0 - 3 months (start at the bottom)

March 6, 2008 - He knows what he likes.

March 4, 2008

Well Brown has been in this world for over 80 days at this point and we do feel like we have been around the world. I think we have our feet under us. I definitely feel more stable than those first 2 weeks when we were home from Utah. Looking back at those pictures and thinking how we felt then, I am surprised we were even able to mix his formula and get it in his mouth (but since he is weighing in at around 15#, we are obviously able to get it into his mouth!). I guess that's why God made babies so tough - so that they could teach first time parents the ropes. We are certainly enjoying having him around and I think he is beginning to enjoy being around us, too. His smiles and coos are becoming more interactive though he still prefers to look at the ceiling fan rather than at our face. He is only getting up once during the night as he often goes for 7 or 8 hours at a time, so we are loving life right now. We have had him in the pair of scrubs a few times that were sent by a friend of Chris' and he is already beginning to outgrow them. We wanted to get a picture of him in the scrubs just before we went camping this weekend. Anyway, we drove up on the mountain to go camping and realized at that point that of course we forgot to put him back into his warm clothes for the somewhat frigid camping trip. We were up in the wind and all he had on were some not so warm scrubs. Well, we used lots of blankets and he did just fine and he loved it. So the education of Curt and Chris by Brown goes on...

March 2, 2008 - Brown Goes Green

Well, OK... maybe not. I guess camping with electricity doesn't really count as "green". But it was COLD! And the electric blanket was amazing. We took Brown camping for the first time this weekend and it was AWESOME! Gorgeous weather, beautiful location on Lookout Mtn, fun friends (who all did their fair share of holding and loving on Brown). It was so much fun, and he did great! He slept through the night in our tent, which was a good thing for all of us, because changing a diaper in 30 degree weather at 2 AM just can't be good for anyone. Here are some pictures to sum up the weekend. And a random video from hiking on Saturday.

February 25, 2008

Well, we couldn't believe it. I kept waking up every few hours last night... wondering if it could really be happening. Could it be? Surely not. He must not be breathing. Or maybe my clock is wrong. But no... when 5 AM rolled around this morning, Curt and I were doing a dance and shouting for joy (quietly). He did it. Brown slept through the night. 10 hours! WOW! I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, because maybe it was just a fluke. He ate TONS last night around 7 PM and then he went down and didn't look back until 5 AM this morning. So tonight, we decided to try and do everything exactly the same to try and recreate the magic. And... he projectile vomited across the room. Really. As Curt said, we got a little greedy. We just wanted to make sure he got plenty of food to help him sleep longer. Well... he got plenty of food. Then lost it all. And then we had to feed him some more because he thought he was starving to death all of a sudden with an empty stomach. Funny guy. So after a nice warm bath to clean him up, he is asleep in the bassinet and we have our fingers crossed that it will be another magical night. We'll see.

February 17, 2008

Fake Roll:



Many of you have asked what Brown would look like with a comb-over, so here it is.

OK... not really, but we were wondering.

February 13, 2008

We took Brown to the Pediatrician for his 2 month "well baby checkup". What a sneaky name that is. "Well-baby". At least that's what Brown said. He was really taken off guard when they gave him 4 shots at his "well baby" checkup (vaccinations). He's really dreading it when he's actually sick and has to go for a "sick-baby" appointment. The doctor wanted us to get his eyes checked out, too, so she sent us over to the eye specialist. He dilated his eyes and then waited for the pupils to get REALLY big before holding them open and shining his extra bright flashlight in them and prodding around for a few minutes. Brown was less than amused. When we finally got him back into the car (the doc said his eyes were perfectly fine, by the way), Brown said that was the last time we were going to be able to get him into the car seat for a while without a fight. But he was pretty pumped when I let him wear these sunglasses around while his eyes were still dilated. He thought the chicks at the park would think he was cute, and the next thing I knew, when I turned around he had flipped his collar up and had strapped himself into the stroller ready to head to the park. Such a lady's man.


February 11, 2008


Entry from Curt's Morning Thoughts:
So what is that sensation you get when your son looks into your eyes, and you feel the rest of the world melt away?
And what is it that draws you in when you hear your son cry in the other room?
What is that thing you used to do at night?
And what is that pain you feel as your child receives his first set of shots?
And what is happening when you breathe in the air off of the top of his head that seems to be a mixture of cookies, morning and comfort?
If it is love, then it is a new kind of love for me.

February 5, 2008
Happy Mardi Gras & 8 Week Birthday for Brown!

Brown has been pretty excited about his first Mardi Gras. He still can't understand why he doesn't get to eat any king cake, but he is very happy anyway with his new grubs from his Louisiana friend, Mrs. Lindy, who wanted him to be decked out in his new crawfish outfit. And don't worry... I didn't let him run around the house with these dangerous beads on. I made him walk.


January 31, 2008 - Great smiles today!


January 29, 2008

The boy loves his baths.

January 26, 2008

Hey you guys. This is Brown here. I was getting tired of having my parents tell you all my personal business all of the time. So yesterday, I sent mom out running errands for the day while dad was supposed to be watching me (ha, fat chance – he is laying over there asleep). So I have the house to myself for a while and after I fixed myself some grits, I settled down to surf the web and came across the Brown Blog. Wow. Who was that scrawny imposter that was calling himself Brown last month? He looks nothing like me. He doesn’t even have a second chin, much less a third chin. Amateur. Anyway, I then began reading the blog (I know, my parents don’t even know I can read. I like to keep them in the dark) and read about how you all have been taking good care of my parents over the past few weeks. I also saw how they did not let you come visit me under the guise that I didn’t need to be exposed to illness. Well, forget that. I am 7 weeks old and I can think for myself. I want you to come to my crib and hang out with me. Well, I still don’t need kids around me. My parents think it is because kids have lots of germs and RSV, but really, I just don’t want any attention diverted from this fat belly. I even took my dad jogging yesterday for the first time. He is out of shape! You should have heard him huffing and puffing pushing me up the hills. Looks like he has been lying around as much as I have. I need to get him into shape.

Oops, I hear someone coming, got to jump back in the bassinet and make grunting noises. Check you later kids. Love, The Brown.

