Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Jack and Dad

I snapped a few pics of me and the boy. A few of the shots came out decent, so I am putting them up cause there just aren't enough pics of me and m'boy.

Guess Who's Crawling?

I hope this works...It's an AVI Movie.
Let me know if it doesn't come up on your browser.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cautiously Optimistic

GG had a third surgery yesterday (Monday) after going back into ICU the day before. She had started to say less words and was losing her strength from not eating. They had to clean up some more bleeding and hopefully this time will do the trick.

Kathleen is still here, but is staying with Reet and Jim since they have a a car. Tino had to go back to SC to hold the house down for a little while, but will be back soon. Kathleen has been fighting a cold this whole time and has been a real trooper. I think its the same cold that we have all had in the last month and a half that has circulated through the whole family.

Keep GG in your prayers and hope that she can get over this last round of surgery.


These are for Mom, who needs her "Jack-Fix":

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Surgery Went Well

After a CAT scan yesterday, GG's doctor recommended another surgery after they found a small area on her brain where there was a space with fluid that needed to be cleaned up. So this morning GG had a second surgery - and it went well.

Kate went to the hospital this morning along with Kathleen and the rest of the family to be closer while the surgery happened. She called me and told me that it went well and that she was doing good.

I put Jack to bed tonight and he went right to sleep. Kate got home a few minutes later and reported that she was lucid and happy and very talkative. That is certainly good news. We are all going over on Saturday, including Jack to see her and spend some time.

In other news:
I had to come home early yesterday because I got a call from ECC saying that Jack had "Explosive Diarrhea". Apparently it went all over the place, up his back, down his legs. It took two ladies to clean him up and they dressed him in his other clothes - cause apparently this happens alot. I washed those clothes (which they wrapped up in baggies) three times to make sure all that stuff was washed out. Eww.

He was very happy and there were no more episodes, so far.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Groundhogs Galore

So I was asked to draw a groundhog for the web page at work, since its coming up soon. Anyway, I did a few sketches and wanted to share them. I am going to try to do a short animation but I want to know which one you guys like best.

Send a comment to tell me which Groundhog you like best.

The Family Pic

When Karen was here the other week, she took a few shots of us. This is one of the shots, which is pretty good of us and bonus, we are all in the picture! You would think that Jack only gets to see one of us at a time from the pictures that I have put up.

I cleaned it up a bit, cause the Christmas tree was in the background and the star we had at the top of it looked like it was coming out of my head - not good. So its gone. I also applied the "Make Better-Looking" filter to my face, but it didn't work.

Does that mean I am already too good-looking to improve upon, or am I asking too much of the processor? (I am pretty sure its the processor thing)

A Few Pics of Jack

Abbie wanted to see more pics of Jack, so I went through some of the latest images from the camera and put them up. I am sure Mom wants to see a few, also, so these are for you, too, Mom! :)

Update on GG and Mrs. Betourne

GG is doing better today, she can say many more words and remembers almost everyones name. She had been calling everyone "Theresa" for the last two days, but they took her off morphine yesterday and she is much more lucid.

Kathleen and Kate have been making trips nightly to go see her and spend some time. Kathleen has been staying at the hospital overnight for a few nights to keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn't pull her IV out like she did the other night.

The doctor said today that she is progressing better and so far her prognosis doesn't include any further surgery in the near future. The bleeding has stopped so there is no more pressure on her brain and it should snap back and her words should come easier.

Tonight Kate and Kathleen went to see her and she remembered everyones name and also remembered me and Tino as well.

I called Mr. Betourne the other night and left a message. I wanted to pass on our hopes and prayers and inquire if Ms. Betourne is doing better. The next night, I got Mom's email that Mr. Betourne had sent out to update everyone on her progress. It looks as though there is measurable progress and I hope that her progress continues.

There isn't a night I don't go to bed and think about keeping those around me safe and healthy, somehow. Jack, Kate, GG, family and frriends. I am not very religious, but sometimes all you can do is say a little prayer and hope for things to get better.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Rest of the Week

This week was also Jack's first week at his new Child Care, which is run by my employer and located right across the street from where I work. We toured the facility last friday and were very happy with the people, the facility and their whole approach. I can go see him for lunch or pop in if I want and it won't impact my schedule.

He did have the sniffles early in the week, so we took him to the pediatrician (again). We increased his dosage of Zantac and also learned he had a double ear infection. Omoxycillin to the rescue. He hates it, but likes how much better he feels. He is such a happy guy, its hard t tell when he is feeling under the weather. He had been blocked up and wasn't sleeping well so we chalked it up to him being stuffed up and his pink eye that he had early last week.

I had been getting over my own cold throughout this and knew his discomfort firsthand.

Its amazing how much stuff he has picked up by being around other kids, they are like little germ factories. He better be building a strong immune system - I know mine is taking a beating.

I had also been in contact with Mom and Dad out in Oklahoma. They have been without electricty or heat for over a week now and have been staying with Kenny and his brood. They have been home a few times to check on the cats and make sure the place is locked up tight. They lost everything in the freezer and refrigerator, of course. The cats are fine, of course.

Mom's birthday was Thursday, so I called her, but missed her call back. I will check in again tomorrow when I think they will probably be home. We are going to spend most of the day seeing GG at the hospital and making sure she is comfortable.

