Reuben and Joshua

Babies Reuben and Joshua
Reuben and Joshua.

What a blessing from God! May I introduce you to our two sons born today at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee by Caesarean section. From left to right:

  • Reuben John McKeith Saunders
    born 14:26
    weighing 5 lbs 14 oz.

  • Joshua Peter Walker Saunders
    born 14:27
    weighing 6 lbs 4 oz.

It all went marvellously well. The staff were amazing, Jane was amazing and the boys are absolutely gorgeous!

I’ve uploaded a few more photos on Flickr, feel free to pop over there and take a peek.

This wasn’t on the birth plan!

I’m going to be honest here, this isn’t exactly how I’d anticipated our twins’ birthday. This morning we woke to:

1. A moose loose aboot the hoose!

Two chests of drawers - one has a mouse underneath!

A live mouse behind — and now underneath — our bedroom furniture, and two cats keenly sitting on guard.

But, of course, when we needed them to catch it … they ran off in search of a bowl of Whiskas! “Thanks humans, it’s your watch now!”

2. Nae water!

Bathroom sink - with no water supply!

… and no water supply. Thanks Scottish Water! That’s <irony>exactly what we need!</irony>

I rang Scottish Water’s emergency hotline — which is a recording, telling you to phone another number if you really need to report a problem with your water supply. The recorded voice told us that KY9 and KY10 (Anstruther, Pittenweem, Elie and Leven) have been taken out in the current water outage (reported at 07:20 this morning).

Imagine if the emergency services were like that!

Operator: Hello, which service do you require?

Caller: Fire Brigade please.

Operator: Please hold one moment while I put you through …

Recorded Voice: Thank you for calling the Fire and Rescue Service, your call is important to us. If you are calling about a fire at one of the following 150 locations throughout the British Isles then please hold, otherwise you will need to call 0800 999 9999 to request assistance.

Happy Birthday

Still, I have already sung happy birthday to Jane’s bump. Join in, if you like:

Happy Birthday to you (plural),
Happy Birthday to you (plural),
Happy Birthday dear currently-unnamed and unborn children,
We’ll see you very soon!

UPDATE: 08:46

Good: Water is back on, with just enough pressure to have a shower.
Bad: Twitter is now down.

Winamp Global Hotkeys and Microsoft Digital Media Pro keyboard

I’ve just spent, on and off, about 2 hours trying to work out why the media keys on my Microsoft Digital Media Pro keyboard weren’t working properly with Winamp 5.541 Pro.  I’ve finally managed to solve the problem by rolling back to older keyboard drivers.

It appears that the Intellitype 6.3 drivers aren’t compatible with Winamp 5.541 Pro.

Intellitype 6.3

When I reinstalled Windows XP Professional a couple of weeks ago I did as I was supposed to: I installed the latest keyboard drivers (Intellitype Pro 6.3). But when it came to setting up Winamp I discovered that it didn’t work as expected.

Winamp has a Global Hotkeys setting within its preferences. As the explanatory text says:

Global Hotkeys are keyboard shortcuts that you can use from within any running application.

And here you can “enable default multimedia key support”. My keyboard (the Microsoft Digital Media Pro) has multimedia keys, so what could be more simple?

Global Hotkeys enabled

I ticked the option, both options in fact, and closed the preferences dialog box.

Pressing the Play/Pause button once started the MP3 track.  Pressing it again paused it.  Success!

But then I minimized Winamp, pressed Play/Pause again and Windows Media Player started.  Eh?!

Troubleshooting

I tried a variety of solutions on the Winamp forums. Tick one, close, stop itype.exe, restart Winamp, reselect the option, close Winamp, start itype.exe … all that jazz.  Nothing worked properly.

How frustrating!

Rollback to Intellitype 6.1

I know that it worked with the last Windows installation, and I knew that I’d used the Intellitype 6.1 drivers, so I uninstalled Intellitype 6.3, rebooted my PC and reinstalled version 6.1.

And do you know what?  It worked.

What I’ve had to do in the Intellitype options is disable the Play/Pause button (because enabled it was still opening Windows Media Player) but it didn’t have any effect on Winamp’s ability to recognise or use the key.

Now when I press Play/Pause, no matter whether Winamp is minimized or maximized it toggles play and pause.

What’s missing

Intellitype 6.3 appears to offer a few new features not present in 6.1, such as the ability to save keyboard profiles, but to be honest I don’t need such a facility.  So long as my keyboard shortcuts work and my multimedia keys control Winamp I’m a happy user.

More on AVG and Symantec

Interesting article on the Lockergnome blogs: AVG Announces Free One-Year License For Faulty Code.

It would appear that AVG was showing false positive results for genuine Windows files.  I experienced that too with both Windows files and WinAmp Pro, which after one AVG update told me was a virus or trojan.

Worryingly, after I moved to Symantec Norton Anti Virus 2009 it identified a couple of files as containing trojans, that I know I scanned with AVG after downloading and AVG falsely informed me were clean.

So far, I’m having a good experience with Norton Anti Virus 2009.  Good work Team Symantec!

Less than a week to go …

Jane's bump
Jane’s bump at 36 weeks and 3 days. (Used with permission from Jane!)

Scan #9

Yesterday Jane and I drove the now very familiar road to Dundee, to Ninewells Hospital, for our last babies scan.

We’re now at 36 weeks and have a confirmed date of Tuesday 18 November 2008 for a scheduled Caesarean section. The end is in sight, ladies and gentlemen of the World Wide Web … and the beginning! What a journey we’ve been on this past year.

On the wall of the scanning department waiting room is a display showing various ultrasound scans of singleton babies from 7 weeks to 28 weeks.

I remember sitting nervously in that room for our first scan at 6 weeks and how delighted we were with the little dots that we saw on the monitor. We commented then that there was no 6 weeks scan on the wall display, and commented again yesterday that we were now eight weeks beyond the last scan displayed.

We’ve now had nine scans — they certainly look after pregnancies of multiples at Ninewells. Once again the scan showed that the boys are doing well. We’re now all set for meeting them in person on Tuesday.

37

Yesterday (Tuesday) was my birthday; I was 37 years old. Next Tuesday will be their birthday; they will be 37 weeks old!

Of course, they will be thirty seven weeks old for a short while. And then someone will press their age reset buttons and we’ll have to start counting again from zero. Perhaps we should keep track of these different ways of counting their ages in parallel.

Getting ready

A few folks have asked us if we’re ready. Here are a few photos as way of an answer.

iCandy Pear
iCandy Pear pram parked in the hallway.

Two sleepsuits hanging on a cupboard door.
Two sleepsuits hanging on a cupboard door in the living room.

Cots
Two cots, made up and ready. Note the different colours!

Baby monitor
Tomy baby monitor on top of an empty bookcase.

Nursing chair
Reclining glider nursing chair from John Lewis.

Waiting

Now we simply wait patiently.

Jane’s hospital bag accompanied us to Ninewells and back again yesterday. Just in case. The car is filled up with petrol (92.9p per litre), the camera has new batteries and an empty xD card, and I’ve booked my paternity leave starting on Tuesday.

What a blessing this is from God. At times during the last eight years we’ve wondered if we’d ever get to this point. We wondered if we would ever be able to give life to one child, and here we’re expecting two. God is good.

If it’s your discipline, please do remember Jane and the babies in your prayers, for a safe delivery on Tuesday, that Jane will recover well and quickly, and that the boys are in the best possible health. But most of all that we’ll get lots of sleep, before we forget what that is!