P. S. You have no idea how hard it is to type when your hands are tucked in to your sleeves like this.

January 25, 2008

Sorry to leave anyone hanging that was wondering how Brown's big day at the surgeon went yesterday. He did GREAT! At least according to the nurse. When she took him out of our room, she said, "OK... we'll be back in 2-5 minutes." I said, "What? Take 10 if you are going to do a better job." So for 4.5 minutes I listened intently for screaming down the hall, but I didn't hear anything. Then the nurse came walking back in with him as he was happily sucking away on his pacie that they had so graciously dipped in some sugar water for him. Instead of crying about what had just happened to him, he was way more interested in staring at the ceiling in their office (they had ceiling TILES, which was incredibly more interesting than our boring plain white ceilings that he still is fascinated by).

Well... again, I wasn't in the room when they did the deed to him, but I imagine that he might have had one of these expressions at some point during the procedure:

The nurse said he definitely cried at the appropriate times, but when it was over, it was over. The funniest part to me was that she was describing how they have to strap them down to the bed to keep them still. I asked if he flipped out when they strapped him down and she said, "no... but he did manage to get his left leg out of the strap, so we had to strap him down with something a little heavier-duty than normal." HA! He Houdini 'd himself out of that, too! So he really does have a "gift" of unswaddling himself. Amazing.

January 23, 2008

Well, that day has come. That day that all self respecting fathers dread supposedly for their son, but selfishly, they dread it themselves. Not the first day of school, or that day they leave the house for college. No, it is much more fearful, provoking a wince from 50% of you readers out there. Usually, these things are taken care of in the hospital before you bring your child home, but as the Brown had tubes emanating from various orifices, he has not made this journey as of yet. As this is a family website, I will not mention the procedure by name, but by biblical Jewish tradition, this was performed on the 8th day after birth. Yes. Wince. Whimper. So Thursday, at about 1pm, I will be observing a moment of silence. Brown will most likely decline to be silent for a bit. Prayers would be appreciated for the baby in the family. Also for Brown.

January 22, 2008
6 weeks old!!!

January 18, 2008
Random Videos of the Day - Lots of smiles and burps


January 17, 2008

We've been getting some flack about not making any updates the last few days. Sorry... we've been staring at Brown and trying not to take pictures. It is SO HARD!

So, let's see... what have we done the last few days. Last night was his first REAL bath. We've been doing the gentle sponge bath thing, but last night was the all out "nakey baby" in the big bath tub. We weren't sure how he was going to take to it, but he looked so happy and comfortable. He had that cocky, lazy look on his face and I was just imagining him thinking, "oh yeah... nice and warm. Make sure you get under my left arm pit. That's right. Where's my iced tea?" He was loving it. So we have high hopes that he is going to LOVE the lake this summer!

Brown seems to have a little magic act that he likes to perform - usually when we are very sleepy in the wee hours of the morning. He has earned the nickname around here of "Houdini". He's incredible. We cinch him all up like a burrito (swaddle, if you will) super tight to where he can't move an inch. We lay him down and he pretends to go to sleep. As soon as we walk out of the room, he starts the timer and begins to squirm and wiggle until he can get his hands free. For all we know, he has figured out how to pop his shoulders out of socket so that he can get them out of the blanket, where he then pops them back in and stretches them out over his head like a touchdown and he screams his victory until we come in and re-swaddle him. Then he usually giggles. He's amazing, really. I mean, for the love, Curt was a pediatrician. He knows how to super-swaddle babies. But sometimes, Brown wins, just to keep his dad humble.


January 13, 2008

I'd like to title this segment "Adoption Through the Eyes of a 4 Year Old."
I was talking to my good friend, Cindy, who lives in California. We were with Cindy and Travis for our two years in Michigan where Travis and Curt trained together. We spent tons of time with this family and love their two young boys, Max and Paul. Well, Cindy was telling the boys last week that we had gone out to Utah to get a baby. This idea really troubled and perplexed them, and they couldn't figure out why we had to go to Utah to get a baby. Cindy was trying to figure out what the best way was to explain adoption. They had just watched "Stuart Little" the week before, so she thought this would be a great way to explain the concept, since I guess Stuart Little is a movie about how a family adopted a mouse or something. So, Cindy says to Paul (4 yr old), " Sometimes, when a mommy and daddy want a baby, but they aren't able to have one, another family will give them one of their babies to raise. Do you remember what it is called when a mommy and daddy want a baby and they get one from somebody else to raise it as their own baby?" Paul looked at her for a second and then said... "kidnapping?" HA! Ahhhh... that's classic.

In closing, I am purposefully not going to add any pictures today just to prove that I have some self control. I was taking so many pictures of Brown the other day that Curt asked me if I was afraid that his image would be imprinted on my camera. Good one...

January 12. 2008

Tonight, Brown was just WIDE awake and super playful. We layed on the
bed with him for a long time and played and stared at each other. It was
a most excellent way to spend our Saturday night.

By the way, Brown turned 1 month yesterday. WOW! Seems like he's been here for way longer than that.

January 10, 2008 - First Milestones!

It has been a week of milestones for the Brown. They started off a couple of nights ago around 3 AM. I was sleepily fumbling with getting his bottle into his mouth before his crying hit the high pitch that Curt surely wouldn't be able to sleep through. I kept stepping on something (I had my socks on) as I was walking across his room but I didn't know what it was and was too tired to care. After guzzling his bottle (him, not me), it was his favorite time of our routine... the diaper change! Why does he act so surprised EVERY time I go to take off his diaper? I mean... you would think that by now, he would realize that if he quit kicking and freaking out, that it would only take 13 seconds to get a fresh, dry diaper on, which he clearly loves. Instead, he acts like he has no idea what is happening and that I have something very cruel up my sleeve. It really makes me laugh ALMOST every time (not usually in the wee hours of the morning). Anyway, back to milestones... much to my delight when I went to lift his shirt up for the quick change, VOILA! It was gone! FINALLY! The nasty, crusty, stubborn cord finally fell off of his belly button! Victory! Until I realized that is what I had been stepping on that night. I was going to put a picture of it on here, but just picture a gross round scab, and you get the point. It stayed on so long because they were "using it" in the NICU to have easier access to his veins. That's why it wasn't ready to come off until almost the 4 week stage.

