Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2nd Annual Blog Book Completion

I now own the 2nd Annual VDG blog book complete with wrap-covers (so they won't wear out as quickly). It is an accomplishment I am very happy is through.

As wonderful as blogging is I cannot post every single picture I take. In order to keep the other pictures I love but didn't post I put them into this book so it ends up being about 60 percent pictures and 30 percent text and 10 percent white space.

This year it is seeming like there may be a lot more text. Maybe I need to get a super cool camera and work on artistic shots. There are so many amazing photographers I know I'd like to copy. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Upstairs Apartment
$1100 plus utilities
nonsmoker, no pets
available 4/1
2 Bedroom
8215 5th Ave

Friends: If you know someone that is thinking to Bay Ridge or if YOU would like to move to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY I just saw a sign for an apartment near my place.

You can now imagine me nodding the all-knowing nod and raising my eyebrows in the you-know-you-want-it fashion.

There is a laundromat and grocery store across the street. It is above a lawyers office. It is next to the cutest children's clothing store (although it is pretty expensive). What I consider to be the best Chinese food in Bay Ridge is 3/4 of a block away.

It is close to many ward members (including me :D) . Century 21 (an awesome Macey's-type department store), GAP, Children's Place, NY&Co, Vitamin Shoppe, 5 Brothers Hamburger Place, etc. are a mere 3.5-4 blocks away.

The schools are pretty great and very diverse. Street parking is do-able.

Call right away. Apartments go pretty fast here. C'mon, you KNOW you want it. ;)

Disclaimer: I am not sure what the apartment looks like, but I am hoping that it is marvelous.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

For the first time in the 1.5 years I have lived here I met the USPS package guy

We just got a package in the mail. Usually we don't get any notice of any kind until they leave us a slightly threatening FINAL NOTICE. Then we have to rush down to the post office. Maybe the guy is new--maybe the good people of Bay Ridge have reached their limit of USPS non-delivery.

If we hear the doorbell (which is a huge if) then we rush down the stairs as if we had no idea stop, drop and roll worked for putting out a fire on our shirt tails. If we are very lucky they stand there for a few moments. But I think most of the time the count to two in their head and, if they are not threatened by some nearby dog in his/her owner's arms they may leave a notice. Otherwise they bolt to their van to avoid the meter police for their double parking (a measly $119 fine).

So today I zipped down the stairs. The USPS package guy (whom I have never before seen) was already in his van. I watched him put the package in the back of his truck and begin to get into the drivers seat. S had followed me down and I shouted for her to bring me my shoes as quickly as possible. I told her to toss them down the stairs.

Thankfully the guy saw me and headed back with the package. He told me since there was no intercom he couldn't tell if I was home or not.

Right then S came down the steps with my shoes. She threw them down the last four steps (thank you, dearie). I look at them after I thanked the USPS guy and she had thrown down my fanciest, Sunday, high heeled shoes.

What better time to make a fashion statement than chasing after the mail man with high heeled shoes.

We now have some more music, yay!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Phone Foibles

A few days ago W's phone broke (sorry if you were trying to get a hold of him and weren't able). It was really weird since it was new (not even 30 days old). He picked it up and it didn't work. The back wouldn't come off. We assumed that T had helped it end it's short life.

Sprint refused to honor its insurance policy. We were frustrated.

Then right before we went to sleep for the evening I said, It looks melted all the way through. What in our house could melt it all the way through that T would access to. Wayne broke the back off the phone and lo and behold it had melted from the inside out.

Part of me is beginning to believe the phone had a toddler-panic-attack, couldn't handle the stress, and melted itself.

We took it to Sprint. They tried to figure out if there was a way we could have done it ourselves and then replaced the phone. Yay.

You can now contact W.

Homemade Jewelry 101

Yesterday S wanted to make jewelry. We went into the kitchen and made some corn starch clay. We kneaded the dough until I felt it was ready for some food coloring.

"Now this will dye it," I said.
"Mom how will it die?" S said.

She has such tender feelings she is worried about the life of the dough. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

O My Darlin' Valentine

This morning we received an email from our friends the Urban Tangerine family. They sang a stirring and delightful rendition of "My Darlin' Valentine." Thanks!

Of course you know that copying is a sincere complement so I decided we'd copy them. A few of us stayed home from church because we were not feeling well, but I think we are on the mend.

Happy Valentine's Day!

W did not know I was filming this until the end. I love his sweetness with the kids! You can tell right off he is an excellent father. We heart you at the end was because I thought I was showing you our heart cake S, T, and I made to celebrate the day of Valentines (thus the picture--that sort of makes it look like pirate R and his matey S are about to conquer the enemy ship--white heart shaped cake, aarrrgh). Oh, I know our singing is creative--but what joy to sing! Enjoy!

Since filming the above T has been following me around the house with the camera saying, "Swile" (smile). After I uploaded the clip he began singing "O ma da'lin." What blessedness!

P.S. I think we may have gotten sick waiting for W to dig out our car so we could run errands (and get the free kid's meals at Ikea). That drift was anything BUT puny. It was at least four feet across. You could step on it and you would not sink--it was ice. W is amazing. He got us bundled into the car and he dug us out with a shovel from that shop owner's friend (thank you).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dear R:

Today was the Valentines Day Bake Sale at your school. I forgot to give you the money so I ran it over to the school to give to you. You looked so happy when you got it--it made me feel like the world's best mom. :)

Tonight as we were eating dinner you told us about your day. I love this time because I feel we really connect much more than we do when we do not eat dinner together. You told me about your interactions at lunch. You said that since I gave you $4 and you really only needed one that you gave the other dollars to three other kids in your class that didn't have any money. So they all got goodies from the bake sale and not just you. When you read this you can imagine yourself getting one of the hugs you have tell me that I am smushing you and to please stop. :)

Then you told me that you didn't get a snack and that no one shared (the teacher last year told me that you don't like to take other people's food so I am not sure if that is the case today). I felt sad that you had not found the snack in your bag (S found for him later--and promptly shared it with T).

I love you R. I love your kindness and generosity. Thank you for being my boy.


Letter to S

Dear S:

Tonight I was watching Julie and Juliet absorbing Julie's desire to create something while making a delicious and healthy non-Juliet Child meal. You came in and wanted to help. I love it when you do that.

Of course you went and got your hands washed (after a quiet reminder) and promptly found the oatmeal (not a part of the meal) and began running your hands through it, claiming there was sugar at the bottom (there was not).

After the oatmeal was re-topped and moved out of sight you skipped to the bathroom to wash your hands.

You did an excellent job of stirring our Tuscan Vegetable soup with not enough chicken broth and too many tomatoes (we did some rebalancing later).

You called Daddy for dinner (which brought everyone else). We all loaded around the table and you proudly announced that we were having dinner you helped fix. My heart beamed with pride at your pride.

After everyone had finished eating except you and I (you on your second helping our delicious soup) I told you that you did a good job helping me fix our soup. You then elaborated on your hard work and that stirring was the most important job in cooking--even more than what I did (everything else :)). Of course, I nodded and winked.

You are such a good girl. I love you so dearly. Thank you for being my girl.


A few moments with T

Dear T:

Today we were nearly alone (S was asleep on the couch).

We sat at the table eating grapes. You hopped around on the ground declaring boldly that you were dasing (dancing). I raised my shoulders up and down with your type of rhythm. We both laughed. It was fun.

After that you snuggled up in my arms and said you were sweepy (sleepy). I got you gathered up and we went in to lie down on my bed so you could sleep (thanks for giving me a hug as we walked). Of course, the moment we both began to close our eyes to "sweep" you jumped up and started dasing. again. Then I said "Lie down, T." You laid down for 1.5 seconds then leaped up and danced again.

Then you pointed at my nose and said "nose." I immediately tickled you. You fell down on the bed and pillow laughing. Jumped up, pointed to my nose and said, "Nose." Again I tickled you. We were both laughing.

Thanks for making my days brighter. I love you!


P.S. Aunt Chelise took this photo. I love it. She is such an amazing photographer!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Be thankful for blessings already on their way.

The other day we were preparing to have dinner. T was asked to give the blessing on the food. For some reason this request would have caused delight and smiles, but this time however it produced a small non-screaming tantrum. It went something like this. . . W was prompting T with words to say.

W: Please bless the food.
T: NO peas bless food.
W: Bless Mommy.
T: NO bless Mommy.
W: Please bless R.
T: NO peas bless R.
W: Bless S.

