Sunday, April 30, 2006

Stardate 60327.13 - GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!

After being cooped up in the apartment for 3 straight days with sick baby (and by the last day, sick Curt), we needed to get out of the apartment. So we got the car out for a trip out of the city.
We went to Sandy Hook, NJ which is actually a national park. There we met up with Cheryl's parents and later her Grandmother for a seafood dinner.
The weather was nice, although a little windy at the beach. You could see pretty clearly into Manhattan.
It was, by the way, Loren's first trip to the beach.

She immediately tried to eat the sand.

I've heard of adding fiber to your diet, but that is a little overboard! It was a nice trip, and after getting on each other's last nerve it was a much needed break from being trapped with a feverish baby in the apartment.

Today we'll depress ourselves by wandering through some open houses for more apartments we cannot afford.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Stardate 60325.63 - Maybe I Spoke Too Soon

Well, Loren was running a temperature again Friday evening, and I am now officially sick as well. I'm hoping she just passed baby-sized germs over to me and that my adult immune system will kick their collective ass, but only time will tell. Hopefully this is the same illness that hit Cheryl last week where she had a day with a fever, but who knows.

All I know is, I'm ready for some consistent temperatures in the upper 60s/lower 70s. I could do with about a month of that. But we're probably going to go from 50s to 80s.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Stardate 60323.64 - Loren's Fever Breaks

Looks like Loren's fever has finally broken. Now if we can only get the congestion to clear up! Hopefully she'll be back in day care on Monday.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Captain's Log Supplemental - Fever Much Improved

At the 6-7 hour mark after Loren's last Motrin dose, we took her temperature and she was down between 99 and 100. This is the best result since she caught this virus, and we are hopeful she'll be back to normal tomorrow and will have a pleasant weekend.

I still have a sore throat, but am hopeful that I'll kick this thing faster than Loren did. And I checked my temperature today and I'm normal (well, as normal as is possible for me!).

And I just noticed that I called myself "Daddy" and Cheryl "Mommy" in the previous post. Argh! I'm becoming cute!



Stardate 60319.69 - Loren Telecommutes

Here is Loren, home sick, trying to help Daddy get some work done (I think she typed up a memo to give Daddy more family leave!). She is feeling good and acting happy, except for once every 6 hours when the Motrin wears off and her temperature spikes back up to 102. Looks like Daddy and Loren will get to spend the day Friday together at home while Mommy returns to work (Cheryl is off today to help out with Loren as I actually had some teleconferences I couldn't miss).


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Stardate 60317.87 - Loren Has a Fever

So Loren was sent home with a 103 fever yesterday. By last night it had only come down to 102 so we packed up this morning (still at 102) and headed out to the pediatrician for a quick look. The Motrin we gave her this morning had her fever down to almost normal by the time we got to the doctor's office. The pediatrician who checked her out said it is probably something viral and that the fever should break in 3-5 days.

So I am off work today, and Cheryl is off this morning, so that we can keep her home. She has to be "fever-free" for 24 hours before we can take her back to day care.

The good news is that she seems happy and is generally in a good mood. I'm trying to wrap up a couple of things this morning while Cheryl is still here so that she can go into work and I can take the entire afternoon off.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Stardate 60312.30 - Rain and Buses Don't Mix

So Cheryl made her triumphant return to the gym today, having joined the New York Health & Racquet Club as a spouse on my corporate discounted membership. Loren got up at 0500 or so, and I finally took her out to the living room at 0530 so Cheryl could catch another 30 minutes of sleep (not that she was able to). So we were on schedule to get to the gym by 0730. And by the time we got going and got Loren dropped off at day care, it was 0730 when we got to the gym.

Cheryl left the gym a little before 0830 having showered and headed to work. I left the gym at 0830, which is normally when I start work, but I figured a quick trip on the M103 up Third Avenue and I'd be home in time to start by 0900, and I'd just shower over lunch.

Well, things did not work out as planned. First, I waited 20 minutes for a bus to show up. Sure, three express buses (which don't stop at the gym's cross-street) passed us by during that time, but no M103 regulars.

One finally came. We moved pretty quickly up Third until around 56th. Then we dragged to a crawl, both due to traffic and due to the large quantity of people waiting at each stop to get onto the bus. Finally tired of hearing, "Everyone has to move back!" I ditched the damn bus at 63rd street and walked the rest of the way home. In the pouring rain. Oh, did I mention that while it was dry as a bone when we went into the gym, it was pouring (with lightning and thunder) when I came out? Well, it was. And I had no umbrella because I figured I'd only have to walk a block or two because I'd be on the damn bus.

