Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sorry, but I can't help it!
I didn't really have anywhere to go for the "holiday" so I just took her to the farmer's market, and Joy met us there with her kids.

OK, even though I hate Halloween for all of its grossness, I couldn't help but dress Amelia up. I added a tail and ears to some brown courderoy clothes she already had, and drew on her face with (super- washable) marker. She says "meow" all of the time whenever she sees a cat or anyone even mentions a cat. I think she was so distracted by the camera that it took a little while to get it out of her. When I was watching later, every time she heard me asking what sound a cat makes, she kept meowing, over and over again! Too funny.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Show and Tell Time!
I took some pictures of some recent improvements. The funny thing is that most of this hapened within five hours, after a previous weekend where we had two days without Amelia and Jeff had five days off in a row, and our only goal was to get some things done-- and very little actually was accomplished! I guess that some days, things just go your way, and same with the reverse!
I started by refinishing an old piece of furniture with some shiny black spray paint-- it looks so much better, and took all of 20 minutes and $3.35!

I found some salvaged copper tile at the Rebuilding Center for $10, and finished our countertops with it.

Jeff put shelves up in our pantry, also with some salvaged lumber ($2!) from the same place. We will use these for storing canned foods and foods that we're culturing, etc. It feels great to have a few more shelves-- we're starved for storage space around here.

A couple of days later, I repainted some old shelves we had to go with their old brackets. (We've installed them in three different homes now!) We put these up over our washing machine, and I found some penny candy jars and silver scoops for the laundry soaps. For some odd reason, I have always fantasized about having a real laundry room, and putting my detergents and laundry helpers in jars....

It feels SO GOOD to see the kitchen and utility room inching their way closer to being "finished" so I can devote my attention competely to other rooms. I spend so much of my day in these rooms, that they have been the top priority so far. Next project: painting our refrigerator turqoise with automotive paint!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Well, you may have noticed that I've been in a bit of a blogging slump. I do have some home improvements to share, which I plan to do tomorrow, once I get some pictures taken. I have been in survival mode more than usual lately. After our trip to WA for two nights, a couple of nights at Grandma's, some severe teething and a cold, Amelia has not been sleeping much at all, and neither have we. Last night, we were up with her for up to an hour at a time, finally get her back to sleep only to have her wake up twenty minutes to an hour later. Her longest stretch of sleep was two hours! Getting her down for naps has also been arduous, and some days it just hasn't happened, but not for lack of trying.
I have been feeling really rundown and this cold keeps coming and going. I have been having some pretty bad constant headaches, and it has been really hard to get up in the mornings (obviously!) We have been praying that all of this will soon pass, and just asking for extra grace.

Our days have been challenging, but it doesn't mean that we have been miserable! I have had some really nice times with Amelia this week. She has a new word every day, and is constantly making new connections in terms of how the world works and in her relationship with us. It is so nice to get real heartfelt hugs and kisses from her, especially on those difficult days. She has a love and special tone of voice she uses for any "baby" she sees, which includes little ones her size or smaller, and she can now "woof" back at dogs when they bark. She is especially proud of her new ability to drink out of a little silver cup her Auntie E. had her name engraved onto, without much spilling. I just ordered a potty for her, since she has been announcing her "movements" to us before, during and after the fact with "Poop!" She also just says it for fun-- can you blame her?

The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous, and we are so thankful to be able to enjoy the drama of the seasons changing. Our house is coming together, and we love the feeling of working on our living space with the knowledge that we'll be here for more than a year, and that all that work is worth it! Like I said, I'll try to get some pictures up tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Well, first of all, our destination, as it turns out, was not actually Seattle. The conference was in Seatac-- a city of mediocre hotels and fast food restaurants clustered around the airport that serves Seattle and Tacoma. We did get into the city a couple of times, but we mostly stayed in the hotel where the conference was being held. Jeff really enjoyed the conference, and Amelia and I had a nice time being someplace new. Events included:
-- Going up and down the outdoor glass elevators.
-- Me not cooking any meals for three days, but wishing I could at breakfast (but only breakfast,) since the hotel food was so bad, and ludicrously expensive!
-- Amelia taking naps while I towel-dried the bathtub, filled it with pillows and read fashion magazines.
-- Getting the goahead from J to buy some much-needed winter clothes, and a fruitful pilgrimage to Loehmann's in Bellevue.
-- Taking the bus into Seattle down to Pike Place Market for some great Ethiopian food and the best gelatto I've ever tasted.
-- Just driving around Seattle while Amelia napped, thinking how great it was that I was practically on the set to Grey's Anatomy. Also wondering if Seattle Grace Hospital really exists (it does not, as it turns out) and wondering if it would be worth finding it and going in. Then my pride got the better of me, I came to my senses, and I found an Anthroplogie.
-- Stopping in twice to see the Olympia Shacks.
-- Driving-- yes, I enjoyed it. I don't drive that much these days, and got to listen to a couple of great podcasts.

The most notable thing about the trip was that we were staying in a hotel with hoards of cyber athletes. Apparently, the World Cyber Games were being held there, and there were 15- 25 year old geeks from all over the world there (over 700 total.) I saw two girls, the rest were guys. I couldn't help but notice that Canadians were the only ones to have full red and white, maple leafed, track suits made for the occasion. I asked one of the Canucks (is that the right nickname?) if they were all really here from all over the world to play video games against each other. "Yes!" he said, beaming with pride. "That's hilarious!" I said (maybe it was unkind, but I was completely genuine in my amusement.) "It's not funny," he said, "it's AAAHHHsome!"
So, that was Seattle.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Temperatures have really dropped in the last two weeks, and our furnace and fireplace are not working. It's generally between 58 and 64 degrees in our house during the daytime! We finally got a space heater for litttle A's room two days ago, and someone from the gas company is coming over today to check things out. Not exactly a "warm welcome" to Northwestern weather!
We're going to Seattle this weekend for a conference that Jeff is attending related to autism. I've never been, so it should be fun to check out the city!