Saturday, December 29, 2007

Holiday Get Togethers

The Holidays are more fun with family and friends. Lavinia and I enjoyed several events over these past few days to see others. Jack was a big hit with everyone. I snapped a few pics and they can be found in our Zenfolio account too.

But of course, one must get ready to meet such fine company. Jack agrees with Ernie that "bath time is so much fun."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

NPR Commercials

If you listen to National Public Radio (NPR) you are no doubt use to the commercials they play. Get the announcers voice in your head and you can hear him say...

"NPR is brought to you by the Technology Management MBA. Teaching tomorrow's leaders today. TM-MBA"

There is a quick brought to you followed by a quick tag line. All very proper and NPR-ish.

Would it not be hoot if some less than reputable businesses advertised on NPR? Get the announcer's voice in your head and read...

"NPR is brought to you by Fantasy Unlimited, we have the movies you don't tell your friends you rent. Fantasy Unlimited"

"All things considered brought to you by Hooters. Family fun that every Dad knows is true. Hooters."

"NPR brought to you by Butch's Gun Shop. A three day wait away from personal safety. Butch's Gun Shop."

I'm just thinking that they must screen those commercials at some level.

Winter Update

Well Seattle is experiencing the usual wet holiday season. Nothing says "Santa is coming to town" like a good wet natural disaster. The NW got hit hard as you may have heard. A lot of roads were washed out and major flooding occurred. The damage is quite high. Nothing of the sort happened at my house, thankfully.

Lavinia and I are still adjusting to being parents and loving every minute of it actually. Jack is a great kid. He sleeps well, not at the times we would wish, but you can't have it all (where would you put it?).

I'm off work next week, can't wait. This past week has been LONG and tiresome as I finish up my current role and work. I start my new job (Product Management) on 1/7/08. I'm nervous but eager to get started. I like my current role a lot though, and I have a great team I work with. I'm glad that my new role will still keep me interacting with them. I'm fortunate for sure.

What else, what else... really it's just been work, home and Jack for me lately.

Redbeard Relative




Sunday, December 16, 2007

Uncle Mark meet Jack

What a great weekend. Mark is in town with Siobhan and they got to meet Jack Saturday. Mark was a bit nervous, not having much experience with newborn babies. Mark and I didn't have any little cousins around in Seattle growing up. I think I set him at ease, but he was still nervouse. You can tell though that Siobhan's family has had some kids. She was quick with an encouraging word for Uncle Mark.
I even got Uncle Mark to come "help" me change a diaper 2x. Although he mostly just helped me make jokes and talk in funny voices to Jack. Still it was great to have my brother home. I'm looking forward to seeing him all week. I know Jack is too.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mark is in the house, say Hey!

My brother has journeyed to Seattle this holiday season. I can't wait to see him. He made more trips this year than previous years, thanks to all of his buddies getting married, but it seems like it has been forever since I saw him. I guess a lot has happened since then with Jack being born. I can't wait for Sheppito to meet his Uncle Mark. It will be great.

Top things I'll do when I see Mark
5. Two words "bear hug"
4. Catch him up on Spider-man comics
3. Teach him how to hold Jack without worrying that he'll break him.
2. Gang up on Mom to thwart her at Scrabble.
1. Wait patiently for Jack to fart while Mark is holding him, then let the reaction happen and the laughter begin.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Baby TM-MBA

This past weekend we got together with a classmate from Grad school.
She just had a baby too. These two were already planning on school
together.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Babies on parade

Lavi and I have been going to a Parent Support group. It's a ton of fun and the group has been great. This past weekend we took a little group Xmas picture.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Winter Storm 2007 Survivors!

Well the Winter weather has hit Seattle and we are all running around like fools before the end of the world. Saturday we got some snow and it was just lovely. Lavinia, Jack and I were out purchasing a xmas tree of all things and it started coming down. Jack was comfortably asleep in his stroller. Later that night we took some pics of the winter wonderland.


Sunday and Monday things have heated up. It's a down right balmy 43 degrees today. That has brought the rain. Oh how us Seattlites love thee, yet we seem to forget how to drive in thee. Traffic is a mess today. I worked from home and I'm quite fortunate as my 15 minute commute by car would have been 30 mintues (I know that is small but that is 2x as long darn it). If I had ridden my bike it would have been a wet and soggy one for sure. There is flooding all around the city and out lying areas so the wet weather is really causing somem problems. Seems to always happen if it rains right after a snow fall. The double wet whammy washes out our roads.
Bad news is that Golden Gardens Drive fell victim, but the potential good news is that as they fix that road (and they really have to) they might improve it to be more pedestrian friendly. One can hope in this wet winter wonderland.
Basically if you were ever to see this man outside your house during a storm you know you are done for. "Danger" Jim Forman from King 5 News in Seattle only covers the nasty storms. He'll wade into a flooding river to demonstrate how high the river shall rise. He's nuts. I hope to never see him.

Friday, November 30, 2007

If I were Horatio Cane

I do so love the over-acting that is David Caruso on CSI Miami. His character is truly over the top and the show is ridiculous in too many ways to count, although I will try.

I have long been making Lavinia suffer my Horatio Cane imitation. I find it a perfect way to announce what is for dinner or to leav the room when Jack needs a diaper change. I just recently saw that Jim Carrey stole my Horatio Cane imitation!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glvGfQnx3DI&feature=related

There are some super vids that show the true acting reach for you enjoyment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sarYH0z948
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceHnUrUAbho&feature=related alue="

I'm a Quality Engineering Manager and I can just think of some of the Horatio Cane type lines that I wish I could use at work. Picture me in an all black suit just about to put on my sunglasses as I say the following to be followed by my own title sequence:

"That bug, like me, has a bite"

"The BRB determined the bug was not important QE Manager Jeff"
"Well now it's important to me"

"This feature appears to be in bad shape QE Manager Jeff"
"And that is when QE goes to work"

"I want you to let me worry about this bug... can you do that? Okay"

Now if only I could get my own theme song.

Top 6 things I would like to see happen in CSI Miami this season
6. That Gil Grishman challenges Horatio Cane to a lab work challenge, to be followed by CSI Mack Taylor out arm wrestling them both at the same time.
5. That Kaylee Ducan will quit and go back to her real life job as a republican lawyer working as White House council on the West Wing
4. That once in a while for all the beach scenes they use to fill space with might actually contribute to the plot.
3. That Alex, the coroner, who wears a white linen suit to the scene of a bloody murder would actually get dirty.
2. Jerry Orbach rises from the dead to slap the CSI Miami writers for such poor opening sequence one liners. Jerry is the king!
1. Just once some other than Horatio makes a funny before the title sequence

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bike Snob of NYC

A wonderful blog, Bike Snob of NYC

I feel like this guy/gal was me in a past life or I was him/her, which would be weird but it really does state how I feel about his/her writing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fall TV

I make no qualms about liking my TV shows. Our Tivo gets as much work in the house as the washer/dryer these days. TV has recently allowed me something to do while rocking Jack to sleep or just hanging out with little guy. This year's fall season has been better than most. Here are some highlights from my Tivo:

