Friday, November 27, 2009

The house that Mr. Tommy built

Well, in the last week, we've moved out of our old house, into our new, cleaned our old house, somewhat arranged our new one, and have (I think) successfully hosted our first Thanksgiving which included Matt's family and my family (16 people in all). Needless to say, we haven't had much time for things like taking pictures, (or sleeping!) but we've had a great time nonetheless. I don't have pictures of the whole house yet, but here is a little sneak preview of the house that Mr Tommy built for us.


The new kitchen.

The old kitchen.

The new living room, (the fireplace is still in the process of being converted from a fake fireplace to a woodburning one).

The old one.

The new dining room.

The weird dark storage room off of the living room that is now our dining room.

The new living room after taking down the wall between the door and the living room.

The old living room with the wall that separated the house into a 2-flat.

The new staircase, complete with Sammy's spy equipment (jump rope tied to a pair of goggles) hanging down.
The old staircase with the wall that separated the foyer from the living room, and with the door that lead into the kitchen.

Anyway, I'll have more later, but right now that's all I got! Happy late Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Moving sucks


I know that very few people really like packing, but I really really don't like it. It gives me heart palpitations trying to figure out what is really move-worthy and what should get thrown or given away.

My dad never throws things away. He finds random places to recycle them or he keeps them in hopes of fixing them. I'm not really like that, but as I go through my storage closet and realize that I've thrown out 4 air mattresses with holes in them, I do start to feel like a major non-environmentalist. I just picture a barge out in the middle of the ocean floating around with my giant air mattresses, broken toys, old bras, and attachments from a now-broken vacume cleaner on it.

Also, once you start boxing things up and living like that for a few days, no one seems inclined to clean up after them selves in any normal ways anymore, (including myself). Like, why do the dishes or put my laundry IN the hamper when we're living in insanity anyway? It all stresses me out.

It doesn't help that we are really cutting it close as to when we are moving into the house, (we're hosting Thanksgiving you know). We were supposed to be in at the beginning of November, but you know how it is...there are always delays.

It's not really Mr Tommy's fault at all...it was all stuff that really just happened. Or it was stuff that we added ourselves, (like turning our faux fireplace into a wood-burning one). But even so, Tom said that he's having his crew move us with his trailor for free! Isn't he awesome? And that's pretty important right now because Matt is on an audit all week and doesn't get home until late, so I'd be carrying the couch over by myself if it weren't for Mr Tommy's generous offer.


And by the way, I do not believe I was this chubbed-out at 11 weeks pregnant with my other children. It's going to be a loooooong pregnancy if I keep getting big at this rate. I'm litterally in only maternity clothes at this point! Ack. Well, anyway, I digress. There will be pictures to come of the new house, but they have been working on the staircase, which is kinda key to the aesthetic appearance of the first floor, so hopefully Wednesday!?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Membership at the Shedd


My friend Julia called to see if we wanted to go with her to the free day at the Shedd Aquarium this Tuesday. The thing about free days at the museums are that you only get free regular admission, but all the sweet shows and exhibits cost extra. So, Matt decided we should just join. My sister gave the the good idea of just joining one museum a year and really using it up that year, (rather than joining a bunch of places and only going there once).


It was a huge hit. Claire had not been to the Oceanarium part of the aquarium before, and it did not disappoint. We got there just in time for the dolphin and beluga whale show!

Julia's friend Janna also came, and between the two of them, they have 6 boys, so Claire was the lone lady that day. And...I felt extremely spoiled just walking around with my big girl while those mommies struggled around with strollers and infants and 3-year-old-runaways. I tried to help as much as I could because my sympathy pains for them were enormous, (and because I had a major guilt attack for sending Sammy to school and not bringing him).

The show was different than I remembered it from my youth. It's a lot more theatrical now. At one point, this boat flies in on ropes, and this beluga-person gets out of the boat, picks a girl from the audience (she was a total actress though) and then they fly on her boat out into the water.

It was a little weird. But the kids were very impressed.

Then, other beluga people come out and feed the whales and have them do tricks. At this point, I had to leave to go feed all of our parking meters. I left the camera with Claire, who can usually take pretty good pictures, but it was dark in there so nothing turned out.

Claire with Joe (left) and Josh (right). All homeschool dorks! We love it.

You could look at the whales above the water, but also below. These were actually the dolphins and they are very fun to watch under water.

Jellyfish.

Sharks. The shark exhibit is massive and very cool, but, again, it was really dark in there so pictures didn't turn out. I had a few shivers up my spine as I recalled my "Jaws"-watching days.

A good time was had by all. We have promised that we'll take Sammy very soon, and, now that I have this membership...I better!

Monday, November 9, 2009

We've been...


...busy. We've been really busy. And sick. Well, Sammy was anyway. He got the flu on Halloween, and for about 4 days he had an almost 103 degree temperature anytime that he wasn't on a steady stream of Ibuprofen. And poor little buddy was always cold. He even wore scarves to eat dinner he was so cold. Bless his little heart. He finally started getting better, (we thought) and then he got an ear infection, so now we are on a 10-day regimen of that gooey pink amoxocilin.


Claire and Annabel are still best buds of course, but they've been going through a bit of a change. Annabel recently turned 8 and Claire, of course, is 6. Their age difference hasn't ever been an issue, but just recently I've noticed a shift into "big girl-ness" by Annabel.

