Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stardate 63072.39 - Daddy, my tummy hurts!

Not only did Kate have some trouble falling asleep last night which kept Cheryl and me awake off-and-on for a few hours, but at 2 AM Loren called out a few times and when I took my turn to check in on her she said, "Daddy, my tummy hurts!" and then proceeded to vomit all over her pillow, her sheets, her comforter, and herself. She then threw up 2 more times, spaced about 30-60 minutes apart. Needless to say, we're all pretty tired this morning. Luckily, Cheryl, Kate, and I do not seem to have caught whatever virus Loren has; although Cheryl is running a fever and not feeling great, so our fingers are crossed it is something different.

So we're all home today, doing laundry and trying to make sure everyone is well. And best of all, tonight we're supposed to get snow and ice!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stardate 63058.68 - More Kate

The picture above shows the excitement Kate felt during the Inauguration, which we were able to watch since we are home this week. Below is a rare moment where Kate is not eating.

And here is Kate just hanging out after a diaper change.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stardate 63048.98 - The Story of Kate's Birth

Cheryl's due date was estimated as this coming Tuesday, January 20th, and even though Loren was born 2 days early we were not expecting a Friday night birth. Cheryl had seen her doctor in the afternoon, and nothing imminent appeared to be happening. We were just sitting around the living room around 7:15 PM getting ready to start Loren's bathwater when suddenly Cheryl announced, "My water just broke!"

A little history is in order. While Cheryl's water broke quite suddenly with Loren, her contractions never really started on their own and the doctor induced labor about 3 hours after the actual water break. So we figured we had some time and spent the next 15 minutes making phone calls to Lisa (who had agreed to take Loren to her place if anything sudden happened), Cheryl's parents (letting them know we'd probably need them on Saturday), and Cheryl's doctor (obviously) as well as packing up a bag for Loren and tidying up around the apartment. But around 7:30, while Cheryl was sitting on the floor helping Loren to get her coat on (or something similar) a contraction hit. Since that was different than last time, Cheryl urged us to get to a taxi.

We caught a taxi right in front of our building as soon as we stepped outside (which doesn't often happen). Meanwhile Cheryl had another contraction in the elevator and another one as soon as we got into the taxi (they were about 2 minutes apart). Originally the plan was to get her into the hospital and checked in, and then I'd run Loren up to Lisa's place and return in plenty of time for the birth. Once in the taxi (at 7:40 PM) Cheryl called Lisa to have her meet us at the hospital and I posted to Twitter (at 7:42 PM) and the blog (at 7:45 PM) that we were en route to the hospital. Cheryl's contractions continued to get stronger and closer together and they were 90 seconds apart as we walked through the front door of the hospital.

It is not a short walk to get to the elevators and in retrospect maybe we should have asked for a wheelchair but at the time neither of us thought we were so close to delivery. Cheryl made it as far as the elevator and as I pressed the button she grabbed the wall and yelled through another contraction. At this point she began to say, "The baby is coming now! The baby is coming now!" as she crossed the hall and slid down onto the floor she began yelling through yet another contraction. Loren began yelling at this point, and a group of nurses waking down the hall dropped their dinners and came running over. They thought Cheryl had fallen. I yelled at them, "The baby is coming now!" and they scrambled for a stretcher. We were there for maybe 5 minutes, and during this time Lisa appeared and we completed a 10-second hand over of Loren and her luggage and got her out of the drama.

Once they got Cheryl on a stretcher they wheeled her around the public elevators to the staff elevators and it was a quick trip up to maternity. They told me not to follow her into the room, but to go quickly to the front counter on the floor to give them Cheryl's name and insurance information. I only had time to hand the piece of paper with the photocopy of her card to the nurse when they started yelling for me from down the hall, telling me the baby was coming now!

I quickly entered the room and the baby's head was already half-way out and at 8:05 PM, fifty minutes after Cheryl's water broke, Katherine Orrock Sawyer was born!

Early Saturday Lisa brought Loren over to meet her little sister, and then I took Loren home while Cheryl's parents drove into the city.

Once they met Kate, they came to the apartment to watch Loren while I went back to the hospital. That night I came home in time to put Loren to bed, and then went back to the hospital Sunday morning. Luckily everyone was healthy and everything went smoothly so we were discharged first thing Sunday morning and were home by 10 AM.

I'm now surrounded by women at home! As I have been for almost all my life...


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stardate 63044.70 - First Picture of Kate


Stardate 63043.87 - Katherine Orrock Sawyer

Katherine Orrock Sawyer (we plan to call her "Kate"), arrived at 8:05 PM Friday night. Mother and baby are fine, and Loren is spending the night with a friend. I'll put up a longer post later with pictures.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Baby is Here!

Details to follow, but oh, my! what a fast birth!!

