New House, New Baby and a Geek’s Home Office

Three months ago we found out that we were expecting a baby; four months ago we bought our first house.  Take a peak at what we’ve been up to…

P1040735

The Stats

In three months we:

  • Moved house (with the help of some great friends, until mid-night!)
  • Painted over 200sqm of walls and ceilings
  • Fixed 15m of new skirting boards
  • Replaced 5 light fittings
  • Had 26sqm of new carpet laid
  • Fitted 25sqm of laminate flooring
  • Had a new en-suite bathroom installed
  • Filled a hole in an outside wall (one of my favourite jobs)
  • Removed a kitchen unit to install our dishwasher and did the plumbing (also fun)
  • Made 10+ trips to Ikea (lots of meatballs enjoyed there)

The Geek’s Touch

I had to add my own touch to the house, so here are the highlights:

Idea PaintIMG_0368

I wanted a big whiteboard in my home office to be creative on, but then I thought, why limit it to a board, why not use an entire wall?  The folks over at IdeaPaint made this possible.  I now have a 4sqm whiteboard to dump all of my ideas on to!

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Cam

IMG_0366 Some of my family live overseas and there are times when I am away with work.  What better way to share the first months of our baby’s life with family then a webcam monitoring the cot?  I chose the Y-Cam Black, an awesome IP camera (also supports WiFi) and InfraRed for night-time activity.  I’ve fixed it to the wall with a cable connection to the network.  All you need to do is forward a port on your home router and the Y-Cam does the rest.  Password protected of course.

 

 

D-LAN

IMG_0367 We just upgraded to Virgin 10MB broadband, so rather than lose more than half of it over at best poor WiFi, I decided to invest in Netgear’s 85MB PowerLine D-LAN solution.  These handy little boxes plug into the mains and give you a decent wired network connection anywhere in the house.  They also work across different ring mains and I have even got one in the garage for a future project.

 

 

 

 

Home Office

The home office was my little project, and I put some time into it as I’m now going to be spending a considerable amount of time each day sat in there. I repainted all of the walls and made a nice feature wall using Dulux Intense Truffle Feature Wall paint.  I fitted a new Ikea light and lots of Ikea Billy storage.  We got given a very nice futon which you can see in the photo – currently in use to get some sleep in-between the baby waking up!

As mentioned before I have an awesome whiteboard wall and some subtle touches to give it a slick feel (e.g. the fancy low-profile black light switch).

IMG_0369

All-in-all we’re very pleased with our new place, and grateful to everyone who helped us get it ready in time!

New House, New Baby and a Geek’s Home Office

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Three months ago we found out that we were expecting a baby; four months ago we bought our first house.  Take a peak at what we’ve been up to…

P1040735

The Stats

In three months we:

  • Moved house (with the help of some great friends, until mid-night!)
  • Painted over 200sqm of walls and ceilings
  • Fixed 15m of new skirting boards
  • Replaced 5 light fittings
  • Had 26sqm of new carpet laid
  • Fitted 25sqm of laminate flooring
  • Had a new en-suite bathroom installed
  • Filled a hole in an outside wall (one of my favourite jobs)
  • Removed a kitchen unit to install our dishwasher and did the plumbing (also fun)
  • Made 10+ trips to Ikea (lots of meatballs enjoyed there)

The Geek’s Touch

I had to add my own touch to the house, so here are the highlights:

Idea PaintIMG_0368

I wanted a big whiteboard in my home office to be creative on, but then I thought, why limit it to a board, why not use an entire wall?  The folks over at IdeaPaint made this possible.  I now have a 4sqm whiteboard to dump all of my ideas on to!

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Cam

IMG_0366 Some of my family live overseas and there are times when I am away with work.  What better way to share the first months of our baby’s life with family then a webcam monitoring the cot?  I chose the Y-Cam Black, an awesome IP camera (also supports WiFi) and InfraRed for night-time activity.  I’ve fixed it to the wall with a cable connection to the network.  All you need to do is forward a port on your home router and the Y-Cam does the rest.  Password protected of course.

 

 

D-LAN

IMG_0367 We just upgraded to Virgin 10MB broadband, so rather than lose more than half of it over at best poor WiFi, I decided to invest in Netgear’s 85MB PowerLine D-LAN solution.  These handy little boxes plug into the mains and give you a decent wired network connection anywhere in the house.  They also work across different ring mains and I have even got one in the garage for a future project.

 

 

 

 

Home Office

The home office was my little project, and I put some time into it as I’m now going to be spending a considerable amount of time each day sat in there. I repainted all of the walls and made a nice feature wall using Dulux Intense Truffle Feature Wall paint.  I fitted a new Ikea light and lots of Ikea Billy storage.  We got given a very nice futon which you can see in the photo – currently in use to get some sleep in-between the baby waking up!

As mentioned before I have an awesome whiteboard wall and some subtle touches to give it a slick feel (e.g. the fancy low-profile black light switch).

IMG_0369

All-in-all we’re very pleased with our new place, and grateful to everyone who helped us get it ready in time!

5 reflections after 12 days of being a Dad

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1. Learning how to do many tasks with only one hand available

Making a cup of tea, filling a bowl with warm water, making and buttering toast, typing on a keyboard (I’m writing this on the sofa with one hand whilst the other is pacifying my son in the hope of sending him off to sleep), unfolding a nappy, doing the gardening, building an extension (obviously some things I’m still learning how to do).

2. Being productive during unsociable hours

When you’re awake between 12am and 7am it seems like a waste just to sit there in a comatose state and keep saying how tired you are.  Find something to do which is beneficial in some way and can be done with one hand (as above) and can easily be moved around the house as required.  One night we spent an hour together writing a list of baby equipment that we still needed – I recorded it all on my iPhone.  I always keep my Amazon Kindle handy and it is light enough to hold in one hand and I can choose between books depending on my mood.

3. Your face is replaced by that of your child

Perhaps this is a desperate attempt to remind yourself of why its worth being so tired/broke/lacking time, or a conversation starter to help explain why you missed the last 5 minutes of the conversation, but pretty quickly your face on all digital mediums is replaced by that of your child’s. The background wallpaper on your phone is a photo of your baby (probably asleep, to give you hope that if it happened once it can happen again); your desktop wallpaper becomes a whopping great photo of your child doing something fun, so that when co-workers come over you can accidentally minimise all windows to show them; your Facebook and Twitter avatars are photos of your child, probably being held by you so long lost friends don’t think you’ve just come out of cryostasis.

4. Sleep becomes the new gold in your personal trading account and you get it whenever and wherever you can

Firstly, 6 hours of sleep becomes a great night, and can give you a psychological boost for the entire day (you forget about the cumulative effect of a lack of sleep from previous nights).  You then take any opportunity you can to sleep.  I don’t during the day, as I have things that I want to get done.  But by the time 8pm arrives we’ll try and squeeze in 2-3 hours of sleep before the rest of the nights begins.  Finally, you no longer feel socially awkward at nodding off at a friend’s house. Last week we went out and I grabbed two hours sleep on their spare bed.

5. You derive great enjoyment from seemingly small and unimportant moments

What you previously would have considered a bit gushing and immature, you now cherish and recount whenever possible.  The other day we were winding our son after a feed, which usually involves sitting him on one of our knees, one hand holding his chest and the other gently tapping his back. After looking at each other for no more than 1 minute in conversation, we looked down to see that he had fallen fast asleep. Perhaps it is the effect of tiredness (a bit like being drunk) which gives rise to great amusement from small things, or, as I like to think, they are magical moments of life happening before you – simple yet beautiful.

That’ll do for now – time to make a cup of tea, update my Facebook photo and get some sleep!