Monday, February 27

Nothing Like a Good Poop!

Well the highlight of the Ritner's day is a good poop from Addy. She has been having some bad gas and is pretty miserable when she cant get things out of her system, but when she let me tell you, what a mess. Addy's "blow outs" are quite a sight to behold. We have become believers that the Pampers Swadlers are the only diapers that can hold Addy's thunder. The Huggies and Target brands simply can't take what our little girl can dish out! She ruined another onesie and sleeper last night with her first good one of the day. Here she is in her favorite outfit, nothing, after her bath. She slept great over the weekend and was wonderful at church on Sunday morning, at the grocery store on Saturday, and she slept all Saturday night while Mom went out with friends and Dad worked from home.

There are 2 new videos and more pictures online from the weekend. She has begun to stick her tongue out and is beginning to be able to do it as a response to us sticking ours out first. We will try to get some videos of that. Today we are taking her for her first walk around the neighborhood.

Friday, February 24

Does Dad belong on ESPN?

Well after several comments over the past year that Jon looks like Kirk Herbstreit from ESPN's College Gameday, I have decided to let the readers at home decide. Submit your post and vote as to whether or not I could be confused for the handsome young television personality. Here are some pictures side by side for you to inspect. Maybe when God called me from Sports to Ministry, he replaced me with Kirk. Of course, he was a legit college quarterback at Ohio State and I was an intramural floor hockey hack at WM, but other than that, we were equally qualified I think.

Our Little Greaseball

Addy's hair continues to grow! We now have to give her a bath each night just to keep it looking respectable for company. She has had some bad gas recently and is more fussy than normal. Mom is trying to cut some foods out of her diet to see if that helps. Plus we are looking for a home solution to get baby poop out of clothing. Addy is ruining her night gowns with stains that we cant seem to get out.

Dad is doing his first funeral today and has been out of the house every nigth this week with small group training events, so he is looking forward to the weekend. Cubs tickets go on sale today at 11 AM so the Ritners are beginning to plan Addy's first outing to the big ballpark. Late May early June, then Dad might come back to see the Cardinals in town in July/August.

Tuesday, February 21


Gone are the days of our Ritner family routine: Work, working out, PTI/Seinfeld, Netflix and The Daily Show. Life at home with Addy is even starting to cramp the Blogging, so in the interest of our readers, from now on, we will update Life at the Intersection on Mondays and Fridays only. That way you know when to check for updates. We will try to get them up each of those days by noon. So until Friday, have a great week. Thanks again for all the calls and emails that let us know you are out there praying for Addy and us and supporting us as a family.

Addy had her first check up today, and urinated all over the scale in front of the nurses. Way to go girl. Mark your territory. She is in the 25th percentile in weight, and 75th in height, leading Mom to remark, "Nice, tall and skinny, like Mom."

Closest thing we get to a real smile

Best Friends to the Rescue

Here is Kristyn and Anita with Addy over the weekend at the house. Anita wasn't just visiting our child, she was escaping her own three kids. We can write a book, pamphlet maybe, called, All I Learned about Parenting I learned from Anita. She is one of the first calls when life gets hectic and Kristyn needs advice and perspective. Mostly we like to hear the stories about how she locks herself in the bathroom to talk to Kristyn on the phone when the kids get loud. Way to go, friends over family! Hope to see you again soon Anita!

Friday, February 17

Father Daughter Valentine's Banquet

Addy made her first official Chapel outing at the Annual Father Daughter Banquet that Jon runs every year for the Men's Ministry. Kristyn gave Jon the idea 4 years ago after having gone to one with her dad as a little girl. We maxed out the room on the Yorktown waterfront at 100. Here is the new family before the dinner began. Kristyn and Addy went home before the meal and were greeted with a big surprise. One of Kristyn's closest friends, Anita, who recently moved to Indiana when her husband took over a church there, flew in for the weekend to be with her.

Don't you like Mom and Dad's matching stripes? Yeah, Mom dresses the family pretty well!

