Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another quick update

I realized that I hadn't said much about Hamilton's leg and I've gotten a couple e-mails about it. He's doing fine. No limping or favoring the leg at all. So I think he must have just twisted his leg or something.
It was great to have an uninterupted night of sleep with my lovebug. I tossed and turned a bit. Colby's head growth is on my mind. I know he's getting surgery on Monday, but I just don't want any pressure prior to the surgury to do any damage. I don't know enough about the brain and all to understand if that's a real concern or not. I just wanted things to go as "normal" as they have been until Monday. But life rarely goes as planned.
I'll post some more pics later today.
Thank all of you for your continued interest in our story. It honestly makes a difference!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

quick update

Just a quick update as I'm tired and am on my way to bed. My mom is staying with us for a couple days so that Tracey and I can get some rest.
Colby is doing OK. It's funny sometimes how things seem to happen for a reason. Colby has surgery scheduled for this coming Monday. Thus far his head has been growing relatively slowly. But I've noticed his head getting bigger lately. Yesterday his head was just over 40 cm's. Tonight I measured it and it's up to 41 cm's. So we're going to keep an eye on it and if things progress, well need to call the neurosurrgeon.
That's about it really. We're going to crash early and get some rest. I'll post updates as we have any news.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Colby's operation scheduled on Monday, February 4th

Colby laying on mommy and daddy's bed.

Tracey called the neurosurgeon today to ask them when they were going to perform Colby's operation. At first they came back with February 23rd or something like that...way out into late February. She called me on my cell phone to let me know. We questioned why they at first said they wanted to do it relatively soon, then all of the sudden it was almost a month away. And were they going to monitor things during this month? Tracey decided to call the neurosurgeon back and push for answers. After a bit of pushing, they agreed that this coming Monday would be a good day to do it. Why the change? I don't know. And in all honestly, I don't care. The bottom line is that if Colby does in fact need the surgery, then we want it done sooner than later.

To recap....his hydrocephalus is getting worse again. This was found after a follow up ultrasound was done a couple weeks ago. The doctor is going to try to do a endoscopic third ventriculostomy. However, he said that sometimes once they get into the brain, they find that for one reason or another it just isn't right for that patient in which case they will need to make a decision in the O.R. to then put in a shunt.

We don't know any other details at this point (i.e when he'll be admitted, how long he'll need to stay, information about his surgery or recuperation time). As we get those details I'll fill everyone in.

Many people have asked us how we're doing now with this latest upcoming challenge. It's not too different from the past 7 months.....just keep our heads and spirits up and do as well as we can to be there for Colby. We do feel that we just want to get on with things...we want Colby to progress, to get on track with his development, etc. Right now he's behind a bit. We're hoping the surgery, if it goes well, will help him overcome some hurdles.
I was reading another person's blog today. Her family has also been dealt an unexpected hand, their son has a form of dwarfism and also has hydrocephalus. In one of her postings, she writes about how it's hard not knowing how her son will be in the years to come. ....What will the quality of his life be? Will he be picked on? I would have to say that those exact questions/feelings have gone through my head countless times. That's not the way things are "supposed" to be. For me this has been the hardest part. I think about this most when I'm driving to appointments. Alone, in the car, just thinking...... It's out of our control, at least to some degree. So what can we do? Just try as hard as we can to empower Colby to be and do all that he can. I have the largest lump in my throat as I spill my guts here. But it's the truth. Sometimes life is tough. If you're keeping score, then sometimes life is unfair. People have different ways of dealing with hard times. For us, we just want to make the best of the situation we're in, focus on all the good that can happen.....spend our energy on how we can positively affect Colby, each other and others. If we do this we feel that we've had a good life and done all we can to help Colby have the best life he can.
So this coming week, Tracey and I will work together to be there for our little boy. Tracey is already off Monday through Thursday next week, so that's not an issue. I'll need to rearrange my schedule a bit, but that should be a problem. As we learn more about how long he'll have to stay in the hospital, we'll coordinate how we'll juggle staying there between the two of us. Luckily this hospital stay should be relatively short compared to before.

I'll continue to update everyone as I get more details.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hamilton can't fly

(Looking up at Grandma)

(Silly boy trying to blow bubbles)
(The "wingman" out cold with his hand stuck up in the air and his hat all messed up making the Colbster look like a cone head)

Colby had a wonderful trip visiting with his grandparents yesterday. He usually falls right asleep when we put him in his car seat. All in all an uneventful trip, he wasn't cranky, I packed everything I needed and my parents were thrilled to see their grandson.

I was sooooooo happy to get a good night's sleep last night. I crashed around 9pm and didn't get up until close to 8 this morning. Boy did I need that. Tonight is Tracey's night again but she went into the bedroom to lay down so I'm going to try to get some work done in preparation of the upcoming week and allow her at least a couple hours rest before I head in.

Colby had a good day today. He had a spell this evening when he was just crying with no relief.....until he pooped. Poor guy. Other than that, just hanging out. He loves his swing. We're glad he has a spot that he likes because it gives us a place to put him when we need a break. I've heard of kids who aren't happy unless they're in their parent's arms and that's gotta make things tough!