The next milestone is that he hit the 10 pound mark yesterday! WOW! Can you believe how fast he has grown - thanks to the high calorie formula that his doctor put him on to help him gain his weight. Now that he has hit the 10# mark, we are putting him on the normal formula so he won't be bulking up quite as fast anymore. Good thing because some of his bibs are getting a little snug around his neck.

And now for the final milestone... his first bath! YEAH! I have been so excited about this because his dumb cord stayed on so long so we were only able to sponge bathe him. We didn't exactly dunk him under last night or anything, but we broke him in slowly. And it was great! The usual "first bath" things happened... we stripped him down completely and daddy had him laying on his chest while mommy was getting the bath water ready. He was so content that he tee-teed all over his daddy's shirt. Doesn't this happen to all the dads? Then we slowly placed him in the little tub and his eyes got real big when his feet his the warm water. Then he relaxed some until the wet washcloth went over his head which didn't seem to be a completely delightful experience for him, though he did get more used to it. We were having fun rubbing the warm soapy water over his little creases that had been harboring the remnants of spit up and other goodies. The water was quickly getting cooler so he was much less happy. We finished rinsing him off and as the goose bumps were forming all over his little body, we wrapped him in a warm towel and again daddy held him on his chest. Hmmm... while mom cleaned up the bath water. Hmmm... I'm seeing a pattern here. And mom took pictures... and loved every minute of it.




January 8, 2008

Congratulations all you LSU fans! Here's our "play-by-play" of the night:

January 7, 2008

Brown had a busy day on the 3rd, what with the extensive photo shoot and all. Since then he has just been sort of chilling while he is busting at the seams of his clothes. He is expected to hit 10# sometime this week and this is an important milestone for him since that is when he gets to switch back to a regular type formula. He has been on the anti-weight watchers formula (i.e. added calories) since he was handicapped during those first few day with the tube down his throat and all. But since he has developed a double chin (some would say triple), he is the eating champ of St. Elmo and fast closing in on being the pooping king as well. He is cracking us up quite a bit these days as well with his facial expressions and grunting/near laughter. He enticed us to take him on his first walk yesterday since it was in the low 60s here and we had a great time. We first tried to carry him in the sling, but we are obviously doing something wrong since his head was cocked to the side at a 90 degree angle. It didn't seem to bother him too much, but it looked painful to us, so we decided to throw him into the Baby Bjorn. Instead of looking at the sky and all the things to see outside, he squinted at the light and quickly fell asleep causing us (Curt) repeatedly to check on him to be sure he was breathing. Even with the noise of the cars and the bouncing of the walk he sleep soundly all the way home. We are having a blast with him and even getting some sleep here and there. Chris thought it would kill 2 birds with one stone to have Brown in the carrier and then get on the swing since he likes that motion, but Curt got a little nervous watching that so it didn't last long (we'll just have to wait until curt goes back to work).


January 3, 2008
Here's the storyline of today's exciting happenings.

Hmmm... what should we do today? Let me think... Man, I'm bored. That makes me sad. PEW! Someone is stinky! Get me outta here! Wait a second... are you taking pictures of all of this? Man... that ain't right. I'm mad at you, mom.
Ahhh... bribery is good. Sure I'll take the bottle. Oh yeah, who's your daddy. That's what I'm talking about. Full bellies... Life is good. It's been a full day. People just don't understand... it's hard being a baby. Gotta run and do this all over again. Peace out.

January 2, 2008

Happy New Year! We had a nice relaxing day yesterday of not doing too much besides looking at Brown. He enjoyed having his daddy home for the whole day because he gets kind of tired of mom's same old jokes everyday. We just had some tummy time, so I'll add a video in case you are bored at work today. I caught a smile, but who knows if it's real or not. I know, I know... probably not. Enjoy...

Smile? Real smile or gas?


December 31, 2007

Today was a big outing to the pediatrician for his weigh-in. The goal has been for him to gain weight this last week. But I don't think the goal was to be working towards his Sumo wrestling career and tipping the scales. WOW! Good boy. He has been EATING! So much so, that the pediatrician told us to chill out a little bit. He was 6#10oz last week, and this week, he is 8#4oz! Go ahead, boy! Told you he was eating like a champ. Now... we'll see how he likes being offered a pacie instead of the bottle every time. Hmmmm...

"Whatchew lookin' at?" Aren't we glad we didn't name him "Sea-Foam" or "Fuschia"?

December 30, 2007

This is what we have been working on today. A lot of napping and relaxation. There is nothing better than laying there and listening to the sound of your baby breathing next to you. Ummph.


December 29, 2007

Chris's brother and wife (Matt and Gin) loved meeting their new nephew over Christmas (even though we were very strict and made them take 3 showers and put on fresh clothes and spritz themselves with sanitizer before we let them near him). They say it was worth it.

Matt also passed on the wisdom to us new parents that we seem to have forgotten/skipped/ignored which was about the different nipple hole sizes on the bottles. I remember reading about that a while back, but since we got tons of hand-me-down Dr. Brown bottles and didn't really research them, we just fed him bottle after bottle without thinking about it. So at one feeding he would be eating like a champ. Then the next time he ate like he had never seen a bottle before as it was spilling out the side of his mouth. We were like, "Brown... you are killing us, buddy. How do you keep forgetting how to eat?" Ohhhh... what terrible parents we are. Poor guy. We were drowning him every other time with the big hole bottles as he was getting too much at one time. Ooops. I'm sure he was thinking we were playing tricks on him, and come to think of it, I think he would kind of giggle at us as he threw up on us because we were feeding him so fast. He got the last laugh every time. Now he's eating great, again. Everyone... feel free to pass on little bits of "wisdom" like my brother did. We have a lot to learn! :)


