March 11, 2008

Theology lessons from a three-year-old

Nathan: "God loves me and helps me. And protects me from guards, horses, and zebras. Because sometimes they kick."

Truly, God is great.

Posted by Mike at 12:00 PM

May 23, 2007

Other family news

Other than the whole nightmare thing, Nathan's doing great. Last night, happily, there were no nightmares. Unhappily, Nathan didn't go to sleep until about 11 PM. I asked at his daycare this morning if they could drop the espresso from the toddler snacks. The director said she'd consider cutting back, but quitting cold turkey was bad.


Somewhat less holy than some other things he's said: A couple of weeks ago, Nathan became fascinated by Meredith's pantyhose, and tried wearing them. Later, he was looking for one of them. He's figured that 's' indicates plural, thus the immortal phrase: "Where my panty-ho?" Where, indeed?


We're all basically healthy now. The pink eye that Nathan gave me cleared up, then returned ten days later in my other eye. It's gone again -- hopefully for good. Meredith never got it.

Posted by Mike at 01:00 PM | Comments (2)

May 22, 2007


Nathan woke up Sunday with a bad dream at about 5:30 AM and never really got back to sleep. Last night, it was more like 4:30. He slept a little after that, but never really got all the way back to sleep.

This morning as we were all lying in bed completely bleary-eyed, Meredith asked him if he remembered his dream. "I a bug, and bird eating me. And I dying."

Poor kid. Kids have scary dreams.

Posted by Mike at 03:54 PM

May 04, 2007

Pink Eye

My entire childhood, I avoided pink eye.

Not yet 2 1/2 years as a parent, though, and my kid gives it to me.

Posted by Mike at 10:47 AM

April 24, 2007

Sick, again

I am home with Nathan today, because he is sick again. Argggh. This time it's an eye infection.

I cannot begin to describe the joy of giving a severely pissed-off two-year-old eye drops by myself (since Meredith is at school).

Posted by Mike at 05:06 PM

Nathan would like to announce...

In line in the grocery store the other day, while Meredith was out visiting a friend, the teller turned to Nathan and said hi.

Nathan's reply, completely out of the blue: "I have two mamas."

Of course.

I explained to the teller why this was in fact correct.

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Posted by Mike at 03:51 PM | Comments (2)

April 15, 2007

Preacher's Kid

Recently, we've been trying to move Nathan from sippy cups (with lids) to "big kid" cups (sans lid).

Last Friday, during dinner, while Meredith and I were talking, Nathan took his cup of milk, lifted it over his head with both hands, said, "Body of Christ", and set it back down.

Then he dipped his pizza in the milk and ate it.

Posted by Mike at 03:42 PM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2007

Utah visit

We're about to head home from Salt Lake City, where we spent the weekend visiting Nathan's birthmother and her family. Some of the pictures are up on Flickr (more are coming!), although to protect her privacy, pictures with her are marked private. If you're friend or family and want to see those pictures, create a Flickr account and send me a note with your flickr account name and I'll add you to the list.

Posted by Mike at 09:42 PM

February 20, 2007

Random family news

Nathan's newest most-requested song: "You Shook Me All Night Long" from Back in Black. My heart swells with paternal pride.

Nathan likes to ask what's playing whenever he hears music. He'll ask again if the song somehow sounds different. Or he'll ask about every ten seconds, just to make sure he didn't miss a song change. For some reason, "Bring It On Home" by Led Zeppelin seems to provoke near constant querying.

His ability to express ideas is getting better and better. A couple of weeks ago, after I explained that something he was doing would likely hurt him, he said, "and that make Nathan little sad." A few days ago, after a similar conversation, it was "and that make Daddy little sad if Nathan get hurt." Today, it was "and that make Nathan sad and Daddy sad." If you wonder why we are so frequently discussing sources of great bodily injury, I suggest you've spent little time around a two-year-old boy lately.

Meredith and I went out on a date Saturday night. We never celebrate Valentine's Day, as, going back to the very first month or two we were dating, one of us (almost always her) has been busy the night of Valentine's. That first one she was on a youth group sleepover; this year she had evening class at Seattle University. So we celebrate February 17th, instead. We had dinner at Pogacha in Issaquah (tasty), then saw Shadowlands at the Village Theatre. We had a wonderful time. And then when we got home, we discovered that Nathan was still awake. He stayed that way until about 2:30 AM.

Melissa arrives Thursday night for a few days. We told Nathan on Saturday; he replied, "Nathan watch TV and wait for Aunt M to get here." Ah, no.

He's been back on a streak of taking forever to go to sleep. Also, it seems that it's my turn to be the One Parent who can get him to sleep. Meredith will try with him for an hour or two, but he just won't go to sleep with her lately. Most of the time he's decided to get picky like that, she's been it, so I guess it's my turn or something. The other night, he announced, "Nathan need milk." I said no. "Nathan drink milk, get energy." Yes, that's what he needs at 10:30 at night.

The terrible twos so far haven't been all that terrible. For sure he has more temper tantrums than we'd like (witness the ~20 minute fight to get him dressed every single day). But on the plus side, he can tell us a lot more now. He recently stopped mid-wail to say, "I crying because [whatever it was]", then went back to his wail. But at least he told us.

Posted by Mike at 10:39 PM

February 13, 2007

Broadway musicals are corrupting our nation's youth

Nathan recently has enjoyed listening to the "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" Broadway soundtrack. "Little Known Facts" ends:

LINUS: Lucy, why is Charlie Brown banging his head against that tree?
LUCY: To loosen the bark to make the tree grow faster.

Yesterday, Meredith found Nathan hitting himself over the head with a wooden spoon. When asked why, he replied

"I grow faster."

I think we need Congressional hearings on the damaging influence of Broadway musicals. Think of the children!

Posted by Mike at 02:09 PM | Comments (2)

February 04, 2007

Another first

Today, at lunch, as we were about to sit down to eat spaghetti:

Me: "Nathan, do you want a bib?"

Nathan, clearly disgusted: "No. Bib little baby. Nathan big kid."

OK, then.

Posted by Mike at 09:56 PM | Comments (1)

January 30, 2007

A new developmental milestone

Me: "Nathan, it's time to change your diaper."

Nathan: "Noooooooo"

Me: "Come on, it will be quick."

Nathan: "No change diaper, Daddy. All out of diapers."

Nice try.

Posted by Mike at 07:08 PM

A new developmental milestone

Me: "Nathan, it's time to change your diaper."

Nathan: "Noooooooo"

Me: "Come on, it will be quick."

Nathan: "No change diaper, Daddy. All out of diapers."

Nice try.

Posted by Mike at 07:08 PM

January 26, 2007

Nathan's hospital visit

Nathan's illness got progressively worse over the weekend, and Monday at about noon, Meredith called the doctor's office to see about coming in. He hadn't thrown up since Sunday early morning, but the diarrhea and fever were still going strong. Even water was coming back out as diarrhea within mere minutes of him drinking it. Also, his belly was completely distended. Somehow I didn't think this was from over-eating. The nurse that Meredith talked to listened to the symptoms and said, "go to the ER."

So off to the Emergency Room at Evergreen we went. They drew some blood, hooked him up to an IV (boy, did he love that part), then came back a while later with the exciting news that we would get to spend the night because he was so dehydrated, and needed to be rehydrated via the IV.

Keeping an IV in the elbow of a two-year-old -- even an incredibly lethargic two-year-old -- is not that easy. The night nurse, Jenni, spent a long, long time retaping the IV to keep it in. She figured out how to do it without having to redo the whole IV, though. Yay. By Tuesday afternoon, he had managed to start drinking again and keeping it down, the fever had broken, and they had reduced the IV flow, so the doctor cleared us to go home just before dinner.

With this, his second visit, Nathan has now doubled the trips to the ER that I had as a child. I told him this means he is done. On the other hand, my one childhood visit was caused by my own stupidity (running full speed into a room when I was about 4 without noticing that the wooden door was, in fact, closed); neither of his have been his fault.

The pediatric ward at the hospital is really nice. The rooms are huge, there was a bench that one of us could pretend to sleep on while the other parent pretended to sleep in the bed with Nathan ('pretend' because, really, you can't actually get much sleep when the nurse has to come in about every hour to check on Nathan). They also had a TV and DVD player, and the nurse's station had a DVD library that you could check videos out of. Nathan got to watch a lot of Elmo.

In the end, they think he just had some rotavirus, although they won't know for sure until the results of testing a stool sample come back. (Jobs I'm glad I don't have: trying to collect a stool sample from the diapers of someone with diarrhea as bad as he had.)

The ominous news is that the doctor said we might catch it. Then at work, a friend of mine mentioned that he had had something similar recently, and the doctor told him that it can have a two-week incubation period. So check back in a week and a half or so to see if Meredith and I are still standing.

Posted by Mike at 07:57 AM | Comments (2)

January 21, 2007

Not our month so far

Nathan got sick yesterday. For someone who has been so healthy for most of his life, I think this is his fourth time getting sick in the last six weeks. I wrote recently about Nathan throwing up for the first time; in the last 36 hours, he's thrown up his second and twelfth or so times. At least the last time he did that was at 5:30 this morning, although he's been emptying his body from the other end since then. He napped this afternoon, then spent the second half of the Colts - Patriots game asleep in my lap on the couch, woke up at the end, then fell asleep again about 45 minutes later. At least he's been drinking water today, but he must be starving, as he hasn't kept more than a few saltines down since yesterday morning.

This is on top of the snow, ice (and two hour / three mile drive home), more snow, and the burst water pipe (and subsequent ~$500 plumbing bill -- because it's hard to say no thanks, I don't want running water) in the last couple of weeks.

And Meredith has a meeting tomorrow morning that she absolutely cannot miss, so I'm staying home with Nathan to miss the meeting that is merely really bad to miss.

