Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Revolving Door

One of our favorite things to do at Greenville Memorial was to watch the revolving door.

It's an automatic revolving door. You don't need to push it around. I was extremely entertained by this. The door has several sensors on it. If someone does not seem to be following the rules, an automated message is announced, "Please step forward". It is amazing the number of people that are confused by this door. There are two large openings, one on each side. You jump in when you can and walk slowly around to the inside of the building. How hard can it be?
Several times, while Cari and I were mid-journey to the inside, the door stopped. We were trapped. The voice told the idiots to please step forward.

Maybe they thought the floor was rotating and they wouldn't have to walk. As the back side of the opening hit their shoes, it stopped. Children that were not paying attention were the worst offenders of stopping the door.

Cari came to hate the door. It was annoying when you would enter with an idiot. Or if you were entering while an idiot tried to escape the hospital. These situations did not cause me to hate the door. I actually enjoyed watching the idiot get confused as the voice prodded them along.

On Cari's last day at Greenville, I was at work. She called me around lunch time laughing. She said that she was sitting out front after lunch and saw forty people get trapped in the door. She told me the door stopped with a handful of people in it. It announced for the idiot to step forward. Before the door started moving again, more people got in. This happened twice. Cari said both sides of the door were full of people. To the point that nobody could step forward. She said one old man started knocking on the glass wall. He could see the outside, but the door wasn't getting him there. It took a minute before some of the people got out of the revolving door to make room for the others to get the door going again. I wish I could have seen that.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


15 days ago, Brenna was born at 12:54 pm.
Today she came home.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Shake this guy!

I've talked about the show Man vs Wild before. The crazy man, Bear, gets dropped in remote locations and goes crazy. I just happen to come across this segment on TV tonight. I recorded it on Tivo because I didn't want Cari to miss it. We laughed for a good five minutes at how crazy he looks.

Wow! I was on YouTube looking for that clip to share with you and came across this one. I think this second video would win this guy a crazy award.

After watching the first video, and laughing so hard, I told Cari someone needs to shake that guy. Maybe the cameraman could do it. The camera guy should have put the equipment down, walked over to Bear, and started shaking him. "What's wrong with you, man"? "Snap out of it"! This guy obviously gets a bit nutty. They should just pack him a lunch for the next shoot.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Over the past week I asked you to participate in a poll. How do you eat poptarts?
The majority of you said you eat them frosting side up. Two of you said you don't know what poptarts are. Where have the two of you been? Over 2 billion poptarts are sold each year!

This poll was prompted after a discussion Cari and I had last week. There were plenty of blog worthy discussions last week as we sat in a hospital staring at each other every day.

Cari bit into her poptart, frosting side up.
"You're doing that backwards," I told her. "Your taste buds are in your tongue. Why would you put the frosting furthest away from it? It's such a waste". For the record, there are some taste buds on the roof of your mouth, but it is believed that the areas that recognize sweet tastes are on the tongue. (Wiki)

Cari continued chomping on the sugared breakfast. She didn't say anything, but gave me the look. The look that says, "You're crazy".

I explained to her that if you flip the poptart frosting side down you will maximize the amount of sweetness you taste in the frosting. Plus the frosting is so smooth on your tongue. It's kinda relaxing. Like licking a silk shirt.

Eating a poptart frosting side up is like licking your jeans. No taste and rough on the tongue.

As I gave Cari her science lesson, her expression remained blank. After she took her last bite, still frosting side up, I asked her how it tasted.

Without smiling she said, "Why don't you lick your jeans and find out".

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One more step

Yesterday, Brenna got moved back to the first hospital. It's about half the travel time compared to being at Greenville Memorial. I went up and saw her last night. The quality of the facility going from a NICU to a normal nursery setup is amazing. As I held her last night, I was looking around and watching things happen. Instead of the forty babies we saw in the NICU, this nursery had Brenna and one other. The nurses were all great last night and I am sure she is great there. The place just gives a different impression. Had I not been to Greenville everyday last week, I would never have realized what a hospital can be.

Cari got some photos for me yesterday as she left Greenville. I'll share some of those tonight and tomorrow. I'm headed to work now.

For those that asked, Scrappy Gal did delete her blog. There is not a replacement.

Here's Brenna strapped in and ready for a ride in an ambulance yesterday:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Brenna pic of the day

Thank you for all your continued comments about Brenna. I promise you that this will not become the Brenna blog. I have a few other things I want to talk about. I just need to have the time to do it. First up will be poptarts and how all you people (except one) eat them the wrong way!

