Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Troy's off to Columbia

Our pastor picked Troy up less than an hour ago, to take him to the airport. By late afternoon to early evening, Troy will be in Columbia, Missouri, our old stomping grounds. He is there to take care of something for us that has been going on for over a year now. Hopefully, whatever happens tomorrow, we'll be through with this once and for all.

In the meantime, Isabella and I will be braving it without him. We'll miss Troy bunches and bunches. Hopefully I won't be out of my mind by the time he returns.

Isabella's morning sponge bath

My intent was to give her a sponge bath last night, at bed-time. Alas, I was too tired to do it.

Last night, praise the Lord, Isabella slept approximately six hours continuously. I feel like a new person! First thing this morning, I gave her a sponge bath. Hey, this was a scary activity, considering I hadn't given her a bath on my own before now.

Went pretty well all things considered. Isabella screamed the whole time, but I think she wore herself (and me) out. She's drifting in and out of sleep in the Baby Bjorn right now. I'm hoping she drop into deeper sleep, so I can put her down. We'll see.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Isabella's first visit to church

Troy, Isabella, and I went to church today . . . nearly an hour early. I used to be so good at things, like changing the time when appropriate. Not anymore.

We thought we were somewhat late for Troy's praise and worship team practice. When we got to church, not a car was in sight. I knew this was bad. The door to the church was locked, and the lights were off. Even worse. When we finally succeeded in reaching someone on the phone, turns out we were supposed to have changed the time before going to bed. That didn't happen. Baby Isabella was hungry. Troy and I were ragged. . .

Well, at the end of it all, Isabella got fed. Troy got to Praise & Worship team practice on time. Isabella fell asleep at the Praise and Worship team practice and stayed asleep through Sunday School and part of worship. She woke up hungry towards the beginning of service and I nursed her.

Then, Troy and I met a former student of mine and his wife for lunch, at one of my favorite restaurants - Hop Tung. They took much longer than usual to get our food to us. By the time our food came, Isabella was restless and hungry. Didn't want to make a scene while others were eating; so, I went to the car and nurse her. Isabella was such a sport to stay out so long.

All in all, it was a good day for us. All three of us took a nap after getting home. Well, Isabella and I napped, after I caved in and nursed her to sleep!

Friday, October 27, 2006

A view of baby Isabella in the Baby Bjorn from the top

This, I think, is the most comfortable position for baby Isabella when she's gassy and colicky. At least she's the least fussy. I took this picture just a few minutes ago.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A very healthy breastfed baby

Oh I'm so tired!

Isabella, after going to the doctor and being nursed

Isabella went to the heart specialist to make sure her heart closed after being born. It has. In other news, Isabella weighed 9 pounds and 5 ounces! That's over 2 pounds she's gained since birth. Yay for this baby. Guess I don't have to be super concerned about whether she's getting enough breast milk.

Isabella after Manda got her to fall asleep

Isabella sound asleep

a peacefully sleeping baby

"Mommy, you startled me!"

Manda came over for a couple of hours to watch Isabella while I got some stuff done. She was "experimenting." Finally, she got Isabella to fall asleep, propped up on a Boppy pillow in her crib. Yay Manda.

I took these series of pictures after Manda left. Amazingly, Isabella didn't wake up after the papparazzi (that's me) finished taking an entourage of pictures.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What a difference a clean home makes

Those of you who lead crazy busy lives or have little one(s) at home know how difficult it is to keep a clean home. Well, Troy and I finally broke down and got some hired help. This person came upon recommendation. She was here a good bit of the day, thoroughly mopping, vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry, and the like. Even as parts of our home became clean, I felt much more at home. What a nice treat, especially after what happened yesterday (with Niao Mi).

My natural desire is for cleanliness and when possible, tidiness. But, since Isabella, I've not been able to keep up with either of those desires. With the help of family and friends, this place hasn't looked like a total trash dump. But, they're gone now, and we're left in our own messiness. I was hanging at my wit's end, feeling like I'm living in a messy dump. This isn't a good feeling, especially when you're house bound all day long. . . Given that Troy's quite busy teaching both of our classes and I'm super busy with fussy but adorable Isabella, we enlisted outside help.

What a relief! And, on the same day, Manda came over to watch Isabella for a couple of hours. She had impeccable timing. She came when I was just finishing nursing Isabella. While Manda watched her, I wrote long overdue 'thank you' notes for baby gifts; I can't believe how long that took and how many wonderful gifts we've received since she was born.

