Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm trying, here.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I have been quite remiss in posting. Too much going on (or too much that needs to be done, and one little boy who is now insistant on being cuddled in order to eat or nap in the evening). Ugh, I will be happy when this renovation is complete. While I don't mind spending time in the old office (I never really had a good reason to go into that room before), it's not in a convenient place. I used to be able to rock LG to sleep downstairs, put him into his bouncy seat, and wash some dishes or clean the kitchen. Even sneak in some laundry, all the while either being in full site of him, or being able to sneak a peak. Now, if he naps, he's on the 2nd floor, in a corner, and not convenient to anything. But I'm done whining.

LG has grown. Wowzers. We thought he might have been going through a growth spurt (lots of sleeping and whining) but who can really tell, in the end. Then this morning, I dropped him off at school. His friend Addison, who used to be his size, if not larger, is now visably smaller. The boy is getting tall! Not wider, however. His outfits are still wide on him, but not long enough. I guess that's good, right?

I will try to snap some photos of the room in progress tonight. There is no longer a floor. At all. All exposed floor joists and then, boom, basement. You can stand in the kitchen and look at the washer/dryer. Now if only I could just reach down to move the laundry.

ok, back to the back.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Can we fix it?

Yes, we can (well, I think so!). Ok, sorry for the Bob the Builder reference, but our last construction fiasco has just reconfirmed my thinking that we should just blow up our house and PB can rebuild it from the basement up. But we will not. We will continue on our path. We have taken up the concrete from where the old bathroom was (a job and a half).
Here you can see that in progress. And when it was all done:



In this one you can see the floor joists that we found out we have to replace (because they were in the middle of concrete and have rotted out, go figure). That is this week's project. And then the sub floor, so I stop having holes in my living room.

Then PB cut out the floor along the wall, so that we can get the sub floor out as far to the outer walls as we can:


If you want to know why, you'd have to ask him. I understand, but in that way that I just trust he knows what he's doing...



And after a week of looking like jungle camouflage, we have found a wall color! Really. Briarwood. For anyone who saw our house in River, it's the same color as the old living room. For those who never saw us in River:

It's the largest painted area, with the white peaking out the top. We decided to go with a light primer under it. So, everyone is happier now. We thought we had a winner with the dark green, but then PB realized it's the color of baby poo. And who wants to sit in a baby poo room? So, Briarwood it is. Sigh.

I have more pictures, but I'm feeling too lazy to post them. If you want to see, you'll have to come visit.







All we are saying...

is give peas a chance. And the little guy did. Ok, they were green beans. But he really did like them. And he ate way more than we thought he would, and kept most of it in. Here is how it progressed:
The practice before the actual food:

And then the green beans:This shot does not really express how it happened. He was opening his mouth when he had finished swallowing, and leaning towards the spoon for more. It was impressive. But then he discovered he liked how the felt squishing in his hands, too, and it was down hill from there. But we are now a happy veggie eater! Go LG.

Other than that, nothing new to report on the LG front. My job is still sucky, but it is better than monday (I did manage to get the lid on the box in which I keep my job by Tuesday morning- thanks for all the words of support!).

There is a small plague going through our house, and I am the current possessor. Yeah.

More construction pictures in the next post, I promise!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday, Schmunday

Oh, really now. I have many exciting things to blog about, but today I am hating my job too much to even blog for you people. I have pictures of construction, pictures of LG eating his first veggies. I even have a title all picked out. But because I am hating my job, I've got nothing.

Normally, my job is but one tiny part of my life that I can close into a box the minute I leave, but not this weekend or today for some reason. Oh, yeah, because it has sucked in larger increments by the day for the last two weeks. That could be why. And PB says I can't quit yet. I would like to comment on the fact that I have not resorted to his tactics from GE, which included greeting me at the door every night with "Can I quit my job?". But the hating it part is right up there.

Now, I know someone out there is asking why. Why all of a sudden do I loathe my work situation? Not all of a sudden. I just usually don't whine about it. It's the same krappe as always (things like, I don't have a desk to call my own, which seems trivial, but you try it for a month or two, never mind two years, or not having a "boss" but having to make many different people happy, as they all have a hand in my future). In the end, I'm just not cut out for this. And I knew I wouldn't be. It's a means to an end. If I can stick it out at least another year (ideally another 3 years...) then I will be in a nice place to move on. With some "good" experience. But another year seems like forever right now. Really, I almost walked into the faux HR lady's office this morning and handed her my laptop.

