Archives of Thom

Blog problems fixed

You may have noticed the extreme lack of activity over the last few months. There is a reason for it and it’s a funny little story. Iwork in the IT field and I’ve been preaching to people for decades that they should have backups and do testing before they do upgrades – whether it’s their home computer or an application at work. Of course my advice is for others. I wish i had followed my own advice. I performed a needed security upgrade which seemed to go okay until I realized I no longer had access to the admin panel to make new posts. Ironic huh. Anyway, we’ve fixed this little problem and pictures of Li Li will soon be populating this site. The irony is that while we couldn’t post the spammers have had a field day filling up our comments with over 600 spam messages for viagra, cialis and many other things that would make a sailor’s face blanch.

Li Li is doing great and is starting to walk fairly confidently, except when Maggie knocks her over. Weve had good weather, I passed that set of exams and I’m now getting ready for another cycle of exams. Only 11 more months – give or take a a few days – until my MBA is complete.

When I get home I’ll try to find some pictures. Thanks everybody. Ciao, Thom

Finally a new post

If anyone out there still checks our blog with any regularity I apologize for the long delay between posts. Life Happens. This whole parenting, working, student thing is much harder than it looks. Of course Li Li makes it all worthwhile. Picture taking has slowed but not because she’s any less cute. I’ve been traveling for work a lot lately and school has gotten very busy, so while Li Li is going to the beach with Catherine, I’m sitting in an airport in LA – no not the city with the movie stars but the state with the gambling riverboats. Shreveport, LA is trying to leverage riverboat gambling into a prosperous future, I’ll let someone else be the judge of its success – but it makes for a strange downtown with all the life at the fringes of the city center leaving a hollow center of parking lots and for rent signs.

Bar Harbor
Li Li wearing a Boston Red Sox hat in Bar Harbor.

It has been one tough summer for travel. Every single flight I’ve been one for the last three months has been full and I’ve yet to arrive on time. Not a single flight, nada, zip, zilch. Between weather, mechanical delays, crew expirations (sounds ominous doesn’t it) and my favorite ATC holds – I’ve spent time in some of the finest airports east of the Rockies. DFW, BWI, BOS, DCA, PIT, PHL, HOU and good old PVD

Li Li Beach
Li Li at the beach during with her weekly play group.

Back to Li Li. I know she’s the real reason you come here. She’s doing great. We’ve been home a little over 5 months now and it’s amazing how far she has come in that time. When we first arrived home she couldn’t sit up without falling over in one direction or another. Now she starts her morning by doing face plants in the crib – on purpose. Recently I come into her home in the morning and she gets up on her knees, and jumps/falls straight forward with her arms spread wide giggling the whole time. After she lands she rolls over, goes back to a corner and does it all over again. In fact this morning she did it for about 5-10 minutes. I just stared at her and laughed right along with her.

Of course she may have been doing this for a while now but I wouldn’t have known it. Between being gone 3-4 days a weeks and late nights working on school Catherine’s been getting her in the mornings and letting my sleep in. Some of that’s because I can’t hear Li Li over the fans when I’m sleeping and some its because Catherine was being nice and letting me sleep in. Which brings us back to why I was able to witness my daughter tryouts for WWE Raw. Catherine is on her annual sailing trip in the North Channel north of Lake Huron. So I’ve had a very small taste of single parenthood and it’s hard work.

Catherine gets that taste pretty much every single week and I’ve had a lot of help and it’s only been few days. Between grandparents driving over, or flying in from North Carolina, neighbors babysitting and even coming over to the house to watch Li Li while I dash to the store for milk, I’ve had a lot of support. Of course my first taste of solo parenting happened to coincide with two weeks of exams for school so I’ve been trying to cram 10 weeks worth of Data Analysis and statistics into my little bitty brain with little success. I finally took one exam on Sunday we’ll see how I did and the other exam is group exam and I’ll spend Saturday on Campus in conference room turning that one in. Last weekend Jim and Ann (Catherine’s parents) took Li Li for the day on Sunday, this weekend Susan (my mom) will have Li Li for the day.

Unfortunately long after Catherine agreed to go on the trip, a big meeting was scheduled at work so Li Li is spending a few days at Jim and Ann’s while I get to visit SFO and SJC for a few days and sit in meetings. I’ll be taking the redeye home Thursday night just to get home a little sooner.

Catherine gets home on Sunday and we leave for a week’s vacation in Montana. No promises but we really will try to post something at least once every week or two.

Potrait of the artist with a young woman…

The 21st century’s greatest mural painter, as far as we know, came for a visit over Easter weekend. Sara Lee had been chomping at the bit to come for a visit and this was the first weekend it worked for her schedule.

