Friday, August 31, 2012

Guilt, the kitchen and other stuff

I had to travel this week and Lucy took it kind of hard.  Apparently she asked for me non-stop and the second night I was gone she was up about every 2 hours and then finally gave up the idea of sleep at 4:30 am.  That's rough on Jason and I feel terrible about it.

We're headed into a rather heavy period of travel and I'm feeling guilty.  It doesn't mean I'm not going or that I won't enjoy parts of those trips, but leaving the family at home blows.

On a bright note, we met with the tile designer person yesterday and resolved the shorty tile situation.  She'll let us know Tuesday what the timelines will be for delivery.  I still have hopes and dreams of having the kitchen finished by October 1st, but I really want it done by the 11th.  (That's when the in-laws are coming to hang out with Jason and Lucy while I traipse off to Washington DC for almost a week.)

In other news, Lucy's daycare is closed today and she and I are spending a day together.  So far this morning we have had breakfast, played with Legos, a ball, read books, had a tasty fruit snack, put laundry away, played outside, skinned two toddler knees, cleaned up two toddler knees and now (at 10:30) she's napping.  The rest of our day consists of meeting Jason for lunch, going to safeway and then Costco - or costco and then safeway... exciting.   If there's time and energy I hope to take her to the kid's museum.

Cousin Marty & Lynne are coming over for dinner tomorrow but he's also going to help Jason mount the new cabinets in our butlers pantry.  I'm super excited about getting to move bar ware around and free up some space in the kitchen.  Once we have a back splash the kitchen will be complete.  Well, complete until we upgrade the stove.  It's a re-do baby!

Ok, I need to go take advantage of this nap and get some stuff done while I can move freely.  Because I was gone, Miss Lucy is more clingy than normal and even going to the loo alone isn't happening unless she's asleep or distracted by Jason.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Spoke too soon

The layout...
 Never brag about things going smoothly during a home remodel.  That is the exact moment when the Renovation Gods will decide to smite you.  Thursday, bright and early Paul, the tile installer knocks on our door.  On time and friendly - you can't beat it.

He looks at our space, assures us that the wall preparation is sufficient and then asks me to come outside and look at the tile.  I'm excited because I remember the tiles from our selection day, but this is the real deal.

Everything looks really great until he says in a Russian accent (that I promptly picked up and had with me until I called for an exorcism) "We have problem.  You see subway tile too short, other tile tall.  If I install you have bump.  It isn't right, you agree?"

Then he had me look at it from the side and sure enough... the edge of the stainless tile isn't finished (and no one said it would be) and the height differences between the subway and the decorative tile is significant.  In a lot of instances 1/4 of an inch means nothing - but in tiling it matters.  He told me he could build up the thinset under the subway tiles, but where the tile ends it would be ugly.
The problem

I made a call to the service manager, sent him some pictures and after some discussion we sent Paul and his assistant away.

I was asked "isn't it the tile you picked out with K, our tile designer?"    Yes it is, but all the tiles were mounted on boards and since K is the professional designer shouldn't she have known that the height differences would be an issue?  I'm just the customer who knew enough not to do this job on my own, and picked things that were pretty.

K is on vacation until Wednesday, and Jeff the service manager didn't want to place an order for replacement tile without talking to K.  I understand that, it would be bad to order the wrong stuff twice.   The sad thing is that replacement tile takes 3 weeks as I think it's a custom order.

To make our kitchen usable and to avoid damaging the exposed drywall around the sink we purchased foam core and made our own "tile".

My hope is to have this job completed before my in-laws come back in October, but with the lead time and business travel - it's going to be tight.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"It was too much sad!"

Before you watch this clip know two things.... 1) there is an advertisement in it and 2) it GIVES AWAY THE ENDING to the movie Timothy Green.

I suspected it was a tear jerker all along, but this is hilarious:

I'm going to hell because I laughed until I cried.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kitchen re-do

looking for peanuts

 Work is officially trucking along in our kitchen.  Monday two people arrived to remove the old counter tops and the back splash, yesterday the new counters arrived and we are pleased as punch.  They are as pretty as I remembered and look good.

