Family

Comparisons

Chilkat, December 2017 versus December 2018

Chilkat, December 2017 versus December 2018

Chilkat versus Chilkoot at 65 months

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December 2018 Part II

We went up to Bellingham for Grandma Christmas. Northwood and Auntie L surprised Mom — they were on a road trip vacation, and planned to hit Bellingham on the 22nd, so we made sure Grandma Christmas coincided without letting Mom know about it. We ate pizza and take out Thai. We drank beer and gave presents. We smashed geodes with a hammer (one of Chilkat’s presents). We goofed about and had a generally good time. It’s nice when an unusual collection of family members get together.

Northwood and L came to stay with us for two nights after. KrisDi made salad (on L’s request) and bloody mary grilled cheese (her own idea). Chilkoot got to horseplay with an adult for a while, which is nice since I haven’t been able to do it for a while. They rode bikes and had a good ol’ time. Northwood even borrowed Chilkoot’s bike for a short ride.

Chilkoot wanted a beard to match Dad and Uncle. We worked on Chilkoot’s pinewood derby car, which included power tools like drills and miter saws. We let Chilkoot help operate the miter saw, but after he kept reaching toward it with his free hand, we made him put his hand inn his pocket and keep it there.

Christmas Eve, Northwood and L left for their next stop (Yellowstone), and we went to E Dubs’ for the traditional eating of Polish foods and opening of children’s presents.

Mom, Les, and D came to our place for Christmas Day, where of course more presents were opened. I got a couple books about beer, a sloth, a bottle of single malt Taiwanese whiskey (accompanied by a dreaded happy napper penguin), and several months ago an expensive lens that went with me to Guam. Kids got too much stuff and got rid of little to nothing. KrisDi’s primary present was a Vitamix (she’s agreed to get rid of her old blender, but hasn’t done it yet).

The day after, Mr. JJ and family came down for a Bourbon Barrel Beer tasting along with KrisDi’s deep dish pizza and pretzel bites. The kids also opened a snack store (last year, they sold us the beer we drank). The first of the three flights was Prairie BOMB! Deconstructed — a heavy-duty imperial stout normally brewed with vanilla, cacao, coffee, and peppers, deconstructed into a version with just the vanilla, a version with just the cacao, just the coffee, just the peppers…and the beer itself. It was interesting. We all liked the constructed BOMB! best, and varied about which of the deconstructions were our favorites. Our second round was a mishmash of beers that included some Ancient Ones from Fremont from two years ago. It was fun. The deconstructed versions of the BOMB! had some encoded text on them that Mr. JJ’s daughter and wife spent a bunch of time decoding manually (it was a recipe for seven layer dip). The last, ill-advised round, was a vertical of bourbon barrel aged Dark Stars. We were already a bit too inebriated to enjoy it properly; I didn’t finish the round, and Mr JJ and his son brought back Mrs JJ to drive them home. I stayed up for another 1-1.5 hours drinking non-alcoholic beverages and eating bready stuff while cleaning up to increase my chances of a pleasant morning.

The next day, we went to the Paramount Theater to see the Lion King. This was a Christmas present for Mom, Les, and D. And maybe the kids. I think everyone enjoyed it. The costumes were really interested. This was the day I had my MRI late in the evening.

On the 28th, we wanted to give the kids a little time away from each other. KrisDi took Chilkat to see Ralph Breaks the Internet, and I took Chilkoot to see Into the Spiderverse. Nothing particularly remarkable in my opinion, but the kids are each (generally) much more pleasant without their counterpart.

The following day, we dropped the kids off with Nana and Papa to stay for the night, while KrisDi and I went with P Dubs and T to a brewery, to lunch, and to a Thunderbirds hockey game. My back hurt a lot by the end of the game.

Finally, our friends from Medford came up to visit. KrisDi made Beef Wellington (this time with a wine sauce instead of a cream and green peppercorn sauce). She made Huevos Rancheros for breakfast (delicious — and surprisingly good pairing with a Corona at 8 AM). We mostly just hung out with them.

