Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Day 2

We got a little more done today, but nothing crazy. We did not order the cabinets yet - just not enough time, but maybe tomorrow or Monday. Ron did some more carpet cleaning and I got two bedrooms taped, and one room painted one coat (nursery). I picked out and purchased the paints for the three main floor bedrooms and bathroom, but that's it for now. The great room / hallway can be done later. I forgot how much I detest painting! Really the worst part is cleaning out brushes and roller covers (I like to reuse them so I take the time to rinse them out all the way!). I can't complain though - because unlike our last house we are not tearing out walls or rerouting plumbing, or any other major "remodeling"... This is just typical buy-a-new-house stuff, and I think everyone paints when they move into a new place! I just want our room and Lucy's room done so they are ready for sleepin' in Sunday night. I can't believe we only have 3 more nights at this place!

Homeowners Again!

Yesterday afternoon we closed on our Hudsonville house... Ron and I met up at Lighthouse Group (the title company for the seller) and our Realtor and Mortgage Guy were already there. Shannon had flowers (again!) for me, and an Olive Garden gift card for Ron and I to (eventually) go out and celebrate. We began the Signing and within a half hour everything was done! Our Realtor was incredible and we couldn't have been happier with everything she has done for us. Rob (who introduced himself to the other Realtor there as "The Mortgage Guy") was also extremely helpful and fun to work with. This experience was 100 times more pleasant than the last time we bought a house ("we measured it," as Ron would say). We got the keys and went out to the new place to start the long process of cleaning. We thought a good place to begin is the carpets, since we aren't going to be replacing them right away. Especially in the great room, where the previous owner stopped caring about dirt and stains (since it was a foreclosure).

This is the dining area, which actually will not be carpeted - when we redo the flooring in the kitchen we're pretty sure we're going to run it into the dining area as well, even though the carpet is fairly nice. The carpet cleaner Ron rented from Lowe's seemed to work pretty well. A few stains are being pretty stubborn, but overall I think it's a vast improvement. We're going to go over it all again tonight. We know it was working because when Ron emptied the water into the bathtub it was a dark brownish-gray color. We're hoping to update light fixtures in the next couple of months too.

Ron picked up a six-pack of Sunset-Wheat when he ran to the store for toilet paper (might be handy while we're there working) and food (we were both starving). Since he was the one dragging the carpet cleaner around there wasn't much else I could do last night. Today and tonight I should be able to be much more productive though...

In the meantime, I am hopefully going to buy a couple cans of paint and do our bedroom and Lucy's bedroom, the ones which we will have to be sleeping in come Sunday night! Yikes! Ideally we will order our kitchen cabinets and counters either today or tomorrow.

Oh - and apparently someone went in before we closed and cleaned up that area of mold that was causing so much drama.

However they failed to go on spider patrol for us. Tonight they meet their fate: the shop vac. There was one hanging from the middle of the ceiling in the downstairs bedroom (which didn't have a working light) and I only caught a glimpse of it when the light from the window hit it just right, as it was dangling in front of my face! Yyyyyeech! Don't worry Kelly, we'll have them all cleaned up before you ever have to sleep down there! (Anonymous quote: "WTF is that?! Ohmigod, I would totally move!")

I have to say I'm excited about this new place but the big move on Sunday is starting to worry me. Luckily we won't be doing it ourselves, because we're having some friends come over to help load the truck... I SHOULD be worried about how the heck Ron is going to back that thing into our driveway...

Lucy's Halloween Costume

"I'm Crazy Desitin Arm Girl! Now give me some CANDY!"

Someone better get this...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

On a Lighter Note

I wanted to add a funny photo of Lucy to take the edge off my blog. That last post was quite a rant. Thanks for putting up with me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pincher Bug

I took some more pictures of Lucy today, out in the backyard (where there is more wide open space for her to take steps and crash to the ground...). When reviewing the photos, I noticed that she almost always has her fingers in a "pinch" position while she is trying to walk. Maybe it helps her concentrate. I don't know - but it's funny.

Sneak Peek

This is the Problem. This kitchen is about 90% non-functional. Check out the dishwasher. Imagine you are standing at the sink. Now open the dishwa... Not so fast! You just opened it into the side of your leg! Well, I guess we could wash dishes by hand in the sink there - except the faucet sprays everywhere BUT in the sink basin. Not even getting into the filth that I believe is living in the 1986 oven (which I understand can be cleaned, but I think we're going to upgrade) and the generally dirty cabinets. The stove top fires up (yay) but other than that, there isn't much that can be done in here. Therefore we're scraping together to redo the entire kitchen. It will be laid out more wisely and look a lot prettier.

Here's another one: the main floor bathroom has 3 - count them, THREE, different kinds of flooring! Why narrow it down to one, or even two? Well, we're going to take the leap and replace all three of them with one simple sheet of vinyl flooring. Hopefully we don't have to wait too long to update this room. The walls are going to be painted a light grayish purple color, and we're of course going to invest in a shower curtain. The best part of the bathroom: TWO SINKS! We get ready for bed at the same time and I have learned that two sinks would be very beneficial to our marriage. I included another view which shows the awesome brass cover plates and hardware, as well as the 2nd door to the bathroom which connects to our master bedroom.

We have a lot of work to do - every room needs help. Cleaning, painting, and decorating will make a difference in the majority of the spaces, but the kitchen/great room is going to be a big project. We're hoping to maintain patience and sanity. If we take our time we will do a better job and not "burn out" from the work. I'll be posting more photos as we get things done.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lunch at the Grill

This morning I met my old friend Lindsey at the Rainbow Grill for lunch. She had her daughter Lola (almost 21 months) with her, and I of course brought Lucy. It was nice to see her and actually get to talk one-on-one. Last time I saw her was a little over 3 years ago at a friend's wedding shower, and we didn't talk at all while we were there. I have known Lindsey as long as I can remember and I like the idea of becoming friends again, even after we had drifted apart for quite a while. She lives in Hudsonville, which is where we are moving, so maybe we will have to get together... It seems like everyone lives in Hudsonville!

Anyway, when they were house shopping a year or so ago, she and her husband actually checked out the one that we are buying! They passed on it, due to the amount of work required to fix it up. I just think it's funny that they were in our house before - and that's another reminder of just how long it was vacant / for sale.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

52° and Partially Crazy

I just decided to clean out our bathroom drawers - we have so much junk! I have body sprays, lotions, jewelry I haven't thought about in ages, half-empty tubes and bottles and all kinds of things I just chuck into the trash can without thinking about it for too long. If I start to spend time pondering whether or not I want to discard my last 2 droplets of some perfume, or some old lip gloss, I might start to feel guilty - and that is when I get going with perhaps my strangest habit: personifying inanimate objects and worrying about whether or not they will get to fulfill their destiny. Like that perfume was made at the perfume factory long, long ago. It has sat patiently in my drawer believing that one day it would be chosen for a special occasion. It must - otherwise it would have been thrown out by now, right? Then one day the giant hand appears and reaches for it, lifts it out of the drawer, and - could it be? Just as that perfume gets its hopes up, it finds itself in the trash can with all the other unwanted toiletries. It makes me sad. I know it sounds crazy, but I do this with everthing from un-popped popcorn kernels to the last square of toilet paper. In my mind I know they don't actually have thoughts and feelings, but something in my heart starts to convince me otherwise, and I can't shake it. I guess I really don't like to be wasteful!

Friday, September 14, 2007

New York, London, Paris, Munich...

... Everybody talk about Pop Musik!

Just got this e-mail from U2.Com

It was billed as a 'sci-fi disco supermarket' and it was a rock'n'roll tour like no other. You had to see PopMart to believe it... and now you can.

This week U2's 1997/8 'PopMart' world tour is released on DVD for the first time - live from Mexico City.

And at U2.Com we've just launched a dedicated site celebrating all things PopMart including a twenty minute live audio webcast of the Rotterdam show, the press conference where the band announce they are 'taking the Lemon' to Sarajevo, a behind-the-scenes road diary and a gallery of exclusive shots from on the road.

The DVD comes in a Standard 1-disc format, featuring the concert, and a Special Limited Edition 2-disc format, the 2nd bonus disc containing unreleased live audio and video material, including documentaries, a PopMart tour visuals montage, and DVD-ROM extras.

Everything you need to know including the complete tracklisting.

I am lucky enough to say that I have gone to several U2 concerts, including one show of the PopMart tour - October 31, 1997. Halloween. Pontiac Silverdome. Smashmouth was the opening band, and they were awful! Awful! However, U2 was amazing (and maybe just in my 16-year-old mind it was just so surreal to see tiny Bono out there on the stage... the mirrorball lemon...). We were astounded by the giant screen and all the other drama and huge-ness of it, and afterward we were all yelling at each other in the car on the way home, trying to speak over the ringing in our ears, about how "awesome" it was. I'll never forget it, and although I have been known to put in the VHS from time to time, it's going to be muuuuch nicer to have it on DVD with all the extras (cuz you know I'm getting the Special Limited Edition 2-disc format...) It comes in waves, but I'm still a U2 nut.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Switched Again!

So, our assertive and awesome Realtor got on the phone with some different people and put the heat on, so our close date wouldn't keep getting pushed further and further back. Now, we are officially scheduled to do a split-close this Friday at 4:00 PM. That way, the buyers of our house will fill out their papers at a time convenient for them, and we will fill ours out at a time convenient for us! From what I understand this is fairly common. We will then close on our house in Hudsonville next week, sometime (17th or 18th). At that point we will have possession and get to start cleaning, painting, moving things in, and so forth! We will also have the ability to order our cabinets and get some new appliances, switch plates (ours are brass too... what the heck!), and other little details... which we will take as they come. We're not going to be able to do it all at once, but we want the main / messy stuff out of the way before too long, since by the end of the month, we will have to actually LIVE there!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Parks and Brown Pants

I brought Lucy to a couple of parks today to take some photos of her. The weather was nice, and there were some cool clouds in the sky. I dressed her in brown pants because I knew there would be plenty of dirt involved. Smart thinkin', huh? Anyway, the session ended when Lucy spat up on her sleeve and we headed home for her to take a nap. The wind really got whipping while we were at Heritage Park, and I thought it might even rain... And watch out for those ducks and geese - they come after YOU!

More Here

What's Another Few Days, Then?

UGH Our Realtor called and told me that the close date is going to be pushed back a little on our house (Taft) because the buyers have some weird stuff going on with their loan... so to make a long story short, we're not going to be moving quite as soon as we thought. We'll close on our houses sometime next week, and as much as this stuff annoys me, the good part is that we have more time to get things packed and sort through whatever we might want to throw away or give to Goodwill. I just can't wait for this process to be behind us, and pushing the date back is prolonging it even more. It seems to stress me out, and I hope that our next place turns out to be a home we'd like to live in for a long time - so we don't have to do this again anytime soon! I know my sister has moved more times than anyone. Anyone. So I can't complain too much. I'm just starting to really understand how much STUFF we can fit into our basement...

Monday, September 10, 2007


Last night, unfortunately we received some truly sad news. Our friend went into early labor (19 weeks) Friday night, and lost her baby. Her daughter was born alive and although her time on earth was short, she will be a very important part of their lives forever. Her water broke a few days earlier and they were doing everything they could to prevent labor, knowing how tiny the baby still was - during that time, they gave her the name Lily Jane, a delicate flower that needed to grow and be protected. I cannot imagine what they are going through, and of course have no idea what I would even say to them right now. No words can make their pain go away, and we all feel helpless in our desire to make them feel better. I have a lot of feelings that all seem to contradict each other - about knowing that someday their lives will go on, even though right now they can't even begin to think about that. I also feel strangely guilty that we have a healthy daughter and theirs was lost... while at the same time feeling immensely grateful and lucky that this didn't happen to us. It's so confusing to feel sad, hopeful, guilty, and thankful all at once.

I was fortunate to have a very smooth pregnancy and labor & delivery. We are blessed with a healthy child. Looking back, I think I took it for granted how easy I had it, and I am sorry for doing that. Sorry also to be Debbie Downer, but I felt like mentioning this, because it's on my mind.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Frog's Hollow

This afternoon, Ron, Lucy, and I went out to eat at Russ', and then decided to continue our evening by driving around. We meandered over by the new Metro Hospital (opening September 30) and found Frog's Hollow, a cute little playground for kids. No one was there! How could no one else know about it? The weather was nice... Anyway, we had the whole place to ourselves for a while, but before too long a few more kids showed up to play, which intrigued Lucy somewhat. We even ran into a former teacher (with her husband and daugther), and a current teacher at GHS. Anyway, I took plenty of photos since the sun was out and Lucy was having so much fun...

So Much Can Happen During Naptime...

I am FINISHED with the scrapbook of Lucy's first year. Well, really it's a photo book, and does not include any other mementos. I keep that stuff in her baby book. Anyway, I am going to leave a couple of blank pages at the end for the rest of September and also to include photos from her birthday party.

In the process I have a huge mess of "snipits" on the dining room table, and the floor surrounding. I will pick them up, but I had to hustle up here and blog about it first.

It is nice to have that done and out of the way, and I am going to really try to do a couple pages a month. Then I can take my time and do an even nicer job, and it won't seem like such a daunting task.

Ron is expecting me to put in the same effort for child #2 when he or she comes along, and of course I agree that's only fair... but I imagine it's easier said than done, right? Okay, time to pick up my mess.

Stop Sign?

I am driving down Taft, on our way back from visiting Grandville High School, and as I am about to pass a cross street, I see someone running the stop sign! I honk and she slams on the breaks, luckily in plenty of time. There is full visibility from her side and no reason she wouldn't have seen me coming... my headlights are even on (all the time automatically). She would have hit the driver's side of my car, which is of course the side Lucy is on in the back seat. I'm not a perfect driver, but I think it's pretty insane to blow through a stop sign... but at least she didn't hit me. Rant complete.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

365 Portraits

I just stumbled upon an awesome photography project site that is so inspiring! It is called 365 Portraits. He's not the first to do this type of project, but according to Thomas Hawk (linked under photography blogs), he's the best. Here's an explanation:
I'm Bill Wadman, a New York-based photographer who after completing my first 365 Project, and then a weekly 52 Project, has taken it upon myself to shoot and post one portrait every day of 2007. The photo will have been taken that day, and each day will be a different person. Some will be in the studio, some will be in the wild. Hopefully they will all be interesting.
I added it to my links so that I can visit each day. I'm tempted to go back and search throughout the entire year... maybe when I'm really bored.

*Note, I stumbled upon one or two nudes, so if you're at work and afraid of getting busted, watch out. Nothing pornographic, but I wanted to give fair warning...

Another First!

Today Lucy got her first tattoo. I know she's not quite one, but I figured she was ready. She went with a gray and white kitten on her left shoulder/bicep. She thought it would show her tough, but feminine side. She didn't cry at all while she was getting it, because she's so hard-core. Here's a close-up:

Creepy Puppet Book

When going through stuff in the basement a while ago, we discovered this book from Ron's childhood. It was in his stuff, but it seems oddly familiar. Kelly, didn't we have some like this, with the holographic cover? I think we did... Either way, we set it aside for Lucy's enjoyment, and today I found it again and put it on her bookshelf.

Anyway, the illustrations are really photos of puppets with eyes that are solid color - not like human eyes - which I find quite disturbing. This one is all about how to tell time, and the things these two puppets do throughout the day at various times.

Here they are enjoying their creepy supper at 6:00. Notice the puppet knives they each are holding. Is this not a recipe for nightmares? Of course, today when I set Lucy free to "read" (pull off the shelf and flip through) all her books this morning, what was the first book she went for?.... you guessed it!

Ready to Move!

Put In Lucy's Room

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Last Minute Scrapbook

As unbelievable as it seems, Lucy is turning ONE in less than a month! Since I have taken so many photos over the past year, I have decided that NOW is a good time to put them into a scrapbook. Nothing fancy - I'm keeping it simple to save time and money - but I already got several pages done. I just ran out of glue-stick, so I am stopping until I can get more.

It's going to be nice to have a book of her first year to set out at her party, and hopefully people will enjoy watching her grow up "in pictures". We still have not had professional portraits taken of her, and I'm thinking we should consider getting some - I think at least once per year, around her birthday, would be good (and when she starts school, those school portraits will be timed closely enough to keep it going).

I have completed about 2-3 months of her life, and at that rate, it should only take me a week or so to get it done... then we'll see if I can keep up on it (not likely!).

Monday, September 03, 2007

Last Night of Crazy

Last night was officially the last night that Ron could stay up late and have fun and not have to face teenagers the next day. We had our friends over to have dinner, etc. - one of whom is also a teacher at the high school, so she also made the most of her final evening of summer vacation. We had some good food and drinks, and some very interesting conversation about everything from babies to theories about the existence of aliens. They had the privilege of witnessing Lucy in ultra rare form - one of the screaming-est nights of her life. She is the loudest baby I've ever heard. Not a competition we'd like to win, but we were all quite impressed by her powerful lungs. After I got her bathed and she had her last bottle of the day, we gave her her "lovey" (pink bear) and then she started smiling. She fell asleep quickly and didn't wake up despite all the loud laughing and talking.