Where she used to be happy to play Calico Critters on the floor with Claire for 3 hours at a time, suddenly that stuff has become a little, as she says, "boring". I asked Claire's teacher what to do and she said that as kids get closer to 9 they tend to like games with more structure to them.

So we've been doing lots of projects. One day they hunted for nature stuff, which turned into them making these little taped specimens and examining them under a microscope.

But we've also discovered GAMES. I'm not a huge game person, but apparently this is the perfect age for kids to love games. They're too old for Candy Land, so we've been doing games like Topple, (where you have to balance the board and keep it from toppling over) and this one above where you remove the sticks carefully until all the marbles fall through. They really enjoy the whole process of setting up the game, keeping score, etc.

We also have been busy buying lights for the new house. I really realized that I don't like most lights that are on the market. It seems to define your style so much and since I don't KNOW my style, I agonize over every freakin' hallway sconce.

The reason we were able to walk around and pick out so many lights was because Matt's parents were kind enough to take our kids for Saturday day and night so that Matt and I could have a birthday date for me. Then, the next day, they brought lunch and a cake and presents. Thanks Harris family!


I've also been cooking lately. Way more than normal actually. Mainly because I've been STARVING all the time. And that, my dear friends, is because...


Untitled from Susan Harris on Vimeo.

I'M PREGNANT! Yes, it's true. I blame the Big Guy for the whole thing. But happy suprises are what life is all about, right? Here is a video of us telling the kids. The funniest part are the following:

a) Claire assumes that the reason I was at the doctor was to get my back/neck fixed. Shows how often I'm at the chiropractor!
b) When we tell the kids, Sammy continues to chew french fries with no reply, while peaking under the camera to see if there is truly something in my stomach.
c) When we tell them, Claire proceeds to pick her nose and start reading random signs on the wall of the restaurant and won't comment at all. Kids!
d) When we tell Sammy that he'll be a big brother and Claire will be a big sister, he says "YEAH! And you guys can be the grown ups!" Hahaha.
So, there's my news. I've said it. I'm about 10 weeks by the way. Which is one reason I haven't been writing much lately. Much...too...sleepy....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Third post of the day...

P.S. It's my 30th birthday today! The kids got me some presents this morning (kitchen stuff, slippers, and flowers) and then the Big Guy got me sushi for dinner tonight, so I'm feeling very loved. My mom and sister both sent me presents and a plethora of cards from Matt's side came in the mail. However, I was up with sick Sammy for about 4 hours in the middle of the night last night, so I'm also feeling very old and tired. This weekend we're taking the kids to Grandma's so we can go out for my big 3-0. It will be a wild time, I'm sure. Haha.

The floors are almost done!


Last week, when I was feeling sick and tired and Matt was out of town I had to pick out a stain for the floors in the new house. I was very paranoid about the decision because I feel hopelessly incapable of making good decorating decisions right now. I picked that totally blah paint color and now the entire house is "Natural Wicker" so I didn't want to screw up the floors.


I had initially really planned on doing a dark brown floor stain throughout because I think that looks very sophisticated and fabulous, but in the end I opted for something more neutral because I think something a little more natural will probably complement our more casual style better. I've also heard horror stories about how much you can see the dust on dark brown floors.

Here is the dining room which extends off the living room. The whole living area is oak flooring.

The kitchen turns into maple floors. Remember these floors are all about 120 years old.

And the back of the house, which was an addition, is pine. We stained it all the same color, but each type of wood takes the stain a little different so there are definitely variances throughout the house.

But I don't mind that. I think it makes it have a little character.

Claire's room and Sammy's room have oak as well.

As does the hallway back to our bedroom.


But then, since our room is in the back addition, the floors are pine. They're really pretty I think. I did not think these floors were going to look as good as they do, that's for sure! All "we" (Mr Tommy and crew) have left to do is finish the staircase, put in the kitchen cabinets, paint the cabinets, get the appliances in, put in the countertop/sink, put in trim where there was none, and paint all the trim white. Mr. Tommy says by Friday or Monday at the latest. He's crazy! But I actually think he'll only be off by a few days. He's so fast! Get out your blackbooks Chicago ladies because at the end of all this project I'm going to give you Mr. Tommy's contact info, and trust me, you want it!

Trick or Treat...a few days late


Halloween was kinda a downer this year. Claire got to go with Sam to school on Friday because they were having their costume party then, so that was probably the best part of it. Claire is Alice in Wonderland and Sammy is a policeman. Thanks for sending the costumes Aunt Laura!


The actual trick-or-treat night was cold! Everyone had coats over their costumes and for some reason it seemed that there were very few people handing out candy this year, so we only had a few houses to go to.

That worked out fine because everyone was so cold that they only wanted to go to a few houses anyway. We had the same basic crew as last year, and ended up at Sammy's buddy Ben's house for a chili party afterwards. The only difference was that we had Cecilia (Mary Poppins) and baby Dixie (a sea turtle) along with us this year.

Cecilia was very timid, and hated all scary people, people with masks, and the dark in general, so it wasn't the most successful night ever.

Most of the kids enjoyed hanging out at Ben's house afterwards the best where they ate grilled cheese and set up very complex bartering systems for their candy.

Well, not Sammy. He just ate his.

And then, at around 8pm he started saying he had a head ache and we heard him coughing. He was whining that he was cold too, so we took everyone home. He had a fever over 102 degrees and it has stayed that way for the following 2 days, so we're just here recovering and not sleeping very well at nights. Blech.