Monday, December 22, 2008

The Best "Mistake" Ever

My mom is always one for a good deal. It doesn't matter on what. It matters that its cheaper than what she would normally have to pay. This explains why she booked our plane tickets out to my grandma's house for Christmas last August. Last. August. At that point Daniel's school had not yet put out their new academic calendar so she had to work off the previous year's calendar. This explains why we will be flying out to Utah on Christmas Eve Day.

Then we found out that Daniel actually had his final last Friday. That means we could have flown out Friday night, or Saturday, or any day between now and Wednesday. At first I was bummed about that. Where's the anticipation you get when you see all the gifts from our family, grandma/pa, and my uncle's family under the tree? Where's all the great feelings you get when you are surrounded with family? Where's my days of vacation from cleaning our house?

Today though I would have to say that this was perhaps the best "mistake" that could ever have been made. Although Daniel is running around trying to complete all the projects he couldn't while in school, we still have him around. And Charlotte is LOVING it! Truth be told, so am I. Last night we went driving around looking at Christmas lights together and just being our little family. I love my husband. I love my daughter. I love my baby boy. And even though I'm spending the next two days cleaning the house and packing for our trip, I love Christmas vacation.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Daniel vs. The Computer

My husband does not have a good relationship with our home computer. I think this is because he usually uses the computers at his school where if something goes wrong there's a whole staff of people to fix it. The home computer however, is a little slow, and if something goes wrong it's my job to fix it. It really shouldn't be my job. It really shouldn't be Daniel's job either. Mostly what shouldn't be Daniel's job is trying to play any sort of movie, TV show, or YouTube video on our home computer. Last night he went to battle over trying to watch a TV show in which the computer won and he went to bed frustrated.

I however have never had any trouble getting anything to play on the computer. I can't contribute this to any superior knowledge of the device because I've watched him, he does the same things that I do. Only when he does them he's always muttering, "This stupid piece of crap. Why wont it go faster?" So I figure last night had to be the last straw for the computer because when I tried to watch some short videos today they wouldn't run for a while. He's permanently pissed the computer off and now it's taking it out on me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Good Recommendation

Each Christmas I get ambitious to make more holiday decorations for our home. Each year I fail to complete all my projects. I have a list of sewing projects a mile long it seems that I want and need to get finished. Every person that I know that sews has a list like this. My mother refers to it as sewing guilt, but she can't feel too guilty about it since she's always out getting more projects. I put most of my projects aside this time of year in lieu of finishing our Christmas tree skirt, Christmas stockings, and Christmas wall hanging. (Sorry to my friends who will have babies to big to wear their jackets before I complete them!) Last weekend I realized that the blue table cloth under the tree was doing a fine job for now and that nobody but myself misses the 12 days of Christmas wall hanging I have to do, but if I don't get our stockings done where is Santa going to put all our stocking stuffers? So with that indisputable logic I set aside the tree skirt, which is four sets of eyes, quilting and binding away from being finished, and the wall hanging, which is still in the original bag, and started to work on the stockings.

Which is where the good recommendation comes into play. While visiting at home either at the end of September or during Thanksgiving, I can't remember which, my mom introduced me to fusable batting. I then asked my mother-in-law what she thought about using it for my smaller Christmas projects. Both of them thought it would be a good idea, even with the higher price tag. So I went out and bought it. Having never worked with it before I was a little leery, but let me tell you that stuff is amazing! If you are doing a smaller project I highly recommend using it because it's so much easier than pinning or basting the layers together. I don't know how or if it would work well on bigger quilts, but I have just been so happy with the result so far on my small projects that I thought everyone should know about this product.

I don't have any photos of the stockings right now because they're not finished. Maybe after Christmas, yeah, maybe then.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Christmas

Because this holiday season has felt like one never-ending to-do list that I am always burried under, I've had a hard time focusing on all the really great things that have happened to our little family. I thought that since Daniel is "helping" Charlotte nap before church I'd take a second to write a few of them down so that I don't forget them.

It has been awesome to watch Charlotte grasp the new and exciting things of Christmas this year. Namely she knows who Santa is, even though she doesn't know anything about why people get excited about him. She loves snow, although she hasn't had much exposure. She absolutely loved to help put up the ornaments on the tree. Good news, our tree has just the right number of ornaments for an almost two year old attention span.

Mostly it's fun to hear her little voice singing, "jing-o jing-o hey!" to herself. This is how she sings jingle bells. Dan and I are aching to get this on video, but she wont do it if she knows she's being recorded so we have to be tricky.

It's been fun to listen to my husband put together a few homemade presents in the basement. He jumped on the idea of them when I suggested them to him as a great present. Originally we were going to do them together, but that just wasn't in the cards. Plus, it's great to hear him singing Santa Claus songs from the basement.

It's been fun to do Christmas activities with Charlotte. I've tried to do one thing each day and I think I've kept it going so far. We've painted the boxes for presents-one day with paint brushes, the next stamping with potato stamps. We've made Christmas cards, and decorated ornaments. We put up the decorations together including her favorite, the window stickers. We've made cookies several times.

We went shopping for Charlotte's present to Daddy together and she picked it out herself and walked around the store carrying it saying, "daddy, daddy, daddy." Her first present choice for him was little pink dolls, but eventually she got the idea that Daddy probably doesn't want that for Christmas.

Last but not least, just about the time of Thanksgiving I started to feel our little boy moving. It's so great to be able to feel that little life inside of me. He seems so strong and alive right now and I'm falling in love with him and imagining our next Christmas with him in our family. I can't wait.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I was totally right-and wrong!

Remember when I told you all that I felt I was having a boy? Well, I was right about that part. Remember that I also said that we had pretty much decided on a name? Well, wrong-o bongo. So now we're waffling. I don't have any cool ultrasound shots because they only gave me a printout this time and I'm lazy so I didn't want to scan them in. You'll just have to wait until he arrives to see his cute little face.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Being a Grown-Up

I think everyone goes through a time when they can't wait to grow up and do things whatever way they want to. They can make all their own decisions and deal with things however they want to. I remember doing that. I remember loving my first year in college because I was finally on my own. I could eat cold cereal for every meal of every day if I wanted to. It was so great. Then, after you've done it for a while it loses some of it's sparkle. What's for dinner is now a much less exciting question for me than it was when I was 18.

Then you get a real dose of making your own decisions and dealing with things however you want. Take today for example. Last weekend Daniel turned down our water heater because our gas bill was through the roof. This detail wont come back up until the end of the story though. Then yesterday, when we came home from church all of the heat vents were blowing arctic air continually. The pilot light had gone out on our furnace. Daniel tried to light it 4-5 times periodically three times throughout the evening without any luck. So we bundled up on the sofa under our big comforter and watched TV until bed. Luckily some friends brought over three space heaters for over the night time because we didn't want our pipes to freeze. Then this morning Daniel wrote down on a piece of paper exactly what he'd done with the furnace, gave me a kiss, and went off to school, leaving Charlotte and I to fend for ourselves in a house that was colder than 50 degrees. I say colder than 50 degrees because that's the lowest our thermostat registers and the needle was below it. I called the heating company that installed our AC last summer and had a repair man come over. He came and looked at the furnace, then gave me the news that we needed a new one just as Daniel's class was starting and thus couldn't answer the phone.

So as a grown-up I had to make the decision of what of the many options of furnaces to get all on my own and to try and get the best deal out of the guy as possible. Luckily I could talk to my mother-in-law a few times so I at least had a long distance second opinion. Also, Charlotte and I had to be warm so I hung blankets over the doors and gathered the space heaters in one room to heat it up for the day and wait for the installers to finish installing the furnace. When the installers came one of them actually said to me, "I think it's warmer outside of your house than in." Gee, thanks. The installation wasn't completed until about 5 PM.

When Daniel got home I told him all about it and also that my shower was frigid even though I had brought a space heater into the tiny bathroom with me. He said I had chosen the wrong space heater, which was true, but then he went down to look at what setting he'd put the water heater on. Apparently when he'd lowered the temperature he'd had to re-light the pilot light. Then he had never turned the knob back to heat. Not only had I sat in a freezing cold house all day, I'd also taken a shower with water heated by the pilot light. It was a long, long day of being a grown-up. I think I'd like to go back to asking my mom what's for dinner.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Day Four

Well, potty training is going much better than expected. She's still figuring things out, but it's now noon and she's had the same pair of panties on all day! Three times now she's voluntarily sat on her potty and gone to the bathroom without even telling me. She knew it was going to happen so she sat down. The only drawback is that she neglected to pull down her panties each time. So we still have a ways to go. This is a lot of work, but with progress like this I'm excited to push ahead.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Day One

Dear Friends and Family,

In case you don't hear from me for a while I thought I'd post a photo that will show you why:

Yes, a keen observer would realize that not only is Charlotte wearing her favorite mini mouse T-shirt and Mommy's socks, but also her brand new panties. As far as day one of anything new I'm trying to teach her goes, today was not that bad. I'll let you know how the future of this new experiment goes later.


