It's the last day of 2006

December 31, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's the last day of 2006. Sure enough, we're all sick. Emma still has her cough, I'm sniffly, and Sam is still in bed at 10:30 this morning. This seems to happen every Winter, so I suppose I should just get used to it.

We did have a nice day yesterday. The whole family piled in the car and we drove out Highway 58 until we found snow. There was snowball fights, snow angels, and snow men. Emma got very cold, but some hot chocolate and the activated charcoal hand warmers hit the spot. We drove back home, happy and warm, and took it easy for the rest of the day.

Mocha Friday, in name anyway

December 29, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday, in name anyway. The college students at Starbucks evidently couldn't figure out how to get the espresso shot into the cup, so I had an expensive cup of hot chocolate this morning. Ah, well. My gift certificate is done and it's back to the hospital PRN from here on out.

It's been an uneventful week, with both kids out of school. They've had lots of play dates each day and have seemed pretty tired each night. Jamie's feeling better these days, getting ready for Mexico next week. As for this weekend, we might do a short "play in the snow" run, depending on how everyone feels. Next week, it's just the kids and I. Hopefully it'll be fun.

I'm back to work again today

December 27, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm back to work again today. It's a bit strange after so much time off, but fortunately it's been pretty quiet after the weeks of go-live madness.

Jamie continues to be sick and not talking much. Last night Sam went off to Dave's to spend the night, leaving the three of us alone in the house. It was awfully quiet, especially when Emma conked right out to sleep an hour early. It's strange thinking our big house might be sans children some day.

I'm mentally gearing up for next week when I have both kids. Should be interesting.

Merry Christmas to all

December 25, 2006 by Adam in Family

Merry Christmas to all.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activities. In the morning we took the kids to see Jamie's old roommate, Tina, and her family. Her husband Noah is exactly as I remembered him, quirky, funny, and full of energy. Soon enough we were playing with the air-zooka and setting paper airplanes on fire. Sam loved it. Tina seems the same as usual, and her kids are cute. It was fun, all around.

In the afternoon, Jamie's family began to filter in. Jackson is now huge and he and Emma played a bunch. It was fun seeing Josh again, and we're hoping to get him together with the kids before he heads back to Tennesee. Presents were exchanged and I got even more chocolate covered espresso beans. All my vices wrapped into a single package.

We're heading back home today. Jamie's feeling sick again and I'm heading to work tomorrow. Busy, busy.

Happy Christmas Eve to all

December 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

Happy Christmas Eve to all. We made it to Portland, safe and sound. The kids and I got way too muddy at the park, played about the house, and generally had a good time. Jamie went off to see her dad, and we all gathered for a traditional holidy Thai dinner. Today we're eating a hearty breakfast, playing at the park with Jamie's college roommate and her kids, and having the big Christmas party this afternoon. We should be back in town by tomorrow.

It looks like we're heading up to Portland to...

December 23, 2006 by Adam in Family

It looks like we're heading up to Portland today instead of yesterday. Judy reported sick, so we're minimizing exposure, even though I think we already had what she has.

We had our little family Christmas already, after Emma's French school on Thursday. Emma liked her kitchen set and pink Nintendo DS. Ironically it was Sam who kept sneaking it away to play Nintendogs. He's training a puppy named Emma, so we'd keep hearing him call for Emma from his bedroom. I was pretty excited about my new electric razor and chocolate covered espresso beans. Jamie liked her sweater and new cookware. The cycle of consumerism is complete.

We just heard that Robbie went to the hospital last night to have his appendix out. I can think of better ways to spend Christmas, but it sounds like everything's okay. Best wishes to him and the rest of the family.

Merry almost Christmas

December 21, 2006 by Adam in Family

Merry almost Christmas. I think our family is doing a gift-exchange today, the first day of a rolling Christmas that continues as we bounce from family to family. It's hard to maintain the illusion of a jolly Saint Nick when there's multiple filled stockings on different days. This is probably the last year Emma will believe. Ah, youth.

Yesterday was fun, having breakfast with Sadie and my mom. We continue to lure Sadie back to Oregon, which looks increasingly promising. I still have an old birthday card from her where she gave me various gift options. Needless to say, I picked "Return to Oregon" and hope to collect next year.

We also made two big batches of jam, a pear marmalade and some apple butter. There was the usual hijinks and last minute purchases, but we ended up with jam in the end, which is what matters most.

We had a very low-key day yesterday, ditching...

December 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

We had a very low-key day yesterday, ditching our normal routine and instead going on a walking expedition over to Flicks and Pics to grab some movies. It was a cool, brisk, day, though strangely Sam found a salamander in our yard. Emma came in the backpack and we chatted away on the long walk.

Since only Sam and I share movie watching interests, everyone got their own thing and then went to different screens in the house to see their show. Later on, the kids and I played and hung out while Jamie went to the store. I stocked up on jam-making items for Sadie's arrival this week. Very exciting.

Sweet Mocha Friday

December 15, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sweet Mocha Friday. Only a few minutes until I head into work to partake of that wonderful elixir.

Emma's French school gave us a little Christmas present, including ornaments they made and some pictures and videos they took in class. The latter is pretty cool and I put together a quick video of Emma at school, a perspective I rarely see. This is also a photo of her at school, making pizza for some occasion. It's neat that she's actually learning things at school. Last night she was talking about Kwanzaa to me.

We had a huge storm last night, with Sam watching it all from the bedroom window. At first I thought the big black shapes flying off a nearby tree was birds, but it was actually branches being ripped away by the wind. It might be a bumpy ride on the way to work.

I still need to get in touch with everyone about Christmas plans. I'm tentatively taking next Wednesday through the following Monday off, and then more time while Jamie goes to Mexico and I have to watch the kids. I'm very much hoping for some relaxation and family time. Apple butter awaits!

Tonight is the Christmas party at Emma's Fren...

December 13, 2006 by Adam in Family

Tonight is the Christmas party at Emma's French school. I'm horribly excited to hear a dozen three year-olds singing assorted French songs. There's a catchy tune I learned in school about plucking a bird (Alouette, Je Te Plumerai), that they've turned into carving a pumpkin. Emma's been singing parts of it for ages.

I'm also eager to take time off work starting next week. I may go in Monday and/or Tuesday, but take the rest of the week off. I have a tentative breakfast with my mom and making apple butter with Sadie. Fun, fun.

As for the rest of the Miller-Mellor household, all goes well. I still have my lingering cough, but everyone else seems okay. Jamie has her assorted concoctions that I jokingly refer to as her "ju-ju", but she somehow managed to miss the bulk of the illness. Chalk one up for Emergen-C or whatever it's called.

Sam's up to chapter 6 of the first Harry Potter book. Emma can spell her name (as long as you don't mind tilted letters). Plus they're both so cute and funny.

I'm watching a very sick little girl, sleepin...

December 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm watching a very sick little girl, sleeping away on the couch while Jamie takes a shower. Supposedly Jamie and I were going to have a whole night to ourselves while Emma and Sam stayed over at a friend's house. Unfortunately around 9:30, Sharon called and Emma was returned to us. A couple weekends ago Sam ended up getting really sick at their house, and I guess it was Emma's turn. Either that or Sharon is secretly poisoning our children.

Anyway, Emma spent most of the night throwing up while Jamie earned her keep as super mom. I was mostly useless, as I ended up taking cough syrup for my annoying cough and zonked out even more than usual. At this point, it looks like I can be most useful washing the four loads of laundry generated by Emma's illness.

I imagine I'll go get Sam shortly. Perhaps he and I will go on an adventure to the tree farm and pick up a Christmas tree for decorating. Emma looks like she's going to sleep until next year. Poor girl.

Sweet, sweet Mocha Friday

December 08, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sweet, sweet Mocha Friday. Oh, how I missed you.

I was in a bit of a grumpy mood last night, the accumulated effects of a busy work week, occasionally wacky children, and my lingering illness. I think I'm going to throw caution to the wind and take a good chunk of time off this holiday season. For those of you wanting to hang out with me, the week of the 18th is looking like a fine time for a life of leisure.

Not much is happening in the Miller-Mellor household. Jamie's evidently feeling better, going to the gym last night. We got the garage door opener fixed after the ancient one finally stopped working. Such are the mundane aspects of our lives.

Jamie and I had our date night last night, ta...

December 07, 2006 by Adam in Family

Jamie and I had our date night last night, taking the kids to Dave's house for an hour or so. Unfortunately Jamie's so sick that our special alone time consisted of sipping tea at the breakfast table. Ah, life.

We've got a ton of exciting things happening over the weekend. Sam and Emma are spending the night at John and Natalie's house. This is the first time Emma's spent the night at a friend's house, though she seems to be somewhat excited about it. The tricky part will likely be the last 30 minutes of the day when she's exhausted and wants her mom. Hopefully it'll go well and I'm glad Sam will be along too.

On Saturday we're going to pick up a Christmas tree and decorate it. It's one of my favorite holiday rituals and hopefully we can accompany it with hot chocolate and appropriately themed music. There's an ice show happening in the afternoon if we're up for it. On Sunday we're having my dad and Yayoe over for dinner, who I haven't seen for awhile.

Should be pretty exciting all around. Just a sneak peek at the exciting Christmas schedule ahead.

The days just fly by

December 06, 2006 by Adam in Family

The days just fly by. I was greeted by a smiling Emma this morning, looking quite dapper in her bright red pajamas. Both kids are doing well these days. Emma's learning French songs for a Christmas party at her school next Wednesday. Sam continues to read the first Harry Potter book and loves playing his new Zelda game on his Wii. It looks like Jamie has whatever the rest of us had, and is popping pills for the headaches. Poor girl.

I'm getting excited for Christmas, as is Emma. She keeps asking how many days until the big day.

Mocha Friday, though I have a few minutes lef...

December 01, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday, though I have a few minutes left before I head to work and enjoy that delicious elixir.

Emma has been kooky lately. Last night we broke out Jamie's Christmas present, the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. Needless to say, things didn't go as planned. Emma simply wouldn't let the robot clean the floor. Instead, Emma decided it was her new best friend, cuddling with it and imbuing it with human emotions. I made a little movie of it, which was fun to put together.

She also called me up and asked me to smell. After laughing and explaining I couldn't smell anything through the phone, she replied, "Let me hold it to my bottom." Later that evening I discovered she had a full diaper and wanted to share the news in her usual witty way.

Today I have a sore throat and a touch of a sniffle, though my headache has passed. I'll be doing the usual kid stuff tonight and tomorrow morning. It'll be nice to have a normal weekend or two before the Christmas madness begins.

Thursday already

November 30, 2006 by Adam in Family

Thursday already. How the week has flown by.

I think my nasty illness is on the wane. With luck, Emma and Jamie will blissfully miss this one as it's been a rather unpleasant last couple days. Plus it was in the middle of my big go-live, so I forced myself to go into work, popping Advil like candy.

One of Jamie's Christmas presents arrived the other day - the Roomba from iRobot. Unfortunately Amazon shipped it in the original box, so the surprise was ruined. Jamie's a bit skeptical about a robot vaccuum cleaner, but the kids already adore it and I haven't even turned it on. Sam kept asking if it would do his homework and Emma thought it would make a fine robot friend. I kept joking about a "Destroy All Humans" button and made various robot impersonations. That alone was worth the cost.

My mom came over to watch the kids last night, leaving Jamie and I to watch a bit of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. We didn't quite manage to watch the whole 40 minutes as dinner and visitors kept interrupting. Still, it was sort of fun to go through a box of Jamie's things from high school that Dave and Kirsten brought over.

Eventually we wound down and Emma tried on some new PJs, looking very Christmasy.

I woke up this morning, thinking it would be ...

November 28, 2006 by Adam in Family

I woke up this morning, thinking it would be chilly but not too bad. I went to greet the kids as they woke up and realized that there was snow on the ground. I think it's mostly above freezing, but I may wait a bit until trying to go to work this morning. It wouldn't do for me to slip and break my neck the day of the big go-live.

The week is moving along. Sam's on the mend after being a bit sick for the last couple days. I fed him his first meal in 24 hours, asking him what he wanted. It turns out that "breakfast for dinner" was his choice, and we had waffles, sausages, and eggs. Not my choice to settle nausea, but he eagerly ate it all.

Update: I made it to work, safe and sound. Now to face the fury of this morning's go-live.

There was a bit of excitement this morning

November 26, 2006 by Adam in Family

There was a bit of excitement this morning. Fire engines raced up the hill and the kids and I followed them up. The studio behind John Larson's house had evidently caught fire, though I don't know much more than that. There were three or four engines and a couple smaller vehicles. No ambulances, though, which is hopefully a good sign.

Sam is back from a night at John's house. He got sick this morning, probably from all the excitement, sleeping on a hard floor, and eating weird food. He's back again and we're trying really hard to take it easy today. Jamie's promised to try out the Wii, which I've got to get on video tape. Should be amusing.

Sam's birthday is officially tomorrow, but he...

November 26, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sam's birthday is officially tomorrow, but he's already opened all his presents and he's currently off at his second birthday party. He and his friend John are combining parties since they're a week apart, so he's sleeping over until tomorrow.

This morning we went over to my mom's house to celebrate with my side of the family. There was tons of goodies and the cousins had fun playing with each other. I chatted with my respective siblings and parents, having a wonderful time. Far too many cinnamon rolls were eaten.

The kids and I played for the rest of the day. Somehow I spent nearly an hour tying Sam up and he'd see if he could free himself. I suspect it will come back to haunt him in therapy. Later Emma and I made up knot-related magic tricks and worked on birthday cards for John and Natalie.

The house is quiet at the moment, which was blissfully wonderful. I snuck upstairs to play with the Wii, boxing away and working up a serious sweat. It's strange thinking that a video game can be such a workout.

Sam got his present that Seraph stood in line...

November 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sam got his present that Seraph stood in line for hours to get. It's a Wii, which is a new video game system. He and Emma had a great time playing with it yesterday. Before bed he kept talking about it, reading the manual for his new Zelda game, and will likely want to play it when he gets up.

It was also Thanksgiving yesterday, chalk full of family all around. It was especially nice to hang out with my sisters and parents over two hours of food and beverage filled conversation. The big news was that Seraph bought a new house, a fairly big one that folks can come and visit her at. My dad continues to pursue his electric boat hobby, having driven down to LA last week to watch people set battery packs on fire. Good times.

It's a Mocha Wednesday today, in honor of the...

November 22, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's a Mocha Wednesday today, in honor of the approaching Thanksgiving festivities. Tomorrow will be a nutty day, but it'll likely be a fun nutty day, filled with family and conversation.

The Oregon drizzle continues, though it wasn't quite the deluge of yesterday. Riding to work in this stuff is almost fun, and the weather goes well with a cup of tea by the fire. I guess you have to learn to love it if you live here.

The week is moving along nicely. I didn't get kicked out of bed by Emma last night, so it looks like we're making progress again. Last night everyone was in a bit of a bad mood, though there were some bright moments. Sam and I had fun pushing Emma back and forth in my office chair, playing an impromptu ping-pong game where the goal was to avoid the walls. Emma would help by pushing off with her feet. Good times.

I swam to work today, which is kinda fun

November 21, 2006 by Adam in Family

I swam to work today, which is kinda fun. The rain was pouring down so hard that Jamie got out of bed to check the drain on the back stairwell. It has this bad habit of getting plugged with leaves and flooding our basement.

I'm horribly excited for this Thanksgiving holiday. Four days away from work seem blissful, the calm before the storm of a rather significant go-live here at work. Plus I want to just hang out with the family and play (especially with Sam's birthday presents).

I was remarking to Jamie last night that I hadn't slept in the guest bed for awhile. Sure enough, I awoke around midnight as Emma literally kicked me out of bed. Her tiny feet can sure pack a wallop.

Seraph has officially won the Cool Sister of ...

November 19, 2006 by Adam in Family

Seraph has officially won the Cool Sister of the Year award. She's currently waiting in line to buy Sam's birthday present. She's in third place and is waiting until midnight to make the purchase. Robbie brought dinner and she's fortified herself with crossword puzzles and the camaraderie of nerds. When I told Sam how cool Seraph was (without revealing what it was), he got an excited grin and kept trying to guess. I told him to be quiet and appreciate the moment.

That was a nice end to a pretty good day. Jamie spent some time with friends while I took the kids to the library and Humble Bagel as usual. It was nice to get back into the routine and I'm sure Emma appreciated the massive cookie she wheedled out of me. Towards the afternoon Jamie and Sam went on a really long walk while Emma and I took it easy.

Nothing much else is going on. We're having a new person over for dinner tomorrow, a friend of Emma's and her mom. Thanksgiving is slowly coming together, and I'm trying to get my bread-making responsibilities organized. Good times.

Mocha Friday

November 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. Work is a bit slow at the moment, when it really shouldn't be. I have a ton of things to do, but I'm waiting for folks to make decisions before I go live with my big project in a bit over a week. I should just enjoy the moment while I can.

I got a taste of Jamie's life when I took care of Emma briefly at four this morning. She's been feeling sick and had an upset stomach. I carried her downstairs, gave her a cracker and some water, and sat by the fire for a little until it was time to go back to bed.

Unfortunately Emma's illness is coming out in some rather impish and evil ways. Yesterday Emma unraveled the scarf that Jamie's been knitting for the last couple weeks. She was extremely unhappy about that particular turn of events. She's also been more whiny than usual, which isn't much fun.

Sam, of course, is doing great. He hasn't been sick hardly at all this Winter. School is going well and he busies himself with various projects. It looks like he's going to do a combined birthday/sleepover with his friend John. They're a week apart in birthdays and he's excited to celebrate with his friend. He'll probably have family birthdays as well. I'm thinking I can take the kids over to my mom's house on Thanksgiving and do a mini party then. Maybe I should talk to her about it first, though.

