September 2012


We left Lisbon about 10am on Wednesday morning and walked up the hill to Praça da Figueira to catch the tram to Cais do Sodre. From there we took a train to Cascais station, then a cab to our cottage. The cottage was on a very nice private property along with a main house inhabited by a woman and her teenage son, and with two dogs who are extremely friendly and inquisitive. They look like grey/black cocker-spaniels. After arriving we ate lunch, then Melissa and Everett took a nap while Chris walked to his conference to pickup registration materials. Later in the afternoon he took the bus back to Birre, which we learned was the name of the little village where our cottage was located. Then we walked to Sabores da Carne Steakhouse and had a delightful dinner in a small restaurant that appeared to be run by a middle-aged couple who didn’t mind that Everett brought his own food from McDonalds (which is also in Birre). Everett ate most of his dinner, which is a rare occurrence under any circumstances, and probably reflects the appetite he is working up by walking around so much. He then proceeded to stay up talking until about 10:30pm singing and talking.

The next morning Chris got up before 7 and was out the door before 7:30 to catch the bus to Cascais for his conference. At 10:30am he gave his talk: 7 minutes plus two minutes for questions. Upon reading this, some of our readers might ask why it was necessary to travel overseas to give a 7 minute talk. Here is a two part answer: 1) ESSFN is a surgical conference, so you need to scale back your expectations accordingly; 2) 7 minutes was one of the long talks; the short talks were only 3 minutes long.

Overall, our time in Cascais was somewhat of a disappointment. The cottage wasn’t a two minute walk from town as advertised.  It was more like a two hour walk. The Internet didn’t work, nor did the hot water.  We only had one set of keys the first day, so it was tricky to coordinate getting back into the house. We found that the house was completely bare, lacking even basic things like a bar of soap or a sponge for dishes. Most of all it lacked any instructions about anything at all that might be helpful to guests.

On Friday morning we arranged for a driver to take us to the airport in Lisbon. He insisted that he pick us up at 7:30am for Chris’ 11:15am flight, followed by Melissa and Everett’s 12:10pm flight. Traffic was pretty bad but we still made it in plenty of time and had an airport picnic before going through security and heading to our gates. From here Chris left for central France while Melissa and Everett went to Salzburg.

On the way to Clermont-Ferrand, I (Chris speaking) managed to make a 40 minute connection in Charles de Gaulle airport, which was an accomplishment because we arrived in terminal 2D and then I had to leave security, find the bus to terminal 2G, ride there (about a mile away), go through security and get to the gate. At the gate I was instructed to walk onto the tarmac and board the plane. However, there were three planes with doors open and steps down that were available. Fortunately I chose the correct one.

My luggage did not make the connection in Paris. As a result I attended the gala dinner at the Hotel de Ville with the mayor of Clermont-Ferrand and other dignitaries while wearing shorts, sandals and a short sleeve shirt (at least it was a button-down shirt). Dinner was a fantastic multi-course meal of local specialties. After dinner we walked back to the hotel and I found that my luggage still had not arrived. Same response the next morning as well. So I gave my talk wearing the same clothing. Fortunately it arrived by midday on Saturday and I changed into something more respectable.

The conference was very good. The food was exceptional. I have never eaten to much foie gras in my life. They were giving out tick slabs of it during lunch. Also, there is a local variety of mushrooms called cepes that are currently in season, and these were served at the gala dinner as a garnish, at lunch in the form of a drink with a straw, and at Saturday dinner with a generous pile of them on steak. The conference organizer Jean-Jacques told us excitedly that he would soon be picking these mushrooms during a weeklong family vacation.

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Lisbon Day 4

This morning all of us slept until about 8:30. We had breakfast and headed out for another adventure involving the public transit system. Chris went to the Terreiro do Paço station to recharge our transit cards. Then we chased pigeons for a while, and then looked for the #15 tram to Belém. The tram goes right by the front door to our apartment but the closest stop is Praça do Comércio. The problem is that both the eastbound and westbound trams go through the Praça in the same direction, and we had no way of knowing which was which. Plus, the marquee on the plaza said the next tram was in 17 minutes. So instead we took the train to Braixa-Chiado, switched to the green line and got off at Cais do Sodré where we could be more confident of getting on the #15 tram in the correct direction. The first tram was packed with people, so much so that we couldn’t get on. We barged our way into the second tram and experienced a sense of closeness to several hundred Portuguese people as we were jostled through about a dozen stops. Upon exiting Everett said “That made me feel hot and squishy!”, which is a perfect description, and made us joke about the situation Pru gets into in Where’s Tumpty (Pru is the chicken between Doodle the alligator and Tumpty the elephant).

