Still not 40 inches. Dang it. Mama wants to go to Disneyland. So does Daddy. So does Athena. We go to the park instead.
It was a crazy month for me, especially at work. My interns are both gone and the only evidence that remains is a whole lot of new articles on Roadsters in my database. This is good. Very very good. Previously, the database had only been used for Model S, but now it's got Roadster and some stuff for the shiny new thing on the horizon. I also hosted training for technicians from every service center in America in one week. That meant two groups totaling about 90 trainees. Before that could happen, I had to line up the 15 presenters, prep presentations for several sections, and categorize every article in the database depending on which vehicle model applied. There was a bit to do to get ready, so that was naturally when HR decided that we had one week to complete annual performance reviews. 8-\
It went well, save for the morning where nothing went right. I left the house in blue shoes to go with my red and black outfit. One of my presenters presented less than 20 minutes of material for his one hour slot. I tripped and fell setting up lunch while everyone there for training waited for lunch. By noon, I was ready to just hide for the rest of the day. I survived the day and made it home for a tasty meal of caprese salad. ham and Gruyere panini, and a Trinidad Sour. I described the previous few weeks as "being chased by a giant boulder, Indiana Jones style" in my staff meeting on Thursday. Don't trip, don't fall, just run! (Except that I tripped, I fell, and ow, my knees!)
I vanquish you foul day with tasty noms!
Meanwhile, Athena has been doing her thing, being awesome. It's been months since she had a potty accident while awake, and longer since she had a poop accident for which I am sublimely grateful. The era of accidentally poopy panties seems to be well and truly over. Whew! She naps at school without accidents, and does pretty good at home unless it's a really long nap (sometimes she Sleep-Camels on the weekends and goes for 4 hours. It's rare, but oh so nice...) We tried giving it a go for overnight, but the reality is that she just doesn't really wake up if she gets wet. She tends to wake up a couple of hours later when she gets cold. For me, that says she's not ready, so we're sticking to pull-ups for overnights for now. We'll try again around the holidays and see if we've made progress.
Progress just keeps happening in other areas. She now recognizes most of the alphabet, and can set a set of letters out to spell her name, and can mostly write it too. Her written letters are wobbly and stuff at the end is a little weak, but she's getting there fast. School sent her home with a baggie full of foam letters to spell her name and she's been practicing. She occasionally gets them turned the wrong way, but in general, she's got this thing, and it's getting more solid every time she does it.
Miss Kym is back at school after her hip replacement, and that means the girls have been having a blast. She's brought them tattoos, and they love them. Currently she's sporting a silver necklace temporary tattoo. It's been 3 days of joy.
Tattoos are serious business
Athena loves swimming. We have two community pools within walking distance of the house, so it's time to get her swimming fully on her own. She's been swimming with her elephant vest for a year or more now and still loves it, but it's time to go to the next level. She's ready.
Off to the pool!
We picked up a Groupon for swim lessons at Waterworks. They use the indoor pool at City Sports in Sunnyvale, so no sunblock required! Her teacher, Brandon, was pretty impressed with her willingness to follow directions, put her face in the water, and jump in. He said he could have her swimming a half a lap in eight lessons. Two lessons down and she's on her way. This was her first lesson:
We went to Zev and Rebeka's wedding on the 22nd. It was awesome. I ended up helping more than I planned just by having so much wedding experience that I could say, "Oh, go try this." So, I suggested a venue (Rockefeller Lodge) when their first choice was being dodgy. Then I served them wine they liked and ended up serving. Then there was last minute dance lessons. Then the baker was going to charge $250 to deliver the cake, so we picked it up and brought it up. It was easy for me and fun to help. The wedding was a hoot. It was a semi-traditional Jewish ceremony, with little feminist additions and adjustments. The rabbi was awesome, dancing down the aisle on the way out. And then there was a lovely dinner with our ConLARP friends, a truly charming toast from the father of the bride about a wine bottle and a family tradition, and shots of vodka. (The bride is Russian Jewish.) Meanwhile, our little dance-aholic was asking, "Can we go dance now?" We distracted her successfully til it was time for dancing, but just barely. We had a really successful dance a little later where she let us take a lap of the floor as a family, then let mommy and daddy dance a lap alone. We're getting there! Before long, we may get a song or two alone. Erik and I also reflected on a day back in 2009 at Alex and Sherman's wedding, on that dance floor, when the ink was dry on his PhD, and we were dancing, when I answered the outstanding question that was required as soon as said ink was dry with a, "Yeah, I can go for the one." Now with Athena dancing with us, and waiting for us as we made another lap, it all felt right.
Two sets, because Athena wanted more.
And yes, Athena loves dancing. Clementine's moms looked into next dance classes at school this month since they'd had a year in Creative Movement. She checked out Hip Hop and Tap/Ballet Combo. There were not enough spots for everyone in Tap/Ballet, so Miriam and Clementine decided Hip Hop was the thing. Athena was super jazzed about Tap, so we decided that for now at least, she could do both. It's an added expense, but oh goodness she loves it! She's been teaching us shuffle-step and other things after class. Hip Hop is fun and includes her besties, but Tap/Ballet currently has her heart. One of her favorite songs is Edward the Tap Dancing Elephant, so this isn't a big surprise.
We've spent a bunch of time hanging with the Lo's because she adores Bit. Erik has a monthly game with Wendy and others, which leads to time to play with T and Devon, both of whom treat the kids like they're the favorite uncles, which, well, if she didn't have two actual uncles, would be totally true.
Tackling T, like you do.
The other thing that's awesome is a place called Dim Sum King in Sunnyvale with take-out dim sum, meaning that we can grab dim sum and head to the Lo's for half the price of going out for dim sum. Then when the kids have had their fill, they run off and play Legos or Rescue Fire Squad and we get to enjoy a leisurely conversation around the table. So now we say we're getting dim sum and going to their house and Athena says, "Dim sum? I'd love some!"
Waiting at Dim Sum King.
The Los were shopping for a new house, so they had to head out to see an open house, and believe it or not, Athena misses going to open houses, so she insisted we go see one too. We went to one in Santa Clara on our way home, at her insistence. It was a cool place, and the kid's room had a pink piano. She sat down to play and insisted it was time for me to dance.
On Friday, August 7th, John texted and asked where was a good place for dinner in Campbell. And would we want to join them. Aqui! and YES!!! John and Becky live in El Portal, so it's tough to see them. They were in town to fulfill Becky's dad's Christmas present: the Engineer for a Day experience at Roaring Camp. We didn't have plans til Saturday evening, so we joined them not just for dinner, but also at Roaring Camp the next day. Rarely have I even seen someone enjoy a gift for such an extended time. Erik Lund was over the moon. If you know someone who wants to drive a steam engine, then this is the way to do it. He took the train on 4 runs up and down the mountain. We took the third run up to the redwood grove.
Kids love cake at Aqui
Waving as Erik Lund heads out on the 12:30 train
Getting back from the 12:30 run.
Athena tried his hat
Happy family including John!
Gotta get back to work
(Where work is actually super fun)
About to drive the train away from the summit
Erik and Athena in the cave tree in the grove
Back at the station, Penelope checked out the hat
You wear it Daddy!
Hat back on Grandpa
Trying the covered wagon with Daddy
Fun playing with Penelope
And as we all miss Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, here is your moment of Zen.