metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
My last picture post featured kids with pumpkins. I still haven't figured out how to do them easily from a mobile device, so here's a big raft of pictures curated and posted at the big computer. Woodgie away! We start covered in snow.

Oscar and Vivien in the snow

Christmas photo candidate.

26 more! See Viv almost double in age! )

Mobile kids

Aug. 9th, 2014 08:52 pm
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (oscar and vivien)
We tried out the trail-a-bike with Oscar a couple of weeks ago, and so long as we're not going uphill, he can pedal for the both of us so long as I steer and provide a bit of balance. Now he is really keen to tag along on trips with me — he's done the ride across Gatineau Park for groceries a couple of times now and has pedaled intermittently and been pretty good about staying on and being safe. I took Viv on some errands yesterday on foot (with the carrier) and she made it almost all the way across the viaduct into the park before I scooped her up and the rested in the carrier the rest of the way to the Plateau. We took the bus back and she sat really well like a big kid while we made faces at each other and took the milk run to get us within walking distance of home. Woo, mobile kids!
metawidget: Co-sleeping kid taking up as much space as possible between co-awake parents. (co-sleep)
Yesterday was Elizabeth's and my sixth wedding anniversary. Woo for crazy married adventures and making things up as we go along!

Vivien composed her first three-word sentence today: "Doggie likes juice!" She was dipping her toy dog in her juice at the time. Earlier this week, Oscar decided I was like a Christmas tree. Why? Because I go around and around. Like a Christmas tree. I'm not sure where that came from...

Also, there is an "I am still here" meme going around LJ. I'm still here!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
It's been a busy midwinter for and around me. Everyone in the household
has taken a turn or two being sick -- gastro, conjunctivitis, cold and/or
flu... I took my first sick day in a while and I'm glad I didn't try to go
in that day.

it gets better )

I guess all this entry is missing is a beer review at this point. Maybe
next entry -- I have been drinking enjoyable beer from time to time lately!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
It feels like the new year has shaken lots of things up for me, largely in
a good way. It's surprising -- the very end of last year felt quietly
dire, and the beginning of this one, despite Oscar having just fought off a
week's worth of gastro and the weather having had us gone to ground much of
the time, has felt good. I'm starting a new position, with some staff and
some of my favorite technical matter, in Justice statistics -- it's acting,
maybe six months to a year, and an exciting challenge. I already feel a
big difference in how I interact with my chief as well as the pace and
choppiness of my day -- I like the new interaction style and the
big-picture duties, but the task-switching pace will be a challenge.

In at-work-but-not-work news, there are a couple of good things. First, I
am on a tear at lunchtime Scrabble -- a couple of convincing wins have me
sitting higher in the standings than I ever have. Probably more meaningful
to my well-being is that I stopped waffling and signed back up for yoga.
My old instructor had retired, so a new class with a new instructor: it's
"hip opening yoga" according to the title, but it feels more or less like
the very first class I attended way back in 2005 at Concordia, but with
extra blocks and balls. The instructor, Janice, is a bit tougher and has a
drier sense of humour than either of my previous instructors, which on
balance I think I will appreciate.

The home life is feeling more connected -- maybe things just settled better
after an exhausting late 2013, maybe it's a slowly improving sleep
schedule, or both of us just developing good patterns, but I feel like
we're managing to carve out more and better couple time. I'm finding Oscar
easier to have fun with, too -- he chimes in when we're reading a familiar
book, he comes up with extensive justifications for me spinning him around
(although he calls it "sponging", hence "this is sponging music, papa!"),
and his playing-with-others skills are improving. I'm looking forward to
milder weather soon, because I think the bitter cold is cramping his style
-- him tearing around outside more will be good for us all.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Ask Culture and Guess Culture (Found via Captain Awkward)

I think I'm guess by nature, but I can see how ask would be a good one to have a feel for, at least to pull out of my back pocket when I need it.

