Happy Halloween!

posted by harlie in family, fun

Hope you had as much fun this Halloween as my little felines!


On the up and up

posted by harlie in day-to-day, family

I wasn’t even close to ready for this, but…my baby girl is a climber.

She obviously takes after her papa. The Mr climbed out of his crib before he was even able to walk. He climbed a tree to wave to his mom from a second story window when he was two. He would lure his friends up trees so high that they wouldn’t be able to get down and his mom would have to climb up after them to save them. And, his daredevil ways didn’t stop at tree climbing. He was on a first name basis with the local ER staff. He’s a trouble maker, that one. As his twin sister told me, I need to put her crib on it’s lowest mattress setting and then put a lid over it. She isn’t completely kidding.

I love how proud her brother is that she can stand now. Anyhow, as it turns out, our little lady is trying to walk already. Now, she’s not quite there yet, but as I said, for the last couple of weeks she’s been pulling herself up on just about anything that will help steady her. She’s also ready to hurdle over just about any edge she comes to. I’ve had to catch her at least twice when she unexpectedly scrunched up her legs and launched herself forward. She has also discovered that being held upside down is fun.

She is a girl on the go! I just hope we don’t get as cozy at the ER as her dad did.

Well, at least I may have someone who will ride rollercoasters with me.


Shake and shimmy

posted by harlie in day-to-day, family

We’ve had a lot of concerned phone calls and texts after news of the 6.0 earthquake south of Napa. We’re fine. We’re about a 45-60 minute drive from the epicenter and that makes all the difference. In fact, while I felt the quake, I didn’t think it was serious one until I heard about it later that day. I woke up to the bed doing a bit of a shimmy and heard the house rattling a bit. It lasted a while, but it still took me a while to realize it was probably an earthquake. After things stopped moving, I just listened. After I didn’t hear any serious creaking, cracking, crashing, crying or alarms going off, I just went back to sleep. The rest of the family slept through it.

That said, we have some friends nearer the epicenter and there was some considerable damage up north. It sounds as if they are recovering quickly, but even though everyone is safe, it’s always a scary and potentially expensive experience.

Meanwhile, though we’ve been reminded to check our emergency supplies and our flashlight batteries, we’re a-ok.


So shiny and new!

posted by harlie in home, shopping

We have a new fridge! Whoooo!

Isn’t it gorgeous?

We always knew that we’d have to replace the fridge that came with the house. In fact, I’m shocked it lasted this long! Sure, it keeps things cold. In fact, I’ve discovered things with ice on them on the fridge side. The Mr tried hooking up the water so we could use the water dispenser and ice maker, but wound up flooding the kitchen. Best of all, some of the interior pieces are held together with duct tape. And not just any duct tape, FLAMING duct tape! Very edgy.

Also, it smelled like sour milk and rotted veggies when we first moved in. After a good cleaning and a box of baking soda, that wasn’t a problem anymore, but….ew.

It was such a comedown from the fridge we had at our last rental home: a 48″, counter-depth, side-by-side, built-in, gourmet Thermador fridge. That beauty was HEAVEN! The water dispenser flowed with filtered water! The ice dispenser crushed ice! I could store EVERYTHING in there and still not loose anything in the back of the shelves. Some day, when I have a gazillion dollars, I want one two of my very own.

Until then, I’m just really stoked to have a new fridge. I’ve never owned a new fridge before and, even after looking at every configuration, endless models, reading reviews, and pricing out different brands, I have to admit I was kind of hesitant about pulling the trigger. It’s a lot of money to put down for something that should last you 10+ years. What if the layout of the fridge annoyed us? What if the freezer wasn’t big enough? What if the computerized ice/water dispenser (they’re all computerish these days) went haywire and caused me to cuss when Lil’Man was sneaking up behind me? I told the Mr of my worries while we were in the truck, driving to Home Depot to make the big purchase. He looked at me a bit incredulously and, after a moment, asked me a question:

“Do you hate the fridge we have with every drop of your being? With, as you say, the flaming fire of a thousand burning suns?” (I may sometimes get loudly emotional about my appliances. And my hyperbole may tend toward the redundant.)

I told him that THAT hate was reserved for our washer, but the fridge was a close second. He assured me that whatever fridge we got, it wouldn’t be any worse than the one we have now. I smiled at him and sighed, but it did make me feel better.

