Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Harp is crawling like a crazy baby now, leaving a path of primary colored destruction behind her.

[i tried to post a video, but it was taking forever, so i must not be doing it right...]

Since my last post, we've celebrated her first birthday, which is amazing to me. I remember some things about this time last year very vividly, like yelling at the doctors, but most everything else is a big blur. During my sick time, I just slept a lot. Anyway, we are super lucky to have our munchkin, who is by all accounts an exceptional child. Okay, maybe just my and her papa's accounts, and her Grammy and Pappy's--we are all smitten. She's crawling like a champ, obviously, has said "dada" and "doggie" pretty clearly and multiple times (though she has NOT said mama, which is killing me). She has two teeth, can rock some barrettes in her hair, pulls herself up on the furniture, and has learned that I yelp when she pinches. She thinks that's hilarious.

In house news, the new furnace went in at the beginning of the month, and it seems like it's working okay. I really hate spending money on things like a furnace when there are so many things that we could spend that money on that I could SEE. Ah well. I am waiting for our next gas bill, which I'm hoping willshow that we're using far less. That will be a victory. Eric is very nearly finished with the deck, though we're afraid now that it's going to be too late in the year to really finish it up. We're having a stretch of warm weather now, so it would be ideal if he could get some painting done, but the kiddo kind of puts a cramp in those plans. This weekend, of course, when we're off for four days, it's supposed to be 40 degrees. Anyway, it's looking great, despite the lack of paint on some parts. Eric, however, insists upon covering it up with huge sheets of plastic, so rest assured that our trash-factor is still in the high-90s.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dare I Say It?

The deck is Done!!! Okay, it's NEARLY done--just needs the top boards for the railings and to be painted and stained, but we are closer than ever before. Thank you Eric and cousin Matt for putting in a long weekend working hard. I will be very excited when it's finished, mainly because it'll just be nice to finally finish a project that took well over a year, and also because it will enable Eric to get all of his tools out of the "kitchen." He will likely just put them back in the "dining room."

I put these words in quotes because they really are just shells of rooms. Ah well. It'll happen.

Harpster is peacefully sleeping in her crib, though we've had several totally rough nights here at #2021. Harper has a cold and is producing copious amounts of snot (pretty unbelievable that such a little nose could create so much...) Anyway, she's been waking herself up snoring every hour or so, doing a lot of tossing and turning, etc. Myself, I've not had more than 2 or 3 consecutive hours of sleep in a week as a result, and does it show or what... Sleep deprivation does strange things to me mentally, and I'm not on top of my game, but I've also reached the clumsy-tired stage. This morning I broke the coffee pot, dropped my phone, tripped on the steps and did a couple other stupid things. Wish me luck for tonight.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So, my mom keeps pointing out that it's been a long time since I've put anything up on the blog. It really has been. There's no point in keeping a blog if I'm not going to update it, so I kind of considered trashing it, but then figured that I'd spent so much time updating it when we were going through the house-buying, initial-renovating stage that it would be kind of a waste. So I'm going to make an honest effort.

We just got back from a great weekend up north, visiting the fam and hosting a baby shower for my sister, who is expecting in January. Wonderful time. It struck me when I was there that 1) Harper is growing up, and 2) we (okay, I) need to do a better job in setting my boundaries. The first night we were there, she slept through the night in her pack and play. The second night, woke up once, but no biggie. Last night, she threw the hissiest of hissy fits, crying like she's never cried before. So, rather than doing our regular 60+ minute cuddle time, Harpster and I cuddled for just a half hour or so, and then I put her, awake, in her crib. She cried for a while, but is sleeping somewhat peacefully now. She's holding on to the rails of her crib like she's in jail. I went in there and pried her little hands away, and, in her sleep, she reached for them again. So, whatever. Makes me feel like a warden, but whatever works.

Anyway, she's cute, right? I saw this picture and it hit me like a ton of bricks that she's becoming a little girl!

In house news, we're getting a new furnace at the end of the month. This one will be very high-efficiency (tax credit HOLLA!) and will be vented properly out of the side of the house and not up the chimney. After that, we'll be on a bit of a moratorium on projects through the winter, recouperating a little bit from that expenditure.

