metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
I've been on a routine maintenance kick lately — I started with a physical for my pension buyback, got my allergies assessed, blood checked out, shots updated. I probably have one more bunch of paper to pick up, then I'm done outside of flu shots for three years. Aside from that: eat well and be active as usual, but take some B12 to help my red blood cells keep up with the rigours of life — no need to be more exhausted than strictly necessary!

I considered signing up for a vasectomy after our third baby is born — three is a good number for us, I think. The week of not lifting kids or walking unnecessarily during recovery sounds like something better scheduled for when everyone is in school, though. I have my referral; maybe I can call it in in 2020. Meanwhile: maybe someone needs some proven-fertile (and, judging from our kids, smart, energetic and funny) genetic material? I am out of the blood system but maybe qualifying to give sperm is within reach — although an initial web search indicates that Canada doesn't have much of a sperm bank system outside of one operation in Toronto… possibly due to strict laws against the sale of sperm. It seems that all abject terror of markets for sperm has done is atrophy the collection system. I've read about egg donation, and it is kind of terrifying, risky and probably did need measures in place to discourage exploitation of broke people with ovaries. I'm also a bit mystified that there aren't enough potential donors to support a centre in a major-ish urban area. Surely there are many people who are fertile and who wouldn't mind sharing the wealth with people having difficulties or lacking an easier source of sperm. As it is, apparently it is completely legal to buy gametes from the States and abroad: there's something a little off about that.

I don't know that I have any good conclusions, but it is a little odd and frustrating.
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
- Bicycling weather. Buses are good for reading, but I miss fast and flexible.

- An upcoming night with Elizabeth… with the kids off with my parents! It has been years since we'll be off-duty together for a whole night.

Yay! Spring! Good things, times and people!
metawidget: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family)
Here are some selected photos from 2015 so far — we get out, we weave stories, we make trouble and go to things.

Oscar and Vivien looking at each other with the piano and a grownup in the background.

The kids looking at each other... another photo post!

10 more… )
metawidget: close-up of freewheel of a bicycle (bicycle)
Some things starting with the letter B, as suggested by [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit:

Something I hate: Broken promises: personal, political, whatever — with a particular disdain for broken promises of amends. Hey, Kelowna Accord!

Something I love: Bicycling! I am looking forward to the season being in again (for me, I know there are hardcore year-round bicycle users).

Somewhere I've been: The Biodome, although it's been a while. I hope to bring the kids sometime soon, maybe this year.

Somewhere I'd like to go: Aside from the Biodome, maybe Boston, to soak up some of the great intellectual history and wander about the U.S. equivalent of Montréal (in terms of student concentration).

Someone I know: Beatrice at work. We're not super-close but she's been helpful and kind in career and getting-to-know-people spheres.

A film I like: The Birdcage was fun, probably of its time but when I watched it I liked it and found it had some substance.

A book I like: The Burning House, by Jay Ingram, one of my favourite science-explainer writers. Hemispheres! Awareness! Braiiiins!
metawidget: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family)
Here are some pictures from the last few months of 2014. We've been having lots of fun and occasionally remembering to take pictures. Next post, maybe some of them will have Elizabeth and/or me in the frame.

Oscar with a birthday cake standing in front of a Turkish grill with cousin Adam in the background

Oscar at his birthday barbecue (in low light, but you get the idea).

12 more… )
metawidget: [garblegarblescript] Political! Science! for Amusement! [pictures of John A. Macdonald with swirly eyes] (science)
Random offer of games night (the call was at 9:11 PM) with a couple of friends, plus wine, Ticket to Ride, Girl Guide cookies, loose lips equals fun impromptu sleep deprivation (added to the routine stuff and other fun but annex sleep deprivation). Woo! Also, I won at Ticket.
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!

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metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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