Monday, February 28, 2011

Poppy is Nine Months. And Ten.

Well our little critter went and grew two months in the blink of an eye. Crawling, check. Cruising, nearly. Standing up against anything and everything, YES. Hair still sticky-uppy, see for yourself.
Still all about grown-up food, yes. Steak, salmon, green peppers, pears, strawberries, chili, potatoes, cheese, you name it. If someone else is eating it, she wants it. And she loves her little sippy cup.These days Poppy has an eclectic set of interests: balloons, toilets, clothes pins, shoes, painting, canned goods, tissues, snow and loud noises are just a few. Plus anything her sisters are doing.It's a great age for fill-and-spill. Empty tissue boxes are especially fun to put things in and take things out of, but Tupperware and plastic bowls do the job just as well. She also loves to wrestle and laugh raucously; there is nothing cuter than a baby with a sense of humor.Rolling is overrated. She's done it on occasion so I know she can, but she does not care to. When she falls on her back, she is stuck like a beached whale and needs help sitting back up or getting on her tummy. This might annoy some parents but I find it a great boon to my life - the 10-month-0ld's resistance to diaper changes is furious and intense, and can result in wrestling matches at best and serious injury at worst...if your kid rolls. But all Poppy does is go purple in the face crunching her abs trying to sit straight up. Oh, she tries hard, and probably one of these days she'll do it, but for now let's keep rolling a secret!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Writing Sample

This morning Hazel slept in late. When she woke up she refused to do anything until she wrote down the story in her head. I wanted to hurry her along but it's hard to discourage a 5-year-old from spontaneous creative writing, so I told her she could write while she ate her breakfast.Luckily she read it to me so I can translate:
Once upon a time there was a prince and he was looking for a princess to marry. The queen suggested at the castle next door so he went there but they did not have a child. So then the king suggested the castle on the other side and when he got there he saw a princess and they got married. The end
They've been working on simple narrative structure - beginning, middle, end - at school. She wanted to take it to school to read to her class but forgot it, so I scanned it before it got lost. Here are just a few things I love about this sample: creative phonetic spelling, mixed upper/lowercase and sometimes backwards letters, straight-ish lines, inclusion of basic fairy tale elements without any pesky details.

Here's a picture I took of her on the way to school today. It just makes me happy:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sent from my Awesomeness

Ed done good. Turns out the un-subtle route reaped the best birthday ever. First, he sent me a gorgeous bouquet of tulips - it is so fun to receive delivered flowers! Second, he got me a brand spankin' new iPhone 4 which was released the day after my birthday.For most people this would be a cool upgrade from their current iPhone. But I've never had one, nor an iPad, nor an iPod touch, nor anything beyond a classic iPod which my kids have mostly taken over. I was using a dinky Verizon flip phone that was tempermental about delivering voice messages, and on which I probably sent less than 10 text messages in 3 years. I feel like I've time-warped from Anne of Green Gables to The Jetsons. I can do WHAT?! I can check the weather ANYTIME?! I can see my current location on a map, and the surrounding traffic?! I can text, and make lists, and send emails, and scroll my contacts like a digital rolodex whenever I want? And of course that's just the amateur stuff.

Apps. That's what this post is really about. I have a few. But it's like peeking through a pinhole at an alternate universe. Everyone I've talked to has their favorite apps. Seems like I'm only limited by my imagination - if I can think of it, there's an app for it, right? But I am simple-minded and still amazed at the weather thing.

The first night, I watched Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog on my phone from my Netflix queue just because I could. The next day, I entered all of my contacts and downloaded apps for Amazon, the scriptures, and a few free games, promptly and irrevocably becoming addicted to Bubble Explode. I also texted Ed several times just to tell him I'm texting.

I must be careful about my exhilaration. It's just a thing. Not everyone has one, or wants one. I must stop blushing and giggling when I say, "Let me check my iPhone." Gotta play it cool.

So really the point of this was to give Ed props for his cleverness - I had mentioned once or twice I'd like one but I was truly not expecting it! Also, want to know what your favorite apps are and why.

Oh, and one more thing - for Valentine's Day Ed sent me to a pedicure date with a girl friend Saturday morning - more props for him. I thought I'd do a blog post about it but I forgot my camera. Oh, wait, I had my iPhone! So I sent it to myself and changed the end tag to "Sent from my Awesomeness." And that is how I feel about that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Awesome House: New Front Door

Our front door, original to the 1979 house, is a disaster. Totally crooked, big breezy gaps, and not very secure. It especially hits in the winter, when the arctic chill, unhindered by a storm door, pours in and we have to wear coats to be downstairs, with the "heat" on. So as I mentioned a few times, we got ourselves a new door for Christmas.

Even though it's a smallish purchase, there are way more options than I realized. It's one of those many home improvements you don't think about until you have to, and then you get overwhelmed by all the decisions - brand, material, size, style, color, decorative glass, inside handle, outside handle.

We chose our contractor using Angie's List, totally the way to go. They were great. I won't walk you through every decision - a blog post about doors is at great risk of being boring so I'll just get right to the pictures, and with a few notes. ("Before" pictures are first in each set.)I know. The first one looks cooler. It's because of the color, just so bold and Scandinavian, I loved it. But that was really the only thing it had going for it. The new door is fiberglass, and only came in certain colors. I'm still not sure we made the right choice, but it's fine.

Looking at these pictures reminds me I want to change out those lights, totally don't go with the house. Should have done that for a big impact before-and-after shot. I'm putting it on the to-do list. If you've got nothing to do, go search porch lights and send me links to something you think would go.

We went for a single door with sidelites because it's more secure and has fewer edges for air leakage. Also lets in nice light and the kids love being able to look out at who is coming and going.
But you know what I really love? The lovely tight suction sound it makes when I open or close. It has a seal. It fits the frame. The locks fit together. Just like a real door, and unlike our old one.

Inside view: on the old door, see that bolt thing at the top? Useless because it didn't fit the top piece when the door was closed. Nice. On the new door, we opted for an upper inside-only thumbturn in addition to the regular lock, for extra security at night and also so kids can't open the door when it's locked. Not that our kids are runners, but they do have a tendency to open the door for visitors/strangers without me knowing, even though I've told them not to. Now they can't, ha ha!

The night after we got it, a few friends came over and at least two of them got confused and thought they were at the wrong house - funny, right? It makes a difference, inside and out. Kind of feels like a new house when we come and go. So glad we did it. So glad we don't have to worry about it anymore. My house is awesome.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Quiet Birthday Morning

Ed's at work. Ginger and Hazel are at school. Poppy is taking a nap, bless her. The house is quiet, quiet, quiet. I've just posted on VGP and am about to go bake something in quiet. Here are some pictures I took this morning of my very favorite people. I'm 36 today. Who could ask for anything more?**That is a rhetorical question. If you actually want to get me something, my wishlist is here.
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