Our Christmas Letter.

Dear Family and Friends,

A lot has happened in our family since I last wrote a Christmas Letter four or more years ago. As a result, I feel that it is only fair for me to go all “old-school” this year, transcribing the “Second Annual Thompson Christmas Letter”, instead of just signing our names to a pretty little postcard adorned with photographs of our precious children who are pretending to love one another. (No offense to those who can achieve the latter. We just happen to have a, well, “spirited” child in the household who would give even the best family photographer a run for his or her money.)

1So yeah, where do I begin? While perusing the “First Annual Thompson Christmas Letter” (circa 2011) I realized that we used to do a lot of traveling. Since the arrival of Rex a.k.a. “Rexy” (3 years, 10 months) and more significantly impacting aforementioned travel, Grant, a.k.a. “Trouble” (15 mos), we have gone basically nowhere. We have discussed traveling of course, but then we attempt a simple trip through Trader Joe’s with the boys and quickly come to our senses. Essentially, there will be no trips for us until “Trouble” is at least four years old.

4So what do we do to entertain ourselves you might ask? Well, aside from the (completely exhausting) family outings to the grocery store and (equally arduous) trips to Target and Costco, we arrange play dates with other families of small children. The latter, of course, is really just a chance for the kids to run around chasing one another and doing “dive bombs” off various pieces of furniture. The hope is that they will take a really long nap and then still be fast asleep at 8PM so that we can be asleep by nine. Yes, we are livin’ the dream out here in California. Planning on a third? Uh, no thank you.

10All kidding aside, we do actually feel that our two (four if you count the dogs) boys are really quite wonderful. Rex has taken to the role of “Big Brother” and usually likes to share his toys with Grant so long as he is the one to decide “when” and “if” said sharing is going to occur. This year he became a “preschooler”, who loves anything Lightning McQueen (I think I have seen that movie over one-hundred times now) and/or Dusty Crophopper (same). Rex loves to read, color, play soccer and (as of last week) swim. I’m not sure if a swimming scholarship is necessarily in his future, but if he makes it to the wall without needing to be rescued, we can chalk it up as a success. I would be remiss if I did not also mention that Rex has a best friend, “Bo”, who pretty much trumps all of us in terms of who he would like to spend his free time with. (And yes, he does refer to Bo as his “other brother”.)

3This brings us to Grant. Let me say that to use the words feisty, strong-willed and resolute to describe him would all be an understatement. The kid is fearless and in my opinion destined to either join the Delta Tau Chi Fraternity (a la “Animal House”) or shock us all and become a neurosurgeon. Grant has endless amounts of energy and a frightening amount of self-confidence. He has no issue plowing through a bunch of three and four year old boys to get to a favorite toy, or standing his ground against a five-year old who happened to get in his way at the Train Museum. Grant loves banging on stuff, climbing on stuff and diving off stuff. He currently has three words in his vocabulary, “duh”, “dive bomb” (di baaaaam), and “uh oh”. To Grant, a simple “uh duh” covers just about anything that he feels is important to say. All kidding aside, Grant is very endearing and probably(?) pretty smart. I mean, after all, he did start wearing glasses last month and glasses always make you are smarter, right?

2As for the dogs, both Myles and Floyd have learned to tolerate the boys. Myles is the responsible one, alerting us when either of the boys is distressed, and then silently judging us if we do not rectify the situation immediately. Floyd, on the other hand, just goes into hiding. If you were to ask Rex, Myles is his dog while Floyd belongs to Grant. Floyd, however, feels that he doesn’t actually belong to anyone. Since Grant feels the same way, they are kinda a match made in heaven. Myles (our million dollar Havanese) did manage to also get himself a new knee for Christmas. It amazes me that small, white lap dog that sleeps twenty-three hours out of a day can still manage to blow out his knee, but whatever, I guess it was super important that he jump off the couch to protect the family from that rogue squirrel.

6In 2014, we also became the proud owners of a brand new minivan. Yes, we traded in “Snowflake”, our perfectly capable white Acura TSX for “Big Pearl” a Honda Odyssey (also, white). “Pearl” is a workhorse with a whole lotta heart (and space). In the past year, we have camped in her (never again!), watched a movie in her, stuffed the whole family (and then some) in her to save money on parking, and transported an entire sectional (sofa) down the interstate. Pearl is also a kid magnet. Between Rex, his BFF Bo, our nephew Jack and our niece Olivia, it is pretty fair to say that all of them would give almost anything to cruise around in her plush, applesauce stained leather seats and milk crusted door-handles. Ah, a minivan, where else could a banana go into hiding until it dehydrates itself.

5Dane and I are pretty much the same, just a lot more tired and a lot less fun. No one reads these things to learn about what the adults are up to, so I’ll keep it short. I continue to work at Jive Software (go Jive!), making sure that large corporations are always able to alert their employees to the fact that the Company Picnic is this Friday at 4PM. I’m clearly not saving babies or anything like that. 🙂 Dane on the other hand, might be. He is currently spending a lot of his time in Berkeley working with a bunch of physicists to build a quantum computer. Babies are always going to need computers? Right? And because, a Christmas Letter would not be complete without a rundown on our current afflictions, Vern, the kidney stone did come back this year. As a result, we have that to look forward to in 2016.

While Dane’s family has always been local to us, with Grandma (Patty) and Grandpa (Jim) offering endless amounts of much needed childcare this year, “Ma Self” (now known simply as “other grandma”) moved out to California in July. We welcomed her with open arms, but 7were not as enthusiastic about her welcoming her guard cat “Lucy”. Aside from the fact that Dane and I are both allergic, we are also really scared of her. All I can say is that who needs a pit-bull when instead you own a pure-bread Siberian longhaired cat. As for “Pa Self” (aka “Gran-Paul”), he will be joining all of us for Christmas this year. Since it is meant to be 70 degrees and sunny in Baltimore (who said that Global Warming isn’t a real thing?!) I’m not so sure he is going to enjoy our weather, but he will get the pleasure of watching the boys tear (quite literally) through their Christmas presents.

9So that about sums it up as we once again say goodbye to another year and get ready for the new one filled with endless possibilities and limitless material (for next years letter). We wish you all the best this holiday season and in the New Year and hope that you remember to leave cookies by the fireplace for Santa and carrots for Rudolph (he’s a vegetarian) because they have a LOT of work to do this Christmas.  Take care, be safe and have a Happy Holiday and Happy New Year!

Peace and Love,
(or per Grant, “uh duh!”)

