Mocha Friday

July 29, 2011 by Adam in Family

It's Friday, I made my own mocha, and we didn't make it to the Enchanted Forest as planned.

Stepping back a few days, we've generally had quiet evenings together.  Last night Joanna ended up denting the minivan as well as breaking the rear door handle in an unrelated incident.  Fortunately some guy on the Internet had a page on fixing it, so I disassembled the rear door, removed the handle, drilled a hole through the broken part, and carefully screwed them together.  Needless to say, I felt particularly bad ass.

I made gluten-free dutch babies for breakfast, which was generally well received.  Afterward we were getting ready to go when Berry had a meltdown, repeatedly hit Duncan, and was sent to her room for a long while.  Eventually we opted for a picnic lunch at Hendrick's Park.  It was lovely and beautiful and the kids were well behaved.

This afternoon Sadie Skyped as she needed someone to show off her wedding dress to.  It had just come in the mail and she immediately tried it on, but had no one to show it off to as Greg is off teaching robots to kids far away.  We cheered each other up, laughed tremendously, and I was once again reminded of just how awesome my sister is.

Tonight Joanna and I are going out to see a comedy at the Very Little Theater, strangely called Dead Man's Cell Phone.  There's a birthday party immediately before then for Berry.  Tomorrow I get to fetch Sam and Emma, who I'm missing very much.  Life goes on.

So Many Birthdays

July 26, 2011 by Adam in Family

The weekend has wrapped up, as has Monday.  It was a whirlwind, and coming in to work has been strangely relaxing by comparison.

Friday night Joanna and I went to Oakway Mall where we had dinner, shopped at Old Navy, and picked up a few deals at the slowly liquidating Borders bookstore.  I ended up with a few shirts and pants to replace my aging set of work clothes.

Saturday started off a bit bumpy.  Emma wasn't feeling well, decided she didn't want to take ballet, the microwave broke, and I was in a bit of a grumpy mood.  Eventually I ended up going rafting with Sam and Emma, which strangely lifted my spirits.  Emma basically rafted the entire time, Sam complained, and I enjoyed the scenery.

That evening Joanna went off to work at Winetasia, so after shopping with Emma, we did pizza and Rough Science, then I got all the kids to bed.  Sam and I watched a zombie love story from Germany, and Joanna arrived late that night.

Sunday was productive, and I rushed off to buy a gas grill on Clearance, replace the microwave, and get ready for the Minecraft-themed birthday party for Duncan.  It was a cheerful mad house, with a ton of kids.  Sam and Emma were initially quite leery, then seemed to enjoy it towards the end.

A couple hours later, we did a combined dinner/birthday for my mom and I.  The usual suspects showed up, along with Dave, Kirsten, Josh, and Ezra who I hadn't seen in a long while.  That baby sure is cute and they seem to be doing surprisingly well.  We had a great "make your own rice bowl or burrito" dinner, and we collapsed to bed afterward.

Yesterday was go-live day at work, and strangely all my stuff went surprisingly well.  Later that night we made pizza, played Apples-to-Apples, and Sam, Joanna, and I watched the Adjustment Bureau.

So now Sam and Emma are off at their mom's house.  I have plumbing projects to work on, and landscaping to do.  The plan is to take this Friday off to take Berry and Duncan to the Enchanted Forest.  Emma and I are getting excited for the Maine trip.  All is well.

Mocha Friday

July 22, 2011 by Adam in Family

My mocha is long gone and I'm knee-deep in getting ready for a massive Monday go-live for a multi-million dollar system.  Last minute changes are happening, and it's a little exciting.  Still, I think I'm ready to go with my little piece of the puzzle.

It's been pretty quiet the last couple of days without Sam and Emma about.  Jessica took Berry and Duncan on several adventures - picking berries, making Flubber, Karate, and assorted arts and crafts.  Today she's taking them to Amazon Pool for a dry run (no pun intended).  If all goes well, maybe Jessica can take everyone on Monday.  Joanna and I watched a couple cute romantic comedies after kids got to bed, and I actually got to sit down and play a bit on the computer.  Sam called wanting help with his movie making.  He's gotten into Let's Plays (LPs), making videos of himself playing various games.

Tonight Joanna and I are going out to dinner and shopping.  It's her half birthday today, though I sadly didn't get organized to bake her a half birthday cake.  Tomorrow I take Emma to ballet, which she's been enjoying.  Joanna's working Saturday night.  I'd love to take kids rafting since the weather is so nice.  Sunday is our big family/birthday dinner.  Dave, Kirsten, Josh, and Ezra are coming over too, which should be neat.

Life's busy and good, as usual.

Birthday Week

July 20, 2011 by Adam in Family

It's Birthday Week in the Miller-Bartlett household, which I've compared to Shark Week on the Discovery channel, but with slightly less bloodshed.

I had a lovely birthday yesterday.  In the morning I had breakfast at the Glenwood with my mom.  The kids all made me a banner, with even Sam helping pitch in to make it.  I got all sorts of fun goodies, some of which I've already taken to work to play with or proudly display.

Jessica has been watching the kids as part of the normal routine now that everyone is back from vacation.  I'm really appreciating all her help.  I came home early to make crepes and watched her handle Berry's meltdown brilliantly.  She even put away the dishes yesterday.

The younger kids went to the raptor center and are all excited about sponsoring an owl.  Emma's doing work for chore money to help raise some of the $65 for a Western Screech Owl.  I think all three may pitch in to get their name on a plaque.

Today is Duncan's birthday, and he opened a few presents this morning.  I'm slightly jealous that I had to go into work and couldn't play with Shrinky Dinks and Trac Balls.

This Sunday night we're having another birthday dinner for myself and my mom.  Should be fun.

Science Sunday

July 18, 2011 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work, frantically going through all my work after being gone on Friday.  Saturday was a bit rough, with everyone adjusting to a full house once again.  We ended up at the play and spray at Washington Park and had a good time.  Fortunately the day wrapped up with The Importance of Being Earnest, which Sam really enjoyed.

Sunday was low-key and full of science.  I wrote up this long list of things we could all do, and Emma came up with the idea of doing an egg drop.  Everyone loved it, making their egg-protecting devices out of paper and a balloon, and then dropping it off the balcony.  Emma made a movie.  Duncan made a book.  We created a dramatic incendiary device out of sparklers.  Joanna went through her mom's stuff and tidied up the bedroom, discovering interesting letters along the way.  Everyone had a good time.

Tomorrow's my birthday, and the day after is Duncan's.  Next weekend is the Minecraft-themed formal party, and Sunday night is a dinner for my mom and I.  Good times.

Full House

July 16, 2011 by Adam in Family

We're running with a full house again.  Berry, Duncan, and Emma are playing Mario Party together.  I think she missed them more than expected, as Emma kept trying to get everyone to play with Barbies together.  Sam's more subdued, but smiled at Berry's mischevious antics at dinner last night.

Yesterday was relatively low-key.  I did laundry and played with kids, taking Sam and Emma to campus for a walkabout.  We ended up at Emerald City Comics, where the owner was the same person as when I was going to college.  Emma was mesmerized by the anime, and bought one with her spending money.  I got Sam a copy of the Zombie Survival Guide, to replace the one he let a friend borrow, who ended up throwing up on it.  Must have been a good book.

I mixed up the time Joanna would arrive, but managed to get there only a few minutes late.  Duncan bonked his head badly while playing in the airport, but he was fine on his arrival.  Both kids seemed tired, but we got them to bed at the normal hour.  Today we have endless ballet lessons this morning, and Duncan has a birthday party in the afternoon.  I'll hopefully get everyone outside to run around, at least a little.

Flying Solo

July 14, 2011 by Adam in Family

I had the house to myself last night, a rare enough occasion that I can't remember the last time it happened.  It was fairly uneventful, painting lawn chairs, doing laundry, cleaning up, and relaxing a bit.  Sam and I tried to play coop games together, but he forgot his microphone and his new headset hasn't arrived yet.  Fortunately I'm picking up both he and Emma this afternoon.

Joanna made it safely to Rochester after an uneventful flight.  I think she was pretty tuckered out by the end of it.  She's visiting friends and picking up the kids tomorrow for the flight back.  It'll be nice to see everyone.

I'm taking tomorrow off work, so I'm hoping for a pleasant three days off.  Next week is both Duncan's birthday and my own.  Duncan's getting an elaborate Minecraft-themed birthday next weekend.  Hopefully Joanna can get the piñata finished by then.

Lincoln City, Country Fair

July 11, 2011 by Adam in Family

I can't believe almost an entire week has passed.  It was hard getting to work today, after four days away from work.  It's amazing how luxurious hanging out at the coast with Joanna was, exploring shops, and going on hikes.

On Wednesday we drove to Lincoln City, stopped by Nearly Normal's Gonzo Cuisine in Corvallis, dropped things off at my dad's house, and went for a walk on the beach.  It was amazingly warm, and kids were running around in bathing suits.  Joanna scattered some of the shells her mom had collected in Florida, as we had thousands of them.  I think Joanna secretly enjoyed confusing any shell collectors that might wander by.

The next day we went for a long hike to cross a massive suspension bridge and see some falls, then drove back into town to have dinner with my dad.  Eventually we packed up, stopped in Newport to shop a little, and drove home.  The kids really wanted to come over that night, but we sadly weren't quite ready for them.

Saturday I took Emma to ballet and snuck off to the library.  It turns out she's advanced enough that she's switching to Ballet 2 next week.  Her teacher said she had focus.  I played with the kids a bit, and then took Emma shopping, returning with pizza.  Sadly no Mythbusters, but we substituted with a star trek episode.

Sunday we woke up early and went to the Country Fair.  Sam stayed home, as it wasn't really his thing, but the rest of us had a great time.  My favorite part was all the crazy costumes and the magic and juggling acts.  Emma really liked the food.  It was the perfect time to go, and we returned early in the afternoon to take it easy for the rest of the day.

There's a weird week ahead of us.  Jessica is watching the kids Monday and Wednesday.  Joanna goes to the airport Wednesday morning and returns with Duncan and Berry on Friday.  I'll be all on my on Wednesday night, which is a weird and rare event.  Birthdays are coming up, and then there's the trip to Maine next month.  Busy summer.

4th of July Weekend

July 05, 2011 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work after a pleasant three-day weekend.  Sam and Emma are off at their mom's, and Joanna and I have four rare days without children.

Joanna and I drove up to Junction City Friday night to watch Crazy About You, a local play in a tiny theater with very enthusiastic actors.  It was a fun drive, and they managed to fit us in despite our lack of reservations.

Saturday morning I took Emma to ballet, where she had a great time.  I chatted with some of the ballet moms and it turns out I work with them and one of them knew me well.  Joanna finished up the estate sale, Sam returned, and we settled into a quiet evening of pizza and Mythbusters.

On Sunday Emma had a lengthy play date with Kate, while Sam, Joanna, and I hiked to the top of Spencer's Butte.  Joanna returned home to turn off the rice once we arrived, hiked to the top using the steep path, and met us at the top.  We turned around, got Emma, and whipped up a family dinner for the evening.

I took Sam and Emma rafting on Monday, and then we all went over to Jenny's for a BBQ.  After an afternoon of pruning and gardening, Joanna managed to relax in the hot tub with a piña colada.  Emma swam, there was jumping on the trampoline, and we all returned home.  Emma went to bed early, but Joanna and I lay in bed watching fireworks out the window.  It was amazing how many there were in the neighborhood, lighting up the sky.


Marrying Sam

July 04, 2011 by Adam in Family

Sam and I both picked up Fable 3, which is excessively silly adventurous fun.  Sam basically finished the game, but you can play cooperatively with another player, so he joined my world.  Deciding he wanted to try and get past a magic door, he declared that we should have a child, and that was the solution to the puzzle.  So, he walked us through getting married, and the (fortunately) non-graphic child creation process.  Now we're just waiting for Max Danger Miller to grow up enough to lead to the door.

I'm the tall girl in the pirate outfit.  Sam's the one in the crown.

Oedipus would have been proud.

Mocha Friday

July 01, 2011 by Adam in Family

I woke up in the middle of the night with bad dreams, something about zombies or werewolves.  My overly obvious subconscious seems to be informing me that life's a little stressful.

Kevin, Berry and Duncan's dad, flew in yesterday.  Joanna went out to dinner with them, and after his allergic reaction, epipen use, and call to 911, the kids got dropped off and Joanna took Kevin to get a new epipen and then dropped him off at a friend's house.  I gave kids a bath and ready for bed, with Joanna returning to finish packing and getting ready for today's estate sale.

Yesterday Sam sent me an e-mail saying that his mom ruined his summer, without really explaining why.  Jamie called to say what was going on.  Evidently Sam's voice chatting over the computer is loud, and so she made a "no talking after 9 p.m." rule, which was very frustrating to him.  We'll see what happens to the proposed 50/50 kid schedule as the summer progresses.

I said goodbye to Berry and Duncan this morning, telling them I'd miss them.  Berry gave me a "bye-bye dada" in her baby voice.  Such strange and interesting times.

Tonight Joanna and I are kid-free, but may just stay home to make mushroom soup and watch Superbad.  I think we're both pretty emotionally exhausted.

Tomorrow I scoop up the kids and take Emma to her first ballet lesson.  The weather is supposed to be smoking hot, so I think I want to try to inflate the raft and hit the water.

My mocha is done, and I have some research on complicated computer things to do.  It was nice coming in at 7 a.m. like the good ol' days, with a tall mocha and a quiet cubicle farm to keep me company.

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