It was a long and full day

September 28, 2009 by Adam in Family

It was a long and full day. I'm pretty worn out, having spent hours at the park getting Emma to the point where she can ride by herself for brief moments. In the afternoon, the kids staged their epic shootout. At one point, we had ten kids ranging from 6 to 17 carrying all manner of Nerf weaponry. Emma came in first as exhaustion set in, cheerful but tired.

Dave and Josh stopped by to chat, which was very nice. Josh is getting all settled at my mom's house, despite the fact that his room isn't quite finished and may not be for awhile. It'll be nice having him so close again, as I fondly remember the days when he'd stop by after walking home from Roosevelt.

I made noodles for the kids, two different types as their tastes are different. Emma put away a tremendous amount of yaki soba, her new favorite meal. Sam was more subdued with his, begging for some of the root beer left over from the party.

After Emma got to bed, Sam and I watched a little Chuck, and now it's time for me to turn in myself.

It's Sunday morning and we've all had breakfast

September 27, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's Sunday morning and we've all had breakfast. I made myself a mocha because, well, I can. Sam's playing computer games and Emma's giving advice. In awhile, our day of plans will begin.

Friday afternoon Sam went to Zach's house to play, while I took Emma down to the park to practice bike riding. Jamie got pizza and joined us for our traditional pizza and Mythbusters. We're having some issues where Jamie feels like the kids are always with me, so we're trying harder to coordinate kid play times. There was also a little miscommunication in the evening where I wanted to take Sam to an astronomy event after sunset and Jamie wanted to go out. Still, it was a little spur of the moment and Emma took longer to get to sleep than expected.

Saturday morning I took Emma for a play date with her friend Stella. I really like her parents too, and might invite them over for dinner sometime. The dad is a kindred spirit, into gaming and works as a web developer. While Emma was away, Sam and I worked on his web site, doing some programming for his site's games.

When the play date was over, I took the kids down to campus to see the Superhero art exhibit at the U of O Art Museum. Sam was more interested than Emma, though she liked some of the crafts in the kid area. Wandering around campus always brings back a sense of nostalgia from when Jamie would bring the kids to me when I worked at the hospital there.

In the afternoon we got ready for my Buffy party, with Jamie helping the kids make cookies. The party itself went relatively well, though I wasn't sure what to do with the vast quantities of food and wine everyone brought. Jamie went over to M's house to provide moral support for remodel projects. I cleaned up, got the kids in bed, and Sam and I watched an episode of Chuck before retiring for good. Emma woke up crying when I went upstairs, and I ended up falling asleep while trying to get her back to sleep.

We told the kids that Jamie and I were having problems at breakfast, giving them reassurances that they'd be okay. It was very high-level, and they didn't really seem to understand the implications yet. I'm sure that once we start talking about living arrangements and such, the reality will sink in.

As for today, I'll do a library trip with Emma, take the kids to the park for more bike riding. Sam still wants a shootout with the neighbor kids. Jamie's taking C to the park in early afternoon and hopes to invite the kids along. We may end up having dinner with everyone tonight. We'll see how it goes.

Though parts of my world may be crumbling, th...

September 25, 2009 by Adam in Family

Though parts of my world may be crumbling, there's always Mocha Friday. I've yet to hop in the shower and gather that delicious elixir, so I'm eager with anticipation. I was somewhat down after yesterday's counseling session, but I'm feeling somewhat better. Though it's clear that Jamie and I's marriage is over, I'm hoping we can work through a transition to get us to a better future. It would be great if we could keep everything civil and shield the kids from some of our contentious issues. For now, I'm trying to be patient and live with this somewhat uncomfortable situation until we figure this out. In terms of the weekend, I hope to take the kids to the U of O Art Museum tomorrow, as it's both free and showing off a superhero art exhibit. In the afternoon is a Buffy party I've thrown together with assorted work friends. Sunday I have a shootout planned between the neighbors and our kids at high noon. Somewhere in there, my dad has offered to help fly kites. All-in-all, it promises to be a fun-filled weekend. Sadie, Greg, the kids, and I all had a wonderful time playing charades over Skype. Emma in particular loved acting out her chosen movies and books.

