Archive for the ‘Supergirl’ Category

Heartly the LVAD Bear

Back in September of 2011 when I first found out that I was going to need a LVAD implanted to keep my heart going until a donor heart was found, my wife and I barely understood what exactly this device would entail, much less how we were going to explain it to our children (9-year-old daughter & 3-year-old Boy-Girl Twins).  I could barely find info on the device for myself, and information on how to prepare younger children? There was nothing out there (believed me I searched and searched).

The 9-year-old “got it” much better than we thought she would (although she is brilliant, yes I am biased). She actually watched the informational DVD from Thoratec (the manufacturer) and looked through the training materials.  She quickly decided she would have a new nickname for me – henceforth I would be known as BPD (Battery Powered Dad). During my stay in the hospital, she absorbed all she could like a sponge.  She learned how to change batteries in case of low power or emergency and she learned how to and helps with dressing changes (yes she gloves up and masks up to ensure the sterile field). Personally I think we are blessed by this “smartie” and I told her she should consider Cardiology as her future as she could make a mint just from our family and extended family! 😉

The 3-year-olds understand to a degree that Daddy has “batteries” to wear each day and a “cord” at night.  They equate my driveline site as being an “owie” as it is covered with a “bandaid” for the “owie.” They know that Daddy always carries his bag (the back-up bag with extra batteries and controller) at all times, and the 3-year-old daughter has thrown the strap over her shoulder to carry the bag and declared to her big sister; “I’m helping Daddy.” My little 3-year-old boy comes into our room in the morning and requests of me to “get on your batteries and come make waffles.”

They are learning to be careful around the cords, controllers, and driveline.  Mostly they are just happy to have Daddy home, out of the hospital, and able to play with them again (I must say that it is a major source of happiness for me as well).

One useful tool while I was getting the LVAD happened in the form of a Teddy Bear.  My wife took our children into a local Build-a-Bear Workshop (A company I used to work for, and opened their first store in MN) and they made a new bear for Daddy.  His name is “Heartly.” He is a “Champ” Bear (one of the bear’s that is associated with causes that Build-a-Bear donates to) and he has a “stitched-on” heart on the front (to symbolize that Daddy will get a heart stitched in) where if you press it, you can listen to the heart beat.  He is also a “Battery Powered” Bear as he has a fishing vest to wear which has 2 Double A batteries in each of the pockets (an addition the 9-year-old thought of) just like Daddy packs his batteries into pockets of clothes.

In the end, if you are open with your children, and explain to them on terms they understand, I believe you will have success in aiding them to understand this phase of life. Now we just need to get someone to work on the “Louie the LVAD” Cartoons!


I promised some updated photos, so here they are:

Supergirl @ 9


WonderTwins @ 3

71233-11910-104231-1-walter-lantz-andy-pa_mediumI have a passion for reading.  I tend to read mostly fiction – tending along the lines of suspense-thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, and the occasional action books.  While growing up in the 70’s, I could never get enough to read just from novels.  So I filled the gaps in between with comic books.  My collections started with a few cardboard boxes of comics from my Dad.  He had collected them, or was given them by his father who happened to own a drug store. So I now have a few Looney Tunes, Hi & Lois, Andy Pandas, & Dennis the Menace books dating back to 1956.

I liked all the classic DC heroes, although Batman, Flash, and Superman happened to be my favorites, until one day in the late 70’s I went over to Boyd Hooper’s house, and for the first time, I saw a copy of the X-men. I was hooked. The stories were unlike any I had ever read. The concept that we all had the “potential” to have a1938-actioncomics1 mutant gene that could give us superpowers when we entered puberty was very influential on a boy (going through puberty at the time).

Wolverine quickly became my favorite.  I then would cross over to other Marvel books to follow any other appearances of any of the X-men.  I quickly got caught up in all the other titles.  Marvel just seemed to have better writers than DC at the time.  The characters were a bit more flawed, and closer to being “human” than the near indestructible Superman.

