Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rocking you to sleep

An old rocker - wooden, simple- and something that I get to use to rock you to sleep with as you wake up in the night, and just need that human touch.

JJ- tomorrow I fly to Florida to see your mother and you. I get excited when these days come- because your mom and I have become one.

You see, something happened when your mom and I met. I can't explain it- I don't think anyone can. But our eyes met- and from that point on we began a discussion that continues to this day. The best discussion - when we decided that we were going to have you.

On nights when I am not with your mom I don't sleep well. Neither does she. We both wake up a lot- often we call one another- if just for a second. Then we go back to sleep.

Soon you will be entering our world- and we won't be sleeping much either. But I look forward to you being wrapped in my arms- your little head on my shoulder- as I rock you to sleep - smelling your hair- and trying to make every second last forever. I want you te feel safe, and warm, and know that your dad and your mom love you- and we will be there for you.

And I know- as I am rocking - your mom will look up from bed, smile - "You ok, bear?" And I'll smile-- she'll know-- that I am in the place I am meant to be.

Love you kid- looking forward to seeing you tomorrow and hearing your little heartbeat.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's about giving back

Dear JJ,

When your mom and I met we were both people who had lived rich and full lives. Many people talk about the things that they want to accomplish before they pass on-- a so called "bucket list."

We had lived for ourselves- doing things other people dream of- and while many might be envy such lives-- we were both exhausted.

We both had a strong desire to "give back." We had both done some work in this field- but discovered that we have the same philosophy, and it is something we really want to do.

We have some great examples in giving back- all with your grandparents! My dad, your grandfather- the first Alaska Native with a doctorate, went back to Alaska to help teach kids -- knowing that education was the magic bullet. He could not have done this without the help and support of your grandmother- my mom. Your other grandfather has spent most of his life in China- where your mom was born, and where we will find your sister - Lilly. His wife, your other grandmother- is also a staunch companion and supportive of this.

So when your mom and I get married- the theme of our wedding will be giving back. You will be there- but probably won't remember too much!

So you will probably see a lot of places, see a lot of people who have little-- and if your mom and I have our way- I'll be operating there while she films it.

Someday you will want to make your parents proud-- and I want to give you this little secret: It isn't what you accomplish that will make us proud-- it is what you give back. We love you no matter what- but always remember- the greatest thing you can ever do - is what you do for others.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For You Kid

Little kid --

For now you are images on an ultrasound that I look at every day

For now you are a heartbeat that I listen to with my doppler when I am with my beloved

But though I hear your heart -- I know that your heart isn't there--

Your heart is in mine-- safely there-- surrounded by the love of your mother and me

I'm not fat, I'm pregnant

Okay... so this is nutso. I just want a T-shirt that says that "I'm not fat.. I'm pregnant."
My body is completely at the hands of someone else... that being mother nature I guess. I feel like one giant rolly polly marshmellow - it's crazy! And I'm starting to show - but it really just looks like I spent the last 2 weeks at McDonalds.

This past weekend my wonderfully patient and kind man of man's Terry and I went shopping for some serious pregnant clothes. I have managed to get a tummy now and can't fit into any pants without undoing the buttons! So it was time to find some leggings/tights - big flowy blouses, dresses and make that my uniform.

Up until now most of the effects of being PG have been inside - ie: fatigue and massive hunger - but after the last 2 weeks or so I've managed to 'pop' out in many different directions that I was just not expecting! Well, I guess I was ... but it's just a weird phenomenon when one day you wake up and your belly is there and your thighs are the size of watermelons and so are your bazombas!

We had to find a dress for a barmitzfah and well that was a disaster! Everything I put on made me look like the marshmellow woman.. it was crazy! I thought all these cute new 'flowy' styles would make life easy but Donna Karan nearly killed me with her gray cotton sack of potatoes dress! I thought I looked like a gummy bear in a paper bag. Hideous.....

Finally I saw one store attendant in a great pair of boots, tights and flowy dress/blouse and thought that's it! That will be my gianormous uniform! And so it is... leggings here we come! I never thought I'd see the day where I'd wear leggings and long sweaters... but today and the next 6 months or so - that's all you'll probably see me in!

What a crazy feeling... seriously - it really struck me hard this week - how much you surrender your body to the process and just let nature take it's course - while it's so weird - it's also quite wonderful, especially at the moments when I get to see JJ in an ultrasound or hear his heartbeat next to mine...

I can't wait for Terry and my mum and sister and the rest of our families to hold the little guy... but for now he'll be covered in flowy cotton and chiffon!

Tee hee!

Love you all! xoxo

Morning person

Your mom's favorite meal of the day is breakfast, the problem is it isn't her favorite time of the day.