We've had forest forest fires the last few da...

September 23, 2009 by Adam in Family

We've had forest forest fires the last few days, the air outside filled with smoke. This morning my car was sprinkled with ash and a blood red sun rose in the sky. I suppose if I was superstitious, I'd see them as omens and portents for our counseling session tomorrow morning.

I'm hoping that tomorrow marks the start of a transition out of our current situation. Things have been really hard for the kids lately. I got an apologetic call from Sam's PE teacher, saying that he'd been acting up in class, which she added never normally happens. Emma's been having a lot of fears of school and everything else. She had a nightmare a couple nights ago, of creatures attacking her and Jamie and I getting divorced. I really want to get to the point where Jamie feels comfortable talking to the kids. I keep telling them that we love them, it's not their fault, and they will be taken care of. I'd like to do more.

In some ways, life continues as normal. Sam started fencing yesterday, which he said was fun. Emma and I drew, performed science experiments, and played with her stuffed puppy last night. She only woke up once, early in the morning. I lay next to her for a long while, rehearsing what I was going to say in the counseling session and hoping I can keep my family as safe and happy as I can manage.

Jamie's back from Edgefield

September 22, 2009 by Adam in Family

Jamie's back from Edgefield. She was here a little early and surprised me by being at Sharon's house when I arrived to get the kids. It was somewhat awkward, but I got the kids home. Emma's playing next to me with the neighbor kids and Sam's working outside in exchange for cash. Since he discovered Nerf guns, he's all about money.

Sunday was strange, but I made it through. The kids and I did some shopping, and I got Sam a new pair of boots that he seems to like. I did a bit myself, and the kids were generally enthusiastic about my choices.

In the afternoon we wandered over to Todd and Victoria's house. The kids had a great time running around with the neighbor boys, each coming up with some Nerf gun or another. Now Sam's lamenting how short it is and asking to get another set up for next weekend.

I'm still breathing, which helps. The outpouring of support from all corners has been phenomenal. It's been great just hanging out with the kids and doing fun things.

Today was Jamie's 40th birthday, as well as T...

September 20, 2009 by Adam in Family

Today was Jamie's 40th birthday, as well as Talk Like a Pirate Day. At the moment, the kids are in bed, Jamie's off with friends, and things seem very still.

Last night was a little rough, as Emma was feeling pretty sick. I spent most of the night next to her, as she was sporting a fever and fairly miserable. Fortunately the Motrin has kept her cheerful today and I think she's on the mend. Unfortunately Sam seems to have it now. Somehow I've missed it so far, but it's probably just a matter of time.

This morning Jamie made breakfast and went to get her hair done. Emma and I started the sourdough bread while Sam played on the computer. I took the kids to Toys-R-Us so the kids could buy Nerf guns, and then over to Home Depot to pick up some supplies. Next we dropped Sam off at Zach's house and returned home to work on Jamie's birthday cake.

The sourdough bread turned out quite well, and that ended up being our lunch. I zipped off to pick up Sam and then we had a short birthday celebration for Jamie. Around three, Jamie went to her main birthday party at Pat and Carlanne's. I took the kids across the street for the first of the epic Nerf shootouts. I traded Todd and Victoria cake and bread in exchange for some split pea soup.

Eventually the kids wandered home for some quiet time. I took the opportunity to replace the electrical outlet in the shed with a black one, and put the nice brass plate over it. I also took out the tattered tarp that covered the sand box and put in a new one. I managed a bit of weeding and ripping out the fig tree before Emma wanted to play with me.

The kids were both seeming under the weather, so I decided to skip the Talk Like a Pirate Day party. Instead we had a quiet dinner, played Sorry!, took baths, and got kids to bed. Sam really wanted to watch Chuck with me, so we had a brief viewing before I sent him to bed too.

