Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Addition update -

I am pretty sure I don't want to be a plumber when I grow up.

This past week my husband has been trying to finish the plumbing in the new bathroom and he has made great progress!

We ended up having a plumber come over for about an hour to finish sweating a couple pipes. Peter was having trouble with those particular ones and finally decided to call in the pros but other than that he has done all of the work himself.

I nearly had a nervous breakdown over where to put the faucet for the tub. There were way too many options and not having the tub installed made it difficult to visualize where the faucet and handles should go. At one point I started losing all interest and wanted to just close my eyes and point to a spot, but I knew if I didn't get it right I would be cursing at myself every time I take a bath. So, I finally made a decision, won't know if it is the best decision till I get to use the tub but I have a good feeling about it. The other part about installing this faucet is the fact that the faucets for this bathroom cost about the same as having a child, kind of makes you feel like you should get it right.

Peter has to hook up the tub drain and then the plumbing will be roughed in. We are hoping to have that done this weekend and then get our plumbing inspection next week. The plumbing is the only thing that has not been signed off on by the county. Once the plumbing is approved then we will only have our final inspection left.

Moving forward, slowly but surely!

'til next time...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A young man's worst nightmare...

I am afraid we gave some poor unsuspecting young man a very nervous moment.

I was sitting at La Madeleine's with my children when my son heard the sound of a man's dress shoes walking across the floor. Apparently Wythe associates the click-clack sound with my husband, his little face lit up and he said to me "I hear daddy!"  Then he turned around in his chair and right about the time this young man was nearing our table said in a loud and excited voice "THERE'S DADDY!!!"

The poor man almost dropped his tray.

He looked at my son, then looked at me and apparently not recognizing me felt enough relief to continue on his way.

I did catch him glancing over at our table a few times but it may have been to just reassure himself that he has never seen us before.   Probably trying to figure out why he just got called daddy, I doubt he will ever realize it was his shoes.

Sorry, dude....didn't mean to give you a bad moment there.

We enjoyed the rest of our lunch, even though we didn't get a new daddy "to-go".  I'm sure my hubby will be happy about that.

A & W enjoying the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria

'til next time...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hello Irene, Goodbye Irene

Irene was very good to us.  Very considerate of her to stay to the east and only give us lovely rain and brief power outages.

Since we are more "mountain dwellers" rather than "beach dwellers" we usually weather hurricanes fairly well. But since we are surrounded by trees any combination of wind and rain can cause power outages. We lose power a lot, we lose power if someone coughs.  So, I prepared for Hurricane Irene. I filled water containers so that we could flush toilets if we had no power.  I bought some food that didn't have to be cooked, things like that.

But for the most part the storm stayed away from us. We even went to a "Hurricane party" last night, hoping the weather wouldn't take a turn for the worse while we were out. We headed home about 10pm and it was rainy and windy with some branches and debris on the road but no more so than you get with a bad thunderstorm.

Our power went out a little after midnight. Which would be convenient except that my kiddos are afraid of the dark so they were not please to not have their nightlight.  I have a battery powered night light somewhere but in my foggy state I couldn't remember where. At one point as I sat on the hardwood floor beside my son's bed, rubbing his feet, trying to reassure him, I started to regret the pitcher of Hurricane's we had celebrated with.

But the power came back on, the sun came up and today is a beautiful day!  The weather is always so pretty after a hurricane, I have always thought it is Mother Natures way of apologizing and making peace with us.

Off to enjoy the breezy, sunny, blue sky day....hope everyone up North stays safe! 

Hey Irene, be gentle with New York City!

'til next time...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Addition update

My hubby took some time off work this week and is working on the addition. If we are lucky our 6 month project will be completed within 3 years.

This week he is trying to finish getting the plumbing roughed in so that we can get the inspection on the plumbing done.  The rest of the addition has been signed off on but we need the plumbing inspection so that we can move forward.

I took pictures of the plumbing but it is even boring by addition photo standards so I think I will fore go posting them.

Our goal is to have the toilet working by the Oktoberfest party, two bathrooms would probably work a lot better than one!

