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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday Happenings, part Deux

So it's now Saturday evening, and things are winding down for the day. I didn't manage to get too many things done today, although I did make a trip to town for a few groceries this morning and I also took the recyclable stuff in to the collection site (since it's in town this weekend). So that's always nice to have out of the way.

So I'm still battling a bit with the ISP tonight. While I was working on the last two posts (prior to this), i was having issues with my connection. There's something strange happening on the ISP's side at their operations center. Of course it happens on a weekend when I'm sure there's few around to fix the issue in a timely way, so some part-time high school student is there restarting equipment in hopes it'll take care of the problem. *sigh*

Anyway, I had to restart the modem just a few minutes ago, for the second time in as many days. Prior to this, I think it was October (or possibly even earlier) since the last restart. So it's getting a little frustrating and really starting to get old. I'm hoping that by Monday morning this is straightened out, otherwise I'll be calling the tech support people to complain. It always seems to work fine...until I hit the Publish button (or Save in the case of Flickr).

So, all ranting aside. Grandpa and Grandma Lorenz just left here about an hour and a half ago. They're in the area for the weekend and are staying in Morris for few nights. This afternoon was the first time they'd seen Kirstin, and all was well. I threw a few old beef roasts into the crock pot and that's what we had for supper (along with some carrots, potatoes, and corn) -- good stuff. And easy, too. Plus, as an added benefit, they did the dishes after we were all done eating (and while I was out feeding and attending to the dogs) -- thanks!

I got a call from Ma today, and it sounds like they're going to be coming up tomorrow afternoon sometime. Good stuff -- Grandpa and Grandma Zaske get to meet Kirstin for the first time. I know Ma is stoked -- she said so. Proud grandma showing off pictures to anyone who will look at them. :) So that will be cool.

Kirstin was really good today throughout. She was getting a little fussy before her sponge bath (this was while Beth was in the shower herself)...but that's because she was getting to be a bit hungry. I don't think I'd seen her that attentive for that long a period of time, while Beth was in the shower. She just kept staring at me and wasn't falling asleep. Always cool.

But like I said, by the time we gave her a bath, she was getting to be a bit ornery. In fact, while she was really crying, George came into the kitchen and was whining a lot. He even tried reaching up on to the counter (like, I'm here to help -- what's wrong). He wasn't doing the 'I'm here for food' thing, but rather the thing he does when he hears Felix getting a bath (like he's truly concerned about what's going on). It was awfully cute...and once she quieted down he went away again. But all that activity is a good thing, because by the time she was done with her bath and got some food, she was out cold. She and Beth went to bed shortly after that. If all goes well, we should have another reasonably quiet evening again. That would be nice. I know it's not always going to be as decent as it was last night, but we've got a pretty content little girl right now, and I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible. :)

So that's basically how my evening has wrapped up. I'm going to print a few pictures now, as I believe I'll be going to church tomorrow (sans the girls) and I'll get accosted if I don't have any imagery of her. Besides, a guy's gotta brag just a little bit, too...

Until next time...


The Thinker

The Thinker
This picture is kinda dark, but she was on my lap
with her hands up around her chin like that
famous statue of the I had Beth get
a quick picture.
Beth got this picture of Kirstin on my lap last night (Friday) at some point in time. It's dark outside (you can actually see the glow of the lamp next to the couch and the glow of the TV on my shirt. What a little pumpkin she is. Smart, too! Hence the whole thinker bit.


A Day At Home

So I was going to write some here last night, highlighting the events of the first day home, but then just as I was about to sit and type, the Internet connection started getting strange. Something at the NOC (Network Operations Center) wasn't functioning properly, so all HTTP (Web) traffic and some other traffic (E-Mail worked) wasn't going through, but just hanging in an indefinite wait state.

That was good and frustrating, but c'est la vie.

So anyway, that brings us to today. The same thing (with the Internet connection) was happening when I wanted to write some more this morning, but it's working well again now. Thankfully.

