Thursday, February 28, 2008

Adoption Update

The other day there was an email in my inbox from our agency with the subject line "referral packages". I got a little excited for a minute, but when I read the message it only said that the current referrals are late and when they finally get them they'll be able to estimate when the next bunch will be here. I'm not sure if we're in the next group, but at least it feels like we're getting closer!

Costco Nap

Today I had a doctor's appointment so my sister watched the boys for me and then I picked them up after lunch. Usually I might try for a nap after lunch, but that hasn't been working out so well so I thought we might as well make a quick trip to Costco which is very close to my sister's house. But of course today they were both sound asleep. They didn't even wake up when I took them out of the car. For the first few minutes in Costco Beck was curled up in a ball in the basket part of the shopping cart and Yogi was asleep on my shoulder. I did not feel like a good mom, but I did get my shopping done!

Deep Ache

Well, we're still not feeling that great over here in the Homecake house. So of course, yesterday the boys would not take a nap. I tried for a quiet time instead, but that just got them leaping around the bedroom and jumping on their beds in their underwear. But I really wanted that nap. I needed that nap. I can only describe it as a deep ache, that wanting of something so intensely that I couldn't have.

What we did instead is go into the backyard to do some spring clean-up. And after a few years of doing nothing back there, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work. Plus, mature oak trees produce a lot of leaves. The deep ache faded and I managed to move a few tons of sodden organic material. It was a pleasant afternoon after all.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dueling Banjos

Chris and I still have bad coughs. The other night I woke up from my own coughing fit only to hear Chris joining in. I coughed, Chris coughed back. I coughed again, Chris coughed, and then we both started in at the same time. In my sleepy stupor the thought that popped into my head was Dueling Banjos. I swear, it was almost musical.

Cloud Show

From our back deck.

Evidence that spring is just around the corner:

1. Puffy isolated clouds
2. First day of baseball and softball practice at the park which borders our house
3. The crocus are out!
4. First grass mowing
5. I had to remove a layer when we played at the park

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beck + No Nap + The Wiggles

The Present Moment

I've been feeling anxious lately about the adoption. I think it's because nothing is happening right now -- no feeling like we're moving forward and accomplishing something which is how I felt during the paperwork. We're just waiting. And a little bit of uncertainty - like it might never happen - is beginning to creep into my thoughts. Which brings me back to a class I took on stress reduction and relaxation. The entire focus of the class was to wake up to the present moment, to get beyond your thoughts; to acknowledge them, but not give so much power to them. It's quite simple, but as any worrier knows, not easy. Anyway, I heard about this book of 6 word autobiographies and it caught my interest. My life in 6 words?

Always waiting for the next thing.

Right now it's the adoption, but it's always something: my first job, summer break, marriage, having a baby, getting the remodel done, going to Hawaii...etc. But I don't think it's just me. Doesn't everyone wait for the next thing? Don't you?

Baby Hat

Last weekend I was itching to make something -- to craft and today I found this book with more hat ideas! Check it out!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


The new deck and railing!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Home Sick

Well, it's Thursday and that's usually enough to get me pretty happy. But I'm sitting here at the computer with only one thing on my mind: going to bed. All four of us are sick at the same time right now. Sick enough to require regular doses of cold medicine, sick enough to wake up in the middle of the night hacking our brains out at the same time. Nice, huh?

Yogi and I both lost our voices and I made a comment about it to Chris. Then Beck said,"If Yogi gets a voice back will it be a different one?" That was good for a little laugh - more of a wheezy, raspy smile, actually.

Anyway, that's where I'm headed. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Guess what I did today? I registered our baby girl and myself for her first class: the infant cooperative at North Seattle Community College. It's basically just an organized play date once a week for college credit. And it'll work out great because both boys will be in preschool during that time. Now I just hope she's home in time to start in September! We haven't heard any more about when we can expect our referral and they really can't say. They told me mid March, but I'm betting it'll be at least April. Nothing is ever as quick as you'd like.

But we have started to think about our trip to Ethiopia and we're trying to learn more about the place, it's history and culture. Yesterday I bought two travel books and I'm starting with this one:

Beck took a look at the cover and asked,"Who's that girl?"

"Your sister," I answered.

He looked again at the book and then back at me. "She's a pirate?"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

All Boy

It annoys me when mothers of boys say, "Yeah, and he's all boy!" But seriously, I'm starting to think that. Never mind that the focus of their play is cars and trucks and construction vehicles, never mind that they love to dig and play in the dirt whenever they can. I'll even overlook the times Beck has said, "I don't like gurwl stuff." But today Beck brought a book to share at preschool called Turn Turn Turn. It's just the lyrics to the 1960's Pete Seeger protest song taken from Ecclesiastes. So in school the kids are asked to share their favorite page and what did Beck choose? A time of war. And then he pointed out all the guns and tanks and army guys. I felt a bit apologetic towards his peace loving Montessori teachers, but then I heard a little voice in my head say,"Well, what do you expect? He's all boy, you know?"

