Grateful ness

I am grateful for the privilege I must have for entitlement to be so much an issue that what I have to work on is being more grateful. I am not comfortable with this privilege; it comes with some guilt. It is my hope that by being grateful for it, I’ll also achieve some humility.

I am grateful for my job’s flexibility. If my kid is sick, I stay at home and work the weekend. If I get frustrated with design work, I learn about authoring video. If programming interests me, I chase that rabbit down its hole for as long as I care too.

I am grateful for sushi. It is just so dang delicious. I had a heck of a lot of really good sushi tonight on a date with Julie, whose presence in my life I am also grateful for, but that would make 4 things.

Three things that I’m grateful for.

I am grateful for the crowd that shows up in my bed every morning when I wake up. The kids come in usually at 7am, then we all hang out for 10 or 15 minutes or an hour or so. It’s nice. Sometimes a bit early, but nice.

I am grateful for Hamsterly beach at Elk lake. Swimming in Elk lake on a hot summer afternoon is one of my greatest pleasures.

I am grateful I’ve rediscovered cycling, and that I’ve managed to work it into my life so nicely. I’ll go weeks without driving a car on weekdays, and anytime I’m on a bike I feel like I am 12 years old again.

A Big Move

Hey! I have a blog!

It’s been a while. I’m going to forgo the usual lamentation about that.

Instead, I’m going to get right to it: A week or two ago we sold our condo, and today we bought a house!

I am very stoked about this. I’ve wanted a house for a long, long, long time. I’ve gone on about that on this very blog, and I’ve tried to make the best of our condo. And we have made the best of our condo. It’s small, but it’s our home. It’s in the thick of things. It’s the first place we owned. I brought two babies home here. I’ll miss it.

Our new place though, isn’t far away. That’s because we love this part of town. It’s near Summit Park, where we’d often walk to from here. Usually, on the way, we’d look at the houses and wish we could live in one like that one day. I may have even thought that about the one we bought in particular. It’s up on a hill in one of the largest Garry oak meadows in Victoria. It has a great view. From the house you can see downtown, the water, and the Olympic mountains in Washington. One thing I’ve found in our apartment is I like the view from the 4th floor. I didn’t think I’d get a better one when we moved to a house, but by gum, it turns out we did!

It’s a standard issue 1957 Bungalow. It’s not a big house, but that’s fine. It’s got 3 bedrooms upstairs, and an unfinished basement and garage downstairs. We’re thinking we’ll put a suite into the basement. That will be the next odyssey. Selling our last place and finding this one was our last odyssey – we might take an odyssey break for a while.

How about some photos? Here are the ones they sold it to us with:

How to Anger a Working Mom

Julie noticed the disparate and didactic related posts in an article in the Globe and Mail’s website. They angered this working Dad (even though Dads aren’t mentioned in any of the three articles), and inspired this blog post.

Here’s the article. It reveals to us that when people ask Tina Fey, a woman with a demanding career and kids “How do you juggle it all”, she finds it annoying.

Note the related stories:

Here’s an excerpt from the first related article:

Could having a mom who works outside the home have an effect on a child’s waistline? Maybe, according to a new study of 900 elementary school children from 10 cities across the United States.

And here’s an excerpt from the second:

According to a recent landmark study, there is almost no evidence that having a working mother in infancy adversely affects a baby’s long-term mental development or behaviour.

So what’s the message here? I see that the newspaper is just reporting on research and the musings of celebrities, doing exactly, what it is supposed to do. I think the message here is that other people have all kinds of opinion about how you should do things differently. Fair enough, I guess.

But you know what? Aside for an excuse to rant on my blog, the only real thing reading these articles gave me was anxiety. Parents might worry a little less about how they are too stressed all the time, about how to balance parenting and bill paying, and about keep children safe in a world that hates fat people if they just didn’t read content like this at all. 

And you know what else? This is one of the many reasons why newspapers are dying. The media is changing, that’s part of it, but the real problem is people aren’t willing to pay for the content.

In this humble working Dad’s opinion, access to this tripe isn’t worth a dime, and certainly wasn’t worth the time I spent reading it.

My 40th Birthday

Apologies in advance for a grumpy, narcissistic blog post.

