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On the Eve of Your Second Birthday, Jocelyn

You'll be two years old tomorrow, and it's been an amazing experience watching you grow.

Your first birthday was lots of fun, but you were just beginning to interact with people around you.  You had a great time smashing your cake, but you didn't really "get" what was going on.  I imagine this birthday will be much different.

In the past year you've gained a tremendous amount of independance.  You can walk up and down stairs without help. You can tell us what you want with words (and some signs) instead of fussing as much.  You know where your toys, books, and colors are and will pull out what you would like to do (whether we want you to or not).

Your vocabulary has grown every day, learning new words and phrases making us ask, "where did you learn that?" For example: <finger on chin>, "Hmm", followed by <finger pointing in air beside head> "I have an idea!" At your last birthday you loved having us sing to you, where now you can sing the songs yourself, sing along with my clarinet to tunes you recognize (with correct intonation), and even make up your own songs such as the "Candy Cane Song" or the "Blue Song" (which frequently just repeats the subject of the song over and over in various pitches, speeds, and lengths).  You can sing the entire ABC Song and count to thirteen (fourteen and fifteen are added on, but don't sound right yet).  You know all your primary colors and can sign them.

Understanding emotions aren't out of your grasp, either.  "No cry; [it's] okay," you tell Jared.  When Mom or I pretend to be sad you run over right away to give us a hug.  You tell us when you're "so happy."  If Mom and I are having a "discussion" you interrupt with, "No Mommy! No Daddy!" to tell us we need to be quieter.

You've also grown so much.  5 inches in a year doesn't sound like much, but it means you can reach many more things you couldn't previously; the running water in the bathroom from your step-stool, the markers and crayons, and you can put Jared's bottles in the sink.  You've thinned out a good bit.  So far you have kept your curly, blonde hair, but it's gotten long enough that Mom has had to trim your bangs a couple times to keep them out of your face.  And you're so cute in pig-tails or a pony-tail!  On top of that, you got your ears pierced this last weekend and are doing a great job with letting them alone so they can heal properly.

Things you love?  Books.  You go through phases with which ones you like; earlier it was these animal board-books we had, then Christmas ones, then the "Pigeon" books, and now Dr. Seuss books.  You used to love to sit on our laps and have us read them to you, and while you still like that, now you love to tell us the stories. "LET [ME] DRIVE [THE] BUS!" you'll tell us while reading "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus."  You also love coloring; definitely with markers (the ones with the special paper are nice, but not as exciting as real ones - thank god they're washable!) but also with crayons and colored pencils.  Last year you mostly just scribbled, but you progressed to "snakes" (lines) and circles.  Now your scribbling is starting to become pictures in your mind (that Mommy and Daddy need to label on your picture so we don't forget).  You also love clouds and pointing them out.  It'll be warm out soon and we can go out and see them again.

So much has changed in the last year, and it's just the beginning for you.  I know this next year you will enjoy spending time with your brother more as he learns to sit, then crawl, then walk.  I'm sure you'll love playing with him and teaching things.  In your own right, you'll be making new friends when you move to a new class in Day Care and will probably start making friends on the playground when we go out.  And you'll continue to grow and learn, and we'll be there to help you.

New Years Update (3 month edition)

Lots of stuff have been going on around here.  I've been busy with a number of household projects and Jocelyn and Jared continue to grow.

Project-wise I've been busy setting up some home-automation. It's mostly focused on Christmas-y things right now, but I'd like to move it past that.  I finally found some wall switches that will allow me to replace my midi wall switches without converting everything to the paddle-type wall switches so I'm planning on replacing the switches for the outside lights so I can then remotely control them to turn them all on/off at the same time.

We also got a 40" Samsung LCD TV (LN40A550) for Christmas and I've been busy fixing various things to accomodate that.  I updated our Logitech Harmony remote to include the proper inputs for activities, but needed to contact Logitech to have them fix the input switching (it cycles to the previous input if the same input is selected again - a problem when switching to another activity that uses the same input).  I'm also having some problems with my PVR - video tearing and no surround sound.  The former problem is new, but I knew about the latter one for awhile, just hadn't looked into it.  I've ordered a new video and sound card to try to rectify those problems, so we'll see how that goes.

I've also been trying out new photo management software.  f-spot seems pretty nice and I'm pretty much ready to start importing photos into it. I have a problem where photos edited with it are inheriting the incorrect umask which needs fixed first.  This is one of the reasons I'm so behind on updating photos on my website; once this process is smoothed out I hope it goes a lot faster.

One of the reasons I haven't made more headway in that department is because I was sick for a couple days last week with a nasty stomach bug.  It only really lasted one day and another day to recover, but it of course removed an entire day of productivity that is difficult to get back with two little ones.

Jocelyn is growing up so fast.  Yesterday she started saying "love you" which was very exciting.  She's forming 3 and 4 word sentences for some things now, and her vocabulary is definitely growing every day.  She's not thrilled about going back to day care yet, but I'm sure she'll adapt quickly.  New schedules are always difficult.

