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Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Playroom Rug
Grandma and Grandpa G generously offered to cushion the wood floor on the playroom end of the office, and I finally picked the above-linked rug. The colors aren't especially fun, but they co-ordinate (I hope!) with our futon cover, and the shapes look like they have potential for imaginative play. We had a "70s gold"-colored rug with textured squares which were spiralling rectangles when we were kids, and my older brother and I used to love playing with matchbox cars on it. I couldn't quite find the fun texture, but maybe the color blocks will substitute well enough.

Hey, Cool!
I get Monday off! Anybody else? If so, would you like to come help us finish the home office re-org? We're quite close, actually. Mostly just books/bookcases and toys to move. It's a pretty big improvement, if I do say so myself!

Friday, August 25, 2006
Rug Shopping
If you're in the market for a rug, do yourself a favor and check first. Good prices and $1 shipping!!

Skewered if You Do, Lambasted if You Don't
So now our evil president is trying to deprive environmentally conscious DC commuters of their privileged status. It didn't work, so he had to go by helicopter. Maybe it wasn't the best option, but I don't see what was wrong with exploring it-sometimes it makes more sense to drive than fly. The White House didn't ask them to shut down the whole interstate. Then they make a big deal of the fact that the president was traveling to a fundraiser for George Allen, who apparently used some word which marks him as a racist. I wonder if someone else will write about how environmentally irresponsible it was for W to fly instead of driving...

Prayers Coveted
for Cathy and family, as Cathy is quite ill. Nothing like a Mommy out of commission to put stress on a family! Here's wishing you a speedy recovery!!

Two Parties! Hooray!!
Well, we got the kitchen at church reserved for a little Baptismal luncheon on the tenth. What makes an economical, yet festive lunch? Any ideas? I was thinking cold cuts and bakery bread, maybe a nice big batch of potato salad.

I still have quite a few things to settle for Jay's party. For starters, I have about 60 people, including babies and small children on my draft evite. I might be able to handle 1/3 of that number, since it will hopefully be an indoor/outdoor affair. Eh, minor details!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Healthy Appetite Boy No. 2
Isaac tried veggies tonight. Good ol' butternut squash. I guess he liked it, since he ate the entire jar. It was only a 2.5 oz jar- Jay never had a jar less than 4 oz- but still, for a first vegetable experience, I'd say that's pretty good. Good thing, since he insisted on biting me time and again today. At least he wasn't willfully pulling my hair, unlike some other son of mine who shall go unnamed, but whose initials are JayBear.

Dear Spammers,
Yes, I do like G. W. Bush, no, I am not single and lonely, and it's my younger brother who is in the military, not me. And go right ahead and send me all those gift cards. I dare you.

Dust Kitties, Etc.
I made myself a model of our office on graph paper, with little cutouts for the two desks and the futon to try out some different arrangements. I finally settled on something slightly unorthodox, but Paul seemed willing to go along with it, so we got started with the re-arranging last night. So far, only my desk and chair have made it to their destination, but it already seems like an improvement. Then again, I used to be a furniture rearranging fiend, so I might just be happy about change for change's sake. So unconservative.

Monday, August 21, 2006
Another First
I just had my first phone conversation with Jay. He contributed a "hewwo", "yeah", and "ba-bye". Not a bad start!

Saturday, August 19, 2006
Frolicking in the Park
It was a good afternoon for a cookout, though there was definitely some sweating going on. The shelter we had reserved was a ways from the parking lot, so Paul had some work getting the cooler with 12 liters of soft drinks and the bag of charcoal out to the spot. Isaac was snug in the umbrella stroller, though it was rough going in spots. Jay had no trouble entertaining himself, spending most of our picnic driving the empty stroller away from the shelter until I directed him to come back (he complied most of the time). I was a little bit worried that he'd drive right into the lake. Isaac got passed around among the ladies, which didn't seem to bother him any ;). And you know that Jay had to take a dust bath right before we left. *Shrug* It's bath night anyway, and we've never had a clean car to boast of. The only really rough spot of the evening was when Jay was pushing the stroller around with Isaac in it, and it ended up on its side on the concrete floor. Two crying boys, one with a bump on his baldish head. Everybody seems to be fine now, though!