In the meantime, I've been eyeing this copy of a renovation magazine that has painted historic trim. Now, you've seen pictures and know that we have some original trim that is currently stained. It's looking a little rough (a lot rough) in some parts, and our front rooms, whose windows are west facing and covered by a large porch and our massive ferns, don't get a lot of light. That, plus the dark wood, and it's just a bit too much. So I've been considering painting the trim, and I think I'm set on it. This will be a pretty expensive fix, because in addition to sanding and painting, we're going to have to replace a bunch of the trim. But I figure this may be a good winter project that will keep us occupied with manageable costs while making a big impact on the look of the house. We'll also do the fireplace tile this winter.

Deck-Update: Eric is still working. We have one section of railing left, some trim, and paint/stain. Maybe by Christmas?

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Where the heck did summer go??!

I'm not all that broken up about it, actually. I seek the Golden Mean, and therefore, appreciate fall and spring when it's not so fracking hot.

All is well, except between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am, when the Harpster apparently feels compelled to wake every 45 minutes and scream for no good reason. She has also started to only want to calm down when I'm carrying her on my shoulder while standing up. I can do this at 3:30 in the morning for only a limited time. It has been difficult. I am thinking she's acting up because she's been sick. She had a low fever for several days, and then broke out into this insane rash all over her body and face. We have been calling her Spot, but not while she's within earshot.

Eric is working like a little demon on the deck, finally. We're hoping for railings tomorrow! He also bought some solar post caps, so I'm thinking that the end must be in sight. Of course, I could be wrong. I thought the end was in sight last summer.

We had a photo shoot with Harper, photos by Ryan of Verbal Diarrhea. He is a very talented amateur photographer, but I have to say, he was working with limited cooperation on the part of his subject. She was NOT into it. But we did get a couple of good shots. Here they are:

And here is what she did the rest of the time...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Once a month...

I never really noticed, but some friends (who actually read my blog, which blew me away) mentioned that I've been posting once a month. And that maybe I could do a little better. Verbal Diarrhea, I'm not promising anything, but I'm going to try.

Things are good here. I am, unbelievably, about a month into my new job, and I like it a little more every day, which I think is a good sign. I am very much in "invention mode" right now--lots of feeling inspired and jotting of good ideas down on scraps of paper, which I then find a couple days later, can't read because of my chicken scratching, and if I can decipher what I wrote, I can't figure out what I meant... But oh well. The nice thing about the current gig is that I'm starting something from scratch, so at this point, there is no chance of failure, and there's plenty of room for me to be abstract and non-sequential (an old boss called me this on many occasions--I'm still not sure if he meant it in a good way).

While I'm liking my new job, it has been WAY difficult leaving my old one. I knew it would be hard, of course, as I loved my old job, and especially loved my old boss, who is just an exceptional person. It's been tough being out of the loop. Actually, I've been somewhat engaged, because my replacement hasn't started yet and I left in the middle of about 2 dozen projects, and that may be even harder, because I know just a little about what's going on, just enough to tantalize me. There was a meeting with my old boss in my new office the other day. I went so far as to go to the conference room to say hi before it started, and then I left, but inside I was just dying to stay. Sigh. These are the problems I'm glad I have, though.

Harpster continues to be the world's most delightful baby. She's pushing herself up on her hands, and sticking her butt up in the air, and she's not aware that if she does both of these things at the same time, she's crawling. We're not pushing her in this direction, as we still have major babyproofing to do. She is taking to baby food pretty well, especially in the last couple days when she down some peas and sweet potatoes in no time flat. It's made diaper time more interesting and dangerous, but that's just my girl growing up.

I am disappointed to report that Harper was not voted as a finalist in the cutest baby contest. I have to believe that this was because many of the other babies who are cute, but not as cute as Harper, had organized voting blocs.

Eric is still working on the deck as his central house project. Yes, this is the same deck we've been working on since spring 2009. It is making me crazy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cutest baby

I know it's totally lame, but I couldn't help myself. I entered Harper's picture into a cutest baby contest.

If you, too, think the Harpster is worthy of the title please vote here:


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beach Baby

Peaceful evening here at 2021. Harpster is sleeping (keep your fingers crossed), the puppies are sacked out in their respective favorite places (Pix at my feet, Yogi at Eric's) and there's nothing to be heard except the hum of ceiling fans and the AC. Because it's fracking HOT outside.

We had a delightful time up north visiting my parents, as always.

Grammy spent a good deal of time during our visit singing with Harper. They make beautiful music together.