Thursday, February 16

The First Big Outing

The three girls went out Wednesday to the Breast Feeding Support Group at the Hospital with two other new moms. It was a nice outing for Kristyn, and it made her feel much more confident about the whole feeding process. On the way home, they stopped off at the Chapel and we showed Addy off to the staff. Here she is wearing her new Valentine's Day outfit. The lactation consultant told Kristyn her body is adjusting so well to the whole feeding process, that she could sell her milk if she wanted to...leading Dad to begin to research such options on the internet. Does anyone need some high octane natural baby food?

Finishing Addison's Hope Chest

Over Christmas break, Dad and a carpenter friend from the Chapel spent two days making an Oak Chest for Addy's toys downstairs. When Addy gets married, it will become her's to pass on to her children. The corners of the chest are made from Oak trees recently felled from in front of the US Capitol that have stood there for a hundred years. Dad is staining it this week in the garage and it will go in the living room for now with a cushion on top for extra seating when we have small group meetings.

This is why Dad can't leave the house.

I leave for one day to go to work, and Uncle David and Grandma McKendrick talk Kristyn into putting Addy into a Sox outfit! What is this family coming to? Well, Uncle Dan, this is your bragging rights picture for winnig the World Series last year. When Addy grows up, she will never be allowed to look on this picture.

Tuesday, February 14

Tiny little thing

Addy has one cure for her non-diaper, non-food related crying. She likes to be folded in half and carried around in the palm of your hands. Books say that is how they spend most of their time in the womb so it is the most comfortable position for her.

We had a great dinner tonight celebrating Grandpa McKendrick and Uncle Davids last night with us. Kristyn has been pumping more often and feeling much better. Thanks for the emails of encouragement and ideas.

Monday, February 13

No fair! He has a tripod.

Grandpa McKendrick, the professional photographer, pulled out the camera Monday morning to take some pictures of Addy laying in the sun. Too bad we can't upload those immediately, they looked really cute in the viewfinder.

Ritner Eyes

Well 9 months of Mom's praying that Addison would have Momma's hair and Dad's eyes seems to have paid off. On Addison's one week birthday today, which we celebrated by breaking out her new chamois robe for her bath, all the McKendricks agreed that Addy has the big, round Ritner eyes of Jon and Grandpa Gary. We wont know her eye color for another four weeks or so, but the shape makes Mom think they will be blue like her Dads. As for the rest of her features...she has Kristyn's nose and hair but Jon's chin and round face. Not a bad combination.

Daddy's Two Beautiful Girls

Uncle David

David and Grandpa decided to stay over one more night since they were having so much fun and David isn't feeling well enough to return to school anyway. That means that the men still rule the remote for one more day with ESPN, Olympics, and late night boxing. When they leave, Dad will be forced to watch Gilmore Girls and 90210 reruns with the three ladies for the next two weeks. Addy fussed some tonight in going to sleep, but everyone agreed it was time to let her cry for a while without comforting her too quickly. Somehow, that doesn't seem to work when Dad tries that on Mom after a hard day though.

Sunday, February 12

Another restful night-can you believe it?

Well Addy is on a great sleep schedule. She goes down at midnight, sleeps until her feeding at 3, and then sleeps again until her feeding at 6. That has allowed Mom to start to feel more rested. Dad has the fun job of keeping Addy awake during the day as much as possible. So when she goes to counseling in her 30's and claims to have aversions to people touching her feet or pinching her cheeks, I will be the one to blame. Feeding is more painful for Momma than anticipated, so we are looking for other mothers who chose to stop breastfeeding at some point early on, to come out of the woodwork and encourage Kristyn that if she has to start pumping instead, she will not be alone. Dad got to introduce Addy through a picture to the Chapel this morning to a rousing ovation. The rest of the family stayed home as the snow flurries are beginning to come down.

Friday, February 10

Winter Road Trip

Grandma and Grandpa McKendrick rolled into town Friday night just as Grandma French was packing up to head home. Everyone is worried about the big storm Saturday afternoon, so travel plans were all moved up. Addy's Uncle David is here too for the weekend and is already trying to influence his niece towards the "other" Chicago baseball team, much to Mom and Dad's dismay. Grandma McKendrick is here for 2 weeks to help around the house and smother Addy with TLC.

