A multimedia extravaganza starring Zeke (born January 2005) and his little sister Talia (born December 2006), lovingly put together by their father!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Two quick updates

First, a photo of Talia and me...

Just look at that nice, wide, round head!

Next, a going-to-bed quotation from Zeke:

Z.: Daddy, we're completely out of date.
Z.: Daddy, do you know what "completely out of date" means?
Me: No.
Z.: It means, we ran out of raisins. We're completely out of raisins.

In other news, Zeke's second Christmas proved to be pretty much all about Thomas. Thomas trains, Thomas books, Thomas movies, and Thomas songs. We're all learning a lot about steam trains.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Talia on the stairs

Today is literally the first time she's ever encountered stairs. We're visiting the grandparents.

u.post life

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

At the King of Prussia Barnes & Noble

Am I a bad parent for filming this instead of putting an immediate stop to it?

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Talia's birthday mosaic (photos by Nani and Pop-Pop)

Talia turns one tomorrow. Nani and Pop-Pop came by for a few hours today. They took these photos.

Zeke made some soup

Zeke made some soup, uploaded 2nd December, 2007.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A mealtime exchange

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketTonight at dinnertime...

Z.: Can I have a lollipop now?
H.: You can have a lollipop after dinner.
Z. (eats a few bites)
Z.: Can I have a lollipop now?
H.: After you finish your sweet potato.
Z. (pointing) Mommy, you know, the lollipops are right in there.

Sly little fellow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A quick update

I was out of town for a long conference just before Thanksgiving, and our old Kodak digital camera died, which partially explains the lack of posts. Here are the big developments lately.

First: Zeke's been using the potty pretty regularly and wearing underpants. He likes Thomas the Tank Engine underpants (Thomas has made an appearance here previously).

Second, and even more exciting, Talia's almost walking. I'll try and put some video online soon. She's saying a couple of words, to wit: "cat," "mama," "dog" (I think). Most frequent however are "uh-oh" and "yay." Other than that -- she continues to heal well, and from her behavior you'd never know she was in surgery a month ago.

Home today with two sick kids

One ear infection, one case of pinkeye. Perhaps strangely, I always find myself pleased with the prospect of spending a quiet day at home with the chillunz. Or perhaps not so strangely.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.  mp3

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This morning when we...

This morning when we were getting ready to leave for Day Care, Zeek asked me this question, Daddy do you remember when I had some candy? And I said yes. He said Yeah, that made me feel alot better. listen

Powered by Jott

Monday, November 12, 2007

A little late-afternoon fall hike in Valley Forge Park

A little late-afternoon fall hike in Valley Forge NP
Larger versions here. Zeke was absolutely loving it out there. He was finding mushrooms, different colored leaves, and sticks; jumping over things; and generally having a blast.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Healing day eighteen

It's amazing to watch the incision closing up. Parts of it already look like they've scarred over. And she's mostly behaving as if nothing unusual had happened to her.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.  mp3

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Just a test of cross-posting

Nothing here to see...

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.  mp3

This morning Zeek want...

This morning Zeek want me to read him a book, I said no, there wasn't time, his answer was, I am not impressed. listen

Powered by Jott

Monday, November 05, 2007

This weekend's crop of photos

This morning Heather took Zeke for a walk by the creek. They ended up heading up a fairly steep hill. Zeke came home and said he "walked up a mountain." She took this while they were out.
Zeke walked "up a mountain" today

Now here's Talia, banging on a chair.
Talia pounding on the table

And here's a look at the incision. I took this this morning.
Healing, twelve days after surgery
You can see it's continuing to heal up well -- quick and clean, with no swelling. It doesn't seem to be itchy or anything; she's keeping her hands away from it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Video diary: Talia playing

This is not a particularly exciting video, unless you happen to know and care that Talia (who's featured) was having her skull sawed apart in surgery only two weeks ago. As you can see here, she's looking good and basically enjoying life.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A couple of recent photos, plus one old one

Not much new to report. Just a few photos. A couple of Talia from the past week:
Talia drumming   1030071813a   Talia with plug
I've been scouring old pictures trying to find two that I can set next to each other so as to make the change in her head shape clear. But so far I haven't found a good pair. I feel like I can see the change, but it's really only obvious from the back.

