The Last Mocha of 2009

December 31, 2009 by Adam in Family

I just finished my mocha on this rainy winter day.  I left the house when all was quiet.  Emma had woken up in the middle of the night, afraid to go to sleep.  After trying to comfort her for awhile, she asked for mom and I took her downstairs.  It's strange to think that in a few weeks, it'll just be me.

It's the last day of 2009, traditionally a day of reflecting on the past and looking to the future.  It's been a year of ups and downs, taking Sam to England, Emma beginning 1st grade, and Jamie and I starting the process of getting divorced.  I had a couple of really lousy months in there, but find myself surprisingly happy lately, grateful for all the wonderful things in my life.

Jamie and I continue to be cordial to each other.  Though there's certainly tension at times, we're focused on the kids and making sure they're doing well.  She's been quite reasonable with many things and I hope she makes a good ex-wife.

The kids are a little nervous, with Emma being the most vocal.  I think Sam will have a hard time at first, as he's never been fond of changes.  Emma will miss whichever parent isn't around.  Still, they're smart and resilient kids and I think in time they'll adjust.

As for me, the future continues to be increasingly clear.  There are still challenging transitions to move through, but I know where I'm heading and excited to get there.

Short term, a surprising number of things are going on.  I'm hanging out with the kids tonight, Jamie leaves for the coast tomorrow, Sadie and Greg arrive tomorrow at noon, and we're having a dinner party Saturday night.  In a week or so, Sadie, Joanna, and I plan on getting tattoos.  In a couple weeks I'm taking Sam in to get contacts.  Towards the end of next month, Jamie moves out, the kids go between houses, and I likely have a new work schedule.  Life's busy, but good.

2010 is going to be a great year.

Notes to Daddy

December 29, 2009 by Adam in Family

The kids are back home, filling the house with chaos and happiness.  I bought them an air mattress for Christmas, and they spent an hour giggling and jumping on the thing.

As I was putting the kids to bed, Sam asked if I'd seen the note Emma wrote me.  "She really missed you."

Back to the Daily Grind

December 28, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work, writing code and generally staying out of trouble.  I'm hoping the assorted crises get resolved, but it has meant that I'm working more than I want this week.

The post-Christmas weekend was busier than I thought it would be.  I had a few hours on Sunday night to myself but otherwise stayed busy.  Saturday the new mattress arrived, I made banana bread and gnocchi, and hung out at the house.  Sunday morning I spent working on house projects and running errands.  In the afternoon I met Anna, dad's new girlfriend.  Towards the end of the day I actually got to play on the computer for a couple hours and enjoyed a luxurious bath in the quiet of the house.

One of my projects was to drill holes in the living room floor and move a network cable around.  The livingroom TV can now stream Mythbusters from the caverns below via the netbook, which will hopefully entertain the kids.

Jamie called to let me know that the kids are coming back today.  I haven't talked to them since they left and have been missing them.  It'll be nice to have them scurrying about.  A house filled with constant conversation reminds me of my childhood.

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm at home by myself, tidying up after the chaos of the last couple days.  Christmas Eve went relatively well.  I came home early and the kids opened their one present.  Emma got a Barbie guitar and Sam got the Settlers of Catan.  Sam and I tried to go to Avatar, but it was sold out.  Instead we invited the neighbors over to play Sam's new game.  We had a great time, playing until dinner time.  Sam declared it the best game ever, which seemed like a good sign.

I cooked ham for dinner, which went over well.  My neighbor Todd joked that I should write a book called The Vegetarian's Guide to Cooking Meat.  Jamie was out all night, so it turned into a pretty typical evening.  There was a funny moment with the bar of soap Sam got me, which read "Face" on one side and "Butt" on the other.  Emma later took a bath, sung Jingle Bells, and used the soap according to the instructions.  Sam also took out his loose tooth later that night, which ended up a mixture of gross and funny.

This morning I woke up with the kids, opened stockings, and made crepes and sausages for breakfast.  Jamie arrived and we opened the rest of our presents.  It's always interesting the things that end up being popular.  I bought an air mattress on a whim, the last one played with the death, and they seem to like this one equally well.  I also got Far Cry 2 for Sam, which he declared, "This is the best game ever.  I shall treasure it always."  Emma also liked her Flitter Fairy, which ended up being technically tricky, but fun.

Jamie went off afterward and I took the kids to my dad and Jenny's house.  It was pretty low key, with food, movies, and present opening.  Jenny put on The Polar Express and then gave out bells to all the kids.  It was pretty neat.

I'm going to continue to clean and tidy a little more, and then head back.  It'll be a treat to talk to everyone without kids, though I admit to missing them already.  Emma was asking why I wasn't going with them to Portland and my explanations seemed to fall short.  It's a strange Christmas, an odd mix of joy and sorrow, but I have faith that everyone will be okay.

