Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Big weekend

Last Thursday, I took the day off. Alastair was scheduled for his 4-month checkup, and I wanted to be there for him since he was getting a big cocktail of shots. Amanda was concerned that he would be ill and lethargic in the afternoon, so I wanted to support her.

We got him to the doctor, stripped him, weighed him (exactly 18 lbs, 25.75" long, 16.75" cranium), and proceeded to impale his perfect little legs with no fewer than 4 icky needles. The poor little guy let us know how much he appreciated it for about 30 seconds, then evidently forgot that something horrifying had just happened to him. We took him home, and that was our day. He was fine, and we just got to spend a nice day together.

Then, on Friday, I got a call from the day-care asking me to take him home: he'd had 3 "diarrheas" (come on people, he's a breast-fed baby) and was no longer welcome there that day. They'd apparently had a bit of a stomach bug going around, the symptoms of which were diarrhea and/or vomiting, and fever. He was burning up.

I took him home, turned up the AC, and tried to keep him happy. It took no work at all: the kid was in a great mood. With a fever over 101. Being the adventurous types, we even took him out for dinner with the Kimmelshues. By the time we got home with our little man, he was reading 102.4.

Again, being super adventurous, we decided that a swaddled, feverish baby on a warm night was just begging for SIDS, we forewent the swaddling for the first time. He came through like a champ, as did a whole bunch of poop. No swaddle = poop-mania!

During the day, his fever broke, and all was well with the world.

On Sunday, I got up bright and early and headed over to the Richmond Raceway Complex for my first autocross in the Miata. It was hot, it got hotter, and ended up brutally hot. I did ok, it being my first time in the Miata. I put down my fastest time on a fun-run after the competition, after being advised that the best tire-pressure for the Kumhos was 25-rear, 27-front (!).

Then Monday I went and helped Mr. Kimmelshue replace suspension parts on his M3. I was outside for close to 7 hours both days, and it took it's toll on me: Tuesday I was feverish.

I spent the day with Beeboo, trying desperately to tend to him while feeling like crap, and also dealing with.................the bat in the house!

That's right, folks: there was a real, live, flying rodent in the house! Amanda woke up several times during the night, telling me that she was hearing a chirping sound. We went searching through the house, couldn't find anything, and went back to bed. Twice. Then, at 5:30, as Amanda was taking her shower, I saw it from the light-spill. It was flying in circles around the computer room, and Lucy was leaping at it on every pass.

Then it flew at me. I didn't hop up on a chair and scream, but I came close. After a few dazed moments of staring at it, we closed Alastair's door and got the cats out of harm. Then we trapped it in the computer room and went on with our morning.

Obviously, with a fever and a bat, I wasn't going to work. I called the bat people, and they suggested we call Animal Control. Animal Control showed up almost 3 hours later, and the fellow was unable to find the bat. He suggested that I should tear the room apart and kill it myself. Yeah, right.

So we opened the window to that room and waited until dark, when we assumed it would go looking for food. No such luck: it wasn't moving for anybody.

At 8:45, right after getting Boy to bed, I went in. I searched high and low, but I kept coming back to the closet, where I eventually picked up the smell. The disgusting, horrifying smell of death. I noticed that an enormous object in the closet had been pushed flat against the wall, so I figured the poor little bat had been crushed. Nope. Then, randomly, I decided to see if it was somehow stuck in the metal bifold closet-door. It was right behind me, and I couldn't tell, but it didn't look dead.

We called Animal Control again, and they were there almost immediately. The very nice officer reached in, got the bat, pulled it out (very much alive), and showed us the little fellow. It was very angry.

So that was our weekend. Never a dull moment.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

...and then he got sick

So last week Alastair started daycare. Thursday night, he started getting a little stuffy. Friday, he was congested. We weren't sure at the time, but by late Friday night we were sure: he was sick.

Amanda was wracked with guilt for having put him in institutionalized daycare. I was worried for the little guy. The aspirator came out, as did the saline spray, and we did our best to keep our buddy happy.

The real joy was that he shared his cold with us. Friday night was Jeff & Evelyn's rehearsal dinner, and we made it through with nary a sniffle, but shortly after getting home that night, we both got sore throats.

Saturday was misery, trying to get ready for the wedding (Amanda was Matron of Honor, and I was a groomsman) with stuffy heads and a sick 4-month-old. Graciously, my dad maintained his offer to watch Alastair during the wedding festivities, and we got through the ceremony and reception ok.

Sunday was more of the same, taking care of Boy. On Monday, neither he nor I felt up to work, so we stayed home. That kid slept more on Monday than he did in his first few days of life. Poor little guy was working super hard at getting better.

Tuesday, we heard a sound we'd not heard for days: the joyous sounds of his morning gibberish! We got to work, albeit a bit late, and he's been on the mend ever since.

What a rotten way to spend your 4-month birthday: sick, asleep, and cranky.

Congratulations, Jeff & Evelyn! (If I seemed distant, it was the combination of my cold and worry for the boy.)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Happy Anniversary to me!

