Monday, July 28, 2008

Quickie

Just a very quick post to say that D has had his casts changed again today and it looks like everything is going well, his feet now point more or less down and slightly outwards. The next phase is to bring his toes up towards his knees.

We are all staying with T&B at the beach so normal service will resume from the end of the week. Enjoy the good weather if you have any, it has been 30C here for a couple of days. Nice.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Holiday Time!


This is my last day at work for 3 weeks and I really feel like I need the break. I cycled to work this morning into a headwind which was frankly rather hard work, but I still managed the 45km in 1½ hours, not too bad.

Today D is having a heart scan and I think that is the last serious test that we have to worry about for the time being, he is just left with hearing tests and a hip scan next week.


It will be really nice to see everyone together again this evening, I have not seen J since last weekend and I have really missed him. I hope that we can manage to do some fun things during our break, including some trips in the new bike trailer and I would love to take him on a little camping trip to the forest. There are some covered camping platforms scattered around that anyone can use complete with a place for a camp fire. I think J would enjoy a night in a sleeping bag and cooking some sausages on the fire, but as ever with little kids, you never really know...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Home alone


It is strange that after a few days of being a parent to 2 kids, I now find myself having quite a big break from them both. J has been with his grandparents since the weekend and yesterday afternoon MK and DK headed off to stay with them as well.
That left me on my own to drink tea, watch the Tour de France, ride my bike and eat pizza (in precisely that order)
This evening I am looking forward to a spot of mountain biking possibly followed by more pizza and an early night to prepare for my last day at work before my summer holiday.

I am feeling rather tired and looking forward to a break from the office and to spend some time at home with the family and DIY projects. I am of course also looking forward to spending some time riding my bike although the fun of riding my road bike is, for the time being, reduced a great deal by the awful noise coming from the bottom bracket. I need a new one. However the result of riding a creaky and now aging bike is that I find myself lusting after a new one.

Moots Compact or a Cervelo R3 hmmmmm...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Face shots

After playing with my old school friends expensive DSLR camera at the weekend (he is a profesional photographer, apparently well know for sports stuff) he has talked me into looking at proer cameras.

SO far the first on the list looks to be a good buy at the moment. The Nikon D40


In the meantime, here is a requested face shot or 2



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Set Free

Today it seems that we have been released from Roskilde Hospital and put into the capable hands of our local nurse who will be keeping track on DKs progress until after his heart scan in August. It seems that he is making progress and has gained 300g in the last week.

Left on the list of checks are a heart scan, hip scan and a hearing test as far as I recall and tomorrow he is being seen again by the cleft palate specialist. According to the papers we got from her last time, at some point he will be the subject of a conference of about 10 (I am not exagerating) specialists to discuss the finer details of operation to be performed on his mouth when he is 14 months old. I hope there is a powerpoint show!

You can see here that his feet are looking better already, but there is still a long way to go...
This is not a before and after but a before and during:

Monday, July 21, 2008

A wedding, some bile and babies feet.


The weekend didn't run exactly according to plan. The wedding on Saturday was lovely and it was great to see my old school friends again.

However, I think I had a bad pint (either the thirteenth or the fourteenth I think) and so I was rather ill. I left the do at about 3am and it took me 4 hours to get home as a result of poor bus choices and a lack of trains. I slept at least an hour at 2 different stations and it was rather chilly!

Sunday was spent hugging the toilet. I think I may have had some food poisoning to be honest as I wasn't that drunk and I really was very sick for the entire day. Thankfully I have recovered during the day today.

This morning DK had his casts changed and his first bath. We were very happy to see that his feet are heading in the right direction. MK has also been shopping for some post baby clothes and looks pretty hot in her new jeans and stripy top

Friday, July 18, 2008

Here comes the rain

There are a number of reasons for it to be raining heavily at the moment
  1. It is summer
  2. MK is out of the house running errands whilst the cleaner is doing her stuff
  3. Mandy is getting married tomorrow and it is practicing
  4. We now have a child trailer that would be fun to try out in the dry

Never mind, it's good for the garden.

Further on the subject of the bike trailer, given that it cost 50% more than my first car, I think I am obliged to elaborate a little on it's features.

It has adjustable leaf spring suspension which is apparently a unique feature in a bike trailer. The build quality id very good, it is made of aluminium so it is lite and all the materials seem to be high quality. The cushioning inside is all cool-max and the white bits glow in the dark (ti my surprise when I put it in the basement). We are looking forward to taking it for a spin, but I think it may be a couple of weeks before MK wants to sit on anything as narrow as a bike seat!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Got it!





