Thursday, April 30, 2009

Have you seen a baby around here?

Joe told me this hilarious story today about his after-work adventure with Jonas. Be forewarned, if you don't have a good sense of humor, it's probably best to just stick with my cutesy Jonas photo updates.

I will concede that on the humor spectrum Joe and I both tend to fall on the "warped end", as opposed to the "wholesome end". I think that's how we found each other and ultimately married. Thank God we did find each other. Otherwise, we'd be misfits wandering about with no one to appreciate our jokes that range from the off-color and truly bizarre to the crass and misanthropic. Some might call it pathetic. We call it true love.

Anyway, I digress...

After picking up Jonas from "school", Joe and Jonas went out to do a few errands--grocery, Target and EMS. They went into EMS, picked up a few things for this weekend's race and approached the check-out counter. The young female cashier begins to ring up the Clif Bars and gel packs and looks up at Joe, who's standing there with Jonas in his arms. Her face lights up. She cracks a coquettish smile and says in a perky voice, "Awwww! How CUTE!!!! Is that your baby??"

Joe, the master of dead pan, says, "Ahhh, no, actually. I just found him in the changing room."

Silence. Her smile disappeared.

"Has anyone come around looking for a baby?"

"Um, no..."

Awkward pause.

"Just kidding," Joe chuckles, thinking he's a real comedian. Another awkward pause. Her face turned red, and she kind of forced a half-smile.

As Joe turned around to leave, he swore that he heard the faintest muttering of a few choice words.

"It was so weird, Liz," he said. "I don't know. She just didn't seem to think it was funny."
Personally, I loved it. I couldn't stop laughing, as I imagined this scene that I've seen countless times before: young girl hitting on my husband who's holding our son, while I am right there! I mean, the nerve, right?! Well, every now and then karma has a way of coming around and give us a little swift kick in the ass, when we get out of line. Gotcha!

Auntie Sarah's visit

I thought I'd put up a few photos from Auntie Sarah's visit. We don't get to visit with Sarah all that often, given that we're on opposite coasts. So, we really look forward to when Sarah's job with the Avon Walk brings her back east.

Jonas helping Sarah get all ready for the next leg to her trip: Washington, D.C. He's making a series of declarations about what she's going to need. They all sound relatively similar, "DAH.... dah.... DAH!"

Jonas loves his Auntie Sarah, who's way more fun than Mommy. We went for walks and long, hot car rides, and played with Ginger. And Jonas would add that he listened to Mommy and Auntie Sarah talk, and talk, and talk. What else is new?

I wish I had taken a few more pics of these two, but I pulled "a total Mom" and didn't even get my camera out until 10 minutes before Sarah had to go. July... I promise, Sarah, in July I will take lots of good photos. :-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Look!! I'm walking!

One of the most exciting things these days is that Jonas is finally getting the hang of walking. Two weekends ago everything just started to click for him.

He had walked a few times, every now and again, over the past few months, but the cautious side of Jonas much preferred the safety of crawling over walking for a good while. We thought he would have been ready two months ago! But everyone told us, "Be patient. They walk when they're good and ready." And so we waited.

We still giggle with excitement watching him toddle along. He has a definite Frankenstein style walk. The other signature of Jonas' gait is how high he picks up his feet off the ground. Think of what it would look like if you were watching someone trying to run with buckets on each of their feet. Yep, now you get the idea. It's hilarious.

Here he is at the park two weeks ago when he walked nearly 5 feet before losing his balance and falling down. That was just the beginning!

One week later. Now he looks like a pro on two feet. Check out how chubby they are! I love how he digs his little chub-kin toes into the floor when standing.

He was "helping" Auntie Sarah in this photo.

Busy days

On my drive home tonight I wondered how long it has been since my last post. Nearly a fortnight. It's been a busy month with viists from three family members, kitchen upgrade projects, yard spruce-ups, and working through the intricacies of home refinancing. Plus, the weather's improved dramatically, which means we all want to be outside more--Joe on his bike, Jonas at the park, and me somwhere in between with a coffee or my new drink of choice, a mojito, in hand.

Still, I'm missing writing. I have some fun updates as well as some ramblings, to post. You'll see them soon. Happy spring!!

Here's Jonas with his grandmother during her recent visit. We went to the park, where Jonas tried to hand her every stone in sight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fun at the park

Our neighborhood park just installed a beautiful new playground. Out came the 60's era swings, teeter-totters and animals on a corkscrew spring, and in went rock-climbing walls, toddler-sized slides and a sandbox with sand!

Jonas thinking about climbing UP the slide.

The city must have gotten the money in the previous year's budget, otherwise, I can't see how this would have been possible. In any case, we are thoroughly availing ourselves of it and having a great time at it!

Mima helping Jonas go down the slide. He LOVED it!

We took a little break and played in the leaves by the fence. Ginger was standing on the opposite side watching all the fun.

A little boy around 2 1/2 came by to pet Ginger. Jonas just stared at the kid in awe while he talked to us.

One last time, Jonas, before we go...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Easter was a little more lively this year than last. Mima (Jonas' paternal grandmother) came to spend the weekend with us. We had a jolly good time, going to the park, working on the interminable list of home improvement projects, and catching up.