Finally, we had a New Year’s Eve party with lots of friends. The Medford friends, the False Alarms, the Popes, Lori’s family all came over; half of them stayed at our house. Of course, as mentioned previously, I had an unfortunately exciting end to the evening including an unplanned visit from Les. We made G False Alarm a North Dakota Iced Tea v2.0. He seemed to enjoy it. If you’re curious, this was v1.0.

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December 2018 Part I

As mentioned in previous posts, my back has sucked since October. We couldn’t go to a tree farm and cut down a tree, we went to a market and bought one. I couldn’t move a ladder around, KrisDi had to move it up to the closet to get me into the attic to get Christmas stuff down; I couldn’t decorate the house.

KrisDi and the kids made gingerbread houses and decorated around the house as well. Chilkoot, for some reason unknown to me, built a bunch of Christmas-related costumes out of construction paper, and he and Chilkat held a fashion show to display them.

KrisDi had signed all four of us up for the Christmas Rush 5KChilkoot and KrisDi ran most of the way and finished in something like 41 minutes; Chilkat and I walked and finished in around 1:04. We got passed by the guy with the tuba, but we passed the guy that was half my height, twice my width, and recovering from a broken leg. Chilkat started complaining that we would never finish after about a mile, my back started complaining after about a mile and a half.

Later that day, we went to Elbe, WA to ride the Polar Express train there. My back was angry from the 5K and the drive out there and it was a crowd. I endured. The kids enjoyed it. We picked up Nana and Papa at their house, and met the E Dubs clan there and rode with them.

The next day, we planned to go to a birthday party for one of KrisDi’s internet friend’s kids. Chilkoot managed to damage himself just beforehand — jumping on the couch, he accidentally launched himself off over the arm, falling and hitting his belly on the corner of a table (probably about two inches from broken ribs), wedging himself between the table and the couch with his ribcage on one side of the table’s corner and his hips on the other.

We had KrisDi’s work Christmas party. This year, it was at the Museum of Flight instead of at the horse track. I haven’t gone the last few years, so I went this year. KrisDi’s parents also came along. It was a good time. We won a surprisingly competitive mashup of musical chairs and a scavenger hunt, in which KrisDi stashed a bajillion odds and ends in her purse to give herself a better chance of having the things we needed to find. Big D shouldered some poor dude off a chair to stay in it. KrisDi won a tub of beer. We got some whiskey as a white elephant gift.

After the party, we had free entry into the museum. We wandered around it for a while. Not sure how long, but my back was misbehaving badly. I was having tons of pain and weakness down the left leg, which left me literally dragging it around the museum.

Chilkat had her reconciliation. Not a thing I’m deeply familiar with, not being Catholic. As I understand it, it’s basically first confession. Chilkat dreaded it, wrote out her sins to confess, successfully confessed, did whatever penance she was supposed to do, and then a couple days later said she thought her heart was full of sin again. I’m fairly sure that “being mean to Chilkoot” and “not listening to Mom and Dad” were her primary sins.

The False Alarms, Popes, and I planned a Daddies / Eldest Daughters night. The smaller False Alarm girl came with us as well this time. We dressed up and went ice skating (great idea, for a guy with a shitty back, a guy with shitty feet, and a guy recovering from a severed Achilles tendon). That didn’t last too long, and then we went to dinner, and by that time it was late enough we went home.

Of course the kids wanted to open presents as soon as they started showing up under the tree, and this and this was part of their reaction when we told them no.

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November 2018, Part II

The kids are starting to get excited about Christmas already. Chilkat wrote a series of letters arguing, essentially, that they needed to open the Christmas presents early, or they would explode. The first was one was “signed” by the mailman. We haven’t let them open any presents, and they haven’t exploded…yet.

Chilkat and Chilkoot put on a fashion show of sorts, with a medley of Thanksgiving themed costumes created by Chilkoot with construction paper.

I dressed Chilkoot in my old sweater, gave him my old blanket, had him hold my old teddy bear, and suck on his first two fingers to pose for pictures as me.