Nothing like a good sponge bath

Addison celebrated a big milestone last night with her first bath. Not exactly the bath experience for the rest of us, more like being stripped naked, laid on the kitchen counter, and wiped down with a damp cloth. Um, soothing! Want to see if she liked it or not? Click on the onlie album to watch two videos of the experience. Video is rated G so don't worry. Dad learned his lesson after exposing his daughter on the web on the first day of her life. Nice dad, real cool.

What a difference a day makes

Last night was bliss. Addy slept for 3 hours between each feeding without any fussing. Mom, Dad, and Grandma were able to get some good sleep as well making Friday morning a happy time. Here is Addy during her morning "tummy time" meant to develop her upper body muscles. Think of it as Dad's infant workout regiment. Push-ups come next week then we move to the baby bench press. We are finding that Addy only cries when something is really wrong; gas, needs to burp, hungry, or needs changing. That makes life pretty easy, since those are her only 4 needs right now. That and the incessant kissing her parents love giving her.

Technical glitch fixed

Sorry, my brother helped me figure out that I needed to make all the online albums available every time I upload them, so you have only been able to see Day 3. Check the Online Album link on the right now and you should have access to many, many, too many pictures.

Thursday, February 9

Keeping up with the emails

Thanks for all the emails and responses to our website. Dad loves making it and it allows us feel like you are all right here with us in Williamsburg. Grandma French leaves tomorrow and Kristyn's parents and brother, David, will be coming in for the weekend. We have been posting all your comments and saving your emails so we can make a scrapbook of the whole experience for down the road. For the next level in parenting reality, Dad is thinking about installing a webcam in the nursery so you too can experience the frustration and compassion of being up all night with such a helpless little creature.

No sleep for the weary

So much for Addy being a good night sleeper. The second night was a nightmare. Dad went to bed at 1 was back up at 3 then slept 'till 9 and Mom and Grandma were up with her most of the night. Addy is just getting used to all the gas from real milk in her system and refuses to lay on her back, making sleep very difficult. She would much rather sleep all day long, like here, wedged into her Boppy. Kristyn has been trying to sleep more during the day to make the nights less agonizing. More pictures of Grandma and Addy and more cute videos in the Album on Snapfish.

Wednesday, February 8

Fun in the Sun

Most babies, after they are born, get a little jaundiced, or yellow tinted, in their skin as a natural result of their excess red blood cells from the womb being eliminated through their kidneys and skin. To help, the doctors encouraged us to lay her in the sun, which Mom was more than willing to do, since this will be a future bonding activity for mother and daughter in the summers ahead, I am sure.

Addy slept from 1AM-6AM downstairs on Grandma's lap on her first night home after fussing in the crib after her 11 PM feeding. That allowed Mom and Dad to get a good 6 -7 hours of sleep. Doctor checkup today to draw blood from Addy, but in a move of team solidarity Mom and Dad gave blood as well for new life insurance policies on each other. Dad worked half day at the office and half day at home. Now that we are home, we will try to post 2 new updates and pictures a day, and keep the rest of the pictures on her online album.

Just laying around...

Not much to do in life as a baby but lay around and allow Dad to stage embarassing baby pictures with you. This is Addison's bear skin rug she got for Christmas from surrogate Great-Grandparents Dick and Phyllis Terman who helped start the Chapel.

Tuesday, February 7

Can't get enough of the Pretty Princess?

If you are hooked on simply staring at Addy like her Mom and Dad are, you can click on the link to the right of this page entitled "View Addy's online album" and look at all her pictures and videos on Simply create a personal registration, and follow the pages to our online albums. We update them every time we take pictures, which is often since Dad (aka Clark W. Griswold) is kind of shutter-happy. There are fresh videos of Addy gettting into her big coming home outfit and Mom walking her to the house. Plus some great pictures of the first three days that didn't make the website. You can order copies directly from the site for the same price as film development and then get them sent to you at home. Feel free to order anything on the site, or send in requests for specific pictures.