Posted by Mike at 09:26 PM | Comments (2)

December 27, 2006

Night Terrors + Dennis-Brown Bar = Suckage

Nathan had his second round of night terrors last night. It sucked about as much as the first time, although we at least recognized what it was much faster this time. It took about 10-15 minutes for him to wake up at all. He kept calling out for Daddy, but with exactly zero realization that I was there. I was right there, though, despite the fact that he was beating the holy living hell out of me with the goddamned Dennis-Brown Bar (the shoes-on-a-brace he needs to wear at night for his club feet) while thrashing around the bed in terror.

Also like last time, the night terrors followed a fever by a few days.

He did eventually wake up and realize that Meredith and I were there, although it took him another 15 minutes or so to calm down enough to have the slightest interest in getting back into bed. He went back to sleep fairly quickly, snuggled up next to Meredith, although it took me another half-hour before I could drift off at all, and I still woke up every time he made any noise in the night.

Also, my legs are still bruised from that bar.

Posted by Mike at 08:01 PM | Comments (1)

December 19, 2006

Q, R, S, Tennessee, U, V

Yesterday, I was asking Nathan to identify various letters as we waited for our food to arrive at Original Pancake House (since they had power). I pointed to the letter T on the UT cap he was playing with, and asked, "What letter is that?"


That's my boy.

Posted by Mike at 08:47 AM | Comments (1)

December 13, 2006

More Nathan moments

Today, after I came back into the house from taking the garbage out, I didn't immediately see Nathan. I found him a few moments later, sitting on the floor, starting up raptly at the front door. At my quizzical look, Nathan turned to me and explained "Nay-nay watch movie." He never did tell me what movie he was watching.


After removing Nathan from the bathroom (and whatever dangerous thing he was trying to reach for), Nathan lost it. I said, "I'm sorry you're upset with me." He came back over to me, looked up, and said, "Nay-nay cry." And he did, for another minute, and then was fine.

Posted by Mike at 10:38 PM | Comments (1)

December 08, 2006


Nathan's healthier already. He ate all of five saltines yesterday (and drank what seemed like gallons of apple juice), but then devoured a plate of scrambled eggs this morning. And the fever, which never went over about 101, is gone.


A few weeks ago, he was starting to form complete sentences, and now he does it all the time. Even better, he'll now answer his own questions. Recently he came up to me and said "Nay-nay [how he pronounces 'Nathan'] have milk? Hmm ... OK, yeah." I like that he added the 'hmm' to indicate that I thought about it.


The other night, he was talking about the letter K. "K! K! K!", he'd shout. Meredith finally asked him to please add a K. Or remove one. So far, he at least hasn't gone out in public shouting out K's in groups of three.


Tonight, we're going to a friend's birthday party. Nathan has become excited about his own upcoming birthday, and will now sing "Happy Birthday to you, Nay-Nay" to himself.


"Nay-nay hold moon." "Are you going to hold the moon?" "No ... moon heavy."

Posted by Mike at 03:00 PM

December 06, 2006

"That's a weird noise"

Nathan woke from his afternoon nap today, and his first word was "sick".

He seemed to have a slight fever, although we weren't even sure of that. But he visibly wasn't feeling all that great, and then had the world's messiest diaper. We let him watch Sesame Street while he drank some juice.

Part way through the episode, while he was sitting on my lap, a strange noise emanated from his chest. "That's a weird noise", I commented. Three seconds later, suddenly realizing what impending doom the noise foretold, I grabbed him up, hurtled toys and two baby gates, just making it into the bathroom, if not over anything with a drain, before he threw up.

In fairness to me, Nathan's never really thrown up before. This is, I suspect, unusual for an almost-two-year-old. But he's been, on the whole, a very healthy baby. So it's not like I had heard that noise a lot before.

After cleaning him up, and changing both our shirts, he felt noticeably better. He still didn't eat any food, which is probably just as well, and at bed time, he fell asleep during story time, so he's clearly not feeling that great. But hopefully the worst is past, and tomorrow will be better.

Posted by Mike at 11:37 PM | Comments (1)

September 28, 2006

Conversations around the house

Mike: "Nathan, time to come inside."

(no response)

"Nathan, we need to go in now."

(no response)

"Nathan! 3 - 2 - 1 - time to go in."

Nathan, turning briefly to look right at me before very calmly saying: "No."


Nathan: "Look! Day-duh"

Mike: "Umm ... Daedra?"

Meredith: "There are days that I seriously question whether you should be allowed to interact with our child."


Meredith: "Mama's going to go to the doctor, and you get to stay home with Daddy, OK?"

Nathan: "Noooo....." (crying)

Mike, picking Nathan up: "Nathan, how about you stay home with Daddy this morning?"

Nathan: "Yay!!"

Meredith: "If only I had thought of that."

Mike: "Well, sometimes Daddy just has better ideas than Mama."

Posted by Mike at 08:51 AM

September 20, 2006

Conversations with a toddler

Tonight, in bed:

"Milk! Milk! MILK!"

"You want milk? Now?"


[a few minutes later, having given him his milk]

"Are you all done?"

"Yeah" [pause] "Wa-wa?"

"You want water?"


"You're still thirsty?"


"Are you stalling?"


Posted by Mike at 10:56 PM

September 16, 2006

Nathan tries out Zune

Zune's youngest user yet?

So he's a little younger than our target demographic.

Posted by Mike at 01:39 PM

September 12, 2006


Nathan, Melissa, Meredith and I visited the Pacific Science Center this weekend. Nathan was very excited to get to see the dinosaurs there. (Slightly less excited upon the discovery that they were huge, moved, and growling.)

Last night, Nathan decided that he was a dinosaur. ("Dino! Dino!", he said, pointing at his chest.) Meredith got him to go to sleep by singing "Good Night, Dino", which wouldn't seem to have the same soporific qualities as "Good Night, Nathan", but evidently is just right. For, you know, a 20-month old Dinosaur.

Posted by Mike at 02:01 PM

August 30, 2006


It turns out Nathan has roseola. The fever is basically gone, but now he has the rash. The doctor also thinks he might have an ear infection, so Meredith picked up antibiotics.

At least you only get roseola once.

Posted by Mike at 08:07 PM

August 29, 2006

Night Terrors

The fever is down, but Nathan had his first bought of night terrors last night. 15-20 minutes of shrieking in terror, struggling so hard he was close to knocking me or Meredith off the bed as we took turns holding him.

If Nathan never had that again, that would be OK with me.

Posted by Mike at 11:56 AM | Comments (2)

August 28, 2006

Getting better

Last night was awful - Nathan didn't go to sleep until 9 PM, and then when we went into bed at 10:30, his temperature was up to 106°F. We gave him more medicine, put cold wet washclothes on his head and chest (as I held him while he cried), then eventually decided to go stick him in a cool bath (which he liked even less).

The bath had its intended effect; he started to cool off. The unintended, although entirely predictable, effect was that he was then all the way awake. Meredith finally left to go sleep in the guest room at my suggestion (figuring that at least one of us should sleep), and Nathan drifited off to sleep around 1 AM.

He woke up upset again at 3 AM, but this time I think it was because he was actually cold from sleeping with only a diaper on top of the sheets. I took his temperature, which he evidently thought was a prelude to more medicine ("NO NO NO NO NOOOOO"), and it was down to only 100, so I got him back to sleep without medicine.

He woke up shortly after 6, feeling much better (if only I could say the same). His temperature now seems to be fluctuating between 99 and 100, which is much better.

This morning, I noticed this headline on MSNBC: "Light coffee drinking may pose heart attack risk". As I sit here, drinking from my mug, I am cheered by the fact that this headline in no way could describe me.

Posted by Mike at 10:30 AM

August 27, 2006


It's been a rough weekend. Nathan woke up in the middle of the night Friday night feeling warm, and by Saturday morning was really warm. Last night was worse - I don't think either Meredith or I got any sleep between about 4 AM and 6:30 AM. And somewhere in there, Nathan rolled over and threw up all over me. Yay.

We've been alternating between Tylenol and ibuprofen to try to keep his temperature down. When he sees the medicine coming, he starts saying, "NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOO".

Poor kid...

Posted by Mike at 07:26 PM

August 06, 2006

Learning about random acts of meanness

Most of the kids that Nathan runs into are generally very nice to him.

Today, though, at the playground, some two or three year old girl walked up to Nathan, put her hand on his chest -- and shoved. Down went Nathan on her butt, and she walked off. Meredith told her that she shouldn't shove people, and she just glared at Meredith, and went on her way. She never said a word the entire time.

Nathan sat there looking surprised for a few seconds, then got up and came running over to be comforted for a minute before getting back down to keep on playing.

Oh well.

Posted by Mike at 08:17 PM

July 25, 2006

Nathan's newest word

Nathan just learned a new word last night: "no". He's been able to shake his head no for some time, but last night finally figured out how to say it. And he wanted to practice it over and over and over again. (It probably won't be nearly as cute by tonight, but it was pretty funny last night.)

3GPP version (for QuickTime) here.

Windows Media version here.

Posted by Mike at 07:26 AM | Comments (2)

July 23, 2006

Microsoft Company Picnic 2006

Picture 043

Picture 013

Pictures from our trip to the Microsoft company picnic are uploaded to flickr.

It really is amazing to be at the picnic. The organizers did a really good job setting it up. Lots of food (and food that didn't suck, too), drinks, ice water everywhere, lots of tents set up for shade. And the kids areas, both for toddlers and for bigger kids, were just incredible. Meredith's comment was that it was like going to a county fair.

Posted by Mike at 11:57 AM

July 10, 2006

First haircut



Nathan got his first haircut on Saturday. Here are pre- and post- haircut pictures (click on the pictures to get bigger images).

He did surprisingly well, although he wanted to sit on my lap for it.

No pictures of the hair cutting itself, unfortunately.

Posted by Mike at 08:52 PM | Comments (1)

June 22, 2006

flickr pictures

Nathan's hats with Pippin
Nathan's hats with Pippin,
originally uploaded by mdodd.