Thanksgiving. KrisDi made most of the usual stuff (she cut out a few things, but still made enough food to feed the full complement of guests about six times over). Turkey turned out extremely well; everything was very tasty. KrisDi’s parents came, Mom came, P-Dubs came, E-Dubs + family came, we ate a lot, and we got tired.

Then our Medford friends came to visit. We really didn’t do a whole lot, aside from eat, drink, and shoot the breeze. It was fun. They brought excellent beers up from their area, we sent down excellent beers from our area; we went to Chuck’s Hop Shop and we went back to the Central American restaurant we visited on our parents day recently.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, our friends went home, and I had three guests arrive from Japan. I took them to a Cuban restaurant for dinner, while KrisDi went down to Tacoma to hang out with the False Alarms while the father took the two eldest to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra. She says it was, “Good. Loud, because when you scream it sounds like you’re whispering.” Chilkoot hung around and played Uno with Bella.

My Japanese guests came in one wave of three, but are departing in two waves. Two of them left on Thursday after three days of meetings. The third one is leaving on Wednesday this week. Meetings have been good, basically, and I think we’ve been able to take them to some ne experiences. I took them out for American breakfast, where between the four of us, we split two breakfasts and a cinnamon roll between three people, and it was too much food.

We had my company party at McMenamin’s Schoolhouse. It was fun. We didn’t mingle a lot, but we spent most of the evening chattering with people I don’t usually spend a lot of time talking to. The food was fine, and the beer was pretty good.

The fire department came through our neighborhood with Santa. I think they were collecting donations or something, but the kids were delighted.

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November Part I

Mom came down to our house to visit for her birthday and to enjoy birthday presents (tickets to go to two shows with us, described below). KrisDi also made her a chocolate cake saturated in caramel.

The first show we took her to was Cirque du Soleil: Volta. As you would probably expect, there were lots of amazing feats performed by people who have spent an incredible amount of time perfecting completely useless skills. Chilkat, in her typical upbeat fashion, declared at one point, “Why are you torturing me?! I love this so much I want it to never end, but I know that it will!” Chilkoot, in utter awe, declared several time, “Awesome!” For whatever reason, Chilkoot and I dressed as twins for this show. Prior to the show, we took Mom to La Isla, a fantastic Puerto Rican restaurant that scared us with their sign declaring permanent closure the following day. Asking into it, they’re closing that location permanently, and reopening in a new location in a couple months. We’ll go.

The next day, we went to the next show (which is probably more for the kids that for Mom): Disney on Ice. I don’t have much to say about it. I was reading the Lies of Locke Lamora.

KrisDi and I took a vacation day while the kids were at school. We went out to breakfast (Porkchop & Co, excellent), then we went to Chuck’s for beer (fantastic), then we went to a Honduran restaurant (La Cabaña, quite good), then we went to a Scandinavian bakery (Byen Bakeri, good but definitely not cheap), then Urban Family for sours (they have the bell curve of beers…most are OK, some are bad, and some are good). We were going to go to Fremont’s White Heron Project, but we were so damn full we just went home.

Chilkoot went to a science-themed birthday party for one of his classmates. What does he remember about it? “Making that slime, and getting the Pokemon toy for Delilah from one of the cupcakes, and that’s all I can remember.”

Chilkoot got a haircut. You can see the before and after pictures in the album linked above. Chilkoot looks really upset in the “before” picture, but I don’t know why.

We had family night for before/after school care — food and a dance party, mostly. We won an award for the best pajamas — we all wore matching Christmas pajamas. Our award was a Huskies blanket, even though they’re the rivals of the only school either of us has attended in Washington (WSU Cougars). We saw the other award winner with a Cougars blanket, wearing Huskies pajamas…she wanted to switch, and we were fine with switching, but red is her son’s favorite color, and he was having none of it.

We enrolled Chilkoot in a Karate class a couple weeks ago. They had their first competition last weekend, and I took lots of photos and KrisDi took a couple videos (below). It was cute, and Chilkoot enjoyed winning medals. Chilkoot’s the one in the white helmet.

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