Friday, January 30, 2009

Mean Mommy... I Don't Think So

Last night around 3:30 AM Henry woke up like clockwork. Doesn't matter how much he eats, when he last eats, or what time he goes to bed... 3:30 he will wake up. And start screaming. As you can imagine, "3:30 AM Mindy" is delighted to wake up the instant it starts, and realize that Ron is continuing to sleep soundly (until I start talking about it or sigh loudly to drag him into my pity party). I have agreed that the middle-of-the-night duties are usually mine alone, since Ron gets up early and teaches 150 teenagers all day. But "3:30 AM Mindy" sometimes wakes him up a little anyway... He could sleep through anything.

Now I know why a lot of people disagree with this approach, and I respect every mother's / parent's decision to do what they feel is best for their child, and meet their physical and emotional needs, which nobody knows better than you what that is. However, last night I decided to meet Henry's need of teaching him how to fall asleep without me feeding him. I know he is big enough not to require food for survival in the middle of the night. I was tired, he wasn't screaming quite as insanely loud as usual, and I though, "hey, why not tonight?". I checked the clock: 3:35.

For the next 40 minutes he cried, kind of like a "yelling" type of cry. That slowed down and I watched the clock anxiously, hoping not to hit the 1-hour mark. He stopped crying completely for about 5 minutes and I thought we were in the clear when he started up again. I went in and soothed him a bit without taking him out of the crib (less than 30 seconds) and went back to bed. One more time doing that and he was out again ... the whole process did take a little over an hour, but wasn't too terrible (5:00 was the last time I looked at the clock before I fell back asleep). It's now going on 8:30 and he's still asleep (I checked on him though, and he's okay).

We did this with Lucy around 5 months old and of course it's no fun to listen to your baby cry (and now we have the added fear of hoping Lucy doesn't wake up too, and we're all in adjacent bedrooms). However, I do remember how successful this was with her, and that I always wished I would have done it sooner! I don't think it traumatizes a child, because eventually they have to realize that they are safe and can fall back asleep on their own. Henry has been in his crib at night since he was a few days old. Oh yeah, and Lucy never got up. If she woke up, she went back to sleep on her own.

I hope it doesn't sound like we are cold, callous parents who are selfishly looking out for our own needs, because we are like any other parents, who love our children more than life itself and want nothing more than for them to be safe and happy. Anyone who knows us well knows how much we have sacrificed of our own "needs" to be the best parents we know how to be. I have known many people who use the Ferber (cry-it-out) method to teach their kids to sleep through the night. I know their kids are perfectly happy, well-adjusted, and feel loved and protected. I have known some really lucky ones whose kids do it without any method implemented at all. I also know some parents who get up with their kid to feed, nurse, rock, whatever, for several months to a year, or longer, and they are more than happy to do it. Whatever works for you. I am just ready to reclaim my full-night's sleep, and I actually think Henry will benefit from a full night's sleep as well, since he only takes a couple naps during the day.

Sorry to our neighbors who I think are on the same baby monitor channel.... he he he.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Four Months Old

Henry turned four months old today, and had his checkup with Dr. Joe. He weighs 17 pounds, 6.5 oz. (91st %) and is 27 inches long (95% "off the chart"). I was actually guessing he would weigh more. The average length (height) at age one is 30" so he's well on his way...
It's hard to believe we're 1/3 the way through his first year. Here is a list of his favorite things at 4 months:
  • eating
  • squealing loudly and high-pitched (even when happy)
  • taking baths
  • putting his hand in his mouth
  • putting stuffed animals in his mouth
  • playing in the Exersaucer
  • watching Lucy run around
  • shaking a rattle
He was a champ today at the doctor - he had four shots, and although he screamed while he was getting the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ones (but not the 1st!), he stopped pretty much right away when the nurse was done. The rest of the time he was smiley and looking around. He fell asleep on the way home, and is still snoozing in the carseat. The Tylenol I gave him might contribute to a longer than usual nap. I'm thinking about getting the walker out soon, and seeing if he can make it go. Our new house will be a lot more fun for him that our last house was for Lucy in the walker. Much more open space now. I'm wondering if Lucy will "help" him along. Who am I kidding...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Public Photography & Girls by the Water

Last August Ron and I went to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park for our anniversary (he surprised me, and I didn't know where we were headed until we exited onto the East Beltline). Of course I had the camera with me and we wandered around in the blazing heat and I took plenty of photos. I was very pregnant, wearing a thick compression stocking, and sweating like crazy. We stopped at a nice pond with waterfalls and plenty of fish and plantlife to sit and rest. We were both desperately thirsty, and I was so hot I felt like jumping right in!

So, please read this carefully because I am going to post something very unusual and people might think I am crazy, but this is ultimately an attempt to do something nice for someone, and I hope it's not misconstrued in any way... I can understand if this is viewed as unprofessional as a photographer, but in this situation I am not posting this as a "professional photographer" (note: I would never, without permission, post this photo in a gallery on my photography site, which would be illegal), I am posting this as a visitor to the park who happened to take a nice picture, just like anybody else. I am not trying to plug business by posting this, although I did put a watermark on the picture to prevent anyone from taking it and making prints, since it is still my work, professional or not. Legally speaking, it is perfectly okay to take photos of people in public places (except restrooms and dressing rooms), including minor children, without consent, and without a model release - as long as that photo is for editorial purposes and not as commercial advertisement (which is also why I did not put my "logo" watermark on this photo). The two questions that need to be addressed are 1) may I take the photo and 2) what am I going to do with it. These two questions are what matters in any situation where photos are taken of people in public places. If I used a person's image to sell a good or service (as in an ad for an amusement park) it is not okay. If a person's face is seen in an "artistic" or editorial work, I may in fact sell it for profit, like in a gallery. This happens all the time in street photography and photojournalism. Yes, I looked into this before putting a photo of someone's kids on my blog. Finding this photo on our hard drive ended up being very educational for me! I'm glad I understand the law better, because I can see myself, for fun or as artistic exercise, taking photos in public places a lot more this year. That being said...

While sitting there we looked over and saw these two girls standing on the edge of the pond. I know it might be sketchy to admit this, but I couldn't resist snapping a photo. I figured I would be the only one to see it anyway, and it was more as an experiment. I never really gave it a second thought. However, as I was just going through old random pictures and cleaning up some folders, I came across it again. I decided that I want to share it, as a very futile effort to find out who these kids are, so I can e-mail the file to their mom, or moms (I don't know if they are sisters or friends), or even have a print made. It's likely this photo will never find the rightful owner, but who knows. If you know who these girls are, or if these are your girls, please forgive me for taking their picture without permission. They looked so cute and summery by the water, and it's truly a candid moment of childhood. I was practicing with a new lens and ended up with something that I think is special... I'm usually not one to say my work is that outstanding, but this was one of those photos that made me pause and take a second look, there is something so timeless about it. If I were these girls' mom, I would want a copy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday!

This weekend we celebrated my sister's 30th Birthday! Her fiance planned a couple surprises, starting with her good friend Jessie flying in from Duluth and when Kelly got home from class Friday night, she was waiting at their apartment! The next day, Ron and I showed up and hung out for a while, then Kelly, Jessie, and I went to see a movie. While we were gone, Heath, Ron, and Heath's brother and his girlfriend helped set up the food, drinks, and decorations. When we got back, Kelly was surprised again with a party, and quite a few people made it to celebrate with her. Pretty cool. Great job , Heath.... and we were so glad we could be there!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day!

Since the kids won't be able to remember this (but hopefully in school they have up-to-date enough books to read about it), I had to take photos of them by the television. They will be able to see that they were in fact watching all of the morning's events...

Regardless of your personal feelings about Obama, I think it's hard to deny the fact that it's been a looong time (if ever?) that so many people were this excited about a new President taking office. Much more eloquent things will be written about the significance of this day than I could ever attempt to write on this blog.

However, I will say that it is pretty amazing how this process is handled. Someone said (something to the effect of) even though our country was established by breaking away from the Crown, we kept that sense of "pomp and circumstance" that is so elegant and powerful to witness. Every inauguration is historic because it is the continuation of these rituals and traditions. I hope everyone was able to watch at least part of today's events, and that whether or not you voted for Barack Obama, you have appreciation for the democratic system that made this day possible.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mantle, Painting, & A Session Coming Up!

Well, it's been a while since I've spent any significant time on the computer, so I just caught up on all the blogs I like to read, and Facebook, and now I am pretty sick of being down here in the basement! Although, the basement has changed a lot over the past couple days. I have about half of it painted. We're doing most of it in the neutral color used upstairs, but there will be some accent walls in an orangeish-brown color (or brownish orange).

We listed an old drop-leaf table and 2 chairs on Craig's List and sold it in a matter of a couple hours. They are picking it up tomorrow! Quick cash that can be turned into something useful for down here, like decor or a new window treatment (to replace the vinyl mini-blinds in light blue that we currently have!). We are also selling our old microwave for two reasons 1) it is too big to sit on our counter unless it is in a corner... but at this house, our countertops have no corner areas, and 2) if we ever move to or build a place we should by all means be able to buy a new one that either fits in a corner of the counter or is built in, or for all we know we will move somewhere that already has a sweet microwave! The fact remains that right now it's not being used and I don't want it sitting around gathering dust anymore. It is a great microwave, Panasonic, stainless steel, 1.6 cubic feet. We just don't need it right now. Hopefully we can turn that into some quick money too, which we could put to better use than an unused microwave.

I'm excited about an upcoming photo session this week (children), since the past month or so has been pretty slow, meaning nada! Understandable, I suppose, with the holidays and all (especially since I'm pretty new at this biz) but it feels like it's been too long since I did a session. I do get the sense that word is getting out though, which is exciting. I was contacted about doing a wedding in September. That may be a little intimidating right now, but I'm planning on giving them a good deal and I know I would do well (even though I think I'll be pretty nervous about it)! Also by then I will have so much more experience - including a couple weddings that I'll have a chance to "practice" on with no real pressure (other than my unrealistic need to make every session I do better than the one before): my sister's and my friend's weddings, which are completely different from one another, which is cool. I will have better equipment as well, and that is a factor (although I do believe cameras don't take great photos, people take great photos. A camera is a tool, and only as good as the person using it)... but sometimes you need better tools to do the job right, and to the quality that you'd like.

Blah blah blah...

Oh, our mantle is done and painted. It's so nice to have a fire and be able to enjoy looking at the surround as well. Ron made the mantle out of a rough-cut piece of wood which had to be cut to length from 12 fee to approximately 8 feet, and planed smooth, and sanded by hand. The leftovers are sitting at the top of our basement steps, and you'd never believe something so ugly could become a silky smooth, straight piece of wood for a mantle! It was screwed to the surround framing through holes drilled on the top, which were filled by wood plugs so you don't see any fasteners. A big project, and it's finally pretty much completed (once I finish a couple paint touch-ups)!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

DTV Transition

Funny video, must watch, click here and then click on the video. Thanks Kelly!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Potty Post

I think it's customary for parents of toddlers to share their potty-training experiences on their blogs.... at least a few people I know do it, and I'm no exception. So I apologize to those who would rather not hear about such things.

Lucy's been doing pretty well with the potty chair, as long as she runs around with no diaper / pants on. She knows it's coming and will run to it and sit down to pee. However, she was refusing to go #2 even if she really had to. We'd put a diaper back on and she'd go within minutes. Today, however, she finally did it! I actually ran downstairs to check my Facebook, and then I heard her shouting "I went poopy in the potty chair!" over and over, so I ran upstairs and sure enough, she had! I think this is a big next step in this process. We go with a fairly no-pressure approach. It's available for her to use, but I'd rather her run around and go about her normal routine than to sit on the potty for hours on end waiting passively for things to happen. She gets rewarded with candy as well as a sticker on a chart that hangs on the fridge, and some singing, dancing, clapping, hugs, high-fives, etc.

My only dilemma is I still don't know how to get her to tell us before hand if she needs to go, in case we start letting her wear panties. It seems like she goes right back to the mentality that she's wearing a diaper. So, that's the next step! Fun times. At least she's making progress. :) Good job Lucy!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Three's Company

I thought I could keep her away, but we now have two Dora dolls in our house. Her neat hairdo is quickly ruined, which of course drives me crazy. Much like Lucy's most of the time...Of all the pretty pictures I took today, I had to post these. I had Henry on our bed, and then propped him up to take care of something. Lucy did the rest...

Baby Names released their list of the top names of 2008 for boys and girls. I find it interesting to watch some of the trends and see how they change. According to their list, for 2008, Henry actually was in the top 100 at #84. Lucy has climbed to #74, but the name was not in the top 100 the year she was born. If we had had another girl, she would have been named Alice (not on the list either). Both Henry and Alice were in the top 10 in the 1900's, so clearly we've gone with the old-fashioned names trend. Well, I guess it depends on which list you look at, since they all tend to be a little bit different. The fact is, the trends are similar across the board. I found the "official" list at the Social Security Administration, although the 2008 list isn't ready yet. It might be fun to look up your own name, or your birth year, just for kicks.

