Long Time Gone…

It has been a long time — over a month since Miss Li’s birthday — since I wrote anything here. Time for an update… OK, long overdue for an update…

It has been a long time — over a month since Miss Li’s birthday — since I wrote anything here. Time for an update… OK, long overdue for an update…

So, what’s been keeping us busy, you might ask?

A few days after Li’s birthday, I came down with some sort of nasty stomach bug that kept me down and away from work (and almost everything else) for a full week. Much misery, but I’m grateful none of the rest of us came down with this (and I know the rest of us are even more grateful that whatever got me didn’t seem communicable).

Work has been more than hectic, between organizational changes, deadlines, deliverables, and missing a week. I’m glad January is now in our rear-view mirrors; February, although hectic, is beginning to feel like I’m beginning to be caught up. Probably just an illusion, I know.

Li at the piano (January 2009)
Li at the piano (January 2009)

Li is, generally speaking, continuing to do well. We’ve struggled recently with another stretch of about 10 days or so of sleep problems. Problems as in, when Li doesn’t sleep or doesn’t sleep well, neither do Deb or I. Those nights tend to lead to long brittle days for all of us. The past few days, however, have been much better and the good days, though, are really good… she’s growing, and her vocabulary is blossoming. She loves to play the piano, loves to draw, has taken to helping dry dishes and helping set the table for dinner (we’re trying to convince her to get Ian to help more often with these things, but so far it’s not working — but not because she isn’t trying). She has a “vacuum” that she uses to help clean the house — a cardboard wrapping paper tube that she walks around the house with, saying “baboo, baboo”. She seems to like to say “Yes!” with an emphatic nod (and despite being two, has not yet discovered the power of “No” yet — at least not the verbal version of “No”), and she says an emphatic “Amen!” at the end of our pre-meal prayer.

Ian, Li, and Fi share the job of drying dishes (January 2009)
Ian, Li, and Fi share the job of drying dishes (January 2009)

Ian got his driver’s license this past week, which is also milestone of sorts.

We’ve been doing a bit of reading over the past few weeks, as well. I’ve enjoyed “Pattern Recognition” and “Idoru”, both by William Gibson and both very good. I also enjoyed “The Eleventh Man” by Ivan Doig, and although it was good, I don’t feel like it was up to the extraordinary standard he set with his earlier works. I’m part way through “The Irregulars”, which is a biographical account of Roald Dahl’s involvement with the British intelligence community in the US during World War II. He’s always been an intriguing author: we’ve long loved some of his kid lit, and his adult stuff is so off-beat that it’s interesting to learn a little about the guy behind the BFG and other books. Deb has been doing some reading on the subject of “spirited children” given what we are continuing to see from Li, and there have been some valuable insights from that.

Soccer is starting to ramp up, which seems odd given our very wintry winter with no real sign of spring yet. Ian and I are headed to Las Vegas next weekend for a season-opening tournament this weekend, so the team has been doing a bit of fitness work and is playing in the indoor league, but we haven’t been able to train as a group. It will be an interesting start to the season, I’m thinking. Some of the politics surrounding youth soccer have reared their heads again this past week which continues to take a bit of the luster off the Beautiful Game, too… maybe more on that later, but probably not. Deb is also playing adult co-ed indoors these days — she’s actually off playing as I draft this post — and enjoying both the game and the social aspect of adult conversation. Probably says a great deal about life around our house these days.

A preview screenshot of the updated theme I'm working on for the blog.
A preview screenshot of the updated theme I'm working on for the blog.

All of that doesn’t leave much in the way of spare time. I’ve been doing a bit of tinkering on some technical stuff for an open source software project (which occupied most of what I might consider spare time available for geek stuff for the past 3 months), and I’ve also been working on a facelift for the blog. Here’s a preview at right, and with any luck I’ll have this in place in the next couple weeks (although these things have a way of taking much longer than I tend to think). My goals for this are a lightweight theme that’s reasonably attractive (particularly in light of who is creating it), fluid (enabling it to take better advantage of screen real estate — both large and small), standards compliant in its markup, and easy to maintain/tweak. It will take advantage of some of the capabilities of current browsers (things like rounded corners), will use jQuery for some subtle enhancements, and will (hopefully) degrade gracefully for those still forced to suffer with old broken technology like MSIE v6. OK, probably more than just two weeks, but it is coming…

3 thoughts on “Long Time Gone…”

  1. Oh, it is so great to see new pictures and to hear this update on all of you. Tell Ian congrats on the driver’s license. Boy, I’m glad I live several states away….HAHA

    I am amazed at how many things you described that sound like Mia. The girls are developing similarly. Mia loves the piano too and her vocabulary is blossoming. Sounds like Li will be a good helper…a busy one!

    Sorry to hear about the sleep issues. It doesn’t make for easy days. (Especially since I’m not 20 something…)

    Keep the pictures coming.
    The Huff’s

  2. @Sam: We’ve had several people make similar comments regarding Ian and his driver’s license; clearly, they’ve never seen the taxi drivers in China! The sleep thing is one of the really big differences between Li and Ian. I think Ian spoiled us in that regard. And as you said, this was lots easier when we were 15 years younger, although 15 years won’t get either me or Deb back into our 20’s — I guess that’s what we get for being late bloomers…

    I’ll try to be a little more frequent in posting at least pix.

  3. Hi Family!

    Wow, this does sound familiar – sorry that we haven’t written but as I was reading your blog I did notice many similarities to Cece. She definitely has her good days and bad, and it’s very obvious first thing in the morning what kind of day it’s going to be… Does that sound familiar? Once it’s been established it’s a “bad” day, it continues for a few…loss of eye contact, sweetness, etc.

    When she is sweet, she is very, very sweet…but when she is “bad” she is “horrible”…

    At first I thought maybe it was attachment, and it may be, but the more I am witness to the events, to me it’s more of what is controlled, when she wants it controlled… Does any of this sound familiar? Just curious as it hasn’t been an easy road in these parts either…

    I have to say though, the last few weeks she has really grown a lot…not physically mind you, but intellectually, that she now understands why we do the things we do… It continually fascinates me. Cece can be so nice…on the days she wants to be nice… Then there are the other days…

    Hoping you are all well, and are enjoying the Spring Sunshine! Happy Easter!


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