It's a busy time of year: I'm in a wedding tomorrow, for which there's a rehearsal dinner tonight. Amanda and her mom are going out to camp on Sunday to clean. Her grandmother is moving to Richmond next weekend. My grass has gone 2 weeks without cutting. Alastair started his first week of full-time daycare. There's an autocross, a company "fun" event, and my friend Mariah's birthday all on the 4th of June, and we're getting the hell out of town the following weekend.

Last weekend, I spent a wet day on the parking lot of the ACCA Temple with 42 other guys in a miserable autocross, ran in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday, and had a company breakfast on Friday.

The weekend before that was Arts in the Park and a cook-out for Jeff & Evelyn's wedding.

Then there's the important thing: today is my anniversary. I've been married to my sweety for 6 fabulous years. Last year we were in Asheville, touring the Biltmore (again). We followed up the experience with a full day of spa treatment the next day. This year? Nothing.

It's like the event just doesn't even exist this year. Alastair takes up so much energy (I love him to death), and he's getting his first cold. The wedding has us running all over Creation today: picking up the tux, attending the rehearsal, getting ready for tomorrow. Plus, due to the convergence of these circumstances, we're in town for the whole weekend.

I think it was about 11:15 pm last night when I realized that today was our anniversary. I've never felt so disappointed.

But Amanda had a great idea: tonight, after we put Boy to bed, we're going to sit on the porch and drink a bottle of wine. I can't wait. I'd sit and drink a bottle of Boone's with that woman.

So, back to Alastair: he started daycare this week. It's so emotionally exhausting. We get up bright and early, cram as much preparation as possible into the morning, rouse him, feed him, and put him in the car. All of this with the desire of getting me to work at a relatively early time. Then, I drive him here, go through the long, involved process of dropping him off at the daycare, and the long, involved process of actually leaving him there (it's tough to see those beautiful eyes when you're trying to leave).

I do enjoy getting to go and visit with him during the day. The daycare is very supportive of parents coming and visiting whenever they want. On Monday, I went and fed him, Tuesday I sat with him for a while, and today I talked to him and rocked him to sleep. I love that kid to death!

On Tuesday night, he did something really cool: he rolled over. I put him on his tummy, and he arched his back up really high. Then he just shoved with his right arm and over he went. It was his first time, and I was beside myself with delight.

He's starting to lengthen out now. I informally measured him yesterday at about 26", which is about 2" longer than he had been for the last month. It's evident when we dress him, too: most of his clothes fit his girth, but no longer fit his length. He'll be 4 months old on Monday, and he's already outgrowing his 6M clothes.


Car stuff:

I ordered 195/55R14 Kumho V710 race tires for the Miata today. With these tires and a new exhaust (yet to be ordered), the car will be fully outfitted for stock class racing. Add to that the hub-centric rings I got for both the 16x7 SSR's and 17x7 Kosei's, and now all of my wheels/tires will fit on the Miata.

This gives me a lot of options, and I think the SSR/Falken combo will be the perfect setup for July's track day.

I'm excited!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Daycare for Beeboo

Amanda and I call him Beeboo. Sometimes it's actually hard to remember that he has a real name.

Anyway, he starts daycare next week. He'll be coming to work with me every day! And I can go down to the daycare center and feed him at lunch, or just hang out with him for a little while! I'm very excited about this, but it comes at a cost: Amanda has to return to full-time work next week.

We also crossed another threshold this weekend, when Alastair spent his first night in his own room. The first night, Saturday night, was kind of difficult. We'd had a cook-out for Jeff & Evelyn, and he was keyed up from all the company. We put him down at about 9pm, and he was up at 11. Then he was up at 4:30am, 6:30am, and finally let us sleep in until about 9.

The next night he slept like a champ, from 9pm to 7am, with never a peep. He's now successfully completed 4 nights in his own crib, and the bassinet has been disassembled.

In a week or so, we'll start working on leaving him un-swaddled at night.

I love my little guy!!! He's such a cutie.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Return of the Streetable MINI, and the birth of Frankenmiata!

My master-plan for building up the Miata coincides nicely with my plan for returning the MINI to being a fun car to drive. I'm selling the parts off the MINI that take the fun out of it, and using the proceeds to buy toys for the Miata.

This week I pulled the Alta end-links off, which had been making chattery clattery noises since they were put on the car. They sold almost instantly (although I've not yet received any money), putting me in the house-cleaning mood. I came home and listed the Wilwood brakes for sale on NAM, getting a TON of immediate responses, and it looks like they'll be gone by tomorrow.

Next up are the bra, the caliper stiffeners, and the right harness. Further down the line will be the exhaust and left harness. Eventually, the stock springs, sway bars, and control arms might find their way back onto the car, and if that happens, I might as well return to the stock airbox, too.

The goal, as previously stated, is to make the MINI a streetable, fun, daily driver, allowing it to serve as a safe and reliable family car for years to come.

The secondary goal is to make the Miata into a monster.

Plans got set into motion this week on that front with the ordering of new high performance brake pads & rotors; a timing belt kit; oil, air, & fuel filters; a shop manual; spark plugs; and high performance plug wires.

Basically, we're starting with a tune-up, and seeing what the car can deliver in peak stock form.

The plans they are a rollin'.