I'm not sure which model fits more at work — big-organization people, civil servants in particular reading this: what do you think?
metawidget: My full geek code.  Too long for DW alt tag, please see profile if interested. (geek)
So, I acquired an iPod Touch after my old iPod died; I'm wondering what folks on iOS use to post to Dreamwidth/LJ, preferably something that allows offline composition and does sensible things with tags and cross-posting.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (platypus)
Family photo

This weekend [livejournal.com profile] the_arachne got married to her fiancé (no username :) ), and they had a photographer taking shots of volunteers after dinner. It was a rare opportunity for a family portrait!

It's been kind of insanely busy lately — Elizabeth's album finished, the launch shows performed, the wedding of last weekend (at which Oscar and Elizabeth both got named parts, and I wrecked my pants, first stooping for Vivien and then dancing), a promotion process at work (my interview shirt = my wedding shirt), and a research project that can be describes mostly positively as tilting at windmills, and fun to work on but challenging. I also assembled a team and applied for some research days at work, which would be a cool opportunity to manage something and fix a problem I find cool. Now I still have things to do, but applications are with committees, most of the album-related stuff is done, and Elizabeth and I are casting about for bits of relaxing time for us to celebrate and recuperate.
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (kids)
Woo! Two kids with a pediatrician! It's like we have universal health care for kids or something in Quebec.

Also, I managed to beat the top-ranked player at Scrabble yesterday — most memorable plays were "WEES" (I wasn't sure it took an "S") and "MATUREd" across a triple and emptying my rack.

ETA: Our dishwasher is also working thanks to some help from [personal profile] dianora, and I replaced our toilet flapper (I think the term "univesal flapper" has a nice ring to it). Yay, fixed things!
metawidget: Oscar in a diaper, crouching as if to fit into the frame and looking quizzical (oscar)
While we set up for Elizabeth's performance at Dusty Owl: "I'm a roadie!"

While he was in the kid seat on Elizabeth's bike, going home: "I'm on the combine! Can we cut the corn?"

Oscar is obviously getting an interesting sense of the world of work and will contribute original stuff to play at recess!
metawidget: a basket of vegetables: summer and winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes. (food)
Vivien is walking and climbing and generally up to stuff!

Here are a couple of photos of Oscar and Vivien:

indoors and outdoors )

In other news, this week has been insane. Elizabeth has been mixing her album, I did an exam in our promotion process, and Saturday was full of busy with people dropping by and me biking out to Aylmer on a super-secret present-hunting mission. I think the exam went okay (but I'm not dead certain that I'll make it to the interview), the album is over at the mastering company, and I succeeded in getting the birthday present. Elizabeth lost her wallet coming home from finishing mixing, though, so she's not quite out of the woods yet. I've been working on the booklet to go with the album, which feels like it's going well. A few fill-in-the-blanks in the credits and front page, and some swaps of pictures into layouts already done, and it should be ready for the printers!

Our pear tree has been very fruitful:

a modest portion of our bountiful pear harvest )

...but I think it's done for the year. The kids really like pears, so it's contributed to our very limited use of the produce section during the warm months.

Year Lists

Aug. 11th, 2013 03:52 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Well, I think I managed on average to floss about half of the days in year #33, and I've had a lighter touch with the filters online and in person. I think this was a four- or five- massage bar year and I got somewhat better at bringing back beer bottles. The mortgage breathed its last in May, and now our "make the house warmer and the kitchen fit us better" fund is growing fast and I'll be closing in on my RRSP deduction limit. We have a six-foot wooden fence with a gate that Oscar keeps figuring out as we secure it better (now he just wriggles under it), but at least he's down to one choke-point, and we did try! On the stuff I didn't do so well in from last year's list, I didn't get that check-up (no family doctor and not quite enough drive to get it done at a walk-in clinic), and I don't know that I made any big strides in relationship communication — appreciation, I think, and adventures, for sure, and some fine-tuning in timing and medium, but it's something I can still try to work on.

