Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

One thing that I never expected to love about living is a football town. And it's so fun. When I moved here 7 years ago (yikes! I can't believe it's been that long), I didn't have a clue how to play football, had no interest in watching it, and barely knew who the Ohio State Buckeyes were. Of course, you can't live here for long without picking up on it, and once I attended my first game, I was hooked. And now, football season impacts our lives about as much as the holidays. We get 4-8 tickets to every home game (which is no easy task), which we have the privelege of sharing with many friends and family. So that means that about every other weekend during September-November, we are attending and/or hosting those who will attend the game. It's a lot of fun.

This year, we're starting off a little slow because we will be out of town for the first 2 games. But never fear, we'll be back to report on lots of OSU action. At the end of last season, I bought a little cheerleading outfit for Katy on clearance. I think it's going to be huge, but I'm sure she won't mind.

A Trip to the Basement

I have lived in the midwest for most of my life, so I am quite familiar with the sound of the tornado siren. But this past weekend we experienced one of the closest calls in my memory to date. And maybe it's something about that movie "Twister," but I still get scared, every time, no matter how many times nothing ends up happening. It may be a traumatic memory from the day of my birth, in which my mom tells me she had to go to the basement of the hospital, baby in tow, because there was a tornado warning.
This past Satruday around 5 pm, we were all home, including Melanie (who will cease to be our roommate tomorrow - miss you, Mel), getting ready for a going-away party for a friend of ours, and the sky was perfectly blue and cloudless. I was in the bathroom when I heard the distinct roaring of the tornado siren. How odd, I thought. It's not Wednesday at noon (when they routinedly test the siren - God help us all if there ever really IS a tornado on a Wednesday at noon), so why in the world is the siren going off? Typically when it goes off, it's all stormy outside or at least cloudy. So I followed my usual routine: go flip on the TV to look at the radar. In case you don't live in a tornado-prone area, the siren means that a tornado, or even a funnel cloud that hasn't touched down yet, has been spotted somewhere in the county. So alot of the time you can look at the radar and see that the storm isn't really headed in your direction, and then go about your business. But in this case, on Saturday, there was a storm, with a big purple dot in the middle and a little spinning cloud, that looked like it was making a bee line for our house. We stood and scratched our heads looking at the TV for awhile, because it was still sunny outside. But as the clouds covered our house and it started to rain, the TV meteorologist reported that a tornado had just touched down a couple of miles from our house, and it was headed in our direction.
I admit that I'm a spaz. A little bit of a freakazoid. But I was scared. We took a radio and a sippy cup of milk and ran for the basement. I was picturing how long we could survive under a pile of rubble with the frozen foods in our basement fridge. I thought surely they'd dig us out before we ran out of food. I know, SPAZ.
But here's the weird thing. Nothing happened. It didn't even seem like a very bad storm by the time it got to our house. If I hadn't heard all that stuff on the TV, I never would've known there was a tornado. And it didn't touch down for long, there was some property damage, but no injuries that I heard of. Katy had a good old time, exploring where I hide all the good toys that I never let her see. We had to laugh at how she had no clue what was going on. But it was ok, I was scared enough for both of us.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gimme a kiss

Have I mentioned lately how cute my daughter is these days? She is just in the sweetest (dare I say easiest? no, I don't dare) stage. She plays, laughs, flirts, and generally has a good time all day long. And she's so endearing. Recently she learned to give kisses, and now she will even come up to you and plant an unsolicited wet one right on your face. I'm actually a little nervous about how freely she's giving them out these days. All you have to do is say the word "kiss," and she's puckers up to whoever's around. Tonight she gave her friend Jack several good ones. This is awfully cute when she's 1, but I hope she outgrows it by the time she's 15.
She's also a climber. Anything that will hold her weight is fair game to climb onto. Tonight we got out a "new toy" rocking horse (thanks to the hand-me-downs from our generous brother and sister-in-law). She was so excited to see it, and we spent the rest of the evening doing this, over and over and over and over...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The freedom of boundaries

Sorry about my blogging hiatus this past week. I feel like we've been really busy, though I can't list tons of activities that we have completed or been involved in. There has been one major change around here, however. And it's a good one. A great one, actually.

