Saturday, May 2 2020

keyboards, story time, chinese food, and power tools

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Saturday. It's an obscenely beautiful day today, which is why this morning I'm coming to you live from my back porch. Marissa is sitting beside me trying to curb her maternal nausea with a Hy-Vee blueberry muffin, and Rodney is trying to snipe birds off the Burger King roof with his rifle shaped stick - ope, sorry... his shooter.

It took a while to get set up outside. About half way into drafting my notes for this morning's entry, the maddening number of typos I was leaving behind made me realize that the E key on my Macbook keyboard is stuck, and was working about a half of the time. So with coffee cup still in hand, I dashed upstairs to grab my cable and mechanical keyboard.

Did you know I'm a bit of a keyboard snob? I use a machine called the Happy Hacker Keyboard, best known for its compact layout, smooth action, and unbelievably sexy thunk-thunk-thunk sound it makes when you type. This is probably the first time I've used it outside, and I'm really getting a kick out of it.

Sip. I had a great day yesterday. My morning was filled with the usual meetings as well as picking off the last few environment variable migrations. I took a break just before lunch to practice baseball with Rodney, then we returned inside for story time.

On Friday afternoons, we've hosted a virtual story time with Rodney's cousins. I take the call from my bedroom office, and Rodney uses Mom's laptop on the couch.

If you've never had the chance to watch a group of toddlers talk to each other over Zoom chat, I highly recommend it as a source of amusement. Rodney caught on pretty fast, and apart from occasionally shouting into the tiny laptop speaker, he demonstrates pretty good Zoom etiquette. Alice, at first, didn't realize what was going on, and I'm pretty sure she just thought that I was the host of a strange, low budget TV show that aired in her kitchen every week. I'm not sure what Frankie thinks of it - she's difficult to read.

After reading the riveting classic Giraffes Can't Dance (spoiler alert - they can!), we bid the cousins farewell and I continued on with the work day. My tedious project of the day was setting up my calendar with sixteen weeks of vacation mode. After submitting the changes, my boss sent me a slack message.

"I just got about 200 emails from you through Google calendar," he said. "My inbox is buried."

"LOL," I replied. "I would hope that Google Calendar would be smart enough to not send you an email for each event I declined, but sadly that's not the case?"

"What would have happened if you clicked 'decline all future events'," chimed in Nate. "Would it have sent him infinite emails?"

I finished out the work day, attending some final meetings, and with a final "have a great summer everyone!", I signed out of work slack. The catharsis of leaving work for sixteen weeks manifested itself into a nap, and immediately after I drew the shades, crawled into bed, and passed out until dinner.

I woke up to Rodney poking at me from the foot of my bed. "Dada - Dada - Dada," he yelled, leaping onto my stomach. "The pizza is here."

"Well that's weird," I grunted, crossing my legs to absorb the brunt of his tiny body slam. I sprang out of bed and tackled him. "Then why does it smell like CHINESE FOOD downstairs," I yelled, reversing him into a leg lock.

Marissa had set up the takeout Chinese food at the table, and the steaming pile of fried rice and nearby mound of dark and syrupy General Tsao's chicken looked so welcoming and glorious. And after coming out of a long nap? That meal was like an out of body experience.

After dinner, we made our way to the couch to wish Gigi a Happy Birthday. The Birthday wishes quickly turned into a round of questions for Rodney.

"Rodney," asked Gigi. "Where is your baby brother Miles?" Rodney curiously cocked his head and raised his eye brows.

"He's in Momma's tummy!" he yelled.

"You gotta get him out of there!" replied Gigi. Rodney quickly ran over to his toys and we all looked on with anticipation. He returned with a shirt full of plastic power tools.

"Ah," said Marissa. "I think he's going to try to use his power tools to get Miles out." From his bag of tricks, Rodney produced a battery powered skil saw. And even though it was just a plastic toy, in that moment, held to Marissa's thin, swollen stomach, it looked pretty menacing. Rodney squeeze the trigger, and the tiny engine clicked. We roared with laughter as he holstered the toy saw, grabbing a plastic pliers instead.

"Nice dude," I said, egging him on. "I would focus on the belly button, that's got to be the weak point."

Rodney cycled through his plastic toys - the pliers, the hand saw, the hammer. At one point he even played his recorder, as if he was going to lure Miles out of the womb like a snake charmer.

After putting Rodney to bed, Marissa suggested we have a bonfire. We set up some chairs around the grill, and before long we were sitting under a shared blanket watching the fire flicker. Ziggy crawled into Marissa's lap, strategically angling her body against the fire. Marissa and I sat outside and shared a long, meandering conversation about Rodney, pregnancy, coronavirus, and politics.

As we were cleaning up from the campfire, Marissa doubled over, wincing in pain. I helped her over to the couch, where she remained for the rest of the night clutching a plastic bowl.

"I think nausea is a pre-labor symptom," she said. "I think something's going on in there."

I bounced on my toes excitedly and clapped my hands. "Oh yeah, I think it's getting serious! We're having a baby."

I spent the rest of the night cleaning the kitchen. Eventually Marissa's nausea subsided. I found her on the couch this morning, still looking flush and exhausted.

"I hope it happens today," she said wearily.

Thanks for stopping by this morning. I hope you have a wonderful day today.