February 2019 Part III

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The day after Chilkat’s birthday, her fever went down a lot. Not gone, but much better. I also broke Dad’s cornbread pan — he has one of those flat-top electric stoves; it was being used as a counter; I must have somehow brushed the knob that turned on an element, which heated up and shattered the glass pan (and didn’t quite ignite the leftover cornbread). It’s lucky we were home and close enough to the stove to hear the glass and go investigate.

Dad has a smaller motorboat in addition to his big sailboat. We took a little cruise around the canals in Punta Gorda, and both kids got to steer. They also fought stupidly about who got to steer. I would have been happy tying a 25 foot rope to one, and 50 foot to the other, and towing them behind the boat.

Of course, we spent more time in the pool. This is probably about the time Krisdi started using it for physical therapy for her leg — stretching and bending it without having too much weight on it.

We left the kids with Dad and Peggy to go beer shopping at Captain’s Liquor and Wine, about a 25 minute drive from Dad’s, and found some nicely exotic beers (versus those we could find in every Publix in the state). One in particular I’ve been seeking for about 6-8 years…just sitting on the shelf (it was delicious). I also picked up Hopslam, which is weird to drink as a “hanging out in the pool” beer. After this little shopping trip, Dad was worried that we were going to abandon beer in his house.

The next day, we went on the big boat. Motored through the canals out into the bay, where Dad took us around under sail and we had picnic (or bicnic or boatnic) of fried chicken, ice cream, and beer (not for the kids). As we sailed along, a number of dolphins came up alongside us and jumped and splashed, delighting the kids (and adults, even though they didn’t cooperate nicely with the photographer).

The next day, we visited Gatorama. There are, unsurprisingly, a lot of alligators, crocodiles, and on-theme things, as well as some other stuff. They even have two of the world 108 albino alligators. And Chilkoot got to hold one of them. He was a bit freaked out about it, but it was pretty amusing. There were lots of neat things to see. I recommend looking through the pictures, or visiting yourself.

On our way back to Dad’s, we went to Babcock Ranch. We had lunch at a nice farm-to-table taphouse there. It’s apparently an interesting place — all solar or something like that.

Our last day was a visit to the beach. The kids enjoyed playing in the waves (after Chilkat got over the fact that there is sand at the beach — sand at the beach! The humanity!). We all got sunburn to varying degrees. We brought home bags of shells. Afterward, KrisDi made lasagna as a “thank you for everything” dinner. It was delicious.

We traveled home the next day. Same routine of dropping off the kids and KrisDi off while I returned the rental car. Too bad to let that third row seating go…anyway, the way home was mostly uneventful. The Houston airport was interesting — there were hundreds, possibly thousands of iPads all over the airport, from which you could order food and drinks from nearby restaurants.

Finally, we got home. School was the next day, of course. Chilkat had a dentist appointment to take care of a cavity (which was actually two cavities), and by KrisDi’s account, she was a terrible drag about it.

We got Chilkat’s girl scout cookies, and she came into my office to deliver them. Chilkat and Chilkoot both left notes for the people not present to receive their orders, and a couple more people made new orders when they saw her delivering.

All told, for more than three weeks, between snow days and delays and vacation, the kids had one and only one full day of school. Chilkat adjusted pretty well back to the routine, but Chilkoot has been struggling. We’ve had more shouting matches, and he’s had more meltdowns. I loved this picture of him sleeping like he got knocked the fuck out. One particular night, I was sitting on one couch, and he was sitting on the other. We both had headphones on — but I could hear his. We had a small row about whether or not it was possible to watch videos at a lower volume and whether he would survive the boredom of not watching anything. I sent him to calm down in his room, and when I went back up to check on him…well, he was knocked the fuck out.

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February 2019 Part II

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This section starts with a trip to Florida. We flew on Southwest from SEATAC to DFW to Orlando. I dropped the wife and kids and baggage off at the airport, then dropped off the rental car (Trent is still in the shop), and took my dainty little sub-ten-pound backpack through security to meet the family. SEA-DFW was pretty challenging for my back. We ate Whataburger in the airport and I found a bench to lie on before our second leg. I left KrisDi with the kids to get the baggage while I picked up the FL rental car (incidentally, same car, different color) and drove back to pick them up.

Then we met Dad and Peggy for dinner at a Yardhouse close to the hotel. I dropped the family off at the hotel and went with Dad to a Wal Mart to find a stroller (so I could push a backpack and be useful). When we came back, I learned that Chilkoot had, 30 seconds after being told by his mother to stop running around, run full speed into a full length sliding closet door mirror and broke it. I told the front desk children, who looked at me blankly, and said, “Uhhhh…I guess…we’ll have to…tell the manager…in the morning?” OK, bro, that’s fine. I’ve done my job. You get to decide whether you’ll do yours. We haven’t heard from the hotel, except to ask us to complete a survey (5/5 stars — let me trash the room free of charge).

The next morning we had a crappy hotel continental breakfast and went to Universal Studios with Dad and Peggy. As far as I know, KrisDi and the kids had a good time. Although the first ride was not friendly to kids Chilkoot’s size, and he had to wait for almost an hour with me. Chilkat and Chilkoot were instantly warmed up to Dad and Peggy, which I was a little worried about — Chilkat’s only seen them a couple times, and I don’t think Chilkoot had met Peggy before. I couldn’t ride anything (“pre-existing back condition” disclaimer on everything), so for the most part I was responsible for waiting to be told where to go and then pushing a backpack in a stroller there. I lay down to rest┬ámy┬áback while the family was in a long line a few times, which probably earned me some puzzled stares. I listened to the Wheel of Time audio books. A bird crashed into my foot.

