Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Eliana…Working it Out

Eliana has shared the stage now for nearly three weeks with her ‘baby brodder.’ Her love for Dominic is apparent — she’s the cutest when she snuggles up to him in the morning to say, “Good morning baby Dominic,” — and the excitement for his birth has now been replaced by the realization that she no longer owns the limelight.

In fact, she’s working on perfecting the art of grandstanding. It seems we all fall prey to her well-conceived notions of needing help to go potty, put on her clothes, eat her food, buckle her seat belt…all those independent things she was so proud of before have now been replaced by a type of regressive desire to be the baby once again.

Perhaps all families of multiples experience similar adjustments. Or maybe we’re just pushovers in the parents department and Eliana has us wrapped around her little finger. Or maybe it’s a mixture of both.

At any rate, we’re growing accustomed to each other and doing our best to maintain some semblance of order and routine.

We seem to have found a diaper that works for the power peeer — it’s the Babies R Us brand. Seldom has he soaked through one of them.

My favorite Dominic-ism is how he sleeps on his back with his head turned to one side and both arms lying to each side at 90 degree angles with his hands in a tight fist. It’s like he posin’.

Vickey’s doing better and is a real trouper to get up at the wee hours of the morning to tend to the little one. She has asked: “Is this what I get for 9 months of carrying this child, that he comes out looking just like you?” I’m not so sure I agree with her assessment, but I’ll take the compliment.

And I’m sure what she really means to say is, “How lucky am I that my newborn son looks just like his good lookin’ dad!”

We’re enjoying the visit of Grandma Codella, especially Eliana. It’s nice to have an extra set of helping hands.

So, for now, we’re all growing accustomed to being a family of four and Eliana’s figuring out what it really means to be a big sister. What a cute lit’l punkin!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Today is Your Birthday!

Three years ago today Sir Tank Thunderpaw was born into the world; a cute little blue-eyed, sweet smelling, cuddly puppy. My, how times have changed!

In honor of Tank’s birthday we bought him a new fun-filled bone (maple bacon flavored filling) and a new doggy tricks book. We’ll have to see if we can implement some of the new tricks before the family comes in August.

Also in honor of his birthday, here’s his pedigree:

Sire: Baron Von Vegas
Dam: Misty Desert Dawn

Dad's Parents: Robert Millhouse Quayle and Alana Blue
Paternal Grandpa's Parents: Casper the Original Ghost and Misty the Original Ghost
Paternal Grandma's Parents: Bandy's Maximillian Dude and Bandys Gretalyn Jezebell

Mom's Parents: Major Kaiser Von Pope and Scout II
Maternal Grandpa's Parents: Kaiser Wilhelm Von Pope and Reyna Shehzadi
Maternal Grandma's Parents: Lusco's Izac B B Clayton and Mercedes Wust Geist

So today, it’s all about you, Tank. Hope you enjoy your birthday, big boy!

Speaking of birthday’s, we’re looking forward to President Hinckley’s 95th birthday concert tonight. Special guests include CBS newsman Mike Wallace and pop singers Gladys Knight (she lives in a neighboring ward in our stake) and Donny Osmond.

In fact, it starts in just about 30 minutes and we’ll be watching it live on BYU TV while we enjoy a scrumptious meal from the Bomans.

Isn’t technology grand? And isn’t it great how ward families take care of their own? Gotta love it!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Two Weeks Ago

Two weeks ago tonight Dominic Joseph joined our little family. Looking back it seems like such a whirlwind.

We’ve been the recipients of so many meals, baby gifts and even gifts for Eliana…we’re truly blessed.

Last night, in my effort to have quality time with Dominic, I held him for a brief period before his evening feeding and in that time had to change my shirt twice, him once, and completely remove the sheets off our bed and remake the bed so we could sleep in it.

I think Dominic enjoys projectile vomiting. That cute lit’l punkin!

Yesterday I got a call from my old (yes, he’s a year-and-a-half older...and not really wiser) high school friend, Evan. He shared the terrific news that after 13 years of marriage he and his wife are now expecting their first child in January. I was so thrilled to hear the news. They’re in the process of adopting a young boy and by next year will be adding a baby. Isn’t it strange how we all grow up eventually?

