Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Not on Fire, Soggy Instead

As many of you watch the news and may have realized, Southern California is once again on fire. This is due to the Santa Ana winds which make it extremely dry. As for us, we are safe in our little haven of Redondo Beach. We are only 3 miles from the ocean and, unlike poor Malibu, we don't have hills that cause the fire to go crazy.

It's still dry here, I can tell because my lips are chapped. So where do I get soggy? Well, since Dan and I are lucky home owners, this is a home-related issue. One of our hot water pipes seems to have burst. Fortunately it is only making the yard soggy. Also, when we were wandering around at midnight in our yard on Sunday, trying to figure out why we kept hearing running water, we found the leaky area and turned the hot water off. Our poor yard just can't get a break. If it isn't the gopher digging around, it's the water pipe leaking and eroding away the soil.

What does this mean? One impact is that Will didn't have to take a bath last night. As he has been freaking out about the giant tub and the loss of his small bath tub, he was a bit happy about the lack of bath time. I told him that he didn't have to take a bath. He looked at me in a concerned manner, but didn't fuss as I reiterated, "no bath." Lately when he has been hearing bath, he runs away and protests.

The impact for Dan is that he gets to take icy cold showers in the morning. I think he is crazy. I skipped showering, but then again, it's not like I have to go to the office.

Speaking of the office, I did have an interview last week. It was in Rancho Bernardo, near Poway. Right in the middle of the fire graphic here. I wonder if I will get a call back. I wonder if they have phones. I wonder, should I follow up?

The burst pipe is not the end of the world, there is good news in this. Back when we bought our house, the prior owners provided a 1-year home warranty policy. This means that since it is not November 15th yet, the policy is still in effect. It's a bit slow, but the people are coming out today to check the leaking. If I am lucky, I will have a hot shower this afternoon. If they don't fix it today, I'm going to search out a hot shower elsewhere. What's this? Scot and Tammy's keys to their house while they are out of town? Hmmm...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Will is 18 months old!

Congratulations to Will. Somehow he has managed to make it to 18 months old, even with us as his crazy parents. We celebrated his 1 and a half birthday the same way we celebrated his half birthday. With Cake! The lucky little guy actually got to eat the cake this time.

Excited about Cake

Developing Fork Usage Skills

According to BabyWorld.com... What your baby can do:
  • Understand that other people and even toys like his teddy are different and therefore enjoy play that involves make believe and pretend
Will is starting to pretend. It is very cute. He pushes cars and trucks around and makes "vrooom" noises. He also puts a cup on his foot and says "shoe" then laughs when I say, "That's not a shoe!" At school he wore an apron and chef's hat and pretended to bake cookies.
  • Begin to understand the concept of time and ideas like later, tomorrow, soon, after tea
We tell Will that things will happen "IN THE FUTURE" in a dramatic voice. I am not sure if he understands exactly what that means, but he does seem to understand "Wait" means a slight delay of gratification.
  • Begin to help dress himself but not yet able to deal with buttons or zips. To avoid frustration dress him in the simplest clothes he can pull off himself
We are working on this some. He will take his shoes off on demand. He will try to take his pants off when we are running the bath. He understands when we want him to put his arms up to take off his shirt. And he tries to put his pajamas on sometimes.
  • He may want to brush his own hair or try to clean his own teeth
Will doesn't just want to clean his own teeth, he is amazingly good at it. He goes into the bathroom, climbs up on the step stool by the sink, takes his toothbrush, and brushes his teeth. Back and forth. Then he says he is "all done" and gives the toothbrush back. Of course, part of the toothbrush success is due to the fact that he has bubble gum flavored toddler toothpaste and he sucks that off the brush.
  • He can help you and often likes to do the same as adults; he will try to sweep up a mess with his own dustpan and brush
This makes it kind of hard to accomplish cleaning tasks. Sometimes he is helpful and will take the silverware out of the dishwasher and put it in the silverware drawer. But sometimes he will put his toy train in the dishwasher. Or decide that dirty dishes should come out of the dishwasher. He also does laundry pretty well and will remove laundry from the dryer or move clothes from the washer to dryer. But he won't let me sweep anything. He wants to do it himself. He also helps with baking by licking the spatula when we make cookies.

