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Kitchen, fandom, parks, and kiddos

The new “kitchen pantry” has been assembled! I guess you can tell you’re getting old when things like creating more counter and storage space in your kitchen is something to get excited about. It really has changed how useful the kitchen is though, no more doing meal prep on unactive burners on the stove top, or on the table, I can actually use the counter! It’s not a spectacular decor match, but it does look nice, and it’s a versatile piece of furniture that we can use elsewhere in the house when the time comes to do the kitchen remodel.

Life with an infant continues to be tiring, so we don’t have a lot of spare time for things, but I have been carving out some time in the evenings to wind down and read for a bit. I also decided hobby-wise I need something. So one thing I decided to resurrect is my news blog/fan site over on WallaceAndGromit.net. I started working on it in 2002, but until this week my last entry was five years ago. Things dropped off when I was working on my OpenStack book, and then I got very busy with my new developer advocacy career, so a lot of energy was put into building my expertise on that path, and then kids really made my life busy. But I love Wallace and Gromit, and keeping up with their news is great when you have kids! Shaun the Sheep is a lot of fun for kids, and I can’t wait to introduce The Wrong Trousers to Adam and Aaron. It’s also a less computer-y hobby, and one that’s social, so I think it’s a good one to get back on top of right now. We’ll see how it goes when I return to work in a few weeks.

In family bonding news, we’ve been taking advantage of the nice weather and going out for walks every day, and sometimes even going on adventures further afar now that some outdoor spaces are opening. Last Thursday our au pair and I took Adam and Aaron out to Lake Chabot Park where we played on a field and then went on a short walk by the lake.

Friday was our big zoo day! The zoos have been opened and closed a couple times during the pandemic, but since most of the exhibits are outdoors, it feels like a safe, and much-needed escape for families looking for something to do — including ours. We first thought we’d go to the Oakland Zoo, but with limited occupancy numbers and what seems like every family in the east bay wanting to go, it was actually quite tricky to get tickets. Instead we made our way over to my beloved San Francisco Zoo. It’s much further away, and a smaller zoo, but it was my “home” zoo for nearly a decade, and I’ve been there many times. They also require timed ticket entry to manage capacity, but they were easy to get. It was the first big family outing with our au pair and the kids since the pandemic began, so it was notable. We had a really good time, and I’m pretty sure Adam wants to go every day now (me too!).

Valentine’s Day this year was pretty low-key. We had a nice take-out brunch, including some great Lobster Eggs Benedict for me. MJ splurged on a couple dozen roses and chocolates for me, but our dinner of Thai take-out was interrupted by Aaron deciding to continue a multi-day sleep regression that had him waking up every 45 minutes around the clock. With restaurants closed anyway, it was never going to be a big, fancy dinner of years past, but I do look forward to getting back to those date nights when the pandemic is over and the kids are a bit older.

This week our au pair is on vacation, which means for the first time we have both kids non-stop for over a week. My hats off to stay at home moms who are caring for small children, this is tough! Especially with a sleep regression thrown in! Showers are now an every-other-day thing, and I’m barely keeping up with chores because I’m so tired from the overnight shift. MJ and I have been mixing up the overnight schedule a little, I’ve found that 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep seems to serve me better than getting the same amount (or even a little more) in 2-3 chunks, so we’re trying that now. Still, it’s hard to operate on so little sleep day after day. I’m continuing to try to enjoy the tiny, snuggly baby time as much as I can, but I’m also looking forward to him being a little older and sleeping better.