Tuesday, December 13, 2011

JamieJames gets into trouble

Do you know this boy? 

Sweet-tempered, chubby and contented. Big brown eyes in his squishy face. 

That's James.

Today, he so sweetly wedged himself into this cabinet. 

He brought me the tube of toothpaste and showed me the minty white moustache he applied to that chunky face. 

At dinner, his nose contained not only large crusty boogers but also a carpet thread that he was saving there. 

The other day, it took him four big bites out of this candle to decide that it was yucky. He looks concerned but probably not for the right reason...

A few weeks ago, he convinced us all that he'd swallowed a small toy. We haven't found it. 

At two, James' vocabulary is increasing but he tends to rely on miming his thoughts to us with a few sound effects. When he tells us about the vacuum, it sounds like, "This. This. NNNNN!" But while he says that, he's signing "loud" and pretending he's vacuuming and pointing to the electrical outlet. 

When he finally learns to put it all together, I'm really curious about how that carpet thread got up there.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


The island in the middle of our rental house kitchen is good for a lot of things. On this particular afternoon, we are using it to find a home for all the remaining Halloween candy. I've heard tell of people doing this; cutting up, freezing, setting aside all the chocolate candy for future use.

So we did that. 

And then we made a big batch of chocolate chip cookie dough 
+ peanut butter 
+ rolled oats 
+ Snickers, Kitkat and Milkyway pieces
+ M&Ms
and called it good.

Then we did it again a week later. We still have candy in the freezer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


What we some of us did on Thanksgiving (besides eat and be thankful):


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Broken House

So, the cold water supply under the kitchen sink failed. It dripped all night right around Halloween. Bob and I thought the floor seemed a little strange in the kitchen one morning. What was strange was that water was coming up between the planks of our laminate flooring. Upon further examination, we found that the water was every where. Or at least it was almost everywhere important in our house. Specifically, the kitchen, the laundry room and the (one) bathroom. 

We wondered what to do about it for a day or so before we realized that this is why we have insurance. I don't know why it didn't occur to us to call them right away. We kind of thought, "Well, I guess we're just going to add this to the Things We Have to Live With While Living in a Partially Remodeled House list."  Little did we know that once we got the insurance ball rolling, we would begin an adventure that mainly consists of not living in said partially remodeled house at all. At least not for now. 

Pictures to prove it:

Ugh. Something's not right here.

Here's our kitchen with all the wet parts removed. Big, loud, green fans aid the drying process.

All the contents of our kitchen, bathroom and laundry room are in our family room.

Since we had no kitchen, bathroom or laundry room at our house, our insurance company put us up in a hotel for about a week. Despite Mercy's look of boredom here, it was a pretty sweet deal.

We did have to eat a few meals on the floor since there wasn't a table big enough for eating in our hotel room...

And we felt a little cramped doing our school work. On the bright side, the weather was beautiful that entire week and we took walks and played outside between calls to the insurance company, the general contractor, the ServPro people and the temporary housing coordinators.

(If your baby can do this, he is too big for a bouncy seat.)

After everything dried out at the Broken House, and after it was determined that the first layer of vinyl on our floors had asbestos in it, the best course of action was to take all the floors out. Completely.

And why not? It sure makes it a lot easier for the city inspector to see that our floors lack a certain structural soundness. Or insulation. Or proper drainage beneath them. (A few days after this picture was taken, the space beneath the kitchen was under 6 inches of water because we live on a swamp.)

This all starts to sound pretty crappy, I know. And never would we have chosen this route if we could have. And there have been some pretty stressful moments that I didn't choose to memorialize here because I'd rather forget them. But the list of benefits to our situation is much longer than the irritations we're facing:
1. New floors in 2/3 of our house
2. A week's stay at a hotel with free hot breakfasts and dinners (Something we've never done with our kids)
3. A very comfortable rental home 
4. Fees waived and rules bent to accomodate our family specifically
5. The discovery of yucky mold growing in our house and the clean up of that mold 
6. An opportunity to put fresh paint in the kitchen (I did this last night. YES!)
7. Generosity shown to us by family and friends
8. Time spent more purposefully with our kids 
9. A room in our rental house entirely devoted to ALL LEGOS. ALL THE TIME.

For now, we're still in the Upstairs House waiting for the Broken House to be fixed. Currently, Bob and Daniel and Michael  and Reuben are building lego cars and spaceships. Josiah and Mercy have been chasing eachother around the house and James is coloring next to me. We're about to have our 2nd Advent Evening and we have some hot chocolate to drink. 

Despite all the changes and upheaval, I think we're feeling pretty cozy.

The kids and Great Grandma Veda at Thanksgiving