Now here's your pic of the day:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Two Photos

Brenna is MUCH improved. The IV looks like it could come out tomorrow afternoon. Her breathing is much better and we hope to see those tubes gone in the next two days. Then she will only be there to be sure she is eating well. Here's two photos for you.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A few notes

Brenna is no longer under the heat lamp. They (nurse and Cari) got her dressed on Thursday and moved her into a regular crib. She is still getting oxygen and breathing too fast for a bottle.

Take a second and answer the new poll. We'll talk about it in a few days.

I talked to work today. I told them I would return to work on Monday. I really don't want to, but I knew eventually I would have to return. Brenna will still be in the hospital. Cari and I have been spending our days there with her. Now, Cari will have to go alone. On Monday the doctor said we will talk about moving the baby to the hospital closer to home. That would be great.
BUT. He sounded like he would only do it if her breathing is better.

While in the NICU today, Cari started talking to a mom that has been there every day. Her baby is in a room near Brenna. This mother had her baby boy twelve weeks early. He is 4 months old today. She has been there every day and her husband every night.

Randy and I are headed out camping tonight. I sure hope nobody wakes me at 12:30 like last week.

More pictures and words tomorrow.

Brenna's Space

Here is the space that Brenna has lived in this week.
I also put a copy of this on Flickr and labeled all the items.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


As the doctor made his rounds in the NICU today Cari poked my shoulder. She whispered to let me know he was wearing a bow tie. Normally, I would have jumped in with her at such an odd piece of attire. Today, I didn't say anything.

"Who wears bow ties," she asked?
It's been a long time since I've seen someone wearing a bow tie. I told Cari I thought bull fighters in Spain wear them. She told me besides bull fighters, only short, Jewish men wear them.

The doctor continued rounds with his posse. This is something I have been observing all week. The doctor stands behind a mobile podium and moves from bed to bed. A crowd of two to three nurses and doctors follow him. At each patient, the posse reads reports to the doctor and he makes notes in his book. He then gives some thoughtful advise on how to proceed. One of the nurses writes his orders in a book next to each patient. A lower class of nurse will carry out these orders later.

This seems overly redundant to me. The doctor does not ask the advise of those around him. There is no discussion on treatment. Just his orders. So why does he need them? Is this a status thing? They are only reading numbers off of a report that he transfers to his book. Could he not read the report himself?

Anyway, they were about three beds away and Cari requested a photo of the bow tie. I was a bit nervous at being caught. She told me it would seem I was taking pictures of Brenna. So I took a quick shot. One nurse turned when she saw the flash, so I turned away. Ignoring her might reduce her suspicion. The picture came out a bit dark, but I would not take another.

This doctor is among my favorites that we have worked with this week. I just like the way he explains things and takes time to answer questions.

It was another thirty minutes before he made his way to Brenna. She continues to slowly improve. The main thing we are waiting on is her breathing to slow down so she can bottle feed. Also, they have started giving her more feeding through a tube going into her stomach. This is to wean her off of the IV.

He didn't make it very far away when Cari just about choked herself trying not to bust out laughing. The nurse was still with us. She didn't know what Cari's problem was, so she excused herself to give Cari a few minutes.

In a reversal of roles, I replied, "You're being rude".
Although rare to see, I didn't think it looked bad. For some reason it just gave Cari the giggles.

Daddy / Daughter

Told you I held her!

I'll get my next bit of writing done on Thursday afternoon. I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I finally got to hold her!

(blogger is having issues, so I'll try the picture again later tonight)

Her breathing is a bit better today and they took the cpap device off of her nose. While we were there, they had to put the breathing tube back to her nose for extra oxygen.

I hope to have some time/energy to write another part of her story tonight. I'd like to tell you about the night they decided to transport her to another hospital. Of course, it was 1:00am. Things like that don't happen while people are still awake.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Cari got to hold Brenna today. The first time since her birth. One of the nurses came over and took off most of the tubes and bandages so we could see her better. In this picture you can see the IV in her head, the feeding tube going into her mouth, and Cari holding a temporary oxygen tube. The nurse said Cari could only hold her for twenty minutes. The nurse got busy and Cari got a little longer than that.

More pictures later.