Speaking of which, got to go . . . little angel as awoken, screaming.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bye Niao Mi. May you rest in peace.

Today was a sad day in the Changley household. Around three o'clock, Troy, Isabella, Niao Mi, and I took a ride to the Edinburg Veterinary Services, on Freddy Gonzalez, to say goodbye to Niao Mi (pronounced 'knee-oww me'). Many of you know that Niao Mi was a cat that I've had since I was thirteen or fourteen. He was not only my childhood pet, but he's been my cat over half of my life. His health has been steadily declining for a little over two months. With the help of a friend, a dear heart, I was able to take Niao Mi to the vet for an examination and to run some tests. I took him the day before baby's due date. The vet couldn't figure out what was wrong with him exactly. He wasn't eating really, and he was throwing up yellow everyday.

We tried a special kind of wet cat food, provided by the vet, and for awhile he seemed to be getting better, or at least eating the new food. Not long after I gave birth to Isabella and I came home, Niao Mi quit eating that food. He didn't eat for awhile, yet again. Then, I tried buying different flavors and brands of wet cat food. He resumed eating, but not for long. Unfortunately, he went several weeks without eating, followed by much throwing up every day. Not only was he throwing up everyday, but he was also withdrawing, rarely coming out of the study/music room. He didn't come when called, and he used to always come when I called him. Another really bad sign was that he wasn't even touching his favorite toy, a ratty toy mouse.

Our last ditch effort was to feed him some canned tuna, stuff he used to rave about whenever Troy opened up a can to eat for himself. For a day, he was all about consuming that. But then, early this morning, he threw up three times in the space of less than six hours. Early afternoon, one of the bathrooms smelled really strange, in a bad way; Niao Mi had peed in there. Though some pets relieve themselves or mark territory, Niao Mi hasn't had any peeing episodes in a very long time. I knew something was wrong. Then, when I went to the study, where Niao Mi was resting, the smell was like something decaying. Didn't know what was causing the smell. Thought perhaps Niao Mi had left some sort of unwanted present somewhere. Turned out it was Niao Mi that smelled really badly.

Called Troy at school, and reluctantly told him I think it's time to put Niao Mi down. He agreed.

Not long after Troy got home from school in the afternoon, we went to the vet together. Troy petted Niao Mi the entire time we were at the vet, while Isabella was strapped to me in the Baby Bjorn. We watched as the vet shaved Niao Mi's leg and euthanized him. Certainly, we stayed with the poor cat until he passed on. . .

Goodbye Niao Mi. We love you, and I miss you already.

Thank you Troy for everything . . . for comforting Niao Mi in his last moments, for being there, for taking all his stuff away when we got home, for coming to my side when I was so upset, for everything.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

yup, i'm loving my baby bjorn!

isabella's in the baby bjorn, strapped to my body, at the moment. i'm loving it! so far, this has been the only successful method in distracting her between feedings. if weather permits, i may have to take her on some walks tomorrow, as i'm trying to put her on more of a schedule. . . bye for now.

hey manda, if you're perusing this blog, want to go for a walk tomorrow?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Isabella takes her second trip out, this time to Target

I needed some stuff at Target. So, we decided that Troy would drop us off at Target (since I'm still not supposed to drive) while he picked up groceries at HEB. My plan, since I am not supposed to carry anything heavier than her, at this point, was to carry her in the Baby Bjorn. Turns out that that worked well!

She slept through my entire shopping experienc there, albeit the visit wasn't all that long. Though she had a decent experience, I had an upper back ache. And, by the time I got home, I had a huge headache, and I felt really cold. Perhaps my body was just telling me that I was exhausted and needed rest. Anyways, Isabella slept as long as she was in the car. But, once she was home, she was wide awake. Had to nurse her for nearly two hours (I'm not exaggerating! Every time I tried to pull her off, she got very upset), before she finally went to sleep. Though I didn't sleep during that time, I got some rest.

Speaking of sleep, I'm off.

Introducing Abigail Kiersten Hall

Abigail Kiersten Hall

Chrissy is a friend I've known since high school. She and her husband had their second child recently. Here are the stats:

Abigail Kiersten Hall
born Tues., October 10, 2006, at 6:01 PM
8 lbs. & 1.6 oz.
21 inches long.
parents: Chrissy & Henry Hall

Friday, October 20, 2006

Christine & Isaiah Poston

Isaiah & Christine

Christine, I hope you don't mind that I posted this picture of you two here on my blog. Wanted to show off my best friend and Isaiah. . .