I hope to share this addiction/passion with my children, to a degree of course.  If they love it, then great, if not, then I guess the collection all goes on e-bay someday (Yikes!).  Supergirl has shown the same passion for reading, so when she’s older, we’ll see what she thinks. What hobby from your youth are you inflicting on your v5feat_211-x-men_133spouse/children?

Supergirl is a mighty first grader this year.  It has been an exciting first month of school as she has had to get used to an entire spectrum of new things, such as: A whole day at school, ordering/eating lunch, new teacher, new school, and new classmates.  She has come through in stunning fashion!

Although, since she is Supergirl, there have been some spectacular tales about these days:

First, Supergirl was under the impression that the only reason they were at school the whole day, is that they weren’t getting through their work fast enough during the day.  To the point, one day, after she finished her work, ahead of her classmates, she went up to the teacher and offered to see if she could help her teacher. Supergirl offered; “is there anything I can do to help? I mean, is there anything I can do for you to allow our day to move a little quicker?”  She apparently felt that if the work could be done quicker, they could be on their way back home to play.  She now knows that it actually is a whole day of classes, She still finishes with her work early, but at least she is getting other little helpful tasks to do.

Next comes lunch.  Supergirl has been sort of how shall we say it, a picky eater.  When left to her druthers, she’d just have chicken tenders, mac n cheese, and PB & J. So, it has been a vicarious experience watching her navigate the menu for lunch at school.  Her school offers a main choice and an alternate (although they do have, by default, a PB & J selection if all else fails to ensure the children all eat). She has cautiously approached the menu, and has tried and enjoyed such new delicacies as teriyaki chicken bites, popcorn shrimp, and chicken Alfredo.  She has only defaulted to the PB & J twice. 

Our other biggest fear around lunch was that Supergirl must have adopted the European attitude towards eating- it is a social affair that last hours (days) long.  At school she gets 25-30 minutes to eat before recess, so our faith that she would be finished with her meal in the time allotted was not the greatest.  I know deep down, that she will figure it out and learn to eat in the time-frame or go hungry.

That seems to have been the greatest lesson learned so far, that Supergirl will learn as she goes (most of the time rapidly faster than her parents) and that it’s always going to be a bigger deal to her mother and me! 😉

How’s your school year going so far?

She really is Supergirl!

Posted: August 16, 2008 in Supergirl
Supergirl can melt you with a look!

Supergirl can melt you with a look!

Our WonderTwins made their debut 11/03/08

Um, wow, what a way to start a blog, but Wonder Woman and I will be welcoming Supergirl’s new brother and sister, the Wonder Twins! They are due the first week of November, and then we’ll be raising a team of Superheroes!

After many months of blogging for our business, I have given in to the many demands, suggestions, and coercions to start a Daddy Blog. Apparently I have some worthy information/wisdom/stories that people want me to share. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

As we are about to add two new bundles of joy to our family, it seemed the appropriate time to jump in and start recording things as we are sure to get completely overrun with exhaustion immediately after they are born.

So let’s set the stage. Wonder Woman and I have been married since 2000 and Supergirl just turned six. All of Supergirl’s girlfriends have little brothers, so she has just thought that that was part of the deal. She has been praying for a little brother or sister (since she has since met friends with little sisters, since then), and was on the verge of moving on, figuring out that if a sibling wasn’t going to happen, that she would start praying about getting a puppy.

She started working that angle right before Christmas (when she was five). With lightning speed, I came up with the plan that she needed to wait until she was old enough to take a dog to obedience school. She brilliantly decided that when she was six, she would be ready, so she announced to EVERYONE that when she had her six year old party (this past July) that she was going to get not one, but two puppies.

Wonder Woman and I found out about the twins in February, and held off until Mother’s Day (12 weeks) to announce our impending arrivals. We wanted Supergirl to be able to announce it at Mother’s Day brunch to the other relatives, and when we joyfully broke the news to her that morning, her first response was; “Well I guess the puppies will have to wait.”

She of course is more excited now, and was very excited to tell everyone that morning, but as Elephants have such a bionic memory, I believe Supergirl will not forget her quest for a puppy, once the babies are “old enough.”

Join us again….same bat time, same bat channel!