And two of Zeke:
Zeke with airplane   Zeke watching TV
The first one is actually over three months old, but I forgot I had it and just rediscovered it. The second is from Monday, when he was feeling sick and was allowed to spend a rare hour watching TV. He seemed to enjoy it.

As always, click on the photos for a larger view.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Talia a week after surgery

I hope this isn't too dark to see anything. Talia's been looking awfully pale since returning from the hospital, probably from the blood loss during surgery. But as you can see, she hasn't exactly slowed down much.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Another bedtime report

Tonight's exchange as I was putting Zeke to bed:

Z.: Daddy, what's a barton?
Me: Um, I don't know.
Z. (reflectively): I don't know either. I was just ... saying something. Maybe it's a little ... thing. Or a little toy. I don't know.
Heh. I have no idea what he was thinking of.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


This looks awful, but if you saw it on Monday, this looks like a near-miraculous transformation. The incision, so far, is healing up fast & very cleanly.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Talia's third day in the hospital: a few photos

Talia's recovery, day two
These are from Wednesday. You can see that her face is a little puffy. The swelling is mostly gone by now.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A note on Utterz.com

Over the past couple of days, I've been posting almost everything to this blog using a service I just discovered, called Utterz. (I find it a little embarrassing to say the name, but that's the only drawback I've discovered.) Anyone who's reading this and wants a painless way to run a mobile blog ought to check it out. You can post anything you want from your cell phone or from the website -- text, photos, video, or phoned-in audio -- to a mobile blog on the Utterz site (mine is here). Utterz will then re-post your updates to a blog, to Facebook, to Twitter, or to any site where you can embed a bit of Flash code.

Anyhow, though, I was pretty impressed by the service, but it also turns out that there's a strong community around the site as well. A couple of people have been following Talia's story over the past couple of days and have posted encouraging messages of support for her (and for the rest of us). I logged on tonight, and look what I found:

It's a little audio-and-photo message to Talia and her folks (us) wishing her a good recovery, from the good people who run the Utterz website. (Click the orange triangle to hear the audio; click here for a larger version of the photo.) I couldn't believe it. I was totally bowled over. Anyhow, thought I'd share that. The internet can actually be very cool sometimes.

Update: Talia & the rest of us

Everyone's home from the hospital now. Mary (my mother) is staying with us. Things are far from being back to normal, but they seem to be progressing in that direction. Talia's very happy to be home, but still not really comfortable; she wolfed down a lot of solid food at dinnertime (which she's had very little of in the last three days) and then promptly threw it all up again. Heather's now trying to get her to sleep, and she's complaining a lot. Zeke is kind of freaked out by the whole situation. He was overjoyed to see his mother after four days, of course, and it was truly charming to watch how happy he and Talia were to be reunited. Talia got all worked up when she saw him and started shouting and putting her hands out to him, and he came over and kissed her. He keeps looking at the incision and asking, "Why does Tally have a line on her head?" (My answer is, "That's where the doctors were fixing her head.") Zeke however does not want to be alone at all; he has been putting up an incredible fight at bedtime and acting very clingy, whiny and cranky (unusual for him). Anyhow, as someone remarked to me, it seems as though we've sort of all been running on adrenaline over the past two weeks, and now reality's about to set in. I have to return to my classes tomorrow morning. Heather's taking the next week off. And, well, that's about where things stand right now.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Talia's home!

Here's Talia playing after being home for about ninety minutes. She's really tired but has to be all into everything before she can rest. Especially since her big brother isn't home yet.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Talia sleeping on her father

She's doing much better today. Eating more, more active, less pain, incision healing fast. Pulse is still elevated, though, which has them a little mystified.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

With Zeke at the doctor's

Zeke's had a cough for the part few days. I'm having him seen now. Just in case he needed antibiotics... He doesn't, it turns out.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Photos: Talia and Heather in the hospital

Talia and Heather, one day after surgery
More here.