Troy and I met Christine & Ted Poston at a Philosophy Departmental party at Jon Kvanvig's house, in Columbia, MO, in the fall of 2002, not long after Troy and I returned from our honeymoon in Hawaii. Christine's husband, Ted, was starting the graduate program in Philosophy at the University of Missouri, Columbia. As most of you know, Troy and I were already in the graduate program in Philosophy there.

Anyways, Christine and I quickly became friends. Ultimately, we would become best friends, always calling each other and visiting with one another. . . What did we not have in common? I'll come up with something if you give me enough time. Well, in November of last year, she gave birth to Isaiah Lanice Poston, and I was not expecting at that time. Though we did have that difference and though I had no words of wisdom to pass her about babies, we were still tight. In fact, I took all her pregnancy pictures, up until the time Troy and I moved away from Columbia. For those of you who live in South Texas and have a chance to come over to our home, you'll still see two pregnancy pictures I took of Christine in the baby room / guest room. Even after I moved from Columbia, we were still quite close and still remain so to this day.

So, here's a picture of what she looks like! Isaiah is 10 months in this picture. He'll be a year old in a few short weeks!

Maverick Chandler Westcott

adorable Maverick Chandler Westcott

I believe Rhonda took this picture on October 11, 2006.

We became friends with Rhonda and John Westcott not long after we moved down to South Texas and started attending First Church of the Nazarene regularly. Our first double date was at The Olive Garden. Turns out, Rhonda and I were both pregnant, only she was about three months ahead of me. . . Rhonda and I hit it off from the start, and John and Troy, I think, got along quite well, too.

Sad to say, this past summer, this wonderful family left us to return to Massachusetts. Well, the good news was and is that they were moving back so John could be executive pastor at their home church. Yay Westcotts!

Hope you keep me up to date on pictures Rhonda! I need cute pictures of your little bundle of joy and the two of you (the three of you altogether) to put up in my kitchen!

Introducing Marin O'Connor Best

Our friends that we knew from Columbia, MO, Todd and Holli Best recently added a bundle of joy to their family. This is their first child.

Marin O'Connor Best
born: October 5, 2006
7 pounds
20 inches

This photograph was taken, I think, by one of the parents - Todd or Holli - on October 6th. Isn't she a sweetie?

Logan French

Logan French

Troy's mom has one brother, Bob French. Bob and his wife, Cherie French, have one son, Adam. Adam and Beth, husband and wife, had a son some fourteen months ago. So, this is Troy's second cousin (?).

This was a picture taken really recently of him. Isn't he a cutie?!

our hungry little monster, i mean, princess

ladies and gentlemen, we definitely have a eating machine on our hands, that can easily compete with mommy and daddy. i pumped over 4 oz. of breastmilk this morning. late morning, i nursed isabella for 45 minutes on one side, and not much later, she drained a majority of the breastmilk i pumped, leaving almost 1 oz. she's training to beat her mommy and daddy, hands down folks.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Isabella was born 1 month ago today!

Isabella Anne Chang-Nunley was born one month ago tonight. In Asian culture, this is a big celebration! In fact, my parents just called. Also in Asian culture, the new mother is supposed to stay home for the first whole month (along with the newborn) and do absolutely no housework. She is just supposed to rest and recover from the whole ordeal of giving birth.

Anyways, here are nine pictures that I took today, in celebration of our precious little girl.

Isn't she cute?

Though she wasn't sleeping at all, even after nursing, she was behaving for the picture taking extravaganza.

Adorable little feet.

Her cute feet next to my . . . well, interesting foot.

family photo.
didn't do so well with the tripod here.

a tender moment between Daddy & baby.

Aren't they cute together?
She's totally going to grow up to be Daddy's little girl!

another family photo.
Junko took this picture. Thanks!

another family photo, taken by Junko.

different people holding isabella

There a number of different ways to differentiate sets of grandparents and how they should be called. Troy and I decided that Isabella will call his parents, Grandma and Grandpa, and she will call my parents, A-ma and A-gong (the Taiwanese terms for Grandmother and Grandfather respectively).

Grandma & Isabella

A-gong & Isabella

Auntie Manda & Isabella
So, Manda may not be an aunt by blood but she has earned the title of aunt nevertheless!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Just finished grading the subjective portion of my students' exams

Ohmygosh, little did I realize that making half an exam subjective would wreak havok on my life, adding into the equation a newborn. Okay, so by now, Isabella probably no longer qualifies as a newborn, being nearly a month old now. Still, my point stands. . . I had some fifty-three exams, for which to grade the subjective portion. Yuck. With a baby that functions as if I am a 24/7 milking machine, I have found precious little time to grade. Well, these same students were originally scheduled to have another exam yesterday; but, Troy has postponed their exam. Probably a good idea. Well, with a little break from Isabella today (she actually took a couple of naps - strange, being my child, after all), I got all (ALL!) those essays graded. As tempted as I am to make commentary on the quality of those essays, I will stay silent. The work is done . . . for now.

Now, if I could only figure out what baby gifts I have received since Isabella was born and get 'thank you' notes sent to the people who sent those gifts, I would feel on top of the world.

My PhD diploma arrived in the mail today!

I'm so excited. My PhD diploma in Philosophy from the University of Missouri, Columbia, arrived in the mail today. Hooray!!!!!!!!!!

Troy said now we need to frame it. Sounds good to me. Let's do it.

Isabella's 9-days-younger cousin, Juliet Chang Calhoun

Introducing Juliet Chang Calhoun!

My parents went back to Knoxville, TN, from seeing Troy and my daughter (their first granddaughter), for two short days, before flying to California for the birth of their second granddaughter. My sister, Tenny, gave birth to her first child - Juliet Chang Calhoun, on September 28, 2006. Tenny and hubby Tim are proud parents of a sweet, sweet little bundle of joy.

Name: Juliet Chang Calhoun.
Birthdate and time: September 28, 2006, 9:57 AM.
Weight: 7 pounds, 6 ounces.
Length: 19 inches long.

Strange but wonderful occurrence that Tenny and I shared due dates that were only 10 days apart, that we would deliver only 9 days apart both by C-section . . . that Tenny and I have birthdays that are only 11 days apart (Tenny's birthday is Sept. 5, mine is Sept. 16, and she's 2 years and 11 days older than me), that we had our first child in the same year in the same month, that four of us share the same birth month . . . neat, huh?!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pictures of Isabella, et. al.

10/5/06 - Isabella's 2 weeks & 2 days old
Daddy (Troy) and Isabella enjoying some quality time together

10/6/06 - Isabella looks so sweet when she's asleep!

Haiying took this picture of Isabella and me

My college roommate, Karen Esterl, and my college suitemate, Haiying Manning, came for a visit. Karen came on Wed., Oct. 4 and stayed until Mon., Oct. 9. Haiying came on Fri., Oct. 6 and left Sun., Oct. 8. They were such great helping hands, from loading the dishwasher to vacuuming to keeping me sane! On Sat., October 7, Karen and Haiying kicked Troy and me out of the house on a date, while they took care of baby Isabella.

The top was a gift from Haiying and Karen. I was quite surprised that the top fit. My chest looks rather . . . well-endowed . . . but hey, that's supposedly what many women wish for, right? The skirt is not a pregnancy bottom! Can't believe it fits already. Hasn't even been three weeks since the surgery, yet.

Another picture taken by Haiying.
A mother-daughter moment

10/8/06 - Haiying and baby Isabella

10/8/06 - baby Isabella

10/8/06 - Haiying, me, Karen

Those two tops that I'm wearing . . . well, I had a I-don't-want-to-look-like-a-frompy-mommy-day when Troy's mom was still here, and I purchased those tops, along with another top, on September 30, at the newest Old Navy store in town. And, I picked out two tops for the daddy, too. I felt so guilty making those purchases, I told Troy I would return the entire purchase if he preferred.

10/10/06 - Baby Isabella always looks so sweet and innocent when she sleeps, you'd never guess she's an eating machine!

Baby Isabella does NOT sleep all the time . . . I spend loads more time nursing than she does sleeping.

The Changleys are back online, finally!

After nearly two weeks of no internet at the Changley household (I know, how can anyone survive that, right?!, at least in this day and age), we are finally back online, as of last night. SBC/AT&T, our DSL provider, claimed that the problem was our modem is kaput. Well, after looking at our new gear, which cost us over $80 when all is said and done, I think somehow the old AC adaptor was the problem, not the modem itself. Oh well, too busy feeding/nursing our new addition to the family to do anything about that at the moment.