metawidget: Our very fresh baby, backlit in blue with funky goggles, looking spiffy but a little like an alien invader (Vivien raygun)

Here are some pictures from the summer in kind of random order. It's been a fun and busy summer, with lots of weddings. And not that many pictures...



The bunch of us at Heather's family's cottage.

Me reading to the family on a chaise longue with a log wall in the background.

Ada looking heroic on a tricycle. With our nascent garden boxes in the background.

Ada on a tricycle on our front lawn.

Lord magus Vivien at the Museum of Civilization.

Vivien with a horned hat in a theatre set. seven more… )
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
Here are some pictures from March to recently… we made it through the chilly spring, had a baby, discovered Vivien’s career aspirations, and hit the Ormstown Fair.

Viv in a swing

Vivien at the park.

twenty-nine more… )
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
Baby Ada's birth was the home birth we'd been planning for — kids safely at their grandparents, midwives we knew, intensity and joy and healthy everyone at the end. Elizabeth was very independent for most of labour, as she has been before — I fetched things, let midwives in, helped keep things clean and was just being present up into late pushing. We'd talked about my maybe catching Ada, but in the end I was busy holding Elizabeth and crying a bit as she pushed the last few times. I got to cut the cord, as I have for Oscar and Vivien. At home in our space was a nice place for a birth, and I felt quite involved.

Ada is pretty laid-back so far, and looking around a lot. She has a powerful suck, curious hands and neck and a variety of unconvinced facial expressions. She also sleeps really well in the baby carrier!

Elizabeth and I got a chance to give the baby carrier a whirl yesterday when our friend Seema generously offered to take the older two over to her place for a couple of hours. Thanks to her, we got to walk over to Brasseurs du Temps and have a little anniversary lunch date. Seven years of vaguely sacrilegious matrimony and crazy adventures! Our conversation was more sleep-deprived than deep, but it was really nice to make some time for our little dyad, and Ada helpfully snoozed almost the whole time. Also, BDT has really gotten comfortable in its skin and gotten into a refined and interesting beer groove. There was one unfortunate server comment about "ladies' beer" – La Grande Rivière is a tart, citrusy smacker of a beer that happens to be pink (and delicious to me and not Elizabeth's thing). Silly server. The presence of a tasty 2.4% session IPA (good for easing back into regular beer after 9 months on the pregnancy wagon) was exciting, though.
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: 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! )
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. (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.

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: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
It has been forever since I did a good/blah entry. Life is pretty good, really. Way back when, I did these every 20 entries, so that there would always be one on the first page of my entries. Maybe I'll get back up to that pace again.


GoodBlah
  • We're within a payment of being done with the mortgage — we lucked out on interest rates and help and nice stable professional employment, and now we're looking at owning our place outright. It feels good.
  • Everyone here (human and cat) is currently pretty healthy (even my leg is feeling progressively better)!
  • Both kids are learning fun and exciting new skills.
  • I feel like I'm doing pretty well on my year list, including the long-term stuff.
  • Taxes are more or less done, and look to be in good shape: a refund but not a gigantic one.
  • I took my wedding band to the ring shop, and now it fits (my fingers have gotten more slender since 2008) and it got a complimentary shine as well.
  • I'm happily married to one awesome and beautiful person, and happily dating another.
  • Less than two months of parental leave left. Work will be kind of exciting, but the transition back could be rough.
  • World Vision keeps sending increasingly over-the-top fundraising pules. We got a great big envelope containing an bubble envelope containing a spoon and a measuring tape that they would like us to mail back to them (with a donation) for them to ship to Africa. I gave to World Vision in honour of my Christian relatives who are fans of them. Next in-honour donation will be to MSF or the Canadian Red Cross — close enough in the useful stuff they do, and at least their fundraising stuff is flat.
  • Feeling a bit sciatic-y, a little creaky in the knees and occasionally elsewhere, I think due to moving over winter footing with kids and groceries and stuff. I hope it clears up with better conditions.
  • There are always cool things I'd like to do, and don't make time for. Getting one or both kids to sleep and/or securing babysitting makes this one a little harder.
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
I've been recovering slowly from what seems to be a slightly wonked sciatic nerve — my back and left leg have been feeling assorted unpleasant feelings for a while. I'm tapering off the naproxen and relying lots more on just walking it off or switching activities. The hurt seems to be almost draining out of the leg, from the whole length at first down to mid-calf and below now. I'm looking forward to being completely back to normal soon and for me to be able to tell if the floor is cold again (for now, I get a cold sole feeling unrelated to floor temperature from standing sometimes) Bodies work differently as you get older!

