The long weekend is now over. There’s been a lot going on throughout. I’ll try to summarize as best I can.
I left work Friday a little earlier than usual in order to swing by DHL to drop off some shipments for work. I assumed this would be routine, but it was anything but. The packages are headed to Mexico, which means a buttload more paperwork needed to be filled out. I rushed home to pull up the DHL website and complete the paperwork, only to find their website absolutely sucks. It crashed Mozilla and Firefox straightaway, but in IE, it waited until I’d filled out 99% of the forms before it ate it. I cursed that thing for the three times it took for me to get it right. I’m crossing my fingers that it will actually get there.
Kelly, Hallie, and Travis joined me for my trip back to DHL. We got there ten minutes before they closed (so much for leaving early, eh?). With that off my plate, we got dinner at Zest in Celebration at Six Forks. After a tasty meal of fried catfish and a side trip to Goodberry’s, we wandered home, laughing all the way. The night was capped when I got another chance to put Travis to bed all by myself, which I accomplished successfully. There’s nothing better than the feeling of your child falling asleep in your arms.
Saturday began a bit earlier than we had hoped. Travis woke up at 5:30, thinking it was time to get up. We had decided to let him holler for a while with the thought that he’d go back to sleep, but he was having none of it. When we fetched him around 6, Hallie was awake, too. Sleeping in? Hah!
I’d volunteered to help my dad with replacing an attic fan, so I headed over there for about two hours. It involved balancing on a 12′ ladder while unbolting the fan over my head, trying hard not to drop it on my noggin all the while. Dad handed tools up when they were needed and kept me laughing while we worked. Once the old fan was down, we palled around long enough to make me late for being home in time for Kelly’s haircut appointment. Once again, I got to put Travis to sleep – this time for his nap. You’d think I’m getting to be a pro at this stuff.
Once everyone was back and awake, we got ready to head to the pool at my Mom and Dad’s club. We were met at the house by Kelly’s friend Marnie, her daughter Susanna, and her husband, John. We had a blast watching the kids splash around.
It was Travis’s first dip into a real pool. He seemed to take it in stride. At one point, we watched amused as he floated away from us. He had figured out how to kick and apparently decided to go exploring. Kelly and I both knew he’d take to water, but like his sister has consistently done he exceeded our expectations. Guess we should’nt have been surprised.
On Sunday, we had a more normal wakeup (6:30AM). After a lazy breakfast, I remembered I still had to help Dad put in the new fan. I put Travis down for his nap (woo woo!) and headed out the door around 10:30.
More attic fun followed. The installation was easier than I anticipated. Once again, it was fun spending time with my Dad and Mom. After an hour or so, the job was done. We then spent the next hour yapping together downstairs to the point where Kelly had to call over there to see where I was! In actuality, she wanted to know if I would be joining them for a trip to the store. I did, and off we went.
We navigated through the aisles of our local Red Big Box Store, filling the cart to overflowing with … stuff. Half the haul was baby food, the rest plastic stuff. I did pick up a new pillow, though, which went a long way towards last night’s fantastic night of sleep. At thirteen bucks, I’m wondering why I didn’t buy a new pillow sooner.
We had lunch and then did another round of naps. I stepped outside and began to cut the grass. Our neighbors and we had planned a block party for Sunday afternoon. Some of them were already arriving next door. I had time to mow the front yard before Kelly appeared around the corner with a smiling Travis in her arms. It was time to party, apparently.
We got cleaned up and headed next door to the party. There were three tables stocked with all kinds of food. There were two kegs of beer iced down in the garage. Spread out under two tents were our friends and neighbors, all laughing and carrying on. There were too many bad jokes, too many Jello shots, and too many mosquitoes, but everybody had a good time. We left around 10 PM having met some neighbors for the first time and knowing our other neighbors a lot better.
Kelly and I awoke feeling fine. In my case, excellent. I’m thinking it was the new pillow, rather than the 6 or 8 drinks I had at the party. A breakfast of pancakes with strawberries and blueberries started the day on the right foot.
Speaking of feet, the neighborhood sponsored a Fourth of July parade for the kids. The kids rode bicycles down the main street, following the ladder truck from nearby Raleigh Fire Station 22. Though it was his nap time, Travis was really in his element among the new faces. Hallie enjoyed the parade in the back of her red wagon. We walked with our neighbors, Frank and Brea and their daughter, Madison.
On the way, I spotted a professional-quality DV camera in the hands of a neighbor who runs an aerial photography business. We left the parade with new friends. Man, this is a cool neighborhood.
Travis went down like a champ at 10 AM, an hour after his usual naptime. I took the time to finish mowing the yard. It was oppressively hot today, without the breeze we enjoyed the day before. I was happy to finish things up just in time for lunch.
The kids took their usual naps. Kelly asked me if I was planning to nap, too. Unlike most weekends, I didn’t feel the need to nap at all – another testament to my good night of sleep. Instead, we got even more chores done around the house.
I spent spare time this weekend working on building my own MythTV box, a free Tivo-like PVR. After much head-scratching, I got it to the point where it downloads the TV listings and tunes my satellite card. The big obstacle remaining is getting the channels properly configured. DVB satellite signals have a number of parameters which must be specified. I don’t know enough about MythTV yet to know where to put it all. I’m maddeningly close to completing this project, but I ran out of time to finish it tonight. Perhaps this week I’ll have it up and running.
That brings things up to date. I’m looking forward to the short work week and the next weekend that comes along. This has been a summer that didn’t really have many things planned for each weekend. It’s been great just doing what we want to do.