Monday, December 01, 2008

New Things to Post

Vacation at my in-laws was GREAT! Dan and I both got to relax, and help which makes us feel loved and happy. I think pregnancy has made my sense of smell better because as I was unpacking I could smell the wonderful mixture of scents that make up the unique smell of my in-laws' home. I never knew I could get so many different smells that feel like home. I can add this to my list of the smell of my own parent's house, and my grandma's house as one I will always recognize and love. Beside that all I have to say is that coming home is hard work and Dan and I are trying our best to catch up to the load of work in front of us. Because of that I thought I'd just post some awesome photos of Charlotte, and our house that I've taken and been meaning to share. (Sorry, no photos of our decorated walls.)

Not only does Charlotte like to use spoons now, she likes to use five of them at once. Yes, she did receive morning hair from her mom, which Aunt Katie will get a kick out of.

This is perhaps one of Charlotte's favorite outfits at the moment. Thank you to Grandma LeAnn for the dress and to Grandma Denise for the lovely boots, which she insists on wearing with the dress. I couldn't get her to look at me because "momemo" (Nemo) was on the TV.I was going to be really good at taking photos this Thanksgiving, but this is the only one I ended up taking. Listening to Daniel explain to Charlotte what was going on outside of the plane while she listened intently just made my heart melt. The two of them are so cute together. Then when we got to vacation I completely forgot about taking any photos. This photo actually highlights two new things. The first one being our beautiful new secretary. Thank you John and LeAnn! The top opens up and inside you can put papers and there's little drawers which will fill up shortly no doubt. The second one is Charlotte's new Christmas jammies. She is so cute in them I can't hardly believe it.I included this photo because you can see the beauty of the desk better at this angle.This is Charlotte in her new jammies. Dan took the photo so of course you see both her head and feet at the same time. On the jammies are little gingerbread men. I'm so glad she got them because last year's she was really growing out of. Now she has more room to grow!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Yesterday another form of Happiness arrived in the form of our Christmas present from my in-laws. It is a beautiful mission style secretary and I set it up in our foyer and moved the little table we bought off craigslist to the dining room. It was so beautiful in fact that it motivated us to finally hang all our pictures that have just been in stacks on my desk. If I were really motivated I'd have taken photos and posted the beautifulness that is our secretary and the hung photos, but right now I'm tired and I'll probably only have half an hour of Charlotte's nap left to sleep myself. Ahh, the joys of pregnancy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happiness Can Be Bought

I was sort of happy to pull out my maternity clothing from last time and get to wear some of the stuff again. Especially this one blue sweater. It's so comfy, and kinda stylish. I love it. Then I remembered how hard it was to find jeans that fit the length last time. I tried on the two pairs of jeans I wore last time and realized that at some point I must have given up hope of ever finding jeans that fit me.

Determined that just because I am pregnant doesn't mean that I can't find long jeans I went shopping. I went to the maternity store in the mall and tried on, I kid you not, at least 20 pairs of jeans until I found them. My new and favorite pair of jeans that would never leave my body so long as I was going to have to have a huge belly. Then I took a look at the price tag and all hopes were completely shot. Why would the sales lady ever even think of giving me a $210 pair of jeans? A pair of jeans that I would not even wear longer than 6 months max! I'm sure the type of mom that has the money and will spend over $1000 on the phil and teds deluxe double stroller probably doesn't bat an eyelash at a $210 pair of jeans. I'm clearly not that mom. When I told the sales lady there was absolutely no way I was purchasing a $210 pair of jeans, even if it did seem like they were made just for my body, she said, "Well, we do have an in store credit card that you can apply for. Every dollar you spend goes towards in store credit." Needless to say there's no way I'm going into debt for one stinking pair of jeans! I left the store and my spirits were low. Very low.

The next day I went shopping with Daniel to a different mall. Spirits high after a good night's rest I went in confident that I would find what I sought that day. We went to GAP maternity. GAP carries long pants so I should be able to find something there right? WRONG. They do not carry one single long pair of jeans in the maternity section of the store. I don't know why, but this made me feel like a complete mutant who nobody wants to dress. This was the total opposite feeling I had wanted to achieve in my pursuit of a simple pair of jeans.

Then, today, Happiness arrived via the UPS man. My angel of a mother went to GAP maternity online and purchased for me one pair of long maternity jeans in my size. I put them on and they brought a smile to my face and a dance to my feet. And now I know that, sometimes, Happiness can be bought.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Marathon

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the reaction I get when I tell people that I'm having my second child this close to my first, and, oh yeah, my husband's in his second year of medical school. Unless it's one of the many great people I think of as my medical school community, the reaction spans the spectrum from the look of shock, to bewilderment as to how I could actually do this, to, in one really unfortunate interaction, disgust.

I feel like the choices Daniel and I are making are helping us. Yes, our choices make our lives more difficult. They stretch us farther. Daniel's schooling is harder than if he were a single man. It's harder to be a wife to someone that simply can't always be there. I do have to find ways to be self reliant, and self sufficient. Although these stresses are hard to handle, they are our choice. We didn't stumble upon our life path right now. We sat down and planned each step we've taken so far.

Plus, although I've never trained for a marathon (and don't plan to) I've seen people close to me do it. They put calculated stress on their bodies and with that stress their bodies get stronger, leaner, faster, and more able to handle the extreme stress that a marathon puts on them. I feel that the calculated stress that we are putting on ourselves right now is helping to get our family stronger individually, and as a group. Do I think my husband will be a better doctor for it? Certainly I do. Do I think I will be a stronger, more confident, and more capable person for it? Of course. Do I think my children will grow from this experience? Yes. And you know what? I also think that our family will emerge from medical school and residency the better for our experiences during this time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Kind of Friend I Want To Be

You know how I talked about Daniel and myself soldiering on through colds? Well, I'm going to admit something to you right now. I'm a liar. I don't really naturally soldier on through colds. Really truly I don't. My husband, however, thinks that he never gets sick and it works too! His colds are never as bad as mine. In fact he wont really admit that he's sick at all right now. All he's got is a runny nose. Which I define as a light cold, but I guess it's all in how you look at it. Since having a baby I've been trying to pretend like I'm not sick when I really am and seeing how it works. I can't say I've got a 100% success rate, but I think my colds are less severe and shorter than they were before. Let's face it, moms don't get sick days.

Unless you're me.

And unless you have amazing friends.

A few weeks ago I watched a friend's little girl for the day so that she could go clean someones house/make a few extra dollars. She told me that she expected me to call and have the favor returned, which I fully intended to do, I just wanted it to be the right day at the right time so that I could have a day of just playing. The house needed to already be clean, the budget balanced, my daughter healthy and happy, and all my errands run. I wanted to spend the day doing nothing but sewing, reading, sleeping, and watching movies.

Then yesterday hit. I woke up with the same severe sinus headache that I'd had the night before when I went to bed. I decided enough was enough, I'm not pretending to be healthy anymore. I'm going to buy some cold medicine. In my foggy state I found the paper the doctor gave me about which medicines are safe to take while pregnant, packed Charlotte into the car and went to the grocery store. When I got to the cold medicine isle I wanted to cry. Do you know how many cold medicines there are? And they all happen to be at just the right height for a toddler to put them in your basket. I finally just had to go ask the pharmacist (whom I will forever love now) what I could take. I must have looked pretty pathetic because he got out from behind the counter and walked with me and asked all about the pregnancy and my plans for getting things done that day. He was very helpful.

I ended up choosing Tylenol cold daytime because I still wanted to get stuff done. I went home and took the stuff. At what point in your life does medicine go from being cherry or fruit flavored to making me want to throw back up what just went down my throat? Approximately 20 minutes after taking the daytime medicine my body decided that it could no longer stay awake. I called my friend, giving her zero notice about watching Charlotte all day and she dropped all plans she had and took Charlotte.

