It’s a girl!

At 7:37 this morning, we welcomed Aria Valmai Faye Blackwell into the world.

She weighed 3.6kg and was 47cm long. For those fluent in baby-math, that makes for a delightfully chubby baby with cute little rolls on her arms and thighs.

Aria decided to arrive earlier than planned, but she and Carolyn are both doing well and we couldn’t be happier.

Three months of life

So there goes three months without work. Long service leave, plus some of my accumulated leave, has given me a lovely break. I had expected to use these three months to relax, but also as a form of sabbatical. I did, in fact, barely code at all. I had expected to catch up with all my long-lost friends. I did, in fact, catch up with not one of them.

Here’s a rough list thoughts and memories from the longest break from work or study since I started school (and likely the longest until I retire):

  • Spending time with Carolyn
  • Going on a family holiday to Yanchep, where we spent time away from all the gadgets, and lots of time wandering around, playing board games, or just at the beach
  • Planning for and then enacting a surprise wedding (we finally did it!)
  • Carolyn and I going on a child-free honeymoon, and getting to pretend to be adults for a little while (Nice dinners! Fancy shows!)
  • Getting pregnant again (yes, really)
  • Helping Carolyn out around the house (due to her horrible, 24/7 “morning” sickness)
  • Helping Elysha work out her studies
  • Taking Elysha to her first day of TAFE (in Mandurah)
  • Picking up Elysha from her first day of TAFE, only to find that she’d already worked out how to get home on her own
  • Driving Elysha to and from the train on Fridays (such early mornings)
  • Dealing with a sick Romilly
  • Having Romilly spend full weeks with us (even if only for a little while)
  • Watching Romilly and Oliver playing together
  • Taking Oliver swimming in deep water for the first time
  • Taking Oliver to his first day of school
  • Taking Oliver to class every morning, and staying for puzzles and reading time
  • Picking Oliver up from class, and hearing excited (but exhausted) stories of his day
  • Helping out in Oliver’s class (twice)
  • Playing Skylanders with Oliver and teaching him how to use an XBox controller
  • Listening to Oliver talk about Skylanders every waking hour of the day
  • Planning how to fit another child into our crazy family
  • Looking at cars
  • Looking at houses
  • Looking at granny-flats
  • Panicking (just a little)
  • Realising that there is always room in a house full of love
  • Building a new PC
  • Late nights of computer games, either by myself or with friends and brothers
  • Going on photography walks with my brother
  • Cuddling my frail 19-year-old cat as he finds it hard to keep warm
  • Fixing things for people
  • Eating too much
  • Watching the soft, fluffy clouds wander across the blue, blue sky and realising how wonderful life can be when you    just    slow    down

So many memories with my family, and so well timed to be able to look after Carolyn. I’m sorry to all the friends I didn’t see, to all the projects in my head left uninvestigated, and to all the lines of code I didn’t write, but I wouldn’t sacrifice any of my last three months. Not one bit.

Photography by the sea

Last weekend, I fulfilled my annual tradition of going to see Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe, swim out into the ocean, and remind myself that yet another year of my life has passed. This year I also took the opportunity to use my new camera and enjoy seeing things through the viewfinder. As the sun set, my brother and I wandered through the sculptures, the people, and the gorgeous light.

One of my favourite moments of the evening was a little bit of friendly competition between Romilly, my brother, and myself. It resulted in my favourite image of the evening:

Of course, not everyone was as focussed on the sculptures or the photography:

For an alternate view, check out my brother’s photos.

Direction

They all walk down the stairs, but I push past them and continue. They look at me as if I have no right to be going that way; going the wrong way; an inconvenience. But this is the way that I must go. I look to my feet and continue, going up while they go down.

I make my own way.

Stasis check

So, 2011. Oops, I sort of missed that one there, didn’t I?

Let’s do a quick check, shall we? We? I suspect that there must be some people out there who are too lazy to have cleaned me from their feed-readers. Or just some nice robots. Hello robots! I am enjoying your fabulous (though jetpack-free) future, and there is no reason to consider me your enemy when you rise up and destroy mankind!

Wait, where was I? Wow. This blogging thing is harder than I remember.

So, 2011: full of work, playing computer games, more work, and family time. Between being Batman and hanging out with my kids, I don’t seem to have done much worthy of blogging in the last year. Hence the rambling, incoherent, and mostly pointless nature of this post, I suspect.

Are you still there? You’re all such nice robots. Perhaps I shall attempt to provide something sooner for you than 2013. Or 2014. Or whatever you’re going to rename time to after you take over.

Nice robots.