Mocha Christmas Eve

December 24, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm working today, my traditional mocha resting before me.  Work has been nutty lately.  I suppose I should be flattered to have our VP tell me to drop everything and work on this project so that the doctors can get paid.  It does put me in a weird place, as I have other projects due by the 1st, which aren't getting done.  Thus, I'm working today and all of next week.

I'm going to leave work after gym, take Sam to see Avatar, and then whip up a ham and potato dinner with baklava for dessert.  The kids get to open a single present and the last Lego Advent calendar afterward.  Jamie's off tonight, but will be here in the morning for breakfast and a mass opening of presents.  Next I take the kids to my dad's, returning home after noon so they can head up to Portland until Tuesday.

As for me, I'll be hanging out with friends and family and maybe having a few moments to myself.  Last night I bought a new mattress, so I'll get that properly set up.  My list of house projects is endless, and it would be nice to work on one or two.

Life's still occasionally bumpy.  Jamie and I have some heated discussions at times, and I know I'm getting increasingly impatient with the sometimes slow pace of transitions.  I also very much appreciate her being reasonable about many things.  It's strange to consider, but I think she'll make a good ex-wife.

I'm thankful for the support of all our friends and family during these challenging transitions.  Emma especially likes it when I list all the people who love her, which seems to reassure her deeply.  Dave, Josh, and Kirsten came over to watch the kids earlier this week and they had a great time.  My hope for the future is that this continues, our odd extended family helping raise two great kids.

Best wishes to everyone this Christmas. 

Another Weekend, Come and Gone

December 21, 2009 by Adam in Family

The weekend is coming to a close, with the kids finishing up dinner as I wait for the chocolate sponge pudding to finish baking.  I'm getting on a cooking kick, something I haven't done much of in years as Jamie always preferred I watched the kids.  It's been fun, and I continue to try new things.  So far I have Sam eating radishes and green beans, so I'm enjoying the small victories.

Jamie and I continue to divide up kid time, and everyone is slowly adjusting to the new schedule.  I went out Saturday night, returning this morning.  Jamie left for the coast today, coming back Tuesday sometime.  It's nice to have the opportunity to do my own thing, figuring out how to be a person in addition to a dad.

Today I took the kids to Hendrick's park and we roamed the back trails for a couple hours.  Sam reverted to his Mighty Hunter role, whacking things with sticks and talking caveman talk.  Emma went along and thought it a most excellent game.

Last Mocha Friday Before Christmas

December 18, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm still at home, but will soon be on the road to work, stopping by to pick up that delicious nectar of the gods along the way.  It's also pizza and Mythbusters tonight, something that hasn't quite worked out with the kids for a couple weeks now.  Sam will be estatic.

Life continues to move along.  Jamie's working through the details of getting a loan and negotiating repairs on her new house.  I'm getting a little antsy about getting the house to myself, and at the same time I appreciate how easy it's been to have her help with the kids.  Once we have two households, I expect to drive around a lot more.

Emma's had a bit of a rough week, crying a lot for Jamie when she's not around and she woke up one night with nightmares.  Part of it may be that she's getting sick, as she woke up this morning with a cold.  I suspect it's all the talk about moving out, which is making it all feel more real to her.

Sam continues to be his usual self.  Our nightly routine is that he'll read until Emma goes to bed, and then watch Lost next to me.  Last night he made up a game involving sliding down the stairs in a sleeping bag, which he greatly enjoyed.

Sadie called from Danica's last night.  We didn't do our usual game night, as Emma was painting pottery with my mom, but Sadie and Sam discussed young adult finction.  She gave a hysterically obtuse speech about one book with some "mature intimacy" that Sam and I couldn't stop giggling about.

Winter Program

December 17, 2009 by Adam in Family

I went to Sam and Emma's winter program today.  They've been practicing for weeks and the house has been filled with holiday songs of various kinds.  The video is a little short, as I ran out of batteries, but you can tell they have spirit.  I was especially proud of Emma, who was nervous about today.  She did great.


December 14, 2009 by Adam in Family

We put lights on the Christmas tree, my mom coming over to help.  Emma was excited to move the presents over and behold them in all their glory.

Jamie's offer on her house was accepted.  In roughly a month, she'll be moving out and we'll figure out a new kid schedule.

I realize this is not my usual wordy post, but I'm exhausted and going to bed.

Christmas Tree Hunt

December 13, 2009 by Adam in Family

It was a busy Saturday, full of kids, laundry, cooking, and chores.  Hanging out with Sam and Emma was pretty fun.  My mom and Emma went out to cut down a Christmas Tree, which we plan on decorating tomorrow.

