evening 16-Nov-2000 (by Mike)
Yeah, I know, it's been a really long time since we wrote in here -- harvest season for Perennial Vintners is winding down, and we're now finally getting a chance to sit and relax on a weekend again.
Today Ellis got his helmet -- in case you're not aware of this, his head was "moderately" misshapen -- apparently this is fairly common. Madison Orthotics working with Seattle's Childrens hospital has a treatment program where Ellis will be wearing this helmet for about 3 months. It will encourage his head to grow in the desired places so we can normalize the shape.
(Sorry, this digital photo was permanently destroyed by the computer virus I got Dec-2000.)
evening 24-Sep (by Mike)
Sorry that's it's been such a while since we last wrote -- we've had our Tenth wedding anniversary vow renewal (sorry, no photos yet) and travelled Europe for 2 weeks (haven't gotten to the photos for this yet either), so we just haven't had much time...
Today we got a great shot of Ellis in the In the "Tiny Luv Gymini" (93K).
Another in the "Gymini" (113K).
The most important facet of these two photos is that he's sitting up, unaided! We can no longer use his "bouncy chair" as it requires a reclining postion. Now that he's sitting up, he could tip over and fall out of it.
evening 13-Aug (by Mike)
It's been a real busy last few weeks for all of us. Ellis has started eating solid food (well, mushed anyways). He also rolled over twice on the sofa. Enough to to fall off while dad was getting his milk bottle. He was caught midair by an amazing dive on dad's part, between the coffee table and the sofa. Of course nobody was there to see it, so you'll just have to trust me that this is how it happened! Once my heart started going again, I started breathing again and congratulated him on his development.
A couple weeks ago, dad (that would be me) also made a real bad mistake, that wasn't caught. While working in the yard, I left Ellis out in his bouncy chair. I swear he was never left in the sun, at worst mottled shade under a tree for about 10 minutes, but Ellis still managed to a get a second degree sunburn out of it. In a few days it peeled, blistered, bled, everything. God did I feel like an idiot -- doctors were only sligthly worried that it may get infected. He's all better now, no permanent damage, and while he was going through it he put up with it pretty darn well.
Supervising yard work (110K).
Sunglasses/cool hat (69K).
evening 18-Jul (by Mike & Beth)
Yesterday was a big day for Ellis! He had his four month well baby checkup, and all is well -- he's up to 12lbs 4oz. He also had his first non-breast milk meal, we don't think he actually swallowed any of it...
First real food (48K).
a Decent photo (51K).
evening 03-Jul (by Mike & Beth)
We all got sick last week, including Ellis -- runny nose, headaches, and coughing. He seems to have gotten over it more quickly than the rest of us, Mike missed several days of work.
Yesterday we celebrated Ellis' 4 month birthday by opening a bottle of champagne and sipping it with (well, ok, _for_) him.
Ellis' big achievement this week though was that today he also learned to get the pacifier into his mouth all on his own!
Mike: (Please don't take this as the ravings of "doting parents" -- if you haven't been a parent of a newborn, it's difficult to understand how wonderful this simple action is. It's not that the parents are sooo proud, it's that the parents don't have to be back at his side every 90 seconds when he drops the pacifier in order to keep him from crying.)
with Jove cat (55K).
evening 27-Jun (by Mike & Beth)
He's at a really fun age where he talks and smiles a lot. He's doing well at daycare. He's started reaching for things, especially the little stuffed cat from Mike's Sister Evelyn. He's more interested in toying with the pacifier than sucking on it. His weight gain has slowed, but he's up to about 11.5 lbs.
evening 14-Jun (by Mike & Beth)
Ellis is just about 11lbs now. Comparing him with a typical baby of his same age is still amazing (photo With Devin (61K)). He's in his 3rd week of daycare 2 days a week, and doing very well there. Beth and I are still getting used to the new routine of daycare dropoffs -- it takes over 25 mins to get about 20 blocks from my work near the Seattle Center to the daycare just up from the center of Broadway, pain in the butt! Beth says she's having a tough time driving away from the daycare in the morning, mostly because of the empty baby seat in the car...
evening 03-Jun (by Mike & Beth)
Ellis won runner-up in a best Hawaiian shirt contest. (44K)
evening 30-May (by Mike & Beth)
We had a nice weekend, though it wasn't all that quiet. We worked in the garden while Ellis mostly slept, and the next day he got to spend some time in the front pack on Beth while she did winery analysis tasks; we're glad he took this pretty well.
Scott & Martha babysat him while mom & dad went out to see Ray Charles at the Paramont -- a fun show. On the way home we talked about how excited we are for when he's old enough for us to bring him to shows like this!