I don’t have a lot specific to say about it — we had a funny experience with Spiderman. Chilkat happily posed for a picture with him, but Chilkoot decided it was too scary (or he already had a picture with him or something), and wasn’t interested…but Spiderman followed him out, picked him a flower, and tried to make friends.

That night, Dad and Peggy went back to the hotel, and we picked up drive-through dinner at a Chick-Fil-A and drove to the Legoland Beach Resort.

KrisDi went running in the morning (despite an already sore hip flexor), we went to the Legoland breakfast buffet, and then we drove the ~1.5 miles to the park for a day of Lego-themed revelry. Sadly, again, the first choice ride was not friendly to kids Chilkoot’s size, so he had to sit and pout with me for 30-45 minutes waiting.

Overall, the kids had a good time again. Again, I spent time lying down and varying positions and listening to audio books. They got to ride the same ride like 5 times in a row with a short wait in between, which is not bad. We had turkey legs and mini corn dogs for lunch.

As with our previous Legoland California visit, I think the kids enjoyed all the miniature cities as much as (or more than) the rides. For me…it was hot.

Afterward, we went out for dinner at a place called Harry’s Old Place. We had gator bites (the kids even tried them), I ordered dolphin (at least that’s what the menu said, but I’ve heard that usually ‘dolphin’ is mahi mahi). We drank silly drinks (like my Mermaid).

That night, after discovering for some reason that KrisDi’s sock melted into her nail polish, we played in the pool. KrisDi and I drank stupid drinks, the kids played, Chilkoot made “minions“, and everyone had a good time. Chilkat started to show a fever, but not much.

The next morning, Chilkoot’s calendar birthday, we decided we didn’t need to go back to Legoland, and after breakfast we drove down to Punta Gorda to visit Dad. Chilkoot threw up in the rental car (booster seat is much better to clean up than full-blown car seat). We hosed down part of the car and dowsed the rest in Febreze. We got take out food from Callaloo, played in Dad’s pool, and Chilkat’s fever hit 103.9. That was sufficient to warrant a trip to the drug store for acetaminophen and ibuprofen, which got her temperature under control.

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February 2019 Part I

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February started with Chilkat’s class play. They did a series of altered fables. Chilkat was a barber in The Emperor’s New Hair. It was cute and fun. Although it was a little challenging for me, the day after back surgery.

Between the 3rd and the 15th, our area received snow. Over and over again. The kids had one full day of school in the course of two full weeks; three partial days, and six full days off. This is insane to my North Dakota mind — I wouldn’t have gotten a single day off. At the same time, likely the roads would have been plowed sooner and better, and we had fewer hills. KrisDi and I both had adverse weather policies activated several times, but of course not as many times as the school. It’s frustrating in terms of being able to work and being able to take care of kids. I would guess our neighborhood got total accumulation of around 18 inches.

It’s also very helpful that post-back-surgery regulations don’t allow me to shovel snow…so my poor wife did it. I went outside in my pajamas with a hot bowl of oatmeal, watched her shovel for a little while, then pointed at the driveway and said, “You missed a spot.” Thankfully, she didn’t throw snow at me, hit me with a shovel, or murder me (all valid responses). Then I asked her seriously, “As long as you’re shoveling snow, please shovel as much as you can into the truck bed so it’ll have some traction.”

We had branches breaking off of trees — also a thing we rarely experience in North Dakota. We get snow with wind — snow doesn’t just pile up in vertical piles on branches. Although, here in Washington, you don’t get snowdrifts. The snow piles up nicely in a uniform layer. We even had one branch break off right next to Chilkat — she was playing in the snow in the front yard, I heard a cracking sound, and I looked over to see a branch fall a couple feet from her. I yelled, “Are you OK?!” and she yelled, “I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!”

One of the days I couldn’t go into the office, I was stuck at home because too many of my neighbors tried to drive out of the neighborhood, and got their cars stuck in the snow, blocking the road. I had to tell the kids when they were playing on a plowed pile to run for cover if they saw cars approaching, until the car was past (because I didn’t have confidence in drivers’ competence).

KrisDi’s First Communion dress migrated here from Chicago with D, and Chilkat put it on. Both of them are cute in it.

Brouwer’s hosted Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow. I went with former-coworkers-turned friends. This was actually the first time I drank in like two weeks — no drinking for about a week before and after my back surgery. Lots of exciting beer, lots of fun. I enjoyed it. KrisDi kindly stayed home and watched the kids.

Chilkat had her eighth birthday party. It was Harry Potter themed, and KrisDi worked up a plethora of decorations and themey treats and puns. She did a Harry Potter cake. Unfortunately, it was during Snowmageddon, so a lot of the invitees couldn’t (or didn’t) make it. We had midwestern close friends and family brave the drive, and some nearby friends walk in the snow. I think Chilkat really enjoyed it.

Valentine’s day happened. We didn’t do anything, really. KrisDi made cards for the kids, and they made some for us. We haven’t made our yearly lasagna — we’ll do that eventually. Although, in a “test the roads” outing (shortly after my oatmeal / snowshoveling assholery), I thought “My wife sure is nice to me, I’m going to get her some flowers.”

Oh, and Chilkoot got a haircut — before and after.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 2 comments

February 2019 Food

Not much food in February — most cooking was probably related to Chilkat’s birthday part; a fair amount of the month was spent in Florida on vacation (and not cooking).

Posted by snaotheus in Food, 1 comment