I really hope that my stash of naproxen can expire, given that I've only found it necessary for shoulder wonk and now sciatic wonk.

Oscar has been in heavy mama-centric mode lately. Usually, I put him to bed, but the last few nights (except last night, where I was drawing through bedtime), I've given up and passed the torch after getting my hair pulled and knees in bad spots with no visible sleep progress. Elizabeth usually goes in and emerges ten minutes later with Oscar asleep. It was a little comforting to find out last night that his road to sleep was long, so even if it doesn't feel like progress, my starting off bedtime may be doing some good in helping him spin down a bit.

I helped Elizabeth trim the sides of her head today into an undercut. No pictures yet, but now I can meet my fuzzy and fluffy hair-scritching needs in one place.

On Monday, we appeared in our first family photo in a while, courtesy of [personal profile] commodorified. I look stronger than I actually needed to be!
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
The past week has been a gastro roller-coaster around here: lots of puke, lots of washing clothes on hot, lots of soda crackers. Last week, Elizabeth had a rough Tuesday and Wednesday, and Oscar had a couple of puking incidents. On Monday, Elizabeth was the only person standing and she stood in the gap, chasing toddler puke and changing sheets and being generally vertical. Our friend-and-neighbour Marc came by with a supply drop of soda crackers, juice and jello to tide us over Monday evening, and by Tuesday morning I was better, Oscar was a little fragile but basically okay, Vivien was better and Elizabeth was not 100% but close.

Today, we're basically back up and running: check-up doctor's appointment for Vivien and supper out with friends this evening. Yay, back in the swing of things!
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
Six months ago today, Vivien was born. Now she has two teeth, is starting to be mobile, and is sticking lots of things in her mouth (but not eating complementary foods just yet).

then )
now )

Six years ago today, I proposed, in a horse shelter at my parents' place, to Elizabeth. She said yes.

Also, happy birthday to my cousin Erica, [personal profile] beable and to [livejournal.com profile] thebabynancy!

2012

Dec. 30th, 2012 05:50 pm
metawidget: My full geek code.  Too long for DW alt tag, please see profile if interested. (geek)
Here's the semi-standardized questionnaire applied to 2012 — it was a pretty intense year in some ways.

What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Filed a police report, juggled two kids out solo.

lots more )




Did I miss any useful questions? I dropped a couple of irrelevant ones, and will be watching the memesphere for stuff to add.
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (oscar and vivien)
Last week, I attended a two-and-a-half-day course on mediation and interest-based negotiation in my steward capacity. It was a good course — lots to think about, a nice mix of people, good anecdotes and interesting role-plays (including some really hard ones).

The most stressful part was knowing that I'd be leaving Elizabeth in charge of two kids for the duration, with only a couple of stretches of drop-in company. The kids are great, but they're still a pretty normal four-month-old who is breastfeeding, and a spirited, clever, athletic toddler who's still kind of adjusting to being a big sibling. She was a bit worried about how that would go, and I felt a bit guilty about leaving her in that situation — I know I'll have to for longer and more regularly when I go back to work (and that many families have to send someone back to full-time work a lot earlier than eight months postpartum), but by then it'll be nice out and the kids will be that little bit more independent.

