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Monday, October 31, 2005
I've finally contextualized the let-down you feel when your realtor is supposed to be in touch with you on x day and you don't hear anything: It's like when my ex-boyfriend, who used to call me every night, would miss a night. I think "he doesn't like me anymore": "The other house has already sold and he doesn't have the heart to tell me because our house will also never sell besides".

But the photographer DID show, as did the plumber. Our washing machine should no longer flood the sinks with black crud and the kitchen floor with water. I'll probably give it a try tomorrow (when we'll hopefully get some long-awaited good news- any news!- from our realtor).

UPDATED: I got an e-mail from our realtor. Now the sign, lockbox, and fliers may be coming tomorrow if he gets the photos in time. Nothing about the house.

Something Here Isn't Right
So I plugged in Jay's numbers from his 12-mo checkup into a body mass index calculator and got the following result:

Your Body Mass Index is 21.7.

Your BMI is below or at the 5th percentile for your age and sex and is considered underweight. Even if you are physically active and eat well, there may be unaddressed health concerns. You should talk to your parents about your weight and whether you need to gain weight or see a doctor.

And I did type in 1 yr old, 2 ft 5 in, and 26 lbs. If he's so underweight, why do his pants fit in the waist while the legs are about 4 in too long?

Voodoo medicine.

Saturday, October 29, 2005
Help Wanted

Anyone free to sit on our futon for a few hours this weekend?


And no, our realtor won't be posting these!
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A little bit cluttered
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Kitchen Musings
I've already irritated Paul with these thoughts, so I guess it's your turn, dear lucky readers! I've actually been thinking about the upstairs kitchen. Paul is pretty gung-ho about renting out the top floor, so we may as well make it workable. You can see the oven vent in the photo. You can also see that this is a tiny corner to make a kitchen out of, with a big, awkward set of stairs preventing expansion to the left. My brilliant idea is as follows: the fridge needs to go next to the row of cabinets, unfortunately obscuring the oven vent. Otherwise, you'll have to put it in the bathroom or some distance away from the rest of the kitchen. Meantime, we turn the staircase 90 degrees to face away from the kitchen, put some nice storage drawers under the landing which pull into the kitchen, put the stove opposite the sink/cabinets next to the newly re-oriented stairs. You won't be blocking any of the light, and you'll still have access to the back deck, plus all your appliances will be convenient. And while you're at it, you may as well tear the carpet off the stairs and replace it with some tile. With pretty decorative tiles on the risers. Not that I've given it much thought ;)

Hitting the Big Time
Now our house shows up on No photo yet- the photo guy is supposed to be by early this coming week. Still no word on our offer. *Sigh*

Friday, October 28, 2005
We're Listed
Yikes! Now critical strangers may want to come see our house with little notice. Time to move the new air fresheners upstairs (one for the cat box, one for the diaper pail)...

You Know
I don't actually like waiting. Here I told Corry that I'd be more patient once it was out of our hands, but I'm not sure that's true. Show me the money! (Or the house, or something!)

Thursday, October 27, 2005
As Kristin mentioned in her comment below that she and her husband have lots of stuff, I just thought I'd comment here on our own abundance of stuff. I'm not the kind of person who can follow the "If you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it" rule. Much to Paul's dismay, I might add. It's just too unforgiving, especially when you've been pregnant or nursing for most of the last year and a half. (This applies mostly to clothes, but then having small children around is not conducive to a lot of my former pet projects.) The moving thing HAS finally prompted me to part with my skinny clothes. Most of them are miniskirts anyway- not very matronly!

So here we are, trying to make our house look presentable, inviting and spacious. "What large cardboard boxes and paper grocery bags on the upstairs landing?" "What pile of textiles in the office?" etc, when there's an empty 1,925 sf of space a mere 1/4 mile away, which we have every intention of acquiring. By December. Which reminds me: can someone tell us how to fold up our metal futon? Every little bit helps, and we've got it in a narrow room with a Pack'n'Play, two desks, and three bookshelves. Oh, and a coffee table. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005
An offer has been made, with a latest closing date of December 15th. Our rooms have been measured, and all the papers have been initialed. Now comes the waiting! I guess we don't even call the inspector until we have a contract, contingent though it may be. In the meantime, we need to continue tidying up our house and shipping stuff off to Goodwill. I'm glad there's one in Mebane now!

Slowly, But SURELY
Jay's tackling the walking curriculum. He's done a lot more unassisted standing and every now and then, he'll take a few steps on his own. He walked about three steps to me yesterday, but when he tried to repeat his trick later, he didn't complete a step before he had sat down- hard- on the floor. He acted like he was going to cry (he was pretty tired), but calmed down before any wailing ensued.