I'm hoping we have a quiet weekend ahead of us. Things have been a bit busier than usual and I'd like to just take it easy. Jamie's got that pie to make, after all, and I'd like to sip tea and watch the rain come down.

The week continues to chug along

November 15, 2006 by Adam in Family

The week continues to chug along. I stayed home a little late and snuck upstairs to give Emma a hug before I went to work. It was very nice.

Nothing terribly exciting has been going on, which is nice for a change. Sam's entire school went to the McDonald theater to watch Cars as they raised a lot of money in their fundraiser. Emma brought home a little crown with a pink feather. Jamie's taken up knitting again and offered to make a "blapple berry pie" this weekend (blueberry and apple).

Everyone's started to get excited for the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities. With Seraph's help, I think I have the means to give Sam the Best Birthday Ever™. Shucks, I'm nearly as excited as he'll be.

Early this morning we got ready and headed ou...

November 12, 2006 by Adam in Family

Early this morning we got ready and headed out the door to OMSI. Even at 9:30 there was a line to get in, so we patiently waited twenty minutes or so before getting our tickets and heading in. The Star Wars Exhibit was sold out until noon, which ended up being perfect timing. We ran around with hordes of other kids. Sam was great with Emma, cheerfully exploring the Science Playground by her side.

We stopped by the cafe, where Sam had the best hot dog ever. We wandered upstairs and went into the Star Wars exhibit. After all that build-up, it was a bit of a let-down. The costumes and models were the best part, in my opinion. Emma was overwhelmed by the noise and we ended up going through pretty quick. They were both terribly excited to be greeted by a stormtrooper on the way out. We got a picture of him with the kids, much to their excitement.

In the end, we'd spent over three hours at OMSI, a new record. Emma slept on the way back and we've been taking it easy all afternoon. We're currently watching Monster House, which Emma is a little nervous about watching. Still, it's somewhat amusing and they just introduced the girl character. We'll see how it goes.

Well, we made it to Portland safe and sound

November 10, 2006 by Adam in Family

Well, we made it to Portland safe and sound. The morning started at 4:30 in the morning for me. Time to get up, I guess. I puttered around on my computer and was later greeted by Emma, who demanded I return to bed to have a family snuggle.

Once that was out of the way, we leisurely got ready to go. I picked up some goodies at Metropol, some books at the library, and packed the car. Then a secretly ecstatic Jamie wished us well as we left her to three days of blissful solitude. The drive up was dreary and wet, but the kids weren't too bad.

When we arrived, Judy had left a dress-up box for Emma and a Lego set for Sam. Sam ignored the Legos and went straight for the exercise ball. Emma, of course, couldn't resist the call of pink dresses and magical wands. Now to just wait a couple more hours for the grandparents to arrive.

It's a Mocha Thursday for me as I'm out of wo...

November 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's a Mocha Thursday for me as I'm out of work tomorrow, taking the kids to Portland. It looks like we're going to miss Seraph, Robbie, and Isa, passing them on the freeway as we switch places. A big happy birthday to Seraph as I don't think we'll connect.

Last night was Jamie and my date night, though sadly she was feeling sick. I ended up taking the kids out to dinner at the Glenwood, bringing my mom along. The kids were relatively good, though both got a little crazy with the foil-wrapped pats of butter. Sam was licking them and Emma used her bread as a delivery mechanism to get the butter into her mouth.

It's been a wet and dreary week. As I rode home, I noted that I was riding my bike downstream as well as downhill. I was pleasantly surprised by the elections, and hope the country is moving back on track again. The stock market sure seems to be rallying.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, taking the kids up to Portland. I think Emma is big enough so that I can get her to bed without Jamie. Sam's a seasoned traveler at this point. OMSI should make for a fun Saturday morning, especially as the Star Wars exhibit is running.

It's Sunday morning, with rain drizzling down

November 05, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Sunday morning, with rain drizzling down. It feels like Oregon weather once again. Our basement even flooded on Friday when the back stairwell plugged up. Poor Jamie was stuck dealing with that, along with a little girl who decided to draw on everything with a pen (fortunately washable).

A big congratulations to Seraph, who sounds like she's moving up in the world of international fashion. I'm looking forward to the day when she has her own line of clothes.

Yesterday was pretty quiet in the Miller-Mellor household. Sam and Emma played together really well, pretending to be at school. Eventually we took a "field trip" to the library and Humble Bagel, which was fun for everyone. The afternoon was mostly spent hanging out at the house, with a brief time playing outside with Emma. She happily got far too muddy and sandy.

As for today, I think Jamie's taking Sam to Flushed Away. Emma and I might do some shopping at Valley River or just putter around outside. I'm getting a little stir crazy being inside all the time, so getting out for only a bit sounds nice.

Mocha Friday

November 03, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I don't have a lot of time to post today. I'm jumping into interviews in a few minutes. Emma's sick and it looks like Jamie will be soon too. Sam and I are doing okay so far.

I'm hoping to do our normal swimming, library, Humble Bagel ritual starting tonight. Last weekend we were out and next weekend it looks like we'll be in Portland. Gotta do my little routines when I can.

Jamie was very sweet the other day, picking up a new shirt for me after I complained about my wardrobe during our date night. I'm wearing it right now, in fact. It's quite warm and comfortable.

Halloween has come and gone

November 01, 2006 by Adam in Family

Halloween has come and gone. The kids were pretty excited all day long. At dinner, they talked about what everyone dressed like at school. Afterwards, they donned their costumes and we walked to the neighbors' houses, returning with good loot. Until bedtime, they'd rush up every time someone came to the door, excited to see what people were dressed like. Sam in particular was leaping about and passing out candy. It was pretty busy, and we ended up running out of our stash of sugary treats.

I'm off to breakfast with mom this morning, braving the cold and frost to make my way to the Glenwood on campus. I'll probably fortify myself with far too many cups of coffee once I get there.

Work goes well these days, with things going fairly smoothly for my big project. There's always endless little details to work on, but testing should start today and hopefully there won't be too many change requests.

Happy Halloween to all! I'm dressed like a p...

October 31, 2006 by Adam in Family

Happy Halloween to all! I'm dressed like a pirate here at work today, getting a fair number of comments from my more boring coworkers. Last night the kids and I dressed up and went to a neighborhood Halloween party. It was fairly entertaining and somehow Sam managed to get me to walk through the haunted house they'd set up in the basement. Sam and I went as pirates and I hauled along the old family flintlock rifle. Needless to say, a bunch of kids and a few adults wanted to caress it adoringly.

The week has been fairly uneventful so far. Sam's getting readusted to school. Emma's having a hard time going to school again, crying even the night before and asking if it's the weekend or not. This morning, though, she was excited to dress up and head out, so it may just be that she's tired from the time change.

In a couple weekends, it's looking like I'll be taking the kids to Portland myself. There's a Star Wars exhibit at OMSI that Sam's been wanting to see. Maybe we can do a zoo trip too, if Seraph and Robbie are up for it. We'll see how it goes.

Well, I'm back at work, slowly adjusting to b...

October 30, 2006 by Adam in Family

Well, I'm back at work, slowly adjusting to both the weather and time change. I was up at 4:30 in the morning and rode to work through chilly fog. November's just around the corner.

The beach was beautiful, warm and sunny when we arrived Friday. It was just our family and Sam's friend John. The two of them played non-stop, mostly huddling around The Movies on the computer, building up their imaginary studios. Emma alternated playing with her parents and exploring every nook and cranny of the beach house. On Saturday, Jamie took everyone to Newport for crab and visiting the aquarium. Emma continues to tell everyone she meets about the sea urchin that "hugged" her finger.

We left for home Sunday morning, as the rain had started. The ride back was gorgeous with the leaves turning colors. Sunday was spent mostly at home, though Emma and I went to a tea party that all the neighbors were invited to. Sam and Emma both start school today. Sam's been gone for a week, so I expect he'll return with piles of homework. Since I was out Friday, I have oodles of e-mails to catch up on. I'm trying hard not to get in frantic mode.

Yesterday turned out better than I'd hoped

October 27, 2006 by Adam in Family

Yesterday turned out better than I'd hoped. Sam seems to be on the mend, though he has a non-itching rash over most of his body now. Emma was extremely tired and cranky at dinner, though later was very pleasant and I lay down next to her while she fell asleep. Jamie's tired, as usual, though I think the kids going to sleep at eight o'clock is helping somewhat.

Now I'm getting packed and ready for the beach trip today. The weather is supposedly going to be cool but sunny, which is the best we can hope for in October.

It's been an odd week, with Sam sick and out ...

October 26, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's been an odd week, with Sam sick and out of school. Emma's back to normal, though she's been incredibly tired at night. During dinner last night, she almost fell asleep in her burrito. I was called in to keep her awake until a reasonable hour, and ate dinner while giving her a bath. Yesterday I was called in by Jamie to watch Sam while she took Emma to her school's pumpkin patch adventure. It made for a lot of bike riding.

It also sounds like we're heading off to the beach tomorrow, bringing along Sam's friend John. I think Jamie's parents may stop by for part of it, but otherwise we'll be hanging out by ourselves. Hopefully it'll be somewhat relaxing, though I'm a little uncertain about all the kids running about.

Work was crazy yesterday, with endless interruptions and doing work remotely. I still got quite a bit done, and hopefully this big project of mine can move along smoothly. I'll probably treat myself to a mocha today since I'm out tomorrow.

It's Sunday afternoon, and Jamie and Emma are...

October 22, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Sunday afternoon, and Jamie and Emma are here safe and sound. Emma's in high spirits, but Jamie is tired and feeling sick. Sam is too, it seems, and they're both resting as best they can.

Last night Sam tried out his Halloween outfit, dressing up like a pirate. I must have been tired because I slept for nine hours last night, something unheard of. This morning we had the best breakfast ever - cafe mocha (for me), pancakes with blueberries, and sausage. It was heavenly.

I dragged a tuckered Sam along several errands - the gas station, video store, and library, and then we dropped off my mom's car. We then settled down in front of the the television and watched X-Men 3.

Now Emma's leaping around the play room and I can't stay away for long. C'est la vie.

It's been a fun weekend with just Sam and I

October 21, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's been a fun weekend with just Sam and I. Last night we hiked over to my mom's house and borrowed the car, with flashbacks to high school. Sam was complaining about sore arms and neck, so we passed on swimming and instead went to rent a movie. We wandered around for seemingly forever, finally settling on The Corpse Bride and The Bourne Supremacy. We watched half of the latter, then did the normal shower and bed routine.

This morning we finished the movie and then made a hearty breakfast. Sam announced that he missed Emma and mom (in that order), and asked me what I liked about them the most. It was very cute.

We then cleaned the basement, played with balloons, and headed off to his soccer game. It was the last game of the season, so we had pizza and awards afterwards. The coaches, as is our fine tradition, headed home with beer. Next was a lengthy shopping trip where we snagged all sorts of things: food, shoes, Halloween costumes, and a DVD as a treat. Every time I go to Fred Meyers, I wonder if Seraph had a hand in the clothes around me.

Now Sam's watching The Corpse Bride, I'm finishing the laundry, and taking it easy before I go into dad mode again. Maybe we can practice riding bikes or just putter around for awhile. I'm a bit tuckered.

Mocha Friday

October 20, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I'm waiting for my coffee buddy Jim to arrive before I partake of that magical elixir.

It promises to be a somewhat exciting weekend. Jamie and Emma go to Portland today, with Sam being dropped off at home in the afternoon. It'll be interesting to be carless, especially with a soccer game on Saturday. I'm working on borrowing a car, though we may take the 25 minute trek over to the field if necessary.

Emma's still sick, though with proper use of Tylenol, she mostly seems her normal self. I took her and Sam to Sam's last soccer practice last night. The big excitement was the parents versus the kids game, which is a tradition for final practices for the last few years. It was fun lumbering about with a giggling Emma on my shoulders. At one point she said, "I love you dad! I don't want you to die from the crazy ball."

The weekend is wrapping up

October 16, 2006 by Adam in Family

The weekend is wrapping up. I made soup and salad for dinner, along with chocolate chip muffins for dessert. It's a bit of a treat for me to make dinner on Sunday evenings, harking back to the days when I was a second cook around the house. Now Emma's puttering around with me in the basement. She's seemingly absorbed with her pirate hat and little people.

Yesterday was fairly low-key, just hanging out with the family. Sam and I went to the library and Humble Bagel. Today Emma, Sam, and Jamie went over to my mom's to visit with Isabell. My coworker John came over to record piratey voices for my game. After that, we went to Sam's soccer game in the rain, and generally took it easy. Good times.

Quote of the day: "Emma, please don't handle ...

October 15, 2006 by Adam in Family

Quote of the day: "Emma, please don't handle the eyeballs."

Mocha Friday

October 13, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I was really wanting it too, as I ended up taking cough medicine last night, to get me through the tail end of this annoying cold. My zombie-like fog has mostly lifted and I'm feeling somewhat normal.

There was no soccer practice last night, so the kids and I ended up doing all sorts of wacky things. We did experiments with oil, milk, vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring in the kitchen. We looked through scrap books. There was playing Zelda on the Gamecube. We watched the neighbor chop down a tree. Ah, good times.

Jamie's off to a friend's tonight, while I take the kids swimming. I'm going to see if I can convince at least Sam to go to the library with me. Other than that, we'll probably do our usual running around outside while the weather holds.

Monday already

October 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

Monday already. Emma and I are both goopy and sniffly, catching whatever cold that has been going around. After so many months of being healthy, it's somewhat annoying if not unexpected.

Saturday was quite productive, with Sam and I taking down the rest of the arbor in front of the house. It's very open now, which I sort of like. We do need to put up a railing and we'll probably do some sort of roof cover like the one over the patio. Jamie, as usual, is handling the details.

Speaking of Jamie, she's been a real trooper this weekend. Emma and I were both sick, so she took up the slack and sent me to bed early.

Mocha Friday

October 06, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I've already downed my cup o' joe and am grinding through the morning e-mail and issues. It's pretty quiet today, with not a single member of my team occupying the nearby cubicles. Perhaps I'll rip off my clothes and code naked.

It's been a longish week, with Jamie and Emma both sick. Sam's so far avoided illness, due to regular hand washing according to him. Last night we had no soccer practice, so we kicked a ball around in the back yard. It was fun, and we both got pretty tired.

Tonight is swimming, as usual. In the morning Sam and I plan on destroying the rest of the arbor, and then head off to soccer practice. I'm not sure when I'll work in a library trip, but I've sunk to reading books from my library that I've already read multiple times.

Other than that, we don't have too many exciting things planned. I'd like to get outside if the weather holds. Jamie's visiting with Victoria on Sunday. That's about it.

What a day

October 02, 2006 by Adam in Family

What a day. I certainly earned my keep today, gardening and ripping down our rotting arbor. Sam helped out and gleefully enjoyed all the destruction. I had him hauling timber, carrying tools, and holding the ladder. It was satisfying in a blister-and-scrape sort of way. We're still deciding what to replace it all with.

Sam's had soccer games today and yesterday. I had Emma yesterday afternoon at the park while Jamie took Sam on a walk to the store. Neither kid seemed excited at the outset, but both were quite cheerful once they were on their way.

Not much else to report. Jamie visited with Angie and it sounds like everyone is doing well with the new baby. Sam picked a dessert of ice cream with whip cream and chocolate sauce for the last couple nights. I was good and stuck to my bowl of cereal as usual.

Mocha Friday

September 29, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. Work's been busy, but productive. I've had that general sense of satisfaction all morning.

Last night was Sam's soccer practice, a gorgeous Fall evening with a hundred or so kids running around with soccer balls. They had a special training thing over at Adam's elementary school. Mostly Emma and I just played on the play structure while Sam strutted his stuff.

I've been under the weather these last few days, but I'm feeling like I'm on the mend. Hopefully our family can get some outside play time this weekend, though tonight is our traditional swimming night.

The kids are doing well, seemingly enjoying school and looking forward to Halloween. I keep pestering Jamie, trying to figure out what she does during the mornings when the kids are away. I usually get one to three words. Yesterday it was "gardening."

I'm on the mend today, after a bad headache y...

September 28, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm on the mend today, after a bad headache yesterday. It was the end of two full days of team meetings at work, which is enough to drive one mad. I also checked out my possible new work location, which isn't all that bad. The worst part is that I'd need to buy a card and drive each morning. At least there's a gym on site.

The kids went to Dave's house while Jamie and I had our theoretical date night. All I was up for was watching Upstairs, Downstairs with Jamie on the couch. Otherwise I was popping painkillers, taking a bath, and generally trying to take it easy.

Sam's first spelling test is today, though he was moaning about wanting to do math instead last night. Our evenings are getting increasingly packed, with soccer practice tonight. Busy, busy.

What a weekend

September 25, 2006 by Adam in Family

What a weekend. Sam had a great time at John's house, playing assorted games and generally carrying on. With just Emma, it was a quiet Saturday morning. I did a solo library run and we did some serious window cleaning, breaking out paint scrapers and removing storm windows. Saturday evening was Sam's first soccer game and Jamie's birthday party. It was a low-key affair with Angie, Pat, and Dave coming over to play Trivial Pursuit.

Sunday had Ray and Ella coming to visit, mostly spending the day at the park with everyone playing tennis. Sam in particular got really into the game. Emma and I collected balls and wandered about, with only minimally getting into trouble.