Tracey is going to call the neurosurgeon tomorrow to find out when Colby is going to go in for his surgery. I'm anxious to tackle this and get it behind us. We think that he'll be in his own room again so that means we'll take shifts staying there with him for as long as he's in the hospital. Hopefully he'll only be in the hospital for a couple days or a week at the most. Being that it's going to be surgery on his head and all, I can imagine we'll have some instruction on things we'll need to do and watch for once he comes home.

He's also going to have a diagnostic hearing test in the coming weeks. They will sedate him and attach electrodes to his head. This will measure his brain activity and I guess is the only real way to know if an infant can hear. It's not like you can tell an infant to raise his right hand when he hears the sound. I'm not sure when this will be yet. It's not correlated to his surgery so it may be after he's discharged and hopefully will take place at UCONN.

Ever since Tracey was admitted into the hospital, I haven't gone to the gym, gone mountain biking or done anything exercise-related. I've really been feeling kinda crappy the past month or so. I attempted to go to the gym last weekend, only to arrive at 5:55pm, enter the gym and be told that the gym closes at 6pm. So after last night's good sleep, I finally made it to the gym today and it felt great.

Probably being overly motivated, I called my friend Josh and asked if he, his wife Laura and his dog Bacci wanted to go with Hamilton and I on a hike in the snow this afternoon. I want to make sure Hamilton feels like he's getting the attention he needs. Laura and their dog (which is very small and thin and thus not well adapted to being out on the 25 degree weather) stayed at our house with Tracey and Colby. So Josh, Hamilton and I headed to the state forest. In the forest there are the remains of an old mill from hundreds of years ago. All that's left is the massive stone foundation that's cut into the side of the hill. When you stand where the building used to be and look up toward the hillside, the foundation is a made of huge rocks cut perfectly straight forming a wall that is over 10 feet high at some points. Hamilton was doing his own thing ahead of us and had stopped up towards at the top of the foundation. He's usually very cautious and hesitant with things. I don't know what got into Hamilton...maybe he thought he could fly or something. All of the sudden, Hamilton leaped off the top, dropped out of sight and landed below with a yelp. He continued to squeal as he hobbled a couple of feet until Josh and I got to him. He was favoring his front left leg. I was really worried that he broke something or really hurt himself. We were still maybe 1/2 a mile from where the car was and no chance of getting the car any closer. So my immediate thought was that if he couldn't walk we needed to get him to help that we would need to lug my 115 pound black lab out of the woods on a snow covered, icy path. I had some treats (chopped carrots and pieces of Swiss cheese...two of Hamilton's favorites) with me, so I told Hamilton to lay down in the snow and I stayed with him for a couple minutes. I did what I could to feel his foot, leg and shoulder and didn't feel anything. Hamilton didn't mind the pressure of my hand squeezing up and down his leg either. He got up and I was VERY relieved to see that he was OK. I think the snow helped cushion his landing a bit. He continues to favor his leg tonight off and on. So at least I know it's nothing too serious as he can walk on it and even wanted to play with Josh and Laura's dog when we got back to the house. But he's a big dog and I don't want an injury now to haunt him as he gets older. We'll watch him tomorrow and if he continues to favor his leg, we'll bring him to get checked out.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Road Trip

Colby slept 4 1/2 hours last night!!! It's just one time but hell, I'll take it!!! And I hope it's a sign of things to come.

He's doing very well. His belly has been hurting him again a bit on and off. When it's bothering him he's just cranky, poor guy.

Thank all of you for your e-mails and comments regarding his upcoming surgery. Time helps things feel a little better and it's sitting better with me now. We still haven't heard about a date. As soon as we do, I'll let everyone know.

His diaper rash is all but gone. That Triple Paste stuff worked great! He pooped on my yesterday right when I was putting it on his bum...yeah...good times! LOL

Tracey's working today, 6am to 2pm. So in about 1/2 hour I'm packing Colby's things and he and I are going to take a road trip to see Grandma and Grandpa over in Thomaston. It will be his first trip over that way. Hamilton has been enjoying a rather long stay at Grandpas. But we're missing him here so I'm going to bring him home too.

I'm also bringing the camera and hopefully will have some pics by tonight or tomorrow morning. I don't know why but I just haven't been much in the picture-taking mood. Probably just a rut and it'll change. : )