It's been interesting watching him start to have expectations of what he can do. I've just recently noticed him get frustrated when he can't get his cars to stack (you have to align them pretty carefully, and he hasn't really done it yet). He CAN nest his cars, and he likes to be congratulated for doing so. The Legos are also a bit too much of a challenge for him. The big lid piece is the only one I've seen him successfully attach another block to. He does like to make piles, and can do that without much trouble. Often this starts with a sippy cup in his "blockadile" and then whatever's handy goes on top: books, throw pillows, various blocks and papers. At least it centralizes some of the mess =]

Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Curiosity Killed the Cat
And we gave in to it too! If you magnify the scans below twice (click on it once, then click on the enlarge icon when it appears in the lower rh corner), you just might be able to see that Jay's younger sibling is a BOY!! (Oh, well, maybe next time. =])


Shows what I know!
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Monday, October 24, 2005
That Was Encouraging!
Our mortgage guy told us we'd be easily approved for the full amount of the loan at less than 6% and he might want to buy our house as a rental property. All in all, I'd say that went pretty well!

That Would Buy a Lot of Paint...

My blog is worth $7,903.56.
How much is your blog worth?

Link via TulipGirl

Sunday, October 23, 2005
Delusions of Grandeur
For our future house. I love the dining room! Unfortunately, the Holt Street house has only standard width doorways between the living and dining rooms. On the other hand, baby gates fit well in standard width doorways!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Can I stop posing now??
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So much to see!
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This is how Jay feels about a fun day out with Daddy and Mama
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The truth is out: Kostya's the true Paxifist
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Guess where we went today!
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Friday, October 21, 2005
List price just dropped below $110k. Appt with mortgage broker Monday. Cannot concentrate long enough to write complete sentences.

Thursday, October 20, 2005
Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone =] It was lovely to come home to so many comments on my blog =] Of course, it took a while to get there, since we first had to figure out (we being Paul after my failed attempts) how to rotate my display clockwise 90 degrees. Don't EVER let your cat sleep on your laptop. The good thing is, Paul learned (& taught me) a good trick. Next time your coworker, spouse, child, etc. leaves the pc for a few seconds, run over and hit Ctrl-Alt-<- (or down or right arrow). Paul had to use Google to learn how to undo it. Apparently cats the world over have been doing this to their owners and laughing quietly as we outsmarted people frantically try to fix things. Keep in mind, I'm working on a laptop with a touch pad, and up on the touch pad is up, which means if the top of your screen is at the right hand side of your screen, up on the touch pad is right on the screen. Give it a try. See what I mean? (No cheating- mouse cable pointing away from you!!)

UPDATE: Warning! Warning! Make sure everything is saved first. For some reason, my jokey co-worker's computer crashed when I tried flipping his screen. Sigh. Kostya got me again!

Christian Idol. Hmmm...
Oxymoronic? Sometimes local news just makes you (me) laugh. (Link will expire quickly!)

It's Better Than I Thought
There's an unlisted "half bath" off the dining room. Cosmetics inside the house are pretty much a nightmare (we can live with that until we have some money), but the hardwood floors seem solid and there's LOTS of storage. There's a small bedroom at the back of the house which is really dark (faces north on an already shady lot), and has a very low ceiling, actually, but should do for the kids to sleep in (great for daytime naps!) The downstairs bath is off the MBR and there's a giant closet through the bathroom (also a good-sized closet behind the kids' room). Which leaves the other downstairs BR for an office/playroom. It's right off the living room- almost a front parlor!- and despite the nice chair-rail, it's got purple paint on the top and pink on the bottom (or is it the other way around?) and industrial carpet in earth-tone pinstripes over the hardwood floor. Ri-i-i-ip! The fireplaces have been blocked off or ripped out (don't know that that's good, but should be less repair & maintenance cost), and the LR FP is now a gas FP. Placing a fridge in the downstairs kitchen could be tricky (Paul thinks it'll have to go in the DR), but it looks like there's a good space for a dishwasher there. There's a nice screened porch off the DR where the cats could have a great time, a big storage shed in back, a bunch of pretty trees, and I haven't even talked about the upstairs yet! A second set of w/d hookups, in an actual room (the first is under the stairway in the DR), another bath, a nice front BR and two other carpeted rooms (one just has padding, actually- maybe that IS the front BR). Then there's the cave- the doorway leading to the separate entrance (STEEP stairs), which is totally dark and unfinished. I don't remember whether there was a functioning door there at the top or not (I hope so!) You can see the new library through the trees behind the house. And a train came through while we were there- it's a bit closer to the tracks, but it didn't sound like it.

