Jul 292011
 

How hot was it?

There was no snow!

Nyuck nyuck nyuck.

So shut up. I’m still not very funny. But I did go to North Dakota with my lovely family in tow, and it was ungodly hot. Like “I remember one reason why I want to never move back” hot. Like “jogging on a treadmill in a building made of plugged in irons” hot. “Please take a finger instead of making me stand in this weather” hot. “One time I went to Hell and back and I think Hell would be a nice place to go relax until evening” hot. Ugh. I started sweating the moment I stepped off the plane in Bismarck. This is not an exaggeration or figure of speech. I was approximately 18 inches away from the plane when I felt the first bead of sweat.

In North Dakota, we got to meet up with Wilmbo & Co. It was fun. We ate fleischkuechle. Chilkat now has a North Dakota boyfriend (one of Wilmy’s numerous nephews) in addition to her Washington and California boyfriends. We sailed on Dad’s boat, Wild Oats. Chilkat steered for a while. We swam in the lake, which is incredibly high.

My older brother is now married to a very nice girl who has a very nice daughter. They had a short wedding at their lake (Angostura Reservoir). Four minutes, from beginning the walk down the aisle to finishing the walk back the other way. Northwood officiated the service. It was a nice, casual, surprisingly not-so-small wedding. Mrs. Eldest’s family is super-awesome-nice. It was an incredibly friendly, relaxed group of people. Eldest has made some good friends and married into a nice family. Congratulations to him; Mrs. Eldest, my deepest condolences. We are what we are.

I got to waterski, and although I didn’t get up on my first try this time (it’s been five years since last time), I got up on my second try and I managed to not destroy my back this time (last time I was essentially immobilized).

All in all, the trip was fun, but rushed, and too short. As always.

So, now Chilkat has met her other grandfather and her last uncle. She also met two more grandmothers (one, two!). She also met her new aunt and her new cousin. Chilkat has visited 6 states in her 5 months of life (which astonished Lydia, our eight year old seat neighbor on the flight from Denver to Seattle).

I think we’re done traveling for a little while. We’re headed back to Chicago in September so Chilkat can meet her great aunts and great uncles and their kids (her first cousins once removed?) and their kids (her second cousins?).

I have my BOD crap next week. I’m looking forward to it being done. It always feels like a horrendous waste of time, although upper management continually assures us that it’s very important. Personally, I feel that if the BOD actually knew how much money is spent on the presentations they see during BOD week (in the form of time spent on preparation and distraction from actual productive work), they’d be horrified. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m not running the company. And I don’t want to.

Chilkat scoots around a small amount. She plows her face across the floor. She makes little attempts to get up. She is able to sit unassisted (although she’s still prone to toppling, but she’s learning to catch her balance before it’s too late). She stands under her own power with inanimate supports more frequently (again with the toppling). She recently started making a sound that is hard to describe. It’s sort of like the sound I make when I have to try to change paragraph properties in text boxes in PowerPoint presentations.

Jul 162011
 

So…what’s been up since the 4th?

Nearly two weeks have passed. Chilkat is almost five months old, and she’s nearly crawling. She can get on all fours with her whole body (except the fours) up off the ground. She scoots around a bit. I’ve seen her scoot around in a complete (but tiny) circle. It won’t be long, and we’ll be babyproofing everything. I expect it’s going to be about as successful as waterproofing everything.

Chilkat has now flown on planes. Twice. We went to California for our softball coach’s wedding. Chilkat made distractingly loud (but generally joyful) noises in the airport before both the flight down and the flight up. On the flight down, she continued to be awake and somewhat noisy. I think she might have slept for about ten minutes. On the flight back, she was noisy and tearful for about ten minutes…and then collapsed and slept for about three solid blissful hours.

We flew into Long Beach, which is tiny. We rented a car (we got a white Jetta) and a carseat (four days cost as much as a new carseat). The carseat sucked ass, was filthy, and I basically had to disassemble it to undo all the ignorant monkeyfucking that had been perpetrated on the straps by previous renters (at night, in a parking lot, without a manual, with my daughter screaming nearby, on a carseat I had never seen before). And then it was barely sufficient. E-Dubs and Pixel Chick, if you’re out there, thank you so much for the awesome carseat you gave us. I was so happy to see it when we returned.

We stayed at Oxnard for a couple nights before the wedding, where Mr and Mrs Big J put us up (and put up with us). We got to meet their neat little kid Little J. He’s about 1, he’s walking, and apparently he’s terrified of Chilkat. Or white people. Or both. Lethargic Oleo also lives in the neighborhood, so we hung out with him as well. We all drank beer, and I got a hangover, just in time for the wedding on Saturday. Luckily, Big J had magic Powerade to cure my hangover. And Spudnuts. Which I kept down on the second try. We also got a chance to go out to lunch with some former coworkers, which was also good.

The wedding was nice. I understood very little of it, since the service was in Vietnamese. Chilkat probably got it pretty well, since her two main daycare ladies are VFL (Vietnamese as First Language). Perhaps that’s why she decided to practice yodeling during the service. And that’s how I discovered that the cry room is a hot, lonely prison.

