Archive for February, 2007

Helena House is in the House!
February 27, 2007

She’s here!

As you saw Denise, Al and Scot announce on Eyewitness News, our daughter — Helena Sundlun House — was born on Friday, Feb. 23 at 4:48 p.m.

I can tell you Mom and Helena are doing great at home, and Kara will update her blog when she gets some time. That means not any time soon!

Seriously, having a baby for us guys is easy. Those first days are all Momma, all the time. As everyone says, it is amazing what women go through during labor.

I want to say the folks at St. Francis Hospital were absolutely wonderful. These people work long hours and they all love their jobs and are so devoted to their work. The new maternity rooms at St. Francis are like hotel rooms. Special thanks to Dr. Ann Massucco and nurse Jeanne Ganis who delivered Kara.

We picked the name Helena just a few months ago, after hemming and hawing over a few other names. About a month ago, after deciding on Helena, I got a strange sense our baby was a girl because of three bizarre things that happened the same day:

  1. First, we went online looking at birth announcements. The first sample used the name “Helena.”
  2. Then, I was driving on I-84 at the Capitol Avenue/Asylum interchange when I noticed someone had spray-painted the initials “H H” in giant pink letters at the side of the highway. Pink isn’t usually in the palette of vandals, so this was very strange, and the roadside monogram was huge!
  3. Then, I went to work and had to voice a story for the 5 p.m. news and the woman in the story was named “Helena.”

I called Kara and said, “I think it is a girl!”

The boy’s name will remain a secret in the event we use it in the future.

Thanks to all of you for your well wishes and awesome comments. We’d like to hear from you, and stay tuned to this blog for more info.

Special Delivery!
February 26, 2007

Dennis & Kara are the proud parents of a baby girl.

Helena Sundlun House
Born on Friday, Feb. 23

  • Click here for pictures
  • More to come as they settle down, Moderators

    Waiting For Baby
    February 20, 2007

    Everybody has been asking me, “Has Kara had the baby yet?”

    No. But we are waiting.

    The Feb. 18 due date has come and gone, and the baby has shown no signs of wanting to come out.

    Who could blame him/her? It was 9 degrees out on Sunday morning! Better off staying inside.

    Speed It Up, Kid!

    Everybody has also been telling us about things you can do to speed things along, although some might be old wives tales.

    • Exercising: Kara and I went to the gym over the weekend and then walked around Bushnell Park and downtown. On the advice of our birthing class instructor, Kara even bounced on the big blue ball at the Y.
    • Spicy food: Denise joined us at Mayor Mike’s on Friday, but that didn’t work either. On Saturday, we lunched at Sweet Jane’s with a crowd of UConn fans. And for dinner, we ordered Chinese. All in all, no labor. Yesterday, we resorted to comfort food at A.C. Petersen Farms, including a rich dessert, but the baby seems quite comfy on the inside.

    Mama Makes Her Nest

    Waiting for baby has kicked our nesting into high gear. Kara has the nursery completely decorated and the house organized, and I have managed to finish a crown moulding installation I began sometime last year!

    Speaking of the nursery, Kara and I read a nursery rhymes book yesterday and were both kind of surprised by some of the wording. Some of those childhood short stories are downright violent.

    I never really thought about “Rock a bye baby,” always presuming there was another verse. There isn’t and the story ends like this:

      “When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and down will come baby, cradle and all.”

    How is that supposed to be comforting to a baby?

    A Presidential Library in CT?
    February 12, 2007

    Right now, there is a big debate over whether the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum should be built at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

    Some believe the university should not be home to the papers and mementos belonging to a president who is so unpopular in the polls. Others at SMU argue it somehow endorses Bush’s political views.

    Nevertheless, it got me to thinking: Maybe Connecticut should make a play for the library. After all, President Bush was born in New Haven and is a Yale alumnus. Besides, Texas already has two presidential libraries, do they really need another?

    I grew up in suburban Boston and remember going to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston as a high school student. I was fascinated by the exhibits, especially the replica of the Oval Office that featured a phone just like the one on President Kennedy’s desk in the early 1960s.

    Had I grown up in South Dakota, or even Connecticut, I would not have had the opportunity to experience such hands-on history within a short drive of my school.

    More than a decade later, when I was an anchor in western Michigan, I visited the Gerald Ford Library in Grand Rapids, where I saw plenty of students on field trips doing what I had done at the JFK Llibrary. These kids were pretty lucky, to have such a rare attraction in their state. After all, there are only 12 presidential libraries.

    Regardless of what you think of George W. Bush, he is a president and is a part of a crucial period in American history. Having the library in New Haven would bring in millions in tourism dollars and be a place for students and scholars to debate the years of the Bush presidency. Imagine having all the papers from 9/11 and the Iraq War right here in our state. Visitors from all over the nation and the world would have a pretty big reason to come to Connecticut.

    SMU professor Rebekah Miles, a Democrat who admits she voted against George Bush twice, says SMU should embrace the library. She wrote, “a hundred years from now, when we are all dead and gone, scholars from around the world will still be going to the George W. Bush Presidential Library to understand our shared history. The library is a gift to generations yet to be born.”

    But a Bush Library in New Haven could also include a wing devoted to all the presidents who spent their college years in our state and graduated from Yale. It would be an interesting collection that would include William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

    New Haven tends to be a Democratic city, so perhaps the idea of a Bush Presidential Library is abhorrent to many there. Arkansas has become a Republican state and Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock has not been hurting for visitors.

    But a Presidential Library isn’t about partisan politics. It’s about history, our history, and why shouldn’t Connecticut play host to it?

  • Vote:
    Build George W. Bush Presidential Library In Connecticut?
  • I’d love to know what you think, feel free to leave some comments.

    Getting Ready For The Baby!
    February 7, 2007

    Kara and I getting down to wire in this baby thing, and so we are getting everything ready for parenthood.

    First, I want to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions about baby names and for sharing your stories about your own children. I can tell you that no one guessed the names we have chosen.

    We have completed setting up the nursery including a new paint job. We went with a neutral color and will add some pink or blue when the baby arrives. Most importantly, we checked the heating system and windows to make sure everything is in safe, working order.

    Our pool table — a relic from my bachelor days — is no longer. Quite honestly, Kara and I have used it sparingly over the years, except for when we entertained. So, we turned the pool room into a family room. The billiards table, which is now in a landfill, was beaten up — the slate was cracked and the felt had seen better days. Taking it apart to get it out of the house and rebuilding it elsewhere was just not worth it.

    Also on our “to-do” list: The car seat! You can’t take your baby home from the hospital without it. Kara and I found the instructions somewhat complicated, so I went to our local Fire Department for help. It’s a great service and I encourage any expectant parent to contact their local authorities to see if they can help.

    I went to Hartford Fire Department Headquarters, where Lt. Anthony B. Taylor and Yolanda Caseres helped me install the baby’s new ride. OK, they installed it while I watched and studied every move they made.

    They told me things the instruction booklet just can’t illustrate, including the proper tension of the belts and just how snug the baby should be in the car seat.

    Caseres also warned about loose items in the car that could become dangerous projectiles in the event of a crash. Her rule: Have your wife throw something at you, and if it hurts, that’s what the baby will feel in a crash (Don’t give Kara any ideas!) — we’re talking compact discs, books, pens, etc.

    Caseres and Taylor were great. They are extremely knowledgeable about this very important matter. Please, if you are having a child, or getting a new car and need to move your car seat base, go to an expert and make sure it is installed correctly.


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