Saturday, June 28, 2008

Karter's First Doctor's Appointment

On Friday Dana, Aunt Emily, and Grandma Terry took Baby Karter to the doctor's office. Here are the results - other than he is healthy:

  • Weight = 9 lbs., 1 oz. - Back to birthweight. He's in the 67th percentile.

  • Length = 22 3/4 inches - He's grown almost two inches since birth. 99th percentile - he might be very tall. :-)

  • Head Circumference = 37 cm - 54th percentile, perfect not too big, not too small. We don't want him to be a pinhead or a fathead!

Today, Grandpa Kim and Uncle Kyler are on their way to Minnesota. We will then have a full house of eight people! It will be fun to have almost the whole Gray family here in the Great North.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Busy Start to the Week

The picture you see to the left is of our family ready for Karter's first trip to church. On Sunday, we got ready - in time!! - and went to church. Karter wore the same outfit that Kristoffer wore on his first day to church over 25 years ago. WOW!!
We had a fun time - even though Karter and Dana had to leave during the sermon because Karter was hungry! :)
Also on Sunday, Karter's paternal grandparents came to town. Grandpa Kim and Grandma Terry drove after church all the way from Indiana (about a 10-11 hour drive) to Hampton to see Karter...or as Grandma Terry calls him - the "cute little tooker."

Grandpa left on Monday morning to go back to work all week. He will be back on Saturday with Uncle Kyler. (Also...Aunt Emily and new Uncle Zach will be here on Friday.) That leaves behind Grandma Terry to stay for the week.
Grandma Terry has been fantastic this week - cooking dinner and helping to clean and play with Karter. Dana was a little sick on Monday and Tuesday (even going to the doc to get some medicine) Grandma Terry was a great help with Karter through all of that! Kristoffer loves eating his mom's meals makes him think of being back home! As a side note, Dana is also an EXCELLENT cook! :-)'s been a busy week so far for the Minnesota Grays. It will be a fun weekend with all of the Gray family in town! CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES OF OUR WEEK SO FAR...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Walk Around Cannon Falls

On Saturday, we decided to take a walk around one of our favorite towns in Minnesota - Cannon Falls. We first stopped at the Dairy Inn for the "Best Shakes Inn Town." Actually, only Vicky got a shake. Dana and I always get sundaes (hot caramel for me, red raspberry for her). Anyway...the Dairy Inn has THE BEST ice cream I may have ever eaten. It gives Coldstone a run for its money!

We then went to the park - which is right by the actual waterfalls on the Cannon River. There is a little pond there where a family of swans decided to have babies this year - pretty darn cute! This was also Karter's first trip into Cannon Falls and to the park. He didn't see much since he was asleep in his stroller.

Anyway...we had a great time! I can't wait to take my family to the Dairy Inn later this weekend!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

There's a First Time for Everything

Lots of firsts for Karter yesterday - on Friday:

  • First Doctor's Visit = Karter visited the doctor for the first time back at the hospital for his 2-day check up. Weight-wise, he is now at 8 lbs., 11 oz. He dipped to 8 lbs., 7 oz. on Wednesday when we left the hospital. He is healthy and growing.
  • First Visit to the World's Greatest Retail Establishment = Mommy and Grandma Vicky took Karter to the Target in Hastings (T-1245 as it's called at TGT). Of course, he loved it!
  • First Daddy Feeding = Daddy woke up in the middle of the night. In order to let Mommy get a little rest, Daddy fed Karter for the first time from the bottle. This allowed Dana to at least get a little sleep.
  • First Walk Around Hampton = In celebration of 4th Annual Hampton Days, we took a walk around town. Karter was mostly uninterested (sleepyness + the lack of fun at the event itself).
  • First Visitors = Mommy and Daddy's friends, Johann and Sherry Sonnenberg, visited. They were very gracious, bringing supper along with them. It was great to visit with them and let them see Karter.


Karter is sleeping pretty well at night. Night one, he woke us up around 8 times. Night two, about 5 times. Last night, only 4 times! He sleeps pretty well at night, but obviously, he's not on a schedule yet.

Grandma Terry and Grandpa Kim are coming up tomorrow night. They should be here around midnight or will be great to see them! Grandma Vicky is going home tomorrow, too. She has been a fantastic help for us this week. Tomorrow - Karter's first trip to church!

Dana's Special Day!!

In our new Gray family tradition, we will be celebrating special days with a "Special Day Plate." This is an idea that we kind of stole from Dana's brother Jake and his wife Joscelynn. Dana got this plate from Kristoffer for her 25th birthday this past March.

Although Dana wasn't feeling too special at the moment, we used the "Special Day Plate" for the first time for supper the first day that Karter came home on Wednesday night. Vicky made us lasagna - our first homecooked meal in over three days. Happy Special Day, Dana!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

Karter finally made it home yesterday around 10:30am. We were so anxious to get out of the hospital. We were there for about three and a half days. Karter slept the entire fifteen minute car ride from Hastings to Hampton, so he missed all of the sights and sounds of his new town and home for the first few minutes.