Party Planning
So I took the boys to Dollar General (after Jay got his yellow balloon on Thursday) so we could get jelly. While we were there, we did a little party shopping, since our old Bible study group is having a cookout today, and Jay's birthday keeps getting closer. I bought some cheerful magenta plates, cups, and napkins to mix and match with navy blue plates, cups, and napkins for today. Then I saw the perfect color combination of yellow and sky blue for Jay's rubber ducky-themed 2nd birthday, so bought some more plates and napkins (unfortunately they didn't have cups). I also found sets of bath toys, so got two ducky sets and one frog set.

Then yesterday I started looking for a wading pool for the kids to play in. The only pool they had at WalMart was three feet deep and had a ladder and everything. NOT what I was looking for. I decided to look at Kerr Drug and Dollar General this morning. Thankfully, Isaac was able to stay home with Daddy so I could take the stroller with actual storage, so Jay and I headed out. We got to see a train on the way, which meant we went all the way out to Center Street, which meant we started at Kerr Drug (which takes credit cards :) ). Sure enough, right there on an endcap was the pool display. I first only saw one (type of) pool, which, at 2' deep, would have worked out, even if we had to only fill it partway. I worked out the dimensions later, and realized that it was 6x10'! That was a large pool, and it was on clearance at $15. Then I saw the 5' round pool above it for $3.50. I pondered buying one of each, but decided to do What Paul Would Do and bought the cheap one which stores smaller and requires no inflation. Even after recounting all this to him, I received no accolades. Of course, he probably would never have bought a pool at all if it were up to him, so that might explain it!

Friday, August 18, 2006
What's Worse
There are interior photos on the listing agent's website. Check out the bedroom shot for an idea of the Pottery Barn Kids second story. And don't miss the French doors in the dining room photo. *SIGH*

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Aww, Crud!! (Which I've Apparently Used as a Post Title Previously)
*Sigh* I know I shouldn't have done it, but I checked the Mebane search I had saved on, and guess what! It's back, and now listed at $81,500. Do I ask our realtor to find out why this house is back on the market? Do I pretend I didn't see it? AAAARGH!!!!

Q is not only an excellent letter; it's also a very important word. This morning I was going through Isaac's drawer (more or less replacing the contents) while he napped and Jay attended*. As usual, Jay found a piece of debris, so I asked him to put it into the garbage. "Q!" he said, running off to our bedroom where the accessible garbage basket is. Then the light bulb came on: every time Jay throws something away for me, what do I say? "Thank you", of course! Jay knew a "thank you" was coming, so he provided it himself. I got him to say "[than]k you" to me when I was sharing potato chips with him later, but he didn't come through for me when Miss India gave him a pretty yellow helium balloon later this morning. Then it was just "Yewwow! Yewwow!"

* It's sweet that Jay likes to come upstairs with me when I'm upstairs, but it would be much easier to put Isaac to bed without a rambunctious toddler jetting around.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm confused. So now I'm 24 months?
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Whatever. I'm big!
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I really like my tiger!
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My tiger is an excellent dancer
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Tiger, this is a cow. It says BOOO
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
So Jay has progressed from merely driving his cars around to moving his friends around, helping them dance (though only after the stereo is turned on- duh!), and showing them his books (oh, yes, he still drives his vehicles!!). One of his best friends these days is Junior Asparagus. Jay wanted Junior to come along on our walk downtown this morning. It was a little frightening to see Jay walking down a step, then leaning over so Junior could hop down to the next step, then straightening up and stepping down himself, but he did it again and again until they were both at the bottom of the porch steps.

We had an exciting time downtown. We went to the bakery (where they have a good stash of toys). Our outing was cut short when Isaac made a big mess in his diaper, but on the way home, we got to see a big piece of construction equipment pick up a chunk of the sidewalk! It doeesn't get much better than that, folks!! ;)

Monday, August 14, 2006
Yay!! Family Visiting!
As of right now, it looks as though all of the grandparents will be here for Isaac's Baptism the second week of September. Not to mention my sister and my older brother's family! They won't let my younger brother out of boot camp for the occasion, though :( Anyone else??