Need another mortgage, but it's ours!
We also have a thingy that connects to a bike - of course!

Shopping trip


We're off to look at and maybe buy a bike trailer this evening so I guess it will rain for the foreseeable future!


If we get one, I'll post some pics later.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Garage


OK, this is not our garage, but ours is heading in this direction and if we/I don't do something about it this summer, I think it may well fall down during the winter. The problem is that we don't really know what to do with it. Those of you who have visited will know that the garage is rather too small and tight to access for us to use for the car, but it is used to house bikes, lawn mowers and prams along with other garden type stuff. We would certainly miss it if it were not there.
However, this being Scandinavia, there would certainly be some benefits to having some sort of car port for the winter and a shed of some description for the other stuff. The problem is that the gap you have to drive through to get to the garage is rather narrow and we don't want to go backwards and forwards through it every day, but there is no obvious alternative. That is where we have gotten stuck.
The final obstacle to us overcoming inertia is that planning permission is required if we stand still for more than half an hour in the garden so we would need permission for either a shed or a car port and probably if we changed the garage as well. If anyone has any smart ideas then let me know bearing in mind that we really need to "re-do" the drive at some point but I don't think I can face that at the moment.

This weekend I will investigate how extensive the rot situation and see if the current structure can be saved or not...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New casts

I can't see much difference,but apparently there is some progress.




Amazingly you more or less can't tell that MK had a baby last weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sleep


The first impressions are that D will be a much better sleeper than J has been. I know these are early days, but last night he ate a lot in the evening, was fed at around 1 and then slept until 5:30 or something like that. MK has a hard time pumping milk out in the middle of the night, but we are all starting to get some sort of routine so the washing, sterilising, pumping and feeding are getting easier.

The special bottles that we have to use cannot go in a normal sterilizer so we have to pour boiling water over them which is something of a pain and the kettle has been on more or less non stop since they got home.

Tomorrow we are going back to the hospital for D to have his casts changed. We will also have the chance to give him his first ever bath between having the old casts removed and the new ones put on.

There seems to be quite a lot going on all the time at home these days, I guess that is just how it's going to be for the next few months/years!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend at home



Harvest time

Today we have started harvesting our fruit. (We have been eating peas from the garden for weeks already). Since we put some netting over the blueberries the birds have not been able to eat them so we now have a bumper crop.
J ate a few and we are trying to decide what to do with the remainder. I think I'll eat all of the raspberries for breakfast!
The crop of gooseberries has been much better and there are still some on the bushes for future collection. Faced with this enormous quantity of fruit, I was not sure what to do with it all. I settled on gooseberry muffins. I have however learned a coupe of important lessons during the baking process, firstly, if it says butter milk, then don't substitute cream and secondly, if you put hot stuff into the cake mix then the baking powder fizzes a lot and the raising agent for the cake disappears into the kitchen. They are crap.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chinese torture

D is putting on weight, only 10g, but it is better than losing weight so both we and the doctors are happy. He is also returning to a more normal pink colour from the brown/purple/yellow that he has been sporting since Monday.
Now that we've had them home for a couple of nights it is starting to sink in exactly what we have let ourselves in for.


Breast feeding is easy for Dad and fairly convenient for Mum, the milk is convenient to carry, warm and sterile (if a little uncomfortable apparently). The pump (milking machine as I prefer to call it) means that each feed requires half an hour of pumping and a lot of faffing with bottle brushes, kettles and sterilizers. We have also found out the hard way that the special bottles that we have to use cannot stand being in a sterilizer because it makes them shrink so the lid doesn't fit. Thankfully we only did 1 of the only 2 available in the hospital so we still have one to use!

After 2 nights of interrupted sleep the memories are coming back of what it is like to have a small baby in the house. J only woke up once and was thankfully satisfied that I gave him a new dummy so he went back to sleep.

This weekend I think we will try to plan a small vacation and think about the other things that have to be done around the house now that D is home. I am hoping we can look for a bike trailer too so that I can continue to get some exercise whilst also taking J out of the way for a while.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's all go!


After 1 night at home with 2 kids, I can see that this is going to be a lot of work.