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December 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

What I did on my maternity non-leave…

As many of you may already know, Dane, Rex and I (and to some extent Myles and Floyd) welcomed Grant Xavier Thompson into the world on Friday, September 19th at 8:20PM. (Otherwise known as “National Talk Like a Pirate Day”.) Baby Grant was born two weeks early tipping the scales at a whopping 6lbs, 1oz., and measuring 19 and ½ inches.

Lounging on the tanning bed.

Lounging on the tanning bed.

Because he was technically “full-term” we were able to dodge a stay in the NICU this time around, but we were not able to avoid being readmitted back into the hospital two days later with a case of jaundice. Suffice it to say, no Baby Book of ours will ever be complete without a picture of our kid sunning himself under the bilirubin lights. Oh well.

Anyway, back in the day, when Grant was still a newborn, I had planned on writing a detailed blog post documenting his “birth story”. Not sure why exactly, but I guess I just figured that if nothing else, it would serve as a gentle reminder for me, several months from now, when I decided that I wanted to try again for that baby girl :).

Speaks for itself.

Speaks for itself.

Luckily, I do not actually need that aforementioned “birth story” because I am oftentimes reminded of what ‘went down’ that night (usually at some inopportune time, you know, like at the dinner table…. in a nice restaurant or something) every time Rex pulls out my iPhone and starts replaying the video footage. Apparently Dane found it necessary to record a play-by-play of the whole thing on my phone. (I really need to move those somewhere else.) Speaking of which, the other tangible memory I have of labor is the amount of times Dane stood giggling over his phone as he searched for a visual reference of dilation. He did finally find one.

“Honey, look at this! You need to get yourself to the size of a bagel! You love bagels! How appropriate!”

Grant "The Tank" Thompson

Grant “The Tank” Thompson

As far as the kiddos go, after a few visits to the hospital and a little issue returning to his birth weight (those were some dark, hormonal days!), Grant has actually done quite well. I am happy to report that we now refer to him as “The Tank” or “Tank Thompson” because of his chubby little cheeks, and chubbier little baby buns. At his two-month appointment he weighed in at twelve pounds putting him square in the fiftieth percentile. It has certainly been quite foreign to us, moving our two-month old into three to six month jammies and size two diapers.

At home, integrating the two boys (and dogs) has gone fairly well but we have definitely had our moments – particularly when mommy is the only one home and trying to get out the door. (It is amazing to me how two kids can manage to time their “poopies” to the exact moment everyone is finally strapped into their respective car seats and ready to go.) For all intents and purposes Rex generally ignores Grant, except when “The Tank” decides that he wants to play with his rattle or something. It is then that Rex decides that he wants the rattle and goes all “terrible twos” on Grants’ ass buns. I was able to see some improvement in their interactions after I appointed Rex “Chief Diaper Fluffer” (think fluffing a pillow, not the other type of fluffing Dane!). Rex takes his role very seriously,

"Brotherly Love"

“Brotherly Love”

which is great, as it has allowed him to feel some sort of responsibility for his baby brother. This manifests itself each and every time I leave the house when Rex reminds me (many times) that I need to also remember to take “Lil’ Brother”. Kinda cute, in a patronizing sort of way.

As for the dogs, Myles wants nothing to do with Grant; Grant belongs to Floyd. (Myles had long ago adopted Rex). Floyd takes on his new position with some hesitation though, since Floyd likes to use as little energy as possible to exist. (Hence the nickname, given to him by Grandpa, of “Sock”; because he moves about as much as a pair of socks.) I wouldn’t say Floyd is as good of a “dogfather” as Myles was to Rex, but he is learning, he at least shows up.

More Brotherly Love

More Brotherly Love

So yeah, the kids are healthy, the dogs are fine, Dane is doing well; me, on the other hand, not so much. Long story short, while I was 34 weeks pregnant, my doctor randomly (albeit luckily) discovered that I had a really sick left kidney. I was all for ignoring it (that’s what I do!) but my OB/GYN made me an appointment about a week after I delivered. Even the pediatrician who discharged Grant after his birth (and overhead my doctor nonchalantly telling me about this really good nephrologist he knew that had kept this lady alive “twenty years longer than she should have been”) told me that I couldn’t disregard it. As a result Grant, spent his first several weeks (not) laying on his back doing basically nothing (as newborns usually do), but instead following me around to a bunch of different Specialists and Imaging Centers. After several daunting tests it was concluded that I have severe hydronephrosis of the left kidney from a 4.4 cm Chronic Staghorn Kidney Stone. From this point on I will refer to my stone as Vernon, or Vern for short.

Vern is allegedly a silent killer. You never feel him and bam he wreaks havoc on your kidney. The only way to remove a Vern, is actual surgery through your back called PCNL I think. (Don’t ask me what it stands for) In early October we were able to schedule this surgery for Monday, November 24th. That gave me a good six or seven weeks to totally freak myself out via Dr. Google.

"Eat, Sleep, Binky"

“Eat, Sleep, Binky”

On November 5th, I had a procedure to put a nephrostomy tube in. I dreaded this procedure thanks (once again) to Dr. Google but it really wasn’t the worst. In fact the “Versed” that they use to sedate you was really quite amazing. During the procedure they drill a hole through your back to your kidney and attach a tube to drain your urine to a bag attached to your leg. Attractive right? At least it allows you to ‘make potties’ anywhere though! It hurt for about three days but by the fourth day I could pick up the kids again and go on my merry way. On Friday, November 21st, they did another procedure to get that same tube extended further into my bladder to make surgery “easier”. They were unsuccessful with the most unfortunate consequences.

Sunday morning I woke up with a pain that was so excruciating that I was pretty sure I was going to die. It, by far, trumped labor. We called the radiologist to prescribe the good drugs, which he did, but then I took my temperature and it kept going up and up. It was suggested that I get myself to the ER. (Always one of my favorite activities) After about three or so hours in the waiting room (clearly there is no triage based on pain levels because we were pretty sure the mom and daughter in the room next to us were discussing the different forms of birth control with the doctor for over an hour) they finally gave me a shot in the buns so that I could at least sit down like a normal person. They assumed I had a kidney infection and hooked me up to an IV, pumped me full of all kinds of stuff, one of which was a painkiller that immediately sent me to “la la land”. At one point a nurse even came back to check to see that I was still breathing :). Overall Sunday was a pretty bad day but the silver lining was the entertainment we got from meeting our hospitalist (no idea what that is exactly), “Dr. Murray”. He was just as, um, competent as “Chuck” was back in 2012. Luckily he passed the reigns to another doctor two days later who at least had heard of the concept of a nephrostomy tube.

