Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our flickr site

Okay, I've been remiss in posting this, but here is our flickr site. Permanent link on the side bar

Tale of 2

Christmas Pictures

We took a trip to the local photography studio last weekend. Here are the proofs. You can order photos from the site if you want to. The pictures will be up for 2 weeks, then they'll be gone.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Videos of recent days

Okay, some recent happenings

Reece has really got his walking down as evidenced by this and this

At Halloween, our kids decided they wanted to be a pumpkin and a pirate.

Reece might try rowing his way to fame and fortune.

And Reece always must be the star of the show

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Some Halloween shots and others

The teeth doth cometh

After many months of constant drool, fingers in the mouth, grumpy behavior and sleepless nights, I've finally figured out that it's the kids that should be constantly drooling, putting their fingers in their mouths, being grumpy and not sleeping through the night, not me.

Yes, the first teeth have arrived. Reece popped one on Sunday, and a second one on Monday, both on the lower jaw. And not to be outdone by her brother, Lorelai seems to have popped one today. I don't know if that is normal for siblings (twins) to do it at around the same time, but it seems a little surprising.

They're both doing fairly well with the whole thing, more fascinated by the new sharp thing in their mouth than pained by it. Both are waking up more during the night and needing a little more comfort, but it's not full on wail all night long like I've heard other kids go through. Of course, these are tiny little teeth, not molars or anything, so we're not throwing away the Oragel just yet.

Reece suddenly started clapping his hands yesterday too, and finds it quite amusing to do when he is already happy. He becomes quite ecstatic after a few little claps.

Lorelai has really picked up her crawling pace, and Reece is able to walk around the room, maybe 15 steps at a time without falling if he doesn't get too excited. They're pulling themselves up on anything they can so watch where you lay down around here, or you may end up a baby supporter for an hour or so. Of course standing a lot means falling a lot, and there have been bumps and bruises and scrapes already, but they're learning how to fall better all the time.

We've started taking more walks outside without the stroller when we are both available, with a baby on our shoulders or in our arms, or walking with them as they hold our hands. They love to laugh and giggle as they feel the wind and see leaves moving on the sidewalk. Everything they see is new to them, and amazing to them, and it's wonderful and depressing at the same time. I would love to be able to go back to see all these things for the first time, and to remember it more clearly. We're trying to take pictures and videos when we can, but it's hard when no one has a free hand.

However, they are starting to play together more. Yesterday (Veteran's Day here), we spent the day at home after a quick trip to Target, watching the rain pour down and the wind howl. At one point, Lisa and I were both ready books, and the kids were playing for almost 45 minutes. It dawned on me later that night that they're starting to become more independent and from now on, they'll need us less and less every day. As liberating as that sounds, it also made me kind of sad, in a nostaligic kind of way. That feeling lasted until about 3:00 this morning when I was trying to find a way to get Reece back to sleep without handing him back to Lisa. After 45 minutes, she took pity on me, and probably figured she'd get more sleep if she just stuck the boob back in his mouth, and I went back to sleep. Nostalgia. Bleah!

The additional free time has allowed us to get more projects done, like hanging pictures of the babies up, and organizing and cleaning up the office, and putting together picture collections for the baby books. Projects don't always get done the same day (week) we start them, but they are getting done, and that's what counts. I imagine I'll have even more time if the Hollywood writer's strike goes on much longer and the few shows I watch go into reruns. The only ones we watch anymore are Heroes, House, My Name is Earl, and CSI (Vegas). I try to keep my TV watching to a minimum except for football on Sundays and sometimes the history channel on Saturdays. Sooner or later I'll get back to writing again. Does this count?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Digitized Life

It's pretty easy to get overwhelmed by technology that is supposed to make your life easier. If I was to really spend some time with my cell phone, I'm sure I would find out that it does a lot more than make / receive phone calls. Sure, it takes pictures, but I have absolutely no idea how to get those photos off the phone.

These days, my pet project is getting a grip on al the photos and videos which have accumulated over the past few years. I'm in the process of putting together a DVD of the videos of the kids' first year, and I'd like to go through all the photos and negatives I have from the last 36 years of my life, digitize them and put together an archive.