It has been confirmed that D has a cleft palate (a small hole in the roof of his mouth) which means that when he sucks, he gets air in through his nose as well so he is not able to breast feed. We have to use some special bottles so that we can squirt milk into his mouth whilst he is trying to suck. He will have to have an operation when he is 14 months old to have this fixed and he is not allowed to start nursery until that is done so MK will be home for longer than planned. :-)

The fact that D will not be able to breast feed has an advantage that both of us can feed him in principal, but MK is better at that than I am, there is a special technique that I have to work on. The negative is that we will be spending a lot of time washing and sterilizing bottles and there MK will be pumping out milk until she gets fed up with it and beyond.

Handling D with the casts is a little difficult as well as they are rather heavy and awkward. We'll get used to it.

J was happy to have us home and has been quite interested in D, showing him various toys and constantly trying to make sure that he has a dummy (pacifier) at his disposal. So far there has been no jealousy...

Last night I noticed that D's tummy button was rather smelly and we were going to ask the doctors today if it was OK, apparently that is not a worry any more as it fell off in the night and looks much nicer now.


MK is back at the hospital today with D for more tests and we are going to be fed by the grandparents again tonight.


Finally, on the subject of Iowa, we explained our position to the doctor yesterday in Hvidovre that we had asked Dr Ponseti if there were any particularly good doctors in Denmark and he told us that in his opinion, there was nobody doing the job properly in Denmark and to illustrate the point he was treating 2 patients at the moment who had been poorly treated in Denmark.

The extra details that we now know are that these were both treated at other hospitals and the doctors who we are seeing have been trained in Iowa. The process is relatively simple and our Dr thought we would be completely mad to travel to the US.

My confidence in Danish Drs has not been improved by them not noticing Ds cleft palate for 2 days, but given the cost, time and inconvenience of going to Iowa added to the inability to breast feed, it was really a big relief to us to decided to stay here. If there are any problems in the future, we can always get a second opinion, but we hope it will not be necessary.


We are all feeling pretty happy today and looking forward to getting to know how D & J will get on together.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Another day - another unexpected event


Today we went to the hospital in Hvidovre and came home with a baby in plaster. I guess it means that we won't be going to Iowa and I think that is a big relief for all of us. They have been treating babies using the Ponseti method at that hospital for 2 years with only 2 problems, each of these babies had many other problems as well.

I hope that this will all work out for the best.

Little D is feeding very well from a bottle now that we have found out why he could not breast feed and all is well. He and his mother are home and apart from having to work out how to handle the little guy with his heavy plastered legs, it is all going well.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Homeward bound

Little D had an eventful day yesterday. I called in to visit on my way to work in the morning and he was looking a little yellow and was frankly rather limp. It turned out that he had not at that point had his first "movement" and was somewhat backed up with meconium. However, as he had been in a Danish hospital for more than 4 hours he was due an enema anyway (I sometimes fear that they will start giving them to visitors, such is their popularity!) and that got everything moving in a hurry. Apparently he managed to spray a large area of the room and immediately bucked up afterwards, no doubt proud of that achievement.

He is still having a little trouble feeding from his mother, it turns out that he has a slightly cleft pallet that the pediatrician found after a close examination. A specialist is coming to have a look at that this morning, but it may be contributing to his difficulties sucking. We couldn't see anything so I don't really know what the consequences are or if it will have to be treated at some point.

We are all hoping that D and MK can come home today and we are looking forward to having dinner with T&B this evening with a celebratory bottle of bubbly. Hopefully I'll get around to taking some more pictures to post.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Another long evening

Yesterday was a carefully choreographed exercise. T&B dropped J off at home and had lunch with me (late enough for me to get a nice ride in the sunshine before they arrived) before going to meet grandson #2 for the first time. J then slept a bit before we went to Roskilde for him to meet his little brother for the first time. That went reasonably well so he and I left the hospital at 6:30 to go to the airport to fetch Grandma at 7. This is where it started to go wrong.

When we got to the airport it said on the screen that the flight was expected at 9:15. J and I the went to get something to eat and down to the marina to have a run around and see the boats. After an hour or so he was tired so we got in the car and I drove around until he fell asleep, then I went back to the airport and parked where I could watch the planes come in, but parking was free.

BHP had registered my number to get updates on the arrival time of the flight, but that wasn't really keeping up to date with reality as the scheduled arrival time came and went again.

To cut a long story short(ish) the plane landed at 10:00 and we were on our way home not too long after, but the upshot was that I was not in bed until 1 and up again at 6 this morning so I am not feeling too fresh.

Grandma gets to meet D for the first time this evening and hopefully he will be home tomorrow. The pediatrician has given him a clean bill of health so we just hope that he gets on with the feeding and we can all relax for a while...