Friday, January 25, 2008

A good visit to UCONN

One of the certainties in life is change. Wednesday, when I found out that Colby's hydrocephalus was getting worse it kinda hit me like a ton of bricks. Yesterday he had a follow up appt at UCONN and things went very well. First of all we just love the people at UCONN. We've heard many good things about CCMC (Connecticut Childrens Medical Center), but our experience with them wasn't the best. So to be back at UCONN was a refreshing change. We saw Dr Rosengrants who knows Colby from his lengthy stay there. He checked him out overall and said he's doing very well. His lungs are clear, his overall growth and weight gain is excellent. He did remark that his head growth is increasing more than it used to, but that's no surprise to us now. It was nice because they did an overall check up on Colby and like I said above, they said that all in all Colby is doing wonderfully! What a breath of fresh air that was for us. I was flying high after that appointment. And what a nice thing to have some great news after getting the other news on Wednesday.
When we got out of that appointment we wandered down to the NICU to see some of our old friends. I simply can't say enough about the staff there. We saw some of his doctors and a couple of his nurses. Great to see them. I love socializing and I really got to know a lot of the folks there during our stay. I can say I honestly miss talking with them so it was wonderful to spend some time catching up. I also saw a couple of the parents who are still in the NICU. Their children are progressing along and it won't be long now until they too are home.
You loose perspective when you see your child every day and you just don't realize how much he's grown. We didn't go into the NICU rooms but stood just outside to visit and I could peer in and see the nurses holding current NICU babies. Boy did they seem tiny. It's amazing to think that our little Colby wasn't much bigger than my hand when he was first born! What a long way he's come!
We still don't have a date for Colby's operation. We're waiting anxiously for the doctor to call. All the doctors at UCONN asked about his hydrocephalus and we updated them regarding the recent change and the plan to have surgery. We felt reassured as all of them recognized the procedure that CCMC is going to try to do. They all said that it's a good alternative to the shunt if it works.
I got up about 12:30 when I heard that Colby was fussing and hungry. I'm now in the living room, Colby's fed and now in his swing looking all around as if it were the middle of the day. Ugghhhhhhhhhhhhh Go to sleep my child...... haha He's eating like a champ, usually taking an average of about 80 cc's each time he eats. He just took 100 cc's. You'd think "Hmmm, if he has a really full belly, maybe he's sleep longer, right?" Nope, not the Colbster. He's serious about eating and doesn't seem to want to wait much longer than 3 1/2 hours.
As we walked around UCONN, many nurses/doctors asked how old Colby was. Tracey knew his age right away but I had to think about it. While he was in the NICU it was all about his age. Now that he's home, I hardly think about it. On the 27th (this sunday) he'll be 5 months hold! Wow...almost 1/2 a year old my boy!! That's amazing to me! We're almost 1/2 way to his first birthday! I can't wait!
I'll probably sleep out here tonight. When we got home from the hospital I stayed up for maybe an hour at the most and then went into the bedroom and crashed. Tracey did the 9:30 feeding and then came to bed. But she's got to work at 6am today. So I'll stay out here to allow her some uninterrupted sleep. Then do this again tonight because she has to work Saturday morning, again at 6am. Then.....ow's my turn to get some sleep!!!! YIPPIEEEE!!!!
So that's the scoop. I guess the tapping of my keyboard soothed Colby as he's fallen asleep. I need to do the same as it's now a countdown until he wakes up again. I'm home with him all day today so I'll probably update again. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

4am postings

(Not happy!)
(Gettin' bigger. He's outgrown his preemie things and is now in 0-3. What a big boy!!!)
(Colby says "You're going to put that Triple Paste stuff where?!)
(On daddy's chest after a bottle.)
(Out cold at about 2am the other morning.)

Thank all of you for your comments and e-mails. It does help. : )

I'm feeling a little better now. It was just the shock of the news I guess that bothered me most. I've had time to digest it a bit. We're now waiting to hear from the hospital to see when exactly Colby will go back in.

We have an appointment this afternoon with the pulmonologist. We've been told that Colby has issues with his lungs as a result of being born so soon. It's called BPD (bronchopulmonary dysplasia). Here's a link about it.

However, when we don't know exactly how extensive his condition is. So this afternoon we're hoping to get some kind if idea from the specialist.

Tracey pretty much hit a wall yesterday. She's been pushing hard to take care of Colby and thus allow me to take care of my business. But you can only go so long until things catch up to you. She took naps in the afternoon and then went to bed at around 9. I stayed out on the couch with Colby to allow her some uninterrupted sleep. My day today is relatively slow. Just an office meeting in the morning, then wrap up some paperwork and finally our doctors appt this afternoon.

Well, it's taken me over an hour and 1/2 to get this posting done. Colby has been a little fussy. His belly is hurting him as he'll fuss and cry, then there will be a nasty eruption in his diaper followed by an indescribable odor. I gave him a bottle about 1/2 an hour ago and now he's in his swing...out cold.

Thank you for the suggestions for his diaper rash. We heard from many people that the Triple Paste is the best so I picked some of that up. I know it's the whole first time father thing, but I had to think as I smeared thick paste all over my son's butt and butt cheeks that this was just a very weird experience. Ahh, yes, all the parenting introduces you to!

