Hanging out with the kids

November 29, 2009 by Adam in Family

The kids are doing their responsible things, homework, chores, baths, and so on.  Emma's reading a book about China while she does her flouride rinse.

Jamie made crepes for breakfast and went off for the day.  I took Emma to her friend Stella's house, where they had a great time.  Sam and I hung out, played on the computer, had a nerf gun fight, and built a catapult.  As we finished, I had to rush off to pick Emma up.  Fortunately not much damage was done.

We had a little quiet time, then headed out to Mount Pisgah to explore and play.  Sam in particular wanted to stick around until well after sunset, but I finally dragged him back to the car.  For dinner I made home made hamburger buns, Sam cooked hamburgers for he and Emma, and I made french fries in the oven.  Very tasty.

Jamie's watching the kids tomorrow morning.  I'll probably finish up the compost tumbler I worked on today, and head over to the library to get new treasures for the kids.  Then it's back to work and the normal routine.

Life's pretty good.

Leftovers in the Fridge

November 27, 2009 by Adam in Family

We went off to my mom's for Thanksgiving, with me returning briefly to cook the dishes Jamie had prepared (they were much appreciated).  The kids did their usual running about, both of them enthralled with the open fireplace.  Destin and Jordan arrived, presents were opened, boys with Nerf guns ran about, and everyone seemed pretty happy.  Eventually there was food, birthday cake, and exhausted people heading home.

Emma went to bed pretty quickly after a bath.  Sam and I watched the season finale of Being Human and now I'm headed for bed myself.

Life is an interesting mix of sad, content, and joyous, all at once.

Turkey Boy Turns Eleven

November 26, 2009 by Adam in Family

The kids and I are hanging out at home before Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's.  It's also Sam's birthday, and he increasingly seems eleven to me.  Lately he's been doing really well taking care of chores, homework, and reminding me to sign things from school.  It's hard to believe that eleven years ago, everyone was out in the hospital waiting room, eating turkey off plates and waiting for Sam to appear.

Jamie brought down presents before breakfast.  He appreciated having Sadie's woodcut nicely framed by Jamie.  At the same time, we appreciated Jim and Judy's socks and underwear, which Sam very much needs.  Jamie also made Sam's breakfast of choice, a breakfast burrito with hashbrowns inside.

Life continues to have ups and downs, but appreciate that Jamie and I continue to get along.  I think we're doing all the things we're supposed to be doing, working through the transitions ahead.  I'm also thankful for the kids, who are wonderful and funny.

My mom made the mistake of asking us to make a centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table, giving us some supplies to get started.  Soon enough we had the Turkey Political Action Committee assembled, complete with protest signs (click on the picture to make big).

Mocha Wednesday?

November 25, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and in the time honored tradition of my people, I'll be having a Mocha today.

The week has moved along, relatively uneventful.  Work had the potential for being frustrating, a recent peer review of my code resulting in a number of changes.  It ended up being fun to go through and fiddle with things, learning tidbits along the way.  Jamie's been off in the evenings, so it's just been the kids and I.  On Monday night we made fortune cookies, and last night Emma wanted custard.  It turned out okay, but neither of the kids were that enthusiastic.  I think next time I have to use whole milk to get the proper amount of fatty goodness.

I'm getting better at moving the kids through dinner, chores, homework, bath, and bedtime.  Sam's really been stepping up in terms of being responsible for what has to happen next.  I still sometimes forget to review and sign his homework sheets.  As a treat and bonding experience, he and I have been watching shows after Emma gets to bed.

As for the long weekend ahead, some parts are busy and others are uneventful.  I'm thinking of going swing dancing tonight, now that I feel vaguely competent on the dance floor.  Tomorrow I have the kids and will make my way over to my mom's house sometime for food and Sam's birthday (2 of 3).  I may have some time to myself on Friday, perhaps finally finishing the compost tumbler and doing some online shopping for Christmas.