I’ve started uploading pictures to flickr. You can see our pictures here, or subscribe to the RSS feed for the photos here.

Posted by Mike at 08:42 PM

June 20, 2006

Not one of my better ideas

Last night, Nathan kept waking up whenever I tried to leave his room. Finally, I decided to try leaving his door open, since the sound of the door closing was always what woke him.

Then, back in my bedroom, I hear him start to cry, then quiet. “Maybe he is going back to sleep”, I think.

Then I hear the sound of a metal bar hitting wood. Say, the metal bar he wears between his shoes. Only, the floor in his room is carpeted.

Sure enough, I opened the bedroom door to find him knee-walking down the hall towards our bedroom, a big proud grin on his face.

That was at 2 AM.


Posted by Mike at 09:39 PM | Comments (2)


Nathan is talking now.

His first word, a few weeks ago, was ‘bubble’, which he said when Meredith was blowing bubbles outside. (OK, he had been saying things like ‘da-da-da-da-da-da’ for months, but we don’t think that counts as an actual word.)

By now, he’s saying ‘Daddy’, ‘Mama’, ‘cookie’ (his first word to me this morning once we got downstairs, said while pointedly looking at the cookie jar – dream on, kid), ‘belly’ (pronounced ‘beh-yee’), the names of many Sesame Street characters, and more.

This Sunday, Meredith had him in the church nursery while I sat in the worship service. Then suddenly I (and everyone else) hear him excitedly saying “Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy” as they came back into the service. Nice Father’s Day present

Posted by Mike at 09:19 PM | Comments (3)

June 02, 2006

Nathan as Infocom parser

Meredith read in some book recently that children Nathan’s age are supposed to be able to understand two word sentences, like “eat food” or “roll ball”. It reminded me of the old 80s adventure games (“go north”, “hit troll”, “take gold”).

But Nathan can understand far more complex sentences than that. His language parser is at least Infocom-level, able to parse and act on sentences like “go get the ball from under Mama’s desk”.

Posted by Mike at 07:09 AM | Comments (2)

May 31, 2006

Teething again

Nathan seems to be teething again, judging from the inability to sleep, the reluctance to consume solid food, and the gallons and gallons of drool he produces. These would be his two-year molars, seemingly coming in shortly before he turns 18 months.

It looks like it is going to be a long night.

Posted by Mike at 09:33 PM

April 26, 2006

Two more pics



Posted by Mike at 11:43 AM | Comments (2)

April 25, 2006

Happy Nathan


I need to post a bunch more pictures, but here’s a recent one of Nathan showing how happy he is to be outside in the nice weather.

He loves it here.

Posted by Mike at 08:11 AM | Comments (1)

April 23, 2006

Now walking. Really this time.

Nathan’s took his first step almost three months ago, then a few weeks ago, appeared to be ready to really start, but then slowed back down. He’d walk a few steps each day on his own, and would walk all over as long as he was holding a parent’s hand, but otherwise showed very little interest in trying to do it by himself.

Even yesterday, talking to my grandparents and to my brother, I told them that Nathan wasn’t really walking yet.

Then, about 5 yesterday afternoon, Nathan decided that it was time. He spent the rest of the day walking everywhere. He did laps around our deck. This morning, the same thing.

Also, within 30 minutes of him deciding that it was time to really start walking all the time, he was already walking while eating some food. That sure doesn’t take long.

Posted by Mike at 01:23 PM | Comments (2)

April 15, 2006


While a fine number for a US FM radio station, 106.5 is not a number you wish to see on a thermometer after taking your child’s temperature. But that’s what we saw Thursday night around midnight after Nathan woke up.

Fortunately, as quickly as little kids heat up, they can cool back down pretty fast, too, so with Tylenol and being stripped to only a diaper, sleeping between us on top of the covers, he cooled quickly. He spent the rest of the night trying to get comfortable, mostly trying to sleep on top of me, waking with a cry if I so much as twitched.

It was a very long night, and I spent much of yesterday ingesting mass quantities of caffeine.

His fever had broken by the morning, and he seemed basically fine last night until he awoke at 10:45 screaming inconsolably. He was clearly in pain, but from what, we could never tell. We tried taking his shoes off, but that wasn’t it. And, despite usually wanting Meredith at bed time, he seemed pissed off at her, screaming slightly less when I held him. Finally he calmed down some with a bottle of milk, then he and I went back to his room, and I rocked him back to sleep with the bottle. I finally made it back to our bed at 1:30 AM. I got up with him once again at 5 for half an hour to get him to go back to sleep.

Mercifully, Meredith got up with him at 7, letting me sleep until 10, so I feel a little bit human again. Coffee helps.

Right now, it’s 3 PM, and he’s been asleep since noon.

Posted by Mike at 03:03 PM

April 13, 2006

Nathan's sick

Last night, Nathan slept through the night for the first time in I don’t even know how long. Months and months. (Ironically, Meredith didn’t sleep well, because she kept waiting for him to wake up.)

Then today he came down with a fever. He’s napped four hours today, and went to bed again at 7:30.

Hopefully he didn’t just sleep through the night because he was getting sick.

Poor kid.

Posted by Mike at 09:02 PM

April 05, 2006

Nathan's adoption

Two stories:

  • A couple of weeks ago, with Nathan in the cart at Home Depot, the checker asked me, “is he a different race or is he just really tan?” I suppose ‘really tan’ in mid-March in Seattle seemed improbable.
  • A couple of days ago, a woman who was at our house installing baby gates asked, “do you know you son looks like you?” I assumed Meredith had mentioned at some point during the day that Nathan was adopted, but she hadn’t. I actually get that a lot.

People who know or find out that Nathan is adopted occasionally ask when / if we’ll tell him. We’ve always told him. He has a photo album in his room with pictures of different family members, with one of him (when he was less than a week old), his brother and sister, and birthmother. We tell him “that’s Mama D.” He takes it out and looks at the picture. I wonder what he thinks.

Nathan’s is an open adoption, meaning that we keep in contact with his birth mother. Or, rather, we try. She’s moved at least five different times in the 15 months since Nathan was born, with different phone numbers every time. When she moves, we have to wait for her to get back in touch with us.

The last time we heard from her was shortly after Nathan’s birthday. We tried to call her recently to tell her that we had moved, but at the last phone number we had, Meredith got someone who’d never heard of her. Dead end again. So, in the meantime, I’m keeping my cell phone number the same until she calls so we can give her the new phone number.

Not knowing where she is is hard. I hope she’s doing OK. I hope that when Nathan starts asking questions about her, that he can talk to her.

In the last few months, I’ve read a number of blogs about adoption. There are a growing number of birthmother blogs. They’re all interesting to read, but some of them are really hard to read. Some of those women feel very used by the adoption process. One birthmother, whose blog completely disappeared recently, wrote of the adoptive mother taking out a restraining order to prevent contact after promising an open adoption. While the restraining order part is slightly atypical, the forced end of contact, sadly, is much less so.

There’s a lot that should change with adoption. There is a ton of money involved in domestic infant adoption – so much so that it’s easy to wonder just how ethical the whole thing can be with so much money involved. There are adoption facilitators, lawyers, social workers & state agencies, and they all get their piece. One adoption agency asked on the form "How much money have you budgeted to spend on your adoption?", which seems not unlike the used car salesman who asks “how much do you have to spend on this car?”

In our first match, the young couple, feeling the stress of dealing with a pregnancy and possible adoption, asked to see a counselor. We agreed to pay for it, and they went to a counselor recommended by the adoption facilitator we were using. Soon after, the facilitator mailed us a copy of the notes from the counseling session that the therapist had sent to her. We were appalled, and told the couple what had happened. They didn’t go back, and we spent the next few months watching the stress continue to mount and eat at them.

It’s hard to know how to fix it. Some have suggested that the fix is to simply end all adoption, which is obviously hard for me to imagine. But something should change.

Posted by Mike at 10:50 PM | Comments (1)

March 26, 2006


Nathan's been flirting with walking for a while, but yesterday suddenly decided to be serious about it. While visiting the Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood exhibit at the Seattle Children's Museum, Nathan was so excited by everything that he started walking around — eight feet at one point without any help.

He's walking :)

Posted by Mike at 10:25 PM | Comments (4)

February 20, 2006

Things Nathan has learned

Nathan now keeps pretending to blow his nose. He'll grab a kleenex, wipe, napkin, whatever, hold it up to his face, and blow into it. It's cute, and a little sad, all at the same time.

Impressionable little kid.

As Meredith points out, imagine what he'd be imitating if we smoked...

Posted by Mike at 08:54 AM

February 10, 2006

Change of plans

We were supposed to be in Connecticut by now, but when I got home last night, Nathan had suddenly developed a 104°F fever out of nowhere. Rather than hope that he would OK for a six hour flight from here to JFK, we’ve postponed our trip by a couple of days.

Then tonight, both Meredith and I started to feel a bit sick.

Oh, and there’s a blizzard or something headed towards NY, I hear.

I’m sure it will all work out.

Posted by Mike at 09:46 PM | Comments (2)

February 01, 2006

First step

Nathan took his first step yesterday.

When I got home work work, he was standing up in the living room holding onto the couch. I walked over to him and stopped a couple of feet short. He turned around – and stepped over to grab my leg.


Of course, he hasn’t taken a step on his own since, but he’s sure close to walking.

Posted by Mike at 10:34 PM | Comments (3)

January 29, 2006

Learning about switches

For the past couple of weeks, when I get up in the morning with Nathan and take him into his room, I point up to the overhead light in his room (the one with the big star lantern on it), then point over at the light switch and turn it on.

This morning, when I got up with him, we walked into his room, he pointed up at the light, then whipped around and pointed at the switch. Then we spent the next couple of minutes with him turning the switch on and off, looking back with delight at the light each time.

