Monday, August 24, 2009


You may have gathered from Facebook and Twitter, but I know a lot of people who just had babies. My cousin had a baby about 6 weeks ago, and then this past week the deluge: Kelly and Luke had a girl early Tuesday morning, Rachel and Shawn had a boy on Thursday night, and other Kelly's brother and sister-in-law had a son on Friday morning. What a week! I have never been so glued to my cell phone. And these people all know each other! Luke works for Kelly's brother Jim, so they both became daddy's (Jim for the second time) within 5 days of each other. I am definitely envisioning triple birthday parties in coming years.

On Saturday, Kelly, Reed, and I headed down to Gettysburg to meet the first PREP baby, Ella Jo. She was born at 4:35 AM Tuesday morning August 18th, so she was 4 days old on Saturday. She weighed 6'5" when she was born, but on Saturday was a little below 6', making her the most amazingly tiny person I have ever met. She slept for almost the entire two hours we were there, and barely even stirred when we'd pick her up and pass her around. She was so comfy and cozy in anyone's arms, why should she wake up? It was amazing.

The last time I held an infant was at my high school graduation party. That was awesome, but this was transcendant. I could have stared at Ella all day. This is the first baby that I will watch grow up, and I'll be there and know her for her entire life. I'm so overwhelmed by this, so I can hardly imagine what her mommy and daddy, my good friends, must be feeling! I'm tearing up again, as usual, just from writing this down.

I haven't seen any pictures of Rachel and Shawn's son yet, so I'm excitedly waiting for that! Next Saturday I'll finally get to meet Miles, my cousin's son, and the following Saturday we'll have our first all-PREP gathering with Ella. I am positive that I haven't experienced anything this amazing before in my life, and nothing will top it until I'm holding my own baby in my arms. What an amazing week. I am so happy and thankful.

Miles at 5 weeks old:

Ella Jo on Saturday, with her mom plus 2 out of 3 PREP aunties:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dining Room Before & After

I can't believe it's taken me four days to post this, since I'm so excited about it!

Dining room in March before we moved in:

Dining room during wallpaper peeling, shortly after moving in at the end of May:

Dining room during painting in early and mid June:

Taking up the carpet after painting all trim but the baseboard, early August:

All finished!

Still to do in the dining room: Install the new white switch plate and outlet covers; put stuff into the curio cabinet (starting with the nice china I got from my Gommy); get a new chandelier; and hang some art on those walls! Today I got stuff at Michael's to help me do two out of four: the outlet covers are Paul's job, but I got some stands for the plates (instead of just stacking them all - I want to see them they're very simple and pretty!) and some poster mounting glue to fix the big Van Gogh that's all wrinkly in its cheapo frame--I think this will let me use the same cheapo frame but get the picture to stay all flat and nice permanently. Still haven't decided where to hang it, but I'm hoping once I can hold it up to a few places, there will be something obvious. Best guess right now is the wall between the kitchen entry and the pantry door, so I'll still need ideas for the wall to the left of the curio! Maybe some of my many unused landscape and nature photos. And no budget right now for a chandelier, but I think I know about what I want.

Also, thankfully you can't tell in the picture how badly the curtains need to be ironed. I'll do that soon...

We're planning to take up the carpet in the living room this Sunday!! Once that's done and I paint the trim in there, we'll officially be finished with the really big, necessary stuff. OMG.

I didn't continue cleaning the fridge tonight, and I'm OK with that.

Monday, August 03, 2009

More Progress! Plus gushing.

While I was jet-setting down to Raleigh, NC to visit Rachel & Kelly, leaving Paul at home by himself, look at everything he did:

- Sold the little tree in our back yard that we want to replace with a veggie and herb garden for next year; the guy is supposed to come dig it up on Wednesday morning.

- 100% finished re-installing everything to do with the fridge: My dad came over and re-installed the cabinet above the fridge, Paul re-applied the laminate front of the counter, and attached some quarter-round to clean up the edge of the cabinet beside the fridge. It looks so awesome! Now I have to fulfill my promise to clean the fridge, which was filthy inside when we got it and has not yet been cleaned.

- Purchased and installed heavy curtains across one end of the front unfinished half of the basement where he now has his table saw, so that the dust is contained and doesn't interfere with the laundry area

- Discovered that our attic fan has been disabled because it's a bit broken and therefore very loud, and so our attic has been getting extremely hot every day (well over 100 degrees) thus making our air conditioning much less efficient. I don't even know why he was thinking about this or going up into the attic to begin with, but it's a good thing he found out, because running the fan during the day while we're not home to be bothered by the noise will save us a lot of energy cost.

- Installed a brand-new digital programmable thermostat to better regulate the air conditioning (i.e. program it to raise the temp during the day while we're at work and lower it in time to be comfortable when we get home.)

- Bought me a sweater drying rack because he saw one for uber-cheap at Ollie's, even though we haven't discussed my wanting one for ages

- Bought a wireless digital indoor/outdoor thermometer, the outdoor portion of which is being used to monitor the attic temperature for the time being (what a good idea!)

- Brought upstairs and shelved a few boxes of books from the basement

- Did all the dishes so that I arrived home to a clear, clean kitchen counter

He told me about most of this stuff while I was sitting at the Raleigh airport waiting to board, and I exclaimed, "Wow, I'm going to go on vacation with my girlfriends more often!" And he said, "OK, you can." But really, I definitely need to thoroughly clean the fridge and paint the baseboard trim in the dining room this week, and hang the blinds in the dining room, and maybe get the curtains hung in the bedrooms and office, if I'm going to live up to all the work Paul did this weekend.

Speaking of going on vacation with my girlfriends, I flew in to Raleigh, NC late Friday night, where Rachel picked me up and we headed home to bed (but not before she fed me the peach-and-berry crostada she made while waiting to pick me up - so delicious!!) so we'd be ready to get up bright and early to meet Kelly on her way home from the beach and kidnap her from Reed (not really - this was all planned). It was too overcast to go to the beach for the afternoon, so instead we went back to Rachel's beautiful apartment and spent the day making and eating The Dip and chatting. It was wonderful.

Saturday evening we got a little dolled up and went out for sushi, and then decided to come home and do more talking, since it was obvious that's all we wanted to do and it would be better if we weren't in a loud bar. We changed into our jammies and talked into the night.

Sunday we rolled out of bed at 10:00, made blueberry pancakes and fruit salad, and added peach slices to glasses of sparkling wine for a refreshing morning drink. While we ate, we watched Mamma Mia, which must have been made with us in mind, because it was so awesome and fun to watch. Then in the early afternoon we braved the still-cloudy-but-not-too-rainy skies to sit by the pool for a while.

Around 3:00 on Sunday afternoon we headed in from the pool to get ready for dinner, where we met two of Rachel's friends at a Czech restaurant for a delicious experience(I had pork goulash with dumplings, and fried brie with cranberry sauce). Then they dropped me off at the airport before heading to the theater to see The Sound of Music live. I wish I could have stayed until Tuesday with Kelly, but alas, I couldn't afford to take the time off work.

I'm glad Kel and Rach finally got some sun today, so they're out by the pool again. I have to finish an FPA for an investigator's RFI, then start on two write-ups of providers I want to refer to investigations at the next INDC meeting. Oh, and finish the Extract Spike model results for June data, and look up some stuff for Wednesday's Infusion Code meeting. And go home and clean the fridge. It will be nice to stay around the house next weekend for once!