Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Spongebob on Healthcare

Ever since Nate has been old enough to watch TV, I've been subjected to watching what he watches on many occasions. Some of his shows I find excruciatingly nauseating, such as Dora, Super Why, and Sid the Science Kid. These are supposedly educational so I have no problem with him watching them. I just hate being around when he does because they make we want to gouge my eyes out and cram them in my ears so I can neither see nor hear their inane banter. On the contrary, some of the other shows he watches are actually somewhat entertaining. Sesame Street is always good and we both love watching the trains on Thomas and Friends. But one of my favorite "Nate shows" has got to be Spongebob Squarepants.
It's not educational at all, which is probably why I enjoy it so much. There's quite a bit of humor that adults can appreciate in there. Take today for example. While I was trying to find something to absorb the boy's attention for a few peaceful minutes, we flipped on the tube and there was Spongebob. I got quite a chuckle when I heard the cartoon's take on our health care situation. It came in a short exchange between Spongebob and his buddy Patrick after Patrick fell and "broke his butt". Here's how it went (more or less)...

Bob: Patrick, you should go see a doctor.

Patrick: I can't go to the doctor, my job doesn't provide me with health care insurance.

Bob: What job?

Patrick: Exactly.

Simply amazing. A children's cartoon has a better grasp on health care in America than our own government does. I know, I know. There's a lot more to it than that, but they've managed to capture a sizable portion of the problem in a 10 second conversation between a sponge and a starfish. All this leads me to one obvious conclusion...

Spongebob for president in 2012!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mid-week Update

We've not yet had Drew for a full week, but we're starting to get settled in to our new life. We had a rough day Sunday with a trip to prompt care for Olivia with an infection in the morning. Then Sunday night Drew had his first trip to the ER. He was lethargic and couldn't keep any of his food down. We were a little freaked but they didn't find anything wrong with him. He has been getting progressively better since then, so it was probably a reaction to the antibiotics they gave Liv or a touch of jaundice, or a combination of both. Anyway, everyone seems to be on the mend now. Nathan is slowly learning to be a big brother. Once home, Nate showed a bit more interest than he did in the hospital...

He was still reluctant to touch the newcomer though. Yesterday I managed to get them to take a picture together. I had to restrain both of them to make it happen though...
Then today somehow, Liv actually got him to touch this new little creature.

There has already been a great deal of speculation as to who Drew resembles. He does look somewhat like his brother and people are already pointing out similarities to his parents and grandparents. Yes I see some shared traits, but if I have to pick one person that Drew looks like, I'm going with Don Rickles...

Spooky, huh? I hope he's not as surly as Don!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hello Drew!

Andrew Michael Dudley finally arrived on the scene this Thursday, 8-20-09, at 11:42 AM. He was 7 lbs, 8.8 oz and 21 inches long. This makes him a few ounces and about an inch and a half smaller than Nate was. No matter, he's just as cute. I call this picture "I have arrived!"
The little man didn't fuss much once he arrived. The nurses had to agitate him to get him to cry and get his lungs going. So far, he's a very content baby. Looking through Nate's birth pictures, he looked to be whining in most of them. I couldn't find one picture of Drew crying. The other big difference is in the eyes. Nate's seemed to stay closed for all his early pictures. Drew was pretty wide-eyed from the moment he sprang forth. We're trying to decide how much they look like each other. I can't tell. One wrinkly red baby looks the same as the next to me. You be the judge. Here's Drew...
And here's Nate...
We had lots of help at the hospital. Grandma, Aunt Rachel, and Aunt Gloria were all there for the birth.

Pop soon showed up with Nathan. He was largely indifferent with his little bro. He may have been a bit intimidated.

He was much more interested in watching the helicopter take off and watching trains go by out the window.

Besides Nana and Pop, our other visitors included Great Grandma, Megan, and Logan.

It was a tiring couple of days, but we're home now.