I’m so proud :)

Posted by Mike at 09:05 PM

A night in the life

Last night:

8:00 PM – Meredith and Nathan take a bath.
8:10 PM – I get Nathan out of the bath, since he is All Done.
8:20 PM – I finish getting Nathan’s diaper and pajamas on. Yes, this took ten minutes.
9:00 PM – Meredith volunteers to put him to bed, so starts rocking him to sleep.
10:00 PM – Meredith calls to me to ask if I could please take a turn trying to get him to go to sleep, since she’s been trying for an hour. I take Nathan back to our bed, cover him with the blanket, and lie down next to him.
10:06 PM – Nathan falls asleep. I think to myself, “this was easy.”
10:07 PM – Nathan wakes back up.
10:14 PM – Nathan falls asleep again
10:14:30 PM – Nathan wakes up
10:15 PM – I give Nathan a bottle of water. He drinks most of it.
10:19 PM – Nathan expresses his frustration by trying to claw a hole in my throat
10:24 PM – Nathan falls asleep
10:26 PM – I get up to go get the baby monitor transmitter from the other room.
10:26:01 PM – Nathan wakes up as soon as I am three feet away from the bed. I go to get the baby monitor anyway, thinking that maybe God or the fates will reward me for my optimism
10:27 PM – I return. God is amused by my optimism; Nathan is still awake.
10:29 PM – I refill Nathan’s bottle and give him more water. Nathan may be on a hunger strike, but he makes up for it in volume of water – at night. This probably explains that diaper problem.
10:33 PM – I wonder if my voice will wear out from trying to sing Nathan to sleep. I am not the trained singer in the family.
10:35 PM – Nathan expresses his frustration by kicking me repeatedly with his damned shoes.
10:37 PM – I get up to tell Meredith that I’m just going to go to bed and give up on getting back up.
10:38 PM – I brush my teeth. Nathan hears and is fascinated. He is wide awake.
10:45 PM – I notice that Nathan has kicked off his right shoe; I take it off and fix it.
11:05 PM – As Nathan thrashes around, I consider getting a drink of whiskey. Can’t decide whether I should give it to Nathan or me. The indecision paralyzes me, so I don’t get up.
11:13 PM – I notice that Nathan has kicked off his right shoe. Again. I say to hell with it and take the whole set off.
11:14 PM – Nathan falls sound asleep. Damned shoes.
11:17 PM – Meredith comes to bed. “Hey, everyone’s asleep.”

Not that every moment isn’t bliss.

Posted by Mike at 06:55 PM

January 19, 2006

Not that every moment isn't bliss...

Tuesday night, I was so tired, I went to bed at 10:15, just half an hour after Nathan finally went to sleep.

Half an hour after that, he woke up crying. Between then and 2 AM, he mostly cried, with Meredith and me alternately trying to comfort him. Finally at 2 AM, I got up with him. A little while later, and a bottle later, he had calmed back down, so back to bed.

Oh, no. It was Play Time!

Back up, back to his room, where I curled up in the rocking chair and tried to keep half an eye on him while he crawled around and played with his toys, until he finally got tired enough to go back to bed – at 4 AM.

Posted by Mike at 09:45 PM

January 01, 2006

New pictures

Nathan rejecting a Santa hatI think I’ve posted some of these before, but there’s a new collection of Nathan pictures up here.
Posted by Mike at 10:56 AM

December 30, 2005


Nathan woke last night at 4 AM (not unusual), and when I rolled over to comfort him, could feel that he was evidently channeling heat from our blast furnace (very unusual). He wasn’t any cooler when he woke for good at 7:30, so we loaded him up with Tylenol. Sometime in the last couple of months, he evidently decided that baby Tylenol was not yummy; did, in fact, taste like battery acid, so it was somewhat more involved than usual to force the liquid into him.

All day, he’s been his usual cheerful self, despite continuing to be hot and having his nose drop snot on him all day long. The only other sign that he’s sick is that he’s hardly eaten anything today, so I’ve been trying to load him up with formula and milk.

Hopefully the fever will break by tomorrow.

Posted by Mike at 08:23 PM

December 28, 2005

The limited capacity of a size 3 diaper

Nathan lately has been very thirsty at night. VERY thirsty. The last few nights, he’s had somewhere between 16–20 ounces of liquid between bed time and morning. We give him 4 oz. of formula at bed time, and then the rest is water, most of that consumed between 3 and 6 AM.

Size 3 Pampers, while overall excellent products, cannot actually contain 20 ounces of liquid. Or, stated perhaps more accurately, the combination of a size 3 Pampers diaper plus Nathan cannot contain 20 ounces.

So we are changing our sheets somewhat more often than we normally do.

Posted by Mike at 08:33 PM

December 27, 2005

Blast furnace v. Nathan's toys

Our house has very little heat in it. It has one outstanding heater, in the living room. I’ve been known to refer to it as the house’s nuclear blast furnace.

Nathan learned very early on, before it even got that cold, to give the heater a wide berth when crawling. His hands and knees never even come close to touching the heater.

Nathan hasn’t learned to make sure his toys also stay clear.

This morning, I arose to the smell of burning plastic. In Mega Blok (Lego knock-off) vs. Nuclear Blast Furnace, the block had no chance. I scraped most of it off, but you can still see some of the red plastic that the heater claimed for its own (mouse over the picture to see it highlight). The handle to his brand new Fisher-Price popcorn popper was also lying on the heater, but Fisher Price toys are evidently made of far sterner stuff than Mega Bloks, and, aside from the handle being slightly warm, you couldn’t even tell that it had spent all night absorbing jets of super-heated air.

Tonight, after working in the office for a while, I came back out to the smell of burning … fur? Tickle-Me-Elmo was a few short minutes away from becoming Oh-Shit-Use-The-Fire-Extinguisher-On-Me-Elmo. (“Ha ha ha ha – ha ha ha ha – that BURNS!”) Fortunately, Elmo seems to have recovered, probably because anything made for babies is designed to be completely fire-proof. (If you’re ever in a burning house, you’d probably do well to surround yourself with baby clothes and toys. Preferably toys made by Fisher-Price.)

So, on the list of things to do when Nathan goes to bed, checking for toys on the heater clearly needs to move to the top. And now, having saved Elmo so he can giggle another day, I’m off to bed.

Posted by Mike at 12:01 AM | Comments (1)

December 17, 2005

Birthday coffeecake


Nathan celebrated his first birthday today!

This morning, we took him to Hobee's, where they brought him a multi-layer coffeecake.

And here's Nathan demonstrating his clear understanding of the correct way to eat cake.

Posted by Mike at 05:05 PM | Comments (6)

November 07, 2005

A new milestone

Every day for the last few months, when I leave for work, I wave goodbye to Nathan. And every morning, he looks at me kind of blankly.

Until this morning. I waved goodbye, and he stuck his arm out and waved goodbye back.

Neat :)

Posted by Mike at 10:11 PM | Comments (2)

October 28, 2005


Nathan is developing two strong traits right now: his will, and separation anxiety. How lucky for us that they are going hand in hand.

He now thinks that the ideal amount of time to be apart from us – and by ‘apart’, I mean ‘not in a parent’s arms’ – is somewhere between 0 and 3.7 seconds. And the 3.7 seconds is only OK if he is clutching to a parent’s leg at the time. We may request an exemption for meal time (putting him in a high chair), and, if he is feeling magnanimous, he may permit this.

Coupled with his growing sense of exactly what he wants, and a growing surety that what he wants is Right and Just, we are starting to get a vivid image of what the toddler ages might be like.

Posted by Mike at 07:00 PM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2005

Weekend update

Life has been crazy busy lately, which partially explains why I haven’t posted anything here in forever.

Nathan turned 10 months old last Monday, and had his 10–month checkup with the orthopedist to look at his club feet. We knew it was going to be good news when the doctor looked at Nathan’s feet, then checked with us on which foot or feet it was. Both his feet are doing great, and we’re continuing to use the brace every night. We bought a new pair (his fourth) of orthopedic shoes for him the same day, since he had outgrown his old pair. I’m very grateful for the fact that as Nathan has gotten older, he doesn’t tend to kick his shoes off nearly as much anymore. Not having that battle every night is a welcome change.

He’s suddenly grown a lot more hair. It’s amazing how different that makes him look. He’s creeping along furniture all the time now, able to walk along the edges of anything as long as he can hold on. He can now walk along our cabinets, too, no longer needing to push down on something to remain stable, but just needing some place to put his hand. It won’t be long before he’s walking.

This weekend, Nathan has decided that it’s fun to explore the inside of my mouth. Almost every time I picked him up, he would turn towards me and start trying to jam a hand or two into my mouth. He seems very curious about the whole thing, although he usually starts laughing when I start to eat his fingers. Yum yum.

Posted by Mike at 08:26 PM | Comments (4)

September 28, 2005

The adoption is final!

It’s done!

Posted by Mike at 01:10 PM | Comments (5)

September 26, 2005

Finalization hearing this Wednesday

We just got our court date scheduled for Nathan's adoption finalization hearing — and it's this Wednesday morning!

Anyone want to come join us for the big event? Email me and I'll send you the details.

Posted by Mike at 12:52 PM | Comments (2)

September 25, 2005

Nathan pictures

Some pictures are uploaded. I’m trying putting them on MSN Spaces for now to see if that’s easier for me to deal with.

Posted by Mike at 08:08 PM | Comments (2)

September 24, 2005



Today was a good day because I got to sleep in. Any day where I get to sleep ten hours is a good day.

Nathan’s doing great. Eating has been something of a challenge with him lately. He was going great eating solid foods until about a month and a half ago when he suddenly discovered that he could feed himself. This reduced his interest in being fed to zero. Which would be fine except that, of course, he basically sucks at feeding himself.

Over time, that’s gotten better, and he’s now more willing to be fed with a spoon, although still not at the levels he was at. We’ve also been trying to get him to drink more from a cup, which he also sucks at. He understands that there’s something in there that he might want, but has no idea which part of the cup to wrap his mouth around to get at it. He’s such a baby.

