Month: December 2010

Something to Haunt Your Dreams

Artist's Rendering of Chilkat

Clicky-pop for high resolution…

You can tell I have some free time!

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It’s December

And I’m in Washington, not North Dakota. This is a change of pace. I think this is the first time since I graduated from high school that I didn’t travel for Christmas.

KrisDi got a virus on her laptop, which I failed to defeat. Instead, I completely destroyed everything on her computer and started from scratch, which means she has lost a lot of bookmarked recipes (this is apparently the highest cost).

I have completed 51,000 push-ups this year. 200 per weekday every day for 51 weeks (I still plan on doing push-ups this week, too). The hardest part was make-up push-ups. When I made up 1,000 push-ups because we went on a one week cruise, I thought that was hard. Then I had to make up 4,000 push-ups for the four weeks I missed due to mangling my hand. And here’s the payoff: My back hasn’t felt better since sometime before I was 13.

I don’t believe it’s related (because push-ups don’t usually aggravate it), but my elbow has been giving me trouble. My doctor’s best guess is synovitis, and has prescribed large amounts of ibuprofen for two weeks to reduce swelling. If it seems effective, then I continue taking the pills for 2-4 weeks to allow my body to heal.

We have finished up the hard work on the nursery. It’s painted (KrisDi and I did that part), and the chair rail is up (Les did that), and the furniture is relatively well spread out (Les and D did that, at the expense of Les’s back). I think it looks really cute. There’s some touch up work to do, and then we have to put up some curtains and decorations. We also have a little more clean-up work to do in terms of getting our (mostly my) crap out of the closet, and I think KrisDi wants to steam clean the carpet. I’m not so picky. As I see it, we now have someplace to put a baby. It’s pretty exciting. I made the ceiling fan work.

We went and saw A Christmas Carol at ACT with E-Dubs and Pixel Chick, which was fun. Shortly afterward, we went to a Christmas party at the Popes and watched A Muppet Christmas Carol. KrisDi made delicious, decadent desserts, and it was a very good time.

The Christmas festivities began a week ago, when Les and D arrived at the airport. It only took three trips to pick them up. Les arrived exactly as expected, except that United failed to actually put his bags (including 50+ pounds of perishable Polish food) on his plane. Good thing he has 1k status and his bags therefore receive “priority” status.

We went to a neighborhood “cookie exchange”. KrisDi clearly won. The rules were “Bake 48 cookies and make packages of six with the recipe attached.” She felt the need to make 48 cookies for herself, and for me, and for Les, for a total of 144 (one gross). We had to run to the airport to pick up Polish food, and when we got back, the actual exchange had already occurred. We had a selection of neighborhood cookies, all of which were inferior to all of the cookies KrisDi made.

Christmas Eve was our big holiday celebration. Mom came down to supplement the Polish horde, and we had a feast and a present exchange (accompanied by many photos). I got scissors, and beer, and a knife sharpener, and a puzzle book, and two editions of The Physics of Super Heroes, and an avocado pitter/slicer, The Dream Hunters, Batman cufflinks that were supposed to be bottle opener cufflinks, a White Sox tie bar, a shop vac, a fancy screwdriver set, a quite nice webcam which is apparently referred to as “the eyeball” (and now I have a Skype account), Auchentoshan from the Pope, and framed cruise pictures from the Popes and the Phoenices. It was a busy day.

Chilkat got Apple Bear’s evil (and much younger) twin, Pear Bear. Les saw him sit on Apple Bear’s face and fart. We’ll put up pictures later.

I’m sad that we’re missing the Wilmy New Year’s Extravaganza, but I’m pretty excited about not having had to travel this year. It’s nice to sit around in my house and relax. I think this is the second (maybe third) time I’ve missed the party since it started when I was in fifth grade. I think at the time it was me, Wilmy, and one other kid who moved to Alaska the next year and was never heard from again.

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New ultrasounds today! Chilkat is currently upside down and estimated at 4 pounds 8 ounces, heartrate 146bpm. Doctor says everything looks good and is going well!

Chilkat even faced the ultrasound machine nicely, so we got a glimpse of his/her face.
Chilkat's Face

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Pictures…wow…lots of pictures

Man. I’ve been behind. I’ll be brief, but still try to link all the pictures. First thing’s first, of course:
Food in August
Food in September
Food in October
Food in November

And now…

Dad visited (set one, set two). One of the purposes was to bring us the cradle my grandfather made when I was born. We took him around our area (and apparently he liked it) — we took some really pretty pictures of Deception Pass.

KrisDi dressed up as Juno for Halloween.

We got some baby stuff — like a crib (which is a surprisingly long story).

