Friday, July 16, 2010

Our move

Dear friends and family:

It is with somewhat mixed feelings that we announce our upcoming move to the Netherlands--something many of you already know. We have been talking about this in various forms since before Mom came to the US over eight years ago. But the prospect takes a whole new shape now that the date is unexpectedly coming faster than we anticipated. Furthermore, our lives' circumstances are much different than they were in 2002, to say the least.

The short-term justification is that Dad will return to school, on track to get his Ph.D. in what Americans would call technology or environmental policy. This will initially be as a Fulbright Fellow, at the University of Tilburg.

However, the overwhelming reason to move is for Loki. No matter how we balance other potential advantages and disadvantages, our belief that he will be better off in the Netherlands than in California outweighs everything else.

In the realm of details: we will leave at the end of August, and will live in the city of Nijmegen, where Mom's mother, step-father, and sister are. There are many details to arrange between now and then.

Californians: Ideally, we'd spend quality time with you all before we leave. Realistically, we have little free time after taking care of Loki and going to work, much less after arranging a move. We plan to host a going-away poolside party in our building on the afternoon of Sunday, August 15. We'll send more details later. We hope you can make it.

Nederlanders: Thank you for your patience. We realize that we originally said that we would be back sooner. And thank you for maintaining close ties with us, for so long, while we were so far away. It is reassuring to know that, after traveling thousands of miles, we will be surrounded by familiar faces.

We will miss the US. We will miss California. We will miss the Bay Area. We will miss our friends here. But we are very much looking forward to new experiences and opportunities, and seeing more of our Dutch friends and family.

This is not an easy decision or step, but it certainly is exciting.

Dad has decided to write a public journal of his experience as an American living abroad. This will be at . Loki's blog has been quite a success. But this will be a different topic, in a different location.


Mom, Dad, Loki

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Loki's first music festival: photos and videos

Last week, Loki attended his first music festival. Mom and I have went to the High Sierra Music Festival every Fourth of July weekend for ten years. We had to skip last year, of course. But this year, we splurged on renting a big RV motor home. We met up with Opa and Oma there in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains, and enjoyed four days of music. Loki was great, enjoying the sights and sounds while in good health. The grandparents really stepped up, and allowed us to go see the headliners three of the four evenings.

We'll write more about Loki's health later. For now, I'll say that he is doing very well. In fact, he is sleeping through the night with very little grunting, crying, or coughing for the first time. (Thus, we sleep more!) We are curious if this will be the case when we phase out the Flovent.

Getting in the festival mood with Dad's beer:


When a song ended, Loki would often do the sign for "more," which is touching the fingers of each hand together, like this:

His favorite toy was his squeeze-and-spray bottle:

For Opa too:


Laughs with Mom:

Stealing Mom's entire dinner in one bite:

Walking with Oma and Opa:


Loki borrowed a neighbor's castle tent:

Loki liked bathing in the warm sun:

Foxen, Loki's fellow graduate of Alta Bates NICU and his best buddy, attended with his family:

Playing on the stairs with Foxen:

With Dad:


Cruising the strip:

Good night, High Sierra:

In this video, Loki plays with Foxen, and walks with Oma and Opa.

In this second video, Loki tries to eat Mom's burrito, applauds at the end of a song, and plays in the bath.

About Loki Sky

Loki Sky is a special little man. He was a very early micropreemie, weighing only 610 grams (1 lb, 5 oz) after 24 weeks, 3 days gestation, born to an American Father and a Dutch Mother in Berkeley, California on October 18, 2008.

On January 11, 2009, while still in the hospital NICU, his one kidney stopped working. It was repaired after three surgeries. After spending time in three hospitals in three cities, Loki came home on February 17. He struggled with eating, and then stopped in July, leading to 8 days in the hospital, a failure-to-thrive diagnosis, and a NG feeding tube. On October 10, a minor surgery installed a G feeding tube. Another procedure replaced it with a new one, and then again with a Mic-Key button in Jan. 2010.

In August 2010, he and his parents moved to the Netherlands.

Read about his first name.
Read & hear about his middle name.
See photos.
See videos.

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Loki's Holiday Gift Drive

Please consider donating to Loki's Holiday Gift Drive for the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center NICU. You can donate by Paypal or credit card here:

Click here for more information, including how to pay by check. For all posts on the Gift Drive, click here.