November 2021 Part II

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We were the photographers for the kids’ theater group’s headshots for their playbill. We set up an ad hoc photo studio in our garage and created a series of appointments for all the kids. Of course, some came in groups and some came early and some stayed late and their was a fair amount of overlap, which leads to larger groups of excited children, resulting of course in chaos and noise.

We then were requested to come to the rehearsal and take pictures. Less chaotic, but lots of activity.

We finally had parent-child day. Chilkoot and I went out for breakfast at IHOP, then met up with KrisDi and Chilkat for a pedicure (I had a Miller Lite). We got there early, so we got coffee/hot chocolate and then went shopping at Barnes & Noble, where we bought him a Lego set. Once our toes were beautiful and of matching color, we went for lunch at the Trail’s End in Snohomish, across the street from the Snohomish Aquatic Center, which was our next stop. Some of Chilkoot’s nail polish chipped/scraped/soaked off in the pool, which temporarily ruined Daddy-Son Day. Ice cream at Salt & Straw and watching the movie Ron’s Gone Wrong in theater seemed to have saved it. After the movie, we went to Zeek’s Pizza for dinner, and that was the day.

Chilkat and KrisDi had breakfast at Original Pancake House. Then Barnes & Noble (same one Chilkoot and I went to, just earlier). Then we had the pedicure all as a group (KrisDi had champagne). Then they went shopping in the Totem Lake area and had lunch at the new ramen place, Silverlake. More shopping, and then they also watched Ron’s Gone Wrong (earlier showing than mine). Then Salt & Straw. They headed back toward home and stopped at a toy store and had Korean BBQ for dinner. One more stop at Target and they were done for the day.

KrisDi had several days where she had to go into the office. At this point, this seems unusual and burdensome.

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November 2021 Part I

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One of Chilkoot’s friends had a birthday party at Defy, a warehouse filled with trampolines and obstacle course type of stuff. I found out from one of the moms that Chilkoot had a crush on a girl there, whom we’ll call N. Overall, I was impressed at how considerate the kids were, taking turns on things and making sure everyone got a chance to try stuff and it seemed like everyone was being equally included, which was awesome. I did notice that Chilkoot and N were pretty well inseparable, and Chilkoot seemed to be especially gentlemanly toward her. Afterward, I asked Chilkat about it while Chilkoot wasn’t around, and she laughed and said something like, “He has so many crushes I can’t keep track of them!” Chilkoot has been remarkably nonchalant about N being just one of his friends with whom he likes to play.

Miss K had her baby shower, and we were invited. Chilkoot wanted to dress up and match me, hence the white collars and striped ties above. Everyone was supposed to be vaccinated (I mean, we didn’t go around checking cards or anything). There was a TON of food and some of it was really interesting (Miss K’s family is Filipino). We also got to re-meet a couple of the teachers from the old day care. Of course, they dutifully couldn’t believe how big the kids have gotten. Overall, it was cute and fun.

Chilkoot tested for his blue belt. He passed the test, but just barely (I don’t remember what the issue was — speed of some of the moves or position or something? I’m sure KrisDi remembers), but something about whatever sensei said after the test sent Chilkoot into a bit of a spiral and he had a mopey meltdown afterward.

My office kindly decided to send everyone in the company gift baskets from Harry & David. However, twelve of them, including mine, went through a FedEx Auburn facility which has been trapping packages unexplainedly for a week (experienced several times with beer packages). My office called to complain and bullied H&D into sending new ones with next-day shipping to those twelve. I don’t know which one I got first, but I got both of them within a couple days of each other. They both contained something like eight pears, so Chilkat and I were gorging ourselves on those. We still have a bunch of stuff from those baskets — they were huge!

The kids got there first vaccinations! KrisDi took them. Apparently they were both really good about it. Chilkoot said his never hurt at all, and Chilkat complained for a few days that her arm hurt. No other side effects that we noticed.

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2021 October Part III

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Chilkoot had to take a second trip to the dentist to finish filling all his cavities. He was really good about the dentist visit. Now if we could get him to actually pay attention to what he was doing when he was brushing and flossing, so he could actually do a good job…instead of bickering or playing with his sister.

Chilkoot wanted to help make pancakes for breakfast on the new stove. Incidentally, the new stove beeps a bunch, which the kids have decided is what it sounds like when the stove talks. Also incidentally, I finally got to start parking my car in the garage again.

I have no idea why, but the kids got it into their head that they wanted me to photoshop them somehow. So they had me take a picture of them with one on the other’s back, and then we Googled around for a photo of an impressive tree, and then I edited them into it the tree.

KrisDi planted a bunch of bulbs in the yard. Hopefully we’ll see a bunch more color in the spring.