I helped Sam do his first homework of the season, and later broke out my made-up Adventurer Bob versus the Math Monsters game, doing time tests for addition and subtraction. He's a little rusty, but not too bad. Emma was a bit grumpy, often just wanting to be by herself. I think it was a pretty tiring day for her, and she's still a little sick.

As for me, it's a week of team meetings at work. Yee haw.

It usually takes me a couple days of freezing...

September 22, 2006 by Adam in Family

It usually takes me a couple days of freezing fingers before I realize that it's really Fall and I need to wear gloves when riding to work. It's official.

Emma had an exciting day yesterday, having her friend from school, Darumdev, over for a visit. In school she made apple pie and was horribly excited by the whole thing. When it came time to take Sam to soccer practice, she fell asleep and wasn't too happy when I woke her up in fear she'd stay up really late. I made a little movie of us passing the time.

Sam's been doing well, growing up smart and good-looking as always. He and I have been having fun playing on the computer each afternoon. We also have very interesting conversations - last night we discussed addiction and torture, of all weird subjects.

As for me, it's Mocha Friday and it's time for me to head off and get that wonderful elixir. Happy weekend to all.

Emma's foot wasn't so great yesterday, with J...

September 20, 2006 by Adam in Family

Emma's foot wasn't so great yesterday, with Jamie keeping her out of school and taking her to the doctor. After an x-ray, nothing's broken, but she's still walking funny on it. We took Sam to soccer practice last night and mostly hung out in the car. Emma had fun looking at maps of Italy and explaining how I'd taken a wrong turn.

Jamie was pretty tired for her birthday. The extent of the festivities was her opening up the cards we made for her and taking her down to open my present. Last weekend Sam was throwing a frisbee over the fence. On our walk to retrieve it, we stopped by a yard sale at the local B&B. There was a nice 30's vintage end table. After much sweating and pushing, we got it home, covered it with blankets, and Sam made a "Do Not Look" sign.

Yarrr! Avast ye scurvy dogs, it be Talk Like...

September 19, 2006 by Adam in Family

Yarrr! Avast ye scurvy dogs, it be Talk Like a Pirate day, and ye best be sailin' over to this here site so you be talkin' good and proper-like.

Poor Emma hurt her foot last night, rolling around with Sam in the play room. Hopefully it's better today, though she didn't want to stand on it at all. She had me carrying her around from dinner time until bedtime.

The weekend has wrapped up and I'm heading in...

September 18, 2006 by Adam in Family

The weekend has wrapped up and I'm heading into work in a few minutes. Sunday was pretty exciting, with Jamie deciding that a hike was in order at breakfast. It took some doing to get the kids motivated, but we managed to climb to the top of Mount Pisgah. It was quite challenging, especially carrying Emma most of the way, though the view at the top was pretty incredible. After a few minutes were we so hungry and tired that we ran down and headed to Humble Bagel afterwards.

Sam went to a friend's house for a pirate-themed birthday party. As expected, they got carried away and had full pirate regalia for the kids. Jamie and Emma went to get him a bit early and got swept up in the excitement.

I made pizza for dinner, eating outside while the weather is still nice. Things seem to be going fairly well for our little family these days. We're all in good health, good spirits, and seem to generally enjoy what we're doing each day.

It's Mocha Friday, though I still have an hou...

September 15, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I still have an hour or so before I actually get to partake. I got up a bit earlier than usual, so all I've had is some oatmeal and tea, my usual breakfast of champions. Tonight is swimming night with the kids, and tomorrow is a hearty breakfast, library trip, and Humble Bagel run. It's my favorite part of the week.

Work's actually been pretty exciting lately, as exciting as computer interfaces get anyway. I've been making good progress on some big projects and managed to get an interface in place that I've been waiting ten years to do.

Last night we went to Sam's soccer practice as usual. Emma took this picture of me, along with several of my lower half and one of the playground at an extreme distance. In the middle of our play structure visit, it started to pour down rain, the first real one of the season. We decided to watch Sam play from the safety of the car.

As for this weekend, I think Jamie's visiting with friends for birthday-related reasons. We've got some gardening to do in preparation for Fall. Maybe we can get Sam to start doing some work around the house for stars, which can be turned into the slew of computer games coming out in a couple months.

A big shout-out to Seraph for not only graduating but getting a job in her chosen profession. As someone who has a master's in biology education and works with computers, I can respect that.

This week is just zipping along

September 14, 2006 by Adam in Family

This week is just zipping along. Hard to believe how quickly things go once school starts.

Last night I nearly knocked out a couple of Sam's teeth. Of course, he takes full responsibility. He wanted me to try and dump him out of a sleeping bag and he decided to hold on with his teeth. Since he's in the process of losing teeth these days, a couple got extremely loose and we had to stop to soak up blood.

Jamie and I also went out to Marche last night, a fancy French restaurant. The food was darn good, and the portions were reasonable enough so that we could actually eat dessert for a change.

Emma seems to be enjoying school a fair amount. She explained to Jamie how she played with a telescope and blood meter, and that she wants to be a doctor.

I'm sadly going to miss Seraph's graduation speech. I'll try to send positive thoughts and make my Seraph voodoo doll as comfortable as possible throughout the day.

We had our usual pleasant swim time on Friday

September 10, 2006 by Adam in Family

We had our usual pleasant swim time on Friday. The kids played with other kids, and occasionally with me. Emma's getting really good at moving around with her floating thing. Sam, of course, can swim like a fish.

Saturday morning we walked down to see the Eugene Celebration parade. My dad came by to watch with us. I learned all sorts of odd things about him, like he got the AIDS dental clinic grant and he plans to build a full-size electric boat and go for the world's speed record. What a wacky guy.

In the afternoon, we puttered around the house, eventually going off to Gavin's birthday party, an old friend of Sam's. Jamie chatted up an Italian woman, trying to get the scoop on places to visit when she and her mom travel there next year. I watched Emma until exhaustion overtook me and I became a bit cranky.

Today Jamie's going to the Coburg antique fair with Pat. The kids and I are going to my mom's for brunch, and hopefully we'll find some time to relax some time too.

Mocha Friday

September 08, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I'm busy writing reports and fiddling with databases this fine morning, after a ride through the crisp morning air.

The kids had their second day of school, which seemed to go well. Jamie is becoming a woman of leisure, browsing at a bookstore while the kids were off and away. We also went to Sam's soccer practice as usual. They have goalies and bigger teams now, which Sam seems to enjoy. Emma and I played with another kid and picked mint for tea.

Tomorrow's the weekend. I think there's a brunch at mom's, where she plans to consult my siblings and I on her latest five year plan. I'm doing the normal swimming tonight and library tomorrow. Maybe we'll try to watch the parade somewhere in there too.

I'm struggling to figure out what to get Jamie for her birthday. She's got me, what else could she want?

The kids had a good first day at school

September 07, 2006 by Adam in Family

The kids had a good first day at school. Yesterday morning I kissed them all goodbye as they slowly woke up, not used to getting out of bed so early. Sam reported that his first day was "weird", going over things he already knew, mostly for the benefit of the new kids. Emma scraped her knee playing hopscotch, and complained that her class of six kids was "crowded", but I think she's getting used to it. She was pretty tired when she returned.

In the evening, Jamie and I had a hot date, putting together Sam's new bed and bookshelves that arrived. My mom watched the kids and took pity on us, promising to watch them again on the weekend, letting us have a real date. Little did she know that I had a grand time having Jamie hand me bolts and cursing over the the assembly instructions.

I queried Jamie on what she did with her new free time. She spent a long time chatting with Victoria, post-wedding, and hit the bank. She hasn't started popping valium and watching soaps yet, but I've got my eye on her.

What a weekend! Sam went off to Portland, wh...

September 04, 2006 by Adam in Family

What a weekend! Sam went off to Portland, where he hung out with the grandparents and generally had a good time. They went to the state fair, where Sam enjoyed the chair ride. Other than that, all we know is that he went to eat Chinese food somewhere.

As for us, we enjoyed the guilty pleasure of just having one kid for the weekend. It was pretty quiet, overall. I made apple pie and had my mom and Bob over to partake in its yummy goodness. We did a major project in the kids' room, putting in a new bed for Sam and hanging curtains around Emma's bed. It looks pretty nice.

I took Emma to the park and as we walked back up the hill, she spotted Sam in the front yard. She started smiling and yelling and ran as fast as she could to a waving Sam. They hugged and were very happy to see each other.

Tomorrow I head back to work, sadly enough. Wednesday the kids both start school and Summer is over for good.

Mocha Friday, though I'm waiting patiently fo...

September 01, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday, though I'm waiting patiently for my coffee-buddy to arrive at work. Ten minutes to go!

Last night I took the kids to Sam's soccer practice. Sam ran about, exhausing himself but seeming to have a good time. Emma and I picked blackberries for a little, heading back to the car for a band-aid after she got a thorn prick. The rest of the time was simple playing, just the two of us. She kept demanding I use my pirate voice as we climbed around the play structure.

The advantage of these evenings is that both kids go to sleep so easily. Eight o'clock rolled around and they were willingly crawling into bed.

The week is nearly over

August 31, 2006 by Adam in Family

The week is nearly over. It's been strangely quiet at work, with much of the team on vacation or on leave.

Nothing too exciting to report. Jamie and I had a lovely hike on ridgeline trail, just like the good ol' days. The kids have been hanging about for their last week of Summer.

This weekend Sam's going up to Portland to stay with the grandparents while we have just Emma to ourselves. I plan on giving her a lot of individual attention, something she doesn't get much of these days.

Ah, work calls yet again

August 28, 2006 by Adam in Family

Ah, work calls yet again. It's also the last full week of Summer vacation for the kids, with soccer practice starting up tomorrow night.

I was in a grumpy mood Sunday, for no good reason I could think of. We took a trip out to the apple orchard and then to Thistledown farm, loading up on all sorts of good produce. Afterwards we headed home and Jamie took Sam shopping for school supplies.

Emma was really tired and grumpy, but refused to nap, and eventually we found our way to the front yard, playing on the slip-and-slide. Sam returned home and joined her, fully clothed, and soon both were quite soggy.

I made dinner, stir fry noodles, and we all played Clue. It was pretty fun, especially as Sam is now able to read and play fairly complicated games. I think family game night is going to be a recurring theme.

It was an exciting day yesterday

August 27, 2006 by Adam in Family

It was an exciting day yesterday. The kids and I went to the library, as usual, and rushed home so that Jamie could take the car to get her hair and nails done for Victoria's wedding. We came back with all sorts of loot, including a bunch of Level 2 books for Sam. After that, we went on a long walk to Humble Bagel where the kids scarfed down on bagels and goodies.

Returning home, we stopped by my mom's house, where she was busy getting ready for her new college basement renter. The kids and I finished our trek back, where we took it easy until Jamie's return. After that, we played in the basement for an hour or so, snacked the kids up, and headed out.

Jamie went to the wedding and the kids and I went to Amazon pool for Jake's birthday. It was great only having to share the pool with a couple dozen other kids. Emma and I went down the slide repeatedly. She was a bit cold until we discovered the hot tub made a fine way to replenish our body heat.

We soon picked up Jamie from the wedding, headed home, and got the kids to sleep.

I had a lovely dinner with my mom last night

August 25, 2006 by Adam in Family

I had a lovely dinner with my mom last night. We ended up getting Greek food and my mom amused our waitress by her ability to translate beverage names into phrases clearly understood by sailors. It felt good to catch up with her in the relative quiet of a restaurant. There's usually endless people running about.

After dinner, the family and I went to Angie's to drop off some cake. It was fun seeing the new baby, in addition to the home where I lived when I was eight. Both Angie and Matthew are in good spirits and the baby was sleeping and cute. Sam really enjoyed holding Winnie and kept talking about it the whole ride back.

Today is my Mocha Friday, though I've an hour before I head into work. Tonight is also swimming, and Jamie goes to Victoria's rehearsal dinner. Next week soccer starts up and the week after that the kids start school. Boy life feels busy.

Thursday already

August 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

Thursday already. Jamie and my usual date night got postponed last night, as Jamie went out to Emma's new school for orientation. It sounds like both Emma and I will be packing lunches each day. Jamie was going to go to Victoria's bachelorette party, but both Emma and I were sick, so she ended up making warm vanilla milk by candlelight and tucking everyone into bed.

Angie had her baby yesterday. I guess it went pretty well, though Angie is understandably tired. Jamie dropped off some food last night and told Angie to get some sleep.

As for the kids and I, we're doing our usual after work routines. There's computer time, playing in the back yard, and generally fiddling around in the basement. Yesterday Sam had me photograph this elaborate scene he'd created from a game Ray got him last Christmas. Emma kept trying to secretly destroy it with her toe. What an imp.

We're back from the beach

August 21, 2006 by Adam in Family

We're back from the beach. It was a successful trip, all around. The kids got sandy and enjoyed hanging out with Dave and Kirsten. They were fairly well behaved, though Emma had her typically exhausted melt-down on the trip over before falling asleep. Jamie and I had a nice beach visit while Emma played in the sand.

As seems required by beach law, we didn't do anything particular productive. We played board games, I read a lot, and the kids and I figured out assorted things to do in the basement.

Sadly, it's somehow turned to Monday and I've got to head in to work in less than an hour. This week has busy evenings, but the days are pretty quiet.

Mocha Friday

August 18, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I still have an hour or so before I head into work, though.

It looks like we're heading to the beach as soon as I return from work. I should probably stop fiddling with my computer and pack as much as I'm able. Jamie's itching to hit the road quickly so as to maximize beach time.

Jamie and Emma went to the farm yesterday, returning with all sorts of produce. Dinner was rather interesting, with fried green tomatoes as a side dish. They were interesting, though fairly bitter.

I made a library run after Jamie's visit to the gym, returning with all sorts of movies and books. I actually started tearing up while reading one to Sam last night. It was about a father going off to war while his children were left behind and it got to me. He also read a couple "level 2" books by himself, which he was very proud of.

It was a beautiful ride to work this morning,...

August 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

It was a beautiful ride to work this morning, though a bit chilly. I can tell that Fall is right around the corner.

Sam's pirate camp continues to do well. He's been having a great time with his friends. Yesterday he got second place in a three-legged race with John, which he was quite proud of considering the age range and number of kids.

Emma and Jamie have been getting some alone mother-daughter time. They went to the county fair, where Emma was quite taken with the horse that was all dressed up with flowers, braids, and the like. Emma decided that the horse was going to be married.

Last night I took the kids to my mom's house where they played and puttered. Jamie and I got some time together to cook dinner, chat, and go for a walk. It's been seeming like I haven't seen her much as she was gone last weekend and busy every night but last. Fortunately we're doing another beach trip with Dave and Kirsten, so hopefully there's a walk together on the beach in our future.

Well, I'm not quite as cheery as I was yester...

August 13, 2006 by Adam in Family

Well, I'm not quite as cheery as I was yesterday morning, but I've got a hot cup of coffee next to me and the weather is amazing once again. Emma was up in the middle of night with growing pains. After some Tylenol and a warm bath, she settled down, but it was an hour or two before I got back to sleep. It's like raising kids is hard work or something.

Yesterday was lots of fun, fortunately. The library trip went well, as did our bagel run afterwards. We hung out at the house for awhile, and then around two I took the kids swimming at Amazon pool. It was crowded, but not too crazy, and we stayed for a couple hours. Emma has turned into an amazing little swimmer. She'll go under water and kick and move her arms about until she runs out of air and has to stand again.

The evening was filled with dinner, watering the garden, and movies, though Emma got scared by Hoodwinked and we stopped after fifteen minutes. I read all our library books and regailed them with tales of Jamie and my honeymoon's adventures in England. Eventually I tossed them in bed and ignored them until they went to sleep.

As for today, I have challa bread for French toast and a likely trip to a park this morning. I'm a bit tuckered out, so I'll try to take it easy. Hopefully Jamie will arrive around lunchtime, which will make the kids quite happy (and me too).

It's the quiet time in the morning, with the ...

August 12, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's the quiet time in the morning, with the sleepy sunlight peeking over the fence.

I had a pleasant evening with the kids, after Emma gave a fairly unhappy send-off to Jamie. Sam's been great, trying hard to make Emma feel better. At the pool he made up a game where she caught rings before they sank. Later at bedtime he offered to tell her "Princess Emma" stories. She still cried a fair amount at bedtime, and they didn't get to sleep until ten o'clock. Somewhere in the middle of the night Emma came into my room, cheerfully told me hello, and crawled into bed. It wasn't even that bad, unlike her endlessly kicking days when she was one and two.

I plan on enjoying my next hour or so of leisure, doing laundry and cleaning up, and then get ready for breakfast and the library. I also armed myself with a trip to Flicks and Picks, stocking up on four movies for $5. I think they've had to cut their prices due to competition. Good for me, I suppose.

Ah, sweet Mocha Friday

August 11, 2006 by Adam in Family

Ah, sweet Mocha Friday. I'm drinking coffee and planning on coding like a maniac, ignoring all other things that try to distract me today. We'll see how I manage.

I watched the kids when I got home last night while Jamie went to the gym. Sam played the demo of a game called Dark Messiah, several times, and has decided to do chores in order to get it. Emma wanted to play Zelda on the Gamecube and so I helped her do it. Her 3-year-old reflexes aren't quite there, though she tries really hard. When her hour was up, she cried and told Jamie, "Dad won't let me play Zelda. I have to save my sister!" It's pretty normal that she get cranky around that time, now that she's given up naps, so I didn't take it personally.

After Jamie returned, I went off to my dad and Yayoe's for dinner. It was great hanging out with just him, and we jabbered on for well over an hour on all manner of topics. I'm really enjoying the one-on-one visits with family members, especially after chatting with Seraph about her new job. I really want to visit my mom next, though between her surgery and my kid watching, it might have to be next week.

