when I started this blog five years ago, I was a pet sitter and the name animal-crackers made sense. now I'm a stay-at-home-dad and freelance writer, but rather than confuse everyone by getting a different blog, it's just easier to keep posting things here.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

I guess I haven't been feeling much like writing lately. Not that things aren't going well. They are. No news is good news, I guess.

Dylan is growing like crazy and weighed 4 pounds 7 ounces last night. Because the NICU is overflowing with patients, he had to give up his comfy isolet for a circa-1910 iron maiden they unearthed in the basement.

Perhaps, I exaggerate.

Josh had a mostly good Halloween. Thunderheads rolled over in the afternoon. While the storm's first heavy drops fell, Josh ran around the driveway catching them on his tongue.

He tried to nap, but woke up three times screaming. Then he spent the rest of the afternoon repeating his magic mantra: "I want to go trick or treat."

He finally did, hitting half a dozen homes on our block. Afterwards, we went to a Halloween carnival at a nearby church. Josh, of course, went bonkers with all the kids, the costumes and candy.

Oh, and the musical puppet show -- "God is bigger than the Bogeyman."

In unrelated news, Josh and I met a friend for coffee on Friday. He took a couple of great pictures.

posted by todd at 9:48 PM 0 comments

Thursday, October 27, 2005

4 pounds 4 ounces!!!

Big D is getting bigger he weighed 4 pounds 4 ounces last night -- 4 ounces more than the night before.

Isn't he just adorable?

posted by todd at 12:58 PM 6 comments

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

It's True

Joshua is proud to present his video premier.

(Note: It's a 5.5 mb AVI file that took 5 minutes, 11 seconds to upload using a cable modem.)

It's True
posted by todd at 9:17 PM 3 comments

Thursday, October 20, 2005


posted by todd at 3:58 PM 4 comments

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Dylan lost his nose prongs last night!

For weeks, he had been tearing at the plastic tubes shoved up his nostrils and taped to his face. Sometimes he'd rip them out after only 10 minutes.

Now he has a cannula, a tube that runs across his upper lip. Nurse Tara said he loved it and fell asleep quite comfortably.
posted by todd at 12:19 PM 4 comments

Friday, October 14, 2005

Pictures of Dylan

Sure, you've seen these pictures on Andree's blog -- but have you seen them without the witty repartée? Thought not.

Meet Dylan.

He is small

He wears a knit cap.
posted by todd at 11:24 PM 2 comments

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Dear Mommy,

The new job is working out great. Please send more candy!


posted by todd at 12:45 PM 3 comments

Monday, October 10, 2005


I hate it when I skip several days on the blog. I feel like I have to come up with something really interesting for everyone to read. And I'm not feeling terribly inspired, but here's something.

Friday afternoon, Andrea visited Dylan as he suffered one apnea attack after another. He had been down to one apnea per day. Now suddenly, he was having one every 5 seconds.

Later that evening, I visited and learned that a piece of Dylan's equipment had failed. It's a machine attached to the ventilator that mixes the oxygen with warm moist air. When it broke, and no one noticed, Dylan was left sucking cold, dry air.

The nurse took Dylan's temperature when Andrea arrived around 4 pm and he was a toasty 98 degrees. Andrea left around 5 pm while Dylan was still suffering numerous apnea episodes.

The nurse took his temperature again at 6 pm and he was a not-so-toasty 94 degrees. I'm not sure if this was before or after they discovered the equipment failure.

The doctor in charge of the NICU called us that evening to tell us they were starting Dylan on antibiotics and suspending his feedings. He didn't know what was wrong or whether it was related to the two hours of cold air.

We slept Friday night with the phone next to the bed.

By Saturday morning, he was showing signs of improvement. And by Sunday he was feeding again -- albeit at half what he was eating before. And he had gained 2 ounces.

He weighed 3 pounds 3 ounces yesterday. One of those ounces was probably water-weight from the IV.

Also, I held him for a second time yesterday.

It seems everything is back to normal.
posted by todd at 2:39 PM 2 comments

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A little experiment

First, Dylan is doing great. He's gaining an ounce a day and now weighs 2 pounds 14 ounces. The eye doctor examined him and said he didn't see any problems with his eyes. And his lungs are holding up well as they ween him from the ventilator.


I've been thinking about it for a year or so now and finally decided to take the plunge. I shaved my head.

It's strange. Before with a buzz cut, I looked like an average, paunchy, balding man falling toward middle age. But shave that ¼ inch of hair, and I look like I need some tattoos, maybe a lip ring.

Well, maybe not a lip ring.
posted by todd at 5:25 PM 5 comments

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Holding Dylan

I held Dylan for the first time today. It wasn't the blissful, touched-by-an-angel moment many of you would probably expect.

Dylan cried and tugged at the breathing tube shoved in his nose. Between his tiny wails the ventilator made him sound like Darth Vader. And a sudden rush of activity made the whole NICU louder than usual.

But it was good enough.

He's unbelievably tiny -- 2 pounds 13 ounces. Imagine taking a small sofa pillow and setting it on your chest. That's what he felt like.

The nurse responsible for Andrea's first holding, Terri, was the same one who set me up. And she bugged the doctor into letting Dylan get held twice per day. Can you believe they have to write that into his orders -- like a prescription?

Terri also took some pictures that turned out rather fuzzy.

posted by todd at 4:35 PM 6 comments

Monday, October 03, 2005

Little pumpkin

Today, Dylan donned his first outfit. Something seasonal, of course.

It's a white jumper with green trim and little pumpkins. He's so small (2 pounds 12 ounces) that the nurses probably could have put two Dylans in there.

posted by todd at 11:43 PM 0 comments

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Picture of Dylan

It's been a while, but he's hard to photograph. The nurses keep the lid down on his convertible.

He weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces last night.

posted by todd at 9:12 PM 6 comments