Monday, August 31, 2009


Before anyone reads the next sentence don't worry he's fine.

We had to take Aidan to A&E on Saturday night. He woke up with a nasty rash all over his face after his afternoon nap and we gave it some thought before deciding to go to the hospital, but thought it was for the best.

Now, we've taken him to the children's emergency ward before but in the UK. Here's a little comparison.

In London we called a cab and waited 15 minutes for it to arrive. In the US we called the insurance company and waited 15 minutes for them to give the go ahead and tell us which hospital to go to.

When we arrived at the hospital in the UK, children's A&E was very crowded but as Aidan was only a few weeks old we were ushered in to our own room. This wasn't as salubrious as it sounds as it was a cubicle that could have done with a lick of paint. In the US we registered, waited a few minutes while we filled in a few insurance forms and were then given our own room. Very nice it was too.

In the UK we saw a nurse then a junior doctor. In the US we saw two nurses, then a junior doctor then a senior practitioner - with a student doctor who'd come to 'check out the cute kid', then came the official who collected our insurance papers who told us our insurance company was very good as they had delivered all the necessary information by fax. (15 minutes well spent then).

In the UK Aidan was checked over, we were given some verbal advice and medicine to go home with but they couldn't conclusively say exactly what was wrong with him. In the US Aidan was checked over, we were given verbal and written advice to follow, some medicine but they couldn't conclusively say exactly what was wrong with him.

Just subtle differences apart from the state of the wards and ratio of staff to patients, I suppose.

This was taken two seconds after we'd got his hospital robe on. And it shows the general mood he was in with all the doctors and nurses who came to see him. His rash had got a lot better as we were going to the hospital but we just wanted to be on the safe side.

Daddy daycare - Day 2

The second day was a lot better than the first.

I dropped Erin off at work and Aidan slept on the way back. So the 1st sleep was no problem. We walked around the neigbourhood and went on the swings in the park before his lunch and nap. And again went down very easily, but this time in his bed - some would say like a baby.

In the afternoon we went swimming. The highlight of the day. We splashed and had fun. He had all the mothers saying how cute he was and how well he was doing. I just wonder if they thought the same of me. Thankfully this time, unlike others, I didn't forget anything so hopefully, yes.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Daddy daycare - Day 1

Last Tuesday marked the start of daddy daycare.

Since arriving in Madison Erin and I took on our weekend agenda and generally shared the tasks of being Aidan's feeders, entertainers and sleep aids. But Erin's volunteering for 3 days a week at a Mental Health Center in Madison in the hope of future work so I'm taking care of him on my own while she does this.

Thankfully she had the day off on Monday but on Tuesday daddy was flying solo with a tough passenger.

I had the schedule written out and carried it wherever I was.

6:30 - Breakfast
9- 10 - Sleep
10:30 -11 - Feed
12-1 - Sleep
2-2:30 - Feed
4 - Sleep
5 - Feed
6:15-6:30 - Bath
7 - Sleep

I followed this religiously. Or tried to. It actually faltered right at the beginning at it first sleep. He wouldn't go down for love nor money. There's nothing more exhausting than trying to get baby to sleep. After half an hour or so and many promises to him which I'd never keep I hit the road.

In England the car didn't seem to put him to sleep but he's got more used to it over here. After around 5 minutes he was nodding. I felt like I'd cheated but was much more calm now his eyes had closed.

The next sleep was more or less the same. This time wasn't just exhausting but frustration was taking over. In the end I lay him down with me like we used to do in the beginning and he slowly drifted away.

Both times, while he was supposed to be sleeping, I was meant to be getting on with other things. As I was with him, I couldn't get his food prepared, wash up from the last meal or waste time on the internet. It was about 12:45 when I wanted to throw the towel in and go back to work.

For his late afternoon sleep he let me off and went down easy. I was still stressed though when Erin came back as I was worrying about the following day and days to come.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bargain hiking

Last Saturday we went garage saleing. I think this is why Erin wanted to come back and live in America, boot sales just didn't do it for her. She'll argue that it was for her family but she is now out at the sales as I write this, admittedly with family.

Anyway on one of our stops we spotted a baby carrying backpack, bought it and used it on Sunday at Madison's Aboretum.

It worked to a point. Unfortunately Aidan wanted to see things on the walk other than his dad's head and so lent to his left, which was fine for most of the walk. But dad did wake up with a little twinge in his left shoulder the following day. We think we'll go to the shop and invest a little more so Aidan can lean without giving any of us any discomfort.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finally landed

It's been too long since I've been able to blog about Aidan.  First of all he and Erin left the UK 7 weeks before I did and when I got here life took priority - oh, and internet access has been patchy too.

Well, normal service should now resume.

Here's a little catch up...

Erin and Aidan welcomed me to the US with open arms.  Well Erin did,  she flashed me a huge smile and gave me a big hug but Aidan was a bit more wary.  It took a few minutes before he gave me a smile and when he  came to me for a hug he wanted to be back with mum straightaway.

I tried not to show any hurt.

It actually didn't matter.  When we got home and he'd heard his mum and dad talk all the way home he knew who I was.

Before his bath he rolled around on the bed and showed me his new moves.  Before they left for the States Aidan was just rolling, now he was rockin-and-a-rollin and moving-without-shakin.  He may not be quite crawling yet - wish us luck when he does - but he gets up on all fours and and steadily rocks, gets ready to go, then moves and lurches forward at anything he wants to get at. He'll then repeat it until he gets it, and finally that thing he does get goes in his mouth. This is everything and anything.  

When he was on the bed he was the complete showman.  He'd do a trick then look for the attention.  Once he got it, without any pause he was onto the next.

He then bathed with the usual vigour he had in London and went to sleep.  It was a great end to a big old journey of migrating to the US - more of which later.

It's good to be back with both of them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coming to America

I received my US visa today from the kind visa officials at the US Embassy.  Looks like I'll see the boy, Aidan, and the girl, Erin, next week, all being well.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Meet the new cousin

This is Aidan's next cousin.  She's Erin's sister, Robyn and Pat's 20 week old gestation. And, if you haven't guessed yet, a girl.  She's due at the end of December.  Isn't she beautiful?  Aidan's getting used to the fact that he might have to share his birthday. 

Breaking news...

Aidan has cut his first tooth.  I've been told it's not a shiny whitey just yet but has a sharp and painful edge.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Polk County Fair

Last weekend was Polk County Fair. Char and Erin took Aidan for his first look at wildlife in the midwest - if you don't count Walmart.

Cows are all right.

But I prefer sheep.

And goats.

Oh, I love goats.

Is that chicken being chicken?  Come here.  Come on.