Home Sweet Home

Well, sweet, but not warm. Dad, in a classic move to save money, shut the heat off when we left for the hospital, and then forgets to tell Grandma to turn it on Monday afternoon. So Addy came home to the house at a crisp 47 degrees. Needless to say her and Mom are still sitting in front of the fire trying to warm up before any more activity. Perfect time for Mom to give Addy her first manicure. The girls at Atir would be proud.

Headed Home Today

10 Am Day 3 (2.8.06)

Addy passed her hearing tests and had her inoculations this morning before returning to us. Mom and Dad slept another 8 straight hours from 1Am-9AM. Addy has been getting one syringe feeding at night allowing us to sleep. She is a little jaundiced, but the doctors all say that is to be expected. The nurses were all bragging about finding Addison's dimple in her right cheek. We didn't have the heart to tell them that Grandma discovered it last night during one of her "gas smiles."

Already seeing some Daddy in Addy

Addy found her thumb for the first time after having settled for sucking her index finger for the first two days, which looked a little awkward. Dad was so proud, since he sucked his thumb as a baby, and embarrassingly enough, until he was in 8th grade, but we wont get into the devastating emotional ramifications of that now. Addy did scratch herself red trying to get it in her mouth so Dad will have to work with her on a better technique because this one here is pretty inefficient.

Monday, February 6

Hold on to the Memories

5 PM
Well, most of day was spent just doing this. Holding Addy and telling her how cool she is. Kristyn had a great session with the lactation consultant, Kris, who is a wealth of knowledge. Addy has met the parents of some of her future best friends, Braden Lee, Cara Ellis, Aly Warner, and Hudson Sylvester. It won't be long before they will be hanging out at WCC on Sunday mornings, having sleep overs and dating each other. Well, not our Addy, but other girls will begin dating.

Grandma to the rescue

Jon's mom has been wonderful, keeping out nurses and janitors at bad times, getting more baby supplies, encouraging Kristyn and letting Jon watch some of the game and answer emails. She is off getting things ready at the house for us to go home tommorrow. Kristyn is feeling MUCH better this morning, up and about, showering, primping, etc. We have some visitors coming today to see the two lovely ladies.

Sleep at last

Mom and Dad slept for 11 hours last night including 8 straight from 1Am-9AM. We turned the game off in the 3Q and slept until midnight when Kristyn fed Addy for an hour. She really has the hang of breastfeeding and the two of them are just adorable together. Here is Addison this morning after her 9 Am feeding. Cutie!

Sunday, February 5

Addy, wake up! Your missing the Big Game.

Addy Girl was unable to make it past the first quarter before crashing for the night. Mom bailed right behind her. That leaves Dad to watch the 2H alone. Kristyn is not feeling very well. It is still pretty sore for her to sit for any period of time but she had a great post delivery dinner of pizza and salad from Sal's. Signing off for the first day of JK&A Ritner as an official family. Wow, life will never be the same again. We love you all!

Look at those locks!

Well one thing is for sure, she has momma's hair. Addy's hair is longer than most of Daddy's hair. It is even a little curly on the top. Addy hasn't eaten again since 5, but that is to be expected, so they say, on day one, since all she really wants to do is sleep. Dad got to change the first diaper and Mom is basically bedridden with all her swelling. We may have spoken too soon in saying that Kristyn was doing fine. Lets revise Mom's status to ok. She has been able to hold the baby and goto the bathroom, but it all leaves her shaky and exhausted. We hope the drugs get completely out of her system soon and that her body makes the blood back that she lost, which was quite a lot. We are all trying to sleep some before Grandma French (Jon's mom) gets here and the big game begins at 6PM.

