Hurricane Izzy

Well, we survived Hurricane Isabel with no injuries or property damage, though it did get a little scary for a while. Some neighbors lost trees (and one might lose his house due to a fallen tree), but we just lost power. Then again, “just” may not be the right word, considering how difficult life can be without electricity.

Jason took it all like a trooper, and if nothing else we have a story to tell him when he gets older. We went ahead with our trip to Duck, NC as planned, and found everything there okay, though it was Thursday before we were allowed to venture into Nags Head and take a look around. We had a great time at the beach and Jason enjoyed being spoiled by all his adoring relatives.

Four Months

Hard to believe it’s been four months since Jason was born. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday, but at the same time it’s hard to remember what life was like before him.

On the 15th, Jason had his four-month check-up and got a clean bill of health. He weighed in at 18 lbs, 9.5 oz, with a height of 26 inches. Surprisingly, this only puts him in the 75th and 58th percentiles, respectively (or thereabouts), which I guess means there’s a lot of big kids out there these days! Everyone who sees him guesses he’s more like 6-8 months.

Jason’s vocalizing a lot more, now. It started with squeals and it’s turning into mutterings and “sighs.” Words are still a long way off, but it’s fun to hear his voice anyway. We had fun recently when I sang him a Beatle song and he squealed through it like a teeny-bopper at Shea Stadium (his uncle suggested maybe this wasn’t adoration but an attempt to scream, “STOP IT!”)

Also he loves to stand up and even puts one foot in front of the other to move himself closer to things that interest him (like his reflection), but so far he doesn’t show any interest in crawling and in fact really dislikes being on his stomach. Hand-eye coordination is getting better, and now that he’s discovered he’s got two hands, he’s just as content pulling his own fingers as playing with toys.

Following up on the previous entry, the trip to Minnesota went very well…Jason slept for the two flights up and almost all the way back, which made the plane rides a lot less miserable than we’d expected. The weather was great and we got to see lots of family.

There have been a few sleep-impaired nights lately as Jason experiments with tantrums. He dislikes being put down alone and would prefer to be held all night…wouldn’t we all?

Update on Jason

Jason continues to do very well. We estimate his weight at somewhere between 15 and 16 pounds, which means he’s double his birth weight here at the 11 week mark. The best part is he’s smiling a lot, and even giggling with a little encouragement, which usually comes in the form of his “Lion King” mobile, Daddy’s faces or Mommy’s renditions of Patsy Cline hits.

Jason enjoys kicking the set of chimes we bought to hang from his little pop-up gym, and his legs are strong enough that he can support his own weight for quite a while, provided we hold him steady (he still has no sense of balance).

On April 15, Jason was baptized by his grandfather and Rev. Lynch and got a warm welcome from the folks at Woods UMC.

This Thursday, it’s off to Minnesota for the Palzer family reunion. It’ll be Jason’s first trip by plane, obviously, but also the furthest he’s been from home since we brought him back from the hospital. We’re a little nervous about being “those people” on the flight…the ones who bring an infant along. I wonder if I’ll see the other passengers thinking the same thing I always used to (“I hope they’re not sitting next to me!”).

Doing Fine

Wow, long time no update.

Well, Jason is doing fine now. Once he got his bilirubin levels under control, he went from 7lbs 10 oz to 9 lbs 13 oz in the space of 16 days, so we know he’s eating well!

A couple of weeks ago he got to visit with his grandmother Patricia from Ohio and he still misses the extra attention. Work on the nursery is coming along nicely and with any luck it should all come together by the time Jason enters Middle School.

The best part is we’re getting a lot of smiles now as Jason recognizes us and just generally seems to be having a grand time.

Glow Little Glow Worm

By the first Friday morning at home Jason was showing definite signs of jaundice, so we quickly made an appointment with the pediatrician and had him checked out. The doc said Jason’s bilirubin levels were elevated, meaning I gather that excess red blood cells were breaking down in numbers too large for his system to flush out without help. We were issued a device called a “Wallaby” light therapy machine, more or less a projector that shines light through a hose down to a paddle-shaped panel. The panel goes directly against Jason’s bare back and provides the same beneficial effects he’d get from natural sunlight (except he won’t get a tan and there’s no heat).

After a few days on the machine, we got his levels back to where he could manage them without help. Still, it tugged at the heart to see him tethered to this contraption, with a one-inch hose sticking out from his blankets and a colorful glow shining through (we took to calling him our “little glow-worm”).

Apparently jaundice is a common problem for infants, one that used to be cleared up before they ever left the hospital, back in the days when mom and baby were kept there for a week or so. These days kids are sent home much earlier, and so it’s up to these medical supply companies to come door-to-door and hook them up to a machine at a cost of more than $100 a day. Another shining example of how America’s insurance industry is making the medical system more “efficient.”