There is very little fun about being 2000 miles from your mom and you - but the time zones help a bit. You see, your mom just doesn't like mornings. In fact, if it were up to her she thinks the day should start around 11 with a morning stretch and a cup of coffee.

She's pretty kind though, when she's here and I bring her coffee she wakes up and appreciates it. Today I miss her a lot - she, and you, and sleeping away in St. Petersburg and I have to get up and head off to work.

Friday, after clinic- I get to catch a plane home, and not only see you-- but some wonderful people you will get to know in life-- part of our extended family -- like Sandi, and Sher-- and hopefully Debbie and Barry. Someday you will get to meet them all - because all of them are special people we love.

In fact, this blog is read by people that we love, JJ -- not only immediate family, but good friends. They are watching your progress - they've seen this love story.

So friends-- thanks for reading this. Apes and I feel surrounded by some great folk - and this dad looks forward to putting JJ in your arms (especially if you can change a diaper).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Great weekend and closer

JJ - This is a photo of your beautiful mom - now 12-13 weeks pregnant with you.

We had a great weekend! On Friday- as you can see-- the ultrasound had the best news possible- that you look good (of course, you have your mom's nose - so, kid, consider yourself lucky).

Your mom had a bit of tough time shopping "When am I going to get my body back?" But she found some great pieces that look stunning on her! She didn't want to spend the money on the dress (but she looks so good in it - and it wasn't that much).

We also got to look around for possibilities for the wedding. So, you realize, in everyone's eyes you are born pre-mature-- (its a joke, and someday you will get it).

Your mom got to put my ring on -- in the car (since she first proposed to me in the car). And now I'm wearing it. A few have noticed - and asked -- I tell them all that your mother and I just do things differently.

And - another week has gone by -- closer to the time when we can consolidate into one house and no more coast-to-coast commuting. I'll be on a plane Friday to see your mom in Florida, and some other good friends there.

But Monday is a tough day for us-- because we hate being apart. One day your mom will be happy I'm gone for a few days (although, if like my parents-- that won't happen for 60 years or more).

So JJ-- it was a good week. We got to see how you've grown, we got to plan a bit for our wedding, and had some great time together. We still are not certain if you are a boy or a girl yet- but no matter what-- this dad is going to be so happy to be able to hold you, rock you to sleep, and kiss your forehead. Love you kid,


Sunday, January 17, 2010

On a mission

Last night we went to a Bat Mitzvah for a friend's daughter-- and they served shrimp. Yes, I know, not kosher - but that wasn't the point. The point is-- the first images I had of JJ were like a little shrimp - - waving little things that were soon to be arms -- and now-- arms are developing.

Amazing how fast this little "guy" is growing! Trying to suck its thumb-- moving and jumping and climbing in Apes uterus. Wow.

All I can think is how when JJ is born how much I will look at that little body in amazement, having seen it throughout these stages-- and wonder. Then I will have this urge, as I do now -to protect it- and to watch it grow.

It is so nice to have April here- and soon she shall be here for good!

Love you Apey- thank you for being a part of JJ and my life!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

12 Week Ultra Sound!

This week we went to do a 12 week ultra sound to make sure all systems are go and that baby is healthy.
And once again the nurses had to put up with two very silly and happy parents that were gasping and laughing like crazy kids... every time I see or hear the baby I just laugh out loud - it's so cool and we're both thru the roof excited!
Terry had his iphone out filming the whole thing and couldn't stop walking around (almost hopping!) he was so stoked!

Technology today is so good that they don't have to do any invasive tests to find out if your baby will be born with certain disabilities like years ago. Now by different measurements of the baby and bone structure and blood tests (of me-the mom!) they'll know how healthy the baby is! It's amazing!

I figured out why I'd been so extremely hungry these last few weeks and tired! The baby went from being a tiny looking pion or shrimp - to a human looking thing! Terry and I once again gasped outloud as soon as the nurse put the ultrasound up on the screen! He's almost 3 inches now in my belly and his heart is beating 162 beats a minute!!!

"Wow! Look at his elbows and fist!" I said - He had arms!!!
"Thank God he has your nose Apey!" Terry said jokingly

As you can see from these pics and videos - he is well and healthy! The doctor was thrilled with the results and the nurse even gave us a sneak peak as to what we might be having! Though she would not give us any answers or guarantees - she did say "well usually the girls - don't have quite that look down there even at these weeks." (she said this very non-chalantly). As you might have guessed Terry and I have fallen into the habit of calling JJ a "he"... and well... you be the judge! LOL!

(This picture is as if you're looking up at the bum and 2 legs are the "V" - there's a peanut in between... hence the "boy" references!!)

We have another 6 weeks or so before we do the ultra sound to really see what JJ is - but I'm putting my money down on a little "guy"... and I think it's safe to say Dr. Daddy is too!