Shows that I've really enjoyed this fall season
  1. Reaper: My new favorite show. I was really surprised by this one. Created by Kevin Smith I was a little skeptical, but it really fills the void left by Joss Whedon's departure from TV. It is funny and the plot moves along. The supporting cast is great. I highly recommend it.
  2. Moonlight: I was very skeptical when the premise of the show sounded just like Angel. A vampire private investigator at conflict with his damned soul and there is a pretty girl involved? I guess I'm ultimately a sucker for that kind of plot. I could do with out the sappy love sub-plot and have more Vampire Kung-Fu Demon fighting myself though. The piece that I do like is the Magnum PI monologue that the main character uses throughout the show. An aspect that helped me quickly love The Dresden Files (damn you sci-fi for cancelling that show)
Disappointment shows from the 2007 Fall Season:
  1. Big Shots: Seems well done, but it is essentially Desperate Housewives for guys that like that stuff.
  2. Journeyman: I've only watched the pilot and I do have the rest of the season saved, but so far I find myself skipping over it too often.
  3. Shark: Not new, but they shook things up this season. Enjoying James Wood as a mean lawyer is the only reason to watch this.
Classic Shows always in the queue:
  1. Heroes - Last year's big hit and a lot of fun. I almost suggest just waiting for the DVD because the cliff hangers each week are brutal.
  2. Scrubs - first runs, repeats, all, as many as possible. I love this show. It always cracks me up.
  3. CSI - any flavor, Vegas, Miami, NY we love them all. The original is still the best, NY has some good stuff, and I just love the over-acting of David Caruso he slays me. Ask me to do my impersonation some day. By the way if you love the Horatio Cane one-liners you must check out this clip
  4. Stargate - Any flavor. Although SG-1 is no longer producing new shows, Atlantis is a lot of fun to watch. My favorite character is Rodney McKay for sure.
  5. Numbers - Fighting crime with Math? Brilliant! Plots are a bit of a stretch here and there, but a good hour of fun.
  6. Bones - David Boreanz will always have two loyal followers in myself and Lavi. The show is got some good comedy that helps you not take it too seriously.
  7. Top Chef/Project Runway - I dislike reality TV, but we love these shows. Good stuff.

Shows I watch because I feel I have to:

  1. Battlestar Galatica: I admit that the first season was really good, but the second and third only had moments of brilliance. The production value was great and Edward James Olmos is just brilliant. Apollo's character is mediocre and I'm hard to convince that being on the brink of human extinction that he would still have so many daddy issues. Starbucks character is well played, but this once tough female character is now just too fragile. Dirk Benedict is no doubt rolling his eyes. I glad that the 4th season is the last. I think it will give them a chance to end on a high note and I expect a faster paced season from them.
  2. Flash Gordon: I think I watch this only because it is on the Sci-Fi channel and the parts when you hear the old Queen theme song from the 70's movie.
  3. Lost: A lot like Battlestar. The first season was great, the second and third were luke warm as they stretched out the plot. I have yet to watch the last 9 episodes from last season. Just once on this show I want the characters to talk about what happened the week before. I mean seriously, a monster comes out of the jungle and eats one the pilot, are you not at all going to discuss that over rain water and a coconut?

Other shows found in the queue:

The Shield, Batman, Desperate Housewives, Oprah, Burn Notice, Dead Zone, 24

Shows I just miss:
There are shows no longer on TV that I just miss a lot and wish that TV Exec that cancelled it/them would suffer a hideous fate;
  1. Firefly - take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand, I don't care, I'm still free, You can't take the sky from me. (c'mon you all know the words!)
  2. Dresden Files - This Sci-fi show was so much better than Painkiller Jane or Flash Gordon. I'm still upset it was cancelled.
  3. Profit - he was evil and we rooted for him to win, brilliant!
  4. Cheers, I still miss it.
Shows I would watch without question or like to see;
  1. Any show written by Joss Whedon
  2. Any show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.
  3. Basically any show where the main character is good looking and fights evil. Hard to argue with that premise.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jack Says


So much interest in Fuel Cell cars

Hey All,

Was perusing http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/ and saw this interesting article below. Apparently the interest in the new Honda Fuel Cell car, FCX Clarity, generated so much interest that it crashed their website http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/ I know that they're showing adds for it during prime time too. This is very exciting. Unfortunately they are only leasing them in California and there is very limited production. They claim that infrastructure is the main reason, however I'm sure that things like freeze and localized tech support are the other main factors. This is a good first step, but there are many more miles to go (if that's a pun, it's completely unintentional). Regardless, this is the kind of stuff that gets me juiced to sit at my computer all day :)

Later,
Mark "my next car will run on hydrogen" Moran

FCX Clarity demand crashes website
Such is the interest in Honda's FCX Clarity following its appearance at the LA Auto Show last week that the site dedicated to the car crashed due to sheer weight of numbers, it has been reported.The fuel cell vehicle was shown off to great acclaim, and in the five days after its debut so many people tried to log on to register their interest in the car in the hope of securing one of the 100 being made available from next summer that the website couldn't cope.FCX Clarity vehicles will only be available to customers in California due to the availability of a hydrogen infrastructure to support their usage.There are currently at least five hydrogen filling stations in Los Angeles alone, and there is a desire to have 16 in operation by 2010, according to the Daily Telegraph."We're Californians, we love our cars," commented governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the reason behind the demand for hydrogen cars in the state."I haven't seen this much technology since my Terminator days," the former actor joked at the opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Moran brother conversation

Here's a little insight into how weird conversations between Mark and myself can be.

From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 12:20 PM
To: Moran, Mark J. UTPWR
Subject: Steve Vai
Do you have any Steve Vai on CD? If so, plan to bring that with you to Seattle when you come. I can’t wait to see you. I hope you have time to hang out for a day or so around the house with Jack. I think you’d appreciate the insight into what his day is like. Lots of fun to be had with sleeping, burping, feeding and diaper changing. Heck, take away the diaper changing and it is just like college game day for us.
Jeff

===================================
From: Moran, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 10:04 AM
To: Jeff Moran
Subject: RE: Steve Vai
Hey,
Was going to buzz you later. Yeah, I got one Steve Via disc. I'll rip a copy. It's buried in the back somewhere. Right now all of the CDs are on the floor in the living room waiting to find a home.
Thank you so much for the Home Depot card (convey to Lavi too please). That's going to come in really handy. I'm thinking we're going to use it for a decent plastic storage shed for outside. Our neighbor told us that there are bears back in the woods and that we have to lock up the trash cans. I'm told that the previous owner had a bird feeder and woke up with a bear on the deck one morning. Yikes!
How's the little guy doing? Hope all's good. Mom tells me that you are the best Dad ever (after ours of course). How's the car? Enjoying it? I imagine it takes a bit to get used too. I'm very proud of you guys for making that decision. Nothing rings louder than how we spend our dollars.
I like the idea of just hanging out. I know Siobhán is excited to chill and meet the little guy.
Sorry for being incommunicado. Busier than a dog with three tails to chase. Trying to catch up after being out all last week.
Try to catch ya later today.
-Mark

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1:18 PM
To: Moran, Mark
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

Hey Little Brother,
You are most welcome for the gift card. We know you will put it to good use. Lavinia and I are really excited for you and your new home. You’ll have countless hours of fun with it. Be sure to watch them Bears. I suggest keeping your space outside the house nice and tidy. It lends itself to making things better as you go along. A new storage shed would be pretty cool. Nice place to store things like that huge TV box
Things with Jack are super good. He was fussy last night and kept his Mom & Abuela up a lot. They were nice enough to let me sleep. I’m so lucky it’s actually quite silly.
Call me when you can I know you are busy.
Jeff

===================================
From: Moran, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 11:07 AM
To: Jeff Moran
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

Hey big brother,
Yeah, that card is going to come in really handy. It's been a thrill ride so far with the house. I've fixed a lot of little things that were bugging me (gap in the joinery of one kitchen cabinet, new shower nozzle, surround sound speaker wire loop down through basement and then back up behind the couch (bring on Star Wars as it was meant to be heard!!!!!!)) Got a couple more little things to do and then the big projects should commence. Siobhán wants to paint this weekend. it's pretty cool, but still scary. I had the dryer apart on Sunday (troubleshooting a timer issue) and I was thinking "ya know, if you break it, you have to pay for it, ugh!" :)
The TV box is fine downstairs for now. I explained my psychological problem with unpacking completely and I got some leeway. When it comes time to finish the basement, I'm hosed.
Try to give you a buzz around 5PM your time.
-Mark
PS - why the interest in Steve Via?