We made jack o lanterns. Mine was a Lebowski pumpkin, KrisDi made a Blackhawks pumpkin.

We got a high chair, and again Apple Bear acted as test baby.

KrisDi and her parents made a cake for Chilkat’s baby shower, and then of course we had the baby shower.

I performed a scientific experiment: Which is a better White Russian? One constructed with heavy whipping cream, or one constructed with half and half? Heavy Whipping Cream won.

KrisDi bought a moby wrap.

We made a birthday cake as a joke for a “29” year old co-worker who hates Chevy.

It snowed. Apparently this was catastrophic. It took us two hours to drive six miles. Mrs. Pope didn’t get home from work until 2:30 AM (and she had to walk the last 1/10 mile).

We had Thanksgiving dinner at E-Dubs’ and Pixel Chick’s.

Cute pictures of pregnant KrisDi here and here.

We decorated for Christmas — our first Christmas at home! My first “real” Christmas tree!

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Mounting Excitement

I was thinking about going and figuring out the bash command for mounting a disk named “Excitement” and using that for a title, but no one besides Monocular Ben or Phoenix would get it, and I don’t think they look at this site. So it’s not worth it. I think the command is something like “mount -sv -L Excitement”

Anyway, it’s December 5th, and Chilkat is scheduled for February 13th. That’s essentially nine weeks away, and I’m typing this with ceiling particles (drywall dust and insulation) up to my elbows because I’m trying to install a support for the ceiling fan we want in the nursery. KrisDi and D are out shopping. I won’t be surprised if they come back with paint and decorations for the nursery.

As this post’s title suggests, I’m becoming more and more excited, and I’m also becoming more and more scared (and anxious). I think KrisDi’s going to be a fabulous mom — at least until the kid reaches a not so cute phase or stops letting her play dress up (no, I don’t really think these things will impact KrisDi’s momming, it’s just funny to pretend it will). There are certain things about me that I know are problems (my temper, my extremely low tolerance for minor annoyances, long list of other things…) that I need to control. I think as long as I stay aware of these things, I’ll be a good dad. I hope so. I intend to be. One of my co-workers (my old boss) told me something no one else has told me about parenting, which rings of truth: You will find out things you don’t like about yourself, because you’ll see it in your children. I suspect that I will also discover things that I do like about myself through the same route.

I’ve read a couple interesting books lately. Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman is a book about life in Owl, a fictional small town in North Dakota. This book has three main characters and basically no story — just day to day life in small town North Dakota with one main event: A serious blizzard. One character is a high school student, one is an old man, and one is a 20-something girl from Milwaukee who just moved to Owl to teach. I thought the dialog sucked. Some of the things in the small town environment were pretty well spot on, some were way off (a cop is simply referred to as a cop — in small town ND, everyone is known by name). The part that made me think was that I had never really considered what it’s like to actually be an adult living in North Dakota — especially in the same small town where you were raised with all of the same people who were raised with you.

I also read A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller. I thought this was a really good, really interesting book. The premise is nuclear war mostly destroys civilization, and then humans finish it off by blaming the “intelligentsia” for the nuclear war and systematically ridding the world of teachers, engineers, scientists, technicians, burning books, and embracing “simpleton” as a positive title. A Catholic order is started by an electronics technician named Leibowitz with the purpose of preserving books and publications until such time as human culture could use them again. The book divides into three sections. First, about 600 years after the nuclear war; there is basically no scientific knowledge at this point. This is a sort of sad and silly section. Then, several centuries after that, people are just becoming knowledgeable enough to make use of the Leibowitzian documents; scientific progress is on the order of basic physics and math. This section is sort of sad and bitter tasting. Then, several centuries after that, technology has surpassed the pre-nuclear war period. This section is bitter tasting and painful.

I’m discovering that my brain is much better at multiplexing. To me, this means having many things going on simultaneously and being able to switch quickly and effectively between them. Primarily, this is at work. I find myself doing this with books now: I’m currently reading Starship Troopers at work on breaks, A People’s History of the United States at home as a chore book, The Gathering Storm as a fun book at home but interspersing chapters from The Simple Guide to Having a Baby at KrisDi’s request, and The Prince and the Pauper on my phone when I find myself stuck somewhere with nothing to do. I don’t think I would have been able to maintain all these story lines very easily a few years ago. It’s kind of neat.

I’ll try to post again in a couple days and put up some pictures. I’ve been pretty bad about it. Work has been crazy, we’ve had visitors and holidays and “snow emergencies” (although I dutifully scoff at the conditions that this area considers an emergency). I’ve been taking a C++ programming class at night (finished last Thursday).

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