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Wise Old Sayings: A Facelift
Mar 23rd, 2018 by Blaise

As a business owner, home owner, dog owner, and now children owner, I have come to understand a great many things about life in the modern world. Based upon this vast experience, I have decided to update a few of the traditional aphorisms whose usefulness has begun to age out:

  • “Necessity is a mother.”
  • “To err is expensive, to forgive… also expensive.”
  • “When one door closes, somebody is going to come along leave it open again, so we’re heating the whole damned neighborhood!”
  • “If you don’t have anything good to say, say nothing. If you never have anything good to say, you’re probably a three-year-old.”
  • “If anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment. In the event that something goes right, it will do so in a way that exerts the largest possible negative effect.”
  • “A bird in the hand is really pissed that you pulled him out of your bathroom vent.”
  • “A father and his money are soon parted.”
  • “A coward may die a thousand deaths, but a brave man is generally taking the easy way out.”
  • “A job worth doing is going on the pile until I have the cash to hire someone.”
  • ” A journey of a thousand miles begins with somebody pissing their pants in the back seat because nobody listens to Daddy!”
  • “A lie, told often enough, is sometimes the only thing that’s going to get that kid to sleep.” (Better to call it “pretending”)
  • “A rolling stone is clearly a better toy that the one Mamma spent $80 on.”
  • “All work and no play is why they invented babysitters.”
  • “An ounce of prevention is just impossible to get anyone to try.”
  • “Don’t cry over spilt milk, cry over how much trouble you’re in because I just told you not to touch that!”
  • “Don’t put all your eggs in the dishwasher again!”
  • “Don’t toot your own horn. Or any other horn. It’s very early, and Daddy has a splitting headache.”
  • “Expect the unexpected, and the bill.”
  • “Give ’em an inch, and they’ll find a way to get it stuck in the car door.”
  • “He who hesitates probably forgot.”
  • “Hell hath no fury like a woman who’s had her makeup dumped out and ground into the carpet.”
  • “If the shoe fits, wait three weeks.”
  • “I’m rubber, you’re glue. One of us comes out of fur.”
  • “Misery loves to consume resources.”
  • “The apple never falls far from where it would still be if you’d left it alone like I told you! (No, we don’t have any more apples.)”
  • “All’s fair in love and getting a baby to sleep.”
  • “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but both pale in comparison to five-day-old formula under your truck-seat.”
The Scion, The Sitch, And The Microbe(s): A Final (We Hope!) Update
Jan 28th, 2018 by Blaise

Our boy Dashiell is home safe from the hospital! It was a long road, including six days and nights in the ICU and another three days in the regular hospital, three separate medical procedures, and an unbearable amount of suffering, but the worst is over, and he’s on the mend…

There’s still more medical work in play. He came home with a PICC installed in his arm, which is sort of a mechanical shortcut between his arm and his Vena Cavae, through which his mother must pump him full of a number of drugs on a daily basis. He also still needs more blood tests, and may need to be treated for ongoing fevers for up to two months.

That said, let me tell you about my little boy. At the ripe old age of three, he nearly died of pneumonia. Attacked by four separate virulent microbes at the same time, his lung collapsed, and his chest filled with fluid. While this was going on, and adults scurried around him, he fought harder than I have ever seen anyone fight.

When things were at their worst, he was able to spend hours learning and using meditative breathing exercises to get extra air and deal with the excruciating pain he was in. While he was drugged and barely conscious, his little heart running at nearly 200 beats per minute for thirty hours, cycling every drop of blood in his body in around 90 seconds to scavenge every last bit of available oxygen, he regularly woke to tell his desperate father that he “felt a little bit better” and could he “please have some chocolate milk”.

His parents have never been so terrified, nor so proud, in their entire lives.

Dash is recovering well, but his body is still beaten and bruised, and it will be a few weeks before he has his usual energy back. He is still in pain, but regularly smiles and laughs, which we haven’t seen in weeks. His parents are also recovering well!

