A Stationary Odyssey

Friday, April 27, 2007

To celebrate Emma's two-week birthday, Laurie and I had a nice dinner of Morroccan Chicken and "Forbidden Rice," a deep red, naturally wine-colored rice with a delightful flavor. We followed it up with dessert from Sarah's Patisserie. But mainly, this is an excuse to put up another picture of Emma. Those are our orange trees in the background, which are just starting to set fruit.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Emma had her second check-up yesterday, and she's back up to her birthweight, has grown a bit more, and is doing well all around. We don't need to take her in again for two months. Today, the bit of umbilical cord finally finished shrivelling up and fell off, so she has an actual belly-button.
Changing the subject entirely, this is a picture of me holding a bar of silver from the Atocha, one of the Spanish treasure fleet that sank in 1622. This bar is about the size of a loaf of bread, and weighs 77 pounds. How did I get my hands on it, and why am I holding it in a pizza joint in New Jersey?
On Monday, I had to go to a meeting with members of other firms our company is on a team with for an Army Corps project we bid on. The meeting was set up so the team members would have actually met before we went and talked to the Corps, which seems reasonable. The president of the firm who set up the meeting liked the restaurant and was friends with the owners, thus the choice of venue. His firm specializes in underwater survey and drilling, and has a lot of specialized equipment for finding things like underwater cables so they don't get caught during dredging operations. They also have been developing other equipment to find metal objects buried more deeply in sediment, such as unexploded ordinance for military contracts, and other metal things. In this case, the firm was working with Mel Fisher, the guy who found the Atocha, to find more of these silver bars, plus some that fell off a barge in New Jersey a hundred years ago. The bar in the picture was used to calibrate the new equipment, and it was brought to the meeting to show it off because its really cool. Thus, I end up holding a 17th-century silver bar from a Spanish shipwreck in a pizza joint in New Jersey. The bar is now safely back under lock and key (and was pretty safe during the meeting, given there were 4 uniformed police having lunch in the pizza place).

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Trip to the Farmer's Market. Emma made her first trip out today, going to Farmer's Market. She slept through most of it in the sling Laurie had, so mostly it was a trip out for Laurie and I. It was a beautiful day, so it was like a day in late summer with huge crowds. The food vendors were selling out, and the lines were really long at the places that still had lunch items. We had a great time, though it was a little tiring for Laurie, and saw lots of our friends.
One thing that several people commented on was how long Emma's hair is. I've been thinking about it for a little while, and observing how her hair falls, which I need to watch as I'm combing her hair to prevent cradle cap. It appears that all her hair falls so it provides lines from the crown, and there are little tufts of hair on the tips of her ears. I also noticed that she had a tiny bit of hair on her shouder at birth, but it was gone in a couple of hours. Putting this all together, it looks like this hair is growing to make birth happen more smoothly by holding fluids as a lubricant and to prevent skin-to-skin friction between mother and child during birth. Her birth hair is supposed to fall out around 14 days after birth and her "normal" hair should grow in to replace it. Its a remarkable adaption to make birth easier, which given the size of a human baby, makes a lot of sense from a biological standpoint. [Ah, the things an anthropologist will notice.]

Friday, April 20, 2007

Emma at one week. She actually sleeps peacefully quite a bit, which is wonderful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Emma had her first check-up today, and she is doing great. Her color is excellent, she's eating well, and if the meaurements are right she is an inch longer and her head is half an inch bigger around. Her weight is going up, too, and should be back to birth weight on a typical schedule.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Home at last. Emma is wearing a shirt from the Farmer's Market, given to us by Jeanne, my sister-out-law. It works so much better than the various gowns given us at Laurie's baby showers since Emma is so wriggley.

We're home. Its nice to be here. Our cat Sienna immediately recognized something different was going on. Emma, of course, was oblivious.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Laurie had a fever last night for a short period of time, so they are going to keep her here until Monday. Except for that episode, she's been doing great, as is Emma. This child is remarkably strong, as she is already holding her head up a little when you try to burp her on your shoulder.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A contented baby. Here's Emma with me, just after she finished nursing and is really happy and content. Of course, a few minutes later she had some gas pains and was really unhappy about that, but we didn't take a picture of that.

Its been almost two days, and everything is going amazingly well. Emma is sweet and quiet, only fussy when there's a reason. She's eating well, had all her tests (hearing, blood work, etc) and has passed with flying colors. She had a little stomach irritation which the doctors wanted to make sure was nothing more serious, and it wasn't. A bit of attention and she's doing great. Laurie is recovering, looking better every day, and will head home tomorrow. As you'd expect, she's got some discomfort, but it is receding and she's doing just fine. Our family doctor has stopped in, checked us all out, and all are doing just great.

I took a little time this morning and went down to Farmer's Market and told everyone down there, and the joy in everyone's face is just a mirror to my own. Its so great to see everyone else as happy as we are. I also ran into an old friend from years ago, Linnie, and met her husband and two daughters. She moved back to Ithaca a little before we did, and has been here since. She's good friends with our friends Mike and Jean, proving once again that Ithaca is a wonderful place that it is. This is why we came back, and now we have even more of a reason to be happy to be here since our daughter can have the same kind of friends and fun that we have.