Another Weekend, Come and Gone

November 23, 2009 by Adam in Family

I just got the kids to bed, Jamie's out having dinner with friends, and the house is quiet.  It was a pretty good weekend, as weekends go, full of kids and events and practical things.

Friday night was swing dance for me, which is always uplifting.  There's something about moving around the floor and listening to classic tunes from the 40's that always cheers me up.

Saturday was mostly a hang out with the kids day.  Sam had gone to John's birthday party until midnight the night before, so he didn't wake up until nine.  Jamie left after breakfast and the kids and I just hung around the house and yard.  I put some time into the yard and shed, doing a little Fall clean up.

Saturday night Emma and I went to a house warming party at an old friend's house, a woman named Maggie that I knew back in high school.  Her kids are almost exactly the same as mine, so Emma spent nearly three hours in her girl's room.  I kept checking up on her and she kept saying she was having a great time and didn't want to leave.  As for me, I spent the first half of the party talking to a couple with a very cute baby.  Victoria Whitman, Jamie's friend, wandered in.  It was a weird coincidence and we had a good time chatting about our respective lives.  Since we're both in the process of getting divorced, we had quite a few "you still doing that?" moments.  It was good, though, and Victoria has always been a great conversationalist.

Sam went over to my mom's to paint with Josh.  All day today he'd hold up his paint-speckled hands to his friends and make them guess what he did the night before.

We all had breakfast again this morning and then I ran off to the library and the store.  After that, we had a birthday party for Sam and the pizza place.  It was chaotic, noisy, and full of kids - exactly what he wanted.  Upon our return, Sam broke out the remote control helicopter I got him and learned to fly it after a few crashes.  We played with that and Legos and whatever was handy, with me eventually breaking away to make dinner.  Then bath and stories and the usual routine.

Tomorrow I'm off to work, which I'm strangely excited to get to.  Thanksgiving the kids and I are going to my mom's, where she's promised some sort of cake-like thing for Sam.  Friday night Jamie and the kids are going to Dave's house for Thanksgiving.  I think we're all doing okay navigating the holidays.

Mocha Friday

November 20, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm still awhile away from that delicious nectar of the gods.  After this post, I'll hop in the shower and away I go.

It was a good day yesterday.  I came home, Sam was on the computer and Emma was off with Yayoe doing art projects.  Jamie went off and I grabbed a broom and started sweeping leaves.  Along the way I found the last rose of the season, which I pointed out to Emma when she arrived with a bag of art objects.

Soon Sam and I were playing Sorry while Emma turned ear plugs into little people, adding hair and making a tiny home for them out of a box.  She started writing in a diary, and asked me how to spell "dear diary".  From then on, she declared she was writing in "kid writing," which appears to be mostly a phonetic spelling of words.

Dinner was Mac and Mythbusters.  I made mac and cheese for the kids, which generally went over well, and we watched Mythbusters since Sam's at a birthday party tomorrow.  While I cooked, Sam helped Emma with her spelling test for tomorrow, which was extra sweet.  Sam hunkered down and did his while Emma took a bath.

Emma got a little teary-eyed when calling Jamie at bedtime, but seemed to do okay after I read her her new National Geographic Kids magazine (thanks, mom).  After I got her down, Sam and I hung out and watched the BBC show Being Human.

We have a pretty busy weekend ahead of us.  Sam's going to a birthday party tonight and I have my swing dance class.  Tomorrow I have a party at 4, likely somewhere I hardly know anyone.  Sunday morning I'm off to dad and Jenny's for brunch.  In the afternoon is Sam's birthday party with his friends.  Somewhere in there I'll hit the library and maybe even relax a little.

Testing. Testing. One. Two. Three.

November 15, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm trying to see if the new site is working.  Beyond the new familyofadam.com URL, there's a bunch of new functionality behind the scenes.  You can still use adamandjamie.com to get here, and no one's e-mail addresses have changed.  Feel free to add comments below if you have any feedback.