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 2:34 PM
To: Moran, Mark J. UTPWR
Subject: RE: Steve Vai
I was jamming on some Joe Satriani and it made me think about the Fire & Ice album.

===================================
From: Moran, Mark Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 11:45 AMTo: Jeff MoranSubject: RE: Steve Vai
I found 3 of my Joe Satriani tapes while moving. There's even the awful album where he sings.

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 3:01 PM
To: Moran, Mark
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

LOL
At some point I hope to get digital copies of the items I have in cassettes. I copied a bunch that Tim had and got caught up. I now have my Def Leopard, Johnny Gil and AC/DC’s "Blow up your video" covered. Even David Lee Roth’s "Skyscraper"

===================================
From: Moran, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 12:04 PM
To: Jeff Moran
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

I have "just like Paradise" on my MP3 player. *slinks below desk*

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 3:13 PM
To: Moran, Mark
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

Dude, I routinely listen to some weird things. My top 25 is down right embarrassing
You know my name – Chris Cornell (latest Bond file song)
Beautiful Day – U2
Sleeping Lessons – Shins
Living in a dream – Arc Angles
Hips don’t Lie – Skakira
Save Me – Remy Zero (Smallville song)
Heatseeker – AC/DC (quite possibly their 2nd worst album ever, Fly on the Wall was terrible).
Good Time – Arc Angles
Smile – Lily Allen (surprise a song made after 2006)
Hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me – U2
Pretending – Eric Clapton
Fire’s Coming Down – Pigeon head
Spoonman
Into the great wide open
Damn Good – David Lee Roth
Prelude to main march (Superman theme)
Lust to love – Go-Go’s
Pump it – Black Eyed Peas
She Sells Sanctuary – Cult
The power of love – Huey Lewis and the News
Say hello 2 heave
Across the bar and down the hall – American Girls
(ghost) riders in the sky – Johnny Cash
Werewolves of London –
We’re an American band - Kansas
===================================

From: Moran, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1:58 PM
To: Jeff Moran
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

That's a funny list. I recognize that I am related to you, I'm also a little ashamed :) Right now I've got on The Chemical Brothers - Star Guitar (is wrong to enjoy techno?) -Mark

===================================
From: Jeff Moran
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1:59 PM
To: Moran, Mark
Subject: RE: Steve Vai

Techno is cool. I need to rip you a copy of George Acosta. My favorite techno album. He spins out of Miami.
Yea, embarrassing huh. I had Mad Season on now to make up for it.
Jeff

New Jack pics

Just posted a few new ones for you all
http://jemoran.zenfolio.com/p316811914/

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our Toyota Prius

Last week Lavinia and I finally ended our car buying experience and purchased a 2008 Toyota Prius.

 

We have been going back and forth and back and forth on what car to buy. Go modest and get some thing really affordable or lust after the car that is too much. We wanted to make a good miles per gallon choice (common on with Mom owning a Prius and Mark working on the automotive solution of the future in fuel cells we have to right?) and we wanted something that would work well for Jack. That landed us in a small category of choices.

 

We looked at the Highlander Hybrid and figured it was just the Xterra with a better back seat and slightly better mpg, but $6k more for the car to gain 4-6mpg was a little much to pay. Now we did like it and if we didn’t already have an SUV it would have been a good choice. The Highlander has lots of room and is very comfortable.

 

We actually looked at a mini-van. Now, before you laugh (too late no doubt) I can totally see why people, especially families, buy one. They are very luxurious and give you 100% of what you need in attributes, plus some. So we thought about that and concluded that it was just too big for what we needed now. If we have another child (not saying we are) then I can see us getting one.

 

Now, both those vehicles would have cost $42k and $38k respectively. The top of the line Prius came in at $28k. Lavinia has never liked the look of the Prius, and I’ll admit they are not sexy. Lavinia is from Panama and is a 4x4 truck girl. I’ve been there and let me tell you that you need a car like that often. She’s just more comfortable in a truck that is higher up. The Xterra was really made for her and she loves driving it. Over and over we’d go and get back to the Prius as a smart choice but the looks would end the discussion.

 

I was able to talk to Lavi about having some money for some other projects that we wanted to do if we went for the cheaper Prius. Plus, I told her we could get the top end Prius as it would still be cheaper compared to the Highlander and Mini-van choices. After all that we test drove one with the leather seats. So that was the logic. The dealer having a top end model with leather seats at the time was the luck I needed.

 

We’re very happy with the choice and the car will be a great option around the city and we still have our trusty Xterra for when we need it. Wonder if we’ll have it long enough for Jack to use it. Probably not. If that were ever the case I would have driven a 72 VW Squareback to High School and Mark would have driven a Plymouth Horizon (because the 83 Volvo he drove was so much more sexy indeed).

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jack is popular

A BBC Article shows Jack is the #1 boys name in the UK the past 11 years.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6192247.stm

Lavinia and I know it is a very popular name every where. It was one reason to shy away at first, but we just loved the name.

On TV Jack is every where
24 – Jack Bauer
Lost – Jack Sheppard
Stargate SG-1 – Jack O’Neil
Without a Trace – Jack Malone
Alias – Jack Bristow
Eureka – Jack Carter
Will & Grace – “Just Jack

Of course Jack’s good buddy Jackson Sevigny also shares the name.

And finally I will tell you that our dogs were named Tito & Jac. We gave them the names in 1996. At the time Jack was not on the radar so I’m sticking with the fact that we were trend setters. Jac actually passed away the week Jack was born the previous year. I’ll admit that this coincidence helped me finally decide on the name.

Although there are so many Jack’s, our son is already developing his own character and making his name his own. Besides, he’ll be called Sheppito forever too.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Feeding Jack

This past week Lavinia has been expressing breast milk and that allows me, and her mother, to feed Jack when she is out or taking a nap. The process was a little intimidating. Actually everything you hear about breast feeding is that way. I think there is a lot of pressure on women to do this and that stress doesn't help. My comments are of course very "male" and I recognize that I have no way of knowing anything truly about it. That disclaimer stated, everything we've read up to this point can add to that stress. There seem to be more stories of failure in the literature than success, not very encouraging.


So it was trepidation that Lavinia and I tried this out. Now to Lavinia's credit she did read up the subject, talked to friends and generally educated herself. On top of that our first times were together, we were relaxed and rested and we tried to set the table for a success. After figuring out our pump machine (Avent IQ24 Duo) we gave it a try.


Well, like in all things that Lavinia has done with this pregnancy, birth and baby it worked really well. We were so thankful. Lavinia was able to express enough, and easily, that I could take the next feeding.