To make a long story even longer, I got home at 0925. Almost an hour after I left the gym. If I had walked the entire way, I would have been home by 0900.

And now my back and neck are sore and I'm thinking I may have over-done it a bit with the weights. Great.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Stardate 60309.43 - Maria Full of Grace Review

Cheryl and I watched Maria Full of Grace last night. Two thumbs up! Well acted, a good story, and some unexpected turns. Although the writer/director is American, so Cheryl wondered if the Spanish was really correct in terms of how people in Columbia would really speak. We once watched a Russian film made by a European director and Cheryl (who speaks Russian) could tell that the Russian had been awkwardly translated from the original Swedish or something, and it was very stilted and not really how Russians speak. But since Cheryl last learned Spanish in high school, and since I only know about 5 phrases (including how to order a beer and how to ask where the bathroom is), we couldn't really tell if Maria suffered from that syndrome.

Regardless, two thumbs up. Cheryl will be updating our NetFlix scores for these past two movies soon. And if you have NetFlix, and want to be added as a "friend" in that system, shoot me an e-mail and we can link up.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Stardate 60307.40 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Review

Cheryl and I finally got around to watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire via NetFlix. It was pretty bad. The editing, in particular, seemed awful. Significant scenes cut to scenes with no mention of the serious, significant events that had just taken place (the death of a minor ministry character comes to mind). Things were missing, while other scenes (such as the maze) were too long and drawn-out. It was also pretty boring in spots.

I think the books have gotten too long to effectively be made into a single movie. At over 2 hours, the movie still could not capture the book adequately. I held off reading Jessica Stover's review until just now, and I see that not only does she agree with me, she is even more harsh and is swearing off the films completely.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire the Book A
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire the Movie C-
We have two movies from NetFlix out right now, Maria Full of Grace and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Cheryl was so disappointed in Harry Potter that she wants to put off the Narnia movie and watch Maria first.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Stardate 60304.29 - No Strike

An agreement was reached, so across NYC people are breathing a sigh of relief as building workers report for duty.

As an addendum, I had a dentist appointment this morning and an eye exam, so I took Loren to daycare. I think I managed to get her dropped off with no issues, probably due to the note that Cheryl sent with me containing the instructions to follow (where the bottles go, where to put her jacket and sweater, what to write on the check-in form). The workers were surprised to see me, as this is the first time I have taken Loren there since the very first day (I have picked her up on my own a couple of times).

Anyway, I needed the eye exam because it had been a couple of years, and also because it is required to renew my driver's license, which expires at the end of May.

The good news is that my teeth are fine and my eyes have not gotten any worse. I don't think my prescription has changed in 10 years. Of course, my pupils are dilated right now so everything is a little fuzzy and bright, but they should be back to normal soon.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Captain's Log Supplemental - Strike?

We may lose all of the building staff to a strike at 0001 Friday morning. If so, I'll keep you - my loyal readers - up to date on all that happens when residents have to go to the lobby to meet guests, take out their own trash, cut back on the social parties in their apartments, and meet delivery persons at the building's front door. There is also the possibility that other unionized organizations (like FedEx) may not cross the picket line.

We'll see what happens. Negotiations continue through tonight...


Captain's Log Supplemental - Goodburger Review

Cheryl went to lunch with Lisa today and took Loren with her. They ate at Goodburger. Here is Cheryl's review:
  • Burgers: A
  • Fries: B
  • Shakes: probably A but I just had a sip of Lisa's

Stardate 60301.34 - Loren Food Blog

Loren has been inspired by her Uncle Steve and her Aunt Jen to write up her own food blog. She's only having one small serving of "solid" food each day so far, so she asked Dad to put it in his blog rather than setting up her own URL. Since she doesn't quite have typing mastered yet she dictated to Mom:

  • Breast milk: A+++ (from breast; from bottle reduces rating to B-)
  • Rice cereal: A (the thicker the better)
  • Peas: A
  • Sweet potatoes: A
  • Bananas: C
  • Grabbing Mom's glass to sip water: A+
And Dad would like to add:

  • Sleeping from 8 PM last night until 6 AM this morning without a peep: Priceless.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stardate 60294.35 - More Easter Pictures

I have a couple more Easter pictures to share. Also wanted to advertise a NY Hokies fundraising event I am associated with - the Kentucky Derby Run for the Cure. If you are in NYC, please show up! A portion of the funds will go to help cover medical bills for a VA Tech Alum who has been battling breast cancer.

