Monday, January 25, 2010
There a few things every girl should know;
Here are a few to keep in mind as you grow...
- Have a firm handshake. Wimpy handshakes are not feminine.
- Send thank you notes.
- Bring a hostess gift.
- Barbie is a slut.
- Don't forget birthdays.
- Never settle for anyone less wonderful than Daddy.
-Always, always say please and thank you. Even when you are running late.
- It's okay to fall in love in high school, but be prepared for heartbreak.
- Talk to adults- even when you are not one.
- Make friends with the girl who is eating alone.
- Don't pull Uncle Jake's finger- no matter how funny he promises you it will be.
- You are beautiful. Even if you have to wear braces and inherit Mommy's crazy hair, I have looked inside your soul, and you are perfect just the way you are.
- You are never too old to need your Mommy.
- Laugh a lot.
- In moderation, it's okay to treat yourself to something special.
- Call your grandparents.
- Have your own money and manage it wisely.
- Hug generously.
- Wear nice socks and your wedding ring to the gynecologist; it makes you feel less icky.
- There is no substitute for a girlfriend you can always count on. Make sure you are there for her, too.
- Be brave.
- Be passionate about what you believe in.
- Don't order a salad on a date if you really want the filet.
- Be equal parts proud and humble.
- Give back.
- Pretty underwear is worth it.
- You won't ever know it all. Not even when you are Mommy's age.
- Remember that everyone came from somewhere different, but you are all equal in God's eyes.
- Calories don't count if you eat off a fancy plate.
- Every morning is a chance to start over.
-Trust your instincts.
- Pay attention in math class.
- If you don't think they are just friends; chances are, you're right.
- Spend some time being quiet every day.
- Always do your best, even if that means it isn't perfect.
- The nursing home isn't as scary as it seems.
- If you aren't in love, he isn't worth it.
- If he's had too much to drink, he probably doesn't mean it.
- Keep your purse closed and close to your body.
- Throw tea parties.
- Play in the mud.
- You can never, ever have too many pairs of shoes.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Stay at home parents will agree, it isn't easy. Especially when there is an ice storm and you're trapped inside all day. I know that while Tuesday (the day when I work from home) is by far my favorite day of the week because I am able to be with Marin all day, it undoubtedly requires the most multitasking. Even considering that Wednesday might bring a meeting during a teleconference while answering emails and acquiring voicemails. But moms everywhere do it every day. I am no saint. And actually, I only have one child. A relative cake walk.
But back to my story. As I said, yesterday Jason was home with Marin. I left our house at 6:20am and arrived home at 7:30pm. And when I walked in the door last night, I was certain we'd been robbed. Except that Norah and Jason and Marin (asleep in Daddy's arms) were on the couch watching the History Channel, so my fears of finding them tied up in the closet while the thieves played tea party, quickly faded. Every single toy that Marin owns was on the floor, completely dissembled, in every single room. Two computers were out and running, Marin's not quite finished dinner was still on the table, along with her dirty bib; her high chair and the table were filthy. Tons of dishes were in the sink. Jason's lunch was on the counter. The peanut butter was out and open; the lid was across the room. When I went upstairs I saw that we had apparently run out of wipes, because the box was empty, and instead of replacing them, the small stash we keep in the diaper bag was out. The bed was unmade, the curtains were still drawn. Then I asked Jason if he had gotten the mail to which he shortly replied, "No! I had Marin!" That answered my question about whether or not the recycling bins had been brought in off the curb, or if he had time to go out and get more formula.
It's not that I am ungrateful. As much as I loath disorder, it was just a momentary mess. Marin was happy as a clam and all snug as a bug in her jammies, cuddled up in her Daddy's arms. And the two of them clearly had a great time. It just goes to show- when Mom's away, don't expect Dad to multitask.
Friday, January 8, 2010
I had the great pleasure of watching Marin play the other day, and I realized that she is really no longer a baby. She is a little girl. A toddler. Preposterous! Marin is a flurry of constant activity. Here is a sampling of what she's been up to this month:
* She is walking very well. Lately, she has begun running. Baby running- Not like a full blown sprint, but she's definitely harder to catch. She loves to move constantly. She walks all over gathering little things she can grab along the way- (a doll, spoons from her cabinet, a bottle brush)- and smiles brightly, babbling in her own language- stopping only to wave hi or goodbye to someone entering or leaving the room.