Pap continued his tradition of looking through American Heritage with Harper.

Harper continues to refine her "Blue Steel."

Higgins Lake, Michigan, is one of my favorite places on earth, and is where I spent most of my childhood summers. We had a wonderful day with Harper on the lake. She was pretty enthralled by the water and didn't complain a bit when we sat her down on the shore to let the waves hit her little buns.

I just think this is the cutest picture ever taken.

I start my new job tomorrow. I am a fun combination of excited and anxious, which does not bode well for getting a good night's sleep. The good news is that I have learned to function on no sleep. I will just have to hope that no one asks me to think critically or make important decisions.

As we gear up yet again to start work on the house, we're going to try to be very thoughtful about the whole thing. We haven't wasted any money on anything yet, but we're getting to a point where the remaining projects are pretty big ones and we need to do them in the right order. Here's how I'm seeing things emerge, depending on cash flow:
1) Replace/expand electrical panel
2) New furnace and vent upgrade (this will mean we will actually have a vent in the master bedroom and not just a hole in the floor with a vent cover on it...)
3) New carpet for master and guest bedrooms - since we're going to have to pull up the carpet in the master to do the vent, we might as well move with this.
4) Replace drywall around downstairs fireplace. Due to bad venting of the current furnace, we have some condensation issues that have wrecked the drywall on the chimney. We're just going to tear it down and start again.
5) Replace trim in living room. If we're tearing down the drywall, we'll just retrim everything. I was briefly considering painting all of the woodwork off-white, but I've been talked out of it.
6) Tile fireplace surround. We found some amazing tile up north--Pewabic. Loves.
7) Master bathroom. We already have the tile, which should help defray cost here. I've decided we're going to do a river rock floor in the shower. Eric will also have to knock out the back wall in the master closet and extend it into the bathroom so we have a decent size closet, and the bathroom isn't so weird shaped.
8) Refinish the floors.
9) Figure out where we're going to put the kitchen. We've been considering moving it to the current dining room. However, due to the window locations in there, it really doesn't give us any more wall space for cabinets than the current location does, though it would enable an eat-in kitchen... We'll see. Wherever we decide to put the kitchen, we'll finish up the other room to be a dining room. The good thing about keeping the kitchen where it is is that we'll be able to have a dining room/family room downstairs. I think that would be nice.
10) Finish the kitchen. It's my plan to start accumulating things for the kitchen--cabinets, fixtures, etc. so we're not slammed with everything at once. I have a picture in my head, but I can't describe it very well. I do know that I saw a picture of soapstone countertops the other day, and I can't stop thinking about them.

Ambitious, huh? I figure we'll maybe finish by the time Harper goes to college.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Apparently screaming bloody murder for 20 minutes really wears one out, because that's what the Harpster just did before finally falling asleep. Ack. I hate this. She has been sleeping like crap for the last four nights or so, and I am getting to a stage where I'm pretty much falling apart--having trouble stringing words into sentences, tripping a lot more, feeling puffy... Not cool. Eric is being such a trooper and taking one of the night shifts, too. What we both need is just a solid 5 or 6 hours and we'll be good to go.

Everything else is good. I start a new job on June 21st, which I'm very excited about. I'll be working at the Lumina Foundation, which is a great place that does some absolutely fantastic work in my field. Can't wait, though very very sad to leave my friends at the Commission.

Eric spent the afternoon out on our wonderful neighbor's boat, and thankfully did not sunburn himself like he has every other time he's been on a boat. I'm pleased he had a good time. However, they apparently stopped for Steak and Shake on their way home, and Eric didn't get me a shake. He did call me several times, which I missed because Harp and I were upstairs reading Charlie and the CHocolate Factory, but still... When have I EVER not wanted a shake??? Feh.

Nothing happening with the house other than we finally broke down and bought some new porch furniture. It's red and lovely and matches our front door. I'm very happy with it. We got a big outdoor rug to go under it and with a couple plants and some candles, we'll have a great little seating area.

We head up north to visit the fam starting this Saturday. I am VERY excited to have a week off. We're going to introduce Harper to the lake. I have packed several swimsuits for her, including a little bikini that will probably not make it to the water, but we'll definitely try it on because it will be the cutest thing in the world.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Late Night

Yes, I know it's only 9:50 pm, but to me, that is LATE. We go to bed around here at about 8, and generally that means Harp's asleep by 8:45 and I'm falling asleep with my glasses on and a book on my face around 9:15. But not tonight. First, I got an email from my mom asking when I was going to update the blog, which means that at least one person reads my blog, so I felt kind of obligated-slash-flattered. Second, and more to the point, Harper just went to sleep. And she only went to sleep because I put her in her crib and just let her fuss. That is not generally how we do things around here, as I like her sleepy time to be 100% positive, which I think helps us put her down in the evenings, and especially when she gets up in the middle of the night. But tonight, for whatever reason, she was not having it. I fed her, literally, for an hour and a half. We read some books (Roald Dahl, The Witches, and Anne of Green Gables... Still... This book is taking me forever... She doesn't understand yet, so it's not too advanced for her). We snuggled. And about four times, she fell asleep in my arms, but when I moved or put her in her crib, she woke up and gave me this huge smile. Anyway, she's down for the count now, and thank goodness, because I am quite literally out of food for her, and she already ate about 150% the size of her stomach. Her cheeks are getting enormous. They are so big that they get in the way when she tries to turn her head too far, and she often uses them as pillows. I don't think they measure up to my own cheeks back in the day, but she is still very young. The student may overtake the master.

Anyway, it has been a relatively non-eventful week. Other than tonight and last night (when she woke up 3 times and for good at about 6:45 this morning--argh), she is an amazing genius baby. She's also in the 97th percentile for height and weight for preemies her age. This is not entirely unexpected, because seriously, have you seen me and Eric? It was extremely unlikely in any case that the Harpster was going to be a ballerina or gymnast.

Have done nothing to the house, other than get that shelf put up in the attic, and Eric moved his books onto it. He also moved his drafting table up into his dormer office space, which clears out a ton of room in the main space of the attic. As soon as our fiscal recouperation period ends (like in 40 years) we'll get some nice new furniture for up there. Actually, I'm kind of considering it right now. We spend pretty much all of our time up there anyway--such a convenient space, especially with the baby. Doesn't make any sense for comfy furniture to be downstairs and ratty stuff to be up there. We would get new/new-to-us furniture for up there, not switch... Hum. We'll see. Porch furniture will have to come first.

Anyway, I don't have any pictures of the front of the house sans fence and with our new freaking gigantic Boston Ferns. They're amazing, these ferns. They actually provide shade, and are roughly the size of the big Tom Turkey that we saw up north a few weeks ago. HUGE. I had never seen a big turkey like that before with his feathers all crazy. However, I do have pictures of Harper, who is pretty much the cutest baby in the world. I'm pretty biased, but I legitimately think, putting my objective/terribly judgmental hat on, that she is an extremely attractive baby. Maybe we should enter a contest


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Good afternoon. Eric is out biking, Harper is fast asleep on my lap, and the puppies are off doing something that hopefully doesn't spread hair all over the carpet. It's been a long time, mainly because times like this are so few and far between.

Things are good, both on the baby- and house-fronts. Harp is doing wonderfully. Getting huge, and for two of the last three nights, she's slept through the night. Amazing. I am happy she's getting big, but kind of miss those days when she was so tiny. Anyway, we're treasuring these times.

House-wise, we've finished very little. We painted the back hallway, and have planned to hang some pictures, but haven't gotten around to it. Eric built and installed a shelf above the dormer window in the attic, so the books that are currently on the floor will have a home. The shelf is up but isn't painted, so the books remain on the floor.

One big project we finished... We finally FINALLY took down the disgusting fence in front of the house. Our yard still looks like crap (though our phlox are coming up very nicely), but without the fence, it just looks SO much better. Our plan is to do some more planting within the next couple weeks, and get some nice patio furniture, as spring is here and the porch parties will begin, and we'd like to have people over. Or even if we don't have people over, at least have the option to.

Before next late-fall, we have several major projects to finish... First, we're going to move the back door from the current kitchen into the nook between the kitchen and dining room. Eric found a wood exterior door with frosted glass, which would pretty much be perfect, as we want the light, but don't want folks from the houses behind us, or walking in the alley, to be able to see in. It was on craigslist, too, so less expensive than usual. Hope we get it. Eric is going to finally finish the deck, which is only unfinished because he decided to do such a detailed design on the railings. We also need to get a new furnace, as the current furnace is less efficient than we would like, and is venting into our chimney, which, come to find out, isn't lined. So on really cold days, it's creating condensation, which is hurting the brick and the drywall... Which means we have to replace the drywall/plaster in the living room. Ugh!!! But it needs to get done, so we'll get it done.

