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Thanksgiving in Philadelphia

Over Thanksgiving MJ and I made our last trip together before the little one arrives. We spent the week at our townhouse in Philadelphia to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family and do some visiting with friends in the area. Based on this trip, I can see why air travel isn’t recommended over 32 weeks. It was just a cross-country trip, one I do frequently, but I was incredibly uncomfortable and tired during the journey in both directions, even after springing for First class seats.

Still, we arrived safely and were able to hop on a train down to the townhouse from Newark. Thankfully we missed the snow a few days before, and though it was still a cold week, the final storm at the end of the week arrived when the temperatures rose into the 40s, avoiding more snow.

Thanksgiving itself was spent with our usual lively gathering with MJ’s side of the family at his sister’s house.

During this visit we were able to visit my friends Mike and Jess in New Jersey who welcomed their second son just over six months earlier. Jess has been incredibly helpful as I navigate pregnancy and preparing for our first little one, and it’s always nice to visit with them, even if I did pepper them with a pile of ridiculous First Time Parent questions. We also enjoyed a dinner with our friends Tim and Colleen, and I was able to make it out for a lovely evening with my friend David. A few non-Thanksgiving meals with family were also tossed into the mix too. Even with all that, I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to, but schedules get tricky around holidays.

The two other things that characterized our visit were getting the little one’s room into shape for his first visit next year, and dealing with a leak in the roof. The leak in the roof was an unexpected complication. We had scheduled an attic inspection anyway after damage that began last winter, but upon arrival we noticed some water damage on the ceiling of the guest room. The problem was quickly found and we got a couple estimates, but all that took time and was a bit stressful with the holiday. Still, we’re on track to get it completely fixed this month, with local family lending a hand logistically.

I was able to do some online shopping and order placing before the trip for the little one. We were able to get a very basic changing table at Ikea the first weekend we were in town, and stopped by Pottery Barn Kids (PBK) to collect the crib I had selected, along with bedding and other necessary items for the nursery. We hadn’t put any thought into having a “theme” for the nursery, it’s not really our style and I’ve been busy focusing on what was absolutely required. Our visit to PBK changed that, they have an amazing new line-up of Star Wars nursery items! I think our theme is now, accidentally, Star Wars and space.

We also took advantage Black Friday sales to order a bunch of stuff we needed on the west coast, some of which we picked up in Philadelphia and brought back in luggage, and some things which have been slowly arriving at our doorstep here in California over the past couple weeks.

I assembled the furniture slowly throughout the week, and I admit that seeing a crib put together in the previously nearly empty room really brought things into focus. Suddenly, it was all so real! As if feeling a small person growing inside me for these past few months wasn’t real enough.

Other random life stuff that happened that week included the release of the 12th season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Thanksgiving (which I was a supporter of), so I spent Thanksgiving morning and evening watching a couple episodes. They really hit their stride with this new season. I also unsuccessfully attempted to resurrect my old Xeon server-class desktop. I used it full time for a couple years after I bought it, but replaced it with something a lot more reasonable when I moved to California in 2010. It spent a few years in an outdoor-facing storage facility just outside of Philadelphia before being moved to a climate-controlled unit, but I think it was all too much for it. A handful of hardware failures lit up my screen upon boot, and after a few kernel oopses the Linux install attempt freezes up and fails. Upon reflection, the whole noisy, power draining machine could be replaced with a Raspberry Pi 3 if I need a small system there, and I do already have the original Raspberry Pi running on my desk there.

MJ also was able to get a little glass shelf put in our powder room on the main floor, which is one step closer to the townhouse feeling Done. The place still needs to be painted and some patching work done where we had some work done, but in general it’s a comfortable place to crash even now. I’m looking forward to our first visit there with the little one, which will probably happen in the spring.