Tonight's the start of the dad and kid weekend. I think I've mentally prepared as best I can and I'm hoping it'll be fun for all. If I start getting too tired, well, that's what espresso is for.

Jamie and I hit the town last night, going to...

August 10, 2006 by Adam in Family

Jamie and I hit the town last night, going to a Thai food place near the Zenon. Jamie got particularly gussied up, wearing a slinky black outfit that left me feeling under dressed. We chatted away without interruption, which was a nice change. The only event of note was that she conveniently forgot to order a vegetarian version of our shared dinner. I wonder what a psychologist would make of that.

It looks like Jamie will be gone for much of the weekend, so it'll be the kids and I puttering around. I'll probably do my normal routine Friday through Saturday noon, lazing about during the afternoon, and maybe walk to the Glenwood for dinner Saturday night. I'm thinking Sunday morning we'll go to the park by the river. This time I'll be sure to carry along a full change of clothes for everyone.

The week keeps forging ahead

August 08, 2006 by Adam in Family

The week keeps forging ahead. Tuesday already.

Sunday was fairly uneventful. After a morning filled with consumerism (buying food, clothes, and a pirate board game), we hung out at the house and did nothing. The kids were a bit cranky towards the end of the day and my usual weekend fatigue set in.

We had a nice and relaxing dinner with the Musgroves last night. The kids played together quite nicely, leaving the adults some time to chat.

This morning I got a call from Emma, explaining how she wouldn't let Sam hug her because he was stinky. The cycle of life continues.

It was a fairly exciting day yesterday

August 06, 2006 by Adam in Family

It was a fairly exciting day yesterday. We went to Amazon park, I went to the library solo, and returned to join everyone for Humble Bagel and sharing my bounty of books, DVDs, and video games. The kids and I browsed the game store for a gift for Darrin, while Jamie walked home. We puttered around all afternoon until it was time to go to the Darrin/Jordan birthday combination.

My favorite part was chatting with Seraph non-stop for nearly an hour. I kept asking what it is she did, and learned far more than I ever knew about how clothes are designed, manufactured, shipped, and so on. It also sounds like she'll be making a professional salary relatively soon, and hopefully will become a formal employee next year. Currently she's freelance, which only sounds impressive at parties.

Jamie left for Angie's when I returned home, not returning until after nine. Emma had a bit of a grump, evidently because she was overly tired. Sam and I played cards until late and I sent him to bed.

As for today, I think we're going to try to just do family stuff. It seems like we've been rushing about more often than not these last few weeks. Plus house projects. Those never end.

It's Mocha Friday and I'm already halfway thr...

August 04, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday and I'm already halfway through the work day. Last night Jamie kept me up talking, and I think our entire schedule for the next month is planned out. Or maybe I dreamed the whole thing, I'm not quite sure.

Work is strangely quiet, with most of my coworkers out of the office. I could get used to it. I've only had a single interruption all day.

I'm hoping to do my normal routine with the kids tonight, something I haven't done for awhile. I look forward to the swimming, library, and bagel trifecta each weekend, though it seems that Summer activities have disrupted it a bit. Tomorrow is also Darrin and Jordan's combo-birthday. Sunday we have assorted house projects to do.

The weeks more than halfway over and we're in...

August 03, 2006 by Adam in Family

The weeks more than halfway over and we're in August already. It's crazy how quickly time flies.

The kids have been taking and enjoying swimming lessons this week. They've another week of that and then it's pirate camp for Sam. Jamie had a couple days this week when she was sick, but as usual she was a trooper about it and sucked it up.

Josh heads home to Tennessee today, and the kids spent some time with him last night while Jamie and I had some time in a quiet household. We'll sure miss him.

I've been insanely productive at work lately. Yesterday I fell into a coding trance and didn't surface until I'd implemented a clever and useful piece of code. I also cranked out a new application and enhancement to an existing tool. Busy, busy.

Another weekend, come and gone

July 31, 2006 by Adam in Family

Another weekend, come and gone. Let's see if I can do a quick summary.

Saturday I took Sam to the library and Humble Bagel while Jamie took Emma on a stroller ride to the store. It was nice hanging out with just Sam. He really got into getting some books for himself and complained a bit later in the weekend when he'd read many of them already. He's not quite to the chapter book level of reading for fun, but he loves pouring over illustrations and reading captions.

The afternoon was fairly low-key. The kids played out in the backyard for awhile. We played, watched movies, and generally took it easy.

Sunday morning I took the kids for a short hike at Skinner's Butte and then played at the nearby park. The kids got extremely wet and sandy, managing to get cleaned off well enough to take another trip to Humble Bagel afterwards. Towards the afternoon we got ready for Josh's going away party, along with some continued sandbox fun in our own backyard.

It was a rousing send-off for Josh. He finished up a computer game he'd been playing on our computers, as well as playing a couple rounds of Give Me the Brain with Kirsten, Dave, and Sam. Jamie was a good parent and kept an eye on Emma while the rest of us partied.

Now I'm back and work and just caught up with the critical stuff, taking a short break before I dive into the big projects. Only an hour until I head back home again.

Mocha Friday, though I'm still an hour or so ...

July 28, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday, though I'm still an hour or so away from that scrumptious treat. Work has been busy lately, though I've been feeling like I've been making good progress on some rather big projects. In an odd way, I'm eager to go in and finish things up.

I had a really good time with the kids last night. I broke out the slip and slide, much to the delight of everyone. Emma was very brave and went down it herself for the first time. She wanted a couple turns on Sam's lap first, but then she saw that it wasn't too dangerous. It was funny watching all the adults drive by and giving knowing smiles, wistful of the days where that was all it took to become happy.

I decided to put together a going away party for Josh this Sunday. I decided to do all the things he likes best - eating salad and public speaking. Oh, wait, that's not it. We're having pizza and will likely play cards and video games. Perhaps we can introduce him to the hi-jinks that is Give me the Brain. We'll miss him when he's back in Tennessee.

I also uploaded a version of "When I'm 64", sung at my mom's birthday last weekend. I don't think any of us will be invited to American Idol, but you can see it here.

Yesterday was Jamie and my date night, with J...

July 27, 2006 by Adam in Family

Yesterday was Jamie and my date night, with Josh watching the kids while we ran off to eat dinner at three square. It was pleasant, though we both realized our lives were so boring that we didn't have a lot of exciting news to chat about.

After we got home, I chased the kids around the backyard with a hose, much to their delight. After a short bath, the entire family sat around the kitchen table and played Give Me the Brain. Sam played the real way, hiding his hand and reading his own cards, and ended up winning. I was very proud of his reading and logic skills.

It continues to be way too hot. I tried sleeping in my own bed last night, but started sweating a couple minutes after laying down. I ended up on the main floor, which felt ten degrees cooler.

It's been smoking hot the last couple days, b...

July 25, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's been smoking hot the last couple days, but seems to finally be settling down. I've spent the last couple nights in the basement on a bed assembled from couch padding, sleeping bags, and various found objects. It's comfortable enough, though I can hear the rest of the family far too well on the floor above. With luck, we'll return to our normal beds as the temperature drops.

The kids went to the lake yesterday and returned with mild sunburns. Emma now has the pattern of her swimming suit tanned into her back. It looks like she's some sort of mutant superhero or something. Sam had a great time jumping off a platform with some bigger kids. He's a pretty good swimmer these days, and had fun moving about in the water.

It seems like Jamie and I have been ships passing in the night these last few days. I feel like tandem kid watchers, with each of us trading off personal time, project time, and kid watching. Hopefully this Wednesday we can reconnect at our date night.

It was a Café Madvil day for me. I've been feeling a touch of a headache lately, which my caffeine and painkiller concoction seems to be doing wonders with.

We're back

July 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

We're back. It's hard to know where to begin as the last four days seemed so full. At the moment, all our attention seems focused on just staying cool. It was around 70 degrees at the coast and we returned to around 100 degrees. After unpacking, I ran off to Jenny's house for a birthday party for my mom, combined with a farewell for Sadie. It was grand fun, especially seeing all my sisters in one place.

The beach trip was great, and I'm a bit sad that I'm returning to work tomorrow. It was warm and pleasant, with many trips to the beach and clubhouse pool. Sadie and my mom were pleasant company, as were Dave, Kirsten, and Josh who followed. I ended up with a bit of a sunburn, despite practically bathing in sunscreen.

There were a few highlights. Sam tried to surf some driftwood to China, resulting in hilarious splashing. Dave manipulated a crab claw like a puppet, much to Emma's delight. Sam and I spent hours diving for plastic rings at the bottom of the pool. His ability to move about in the deep end is remarkable.

Well, I had a grand surprise party last night

July 20, 2006 by Adam in Family

Well, I had a grand surprise party last night. Jamie's arranged to have my family visit me in shifts, so last night we had Jenny and her kids, my dad and Yayoe, and Dave, Kirsten, and Josh. Jamie also made quite a tasty array of salads, pita bread, and hummus, which is up there with my favorite things to eat. We mostly hung out while the kids played in the back yard.

As for today, I need to stop fiddling with my computer and start getting ready for the beach trip. It promises to be perfect beach weather, in the 80's and sunny. Fortunately it'll be better than the 100 degree weather we're supposedly having in Eugene while we're gone.

Time to pack!

Another weekend, come and gone

July 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

Another weekend, come and gone. Fortunately this is a short week for me, with my birthday beach trip coming up this Thursday.

We finished up the garage Sunday, putting up bike holders, cleaning the floor, and generally arranging things. Emma cheerfully scrubbed every surface we'd let her, happy to be working next to her parents. That was our big Summer house project, which was over faster than we thought. The next big task is to replace the front gate and wall, which is rotting away.

The other big event was going over to my mom's for dinner. It was great to see Sadie, even though she's sniffly. The kids enjoyed playing with their cousins. It sounds like my dad is doing increasingly well and should be back in town by now.

Sadly, it's time for me to get things ready and head off to work.

For whatever reason, yesterday was an interes...

July 16, 2006 by Adam in Family

For whatever reason, yesterday was an interesting day. It began as usual, playing with the kids until Jamie made breakfast. We then spent some time cleaning out the garage and getting rid of all sorts of junk. It's now almost tidy in there. Afterwards, we went off to the library, which turned out to be practically closed due to the Thai princess arriving.

We stuck around to wait for the arrival. Sam counted fifteen police escort vehicles. Emma was a little disappointed that she didn't ride up on a pink pony, but at least we can all say we've seen a real princess.

I took the kids to humble bagel, a nearby game store, and then home. After some quiet time, I went off to dispose of some old monitors at this quirky computer recycling place a couple blocks from Angie's house. They had all these refurbished computers and old software. It was terribly nostalgic, but I managed to refrain from purchasing anything. I then had a luxurious hour by myself at the library where I got great stuff for everyone and nothing for me. I felt like Santa.

The only other funny thing was that we all played a game called Give Me the Brain that we'd picked up at the game store. Jamie was initially not impressed, but it ended on a funny note with everyone winning except me. Jamie played a card that made everyone discard their hand, which normally means they win. Unfortunately I had a card that said "You cannot win." and so I lost.

Dad's been in a car accident while in Florida

July 14, 2006 by Adam in Family

Dad's been in a car accident while in Florida. He's okay, as is his passenger. Evidently it was dark, rainy, and the dump trunk in front of him didn't have his lights on. The car was totaled and he got to spend the night in the hospital, but was released this morning. Now he gets to sit around in the hotel feeling miserable until he flies back on Sunday. Already the family is rallying around him, with meetings at the airport planned and all sorts of phone calls.

I had an odd morning as well, though quite boring by comparison. I went into the courthouse for jury duty, and let the woman know I had already been called within the last two years. Fortunately the woman who was there used to work for my mom, so she gave me the choice to stay. I opted to head into work and so here I am.

It's hard to believe that another week has go...

July 14, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's hard to believe that another week has gone by so fast. Work has been pretty interesting, if busy. I'm helping make the new way we're doing application development for many people, so I'm both learning a bunch of new stuff and trying to make it easy for everyone else too.

Josh turned sixteen yesterday, and we all went over to Dave's house for a BBQ. Josh was showing off his new PSP, which was fairly snazzy. Supposedly he can even browse the web with it. The kids had fun playing in the backyard, while Jamie snuck away to watch t.v. and relax while there were so many people around.

I have jury duty today, though who knows if I'll actually be called to serve. Last time it was rather relaxing, sitting around all morning until they sent us away. Hopefully it won't be a long trial, if I'm called. My birthday is next week, after all.

Editor's note: Sam read this after I posted and declared that I should say "browse the web with it, not from it." This horrible oversight has since been corrected.

Sam got stung by a bee yesterday

July 11, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sam got stung by a bee yesterday. He and Emma were running around in the yard as I chased them with a hose. He was a trooper about the whole thing, letting me carefully pull out the stinger and then dousing him with assorted bee-sting remedies. Even Emma was helpful, which was nice because Jamie was out. I asked Emma to turn off the water to the hose and within a few seconds it was done. I could get used to having a couple extra, capable people in the house. Within a couple hours, he was feeling much better and stayed up late so he could tell Jamie about his adventures.

It seems that every week this night is booked, with BBQs, date nights, and Jamie working out. Plus possibly jury duty this Friday. It's amazing how busy we are these days.

Well, we're back from our anniversary trip

July 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

Well, we're back from our anniversary trip. The kids had a great time with their grandparents, with Sam seeing the new Pirates of the Carribbean without me. Sniff.

Jamie and I checked into the Benson and proceeded to wander around downtown for most of the day. Jamie shopped and shopped, picking up clothes and a bathing suit. I got a couple books from Powell's, though I could have easily spent hours there. Eventually we crashed in the very comfortable bed, watching television until we snoozed away.

Now it's Sunday and I'm thinking to the week ahead. There's work and possibly jury duty this Friday. The following week Sadie comes and we have our grand beach trip for my birthday. Can't wait.

It's Jamie's and my anniversary today

July 08, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Jamie's and my anniversary today. Eleven years ago in her parents' back yard, we exchanged vows and began a great journey together. Today it'll be taking us into downtown Portland, where Jamie has scoped out several meals and visits to interesting places. I think we're going to pretend we're young, hip, and childless for an afternoon. Should be fun.

The drive up went well, though Emma fought sleep pretty hard. It's so strange when this extremely grumpy girl falls asleep, only to awaken an hour later as a little angel. We played with the kids until the grandparents arrived, and then went down to the park after dinner. Sam and I played a pseudo-sport called parkour. Basically I'd tell him to go to a point and he'd go in a straight line, over and through obstacles, until he got there. My job was to find a path that was exciting and relatively safe.

People should be waking up relatively soon. It promises to be a beautiful day to head into Portland. Jim and Judy have lined up a bunch of activities for the kids, so hopefully it's a good day for everyone.

It's Friday and Emma and I are hanging out in...

July 07, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Friday and Emma and I are hanging out in the basement, waiting for everyone to wake up. Perhaps I can take the kids out to breakfast or something. We're heading up to Portland shortly. Jamie and I have reservations at the Benson tomorrow night, celebrating our eleventh anniversary. I'm excited to hang out downtown, which I haven't done for years. Jim and Judy have assorted kid entertainment planned, which should hopefully keep them happy while we sneak away for a night.

The 4th of July seemed filled with activity

July 05, 2006 by Adam in Family

The 4th of July seemed filled with activity. The day began with a trip to the park and bike practice for both kids. Sam's getting better, though I think it's a little frustrating for him due to the difficulty of getting it right. Still, there were a few moments when he was riding around without me holding on. Emma, of course, rode around with her training wheels like a champ.

In the afternoon, Sam did some chores and got enough checks to "buy" a Gamecube game he's been wanting, Shrek 2. It can be played two player, so he and I played together while Emma napped. It was pretty fun and not too hard until we got stuck at a certain point. It looks like I'll need to replay through a certain area a dozen until my reflexes improve. Sigh.

Around three o'clock we headed out to Art in the Vineyard, which was completely packed. I kept running into people I knew along the way. Emma found a stall that sold little girl furniture that she kept going back to. Sam liked the creepy painting with eyeballs that moved. I had fun rendezvousing with my family and chatting with them. The kids eventually found a garden statue that sprayed mist and then it was time to head home.

Everyone had some quiet time, watching a show and generally hanging out. Jamie ran off at the last minute to pick up sparklers and we moved outside to do our patriotic duties. Emma liked them for awhile, though I think she got burned somehow (perhaps even from Jamie's) and eventually decided to stop. Sam had a great time, though after the twentieth, it got a little old.

All-in-all, it was a successful 4th of July.

Another weekend come and gone

July 03, 2006 by Adam in Family

Another weekend come and gone. It's a quiet day at work since most people are taking the day off.

The kids and I did our usual swimming, library, and Humble Bagel run Friday night through Saturday. The afternoon was fairly low-key, with lots of play time in the backyard and basement. I recall spraying kids with the hose a lot.

Sunday started with taking the kids to Amazon park where they had a great time watching the fish in the creek. We swung by Radio Shack to get Jamie a new phone. Sam's nose started to bleed, as it often does, and so I left him in the car looking like murder while Emma and I dealt with the sales folks. Fortunately he quickly recovered and we returned home to hang out and watch shows. It took me forever to switch Jamie's address book over, but hopefully she likes her new fancy phone.

Jamie was with her family for most of the day, so it was just me and the kids until later that day. Sam and Emma played in the outdoor pool a lot, making sure their goggles were firmly on. Jamie returned around dinnertime and I had an hour or so to myself while she took them to see the baseball game. Though I was pretty beat, it was fun hanging out with the kids.

