Monday, July 26, 2010

In or Out Please

This is how Calvin would like to spend the entire day:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lose an organ, Gain a car

Well, this week has been exciting! We started it out by buying a car! Eeks! Our Kia barely made it up here and we took it to a mechanic who said the required fixes were going to be well over $1000. We had already put over $2000 of work into it in the past 6 months in order for it to make the drive up to Washington, so we decided that it would make more financial sense to be putting that money into a car that is in good shape.

Finding a car was so stressful to me. We wanted to buy used, but everything we looked at was not priced very much less than a new vehicle or when it was priced much less, and you could tell that it's going to fall apart quickly. We didn't really know what we were gonna do, and thought about doing a round of leasing to postpone the real commitment. Then, on Monday night, we went to test drive this little beauty, a used 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring. It was already on a special that was $4,000 off the asking price because it hadn't sold yet, and they were going to take it to auction soon. Tyler and I (though pretty passive hagglers) were able to talk them a little lower and got them to waive a bunch of fees. So, we really felt like we got a great deal (or were at least not suckered into a worse one). And I think Dan, who sold it to us, was pretty happy with the arrangement as well.

And it looks beautiful. Seriously, it looks brand new, has really low miles, but had a used price! Perfect. It also came with a bunch of upgrades as opposed to the base model- better wheels, seat warmers, etc. I was quite an adventure going to dealerships with Calvin in tow, but it all worked out. I am pretty excited about it.

Next, Calvin and I went to the KidsQuest Chldren's Musuem. It was a little too old for him, but we did find a few fun things to play with.

At the children's museum, Calvin's favorite things to do was to play with the blocks and go down the slide. You can see a couple videos at the bottom of this post that show him going down the slide. It's was cute.
After the children's museum, we went to Jamba Juice for a little treat. Don't you just love the baby-size cup that they gave him? Too darn cute.
So, new car. Now for the losing of the organ. Ever since Calvin was born, I'd have this bizarre abdominal pain on occasion. I went to the ER the first time it happened, but they just sent me home and said that I wasn't dying. It continued to happen about once a month and then the frequency and duration of each attack began to increase as we got to 2010. I tried to change my diet, but that the attacks would still come and keep my up the entire night. Anyway, I went to see a couple of doctors, got some ultrasounds done, and they said that my gallbladder was infected and would need to be taken out. I believe that I held off as long as I could to have the surgery.
So, finally I had surgery yesterday. It was weird, I checked in to the hospital, they took the gallbladder out, and then I went home. It was like a weird dream, only I have 4 incision marks on my belly that remind me that it really happened. The whole thing was reminding me of LOST (most everything does). Anyway, I am doing very well recovering. Tyler is able to watch Calvin all weekend so I can rest. So, I am resting in bed with my netbook. :) I can't pick Calvin up for a while, so this next week should be interesting. I am in a bit of pain, but I was telling Tyler that it's nothing compared to getting over having a baby. And really, the pain I am feeling now is much better than a gallbladder attack, too. So, it works out.
I am glad that I decided to do it now because the doctor did say that he did find some stones and were able to take all of those out as well. If I had waited much longer, I may have developed pancreatitis. No, thank you. So, no pictures for this section, but I am sure you can google it if you're wondering was a laparoscopic cholecystectomy looks like.

So this weekend, we took it easier than normal and just drove to Alki Beach to walk around for a little bit and have some ice cream. I may be a little overhasty in my recovery, but the doctor said to walk as much as I can tolerate to assist in healing and so I don't get blood clots in my legs. We walked slowly along the beach, and I crashed in bed when we got home.
There was a classic car show going on on the beach. There were some really neat old cars.


Cool flower house we saw- reminded me of Japan.


On the way home, we stopped by the Freemont Troll who lives under Aurora bridge. Look, he has a real VW bug in his hand!


Tyler reading Calvin books at bedtime.


video


video

Monday, July 12, 2010

Intern Puzzleday 2010

Teams getting ready to start!
Microsoft has an intern event each year called "Puzzleday." Interns and guests get into teams of 10-12 people and spend all day (9am-6pm) doing tons of different puzzles. Microsoft teams up with puzzle writers around the region to create dozens of various new puzzles, mysteries, and games every year, including a large 2-part "metapuzzle" which the smaller puzzles help give answers to.
Each team is given a conference room for their team headquarters, where team members can work on the many paper puzzles they're given, including some multimedia puzzles on the Microsoft intranet. One puzzle was even set up using a corporate telephone service, where you had to call and follow a phone menu tree to figure out the answer. There were also many live puzzles and clues located around Microsoft Campus, so each team would need to coordinate their efforts to solve puzzles at their headquarters and to find clues/puzzles in other buildings. After you finish a puzzle, you submit the answer online to discover if you were correct and can move on.