So my day off wasn't spent sewing, or reading in a clean, quiet, orderly house. My day off was spent passed out on top of my bed, still fully dressed, in the messiest my house has been in quite a while. And you know what? I loved it. Because I'm a mom and I still got a sick day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why Did I think of That?

Well, TRS, you really hit the nail on the head with your last comment. Sunday Dan, Charlotte, and I all came down with a pretty solid head cold. Head colds aren't bad for Dan or myself, we just soldier on through it, but when Charlotte gets sick she usually works herself up coughing, and wheezing all night until she barfs. (This time though I apparently slept through the whole episode. Except for cleaning the sheets today.) Anyway, I was really not in the mood to do anything this morning. Do you know what saved me? A jelly jar with a slit in the lid and buttons. Lots and lots of buttons. That kept her occupied for an hour! Until she decided it would be fun to try and chew on the buttons and then they had to go away, but still it was amazing. So now during nap time I think I'll be making sewing sewing board type things that she can play with along side of me. So anyway, TRS, you're my hero!

Update: After posting this I went and checked some other blogs I like to read and then came back and laughed out loud at my title. It's supposed to read Why didn't I think of that? I was going to correct it then thought you might also like to have a little chuckle at my slip up.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Goals for the Week

Last week I felt like I pretty much tanked it the entire week. My daughter was unhappy because Mommy wasn't paying attention to her, at all, I was unhappy because my house was a mess and there was no way I was ever going to dig myself out of it, and there seems to be a huge pile of sewing that tugs at my thoughts and heart to do, but never any time to do it. So this week I made some goals:
  1. Be an awesome, attention giving mother to Charlotte. This means instead of finding activities that would distract her from me to actually find activities that we would enjoy doing together.
  2. Clean this house.
  3. Finish the hand stitching for our tree skirt that I really, really, really want to be able to use this year.

So today I was taking stock of my week. I'd like to flatter myself that I've done pretty darn good on goal number 1. There were a few lapses, but for the most part I've noticed Charlotte is acting out a lot less. That usually means that I'm giving her enough postivie attention that she doesn't need to do bad stuff. Goal 2 has been successfully done well since I had a flurry of activity on Tuesday that nearly killed me on Wednesday. I also feel like I've done a pretty good job of connecting with my friends and helping them out when they need it. (I really hope I'm right on that one because I want to be the kind of friend that people feel comfortable calling for help.) Sadly, have I even touched the tree skirt since Sunday? No. Well, you can't win them all. And Christmas will come and go and be just fine without a tree skirt if I don't get it done.

House Progress

Since we haven't really done anything to the house since school started I haven't really posted anything here. But because I had a streak of creativity this week I decorated two new parts of the house:
Here is Daniel helping me hang the curtains. You can't really see the blue on the bottom, but they're really pretty and I'm so happy that all my planning worked out.
And here:

I decorated our dining room mantel! It's beautiful isn't it? I love it, but this photo is a little dark.

Here's another view of the mantel in which I show that the rest of our dining room should also probably be decorated, but I'll get to that in time. I also need to paint that room. I do like the color now, but it's just too dark for the lighting in that room.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Sense of Humor

It's the little things that make me realize that Charlotte's not a baby anymore. Today for example. I was in the basement, changing loads of laundry when I hear the door to the basement slam closed. I walk up the stairs with my load of clean laundry. I open the door to see what's happened. As soon as the door swings open, Charlotte pops her head around the corner and yells, "Hey you!" and then laughs and laughs. Apparently she scared me and it was really funny. She's such a big kid now!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A sigh of relief

I thought I'd post about our progress with Charlotte's bed since I've said everything else so far. A few days ago (or was it last week?) we were finally able to take the baby gate off her door without her feeling like she needed to get up and walk out of her room. We also were able to mostly close the door so walking by her room doesn't wake her up anymore. Also she's now started to mostly sleep from the time we put her down at night until 6:30. We did have to move the bed across the room from it's original spot because it was right in front of the vent. Great in summer for the AC, not so great in winter for the heat. Also she'll go down for naps without screaming bloody murder, really without any fuss at all. So were back to where we were before! Hooray. Only it's better because when she wakes up in the morning she'll just get out of bed and come in my room without tears. I can then have her lay with me in bed (if I'm feeling really lazy) or get up. Guess which one I do more often? Because I'm a good mom like that. I am now so, so happy about her progress towards a big girl bed. Which will probably be just a mattress on the floor because have you seen how expensive beds are? YIKES!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dear Barak Obama Campaign,

I realize that the election is coming up here quickly. And also that it's important. And also that Missouri is a swing state and thus my vote really matters. I appreciate you're reminding me.


Do you really think I need two strangers coming to my door to tell me that this week? Also, do you think I need to have a phone call from another stranger that happens to come just as I'm putting my toddler down for her nap? Really, it would mean more to me that you cared about my daughter's nap time and thus my mental health by letting me be than by telling me to get out and vote.

A Concerned Voter

***Update: Since I wrote this post, another visitor came to my door for the Obama campaign on Saturday. That was three visits in one week. Also we got called on the phone twice on Saturday. That was kind of exciting though because one time it was actually Obama on the other end of the line! Boy don't you wish you lived in St. Louis now!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eating Healthy

Perhaps it's just because when I'm pregnant I have to eat what seems like truckloads of food, but eating healthy has really been on my mind lately. I have a daughter who is a fabulous healthy eater. She will eat raw fruits and veggies all day if I provided them for her. So what's the problem? The problem is in my providing them for her. I never seem to plan to have enough of them in a good enough variety to satisfy her. Also, I wish I were more like her. My first reaction to hunger is to find some yummy carbs to load myself up with. I don't really know how that happened. I have a very healthy mom and grandmother. They are both really great at cooking healthy, interesting, fancy, and enjoyable meals for the whole family. I also have quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to food. I just have slipped into the grab-n-go eating habits that aren't so very good for me. Also, fruits and veggies are expensive! My food budget, like most everyone, is very strained right now. So if my choice is between more apples or getting the oil changed on the car how exactly am I supposed to make that decision? Both are needed to lubricate important things in my life.

Anyway, I'm done complaining because who wants to hear about that. I've been hearing great things about this book lately and thought to myself, "yeah great idea, but how would I be able to afford it. Also, my daughter will eat veggies so why hide them?" Then today I was having lunch with another med mom. This mom is amazing at stretching her food dollar. I'm floored when I hear how much she spends and is still able to eat well. She told me that she loves this book and it didn't really raise their budget as much as she thought it would. She said the best thing about it for her is just fitting in more servings of veggies without feeling like she has to go and cook three or four side dishes. So now I'm actually intrigued. Has anyone else tried the book? Is it worth the investment of actually buying the book? If you've tried it, should I really get a food processor or will my blender work OK?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm convinced

Although I have no reason to think this, I'm convinced I'm having a boy this time around. So much so that Daniel and I have decided on a name (mostly) if he's a boy, but haven't even been able to consider girl names. We've tried we just can't come up with any. So if I find out the week of December 10th that I'm having a girl, I'm going to have to seriously readjust my mindset.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Since I can't really get my thoughts together for 2 minutes in a row to write a real post today I thought I'd share some of the funny things Charlotte is saying now.

First, she realized that I didn't call Daddy daddy. I call him Daniel. So now she walks around the house calling her daddy, "Danno! Danno!" It's hilarious! I asked Daniel if he minded and he said it's cute for now and we'll address it later. Plus, she still does call him Daddy sometimes. It depends on her mood I guess.

Second, I think I must have been saying, "There you are!" a lot lately because she walks around the house saying, "Where you are!" to me every time she finds me.

Thirdly, she likes to wish everyone a good morning. She says, "morneen" all throughout breakfast and then again to Daniel when he comes home from school at 5:30 in the evening.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Service Opportunity

One of my very best friends in the whole wide world recently had her first baby.  Her mom isn't coming out to see her and help with the new one for a few days so some of the other girls in our group have banded together to help her.  Our plan is simple.  Everyone helping has a toddler themselves.  The person going over to help drops their child off at a different home and then helps with the baby while their child is getting looked after.  Today is my turn to help her, but you want to know the honest truth about this whole situation?  I'm LOVING having an afternoon without a toddler clamoring for entertainment.  It is so relaxing.  So right now I'm giving "loads" of help to my friend and receiving loads of help from my friend.  Today is so great.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Other Love of my life

I realized with all this posting about Charlotte and our new baby I've not mentioned a word about my husband and how things are going with him. As far as I can tell they're going really great right now.

Second year, same as the first
A little bit faster and a little bit worse.

Well, not about that whole worse part. Maybe not even about faster, but it seems to be going faster to me. He took his first final a few weeks ago (or maybe even only one week ago I can't remember now) in neruo and has a mid term in cardio this coming Saturday. He's actually been staying at home in the mornings to study before we get up and then eating breakfast with Charlotte before going to school. At least that's what I think he's doing because I'm dead to the world before 6:50 AM. He works so hard for our family. I hope he does well on his test because if he doesn't I will sort of feel like it's due to all the added work he's taken on at home. He is so very good about it though.

Last night he caught mouse number two. Every time he catches a mouse without me even having to see it he's my hero.

I think this year I'm really starting to learn so much more about my husband's character. That sounds funny to say since we've been married for a while, but I think we've settled so much more into each other now. It feels really good to look back and see all the tiny hills we've gotten over together so far and say we conquered them working together. I feel like I'm starting to see how who I am and how I chose to act reflects on him. How the two of us working together to be our best selves will amplify our efforts. The reverse, sadly, I've also seen. That when I act poorly I pull our whole family down. I hope we can individually work to be the best we can be and that, in turn, will reflect on our children, friends and community.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A New Dog New Tricks

Sorry about the long post about how horrible things are going. I forgot that teaching a child anything takes time and patience. Also, on Sunday two of her four K-9 teeth poked through and I'm pretty sure I see the bottom set today. Four teeth all at once! Ouch! So that explains a lot. Also, I'm really lucky to have a stick to it husband. I was so ready to give in and put the side to her crib back up, but I think the tide has turned. Charlotte went down for her nap today WITHOUT crying! Now let's just hope that it lasts for a while. I always need to remind myself that teaching a baby/toddler anything new is hard and makes you second guess yourself every time. She's doing much better. She only woke up once last night and we put her right back down. So now it's just a matter of reinforcement.

Just so I remember how it worked this time when I'm trying this for the next baby I think I'll write down what worked and what didn't. This part will probably be really boring to everyone but me so now would be an OK time to skip to the next paragraph. Put her down for bed and linger just a little longer than I used to. Maybe a minute or so in the room. Put up the baby gate, but leave the door open. It sounds horrible that I had to "lock" her in her room, but it worked so I'm not going to apologize to anyone (not even myself). That way she wont be able to get out of the room, but she knows you're not just leaving her alone. If she immediately jumps out of bed and cries/screams, leave and let her do it for about 20 minutes or so. If you wait too long she will make herself throw up and then you'll have a whole other mess to clean up. Go back up, don't talk to her, don't make eye contact. Just put her back in bed, give her a kiss and then linger in the room once more. She knows you're there so she wont get back out. Stand just outside the gate for a while. She will calm herself down. Then leave her alone.

Saturday I threw up so much that by the end of the afternoon Charlotte was pretend throwing up in the toilet which would have made me laugh if I hadn't felt so sick. Then Sunday it was like the clouds broke and the storm lifted. I didn't get sick feeling even once. It was amazing and I loved it. Let's keep our fingers crossed that today goes more like Sunday.

Anybody got any good fall type activities to do with almost 2 year olds? This morning we went to the park, but it's overcast and windy now so my guess is it'll be raining this afternoon. Perhaps we'll do pudding finger painting. If you've got any other ideas send them my way. My mom already gets credit for pumpkin coloring/painting which I'm sure we'll do by the end of the week.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My mistake

It's all my fault. I really did have an eye for the future. I also thought it would cut down on tears. I really had good intentions. And now I'm paying for it.

When Charlotte and I were on vacation she slept in a big girl bed for the first time ever. I was worried she'd have problems like getting scared and falling out of bed. But she slept like a champ. She would go down without any fuss at bedtime and at naptime and would sleep wonderfully. Since my mom's house is two hours behind our house, when she woke up in the morning I would have her come crawl in bed with me and we'd cuddle for an hour or so. It was great, she did great.

Then we came home. I put her in her crib for a nap the Sunday after we came back. She screamed for half an hour was quiet for half an hour (notice I didn't say slept) and then decided she wanted out. So I made a decision. I decided to convert her crib into a day bed. It's simple, you just take the front side off and install the daybed pannel that comes with the crib and goes on the front. It worked great for a few days. Like a dream.

Yesterday however the tide turned. She decided that she had to take a nap with me in my bed. That was fine for a day I thought. I was taking a nap at the same time anyway and I do enjoy cuddling her. I indulged her wishes. But last night she woke up at 4:12 AM. Wide awake and screaming. Sometimes she'll do this for two nights and we just have to be firm and put her back in bed until she realizes that she has to go back to sleep. So Dan decided to start that routine. He went in and changed her diaper. Hugged her. Kissed her. Put her back in her bed. Then came about half an hour of her getting out of bed and running to me. I'd pick her up and put her back in bed go back to bed and she'd get out again. She was asking me to rock with her in her rocking chair. 4:30 in the morning isn't rocking in the rocking chair time. It's SLEEP time. So I didn't. After a half hour of no progress though I decided that I would put her down and sit by the door. That way she knew I would see her if she got out of bed. It worked. I stayed there for five minutes or so and then went to bed. She stayed in her bed.

The problem now was that I was completely awake. And so was she. After another 15 minutes or so I hear in her calm clear little voice, "poopy!" Then she said something and then said, "poopy!" again. I didn't believe her. Daniel had just changed her and she was fine and I was going to go to sleep. In about half a hour, right when I was thinking I'd actually get to go back to sleep she started screaming. Dan had to get up by then anyway so he went to check on her. Apparently when he changed her diaper in his groggy state he neglected to put the new one on all the way and she peed and it was all over her and her bed. I made a valiant effort to get her to sleep with me in my bed while Dan was getting ready for school, but it was to no avail.

So I got up for the day today at 4:12 AM. She's had three less hours of sleep than she should have. I'm longing for nap time and also dreading the in and out of bed routine I'm fairly certain will happen. Making her crib a day bed was a mistake.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Charlotte and I just got back from a week long vacation at "Gamma" and "Bumpa's" house on Saturday. We had loads of fun and I should share some good stories, but I'm lazy and I wont. Today though I went and had my first ultrasound of our little peanut. I heard the heartbeat for the first time (170) and there's just something so awesome about that sound. It makes all these flu-like symptoms totally worth it. I loved to see the little heart beating and the little flipper hands and feet. This baby was much less active than Charlotte was. She did flips and turns the whole ultrasound and there was only one little wiggle out of the peanut. Does this mean I might get a laid back child? Not very likely. The peanut is measuring right on for my due date of May 9th. So there you have it.

The ultrasound went so quickly that Charlotte and I had time to drive to the zoo and get to the carousel for the free ride time. The carousel is free for the first hour the zoo is open. We went three times before she decided she wanted to see the penguins, which are still her favorite part of the zoo. We must not have been to the zoo for a while now because this time she magically noticed all the animals and pointed and talked to them. She had to say hi and bye to every animal she saw (even the squirrels). Did I mention that 18 months old is by far my favorite age so far? Because really, it's so much fun.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I forgot that when I'm pregnant I need to eat every two hours. What a pain. I'm running out of cheap, yummy, no prep snacks here at a quick rate. I wish I were still living with my grandparents. They can always pull out a snack from nowhere. Today's my first doctor's appointment. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A special kind of torture

It's really good that Charlotte and I had such an uplifting week last week.

This week she's sick.

Nobody, but someone who has experienced it, knows the mental, physical, and emotional torture that you go through when your precious little baby gets sick. Sure it's just a cold, and teething at the same time, but the sound that she makes while trying to breathe makes me want to scream. Which I did today, twice. In the back of my mind I think that makes me a bad mom, but I've resolved to do better tomorrow. When I lose my patience, it only makes things worse. I just keep thinking of moms with truly sick children, and wonder how on earth they manage to cultivate such patience, love, and understanding. I guess you learn when you have to.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Last Night

If you want to see photos of what we did last night click here.

All of my photos didn't turn out because if I took them with the night setting they were too fuzzy (my daughter can't hold still that long) and if I took them with the action flash all you saw was her. Anyway, we had tons of fun.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Big News

At times of introspection, my mind has been painting an image of my family. In this image my husband is courageously, excitedly, and joyously leading us over an incredibly large, deep and scary crevasse. He’s done it before in real life so it’s not that difficult an image for my mind to conjure. He knows where he wants our feet to fall and what he desires for our end result. Before we set out on this journey we talked about it and I agreed that I also desired the same things. Now though, as I’ve left the safe and sure ground we were standing on my courage fails me.

