Grand Baby News

Well…it’s been a tough week for us. Sunday we went off on a boat ride to see the Christmas Lights over in Punta Gorda…we got lots of great photos that Neil will post once he processes them. Today’s post has a smaller number to process and is more important news anyway so I’m going to do the posts out of chronological order.

Monday morning we got up at zero dark hundred and headed off on our 925 mile drive up to Midlothian to see the grand baby. Our original idea was to stop over night in NC somewhere and get there Tuesday morning rather than getting there late in the evening but we got a call from Bryan that if we could press on and get there Monday evening that would actually be better as he was coming down with a cold and Jen would appreciate the help. So we kept going…stopped and got a couple of Taco Bell burritos that we ate going down the road and pulled into their driveway about 2100 or so. We met the baby and spent the next 2 days getting quality grand parent time, running errands for them and cooking dinners. 

Tuesday morning Neil drove Jen and Alex over to the pediatrician for his first appointment; he carried Alex around and went back with Jen as she isn’t allowed to carry anything heavy and when picking the carrier up the off center weight made her stitches hurt. Alex looked a bit yellow (jaundiced) the doctor thought so they sampled his bilirubin. He was asleep throughout the exam and didn’t move a muscle when the nurse stuck his heel for the sample. Talk about a heavy sleeper.

Later on that afternoon the doctor called with his bilirubin and it was up around 15 which is the cause of the jaundice. Birth is traumatic for the baby (who knew!) and makes a lot of red blood cells die off which raises his bilirubin and makes him jaundiced; more die than normally on one day so the liver has trouble keeping up. So the home health service came by and dropped off a blue LED light vest that helps to eliminate the bilirubin. He wears it all the time until the levels have a downward trend towards normal. In the hospital they put the babies under a big bank of overhead UV lights but for home use they bring you this little vest thing. Makes him look like a little glow worm…doesn’t he.


Neil started coming down with Bryan’s cold Wednesday afternoon so that was the end of quality grand parent time for him:-( but it just meant more for Connie.

Thursday morning we headed off about 0700. We stopped by the Kroger to buy some dry ice…one of Jen’s relatives had left us a couple pounds of venison roasts and we needed to keep them frozen for the trip…gotta handle the important stuff ya know…and unbelievably at 0700 on a weekday morning the deli/coffee shop in the store had no coffee or pastries for breakfast. So we popped over to the Panera on the way out of the parking lot and handled those important needs and then hit the road. We stopped for gas and lunch and potty breaks as needed…we can’t remember the last time we filled up the tank in the Mazda for under $35; we paid 2.25 to 2.39 for the whole trip…gotta love those temporarily low prices. Connie played Radio Reader and read a couple of Kindle books on the way home. For those of you who don’t know what Radio Reader is…back in the 60s and 70s there was a show on the NPR radio stations where they would read books aloud a chapter once a week with dramatic reading. Sort of like Audible Books is today. Anyway…Connie usually reads a book to us on long car trips as it makes the time go faster.

We did stop for dinner at a Chik-fil-A for a half hour since we were pushing on to home Thursday night…and Neil got Connie to drive a couple of hours in the late afternoon…he didn’t do that on the way up and got really tired. Once we left dinner at Orlando we were on 2 land dark country highways and neither Neil or Connie trusted her to drive on those with her lack of depth perception so Neil drove the rest of the way home…but with his cold he was really, really glad when we got back. We unloaded the car and piled everything in the house to unpack the next day and slept like the dead. Neil got up about 0300 or so and slept in the recliner.

Yesterday he just laid around and took drugs and felt bad…and is feeling better but not good today…so hopefully he’ll be back to normal by Monday.

Neil’s going to continue to get photos of the baby from Jen and has a whole bunch more than is in this post to process…once he’s done I’ll put them up on our Smugmug site at We’ll put a note in whichever blog post is next when the gallery is updated and Connie will also announce it on her twitter @conniedl and on the blog account @guntherkara when the gallery is updated. In the meantime here are just a couple more for you. The first one he’s on mama’s lap in his Alabama onsie and the second one is right after he came out of his bath. Bryan saw his hair sticking up and wanted to know who stuck his finger in a plug.

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Yesterday his bilirubin was down and today it continued down so he’s off the light. He goes in for his next checkup on Tuesday so they’ll probably do another test then and make sure that it’s continuing to trend downward. He’s staying awake a lot more and extra sleeping is one of the symptoms of the problem; and he looks a lot more pinky rather than peachy yellowey than he did earlier in the week.

That’s about it for today…Cyas.


About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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