Nilsa and Lavinia went to run an errand. Now, I've been helping and watching Lavinia feed but a lot goes in to it. You have to prep your seating area, you have to prep your swaddle blanket for afterwards, you have to get the bottle warmed up (no easy thing to do quickly), you have to change the diaper and all that while he is letting you know he is hungry. Oh, he does that by crying which is so charming. After that you have to get him in position, get the bottle, support the head, tilt the bottle in, get him to latch right with out sucking down air, make sure he's not spitting up....


I got so caught up in the details I forgot to stop and just enjoy myself. After about 10 minutes of checking my technique like a neurotic gymnast on the high horse I finally realized, "I'm feeding my son." Wow, it was great. I will not, and have not, hide that I can get a little emotional from time to time and this moment was just beautiful. No tears, but a great sense of joy and bonding.

I said "Hey, Jack. How's that bottle?" I swear he stopped sucking, turned his eyes towards my voice and recognized it was not Mom feeding him. He gave that "what you talking about Willis" look as if things were not right in his world. I just about slopped milk down his chest I was giggling so hard.


Since then I've fed him a few more times. Each time Lavinia has either been able to rest or run errands out of the house. For her it is quite nice because she can escape the feeling of being trapped in the house.


Jack drinks down a bottle like a Frat boy in a beer chugging contest. I swear I've seen his little hand reach up and tap the bottom of the bottle to get the last drop out. All in all, he's been as big of a Champ as his Mommy. I'm not sure what I did to be so lucky.


Jack seems to like his bottle too.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What a week!

Let me tell you that life was busy this week for me

I took a new job at Adobe. I'll be the newest member of the Acrobat Product Mgmt team. More info on this to come.

Lavinia and I bought Jack a new car, a 2008 Toyota Prius. More to come on that. In preparation for a joke, look up scuttlebug (mole crab).

I traveled to San Jose, CA for work and spent his first night away from Jack. The ability to sleep was undermined by the need to know what he was doing at any given moment.

Lavinia began expressing breast milk with great success. Lavinia's Mother and I were able to feed Jack. It was great to feed my son. More on that too.

Okay, that's all I have time for. All is well here in Seattle. We wonder how Uncle Mark's doing in his new house though.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Panama Independence Day



Just a quick note to say Happy Panamanian Indepedence day. November 3rd is Panama's Independence from Columbia. Not to be mistaken by the November 28th Independence day from Spain. In fact, November gives us quite a few days and fly the flag of Panama. After the 3rd is the Flag Day on the 4th and then on the 5th is the Colon Day. Obviously Panamanians know how to plan a 3-day weekend. And if you didn't understand that November is all about Panama and Independence there is November 10th Anniversary of the First Call for Independence. I mean they really want you to know that they are Independent and proud of it.

The month of November you will see the flag waving from our house and I can't wait to have Lavi teach Jack all about Panama. "You mean it's more than a song by that band that Daddy makes me listen to in the car all the time?"

In Panama the day(s) are celebrated with friends and family, usually having a festive meal together. Parades happen in every town and fireworks are garuanteed (Pananamians don't need a reason for fireworks). The meals are usually arroz con pollo, ensalada de fiesta and other fun treats.
A spontaneous Panamanian Independence Day Parade occurred on our street. Those Panamanians know how to Parade I tell ya!

I've was in Panama for the 100th Anniversary. The celebrations went on for days and I didn't realize a country could have so many parades. It was wonderful.

So call up your closes Panamanian friends and wish them a happy independence.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

I rode my bike...

all last week to work. It's true. First time on the bike in about 5 weeks. It was a weird weather week in Seattle. Two days it was above 70 degrees and then it plunged to below 4o degress. That made for some cold mornings. I think I rode 3 of my 4 bikes. I haven't put away the Davidson for the winter yet, although any day now. I have my Kona Kapu set up with a light and and fenders and if I need to carry more I can bust out the TiCicyles Steilacom with my panniers. I apologize to my Steilacom every season that I'm not racing Cyclocross. He hates me but puts up with it.

It was great to stretch the legs and ride a bit. A nice way relax on the way home. I find myself racing home though so I can see Lavinia and Jack as soon as I can. Which makes me realize I'm not in terrible shape right now, but not great shape.

On your left,
Jeff

Monday, October 22, 2007

I read comic books, don't judge me

So I thought I'd post a little on my favorite comic books. Having Jack I see my responsibility as a father to expose him to the pleasure of comic books. I'll of course steer him towards all Marvel titles (Excelsior!), but be sure to show him the DC classics.

One series I'm enjoying right now is the "season 8" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Written by series creator Joss Wheedon this series picks up supposedly right after the seventh season on TV ends. It is pretty good and I'm enjoying it. All of our favorite characters are there and so is the witty banter that made the show so great, along with the sub-plot story lines. Sure they are battling demons but it is really about being a teenager/young-adult and fitting. This is published by Dark Horse Comics, they also publish Hellboy which is a treat.


Another cool plot is by Marvel and deals with your friendlyl neighborhood wall crawler. His Aunt May has taken a bullet meant for him and Peter is desparate to make things right. This story hits a lot of good points, a lot more than I recall reading in the issues when I was a kid. I recommend picking it up. The sheer desperation is griping to read.


I'm also a sucker for all the Ultimate titles from Marvel. Basically a series line that allowed them to reboot many of their famous titles. It is a little like what we're seeing with Bionic Woman and Battlestar Galatica on TV. I've enjoyed most of the art and the new take heroes and villians that we've known for years is kind of neat.

Okay, I'm off to read Batgirl, which my buddy Joey dropped off for me. My boy Jack is sleeping and I think it's time to settle in for the night with a good comic book.

Excelsior!

Jeff

Spider-man annimated series alert

Run and tell all your wall-crawling friends, or at least let my brother know so he can get cable at his new home. I'll be Tivo'ing these for Jack and myself.

I talk about Poo

Well it didn't take long and I can't say I wasn't warned by all my friends with kids. Every conversation I have will undoubtedly end up in talking about Jack's poo. Let's just address the elephant in the corner. "Hi Jack's poo! How ya doing?"

I really tried to be civilized and not talk about it. We promised to be proper parents and not be caught up in the noises and stuff, but in the end I think I regressed to Bob McKenzie every time I heard Jack fart. But darn it all to hades, we do talk about. "When did he last do it?" "How was it?" etc. And the funny part is that it fazes us not. I guess we are on our way to parenthood.

I've already had him pee on us multiple times, and with nice distance too. He's also done the explosive poo when the diaper is off, always fun and startling. I think men some times worry about all the diaper changing they will have to do as if that could be the worst part. It is far from the worst part. I think men actually try to excel at the diaper change because we can't breastfeed too. The Engineering aspect of it all is probably what gets us.

The only benefit of talking about Jack's poo is that I no longer find myself discussing Torrey's escapades at 7pm any more. Padrina Charlene will be so happy.

Addendum:
And speaking on the subject, I just had a new toilet installed in the house. A spiffy water saving dual flush (I'll let you work out what each flush is for). A Toto Aquia. Soon as 2 more arrive I'll install them in the other bathrooms.
http://www.totousa.com/productpage.asp?PID=803

Okay, that's all I'm going to say on poo until Jack starts eating solids. You can expect a long posting at that time.

Cheers
Jeff

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Darn Paparazzi


humor inspired by - http://icanhascheezburger.com/

When 4 = 8

It is funny to me how lately 4 hours of sleep can feel the equivalent of 8 hours of sleep pre-Jack. I just woke up from 4 hours and I feel I could lift a truck over my head while doing wind sprints. I guess everything is relative.

Latest update: Things are groovy here and Jack is doing super. He's gaining weight and we're managing to get some sleep. He changes every day and is just a super cutey.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jack is blue

Jack has already declared his party affiliation.

