Friday, November 11, 2016

Remembrance Day 2016

"To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high"

John McCrae wrote those words many years ago, and they're particularly relevant this Remembrance Day.  With everything that's happened this year, it's sometimes hard to feel hope for the future.

In these trying times, I implore you: Remember that there are things like honour and decency.  Remember that our ancestors gave themselves to save us from oppression and preserve our freedom. Remember that even if you're not in the military, you can still take up the torch and fight for the same things those brave men and women believed in. You can end violence, racism, and misogyny without resorting to the use of any of the three.

Thanks folks.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I've heard the jokes for years that parents of babies don't get any sleep. It's one thing to hear those stories and believe them. It's another to live through them.

Amelia woke up crying and I brought her to bed so Amanda could feed her, then I tried to go back to sleep. I must have succeeded, because the next thing I heard was Amelia crying from her bed again.

Amanda told me she had fed, changed, and burped her, but Amelia wouldn't go back to sleep. So I got up, picked up Amelia, and went to zap some water so I could try giving her water, formula, and/or pablum in that order.

By the time we were settled on the couch with her sippy cup, she had calmed down and was quite happy to have some water. Then she was fine. But in the process, she had woken right up. So I spent over a half-hour walking with her and singing quietly to her.

I thought she was asleep, but then the ice maker in the fridge rotated its arm that keeps the ice loose, and startled her. Later I put her in bed and she woke up and started fussing again. So we walked together again. Finally I got her to asleep about ten minutes ago. I've been awake for about an hour, and Amanda was up with her for a while before that.

Here's the kicker: from the sound of things, we don't have it bad compared to a lot of other parents. So I'll be yawning my head off at work tomorrow, but very aware that it could be much worse.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Two Weeks

As of today, our daughter Amelia was born two weeks ago.  Being a father has been both incredible and overwhelming so far, and I'm looking forward to the adventure ahead.

I'm happy to report that, while it was touch and go the first few days, I no longer call Amelia "Baby Fehr."  It was a bit of an adjustment though -- it's amazing how a made-up name can stick when you've been using it for nine months.

Thank you to our friends, family, co-workers, and hospital staff who have been kind, patient, and very enthusiastic.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


So as of today, Baby Fehr is three days overdue.  It's really not a large chunk of time, but every moment has made me more and more anxious.  This afternoon while Amanda and I were out and about, I kept a close eye on her, just in case we had to drop what we were doing and head for the hospital.

So now I wonder whether she'll have to wake me at 3am so we can sleepily grab our hospital bag and the baby's car seat and head off.  I can't really prepare for it because it's just as likely that Baby Fehr will wait until tomorrow morning, or even the day after...

Anyway, we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Only Real Surprise

So, like our friends and family, Amanda and I are excited for Baby Fehr to be born, in part, so we'll finally know whether we have a son or a daughter.  Way back when the possibility of finding out the baby's sex first arose, Amanda and I talked about it and decided to wait until Baby Fehr was born.

I always thought it was more dramatic that way, and honestly, what's wrong with colours like green and orange for the baby rather than going all-in on blues or pinks based on gender?

Amanda had a different perspective on it.  She pointed out that there are so few real surprises left in life.  Movie plots are all-but given away online to entice viewers.  New product announcements are met with muted shrugs.  And once you're past a certain age, guessing birthday gifts isn't just possible, but likely.

But this is something we don't know, and can't guess with any certainty.  Sure, the ultrasound technician may know, but without actually asking her, there's no way for us to find out on our own.  It's great!

Amanda and I have actually made a bet.  I bet her five dollars that Baby Fehr is a girl, and she bet that Baby Fehr is a boy.  We've definitely noticed it in the pronouns we use to refer to the baby.  I talk about what "she" is doing, while Amanda comments about what "he" is doing.

Anyway, it has been fun to wonder, guess, and debate.  We'll find out in a few short weeks!

Monday, April 27, 2015

What's in a Name?

So it's settled.  Amanda and I have decided on the two possible names for our baby -- one boy's name and one girl's name.  We've had the first names picked out for a while, but the middle names were in flux.  We had at least three good possibilities for the boy's middle name, and a few lesser possibilities for the girl's.

But then I had a thought the other day at work.  There was a name I had previously thrown out as a possibility for a girl's first name, mostly because I liked the shortened form of it.  But when I tried the full name as a middle name, it worked!  As an added bonus, that name includes the name of a family member whose name wouldn't work well as a middle name!