Today the plumber arrived and I just heard the garbage disposal go for a test spin.  He has to hook up the dishwasher and the faucet and we're mostly back in business.  Last night we washed our dinner dishes in the sink in the powder room.  Two things are wrong with that scenario, the first being that bathroom wasn't built for two people and the other is that it isn't a good thing to have a full wall mirror in front of you while you do chores.

Tomorrow the tile master arrives and will start the artistry on our backs splash.  I'm super jazzed and can't wait to see it all come together.

We have house guests coming tomorrow evening and I'm hopeful that the tile process will be as tidy as the other jobs have been.  We wont have complete use of our kitchen until Tuesday, but by Friday it will look finished (with the exception of grout) and those upper cupboards that are going in on the 1st.

I don't want to brag -especially since the process isn't over yet, but so far our choice to go with the FloForma folks has been a good one.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to real life

With all the laundry done and the gear put away, the vacation is officially over. Jason was sad to put on long pants this morning and even more sad to see my "work at home" summer uniform of shorts, sandals and a t-shirt.

I think the transition has been fine for the kid, but she's been waking at night and whimpering.  It's a sad sound.  I did go in last night to give her some reassurances and it helped, but that isn't a trend we'd like to start.  I will be sending her a memo too about her sleep schedule.  Before we left for vacation she was sleeping until about 6:15 and she needs to get back to that hour.  Any wake-up before 5:45 am is unacceptable.

The daycare drop off today was a bit dodgy as she was clingy.  I expected that as she's been with us for the last nine days and has had a great time.  Being left behind, even though it's at a safe and familiar place isn't good as being home.  As the parents, we know that she'll have more fun there then being told "no, don't touch that" all day.

Even thought all the evidence from camping has been removed and stored, the house is still a wacky land of mess.  The kitchen demo started this morning and to prepare, we had to move all the lower cabinet items and counter stuff out of the kitchen.  We are being careful about not letting Lucy roam freely in the room where all the drawers are, but she is a little Houdini and has gotten past our boarders a few times.  The first time she did it quietly and then walked past me in the kitchen carrying a large pair of scissors that reside in the DOC (drawer of crap).  The second I found her in the dining room with a cutting board.   The third we caught her as she was moving our ineffective barriers.
Tonight, with the kitchen tore up, we will move our base of play upstairs and limit the exposure to the dangers of the downstairs. My guess is that she's going to be super tired after her day at school and that keeping her moving until 7pm is not going to be possible.

We won't have a sink downstairs, so any dishes have to be cleaned in our bathroom.  I guess the week of camping will have been good practice for mobile clean-up.  We've done dishes upstairs before.  When Lucy was new we washed all sorts of bottles and breast-pump gear upstairs - especially those two weeks where I wasn't allowed to go up and down the stairs more than once a day.

We'll be using the bbq tonight and so far they haven't had to disconnect our oven, so we may be in business for minor cooking in our counterless kitchen.

Stay tuned... pictures will be coming.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Someone wanted to try on her Halloween costume. Now we can't get her out of it. We're off to breakfast, she'll be the cutest elephant in the dining room.

Friday, August 17, 2012

New words

Lucy mastered the words "thank you" this week. These are great words to have.

She also throws around the occasional "mine" but we're trying to ignore it in hopes it doesn't gain too much popularity.

We're headed home from camping and she's in the back "babbling". It's a sweet sound.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Camping with the kid

We are camping in Eastern Washington and I was a bit nervous that the whole experience would be me chasing after Lucy. So far, she has done really well. She's been napping which is a huge improvement over our Denver weekend. She has been eating and sleeping great.

The weather is HOT. It was 101 yesterday and cooled to 97 today. Thankfully we are on a dammed section of the Snake River and are with people who have boats.

Today was Lucy's second time on a boat. The first was a total disaster, this time she was a trooper. She sat with Jason as we motored out to our floating spot on the river. She seemed to love the wind on her face and at one moment I looked over and she was giving Jason love eyes. It swelled my heart.

