October 23, 2006

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love hearing about your weekend plans. Probably because I am incredibly fucking nosy a student of life. Also, can I just say that the fact so many of you were planning to run various sorts of races involving the letter “K” or actual no-shit MARATHONS makes me feel a little guilty about my own weekend, which involved both candy corn AND cheesecake?

JB’s parents have departed, which does mean a return to normalcy in our household’s consumption of clean dishes, thank christ, but sadly it also means a 2-person reduction in Team Riley. Having a couple of doting grandparents hanging around the house sure makes life a hell of a lot easier. If someone would have told me a few years ago that someday soon I’d be practically clinging to my in-laws’ pantlegs as they prepared to leave and begging them to consider staying an extra day or two, I might have laughed airily and inquired as to the exact amount of crack they had been smoking – not because I didn’t get along with them, but hosting their visits used to seriously jack up my personal Stress-O-Meter, you know?

These days I feel no pressure to meet anyone’s expectations, real or imagined. There might be dust bunnies in the living room and schmutz on the kitchen floor, but I have produced a GRANDCHILD, by god. A grandchild whose company delights them to no end, which means FREE TIME FOR MAMA.

Riley loved having them around, too. He was happy almost all weekend, with very few instances of Toddler Meltdown. There was so much activity, and so many people to play with. There was always a family member available who was happy to pick him up, or read a book to him, or feed him. If one person got tired or had something they wanted to do, someone else stepped in.

My god, it DOES take a village. Or perhaps a small hamlet.

Having them here this weekend was so nice, actually, in so many ways, I realize how things might be if we lived closer. That would mean moving to Oregon, because they’d never move here (the traffic alone would give JB’s dad a coronary in about one week). JB would love to get back down there someday, to live in a more rural area where he can teach Riley how to skin an elk with his bare teeth or whatever, and I like the idea of wider spaces too (for the many, many pygmy goats I shall have).

Both of us are pretty invested in our jobs, though, so there are no moving plans on the immediate horizon. For now we’ll just have to trade off on that I-5 slog in order to reunite the hamlet.

Mmmm, hamlet sandwich. Jesus, is it lunchtime yet?

Anyway, here are a few photos from the weekend:


The boy is walking more and more, although some of his movements would be more accurately described as “lurching”. Here he is lurching down the hall, clutching his Halloween bear and looking suspiciously as though he’s got a loaded diaper on board.


I made JB’s parents take approximately one billion photos of our little trifecta, since we rarely have a chance to get such an image. All attempts to get Riley to smile at the same time the camera was operational failed miserably.


Does it make me a bad parent if I admit I was holding a cigar just out of Riley’s reach in order to get this photo? It’s not like I let him smoke it.

We found the best teeter-totter on Sunday – not that I’m exactly a teeter-totter aficionado (I do not subscribe to Teeter-Totter Monthly, although sometimes I read it in line at the grocery store), but this one had big springs underneath the opposite seats so you didn’t go flying up or down too violently. Also, you could teeter all by yourself, if you felt like engaging in such an activity.


Riley still fits in the backpack, although it’s a little more of a workout these days.


I love how Riley’s peering at JB like he’s wondering what in the hell he’s doing in this picture. For the record I believe they were engaged in some sort of tree-themed peekaboo activity.


So, check it out:


Oh yeah, baby. 2GHz of pure Intel Core Duo power. That right there is my brand new MacBook, courtesy of Workplace’s fan-fucking-TASTIC hardware benefit policy, which allows employees to accrue money they can spend on computers to use at home.

I love it very, very much; it’s zippy as hell and is an overall joy to use so far. The experience of setting it up went like this:

• Open box
• Turn on MacBook
• Tell Mac OS X I speak English
• The End

It found our wireless connection, it came fully charged, and it just. Started. Working. No setup, no configuration, no cords to mess with, nothing. Nicely done, Apple.

Having a mobile computer is super handy in a thousand little tiny ways. I don’t think I’ll necessarily be online more often, but it will be more convenient for me to do so.

Now to learn how to type on a laptop-sized keyboard. If my typo-production skyrockets for a while, I apologize.


37 Responses to “Hamlets and new machinery”

  1. Mona on October 23rd, 2006 1:29 pm

    For the past five years, I’ve had a nice little buffer called the Pacific Ocean to keep my family on Saipan, far from Seattle. Now that my sister moved to Tacoma, 30+ miles is not enough to keep them from entering without so much as a knock or a phone call. It’s nice…sometimes.

    And when would that elk-skinning lesson come in handy? Anywhere besides Oregon?

  2. Pete on October 23rd, 2006 1:33 pm

    Nice Pix, wish my parents or in-laws lived closer. I believe y’all put down real hardwood floors. Might I suggest running a bead of silicon sealant at the bottom of the base boards. This will keep any water from getting under the wood and warping it. I have to re-sand the entire downstairs because of a water leak upstairs.

  3. Trina on October 23rd, 2006 1:36 pm

    I am laughing out loud at the first picture of the boy lurching!


  4. Robin on October 23rd, 2006 1:43 pm

    Awww…you have such a sweet little family. Great pictures. Riley, he’s got some really awesome expressions. So cute. I want to squeeze.

  5. Ang on October 23rd, 2006 1:45 pm

    I always loved having extra hands at family functions to tend to my kids; the break from responsibility was always so nice. BUT! Having those hands meddling every.single.fucking.day in your shizit SUCKS. Be thankful they live far away.

    Oh, and the wee little goats, my sons want some. Baaaaaaad.

  6. Tripping Daisy on October 23rd, 2006 1:51 pm

    When did Riley become such a little man??? So adoreable!

  7. sundry on October 23rd, 2006 1:57 pm

    Hey Pete – we don’t have the final base trim yet. Like in that hallway photo, there’s a gap between the floor and the wall that will be covered with the trimwork that still needs to be done. You know how it is in a remodel, the final details you put off forever because OH MY GOD THE TOILET FINALLY WORKS, etc.

    Also the floor guys got stain e v e r y w h e r e on the bottom of the floorboards. Dicks.

  8. Katie on October 23rd, 2006 2:00 pm

    The tree peek-a-boo photo is just perfect!!! And, how I miss Macs….I may have to go back one day instead of using this Dell piece of shit.

  9. Wendryn on October 23rd, 2006 2:01 pm

    So cute! Those pictures make my ovaries hurt. :-P

    My prospective mother in law (in three weeks no longer prospective!) wants a grandchild. So do my parents. I’m sure I’ll be happy they are so eager once we can use help with a little one, but at the moment I would be happy to not hear about it until we’re much closer to having a kid.

    Have a great week!

  10. Kari on October 23rd, 2006 2:08 pm

    The village running my family rocks heavily. I’ve got me, the daddy, the grandma, the uncle and the godmother in the same house here. I’ve also got a pair great-grandparents next door. I will admit that it does get annoying some times, but it’s SOOOO nice to just be able to say, “Hey! G-G (grandma) is home! Go see her for a little bit! Mommy has to play Bejeweled and try to regain her sanity!” Of course, she’s a nurse, so she has some creepy stories she tells our little one. Maybe it’s not the best idea to live here. >_

  11. warcrygirl on October 23rd, 2006 2:20 pm

    Enjoy that teeter-totter while you can; by the time Riley is in school teeter-totters will be illegal and all playground activities will involve copious amounts of bubble wrap.

  12. Kari on October 23rd, 2006 2:23 pm

    And I just realized that when I try to do that face it cuts off the rest of my message. Damn you and your hate of silly immature annoyed faces!!!! DAMN YOOOOU!

    Well, I was gonna say something about showing the tree peek-a-boo pic to everyone in the house and such. Can’t remember what else. Obviously unimportant. I’ll never use that smiley again. lol

  13. anna on October 23rd, 2006 3:12 pm

    Sexy puter!

    cute boy!

    and, might I add, great wooden hallway floors.

  14. Emily on October 23rd, 2006 3:58 pm

    I have total laptop-envy. Is Workplace hiring?