Monday, February 18, 2008

Spring has Sprung!

At least for today! Oh, it felt good to be warm outside. Not the typical icy hot you get on a clear day in the winter, but pleasantly warm. Basking weather. I edged the lawn, Beck and Yogi played outside in the yard, and we even picnicked at Richmond Beach - right there on that point of land you see in the photo. This is a place we used to ride our bikes to when I was growing up and since my parents still live close by, I like to bring the boys there.

One of the things I like best about this beach park is that you park your car behind the green trees and then walk across the little bridge over the railroad tracks. Being able to stand directly over a train as it zooms just beneath you is a thrill and the boys loved it as much as I always have.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fun Projects

It's Saturday night and the house is very quiet. Everyone is in bed and sleeping except for me. And what am I doing? I just blew the last 40 minutes looking at crafting blogs. You know the type: completely luscious photos of all kinds of creative and beautiful projects. It made me really hungry to do something myself. Here's my wish list:

1. Knit something for our daughter -- maybe I'll start with a little hat. Or this one since I'm already so fond of cupcakes!
2. Make a set of these little Leprechaun (elf) shoes for the boys for Saint Patrick's Day!
3. Create this cute garland for our tree next year. I should start now!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Progress Report

The chicken: If I could get past the bones, the tendons, the little pockets of blood and so forth, it was pretty good. Beck couldn't even get past the bluish white body of the naked bird sitting on the V rack waiting to be roasted. He looked up, eyes wide, and said, "What is that?" Then he bolted out of the kitchen with a squeal. What I liked better were the leftovers which I mixed into a white sauce, a bechamel, and served with fluffy buttermilk biscuits and broccoli.

The Remodel: Mom and Dad made tremendous progress this week. All of the base and trim around the doors is installed. It is beautiful! And our contractor returned. He hasn't done any work yet, but he did drop off a bunch of tools and wood and says he will be back this weekend.

The Boys:I'll keep it simple: they did not play together for 70 minutes straight today. Can we go back to them not needing me again?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More than you want to know about our sink problems.

We've been having a hard time finding the right sink for our situation downstairs. It's a small space for a sink and it's wedged between the shower and the toilet. Our first attempt didn't work out so well, but now we're thinking about this!

The nice thing about this sink is that you get the openness below, but also a little cabinet to hide the plumbing. Our plumbing is meant to be hidden in a vanity, but the space works better with a wall mounted sink or even a pedestal sink. Isn't this pretty?

Bedtime Stories

Assistant Biscuit Maker

The Sweet Spot

When Yogi was just born and little Beck was only 1 1/2, I was miserable. They both seemed to need me all of the time. I was in constant pain with sciatica and chronic muscle tension in my upper back. I lost a lot of weight - fast. It was a very difficult year and during that year, people often would say, "Well, it's hard now having them so close together, but it'll be great in the future when they can play together."

Fast forward 2 1/2 years, the future has arrived, and you know what? They were right! Today Beck and Yogi played together and made up little stories and scenes involving various characters and several vehicles for 70 minutes in one session alone. 70 minutes. That's more than an hour straight with my two boys happy and busy and not needing me. I just got this little sad feeling when I typed "not needing me" because I know that will come soon enough. Hmmm... Maybe I'm hitting the sweet spot of parenting where they still need you all the time for hugs and food and stories and comfort, but they are old enough to entertain themselves for little stretches of time. It was nice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bone Soup

I have to add this little story about bones in food. When Chris and I were dating we went to a little Mexican restaurant and ordered the soup of the day which sounded good when the waitress described it. What she left out was that it was really bone soup. It looked innocent enough when it arrived at our table. But when we dipped our spoons in, they immediately clunked against something and then these big knuckles and vertebrae and who knows what else started floating up to the top. It was the most unappetizing, well, disgusting really, food experience I've ever had.

Home Cooking

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but today I am roasting a whole chicken for the first time in my life. It's all part of my attempt to improve my home cooking skills and to develop a larger repertoire of successful dinners. I think I've avoided the whole roasted chicken in the past because I don't like bones in my food, but I do like chicken and my mom keeps telling me how easy it is. And I really really like easy so here goes!

My other home cooked dinners? Let's see...
1. Chicken soup
2. Split pea soup
3. Pot roast
4. Hmmm. There must be something else, but nothing is coming to mind.
5. Come to think of it, I like to bake more than cook.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Old fence

New fence

Baby Nest

Ok, I know, I know, this is way early and maybe too cute, but I saw this wallpaper at Lowe's yesterday and I'm thinking I might use some of it in the baby's room! It will be my last chance to actually do a baby's room (actually, my first and last chance) since we were just starting our upstairs remodel when Beck was born.