But I didn't. And now I will stop the whining, because nobody wants to hear this krappe. But if you see me on the street and I growl, cut me some slack for a few days. I will crawl into a hole somewhere, snuggle my kid and be alright in the end (I hope). Other wise, look for me on the evening news. I'll be the one in orange, who's neighbors and family keep saying was "such a nice girl".

Monday, July 14, 2008

Let the sunshine in...

And here we have:

My new window! In the living room! Woo hoo. And no major mishaps to report. Everyone has all of their fingers, and we didn't find anything too awful about our house. It really looks nice. Changes the whole appearance of the room. And lets in a lot of light, for just one window. It's made me very happy already, and we're not even in the room at all yet!
Here is the before:
And the during:
Don't PB and Uncle B do nice work? I think they might have even had some fun. I couldn't say, though, as LG and I made our selves scarce. Didn't want to get in the way, or anything. I'm sure there was much grunting and beer drinking, as it was construction work.
Sigh, a window. PB is going to work on finishing up the ceiling this week (it needs some smoothing and another coat of goo in spots). Then next weekend is the sub floor. And then we paint the walls (don't ask about colors- I have some samples but nothing is set in stone). We might be done by the 9th of August. This really is coming along nicely.
Now that we're a little closer to making it a reality, we've talked about re-arranging the room. If you've been there, you know that all the furniture was towards the back of the house, and facing the outer walls (so when you entered, people on the couch had their backs to you). That left a weird amount of free space that was relatively unused. We're thinking of putting the TV on the opposite wall now. That would leave the free space toward the back of the house, and make it more open next to the kitchen. Then LG could use this as play space, and I could still see him from the kitchen. And nobody would have their back to the kitchen if they were sitting on the couch. We'll see, though. It's all pretty open for now.

Something tells me...

it's all happening at the zoo. I do believe it, I do believe it's true.

We took LG to the zoo for the first time last week. It was an interesting time. I think he like the camels most. And he seemed to enjoy the polar bears. I think he could see and smell the camels most, so he at least had something to look at.


This is pretty much the only good picture we got that day with him in it, though. He squirmed something fierce the whole trip (which I'm sure made him look all the more appealing to the lions and tigers). PB and I learned that not even the zoo keepers go into the tiger enclosure while they're in it, though. Too dangerous. Interesting, no?
This is a picture to prove that I do try to get hat on my kid. It just doesn't stay there. He was miserable with it on, so I didn't have the heart to make him keep it on. I can't wait until he's old enough for sunblock. I'll just lotion up his little noggin and we'll all by happier. I have to say, I just love the way to zoo points out the "photo opportunities" for you. As though you might miss the lion right in the front of the zoo.
Now this little number is for all the people who think my kid is really smart:

Yes, the photo is dated July 13th. Yesterday. For those not living in Ohio, it was sweltering out here yesterday. And he insisted on having his Grammie blanket over his legs. Insisted. Cried until we put it on him. That blanket is like crack for napping. No other blanket will do. Not a lighter one, or another color. God forbid I wash it, or someone else put a finger on it. Now, admittedly, it is a beautiful blanket. And it's really soft. And, well, Grammie made it, which makes it all that much more special. But really, in 90 degree heat? The kid kills me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A will or a way...

Riddle me this, why do people get all emotional about writing up a will? I agree, it does remind one of ones own mortality, but in the end it is a business transaction. There is no emotion attached to my krappe. Take it, why will I care? I'll be dead.

Recently, PB and I started the process of getting our will together. Who to leave LG to and all that sort of stuff. What to do with our carcasses and our belongings should we meet our ultimate end. And I'm ok with this. I can list off all the people who can scavenge my mortal items. Take it, if it means anything to you.

I guess in the end, I don't care what you do with me, either. I'd feel bad taking up space in a cemetery, so I'd hope they'd be considerate enough to cremate me. But after that? A "Chock Full O'Nuts" can in the bottom of the closet will do. I'll be dead for Jebus' sake. Don't worry about me. If my dead body will be my biggest worry in the afterlife, something has gone seriously wrong.