I guess they can really sleep anywhere.

I guess they can really sleep anywhere.

You would think that after being admitted to the hospital and put on some pretty intense pain medication someone would sleep better than they would at home with their two-month old son. So not the case. The first two nights I was up every 45 minutes to an hour for a number of reasons. Sometimes it was to draw my blood or give me a shot (always a good way to wake up), sometimes to take my temperature. Sometimes it was a person accidentally calling my room looking for a “Walter”. Oftentimes it was the guy in the room adjacent to me (a.k.a. “the moaner”) groaning “nurse, help me, ugh, I hurt, nurse, nurse” over and over again. We all hurt dude. By the third night I had figured out how to get myself a good three hour stretch without being bothered, mostly because the moaner went home. I still can’t figure out why everyone needs to check on you at 4AM, 5AM, 6AM and 7AM and make small talk.

Seventy-two hours in and I’m pretty sure my breast milk is radioactive with the amount of antibiotics, pain meds, and anti-clotting agents that they have given me. My appetite has started to return (never a good thing when you are subjected to hospital food) and I have found out that I can walk almost anywhere as long as I take my IV stand with me. (I wonder if it would fit into Big Pearl?) Last night I took a little stroll to the cafeteria or rather “out to eat”.

Breakout!

The Great Hospital Escape!

I picked out a nice soup and sat at an empty table watching NCIS on TV. It was snowing on the show so I pretended that I was at a ski lodge. I guess that active imagination I gained from being an only child has served me well. Today I took a stroll with the whole family all the way to the stoplight in front of the hospital. Surprisingly, I passed by a number of doctors and nurses and no one seemed bothered by it. Maybe it is normal for a partially gowned woman to be walking the streets of Auburn towing an IV bag. Either way it was nice to get out and about, I just wonder how much they will be charging my insurance for the sunshine obtained while on hospital premises.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I know it is selfish (but hey, I am a “Self”) but I would be very thankful if they were able to release me back home and spare me whatever the cafeteria here is going to drum up and label “Thanksgiving Dinner”.   If I manage to stay fever free tonight, I am golden. Surgery has been delayed until the evening of December 9th, which means when it is all said and done I will not have showered in about a month and a half. Think about all the water I am saving the State of California! Regardless in exactly thirteen days big ‘ole Vern is going to get himself blasted into a pile of kidney rubble. I hope he suffers…horribly. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm 3 comments

“Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades…”

but, in my opinion, should also count with pregnancy.

This past weekend I am happy to say that we celebrated a major milestone. At thirty-seven weeks pregnant, I am technically full-term with baby “Blah Blah Blue”! In fact, according to one of last week’s many check-ups (I have about three a week at the moment), the little guy is still quite happy just where he is, kick, kick, kickin’ away at mommy’s ribcage. This is all excellent news for us, since Baby Rex was born so early.

Unfortunately, things are never really all that straightforward, particularly when it comes to the joy of childbirth. While the baby is still quite healthy, mommy has developed a bit of a “condition” which requires that little “Blah Blah” be served his eviction notice, effective this coming Friday. Oh, the irony … particularly in a state like California, where the rights of the tenant generally supersede those of the landlord.   Anyway, all I keep imagining in my overly hormonal mind, is sweet “Baby Blah Blah”, being ripped away from his comfy pint-sized home, and forced into this cold cruel world in the same way that a helpless hermit crab is yanked from his shell and forced into a more fancy, tie-dyed one, only to be sold for a couple of bucks to a bunch of teenagers, on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. (I should know this of course, because I have been the proud owner of two said hermit crabs, “Jean-Clawed” and “Clawed-Paul”, named after my dad.) Sure, I am being a bit melodramatic, but you have to admit that this eviction thing is a little unnerving.

Rex can't wait to meet his new baby brother. He is so excited he has a death grip on that balloon, even when he sleeps.

Rex can’t wait to meet his new baby brother. He is so excited he has a death grip on that balloon, even when he sleeps.

The motive behind this early dislodgement is the fact that I have developed a rare case of obstetric cholestasis – generally found in Chileans and the Swedes, of which I am neither. (I don’t think.) Obstetric Cholestasis basically means that my liver has decided that “it” no longer wants to be pregnant. Who asked “it” anyway? I mean honestly, what does a liver even do? Isn’t it just some superfluous organ that no one really needs? Oh wait, I think that I am getting it confused with the appendix….or the tonsils. Whatever.

Anyway, while the big “O.C.” isn’t the worst thing in the world for me at the moment (aside from the fact that I itch non-stop and have little scabs all over my arms and legs that make me look like I have contracted some kind of weird skin disease) it does increase the risk to mother and baby if we were to go to forty weeks, hence the eviction. It is funny to me that for someone who is allergic to basically nothing, (except mushrooms — but that is more of a convenience thing) I seem to be highly allergic to pregnancy. I guess I should take this is a sign and uh, stop at two. (On that note, I did finally give away that bag of little girl clothes I had collected for myself (oh so long ago) to a friend who is due, with a girl, in November. So Jealous.)

Yes, this Friday night I am allegedly being induced, whatever that means. While induction was clearly not at all a part of my “birth plan”, I have come to accept it. According to Dr. Google (and yes, I know, I should stay off the Internet) the process does not sound pleasant. Aside from the Pitocin jolting you into labor when you aren’t quite ready, you also have to stay in the hospital the night before thinking about your impending doom. Clearly, this time around, I won’t be channeling my inner cow like I had originally planned, or using my “dog theory on birthing” circa Rex 2012. At least this is my second kid so my expectations on the enjoyment factor of labor are pretty low. Bring it on Pitocin. When it is all said and done, all I can hope for is a healthy, chunky, breathing-on-his-own baby boy that they quickly swaddle up and hand off to me to ogle over. Oh, and one other minute request would be that he sleep in stretches longer than forty-five minutes at a time. (Ahem, Rex!)

