Musical Chairs

For those of you who know of my employer and are wondering, when the music stopped after this last announced round of layoffs, I still had a chair. Thus far, I’ve wound up with a chair through 5 or 6 major rounds of layoffs, as they’ve pulled out 65,000 of the 100,000 chairs. Perhaps I’ll make it through that last round and get to turn out the lights.

Jonathan’s Explanation

I went upstairs this afternoon to get Jonathan out of his bed after his nap. As is the usual case, the entire contents of his crib were strewn about on the floor. One of his favorite pasttimes is throwing every stuffed animal, blankie, etc out of the crib. Unfortunately, today his diaper was among the discarded items on the floor. His overalls were askew, there was a wet spot on his sheet, and when I asked, “What did you do?” he said, “Diaper broken….silly!!!” and smiled sweetly.

We had been in the habit of duct-taping his diapers shut at naptime and during the night because he kept taking them off. However, we have been thinking lately that he’s moved past that little stage, and so stopped using the tape. Guess we were wrong. Back out comes the tape!!!

Cogito Ergo Gone

For those who care, Cogito Ergo Blog is no more. Tricia and I are consolidating our collective efforts into a family website. There is still a good bit of work to do (for instance, the archive by author doesn’t work yet), but I wanted to go ahead and publish the new site so I would be motivated to finish it.

The color scheme and formatting will probably change several times in the coming weeks… and we need a name! Any ideas? We’ve been over a bunch of clever plays on the word “Horne”, but to be honest, they aren’t very clever.

A Son Is Given, Part 3

Abigail, Nicolas, and Jonathan (left to right)We are home from the hospital. Everything is going very well so far. Tricia is recovering quickly and is thrilled to have had a successful VBAC (if you have to ask, you may not want to know). Right now, all four of them are taking naps.

For myself, I have taken a small step of tremendous significance to me. When Abigail was born 3.5 years ago, my reading habit was annihilated. Totally gone. For three years I struggled to get it back, and in 2002 it finally returned. I’ve been worried that the birth of Nicolas would once again force me to start from scratch. Thus, I took NT Wright’s The New Testament and the People of God with me to the hospital in the hopes of reading just enough of it to maintain some continuity with my developing habit. I am thankful to say that I read through 50 pages of it (some of those pages were read 4 or 5 times since I had a bit of trouble staying awake).

I love to read, but it takes a certain discipline to quiet oneself to really enjoy a good book. Family life that involves heavy church involvement has the unfortunate consequence (at least for me) of dividing my focus such that it is a real struggle to slow down and read substatively. I’ve also noticed that my scripture reading suffers if I’m not reading in general. So far, it looks like I’m keeping the bit of progress I had made earlier this year.

A Son Is Given, Part 2

Nicolas Andrew Horne was born on July 3, 2002 at 11:03 a.m. after about 11 hours of travail. Vitals came in at 8 lbs 15.4 ozs and 21.5 inches. He’s doing well and has taken to eating like a champ. Tricia is doing well in that sense of the word ‘well’ that encompasses having just had a child exit one’s body. In particular, we give praise to God that she does not seem to have reinjured her tailbone, which broke during her delivery of Abigail 3.5 years ago (and resulted in a c-section to deliver our son Jonathan 18 months ago).

They gave us a semi-private room to ourselves so that we would have two beds. I stayed over last night in the hospital, as I will again tonight. We caught up on much missed sleep last night thanks to some major help from some very caring nurses.

As far as questions like, “Is it as special the third time around?” I can only say that I shed tears of joy and wonder, as I have twice before.

A Son Is Given, Part 1

Our original due date was June 24, but my wife always believed, for good reason, that June 27 was more realistic. Due to a variety of factors (large babies, broken tailbone on the first child, c-section on the second, etc) the doctor has felt there were some issues at work that might result in another c-section. Tricia, however, very much wanted her body to go into labor when it was good and ready. After a bit of back and forth, we settled on July 3rd as an induction date in case we had not already had the baby.

Last night, we finally went to bed after getting everything in order for the induction the following morning. We were quite disappointed, to say the least. Tricia had tried every little technique to get the labor started (spicy food, caster oil, walking, and other less mentionable…). So we got to bed late, just after midnight, prayed together, and tried to go to sleep. I succeeded pretty quickly.

Tricia, on the other hand, seems to have gone into labor. Around 12:30 a.m. she woke me (does 5 minutes of sleep actually count as sleep?). I reminded her of the general rule that the coach is to be allowed to sleep until things are severe. She left to prowl the house, and I went back to sleep. This time, I got a solid hour of sleep before she shook me awake and told me to “start counting.” Now, for those of you who don’t remember, counting sheep is a common practice used to induce sleep. And it was 1:40 a.m. I made it to 30 or so before losing consciousness. That, apparently, is when she almost slapped me.

Out of a warm sense of love (and a strong fear for my well-being), I got up about 2 minutes later. That was an hour ago, and it looks like that may be the last sleep we get for some time. We’ve both showered and are ready to go to the hospital if things continue on as they are currently progressing. It’s all pretty remarkable. After months of pregnancy and a couple weeks of waiting for labor to begin, it appears to have started less than 7 hours before the induction deadline.

So, if all goes well, this will be my last blog as a father of two…

The Cleanup Crew

It’s been almost a year since we moved into our current home. Tiny ants started showing up for the first time in the kitchen this past week. My wife was not pleased when I expressed delight at the return of the “cleanup crew,” but I figure we’ll one day have to pay top dollar for some sort of micro robot that does an inferior job to their free service.

Visit to Minco

This past weekend I and my family had the opportunity to visit my brother’s family in Minco, OK. I’ve decided their manse is very well suited for hosting guests. It’s back wing includes a bedroom (which their daughter, Evangeline, graciously allowed us to use), bathroom and living area with a sleeper sofa. Perfect for a visiting family.

We enjoyed worshiping together on Sunday… it was actually the first time I’ve ever had the opportunity to participate in a worship service that my brother was officiating. I’ll tell you this, there was no Gnosticism inhabiting the pulpit! Bodily resurrection, the real reign of Jesus, you name it, we got it.

Working at Nortel

I don’t mention work very much, do I? For those who don’t know, I work for Nortel Networks. 2001 was the year to forget; yet I fear it will stay with me far longer than the ‘years of plenty’ that preceded it. Nortel scaled back a bit… from around 100k employees down to 48k. Here in Richardson we probably laid off well over 5000 of the 10k employees in town at the beginning of the year. Due to a promotion I received at the last January, I was far more aware and involved in the proceedings than I might have been otherwise. I had many formative experiences (let’s just say I had never seen people crying in the office prior to 2001). To be honest, I was absolutely certain I would start going gray before it was all over.

After enjoying a bit over a week off, I went back on January 2nd. I hadn’t realized how helpful the time off had been until I went back. It was like a shadow drifted back over me. The environment spoils what would be a major plus: the position I took last year is the first one that has given me that “Ahhhh” feeling of doing something for which I am well suited. The chaos of Nortel imploding makes it rather challenging to enjoy.