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Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Bad Way to Get an Extra Work-at-Home Day
But I wasn't about to sit in traffic for who knows how long when I can log in here at home and call in to my meeting. I'm just thankful I wasn't out there to see any of the wreckage (I got as far as the turn lane to get on the entrance ramp which was backed up nearly to the road).

Umm, Something Seems a Little Off Here
I imagine the odds of being killed by a terrorist are well below 40%. Falsifying statistics to "make a point" is not at all ethical.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
'Ggie! 'GGIE!!!
It turned out to be a fairly eventful Memorial Day. Paul got a late invitation to a cookout, so we packed into the car after Jay's afternoon nap and drove to Pittsboro. Isaac really does not like riding in the car. I draped the pretty red and white afghan that was knitted for Jay over the back seat so Isaac would have something to look at, but it didn't interest him for very long. He finally stopped wailing and fell asleep shortly before we arrived.

When we got out of the car, there was a dog resting in the grass in front of the house. Paul took Jay over so he could see/pet the doggie. Jay wanted to see him, but wasn't overly eager to offer the dog his hand. No biggie.

Later on, Jay and I went back out with the intent of retrieving a book and Jay's sippy cup from our car. The dog, which turned out to be as tall as Jay, came over to see us. Very nice dog. But a little too friendly for Jay's taste, and soon joined by a similarly sized dog of similar temperament. Waaay too much excitement for Jay, who is apparently NOT fearless, and I ended up picking him up and heading for the door. In the meantime, another guest had arrived, and the dogs went to greet her, which was enough to persuade Jay that all was well and he didn't want to go inside. So he ran to the end of the porch, the dogs came up after him again, I picked him up again, and this time we went inside!

Isaac cried the whole way home. This does not bode well for our trip to Ohio in July!

On a happier note, Jay spent his first night in the toddler bed. He woke up about 2:30, and I called to him so he wouldn't go looking for us downstairs. He came into our room, and Paul told him to go back to his bed. Twice. And Jay went! It took me quite a while to get back to sleep because I was listening for him, but he must have gone back to sleep pretty quickly, and didn't get up until almost 8 this morning, which kind of worried me. In fact, I went to check on him once Isaac was asleep, and there he was, sleeping almost diagonally on his bed, legs splayed. About 2 minutes after I left, he was up. Isaac was up, too, and in a much better mood than he had been last night. Jay and I got all kinds of smiles, gurgles, and coos =] And Paul says he's no fun yet!

Monday, May 29, 2006
Impromptu Picnic
Memorial Day is a holiday of deep significance, dedicated to men and women who have made great sacrifices on the behalf of every American. So the inconvenience of having no food in the house and no restaurants open in walking distance is to be borne with cheerful resourcefulness, I suppose.

It all started when the man of the house left around nine to tune a piano. After I hung up the phone this morning (I was checking in with the parentals) and gave Jay his 11 AM milk (which he drank today- this is not a given these days), I surveyed the fridge to discover that we didn't have much of anything to eat that didn't require heating the skillet (we live off those frozen skillet meals) unless we substituted my co-worker's gift of Romaine lettuce for bread. "No problem," I thought, "we'll go to Strong's for the $5 lunch." But Strong's was not open. Neither was Martinho's, nor the Market on Clay. Even Sweet Tooth Heaven was closed.

As Paul had the checkbook and I never have cash, Dollar General was not an option. Off to Kerr Drug for bread, then. "I needed vitamins, anyway," I thought to myself as I pushed the stroller to the shady side of Fourth Street. Into the drug store we went, located vitamins, and headed for the grocery section, only to discover no bread. Not good. They had Ramen noodles, Bowl Appetits, and lots and lots of chips. Rather disappointed by the selection, I finally picked up two tuna salad kits with 6 Ritz crackers each. Since Isaac was asleep, and we had a self-contained meal, we found a shady bench out back and ate our unplanned picnic lunch. It was actually a nice way to eat a meal, and I just swept the tuna from Jay's clothes and the stroller onto the ground, and conveyed our garbage to a semi-covered trashcan very nearby.

All in all, it turned out very nicely. Isaac got a nap, I got a walk (and some vitamins!), Jay liked his lunch and he got to see a firetruck and a police car. Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 27, 2006
The THUD-THUD-THUD of Little Feet
One night this week, Paul was coming downstairs after putting Jay to bed when I heard "THUD-THUD-THUD". It took only a moment to figure out that Paul was trying Jay out in the toddler bed. And that it wasn't quite working =] I suppose there might be toddlers who pitter-patter, but ours is definitely not one of them. Vyera's our only pitter-patterer.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I'm Starting to Hate Thursdays
It really happened Wednesday night, when Kostya left a puddle instead of a couple drops. That's when I decided that things had gone far enough. I'm not referring to urine, rest assured. Kostya was by far too noble to do such a thing. It was his running wound from the gigantic tumor in his hind leg. He could still jump the gates (though it was becoming difficult), he was still eating (and very much enjoyed the pouch of wet food he got Wednesday night), he was still jumping onto our laps at night and purring whenever one of us gave him a few caresses. I really don't know whether he was in much pain. He didn't let on if he was, so it felt really selfish. My kind friends, their sweet mothers, and my little sister have all told me it was the right thing to do- for which, thanks!- so I am not feeling as ogreish as I was. I was cowardly enough to send Paul with him instead of taking Kostya myself. And I was so occupied with Isaac that I didn't get a chance to tell Kostya goodbye.

So, goodbye, faithful companion of ten years, occasional clown, superlative purrer, and most enthusiastic lap cat. We were blessed to live with you and privileged to trip over you and move you repeatedly from our laps in vain attempts to stand up before you returned. You are proof that pets don't end up in their own afterlife because you would hate spending eternity with a bunch of dumb creatures. May you spend eternity rotating between laps to be caressed and to purr in bliss. We miss you.

Thursday, May 25, 2006
If Anybody's Got a Spare $1.1 Million
These guys would like to sell their gorgeous old church building in exquisite Lexington, VA. Another growing PCA congregation. The head pastor there worked with Crusade for a while when I was in school. If I had the money to spend, I'd probably buy the house that's half that size for my folks (it's also half the price!), but I'm sure they'd like this place, too!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wouldn't Hello upload this photo? Is it threatened by extreme cuteness?

You Said It!
This article pretty much sums up my own estimation of our president. In case anyone cares.

Monday, May 22, 2006
Ebay Again
Four-light pan chandelier
Three-light ceiling fixture
Brass 3-light pan fixture
Pretty 5-light pan chandelier
Cute pendant
Cute 2-light flat fixture with pull-chain
2 bedroom fixtures?
Office lights?
Diamond in the rough?
Oooo! Pretty pendant
Another 5-light fixture in good condition
Pretty 5-light pan fixture in need of shades
Bargain for three?
Nice five-light chandelier

That's a lot of lights.


Matching Outfits
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And a Close-up
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A Wee Little Smile
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I love the outfit Aunt CEP brought me!
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With Sidekick
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And the Toughest Preppy Toddler in Town
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20 Months Old!
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Saturday, May 20, 2006
I'm in Trouble
I've now spent a bunch of time at this site, browsing through their light fixtures. I've not been able to spend much on antiques recently, what with the children not being especially well-suited for antiquing. Now I can do it from home. Yikes!

These would be fun for the office fixtures, as would these. Or maybe one pair could be for the upstairs bedrooms.

For the living and dining rooms, something like this or this would be fun, and this could be really nice.

I think our house is as much colonial revival as it is anything, and those pan fixtures are supposed to be good colonial revival stuff. Bowl fixtures are, too, but I just think of all the dust and dead bug accumulation, and I don't see that working too well for us!

These three fixtures could work well for the two upstairs bedrooms and the hall (sitting room), though we'd need to find some low wattage bulbs if we're going to put five in a room! They could be had for a little over $100 with shipping, so that would be a good deal. At least if re-wiring is as easy as my sister tells me.

All the same, I think I'll make use of Jordana's suggestion to visit the Habitat Re-Store first.

Thursday, May 18, 2006
A Rather Interesting Day
Paul left fairly early this morning to work (Isaac and I had to get up to be with Jay), and I had ambitions of getting to Toddler Time with the boys. My boss called and asked if I could come in for a meeting this afternoon. I had to check with Paul and call her back. Then, as I was preparing to put Jay's second sock on him, I noticed a foul odor which made me stop, unshoe the first foot, and chase him up to the changing table. It became apparent that besides a diaper, he needed a fresh pair of shorts. Then Isaac wanted to eat. Well, Toddler Time didn't happen for the boys today.

We did make it downtown, though. Jay wanted to wear his penny loafers, which seemed to make a good ensemble with his striped polo and (now) khaki shorts (good fashion sense, that boy!). Kells wasn't around, so we had to settle for an apple-walnut muffin (and a decaf frozen grasshopper for Mama!). Then home, by which time intermittently fussy Isaac was asleep. Too bad we couldn't leave him in the stroller. He's not a very good napper these days, and though he slept on my shoulder while Jay played on the porch, when I tried to put him in the pack'n'play and eat lunch with the big one, Isaac woke up. Jay decided to walk up the stairs backwards when naptime rolled around (I have no idea, and neither does his daddy). He's much better on his feet on the stairs these days, and he'll hold a hand and the rail and do pretty well. Yay!

