Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Song for the Dumped

Jack had his 9 month visit to the doctor yesterday. As a first order of business, the doctor said he sounded much better, and put an end to the Nebulizer treatments. Although there's no indication that Jack will need it again, I believe we'll keep it handy, just in case.

In other doctor news, Jack has fallen off the pace. He weighs 22 pounds, 12 ounces, and is now in the 85% percentile in all size categories. Perhaps he's just gearing up for a growth spurt. Everything else is normal. We're supposed to start weaning him off the bottle, and so a whole new wonderland of food is going to join his daily menu. Stacy bought some turkey that looks like little hot dogs -- don't tell Jack, but that stuff stinks.

Every morning when I drop Jack off at daycare, he smiles at Xavier, the other little boy that shows up that early, and happily goes to whichever teacher is in the room when I leave. Usually, he's excited to get to playing. This morning, he actually got upset when I handed him over and kissed him good bye. It made me happy and sad all at the same time.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Enjoy the Silence

A brief update for anyone following the Hambone v. Nebulizer saga.

Jack had an x-ray on Thursday to rule out pneumonia as a possible problem, and it did just that. He has some sort of doctor-speak problem caused by a minor infection, and the Nebulizer should knock it out in relatively short order. As it is now, he doesn't cough very often, and I haven't noticed any of the wheezing lately.

We're taking a drive up to Appleton today, to give Jack a chance to hang out with Grandma while we take in a movie. I expect we'll all be happy with that.

Oh, I almost forgot. I got one of those fancy new cell phones with a camera, and I've set up a website where I can send random pictures I feel like taking. It also supports comment threads, because you never know when a blurry picture of Bigfoot may require discussion. Unfortunately, many of the pictures are blurry -- cameraphones just aren't that fancy yet.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Ziggy Stardust

Stacy and I are pretty laid-back parents when it comes to medical matters. Sniffles and weird poop don't phase us. Jack is a happy little boy that eats well and tears around all over the house, and that's enough for us.

A little over a month ago, Jack developed a cough. He still ate well, played well, slept well (unless a big cough woke him up), and so we called the doctor to see if it was anything to be concerned about. Not at all, he said. Apparently, there had been something going around which could account for some light coughing for anywhere from three to six weeks, and as long as no other symptoms manifested themselves, it was a minor thing. Well, then, that was that.

On Monday, Jack's cough began to get a little rougher, and the coughing more frequent. Since it is cold season, we got him some infant cold medicine to help handle the coughing, and it helped him to sleep through the night again. He had a pretty rough time at day care yesterday, though, since the cough was preventing him from sleeping, and so he'd get cranky and yell, which would cause more coughing. By the time Stacy arrived, he was pretty worked up -- and Jack knows how to express his displeasure in no uncertain terms.

So Stacy called the doctor and he worked in an appointment for Jack. He noticed that Jack's breathing has gotten a little raspy, and determined that it needed to be dealt with. I expected that antibiotics would be prescribed, and they were; but that's not all. Jack also gets to use a Nebulizer for fourteen days.

What's a Nebulizer? Oh, the miracles of modern technology. I'm not talking about the miracles of modern medical technology -- I'm talking about communications. The miracle by which a layperson such as myself, with close to zero knowledge about medical equipment, gets to expound at length on a piece of medical equipment in front of a worldwide audience. It reminds me of a quote I come across periodically,

“We have gone from a world of concentrated knowledge and wisdom to one of distributed ignorance. And we know and understand less while being increasingly capable.”

Prof. Peter Cochrane, formerly of BT Labs

So, now that we've established that I have little idea what I'm talking about, I think I'll descibe the Nebulizer. It's an air compressor with an attachment which contains a little reservoir, and an open-ended tube above it. The compressor blows warm air through the reservoir, which is filled with a dosage of medicine, and generates a vapor which escapes each end of the tube and Jack breathes in. It's a pretty snazzy little doo-dad, when you get right down to it. It doesn't need to be fed through a mask or held in his mouth -- we've actually been holding it in front of him as he eats Cheerios, and he breathes as he normally would. It takes about ten minutes to exhaust each dose. The doctor prescribed this for Jack four times daily for the next fourteen days. He says it'll knock that congestion clean out.

Here's the funny part. Nebulizers aren't available for rental, at least in our neck of the woods, so we got to buy one. It's pending insurance approval, so I can't guarantee that we'll be paying for it, but I have a feeling that if I took the insurance company out to dinner, we wouldn't both be reaching for the check at the end. I imagine he'd find himself in the restroom when the check arrived. Those big dividends don't come from paying a lot of claims, you know.

