A multimedia extravaganza starring Zeke (born January 2005) and his little sister Talia (born December 2006), lovingly put together by their father!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Tonight's exchange as I was putting Zeke to bed:
Z.: Daddy, what's a barton?Heh. I have no idea what he was thinking of.
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.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
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.
Mobile post sent by nathan using Utterz. Replies.
Posted 10:33 PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
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.
Posted 11:10 PM
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
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
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.
I wasn't able to extract the sound. Sorry. 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.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Here's Zeke captured while bathing...
At the Norristown zoo, posing as a swallowtail butterfly (note the die-cast train in his right hand)...
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.
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."
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
... is variously dolicocephaly or scaphocephaly (premature closure of the sagittal suture of the skull). The general name is craniosynostosis. I've never heard of it before, so I've started doing a little online research, the results of which can be found here.
Here's the email I sent out to friends and family this afternoon:
Hello,I'll post updates here too.
I've just heard back from the doctor regarding the results of Talia's various tests from last week and unfortunately the news is not good. The MRI shows no problems. However, the skull X-ray shows premature fusion of several of the skull bones. I am taking Talia for a neurosurgery consultation next week. It's possible that they will decide the problem is not serious enough to justify intervention. But the normal thing to do in such cases is surgery, and, from the limited amount I've been able to find out from the internet, it is quite invasive and traumatic -- basically cutting the skull apart and screwing it back together, involving a multi-day hospital stay.
I'll keep you updated as I get more information. Thank you to everyone for your concern.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Not much going on in this ninety-second video, but at least you can tell that she's more or less back to her normal, active, cheerful self. She woke up pretty groggy this morning, but by mid-afternoon seemed to be full of piss and vinegar again. She's doing a lot more cruising -- you can see her take a tentative step right near the end of the clip.
Friday, October 05, 2007
It's been an exhausting day, but everything's gone fine so far. I went to work this morning as usual, and Heather took Talia to get some blood drawn (we're checking for lead, given that we live in an old house with some peeling paint). Heather reported that she didn't cry during the drawing. Then off to the pediatrician for a quick exam, since her eye has been looking puffy. They found an ear infection. She'll be on amoxycillin and ear drops for the next ten days. Then the hospital for the day's big event: first a skull X-ray, which I missed (Heather reported some crying), then an MRI (under sedation with chloral hydrate), which took a half hour and was completely uneventful. After that we went home and she slept for three hours. Now she's up, acting pretty groggy from the sedative (which will probably continue until mid-day tomorrow), but her appetite is back and she's obviously in a fine mood. Aside from the little bandage on her arm, you'd never know what an ordeal today was for her. I was especially amazed at how well she seemed to manage being prohibited from eating for half the day. She's a big, big eater these days.
The big question is, of course, what the tests will show, and we won't know that for at least four days. So all we can do is sit tight. No doctor so far has given us any reason to think this is anything other than a perfectly routine screening based on her head size and shape, so I'm not too worried. But still, being at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia), and seeing all those sick, pale, bald children with their parents, -- well, it left both of us pretty rattled.
A lot of people have been very supportive, and we of course are very grateful.
By the way: the previous post was done over the phone, using Jott, an excellent free phone-to-text service. They have a mysterious transcription mechanism that relies on a combination of computer speech recognition and human transcribers, presumably in some overseas location. That explains the misspelling of "survived."
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
This was at a big birthday party with a lot of kids and parents milling around. One parent beckoned me over when Zeke was already halfway up this thing. I couldn't believe he negotiated it entirely without help; it made me kind of nervous, but he was completely confident and secure. I made this little video with my phone while his way up for the third time, I think. He was pretty pleased with himself but evidently didn't think it was much of a big deal.