Pictures will follow. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Despite her astonishing level of cuteness, Harper is being a bit of a pill today. Can you say growth spurt? She's wanting to eat every hour. Last week, she weighed in at 8 lbs, 9 oz, exactly 6 pounds over her birth weight. She's also 22 inches tall. BIG GIRL!!!

House projects are at a virtual standstill, though I did paint the back hallway last weekend. We still have some work to do on it, tho--needs a couple more spackle attacks because we missed some spots, and I have to do yet another coat. Plaster sucks. Everything else is on hold while we do a little fiscal recouperation.

Anyway, here are some new pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, February 15, 2010

About Freaking Time

I am so lame. But at least I have a good excuse. This kid is taking up all my spare time--between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am, we're in bed, because I've adopted the policy of quantity over quality. The quality is mighty poor at this point, as Harper gets her second wind at about 9:30 at night and it ends at about 2 in the morning. Up all night, sleep all day. My baby is a Slaughter fan.

Taken at 3:00 pm

Taken at 10:00 pm

But she's super cute. She's past the cooing phase that we all found so sweet, and now she's growling. Our neighbors watched her for a couple hours the other day, and they thought we were joking about the growling. Totally weren't.

Harper's new favorite pastimes are napping (only during daylight hours), dancing with mom, eating, watching the ceiling fan, eating, reading books, and eating. She especially likes reading with Grandpa, who does voices. She is eating like she has a tapeworm. We're adjusting to regular baby portions, instead of preemie portions. Occasionally, she'll indulge me with a good cuddle.

The puppies are adjusting to their new sister. So far, they're not terribly interested, but they act protective and bark like nuts when anyone comes to the door. This works out well for all of us.

I painted the upstairs bathroom a few weeks ago. It looks better than it did, but only slightly, because I didn't do a very good job, and it's not trimmed out. I also painted the ceiling in there, but ran out of paint so it's got white spots showing through. No idea when we're going to get back to Lowes. Would a semi-gloss on a drywall ceiling look stupid?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I can't even think of a title for this post. Probably something like "Holy S***" or the like would be most appropriate, but this is a family show, so I'll just leave it blank. Life has changed tremendously, and while we have a long list of house projects that are worthy of house-blogging, they're on hold for the time being.

Harper came home a week ago after two long months in the NICU. Looking back at those 2 months, they felt SO LONG. Like 2 years. The driving back and forth between home and the Women's Hospital was a major contributing factor. We were lucky in that we actually live in the same city as the hospital--lots of people live hours away. But still. Jeez. My car was driving that route on its own by the end. Anyway, the NICU was not a delightful place, but the care Harper received there was just fantastic. Nurses are freaking saints, I tell you.

Since coming home, the Harpster has been doing pretty well. She's gained 12 ounces in the last week, staying true to her "big boned" Glover and Matson genes. She's very nearly 6 pounds now, and 19.25 inches tall. Her official due date is on the 29th, so she's still supposed to be on the inside. At this point, with the way she squirms, I'm very happy to have her on the outside.

Today, she had her first shots, and clearly, this has inspired her to "find her voice." She hasn't been much of a crier, but since getting home, she's cried A LOT. Poor little baby--those needles must've bruised her.

In house news, we're barely keeping ahead of the dog-hair tumbleweeds and the multiplying dishes, but we've turned up the heat, and I'm happy to report that indeed it is possible for this house to be, and stay, warm. It was just my miserly ways that kept us bundled up last winter. That said, I would be very happy if it would warm the hell up. I live in Indiana, not Alaska.

Mom and dad came down for the week and while they don't think they were much help, we really miss them. They were crazy helpful, and just having Grandma and Grandpa around was calming for all of us. The jury is still out on what we'll actually call Grandpa Glover. Right now, we're considering Pap, which was suggested by dad because that's what Arnold Palmer called his grandfather. I heard that one of my parents' friend's grandchildren calls him "Apple," which I think is the cutest thing I've ever heard. Maybe we'll come up with something creative like that when she learns how to talk in a few months (she's a prodigy, after all).

Anyway, that's life around here. More to come. We're lucky to have this little cutie home with us.