December 28, 2007

So, I heard that Christmas has already come and gone. Not sure what happened this year. Seems like just yesterday, Chris and I were pulling the newly cut tree in to put lights on and later decorate with ornaments. Well, the ornaments never were put on and now that seems so much less important. The Brown of course has disrupted in a most pleasing way every area of our life - sleep, eating, traveling, going out at night, seeing friends over Christmas time, Christmas eve services and of course decorating the tree. So our tree stands mostly barren with only a "J" hanging from it (remember back long ago when we thought we were bringing home Joseay ?) and some blue streamers that some thoughtful soul arranged for us before we returned from the frozen mountains. But our home has never been more full. Prayers, letters, emails, texts and gifts are threatening to over take our phones, computers, bedrooms, stairs and indeed our memories. As most of you with kids are well aware, we are currently operating under a bit of a fog so we can virtually guarantee that we will not remember to thank many of you for your acts of kindness over this past season. Brown is doing great, eating like someone who didn't get to eat his first week (very well), and continuing to soak up all the love that we can give him. We continue to keep him from meeting his visiting public (he still thinks he is a rock star) but look forward to the months ahead when we can relax this somewhat. In the midst of all the chaos, mom has been a machine feeding him through the night, learning his moods, signs, and facial expressions (who knew you could say so much with a curled lip). The transition from pink to blue is almost complete (sounds like a star wars transition) and I think Brown has a special expression for when we try to put pink on him though it is not appropriate for this family website. Here's a wish for a continued Christmas season and a most happy new year.

December 27, 2008

Curt finally had to go back to work today after a few weeks "off". Needless to say, he was very sad to leave Brown, but excited to see everyone at his office. When I went in to Brown's room for his afternoon feeding, I saw a red marker on the floor of the nursery, and I couldn't imagine where it had come from. When I leaned over the bassinet, Brown was staring at me with this sign on his belly. Awwwww... he loves his daddy.

December 25, 2007 - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


What a great day. My (Chris) brother and his wife and 3 yr old came into town last night, so we all had Christmas together at our house this morning. Unfortunately, Brown is currently banned from the downstairs area where germs are running rampant. But he seems to be enjoying his new room upstairs. We came up to check on him a few minutes ago (as we do every 4-6 minutes for fun) and he was staring off into the distance, pondering the meaning of Christmas. He's a very deep thinker.

He is loving the lower altitude of Tennessee and is breathing in deep breaths of southern goodness. It's probaby nice for you to see him wireless now. A handsome little fellow we think.

Yesterday was a big day for him (he's still talking about it). He got to meet his big family in Cleveland, TN, and even shared a meal (was fed by) his Great Grandmother "Gaga". That was pretty exciting for him because he had already heard so much about them.

Later tonight he gets to meet his cajun grandparents for the first time, so we have been adding a little tabasco to his formula to get him ready. Somehow, Santa has been able to track him down at his new home, and he has been blown away by that. He's loving all of his new garb.

Merry Christmas to all of you! Much love from Brown and his parents...


December 23, 2007

Well, I didn't mean to keep adding to this, but I suppose I should let you know that we made is safely home. We took the red eye home and we now know why it is called the red eye. We reached our home after having a large, tearful and happy welcome at the airport where there was lots of family. Our home had been visited by elves with blue ribbon on the mailbox and tree, poinsettas scattered throughout, nursery organized and significantly enriched as well as several other touches that we are just now noticing. All tubes are gone from the Brown and he is resting comfortably after eating well in his new digs. Mom is also catching a nap which I have yet to inform her makes her the default feeder tonight. Merry Christmas (again).

December 22, 2007 - 7 PM (SLC time) - COMING HOME!!!!!!!!

Wow. We just left the hospital. He's ours! There are no nurses or doctors (real ones) hanging over our shoulder right now. It's just the 3 of us. I can't believe it. We are SO EXCITED to be heading home for Christmas. We decided to keep the pink car seat cover to remind us of life's little surprises.

Merry Christmas. We thank you for walking through this experience with us. There is no doubt in our minds that your prayers and support allowed us to more easily navigate these last few days. We came up with this little story to help us tell Brown some day about the adventure of his birth in Utah:

Once in Utah, there was a baby who was born down in the valley.

Now it was winter in Utah where it was snowing and very cold. The mountains were white and clear.

This particular baby was born to a girl who could not be his mommy, so she looked all over the land to find a mommy and a daddy for this baby.

After looking for many days, she found a mommy and a daddy who were looking for a baby.

Mommy and daddy came to Utah and saw the baby right when he was born in the valley. The baby was beautiful and they had quite a surprise - the baby was a boy!

But the baby was sick and very sad. So mommy and daddy took the baby up in the mountains where they could make sick babies feel better.

There were lots of nurses, doctors, tubes, beeping noises, and lights - mommy and daddy were scared, but baby boy was very good and after many days, he began to feel much better.

Soon it was time for mommy and daddy to take baby home to see the rest of the family who had been praying that the baby would be safe. So mommy and daddy and baby said goodbye to their friends in the valley and the mountains of Utah and got on a plane and flew home.

The family was so happy that they cried when they saw baby (sometimes big people cry because they are so happy).

They told God thank you many times as the baby grew older. And every time that mommy and daddy looked at a mountain, especially ones with snow on them, they remembered how their baby was made well in the mountains of Utah.

The End

December 21, 2007 - 10 PM (SLC time)

Got some good father/son time tonight as I fed Brown; he did great by the way. We talked about life and all the things he can expect in the next few days. He seemed to take it in pretty well. At least I took a swallow to mean, "yes dad, I understand." Our bags are packed and we are ready to go, as his favorite feeding song goes, and we are ready to get home. We have had so many great contacts here to help us along the way. Tonight during his feeding, I had the privilege of talking with Travis Carroll who is doing his first year of neonatology here at the U of U as they call it. He just completed his pediatric residency in Chattanooga where we were acquaintances. Also tonight, a relative of Mike/Joani Jack came to visit us at the GuestHouse as they were in SLC for the next few evenings. Then of course Andy and Brooke have shown us around town, tried to explain the "Grid" to us (street layout), had us over for dinner, shared some incredibly addictive homemade granola, and generally provided support for us as we have gone through this wonderful but scary time in our lives. As we try to reflect on the last few days, it is very hard to put our heads around what has just happened - to sum it up. Of course anytime you sum up the situation, you invariably leave some points out. But back to trying to summarize, it has been the most emotionally unstable time I have ever experienced, from terror, to confusion, to joy. Aside from the obvious events themselves, what is most poignant is the kindness of the people here, both those that knew of us, and those who just took care of us as a function of their daily routine. Thanks to each one of you who has played a helpful role in the last weeks. I can only hope to walk in these steps of kindness and teach Brown the same.