So, in fourteen days, I'll have a Nebulizer available for rental in the Milwaukee area. Reasonable rates, friendly service, senior discount.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Watching the Wheels

The week of Thanksgiving saw us begin our Holiday travel season. Jack has been a good travelling boy on our trips to the cabin and to Minneapolis, but we were apprehensive about the drive to Oklahoma. It breaks down to two days of travel, 9 hours the first day and 6 hours the second, and that seemed like an awfully long time for a boy to tolerate his car seat. Also, the spectre of the first tooth has been looming for months, and Murphy dictated that it would make its appearance during this drive.

No need to worry. As long as regular stops are part of the trip, Jack travels better than I do. The first tooth remains hidden, which supports my belief that he's waiting to break out a mouthful all at once. Both hotels we stopped at had pools, and so Jack and Stacy went swimming, which is one of Jack's very favorite activities. The long drive actually worked out to be a pleasant part of our family vacation. Even when I got pulled over on the way back. It turns out that speeding tickets in Illinois are much more affordable than in Wisconsin.

We arrived in Ada early Monday afternoon, so Stacy and Jack were able to visit Grandma at school, and meet some of the people there. Tuesday was picture day. In the morning, Jack went to have his picture taken with Grandpa Bingham (as soon as I get a copy, I will post it). In the afternoon, we had our pictures taken as a family, and some more pictures of Jack were taken for our Christmas cards. Jack was a pretty good sport through most of it, but his patience did wear thin toward the end. It's probably a good thing that there aren't any more photo shoots in his immediate future.

Stacy's brother Steve arrived on Wednesday with his fiancee TJ and her daughter Brecklynn. Unfortunately, we managed to miss getting a picture of the three of them together. Hopefully, someone will send one along.

Thanksgiving Day was very exciting. Jack got to meet many new people in his family, and spent quite some time playing with Grandma Bingham on the floor. The day had its flaws, though, as the Bears were embarrassed on national television. We didn't have our camera with us, and so I don't have any pictures to post. I'm hoping that some will be provided. Grandpa Bingham took us for a tour of the property in his 6-wheeler, which Jack really enjoyed. He was particularly impressed by the huge piles of hay. Not so much by the cows--they were a little too sedentary for him I guess.

The official Hambone Holiday 2004 Album has been started. So far, it contains our visits to Racine and Ada. I expect it will grow regularly, as we decorate the house, and continue our travels.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Sheep Go To Heaven

Oh, this poor neglected blog. Just as soon as I start to pay more attention to it, and it gets its hopes up, they are dashed again by my dastardly capriciousness. That would be a good name for a band, except that it would be a challenge for many people to spell it. That would probably cut into online sales, since the searches would always fail.

So, what's up in the world of Hambone, you ask? Well, he's just starting to be a crawling machine. Grandma visited last night, and she got to witness some of the mobility firsthand. The secret to motivating him to move is to put something tantalizing like a dog toy or address book on the floor, and he'll scoot right over to it. He is content to have his toys delivered.

Still no teeth. I think he's just making sure they all come in at once, to save the hassle of spreading out the job. A more pessimistic person might think he's waiting for the long drives to and from Oklahoma next week. Not me, though; to me, the mouth is half-full.

We drove down to Racine on Sunday and got to meet Madison, and she is just a little darling. Jack tried to teach her the benefits of bellowing until you get what you want, but she seemed uninterested. We'll see how long that lasts.

We've all got Gary in our thoughts today. Hopefully, all will be well.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Word Up

So, Scott has been burning the midnight oil to get his own website in order. It looks like a wide variety of good stuff. I'm of the opinion that the more websites dedicated to good-lookin' people, the better. He has also started a blog, which distinguishes itself in its brevity.

We received some fantastic news over the weekend. Bambi and Barry have adopted a beautiful little girl named Madison Grace. I posted a picture of the happy family in my Fall Photo Album for your viewing and linking pleasure. We have certainly started to turn out the children in the past few years! Stacy and I are jealous of all the people that get to meet her over Thanksgiving, when we're in Oklahoma.

Jack's growth continues. No teeth yet. Eating plenty. Smiling at people. All people. All the time. Friday was his very first School Picture Day, so I hope to have some new pictures posted whenever we get them. I seem to remember always getting a free comb on picture day, but Jack missed out. He probably would have really enjoyed chewing on a nice comb.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

I Can Do That

We've been using Stacy's camera to take short video clips of Jack, because it can be more fun to watch him laughing than it is to see a picture of him laughing. We haven't taken too many yet, but I thought it might be fun to take a couple and see how they would work in a clip-movie, like those that Stacy has made. You are hereby invited to the premiere of Laughing Jack. It's fairly big, so I would recommend downloading it on a high-speed connection. I'll probably get better at it as I make more, but this one isn't bad for a first effort.

