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, November 28, 2005

Letter from Andrea

Hey all --

Just a quick update on Dylan. He's pushing 7 pounds now. No word on
when he's coming home. It's not a matter of his weight, it's a matter
of lung development.

As most of you know, Dylan was born at 24 weeks at 1 pound, 13 ounces.
He lived on a ventilator to help him breathe. The ventilator kept him
alive, but it also caused lung damage, which is normal for such
premies, but also has caused Dylan difficulty in learning to eat.

Specifically, the "suck, swallow, breathe" thing seems to elude him.

Essentially, he needs to be bottle fed 8 times a day without breathing
problems before he comes home. He's up to 3 and is pretty stagnant.
Docs say this is very normal considering how sick he was, so there's
nothing to worry about. It's just taking time.

Anyway click on the link below to see the latest picture of Dylan and
Josh and a special guest below that...


posted by todd at 1:22 PM 0 comments

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving with the boys

Dylan weighs 6 pounds 8 ounces! Here's a picture from this evening.

Yesterday, I had to work in the morning and Andrea worked in the evening. Not the ideal Thanksgiving. But we still managed to have fun. Josh and I visited our friends Jeanette and Patrick. Jeanette cooked two or three turkeys and hosted some 10 people.

That's 10 people, plus their six kids. Josh loves it there. He goes nuts and never wants to leave.

Here he is trying to escape from me and the inevitable ride home.

posted by todd at 7:54 PM 2 comments

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Have you seen this guy?

You see that guy on the right? (Click the picture for a better look.) I swear he looks just like someone I knew in college 20 gazillion years ago.

I hated that guy!
posted by todd at 2:44 PM 3 comments

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Simple regression

posted by todd at 8:46 PM 0 comments

Monday, November 21, 2005

Dylan's room

This picture doesn't really do the room justice, but you get the idea.

posted by todd at 10:18 AM 1 comments

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A week of Thanks

We have a lot be be thankful for lately. Dylan will be 13 weeks old on Monday and 3 months old on Tuesday. (Stupid calender.)

It's going to be so weird when he comes home. Andrea will be home for two months, during which time we'll take turns existing in a sleep-deprived stupor. We probably won't see too many friends or family. So for 8 weeks, it's pretty much just the four of us.

In the middle of it all will be Christmas. Last year was the first that Josh remembers. So this year he knows what to expect. And he has high expectations. He'll be the kid on Santa's lap with a War-and-Peace-sized list of presents.

We're going to try to do it up big. Lots of decorations and lights. Christmas tunes. Maybe little reindeer antlers for the dogs.

Oh, and more good news. My sister-in-law, Lynn, is back from Iraq. Yay! My brother, Tim, has two more months. It sucks that they won't get to spend the holidays together. But with her stateside, it's less for him to worry about.

Question for comments: What do you all think about the holidays?
posted by todd at 1:13 PM 2 comments

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Dylan had his breathing canulla removed last week and has been learning how to eat. We're not worried, eating is something we do all too well in this family.

posted by todd at 8:47 AM 6 comments

Thursday, November 10, 2005

So big

Dylan weighed 5 pounds 6 ounces -- nearly triple his birth weight.

I had my first chance to feed him on Tuesday. He really didn't take more than a few gulps -- about 1 ml. Today I tried again and he drank 5 ml. (The nurse fed the remaining 43 ml.)

On Sunday, you may recall, one of the NICU doctors said he was encouraged by Dylan's nursing and thought maybe the tyke would come home next week. Then I ran into Dr. Cho, Dylan's official doctor, who said next week is way too optimistic. It'll probably be much closer to his Dec. 9 due date.

The reason: Dylan needs to learn to eat on his own. They don't want us running a tube down his throat to feed him when he gets tired. As much as we like tube feeding ourselves (mostly donuts and ice cream) it's probably best not to get Dylan hooked.

And Dylan's going to start seeing a speech therapist. Oddly enough, speech development is somehow tied to bottle feeding.
posted by todd at 11:39 PM 2 comments

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hurray for Bigots!

Sigh. It does the heart proud to see the government finally do something about those pernicious gays. Next week, separate bathrooms!

Voters approve gay marriage ban
posted by todd at 9:45 PM 0 comments

Monday, November 07, 2005

A week already?

I can't believe it's been a week since I last blogged. I've been busy and lost track of the time.

Dylan's doing great. He weighed 5 pounds 1 ounce yesterday. But those of you who read Andrea's blog already know that. And you probably have heard that he might be coming home next week.


He's 10 weeks old today. It feels like 10 years.

In preparation for his homecoming, we're having his room refloored. We had yanked up the nasty rug hoping to find nice tile. It was a grayish-green, which isn't all that bad. But the buggers who put down the carpet managed to put a few dozen nails into the tile around the edges. Most of them didn't come out without some concrete and tile.

This week a contractor is installing some alpine maple laminate (like we have in the living room, dining room and kitchen). Thank god for the new copy editing job.

Did I mention thank god for the copy editing job? Looks like the pet sitting thing won't last much longer -- or may already be done. My boss, who has been one of the best bosses ever, said the schedule is looking thin and she needs to work more to cover her taxes.

Whether or not that's the whole deal, I'm kinda burned on the job anyway. The driving costs too much and since I haven't worked in three weeks, I'm beginning to remember the joys of work-free weekends.
posted by todd at 8:04 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Josh's carnival

The Halloween carnival had all sorts of games for kids. Josh threw pennies onto circles to score some candy.

This is Josh at the softball toss. (This camera isn't exactly ideal for action shots.)

Josh fished for a note pad, you know, for when he needs to write down his thoughts.

This is Josh at the petting zoo. Baa.

And Josh at the jack-o-lantern display.

posted by todd at 5:57 PM 2 comments