Emma Swim Class #2 Videos

Emma doing the back stroke

Emma holding her breath

Trick or Treat 2007


This year we recycled Emma’s costume from last year and sent her off Trick or Treating with her Mom. We could do this for a couple of reasons. One, because she still fit in the darn thing; and two, because I really don’t think Emma noticed. She’s two people! This was also the first year that Emma actually went door-to-door with the rest of the kids in the neighborhood. Last year we dressed her up and she stayed home with us to hand out candy (because that’s really all a one year old can handle). At two years old, you get to actually go trick-or-treating (to the houses of the five closest neighbors anyway). Our community is still under construction. The homes that have been constructed are spread out enough that visiting five homes was sufficient for a newbie.

This year I got tricked for Halloween and admitted myself to the local Hospital for a baseline colonoscopy (It certainly wasn’t a treat). It’s been something I have been dreading for years now but the timing was appropriate considering my Mother’s untimely death at the age of 51. Perhaps my biggest goal in life is to stay alive as long as I can for Emma. Losing my own Mother at such an early age has always made me feel rather jipped. Clearly it wasn’t my Mother’s fault, these things happen you know. But since she died of colon cancer, there is always the chance for a genetic link. We know today that colon cancer is one of the easiest forms of cancer to treat if caught early through routine screening. A baseline test for everyone should occur at age 50. In the case where one of your parents were afflicted by the disease the recommendation is that you are screened 10 years prior to your parents original diagnosis. Since I don’t know when that was (because details about my mother are hard to come by) I had to use fuzzy logic and take an educated guess to determine when my baseline should be taken. In short, I chose the ripe old age of 38. Better to be safe than sorry.

I was really nervous about the whole project (being a guy and all and somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of being violated in such an emasculating way) but I believe after watching everything Elena went through prior to and during our pregnancy, and focusing on the why it was necessary that I do this, I cowboyed-up, Brokeback-style and submitted to the test.

Everything I had ever heard about the procedure suggested that the prep-work the night before was the worse part. After having gone through it I suppose I would have to agree. It wasn’t awful, but it was also not desirable. I would say the worst part for me was the fasting. I hate to be hungry.

As far as the procedure is concerned, they narc you up with a cocktail of drugs that put you in a state referred to as “conscious sedation”. The idea is that you are sedated and numb to the procedure, but awake and responsive to any and all instructions. I had never been anesthetized before so this was an interesting experience for me. After having gone through it and comparing notes with Elena after the procedure, with regard to what transpired and what I remember transpiring, I have to say that I was on some trip. Essentially what happens is that they drug you up and you retain your complete personality, you might even feel pain and complain, carry on conversations, etc. but the combination of drugs does not let you remember a thing. I imagine they use the same stuff as truth serum for interrogation purposes. Apparently I spent an hour in recovery asking all sorts of poignant questions to the Dr. and nurses that came by. My questions were so good, Elena said, that she didn’t realize that I was mentally out of it and flying on autopilot the whole time. Scary stuff.

Anyway, the worst is behind me (no pun intended) and on Wednesday I visit with the Dr. to get the results of my lab work (They snipped out a single lonely polyp). Hopefully all is well and my mission will be accomplished for now.

10 Little Monkeys Jumping On A Bed

You know how the story goes… “One fell off and bumped its head. Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor said. ‘No more monkeys jumping on the bed!'”.


So three weeks ago, Elena took Emma to “The Little Gym” and Emma was mesmerized by another girl who was hanging from a parallel bar by her hands. So much so that she decided she would give it a try. From that day forward Emma has been working hard to build her upper body strength by hanging from our refrigerator door handles, our kitchen counter-top, or anything else that she could get her hands on and subsequently lift her feet off the ground. Elena and I realized quickly that we were on borrowed time and as of last week I started to fully close her bedroom door when I put her to bed at night. Our fear being that she would attempt a great crib escape with her new found ability.


