Tag Archives: reading

day 3396: almost done with the percy jackson & the olympians series!

day 3396: almost done with the percy jackson & the olympians series!

odin has always loved books and while he’s a quite a capable reader he’s always preferred to have us read to him than read on his own. that is, until he discovered the “percy jackson & the olympians” and he tore through the five books – more than 1,500 pages in total – mostly all my himself.

after nine years, it’s a bit bittersweet to have him not quite as interested in having us read to him, but fun to see him love to read and caught up in the story.

day 2581: The Harry Potter Adventures Begin.

day 2581: The Harry Potter Adventures Begin.

it is nearly impossible to escape the harry potter juggernaut and all the moreso when the second of two movies based on the 8th and final installment of the series is now playing in theaters. odin has definitely heard of harry potter and even seen bits and pieces of the earlier movies when we’ve been on vacation and it has happened to be on the television and cousins wanted to watch it. but the movies have always been a bit much for him to take in and i doubt he’s gleaned much beyond the names of the characters and very basic plot elements.

since he just turned seven we thought we’d try and read the first book, “harry potter and the philosopher’s stone”, with odin and see what he thought. i don’t know what the conventional wisdom is on the age-appropriateness of the books, but our understanding is that the first few books are the tamest of the series and we thought, really, how much worse can it be than “grimm’s fairy tales which he enjoys.

turns out, for the most part, he loved it! and asked us to read it during the day for long stretches and we really got the sense that it was his first experience with a “page turner”. he even told me one morning, “poppi. i have something to tell you. i woke up and turned on my flashlight and grabbed the book and just flipped through the pages. i hope i didn’t wake you up.” i told him i might have done the same thing with my favorite books when i was his age 🙂

for days he recounted stories of the characters struggles and quidditch and muggles and hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. the ending, though, ended up being a little intense for him and in the final analysis he said simply, “it was a good book, but i had mama read some of the scary parts in her head and i think i might like to read the next book in two years when i’m a little older.”

a fair enough review for sure, but i can’t help but wonder if we’ll be starting “harry potter and the chamber of secrets sooner rather than later.

the eric update – day 59: even more weight gain. too big for bedding. impending transfusion and guessing games.

day 59: outgrown his bedding!

sniff. they grow up so fast. it’s hard to believe that it was on day 26 that eric received his custom bedding and he looks like he was swimming in it on day 28. but now, he’s so big, at 3 pounds 8.3 ounces or 1595 grams ( yes, he gained over two ounces in 24 hours ) that he can’t fit in his bedding anymore! we decided to give his bedding to some new neighbors who just arrived with a 24 weeker. we remembered how nice it was to have his own bedding from a thoughtful stranger, so hopefully in some small way, it’ll help the new parents transition into the nicu and their own long road ahead.

one of the nurses told us that during “rounds” today the neonatologist commented how very happy he was with eric’s progress and that he thought he had “turned a corner” and was looking very, very good lately. it’s going to be quite difficult to manage our expectations in the coming weeks now that we know that he, himself is being so optimistic – all the more so because the nurse said that he never makes predictions.

as i mentioned earlier in the week, he is looking increasingly pallid as the days goes by due to his decreasing amount of hemoglobin in his blood, which means he is getting closer and closer to needing a transfusion. for a variety of reasons our neonatologist lets hemoglobin run down farther than perhaps is done in other nicus, in an attempt to see if babies can increase their production on their own. often he’ll even go so far as to let the alarms start to increase before he’ll begin another transfusion, so i guess i’d expect to see the rate of alarms pick up over the next few days, due to the decreasing number of “boxcars” ( nurses term for red blood cells ). while he doesn’t seem to be alarming more than usual, his supplemental oxygen is gradually being increased, as a consequence of his decreased oxygen carrying capacity.

day 59: the return of kangaroo care!

i like to play games with the nurses by “forcing” them to guess when they think certain events will occur, such as when eric will get his transfusion. normally the nurses hate answering the “when do you think such and such will happen game” but i make it so much fun to play that most of them eventually play along ( in fact, i believe i may have developed quite a reputation for being able to cajole normally retrained nurses into playing ). being the veterans that we are, they know that i don’t really believe a word that comes out of their mouths and that it’s just a way to pass time. today, eric’s day nurse was quite sure that eric would get the transfusion tommorrow. or, i think it might be more correct to say that she was advocating that eric get the transfusion so that he could get it done before he goes to “full feeds” and is therefore be able to get rid of his intravenous line that much sooner ( i.e. if he went to full feeds before he got his transfusion, they’d keep his IV line in for the impending transfusion, which she was presumably trying to avoid ). however, eric’s night nurse laughed at the speculation and said that maybe the day nurse didn’t work in the same nicu as she did. the day nurse was still talking with us at the time, so it was all in good fun and i got they impression that they were gently expressing their impressions of the neonatologist’s transfusion policy.

day 59: pops gets some light reading time.

in addition to playing games with the nurses, we stuck to our increasingly normal routine of holding and kangaroo care, with and afternoon bath from kris and reading from both of us. tired of all the other reading, i decided to read to him about “mr. craigslist, master of the nerdiverse”.

the eric update – day 43: readin’, feedin’ and nicu noise.

day 43: creased palm

another day of quiet recovery, which is a good thing these days. slightly frustratingly, we still haven’t heard the results from the echocardiogram which will tell us if his patent ductus artierosis has closed, but his blood gasses are so good that i think everyone is assuming that it’s closed. also, they are apparently having trouble determining what the bug was that showed up in one of his blood samples and haven’t been able to find any more of it, so it’s likely that we’ll never know for now if it was contamination or is simply lurking in the background at undetectable levels while he’s on the antiobiotic regime. or maybe it’s gone for good.

day 43: feeding again!

they started eric’s breastmilk feedings again, which means that they are getting more confident that he’s recovering from his recent “troubles”.

technically, they aren’t really feedings as they are giving him such a small amount – only 1 cc every 3 hours, but it’s a start. rather than sending the food directly to his intestines via an “o.j.” ( oral to jejunum ) tube, they’ve decided to see if he’s can tolerate sending the milk directly to his stomach via his “o.g.” ( oral to gut ) tube. this is another small sign that they believe he’s getting stronger, despite his pneumonia.

day 43: ear clasp

the nicu is packed these days and when it gets packed it gets noisy. it’s a small nicu with only 15 beds, but it’s a small space and can get quite crowded when all the beds are filled, if all the babies have visitors. there’s and ebb and flow to visitors and during peak hours it the constant din of conversation and bells ringing can make it sound like a surreal cocktail party.

if you’re paying attention when it’s noisy, you’ll notice eric sending little signs that things are getting too loud, such as grasping his ear tightly in an attempt to block out the sound. subtle signal, no?

day 43: jonathan livingston seagull. I.

kris finished reading eric jonathan livingston seagull. he liked it a lot.

“poor fletch. don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. all they show is limitation. look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”

day 43: jonathan livingston seagull. II.