I turned 40 today. I find myself asking, “How the Hell did this happen?”.

The answer to that question is obvious, and really, turning 40 is much better than not turning 40. The truth is, I have a lot of genuine gratitude for the things in my life I know to be thankful for.

But still, 40. In all my days, 40 has seemed old. Now that I’m here, 40 still seems old. 40 is older than I feel, and how I feel is still not as young as I’d like to feel.

I know some of you are reading this thinking, “40 is young!”. I’d bet you didn’t feel that way when you turned 40 though. I’ll be honest: if you did, I don’t want to hear about it.

It’s funny, Coop has recently learned he’s mortal, and he isn’t too happy about mortality either. Turns out that after nearly 4 decades, a finite lifespan is still a bummer when you stop to think about it. Reading Charlotte’s Web has been therapeutic for both of us, though

The trick is probably not to think about it too much. I’ll get over this in a day or two, I bet.

I might have to open a bottle of wine tonight.

Farley River Lewis Lathrop

Farley River Lewis Lathrop

It was not easy to come up with that, let me tell you. Naming someone is serious business. In my not-so-humble opinion we knocked it out of the park with Cooper, so we really wanted to do this guy the same justice. I think we did!

We liked the sound of Farley when Julie first brought it up for consideration. I also really wanted to equip my new son with the kind of name that when you hear it, you know it’s a name, but it’s not the name of anyone you know already. Here’s hoping that bears out for Farley.

Years back, when Julie and I first moved to Victoria, we lived in a neighbourhood we really enjoyed called Fernwood. When we were pregnant with Cooper, we remarked Fernwood might make a good name. When we looked up the meaning of the name Farley, I was delighted to see that it was:

“… possibly from “fearn leah”, an Old English phrase meaning “fern wood”.

I also need to mention I really like the rainforests here in the Pacific Northwest; they are one of the reasons I chose to live here.

As for River, Julie just likes the sound of it, and so do I. When I hear it in Farley’s name, I can’t help but to envision the Elbow River I grew up with near my childhood home in Calgary.

And Lewis was another of the contenders for a first name. It’s rife in my Family; I have a Great Grandfather, a Great Uncle, and a second cousin or two with that name.

In case the embedded slideshow above isn’t working for you, you can check out the photos uploaded to Picasa using this link:

Sleeping Pumpkin Video and Quick Update

I could watch this kid sleep all day (and for a lot of the time today, did, actually).

I’ve got more photos and video to post, but as you might imagine, I’ve been busy, and would kind of like to follow Pumpkin’s lead right now.

Also: still no name. We had a short list of 30 names before the birth (not that short). From that, we narrowed it down to 20. Then, while trying to trim it down further, we somehow added a couple to make 22. Then, Julie came up with a hum-dinger, so that would make it 23. We’re test driving that final contender for a while before we commit. That’s our story, we’re sticking to it.

Also: you can see in this video, his hair is not red. A bit auburn maybe, but I think that might be a stretch. It’s softer than silk, I can tell you that much.

Also: while you can’t see it well in the images I’ve posted so far, the swarthy devil has sideburns, just like his Papa. Not sure how long that will last, but this pleases me to no end.

Sleep well, world. I intend to, for an hour or two at least, I hope!


The Great Pumpkin

Baby Boy pumpkin (working title) was born today, May 15th, 2012 at 7:47pm. He weighed in at 10 lbs! He came via cesarian section, which we were expecting.

Julie did (and is doing) fantastic. She was awake and present for the whole experience, and has been since, too. Breastfeeding was a bit of a challenge at first, but within a few minutes he was humming along nicely, and much to our delight, while his blood sugar levels were low initially, they’ve risen to normal since.

As I write this, he’s feeding again.

Our last birthing experience with Cooper was a success, in that everyone came out healthy in the end. There were some real difficulties we had then, though, that I expected today. They just never materialized. Pumpkin didn’t only avoid the NICU, he didn’t even need an incubator. He also hasn’t needed formula (at least, not yet). Julie was in better health going in this time, and didn’t need as many drugs, and she was and is much more lucid and present. I’m extremely pleased to be having such a great experience this time around.

And Pumpkin is cuter than cute. I love him to bits and can’t wait to introduce Cooper and all other friends and family!!