Jul 292017

June Part II

Wow, a lot of stuff happened in the second half of June.

Mom came down for several days to help out. We were able to get out of the house without the kids for a beer, which is a rare treat. We went to a relatively new place called Imbibe, which is a style of place that I like very much: Half beer store, half beer bar.

Tom and his small army came out to Washington in their tour bus. I think the purpose of the trip had been to see his wife’s niece’s graduation, but they also planned their second daughter’s 8th birthday party at Remlinger Farms. They planned to stay two weeks with his sister in law, but cut the visit in half based on the quality and cleanliness of the accommodations. Based on what they told me about the place, this was probably a good decision. Tom brought two of his daughters over to our house, we made them dinner and I got to chat with him for a while in a less chaotic environment. He also bathed his kids at our place so he wouldn’t have to subject them to the tub at the other place.

Remlinger Farms was a great birthday party place, except that it’s so big that for the most part people split up and went their separate ways. Lots of rides and attractions and interesting things to do, and the kids enjoyed it, but our interactions with the other partygoers were mostly limited to whenever we ran across them walking around the park. It was awesome to see Tom (and even his little brother Dan at the party), but I wish I’d been able to spend more time actually hanging out with him, and less time with both of us fathering our separate families.

The day after the birthday party was the Washington Brewer’s Festival and Father’s Day, so the kids made me breakfast in bed. They wanted me to still be in bed when they brought it to me, but I intended to get up at 6 to get something done — so I subtly hinted that the kids could probably convince me to go back to bed to take a nap once they got up and wanted to make breakfast. It was awesome and adorable.

The beer festival was also awesome, as usual. Mom was there to help babysit the kids and our picnic table “base”. Chilkoot independently decided that he wanted to wear his red lederhosen, which he was calling his Mickey Mouse shorts (red shorts with big buttons in the front). Which, of course, is painfully cute. There were at least a couple other people (adults) wearing lederhosen, but Chilkoot wore it best. It was also funny when someone came up to him and said, “Sprechen sie deutsch?” Chilkoot looked blankly at the German and hid behind his parents. P-Dubs and T-Dog came out as well, and we met up with my friend Jay and his two kids. We drank a lot of interesting beer. Some of it was super good. Some of it was just OK.

Chilkat finished kindergarten, and we went to her school for the little graduation ceremony and sort-of party. A neighbor gave away a bigger bike, which is now Chilkat’s, although we haven’t found training wheels we can put on it yet. I took the kids for their dentist appointment, and they were both perfectly well behaved and we learned that Chilkat has her first loose tooth. We went to a birthday party for L, one of Chilkoot’s day care classmates. It was racing themed at a go-kart place. The kids had a little parade at day care in celebration of Independence Day (a yearly tradition, which is cheesy and goofy, but the kids like it).

Mr. I, the colleague I took with me to Japan, got married. It was a small outdoor ceremony at a tree farm in Issaquah. I think it turned out very nicely. Mr. I is a curly-haired blonde, and his mother doted on Chilkoot for reminding her of her only child’s childhood on his wedding day. After the garter toss, Chilkoot came up to KrisDi to tell her that “She has weird things under dress!” They made friends with the flower girl, rolled down hills, roasted marshmallows, ordered his first drink from a bar (and got one for his sister, too), danced up a storm, and were generally awesome as usual.

Jul 132017

June 2017: Part I

KrisDi got a whole bunch of hair chopped off. Probably 16 inches or so. It looks nice short!

Chilkoot wore a tie for his school picture, and then went through a short phase where he wanted to wear a tie every day.

During this phase, we had a Daddy Son Day. Chilkoot wanted to go to the same pool I took Chilkat previously — so, we went out for donuts, drove 45 minutes to a park near the pool until lunch time, had lunch, and then went to the pool. They have a big windy water slide that goes in and out of the building, and Chilkoot was super excited to go on it. Then we splashed at the bottom and he got water in his nose and on his face and he wanted to go home RIGHT NOW. I told him we couldn’t, and explained that next time he could plug his nose (he thought this was novel), and that he could just wipe water off his face. He refused to go down the slide again, but we proceed to play in the water for a long time after. Then we went to the Cinebarre to watch Captain Underpants.

On this same day, Chilkat and KrisDi had Mommy Daughter Day. They too started it off with some donuts. Then they went to the Family Fun Center and spent a bunch of money doing Family Fun Things.