So all things considered, are we really ready for the new baby? At the moment I am still stuck in the mindset that “newborn and toddler” has to be easier than “toddler and pregnant”. I’m not complainin’ mind you, I cherish the time I get to spend with Baby Rex. The challenge is that over the last few weeks it has been 100+ degrees here in Sacramento, yet I am regularly summoned (at nine months pregnant) to sit on the hot sidewalk next to Rex so that we can “color”. I am always handed the “yell-yoooow” one, while Rex gets the “Booo” one. If I chose to decline, (or venture away from the color yellow) he will subsequently color the dog, the side of the house, the garbage cans and the fence. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but the dog has been really touchy lately, (which means he “potties” in the house more) so it is easier for me to just suck it up and get to drawin’ myself some lemons, bananas and a bright yellow sun. (According to Dane (Mr. Quality Control) my lemons are not anatomically correct though.)

After an adequate amount of “chalking” we will then take the tricycle for a loop around the neighborhood. Or, might I add, halfway around the neighborhood because it is then mommy’s responsibility to carry the tricycle the rest of the way so that Rex can “explore”. The pièce de résistance, is when we venture to Safeway for dinner. It is there, that if the “car cart” isn’t available, things get ugly :).   Yes, I’m happy to admit that while it will be more challenging with a newborn at times, at least I will be better equipped to bend over and scrape my kicking and screaming toddler off the floor of Safeway!

In regards to all the “stuff” that we need for the baby, we are probably set. I mean we had one just over two years ago after all. In addition, I was very lucky to have been the recipient of an amazing “Sprinkle” (I didn’t know what that was either until I Googled it), on Saturday morning whereby my friends went above and beyond in both the hosting and the gift giving. I only hope I was able to adequately thank and “hug” each and every one of them since, as many of you may already know, I am a bit of the anti-hug. (Maybe I wasn’t held enough as a child?) Post sprinkle, Dane and I spent the rest of the weekend washing clothes, blankies and car seats. The latter of which had a nice casing of cheerios, pureed sweet potato and dried milk. By Sunday night we had gotten through about 10% of our proposed checklist, which is pretty impressive by our standards.

Guess which of these two spent their first night in a big boy bed!

Guess which of these two spent their first night in a big boy bed! (Rex, not Dane :))

The most unexpected achievement from the weekend was that we got Rex to move out of his crib and into his big boy bed. To be honest, I’m not sure why we didn’t do this earlier as the kid fell asleep almost immediately, and slept until almost eight in the morning! It is like he is growing up before our eyes! Give him another few weeks and he will be learning to drive and then heading off to college. Sigh. Oh wait, I guess he first has to learn to use the potty… and talk.

While I am clearly boasting about Rex’s easy transition to the big boy bed, I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that he regressed (slightly) in regards to certain baby toys. One toy in particular, the baby bouncer/saucer, resulted in nearly thirty minutes of intense negotiations just to pry him out of it. Pictures can’t do it justice (so I posted a video below), but seeing a two-and-a-half year old bouncing up and down, shaking his head back and forth and squealing with delight, in a seat made for someone half his size is pretty funny. All I can say is that at least his feet finally touch the ground now. Go figure.

But yeah, I guess between our state of mind (been there, done that) and the piles of baby stuff we have amassed, we are as ready as we will ever be. We did finally pick out a name, but it is of course subject to change (and probably will), about fourteen more times before all is said and done.  While I have spent the week doing everything I possibly can (g-rated of course) to get myself to go into labor on my own, I figure if nothing else, the time in the hospital will give me a chance to leisurely (haha) read through the “what to do with a newborn” chapter in my book as I think I skipped right over it the last time around. Anyway, whatever happens, happens I guess and I really shouldn’t complain, since thirty-eight weeks is a pretty good showing all things considered. Granted there is still that phrase ringing through my ears that “almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”. 🙂

September 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm 5 comments

It is crunch time, and we need your help…

naming our baby. Let me explain.

While it is obvious that we do not have any issues naming our cars (“Snowflake, “Big Pearl”, and “Coalflake”), our dogs (“Myles” and “Floyd”), the lawnmower (“Jim”), or the Garter snake that has recently inhabited our pool skimmer (“Clementine”), we are regrettably at a loss when it comes to naming Baby #2. I meant honestly, how does one possibly compete with a name like Rex? Rex is a) easy to spell/say, b) can’t be mistaken for a girls name and c) allows for great nicknames like “Sexy Rexy” and “T-Rex”. By far, the most important characteristic of the name Rex, however, and as any moms of boys already know, is the fact I have never, ever dated one. 🙂

Now, of course you are probably wondering why are we choosing to utilize Social Media and the Internet to deliberate over such a momentous and significant life event? Who does that right? I mean it is kinda akin to hosting a Flip Cup Tournament and serving Costco Cake at your (okay, our) wedding.  Perhaps I just figured that since I work to sell the value of crowd-sourcing in my day job (Go Jive Software!), I oughta start practicing what I preach. (Maybe it will help to drive up our stock price?) Well, actually, our real reason stems more from the fact that since Dane and I are clearly at a standstill,  if you all don’t help us out, we will be forced to let Rex name the baby. And it should be known that at the moment he is pretty much set on the name “Blah Blah BLUE!”. (emphasis on the world “BLUE”) I don’t know about you, but I am pretty sure a name like that would lead to a lifetime of, uh, challenges for the poor kid.

Judge my poor (and totally tasteless) parenting skills if you will, but just realize that while you are doing so, you should also focus on the fact that I occasionally allow my kid to get down on all fours and drink from the dog bowl (everyone deserves to be part of a pack, right?), have a sugar cookie for breakfast (don’t tell Dane), and play with the water hose while we are in the midst of a severe drought. (This one I’m not proud of, but if it gives me 5-10 minutes of peace and quiet at the end of the night, so be it) Oh, I should also add that I am a mom whose instinct it is to grab a

This was just prior to the "situation" at the petting zoo.

This was just prior to the “situation” at the petting zoo.

camera to capture the hilarious moment said (albeit sobbing) child gets bumped by a calf, trips over a goat and lands on a sheep inside of a petting zoo. (Dane insists that I point out that he did not find the whole cow/goat/sheep episode as funny as I did.) Heck, it builds character. Anyway, I figure that appealing to my Facebook friends (particularly the random girl that I met at airport three years ago and have yet to un-friend) to provide feedback on something as important as my kids’ name is par for the course in my world. I have never claimed to be much of the conventional mom type. I was, of course, raised by the infamous “Ma Self”.