I use my tongue to help!

  • Turns pages in a book, three or four at a time
"Harry the Dirty Dog"

  • He may now discover he can run as well as walk. Prepare for scraped knees!
Will has been running for a while. Like since March. He's pretty good about avoiding the scraped knees. It probably helps that I put him in pants a lot so that he can run around in our back "yard."
  • Language begins to develop rapidly now and he will take pleasure in learning and saying new words.

See prior post on Will's first 50 words. Even though we don't count the words that he simply repeats back to us, he is expanding his vocabulary all the time and may even be up to 100 words by now. He still gets frustrated when he can't let us know what it is that he wants, but hopefully he will work on that more before his brother is born.

  • Ask questions when you are looking at books together: ‘Can you see the dog?’, ‘What’s this here?’
He points out dogs, babies, mommies, daddies, balls, trains, and sometimes other stuff. However, if we ask him, "What's that?" He sometimes answers with "What's that?"
  • Send him on simple errands; he’ll enjoy getting it right and being helpful. ‘Can you find your hairbrush over there and bring it to me?’
This is a great developmental stage for a pregnant mom who has trouble getting up and down sometimes. "Will, go get mom's water bottle." "Here, take this to dad."
  • Crayons: chunky wax crayons are easy to grip and they make a mark no matter how they are held. Initially your toddler will grab a crayon in his fist and make lines from side to side. Up and down lines, dots and circles all come later. It’s the joy of producing a mark, not what it looks like, that matters
Will is all about drawing these days. He will go over to his little table and draw on paper with pens, pencils, and crayons. We may have to get him some coloring books, but for now, our reams of office paper seem to do the job. Will even performed his first "wall artwork" using a pencil (fortunately) to scribble on the wall. We are removing all ink pens from his reach now. I also need to buy a large eraser.

Will's Drawing Table

Missed the Table, Scribbled on the Wall

  • Balls: large soft balls to kick or throw. A beach ball or foam ball is ideal. Just as with everything else, the more fun practice he has, the quicker he’ll develop his skills
Balls are good, Will kicks, throws, and dunks. However, we may have to tone down on the usage of baseball bats. He has two baseball bats, one is a little wooden one that came from Spring Training in Phoenix. If it doesn't get hidden earlier, we will have to remove it before his brother is born. It's just too much fun to swing around. Will also likes blocks. He hasn't quite gotten the idea that he needs to push them together to keep them straight.

Building with Blocks

  • Ride on toys: he will now be able to sit astride a four-wheeled riding toy and maintain his balance while he pushes himself along with his feet
We tried a tricycle at Target the other day. He got mad when we took him off of it. I think it is time for us to get him a tricycle.

Will is a super developing little guy. Other stuff that we are working on include bed and bath time. Bedtime goes well. He gets all of his stuff (animal, blanket, water cup), gives us kisses, then tells us bye-bye when we put him in his bed. He is sleeping on the bottom bunk of his bunk bed these days. He has finally learned not to stand up and bump his head on the top bunk. When he wakes up in the morning, he will say "hey" "hi" to let us know he is awake, then when we go in to get him, he will army-crawl over to us until he is clear of the overhead bunk.

Bath time is currently a time of transition. We took his little tub out of the big tub and are making him take a bath in the big tub. It is very traumatic for him. He still has all of the same bath toys available, but for some reason the big tub freaks him out. He is just getting too long for the baby tub. It seems that we waited too long to do this transition. If anyone has any tips on how to make it less traumatic for him, let us know. We have tried bubbles, but maybe we need to try more singing. Will likes singing "Row-Row-Row your boat" in the tub.

Dan took Will to the doctor today to get his final shots until he is 3 years old. I'm just glad I don't have to take both little guys at the same time for shots. Dan says that Will is 33.75 inches long and weighs 26lbs 5oz. That is the 94th percentile for height and the 66th percentile for weight. The main impact of this is that since I am pregnant, our big little guy gets to walk everywhere. He can even get out of his car seat after I unbuckle it. It is quite convienent.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rent Our Condo!

