Thursday, May 31, 2007

What I Got for My Birthday

A 10-terabyte MilesPod!


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Caption-Writing Contest

Submit your entries via the comments function.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Miles @ Folklife

Miles took his first trip to the Seattle Center to take in the Folklife Festival. It was a bigger crowd than he was used to.

He got to see his favorite band, the Toucans:

And even dance a little bit:

And wear a groovy new hat:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Miles Meets His Great-Grandma

The long-awaited summit meeting between Miles and his great-grandmother Judy finally took place last Saturday. Delayed first by Miles' winter quarantine and then by Judy's bout with the flu, the encounter was eagerly anticipated by all.

Back in March, a flu bug swept through Judy's assisted living facility and sent her to Swedish Hospital for several weeks, the same place where Lisa, Miles and I spent so much time last winter. (It is a mystery to us Norwegians why we must depend on Swedes for our health care; nevertheless, we must grudgingly acknowledge that they've done a pretty good job keeping us together so far).

Judy's hospitalization caused her to miss what would have otherwise been a raucous 95th birthday party. Upon her release from Swedish, she moved to a new care facility in Broadview--not quite so convenient as her old place, which was just a few blocks from our house.

On previous visits, I'd told Judy quite a bit about Miles and his extraordinary preemie adventures. "Two pounds, ten ounces!" she would exclaim, in utter disbelief. "How can he be that small?" I tried to explain about the NICU. In turn, she told me about how preemies were cared for back in her childhood -- something about keeping them in a shoebox on top of a wood stove.

In any event, it was a great pleasure to introduce her to Miles as a strapping thirteen-pounder. Miles is Judy's tenth great-grandchild, to go with her four children and seven grandchildren. Still, she was anything but jaded about the arrival of this new descendant. She was impressed by his vigor and cuteness, of course, but especially by his constant chatter. "He's going to be quite an orator," she declaimed--several times.

Seeing Miles and Judy together, one could not help noticing a certain similarity in their present situations--i.e., limited mobility, dependence on others, non-linear memories, no control over the menu. Of course, it is hardly an original observation that we tend to wind up in a condition not so different from how we began. Still, it's impossible to look at Miles' tiny hand in his great-grandmother's without catching a glimpse of the whole expanse of one's own life, past and future. Somewhere in that grasp, across four generations, lies a lot of what it's all about.


Friday, May 18, 2007

The Difference a Year Can Make

Exactly one year ago today, on May 18, 2006, Miles was conceived. He had six months of amniotic bliss, three months of NICU H-E-double toothpicks and now three months of real live babydom. Our adorable bouncy baby is officially six months old today, May 18th. Dean and I look at each other (and Miles) in wonderment, realizing what a road we've been down together.

I thought it would be a good opportunity to update all on how things are really going in Miles Land. Let's hit the basics.


Miles has grown into a fantastic nurser. He nurses directly from me usually all day and in the middle of the night with an exception of a couple of the evening feeds. Those feeds he takes expressed milk via bottle from Dean. I am proud of the fact that I have been able to breast feed a very premature baby for six months. Besides his IV fluids and small amounts of rice cereal in his bottle to thicken the breast milk for reflux purposes, Miles has had nothing but breast milk since he was born.

Dean and I still employ a rental scale that allows us to weigh Miles before and after nursing so that we know exactly how well he does. It has been a valuable tool for getting a sense of what constitutes a great feed (>120 ml) vs. an OK feed (80-100 ml). Frankly, we are addicted to the darn thing. We want to know how much our baby weighs and get the satisfaction that we are contributing to his well-being by feeding him enough to allow him to gain weight. Apparently, we aren't the only parents with this incessant curiosity; whenever we have our PEPS meeting or any of the other moms' groups at our house, a line forms to use the scale. Yesterday, Mr. Miles weighed in at 13 lbs. 4 oz., a full 11 lbs. 3oz. more than he was 6 months ago! Now, that's a lot of milk!