I was so impressed with how much work went in to this event. One of the puzzles went so far as to put an invisible ink on the paper that could only be revealed when you put the paper in a refrigerator for an extended period of time. The puzzle creator hand wrote the invisible ink on the paper for each of the 50+ teams. We also got a large tube of mini m&m's for one of the puzzles. The only thing we could think to do to solve that puzzle was to count out the various colors of m&m's, but I thought that there was no way someone counted out the m&m colors for every one of the teams. I was wrong. The number of each color of m&m's was the key to figuring out that puzzle. The creator of that puzzle counted over 15,000 m&m's in order to create the various tubes for all of the teams. Crazy!

Cleaning up after we solved the metapuzzle with less than a minute to spare!

Anyway, it was so much fun. Tyler and I really love puzzles, and this was such a neat activity! I was able to participate on his team, but we also had Calvin there, so it made puzzle-solving difficult at times. I helped with a few puzzles, and then had to go home so Calvin could nap. We did make it back, though, for the last 8 minutes, where I was able to help solve the metapuzzle! We had less than a minute to spare. It was exciting because only about half of the teams solved it. We were also able to solve 34 other puzzles, and only a few teams were able to solve more than that. The highest I saw was 39 total puzzles. If only I had been able to stay all day, I think the results would have been different... Overall I think we got in 26th place. Not great, but we were still very proud of our efforts. Some of those puzzles were insanely difficult.

Calvin spent the entire awards ceremony a few rows away from us, playing with someone's iPad. He just sat in front of their feet and didn't come back until I went and grabbed him after he had been sitting there for 30 minutes. What a silly.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Good find!

So, Calvin LOVES shoes. He is so funny. Lately, right when he wakes up, he runs to find his shoes and asks you to please put them on. Then he just marches around the house with them on all day. I had been looking for a pair of flip flops for him for the summer, but hadn't really been able to find anything. Then, outside Fred Meyer, they were having a sidewalk sale on flip flops! They only had one pair for a little boy. Here they are:

Aren't they awesome?! I love them. And so does Calvin. And they were only $3.49. Even better.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Stadium of FIRE!

Whew! Well, I am back in Redmond now after a short trip back to Provo to do Stadium of Fire. What a week! My family came up to Provo to watch Calvin while I worked 12-16 hour days for the show. Calvin seemed to have the best week of his young life. Hanging out with the troop of girls now known as his "Aunt Farm," getting more attention than he could ever dream, eating treats, going on fun Freedom Festival outings to jumping castles, parks, balloon festivals, and all kinds of other exciting things. When Sunday rolled around, he took a 3-hour nap! I know that the week was just awesome-exhausting for him.


Hot Air Balloons at Provo High Field
This is the face Calvin made each time the fire would go to fill the balloons. He loved it!


The week was pretty awesome-exhausting week for me, too. I missed Tyler and Calvin and hanging out with the family that was in town, but didn't have much time to be lonely. I spent my week with 760 dancers, 260 Eagle Scouts and their moms, 500 boy scouts, 350 choir members, 90 military personnel, Carrie Underwood, Lou Diamond Philips, a half a dozen other music acts, hundreds of crew members, and 50,000 spectators. That is the beast that is Stadium of Fire. The show went really well, especially with all the groups us stage managers were herding around and cuing. I was very happy that the effect I had helped coordinate (a flaming arrow being shot to light the freedom torch) ran smoothly and was timed perfectly.
Some Assistant Stage Managers resting after a long day with rehearsals in the sun.

The only hiccup in the show was in the last round of fireworks, when one of the pyro trees located on the field malfunctioned and sent a couple of shells into the VIP seats. I was closeby when it happened and it looked pretty scary. Luckily no one was badly injured; there were 3 people who suffered burns, and the EMTs were able to provide medical attention immediately. I did see, however, quite a few people with burn holes in their clothing, where embers had landed. Pretty crazy. My mom had asked me before the show, "So like, is this show dangerous- will I get hit by a firework and get burned?" I assured her, "Phht, Mom, no way, that has never happened." I guess never say never. I know that the pyro team is investigating what happened, though, to ensure that that does not happen again.
On Sunday, we flew back to Washington. Whew! We have lots of fun things planned for this week!

This is a pyro canister that flew off a malfunctioning tree and hit a woman in the head. Yikes!