Sunday Morning Gray Skies

November 15, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's a gray, dreary morning.  Everyone's still asleep.

Emma was on the mend yesterday and managed to get through the day without any pain medication.  She was exhausted by the end, even forgoing icecream in order to get to bed sooner.  She was up once, asking for water, but otherwise has seemed much better.  Hopefully we can go to the birthday party today.

Yesterday was a typical "hang with the kids" day.  After crepes for breakfast, Jamie went to the gym, and the kids and I played Legos in the basement.  Later I hauled them both outside to build fairy houses in the dirt while I worked on the garden.  Jamie and I reached an agreement where I can spend money on the house as long as I track it carefully.  I was very appreciative and am excited to start getting a garden in.

Jamie returned to do some shopping and watch the I'as I got Sculpey at the art store, then headed off to M's for the day.  The kids and I made an assortment of little creatures, played some more, ate tacos, and then started in on the bedtime routine.  After Emma went to bed, Sam and I stayed up watching Stargate Universe and playing a few games.

As for today, Jamie's watching the kids this morning.  I'm trying to have coffee with my coworker/old-friend Kate Weaver (used to be Sturdevant).  She's very pregnant, and happens to be down from Portland, so this may be the last time I see her in person for awhile.  Next is the library and I might sneak out to a garden store or try to work on the compost tumbler.  If Emma's up for it, we're off to the birthday party.  I'll see if I can lure Josh over to hang out with Sam while I'm gone.

I just finished the last of my mocha, much ap...

November 13, 2009 by Adam in Family

I just finished the last of my mocha, much appreciated after a somewhat restless night. Emma was pretty sick yesterday, staying home from school with a fever. I managed to get her to bed okay, but she was up at 3:30 am, and didn't ever go back to sleep again. Since she slept for five hours yesterday, I think she's fine with sleep, though I'd be happy with a few more hours myself.

When I came home last night, Jamie ran to the store to get ice cream and then went out. Emma evidently hadn't eaten all day, so it was cereal, ice cream, and a little candy to build up her strength. Sam ate a more normal fare, for while he technically stayed home yesterday, he was basically fine.

We managed to connect with Sadie and Emma was up for playing the drawing game. Soon we were sketching all manner of odd objects in varying styles. I loved Emma's anime pirate, which I think is a style she practices at school. The best part was the "arr" in the word bubble.

Soon Emma grew tired and all she wanted to do was watch cartoons on the couch. I think she started to feel pretty bad, so I left Sam as a snuggle substitute while I made my lunch and got ready for bed. After some classic Donald Duck, with Sam pointing out the culturally inappropriate parts, I got Emma to sleep relatively easily. Sam and I stayed up a little as he wanted me to play our new computer game. I wrapped it up early and climbed into bed myself, as I was pretty exhausted.

As for the weekend, I have plans but I'm not sure how much I can manage with Emma under the weather. I have dance lessons after pizza and Mythbusters tonight, with my mom watching the kids. Saturday there are assorted free museum events. I have endless projects to work on, such as finishing up my compost tumbler. Strangely my free time never quite materializes.

I think my mental health is doing okay these days. I'm trying to be patient about all the changes going on and I continue to worry about the kids. As always, I'm endlessly thankful for everyone checking up on me. It really helps.

Veteran's Day is winding down, the kids out o...

November 12, 2009 by Adam in Family

Veteran's Day is winding down, the kids out of school and I took the day off. At the moment, Sam and Emma are playing with Legos, the previously peaceful village and museum turned into a post-apocalyptic wasteland filled with ninjas and giant radioactive spiders. Though it may be obvious, Emma and I were playing earlier and now Sam has joined in the fun.

It was a fairly low-key and relaxing day. Sam made soft boiled eggs for he and Emma, I made coffee and scrambled eggs, and then we played while Jamie went to the gym and work. In the afternoon Jamie and Emma went swimming while I hung out with Sam. As the afternoon faded, I made pizza dough, did a bunch of car maintenance tasks, and made it home for dinner.

