Edie at 22 Months
Oh, this baby gal… she must do everything on her own! If she sees big brother do it, she must also try. Things like getting dressed in the morning are cute, as she tries to put her shirt on her legs without getting undressed first. If I dare try to intervene and take her diaper off, there is hell to pay. Piercing screams, violent kicks and punches thrown, flailing all about. “I AM GOING TO DO IT MYSELF, DAMMIT, AND YOU SHALL NOT INTERFERE” is what she is conveying. Okay, that’s great Edie, I’m very proud that you are so independent, but we were supposed to have left for daycare 10 minutes ago, so…

The worst thing is the carseat. Oh how I wish someone would completely reimagine the child carseat. Edie absolutely despises the carseat. Getting her into it in the morning is my least favorite chore. One morning last week it took over ten minutes from the time we left the house until we had left for daycare. For the last few weeks, she just wants to do it herself. She will climb and flail around and might wind up in the seat upside-down on her back, unable to sit upright. Then she moved on to letting me set her down in her seat with a bribe of fruit snacks or juice box. But now? We are simply at “No. Effing. Way. Am I getting in that seat.” And it is a nice, new, very comfy, expensive carseat, best on the market. And it still sucks so bad. I took her on a grocery run the other day and she refused to budge from Johnny’s big-kid front-facing seat, so I just strapped her in and she was happy as could be for that 3 block ride. Now, her carseat in my van has been switched to front-facing too… it wasn’t fair that John could watch the DVD player and she had to face the other way.

She has always been a great sleeper, and for many months, Lauren and I both preferred to do her bedtime over John’s. An Edie bedtime was so simple. Let her stand in the bathroom and brush her own teeth, which is really just her eating Whole Foods brand toothpaste and acting big. Read a book or two, sing a song, set her down and walk away. Then that lucky parent had the rest of their night free by 7:20. A John bedtime has also become fairly easy, but requires a very long, elaborate story with a detailed arc, and dealing with “I’m scared” of this and that. But now, I’m back on the John bedtime train.

Yep, very typical 22-month-old toddler for ya! I’m sure Edie is no different than any other tot. She couldn’t be a super easy toddler forever.

Homemade Desk Assembled
In other news, as you probably saw on Facebook, I built myself a very nice, sturdy, 8’2″ wide, 7″ high desk. I like to have several monitors as it’s easier for designing and multitasking, and they didn’t fit in my old armoire. I drew up some plans and headed to Lowe’s for lumber. The whole thing was constructed with 1x12s and plywood. I kinda made it up as I went, and used the desk while it was being built. It started as nothing but a giant H shape—the two sides and a plank in the middle. I kept sawing, painting, and bringing in another piece one by one. I got to the final day of the project and went to attach the doors on the cabinets and realized the entire thing was slightly angled. There were no 90º angles, they were all off by 3-5º. I had to actually disassemble almost the entire thing and rebuild it, using real tools like levels and my trusty 48″ bar clamp. By Saturday night at midnight it was fully assembled and painted. Some of the fun details you can’t see well on the photos are the sound panel backdrop in the center, the hooks with speakers and headphone hanging from above, and lots of empty backs for cords to easily flow in and out. All in all, I give the project a solid A-. A close inspection will turn up plenty of blemishes and unevennesses.

custom homemade workstation desk

Pretending to Plan a Trip
About two months into the pandemic, Lauren and I, like probably every other family of working parents with young kids, were feeling very overwhelmed. We had discussed each of us taking a long weekend and doing a solo trip to recover from our parenting efforts before school started back up… you know, imagining that the pandemic would be over by now. Of course now we know it is nowhere near over. Maybe someday we’ll return to normalcy and we can really do these little recovery getaways that we have earned.

So for today, I will just have to daydream about several possible options for a long weekend, Friday-Sunday mini-trip. Maybe in 2022? Here are some places that came to mind off the top of my head.

  1. Lake Charles, LA – I have yet to step foot in Louisiana, one of the dozen states left on my list. A trip right across the Texas border to this city known for having a handful of resort/casino establishments could be a fun solo trip. Some light gambling by day, some sleeping in, and best of all—checking a new state off the list.
  2. Catch a Minnesota sports team on the road locally. It could be the Twins in Arlington, the Vikings in Houston, the Timberwolves in San Antonio… I’d be sure to run into a familiar face by seeing a Minnesota club in Texas.
  3. Columbus, OH – With my manager and friend Bart having left Austin for his home state of Ohio, I could visit a city I’ve never been to and have a place to stay.
  4. Portland, OR – Oregon is another state I’ve never visited, and Portland is the Austin of the West Coast. And I like rainy weather!
  5. Just start driving and see where I wind up. I think it might be fun to just drive aimlessly in any direction and just stop off when I see a place to stay for the night. A real life “choose your own adventure”… as it’s happening! Wander into a small-town honky tonk, perhaps?
  6. A western Canadian city. I have never been to Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Regina… some random Canadian city might be just the place to cool off! Maybe a bit much for a 2-night stay, though. Don’t want to spend the whole thing in airports.
  7. New Mexico. I have grazed the very far northeast corner and very south tip of the state, but never spent any time there. A very long drive or short flight to our neighbors to the west could be interesting.
  8. Pittsburgh. I have spent very little time in Pennsylvania. I drove through that little tip in the far northwest once up by Erie, and rode through on a train on the way from New York to DC once. A city I’d like to visit is Pittsburgh. Maybe catch a random Pirates game and explore the local bar scene.
  9. Memphis or Nashville. I spent some time in Tennessee in 1997, but I’m sure a lot has changed in nearly a quarter century.
  10. Gulf Coast drive. Like I said, I haven’t been to Louisiana before, but I also haven’t been to Mississippi or Alabama. I could check three off the list in short order by just driving along the coastline. Wouldn’t leave time for much else other than driving.