We cannot say enough in praise of the doctors and nurses in Albany Medical Center’s emergency room, pediatric intensive care unit, and infectious disease unit. They literally saved our son’s life, and were, to a man, caring, understanding, and professional throughout. We also want to thank the Ronald McDonald House organization and volunteers for providing a homey, comfortable space just feet away from our son’s room where terrified parents could find a few moments of normalcy and respite from the relentless torrent of stress and fear.

We were also truly moved by the massive support we received from family, friends and neighbors during this trial. There were moments when that support was the only thing that kept us all going and sane (and fed!).

The End (we hope…)

Fourth Day in the Hospital: A sad little boy in review
Jan 20th, 2018 by Blaise

This is the continuing update on our son Dashiell’s condition, for distribution to all!

Short Story:

The last three days have been a rollercoaster, but the overall movement has been positive.

Long Story:

What we have discovered so far is that there are a trio of unusually debilitating non-flu respiratory viruses running through Upstate NY children this year. Together, they are responsible for the majority of child pneumonia cases. Our overachieving tyke has managed to contract all three simultaneously! In addition, he also managed to become infected with group A streptococcus (group A being the one that gives you strep throat, but not for our little boy…).

The working theory is that he contracted one of the viruses, and had a strong enough immune system to suppress all symptoms, but not to beat it entirely in the short term. This weakened him enough to allow the other two to gain a foothold. The three together were only able to give him a runny nose and slight cough, but served to depress his immune system to the point that the Streptococcus was able to invade both his lungs and chest cavity.

The result of all this was that his lungs were weakened at the same time that his chest cavity began to fill with fluid. This caused his left lung to almost collapse. Simultaneously, he presented “scarlet fever”, meaning he experienced spikes of extreme high-fever (up to 105, that we caught), and the toxins produced by the strep bacteria produced a hideous, body-wide rash that weirdly moved slowly around on his body, sometimes engulfing his face, his torso, his arms and legs, etc. (By the way, no medical professional here has ever even heard of a moving rash associated with any known disease before, which gave us serious cause for concern early on!).

Fortunately, we were already at the hospital before the worst of the lung collapse and scarlet fever hit, so he was kept from complete respiratory failure, and the scarlet fever only had a few hours to work before it was knocked out by the antibiotics, which meant that he was never as close to death as he might have been, despite how terribly ill he was.

In the last three days, he has had a chest tube installed to drain the fluid, and been treated with multiple antibiotics to combat the strep. There is nothing the doctors can do to cure the viral infections as they are no susceptible to any known antivirals, but his fever is well controlled, the strep is losing the fight, and his lung function is back up to about 90%.

We are not out of the woods, and best case will be staying in the hospital for another week, but we have moved from condition “Terrified he’s gonna die” through condition “Concerned he might die or have serious future medical problems” and on into condition “Still worried there might be an unexpected downturn, but expecting a full recovery”

For his part, Dashiell is annoyed he can’t get out of bed and go to the potty on his own, and confused why people keep sending him toys and balloons when he “already has enough”.

Mommy and Daddy are stressed and emotionally exhausted but grateful for wonderful family, friends, and neighbors who have helped and supported us in our time of need. We love you all!

Medical update
Jan 18th, 2018 by Blaise

For those who’ve inquired, as of 1AM, our son Dashiell is out of surgery with chest tube successfully installed. 300 milliliters of nastiness were siphoned out of his 1.5 liter chest, and his heartrate and respiration are the lowest they’ve been in 48 hours. All is well (or heading there) with the pneumonia!

Meanwhile, the scarlet fever is responding to treatment, with rashes and skin pain/itching slowly receding.

In other news, daddy is a blubbering, exhausted mess, pinballing emotionally between contented relief and “Everything sucks, and I hate everyone!”

I’m sure mamma is the same, but I sent her home with the baby to try to maintain some sense of normalcy for Arabella, and it’s too late to have an extended phone conversation…

Frustration For The Win!
Sep 15th, 2017 by Blaise

It had been a bad evening. Between little sleep due to a newborn, a long day at work, a three-year-old’s perfect-embodiment-of-an-upraised-middle-finger meltdown, and a previously house-trained dog’s homemade mud-wrestling-pit in the upstairs hall, my neurons were frazzled.

