Mike Schaeffer's Weblog
Tue, 08 Jan 2008
Long Time, No See.
It seems that it's been a while since I've posted: about four months. That's longer then I meant, but isn't that always the case?

In the four months since I've not been posting, Ryan has crawled, learn to walk, learned to talk a little, and learned to respond to simple questions. Personally speaking, I've worked a bit on vCalc, not to mention the more important bill-paying work of my full time day job. Personally, I think Ryan is making me look like a slacker, but I suppose that's a matter of judgement. :-)

Anyway, I hope your holiday season was all you wanted it to be, and Happy New Year. I have a few ideas for new posts, so with some luck, the next gap won't be four months long.

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Sat, 25 Aug 2007
Ryan's First Birthday
Ryan, believe it or not, turned one last month. Rather than write too much about it, I'll let this video of his first year speak for itself. Please enjoy!

Click Here to View

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Fri, 04 May 2007
Baby Fortunes, part 8
"A major problem facing mothers is that ovens are self-cleaning but kids are not!"

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Wed, 04 Apr 2007
Baby Fortunes, part 7
"God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.

--Jewish Proverb


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Sun, 04 Mar 2007
Baby Fortunes, part 6
"Your child will be blessed with a large and loving family."

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Wed, 14 Feb 2007
Valentine's Day Pictures
Believe it or not, Ryan turned six months old a couple weeks ago. It does not seem all that long ago that Teresa and I got up from sitting on the bathroom floor to look at the pregnancy test's two (!) stripes. I remember very clearly that my first thought at the time was, "Well, that's right!". Six months after Ryan's birth that thought is more true ever now, and this is despite the fact that there is no way we could ever have been possibly been prepared for the degree of impact Ryan has had on our lives. Ryan is truly a blessing, and we are very fortunate to have him in our lives.

In honor of Ryan's first valentine's day, we've posted a few pictures online of the months since Thanksgiving. What can I say other than that the last three months have been very significant for our little one. Among other things, Ryan is now sitting up, eating multiple kinds of solid food, actively playing with toys, and taking a distinct interest in petting the dog (who is still a bit hesitant, since Ryan hasn't quite yet mastered the distinction between 'pet' and 'grab').

We've also had some professional portraits taken, and a link to those images is available here. Be sure to enter 'Teresa Harrison' as the customer name.

One other note is that it's been close to two months since our last significant post on the blog. A big part of the reason is work, but another big part of the reason is that the posting workflow for this blog is pretty much what it was two years ago: ssh and a tty-based text editor. This is difficult for both of us, so we've decided to move the Ryan-related content to another blog.

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Sun, 04 Feb 2007
Baby Fortunes, part 5
"Baby - A little person who is subject to change without notice."

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Tue, 26 Dec 2006
Merry Christmas!
Well, another Christmas has come and gone. This one was particularly special for us, since it was both Ryan's first Christmas and our first Christmas with a child. Stereotypically for a child on Christmas morning, Ryan woke us up at 5:30 AM. However, true to his usual daily ritual, it was more because he was hungry than because he was excited about opening gifts. In a few years that will probably reverse itself. We also expect Ryan to start helping out a little more with actually opening the gifts. Since he's not quite five months old he had a little trouble with the wrapping paper; Mommy and Daddy had to help out a bit with that part. Once we got the gifts open for him, we'd show them to Ryan who would then promptly try to eat them. This worked better for some gifts than for others. :-)

For the majority of Ryan's Christmas, we tried an idea that Teresa suggested. Since Ryan's direct involvement in opening his gifts was limited by his age, we each got some surprise gifts for Ryan, and then opened the gifts to Ryan from the other parent. This made Christmas shopping particularly fun and also added to the surprise factor of Christmas morning. It was fun to see the different perspectives we brought to Ryan's Christmas: for an example, Daddy got Ryan a space heater (for bath time in the Philadelphia winter) and Mommy got Ryan a Leap Frog toy designed to teach farm animal sounds. The toy is actually really cool, even for adults: farm animals are represented with plastic blocks labled and colored to match the animal they represent. The blocks then have punch card like patterns of holes that signal the type of animal to the farmhouse. This enables the farmhouse to make the appropriate sounds for each animal. (The toy has blocks for three types of animals but a four bit animal encoding scheme that would allow it to distinguish between 15 different types of blocks. Daddy is very curious what the other 12 sounds might be.)

In the end, Ryan's most important gift this year was also one of the smallest. Due to a possible ear ache a couple weeks ago, Teresa ended up having to take Ryan to the doctor to have his ear examined. During that visit, Teresa asked and got approval for Ryan to start eating solid foods other than rice cereal. In honor of that newfound permission, we got Ryan some actual baby food as a stocking stuffer: two tubs each of green peas and squash. Christmas afternoon found Ryan eating away at green peas and absolutely loving them. Compared to the rice cereal, which is apparantly pretty awful, there's no comparision at all: Ryan loves his peas. He opened his mouth when he saw the spoon coming, pulled the spoon towards his mouth, and then licked the peas off the spoon. We have pictures and videos we're going to try to post in the next week or two.

We all hope everybody reading this is having a similarly blessed Holiday season and has a wonderful New Year!

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Mon, 04 Dec 2006
Baby Fortunes, part 3
Your child will be lucky in love, throughout life.

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Tue, 28 Nov 2006
Ghostbusters 2
Teresa and I just re-watched Ghostbusters 2 last night. While watching it, there were a couple scenes that initially struck me as totally being about wish fulfillment. The Ghostbusters have just made some kind of breakthrough, Bobby Brown's "Own Our Own" fades in, and they cut to scenes of the Ghostbuster-mobile tearing around the streets of New York interspersed with shots of the Ghostbusters themselves riding around in the car like refugees from a Beastie Boys video. These are clearly men of decisive action (and you can be one too).

It was the outcome of these two scenes that made me reconsider my opinion. After the first scene, the Ghostbusters fail to convince the mayor of New York of the threat of ghosts and get themselves thrown in an asylum. After the second scene, they end up immobilized by Vigo, writhing on the floor, and ultimately saved by the city of New York singing a nice round of Auld Lang Syne. Wish fulfillment, indeed.

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Sun, 26 Nov 2006
Ryan's First Thanksgiving
We just got back from Ryan's first Thanksgiving holiday. Rather than spread the travel out across the entire holiday season, we decided to hit both sets of grandparents during Thanksgiving. This has made for a fun, busy week and a great start for what promises to be a hectic year's end. Over the holiday, Ryan also had a whole bunch of firsts:
  • First visit with all sorts of family, including three great-grandparents.
  • First time south of the Mason-Dixon line.
  • First three airplane rides. (He travels really well; He basically did not cry at all!)
  • First time to touch his knees and feet.
  • First trip to Whataburger and his first two trips to Mexican restaurants.
Ryan was quite the little trooper and a big hit with everybody he met. We've put some pictures up here. We hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving holiday and wish everybody a happy holiday season!

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Fri, 17 Nov 2006
5 years
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

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99.0...98.9...98.8...98.7...98.6...
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.

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Sat, 04 Nov 2006
Baby Fortunes, part 2
"The greatest love is a mother's, then a dog's, then a sweetheart's."

-Polish Proverb


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Fri, 27 Oct 2006
101.1... 101.2... 101.3... 101.4...
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.

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Sat, 21 Oct 2006
Ryan After Three Months
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.

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