We'll be celebrating Jay's birthday a little bit early that weekend, so it's a two-for-one deal (just to give you DC-ites a little extra incentive ;) )

Sunday, August 13, 2006
It HAD to Be Done
Paul ordered Jay the latest "Bay!" (Larry Boy) video. It's really self-defense to have as many different Larry Boy videos on hand as is possible, so we don't have to watch the same 3 videos from the superhero superpack over and over and over again (we are even less enthusiastic about the cartoon adventures disc). Larry Boy shows up at the end of Sheerluck Holmes, so maybe we can count that one, too!


See, Aunt Mindy, my haircut isn't THAT bad.
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Those little balls look tasty... If only I could get to them!
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You can't see my teeth, but I'll let you see my eyes.
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What? You mean I'm NOT 18 months old?
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Ha ha! I won't show you my teeth!!
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See how fast I can move my hand?
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Still enjoying the support of Squishy Sheep
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Where Have I Seen This Before?
Well, cereal feeding number one a while back was not what you would call a great success. Tonight, however (feeding number 2), Isaac was prepared to chow down. Naturally, most of his food went into his mouth more than once before going down his throat, but he ate all but about 3 baby spoonsful of the 2 oz formula + cereal. He was clearly eager for it, opening his mouth again and again for the approaching spoon. We shared a few jokes (or maybe he was just plain proud of himself for eating so well), though midway through, he started complaining that I wasn't feeding him fast enough. We are so going to be eaten out of house and home in about 10-15 years.

Saturday, August 12, 2006
First of all, I've got to figure out how to get the boy to stop biting!!

Second of all, how is it possible that he's already filling out an 18-mo size romper? See, we'd bought a few outfits in 12-mo size, since Jay's 12-mo outfits were all wintry. I was thinking we still didn't really have enough clothes for him, and it occurred to me that Jay had a lot of 18-mo size rompers, some of which were smaller than the others. I figured I may as well pull out a few of the smaller ones and see how they fit. One I pulled out was 24-mo size, but when I held it up to the 18-mo one I brought down, it looked pretty much to be the same size. For some reason, despite this fact, I felt less ridiculous bringing down the official 18-mo sized one for Isaac to swim in. Heh. No swimming in there! I guess the small 24-mo suit goes into the drawer as well. After all, he won't be wearing them in the spring- may as well get some use out of them.

Good thing I didn't send that box home with Jonah!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006
Cute Boys
On a good day, Jay can now read three words: A, OK, and A-OK (OK, so he doesn't read them AS words. Picky, picky!). He can also recognize G (though he pronounces it with a hard g sound), and Q. Of course, since I posted about his co-operativeness he's needed to be carried up or down the stairs more than once. Including once in the wee hours (up, of course). Somehow, we all survived. Jay's "bye-bye"s now sound more like "buh-bye!" and less like "ba-baiy!" Thankfully, he still says "BAY-by-by-by" and "MA-ma-ma-ma". I'm not ready for him to sound as grown up as he does saying "Buh-bye!"

Isaac has a cute habit of gasping and then sighing. It seems to be his way of saying, "Gee, I'm really enjoying myself!" He also has two laughs, which he interweaves. One is your typical baby giggle. The other one is more like (Sesame Street's) Bert's laugh, but more gurgly. It's neither graceful nor delicate, but it manages to be cute all the same =]

House Blegging
The photos below the enthralled toddler document the current state of our office, which is by far the most crowded room in the house. The whole clostrophobia factor is what got this room to the top of my list, but as long as we're (in theory, anyway) rearranging furniture, we ought to go ahead and make some improvements (if you ask me). Broader photos of the room are here. I included the ghost line photos for you other old house people. It didn't take too much deducing to conclude that this room used to be two separate rooms- one light fixture, one window, and one climate control vent in each end, and the conclusive stripe down the middle of the beadboard. I'm also fairly certain that the front room was open to the staircase, since that part is drywall (which for some reason bulges out along the line of the staircase- I'm assuming this does not indicate a structural defect!)

Now for the beg of the blog: What should we do??

1. Floor: If it's going to be smooth, at least that one ledge needs to be eliminated. Should it be sanded out? Or are we going to run into a tongue or groove? I'm sure refinished floors would be a plus if we're going to sell, but if Jay's setting up his train set on the floor (and doing all those other toddler things to it), will it still look nice in a year? And can we afford to have it done?