In the no-deadline parts of the list, we increased doctor coverage from zero of us to Vivien, and maybe Oscar in the fall. I started a new position, for which I'm learning a bunch of stuff and alternating between feeling competent and feeling like I just opened an overstuffed closet and the top shelf fell on me. My aches and pains had a good go at me in the spring, but I think I'm done with sciatica for a while and feeling generally as good as I was at last list time. In improving the house, we got a dishwasher, which might count, and I fixed the back stairs last week — their surprise collapse would've been hard on the comfort of whoever was on them at the time. The kids are gaining competence at a frightening pace and Oscar declared he wanted hugs and fire for his birthday party, so we're doing something right even as I feel I could use more patience and humour sometimes.

Here's what I would like to achieve in the next year:
  • Keep up the flossing.
  • Communicate better in relationships.
  • Continue to wear through massage bars.
  • Make the house cheaper to heat, either with insulation or a heating system upgrade, or both.
  • Getting a GP and a checkup/vaccination update might be a tall order, but I will attempt to start allergy shots so I'm popping fewer antihistamines next summer. If I can do allergies and deferred maintenance, all the better.
  • Somehow fix the Wike's stroller mode. As it is, the walking wheel doesn't hold up under our frequent use — three bolts to one frame member is no match for the leverage exerted by bumps and curbs.
  • Give the promotion process this fall my best shot, and accept whatever comes of it gracefully.
  • Reach out to a few more people at work in the hope of developing a new friendship or two.


Here are some longer-term things:
  • Round out home heating improvements and make the kitchen suit us better.
  • Raise competent, well-adjusted kids. Do so with good humour, love and trust in them.
  • Take care of my body and try and make my list of aches and pains not increase monotonically.
  • Get family doctors for all of us in the household.
  • Continue to like my job, be good at it, and be worthy of the respect of my co-workers.
  • Keep learning new things, and consolidate dabbling into competent in new areas from time to time.


I hope I'll do at least as well between now and next birthday as I did in the last year or so.
metawidget: a basket of vegetables: summer and winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes. (food)
  • Vivien turned one, and then took her first steps on the pine forest floor the next day.
  • I swam in the pond every full day we were there.
  • I won the "Wooden Chef" contest by acclamation with my green pepper stuffed with camp leftovers and raspberry-beer sauce — I guess everyone else was busy or had insufficient stuff in their coolers by Sunday night. This means I get to judge next year!
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (oscar and vivien)
I was looking back at my recent entries to see what photos I posted last of the kids; Vivien looks so young in her most recent one — from May! Three months later, she's sleeker, more mobile, more defined and more expressive. She's tentatively free-standing, waving at people, laughing at people having fun and working on tooth #9 (about the same pace as Oscar; I hope she's a little kinder to her teeth than he was at one). She'll be one year old next week (already!). Here are some pictures of the family since that last one.

Vivien can balance on things and Oscar can happily cope with her in his personal space (if he's having fun):

Oscar and Vivien on our rocking horse, with Elizabeth looking on.

Three more )

I'm on vacation starting today for a week and a half; we have lots planned: camping, helping friends, seeing people, taking care of kids, vaccinations for Vivien, and if all goes well some relaxation, re-connecting and recharging. I feel like I left work in pretty good shape; they'll survive without me but likely appreciate the things I got done. Life is exhausting and kind of exciting these days, even if it's objectively full of mundane.

Late May

May. 26th, 2013 09:19 am
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I'm feeling considerably more firmly back in the saddle at work now — documenting, developing, simulating Bad People trying to derive personal information from our released data… the work and the work-adjacent rhythms are back, for the most part. I've got zero wins in four games of lunchtime Scrabble, though, which is below my admittedly-not-stellar average. More so than with one kid, I really feel the pressure to get home straight after work and even out the numbers for fussy o'clock.

Vivien's has been getting mobility figured out the last couple of weeks — she's crawling around, pulling herself up on the furniture and twisting around during diaper changes. Oscar's language is getting more sophisticated — switching around "you" and "I" as appropriate, for instance. He's still not easy to get to bed, though.

