Archive for the 'news' Category

One-third of a year old!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

So, it was one-third of a year ago when Max was surgically excised from Amalia’s belly and yanked into the fluorescent glow of the world.

Everything has been going well.  Amalia has returned to work half-time this week; we have a nanny (a.k.a. Kendra) holding down the fort while we’re away, and Max seems to be having a great time and heaps of joie de vivre regardless of who is taking care of him.

We took some all-new estimates — displacement style — of his morphometrics.

Length:  26″

Weight:  15 pounds

We’ll get these confirmed soon enough.  Nuff said.

Random Update

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, which is probably because I’m used to posting to describe big events and big news. Instead, there’s been just a parade of small events and small news, which individually don’t seem worth reporting upon (or more specifically, are difficult for me to find the time to report upon), but are still fun nonetheless.

For instance:

The smiles and laughs have been coming interactively for some time now. He’s a really good-natured little critter, almost a goof.

He’s starting to get mobile. Not in the “true crawling” way, but in the “squirm about in an improvised manner and somehow manage to perambulate like a grub in a pattern that can only be described by a random walk model” kind of way. He wakes up on a different side of the crib (and in a different orientation) than he was when he was put asleep, and if left on his own, he’ll migrate about by an inch per minute in a stochastic direction.

(He’s clearly fascinated by locomotion. It’s his driving pastime, other than sticking objects (typically swaddle blankets) into his mouth. While supine, he’ll use his legs to push up his lower body. He likes to stand up (with significant help from a spotter). He loves to tuck up his legs and try to roll over (and if he’s on a slight incline, he actually can roll over).)

Speaking of dexterity, he now has a preference for a certain cube-rattle-toy that he likes to play with, and he’ll swing that sucker around like he’s trying to kill spiders.

His hair is lightening up in parts, and thinning out in parts. He has this two-tone Brian Bosworth thing going on right now, where the hair at the base of his neck is still pretty dark, while the rest of his hair is turning almost fair.

Max\'s hair role model

When Max was born, his eyes only had a slight hint of metallic blue. Now they’re clearly, obviously, incontrovertibly blue. I’ve heard that kids’ eyes can change color in weird ways, in multiple phases, so it’s possible that they may change back, or do something altogether different, but I think Mr. Blue Eyes is here (more or less) to stay.

And lastly, he also did a reasonable job singing the lyrics of his first song: the chorus (”Hey! Ho! Let’s go!”) from The Ramones’ “Blitzkreig Bop”.

Max’s quarter-birthday

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Not much to say except the usual banal good news. Max is three months old today and he’s doing great. He’s slept through the night a few times, which seems to be a growing trend, and he’s starting to giggle interactively.

So he’s one-fourth of a year old today, which doesn’t seem possible.

Panic! No, wait …

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

So, the three of us visited the pediatrician today for the two-month visit. Hilarity did not ensue.

Allow me to preface this with some backstory.

I have an inherent belief — stemming from my traumatic childhood — that all pediatricians are evil. This isn’t a delusion, or a grudge, but a revelation: the feeling that I have looked behind the curtain and gotten a glimpse into the true, dark, horrible state of the world. This stems from having been the plaything of The Evil Dr. Frostad in my youth. He revealed to me the miserable cabal of torture and pain that is known in this world as the pediatric profession.

I fully acknowledge the possibility that The Evil Dr. Frostad may have done his field a disservice. While The Evil Dr. Frostad himself had clearly been trained by Dr. Mengele and his unholy minions somewhere beneath the seventh level of Hell, it is conceivable that others have not, and that somewhere out there, perhaps scattered across the far-flung corners of the Earth, there is an elite cadre of pediatricians who aim to subvert their demonic profession; perhaps they vow to inflict no unnecessary harm, and even strive to bring a generation of healthy children into this world, in spite of the ruinous motives demanded by the rest of their execrable colleagues.

Alas, I have yet to encounter any of these “good pediatricians”, if any even exist. I keep hoping that they’re out there.

So trips to the pediatrician are always a good time. We travel together, for safety. I always make sure to bring the crucifix, the wolvesbane, and the 9mm Glock loaded with silver hollow-points.

The previous visit was uneventful, perhaps even promising. This particular visit, however, lived up to my expectations.

First, the pediatrician’s stooped henchwoman took some all-new morphometrics:

Length: 24.5 inches
Weight: 11 pounds, 13 ounces (a reality check from our last displacement measurement)
Cranial circumference: 40.5 cm

Then the pediatrician gave us the bad news.

With an ominous gravitas, she said that Max had seriously degenerated since our last visit. His weight was now in the bottom fifth percentile — almost off the bottom end of the chart. His cranial circumference and length were similarly, precipitously meager, like he was withering away. “He looks thin to me.” Sure, he was eating, but maybe we were mistaken about the actual quantities that he was taking? This meant he was not developing properly. “I need to see him more often.” Emergency visits, to make sure he wasn’t getting worse, because maybe something serious was going on, like a gastrointestinal disorder, or tapeworms, or …

“Oh wait a moment … he was accidentally plotted at the four-month level. And wouldn’t you know … when you plot him against the two-month level, he’s at the 50th percentile. And hey, his length is even at the 75th percentile. He’s doing fine!” She licked her lips wetly, like a starving dog. “Why, he’s a nice, plump, tasty-looking –”

That was when I ran her through the heart, using my holy sacrificial knife of polished silver, its blade engraved with 12th century protective runes. With a flash of dark energy and a withering cry, her body crumpled, decomposing before us until it collapsed into a smoldering heap of ashes and writhing worms.

Soon enough, she’ll rise again from the dead. Pediatricians always do.

