At some point this winter our gas fireplace experienced a fire in it's chimney. The result of this ignition is black exhaust throughout our house, affixed to metal objects and cold surfaces. We were told that this exhaust was in fact Carbon Monoxide/soot, very difficult to remove or clean. In the last week we've met with our insurance agent, a restoration company and a fire investigator. We have been living with one source of heat (a wood-burning stove, by now we are expert fire starters!) now for over a month while the wild outside continues to provide freezing wind and snow--way too much snow. This week is looking up, we will have a new beautiful heater installed and hopefully get the cleaning process underway. The clean up is extensive, a company comes in and will clean and degrease every surface in the house. They will put our "contents" through a smoke extraction process and clean floors. Then the sealing and painting begins. I hadn't anticipated my Spring Cleaning to be so thorough nor did I want to start decorating from scratch before Baby B is born. Don't get me wrong, I am excited and up to the challenge...just feeling a bit of a time crunch. Soon our house will not smell like campfire and neither will we.
The Little Girls have inherited my love for a quick sip and bite at the nearest cafe. A little habit I picked up years ago in Spain. Today The LGs, Jack, Shannon and I stopped in at Sugar Lillie in El Dorado (the lemon tart was still warm from the oven and so was the salmon/green onion quiche!). Yesterday while taming cabin fever and fighting heavy snow, Savannah and Ivy got that itch...the cafe itch. We set up The Honey Hut Cafe and within minutes they were pleased as pie.
Lift your teacup (pinkie out), Cheers to a free and easy Cafe!
Grandma Margaret sent The Little Girls a box full of green for St. Patrick's Day. They squealed in delight over the decorations and green Peeps. Ivy said she would take this photo with Savannah if Savannah kept her hands to herself and let her do all the hugging. Oy...
Ivy's hair color is a conversation starter most everywhere we go. While she buries her head into my armpit to avoid eye contact I explain that the red runs in my Mom's side of the family. Irish. Just recently we found out that Julie's (Tim's birth Mom) Great Grandma had this same red hair color and something else in common with Ivy, her name! Lucky, I think.
We spent last weekend in Carmel, frolicking on the beach and enjoying time with cousins.
Just before we went to bed we learned of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We voluntarily evacuated around 2:30 in the morning for fear of the unexpected outcome of the tsunami as it crossed the Pacific. The surge wasn't as predicted and so the next morning we returned to the beach house. I wish so badly I could say the same for the tsunami victims in Japan, my heart goes out to them as they struggle to find loved ones and etch out a new life in what appears to be a living hell. I'm quite sure the ocean and it's seaside hold a different meaning to them as they fear it's power, instability and what may wash up on it's shore. Looking at my photos feels strange, naive really, to play in the ocean's calmness on such a perfect beach.
All thirteen pounds of this sweet 8 week-old Bull Mastiff are pure love. Dad and Sylvia have a new ranch dog, one who is sure to steal our hearts just as her predecessor did. The moment I stepped inside her puppy kennel she crawled up on my lap and buried her head under my armpit, where she stayed for quite a few minutes. Do you believe dogs have a sixth sense? I get the feeling from her she knows there is a baby growing inside of me and this feels safe and protective (I'm probably reading too much into it). I love puppy clumsiness. Her back legs have a mind of their own and pay no attention to what the front half cares to do. Business up front, party in the back. Miss Molly Mae is the perfect 'puppy fix' for us; all the love and fun The Little Girls can imagine without all the work. We'll enjoy her puppy-hood while we can, this dog is going to be big.
The number means nothing, it's how young you FEEL...right? When I was younger mid-thirties scared me. Truth is I know who I am now more than ever and I wouldn't change NOW for anything. Yes I wish I would have used more sunscreen in my twenties but other than that, I'm good where I'm at. Today has been a great day. I woke up with the sun for an early-bird run, the stillness of dawn was dreamy. I love a quiet morning. Tim surprised me by taking a few hours off to take his girls to breakfast. I ran into my sweet friend Lori, we wished each other "Happy Birthday". After breakfast The Little Girls and I walked Main Street for a little antiquing, I scored a great piece of Milk-glass for $1 on a sidewalk sale. We met up with my big sister Shannon and are now packing at home for a special birthday trip.
My Best Girls met up with The Little Girls and I for a birthday brunch and afterward Leilani had the best idea of going to Benefit's Brow Bar in Macy's. She talked me into sitting up at the booth, surely tired of looking at my bushy brows. The Esthetician informed us of a special Benefit calls "Birthday Brows". You just show up the week of your birthday, show your license and your brow arch is free! What I love even more than Free Birthday Brows is this: Leilani offered to treat me for my birthday before we knew it was free and then she beat me to the punch to make sure I didn't have to tip. She's like that. Generous. Her girlfriends mean the world to her.
This photo makes me chuckle. It doesn't seem like this much kid/mom stuff when you are out and about.
There is something that comes over me when in conversation I feel like the other person is imposing his/her ideas/will/expectations on me. First my body tenses up, then I get cold as in temperature cold. I stop listening and start preparing my...rebellion. I've always been this way regardless of whether or not I believe strongly in what I am rebelling against, it is my way of disagreeing. Lately I have been doing this a lot. The imposition stems from people now noticing how pregnant I am becoming, then looking at The Little Girls and jumping to conclusions. People most always think this pregnancy was/is an accident, I know this can be true of third pregnancies but most definitely not in our case. It was planned, very planned. The next assumption is that we are trying for a boy. People say hurtful things like, "wouldn't it be nice for you to have a boy, someone to play catch with or carry on the family name." People make these comments in front of The Little Girls (which piss me off quite frankly, like girls aren't worthy of throwing a ball too or choosing to keep their family name), not realizing the way they sound to the girls and the questions these comments later prompt. And so I get that all too familiar feeling of oppression and rebel. I say, "No this baby is not an accident, we wanted more children." and "we would be so happy to have a girl again knowing how close The Little Girls are and we play catch with these girls as well as hope that if they choose, they keep their maiden name." I say this all to preface this...
We ARE having a boy! We are excited. All we really cared about throughout this pregnancy was having a healthy baby, regardless of gender. We are thrilled that Baby Botting is growing healthy and strong. But if you see us out and about please refrain from comments like, "Oh finally Tim gets his boy!" or "Great, now you get to be involved with cheering from the sidelines while watching him play sports!" or "Now your family is complete!". If you do brave these comments, you might be in for icy looks and stormy conversation. I am fiercely protective of making sure these Little Girls know they still hold the reigns of our attention and hearts, no boy or girl could ever dethrone them from the pedestals they keep even though they are soon to be joined by Baby Boy B. As for now, we are off to cheer from the sidelines as Savannah takes her first swim team lesson.