The reception was on a boat. It was fun. We got to see some of our long-lost California friends, who are now (on average), approximately married and expecting. Chilkat was pretty good through this whole thing, and was taking a long, peaceful nap, when one of our less sober long-lost California friends plopped herself down next to Chilkat to joggle her head and proclaim her cuteness, abruptly (and not so peacefully) ending said nap.

The next day, we took the long drive up to Tehachapi to see MeiMei and Russ’s rustic mountain home. It’s pretty awesome. It’s a little older, it’s on a lot of land, requires a lot of maintenance, and it’s really cool. They’re in the process of doing a little remodeling to make it even cooler. They’re at a high enough elevation that the temperature is actually pretty comfortable, although you drive through hellish desert to get there. Thankfully, air conditioning (man’s greatest invention) made our trip comfortable.

While we were there, we had our first adventure in co-sleeping, because they had a spare king size mattress but nothing resembling a crib. We did first experiment with constructing walls on the mattress for Chilkat with suitcases and pillows. We all suck at co-sleeping. Chilkat took up more room than it is physically possible for her to occupy (a puzzle to pose to my physicist co-workers). She woke up in the middle of the night demanding to be fed, which KrisDi compliantly did. Then she wanted to snuggle. KrisDi pushed her away because she wanted to sleep. Several times. Some time after that, I woke up, and didn’t notice that Chilkat had nestled into my armpit. When I tried to roll to a more comfortable position, I smooshed Chilkat’s face into the mattress. This resulted in much theatrics.

Since then, we’ve been pretty much just around the house. I’ve been working from home in the evenings a bunch. It sucks.

Jul 052011
 

For some reason, that makes me think of Uncle Kracker and Captain Beefheart.

Chilkat is sleeping, which is a rare pleasure. She gets tired, and when she’s tired, she’s cranky and is pretty adamant about remaining awake. There is no such thing as sleepy Chilkat. Well, maybe after waking up from one of the two and a half hour naps that her parents cruelly force her to take. Poor abused child. The best weapon I have in my arsenal is the big robot blanket D gave me for my birthday coupled with heartless patience. KrisDi has magic fingers and the ability to feed her. Plus she’s Mom.

She remains adorable (when she’s not cranky), and is growing quantifiably more so (she’s up to 14 pounds, 24.75″ height, 16″ head circumference). She has laughed a few more times, but not with as much gusto as that first time.

She had her four month shots, and weathered them well, swollen thighs and all. When KrisDi and Chilkat walked in for the appointment, the nurse who jabbed her at the last vaccination appointment called dibs on not giving Chilkat her shots, apparently because she’s too cute to stick with needles and make cry. She was a bit tired, but not too upset. She passed the “grasping” test in several ways: (1) Grabbing the oral vaccination and jamming it back in her mouth so she could suck the dropper clean when the nurse was planning on administering it slowly; (2) ripping off her absorbent not-quite-a-diaper pad out from under her ass and waving it around like a flag while being weighed; (3) trying to steal doctor’s otoscope and finger. The doctor also wanted to see if Chilkat could sit, but she wouldn’t cooperate. She wouldn’t bend. She just wanted to stand.

She’s better at supporting herself in a standing position, but still certainly not reliably successful. When we help her stand, she definitely tries to walk to get to other interesting places. She can almost sit up on her own with her hands on the ground in front of her (“tripodding”). She’s starting to get her legs tucked under her properly for crawling during tummy time. She loves the grass. She will stick anything she can grab in her mouth. She’s pretty clearly teething. She loves grabbing our faces now, and has on several occasions tried to rip off my lips and gouge out my eyes. Her “talking” varies from hum/groaning energetically to screeching to babbling gibberish. In the last couple days, she has started holding out one or both of her hands (as if in supplication) and just holding them there. Sometimes she stares at the hands. Sometimes she just holds them there.

Randomly and somewhat disturbingly, Chilkat will occasionally just be still. She’ll just sit quietly and look at stuff for significant periods of time.

For the long Fourth of July weekend, Mom came to visit us. Northwood (aka “Uncle Beefcake”) also visited us while in town on a business trip. A significant quantity of beer was consumed. Chilkat met her first uncle on her dad’s side. And peed on him. I’ll give Northwood credit for taking it like a seasoned parent. Northwood also patiently walked laps around the island in the kitchen when cranky Chilkat just wanted to be carried around. *sniff* I’m so proud!

Mom made goat and cleaned dishes and watched screaming baby while we walked to Dairy Queen for Blizzards (which was actually warranted by the hot weather) and was generally an anti-nuisance. Everyone forgot to try to get family pictures of any real sort, so we have the typical collection of randomness.

Also, I got a haircut. It got hot.

Chilkat didn’t seem to even notice the sound of the fireworks. I saw half of one firework from the back yard after our first family “campfire” in our new little backyard firepit.