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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Post Script

For all of you who were wondering, Brandon eventually made it to Cairo. He just made it at 2:30 AM Monday instead of 12:45 PM Sunday, which made for 38 1/2 hours of transit time over three days.

So it's not surprising that he might have gotten to work a little late the next day.

And just so you know that Brandon's experience wasn't unusual, I would like to pass on some statistics I found on a flight-tracking website about Turkish Airlines flight number 2. It got 0 out of 5 stars for timeliness (which means that it has on-time performance characteristics better than 0% of all other flights on the site's database). It was on time 12% of the time, late 1%, very late 9%, and excessively late 75% of the time. It was, on average, delayed 99 minutes, with the latest ever being 330 minutes (5 1/2 hours).

To repeat: if you have any desire to get where you're going on the day you intend to, don't fly Turkish Airlines. Get a horse; they're more reliable.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

There has got to be an easier way

Twas the day after Christmas and no one (well, Kathleen just got up to go to the bathroom) was stirring and Brandon was... at the airport. Again. On his flight out to come and see us, Brandon got delayed out of Istanbul which got him into New York just in time to miss his flight (not on Turkish airlines) which then necessitated cancellation of one ticket and a quick purchase of another to get him to Raleigh three hours later and almost ruining a surprise getaway I had planned.

So today I dropped him off at the airport with a kiss and a hope that he would be able to get to Cairo with no hitches. Silly me. His flight out of Raleigh was delayed, but got him there in plenty of time to... wait. And wait. And wait. Supposedly his 11 1/2 hour flight was to leave at 4:15, and last time I checked the status Turkish Airline hadn't even bothered to post a wild guess about when the airplane might even think of taking off. Which means that Brandon will miss his 1-hour connection in Istanbul and get to arrive in Cairo 10 hours later than expected. Just in time to get up and go to work with a 7-hour time difference in full force. Oh, and he can't sleep on planes.

So, just in case you had any thought of flying Turkish Airlines, don't. It's not worth any cost savings. Walking might just be faster.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Better Late than Never

Despite the late date of this posting, Edwin did arrive on time on Tuesday, the 15th. Lately I have been busy, so this is from my family's blog, pictures and text courtesy of my father.

George Edwin Sherwood, come on down!!

So, with Brandon safely in town, it was time for the reason that they were all here - to evict the new kid! The Labor & Delivery nurses were grateful for the two boxes of hot Krispy Kremes that Ashley and Brandon picked up early on Tuesday morning before they were called in.

Everything went smoothly; Dr. Zimmerman's epidural worked well, and went in just about when the contractions were getting, um, uncomfortable, as we doctors like to say. After that, it wasn't long before Ashley pushed twice, and out popped a nice, mostly bald, surprised looking kid!

The whole transition didn't seem like that good an idea, considering the treatment to which he was immediately subjected.

Ashley and Brandon were able to immediately confirm that yes, Brandon was the father, as evidenced by the water skis on the end of Edwin's legs.

Ashley confessed to feeling better after this one than the previous two.

Theresa McKee, an old nurse friend on Labor & Delivery kindly attended the labor and delivery, and compared notes about living in Turkey with Ashley and Brandon during the process.

Of course, there are priorities in life, and Ashley had food ordered within a very short time.

Meanwhile, Grandma was home wrestling The Girleens, and couldn't make it over to the hospital until the next day, when she was able to meet her newest grandchild, who didn't seem that impressed.

Ashley and Edwin were doing well enough that they were released a little more than a day after the arrival. By then, the sisters had been fed, bathed, read to, and put in bed, but were eager to meet their new brother when he arrived at home.

We are most thankful for Ashley's safe delivery and Edwin's safe arrival. So far, he's been a calm little guy, doing the things that guys his age do: eat, sleep, and go through diapers.

We hope that you are doing well, and appreciate the prayers in his and Ashley's behalf.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Recent Conversation between Kathleen and her Grandfather

While at the mall looking at a store:

Grandpa: Kathleen, what are they selling in that store?
Kathleen: (pauses, thinks) um, women!

We weren't sure whether she was referring to the mannequins or the women shopping.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fact or Fiction?

Every parent has to make their own decision about how much to indulge in the Santa Claus story. Back before I even married and thought about having children, I decided that I would not tell any stories about Santa to my children. Brandon thinks that I am a killjoy, but my feelings on the matter are stronger than his, so the policy has theoretically stood.

The issue has really never come up until now because last Christmas Kathleen had just begun to think about speaking and hadn't really gotten around to having conversations with us. This year, however, the conversations have fully arrived and refuse to leave.

My first encounter with Santa Claus came while Kathleen and I were shopping for baby clothes. Kathleen saw something with Santa Claus on it, and she asked me who he was. "Who do you think he is?" I asked her. "The mailman," she emphatically replied. I then told her it was Santa Claus, and then got to hurriedly outline the parental policy about how Santa Claus was a pretend man who likes to bring presents to children.

After her first brush with Santa, Kathleen was excited to point out all of the examples of that pretend man, and even got to play with quite a few when we decorated for Christmas last week. She seemed perfectly capable to dealing with an imaginary man because, after all, everyone knows that mugs and dolls and pictures aren't real anyway, so how could Santa be real?

And then we went to the mall. While my mother and I were encouraging each other to greater heights of profligacy at Ann Taylor Loft, my father took Kathleen to see Santa Claus. She came back happy to have ridden all of the escalators and elevators in the mall with a reindeer hat perched on top of her head. I asked her about seeing Santa and she didn't have much to say. Which is about right for someone who is pretend.

This evening, however, she asked me where the real Santa Claus was.
"He's pretend," I told her, reinforcing the party line.
"What about the Santa at the mall?" she fired back.
"He's a man who's dressed up like Santa."
"What's his name?" she asked, knowing that if he was just a normal person he'd have a normal name just like everyone else.
"Well, I don't know," I lamely replied.
"Well then where's the real Santa?" she asked again.

After a few rounds of the same, I gave up. Perhaps, for the sake of my sanity, Santa Claus actually does exist. But he still doesn't bring the presents. Daddy does that part.