My mom came over yesterday to see Colby and hang with us for a bit. I love it when my family comes over. I do wish we lived closer to my home town. We're currently about 1 hr 20 minutes or so away. It's certainly drive-able, but it's still a little far to just blast over to have dinner with them or something. I was away after college, first out of the country, then up at UCONN where I met Tracey. We've lived on the other side of CT ever since. Maybe once

Evan is out of High School, we can look for something a little closer. Most of my client base is in North Eastern CT, so we'll need to balance that. Tracey's family is also over this way. What about Colby's fans? Do you live close to family? Do you wish you did? Or maybe you have a "Everything Loves Raymond" thing happening and wish you were a little farther away. haha

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Colby's Followup appt with the Neurosurgeon

Colby had a follow up appointment today with the neurosurgeon that did the spinal tap on him before he came home. The idea was that they were going to check him to see if his hydrocephalus has stayed down or if it's come back.
I need to keep as busy as I can Monday-Thursday so Tracey brought him for the followup. She called me on my cell phone to let me know that the ultrasounds show that his hydrocephalus is getting worse. This hit me harder than I expected. I think it's because he's been home for a while now and I just want things to be "normal". I want the future to be "normal".
So, here we go again....
I just have spotty details as I was gathering information from Tracey over the phone as I wrapped up one appointment and headed to another. But as I understand it, the neurosurgeon is going to try to do a Third Ventriculostomy. They will go through the top of Colby's head with a camera, go down into his ventricle and make a hole in the bottom of the ventricle to drain the fluid. The doctor says that it doesn't always work and there are risks, but if it does work it's more of a "one and done". If upon going into his head they find it just doesn't look like it will work, they will put in a shunt.
Timing? It sounds like it will be within the next couple weeks. He's be admitted for a bit after his surgery.
That's about all the details I have thus far. I'm sorry that some of you who may be expecting an e-mail or phone call to let you know of this are finding out via the blog. But like I said this is hitting me harder than things in the past and I honestly don't feel like talking much. I need to save what spunk I still have as I need to give a presentation to a school board in about an hour. Isn't it funny how life just keeps pushing you sometimes.
I talked with Tracey about it and we're both of the same opinion..........although we don't want to be going through this, we just don't have a choice and we need to make the best of it all. And if it's what Colby needs, then it's what we need to do.
As I get more information, I'll update everyone.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Attack of the diaper rash

Poor little Colby is having his first experience with diaper rash. It is localized around his bum right now so we're doing what we can to stay ahead of it. It doesn't seem to bother him as he's not too fussy when we clean him. But we just don't want to let it get worse.

I think Tracey and I might be into a groove with Colby at night. Last night I crashed around 9:30 and slept until 5am. Then I got up with him and will stay up until I leave for work. This lets me sleep through most of the night but then lets her sleep in the morning for a bit. I love getting up early....always have. I can get some work done, enjoy my coffee, watch some morning news, enjoy the quiet the house .....all before the sun comes up.

I don't know if any of Colby's followers watch the market, but it's been an interesting couple weeks. Now the international markets are starting to follow with fears that the US is teetering on a recession. Boring stuff to you? It's what I deal with every day and when the market acts like this...things get very busy! So I anticipate work getting busier again. I wonder if Colby will have an interest in the market as he gets older. Only time will tell.

So I'm doing my best now to continue to update the blog more regularly. I know that I'm still missing pictures. No excuses....I'll get some up soon.

I'll end with a couple of questions. Feel free to reply via a comment or shoot me an e-mail.

Do you follow the market much? And secondly, do you or did you ever hope your child would eventually do what you do for work?

Monday, January 21, 2008

RSV (the common cold) and Preemies

I just wanted to post this link quickly. I know a lot of our friends read the blog and have been asking when they can see him, when their kids can visit, etc. Tracey and I have been strict about having visitors and it's simply because of Colby's health. He was born premature which is a risk factor in itself. But what seems to really set him apart from full term babies is that he has lung disease. Although full term babies can get the cold quite easily, they have a much better chance of fighting it off and staying relatively well while they're sick. If Colby were to get the common cold, it could settle into his lungs, he could be hospitalized again and it could cause an infection which could be fatal for an infant with lung disease.
So it's not that we don't want to see people (quite the opposite, I'm dying for some socialization!) and it's not that we don't want people to see him, it's just that we need to be so careful. If we were to say OK, come on over with your kids and just have them stay away from him and if anyone had a cold and didn't know it or the cold germs on them and Colby ended up getting just isn't worth it.
Anyway, I just wanted to explain why we're being so cautious.
Here's the link
Thank you for your understanding.

Plan B

(this is the smaller playset I got him the other week, there are toys that hang down from the blue arch that we try to get him to recognize and play with. The pillow thing around his head is what we use to try to keep his head either straight or to his left. When he was in the NICU, his head was on the right side most of the time and thus the back of his head is flat on the right and pushed out a little on the left. It's hard because he favors his left side and tries to pull his head to the right as you can see he's doing here.)

Well, sometimes things just don't go as planned. Colby was looking pretty pale yesterday morning and just wasn't acting himself. So we ended up not going to Thomaston and stayed home instead. He was really sleepy in the morning and continued to look a bit off. But by afternoon he was pretty much back to himself. I was really tired and ended up taking a nap in the afternoon which made me feel sooooooooooo much better. So I guess in the long run it was better we didn't go.

