Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions and House Progress

It's been more difficult than usual to post anything because my computer has been in use by The Frog all week. We are still living upstairs and he has come down with an ear infection, conjunctivitis (goopy eyes), and a cold (sore throat, cough, runny nose), so I've been letting him watch movies nearly all day, in hopes of helping him relax. For all you who have Netflix out there, I stumbled upon a clayamation called Pingu that The Frog thinks is hilarious. (I don't really get it.) In fact, this morning he was drinking some milk while watching it and he actually laughed so hard that milk squirted out of his nose and all over my computer! I had never heard of that actually happening (in real life) before!

Well, it's that time again. Time to make New Year's Resolutions. I have a few, but I think the biggest one is that Jay and I are going to learn Japanese together. I have committed to spend 30 minutes every day (except Sunday) studying it. Right now I'm memorizing Hiragana. Jay found an awesome website that is basically digital flashcards for pretty much anything you could possibly want to memorize. I especially like it for this because you can hear what the sounds are supposed to sound like. I'm going to start working on the Katakana next week, and after that I'll do the 2000 most common words. Jay and I both have a Japanese textbook and work book that we are going to try to go through, in addition to memorizing these flashcards, so we can learn actual grammar. We might be crazy to think we can learn a language without knowing anyone who can speak it to us, but I'm really excited to try! I have been wanting to do something like this with Jay since we got married, but he never had any interest until he started wanting to play imported Japanese video games. :) He's going at it a bit more whole-heartedly-- planning to spend 2 hours a day studying, and he's even switched his computer and phone to be in Japanese, as well as his email, etc. He's going to try and read a Japanese comic strip for kids, as well.

I also want to keep my Hungarian going, so I'm going to try to learn 5 Hungarian words a day. (using the same site) I think that picking something to work on memorizing has helped my memory in general, and that's been exciting for me as well. I feel like my memory has really gone downhill since high school, because I haven't had to blatantly memorize large lists of "stuff" (useless or not) since then. Perhaps there was some value to it after all? Maybe next year I'll try to memorize all the countries, or go through all the SAT words or something, just to keep my mind working in that way. :) With my iPhone organizing my life, I have little need to remember many things these days.

Some other goals I have are:
-start exercising again (weekdays) either 30 min of ballet or walking with the stroller (when it warms up again)
-grow out my hair (this might sound like an easy one, but I frequently get strong urges to chop off my hair)
-I helped a neighbor HS kid with his calculus homework the other day and I think I might like to do one math problem every day. I seriously had sooo much fun thinking about related rates again. I still haven't picked which book I will go through though. (I have waaaay to many math textbooks. It's not even funny) I think calculus would be a really fun review, but it might be good for me to do something I was never as good at, like number theory or abstract algebra.
-I am going to be better about labeling my photos as I import them and also RATING the goods ones, so I don't have to sift through them all the time. All you with iPhoto out there know what I'm talking about.
-I also want to get completely caught up on The Frog's photo albums and Start one for Peach. I meet with some girls in my neighborhood once a month to do that, and I'm going to work on it one other night each month.
-I would like to improve my posture, but I'm not really sure how to measure progress with that, or how to consistently work on it. Any ideas?

As for the house- we are still not completely painted, nor will we be until next week-- hopefully Monday, but I'm learning not to get to excited about the deadlines we keep getting from the contractors. Just about everything has taken longer than expected... ran out of moulding, ran out of carpet pad, carpet gets here and is 1 inch too short, forgot to paint the doors, painted one room the wrong color, kitchen cabinets are in, but lost the pegs for a shelf and the garbage pulls in and out veeerrrry stiffly, etc. Once the carpet is all put back (was supposed to happen today, but now they have to get more pad and the right size carpet and come back tomorrow) we should be able to let The Frog play downstairs again!!! I can't wait!

We probably won't be staying up until midnight tonight, as everyone is somewhat sick. (though, The Frog definitely has the worst of it) But we are getting indian food to celebrate!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kid Conversation

A conversation with family reminded me of something The Frog did quite awhile ago that I want to remember.

Setting: The Frog is playing by himself with two dinosaurs, a big one and a small one, which in his mind means there's a baby and a mommy. The Frog turns a basket upside-down and puts the small dinosaur (baby) on top of it.