As Rick commented in my last post, Nathan has indeed become something of a playground bully. I haven’t seen it myself, but Meredith reports that Nathan has realized that he’s bigger than most babies, even those a few months older than him, so if they have toys that he wants, he can just take them away. Clearly we need to work on this with him.

And yes, I know that I need to post pictures. I’ve actually been slowly getting them sorted out again after a long period of just letting them pile up on my hard drive, and I’ll post a bunch soon.

Posted by Mike at 10:29 PM

September 21, 2005

Nine months

It’s hard to believe that Nathan turned nine months old the other day. But here he is, crawling all over the place like he owns it, looking bigger and older every day. There are times that I look into his face when he’s playing and I swear I can see Calvin in there. Right now, he’s chasing the cats, something he’s gotten much better at lately.

Proving that parenting works better when you’re awake, this morning, shortly after getting up with him, I couldn’t figure out why he was upset. He had been crawling around in the kitchen while I sat in the living room, started crying, and was acting hungry, so I made him a bottle. No – kept shoving it away. Fine, sit him back on the floor. More crying, more mad, reaching for the bottle, then shoving it back away. It took me about two minutes to suddenly connect the facts that he (a) hadn’t opened his mouth the entire time, and (b) was drooling up a storm to realize what the problem was. Once I managed to get his mouth pried open (no small feat), I found the problem – he had found a small, one inch square, piece of onion skin and had gotten it stuck on his tongue. Ick. That removed, he was much happier.

Tomorrow morning is his nine month checkup at the doctor. He’s mostly over his cold, although he’s still got a bit of a runny nose.

OK – time to get ready to go to work.

Posted by Mike at 08:47 AM | Comments (2)

September 18, 2005

Still alive

We’re all still alive, but it’s been a hectic few weeks.

Work has been crazy, but is starting to calm back down. Monday I worked at home to get a new feature implemented (sometimes it’s good to go back and actually write code), I just finished getting all the reviews done, and that’s on top of all the other normal insanity at work.

Meredith got sick starting Monday night. I thought I might be able to stay healthy, as I’ve sometimes done in the past, but hadn’t counted on what would happen once Nathan got sick. I might have been able to keep from getting germs from her, but Nathan wiping his runny nose off on my face probably doomed me. By Friday night, I had it too, and I’m still sick now. Blah.

Nathan turned nine months yesterday. His latest trick is that he’s trying to stand up on his own. He’s been pulling himself up for a while now, but now he’s trying to stand without holding onto anything. He hasn’t succeeded yet, but he’s sure making the attempt.

Posted by Mike at 07:04 PM

August 14, 2005

Things Nathan has learned


While we were on vacation in the last week, Nathan has learned several new skills:

  • Clicking his teeth together. Followed about 15 seconds later by the much more exciting skill of…
  • Grinding his teeth together. A week later, he’s still enjoying this. It drives me insane.
  • Pulling himself up to a standing position. He was sort of doing this before he left, but he’s much better at it now.
  • Talking (well, babbling). OK, he was doing this before, but he’s doing it a LOT now, especially during meals. He has learned that meal time is the time for conversation. :)
  • How to pull open drawers.
  • That cheerios crunch when you bite on them. Nothing had ever crunched before in his mouth. The look on his face when he bit down on it was priceless.
Posted by Mike at 09:38 PM | Comments (3)

July 28, 2005


Three weeks ago, Nathan pulled himself up to a sitting position for the first time.

Two weeks ago, Nathan crawled forward for the first time.

Today, Nathan pulled himself up to a standing position for the first time.

At this rate, he should be riding a bike in another month or two.

Posted by Mike at 09:42 PM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2005

New pictures

New pictures are up…

Random Dodd family pictures (including a picture of Nathan’s first time pulling himself up to a sitting position)

Nathan’s first visit to the Aquarium

and a new video, of one of Nathan’s first successful attempts at crawling forward.

Posted by Mike at 11:22 PM

July 09, 2005

Brief update

It's been a while since I posted in here. Things have been going well. Nathan's teething pain is starting to subside; he actually slept eight hours straight each of the last two nights. On the other hand, Nathan has now decided that the act of actually going to sleep is a battle not to be surrendered lightly. And a rich battle it is, with feints, brief tactical withdrawals, and full-out assaults. He punctuates his maneuvers with a cry like that from a Fell Beast, then coldly announces that we are fools; that no parent can make him fall asleep. Then, finally, falls asleep.

It is sometimes a bit exhausting.

I took the day off yesterday and we all went down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for Nathan’s first visit there. We weren’t sure what he’d think of it, but he loved it. Truth be told, half the time he was mostly taken in by people-watching, but a lot of the time he was totally entranced by the fish. We tried to take lots of pictures – something we’ve been bad at lately – so I’ll try to get them posted soon.

The child is getting bigger and bigger all the time. At his six-month appointment, he weighed 18 lb, 13 oz. Last weekend, we went out and bought him a new car seat, deciding that he had finally outgrown his infant car seat. Like good safety-conscious parents, we carefully read the Consumer Reports article on car seats so we could avoid those seats that prompted phrases like “…sending it flying off the test rig.” Not an image you wish to associate with anything holding your baby. Unfortunately, Nathan so far hates his new car seat. Hopefully he’ll get used to it soon.

Posted by Mike at 11:15 PM | Comments (2)

June 20, 2005

Teething sucks

Teething is not fun. Not for Nathan, not for Nathan's parents.

Last night, after he kept waking up crying (closer to screaming) every 20 minutes, I finally just got up with him at about 2:30 AM and held him in the rocking chair in his room. Where he continued to wake every 20-30 minutes, but at least this way, one of us could sleep. The first dose of tylenol at 11:30 the night before didn't seem to have much effect, but the dose at 5:45 AM turned him into wide-awake cheerful boy in about three minutes.

I am less awake, and less cheerful. But I'm glad he's feeling better.

Also, I swear he recognized the bottle of tylenol and was reaching for it. Considering this was the fourth time in his life he had had tylenol, this is somewhat amazing.

I'm sure there's some coffee around here somewhere ...

Posted by Mike at 07:16 AM | Comments (1)

June 08, 2005

When Nathan talks

Most of the time I think that it will be wonderful when Nathan learns to talk. Imagine the words that will come forth! He’ll express his undying love for us, his parents, thank us for taking care of his feet, and talk about how much he enjoys playing with his toys.

Yesterday, though, it occured to me that if Nathan could talk, what I might have heard at that moment was something like this:

“Hey, what are you doing? What’s wrong with you? I don’t want to be lying down. Help! Police!! I can’t breathe! He’s choking me with this onesie. Oh my God, someone save me. I’m DYING IN HERE! AAAAAIIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHH

Yeah, so maybe I can wait a bit after all.

Posted by Mike at 10:20 PM

June 01, 2005


Nathan’s first tooth is coming in. We can feel it now.
Posted by Mike at 09:44 PM

May 31, 2005

Nathan and no shoes

Nathan totally loves having no shoes on in the day.

Totally loves it. It is way fun to watch him.

Posted by Mike at 11:15 PM | Comments (1)

May 30, 2005

No shoes!

This morning, Meredith took Nathan’s brace off. Starting today, no more special club foot shoes in the daytime.

Nathan is VERY happy.

Posted by Mike at 11:02 AM | Comments (1)

May 26, 2005

Club foot / Ponseti treatment resource

I finally found a link to a pretty good paper with a lot of information about club feet and the Ponseti treatment.

Posted by Mike at 08:27 PM

On parenting

When we were in to see Nathan’s orthopedist a few weeks ago, he asked if we were still keeping Nathan in the brace. “Umm … yes, since that’s what you said to do.” “Really? Oh, that’s good.” He was surprised.

Recently, a woman noticed Nathan’s brace for his club feet and decided to tell us the story of her kid who had been born with “a crooked head”, which required wearing a helmet for a year. “But he didn’t like it, so we only used it for three months. I guess we should have kept it on, because now he’s nine years old and his head is still crooked. Oh well!”

I called Nathan’s doctor yesterday to say that Nathan was kicking out of his shoes about every twenty minutes or so, and I thought we needed new shoes because the leather in his current shoes had stretched so much that we couldn’t keep them tightly buckled anymore. The nurse who called me back thanked me profusely for noticing this and acting on it. One study of club feet showed that the recurrence in “compliant” families, i.e., those who actually do what the doctor says, is 6%. Otherwise, the rate is 80%.

What the hell is wrong with people? You can’t make parenting decisions based solely on what an infant does and doesn’t like. Nathan doesn’t always like to have his diaper changed, but it’s a really good idea to do it anyway.

I don’t mean that what he wants is unimportant. When he cries, I pick him up (even at 2 AM, although I may grumble a bit about it). When he wants to eat, I feed him. But when he cries because of his orthopedic shoes being put on … well, tough. Obviously, it’d be great if he liked them, but he needs them regardless. Nathan can’t make tradeoffs between short term and long term, so it’s our responsibility to do so.

Ignoring a child’s long term medical needs for the sake of short term convenience is a sin.

Posted by Mike at 08:25 PM | Comments (4)

May 21, 2005

More pics

More pictures … including Nathan’s first meal of something other than straight formula.

Posted by Mike at 10:35 PM | Comments (1)

May 20, 2005

New ways of sleeping

Nathan decided last night, at about 1:30 AM, that he did not want to be sleeping lying down. He shared his feelings with his parents clearly and without equivocation.

Nathan’s father last night, at about 1:30 AM, wanted to sleep very much. He expressed his feelings clearly and without equivocation. But that was irrelevant, of course.

The curious thing was that Nathan did, in fact, want to sleep. He just wanted to sit up for the occasion. As soon as I would sit him up, his head would instantly droop – I mean within mere milliseconds of his back being brought to a vertical position – and he’d fall asleep.

I’d wait a few minutes, start to lie him down, and as soon as his back passed about 10 degrees off vertical, he’d tell me that that was NOT OK. 5 degrees off vertical, OK. 10.1 degrees: right out.