Oh, and the nurse that helped with the delivery is the wife of one of my archaeologist friends from Cornell.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Emma, Laurie and I have been spending a sleepy couple of hours together. Emma is as sweet as you could hope for, with barely a cry once she settled down. There was one minor spit-up episode, and when I carried her to the bathroom to get a towel, I set off the alarm (the babies have a sensor that triggers when they get close to the door, and we're near the end of the hall). Oops. The nurse came within seconds, showing how excellent the staff is here, followed by another in less than a minute.

Looking at Laurie holding Emma, I see right there a reason to change the world. I can't imagine letting this precious soul live in a world as some people have described the future. She carries the name of my grandmother and my mother, two of the most important women in my life (the others are Laurie and Emma), and I can only hope I do as good a job with Emma as they did with their families. I think about the life I want for her, and it should be as wonderful as possible. I'm going to do what I can to make that happen.

At 12:49 pm EDT, Emma Carol Stull was born at the Cayuga Medical Center. She is 8 pounds, 3 ounces, and 20 inches long. Her first picture was taken when she was two minutes old.

Mother and baby are both doing just fine. We left for the hospital at 2:30 am, and pushing started at 10:00 am, so that part took almost 3 hours. This part was pretty tough, but everything worked out in the end. Emma is already active and nursing, though she seems to like putting her hands in her mouth which tends to interfere with nursing. She's been looking around, quiet and pleasant, and didn't even cry when she got her state-required Vitamin K shot (a blood coagulant).

So, all is well. We'll be here at the hospital till probably Saturday morning. She has already met her grandparents, so that's all good.

One more picture, at 1 hour old.

On our way.

We're about to leave for the hospital. Laurie's contractions are pretty close, about 3-4 minutes, and are lasting 30-60 seconds. They are also much more intense, making her unable to talk through them. That is the sign we've been waiting for. I actually got about 2 hours of sleep, too.

More later.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Eight out of eight. The biophysical untrasound showed that the baby was in excellent condition (8 out of 8 points examined), so there is no immediate need to induce. So, we're back to waiting again, and Plan B is to induce on Monday morning. Plan A, obviously, is to go naturally before that, but we'll just wait and see. There was something of an adrenaline surge when it was mentioned possibly today, but at least we have the finality of an end date.

But, having said all this, the signs are still promising for much sooner than that.

We just came back from a visit to the midwife. The contractions Laurie has been having have had an effect, but she's scheduled for a biophysical profile in a little while for an ultrasound of the baby. The results of that will determine whether Laurie will be induced shortly (i.e. today) or tomorrow.

I'll post again later.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Potato Pancake. As a change from the endless waiting, here's a picture of the potato pancake I made for dinner. The sun actually spilled across the stove this evening while I was cooking, but the other pictures had a light splash because it was so bright. I waited to get this picture for a couple of minutes while the pancake was cooking.

Monday, April 09, 2007

It seems a clean kitchen is what we have.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Early labor?

Laurie has been having short but fairly intense contractions for the last couple of hours. This is more than we've seen before, so things are looking promising for "soon." I've tidied up the kitchen, watered the plants, set some food down for the cat, and we're getting ready for an early bedtime just in case we need to get up in the middle of the night.

It may not be tonight, but at least the kitchen is clean.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The fetal monitor showed the baby is doing just fine. All we need is for it to decide to make its debut.

In other news, I was enticed to play in a Shadowfist tournament, which I haven't played in about 10 years. I lost. I lost so much I was the king of losers. But it was fun and a pleasant social occasion, and unlike poker, when you lose playing this card game you don't lose any money. Plus, I got some nice consolation prizes (more cards, of course).

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Still waiting. It seems like everything is on hold while we're waiting for the baby to decide its ready. This almost seems to be the worst part of it, since we've been ready for almost three weeks, and nothing seems to have really changed much in that amount of time. Tomorrow Laurie will have a test with an external fetal monitor to make sure everything is still ok.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Here it is. This is the house my in-laws are going to buy. The grass is still brown from the winter and the weather went from beautiful blue sky to grey clouds, but its a very nice place.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I've just been elected president of the local chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association. It should be fun.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Still nothing. We have an appointment with the midwife tomorrow, and it seems we'll make it. Laurie is really getting ready to be done with the pregnancy and move on to being a mom.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Today is a day when no news is actually news.

But there is news from earlier in the week: Richard and Madeleine have found a house, made an offer, and made it through the inspection. Unless something remarkable happens, they'll be moving to Ithaca in July (closing on the house in the end of May). Apparently, the guy that inspected the previous house is notorious for scaring off buyers with his inspection reports. The realtor they're working with said that the folks who have used that inspector have failed to close on every house he's looked at for her clients. This inspector was much better and didn't scare the stuffing out of my in-laws.

Also, if you have old but decent computer equipment, take it to Babbage's Basement in Ithaca. They take all kinds of stuff, and the money for selling it goes to the ScienceCenter. And, if you need old computer stuff, check them out.