• Archives

  • Categories:

Halloween, Thanksgiving and in-between

Adam and I have mostly established a weekday routine these days. I wake up with him around 7AM and both have breakfast and get changed into daytime clothes. He’s in care from 8AM through 5PM while I’m working, and then we spend time together until his bed time around 7:30PM. Most evenings we take a walk and do an errand or two, stop by the bank or post office, or pick something up at the grocery store or pharmacy. I’m particularly grateful now we’re within walking distance of so many things. There are whole weeks where we go out a lot, but we don’t use the car until the weekend.

Beautiful walk to the library

I’ve been working a lot, including two Saturday events and a couple chunks of travel, which I’ve been writing about separately. Thankfully I have some flexibility in my job, which allows me to take some time off during the week if I work over the weekend. This has been a huge help with holiday travel, so I can take a comp day and return on a Monday rather than fighting the crowds during the weekend. But in all, it’s been a pretty exhausting couple of months in a year that’s broken records for how tired I am with the new kiddo. My last work trip of the year was a couple weeks ago, a quick trip to NYC for the Open FinTech Forum. Unfortunately work isn’t really quieting down much for me. I have a lot of work coming up in January that I need to prepare for since I’ll be in Australia for 10 days in the middle of the month. Still, many of my colleagues are away for the holidays, so I at least I don’t have many meetings!

But backing up a bit, these past few months! I’ve already written about some about house stuff we’ve been working on. We’ve also started hanging framed artwork in our house, finally. Adam’s room now has a couple pieces up, and so does my office and the downstairs living room. We still have a lot to do, but the forward progress is nice.

Event-wise, Castro Valley has a lot of local little events throughout the fall. In September the three of us spent one afternoon walking around the Castro Valley Fall Festival. They had live music, and lots of local vendors (more than I’d seen at a local event prior to this) and food. In early November I was disappointed to miss the Castro Valley Light Parade due to a Saturday work conflict, but MJ and Adam went out for it and then they met me at the BART station so I could at least see a couple of the floats.

And I didn’t miss Halloween! After years of missing Halloween due to work events, I made sure I was home for Adam’s first. LISA was just prior to it, but I flew home as soon as it concluded. He got dressed up as a dragon and his au pair and I walked over to the village to meet a local friend and her son (2 months younger than Adam!) and enjoyed the festivities.

Caligula got dressed up too! And he hasn’t killed me in my sleep yet for for that, but he could be biding his time.

That evening the trick-or-treating started around 6:30PM (good reference for next year!) and we got about 40 people coming by until things ended around 8:30. It was quite the chore to get Adam ready for bed in the midst of it though. And I’d like to put up a few decorations outside next year, I grabbed a last minute pumpkin from the store so there was some indication that kids were welcome to come back to our doorway. Then again, October 31st is the middle of conference season and the same reason I didn’t put up decorations this year will probably apply to every year.

A couple weeks after Halloween my cousin Audrey came into town. I saw her parents and her sister back in May when I dropped by Atlanta for work, but she was out of town at the time. We took the morning off and the three of us drove to the city and met at Ferry Building and had a lovely brunch. It was nice to see her and catch up, and for MJ and Adam to meet her. Adam and I then hopped on BART to head back home so MJ could get to work.

Otherwise November was crazy busy with work events, but had a nice conclusion as we flew to Philadelphia for the week of Thanksgiving. I had a lot of project work at work to catch up on, so I had a lot to do, but I was working remotely and it was light on meetings. Bliss! Thanksgiving itself was held at the home of MJ’s sister, as has become our tradition, but I think we may try to do it at our townhouse next year. Bonus: Good incentive to finally buy a proper dining room set for the townhouse.

During this trip Adam also saw his first snow! Alas, it was just a dusting and it quickly melted as the temperature rose. We also spent time on that trip starting to baby-resist the house. We replaced a vintage glass and metal lamp in his bedroom which a much more appropriate lamp and shelf piece we ordered from Amazon, and covered a bunch of the cords in his room. The weather upon our departure wasn’t great, with a storm coming through and hitting the northeast pretty hard. Philadelphia was mostly fine, but we still had over two hours of delays, and then another hour on the tarmac upon arrival in SFO. Adam traveled like a champ, but I was still a bit frazzled by the end of it all.

A quick trip to NYC for work concluded my work travel for the year in early December, and we had a nice little 16th birthday party for Caligula on December 13th. It’s hard to believe it’s been 16 years since my little Egyptian Mau was born, we’ve sure been through a lot together.

It’s also hard to believe that Adam is almost 1. Before flying to Philadelphia to visit over the end of year holidays I got everything prepared for Adam’s first birthday party, which we’ll host the Sunday we get home. I’ll just need to pick up the cake and balloons on Sunday morning and we’ll be all set. We also decided to do a tiny party here for family before we leave, which will pretty much just be cake.

We’re in Philadelphia for this final visit now. We’ll be spending all of Hanukkah out here this year due to the timing, and New Years. Some visits with family and friends are planned.