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January 2011
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March 2011

twenty. inches.

that's *2* *0* inches.


(this sign is taller than i am.)

of snow.

from sunday morning through monday evening.


now, i realize it's february, and the rodent groundhog has already predicted early spring, and the nation is weary from the blizzards in chicago and new england, et al, and is ready to turn its eyes to the bieb's new hair-do, but really ...

twenty &$#%ing inches.

no mention on cnn. no "snowly lord that's a lot of snow!" catch phrasing. no dramatic theme song.

we get 20" ... on top of the 60" we already had ... and the world says, "meh." ... if it registers enough to even do that.

whatever. we're minnesotans. we know that our weather doesn't show up on your news because you assume we get 20" of snow every day. it IS minnesota after all. 20" to us is like, whatevs, compared to 20" in chicago which is like "holy crap are you kidding?? the world is ending!!!"

i actually caught a blurb on the weather channel about this New Round Of Winter Storms barreling toward the east coast. Philly could see a FOOT! New Jersey could see SIX INCHES!! ohandbythewaythestormalsohitminnesotaandtheygottwentyinches. ahem.

seriously. i saw that.

it's okay. we're smug about our ability to handle this stuff. twenty inches and there wasn't even a school delay. in fact, our roads were so clear today, you'd never know we had another little dusting.

we're amazing.

suck it, rest of the country.


i got an email from our builder rep the other day - the spring parade of homes is coming up, and one of their model homes is open this weekend for a special preview for those interested in building with this company. marc and i decided to go check it out ... the square footage is about the same as our plan, so we were curious to see how it felt space-wise, yet the price tag on it is about twice what we're spending, so we wanted to see how the money was spent. and we like seeing homes by the builder because they are all so different from each other, and we spot little ideas we like in each. mental notes, you know.

there were definitely a few take-aways from our visit this afternoon.

first of all, the exterior was adorable. i would like to know if we can flip our garage so the double door is on the outside and the single door in the center, with the peaked roof above the double stall. we liked how that balanced the right side of the house.

when you walk in the front door, just past the entryway is a formal living room on the right ...


very pretty double fireplace (the other side opens to the great room) and light-filled room. across the hall is the dining room ...


again, beautiful space, beautiful light. we absolutely love these hand-scraped floors. as much as i would like to use bamboo, i have to say these hickory floors look more rustic. that appeals to us. we're pretty sold on geothermal ... we'll have to let that soothe our guilt over using non-renewable wood. i would love to find reclaimed barn wood for the floors, but i don't think the builder allows outside products. phooey.

before heading into the kitchen and great room, there is a beautiful stairway, with a skylight over the center of it ...

really lovely. that skylight was a great touch.

i didn't take any photos of the kitchen/mud room/great room because:

1. there were too many people hanging out in the kitchen talking to the reps, so taking photos would have been pointless.

2. the great room only had a couch in it, and didn't look like much yet, though it was definitely a cozy room.

3. i didn't agree with the style choices.

here's my beef, and i mentioned this before about another parade home by the builder:

when the customer is working with the designer, why doesn't anyone ever mention that the kitchen isn't just a place to choose "trendy" or "expected," making it completely disjointed from the style of the rest of the house?

this house, with the exception of the kitchen, was light, airy, elegant. the kitchen? dark wood cabinets, black granite countertops, one window. it just did not work with the feeling of the rest of the house. it didn't fit. the kitchen and mud room area were dark and, i guess, "warm" compared to the style of the rest of the space. it was weird and didn't flow. also, the fireplace surround was stone, which also wasn't in keeping with the sleek style of the rest of the house. it was like those two rooms were part of a whole different house.

okay ... on to the rest of the space that DID work ...

the light, open landing at the top of the stairs, and all the doors leading into the light-filled bedrooms ...

looking into the master bathroom. marc and i decided we really liked the layout ... walking past the closets to get to the bathroom, versus walking through the bathroom to get to one big closet. putting the bathroom on the end opens the room up to more natural light ... we liked that.

down in the basement, there was an open space for hanging out, and all the windows were just beautiful ...

there was a nice wet bar area with yet another storage closet (this house had an amazing amount of storage) and space for a game table ...

and a nice sized guest room and bathroom ...

the guest room windows and trim didn't match the rest of the basement. it looked like the owners cheaped out. marc and i vow to have consistency. if our budget pushes us to have to skimp in areas of the home, we'll dial back somewhere else so everything flows equally. why put marble in one room and linoleum in another, right? consistency is important. like the kitchen.

overall, it was a very pretty house. there were things we really liked about it, but it didn't 110% blow us away like one of the other houses by this builder that we saw awhile back. i guess it all depends on the style of who it is being built for. can't guarantee that, i guess. but workmanship-wise? quality-wise? the feel of the house? solid. amazing.

we can't wait.

the speed at which children grow.

there's nothing faster. seriously. sound? pfft. no. cheetahs? hardly. what ... light? are you kidding me? i blink and my kids have changed in innumerable ways. do that, light.

henry turns 11 on friday (i know, right? E.LEV.EN. hand to god. i'm not making that up.) and i've been looking at him differently lately. he's changing. he's becoming thinner, bonier, more angular. his cheeks have lost their fullness. his eyes are more wary, more discerning, more critical. his mouth has lost that delicious puffiness of youth. his arms and legs look ... older; not the soft snuggly arms and legs of being little, but the long, hard arms and legs of ... a tween. a guy. a man.

i swear, the day i see hair on his chin or under his arms, i'm wrapping him up in packing tape and putting him in the closet. i can't take it.