So yeah, I guess at this point the cat is out of the bag. (Unless the recent purchase of “Big Pearl”, the minivan, had already given it away.) Dane and I decided to put the challenges we had welcoming Baby Rex into this world behind us, and give Rex, Myles and Floyd a little brother. (Actually, I decided it was time to give them all a little sister, but oh well, sometimes these things are beyond our control.) “Baby Boy Thompson” is due on October 3rd and hopefully no earlier this time around. Luckily it has been an uneventful pregnancy, unless you want to count a little bout of “evening sickness” one night on the shoulder of I-80 West. I think that was the first time I have “been sick” since the “ICE 101” incident oh so long ago. (Thanks Abby and Janet)

Stereotypical U/S picture to accompany a baby announcement.

Stereotypical U/S picture to accompany a baby announcement.

I am currently 31.5 weeks and the baby is already measuring the size that Rex was when he was born at 33 weeks. That means he is currently the size of a large Jicama, whatever that is. I informed my doctor that we were really hoping for a nice 7 or 8lb baby this time around and he said “me too, but I’ll remind you of that when you are in labor.”  I appreciate a doctor with good sense of humor.  Truth be told, I actually changed doctors this time around, for no other reason than just being superstitious.  (I could not part with the Quaker Oats Peanut Butter Granola Bars this time around though, too essential to my survival) While I did change doctors, I did not change Hospitals so ironically when I started my NST Testing yesterday, they put me in the exact same room that I was put in with Rex postpartum. While it is not my fondest memory of that hospital, I am happy to see that they still offer Fish Tank TV, a personal favorite of mine.

As for Rex, we like to think that he is excited. He knows where his little brother is and will sometimes pat him gently, but other times not so much.  In fact, I am often forced to stop him mid “dive bomb lil’ brother.” (Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like) In my blissful pregnant mind I have images of him being super helpful when the new baby arrives. Bringing mommy diapers and reading to little “Blah Blah Blue”. Granted, when I was pregnant with Rex, I thought that I was going to spend my maternity leave relaxing by the pool with my sweet baby boy cooing softly beside me. That clearly didn’t happen.

Here is the #1 Big Brother himself. And mommy. (4th of July)

Here is the #1 Big Brother himself. And mommy. (4th of July)

In regards to preparing for our little bundle of joy, we really haven’t done much this time around. I mean I guess the good thing about having another boy is the fact that I am saving us a ton of money. Had I found out that we were having a girl, I am pretty sure that I would have bought out every pink, princess and tulle item that I could find. Sigh.  Our only project at the moment, is to decorate what will soon become Rex’s “new room” in cars, trucks and construction equipment.  We are making a futile attempt to entice Rex out of his crib and into a “big boy bed”, but Rex just sees this new room more as his “other room”.

Sibling rivalry and introducing Rex to the new baby, is something that I know very little about — I was, after all, and only child. On the plus side, I have raised two male-ish dogs however, so I figure how hard can it be? I think my biggest challenge (apart from the name) is remembering what you do with a newborn.  I technically have never been responsible for one before as the last time I went through this, there were two to four nurses, a doctor, and a Respitory Therapist at my beckon call. Oh well, I guess that is what the Google is for. In regards to Labor, well, I watched a cow do it a couple of weeks ago at the State Fair and she wasn’t complaining. I just have to force myself to think like a cow.

And so with that, I come back to my original reason for posting. The name. Consider it your Community Service for the day. You will be sparing a boy from going through life known only as “Blah Blah BLUE”. I’ll tell you what, if you help us out, I promise that I will let you be the first to know of his arrival….you know, with a post to Facebook 🙂

August 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm 14 comments

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

Yeah, I know, I’m a rare breed.  Not only do I know all the words from the latest Taylor Swift album, but I can also rattle off the lyrics to several Grateful Dead songs. (As well as a pretty mean rendition of “Little Bunny Foo-Foo” complete with hand gestures.)  I figure that with all that we have gone through over the last several weeks the title seemed fitting.  Oh, and speaking of the Grateful Dead, did I ever tell you that Ma Self gave me a tie-dye set for college graduation. She also gave me a lava lamp. Go figure.

But yeah, the last several weeks post surgery have definitely had their share of challenges.  Upon leaving LPCH we were immediately presented with the fact that in Chicco’s quest to create the perfect car seat they clearly neglected to do any testing on babies just heading home after heart surgery.  As a result getting Rex home safely was not an enjoyable experience.   A trip that normally takes us about two hours, took closer to four with numerous stops, many a tear (from both of us), a double dose of Children’s Tylenol (him not me), and (most importantly) two aborted trips to Panera.  By the time I pulled in our driveway I was ready to pour myself a can of “Simpler Times” but we were clean out so instead I settled for a Sprite. (Yeah, I live a wild and crazy life, I know) I think it is safe to say that our drive home was about as harrowing, if not more, as the drive I took last winter whereby I lost my left antler in a blizzard.  (Reminds me I need to reorder some replacements this season.) Oh, and for what it’s worth, those CD’s that advertise soothing music that will lull your crying baby to sleep in the car, well, they only work on the parents.

Rex’s first trip to Tahoe. He probably won’t remember it.

While the drive was one thing, Rex’s first night home was another. Dane was out of town, which I was initially fine with because my overconfident self was pretty sure Rex was going to sleep through the night after all that he had been through.  I, of course, was so totally wrong and finally came to grips with that at about four in the morning when Rex was still in prime party mode.  After a few panicked calls back to the Stanford CVICU thinking that our Rexy had to be going through some sort of morphine withdrawal or something to have so much energy, we were finally able to fall asleep around eight.  By 10AM I was at our Pediatricians office learning that Rex was perfectly fine but had managed to contract a bit of a stomach bug.  How this was possible coming from such a sterile environment at LPCH I do not know, but I have to blame Chuck because, well, why not.

The next few weeks did not see much of an improvement on the sleep front.  As a result we quickly came to grips with the fact that we were stuck in some sort of arrested development, as Rex had seemingly reverted back to a newborn once again.  (To all you parents out there who have told me to cherish this time because “it goes by so quickly”, you are welcome to come over to our place at around two in the morning to get your newborn fix, I’m happy to share)  It’s not like I’m keeping score or anything but I am pretty confident that I have not gotten more than three consecutive hours of sleep since February — and that’s on a good night.  And no, Rex doesn’t believe in naps.  Can someone please explain to me how a three-month-old baby doesn’t seem to need as much sleep as a grown adult? Argh.