Update: Talia's recovery, day 1

Talia has a ways to go before she's fully recovered but she is looking really good. When I got there at 11 a.m. this morning her color was great, she was active, looking around, acting playful, etc., even trying to say a few words and laugh. She spent most of the day sleeping. She's having formula to eat, not a lot, but she's not throwing up either. She surprised the nurses by not needing another blood transfusion or more Fentanyl. The incision isn't bleeding at all. She's looking a little puffy around the face though, which means she might swell up a lot tomorrow, and she still seems fairly uncomfortable. So, we'll see how it goes. So far, though, the recovery's looking great.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

A few hospital photos

Talia's day at CHOP
More here.

Here's the email update I just sent out...

I sent this to a bunch of friends, family, students and colleagues.

Hello again –

Talia, my daughter, finished her surgery this afternoon at around five p.m. She is going to be at Children’s Hospital at least through the end of Wednesday, probably Thursday. The surgery went fine with no complications. The surgeon kept telling us that he thought he had done a fabulous job and that she is even cuter now than she was before. Her head definitely looks different. For the moment she is very uncomfortable and not keeping food down, but I understand that’s more or less normal.

Heather, Zeke and I have received an tremendous amount of support from friends, family, students and colleagues, and I hope to be able to thank all of you individually in the coming days. For the moment, though, I’ll just say: thank you all. I appreciate it.


I'll be going back to the hospital tomorrow. Zeke had a good afternoon with his Grammy. I plan to drop him off at daycare in the morning.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Leaving the hospital

Update: Talia's sleeping peacefully and I'm heading good for the night. H. is staying.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Reconstruction phase of surgery

So far, so good, though it sounds like she's lost an awful lot of blood.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

First incision

They made the first incision into Talia's skull about half an hour ago. So far, so good.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Update: Talia is under anesthesi

She's being prepped for surgery. We'll know more in half an hour.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Waiting for the anaesthesiologis

They just told us there's going to be a two-hour delay due to complications with the operation scheduled before hers.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Talia in the pre-op waiting room

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.


Nathan Rein posted a photo:


Another test. Bear with me.

Published by
Published by xFruits
Original source : http://www.flickr.com/photos/nbr/1683172731/...

Surgery tomorrow

I'll be posting updates on Talia's surgery here, from my phone, as they happen. If this works, that is.

Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz Replies.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The punning gene must skip a generation

Zeke, while playing with trains: "Daddy, this one pulled so much coal, he got cold."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Audio post: post-day-care-drop-off report on Zeke and Talia's latest shenanigans

If the sound doesn't work, call (510) 248-0386 (probably as of about 3 pm EDT) to hear it, or, if that fails, click this link for an updated number.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More two-year-old humor

While driving to daycare this morning, Zeke informed me: "Daddy, I have a little cold. I'm sniffy. And I'm coffee."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Video diary: an update on Talia

Feeling too fried to write. Basically, though, the news is reasonably good, and things seem under control. She'll go into surgery next Monday and stay in the hospital probably four days. Call (510) 248-0386 to hear the audio if necessary, or click this link to get an updated phone number if that one doesn't work. I wasn't able to extract the sound. Sorry.

There is an update on...

There is an update on Talia. She is scheduled for surgery on Monday. She will be in hospital for four days and should make full recovery with in a month, so that's good news.
Click here to listen

Powered by Jott

Friday, October 12, 2007

Today as we where driving...

Today as we where driving to day care Zeke looked out the window at the sky, which was little bit pink and yellow, and he told me: "Daddy, it's twilight. The sun is mixing. It's mixing with pink suns and purple suns."
Click here to listen

Powered by Jott

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A few recent photos

Here's Zeke captured while bathing...
Zeke in the tub

At the Norristown zoo, posing as a swallowtail butterfly (note the die-cast train in his right hand)...
Zeke as a swallowtail
Those two were taken with my phone.

And here's Talia, at a recent outing to Pretzel Park in Manayunk, PA. Taken with Heather's phone.
Talia in Pretzel Park, Manayunk, PA (Heather took this)

That's it. No news on Talia's health. She continues to act normal, though now that we know about it, it's easy to find the little ridge of bone running down the center of her skull. The next doctor's appointment is downtown on Tuesday. Apparently CHOP (where we're taking her) is the place to go. I also learned that dolicocephaly means "long head," scaphocephaly means "skiff-shaped head," and craniosynostosis means "skull-bones together."