The first moments of life part II (video)

The first moments of life part I (video)

Introducing Addison Clark Ritner

Addy was born at 4:09 AM weighing 7 lbs. 9 oz and measuring a healthy 19 inches long. The nurses woke Kristyn up at 3:45 to give her a catheter and do a routine check and instead decided that, "this girl is going to climb out on her own." Fifteen minutes of pain free pushing later, Addy came tumbling out. Mom is doing great, sleeping again. She cant stop saying, "This is so much fun, I just can't believe how much I love her already!" Dad almost passed out when the head starting showing and had to sit down saying, "I feel like I did at my father's wedding." Addy nursed within the important two-hour window and is now taking a bath with our wonderful nurse Laura who has been fantastic. Thanks for all the prayers. More pictures and some video to come soon.

Not everyone you meet in cyberspace at 1 AM is evil

1 AM
No more progress to report. Babies are popping out everywhere on the hall now. 5 labors are down to 2. Kristyn continues to sleep in between check ups. My father, the original Pastor/Webmaster Ritner has been staying up online with me keeping me company as I work. Got to love a dad who has to preach in the morning and still writes this, "I may doze off and come back .. but I can hear the email beep ... so send a few emails to get my attention if you like ... I can run on little sleep and nap in spurts ... I want you to know that I am in the virtual room with you ... if you need me"

Feeling the love dad, feeling the love!

Saturday, February 4

Sleeping Beauty

3 Hours into the epidural and Kristyn has progressed 3 more cm to 7 total, plus she is 90% effaced. Nurse woke her and Addy up to check them and then let them go back to bed. At this rate it should be about 2-3 more hours until she is 10 cm. then comes the fun part, the final PUSH. And of course in the midst of all of this, all my wife can seem to say is, "I feel so bad for you, are you ok staying up by yourself." I couldn't sleep if I wanted to, the rush is too much.

Site back up, Jon has something to do!

11 PM
Kristyn is asleep, or trying to at least. Her body feels a little weird to her with the numb legs and all. Contractions are still 3 min apart, look great on the charts, and Addy is sleeping as well. I am the only one awake sitting here with the only sound in the room the monitor playing the heartbeat of our baby girl to come. It is so cool!

Working on small group questions for the Chapel sermon tomorrow and waiting for the drugs to keep loosening Kristyn up for the big push. So much for a 02/04/06 baby, looks like Addy will be a Super Bowl baby instead. I am so proud of her flair for the dramatic.

Bring on the Drugs

Super Trooper made it as far as she could and the epidural is now in. We have been in labor since 7 ET offically, she was 4 cm. dialated at 7:30 PM. We have been walking and squatting, but now she is confined to the bed with the epidural. Her pain is down significantly.

Sorry about the website. I will try to send more emails to immediate family

Real deal

Ok, we are getting closer, 2.5 minutes between and the pain has picked up. I cant see the website, it seems to be down, so I hope everyone else is getting these. If so, someone send me a quick email at

Kristyn is more scared than in pain right now, keep praying for her.

Coach Ritner

Kristyn's parents requested a picture of the webmaster, so here is one for all my fans out there, thanks for the love. The birthing ball doubles for a good chair, plus I have been working on my abs all afternoon. At least one of us is going to have tight tummy when we leave here.

My wife is a stud!

6 PM
So the nurse comes in again just to check on things, and the nosey husband asks, "How far apart are her contractions according to the machine?" THREE MINUTES APART. When did we go from 10 to 3? So much for my ability to time them as the coach. Of course it is hard when tough girl over here never lets on that she is even having contractions. In fact, during this picture she is having a contraction, while on the phone with her father, cant you see the look of pain on her face?!

Kristyn is dreading the next cervical check, but everything else is doing great. The pitosen drip will get increased every half hour until they get to better dilation. We are on the second level now.

Drip, Drip, Drip

The pitosen has begun. Our lamaze coach, who also goes to the chapel, made a surprise appearance and really lifted Kristyn's spirits which were beginnng to get a little down with all the waiting. Contractions have gotten closer without getting any more painful!

There they are

4 PM
Contractions are becoming increasingly evident to Kristyn. She is feeling them now every 9-10 minutes or so with some discomfort, but nowhere near unbearable. The plan is still to hit the drugs soon to speed her up as soon as the nurses can handle it. Kristyn is getting a little scared about the pain, so pray for her mind as well as her body that she stays relaxed. We will keep checking in every hour until something new happens.