December 21, 2007 - 3 PM (SLC time)

Well, for what should be the shortest day of the year, we have packed in a bunch. First of all, I think we ended up getting about a foot of snow in that storm last night that was incredible to watch come in with dark clouds, thunder, lightning, and lots and lots of snow. After seeing the choir practice last night and being out and about in the snow and Christmas energy (not sure what that is but with people walking around, music playing, snow falling and snowball fights, there was something in the air), we were ready just to hang with Brown today for a while. He is feeding great and has not had to have any extra help on his feeds. The Brown has done very well on his feedings today and is starting to be awake just a bit more. The car seat is installed in our rental car, the last minute medical stuff has been taken care of at the hospital (kind of makes you wonder why we are staying in the hospital one more day), and we are ready to fly out of here at the stroke of midnight tomorrow and see this boy become wireless (one of our friends here, Andy, said that is what happens when you leave the NICU - they disconnect all the monitoring wires, tubes, lines, etc). We are going to be very strict as far as his exposures to people over the next few weeks so don't be offended if we keep some degree of separation there. He is obviously still fragile from a pulmonary perspective and we will be glad to have RSV season behind us.

Well this trip began for us to come out to Salt Lake City and pick up Joseays Ruth and return in a few days. It has turned into quite an experience for sure. You can see the picture of the cake Aunt Rachel made for her just before we left. We also brought a fair degree of pinkness with us that will simply ride back to TN unworn! But as always, God had other ideas in store for us and for that we are grateful. After some adjustments at home, and some time for Brown to make a full recovery, we look forward to introducing him to his many friends. He is actually working on a children's story that he hopes to put on this site tomorrow. See you then.


December 20, 2007 - 10 PM (SLC time)

Don't know if yall have heard of this little choir in Salt Lake City, but they had a tribute concert for Brown, so we shot some video (just kidding).

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has public practices every Thursday night. It was amazing. Beautiful. Brown was busy flirting with the nurses in NICU and didn't want to be torn away, so we let him sleep while we went out for a couple of hours this evening. We are having a HUGE snow storm all of a sudden this afternoon. I bet 4 inches has already fallen since it started. It is beautiful, and freezing, and fun. We took the little public train down to Temple Square, which is the Latter Day Saints headquarters. Wowsers is all I have to say about it on this blog. And I'll say it again. Wowsers. But that's all I'll say.

December 20, 2007 - 5PM (SLC)


December 20, 2007 - 10AM (SLC time)

YIPEEeeee!!!! The Brown has been COMPLETELY off of oxygen for the last 10 hours and is doing great! Hopefully that means we will not have to have him on oxygen for the plane ride home. We are on our way over there right now to feed him and hang out right now. Awesome!

December 20, 2007 - 8AM (SLC time)

Well, we are ready. Each day we are inching our way closer to leaving this beautiful city, this great hospital, and these wonderful people. And it can't come a moment to soon. When I say we are ready, I mean Chris and I. Brown is still going to hang out for a while, so I think we will wait on him! We have, with the physician's approval, set our flight back home for the red eye Saturday night getting into Chattanooga about 9am after a 3 hour layover in Atlanta. So it does look like we will be home for Christmas which will be wonderful.

Brown continues to feed fairly well. Yesterday afternoon, he was really tired and had a sort of wimpy feed but he finished well at the last feed we were at last night taking the whole bottle in just over 30 min. reaffirming his rock start status at least in his parents' eyes. He is now in the least critical room of the NICU (he has been in 3 different rooms) which is nice to be away from the constant alarms of the guys in the ventilators. It seems like a long time since Brown has been off the ventilator. The nurses continue to rotate so each 12 hours we are meeting a new nurse which kind of keeps us on our toes as each one has a slightly different way of doing things.

We are moving back to the guest house today as it will be much easier to have Brown in a room where we have some space. The ronald mcdonald house here is fairly loud and kind of operates like a hostel of sorts. It has been good for a few nights but would be tough with a newborn. We hopefully will have a video on here later today of him feeding - I know it will be as thrilling for you to watch as it is for us (do all parents think that their newborn is the most exciting thing to watch in the world?). We actually find ourselves giving high fives to each other after a particularly successful feed. Brown just sort of rolls his eyes at us beginning a trend which I am sure will continue throughout his life.

December 19, 2007 - 10 AM (SLC time)

WAHOO!!!!!! Brown is kicking it! He has taken the last 3 bottles and drained them ALL! The doctor came in this morning and said that he was doing so well, that they are going to try to get him completely off oxygen today to see how he does. If he continues to eat well today, then he said we can change our plane tickets to head home this weekend! WAHOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo! So I am actually on hold with Delta right now, and of course things are sold out for Christmas, but they are trying to find something. So we'll see. If not, then at least we'll be able to have him with us at the hotel this weekend. We can't wait! We'll keep you posted.

Also, just for clarification, once Brown gets through this, he will be completely over it. After his lungs heal up over the next couple of months, he will be completely normal, so we are not worrying about long term effects from all of this. Curt and I will be somewhat traumatized forever :), but Brown will just cruise on and forget it all once we are out of here. And he will probably wonder why we always put him in a plastic bubble to play outside, even when he is 12, but he'll get used to it. :)

December 18 - 10 PM

Tonight was a great night after a quite frustrating morning. We had such hopes on Monday that Brown would simply take off on his feeding. And when that didn't happen, we assumed Tuesday would be the day. So this morning came as quite a let down when he wasn't interested and the doctors started talking about going home with tube feedings. But this afternoon and the feeding we just returned from were fantastic. He took the whole bottle both times sending his parents into ecstasy. We had such a great time with him tonight, laughing and just playing around with him. He gets the hiccups with most every feed and though this distracts him from feeding, I think he sees them as something sort of odd and he gets this strange look on his face. Luckily, pediatricians know everything that runs through a baby's mind so I always know what is churning in his head. Someday I will let you know what he was thinking when he peed on me for the first time today. It was not appropriate as dinner talk.