I posted some new pictures for you all to browse through.
http://jemoran.zenfolio.com/p371415792/

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Northampton MA - What a town!

Hey All,

Just a twist here from all of the baby news, no worries he is still wicked cute and will soon be doing long division of non prime numbers.


Just thought I'd toss up this interesting tidbit that Siobhan found. Of the top 10 Great Streets in America, Main Street in my town of Northampton made the list. http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/ Now you know that the American Planning Association is a bunch of wild ones focused on pedestrian flow and architecture so you know that this is a great accomplishment :) I'm also happy to see Pike Place on the Top 10 great neighborhoods (but is it really its own hood?, ponder on that for a while). I'm also going to say that also naming Temple St. in Salt Lake City in the top 10 in no way lowers the honor, although you would think it would.

To see more about Northampton just click here. http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/streets/mainstreetnorthampton.htm It really is a cool town. We've got the 5 universities nearby and a really swanky and hip atmosphere. It's kind of like having Fremont over near Pullman (of course the kids are cooler than those WSU losers). It's nice to be able to walk down to "one of America's great streets" and hangout. Does it pale compared to Seattle, of course, but what doesn't, right? If you gotta be away, it’s a cool second or third place.

If you look at the map on the website above and move ~1.25 miles South and find Grove St. you'll also find my new house. Yup. I made the plunge. Am I freaked? You betcha? It's a great place though that is new and has all of the amenities we were looking for, plus it's not a bad walk to that cool main st. I have a great feeling about the place and I'm looking forward to owning. It's a newer place (built in '97) which was important. A lot of the houses in New England are really old. Some list as built in ~1900, which just means they don't know the exact date. I like to know that the walls were built with newer materials and not with bark and tree sap by some guy in a powdered wig. Newer means a little less character, but I'm cool with that. I'm going to miss having a carefree renter's lifestyle, but I think it's all worth it. There's actually a second (and third) bedroom at this place so everyone (and their kids) are encouraged to stop out here for a visit.






More to come. I'm trying two different types of Top Ramen at lunch to see which one I will buy in bulk in order to feed myself for the next 30 years.


Later,
Mark "homeowner" Moran

All Night Long...

Well it is 5:38am in the morning and I've been up all night with Jack. He's mostly been sleeping, but I wanted to sit up so that Lavinia could sleep as long as possible in between feedings tonight. The lack of sleep for both of us is a challenge. Seeing how she can only sleep between the feedings I wanted her to have as much as possible.

I've kept busy though. Caught up on some web surfing (mostly bike racing stuff), watched the latest Dr. Who and Smallville episodes and worked through 3 discs of Justice League Unlimited. I do wonder if Jack will follow in his Dad's footsteps and be a Marvel guy or if he'll like DC comics more.

Jack has been nice enough to let his Mommy get a couple 3 hour stints in. Hopefully a few more to come yet.

He sure is cute when he sleeps. He makes these neat noises as he tosses around too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Jack just went to the...

Jack just went to the doctor's office. He weighed in at 7 pounds and 15 and 1/2 ounces. He's doing great and we'll talk to you soon.
Click here to listen

Powered by Jott

Jack Says


While sitting around

most of our day is spent with Jack these days, no surprise. When he is not sleeping (lucky little dude) he's eating. Lavinia and I set up his room quite well and it is comfortable to sit in and nurse. I generally help Lavinia get comfy (adding the pillows and such). After about 3 nights in the room together at various intervals, along with being tired, we ran out of conversation. We did manage to say how unbelievably cute Jack was about 100 different ways, but at this point we wanted to distract ourselves.

Rather than move the feeding downstairs to the family room to start navigating our Tivo, which is rather full with the new TV season, I ran out and bought a TV/DVD LCD for his room. We've been watching DVDs when we need to. Mostly West Wing Season 6. I never had a TV in my room growing up. Mark pitched a fit until he got one finally in high school. My son has one before he turned 2 weeks. That's how the times are changing.

When I'm in the room with him myself and Lavinia is sleeping (the rooms are across the hall from each other) I tend to just watch items on my iPod. Since Jack was born I've burned through the latest season of Dr. Who, The Shield, finished off Eureka (great new show on Sci-Fi if you haven't seen it I liken it to Stargate meets Quantum Leap), dabbled a bit with Flash Gordon (not that impressed) and have started on my Justice League Unlimited DVDs.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sleep, according to Jack

0.45, 2, 3.5, 2, 4.5, 6, 6, 6.5…
Those are the hours of sleep that I’ve gotten each night since Jack was born. Do not make the mistake that these are consecutive hours by any means. They are at best 2 hours in length, especially for Lavinia. I’ve been able to sneak away for 3 hours in a row a few times. I remember when a “Nap” was a luxury item and not something I used to describe 2 hours of essential sleep, but that’s the way of life now. Mark posted how much he likes sleep. I can think of almost nothing better at this point. Vacations will no longer be about going to the beach of seeing a beautiful city in Europe but more about finding a way to have Grandparents feed and watch Jack while Mom & Dad sleep in. Ahhhhh good times for sure.

We’ve had a few moments that we can attribute to the lack of sleep. One night about 4am we both woke up when Jack started fussing, letting us know that Mom should kindly open the buffet line for him, when we both started speaking to each other. Now what was interesting was that neither one of us used any coherent language. Lavinia was speaking to me from dream she was having and addressing me as her Mother and I was just down right babbling in some garbled language. The funny thing was that we each answered the questions we meant to ask and went about getting Jack ready to feed. It was only after he was latched on and we were sitting quietly in his room that we both looked at each other and said “what were you saying?”

The first night in the hospital I got a total of 45 minutes of sleep and that was not in a row, but 2 blocks of time. Jack was a bit fussy his first night out of the womb, and who could blame him. I was nervous only because I just didn’t have a point of reference for what to do, but not Lavi. Even after the c-section and the efforts to make breastfeeding work and the fact that she had had no sleep, she was there to just be a wonderful calming presence. She helped me understand what Jack’s little cries were for, what to do, how to relax. She was amazing. I knew she would be a great mom, an all-star even. But going out the first night like that was like watching a rookie hit 4 home runs his first time up to bat or a French cyclist actually win something.

After that Lavinia sent me home each day for a 2.5 hour nap. I was reluctant because I wanted to help out as best I could, but she insisted and God Bless her for it. It was hard to sleep in the hospital. The nurses would check on us just as we were about to drift off and Jack was testing out various schedules of when to eat so we were up most nights. I still have no idea how Lavi made it through. I think she got a total of 6 hours of sleep for 3 days.

Since we’ve been home sleep comes when it can, but we both decided we need to do better at this. At some point (10/22) I have to go back to work and I need to find a schedule that will let me not fall asleep at my desk. Since I have a standing desk that I work at falling asleep really could hurt me. At first Jack was not gaining weight and we threw ourselves into his feeding schedule. The good news was that he turned around and gained 5 ounces in 2 days, but the bad news was that we got a little less sleep because we were feeding all day. It is still hard to sleep during the day too for us, but we are adjusting.

