Ava’s first day skiing

She did great! She started out skiing between my legs, then we took the lift (her first time), and she finished the day doing some "turns" on her own.

Product review: Miracle Method

Our kids bathtub had a botched repair job by the previous owner that we discovered last November. After calling a couple of fiberglass repair specialists, we learned the bathtub was probably plastic, and we’d have to replace the entire tub. Because there’s tile around the bathtub too, we sat on our hands for months, hemming and hawing about how expensive it was going to be.

Miracle Method to the rescue! Literally. Our tech, Owen, did an amazing job, and was very professional. He spent an hour more than he planned color matching to our old bathtub. I wish we had found this option sooner, and avoided a good six months of procrastinating.

Product review: Burley Kid’s Honey Bee Trailer

I’m a long-time runner. Growing up, my dad would take me on his runs in a Yakima jogging stroller. When us kids got in trouble, my parents would send us on a run to the end of the block and back. In my teen years, I’d skip out on soccer practice to go on 15+ mile runs.

Our Bob stroller has been a great investment. But, with the birth of Charlie in December, I needed a way to take both kids running with me. After a few week deliberating on whether we should buy a double Bob and a bike trailer, or if we should spend $800+ on a dual purpose trailer stroller, I’m happy to report the much less expensive Burley Honey Bee Trailer is pretty much the best thing ever.

As a running stroller, the Honey Bee is light and easy to push. There’s ample storage space for blankets and kids snacks, and the rain cover means we can go for a family run regardless of the weather. The only downside is that the front tire can get a bit wobbly at times.

As a bike trailer, the Honey Bee is easy to pull and steer with. Because it has the front wheel attached to the bike arm, we can easily detach the trailer at our destination, and use it as a stroller. Magic! The trailer also easily disassembles to fit in the trunk of our Subaru Crosstrek.

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Amsterdam, day one and two

The flight over wasn’t awful. I can’t think of any highlights from flying nine hours with an almost one year old, but we survived and we’re here.

Ava checks out the boarding passengers

We had a failed plan (proposed by me) where I would sleep 3-4 hours on Unisom, then take over and Leah would sleep 3-4 hours. I took my pill, then attempted to sleep for a couple of hours while Leah dealt with an often-screaming Ava. She hadn’t taken her morning nap, so she was already a wreck by the time we were on the plane. Not much sleep for me. Then, later, Leah took half of a pill, got an hour and change of downtime while Ava napped in the Ergo, and then had to groggily help me take care of Ava. But, on a positive note, we all slept roughly an hour at the very end of the flight.

Yesterday, we landed at about 9 am, then took the train to our accommodations. It’s a lovely flat in the Jordaan district we found on Airbnb. The owner is the Dutch ambassador to Sudan, and their place is filled with trinkets and pictures of their travels — the perfect place for us.

Leah and Ava look out the window

 

After a quick two and a half hour nap, we took off for a walk, some lunch, and grocery shopping.

Bob stroller is the best thing ever

 

Our lunch was at Pane & Olio, a welcome departure from all of the tourist cafes nearby. Ava had quiche, Leah a prosciutto sandwich, and I a slice of salami pizza. The lunch special, some sort of macaroni dish, looked quite good.

For dinner, I cooked up chicken with sweet potatoes, onions and brussel sprouts. What I love most about Airbnb is that travel accommodation can easily become a home away from home. For us, home-cooked meals are a key ingredient.

Last night wasn’t too bad. We all woke up for a couple of hours around midnight. Ava got to sleep in our bed because we didn’t want her crying to wake up the neighbors. Ava and I woke up around 6:30 am, and Leah slept in until 8 or so.

Leah’s time for the laptop!

Today we: walked to the Van Gogh museum in the morning, came home for naps (me one hour, Leah an hour and a half, and Ava two hours), and went on a canal tour in the afternoon. Dinner was SushiMe — not quite as good as Ichiban ?

Classic Amsterdam homes

Goofing off on the boat

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Braving a nine hour flight and eight timezones to spend spring break 2015 in Amsterdam. Now that Ava is just about one, we can’t wait to see what it’s like to explore a European city with her. Her sense of curiosity encourages us to see the world in a new light.

Computers are still hard

My goal: have a place for Leah and I to store all of our photos and videos (and maybe documents too). Both of us have gigabytes of media from the last decade or so, with more to come. I’d like for the hardware layer to work well with the software layer — it should be easy to access and upload on a daily basis. Ideally, it should be in the cloud so I don’t have to worry about hardware failure. Realistically, I only care about catastrophic backup.

Options I’ve looked into over the last two hours:

  1. Attach a USB hard drive to our ASUS N66U router to serve as NAS. Reportedly, this is possible. However, when I began my search, I came across this article from February 2014: “Dear Asus router user: You’ve been pwned, thanks to easily exploited flaw.” This doesn’t give me much confidence, particularly considering I’ve never upgraded our router’s firmware and have no desire to do so.
  2. Buy a Time Capsule, connect a secondary USB hard drive, and put a common iPhoto library on it. However, this comes with a bunch of caveats. Namely: it doesn’t really work. Plus you really need to commit to a wired connection.
  3. Chuck all of our media assets into one of those fancy file sharing services. Box appears to have the best deal: unlimited storage for $15/month. However, that’s on the Business plan with a 5 user minimum.
  4. Use Dropbox or BitTorrent Sync to sync files between our computers. We’d get an additional layer of redundancy. Leah has 500 GB free and I have… 30 GB free (SSD).
  5. Buy an iMac and use it as our shared family computer. We can use whatever we want, but we’d have to figure out where to put it in our small condo.
  6. Or buy a Mac Mini, put it in the figurative closet (actually the bottom of the changing table, where our printer is), and VNC into it when want to manage photos. Might be on to something there.

P.S. Crashplan supports backing up a NAS drive as long as you can mount it. It’s $60/year for unlimited data. And Dropbox is $100/year for 100 GB. How does that work?

Bobo in a Burley

Post-work, pre-dinner bike ride around the airstrip.

Memo to self: always put the cover on the front. Because dirt and baby.

Benham Falls

Braved the mosquitos for a 7 mile hike to Benham Falls. It turned out to be markedly easier than 11 months ago when Leah was pregnant. A last minute plane ticket switch to come to Redmond was totally worth it.

Hello world, meet Ava Lucille

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After 41 weeks and one day in the making (and 16 hours of labor), our daughter Ava Lucille Bachhuber finally joined Leah and I on Monday at 4:01 pm. She’s beautiful, happy, healthy, and such a cute darling.

Aside from what you’d expect — long nights, taking on the doula responsibility to support Leah and Ava — I’ve had two pleasant surprises so far:

  1. Home births are underrated, magical experiences for the birth partner. I consider myself very fortunate to have helped support Leah every step of the way, and to have gotten skin time with Ava just after her.
  2. My sense of responsibility has increased a hundredfold. It’s amazing how your priorities can shift in a heartbeat.

Looking forward to many more pleasant surprises on this journey.