Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 6 years ago today, on July 28, 2015.

Having just arrived in Grindelwald, Switzerland the night before, we took a cable car up into the mountains to First (elevation: 7,110 ft) and hiked deeper into the mountains to reach Faulhorn (elevation: 8,796 ft). Much of the hike took place in the clouds, with scenic views of the Alps popping out for a few seconds at a time. Near Faulhorn, we met these cows who seemed confused as to why so many humans were hiking around on the windy summit.

The little town of Faulhorn at the top was cute. We stopped into the single restaurant for the hottest, priciest mug of hot chocolate we'd ever had and then paid to use the toilet (supply imports and waste exports were only possible by helicopter) before heading down the other side of the mountain.

Later in the day, we went to hike at a local glacier, only to find that it had recently melted.

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Monday, July 26, 2021

Ian Week #13 Battle Report

Ian is now 13 weeks old and 14.4 pounds.

His night schedule is starting to get more regular, with a feed around 8 PM, one near 3 AM, and then another around 6 AM. Ian and I continue to have guy time from 8:30 - 11, where we play video games, rewatch The Shield or (recently) take an online course to pass the AWS Machine Learning Specialty exam.

He is excellent at tummy time and can hold his head up better than a brontosaurus with palsy. He can bat and grip things but gets bored of his surroundings pretty quickly. The one thing guaranteed to calm him down is the awful, tinny, monophonic "It's a Small World" rendition played by one of his jungle animals. We can repeat it up to 10 times before he gets bored.

This weekend, we took him to his first restaurant (Calypso at Lake Anne) while Maia was off running with the grandparents. He was unperturbed by the live David Gray covers.

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Friday, July 23, 2021

Data Day: 80 Days of Sleep Stats

After Ian was born, Maia had some initial trouble accepting that life had changed. This was reflected in a few days where she didn't fall asleep until 4 hours after her bedtime or she woke up with the roosters. I started tracking her sleep times to give us a better feel for how tired she was on any given day.

She actually adapted pretty quickly after a couple rough weeks, but I kept on tracking because data is fun. Here is the number of times that Maia woke up at particular times in the AM:

And here is when she fell asleep (with bedtime typically at 7:30 PM).

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Twenty-Six Years Ago Today

Twenty-six years ago today, on July 21, 1995, I attended the second worst live musical performance of my life.

I was 3 weeks into my stint at the Governor's School for Visual and Performing Arts, and the curriculum regularly tried to take advantage of the Richmond setting by sending us off to live performances all around the city. On this evening, we were bussed to the Carpenter Center (now Richmond CenterStage) for a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Yeoman of the Guard.

It was a dark and stormy night. So dark and stormy that the actors' bus got stuck somewhere causing the show to start 45 minutes late. Of course, the audience was already captive in their seats and the ushers refused to let a pack of unruly high school kids back out into the lobby, so we passed the time in the worst seats at the very back of the balcony in various states of wisecracking, sleeping, and admiring how well the attractive kids cleaned up for a night at the theatre.

When the show finally started, it became apparent that the leads had either gotten high or drunk on the broken down bus. Pitch was all over and it seemed like half of the lines were ad libbed. We couldn't tell for sure because there were constant sound problems that caused whole monologues to drop off the mics. At intermission, many of the paying audience members left, allowing us freeloaders to get better seats, but this did not improve the show a bit.

This was the time where everyone in theater had Les Mis envy, so of course this production had an obligatory revolving set. The show peaked when one of the two leads tried to leave a scene through a gap in the revolving set that moments ago had just been a solid wall. This would have gone completely unnoticed had the other lead not realized the mistake. She ran back to the scene and then opted to use the built-in doorway as intended, as if proving that only her scene mate was useless. This caused most of the audience to start hissing, fed up with the whole thing.

The show finally ended at 11:45 pm. The power was out across the campus when we returned to our dorms, which was still fewer technical difficulties than the show we had just endured.

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Ian Week #12 Battle Report

Ian is 12 weeks old! This is like 3 months if there were a true metric system for the passing of time.

I look back at all the blog posts I made about Maia's weekly progress, down to the length in millimeters of her boogers, and am a little disappointed that I don't do the same for Ian. However, the effort it takes to keep two children alive is exponentially greater than the effort needed to keep one alive while writing about her like an 8th grade book report. I do try to make sure there is time to appreciate how awesome the kids are becoming, even if it is dwarfed by the time needed to keep them alive, work for pay, and live in a tidy house without fungally fragrant furniture.

At this time, Ian eats well, gains weight like a champ, but can go from 0 to 60 on being bored or hungry. He's a little easier to put to sleep than Maia was -- I can pop him in the Bjorn to get him sleeping, then transfer him to a bed after an hour of snoozing. During the day, he wakes up immediately, but at night the transition works smoothly.

He still doesn't smile much, but he can have short "coo" conversations and knows how to hit toys in his Enrichment Jungle. He hates having his arms constrained, but also wakes himself up regularly by hitting himself in the head.

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