April Part II

KrisDi got the kids some cookies for Easter from another online mom that are a sort of built in, edible watercolor sort of deal. You get a paint brush wet, dab it on some colored ovals, and then paint that color on the cookie. They finally got to it, and thought it was pretty neat. They nibbled on the cookies, but didn’t finish them.

We finished Chilkat’s pinewood car. After a couple coats of paint, it was too heavy, so we sanded a bunch off the bottom. We nailed the wheels on, and had a hell of a time trying to get the ‘axles’ to align. We also went to the race — Chilkat finished 10th overall out of ~65, she won 2/4 of her heats. I think she had a good time.

KrisDi found a house we wanted. Like, really wanted. Enough to contact a realtor, get home loan qualification letters, and make two offers. KrisDi has been continually window shopping for homes, but we’re kind of in a good situation. There are some sub-optimal things about our house (shitty yard, tiny garage), but there’s nothing wrong with it. We don’t want to leave our school district, because it’s good and Chilkat’s doing well, and we don’t want to change that under her, and we want Chilkoot to have the same opportunity. So, we’re really only interested in a serious upgrade in the same school district. KrisDi found a beautiful house, ~40% larger than ours, on a lot ~15x larger than ours, in the same school district. It’s a beautiful, beautiful home. We were able to offer significantly over asking, but someone else offered the same without contingency, so our offer was rejected. It’s a shame. It was an interesting experience. Our neighbor across the street recently sold their house $20k over asking three days after listing, so we have no real concerns that we would have trouble selling our existing home. Just unfortunate. I would love to be living there right now.

The garage fridge started misbehaving again — fridge was hovering around 50 degrees, freezer was not cold — so I started working on it again. I got a couple wireless hygrometers to try to see what was actually happening, defrosted again, replaced the defrost system thermostat, replaced the temperature control thermostat…fridge is fine now, temperature swings still seem very large, but I’m not confident it’s going to stay OK.

KrisDi and Chilkoot wanted to go to a dance, but there’s not many mommy-son dances compared to the number of daddy-daughter dances. However, KrisDi found a superhero themed one, so KrisDi dressed up as Wonder Woman and Chilkoot as Spider Man. I think they had a good time.


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April Part I

So, per my brief and vague allusion in my previous post, Chilkoot got Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. He started a fever the Friday before Easter, missed out on Daddy Son day on Saturday, missed out on Easter on Sunday (we didn’t want to infect the cousins with whatever he had — we didn’t find out until the next day that it was HFM). He started showing sores on Sunday, I think. Doctor on Monday. Last day of fever Tuesday. He only got a few sores on the outside of his mouth, one on his hand, and none on his feet — but the inside of his mouth was so ripped up he wouldn’t eat solid food for four days. One day, I think, Chilkoot consumed a total of two spoonfuls of yogurt, a pinch of bread, and half an Otter Pop. It was hard to get him to drink water. Poor kid. Anyway, I missed 2.5 days of work, KrisDi missed 2.5 days of work. Luckily, no one else got it from him. He was so good-natured about it. “Chilkoot, wash your hands!” “OK. I have hand foot mouth.” It was at least another week before he could handle a toothbrush in his mouth, and another week before flossing was OK.

Aside from that, I think KrisDi and Chilkat had a good Easter. I wasn’t there. I was with a sick kid. I think that was the day he threw up on the couch.

During Chilkoot’s recovery, we had a family long weekend in Portland. This was sort of a “We gave you kids a week at god damn theme parks, let us have some fucking good beer and good food” sort of thing. We dragged the kids to lots of breweries (Culmination, Coalition, Cascade, Hair of the Dog, Base Camp, Modern Times) and lots of restaurants (Stammtische [mediocre German regional dishes], Jam on Hawthorne [excellent breakfast], Screen Door [excellent breakfast], Blue Dot Donuts [excellent], Voodoo Donuts [novelties; taste ok], Marukin [OK ramen], Fire on the Mountain wings [good wings],  Salt & Straw [excellent ice cream], Chicagoland [good deep dish pizza]). We made a deal with the kids — we’ll buy you a new toy…if you get rid of ten others when we get home! Woo!

Chilkat started using her Magic School Bus science kit that she got for her birthday. I got her a silly joke book since she can read well enough to enjoy it. For a while, she gave us stand-up routines read directly out of the book, which was pretty funny.

Northwood came up here on a work quest to find a vendor to replace esoteric fan blades. His timing was perfect for helping with Chilkat’s Girl Scouts pinewood derby car — so our poor little girl had a metrologist, an aerospace engineer, and an engineering manager at her disposal. We did an OK job of letting her contribute. It’s green, like she wanted — it has the shape that she wanted — it has the samoa sticker she wanted. It has the profile / cross-section that we nudged her toward. It has the weighting we dictated. She helped with all the steps. It was fun to see Northwood. No one got seriously hurt.

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March, Part Deux

Click here for more pictures of March, Part II: The Reckoning

So much belatedness…I’ll be brief.

My friend left my work, and he brought in a going away cake that I thought was funny. We’ve had a bunch of other people leave. I’m hiring again now, which is part of why this is so belated.

Chilkoot had his kindergarten aptitude test. He felt the need to dress up in a suit for it. People thought it was adorable (shock!). He went in, answered their questions, came out five minutes later, and said, “That’s it?”

