Today marks the first day of a new era for me, the family, and the blog. Jenny said goodbye to work on Friday, and today I resumed my full-time pursuit of my degree. I didn’t have the instant productivity that I hoped I would. Maybe I can blame some of that on a sense of loss. Instead of spending time with my cute little girl, and doing concrete, visible, tactile tasks around the house, I removed myself to a lonely office and tried to re-immerse myself in distant, abstract mathematical theorems and spaces.
To go along with that, I’m rolling out the long-overdue, long-planned new name for the blog. Elena has been here for more than five months, so we’re certainly not waiting for her anymore. If anything, she waits for us most of the time these days. She waits for us to feed her, waits for us to go back and grab one more thing after we put her in the car seat for an outing, waits for us to put her down for a nap and then waits for us to get her up again.
To reflect this new stage of our lives, I came up with this name. As it turns out, it isn’t entirely original, as a Google search turns up at least this now-inactive blog from c|net. I’m not too surprised, it is an obvious portmanteau. But it accurately describes the two things I’m working on. It isn’t just my work, it’s a total family effort–Jenny’s giving me her full support and doing everything she can to help me graduate as soon as possible.
This afternoon, on my first day back, I ran into a harsh reminder of the realities of commuting. A police standoff had forced the complete closure of the MoPac Expressway, the main road on my way home. I took an alternate route, but the overflow of traffic from the closure caused all of the southbound traffic to be extremely slow. My commute, which takes 20 minutes in light traffic and 40 during peak times, turned into an excruciating hour-long trek, mostly shared with hundreds of other drivers in extremely close proximity.
Everything was better when I got home. Jenny was putting the finishing touches on dinner and also working on some bread, and Elena needed a little attention. I needed her as much as she needed me–we both calmed each other down. We got an extra bonus a little bit later when Jenny checked the mail. The book version of this blog arrived, describing all the happenings from our vacation last summer until the day that Elena was born. I put it together and ordered from Lulu.com, and am completely satisfied with the results! I’ll post a picture soon.