I went in to the hospital around 9am on Friday morning, and Kirstin had already been checked over by the doctor and was cleared to go any time. Beth was still waiting to see Paige some time in the morning, so we basically killed more time in her room and hung around for a while (watching the Price is Right amongst other things). Paige came by sometime around 10, I gave her the CD of Flogging Molly material that I'd promised her, and she gave Beth the checkup she needed. She was then cleared to go whenever she wanted.

So, we decided to stick around until after lunch had been served. That way we had enough time to get everything packed up and ready to go, Beth would get some lunch, and nobody was in any sort of incredible hurry. We packed up Kirstin & Co., then loaded up the car and made the trek home. The drive home was fairly uneventful, except for the fact that we saw the strangest thing take place just before we got off the highway onto our road -- a bald eagle and a hawk were fighting for the same piece of whatever happened to be dead there. It was very cool -- they were chasing after each other. Random, but neat.

So, we got home, and things have been going pretty smoothly thus far. She's still been pretty quiet, Beth is more relaxed in general, and I'm actually able to do things (aside from spend most of the day at the hospital). Don't get me wrong, I didn't mind it, but it gets a little boring after a while -- at least this way I can do various things around the house throughout the day.

So we managed to get a few more pictures of her at home, including one with her and George on my lap. Last night we gave her her first bath at home, which went pretty well. Then shortly thereafter it was time to go to bed. She slept pretty well, especially once we got her climate controlled. Managed to sleep for about two hours at a time on average, with only short feeding bouts in between. Hopefully that sort of pattern will remain -- that'd be a Good Thing. I know from what Beth's told me, when she was in the womb she was not very active at all during the night. There is research that supposedly links pre-birth activity (e.g. sleep patterns) with post-birth activity. It's a sort of jump-started clock.

I haven't really taken any new pictures today, but I'm sure more will be on the way as the opportunities come available. Beth's folks are in the neighborhood this weekend, so I'm sure we'll probably get a few at some time.

Until then...


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Little Homegirl

Little Homegirl
She had been squirming around so much in the
bassinet that she managed to get a little
swallowed by her hat.
This is probably one of my favorite pictures of the day -- she had been a little fussy prior to falling asleep and squirmed into her hat. I then said to someone that she was just 'in the hood'...which led to her being my Little Homegirl.

She's such a little peanut!


Day Two!

So we've reached the end of day two with little Kirstin around, and it's all going well. She's pretty much gotten out of that 'I just got out of the womb' look and is also getting used to the big wide world. :)

I took several more (good) pictures today and put them up (see the sidebar link). I spent most of the day at the hospital (although I did head over to the office (building) where I ate my lunch with the normal crew (Dan & Leslie) for a while). Today we used as 'education' day, where we watched two videos that the hospital requires before Beth and Kirstin can be discharged. They were the standard-issue type of material (nothing with which we weren't already familiar), but I can also understand why they would require that they be viewed prior to discharge. So, it's one of those necessary steps one takes.

Kirstin had her hearing screening this morning, and passed with flying colors. Of course, after the incident with me at the nurses station on Wednesday night (where she recognized my voice and looked in my direction), I already knew she could hear just fine. :) But, it's always good to get that news 'officially'...

Beth was much more mobile today than yesterday, and was wearing her normal attire (which was a much-desired change). She's also doing very well, which is a Good Thing. I know she's getting ready to get back home again.

Changing the subject (which I can do, because it's my blog after all), we've had a lot of the nurses (and others) stop by to see Kirstin. They all just adore her and make cutesy comments about her looks, etc. You know, every parent thinks their child(ren) is(are) the cutest on the planet (and I would have to agree with that), but the fact of the matter is that there are some really cute babies, and then those that just...well...aren't. It's comforting and reassuring to hear comments like that from other people, because it sort of affirms your own thoughts. Anyway, the thought still crosses my mind that no matter what some people will still make nice comments when their perception is actually not so nice. After all, this is Minnesota. Well, I had a phone conversation with Minda this evening when I got home (because she had called asking some questions about things to get the baby and left a message) and was explaining that whole business (because I forgot to send her the link to the pictures so she'd not seen Kirstin herself), when she made a pretty good point -- in many cases, people will still make nice comments, but it will usually be about obscure or other different things (e.g. what a cute outfit). That makes sense -- Minda's such a smart gal. :)

Anyway, I'm heading for bed here shortly. Going to be another big day tomorrow...


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Attentive Girl

Attentive Girl
Beth was holding her here; she was fairly awake
and attentive, so I managed to get a picture of
that activity.
I'm really not going to linger on this post, but here's the current 'title photo' of the Little Kirstin photoset on Flickr.

It's A Girl!!

So it turns out that shortly after I wrote the last post, Things Started Happening...and by 7:30pm, we were officially in labor and at the hospital.

I won't go into great detail about this event (at least not tonight), but the initial diagnosis was that Beth would be kept overnight to see how things progressed. The likelihood at 7:30 of any baby coming before 9am or so the next morning wasn't necessarily that great.

Funny thing that birthing process -- it kinda decides how and when things happen.

By 11:30 (Tuesday evening), Beth had progressed to a 4 (cm). This from a 3 at 7:30 (and also on Monday afternoon). It was advised to get as much sleep as possible, so we both slept in the delivery room for about two hours, at which time (roughly 2:30am) things really started progressing. By about 3:30, we were looking to be around 6-8, and by 4am, Paige (nurse midwife) was being called to come in for a delivery. Lo and behold, at exactly 6:00am, Wednesday, March 14, 2007, Kirstin Lilly officially entered the world.

Beth was quite good at that whole labor thing. I have to admit I'm pretty sure I couldn't have done it myself, but she really stuck it out and went with the flow (as much as can be expected for someone in that position). I know for a fact that I will always have far more memories about the labor and delivery process than she will (after all, I got to enjoy the process and the idle banter between nurses throughout the evening and morning), but Beth really hung in there and did exactly what everyone was telling her. Of course, it really helped to have an outstanding OB team on hand (those overnight folks are the best).

So anyway, in less than 11 hours from our arrival at the hospital, our little girl arrived. A big one, too -- 8lbs, 3.5ozs and 20.5" long. And about half of the time we spent there during that process was either spent sleeping or meandering through the 'easier' contractions of early active labor. So all in all, I don't think anyone can complain. Everything went very smoothly, and everyone involved is doing very well this evening.

I created a photoset on Flickr just for Kirstin's sake. There are a few more pictures at home than I've uploaded to Flickr, but I'll add more as I get more that I want to put online. For the moment, there are only four, but I'll bet that it won't be that small for long.

We've had a pretty reasonable stream of people stopping by (or delivering items) throughout the day today. Nothing too overwhelming, but still enough to prevent getting too bored by sitting around, either. Also enough to keep Kirstin in Beth's room for most of the day (except when Beth's sleeping or when they take Kirstin's vitals periodically, which they do in the nursery across the hall). I heard about that from the nurses, though. They all try to stop in if they can get an opportunity to. In fact, when I left the hospital tonight, all of the nurses at the station were passing her around. I sure don't mind -- nothing like having a social child. :)

I did find it quite interesting, though. When I stopped at the nurses station, one nurse was holding her and (they were all commenting). I joined in on the discussion, and [Kirstin] immediately turned in my direction after hearing my voice. I know she couldn't see me, but it's pretty interesting that in just the course of a few hours (14), she already recognized my voice. Crazy stuff.

Anyway, that's about all for right now. I'm going to finally go get some sleep (that lasts longer than an hour or two). I've been home twice (three times if you include right now) since Beth went in last night, but not for very long either time (although this morning I came home to sleep for a little while and take a shower) it'll be nice to get a relatively normal night's sleep. Who knows, it could be the last one of those I have for a while...


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Welcome to Runoffville

So there's not really much new happening today, aside from the fact that there's a whole lotta melting going on... I noticed today when I got home that the culvert under our driveway had finally opened up and water was passing through at a pretty good rate. That's good, seeing as how the ditch on the West side of the driveway was nearly full (to the level of our yard, not the road which is another 16" higher or so).