Jack and I got to spend some time at home Thursday afternoon and Friday. His face has been fairly red and chapped since his drool output increased, and the ladies at daycare got worried the other day when it looked like a rash that was spreading. I took him in to the doctor, and it turned out to be nothing (although he's getting some serious lotion on his face to combat the redness and chapping), but out of the blue he showed some eye thing (either pink eye or some other eye virus), for which the doctor prescribed some antibiotic cream. Since day cares aren't wild about having kids with pink eye, and since I have 8 sick days that go unused every year, I decided to keep him home with me on Friday. We had a very good time. The best part is that we're staying home together on Monday, too, since that is an inservice training day at KinderCare. I guess you could call me Mr. Mom. Of course, then I'd have to smack you.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


So, it's been a while since I posted an update, and so I think some general news about The Boy is probably in order. The concensus opinion seems to be that a tooth is going to show itself any minute now. We're basing this opinion on an incredible amount of drool, Jack's insistence on putting EVERYTHING in his mouth, and his tendency to smile a whole lot. You know...practicing for when he has the tooth. There's nothing like the bright smile of a single-toothed boy. And he'll be able to open cans, too.

Stacy and I took first and second place in the Lake Lucerne fantasy football league this weekend. The writing is on the wall...they may as well send all the money to us now, since we're warmed up and ready to steamroll.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Time of the Season

There are not many things better than Sunday in the fall. Of course, a Sunday in the fall where the Bears win would be better, but this isn't 1985.

Jack had his second swimming lesson with Stacy on Saturday, but didn't quite make it through the whole thing. He had some tough times this weekend, and Stacy thinks it's because a tooth is coming. I think he was upset that OU didn't play, and that the Bears lost to the Vikings. I guess that, like in most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

Jack went in for his regularly scheduled checkup on Wednesday, so I get to pass on an update to his vital statistics:

21 lbs, .5 ounces (90% percentile)
28 inches (90% percentile)

I told Stacy that he is such a big boy because I was so good about making her drink milk during her pregnancy. I'm sure the Dairy Council will soon be seeking me out for endorsements...unless they talk to Stacy first. She seems to think I may be taking credit where I haven't necessarily earned it.

Jack also continued his War on Disease (tm) with some immunizations. He's finally done with a couple of them, and we threw in a flu shot for good measure. Once that flu shot was administered, he got all George-Bush-squinty and said of the flu germs, "Bring 'em on." I'm not certain that the flu germs noticed, but it sure inspired the rest of us in the room.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

21st Century Digital Boy

I can no longer avoid this painful, though obvious, conclusion. I quite simply have too many email addresses. I hereby renounce all email addresses which are not It's just too much. Please make sure to use when emailing me.

Thank you, drive through.

Monday, September 20, 2004

I'm the Punky QB Known as McMahon

Hambone and Company are proud to introduce our new Fall collection. We think that bibs and diapers are going to be the hallmark of the well-dressed baby in the Fall season.

We had a deckwarming party this weekend, and the weather cooperated nicely. We had a great time, and were glad everyone could come, especially those that made the trek down from Appleton. I know Jack did his best to make everyone feel welcome.

Of course, we all know what made this weekend so special, though. The Bears finally put the beatdown on the Packers in Lambeau Field. Yeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaa!!!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Turn, Turn, Turn

It was a beautiful weekend at the lake, and a fitting end to the summer. We got a later start because Stacy went to see the Sarah McLachlan concert on Friday night with some friends. Early Saturday morning (and I mean early), girl, dogs, baby and I piled into the car and headed north.

Unfortunately, things were not all beautiful and peaceful this weekend. The draft for the Lucerne fantasy football league was held, and you'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Stacy and I did pretty well, although I think everyone was happy with their results. That can't last.

Jack had a great time this weekend, especially once we realized that part of his difficulty sleeping in the cabin was due to the thin mattress in the pack n' play. Once we added an afghan underneath for some padding, he slept much better. We took a short video of Stacy and Grandma laughing with him. It's largish, so it may take a while to download if you're on a dialup connection.

Speaking of videos, Stacy made a new photo album video. This one is quite big, and will take a while even on a cable modem.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Didn't See Any Cops or Construction Workers

Stacy found out that we get a really good deal on YMCA memberships, so we decided to check it out this week. She'd been looking into taking some classes as a non-member, and it's a whole lot cheaper and more convenient if you're a member, anyway. Also, I've basically fallen off the wagon of using the weight room at work, and I think it will be nice to go somewhere specifically for exercising. So, while they're figuring out the paperwork for our membership, we decided to try out their pool yesterday.

