Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vunce Upon a Time

Tess' favorite book of late is Vunce Upon a Time, a Halloween tale about Dagmar, a vegetarian vampire with a sweet tooth.

Ryan's reading it to her for bedtime, so that's the 4th retelling of the day.  I found this condensed synopsis online, and she insisted that we show it to Nana & Papa.

In her words:  "They like it."

The next book I must track down:

"Goodnight skull
And goodnight shoe
Goodnight creature
Goodnight goo
And goodnight to the old werewolf hollering 'Boo.'" 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Saddest Sight of the Day

Tess has decided that she can go to the potty "All by myself!"  This means that she closes the door, I hear the scoot of her stool, a few indications of success, and then the telltale exclamation:  "I did it, Mom!  I did it!"

(Her insistence on privacy is interesting, since I can't remember the last time I visited the bathroom alone.)

So, this afternoon Tess embarked on a myself potty break.  She closed the door, I heard the stool scoot, and then...nothing for a long time.  When I asked if she was OK, she responded, "Mom, it's wet in here."

I opened the door to find Tess standing on her stool in a very wet puddle.  So close, and yet....

After helping me clean up and disinfect the mess, Tess was delighted to find her underwear, which she had managed to remove just before the accident.  "My underwear's dry, Mom!  Yeah!  I did it!  I did it!"

Way to go, Tess.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Training Day #2

Tess is learning.  But we've still got a long way to go.  

One sticker and one pair of undies a time.

This pair didn't last long.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Getting SnUggy

Check out my latest post on A Few of Our Favorite Things!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Always Very Curious

Here's my latest idea for a gender neutral bedroom for Tess and baby brother.  I've long been enamored with this idea from Pottery Barn Kids.

I don't love the strong primary colors they use in the comforter, so I would probably just use the Curious George fabric for my own purposes.  I'd use the sheet fabric to make a valence and matching dust ruffles.  The room is close to the blue color they use on the duvet, so I think it would match.  I'd probably go with a solid white or blue (or yellow?) comforter or coverlet and coordinating blanket for the baby's bed.  That Curious George sham is pretty irresistible, though.

Tess would be over the moon with excitement.

What makes me curious, though, is how can they get away with charging that much for a sheet set?  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm Feeling All Giddy...

...I think it may be love.

Mayfair 86CP 000 NextStep Built-in Potty Seat with 

Non-Tarnish Chrome Hinges, Round, White

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Stuff

OK, as for the potty-training thing, I lied.  I still have a lot of excuses.  And most of them are pretty good ones.

I'm still in the thick of house crud.  I painted the downstairs ceiling today.  That sounds like progress, except I painted it the wrong color.  I've already painted that ceiling once this year, so I swear I bought the right color.  But alas, nope.

That's OK, though, because even with the wrong color, I was able to tell that in some spots the patching job still needs help. So, I sliced out and repatched big portions of the ceiling.  Did I mention this is never  going to end?

In the meantime, Tess has found many ways to entertain herself with all the stuff that remains spread around the house.  On Tuesday, she got into a stash of my makeup (that I guess I should put away now that the bathroom is somewhat in order).

Her pronouncement when she came downstairs, "Mom, I beautiful!"

Cute?  Yes, until I realized that she'd plastered on 4 layers of my Everlast Lip Gloss.  Which did not come off for days.  Literally.  I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and it took me 3 days to completely remove it.  I may resort to using that stuff on the ceiling.  Speaking of plastering....

Today she came downstairs with her latest find:  "Look, Mom!  These are my boat thingies!"  In my best estimation, I think she meant life preservers, in the way of water wings.  But that's just a guess.

She has to help every step of the way.  Today when I was on the ladder, she held my legs and said, "Be careful, Mom.  I hold you."  And when it's not employed in jobs, the ladder is Tess' "thinking spot."

Tess hasn't been too interested in drawing lately.  Her attention span for it has shortened, for some reason.  But I loved this sketch that she drew for me. It's a picture of "Mommy with a neck and a baby in her belly."  Finally, I get a neck.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Coming Together Pee-ce by Pee-ce

Toilet's being installed as I type.  That means no more potty-training excuses.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Got Wheels

I found this little used trike at our church's Gifts of the Heart swap.  I've been looking for a bike all summer for her, but she's in between sizes.  The big bikes were all too big and the little bikes too little.  I figured I'd wait until next year to get her a bigger bike.  But the price on this one couldn't be beat (free!), so I thought we'd try it out.

Tess LOVES this bike!  When she wakes up in the morning, the first words out of her mouth are, "How about my bike, Mom?  I wanna ride my bike!"  She's made good progress on it, and can ride it on her own as long as she's going downhill.  Which means Ryan and I took turns pushing her uphill all weekend.

I still need to de-princessify it, but that would mean she'd have to stop riding it for a few minutes.  I'm glad she loves it, but my back is hoping that her enthusiasm for it will die down soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

August 2010 Tidbits

Tess is loving her time with "Dipsy's Papa" (aka "Papa Murdock"). Their favorite games (as of today): vigorous tickles on the bed and an elaborate bubble-blowing routine where Dad blows a bubble, catches it on his wand and then Tess pops it with her nose.

Ry thought Tess was just being silly when she asked for "chop-chop" for lunch. Nope, that's just how she says "ketchup." What's a girl got to do for condiments around here?

Today we drove by a mosque. Tess' comment: "Other people's temple, Mom."

This morning Tess asked me (Ryan) if we could dance. I said, "Sure, Tess." I stood up and began to dance. Tess looked up at me with a quizzical look and said, "What are you doing, Dad?" Tough crowd!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dust Bunnies

Someday our house will be dust-free.  Not today.  But someday it will. 

Ry and I tackled round two of sanding the drywall patches today.  With the first round we seriously underestimated the engulfing pervasiveness of drywall dust that resulted from the sanding.  Dust EVERYWHERE!  We’ve been wearing masks and waking up at the crack of dawn to get the job completed and cleaned up before Tess gets up.  It is a messy, messy, messy job.

Dad left yesterday after taking on a marathon day of drywalling.  And I mean MARATHON!  It was not an easy or fun job, to say the least.

The walls are coming back together.  They could probably use one more round of patching and sanding before we paint, but I don’t know if we (or our vacuum, for that matter) can take it.
Getting there.  This wall looks pretty good.
Ceiling still needs work.  It's the most awkward to patch and sand.
Hall closet.
Bathroom wall.  As soon as this wall's finished, we get to have the toilet reinstalled.  Simple pleasures.
The most impressive part of this picture is that the washer and dryer are hooked up after a week of no laundry.  I tried to hook up the washing machine drain hose, only to realize the plumber failed to knock out the hole leading to the drain pipe in the new valve box.  The plumber is closed today and I need to do some serious laundry, so I got out my chisel and knocked it out myself!  If you want something done right....
In other home improvement news, we are really pleased with how the shower turned out.  I did a great job of picking out matching grout, and it really made a big difference in finishing it off.
I really love how it turned out--I think Dad and I did a great job on it!
I'm 7 months pregnant tomorrow.  Can we say "nesting"to the extreme?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not for the Faint of Heart

Is this a sight that strikes fear in your heart?  

No?  How about this?

So, Dad's been out a for visit this week.  Can you tell how much he loves me? 
He loves me new "water-vapor barrier" much.

And new "cement board" much.

And new "thinset" much.

And lots and lots of new tile much.  Lots of it.

It's been an exhausting, dirty and sweaty few days as Dad and I slaved away on this much needed new shower.  Tess has adapted to her life as a Pingu orphan by day and mermaid by night.  (There are functioning showers at the pool.)

Has your blood pressure stabilized at all yet?  Have you ever wondered what it would take to replace all the plumbing in your house?  Oh, your pipes must not be polybutylene.

Plumbers tackle the job over two days and then we'll get to sheetrocking.  
Yep, that's a big hole behind the couch too.

There's a huge cut in Tess' wall and more ceiling and bathroom cuts to come tomorrow.  I was worried that Tess would never fall asleep tonight with her room torn up.  I covered over the gash in her wall and her only concern was that her seashells on her wall from the beach were missing. 

Copper is starting to shine forth in place of old gray piping.

I will get through this week.  I will get through this week.

Sweet Baby Caroline

Tess has a new cousin!  Caroline Ann Hoopes was born August 30 and weighed 6 lbs. 15 oz.  For some darling baby pics, visit, click view photos, and enter the following password: 0830carolinehoopes.

We're so happy you're here, Caroline!  Congratulations Laura, Nathan, Brooke and big brother Andrew!