I am still excited for our end result. I’m still excited about the strongholds in between. It’s just that now I’m faced with the reality of how difficult the route we’ve made for ourselves might actually be. My husband always thought I could do more difficult climbs than I believed I could.

What’s one of the most important things to remember about situations like this? Don’t look down. So what happened that made me look down to where my feet are? Because our next step is a big one. Huge. I’m not so sure my legs can span the gap from one to two children. I feel like I’ve mentally planted both feet on the safe keep the status quo rock and I’m trying to prepare for the next step. I remember how much work it took to pull ourselves up from zero to one and my mind can only see how it must be all the more difficult to leap from one to two.

When I say that to myself though I remember Daniel telling me that you’re not supposed to get stuck in the middle of a big step. Keep your momentum going from step to step. Never put your feet on the same rock. You’re unstable that way and could easily fall.

So then I try to alter the image in my mind. I give myself a little more courage, a little more faith, and a little more strength. I hold Daniel’s hand tighter and I grasp Charlotte’s hand as I lead her along with us. Together the three of us will courageously, excitedly, and joyously become four.

Whistling a different tune

Dan and I thought about getting a cat for Charlotte for Christmas. Really, she's not yet two, the cat would be for us, but she'd love it. Anyway, after looking at the cost incurred in feeding and cleaning up poop, we decided to wait a while. (I know you all are saying, it doesn't cost a lot, but that was our decision.) Also, I didn't want to have to deal with Charlotte choking it, pulling it's tail, or loving it to death. A few nights ago something happened to make me reconsider.

Dan saw a mouse. If we see another one it might be time to get a cat.

Please don't forget

Dear Self,

I know sometimes you forget things that seem little in the moment. Usually that's not a big deal, but sometimes it is. THIS time it's a big deal. Don't forget this week. Please, don't forget how great this week has been with your daughter. Remember how on Monday she snuggled/napped with you for an hour after her nap time and you just got to lay there, still, playing with her hair and loving her. Remember how in love with her you were that day. How it seemed like nothing and nobody could ever come between your love for her. Remember how on Tuesday she played with the lavender baby wash and then smelled of it all day long. She thought it was great and because of that so did you. Remember how it felt last night to come in after she woke up crying late in the evening (lights on this time). You hugged her and her little body clung to you and you could fix anything right then. Remember how great it is not just to be a mom but to be Charlotte's mom. Please don't forget how wonderfully blessed you are.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Living in an older home

Have I mentioned lately how much I love our new house? Because I really do. I practically float around my kitchen making dinner and snacks for my family.
One thing has been nagging at me since we moved in though. Well, since we had to remove the lead pipes in the bathroom really. Lead poisoning. I've been seeing billboards for lead safe St. Louis around town and so a few days ago I thought I'd look up the web site. Most of me thinks, this is silly. Our home is fine. I have no reason to worry. Part of me though thinks, we live in an older home. Our bathroom plumbing was lead. Some of the paint on the window sills is cracking. What if it's lead?
Turns out you can get lead testing done for free here in St. Louis because of the high number of lead poisonings that are found in the older homes in this area. So I called to schedule an inspection. At least that will let me stop worrying about our house is slowly killing us.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Resurrection Lilies

Remember that post a while back about the beautiful pink flowers in my back yard? They're all gone now, but I saw them again at the Botanical Gardens. I found out that they're resurrection lilies. Here's a photo (not from my backyard) I found for you.

Mine were just as beautiful, but there weren't as many of them. I'd like to plant more next year.

Twilight Zone

While Daniel's parents were here he and his father hung the fan in Charlotte's room. What a life saver! She no longer wakes up sweaty and cranky from every nap I give her. On the other hand I've found out that our house is haunted.

Here is why:

All the upstairs fixtures in our house are on pull strings. Annoying and not very good for resale. We wanted to replace the fixtures anyway so Daniel was thinking he'd wire switches behind a picture rail that he'd install and then down to a switch level. When we went to go get our new fixtures we decided to go with fans so that there can be more circulation of the air upstairs, cutting down on our heating and cooling bills. (I have a point here so stay with me.) We found out that you can get remote switches for your ceiling fans. You mount them on the wall just like a regular switch, but they run on a 9V battery so you don't have to run wire down the wall. Whoever thought of this idea was a genius and saved our family much time and frustration. We both jumped on this idea and never looked back.

Dan hung our fan in the master bedroom right away because I thought my body might melt while sleeping up there in the August heat. Everything worked great! The wall mounted remote switch works so well I can't even believe it. We didn't run into anything weird until a few days after Charlotte's fan was up.

Now in the middle of the night her light will mysteriously turn on. The fan doesn't switch on or off or change speed, but the light will switch on. It will eventually wake either of us up and we turn it off for her. Luckily it doesn't wake her up. The weird thing though? It only does this at night and only in her room. Both rooms run on the remote wall mounted switch, but only hers turns on. Strange very strange.

Dan says that there must be something else around here on the same frequency as the remote. Or that something is wrong with the wiring of the fan. You know what I say? I say we're haunted.

Monday, September 01, 2008

This is Funny Right?

Tonight my husband decided he had to study. Friday and Saturday (I think) are his first two tests of the term and his parents were in town this weekend so no studying happened. Well, he decided that he needed to take the two hours from 8-10 to study. I tried to help him by kicking him off the couch at 8, but it didn't work. He decided that he needed 10 minutes to just sit before getting off the sofa. He starts studying upstairs about a quarter after. Then at 5 to 9 he comes downstairs to "take a break" because he's been studying for an hour right? I'm ready to believe him until I look on his forehead and see three lines of notes imprinted backwards from where he fell asleep! He had no idea what was on his forehead so he kept trying to convince me that he'd done some good solid studying. I started to get the giggles so he asked why. When he saw his forehead he decided that he should probably go back upstairs to study some more.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I have been told that my blog isn't funny enough so today I sat down to write a funny post. The only thing that I found funny in the last 24 hours involved poop and I don't really want to write about that. Plus, it's not really funny retold. It's kinda gross.

So I'll be on the lookout for something funny Dad and when I find it I'm posting it here.

In big letters.

And possibly yellow font.

Because yellow is funny right?

What font do you think is the funniest font?

If there was a problem then I solved it.

When Dan said, "I think I should try playing basketball twice a week this year instead of just once a week. I think that way I will really get enough of a workout in to maintain my fitness level," the other day I could have sworn my head exploded and blood came rushing out of my eyes. Apparently it didn't.

You see the problem I saw with this scenario don't you? You don't? Well, I was kinda mad that he got to work out two times each week without even worrying about what to do with Charlotte. He could just assume that I'd be fine with him being away from home. It never occurred to him that his exercise needs and my exercise needs both need to be met for optimum happiness in our home. Also, that we can't just leave our baby alone while going out.

Instead of addressing this issue like a rational mature person, I stewed. I stewed and I stewed and I stewed on this one until just the mention of basketball was going to send me over the edge. Then a miracle happened. One that probably saved my innocent, unknowing husband's life. A friend of mine that lives only blocks away complained that she can't ever exercise anymore with her little girl.

You don't think this is a miracle? Well, we came up with a plan. We borrowed some pilates DVDs from a friend and Charlotte and I go over to her house three days a week. The mommies exercise while the two girls play more or less successfully together. Now I get to exercise three times a week and I don't have to hurt my husband.

So I still don't get to go out running with Charlotte, but also I don't have to spend any money. Another great plus is that my friend and I both insist on exercising in the mornings so we don't have to get ready for the day twice. It's great.

When I told my darling husband about my new solution he was very happy for me, but was completely surprised that I even cared about how much basketball he did. I just had to laugh at the monumental argument we were having without him even being aware.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Better and Better

We have some friends here who have a little boy just older than Charlotte. I'd say in the range of 9 months. It's been really great to have them around because it's like looking into the future. Her little friend went through a phase where he wouldn't eat. Now Charlotte doesn't want to eat. He learned to stack blocks, and now Charlotte is stacking blocks.