We chose a French door model from Samsung. We picked the 3-door model with a water/ice dispenser, though we considered getting a 4-door model. The fourth door (a drawer, really) seemed especially convenient for storing the kids’ snacks and school lunch items, but I was concerned it was just a gimmick. Then, Lil’Man squished his fingers between the sliding drawers and it basically sealed the deal on NOT getting the fourth door. That kid will eventually slam his fingers into every door in the house, so I figure I’d save us at least one crying jag.

My favorite feature so far: the new fridge also has a door-in-door feature. It might also be considered gimmicky, but a small access hatch on the door of our old fridge was the one thing about it I liked — easy access to sodas, creamer for my coffee or even meds for the kids that require refrigeration. I was thrilled to find an improved, larger version of the little access door in new models. Plus, this fridge has an LED read-out telling us the temperature in the freezer and fridge.

So far, I’m loving it. The Mr and Lil’Man find the lack of magnetic-ness on the front a problem, but the sides are still magnetic and I like the reduction in clutter. The real trick with this new fridge will be keeping Lil’Man from constantly opening the freezer. Especially once he figures out how to get to the ice cream and popsicles.

Mmmmmm…ice cream…

Now, I’ve been so excited about the new fridge, that I almost forgot the crazy part of this whole shebang. The window behind the fridge. Yes, we have a window 99% obscured by the fridge. When we first saw the house, I couldn’t believe it was intentional. And then we got to see the kitchen remodeling plans where they have the fridge placed squarely in front of the window. That’s right: they remodeled the kitchen. And they chose to place the fridge in front of a window.

I’m still flabbergasted. Granted, in the plans, the architect called out for that window to be filled in on the interior and remain on the exterior (for visual balance), so it wasn’t completely bonkers. But somewhere along the way, they just simply left the window untouched. Now, I’m all for saving money and all, but I just don’t get that decision. This is a southwest facing window, so you have the sun beating down on the back of your refrigerator almost half the day. It’s not the most efficient fridge to begin with (I’m pretty sure it’s from the 80s or so) and making it work that much harder is just ridiculous.

We plan on doing a fairly complete kitchen remodel down the road and that’s definitely something we’ll change. Until then, we’re tucking some rigid insulation into the window frame. It’s not a perfect fix, but it should just about eliminate the extra thermal load on our new fridge. Our nice, shiny, new fridge! Excuse me while I go open the doors to admire it’s shiny, white, LED-lit cleanliness for a bit before we inevitably spill chili or ketchup or something in it.

† Oh my god, that THING! It’s actually #2 on my list of most hated. #1 is our stove, but that baby is a Wolf and should be fixed under our homebuyer’s insurance agreement. Actually, #1 on my sh** list is our insurance company that seems to be trying to get out of fixing the stove, but that’s a WHOOOOLE other problem. Anyhow, I think the washer hates me as much as I hate it. If you don’t push down on one back corner of the lid juuust right, it will fill up with water and just SIT there, pretending to have finished the wash, when, in reality, you’ve been soaking that laundry ALL NIGHT and can’t move it over to the dryer when you wake up. MWAHAHAHAHA! And the dryer? Also sucks…sometimes. It’s usually fine, but, on occasion, chooses not to dry things. That baby is #4 on my list. The dishwasher is #5, which I think is last since it does a decent job most of the time. We haven’t settled on their replacements yet, but soon. Well…soonish.

‡ They put a “pantry” where the fridge used to be, though they could have added as much or even more storage if they’d kept the fridge where it was and added cabinets under all the windows. Instead, they put in two open “desk” areas with almost no storage. It’s like they were trying to minimize their storage space AND their natural light.


He’s THIS many!

posted by harlie in family, fun

Actually, Lil’Man has never said that because he can easily articulate the fact that he’s three (though he will often hold out his fingers, just to make sure you know). We didn’t have a huge celebration, but we did enjoy some train and carousel riding. It was a bit colder and slightly drizzly, but we had jackets to keep us warm and a blanket to keep us (relatively) dry.

By the way, he wanted me to know that the rose on his horse was for me. I love my Lil’Man.

And of course, there was cake and candles.

Happy birthday, kiddo!

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