He seems to like humming while we feed him so we are teaching him some songs. "I'll be home for Christmas" and "Leaving on a Jet Plane" are the favorites so far as they seem most appropriate given our circumstances. If you think of other ones that would fit, send them to us. Brown may get tired of these two songs after the hundredth time. We have told him Santa does not come to Utah so he better shape up so we can jet out of here and introduce him to the South.

We started out tonight's feeding in the laying down position that the occ. therapist recommended. He did OK with this earlier today, but tonight he was hating it. So we gave him the bottle when he calmed down on curt's shoulder and he did great with it! Yeah! Our little genius!
Happy Boy! He took almost his WHOLE bottle - all 2 ounces (in just over an hour). He's slow, but he's steady. We were very proud! He is really happy and alert in this video. This totally made our day! We were high fiving the nurses.

December 18, 2007 - 3:00 PM (SLC time)

Well... it could be worse. But today has been kind of a bummer. We had high hopes that Brown was going to "get it" as far as the bottle thing goes. But he is just not too interested, yet. We waited around for 3 hours this morning for the docs to come by for rounds (they were late) and we weren't able to hold him because they wanted him to sleep hard before we woke him up to feed. So we just sat there and stared at him all morning. Then, when it was time, he just kind of sat there with his lips around the bottle nipple, but wouldn't really suck it. Or he would suck it once or twice and then sit there for 5 minutes looking at us looking at him. We had the occupational therapist there with us helping, and she finally decided to give it up for the morning and try again at the 5:00 feeding. So we hung our heads and left. Speaking of heads, I had a killer headache and we were both sleepy which equals automatic bad moods. That all started at about 7:30 this morning when I went downstairs for coffee. We were quite spoiled at the other place we were staying with unlimited free Starbucks downstairs at all hours of the day. We were seriously averaging around 4 cups of coffee or hot tea everyday, just because we could. So I come downstairs and there was yesterday's cold McDonald's coffee in the pot (you know... since we are at the Ronald McDonald house). So I decide to make a new pot and go upstairs to finish getting ready to leave for the hospital. We aren't allowed to take any food or drink out of the kitchen here (the place would be trashed with all of the kids running around here and sippy cups and cheerios flying). So I was going to get it on the way out to the car. When we came back down with my cup in hand, alas, the pot was finished and gone. Oh, the sadness. So I hung my head (first time today) and we headed for the car. Then we waited for rounds, had an unsuccessful feeding, and then hung our heads again (that was a recap).

But, we went for a run on this gorgeous snowy trail behind the hospital before we came back to Ronnie's house. I took some excedrin, drank a cup of McDonalds coffee (in the kitchen!), and now we are about to take a nap. The other bummer part of the day is finally coming to grips with the fact that we are most probably going to be out here another week. We were REALLY hoping that Brown was going to be a little stud muffin today with the bottle, which is the only thing that is really keeping us here, now. Thankfully, his breathing is going really well, and he is hardly on any oxygen! Praise God! But since he is doing exactly what the doctors predicted as far as needing some time to learn to eat on his own, we are going to have to stick around for a few days until he picks up on it better. For those of you that know Curt, you know that he is a SUCKER for Christmas time. It's all he can do to wait until after Halloween to start playing Christmas music. He LOVES it! I have to hide the music until Nov 1 to keep him from playing it too soon. And if I weren't such a slacker, he might even beat T.W. on getting a Christmas card out early every year. Just now, he hung his head and looked so dejected as he walked upstairs. He wants to be home with family, and at his office with everybody enjoying "the best week of the whole year". So we just decided that we need to do something fun every day while we are here so we don't have anymore poopy days like this. We are going to try and eat a good meal, or watch a movie, or do something to get us out of the hospital or McDonalds every day. That will help.

So anyway, nothing major today. We are just being babies and need a good nap and then it will all be better. But please do pray that Brown starts picking up on the eating thing soon. We think the light bulb is going to go on for him soon and he'll be a champion eater. But he is still in weight loss mode right now, which is not going to help him meet up with Santa in TENNESSEE. And thank you for still reading this blog! It really is amazing to us that people are still reading this, and still praying for Brown and loving us long distance. We are seriously so incredibly thankful for our friends and family, as well as the hundreds of our parents friends whom they have emailed or called and sent this website to! Thanks for loving our parents so much that you love us, too. That's really cool. I hope Brown realizes someday how much he was loved and prayed for this first week of his life.

December 17, 2007 -10 PM

We so appreciate the outpouring of prayers that has been going on the last week. Tomorrow morning, Brown will be one week old and it seems we have already lived with him in our lives for several months. He has already brought us tears, laughter, love, fear, tension and release in ways that are far more intense than we were prepared for. Medically speaking we are out of the woods barring some unforeseen event. It is simply a matter of time before the light bulb goes on in his head and he starts chugging down the formula. Already Chris was able to get him to take 2/3 of his total feed by mouth at his 5pm feeding. Tonight at 8 however, he was pooped out and wasn't too interested. So it is a waiting game right now. But it is a sweet wait in that we are now able to hold him, feed him, change his clothes, watch his face do all those crazy things that a newborn does (what is he thinking about?), and in general simply enjoy getting to know him. He is still certainly vulnerable to infections and we can't wait to get him out of the hospital and home were we can keep him from infections over these next critical weeks as his lungs recover from this insult. But we are thankful for where we are, for whose we are, and for our many friends and family. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

December 17, 2007 -1 PM

Another great morning! One of the biggest challenges for Brown (so they say) is going to be learning how to eat from a bottle since he's been being fed by a tube with no effort. So this morning was a big milestone where the occupational therapist helped us introduce the bottle to him and he did GREAT! By the way, the therapist in the picture is just squirting some formula around his pacifier so he will get the hang of it. He does seem to be a bit hesitant right now, though I am guessing this is going to change in a big way in the next day or two.

We'll try again at his next feeding. No time to write - we have to check out of here and move to a different hotel. Wahoo! Heading to the Ronald McDonald house down the street. Homey and cheap (with big free dinners) and lots of people in our similar situation.




We stomped his name in the snow for all of the hospital to see!

