Archive for August, 2014

Paternity Leave: Day 27

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Another splendid day with the family! Dad made pancakes in the morning, but I slept through it. I LOVE SLEEP! Regardless, I was able to see him before he took off for Long Beach, and then Megs, Sammy, and I went to Burbank for a meet and greet our new nanny, Amanda. We hung out with her and her husband Neil (whom I work with at WDI) for a while and had many good vibes and nice chats. We start the nannying on September 8th when I return to work, so wish us well! Megs and I are sad to have to leave Sam with someone who is not us, but such is the way of the world these days.

After that, Megs and I got lunch at Philly’s Best, which I always love. They were kind enough to provide us with 4oz of hot water so we were able to mix up some formula for a suddenly hungry Sammy. After getting her topped off, Megs and I went to REI where Megs got herself a bicycle! She hasn’t had one since her old junker in college, so this was very exciting for her. Sam and I hung around the store and I tested out the camping chairs while Megs test drove a few models. She finally settled on Novara Mia, which a lovely comfortable cruiser. Here’s Sam and I waiting around:

Hanging around REI

Hanging around REI

After dinner Megs and I finally saw The Incredible Hulk (2008), which we’d never seen. This completes our Marvel Cinematic Universe viewing set. Not a bad film, but certainly not the best of the lot. Let’s see, if I had to rank them I’d go (from least to favorite): Hulk -> Iron Man 2 -> Thor -> Thor 2 -> Iron Man -> Iron Man 3 -> Captain America -> Captain America 2 -> Guardians of the Galaxy -> Avengers.

That’s it for today, my lovelies! Enjoy the remainder of your Labor Day Weekend!

Paternity Leave: Day 26

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Today was hang out with dad/grandpa day! Just to keep things clear, from now on I’m going to refer to him as “dad”, even though he is “grandpa” to Samantha.

After seeing to Sammy’s mid-morning feeding, dad and I headed out to Babies ‘R’ Us to go shopping for a baby scale, cuz we wanted to know how much Sam weighed, and the bathroom scale isn’t accurate enough at the low end. Anyways, after that we met Megs at her office and the four of us went out for Mexican food for lunch. I had a burrito, and it was very good. It’s these kind of details that really bring this blog to life, folks!

After lunch, we bade farewell to Megs and went to Best Buy for a 9V battery for the scale and also dad was kind enough to get me Yoshi’s New Island for the Nintendo 3DS. Yay! Toy for Chris! I’ve played the first seven level and it’s really fun. Totally the sequel to the original Yoshi’s Island for the SNES.

After Best Buy, we hit the pharmacy for some tummy drugs for Samantha and Vons for groceries for dinner. We got steaks to BBQ, which came out great! Dad made a simple rub for them out of sea salt, ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Cooked that up with some golden potatoes, and asparagus and dinner was great! Obviously Megs came home somewhere in there, too.

After dinner, Megs and I played another game of Magic to show dad again what this game is all about. This time I won against her new deck, so we’ll have to play again to go best two out of three.

We finished off the evening watching the Lego Movie, which dad hadn’t seen before. Everything is awesome! I still enjoy that film. Ended up renting it on Google Play and then Chromecast it to the TV from my phone. Living in the future, people!

Sam didn’t quite eat enough in her 11:00 feeding, so Megs has to go back and try again. She should be coming back to bed soon, and hopefully Sam stays down this time. Tomorrow morning dad’s making pancakes before he heads off to Long Beach to visit with his brother for a couple days. At noon Megs and I are meeting with our potential nanny! Stay tuned…

Paternity Leave: Day 25

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Light day today. Sam and I went to the ever-fabulous El Pollo Loco for Chris’ lunch, after Sam got her usual lunch of milk in bottle. After that we window-shopped at Babies ‘R’ Us and Costco, before returning home by way of Vons for a couple things.

The afternoon was pretty lazy: we both took a nap between 3:15 and 4:15, so thanks kid for the break! We hung out for a while after that, her playing with her little play mat thing while I watched a 60-ish minute video on AngularJS. Informative!

Dad was gone for most of that day at a Very Important Business Meeting in San Francisco. Caught a flight from Burbank at 1, had his meeting at 3:30, and caught a flight back at 8. Busy, busy, but it sounds like good things are afoot for him, so yay!

Here’s Sam checking herself out in the mirror on her play mat:

Sam checks herself out in a mirror

Who is that other baby!?

Paternity Leave: Day 24

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Samantha is screaming in the other room. I hope she stops soon and goes to sleep.

Dad is here vising for a couple days, which is nice. He’s sitting across the table from me right now doing his own internet things on his Macbook Air.

Sam is still screaming. I may have to go soon.

Here are Sam and I in happier times:

Dad and daughter

Dad and daughter

OK, so I was gone for the last 45 mins calming Sammy down. She’s asleep now, and let’s hope she stays that way.

Anyways, as for what we did today, it goes like this: went to Costco for frozen pasta stuff, went to Bed Bath and Beyond for some sheets, and then went to Lowes for a plumbing bit to fix the sprayer thing in our kitchen sink. After I got home and fixed the sink, I soldered some cables together (VGA-Component) to make a custom adapter. Just cuz. Dad and Megs got home around 6:30 and we had lasagna for dinner.

Paternity Leave: Day 23

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Sammy let me sleep in a while today, which I always appreciate. Thanks, kid!

Once we got up and going, we took a simple trip to Chipotle and the car wash, then home. I spent the rest of the day doing various things about the house.

First thing was a bit of vacuuming. I was originally gonna get the vacuum out just to get the dog fur off my car’s back seat, but I also did a bit of cleaning around the house with it just cuz I love my Dyson so much; it’s just so good!

Let’s see, what else did I do? Oh yeah, I fixed the illuminated light switch in the bathroom. It wasn’t illuminating anymore, so I took it apart, tightened up some metal bits, put it back together again, and we’re good to go! The hardest part was figuring out which circuit breaker was for the bathroom, because all the labels in the breaker box were wrong. Handy!

I also made some soon-to-be iced tea. That is, I brewed up two K-Cups of English Breakfast (10 oz) twice each, for a total of 40 oz of tea that I can cut with ice and water to make iced tea at my leisure. I keep it in a sealed bottle in the fridge. SCIENCE!

Other stuff included doing the dishes, entertaining the baby, and calling an old friend to tell her about Samantha! Friends not on Facebook must be tracked down the hard way.

Here’s a picture of me and Samantha at Chipotle:

Me and Sammy

My cell phone can apparently take photos using both cameras at once

Paternity Leave: Day 22

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Today was boring. Well, no, that’s not’s fair. Today was uneventful. We went to Philly’s Best for my Monday cheese steak sandwich, then we went to Target for some random household stuff. Came home, hung out, watched the Emmy’s. Monday!

Last night I stayed up too late playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds in hero mode, which is really hard by the way! The monsters are slightly faster and “smarter”, but the real kicker is they do FOUR TIMES the damage! This means I die in one to three hits, typically. I haven’t killed Link this many times since I was 5 years old!

Dad’s coming to visit later this week for a few days, which is nice. Matt and Kim (brother and sister, for those not in the know) are out at Burning Man. Or at least, they might be. I hear it rained there the other day. Hard. So hard in fact, they had to close the gate on opening day! It’s gotta be absolute chaos out there. My best to my Burner friends—good luck and Godspeed.

In conclusion, here’s a couple pics of Sam and me:

Sam is in no mood!

Sam is in no mood!

I am happy.  Sam is not.

I am happy. Sam is not.

Now we're both happy!

Now we’re both happy!

Paternity Leave: Day 21

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Last night I didn’t get to sleep until after 4 a.m., so Megan was kind enough to let me sleep in this morning. It wasn’t Sam that kept me up, just general insomnia. Still, Sammy slept great—until about 10:30 or so! Regardless, 80% of the family went on an adventure today!

While leaving Isis to guard the fort, Megs, Sammy, Maverick, and I all headed out to Vasquez Rocks to get some pictures. It was time to present Samantha to the world:

Lion King photo

♪♪ Nants ingonyamaaaaa!!! ♪♪

Other pictures are here:

Vasquez Rocks

A grand adventure! I even wore pants and shoes with laces, since I knew I’d be climbing on rocks and stuff.