The Labor

You already know that I was awaken from my tent around 12:30am. Cari's water broke and we went to the hospital. It was roughly five weeks too soon. The emergency room got us up to the birthing floor immediately and into a room.

It's now almost 1:30am. I'm sitting in a chair across from Cari. I've been through this twice before and knew my role for the next several hours would be to sit and wait. Not much happened until 4:30am. Cari wanted an epidural. I really enjoyed the part where they had to call the anesthetist that was on call. The guy was scheduled to work at 7am and asked the nurse if he really needed to come in now. She told him yes. Something about being on call was very amusing to me. When we had arrived at the hospital around 1am, they called Cari's doctor to let him know we were there. I was loving that part of it.

When they came in to prep for the epidural, a nurse told me I would not be able to stay in the room. I laughed. Was there something that lead her to believe I wanted to see this? I barely survived the IV getting put together. I told the nurse that I volunteered to leave even if she asked me to stay. They told me it would take twenty minutes. I decided to move the car away from the emergency parking.

Have you ever seen an empty hospital? This hospital was silent as I slowly (hey, I had to kill thirty minutes) wandered the halls. I made my way downstairs and moved the car over to the main visitor lot and walked up to the entrance. It was locked.
I had to walk around the outside of the entire hospital to the emergency entrance. Maybe some of you would have driven the car back around, but remember, I still had time to kill.

Epidural done, it was around 5am when I got back to the room. I had been up for almost 24 hours except for the two hours I slept while camping. I was starting to crash. I slumped sideways on the arm of the chair and slept off and on as nurses came in. I'm sure it looked uncomfortable, because it was. I didn't really want the nurses to see me all twisted around in the chair. I tried to sit up when I heard one come in. Cari was leaned back and couldn't see me very well. I think one time she asked a nurse about me and the nurse said I was sleeping on the chair.

We made it into morning this way and through a shift change of nurses. The day shift nurse met me first while I slept crooked on the hospital chair. For some reason I felt a little embarrassed. The doctor finally made his way in to check progress. He was only there for five minutes.

I think it was 11:30am when the doctor came back in and ordered some pitocin to speed things up. I'm glad he did, I was getting a little bored. Don't take that the wrong way. Cari wasn't requesting any help from me at this time. We both kinda listened to the monitors of the baby's heartbeat and watched the graph of contractions all night. We've been in the hospital for over ten hours.

With only a little bit of the drug, the nurse checked Cari again. She said that not much had changed and that the baby was up high still. Another nurse in the room didn't seem to believe that and checked Cari as well. Having a baby pretty much opens up your privates to inspection by anyone in uniform. Just another reason guys wouldn't be good at having baby's. At least twice during labor, a nurse we never saw before came in to check Cari. "Hi, I'm ____, I'm going to check you," they would say.

This second nurse said that Cari was complete and the baby was not that high. The look the first nurse was giving her co-worker could kill. They asked Cari to push twice or three times. Then the nurse in charge, Beth, asked Cari to stop and directed some others to get the doctor in there.

She said the baby was ready NOW. They got the room ready for a delivery. Beth, stood by Cari and gave orders to the others. Cari started asking for her doctor. "He's at lunch," they said. Then they assured us that he was on the way. Cari continued not pushing and you could tell she was in some pain at this point.

Beth said that with every contraction, the baby was getting lower. She even brought me around to to see the top of the baby's head getting closer. The doctor still wasn't there and Beth ordered another phone call to him. She certainly knew what she was doing, but I felt like she was getting a little anxious. She was fully ready to deliver this baby without a doctor.

Cari tried hard not to push, but her body continued contracting and Brenna's head came out. Beth had control and kept giving direction. The door popped open and the doctor walked in. Still in plain clothes, he ran over and finished delivering our baby. He was there for about thirty seconds. Cari told him he was late.

Brenna was born at 12:54pm. It had been just over twelve hours since the water broke and about the same amount of time of labor for Cari.

I spent the past twelve hours sleeping in an uncomfortable chair, walking around the empty hospital, and waiting. It was well worth it. My friends ask me if I watched Brenna being born. I did. I did for all three kids. For the first, I think I was scared to watch because I thought it would be bloody and nasty. If you never saw a baby being born, it's not like that at all. They come out clean for the most part. It is quiet awesome to watch. When Randy was born, I remember being confused at what I was seeing. The head, shoulders, etc... all blurred together. I was on the verge of passing out.