However, this all being said, who to leave LG to was a much larger issue. Really, really large. You don't only have to consider who will take the best care of him (I'm sure any of the many relatives or friends would take him in and raise him as their own). You have to take into consideration the burden that would put on these people. And, again, they would all do it willingly, but who wants to put that on them? LG has two cousins within a year of his age. That would be two kids in the same class at school. Not fair. Other families already have 3 or 4 kids, some will be long done with kids before LG even hits his teen years. All things to think about. He'll have a trust, but kids are expensive. We don't want to over burden anyone. Next (and potentially, most importantly), who would raise him most like we would? That was a tough one. Many of our family hold some different beliefs than we do (not drastically different, but different enough). Others just handle things differently than we do (not wrong, just different). Lastly, was there anyone who fit all the other categories for whom taking LG would be a true blessing? That was the key, I think. And we found our almost perfect answer (no, nobody is PB and I, so nobody was perfect). Whew. It was a difficult exercise, but it's done. And though our decision upset a few people, we're pretty happy with it.

Oh say can you see?

Well, this really was a long weekend! I'll admit, now that LG is vocal and mobile, he's hard to entertain. You have to keep up with him from about 6:am to 11:pm, with brief naps in which you can, you know, get stuff done.

On the 4th we went to our first parade. Woo hoo, I love a good parade. Give me some Shriners in Fez with tassels and small vehicles, and I'm in heaven. No Shriners at this one, but maybe it's good to start small. We don't want to build expectations.



LG sat in his stroller like a big boy and looked at all the cars and people passing by. And my desensitization exercise worked. I had been playing some bagpipe music in the car with LG all week so that when we got to the parade the sound of ducks having the life squeezed out of them didn't frighten him. Not a flinch. He startled once when we heard the first old fashioned horn honk, but after that he was all eyes. You'd think a firetruck was a feat of engineering genius the way he stared. But I guess when your 5 months old, it is.

After that, we hung out at Auntie J and Uncle BH's house with all the cousins and Aunties and Uncles and such. Good times. Much rolling was done, and many walks around the yard were had.


The rest of the weekend was mainly working on the tree in the yard (now fully taken care of) and the ceiling in the living room. Hopefully, the ceiling will be done early this week, so the window or the floor can be done next weekend. I will admit, the idea of having PB and his friends (read: not professionals in this area) cut a hole in my wall to put in a window does make me nervous. This is exactly the kind of thing we always criticize. None of them have done this before, and I'm not sure which one thinks they can do it. I promise to take many breaths while this is all going on. Or just go out for the day and hope it's done when LG and I return. With lots of new lovely light in our living room.

On another note, what happens to kids clothes between 9 and 12 months? I see newborn, 3-6, 6-9 or 6-12, but it's slim pickings in the 9-12 range. Do they suffer in tight clothes for a little while before you just give in and put them in clothes that are too big for them? Who can tell. Grammie H and I managed to find a few cute things this weekend, but it's really not easy. She's on the hunt for some more stuff (and if anyone can find it, she will. she's magic that way). Any advice on this matter, or a direction to go in, please fill me in. LG is fast approaching the 6-9 size and I think we're all covered there. I have enough summer and fall stuff for this stage (because we will change seasons before he's 9 months...). I guess this happens to everyone, though. And naked really isn't an option in the Cleveland winters.


Here's a picture of our first Hawaiian shirt Friday for LG.

It was a while ago, but I forgot to post it then. Aren't they cute? PB was not pleased with me forcing him to take a picture at 7:am before school (as the face shows). A cousin from Mass sent us LG's Hawaiian shirt as a nod to our Hawaiian shirt wedding. They really are the coolest (thanks Dr. and Mrs. C!) LG was definitely the best dressed kid in school that day.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cool Toy

Ok, I'm a dork. I will freely admitt that. If you have some time for fun, check this out http://www.davidbessler.com/pulldown/pipecleaner_dance3.swf. Take a few minutes out of your day to play with it. I had some fun making up a little dance, even (can you tell I had the day off?)

Yup, "the firm" gave us the day off. Right around the same time they listed out our holidays. And we all realized they are skrewing us around the winter holidays. Go team...

For my special day off, I spent the first three hours after I dropped LG off at school at the dentist. Where the news wasn't the greatest, but I will not put you through that. Then, PB told me not to go pick LG up early. Uhm? Why not?

Because he was coming home early to take me to lunch! At the Cabin Club! Ooooh, la, la. We had a whole meal where we didn't worry that LG would either wake up, or need to be entertained. Just to us. To talk. About stuff. It was rather nice. Though I felt guilty and kind of missed him.

He was chilling with his girlfriend M on the mats when we went to get him. Funny, he was chilling with his girlfriend A when we left. Such a social little guy.