Once we were in our spot we dropped the tubes that double as the best lay in the river and stay cool islands. Lucy sat with us and for the most part seemed happy. She had to get her sea legs first, but she quickly relaxed and didn't want us to keep the grip of death on her. We did...but lightened up on the hold to make her feel like she was in charge. The life jacket has a handle at the head support to help you pull the infant from the water, but it also works as a good "I'm not holding you" tool.

Grandma Georgia was floating on a small inflatable board that was most likely designed for a swimming pool. She wasn't tethered to the boat like the rest of us and by the time we told her to not get too far away she was already being carried down river by the wind. Marty was kind enough to rescue her, but Lucy and I didn't get off the tube so even though it was 2 miles an hour Lucy has officially gone tubing.

The wind picked up and it was too choppy to float safely so we moved on to find a calmer location. Lucy and I were in the front of the boat and she was like a dog with her face pointed towards the wind. After a while she wanted to face me and cuddle. She tucked her head into my chest and fell asleep. It was super sweet.

We bagged the river as the wind was too much and when we got back to camp we saw tree limbs down and items from our campsite had been blown around. There was no damage to our stuff, but a truck at a different site will be having a date with the body shop later on.

Tonight, after dinner and a bath I read Lucy's night night books and said it was time to go to sleep. She gently slid off my bed and walked over to her crib, then tried to climb in! She was asleep in about 3 minutes.

She had a great day. Grandma Georgia has lost her free floating privileges for the week. It wasn't her fault and she wasn't in any danger, but she'll be tethered from now on.





It was 101 yesterday and Lucy would NOT touch the floaty in the lake, but this morning she wanted to walk all over the camp wearing it.

It has cooled a bit and we're only going to hit 95 today. Whew.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

In honor of my birthday, the kids at school had a picnic.  I ate a tuna sandwich at my desk, but I wish I had been there.

We're off to a concert in the park tonight and the weather is fabulous. I'm happy and excited.  Of course, the band doesn't KNOW they are playing just for me, but I know and that is all that matters.

Oh and it looks like the kids are eating pizza.  So I guess that's one MORE food item that the school has introduced her to that I hadn't.  We'll see if it shows up on the daily report as pineapple, ham, cheese and toast.

Hot dogs - school
corn dogs - school
apples - school
pizza - school
cereal in a bowl with milk - school

Thankfully, my list of non-baby food introductions is longer and more healthy: steamed green beans, grapes, cheese, whole grain pasta, organic beef, chicken, red & orange peppers, pinto beans and lemons, yogurt, peanut-butter (hates it), fried rice, tacos, scrambled eggs, egg whites, sausage, bacon (loves it!), cherries, blueberries.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Another minor update on our weekend

Apologies for the previous discombobulated post, I had a thought that if I bundled all the air travel stories into one block it would be a better read, apparently it was simply confusing.

My mom called last night to ask where was the picture of Lucy in her dress for the wedding.  There is no picture, Lucy did not attend the wedding.  The ceremony started at 6:30 pm and Lucy promptly turns into a pumpkin around 7:00, so we left her with trusted friends and enjoyed a baby free evening.   It was a tough decision as I wanted to show off my cute little girl and the dress we bought for her was fabulous.  Alas, we returned the $95.00 baby dress and didn't even try it on.  Someone suggested we put her in it and take a picture before we took it back, but the risk of marring the dress was not worth the photo.  There will be other weddings and other dresses.  In a family as large as Jason's, I'm sure of it.

Oh a different note, we walked Lucy over to the elementary school in Jason's neighborhood to play on the rather awesome jungle gyms.  This would have been the school that Jason attended as a young person had it not been the 70's and the excellent concept of Busing hadn't been in effect.  He walked everyday to the neighborhood school, then rode the bus for 40 minutes to downtown Denver.  He didn't like it, and I'm pretty sure his parents weren't too excited about it either.  There's no "quickly running over to the school" to drop off a forgotten lunch, or pick up a sick child when the school is 40 minutes away.

Jason's parent's don't live in an exclusive, high end neighborhood, but it is well maintained and the school has recently been invested in.  The playgrounds are fantastic and even though there was a separate area designed for kids under the age of 6, Lucy was taken with the big swings, the big slides and the big jungle gym.  I think we've got a fearless kid on our hands.