A happy moment on dad's lap. (52K)
evening 23-May (by Mike & Beth)
Mike: I've had the fun of taking care of Ellis several times now -- I just did this evening while Beth took on an interpreting job. I'm realizing how spoiled I am having her home full time with him. The time spent with him can be pleasant and/or unpleasant (usually flops back and forth between the two every few minutes!), but it's so consuming! Those times that I'm in charge, I don't get to do any of my website hosting work which seems to be interminable. Guess I'm gonna have to get used to it...
Both of us: We have a stay-at-home 3 day weekend planned -- bet it'll be hectic anyways!
Ready for a walk In the jogger. (49K)
evening 23-May (by Mike & Beth)
Last weekend's Ferry ride. (61K)
evening 18-May (by Mike & Beth)
(Happy Mt. St. Helens Day! Do you remember where you were when you heard about it? And most importantly, did you believe it?)
Beth's doing weekly baby massage classes with Ellis, which he seems to enjoy. On a typical night he sleeps about 5 hours at a stretch -- the record is still 7 hours. We're trying to get him into the crib so we'll have a little more space on the bed -- thank heavens one of the cats sleeps outside! He still prefers to be held while he's sleeping.
Beth's planning to return to work two days a week as of June 1st; this should have a dramatic effect on all of us.
Here's a photo Comparison with week 2. (68K)
evening 13-May (by Mike & Beth)
He spent a few hours in daycare with Beth today. He took it pretty well.
He's starting to drool, and getting louder more suddenly. We think maybe he's teething already. We're just not ready for that yet!
"The Fisherman". (55K)
evening 13-May (by Mike & Beth)
The whole family visited Beth's parents in Longview WA on Easter weekend. We're finally getting around to posting those photos here...
With dad, dad smiling, (37K)
With "Grammy". (45K)
evening 06-May (by Mike & Beth)
He's smiling on dad's lap. (51K)
evening 02-May (by Mike & Beth)
Ellis had his 2 month birthday today, we celebrated by eating brownies for dessert -- of course he isn't ready for that yet. He also got his first immunization shots. He didn't like it. He's now up to 8lbs 10oz which is great for him but still means that he doesn't have much fat to put shots into.
This is his passport photo shoot. (35K)
A favorite position "My People". (41K)
afternoon 20-Apr (by Mike & Beth)
(Sorry it's been a while -- we've been pretty busy.) Beth weighed Ellis this morning at 7lbs 10oz, but she's suspicious of the reading as he was 7lbs 3oz just 3 days ago. She had him in a mother/baby group today, where another mom had brought a baby born at 28 weeks, 12 weeks ago at 2lbs 10oz -- today was her due date. Compared to her, Ellis is a big kid! (Bear in mind that Ellis was considered full-term at 38 weeks.) However another mom had brought her baby born at 8lbs 3oz, who was two days younger than Ellis -- she's now over 11lbs and makes Ellis look pretty small!
He had his "well baby check" on Monday and is totally healthy. He's due for his first shots in a few weeks, that'll be fun! We're not real worried as he got used to being poked in the Special Care Nursery that first week.
This weekend we'll be visiting Beth's mom in Longview so we're sure to have some more pictures soon.
Here he is asleep on Mike. (35K)
afternoon 09-Apr (by Mike)
Earlier this week he got his first experience being babysat. Our neighbor Liz took care of him for a couple hours while Beth and I had a nice dinner at Jazz Alley with Pearl Django playing. Tonight will be his next babysitting while we go to Taste Washington, the biggest WA winetasting event of the year at the Paramount.
He slept for 5 hours straight last night, but here he is midday...
asleep on the sofa. (44K)
evening 06-Apr (by Beth)
Ellis' cold is in fine form today; he's coughing and sneezing all over the place. He's taking it really well, though...he hasn't been too grumpy. In fact, we went out for dinner, and he was an angel for the whole meal--he slept most of the time, then woke up but was quiet and happy. He also went to a very long staff meeting with me last night, and made it through without any outbursts, showing more tolerance and patience than I did.
He's awake and alert a lot more of the time now, so I've been able to get more pictures of him with his eyes open. Here's one of him after his bath. (46K)
evening 02-Apr (by Mike & Beth)
Beth: It's Ellis' 1 month birthday today, and we're all getting colds. He's rather more unhappy than we've become used to, we hope it passes soon -- especially since we're feeling lousy too.evening 31-Mar (by Mike & Beth)
Mike: I feel the need to wax eloquent for a moment. Those of you who've known me over the years know that I was pretty scared about having a child. I've never cared much for kids, in fact I'm terrified of them. In my opinion, the "miracle of childbirth" is not the mechanics of nature and the way the human body works at all -- it's the effect it has on people. Not just me, but all who we meet, from a random passerby in the store, to all our friends and returning readers of this page -- I was very surprised to find that Ellis has fans who read this page often. Thank you all for sharing in my joy of having a son.
