Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Really old beach photos, finally posted!

The rest are on Flickr. I love almost all of them, but these are my absolute favorites. Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Keeping Busy

Things have been busy lately. Do I always say that? I guess it's some kind of excuse as to why I don't post as often lately. But this time I really mean it. Last week was pretty exhausting, since I watched Noah on Monday and part of the day on Tuesday. Four kids... Yeah. I have also been knitting like mad trying to finish this little Easter dress for Roxanne. I'm halfway done, as in I've finished the front piece, and I'm started on the back piece, but I've been getting faster and faster, so I'm hoping I'll be done soon. It's disappointing because I am not totally happy with the quality of my knitting on the front, since I was learning as I went, but the back is coming along very nicely. Hopefully it won't be painfully obvious to everyone that this was one of my first real projects in a long time. It's been really fun. I've also been spending lots of time researching real estate and mortgages and all that fun stuff. It's basically a giant black hole. You could spend an infinite amount of time looking at listings. I've also been looking at different types of financing, etc. I spoke with a mortgage broker, and went through the pre-qualification process, so I at least know that if we can figure out the down payment issue, we should be able to get a loan. But the "down payment issue" is kind of a big one. Apparently HUD has always been against down payment assistance programs because the rate of borrowers who use them and default on their loan is much higher than people who have their own down payment and default on their loan. There are a couple of programs, but the only one that I have found that Justin and I could actually qualify for is only for the City of Atlanta. Which means much more money for the house and super high property taxes. But we'll see. Like I said before, it could certainly be a few years before we are actually ready to buy, and that's OK, too. It never hurts to know how to get your ducks in a row. In any case, that's where my mind has been.

Roxanne has been great (no big surprise there) but has been having some discipline issues. I never thought I would say that about my 14 month old little angel, but it's true. We don't have to discipline her often, but when we do (well, usually it is me) it's for things like pushing, biting or trying to drag Ben off of a toy by the collar of his shirt. So it's serious stuff. I give her time outs when she does these things, which consists of holding her arms by her sides and facing her to the wall for about 30 seconds or so. I don't say much other than "no biting" or "no hitting" or whatever the situation calls for, and I try not to make any eye contact. Unfortunately, Roxanne thinks that this whole time out thing is hilarious. She giggles when I hold her arms down and she tries to wiggle around to look at me. Today, we had an all out war over the Diaper Champ. She would not stop touching it and trying to turn the handle. I kept telling her no in a serious tone and picking her up and moving her to a new spot. But she would go right back to it. After about four times of this, I put her in time out. As soon as I let go of her, she went right back to it. I started bringing her into a different room (I was trying to change another baby through this whole process, so I couldn't just turn all of my attention to her) which we did about five times. I mean, seriously, I think I pulled her off the thing like fifteen times. I'm not exaggerating. She is so stubborn! The only reason we stopped playing this game is that I finally finished what I was doing and closed the door to the room with the Diaper Champ in it. Oh, and if I sound crazy and controlling, I'm not. It's just that the Diaper Champ is what holds dirty diapers, so it's pretty much a disgusting thing for a baby to want to play with, which somehow translates to both babies always trying to play with it and put toys in it. So yes, we are in trouble. This baby is smart and has a temper. I told Justin that I want to talk to the pediatrician about it at her next visit. Maybe she'll have some sage advice for me.

We also had a busy weekend, which was nice, but I'm tired. It stinks that it's going to be like 3 months before there's another three day weekend. Someone needs to invent a really important holiday that always falls on a Monday sometime in March. Or make it mandatory for everyone on the planet to take a spring break and make it paid. Wouldn't that be lovely?!

Photos soon, I promise. Including some lovely ones we finally got developed from our beach trip back in October. They are GORGEOUS since they were taken with the nice camera my dad gave me. But they prove why we should not be allowed to use a film camera. We never get around to getting the photos developed. But they are amazing. I can't wait to share!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Finally, I posted photos

Here's some favorites.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Magnum P.I. Blogging

I am currently watching an episode of Season 1 of Magnum P.I. on Netflix as I write this post. I'm just putting that out there so that if I make lots of typos and random meandering thoughts, I have an excuse. The episode is called "The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii" and it's pretty awful, but in a nice way. The whole episode is centered around some guys trying to kidnap a dog. Seriously.

Anyways, there's not too much new to report. We had a nice weekend, starting with a grown up night on Friday. Justin and I made a concerted effort to not ignore each other after the baby went to bed, and we spent time talking about the crime in the city and whether or not we want to move, and to where. It's such a complicated issue, so we are trying to get our ducks in a row. I've been talking to a real estate agent at Sanctuary Realty (over e-mail) and he seems very helpful. We are going to go to a home buying seminar that the realty offers next Thursday, and we are even going to have my friend Whitney watch the baby! Can we count that as a date? In any case, we are not in a big rush yet, and we have to figure out whether or not this is even feasible for us. Part of what is making us get more serious is the proposed $15,000 tax credit in the stimulus package. If I understand it correctly, and it gets passed the way I think it is, we wouldn't get a check for $15K or anything, but we would not have to pay federal income tax for two years. But I'm definitely not an expert, and all of this is being pieced together from random websites and finance blogs. But it's really interesting! Once we figure out whether or not we could even qualify for a mortgage, we will need to start thinking seriously about neighborhoods. But who knows...we could easily keep renting for a few more years. It just seems like it's a good time to be a first time homebuyer.