And if you haven't purchased your copy of Aidmheil yet, the copies are starting to run low. Even my sister has read it, and reported "I really enjoyed it, and passed it on to a friend." Throw some money Jessica's way and get yourself a copy of her first book...before she becomes a big time screenwriter/actress and forgets all about us little people.

And now, here are some more Easter pictures for your enjoyment.

And did I mention that they have begun the pile driving phase of the construction next door? There is nothing quite like the soothing sounds of rhythmic slamming of steel on steel.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Stardate 60293.93 - "John Coe Type" Pictures

Since I know that John prefers the more artsy of my photos, here are some nice blurry...I mean artsy ones from my cell phone.


Stardate 60291.39 - Easter Pictures

We went to NJ to visit Cheryl's parents for Easter. Traffic was not too bad, although there was a 20-minute or so backup getting back into the city through the Lincoln Tunnel. It was a beautiful weekend, with temperatures near 80 on Saturday and the mid- to upper-60s on Sunday. Loren was nice and quiet for Easter Mass, although the church was packed (standing room only) and it was quite hot. She got pretty fidgety near the end and I walked her out to the vestibule where it was cooler. But she made hardly a peep the whole time.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Stardate 60285.81 - Easter Weekend Update

So here was my view from the USAirways Dash-8 that I was on upon arriving at LGA Thursday afternoon. I was originally on the 7:10 PM, but got onto the 12 noon flight, which actually left at 4PM. I showed up at the airport at 3 PM, so it worked out for me, but for the people who originally got there in time for a noon departure, they were pissed.

Can I just say that a lesson I have learned in life is that you don't yell at people who control a) if you get on a plane or not; and b) what seat you will have if you do. I never understood people who yell at airline employees at the counter. Even if your flight is delayed, you "catch more flies with honey than you do with flypaper" as the saying goes. I was very nice to the lady behind the counter, and I got onto the flight at no additional charge. I was nice, and she took care of me. I was pretty sure the guy getting angry was not going to get onto the plane...and he almost didn't...but she got him a seat at the last second. Perhaps if he had been nicer, it would have happened sooner.

I didn't write anything from my trip to McLean (Tue-Wed) or my trip to Norfolk (Thur) because they were pretty uneventful. But that meant that 4 days went by with no updates from me, and I'm sure my massive audience was getting disappointed at the lack of news.

This post should therefore satisfy the people who want to see Loren, as well as the people who want to hear about my every trip. So now that I am done with some trip updates, here is another photo of Loren. Like me, she apparently likes her peas. Note the peas above her eye and on the high-chair behind her left shoulder. She is a bit of a messy eater.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Stardate 60282.10 - Loren at 5 Months

I know we've been slacking off on the posts this week (two uneventful trips for work for me this week), so here are two pictures of Loren at 5 months.

Norfolk, VA

Monday, April 10, 2006

Stardate 60273.19 - Touch Your Toes!

Loren has recently begun sticking her feet into her mouth. She does it a lot when we are changing her, and she is always grabbing her feet when she is sitting around.

Amazingly, Loren actually slept from around 8 PM until I got into bed at 10 PM last night without waking up. And although she was up again at about 11:30 PM she did sleep until 4 AM before she woke up again. And during most of these Cheryl is able to get her to go back to sleep with either a little feeding or whispering.

She slept in her crib at daycare for the first time today. It took 5 minutes of crying and her mobile, but she went to sleep in her crib. And she took her bottle pretty well this morning - she just likes to drink in shifts.

Anyway, Cheryl is on the way home with her now, and Loren turns 5 months tomorrow!


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Stardate 60270.27 - People Make Too Damn Much Money

I don't work on Wall Street. I don't get a $100k bonus every year. I'm not a lawyer, nor a doctor. The same applies to Cheryl. We are living in NYC on "normal" salaries, not Wall Street salaries. So the prices to own here just sicken me. We went to two "open houses" in our building today (we live in a condo building but most units are owned by a rental company - and for the record, we rent). We do have a full-time doorman, but the building was built in the 50s and our apartment probably hasn't been renovated in 20 years.

Now granted, both for-sale apartments were completely gut-renovated and were pretty nice. Both had their own washer/dryer, which is nice, and both had a terrace in addition to the balcony, and that was also nice as the terraces overlook 66th Street (quiet) and not Second Ave (loud). But the prices are out of control, especially when both overlook the construction site outside that will be generating noise through 2008. The two bedroom, two bath was $1.6M. The three bedroom, two bath was $2.4M. The 2BR, 2BA was probably about 1,200 sq ft. The 3br, 2ba was probably around 2,000 sq ft. (My international readers will have to do the math on their own.)

