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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