Eliana spent most of her day with our neighbors who graciously offered to let her hang with their three kids and play all afternoon. It was a good diversion for Eliana and gave Vickey some down time…if you can call caring for a newborn down time.

Vickey’s making her way through the new Harry Potter book…who isn’t?…and is getting around better each day. We’re proud of her for doing most of the work to bring Dominic here and care for him at this young age.

A cartoon I read tonight — awesome book, Steve and Cyndy (“One More and We’re Outnumbered!” by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott) — read as follows: “I thought labor ended when the baby was born.” How true that is! It’s only just begun.

Happy 2 week birthday little Dominic!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Melting with the Snows

We just broke a record for consecutive days above 110 degrees. It’s been downright hot here. At least Dominic came at the beginning of the hot spell.

Since the Snows left on Sunday morning I’ve meant to upload this photo and say how much fun we all had together…I’ve just been busy working. And that’s a good thing.

We were so blessed to have willing, helping hands the week after Dominic was born. Vickey’s parents were terrific, supportive and fell in love with our new little guy.

Eliana tried out her attention-getting tricks, with relative success, and we were just too tired to be disciplinarians. Now that the company’s gone Eliana’s relearning what behavior her parent’s won’t accept. I guess that’s the beauty of being a grandparent, uncle or aunt - you can be a pleaser without having to worry about any long-term consequences.

It’s good we all have people who love us in our lives. We’re very blessed with a terrific extended family.

As for Dominic, he’s a power-peeer. There just isn’t a diaper, onesie/PJ and blanket combination he can’t pee through. I’m afraid to see our water bill next month after running the washing machine every day now, multiple times a day, for a couple of weeks.

The good news is everyone’s happy and healthy. Just don’t ask me if I’m happy at 2 a.m. when I get to wake-up and help Vickey take care of Dominic. We made it through Eliana, so I’m sure we’ll survive this stage with Dominic. I’m just lucky Vickey’s such a good mother.

PS—check out the new photos starting on page 2 of our online photos.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Signs that Make You Go Huh?

During a trip we took a couple years ago to visit Vickey’s family, on the drive south along I-15, somewhere in central Utah, we found this sign in front of a Wendy’s restaurant.

It has caused frequent chuckles since. Chances are, that’s just the type of person you’d find working at a fast food joint.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Ode to Tank

The resident in our home who perhaps gets the least respect (depending on the perspective I suppose) is our 3 year-old-this-month weimaraner. He’s energetic all right. And as hyper as they come.

When we purchased him we decided to let him keep his manhood in the hopes he’ll one day be able to earn his keep. The Vegas breeders, John and Dawn O'Brien, told us we could earn about $500 for each successful impregnation. With one successful rendezvous we’d have covered our initial cost.

It was only recently, however, that we learned we’d have to construct a dog run, completely enclosed, and watch the doggy fun to confirm it happened at least twice. Now it’s sounding like more work than we bargained for.

I guess the male dog doesn’t travel; the female comes to him. It’s done that way so the male dog doesn’t bolt weeks later looking for his girlfriend.

I suppose it wouldn’t be too hard to get a dog run constructed…and I’m certain Tank would enjoy the experience…question is, would it calm him down a bit? Probably not. But the puppies would sure be cute!

This whole breeding thing is just one more thing on my already-way-too-long-list of things to do.

But I was thinking tonight about what a great pet Sir Tank Thunderpaw has been and is. Our 3-and-a-half year-old has taken to having him sleep in her room with her. It’s pretty cute how they both curl up in their respective beds each night. The only challenge is when my sister was in town this April she spoiled Tank by letting him sleep on the bed with her. Now, every morning when we open the door to wake up Eliana we find Tank curled up at the foot of her bed. Guess his doggy pillow is pretty much useless.

Tonight the grandparents, cousins, Eliana, Tank and I went to the park to play; and yes, it was 100 degrees at 8:30 p.m. Very hot! We had fun throwing the Kong ball for Tank and watching him run as fast as he can to catch it, then trot back, ball in mouth, with his tongue hanging out.

