other will be on Facebook.

That didn't take as long as I thought. Here are the two groups, with links to the respective groups:

Facebook Group - open to everyone

Google Pages - You will need to add the gadget to your Google homepage and then join the league "Walker Pool 08" with the password "walker" and you'll be part of it.


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3/15/08 - A few pictures

I have no idea what the easiest way is going to be for me to get these pictures up with some captions on them. I could easily do it on facebook, but then only people with Facebook accounts could see them. I'll try to group them in sections with generalizations and see how that goes. Enjoy the pictures and there are plenty more where that came from. We have close to 400 pictures of the first 24 hours of her life. Luckily, it has slowed down a little bit, so hopefully she will not be blind from all the flashes. I say that, knowing good and well that once I have a little more energy, I'll be taking picture after picture of her myself.

As for the first night at home, it was very very very long. It stormed, so Raider was very nervous and freaking out. I don't think Makenna was comfortable with anything going on, so she would not sleep unless you were holding her. On top of that, even when she would sleep it was in about 30 minute increments and then she would kind of try to feed. This allowed me to get a couple hours of sleep, but if Cristi got more than about 2 hours last night, I'd be surprised. We did get it worked out today though in that while she as sleeping (in 2-3 hour increments), I took her and let Cristi sleep. This allowed Cristi to get several hours of sleep and up until about 30 minutes ago, we have both had plenty of energy.

With that said, here are some pictures. The blurb beneath will be the captions/descriptions of the images. Also, I know some of them are sideways, but you are going to have to use your imagination for now because I'm way too tired to be rotating them right now. Also, you will notice that there is a red mark, just below Makenna's nose. That is a birth mark and she gets it from her Aunt Diane. It has already faded quite a bit, but it is very noticeable in many of these pictures.

This was on the way in to the hospital. As you can see, Cristi was not feeling her best. Next is Dr. Singleton, who is a great guy and we both HIGHLY recommend him as a doctor. They gave me a Daddy shirt with her footprints on them and proof of her weight at birth.

That is one proud dad :D

This would be the proud grandmas (nana, grandma, and mimi) and a proud dad comparing noses (and yes, they match).

Look at the size of those feet in that first picture. 2nd picture - we are all in so much trouble...I'm pretty sure I speak for all of the men in that picture that she already has us wrapped around her finger. The rest of those pictures are family getting to hold the new baby and the entrance to our room that my mom made up for us.

She was not happy with us for some reason, I don't remember what we were doing. Then we had to get her all pretty for her pictures in the nursery. We were hoping to get pictures like the next one, but instead, she decided to start acting up right after we got one good one. The nursery pictures came out alright, but they didn't show off how cute she really was. What you may or may not notice is that with that beautiful dress, Cristi let me put some white and pink Raider (the football team) booties on her. Of course, with her long skinny feet, they didn't really stay on very well.

Here are a few more pictures of her all dressed up, and then a shot of her as we walked out of the hospital. Yes, that's a Razorback hat she's got on.

This last group of pictures shows mom, dad and makenna on our way home. Then Raider got to meet Makenna first thing. He sniffed and sniffed, but I still don't think he's figure out what he's supposed to do with her. He will just walk up and sniff her every once in a while, otherwise, he leaves her alone. I don't even know if he hears her when she cries as it doesn't effect him at all. The last three pictures are from today. Makenna and me laid on the couch and watched the Razorbacks play and eventually, Raider wanted to join us. I was enjoying hanging out with the two of them, I decided to eat my dinner without moving too.

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