Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Meet Louie.

The newest member of our family has arrived:  a big, big van.

With another baby on the way, we were out of room in our trusty little Honda.  Time for something bigger.

We debated the merits of various options, but I really did not want the standard 12-15 passenger van.  I came across the Dodge Sprinter as I was doing my research, and I was intrigued by the seating arrangement (seats with headrests!  seats with shoulder belts!  a sliding door!) and the diesel Mercedes engine.

After many months of looking online (nothing nearby was in our price range -- and the passenger version is fairly scarce), I located one in St. Louis.  Bob was there for work a month or two ago, and visited the Sprinter.

We went out to buy it this past weekend.

Wow.  There was some immediate buyer's remorse on my part.  This van is embarrassingly big.  It's huge.  It's taller than everything else, longer than everything else, very very easy to spot in a parking lot.

I'm starting to like driving it (it handles surprisingly well), but parking it still puts the fear of God in me.

Without further ado, meet Louie:

I think I'm going to like him.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I am so grateful for my husband.  He's the man of my dreams, and the best father to our children I could ask for.  (Have I mentioned that we're having another baby?  I know it's been a while since I've blogged... We've got a little boy arriving at the end of October.)

In honor of Bob, I'm posting this video that he loves.  He quotes it year-round.  Yes, he's living and loving the dad life...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oh, Caroline.

This morning, as with every morning, we were scrambling to get out the door for school. I had everyone dressed before breakfast (that doesn't always happen), everyone got a good breakfast (this doesn't always happen), and we started bundling up to head out to the car. I had "preheated" the car, since it was 31 out there this morning. I had found everyone's hat and mittens, everyone had on a coat, I had packed some things we'd need while we were out. I'd even remembered both Caroline's backpack and the gallon of apple juice she was supposed to bring for her Thanksgiving feast. (Because no Thanksgiving feast is complete without apple juice.) I had managed to keep my cool and not get irritated with anyone as we were leaving, and I was feeling pretty good about things.

Then, as I was walking her up to the steps to her preschool, I noticed that I had failed to do her hair. Or even brush it. Oh well, it was looking long and wavy and lovely nonetheless. No big deal.

It wasn't until I picked her up from school and brought her home that I discovered...

When I'd sent her upstairs to grab a sweater or sweatshirt for school, she had instead grabbed a white 2T (as in, for 2-year-olds) onesie and put it on under her shirt. And added a pair of tight-fitting pajama shorts under her jeans, just for good measure. (It's possible that she may know a man that wears boxer briefs, and she often tries to recreate that look herself.)

All would have still been well, except that she got hot at school. So she removed her shirt and just wore her onesie (!) and jeans ... with the top of her jammie shorts visible above the waistband of her jeans. I'm still slightly mortified.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dear Toilet, I still miss you.

It's been 11 1/2 weeks since our bathroom was intact, though I suppose "intact" may be a bit of stretch in describing its condition.

However, since then, it's been much less intact.

The room has been stripped down to just walls and subfloor, with a hole in the floor where the toilet will be. Meanwhile, the foyer has become the storage area for all the new fixtures. If you were to come visit our home, you'd be greeted by boxes and boxes (and boxes). A sink, a toilet, four boxes of tile, sconces, faucet, toilet paper holder, towel ring, etc. Lots of boxes.

I really thought this project would take about a week. I was trying to be cheerful about the lack of first-floor-bathroom. In week two, I started getting grumpy. At about week eight, it ceased being that big a deal. It's irritating when someone has to wait while someone else is in the bathroom, but we're getting by.

That said, it will be lovely when this bathroom is DONE.

At the beginning, I ordered a light fixture for the ceiling and learned that it was on back-order. They estimated 4-8 weeks. I was disappointed that the bathroom would be done long before the light came in, but I decided not to worry about it. Now, it's unclear which will be ready first, the light or the bathroom.

The tile guys came this morning to prep for the tile. Our house is 100 years old, so the floors aren't totally level. This morning, they pour self-leveling compound so that the tile will have a totally flat surface to mount to.

Tomorrow, they'll lay the tile. And then we can get to the fun stuff of installing all the things in that are in the foyer. This is the first time I've ever designed a room, top to bottom, and I'm excited to see how it comes together.

I'll do a photo tour of the room (which Bob is calling the Fritz Carlton, thanks to all the work that our friend Fritz has done for us) as soon as it's done.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I miss having a toilet.

Downstairs, that is.

Anyway, we're in the midst of a bathroom remodel, by necessity.

The sink didn't drain (we've had that fixed now), and the toilet was about as bad as it could be.

It sucked, but only figuratively.
It rocked, but only literally.

The toilet had to go. And since the floor around it was soft, we ended up in the "while we're at it..." mindset.

Now, everything will be new except the medicine cabinet. I can't wait.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I don't get it.

We had a wonderful weekend visiting friends in Ohio. We stayed with some dear friends who have a dairy farm. Before we left, we stopped by the calf barn so the kids could see (and smell, and hear, and touch) some calves. They were beautiful, and we had a lot of fun.

However, as we got back on the road, I just kept stewing about what we'd seen. I grew up on a (small) farm, and we raised beef cattle and chickens, and had two big gardens. I know where my food comes from ... or so I thought.

I watched Food, Inc. over a year ago, and it was depressing, eye-opening, etc. And that prompted me to begin my first vegetable garden. We now love eating our own produce. I buy organic milk for the kids, and I figured that was the way to go.

Now, organic isn't enough for me. I keep getting crunchier by the year, and I suppose that it only makes sense. As I learn more, I adjust to it.

Anyway, when we pulled up to the calf barn on Saturday, I said to Bob, "Where's their pasture??" And he said, "There is no pasture." I was stunned. Bob, of course, thought I knew. But no, these calves (and all the dairy cattle) never go outside. They're in their little pens in the barn all their lives. From the minute they're born.

My question to Bob was this:

What kind of world do we live in, that we take newborn calves away from their mommas and give them 'milk replacer' so we can drink the cows' milk, while we feed our own children formula?*

This is messed up.

[Raw milk, here we come. And it is almost enough to make me move to a farm.]

*This is in no way meant as a criticism of women who must feed their children formula. I know there are good reasons for it. But I believe whole-heartedly that the best food for a child is its mother's milk, whenever possible.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nine Years Ago


I married Bob.

July 7, 2002.

I blogged a little about the wedding weekend last year. And followed it up with a (not comprehensive) list of why I married him.

This year, I'll show you something Bob's doing for me.

I've learned that one of my love languages is home improvement. Bob's speaking my language:

In case that's unrecognizable in the picture, Bob's working on our downstairs half bath. Our friend Fritz has been gutting it, and now Bob's working on eliminating the texture from the walls. (We really love smooth old plaster walls.) And he's working with a toddler in his lap, who desperately wants to be involved.

I love this man.

Happy anniversary, Bob. Nine years, and I pray for many, many more.