Stardate Unknown - RED ALERT

Cheryl's water broke 20 minutes ago and we are on the way to the hospital. She is currently having contractions.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stardate 63029.28 - Office Holiday Party

Cheryl and I decided to host a small holiday party for my co-workers last Thursday night. For some reason, Loren was particularly excited about this party. Cheryl, with just 2 weeks until her due date, did a fantastic job organizing and preparing the food for the event. We had a pretty good turn-out, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Here Loren sits at the food table to have her dinner.

Terry and Lisa mug for the camera as Cheryl walks by.

Naz, Aparna, and Emily chat.

Michael and Scott pay attention to another conversation while Rick caught me taking the photo.

Ed tells a story while John listens.

The team surprised Cheryl and Xandree (also pregnant) with cards and gifts. Xandree threatened me if I put any photos of her up here, so here is one just of Cheryl and me while Ed, Michael, and Aparna listen to my reading of the card.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Stardate 63013.42 - USS Excalibur

It is that time of year again, when I post the crew roster for the USS Excalibur (and other ships) and explain how this blog got its name, why I have stardates in all the titles, and in general what it all means.

In 1989, my college roommate Cheryl Wimer and I were sitting around watching reruns of Star Trek: The Original Series (ST:TOS), and we started talking about what "our" ship would be like, if we existed in that alternate reality (yes, I really said reality). Before long, we were drawing up our crew roster, with friends as our crew. During our tenure at Virginia Tech, we updated the roster each year. My friend James Fitzgerald and I even wrote some "fan fiction" about our ship, which we placed in the time frame of ST:TOS. With my interest in fantasy, we decided to use the name Excalibur, which was actually a starship destroyed in a ST:TOS episode. We decided that we would be the new crew for the rebuilt ship.

Later, we decided to update the time frame to that of The Next Generation (ST:TNG), but we kept the name. Imagine our surprise when the Excalibur appeared in a TNG episode! So we have had to fudge the "official" history a little to make it line up with the "history" as we were currently writing it, but we kept the name and the ship the same.

After graduation I continued to update the crew roster, adding and deleting people as friends and friends' significant others came and went. The core crew has remained on the roster, however. I even attempted to roughly follow the US Navy's time frame on promotions (thanks to Major Denise Donnell, currently of the New York Air National Guard and formerly of the US Navy, for technical assistance). As command staff (line officers) have reached the rank of Captain, they have been given their own command. So where there was originally only one (the Excalibur), now there are several ships on the roster.

So here we are, 19 years after the first crew roster was created, and I am still updating them (some would say I am still wasting my time, but I have to put that creative writing minor to some use). So for those who are interested, here is where you can find the page with this information, the history of the ship, and the latest roster. I think a couple of people got promotions for 2009, I mean 2386.

Enjoy! Happy New Year! Peace and long life!


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Stardate 63007.54 - Transit Museum

On Saturday we decided to take Loren to the New York Transit Museum to see the trains. Cheryl called up the parent of one of Loren's classmates to see if they wanted to join us, and Susan and Ela were able to meet us there. The museum is inside a former subway station, with tracks full of old subway cars, mock-ups of buses, old maps, and historical displays. Loren liked going inside the old trains, but I think she liked the buses the best.

Here Loren and Ela sit together on a train from early in the 1900s.

And here is my personal favorite, the money train. This is the train they used to go from station to station, collecting the money from the machines and booths. A few years ago they went completely over to the MetroCard and there wasn't as much to collect anymore.

Loren liked driving the buses the best, and judging by the lines so did every other kid at the place.

Loren and Ela shared one turn, with one person driving and one shifting gears.

Here is one of the older maps that were hanging up in the varios subway cars.

Overall, Loren (and Ela) seemed to have a really good time at the museum. We went for pizza afterwards, but the pizza was mediocre and the place was really crowded and Loren had a mini-meltdown at the end (she was pretty tired and worn out).


Friday, January 02, 2009

Stardate 63005.04 - Catching Snowflakes

Cheryl pointed out in the comments from my last post that in reality, she snapped the last picture of 2008 with her new iPhone. It is of Loren trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue on the way to school on the last day of the year.


Stardate 63004.66 - Last and the First

The photo above is the last picture of 2008. We are driving to NJ to drop off our Christmas decorations for storage in Cheryl's parents' attic. Since my ankle was still sore, Cheryl drove us there and I snapped a couple of pictures of Loren while we were in transit.

The photo below is the first picture of 2009. I took Friday, January 2nd off from work (my client site was closed anyway) and did a bunch of organization around the house in anticipation of the new baby's arrival later this month. Below is what one year of important mail looks like (i.e. mail that needs to be kept). Most bills and statements I now get electronically and store across 3 hard drives--I don't print them out. But some stuff still comes as paper, and here is a year's worth, sorted into like piles. It took be about 45 minutes to do the sorting, but it took over an hour to get everything into the file cabinet (mainly because I had to purge some to fit these piles of paper into it).