December 16, 2007 -6 PM

What a great day. We walked into his room tonight and they had put him in a crib instead of that big scary hospital contraption. He is doing so well! I got to hold him for almost an hour while he was being fed (still through the tube, but hopefully by bottle starting tomorrow). It was really sweet. We're going back later tonight and I am going to ALLOW Curt to hold him for his due time. But Brown is helping me keep track of the time so that his dad doesn't hog all of it, because we all know how Curt is.

December 16, 2007 -High Noon

Not much to write today because these videos speak for themselves. He's doing GREAT! Notice the comparison between yesterday's video and the two from this morning. Much improvement!

Yesterday - December 15
This Morning- December 16 (don't worry - he really isn't using the nasal oxygen)

December 15, 2007 -6 PM

WOW! Amazing. His eyes were WIDE open tonight, checking us out and everything going on around him. His eyes have been swollen shut or covered by his "shades" under the lamp until this afternoon. After a few hours, he suddenly opened his eyes and started looking around. It was AWESOME!!!! We had our faces right down by his and the 3 of us were eying each other for several minutes. His eyes are really deep/dark blue right now. Not sure what they will end up being, but they are beautiful right now. We'll try and get a picture of them tomorrow. I (chris) finally got to hold him for the first time. Man... and he was looking at me the whole time (or at least a very blurred image of me). IT WAS SO GREAT! He loves us. We can tell. When I was holding him, his breathing was really calm and relaxed. We are hoping and praying that he can get the big tube out of his throat tomorrow, though we don't want to rush him. That would be amazing, though. My friend, Anna, sent me this verse today, and I thought it was pretty appropriate: "The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4

He is eating like a BIG BOY! They keep upping his amount and he is loving every minute of it. This afternoon I held his little pacifier (binky, pacie, whatever) in his mouth while he was sucking and he was really going at it. That was a great sign because they say a lot of these NICU babies have a hard time eating when it is time for them to get the feeding tube removed. I am hoping that he is a natural after how hard he was sucking on the pacifier. We'll see. I'm hopeful.

And no... we still don't have a middle name for him. We have 6 months before it officially has to go on his birth certificate, so we are taking our own sweet time and enjoying how much this seems to be stressing everyone else out. :)

December 15, 2007 -2 PM

We are headed to a class to learn how to be parents - its lasts an hour. ... Then we get to go to CPR class after that. What a fun filled day we are having - sorry you guys can't be here to enjoy the fun. It is beautiful and snowy and we just got back from a great run around the area. Mostly running down off the mountain and walking back up. Also, for our neighbors who heard our house alarm in St. Elmo today, that was 2 of our friends going into our home who didn't know we had an alarm. Quite exciting to be in Salt Lake City with a newborn in the NICU and have the police call to inform you that your house had been broken into. Good times.

December 15, 2007 - Morning

Curt is actually over at the hospital having some father/son time right now. I figured they had a few things they needed to talk about, so I am...

Ok, Curt here. I just walked in as Chris was updating the site and I had to take over to share the news that I just got to hold my son and kiss him for the first time. He is beautiful. I won't try to describe all of the emotions, but simply say that it was powerful.

He really looks small in the picture, and he is a newborn after all. But he is sort of squished the way I have him held. Soon, we hope to have pictures without the tube! He had a stable night with some improvements along the way. He is on room air which means that he is not requiring any extra oxygen and they have been able to turn his rate down on the ventilator which is what has to happen before they can remove his tube. He continues to want more food and be a bit irritable before it is time to feed him which are all good signs.

Our days consist of sitting through the doctors rounds in the morning, talking on the phone to friends and family, searching out food, and of course simply sitting by Brown's bed - watching, praying, laughing, crying and thinking of bringing him home out of this place that is terrible and yet life saving at the same time. Not sure how long we will be here - hopefully once he turns the corner, he should improve fairly rapidly, but we are certainly still here for a week or so and may be pushing Christmas getting home. Thanks for the prayers especially.



December 14, 2007

Not a lot of change overnight - he did very well. His breathing is much more relaxed now that he has a tube in to help him. A chest xray and labs look very good this morning so it is simply going to be a waiting game. His feeding is going well as he is quickly advanced, his antibiotics have been stopped and he is handling everything like a champ. We just need his lungs to settle out but this will take time. We do not expect much will change today. Speaking of changing, the new mom in these parts got to change his diaper for the first time (he is much more calm today so we don't have to stay so hands off). We miss everyone and can't wait to bring him home and show him off.

So I guess the only dynamic thing right now is his name. I had a little conversation with him while Chris stepped out, and he said he doesn't really mind not having a name - it gives him some anonymity which is a good thing when you are such a rock star. Anyway, he said that he would get a name real soon because it seems to be stressing everyone out that he doesn’t have a name. Even though he is working and thinking about breathing lots right now, he will be considering names over the next hours. He really wants to be called Brown as he thinks it is cool and in his experience, family names are best. But he will neither confirm nor deny other rumors that seem to be floating around right now. His publicist had no further comments.

December 13, 2007

Last night was not good to him. They ended up having to give him a little more oxygen, but they have not intubated him again yet. They are watching him carefully right now to decide if that would be best for him at this point, or if he is going to be able to get through it on his own.

The docs came by in their Rounds again this morning and gave us their update. He is pretty much the same as yesterday - just working so hard to breathe. And he has the saddest little whimper when he is totally exhausted that would make any grown man cry (present men not included because that is a given).

We can touch him and hold his hand, but we don't want to over-stimulate him because he is already pretty ticked that he is hooked to all of this uncomfortable stuff. He seems to sometimes not like to be touched more than necessary right now, so we are just sitting close to him and watching. We sang and hummed to him a little bit this morning, and I think he liked it, but he couldn't tell me because of all of the wires that he is hooked up to.

The adoption paperwork came through yesterday so we are officially parents! Everyone said that is was going to be an amazing experience and trip, but I think we may have underestimated the whole deal. It is lightly snowing outside and supposed to get up to a blistering 30 degrees here today. Maybe a scarf would have been good to pack...

On a lighter note - NO WE DON'T HAVE A NAME YET! Suggestions are welcome. They are already pouring in - Bruce, Michael, Mark (these were suggested by Bruce, Michael and Mark). The birth certificate has already been made out without a name, so we have some time. Maybe tomorrow.

