Thursday, April 26, 2007

He's here!

Andrew Benjamin Franklin Berger
was born on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 10:51 PM.
He weighed 6 lb. 9 oz. and is 19 inches tall.

He is now at Avera McKennan hospital in Sioux Falls as he is having some respiration issues and they don’t want it to develop into pneumonia and he had a very high hematocrit level (too many red blood cells, he's as red as a tomato!) but that seems to be self correcting too. So while he is hospitalized, he seems to be doing well.

They never did put him on an IV, and no antibiotics at all yet. He is not quite so tomato-red as he was yesterday afternoon, they think his high hematocrit level is self adjusting.

Andrew, two days old.
He is not nearly so red as he had been.
So cute, just like his mom.

He tried to sleep all Tuesday night/Wednesday but couldn't with all the people moving around him, attaching probes etc. so last night when he finally tried to nurse he would barely start and then fall right to sleep! Then when the nurse tried to change him he screams like a fire alarm – one long, high-pitched squeal! Christin is staying there with him.

Probably coming home on Friday... I will take the other kids to see him on Friday after school.

Seeing Andrew for the first time at the hospital in Sioux Falls.

Everyone wanted to see, touch, and hold the baby!

Friday, April 27:
Yes, we brought Andrew home today. As much as Isaiah looked like dad, Andrew looks like Mom!!! He has very dark hair and skin (although it is not as red as it had been). He eats well, but does not like to have a diaper changed... as if you needed to know that!
Goodnight. I'm going to go back and not sleep some more.

Isaiah wants to help and hold the baby a lot.
Better than not wanting the help,
but still difficult for a 21-month-old.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Playing Possum

A few weeks ago we came home to our dog Jake carrying something rather large and furry in his mouth. We had been shopping so we had to take the groceries in the house first, but William ran and checked what it was. All we heard was, "Dad, It's a POSSUM!"

Jake had dropped it by now, and their the miserable, ugly thing lay, lifeless and slobbered on. We decided to check it out later as we have already seen dead possums before.

Not long after, we came out so see this day's "Look-what-the-dog-found" prize up close.
As we bent down to investigate, the animal hissed and DJ said, "I don't think it's dead." The possum was 'playin' possum!'

We found the closest item we could put over it, an egg basket, and left it. Hours later we returned again and the creature was still hissing, but was much colder and moving slowly. So we decided to remove the basket and take some pictures!

Afterward we put a board under the basket and brought it to the neighbors to share, although they were not interested, so we brought it another mile or so away to release into the wild, hoping to never see him again.

Marlin Perkins would be proud.

William, Jaqcie and DJ with another participant
in our backyard "catch and release program.
Marlin Perkins would proud.

Possums have little hands with sharp claws.

Ho, Park!

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we get to actually see what the kids do and hear what they have to say.

DJ seems to have an interest in absolutely everything! His current interests include: the Civil War, Orville and Wilbur Wright, builing his own personal flying machine (there are blueprints!), collecting bugs, wrestling, football, baseball, and of course questions about S-E-X.
He has also invented his own language!

He calls it the 'Backwards Language' and to speak it you simply pronounce the words backwards but in the same order. One day he said, "There's only one turn-down to my Backwards Language."

After figuring out that he meant only one 'down-side' Christin and I asked what it could be.

He smiled, giggled and said, "Saying words like 'PARK,' 'MAD' and 'TUB'."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Peter-Fire-Hole Cottontail

Yes there is a story to go with that name...

Back in March, after receiving a very welcome 10-12 inches of snow, William and Jacquie went out side to play. Dad was inside with Isaiah, napping. (Guess which of us was napping!)
They made snow angels, dug tunnels, and threw innumerable snowballs. Much of the time, Jake, our 1 ½ year old black lab played beside them, romping in the snow.

Suddenly, Jake bolted after something, pounced on it, and caught it in his mouth. William yelled, NO, but it was too late. The creature was caught.
I awoke to two kids carrying a large box into the living room and William saying, "Dad, Jake caught a rabbit and he's hurt real bad. We put him in this box."

Sure enough, there was a rabbit, too scared to move, but basically unhurt. It had a scraped ear, some skin torn from a hind leg, and a small puncture in his side, but that is about it. The rabbit was so frighted it was stiff as I wrapped it in an old towel and let the kids hold it.

Jacquie and William on the day they
caught "Peter-Fire-Hole Cottontail."

I succumbed to the pleas to keep it, but "only until it is better." Followed by, "It's a wild animal. It won't live if we keep it." I rummaged through my 'school' boxes and found the hamster cage I knew I had. It wasn't perfect, but it had a waterer, and I knew that it would be safe.

We moved the bunny to the basement and gave it a carrot stick and a cabbage leaf that we happened to have in the refrigerator, but he was too scared to eat. Fortunately in the morning he had eaten all the veggies we had left for him.

By day 2, this rodent had earned a name and the kids thought of it as a pet, even though I repeated "It's a wild animal. It won't live if we keep it." The name started as just Peter, but then gained a life of it own and became, after several incarnations, 'Peter-Fire-Hole-Cotton Tail.'

On day 3 we went to the basement to find that Peter had knocked his new home onto the floor and had escaped. Fortunately for us and him, he was hiding under the shelves.

We tried to coax him into a cardboard box, and when that didn't work we tried to scare him in. He ran and hid under the other shelves. Having never been a scout, but being resourceful none-the-less, I told the boys to go get a string and a piece of the PVC pipe they had been playing with earlier. So with a 2-foot piece of PVC and a shoe string, I fashioned a noose, not unlike one's I've seen in capture alligators... Not that I am comparing this fuzzy little bunny to an alligator, but their claws are sharp and they do bite!

The noose worked fine, it was getting it around his neck that was difficult. At one point he was behind the water heater inside a concrete block, but we got him.

William asked again if we really had to let him go, or if he could just take care of him like a pet. With a tearful goodbye, we let Peter-Fire-Hole Cottontail go in the ditch next to our grove. We left the remaining portions of parsely there for him, but he never even saw them. He was gone after just a moment of hesitation.

Jacquie and William say they have seen Peter at least two times since his successful release into the wilds of our backyard.