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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Geek Dad

Thoughts from a 6 Month Old's Dad

by Ken Newquist / October 9, 2003

iBook Power Cords are Pretty: iBooks and PowerBooks ship with power cords that have small lighted disks at the end that plugs into the Mac. This disk glows orange if the computer is charging, and green if its at full-power. Jordan's recently become obsessed with this disk, and is now aggressively trying to grab hold of it (presumably with the eventual goal of putting it in her mouth). Yes, now's about the time we start learning what the word "No".

Why Crawl When You Can Slither? Jordan's still working on the crawling thing, but she has managed to start locomoting her way around the room using a combination inchworm/slither/roll approach. It inspired a small amount of terror in one of her grandmothers, who suddenly realized that she was going to have to start baby proofing the house. This insight arrived when Jordan spied her craft tote (a box with a bunch of fabric pouches on it) that contains scissors, pins and a bunch of other sharp objects, and immediately headed for it.

Jordan's First E-mail

by Ken Newquist / August 28, 2003

While I was at work the other day, I was the proud recipient of Jordan's very first e-mail.

And here's what it had to say:

"m, mmkkk/ bvn bu nmr b 6fcb ,mmm"

Brillant eh? Seems she was happily pounding away at the keyboard while Sue was trying to get some work done, so Sue decided to letter send of a quick note to Dad. It totally made my day.

Of course, in hindsight we've realized that teaching Jordan to happily bash a computer keyboard probably isn't a good idea. So we got her a little piano that she can bash away on (as well as a little laptop of her own, but the buttons aren't as bashable as the piano's ... or my Mac's).

3 a.m. Eternal

by Ken Newquist / August 27, 2003

I love my five-month-old daughter Jordan greatly. But that's not to say that she can't be very, very trying at times.

Like last night. Or should I say yesterday morning?

I put her down at around 11 p.m., then headed downstairs to finish up a level in Futurama, a PS2 game I'm in the process of reviewing. At around midnight I came back upstairs, creeping quietly, so I don't think it was me that woke Jordan up. But you never know.

What I do know is that at 12 a.m. she was up, and not just up, she was bouncing off the freaking ceiling. She was very happy about being awake, and an enthusiastic five-month-old is a hard thing to take at midnight. You can't just let her play in her crib until she falls asleep -- she's still too little for that, and she wants to be ... occupied. And last night, that meant making googly eyes at Daddy while he was trying to rock her back to sleep, and then happily kicking her mom awake when Dad gave up and brought her to bed, hoping that would calm her down.

Rediscovering Science Fiction Through Netflix

by Ken Newquist / August 19, 2003

There have been a lot of changes since the baby came, but one of the biggest is that we rarely, if ever, go to Blockbuster any more. Instead, we rent movies from Netflix. For about $20 a month, we can rent three DVDs at a time from the company. We have a standing queue, and as we watch and return a disc, the next DVD in the queue is sent out to us.

I initially signed up for it because I wanted to watch some episodes of Stargate SG-1 in anticipation of reviewing an RPG based on the series. Much to my surprise, Sue loves Stargate, and we've been working our way through the entire series (we're halfway through Season 3 now).

Thoughts from a Four-Month-Old's Dad

by Ken Newquist / August 14, 2003

Keyboards are Fun: Jordan loves pounding on computer keyboards, and has already managed to send a few e-mails (with a tiny bit of help from Mom). Seeing that she enjoys hitting the keys, we wisely decided to get her some new toys -- now she's got a little laptop of her own, as well as a musical keyboard.

The Cat Gets Pissy: Our oldest cat, Cougar, isn't taking well to the baby ... or rather the amount of attention we give to the baby, instead of him. And he's taken to showing his displeasure by peeing wherever he likes in the house (including, this morning, on my computer bag ... thankfully my computer wasn't in it at the time).

Thoughts from a Three Month Old's Dad

by Ken Newquist / June 23, 2003

Smiles are Addicting: I can't get enough of Jordan's smile, whether it's the wide, gum-filled happy grin or her crooked little "ain't I cute?" smirk. Even when this smile is the result of her having just peed all over her clothes, the changing table, and her daddy, I can't help but smile back.

Grabbing Things is Fun: Within the last two weeks, Jordan's suddenly realize that she can grab things and bring them closer to her, with the eventual goal of putting them in her mouth. Her playset -- which includes a play blanket with two curved bars crossing it, from which hang various stuffed animals on clips -- has suddenly become a heck of a lot more fun. She does get frustrated when she grabs something and can't quite get it to her mouth, at which point she starts grunting and letting out exasperated little grasps. But when she does snag something properly and starts chewing on it, she's estatic.

Thoughts from a Two Month Old's Dad

by Ken Newquist / June 8, 2003

Ok, so Jordan's almost three months old and this column is about three weeks late, but one of the lesson's learned this month is how ever little free time you think you'll have, divide it by at least half and you'll have a number that's still wrong, but closer to the post-baby-reality.

You Say It's My Party?: We had two weddings this month -- one at the beginning of May in Boston, in which my sister got married and one Memorial Day weekend, when Sue's brother tied the knot. Jordan did great at both of them -- we joked that it was so nice for Kristen to throw Jordan such a lavish birthday party. I think we held her for all of three hours during those two weekends, as she was continuously passed from relative to friend and back again. Amazingly, she took it all in stride, hardly ever crying or getting cranky (which is more than I can say for some of the adults?)

A Night of Abject Terror (or StarGirl goes to the Pediatric ICU)

by Ken Newquist / May 14, 2003

First off, everyone's ok -- StarGirl's fine, Sue's fine and I'm fine. Or at least, we're mostly fine.

I got a call at 3:30 Monday from Sue, who was in hysterics and was on her way to St. Luke's in Bethlehem. Seems that StarGirl had turned absolutely white -- no color in her lips or her extremities, and scared the crap out of Sue. She called our pediatrician, who told her to take her to the hospital immediately.

When I got there an hour and a half later, Sue and StarGirl had been admitted, and they were running different tests on the baby. Mostly they were trying to pin down her heart rate, which seemed high. Well, one EKG later, and they knew that it *was* high. Way too high. Her normal heart rate should be around 140-160, something like that. Hers was twice that -- it was running around 250 to 280, with spikes to an absolutely horrifying 300.

The cardiac pediatrician was concerned -- heck everyone was concerned -- and they spent an hour or two trying to get an IV started so they could give her medication to bring the heart rate down. When they couldn't get it started -- and when other techniques failed to keep the heart rate down -- they Medevac'd her to Lehigh Valley Hospital, which has a pediatric intensive care unit. That's right. A freaking helicopter.

Thoughts on Fatherhood from a One Month-Old's Dad

by Ken Newquist / April 24, 2003

Jordan turned one month old yesterday, which is a fact I find absolutely astounding. It really doesn't seem like it's been a month already, and at the same time, it seems like Jordan's always been here. Regardless of perspective though, a month has passed and we've learned a lot over the last few weeks.

Baby's Grow Fast: Jordan's growing fast--she's already outgrown one of her outfits, which makes complete sense, yet was very surprising at the time.

Getting to Know You: She's also starting to exhibit a slightly increased awareness of her surroundings, and she's developing preferences. For example, she's much rather fall asleep in bed with us than in her own crib. That's problematic for us because Sue and I don't sleep well when she's in the bed--we're always waking up paranoid that we're going to roll over her.