Anyway, we need to talk to a lender (a friend of ours just entered the mortgage brokering business!) and then we'll get our realtor friend to do some preliminaries on our house if all goes well. There's a lot wrong with the house, but it could be so great, and it's so spacious compared to our sweet little cramped house. And girls, I'm talking three rooms, plus a utility room, kitchen, and back deck for $200/mo. $100 if you have a roomie! Plus mucho access to a very sweet boy and his soon-to-be sibling =] Think about it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Fun Updates
So we went out tonight to celebrate our 7th anniversary, and, I suppose, my 32nd birthday. The babysitter was kind of late, so we just hit the drive-through at McDonald's on our way to Burlington to catch the new Wallace & Gromit flick. We were going to see Serenity, but it's a long movie for a weeknight with a high school babysitter (especially if you have to drive 30 mins one way to get to a participating theater). I guess we'll just have to put it in our Netflix queue! Anyway, we enjoyed the movie and laughed with no inhibition, since we were the only two people in the theater. It's not a great movie, but pretty typical W&G quality, which is to say, quite good! Paul and I were saying how much more we enjoyed it than we did Chicken Run, but that one was talked up so much by friends here and there that we must have had disproportionately high expectations.

Anyway, we came home a little after 9 to discover that Jay had been in bed for some time, but was not yet asleep, and wasn't very happy, either. Apparently, he'd be quiet for a while, and then our sitter would check on him, which would make him cry until he quieted down, and then the cycle would repeat. Anyway, I'm sure he heard us come home, and the light was on just outside his door, which usually makes it hard for him to sleep, so I went upstairs, turned out the light, and spent about 10 minutes leaning over the rail of his crib with his arms around my neck. It's just too sweet. Anyway, when we do this, he'll let go and lie down for maybe 30 seconds with me patting him on the back, then he'll stand up to hug again, so before too long, I just have to leave and let him cry for a minute or two, and then he will sleep. And so he is.

Tomorrow we have an appointment to see the house in the morning, and then in the afternoon, we're planning to go to ADR's defense of TWSNBN, followed by a little celebration of ADR's PhD and, hey, why not? my birthday! across the street. I may even get a birthday dinner out, though I told Paul that going to see the house with me could be my birthday present. Maybe he forgot!

German Major, Me?
I just noticed that my JSB ticker says that he's "1 Jahre, 3 Wochen alt". Unless I'm mistaken, "Jahre" is the plural form, and "Jahr" is neuter (which makes a difference when you're trying to read out loud, since you need an appropriate ending for "ein", which in this case is nothing). Am I wrong (Jordana?)? Should I just stick with English until he's 2 JahrE alt? Perhaps so!

Must Be a Sign
My worsening bursitis makes me think I may have done the right thing by scheduling a showing of the house on Holt Street. Are you sure you don't want to move to Mebane, Christina? Jamie?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I Can't Believe It, Though I Should Have Known
That if I followed the links to bloggers referring to this article that I would dicover those who would twist it to fit into their own worldview. One person decided that this mother of a Down's syndrome child was judgemental simply because she wants to point out that Down's babies can live fulfilling lives. Another draws parallels between the medical community's progress on helping children with Down's and affirmative action. No, affirmative action is the embodiment of a condescending prejudiced attitude, not the solution. The first blogger then demonstrates his/her own lack of self-righteousness by asking whether the mother who authored this article had ever considered the plight of an impoverished mother with a Down's child. If I'm not mistaken, there are plenty of government and private sources of financial and emotional aid for such a person. While I'm sympathetic to the idea that prolongation of life at any cost is not desirable in all situations, I can't support killing someone for financial considerations. Call me a Luddite.

Anyone want to rent a little apartment
In this house? What was it the Bard said about women?

Actually, though, this one's on a very nice street and almost as easy a walk to downtown as we have now. We'd just have to get a tidy sum for our house to be able to afford it on our own. Though it's already come down in price once, and it's apparently a foreclosure. Maybe we can make a deal?

