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.

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January Part II

The kids’ iPad was breaking down (restarting randomly, sometimes <5min in between, yes I did all the troubleshooting steps), and we have a long trip to Florida coming up. We decided, with mixed feelings, to buy two new ones. One, that’s a lot of money, and two, it means they don’t have to share (something we feel they need real world practice at). But, I learned there are some unexpected benefits (the expected one being less fighting, more quiet) — the first day, Chilkoot was asking how to spell things and trying to type them out. He has to do more things for himself since his sister is occupied.

The kids went down to stay with Papa for a night (the Super Wolf Blood Moon night, I think), and KrisDi and I went out for beer and food with P Dubs & T. That was nice, except that riding in the car that long was a bit much for my back, and the seats weren’t awesome for my back. We did manage to take a couple decent pictures of the moon with the megalens.

We got tickets to go to a Tavour beer party, and Papa came up to watch the kids while we went to it. We met some friends there. They had Cantillon and a number of other hard to find, delicious beers. It was crowded, chaotic, and almost no seating for me, but it was a lot of fun and I would totally do it again (hopefully in better back health.

M False Alarm turned 8. For her birthday party, she wanted to go to a nail salon (and not bring along little sister). So, I hung around at their house with G while B and Chilkoot barricaded the door. After the kids came back, it was presents, cake, playing, dinner. Somehow ending up with B’s foot stuck in a tree. I don’t understand. Oh, and they made slime, which Chilkoot disliked.

KrisDi got rear ended on her way home from work. She was stopped on an off-ramp; the car behind her was not stopped until it wedged firmly into her rear bumper. Everyone was OK, but KrisDi’s car is likely out for almost 4 weeks and by guidelines, we need to replace the kids’ carseats. This, of course, helps make logistics super easy the week I have surgery.

KrisDi started prepping for Chilkoot’s Harry Potter birthday party. I’ll save most of the pictures for the actual party.

Chilkat is selling Girl Scout cookies (contact us if you want some). She was making personalized sales videos and thank you videos for a while. We sent a sheet to work with A False Alarm, who has nearly doubled Chilkat’s sales.

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January 2019 Part I

Well, I’ve already talked about how my new year started. I’ll talk in more detail about the continuing Back Saga in a separate post, but I got another lumbar MRI and a cortisone shot. I mentioned previously a lying down workstation — I used a Bluetooth split keyboard, a Bluetooth trackball, and the stand from my floating jackolantern so I could lie down on my back, with my feet up, my hands on either side of my hips, and a computer screen directly in front of my face as I look straight up. I started using a cane around the office, and one of my team members gave me a sweet-ass upgrade.

KrisDi started to prep for Chilkat’s birthday party. This year, she turns 8 and chose Harry Potter as her theme. The picture above was one taken in preparation for making invitations. She made a bunch of unfinished wands for the kids to paint or color during the actual party. I helped by suggesting using a pencil sharpener to start rounding the tips.

We finished Chilkoot’s pinewood derby car. He decided it needed to be painted like flames, and that it should named Daddy.

The pinewood derby itself was odd. It was a much smaller crowd than the Girl Scouts’ version with Chilkat last year — but it was very disorganized. They didn’t even get started until about an hour late because they didn’t have the track set up. Many of the cars were more fancily made (I have the impression the dads “helped” a lot). Chilkoot didn’t win anything, and mostly just ran around not paying attention.

Chilkoot’s front two teeth have been very loose, so much so that her left front tooth could be described as dangling. But, she completely freaks out if we even mention the tooth, acting as if we’re going to smash her over the head and pull it out with pliers. We let it go until she had her dentist visit, where she acted like a total idiot. Chilkoot was even infected by her shitty behavior. The dentist said the tissue is inflamed and that she thinks Chilkat avoiding the tooth during brushing was starting to cause problems. Chilkat has a cavity, and has to go back to get it fixed. The dentist said she could “extract” the teeth at ~$250 a pop. Total bullshit for something a fumbled toothpick could handle, so we told the girl we’re going to do it whether she likes it or not. Part of our job as parents is to help her take care of herself, and there’s no guarantee she’s going to like everything we need to do to achieve that.

For the most part, it’s been a quiet month while I potter about the house ineffectually, make KrisDi do all the chores, and try to figure out my stupid worthless back.

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Chilkat, December 2017 versus December 2018

Chilkat, December 2017 versus December 2018

Chilkat versus Chilkoot at 65 months

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment