Full Steam Ahead

For those of you keeping track, we still have not taken custody of our future son yet. While things have been wrapped up on our end, it turns out the judge in West Virginia was tied up in court all week this past week, leaving us hanging in the wind in the meantime. Perhaps this week…

We have had a ridiculously warm winter, however, this past weekend temperatures dropped below -15F with wind chills around -38F. I have not been anywhere that cold since I left North Dakota. It was brutally cold for long stretches of time last winter, but it never got that cold. I had almost forgotten what it was like to breathe in and have every hair in your nose freeze solid. Needless to say, it was not a good day to be working in the garage; which is precisely why I gave a snort of derision when Leslie asked if I was going to clean out the garage on Saturday so that she could park her van in there before it started snowing Sunday evening.

This past week I was back in Cleveland, Ohio for a meeting on one of my projects; I had to present our case before the Board of Zoning Appeals in Twinsburg. We were items two and three on the docket, but we had a pretty strong case so I was not too concerned about it. The first case up was pretty straightforward, and then I got up and presented our appeal. The last guy was an individual seeking to build an addition on the back of his home but the property setback was practically right next to his house, necessitating the need for an appeal in order to build the addition. What was interesting about this case was the fact that one of the guys neighbors had shown up to protest the decision. The tension was palpable. The guy remained perfectly courteous and respectful but the room was charged and you could practically taste the drama. When it came time to vote the first three items were passed unanimously but we were in for a treat when the fourth vote came up. The chairman was careful to point out that they were short a member (although they still had a quorum) and in the event of a tie the motion for appeal would fail. At this point I leaned over to my co-worker and excitedly whispered, “This is better than TV!” The first member voted his approval, the second member voted no, the third member voted yes. The last member to cast his vote paused and gave a big sigh. Everyone in the council chambers was practically holding their breath. Finally the guy gave another big sigh and voted yes. The appeal had been approved. And that, my friends, is why you should occasionally attend your city’s Zoning Board and Planning Commission meetings.

About a month ago Jack demonstrated his ability to open his own bedroom door. Up until this point we have been able to keep Jack contained in his room until we got up to retrieve him in the morning. This was especially nice on the mornings we would try to sleep in as it would buy us at least 20 minutes before he started yelling for someone to come let him out. A month ago Jack startled us by showing up in our bedroom in the middle of the night. After sending him to bed a couple of times we finally managed to get back to sleep. He has continued to display his talent for opening doors ever since; it can be sweet to have him run into our room just as Leslie and I are going to sleep to have him ask “Sleep with mommy and daddy?” but it can be equally as aggravating after sending him back to his bed five or six times.

Last night Jack got sick and showed up in our bedroom a little after midnight saying, “throw up.” Sure enough, the kid had managed to make it to his door before puking all over the floor. Of course this means that I was placing my foot squarely in the middle of a puddle long before my nostrils were ever assaulted by the smell. I changed his clothes and threw them and his pillow pet into the wash before I tucked him back into bed. Since I had turned the washer on I closed our bedroom door to keep out the sound.

I had just drifted off to sleep when I was startled awake by a loud KATHUNK against our bedroom door. Still trying to clear the fog from my mind it took me a minute to figure out what had happened. Jack had woken up again and come running full tilt down the hallway to our bedroom; combining the fact that it was dark and that we usually leave our door open, Jack had collided, head-first, with the door. I instantly jumped out of bed and opened our door; Jack stood there, more than a little dazed, as he tried to figure out exactly what had happened. I took him back to bed and tucked him in, but it was nearly impossible to suppress my laughter as the light revealed a big red bump forming on his forehead where he had come in contact with our bedroom door.

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