Sunday, January 28, 2007

Helping make the bed

(Originally posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 by Cathy)


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Your check has been cashed

(Originally posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 by Tim)

If you?ve given us a check sometime in the last year, it has been cashed. Actually, it hasn?t quite been cashed yet. Tonight I initiated our annual ritual of cashing the checks by filling out the deposit slips. I?ll bring them into the bank tomorrow...Really.

It was quite a haul this year, over six thousand dollars. Fortunately, Cathy and I both have HIGH paying academic jobs that pay us ENOURMOUS amounts of money. Otherwise, we might have had to cut back on Dalton?s medical expenses more than we have. As it stands, we only had to leave out his vaccinations. They're optional anyway. All the other kids are getting them and that will keep things from spreading to Dalty. Besides, who wants to get stuck in the pudge multiple times.

In case you?re wondering, we don?t cash checks more often for a few important reasons.

1. Checks improve with age: Checks are like fine wines. There?s nothing worse than drinking a wine before its time. Checks are best appreciated when they are allowed mellow and achieve their full potential. Nothing warms the heart more than cashing a check that has the dry feel of parchment and ink faded by the sun.

2. Stimulate the economy: American corporations need your help. Delay cashing their checks and help their bottom lines. How else will they continue to pay their CEOs ridiculous bonuses and increase earnings at the same time. Well, I suppose there is always the mathemagic of the finance department.

3. The bank is too far away: When we moved to Christiansburg, we wanted to keep the same bank. Unfortunately, Bank of America has branches in Blacksburg and Radford, but not Christiansburg. We figured we?d just mail checks in instead of delivering them in person. It hasn?t worked out. I?ve been thinking that we should switch to a bank in town. Among other things, it would give Baby Dal and I another thing to walk to when Mom is at work.

Things have been so busy here that I haven?t taken a picture of anything since we got back from our holiday travels. Today?s picture is of Dalton and my Mom at my parent?s place around New Year?s Day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Deadly Daycare Crud (or.. welcome to the germ of the month club!)

(Originally posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 by Cathy)

Once upon a time, before Dalty was even a speck on a glimmer in his daddy's eye, my organic prof at New College had a bad term, in which it seemed like he was sick more than he was healthy, with one cold after another. He described having kids in daycare/school as being a subscriber to the germ of the month club.

So I sort of knew what I was getting into, with Dalty starting daycare. What I didn't count on was that you get your first germ delivered on the first day - they don't make you wait until you've been there a month or anything. Dalton's first day at daycare went well, although he wasn't there for as long as he typically will be, since we had some issues getting out the door in the morning with the 20-thousand plastic bins stuffed with baby stuff (more on them in another post, perhaps).

(Warning, parts of this are graphic.)
Tuesday was my day to stay home with Dalton. The three of us went out to dinner. I was feeling a bit queasy when we got back, but thought maybe I'd eaten something that didn't agree with me. Dalton and I went to bed, and then the vomitting started. Apparently Dalton and I picked up the deadly daycare crud at nearly the same time, and it has a pretty consistent incubation time, since he waited a whole 10 minutes after I started puking to follow along. At first, I was trying to tell myself that it was just sympathetic, since his aunt Jes used to puke any time anyone else did, and maybe it's genetic.

Nope. We spent all of last night with me running into the bathroom for various forms of gastrointestinal distress, and Dalton, not understanding the proper use of a barf bowl, throwing up in bed. His sequence went something like "nurse, nurse, nurse, projectile vomit, whimper, fall asleep." (I was personally doing a pretty good job with the projectile vomitting and whimpering part, but less well on the falling asleep part.) So what do you do with a baby who has just thrown up all over his part of the bed, but is now blessedly asleep, especially at 3 am, with one parent with a major presentation the next day, and the other parent with 5 hours of teaching time the next day? You shrug, figure that if he's sleeping he isn't screaming, pull the covers up a little bit higher so that he doesn't get cold (since now parts of him are damp) and try to fall back asleep, mostly unsuccessfully, since the entire front of your torso is wet with baby spew.