Call me a fool, but I went and got the pickup washed today. I just couldn't take it anymore -- it was just too dirty for me. Most of that came from our Saturday morning Quest for Bumpy Roads, and seeing as how our road has been pretty good and dry lately, I figured it'd be worth the wash. If nothing else, good for my pride. :)

Work was fairly normal today, with one glaring exception. For some reason (it's never happened before), when I came in this morning, I noticed the door handle acted funny when I unlocked the door to the office. I looked at the 'flapper' thing (the lock mechanism on the inside) and it appeared to be in the normal, unlocked position.

After about 45 minutes or so, I decided it was time to go check on the state of morning coffee. I left the office and walked down the hall to socialize. The coffee had just been put on, so I would come back in about ten minutes and partake of the morning ritual. I returned to the office, only to find myself locked out. As it turns out, the 'flapper' was only about 3/4 turned into its normal position, so when I left, it locked me out.

I was pissed off...

So, after jiggling the handle a bit, it didn't unlock itself, so I decided to take a more drastic step. I went down the hall to obtain the ladder. I brought it back and climbed up into the ceiling. The idea was to climb over the wall (in the side hallway where this was, there are false walls leaving about 24" of open area at the top). After examining my options for 'the other side,' I quickly determined that, while I could make it over the wall, I would undoubtedly break a ceiling tile or two. I decided to not climb over the ceiling, and instead used an alternate option for getting into the office.

In the end, it really wasn't that big a deal (more reasonably a pain in the ass), but it took up time I hadn't expected to go through that today (most don't see it coming).

So, I guess I'll have to pay more attention to the door lock next time...

Anyway, that's about all I've got to say for the moment. Still no baby. :) I think I'm going to work on random projects this evening...

Until next time...


Monday, Monday...

It never ceases to amaze me what sorts of things happen on a Monday at work. Sometimes people are coming out of the woodwork, other times it's as dead as ever. Most of the time it's some sort of hybrid combination, which was really the case today. Fortunately, there were no fires to put out or questions that took up copious amounts of time. While I don't always mind that sort of a Monday, sometimes it causes me to feel as though I didn't get anything accomplished (from what I wanted to get accomplished).

So today I was actually able to implement (or rather, integrate) the handheld drawing application I built late last week into our normal handheld program. It's not complete yet, but one can actually draw from within the application now. I just now need to get it talking to the database (which shouldn't be terribly difficult to accomplish) now that I've finally set up a subscription/synchronization to an image database. That likely doesn't make any sense to the actual audience here, but it sounds important. :) Yeah, important...

So Beth had appointment #15 today - 40 weeks. It wasn't very far into the appointment when a brief discussion of due dates took place. It turns out that the calendar due date (what we'd been telling everyone) of today was not exactly the calculation from either of the ultrasounds. One estimated March 15 (eesh), and the other estimated March 18. Those, of course, were based upon measurements and whatnot. Now granted, we're talking a six-day spread, which isn't bad. Nothing way out there or the like. But, factoring that information into the equation, we're probably looking at more of a March 16 due date (from a technical perspective).

So, obviously there's no baby yet. We'll see what happens as the week progresses, as the next scheduled 'appointment' is for Monday the 19th. There didn't seem to be any need for an appointment before that time, so we'll go with it and see what happens.

On a random side note (I've known this for a long time, but I don't believe I've written anything about it before)...the CNA for Beth's midwife is also the CNA for my doctor (and soon also the doctor for the baby). They're both in the same hallway at the clinic, right across from each other. I don't know if [the CNA] is aware that she won't be getting rid of us [me] after the baby's just getting started. :) She's a pretty nice gal, and of course I'm not one to mess with people at all... :) She was 'upset' because with this appointment today, she had to fill out another data sheet (as the old one had no more lines). Last week she'd said 'no more appointments -- there's no more room on the sheet'...

Guess we failed that one. Ah well, she got over it. :)

Anyway, last night before I went to bed, I started playing around with the Flickr geo-tagging bits. it's actually kinda cool. I can drag pictures to a map, where they then become geo-referenced to a particular point on the globe. It's kinda neat, and I did it for several sets of pictures. I won't do that for every one (because I don't see the point in that), but it is a cool feature.