I remember my friend saying that she just loved the 18 month age. That it was so exciting to have her son saying words and communicating with him. She said that being his mom was getting really fun again. When Charlotte was 9 months and just learning to walk I was thinking, "Yeah right! Nothing could be as fun as watching her taking her first steps!" Then a few months ago we went through a time that was not so much fun. Charlotte was whining all the time to try and communicate. Anything and everything elicited the same response. And I think I was going crazy. But this week I've really been remembering her remarks and realizing how true they were. Charlotte has exploded with words. True, most of them sound exactly the same, but she's trying and most of the time I can understand what she means. It is so much fun to say something to her and know that she knows what I'm saying because she responds. Also it has cut way down on her whining, which has the reverse effect on my sanity.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Not Spellchecked

Now that things are starting to settle into a livable level of organization in our home (will it ever be really organized-right now I don't think so) I'm realizing that I've got to get myself back into my happy routine. I vaguely remember a nice routine I had last year through the haze of construction dust. I just can't really seem to feel caught up. I feel like a contender on American Gladiators going through the eliminator. They make it so far and then they have to go up the, well, I can't remember the name of it right now, but it's the incline with the treadmill thingy on it. They've worked so hard to get there and they want to get going, but they just can't keep their feet under them. Yeah, that's kinda how it feels.

I really want to get Charlotte to walk to the library with me one day a week. It's only three blocks away. Then we'd get in some nice physical activity and we could check out some new books each week. I'd also like to start going to the botanical gardens again. I love being there and just letting Charlotte go wherever she wants to. It's great. I'd love to take her to Music Makers every Friday morning. She loves music and I think she can get a lot out of it. Also I want to keep her going to the Medical School Wives playgroup. I think it's good for her to interact with all the different aged kids there.

And then there are the things I want to do for me. I want to have my sewing space set up so that I could finally make the curtains I have fabric for. I also would love to start exercising again. I haven't been since we started this house deal and I realize now that I miss it. I tried to go running with Charlotte, but she's now too heavy to use a regular stroller. I've felt very good about using what I had, but I just can't do it anymore which basically means I'm not going to exercise again until I find a new solution to that problem. Also I would like to have time to either take a class (like my wood working one that was awesome) or read some more books. I also want to have time to go visit with my friends and just talk.

When you look at each of those things they aren't that much to do. It's when you add all of them into your schedule that things start bumping into one another. Especially when you realize that on top of all the things I want to do there are the things I have to do. I still have to unpack things and organize things and we still have to eat so I still have to go to the grocery store. The millions of little errands that will never end. Gah!

So how do I pick the best things? My tendency, and I know this about myself, would be just to cross off that whole paragraph about the things I want to do for me. That can't possibly be the right choice though. Each thing I cross off my list though brings a little bit of sadness, and if it's something I'd like to do for Charlotte a little bit of guilt. If I don't do it am I really being the best mother I can be? I don't mind making decisions between good and bad. I don't even mind really making decisions between good and better. It's hard when the choices are between good and good. Who's to say what the "right" choice is then?

Don't get me wrong, I know I am truly blessed to be able to have this dilemma. Many women, and I guess people in general, don't have all the many options I have. They don't get to choose their wants at all for various reasons. I am so grateful to have these decisions in front of me, but now which choice do I make?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Not a Photographer

Well we're done working on the house for now because Dan's school started up again last Monday. He came home last night all depressed because he's going to have to take Saturday to study. This is exactly what most of his Saturdays were like last year, but somehow he must have thought it wouldn't be the same this year. Yeah, right. So I thought I'd share a few photos of our house in this stage. I'm not a photographer and I had a hard time getting good angles to show off the rooms, but here's my best shot at it.

The Entry:

We found this table on Craigslist for $20. Originally it's a sewing machine table where the machine sits inside and the top flips open and then the machine comes up, but the insides are broken. We're just using it as a hall table so that doesn't matter anyway.Do you like the circle rug? I love it.

The Living room:

If you're looking at this photo thinking, "Why on earth did she put horns above that mirror?" The answer was that my husband thought it was a funny, funny joke to hang them there. I like having something above the mirror, but those belong in the bedroom with the other cowboy stuff.

Notice the horns are gone. I thought this shot showed the paint colors nicely. Again, I haven't put out our decorations yet or put any window treatments up so it looks a little bare, but I'm just excited that the furniture is in! I thought this showed the layout of the room well. We kept going back and forth about that rug orientation. We're living with it like that for now and then I'm going to switch it and see what we like best.

The Bathroom:

It is very hard to get good photos of such a small space, but here's my attempt.
Those shelves are there until Dan can make the built in shelves behind the shower. That'll be a while so I decided to paint the shelves we already had and put them there in the mean time.

Dan and I both thought that the hotel shower curtain rod my dad insisted we get was a little silly, but now we love it. It makes your shower feel loads bigger, but doesn't take up any larger footprint in the room. What a great idea.

Well, that's it for now. What do you think? There's still no window treatments in any of the windows and it sort of feels like we're living in a fish bowl, but that will come as soon as it can.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Dear Sweetie,

I think I may be more in love with you today than ever before. I have loved listening to you work and play and enjoy our daughter all day today. Right now you're sanding wood, listening to a CD and singing along. It makes me smile to hear you sing, "If the whole world was a honky tonk." I love listening to you laugh with our daughter and explain what is going on outside. I woke up to you giving her a bath this morning and the two of you playing together. We have a lot to get done and we're working hard, but I needed to take a moment to remember today. What an amazing day. I love you with all my heart.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I sense that my short posts about the house are getting fairly boring for everyone. I'm sorry. There's only so much of me I can give and, well, the Internet gets the least of it. In fact that seems a theme of my life right now. There's only so much. Physical, emotional, and financial limitations are real and I seem to be running into all of mine at the moment. What is strange though is that I don't seem to be feeling as overwhelmed about that fact as I used to get. I sort of feel like I'm living inside of a Dave Ramsey book. I write down what I would like to have done (in my head) and who I would like to see or help then I face the fact that there's no way on earth that I'm going to get it all done. I work and give and help until I go to bed and I say to myself, "The other stuff was below the line." I feel bad that I can't get to all of it, but tomorrow will be the day for the next thing on my list. Mostly I just feel bad about all the people over the summer that I would have loved to see, visit with and get to know.

Usually my mantra is that the mopping can wait, but right now it's not mopping that is requiring my attention. It's the whole house. And it can't wait. Dan's going back to school next week. On Monday he went in to talk to the head of the ortho department and left me alone with Charlotte and it nearly killed me. I forgot how hard it is to try and accomplish something while being the sole person watching her. Now I'm very, very worried about school starting. My way of dealing with it to pretend like it doesn't exist. I'm focusing on this week, this job, this time we have together instead of the looming school year.

So I'm boring right now. Things might pick up later. Just remind me in a month about what Dan thought would be a good dinner for Charlotte, or what wildlife we see in our backyard even though we live in the center of a big city, or the color of our porch right now, or the beautiful flowers that were growing in our backyard. We never even knew about them until they burst forth with a brilliant pink bouquet. I can see them from my kitchen windows and I love them. I wonder what kind of flower they are and how I can keep them coming back next year. (So OK I've told you about the flowers, but I love them and I kept it short.)

Monday, August 04, 2008


My living room is painted. Yes, there's a big hole in the ceiling, but that'll be fixed Tuesday. We also set our furniture up in there so it's looking less and less like a construction zone and more and more like a house. We are also working on the bathroom. I painted the baker's shelves I had to put in there until Dan gets around to make our built in shelves. I measured them and found they would fit snugly, but that would look great. Then when I went to put them in I realized that I measured the skinniest part of the shelves and the widest part of the opening. Now I'm laughing at myself. Oh well, they'll work in there sideways until the built ins are there. This week is all about getting ready for the family picnic for the incoming SLU med student families. It's at our house and so we need our house to well, look like a house.

Charlotte just emptied all of Dan's Netter's Anatomy Flash Cards on the floor. I gotta go.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I was going to say

I was going to write this post about how we finally chose the family room colors together. How there's a beautiful blue above the picture rail. We painted all the wood trim too. And today we were fondly calling "Operation Gobi Desert." The color for the main part of the wall is called Gobi Desert. All that was going to happen.

Then Dan inspected the stain in the ceiling that kept coming through the primer. The stain was wet. Turns out that the T-joint in the plumbing to the vanity in the bathroom was s-l-0-w-l-y dripping down onto the ceiling and that's why the stain kept coming through. Dan went to work trying to fix the darn thing without having to completely rip everything to shreds. He was hoping to salvage some of Operation Gobi Desert. Then Lowe's was out of stock for the part he needed. Then the Home Depot apparently didn't even carry that part. We were forced to abort the mission.

At 6 PM he found the part he needed to fix the leak.

Tomorrow will be Operation Gobi Desert.

And Operation Bath time. (We were both skipped yesterday and were planning on this morning before the leak happened.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Word to the Wise

I just thought I'd give everyone a heads up on texturizing walls.