We played this game for a little while – me sitting him up until I started to doze off, at which point I’d start to ease him back down, at which point I would not be about to doze off anymore. This went on until Meredith asked if we might not be able to play this fun game somewhere else. Say, in the other half of the house, with as many closed doors between her and us as possible.

It was a long night.

Posted by Mike at 06:45 PM | Comments (3)

May 16, 2005

No, really, he doesn't like the heat

Nathan is still refusing to go to sleep. It is now 11:40 PM. His parents are getting very sleepy.

Posted by Mike at 11:41 PM | Comments (2)

Nathan not loving the heat

This week, it has suddenly become warm in Mountain View. Not even really hot, really, but much warmer than it has been, with temperatures in our house getting up into the upper 70’s. And, since our house doesn’t really cool down at night, it’s still (at 9:30 at night) in the upper 70’s in our house. Our house doesn’t cool down at night because we can’t open our windows. We can’t open our windows because we have indoor cats, and the windows do not have screens on them.

And, we don’t have air conditioning. Because our house has no crawl space to speak of, we can’t easily install central air.

But Nathan, he does not like the heat. He expresses his dislike by refusing to go to sleep. Or, by going to sleep, then waking up 20 minutes later, grouchy as hell because he really, really wants to sleep, but can’t. (Can you tell this child was born in the winter in Salt Lake City?)

So we’re trying to figure out what to do. A couple of the contractors I’ve talked to have no real interest in digging out the crawl space, because the job sounds both too small and too complicated. Excavating it ourselves isn’t an appealing option, as the only obvious way to do it is to walk down the narrow staircase and start hauling dirt up. Presumably there’s some way to take the siding off the house and do it that way, but that’s getting far beyond my skill set.

Or, we give up on central anything and just put an air conditioner in somewhere in the house in a window.

Or, tell Nathan to suck it up and deal with the heat.


But if anyone has ideas on digging out a crawl space, please let me know.

Posted by Mike at 10:07 PM

May 15, 2005

Our son, the freak?

It’s just two more weeks before we take Nathan’s brace for his club feet off during the day. It won’t come a day too soon. There are many reasons for this (some less obvious than others), but one of the reasons we’ll be glad is the attention that it gets.

Certainly I’m used to people looking at Nathan. Hey, I think he’s the cutest baby ever, so who wouldn’t want to look at him? But after a while, understandable thought it may be, it is sometimes tiring seeing people look at Nathan, smile, then see the smile fade to a frown as their eyes track down to the brace.

Even more amazing are the comments that people make. A couple of weeks ago, a man sitting next to us in a restaurant turned to his teenage daughter and asked, “What is that thing?” (Meredith turned and answered him, and then watched the teenager try to melt into the floor in embarrassment.) Last week, someone walked by, looked down at the brace and exclaimed, “Oh my God!”

It’s not like he has an extra head, or four arms or something. It’s a metal bar that runs between his shoes. That’s it.


Posted by Mike at 10:26 PM | Comments (1)

May 14, 2005

And more pictures

Oh, and some more pictures from earlier.

Posted by Mike at 06:25 PM


Finally, some more pictures of Nathan are posted.

Posted by Mike at 12:47 PM

May 01, 2005

Club feet update

Last Thursday was Nathan’s appointment with the pediatric orthopedist. It was his first appointment in eight weeks.

It was quick. Dr. Lincoln looked at his feet, and said that they were good, but not perfect. In both of them, the heel still isn’t all the way down, which we had also noticed. He said in a lot of cases, that just finishes correcting itself on its own without further treatment (such as more casting or surgery), so not to worry. We’re going to leave the braces on full time for one more month, then take them off during the day. One month after that, we’ll go back for his next appointment.

Meanwhile, Nathan has gotten to the point where he can pop out of his shoes on a whim. This is somewhat frustrating for us, since keeping him in those shoes 24/7 is the best chance we have of avoiding more casting or surgery. I’ve considered super-gluing his heel to the bottom of the shoe, but that’s probably not the best idea I’ve ever had.

Posted by Mike at 08:31 AM

April 18, 2005

Four months

Yesterday, Nathan turned four months old. To celebrate, he laughed for the first time. We were giving him a bath in the kitchen sink, and when I started rinsing him off with the sprayer, he laughed and laughed and laughed! Meredith and I were so happy :)

This morning he had his check-up at the doctor. He’s doing fine – perfectly healthy in every way. He weighed 16 pounds, 10 ounces. Clearly he’s getting enough to eat. He also got his next set of four vaccinations, which didn’t upset him nearly as much as last time. In a week and a half, we take him back to the orthopedist to look at his club feet. We can’t remember if the braces are supposed to come off (in the daytime) at that appointment or some later date, but it’s relatively soon, at any rate.

Nathan completely mauled himself in the middle of the night last night. He woke up at 5 AM and went from making a little bit of noise to screaming his head off within about 25 seconds. I got up with him and cuddled / fed him back to sleep, but when we got up again (at 7:30) noticed that he had badly scratched the top of his head. (Note to self: cut his fingernails WAY more often. Like every other day.)

He’s still an incredibly easy-going, mellow baby. We really are very lucky.

Posted by Mike at 07:33 PM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2005

Nathan the Destructor


Nathan, all on his own, has recently learned a fun new game. It goes like this:

  • Lie down on the play pad
  • Lift feet straight up, bending back as far as possible towards head
  • Stretch legs as straight as possible
  • Crash legs down to the ground as hard as possible

The goal? To catch the arch with his feet, and topple the entire thing over. On doing so, Nathan smiles and shakes with excitement and glee, waiting for a parent to reset it so that he can knock it down again.

Ah, that’s my boy.

Posted by Mike at 10:37 PM | Comments (1)

March 28, 2005

Denis Brown split as blunt instrument

We decided a while back to co-sleep with Nathan. Every night when we go to bed, one of us carries Nathan back with us and he sleeps between us in our bed.

With newborn Nathan, this was fine. Even with mostly-newborn Nathan-in-casts, this worked well.

With three-month-old Nathan with a solid metal brace between his feet, this is working somewhat less well.

Last night, Nathan twice kicked his legs out to the side, thus jamming the end of the metal bar into the small of my back. Then, each time, he completed the movement by extending his legs, thus digging the bar into and down my back.


I bet most co-sleeping parents don’t have to deal with their kids assaulting them in the night with metal bars.

Posted by Mike at 11:05 PM

March 21, 2005

Muscle boy

Most three-month old babies, when they are moving around, can lift a leg. Or the other leg.

Not Nathan. Since his feet are connected via a metal bar 24/7, he has to lift both legs at the same time.

Plus two shoes, each of which has a metal plate on the bottom.

Plus the bar.

He likes to lift his legs up and bang them down (on floors, on Daddy’s legs, whatever). He likes to pump his legs and listen to the noise the bar makes on whatever surface he’s on (especially the vinyl changing pad). And lately, he likes to lift his legs up in the air at an angle and hold them there for a few seconds before banging them down.

The result is that Nathan has far stronger leg muscles than your average three month old. I can hold him up in a standing position on my lap, and he’ll suddenly thrust with his legs and basically push his entire body weight up. He obviously doesn’t have the balance, but I think he almost has the strength to stand.

Posted by Mike at 07:17 PM

Conversations on daily life

Me, as Nathan was babbling this morning: “What do you suppose his first word will be some day?”

Meredith: “‘Hello’, since we say that to him all the time. What do you think?”

Me: “‘PIPPIN!’, since we yell that around him all the time.”

Posted by Mike at 06:58 PM

March 17, 2005

Lots of pictures


See new pictures here.

Posted by Mike at 11:35 PM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2005


Friday evening, Nathan’s mobile was still working fine.

Saturday morning, I got up with Nathan, turned it on, and nothing. Well, not nothing: the music played. But the mobile didn’t turn. Changing to new batteries didn’t help at all. Nor did reseating the connectors.

This did not especially please Nathan.

This went on all weekend, and then on Monday morning, I turned it on, and it started playing music – and turning. Nathan was very happy.

I think it just wanted the weekend off. This, of course, is unacceptable.

I explained to the mobile that, while there may be some sympathy for fair labor in this house, that sympathy does not extend to mobiles. There will be no fair labor for mobiles in this house, no attempts to unionize to press for better working conditions. This is a veritable sweatshop for mobiles here, and it will by God work 24 hours a day or I will kick it out and replace it with a mobile willing to work longer hours for less pay.

Hopefully this will clear things up with the mobile.

(Also, I could use some more sleep these days.)

Posted by Mike at 08:57 AM | Comments (3)

March 13, 2005

Forgetting how to sleep

Yesterday, Nathan forgot how to nap. He had a rough night with Meredith Friday night, got up with me about 6:30 AM Saturday, and then hardly slept the rest of the day. He fell asleep for long enough for us to eat brunch at Hobee’s, but that was basically it. He would fall asleep occasionally, then after about three or four minutes, startle himself back awake. By the end of the day, he was GRUMPY.

But the end of the day came for him at 9:30 when he finally fell asleep. And he stayed asleep – until 5:30 AM. That’s right, he slept eight hours, thus besting his previous record by two full hours.

So far today, he’s doing a lot better, although I’m still feeling worn out. So much so, that I think Nathan and I are going to take a walk downtown and get a lovely coffee beverage for me.

Posted by Mike at 01:42 PM | Comments (1)

February 24, 2005

Two month check-up

Nathan had his two month check-up yesterday. He’s doing great, and is perfectly healthy in every way (except that there seems to be something strange about his feet … oh, wait, never mind). The two month check-up is notable for requiring no less than four immunization shots. Nathan shared his feelings with us on the undesirability of this from his perspective, but did OK.

He weighs 13 lb, 4 oz. Soon, he will have doubled his birth weight.