So then I just had to nurse Isaac until time to leave for my meeting. I had about an hour and fifteen minutes of scheduled work time before it was time to depart, and so I did a little messing around with a SAS job. Then Paul got home and I left. I'm not sure how much I should say here, so I'll err on the side of brevity. My position is being eliminated mid-2007. It was kind of a surprise, but we all knew something was up when this meeting was called. Especially since they called two of us in who were not scheduled to be there (the other one was taking a vacation day, poor thing!) Our team is being reduced in stages, so I'm not sure what anybody else's news was. I guess the bottom line is, you don't really know you'll have a job next week, so to be reasonably assured work for the next 13 months isn't bad. *Shrug* I may find another job with the company, I may look elsewhere, or I may get to be a full-time mom and let Paul do the financial heavy lifting. I've had worse news, but I'm sure there are others on my team in a tighter spot. Please pray for my friends!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Well, It's Got Character
What do you think, hubby?

This one is cool, too!

And I really like this one.

If I Had Some Money
I'd love to replace our ceiling fixtures. The living room, dining room, office, and both upstairs bedrooms have generic square glass shades with a pull-chain hanging down the middle (there are TWO in the office, which used to be two separate rooms).

I just found this site while finding that first link. Very interesting! There's also these guys who could sell me something that could be installed without any rewiring going on. But with 7 fixtures (I forgot the one in the sitting room) to replace, well, that could get expensive. I'd like to start with the living room, I suppose, but it would be about $250 to get something I'd really like for just the one room, and I just don't think we have that kind of money right now, what with car repairs and (wishful thinking) a possible earnest money/ inspection/ appraisal expense looming.

If Rejuvenation would stop sending me catalogs, I wouldn't notice how pedestrian/ stupid our fixtures look! Harumph!!

But given the choice between working full-time to afford nice fixtures for my house and working part-time to enjoy the kids, I will choose the latter every time. And maybe check ebay =]

So Close, and Yet So Far
So we met our new neighbor yesterday. He seems very nice, even though he bought our neighbor's house instead of ours *half joking*. All four of us had just gotten back from a walk downtown, and Officer Nick was clearing the branches out of his backyard (we had about 5 minutes of cherry-sized hail Sunday afternoon). Jay couldn't stand by and listen to the conversation for too long, and Paul and I had taken turns chasing him down, when I finally guided him toward the back yard. It WOULD have been a good idea, were it not for the fact that our neighbor's patrol car was beckoning to our siren-enamored toddler. As I had Isaac and the neighbor's driveway opens onto a busier road than our own, I decided I couldn't let Jay get there, and so I had to stop him. This resulted in loud wailing of a non-siren variety. We'll have to ask Officer Nick to show Jay his patrol car someday!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Isey Laughs
Isaac's favorite time, it seems, is diaper time. Uninterrupted Mama attention, face-to-face. So much so, that I think he actually laughed today while I wiped him up. Of course I didn't have my eyes trained on his face at the time, but it sure sounded like a laugh, and he'd been doing quite a lot of smiling. Sweet!

On a really unrelated note, Jay's cold/ cough has been gone for weeks now. Paul says he's got another stomach disturbance, though. You win some, you lose some.

Jay is starting to make a little progress verbally. A few weeks ago, when he got a helium balloon at the Dogwood Festival, Jay surprised me by answering my "Bop, bop" with his own. He's got some more animal sounds standardized- the "woo[f]" has been around for a while, but he now has a moo sound and was attempting a meow of sorts yesterday. Jay's got his own version of a lion's roar, an elephant's trumpeting, a songbird's twittering (which, for some reason, sounds like a dog panting *shrug*), and a chick's cheeping. He likes trying to say "okey dokey", which comes out more like "kikyky". A few times, he seemed to be imitating Isaac's "waah, waah, waah". Jay's favorite word is probably coconut, which I haven't really heard him approximate, but it always cracks him up to hear other people say it.

The other day, Jay was listening to his VeggieTales video (which was advertising 3-2-1-Penguins!) while playing with Daddy. Right after the commercial ended with the big "Penguins!", Paul and I heard something which sounded a lot like "pengui'" coming from the little face between Paul's knees and looked at each other in disbelief. No repeats of that one, yet!