Baby Small Dinosaur: Mommy, look at me!
Mommy Dinosaur: Be careful!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Beginning of the End

Peach rolled over today!
Tummy to back.
I think she was just as surprised as I was :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fortunately, Unfortunately

Fortunately, we now have our kitchen cupboards, sink and dishwasher back!
Unfortunately, our old faucet had so much corrosion that it was filling in some gaps and keeping things from leaking. Removing it broke all that off and it wouldn't stop leaking when they tried to reinstall it.
Fortunately, that means we HAD to get a new faucet. It's a pull-down. LOVE. IT.
Unfortunately, when the plumber filled the sink to test the seals, all that water draining made us aware of a minor clogging that caused our shower to flood with nasty, smelly, yuck... where our hallway rugs just happened to be drying.
Fortunately, it's now fixed and the rugs were probably already ruined anyway.
Fortunately, we got our walls patched up!
Unfortunately, the sheet rock delivery unplugged the freezer in our garage and didn't tell us about it.
Fortunately, the water pouring down from the ceiling was landing right next to the freezer and caused a lot of internal ice chunks, which means most of the food was nearly still frozen, even days later.
Unfortunately, a lot of food was frozen INSIDE large chunks of ice, and the ice needed to be removed.
Fortunately, because of all the ice in there, I was going to have to take everything out and defrost the freezer anyway.
Unfortunately, all the food in the garage freezer doesn't fit in our kitchen freezer.
Fortunately, since I had a baby recently and we had just been out of town, a lot of our normal freezer stash had been depleted and we had room for everything except some cream puffs... which means I HAD to eat them :)
Unfortunately, the mudder guys who were going to tape the sheet rock seams and fill in the drill holes didn't come on Friday like I was expecting.
Fortunately, the mudder guys DID come on Saturday, which I wasn't expecting, because I was told they don't work weekends.
Fortunately, the guy who plastered our ceiling was wearing sweet stilts.
Fortunately, our project manager thinks our house can be painted by Christmas!!!

Looks like the Fortunately's win :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

This and That

Our kitchen is not yet back to normal, BUT the wall is now fixed, second coated, and sanded. Because the sanding is a messy process, but necessarily needed to take place inside, they tried to tape off the area to keep the dust spreading to a minimum. I didn't realize this was going to happen until I went downstairs to get some milk for The Frog and I happened upon this:
Does anyone else think of ET?

And unrelatedly, we all gathered in the bathroom while The Frog took a bath tonight, and I couldn't help myself but see what would happen if I put the largest flower clip I own on Peach's headband.
I think she's astonished that I would give in to such a thing. (it was just for the camera, we didn't actually GO anywhere like this)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Colorful Thoughts

I delight in reading through the Sherwin-Williams paint names. The people who come up with them must have so much fun. I think I'm going to use
Downy, Biscuit, Agreeable Gray, and Radish.

Some of my favorite names are Something Blue, Frolic, Inventive Orange, Enlightened Lime, Lusty Red, Well-Bred Brown, Relentless Olive, Useful Gray. Some clever hue names are obvious- Envy, Cloudless. Some not as much- Hopeful, Noteable Hue, Ponder.

Some have caused me to refer to Wikipedia. Nasturtium, Saguaro, or Frangipane, for example.

I thought one of them said Battlefield, and thought, "How gruesome!" but then I noticed that really said Butterfield. I guess that would make more sense for yellow...

Some colors play out a scene in my mind- Potentially Purple.
Mom hue talking to little hue: "One day, if you're good, you can be purple too."

I wonder how different the color-name makers' lives are from my own.
"Oh I just love Country Squire on you, it really brings out your eyes!" Are they constantly on the look-out for good color names? I imagine they could never use regular old "yellow" and are instead forced to explain what kind. Friendly Yellow. Lively Yellow. Glad Yellow.

Tell me, if it's only Virtual Taupe, what is it in actuality?

Jay and I agree that my skin is closest to Spun Sugar. No wonder I'm so sweet :D

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We're Dry!

Even though we weren't completely dry by Monday, we were able to get rid of 6 fans. 9 more left yesterday and today we were able to remove the remaining 10 fans and the two dehumidifiers. Our home is so quiet now! It's sooo nice! We begin reconstruction hopefully today :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Flood Update

Well, we've found out that it's going to be a lot more painful than anticipated. We had to leave our home for 24 hours for them to spray for mold. Luckily we have awesome neighbors and have had offers from 4 different families for us to stay with them if we need to. So Wednesday night, we packed up for an overnight stay at our generous neighbors' home. Since the flooding was likely soaking in for days, there is a lot more moisture than originally anticipated by the "drier dudes" and it was deemed that most of the walls on our main floor would need the bottom 2 feet to be removed for drying purposes.
After some testing, they discovered that we have lead paint in the original layer of paint and so it would not be safe for our family to be around during the "demolition" (shudder) as they called it. So we packed up again, and slept away once more.
They had to bring in a storage unit so they could remove our lower kitchen cabinets and store them there until it's dry behind them. Because we no longer have a kitchen sink, by insurance standards, our home is deemed "unlivable" and we could stay in a hotel on their penny. We opted for staying home and letting them pay for our meals out instead. We are extremely grateful to all our neighbors who have invited us over for meals and dropped some by. It has made this ordeal so much happier for our family.
This is the room that took the most damage- all the walls are nearly completely removed, the carpet is gone, and the ceiling is almost completely gone. You can see through to the garage now.
Here's a view from the garage, through the theater room (as we lovingly called it). You can see the library behind.
On the plus side, we will get our entire main floor repainted on our insurance's penny! Also, they anticipate that everything should be dry by Monday and the reconstruction will begin Wednesday. We are basically going to completely redo the room with our TV in it, and I'm kind of excited/nervous. This is my chance to make it JUST as I want it. Any advice?