While we ate supper tonight, I suggested the new middle name to Amanda, and she liked it.  We agreed that we've got an official name if Baby Fehr is a girl.  But that left the boy's name.  We had a few good possibilities for middle names, Amanda suggested that one would be her first choice, and we decided to go with it.

So Baby Fehr has a name, whether she turns out to be a girl, or he turns out to be a boy! we just need to worry about other things like car seats, bassinettes, strollers, and other things.

As Days Go By...

May 20th.

That's the only date I can think about right now.  I know due dates, especially for first babies, are sometimes little more than a shot in the dark.  But that date is the one that will not leave my brain.

It's just over three weeks away.  Just over three weeks until I'm a dad and have a little person counting on me to keep him/her safe, warm, and fed (though indirectly for the first few months).

That is still an absolutely crazy thought.  Seven years ago, I was still living at home.  Four years ago, I hadn't even met Amanda yet.  And a year ago, in the wake of Amanda's surgery, we weren't really sure if we would ever be able to have children.

It's a lot to take in.  It doesn't help that we're not physically prepared yet.  Car seat?  Nope.  Bassinette?  Nope.  Stroller?  Nope.  If it wasn't for my mom making an *amazing* baby blanket and cloth diapers with changeable absorbant liners for us, Baby Fehr would be in real trouble.

Part of the difficulty has been our schooling.  I finished up for the semester on April 11th, just after Amanda started her first year of parts school.  An average day for me involved work, supper, school, and a scant few minutes with Amanda as it was -- even thinking about spending an afternoon looking at baby stuff seemed like too much time away from school work that I couldn't afford.

Amanda's not working while she's attending school, but there's an awful lot crammed into her six weeks.  Last week she had three tests, for example.  She gets off from school reasonably early, but usually has to spend the bulk of the night taking notes and working on homework.  As a result, it's been hard for us to find time to look at stuff.

Last weekend we did some looking, but quickly became overwhelmed.  We don't have a lot of room in our apartment, so were debating the size of bassinette we could handle, and whether it made more sense to get a smaller one-purpose bassinette, or a larger one that served as a playpen once the baby was too large for the bassinette portion.

At any rate, one way or another, we'll manage when Baby Fehr is born.  At the moment, it's just a little hard to see how.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Looking Spiffy

When we tried to go to a play last night, Amanda wore a dress one of my co-workers made and gave to her.

What happened was that she had made the dress for herself, but it didn't fit her well. She offered it to me for Amanda, and commented that it should fit Amanda fine because they both have broad shoulders.

So I brought the dress home, and it fit Amanda great!  To top things off, it looked really good on her.  Now, this is the same co-worker who kindly made me a diaper bag for our soon-to-be-born first child (unbelievably, the countdown is at 24 days).

So, the short version of the above is that I have an awesome co-worker!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dressed up with Froyo

So, 15 minutes ago, Amanda and I were at Menchie's.  Amanda was wearing a dress one of my co-workers made and gave to her, and I was wearing khakis and a polo shirt.  This isn't our normal dress code for frozen yogurt.  We were supposed to be going to a play, but they didn't have any record of tickets being held for us.  We were a little bummed, but quickly rallied and headed out for frozen yogurt instead.

And before we headed out, we took the first kissing couple photo we've taken in quite a while!  I'm clearly out of practice -- this photo has way too much of me and not nearly enough of Amanda.

Friday, December 26, 2014


I've done a small amount of writing over the years.  I've come up with a number of picture books, worked on a novel, and have written on this blog (sporadically).  But I had never really done much with them.  One time I tried sending a few of my picture book manuscripts to a publisher, but nothing came of the attempts.

In September, I decided to try something different.  I had come up with an idea for a story about a goldfish who would like to try different things but is ultimately constrained by living in a bowl and being a goldfish.  I created some basic illustrations, put the thing together, and published it on Amazon as a Kindle ebook.  A Goldfish Wish wasn't perfect -- the illustrations were simple and the layout could have been adapted for ebook a better, but I finally had one of my books available to the public!

Once I finished my MLIS classes for the semester a few weeks ago, I took another look at other things I had written.  Two years ago, I wrote a branching story for a library program.  I used it for that program, then set the story aside.  Well, I recently talked to my boss and received permission to use my creations beyond the scope of the library, and published that ebook through Amazon as well.  Alien Abduction from the Library is a fun branching story that works very well as an ebook (though it works better in the Kindle app than on the eReaders themselves).

I don't know if I'll get anything else ready before my classes resume in January, but for now, two of my books are for sale, and it's very, very neat to be able to say that!