Arrived: Choo Choo

Well, kiddo, you made it. Despite all the worries about antibodies running amok and the placenta suddenly appearing in the wrong place, you made it into the station, so to speak, even if you were a behind schedule. (I should note that the lateness was not due to any fault of your part. You, like Mommy and I, were merely along for the ride.)
This morning started almost like any other, with the family rising from bed around 7:00. Except, of course, that neither Mommy or I had slept during the night (Mommy less so), Mommy was not allowed to eat any breakfast (as she was going in for surgery), and Grandpa was preparing to spend the day with Monkey.
And, of course, we were all looking forward to meeting you.
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How a cold led to a new TV

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate being sick?
Well, add to that a very sick and very pregnant wife, and a sick toddler (which I suspect led to Alex and I becoming ill), and you’ve got a pretty miserable household. This is all part of parenthood and families — one goes down, chances are the rest are going down too. (How my parents managed to never seemed to be ill when I was a kid is beyond me.) But it also tends to cause problems when you’re supposed to go places. Like, say, a baby shower.
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It's Complicated

Yesterday, we went in for our now-weekly anti-K checkup. The process is fairly simple: toss the Monkey at some poor, unsuspecting friend to keep her out of our hair for the hour-or-so long appointment, truck over to the EFW in the TRW building at FMC (gotta love them acronyms, eh?), have a sonographer scan Alex’s belly, and talk to a doctor afterwards to get the run-down on the details.
Or rather, that’s how simple the process should be. But as we’re finding, things rarely seem to go the way we want them to. In fact, as of yesterday, we’re pretty much at the opposite end of the spectrum of “wants”. All of this is because of a “new” finding that almost displaces the anti-K issue as being an issue.
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Kell antigen update

This morning was the first  reoccurring ultrasound appointment, to look into Choo Choo’s ongoing health insofar as our apparent anti-k issues are concerned. It was an early morning, and getting everyone up and rolling within an hour set a new Olympic record in the Getting Monkey Up, Dressed, Fed, and Out Of The House  event.
While Monkey went to hang out with our friend Rebecca, Alex and I headed back over to EFW for her appointment, and for the news on Choo Choo’s progress. Although it’s been only five days since our last appointment, there was hope that there would also be improvement.
How do I spell relief? U-l-t-r-a-s-o-u-n-d.
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Dealing with Kell Antigens

Two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk at work, plugging away on requirements documentation. It’s rather mind-numbing at times, but is often very helpful for the rest of the team. My phone rang. It was my wife, Alex. Normally, she just text-messages me. Actual phone calls are left for things that are important and need immediate discussion.
Alex didn’t sound her usual cheerful self. In fact, the tone of her voice that worried me almost immediately. She asked me: “Look up ‘anti-k’. What does it mean?” Google quickly plunged me into Wikipedia and a raft of pages filled with partial information and incomplete answers. “You need to get a blood test right away! We need to know if you’re K+.”
I can’t remember the last time I felt my blood run ice-cold.
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Happy 97th Birthday, Nana!

There’s nothing like a birthday to make people feel young. Yes, young. You think birthdays make you feel old, don’t you? C’mon, admit it, most people think of birthdays as another notch in the Age Belt, and suddenly grey hairs appear where you didn’t think they should, and you swear you feel your bones creaking.
I’m of the opinion: You’re only as old as you act. Namely, if act your age, you’ll feel old. Oh, sure, there’s a need for maturity and responsibility in our society. But, like all things, there’s a time and a place for all of that. And I think more people should just lighten up and be more immature. ‘Cuz frankly, it’s more fun.
This is something that, to some degree, I learned from my Nana.
Nana is my grandmother — my Mom’s mom. She’s my last living grandparent, and is one of those living embodiments of the Energizer Bunny. She might have slowed down more in recent years — she is 97, after all — but she gets around really well, still remembers quite a lot (even if she sometimes has trouble following a conversation), and has the same wit she’s had most of her life. Frankly, I hope I look as good and think as well as she does when I’m her age.
Equally important tonight was the fact that it brought her family together. It’s been a while since we packed into a room, and I hadn’t seen some of then since we went to Costa Rica — and my Uncle Dave and Aunt Alaine even longer than that. We even had a new addition — my cousin Pam’s newborn daughter, Sarah. The Monkey, of course, was utterly fascinated by the baby.
So happy birthday, Nana! This time next year, you’ll have two more great-grandchildren to faun over.

Brother or sister?

Well, Monkey, today we’d hoped to find out whether or not your sibling-to-be will be a boy or a girl. At this point, we don’t know if you’ll have a little sister or a little brother. All we do know is that whatever the sex of your younger sibling is, they’re healthy and moving.
In fact, they’re so healthy and moving that they made it difficult to get a good view of them on the ultrasound. The doctor/ultrasound operator couldn’t see “boy” or “girl” because the baby kept moving so much.
Moving around constantly and being difficult? Yep, that sounds like a Sowrey, alright…
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Parenthood, round two?