I still wanted to have a dinner with Tracey, one that we didn't have to cook. So we ordered out and had dinner together.....on the couch. Wasn't quite the same but nice none the less.

What a difference a couple extra hours of sleep does. Hopefully I'll be back on track with the blog and will update it more regularly this week. Today's a normal work day for me but at this point I don't have any night appointments so it should be a little easier week.

Here are a couple pictures of Colby that Tracey took the other day. (yes, I know..I need to start taking pictures again too)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Overdue update

Sorry for the long delay in posting an update. Monday-Wednesday I had relatively busy days and didn't get home until 8-9pm. Then I would do my best to help around the house, visit with the family and wrap up loose ends from the office. Thursday was a long day and then I had a friend over in the evening. The idea was that we would make some nachos, have some wine and play around with the guitars.....well...Colby had other ideas. I had Colby duty part of Wednesday night, all Thursday and most of Friday night. So I'm 110% tired, maybe even a little cranky and I simply haven't felt that social or that much like even going online much. Anyway....that's my sob story about why I haven't been on the blog in the last couple days.
Now onto better things....the Colbster! He's doing very well. Depending on what scale you believe, he's broken the 8 pound mark. I've seen improvement in his ability to keep his head up when we hold him. He has plenty of muscle to pull his head backwards, but it's bringing it forward that seems to challenge him the most. Nothing too new with his belly. We've been giving him some diluted pear juice every day and that's gotten things moving along. He continues to get up every 3 to 3 1/2 hours to eat. Although I'm finding that sometimes at night he eats less than during the day. I'll tell you, I love him and all, but he looses some of his charm once the sun goes down! Come 1am to about 5am, when I wake up to hear him screaming away and go in to change and feed him and NOTHING seems to sooth him....ow yeah......good times. I just bite my tongue and keep reminding myself this is all part of the deal. It's definitely worse when I'm really tired. But like I said...all part of the deal.
We've been sleeping in our room and putting him in his room. We can literally see his crib from the bed as it's right across the hallway. We can still hear his every little grunt and groan, but the 15 feet or so between us now helps Tracey and I get a little more rest. And like I said above, once he's up....we know about it!
He had an appointment to get a follow up ultrasound on his head this past Thursday. An assistant did the ultrasound and was going to have the doctor look at it. We haven't heard the results yet.
Colby had his first trip to my office yesterday. Fridays are my day to watch him. When he's sleeping, I'm able to get a lot of work done, either wrapping up paperwork from the prior days, doing research or catching up on e-mails. But yesterday I had to get into the office by the end of the day so I had to bring him. Everyone in the office was excited to see him. I unfortunately had to ask that people not touch him as we can't take the chance of anyone being sick and not yet knowing it. It was fun. I can't wait until summer when the cold/flu season is behind us, the weather is warmer and we can bring him for walks and all.
Tomorrow we're heading to Thomaston, CT. My hometown to see my mom and dad. They both want to see Colby. But Tracey and I also need some "Scott & Tracey time". So we'll let then watch Colby while Tracey and I blast downtown for a dinner. Boy are we looking forward to that!!!
I'm afraid I don't have any new pictures to post. I know you all keep asking that I keep them coming. I'll probably take a good amount tomorrow.
I just gave Colby a bath and then a bottle so he's out cold now. Tracey went to pick Evan up from his dad's and then is going grocery shopping. So I'm going to take advantage of a quiet house and relax for a bit. More updates tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Doggie Day Spa

Hamilton at dad's. He loves his toys.
And keeping dad company in his office. He's a very big boy (Hamilton I mean)...probably about 11o pounds.

I'm only going to do a quick update tonight because I'm exhausted. I stayed up with Colby last night to let Tracey get a good night's sleep. We do what we can to help eachother out and she was really needing a good night's sleep. Then today was a very full day with client appointments and I just got home around 9pm.

Thank you for all your e-mails and comments. I guess this blog still has a future.

Things have been a little quieter around here as Hamilton has gone over my dad's for a couple days. He loves it over there because there's a big yard for him to run around in and he gets a lot of attention. That certainly hasn't been the case around here as of late.

A couple people have asked lately what Colby's middle name is. It's Nichols, after Tracey's maiden name.

He's doing very well...nothing too new to report. He actually had one stint last night when he slept for 4 it a new trend? GOD I hope so!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Lights Out!

(Colby taking a bottle while I light the room with a flash light)
(Very early morning snow. I set the shutter to stay open and the ISO to 1600. It was still pretty dark out but the camera was able to catch this shot. The red glow you see isn't the sunrise, but rather lights from the center of town.)
(Me keeping my boy warm this morning)
(LOL...socks on his little hands to keep them warm)

I started writing this early this morning...but as you'll read, the power went out. The second time it didn't come back on until close to noon. Then this evening I was having trouble staying connected to the internet. I'm finally posting this at 11:00pm