this awareness of how quickly he and harper are growing and changing has overtaken me lately, and i don't like it one little bit. while eating a nasty sausage pizza thing that i found in the bottom of the freezer today (getting a jump start on cleaning out the freezer before we move. bad idea; i momentarily forgot i hate sausage.), i decided to go trolling through the photo archives for a photo of henry as a little lad. a friend of mine has a little boy, nearly four, who reminds me so, so much of henry at that age, and as i was looking at photos of henry at five and six, one part of my brain was thinking of jack because it was a comparison i could easily make. then i snapped back to reality and started looking at the photos as they are, of henry, and remembering him at that age. and as i stared into his little face on the screen, i could see the bits of him in there that i see now. they were already there, those seeds of Growing Up; i just didn't recognize them.

this one? those eyes. that pout. that look. at the time, it killed me. now i see it and think, yeah ... i get that face a lot.

this one? i love it. the legs and arms are still chubby and undefined and soft. now? the legs are hairy, the arms are long. he no longer needs a stool to reach the countertop; he's pretty much my height. he still reads and studies everything ... that's the same. and that little hip shift to the left? the settling into the right hip while pointing his knee in? that's EXACTLY the same. he was already being Henry before i could define Henry.

then i found this one ...

oh, my heart. look at my baby girl. seriously ... look. she was a baby! he was in awe of her! she was in awe of him!

actually, nothing's really changed there.

thank goodness for that.

speaking of my baby girl ...

i've gotta stop or i'll start to wonder why we didn't have another baby. our babies were perfection. and now?

still perfection, i guess. they're just in their own world more, and my vantage point isn't as clear.

have you ever slept so much ...

that at the end of it you can no longer sleep when it's actually time to sleep?

the phrase "sleeping like a baby" takes on new meaning. you know the early days, when Baby is such a good napper that you don't want to wake or disturb her, but then she gets her days and nights all discombobulated and suddenly you are calling her a "bad sleeper," when really she's just all sleeped out from her lazy daytime schedule?

yeah. that's me right now.

except instead of lazy daytime naps, i had fever-induced, strep-avoiding, monumentally necessary all-day sleep fests.

and now my sleep meter is all full-up.

last week henry complained of a sore throat on sunday. and again on monday. then he casually mentioned someone at school hadn't stayed home on friday even though he had strep. well, great. so tuesday morning i took him to the doctor and, yup: strep.

so he was home for three days. then his sister came down with it and was home for three days. and by friday, those little parasites of mine had officially handed it off to me. and i was down for the count for three days.

today i finally started feeling more like me again. but i'm so over sleeping. can't do it. the bed doesn't feel comfortable, i can't get my brain to turn off, i'm too hot then too cold then my arms are hot but my knees are cold but my feet have to be out but then my toes freeze and i have to cover them up and ARGH! just get UP already.

so, here i am. half past midnight and i'm up.

this will seem like an amazing idea at 7 a.m. when i'm trying to get henry fed and out the door for school.

i think my brain was dialed back to basic human functions only for so many days that now it's racing and i can't quiet it down for anything. that, and harper introduced me to "sally's spa" game on the ipad while we were festering in our fevers on the couch on thursday. and now i'm hooked on that stupid game, and it gets my multitasking little heart all a-twitter and my adrenalin pumping at the fears of "holy crap i have no room to move the old people in tandem! shoot, the bride lost a patience heart! ack -- the goth girl is disgruntled and she's the most patient client in the whole &$*%ing spa!!." stupid game.

and now i'm making no sense whatsoever. maybe i need to go take another shot of nyquil for old time's sake and call it a night.

by the way, happy valentine's day from my boy. he's the only one who got creative and thoughtful this year.

take it where you can get it, i say.


where i've been for 12 days.

the short answer is: i haven't had a computer.

here's the long answer ...

in november and december, minnesota got some snow. like, 60ish inches. and a lot of blowing. we had drifting on our roof.

then the weather got chilly. like, -35 for a few days in a row. and everything froze solid.

then, it miraculously hit 32 degrees for two days. it was gorgeous. and ... three ice dams on our roof started melting into our house. specifically, water was pouring in around the bay window in our dining room, and water was dripping into the wall behind my desk. i could hear it drip and splash. then i noticed the carpet was wet.

so, while it was still warm and melting, marc shoveled the roof to try and head off compounding problems.

then we ripped part of the wall out behind my desk so we could catch the drips before they caused more problems. but because of that, my computer ended up on the floor for a week.

so ... what else did i do with myself since i was cut off from the cyber world?

well, i got a jump on staging and painted henry's room. goodbye, bright:

harper was a good helper and tried her best to make the project go a little faster.

even so, with only two hours or so a day to work on it, painting still took four days. then another day to move the furniture back in. and another day to put all the books back on the shelves, etc.

in other words, henry camped out in the sun room for the better part of a week.

to say he's glad to be back in his room is a bit of an understatement.

also, because of this computerless time, i couldn't post a pic of marc installing the new dining room light. at some point i should take a photo of the actual light ...

those long arms work for me, too, though. light schmight.

the weather also warmed enough that the kids could go play outside for awhile. while they were at it, we took photos for posterity of The Winter That The Kids Could Stand On Snow Piles In The Yard And Be Taller Than Daddy:

also, i think our cat secretly wishes he could be a cross-dresser.

he loves to nap on tulle gowns, i'm assuming to dream of dancing the part of the sugar plum fairy.

but now my computer is back in it's rightful place on my desk, the insurance adjuster is getting back to us on what damages will be covered, we add more to our to do list, and we keep on plugging away.

at least now i'm plugged back in.

hey, there.