Thursday, April 30, 2009

This is Why I Give Blood

I gave blood for the first time back in 2001 or 2002 shortly after my late Grandpa had surgery to remove his kidneys. As a result of that surgery he had to go to dialysis three times a week to have his blood filtered. There were many times when he needed someone else's blood given to him because of his condition. My dad's dad was an amazing person with a big heart, a big smile, and an outgoing personality. I miss him a lot. He was someone I looked up to in so many different ways and he was a joy to everyone he came in contact with. One thing that really makes me sad is the fact that Cade never got to meet him. Sometimes Cade will make an expression (usually a smile) and it will remind me of my Grandpa.

So I started giving blood as kind of a tribute to my Grandpa who was on dialysis. It was my little way of symbolically giving it to him even though we lived in different states. Even now that he is gone I still try to make it to the blood center every eight weeks.

I went a couple days ago and I was pretty overdue (last donation was in January). During the process of donating, I asked the nurse (phlebotomist I believe?) if they were in short supply of any particular type of blood. I am B+, which is a fairly rare type; according to this website, only 9.4% of the population has B+.

Since we had been out of town for a couple weeks we hadn't heard about the stabbing that had occured in Owensboro the week before. Stories here and here. Apparently this guy is type B+ and at the time of my donation the hospital was asking the blood bank to keep a large number of units of B+ on hot standby because they were still going through a lot of blood.

It had never hit home like that for me. As she took the bag of my blood out of the room I watched it and knew that there was a good chance it would be pumped into a person about my age that was fighting for survival. I haven't seen or heard any reports about him in the last couple days, so I don't know how he's doing. The reason it hit home is that every other time in the past I just knew it was going into this amorphous "bank" of blood that would eventually be used. I never had a face or name, which is what made it more real and a little more intense for me this time.

My resolve has strengthened to not be delinquent in the future. This experience also made me want to keep myself as healthy as possible in order to donate blood of the highest quality. And I hope that by reading this some of you will decide to go give blood. Just because a name or a face isn't available doesn't mean every drop isn't needed.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pictures and Videos

I decided that we've not been using our camera enough lately. It takes pretty good videos, and we really don't have any excuse not to preserve as many images of our kid as possible. Don't get me wrong; we have hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures and short videos of Cade, but we've been lax lately. So here are some more pictures and videos for you out-of-town family and friends who don't get to see him on a regular basis.

In the last few days Cade's figured out how to spread what he's eating into his hair. It's pretty funny, as long as it's easy to clean up. I guess he just wants to make sure we remember to wash his hair every night. One food he's really taken to is avocados. Susie and I eat them a lot, so we pass Cade a few pieces to chew on pretty frequently. They're great: they're soft, easy to chew, have a great mellow flavor, and as a bonus they have wonderful oils for your hair. Last night Cade really seemed to latch onto that last advantage of an avocado. We went to take a couple bites of our dinner and looked over to see a baby covered with avocado and the rest of his meal (avocado makes a great paste as well). It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but he'd spread it all up in his hair, which is why it's standing up. You can tell he was enjoying it.
Another thing he does that cracks me up is constantly find a way to put his feet up. When he's eating he always has his feet up on the underside of his tray like he's just chillaxin'.
Today was a great day. Cade and Susie are going back up to Bloomington this week so Cade and I got a lot of daddy/son play time today. He's developing preferences between some of his toys, and he really likes these interconnecting blocks. I think I had some of these when I was a little kid. When you make it wiggle around like a snake he laughs uncontrollably.
He's still not crawling up on his hands and knees, but he's definitely moving around better and better all the time. He still does the armyman crawl along his belly. A game he's recently started playing with me is crawling away from me and checking to see if I'm coming after him. He'll crawl a few feet and then roll over on his back and look at me and grin. If I start asking him where he's going he starts squealing and crawling faster. Eventually he'll get somewhere where I need to get him and he'll just collapse in giggles when I catch up to him. (I like that game too.)

Check out the stylin' cargo shorts with frayed hems. He wasn't supposed to wear them this morning. Susie had him all dressed up in a smooth plaid pair of overalls. I think he didn't wanted to wear them because he dropped a bomb I would have been proud of in that little diaper. It may have been his biggest turd to date. It got everywhere. That diaper definitely required a 2-person crew to clean up (not counting Cade). So we tag teamed it and cleaned him, his clothes, the changing pad, and the exersaucer up.

