Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Dream House

Though we love our home, JB and I have been talking about our dream home for years. I don't really want to move, and if I could have my way, I'd have this house airlifted to some acreage in the country and call it good. But technology has not advanced that much. And since our yard is very, very small, our driveway even smaller (I have ripped off the side mirrors of JB's car 3 or 4 times now), and the area of yard that gets enough sun to grow vegetables even smaller, we are aspiring to a better place. Or, well, for a better yard.

I often daydream about our driveway neighbors moving away, and their house burning down or something, and us getting to just add on an extra city plot of yard. Yes, I know. Dreaming of someone's house burning down is evil. But it's not like they would be living there! And no one would be harmed in the making of our new yard. The neighbors would get insurance money exceeding what they would sell the house for, we'd get a yard, the city would get an inimpressive house turned into a beautiful garden, we'd save money on sideview mirrors.

But since God is more clever than I, I don't think the house will burn down. A housefire is probably not in everyone's best interests, contrary to what I imagine. 

One thing I appreciate about JB is that he has similar interests to me. We both would love to live on acreage in the country in a cool old home. My dream home is a bungalow, which has garnered JB's interest too. Unfortunately, bungalows were a revolution of city neighborhoods in the 20's, so if we want one in the country, we have to build.

Here is our current pick.


 It's called "The Winslow." 

I'm not a fan of the size: 2,500 square feet. Our current house is 1,850 and that's plenty of space for me to have to dust and vacuum. BUT, the extra square footage results in a living room AND a den, meaning that I can have my own quiet place in the living room full of books, and JB and the kids can watch the TV drone on for hours in the den. Or they can play nerf tag. Or whatever. I don't care. Just don't come in the living room unless you are going to do a quiet activity. 

Here are some example interior shots from the Winslow's company:

Looks pretty fancy-pants to me. A little too new looking for my interests, but I'm sure we could break it in in no time. 

So on cold dreary days when the sun has gone off to play somewhere else, and the sounds of Modern Warfare 2 are wafting through the house, this is what I think about. 

We'll see what God's got up his sleeve for us. Even if it's not The Winslow, hopefully it'll be a place with more yard, lots of sun, and some dreamy shade trees.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baby Casanova

Olivia got her first kiss the other day.

Sister Annie responded that "she gets more action than me!" Sorry, sister. If you want to come to the library with us the next time you visit, perhaps you'd have some luck, too. ;)

Olivia and I were at our weekly visit to the EGR library, a land filled with toys and fun. There were 10-15 little kids playing around at the various stations. Olivia likes to just walk around it all a lot, stopping momentarily to talk to a child who interests her, or to try to take an interesting toy from that interesting child. So I spend my time walking closely behind her so that I may teach her that it's not okay to take toys from others, etc.

O had tried playing with a girl her same size (and perhaps age) with bright red hair. She first started chattering to her when they were near the fishtank. O just strode right up to her and strung off a mouthful of jibberjabber. The girl was nonplussed. She gave O a blank stare, so O shrugged her off and moved on. Poor O! She was trying to make a friend!

Later O spotted her again and tried to strike up some fun. But upon Olivia's arrival at the girl's table, the redhead scooped up all the toys within reach and hoarded them to herself, giving Olivia a meanish look. She didn't like sharing, I guess.

My girl got up and was walking by the ice cream stand when a little boy (about 3ish, who I later heard addressed as Jack) said to his mom, "Look, a beebee!" (Even though there were a few other little beebees there, too, but perhaps they weren't in his peripheral.)

The Bird kept cruising until she stopped at a little table with a wooden puzzle on it. She has three of these at home and really enjoys them. Immediately the little boy comes over to see the puzzle, too.

I had crouched down to help O identify the animals on it. The boy named every animal I pointed to, such as the alligator and giraffe. Another girl came over to be part of the fun, too. I think I was the only adult interacting with the children. Parents of older toddlers were sitting on comfy chairs and reading, trusting their children to practice the manners they had been taught. Parents of little kids were hovering in the background in various parts of the library, but not as closely as I was to O. Maybe I'm just anal about my kid treating others nicely. So I think when the kids saw a grownup talking and playing with THEM, it looked pretty exciting.

As we were playing with the wooden puzzle, O tried to pick up some puzzle pieces to check out. The little boy started talking to her and suddenly smiled and said, "Nice beebee! I'm going to give her a kiss!" I wasn't sure whether to let him or not, for fear of the communicable diseases they could share, such as INFLUENZA and wretched COLDS. Fortunately he kissed her forehead, and not her lips.

Olivia didn't think it was a very big deal, as everyone she knows kisses her all the time. Right after he did that, the redheaded girl comes out of nowhere and snatches the elephant puzzle piece right from under them and runs for it. The boy took off to regain the lost toy, and that was the last we saw of him.

I don't know what his fascination with Olivia was, though considering the surly nature of the redheaded "beebee," perhaps Olivia's general happiness was like a breath of fresh air to that kid. Or, perhaps he kisses ALL the beebees he sees, and O is just another forehead on his list.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pants on the Ground

Today I was sitting on the Can (aka The Throne) when I heard a loud crash come from Olivia's room. A loud crash that sounded a lot like her bookcase tipping over.

Then I heard O cry out for me for about two seconds. "Aaaaggghh!!"

I hurriedly tried to finish what I was doing so I could come to her rescue. As I was trying to make myself decent, there was silence. I thought it was one of those baby screams where the kid is holding their breath before they let out an ear curdling wail. But no cry came, so this made me wonder if she got knocked out or something.

I dashed across the hall to her room to see the bookcase fallen on its face, toys strewn around it and sticking out from under it hapharzadly, and the yellow lamp crashed on the floor. I was wondering where Olivia was when I noticed a little baby leg and shoe-clad foot, sticking out from under the bookcase.

It wasn't moving.

It was like that famous scene from Munchkin-land. I was half expecting the foot to curl up and pull itself under the bookcase, leaving the little polkadot shoe behind.

"Was she unconscious?" I wondered.

Turns out she was just waiting patiently for me to come help her. 

"I'm sorry, Olivia!" I said as I pulled the bookcase off of her.

As soon as the case was lifted, the little girl sat up and looked at me very calmly and a little dazed. I scanned her for blood or wooden puzzle pieces embedded in her skull, and as there didn't seem to be any major damage, I told her that I had to return to the bathroom to wash my hands and then I'd come see her. (Afterall, a little girl who has an accident like that would need lots of cuddling and rocking, I would imagine.)

She came to her gated doorway and voiced her protest as I soaped my hands. She soon shrugged me off as a lost cause and returned to the room to continue playing.

Excuse me, baby, but you just pulled a bookcase onto yourself that is taller than you, and you aren't even scared? Upset? Nervous about going near it again?

You're just gonna go back to playing???

Yes, apparently the lamp on the floor needed investigating, and crying and carrying on got in the way of such serious play.

I'm thinking about entering her in a Baby Toughman Contest...