I'm nearly to 800 pictures on Flickr. I have more to add from some various things (outside of my general digital picture archive) that I'd previously categorized but never uploaded anywhere. Once I'm done with that, I'm speculating that it'll be close to 1000 out there. And obviously, once the baby shows up, I'll probably end up adding many more as time goes by. That's one nice thing about the system here I've set up -- it's way easier to manage (and share) pictures than I ever did before. In fact, I look back at how I was doing it before and ask myself why. Well, the answer is that I didn't want to pay for it (and actually, there wasn't a good service to pay for when I started doing that stuff) when I could do it myself. Well, it's pretty obvious that this does it way better than I ever could (without some serious time investments), and is only $25/year. Yeah, I started out with the free account, but I quickly learned that I had more than 200 pictures I wanted to be active at any given time. That was the real reason for the upgrade. Well, that and the unlimited sets.

Anyway, that's about all for now. It's just past 11pm, so I'm heading for bed. Until next time...


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Howling in the Morning

Howling in the Morning
Beth managed to capture (which is admittedly
difficult to do) a picture of the two howling.
This happens to be in the morning, but they are
time-indiscriminate when it comes to howling
normally. Yes, they're my wolf pups. :)
It's just after 11pm right now, and I was working on geo-tagging (putting picture-taking locations on a map) in Flickr when I heard them start howling again. This is the indiscriminate thing of which I speak in the photo description.

Ah well, they're still good girls, and even though they keep me awake sometimes (not usually for long, thankfully), they're still my wolf pups and I love 'em anyway. We're a regular pack, we are.


It's Sunday Afternoon; Do You Know Where Your Jesus Is?

Okay, so that may be a bit of a blasphemous title, but I can't come up with anything better-suited.

This afternoon, I've managed to go through and do some serious Flickr organization. Mostly from the standpoint of I went through the entire set of George pictures and re-titled and described them. That was the only bit of the picture transition from my old medium to Flickr that was left to do. So that's done. I then also went through and edited the approximate date of picture-taking for most of my other pictures.

See, a lot of those pictures were cropped and resized before they were added to Flickr. This means they pretty much don't have the original EXIF data that digital pictures have. Hell, some of those pictures were scanned from film (which means they never did have that data). What I found out is that my camera (somehow -- I never use the date stamp feature, so I don't check it very often) was set exactly one year behind. So most of the pictures I've got up are showing a 'taken on' date of one year before they were actually taken. Go figure...

It's all just an approximation anyway...but it's nice to have them in the approximate order.

It was another warm day today (although I don't think it was quite as warm as yesterday); we're losing snow like crazy. That's a bit of a blessing and a curse at the same time. I like not having the snow around, but I like having the snow around (especially when it's cold outside). It's also that awkward period of time when everything is just muddy...and I don't really care for that.

Today's also been a bit weird because it's the first day of the new Daylight Saving Time mandate. It's messing with me that it's almost 7:30 outside and yet it's still light outside -- in March. Ah well.

One thing that's kinda bugged me about this DST change has been a bit of the overreaction of folks in the IT categories. I'm not saying that there aren't many good cases in which making sure this change is not detrimental to anything is very important, but especially anyone with a more recent OS (in particular, I'm thinking of Windows XP) has the built-in capability to synchronize with an NTP time server. I've got my own NTP server set up here on the local network (which obtains its date/time from a level one timeserver), so all of the client computers on this network are synchronized to a level two server. This obviously doesn't work for some devices (namely anything that doesn't have an Internet connection or anything that doesn't speak to the Internet), but the vast majority of systems could presumably handle this change without any noticeable issue if they're synchronizing their times. Especially the mission-critical systems.

Anyway, that's enough of that. There are several side effects that I've not mentioned (both pros and cons) about the above situation, but it's certainly one way that things could be handled in a less 'the world's going to end' type of mentality...

So I think I'll leave it at that. Perhaps I'll take some time and post a picture or two tonight... We'll see.

And yes, for anyone here on a semi-regular basis (aside from Beth :) ) -- no baby yet.


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