Monday, May 23, 2005

Couch Potato

Megan can't keep her eyes off the television, despite our best efforts. And now she's even learning to use the remote!

Body in Motion

Megan loves to be moving and certainly fits the bill of bouncing baby. We have been getting lots of laughs bouncing her, lifting her, swinging her, and even throwing her! So yesterday (4 months old!) we got out the Jolly Jumper. The seat was a little big so we had to prop her up with the crib wedges, but it's not like she was actually using them in her crib. Megan had a great time especially we when we helped her bounce. Now maybe our arms will get some rest!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Belated Mother's Day

The Smith Family headed off to Cannon Beach and the Grey Whale Inn this past weekend for a belated Mother's Day celebration. We were there last Mother's Day and thought the place was quite a deal. We weren't surprised that they had raised the rates, but we were appalled when the original bill for our two night stay came to $1790.00! After Mac's persuasive arguing, we got them down to one-tenth the original charge - then it felt like we were getting a great deal again!

Weather reports were for sun all weekend; turns out weathermen are human too! We did get a good rain-free morning on Saturday and did lots of exploring around Oswald West and Nehalem Bay State Parks. By the afternoon, though it was pouring so we took advantage of the Inn's free movie check-outs. We left pretty early Sunday morning since it was still raining, but the sun came out just in time for our stop to see the largest Sitka Spruce in the U.S. Fortunately, not many others were visiting this exciting landmark, so we figured our parent-of-the-year awards wouldn't be in jeopardy if we left Megan asleep in the car while we went to view this giant; we were back in our car just as fast as we could walk around the trunk's 56 foot diameter and Megan certainly didn't lose any sleep over missing out.

Oswald West


We spent the rest of the afternoon getting ready for the arrival of my mom, who will be taking over daycare duty for the next two weeks. I am not sure "Nana" realized her job would be starting at 6:30 in the morning! But that's better than Mac and I, who have been getting up to entertain our little early bird around 5:30 the last few days.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Home Inspection

Today we had the home inspection for the house in Salem. We dragged ourselves out of bed way too early (read: before Megan woke up) to meet the inspector in Salem at 7:30. When we got there we were a bit disappointed to find out that the Magoos (not quite their real name) would be sticking around for the home inspection. I kind of wanted to go poke around the nooks and crannies and turn on all the light switches right behind the inspector, but I felt like this was rude and so instead sat in the kitchen chatting with the owners. This was somewhat interesting as they had the house built for them and have been the only owners in the 25 year history of the house. They obviously love the house very much but need to downsize now that the kids are grown and they spend winters in Arizona. Mr. Magoo was a manager for a major lumber company and it was through his position that he procured much of the material for his house. While we were there we learned about this and many other stories about the house:

-"The siding is clear cedar 8" siding that came down from Canada. It is almost impossible to get clear cedar now" (I have no idea what clear cedar is)
-"The beams in the living room and entry come from old growth up on Snowpeak." (he admitted this is now considered bad)
-At one point he and his wife went to the mill to hand select all the 2 by 6's used in the house (they didn't use 2x4's).
- The bottom floor was only supposed to go halfway under the house, but the builder dug the whole thing out when the owners were away in Nebraska. That part of the house remained unfinished until ten years ago.
- The 175+ goldfish in the pond all originated from a Mother's Day gift of four fish.
-There is an alcove in the dining room for a china hutch because the builder refused to hang the light fixture off-center to make space for the hutch in a square room.

The neighbor called after we had been there about half an hour and told the Magoos to go into the street and look into their pasture. So we all headed out. Our reward was 5 elk next door. The Magoos were astounded. "We get deer up here all the time. In fact, many years they give birth in our pasture. And once we had a litte red fox that we saw a lot, but we have never seen elk here in the entire 25 years that we have been here!"

Overall the inspection turned up lots of little things (a toilet that rocks, a dead mouse in the crawl space, a broken window crank), but there was only one real sticking point for us: "The deck is toast," the inspector confided, using very official inspector jargon. At one point Mac watched the guy stick a screwdriver through many of the deck beams. Since it is a two-story deck with two stair cases, this is a big deal and not a cost that we want to incur. We have a meeting to renegotiate tomorrow evening.