Chilkat finished Kindergarten. She and her class had an end of year performance (a bunch of songs with a class doing a dance for each song), which was cute. She won an award, too, basically just for being awesome.

We went camping with the Popes at La Wis Wis. It was a really nice camping ground and it was cool to camp with our friends. We have another camping trip scheduled for next month.

KrisDi had her birthday. She’s 29, of course. Chilkoot got to stay home with her that day, and he was really set on making her a cake (but was a little sad that he didn’t know how to do it by himself). So, they did it together, and they made a cake in the shape of a polar bear’s face.

In preparation for Father’s Day, the kids prepared beautiful birdhouses for me. Chilkat’s is in the shape of a rocket ship, and Chilkoot’s in the shape of a pirate ship. They’re painted beautifully.

Jul 092017

In May, I gave Chilkat $20 for her to spend at the book fair at her school. KrisDi was inside and I was outside, so we didn’t hear both halves of the conversation.

When she came home with some coins and smaller bills, she said, “They gave me more money back than I gave them.”

KrisDi said, “That’s Daddy’s change.”

Chilkat looked sad, and gave KrisDi the money. KrisDi said, “You can keep that,” referring to the coins.

Chilkat again looked sad, but now also puzzled, holding three pennies in one hand, two quarters and a dime in the other, and said, “I don’t know how to split this evenly.”

“That’s OK, you can keep it all,” again referring to the coins.

Chilkat grabbed the bills back, and said, “I’ll give this to Dad.”

She came outside to where I was and said, “Here’s your change, Daddy.” She handed me the coins.

I asked, “Where’s the rest of it?”

She looked spacey and perplexed and said, “I can’t explain right now,” and dazedly meandered off.

Jun 192017

May 2017

We forgot to bring something to school for Chilkoot’s “show and share,” so Chilkoot successfully improvised.

We dropped the kids off at school and day care so we could once again go to Sourfest at Brouwers. It was fun. And delicious. But no Cantillon. I think we were especially impressed with some Trinity beers.

We visited my mom, and using an Amazon cardboard box, the salvaged motor from Chilkoot’s deceased vacuum, a battery I actually paid for, and various sundries, we made a terrible little car that could almost move by itself (except that the battery weights 1400 pounds). We’ve made one or two upgrades since then, but it’s still not quite self-powered.

We of course celebrated Mothers Day. The kids made their mom breakfast in bed (meaning, I made it). I think it turned out OK, but ask KrisDi. She also got mimosas, which might have sweetened her impression a little.

Chilkat decided to make her mom a 3D paper dalmatian (in honor of Molly), and she had grand plans and no concept of how to achieve them. I actually had a lot of fun helping her out with realizing her vision. She started out by drawing on paper and cutting parts out — two sheets of paper for head, two circles for body, four tiny little rectangles for legs, a tiny squiggle for a tail… I’m not sure why, but she cut the ears out of the two head parts and made me cover the holes with paper towels and then tape the cut-out ears on so they could flap around. Anyway, the head was about 1000x too large to match anything else. I started to wrap the head-pieces around into a cylinder, and she was like, “Yeah, that’s good! But how do we make it round the other way?” Clearly not understanding that you can easily fold or wrap sheets of paper into a head-like shape. After the head was built (which required a third sheet to make it so the ears were actually opposing instead of on the back of the head), Chilkat realized that everything else was too tiny — I convinced her to use an Amazon cardboard box as a body, she made new legs, we worked out a scheme so the tongue could move in and out. I’m excited to help her actually improvise and build things.

The White Sox were in town. Mom came down to watch the kids so KrisDi and I could go with P-Dubs and his girlfriend to a night game. We ate some grasshoppers.

The next day, Mom took care of the kids while KrisDi and I had a grownup day, going out with P-Dubs and his girlfriend again for food and beer and general walking around downtown without children. It was nice.

The next day we took Mom and the kids to the Zoo, which Mom has been subtly hinting that she wanted to do. Then, we took Mom to her very first professional baseball game! This was a day game, so we took the kids, too. It was fun.

Chilkat set up a play date with L, one of her classmates. Apparently she has set up more than one with more than one other child, but this was the first time the other child talked to her parent and got them to call us to set it up. So, we met them at a park, played, and ate tacos. Since then, we met them at another park and hosted them at our house. They seem like nice people.

KrisDi ordered a new piece of furniture for our front entry to try to slightly reduce the chaos we have there. I expect no one but me to be excited about it, but Chilkat decided to craft a boat out of its box, and an ocean out of the styrofoam packing material, which I thought was awesome.

I have earned a reputation at work as the beer guide. I took two Japanese guys and a Chicagoan out on brewery tours. It turned out to be a beautiful day, and our first stop unexpectedly gave us the best brewery tour I’ve ever had. Just after we ordered beer, the founder of Hi-Fi came out and started to talk to us, then dragged us into the back where all the brewing occurs and talked us (in detail) through all their brewing process. Interestingly, they heat with a steam boiler (and they attached an antique train whistle to the boiler), and they grind their own malt and built an interesting auger/tube contraption to deliver it directly to the mash tun. We also went to Black Raven, Redhook, Fremont, and Holy Mountain. I think they were exhausted; one of the Japanese guys jokingly said he was done with beer, but would drink whiskey, but when I pointed out that we were literally in the same building as a distillery, he decided he meant he was actually done drinking. The Chicagoan and I dropped them off and then went to Malt and Vine to finish the evening off.

Unusually, we had a fire in the backyard, and cooked smokies and marshmallows and had a good time. I took a bunch of the scrap wood that has been floating around the backyard and started actually getting rid of it, which is nice.

Jun 172017

April 2017 (excluding Japan)

I previously posted all my words and pictures about my trip to Japan, but there are other words and other pictures for things that happened in April, but not in Japan.

KrisDi saw Cirque du Soleil with T. KrisDi says those people were amazing, except the contortionist who was freaky.

The Pope and I went to the Scotch and Beer Festival, as we usually do — but, this time we took one of my Japanese colleagues with us. H-san was here to work at my company for three months or so, and I promised to take him out to try different beers, and this ended up being what worked best. Unfortunately, I think the quantity of beer and whiskey was a little too much for him — we sampled beers for a while, then we went for the Scotch flight, at which he said, “This whiskey kills me!” I think overall, he had a good time. I have an increasing reputation as the company beer guide.

Simultaneously, kids at the zoo with the other Popes. A good time was had by all, as usual. But, nothing particularly special.

Easter, as usual, was at E-Dubs’. Les got to come out and spend it with us. The kids got shit-tons of candy, lots of eggs to find. Chilkat was really good about helping/letting the other littler kids find the easy eggs first, and only finding as many as she was supposed to, and then helping the other kids.

G False Alarm took me out for my birthday. We started at The Whiskey Bar, visited Cloudburst, then lunch at the Grill From Ipanema, then back to Cloudburst (to retrieve G’s card, which he left there), then the Old Stove, then things got a little fuzzy…but I had a good time.

Mommy Son Day. Elliot Bay for breakfast, then a nearby park, bowling, to the mall, Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch, then Chilkoot wanted to just go home and hang out. Chilkoot was really cute — he wanted to “look handsome” for Mom, so he chose to wear a tie. He got a couple Lego sets. He also got an autograph book from the Disney store.

Daddy Daughter Day. We started out at Top Pot, then Target for candy and a toy. We saw The Boss Baby (Chilkat’s second time, my first). We went to some indoor play place in Factoria (but it had a super long wait to get in). Then Chilkat got a cardboard horse to draw on, followed by dinner at Red Robin and dessert at Baskin Robbins. It was a generally good day.

KrisDi went to Chicago for her cousin’s wedding shower, leaving me with the kids. She says it was nice to relax a bit and see her family, too short of a visit. Amazingly, she made it on both standby flights she tried.

While she was in Illinois, I had the kids for the weekend. We’re starting to have a tradition of eating a picnic in the back of the truck, now dubbed “trucknic.” We also made KrisDi’s birthday present (which was quickly transformed into a Mother’s Day present because Chilkat couldn’t wait that long). We went to the park and had a picnic there, too. After the park, we visited T-Bone, and set up his tent for the kids to play in. They also played on his hammock and with his XBox. The morning after, strangely enough, Chilkoot got sick. It was really weird. He was totally normal when he work up around seven, then started to slow down when he came downstairs about 8:00, and then started to puke frequently, lost his appetite completely, and became lethargic (no fever, no other symptoms that I could tell). At one point, I set him down on the couch in an awkward position, and he laid there without moving (or sleeping) for 30 minutes. When he did finally move again, it was to puke. Around 12:30, he asked for yogurt, and by 1, he was completely fine. Chilkat was extremely helpful (for real), and Chilkoot was actually really good about puking only in proper receptacles. Poor kid.