We had tried taking her pacifiers away over Christmas but it Did Not Go Well.  There was a couple days where she refused to nap and was a royal grump.  We tried trimming the pacifiers since they were starting to die anyway, but that didn't work either.  After a couple days we ended up buying her new ones since she needs the sleep right now.  She only uses them to sleep and she definitely isn't the oldest toddler I've seen with one.  I'm sure it'll come in time.

Jared is getting big and learning new things as well.  He's at least 15 lbs (14 weeks) and sits very well in his Bumbo seat.  He has big grins for his mom, dad, and sister.  Jocelyn's really starting to warm up to him, and I'm sure once he starts sitting up and really playing with things in a couple months she'll be very interested in playing with him as well.

Dennis and Michelle moved up a couple weeks ago and we were able to go out to dinner with them last Friday.  It twas really nice to be able to see them and to be able to just sit and talk with friends w/o the kids around.  Tiff and I hadn't been out by ourselves since Jared came along and the break was very nice.

Tiff started back to work this week since taking off for maternity leave.  So far things have been going well, but it's too early to tell how much her kids will like her compared to her sub. that was in for most of the school year so far.

Other projects going on?  trying to build a new firewall that uses vlans and runs Fedora instead of CentOS to provide access to more up-to-date software.  Cleaning the garage.  Fixing my laptop.

Oh yeah, I need to write about the laptop.  My Dell Latitude D630 (purchased in Feb 2008) seems to have two primary problems right now:

  1. The battery is dead.  It last about half an hour and reports its run time incorrectly.  Luckily I contacted Dell about this before the warranty ran out (1 year on batteries)
  2. I have the dreaded "vertical lines" problem with my nVidia GPU.  Its looking like I'm going to get a motherboard replacement out of it. Joy.

While the battery problem wasn't critical, the video problem locks my laptop up when it happens, and it happens frequently after the computer is warmed up -- typically a couple minutes after booting now.  Evil.

Because of my laptop problems I've re-visited my need to get my homedir into a VCS.  I'm slowing getting this set up and will blog more once I have a better solution.  The biggest problem I'm running into right now is needing a way to symlink dot-files in place from my checked-out folder to my root home dir.  ie, If I check out my .vimrc to src/homedir/dotfiles-core/vimrc I need to symlink ~/.vimrc to ~/src/homedir/dotfiles-core/vimrc.  And I'd prefer to not do this manually.

I'm also moving my rss feeds from akregator into rss2email on my server.  This gives me two things: 1) I get updates even when my laptop is off, and 2) I can check my feeds from webmail.  I can also add new feeds remotely by ssh-ing into my server if needed, but that happens pretty infrequently.  I'd probably just email myself the link to add later.  The biggest thing going on with this right now is re-categorizing my feeds.

To categorize my feeds I'm giving them a custom email address to send the updates to; something like rss-(category)@.  Then my .mailfilter looks like this:

if (/^User-Agent: rss2email/:h)
    include ".mailfilter.rss"

and then .mailfilter.rss has:

if (/To:.*rss-([\w-]+)/:h)
    to "Maildir/.INBOX.rss.$MATCH1/"

# other lists
to "Maildir/.INBOX.rss/"

This allows me to easily add folders and categories without modifying my maildrop rc file.

I think that's it for current going-ons.  Maybe the next update won't be so huge.


Jared's Birth Story


Jared Douglas Warner was born September 30th, 2008 at 12:49pm EDT.  He was 8lbs 14.8oz and 21.25 inches long.

Tiffany was scheduled for an induction on Tuesday at 7am, but contractions started around 2am that morning.  Jocelyn was already staying at Tiff's Parents' house since the induction was scheduled, so we left for the hospital a little after 4am once we were ready.  We were admitted to the hospital around 4:45am.  Tiff's contractions were between 8 and 10 minutes apart at that time.

When the day shift nurses came on we were excited to find out we had Nichole again and Darlana Besecker was the midwife on duty (both same as with Jocelyn).  A little around 7:30am Tiff got an IV to treat her GBS infection.  They wanted that to go for 4 hours before she delivered, so they didn't want to break her water or give her any pitocin until the antibiotic had some time to work.  Tiff chose to have an epidural since they would be administering pitocin to bring her contractions closer together and received that around 9am.  At 9:30 they broke her water and found some merconium in the fluid, so a pediatrician needed to be on hand at the delivery.  A little after 10am they started her on pitocin to get her contractions a little closer together.  After that the contractions got progressively closer together until Jared was born at 12:49pm after about 20 minutes of pushing!

Tiff's delivery went much smoother than with Jocelyn and our stay at the hospital was much shorter.  We came to the hospital Tuesday morning and left Wednesday afternoon.  Our entire experience with Jared's birth was a great one and we're very excited to bring him into our family.

Jocelyn is doing pretty well with our new addition.  She gets sometimes gets jealous when Mom or I are holding Jared but usually gets over it fairly quickly.  She's held Jared a couple times and typically just stares at him a bit and will give him kisses very easily when we ask her to.  We think she's very excited to be a big sister.


Jared's First Day
Jared's Second Day
Holding Dad's Hand
Jared's Third Day
Day 6 and 7