Now, when Jack sleeps there is something cute. He has a few different stages of sleep. One is that light sleep where his own bodily sounds (okay farting) will wake him up. Other times the sound of his mother’s voice makes him stir. Then there are times of deep sleep where dropping a frying pan in his crib with an opera singer wouldn’t wake him. I especially like seeing his tiny hands moving around like a kung-fu fighter as he rests. At some point his hands will be up over his head and he’ll drift off and his arms will fall back like dead weights. I think his favorite place to sleep is laid out on his mother’s chest. We call this Kangarooing because you can zip Lavi’s nighty over him and make a pouch to hold him in. There have been a few fussy times when this came in handy. For now Jack is still nocturnal, makes sense when you think about it; during the day when Mom was moving he would sleep in the womb, but at night when Mom went to sleep he’d wake up. The first few nights he was very awake and cluster feed a lot. The last two nights have been better, long feeds with more rest between. Maybe he’s trying to help us out we’ll see.

Despite the lack of sleep, which was as expected as the sun rising so don’t think we are surprised, things are going very well for us at home. Jack continues to be a wonderful baby. Lavinia is breastfeeding and that effort is going well for us all. Of course it means that Lavinia can only sleep at best 2 hours at a time. I’m still trying to figure out how she is managing, but I suspect she has super mommy powers by this point. I can’t wait for my daddy powers to come in but I think I have to wait until he’s older. I still think I might as well start shopping for my spandex outfit now though, something in blue and red to honor Spider-man most likely, but I digress, where was I? Ah yes… sleep.

Sleep my friend you have been taken from me. I find myself longing for your return, like a lady waiting for her man to return from the enemy front, fearful that you may never return. But I must say that if Jack is the gift I have to which you have departed to make so, then I bid you farewell for I am happy and may the memory of your sweet embrace be all I need. – That was my corny way of saying that in the end sleep doesn’t matter that much because Jack is such a little gift. I would sleep less if I had to just to have him around.

Okay, long enough for now. Everyone is well and the three of us are going to get some sleep.
Cheers
Jeff

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Very Simple

feed, change diaper, sleep, repeat.

That's all that is happening at the Jack's house right now. He's downright adorable. More later
Jeff

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Who's missing sleep??

Hey all,
Well with Jeff and Lavi floating in an out of consciousness as they work through the "4th Trimester." I thought I'd post up here in order to satiate our legions of fans who are going through withdrawals from Jeff blog posts. I thought I'd try to stem any internet write in movements and stave off the creation of "Blog Jeff!, Blog!" protest T-shirts.

So, I thought I'd go with something appropriate and on topic, sleep. I love sleep. I mean like Pepe le Peu loves that striped cat. I love it like Bush loves oil. I love it like Walmart loves generic drugs. I can't imagine having to go weeks with only 1-2 hours of sleep at a time. Dear lord! Being wrapped up in blankets with a nice fluffy pillow, ah heaven.

I'm fairly infamous in my circle for being a great lover of sleep. Mark-olepsy is one of my better nicknames, along with Sleepy Mark, Under Sleep 2 - Mark Territory, Ground-Mark Day and a host of others that require even more explanation. However as we got older and more responsible, the title of King Sleep was seceded to my buddy Neil. Who slept through Yellowstone National Park!! I knew I was beaten then.

One famous story is that I stumbled out of my room at 2:30 PM on Sunday afternoon to tell Shawn and Deron to turn down the football game cause I was still asleep from the previous night.

Ah sleep.. its like a warm tortilla. I really, really love sleep. I remember from Psych 101 that there were certain people afflicted with a condition where they only required 15 minutes of sleep. I used to think it would be awesome to have that. I mean another 8-11 hours a day. You could do so much. At the same time though, I love sleep. That would be a tough choice to make.

So that's it for now more to come. Talked with Jeff yesterday and all is well, they're just missing sleep :)

Later,

Mark

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jack Sheppard Moran has arrived!

Hi all!

Lavi and I are happy to announce the birth of our baby boy Jack Sheppard Moran.

He was born at Swedish Medical Center - Ballard at 11:18am on Tuesday, September 25, 2007. He weighed in at 7 pounds 12 ounces and is 19 inches long.

Jack is doing real well – he’s just so precious and we are so lucky to have him!

As soon as we have some time, we'll update the blog with more photos and stories. These past few days have been great and we're really enjoying our time with the little guy.

Love,
Lavi, Jeff, & Jack

Here are some good photos and more are posted to my Zenfolio account.
http://jemoran.zenfolio.com/p945682046/


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sheppito has arrived

Sheppito arrived Tuesday September 25th at 11:18am. He weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces, was 19 inches long and his head measured 13.5 inches. Both Sheppito and his mother are doing super well. He's the best looking baby and more than Lavi or I could have hoped for.

We still have not settled on a name, so you have to wait on that. We're at Swedish Ballard Hospital until Thursday night, maybe Friday morning we'll see.

More to post later, along with pictures of course.
Jeff

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sheppito's coming...

Sheppito Update:

As you may know, Lavi has gestational diabetes. With this condition she is monitored closely. The last few weeks have been full of scheduled tests to track Sheppito's progress and growth. The test results have been positive, as expected, which makes his parents very proud of him. We are scheduled for a c-section (o9/25/07).

We're both really excited to finally meet our baby boy and our anticipation is driving us crazy! Mom, Dad and Sheppito are all doing fine. I'll post more soon, when I find the time.

I'm gonna be a father. Cool!
Jeff

Uncle Nephew Ground Rules

Dear Sheppito,

Thank you for the note. I see that we need to establish some ground rules for how this particular uncle/nephew relationship is going to work.

1.) No calling your uncle out on the Internet!
2.) Uncles have free reign to de-mint all of your comic books by reading them with the cover bent backwards (trust me, I know, they'll never be worth anything anyway.)
3.) Do not imitate your father, only you think he is funny and it encourages him to act that way around grown ups.
4.) No pooping when I'm holding you (I can not budge on this one)
5.) Any backtalk about how Batman would beat up Spiderman gets you sent to your room.
6.) Once you're strong enough to carry 12 - 16 oz, my drink should never be empty.
7.) I will receive pictures and drawings and all manner of cutesy kiddie crap on a monthly basis (cross country postage to be paid by sender).
8.) You will save all of the truly difficult questions (where do babies come from? Why are my sheets wet? Etc.) for your parents. I will gladly help explain fractions and the nickel defense.
9.) While he's sleeping you will draw leg hair on your father at every conceivable opportunity.
10.) When we're playing GI Joe together, I get to be Snake-Eyes and drive the Aircraft Carrier!

I'm sure your Uncle Ben has his own expectations as well. I suspect that he will only allow back talk if it is in one of five languages that are not English.

For now, be good to your mom. Try to only kick in the mid afternoon and chill out in the evening. I'll see you soon.

Your uncle,
-Mark

Addendum 9/24/2007 - Sheppito
Uncle Mark,
You are funny Tio. Just remember that rules go both ways and I'm working on a list for you. Most will involve you bequething your toys to me and promising to buy me presents before entering a room in which I occupy, even if you were just in said room minutes before. Looking forward to seeing you. Love, Sheppito.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sheppito says...

Dear Uncle Mark
How come you don't post that much? I mean I'm not even born yet and I'm up here on the blog sharing my thoughts, by the way I'm just sleeping off breakfast. Anyway, what up with you these days? Mom & Dad are good. Getting nervous about my arrival but I can tell they are pretty excited too. Mom keeps rubbing my butt as she rubs the belly which is kinda weird, but I love her the same. Dad uses this weird voice to talk to me and he sounds like some animated cartoon, but he's funny so I guess my laughing encourages him. ....... sorry got distracted by something, turns out it was just my own toes, how cool are those! I mean all the things I can do with them! Can't wait to walk, count with them and stick them in the water in Panama (a real beach my mother tells me). Still, pretty cool that I come equiped with these toes. Where was I? Oh yea, I hear you are training to run a marathon, that sounds cool. Quick question though Uncle Mark: what is running? I have a lot to learn and I figure it is never too early to start the learning. Okay, gotta go. I'm gonna kick Mom a few times as I get comfy and take a nap. See you soon Uncle Mark.