Even if your husband tells you that you don't need to tape and cover the wood trim in the room.

And even if the mud used to texturize the walls is water soluble.

And even if you have an awesome friend that comes to help at the drop of a hat to hold the cardboard piece in front of the trim

And even if he does a very good job at it. (Thanks so much Aaron!)

You will still need to tape up the trim. You will be thinking this on the third hour of wiping down trim in one room. Don't let him fool you. His sincere chocolaty brown eyes might make your reserve weaken to follow his idea, but stay strong! You do not want to spend three hours wiping down trim.

Friday, July 25, 2008


So I'm really tired and don't want to post much, but I thought that since I finally remembered to take my camera to the house and bring the chord to connect it to the computer I'd post pictures. Here goes: Dan sealing the tile on the shower surround.
The gaping hole left after the bathtub disaster.
More hole.
That part on the left was the junction that caused all the problems I believe.
In the emergency my pots were used to collect some of the water and plaster.

My new kitchen, mostly unpacked.
The chords hanging in front of the canisters are for the undercabinet lighting that isn't quite finished yet.
That's the pantry in the corner.
Can you see the plate rail above the fridge? I think I want Daniel to build a shelf above the fridge to put pretty things on. I'm not sure yet. Plus, that's on the very bottom of the list so we'll see if it acutally happens. I'm so proud of what my husband can do.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I feel like sewing today

We really felt like we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then the ceiling caved in on us. Literally. Right now there's three huge holes in our living room ceiling where soggy plaster sagging with the extra water weight crumbled at the first touch. That's the bad news. The good news is that Dan found the problem and it was simpler than what we originally thought. The bad news is that this whole problem is because one of the connections in the PVC plumbing to the tub had no glue on it. It wiggled and jiggled until a pocket of air was caught inside it and built up pressure and popped the juncture open. The good news was that all we have to do to fix the plumbing is put glue on the thing. Now we have to wait a couple of days to let the room dry out and then patch up the hole. Luckily we had cardboard covering the whole floor before this happened so the hardwood underneath was almost completely dry.

Also, Charlotte has a cold which means she's crabby. She slept-ish from 11:30 to 1:15. Then a little after 3 I could no longer take her crying so I packed her up in the car and headed for our friend's house. She fell asleep on the way and has now slept for about an hour. I'm not getting much done over here.

It's when that happens that I tend to get online and inspired by other people's designs. I really feel like sewing today. Here are some projects I've been envisioning for myself lately. I want to make either a white or yellow v-neck dress with a ballerina waist and an A line skirt. I can't decide in my mind's eye to do cap sleeves or puffed sleeves. Also I would like to make a fall type dress for Charlotte. I have some plaid fabric (thanks Grandma LeAnn) with coordinating floral. It's kinda springy in the look, but if I used the plaid as the main fabric I bet I could get away with it. And if I can't sew I would like to find some botanical prints to frame for the walls in the living room. I think they would look really pretty in there. I think we're going to paint the walls a warm toned tan color, but I still have to ask Dan what he's thinking. Barring that I would like to start a new quilt. I decided that I'd like to make a quilt for Charlotte's eventual big girl bed. That way it can look just exactly how I want it to.

Unfortunately I still don't have a house to sew in. My sewing room is currently our storage space. Also I don't have any money to spend on food. Oh well, I'll just enjoy what all those projects look like in my mind. Sometimes that's the best way to enjoy them. That way I don't have to worry about getting them done and I don't have regret over spending money on things I shouldn't have.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Spoke Too Soon

Remember how earlier today I wrote about how everything just seemed to be going our way with the house? Everything was coming together and all our hard work was paying off?


This evening the supply line to the toilet burst and we had water cascading into the living room.


I am simply loving all I'm learning about my husband's design style while working on this home. I was worried about this because the first year we were married he showed me a sofa with a southwestern/canyon view mural woven into the back with a coordinating cow hide chair and told me that he wanted to have something like that in his home one day. Also, when I was pregnant with Charlotte he said that if we had a boy he'd like to get a nursery set from Cabella's. Not the cute little animal one, but the real tree/camo one. None of these things fit into my view of what I want in my home. I figured we would both be having to open our minds to new ideas through this experience.

Despite all these previous design "finds" of his I have been delighted with his choices for our home. Firstly, he was the one to fall in love with this house because of it's details. He loves the bench, the molding, the fireplaces, and the stairs. He loves the look of older homes and enjoys the small irregularities that come from people having lived in a place. He loves to bring out the beauty that came from the original architecture, which explains going back to the original hardwood floors. Secondly, he was the first to chose the kitchen back splash, the floor stain color, and the cabinetry. All of these I fell in love with when he showed them to me so we needed little to no negotiation about it. Thirdly, he found all the lighting for our home. He really had to sell me on the universality of the leaded glass lights and also that they matched the rest of the home, but they look so classy. I think they're beautiful and I hope that whomever buys this house in three years will think so too. Lastly, I love that he likes my choices of paint in the kitchen and bath, and the tile I chose for the bathroom. I chose those without even showing them to him because they were good finds or because he couldn't be with me. He's also happy with my choices of accessories.

Tomorrow we are going to texturize the living room ceiling and walls. Pretty much right after that we need to paint them. He turns to me and says, "You're going to need to pick a paint color for this room." I love that he has in his mind that paint is my department. I don't know why it became my department, but just as electrical, plumbing and carpentry are his departments mine is clearly paint and decor. Of course we run things by each other, but I am in charge. Thrilled as I am about this I'm sort of worried about what to chose. I went so dark in the kitchen and so light in the bathroom. I love both choices, but I don't know what to go with in the living room. Our sofa is green and the chair is a lighter green. I put a quilt up on the wall in our last place with matching green, cream, deep red, and peach (well not really peach, but I can't think of a better name) in it and got candles and other things to match that. I'll need to sort of stick to the same theme because I can't change the furniture, but what to paint the walls? I don't know. The rug for that room is brown, green, and blue, but mostly just looks brown. I don't think I should go with green since there are so many different shades of green, but I don't think brown in another room is a good idea. I don't know.

But what I do know is that I've fallen in love with my kitchen all over again. I have a plate rail that runs about a foot from the ceiling on the wall with the fridge. I would love to get some plates to go along it that go with the Swiss coffee white that I painted the trim. I think they would really stand out against the brown and look really pretty. It probably wont happen, but I was picturing it while painting and decided that I love that idea.

Going My Way

Things have just been going our way over here at the new place the past few days! Today at 10 was supposed to be our occupancy permit inspection so the last few days we have been working very hard to be ready. Yesterday we even had some of our very nice and helpful friends over. The spindles are in, all the smoke alarms are up, the porch is primed, the ceiling in the living room is patched, the bathroom is patched, the bead board in the bathroom is painted, the basement has been cleaned, the kitchen sink is in as well as the garbage disposal. We were doing the last big push before the inspection last night and didn't quit until 10 PM (which is the first time Charlotte's been up that late). I felt the conquering feeling of sweet exhaustion as I showered all the gunk off me last night. Did we get everything done for the inspection, no, but we got close enough to where I felt comfortable.

Then this morning the inspector called to ask if she could inspect on Thursday because a family member was very sick. What great news! I mean for us anyway, I hope the family member recovers quickly. Two more days to get all the little things done! It was music to my ears. On the one hand we wont be moving in until after the inspection, but on the other hand we'll have more done before we unpack all our things! Hooray!

Photos will be coming, I just haven't really been thinking about them while working. Sorry about that, but wont you be surprised when you see all the progress!

Friday, July 18, 2008

In case that wasn't enough

Dan and I have fallen into a wonderful summer schedule while at our friend's house. We take turns sleeping in and getting up with Charlotte. So whenever she gets up (which is between 6:18 and 6:21 AM right now) one of us gets up with her, gives her breakfast, and then plays until the other person comes out of the bedroom. The other person sleeps in and then showers and gets dressed before showing themselves to the baby. This is because she knows that once both of us are up she will then take a bath. Usually I eat breakfast before giving her a bath.

Yesterday when getting dressed I realized that I only had one pair of pants here on "vacation" left clean. So I got dressed in those and went out to get breakfast. When Daniel and Charlotte saw me Dan went to go shower himself and Charlotte immediately started taking off her clothing. She even got the diaper off, which is pretty good for her. I thought it was funny and figured I'd bathe her after breakfast so I didn't mess with it. She climbed on my lap to eat breakfast with me. Once she was up there she peed my pants.