Hanging out with so many new moms, sleep is clearly the number one conversational topic, with various contending philosophies ("Cry it out", "No-Cry Sleep Solution", Schedule vs. On-Demand, etc., etc.) Well, all I can say is that Miles is becoming a very reasonable sleeper. Over the last week, Dean and I have been getting long uninterrupted sleep through the night, thanks to our little friend's cooperation (Miles recorded 9 consecutive hours of sleep last night). However, the trade off for all this nighttime slumbering is shorter and shorter naps during the day.

I have learned that Miles is always changing and that my job is to provide him with opportunities to sleep and to take advantage of them. Also, I have discovered that Miles is not a great sleeper on the fly, probably because he's been kept reasonably stationary, first in the NICU and then in our home. Well, that's changing! Dean and I are on the go often and need to be able to take the Muffinhead along. We are practicing with him.


Miles takes vitamins and a medication for his reflux every day and that's it. He has never been sick. This too we are proud of, as it was hard work protecting him from a winter's worth of microbes. We thank all of our family and friends for respecting our hypochondria and general paranoia. It paid off! (Knock on wood.)

Miles still has BPD, but it is very mild and because he is thriving no one is worried. We do need to be cautious with him through next cold/flu season. He will continue to sleep on his wedge (now in a crib in our room, close to our bed) until he is big enough to attempt to crawl out of it. He naps in his swing or bouncy chair, both at an angle.


Miles is not a quiet child. It's not that he's unusually loud -- based on other infants we know, his maximum volume setting is actually somewhat lower than average. It's his minimum volume that is notable. Whether awake or asleep, he is constantly making noise, anything from grunting to cooing and gurgling. Dean has made up a new word for all of Miles' racket: "bargling". Miles bargles full-time. When we extract him from his wedge in the morning, after his breakfast (which occurs in our bed) he hangs out nestled in the breast-feeding pillow and "bargles" to us for as long as we have to hang with him. Quite frankly, it melts us both. He smiles, coos and imitates us in the best way he can -- it is the cutest thing we have ever seen.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Miles' Mother's Day

And grandmothers too!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Catching Up With Mr. Miles

Here's what Miles and Mommy were up to while Dad was in Japan.

Meeting Sofie the Giraffe.

Exploring the Rain Forest.

Trying out that Joan of Arc look.

Taking the first ride in his Dreamer Design superstroller.

Staying sane on the home front!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Counting Sheep

...doesn't seem to help Miles sleep.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tokyo Monogatari

Well, we're running a little behind on our blogging here at Miles Central. Daddy's been back in Seattle for a week and a half, but he still hasn't finished writing about his trip to Japan.

My daily Skype videoconferences with Miles were a real treat. I could keep up with all of his bargling over the week, while giving him a chance to see a bit of the world (or, at least, my hotel room).

This is what a call looked like for me:

And this is what it looked like from Miles' point of view:

Of course, everywhere there were reminders of Mommy:

I paid a visit to the "Grand Spot" -- my old apartment building where I lived from 1994-97:

And just a ten-minute walk away from the old neighborhood, I saw the new home of our friends Aaron and Tiffany (and their kids Mia and Rhett), who just moved to Tokyo:

You can read about their exciting adventures at their blog Yoko No-No.

Tokyo has changed a bit in the ten years since I lived there full-time. For one thing, a Starbucks run no longer requires a half-day trip to Ginza and back. Now there's one on every block--just like home. Meanwhile, new buildings are going up everywhere, obscuring familiar landmarks and leaving me a bit disoriented in some parts of town. Even the old Defense Agency in Roppongi has been leveled to make way for the sprawling new "Tokyo Midtown" complex:

Talk about swords into plowshares! Although, in truth, the Defense Agency simply moved elsewhere and plowed the real estate profits into new weapons systems. Still, it's something they should keep in mind at the Pentagon when the cash runs short.