Mac and I are still really excited about the house, but when I think of it, it always brings to mind a Kohler commercial - the one where paranormal experts walk through a possessed house and ask the owner if she is sure she wants to stay in the house. After looking at her beautiful Kohler bathroom she replies, "definitely. now get to work." My version goes like this: after walking through rooms and rooms of very tacky 70's decorating we ask ourselves "are we sure we want to do this?" but with one look at the view we reply "yes, now we need to get to work."

This is the view from the (very unsafe) back deck. "Our" property extends to the little red maple (in the picture directly above where the two fences come together). The water in the distance is part of the Ankeny Wildlife refuge.

While we were down for the inspection we also got a list of the community "rules." Mostly they are ridiculous anti-white trash ordinances (no mobile homes, no clothes lines, no corrugated metal sheds, no storage of disfunctional cars) and anti-commercialism ordinances (no businesses run out of the home, no raising livestock for commercial purposes). Then there are a couple of common sense things like don't let your livestock get onto other people's property and don't dump trash in the creek. As you can tell from all this our chickens will be welcome at the new place (as long as they stay on our property). In fact the only animals we can't have are "peacocks, mink, and swine." Dammit - now I have to ditch my Pigs, Pelts and Peafowl Farm idea!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Working Girl

This week was my first week back at work. So Sunday I spent the day moping around the house, repeatedly lamenting about my last day at home. Monday I cried as Mac headed out the door with Megan, but despite the grief, the separation was somewhat freeing as well. After taking a long shower, I realized I could wear anything I wanted and not have to worry about what can and cannot be spit up on. So I headed out of the house in an outfit that made it obvious that I haven't been completely wasting my time watching What Not to Wear.Heck, I even had pointy shoes on!

I spent a lot of the morning catching up with people I hadn't seen in a while and then I moved on to reviewing bone marrow cases. This was surprisingly familiar even after four months off and much of my dictation just seemed to roll off the tongue. Fortunately, it was a light day so I got to go home early, which was great because I was craving some Megan time and my pointy shoes were really hurting my feet! Tuesday was an even lighter day at work, which was also nice because I again had problems with my fashion conscious footwear. My cute little ballet flats turned out to be a homicidal pair hell-bent on making me fall flat on my face as the left one would not stay plantarly planted!

In this week back I am especially glad to have my own office as it has made pumping at work much easier. Additionally, I had to remove my nylons to rectify Tuesday's shoe situation.

As the weeks wear on, I expect the morning good-byes will get less traumatic and I am hoping I can say the same for my shoes!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Get a Leg Up

It took Megan a little more than a month to "uncurl" from her fetal position to a fully extended state. Having now mastered laying flat, Megan has moved back to the feet-in-the-air stage, only this time it is of her own volition.

"Watch me lift my feet while wearing this groovy 70's outfit!"

"Sometimes I like to kick up my feet and chill in the tub. Note my absolute lack of modesty!"

"Watch out Winnie the Pooh; I can kick your a**!"

Friday, May 13, 2005

Swing Lo and Other Updates

Megan hits 16 weeks tomorrow and she has yet to spend a night in the nice crib we have for her. Up until now she has been sleeping in her carseat on the floor of her room, but it seems that our little hermit crab is now ready to shed that shell in search of new sleeping quarters. Megan now twists and writhes in her carseat and will only sleep in it for very short periods whereas she had been routinely sleeping 6 hours at a stretch. Unfortunately, the crib hasn't been the right fit either.