This time it almost happened in slow motion. I saw every moment. I saw Beth sweep her finder around the umbilical cord to get it away from the neck. I saw her hold Brenna's head as she gave a little tug to get the shoulders out. I saw my daughter's birth.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Here's a picture from today. She is doing fine. They took the tube out of her throat this morning.
Now she is getting oxygen from the tube at her nose.

They put the light on her today and that is the only reason she is wearing a blind fold.
We appreciate all your comments, thoughts, and prayers. I'll have time to do some writing tonight.

Sunday, October 14, 2007



It's almost 4am. I just got home from the hospital. Cari called around 12:30am and told me they were taking Brenna to another hospital that handles premature babies more.

The biggest issue she has right now is that her lungs are not fully developed. She has been on oxygen all day Saturday. I went up there immediatly.

Before they left, they had to put Brenna in a ventilator. They also gave her some medicine. Cari gets released sometime on Sunday and then we will go to the other hospital to be with Brenna.

Right now it seems she will be there one to two weeks. Hopefully she progresses quicker and we can get her home.

I'm going to go sleep a few more hours. When the kids get up, we are headed back to see Cari.

When things get caught up a bit, I'll sit down and tell you the whole birth story.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

camp . . . interrupted

I was awaken at 12:30am last night. The voice waking me was my neighbor. He was standing among the field of tents. "Ed! Ed!"

I kinda woke up and peered out of the tent. "Go home, Cari's water broke!"

I get my shoes and stumble into the building where the campout was being held. I left a note for everyone else that we had left. I went back and got Randy and we drove home.

Cari and I arrived at the hospital around one in the morning. The got us up to the birthing dept quickly. A nurse got Cari all set up with monitors.

There is so much more I want to tell you about the past twenty four hours. BUT I have several more things I have to do this evening, so the story will wait until tomorrow. I want to tell you about Cari's twelve hour delivery process from my point of view.

To hold you over, I present you:

Brenna Amanda
17.5" long
Born 12:54pm Oct 13, 2007
(almost five weeks early- Cari was only about 34 weeks)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Camping trip #1

Randy and I are headed camping tonight. I expect to have some stories to share tomorrow evening.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I can't tell you

This morning, at about 5:15am, I was looking around the kitchen to pack a lunch. There wasn't a lot to choose from. I take that back. There wasn't a lot that I was interested in at that hour.

I quickly packed some things and left for work.

Around 12:20, I headed out to lunch. A co-worker, Chris, stopped and asked what I had for lunch. "I can't tell you," I said. He was obviously now MORE interested what I had for lunch. "I'm kinda embarrassed about what I have." I told him it was mostly water, then left for the car.

Once I arrived at the park, I unpacked my lunch. Today I had my bottle of water, an apple, some crackers, and my sandwich. It was the sandwich that I wasn't very proud of today.

This morning I had put some salami on the bread. I used all that was left. It was about three thin slices. I knew that wasn't enough. I poked my head back in the fridge. No cheese to add to it. I grabbed the package of corned beef. As I scrunched up my face in disgust, I added a piece of the corned beef to my salami sandwich. I was just trying to bulk it up a bit. I thought about Survivorman just trying to get nutrition in his system. It didn't have to taste good.

There was no mustard, cheese, or other condiments on my sandwich. Just three slices of salami and a piece of corned beef.

Now at lunch, I unwrapped my sandwich and took a bite. As I chewed, I was very happy. It actually tasted pretty good.

I called Cari to tell her about my lunch. As I described my sandwich, she suggested I not eat it. She told me just to go buy something. Then I told her how good it was. From the sound of her reaction, you would think I just ate bugs. Tasty bugs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Look A Like

"Did you know that you look like Ray Romano," a customer asked me?
It was kinda funny because I have been told that before.
I replied, "Maybe. But he has more money than me".

Monday, October 08, 2007

Relaxing at Lunch

I can't afford to buy a lunch everyday, so I bring lunch to work. There are plenty of people I work with that go out every day. They must spend a fortune on eating out.

I also don't care to sit in the break room during lunch. I take my lunch out to the car and drive to a nearby park. I lean back and listen to the radio or read. Peace and quiet for an hour.

On Sunday I was eating lunch and talking to Cari on the phone during lunch. In mid sentence, I started screaming.
"What's your problem", she asked?
"There's a bee in the car".

