The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oh, Baby!

So, as noted in my last post, I have not posted for about two weeks due to much of those two weeks being taken up with the birth of my daughter and her first week of life.  I am working on a few entries on archaeology, and will hopefully have those up soon.  In the meantime, I am going to do the blog equivalent of showing you boring family photos by showing you family photos on my blog.

I know, you are so excited.

Little Ella Marie was born on Thursday, September 20th, and 7:27 PM, and weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs, 3 oz (outweighing my baby weight by 1 oz, and her mom's by 2 oz).

She had some rough patches in the first five days, with trouble feeding, but we seem to have turned the corner on that, and she is gaining weight and energy every day.  It's true that every baby has some sort of problem, and feeding problems are among the most common, and these do not prevent the child from turning out just fine...

...and I know all of this, which kept me from going into total panic.  Nonetheless, when it's your baby, you have a hard time seeing this for the typical set of issues that it is, and instead worry about the dire potential of the situation.

As a result, the last week has been a worrying one, but now that she is feeding more regularly and seems to be getting stronger and healthier, both Kaylia and I are breathing easier.

Over the last few days, she had two modes: hungry and asleep (well, truth be told, hungry would sometimes grade into frustrated/angry).  However, she has now added brief episodes of "awake and curious" to the mix.

It is too early to tell what her eye color will be, but there are some indications that it may be green like mine (though, in truth, they could very well turn brown like her mother's).  She has ears that match Kaylia's, but she has her dad's cleft chin (statistically speaking, an unusual trait for a girl).

At any rate, I am finding a great deal of satisfaction in simply holding her and having her look up at me.  And I have even taken to reading to her from Doctor Seuss books in the evening - she may not understand anything being said, but she gets to have her dad talk to her, and she seems to like the sing-song timbre of the books.

Okay, I'll get back to archaeology soon, but I felt inclined to share.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Arrival

So, my daughter, Ella Marie Metcalfe-Armstrong was born last Thursday at 7:27 PM.  She was 9 lbs, 3 oz. at birth, and her mother was in labor for 51 hours.  So, it should be no surprise that I wrote nothing at all on this blog last week.

I hope to be back up and blogging soon.  In the meantime, I am going to enjoy being a dad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wacky Adventures in Career Archaeology

As you may have noticed (those three of you who look in here semi-regularly), I have been a bit busy lately and therefore not posting.  It's the usual: baby prep, work business, family issues, etc.  I am going to try to get back to posting 2-3 times a week, but it may take a while.  In the meantime, I will try to post the occasional bit o' stuff when I get the chance.

At the moment, though, I had a few minutes to pause and reflect on the direction that my career has taken over the last six years.  I have, at various points, considered changing careers, either to make more money (I'm doing okay, but I could do better if I went back into business) or to get away from the stress that my job can entail (significantly lower with my current employer).  I have, however, come to the conclusion that while my job has both low and high points, at least I'm not usually bored for long. 

It is difficult to conceive of other lines of work in which you are likely to be ordered by the county coroner to carry human remains in your trunk, run into a macrobiotic dieting cult in the middle of the forest, or discover that your required communications equipment is so poorly adapted to the environment that it literally creates a greater safety hazard than it could possibly solve. 

Even at my job's worst, I have at least gotten good stories about running into grounded boats in the middle of deserts with no water around, being told by oil company executives that "the laws don't apply to people like us" (incidentally, turns out that they do apply), trying to find my way through a maze of improvised roads with no clear landmarks in dense fog, and had weird run-ins with drunk biologists who were tracking rats.

Kaylia, my fiance, has taken to describing my fieldwork as "field adventures."  I would typically disagree with this - digging holes next to a highway in high temperatures is more of an annoyance than an adventure - but there is a degree of truth to it.  When I was younger, I was very timid, and while my friends were out climbing mountains, skydiving, experimenting sexually, going to clubs, and generally finding ways to look for excitement, I was either at work or at home, and feeling a bit down.

Now, most of these friends have moved on, and have jobs in which they sit in an office all day, and go home to a fairly normal home at night.  While there are elements of this that I find agreeable (indeed, I am actively working on the whole "fairly normal home" part of this), I must admit that I get a bit of enjoyment out of being the guy with the best stories when we get together: "Your boss wants that code finished before it's even possible?  That sucks.  Hey, did I tell you about the time that I learned how to chase off a charging pack of dogs armed with nothing but my voice?*"

While there are things that I would change about my career, I think that, on the whole, I've been pretty lucky.

*Yes, this actually happened.