Mike Schaeffer's Blog

Articles with tag: personal
November 17, 2006

It's been a couple weeks since my last post about Ryan's first fever, but I'm pleased to say we got through it without much incident. The doctor's diagnosis was that it was a mild viral infection; This was borne out by the ultimate progression of the illness. One of the more interesting things we found out during the doctor's visit is that we're very lucky that this happened as late after birth as it did. If Ryan had come down with a fever in the first two months of life, we would have been sent straight to the hospital for a battery of tests, including a spinal tap. They do this in young infants to rule out the possibility of latent infections from birth. It's not unheard of for infants to pick up a bacterial infection during birth. These infections can remain latent for 6-8 weeks and can cause severe complications. Since Ryan came down with his fever three months after birth, this was ruled out by definition.

A couple weeks after this little drama, we got our first 'sick child' call from Ryan's day care. They noticed oozing from his eye and wanted to rule out the possibility of highly infectious conjunctivitis, etc.
This ended up being a clogged tear duct, but it was good they sent Ryan home anyway. We'd rather them err on the side of safety when it comes to sick children.

To close on a less biological note, Ryan went on his first plane ride yesterday. We flew to Houston as the first stop on our Thanksgiving tour of the grandparent's and great-grandparents homes. Despite the fact the flight was delayed three hours due to weather, the airplane's flaps stuck up, and they had firetrucks waiting for us at Houston's airport when we landed, Ryan got through the entire three hour flight without being 'that baby' (you know, the baby crying through the whole flight and irritating all of the adults). Actually, Ryan didn't cry at all. He was quite the little trooper, and both Mommy and Daddy were very proud. Two flights to go this holiday season.

November 17, 2006

Teresa and I were married five years ago today and it feels like yesterday, almost literally. I love her more than the day we got married and continually thank my lucky stars to have her in my life. Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.

–HB

November 4, 2006

The greatest love is a mother's, then a dog's, then a sweetheart's.

–Polish Proverb

October 27, 2006

Ryan came down with a significant fever last night. Due to measurement 'complexities', it's hard to know for sure what the exact number is, but I don't think the exact number matters all that much to Ryan. His temperature is high enough the doctor wanted to see him, but not high enough that the doctor wanted to see him NOW. So, we're now waiting for the call back from the Doctor's office to schedule something for today, hopefully as early as possible. Despite his fever, Ryan seems to be doing relatively okay: when he's awake, he's not too far away from normal, smiling, happy Ryan.

While walking him to sleep last night, Daddy came up with a few new lyrics to 'Hush Little Baby':

Sick little baby, go ahead and cry
You feel bad, and you don't know why
Even though you don't know what to do
You should know your Mom and Dad love you.

Update: Two minutes after my initial post, we just got an appointment in half an hour. One of the things I love about where we live is that we're five minutes away from the pediatrician.

October 21, 2006

Believe it or not, Ryan is about to turn three months old. We've also put a few more pictures online in another album. Thankfully, the only real news we have is good news. He's been sleeping through most of the night the last few weeks (knock wood) and has been growing like a weed: At fourteen pounds, he's literally twice the boy he was when he was born. Ryan also had his first major series of vaccinations at his two month doctor's appointment. There were five (!) injections, but he got through it like a little trooper and with no apparant side effects. (Mommy and Daddy will both get flu shots this year, and one of us will have to look back on Ryan's bravery to get him (ahem) through it.)

We're also starting to get settled down into something of a more normal routine: We've enrolled Ryan into a local day care, which started last week. It feels very strange to walk into a building with Ryan and leave without him. That said, as odd as it feels, exposing Ryan to more and more varied social situations will ultimately be a good thing.

September 26, 2006

Ryan's fuzzy pal, Grover, is a very wise monster. From his smash hit, Monster in the Mirror:

If your mirror has a monster in it, do not shout
This kind of situation does not call for freaking out
And do nothing that you would not like to see him do
Cause that monster in the mirror he just might be you"

Yes, we're starting the Sesame Street early.

September 9, 2006

80% of car seats are incorrectly installed. It's not that hard to do, but there are a number of details you need to get right to install a car seat so that it's safe for the baby in a crash. The seat has to face the correct direction, it has to be tilted the right amount to within a few degrees, it has to be tight against the seat, and then it has to be fastened to something that's secure. Once the seat is installed correctly, getting the baby secure in the seat isn't a small matter either: modern infant car seats have (race car style) five point harnesses with several kinds of adjustement. It's simple, but there are a bunch of things for tired, stressed-out new parents to screw up, so it's not terribly suprising that so many of us do just that.

In September 2002, the US Government tried to improve the situation by mandating a system called LATCH on all new cars. LATCH solves the "fastened to something that's secure" part of installing a car seat. In a car with LATCH, the infant seat attaches to dedicated metal loops behind the seat cushion rather than to the seat belt. Unlike a seat belt, the LATCH mounting points never move, so it's easier to get the infant seat mounted and tight against the seat.

Despite the fact that our car is LATCH equipped, I decided it would be a good idea to get my seat installation checked out. While I was pretty confident in my ability to get a car seat installed, a second set of eyes never hurt. So in keeping with the advice I received from a several good sources, I went down to the local fire house (half a block from our home) and asked them to take a look at my car seat. This type of public service is apparantly usual practice for fire houses in many areas of the country. However, not in Philadelphia.

At the fire house I went to I was told that Philadelphia city fire houses can't inspect car seats because they didn't want to expose themselves to the liability. Their suggestion was to go to a fire house in a suburb, pretend I was from the suburb, and have them inspect the seat. For this kind of upstanding service, Teresa and I pay a 4.3% city income tax (on top of the state and federal income tax). While I don't blame the local firemen for suggesting I go to a suburban fire house, I think it's patently absurd that the city ignores this type of (80% prevalent) public health issue for the sake of reduced liability. This is particularly true when the natural end effect is to attempt to pass the liability on to more upstanding neighboring communities.

For what it's worth the hospital staff couldn't inspect the seat installation either, and for the same reason. For some reason, it's less offensive when a private organization says it than when it comes from the government.

Sorry for the gripe, but this is an irritating (for me) fact of life in the modern world.

September 5, 2006

We received some wonderful baby fortune cookes as a gift, and I thought some of the fortunes were pretty interesting. The highlights will be posted here occasionally:

A perfect example of minority rule is a baby in the house.

–Milwaukee Journal

September 4, 2006

Where did Ryan's name come from? Lots of agonizing. We didn't find out Ryan's gender prior to his birth and for some reason it was easier to pick the girl's name than the boy's name. Anyway, here's the etymology:

  • Ryan - We struggled with this one for months. Ryan is actually the name of a guy that Mike worked for for a week and also the last name of a painter we employed about the same time. It fell into our laps and we liked it.
  • Charles - This is the first name of Charles Schaeffer, may he rest in peace. Charles was Mike's paternal grandfather and he passed away around the time Mike was born. Charles was also a part of our wedding: Mike wore a pair of his cuff links as shirt buttons during the cermony.
  • Harrison - Teresa's maiden name, and the name she uses for business purposes.
  • Schaeffer - Mike's family name.
September 4, 2006

Ryan turned one month old the other day! In honor of the occasion we've put a few more pictures online in another album. This album is bigger than usual and it contains all sorts of good stuff: pictures of his second bath, 1 month birthday cake, and a bunch of new facial expressions... including some smiles!

Happy Birthday Ryan,
Mom and Dad

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