Don't worry I'm not going out and buying boy clothes or anything but it's just a hunch - and if it's a girl - well, we're just as lucky - and it will be a fun surprise!

Here is a 3D picture of baby - he sort of looks like ET... but it's so cool the way you can see everything eh? The brain and skull are still forming... the legs and feet and arms need to keep growing - but what was so amazing was to see the little tiny intricate bones of the spine! Every once and a while it would really show and wow what a site!! And this baby is a crazy mover I'm told! Terry said - no wonder I'm always tired - the baby is taking you for a ride every second!!

I'm loving AZ so much and enjoying getting to know the beautiful town of Phoenix... I've come to realize I'm trading the waters of Tampa Bay to the beautiful sunsets and mountains in Phoenix. It's simply gorgeous here... and it's in the 70s and dry.

And! I haven't seen one bug! Yep - I'm sold! :-)

Love, Apey

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Being a dad - really!

When I got older my parents got a lot smarter - and I grew a lot closer to them as the years have gone by. This is a photo of my dad - James Lewis William Archibald Simpson. The only time he hears his full name is when mom is mad at him (otherwise she calls him JL). Of course, when my mom is mad at him, she can't help but laugh!

If I don't talk to my parents every day I feel that I missed out on something. My parents and I talk almost every morning as I drive to work. Somehow, as I've grown up - I value my parents insight and their life.

My parents are on their 62nd year of marriage - they laugh at each other, they still get mad at one another- and they are so kind to one another. I never thought I would have what they have-- and I certainly never thought I would have a kid.

Well- let me modify that a bit. I use to think about having a kid who was in their mid 20's or 30's and how nice that might be. An adult version of me. Silly. So, those were my thoughts about having a child. Never about a baby, an toddler, and infant - or adolescent. Now, I show everyone who will look my Iphone photo of the ultrasound of my kid! Today an anesthesiologist friend of mine said "Honestly, Terry, as they get older, you will wish they were younger."

I am so glad my parents took a chance and had me - -I am so glad they showed me the way to be a good parent, to be a good father, and to be a good husband.

And my April -- wow- how did I get so lucky? Thank you, honey - and please-- hurry home- we have a nest to build for JJ, and a life to lead together.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Your mom drinking orange juice on a Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg - the day before I had to fly back to Arizona.

So this week we listened to JJ's heartbeat.

Before I left for Alaska last week I packed my stethoscope and a portable doppler unit. When I arrived in Tampa- April's entire crew wanted to hear JJ with the stethoscope-- it was difficult for me to hear (and I have trained ears) but they all heard it.

But the fun was the doppler unit. Every night we would listen to hear JJ's little heart. It was never an easy find- but with persistence, we always found it.

Last night, though - last night was special. We heard April's heartbeat -- and behind that was JJ's heartbeat pumping away. Amazing- one life within another. Brought us both to tears.

Back in Phoenix-- a proud dad -- waiting to hear those two precious heartbeats again.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm Proud of you Apey

Today is a special day for Apey and I just wanted to brag about her for a bit. This photo was taken when I brought Apes to Alaska 10 weeks ago - sporting a camera and shooting Turnagain Arm near Anchorage-- she loved the beauty of the state.

April has spent 12 years working for WFLA -- this has been her career. She is the Executive Producer of three television shows, which are syndicated. She has an eye for talent, an eye for content - and is one of the most visual people I have ever met.

This morning she called her staff and told them that she was going to resign. Talking to her staff first, instead of the suits-- that fits Apey's style. As I write this Apes is talking to the big guy - her boss's, boss's boss. So that would be great-grand boss.

Today she starts the process that will have her moving out west, starting a family -and a whole new phase of her life. This morning when I was talking to her she said, "I am totally at peace with this decision."

So, April -- I am so proud of you, and so happy you are in my life. And guess what-- JJ is going to have such a wonderful mother.

Not that this will slow either of us down. She will do some freelance work, perhaps some consulting. Our ultimate plan is to go to third world countries -- she will shoot the conditions and I'll lend my hand with a bit of surgery and some expertise in health care systems.

Apey's mtg is done-- it went well. I am not surprised -- Apes, you are a talented lady - and they know they have something special in you. Guess what-- I do to.

JJ and I love you!

Early Wednesday or Late Tuesday

Hey JJ,

Last time I was in Alaska was 10 weeks ago. Alaska is my home-- where I was born and raised, where your grandfather was born and raised - and where our family goes back over 10,000 years. I don't think you will be born here-- but it was in this state that you were conceived - and for some reason deep inside of me-- that makes me very happy. Alaska flows through our veins - and somehow it just seems right that you spent your first bits of life here.

You are connected to this great state, kid. I come back here several times a year because I am on some boards up here. I love this state - always have, and always will. Last time I was here was the first time you mom came to Alaska -- she was overwhelmed by the beauty of it.