Tomorrow Jamie's off to Edgefield for her post-birthday trip. I'm mostly hanging out with kids, and perhaps having dinner with the neighbors while our respective children shoot it out.

It's yet another sweet Mocha Friday

September 18, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's yet another sweet Mocha Friday. I'm using the cup Jenny got me, with a shrunk down version of Sadie's Mocha Friday poster put inside. It works beautifully and is quite stylish. It's hard to tell, but I might have actually had a little extra beverage put in by the barrista compared to the normal cups.

Last night was a bit of a whirlwind. As soon as I got home, Sam was complaining about homework. I rushed him out to the shed (or the "Chamber of Learning" as I called it). Soon enough he was trudging through his spelling homework, even though he got 100% on the pretest and doesn't actually have to take the spelling test today. I tried to give him a little hope by saying that he's a candidate for the TAG program and might get to do some more interesting things.

After that, I gathered up the kids and headed down to the basement for our weekly gaming session with Sadie and Greg. Jamie went off to visit with Victoria, so we had the house to ourselves. The game of the night was Elephunt Hunt, which Greg taught us as we went along. The first game was a little touch-and-go, as Emma had a sore throat and I had to take her away to finish her homework. The second game was just Greg and Sam, which Sam won handily. We were later talking about Greg and I said that I liked him. "Greg's awesome," was Sam's feelings on the matter.

I gave Emma some Motrin for her sore throat, and after an hour she perked right up. After bath, she went around selling things around the house, to Sam and I's great amusement. This morning she was still feeling under the weather, though, so she's staying home from school. Depending on the babysitting situation, I may go home to watch her while Jamie works.

I'm trying hard to spend time with the kids this weekend, with relatively minimal running around and doing things with other people. That's not to say the weekend isn't filling up.

Saturday I'm taking the kids to Toys-R-Us to stock up on Nerf weaponry while Jamie gets her hair done. Then we're baking a cake and sourdough bread for Jamie's very small birthday party. In the evening I hope to take the kids to a Talk Like a Pirate Day shindig.

Sunday morning we have D&D in the shed (Sam's been begging me to continue the campaign). Emma has requested that we teach her to ride a bike. In the afternoon we have a tentative movie run. In the evening, I'm hoping to use the recently purchased Nerf arsenal to engage in a shootout with the neighbor boys across the street. Should be fun.

Another weekend comes to a close

September 14, 2009 by Adam in Family

Another weekend comes to a close. This morning Jamie made Challa french toast and then headed off to the gym. I played with the kids for awhile in the basement and then headed to the library to stock up on new books. We handed over Sam to Menina for a play date with Sophia. Emma ended up with a play date with Stella, her parents dropping her off while running errands.

It was the strangest thing, having Sam gone, Jamie gone, and Emma occupied. The two girls played so well together that I could do endless chores and periodically check on their well-being. I managed to clean up the scrap drywall, clean out the garage, do the laundry, and clean my bathroom. It was pretty incredible.

Jamie returned and picked up Sam to go the movies with friends. Sam returned later, a little disappointed in the movie. Jamie went off again for drinks and dinner. The kids and I went to my mom's for Bob's birthday. They loved the food, as did I. The sangria and homemade beer were tasty too, though I only had it in small amounts.

We got home, and joined the neighbor boys for a short Nerf shootout. The kids got things ready for school, had baths, and went right to bed. Tomorrow we return to work and school, back to the new routine.

Last night was our traditional pizza and Myth...

September 12, 2009 by Adam in Family

Last night was our traditional pizza and Mythbusters night. I stuffed myself with pizza and enjoyed the assorted fire and hypnotism myths.

This morning Jamie made crepes as Sam ended up not wanting to make breakfast at the last minute. She's feeling a little under the weather, but still felt up to going to Portland to see the Escher exhibit with a friend.

