2010 Christmas Letter

Welcome to my 2010 Christmas Letter.  This year has been crazy busy due to an important new addition to my life at the very end of 2009.  I’m talking, of course, about the new Gateway netbook I received as a Christmas present.  Now I can wirelessly connect to the inter-web from any room in the house.  Oh yeah, I suppose starting off the year with a seven day old kiddo has kept me busy too.

Life with Isabel Grace Lutfey has, among other things, kept us quite busy.  This whole raising offspring experiment has been a completely new experience for me.  I read (OK, maybe quickly flipped through would be more accurate) a few of those “here is exactly how you should raise your child in 413 pages” books, but after a year of being a parent, I’ve come up with my own set of cliff notes.

If the baby you are looking after is exhibiting an error code (such as crying at the top of her lungs without an end in sight) follow these simple steps*:

  1. Change diaper
  2. Put food in mouth (the baby’s mouth, not your own)
  3. Play with

*Please note that the order is important.  Playing with a baby who has a full diaper can have negative consequences.

Getting Isbel to sleep when we want to rest has been a bit of a challenge.  To help quiet her down I’ve been known to sing her songs at night.  I generally start when I’m putting on her bed time clothes by singing her the pajama song.  It goes something like this: You say pajama, I say pajama, pajama, pajama, let’s call the whole thing off.  (note the different pronunciations of the middle vowel sound of the word pajama for proper comedic effect)  After that I move on to the Mamas and the Pappa’s “Dream a Little Dream” and/or the Eagle’s “Take it to the Limit”.  If all else fails I move on to an improvisational version of a song I call, “Daddy needs to get some sleep so he doesn’t accidently drive his UPS truck into a ditch tomorrow.”

Another important thing I’ve learned relates to Isabel’s toys.  These come in two categories.  The first type includes objects that we purchased for the express purpose of being a toy for our daughter.  These include typical things like a big bouncy ball, stackable plastic rings, and the oddly creepy Curious George doll whose head lights up when you squeeze him.  The second type includes objects that we had no intention of Isabel playing with, and, as a matter of fact, we would much prefer that she left alone altogether.  These items include things such as our cell phones, the television remote control, pretty much all the food we store in the lazy Susan, and, much to his dismay, our dog Maury.  Which stuff does she want to play with 94% of the time?

As Isabel just kept getting more and more mobile, we realized that living in a townhouse with roughly 17 flights of stairs might not be the best place to live.  So after a lengthy search we found a house on the west side of Loveland.  It has a nice back yard for Maury and plenty of room on the main floor for everyone to coexist peacefully.  We have spent several weekends painting the inside, but the end of that project is in sight.  While there are always going to be minor projects to tackle, we are more or less settled into our new place.

I really jumped on the facebook bandwagon this year.  Now I share pictures and insights about my life with a bunch of other people on the internet.  My favorite posts of the year are as follows:

On child care: Isabel would not go back to sleep when I put her back in her crib at 3am. I tried everything to get her to stop screaming, but in the end I had no choice but to charge her with resisting a rest.

On working at UPS: While I’m not a big fan of shaving my face every morning to drive a delivery truck, I think most of the FedEx drivers look like homeless Star Trek extras.

After a two year hiatus, the kinetics race was brought back to life.  After losing the corporate sponsorship, we moved the race from Boulder to Longmont.  While it was a much smaller event than past competitions, the race was a success at showing there are plenty of people in Colorado who want to race crazy human powered contraptions over land and water.  My craft did fairly well this year.  In addition to not suffering any major structural issues, I completed more than half the race before a broken chain considerably slowed my progress.  So I just need to make a few drive chain adjustments before starting the race next August.  Check out boulderKinetics.com for more information on the next race.

I am proud to announce that I am officially a United States of America Patent holder.  After three years, two different laywers, and one big stack of bills, I own the rights to patent number 7,825,545 a.k.a. “Energy Conservation and Control Systems”.  Now I have the next 17 years to do something with it.  Check out blackremote.com for more about this project.

Well, that about sums things up for this year.  It has been quite an adventure starting a family, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.  (as evidenced by NOT A SINGLE visit by family services, the Loveland S.W.A.T. team, or any basic cable reality television camera crew.)  2011 promises to be another eventful year as (SPOLIER ALERT) the sequel to Isabel is scheduled to be released on May 31.  Maybe the second time around we will have a better idea of what we are doing.  So, until then keep your head up, the dog out of the toilet, and the kids from sticking metal objects in the power outlets.