Friday, January 30, 2009
Also, the water situation seems to be okay. We have about 8 fans/heaters running to dry everything out, and the water remediation team will be back out today to inspect.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
This is not the kind of remodelling I like to do.
Monday, January 26, 2009
You are such a joy to be with. You are happy, obstinate, precocious, sweet, and ever cheerful. You love to dance, sing (your favorite song is Once Upon a Dream, or perhaps Baa, Baa, Black Sheep), jump, have tea parties, and help me in the kitchen. You almost always talk in complete sentences, with occasional Claireisms like, "I want all done," and "I sorry, Mommy". You are learning to get what you want by either being exceptionally cute, or accusing your sister of taking 'your' toy. You love Elmo and princesses, playing in the dirt and wearing dress-up shoes. You want to sleep in a 'big-girl bed' all the time, and you sleep well unless you have a bad dream or your sister wakes you up. You get very cuddly at nap time, and suck your thumb and rub your cheek when you are tired. After nap you happily exclaim, "All done nap!" and then you like to watch The Backyardigans or Toot & Puddle.
You want to be a big girl like your sister, and you look up to Kate with great respect. But you also are your own person, and I have seen Kate follow you in your activities from time to time. Your imagination is abundant and I am often amazed by what you come up with. I think you are looking forward to being a big sister, and the songs you sing to the "baby in Mommy's belly" are cherished. You love to read now, and will often sit down by yourself and read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? aloud, skipping the colors of the animals. You delight in playing hide and seek with Kate, even though you rarely hide, preferring to count loudly to ten.
We love you very much, Claire, and look forward to seeing you grow up before our eyes.
McLaren at her birthday party, refusing to let the sugar-induced cough stop her from eating more frosting.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Kate has been making me crazy at nap time recently. She plays in her room for the entire time, even when she clearly needs a nap. She'll be nodding off at lunch but will get a second wind at nap time, playing for hours with her Sleeping Beauty Barbie and all her accoutrements, refusing to close her eyes. Then at dinner she is a MESS, throwing fits and tantrums that make me want to pull my hair out. Today I had a grand idea: nap time in Claire's crib. Turns out 'sleep' was not what she had in mind until nearly the end of nap time: at one point she had the purple box in the lower left corner IN the crib with her (it had been within arm's distance), and I'm fairly certain the blanket she is lying next to was on the rocker which is NOT within arm's reach...
Claire came out of the pantry with this jar of fluff after nap, demanding, "Moshmallows fo' beckfast!" Note the look of glee on her face. She is a little confused about which meal time is when, but not what constitutes a good snack.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I was wandering slowly through the deli/cheese area, where I picked up some shaved turkey breast, ham and salami, and found myself facing the seafood department. Flash of genius: we don't have anything for dinner! Let's have fish! Instead of having the nice fish people fillet my trout for me, I bought them whole (or semi-whole: innards removed). I figured I would show Kate what a whole fish looked like, quickly and cleanly fillet all the fish, and fry them up for a tasty dinner. Kate was intrigued by the whole fish. I told her I bought Nemo for dinner and she was downright enthusiastic. [Later, after returning from Home Depot, Kate mumbled something about Nemo, and Tim asked her if she wanted to watch Finding Nemo. "No, I want to eat Nemo." Classic.]
As I prepared the pecan-flour mixture and egg wash, I had Tim look up how to fillet a fish. Before he found a site explaining it, I went at it with my knife. The fillets weren't pretty, but I thought I did a decent job with it, until I cut two of my fingers. Tim then got to try his hand at filleting. The fish turned out great, and the girls LOVED it. Looks like fish is back on the menu, boys.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I suppose I could take this opportunity to poll you all, however. Place your bets! Is it a boy or a girl?
We test-drove more cars yesterday. UGH. Someone tell me we are done already! We started with the Honda Pilot, which we both crossed off the list almost immediately. I love Honda, but I don't love that vehicle. There are too many things about it that I don't love, so I'll just leave it at that.
We also drove the GMC Acadia, which is flippin' expensive. I think they quoted us $44K for the one we drove? It was crazy talk. It was the nice model, but still. It was no Acura MDX, I can assure you. So, unless they can come up with a significantly better price and ditch the whole "we're getting a bailout so we don't need to lower our prices" attitude, we will not be buying one of those.
We then re-tested the Mazda CX-9, because it's my fave. I still love it. And it's waaaaay cheaper and better equipped than the GMC, so it's sort of a no-brainer. The only thing I realized, as I rode in the 3rd row, was that there are no ceiling vents. So if you are unfortunate enough to have to ride back there in the nose-bleed section (I'm looking at you, Claire), you have to rely on your older sister to not cut off your AC supply (located in the center console in front of the 2nd row) in the heat of summer. Also, there is no option for captain's chairs in the second row, which is so frustrating! That car would kick ass if it could have captain's chairs. And vents. Those two options are really why the Saturn Outlook and the GMC Acadia are still on the list.
After naps, we also drove the Toyota Highlander. I was in love and ready to walk down the aisle with it until we got back to the dealership and found out that the 3rd row doesn't split. So you either have the whole back seat up or the whole back seat down. I would have to choose between leaving a child home alone (a surprisingly appealing alternative, actually) and piling groceries in the front seat, because where am I going to put all my stuff? Unfortunate design, Toyota. You almost had me at "super comfy leather seats and a flip-up hatch window".
I think we are done test-driving, though, as I can't think of any other vehicles that appeal to me that we haven't already driven. I refuse to drive a mini-van because I will end up buying one of the damn things (see also: captain's chairs, good gas mileage, space space space, and sweet entertainment packages).
Monday, January 12, 2009
Claire decided to dress herself over the weekend. Tim brought her downstairs in this ensemble, and I was sure it was his doing until he corrected me. You never can tell.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
We also went car-shopping again yesterday. Joy. We drove the Hyundai Veracruz and the Chevy Traverse. Tim also drove the Acura MDX. I avoided driving it because it is way out of our price range and I didn't want to see the model house and have to buy the starter one, you know? Plus, I am pretty sure I drove one a little over a year ago, and fell in lurve with it.
Hyundai: not that memorable. The warranties are crazy good (one of them is 10 years, one is 5 and one is 3, I think, and you get all of them on your new vehicle), but the car itself doesn't stick out in my mind. It drove fine, had a good turning radius, was comfy, and the back row was fairly easy to access. It drove sort of like a truck, and I felt that the road noise was significant (possibly because I started out in the 3rd row, where it was very apparent).
Chevy: meh. I didn't like it that much. Tim liked it a lot, but he just rode as a passenger in the back and didn't drive it. For me, it was very squirrelly. I felt like we were driving in high winds, when the weather was pretty calm outside. Also, the heater/radio/accessory controls killed me. They were totally not intuitive at all; why would a car manufacturer do that? Why make things more complicated? Tim has told me about how they changed a couple of things from the old A-10 to the A-10C, and now you have to press 9 buttons to get the airplane to do something it used to take one button push to do...and that is what I thought of when I looked at the dash. When Claire and I were in the second row together, she pushed a button on the center console and turned the heat on full-blast. It took me nearly an entire minute to figure out how to turn it off. In the meantime, I accidentally turned on the radio (from the backseat! I hope the driver can disable that feature!). So, I'm pretty sure we will not be purchasing a Traverse.
Friday, January 09, 2009
This week, Kate has decided that she no longer needs afternoon naps. This, of course, coincides with my need to start taking them, so we've been a bit at odds. And the evenings. Well, those have not been so very pleasant. She is a wreck by dinner. Luckily, Tim has not been on nights, so he has been around to head off the tantrums, or at least deal with them civilly.
I keep forgetting to talk about my ultrasound last week. Isn't that just like a pregnant woman? The poor third child. The perinatologist said things are looking pretty good, except that there is extra fluid in the placenta. I'm not at the danger level, but they will keep an eye on it, as I guess one of the possible complications can be pre-term labor. Me, I just think that my body likes the extra fluid, because I am fairly certain I was fluid-heavy with Claire, as well, and also, have you SEEN my belly? Trust me, it's huge. Let's just say that when the doctor broke my water with Claire, he got soaked, mentioned something like, "WOW, that was a lot of fluid," and then went to change his scrubs. I also saw my belly visibly shrink, and I commented to Tim that I felt like I had just lost 5 pounds. TMI? Oh, sorry. But my point is that I don't think there is anything wrong with the baby, just that extra fluid is one of my pregnancy quirks.
Also, I got a couple of 4D pictures at the ultrasound! One of them is totally creepy: it looks like it's just a shin and foot floating there, not attached to anything, which I'm pretty sure they would have put in the "not normal" category if the leg really wasn't attached, so I'm not going to get too worked up over it. The face ones are kinda cute. Eh, on second-look, those ones could be considered kind of creepy, too, especially when I digitize them. How about if I just wait until the baby is born and then post pictures. I'm sure those photos will be a lot more generous.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Monday, January 05, 2009
Due to the pending due date of our third child, we need a new car. Me, I'm not really the mini-van type. I remember back in the 80s when my parents were shopping for a new car. It came down to the Mercury Sable station wagon or a mini-van, and I vehemently voted against the mini-van. Don't get me wrong; the Honda Odyssey is a wonderful machine (as are others, I'm sure), and there are many positive aspects to having a mini-van. But I just don't really want one at this point. So, crossover or large SUV it is. And I'm also not that into the large SUV, so
- Acura MDX (originally my favorite. Love love love.)
- Hyundai Veracruz
- Ford Taurus X
- Mazda CX-9
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Toyota Highlander
- GMC Acadia
- Saturn Outlook (the Acadia, Outlook, Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse are all pretty much the same vehicle, supposedly, although I think some of them look quite different than one another)
- Honda Pilot
- Honda Odyssey
- Toyota Sienna
Warning: geek-out mode now activated. I printed out the Consumer Reports sheets on all of them, and we went shopping. All of the cars, except the Saturn Outlook and look-alikes, are CR-recommended. Which totally bummed me out (and also confused me to no end), because I LOVE the Saturn Outlook. CR offers some wonderful opinions, but I don't always understand how they arrive at their conclusions. For instance, they give the Outlook a 75 and don't recommend it, but the CX-9 gets a 76 and a 'CR Recommended' rating. Wha?
We drove two, like I mentioned before, and liked both of them. The Mazda CX-9 is more luxury-vehicle than the Saturn Outlook. This surprised me, in that I didn't expect Mazda to be equated with luxury. When I think of Mazda, I think of the Miata and the RX-7, 80s throw-backs. But the CX-9 was really, really nice. Of course, it helps to drive the very highest of the high-end models, you know? But the leather seats: SO comfortable (and the heated leather seats: a wonderful experience for my tush on that chilly day). Lots of adjustments and extras and comfort features that I was not expecting (bluetooth enabled so you can hook up your phone to the car, voice-command navigation, tilt-adjustable headlights!), and the best part: the ease of moving the second row of seats to get to the 3rd row. You could do it with one hand. I would prefer captains chairs in the 2nd row, but you have to get to the bigger SUVs for that.
The Outlook had captains chairs in the 2nd row, which I loved. The captains chairs also rolled forward for even easier access to the 3rd row. All rows were surprisingly comfortable (as they were in the CX-9), with enough leg-room even for Tim. The Outlook drove more like a truck, and had less of a luxury feel as a result. But it handled well, and I liked it quite a bit.
Next weekend: Acura and hopefully the Honda Pilot, as these are the last two in my top-tier. I have a feeling that I will love everything about the Acura except the 3rd row (the vehicle is almost a full foot shorter than the CX-9 and the Outlook, so how can it possibly have as much leg room?).
Now, on a totally unrelated note, I am irrationally discouraged by the fact that my fat jeans are saran-wrap tight and that I am left with the choice between maternity pants and stretch pants. I am glad that it is winter and that I can get away with wearing my comfy velour track suit pants for the next couple of months, but am sad for the loss of my low-rise Old Navy jeans. I know I'm almost 26 weeks, and that maternity pants were unavoidable, but I still grieve.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Freakishly large snowmen made out of flowers.
Princess Kate at the Bellagio Conservatory.
1. Have a baby. (cheater)2. Lose weight. (cheater!)3. Go downtown at least once a month, preferably with the
children, but also sometimes without them, because it's nice to have a chance to
look around at your surroundings without yelling at someone to "come back here
right now or I'll put you in the stroller!".4. Begin running again after the baby is born.5. Find more creative ways to play with the children.