The lack of sleep is taking its toll on mom and dad but has clearly not affected Rex’s ability to heal himself.  He is pushing twelve pounds, successfully passing the Maltese across the street and quickly closing in on Floyd.  His stitches are out and while he will have a significant scar we figure it will make for good “show and tell” later in life.  In other good news we are happy to report that Rex’s right testicle finally dropped as well – I’m sure he’ll love reading about this when he is older. 🙂

Rex and I continue to build our social life around repeated visits to the pediatrician, the cardiologist, and heart surgeon.  Luckily every time I take him in for a visit we are happy to learn that he does not have meningitis, malaria, swine flu or whatever other random disease we, as Internet doctors, have diagnosed him with.  Even though our Pediatrician probably thinks we are nuts, he has recommended that we put an offer down on his neighbor’s house so he can’t think too poorly of us. Although I’m not sure he would want us that close to him though given our track record.

Gone fishin’!

As for milestones, well, screw milestones, we’ve been busy concentrating on other stuff.  Rex, in fact, has determined that “milestones” are for “full termers”.  Conformists (as he calls them) who always feel the need to play by the rules and will surely go on to become Accountants and live in the suburbs with 2.5 kids and a dog.  Bo-ring.   Preemies (like himself) operate on their own timeline (quite literally).  Rebels from day one (or negative week seven in his case) they live life in an unconventional manner; wearing white after Labor Day and eating cereal with water instead of milk. (Honestly Dane, who does that?!?) Their distinctiveness has them destined for greatness as they are undeniably in good company with the likes of both Sir Winston Churchill and Anna Pavlova to name a few.  I mean honestly, that being said, there is no reason that Rex couldn’t be the next great leader of the United Kingdom (born and raised in California) or a famous Russian ballerina (who isn’t really Russian).  Clearly the world is his oyster.

We have managed to reach one milestone however that will probably surprise you. I doubt there are many full-termers or preemies out there who can check this one off their list but just last week Rex started talking, yes talking. It just so happened that during one of his (very) early morning kick sessions (when most of you were still sound asleep) that suddenly and without warning Rex came right out and spoke to me — and no, not in the way that my three imaginary friends (Sticky, Phantom and Lamar) speak to me, but with a real honest to goodness word.   Not something run of the mill like “ma-ma” or “da-da” like the millions of other kids out there but instead it was something much more um, random and complex.

I know it’s hard to tell here but trust me, this is him saying “owl”.

Yes, in the wee hours just before sunrise Rex looked at me through those big blue eyes (the only thing other than his big toe that we allegedly have in common), gave me a toothless grin and cooed (if that is what you want to call it) the word “owl” at me (pronounced “owwwwwww-wAHHHHH!”).  Take that Facebook friends; while you are busy bragging about the fact that your baby is “sleeping through the night” and/or already “rolling over” like a champ my baby (who is of course not doing any of those things) is talking away!  Not only is he saying “owl”, but if I point to his stuffed owl toy (which may actually be a chicken, not sure) and ask him what the owl says, Rex usually (okay, at least once) kicks his legs and shrieks “Hoo! Hoo!” (Pronounced “oooooooooooooo!!!!!!!ooooooo!”).  This gift for gab makes me think that we undoubtedly have ourselves a gifted preemie on our hands.  In fact it was all so impressive to me that I decided to make him the next Youtube sensation by recording him “talking”.  Unfortunately he got all camera shy on me and so after about twenty minutes of filming him sucking on “Big Orange” while I jingled the owl-chicken in front of him, I decided to throw in the towel. One can only take so much of the jingly-jangly owl-chicken.  Oh well, next time.

Anyway, the only downside (or rather upside) of all this talking was the fact that Rex gave himself a case of laryngitis — amazingly it is actually possible for a baby to lose his voice. I can’t say we didn’t enjoy every minute of it.  While at first we were kinda worried, it was hard to complain when all of a sudden that (many times a night) hungry cry, was now reduced to a pathetic whisper. If only there was a way to bottle up a case of the laryngitis and feed it to him every once and awhile we’d be all set.  While neither of us ever want our Rexy to suffer those three days of muffled cries were heavenly.

It’s now been six weeks and Rex is officially healed from his heart surgery. He is back in the gym working on his “tummy time” and as of yesterday had his fourth bath (ever). His days usually involve, waking up, eating and then his three stages of play (described here):

Stage One: Don’t touch me, I’m kickin’
Stage Two:
Mom. MOOMMMMMM!!!! C’mere and entertain me dammit. I’m bored!
Stage Three:
Feed me. No, no, no, no play with me. No, don’t touch me! Okay, cuddle me. Okay, don’t. (and so on and so forth until you finally get him to sleep)
Cycle Repeat.
Eh, at least it is some form of a schedule.

And so in conclusion I would be remiss to mention that tomorrow is our one-year wedding anniversary. (Is the first year diamonds? I can’t remember…) Instead of waxing eloquent on Facebook I will do it here.  While our first year surely had it’s fair share of trials and tribulations I feel confident that if we can survive a NICU, a CVICU and “3 West” we can survive anything. I feel lucky to have my best friend by my side through this crazy thing called life.

What a long, strange trip it’s been, huh? (Hey, nothin’ says romance like the Grateful Dead, right?)

July 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm 3 comments

Our Nurse, Chuck.

Doing our best to look like we are in jail.

***DISCLAIMER*** Before you read through this know that the nurses and nurse practitioners we have had on “3 West” today and yesterday have been totally awesome.

Late on Sunday afternoon Rex was transferred out of the CVICU and onto “3 West”, or,  as I like to affectionately refer to it, jail.  Yes, suddenly it appeared as though we had been transported from one of the most state-of-the-art critical care units in the country to a supply closet next to the boiler room on the third floor.  While there were seemingly plenty of adequate rooms directly adjacent to the nurses station, they seemed to have filled those with the older, much more able to “push the call button if they need something” kids.  I guess they didn’t want to uproot them and their thirteen brothers and sisters (seriously, maybe it was a birthday party or something but I did actually count 13!) so they decided to literally “store” our baby (with his myriad of tubes, sensors and monitors) in the pantry. I guess the motto up here goes something like, heck, “if a baby cries in a storeroom and no one is around to hear it, does it really make a sound?”

Now the room wasn’t our only issue.  In addition to the fact that Rex (still on 30% Oxygen) was all alone out in Timbuktu, was the concern that he was assigned to a “Chuck”, a male nurse who closely resembled that of Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rainman.  Chuck (who none of the ICU nurses seem to have any recollection of and probably just stayed at a Holiday Inn last night if you catch my drift) also gave us the impression that he had never touched a baby in his life and that he might have been smoking the ‘ole marijuana plant earlier that day.  Clearly we had little to no confidence in Chucks’ ability to serve us, so, as a result when he did finally ask if there was anything he could do for us, Dane quickly responded by asking if he could go out and “grab us some Chipotle for dinner”.  In our opinion NO nurse was better than THAT nurse. Luckily, Chuck’s shift ended thirty minutes later.