* Marin LOVES to climb. Especially the stairs, and not just in our house. She climbs stairs anywhere she can find them. I follow behind her and let her explore. It is like an adventure for her- "What is going to be at the top of these stairs?" Sometimes when she gets near the top she goes more quickly, like she is excited to find some secret waiting for her at the top. Often she looks over her shoulder at me standing behind her, and smiles as if to say, "Look at me, mommy- way up here!" When she does that my heart skips a beat, because she treats each stair like it is its own floor. She stands up straight right on the edge of the stair, sending me lurching forward to make sure she doesn't fall backwards, tumbling down the stairs. Recently, I found her standing on top of a stack of books at my parents house, reaching for her doll. Oh my- her adventurous little spirit is sure to keep us up at night for years to come. :)
Thursday, January 7, 2010
[Suzanne Whang voice over]
[Johanna & Jason outside the home]
"This is cute. It needs new siding, but it is a great location, and it looks like it is in pretty good shape."
Michelle: "Yes, it is a very solid home. And there is a lot of work, but it is all cosmetic. The homeowners have updated the electrical, the piping and the furnace. And, it has a new roof. Let's go inside."
Johanna & Jason: "Oh yeah. Great character. But yes, oh my. It needs A LOT of updating. We'd have to put in a new kitchen & refinish all of the floors- this carpeting NEEDS to go. But we could do it. We love the space in here. We love the layout. We love the windows on either side of the fireplace and we could build built ins there. The fireplace is great, and I can really see us sitting out here on this front porch. The built in in the dining room is gorgeous. There are a lot of original details in this home that reflect the reasons why we love older homes. We could make the basement into a playroom. Let's look upstairs."
Johanna & Jason: "Good room sizes. Small closets though. Do you think our furniture would fit? We could add an addition on the back here to have a master bedroom suite. That would be really nice."
Love the clawfoot tub in the bathroom upstairs though. That is a gorgeous original detail."
Michelle: "Well, what did you think?"
Johanna & Jason: "We like it a lot. It needs a lot of work, but we could do it in phases and make it our own. It is in a great location."
Michelle: "Okay, well I know you wanted to look at a few more, but we'll keep this one on our list."
Johanna & Jason: "Definitely!"
[Suzanne Whang voice over]
Johanna & Jason: "I like the brick. I'd paint the shutters and scale back the landscaping, but that is easy enough."
Michelle: "Let's take a look!"
Johanna & Jason: "Okay, yeah. Needs a few updates on the floors, but nothing dire. Oh wow! GREAT kitchen. Viking range. Amazing double Subzero fridge. Wow. That's really great.
What is that smell?"
Michelle: "The homeowners grow all of their own herbs and spices. They have made a lot of environmental considerations with the home, as well. That is also why they just spent $40,000.00 putting in the cork floors upstairs."
Johanna & Jason: "Yeah, it smells like a vegetable garden in here!
Nice sunroom in the back, but it doesn't look like a permanent addition to the house. It looks a little like it was just tacked on. It doesn't look very solid.
This bonus room above the garage is nice, but this spiral staircase, although cool, doesn't really seem practical, and the room is a little isolated otherwise. I don't even know how we would get furniture up here."
Michelle: "Let's look upstairs. I'll show you those cork floors."
Johanna & Jason: "Great space up here. Very spacious hallway area. I'm not sure I like the way that the cork floors look, but I like that it is eco friendly.
Nice bedroom sizes. Good closet space. The bathrooms need to be updated though. The master bedroom is a great size. Johanna really likes the whirlpool tub. She uses ours in our condo all the time. This is a great space."
Michelle: "Okay, well, what did you think about this one?"
Johanna & Jason: "It had a lot of good space. A lot of storage. Nice bonus room, although the stairs to get there aren't good for the baby if we were to use that room as a playroom. It is big though. There would be a lot of space to spread out.
It is farther from downtown. We wouldn't be able to walk to the train, really. And, it doesn't have that old character that we like. And, it still needs some updating.
It is a good price though for as big as it is. We'll think about it."
[Suzanne Whang voice over]
Today Michelle is showing Johanna and Jason a 4 bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom home back downtown in the historic district. It also needs to be updated, and although its further from the train than the first home, they'd still be able to walk.
Johanna & Jason: "This is nice. Nice big yard. Our dog would love that. It looks like the garage is nice and big."
Michelle: "Yes, that is a 4 car garage, actually."
Johanna & Jason: "Oh! Room for a boat." :)
Michelle: "Let me show you around inside the home."
Johanna & Jason: "Nice slate floor in the entry. Great staircase with a window. Nice entrance. Is this the living room over here?"
Michelle: "Yes, in to your left."
Johanna & Jason: "Oh okay. No fireplace. We really like a fireplace, so that is a bummer."
Michelle: "You could always add one."
Johanna & Jason: "Yes, that is true. It seems like the layout here is a little strange. The kitchen is back here? Yes, okay... it needs to be totally redone too. And this basement is so small I don't even think I can fit down the stairs."