This is another odd week, with Friday off and heading to Portland for our anniversary. Sam and I had fun shopping for Jamie together. Little did I know that he'd enjoy the experience, though perhaps it was the countless little Tester lotions that he'd mix into a strange smelling concoction.

I've just had my morning mocha and am settlin...

June 30, 2006 by Adam in Family

I've just had my morning mocha and am settling down for the day. This week has gone relatively well, considering I was gone for over a week. I think it's due to this time of year, when lots of people are on vacation anyway. Things seem to be slowing down, which is nice.

I think we're going to have a relatively low-key weekend, though the rest of them in this month are pretty exciting. Jamie's and my anniversary is next weekend and my birthday is in a few weeks. Somewhere in there I might have jury duty.

Last night Jamie helped the kids make whip cream, which was liberally applied to a rootbeer float, ice cream, and peaches. It was joyous fun for all.

As the saying goes, it's Africa hot

June 27, 2006 by Adam in Family

As the saying goes, it's Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't handle the heat. Going up the stairs to our bedroom was like descending into the pits of hell. When I went to work at 7 o'clock this morning, it already seemed toasty. Stupid global warming.

I've achieved some sort of vague Internet fame. When you search Google for "Adam Miller", a link to my gaming site comes up first. I suspect it'll eventually change, but it's nice to see that I beat the other Adam Miller's out there - the musician, the stockbroker, and the baseball player. Gamers rule!

The kids have been running wild a bit lately, not going to sleep at any normal hour. I've been having a hard time watching them outside as it's so darn hot. I think I'm at a disadvantage due to my low surface area to volume ratio. Stupid physics.

It's hard to imagine that two days have passe...

June 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's hard to imagine that two days have passed since we got back home and basically nothing of any importance has happened. Thursday I took a lot of walks with Sam, returning with a sunburn and four dozen bagels. Friday was spent having breakfast with my mom and entertaining Josh. He and Sam played Garry's Mod endlessly on the computer, creating creative physics traps for each other. Afterwards they played Magic, which got Sam very excited to play more.

Towards the evening I took them swimming. Emma was a great jumper and loved to swim around with her head under water now that she has goggles. I had fun swimming halfway across the pool, under water, chasing after rings that Sam threw to me.

As for today, I'll probably stick to my normal library and humble bagel routine. I also promised Sam a game of Magic when he woke up this morning. Great fun.

We're back! It feels good to be home, the mo...

June 22, 2006 by Adam in Family

We're back! It feels good to be home, the most remarkable thing being all the green surrounding Eugene. After several days up in the high desert, it seems strange to see the trees so big and close together. It's hard to know where to start with our adventures, so I'll go chronologically.

On Friday we mostly took it easy, and Saturday as well. The place we were staying, Eagle Crest, is mostly a golf resort. Right outside our back door was the golf course, and out our front door was another row of houses and then the golf course. It was a bit odd. Fortunately there was a pool and playground, I'm guessing for the wives and children of all the golfers staying there. Sam liked wandering off the well-watered greens and going out to the scrub to look for creatures. I think Sam found over 20 different critters, including deer, rabbits, lizards, snakes, and more.

On Sunday, Dave, Josh, Kirsten, Sam, and I took a trip on the Crooked River Railroad. It went from Redmond to Prineville, a slow and rocky trip with a Western theme. During the middle of the trip, we were chased by bandits on horseback and robbed at gunpoint. Fortunately we were also served brunch and entertained by assorted western songs. "Ghost Riders in the Sky" is still stuck in my head.

The only problem was the movement, which caused me to be pretty queasy. Sam barely touched his food and was pretty quiet the whole trip, so I think it got to him too.

Monday was spent at the High Desert Museum, which was pretty amazing. There were lots of live animals, from bobcats to porcupines. Indoors you could walk through a mine and into a pioneer town. Jamie didn't think it was particularly authentic, however, as it was missing a saloon and red light district. We ran around until exhausted. Emma collapsed that night at seven o'clock and didn't wake until eight the next morning.

Tuesday was the day when Sam and I ran off to do our own thing. I took the car and drove south to the Lava River Cave. It was closed, but that didn't deter us any. We wandered up ourselves, a backup flashlight from the hotel in our hands. The caves were pretty incredible, very dark and cold. Blocks of ice were on the floor and you couldn't see where you were going unless you shone the light directly down. After going in a ways, Sam let me know it had reached his freaky limit and it was time to head back.

After that, we drove up to the Lava Lands park and we walked alone through paths that wound between miles of lava rocks. It was closed like the other park, so we were the only ones around. It was a neat, if short trip, to survey the devastation that once took place there. Afterwards we drove back into Bend and watched Mission Impossible 3.

Today Jamie decided that it was time to return home. The tomatoes needed us, and we bid Judy farewell to work on her tan. It was a surprisingly short drive home and we just unpacked and ordered takeout from Tasty Thai. We have a long four days ahead of me to try to do nothing of any great importance.

When Sadie was little, she would crawl into m...

June 16, 2006 by Adam in Family

When Sadie was little, she would crawl into my suitcase and I'd carry her around the house. This was considered high adventure and when in college when I lived with my mom, Sadie came down stairs (now 7 or so), she sheepishly asked for another ride. It was a tight fit, but we managed.

Emma discovered the same fun yesterday, climbing in and asking for various rides. Another Miller tradition handed from one generation to the next.

We're nearly all packed and ready to go. The kids go to school this morning, their last day. I'm going to see if I can sneak the computer with me and perhaps make some postings from Bend. I'm going to try and walk down to the library and pick up some kid videos and a book for myself. Somewhere in there I'm hoping to finish packing.

For those of you keeping track, the work issues worked themselves out yesterday. My brilliant ideas won the day, or at least I exhausted my foes due to endless, lengthy e-mails. I even got to do some coding with our new languages and standards, which was new and interesting.

If I'm not able to post, happy early Father's Day to all you dads out there.

Josh is back in town

June 15, 2006 by Adam in Family

Josh is back in town. He and Dave came over last night to watch the kids while Jamie and I finished watching a movie we started a couple weeks ago. Josh seems pretty much the same as always, if perhaps another inch or two taller and a slightly deeper voice. As always, he was most interested in video games, sneaking home with the manual to one of my newer games.

Work was nutty yesterday. I spent somewhere between three and four hours on the phone. Unfortunately one conversation got particularly heated and it took me awhile to get to my "whatever place" (sort of like other people's "happy place"). I went to the gym, calmed down, and wrote a lengthy e-mail giving pro's and con's about the different approaches. We'll see what happens today.

It just struck me that today is technically my Friday since I'll be going off on vacation tomorrow. I certainly think that suggests a mocha, don't you?

It's been a calm and pleasant week

June 14, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's been a calm and pleasant week. Nothing of great importance is going on. We're slowly getting ready for the trip, doing the typical family stuff, and enjoying the warm if cloudy weather.

Sam has recently gotten a passion for sketching. The other day he wanted me to take a picture of the neighborhood cat so that he could draw it. Jamie dug up an old book of animals so that he could find interesting ones and draw them. He's been doing extremely well with school lately, especially reading and writing.

Emma's drawing skills have improved as well. She loves drawing faces with huge eyes and tiny bodies. She can also recognize her name, and she demands that each one of her drawings have it on the corner, just like in school. I also watched her play an education computer game the other day, counting, recognizing letters, matching, and effortlessly moving the mouse about.

As for us old folks, Jamie and I haven't been doing much of interest. Jamie's been doing her Tuesday and Thursday workouts, starting to feel like she can actually do the routine without feeling like dying. I do my little house projects, game projects, and play a bunch with the kids.

Sunday afternoon

June 12, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sunday afternoon. I'm beat. For some reason, I get this burst of energy on Saturday, cheerfully hauling kids about and playing with them non-stop. Now I'm sitting on the patio with the laptop, making sure they don't get in too much trouble.

The big event for the day was a trip to Oakway mall, where the kids spent most of the time running around in the courtyard. We picked up a little food, a belt for Sam, and various other items. Other than that, we painted some deck furniture and tried to relax.

Next week is the kid's last one before Summer vacation. Emma's preschool is likely closing for good, so we'll have to figure something else for her this Fall. I think Sam might actually miss school, or at least all the friends he's made there. Josh is in town for quite awhile this Summer, so I'm sure all the cousins will get together while he's around.

I'll send along my birthday greetings to Sadi...

June 11, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'll send along my birthday greetings to Sadie as well. A quarter of a century. Why I remember changin' diapers and, well, nevermind.

As expected, we did our usual swimming, library, bagel routine like we do every weekend. It was lots of fun. Sam and I finished watching Apollo 13 while Emma watched a playtime video. At one point I ran downstairs when I heard some noise. Emma was running back to the video with a bowl and fork, announcing she was making music like the kids on the show. It was sweet.

Since the weather has been good, we went outside a fair amount. The kids caught bugs and Sam worked on his fort inside the huge butterfly bush. I pressure washed an old piece of patio furniture that needs to be repainted. Jamie drove a friend to the airport and got a pedicure with Jenny. After dinner, we took a walk through the neighborhood and explored around.

As for today, I'm not sure what we're up to. All I know is that Jamie's promised blueberry coffee cake for breakfast. Unfortunately I can't think of anything after that to top it.

Mocha Friday

June 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I'll be sneaking into work momentarily, getting ready to get a cup of that glorious elixir.

Speaking of coffee, I bid and won the Java Jive basket at the carnival last night. Sadly my bid to get monthly pies didn't make it, nor did the Sweet Life gift certificate. No word yet on if I won any of the raffle baskets.

The carnival was fun for the whole family, as promised. They do it every year to raise money for the school. It's how they fund their PE, music, and computer classes, it seems. Sam ran off and spent the whole time at the squirtgun arena. Jamie went to work a booth. Emma and I played games, won prizes, and generally had a good time.

We've got our normal weekend routine starting up - swimming tonight and then library and bagels tomorrow. Sam doesn't have school today and next week is the beginning of Summer vacation. A week from now, we'll be driving to Bend. Very strange.

It was a fairly relaxing Sunday, as weekend d...

June 05, 2006 by Adam in Family

It was a fairly relaxing Sunday, as weekend days go. Ray and Ella came down for most of the afternoon, bringing birthday presents for Emma and visiting. Emma is quite taken with Ella and was trying to convince her to crawl into the play tents we have set up in the basement. Dave and Kirsten came over later in the day, visiting and playing with the kids.

Emma thought her new clothes were wonderful, adding in a tiara and slippers to complete the outfit. Even Sam had fun with Emma's new toys, sliding the occupants of Dora's house off the roof in slow motion.

We did very little of any great importance. Sam finished watching the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. We'd exchange knowing "waa, waa, waaa" noises throughout the day. Sam read a surprising number of pages in his new book from the library. It's really meant for kids a few years older than him, but his reading skills have improved greatly since the beginning of the year. I helped him through the really tough words like "belligerent", though he managed "encyclopedia" on his own.

You can see the big version of this picture i...

June 04, 2006 by Adam in Family

You can see the big version of this picture in the photoalbum. Sam just got new pants, shirts, hat, and glasses from my mom. He decided he looked pretty cool, and so we had to have an impromptu photo shoot. Sam's sure looking pretty cool these days.

Yesterday we did our normal routine. I always have fun going to the library and Humble Bagel afterwords, reveling in good books and baked goods. It was the start of the library's summer reading program, and Sam picked out a huge book called So You Want To Be A Wizard, which he seems pretty happy about. I think he's read the introduction so far.

After coming home, Sam watched The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Then it was off to Jenny's birthday party. Emma really wanted to go swimming, even though it was freezing. I dunked her in for a few minutes until she started to shiver. All the cousins ran around and had a good time.

As for today, it sounds like Jamie's dad and Ella will be arriving late this morning. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the kids, maybe go to a park or go shopping for a new belt for Sam. We'll see.

It's about an hour until Mocha Friday really ...

June 02, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's about an hour until Mocha Friday really kicks in. I woke up way too early this morning and sat down to play a little Half-Life 2: Episode One. With a name like that, it's got to be good.

Emma has taken this "turning three" thing to heart. She's become amazingly strong-willed as of late, sometimes to her detriment. I've been trying to explain that insects are meant to be watched, not played with, though she evidently thought I was being an old fuddy-duddy. She was playing with ants yesterday afternoon and sure enough managed to rile up the entire nest. A couple minutes later we were picking ants out of her hair and rushing her inside. Soon she was buck naked, crying, and sobbing "I'm doomed!" Fortunately after a hug and some insect bite medicine, she was much better.

This weekend is shaping up to be quite busy, with Jenny's birthday party and Jamie's dad visiting. Hopefully we can find some quiet time along the way too.

Emma has been a bit of a pill lately, ever si...

May 31, 2006 by Adam in Family

Emma has been a bit of a pill lately, ever since she turned three. At times, she can be incredibly charming and polite. She amazed and astounded the dental staff yesterday, following directions and speaking in complete sentences. At other times, she can be quite impish. I left her alone for a moment and she ran over to steal Sam's toothpaste and start licking it. Bedtime has turned into a challenge as well, as we've returned to the days of fighting sleep tooth and nail.

Other than that, our week has been relatively uneventful. Jamie made a tasty stuffed pepper dinner last night. Sam and I watched a bit more of The Day After Tomorrow, which is scientifically questionable but a fun disaster movie. The kids and I played a bunch in the basement, including the "Master Thief" play pretend game. There was much tying up and stealing of jewels.

Update: Emma gave me a call this morning, all by herself. She managed to push "speed dial" and my number without any help from Jamie. Soon she was talking about how she wanted to eat the birthday muffins that Alma brought and had me listen to her talking toy tea set until Jamie intervened.

Evidently Emma's will has become even stronger than normal. She decided she's done with diapers and is currently wearing underwear. I can tell it's going to be a fun year ahead of us.

I'm outside on our patio, the weather on this...

May 29, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm outside on our patio, the weather on this Memorial Day turning gorgeous after a week of rain. We celebrated Emma's birthday on Saturday, with tons of family around. Sunday we went out to eat at Ambrosia, with the kids dressing up and behaving rather politely. Today I got to make breakfast for everyone, with tea and eggs and english muffins. The rest of the day was spent playing outside, enjoying the sun.

There have been a few memorable moments along the way. Emma was watching Fantasia, the old one with the dinosaurs being wiped out by a comet. "Darn it! You're dead," she exclaimed.

Jamie and I worked on the front door, varnishing and painting trip. Already the next house project is shaping up, tearing out our rotting trellaces and bannisters from the front yard and putting in something new.

Sadly, tomorrow I'm back to work. Due to some delays and shuffling of people, I think my workload will slowly become saner. I think I only have two application changes going live when I get in.

Mocha Friday! I'm at work on this wet, drear...

May 26, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday! I'm at work on this wet, dreary day, caffeine and chocolate happily percolating in my belly. Even better, a three-day weekend stretches before me, with Emma's three-year birthday tomorrow. Should be fun.

Emma and I went off to the library last night, which is evidently a big hangout for Goth-like folks, with colored hair and piercings. Emma was talking about going up to the second floor so she could look out the window to see the "bad guys". I laughed and explained that some people just look different.

I watched the season finale of Lost last night, and felt obligated to Google about for like-minded obsessed fans. My favorite was Lostpedia, which is well-organized and contains all sorts of interesting speculations.

The week is half over

May 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

The week is half over. I'm feeling a bit slow today, though perhaps it's because of the dreary weather we've had since the weekend. It looks like Emma's mermaid-themed party this Saturday will have plenty of water.

It's hard to say what all we've been up to these last few days. Most afternoons I spend with Emma, who needs the most supervision. Yesterday we wandered around outside looking for bugs and flowers. Sam would periodically come over to me and have me go through this elaborate maze that he'd drawn.

We had my dad and Yayoe over for dinner on Monday, hearing all the stories about China and Japan. They both came back with bad coughs from the pollution. It made me worry about Kai and her new baby over there.

Another weekend, come and gone

May 22, 2006 by Adam in Family

Another weekend, come and gone. Friday night brought back swimming, now with pretty murals on the bottom. Saturday morning Jamie and I stained the front door and then Emma and I had a jolly time at the library. The rest of the day was pretty quiet, with Jamie having dinner with a friend and the kids and I having movie night.

Sunday we all went to Mount Pisgah where we got rained on, but had a wonderful time. The smells of the forest alone made the trip worthwhile. We then went to Humble Bagel, ending up with two bouncing children and Emma demanding sugary fuel for her sweet tooth. Eventually we wandered back home to take it easy for the rest of the day.

In the evening the Musgroves came over and we entertained them the old fashioned way - a flash flood and hail the size of dimes! It seemed an inch of rain fell in five minutes. Our back stairwell quickly flooded to six inches deep, the drain not able to handle the volume. We were running around with towels and hoses while the kids enjoyed the spectacle. Eventually we dried off and sent our guests home. Next time we promised a wild fire or perhaps a plague of locusts.

It's Mocha Friday, though I'm still an hour a...

May 19, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I'm still an hour away from work and the delicious frothy substance.

It's been a good week, all-in-all. The weather has been great, sunny and warm. It's done everyone good to be outside and play around. The kids in particular are having a great time.

Last night we all went outside and I broke out assorted water activities. I started with some hose squirting, turned on the sprinklers, and then dragged the wading pool out of storage. The kids were pretty excited, with Sam getting goggles for everyone just in case.

Wednesday night Jamie took me to the rose gardens for a picinic. It was amazing to see the roses in bloom already. Plus we had a great time looking through some furniture magazine and making fun of how horrible the things were. Trust me on the garden gnome bench.