    Also, the cigar-reaching photo is awesome. Although if Riley grows up to be a cigar-aficionado douchebag, you will probably have to be flogged.

  15. Swistle on October 23rd, 2006 3:58 pm

    Photo RICHES. I love the one of him lurching down the hall, and of him reaching for the cigar, and of him and JB peering around the tree. I also love the one of the three of you.

  16. JennB on October 23rd, 2006 4:15 pm

    Parker has those exact same PJs. And since G is bathing her tonight, there’s a good chance that that’s what she’ll be wearing when I head up to put her to bed.

    There is still not enough gold in the universe to make me hang onto my mother-in-law’s pantleg and beg her not to go. Usually, I’m somewhere else pouting at her meanness and I shout “Good-bye, you bitch!” when she slams out the door. It’s not THAT bad. Not really. Sort of.

    And, yes, I am loving my MacBook Pro… got it AFTER my Titanium melted down back in July, and BEFORE Apple issued the recall, so I had already donated it to my fix-it man for him to let his kid tinker on it. Timing. But, yes. The ‘Pro. It’s so lovely, so fast, so easy. It works on so many levels.

  17. Tammy on October 23rd, 2006 4:39 pm

    I have been waiting my whole life for a teeter-totter I could use alone. I wonder if they have any here in Portland?

  18. orangepeacock on October 23rd, 2006 4:41 pm

    I know you get this all the time, but Riley seems to have learned very early on that he can get away with any number of irritating baby/toddler things as long as he is adorable in frequent enough doses, and My God. That child will be a force to be reckoned with. The facial expressions!

  19. HollowSquirrel on October 23rd, 2006 4:58 pm

    It’s kinda sad that when I saw the picture of you three, immediately after cooing about Riley, I noticed your rope-neck shirt from Eddie Bauer. Please. Stop recommending stuff for me to buy on your other site (no, the other other one). STOP. Thanks.

  20. Jane on October 23rd, 2006 5:03 pm

    I love my mac. I’m the kind of person who likes spending more money than strictly necessary on things I’ve decided I neeeeed. When I decided I neeeeded a laptop, my friends all said “a PC laptop will be less than half the price of a mac, and it will do everything you need it to do, and it will be compatible with your current PC desktop”, then someone said “mac laptops have a chess game that talks” and so I bought a 15″ powerbook. It’s the little things, like how the brightness adjusts to the light in the room, how I don’t need drivers to run every piece of hardware I plug in, how it feels in my arms when I snuggle up next to it in bed. Worth every penny is what I’m saying here. As for it not being compatible with my PC desktop… pfft, you mean the desktop I never use anymore because the mac serves me so much better and looks so much sexier? That desktop? I barely remember it.

    Once you go mac, you never go back.

    That’s probably one of the nerdier things I’ve ever written. You might be interested to know I also partake in online gaming every so often. That’s right, you want a round of Halo 2 on xbox live? I’m your lady.

    I’ve also been in control of a remote control plane, ridden on an electric skateboard, and longed for a projector in my living room.

  21. Jane on October 23rd, 2006 5:04 pm

    OK, sorry for the above ‘confessions of a nerd’ – I know this isn’t my blog, I just… I just… I couldn’t stop myslef.

  22. jonniker on October 23rd, 2006 6:08 pm

    Linda, I’m asking you nicely:

    Stop posting photos of Riley in those goddamn pajamas. Normally I hate the “my ovaries hurt!” squees when small children are depicted, but you’re making me want to run right out and get knocked up tonight. I’ve said it before, but something about him in his fuzzy-headed glory in the pjs makes me weepy.

  23. mrsgryphon on October 23rd, 2006 7:17 pm

    ah, the sheer joy of the laptop. I’m not sure what I’d ever do without it now. Certainly NOT buy another desktop PC (you mean, the one that’s in the basement and who’s only purpose currently is to allow my laptop to connect to the internet? That one? Yeah, don’t need another one of those!) And I am seriously considering a Mac for my next laptop purchase. Have to figure out a not-so-obvious way to, um, ‘decomission’ my Dell first ;)

  24. CartwheelsAtMidnight on October 23rd, 2006 7:31 pm

    Jane is not alone. I have been known to utter, “Once you go Mac you never go back” myself. And I am appropriately embarrassed for us both.