We've had pretty busy weekends since I got back to work. Elizabeth was playing some music at Umi the first weekend, we went to help out at Raven's Knoll the second (and just missed police checkpoints in Eganville, apparently). Last weekend, my parents took a day trip up to visit us on Sunday, and this weekend we went to the Great Glebe Garage Sale, the catch-up potluck at the birthing centre, and the Ravenswing DIY/Craft/etc. fair. We've gotten out to various things during the week, too. I'm feeling quite tired, for some reason.

Friday, Elizabeth's parents are taking both kids, and we get our first actually kid-free date since Vivien was born, for our fifth anniversary. I'm looking forward to it; I hope we're well-rested enough to enjoy it!
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (kids)

Vivien in May Queen paper crown
Vivien came with all of us to the Beltaine/May Day ritual at Judith's, wearing this paper May Queenish crown. We put it in with the offering bowl.

more Vivien ) work )

Upheavals

Apr. 24th, 2013 08:40 am
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
I put my shoulder out this morning... Oscar had broken the coffee press, and I was looking for the last bit of glass, crouched at counter top level, and I reached to move a dish the wrong way. Ugh. I got it back in pretty quickly and eventually found the bit of glass. I felt it was a little crunchy lately, maybe due to being tired and maybe a bit stressed about the return to work and life in general. Getting Oscar to sleep continues to be a bit of a crapshoot these days, and we're doing it in shifts more and more. He doesn't tend to sleep in after long battles to get him to sleep, either. On the good side, he's getting more range and some more focus when walking places; I took him on foot and Vivien strapped to me to the grocery store yesterday, about 1.5 km, and he didn't need carrying until I popped him in the cart. We took the bus home and he sat patiently in his seat until it was time to get off.

This time next week, I should be somewhat re-oriented at work. I don't have a clear vision as to how I'll get back up to speed, but there'll probably be meetings with HR to straighten out stuff arising from parental leave and make sure I get paid, a supervisor meeting about expectations and learning plans this year, and I hope there'll be some introductions and orientation with the new clients. There'll probably be some re-connecting with the confidentiality people, too, and with friends who I don't work with directly (or don't work with anymore), and figuring out what organized activities and committees I want to take part in. I'll be getting used to a very different structure of day, aside from the content of the work — coming home and shifting into high parent/cook gear right away (and helping Elizabeth get out of high parent gear), and generally being more focued when I am around home, I hope. I'll have to make a point of relaxing (but moving quickly) on the bike or bus ride home! Even with the extra responsibilities, I suspect that the increased contrast between adult-land and parent-land in my life will be a net reduction in stress.
metawidget: close-up of freewheel of a bicycle (bicycle)
Today, I took the kids into the Glebe and back (14 km round trip) in the new bike trailer:

Vivien and Oscar asleep in the bike trailer

Neither of them really likes getting a helmet put on, Oscar's seatmate manners are still a work in progress (trailering, with faster-moving scenery, they're a little better than strollering) and Oscar was loudly and urgently wondering for a while where Mama was on the way home (she was riding behind us). Despite all that, they were both asleep when we pulled into home. It was Elizabeth's first bike ride out of the season — she went out ahead in the morning to record some additional vocals for her album, and I came later with the kids to add my screaming to one track, get Vivien a snack (soda crackers were only so satisfying during recording), say hi to Sarah at Nicastro's and have tasty sandwiches for lunch at the Wild Oat before heading home together. It was my and Oscar's first ride out post-tune-up (yay, chain grease) and Vivien's first bike trailer ride ever! I was quite happy with how the new trailer handled with two kids and gear in it.
metawidget: Our very fresh baby, backlit in blue with funky goggles, looking spiffy but a little like an alien invader (Vivien raygun)
Mostly because [personal profile] commodorified demands it, here is a picture of Vivien this afternoon, taken while Oscar was napping:

Vivien on a pillow, smiling

Life is pretty good of late: my leg and cold are mostly better, I still have just under two weeks of leave until I'm back at work (I'm enjoying the leave but looking forward to work, too), it finally feels like spring here (I got to wear short sleeves outside yesterday!) and I'm feeling pretty good about it all.

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metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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