As we tried to make our escape, the stooped henchwoman burst through the door, clutching a brace of needles and other apparatus. Before I could intervene, she impaled Max three times in his legs, forced a hideous pink goo into his mouth, and cackled triumphantly with a hissing laugh, almost spasmodically, “Vak-shi-NAY-shuns!” I pulled out a photo of Dr. Benjamin Spock and held it up defensively. She clutched at her eyes, as if blinded by the sun, and emitted a feral cry of anguish. I shoved her aside, and we battled our way through the hellish horde in the lobby, and beyond, to the safety of the elevator.

But not without a reservation for a four-month appointment.

More family for Max to meet

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Over the past few days, a few new visitors have come and gone, in name:  Irene (Max’s maternal grandmother), Tim (Max’s maternal uncle) and Amy (Tim’s fiancee).

It was a fun gathering, and Max was on reasonably good behavior.  Max, and his guests, got to visit the fish ladder in the Ballard locks, and the Redhook Brewery (he got through without being ID’d).

Another rough estimate of Max’s mass was measured, using the displacement ((Dad + Max ) – Dad = Max) method, which has him figured at around fourteen pounds, or roughly double his birthweight.

Seven weeks old, and counting

Friday, July 11th, 2008

It’s been a while since my last post; my apologies to anyone who may be checking for updates. I’m back at work, so my time for non-essential tasks has greatly diminished.

Today marks the seventh week since Max’s birth and things are still going well. Here are some gee-whiz facts that are probably worth reporting:

  • Max is now fed exclusively on formula. It started with pain in one breast, and led to a downward spiral where Max would refuse to breastfeed altogether, because getting food from the bottle is more efficient. (My Swiss genes may have something to do with this.) This is both good and bad news. Breasts are more portable, and the food contains good ingredients that can’t be found in formula (e.g., antibodies). It’s also free, which is only a small matter. Formula, however, can be prepped very quickly, can be made in any amount, is easier for others than the mother to work with, and it also doesn’t cause pain to Amalia.
  • Max’s sleeping routine is evolving. He is sleeping less during the day, and more during the night. Hooray! He still has feed-me wake-ups at appx. 2am and 6am, but he’s going to sleep at 8:30pm now. This pattern is a welcome development, although it also means that his daytime care requires more attention.
  • Boy howdy, is he getting pudgy!
  • This little guy has also started smiling interactively. He gets rather playful after his morning feeding, where he’ll turn into a one-man smile festival and vocalize back at you with indecipherable gurgling noises that sound vaguely like, “Uh oh!”
  • Technically he has said “Mama” once already, but we think it was likely just random syllables.

Another heap of photos are currently being uploaded, so keep watching the gallery.

One month later …

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

It’s Max’s one-month birthday today. All is going well. For one thing, Max is definitely getting bigger. As in, visibly, especially in the way he’s packing on the pepperoni.

The next pediatrician appointment won’t be for another month, but we got curious anyway: we took a crude weight measurement of him on the scale, using the “max = ((mom+max) - mom)” approach. He came somewhere between 9.0 and 9.5 pounds.

We also measured his length a couple of days ago — which seems as random of a measure as anything, given how uncooperative he can be with those springy little chicken-legs — which was in the neighborhood of 22 inches long.

He seems to be kicking along just great. Of course, there have been some minor issues, but that’s par for the course. E.g., some occasional fussiness, a few late-night cluster feedings, and one case of levitating on his own and spinning around the room with eyes that blazed with fire and dead flies erupting from his diaper. Pedestrian matters, to be sure, at least when compared with colic, projectile diarrhea, and Harlequin-type ichthyosis. All in all we’re feeling lucky that he’s so (relatively) normal.


Thursday, June 12th, 2008

I’ll be mercifully brief on this: Max got circumcised today. He seems to be blissfully unaware
of any change, although some blood was involved.

There will be no photos with this post. You can thank me later.

As an amusing aside, while the three of us waited in the examination room, I discovered that one could use the phone as a terminal for the clinic-wide PA system.

This is a large Ob/Gyn practice, with eight-plus doctors, maybe two dozen offices, and multiple nursing stations. We were bored, and when I heard a doctor being paged, I became intrigued. Without being exactly sure how the PA system worked, I studied the phone for a few minutes and gave it a try: I picked up the receiver, held down the PAGE button, and said into the mouthpiece, as clinically as possible (quoting the movie “Repo Man”):

“Mr Lee … Mr Lee … Please return the scalpel.”

In our own examination room, we didn’t actually hear anything happen, and since the phone was making a weird beeping sound while I did it, we were led to believe it hadn’t worked. Imagine my surprise when, a few minutes later, the doctor returned to take Max away for the procedure and asked me, “Were you the one that said that thing about the scalpel?”

(My voice gave me away, as apparently very few men work in the practice, and the message rang through the entire office space, throughout all the examination rooms, and the nurses and medical technicians were on a “witch hunt” to determine who had said it. The doctor didn’t seem amused, although not annoyed either, just pragmatically satisfied that she had solved the mystery. That said, I’m happy to serve as a harbinger of random chaos, and for reasons I can’t explain, I think it’s even more amusing that I got busted.)

He grows!

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Today was Max’s first pediatric physical. All looks good. He now comes with all-new morphometrics, for those who enjoy this sort of thing:

Weight: 8 pounds, 4 ounces (50th percentile)

Length: 21.5 inches (95th percentile)

(His cranial circumference was in the 75th percentile, although I didn’t catch the actual measurement.)

Max close-up, albeit blurry.

So he’s still skinny for his size, which means it’s a good thing he’s a champion eater.

An image is worth several thousand bytes

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

I’m trying to get this “gallery” thing worked out, and while it’s given me intermittent errors, I do have the first wave of photos submitted and sorted out. Everything seems to work okay, although your mileage may vary.

Check them out here: