Monday, March 31, 2008

Whispering Hills Photo Update:

Garage Workshop

We passed our framing inspection Friday after our friend Mr. Simpkins failed it Monday - this time legitimately due to some of the insulators' errors. The infractions were so minor he might have passed it with a note, but nevertheless he doesn't know me and he found them fair and square.

We installed a "Flash and Batt" application of insulation on the original walls downstairs which is a hybrid use of 1" high R-value closed-cell spray foam and traditional fiberglass batts. The thought is that the closed-cell foam is another line of defense against smoke smells returning. We'll see. I've done everything you're supposed to do to rid the smell, but I'm concerned that on a 105 degree day it could return. If it does, it will really be a bummer since over 95% of the structure is brand new.

I had the sheetrock delivered Monday. I hadn't yet talked to any labor guys since I didn't know when I might pass the reinspection. I worked my labor situation out quickly Friday and had it started to hang in hours. I'm going as cheap as I know how to by hiring hanging and finishing crews directly cutting out a "sheetrock company" who would facilitate both, and take their cut. It's really helping that these labor guys don't have much going on right now. The hanging was done by lunch Saturday. I had the garage sheetrocked, which in hindsight was not a good decision - it will end up costing about $850. But check out the pictures - this garage is about as nice as you could build. Brick is about all you could add. It was built with attic trusses which are designed to allow for a 9' wide decked storage area. It has can lights and a separate work shop in the back.

On Saturday, Blake, Jose and I laid all the tile backer in the baths and kitchen/laundry while the siding guys finished up. On Sunday, I worked on finishing the deck. It is almost done. The areas which have no siding are going to have a vinyl cedar shake shingle which is on order. The shutters aren't installed yet either. Any thoughts on what color we should use?

We've got a tentative deal on our next place so we've got to get this one finished. Pictures of "Oak Hill Manor" to follow... developing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Pictures (AKA Why We Don't Take Many Pictures of the Kids Together)

I made a half-hearted effort to take the kids' picture after Worship on Sunday (Easter). By then, I had taken pity on Sophie and removed her tights. Also, she had drooled candy of various hues down the front of her dress, but to me that's part of the charm of the Easter holiday. So here are a few of the pictures (which also document not only why you so rarely see both of our kids in the same shot, but also how oblivious I am to the clutter - like the messy throw and the huge teddy bear - that makes it into my pictures).

Monday, March 24, 2008


Thanks to Isabella (featured above in the third shot from the bottom) and Mom Tasha for inviting us to the egghunt! We had a great time, even though egghunt and Easter Bunny Meet And Greet were rivaled by the hosts' Power Wheels for my children's attention.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sophie's Stats

Sophie went to her 18-month checkup on 3/18. Here were her stats:

Height 32" (50th percentile)

Weight 21 lbs, 14 oz (just under 25th percentile)

Head circumference - 49.5 cm (97th percentile)

I think her new nickname is going to be Lollipop!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

So Grown Up...

Sophie was looking so grown up the other day, I just had to take a picture. The irony is that by wearing a "baby-doll" top, she looked to me like a teenager in miniature.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Things I Don't Want To Forget

I am going to try to post, occasionally, the things that I don't want to forget, particularly about my kids at their current ages. In a way that's what our blogs are all about, but I'm afraid I overlook the obvious. I can already barely remember when Will was a baby, and I know soon I'll feel the same way about Sophie. So here's what I've been thinking...


1. The way Sophie says "Pleethe" instead of "Please".

2. Will crawling in bed with us in the morning and curling up on top of me, saying, "Mama, you got a kitty cat for Christmas. Me-owww."

3. That Will was originally Bammer the Christmas Elephant, who became Bammer-The-Christmas-Elephant-Who-Is-Real-And-Has-Two-Trunks, before Will realized that elephants are too big for houses and restaurants and decided to be Bammer the Kitty Cat instead.

4. Will building a house out of Lincoln Logs just for Sophie (who we call The Tornado) to knock down, and then calling her in so she can do it.

5. The way Sophie runs laughing to the bathroom when it is time for a bath.

6. Sophie's sweet, still, Koala-bear-style hug when I sing to her before putting her to bed.

7. How much I appreciate that Andy and I each put one of the children to bed each night now, alternating so that we both sometimes get quiet time with each child. (And how much I enjoy my Sophie nights, since she's so much faster to bed than Will!)

8. That my house is a constant wreck! One day my house will be (relatively) clean, and I will wish Will and Sophie were there to destroy it.

9. How nice it is that we aren't involved in sports or lessons or school yet (although I feel like our lives are already pretty crazy)!

10. Taking a big deep sniff of Sophie's hair the morning after bath night, when she smells like baby shampoo, nighttime lotion and sleepy baby. (Later in the day, her hair is likely to smell like the jelly, syrup or pudding she's smeared in it.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I know the ice cream man!

Here are some pictures of the current state of our Whispering Hills project. We've got the plumbing in and passed inspection, we've got the HVAC in and hopefully called in for inspection, and the electricans should wrap up the garage tomorrow. Oh yeah, the garage is built, and the roof was put on today.
The weekend before last I was working over at the house and was quite thirsty. I heard the ice cream man coming and thought that I should go buy a Gatorade from him. After thinking it over (It's always a rip off when bought off a "roach coach"/ice cream truck) I decide to stop him. As a walk up to the truck I realize I know the driver - one of the guys I bought the house from! Weird, and a little creepy. (Plus he didn't have any Gatorade.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Where's Mimi's "Daddy"?

While we were in Michigan a couple of weeks ago spending time with our adorable new nephew Nate, Will asked Mimi where her "Daddy" was.

Assuming he meant her husband, Mimi answered, "Well, Grandpa Jim was my husband, but he lives in Vermont now."

"Why does he live in Vermont?"

"Well, we couldn't get along, so he moved to another place."

Will was deep in thought about this for a moment. Then he asked, "Did you interrupt each other???"

Last week, he came home from Emily's with the news that, "Me and Keaton were playing Mimi today."


"Yes. I was Mimi and Keaton was Grandpa Jim."

I imagine there was a lot of interrupting going on at Mrs. Emily's house that week!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sippies: Today's Random Reflection on Modern Motherhood

Why do they sell sippy cups in two-packs? Why don't they come in 20-packs? Because that's about how many I need, based on the rate we lose them. And if they came in a 20-pack, not only would they be bound to be priced lower (because what manufacturer would have the gall to put an $80 price tag on a set of sippy cups???), but I would never count them once they were out of the package. Then I'd live in blissful ignorance about how many we'd lost. But instead, I have so many orphans from two-packs, I can't help but be reminded every time I take them out of the dishwasher that I have no idea where that other Spiderman cup lives, or that the nice matching Thomas the Train one with the stationary valve is nowhere to be found.

Add to this sense of loss the very real fear that they'll be recovered, full of soured milk under the seat of my car, or worse, that Sophie will retrieve one from under the couch and start drinking from it, and you have a serious case for alarm!