As for this weekend, I'm looking forward to swimming tonight after several weeks of being closed for construction. Jamie is having dinner with friends tomorrow night and we're having guests for dinner Sunday night. Boy is our social calendar full. There's also a house project waiting for us, staining the front door. Busy, busy.

Wednesday already

May 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

Wednesday already. Weird.

It's been crazy hot all week. I've been sleeping commando-style since our upstairs is baking. We were all out in minimal clothes, traipsing about in our backyard late last night since it was so darn warm.

I think Emma and I caught the same bug. We've both been having headaches and tummy trouble. I'm hoping I'm on the mend, as this one has been merely annoying.

Monday already, here at work with things pili...

May 15, 2006 by Adam in Family

Monday already, here at work with things piling up left and right. Fortunately my boss and cubicle neighbor are out most of this week, so I'm hoping that minimizes the amount of work that gets to me.

Sunday and Mother's Day went well. I took the kids around the little shops near Jim and Judy's house. We visited with the parrots and koi at True Value hardware, stopped by a pizza place, and picked up a new game for Sam to earn stars towards. The drive back went well, with Sam watching a movie and Emma sleeping the whole way back.

The evening was a bit busy, with unpacking and Jamie going out to dinner with a friend. The kids and I went over to my mom's for a lovely dessert and visit. It's amazing how much trouble the two of them can get into, even when supervised by two adults mere five feet away. Eventually everyone returned home, the kids got to bed late, and I collapsed to sleep.

This morning it's amazingly warm and sunny again. I rode to work with no jacket or gloves. Summer seems just around the corner.

It's been beautiful all day, with blue skies ...

May 13, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's been beautiful all day, with blue skies and warm weather. Emma had problems getting to bed, but otherwise everyone's been fine. Come morning, we had breakfast, played at a nearby park, and generally lazed about.

For lunch, Jamie, the kids, and I all went up to Piddock mansion. It was amazing inside, especially the shower that sprayed in all directions. Emma decided we should live there.

Afterwards, we brought out picinic things out only to find Isabell running up to greet us. She and Robbie had come up to visit, even though all we did was leave messages to each other all day. After a nice long visit, we returned home and have lazed about yet again.

In an hour or so, Jamie and I hope to go out to dinner. I could get spoiled with all this child care.

We made it to Portland, after a lovely day ha...

May 13, 2006 by Adam in Family

We made it to Portland, after a lovely day hanging out with Jamie. I took Sam to school and later we both took Emma to her school, leaving us with several decadent hours to pretend we were childless. After going out for lunch and puttering about, I dropped off Jamie at home and picked up Emma from her school.

She was a little tired, but we went to the library and picked up new books and videos. After a quick side trip to get Jamie and load up the car, we got Sam from school and hit the road. Emma fell asleep, Sam watched Independence Day on the new laptop, and two hours later we rolled into town.

Now our kids are being entertained by Jim, Judy is fixing dinner, and all is good in the world.

Mere minutes ago, the power company turned th...

May 11, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mere minutes ago, the power company turned the power back on to our house. There was some weird notice about "de-energizing" from EWEB yesterday. Evenidently that meant they wanted to cut our power for most of the day.

When I wandered home, there was still no power. Emma and I went outside to look at bugs and check on the tadpoles in our porch pond. Afterwards we played on the piano, with me recovering enough repressed memories to play Old MacDonald without too many errors.

Still, when 4:10 rolled around and the power came on, we ran around the house yelling "Power! Power!" and promptly sat down at our respective computers. We Millers could never survive the collapse of civilization. Unless maybe I could rig up an espresso machine to work off a windmill, in which case anything is possible.

Well, it's technically Thursday, but I'm decl...

May 11, 2006 by Adam in Family

Well, it's technically Thursday, but I'm declaring it an honorary Mocha Friday since we'll be going to Portland tomorrow. Of course, I still have to shower and ride into work, but that's the price I pay.

Emma was really tired when I got home last night. She immediately conked out in my lap and napped for too long, staying up late last night. Sam happily played Animal Crossing, trying to work off the mortgage on his imaginary house. There's a tremendous amount of reading, so he's getting lots of practice and having fun. Mostly he goes around shaking trees in hopes of having interesting things fall out of them, though he got stung by a bee once and his eye got swollen.

Kirsten came over for a small birthday party last night. Emma and Jamie made the cake, with Emma doing the decorations. My mom came over too, which was nice, and the kids played with everyone for a long while.

The week is moving along

May 10, 2006 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along. No exciting news, really, but I thought I'd give my usual daily update on the minutia of what I'm up to.

Sam's been the social butterfly as of late. Monday afternoon he had Jake over to play. Yesterday he had Zach over. With Jake, they mostly did cartoons. With Zach, they did Star Wars Legos non-stop.

I had fun watching Emma at soccer practice last night. She's an impish girl, pushing her boundaries. She was ripping up the label from a water bottle as we drove back home. After the third time telling her to stop, I told her if she wanted dessert that night. "Will you take away my privileges?" she asked in a sad voice. She was so darn cute, it was hard to be upset with her. That convinced her to stop her ripping and Sam cleaned up after her mess, as he often will.

It was rather dreary on Sunday, so today's pi...

May 08, 2006 by Adam in Family

It was rather dreary on Sunday, so today's picture is actually from the day before.

Sunday was good, though I was exhausted at the end like usual. We had a hearty breakfast and went off to Jerry's to pick up tomatoes and wood stain for the new front door. We came back by way of the Metropol Bakery and Baskin-Robbins, so everyone's goodie needs were satisfied.

In the afternoon, Jamie went off to Pink Martini, which she reported was good. Sam volunteered to work in exchange for stars, which he eventually earned enough to "buy" the game Animal Crossing. Emma watched a Barbie movie and really should have gone to sleep, but instead became increasingly wacky. I fed them dinner and had a little quiet time once Jamie returned.

It should be a short work week ahead of us, with a Portland trip this Friday. Jamie's shooting for a relaxing time, though we may try for one or two of the uniquely Portland activities. Visiting the Pittock mansion is on our list. I might try an OMSI or zoo trip too, depending on how I'm feeling.

Congratulations to Seraph on getting the job

May 07, 2006 by Adam in Family

Congratulations to Seraph on getting the job. We know you're good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you. As for Sadie, well, you're becoming an anti-role-model for our kids. "Get that out of your mouth or your tongue will swell up just like Aunt Sadie's did!"

My favorite part of the week came and went. Saturday morning Jamie made pancakes and I made my usual espresso. The kids ate huge amounts of food, which probably means they're both having growth spurts. Afterwards, I took the kids to the library and then Humble Bagel. We returned home with a bunch of new books, movies, and computer games, as well as bellies full of bagely goodness.

Sam had a soccer game in the afternoon, which was attended by Grampa Ray, his new girlfriend Ella, and my mom. Sam played really well, scoring several goals and rarely falling down. Emma made a new friend with one of the soccer boy's older sisters, chasing bubbles and playing catch.

Eventually we returned home where I cleaned up the kids and we all had dinner. My mom had other plans, but Dave and Kirsten joined us. Emma had a wonderful time with Ella, working on her Barbie coloring book. Sam and I took turns reading a fairly advanced book. All-in-all, it was a fine evening.

As for today, I think everyone's going to see Pink Martini at the Hult Center except me. I'll have to think of something interesting to do with the kids while I've got 'em. There's assorted house projects calling to us too. We'll see how much we can manage.

It's another Mocha Friday, though it's admitt...

May 05, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's another Mocha Friday, though it's admittedly early in the morning and I'm still at home. In another hour and a half, though, that Mocha will be mine!

We had a good time taking Sam to soccer practice last night. There's a little creek next to the field, full of tadpoles and critters. Emma and I brought along a plastic container and net to catch a few. When we got there, the creek had dried to a few brown puddles, surrounded by boys devoted to saving them. Our little container was full of squirming little tadpoles in a few minutes. Later we dumped them all into our porch pond. We'll see if the critters make it.

I arrived home to a new door to our house. Like all home improvements, I grumbled about the price, and then became amazed at how great it is. I now have complete faith in Jamie's sense of taste. We still need to stain it, but otherwise it looks great.

I did some research for this Bend trip we're taking next month, looking for fun things to do. There's the lava tube caves, the high desert museum, horseback riding, and a brunch/train ride combination that involves a train robbery in the middle. I don't normally think of Bend as a vacation getaway, but I'm starting to get excited about the possibilities.

As for this weekend, I'm still not sure what's going on. Jamie's dad and his new girlfriend are coming down to watch Pink Martini with Jamie on Sunday. I'll probably take the kids on our usual library and bagel run in the morning. As long as we get some relaxation along the way, I'm good to go.

It's funny how yesterday was crazy busy, but ...

May 03, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's funny how yesterday was crazy busy, but still satisfying in an odd sort of way. I actually enjoyed work for the first time in awhile. I think it was because I got so much done, as well as begging and receiving help for some upcoming massive projects.

Over the evening, Jamie and I practically threw the kids back and forth. Our Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty much booked solid. When I get home, Jamie goes to the gym. Next the kids and I go to Sam's soccer practice. Then it's home, dinner, bath, and finally bedtime. Whew.

Emma and I had a good time at Sam's soccer game. We listened to music in the car, played on the playground, and watched a bigger girl catch tadpoles in a stream. Emma was watching intently and said "Look! It's an aquatic insect!" She's finally turning three at the end of the month, which is sort of a relief. How many two-year-olds can use the phrase "aquatic insect" appropriately in a sentence?

What a weekend

May 01, 2006 by Adam in Family

What a weekend. Friday night was spent with the kids at the park, tossing a Foxtail about while the swimming pool we normally go to gets refinished. Saturday was a whirlwind as well, with a pretty exciting trip to the library which included a wild bird exhibit and Ecuadorian music.

Sunday morning, we hauled the kids' bikes up to the reservoir. Emma did very well with her training wheels. I think Sam was frustrated that it didn't go quite as quickly. Soon enough he wanted to go off to collect bottlecaps and poke in the dirt.

I watched the kids for the rest of the day, playing at home for a long while and then taking them to an extremely late soccer game. Sam played really well, scoring goals and such, as well as just really pushing himself. He did return home with a bruise from a head-on collision with another kid. And so the sports injuries begin.

I have to run off to work in a few minutes, hopefully catching up from my time off last week. There's a couple "big deal" things I'm working on, as well as the usual endless little things that always appear. Busy, busy.

It's good to be home

April 28, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's good to be home.

It's mocha Friday and theoretically I'm going to work today. Since I've been running about, I'm wanting to be a bit lazier than usual. I'll probably wait until the kids are up before I head in for coffee and catching up.

My final day at work was okay, with slow but real progress made on a few different fronts. We worked our way back to the Seattle airport, got a quick bite to eat, and flew back.

When I arrived home, the kids were very happy to see me. I helped tuck them into bed, with long conversations before they drifted off from sheer exhaustion. I'm happy that tomorrow is the weekend and we can do our normal routines.

The plane touched down an hour or so ago and ...

April 25, 2006 by Adam in Family

The plane touched down an hour or so ago and I'm cozy in my hotel room, wondering how I'm going to eat the cereal I got from a super market without any spoons. I imagine I can steal some from the break room at work.

It was a pleasant morning, with the kids slowly waking up before I left. I had time to make espresso before David came to drive us to the airport. The flight up was quiet and I mostly read a book.

Now I have to unpack, eat a bit of food, and wander over for a day of meetings with my coworkers. Funny how the first thing I did in my hotel room was hook up the laptop and make sure I had Internet access. Ah, such is the life of a world traveler like myself.

I'm beat

April 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm beat. I just finished reading The Spiderwick Chronicles to Sam. Emma collapsed asleep moments before. My allergies have me sneezing away, Claritin be damned.

After breakfast, we went to a plant store to get some goodies for our home. The kids played in the fountains, ran through paths, and generally carried on. After pausing for lunch and planting, we headed to Sam's soccer game where it was quite sunny.

We arrived late to Easter dinner at my mom's. As usual, it was full of food, conversation, and small children running about. I loved having a chance to talk with my sisters, whose lives are always interesting. Seraph is hoping for an internship at Fred Meyer's. Jenny was laid off and is hoping for another job with an oral surgeon.

As for me, my belly is full of Seraph's potato chocolate cake, I'm exhausted, and I'm ready to wind down and go to sleep.

It was a great day

April 23, 2006 by Adam in Family

It was a great day.

It began, as great days often do, with a hearty breakfast and a cappuccino with real espresso beans (not the usual decaf stuff). After playing with the kids for awhile, we headed off to Sam's soccer game. He was in usual form, falling to the ground more often than not after every kick. Fortunately he seemed to enjoy himself doing it. Mostly I carried Emma about and played on the playground until it was time to go.

Jamie took Sam and his friend Gavin for the afternoon while I headed to the library with Emma. I had her in the backpack and a block away from the library she conked right out. I had a leisurely time browsing the bookshelves while she napped. Eventually she woke up, we ate bagels, and headed home.

After a bit, Sam was returned and Jamie went off to help my mom and Anna with preparations for tomorrow's festivities. Jamie returned after dinner, somewhat exhausted, and the kids and I went across the street to play with the neighbors.

Eventually the bedtime routine kicked in, Jamie took over tucking the kids in at eight o'clock sharp, and I decended into the nerd cave to watch a little Doctor Who. Good times.

I'm getting this posting in a bit late, hours...

April 21, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm getting this posting in a bit late, hours after my normal morning mocha. I'm enjoying the Friday workday, with a slightly slower pace than the last few days.

Last night I took the kids to soccer practice as usual, not checking the schedule. It turns out we had team photos that day, so no one showed up. In the meantime, the kids had a great time playing in the stream, catching tadpoles. Sam in particular got very muddy and had to strip down quite a bit before going home.

Tonight will be a little unusual, as there's no swimming due to pool work. Instead we're having Dave and Kirsten over for dinner and kid play time. That should be lovely.

The weekend itself promises to be busy. We have Easter at my mom's, soccer games, and hopefully working in a library trip. Hopefully I can get any last minute things done before my work trip, which I'm not looking forward to particularly.

My stomach has continued to grumble and rumbl...

April 19, 2006 by Adam in Family

My stomach has continued to grumble and rumble, probably due to some viral thing. To add to the fun, allergy season has started up with the break in the weather. At Sam's soccer practice last night, I was sniffling non-stop and hid in the car whenever Emma would let me. Fortunately Claritin does a pretty good job of making me feel normal.

The week continues to move along. The kids were busy playing in the sand box when I got home. They actually got along together relatively well, letting me sit on the swing and read next to them for a wee bit. They're really loving the nice weather and didn't want to go inside for a long time.

Later we all went to soccer practice where Sam ran around and Emma and I looked at the creatures in the stream. It was full of tadpoles, water skippers, water beetles, and spiders. Great stuff.

Monday during work was fairly frantic and crazy

April 18, 2006 by Adam in Family

Monday during work was fairly frantic and crazy. I sat through a bunch of meetings and realized how much work is coming down the pipe the next six months or so.

I tried to be nice to everyone last night and largely succeded. Jamie made my absolutely favorite meal, tamale pie, and I had to relate to the kids the epic story from my childhood. When I was a kid, I fell off my bike and had to be taken to the emergency room. Before we left, I sniffed the air and realize we were having tamale pie for dinner. I pitifully asked my dad if I could eat dinner first. He agreed, so I had a pleasantly full stomach while I got a finger splint and stitches.

I've apparently been fighting a stomach bug these last few days. It's been paining me, and Jamie gave me the news that it's been going around. It's not debilitating, but it's quite annoying.

I woke up around 4:30 to Emma snoring away. Jamie had moved to the couch and couldn't sleep, so we chatted for a long while until we heard, "Mom . . . where are you." Then Jamie went back to bed and I went downstairs to get ready for work.

Colin Morgan dropped me a note the other day, mentioning that he's an architect on a 25-story building in Chicago. His wife makes jewelry and is showing her work in various boutiques. It's strange thinking that we used to drive out to Fall Creek with shirts on our heads.

Easter weekend has come and gone

April 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

Easter weekend has come and gone. It all seems a blur to my still-waking up brain this Monday morning. I did my normal routine with the kids Friday night through Saturday at lunch. Sam picked out books on World War II. In the afternoon we went off to Willard school for Sam's soccer game. It was fortunately dry just for that half hour, so Sam didn't get too muddy. Mom and Bob came down to watch as well.

Sunday was Easter and the kids had a great time finding eggs. Sam was especially sweet to Emma, giving her hints and showing her the ropes. After breakfast, they watched Emma's new Barbie™ Fairytopia™ Mermadia™ movie (no kidding on the trademark symbols). I painted the rest of the kids' room in a blue color to contrast with the pink that Emma picked out.

Towards the end of the day, we all got in grumpy moods. We took a nice walk through the wet streets and had a nice time, got the kids to bed, and unwound for bedtime.


April 14, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mmm . . . mocha Friday. Sadly I'm still at home, mocha-free, though I should be hopping in the shower momentarily.

Sam continues to have a good time at his soccer practices. Strangely enough, I think this is the last of them as the first soccer game is this Saturday. Emma and I took him last night and the big excitement was that the boys had caught a frog. Sam also didn't get quite as muddy as last time. Upon arriving at home, Jamie stripped him down to his underpants and knee pads just to be sure.

This weekend should be pretty busy. It's already started for the kids, who have this Good Friday off. We've got soccer games, Easter, and hopefully a bit of bedroom painting going on. Busy, busy.

Work has been strangely fun these last few days. I've been making a movie of the webcam that shows our new hospital being built. Today I get to tweak it some more and it'll get shown in a loop at various monitors in the hospital. Ah, the things people do for PR.