This big swing set had a chair designed for bigger kids that need to be in a more secure seat.  It was big for Lucy, but she loved it, as you can tell:

I have to confess, that we, Lucy's parents, are not perfect and we did not notice that there was a locking mechanism to the bracket that held Lucy safely in the seat.  When her dad pulled her back really far so he could do the alley oop (meaning run under her while she was swinging) the bracket opened slightly and she slid right out onto the ground.  Funny how these things go in slow motion.  Thankfully, Lucy took the perfect tumble.  Straight onto her feet, then her bum, she gently tipped onto her back and her head landed lightly on the soft wood chips.  She screamed and cried and immediately started making the sign for "more".  Sure, she was scared and didn't want to fall but she wanted back in that swing - ASAP.  Brave kid!

The other thing I'm grateful for is that Grammy wasn't there to see it.  She had walked back to the house to get sunscreen.  She did arrive in time to hear the crying, but witnessed Lucy's "get back on the horse" spirit.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Whirlwind Wedding Trip

It is summer in Seattle so what is a small family to do?  Head to Denver where it is even hotter for a wedding.

I don't mind missing the 90 degree Seattle day, and technically we didn't miss is altogether.  We arrived home at 7:30 last night and the temperature was still 87 degrees.  Getting the luggage, the car seat, the stroller, the carry on bags and the baby to the car was enough to equate to a full day outside playing in the backyard.  The temperatures were in the lower 90's in Denver, but that humidity makes for a drippy difference.

Our yard and flowers looked very unhappy upon our arrival.  Except my $4 safeway dahlia.  She's sprung back to life and it seems that she liked the hot weather.   The outside has been watered and the hanging plant has been deadheaded in hopes that it can expend its energy on the blooms yet to come.

Our little journey started early Wednesday afternoon when I met Jason for lunch after a quick blood draw at the doctor.  (We're trying to manage a low iron issue with me.)  We went to the XXX drive in for a nooner.  I'd never been and I give it a solid, "I'll go back someday" but it won't be on the regular rotation of food joints I crave.  First of all it was rather expensive but they compensate for that by giving you more food than one human needs.  I did enjoy sitting outside and it was relatively quick.

We headed home where I finished up some last minute work.  I wonder what it is about hearing that someone is going to be out of the office for TWO DAYS that makes people freak out.  Oh well, I'll get another dose of that quickly as we're prepping for a camping trip in the near future.

We packed up the car and then stopped by "school" to get our girl and off to the airport we went.  The flight was mostly unremarkable.  Lucy did well in spite of not wanting to sit in her car seat.  It was our fault for freeing her midflight and then expecting her to get her back in.  For the trip home, we kept her in her seat the entire 2 hour and 15 minute flight (plus the 40 minutes of boarding time.

We left something very important in the car, so Jason left me in the security line and headed back to our car.  He had more than enough time to board the plane, but wasn't on hand for the get the baby, car seat, carry on  and baby onto the plane experience.  Thankfully, the kid is cute and a kind flight attendant picked her up so I could manhandle everything else.  Lucy wasn't too excited about a stranger picking her up, but she was a trooper.  We were settled in by the time that Jason arrived but were still rather "dewy" from the physical activity.

The car seat on the plane is a nice thing - it is critical to have it at your destination and there is a measure of safety about having your small person strapped in to a seat that keeps her contained.  As far as life safety goes on the plane, it likely only adds value if the plane drops altitude suddenly.  I don't think it would do much good in a crash situation.

The bummer about the car seat on the airplane is that it is damned big and puts Junior in perfect position to kick the shit out of the seat back in front of them.  I did my best to keep the kicking to a dull roar, but it is not reasonable to expect a 17 month old kid not to move around.  I apologized to the man in the seat as we were exiting and he said "thank you, I know you were trying and the fact that you were trying to be considerate was the best part of my day."  Goodness, how bad must your day be to have the fact that the effort we made to not kick his seat was the bright spot?

