I dropped Amanda and Milly off at Jacob’s two-year birthday party this morning and went to a meeting with Eric Boneske, which was a good one.  We talked about upcoming business ventures that we’ve both got coming up and I helped him with a few things on his website.  After the meeting I went back to the Johnsons’ house.  Amanda told Milly I was there, but she was heading outside to play and didn’t really care.  Jacob ran up to me and greeted me though.

There were ten little kids, all from the ages of less than one to, how old is Henry Nowak, four?  There were four little girls, all-two-year-olds, and Milly played with Rosa Hauser the most.  Rosa is German and doesn’t speak too much English yet, as her parents know she’ll pick it up in school and by playing with other kids, but apparently that doesn’t matter when you’re looking for someone to play with at two years old.

Since my meeting was near where I pick up my paycheck, I picked that up and deposited it.  I didn’t realize until later though that Scott had included a bonus check with it.  I thought that was a really, really nice thing to do.  He’s given me a bonus every year, but since I won’t be working for him after the end of this month I was not just not expecting it, but I was unexpecting it, if that makes sense.

The rest of the day was split between working and helping get ready for tonight’s party.  Amanda did all kinds of cleaning and putting things away and getting snacks ready.  I vacuumed some and set things up outside, including getting a nice little starter pile ready for burning wood for a fire.

Milly followed up yesterday’s potty training efforts with another successful day.  She got to wear her potty crown again and put another sticker on the door.  The stickers are the gummy kind, and she keeps wanting to stack them up on one another, so they end up falling on the floor and getting dirty, leading to less stickiness.  But anyway, we were very happy that she peed on the potty again.

Erin got to the house around 5:30.  When Milly saw her at the door she pointed and told me, “It’s Auntie Ween!”  (Auntie Rin, if you don’t know, is what the nieces and nephew call Erin.)

I put on my cutoff sweater and took Milly for a walk in the dark to look at Christmas lights on our street while Amanda and Erin got ready themselves.  On the way back Milly would point at things and suggest that we laugh at them, so we spent the whole way back laughing at trees and cars and houses and lights and such.

The Nowaks were there when Milly and I got back, but I had a call from Nick a few minutes later telling me that his car wouldn’t start and there was nobody there to jump him.  A few minutes later I was on my way to helping him, but I was also on a call with a possibly very lucrative client.  I had a call from Nick while I was on that call, but I couldn’t get a word in to tell the guy I had to answer a call, so I missed Nick’s call.  I figured he was calling to tell me he got his car to start, but it’s not like the Warkentiens live far from us, so I just continued on.  Sure enough, he was gone when I got there, so I finished my conversation while sitting in his driveway then came on back.  He was arriving at my house as I was pulling out of his neighborhood.  Turns out the battery cable had been loose.

I think most people were there by the time I got back.  There were the Nowaks and Warkentiens (sans Amy, who was working), as you know already, plus the Hausers and the Johnsons with the Cains showing up just a little bit later.  I got the fire going and everyone ate some s’mores.  I actually took a call from the aforementioned client and missed where most people were out there together, which sucks, but the proposition really is very promising.

Amanda told me that Milly was sitting in one of the chairs around the fire and holding a stick with a marshmallow on it, but it came nowhere close to roasting, and instead of eating the one on her stick she would eat one from the bag.  Silly girl.  Later on she had another one on a stick and was walking around with it, but it was almost dragging the ground so I told her to hold it up.  She grabbed with with both hands and held it straight up above her head.

Most people spent the majority of the time inside, because that’s where the kids were, but Milly, Rosa and Henry went inside and out quite a bit, so I stayed out there and tended the fire, talking a good bit to Erin and Simon.  At one point Rosa ran through the fire pit and stumbled, but she didn’t fall in the actual fire.  Scared the crap out of me.

Erin really enjoyed talking to the Hausers, as I knew she would since she loves to speak German.  She also spent some time trying to impress various two-year-olds, which was kind of cute.

I won the ugly sweater content, which I felt a little awkward about since we had bought the prize (gift certificates to the movie theater).  I think everyone who wore something got a vote though, which was nice.

The party started to dissipate a little after 8:30 with people having to get home to put kids down.  We put Milly to bed around 9:00.  Simon and Monique hadn’t seen Milly’s room, so we invited the Hausers up to look at it.  Rosa stuck around while I read I Like Myself and Milly asked if Rosa could stay at her house.  I thought that was really cool, because she’s never asked for another kid to stay over like that.  I guess Rosa is her best friend now.  She didn’t, of course, stay over.  I don’t know if we, Simon and Monique or Rosa are ready for a sleepover like that yet.

After Milly went down, which she did with much more ease than I expected, Eli and Rosa were running back and forth making some noises in the living room.  Milly heard them and would shout little scream noises, trying, to play with them from her bed.

After everyone left we did some cleaning up.  Erin and I finished off a bottle of wine and the three of us (Amanda, not the bottle of wine, being the third) sat around the living room and chatted for a while before heading off to bed.

Zach Dotsey