Thursday, April 20, 2023

Winter to Spring 2023

We've been busy with the usual life things. School, work, extracurricular activities. Nothing of note happened in February, at least if my picture roll is any indication.

I was not on top of St. David's Day this year, but did manage to make pice ar y maen, which M just called "Welsh yum-yums". I need to practice making them more because I don't have a griddle and making them in the non-stick pan led to some burnt ones. Nothing was inedible, but I need to figure out where to set the heat to get the optimal cook on them.

My clinic team put together a tea party, complete with tea gloves and finger sandwiches, to celebrate RD Day. 

And I found the creepy baby cousin to our clinic's creepy baby (named Maybelle, if you recall) in the oncology RD office, just peering out from behind some Ensure. I'm guessing this baby's head doesn't fall off as easily as poor Maybelle's.

We had a slew of work fun in March-April - an RD/GC/SW sleepover where we watched a bunch of Lindsay Lohan movies, a few happy hour outings including one to celebrate social worker day, a bunch of us went to see Sarah Silverman (Ryan joined us for this one), and we went to take awkward family photos to give to the MDs for doctor appreciation day - they turned out amazing. We had a 90s theme, denim on denim with those plastic bracelets and chokers. Our photographer was very excited about our goals for the photoshoot. We are planning a holiday edition of the awkward photos.

Back at home, we finally finished the nightmare of getting the deck re-done. The guy we used was so difficult to work with and the whole process was a constant stream of issues and sob stories and I spent months stressed on and off about having to deal with him. One of the big ones was they found a drainage pipe that needed to be moved and expected us to find someone, get a quote, and have the pipe moved within 2-3 days, lol. I was impressed that we were able to get it done within 1-2 weeks, but they threatened to start charging us some exorbitant daily amount for "delays", supposedly because we'd already had delays due to weather (we hadn't, it had been beautiful weather since they'd started our project and there had been multiple days that no one from their team showed up to work). They backed down on that pretty quickly at least once I called them on it. But everything was them trying to find ways to charge us more money. I think the deck quality turned out fine (but also how can you really know until you see how long it holds up?), but will never recommend this person to anyone else. And I need a good long break from dealing with home repairs, except we have lots more that needs doing. It is nice to not have the deck be rotting away anymore though. We cut off the side that wrapped around the house and was useless and pushed the deck further out at the back. Now we just need to find outdoor furniture so we can actually use the space.

M had a birthday and requested ramen for dinner and German chocolate cake. Unfortunately, they weren't feeling well on the day we'd planned to celebrate, so we spent that evening just taking it easy and opened presents; we were able to take him to dinner and eat cake the next evening instead. 

I messed up when making the cake and put half the chocolate in that I was supposed to - I blame the Baker's chocolate company for changing the thickness of their baking bars a few years ago and ever since I've had the hardest time getting the correct amount! I didn't realize my mistake until the layers were already baking and the result was interesting, with a slightly different color to the outside and inside of the cake. It also didn't have much flavor - just vaguely sweet but bland:

I remade the cake, because no one wants a bland German chocolate cake, and the second one was much better.

Went on my first bike ride in a while - along the Interurban Trail over to the Burke Gilman with a stop at UW to see the cherry blossoms. They weren't at their peak yet, delayed by the cold weather, but still quite lovely.

G has been loving pole vault. Like, excitedly will get up for 9am practice on a Saturday loving it. His PR so far is 8 feet at a meet, but he's made it over 8'6" in practice and I think is hoping to make it to 9' before the end of the season. We've signed him up for a pole vault day camp during the summer and will likely do some occasional trips down to Tacoma for some sessions with a coach down there (they've done a couple as a team, but sounds like we could do them a little more frequently if desired). It's been a lot of fun to see him this excited about something that isn't video games.

I don't love Easter and have largely abandoned most of the holiday, but we do usually do an egg hunt. Every year I'm on the fence about the egg hunt, but the kids always want one and I do usually end up happy I've done it. However this year I ended up down with a stomach bug in the days leading up to Easter. There were no plastic eggs left at the grocery store when I went Easter day and so we just got some candy. And because it was spring break for the kids the week after Easter we did a candy hunt (inside because it was rainy) the next day. I have to say, hiding individual candy is so much more fun than hiding eggs - especially if you're inside because there are just so many options for where to hide things! This was one of my favorites, which took the kids a long time to find:

My coworkers then asked me if I would hide candy around the office, so I did - and left them all chocolate bunnies on their desks. I did make sure to write down where I hid the candy so we wouldn't be finding candy in random places months later. Which is good, because they definitely didn't find it all on their own - I sent them the list of spots today so they could collect it all. 

G had a birthday as well. I got sick again (exactly a week after the stomach bug hit, ugh) but thankfully just with a cold, not covid or another stomach bug. So it wasn't exactly fun to make his cake since the cold was at its worst on those days, but I was very excited about it because I've been meaning to make this cake for years and he just happened to pick it out as what he wanted. I baked the layers and made the frosting the day before his birthday so that the day of I could just make the filling and put it all together. 

Mine is only 3 layers because my pans are 9 inch instead of 8 inch and I don't have room in my kitchen for a set of both.

Letting the layers/filling firm up in the fridge before doing the crumb coat

It was delicious. Will definitely be making it again. The recipe can feel overwhelming, which is why I hadn't tried it yet, but none of the steps are all that hard really. We are letting G upgrade one of the computers as his birthday present, so there wasn't much in the way of presents to open. But Ryan also drove him down to Tacoma the day before for a pole vault clinic, so I think that can count as a present as well. Even if we did make him drive one way because he needs the practice.

Next week I'm off to Metabolic University for the week - I'm very glad I got sick early enough to be over it before the trip. I've been wanting to go to this training for 2 years and am really excited for it, nerd that I am. Even if I do have to wear actual business casual and not Seattle business casual.