Alice’s first day of Kindergarten

On Friday, I took Alice to her first day of kindergarten, at Sam Livingston school.


Wow, Mommy needs to learn french- Alice will soon be learning things I won’t have a clue of what she’ll be saying!

Her teacher, Mme Heather Dyson, seems very nice, and sincere. It was a staggered entry, which means half the kids went Thurs. and the other half on Friday. I took her to her class and met the teacher, then I was instructed to head to the library for orientation, while Alice had an hour of class. Our girl isn’t little anymore!!! She seems so grown up now. It went well, and she enjoyed it. Tomorrow she starts full time, and will be taking the bus. The bus pick up is 11:59am, and drop off is at the same spot, at 4:05pm. So Nathaniel and I will have 4 hours by ourselves, that will be weird. On Friday, we discovered that a girl from Alice’s preschool is not only in her class, but also taking the same bus! So that’s great, they can be bus buddies, and friends in school. We’re very proud of our girl!

Mommy gets a job in insurance

I was hired at AMA and started May 19th as an auto adjuster. It’s been 8 years since I’ve done this, but I’ve gotten back into it quickly… the hardest adjustment is commuting to a day job which has me away from home from 7:15am- 5:45pm. I miss Alice and Nathaniel terribly. The first week was the hardest, and I really didn’t think I could continue…but since Don was laid off March 23rd, neither of us could afford not to accept any offers. I’ve adjusted now to being at work, though I find it strange to take breaks as required ( a break, what’s that?). I actually asked in the interview if I could work through lunch and go home early… this makes complete sense to me but I guess is not an option….

Anyway, we hired a nanny, Leah, who started the Friday before I had to begin my job. She’s working out great, not that I ever see her. The kids seem happy and Don reports good things, like Leah making Nathaniel go on time outs for hitting Alice. She seems to do things the way I would, so I guess in my absence this is the next best thing.

Photo Friday – High Speed

Alice and Cassie cruising at high speed

Alice driving Cassie’s Barbie Jeep at the farm. At high speed. Since it was almost bedtime, they’re cruising in their pyjamas.

Gas-powered RC car

For something a whole lot faster, Norm’s gas-powered RC car. It goes like stink. Nathaniel needs one of these right away.

Simple ‘Down for Maintenance’ Solution for Apache using .htaccess

I finally decided to create a maintenance page to use whenever I’m upgrading any of my sites. This solution was pretty simple.

I added two RewriteCond stanzas to my .htaccess, at the top of the file at the base of the site. The first rewrite handles the case where the maintenance page exists:

# If the maintenance.html page exists, redirect to that.
RewriteCond /full/path/to/site/system/maintenance.html -f
# Don't redirect if the maintenance page was requested.
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/system/maintenance.html
RewriteRule ^.*$ http://blog\.coredump\.ca/system/maintenance.html [R,L]

If the maintenance.html file exists, it is displayed. What happens when the maintenance is complete? Well, I remove the maintenance.html page of course. To prevent anyone from seeing a 404 once maintenance.html has been removed, I added the following to .htaccess immediately after the previous stanza:

# If the maintenance.html page does not exist, redirect to the index.
RewriteCond /full/path/to/site/system/maintenance.html !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} /system/maintenance.html
RewriteRule ^.*$ http://blog\.coredump\.ca [R,L]

Now all I do whenever I bring the site down for maintenance is:

  1. copy maintenance.html into the appropriate location;
  2. perform the site maintenance;
  3. remove maintenance.html.

Isn’t that easy?

Other words

Nathaniel can also say sausage “autage”, bad (not that he is ever…), bed (refers to a nice red silk Pottery Barn comforter that the kids have claimed as theirs), scootch, stairs, medicine “medeeche”, juice (referring to Mommy’s beer when we went out for dinner the other night). Again, I’m sure there are words I’m missing, he learns new ones daily! Oh, we can’t forget buttons and buckle!