And, of course, Halloween happened. Chilkoot mostly picked this year’s family theme: The Wee Free Men (from Terry Pratchett’s book). Chilkat was Tiffany Aching, Chilkoot and I were Rob Anybody and William the Gonnagle (two of the Nac Mac Feegles), and KrisDi was the Kelda. We went over to Chilkat’s friend’s house and hung out with them for a while before coming back to our neighborhood to trick-or-treat. I had a flask of special sheep liniment as part of my costume (I had toyed with the idea of making a giant cardboard flask with a real flask inside of it, but thought it would be too unwieldy and too much work. Also, one of Chilkat’s friend’s parents’ friends brought cigars, so I ended up smoking that as we made the rounds through the neighborhood. One of the kids was an inflatable skid, but she kept deflating. Chilkat’s friend lost some steam and chilled at our house while the rest of the kids finished the rounds.

Then we went inside to warm up and tried a bunch of my whisk[e]y.

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October 2021 Part II

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While I was in NYC, KrisDi and Chilkoot dressed up as Harry Potter and Bellatrix Lestrange for his scouts’ Camp Halloween, which included archery, sling shots, BB guns, haunted house, some kind of a banana thing over a fire, scavenger hunt, arts and crafts…had a good time, though it was reported by KrisDi to be a bit cool.

KrisDi cleaned the house very thoroughly while I was in NYC. Les & D came to take care of the kids when she flew out to meet me. This is, as usual, very generous of them, as we would not be able to have vacations like that without their help.

Kids finally opened a present from last year: A red and a blue robot that follow a black stripe, and a set of tiles with black stripes on them that can be arranged to make tracks for them. Red one was named Rob, and blue one was named Bob. Bob was defective out of the box. His gearing didn’t allow one of the wheels to move. I disassembled and found a cracked gear that I could not repair.

So, of course, the kids decided they needed to have a funeral for Bob. They put little ties on Rob and a bunch of stuffed animals and got a “coffin” and had a little service where we put paper flowers on the casket.

We had one of our traditional PNW fall wind storms which of course made us worry that the Admiral was going to fall on us and destroy our house. That didn’t happen, but we had a bunch of branches land in our yard or on our roof.

We went to Bob’s Pumpkin Farm again this year. Prices keep going up, and more things are “additional fee.” It was cold and rainy this year and we didn’t really stick around very long. We took the hay ride to the second section which is mostly just pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins. Kids ate donuts and drank hot chocolate. We went through a corn maze. Chilkat picked a GIGANTIC pumpkin. My back was acting up and I couldn’t lift stuff. Chilkoot decided we needed to get a tiny pumpkin for Apple Bear to carve. We went to Trail’s End for beer and lunch afterward, and stopped at Salt & Straw for ridiculously large ice creams on the way home.

When we got home, it was time to work on Jack O’Lanterns. The kids decided to actually carve for the first time — all previous years, they only painted their pumpkins. They were dutifully grossed out by the guts-removal step of the process, and despite some frustration and drama, the kids did a really good job. Chilkat carved Jack Skellington, Chilkoot carved a penguin, Apple Bear’s pumpkin got carved as Apple Bear’s face (I didn’t realize he was so self-absorbed), KrisDi used some new painting technique, and I tried to do a pumpkin with beer bottles for eyes that was drinking a beer (which turned out OK, but not nearly my best).

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October 2021 Part I

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We actually went to Salmon Days this year. We watched the dogs jumping in the water competition for a little while again. Chilkoot ate a corndog, Chilkat ate fish and chips, we ate some kind of empanada-style thing from a country that used a different word (come on, it was two months ago now). I picked up some very local coffee (at least, roasted locally), and I remember the lady was totally trying to sell me the wrong way. She kept talking about how they’re farmer and environment friendly / responsible and whatever, and I was just like, “But what’s it taste like?” I’ve finished one of two bags since then and it was OK, but a little too dark for my taste. Chilkoot brought home some local art print (a London double-decker bus filled with animals) and Chilkat got a stuffy. You know, because she’s running out. For me, the most amusing part of the day was that Chilkoot wanted to dress as my twin and we walked from the car to the festival in lockstep. After the festival, we went for lunch and a beer at Formula Brewing.

KrisDi’s coworker/friend had a first birthday party for her son. We got to go and hang out with them and a bunch of relatives. Which was interesting, because she’s Polish, and he’s Peruvian, which made for a pretty disparate collection of food, language, and culture.

We got the kids to play Scrabble with us. Me and Chilkoot versus KrisDi and Chilkat. It was kind of fun and kind of frustrating. I’m OK with the kids not having the vocabulary or the ridiculous amount of experience with word games or Scrabble strategy, what’s frustrating is when they don’t listen when I try to tell them something.

School photos happened, and our kids are adorable. No retakes this year!

At this point, kitchen was approaching completion. KrisDi got a blue bench-chest to go along with her blue-themed kitchen stuff.

Chilkat tried to sneak into my suitcase and join my in NYC.

KrisDi got her covid booster shot.

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