Three Months

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:27 am

Dear Vivian,

We took you to your first party this month. You’re still not that active, so it’s a simple thing to take you out with us, no matter where we’re going. The diaper bag is about the only thing we have to remember to have. That won’t last long, I’m sure.

You’re becoming more and more aware of the world around you, and as you excercise your neck muscles, you’re able to see more of it, too. You’re not so content to just lie down and stare at the walls. Sounds and movements get your attention, and you strain trying to take it all in. You can’t control your hands yet, not even a little bit. But you know how to move your feet exactly where you want them to go. We hung a mirror with little dangly bits and a rolling ball in your daybed, and it took you no time at all to learn how to kick the ball just right so it spins and makes noise.

So, after three months, kicks ball with feet. I’d say you’re making plenty of progress. I think it’s going to be hard to stay ahead of you, actually.

All my love,


Two Months

Filed under:General — eric @ 9:02 am
Dear Vivian,

You’ve been with us (on the outside, anyway) two months now, and each day is better than the last. You’ve gotten over the shock of the bright lights, loud noises, and changing temperatures, and you’re beginning to show signs of who you are. Most folks say you can’t really tell much about future personalities from the behaviors of a baby, but I’ve seen enough anecdotal evidence to know otherwise. I really like what you’ve shown us so far.

Now that you’ve got your surroundings figured out (except for those flowers on the bedroom wallpaper that keep you entranced for hours), you have leisure time. And just like your daddy, you like to spend that time playing games. The Avalon Hill games are all put away until you stop eating the counters, but your current favorite game is quite fun — “Show me your tongue!” You never tire of that game. Even if you’re a bit fussy, showing you my tongue elicits giggles. Then, you show me your tongue and it’s my turn to laugh. Fun, huh? Another new father, Matthew Baldwin, of Defective Yeti, has reviewed a whole bunch of baby games, so I’ve got some ideas for what to teach you next.

I’ve not been able to spend as much time with you this month as I would’ve liked. Besides doing my regular day-time work, I was offered an evening job directing a play. And, with bills to pay, I accepted their offer. So that’s where I’ve been the last few weeks’ worth of evenings, helping a large group of regular folks present a very funny story from eighty years ago. I’m looking forward to your getting old enough to play in the theater. You’re nearly there now — as soon as you start crawling I’ll see if anyone’s doing the stage version of Popeye. You’d make a mighty cute Swee’Pea.

The show’s over now, so I’ll be with you and your mom more. And that’s what I want most of all.

All my love,


New Hitchhikers!

Filed under:General — eric @ 11:55 am

The new BBC Radio Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series (”The Tertiary Phase”) began this week. Being stateside, I couldn’t hear it on the air. However, don’t panic, as the BBC is streaming each episode for seven days ater the air. The first episode is up now in multiple formats.

Happy listening!


One Month

Filed under:General — eric @ 8:26 am
Dear Vivian,

One month ago today, after four stressful days that were only the prelude to four more stressful days, you joined our family. Your mother and I wanted you to arrive at home, but the state we live in doesn’t allow that. So we chose the next-best thing, a home-like birthing center in the next state over. But that didn’t work out either, so you came to us in a very nice hospital in Athens, GA. Even though it was well past your “due date”, it seemed like you didn’t want to come out, and the doctor had to go in and get you. You gave him and the rest of the staff quite a scare, actually, and they wisked you away and hooked you up to machines that helped you breathe, fed you, tested your blood, and kept a watchful eye over you. But you’re quite strong and you bounced back quickly. The most critical machines were unhooked later that day, and then the rest one at a time later, and four days after you were born we all got to go home. We might be paying the hospital until well after you’re grown up, but given how nice they were to you, that’s OK.

What a wonderful month we’ve had since! Your mom and I have had a lot to learn and get used to; you’ve been so patient with us. When we put you in your sling so your little body was curled up so your toes almost touched your forehead, you just rolled your eyes at us instead of yelling. When we put your cloth diapers on you so that you looked like a laundry pile with tiny feet, you acted like you didn’t care. We’ve got both of those figured out now, along with generally knowing what your cries mean, and how you like to be carried. Enjoy it while you’ve got it — as soon as you learn “No” you’ll see you won’t always get what you want.

Maybe since mom’s pregnancy went into overtime, you seem pretty well advanced for your age. We’ve got a whole library of baby books now that tell us what you should be doing when, and so far you have been ignoring them. Holds and shakes rattle for long periods (third month) — did that today. Holds eye contact, studies face (second month) — been doing that for a couple weeks. Likes and responds to music box (second month) — the nurses figured out you liked that back at the NICU. You came out with a whole mess of hair, and we’re guessing that you might begin teething any minute. There’ve been a few things you’ve done right on cue — I hope you’ll forgive me for posting these pictures that show off your baby acne.

You’re such a good (and beautiful) baby. And it’s not just mom and me that thinks so. We’ve begun taking you out to see the world, and everyone says the same thing. Yesterday we took you to a day-long meeting where people talked all day long about rivers and pollution and land use plans and politics and so forth. It was the kind of meeting that would drive most fully-grown adults to fits, but you just stayed in my arm and looked at pretty maps with me. (Maybe we’ll start a cartography club someday, you and me.)

I love watching you sleep, and you sleep a lot, so I get plenty of opportunity. You prefer to sleep on your back, and you stretch your arms out over your head. That’s pretty cute by itself, but when you’re dreaming, you open your hands and turn them around like little parabolic antennae. Your mom and I call them your dream receptors. When you lock in to a strong signal, your hands open wide, your arms stretch as far as they can go, and then you make little sleeping noises. I wonder what it is you’re dreaming of, what you’re seeing. My antennae don’t work the same way — I’ve tried.