Sleeping kid (59K)
Days are busy, he's sleeping 3-4 hours, with an occasional 5 hour spell at night. He's up to 6lbs 11oz, which is great! We're getting better at predicting his needs and interpreting his cries and facial expressions, which makes life a lot easier.evening 28-Mar (by Mike & Beth)
We've taken walks to the bank, grocery store, and more, keeping him in the jogger for about 2 hours, and he takes it quite well, being calm and quiet in public places. He seems to sense when we're approaching home, and holds back on fussing 'till we're within a block or so of home.
We finally got a decent photo of him with his eys open!
Ellis in natty NASA Pajamas (41K)
A followup on the previous entry -- "how long can this last?". Well, he's gotten to be a fair amount more vocal in the last few days... Beth seldom gets more than 4 hours of sleep at a time, more typically one and a half to two hours.evening 21-Mar (by Mike & Beth)
This last weekend, we planted a tree in our yard for him. A coworker of Mike's, named Isabelle gave us a present of a tree, and explained that in France it's traditional to plant a tree for a newborn. We thought this was great, but unfortunately, she picked a tree that Mike is very allergic to -- Flowering Cherry. We traded it for another, and celebrated it's planting by opening a nice bottle of French Champagne.
Family with tree (66K)
Beth took some photos today, here's a few.
Ellis with a beatific smile (little bit blurry, 39K)
Ellis giving us a great goofy look (47K)
Yesterday the GHC visitng nurse returned -- Ellis is up to 5lbs 10oz, and there's no sign of jaundice returning.evening 19-Mar (by Mike & Beth)
We took him to dinner at our local Greek pizza restaurant this evening, Beth walking there to meet me from the downtown bus after work. He was quiet and happy while we had a leisurely dinner; how long can this last?!
Ellis with Keara & Tia (64K)
Ellis with Mike's mom (40K)
He sleeps 5 hours at a stretch now, thank heavens!evening 16-Mar (by Mike & Beth)
In the last few days we've taken him on walks to the local grocery store in his baby jogger and to the Honey Bear Bakery in a shoulder sling. He's still small enough for that.
New toy (74K).
We worked in the Backyard (104K) for a little while today, with Ellis supervising.evening 14-Mar (by Mike & Beth)
Last night we (collectively) got less sleep than last night, but more than the previous.evening 13-Mar (by Mike & Beth)
Today he had his first "well baby visit" (read doctors appt.). All was well. He's gained another 1.5 oz since yesterday.
Our contractor friend Glenn (see re-roofing 1996) came over today to help Mike finish off the upstairs wiring (started about 6 weeks ago). Ellis slept through much of it! If he hadn't already been through a hearing test at GHC, we might have thought he was deaf. (Although there is deafness in Beth's family, it's not hereditary, so we didn't have any concerns about that.)
(Okay, we're stretching here) Ellis-eye view of the kitchen (75K).
(Yes, another day that we just had to say something!).afternoon 12-Mar (by Mike)
Happy due day! (Today is when he was supposed to be born!)
We celebrated by taking him out for dinner at our favorite neighborhood Italian place, the Fremont Classic Pizzaria/Trattoria. He was quiet through the meal, but seemed to enjoy the smells, even the strong garlic. It can get noisy there, and tonight was no exception -- we were very happy that he wasn't disturbed by all the excitement.
Group Health always sends a nurse on a home visit after a delivery. She came today, and answered Beth's new questions ("is this supposed to happen?" answer is always "yes"). He's gained four and a half ounces over his birthweight, equal five pounds and one half ounce -- still less than half the weight of any of our cats!
(Of course we couldn't just stop writing -- there's always something else to say!)afternoon 11-Mar (by Mike)
For his first night home, Beth got about 2 hours of sleep, he got maybe 4 hours, and Mike about 5. It's a big adjustment for all of us. Beths says "one thing is for certain, we need to start following more of a schedule". Scary words!
We're still struggling to get him to eat enough, holding him while feeding him feels right, but seems to put him to sleep, so we're trying to feed him in a baby seat now. He's still wonderfully quiet, except at bedtime...
(This will be the last daily entry, thanks for taking the trouble to read through all these. We will leave the website here, but will add new entries only when we have something really special we wish to share.)afternoon 10-Mar (by Beth)
He's home today, yay! When discharged from GHC, we had to stop by Seattle Cellars for a winetasting with Chuck and Tracy of Reininger Winery, as they're only there for a few hours once a year. Imagine that, Ellis' first WA winery experience was within a half hour out! We didn't plan it that way, it just happened like that...
Although it's rained on and off today, when we toured around the house with him, the sun peeked through the clouds just when we reached his room, and made it feel nice and warm. Thanks to Karen, Karen, Laurie and Jody for painting it a few weeks ago. The cats don't seem too thrilled; well Kira (white cat) seemed a bit miffed, Jove (black with white tips) doesn't seem to mind at all.