Monday, May 15, 2006
Longest Conversation Yet
In the spirit of Kristen's recordings of conversations with Kate, here's my first real conversation with Jay:

Mama (me): Mama has to go to work now, Jay.
Jay: GO!
Mama: Very good, Jay! That's right! "Go!" I have to go to work.
Jay: GO! GO!
Mama: Go! Go! [OK, OK, I'm leaving already!]
Jay: Go! Go!

And then I found a spot on his face untainted by oatmeal, kissed him, and headed out.

Thursday, May 11, 2006
A Proper Fussing-Over
Isaac finally got some of the attention his older brother was wont to receive. We went to a Mexican restaurant for Paul's birthday dinner, where two different waitresses asked how old Isaac was and said how cute he is. Later on in the meal, Paul was holding Isaac, who was getting fussy, while I was trying to feed Jay and keep most of my food off the floor, when one of the waitresses asked if she could hold Isaac. He got passed around among several assembled staff members, and when he was returned, the waitress said that they all wanted babies now =]

Good thing I'm not paranoid about germs. Here's hoping I don't have any reason to become so!!

Thriving at the Forty-fifth Percentile
At least, that's the report from Isaac's doc. I-max (or as Daddy likes to call him, Ipod) didn't much like the immunizations, but other than that, the doc visit went well. Good thing I remembered!

They say he's up to 11 lbs 14 oz, so that's a good gain from his last check-up (9,4). Can't say I'm surprised, as he's starting to outgrow the 3-mo size clothes he's got. Those post-Easter Easter photos weren't going to wait much longer!

Happy Birthday, Hubby!!
Y'all go wish Paul a happy 37th =]

Are photos of Isaac in his borrowed Easter finery. I don't think it occurred to me when I got that outfit for Jonah that I'd be dressing a son of my own in it- certainly not so soon!! But I do like that little outfit. And I love that little guy =]


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Wednesday, May 10, 2006
No Bite
Got showing feedback today from Saturday. They said something about outgrowing the house like we have. Heh. And some of the houses on our list are smaller than this one.

I've got to spend some time getting rid of clothes I haven't worn in years. Anybody want to babysit Saturday?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Trip Two to the Blue Ribbon Diner
So we met a church friend at one of the newest restaurants in town for dinner tonight. A different friend and I had tried it out the day before my return to the workplace (with the boys along), and we discovered that Jay is a big fan of their version of honey mustard sauce. This concoction (called Applejack sauce, for no apparent reason) is pretty good, I agree, but somewhat runny. Anyway, since dinner was late for us, Jay had his dinner before we left, so we didn't feel the need to feed him anything nutritious. We did, however, feel the need to feed him, because the boy was bouncing off the walls and any distraction was welcome!

Drawing on our previous experience, I requested some applejack sauce for Jay to dip fries into (Paul and I both got fries with our meals). Jay pretty much polished off an entire tub of the stuff, though much of it was on his jeans, shirt, and chin. He didn't have that many fries- he was perfectly happy to suck the sauce from the same french fry any number of times. He really likes that sauce.

Give or Take 500 Square Feet
So my new The House is now listed on the Triangle MLS as a 1,980 sf 2-story colonial instead of a 1,421 sf 1.5 story Cape Cod, which it remains on the Alamance MLS. I'll have to admit that the 1.5/2 story call is a close one, but I just don't understand how the same realtor can list the same house on 2 different MLSs and have it come out looking like two entirely different houses. Not to mention the fact that the house is neither a Cape Cod nor a colonial, but clearly VICTORIAN!! Sometimes I wish I could be a realtor.

Sunday, May 07, 2006
If By Cute, You Mean Glorious
Well, if nothing else, I've discovered a new great tragedy for my life. Why pine after 310 W Holt Street when there's 601 W Holt to be longed for?
*10 ft ceilings on the first floor
*Entry hall with open staircase and original-looking railing
*Classic Victorian doors
*French doors between the living and dining rooms (including a catch on one door with a cute little chain release)
*Fun little back hall
*Fun little closets all over
*Adorable bedrooms with fun slopey-ceilinged nooks and nice windows
*Corner mantels in living and dining rooms
*Scary back staircase (in a quaint 19th century way)
*Sweet bulls-eye moldings around all the windows and doors
*Push button light switches

Oh my!

Although my opinion of the listing realtor is rather low (how can you think of listing a classic Victorian house as a 1950 Cape Cod???), there are reasons why this house may not be underpriced for our area.
*Crumbling plaster in several rooms
*Floor and wall anomalies in the downstairs bath (i.e. neither is flat or level)
*Masses of dead insects in two bedrooms
*Unfinished drywall in the baths and den

Oh, and the guy listed both exterior and interior condition as "Good". Exterior, yes. Interior? Not so much.