But...he made up for it last night! As Dana's mom, Vicky, says: "Welcome to parenthood!" Karter woke up around 8-10 times last night after we went to bed. Dana and I tried to alternate getting up - but over half of the time, he wanted food. Right now, that's something that only Mommy can provide.

Needless to say, we are a little sleepy today...but overall, it was not too bad. By the end of the night, we could kind of tell what he needed: diaper change, pacifier, food, or just to be held. All in all, the first night at home went great!

It is so nice to be home - with regular meals (thank you, Vicky) and a much more comfortable bed where Dana and I can sleep with eachother. No guests at home yet, but we do expect some tomorrow and over the weekend! We can't wait to share him with the rest of the world!!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Going Home Tomorrow

We are going home from the hospital tomorrow morning. Dana has one final check-up with her doctor sometime before 9:00. Once she gets a clean bill of health, we are back to Hampton. Funny story --- but Hampton is having "4th Annual Hampton Days" this weekend. We think it is to celebrate the town's 435th member being born!!

Rascal will be picked up from his kennel after we get home. Then it's time for the dog/baby introduction. That should be very interesting and fun - maybe even funny. Our family is still doing great, and everyone is healthy. Kristoffer doesn't go back to work until Friday, so he will have a full day and a half at home with Dana and Karter.

Baby and Family Update

Karter is doing fantastic! Initially, they were concerned because he was breathing faster than he should be. They did a chest x-ray, took some blood (to make sure his sugar was okay), and did a few other tests. He checked out 100% healthy. The breathing "problem" should go away within a few days - he just gets nervous when he's by himself without Mommy or Daddy.

Last night, the nurses allowed us to sleep in the room in quiet as they watched over Karter. We slept from 10:30pm thru 7:30am. The nurses woke us up twice during the night to feed him since we fed him right before we went to bed and right after we woke up.

He is feeding great - every three hours or so, and he was circumcised today around 11:30. In between feedings, he sleeps for a while then is alert and active. That is the most fun time for us!! He has learned to cry during the past 12 hours - and he sure does have a nice set of lungs!!

We will be heading home from the hospital tomorrow as soon as Dana gets her final bill of health from her doctor. This has been a great place to start a family. The staff has been spectacular and extremely helpful. We ask A LOT of questions, but each time, they answer them as if we were so smart for asking. :-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Half-Day Birthday, Karter!!


Karter Edward Gray

Karter Edward Gray

He finally made it! After pushing for just over 2 1/2 hours, Dana gave one final HUGE push at 3:46am...and...

...out came Karter Edward Gray!!!!
At 9lbs. 1oz., Karter is a big boy already - and a big eater! Baby and mommy are doing fine, but we all are very tired. Dana was in labor from 1:00am until 3:46am the next day - over 26 hours of labor. Kristoffer managed to get about one hour of sleep during the whole process - in two half hour chunks. Each of us has a long day of sleep ahead of us...but Karter is the only one who has managed to do so while Dana fully recovers from the birth and Kristoffer tries to be with her as much as possible.
Thank you for all your thoughts...God helped us through and brought us a true gift.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

One Final Post

Dana is the world's strongest woman - at least for a day. She was in labor from 1:00am thru 8:00pm straight. After a couple showers, multiple trips in and out of a bathtub, and excruciating pain, Dana was at about 4cm. The doctor broke the "bag of waters" around 5:30pm, and the contractions and pain tripled from that point on. We made a decision to go with the epidural - which kicked in at 8:00pm.


Dana was so relieved - after 19 hours of VERY painful labor, the epidural took the pain away and progressed labor nicely. In less than one hour, she went from 4cm to almost 5cm...and contractions keep coming.

Pastor Dave was gracious enough to stop by. As Dana slept, Kristoffer got some much needed food. Dave was a good pastor - but even greater friend in helping us out and letting me get away for just a few minutes.

We are now in wait mode. The only question...will he be born before or after midnight? Probably after...but time will tell. God was definitely with us thanks to your prayers! Only a few hours left before the baby is here. I am going to take one little nap before Dana's next check-up at 10:45.

In the Hospital

Well, we are finally checked into the hospital - officially at 2:30pm. We got into our nice room and are settled in for a long night. It has been a long, rough day already to say the least.

The staff is great, the food - not so much. But, Dana is making progress little by little. She is currently hooked up to the monitor to check both her contractions and baby's heartbeat. His heartbeat fluctuates a lot, which the doctor and nurses say is a great sign. Dana's contractions are now 2-3 minutes apart - if that. But...we still have a long ways to go.

Vicky, Dana's mom, is on the way from Indiana - driving because the train is closed due to flooding in Wisconsin. She may make it for the birth at this rate. :-)

I will keep you posted with details and insights as things change. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers tonight!

We Think Today is the Day!