After the first day, I returned to a very quiet house — she'd managed to get both of them to nap at the same time. I think our place has been that quiet with two awake adults in it about twice since Oscar was born. After the second day, there was not as much napping going on, and there were definitely things that needed doing, but again, everyone was in basically good spirits. The half-day at the end worked out well, too. I know this may not seem like huge news, but two kids simultaneously for a couple of hours has been tricky up 'til now, and we were both a bit anxious about how things were going to turn out.

Yay for my awesome wife and for things going better than feared! I imagine that's the most consecutive workdays I'll be out all leave, and it'll be a whole other kettle of fish when the whole routine has to change (first with evening teaching for Elizabeth, and then the complementary work schedules in late April), but as test experiences go, I'm happy, relieved and proud.
metawidget: Our very fresh baby, backlit in blue with funky goggles, looking spiffy but a little like an alien invader (Vivien raygun)

On Oscar's actual birthday, my parents, my sister and her partner came up to help celebrate and see the bigger, more interacitve Vivien. Here are a couple of pictures of her:

potty-related stuff might need a cut )

When it's not raining, we've been getting in a bunch of walking lately — we being the kids and me when Elizabeth needed time to practice for her Can-Con show, or all four of us when we're going somewhere or just need to get out of the house. I really enjoy family walking — when I'm the lone adult, we interact a lot with the neighbours and random shoppers, and when it's Elizabeth and I and optionally the (often sleepy or distracted) kids, we often have nice, relaxed conversations or don't say much but it feels like more pleasant transit time than just about any other means of getting around. Working a walk into something otherwise stressful can make the difference in keeping my chin up, and the fall weather is the best walking weather of the year as far as I'm concerned.

metawidget: [garblegarblescript] Political! Science! for Amusement! [pictures of John A. Macdonald with swirly eyes] (science)

So, Monday after I left for work, Oscar managed to face-plant into the dresser upstairs, tooth-first. Elizabeth brought him in to our dentist office, who is just across the street from work, and a nice dentist and technician took a look at the damage and decided that the (90-degree-tilted) tooth would need pulling. I got to hold Oscar (due to slightly less flappability with respect to other people's blood than Elizabeth, i guess). After a little bit of futzing around with topical anaesthetic, the dentist went for the quick approach and plucked the tooth out with gloved fingers. Oscar was highly disconcerted for a few minutes, and I was a little woozy from watching, but by the time we'd walked a few blocks to get some air and acquire some lunch, Oscar was almost back to normal.

Here's Oscar with seven teeth, down from eight:

Oscar with a gap front tooth and fingers in his mouth

Elizabeth and I were planning on having a date night on Monday, but having had surprise dentist dealings, we decided to put it off by a few days. In the end, we left Oscar with [personal profile] random and [personal profile] fairestcat Friday night, and went into Little Italy for supper, beer and creamy desserts. Pub Italia is tasty, gloriously decorated and very busy on a Friday — we had a nice meal, some good eavesdropping and a little walk in the chilly autumn air. Some couple time was really nice. Yesterday, Elizabeth's cousin came by for supper and I fired up the Turkish grill (now safely on a pad of a few inches of gravel in a dug hole) and grilled veggie burgers in an attempt to extend summer into September. It was the first time I really got to meet her, as meeting anyone at your own wedding never counts. She seems nice and fun — she had a daughter at 18, and one thing she mentioned struck us both: her daughter will probably be out of the house by the time she's 36, and she mused about "starting again" with another kid. It's unlikely we consider having another kid when Oscar is likely launched and I'm 48.

This week, I'm off to the Washington, D.C. area for a couple of days to attend a short course on disclosure control. It'll be my first time in the U.S. since 2004. I got a fresh passport, I'm partly packed, and I'm looking forward to my more-or-less-annual work-related trip. My mission is more or less to get the big picture and soak up best practices at the course, and meet other people working in the field. I'll try and explore a little bit, too: [personal profile] fairestcat suggests wandering in the National Mall, and if some fellow guardians of respondent privacy in released data decide to see something cool in the evening, I'll probably see what they're excited about.