Living room update:

The wallpaper border is down (thank god) and PB is presently putting the ceiling back together. Progress is being made. Stop by for a view if you're around town.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Let me explain...

Many people are wondering what PB stands for. No, not Papa Bear (how silly, people... really now). It stands for Papa Badger. I will explain.


When Dan and I started dating he did not sport his current facial fur. However, he didn't like shaving then any more than he does now. So, he usually sported a 2 day stubble. Good times.

At that same time, we both discovered the comic strip "Sheldon" and fell in love with it. So, when this strip came out http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/030806.html (the original art of this is hanging on our kitchen wall, if it looks familiar to anyone). The phrase "like smooching a badger" became a tag line. And PB was nicknamed DB at the time for D Badger (sorry, if you don't know his first name already, I'm not telling you now...). Now that we have LG, he became PB (PapaBadger). To further complicate it, PB bought me a stuffed badger that Christmas that I named Baxzter. Hence the screen name Baxzter's Mom and Baxzter's blog.

Long and convoluted (not to mention a little weird), but now you know. And hopefully, you will read some other Sheldon comics and get hooked. It's a very addictive strip.

And now for the tree pictures:

As you can see, it's not necessarily the biggest tree in our yard, but it had many branches and did give quite a bit of coverage of the back 25 (no, we don't have a back 40, but we do like to keep our distance from our neighbor in the back.). It wasn't integral to our landscaping (and it missed the darn pool). Still, sad to see a tree come down. A large part of our buying this house was that it was on so much land with so many trees (and we can pretend that we don't have neighbors at all!) I'm trying to find one of those organizations that want's more trees planted and is willing to give them out free. I'll take a few to replace some of the recent carnage from these high winds. Anyone know of such an organization? If I had known about this last summer, the red maple would have gone in back, but that's life, I guess.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In which I...

resist the urge to smack the kid at the ticket box. I had to go purchase a gift card for the movie theater this morning on my way to work. And in my head I worked out that a $50 card only gets you 5 tickets. So I happened to say, "Wow, that's not a lot of movies for $50." And the little punk behind the glass (and it's a good thing he was) says, "Yeah, what were movies when you were a kid? $5?". When I was a kid? What do I look, 50? Snot nose brat. As a matter of fact, the first movie I went to alone only cost $2. It was a manitee of the Black Cauldron. Back when a matinee was every movie before 5:00.

Which leads me to remember some things nostalgically. Like waiting in line to see "ET" with my folks at an old movie theater in my home town that no longer exists. Or going on my first real date with a boy (yup, I was 16) to see "Memphis Belle". My last real outing alone with my Dad was to see "Sister Act" with Whoopie Goldberg (he thought she was hysterical, and really liked the music). I could go on forever about movies and how much I love them. Thank goodness PB does, too. I think my all time favorites are "Stand By Me" (I will admitt that I had a think for River Pheonix) and "Shawshank Redemption" (no matter how many times I see it on TBS).

Onward, though. To pictures.

The hole that is cemented over? Yup, toilet hole for the old bathroom. Pretty sure this is not how you're supposed to fix this one before you put carpet right on top of it. Yes, you read right. Not a lick of wood above the cement. Just carpet pad and carpet.

This one is the lovely job of putting in patches where they took down walls. All I can say about this is that it's kind of cool to see the old floor plan. And if he had done the job right, and taken out the old floor, put down plywood and then carpeted, we would never be able to do this.

Sorry, this one is sideways. But some folks didn't believe that he didn't stain the sides of the window frame. Now you see the proof. At least we won't have to sand the stain off the whole window frame (as it is a pukey orangey stain that won't match a single thing and it's not varnished, so it looks like royal krappe.)


What's under the duct tape, you ask?


Why, a hole, of course. I believe the old heating pipes came up here, though one can't be sure.

In this one you can see where the old cement board is from the original bathroom (in the right corner of the picture) and some of the old layout of the house. You can also catch a glimpse of PB's sexy legs and backside, but that's just bonus footage.

Here's how the ceiling looks right now. You can see where PB took off all the drywall tape and sanded off the "texture". He also fixed up some of the parts of the ceiling that were crumbly. Fun stuff, I tell you.

If you happen to be out there in cyberspace catching up on us via the blog, unlurk! I think it's hysterical that you guys send me e-mail to talk to me. Post a comment, for the love of Pete! All you need is a google e-mail (which many of you already have!)