Next regular doctor’s appointment will be at four months

Posted by Mike at 09:12 AM | Comments (2)

February 23, 2005

Random Nathan update


Meredith has amazing luck. I am pretty sure that I have changed every single one of Nathan’s dirty diapers in the last week. This is not to suggest that Meredith has not been changing his diapers; on the contrary, she’s probably changed more than I have in the last week because of our schedules. But somehow I get all the dirty ones. Hmmph.

I think I’m going to have to start calling him Houdini. He has an astonishing ability to wiggle his way out of his shoes. This is even more astonishing when you consider that he doesn’t have any ability to use his hands to help him yet – this is just from moving his feet around. I woke up yesterday morning to find one foot completely out, only to later discover that Meredith had already put that same foot back in his shoe when she got up with him at 5 AM. This, perhaps, is his solution to not liking the shoes: simply get out of them. Meredith suggested that my plan to super-glue his feet to the inside of his shoes was not, perhaps, my best one. Maybe this becomes easier as his feet get bigger and the shoes aren’t as loose. In theory, these are the smallest shoes of this type available. Ugh.

Beca asked how long Nathan has to wear the funny braces for his club feet. The plan is that he wears these 24/7 for three or four months, then only at night until he’s three or four years old. So he should be out of them in the day before he even starts crawling. The doctor said that occasionally, babies will need another round of casting for a short time if they start to regress, but usually not. Of course, babies probably don’t usually manage to keep pulling their feet out of the damned shoes.

We went out last night to Los Altos Grill with friends to celebrate anne’s new job. He was awake when we first got there, then slept all the way through dinner. Loud noises always do this – he goes to sleep. All things considered, I’d much rather him fall asleep to loud noises than to silence. It is, after all, far easier to make noise than to make silence.

I’ve decided that baby monitors suck. There are three basic classes of baby monitors available – those at 49 MHz, 900 MHz, and the fancy new ones at 2.4 GHz. I decided to skip the latter, since 2.4 GHz is part of the unregulated frequency band that is used by anything and everything. Most cordless phones, WiFi network connections, even microwave ovens. In this area, I’m pretty sure the last thing we need is one more device trying to use that frequency space. So first we tried a 900 MHz monitor, which worked great so long as the transmitter and receiver were in the same room. Much further away then that, though, and there was way too much interference. So then we tried the oldest frequency, and got a 49 MHz model. Evidently part of the benefit of living in such a high-tech area is that no one actually has crappy old 49 MHz cordless phones, so this one mostly works. I say mostly, because it’s still prone to interference, and doesn’t sound all that great, but at least we can hear the sound of a pissed-off Nathan over the occasional static.

What I really want is something that uses the existing wireless network in my house – my WiFi network. I should be able to buy transmitters and receivers that can plug into Ethernet (hey, I want everything to use Ethernet) or connect to WiFi. That way, there wouldn’t be additional interference, and it would also be secure (well, as secure as WiFi is), so random people couldn’t listen in on our house. They do make wireless webcams now that interface to 802.11 that presumably also serve audio, but I don’t really need the video. The bigger problem is that I don’t know of anything that acts as a stand-alone receiver. Sure, we could run a laptop in the bedroom at night, but that seems like overkill.

Meredith thought that I was the only one in the world geeky enough to think about wiring a baby monitor into the computer network, until at dinner last night when I was complaining about interference with baby monitors and Sam said, “You need one that plugs into Ethernet.” ;)

Posted by Mike at 09:05 AM | Comments (9)

February 21, 2005

The happiest five minutes of Nathan's day

The happiest five minutes Nathan has each day now come in the morning, when we take his shoes off to change his socks. The bar comes off, the shoes come off, and he SMILES. He kicks his feet, he moves his legs all around, he smiles, he laughs, he coos.

Then the shoes have to go back on. It’s become a surprisingly hard thing to do for us, because he is so sad and so frustrated when it happens. You take this smiling, almost deliriously happy baby – and then apply the torture restraints. He hates it.

At least he calms down after a minute or so. He’s still the worlds most mellow baby. But it’s pretty sad to have to ruin his mood like that, even if only for a couple of minutes. At least the daytime use of the braces will only be for a few months.

Posted by Mike at 09:19 PM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2005

No more casts!

We took Nathan’s casts (for his club feet) off last night! His feet look great :)

He doesn’t really mind the braces. He does, however, mind having the braces put on. But once both shoes are on, he’s fine. It could just be from not being used to having anyone touch his feet / legs at all.

We’ll put pictures up soon.

Posted by Mike at 09:57 AM | Comments (2)

February 15, 2005

Slideshow of new pictures


I’ve uploaded a slideshow of the last two weeks of pictures of Nathan. Click here to play it (right-click and choose ‘Save Target As…’ to save it to your hard drive).

You’ll need Windows Media 10 or Photo Story 3 for Windows (which is what I used to create this) to play the slideshow. (I haven’t figured out how to do this in QuickTime; sorry.)

Posted by Mike at 09:53 PM

February 03, 2005

Club feet, Week 5

This morning was Nathan’s fifth appointment with Dr. Lincoln. Melissa (who flew home this afternoon) came along because she wanted to see what happened at the doctor. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t really get to see what the appointments have typically been like.

Fortunately, that’s because Nathan wasn’t bothered at all by the adjustment. I’ve never seen him like this – he smiled, waved his arms around, and made cooing noises. He looked around happily while the nurse took the casts off, and then cheerfully let the doctor and nurse put the new casts back on.

The doctor said that this happens a lot the week after the tenotomy. The theory is that when the babies get so mad at the adjustment, it’s the tightness of the Achilles tendon that makes the stretch so painful. So after the tendon is “lengthened” (i.e., cut), the stretch doesn’t hurt nearly as much.

The doctor also gave us the prescription for Nathan’s braces, and said that we should bring them in next week. On that appointment, he’ll set the braces and change the casts one last time. A week later, we’ll take the casts off ourselves and put him into the braces, then take Nathan back in to have them checked one week after that.

Just two more weeks of casts :)

Posted by Mike at 11:11 PM

February 01, 2005

January 30, 2005



Nathan got baptized at church this morning.

Many thanks to all those who came for it. It was really good to have so many people there.

I’ll post pictures later…

Posted by Mike at 03:05 PM | Comments (4)

January 27, 2005

Club Foot, Week 4: visit with a scalpel

Today was Nathan’s fourth visit to the pediatric orthopedist today, and, right on schedule, had his tenotomy to cut his achilles tendons. The doctor had told us that some babies hardly mind at all, some object as much as they do to the normal adjustment, and a few really objected.

Nathan was in the latter category.

If the numbing cream did anything for him at all, we couldn’t tell. Nathan didn’t like the cold numbing cream going on, didn’t like the cold iodine being applied, and completely lost it when the scalpel touched him. And again on the other foot. I have never seen him so mad or so scared.

It was a little scary for us to see him so upset. I mean, we knew he was fine, but it’s really sad to see your baby so upset and be completely unable to explain what’s going on.

He calmed down almost instantly afterwards, so I don’t think it was still hurting him. But ever since then, he keeps suddenly waking up and screams for a few seconds before he calms back down. He’s still pretty scared, we think.

We’re hoping that, like when he first had his casts put on, he’ll be all better by tomorrow.

Poor baby. :(

Posted by Mike at 04:11 PM | Comments (1)

January 21, 2005

Crib abattoir

When we were setting up the crib, Al helpfully looked up the consumer regulations on crib safety. The code, Title 16, C.F.R 1508, specifies dimensions, spacing, and other requirements. 1508.6 includes this paragraph:

(a) A crib shall be designed and constructed in a manner that eliminates from any hardware accessible to a child within the crib the possibility of the hardware's presenting a mechanical hazard through pinching, bruising, lacerating, crushing, breaking, amputating, or otherwise injuring portions of the human body when the crib is in normal use or when subjected to reasonably foreseeable damage or abuse.

Amputating? I can see it now…

“Good morning, gentlemen. Uh, this is a brand new crib, combining classical new-Georgian features with all the advantages of modern baby furniture. The baby is carried along here, towards the rotating knives…”

“Excuse me. Did you say knives?”

“Rotating knives, yes.”

“Are you, uh, proposing to slaughter our customer’s babies?”

“Does that not fit in with your plans?”

“Uh, no, it does not. We wanted a simple crib.”

OK, so ruling out amputation seems like a good plan.

Posted by Mike at 09:22 PM | Comments (3)

Yay, crib

We finally got around to picking up the crib from Jim, my boss, so that Nathan can have a real crib instead of the crappy uncomfortable portable crib that he hates. We were happy to learn that he does, indeed, like it much better than the portable crib, although his tolerance for it is still limited to about ten minutes. This child really likes to be held. Nathan sleeps with us at night, but it’s nice to have some place to set up down for a few minutes during the day.

He was also clearly tracking the mobile as it swung around. Smart kid.

We went to the day care today to sign him up for that (i.e., fill out lots and lots of forms). It will be hard to let him go, even for just ten hours a week, but the woman doing it seems really good, so I think it will work out well. I was holding Nathan while we filled out the form, and had to pull out my cell phone to look up our doctor’s address and phone number, then managed to drop the phone onto his face. Smooth move on my part. At least it only fell about half an inch. Again, proving his status as Most Mellow Baby Ever, he cried for about fifteen seconds, then stopped. (And NO, it wasn’t because he wasn’t knocked out from the phone hitting him. Sheez.)

Posted by Mike at 08:50 PM | Comments (2)

January 20, 2005

Club Feet update. week 3

I just got back from Nathan’s third visit to the orthopedist to look at his club feet. Meredith slept in to get some much-deserved sleep. While in the waiting room, I talked briefly with a mom who was there with her one-month-old son who had a club foot. She said they had had the same experience we’ve had of finding lots and lots of people who’ve either had a club foot, or had a sibling or spouse or someone that had. It’s really not that rare, it seems.

Nathan again expressed his violent opposition to the adjustment, and again calmed down completely about a minute after he was done. As I type this, he’s sound asleep on my chest – clearly the torture of the adjustment had no lasting effects.