Mocha Thursday?

December 10, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm giving myself the luxury of a day off tomorrow, with Jamie politely vacating the house to let me do whatever crazy antics I might think of.  As is the way of my people, that also means I can partake of my Mocha a day early.  It's been a little frantic at work, with lots of projects due at the end of the year.  The end result may be that I'm busier than I'd like around Christmas, but maybe I'll get lucky and some of the deadlines will get pushed out.

Sam continues to be a little sick, though I think I'll send him off to school tomorrow despite his protests of illness.  Jamie called today and reported he was in the basement, likely playing computer games until his eyeballs pop out.  He kept reporting how bored he was, so perhaps going to school will be a welcome relief.

Emma's cute as a button, as usual.  We practice our spelling each night and she helps me make dinner most days.  Tonight is hamburgers and oven-baked homefries, coupled with game night with Sadie.  I have a counseling session after work, but hopefully we can fit it all in.

Jamie made an offer on a house just a couple hours ago, near where Yayoe lives.  I've been getting a little anxious to move things along lately.  It'll be nice to get the inevitable transition moving forward, including moving my clothes out of the basement and into the main bedroom.

As for me, I'm doing quite well.  I have great kids, a satisfying job, a comfortable home, and the future looks bright.  Swing dancing last night was tremendous fun.  I'm looking forward to the weekend, getting a tree and setting up the Christmas decorations.  Life's good.

Two Days Without Morning Showers

December 09, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's been cold, really cold.  When it gets this cold, the external heating unit starts having parts that freeze and the end result is that I don't get my morning shower.  I've been falling back to my pioneer roots, filling up a Pyrex container with cold water and microwaving it until I could bathe with a washcloth.

Life continues, with the usual ups and downs.  Sam's sick with a cold.  Jamie's looking for houses still.  I'm going out swing dancing tonight and trying to take some time off on Friday.  My assorted projects are falling behind a little, with my compost tumbler half-painted and waiting for a little love.  Maybe I can sneak in some spraying before I go out tonight.

Christmas plans are starting to come together.  On Christmas Eve, we're planning on being together at home, then celebrating Christmas together in the morning.  I'll try to take the kids to Jenny's house for a family gathering and then Jamie will take the kids up to Portland.  It's a little strange, but Jamie and I are working well to get the details sorted out.

The kids continue to be great and funny.  Emma and I made pork chops and rice pudding.  She told me while eating the pudding, "This is so good!  It makes me wiggle my butt!"

Another Fading Weekend

December 07, 2009 by Adam in Family

The weekend is nearly over, and I'm off to my mom's shortly, so I'll keep this brief.  Jamie's been house sitting for Victoria, so the kids and I did a lot of puttering around.  Saturday Sam went to John's to play while Emma and I went shopping at Fred Meyer's and Holiday Market.  She was very fun to run around with, and picked out a fairy crown as a prize for herself for being so good.  Later that night the neighbors returned a borrowed VGA cable, empty applesauce jar, and a movie for us to watch.  The neighborhood trade balance was thus maintained.

Sunday morning I ran errands, worked on the shed, and went food shopping.

There were other things, which were lots of fun, but Emma's crawling on me and it's time to go.

Sweet Mocha Friday

December 04, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's my favorite day of the week, which has felt like a strange and wacky one.  It feels like winter finally arrived, with frosty weather and putting on thicker clothes.  At work, I went to a two-day Renewal Experience that had been recommended to me.  It was good, going over communication skills and things I've come across over the years.  I did like the phrase "Remember to remember."  I find it's easy to fall into old habits unless I consciously try otherwise.

The kids have been good.  Last night Josh came over and the kids played frantically while Sadie and I Skyped each other.  We didn't quite make it to playing a game, as we usually do on Thursdays.  I don't think Emma trying to get Sadie to guess a bad word that starts with "sh" really counted.

Jamie's house sitting for Victoria until Monday, so I'm feeling like I'm getting a preview of the months to come.  So far, everything's fine.  I've managed to cook reasonably healthy meals and convince Sam he couldn't watch a second episode of Lost before going to bed.

She also made an offer on a house, though it was fairly low and it's hard to know if it'll happen.  They're still negotiating.  What's interesting is that the house is at 25th and Van Buren, which is where I lived when growing up.  It's a 1930's bungalow style house in a good neighborhood and close to Roosevelt, all good features.

As for me, I'm hopping in the shower, getting the kids ready for school, and enjoying a delicious mocha as my reward.

Happy Birthday Robbie

December 01, 2009 by Adam in Family

I wanted to wish Robbie a hearty happy birthday today.  Cheerio, old man!

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