During the flight home I can't say that the people in front of us were as aware of the efforts we were making.  First of all, we were able to cinch the seat better so Lucy couldn't reach the seat back with her feet - until that "lady" reclined her seat.  So, I did make an effort to remind Lucy not to kick the seat, or play with the tray, I didn't have as much sympathy.   Secondly, 'The Recliner' dropped not one but three things on the floor that she asked me to retrieve for her.

At only one point in the flight home did Lucy have a baby melt down.  I was doing everything I could to figure out what she wanted (other than sleep and her own bed) and the lady in front turned around and asked me if I had water, or a binkie for the baby.   I was icy with my reply.  "I have every thing she needs."  Which, if she was paying attention translated to "OMG Lady, do you really think I'm not trying here?  For *&^%$ sake, she's 17 months old, is tired, strapped into a seat and really really wants to be free."   Jason, reading the situation correctly, put his hand on my knee and gave me the look that said "please don't kill her here on the plane."

I think the thing that bugged me the most was that during the 3 hours we were on the plane Lucy cried once and for about 2 minutes.  Sure, not fun for anyone around us, but we did a great job of keeping her happy, so to offer up suggestions at the 1 minute mark was a bad choice for 10B.  For the record, we considered bringing a pacifier, but since Lucy is 100% pacifier free we didn't think it was a smart choice.

So, with the travel stories out of the way, our time in Denver was nice.  Grammy and Papa (I think these are the chosen names they have finally landed on) arranged for Lucy care and took Jason and I out to dinner.  The place was sort of out in the middle of nowhere, but it was nice.  The food was outstanding and we had a lovely evening.

The wedding was Saturday, and the weather was a cool 85.  The venue was an old steak house with extensive yards and there were two events happening that evening.  The other event was a larger wedding with girls in pink and the military men were in uniform. I didn't get a glimpse of the bride.  Our wedding had black bridemaids dresses, but they were very pretty.  They had a 40's feel to them and were kind of sassy.  The bride wore a strapless mermaid dress that I liked, but could never ever wear. The bride and groom seemed to be happy, but as I'd never met either of them before it was hard to tell if they were having fun.  In a decision that would baffle me to the end of my days the bride asked her mother to take care of all the details.  By details I don't mean "should we have garlic croutons or butter croutons" but wedding location, dresses, decorations, invitations... DETAILS.  Granted, Beth is an engineer and everything was perfectly planned but she admitted she spent more time and energy on this wedding than her own.   The food was great, but the on site catering staff was making Beth crazy.  They seemed a bit disorganized and not really how to handle small things that came up, like the fact that they didn't have enough appetizer plates and folks started taking the dinner plates to transport appetizers back to their lesser mobile folks in the other room.  (That's an issue with a buffet in a location with stairs, those in wheelchairs and walkers can't easily navigate the room.)  Anywho, the staff seemed dazed as to how to deal with a shortage of plates at dinner time.  

The DJ did a good job and was just cheesy enough to keep things moving especially when the grooms father stood up for his dissertation.  It is supposed to be a toast, but apparently he talked for 37 minutes at the rehearsal dinner.  The groom's mother, who is NOT the groom's father's wife anymore was not amused.  I think perhaps at this wedding, the last of their four children she had heard enough from this "blowhard".  Those were not her words, but I did see the MOtG's best friend keeping her calm by offering an encouraging word during the speech.  Thankfully, there were only two toasts, and the dad did keep his to under ten minutes.

I love a wedding and especially the dancing.  Well, I can't say I danced at the country wedding from two summers ago, but I don't think someone who boogied to MC Hammer should ever be expected to shake a leg to "Red Solo Cup".     I didn't take off my fancy wedding shoes while we danced and I'm still regretting it today (Monday).  My thighs are so sore from dancing at an unexpected elevation that going up and down the stairs quickly is painful.  More so in my left leg which makes me wonder if I didn't mildly sprain or pull something.   It doesn't matter, we had a nice time and I really enjoyed the people at our table.

It was a quick, but fun trip.  I'm happy to be home and I know Lucy was delighted to sleep in her own bed last night. Poor little bug was so tired when we got home that I removed her shoes, made sure her diaper was fine and put her to bed - in her clothes.   This morning she had the very unusual am bath, but we'll be back on our regular program tonight.