The one big news of the day is that the house appraisal came in, very close to what I estimated. It was $8K less than my guess, which means a little extra cash for furniture replacement. I'm a little giddy, as it's the last financial unknown that could have caused problems.

Tomorrow I'm back to work and the kids go to school. It's game night with Sadie and we're going to try extra hard to play the drawing game. Good times.

I just wanted to bid my dear sister Seraph a ...

November 10, 2009 by Adam in Family

I just wanted to bid my dear sister Seraph a wonderful birthday today. It doesn't seem that long ago when Jenny and I would toss her in a laundry basket and carry her around the house in her "space ship". Her stroller was a moon buggy. Good times.

It's Sunday night and the kids are in bed

November 09, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's Sunday night and the kids are in bed. The day has been strange, but I think everyone's relatively okay.

This morning Jamie and I practiced what we'd say to the kids and went over other miscellaneous things going on, from finances to holidays. We've been trying to communicate in passing when one of us is about to leave, and it hasn't worked very well.

Sam and I hung out while Jamie went to get Emma, playing card games in the basement. Emma cheerfully arrived and told us about shopping and going to PF Chang's, evidently the highlights of the trip. After making sure they were well rested and fed, we nervously sat the kids down in the living room.

Essentially we told them that Jamie was going to buy a new house and that the kids would spend time at both places. We said again that it wasn't their fault and that we both loved them, even though we weren't going to be married. I was a little emotional at one spot, but not overly so. It was mostly factual and didn't get into why we were getting divorced.

Emma started on Jamie's lap, squirmed out of it and sat on mine for awhile, then bounced between the two of us. Throughout the day she asked about the schedule and wanted to make sure it was fair. She's been trying really hard that both Jamie and I felt okay. I do worry about her not having time to just be a kid. At the same time, it's very sweet.

Sam's more opaque. He cracked a lot of jokes, which reminded me of how I was after the house fire. Sam tends to have a harder time with change, seeming relieved that nothing was imminent. I could sense a nervousness about moving from place to place as well. Mostly I'm trying to be sensitive to what they might be going through and see how I can help.

Jamie went off to the gym and later went out with Victoria. The kids and I watched old Disney cartoons before Josh came over. As the kids adore Josh, the afternoon became very festive and fun. He and Sam fought zombies on the computer, which hopefully was cathartic. Sam showed off his mad kazoo skills using his new kazoo that Yayoe gave him. Emma and I played catch, clothed and fed her babies, and made hamburgers together.

Dinner was home made buns, hamburgers, fries cooked in the oven, and a little applesauce for Sam. It was quite tasty and Emma cheerfully gave a bunch of candy to Josh in hopes of luring him longer. We finally bid him farewell and did the usual bath and bedtime routine. Sam and I watched Stargate: Universe and he's now in bed reading.

It's getting to the end of a wet, dreary Satu...

November 08, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's getting to the end of a wet, dreary Saturday, the Ducks are losing, and the house is quiet. I'm doing my best to stay busy until Sam returns in an hour or so.

Friday I returned home early from work, saying goodbye to Emma before she went to Portland. Sam and I hung out in the afternoon, with Josh coming over in the evening while I went to my swing dance class. They threw some tricky moves at us, but I think I managed them at the end. Afterward I went to pick up Sam from Hodgepodge where my mom took he and Josh to dinner and listening to Yayoe's ukulele band play. I missed the festivities, but chatted for awhile before heading home. Sam and I watched the new Stargate: Universe and went to bed.

This morning I taught Sam how to make soft boiled eggs, and we had a fine hearty breakfast. Jamie arrived mid morning and Sam and I went out to Mount Pisgah to take advantage of the break in the rain. They were having Play in the Rain Day, but the weather was beautiful. We stayed at the organized gathering long enough to roast some marshmallows, before heading off by ourselves into the woods.