This is why I will never be able to own in Manhattan. I did the math, and even with a substantial down-payment, the $1.6M apartment would cost us $8k per month in mortgage and fees. That is pretty fucking depressing.

In a humorous coincidence, one of the apartments also had a grape motif in the kitchen, which reminded us of the house in Holmdel that we looked at around Christmas with the grape motif bed. That house, which had 3,800 sq ft finished and another 2,000 sq ft of an unfinished basement, was only $1.3M.

Now that I'm depressed, I'll leave you with a picture of Loren in the exersaucer, trying to drink from a cup. She loves to hold onto cups and try to drink.

And I'll miss her 5-month birthday this week as I'll be traveling.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Stardate 60264.35 - Everyone Back to Work

Clearly, Loren is feeling better. So everyone went back to work/daycare today. Now I'm catching up today (at least this was a slowish week) and trying to get a bunch of stuff scheduled for next week, including a couple of trips. Those are always good for some angry blog entries.

And I found something for us to do on Sunday. Our building is actually condos, but a rental company owns something like 80% of the units. This means about 20% are individually owned. One of those units, similar to ours (2 bedroom, 2 bath) but with a slightly different layout just went on the market for $1.6M (this is why we rent and don't own). There is an open house on Sunday, so we'll go take a look, just for fun. If anyone wants to send me a check for $1.6M so that I can purchase the unit, feel free to do so. :-)


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Stardate 60263.36 - Home w/ Loren

So today is day two of Loren being home. She seems fine today, so she'll be going back to daycare tomorrow. Cheryl went back to the office today, but will be coming home around 1330 to take care of Loren so that I can get some work done. Today is a slow week as a major proposal effort was just completed (I was minorly involved), and most people were working day and night for the past week and have taken the rest of the week off.

And for the record, she has had no problem taking a bottle from me today.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Stardate 60260.19 - Family Sick Day

Cheryl had a fever of 103 last night, and it was still over 100 this morning so she is home from work. Loren has also been a bit under the weather the past couple of days, and daycare recommended we keep her home today. I have it too, but apparently just a mild case where I have to blow my nose every 10 minutes and am feeling a bit run down, but otherwise appear to be fine.

So we are all home sick today.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Stardate 60257.35 - Drink Milk?

So we think we have it figured out with Loren and the bottle. Apparently, if it is not coming from the breast then Loren prefers her milk cold. At daycare yesterday they were again having problems getting her to take a bottle, and Cheryl came at lunch determined to show them that Loren would indeed take a bottle. But Cheryl also had issues with the warm bottle. So Cheryl switched over to a cold one, and Loren took it with no problem.

Like her daddy, she prefers her beverages cold. Only tea and coffee should be warm, everything else should be ice cold. Ok, there are a couple of exceptions. British Ale is fine cool, and fine white wine is more flavorful closer to cool than to cold.

But bottom line - she took just as well to the bottle in the afternoon as she does here at home. So we've cracked the code (maybe!).

We've all been feeling a bit run down these past couple of days, and that hasn't helped any. Loren took a 2-hour nap yesterday morning at daycare, which she hardly ever does. Cheryl is exhausted and I'm pretty tired as well.

UPDATE: Loren took her cold milk bottle from the daycare personnel today with no screaming and no problem.

I did go to a Virginia Tech NY Alumni Association meeting last night. I participated a little more last year before Loren was born, but haven't been to an event in almost 5 months. Most everyone was parked there for the long haul, but I knew that Cheryl and Loren were not at 100% so I stayed an hour and a half and once the meeting proper was over I split for home and was in bed before 10 PM. Yes, I am lame.

Anyway, we are planning a charity fundraiser but events are still being finalized. I'll post a link once the event web site goes up.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Stardate 60252.97 - Goofy Pictures

Jessica Stover threw down a challenge to share some photos (well, actually I think the exact quote was "feel free to share yours"). Here are three funny ones of me.

Send me to a wedding, give me some beer, and put me on the dance floor and this is what you get:

And here is what you get when you put me on a granny-bike. Note the 3 wheels for added stability and the rear-view mirror:

And this one isn't really goofy, but it's the middle of the big East-cost blackout, traffic is at a standstill, pedestrians are streaming out of the city, and how do I handle the event? Look below: