Three Days in Newport

August 30, 2011 by Adam in Family

We're back at work after three days in Newport.  It felt a little on the busy side, though I think the kids had a pretty good time.  There were those fun moments, such as the aquarium.  I also got to finish a book for the first time in ages, Leviathan, though it was admittedly in the juvenile fiction category.



Friday night Joanna and I went to the Eugene Celebration.  My favorite part was the art exhibits, including this one crazy contraption that dispensed brandy and played DVDs.  It was very Steampunk.  I think Joanna liked the chocolate-dipped ice cream, and we both had 70's music stuck in our heads from some cover band that was playing.



Saturday was our epic trip, stopping briefly by the beach before a night of pizza and Rough Science.  Doctor Who was watched after little kids went to bed.  The next day we went to Newport for the aquarium, and my dad and Anna came over for dinner.  They were quite welcome, especially with all the crab they brought over.  Yesterday we returned, stopping in Yachats to eat and play on the beach.

Emma's all signed up at Edgewood and has Kate and Daniel in her class, which is great.  She seems very excited.

 Life goes on.

Mango Mocha Friday

August 26, 2011 by Adam in Family

Emma has been loving the mangos as of late.  This morning she sleepily asked for breakfast and I offered them up.  Soon enough she was gobbling up a mango and watching H2O on Netflix.  The show involves teenage Australian girls who turn into mermaids, and she's been talking with an English accent all week.

Sam played on the computer, often with Matt yesterday.  He continues to love Minecraft and is modding away.  Sam also asked when we could play D&D next, and I suggested he bring his books to the coast this weekend.

Duncan was off with his girlfriend Bella yesterday, meeting at the pool and returning by dinnertime.  Emma went off to play with Kate.  That just left Jessica watching Berry at home after everyone but Sam went swimming in the morning.  Jessica and the kids are feeling a little sad about the end of summer.  I think they'll all miss each other.

Joanna and I are going to the Eugene Celebration tonight, and tomorrow we're heading to the coast.  I'm hoping for a laid-back few days of relaxation.  Next week is the last before school starts, which completely baffles me.  We're in the process of looking for an afternoon nanny, and getting some good applicants.

Sneaky Day Off

August 25, 2011 by Adam in Family

I had a fun mid-week day off, hanging out with the kids.  I bid Joanna farewell as she went off to work, then made dutch babies for everyone.

I had a secret plan to play my new game - Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  I probably got a couple hours in over the course of the day, but it wasn't a giant gaming fest by all means.  Sam really wanted to play D&D with Emma and I, though the first time we played, Emma got bored and fidgety, and Sam stormed off.  We had a philosophical chat about knowing your audience, and connecting emotionally with them.  Later in the afternoon we tried again and Emma got a fairy friend, and the promise of nixies was dangled in front of her.  She had a great time, as did I.

Jessica took Berry, Duncan, and Emma swimming, leaving Sam and I to go for a long walk.  Everyone returned, tired and happy.  I took Sam and Emma to the store to pick up supplies, made some rice, and pizza for the kids for dinner.  My mom stopped by to watch kids while Joanna and I went for a long walk.  We returned with figs and blackberries, taken from community meadows and alleyways.  She was quite happy about her finds.

Sadly Jessica can't watch the kids after school in the fall due to schedule issues.  We've begun the Craigslist search, and hoping for someone equally perky and qualified.

Accidental Three Day Weekend

August 23, 2011 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone.  Friday night Joanna and I went out to dinner and then to a bridal shower at a shoe store for her friend.  I ended up replacing my two-year-old work shoes with a new pair.  Joanna laughingly pointed out that they were identical to my old ones, except a shade darker.  The bridal shower was amusing, me being the only male there.  They made me do the "perfect 50's housewife" game.

The rest of the weekend was a bit of a blur.  On Saturday Emma went to Morgan's birthday party for nearly the entire day.  Joanna took the kids to a pedicure and then a birthday party.  Sam and I went for a really long walk, and played some video games with Matt and Josh.  The evening was our traditional pizza and Rough Science.

I was in a strangely grumpy mood  Sunday morning, perhaps because I was mocha-free and ended up gardening until nearly noon without a shower.  The last of the mulch got spread and everything cleaned up nicely.  Emma went on a cleaning rampage and threw out vast quantities of her old stuff.  "For my next birthday, I want to tell everyone no presents.  I have too much stuff."  I never thought I'd hear Emma say that.

Sam, Emma, and I walked to Supercuts.  Sam and I both got our hair cut short, and stopped by Metropol to feed Sam a very late breakfast.  We returned to let Sam record more Let's Plays, taking Emma to the library to give him some privacy.  I picked up the Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles for Emma, which she absolutely loves.  Dinner was kebabs on the grill, which everyone gobbled up.

Our summer nanny, Jessica, was sick yesterday.  Joanna had already planned on taking the day off, but I stuck around too and somewhat worked from home.  It ended up being a great day.  Sam made a D&D adventure for Emma and I, which was surprisingly fun.  We all went out to Alton Baker Park to explore.  Joanna was a cleaning maniac, taking vast quantities of old toys and things to donate.

This morning we left the house, Duncan playing Plants versus Zombies and Joanna trying hard to pull away from its mesmerizing grasp.  Sam e-mailed me how fun Deus Ex: Human Revolutions is - his goal is to play the game without killing anyone.  I like the idea of my son running around as a pacifist cyborg.

Mocha Friday

August 19, 2011 by Adam in Family

This is a pretty quick update, as I did my lengthy missive yesterday.

Some quick site news - I added Joanna (finally) to the side, and changed Sadie to Sadie & Greg.  Greg can now theoretically post too.

Duncan and Berry have had a fun-filled week.  They're taking swimming lessons and strangely enjoying them.  Berry corrected Jessica's grammar, much to everyone's amusement.  Duncan is learning Scratch and programming his own games.  Though neither fessed up, someone left the bathroom sink running and partially flooded the basement.  Good times.

Joanna's is volunteering at the fair today, and Jessica is taking Berry and Duncan to visit.  I'm stuck working away in my gray cubicle farm.

I stopped by Jamie's house while she was at work to visit with Sam and Emma.  It was really great to just hang out with them, as I hadn't seen them for awhile.  I read the new Amulet book a little to Emma.  Sam showed me his From Dust game.  Emma wanted to come home with me, which was sad and sweet.  I can't wait to have them back tomorrow morning.

Last night we watched The Time Traveler's Wife, which was just as wonderful and sad as the book.  I think I'll put it on the tablet for Sam to watch, even though it's really a romance (don't tell him).

Midweek Madness

August 18, 2011 by Adam in Family

I've had a mocha the last couple days, as reentry into the normal routine has been a little rough.

Tuesday night I was wiped out.  I'd talked about seeing Sam early, but it fell through, and fell through again for last night.  On the plus side, I'm spending a lot of time with all the kids next week, and am taking both Wednesday and the following Monday off.  Things to look forward to.

Yesterday I left work a little early and met with Jamie and the kids, trying to sort things out.  We have a tentative Fall schedule, though there's some debate about Emma going to Jamie's Sunday night or Monday morning.  Emma's going to Edgewood for sure.  We're trying to nail down Christmas vacations.  It wasn't perfect, and we both ended up a little unhappy with the outcome, but I suppose that's what negotiation is all about.  Emma did really miss me, though, and has been wanting to come over.  I'm really looking forward to next week, where they're staying Wednesday through Tuesday, with a beach trip and a couple days off in there.

Last night I chatted for a long while with Sam over the computer.  I've been missing him, as I only saw him briefly yesterday.  We talked about his latest game From Dust, and he showed off his Minecraft texture pack over Skype.  I look forward to seeing him more soon.

Tonight should be low-key.  I have nothing planned, and might end up doing some plumbing work I put off, or maybe spread some mulch around the yard.  Tomorrow night Joanna is taking me to a bridal shower for a coworker at a shoe store.  Saturday morning I have kiddos to play with, and Emma goes to Morgan's birthday in the afternoon.

Wrapping things Up

August 15, 2011 by Adam in Family

We woke up somewhat early.  Isa stayed the night and occasionally tried to push Emma's nose off while she wiggled about.  Then it was off to the farm for breakfast, conversation, and cleanup.

Breakfast was quite tasty, and I stuffed myself and drank lots of coffee.  I kept chatting with folks until Emma lured me away with cute requests that I help her catch bugs.  Soon I was armed with a net, stalking butterflies in the garden.  Eventually I bought my freedom and ended up climbing ladders and helping with the disassembly.

There was a tentative plan to make it to the local fair, which had been running annually for almost 200 years.  We didn't get quite organized, however, and ended up eating leftovers for lunch and sticking around until the end.  Eventually we returned to the motel and everyone went swimming for hours, especially Isa and Emma.  I talked with Seraph for a good long while, which was very nice.

For dinner we went to Al's Pizza in a nearby town, and threw Jordan a surprise party.  He was especially cheerful that everyone remembered.  I personally thought the best gift was the Katy Perry magazine that Robbie got him.

We chatted about when we might next get together, and I was pressed about any possible weddings in my future.  It seems the next big gathering will be for my dad and Anna's wedding in just a few weeks.

I got to Skype Joanna as she was putting dinner together, and it was lovely to see her smile.  Duncan then took over and sent me funny messages and emotes until he had to go to dinner.

I'll be nice to see everyone tomorrow, or at least their sleeping figures as we sneak in close to midnight.

Wedding Day

August 14, 2011 by Adam in Family

Greg and Sadie got married.

It was a pleasant day, all around.  We had some blissful sleep in an actual bed, and eventually got a ride out to the farm.  Emma and Isa played while I chatted with Sadie and all her college friends.  Breakfast was oatmeal and five different types of cake.

We stuck around for lunch, sandwiches and egg salad, and ran around the farm.  Emma caught dragonflies, I visited with relatives, and we puttered about.  We headed back to the motel to change into our formal attire, returning in time for picture taking.  It was hot and stuffy, and eventually Emma needed some quiet time in the house.  She played on the phone until the ceremony, which was musical, funny, and short.  It was followed by dancing, and I managed to sneak in some swing dancing with Sadie, my mom, Seraph, and Jenny.

We hung out some more until dinner, when it began to pour down, thunderstorm style.  Fortunately it was done by dessert, and cooled the evening down nicely.  The food was local, fresh, and delicious, with my only regret being that I ate too much and couldn't manage much pie.

As the evening wound down, there was contra dancing in the barn.  Emma, though tired, had a wonderful time with Isa.  My aunt Danica was my partner, and we twirled and exchanged places through a couple songs.  Eventually Emma wore out completely and we headed back to the hotel.

Isa is spending the night, gleefully watching television and enjoying an actual bed after camping off and on the last few weeks.  I'm keeping them up until eleven o'clock so Emma stays on Pacific time.

Tomorrow is brunch with the rest of the farm, and possibly going to the fair in the afternoon.  Supposedly we're doing something for Jordan's birthday as well.

I've been texting Joanna throughout the day, missing her a fair amount.  She sounds a little tired trying to manage Berry and Duncan on her own, though she went food shopping and beat my high score.  It'll be nice to get home.

The Plane To Maine Is Really Rather Lame

August 13, 2011 by Adam in Family

It's been a whirlwind day.  Or night.  Or something.

Thursday was a typical day, going to work and doing normal things.  I left a bit early to get home to Emma, who was dropped off when Jamie went to work.  We packed, made dinner, said our farewells, and headed to the airport.  I did manage to sneak in a little time to leave notes scattered around for Joanna, which were greatly appreciated.

The first plane to Porland was uneventful, though Emma didn't seem particularly tired.  We had a short layover and hopped on the long flight to Newark, New Jersey.  That one was miserable.  There was a big guy next to me who spilled into my seat, and once woke up screaming.  He was generally polite, I guess, if that counts for anything.  Emma didn't sleep a wink, watching videos the whole time.  I managed a couple hours off and on.

Emma was starting to complain of stomach aches and sore muscles, so I was happy she conked out for the three hour layover.  When we got on the hour long flight, she and I both slept.  Robbie was a little late getting us, so we had breakfast at the Portland airport and felt much better.  Eventually we made it to the hotel, said our hellos, and crashed for a couple hours.  We woke up, got some food at the nearby store, and called mom for pickup.

The farm was very pleasant and relaxed.  Emma, Isa, and Jordan had a great time running around together.  I caught up with a bunch of relatives I hadn't seen in years.  We did have one crisis when the frogs the kids caught was being returned to the pond.  Emma dropped it, fell down, and managed to get a half dozen tiny cuts.  It was freaky, but I broke out my calm voice, got everything sorted out, and it turned out to be pretty minimal.  She was playing tag again within fifteen minutes.

Dinner was lovely, Sadie and Greg looked cheerful, and we had a highly entertaining time with the Princess Bride quote-along.  Now we're back at the hotel, getting Emma ready for bed.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

August 11, 2011 by Adam in Family

I'm heading home early today, meeting up with Emma and getting everything ready for our exciting trip tonight.  I might shave and take a shower too, as we'll be traveling overnight and arriving in Maine at 10 o'clock.  I still have no idea who will be picking me up at the airport.  I figure Emma and I will eat breakfast and try calling different people to come get us.


It's been a quiet week, with Sam and Emma leaving Tuesday morning.  I've been sending game news to Sam, and he sent me the entire play Hamlet.  When I asked, he shrugged, and said he just wanted to send something big.


My mom watched Berry and Duncan Tuesday night, and Joanna and I walked over to Off the Waffle for Jenga, Trivial Pursuit, and waffles.  They were delicious, as always.  Last night we had Amber come babysit, and went out to Sweet Cheeks winery for a coworker's retirement party.  I ran into Mary Minniti, who gave her best to Sadie.  Jenny's in town for the birth of a new baby (not hers, but I forget exactly whose).  The winery was very pretty and we had a lovely drive back home.


I'm all packed and feeling fairly ready to go.  All electronic devices are fully charged and loaded with videos.  I want to double-check all of Emma's things, just to make sure we're not missing anything.  Should be a grand adventure.

Trip Preparation

August 08, 2011 by Adam in Family

The weekend is over, and I'm sadly back at work again.  It was filled with activities, and hard to drag myself away this morning.

I picked up Emma on Friday, eating a quick dinner and driving to the Em's game.  It was Star Wars night, full of storm troopers, jedi, a wookie, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia.  The game itself seemed secondary, with Berry and Duncan staying in the bouncy house, and Emma mostly wanting to eat and visit with Crest friends she ran into.  We made it home, exhausted, and collapsed in bed.

Saturday was more subdued.  I took Emma to the library, and later food shopping.  Berry and Duncan went to a birthday party.  At one point, I hauled all the kids outside to play with magnifying glasses, matches, sparklers, and ice.  They cheerfully set things on fire and made arches out of ice cubes.  There was a solar powered car played with for awhile.  The day wound down with pizza and rough science.

On Sunday, Victoria across the street invited Joanna, Berry, and Duncan to go to the Enchanted Forest.  They had a good time, returning late in the afternoon in time for our monthly family dinner.  I took Emma to Kate's birthday party, where she had a great time.  I drove home, grabbed Sam, and went for a bike ride to eat lunch and visit a gaming store.  That afternoon Emma and I played Dungeons and Dragons Online and then got ready for our dinner.  Joanna cooked pizza on the gas grill, and they turned out really well.

Honni, my mom, and Bob arrived, chatting away in the evening.  Eventually we got all the kids in bed, leaving Sam, Joanna, and I to watch Better Off Ted.  This morning Emma packed herself for the trip, and was busy with Jessica dying her hair purple.

Life is good.

Mocha Friday

August 05, 2011 by Adam in Family

It's busy at work, frantic little issues nipping at my ankles as I try to get to my big projects. On the plus side, I was nominated for some award at work, though who knows if I'll be one of the lucky winners.

The week has generally been pretty quiet.  I took Wednesday off to hang out with the kids.  Sam told me his elaborate zombie dream, we all hung out at cheese park, Magic was played in the basement, and we all played Minecraft until they had to go to their mom's house.

My mom dropped off a bunch of costumes, which Berry pounced upon.  She ran around as a dinosaur all last night.

Tonight we're going to the Em's game, picking up Emma for her first baseball game.  I figure we'll stuff them full of random food, show up for dessert and running about, then leave around halftime. 

This weekend I want to do a bit of gardening as well as get ready for the trip next week.  I'm getting excited.

The End of a Three Day Weekend

August 01, 2011 by Adam in Family

It's another beautiful morning, the breeze coming through the front door.  I'm sipping tea and the kids are all asleep.

I eagerly picked up Emma Saturday morning, still in my pajamas.  She's written off ballet, and it became pretty clear she was getting sick.  Joanna made pancakes for us, including absolutely delicious blueberry ones for me.  Emma and I went to the library while Joanna took Duncan and Berry went on errands.  I kept Emma on Advil, which generally improved her mood.  We went to cheese park, taking the Track Ball thingies that I got for Duncan's birthday.  The kids ran through the sprinklers.  Sam and Joanna got tuckered out launching the ball back and forth.  Eventually we went home, Emma and I got pizza, and we ate it and watched Rough Science.

At some point during the day, though, Joanna made a comment about me never finishing the compost bin.  So, after a tasty breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon, and espresso, I dove into the scrap lumber. 

It all came together beautifully.  There were plenty of 2x4s and 4x4s, I found concrete post holders I brought from Joanna's over a year ago, and there was a scrap bit of concrete that made a nice stabilizing base.  I broke out my great-grandfather's saw, dug holes, screwed boards together, disassembled the unused compost tumbler, and made a lovely three-sectioned compost bin.

Joanna kept supplying me with iced tea through the hot day, and fed me lunch.  We took the younger kids off to True Value to get chicken wire, then returned to put it up.  I collapsed in happy exhaustion and we got together to play Minecraft for a good hour or so.  Eventually I pulled myself away to hook up the new gas grill and help with dinner.  Joanna fixed up a tasty bit of burgers and potato salad, as well as preparing enchilada's for tonight's dinner.

As the evening wrapped up, Emma and I lay in the hammock while Berry played in the sprinkler.  We got kids to bed and Sam, Joanna, and I laughed away at Modern Family.  It was a lovely summer night.

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