Here's a video of Cade showing off his pipes. He loves to sing and if we break out the guitar, the piano, or even just play music from the iPod, he'll start singing along.

In this video Cade's doing his best Chewbacca impression. Very good if you ask me (but I'm his dad).

I guess it was about a month ago Cade started doing this little chuckle, or chortle, if you will. It's kind of a half cough, half laugh. The faces he makes while doing this reminds me of expressions Darrell Hammond might make in an SNL skit. He follows the chortle up with a dead on impression of a squeaky screen door and a reprise of the Chewy bit.

The grand finale video of this post (and possibly the funniest on this blog so far). You will soon be rewarded for reading all the way down to here. I hate to give away any of the plot line on this one, but listen closely at the 13 second mark. He's already figured out how to strategically place a cough. I'm so proud I'm tearing up.

As you can see in the pictures and videos, we've been incredibly blessed with a super happy baby. He is so much fun to be with and take care of. It's hard to believe he's over ten months old. It doesn't feel like that long since I was driving Susie to the hospital. Everyone I talk to tells me to savor every bit since it will continue to fly by. So that's what we're trying to do. Hopefully all of you enjoy looking in on us as Cade grows and grows. I've said it before, but thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers for us and Cade.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Good to be back

I've been in Norfolk, NE, since last Friday for work. The work was good, but I missed the family. I got back kind of late last night, but Cade was wide awake and was super excited to see me. He had a hard time calming down and going to sleep after that. It was cute and it made me feel good to see him get so excited. Here are a couple pictures of him this morning when I was feeding him breakfast. He was still excited. I love that little guy.
We think he's starting to associate Susie, Chili, and I with certain sounds and is able to identify us. He's definitely got "dada" and "mama" down. He calls for "mama" more when he's upset. I can calm him down most of the time, but "mama" has the touch all the time. We think he's started identifying Chili too, which is pretty cool. Cade absolutely adores Chili, and Chili's coming around with Cade since he's been identified as a food scrap source at meal times. Cade's learned to say the hard "g" sound (like in the word bug), so instead of "Chili" we've been trying to teach him to say "dog." He sometimes gets the word out, but then other times it just comes out as "ug." But lately when Chili walks up he'll say "ug" over and over. Pretty cute. It's amazing to watch his development.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On the move

These last couple weeks have been pretty busy ones, so I haven't been posting as much as I've wanted to. I've been traveling a little, and school is heading toward the stretch run for Susie and me, but that doesn't mean it's been calm on the Cade front.

A couple weeks back Susie's mom came in and stayed at the house with Cade and me while Susie went up to school for a week. It was fun to have Cade around during the week, and it was the longest break Susie had had since Cade was born. I know she appreciated the rest and time to herself that week and I appreciated the company, the help with Cade, and the great meals Velma made. I know we told you thanks back then, but here's a public thanks for all that help Vee Vee! You truly are appreciated.

Cade spent his first Easter kind of sick. Susie and Cade were up in Bloomington on Good Friday and she called me around 4am on Saturday morning to tell me he was just moaning and had thrown up all over himself and her. It's tough getting that call in the middle of the night and not being able to do anything about it from 3 hours away. In my new job I don't get called in the middle of the night anymore, so I've kind of lost the touch of being able to become instantly wide awake when the phone wakes me up, but it wasn't too tough when it was Susie and Cade.

It turns out he had an ear infection and a pretty rough sounding cough and chest cold. Susie ended up taking him to an urgent care clinic in Bloomington Saturday morning, and the doctor gave him some antibiotics. He's doing pretty well now; his cough is lingering a bit, and he's pretty clingy to Susie but you can tell he's feeling better. We're hoping tonight he'll sleep through the night because since he's been sick the nights have been rough.

Other than the sickness, you can't really compain much when you have a kid as fun and cheerful as Cade. He's still a big time swing-lover. A couple nights ago we took him and Chili on a walk down to the park. As we were getting nearer to the park Cade started getting kind of fussy. We weren't sure how fast we needed to get back, but once we got on the swing he forgot whatever was making him upset.Here are a couple pictures we took tonight of Cade eating some squash. He liked it so much he put it up in his hair and all over his face. These small pictures don't do the amount of squash that was on him any kind of justice.
He's not quite "crawling" yet, but he has the army crawl down pretty well. You definitely have to keep an eye on him because he's really learning how to move around. Here's a video of him trying to get Chili tonight. The video's kind of dark, but you get the idea. Never a dull moment!