Love
Sheppito

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Players we love to dislike

I was reading this ESPN list of players we love to dislike. I admit that I agreed with many of these, the fact that Rick Mirer made the list was great. However, player number 100 made this the best list ever.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=keri/070917&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab3pos2

Addendum:
Bobby Ayala is #100 and makes this list perfect.

Bonds should be on there for sure.

Bosworth I'm okay with not seeing, reason being is that you'd have to hate on Steve Etman for pulling a similar career with the Colts, and I just can't hate on the greatest defensive end the Huskies have ever had.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sheppito Thinks

here's the latest ultrasound picture of little Sheppito. The 3d picture is pretty cool, not sure if my scan of it does it any justice. You can actually see that he has his mommy's nose. How cool. We can't wait to see the little guy.

Teaching Mark new tricks

Mark learned how to text message from his phone this weekend and we had a little exchange Sunday morning. I must admit that I’m so proud of him. I mean sure he can build the future automotive solution that will save our planet from greenhouse emissions, but the fact that he has now mastered 8 year old technology is just spiffy. I’m so proud of him.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Seahawk Blogger

In case any of your are Seahawk fans, my buddy Brian does a great blog on them. Over the years at work I've always eagerly awaited his reviews of the season and such. Now it is on the web for you to look over as well.
http://hawkblogger.blogspot.com/

I admit that I don't watch the NFL at all for various reasons, but I do keep up on-line to see how they are doing. I've actually watched the last two UW Husky football games. I think that they have a shot at a good year. We'll see.
Cheers, Jeff

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Babymoon

This weekend Lavinia and I took a night to have a "Babymoon." A Babymoon is like a honeymoon where a couple gets away for a little private time. We checked into the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle, ordered room service and watched movies. It was a fun break from the time we've spent getting ready for Sheppito. Here's Lavinia having some breakfast.

Getting ready, as we can

Getting ready for Sheppito has been a fun and exciting time. I thought that those that get married were the most heavily marketed group in America, but I was wrong. Having a baby puts you in the marketing sites of just about every product out there. In some way either through neglect, my own stupidity or just by being alive I'm destined to hurt my child according to the marketing groups I encounter. The book "Baby Bargins" has been a wonderful guide (thank you to my friend Lisa for the suggestion) on how to sift through all the hype. The book shows you how to make purchases based on the important attributes of the product group. I like to think my MBA degree would have saved me, but alas it only helped so much. Must talk to Prof. Turner about that.

Anyway, when people ask us... "are you ready?" it is an amazingly loaded question. If you are asked by someone who doesn't have kids, or isn't married, they take any answer you give them. We say "yes, we are getting ready, as ready as we think we can be." Now notice how our answer does not say that we are definitively ready and there is absolutely nothing we've left to chance. But you get asked that question by some one who has kids and your answer is useless because the response is always the same; "you are never ready, you have no idea what you are you getting into, say good-bye to sleep and free. It's the best thing I/we ever did."

The message is getting through, we'll never be ready and I trust those with experience. But I must say that I'm trying as best I can. Lavinia and I have been taking classes at Swedish Hospital. We've taken Infant CPR, Newborn Care, Childbirth, Breastfeeding (surprisingly more for Lavi than me), and we hope to get in a Coping With Confidence (pain mgmt) class too before he arrives. On top of that we've read a lot of books. We tend to like the strictly factual ones rather than what I call a fluffy feel good story that is 400 pages long with 2 take aways, one being you'll love being a parent (umm. thanks). We've talked with a lot of our friends and received some good advice.

Most importantly our support group is forming up really well. Our parents have been super supportive. My mother has already frozen several meatloafs for us to warm up later and they are signed up for a grandparenting class too (have fun dad). Lavi's mother will be arriving on 9/22 and staying through 11/10 and has been a great help already. Our friends are checking in with us and being super supportive. Over all, I think we are getting ready, as ready as we know we can be that is.
Yet, something still nags me and I feel a need to practice. Call it nesting, call it being prepared or whatever. We've purchased some neat things and I just wanted to have a dry run at it before Sheppito arrived. Below are some pictures of my efforts. I used our stuffed animal "Buddy" to help me out.

I put Buddy in the Anywhere Chair (thanks Studley's) and read him my latest Spider-man comic for practice.
Next I took him for a bounce in the bouncy chair (thanks Cooper-Pruitts)
We walked around the house together in the sling (thanks Jon)
After that a dry diaper run and the practice of how the smell may be.
After all that Buddy was tired so I put him to sleep in the swing
Then we finally got outside for a little trek together.

Yep, I'm feeling as ready I think I know how to be.
Cheers
Jeff

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jott Blog Post

This is a test message from jott to blog. I wanna test and see if this will update correctly. If you have not heard about jott you should check them out at jott.com.
Click here to listen

Powered by Jott.com - Try it at 1 (866) JOTT123 - Jott.com

Monday, September 3, 2007

$750 socks

Cyclist love to brag about gear that they own. "This bike cost $6k" or "That new light weight space age science fiction rear hub that only works on a tricycle is so pimpling cool I had to buy it for $1k" and so on. It gets even better if you can show some that you have a really expensive piece of machinery but got a screaming deal on it. I suspect cyclists posture a bunch because many of us will never throw our arms skyward on a road in France in celebration, so we are left with this.

Well, I can beat'em all. I paid $750 for a pair of cycling socks. That is just how cool of a cyclist I am.


Now how did this come about you ask? You should be asking that by the way. I hope I haven't trained the masses just to accept my cycling eccentricities. Anyway, I was at the Bicycle Alliance Auction one year and there is a raffle that goes around. Buy a raffle ticket and earn a chance to collect half the proceeds of the raffle, with the rest going to the Bike Alliance. I'm a board member and of course purchased my $40 worth of tickets. I ended up winning and the winning was $750. As I was called to the stage I'm thinking, "I'm a board member, I can't take the money and run. I'm suppose to set an example right?" So by the time I got to the stage I knew I was going to donate the money back to the Bike Alliance. Everyone applauded and I felt like my karma cup had runneth over from the gesture. One of the raffle volunteers came over to me afterwards and gave this pair of socks, saying "you at least deserve a pair of cool free socks."
So now I have $750 cycling socks. Beat that. (grin)
oh, and yea that's hair on my legs. Don't look at them their hideous.

What's going with Jeff & Lavi?

Sorry for the lack of posts. I found myself rather busy lately at work covering for 2 peer managers and my manager. It has been most fun. Lucky for me our combined teams are totally rocking so it has been going well. Still, a lot to cover. At home in the evening Lavinia has been getting more tired. So we've just been chilling out.

Chilling out for us has meant watching previous seasons of the West Wing, which we never watched when it aired. We are really enjoying it and both of us like the Sorkin writing style. It makes me miss Sports Night even more. We're up to Season 4 by now. We've also been making lists with last to-do items to accomplish before Sheppito makes his grand entrance.