Sam made up a "sneak up on someone and poke them in the back" game. He was far better at it than I. He's been reading the Ranger's Apprentice series, and so lurking about in the woods has a great appeal these days.

We returned and Jamie came to pick him up to go rollerskating with M and Chase. I started some laundry, went to the library, and picked some food up at the store. Jamie called and asked if Sam could stay at Chase's for longer, so I'm twiddling my thumbs a little longer before getting dinner started.

Tomorrow Emma returns, which makes me happy. We're also telling the kids we're getting divorced, which makes me really sad. If there's anything people can do to help the kids feel normal and loved in the weeks ahead, I would be most grateful.

It's another Mocha Friday, that sweet elixir ...

November 06, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's another Mocha Friday, that sweet elixir simply a memory now. I'm listening to some of Sadie's music as I write code and catch up. Aretha Franklin sure could sing the blues.

I went to the kids' parent-teacher conferences on Tuesday. They're both doing well, with Sam in the TAG program now. I'm really proud of how well they've adjusted to school. I was a little shaky earlier in the week and ended up teary-eyed. Fortunately everyone was very nice to me and promised to keep an eye on the kids.

Jamie and I plan on talking to the kids about what's happening next, likely after Emma returns from Portland. They've both picked up that things haven't been normal for awhile, but it'll be good to let them get ready for the adjustments ahead and reassure them that they're loved and will be okay.

As for the rest of life, it continues on despite the occasional bumps. Last night Jamie went over to M's house. The kids and I played in the basement and had pizza and Mythbuster's, since Emma would miss it tomorrow. As it was a pirate special, it was pretty awesome. Sadie and Greg Skyped at the end and due to Emma's tired level, we ended up playing 20 Questions instead of our drawing game. There was lots of laughter and giggles, then it was off to bath and bedtime. Sam and I worked on my game project for awhile, to our mutual enjoyment.

As for this weekend, Jamie's taking Emma to Portland this afternoon so I'm going home early. I'll hang out with Sam until my swing dance class, taking him over to my mom's or having Josh come over. Tomorrow Jamie returns and plans on taking Sam skating in the afternoon. On Sunday, Emma returns and we'll probably have a low-key day after talking to them.

The house assessment happened earlier this week, so I'm hoping to get that number soon. As long as it's not too far off from the original estimate, I can start the refinance process right away.

I had way too much fun at work Friday, dresse...

November 01, 2009 by Adam in Family

I had way too much fun at work Friday, dressed up like a pirate. I decided to get into my gear on Saturday morning and take Emma to the library. She wore her witch costume, which seemed to be popular among the librarians, so she was in good company. We returned home from looting the books and Sam and I hung out and Emma watched a video. There was a break in the weather and the kids took their bikes down to the park. Emma's on the cusp of being able to ride by herself. I held on to the back of her jacket in case of emergencies, but otherwise she was on her own. Sam found the biggest mud puddle and rode through it repeatedly. Soon enough, everyone was soaked through, so we headed home, took showers, and ate a snack. Sam declared that his life was luxurious. Jamie returned home and made lasagna before we all got ready for Trick-or-Treating. Once again I donned my pirate outfit, Emma was a witch, and Sam was a Zombie for the second year running. We headed out into the darkness as rain poured down. The amount of candy given out was tremendous, as I think the duck game and the weather kept most kids off the streets. We wandered over to my mom's to show off our costumes, but no one was there. By the time we returned, our sacks were heavy with ill-gotten booty. The kids returned to survey their candy, laying it out into neat piles. This morning they engaged in assorted trading, which as expected ended in conflict and recriminations. Fortunately all seems to have been forgiven and the kids are playing well together. Jamie and I had a good talk after breakfast, going over next steps. Soon I'm off to the store to buy parts for the compost tumbler. It makes for a good garden project while the weather is gray and drizzly.

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