We went to Medford for our friends’ daughter’s 5th birthday. It was unicorn themed. It was a lot of fun. But Medford is far, far away — we left the house at like 3:30 AM and made it past Portland by like 6:30 AM, which was nice, but I was very tired. When I felt I was at too high a risk of nodding off while driving, I switched with KrisDi, who then got the joy of driving through the snow. The kids were pretty good about it though — part of the reason for leaving so early was to try to make sure they actually slept part of the way, which worked out fine. Chilkat has been reading more and more — she read a bunch during the drive home. I think she was reading to her brother.

I got a dedicated work laptop (I’ve been using my personal laptop for work a ton for many years now). Unfortunately, one of the first things I did with it was put it on top of KrisDi’s car after piano lessons, and forget about it after a series of stupid distractions like “I need my blanket from your car!” and “Where are my shoes? Oh they’re in my shirt!” Etc. I realized it after KrisDi drove away, when I got in my car and didn’t see it. I called her as quickly as I could and said, “Pull over and stop as quickly as you can, as gently as you can,” or something to that effect. Unfortunately, it was too late — ol’ lappy dropped almost six feet to the pavement from a moving vehicle and sat in traffic for a couple minutes until I ran out into the road to get it. End result: Mostly cosmetic damage. Deep cosmetic damage. Also, damage to my pride, having to admit it to my boss.

We made Easter Eggs using a new technique the day before Easter. This was also supposed to be Mommy/Daughter and Daddy/Son day — but Chilkoot started showing a fever, so I wouldn’t take him swimming and skating like we planned. We were both sad. More on that in the next post.

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March, Part I

The month basically started off with Christmas. I had promised KrisDi a day out with no planning required from her. I found the Wailin’ Jenny’s were going to be in Victoria. I knew KrisDi was interested after she discovered Ruth Moody’s voice through the connection that Ruth Moody’s baby’s father is P Dubs’ friend of many years.

KrisDi’s father Les came out to watch the kids, so we were able to turn it into a two night ordeal.

We took the Victoria Clipper up there (~3 hour cruise), wandered around Victoria drinking beer and eating food and looking at the sights. When visiting one brewery (Canoe, I think), we noticed someone wearing a Chuck’s Hop Shop hoody at the bar and being friendly with the staff. When I went to ask the staff where we could find good poutine, he joined the conversation. Eventually, we learned that he was the owner of the Drake, which was on our “must visit” list for the trip. He gave some excellent recommendations for food (we ended up going to his recommendation for dinner — Hanks, which was very good). We ended up going to the Drake next anyway, and saw him speedwalking his way over while we were walking. We sat down and started harassing the bartender (per the owner’s instructions), drank beer for a while, and then the owner came over and sat with us for another 45 minutes shooting the breeze about beer and the beer business. It was really nice.

Later that night we went to the show at Alix Goolden Hall — a church that has been turned into a venue. The Wailin’ Jennys sure have pretty voices. I’d heard some of Ruth Moody’s music before, and perused some Wailin’ Jennys when I was looking into this trip, so that was no surprise. It was a good time.

The next morning we went to a place called Jam for breakfast, which was fantastic. We had a scotch egg for the first time (along with a caesar), which was interesting and good. We visited more breweries, ate more food, walked a bunch, and then picked up food to take home with us on the Clipper. I had arranged a couples massage, which was nice — it was KrisDi’s first professional massage and my first professional massage that wasn’t actually physical therapy. With actual back pain, I would much prefer  the therapy version. For relaxation, the spa + massage was nice.

On the way home, I got to exercise the megalens on the boat, trying to get decent pictures of sunset in low light with high zoom from a fast-moving boat. I got some pretty pictures, and about 400 orange blurs. It was fun, but nearly futile. Also, in the cold wind, my hands nearly froze off.

When we landed again in Seattle, we Ubered to the Air BnB in Seattle we were staying at, which was walking distance to two things we wanted to do: (1) In the evening, go to Holy Mountain and get pizza from Windy City Pie [we met with P Dubs & T], and (2) Kerry Park, where I wanted to go and try to get sunrise pictures of Seattle [it was gray in the morning].

After breakfast, we walked back to the truck, drove back to the Air BnB, got our bags and stuff, and then drove to P Dubs, where Les had brought the kids. After telling the kids about our weekend, they also wanted a massage.

KrisDi was out of town the next weekend, in Chicago to visit with her internet mom friends. I enlisted my Mom to help me out with the kids, mostly to get Chilkat to piano lessons. Then she stayed with us for the weekend. During a stop at the donut shop, Chilkoot recognized the salon where he last got a haircut and started asking for one; KrisDi remotely set it up and we did it. When we were leaving the house to walk to DQ, there happened to be a bald eagle in the tree immediately behind our house. He stayed there long enough for me to go back inside, get the megalens, and spend about 10-15 minutes shooting pictures of him. It’s nice nature finally decided to cooperate with me, sending majestic creatures into my back yard.

The kids were very excited to give me my birthday present: 22 bottles and/or cans of various IPAs. They got back from the store with their mother, giggling and telling me to keep my eyes closed while they got my present ready. I sure couldn’t guess what was happening by the clinking of glass as it thudded into a cooler, and then was covered noisily with ice. They sure are sweet kids.

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