I've been running around watering everything in order to keep our new grass growing and pulling weeds that have tried to make a come back. I must say it is easier to pull 3 weeds than 400. All in all things are good.
I even found a chance to relax a bit...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

you can has cheezburger

A fun site to check out when you have a moment to waste. These pictures and their captions just crack me up. I think my brother-in-law started the site I swear it's his humor for sure.

http://icanhascheezburger.com/

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sheppito Update

Lavinia had a Dr. visit today, so we have an update for you all. This appointment follows our 1-day 8 hour Childbirth class that we took on Sunday. It was a good class and we are glad we attended. We're feeling as ready as we can be from our perspective.

Lavi wrote up a great report about the Dr. visit so I'll let her words tell it all....

"I had a growth ultrasound this morning followed by a pre-natal appointment. The ultrasound went very well. Sheppito cooperated and the technician was able to get all the head, belly, and bone measurements he needed.

After the ultrasound, I had my prenatal appt and the OB said that Sheppito is in the 90th percentile for growth. Although my pregnancy is at 34 weeks, Sheppito and his measurements put him at 36-37 weeks along. When she told me this, I must have had one worried look on my face and she reassured me that it’s not my doing. With gestational diabetes, there’s only so much that can be controlled by diet and insulin and I’ve been doing so well in that area. There are other factors out of my control, like Sheppito’s bone measurements being “ahead” of schedule and other stuff – at this point, I had kinda stopped listening and was still trying to take in the 36-37 weeks along statement.

Oh boy!

I told my OB that I was planning on starting my leave from work on October 1st and she said that I should change that to September 24th instead. She said that he’s already in the head down position and that one of three things will happen: Sheppito will come early on his own, I’ll have to get induced because he’s getting too big (in the shoulders), or she will schedule a C-section. She’s not worried about a big head or body – she’s more concerned about his shoulders being too wide, which can get stuck. Ouch!

So, for now, we’ll continue to monitor the gestational diabetes, start the internal exams (not fun), do more non-stress tests, and have one more growth ultrasound and wait.

Lavi"

It was nice to have the reassurance from the Dr. that things are going well. She said the reason we have these instruments to measure and get status is so we can be more prepared so this is all a good thing. She has such a great way of putting things in perspective. Makes me think she's done this before.

Aunt Char said "Wow! Well it sounds like this kid is NOT on Panama time, huh? "

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Baby Shower Photos

Lavinia's brother posted some more photos from the baby shower. http://picasaweb.google.com/latinyid31/LaviSBabyShower?authkey=3_xXVkjdZOc

Things to do before VH arrives in Seattle

Van Halen with David Lee Roth will be in Seattle on 12/03. There is just so much to do before the concert.

  1. Get out the aquanet and get my hair feathered
  2. Bust out the jeans that are two sizes too small
  3. Get skin graft to remove “Van Hagar” tattoo from butt
  4. Pray that Vince Neil is not opening again
  5. Finally get that "Best of VH" and the "Scirocco VH Tunes" to Deron and Neil
  6. Get ready to stand in line over night with hundreds of old people waiting to buy tickets
  7. Sell shares of Cabo Wabo
  8. Wonder how 16 year-old Wolfgang can legally drink Jack Daniels on stage like Michael Anthony
  9. Hunt down and maim Gary Cherone
  10. Buy shares in, Tiger Balm, Viagra and Back/Hip Pain medicine as Eddie, David and Alex binge on them all summer.
  11. Call Bob

Post Cali, Beam Connecticut

Yo ya'all (sounds like a Laotian harpist or something huh, I'll bet he/she rocks!)

Greetings from the East. Sorry for being lapse in posting (do I need to apologize, is anyone really upset?) Life's been fairly busy during and since the Cali trip. Gotta say that driving the F150 was a lot of fun. My inner environmentalist was screaming bloody murder, but my inner child, the one that played with Tonka trucks and Fisher Price bulldozers, was squealing with glee. I think I was able to go as fast as 20 mph in the Bay Area traffic too. Plus it was huge and a rental so the philosophy of "you're just going to have to look out for me" was in full effect.

The trip was exhausting after that. Long days followed by long evenings. The thing that is stinky about road work, at least for me, is that the folks you're visiting are really accommodating and will encourage and stay with you for 12 hour days because they really need the help. The problem is that once the work is done you have to go back and spend two hours reducing the days data and reporting to the folks at home base. The trip home my head hit the side of the plane when I sat down and I didn't wake up until we landed. That NEVER happens!

Marathon training is still going well. We did ~15+ miles this past Sunday. We were supposed to do 18, but due to my poor map reading skills, I caused us to pull up short. I knew I was feeling too good for it to be true. Major drawback to having 18 miles as your goal is that somewhere around mile 12 Skid Rows "18 and life" gets stuck in your head and is harder to dislodge than a Republican senator from Alaska. (Honestly, does that song have any parts other than the chorus?)

Also been house hunting. It's a daunting process. Especially since I'm such a clencher :) My dream of my own workshop is still the motivator, along with equity and being able to place a nail anywhere I want. We met the devil's salesman this weekend and my hand is still oily from the shake. It's such an interesting time financially to be thinking about this. I know that the *(#@ won't hit the fan until after I've signed my life away too.

That's the update from here. Hope all of you are doing well. I got my tix for Labor day weekend so I'll be seeing you soon.

Later,

-Mark "map confuser" Moran

Diamond Dave

Wow! I'm not sure if this is the seventh, eighth, or ninth sign of the apocalypse or maybe it is all three!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070813/en_nm/vanhalen_dc_3;_ylt=Apeyso0jy5Mwnymuvvq4SMkE1vAI

Monday, August 6, 2007

World Champion Baby

I can't resist showing a pic of the baby outfit Uncle Jason and Aunt Charlene bought for Sheppito. His very own World Champion Lycra skinsuit. Awesome!

You can find more here

http://www.kucharikclothing.com/sublimated-baby-suits-world-colors-p-180.html

Baby Shower photos

Here is a link to our Zenfolio account to check out the Baby Shower. Lavi's brother Ben took more and I'll post those too.
http://jemoran.zenfolio.com/p886657495/
Jeff

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Baby Shower & a Surprise

Our good friend Jackie organized Lavinia's baby shower, which was held yesterday. Several individuals helped out actually including Julie, Charlene, Stephanie. Among them was also Lavinia's best friend who lives in Michigan, Janet. Unknown to Lavi Janet had flown into town with her mother for the event. Now Lavi is usually pretty clever and it is hard to surprise her. I'm happy to say that we pulled it off and she was very pleasantly surprised.

As you can see Lavi was delighted. You can also see Jackie's grin as she beams with the success in hosting a wonderful event for her friend.

The generosity of our friends and family was overwhelming. Lavinia and I are truly fortunate to have such caring individuals from all aspects of our lives (family, friends, childhood friends, work).

Sheppito wanted me to say Thank You to everyone for such wonderful gifts. He's looking forward to wearing all the outfits, playing with the toys, using all the spider-man accessories and causing his mother and father to have to wash them all often.

Big Thank You to Jackie for organizing the event!

Friday, August 3, 2007

New Lawn

For those that know me you know that I detest in most forms the villanous weeds in my lawn. Try as I best I can over the past 7 years I have been utterly defeated by these villans. I think at one time I counted no less than 6 distinct different kinds of weed.

Here are some pics of what my lawn looked like in their control.













No more I say. I am tired of the weeds. Lavinia and I also decided that we should be good parents and not let weeds be the first thing our child crawls on outside in the lawn. So we found someone who do the work, and may I say very well and very quickly. In two days Mr. Tran had ripped out the old lawn (front, back and side), re-soiled, sodded, created 3 raised beds for gardening, barked and laid down gravel in some areas. An amazing amount of work and we are quite happy with the new lawn.