He has his moments, as we all do, but all-in-all, he’s a pretty good little…well, 70 pound…companion.

When our friend Tracy visited last month she commented on how we needed a security system. I told her we had one called Tank. And that’s the trufus, rufus!

I’m sure if someone tried to hurt Eliana or come in our home Tank wouldn’t be a welcome surprise.

At any rate, despite the hyperactivity, it’s nice to have someone around who always wants to be by your side and under your feet. It’s nice to know you’re loved and needed.

It’s not so nice to frequently have a wet nose rubbed on your calves or hands, but at least Tank's location isn't a secret.

So, for now, this concludes my ode to Tank. We’re glad we’ve got him and we hope we’re able to coexist happily for years to come.

And if you’ve ever considered breaking into our place…first of all, why, since there’s nothing of value to take; and second of all, once you’ve met Tank, I’m sure you’ll reconsider.

Thanks for being part of the family Sir Tank Thunderpaw.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What’s in a Name?

Today, since I’ve been submerged in welcoming a new baby for the past week, I’ve decided to focus on a new subject as a sort of digression.

Did you know Italians have name days? It’s true. Not only do Italians celebrate their birth day, they also celebrate their name day. And since I’m half Italian, I decided this year to implement the name day policy in our home.

My name day is June 29, in honor of St. Peter the Apostle. The only celebration for my name day this year was me mentioning to Vickey while I shaved that ‘today is my name day.’ That was as far as it went. (I guess Vickey didn’t pick up on the hint to make me a cake and host a celebration. And since she was 9 months pregnant, I’m willing to let her off the hook this time.)

Dominic’s name day is January 22, in memory of Domenico, a Benedictine abbot who died in 1031. And coincidentally, January 22 is my brother’s and one of my best friend’s birthdays. We’ll be sure to celebrate for little Dominic on January 22 next year.

Unfortunately there wasn’t information on name days for Vickey or Eliana. The origin of name days is based on patron saints and I didn’t uncover any patron saints named Vickey or Eliana.

As for name meanings, Eliana is from the Roman family name Aelianus, which was derived from the Greek word helios, meaning sun. Meanings we’ve found for Eliana include daughter of the sun and daughter of light.

Dominic is from the Latin name Dominicus and means of the Lord or belonging to the Lord. The name was traditionally given to a child born on a Sunday. Even though our Dominic was born on a Thursday, we’re still grateful and know he’s a gift from the Lord.

Peter is derived from the Greek petros, meaning stone. Hard as a rock, bey-bay (this pronunciation of baby is courtesy of our Indian dry cleaning lady).

Vickey is a pet form of Victoria, an English name and feminine form of Victorius or Victor. Our friend Tracy frequently calls Vickey Ms. Vickey. I think we should teach her to use proper English and address her as Ms. Victoria. Sounds regal, doesn’t it?

And as for Sir Tank Thunderpaw…we created the name just for him to match his very large puppy paws and grey/silver color, like a royal knight. Now he’s just a royal nightmare. Just kidding…really, we love Tank in our own dysfunctional, neurotic way. He is a weimaraner after all!

So there’s some food for thought as you consider what’s in a name.

[Name meanings gathered from various internet searches.]

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Quiet After the Storm

Amazingly it’s completely quiet in our home right now. It’s so peaceful it makes me wonder what’s wrong.

Also amazingly, little Dominic slept from midnight to 4 a.m. last night. That was terrific! I think Vickey’s feeling much better as a result of some consistent multi-hour sleep. It’ll just be one day at a time and will take some time to get things back to normal…a new kind of normal.

When one of our friends emailed today she referred to us as the Fantastic Four – The Codella Four. It’s weird to think we’re a family of four now. We have yet to drive with all of us in one car (because Matt and Kristy brought Eliana home form the hospital before we checked out on Sunday evening).

I think it’ll really feel strange to buckle in two car seats and strap in two kids and head off to church or to go shopping. I guess it’s one of those things to which you gradually grow accustomed.

In some professional news, my firm, Codella Marketing, made the news yesterday on PR Newswire’s site for agency news. You can read about the firm’s three new clients here. And some additional business ventures are planned for the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned.

