Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mommy comes home

Dani was able to come home the next day.  She's feeling great, and she got a warm welcome.  Here are the pictures of it.

Still, such a good big sister.

And a good daughter

We got these for you, mommy

Much more tired than mommy

"When's my turn?"

Where am I?

Girlies gone wild

Proud Father, Confused Daughter

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baby's coming (2)

Well, this post I can finally stop convoluting the blog with my employment woes. 

I got an interview with a place I wanted to work at.  It was a little odd, actually.  The first interview was with five separate people, one at a time.  The overall theme was, "can you work in an environment that isn't a corporation, and doesn't act like a non-profit?"

I did that three years ago, so I told them that I could probably handle it just fine.  The rest was some technical questions, which are a standard in this industry.  They all seemed rather pleased about how I was progressing through the interviews--so I took that as a good sign.

I didn't hear back from them for several weeks. My contact for the interviewing process, said it was because of some internal deadlines.  When I went in for my second interview, they sat me down and said, "we want to hire you, you've sort of bubbled up through all the candidates.  The last part of this is that the director of our department wants to interview all new-hires.  He gives sort of a thumbs up or thumbs down for them all.  We've had one other candidate make it as far as you and he gave the thumbs down.  We don't know why--so we'd like to give you a written test.  We know he's going to ask you programming questions.  We figure if you do this and prove you have the skill-set, then we can come back at him if he gives a thumbs down with this much more evidence that you're the right candidate"

So, that made me nervous.  I was asked an interesting programming problem and I gave him two solutions for it.  When he asked me what the benefits were to each approach, I responded,  "Well, one of these wouldn't slow down with huge data sets.  The other one really only has the advantage of being quick to code for--could probably do it in about 3 or 4 minutes."
His response was, "Oh, really?  Would you write up the code for the second approach then?"

It took me about 3 minutes, but I wrote working code up on the board that solved the hypothetical problem.  His response was, "I've never seen anyone do that.  What position are you interviewing for?"

"System test"

"Oh good, we need more testers"

That was the end of the interview.  I heard back a week later asking for some data regarding salary and the official offer.  I start work on August 1st, which is the day after Dani's due date.  I'm hoping this kid comes a week or two early for that reason--and my mother has already planned to be in town July 18-25.  That'd work out so well if this kid comes early--because we wouldn't have to worry about N and V while we run off in the middle of the night to the hospital.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby's coming

Well, we've made it 7 months without knowing what this kid will be.  At this point, I just want it to be a surprise.  Hundreds of generations have done it that way, guess I'll get some insight into their lives.

Dani is much more spry with this pregnancy than the previous ones.  She's getting some pains she's never had before in her lower abdomen.  The doctor says those will get worse with every pregnancy.

I posted my resume online, and my phone has been ringing off the hook with job offers.  Okay, not quite that intense, but I do get 2-3 calls a week asking me to interview.  I've had two companies agree to let me telecommute (they're both based in California). 

Probably the most note-worthy position someone called me about was a senior engineer position regarding embedded linux on medical devices for GE.  It would've paid about double my last job--but I'd have to commute up to Murray every day, and I'd likely be pulling 60-80 hour weeks all the time.  I wouldn't be able to finish my degree. . .but that's probably a moot point now.

Of all the jobs available that I've given my resume to, the one I want the most is a performance engineer for a non-profit.  It's only two steps off of what I was doing--so I could pick it up quickly.  Also, I believe it is in the same building--just one floor below it. Technically, that'd mean a shorter commute.  I also hear that they have very good benefits.

I don't care where I work or what I do, so long as I can provide a home for my family.  That's my real concern.  If everything else fails--that is the one thing that I won't let happen.  I'd work double-shifts at McDonalds if I needed to--fortunately most people can see that I have a slightly higher-level skill set than that.

Now if only I could figure out this whole "parenting" skill.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's a baby (part 7)

Dani gets to have this baby through Dr. Judd.  He delivered V--and had Dani laughing during the delivery.  I'm very happy at that news.  Also, we'll get to have this kid at a much nicer hospital.  Great news on every front.

I'm still worried about V and this new kid.  V's largely over the "not the mamma" stages, but still greatly prefers her mom over anyone else.  Dani still picks her up whenever she comes bouncing towards her.  I'm hoping that doesn't cause problems as Dani gets more pregnant.

The other cool news is all my older siblings have already announced they're done having kids--so in typical fifth-kid fashion, I'm getting a ton of hand-me-downs.  In this case, it's for my kids from all my nephews.   If this is a boy, then we're taken care of :)

My biggest concern is if this kid gets into sports.  I'm not very athletic, and don't have much interest in sports at all.  I can just see a little boy finding a soccer ball and falling in love with kicking it.  I suppose I should start gearing myself up for that--N could take an interest in it at anytime.

I want to talk a little more about faith.  There's a lot of our life that is dependent on faith.  To me, you need faith to simply live from day to day.  You believe that the sun will rise tomorrow.  You believe that there will be food to eat, water to drink, and air to breathe.  You've believed these things for so long that you no longer need to think about them, and it's not difficult to expect that they'll happen.

Well, life is much more enjoyable if you don't expect these little miracles to happen--it's best to keep them as acts of faith.  The times when we typically talk about faith is when it's hard to act on it.

Getting married is a huge act of faith.  You believe your spouse is who they say they are.  You believe that they feel the same way about you that you do about them.  You believe that your marriage will be successful.  To me, the fact that any two people ever get married is a miracle.  There are so many differences in backgrounds and beliefs that putting two people together to spend every spare moment together would be an impossible feat without having God involved.  It's hard to act on that belief, because ending a marriage is a devastating process.

Well, this little kid will be an equally large step of faith--and not having a job while expecting this kid just means a little more faith is needed.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's a baby (part 6)

Dani and I used to be critical of people who had kids very close together.  We had friends and people we knew who chose to have kids even when their economic or emotional circumstances were quite bleak.  We aren't critical of that anymore.

Having kids is better than being financially secure.  Financial security may (or may not) lead to emotional well being and stability, but having kids is a promise that you will find happy moments in your life.  Every time my little girls come up and hug me, every time they listen--or try to help around the house seems to melt away all the distress and trouble they caused and just make me smile inside.

So, I'm heading into the unknown here.  No promise of employment, not much assurance that this kid will be healthy, and knowing that I'll have a serious battle with depression on my hands very shortly.

I did have an interview at a place called Fishbowl inventories.  Nice work environment--abysmal pay scale.  I wasn't the right candidate for the job, but even if I was then I'd have to take a serious paycut.  In all honesty, I would probably make more money working as a full-time construction worker or entry level police officer than I would there.  I feel like I'm more valuable than that, so I guess I'll just keep looking.

In light of my circumstances, I've decided to start working on a personal project--making an indie computer game.  My general idea is to make a game that can switch between a top-down real-time strategy game, and a first person shooter.  It's gonna be one of the most challenging things I've ever done, but I think I'm up for the challenge.

In other news, Dani is still pregnant, and after the second ultrasound--we still have no idea what this baby is.  I'm hoping to just let it be a surprise now, do it the old fashion way.  Wasn't my first choice for finding out this kid's gender--but if the Doc can't tell, then he can't tell.

The other part of me just wants to take my wife to a clinic or private-sector ultrasound place and see if we can try again.  I must say though, the name Y is growing on me much faster than X--but I'd really like a boy just to make sure that the Millecam last name will be passed on.

I think, admittedly, I'd be more excited about having another priesthood holder on my home in another 12 years.  There's so much I'd love to teach him.  I guess I'll just wait and see.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's a baby (part 5) some bad news

I got laid off. I don't exactly know how the company can justify that--expand the roles of the performance team while cutting it down.
I guess I can't feel to bad about it--from what I heard about 1/3rd of the company got laid off. The company put out a "cloud" product that just didn't have a decent level of stability to it. I guess if they'd let the performance team actually test the cloud software prior to its release, maybe they could've lost less money, or even made a profitable product.
Oh well, my job ends on May 29th. A lot of people got cut, so I really can't take it personally. I don't know why it was me cut from my team--as there is one other member of it with just as much experience as me (who I would say has a worse work track record, but not my call). I think I got cut because I missed a meeting with some guy named Bill Gunther. I really hate executives who think they have the right to just turn people's lives upside down, and not have any sort of accountability for their actions.
I'm sort of divided between "why did I get cut" and "it happens to everyone." Oh well, I'll just accept it for what it is.
On the plus side, the severance they gave me was quite generous--and covers my pay up until about October. If I can find a job and start it at the beginning of June, then this'll just be a very good thing that happened for me.

I think Dani is just shocked about the whole thing--and doesn't know what to make of it. We're both hopeful that I can find work before this job ends--I have two months and that's about how long it takes. I've also kept my eye on the job market since they had the town-hall meeting. There are about four or five positions open in the area that I can fill.

Guess the only open question is whether or not they'll take someone who hasn't finished their degree yet.