Monday, October 17, 2005
Health Update
So Jay and I are mostly over our colds (Jay has a lingering cough), but we seem to have shared the joy with Paul. Thankfully, he doesn't seem to be suffering any more than we were (which is to say, he's ignoring it too). They let Jay back in the nursery yesterday, which is good, because they needed me to help. Unfortunately, Jay wasn't quite himself with me around, so I wasn't as helpful as I might have been in a different room. Meantime, the bursitis in my hip has been making itself scarce since about mid-way through last week, so I'm able to get up in the morning, traverse both our indoor and outdoor stairs and drive to work with minimal pain and NO DRUGS!! Yay! (I can even reach the cats' water dish on the floor in less than two minutes' time.)

Saturday, October 15, 2005
Jay spent his gift card from Grandma and Grandpa Baxter on a xylophone, a Veggie Tales video, a Finding Nemo book that sings, some jammies and a pair of jeans. Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa B! Jay really likes the piano keys on his xylophone, but I'm sure he'll enjoy the mallets quite a bit when he starts getting the hang of them.

Thursday, October 13, 2005
A Jewel From John Derbyshire
Here's an honest man!

Budding Engineer
Jay's taking after the men in my side of the family this afternoon. I bought him a little remote-control alien-creature for his birthday, and today he piloted it around the office for a while. When it got stuck under Paul's desk, I brought it closer, but Jay made clear that he wanted it in the playard with him. So I obliged. Next time I look over, he's turning the back wheel and then pushing the turn button and watching intently as the front 'wheel's spin in opposite directions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mmmm. I love my milk!
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Yes, I did enjoy my dinner. Why do you ask?
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Hullo! Is that a camera I see?
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A couple of days ago. Surely he can't go on getting cuter forever??
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One year ago...
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Monday, October 10, 2005
We Made It!
Yes, we survived a weekend without daddy. Somehow. I'm reminded of the t-shirt I used to see all the time at college: Calvin and Hobbes, one of them stumbling drunk and draped over the other, with the caption "I get by with a little help from my friends". No, I didn't indulge in anything intoxicating, but I kept a friend nearby at just about all times. A few witnessed Jay at his "You are NOT going to clean up my poopy bottom" worst, so I do have corroboration that he can be very ill-behaved at changing time (apparently he's a patient, passive child in the nursery under similar circumstances *shrug*). As usual, though, he charmed his way back into everyone's good graces. It must be nice to be irresistable *sigh*.

Friday night was interesting. Jay and I went out onto the porch to wait for a friend who, having invited us along, was going to help me pack him up for a girls' night in Durham. When we'd been waiting about half an hour, I decided to come back in to check the phone in case she'd called. Little did I know that this little incident had brought every major road in Mebane to a standstill. Nor could Sonja call me, since everyone on the road was trying to use a cell phone, no doubt. Anyway, shortly after I discovered no message on the phone, our friend arrived and told me what was going on. So then we packed into the car.

After a few misadventures and misgivings brought on by our malfunctioning gas gauge, failure on someone's part to reset the trip odometer after re-fueling, more traffic complications and some heavy rain, we made it in one piece to our destination and enjoyed good company, good food, a chick flick, and amusing Jay-and-puppy antics. While Jay finds it oppressive to let me hold his hands during our pre-meal prayers, he apparently has no problem with a dog twice his size lapping his whole hand into her mouth. In fact, it made him laugh. Ditto with the face licking. He proved he knows the word "cookie"- that word, following his name, made him stop short, and the sight of one was as good as a cat for luring him =] And he managed to stay awake until the movie ended, having been only somewhat loud.

Saturday he slept in, which was very good since he was out so late Friday night. We ate breakfast shortly after 10 and watched a video and played until our Saturday friend arrived in the early afternoon. We walked downtown and had a delicious lunch at Martinho's, which is one of the big draws in the old part of town. Y-u-m!! We did a little more exploring and then packed into the car for the outlet mall in Burlington. We spent all afternoon there and then it was so late I was able to convince Jamie to stay for some soup. As regards the soup, let me just say that Paul made a GIANT pot (as usual) and my psyche hasn't recovered from the burnt soup two batches ago. Crunchy carbonized beef is not a good memory.

Sunday morning it was apparent that Jay was coming down with a cold (and my throat's been very scratchy too). At 26 pounds, he's gotten a little bit heavy for pregnant me to haul around when he can't be in the nursery, so I figured I should skip the first hour (Sunday school) and just put him in the umbrella stroller for worship. That gave us plenty of time to get ready and into the car, but unfortunately, JSB was not at all predisposed to sitting in worship for more than five minutes without music, so the friend I had latched onto generously offered to take him for a crawl. Andrea brought Jay back for the closing hymn (bravely, I thought, since he had jumped up and down on her lap for the praise songs), and lunch plans were made which took into account Jay's veggie shortage. Another friend helped get Jay into his half-high-chair thingie which sits on the booth, and Jay had some good veggies and got to practice his straw skills, which are quite good, on some more milk.