It has been good to get things organized and focus on some work this afternoon. Grandma Snow took Eliana and her two cousins out for lunch…and that was three-and-a-half hours ago. I’m glad it’s not me out in that 100+ degree weather. It’s hot!

Grandpa Snow and I plan to do some painting for Dominic later tonight. There are two shelves in his room that were pink for his sister and we’re making them blue. With that activity we’ll complete the facelift for the nursery. Now it’s a masculine nursery instead of a feminine one. I commented to my neighbor earlier that when we decorated the nursery four years ago we made it blue and yellow so it could go either way. His comment was to just make sure my kids don’t go either way. Ooo! (That expression comes from Chandler on Friends; if you’re familiar with it, you understand how the inflection goes.)

One more little tidbit for you: did you know scorpions light up when black light hits them? They’re fluorescent! It’s really eerie. I borrowed a black light flashlight from my neighbor last night to hunt for scorpions – the only way to rid your yard of them according to our exterminator. My neighbor said he found 17 scorpions during the last week in his back yard. Gordon and I went out last night about 9 p.m. and by the time we came in had found at least 15 and killed around a dozen (chopped them up with a shovel or smashed them with a hammer – now that’s fun!). It was like fishing, only it was creepy. Perhaps it’s just one of those things you have to live with when you live in the desert.

So, life goes on at the Codellas and things have calmed down considerably.

Monday, July 11, 2005

On the Mend

It’s Monday afternoon and we’ve been home from the hospital since last night about 5 p.m. We’ve had our share of challenges getting accustomed to caring for a new baby but we’re so glad he’s a happy, healthy kid.

The attending physician at the hospital didn’t give Vickey much in the way of pain killers, just ibuprofen, so I spent a couple hours last night to secure an additional prescription.

Last night Vickey and I were up every couple hours feeding Dominic. Since Vickey had a c-section and because our bed’s so high off the ground, I have to help her in and out of bed, sit up, lie down, etc. And I’m the one to get Dominic out of his basinet and into Vickey’s arms for breastfeeding.

The natural delivery was easier on Vickey (and me), but we’re okay having to work a little harder on this one. He’s worth it.

Grandma and Grandpa Snow have been terrific. They’re keeping tabs on Eliana and Tank.

Also yesterday we were pleasantly surprised by the visit of Vickey’s brother Matt and his family. They came to the hospital yesterday afternoon to see the newest addition. We decided it would be helpful for Tessa (11) and Emma (9) to stay in Vegas and entertain Eliana.

It looks like grandma/pa and Tessa and Emma will stay with us all week.

We’ll have trouble getting Dominic used to not being held by someone, but it’s sure nice right now. And Eliana is in Seventh Heaven playing dress-ups and whatever else with her cousins. In fact, Tank’s pretty entertained as well.

Speaking of Tank, you should hear him whine when Dominic cries. Tank just doesn’t know what to do and wants someone to help the baby right away. It’s cute.

Vickey’s taking an afternoon nap and I think I’ll be joining her shortly. Hopefully in the next day or two I’ll be able to upload more photos.

Till then, we’re on the mend and everyone’s doing well.

Thanks to many of you for your kind words of encouragement and congratulations.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Dominic Joseph’s First Day

It was a great day in our family today. We had our first full day as a family of four. Already we can feel the additional responsibility of having another kid. And already we feel the added joy that comes with it.

Dominic’s a good looking, healthy boy and we’re thrilled to welcome him to our family.

It has been wonderful having Grandma Snow here to care for and be with Eliana. She has needed it. Tonight we got home a bit late and Ellie had just had enough…it was emotional breakdown time. Luckily she was willing to settle for me getting her ready for bed instead of her mom.

I’m home long enough to see that everything’s taken care of here, upload some photos and post this blog, then I’m headed back to the hospital to be with Vickey and Dominic tonight.

One of her physicians visited with us this afternoon and said he’s planning to keep us there until Sunday.

Vickey was able to eat solid foods for lunch and dinner and even got a nice hot shower tonight. She’s doing great! We’re all so proud of her.

