Thursday, January 27, 2011

The obligatory "after" picture

After the ordeal with our deck falling down, the association finally agreed to cover the cost and hired some builders to make a new one. It's all a HUGE blessing in disguise, and as of about 3:00 this afternoon, we have a brand new, beautiful deck! I'm a little bummed that it's still the middle of winter and we can't actually enjoy it right away, but I can't WAIT to spend some time on it this summer!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meet Jack.

Jack had a friend over today and at one point, Jack came upstairs for something. I was pretty sure it was to use the bathroom, but I wasn't really paying attention until he was headed back downstairs. I stopped him and said, "Hey, what were you doing up here?" (mostly making sure he flushed and washed his hands if he was, indeed, using the bathroom).
"Oh, I was just looking for something."
"What were you looking for?"
"Oh, I don't remember."
"Jack, did you go potty?"
"What were you doing up here, then?"
"Well.....I just came up here to give you a really big hug!"
I lost it at that point, and he thought it was really funny and said, "Just kidding!"
Finally, I told him that if I went in the bathroom and saw pee in the toilet, he was going to be in big trouble.
"Okay, I'll go flush and wash my hands."
Then he got a time-out for lying. Even though he mostly cracked me up.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

eighteen months

Dear Leah,

It has been one and a half years since you have graced our family with your fabulous presence. Sometimes I can't believe it's been that long! It feels like yesterday I was looking at your hours-old face and feeling so blessed. But other days I can't begin to imagine what our family was like without you and it feels like you've been here forever. :) I read your birth story last night, which was magical and surreal and made me remember what a miracle new life is!

Physically, you have grown from a 9-pound 13-ounce teeny tiny baby into a 27-pound toddler! You are very tall (surprise, surprise) and are running around everywhere. You have the most incredible personality and know just how to make us laugh. Sometimes you know exactly how to make me pull all my hair out, too. But that just come with the toddler territory!

Your favorite thing in the WORLD right now is reading books. If I sit down for more than a minute, you run and grab a book and bring it back for me to read. You seem to prefer books with real animals and people in them. I think it's helping you learn some new words (because, let's face it, your big brother does all the talking and there hasn't been a reason to start before now). You love to point out animals in books and make their corresponding sounds. I have to say, when you hear an actual sheep for the first time, you're going to wonder why it's not "baa"ing more quickly.

You are full of kisses. For me, Jack, Daddy, Lucy (aka the most tolerant cat in the world), and all of the puppies and kitties in your books. They started as lovely, open-mouth smooches, but now they're so sweet! Your little pursed lips are just to die for. As are your warm, rosy cheeks when you wake up from a nap. Those are something I can't stop kissing!

I'd rather not be around the day something happens to one or both of your blankets. Because at this point, I'm not sure you could survive without them. It's pretty adorable how you ask for your "deedee" and walk around with it and suck on the corners, but you are HOOKED on this thing! It's actually quite nice that you have a "lovey." Your silly brother had nothing. No blanket, no pacifier, no animal. He didn't know what he was missing. :)

It's hard to believe, in the middle of this freezing cold winter, that we'll be celebrating your SECOND birthday in six short months when it's nice and warm. You have been an immense blessing to our family in these eighteen months. It's very exciting to think about the future of our family of four. Thank you for your sweet spirit and incredible heart! You make me so happy that I'm a mom.

Love you to pieces,

Sunday, January 02, 2011


On Tuesday, we decided to make a trek to Ikea to buy some new dining room chairs. On our way down our street, we noticed that there was a team of people getting ready to shovel the snow off of all of our roofs. Yay! What a smart thing for them to do (since they spent all summer a couple years ago putting new roofs on every home).

So we conquered Ikea, stopped for some lunch, and headed home to find that they were almost done with the snow removal. As we went on with our afternoon, they re-plowed our driveway and re-shoveled our steps. One area they LEFT, however, was our deck. It was PILED with snow that had been shoveled from the roof. I had noticed some decks as we drove down our street and into our driveway and thought, "Wow, that's a lot of snow for a deck to hold!" Of course, since they had re-plowed and re-shoveled, we assumed they would be back as some point to clear off the deck. Well, they didn't come back on Tuesday. They didn't come back on Wednesday.

On Wednesday night around midnight, Dan was downstairs and heard a huge crash. He looked out the window and, sure enough, our deck had finally fallen from the weight of the snow. Since there wasn't much he could do at that time of night, we called our association contact the next day. The guy came out about an hour later to check everything out, and by that night a team of people had gotten our grill, table, and chairs safely off the deck and into our yard.

The next day (Friday), the owner of the company that had done the roof shoveling came by to look at the deck. He was kind of a bully and said that the deck was in terrible shape anyway, etc. True (the deck is as old as the house--1979), but beside the point. The deck has held a normal amount of snow just fine for six winters and our grill, deck furniture, and all of US for six summers. He left kind of crabby and said he'd be back on Monday. So we'll see what tomorrow brings. But based on people we have talked to, it seems like a no-brainer. This is clearly his fault and we *should* get a new deck out of it. (Which is actually really exciting!)

Here are some pictures of the fallen deck. They'll hopefully come knock it the rest of the way down and haul it all away soon. :)

(Oh, and the same day the owner came to talk to us, his team was back--clearing off every last deck in our development!)

Looking straight out our deck door:

The other side, toward our front yard:

We thought of removing the railings and sledding down. ;)