Well, this morning started off to a bit of a different start. Tracey watched Colby through the night as I have a busy couple days ahead of me. I woke up around 5am with work on my mind and decided to get up and let her come to bed and get a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep. I figured I'd hang with Colby and get some work done. I love working early in the mind is clear, everything's quiet. We're having a snow storm and I saw on the news that all the schools have cancelled and we're expected to get maybe 8 inches or so.
So I was all set up on the couch, laptop running, coffee in hand, Colby asleep in his cosleeper by the side of the couch. Then, just before 6am.....the power goes out. Here in New England, that happens from time to time. Depending on where you live, it can happen regularly in the winter. On the lake in Maine, it's a regular occurrence. Here in CT....not so often. But it happens.
Usually it's only out for maybe an hour or two. So I dug out a flashlight and a couple Yankee Candles and got them going. Luckily some of the work I needed to get done was not dependent on the internet so I continued to plug away.
But after about 45 minutes or so, I could feel the house starting to get cold. We don't have a wood burning fireplace. A couple years ago we bought a ventless fireplace that burns cans of fuel. Similar to what you see ...................CRAP.....the power JUST went out again!
Ow well, I'll keep typing and copy this into a Word Document when I'm done until the power comes back on.
As I was saying.....our fireplace burns cans of fuel that are just like what you see on a buffet under the pans of food....but larger. They throw off some good heat but with Colby's lung issues, I'm afraid that any fumes may bother him. So I didn't light them. But when you weigh only 7 pounds, keeping warm can be an issue. We don't have mittens for his little hands as they're still so small, so I got a pair of his socks and put them over his hands. I grabbed one of his hats and put that on him. Then, I reclined the couch, lifted my Tshirt, put him on my belly/chest and covered us with blankets. It took a couple minutes but he warmed up nicely.
A little after 6am he got hungry so I fed him by flashlight and candle light.
It's amazing how much noise there must be and you just don't realize it when the power is on. Because as I sat here in the relative dark, I noticed just how quiet it was. All I could hear was the couple clocks we have that are battery powered ticking away and Colby breathing. I guess when the power is on you can also hear the refrigerator, the satellite TV receiver makes a humming sound and I don't know what else must make noise. Anyway, just something I noticed.
Around 7:30 I saw the electric company's truck going up our road and I knew it wouldn't be long until power came back. Around 8:30 it finally came back on. And now as you see from my note's out again.
Although I'm a full service Financial Advisor, I focus on Connecticut Public School Teacher's and their spouses as they have a unique situation. They don't contribute to Social Security and they have their own pension system. I had three appointments today, one with a teacher in her school, one with a Board of Ed regarding new IRS guidelines about their plan and one tonight with a couple at their home. Given that schools are closed, the first two appointments are scrapped. I'd imagine that by this evening the roads will be fine and thus I'll keep my evening appointment.

Thank you all for your e-mails and comments with suggestions about what to include on the blog. I will certainly entertain some of those ideas!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Rootin' Tootin'

(And more of Colby's Fan Club! Here we see Holden and Norah looking as intellectual as every as they play a game of chess! Knowing Holden a bit, I think he really takes it seriously even at his young age. Norah is happy no matter what she's up to as long as she's getting her picture taken! You guys are lookin' good!)(Colby getting some belly time)

(Colby is very expressive and when he's unhappy, his face shows it!)

(ahhh, must have just been some gas)
(Chubby lil' boy!)

Colby is doing very well today. He had a cranky spell during the night last night, but apart from that, he's doing great. I think his belly continues to be the problem. He'll get red in the face and start pushing. Nothing will happen. Next thing you know he's crying. Then, his eyes will get big and "toooooot!"....all better. I'll tell ya, he farts more than anyone I've every know. Poor guy. It's a different perspective because Tracey and I are the type not to fart in front of people. I have friends who think it's funny and they'll rip one and start laughing. I don't know why but I think it's nasty...I comes from your butt!!! Anyway.... But with Colby it's just something natural and it's funny it's funny to watch the faces he makes.

Hmmm, what a subject to write about!!

I am finding it harder to find a topic to write about now that we're home. While we were in the NICU, every day had something new. Now that we're's the same ol' thing most days. Just feeding him, changing him, trying to get some sleep. I guess developmentally there's stuff going on. But I just don't want this blog to become "Today I got up...we had coffee...we fed Colby...he slept....he pooped....then we went to bed." LOL So like Mike Rowe says at the end of every Dirty Jobs show...send me your ideas!! LOL Seriously...if there are any things you all want to hear about, shoot me an e-mail.

So...developementally...Colby seems to be doing well. It's hard with him being my first as I don't have much to compare him to. But the doctors and nurses that have seen him say he's pretty much on track. He's a little over one month old developmentally now. And what do one month old's do...not much... eat, sleep and poop. He is bringing his hands together in front of him and just figuring out he's got fingers I guess. He is starting to grab on to things. When I put him up near my shoulder either to walk around a bit or to burp him. He'll turn his head to try to look up at me and I'll feel his little hands grabbing my shirt, my neck, my ear sometimes. Pretty much anything he can reach. The Birth to Three said we should put him on his belly and try to get him to lift his head. It's kind of funny because he doesn't know what to do. His legs lift up, his arms go all over and sometimes if he gets mad enough, he'll lift his head. But I guess he just needs to figure out how to move his body and all.