Hey Monkey, today is an auspicious day. Today, with some luck, you’ve officially started being a Big Sister. Today, Mommy and I found out that we’re going to be parents again.
Well, not that we aren’t already parents. You’ve been the light in our lives for (almost) two years, and each and every day with you has been such a joy. Really. This isn’t some crazy platitude that parents are forced to tell their children to make them feel good. This is truth, as honest as it gets. You are wonderful. You are more perfect than either your mother or I could ever have dreamed.
Which sometimes makes me wonder what your sibling will be like…
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A visit to the CIMA ER

This weekend past was not one of your healthier ones, Mi Pequeña Niña. On Saturday, we noticed your nose was running, and you were coughing again. We’ve almost come to expect this since you started going to school a few months ago. Until then, you were the picture of health, barely having the sniffles from teething.
Since going to school, you’ve had a variety of illnesses, coupled with ear infections and your final teeth coming in (you’ve got all your baby teeth now), and it’s been a bit of a challenge for you and Mommy. You’ve seen the doctor a few times, now.
But you gave Mommy and I a bit of a scare last night.
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That's one small step for a baby…

Today is Alex’s and my third anniversary. Three years ago, I had no idea that I would one day be living in a different country, with a beautiful daughter, experiencing a totally different way of life. That is one of the great things of life — nothing is scripted. You get to discover all that is new every moment of every day.
Or at least witness it. Which I did. My child’s first unassisted steps.
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Walking and Talking

There’s a whole host of milestones that parents go through. When children are young — such as newborns and infants — you sometimes have to look for the little things that mark growth and progress. (This is something, incidentally, that adults should sometimes do, too. We often get caught up in things that are too big and miss the small wins.)
Alex has a calendar full of these things, marking when Mi Niñita started eating solid foods, slept through the night, laughed, recognised herself in the mirror, and so forth. There’s lots of these. All of them contribute to the overall growth, but there are a couple that stand out as significant: Walking and talking.
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Solids and Teeth

About two weeks or so ago, I witnessed my first semi-solid poop.
Yes, believe it or not, as a parent this is big news. You talk about poop a lot. Too much, really, but it’s because it’s one of the best ways to identify the health of your child. And semi-solid poop (as opposed to the usual liquid variety) is a sign that things are moving on.
You want to upchuck the moment you smell it, but this is a definite improvement.
On a similar solid front, we’ve started moving to solid foods. Well, semi-solid foods. Rice cereal, to be exact. Friday night was the initial run, and although it was pretty much little more than breast milk with a smattering of powder, it was something to start. Last night was much thicker, and we still witnessed a lot of ingestion.
More importantly, we can feel teeth. I wasn’t looking for teeth, but had my finger in my wee one’s mouth, and discovered the ridges of a tooth. Surprisingly, we haven’t really had a massive amount of screaming, so hopefully the teething time will go easily.
(And on that note, I’ve now jinxed the situation.)
We’re approaching six months. Many milestones yet to go!

Sleepy

Slowly, I’m beginning to understand what Alex goes through in a given day. Yes, I am a father and I do try to take an active part of my child’s life. But reality is, I’m at work most of the wee one’s waking day. Two to three hours is the best I can hope for on average.
Tonight was not average. I’ve been up since sometime late in the hour of 3; Alex an hour earlier than that.   Sleep has not been our friend tonight.
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A full night's sleep

Since our family expanded by one, I’ve yet to have a full night’s sleep. In the first few weeks, it was both of us up at various points to feed and/or change diapers. As the weeks became months (we’re at roughly 3.5 now), it was usually Alex being up during the week, but I never really slept that well (even subconsciously, I can still hear the baby).
But last night, no-one woke up.
I feel like the moon suddenly disappeared, and I’m not sure what to do.
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My baby's back!

Over the last week-and-a-bit, I’ve been without my family. Alex and the wee one were out in BC visiting with family. Me? On self-imposed exile in the basement to try and wrap up as much of the renovations as possible.
Yes, I need to provide pictures of progress. But you’ll understand why I can’t in a moment…
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We have a travel-safe baby

I’ve had the luxury of travelling many places of the last few years. Of those times, I’ve been on more than a few planes that were exhibit to babies that did not travel well. And by not travelling well, I mean they cried.
A lot. Loudly. Ear-piercingly.
My biggest fear is that we would have one of those children. Loud. Ear-piercingly. So instead of casting disapproving glances at others, we would be the recipients of such withering glances as to kill off entire forests.
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Six weeks with a baby

They say that the first six weeks are the toughest. If you can make it through the six weeks without bodily harm to anyone, and still able to smile, then you’ll be able to make it another couple of decades.
“They”, incidentally, are other parents who’ve suggested this six-week milestone to us.   I think they’ve all been beaten down, and the six week mark is where your will caves in and you just become a drone…
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