Naming a baby is fun and exciting when you are expecting. There is a lot of pressure to find something that you (and hopefully the kid) will love forever. I really like my name because there weren't too many other Mindys around when I was growing up. To this day I only know a few. It's not short for anything, and it just suits me, I guess because it's all I've ever known! My name hit its peak in 1979 (rank 81), and then went right back out of the top 100. When I was born in 1981, it was ranked at #154.

I get these little e-mails about our children's development and it has articles, so when this one showed up in my inbox I thought it would be interesting for some people to take a look at, and then I went on to find a more comprehensive and accurate source. If you're currently expecting, this is definitely something that will be on your mind!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I have obviously changed my blog's background image. I am not wild about it, but at least it's updated now. It's not that hard to change it, so I might keep looking for something different. This is too similar to what I used to have. I kind of want to take the time to create my own image, but that isn't happening today...

Princess Bride Ambigram

Kelly sent me this for the 20th Anniversary release of The Princess Bride (which is one of my favorite movies ever!). 20 Years?! Anyway, it is a really amazing ambigram of the title. Thought my loyal fans would enjoy this. Meanwhile, I realize I have change my background, because we are done with the holidays. Well, we've been done for a couple weeks, but I just took the lit garland down from over our cabinets, thus making this official (at least around our house). I'm going to try to change it today sometime.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wall Decals

I have an idea (maybe possibly totally stolen from Tiece): vinyl wall decals. There are plenty of them here on Etsy to sift through. The prices aren't too bad, and it's of course removable if we get sick of it. I might like this idea. I would want to put it on the back wall up there. Or possibly, if it's more linear, on the wall under the windows. Depends on what we got.


Here is the space above our foyer, there is a ceiling fan there, which someday we plan to replace! It his brass and white with no cover over the lightbulb! You can see part of the paint job I was talking about too. Anyway, ever since we found this house we wanted to put something interesting up there. Most people suggest a large vase/urn thingy with some kind of fake plant or grasses in it. I haven't written that idea off entirely, but part of me wants to find something a little more interesting.

The accent colors in our room are orange and turquoise. The style is a very casual but modern/simple look. I like mid-century and vintage things. Any suggestions for something to place up there?

Multi-Themed Post, Can't Think of a Title

Well, I've finished painting the bathroom - I like it. It's a tad brighter than I would have originally wanted, but it's a vast improvement from the "invisible lavender" that it used to be (meaning it looked almost white, with white trim. Exciting). The brass TP dispenser is the kind that is recessed into the wall. They only make them in brass or chrome, those toilet paper dispenser making devils! So Ron spray-painted ours with nickel Rustoleum. Better now. We switched all the beige switches/outlets to white too. A couple minor cracks were patched before being painted, so overall it's a huge difference.

I'm about 75% done with the great room, which we decided to do in two tones of warm gray (off the same swatch) to accentuate some of the unique architecture. The darker color almost looks a bit olive, but we like it. I'll post pictures soon. We had to borrow an extension ladder from a neighbor. The A-frame (I shall name "old wobbly") we have works for some areas, but I just can't get high enough to cut in waaaay up toward the top. I am not very scared of heights. In fact I don't think Ron would mind if I revealed the fact that he'd probably be more scared than I was up there, but I don't exactly love it either. He'd be perfectly willing to suffer through it for me, but I am a control/neat-freak when it comes to painting, so I'd rather do it myself. I'll go as far as to use an arts and crafts brush to make sure I'm cutting in a neat line. I know that sounds horrible... but I'm being honest about it. Ron has really been off the hook in this department since we've been married. I'm glad the worst parts of the room are done. The rest I can finish today without using the big scary ladder.

My parents took Lucy for most of the day yesterday, and there is no way we would've gotten even a fraction of the work done with her at home. She went to the Treehouse at Rivertown, baked cookies, and watched a small portion of The Little Mermaid before declaring that she didn't like it! What the heck!?! Maybe when she's a bit older.