One more Good

I almost forgot: Lost is back on! I don't know about you, but we love it... and sort of hate it -- but in spite of our mixed feelings, we've been watching since the first show. This may be just for Chris, but if you happen to be a Lostie too, check out the Missing Pieces.

Home Again

We're back! It ended up being a very busy week with almost daily travels between Edmonds and our house in Seattle. I really didn't have time to play on the computer so I'll catch you up now. Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly:

The Good
1. We have a new fence and it's very nice! Finally some privacy in our backyard and in our basement.
2. Mom and Dad finished finishing all the doors and trim. Chris has started to hang the doors and Mom and Dad are returning to start installing the base today so we are really progressing in that department.
3. Our contractor has promised to start working on our job again and may even be back this week!
4. I've noticed the boys are spending a lot more time actually playing together. Oh, joy!
5. Beck slept all night in his own bed which is the first time in many months. I think it may be due to the fact he has a new twin sized duvet and he stays covered.

The Bad:
1. I spent each night at Mom and Dad's squeezed beside one boy in a twin sized bed or between both boys in a double. Not so great.
2. We took the boys in for a re-take of their semi-annual portrait since Yogi wasn't very cooperative the first time and most of the photos have him crying, or squishing up his face, or reaching for me. The second try was worse. The photographer didn't take even one shot.
3. I spent a lot of time in the plumbing store looking for a new faucet and the right fittings.

The Ulgy
1. The new sink, faucet, and fittings. Urgh.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

House Happenings

I'm writing from my parents' house where we are staying while the wooden doors and trim in the basement are being finished. My parents have generously offered to do this very smelly task for us and boy, are we grateful! All in all it felt like a lot was accomplished today: new fence posts were set up, I picked up the new faucet for the downstairs bath, and we are on the calendar for our shower to be measured. Things are happening! Chris talked to our contractor about the railing and he acted like it would be no problem to complete it by our deadline, so I'm trying to be hopeful about it.

That's it for tonight since the computer is in the room where the boys will sleep. Correction: the computer is in the room where the boys and I will sleep (3 in a bunk bed - That should be interesting!)

Over and out.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sleepless Yogi

Sleep doesn't come as easy to Yogi as it does to Beck. Even though Beck is 4, he still readily takes an afternoon nap. And at 2 1/2 I would expect Yogi to need a nap, but he usually gets out of his bed shortly after going down and says simply, "I can't sweep." It's the same at bedtime. Beck goes to bed with his fingers twirling Piggy's tail and even if he's not sleepy, he usually stays in bed. Yogi gets out and either finds us or finds something fun to do!

Tonight after we put the boys down, Chris and I went downstairs and outside to discuss some details about the fence. After a few minutes I came in. As I was coming up the stairs I thought I heard some rustling noises in the living room and there was Yogi happily setting up Candy Land. He had all the figures lined up on the board and was getting out the stack of Candy Land cards. A few weeks ago, Chris found him with a box of Dora bandaids, unwrapping them as fast as he could and sticking them to his arms and legs on top of his pajamas. He is such a nut!

The Fence

We are getting a new fence this week. Finally. Our house was built in 1957 and the fence was the same vintage. It was sagging and losing pieces constantly and then last summer the contractor ripped out a big section of it so that he could drive through it into the backyard. From the south side, my mom thinks our house looks like a shanty town -- so this will undoubtedly be a big upgrade. Plus, with our backyard secure, the boys can play outside in our own yard.

Actually,I take that back. The backyard won't be entirely secure, because we have a new spiral staircase up to the deck which still has no railing. Our contractor left the job after Labor Day weekend and left us a new deck from which you can fall to your death. Nice of him, huh? Chris and I wrote him a carefully worded letter this weekend and hopefully this will be resolved soon.

Friday, February 1, 2008


I took the boys up to my parents' cabin for a few days this week -- just to get away and to escape from cleaning the house, making phone calls about projects related to the remodel (currently it's the fence and window treatments) and to give the boys a few days in the country. It ended up being quite snowy when we first got there so my mom bought a small plastic toboggan and boy, was that fun! The snow was getting somewhat icy so after going down a short slope, there was a long, fast run across the field. Beck did about 50 trips the first night. Yogi was more interested in making a snowman and eating the snow.

Then the weather warmed up and we spent time at the beach. I love how everyone just gets busy at the beach. I hunted for agates (Yogi asked me if they had baby birds inside!), Beck and Yogi worked with their shovels and played in the water, mom enjoyed the scenery. It was so nice to be outside.