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We went to the monastery in Belém. Then we stopped at Pastéis de Belém for milk, espresso and pastel de nata. In case you haven’t heard how delicious these are, see #15 on this list: Then we stopped for sandwiches and ate them in the gardens by the river. Lastly, we walked to the Belém Tower. When we bought tickets at the monastery we debated whether to spend an extra 3 Euros to also see the tower. In retrospect this was the best 3 Euros we have ever spent. Everett LOVED the tower. We explored every single nook of every floor. We looked out every window and every parapet while he delivered a running commentary. His sense of wonder and enthusiasm seemed to have an infectious effect on the other tourists who watched us with amused smiles. Not only does he not need the stroller, he has extra energy to burn.

On the way to the Tower Everett found a giant palm frond and dragged it for quite some time, to the amusement of several passers by. And as we waited for the tram ride home he ran circles around the fountain and chased pigeons. We generally don’t get to any destinations quickly with him. This is contrary to our nature, but it is more than made up for by getting to experience his sense of wonder about the world. And because he provides a running commentary we have a window to his inner world, as we did this day:
“Do NOT step on the cracks!”
“That’s a sword!”
Interpreting icons in the walkways
Touching the unusual grass
Seeing the waterway
Finding a palm frond
Walking over volcanoes (aka cracks in the paved walkway)
Finding piles of sand on the steps
Exploring the castle (Belém Tower) which was THE BEST THING EVER!

On the tram ride home Everett finally got tired and put his head down in Chris’ lap. Within a couple minutes he was asleep. Let me pause for a moment and convey to our readers what a remarkable occurrence this is: Everett almost never falls asleep in our presence, certainly not in public during the day. We stayed on the tram until the terminus at Praça da Figueira. Everett stayed asleep on Chris’ shoulder the entire way home, and Chris has the drool marks on his shirt to prove it. We carefully, quietly entered the apartment and gently set him down in his bed. The instant he touched he pillow his eyes opened and he said “Woohoo!” He bolted up in bed and was ready to go again.

That night we had abatement dinner at the apartment and started thinking about getting ready for the next day. We put Everett to bed around 8:30 or 9pm. Sometime after 9:30pm he appeared in the doorway to his room and said “I’m feeling a little bit peckish.” So we made him a snack, against our better judgement (we want him to eat at mealtimes!). While he was eating we got to hear his thoughts about the trip.

“So far I love Portugal. It’s up to one more than exquisite.”
“What do you love about it?”
“Eating this cheese and this ham and seeing new things.”

Final note about Lisbon: did I express how intensely irritating it is when other countries don’t do things the way that we expect? The transit system in Lisbon appears to be fantastic. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to use because to our knowledge they don’t provide critical pieces of information. Generally speaking, to use public transit you need to know where it goes, when it goes there and where to get on. Our assessment so far is that under the best conditions only one of these three pieces of information is partially available; in rare circumstances you might get partial answers to two out of three. We plan on bringing this to the attention of the Portuguese authorities. Come to think of it, this gives us an excuse to learn who the leaders of Portugal are.

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Lisbon Day 3

Melissa and Chris had a rough night of sleep. Everett, on the other hand, slept soundly for over 12 hours. He awoke close to 9:30 and during breakfast explained his classification system for the deliciousness of food: gross, ok, delicious, exquisite and scrumptious. Within the highest category some things are scrumptiouser than others. When he finds a new favorite food he announces “This iiiiiiiiiis…up to scrumptious!” as he points a finger in the air.

We ate breakfast in the apartment (grinilla, pear yogurt, soft cheese, break and paté). Then we walked to Praça do Comércio to get cash and recharge our transit cards for another 24 hours. Finally we got in line for bus 782 to the Oceanarium, which should have been a 10 minute ride, but instead turned into an adventure lasting an hour and a half. It turns out that bus 782 is more of a mythical bus than a real bus. Instead we got on bus 759, which also went to Estación Oriente, but failed to mention that it stops about every 50 feet along the way.