Last night Emma wanted to play outside. Sam followed a few minutes later and wanted me to open up the door to my old car. Soon enough, the kids were playing inside, discovering all sorts of hidden treasures. It hasn't been driven in months, and I really should sell it, but I found myself considering all that would be needed to fix it up again. I might take it for a spin when I have my next work trip, though I worry about leaving it sitting at the airport for a long time. The battery doesn't really hold a charge any more.

I'm going to continue my "cute girls poking a...

April 12, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm going to continue my "cute girls poking at the mud" series today with this lovely picture of Emma at Sam's soccer practice. It truly felt like Spring soccer last night as it was raining and the field was muddy. Sam returned home completely covered in mud. Fortunately we had a blanket to wrap him in, otherwise we would have had to strip him naked and bathe in the nearby stream.

The week is chugging along. Now that my coworkers have returned, the pace of things seems frantic again. I'll be heading to work in a few minutes to dive into the fray once again.

I'm looking forward to Easter this weekend. I'm a fan of dieing eggs and getting creative with them. With the kids around, I don't even feel too silly doing it.

The day is slowly coming to a close

April 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

The day is slowly coming to a close. I've parked the kids in front of a movie, as they're exhausted and I have a bunch of house chores to finish up. Jamie should be returning from Portland in an hour or so.

We had a pretty exciting day, starting with our usual hearty breakfast. In this case, it was pink heart-shaped pancakes especially for Emma. Aftwards I had everyone put on grungy clothes and we began painting the kids' room. They were both very excited and Sam was actually helpful. Emma tried really hard to be useful, though she eventually lost interest and I encouraged her to watch her Rudolph movie for the fourth time. Sam and I finished up about a quarter of the room and stopped to clean up.

Next was a walk around the block and a trip to Humble Bagel. We then swung by Amazon park where the kids got way too wet and muddy. There's a pond that has become the finale of their play time there. Soon enough I was transporting filthy children back home for a shower.

A quick lunch later, we went to the planetarium. Emma was scared of the dark initially, but eventually peeked out from my coat and exclaimed "It wasn't scary!" We then wandered about the Science Factory with a dozen other kids. That was our final excitement for the day and I figure we'll take it easy until bedtime.

The kids are asleep and I'm headed to bed myself

April 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

The kids are asleep and I'm headed to bed myself. It was a very full day, and I'm a bit tuckered.

We had a hearty breakfast and we sent Jamie on her way to Portland. The kids and I did our usual trip to the library, Humble Bagel, and worked our way to Hendrick's Park. Sam really didn't want to get out of the car, promising he'd have no fun. Within a minute he was laughing hysterically and we played a game of hide and seek like no other. Emma was in the backpack and kept giving our position away by giggling like a maniac every time Sam approached. After awhile it started to sprinkle and we headed home.

Sam really wanted to watch his James Bond movie, so he did that and Emma watched old cartoons while I did laundry, did the dishes, and generally got the house in order. We puttered around, playing outside, doing science experiments in the kitchen, and generally frittering away the afternoon. There was another round of baths, shows and bednight snacks, reading books, and getting everyone to bed. Emma was out in a couple minutes as she hadn't had a nap.

Depending on how tomorrow goes, we might go to the Planetarium. I'm learning to keep my plans flexible, as few things are certain while watching Sam and Emma.

It's Friday and my weekly cafe mocha is settl...

April 07, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Friday and my weekly cafe mocha is settling in my belly. Yesterday was a beautiful spring morning and the kids were busy playing with ants by the time I returned from work. It was pretty funny to hear Emma tell Sam "stay away from my colony!"

I took Sam to soccer practice while a no-nap Emma stayed home with Jamie. Sam did pretty well, scoring the single goal during free-play. He was pretty proud about it, though he was quick to say that he did it in combination with an excellent pass from another kid.

I'm actually getting a little excited to push Jamie out the door and have the kids to myself for much of the weekend. My tentative plan involves trips to the planetarium, nature walks, and the always popular pizza and movie. We'll see how much we actually end up doing. I suspect the kids will be too tired and cranky for everything.

I too have been thinking about my grandfather...

March 02, 2006 by Adam in Family

I too have been thinking about my grandfather these past weeks. Most of my memories of him are when I spent time with him in Normalville when I was a kid. Those are some of my favorite times, the smell of the wood paneling, the funny little phone booth between two rooms, catching frogs in the pond, and making mint tea with my grandmother. There was one Christmas when they pulled out all the stops, Jenny and I excitedly hearing "Santa Claus" coming in and talking in the living room, a blanket of snow around the house.

I also remember my trip down the Mississippi, grandpa at the helm. The dark waters would slide by beneath us. The hustle and bustle of the world seemed far away on the distant shore.

March already

March 01, 2006 by Adam in Family

March already. This week seems to have flashed by in a blur. Jamie and I have our date night tonight, though I'm not sure exactly what we'll do. A walk to Metropol to pick up some bread sounds about the extent of my romantic thoughts for the day.

I'm mostly recovered from my illness. Sam was complaining about a slight headache, but otherwise seems good. He's doing quite well with reading and writing these days, which is a treat to watch. Emma is her normal princess self, with tea parties and dress-up the norm for playtime.

Jamie's going to be away at the beach this weekend, so I'm trying to think of things I can do with the kids for fun. I suspect we'll go swimming, visit the library, and watch our fair share of movies.

Yesterday was indeed, all about the Harlem Gl...

February 27, 2006 by Adam in Family

Yesterday was indeed, all about the Harlem Globetrotters. It was fun, full of the expected zany hijinks. The poor New York Nationals once again lost horribly, despite my cheers. It was also neat to hang out with the family and do the wave once or twice. Maybe we'll do it the next time we get together for dinner.

I had the kids to myself towards the end of the day, playing in the basement, cooking the pizza Jamie made, and working on Sam's homework. I read more Spiderwick Chronicles to the kids during their bath, up until the point where Emma discovered her ability to annoy Sam with her bubbling noises. It was pleasant end to the weekend, though I was pretty bushed by the end of the day.

The rains have returned to Eugene. Emma helped me work on my bike on Saturday, replacing the seat and cleaning things up. She had a great time squirting assorted bolts with cleaning fluid.

Sunday already

February 26, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sunday already. Sam's watching over my shoulder as I type away, waiting for me to get off the computer so he can work on his game. Jamie's making waffles and Emma's watching a show.

Today's big event is Sam and I's trip to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I don't think I've ever been to a basket ball game, though I'm not sure this really counts. Hopefully it'll be fun and I'm looking forward to hanging out with my family.

We've had a couple nights to get used to the new bed. Jamie loves it, sleeping well and feeling refreshed. I'm a little more hesitant, but I think I'm getting used to it. It's a lot firmer than what I was expected, but have slept well enough.

We did our normal routine Friday night and Saturday morning, full of swimming, library trips, and a visit to Humble Bagel. I took the kids to the park where they got cold and sandy, and made a few friends. Jamie made an interesting dessert made out of yogurt and gelatin. The kids didn't eat much, but they thought it was a grand thing to play with.

Emma came to work yesterday and we had a nice...

February 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

Emma came to work yesterday and we had a nice little time simply exploring and carrying on. We ran around at a nearby park, rode the elevator, and chatted with "the ladies" at our front desk.

There's this funny thing that Jamie and I do sometimes. She'll buy something or start a house project, and I'll grumble about the cost and whether or not I like it. Afterwards, though, I end up praising her brilliance and wondering how I could have ever lived without it. Anyway, we're getting a new bed today, which has a fairly different style than what I was expected. I'm fretting about it a little, but hopeful the same pattern continues.

Sam and I are going to see the Harlem Globetrotters along with Jenny and her kids and my dad. I haven't seen a basketball game for a long while, though this is more of performance art than anything else. I think it'll be fun.

Other than that, I think it'll be swimming tonight and the library in the morning. Should be fun.

I told Jamie that she should never buy me cho...

February 23, 2006 by Adam in Family

I told Jamie that she should never buy me chocolate covered espresso beans again. I got some for Valentine's Day and proceeded to eat a good portion of the bag yesterday. Sure enough, I soon developed superhuman strength, a dashing wit, and the ability to see things not meant for mortal eyes. Amazingly, I somehow got to sleep at a normal hour.

My mom was over to watch the kids while Jamie and I went for a walk and then later watched an old Doris Day movie. I think Jamie has been saving up all her adult conversation as I could barely get a word in edgewise.

I spent a fair amount of time with Emma, who is a very neat little girl. I'm still amazed she's only two, as her vocabulary and height make me think she's lots older. She ended up painting my toes and fingernails last night, fortunately with washable pen. Anything for a few moments of peace.

I was pretty much dead to the world yesterday...

February 22, 2006 by Adam in Family

I was pretty much dead to the world yesterday, though I managed to shuffle in to work and put on a good show. It helped that most of my team was off to a conference. I feel better today, though still pretty sniffly. At least my headache has faded.

Otherwise, it was a pretty quiet day yesterday. Jamie worked out. Emma and I played with magnets and modeling clay. Sam's been working hard at his drawing skills.

I'm sniffly again today

February 21, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm sniffly again today. The hardest part is feeling so tired. My endless cups of tea seem to do nothing.

Last night was a bit tough. Jamie was around for long enough to make me a cup of tea and then went off to dinner. I watched the kids and did their evening routine. They ended up having more screen time than normal simply because I was so darn' beat. The evening wrapped up with me reading books "wrong" to the kids and Jamie coming in to put them to sleep.

Another weekend has come and gone

February 20, 2006 by Adam in Family

Another weekend has come and gone. I'm a bit sick this morning, sniffling away with whatever the kids passed along to me. It's not too bad, though I'm sure I'm annoying my cubicle neighbors with sneezing.

I did the usual routine with the kids, taking them swimming Friday night and to the library Saturday morning. Jamie went shopping with Angie, picking up a bunch of things at Meyer and Frank's going out of business sale. Towards the evening, Ray and Darrel arrived, along with Dave and Kirsten and my mom for Dave's birthday party. Emma was in her princess outfit, being a social butterfly.

Sunday was fairly low-key. Jamie took the kids hiking while I took it easy, though I ended up doing a lot of cleaning and laundry. The rest of the day was quiet, with Jamie's folks coming over briefly, but otherwise just puttering about.

It's Friday morning, with my mocha ETA in abo...

February 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Friday morning, with my mocha ETA in about two hours. I've been waking up early this week, having switched my bedtime to 9 o'clock. It means I'm getting up at 4:30 instead of 5:30, which is a bit odd.

Emma decided I was her horse last night, riding me about the playroom and putting me in the "barn" (which was actually the play tent). Well, okay, it was actually worse than that. She called me a pony and kept putting a silk flower behind my ear. Ah, the things they don't tell you about fatherhood.

The big family news is that Jamie's brother Brant finally proposed to Wendy. I assume she said yes, though we're hearing this all third hand. As a plus, this means we'll have a vet in the family. Maybe we can even take the kids in to her periodically, have them checked for worms or something.

Jamie claims he did it due to her prompting to "Do something nice for Valentine's Day." My theory is that he forgot to get Wendy a card, panicked, and asked her to marry him.

Yesterday seems like a bit of a blur

February 16, 2006 by Adam in Family

Yesterday seems like a bit of a blur. Since I was out of work on Tuesday, it felt like a Monday, and I spent the day answering e-mails and fixing things that broke.

When I returned home, Sam and Emma had an elaborate game going on, involving princesses and orcs and pirates. I think Sam was quite proud of the layers of disguises placed upon his younger sister.

Afterwards, it was off to my dad and Yayoe's house for a lovely dinner. The kids played with their box of toys and we adults chatted about grown up things. We returned home to try and wind down the kids and get them into bed.

Soon it's off to work and hopefully feeling like I'm accomplishing some things. I have a rather complicated project awaiting my return, so I'll likely fill my veins full of caffiene and put on my thinking cap.

Happy Valentine's Day to all

February 14, 2006 by Adam in Family

Happy Valentine's Day to all. I stayed home today in honor of the occasion, ending up hanging out with the entire family as Sam was sick and stayed home as well. I handed over my horde of gifts, an iPod for Jamie and Mermaid and Dragon Megablocks for the kids. Jamie seemed excited about her little present, which I'm hoping ends up being a nice addition to her workouts.

Mostly I hung out with Emma today. We got about fifteen minutes of real snow, though it was too warm to stick. We went outside anyway and Emma laughed and giggled as expected. I taught her how to eat snow from the sky, toungue sticking out, and avoid that on the ground.

The rest of the afternoon has been fairly quiet. Jamie rested a bunch. Sam watched the Zathura movie. Emma and I blew bubbles outside and ran about. All-in-all it was a very pleasant day.

Sunday was a little slower

February 13, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sunday was a little slower. Emma and I hung out a lot, going to the library and walking around outside. Jamie took Sam to the park to play with a friend. By the end of the day, it was pretty clear that the two of them were getting sick.

Emma made it off to school this morning, but Sam ended up staying home. Sadly Jamie missed delivery of my Valentine's Day present, though hopefully I can snag it tomorrow as I'm wanting to take the day off. I secretly have little presents for everyone in our family.

Rumor has it that we might get some snow at the end of the week. We'll let Sadie and everyone else on the East coast mock us as we frolic in an inch or two of soggy snow. Even if it's just a dusting, Emma will be terribly excited.

For whatever reason, yesterday was a great day

February 12, 2006 by Adam in Family

For whatever reason, yesterday was a great day. As the kids were waking up, I was out the door, heading to Jerry's Home Improvement. I picked up compost and trellises, returning to unload them on the patio. I then Shanghaied Sam, grabbed some power tools, and we attached the trellises on top of a retaining wail in our garden. It turned out quite well and there was only minor blood loss on my part during the construction process.

The kids and I went off to Humble bagel where they proceeded to ingest way too much cocoa and cream cheese, along with three bagels. We swung by a game store and nearby bought a zombie-themed game. Fortunately I restrained myself and averted Jamie's piercing glare, returning to find her having spread compost all about the garden beds.

The next few hours were spent outside, puttering around. I couldn't help but gaze lovingly at all the newly growing plants. It seems that all our plants are taking advantage of the sunshine, popping up flowers and growing like mad.

As the day wore on, we made Valentine's for the kids' classmates. Emma took a nap. Jamie went to the store. Sam and I played. As the evening approached, the kids grew crankier and we eventually tossed them into bed. I ended up staying up too late watching the finale of Arrested Development and hopefully not waking anyone up with my howls of laughter.

Well, I'm still waiting on my mocha

February 10, 2006 by Adam in Family

Well, I'm still waiting on my mocha. I typically head over to get coffee with Jim, but alas he's scurrying off somewhere moving computers about. At this point, I think I'll take the law into my own hands and just get one by myself.

Emma was up later than usual last night as well, so Jamie and I chatted and tried to be boring in hopes of lulling Emma back to sleep. Lately it seems that whenever Jamie and I chat, we spend our time lamenting how little time we get to spend together. Eventually everyone got to sleep, giving me time to catch up on episodes of Lost and Veronica Mars.

If the weather holds, I think we're going to try and do some gardening this weekend. Maybe we can even put the kids to good use, pulling weeds or something. I'd like to get my bike cleaned up and the seat replaced. Time for spring cleaning.

Bedtime was like a game of musical chairs las...

February 08, 2006 by Adam in Family

Bedtime was like a game of musical chairs last night. Emma wouldn't sleep again, so I kept her up until after nine. She still wouldn't go to sleep in her own bed, so I laid down next to her in the guest bed until she got sleepy. Then I went moved her back to her bed upstairs. Awhile later, Sam came to our bed, complaining that the back of his knees hurt. Jamie switched places with him, I gave him some Tylenol and he went back to sleep.

I got Jamie a Valentine's Day present that I hope is really cool. It's a bit unusual, so I'm a little nervous. Hopefully she'll like it or at least lie convincingly. I'm not sure it beats the power washer I gave her in years past.

The week is slowly chugging along

February 07, 2006 by Adam in Family

The week is slowly chugging along. Last night was a little rough. Emma had a long afternoon nap, which caused her to stay up until 9:30. Jamie was exhausted, and so I ended up watching her until my bedtime rolled around. I'm hoping she's over her illness at this point.

Sadie mailed us the first book in the Spiderwick Chronicles. Sam and I loved it so much that I promptly went out to Borders the next day and bought the entire series. It's a pretty cool story and the illustrations are very neat.

On my way out to work this morning, there was a thin frost on everything. I scratched messages of love to Sam and Jamie, which unfortunately left Emma heartbroken. I'll have to do one just for her tomorrow.

The weekend is coming to a close

February 06, 2006 by Adam in Family

The weekend is coming to a close. Emma's sick and Sam's watching Spy Kids. I've finished the last load of laundry and have a few minutes to myself.

Saturday was a good day and I was in a fine mood. I took the kids to the library and then Humble Bagel, as is often our Saturday routine. I returned with a good haul of books and proceeded to read all of Emma's princess books soon after we returned home. Sam poured over his treasure map book and worked on his fort in the back yard (a little area behind the butterfly bush in the corner).

In the afternoon, Jamie went to get a pedicure with my sister Jenny as reward for hitting the gym on a regular basis the last few weeks. I hung out with the kids and generally had a pleasant time.

Today was much of the same, though the kids were a bit unruly in the morning. Emma was given to me early and then Jamie went back to bed. We snuck off to Metropol for a cafe mocha and a chocolate croissant. It reminded me of when I used to take Sam there in his car seat when he was just a wee lad.

Sam has been working on a novel, which was apparently inspired by a book that Sadie sent us in the mail. It's called "The Door" and involves a young boy named Joe who finds a mysterious door in the bedroom of his new house.