Henry wasn't exactly the most cooperative boy though, since he seems to have started teething. Pink cheeks (cute), mild fever, lots of extra drool, and screaming. His high-pitched shriek sounds just like the smaller dentist drill. It really makes you work fast to figure out how to calm him down! Smart boy. I dug out the Orajel and that made him stop instantly, but its effect doesn't last long enough. He basically didn't nap yesterday so Ron spent a lot of the day holding him and trying to keep him happy. That was his "job" while I painted.

We received our DirectTV Saturday, which has led to us having HGTV on pretty much all weekend. I like the new setup, and browsing through channels while you're still watching one, etc, is nice. The picture is also much sharper.

I feel like the weekend was really productive, although it went by too quickly. After the great room is done being painted, I'll work my way through the mudroom, stairway, and into the basement... should be a painty week! When I get started on something like this, I don't want to drag it out for too long.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Bye Bye Cable

Here's a question posted to Comcast's customer service forum:

What's the story with Comcast and the digital TV switch-over that's coming in Feb 2009? According to the various gov sites, if you have cable TV, you're not affected. So I called Comcast and the rep told me that they will discontinue all analog channels in Feb 2009 as well and that the cheapest digital package starts at $55/month. So what's the real story?

I'd prefer to just keep everything "as is", but if Comcast is going to dump all the analog channels, I guess I'll have to dump Comcast cable (I guess I'll drop Comcast internet too if I can get DSL in my area) and try using one of the new coupon boxes instead, however I don't know if I will be able to get it to work with my ReplayTV boxes.

So, does anyone know if Comcast really is going to dump all the analog channels?

First, I would like to apologize for any confusion.

Please allow me to clarify. Comcast's relocation of analog channels to the digital tier does not have anything to do with digital switch over in Feb 2009. The digital switch over is only for off the air channels (local and basic channels available through antenna) being transmitted from analog to digital. If you are a cable customer, you do not have anything to worry about. We got you covered for the switch over in 2009.

Currently on some Comcast markets, channels are being relocated from analog to the digital tier. The main purpose for us doing this is to free up space. For every analog channel, we can fit in more digital and High def channels. If you do not have a digital converter, you may not be able to view the transferred channels becuase they are now in the digital feed. As a result, we are currently offering a promotion for customers who are currently not subscribing to our digital service.

I hope my expanation helped. If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please feel free send me an email with your best contact number. I will be happy to assist further.

Best Regards,

Mark C.
Comcast Corp.

...even though in theory cable users are not affected by the OTA switchover, there's nothing stopping the cable companies using this occasion to move all of their analog channels up into the digital range too. If you're already using a cable box, this probably won't affect you, but if (like me) you have the cable going directly into your TV, it is a concern.

Basically, if you have a basic cable package (like Ron and I) we are getting some cable channels through the analog tier (via our cable). It's confusing to me as anything, but I can almost wrap my mind around it. We pay for a certain number of channels and get others we're not supposed to (Comcast knows this occurs, and we're not manipulating any equipment etc.), and so Comcast is moving them to the "digital tier" (huh) because analog broadcast take up about 10 times as much space (on the frequency spectrum) as digital broadcasts use. The FCC wants to trim down the space required for TV so that they can sell the rest of the spectrum. They also need a dedicated emergency band that doesn't conflict with any of the cellular phone companies. Yada yada yada, we'll have to start paying more if we want to continue seeing all the channels we currently have. I can see both sides, but I think Comcast is being a bit sneaky about it.

For the past year we've heard all about this switchover to digital broadcast and been under the impression we're ready and nothing is going to change. Well, technically we are ready. Our TVs are ready, and we're not receiving a signal through rabbit ears, right? However, that doesn't mean that our monopolistic cable company isn't going to pull a fast one. We've looked into it a lot (per my extreme skepticism and Ron's desire to watch more ESPN) and spoken to actual humans from Comcast on the telephone, and this is reality, not some Internet hoax. Therefore as of tomorrow we are no longer going to be Comcast TV subscribers and are going to the dish. We'll have about a trillion channels for the same cost as Comcast's lowest price digital package ($55). I just hope that we don't become TV-aholics. I'm actually most excited about the Satellite radio channels, and MTV2. Our Internet connection is DSL through AT&T.