The Oceanarium is very nice. We went to the temporary exhibit and the permanent exhibit. The latter is basically a gigantic tank of saltwater about 50 feet deep with a building around it that contains individual exhibits. Most of the tank is made of glass like this:


After the Oceanarium we stopped at the Art Cafe and ate outside for lunch. Chris and Melissa both had the steak+egg+fried potatoes+salad dish. Everett had a cheeseburger with the tiniest fries we have ever seen (even smaller than matchstick fries). On our way past the counter when we arrived at the restaurant Everett saw a goblet of chocolate mousse and exclaimed “I want THAT!”, and we told him he could have it if he ate his lunch. Afterward on the Metro ride home he had a huge ring of chocolate around his mouth and Chris asked him if per chance he ate any chocolate for lunch. “Actually, Mom and I were eating lunch when I was attacked by a chocolate moose!” This was the funniest joke he has ever told us.

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Lisbon Day 2

Chris woke up around 6:30am, worked and resisted eating breakfast until everyone else awoke around 9am. Breakfast was very delicious: fresh bread (still warm), yogurt with pineapple, mango juice, Portuguese milk (which is what Everett calls it), sliced cheese (something similar to Romano, but softer and not nearly as sharp), granola and chocolate bread loaf. After that we fought with Everett for about 30 minutes to get him to try to pee. We have seen him hold it for over 14 hours, as he did again last night, but we knew he had to go and bathrooms can be hard to find in Europe. We walked to the Praça do Comércio where Everett chased pigeons for a while. He also wiped out on the marble, which was wet and click from pretty heavy rain the night before. We got on the Metro to São Sebãstio to visit the Gulbenkian Museum, which has two distinguishing features. First, it’s one of the best museums in Portugal. Second, it was once someone’s private art collection, which is hard to believe once you have been through it. Everett was excited about about seeing it because they have several illuminated texts in their permanent collection, which he learned about from The Secret of Kells, one of his recent favorite movies. Afterward we walked through the gardens that surround the museum. Everett collected acorns and detritus from a tree that sheds its bark.

On the way home we took the Metro to Restauradores and immediately after exiting we walked by a funicular. A quick investigation revealed that our unlimited transit cards worked to ride it, so we hopped on and ended up near Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara – Jardim António Nobre with a great view of the Castelo and Baixa, our neighborhood beneath it. At the start of the funicular ride back down the hill the conductor summoned Everett into the driver’s area and instructed him to stomp on a small button on the floor. Everett looked a bit mystified but did it anyway, which caused the bells to ring and we were off. At the bottom of the hill was a huge tourist information office, complete with a room of full of couches and a gift shop. Melissa walked up to the counter and asked if she could have a schedule and/or map for the transit system. “Impossible!” was the answer, followed by “Tell us where you want to go and we will tell you how to get there.” This clearly supports Chris’ theory that the bus/trolley schedules are like The Knowledge. If you live here, you just know. And if you don’t then you don’t.

In the afternoon we walked to Praça do Comércio to listen to some live music and have some outside time. Then we returned home and walked to a tiny restaurant around the corner from our apartment for dinner. Everett has taken an interest recently in beer bubbles. Where do they come from? How do they get in there? As we walked home from dinner he said “Let’s talk about carbon dioxide and beer.”

After dinner Chris went into the wine store directly under our apartment, which is at an intersection with wine stores on three corners. In addition to many varieties of Port, they had a table of some very aged Portuguese wines on sale. We bought one bottle of Gão Vasco 1975 and one Frei Joáo 1980. If these turn out to be good wines then we might start to flaunt it, the way David Sedaris does in his elaborate inner fantasy life. “We were in our summer home in Lisbon, and to celebrate we decided to open a bottle of Gao Vasco, one of the older vintages. 1975 was a very good year in that region.” And if it doesn’t work out then we probably won’t bring it up. We think the odds are heavily in favor of the latter.

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Lisbon Day 1

We arrived ahead of schedule on Saturday morning (we think), but to be honest we were all pretty disoriented. We noted that there isn’t any paperwork to fill out for customs or immigration as you enter Portugal. As we were going through immigration we were mildly chastised by the police for having a lousy passport photo for Everett. He is a couple days old and Chris is holding him. Apparently the officer didn’t like the way that Chris’ hand had pushed Everett’s ears forward. In any case, he will have to pose for a new passport photo because his current one expires next year.

We got our luggage immediately thanks to the fact that Melissa somehow figured out which baggage carousel was ours on the far side of the airport. Then we followed the instructions we were given to catch a cab from the arrivals drop off area and headed toward our apartment. The cab driver took us on a scenic and circuitous route through downtown, which wasn’t anywhere close to the most direct route, but it did provide us with some nice views of the city. Thankfully, our apartment was available when we arrived in the morning! We meet Tania and settled in for a few minutes, then went for a walk to see the Castelo. To get there we followed her instructions to the grocery store, and to take the elevator to the 7th floor above it, which puts you on the street just below the castle. We walked around the perimeter on the street, then stopped for groceries and headed home for lunch and nap.

We considered bring a stroller on this trip only because we thought that Everett might benefit from it at times when he was exhausted. However, Melissa read that Lisbon isn’t really made for strollers, and we wholeheartedly agree. Many of the sidewalks are very narrow; there are many steep hills; most of the streets and sidewalks are made of cobblestones. This wouldn’t be a problem for the Bob Stroller, but the sidewalks are too narrow for it and there are too many steps and major obstacles. Anyway, Everett really doesn’t need it. Even when he is exhausted he is still able to walk.

We woke Everett about 4:30 in the afternoon and decided to go find out about the Metro and the electric rail cars. Tania had advised us to buy 24 hour Metro cards for 5 Euros each, which we were able to do after several attempts at the Baixa-Chiado Metro Station thanks to Melissa’s persistence with the machine that dispenses them. We rode the entire #28 electric trolley line, which was much longer than we expected. The trams are packed with people, so if you try to get in anywhere between the first and last stops then you are unlikely to find a seat. We found an empty car near the Metro station and rode it to the western terminus, then caught another car to the eastern terminus in Alfama, and finally caught a third car back toward our house in Baixa. By this time Everett was really starting to fall apart, so we got back to our apartment as fast as we could. Chris took Everett while Melissa went out in search of food. She came back with an assortment of salgadas (literally “salted”) from a nearby bar. These are small meat pies, some deep fried and some in the shape of cupcakes. They are delicious, but might have been more so if we could heat them up in a microwave for a few seconds. Alas, our apartment has everything but this appliance.

A couple notes about the public transit: The transit system is very good in terms of coverage, frequency of trolleys/trains/trams/buses and the number of hours they run during the day. The electric trolleys are especially popular, and this seems to be true even with locals. However, we have found it virtually impossible to find a map of the electric trolleys, bus or tram lines either at the stops, the Metro station or online. It seems like the operations and routes of these public transit lines are simply known to the autochthons of Lisbon, perhaps analogous to The Knowledge of the London metro area, except that it applies to all inhabitants rather than just prospective cab drivers.

One neat surprise: our apartment came with a special map of the city that appears to be printed on Tyvek or some similar material. They are called Crumpled City maps. The neat thing is that, as the name suggests, they don’t need to be folded. Rather, you just sort of crumple them up and stuff them in your pocket. Reading them is also much easier than a regular map because you can expose an area the size of your palm rather than unfolding an entire map. And carrying them is much easier than a folding map. There were several times where Chris forgot he had a map in his front pocket.

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Fall 2012 Adventure

We are on a flight to Lisbon, Portugal right now. It is on the smallest international airplane that Melissa or Chris have ever seen: each row contains 6 seats with a single isle, much like many domestic jets. We were able to get three seats in a row even though we had three separate reservations that had to be booked at the same time (Chris bought a ticket, then used frequent flier miles to buy a ticket for Everett, Melissa bought her ticket from her frequent flier account). Everett is now asleep between us. He is a fantastic traveler. On the trip from Milwaukee to Newark he struck up a conversation with Kimberly, the woman sitting behind him. It turns out that her and her husband are on their way to Barcelona for vacation, and that they are good friends with Meri-Jo, whose husband Klaus works in Chris’ lab. Small world.

We got to Newark and figured out how to use the inter-terminal bus without leaving security (thought the United agent didn’t seem to know about it and instructed us otherwise), then had some dinner and boarded our flight. Everett watched beauty and the beast for a while and then decided it was time to rest. Within two minutes he was asleep. He slept well, but as the night wore on it became more fitful and couldn’t seem to get comfortable, and neither could we. He woke up in time for breakfast and we landed in Lisbon soon afterward.

We will be traveling for two weeks. The first week will be spent in Lisbon and Cascais. Portuguese is kind of a strange sounding language that Chris has had little exposure to. Melissa used to speak it when she was in Brazil. When Chris first heard it he thought it might have been Russian because of many sounds like bshzzz shhhhh dzdzzzz, though these were almost certainly accentuated by the airplane intercom.

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Yesterday was the first time we have heard Everett use the term “lab”. He mentioned after dinner that we was going to his lab, which is the fort that has been in his room for several weeks. He goes there to conduct experiments. On his most recent visit to the dentist he received a rubbery ring that glows in the dark, so he made a cave out of pillows to test it. Yesterday Melissa was looking for a dress in her size at a store and Everett said “I’ll go into my lab and make one”, and then disappeared to the interior of a circular clothing rack. From his use of the word it appears that labs are a place where things are made and experiments are conducted. The next day Chris asked him what you do in a lab and he replied “You make inventions.”

Everett has now started having play dates with his friends, especially his good friend George. Last week George and Everett decided that they had to “got to work like two Dads”. So they packed their briefcases and went to the fort in the backyard. This naturally leads to the question: what does your Dad do? Both Chris and Scott (George’s Dad) perform research, which is loosely defined as what you are doing when you don’t know what you are doing. The defining features of novel research are that no one has done it before and that at least someone feels it is worthy of attention. What should we tell Everett that we do? It’s best to start with a clear title. Candidates are Researcher, Scientist, Professor, Principal Investigator, Neuroscientist, Engineer of some sort or another. However, the reality is that most academic faculty spend a significant amount of time on administrative nonsense and less time on what appear to be the primary reasons they were hired. Terms like “Bureaucratic Swashbuckler” might appeal to Everett’s recent interest in pirates but would do little to help clarify Chris’ job. Similarly, Melissa is a Genetic Counselor and a Bioethicist, and Chris knows from experience when he tries to explain what his wife does that neither of these titles can stand on their own without a fair amount of explanation. A confounding factor is that both of our jobs involve knowledge work with few clear boundaries. So perhaps it’s time to join the life-hacking movement and come up with new, creative titles. Of course we will enlist Everett’s participation in this process, and we will let you know what he comes up with. On a similar subject Everett has already announced that he is going to write a dissertation one day, and when we asked him for more details he explained “It’s just typing”.

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Socks, Beauty and Heart

Today we thought we would share a few loosely connected observations and updates to celebrate our 200th blog entry.

First, Chris still isn’t wearing dark socks with sandals, as we previously feared he might. However, we note that Chris usually writes this blog, and accurate self-reporting is a major problem for fathers who wear dark socks and sandals. Hence, independent verification may be necessary. Can anyone on the world wide web report a time they have seen Chris wearing socks and sandals? How about socks under any circumstances?

Everett has preserved a couple of pronunciations from his baby days: lellow for yellow, grinilla for gorilla or granola. There is otherwise almost no trace left of his infant or toddler years. In fact, he has grown big and strong enough to cause injury while roughhousing. These days Chris often has bruises or bumps on his face from head collisions that result from the facts that: 1) Everett’s head is fully hardened; 2) his body has become heavier; 3) he has become faster and stronger. He doesn’t quite seem to understand that he is now capable of hurting Dad, and his motor control hasn’t quite kept pace with the growth of his body.

On Friday afternoon and evening Chris hosted everyone from his lab for the annual lab party. We played volleyball in the afternoon and afterward Everett got everyone to participate in galloping races.
Then we went to Alem for a fantastic Ethiopian dinner. Everett was great during dinner and spent the entire time socializing with people around the table. When it was time to leave he went to each person, shook their hand and said goodbye. This is probably a behavior he has learned from the greeter at his school. At one point during the dinner Everett hit his head on the corner of a table and Meri-Jo expressed surprise that he didn’t cry. Chris explained that Everett rarely cries when he is hurt, but if either of his parents so much as raise their voices he falls apart. This morning Everett head-bonked Chris’ temple for about the third time in three days in the same spot. Everett burst into tears when Chris told him how much it hurt.

The other day when we were cleaning his room we found a musical butterfly toy that he had as an infant. He told us that one song it plays makes him feel “happy sad”. One of the books we are currently reading is The Boy Who Loved Words, so we are waiting for him to start using the term “wistful”.

Everett loves Dada water. Usually this means water that is in the cup that Chris keeps next to his bed at night. Water from Mom’s bedside cup can be transformed into fresh, cold delicious Dada water simply by pouring it into Dad’s cup.

On Saturday evening Everett and Chris were sitting at the dinner table when Everett said:
“Dad, Mom told me that you like girls. There is a girl in 5K and she is beautiful.”
And that was the end of it. When I (Chris) asked him for more details he wouldn’t say anything, and soon we were off doing other things. I have a few thoughts about this. First, he is starting to develop his own social life outside our family, and these relationships will continue to become more complex, especially if girls are involved (just a small joke!). Second, I have written a few times about how new behaviors emerge as he develops. This is not the first time he has expressed feelings suggesting romantic attraction, but it is one of the first times this has happened with a girl near his age. Third, it has occurred to us many times that Everett will eventually reach the age where he doesn’t want his parents publishing the details of his private life on a public website. If the current trends in social media are any indication, he’ll be doing that himself using accounts that don’t include his parents as “friends”. This blog entry is the first time that I have had the sense that discretion might be needed in the foreseeable future. When that happens, I wonder what we will write about?

Final note: last week Chris was traveling for work for a couple days. Before he left the house on Sunday Everett said “Let me give you something so you will remember me.”
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Tosafest started last night about 6pm and ends tonight around 11pm.

We were going to go last night but we were tired and the weather was a bit wet, so instead we went to Hector’s for dinner. It has finally cooled off! Temperatures are in the 50s and 60s, which feels incredibly good after the long, hot summer we just experienced.

This morning we were spending some time as a family cleaning Everett’s room. In the process of doing this Chris picked up an empty cardboard toilet paper roll to put in the recycling. Everett immediately stopped him and said “I need that for a project!” This is the first time we have heard him say this, though it certainly isn’t the first project he has worked on. It turns out that toilet paper rolls can be used in a lot of crafty ways. One is to make monsters, as illustrated in the current issue of Highlights magazine. Another is to build a hypnotizer to use on “bad guys” (we later learned that both of these are terms he learned from Jimmy Neutron).
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After everything was ready we went for a walk through the village, stopped at the playground and then played “hide the hypnotizer” the entire way home. When we neared our house we picked up several bunches of acorns to feed the scrappy squirrels and chipmunks in the backyard. At lunchtime Chris was filling the concrete gaps in the driveway.

“Everett, can you help me put gravel in the cracks in the driveway?”
“It’s crushed limestone Dad.”
“Ok, well, can you just help me shovel some in there?”

It appears that Everett will help with projects as long as you ask him just the right way.

We ate lunch on the patio and then Chris and Everett rode to the festival. It turns out that they have about five bounce houses this year.
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We really wanted Everett to take a nap today so that we might have a chance of staying up late for family movie night at Tosafest, so we got him a wristband that allowed as much bounce-housing as he wanted.

After about 45 minutes of nonstop climbing and running he said “I’m ready to go home”, which we did and he immediately fell asleep for a two hour nap. Mission accomplished!

After nap we went back to the festival for more bouncing,

followed by a pre-dinner appetizer from Yo Mama and what may have been Everett’s first brain freeze from eating it too fast.

Then we ate dinner and were going to see the movie but it started raining, so we returned home and watched the first half of Tangled before bed. It was a really enjoyable day.

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First Day of School!

Today was Everett’s first day of school. He was very excited! Over the last week we have been getting ready. First, he and Mom bought school supplies.
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Then we went over the new expectations of him now that he is in school (as conveyed by his teachers): he needs to pick out his clothes and dress himself. Lastly, we test-rode the route to school, which largely overlaps with the route we used to take to preschool. The major difference is that we got to preschool at random times, but how that he is in 4K we have to be there by 8:20am each morning or the doors are locked.

This morning he got up and immediately formulated a plan: brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast. Then he put on his new backpack and sat in the bike waiting for Chris and Melissa to finish breakfast.
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The ride to school went smoothly. The only unexpected event was waiting for a long, slow train to pass at a rail crossing.

Once we arrived at school he shook hands with the greeter and bravely went into the classroom after a hug and kiss from each of us.

He seemed to have a sense of excitement and wonder about the whole day. On the ride home we saw a small group of wild turkeys, which Everett hasn’t had a chance to see yet, but he has informed us that they are just as scrappy as the squirrels in our backyard.

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