Here you can see Megan getting all bent out of shape. After a week of this we decided to put her in her crib. She lasted 45 minutes, almost all of which was spent crying. And when we finally did get her she was perpendicular to her original position. The next day I got a crib sponge-wedgie thingy that is supposed to make the baby more comfortable in the crib; she cried twice as hard but wasn't able to turn herself. So Thursday night when Megan fell asleep in her swing I told Mac to just leave her. She slept ten hours. In fact she slept so well, Mac and I actually lost sleep over it! Around 12:30 we both woke up surprise we hadn't yet heard from Megan (she had gone to sleep at 5) and by 2:30 when she had finally woken up, Mac had gone to check on her twice! I am sure this extra sleep (Megan's norm is 6 hrs, seven her previous best) and super early bedtime (again norm around 7-7:30) were a result of poor sleep the preceeding week, but when it came time to put her to bed last night, I didn't have to think twice; I put her in her swing! (she did seven hours - more than worth all the D batteries we will be buying).
Today is my last day off of work. Come Monday, Megan will be headed off to daycare while I mope to work. There are 22 work days left until Mac is out for the summer. Megan is spending 8 of them in the Canby day care, 11 with my mom who will be staying with us for two weeks, one with us (we are both taking a day off for the house inspection on Wednesday), and the last two we'll have to get creative for. I spent much of the past week doing extra cuddle time.
We went to Salem yesterday to work on the financing for our house. The summary goes something like this: fees, fees, debt, debt, more debt, and a pinch of fees. I know this is pretty standard stuff, but I feel like I have just mortgaged my first born. Things are a lot more complicated with two houses in the mix as well. Meanwhile both our Portland realtors cancelled appointments with us. One had a son get hit in the head with a baseball; the dad of the other had a heart attack. To the cynic (me), it seems like an awful lot of realtor tragedy to be coincindence, but of course, I was a polite well-wisher.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Megan hasn't shown much interest in sucking her thumb but she sure does love those first two fingers!

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

For Mother's Day, I got a baby who slept till 9:30 (!!), a job contract (which is good since we had already made an offer on a house), and a necklace with a pearl and a garnet (Megan's birthstone). But best of all I got lots of smiles, tongue and all, from Megan.

Thursday, May 5, 2005


Come July, we will be the proud owners of a home in Salem, nevermind that i don't actually start working in Salem until October. The house comes with a spectacular view and incredibly tacky 70's decor. Fortunately, we have lots of friends with experience fixing cosmetic problems in their homes that we can consult.

Now we have to figure out what we are going to do with this house as it is a great time to sell, but it is a much easier commute to OHSU from here than Salem.

Anyway, if you are ever in the mood to strip wallpaper, let us know!

Wednesday, May 4, 2005


The last couple of weeks have been quite busy. Mac's mom came for a weekend visit, then I took Megan to see my parents in Sacramento for a week, then we had a visit from Mac's grandma and aunt and all the while we've been meeting with realators about selling our house. Additionally, we've been to Salem twice to look at houses.

During our week in Salem we did lots of hiking with my mom. Moving the seat to the smallest setting proved to be the key to Megan's backpack comfort. In addition to several couple mile hikes Megan was a trooper for a six+ mile hike along the American River - whew, I was beat after that one! Additionally, Megan did great on both of the plane rides. As my seatmate noted, "She was an angel." Duh!

House hunting in Salem has also gone pretty well. We are preparing to make an offer on a house about ten miles south of the city. The house was built in 1979 and has only had one owner. Unfortunately, the owners never decided to update the decor so we will get to enjoy brown bathroom fixtures (sink, shower, toilet and even the jetted tub) and orange formica until we get around to replacing them.

Megan has also picked up a few new behaviors in the past couple of weeks. She now loves to have her tongue out and even smiles with a fully projected tongue. With the discovery of the tongue comes licking - Megan will lick anything she can get close enough to her mouth and can soak a bib, blanket or baby bjorn in a matter of minutes.

Also, Megan has fallen in love with that cute baby in the mirror. Just a glimpse is enough to get a smile out of her and can even quiet her from crying. And watching the baby dance in the mirror is one of two things that consistently gets a laugh (the other is fart noises with my mouth!).

I'd like to say things are going to calm down a bit, but we have plenty or realator meetings and a garage sale to keep us busy this week and then it is only one more week until I head back to work. :(