Grumpy and resentful, I trundled the dogs out for their nighty walk, muttering and cursing to myself like a crazy person. As we passed a house we pass regularly, we discovered that the door to the enclosed porch had been left open, allowing a rather large, black dog we’d never met before to plaster itself against the screen door and begin barking aggressively, even furiously, at us.

I had pretty much had enough. I was tired and pissed off, and I really needed that decompression time to regain my sanity. Without thinking, I dropped into the low, gravelly voice I had to learn to use when disciplining our bull mastiff, and roared, “HUSH!”

To my surprise, the black dog stopped its calamitous caterwauling instantly, dropped down from the door, and just stood there, looking at us. For a moment, I paused, basking in my restored quiet time.

Then it happened. From inside the house came a woman’s voice, quiet but with a razor-sharp, mocking edge to it, carrying possibly the most devastating thing I’ve ever heard one human say to another.

“Why won’t she do that for you?”

I must have giggled for an hour straight…

Incursion Report: Addendum
Aug 17th, 2017 by Blaise

72 hours have now passed since the incursion delivered subject (Codename: “The Baby”) into our reality. Medical section leader (Codename: “The Doc”) insists that the subject is fully functional, yet it does nothing but eat, sleep, and produce alarming sounds, smells, and substances.

However, some concerning phenomena have been observed in the subject’s immediate environment. The team assigned to intercept and study this anomaly reports a marked decrease in alertness and ability to complete simple tasks. For example, the team leader (Codename: “Dad”) has been observed sleeping while eating, talking and standing, often simultaneously. Likewise, the life sciences mission specialist (Codename: “Mom”) has begun filing mission reports heavily stained with unidentified noxious organic substances.

Additionally, speculation has been made over the wisdom of introducing the previous incursion subject (Codename: “Big Brother”) to the latest subject. The two seem to share far too many traits in common to be unrelated, and suspicions were aroused when on multiple occasions, simultaneous emotional breakdowns conveniently produced situations in which favored food and play items became available to BB.

Despite these challenges, the study team reports high spirits and hopes for the outcome of their mission!

Baby Incursion Report
Aug 16th, 2017 by Blaise

It has now been 24 hours since the incursion event. Subject (Codename: “The Baby”) continues to exhibit curious properties, behaviours, and fragrances.

In an attempt to better evaluate the subject, a previous incursion subject (Codename: “Big Brother”) was brought in and allowed to spend several hours studying the subject. BB’s first impression transcript includes only a few intelligible thoughts, including “Pretty!”, “Soft!”, and “Needs a haircut!” BB broke expedition protocol to attempt a procedure he referred to as “Poke the baby”, and had to be temporarily restrained. BB will be reintroduced to the subject at a later time in a more controlled environment for further study.

Initial photographic survey of subject has been completed. Results below:

Baby Alert Condition: Blue
Aug 15th, 2017 by Blaise

On-site teams report that incursion subject (Codename: “The Baby”) is a remarkable specimen. Subject displays unexplainable levels of strength and alertness, weighs in at at seven pounds, three ounces, and is eighteen inches of rapacious eating machine.

Addendum: Observers posit that the subject may be evolutionarily related to the modern air-raid siren, but far outstrips it’s lesser cousins’ pitch and volume!

Further observations transmitted as the situation develops…

Baby Alert Condition: Black
Aug 14th, 2017 by Blaise

Baby action teams confirm full incursion! All holding actions have been exhausted, and we have a baby among us!

Arabella Skye Hartley was born at 6:34 PM on the 14th of August, 2017. Momma and baby are currently feeding and napping simultaneously!

More details will be broadcast as they become available…

Baby Alert Condition: Red
Aug 14th, 2017 by Blaise

Alert Condition Red

Forward observation teams now report definitive movement on the part of the intruder (extruder?). All baby-action teams have been scrambled, and are en-route to the incursion site!

Continuing details will be broadcast as they become available…

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