2. Walls: How do we get down to a smooth surface without spending all year on it? Can we just scrape the peeling stuff, sand around the edges, and paint over it? We didn't do a very painstaking job upstairs in Jay's room (and we had a lot of help), and it still took half a day to paint it (not that I was involved, being almost 7 mos pregnant). Cutting in around the beads is really time-consuming. If we get really big nap rollers, do we still have to do that part?

3. Ceiling: Ditto all the wall questions, plus don't you get a major pain in the neck from standing on a chair sanding overhead?

I was thinking about repainting the floor, and adding a border of little houses (shaped like ours, of course!). It seems like it shouldn't be that hard to carve a stamp out of a sponge of some sort, or maybe foam rubber. That would be kinda fun, I think. And maybe "1920"s for the corners =]


A Thorough Job Of Eating Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
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A Very Thorough Job
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I Cleaned My Plate!
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Happy Ice Cream Slathered Toddler
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Ghost Threshold and Damaged Paint/ Wood
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A Big Cliff in My Floor
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Ghost Lines From Former Wall
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Cruddy Paint Job
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Detail of Cruddy Paint Job
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Cracking Paint
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Exhibit A: The Staircase Bulge
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Exhibit B: the Staircase and the Other Side of the Wall
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Anyone Want to Come Hang Out With Us Saturday?
If you're interested, I'll be happy to help you move furniture/ brainstorm room arrangements, too!

Two Teeth
Two teeth suddenly appeared on Isaac's lower jaw. I might not have noticed, but the last day or two, he's bitten me. And since it hurt, I investigated. Other than that, he's been just fine, so that's a blessing! It's good to have easy teethers!! (Later teeth may be more problematic, though, so I'm not throwing any parties yet...)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Off the Market
The sign's down, the lockbox is gone. So ends our third foray into acquiring real estate. Lucky number two was the only successful one so far.

It would be nice to get some new paint and furniture arrangements in here as a consolation prize. If I could just figure out what I want to do, it could happen.

Monday, August 07, 2006
I Said I'd Stop, But...
For some reason, I checked my saved searches at (for which I deleted the shortcut as a demonstration of my good intentions), and saw that one of the recent interesting listings now has photos. It looks to have a lot of potential, but I'm guessing it won't go for more than $70,000, if that. Meantime, our realtor hasn't taken us off the system or come to get our lockbox/signage. I did ask him to take us off the market, so my part is done. I do like this new listing, but there is no way we'd pay $90,000 for something needing that much work (needs paint, central heat/AC, ductwork installation for starters!)

Maybe in a year when Paul has a permanent job with benefits and this house is down to $65k...

Sunday, August 06, 2006
Got It!
The My First LeapPad learning table is in the trunk of the Taurus. I think it comes with Leap's Big Day, but it would be fun to collect a few more of the My First LeapPad books. I know there's a Fox in Socks book, but I couldn't find it on Amazon to add it to the wish list. H&G, we may spare your Little Touch LeapPad any further trauma (it's really the books which have suffered, I'm afraid) and return it to you. Then Jay will really be starving for LP action by September ;)

Meantime, I'm hatching a furniture moving scheme. Maybe if we move the futon upstairs (apologies to future guests) to the sitting room, we'll be able to turn one end of the office into a playroom. It's either that, or move the desks to the wide end of the room and the futon between the windows. Those familiar with the office are invited to throw in your $.02. (It's a long, narrow room, but is right next to the bathroom and is fairly well insulated from crying baby noises, which makes it the best place for guests- it's also stuffed with bookcases, desks, a futon, a Pack'n'Play, a Kick'n'Play, and a walker.)

Saturday, August 05, 2006
Birthday Ideas, Part Deux
So no one seems to like the table with molded-in track. Just lazy ol' me. We can see how things go with no table... I just like the idea of containing the trains so they don't get lost and underfoot, though there's no guarantee a table would accomplish that. Also, I'm wondering if the tracks will be level on our somewhat lumpy Berber carpet. Maybe we'll have less infant stuff taking up space and Jay can set up on the office floor (hardwood). We'll see.