It is looking like snow tomorrow and we even got a few flakes today. This is the same system that has dumped all that snow on the midwest earlier in the week. My Dad warned me it was coming our way.

I remember a week and a half ago when it was 68 degrees (in January!) and I remarked that we would pay for this.

A Close One

What a week -
The week started out with Kate's Mom and Tino coming up to visit us because Tino had an interview in DC at a law firm. Kathleen (Kate's Mom) and Reet had noticed that GG had been acting funny lately. They decided to take her in for an evaluation when she was having trouble with some words. She was quiet on Sunday for dinner and later in the week she had been quiet as well.

On Friday we got some very bad news. They thought she had a small stroke. It turns out that GG had a subdermal hematoma on her brain (bleeding on the brain). The MRI confirmed it and she was scheduled for surgery for Saturday morning at 10:30, pending upon if her condition stayed stable. Kathleen (Kate's Mom) and Reet stayed the night at the hospital and the family all showed up early to wish her well. Margaret flew up from Florida and Abbie drove up from NC with baby Ellie.

We all went in to wish GG well before her surgery. She looked well, but she was hooked up to a lot of tubes and couldn't speak full sentences, but we could understand her. She was relieved that she was in the hospital and surrounded by family, but a little frustrated that she couldn't find some of her words.

The surgery was at 10:30 and we all waited in the waiting room. What a long wait that was.

A nurse came out after about 3 hours and assured us that the surgery went well and that they were just finishing up, it would be about 20 minutes and she should be out. An hour later, the doctor came out and said that the surgery was a success, a tube was put in to help alleviate any pressure build-up and they cleaned up the bleeding that had occurred. Apparently, there was also bleeding from a previous incident that had not been detected.

We all were very relieved, like a big exhale at once after hearing the news. Lots of tears.

Her prognosis is good. We will be back at the hospital tomorrow to check up on her and spend some time. If all goes well, she can go home as early as the end of the week. Right now, we just want her out of ICU. Baby steps.

We are relieved, but are also cautious, we know the situation is tenuous and can easily change for the better as easily as it can change for the worst. It makes me also thankful for my family. I also hope that Mrs. Betourne's situation is improving for the better as well. We are all saying our prayers tonight - for thanks and hope.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Noted without Comment

The Polydactyl Paw

So Kate and I were riding around on Saturday, and I come upon a minivan that is sporting a magnet with a paw print on it. this is no ordinary paw print to signify the support for a particular team or organization. That's because this paw print was anatomically incorrect. The paw print had five toes, instead of four.

I have seen this magnet around, once on the back of a trcuk as we headed to Rhode Island last summer, and many other times on the back of various other vehicles around town. I always thought it was the product of a graphic artist with little anatomical reference. But as I researched, I found that this design was actually on purpose.

Apparently, 20 years ago, Penn State was playing Clemson in a bowl game, and Penn State agreed to not sell any merchandize that resembled the Clemson four-toed design. So they put an extra toe in there and it stuck, for another twenty years.

As recently as a few years, the Penn State Nittany Lions have altered their paw logo so it is correct, but the old logo persists.

So, basically it was all for nothing, the logo didn't need to be changed, because Clemson didn't care as long as the design wasn't copied (the Clemson design is much more edgy and oh yeah, its ORANGE!)

The only problem, is that nobody told some podunk University in Michigan.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Interesting Photo

One of the other things I came across while doing backups of my computer were interesting photos and scans.

One of the scans I came across was of a newspaper article I found in a small local paper from Raleigh, North Carolina. This photo was on the fron of the weekend sections, the article was about people that race their dogs through obstacle courses.

Unfortunately, the photo makes it look like this guy is abusing his dog.

Sippy Cups and Donut Toy Fun

Jack is holding his bottle now, so we got him a little holder for it so he can use the bottle like a sippy cup.

Jack LOVES his donut toy! He is surrounded by this thing with about 10 toys for him to play with. He goes from one to the next, 360 degrees of fun. There is a little mirror on one of the toys and when Jack catches a glimpse of himself, he stares at it for about a minute - I think he's already developing a little ego.

Neat Effect

I was doing backups and came across a treasure trove of old links to websites that are cool. I will publish them in a post soon, but for now, I wanted to show a picture I uploaded and had converted to ASCII characters.

Here's the ASCII graphic pic:

And here's the original:

Here's the link to the website that created it:

Monday, January 1, 2007

A Boy and His Dog

These two are cute together. Boo-boo is very gentle around Jack and knows that he is the "Alpha", even though he is the smallest one in the house. (Must be a human thing)

Happy New Year!

We had some wine and sushi for dinner and stayed up last night to welcome the new year. Jack didn't make it to midnight, but he tried cause he has a cold, so he kept waking up from coughing. I don't think Kate got much sleep last night (she was on).

We had lunch at Panera this afternoon and then drove Karen to Dulles Airport. It was a great visit and really good to see my sis. She is in phenominal shape and has good definition. I am once again, afraid of her.

I snapped a few more shots of Karen and Jack this morning and Kate, Jack and Karen, too. Kate took one last one at the Airport of me and Karen.

A really good visit, but she misses her boys.