The kids and I met up with Jason and Riley in this big wetland in west Eugene where they were having Family Exploration Day. They handed out nets for catching bugs, binoculars, and a backpack full of assorted books and goodies. Jason had great luck finding things, catching several dragon flies, a frog, and a preying mantis. Even though Emma didn't want to go, she had a great time once she got there and it took some effort to get her home.

I'm taking a short breather before we collect John and head to Splash for the afternoon.

It's another Mocha Friday, though I've yet to...

September 11, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's another Mocha Friday, though I've yet to leave home and pick up that delicious beverage.

The kids started school this week. Sam seems to have picked up right where he left off, nonchalantly talking about math tests and spelling homework. For Emma it's been a bit harder. Last night after school she seemed very tired, and it took all my effort to get her to finish her homework. She explained how she hated school, and when I started to list all the different aspects of going to school, she told me it was all of them. Hopefully it will get better with time.

We managed to sneak in a little gaming night with Sadie and Greg via Skype. Emma was pretty exhausted, but she acted out some of the phrases I was trying to get them to guess. Sam got in on the action and was able to guess a few they threw our way. Still, it was necessarily short as Emma had to get to bed quickly.

The kids have also loved the foam swords my mom got them. For the last couple nights we've had epic fights in the basement. Unfortunately Emma found out the hard way that we may need to move our old t.v. cabinet. She's very brave, but bonked heads still hurt.

As for me, I continue to try and reinvent my life. My goal continues to be to take care of myself and the kids. Surrounding myself with people helps immensely, and I'm trying to set up activities for the weekend as much as possible. Saturday we have an expedition to some wetlands and Splash in the afternoon. Sunday is more tentative, but I'm seeing if I can set up a play date and perhaps take Emma to the movies in the afternoon.

When it comes to Jamie and I, I don't know what's going to happen. I go from bleak despair to glimmers of hope and back again. I love her, and hope we can work this out. After a comedy of errors, I finally have a joint counseling session scheduled for next week. Perhaps that will help.

I'm back at work, having got an unheard of te...

September 08, 2009 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work, having got an unheard of ten hours of sleep last night. I put Emma to sleep and conked out in her bed. After crawling back into mine, I slept pretty solidly until six when Emma showed up and I had to go to work. "See you at the ice cream social!" she told me, referring to tonight's pre-school gathering.

Sunday the kids and I played at home until after noon, with Emma taking a small break to help me make home-made hamburger buns. We then headed off to my sister's for a short visit. Emma was nervous about their puppy and I carried her a lot. Sam had a great time hanging out with the older boys and wished he could stay longer.

When we got home, I started getting ready for dinner with the neighbors, shucking corn and that sort of thing. The kids played amazingly well together, occasionally bringing me in to play the part of a troll or dragon. Around dinner, Todd showed up with his grill and our assorted children began to play. Dinner was very tasty, and everyone returned home satisfied. The kids were soaked, having brought out the water guns, but happy as we tucked them to bed.

We're back in town

September 07, 2009 by Adam in Family

We're back in town. Jamie was gone when we arrived, so we went to the Eugene Celebration and had a good time. The kids were starving, so we found noodles and hot dogs. We later ran into Zach and his family, so the boys played together while Emma and I did virtually every free craft thing in the kid zone. "What about my snow cone?" asked Emma just now. Yes, they both got snow cones as a celebration treat. All the way back, Emma dripped snow cone juice on my head as I carried her on my shoulders. We'd walked there, so when we returned, everyone was tired. Jamie was driving away when we walked up the hill, but she came back and briefly said hello before going out to dinner with someone. I whipped up a quickie dinner, and now we're making obstacle courses in the basement.