J is having a day at home with Grandma today, it sounds like they are having fun.

Meeting the little brother


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Names

I know it is too late, but please stop posting his name everywhere, it is meant to be a surprise in Denmark and we haven't told a lot of people yet.

I made a point of not posting it here, that is why I deleted the comments below.

W

Saturday, July 05, 2008

He's here!

After a false start, a lot of huffing and puffing and some seriou discomfort, he arrived at 14:00 on Saturday 5th July weighing in at 2.88kg (6lb6oz) and 51cm long.




He'll be DKM but I'm not writing that here...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Baby time?

Just a quick newsflash.

We spent last night in Roskilde hospital waiting for a baby to arrive. He changed his mind about coming out in the end so we were sent home again this morning. The upshot is that we had a sleepless night (MK on a bid and me on a chair) and we'll probably be back there later today...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Another perfect ride

20:30 yesterday evening:

Whenever I leave the house on a bicycle I have certain expectations of how the ride will turn out. Whether it is the usual road loop or a planned long ride with some other people, you roughly know the route and you can see what the weather has in store for you. What you can't predict is how much you will enjoy it.

Last weekend I got really soaked on a 1½ hour ride around my usual road loop. When it started to rain 5 minutes into the ride, I thought it would be miserable but it was warm and I had a rain jacket with me so I actually enjoyed the rain and it made a nice change.

There is something special that happens from time to time when riding and you become aware that this could be the best ride of the year - the perfect ride. That is the ride when the weather is just right, you feel good, strong and fit and your bike is working perfectly. This normally happens once a year and you know when it is happening.

The amazing thing this year is that it has happened several times. Last night was another installment of dry, hard packed singletrack, evening sunshine and the bike working perfectly. I had a great 1½ hours hammering around the forest and then got home to a big bowl of koldsk√•l.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Tour de France post


This weekend the Tour de France starts its annual trip around France in Brest. As far as I can see, this years edition - the 95th has all the makings of the most boring in years.

When Lance Armstrong was winning year after year then there was always the excitement of seeing Jan Ullrich turn himself inside out trying to get the better of LA, sometimes he got close but somehow the race was interesting if predictable. Then we had a couple of years of scandal, in 2006 I was really happy to see Floyd Landis win, only for him to be found guilty of doping and have the title taken from him.
Floyd fell on his arse doing a wheelie at the end of the race and has more or less been on it ever since.

That was a shame for the sport, but at least there was some great racing that year.

Last year Michael Rasmussen was within sight of the finish line when his team sent him home essentially for being too stupid to communicate his whereabouts during the year when he was training. They didn't have to do it, but they did and I feel sorry for the guy because he had his life's dream taken out of his hand at the last minute. Not too many people feel sorry for him though, he seems to have few fans in Denmark despite being danish and he makes little effort to be likable. Alberto Contador inherited the leaders jersey and went on to win the race but frankly by that stage I didn't really care.
Rasmussen was given a 2 year ban yesterday, I don't really understand why he got one now when he was cleared to ride last year and nothing has changed since then.

This year, the Astana team has not been invited to the race so the 1st and 3rd spots on the podium from 2007 will not be present meaning that last years runner up is hot favourite. Unfortunately that is Cadel Evans on of the most tedious men in pro cycling. Unusually for an Aussie he does not revel in the sound of his own voice, in this case though that is a blessing because when he does talk he has nothing of interest to say.
I think I'll be supporting Damiano Cunego, the little Italian guy who has focused on the TdF this year instead of the tour of Italy and may be able to get onto the podium, otherwise, I just hope that the racing is more interesting that I fear it may be. Not caring who wins is one thing, but if people stop caring who wins and the racing is boring then it starts to look like Formula 1 and that can't be a good thing...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Summer's back

The sun is shining today and it is even getting warm again. The forecast is ok for the next few days so we should get on with enjoying it.

After yesterdays aborted attempt to commute by bike, I managed to get to the office under my own steam this morning. There was a gentle tail wind so I managed to get to work in 1 hour and 20 minutes (about 32kph average) and was safely at my desk by 08:30. I suspect the ride home will be somewhat slower, but it was really nice to be back out on my bike again after the washout ride at the weekend.

The Roskilde Festival is starting up this week and I ride past the site on the way to the office, there are tabard clad people in every gateway and I suspect by the end of the week there will be a general smell of body odour and hash smoke being emitted from the surrounding fields. I hope the weather holds for them after last year which was something of a damp and muddy affair.

Maybe these two were just putting on some secondary entertainment though...