Fortunately, we're somewhat inured to the bed smelling like sour milk.

And on that note, Tim just came downstairs to say that Dalton has thrown up again, and would I like to reload him?

No picture today (did you REALLY want one?), but I did add some to my previous posts below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Look, I'm logged in as ME!

(Originally posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 by Cathy)

The big news (as implied from the previous post) is that Tim bought me a laptop for Christmas. I wasn't sure that I would really use it enough to justify it, but so far I'd say that Tim was right (and I was wrong - enjoy it while it lasts, Tim) and it's been nice to have. It's a convertable notebook, so it goes into tablet mode where you can write on the screen (like Tim's, for folks who've seen it), but also has a regular laptop keyboard. The handwriting recognition is quite good, so I can write instead of typing when the mood strikes me. (It isn't quite as fast, but I probably write at 50 wpm, so that's pretty tolerable, and sometimes it just feels right to write with a pen. I guess I'm still a little bit of a technology dinosaur.)

I'm finding that the main use for a laptop is for getting work done while Dalton is asleep. I'm typing this lying on my side in bed (with my head at a 45 degree angle to the screen), with a boob in Dalton's mouth. It's a little awkward, but I finished off and uploaded my lab syllabi and caught up on a bunch of email during this nap, so apparently it's workable. (Yes, Dalton's head is under my arm, between me and the keyboard.) Tim came to bed last night to find me finishing off writing (with the tablet pen) my answer key for the assignment my class has due tomorrow. So so far I'd say it's a successful gift, in that it's adding a couple of hours onto my day, although at the expense of my afternoon nap.

Sorry, still no picture. We have some good ones on the camera, but the camera is downstairs, and I'm not. Now we need WiFi on the camera, huh?

Dalton had his (belated) 6 month appointment today. Poor kid, he had 5 shots and a finger stick. Owie.

The photo is from our visit to northern MN, earlier this month. We're really backlogged on photos, sorry!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Kitchen update

(Originally posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 by Cathy)

Jessica came over yesterday to watch Dalton while Tim and I did work on the kitchen. Now normally, Dalton LOVES his aunt Jes. Loves her to bits. Giggles for her more than anyone else. Yesterday was apparently not a normal day, and I hope it doesn't bode ill for school tomorrow.

I did get most of the plumbing done, although I have to track down a leak and get a stuck joint unstuck in the hot water supply line so that we can hook up the dishwasher. It's the classic 90% done, but the last 10%'s likely to be a bear.

I got my materials mostly uploaded to blackboard this morning in the coffee shop while Dalton slept on my lap, but I still need to polish up my lecture for tomorrow and figure out exactly what's going on the first homework assignment. And I need to gather up the stuff Dalton needs for school tomorrow from its locations throughout the house (including the clothes line). But hey, I still have 18 hours until my first lecture, and Dalton's bound to sleep for a couple of those.

Another photo from our trip to MN. Still catching up.

(Cathy posting again, just realized I'm -still- logged in as Tim.)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Starting work, and daycare, and...

(Originally posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 by Tim)

It's been a crazy week here already, and the craziness is really just starting. Today, I left Tim and Dalton home alone together for a full work day. They've been together for a couple hours at a stretch before, but never anything resembling a whole day. I'm sort of sorry to report that I don't appear to be entirely irreplaceable, but mostly I'm relieved to report that they did great, Dalton napped (briefly anyway), and screaming was minimal.

Dalton conked out at 7:30 tonight, which is much earlier than usual, probably because he slept less during the day than usual. So we had dinner (sort of in shifts, since Tim had dinner ready while I was still nursing Dalton) and are now about to open presents. Yeah, Christmas presents. This is about when we do it most years.