Not having napped in the morning, Jay fell asleep on the ride home, so I sat in the car in the driveway and read while he slept. When he woke up, we went inside and played for about an hour and a half until Paul finally came home. I told Jay "Daddy's home" as soon as he pulled into the drive, which was probably a little bit early, since Jay stared at the front door for about 10 seconds and then looked back at me as if to say "Well, I sure don't see him!" Anyway, I don't have to tell you that we were very happy to have him back! God was merciful to keep my bursitis manageable all weekend, but this morning it struck with a vengeance. So much for staying off the ibuprofen!

Friday, October 07, 2005
Letting Sleeping Jay-Bears Lie
SOMEbody konked out on the sofa watching King of the Hill. No wonder he was so grouchy. That and Paul left for a high school youth group retreat this afternoon. Anyway, I'm headed back to the living room to make sure he doesn't roll off the sofa onto the strategically positioned sheep chair and giant stuffed tiger.

Y'all have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 06, 2005
If I Can't Have a Queen Anne Cottage
This might do.

Triumph and Tragedy
I alluded a little bit below to my friends' trials leading up to Alexander's adoption. They have been through miscarriage after miscarriage, each time losing a little more hope. I saw a post on a woman's blog recently (I stumbled upon a whole community of infertility bloggers and am just awed and fascinated by and so sad for what they've been through) about how her infertility and now unyielding bureaucracy (she and her husband are trying to adopt a child from K-stan) have not only been preventing her from becoming a parent, but have really torn down her faith. The other ladies who've been leaving comments had been through the same thing, and pretty much all agreed that God wouldn't let something like that happen if He really was in the business of acting in the world, or some variation on that theme. Basically, no one had a Biblical answer for her. I'd love to say something that could help, but I don't know what it would be, and even if I did, why should they listen to me? Please pray for all the couples out there dealing with the pain and the questions. Pray that they would know that God is with them, does love them, and that His ways are far above ours.

And There Is Much Rejoicing!!
A college friend of mine and his wife officially became parents of a little boy from Kazakhstan today! They have been through so much, it's just wonderful to see their dream of a son and a little brother for their daughter finally fulfilled. *Sniff*

Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Someone's Been Blogging for a Year!
Y'all go bid CEP a happy blogiversary!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Stairs and Small Children
I finally decided to take Corry's advice and let Jay power himself up the stairs. When we were at my parents' house in July, he demonstrated plenty of aptitude, and Paul followed him up the (rather long) staircase at the vacation house, so there was no teaching to be done, just encouraging. We've had to repeat this exercise a couple of times since, and today he was fast! The problem then becomes picking him up when we get upstairs. There are cats to chase and a black hole of a closet to explore, not to mention a big stinky litter box (thankfully, it's on the way to his room, and he'd much rather play in our room). Besides that, I haven't had the guts to teach him how to come back down. I guess we should start at the bottom, but, judging from his ascent today, he may not stay at the bottom for long!

Monday, October 03, 2005
Would make a nice addition for when the little one takes over Jay's bed. Or we might need to find another crib =[ I'm guessing we can use the playard bassinet (if we don't beg, buy, or borrow another) for a few months, so Jay'll be more than a year and a half. I guess we should wait and see.

I've been singing "Barbara Manatee" from King George and the Ducky of the VeggieTales oeuvre (sp?) all afternoon. Just tonight I was pondering the logistics of a cucumber squiring said manatee about a ball. Where do these guys come up with this stuff?

The Redskins are 3-0, having won each game by between 1 and three points. Considering where the team was a couple of years ago, this is an impressive accomplishment. No, the offense is not very good, but the defense is solid, and it's a tribute to the character of the team and especially to Joe Gibbs' coaching that they were able to pull victories out of all three matches. He was a great come-back coach in the day, and it looks like he's still "got it". Hail to the Redskins!!

UPDATE: I guess the offense did better yesterday. Maybe I spoke too soon. If there's a coach who can inspire a team to ongoing improvement, it's Gibbs!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Happy to be home again
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A whole mess of red-eyed kids who are otherwise very cute- though one has quite the belly!
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Jay's buddy Jonah
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Cousin Beka and her mom escaped with much less damage
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De ja vu all over again, but a lower focus of mess
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Beka and Jay inspecting the new firetruck
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