Archive for the 'Family' Category

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Troubles and Blogulations

After almost a week, I somehow managed to make it back online. The files, mailsettings and all other stuff except the database were simple to move to the new cluster. Since WordPress, Mambo and other scripts I had running on the server used utf-8 for character encoding, the migration proved somewhat difficult. With the old version of phpmyadmin, I couldn’t set the collation of the database, and to be honest, up to this week I didn’t even know databases had a setting for encodings. It turns out the old collation was latin1 (surprise, surprise), and setting the new one to utf-8 and importing the tables in utf-8 didn’t work for me, all characters were kaput. It turns out, that databases have their internal encoding which creates the whole problem. For wordpress, either using a wp-plugin or find a way to issue a SET NAMES ‘latin1’ command right after WP is done connecting. The easier option for me was to create a new table which is set to latin1 as the old one. Problem solved and blogged, hopefully others will find this hint useful to circumvent character set encoding problems.

On another note, today is the day. My wife’s due, but the little guy seems to be comfortable enough inside. We might have to wait for a few days, but there’s no need to rush. We bought everything we need, the name is decided and people are calling in the whole time and ask whether “it happened” or not. Stay tuned.


birthday cake

I’ve turned 28 last friday. Happy birthday to me.
The Kyokushin Karate Summercamp in Warnemünde was great, I’m already looking forward to next year.

1500 grams…

sonogram 2005-07-21
… 38 centimeters and growing…

Alive and Kicking

We were at the doctor’s office again, no big news there – but last night, the baby moved in the womb in a very noticeable and agile way. Until now, the only life signs we got was some movement on the screen or the cardiotocography (simultaneous recording of heartbeat frequency and uterine contractions). Feeling the child making itself at home inside, turning from one side to the other is a totally new experience.

About mothers, children and weblogs (and politics): click me

Meet the Staff

I have to apologize, I’m a little bit slow with posting since I’m working fulltime on the new weblog which is going to be based on WordPress The layout for the blog is going to change too, the themebrowser at is a real time-saver.

Nevertheless… on thursday evening, we went to a seminar at Marien-Hospital in Düsseldorf, our first choice when we started comparing local hospitals in regard to number of births, episiotomy and Caesarean rate, support by midwives etc. – also, since my mother works there and lives in an adjoining building we quickly reached a decision. The head of the maternity clinic, Professor Diemer and two staff members talked with about three dozen future parents about… well, about everything. We also had the chance to take a tour in the labor rooms, which were smaller than I expected. The adjacent room was currently used so we heard a women shouting extremely loud and penetrating – one of the people in the group remarked this reminded him of a music school with singing classes.

Fun with Scripts

Since we’re back to one name for our successor, we started looking around for inspiration. If you google for baby names you get more results that anybody could possibly want. Here’s a fun script we tried for kicks. Enter your name, choose the gender and the main personality trait and there you go. A list of names the randomizer offered:

  • Vin Louie Grabic
  • Marlow Robbin Grabic
  • Frye Chogan Grabic
  • Hollis Guthrie Grabic
  • Mckile Kimo Grabic
  • Carolos Wesley Grabic
  • Crystal Melody Son
  • Tadita Ona Son
  • Nora Meredith Son
  • Kalinda Helia Son
  • Vanida Gelsey Son
  • Shauna Babette Son

Better don’t use the script to actually decide your baby’s name, after a short look into by junk folder, I got the impression that spammers use those combinations. My new newphew’s name is Julian by the way, in contrast to the script suggestions which offered always two names he has just one.

Random Renamer

Do You Want To Know…?

ultrasound pictureWe had an appointment with a doctor at Praenatal as mentioned last month. My wife’s gynecologist sent us there to find out more about a possibly inherited heart defect I had as a child as well. (Absolutely not) Funnily enough, today the first thing the doctor told us was that at the current stage of the pregnancy, there’s no way to tell whether there’s this defect or not. Looks like the gynecologist sent us to the examination all for nothing. Nevertheless, he examined the baby throughly, we could see lots of details on a big screen. After ten minutes of concentration and focusing on the screen, the doctor chose to change the perspective to a view directly at the baby’s genitals and seriously asked us whether we want to know the gender: It was all there and obvious to see on the screen – nothing at all left to unveil. Perhaps he thought we would want to know anyway. I don’t know, the situation was almost comical, because he was absolutely serious when he asked us.