Baby's R U called to let us know his dresser is in. Tracey is out with Evan tonight and she's going to see if she can pick it up. Then his room will be complete. It's kind of funny because you are all excited to get the babies room together...get it ready before he/she comes home. Then it turns out they don't even stay in there in the beginning!!! haha Ow lessons.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Some faces from Colby's Fan Club!!!

Before we begin, the following pictures are in no particular order.

Secondly, if any of the kids are reading this, know that your little faces are now posted on the Internet where TONS of people are watching. So don't be surprised if you start to get movie offers, cereal commercial requests or calls from Nickelodeon! haha

Lastly, I tried my best to include a little info on everyone. I hope I got my facts straight. If I missed anyone or of any of you haven't yet sent pictures, just let me know and I'll add them on!!!

So I introduce to you..................................................

COLBY'S FAN CLUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Let's start things off with this little sweety, Maleia! She's got to be one of the most photographed cuties I've ever seen. And boy is she photogenic!! As with many of Colby's friends, Maleia came a little early and spent some time in the NICU. But the love and support that her parents, Jaime and Jordon, showered her with helped her move right along and today she's doing wonderfully! You guys have been such wonderful parents. Maleia is a lucky little girl to have you guys as parents. Keep the pictures of your little girl coming!!!
Say hello Heather and Eric's family....Savanna and her little sister Addison. Savanna is her mom's "mini-mi" and sidekick. Since Addy arrived in early November, Savanna has been a wonderful big sister watching after her and letting her mom know if the baby needs something. I don't know if you can tell in this picture, but Savanna is all smiles in front of the camera! Just adorable!

Next up....Nick and Shannon!!!! I used to help Nick's mom when she was VERY pregnant as she sat right next to me in the office. Nick..there were days when you mom...well...didn't feel very well so I'd help her make her way out of work at the end of the day...we'd walk 50 feet, she'd have to sit down, walk another 50 feet, she'd get all white in the face. Ow yes...good times for all! And look at you guys now!!! Shannon a young woman and Nick what a handsome young man!

Welcome Cole and Camden.....If there were every two brothers that look like they stick together and watch each other's's these two!!! I'm sure mom has stories that both support and contradict this thought. I think I see a mischievous look in their eye too. hehe

Say hello to beautiful little Marley. She was born just a day before Colby's due date and sadly, also has an angel twin watching over her. Looks like she got all dressed up for the holiday and was enjoying the photo op! What a cutie!!
Matt, Lorna, Tyler and little Addison. They are NICU experts as well having had little Tyler at 1 1/2 pounds and unfortunately experienced the passing of his twin brother Hayden. By keeping strong and working as a family, after 98 days in the NICU, they were able to bring Tyler home....and look at him now !! What a big boy!!!!
From up in chilly's my cousin Stephanie's son Miles!!! He knows how to throw a party and for his big second birthday, he did it up right. It looks like he was quite excited as he surrounded himself with friends and good people. He enjoyed some sugar filled cake and washed it down with a cool, refreshing Polar lime seltzer. ahhhh yes...the good life!!!

Children's fashion is something to be marvelled. Here we find Logan and Brynn showing off their latest fashion creations and lookin as stylin as ever!!! Logan's ski goggles complement Brynns pink high heals marvelously!! Absolutely beautiful girls!!!! They're looking forward to their new brother or sister who's coming in a couple months!
Now here's little Hannah. She's the daughter of my cousin Randy and his wife Mary. And she's looking as cute as ever. Randy, a police officer, was injured while on duty. He ended up breaking his arm pretty badly while Hannah was just a baby. As I've said before, we've had the challenge of the NICU, but everyone has their own challenges that come their way. Randy and Mary did wonderfully having a little baby at home with an injured daddy. Randy is now back on duty, Hannah is growing up so quickly and Mary probably has Randy doing chores around the house until he's 50 because of when his arm was busted and Mary had to step in for him. haha
And the Hyatt girls!!!! Megan 8, Lauren 5 and Katelyn rounding off the bunch at 1 year of age!!! What a beautiful family!!! Hmm, let's do the plus three girls = 4 females in the house.....and poor dad is the only guy. Dan, looks like you may have your work cut out for you!
From all the way out in Ohio, welcome Larry, Jenny, Emily and Lauren!! Yet another family with NICU experience. Lauren was born 1 lb 14 ounces at 30 weeks gestation. She's turning 4 years old in March! Although a bit smaller than her friends, her spirit and personality show that size doesn't matter and that it's all in how you approach the world.

Tracey is a licensed massage therapist. She got pregnant in the last year of her schooling. While studying she became friends with a wonderful woman, Tina. Come to find out, Tina got pregnant too so the two of them kept in touch after they graduated to keep tabs on each other's pregnancies. Here is Tina and Ken's little bundle of joy, Kason, who apparently loves striking a pose while lounging around in bed. Ahhhh, that's the life!!!