This comes back to my views on having kids.  You don't know if you can provide, or properly take care of this kid.   Kids are so much about the future, and the future is always unknown. To me, bringing a child in this world is an act of faith.  You have to believe that what you're doing is the right thing.  You have to believe that you can, in fact, be a parent to this little person.
So, even with this, I still have faith that things will work out.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's a baby (part 4)

(Now we're into Feb-Mar)

Dani is doing much better. We got her into the doctor, and she's feeling much better. She isn't as sick, and we've found some effective things to keep the baby blues away. I got her an elliptical, since I know the low-impact workouts are acceptable at any stage of a pregnancy.
In all honesty, I've been using it more than her. I call it my "nerdic trek" work out--since I'm using a Nordic Track machine, and I watch old Star Trek episodes while doing it. It's a good metric for me, since those shows are always within the cardio workout range.
I hope Dani picks it up again soon, since I know the endorphins and exercise will help her feel better about life in general.

In other news: It's a. . .TBA! (To be announced) We had an ultrasound for the baby, and the darn kid was straddling the umbilical chord so tightly the doc couldn't get a clear look. He thinks it's a boy though, so I'm gonna start referring to the baby as a he, or maybe even as Xavier, as that's the name we've got picked out for this kid.

Also, I don't know why, but I talked with Dani about it. We both feel like something bad is going to happen. We arrived at this through prayer, but the impression is very distinct and surprisingly clear. Something bad is going to happen to us, but it'll be a blessing in disguise. That's all we got.

I'm just praying this kid will be healthy, and happy. I really hope he doesn't have downs syndrome or something like that. I'm just gonna trust the impression that it's a blessing in disguise--whatever it is.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's a baby (part 3)

(This is written as if it were about January)
I'm having a difficult time at my current job. I'll just leave it at that. There are a number of things I could say about it--but none of it would help. We had a town-hall meeting where they told us they were planning on reorganizing the company. They mentioned my team specifically as being better integrated into the corporate body--so I'm not too worried. I just remember all the stuff my dad went through growing up. Company reorganizations in the software world are bad news for everyone.

I've also decided to not go back to school this semester--I figure I'll give it a go spring or summer term. I've also decided to change my major to applied physics--as a capstone project seems favorable to an un-paid 20-hour-a-week for two years research position.

I figure, with a new child on the way, I've got enough on my plate. Granted, I know things will get more hecktic with kid 3. Kid three has been the stopping point for all my siblings. My dad said it's because you switch from man-to-man into zone defense. I guess I'll see what he means soon enough.

Being a supportive husband and father is a challenge. I want to help my family, but sometimes I think the best thing to do is not help. Let my children learn about it--let my wife work on it. I'm more worried about Dani this pregnancy than the previous two. The reason being that Dani gets the "baby blues."

With N, we had the excitement of a new child and becoming parents to mask it. With V, it became a bit of a problem but she quickly bounced back. She seems to be getting them a bit worse this time around. I worry that I won't be able to be positive enough around her, or encourage her enough. I want her to be happy, but I don't know what to do about that.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's a baby (part 2)

This is the first trimester post.

Dani hasn't really been sick--hard to even tell she's pregnant. She'd kept up with jogging and exercising before she was pregnant--so I'm thinking she might stay with that throughout her pregnancy.

I really just want her to succeed--and I know that exercise gets harder and harder as pregnancy develops, so I've decided to dedicate a certain number of funds towards getting an elliptical in our house. I found one on the classifieds that seems to be in good working order, and I think that'll be helpful for both Dani and me.

A third kid is on their way here. I keep coming back to this idea of "equality" among siblings. Quite frankly, I don't think it exists. V excels in areas that N struggles in, and vice verse. I'm also noticing that V wants a whole lot more time with her mommy than N does.

I noticed this one day when I was trying to balance my time evenly between V and N. I wasn't enjoying playing with my kids as much, and N seemed a little disappointed when I gave V a turn. Oddly enough, V didn't seem to really care about how many times I threw her in the air--at least not as much as N did.

So, as a result--I've decided to not bother trying to make my interactions with my kids completely "fair." I'm just going to show them the love and attention that they want as often as I can, and let them worry about equality.

I don't know how that is going to play out with three kids--I know that Dani and I will have less time overall. I'm very worried that V will have a hard time adjusting. V is just such a momma's girl--and she doesn't really like anyone else. I'm worried that she'll get jealous of her baby sibling, and I don't know what I can do about that to fix it now. I'll just try to expressively show my excitement about this new child around V. Maybe she'll share in that excitement? Who knows.

N loves babies, and loves having new friends--and a baby sibling is both to her, so I'm not worried about that.

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....