But, again, when it comes to technology, I'm pretty ignorant. Don't assume that because I write software for a living means I know anything about technology. To me, software is just logic and a language and it's easy, just like some people can learn French, Italian and German in a summer. I could too if I worked with them every day for a few weeks.

Anyway, I have 3 major projects, and if anyone has any advice on the best ways to do the following, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts:

1) How do I go about digitizing the collection of photo negatives I have accumulated? Would a camera shop be able to do it pretty cheaply, or would it be better to buy my own equipment. I'm pretty sure it's the former, because I also don't have much time to do these projects, but I thought I'd check.

2) Can you recommend photo and video editing software that isn't too expensive, is easy to learn and helps to make good looking, high quality images and videos?

3) I've burned picture collections to DVDs and CD's. What are the advantages of each?

Anyway, I'm playing with this stuff a bit tonight. I'll see how it goes.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

An entry with no pictures?

Yes, an entire entry on my blog with nary a picture. I decided to go with the a thousand words builds a picture theory. As in a picture of what's going on in my life these days.

I can't go back to the last blog entry I did and recap every moment, but here's a few high / low lights

First of all, I'm on call this week for work, which makes me instantly grumpy beyond all belief. I've been on call in some way, shape or form for the last 13 years. Not continuously, mind you, just one week on, and right now, about 8 weeks off. But when I'm on, it's 24 hours a day, call me anytime someone sneezes, for no extra pay, no overtime, no comp time, zippo, zilch, notta, nothing. I hate being on call with every fibre of my being. It's an invasion of my time, a disruption of my family's life and my sleep. Tonight, while waiting for my wife to get home from work, the on-call phone rings, and in the two minutes it takes me to decide that the issue they are calling about is not worth looking into till tomorrow, the babies go from moderately happy, to wide mouthed, inconsolable screaming. Doesn't make it easy to talk on the phone, but it sure makes it easy to hang up and say they'll have to call someone else. Of course, just because you hang up the phone, doesn't mean the babies stop crying.

We now have a pretty good routine going around here. Lisa works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, during which time we have the nanny take care of the kids until I get home around 3:30, then I take care of them until Mommy gets home around 5:15-5:30. Sometimes this involves going on a walk, or just playing on the floor, or maybe going outside and watching the neighborhood kids play 4-Square in the driveway. Reece and Lorelai are fascinated by kids playing. Strange adults generally make them cry if they get too close, but kids are a whole differnet story. They both love being carried around outside and just laughing at evrything they see. It's so much better to them than being couped up in the stroller.

Some weeks, Lisa works four days, and I stay home for a day and take care of the kids. A full weekday by myself with the kids is definitely tiring, but oddly enough, it's easier than when both of us are home with them on the weekends because you don't try to get any projects done. You might make a few phone calls, and maybe a load of laundry, but anything you get done is a bonus, whereas on the weekends, failure to get all your tasks done is cause for depression.

Reece is working on his walking, and Lorelai is crawling quite well. Their talking is limited to Da Da Da and Ba ba ba and Daaad deee, and sometimes Mum mum mum.

We think they're both getting ready to pop some teeth, but we've been saying that for quite a while.

We have been getting more time to ourselves lately, including last Saturday where we left the kids with Courtney and went out on a date. We had lunch on the Tacoma waterfront (Dukes Chowder hourse, very good food, but a bit over priced), then hit Half Price Books, REI and Borders Books.

Speaking (writing?) of books, I just finished one of the best books I've read in years. "Dies the Fire" by S M Stirling. Its a little bit of science fiction, mixed with a little life in a post apocalyptic world, mixed with boyish adventure. If you liked "The Last Canadian" (Mom, this means you), you will like this book. It's the first book in a series, and while I've got most of the series now in my possession, thanks to Half Price Books and Borders, I'm holding off reading the next one until I get a few things done around here. It's one of those books I couldn't put down, and I ended up spending a whole weekend on it. By the time I finished reading it, I was ready to move to the Willamette Valley in Oregon (where the book takes place), build myself a little place in the hills, and wait for the "Change" to come.

While I haven't been writing on this blog, I have done some other writing, which I am hoping to get published in a magazine sometime, as soon as I do some editing, and find a magazine that would be willing to publish it. I would so love to quit my job and write full time, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Anyway, this post is getting a bit long now, so I'll sign off, and promise to write more frequently. And yes, I'll keep posting pictures and videos.