PS we're all fine and well :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

At a loss for words...

After a slightly delayed flight home from Boston on Monday, we pulled into our driveway at about 11:10pm and opened the garage door, greeted by this:

Zooming in we can see this:
So, then we opened the door to the house and stepped in about 1 cm of water. It was hard to see how water got into the house, when there was a steady stream in the garage, until we looked in the last room on the first floor:

Notice the "alien pods" on the ceiling:

We turned off the water, started taking photos (for insurance), made some phone calls and put buckets under the waterfall.
All our carpets were soaked through
and puddles gushed out when stepped in.
By midnight, we had 6 of our neighbors 3 or 4 wet-vacs, mops, flashlights and a truck to get things dried as much as possible and the larger debris hauled away.
(I felt like maybe this wasn't a smiling occasion?)
The next day we noticed all the condensation. (and my hair remained frizzy from the increased humidity)

This is the desk mat under Jay's desk- sweating with water trying to evaporate.
This is the window outside the room that took the most damage. You can see the large icicles that formed on the nearby tree- probably from gushing water from when the ceiling collapsed.
After working all day, the plumber had fixed the problem and we were allowed to use our water and all electricity again.
It seems that the pipe from our water heater (which was uninsulated) was running through the ceiling of our garage, which is not heated or insulated. The first two days we were gone had a high of 21 and lows of 12 and 7. We think that one of these days froze the water and split the pipe. There were 3 breaks, one above the garage, one above the TV room, and another between the two.
Now we're living in this until our house is dried

They've already started drilling into the walls and under the cupboards so that they can shoot air behind them to prevent mold and rot from destroying our walls.

Thank goodness that nothing priceless was ruined.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Peach's Baby Blessing

We decided to take advantage of our trip for Thanksgiving and bless Peach at a ward in Massachusetts so Jay's family could take part. Jay's mom generously let us have a brunch at her house after and it was SOOO nice to get to talk to some of my friends who live in New England- many of which I haven't seen in years. Thanks to all who came! I was so busy catching up, I forgot to take photos of us together. (sometimes it's probably better to live in the moment anyway, right?) I did manage to get a couple shots of our family though.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Boston Aquarium

The first movie we ever let The Frog watch (all the way through) was Finding Nemo, and ever since, he's loved all ocean life. We saw a lot of really neat things, though I was nursing Peach and walking around for half the time, so I didn't get very many good pictures. It's also pretty dark inside, so that you can see through the glass to see all the animals, so it's not the best place to get good photos, but we got a couple.I think The Frog's favorite things were probably the clown fish (Nemo) and the seals, and maybe the shark. I thought the sea turtles were amazing and I wish I could have taken a better photo of them. One of them was SOOO BIG- probably the size of a small-ish coffee table.
Above is a manta ray.
One of the sea turtles is poking its head out the surface, but it was much cooler to watch them swim from down below.
Of course, an aquarium wouldn't be an aquarium without penguins :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! This year Jay's parents paid for us to join them for Thanksgiving, which is especially fun because his mom takes this holiday VERY seriously (as most good cooks do...) Jay's older sister brought this AWESOME fruit and veggie "turkey" appetizer.Isn't it so cute?! Jay's other relatives took care of other appetizers, and they looked so beautiful, I had to take a picture.

Here's a glimpse of the spread (pre-food). Once the food was on, I forgot to get the after shot- too distracted with getting The Frog's food prepped and making sure he ate it without making a complete mess. I've found that mealtimes are always the craziest time of day when you have young children.
Because you can't really tell from the above shot, every serving dish has a label so that when food is ready, everyone can help put it into the serving dishes without bothering the master chef.
After our delicious array of desserts, the cousins wanted to try holding baby Peach.

I think she didn't like getting passed around so much.
Peach with her great Auntie P.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas Card Photo Shoot FAIL

This morning was perfectly overcast and not too cold, so I thought I should hurry and try to get some "Christmas card worthy" photographs. It did NOT go so well. These are the best I could get. The rest of them involve a blurry The Frog (with some kind of upset look on his face, or pushing Peach away) or a crying Peach. I guess the cat's out of the bag. My family isn't perfect.
I wonder if this will fit up her nose...
"Mom, just give up already, ok?"
"Ewww, he's BREATHING on me!"
"Moooom, ENOUGH already!"
The Frog: "I'm sorry for whacking you a second ago."
Peach: *silent treatment*