There are two pools. One is a bigger pool for swimming laps and has a deep end, and the other seems to be mainly for kids, and is 3 feet throughout, I think. The big pool is about 83 degrees, and the little pool is about 88 degrees. Stacy took Jack into the little pool, and I think he spent the whole time gazing around, wide-eyed. I joined them in there after swimming some laps (15 minutes seems to be my current limit. I think it'll take a while for my body to rebuild that endurance). Jack just couldn't get enough of looking around at the other kids playing. Stacy is going to enroll the two of them in a swim class for parents and children 6 months old, so he'll get plenty of time to learn to enjoy the actual water, I think. He'll already lay back in the water and let it cover his ears, so he's off to a good start.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Keep Putting One Foot Ahead of the Other

I guess the hardest thing about having a blog is actually remembering to update the thing. I'm going to try to add a little something a few times a week, to try to get into the swing of things.

Jeff and Scott came down on Saturday to help me build a new deck. The old one was rotting away, and after looking into stamped concrete and paver stones, we decided to simply replace the old rotten deck with a new one. We discovered that every stone and brick in the neighborhood was buried on the dirt below the old deck. I'm glad Scott didn't know about that ahead of time, or he may not have come down. In the end, we built a really nice deck, to my mind. Check out the photo album.

Jack continues to grow like a weed. I'll be updating the summer album with a few new pictures later this morning. He has started eating some carrots and apple sauce and peaches, and eats a meal of rice cereal once a day at daycare. He still manages to find some room for formula and breast milk, though. When we took him in for his 4 month appointment in July, he weighed in at 18 pounds, so I imagine he's breaking 20 now. He's also left the 6 months size in the dust, and is comfortably wearing 9 month clothes.

Monday, June 28, 2004

If it's the weekend, there must be grandparents nearby

Jack continued his tri-state tour this weekend with a trip to Minnesota. Grandpa and Uncle Sam had visited shortly after Jack was born, but this was his first chance to meet Grandma and Aunt Julia. We are incredibly grateful that Jack is good-natured about travelling, since we do a lot of driving, and a foul-tempered baby is not a good traveling companion. [Editor's note -- I was informed by a snarky know-it-all that I misspelled travelling in an earlier entry. Travelling can be spelled with one or two L's, and in order to enjoy the richness of the English language, I reserve the right to use both variations. In fact, I extended the previous sentence, simply to show how nicely that works.]

We went to a Jazz festival on Saturday, because Sam knew some guys who were playing. The band was quite good, and the weather was pretty nice, so it made for a nice couple of hours. We spent the rest of the day hanging around the house, and had some tasty steak off the grill for dinner. All told, it was a nice visit.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Father's Day

It's our first Father's Day, and I'm living the good life. Stacy and Jack are going to make some cookies, I've already had some taco dip, and Stacy mowed the lawn. I've been watching the Brewer game. Every day should be Father's Day.

Jack made his first trip out-of-state this weekend, for the Henline family reunion in Illinois. As usual, he was the center of attention, and had a great time hanging out in the park all afternoon. I was worried that he would start to get fussy as time wore on, but he seems to be resigned to his fate as a travelling boy, and only began to complain when things were beginning to wind down.

We somehow managed to leave our camera in its case for the entire weekend. How dumb is that? I welcome any photos of the weekend that people want to send. I got some feedback on the choice of "Hambone" as a nickname. I think I'll characterize the reactions as....mixed.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Big Summer Kickoff

Memorial Day weekend was a strange one, in that it rained a lot, but not when we were golfing. That must be some kind of record.

Jack had a good time up at the cabin, but had a hard time getting some sleep with all the action. I finally had to lay him down next to my laptop, and play some Bob Marley. The combination of the light from the screen, and the soothing tunes seemed to do the job. Even without sleep, he was a very happy baby most of the time, and he had a good old time meeting all the nice people. I think that as he gets older and more used to the action, he's going to be a very popular boy up north.

Grandma Linda and Uncle Montana are visiting this weekend, and Jack even got to have a day off of daycare, since they arrived Thursday afternoon. He's handling all this excitement about as well as he handled it last weekend--that is to say, he's trying to stay awake the whole time to take in all the fun. Fortunately, we recognized it earlier this weekend, and he's in the middle of a good long nap right now.