Thanks to the great family members and friends who have called or dropped by to check-in on us.

A Baby Boy

I’m happy to report that Vickey’s consistent contractions lead to labor on Thursday. She began contracting about 8 a.m. We picked her mom up at the airport at 2 p.m. and made it to the hospital by 2:30 p.m. They admitted us and the delivery process began.

Vickey got situated in a delivery room with her happy epidural by about 5 p.m. From 8:30 to 10 p.m. she pushed and pushed and pushed, but our stubborn baby boy wouldn’t make his way down the birth canal.

After fetal feces was discovered, it was determined that for the health of the baby and Vickey, a c-section would be necessary.

At 10:49 p.m. he was born. He’s 8 pounds and 2 ounces and 20 and-a-half inches long. He looks very much like Eliana did when she was born, just bigger and with quite a bit of reddish blonde hair.

Vickey’s doing well and recovering from the surgery. The baby is healthy and already responding to breast feeding.

I came home to pick up a few things and am headed back to the hospital to spend the night with Vickey and the baby.

Grandma Snow’s here with Tank and will pick up Eliana from the Coglianeses in the morning and bring her to the hospital to meet her new brother.

And by the way, we’re planning to name him Dominic Joseph.

…more to come when I’m more rested…

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Maybe Today

Perhaps yesterday’s blog helped encourage the delivery process. This morning Vickey woke up with some bleeding and regular contractions.

The doctor’s office told her to eat something and count baby movements for the next hour.

Once that time is up, we’ll call them back and see what they want us to do.

The developments were enough to convince Grandma Snow to book her flight to Vegas and we’ll be happy to see her in hot, sunny Las Vegas today at 2 p.m.

So are we off to the hospital? Will Baby Italiano be born on July 7 (7/7/05)? That’s the question of the day!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Not Any Time Soon

I’m sure you’re all wondering how Vickey’s doctor’s appointment went today. The bottom line...she’s dilated to a one-and-a-half (barely) and it doesn’t look like the baby’s coming any time soon (maybe that’ll jinx it and he will come soon).

The doctor was surprised. She commented to Vickey that she was hoping she would have heard from us already - that we were at the hospital and she needed to come deliver the baby.

But the good news is he looks healthy and Vickey’s managing all right. In fact, he’s so healthy that the ultrasound tech estimated he’s about nine-and-a-half pounds!

Of course, the bigger the baby gets, the higher the chance of a cesarean.

So, who knows what’ll happen, or when it’ll happen.

The doctor did schedule an appointment for Vickey to be induced at St. Rose Dominican Hospital - Siena Campus on Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30 a.m. If baby Italiano doesn’t manage to come before that at least we know the latest date he’ll arrive.

Maybe by that point he’ll be a 10 pound baby. Now won’t that be fun?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

‘Twas the Night Before the Sixth of July

We never thought we’d be saying this, but it’s the eve of Baby Italiano’s due date and he’s still in the womb. I guess each pregnancy and delivery is unique (Eliana was 10 days early).

So many people have commented on ways to induce labor. Almost as many people as have asked Vickey if she’s having twins.

It’s amazing how most of the women who comment you’d think would know better having carried and born children themselves. I’ve noticed men usually don’t say much except to ask when the due date is.

If Vickey’s still in this state on Sunday, I’m making a sign for her to wear around her neck that says, “It was July 6. It’s not twins. Don’t ask!”

During yesterday’s two walkathons I was intrigued by how many people stopped to size Vickey up then stare her down with either wonder or empathy for her low-hanging belly.

Through this experience I’ve determined, just like mothers teach their children, if you don’t have anything good to say, just say nothing.

The next time someone confides in me that they or their spouse is due to deliver a baby, I’ll just smile and say congratulations. None of this: you should walk around the block, eat spicy food, have lots of sex, clean the house, or go horseback/bull riding. Seriously, horseback riding at nine months pregnant?

Perhaps those things work for some but just as each child is unique, and in my observation comes with his or her own pre-developed characteristics, each delivery is unique.

Why can’t we all just be supportive and offer loving encouragement? I guess that would be too easy. And I guess that’s why we come to expect and learn to grow from opposition in all things. And as Grandpa Snow has said, ‘nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.’