SaraLee and Li Li room

We love having Sara Lee come for a visit because she is just so much fun. The big news is that Sara Lee has started her business painting murals. www.saraleemurals.com She designed the website herself with some help from friends. So if you know anyone who wants a custom mural, of any size, send her an email. She’ll travel anywhere from her homebase in NYC – so don’t let distance be an issue.

Of course it was Easter Weekend and Passover. Our next door neighbors have a traditional egghunt every year and even though their boys ages are 23, 22, 18, and 16 they don’t let that stop them. Although the oldest is in Peru so it was the three “youngest” who battled it out this year. The egghunt has evolved into a full-contact scramble complete with hip-checks, stiff-arms and just plain shoving all for the coveted Pink Egg with the $5 bill inside

Egghunt Scramble start

The start came a little earlier than usual because the squirrels seem to like plastic eggs stuffed with chocolate – 3 eggs were lost to the squirrels before the hunt began.

EggHunt 3

As you can tell this is no eggunt for the timid. Here Catherine stands back protecting Li Li from the crush of hunters, you can even see a little purple egg about to be plucked.

Sara Lee and Li Li Easter

The boys were gracious though and gave Li Li her very own egg since she wasn’t ready to compete this year. She enjoyed playing with it with Sara Lee’s help. No chocolate for her this year though, she’ll have to wait to acquire that particular addiction.

Bath Update

For those who remember Li Li’s particular aversion to bathing she has recently begun to enjoy the experience. Here she beams her 100-watt smile stage left to her mother.

Happy bath

She’s a toy hoarder in the bath. She likes to have all of her toys within arms reach. That’s all for now. Hopefully we’ll be able to get more photos up shortly. -t

Finally, a new post

Sorry for the long delay between posts but it’s been a busy few weeks here at Li Li central. I finished up my last set of classes at school on Sunday.  When you miss 4 weeks of an 8-week class, the workload to catch up can be daunting. But thanks to my wife and my study group, I finally finished everything up in time to start a new group of classes. I’ve heard from Babson Fast Track Alumni that the biggest challenge after finishing school is how to spend all of one’s new found free time. I look forward to that problem.

LLSwing

While I was in California, Catherine took Li Li to the children’s park and Li Li loved the swing. We may have a thrill-seeker on our hands. Of course that would be payback for the numerous heart attacks I gave my parents.

On Saturday, aka St. Patrick’s Day, we had a party to celebrate all things Li Li. The party was a huge success with many, many friends and family representing 4 states all dropping by to eat, to drink and to look at our little girl. Many of our friends brought their children along and Li Li never had a moment alone since most of the children happened to be girls – and the girls loved playing with Li Li – while the few boys were the hit of the party. Of course the adults loved playing with Li Li too. Our dear daughter just soaked it all in, basking in the attention and having a grand time. I, of course, was exhausted, and without the tremendous help of our parents I would have been even more exhausted.

Li Li Bedtime

Li Li invokes Maggie’s protection to keep from going down for her nap. Plus Maggie acts as a backstop since Li Li still has a slight tendency to fall backwards.

LLMomReading

Gram Reads to Li Li before her nap.

My mom came for a visit in order to get her Li Li time. She of course fell in love with our little one. She read to Li Li, played with Li Li, put Li Li down for naps, and took more pictures than I even I thought was possibe. She even rescued me when my dear, beautiful, angelic daughter had a major, EPA notification caliber, toxic waste spill blowout involving a box of baby wipes, three changes of clothes, two changes of bedding and a household desmellification finally culminating in a cleansing bath for all involved. Of course Mom kept saying “this is nothing, when you were little…..” And Li Li was just wondering what all the fuss was about.

Birthday candle

“Li Li blow out the candle…”

Another milestone was reached when on Wednesday the 14th, Li Li had her 1st birthday. I was of course out of town on a business trip on an airplane with very mixed feelings. Yes, I needed to work but I didn’t enjoy missing her first birthday. The fact that Li Li had no idea it was her birthday, was a cold comfort. I didn’t like the precedent it set. We had a nice little dinner party Thursday evening when I got home with Catherine’s parents, her sister Christine, Li Li’s cousin Lila, my mom and the three of us.

Li Li Cake

Li Li likes merengue cake, but she isn’t too fond of Kiwi…

And our zen lighting moment of the day because I just can’t resist taking a picture of my beautiful daughter when the light is just right….

LLSunlight

That’s all for now. We’ll try to do better in the future. We promise. -t