'til next time...


This morning I woke up and thought "yesterday we had an big deal"   It may because I was kind of in a brain fog due to the fact my son slept even less than usual.  He kept complaining of being scared of the "thunder and shaking".  I don't know if he was feeling the aftershocks or just remembering the earthquake from that afternoon. Regardless of the reason he was scared, which means he didn't sleep, which means I didn't sleep, which means I have spent quality time with my coffee cup today.

Later in the afternoon I took the kids to the store to do some grocery shopping. As we went through the store I could hear different people talking about the earthquake and I was feeling rather nonchalant about it, earthquake-smearthquake...     Then I heard a rumbling, the rumbling was growing louder and I felt a slight vibration, I admit I started to panic. I looked frantically around noting that I was near the lawn and garden exit, I scooped up my son and pulling my daughter in the cart I started half running half walking towards the exit. Just then I saw several employees rolling a large cart carrying a display.  I was running in fear from a display. Nice.   Of course as soon as I saw that I stopped put my son down and tried to act completely normal. Not sure exactly what I said probably something mature like "son, don't run away from mommy, I don't want to chase you through the store..."   I would like to say I have never unjustly blamed my kids for my embarrassment but I am human.

So, apparently I am still a little "shook" up.  But now it is time to stop thinking about earthquakes and start thinking about hurricanes.  Hello Irene!

'til next time...

"Shake, shake, shake.....shake, shake, shake..."

As you all know, this week we had the 2011 Earthquake! 

I have felt earthquakes before, but not a 5.8, never like this. 

The question everyone is asking is "did you feel the quake? where were you??"

We were at Chick-fil-A, having lunch with our kiddos. We felt the first shake, felt like something just rolled through the building. Peter and I looked at each other with quizzical expressions "what was that?". 

Then we heard the roar, not unlike a train approaching. Because I am an East Coast girl my first thought was "tornado!" but at the same time I had this thought it registered in my brain that I was looking out the big window  at a crystal clear blue sky and no wind.

Then the shaking started, the whole building shook, our drinks wobbled on the table, people shrieked, some grabbed their children, some dove under tables. We were sitting right next to the glassed in play area, the glass started bowing and swaying. We grabbed the kids and ran outside.  We know now that the shaking only lasted seconds, less than a minute, but it is amazing how many thoughts fly through your head during that time.

Once outside we were like "What the hell was that???"   We saw people pouring out of buildings all around us, everyone was wondering "was that an earthquake or an explosion?"  If that was an explosion then DC must be gone!

We went back inside to get our stuff, everyone had lost interest in eating and were vacating the building. We were eager to get in our vehicle and hear the news, we were actually relieved to know it was an earthquake and not a terrorist attack!

Once home we surveyed our home for any potential earthquake damage.  We found a few things that had fallen off shelves but nothing was really damaged. There is an advantage to having your house under construction for the past couple years, anything that hasn't already been knocked off the walls and shelves was going to take more than a 5.8 to shake it!   Trust me, my husband and his power tools and can make the walls shake more than a measly earthquake.

We did immediately assign some blame to the 2011 earthquake.  Per my husband "all imperfections in the drywall are a result of the earthquake."  So now we are going to just finish painting the addition and all the defects we will just treasure as souvenirs from the earthquake.

Take a few moments to view the devastation.

It may take some time to restore our patio but we are optimistic.

This weight fell over 5 feet off of a shelf, fortunately there was only minor scuffing so it was not a complete loss.

This crack in the wall we are blaming on the earthquake, although there are reports that this was an issue prior to the quake. But now we can quit trying to fix it, put a plaque up "2011 Earthquake" and keep it as a souvenir.

Possible damage from 2011 Earthquake, more likely from Hurricane Ainsley and Hurricane Wythe.

The quake caused DVDs to tumble to the floor. Once again, no major damage other than minor scratching of the DVD.

There were some frightening reports of train derailments in our immediate area.  Upon inspection we found that Gordon the train had in fact rattled off of the track. There does not seem to be any significant damage to Gordon or the track.