Taking matters into my own hands and to score us a better living situation I may have unleashed a little bit of entitled, Petunia-Pickle-Bottom-diaper-bag-carrying (I got it on sale at Marshall’s ;)), “my insurance is better than their insurance” whoop ass on the sweet little Charge Nurse.  To her credit we didn’t have to ask twice to get a new room and were promptly moved to a single room much closer to the action.  While I still feel like a Killer Whale trapped in pool at Sea World with my dorsal fin flopped over, it’s better than nothing.

In all seriousness though, having the nearest nurse, even if it was ‘just Chuck’ miles away just didn’t feel like the type of watchfulness we expected out of Stanford.  At one point we were even thinking about asking to be transferred back to the Roseville NICU. Nurse Sarah wouldn’t have “put our Rexy in the corner!”

Look Mom! These binkies are all rainbow-y and stuff. And they are smiling at me!

So yeah, the disparity in care that we experienced between the rest of the hospital and “3 West” was pretty astonishing (or I wouldn’t be so, well, bitchy).  Prior to arriving here in the upstairs dungeon everything has been extraordinary.  The doctors (Dr. Axelrod), surgeons (Dr. Reddy) and nurses were awesome.  We were lucky enough to have a pretty typical stay at the CVICU with little to no hiccups unlike our time in the NICU. Rex was there a tad bit longer than expected to monitor the swelling in his trachea but after that it was just a waiting game until there was room available in “3 West”.  The only thing we had a bit of concern over was the fact that they might have been a little too liberal with the morphine — the night nurses seemed to have used it more for calming than for actual pain.  Seeing your baby on morphine is not easy.  We are pretty sure that there were many times when Rex was probably on some psychedelic trip with multiple orange binkies in tap shoes and canes singing along to Grateful Dead songs or something. Fortunately Rex got his final chest tube out this afternoon so there is no longer a standing order for these types of narcotics.

Up in “3 West”, even after relocating to a room directly opposite the nursing station, life was/is still, uh, kinda surreal.  I’m not altogether sure why they don’t just send us home at this point because even with the 15+ minute drive from our house to the ER at Sutter Roseville, Rex would be seen more quickly.  I’m kidding of course, but only kinda.  Seeing that all we have is time up here Dane and I went so far as to run our own little test, similar to the test I give the TSA whereby I keep a 3.5oz bottle of shampoo hidden in my luggage.  This time, instead of contraband liquids and gels, we opted to see just how long it would take Rex’s nurse to react when his leads fell off and the monitor was no longer picking up on his vitals.  After about ten minutes we became frustrated with the incessant beeping and gave up, putting the lines back on ourselves.  So far the only thing we haven’t done was to remove the I/V out of Rex’s foot, mostly because he did that one on his own accord.  At this point maybe they should put us on the payroll 🙂

Don’t even get us started on the Genetic’s Counselor.

I guess life in “3 West” isn’t all that bad though (said through gritted teeth).  We do have “free” room service — “free” being the operative word here.  (I’m pretty sure that the scrambled egg (egg not eggs) that Rex ordered daddy for breakfast the other day will wind up costing my insurance company over $75.)  Because the patient (Rex) is being charged for meals regardless of the fact that he is not quite ready to indulge in any Moroccan Grilled Salmon just yet both Dane and I get to take advantage of the bottomless cup of gummy bears and unusually orange, orange sherbet. When they first handed me the menu I thought they were handing me the wine list (because it looked different than the menu next to Rex’s crib) but then I remembered where I was.  I’m also reminded where I am every time I try and access my favorite celebrity gossip website and am denied due to foul language. Oh well.

So here is hoping that we are out of here quickly as clearly I don’t do well with this whole solitary confinement thing. I wish I would’ve taken up needlepoint when I had the chance; that way I would at least have something to do other than just sit around and watch Nickelodeon. My heart definitely goes out to other families who will have a much longer stay here than we will.  Rex is clearly one of the lucky ones and for that, all complaining aside, I am definitely thankful.

Oh and Chuck, if you just so happen to be reading this, my kids name isn’t Rex, it’s George.

June 5, 2012 at 9:01 am 4 comments

The Magical Healing Powers Of The Elusive Orange Binky

Just when I thought that my days as a “binky bitch” were numbered “ultrasound guy” stuffed an orange binky in Rex’s mouth and suddenly all was right in the world again.  Clearly orange is the new green.

The discovery, or rather re-discovery, of this little melon-colored miracle worker couldn’t have come at a better time for us, since in just shy of 24-hours Rex was going under the knife to get his heart fixed.  “Mr. Binks” might have served him well in the NICU, but “Big Orange” was going to have to help to him through this next stage in his road to recovery.  As a result I almost feel as though “B.O” is somehow symbolic or something.  It is, after all, he that marked the beginning of our journey here at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (no mom, it was not named after your cat), he who soothed a restless Rex as he was taken back into the Operating Room for Open Heart Surgery, and he who dutifully sits by Rex’s bedside as he recovers in the CVICU just waiting to be sucked on again.   There is no doubt that these last few days have definitely been challenging — at least for us.  Luckily for Rex, he won’t remember much except for the part when “mean daddy” forced him to ditch the binky and lie on his side while they took a chest x-ray.  (Mommy just wanted to cuddle)

It seems like forever ago, but it was only Tuesday when we arrived in Palo Alto (bright and early). After a brief nap at our only slightly sub par hotel (but not nearly as dodgy as the ones I usually pick out for us) we headed to the hospital for Rex’s pre-op visit.  There was no question that Rex was in the building once we reached the admitting office as he took no time to “announce” his presence.  While Rex may have heart issues, he certainly has a healthy set of lungs.

Just before they took him back for surgery. Smiles are kinda forced.