Paul liked it a lot, I think, despite the reverbration power of plaster and hardwood floors (think squealing toddler), so it's a possibility, despite the obvious problems. I don't think this is a "speak now or forever hold your peace" situation, what with the aforementioned problems, and it's not exactly direct competition for our house, which should appear less problematic (and rightly so).

I think this house could work for us. It would require us to keep our bedroom on the second floor (though I think we could all manage on the first floor short-term, should the upstairs need attention before we occupy it), but the boys could easily share the den until they do not require diaper changes and parental in-house transportation. The dining room would have to be the office/playroom, we'd just have to be careful of those French doors! We could give the kids more freedom, since we'd have plenty of room for the things we don't want them into upstairs (like the books!)

No word on the showing yesterday. Please pray, friends!

Saturday, May 06, 2006
De Ja Vu All Over Again

So the latest candidate, and one we have actually requested a showing of is a couple blocks down from
The House (which is still on the market, and listed slightly below the price on our abortive contract). I imagine that one of the brs is on the first floor, so the kids could be confined to that floor, and the den should have plenty of room for computers and toys (and we might stuff the tv in there as well). Barring that, the kitchen is easily big enough for an EIK, so maybe the DR or den could be a BR if necessary.

It looks great up close (from the outside, at least), and, well, I guess I'm getting my hopes up again. I wasn't prepared for such a cute house, when the listing info said it was a 1950 Cape Cod (the photo just appeared this afternoon). Please pray that things will fall into place for us if this is it!

Friday, May 05, 2006
A Must-see at the Big Yellow House
In case you missed the link on Yorkie Blog. I was kind of hoping this type of behavior would be gone in a year and a half. At least it's pretty infrequent now (fingers crossed)!

There's nothing wrong with photoblogging, but I hope to do a better job keeping up with the kids' development here, if nothing else! I went back to work the last Wednesday in April, so things have been busier around here. We had a lot of company this week- mostly college friends, one with two youngsters old enough to ask LOTS of questions! They really seemed to disapprove of Jay's new harness (it looks vaguely like a puppy-shaped backpack), but their mom defended my choice =]

This past Tuesday was the day all the craziness collided. My college roommate with the two kids arrived an hour early (which didn't surprise me much- she wasn't traveling far), about lunchtime. Shortly before Isaac's scheduled 2-mo checkup, which I had completely forgotten. We had a nice leisurely afternoon. Then came dinnertime. Another college friend's train was supposed to arrive in the next town over at 6. That meant a 6:30 dinnertime, which was too late for Jay, so we figured out something for the kids to eat closer to 5. Another college friend and her husband were slated to arrive around bread-breaking time, and somewhere in here, another friend called and was welcomed to join the festivities.

It was perhaps an unwise decision to leave both the living room/ foyer gate down and the front door open (and the lock off the storm door!), but it was a nice day and just seemed to be a welcoming gesture. Unfortunately, my first friend's train was late, which she duly reported to us before Paul left to fetch her from the station. My other college friend, having an extremely rough week at work, also was delayed. And we never knew when the last friend was planning to arrive. So, while we couldn't make good plans for barrier control, nonetheless, there were enough people around that it didn't seem like Jay would be able to escape to go play in the street to his toddlerish heart's desire. There were, in fact, five adults in the house when I heard someone in the living room ask "Where's Jay?"

At that point, the food logistics lost all interest for me, and I headed for the living room. I don't think I had made it over the gate when word came that he had been located- standing in front of his changing table upstairs (FYI: the stairs are located in the foyer, and so normally are inaccessible to Jay). There was more than a little logic to this, since about 15 minutes earlier, Jay had gotten my attention, pointed to his diaper, and started grunting. I had somehow forgotten his alert, but remembered it when his whereabouts were communicated to me. (Aside: it just may be getting on to toilet training time- he took his shorts off the other day)

In any case, the boys seemed to like the extra attention, especially Jay, who broke in a good 3 or 4 new (to him) readers. He's been for several long walks just in his harness this week, so he's starting to get some concentrated exercise. I did learn, however, that the harness does not work with the stroller. Jay walks in front of the stroller and gets tangled up in it. The sling and the harness, though, work well together.

Isaac's going to the doc next Thursday. Don't let me forget!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Two months old!
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And loving those Saltines
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19 months
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Boxer baby
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A smile? No, but dimples!
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