The P6 Visit Santa 2010

After staying home for half the day to get our well fixed, we ventured out to Fashion Square Mall for our annual photo and visit with St. Nick. The twins were very hesitant, especially Sofia which shows in her expression in the photo, but in the end we got a decent picture and they all gave Santa a big hug and told him what they wanted for Christmas.

Merry Christmas to everyone from the P6.


November 16th is right around the corner – our littlest guy turns one. What an amazing year!
Maximos is One

Not Just Another Year

For my family that couldn’t attend, which basically means the entire family….
Best birthday ever because of the lovely wife and kids. Thanks to Anna K for giving Aussiegirl instructions on how to make an ice cream cake. Wish the Greek family were all still here to celebrate with us.

Babies Got a Brand New Swingset



The Gorilla playset kit (Sundance) wasn’t too tough to put together, with the exception of some weak hardware that stripped too easily. Probably the worst part was getting the landscape timber retaining walls up (12″ spikes….ugh) and working in the heat and humidity. Still have a few more timbers to lay, but pretty much completed.

A Sofia laugh and smile makes all the sweat worth it.

CNN – All Class

I seem to remember New Year’s Eve celebrations being pretty classy. A nice dinner, a few drinks, dancing, singing Auld Lang Syne….

Man, how things have changed.

CNN, who call themselves “The Most Trusted Name in News” showed us exactly how that has changed.

First, they brought in the vulgar Kathy Griffin (again) to co-host New Years Eve coverage with Anderson Cooper.  Cooper is widely known to be gay, though I appreciate that he doesn’t flaunt it, and Kathy  Griffin is some sort of gay icon evidently.  All this was augmented with a special correspondent reporting live from that famous hub of NYE celebrations – Key West, Florida.

See a pattern here?

To really bring the theme home, whenever they cut to the Key West correspondent, he reported in front of stage filled with prancing drag queens and male strippers, even interviewing a particularly hideous version of “Cher”.

Stay classy CNN.  Stay classy.

And that’s my first rant for 2010.  Happy New Year.

Maximos at 3 Weeks


First Snowman of the Season


The Amazing, Incredible Fart


I never thought I’d be so happy to hear about a fart.  At least not since I was like eight years old.

I was at home last night experiencing one of the worst and scariest days of my life.

Carolyn had given birth to our fourth child, Max, on Monday, two days before.  She had lost a good amount of blood during the C-section delivery. An artery was lacerated in addition to the normal blood loss during a major surgery such as this.

Post operatively, Carolyn had a consistently low red blood cell count (hematocrit), was displaying an increasingly distended belly, and was not moving anything through her bowels.  At one point, her blood pressure dipped so low that they had to transfuse her with two bags/units of blood.  The worst part was that she was in a lot of pain, both in her belly and a sharp referred pain that shot up into her shoulder and neck area.

The wonderful doctors at University of Virginia Medical Center explained the possible reasons for the symptoms and it was looking a lot like there was either a postoperative ileus (a sort of paralysis of the intestine), a bowel obstruction, or a twisted bowel.  If you Google bowel obstruction or twisted bowel, you can see why we were all so worried.  Things like perforated bowels, high risk surgery, necrosis of the intestine, and life-threatening are mentioned.

It didn’t allay my fears when I read that singer Maurice Gibb died of complications resulting from a twisted bowel.

Unfortunately, I had to leave her that afternoon to care for the other three kids at home.

Meanwhile, Carolyn was moved back to the Labor and Delivery Ward to be closer to the operating room and was visited by the general surgeons.

The medical staff performed a couple of x-rays that identified gas pockets in the bowels and she was put on NPO (nil per os or “nothing by mouth”) in case there was a blockage which could lead to a rupture.  A three dimensional CT scan was to be done early Thursday morning to check for any obstruction or twisting.  The regular 2D x-ray would not see those evidently.

I was about 20 miles away and it could have been 20,000.  I felt sick and helpless.

My saint of a Mom called me around midnight and told me that her and my Dad were getting in the car and driving from St. Louis immediately.  My Dad had insisted.  My Mom, by the way had flown over several days earlier and returned to St. Louis when everything seemed to be getting better.They arrived about 15 hours later, with no sleep.  They’re the best.

Then, I got the magical phone call from Carolyn around 1 am Thursday morning.

She had farted!

Gas was indeed moving through those bowels.  After almost three days of inactivity.  The best sign that her intestines were not blocked.  I can’t explain what a relief that was, pardon the pun

That’s why this fart was so amazing and incredible.

Our prayers were answered.

The CT scan was called off and Carolyn has been improving (and farting) ever since.

She should be discharged with our newborn son, Max, on Friday afternoon.

Thank you to everyone for their prayers and support.  I may ask for continued prayers because Carolyn may want to murder me for this blog post.

Our Little Gladiator

I’m looking forward to the battles between “King” Leo and “Maximos”.  Looks like he won the battle against the UVA Pediatric Team as he sent them scurrying with his deadly urine.  Unfortunately, they’ll get the last laugh at the circumcision table.  Ouch!


Bring Back the Guy Under The Seats

Dave Letterman is now officially the Keith Olbermann of late night talk.  Between his schmoozfests with any liberal-leaning guest, he uses his cutting sarcasm on any invitees espousing conservative values.  The latest example of the former was his lovefest with whacky science czar John Holdren.  The second time he’s appeared on his show, no less.  Holden’s the dude that believes in mass sterilization and forced abortions for population control and takes global warming hysterics to another level.

I was a huge, I mean huge, fan of Letterman when he started, until his political opinions started appearing in his monologues and “interviews”.  I went to see his show in NYC and was a regular viewer for many years.  I was really disappointed to see Leno get the Tonight Show job over him because I thought Letterman was funnier and wouldn’t be the kiss-up that Leno was to his guests.  Well, Dave ended up doing the same with anyone on his show that had his political views (i.e leftist ones, and it wouldn’t hurt if you threw a barb at one of the George Bushes).

I miss the days of Chris Elliott as a regular in The Guy Under the Seats, Stupid Pet Tricks, and throwing stuff off a five story building.

Conan is the best.  He keeps the politics out and he keeps it funny.