Jack is at a stage where he can't crawl, can't really grab any toys, and pretty much just hangs out and kicks to pass the time. Stacy found a fancy bouncer with a popper built in to it, that he just loves. It doesn't require him to do anything more than kick his feet out to stand up, and stuff pops for him. I don't believe I am exaggerating when I say that this is the greatest accomplishment of western civilization.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

About Last Night...

So, here's the thing about regular updates: Jack doesn't do much. This blog will certainly lose its edge if I resort to listing how long he slept (until 5), and what he's wearing today (a cute Tommy Hilfiger thing). Miss Theresa at KinderCare said he's a much happier boy since we brought a pacifier in to help with his naps.

Many people are aware that the holidays are an awful travel time for us. There are too many places, in too many states, and too few days. Well, this year we're taking decisive action. The week of Thanksgiving, we're going down to Oklahoma for a visit. It ought to be a lot less hectic than Christmas, and since we've decided to drive, that means Ilsa can come, too! I can only assume that Jack will welcome the opportunity for early Christmas (and, um, timely Thanksgiving).

We have a big weekend coming up at the lake. Even if I can't bring myself to update the blog again this week, there should be some pictures and an update early next week.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Weekend Update (no sign of Tina Fey)

I really should get in the habit of updating this blog every couple of days. It's hard to remember back over an entire week.

Jack's first week of day care went well. It changed his sleeping pattern, now that we're getting him up at 6 am, and so he goes to bed earlier at night. As a result, he's not making it through the night like he was, and usually wakes up around 2:30. He doesn't usually stay up for too long, though. During the day, he likes to sleep in his swing, and protests any attempts to make him sleep in a crib. The poor ladies at day care aren't allowed to let him sleep in the swing, so they've been trying to convince him that the crib is a nice place to sleep.

Jack and I had an unplanned day off together on Thursday, thanks to the incompetence and consumer-unfriendliness of Time Warner Cable. I get my RoadRunner Internet access from Time Warner, but not their television service, and so they install a filter on the pole that prevents the television signal from getting through. They do this even though the signal is scrambled and can't be easily descrambled. This is because they believe in their hearts that Americans are thieves, and that they must be protected from this thievery at all costs. Well, their fancy filter corroded to a point that it killed my Internet access, as well. In order to have it fixed, I had to take the day off from work and wait for a technician to arrive (between 8am and 7pm). I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank Congress for the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which guaranteed that cable companies could maintain their local monopolies. Jack and I spent a lovely day together, thanks to that legislation.

A picture of Jack with a big smile is now available on his springtime photo album. He's been smiling a lot in the past couple of weeks. I'd smile, too, if I had a couple of people tending to my every need. Of course, the cat is upset at the loss of her staff.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Sunday on the Porch with Jack

Ian and Jack finally got to meet on Sunday, when Grandma, Grandpa, Scott, Maggie and Ian all came to Milwaukee for the afternoon. The weather was spectacular--perfect for sitting around outside. Stacy and I hadn't seen Ian since January, and so it was quite a surprise to see how big he's gotten.

Some snapshots of the day can be found in Jack's springtime album.

Thrown to the Wolves

Jack started daycare today. Stacy and I were fortunate that we could afford for her to stay home with him for 10 full weeks, but at some point you have to get back into the swing of things. Stacy has been anxious about this day, but everyone says it doesn't matter if you wait two months or two years--you always feel like it's too soon.

I had the privilege of dropping Jack off for his first day. I am a very staunch believer in daycare, and the benefits a child enjoys by attending a good center, but it was pretty tough to leave him there. I was briefly tempted to take a sick day, so he could have one more day at home as the center of attention. It didn't seem like he'd be hurting for attention, though. Everyone that came in commented on the new boy, and how big he is. It looked like he was going to be held for a good long time, too.

I have a feeling Jack is going to be a very pampered boy tonight.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Finally, the JackBlog is born

For months, I've been thinking of various ways in which to implement a blog system, so that I could keep interested parties up-to-date on Jack's growth. The photo album site has been very popular, but limited in how much information we can actually convey. I gave up on the idea running my own server, and so this project is finally underway. It burns me up to surrender any sort of control, but I guess I'm growing softer as I grow older.

So, let's have some preliminary Jack news. He had his 2-month visit with the doctor on Monday. Unfortunately, it was time for some vaccinations, and Jack had never before experienced such betrayal. I think we've been forgiven. He now weighs in 14 pounds, 9 ounces and stretches out to 24 and 1/2 inches. Both measurements put him in the 95th percentile of kids his age, which (I think) is a fancy way of saying that he's a big boy.

We had some visitors today. Hopefully, a blog entry about it will not be long in coming.