I think I’m getting gray hairs on my chin. I say ‘think’ because some days they’re there, and other days they’re not. Might have something to do with lighting or angle. I wish they’d just make up their minds already. I don’t mean that in a pejorative way either; I’m down with a salt & pepper in my beard, mostly because it goes so well with the rest of my ‘I’m getting old’ mantra, which goes something like: “I’m 35 years old, married with 3 kids, a dog, and a mortgage. I live in the suburbs, work for a big corporation, and have gray hairs growing out of my chin.” There isn’t a culture in the world where the equivalent of that statement doesn’t mean one thing and one thing only: you’re old dude.
In other family news, Enzo is now sitting up on his own! Although he needs a little help from time to time, he is doing quite a bit these days. We’re well past the days of struggling to take a bottle. At this point not only does he regularly drink from a bottle, but he even holds it up by himself from time to time. He has developed quite the set of pipes and seems to enjoy hearing himself make noise. He’s not upset (usually), he just already has a lot to say. Can you imagine if he becomes as talkative as his sisters? He also keeps placing himself in a prime crawling pose, but he can’t quite get moving. It won’t be long before he figures it out though, and then that will be it. At that point all 3 of them will be mobile, and we’re officially done for. For now he’s content to roll over in order to get around.
The girls are both doing great. It’s been a really nice summer here so far and they’ve been out enjoying it every day. Earlier this week Jessica took the kids to the Woodland Park Zoo, so all week I’ve been hearing from Ava and Elise about the kangaroos, giraffes, monkeys, and many others they spent their day observing. I’m continuously impressed with both of their vocabularies and often find myself wondering where they heard various expressions. There’s no question that they are the best of friends and are always looking out for eachother. Ava, in particular, has become quite protective of her little sister. Even when Mommy or Daddy needs to scold her or threaten her with a timeout due to her behavior, Ava is all too quick to say “Hey, you don’t say that to my sister!” As far as Ava sees it, she is the only one who can do anything to Elise. Everyone else better watch out.
Tomorrow night Jessica will be bartending at El Gaucho, meaning I’ll be home with the kids. Hopefully it will be a non-eventful evening with nothing much to speak of, but knowing my luck the chances of that happening are slim. Either way I’m glad she will be getting out of the house and doing something on her own, even if that something is going to work. Saturday nights at El Gaucho are always fun and everyone there is always happy to see and work with her, so it should be good.
In the next week or so I’ll be reaching the 6 month mark at Microsoft. I can easily say without hesitation that I really like working there and am glad I made the switch. I work with a team of really talented and cool people, and I’ve already learned a lot since joining. I’m also really happy about my long-term opportunities for growth. It’s funny because if you would have told me a year ago that I’d be leaving Amazon voluntarily for a position at Microsoft, and that I would love Microsoft, I would have told you you’re crazy. I’ll be the first one to admit that I was a Microsoft hater for a long time, but I also have to give credit where it’s due, and my experiences since joining them have been overwhelmingly positive. At this point it’s probably fair to say that I’ll be with Microsoft for a long time.
Last weekend I read a scathing article in the New York Times about what it’s like to work at Amazon. Although I felt the article was a bit dramatic and extreme, I think there was a fair amount of truth in there as well. One problem I had with it is that you can’t make a truthful blanket statement about what it’s like to work at any huge company like that. Your circumstances vary so much depending on which organization you’re in, and which team you’re on. There’s no question that some of the experiences they described were truthful, but to assume that everyone’s experience there is like that would be silly. I never saw anyone crying at their desk, and whenever anything family or health related came up, there was nothing but pure support from my managers. At the same time, the only ‘nervous breakdown’ I’ve ever experienced in my life was during my time there, but it was caused by a combination of work and school, so you can’t place all the blame on Amazon. I certainly wouldn’t rule out going back there if I was available, but also wouldn’t be too surprised if my experience there was atypical.
We’re continuing to paint the inside of our house, but honestly there is so much left to do. As I said in a previous post, it’s impossible for both of us to paint because the girls will always get into everything and make a mess. For the last couple weekends I’ve taken them out of an ‘adventure’ on Saturdays, allowing Jessica several hours to paint. I wish I could be there with her getting stuff done, but it wouldn’t be fair to the girls. I also wouldn’t have a problem with being the one to stay home and paint, but Jessica gets so much more time with the kids during the week than I do, so it makes sense for me to go out with them on the weekends. It won’t be long before Amy and Tom are back here, meaning we’ll be working on our floors as well. I’ve never done floors before so I’m looking forward to learning, but even more so I’m just looking forward to seeing and enjoying the finished product.
At least we’ll be mixing up all this housework with camping trips in Lake Chelan and at the Gorge. There are some bad fires going on in Eastern Washington right now, so it’s possible that our plans could be affected, but for now I think it’s safe to assume that everything will be fine. I’m not surprised that we’re having all these fires because this summer has been incredibly dry; I just hope they can get them under control because several people (including 3 firefighters) have already been killed.
That’s about it for now. Before we know it our summer will be over and we’ll be busy as ever. At least its football season now. Go Hawks!
Ready for dinner with our friends, the Palmers