It's hard to sift through the rumors and reality online, and at first I was very skeptical about this issue, because I was of course thinking that our TVs are really new, and our connection is cable, and the screen was green, and so forth. We are ready for the switch, but around the same time our cable service will be changing. I'm not sure exactly what date that's occurring, and in my opinion Comcast is being very misleading by using the OTA switch as a kind of distraction. Perhaps a lot of people (like me) are unaware that some of their channels are going to be moved, if they didn't realize they were analog channels being received through the cable. I don't know. I'm sure a lot of confused angry old people will be clogging up Comcast's customer service lines so if you think this might affect you, look into it and get er done early.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Not a post about potty training... :)

I had started painting our main floor bath green, and didn't like it. I decided I could try adjusting the paint myself, and worse case scenario would be I'd have to buy new paint. I added some brown (the color of our front door), and a small amount of it was enough to do the trick, and take the neon edge off the green. Now it's still a cheerful color but a little more natural looking. I should be able to finish that room up tonight. I am also repainting the ceiling in there, since it needed it very badly (previous owners were sloppy painters), and I never did it when we initially moved in. Both kids are napping at the same time (!!!!) so it gave me a chance to get a lot done!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Repainting... More Than Half the House!

I admit it is crazy, but I have taken on the job of repainting our great room (and hallway, and mudroom). Anyone who has been to our house knows that we have tall ceilings, and a lot of windows to go around, and a few weird nooks and crannies. I have almost all the cutting-in done. I will now explain why I'm doing this when I just painted it a little over a year ago!

1: There are plenty of scuffs, dents, a hole created by Lucy, misc. casualties of home-improvements, etc. on our walls and hallway, and the paint left over from the original job is barely enough to do the touch-ups needed, that is, if it hasn't separated and turned yucky. There was about an inch of paint left in the bucket and it's probably not "good" anymore. The paint color used was an adjusted custom color, so it is literally impossible to match it with new purchased paint.

2: I've always felt that there was a bit too much of pink in the color, and wanted something that is a grayer tan. After getting some of the new paint on the walls, I see the colors are very similar, but the new one is a tad more gray, which is exactly what I wanted. Thank goodness, because we really didn't want to adjust another 5 gallon bucket of paint.

3: We are going to paint the basement in two colors - a neutral and a brownish orange (accent walls). I can do double-duty with the new paint and redo the upstairs as well as the basement, stairway, and basement hallway, which are currently scuffed-up white, and the basement bedroom which is blue spongepaint. I believe we have enough paint for that. If not, we can buy more of the exact same color without an issue, since we didn't have it adjusted. Painting is a great way to make walls appear so much cleaner and newer... our basement definitely needs that more than any other space in the house, it's so banged up!

Meanwhile I have started repainting the upstairs bathroom, but stopped. I started with the green we bought back in July of 2008. I have tried and tried and can't convince myself to like it. It's too much of an obnoxious green, although it doesn't bother Ron. He thinks it's nice but gives me the final veto power when it comes to this kind of stuff. Probably a good thing because if I had to start each day looking at that green bathroom I would be pretty crabby. I still want it green, but a more neutral, natural green. The one in there now is too limey, and reminds me of Easter candy. Not that I have a problem with Easter, I just don't like it on my walls.

As much as I dislike painting (probably because I've done so much), I love how much of an impact it has on the look of a room, for relatively little money. A few days of work is well worth it to me. Well, all this work might take me more than a few days... ;)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Break Over

Ron and I spent New Years Eve in Otsego with our friends Eric and Jen. We've gone to each others' homes for the past few years, taking turns with the hour long drive. Well, Ron and I actually were more tired than anything, and decided to crash there that night. The next day was the family Christmas party for Ron's side, so we picked up the kids from my parents and headed over. Lucy had been up since 6:00 AM (that's early for her) and then of course didn't get a nap. We got there are noon, left around 4:30, and Lucy fell asleep somewhere between Grandville and Hudsonville. We put her in her bed when we got home, and she stayed asleep (despite an effort around 6:30 to wake her up for a while). I did change her into PJ's and she went right back down, and didn't get up until the next morning at her usual time! So, essentially she slept from 4:30 PM to 6:30 AM! I don't think she ever slept that long, even as a baby.

We've finished working on the fireplace surround, and to make a long story short, it is painted white. It looks nice, although it might need another coat or two. For tonight, I am done.

Tomorrow Ron goes back to work... and I am back on my own with the kids - which I was used to before, until I was spoiled for two weeks with his help. Ahh... I better head off to bed!