    (12″ Powerbook circa 2004 . Excuse me while I covet your electronics.)

  25. Sarah on October 23rd, 2006 7:58 pm

    I’m jealous of your hair. Is that a totally creepy thing to say? It’s meant as a compliment.

  26. Amy on October 23rd, 2006 8:20 pm

    Oh god the cigar picture. That’s fan-fucking-tastic.

    (You might want to consider an external-frame backpack; we’ve used one with Jacob since the Bjorn started being painful. The one we got is rated up to 50 lb, and it’s ultra-comfy so far.)

  27. Annie on October 23rd, 2006 8:49 pm

    Where did you get the guitar jammies?

  28. Sundry on October 23rd, 2006 8:58 pm

    Those pajamas came from the Gap, I believe. We had to cut off the wrists because the cuff was so incredibly tight.

  29. Jennifer on October 23rd, 2006 9:07 pm

    I HAVE THAT SAME MACBOOK!!!! THE VERY SAME! I also got the black one, and I bought 2G of memory and plugged it into the sucker when it came home. It f*cking ROCKS. The thing that I truly love about it that hasn’t yet been mentioned is: MacOSX is *UNIX* – it is the OS of the gods. I right now have 2 Unix shell windows open and I’m always fooling around on the command line, managing my files outside of Finder, etc. I play iTunes from the Mac onto the speakers in the living room, I VPN into my office to jump onto the subnet at work, I look at my Japanese kanji flashcards shareware program that I downloaded, I write little snippets of C++ code and compile them with g++ that came on the computer.

    Hey, Linda I have an idea, why don’t you and me and Jane and CartWheelsAtMidnight use our iMac cameras and run iChat and add each other to our buddy lists so we can have live chat! Wouldn’t that be a kick!!

    Seriously, live chat is a blast. I’ll email you and send you my buddy info so you can connect with me some evening if you feel so inclined!

  30. Donna on October 23rd, 2006 9:17 pm

    Elk skinning is a skill very much in demand in all the western and southwestern states.
    I love the little goats, my grandaughter has one, he’s just a baby still, and she’s 4, and apparently he butted her and knocked her down the other day. She got up and told him he wasn’t very nice. It was very funny. Goats are cute. And little boys kind of smell like baby goats anyway. You should get a fainting goat, they are pretty funny too.
    I went back to another Toshiba Satellite. I love it.

  31. thejunebug on October 23rd, 2006 10:12 pm

    Niiiiice. My iBook just started giving me issues with the newest Tiger update, which makes me sad beyond belief. Don’t abandon me, little iBook!

  32. Alex on October 24th, 2006 1:15 am

    Apple runs a real tight ship; Macs are nice machienes.

  33. Jessie on October 24th, 2006 6:25 am

    We got a new laptop a few months ago and I love it so much that I can hardly stand it. At first I did have a hard time typing on it, but I’ve gotten much better. The only thing that makes me sad about it is that one of the features I was excited about (lightscribe, so you can laser burn labels onto your burned cds) requires special, more expensive CDs/DVDs in order to use it, so I haven’t had a chance to play with that yet. Oh, but I will. I just have to find a good excuse.

    But, I do have to say that blogging from bed makes it definitely worth the expense.

  34. sunShine on October 24th, 2006 6:39 am

    Love the pics. I want pygmy goats too if we ever move back to the country. They are so cute!

  35. Kelli on October 24th, 2006 7:01 am

    I’m delurking to say hello and tell you how much I’m enjoying your site. I stumbled across it about a month ago and love it — your posts crack me up and the photos are great.
    I’m looking forward to reading more – especially now that you have that swanky new laptop!

  36. Cris on October 25th, 2006 1:50 am

    Cute, cute, cute pics!! The family portrait is awesome..

  37. Kathy Wasserman on January 14th, 2007 2:16 am

    Google is the best search engine

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