With that said…it’s the night before Baby Italiano’s due date and there’s still no sign of him showing himself in the near future. Can anyone say stubborn? Certainly that’s a trait he has inherited from his mother. :)

The only thing we have left to try is for Vickey to down a large Jamba Juice. That was the last thing she ate before her water broke with Eliana. Perhaps a trip to Jamba Juice will make it on tomorrow’s docket, depending on the doctor’s prognosis at her 1:30 p.m. appointment.

Good night.

Getting Closer

Despite inducing labor trips to the mall—not one, but two—Vickey’s contractions were only about 10-15 minutes apart for 3 or 4 consecutive times. Then they’d stop for a while.

And of course, we were sidetracked by a few stores and did a little shopping. You should try Harry and David’s mint chocolate malt balls…they’re to die for.

The three of us walked at the Galleria Mall in the morning, and then spent the afternoon with the Coglianeses barbequing, swimming and just hanging out. Tracy joined us for the 4th of July activities there. We got home around 4 p.m. and Vickey and I made another trip the mall, this time leaving Eliana with Tracy. Vickey experienced some hard contractions there, but still nothing consistent.

We all had dinner then headed outside to witness a cornucopia of fireworks. Neighbors, the City of Henderson, surrounding hotel casinos and The Strip all shot off fireworks. It was very noisy from about 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

While we oohed and ahhed over fireworks (even Tank was involved) Tracy packed and cleaned-up. It took her several hours to find the floor again in our guest room. It was like a tornado hit our guest room and bathroom.

Eliana finally went to bed about 9:30 p.m., Tracy and her friend left for L.A. about 10 p.m., and Vickey and I retired about 11 p.m.

There were no contractions to speak of during the night, so we’re still wondering when this little bambino will come. Her due date is tomorrow. She sees the doctor tomorrow morning and we’ll have a better idea of progress and a possible date for inducing labor after that.

Hope everyone had a fun, safe Fourth of July!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of July

It’s the morning of July 4th and Vickey has felt some more consistent contractions since waking up today. Maybe a holiday wouldn’t be the best birthday, but if you think about it, there would always be a party on your birthday and you’d always have it off work. Not too bad.

It’s hard to get our hopes up though when we’re really uncertain if today’s the day. Vickey’s contractions are pretty irregular and have come and gone for days now.

It looks like we’ll head to the mall to do some power walking.

I was planning to take care of some woodworking projects today, but it looks like that’ll wait until this afternoon.

So, it’s off to the mall for us.

Happy Fourth of July!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Here We Sit

Ever go to camp and sing that song, Here we sit like birds in the wilderness? That’s how I’m feeling lately. We’re just sitting around waiting for something (baby Italiano) to come along. It’s a weird sense of being anxious and excited at the same time.

We purposely went about our normal Saturday routine today, we were out and about shopping, in and out of the car, went out to dinner and a little more shopping…and still no baby. Although Vickey’s contractions are occurring more frequently they’re still not signaling an immediate delivery.

Our friend Tracy from Los Angeles joined us for the week on Tuesday evening. She’s staying until Monday or early Tuesday morning and has another friend on her way to LA headed to stay with us in Vegas tomorrow evening until they both leave for home. Tracy has taught Eliana all sorts of bootyliscious dance moves. We’re glad she’s here to entertain Eliana!

We all went swimming for a couple hours this afternoon at the Coglianese’s and had a great time. Their family is gathering for the naming and blessing of their baby, Mijken, tomorrow. Although Amber and Vickey had due dates just 5 days apart, Amber managed to beat Vickey to the punch by delivering Emma Mijken on June 16.

I guess I don’t really have much else to add. My mom thinks the baby will come tomorrow…sorry to tell you mom, it’s not looking like that’ll happen. My web designer friend’s wife’s birthday is Tuesday, so they’re rooting for that day. And on our due date, my cousin Gina was born, along with a couple other work acquaintances. I’m sure Gina’s hoping for the 6th. It’s just all pretty much a mystery at this point.

We’re hanging in there and taking the 100+ temperatures as best as we can.