Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Go West Young Ladies

Well, Kevin is officially a student now. He’s been through orientation, which he described as “boring.” Tomorrow is his first day of classes. He’s taking 15 credit hours and will be working 20 hours a week. So, needless to say, his schedule will be hectic.

I’m a terrible wife – I shouldn’t have planned it this way – but I’ll be gone his first week of school. Meredith and I will be visiting my family in Long Beach. I’m a nervous wreck whenever I think about taking a very mobile and independent 14-month-old on an airplane by myself!

Kevin has offered me no consolation. He has already told me that it will be awful and he would be nervous too, if he were me. (We both know our child very well.)

My plan is to bring lots of books – she’s really into books right now – and lots of snack foods that I normally don’t give her, which she’ll love. For instance, store bought cookies.

My hope is that if she starts causing a scene on the airplane, she’ll stop dead in her tracks at the sight of a cookie. (Did I say I know my child?)

Now that I think about it, maybe I should go buy lollipops too. It would probably take her a long while to finish off a lollipop. A lollipop could potentially buy me loads of precious time!

My parents are going to be so fortunate to experience a week with their sugared-up granddaughter!!

I’m really looking forward to spending time with my family this next week. At the same time, it’s been hard to get both mentally and physically ready for it since it’s coming on the heels of our moving and Kevin beginning his studies.

But, ready or not, here we come LBC!

[As an aside, I’m also wondering, with the new anti-terrorism regulations banning liquid in carry-on luggage, if I’ll be allowed to bring bottles of milk and water for Meredith. Here’s hoping!]

Friday, August 18, 2006

There you have it ...

The world's largest pig. I have seen it with my very eyes at the Indiana State Fair.

Do you realize that pretty much everything they serve at the fair is fried? This year they even had fried twinkies, fried oreos, and fried peanut butter cups. I didn't try any of those. I did eat my first elephant ear, however.

Anyway, we had a lot of fun. Meredith loved all the animals, of course.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New 'Hood

We got all our stuff moved into the new place on Saturday. Whenever we move I’m always reminded how nice it is to have true friends – people who care enough, and are kind enough, to give up their otherwise-free Saturday, sweat profusely, and deal with back pain for a few days in order to help you out. Moving is one thing in life that you definitely cannot do on your own. Thanks friends!

Life is very different now. Our last house was nestled in the quiet suburbs. It was bright and open and fairly new. This house is located in the bustling city. It is smaller, older and feels more closed-in but it also has more character. (Like Jon said, "Take a look at those iron grate air vents!")

At first I was disappointed that we weren’t going to live in the suburbs again. I really loved my old life in Roseville, California. But I know if I sit around and rue my old life too much I’m going to miss out on the good times that I can have here, in Broad Ripple, in the next two years. This will probably be my last chance to live in the city. I’m going to capitalize upon it and make the most of it. It’s going to be fun.

Today I took Meredith on a walk down several city blocks to get some lunch. We’ve been eating leftover pizza for days now, since I haven’t had time to grocery shop yet. I took one look at the last slice of pizza in the fridge and made an executive decision to hit up the town and seek another option.

I must say that it’s more interesting to stroll in the city than in the suburbs – especially where, in our old neighborhood, all the houses looked alike. In this new neighborhood all the houses are unique. Plus, there’s just a lot more happening. There are more people to watch and more activities going on.

I’m looking forward to many more exploratory strolls in my future. In the meantime, I have lots of boxes sitting around, calling my name.

Oh, and in the midst of all our busyness – unpacking, settling in, Kevin trying to order school textbooks, trying to hook-up our new washer and dryer, etc., etc., Kevin has mysteriously come down with a bad case of poison ivy. Since he hasn’t done yard work in a while, we are puzzled at how he got it. But anyway, his hands and arms have been burning and itching since Sunday. Poor guy.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Under the weather ...

Meredith was sick with the flu two days ago and then gave it to me. Yesterday was the worst. I had a work deadline, had the flu, Meredith was in full-swing energy plus a little crabby with her teething, plus I had started doing laundry that morning and God forbid I should stop doing laundry once I’d already started.

I never thought the day would end.

Today I’m better but am still a little bit drained. This morning I was lying on the couch with absolutely no energy as Meredith pranced about, taking advantage of my immobility and exploring new territories. I watched, through heavy eyelids, as she scattered bread on the floor, took books out of the shelf, and unfolded a pile of laundry.

You know, when you’re sick there are a lot of things you really don’t care about when, otherwise, you would.

I hadn’t planned on falling asleep but was awaked out of a deep stupor to the sound of my cell phone announcing: “To complete this call …” She had found a way to turn the speaker on – that’s the only reason I heard it.

In a daze, at first I couldn’t locate where she was. Finally, following the sound of the phone, I climbed upstairs to find her sitting on the landing, a guilty look on her face. She knows she’s not supposed to play with my cell phone. (The picture of her, below, is an old phone – THAT one is okay.)

I looked at the “call history” and discovered that she’d made five different phone calls. Thankfully none of them were to 9-1-1. It looks like she called somewhere in Austin, Texas and somewhere else in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of the numbers she dialed had upwards of a dozen digits. I can only hope that our next phone bill doesn’t reveal that she made a call to Pakistan.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dinner Break

You can probably guess what we’ve been up to … painting, painting, and more painting. Whenever we can squeeze in a few hours, we run to the house and paint.