Thank you to everyone who helped us this week, we really appreciate it! We'll be posting many more pics soon so stay tuned.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Goodbye to Grandad Dudley

For those who don't know yet, my Grandad Dudley passed away last Friday. We laid him to rest Tuesday and I've now finally gotten around to putting my thoughts in writing. I don't have a nifty poem like my sis ( My ramblings are more of an unsorted, random bunch of thoughts and feelings. I was a bit surprised at how matter-of-fact I took the whole ordeal. We've known for months that things didn't look good and when he turned down chemo a few weeks ago we knew it was only a matter of time. Perhaps that prepared me or prevented the shock factor. I'm sure that was part of it, but I'm almost alarmed at the strong sense of peace I have. I almost feel guilty for not being more upset. I loved and respected my Grandad as much as anyone. I've been thinking it over and I think I feel this peace in large part because he did as well. I've not been around many dying people, but I couldn't imagine anyone else taking it as well as Grandad did. He was never bitter or angry about his circumstances. On the contrary, I think he was grateful for them. He was not snatched away from us, but was given 3 months warning. He had the time to see all his loved ones again and to feel the love and adoration we all had for him. He believed he was the most blessed man on earth until the moment of his death. He knew he was going to a better place and he knew we would all soon join him there. If he had any fear of dying, he hid it well. I think his peaceful spirit spilled over on those of us who were around for his final weeks. I know it has for me and I thank God for allowing it so that I might be spared the worst of the grief. I still grieve, but it's more a sense of temporary separation than a sense of loss.

The funeral service was as good as one could be. Funerals aren't typically categorized as "good", but Granddad's was as close as one could get. The video tribute that Aunt Karla and Uncle Rob put together was incredible. The message was terrific as well, with excerpts from letters we all wrote Grandad before he passed. I was a bit apprehensive about singing in the choir loft with the rest of the family, as was one of Granddad's last requests. I'm not a gifted singer and I don't like facing crowds, but I figured Grandad had earned this final gift from his family. I've gotten misty eyed 3 times in my adult life. Once was at my wedding when Olivia came through the doors of the church to be my wife. The second was when I saw baby Nathan for the first time after he was born. The third was singing "I'll Fly Away" for my grandad. I was saying to myself, "Why are you crying, you never cry when you're sad." And right then it struck me. I wasn't holding back tears of sorrow. I was sad, but my tears were tears of pride. I was so overcome with how great this man was and how proud I was to be a part of his family that I got a little choked up. It was a bit puzzling at the time, but I'm sure that's what it was.

My biggest regret in all of this is that Grandad never got to meet Drew, our second boy due to arrive next week. I then realize that there will be dozens of great-grandkids that grandad won't meet on this earth. It just happens that Drew's the first. That pacifies me a little and makes me even more thankful for the relationship Grandad had with Nathan. For those that don't know, Nathan's middle name is Wyatt in honor of Grandad Dudley. Grandad was openly touched by this, but it was really our honor to be ones to use the name. Let's face it, one of us grandkids was going to name a kid after Grandad sooner or later. We were just the lucky ones to get to do it! I'm not sure the loss has completely sunk in yet. I imagine it will come in waves... the first time we go to Grandma's house and he's not there... going through harvest without him driving a tractor... Christmas without him... opening the pool next summer for the first time without him. We will miss him differently from season to season, but we will never forget his overwhelming love for his family. We love you Grandad, and we'll see you soon.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Diving In

Well, it's official...

As of Saturday morning, our house is for sale. We're still not done with it, but we decided to go ahead and at least put it out there while we're finishing things up. We're not doing any advertising though until we're closer to done. After being up only about 32 hours, our sign had already lost 8 of the fliers we put in it. So, that's somewhat comforting. I'm not going to get too excited until we start getting phone calls though. If anyone knows anyone who wants to live in New Berlin, send them my way!

Here's a big thanks to Grandma for helping out Saturday. We painted a whole mountain of trim that I need to start putting up around my windows. We also enjoyed watching Nathan get his hands on a donut.Mmmm, sprinkles.