I’m looking forward to cooking you tasty food someday. But right now your menu is as limited as that at Gurthie’s (They serve chicken strips and nothing else), and only mom can make that. But whenever you want a leg of lamb or tomato sandwich or something, just let me know. I’m ready.

I’m so happy to have you with us, Vivian. I just can’t say that enough. I’m so happy to have you with us, Vivian.

All my love,



Filed under:General — eric @ 2:22 am

The sun has come out, and I’ve had a chance to look around. The swarm came close, very close. Franklin Springs, the small town I live just outside of, was hit. It is the home of Emmanuel College, and the storm went right through the edge of campus. It spared the college’s buildings and students, but the fire station and city hall, right next door, had walls blown in. (You can see images here.)

The storm cotinued north, roughly following Highway 51 to the interstate. I saw several poultry houses flattened, large hay bales scattered, many, many trees down, and quite a few houses destroyed or damaged. I’ll have some pictures up when I can get to them.

Our place and our immediate neighbors places were spared.



Filed under:Camera Phone — eric's phone @ 7:53 am

Isn’t she cute?

Image sent: 200409161953

Ivan arrives

Filed under:General — eric @ 5:32 am

Ivan is near, and it’s brought a swarm of tornados. Several have struck the towns between my house and Athens. Many homes have been hit, and there are more twisters on the way.

Update In the last half-hour, there have been five tornados in my county, some hitting my town. There are fatalities reported. I’m in Athens at the moment, but Chris and Vivian are safe at home. Still more twisters on the way…


Going Home!

Filed under:Camera Phone — eric's phone @ 7:00 am

In a suprise move, the hospital discharged mother and child. We’re going home!

Image sent: 200408231900


Daily Update

Filed under:General — eric @ 7:39 am

Chris has been discharged, but Vivian has one more day under the care of the NICU, so they’ve let Chris keep her room for the night. Tomorrow, Vivian should be tranferred to the pediatric ward for one final day (where mommy gets a room as well). And then, on Tuesday, it looks like they can both go home.


Together at Last

Filed under:General — eric @ 9:07 am

She gets to sleep with us tonight!

It’s all OK

Filed under:Camera Phone — eric's phone @ 6:47 am

We just got to hold her for the first time. And even better, she got to nurse. Still in ICU, but she’s nearly all better!

Image sent: 200408211847

Quick Update

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:37 am

In case you missed the photos over on the right, here’s a quick update: Vivian Ruth Wagoner arrived just after five o’clock Thursday morning. The last hour of labor, after we arrived at the hospital and Chris’s water broke, was rough on Vivian. An obstruction in the pelvis forced Chris into having a C-section, and reduced oxygen levels to Vivian during that last hour, combined with heavy meconium, put Vivian into the infant Intensive Care Unit, where she remains. Her readings are nearly back to normal, so we’re hoping Chris and Vivian can both be transferred to pediatrics for the final few days.

The full story, with more pictures, will follow when I can get it written.



Filed under:Camera Phone — eric's phone @ 4:35 am

Without so many tubes sticking out of her, she can finally smile at us.
She’s ready to be with mommy, but the intensive care unit wants her for just
a little bit longer.

Image sent: 200408201635


Vivian Ruth

Filed under:Camera Phone — eric's phone @ 7:26 am

Full Story to follow.

Image sent: 200408190726


To the hospital

Filed under:General — eric @ 11:45 am

We’re going to go ahead and go to the hospital. It’s not at all an emergency situation, but we’ll get some more thourough tests done, and then (hopefully) quickly bring the baby out.

Entering the Finale

Filed under:General — eric @ 9:24 am

After three very painful days, we’ve reached the end. No… no baby yet, but there will be one soon, one way or another.

Chris has been having regular contractions for over three days now, but they’ve only managed to open the cervix a little bit. They haven’t really been the full-powered type of contractions needed to do the job. But, there is something going on that is causing Chris an incredible amount of pain, and it’s been going on since the contractions started. We’re not sure what it is, but all of the dangerous complications have been ruled out, and the baby is unaffected by it. It may be something simple like a folded and pinched bladder that will go away when the real delivery starts. We’ve been waiting for that to happen, but it hasn’t. Perhaps the pain has been severe enough to shut down that part of the system, or something.

In any event, we’ve decided waiting it out isn’t an option anymore. We’ve begun an herbal treatment that will likely induce full labor in the next hour or two. In the event that that doesn’t work, we’ll be off to the hospital for, if nothing else, painkillers.

So that’s where we stand. I’ll let you know if we go to the hospital. If we don’t, I’ll update you as I can.

And to re-iterate… it hasn’t been a health issue up until now, only a pain issue. Both mother and child are physically doing well.


Filed under:General — eric @ 1:57 am

Nothing new to report. I expect there will be something to report tonight, though.

We’ve been back at the birth center since late last night, playing the waiting game (obSimpsonsQuote: “Ah, the waiting game sucks. Let’s play ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos’!”). But the waiting is coming to an end, and something will happen soon.


Taking a Break

Filed under:General — eric @ 9:55 am

We’ve entered day three of Baby Watch with not much to report. She’s still laboring but not dilating. It’s been a long drawn-out “first stage” for her. The nature of the contractions are slowly changing and moving toward the type that will open the door and let the baby out.

We’re going home for a little while. We may return to the birthing center tonight, but the contractions will tell us when.


Taking a break

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:07 pm

Labor is currently slow. Contractions are still coming, but they’ve been light most of the morning. They’re starting to pick up some, so we’re just relaxing at the birthing center.


Filed under:General — eric @ 12:02 pm

We’ve reached midnight, and not much has changed. We’re both going to try and rest for a while. Somehow, she’s managing to sleep through some of the contractions…

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