Friday, November 30, 2007

OWEN TECH: The Boppy

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OK... this isn't really a hat. Dad is just getting used to doing the goofy things that dads do so well.

This is a boppy pillow, which is meant to make feeding a heck of a lot more comfortable. It goes around the waist and brings Owen up to a very comfortable height for eating, and it works as a great hanging out pillow as well.
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Comments enabled!

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Owen expressed extreme dissappointment that commenting on his blog were not possible. So, the only solution to keep this from happening any more than absolutely necessary was to set up commenting.

Click on the 'X comments' link to both read and leave comments. If it says '0 comments' then you can be the first on any given post.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holdin' hams

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Owen's hand and part of Evan's. Have we grown yet?
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Bloggin' wif dad

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Owen is getting used to the Baby Bjorn carrier. His neck isn't stable enough for good walking around yet, but it is sufficient for a good blogging with dad session. Blog on, Owen!

(For those interested, dinner was chicken parmigiana, and yes, Andrea and I did share a half bottle of wine.)
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The big news

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OK. I know some of you out there know... but we're going to clear up any questions... hopefully... right here.

Owen has PKU. Every infant in Oregon gets a PKU screening, and Owen was the one out of 15,000 (roughly) that lacks the necessary enzyme to process all of the phenylalanine which is found in all naturally occuring proteins and many other foods.

Rather than try and detail what PKU, or Phenylketonuria, is here, there are some better places out there that explain things quite well. Google searching for PKU will give quite a few explanations. The most to-the-point one we've seen is available here. That page is part of PKU News... which has some great other resources available as well. If you're concerned about Owen at all, spending a bit of time there can answer quite a few questions. The history of the discovery and treatment of PKU is quite interesting and goes to show how far our medical community has come to handle conditions like this quite well.

So, once you educate yourself a bit about this whole thing... you can go back and think about one element that you'll see in all of the explanations. Many of them say "mental retardation and other neurological problems when treatment is not started within the first few weeks of life." Well, Owen started his treatment at two weeks and five days, and had elevated but not extremely elevated amounts of the phenylalanine. So, even though the words like 'mental retardation' hit home very forcefully with all of us, it serves more as a motivation to follow the diet needed rather than some sort of impending doom. Andrea and I fully expect Owen to be smarter and more able bodied than both of us.

The basic thing that we need all of our family and friends to remember is that he can be spoiled with attention, things, reading, music, play, walks outside, and only appropirate food. Even though he may really look like a kid that needs a cookie when he gets older, an apple might be a better idea. We are not sure how flexible his diet is going to be... that will take a while to figure out... but we need everyone's promise that food will not be given to Owen unless it is absolutely known to be OK. In fact, food logging will probably be an important element in Owen's life from here on out, so we'll need help with that. In turn, we'll do our best to educate you all to know what is allowed for Owen. It's only fair... and yes, it can get more exciting than apples.

For all of you who are worrying about this, please stop. Owen probably has a better chance than a lot of kids out there of growing up and being healthy, vibrant, smart and strong. Why? Well, Andrea and I know that a huge part of being the best parents possible for Owen is providing him with a stellar diet. For so many parents, cheap and not-so-healthy foods are always an easy option, even if everyone knows they're not the best thing to do. A little can't hurt, right? Well, we know that's not an option here, so we won't ever consider it. The food rules are different for Owen, but how many people are set up from 3 weeks old to have the perfect diet? Not many...

So, other than the special diet, you might be wondering what is involved with monitoring PKU? Well, the monitoring will be done at the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center, which is part of OHSU's metabolic clinic in Portland. (that's why he got a special cold-weather-Portland-going-outfit, shown below)















These two wonderful women with Owen and Andrea are Stacey (left) and Kathleen (on the right) who will be the expert help maintaining the proper diet. He'll be seeing them monthly, at least for a while.


Part of the diet right now is a very special formula that helps Owen keep his phenylalanine levels down. Grandpa got to give the first feeding during the trip to P-town.





















Lastly, please keep in mind that this is a learning process for Andrea and me as well. Things may be complicated, in a logistic sense, for a while... but we'll get the hang of it. We are very lucky to live in a state that has really good support for conditions like this as not all states do. We are also very lucky to have good supportive family and friends that can help us keep Owen on track. If you have any questions, please ask instead of just letting them fester...

And, lastly... let's wish Owen a happy 3 weeks in this world!
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Owen of the North

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It's cold up in Portland... so Owen got his first winter outfit. It's warm in there! Bring on the snow!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Maybe we should have named him Eric...

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This photo shows Owen's red hair better than anything else we've taken so far. We never even considered our guy having red hair... but it is pretty cute.
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Pout...

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It's amazing what you can do to a sleeping infant.

In this case, we went for the classic 'Hollywood lip.'

No collagen necessary.
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Friday, November 23, 2007

Hanging out...

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Owen has a pretty easy time getting comfy, especially with Grandma.
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A Great Aunt!