Later: They had to reintubate him this afternoon because he was just laboring too much. BUT, he's doing better. It's actually a good thing because he is able to take a break and stop working so hard. He's loving the extra oxygen. So we think he will have a better night tonight. And I can't help but feel SO FORTUNATE that he is such a big boy. Gosh... compared to these other sick, tiny, babies in the NICU, our little guy just seems huge and healthy. I feel silly for even being worried at all.

December 12, 2007

Today was tough. We woke up and called the hospital to find out that they had removed the breathing tube at 2AM and he was breathing on his own with a little bit of nasal oxygen support (CPAP). We were ECSTATIC! We quickly packed up our hotel room and were practically giddy as we made the 20 minute trip over to the new hospital, where we were also going to check in to a hotel within walking distance to him. The doctors came by to check on him during the morning "rounds" and gave him a good report. One of the big worries had been a possible serious infection in his lungs. After viewing the xray and labs that morning they felt pretty good that this was not going to be a factor. He was steadily improving and his lungs seemed to be getting stronger, so they decided that they should be able to remove him from the oxygen to help him get stronger as he learned to breathe on his own more. After an hour or so, they realized this was not to be the case, and he in fact took a few steps backwards. They hooked him back up to CPAP (nasal oxygen). His breathing is VERY labored. He is just working SO HARD. His little chest is pumping up and down so hard and fast to try and get the air in that he needs. It's so sad to watch him. This is how it went the rest of the day.

On a more happy note, we have been thankful to not feel quite as "alone" out here in all of this. At the hospital on that first day, Curt called his good friend Matthew who is a pediatrician in Chattanooga to ask him some questions and run some medical things by him. Matthew reminded Curt that one of the old residents from Chattanooga that Curt also knew was actually out here in Salt Lake City at the SAME hospital where "boy" was going to be in the NICU, AND that he was doing his Neonatology Fellowship! WOW!!! Is that crazy or what! So Matthew called him (Travis) to tell him we were on our way over there and what our situation was. He then told the doctors who were taking care of our son who Curt was and just a little background. This whole adoption thing is hard in these situations because at this point, the "boy" was really still under the birth mother's custody. The adoption agency got the proper paperwork filed for us to temporarily put him in our custody so that the hospital staff would be able to talk to us, but having Travis there also helped to smooth some things over as well. Matthew and Kelly also have some of their best friends out here who are doing their residency at THIS hospital, too! They came by to visit us the first day, and it was great to hug friends of such good friends and feel a connection to home. They have actually stopped by a couple of times to check on us, which has been very kind. So anyway... there have been lots of positives in the midst of the other stuff.

(view from hospital room about 4 minutes before delivery)

December 11, 2007

We have looked forward to this day for so long - the day we would finally meet our girl. We flew out to Utah Monday night and got a few hours of sleep before we were jarred awake with the instructions: "get to the hospital now, the baby is coming quick." So with sleep lines on our face, we got to the hospital and the first of many surprises soon presented itself to us – we saw the delivery of a plump infant. More specifically, a boy. Wow, this poor boy has a lot of pink to welcome him into this world.

Anyway, the day quickly turned serious as he began to have some breathing problems with retractions and oxygen requirement. Some of the initial labs and xrays did not look good at all. So needless to say, we were crushed. We prayed, we cried and got angry. He had to be taken by ambulance to the University hospital where he was intubated and in the last few hours, he is actually making an improvement! He is still intubated though we are hopeful that this will not be necessary by morning as he currently is not requiring oxygen. We feel he is in very good hands at the NICU here and are quite hopeful that this child of ours will soon be making a significant recovery.

We have been overwhelmed with calls, emails, and texts today (as well as silence from ones we knew were waiting for our phone calls) and are most grateful for the many prayers. God is good in health and in sickness. Thank you for walking through this day with us. I told my grandmother that this has been the worst and best day of my life. Not sure that is possible but today was pretty close.

Love you all,
Chris, Curt, and _____ Chaffin (no, we haven't had time to think of boy names yet!)

December 10, 2007

We had a great flight out to Salt Lake City today. We had a wave of emotions (as we have had all week) about this whole process, and how are lives were about to change forever. I (Chris) got a tad bit emotional as I was reflecting on these last 7 1/2 years with Curt. It has been such a great chapter in our lives since we've been married. It's gotten better and better and more fun every year. I was just overwhelmed with thankfulness and got all sappy about it (and maybe the glass of wine on the plane wasn't such a great idea, either). I'm just thankful for God's goodness and provision in our lives since we've been together. There's just a lot of joy to reflect on, and we're thankful. And we can't wait to meet our baby girl tomorrow when she is born and we get to be with her for her first breaths. We also spent a lot of time on the plane reading about how to be perfect parents. So after 4 hours of preparation, we should be good to go. Right?

We were using this site as a way to keep our friends and family updated on what was going on out there, but we are continuing it because we've had so much fun keeping up with it. The bottom line is that Brown inhaled tons of amniotic fluid and it went into his lungs and damaged them. However, the doctors and nurses in the NICU were brilliant and were able to repair the damage, so Brown is on the upswing and will soon have strong lungs like all of the rest of the kids on the block. In the beginning, however, it wasn't clear what was wrong with him. They had lots of different theories going - from lung problems to heart problems to being septic, etc. It took a few days to learn that the amniotic fluid had been the culprit, and we were definitely relieved.

December 12, 2007 - Thanks for your prayers and interest in our awesome new addition to our family. It has been quite a ride the last few weeks, and it doesn't seem like it will be calming down to "normal" (whatever that is) anytime too soon. But it is an adventure - and we're glad to be in it together. We'll try to update this webpage as often as we can. Thanks for the calls, text messages, emails, thoughts, and prayers. It doesn't feel nearly as lonely out here in Salt Lake City as it could! The first 3 days of this "blog" are going to be taken from our emails or journal entries over the last couple of days, just to make sure everyone is up to date on what's been going on. This adoption happened so fast over the last 2 weeks, that many of our dear friends don't even know we are adopting right now. Sorry if you feel "out of the loop", but don't worry... we kind of do, too! Start at the bottom of this page if you want to start from the beginning.