The Easter Bunny paid a visit last night. In fact, Ginger alerted me to his arrival last night around 3 a.m. Fortunately, she didn't wake up Jonas with her barking.

Our very own "Easter Bunny".

Mima helping Jonas to open all the eggs to find all the "bunny grahams".

We had a delicious dinner with ham, carrots, asparagus, cheesy potatoes, and a sweet bread pudding-like dish. (The last one's hard to explain, but it's quite good. Goes exceptionally well with ham.)

Jonas and I are trying to figure out his new "Tadoodle" toy.

I just threw this in to show how tall Jonas is getting these days. Last Easter, he was still a squinty-eyed infant with a cone shaped head and lots and lot of black hair.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Goodbye, old friends

Alas, the time has come to bid a dieu to our stove and refrigerator. While it has been our privilege and honor to serve as the local showroom for the kitchen appliance P.O.S. TM line (trademark name Piece of Shit), we can no longer afford the hefty electric bill incurred by the legendary 1970's Amana 20 and the high-tech culinary marvel, the O'Keefe and Merritt stove. Seriously, now, how many of you have ever heard of this brand?

We'll miss the duct-taped handles, the screaching doors, and the foundation-shaking reverberations each time the fridge's compressor shut off. We took a little video footage to say our farewells, and hope to post it soon.

On Friday, the replacements arrived, and with them came a few more headaches (thankfully only temporary ones). Because our home is fifty years old, there’s a surprise at every turn, but nothing we couldn't handle with a little elbow grease, teamwork and a simple machine. Read on…

Simple machines

If you were to ask a marriage therapist what is one thing that every couple should have in their “couple’s problem-solving kit”, I’ll bet that the answer would not be “simple machines.” It is the (strong!) opinion of this woman, that knowledge of simple machines is a must-have.

Now, I’m guessing that most readers are thinking, “What the hell is she talking about? Simple machines?? What, like, egg-beaters, screwdrivers, wrenches? Not exactly.

Think back to your high school physics class—remember the units on levers, pulleys, and, fulcrums? If you utilize them with just a modicum of skill, you really can move virtually anything regardless of your size. “It’s all about simple machines, Lizzie,” my dad used to, and still continues to, preach. For those who know my dad, you can probably hear the serious-as-a-heart-attack inflection of his voice. There’s nothing funny about science.

Small tangent (I promise it’ll be short, but amusing)

The summer between third and fourth grades, my dad and I spent three months hammering away at dozens of gargantuan hunks of limestone that had been deposited in our backyard by the local quarry. Our objective was to fashion them into somewhat uniform slabs, which we would then have to move nearly a football field’s distance away from where we were. Why? To build an in-ground roasting spit in our backyard, of course! “But Dad,” I pleaded, “How am I, a 90-pound third grader, going to move these several hundred pound rocks?!” Answer: you guessed it, simple machines. That was my first physics lesson. And in case you’re wondering about the spit… no, we never used it.

Anyway, let’s get back to the topic of marriage. As I mentioned in my earlier post, it is rare that updating anything in our house is easy; updates are always coupled with the burden of making “adjustments” to bring the forties era house up to 2009 building codes. In today's chapter of our house upgrades saga, the appliance guys wouldn’t hook up the stove because the gas piping was not up to code, so they left the stove in its box in the garage. All of this meant that we’d have to call a plumber to install a valve in the kitchen, call back the appliance guys to hook up everything, and sure, we’d have our new stove in a good two weeks, plus an additional couple hundred bucks for the plumber. As far as Joe was concerned, no deal. We were going to do it ourselves—install the valve, and move two stoves around. Really? Ourselves?

I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I am fairly confident that ours is not the only relationship in which moving heavy objects causes considerable strife. I admit that I freaked out when Joe dropped the news that it was up to us to move out the old stove and bring in the new (behemoth!) one. The mere thought of moving anything heavy catapults my blood pressure. It always seems to hurt my back and my weak little fingers that can seemingly never get purchase on anything, and it ends with arguing and tension. Now, I might have a little extra baggage than other women, due to the “re-creation of Stonehenge” experience as a third grader, but I bet other women feel the same way. If only someone had reminded us earlier—like about 10 years ago, when we met—about simple machines.

I have no idea how much this weighs, but several hundred pounds, I'd guess.

Fortunately, it came to mind right away, this time, and boy, did it pay off. The moving and installation of the stoves might be our greatest teamwork effort yet, except for Jonas’ birth. I came up with a brilliant moving strategy. Load stove on hand-truck, wheel through dining and living rooms, and out through front door. If we could just get it on the truck, we’d be golden. My idea was met with skepticism--this should be a no-brainer, Mr. Engineer!--but we were desperate, so we agreed to give it a shot. Everything went perfectly! No pain, no panic, no yelling, no fighting. I was incredibly proud of us. While we’ve moved some metaphorical mountains in our history together, this was by far the most physical challenging event, and the most rewarding.

Getting things ready for the hook-up.

Yay! All done. Just putting on the burners and grilles.