One baby down, four more to go

3 PM
Well, the rest of the story with our waiting is that there are four other women in active labor on the hall, so that is why they have not begun the pitosen which would speed the process up. However, one baby was just born, so we will see if that changes our status here in next hour or so.

Still watching movies on the laptop and going for walks on the hall in between check ups each half hour.

We have contractions, now if she could just feel them.

2:00 PM
Well, the computer says Kristyn is having contractions 10 minutes apart, but she still is not feeling anything. The water has stopped flowing at least. Right now, we are sitting here rooting for Florida State to upset Duke at home.

Mmm, liquid lunch

Lunch is served. Salt less Chicken broth (made from powder) unsweet tea, apple juice, and ginger ale. And can you believe it, Kristyn didn’t finish her whole meal! But thankfully the nurse agreed to turn her back the other way so Kristyn could have some Orange Sherbet, technically not a clear liquid. Still feeling fine, but no contractions.

No Pain, No Gain

Well, nothing new to report really. Kristyn's water is leaking out finally, and that is grossing her out a little, but no contractions. The nurse has the pitosen bag ready to go for when the doctor decides to use it.

Ok, anytime now Addy

10:40 AM
No sign of Addy wanting to come out. No contractions yet. Kristyn is sitting on her birthing ball and we are watching movies. 3 cm. and holding.

Let the fun begin

Well, now we see what all the wait has been about, this place is packed! We got the last room on the floor and they told us they would have bumped us again if we hadn't already been bumped twice. Kristyn is hooked up and has had her water broken. And in classic Ritner fashion, I wasn't even in the room when it happend. I was off visiting our friends the Warners who are being discharged this morning. This from the same idiot who got lost going to his own wedding. We are online with email ( and on MSN Messenger (Ritner) if you want to chat. Probally not answering alot of cell phone calls.

Fingers Crossed

7:05 AM
Well, no phone calls today, so we are headed in on this dark rainy morning . We will keep you updated throughout the day, thanks for all the prayers.

Friday, February 3

Back to the routine

Well, Friday morning and I am back at work and Kristyn is back to shopping. Life returns to normal for at least one more day at the Ritners.

Thursday, February 2

Its a Girl! (She's just not ours)

Our good friends and small group-mates Chad and Karin Warner gave birth to a healthy baby girl this afternoon at 2:20 PM. Aly Robinson Warner came out 6 lbs 8 oz after about 10 hours of labor. Kristyn and Karin have enjoyed going through their pregnancies together, but no one imagined Karin would go first, since she was due two weeks after Kristyn. Congratulations to the new Mom and Dad! Hope we will be hallmates with them come Saturday morning.

Deja' vu all over again.

Well, just as we were heading out the door to get to the hospital by noon, we get a last minute call postponing us to SATURDAY. Word is the maternity unit is chaos with no empty rooms and no extra nurses to care for a non-emergency on another floor. So, back to the waiting game.

And you thought Addison Clark was over the top...

Check out the Steeler's Fans who not only moved their birth up so it didn't conflict with the Super Bowl, but gave her daugher Alex the middle name, Joela, in honor of current Steelers players Jo(ey Porter), (Antwan Randle)el and A(llen Faneca).

A Steelers fan asked to have her baby early to avoid giving birth on Super Bowl Sunday.

Will today be the day?

Well if Addy does decide to make her appearance today she will join Shakira and Christy Brinkley with February 2 birthdays. But more importantly she will be born on the all important Groundhog Day. For the 2006 prediction from Punxsutawney Phil live from Gobbler's Knob check out:
(Fast Forward to about 55 minutes in to see the big announcement)

(I am running out ways to bide my time this morning, can you tell...)

No room at the inn

Well, we are waiting once again. The maternity unit called at 6:30 and said that they had 2 ladies come in over night who are in labor and they have a planned C-section this morning, so we have to wait for them to discharge some people before we can come in ourselves. They told us to expect a call sometime this morning. Momma is already back asleep. Dad is too wound up. Watching Imus in the Morning and drinking my daily pot o' coffee.