We had such a full day

September 06, 2009 by Adam in Family

We had such a full day. Jim and Judy left early to go to the Beaver game. Emma was up before 7 am, and Sam was up soon afterwards. I had Sam make his own breakfast, and he did a pretty good job. "I made a bagel with eggs and cream cheese," he commented over my shoulder just now. After hanging out for awhile, we headed through the heavy rain to OMSI. It was great getting there so early, as it was so empty. We then proceeded to spend six hours there, having all sorts of adventures. Almost at the beginning, Sam managed to rip the tip of his sandal off while riding up the escalator. Emma was initially afraid of the CSI exhibit, then loved it so much she made us go back two more times. Emma was also fond of the animals, including a giant centipede. Sam's favorite thing was the "shock box", which didn't have much of a wait to use. Basically one person holds on to two copper tubes and waits for someone to turn a crank. It then shocks the first person, causing their muscles to fling backwards to great amusement. Sam talked me into try it and I wacked him in the face. We had a break for lunch, but otherwise it was non-stop science. When three o'clock rolled around, I finally pulled the kids out. Emma was a little sad, as she could have stayed even longer. On the way back, I stopped by a nearby stored called Rejuvenation, which had all sorts of wonderful antiques and reproductions. Though I could have easily spent thousands, I settled for a handful of trinkets ("and do-dads!" says Sam). There's something hopeful about making one's home a better place. Now we're back at Jim and Judy's, waiting for them to return with pizza. Yesterday we did Thai food, so the Friday tradition of pizza and Mythbusters was shifted to today.

We made it to Portland, safe and sound

September 05, 2009 by Adam in Family

We made it to Portland, safe and sound. Traffic was horrible, and we ended up getting into town around 5:30. Jim and Judy took us out to dinner at a nearby Thai place. The kids really ate a ton, loving the pot stickers and Phad Thai. We'd hoped to go to the school playground to work it off, but everything was closed due to construction.

I set up my new cell phone and it generally seems to work. I've finally joined modern life.

I'll have to run upstairs in a minute to get Emma to bed. Staying busy, as always.

It's another Mocha Friday

September 04, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's another Mocha Friday. Soon I'll be heading off to pick up that delicious drink, hoping its mystical healing powers will cure all my ills.

Last night I took the kids to Mystic Pizza to listen to Anna play. While we didn't actually get to hear her (Emma got too tired), we did have a pretty good time eating pizza, playing chess, and chatting with Anna and her family. I don't think the kids actually go downtown much, so Sam in particular thought it was pretty cool. As a measure of my mental health, I was actually hungry for a change. There's something about beer and pizza that deeply satisfies.

I'm off to Portland as soon as I come home from work. I think I've lined up a Eugene Celebration visit with Jenny and dad for Sunday. I've asked the neighbors if we can do a Labor Day BBQ. Since we have no grill, I'm hoping they accept.

Dave, Kirsten, and Josh came over last night ...

September 03, 2009 by Adam in Family

Dave, Kirsten, and Josh came over last night for dinner. Jamie made a fine lasagna. Dave and I managed to move the huge monstrosity of our old entertainment center down into the basement. I'm not quite sure what we'll do with it there at the moment. Jamie's thought is that it would eventually become a kid entertainment center. Once we moved it, it triggered an immediate need to rearrange the living room, which is halfway towards some new state of perfection.

Just to put my plans out there for the next few days, I'm planning on taking the kids to Cosmic Pizza around 7 pm tonight. Hopefully we can catch a little of Anna's music before everyone gets too tired. Friday after work I'm taking the kids to Portland to visit Jamie's parents and OMSI. Sunday I'm heading back and going to the Eugene Celebration. Monday is a little more fuzzy, but I'm thinking of taking the kids to Splash and trying to get a BBQ together with the neighbors.

If anyone wants to go to the Eugene Celebration with the kids and I, give me a holler.

I took the kids over to my mom's house last n...

September 01, 2009 by Adam in Family

I took the kids over to my mom's house last night for a BBQ. Sam found a foam sword and I was handed rolls of wrapping paper. When my Christmas present arrives with torn and dirtied paper, I'll accept it with a smile.

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