I spent the next five minutes standing in the parking lot at the park. No shoes on, running around the car, watching an itty bitty bee take over the inside of my car. The bee was hovering around the back windshield trying to get out. I started smacking my hand over it to try and scare the bee away from the back. Cari was busy laughing. Then she suggested I talk the bee out of the car. She said I did such a great job talking to bees in the yard. Of course, she wasn't serious. In fact, I don't think she could have been more sarcastic. I informed her that this time the problem was real. There is a BEE in the car!

The bee continued to buzz around the back of the car, I continued hopping around with no shoes on, and Cari continued to laugh. I made a quick grab for a blanket from the backseat. I was quick. I didn't want the bee to see me. I draped the blanket over the back windshield, trying to direct the bee toward the front of the car.

Some joggers went by, giving me a strange look. The only thing they knew was there was some guy running around with no shoes, putting blankets on his car while talking on a cell phone. I gave them a friendly smile and waved. Looking back, I'm surprised they didn't call the cops.

The blanket worked and the bee flew out of the car. I sat back down and sighed. NOW I could relax and enjoy my lunch again. Still laughing and being sarcastic, Cari suggested I make a sign to use during lunches.

"No bees allowed"

Friday, October 05, 2007

It is done.

It was time to upgrade the computer. I ordered all my stuff and it arrived in about two days.

It's been a while since I've had a chance to do this, so I was very excited.

Here's what I started with.

This isn't about upgrading what I had, this was building a new computer from scratch.

After getting the motherboard in the case, next I placed the CPU and the huge heatsink that sits on top of it. Don't forget to plug in the connected fan or it could melt.
This is after I snapped in the RAM chips.
Next was the power supply.

Don't forget to add the mean dog.

After putting the drives in, you get this mess of wires and circuits shoved in a box. I just put the cover back on so I don't have to look at it. It's scary.

I did all this between the hours of one and three am.

So far, everything is going great. But I haven't turned the power on yet.

When ordering, I failed to check my hard drives. The old hard drives I had planned on using were not the right type. Cari and I ran out and purchased a new hard drive. We also picked up Windows Vista. I figured I might as well start fresh with a new system.

The next day I installed Windows. My surround speakers weren't all playing. Working this problem took a few hours. This was not fun anymore.

Then I needed some data off the old hard drives, still in the old computer. This created a lot of back and forth with cables. After I almost broke the new computer, I decided I needed a break. I was very frustrated.
Finaly, I got the sound working, I got all the data where it needs to be, and I have a new computer that runs fast!
That's how I spent my last two days and nights. Putting it together is easy. Replacing a machine that I have used the past five years is frustrtating.
That's five years of tweaking settings and installing software that I was replacing in one sitting.
Everything works great now.
For those of you not brave enough to have looked in your own computer, enjoy the photos.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Worst Headache ever

I'm built a new computer last night and today. It's been nothing but headache all day long.
I'll get some photos up on Friday. I'm too angry to talk about it right now.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Late night update (again)

By the time I got up and had breakfast this morning it was too late to go get my hair cut. The barber is located about twenty minutes in the opposite direction of work. I did manage to get the car washed, so I achieved part of my goal today. I loved Farm Girl's comment on my post from this morning. She said I should have had a poll about my chores. On my way home from work tonight, before I had checked my email, I was thinking that very thing. I couldn't have done it, because I was needing to get some work done before most would have voted.

I stayed up WAY too late last night. I don't really want to tell you what time I went to bed, but I will tell you that some of you may have been getting up at the time I laid down.

One of the things that kept me up was watching this video about North Korea. It is a long video, roughly forty minutes. Some of you may not be interested, but I found it very interesting. National Geographic sent in some hidden cameras to show some things that happen in North Korea. It's crazy. The end scenes demonstrate so well what they say throughout. Watch it if you have a little time.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I have three things I have to get done. I need to get them done very soon because all three are past needing completed. Tuesday morning I'll have roughly two hours before I start getting ready for work. I need to complete at least one of the three. I don't know which one I want to do first, and I'm not overly motivated to do any of them. When I wake up in the morning, here are the choices facing me.

1. Haircut (if I choose this one I have to decide which barber to see. Man, I make things overly complicated).
2. wash my car (hasn't been done in months)
3. cut the grass (both my neighbors cut grass in the past few days making my lawn look way worse than it probably is).

There is a small chance that I will sit around all morning with Cari debating these three until it is time to get ready for work. Wish me luck.