The view from our boarding room window (73K).
Ellis in his car seat ready to go home (83K).
Our three ID tags (39K).
Tomorrow's the big day--we get to go home! The doctors and nurses feel that Ellis is stable enough to not need constant monitoring. The only continuing concern is his weight, but time is the only solution for that (and feedings at least every three hours). He's staying with me in my hospital room today and tonight so I have a chance to get to know him better, and get used to being his primary caregiver--pretty scary, but it's a nice transitional time, as the nursing staff is just around the corner! I've been trained on all the fine points of baby care...they make it sound so easy. Fortunately, he's been an easy baby to have around. He seldom cries, and loves to be held. Of course, I love to hold him!evening 09-Mar (by Beth)
A family shot in the boarding room -- no monitors! (51K).
Not much news today, though he did gain 10 grams yesterday. I got to have him in my room off the monitors for about an hour and a half, his first trip out! We're starting to talk with the nursing staff, about his going home this weekend. (But then what do we do?!) We've been advised to bring home one of his blankets ahead of time to introduce him to the cats.morning 09-Mar (by MikeL)
His favorite feeding position with his fingers in his eyes! (63K).
(Sorry for the late report for yesterday for those of you following daily.) Yesterday was another quiet one. No further "Brady Episode"s, three days to go!evening 07-Mar (by Beth)
There is some concern that he's not gaining weight quickly enough; as he's so tiny this is very important. Apparently he's exerting as much energy breastfeeding as he's taking in in milk. To solve this, they have Beth alternating breast feeding with bottle feeding, which takes less work for the little guy. The best part of this though, is that this means Beth only has to be there for every other feeding as the nursing staff can bottle feed him. This meant Beth was able to go out for a meal and come home to see the cats for an hour last night!
I'm back at work this week (since Tue.) as there's really not a lot I can do while they're both at the hospital.
Not much to report today. Ellis moved into a room where babies who require less intensive care are. He's gained some weight. Although he did have a "Brady episode" last night, he recovered spontaneously so they're not worried about it, and it doesn't restart the counter -- 4 days to go!evening 06-Mar (by Mike)
In the crib (45K) -- no more incubator.
Dad's first feeding (40K; fairly blurry).
Today was a great day for Ellis -- his blood sugar and billiruvin are officially stabilized. He's still on the vital signs monitoring equipment, but the IV has been removed and he's eating voraciously. He's also out of the Isolette, now in a normal old crib. He's gained an ounce over his birth weight (I gather this is significant and good). Beth got to learn how to give him a bath -- he hollered about it.afternoon 05-Mar (by Beth)
He did have a Brady episode last night (heart rate slows so the oxygen saturation in the bloodstream goes down). Apparently this is a common occurance in small babies, and not a cause for alarm although it sounds scary. This is the last hurdle before he goes home -- they will watch him for five days from an episode before release -- hopefully this was the last, meaning they'll come home on Friday...
Beth's parents came by and spent some time with us, and we got a great photo of JoAnne with Ellis (53 kb).
They trapped me! Mike and Ellis (63 kb).
This is our first family photo (64kb).afternoon 04-Mar (by Mike)
(By the way, there's text with the photos now)afternoon 03-Mar (by Beth)
Beth wouldn't put the picture of him in the Isolette (59kb) in yesterday, so I'm putting it in in my section today! (I believe in truth in advertising.)
Finally, a decent closeup (54kb). Yeah, I know, it looks just like a baby.
This gives you a much better feel for how small he is. Photo looking down over Beth's shoulder (56kb)
We continue to try to get Ellis' blood sugar stabilized, and he's now sporting very cool shades while in his own private tanning bed. He loves to be held, and now we're working on feeding (he has a tendency to fall asleep while I'm trying to feed him). He's already had lots of admiring visitors! We're getting used to the idea of being parents...he was 2 weeks early, so we thought we had a bit more time to get ready. (Need to call today to get the diaper service started!) Beth has been discharged from the hospital, but Group Health allows parents whose babies are in the Special Care Nursery to stay in private rooms on the same floor as the nursery, so we can still spend time with him.evening 02-Mar (by Mike)
Ellis in his shades (34kb)
Ellis and Beth (60kb)
Baby's name has been decided as Ellis Mercer Lempriere.morning 02-Mar (by Mike)
He's in the Special Care Nursery here at GHC, as his blood sugar levels were marginally low at birth. Over the course of the day this has stabilized nicely. He is also expected to spend tomorrow under the special lights for jaundice.
Well everyone -- it's a boy!
Born 02-Mar-2000, 4:27am, 4lbs 12oz.
Baby is small but healthy.
Beth is fine.
Beth with baby (54kb, kinda blurry)