Emma started feeling poorly towards the afternoon. We made a short trip to Jenny's for Destin's birthday party. It was a bit of a madhouse, but the kids had a good time with all of their cousins' toys. After that, we took a short trip to a playground where Emma shivered, and then a nearby mall to get a little activity.

Tomorrow it's back to work, and Sam to school. Unless Emma makes a surprise recovery, though, I think she'll skip her school for the day. Poor girl.

Mocha Friday

February 03, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I'm feeling perky at the moment and just finished reading through all my e-mails at work. Fortunately today is looking like I'll be able to work on some of my bigger projects, which often get pushed to the side for various emergencies.

Today is a bit odd for Jamie and the kids. Sam doesn't have school today, though Emma does. I think Jamie and Sam will go do something special together. Mother son bonding is fairly rare these days, with Emma taking up most of our attention.

Lately Emma has really gotten into the whole princess thing. Most nights this last week the kids and I have played in the basement for awhile and then Sam plays Zelda while Emma plays various princess games on the computer. I go back and forth between the two, helping out.

We have a fairly quiet weekend ahead of us. The only event that I'm aware of is Destin's birthday party this Sunday. Other than that, Jamie wants to seal the grout in the bathroom, but that's about it.

Jamie and I had a lovely time at the art muse...

February 02, 2006 by Adam in Family

Jamie and I had a lovely time at the art museum last night, pretending we were a hip young couple doing cultural things. The modern art was hit or miss, with Jamie heaping grand criticism on pieces like "Fog Dog" which was simply a gray canvas. A couple things were pretty neat, such as the interactive one where you could make rubbings from steel plates. There was a van Gogh that was good, and the asian section always impresses.

On the other hand, the kids weren't doing so hot yesterday. Emma squished her finger in the door and feeling it, though she was mostly recovered by the end of the day. Sam was still feeling marginal, with a lot of time hanging out on the couch. Hopefully he made it to school today.

Update: It's the end of the day and we're killing time before the bath. Sam stuck a balloon in the hood of his jacket and ran about the play room. Emma has changed into her ballerina outfit and talking on her pretend cell phone.

February already

February 01, 2006 by Adam in Family

February already. Weird.

Sam was sick all day yesterday. I returned home to find him on the couch, where he evidently spent most of the day. He actually fell asleep while Jamie was reading him a story, though he had no memory of it later. We played a little Zelda, which took his mind off things, and I tried to chat with him and keep him company.

Tonight is our normal Wednesday date night, with Jamie and I going to the art museum. It looks like there's a neat photography exhibit on Japanese architecture. Just the idea of getting out with Jamie and chatting about non-child things is highly appealing. Emma's getting old enough where we can sneak away for a couple hours, so we're taking advantage of it as best we can.

The weekend is close to over, with Jamie retu...

January 30, 2006 by Adam in Family

The weekend is close to over, with Jamie returning around noon, a bit early after missing the kids. Fortunately my illness left as suddenly as it came and I felt pretty normal after this morning.

The kids both slept really well and they got pink pancakes by request of Emma. We puttered around until eleven or so, heading out to a place called Minds in Motion to visit with Jenny and her kids. It had some neat things, and a few things that were a bit odd. There were an awful lot of games that you had to pay for after paying to get in. Destin went a little crazy and ended up getting hundreds of tickets. Sam was in awe of his cousin hitting the jackpot. Emma had a good time until she went into a huge play structure and saw "shark teeth". I had to climb in to extract her.

By the time we got home, Jamie had returned. It was actually a bit ackward having to coordinate everything with another person. Mostly we played with the kids. Now Emma's sitting on my lap and Sam's watching me type. Time to get started with the evening ritual.

Well, Jamie made it up to Portland safe and sound

January 28, 2006 by Adam in Family

Well, Jamie made it up to Portland safe and sound. The kids tired me out swimming last night, and they all went to bed quite easily. Emma crawled into bed with me at around four in the morning, but otherwise slept great until seven o'clock or so.

Unfortunately I started getting sick last night, with a headache so bad that it woke me up around one. I popped some Advil, but still felt miserable in the morning. A couple more Advil later and two strong cups of chai tea later, I felt somewhat human.

The kids and I puttered around before going to the library for music and books. I had another double shot cafe mocha, which made my headache vanish and gave me super-daddy powers. Emma started getting pretty cranky at the end.

We've now returned home where the kids are watching Barbie Princess and the Pauper. Lunch is cooking. I think we're going to take it easy for the rest of the day.

Ah, Mocha Friday already

January 27, 2006 by Adam in Family

Ah, Mocha Friday already. I'm actually still at home, waiting for a few more minutes before I jump into the shower. For whatever reason, I woke up early today, which gave me a chance to watch Wednesday's Lost. Not as good as some of the previous ones, but it's up there with Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica. All other shows pale in comparison.

I scurried home yesterday as I was supposed to leave early and Jamie had to call and remind me. Tuesday and Thursday are the new gym days for Jamie where she has a class at four o'clock. She returned sore and exhausted, so I think she still managed to get a full workout in.

The kids were in excellent spirits. I was all ready for unruly children, but they were cheerful and happy. The entire time before Jamie returned was spent doing physical activity, from obstacles courses to sit-ups to a little pillow punching. When dinner rolled around, they were quite hungry.

Sam also regained his lost computer privileges from earlier in the week. After dinner we played a bit more Zelda, sailing the seas and exploring various islands. Though very cartoony, it's an excellent game and fun to play. After his time was up, Sam ran downstairs and began to build Lego pirate ships.

Jamie's leaving for her mom's house this weekend. I think she's leaving tomorrow and returning Sunday sometime, though she's been fairly vague on her exact plans. I'm trying to make sure the kids are suitably entertained for the two days. We've got swimming, a library trip, movie night with pizza, and some play time with Jenny and her kids. I should probably call Dave and see if he wants to visit too. Keep 'em busy, I say.

I'm very excited to hear about Sadie's news. Last weekend we chatted like school girls and I was sworn to Internet secrecy. It sounds like the necessary people have been told and she can now announce her upcoming move. Flights to San Francisco aren't quite as cheap as I had hoped, but I'd still like to visit after she gets settled.

Well, the shower and the mocha call to me. Time to get ready for work.

Jamie got some news about my grandfather, tho...

January 25, 2006 by Adam in Family

Jamie got some news about my grandfather, though I feel like I'm playing phone tag and not quite getting all the details. Evidently he fell, is a bit malnourished, and has a spot on his lungs. The plan at this point is to keep him at the hospital for awhile and then discharge him to a rehab center of some sort. My mom still plans on returning this weekend.

On the home front, life has been relatively uneventful. Sam was in a good mood and very helpful, quite the contrast from his wild night the day before. Emma on the other hand was napless and pretty wonky. As long as she was distracted she did fairly well. Ah, the joys of parenting.

I'm hoping that yesterday's phone tag finally...

January 23, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm hoping that yesterday's phone tag finally worked out, though I haven't heard from my mom yet today. We'll see how things go.

Yesterday was mostly spent hanging out with kids, though I had a surprisingly fun time doing so. We went to the park where they got cold and muddy, especially Emma. We stripped off her shoes, socks, and pants, and then went to Humble Bagel to munch away. The afternoon was spent playing, painting, doing Sam's homework, running about the play room, and watching some movies.

I got a chance to talk with Sadie, which was very exciting. It was fun discussing her potentially secret plans. I even chatted with Jenny, hoping to get together next weekend when Jamie's out of town.

As for today, I have tea to drink and an application to write, not to mention far too many meetings. Busy, busy.

It seems we may have a bit of a family crisis

January 22, 2006 by Adam in Family

It seems we may have a bit of a family crisis. Meg called reporting that Grandpa Bill was being confused and now she's trying to get in touch with my mom. I know you're traveling today, mom, but if you happen to read this in an airport or something, please call Meg. If you don't have her number, feel free to call us.

Hopefully all is well, but Meg sounded somewhat concerned.

It was quite the day yesterday

January 22, 2006 by Adam in Family

It was quite the day yesterday. In the morning, I played with the kids non-stop until Sam's friend Ben Anderson arrived. He's an older kid from his school and they had a good time at their play date. Somehow during the morning the kids got Jamie and I creating pirate necklaces. Emma got a bracelet and fairy wings along the way too.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. I took Emma to the grocery store where she sweet talked the cashiers out of stickers. Jamie took the kids for awhile, giving me a couple hours to myself. The evening was spent playing with PlayDough, watercolors, and pretending to be superheroes in the basement. Sam tought Emma how to hold her fingers like Spiderman when he wanted to shoot a web.

As for today, I don't think we have anything too exciting happening. Jamie might go for a walk with Angie. Perhaps the kids and I will go off to a park if it's not too wet. We'll see how it goes.


January 20, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mmm . . . Mocha Friday. It is pouring down rain this morning, so it was bags on the feet for the ride in. My friend Jim and I walked to the corner of Starbucks through the sheets of water. It's crazy how wet it's been this last month.

Dave and Kirsten came over last night, mostly to play with the kids. They loved it, of course, and bid them a sad farewell when the left.

Otherwise it's been fairly quiet the last couple days. Sam and I continue to have fun playing the new Zelda game. He explained that it was "basically educational" since he has to do a lot of reading in it. I'm not sure Jamie buys it, though.

The week is slowly moving along

January 19, 2006 by Adam in Family

The week is slowly moving along. Work is its usual chaotic self, with lots of miscellaneous requests popping in. It seems like I haven't had a moment to breathe since I walked in the door.

Jamie's started evening workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in contrast to the ones that would happen in the middle of the day. That means I have a short lunch and leave a little early. I think Jamie likes being able to go to a step aerobics class, though I sometimes miss the kids during the day.

Jamie is also try to find a way to go up to Portland by herself in a couple weeks. I'm trying to line up things for the kids and I to do, so if anyone has interesting suggestions, let me know.

I swam to work this morning

January 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

I swam to work this morning. It's amazing how wet it's been this last month. I even tied plastic bags to my feet, which seemed to help with the soggy shoe problem at the expense of my usual stylish appearance.

I took Monday off from work, though it wasn't precisely a carefree vacation. I watched the kids for a bit in the morning and Sam was a little wild. I drove Emma around and spent a couple hours in the car as well. Fortunately my whining got me a couple hours here and there without kids.

At the end of the night, we all talked about our favorite parts of the day. Emma talked about a book being read to her. Jamie enjoyed her new food processor and making soup. Sam declaired that it was his time with me, playing his new Zelda game together. Finally all eyes went to me and I had to admit that the Zelda game was my highpoint as well.

After the kids went to bed, Jamie and I watched half of the 40 Year-old Virgin, which is raunchy, hysterical, and sweet. It was hard stifling the laughter so that we wouldn't wake up the kids.

It was a rather exciting day yesterday

January 16, 2006 by Adam in Family

It was a rather exciting day yesterday. We did a family hike at Hendrick's park first thing in the morning. It was a little chilly and we headed back to the car in a half hour or so. After that it was off to Humble Bagel for some tasty treats. I played with the kids until Jamie left for Mama Mia with Angie. She wouldn't return until after dinner, which was a bit longer than I expected.

My mom showed up around two and played with Sam for much of the afternoon. They had a good time, working on making arrow heads from obsidian and going off to the museum of natural history.

Emma and I made cookies and I spent a frustrating couple hours trying to get her to nap. Unfortunately it meant that she's was in a bad mood for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner time was the worst, with Sam overfilling the basement sink and flooding the floor, and Emma grumping about.

Hopefully today I can get some R&R time, which I so very much deserve.

Towards the end of the afternoon yesterday, J...

January 15, 2006 by Adam in Family

Towards the end of the afternoon yesterday, Jamie was feeling much better. It made for a much more relaxing evening as I finally got a break from the kids for awhile. By that time, I'd taken Sam to his play date at John's, Emma to the library for nearly two hours, hung out in the car as Emma slept, as well as the usual feeding, changing, and playing.

Sam gets to spend some alone time with Grandma Sue today, working on their arrow making skills, I believe. Emma really wants to play with them too, but I think she'll be stuck with me for most of the visit. Jamie's off to see Mama Mia with Angie this afternoon. As a quick aside, Angie is pregnant and very excited. Since she's told half the world already, I might as well tell the rest.

As for me, I might take tomorrow off. Some down time might be nice.

Jamie went out with Victoria last night and t...

January 14, 2006 by Adam in Family

Jamie went out with Victoria last night and the kids and I did our typical Friday swimming session. Afterwards we made cookies, with me in "directive dad" mode in order to keep things moving along. I eventually got them to bed around nine o'clock, after a somewhat difficult bedtime. Jamie arrived home around ten, we chatted briefly, and went to bed.

It looks like Jamie's not feeling well this morning. She handed Emma to me and reported that she's been throwing up. Looks like the start to a fun weekend.

Update: Emma and I went out to Metropol for coffee and lemon poppy seed scones. It was lots of fun, though upon our return it looks like Jamie and Sam are still sleeping away. It's nearly nine in the morning.

Now she's playing with Sam's Legos and singing Jingle Bells. I think Christmas had a lasting impact on her personality. She's always talking about Christmas lights and what sort of presents she'll get at the next Christmas.

Sweet, sweet mocha Friday

January 13, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sweet, sweet mocha Friday. I picked up some Starbucks this morning, courtesy of Santa and his gift card. Jamie's been pretty tuckered out the last few days, so hopefully this weekend will be a nice change for her. Since it's Friday, both kids are in school for at least the morning. With luck she'll have time to pretend she's a normal person again.

I think there's a lot of miscellaneous things going on this weekend. Jamie's going to see Mama Mia, which evidently has a lot of dance numbers set to Abba. I think Sam has a play date lined up for Saturday. As for me, I'm hoping for a little R&R, and maybe getting outside if the weather permits.

Okay, I admit it

January 11, 2006 by Adam in Family

Okay, I admit it. I was in a grumpy mood last night. It quickly went downhill when Emma slipped on her skirt and twisted her ankle. By bedtime, she was doing better, but for awhile she'd cry every time she tried to walk.

The kids and I spent a long hour playing with Playdough, which was evidently cathartic for all. We went to bed in much improved moods. Emma was fast asleep in her bed when I woke up this morning, a rarity these days.

Another weekend has come and gone

January 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

Another weekend has come and gone. This one was pretty good, with everyone in high spirits and doing well. On Saturday I spent a fair time with Emma, who was quite cheerful, while Jamie had lunch with Jenny and Sam went to play with his friend Gavin. Emma and I made cookies, played with Playdough, and walked about a bit. Later in the day, Ray arrived with presents for all the kids, our final Christmas bash.

Ray is quite the avid shopper, so we were soon wading in toys. Emma got a Furby, which strangely enough she immediately recognized. She and Sam vied for it's attentions, and I had to settle more than one dispute between the two. Emma got a new outfit which she proceeded to wear for the next two days. Sam also got this vast game involving building a battlefield, moving around creature figurines, and rolling dice. It seems even Ray can appreciate the value of encouraging a young nerdling.

As for Sunday, it was pretty low-key. Sam and I played the previously mentioned game. There was lots of hanging about. Sam and I took his new football down to the park and got very muddy. Dave came over for dinner.

Now we're all off to our respective places for the day. I'm going to work and Emma and Sam are going to school. Emma's increasingly excited about school these days, which is a good sign. Finally, Jamie gets a few hours of relaxation, well deserved.


January 06, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mmm . . . Mocha Friday. Well, not yet. I still have an hour or so before I head into work. I'm still rubbing my eyes and waking up.

Last night Sam spent a long time outside playing with a foam airplane. There was an elaborate reenactment of WWII or something similar. I never quite caught on to the entire thing, as my role was merely to bark out orders through the basement window. Eventually I hauled him in through the window and made him change his muddy clothes.

I had Emma yesterday, which was quite nice. She entertained the front desk people at my work (we call them "the ladies"). After that, it was off to Barry's bakery to very slowly eat a poppy seed muffin. Emma also used a Christmas gift certificate to get a toy cooking set. We spent much of last night chopping vegetables, cooking noodles, and baking muffins. It's funny how much our kids like their gender-specific games. Of course, I was right there cooking with her, so I suppose there's hope for a broader outlook on life.

The week keeps chugging along

January 05, 2006 by Adam in Family

The week keeps chugging along. Thursday already. I've been at work for most of the week, slowly catching up. I think the kids drove Jamie a little batty on Monday and Tuesday, though with Sam back at school, things are returning to normal a bit.

Dave and Kirsten were over to watch the kids last night. Jamie and I watched an old movie called Call Northside 777. It's funny how movie making has changed over the years. A modern version would likely have more car chases and explosions. Still, Jimmy Stewart put on a good performance and the pictures of old Chicago were fun to see.

Otherwise, life is pretty normal. I think Jamie's dad is coming down this weekend to do a final Christmas present giveaway. Then we're holiday-free until Valentine's Day.

Today's picture is Emma today, as a nice contrast to yesterday's post.

Happy New Year! We've been taking it easy fo...

January 01, 2006 by Adam in Family

Happy New Year! We've been taking it easy for the last couple days, recovering from the holiday madness. The kids are a bit sick, sniffling and coughing from time to time. I think they'll recover in time for school.

I did a bit of errands yesterday, picking up way too much cereal at Costco. We've also finished up the bathroom, doing some painting and hanging up towel hangers. Jamie went off to a New Year's party briefly, returning around nine o'clock because she missed us. The high adventure for today was going for a walk when the weather cleared.

Tomorrow I'm back to work, which seems odd after so much time off. In some ways, the routine will be nice, but I miss hanging out with the kids.

The picture for the day is actually from last year. Emma has grown immensely over the last year. It's fun to watch her grow.

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