Michelle: "I think you guys are going to really love the upstairs. Let's head up."
Johanna & Jason: "Oh yes. Wow. This is a huge upstairs for the age of the home. The rooms are really nice sizes and the closets are decent as well. This bathroom is a little strange though. Is there a shower anywhere?"
Michelle: "There is a shower downstairs in the back of the house. It is small though."
Johanna & Jason: "Okay, yeah, the bathrooms are in very strange spots here."
Michelle: "Well, what do you think overall?"
Johanna & Jason: "Well, it has a great backyard, and a great garage. Jason could have a workshop out there. The bedrooms and the upstairs are big, and the front entryway is nice. But I don't like that there isn't a fireplace and the layout is strange. And, it needs a lot of work. But it is downtown, which we like."
[Suzanne Whang voice over]
Johanna and Jason have looked at three homes in historic Geneva.
Johanna & Jason: We love the location of the first house. And it had a lot of great character. But it needs a lot of updating and would be a huge project. It had great potential, and the best bones of any of the homes. It is nice that it has air conditioning and a new roof and the updated electrical is a bonus. We could do some of those updates right away, but we would have to wait and do a lot of them down the road, as well. We love the fireplace and the potential playroom space for Marin. But it would be a lot of work."
Johanna & Jason: "We liked the Ashbury house because it had a lot of space and storage. And it had a great master bedroom and a fabulous kitchen! But it still needed some updating and wasn't right downtown."
The last home was back downtown but it needed more work and was still a little farther from the train that Johanna and Jason take to work each day. Plus, it had a strange layout. But it had a large garage for a workshop for Jason and a nice big yard.
Johanna & Jason: "We like the blue house. It had a good upstairs, a good yard and a huge garage. But it didn't have a fireplace and the basement is essentially unusable. It was a good location, but still a little far from the train.
SO... which one did they choose?............
Johanna & Jason: "We chose.......
It is now four months later, and Johanna and Jason have been hard at work.
Johanna & Jason: "Well, we did a lot of work. We ripped up all of the flooring, we totally gutted the kitchen, we replaced and added most of the lighting fixtures, and we moved a few walls. We still have a lot more work to do, a lot of decorating to do, and a lot of other projects planned for the future, including the addition of a master bedroom suite, but for now, we love our house and we know that we made the right choice. And we're never going to move again!" :)Before:
True story. Happened to me this morning.
Can't make that kind of humiliation up, nor would I wish it on any of you.
(And for the record- yes, I am sure she was talking to me. She looked right at me.) Awesome.
********** update: added later***************
My mom feels it is important that I mention that I was wearing what she calls the "man hat"- a very warm, very comfortable hat that, in her opinion, offers more protection from the elements than style. Still, even if the woman had called me "ugly sir" it wouldn't make me stop wearing that hat. It is so warm and I love it! I just got the hat for Christmas. Since I know you are curious, here is a picture of my dad and I in hats that my mom dislikes equally.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
When I was maybe sevenish, I lost one of my front teeth on Christmas Eve. I had lost the other one a little while before, causing a gaping whole in the front of my mouth. Because of my newest prize for the tooth fairy, my Dad taught me the words to "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth", and convinced me to sing it for my entire family at Christmas dinner. Ever the performer, I followed through- with hand motions, I might add. I am certain that someone got it on film; I am hopeful that the footage has been lost.
Marin didn't get teeth for Christmas this year, and is in fact still a walking toothless wonder, but she did get about everything else plus the kitchen sink! (Oh boy- I am SO my mom. That is something right out of her mouth- she loves that phrase!).
December 20th: Christmas party at Craig, Erica and Kai's. We work out the dowry agreements for Kai and Marin's arranged marriage in 26 years. :)
December 22nd evening: Attend annual Conti/Patterson Christmas dinner at Molly & Brian's in the city. Per usual, Marin is spoiled by Auntie Molly and Uncle Bri, excepting this silly onesie. We tell Marin on the way home that the M's stand for Marin and that "Go Blue" means "eat your vegetables". :)
December 31st: First annual Christmas break luncheon with Grandma at the Herrington, a beautiful restaurant in town, on the river. We all dress up and Marin wears her shiny party shoes. For the record, she does not like beets. But she did love climbing the giant staircase in the lobby.
January 3rd: Celebrate my Grandma and Grandpa Martin's 65th wedding anniversary! The entire Martin family attends church with my grandparents, at their request. We take up three pews, specially reserved for us. We celebrate their love, and all that it produced at my Uncle Reed and Aunt Jeanie's house afterwards. All five of their great grandchildren are there, running circles beneath their feet. And Amy and Ryan are making that six great grandchildren in 2010!