We had to interrupt the examination twice though, the baby chose a position which made it impossible to check if everything is alright with the head, so altogether we were there for over two and a half hours. Oh, by the way, it’s a boy. And his nose is definitively Croatian, too.


stork at work - 31st April 2005Just had a talk with my brother’s mother in law: I became uncle once again! They were expecting a girl, but yesterday a 54 cm, 4000+ grams boy decided to take a look at the world.

My brother and his wife didn’t decide the new baby’s name yet, since their gynecologist accidently used a female possessive pronoun once and they prepared themselves for a girl. The mother in law told me they were thinking about “Dejan”, but I guess that was a joke since it is a Serbian orthodox name. 😉

A Girl?

7th sonogramWe were at the doctor’s today. My wife is in her 21st week and it was time for a ultrasound checkup. We asked the gynecologist to keep the answer to the big question to herself, as we chose not to spoil the fun with the search for male and female names, so she didn’t show us – but my wife thinks it’s a girl. What you can see on the picture is the head, torso, right leg and a part of the umbilical cord. The doctor wanted to take the picture when it’s looking into our direction, but the kid ignored us. We could watch the picture being projected on the ceiling, but it was difficult to tell how big it is. The doctor measured the body, it’s 21 cm now (that’s 8.26 inch for the people not blessed with the metric system) and kicking and moving like there’s a party going on and everybody’s invited. My wife doesn’t feel anything yet, but that’ll change soon. I can’t wait for 9th October, but I hope the baby takes all time it needs in there.

Trimester-Test Results

We had another appointment with the gynecologist, this time mainly for the results of a trimester-test. Before the test, the chance for a trisomy 21 anomaly was 1:400, now it is somewhere around 1:10000. Good for us, I’m happy we don’t have to think about a next step, in case the odds were worse afterwards than before. When we asked about an accoucheuse (midwife), the doctor said there’s no need for one before the birth as they can do all the care, check-ups etc. as well, if we wanted one for the first weeks after the birth we could decide that later. I thought midwives have tight schedules and are booked up months in advance – and that the majority of parents utilizes their services. Mentioning the ventricular vestibule septum defect, the doctor said she would check it next month. It’s just strange that when I asked first whether it is passed on in the family, she said no and that we shouldn’t worry about it. When I made clear that I have had it and not my parents, she changed her mind and wrote it down to check it next time. If it’s not passed on genetically, why the change of heart? (no pun intended)

It’s already the second time she’s acting in an uncertain way. Perhaps we’ll find another doctor. I noticed something else, which has nothing to do with her competence as a gynecologist: When shaking hands, she looked elsewhere, but not into my eyes. It gives me the impression she’s somewhere else in her mind. If she were Japanese, the missing eye contact wouldn’t surprise me as much, but with Germans it is unusual.

Spontaneous Abortion Risks

Not really news, but good to know: The ‘Le Kremlin-Bicêtre Cedex’ research institute in France published a report about spontaneous abortion. The probability increased with the parents’ age. If the father is over 35, the chance increases about 30%, a 40 years old mother has three times the chance of a miscarriage than a mother of 25. The sooner you get a child, the better.

Influence of Paternal Age on the Risk of Spontaneous Abortion

6th Sonogram

Ultraschall 2005-04-06
6. sonogram

5th Sonogram

5. sonogram

Spread the News

Now it´s official, we told our family what´s going on 🙂
Coincidently, my aunt and uncle from Croatia visited us this week, so we we´re more or less all together, visiting my brother in northern Germany. When I showed them the sonograms, somehow nobody understood at first what that was supposed to be. My brother thought it´s a sonogram of his firstborn – no – my mother asked whether it was a photoshopped forgery – oh my – and my uncle and aunt also didn´t know at first what the picture was about. After the first minute of confusion I thought, nobody believes us 😉

4. Sonogram

4. sonogram