Needless to say, last night at around 10:00 PM, the thump we heard justified our concerns. Emma had managed to pull herself up and over the top of her crib and make a death-defying leap in total darkness onto the floor of her room. We raced to her side and examined her head and body for any obvious damage. By our estimation Emma had survived her brush with death unscathed. We gave her plenty of hugs and kisses and told her that she is not allowed to jump out of her crib. We returned her to bed and made sure that when she woke-up in the morning that we would not dally, as she is somewhat impatient and might try to throw herself over the top again should we not immediately appear before her.

When this morning came and Emma woke up, Elena rushed to the room to get her. Emma’s leg was already straddling the safety barrier. A few minutes later Elena came to wake me, a sense of urgency in her tone. Emma had apparently injured her leg from the previous nights fall. I jumped out of bed and placed Emma on the floor and asked her to walk for me. She took one step and collapsed to the ground as soon as she put weight on her left foot. She then uttered the word “booboo”. My heart sank and Elena and I prepared to take Emma to the hospital.

After a few hours of examination and X-Rays, it was determined that Emma had not broken anything. The Doctor was not sure where the injury occurred (foot, knee, leg, hip) but diagnosed her with a contusion. By this time Emma was walking better (i.e. she was not collapsing with each alternating step) which made an accurate diagnosis difficult. We took her home and she spent the rest of the day playing. Her walking had improved somewhat, although a limp was still evident. I imagine she learned how to bare her weight to accommodate her new injury. Toward the end of the day it was apparent that her foot had sustained the injury from the fall as slight swelling could be observed. Tomorrow we will try to wrap it during the day so that it can be somewhat immobilized. There is no chance that we will be able to get Emma to stay off of it so a wrap is the best we could do. Anyway, Elena is sleeping with Emma on an inflatable mattress tonight, and tomorrow we are going to see if we can pick-up a toddler bed. The crib, for now is off limits.

My Little Princess is 18 Months

dsc04750.JPGEmma turned 18 months on the 21st of this month. To commemorate this momentous occasion Emma received her final Polio and DTP inoculations. Thankfully she will not have to receive any additional shots for several years (somewhere around 4 and 6 years of age).

This week Emma ate peanut M&Ms as well as peanut butter. Her Pediatrician would like Emma to stop drinking from bottles and limit her milk (soy) intake to about 18 oz a day (Currently she consumes about 24 oz). Emma has also lost interest in nursing and prefers a bottle at night time to her mother’s breast. As a result, I get to give her her feedings at night which is fine by me. Now Daddy gets a chance to participate in the bedtime feeding ritual and Mommy gets to take a break.

Emma is also starting to sign in sentences (with our encouragement). And will request things like “bread water ducks” which means it’s time to get some bread and water to feed the ducks in our backyard. Elena and Emma feed the ducks every day during the week while I am at work.

Emma is able to say about a dozen words like “keys”, “Mama”, “Dada”, “Chicken”, “Bubbles”, “Me”, “Purple”, “Sticker”, “Cookie”. That’s all I can remember at the moment.

Emma continues to have a great sense of humor and will laugh and smile and run and hide and laugh some more. We picked up a Nintendo Wii and when Elena and I play “Wii Bowling” Emma can’t stop laughing. Especially when her mother scores a strike and yells “BAM!”. She also has a dark side that will shriek and cry and complain if she doesn’t get her way. Tantrum is probably a more accurate way to describe what she does. We are working the kinks out of this one and should have her operating properly in a few months ;).

Emma’s knees have regular encounters with the cement floor in our patio and are frequently scratched, scraped and adorned with “BooBoo stickers”. She is extremely curious, as all kids are, and wants those things that she is not supposed to have which gets her into trouble at times. Alas, that’s all part of growing up.


“Cookie Monster”

Roseola Anyone?