In the evening we had dinner and watched the season 8 premiere of Doctor Who with a new Doctor in Peter Capaldi. All-in-all I like him as the Doctor, but Tennant is still my guy. We’ll see how this season unfolds.

Paternity Leave: Day 20

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Today started off very nicely. Megs went to boxing class, while Sam and I slept in. After Megs got home and Sam and I got up, the three of us went out to brunch at Barney’s Beanery in Pasadena.

Sam getting ready

Sam getting ready

At Barney’s, there was an episode of Bones on there, and we discussed it at length because Megs used to watch the show and I didn’t. She was trying to answer my questions regarding this season 5 episode about which character was or was not “the British one”, who was going to end up aiding a serial killer, and who was gonna get killed later. Also Stephen Fry was in it (not the British one I was thinking of).

Here’s Sam out for brunch in her fine sun hat:

A grand brunch out!

A grand brunch out!

We went home after brunch, and I did some chores around the house like laundry, tinkering with the clock in Megs’ car, and moving the front porch thermometer to a wall we can actually see from the front door. I also installed XBMC on the TV Raspberry Pi and re-configured the video game emulator. The upshot of these things is we can now stream pretty much any video file from the network storage drive on the TV, as well as play any old NES/SNES games we want. Living the dream!

Megs eventually dragged me away from my tinkering to play a few rounds of Magic with a new green/white token creature deck she had put together. I kicked her butt three times with my cheap red creature deck, so further adjustments may be required.

In baby news—this is a paternity leave update, after all—Sam’s getting really good at grabbing stuff. See attached image for proof:

Above: Proof

Above: Proof

Other than that, we had a light dinner and started Orphan Black season 2. We are enjoying it so far, even though the show is kinda weird.

Paternity Leave: Day 19

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Today was more government offices. We started with the California Employment Development Department, to try to track down my Paid Family Leave stuff, since there is no Paid Family Leave office this side of Fresno, and I wasn’t about to drive there! They said that this wasn’t the right office, but the lady there was kind enough to look up my information on the system and said that the documents I submitted yesterday should take care of things, so here’s hoping!

After hanging out in downtown LA, Sam and I went back up to Pasadena to take care of Maverick’s license renewal at the Pasadena Humane Society. Nice facility they got there! Their kennels are nice and outdoors and there’s trees and stuff around. Anyways, after taking care of that we went home.

The plan for this evening was to play Magic cards with Matt and Skye, so shortly after I got home Matt showed up, followed an hour or so later by Megan. Skye would be joining us after she got off work a while later, so we started prepping dinner, which was to be grilled stuff on the BBQ. After searching our freezer, I found some chicken thighs, half a salmon fillet, and two small boneless pork chops. Matt brought some potatoes, so we were in business! Or so I thought…

Turns out our grill wouldn’t start. I thought we must be out of propane, so I went to Vons to get some more. I also picked up some garlic bread and asparagus while I was there. However, a lack of propane was not the problem! I deduced it was a bad regulator hose, so off I went again to the hardware store for a new one. Got back home, hooked it up, and FIRE! Yes! Dinner was ON!

We started cooking shortly before Skye arrived, which was a pity, because we were hoping to have everything cooked by then, but oh well. Eventually dinner was great, and afterwards we played a few games of Magic:

Magic: The Gathering gathering

Magic: The Gathering gathering

For the record, my cheap mono red creature deck crushed Matt’s experimental blue/black deck of pain three times in a row. His white heroic deck, however, trounced me thoroughly after that. A lovely night!

Paternity Leave: Day 18

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Today marks roughly the half-way point in my leave. We spent it out in Van Nuys waiting in line for her birth certificate. After acquiring the document and getting us both some lunch, I dropped by the office to use the scanner to scan it in. I need to attach it to a leave claim for my paternity leave so’s that I can gets paid by the gov’munt! Here’s Sammy patiently waiting in the queue at the records office:

She's part English, she knows how to queue!

She’s part English, she knows how to queue!

I am not going to be posting the scanned in version of her birth certificate here, because I am not an idiot.

The rest of the day was fairly normal, and I’m posting this relatively early in the evening because she’s actually snoozing right now. However, now that I mention it, I hear her stirring, so this might be the end of this post. Good night, my babies!