My guess is that sometime before you are six months old you will have your first trip to Alaska - and you and your mom and I will be here a lot.

I miss you, kid. I miss you mom a lot. The thing I looked forward to as soon as I got off the plane was calling her and letting her know I was here, safe, and that I love her.

See you Friday- til then- Alaska waits for your next visit. When you get older - and you come here-- you will feel a part of this great land, and a part of the Native community.

Your mom, a Canadian- well, pretty close to Alaska -- but she's an Alaskan now. Sometimes I kid her-- she's got a little Alaskan in her (your dad has a corny sense of humor).

Love you kid- glad you are not making your mom so nauseated.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday blues

The last time I flew from Anchorage to Tampa I brought this fish. This was the first salmon April liked - guess she liked the guy who brought it too.

Dear JJ,

I miss you- ok, I miss your mom -- but I miss you too. For two weeks I had you with me- where I could watch you by your effect on your mom. I got to see you - waving to us in the ultrasound-- and finally, I got to hear your little heartbeat. But now you are back in Tampa with your mom and I miss you.

I'm headed to Alaska- where I was born and raised - and where you were conceived. Then I will head from Anchorage and fly overnight to Tampa. The last time I did that flight is when I met your mother -- now I am going back to see your mom, but also to see you.

So when I get to Tampa- I'm going to kiss and hug your mom - then I am going to put my hand on her belly and say hi to you. And, silly as it sounds- your dad is going to have his stethoscope with him - just cause I'll want to hear you.

Your mom and I hate being apart - but at least when she is there you can keep her company. Someday, when you are older than a fresh plum (and bigger then one) - your dad will have to take a trip - and he will miss you just as much as he does now. When your dad comes home, I will still hug and kiss your mom first - but then I will come over- put my hand on you. But don't worry- I won't bring a stethoscope home- seeing your smile will be enough.

Love, Dad

Sunday, January 3, 2010

We love your comments

Thank you all for your comments- both in the blog and in private.

Don't be afraid to leave a comment- if you haven't.

Happy New Year to you all!

Its all Good even when its tough

I love dogs. So after the wedding we plan on getting one of these little guys-- a golden-doodle type. Maybe even this one.

Today was the end of two weeks that April was here with me-- and that made it a tough day, or few days as we started to feel bad about parting. Parting is sweet sorrow, but soon I get to see her again!

As I write this, I am tracking April's plane as it begins its approach to Tampa.

Our lives have changed forever - and I wouldn't change it for anything. But still, days like this are tough.

I remember when I was home from college on Christmas break - and mom was a bit strained as I went to the airport to head back to Chicago. When I got back dad called and said that mom just missed me. Today was a little like that.

We had to remind each other that while we had a lot of great things in our lives already- the best things are coming. I know it is tough on April- as the snow falls and she wishes she could go snowboarding - or when she feels hindered by not taking opportunities to go on shoots around the world.

It is not about us -- we have both lived great lives, great adventures- and yet this is the greatest one of all. We get to give back- we get to begin our journey- and bring the kids and dogs -- and help with medicine- and showing the world through April's amazing talents with a camera.

Tough week - she has to give notice to her employer of 12 years - we have a wedding to prepare for (she wants a dress - nothing fancy - but something). I head to Alaska and then to Tampa.

I miss you, Apey -- I miss you a lot. I love every minute I get to spend with you - and JJ -- can't wait to hold you in my arms and rock you to sleep.

For all our friends here who share our joy in this "secret" blog -- thank you for your wonderful support. We love you all - and we will honor you all - by giving back to this world as best we can.

We might be a bit pre-occupied for a bit with a few things- but we are so happy to share our joy with you.

Love you all

First heartbeat

Hey, kid-- I heard your heartbeat last night-- for the first time with a stethoscope.

Yea, one of the advantages of being a doctor is I have a stethoscope. The one I keep at home isn't a good one, but thought I would listen to see if I could hear anything.

Your mom was having some "growing pains" in her uterus -- apparently you are going to grow twice your size this week - and she was feeling it. We always worry about every pain or cramp, so decided to try the old stethoscope.

Way down inside I heard this little heartbeat. So I listened while I checked you mom's pulse, and then my own pulse-- but it wasn't ours-- it was yours!

I put the stethoscope in your mom's ears -- and I could see the smile creep across her face.

It made our night. We love you - we look forward to meeting you. And when you cry in the middle of the night, I will put my hand on your chest and feel your heartbeat and remember this moment

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dr. Mom

"My mom is the best doctor mom in the world."

Somehow I caught April's cold - and not that I am complaining.

April was wrong-- April is a great Dr. Mom.

So, JJ - when you get sick, know this-- your mom - who is artistic, athletic, and competitive, is also caring and concerned. Apparently she was taught by her mom- another good Dr. Mom.