The doctor said that Nathan’s doing fine, and that next week he wants to do the surgery to lengthen Nathan’s Achilles tendon. Or tendons, rather, since both feet have tightened tendons. One of the effects of club foot is that the Achilles tendon tends to be too short. You could see it pretty clearly today on Nathan’s feet – the adjustments have already really turned his feet around, but his heel is clearly much higher than it should be.

So, as the doctor explained to me, the procedure is that they put numbing cream on Nathan’s heels, and let that sit for 20 or 30 minute. Then they go in with a scalpel through a very small incision and snap the Achilles tendon. He assures me that it reconnects on its own, only longer. Babies are truly amazing – if someone cut my Achilles tendon, I bet it wouldn’t just grow back. He said that sometimes, babies are completely calm through it (must be amazing numbing cream), and sometimes they cry, but not usually more than they do during the normal adjustments. Then he puts a compression bandage on it for 10 minutes to stop the bleeding, then the casts go on as normal. The incision is so small that he won’t even need stitches to close it.

It all sounds very reasonable and minor and safe.

Or, looked at from another perspective: They’re going to cut my baby with a knife!

OK, I’m sure it will be fine. But it’s a little scary to think about. Poor little Nathan.

Posted by Mike at 11:19 AM | Comments (3)

January 19, 2005

Our son: doing his part to destroy the environment already

Nathan playing

For such a young boy, Nathan is already leaving his mark on the environment. I’m so proud of him. Let’s review:

  • Landfills. In researching the some-years-old debate on cloth vs. disposable diapers, pretty much everyone said that it comes down to a choice of which part of the environment you wish to destroy. With cloth diapers, you get to destroy the environment through the massive amounts of chemicals and bleach needed to clean the diapers; with disposable, you get to fill landfills. Given that it was basically a toss-up, we went with disposable. Two weeks after we got home, I had to call the city of Mountain View to ask for a bigger trash can to hold all the diapers: 64 gallons instead of 32 (we don’t really need 64, but there wasn’t anything in between). The woman who handled my request said, “You want an even bigger can than 32!?” Hey, at least I didn’t ask for the 96 gallon can. Sheez.
  • Use of natural resources. Specifically, natural gas. Years ago, we purchased an electronic thermostat that let us set four different times per day, with different settings on weekdays, Saturday, and Sunday, for the gas furnace that heats our house. With this, we let the front of the house pretty much freeze at night, turn down during the day when we were at work, and heat up for the mornings and evenings. Then, our first night home, Meredith got up for the 3 AM feeding with Nathan and discovered that being in a living room that was pretty much frozen, well, pretty much sucked. So, now the thermostat is set to keep the house warm during times when Nathan might be awake – i.e., 24/7.
  • Oh, and those chemicals again. Granted, his clothes don’t require the same level of toxic chemicals to clean that cloth diapers might, but we now seem to be running the washing machine all the time. Whether it’s his clothes, which get changed more often than Britney Spears changes costumes in a concert, or our clothes, which Nathan is happy to soak (through *ahem* various means), there’s always laundry to be done. And that’s not to mention the dishwasher, which now runs once or twice a day just to keep his bottles clean.

He is wonderful. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Posted by Mike at 10:43 PM | Comments (1)

Nathan's hearing is fine

We just got back from the audiologist at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, who tested both of Nathan’s ears and found that they were both working just great. So his hearing is fine – the failed hearing screen at his birth was, as predicted, a false alarm. Yay

Posted by Mike at 01:10 PM | Comments (1)

January 18, 2005

We told you he could roll

We managed to get some (crappy) video of Nathan rolling over tonight with our camera. Here’s the Windows Media clip of Nathan’s Roll.

And, to make meriko happy, I bought a QT Pro key so that I could post the QuickTime movie of Nathan’s Roll. (Happy? ;)

Meredith says that the adult sounds (i.e., the two of us) are the best part of the video.

Posted by Mike at 10:23 PM | Comments (1)

Torturing the baby

mellow Nathan
Nathan not being tortured

We have, as I am happy to tell people all the time, The Most Mellow Baby ever. I don't think I've ever seen a more mellow infant, and I've seen quite a few in my time. Almost nothing bothers him.

Except, of course, when he starts wailing For No Reason At All. Diaper changes, for example, almost never really bother him, except when they do. Or he’ll be sitting in a lap, sound asleep, and suddenly wake up and start crying. This seems to always happen when one spouse is out of the room, thus prompting many reminders called out between Meredith and me that torturing babies is NOT OK, and he would probably stop crying if we would just stop poking him with sharp sticks.

Torture with the comfy chair is fine, though. He likes that.

Posted by Mike at 08:44 PM

January 17, 2005

One month

Nathan’s a month old today. He had his second well-baby check-up today, and was fine. Since the casts make weighing him somewhat challenging, we had him weighed last Wednesday at the orthopedist, when he weighed in at 9 lbs, 2 oz – a full two pounds more than his first doctor’s appointment 15 days prior. Today, with the casts, he weighed 9 lb 15 oz, but I suspect the casts are at least half a pound.

The doctor was amazed to hear that Nathan has already rolled, and promptly set him on his tummy on the examing table in hopes of seeing it for herself. While he came very close, he didn’t quite make it all the way over for her. We still think he’s very smart.

He got his second Hepatitis B vaccination today. Continuing to demonstrate that we have The Mellowest Baby Ever, he wailed for about 20–30 seconds, and then was completely fine.

Posted by Mike at 11:54 PM

Latest pictures

More pictures (mostly of Nathan) up here.

Posted by Mike at 08:07 PM

January 13, 2005

Club feet update, week 2

We went back to the doctor yesterday to have Nathan’s casts changed. We could already tell a difference in the angle of his feet when they took his casts off. Unlike last time, Nathan didn’t hate the new casts, presumably having become used to them already.

We’ve also discovered, as one might expect, that one of the only things better as a conversation starter than a newborn is a newborn with both legs in casts. Meredith and I have been discussing possible answers to the inevitable (and completely understandable) “What happened?” question:

  • Skiing accident
  • Sledding accident (suggested by some of Meredith’s church kids as a more believable alternative to the above).
  • “We told him not to borrow money from the mob.”
  • “With God as my witness, I thought babies could fly.”
  • Gang fight with the other newborns on the block.
  • Surfing accident (in Half Moon Bay, of course).
  • “Hey, it turns out that babies don’t have wish bones.”

Next week is week of doctors.

  • Monday: Nathan sees his pediatrician for his second well baby appointment.
  • Wednesday: hearing in Nathan’s left ear gets re-tested. He failed the hearing test in his left ear at birth; the doctors in Salt Lake said that happens a lot because of fluid still being in the ears.
  • Thursday: casts changed again.
  • Friday: to the vet to get fixed. Pippin, that is. Our six-month-old kitten. Not Nathan.
Posted by Mike at 09:04 PM | Comments (3)

Nathan posts back to here

On second thought, we decided to keep the posts about Nathan in here instead of in a separate blog. Meredith promises to post in here from time to time as well.

Posted by Mike at 08:42 PM

January 12, 2005

Mobiles are fun

in the mobile
Nathan really enjoys his mobile. It is the only thing we’ve found that makes him tolerate the crib. We can’t quite tell if he’s watching the mobile, but he definitely likes the music.

Also, as you can tell from the video, Jake is also fascinated by it.

Thanks Dave & Leigh & Tim & Selena!

Posted by Mike at 06:55 PM | Comments (1)

January 11, 2005

More pictures

Nathan on bedMore pictures are up.

Posted by Mike at 11:58 PM

Fast learner

Today, while lying on a blanket on our floor, Nathan rolled from his tummy to his back. Three different times.

Fast learner.

I suspect that the casts actually help somewhat. It’s a little more weight for him to swing over, but since his knees are bent at a 90 degree angle in the casts, they certainly keep his legs rigid.

Posted by Mike at 08:00 PM | Comments (1)

January 09, 2005

Club feet

Nathan in casts
Nathan was born practically perfect in every way. Except that he has club foot. Or, rather, club feet. Both his feet are turned inward, as if his feet were clapping. It’s an affliction that affects about 1/1000 babies in the US, according to things we’ve read. It’s one of the most common birth defects.

On Friday, Nathan had his first appointment with the pediatric orthopedist at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. The doctor said that it looked like his would be a pretty easy case to correct. He’s using the Ponseti treatment to correct the feet. Basically, Nathan will wear casts (groin to toe) on his feet for six weeks (changed every week since he’s growing so quickly), then braces on his feet 24 hours a day for three months, then braces only at night until he’s 3 or 4 years old.

To our surprise, Nathan was able to get his first casts put on in our first visit, so he came home on Friday with his legs all wrapped up. It doesn’t seem to hurt him, but he was very grumpy the first day, probably from frustration over not being able to curl his legs up or stretch them out at all. By yesterday, though, he was mostly back to his normal (very mellow) self.

Posted by Mike at 06:50 PM | Comments (72)

Great moments in fatherhood

Nathan sleeping contentedly on my lap.

Me: “Look, our son is asleep.”

Nathan’s face scrunches up instantly, and starts to wail.

Meredith: “You did that before, too.”

a pause, while I consider this over the noise of Nathan’s crying.

Me: “Look, our son is wailing.”

Nathan’s face calms instantly, and he is silent once again.

Me: “I rule.”

Posted by Mike at 06:25 PM

January 08, 2005


On December 17, 2004, at 8:49 AM in Salt Lake City, Nathan Michael was born. He weighed 7 lb, 1 oz, and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Nathan is our adopted son through an open adoption. Meredith and I had been matched with the birth mother for a few months before Nathan’s birth, and got to be there in the room when he was born. We took him out of the hospital on December 19, and got to fly home to California from Utah with him on Christmas Eve.

From time to time, we’ll post updates and pictures of Nathan in here.

Posted by Mike at 10:35 PM