I mentioned a while back that we were thinking about fencing in our yard. Well, finally we came up with a little money to spend on a home improvement, and Brian gave me a choice: new couch for the living room or a fence. Although I'd really like to upgrade our living room furniture, I decided that the fence would increase my quality of life. It has become quite an exhausting task to open the front door and let my daughter run out. Because there is nothing to stop her from running right into the busy street, I felt limited in what we could do outside. I had to be holding her hand and hovering over her at all times. Ironically, the boundaries of a fence would provide the freedom to let her play. And let me sit on the porch and watch her. With a Diet Coke and a magazine? Maybe next summer, we're not quite to that point yet.

So Brian found a good contractor (yellow ruler-print suspenders and all), and ordered us up a white picket fence. Yes, folks, the American dream is a reality right here in central Ohio. I know you're dying to see Before and After's.


During: (apparently fence building is quite entertaining)

And after:

I actually think our yard looks bigger with the fence. Ahhh...the spacious yards of (semi-) urban living.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that the fence didn't come white. Brian spent many hours this weekend (with the help of the gracious JT and Jason) painting it. And the posts will get painted with the 2nd coat - so don't go wondering what we were thinking leaving them bare.

Unrelated question - does anyone have any advice on getting your toddler to move from bottle to sippy cup? Katy drinks from a sippy cup at meals, but doesn't take very much, so I still give her bottles of milk at naptime and bedtime. Here we sit at 15 months old, and I know we're supposed to be off the bottle, so today I thought I'd be really clever: I took her sippy cup full of warm milk and attempted to give it to her at naptime, sitting in my lap as usual. She wanted nothing to do with that cup, and looked at me like, "why are you shoving this cup of milk in my face right now? this isn't the way we do things." So should I wait until she's taking more from the cup at meals to get rid of the bottle at bedtime?

Friday, August 10, 2007

A lesson learned

Before I put Katy down for her nap today, I removed her wet diaper and replaced it with a clean one. I knew I was going to put her in her swimming suit after her nap, so I decided not to put her shorts back on, and just let her sleep in her diaper and t-shirt. As I placed her in her crib, I thought to myself, "Is there any reason I shouldn't let her sleep in just a diaper?". Well, without describing what I found when I came to get her after nap, I'll describe what I can only assume went through that little head after I left her:

Hmmm...I just had a full meal, I think I need to go to the bathroom.


Well, this feels dirty, I guess I'll just take it off...

And empty it out...

Come to think of it, I don't need this diaper in my crib with me while I sleep, so I'll just toss it overboard.

Ok, finally I'm comfy, now I can sleep.

Sorry for the graphic details. It wasn't as bad as it could've been, but ewwww.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Water Works

Katy and I spent the last several days visiting family and friends back in my hometown. Everyday the high has been in the mid-90's. So what do you do in a situation like this? You spend every possible moment in the water.

First I visited with my friend Kelsey and her 2 year-old daughter Harper. We played in the largest sandbox I have ever seen, followed by the sandiest wading pool I have ever seen. The girls had a really nice time playing together and sharing their toys. With a little encouragement, of course.

Next I visited with my lifelong (literally) friend Jen. Jen just had her 3rd baby, Emmaline, this past February and I had not had a chance to meet her yet. She is completely precious and sweet. I love holding babies, they're all squishy and squirmy, and they like being held.

So Jen, her mom, our kids, and I went to a splash park there in town. The kids had a good time keeping cool and we were able to catch up on some of the joys of motherhood. Then we went to lunch at the best pizza place.

Emmaline, 5 months old

Jacob, 4 years old

Ellie, almost 3

Finally, Grandpa and Grandma Sue took Katy back to the splash park for another visit. Even at 7:00 in the evening, it was too hot not to be in the water. My dad was a good sport, and even though he's not usually a water bug, he put on his trunks and got soaked with Katydid. He and Sue took Katy through an adventure that's pretty well summed up on this video, I think.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Change of Plans

Kate and Dave, us, & Beth and Jason

Our life group was supposed to go to the lake this weekend. If you aren't familiar with the term "life group," that is what our church calls the small groups that meet in people's homes each week for Bible study, serving the community, and doing life together. Our group has been meeting at our house for about 8 months or so, and there are 5 couples who have all been married 5 years or less, so it's been really fun to get to know each other. We had planned to go to one couple's family lake home for the weekend, but at the last minute several people were unable to go, so we decided to save that for another time and just made a trip to the zoo. It was a good time.

A close encounter with a leopard

Katy got spoiled by all the attention, especially from Bethie pushing her around all day.

Our strategy was to go early in the morning to beat the heat, but it was still hot enough to enjoy these "misters" throughout the park.