Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Claire counts.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I am hearing things. Unexplainable things. Here's the set-up:

Our kitchen is downstairs, as most kitchens are, and Kate's bedroom is right above it. The girls' bathroom is also above the kitchen, a little bit towards the middle, and probably above the cook top and microwave. Kate's bedroom is carpeted; the bathroom is tile. A few times a day for at least the past week, I randomly hear what sounds like someone dragging a heavy object across a solid surface floor. Specifically, it sounds like a bed or large table grinding across a tile or hardwood floor. This happens when there is either no one upstairs, or when the girls are asleep. In any case, there is no piece of furniture that either of them could be dragging around to make the sound.

It's not really creeping me out; it's just weird, and I can't explain it. In the vicinity are:
  • a refrigerator (with ice maker, but we rarely use it, so it rarely makes ice, and even the making of the ice does not sound like what I keep hearing)
  • the laundry room (neither the washer nor the dryer are in use when it happens)
  • a water heater (in a cubby hole in the garage, right next to the laundry room. This is the only thing that is a possibility in my mind, although I can't see how it could be making this noise.).

Any ideas? Is our house haunted? It seems a little new for this. It is intriguing, however.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A classy night

We went to McDonald's for dinner. I just couldn't bear the thought of making another meal for the 3 of us (Tim is TDY again). Kate is back to her picky phase, and Claire is starting to like how her sister thinks. There is not a lot of eating that goes on at the table unless it involves macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly, cheese, or fish sticks. Unless you count ketchup for Claire. That kid could eat her body weight in Heinz on a weekly basis.

We made it to McDonald's with only one minor incident (Kate has learned how to unbuckle her seat belt while sitting in her booster seat, and has also learned that spankings follow any such action that occurs when the car is in motion). Once inside, they made straightaway for the prize vault to see what they would get in their Happy Meal boxes. Is that a sad indication of how often we visit Old McDonald's? Really, we go maybe once a month, if that. I think Kate has a keen memory for certain things. I guess I shouldn't also mention that Claire can spot the golden arches from approximately 2.3 miles away?

We got our meals and sat down to enjoy some greasy food in the play area, which is the only place we can now sit when at McDonald's. I proceeded to eat my hamburger while watching a little boy and his father? grandfather? interact. Grandpa (I'm sticking with it: he was older and didn't seem to have a firm grasp on discipline that one usually possesses as parent) was eating an ice cream cone, and apparently the boy had already finished his. He was whining for another one. Then, after sliding down the curly slide, he grabbed the crotch of his pants and sort of pulled them up, sharing a view of the wet spot with everyone in the play area. There was a small exchange between man and boy, and then the boy climbed right up on the play equipment and slid down the slide again. I was totally dumbfounded. I think my jaw might have dropped open. There was no ensuing trip to the potty, and no change of clothes. Needless to say, there was not a lot of playing on the equipment by Kate and Claire post dinner.

Anyway, Claire had ketchup all over her (see above), even in her armpit. How does that happen? We drove home (to the constant sound of, "May the force be with you," from the back seat) and immediately had a long, cleansing bath. Tim is on his way back from NC and will arrive in time to cook the next meal. Woot.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Disregard the mess, and pick a color

Kate's room is still in total disarray, mostly because I haven't purchased any additional furniture for her yet, beyond the prized red bed. Don't even ask about bedding at this point. I am undecided as to which color of wood looks better with the red: the light (crib color), or the dark (dresser color). Which one do you like best?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Called Out...

Yes I took the camera, Elizabeth, and yes I took some pictures. I'm sure summer in Germany is the best time to visit - it was beautiful and reminded me of Oregon...except for the DJ on the radio. The music was the same as here (I missed all the Hasslehauf songs) but Kid Rock is more fun to listen to on the autobahn. The drive to my meetings was a bit crowded, so I took some pictures... but at 5 am on the way back the road was wide open!

Fabulous Cathedrals in the old world.

I had a few hours free but no guide and no tour book... "Beef" loaned me a GPS though that got me to Trier for a few hours, and back home via country roads (with no map of course). I enjoyed my six hour tour of Germany. Next time I'd like to take the family.
Below is the old Trier City Gate built by ... the Romans. This was where I had dinner.

This was on the drive home. The Germans seem to be going for wind power and the wind mills made for some dramatic scenery at sunset.

My rental was fun to drive. It was a Peugot. It looked like a go-cart, turned like a go-cart, accelerated and stopped like a go-cart... must be a go-cart. But I'd never driven a go-cart that had such good acceleration above 80 mph. Even the go-carts in Germany are good when the speed limit changes to "No Limit".

Not so economical either. The go cart cost $66 to fill up.

That's all for now. I hope you all are well. Next week's trip won't be near as much fun.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sporting a new look

Dora underwear on her head.

Giant bruise on her forehead.

Potty-training is going pretty well. Kate still does not tell me when she has to go, but if I put her on at the right times, we don't have accidents. We are not yet accident-free, but who is at this age?

Claire loves to say, "What is it?" She asks this question of everyone and everything.

Unpacking. Still a nightmare. But my friend Amie from Seattle came to visit over the weekend, so I had a good excuse to ignore the boxes stacked everywhere.

I bought sample cans of paints to test on various walls of the house. I painted patches on many, many walls, thinking I would just repaint over them with the white wall paint in the garage. Only problem is the white wall paint isn't white - it is the outside trim paint. Sweet. Do you know how many shades of white exist? Hint: it's a LOT.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Random stuff

We had poo today! Ooh, sorry to throw that one at you without warning, but Kate finally achieved this potty training milestone. We will see what tomorrow has in store. She rather enjoyed the coveted chocolate bar she got as the reward, although I am concerned that she will demand one every time in the future. Ah, well, better than diapers, right?

The girls got into my make-up today. There was a lot of lipstick, generally on the lips, and it was adorable. I would show you pictures, but Tim took the camera with him to Germany, and I have not yet figured out how to download pics from my phone.

Tim is TDY in Germany for five days. Who goes to Germany for five days? Or, two days, for that matter, as that's about how long he is actually going to be there.

The girls and I got to Skype with him tonight, which they thought was GREAT.

We are in the middle of a mild wind storm right now, which I love, but would love more if it included pounding rain and thunder. I miss the Arizona monsoons with a passion.

I also miss my Parents' Day Out program there. So So Much. There is nothing here like that! It's a tragedy. I did get us a membership today to the YMCA, which has free daycare while you are working out. It's a distant second. I mean, working out is great and all, but sometimes I just want to go have a coffee or go to the grocery store by myself! This will give me a great excuse to go work out, though, which I desperately need.

I had big plans to get tons of stuff done while Tim is gone, but am starting to realize that was probably a pipe dream. House maintenance takes Forever. But I did get 2 boxes of books unpacked today, which I considered to be a huge feat. Soon we will be left only with the Boxes That No One Wants To Open: files.

Claire is trying to jump. She has gotten close enough to doing it that she is slightly obsessed by it. But she can't quite figure it all out, so she runs really fast and then sort of leaps with one foot out in front.

Kate's new phrase: "my friend ___". Tonight it was, "...and then on Saturday my friend Daddy will come home and we'll eat yummy bresstess (breakfast)...". Also her friends: me, Claire, Starbuck, bunny and blanket.

Claire so wants to be like her big sister and sit on the potty. She tells me when she wants to sit down, but only once have we had luck. I have the feeling that this is a fleeting opportunity, but am unsure how to grab hold of it and never let go.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Day 4

We are potty training again. We have been potty training off and on for like 2 years now. Mostly off, by the way. I'm not that dedicated. But Kate is showing most of the 'signs' of being ready, so we are trying again. Also, I'm tired of changing diapers for 2 kids, and Kate is almost 3.

The first day was not so good. I think we had approximately 4 changes of underwear in a one hour period of time.

The second day was better, although we went to a First Friday event at Tim's squadron that afternoon, during which Kate wore a diaper.

Yesterday was also not so good. I questioned my ability to ascertain Kate's readiness, and my parenting skills in general. Kate spent the morning whining about how she didn't want to wear big girl underwear. Tim talked her down from the ledge (and me, as well, for that matter), and she ended up in undies for most of the day, with only one accident (I think). Yesterday afternoon I bought her some Dora and Tinkerbell underwear, which she loves. Bunny is wearing some Tink ones today, while Kate is sporting Dora. Another crowning achievement: Claire went pee on the potty yesterday for the first time. Oh, how wonderful it would be to have 2 children potty-trained this month! Ha.

My only major problem so far is that Kate will pee on the potty when I put her on it, but will not tell me when she has to go. When exactly is this skill acquired? Or, dear God, am I starting too soon? I HOPE NOT. Other minor problem: poo. But everyone says they have that problem, so I'm crossing that bridge when we have the pee part better mastered.

I re-ordered the book, Potty Power, which my friend Erika swears by, and am hopeful that when it shows up in my mailbox, we can use it as reinforcement. Until then, I will take any advice I can get.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

*&#*% post office

I have a strong suspicion that all of our mail is not arriving at our new address. Actually, it's more than a strong suspicion: my grandma sent Tim a birthday card 3 times, and only on the third try (to the same address) was it delivered. And I just checked to see where the Potty Power book I ordered for Kate 3 weeks ago was...and guess what. It got returned to Amazon because of an incorrect address. Are you kidding me? It's not like Amazon hand wrote the address! So, I apologize to those of you who have sent things to us, only to receive them back undeliverable. The only thing I can say is that we are in North Las Vegas, not just Las Vegas. Even then, it's a crap shoot.
Update: we are now up to 4 known instances of missing postal material. I hope this will be the end of it, but if not, I'm sorry!