OnWakeUpTime scripting error

6-year old humans and computers have a lot in common. When you give them literal instruction they follow them. We told Emmett that when he woke up he could open his only his stocking and nothing else until everyone was up. We thought we had all the bases covered. At 12:20 am we realized our mistake. We had left out a line of code assigning a value to OnWakeUpTime = x.

Since the program had already been compiled and was running there was no redo. We got to re-realize our error at 1:20, 2:40, 3:10, 3:15, 3:17, 4:25 and then finally 6:30.

As we pretended to be getting out of bed Emmett raced back and forth between the living room and our bedroom reporting each gift that Santa had left in his stocking. Each and every gift was amazing!!! Each report was delivered to our horizontal faces at a volume level of 11.

Santa had been up late putting Emmett’s Playmobil house together – which involved a huge collection of microscopic pieces. We laid in bed surrounded by little colored bags that we methodically assembled into windows, doors and flower boxes while we watched the Tudors mistreat each other.

We finally managed to get up and initiate the present opening. Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Star Wars, Playmobil, and Converse were reoccurring themes that emerged from the cacophony of wrapping paper that carpeted the living room.

The kids settled into playing with their new things and we got to lounge on the couch eating cinnamon rolls and dodging the occasional Owlet fly-by.

Merry Christmas everyone!!



4H Holiday Fun

Our family loves 4H holiday events!
Early last week we hit the 4H Holiday craft event at the armory. Some of us glued, painted and glittered through each station fully sucking the marrow out of each experience…others of us ran frantically from station to station dipping in long enough to sample the essence of the craft.
Noble was completely enchanted by the candy cane reindeer making station. Once the reindeer was constructed it went on fabulous adventures all over the armory… until he acquired another candy cane reindeer from his sister. Once the two reindeers came together they really brought out the worst in each other and on the ride home they got involved in a pipe cleaner antler conflict that broke each of their necks.
Noble wailed without pause all the way home. He and Kaety huddled on the bathroom floor applying bandages to each break. I was skeptical, but they did pull off a neurologic miracle…until not more than an hour later another antler conflict occurred. We jumped the gun on the road-kill salvage laws and ate them both.
Later in the week we joined the Youth in Action Team to create holiday centerpieces for Meals on Wheels recipients. Stabbing sticks into green foam was a big hit with the boys. Emmett lost sight of the goal pretty quickly and began making birdie home entertainment centers. The only thing that got him back on task was being allowed to ‘cut’ with the pruning shears. Symone kept her distance from us fearing a possible market drop in her social capital.
Every branch the boys shoved into the florists foam we had to remove and replace. As we worked we built Betty up to mythical proportions as ‘the judge’ who had the final say on whether a centerpiece was good enough. Once Emmett bought into this approving authority he got more interested in the mission and possibly getting in on some of this ‘hard won’ approval.
We knew it was time to go when the pile of greens was being eyeballed and the question, “Can I jump in it?” was floated.


“Come look in the toilet!”

I’ve been really thwarted by a clogged toilet in our bathroom. Everyday I’ve been nibbling at plunging it. Tonight I got super serious about it and gave it my full plunging focus. Symone was chattering at me via FaceTime from her room about some secret Santa social problem – she seemed totally oblivious to my lack of attention and the odd sucking sounds coming from my end of the conversation. Right about the time she said, “…so what should I do?” I looked down to inspect the results of plunge round number 4 and was kind of horrified to see something black float up. I told Symone that something horrifying was happening in the toilet and she signed off abruptly with, “I’m out!”.

I really was staring at it, and my mind couldn’t resolve what it was…except some terrible sewer product not of this earth. Then I saw the green light…and the buttons…and then laughed.

“Kaety! Come here and look in the toilet!”


“No really, come look, it’s awesome.”


“Come and look, it’s the answer to a number of mysteries”

She finally came and looked. At first she recoiled at its shiny blackness just like I did and then took a closer look, “Oh my god, is that the Roku remote? Eww!”

The baby’s two favorite things – the toilet and the remotes. Sigh.

Manga Dad?

On the way to school this morning Emmett asked, “What does ‘manga dad’ mean?”

“I can think of a lot of loose interpretations for that label, but why don’t you use it in the sentence you heard it in and we can maybe figure it out”

“Manga dad, manga dad, we wish you a merry Christmas.”

My pattern recognition engine strained for a moment under the weight of such poor base material but I finally got it, “Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, we wish you a merry Christmas!…It’s Spanish for Merry Christmas.”

“Oooh! I’m really good at speaking Spanish…”

The Illness Journey

We have emerged from the depths of sickness. We woke up this morning feeling sore and changed. It’s odd sometimes how an illness can feel like a really uncomfortable vision quest. We watched a documentary on Ayahuasca – I can say with a cursory mental inventory we had many of the same experiences:

  • Vomiting and Diarrhea shared as a group
  • A headache so profound that the pain became something else – a gateway to the multiverse
  • Coughing that morphed into animal communications.
  • Confrontational dreams filled with unknowable symbolism
  • Sweat rolling off our bodies in the patterns of mystical mandalas.
  • A sense of taking a long journey
  • A lot of laundry to do

Tarp the rooms!

A cascade of flu has hit the house. Symone yesterday. Noble went down last night – his room is now tarped. Kaety and I joined him shortly after 1am. We are better aims so no tarps are necessary.

At 4 am Noble was crying through the house looking for his barfed on stuffies. I found him in the laundry room trying to get them out of the washing machine. I put them in the dryer and he and I curled up in a pile a clean laundry and shivered together while they dried.

We are sick!

Red flags and three year olds

We were laying in our VRBO master bed made from six old-growth trees and trying to sleep in. Various early morning request were floated and fulfilled including one from Noble asking for a damp wash cloth. That kind of request from a three-year old should raise some red flags- but I cared more about getting back to bed than figuring out the mystery.

Later we were in the bathroom getting ready and talking about what we needed to do to leave. I remembered the washcloth, “Oh, hey, we need to be on the lookout for a damp washcloth somewhere in the house – Noble asked me for it this morning”.

Kaety paused washing her hair in the shower, “Oh god! Seriously?”

At that moment I looked down and noticed a washcloth right on the edge of the sink where I was brushing my teeth, “oh! I found it”. When I picked it up a large turd rolled out and landed on my bare feet.


Symbols of marriage

Symone and I were sitting in the hot tub last night out in the snow. She was talking over a wide range of topics – one of them was her reluctance to get get married.

“Why is that honey?”

“I’m freaked out that the ring will get stuck on my finger and I won’t be able to get it off”

“There are all sorts of symbols you can use, a ring is just a popular traditional choice”

“I still like the ring…but I’d like to put it somewhere else. I think a nose ring would be cool!”

“Umm…that may not be the greatest symbol of partnership”

Then we talked about symbols and meanings – as well as how annoying it is to run out of hair conditioner.

High Desert Museum

While half our party was monitoring the double-ended blowout the other half made a quick stop at the High Desert Museum to see lizards, turtles and have a somewhat confrontational visit with a historic reenactor in the pioneer cabin.

Afterward we sucked in any possible germs carried on our bodies from exposure to Emmett and paid a visit to Mark and Cindy McConnell. Mark introduced Noble to an ancient Japanese poetry game that ended up being used as a game trail for his rubber lizard.

Mark and Cindy it was great seeing you guys!!