Archive for October, 2007


Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Both Toby and Dara got dressed up for Hallowe’en today. Toby was a Jedi – of course Toby Wan Kenobi. For Dara, Emma got (and slightly altered) a Princess Leia outfit. Here are some pics, for your enjoyment (click on a picture to embiggen):

Princess Dara Toby Wan Kenobi Toby and Dara

dara’s first smiles

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Emma took some great pictures last week of Dara smiling. The smiles don’t happen often, but Emma got some nice shots I think. The pics are here.

Incidentally Dara is currently on the sofa with Emma – Dara is nursing and parping gently.


Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

I was up with Dara till about midnight last night, and she woke again at about 5:30am. This is actually pretty darned good for a newborn, but it’s a tad tiring for parents – at that time it’s not really worth going back to sleep after you have fed the baby, so I stayed up and decided to take Toby into school on the bus. We got to school about 7:45, just as the sky was starting to lighten – the clouds were pink and it looked great. Toby said “Wow, look at that sunset!” I said that it was actually a sunrise because the sun was coming up, so he modified his exclamation to “Wow, look at that sunrise-set!”

dara development

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Dara is growing like crazy – although obviously she’s still really small compared to Toby she is clearly getting bigger pretty much every day, both longer/taller and pudgier. Her arms and legs are starting to fill out with baby fat, and we’re also noticing that her kicks and arm movements are getting stronger. The only physical way she’s regressing is the hairline – she now has major male pattern baldness, with hair only at the back and sides.

She’s also getting more and more alert – she loves to watch things and people, particularly her big brother. Yesterday Toby watched the Jungle Book on DVD, and Dara seemed quite interested too. She’s also getting better at playing and interacting – we got her a playmat thing on Saturday which has little toys hanging down for her to look at and grab at, and she was happy to be looking at it for a good long time. It also has a little smiling musical star hanging over her head (when she’s lying on her back), and we were sure that we saw her first ever real smile. A little sad that she would smile at plastic, and not at us, but this morning as Emma was getting her ready, Dara gave a huge beaming smile. Very cute – all gummy and happy.

new toby and dara photos

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Just posted a bunch of new pics here. Hope you like them!


Saturday, October 13th, 2007

It’s a beautiful fall day today, temp in the low 60s with the first sunshine in about a week. We went over to Lake Calhoun to play a bit of soccer and generally hang around outside – fantastic.

After we were done with kicking the ball around, Toby was bouncing around where the three of us (me, Emma and Dara) were sitting, and pretty much out of the blue said, “Mummy, I think you should throw your womb away.” Emma said (as you would), “Um, why do you think I should do that?” Toby replied, “Because wombs just keep on growing babies, like all the time. That’s what they keep doing, and we don’t want another baby.” This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t like Dara, or being a big brother – he’s totally loving it, to the extent that at dinner tonight he even made good on his previous prediction that once he was a big brother he would like salad (he tried two small lettuce leaves).

In fact, at dinner, he said that when Dara is up to his chest we should have another baby. When we pointed out that this contradicted what he had said before, he laughed in a slightly offhand manner and said “Aw, guys, I was just kidding you.”

work update

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

It’s an unwritten policy on this blog that I don’t write about work (perhaps it’s a written policy now that I just wrote it) but this week it seems worth saying something. Last Friday was my last day as a Software Quality Assurance Manager at a large software maker after almost 8 years of working there. I generally enjoyed working there, and certainly enjoyed almost all the people I worked with, especially my team, but I was offered a really cool-sounding new position in the technology department of a Minneapolis-based enormo-retailer. I wasn’t really looking for anything new but I got a call a couple of months ago from some people I know at the retailer, and after a number of chats over coffee and a day and a half of intensive interviewing, including a full psychological profile, I was offered this new job. It seems like a great step forward for me professionally, plus the chance to work for a very progressive and expanding company, and also a considerable boost financially.

So as I said, I finished last Friday, which was rather strange. Strange to be leaving an office where I have spent a lot of time and energy, strange to be saying goodbye to some good friends, and strange to be stepping into something of an unknown and away from something of a comfort zone. I’m off all this week, between jobs, which is great timing to get more time with Dara and Toby, plus my mom and little brother while they are in town. New job starts next week!

toby wisdom

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

With being a big brother now, Toby is fascinated by the fact that my brother Robin, who is currently visiting and who also is my youngest brother, is a little brother. Hence the following questions Toby asked in the car:

“Uncle Robin, why are you able to live on your own even you are a little brother?”

“Uncle Robin, are you the smallest brother in the world?”

“Uncle Robin, are you also a little uncle?”

Also on the way home this afternoon from a great trip to the Minnesota Arboretum (fantastic place to visit by the way) we were discussing the height of buildings in downtown Minneapolis. Toby confidently said “The tallest building in all the world is the Vampire State Building.”


Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Just read a transcript of a speech by Barack Obama – impressive. I’m sure Clinton would be good for the US (let’s face it, we can’t get any worse) but if Obama can follow through on this kind of rhetoric the world is more likely to be a better place.