However, Henry was not so fortunate.  We are still waiting word of the extent of damages Henry incurred.

As my son said,   "oh....poor Henry!"

'til next time...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We love Ratatouille...the movie and the food!

My son loves the movie Ratatouille, which is nice because I share the feeling and that makes it more tolerable watching the same movie 139,639 times.

As some of you know my children are adverse to  eating vegetables, to the point that they have never willing ingested a vegetable.  I decided that I would use the plethora of vegetables in the garden and create the dish Ratatouille from the movie, hopefully tempting my son to eat it.

I did not grow eggplant this year so I had to buy that but aside from the eggplant the most of the ingredients came out of our garden.

To make the ratatouille I used a recipe form Smitten Kitchen, the link is below. I'm sure their recipe is delicious as is but I did add more herbs, I added basil and oregano from my garden. I added some of the herbs to the tomato puree and sprinkled the rest on top. 

I did not have a mandoline slicer so I sliced the vegetables by hand, it would have been prettier if I had had the slicer, more uniform.

I liked his idea of serving the ratatouille with couscous and a dollop of goat cheese, we tried that and it was delicious!

"ratatouille's ratatouille" recipe

Here is what mine looked like.

And I was mistaken, my son wouldn't touch it, but we sure scarfed it down!

'til next time...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Addition update - "to do lists"

I am an obsessive list maker.

I make lists of lists.

I make incredibly detailed lists but sometimes it is necessary in order for me to function.

My husband doubts the need for all these lists, or rather, he doubts the need for the detail of the lists.
Peter (skeptical look on his face): "I doubt you really need to put 'breathe' on your list."
Me:  "Is that something you want to risk?"

But in all fairness to me and my list obsession, in the 2 years and 5 months that we have been working on this addition project I have never made a to-do list for it.

Now we all know why this project isn't completed.

I decided to make a list and try to figure out  in what order things need to be accomplished. I sat down and wrote down room by room the things that still need to be done. I came up with 151 items left to do but I had a feeling I was probably missing something. When my hubby looked over the list he had some corrections to make, things like having the plumbing inspection BEFORE installing the tile! Good catch honey! We ended up with 165 items on our to-do list, I'm sure we will think of something to add but for now we have some direction.

This past weekend we really didn't accomplish anything on the addition, we mainly sat around and worked on the to-do list.  It was far less physically taxing than the normal weekend, we may do that more often.

And, I just thought of something to add to the list.

'til next time...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Winning more "Best Parent" awards

Because we are really good parents we took our kids out for ice cream at the local ice cream joint.

Because we are really on-top-of-our-game-parents we looked at each other and said "where is our son's ice cream?"

(note that we asked about the ice cream and not our son)

Because we are really observant parents we saw that our son was watching the little puppets in the window along with 4000 other little children and that his bowl of ice cream was on the ground amongst 8000 little feet. Occasionally we would lose sight of him as he ducked down to get another bite of ice cream.

Because we are really, really great parents we were watching and marveling over the fact that none of the 8000 kiddie feet seemed to be stepping in W's ice bowl and it took us awhile to  realize that our daughter had left us and adopted another family. She either wanted another family or their ice cream but either way the rejection was real.  And it hurt.  She had apparently spotted her new family, gone to their table and upon being unable to make her wishes known had climbed up onto the table and was sitting there staring at them.

There sat this poor family just trying to enjoy their ice cream and they were at a complete loss at what to do with this almost two year old who obviously needed a family. I removed her from the table, apologized to the family but they wouldn't make eye contact with me.

We definitely won some parenting awards that night.

'til next time...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Addition update

Woohoo...we got something done!   I actually got some painting done, I am pretty amazed with myself.  

The hallway leading to the addition is now painted but I cannot prove it to you yet.  I went to take pictures of the hallway to document my progress only to realize that the door to the laundry room is still off. (Peter took it off to stain)  I do not want reveal my laundry room, it is a scary place.  It really isn't a room, it is more of a laundry closet and it isn't very pretty. 

So I will wait until the door is back on then I will post some pictures of the hallway.
'til next time...