Emma woke up screaming with a 103.4 fever at four thirty in the morning last Sunday. She had some sniffles, but other than that, no other symptoms. We controlled the fever with Motrin and wiped her down with a cold washcloth to bring her temperature down. Elena had been ill for a week at that point herself, and her condition was not improving. She was in desperate need of bed rest and the only way that was going to happen is if I stayed home from work for a couple of days to care for the little Monkey. So that’s what I did. On Tuesday I took Emma to the Doctor because she actually had a fever the previous week as well, which lasted until Wednesday. We thought she was better and then it started again on Sunday so we were concerned she had something more serious. This was the first time since Emma’s birth that I took her to the Doctor alone. It was really an honor and a privilege for me and Emma cooperated completely. Like she knew her Dad was going to take just as good care of her as Mommy. When the Pediatrician examined her she did not see any other symptoms until she looked into her mouth. Then she shrieked, as if she had found gold, and said Emma’s throat was covered with white spots and her glands were swollen. She took a throat culture and we discussed the Doctor’s findings. I told her I found it odd and perhaps even inconsistent that Emma has an apparently very bad throat infection as we have not observed a diminished appetite. In fact, I told her, in the waiting room and on the way to the office, Emma hadn’t stopped eating. The doctor then asked me if she had anything “white” to eat and I responded, “yes banana cookies”. The expression on the doctors face suggested that that was probably the cause of the white spots but I felt comfortable that she took the culture anyway since her glands were swollen. It’s better to be safe then sorry. In any event, Emma’s culture returned negative and on Wednesday she still had a fever. Elena called the Doctor and she advised us to get blood work. Since poor Emma had a nightmarish experience in the past with blood work we decided to hold off until Friday if things didn’t change. In the meantime we were hoping traces of the Z-Pak that Elena was taking would find its way into Emma, through her nightly nursing, and perhaps kill whatever it was that was causing her illness. On Friday Emma woke up with a rash on her neck and upper torso. I was on my way to work when Elena discovered this and was terrified of what she might have. Clearly she was reacting to something. Elena took Emma to the Doctor and right away they diagnosed her with Roseola. Roseloa is a very common viral infection that typically occurs once in children. Its symptoms are swollen glands, and an unexplained fever that lasts five to seven days followed by a rash all over the body for three to five days thereafter. It is typically non life-threatening although the accompanying fever has to be monitored closely and controlled to avoid the possibility of a seizure related death. I can’t tell you how relieved Elena and I were to learn that what Emma was going through was a common childhood illness. Not knowing what your child is afflicted with can strain your nerves. As a parent, like it or not, you are always thinking of the most horrific and terminal of possibilities (ebola, leprocy, etc.). As of this writing, our little Pink Panther is doing well and should be in the last throws of this bout with Roseola. We are going to continue to let her rest and keep her hydrated until she is back to 110%.

Emma’s Fifteen Month Checkup

Today Elena took Emma for a routine checkup. There she was weighed, measured, and administered her 15 month shots. I usually attend these things but today I had to be at work during her appointment. She had a slight fever throughout the day as a result, which Elena kept in check with Tylenol. Emma is in the 55th percentile for both height and weight right now for children her age. The fact that the percentiles match is a good sign and indicates that she is growing proportionally. For a while there she was on the “chunky-side” (somewhere in the 95th percentile for weight and 75th for height). Her mobility has allowed her to shed some of that baby fat.

Emma is finally sleeping through the night. Our strategy of keeping the baby monitor off in our room has been working like a charm. Bedtime for her is around 8:00 PM and at 7:00 AM Elena and me receive our wake-up call. Elena is still breastfeeding Emma but we are down to one nursing a day. On Sunday we replaced her morning nursing with a nice bottle of Soy milk. She still gets the warm comfort of her mother’s milk at night right before bed which helps to put her in the right frame of mind; however the rest of her meals are supplemented by three Gerber “Stage 2” baby foods a day. With Cheerios and an assortment of cookies and snacks throughout the day. She prefers vegetables to fruits which is a good thing I guess. I wish I could say the same for myself.

Vital Statistics

Height: 30.5 inches
Weight: 23 lbs.