But back to the weekend. Roxanne and I went to a consignment sale in Morningside on Saturday morning. It was sort of "meh." I mean, we found 6 tops and a baby gate (still in the box!) and spent $12, but none of the clothes are great. When you have to go to your basement and hope that your landlord isn't doing his laundry every time you wash your baby's clothes, you buy LOTS of baby clothes so that laundry isn't quite as necessary. After that, we went to get new front tires on our car, since we got a flat last week. We now have all four new tires, since one of the rear tires went flat a few weeks ago. Ugh. After that, we went to IKEA and met my mom and Mike and Leah and some of her friends. We were there for hours, but Roxanne had lots of fun with her family. All we bought was a pillow for the baby, since she is finally allowed to have one. Justin let her borrow his Transformers pillow case. She looks adorable sleeping on it. Sunday was ideal. We went to the Zoo, then ate lunch at Alon's. We went to Yoforia for dessert, and it was wonderful. Roxanne LOVED it. She helped herself to her Dad's frozen yogurt once he had enough.

Roxanne had a big time at the Zoo. She was much more able to watch the animals, especially the elephant. She really stared at him. And the petting zoo was perfect as always. She walked around and said "hihihihi!" to all the animals. She patted a few, too, especially the pigs. And the best goat ever, Willow, let her pet him as usual. She rode the carousel with me, although she was pretty scared of it. I ended up having to sit on the dolphin one with her (which was mildly embarassing) because she wouldn't sit on it alone. But once we got going, she loved it. She did her usual "whoawhoa" and even waved a little. But I tried to wave, too, and she grabbed my hand and put it back on her tummy. I guess she felt safer that way. The three of us rode the train, but Roxanne was more interested in the ticket stubs than the view. So it goes.

Roxanne has added a few new words to her vocabulary, including "nehneh" which can either mean "nana" (my mom) or "night night." She has learned the sign for "milk," but she only does it when she starts nursing or when I ask her if she wants milk. She doesn't sign in order to nurse, if that makes sense. She is only nursing a few times a day, so I'm not rushing to wean at this point. I think if we make it to 18 months, I will reassess how things are going. Right now, her favorite thing to do is climb on stuff. Anything. Everything. Especially stairs. And she loves rocking toys. She rides on them and says "whoawhoawhoa." Today she discovered the joys of dirt while we were playing in the backyard. She was grabbing handfulls of it and then letting it sift back through her fingers. It was one of those moments where I had to let her do it, but I was inwardly cringeing. Ick.

All right, that's enough I guess. I promise I'll post some new photos soon. These long rambling posts are so boring without photos. Sorry!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ranting about crime...

I'm getting really tired of all of this crime stuff in Atlanta. Seriously. I just got an e-mail on Saturday from my neighborhood list-serve that there was an incident on our street. On OUR street! Apparently someone backed into a driveway at 1:00am and started ringing the doorbell frantically. The homeowner came to the door and yelled through it asking what they wanted. The person yelled that they were looking for someone named Daphne, and when the homeowner told him that he had the wrong house, the guy just jumped back in his car and drove off. In theory, this would be innocent enough, maybe just an annoying drunk guy driving around, but included in the e-mail was a note that the homeowner had a friend who is an Atlanta Police Officer working in Kirkwood (the nieghborhood right next to ours) and he told him that they are having a rash of home invasions where someone knocks on your door looking for someone (they always give you a specific name) and when you open the door, they hold you up at gunpoint and rob your house. The homeowner on our street was very lucky that he didn't open his door. I don't know exactly which house it was, but our street is VERY short, less than a quarter mile, so it must have been close. I'm sure everyone knows about all of the other high profile crime incidents that have been happening. It's just scary. Justin and were talking about how much it stinks to feel unsafe in your own home, especially as a parent. I hate to think that we are in any way putting our child at risk. I definitely think we are going to look for safer lodgings once our lease is up in September. Maybe Decatur. Our neighborhood is usually very very safe, with nothing other than car break-ins on occasion, but these days, it's like the whole city is turning into the Wild Wild West. What's a parent to do?

So in Roxanne related news, she is starting to say a couple of new words. She is saying "bah" when she picks up balls of any kind, and she absolutely LOVES them. She likes to carry around Justin's basketball, and she has several other toy balls of her own that she carts around gleefully. She's getting more and more sturdy with her walking, and can even withstand gentle pushes sometimes when Ben or Josh accidentally knock into her during the day. This weekend we had lunch with my grandparents and then went to a knitting shop in Virginia Highland (Knitch) and I got a beautiful book on knitting and some lovely yarn to make Roxanne a sundress (thanks Grandma!). I have been working on it the past couple of days, and Roxanne has already made a pretty big mess of skein of yarn I started with. I just couldn't take it away from her because she looked so cute pulling it apart. She kept draping it over her shoulders. She loves to do that with clothes. When Justin puts his clean clothes on the bed, she dives right in and puts different things on her head and shoulders. She seems to prefer socks and boxers.

I won't list out the other things we did this weekend, but I will say we had a fun Saturday night with J and J and Evie. Evie was wonderfully sweet to Roxanne and shared all of her toys with her. She's definitely not used to that... During the week, it's like a baby eat baby world on the toy front. Everything is fair game. And after the babies went to sleep, us grown ups played with the Wii for a while. I really want one. They are so much fun. The boxing was my favorite. Maybe some day...