Dana - 40wks +1 Day...yesterday!!
Today started at 1:00am - with heavy contractions. After working our way through them until 2:30, we decided to call the hospital. After packing, Dana showering, and Kristoffer doing the dishes, we arrived at the hospital around 3:30.

The hospital checked us in and checked Dana out. They put a heart monitor to check "baby K" - he fluctuated between 130 - 160, depending on if there was a contraction at the time. They also monitored Dana's contractions which were (and still are) getting stronger and closer together. After getting fully checked out, we were given two options:

1. wait one hour, have Dana fully checked out - then go home to work through it for another 6 hours or so...

2. wait two hours, have Dana fully checked out - then be admitted only if dilation was up to 3cm

We opted for Option #1. Since arriving at home at 6:00am, the contractions have increased in frequency and intensity. The kennel will allow Rascal to come in at 11:00 - they are awesome people! After that, we plan on going straight to the hospital for good.

The nurse at the hospital said that she expected the baby to come between 7:00pm today and 7:00am tomorrow...let's hope she's right! We are currently in the middle of practicing our breathing techniques and working through each contraction (about every 3 minutes).

Please continue to pray for us and keep us in your thoughts. Stay tuned for more updates!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Less than a Week to Go

After a brief "scare" on Friday morning when we thought "baby K" was coming, we had nothing planned for Saturday. We wanted to be outside to enjoy the weather and to take our minds off of our impatience of the upcoming birth. What better way to do that than go to the zoo?

If walking outside in 85 degree weather for four and a half hours didn't help ease the baby out, it would at least make mommy tired and exhausted - which might bring about labor as well!

We went to the Minnesota Zoo - which is just a short 20 minute drive from our home - for the first time.. The zoo was up there with two of the nicest zoos I have ever been to, competing with the North Carolina Zoo. We were especially pleased with the Tropics Trail, seeing monkeys and many birds, as well as the brand new Russia's Grizzly Coast feature.

Check out our pictures from the zoo HERE!!

Surprisingly, the zoo was not too crowded. The Grizzly Coast actually opened on the day we were there, so it was fairly crowded. However, nowhere else was overly busy - enough for us to see all the animals without pushing and shoving aside others. The biggest struggle was the "stroller people" who think that the babies in their stoller NEED to see every animal up close. I hope we don't become one of those stoller people.

Dana began to have lots of pretty serious contractions after our five mile walk at the zoo - but after taking a shower and relaxing, they died down. We are so anxious and impatient!

We ended the day with a fantastic meal at Teresa's Mexican Restaurant and dessert at Coldstone. We splurged on what could be our last weekend where it is just the two of us. With only five days to go until "baby K's" due date, we can't wait to see him and family in the upcoming weeks!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

They Call It Puppy Love

So...what about Rascal? Yes, our miniature schnauzer Rascal is anxiously awaiting the arrival of "baby K" as well. However, it is usually difficult to get at his true feelings since he sleeps 23 out of 24 hours of the day. Ok...maybe a little exaggeration, but our dog might be the laziest dog known to mankind.

When we begin the labor process, we will be taking Rascal to his home away from home - SkyView Groom and Board Kennels. He will stay there and get a much needed haircut while mommy, daddy, and baby are in the hospital.

Rascal has been very curious each time a new toy or contraption for the baby is brought home. He especially loves some of the toys that have rattles or squeaks in them. We have spent some time in teaching him the difference between "Rascal toys" and "baby toys." It's hard to tell if he understands. Most of the time he just cocks his head to the side, looks at us like we are crazy, and barks. Too bad we don't speak German - we might be able to understand him...Jake will come in handy there!

But, we do love our puppy dog. Here are some of the recent photos we have taken of and with him the past few years. He has been a great companion and addition to our family. But...we can't wait for the next addition!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

This Week...No Baby

This past week was a busy one for us, but "baby K" did not decide to make his way into the world. He decided that the wants to spend at least a few more days in mommy's belly. Who can blame him? He will have a lot to get used to once he outstays his welcome. He did, though, get his two week eviction notice!

Dana had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday - which she will now have weekly until the baby comes. Her doctor, Dr. TT (Jennifer Tessmer-Tuck) is fantastic by the way (her picture is to the left...). There was not a whole lot of news to report - but here are the highlights:

  • He is very healthy - at least from what the doctor can tell. His heart rate was normal, and Dana got to see him practice his breathing during an ultrasound.

  • He weighs over 7 pounds! He is up to birth weight. If he stays in there much longer, he could be one heavy baby!

  • He is positioned correctly now with his back to Dana's stomach, and like he has been for about two weeks. He is sitting "head-down."

We are very anxious for him to come. These last two weeks will be difficult since both mommy and daddy lack a whole lot of patience. (I think that we might have inherited that from our parents!)

Dana goes in for another doctor's appointment on Wednesday - if she makes it that long! Please continue to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. It might help if you pray for our patience!