Have you ever thought, "I should live in the Washington, DC metro area!" Well, now is your chance. You don't have to bring furniture. You don't have to bring kitchen utensils. You don't have to bring a houseplant. All of these are provided if you want to rent out our condo. It is located in Falls Church, VA (Fairfax County), 6 miles from the Pentagon. If you are tired of living in places that have only white walls, you are in luck. The living room is a cozy light brown. The bedroom is a sleep-inducing dark blue. The den is a bright, energizing terracotta.

What kind of place is it? It is a small to medium sized apartment, 971 sq ft, in a condo building of about 340 units. It has 1 bedroom, plus a den, and 1.5 bathrooms. Here are the furnishings that we include:
* Living / Dining Room – Couch, tables, TV Stand, small TV, DVD/VCR, dining room table with chairs, floor lamps, large aloe plant
* Bedroom – Full-sized bed (frame will fit queen sized mattress if you would like to upgrade) & linens, chair, table, lamps, bookshelf
* Kitchen – Dishwasher, washer/dryer, microwave, toaster oven, water filter, kitchen supplies
* Den – Computer desk & chair, extra couch, floor lamp, bookshelf (space for an extra bed in here if you have a roommate)

And for you geeks out there, the place is wired for internet. Not only do we have a working, secure, wireless network... we also have ethernet drops in each room.

If you enjoy fresh air, we have a balcony on which you can relax. It has a view of Lake Barcroft. And trees, lots of trees that you can watch sway in the breeze. Behind the condo building is a rustic nature trail. There are places around the property available for grilling and picnicking.

If nature and other things make you sneeze, that's ok too. We have owned the place since 2003 and have never had pets. Plus, there is new carpet throughout.

If you don't have a car, you can catch the bus out front to the Pentagon or Pentagon City Metro. Or, if you do have a car, we have a reserved parking space (plus additional pass available for second car) .

BUT WAIT! There's more!
Turns out that our condo community has even more to offer: Outdoor swimming pool, indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, 24-hour front desk (includes package pick-up), 24-hour security, hair salon, convenience store with ATM, cardio exercise room, weight exercise room, sauna, steam room, hobby workshop, party room, game room, handicap access, car wash area, secure building entry with phone system for notification of visitors/deliveries, visitor parking.

We especially like the convenience store which is located very close to our elevator. Need some laundry detergent? Having an Ice Cream craving? Forgot to stop at the ATM? It's very useful.

What are the lease requirements?
* Minimum 1 year lease
* One Month Rent Security Deposit (refundable)
* Photo ID
* Proof of Income (i.e., 2 previous pay stubs)
* References a Plus
* Credit Check ($30)

Of course, if we actually know you, we can work out a special deal.

Utilities and Condo Fee are also included in the cost of rent, so it makes budgeting easier.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Our 100th Post to the Blog!

Dan and I have been blogging now for almost 2 years. And this is our 100th post! Here are some highlights from the past 99 posts:

First Post - November 2005
Introduction Post on our Anniversary

Angela's Favorite Post
The Search for Thanksgiving Turkey - Thanksgiving 2005

Angela's Sad Post - Caffeine Reduction
I still miss the caffeine. Haven't had more than about 8oz since January. By this time in my pregnancy with Will, I think I was consuming some caffeine. But then again, I don't have the "caffeine doesn't count in a foreign country" rule. Hmm... Maybe consuming caffeine causes 10 1/2 lb babies. Maybe we will have a normal 9lb baby this time.

Disappointing Post Comment Response - 100 days to new baby
Oddly, no one commented on our post about having a second child. I guess it is just one of those second-child things. Everyone is all excited about the first kid, but the second one, not so much. Oddly, even second-child Robin did not comment.

Dan's Favorite Post
Will's Birth Announcement

Will's Favorite Posts (because they involve birthday cake)
Half Birthday
One-Year Old Birthday
One and One Half Birthday - Coming Soon

Angela's Favorite Pictures
Dan's Precious Coffee Moment
Replacement Dan at Work while we were in Hawaii

How about you, does anyone who reads this blog have favorite posts or pictures?