You get the idea. It was a sweet, in a rebellious sort of way.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spring Remodeling

Some of you have been to my apartment. It is not pretty. It is not one that gives you a visual hug. It is one that says--"Help me" [gasp] "I'm falling apart." Sadly a few weeks at a sanitarium is not an option for it. And since our dear landlords feel like saints doing the absolute minimum (and that is the smallest of minimums). I am going to take a leap and put my security deposit into jeopardy.

After living here for a renter's long time and having that paneling on my wall give me dirty looks every day I have decided to make some changes. No, I am not signing up to be a reality redecorating show desperado [though I live in a re-decorator's heavenly heck], I am taking it into my own hands (Mwah ha ha).

Last week I called in to give them my extensive list of fixings. It was extensive (what can I say--I'm a compiler--not a one-at-a-time-r). After listening for a few minutes the lady (probably the properties manager) flatly said to me, "Do you just sit around your apartment all day and look for things that are wrong with it?"

Seriously, she really said that. Is your mouth gaping? Mine was. Sadly my cool was lost and my face was hot. Out came a jumble of outraged words ending with I want the owner to call me (he has not). It was not pretty. I think I scared her.

Just for the record, I do not recommend losing one's temper. Normally results vary from bad to terrible. But this time it must have been the push she needed to send someone over to assess the turmoil.

He is going to fix the:
  1. kitchen floor
  2. rotting counter top
  3. chipping bathroom door
  4. hallway doorways
  5. heaters in the kitchen and front rooms (hopefully)
Now here is the list of things I want to fix. Yes, it is extensive. Yes, it is a lot to hope for. I don't mind if you scroll past it to read the ending. It is mostly for my benefit.

Paint cupboards white
New Flooring
New counter top by sink
Under cabinet lighting
Paint over wall paper
Eventually new sink sprayer
Way to cover up holes in sink
More cabinets?

Maybe paint white
Add mirror

Get rid of mildew
Paint the door and the doorway white (inside at least)

Front Room

New couch
Paint furniture white
Re-arrange so piano and desk are by windows
Find a chair that fits under the desk
Re-paint table and chairs
New chandelier (or figure out how to fix the present one)

Master Bedroom
Head board
Chest of drawers instead of broken half closet
Possible hole in the wall with window for natural light entrance
Consider removing the kids "closet"

Kids Room
Figure out what way I want the beds. Will it be worth it to put the queen back in, take down the crib, and put the trundle underneath? We got a trundle bed yesterday on freecycle (a yahoo group).
Head board
Toy exchange (Dora house, kitchen, stuffed animals, puppets)

Pictures/tennis rackets on the wall
Hide CPUs and Printer--pondering

Dad V flew in today to help me with the cabinets. Isn't that nice? I am a very blessed person and I will take all the help I can get. Thanks Dad!

I am now going to imagine walking into my apartment post-change. Deep breath. Beautiful. Peaceful. This must be the most beautiful home in . . . my building.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Birthday T

T, now you are two years old. I cannot believe how the time has flown since you were born.

I remember the day you were born. We drove to the hospital (which was an hour away). We waited in the waiting room for awhile before getting admitted. When you came we were delighted. You were sweet and delightful from the beginning. We took you home and everyone was delighted to see you. It was glorious.

You crawled, walked, and talked early. You keep us laughing. We love you dearly!

Happy Birthday!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Determined to take control of my health I have decided to, like my good brother and sister-in-law David and Penny, join Do you want to do it with me? I'd like to have a little support with it. . . nice to have people doing it with me. If you'd like to and you want me to follow up with you.

Truth of the matter is, I am interested in cooking healthy food that makes me and my family feel fabulous. I need to live for as long as possible--I plan on seeing my great grandchildren (and with any luck my great-great grandchildren).

Leave a comment on my blog if you are interested. :) I know. . . you're curious. You want to. We'll be healthy people together.

I guess we can contact one another through our sparkpeople pages. If you are already on sparkpeople I believe we can contact one another that way.

Notebooks and Pens

At Christmas time our friends, Bishop and Martha Motzing gave my family a Sacrament Meeting Reverence kit. Included were: multi-colored click pens, small cute notebooks, and some other reverence toys. For the parents there were some very delicious, stress-relieving chocolates. Thank you so much! Reverence has increased exponentially.

Since then T has become very attached to any small notebook and the pens that click different colors.

Tonight for example he said, "I sweep nackback and pen." Translation for that I'm fairly sure is, "I am sleeping with my notebook and pen."