family

'Twas a good day

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That was a rather good day.

It's the first day of our vacation. Next week We go to DC for some sightseeing and for me to attend the Drupal GovCon event for a few days. I'll be giving a presentation on one of my favorite topics (open source software) and running a code sprint for the Metatag module (plugin) for Drupal that I maintain.

This morning Jen surprised us with blueberry scones. We had quite the chuckle as she made them as I first thought she was making traditional American biscuits to go with breakfast; she joked about adding cheese and I suggested garlic too. So then when she poured in a cup of blueberries it took me a moment to get the vision of garlic, cheese and blueberry biscuits out of my head X-) They were quite tasty in the end, and yes they were blueberry scones and not the unholy concoction my imagine invented.

I then met someone locally who was just starting to learn Drupal, and told him about the Keene Drupal user group meetings that I help run with a friend.

I finished reading an excellent interview with an historian who has been researching the revisionist theory that the Irish indentured servitude of the past was in any way similar to the slavery of black people in the USA. Needless to say, while indentured servitude did happen, it was far removed from the treatment of black people throughout this country's history. The interview is well worth reading, especially if you've ever heard that "Irish slavery" fable/lie/meme that has been doing the rounds for a few years.

At dinnertime we were playing hangman, taking turns around the table to both run and play the game. When it was Liam (who's nine) to take his turn to run the game, he picked a word, drew out the structure and placeholders for the characters, which had seven letters. Before we began Jen asked him if he was sure he was spelling the word correctly, to which he replied in the affirmative. Jen went first and picked 'a', which he said the word didn't have. She then asked him again to make sure he had the word correct, and again he said he did. Just as it was about to be my turn, Liam paused for a second and asked to everyone - "how do you spell 'skeleton'?" Several minutes of laughing later .. he had to pick a different word and start again ;-)

We then rounded off the evening with some tickle-tag chasing each other around the house.

That was a very good day :-)

While I'm not strictly going to start keeping my "three positive things" journal going again, with some prodding from Jen I've decided to start blogging about the good things in life again.

TIL

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Today I learned a few things, which I thought I'd share.

First off, you can dash your child's dreams by saying "ask your mom to come out for breakfast" when he was all psyched about bringing his mom breakfast in bed. So just roll with it.

Second, toddlers will be really confused about usage of the word "home" when it describes a place you live, a really fun movie and the soundtrack for said movie. Especially when you start saying "we'll watch 'Home' when we get home" or "we'll listen to the 'Home' music when we're on our way home but right now mommy wants to listen to Coldplay". So be patient with him and make sure you're specific with with 'home' you're talking about at any particular point in time.

Third, Launch Trampoline Parks, like the one in Nashua, NH are a heck of a lot of fun, and they work really well as a Mother's Day, presuming said mother is in reasonable health and physically capable of bouncing around. Pack some Motrin for afterwards, though, just in case ;-)

Fourth, if you're going to a trampoline park and have had any concerns about your knees or ankles, put on a brace on the appropriate before you go and jump around so that you don't end up injuring yourself with the first fifteen minutes. You twit. Also, sorry honey.

Fifth, pharmacies (and probably grocery stores) sell the usual joint braces, but also instant cold packs that you just squeeze and the chemicals inside combine to become a frozen slush that can be used to wrap injuries.

Sixth, even though minivans are higher up off the ground than a regular car, they can still be difficult to get into and out of when your knee is injured.

Seventh, every able-bodied family should have a pair of expandable crutches, you never know when you might need them. Like today, after the aforementioned knackering of a knee after bouncing on trampolines.

Eight, having a house that is accessible can prove valuable at unexpected times. Having a house that is not very accessible can prove to be a serious PITA at unexpected times.

Ninth, having an poorly accessible house can make your plans for grilling for dinner go right out the window. Dangit.

Tenth, always keep an eye on your toddler when their in a shopping trolly seat, you never know what they might grab and throw into the trolly when you're not looking.

Eleventh, surprise packets of dark chocolate with almonds is rather tasty, though it doesn't quite make up for the gammy knee.

Twelfth, some fruit juices may look like cat urine when it's spilled on white-colored bedding, and a cat may scratch at it, but it won't smell like cat urine and so it may have been caused by the toddler instead of an upset cat.

Thirteenth, tell your family that you love them and appreciate their help when everything is going well, it helps fosters their compassion and willingness to help when things are not going well.

Three positive things, day sixty two

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Today was Labor Day, a Federal holiday in the US.

The first positive thing was going for a hike with the whole family. While I wrote about it earlier, I didn't mention the funniest thing that happened. At one point, about 1/3rd of the way up the hill, we arrived at a pond and took a break to look at the fish & skip some stones. Liam threw a small rock into the lake, because he doesn't quite know how to skip stones yet, when out of nowhere a black labrador came running over and jumped into the pond right in front of us, splashing water all over us! The dog's human came over and was very apologetic, but we just had to laugh, it was too funny :) I only got splashed a little bit, and Kian was on my back so wasn't splashed at all, but the other three did get a good splashing. Thankfully it was a fairly warm day so everyone dried off after an hour or two.

The second thing was going to a petting zoo / farm just down the road from the hill we hiked, and seeing the largest bovine I'd ever seen. This guy, named Carlos, stood six foot tall at his back - the same height as me! I asked a worker there how heavy he was, and he explained that he was over 2,500 lbs - they used a measuring tape and a formula to guess his weight, but he'd gotten so large that the tape was about 2 - 2 1/2 feet too short to go around him anymore! He was huge and amazing. He'd stick his head out through the gap / window in the wall and rub his head against the side by way of asking for some hay, so I had to oblige :) There were a bunch of other animals there, including an incredibly friendly smaller cow, and we all had a lovely time.

The third positive thing was finally catching up on posting my Three Positive Things for the past week, and uploading some photos from our adventures today :)

Three positive things, day sixty (catching up)

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(posting a few days late)

Le weekend!

The first positive thing today was .. hitting the beach! As with last weekend, we decided to head to the coast, so we drove the 2 1/2 hours to just inside the Maine border. We took a bit more precaution this time than last, so there weren't any sunburns, and we had some good fun.

The second positive thing was sharing a blueberry muffin with Kian while the rest had some extra time at the beach. By the time we decided how to unload the gang to get to the beach we had two problems - all of the parking spots everywhere were full, and Kian was asleep. So I dropped the three others off at a nearby parking lot, and took Kian to another parking lot just over a mile down the road so he could nap. As these things happen, he woke up just as we were pulling out of the parking lot, so I headed off anyway and hung around for an hour, including stopping off at a small chocolatier 'n bakery for said muffin to share with Kian. Then I bundled him up in the stroller and headed off to join the others.

The third positive thing was keeping the kids awake on the drive home so that they'd all sleep well - it took a bit of coaxing, as Kian really wanted to fall asleep, but we made it. And, oh goodness, but did Kodiak need to go potty when we got home :-)

Three positive things, day thirty

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So, this is my thirtieth post. Woot.

The first positive thing today was finally finishing a tiny little Drupal module I wrote a while ago, mostly thanks to someone else out of the blue uploading some improvements for it. And that's how open source works :)

The second positive thing today was awesomewife setting up our small paddling pool for kids to play in. She then brought out Kian's small slide and set it up for him to slide into the pool - needless to say it was huge hit and he had a huge smile on his face when they came back in.

The third positive thing was getting back to doing the Drupal class with awesomewife and her friend and finally start to get somewhere with it. They're now finally getting into creating content, so next week we'll work on filling out their starter sites a little more. Baby steps.

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