So Jay and I went to Toys'R'Us today while Paul and Isaac went to Circuit City. As might be expected, Jay had a wonderful time playing with the Thomas display in the store. I pointed out a coal tender to him, which meant that he pointed it out to me about 50 times =] He also found a YELLOW engine, which was very exciting. It took about 10 minutes to finally peel him away from the trains, but he did go peacefully. We were checking out a farm set when the other half of the family appeared. It looked like a really nice one (I think it was Discovery Channel, though I can't find it online), but it had a lot of pieces. If we had a dedicated play area, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but since the play area is a corner of our already small living room, which is a very high-traffic area, well...

We also found a My First LeapPad table and chair set on clearance for $35, which looks like a good deal to me. We may go back for it tomorrow (tax-free weekend, woo-hoo!) We're definitely going to have to shed some furniture around here. *Sigh* The sad thing is, their bedroom is pretty big, and we can't really use that space, because it's hard enough for him to go to sleep in his toddler bed as it is. If we put his toys up there, forget it! I'm probably too nervous to let my 2-year old play by himself on the second floor anyway. Tell me again we don't need to move.

Thursday, August 03, 2006
I think the house we wanted has sold. It's down to one listing instead of three, which probably just means the realtor forgot to take it off the last system, or forgot it was out there. It may come back on the market, but if so, it would probably be because it is in worse shape than is immediately apparent, which means we probably couldn't afford to fix it either. Thankfully, I've had a much more realistic (i.e. pessimistic) attitude about this house than about the last one (and haven't let it occupy every idle moment), so although I am really disappointed, I'm not terribly surprised it didn't work out.

The question is, do we still want to sell our house (and what would we do if we got an offer)? The other house we wanted is listed at $17,000 below what we were going to pay for it. It still has all the same problems as before, and probably they are more pronounced by now (did I mention that it's much bigger than our current house?). Meantime, I'm seriously considering shedding some useful furniture to ease our clutter situation. We've just got so much stuff, and with the kids' stuff as well, this house is very crowded. Some remodeling projects could help, but I don't know how we could do without one of our rooms for even a couple of weeks. (I've still been feeling pretty good, and Jay's been pretty cooperative, so our stairs haven't been that much of an issue.)

I've run into three times as many traffic jams in the past 3.5 months as in the rest of the six years we've lived here, and the three days a week commute is getting to be as stressful as the five days were before. I guess that's a good reason to wait until our job situations become clear. Not to mention that the whole situation has only gotten more and more complicated the longer our house has been on the market.

Long post short, I'm not happy about it, but I think I'm finally ready to give up. So look out, checkbook, I may be making some visits to Lowe's and calling some handyguys!

UPDATE: Yup, the final listing disappeared. Crud.

Five Months Old
Isaac is five months old as of this past Tuesday. He's getting better at sleeping at night (I'm doing better at keeping him in the Co-Sleeper, which seems to help). Last night he only woke up once between 10 and 6 (or 7?). Granted, it was 3 AM, but really it wasn't that bad. I was able to stay awake long enough to put him back in his own bed after he ate. Bottle feeding has got to be such a pain in the middle of the night!!

Isaac's been doing a lot of scooting around and he practices rolling front-to-back. He hasn't quite done a back-to-front roll yet, though it can't be far off. Isaac is going to be a tough kid, for sure, the way Jay is all over him. We were at our coffee shop this morning, and Jay (for some reason) kept poking Isaac's eyes as I tried and tried to get him to turn around and sit down. Isaac just blinked.

Isaac's eyes are still blue, as I pointed out below. I am not counting on their staying that color, but we'll see. He's slowly getting a thatch of blond hair on top on his head. It's still very fine, though, so it's nice that his cradle cap has disappeared!

We've started putting Isaac in the walker (he can't move more than an inch or so at a time- toes barely brushing the floor and all), and he likes the toys ok for a while. The light-up purple dinosaur that makes sounds is good for momentary entertainment, but I'm not sure that Isaac has figured out how to work it himself. He set it off a few times trying to chew on it, though!

Isaac also got his first taste of cereal Saturday. He wasn't terribly impressed, but I think he got a little bit down. The trouble is convincing Jay he doesn't want any! That boy will eat just about anything.

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