We took a break on Saturday evening to go to a dinner for all the attorneys and spouses at Kevin’s firm. (It took me a while to get the paint out of my hair but, fortunately, I got ready in time! I’m a very messy painter.)

Anyway, the dinner was held at an Italian restaurant downtown. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much food in all my life. We were served appetizers, wine, bread and dipping oil, soup or salad, a main course, dessert, and selections from a full coffee bar.

It was really good to meet more people from his firm. The people at the dinner were all really kind and friendly to me. Some of them were really funny, too.

We’re thankful that God has provided such a good job for Kevin.

Oh, and I don’t think I ever really put this on my blog, because things were hectic at the time, but his firm has told him he could work as many hours as he wants while he’s in school. Having this type of flexibility will be such a blessing!

21st Century Baby

Friday, August 04, 2006

You make me “hap-PY” when skies are grey …

Meredith continues to learn more words on a daily basis and more songs on a weekly basis.

Whenever we ask her if she can sing “You are My Sunshine” she bursts out singing “Hap-PY.”

Whenever we ask her if she can sing “Head and Shoulders” she lifts her little toes and sings: “Toes.” She also knows the hand-motions to this song.

She always obliges us with six or seven different animal sounds, on command – including "What does a baby say?" ("Waaa, waaa.")

And we can never eat a piece of fruit shaped like a ball without her squealing and yelling “Ball.” She can spot a grape, blueberry, cherry, etc. from a mile away!

Thoughts on Anniversaries

Yesterday was our four-year anniversary. Last night over dinner we talked about how each anniversary we’ve experienced so far has come at a really busy time for us.

During our first, second, and fourth anniversaries, we’d either just moved or were planning to move within weeks. During our third anniversary, we were just learning to adjust to life with a newborn!

I think I appreciate anniversaries more now than I used to.

We’re not (quite) as sappy as we used to be but our love is equally deep and much more mature and knowing. The days seem to fly by a little faster and I appreciate having a special day, an anniversary, to just dwell on each other and our mutual love.

Our love and our relationship is something I think about every day but an anniversary provides a special excuse to reminisce even further.

Marrying Kevin is pretty much the best thing I ever did.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Jelly-Body Trick: An Essential Stunt for Kids with Controlling Parents

Meredith has learned a classic childhood trick. It’s the jelly-body trick.

Whenever she’s running free and doesn’t want to be picked-up and constrained, she lifts her arms and her body becomes limp. Usually there’s some screaming and wailing that goes along with it too.

If I’m not properly on guard, this trick works pretty well – she’s able to slither right through my arms and successfully regain her freedom.

This handy trick was employed by my darling daughter at Best Buy last night. (We, of course, made the initial mistake of letting her get out of the cart.)

As soon as her little feet hit the ground she started running around the store like a wild woman, relishing every ounce of independence.

The girl probably ran for two miles, thanks to the jelly-body trick, before Kevin finally grabbed her and we took her out of the store kicking and screaming.

Really, she’s not normally an out-of-control monster but last night she was tired and original-sin came out in full force.

My prayer is that her strong willpower will be shaped and molded to live for the Lord vs. her own ambitions.

In the meantime, I’m going to have to learn better grasp-and-hold maneuvers to counter the Jelly-Body.

[Note: Having a strong-willed child is payback for my own childhood, I'm sure.]

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gotta Place!

Well, we’re happy to report that our house hunt has finally come to an end. We’ve opted to lease a place north of downtown for the next two years. It’s a three bedroom with a basement – I’m not sure how many square feet but we’re fairly sure we can squeeze all our furniture in there! Our fingers are crossed!

It’s located in an area called Broad Ripple and there’s a grocery store, library, post office, a playground park, and lots of coffee shops within walking distance. What more could I ask for?

We get the keys on Friday and plan to move in less than two weeks. It will be nice to get settled in before Kevin starts school.

In the meantime, we’re picking out paint colors. Kevin says he wants to go “trendy.” Last night he marked a bunch of pages in a home decorating book I got from the library, indicating what colors he thinks fit that category.

I’m sure we can agree on something.

The Beast

I love roller coasters. How I love them! Kevin is good to indulge me every couple of years. So, last Saturday we went to King’s Island in Cincinnati.

King’s Island is home to the world’s longest wooden roller coaster, The Beast. The Beast was the last ride we went on before heading home.

It was nighttime when we rode it and it wound us through numerous wooded areas and two long, dark tunnels. It was awesome! I now have a new respect for wooden roller coasters.

Of course Kevin says I just love an excuse to scream. This is probably partly true. But I also love the experience, the out of control feeling, and the thrill.

For the record, though, I really do hate those rides where you’re hanging upside down, suspended in the air, for 60 seconds. I went on one of those (The Tomb Raider) by “mistake” because it was an indoors ride and I didn’t know what I was getting into. I closed my eyes and prayed for it to be over the entire time!

Once, while hanging upside down, I peeked to see what was beneath me and there were red swirling lights (a lava pit) and red-colored water squirting up at me. Something reminiscent of Hell, for sure.

We also went to the water park and had two races with Andrew and Alaina. (There were four water slides next to each other and we raced head first, on mats on our bellies.) I came in last every time. But it was fun. And I’m really okay with losing. Really.