In preparation for surgery, Rex had his (who knows, probably) 35th ultrasound with the aforementioned, most Zen-like technician ever.  In addition to his binky “peace offering”, Santa Claus (as I like to think of him) also seemed to know how to do this “reverse swaddle” thing whereby Rex was totally confined but still fully exposed for the procedure.  To be honest, it was like the kid was at the Four Seasons; he was so relaxed that he fell asleep.  He even snored.  (Note: The same tactic did not work hours later when they did the blood draw. Clearly he takes after his daddy, as mommy doesn’t cry when she gets jabbed :).) After completing all the prep work, we met with the surgical team and got the play-by-play on the whole process. Dane listened intently; I went off to my happy place.  We were then sent home and told to not give Rex anything to eat after 2AM.  Not sure if any of you have ever starved a baby before but clearly it was going to be a long night for us, in a hotel room, with paper-thin walls.  Did I mention that the guy in the hotel room next to us looked like he might have spent some time in the state penitentiary? All I was hoping was that he had a soft spot for babies…

The hotel stay wasn’t the worst.  While my choice in properties didn’t have a turn down service, plush robes, bottled water or down comforters to which I’m accustomed, it did have running water and Cable TV – something I hadn’t seen since Dane forced me to get rid of it a few months back.  Yes, Rex might have had the orange binky but I had HGTV! I did waste anytime and proceeded to do my best to catch up on all the latest happenings with the “Property Brothers” but between the pending surgery and the fact that I was on day nine of a pretty intense outbreak of poison oak (yes, I managed to pee in a pile of poison oak on a run the other week) we/I didn’t sleep much (again) that night.

At 4:45AM we were both up and anticipating all that a set of eight-week old adjusted lungs could throw at us. Generally our “loudest baby on the block” does not disappoint but for some weird reason (uh, magical orange binky maybe?) Rex didn’t make a peep. In fact, Rex didn’t make a sound all morning.  I think he even decided to rebrand himself as “cuddliest baby on the block” too. Go figure. I was able to hold my little angel all the way up until the moment the anesthesiologist had to take him from me.  It was at this point that it all hit me and I may or may not have shed a tear, or three.

Almost immediately after saying our good-byes, Dane and I were led into the parent’s waiting room.  It was at this point that we were approached by all the peripherals: the chaplain, the social worker, the genetic counselor, the crazy lady trying to get us to sign up for some weird clinical trial (yeah, best of luck. Clearly they hadn’t met Dane yet) we weren’t really in the mood for all the small talk so we relocated ourselves to the (incredibly overpriced) cafeteria.  It took them about 90-minutes to prep Rex in the OR with surgery starting promptly at 10:30AM.  In an effort to avoid paying $25 for a half-rate slice of pizza we ventured across the street to the mall to eat lunch there. It was at that time that we learned that “Snowflake” needed heart surgery as well; her battery had died. At least “operating” on her provided us a much-needed distraction.

Immediately post op

At about 1:30PM we were paged and told that they were closing him up.  We were escorted to the Consultation Room to get the full report from Rex’s (completely amazing) surgeon — luckily he had nothing but good news for us.  Rex had done really well with surgery.  They had a slight issue intubating him at first because he has a narrowing of his trachea but they eventually got it.  Dr. Reddy was able to close his VSD, which he said was “incredibly large” (It was 12-13mm or almost ½ inch!), patch the ASD, and cut through the stenosis (or whatever the correct terminology is).  Dr. Reddy diagnosed him to have a mild tetralogy of fallot but said the fix was the same so the diagnosis was irrelevant. He gave him an excellent prognosis and with little chance that he will ever need any additional surgeries later in life.  Clearly “Big Orange” had done his job.

Currently Rex is in the CVICU, an ICU just for heart patients.  We were told that this was going to be the most difficult part on us as parents and they weren’t kidding for a myriad of reasons.  For one, I am having trouble with the fact that as sick as we might feel Rex is, there are kids there that are way sicker and it breaks my heart.  (Yes, I admit it; I used to think I could only feel this way towards dogs.)  The environment here is no nonsense. Every kid has their own nurse and the nurses aren’t here to make small talk.  The other morning when we walked into the room to see Rex, we were quickly escorted out and told to come back in an hour.  Apparently Rex had pulled out his arterial line and they needed to get it back in ASAP.  I definitely miss the “warm and fuzzies” and camaraderie I felt in the Roseville NICU but I understand the reason for the seriousness here.  I am just happy that our stay here should be fairly short.  (I hope)

Just before they took out the breathing tube. Notice the tropical attire, its like he is on a mini vacation.

As for Rex’s progress, other than the fact that he had taken it upon himself to start removing his own lines, they were able to legitimately remove his breathing tube on Thursday.  This was kinda a painful process for all involved because to do this they slowly wake him up and wait for him to get angry.  Because he had the tube in he would cry but no sound would come out which wasn’t fun to watch.   Once he reaches this state the team pulls the tube out. The plan was to give him three minutes to start breathing on his own and if he didn’t, they would put the tube back in.  Basically it is the same process a baby goes through when they are born whereby they need to take the “hardest breath of their lives” to inflate both lungs and get the alveoli’s doing whatever they are supposed to do.  Rex went 90 seconds.  It wasn’t fun.  Finally they got him breathing again on a CPAP machine, which is what he has been on since last night.  This is all relatively normal though, so we aren’t concerned.  They plan to drop him to just a nasal cannula tonight.

They are keeping him in the CVICU a little longer because of the issue with his trachea and because he has yet to fully inflate his left lung.  Again, all of this is normal so no worried there either.  They are still not allowing him to eat but he is allowed to suck on “Big Orange” so it is taking the brunt of Rex’s frustrations at the moment. We are hoping he will be moved into Recovery (3 West) by the weekend. At that point it is meant to be all downhill from there.

Dane and I are doing as well as can be expected. There isn’t a lot of room to just “hang out” in the ICU so we spend time in the waiting room just outside of it. Ironically there does not seem to be a wireless network here (how is Stanford so behind the times?) so I am forced to go days without knowing how Jessica Simpson plans to lose that baby weight.  It sucks.  The other issue we are facing is that we didn’t really plan ahead when we packed so we are quickly running out of clothes and the clothes we did bring haven’t prepared us for this tundra known as the Bay Area. Honestly, tt’s June. Why is it still in the 40’s at 7AM?! We did find a really great place (that wasn’t Chipotle) for dinner last night though, I can’t remember the name now, but take my word for it, it was good.

Look mom! No breathing tube!

Reunited with Big Orange.

My only other job at the moment is trying to locate a place where I can purchase a few backup orange binkies for when we return back home.  I plan to pick up one or two for Myles and Floyd as well.

But things are progressing. We are hoping to get him up to Recovery in the next few days and then home shortly thereafter. Thanks again for thinking of him this past week. I’ll do my best to update you with his status!

June 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm 4 comments

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