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Owen meets his Great (really great) Aunt Karen! One of the topics of discussion was that the last time a baby was around for a holiday... it was Owen's dad. That was almost 29 years ago.

Owen has no comment on the turkey.
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gotta have shades...

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Oh... so much cool. Owen is going to have to grow into it though.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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We're all at Grandma Chally's house today. Owen has a special Thanksgiving outfit that was especially for today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

End of Week 2

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Here's the end of Week 2. This week's milestone? Owen discovers his nose!

(at least with his right eye...)
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Muscles!

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Well... at least he'll be ready for when he actually gets muscles.

And, just FYI... the socks are to keep him from scratching his face. He's really good at doing it, which isn't great for his skin. You might notice we're showing his good side right now.
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Ready for liftoff!

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Take your protein pills and put your helmet on!
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Monday, November 19, 2007

G-Owen to Town

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Mom had a follow-up visit today with the wonderful midwife. Grandma dropped off some new outfits... ones that fit a sub 2 week old guy much better than the normal 0-3 months clothes. (They say 0-3, but they really mean 1-3.)

He's lookin' good in his hoodie and pants.

Thanks Grandma!
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OWEN-TECH: The Swaddleme

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I know it doesn't seem high tech, but really it is. With a little guy that wiggles with the best of them, this Velcro-infused blanket is a real time saver. It's a nice thick fleece that will keep him warm at night, but the real trick is in the special patches of fleece. The Velcro tabs only stick to certain parts of the blanket, making it a very elegant task to wrap someone up rather than a tangled mess of fleece and Velcro.

And, no... it's not a baby straight jacket.
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ready to Roll...

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Today, we took our first trip out on the town. We went to Parkway Medical Supply, Fred Meyer and to Dad's favorite store in town, Fundamental Bike.

Other than Fred Meyer being a zoo, the trip was relatively uneventful. Along the way, he acquired a few things. One can of travel wipes and two new friends: Scott and Willie!

And... if anyone was wondering... Yes, the hat does have ears.
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Brush + Hair = Smiles!

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We decided to hairdoo up our almost bald son today and found that he really enjoyed the hair brush. It's the first think we've been able to do to solicit a smile consistently... either that or it was an extreme coincidence that it was coinciding with another common reason for a 9 day old kid to smile.
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Friday, November 16, 2007

OWEN-TECH: The itzbeen

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Owen was born into a gadget family. This is one that we've found quite helpful. The Itzbeen is a four line count-up timer with settable alarms. So... we never have to guess how long it's been (itzbeen... get it?) since the last feeding or diaper change. It is just a touch of piece of mind... really. And, let's say we don't want to go down the road of Owen sleeping too long at night and getting uber-hungry? Well, we've got the bottle button set to beep if it reaches 4 hours. Now, that helps keep Owen happy.

Maybe we need an adult version of this. Instead of diaper, bottle, zzzzz, and the * wild card, maybe it would be: Coffee, Junk Food, zzzzzz, and then the * button would actually count down to the end of the work day.
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A really long day

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Owen had an exceptionally long day today. We got a call from the doc's office that they'd like to do a follow-up on one test that was done in his first 24 hours. We came right in, and the doc's office was relatively quick. This was before noon.

A blood draw was needed, though, and we went to the hospital for that. When everything was said and done, it was 3 o'clock and a solid helping of meltdown had occurred.

So, how do you cap off a day like that? How about first dinner, a big yawn... and second dinner... maybe third?
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Owen's real uncle

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Max and Tucker are really honorary uncles... we could have dubbed them cousins just as easily.

This is Owen's first trip into his Uncle Griff's arms. I'm pretty sure it will actually be 'Uncle Gwiff' for a while.
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Owen, meet your uncles

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Owen met Max and Tucker for the first time. As you can see, he was thrilled!

Actually, it was more of a meeting for Max and Tucker. Tucker seemed somewhat indifferent while Max was very curious.
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Newest fan doesn't bring the luck

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Owen's first Duck game... didn't go so well. So far as a Duck fan, Owen is O and 1. Maybe that's fitting for a guy named Owen rooting for Oregon. Shoot... we should have thought of that.
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yes... about every 2 and a half hours...

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Owen's (great!) Aunt Karen sent this outfit in a while ago... and it's one of the best fitting outfits in the wardrobe.

Thanks Aunt Karen.
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No Photos! I SAID... NO PHOTOS!

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It was bath time. It really isn't a very traumatic thing to Owen... but he still tried to block out the view of the local paparazzi. Looks like a long telephoto lens will be needed next time.
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A very a-peel-ing boy

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Right after he was born, they told us that he'd peel over his whole body. They weren't kidding. I've seen snakes that shed less skin than Owen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Not a contortionist

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Yes, he's flexible... but not flexible enough to suck the bottom of his foot.

Owen has been scratching his face, so he gets socks on his hands. Oh well.
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