Even when I'm not on the road, work is pretty stimulating lately — building and disclosure vetting small-geography cancer incidence tables, welcoming new people, agitating to get the computer infrastructure set up to do record linkage better, trying to prepare to help teach a one-day course in November. Part time — the reduced time and the paperwork — is a bit stressful, but for now it gives Elizabeth a bunch of margin to work, take on new students, and have shorter days holed up with Oscar on a regular basis.

metawidget: Oscar in a diaper, crouching as if to fit into the frame and looking quizzical (oscar)

This post is in reverse-to-random chronological order.

First, some promised Oscar pictures:

Oscar crawling out of the frame in our backyard

This one is gracing my desktop at work.

Oscar holding himself up on a bead toy

Here's a recent indoor one. He needs only a little hand contact with something sort of stable to stay upright.


Date night!

Last night, [personal profile] fairestcat came by, loaded us and Oscar up in her car, drove us all to Zen Kitchen, let us out, and kept going. She, [personal profile] random and the other people at fannish night took care of him for the night while Elizabeth and I got to have a fantastic meal and some time to ourselves without checking baby position constantly or worrying he'd wake up. Toward midnight, we were starting to miss Oscar (or at least wanting to put him to bed and call it a night), but it was definitely refreshing. We should definitely do that sooner than the eight months it took us to get around to that.

Raven’s Knoll work

Raven's Knoll, the campground that hosts Kaleidoscope Gathering among other pagan and pagan-ish happenings, is kept running in part on volunteer labour. The three of us went up with [personal profile] random on the weekend. Moving and stacking wood and brush was the main activity for [personal profile] random and me, and Elizabeth took care of Oscar and helped out in the kitchen. Working out there was fun both for the satisfaction of working (and stacking wood with proper ends on the stack — thanks, Dad, for teaching me that!) and for the universally pleasant company of the other workers. I was quite happy to get a better sense of Brendan, who led things and is there full-time keeping the place running.

Mum Update

Thursday and Friday, we headed up to my parents' place to see my mum and give my parents an Oscar fix. Mum's looking great and despite being a little out of breath occasionally, had lots of energy. Oscar also got to meet Jeannie the cleaning lady, who I think has been looking forward to meeting Oscar for about eight months now :)

Back to work

I went back to work on Monday. It was a little surprising how quickly work felt sort of normal to me; I guess it hasn't been that long. Most of Monday was spent getting things re-activated and catching up on what I was supposed to start work on, and yesterday and today were pretty meeting-heavy, but there looks to be imminent actual work, and a variety of it, with clients that I either know I like or get a good vibe from. I feel like it'll take a couple of weeks to say hi to all the people that make up the complete work experience, and thus be completely back, but I'm feeling good about the transition so far.

Pixel Update

Pixel had her stitches out yesterday, and looks much less scary and a bit happier today. I think she lost some weight when she was stressed and not eating in the cone, but not a scary amount as the vet weighed her and didn't worry. She's got a vaccine booster appointment in a month, if she's still skinny then we'll see what else needs doing. She was a little grimy looking after the cone for a while, but she's groomed herself back to her usual elegant coat.

metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Fathered a child (well, I guess some salient bits were done in 2009), grew peas, built a hardwood floor, drafted a will, published a statistics paper, took a train in business class, drove a pickup truck.
thirty-seven more )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Save the Tranzac, buy Elizabeth's CD

My wife, Elizabeth Bruce, has played a couple of times at the Tranzac, and it is a cultural institution and an awesome venue. It's in dire straits right now, so she's giving half the purchase price of her CD to the rescue effort until the end of 2010. If you don't have a CD and like her music, now is a good time to get a copy. If you like the Tranzac in a larger-donation sort of way, or don't want a CD, you can also donate to them directly.

Profile

metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
metawidget
Page generated Apr. 30th, 2017 03:12 am

September 2016

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829 30 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios