So we're back.
Baby Jacob turned up with a touch of hip dysplasia. So now he has to wear a brace. (He does not like this one bit.) If all goes well, he could have it off by Christmas.
Alan and David are fine. Both are still getting used to their new baby brother. It's a little stressful, having Mommy totally wrapped up in this little stranger. Broadly speaking, Alan responds to stress by getting squirrelly, while David gets very... very... stubborn. But basically they're fine.
It's gorgeous, gorgeous fall weather here. Yesterday, Claudia bought a pumpkin. This afternoon, I'll come home from work a little early, and the boys and I will sit on the front stoop and carve it.
Normal blogging should resume soon thereafter.
"The steamship Bethelridge northbound through the canal on August 7, 1924, went ashore in Gatun lake, when the master, who was under the influence of liquor, took the wheel and, disregarding the advice of the pilot, steered the ship out of the channel and into shallow water. The damage to the ship was estimated as $621, including tug hire."
Busy; not interesting enough to blog about (yet). Use this opportunity as an open thread.
Probably no posts from me or Claudia for the next few days, as we'll all be in Germany.
If you feel the need to read blog posts by me, here are my last few posts on A Fistful of Euros:
On Romania's oil industry and why it doesn't make a difference to oil prices here.
On Macedonia, gem of the Balkans. (Note: unhappy Greeks in comment thread.)
On why I was wrong about some stuff.
If that's still not enough, I spent way too much time on this comment thread over at Histologion. (But click on the link to Eric Gordy's much more reasoned and classy response.)
Finally, comics fans go now to Dave's Long Box. People with kids go to One Good Thing. D&D players go to The Order of the Stick. And someone -- I'm not sure who, but someone -- go to Achewood.
See you next week.
So now Claudia's mother is sick.
This gets tricky. Alan and David are staying with Claudia's parents while Claude is stuck in the hospital with baby Jacob. But now grandma Annemarie has come down with bronchitis. Grandpa Hans can't easily deal with a sick wife and two lively kids by himself. Oh, and guests are now flying in from all over for the christening this weekend. What to do?
Last week my friend Mike Loew at the Onion called and asked me, "Carlos, you have a nice suit, right?" This is the result.
I'm meant to be the corpse of New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who I guess I resemble a bit, maybe hungover with a good haircut a dozen years from now:
We did not rent out the Ohio statehouse for the photo. I actually spent an hour face down on the hardwood floors of the Onion's Soho offices, thinking "what's my motivation?" until the left side of my lips fell asleep, pressed between the floor and my teeth.
Comedy is hard.
So, we had a baby.
But that's not why we haven't been posting! Like we'd let a little thing like that stop us.
No, the problem is that the darn baby went and picked up a staph infection. Staphylococcus aureus, to be precise. Not that this is really all that precise, because staph aureus causes something like nineteen totally different diseases, depending on where and how it hits you. We're talking everything from zits through diarrhea to bone necrosis. In baby Jacob's case, it was skin blisters and green goo in one ear.
This was last week and, just to be clear, we ALL SEEM TO BE OKAY NOW, okay? Jacob has been on antibiotics for a week now. After a day or so, the infection did what infections are supposed to do when hit with antibiotics: it died. He seems totally fine now.
The only tricky bit is, he has to get the antibiotics for ten days straight. And they're administered intravenously, via a large and clunky apparatus that doesn't travel well. (And before you ask, yes, we asked. There Is No Other Way.)
So, Jacob is still in the hospital, and Claudia is still with him. Alan and David are still with the grandparents. And I am still in Romania, alone.
(You might think that being alone would give me more time to post. All I can say is, it hasn't worked out that way.)
If all goes as planned, Claudia and Jacob will finally get out on Friday. I should leave here Friday morning to go get them. And on Tuesday next, we should all be back here in Romania, together under one roof.
So I spent the afternoon pretending to be dead. That was OK, there were photographers present. The results should appear in next week's Onion. Look for the fellow in the Italian suit with the glass of scotch in one hand.
Actually, I've been back for a few days.
Didn't feel like blogging, because (1) after a week away, my desk was really full, and (2) it's been just beautiful here... lovely early autumn weather, sunny breezy days and cool clear nights. So I've been taking advantage of my family's absence to take some long walks around Bucharest. About which more anon.
Family, yes: mother and child are well. Baby Jacob was about two weeks early, and had a little difficulty breathing at first. So he spent his first night in the ICU. This was a little worrisome, but we'd been through this before -- David was the same -- and he was out the next day. Since then, he's been just fine. Eating... well, a lot. Vigorously.
I was there for the birth. German hospitals are very civilized about this sort of thing; for a modest extra fee, the father can share the mother's hospital room. Nice. And then I was standing by Claude's head, talking to her, when the doctors took Jacob out. He didn't have a lot to say, but his expression spoke volumes.
Alan and David are staying with the beloved grandparents, Oma and Opa. It's nice weather in Germany too, so they spend a lot of time in the back yard, in Oma's garden, and in the playground across the street. This weekend Oma mowed the back yard, and Alan got to ride on the tractor with her. (It's a rather big yard.) On the tractor. With Oma. I'm half surprised he didn't faint from sheer delight.
What else... oh yes, the pirate ship.
Since my co-bloggers are exulting in the glow of a newborn's pheromones, I guess I have to fill in the gap again. (I am sure they will do the same for me, when Drew Barrymore finally comes to her senses.)
Doug recommended Kung Fu Monkey to me, and this post, on the irreducible 27%, more than makes up the price of admission. Which is free, but there are opportunity costs to consider.
Julie Powell, of the Julie/Julia Project, has her book out! Yay! And Diablo Cody'sbook is coming out for Christmas! (But I'm gonna see if I can score an advance copy.)
Book of the week: America's Boy, by William Hamilton-Paterson, which perhaps could be re-titled The Ominous Parallels.
Gridiron update: Green Bay 52, New Orleans 3. I feel a little better.
Among other things, I am deeply interested in the history of the American South. Thus I often link the words "fire" and "Sherman".
I seem to have mice. Cunning little bastards that like pancakes. I also have a cold. Advice welcomed!
In other news, no word yet.
I've never seen the movie Titanic. But one Thanksgiving it was playing at my parents' house. My sister, who knows me far too well, called me over to watch the two parts she knew I would like: Kate Winslet naked, and Leonardo di Caprio dying.
Family is important.
Anyhoo, the new Moveable Type installation has been delayed, and y'all are stuck with me for the time being. I'd talk about the gridiron, but it's too depressing. Tales of Brooklyn dating, ditto. (I should maybe get a TV, so I'd have something in common to talk about. But then I'd be talking about TV. Hm.)
So, what's on your minds?