Although I like many baby names, the above baby's name I must say has a special place within me. This is Kendra's little Avery. She was born on November 20th when all of the sudden Kendra needed an emergency C-section. Kendra and her husband kept strong and made it though their unexpected turn in events and look at Avery now...happy and healthy. Kendra, thank you again for reaching out to us.

It's funny how sometimes friends from the past track you down again. Laura has been a friend of the family for years. My dad has kept in touch with her and her family. Rick, as you can see if the photo, is in Iraq. Yet with all that they have going on, they have cared enough to keep tabs on little Colby and that means a lot. Thank you so much for your support and for the photo! Very best wishes to you and Rick and once everyone is back stateside and in CT, we'll need to get together, let the dogs play and catch up a bit!

The above beautiful little guy is Aidan, my cousin Laura's son. Aidan is looking forward to modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch one day and hopes this warm pose in a chilly scene will launch his career! It looks like Aidan already has a little best friend, his teddy bear. Colby is anxious to meet Aidan at the family events and I've told him not to be jealous of Aidans thick hair. haha You see, Colby's hair is....well....sparse right now. You're stlyin' Aidan...keep up the good work!

A handyman in the making. Here's Alanna's handsome little helper, Mason. He's getting ready for the arrival of an new baby brother or sister in a couple months! And do you know what? Mason is getting to be such a big boy that he's starting to use the potty!!! Come one everyone, let's root Mason on!!! Keep up the good work Alanna! Just two more months to go!

Hats off to Cynthia and Brian for raising these little cuties! From left to right, Brady, Alaina and Aaron. Yup...Brady and Aaron are twins!!! I'm sitting here with only one eye open from just one night being up to feed a singleton. Hats off to you guys for making it through the nights with twins! And by the looks of things, you've got difference of opinion withing the family...the girls liking the Red Sox and the boys rooting for the Yankees. That should make for some interesting times down the road. Keep up the good work! The family is adorable!!!

My best friend growing up was another Scott. His sister, Natalie and her husband, Will, now live out in TX and have these two beautiful children, Sophie and Griffin. Adorable little guys! Hmmm, if I recall correctly, their mommy and uncle knew how to have some fun in their teenage years and at times drove their mom guess what Nat....What goes around comes around. times ahead! haha

Mi Familia!!! Back in 1993-4 between High School and college, I spent a year in Chile, South America as an exchange student. I lived with just a wonderful Chilean family and had three brothers while I was down there. As families do, they've grown and now have children of their own. Above are pictures of mis sobrinos. Que lindos! I look forward to the day when Colby can meet his cousins and the uncles and grandparents can tell stories of when "El gringo" come to Chile! Mama, papa, Francisco, Rodrigo y Felipe, les echo de menos y ojala que nos veremos pronto!And let's round off this blog entry with a simply beautiful photo (if I do say so myself hehe) of the Johnson Family!!!! We see Chris and Liz and their daughters Chloe and Caitlin posing for their Xmas picture. What a good looking family! They live just around the block from us. Colby is looking forward hanging out with Caitlin....however I'll remember not to wear a new shirt when I hold her this time. haha

Is today picture day?

Was today the day I'm supposed to post everyone's pictures?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Morning Coffee

(picture taken while Tracey and I went to Stockbridge. I've posted it before, but I like the picture.)

There are few things in life I look forward to like my morning coffee! So here I am, reclined on the couch, Colby laying half asleep on my chest, coffee on the end table, computer on my lap.....what a good start to the day! The only thing missing is Tracey. She came in around 6 this morning saying she's burnt and needs some sleep before I start my day.

That's all I had to say....just enjoying the start of the day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Smiling Elvis is cruisin' with Hamilton!

(Colby is beginning to laugh at things. Not very often but either if you make a funny noise, kiss his forehead or tickle his cheeks.)
(Our little Elvis)

(I'm not sure what this face is all about. Yesterday was a very warm day for Connecticut in January (about 60 degrees). So Tracey plopped Colby in his stroller for the first time and brought him out for his first cruise in front of the house.)(And yes...the ever-present Hamilton was there for Colby's maiden voyage. He's a good boy...just like his brother.)

Another good day is under our belt. Colby is doing well. I can see him progressing with his head control, motor skills and coordination. I stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home today and got him a little mat that he lays on with some toys that hang down for him to play with. We already have another one (Thank you Celeste!), but it's a little bit for him now. Like so many other things...he'll grow into it.
Tracey and I are getting used to our new schedule with him being home. This week was my first week really working. The prior weeks were a bit off because he had just gotten home and with the holidays, I didn't have that many appointments. We're both a bit tired (boy is that a common theme in this blog!). But that's to be expected.

I've been enjoying getting uninterrupted night's sleep as Tracey has been taking care of Colby at night. BUT...tonight is my last night. I have Colby-Care tomorrow and Friday night. Short in comparison to Tracey's last 4 days.....I know. But I do like my sleep. haha. She does so much better than I when she hasn't had sleep. She's a little snippy, as am I. But she can still talk and function. When I get really run down, don't ask me to talk or interact much or you'll be sorry. LOL