This week's other big news is that Dalton just got off the wait-list for the Montessori school, and he's starting there on Monday. They sent me home today with a huge shopping list and pile of forms to fill out, including one that his pediatrician (who is on maternity leave) is supposed to sign. That's going to be tomorrow's aggravation, I can tell already.

I had my first field session with the breast pump today. I pumped roughly what Tim fed Dalton (and what ran down Dalton's chin) while I was gone, so it looks like the supply/demand ratio is running pretty close to 1.

The photo was taken by Gail last week while we were visiting. This is her sink, not ours. Ours is installed, but we have to do the plumbing to supply it with WATER still, hopefully this weekend. Maybe next week we'll feature a photo in OUR kitchen.


Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Dalton's First First Class Seat

(Originally posted on Wednesday, January 3, 2007 by Tim)

We traveled to my parents place for New Year?s this year. We took a major airline out of Roanoke, so it has been another comedy of errors. It might be funny if any of the errors were ours.

It?s important to mention that no major airlines actually fly into Roanoke. All the major airlines contract with regional carriers to shuttle passengers from Roanoke to one of their major hubs. To better understand our situation, let?s try a little role playing. Imagine yourself to be a regional carrier. You?re lean and efficient. You know your area and you?ve specialized to serve it. Why on earth would you think about partnering yourself with a big, inefficient, bankruptcy prone sloth like one of the major airlines?

So the efficient regional carriers aren?t partnering with the major airlines. What does that leave? The disorganized and inept refuse whose business is actually helped by partnering with a larger airline. As a result, we never get out of Roanoke on time. This trip was no exception. Our flight was so badly delayed that we switched to the later flight. Unfortunately, the geniuses at Roanoke only managed to retag two of our three bags for the new schedule. Cathy even asked the luggage guy directly and he assured her that he had found all three of our bags and retagged them.

In addition to changing our flight out of Roanoke, we also rebooked our flight from Chicago to Minneapolis. Things must have been bad because the ?United? representative put us on an American flight. We arrived in Chicago with about an hour to spare and ran over to the American gate to be greeted by a long line. I was nervous because we didn?t have boarding passes for the American flight. I was worried that they would be overbooked and we?d end up stuck in Chicago at the end of the day.

We got up to the front of the line and our gate assistant had the look of a polished bureaucrat. He was expressionless and took our tickets without a word. Over the minute he worked on our tickets, the only sound was the occasional clicking of three or four keys on his keyboard. He then scribbled something unintelligible on my ticket and told me that he would call me back up for boarding passes. I asked him if we had seats or not and after a slight pause, he nodded yes.

Now I have little to no experience with American. If it was a United agent, I?d be sure he was lying to me. If it was a Delta agent, I?d have felt a lot better. I was worried that this American agent was just giving me the nod to get me out of the way so he could continue to adeptly strand more people in the Chicago airport. Cathy, was convinced that everything was OK. She assured me that we had tickets, he was just waiting to organize people?s seats. I was somewhat comforted by the fact that we weren?t displayed on the waiting list that was up on the boards. Still, I nervously paced around the gate area with the baby.

After what seemed like two and a half hours (more likely 20 minutes) he called me up right before boarding. He handed me our boarding classes and said, ?I had to put you in first class?. I gave him a stunned thank you and headed back over to Cat. Apparently, he had been waiting to see if anyone on American?s frequent flyer program wanted to upgrade before he gave us those seats. Cathy?s response was, ?Are you happy now?? I was just relieved that we were going to get to Minneapolis in the near future.

Cathy and I have flown first class before. When the flight is domestic, it?s not that big a deal. The seats are bigger and they bring you drinks in a container made of glass. In contrast, first class is a big deal on international flights. The seats recline to make a bed on those flights and the class makes the difference between being able to sleep and not.

This was Dalton?s first first class seat and I thought it appropriate to record the occasion. You can see that he is quite excited about the whole thing.