I know that some of you come here first when you're looking for my photos, and that's cool. I keep them all on Flickr, which I highly recommend. It's super-simple to use for the most part. I copy them off my camera, then use the flickr uploader to send them up to flickr. In the uploader, I can tag all the photos with keywords like "Colin", "Shannon", and "Masaharu Morimoto" (my cat). I never have to worry about losing them due to a hard drive crash, or my house burning down. I mark some of them private (only I can see), and some I mark for only friends and family to see. Some of my relatives have requested to not be shown on the Internet, and I respect that. So to get the most from my Flickr photos, you should sign up and become my "friend"!

I just added a little search box on the side of this blog that allows you to search my photos. I know it was kind of hard for some of you to figure it out in Flickr, so now it should be that much easier to find photos of Colin and the cat :)
Wow, has it really been six months since my last blog post? Some people tell me that I've had a good reason for not posting: I've been too busy being a dad. Well, I have been busy being a dad, but I think six months is a little ridiculous. Well, without further ado, and since it's considered a faux pas to blog about not blogging, let's get on with the update.

Colin is now six months old. It is amazing to see how much and how fast he is growing. He can now grab things, respond to people, and eat pureed foods.

It's funny that before parenthood, I thought that having kids would be something like a burden. I'd have to tell my friends, "Sorry I can't go. You know the kid." But the reality has been much different than that. Of course there have been things that Shannon and I haven't been able to do since he was born, but we don't regret them. It really is a joy to stay home and hang out with Colin. And even though, a crying baby can try your patience, a laughing baby is one of the most wonderful things in the world.

As you might already know, I am done with school for now. I have the credits for my math degree, but I am two classes away from the Russian degree. As it is, I am planning on graduating with a minor in Russian, and I may eventually go back to earn the full degree. That reminds me, I need to submit my application for graduation. Part of my recent raise was an agreement to get my degree in the next year, and my MCPD in two years. The MCPD stands for Microsoft Certified Professional Developer.

The other hesitation to having a baby in the past was the financial obligation. They say that babies cost a lot, and it's true. I can't believe how much the hospital charges. It makes me wish for socialized medicine (like that would make it free, but that's a topic for another post).

I am happy to say that God has been providing. We decided early on that we wanted to have Shannon stay at home and raise Colin, whatever that cost. So we've had thoughts of selling the house, and making it work, but so far we haven't had to take any drastic steps. I got a raise at work, and I've been taking on freelance projects to build websites and other programs. Opportunities for work just keep coming, and it really keeps me busy.

I've also started a new blog at lancefisher.net, but don't worry it's not replacing this one. If you are into programming and web development you might like it. I've been much more active with programming recently. Part of this is due to freelancing, and part of it is due to having more time and less mental strain since I'm not in school. I really enjoy the extra attention that I've been giving my profession. A couple of weeks ago, I flew down to Boise to attend and speak at Boise Code Camp with my friend Andrew. He recently started a tech blog too. I'm also starting a Missoula .NET Users Group. It's basically a monthly meeting for local developers to talk about programming and trade ideas.

So that's what I've been up to. How about you?
Tomorrow will be Colin’s one week mark. I haven’t been online much, since I’ve been so busy with him. He was born at 6:28 p.m. on Monday, September 17th. It was indescribable, but I’ll try.

Sunday, Beth was getting married and she came over so Shannon could do her hair. Right after she was done, Shannon’s water broke so we rushed to the hospital. The contractions didn’t start for a while, so at midnight the doctors gave her some pitocin to get things going. They started slowly. By 4:30 p.m. on Monday it was time to start pushing. Every time the doctor asked her to, she did. Shannon did beautifully. If you ever had your doubts, she is awesome. We had been there twenty eight hours at this point, and she gave it her all. After two hours Colin was born. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen.

I knew it would be miraculous, but I didn’t expect to be completely overwhelmed by it. I cried and looked at Shannon and she cried too. We were done, and we had a baby! Amazing! Just amazing. I can’t help but tear up when I think of it.

We spent the next couple of days in the hospital. There were some challenges, and worries – mostly common things that worry first time parents. We didn’t think he was getting enough to eat, and we had some problems feeding him, but we prayed and got lots of help from the nurses. Sometimes too much help. There were lots of nurses, and they each had their own different advice. By our checkout time on Wednesday, we were quite ready to leave. Even though they’ll watch the baby for you in the nursery, there is too much stress in the hospital.

Wednesday night at home was a long one. He woke up every twenty minutes it seemed, and neither of us got much sleep at all. Tuesday we decided to take shifts. Shannon would sleep while I watched Colin in the nursery, and then we would swap. This worked okay, but it is not something we wanted to continue with. Now we are sleeping in two hour blocks with his bassinet next to the bed. Honestly, I kind of dread the nights.

Everyone always complains about changing diapers. I don’t think that it is so bad. I’m not saying that I want to change your baby’s diapers. I don’t. It’s just that taking care of your own son is quite gratifying. It’s bonding time for us, and it’s good.

He sleeps a lot – just not for very long. He needs to eat every three hours or so, and he wants to eat every two. We cater to his wants. It won’t be like that forever, but it will be for a while. Now he’s eating great, we’re getting a system and the rhythm of parenthood.

Right now he is sleeping on my lap while I write on the laptop. There was a time in my life when I wouldn’t have been so excited to spend time and money on a child, but I am delighted to now. I’ve heard there is a chemical change in the brain when you become a father. I’ll have to look this up to see if it’s true, but from experience I can say that it is likely.

Being a dad is great!
Colin was born at 6:28 p.m. tonight, 7 pounds 5 ounces, 20-1/4 inch long. Shannon and I are both excited.
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I fixed the spelling of Colin's name and changed Shane to Shannon. Sometimes Jott is not quite accurate at transcribing. I phoned this post in.

If you are a geek (math, language, computer, physics, etc.), and you're not reading xkcd, you probably should check it out.

Just letting you know.