Nathaniel news

It’s been too long since the last blog…

Nathaniel and Alice had their latest vaccinations March 24th, the day after Don was laid off from Pason…

Nathaniel weighed 21 lbs, and is 75% for weight and 90th for height- the tall Murray!

I keep meaning to update Nathaniel’s progress- he knows so many words now!!

Here’s the list I can try to think of:

Car (has been saying this for months), Truck (“uck”), Plane (“pane”), Alice (“acss”), Mama, Daddy, Bye Bye, Toothbrush (“busch”), Uncle “unco”, Auntie “a-tee”, Cassie “ca-he”, Chase “teace”, meow meow (“mao mao”), puppy, mess, ba ba (for his bottle), wee, two, bo-bo, hug (“ug”), remote (“mote”), dragon (“a-gon”), rock (“ock”), happy “a-py”, no, phone “oan”, toes, hot, motorbike “mo-mo”, uckie, nose, eyes, blackberries “blackie”, noodles “noonoes”, apple “app-o”, ball, horse, owl, book (a new word this week), up, down, go. He learns new words almost daily. He loves to sit and read books, and will often gravitate to the bookshelf while Alice happily watches treehouse. His favorite books are the happy baby words ones, where he can point to things and say what they are. The most important word is “B”, for his blanket- his most worldly possession (I think he loves it more than me!)

And now he can put 2-3 words together, ie/ go-go-go (this is what he says as soon as he sees hockey on TV), bye-bye, no no, etc.

This week he also learned how to blow kisses–the most adorable thing!

And he knows all his body parts and proudly points to them when asked ie/where’s your fingers?

He is smart, and I kiss him all day long!!!

Installing Fedora 10 from USB drive

I’ve got an old IBM ThinkPad R51 that needed an upgrade. The CD-ROM has become flaky, so I wanted to install from a USB thumbdrive. Turns out this was pretty easy.

  1. Download the Fedora live CD. For Fedora 10, this is about 682MB.
  2. Follow the instructions at How to create and use Live USB.

That’s all it took. To boot from USB, you have to press the blue ‘Access IBM’ button, then F12. From there, the BIOS presents a menu and you can select the thumbdrive as a boot device.

BTW, I was initially going to attempt a PXE-boot and kickstart. This is also easy to do thanks to the folks at Etherboot.

Nathaniel’s Favourite TV

Things Nathaniel likes to watch on TV:

  • dogs (we’re watching the Iditarod Great Sled Race right now);
  • race cars (Nathaniel watched some of the Daytona 500 with me in February);
  • steak commercials (each time ads for The Keg appear, Nathaniel points and laughs);
  • Barney (daddy is not a fan);
  • Four Square on Treehouse.

Nathaniel news

Since our last post, Nathaniel has grown a lot!
He’s fully walking now; he tries to go so fast he’s almost running!!! It sure is hard work trying to keep up to Alice!

He’s learned a bunch of new words too. A few days ago he learned to say “da-ddy”. His favorite new word is “car”, which comes out more as if he has a British accent; it sounds more like “ca”. His most favorite activity as such, is to stand on the bonus room window sill and watch the parade of cars go by (yes, every day there is a parade on Copperfield Blvd., don’t you know!). He cries when you take him off, and will point to the window and say “ca” to get you to take him there. His word for Alice sounds more like “Ala” now, and he can now say “cracker” aka “ca ca” since our discovery of peanut butter cracker sandwiches. For a few weeks now he’s been able to say “ba ba” for his bottle, which he says when he’s thirsty.

A minor note, the last post said Alice had the flu- well she was better after 6 days or so, then Nathaniel got sick. So he was sick for his 1st birthday, not fair at all. He was vomitting/diarrhea for about 5 days, and took a few days after to get back to his normal self. Then he had a growth spurt to boot, so was eating up a storm! He gained back the weight he lost, and then some. He’s never been a chubby baby, but he is strong! 2 weeks after his actual birthday, we had a party with the 4 of us and opened the family gifts.