So we spent the morning doing laundry.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not Again

Today I locked myself out, again. This time I knew Dan had a key, but I didn't have a cell phone or car keys so I walked about 8 blocks to a friend's house. Then I waited for two hours until Dan got off work/research duty. So my morning was pretty much shot. On the way home from my friend's Charlotte fell asleep. Which means I only got to work at our house for about an hour before starting dinner.

When making dinner I put my ham in to cook at 325* for 2 hours. After the first hour of cooking something smelled funny. I went to the kitchen to find that my daughter had turned the nob on the oven to 500. Yep, I cooked our ham at 500* for an hour. I took it out and while I was cutting off the burnt part my daughter decided to throw the cat food all over the kitchen, put it in the water bowl, and eat some. While I was cleaning up the cat food my daughter decided it was a good time to figure out how to climb on top of the kitchen table, take out all my pens and color all over herself. After her legs were colored she decided to throw the pens off the table, which is what caught my attention.

Confession: I didn't prepare any vegetables for dinner tonight. Dan got home and I told him we would be having burnt ham and bread for dinner. He was the one that heated the corn in the microwave. While Charlotte was throwing the corn off her high chair I ran away from home. Well, not really. Tonight was my last night at the wood working class and it was time to go. To be honest though, it felt really good to run away from the problem.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lucky to Have

Saturday was a great day! I organized some of our friends into a workforce to finish up some projects on our house. I know what you're thinking, I have great friends, friends that I'm lucky to have. After the morning work was done we had a BBQ lunch with our new grill. It was pretty yummy and I think everyone had a good time. We all had to eat inside the air conditioned house instead of out in the hot humidity, but the kids had fun running around the empty rooms. It felt very satisfying to get so much done in one day.

While I was painting the bead board that is going up in the bathroom I was thinking not only about how lucky I am to have my friends, but also how lucky I am to have my husband. He is a great man that works very hard so that Charlotte and I can enjoy the benefits. He's working very hard to go through medical school, he's working very hard to get us into our house, he's working very hard so that Charlotte and I will actually be able to spend time with him.

And then I thought about how lucky he is to have me. Right after thinking that I was sort of embarrassed, well, that's not the right word, but it's gonna have to do since I don't edit these things. I guess the feeling is that the thought was too proud? I'm not sure really. Then I thought it was pretty silly of me to not admit to myself that I'm a pretty darn good person to have around. Would our Super Saturday Workforce have ever happened without me? Umm, no. It's great to realize your value to a team. And there's nothing wrong with recognizing it and validating it, even if it is just to yourself.

Wow, for such a great epiphany it didn't take much time to write out. Well, there it is. I am so lucky and blessed to be married to the man that I am. And he's lucky and blessed to have me.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Welcome to Hades

They've started talking about the heat index on the news.

It's only the beginning of July.

This is going to be a long two months!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fruits of our Labor

The back splash in the kitchen. That part at the end is where the stove will be.
More back splash. The tile is slate. Have I shown everyone the cabinetry hardware? Well, there it is.
The bathroom floor. I'm pretty proud of my abilities to cut tile now. The row next to the tub looks funny in this photo, but I think that's just the light reflecting from the flash.
It's so beautiful!
The first row of tile for the shower surround. Our friend, who used to tile professionally, told us that our tiles were so large we would be best to put up one row and let it set then do all the others. That way the tiles don't slide down the walls with their weight.

Everything is coming together so nicely and looks so great. Today Daniel put up the last of the light fixtures in the main floor. He had to figure out why the wiring didn't work for the entry before he could put up the light. Also we kicked the bird out of the light on the porch. Her eggs were hatched so I didn't feel bad about it. So now all the lights work! Photos to follow.

What's really great now is that we're far enough along in our projects that I'm not constantly worried about Charlotte hurting herself on something. She's got plenty of things she can get into and play with that wont hurt anything. I can actually do a little bit more work!

Because We Really Do Have Fun

Too bad we couldn't catch a smile on her. We were so relaxed we almost took a nap there.
Charlotte's crawling through the hole to see daddy. What you don't see on this photo is that the statue she's in is a cat. I accidently cut the head off. Oh well.
Daddy's helping Charlotte to climb up the lion.
Here's Daniel trying to teach Charlotte climbing at an early age. The caption here would be a quote from him, "You need to use your legs more Bear."
The pool at the 4th of July party we went to. All the kids in this photo were so cold they were shaking, but would not leave the pool.
The people's house we are house sitting have a swing set in the backyard. Daddy and Charlotte swing a lot in the evenings. Now she can climb up the ladder and slide down the slide by herself too! Maybe we'll have to do what our friends did-look on craigslist until we find a free swing set.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Yesterday marked three years and counting! That went by so fast! There has been so much that has happened. So here's what we did for our anniversary. Tuesday night I got a message on my phone from a friend of ours telling Dan that they would be fine with watching Charlotte on Wednesday. I turned to Dan and said, "Are you planning something I don't know about?" (Keep in mind that a few weeks ago I did say that I wanted something special to commemorate three years together. I knew it wouldn't be much, because, well, it can't be much what with medical school, a new house, and funds running low.) He said to me, "Well, I don't know what you'll think about this, but I was thinking we would have George and Mindy watch Charlotte for us while we tile the bathroom floor." I figured he was really good at thinking on his feet and was trying to surprise me so I just said, "Sounds fine to me." Yesterday came and in the afternoon Mindy asked me if I was going to get dressed for going out and I told her, "I'm not sure if I should. Dan hasn't told me anything about what we're doing." So Dan comes home to pick me up for our date. We take Charlotte over to our friends' house and drop her off.

Then he drives me to The Home Depot. I figure this must just be a pit stop for what we're really going to do. Then we drive over to Steak 'n' Shake and order dinner through the drive through and head back to the house so that we can tile the bathroom floor for our third anniversary.

Let's just stop the narrative there and analyze the fact that in three years of marriage I still don't know my husband enough to know when he's focused on something that's pretty much all he sees. This is a great trait for medical school. A great trait for a doctor. A great trait for getting into our house on time. Not so great when you want a date night. I LOVE our bathroom tile. And I also love our kitchen back splash which he finished during the day yesterday. He's working so hard and I love him and I'm so proud of him.

Anyway, 10:30 rolls around and we're not finished. I'm stinking tired because I wore the wrong footwear and the novelty of using the tile saw has really worn off. I figured that since we told Mindy we'd be done at 10, I've really got to go and Dan can finish on his own. I head back to our other friends' house that we're staying at for now. Mindy lets me in while Charlotte is sleeping away in her crib. She left Charlotte's car seat in her car so we go out to get it. When I try to get back in I realize that while the deadbolt is unlocked the doorknob is definitely not.

I called my friend who owns the house to see if there's a spare key hidden somewhere and she says her husband gave the spare key to George. We call George. He knows nothing about a spare key. So we decide to call a 24 hour locksmith at 11 pm. Mindy asks if we should call Dan to have him come wait with us. I say no because he can't really leave the thin set for the tiling because it will harden up. He'll just get worried and not be able to do anything. We can deal with this on our own and then he wont have to.

We wait for about half an hour for the locksmith. Which by the way, wasn't all that bad. We counted lightening bugs and had a good little chat. All the while the darn cat that we've been watching is wailing to go out with us and I'm worrying about him waking up Charlotte. She sleeps through the whole drama (thankfully). When the locksmith arrives it takes him approximately three minutes to get the door open. For which we pay him $125.

Once we get in I decide to call and let Dan know what happened. He responds, "Why didn't you call me?!" Which makes me a little upset because I was trying to be thoughtful. Which I did a poor job of explaining to him because it was 11:30 and I was tired and exhausted. I had to apologize for that this morning. He then tells me that, "Rich (the owner of the home we're staying in) left his spare set of keys in his locker at school." So the one person we didn't call was the one person that could have solved our problem. Rich is currently in boot camp for the navy since that's who's paying for his medical school. I called Bonnie, his wife, to let her know we got in OK. She felt really bad that she couldn't have just driven back to help us with her set of keys, but since she's in Idaho right now that wasn't really an option.

Exhausted I took a shower to wash all the tile grit off my body and fell into bed.

PS. Charlotte had a great day playing at the Botanical Gardens in the morning and in the fountain at Tower Grove Park in the afternoon. I took pictures of her and of the awesome bathroom tile and the kitchen back splash. I promise to post them just as soon as I can locate the spot we packed the cord to hook the camera up to the computer.