Thursday, April 27, 2006

outdoor fun

With this wonderful sunshine and low 70's temps (the ideal weather conditions for me) Meg has really been enjoying the outside play time.

She really loves to play in water. Maybe we'll borrow J.D.'s pool:)

I'm starting to get the photobg again, and I'm upgrading both my website and my moveabletype, so there might be some down time in the near future. Hopefully not.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

One Week Down...


On Monday afternoon, Pam and I went to Lowes to finish the purchases for our new kitchen. They had a 10% off special when you open a new "Fashion Project" Card. Our "Fashion Project" is the kitchen, and you're only supposed to get the 10% off of the initial purchase on the day you open the account, but our salesman was nice and said we could come back and finish the purchase and still receive the 10% off at a later date. So we bought the recessed lighting for the ceiling, the kitchen faucet, the garbage disposal and air operated in the counter toggle switch, the instant hot water dispenser, the knobs and pulls for our cabinetry, and some patio furniture. We were gone for about three hours and when we returned, the soffit remover and drywaller had this strange look on his face. I walked in the door and said, "Hi!" Before I could finish the "How's it going" part of my greeting, he replied, "ummm...we have a little problem."

To make a long story a little shorter, there were wires running through all of the soffit spaces in the kitchen. A problem that Lowe's mentioned might be possible at the beginning of the project, but Pam and I never really gave much thought to. Since our new kitchen wasn't going to have soffits, the wires needed to be rerouted up through the walls. I called a bunch of electricians and found someone who could do it for us quickly. But that one day of delay basically set us back an entire week.

Here are the wires after they've been relocated; notice that they just cut pieces out of the 2X4 headers in the walls, making some space for the wires and then cover up the spaces with pieces of metal that they just hammer right into the wood. I forgot to take a before picture, but you're not missing much.

The soffits are now gone, and the wires are relocated, but the drywall was supposed to be finished by the end of tomorrow, we were supposed to paint this weekend, and the cabinets were supposed to go in on Monday. But since the drywall couldn't be finished by Friday, he's just going to wait until Monday, and the soonest the cabinet guy could get back out was the following Monday. So May 1 is now the date for the cabinet install and the floors go in on May 4th and 5th. Hopefully we won't have any more delays, but I'm not holding my breath!

In other news, the gas line was run up the side of the house, into the attic and down the inside wall so that I will have my first ever gas cook top! I'm totally excited about that, though the exterior gas line needs to be painted to match the house, it's an eyesore right now.

And, you can see that some of the drywall is in place. The flourescent bay is drywalled over and tomorrow, the recessed lighting goes in. Then, next week the drywaller will finish hanging the sheetrock, tape, mud, and sand so that we can paint next weekend! Hopefully!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Easter in Tacoma

Sounds so romantic doesn't it! The Smith Family Trio jaunted up to Tacoma this past Easter weekend to visit Bryan, Sarah, and "Peanut" Bogardus. Meg was great in the car--this was her first long drive since she's become a biped. She was so good on the way home that we had to stop for gas before we had to stop for Megan. On Saturday, our only full day up there, it rained a lot but during a break Sash and Pam got to test drive "Peanut's" new stroller while the boys went out in the truck and did manly things like research DVD recorders and buy running shoes.

Meg also got a ride on the swing

Easter Sunday was quite the event for our young "chocoholic." I don't think Megan had ever had any candy before Easter 2006, though Pam might argue the point. I hadn't ever given her any. I think the Easter Bunny arrived at our house around 5:30 AM and Meg woke up around 7:00 or so. She was dressed in a very special dress, one that my mom and my two sisters all wore on their first Easter. Meg was too small to wear it last year, but this year it fit great.

Anyway, soon after discovering the sweets in her basket, Pam and I decided to take our eyes off of her for a few minutes, and this is what happened!!!

And here's an even better one. It seems that someone forgot to tell Megan that A) you're only supposed to have 1 piece of candy in your mouth at a time, and B) you're supposed to remove the foil from the chocolate eggs before you eat them! Kids these days just don't have any common sense I tell 'ya!

So, about 2 hours into her first "real" Easter, Megan got to try on a second dress. I think this one came from the Siechert side of the family. I think Pam planned the whole deal, why else would she have brought two family heirloom dresses to Easter Sunday? The first dress cleaned up just fine in case you were wondering.

We had an early brunch and were on the road by about 11:00 on Sunday morning.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bad Day

Yesterday was a Bad Day. I got paged at 6:30 (am!) and I wasn't even on call. Silverton needed a pathologist in an hour and it was my day to travel.

I didn't get back to Salem till after 1:30, where I found a day's worth of work waiting for me. I managed to get things under control by 5:00, and then just needed to take a few pictures for a conference today. After two hours of frustration (and foul language) I still had nothing good to show for my efforts. Damn digital camera programs - aren't these supposed to make life easier.

We no longer have a kitchen and of, course the house is a disaster so we decided to go out. My meal was very disappointing. I would have rather had Top Ramen.

When we got back, I decided to take a bath with Megan. After getting myself mostly undressed, I started to undress Megan and realized she was harboring a full load. So I trotted off down the hall, half naked, to get Megan cleaned up. Then we headed back to the bathroom where all I had to do was take off my undergarments. In that brief moment, Megan let the flood gates open and peed all over herself and the bathroom floor (remember, our bathrooms are carpeted - yuck!). I found a rag and managed to get Megan and the floor half dry, before flopping into the tub.

But in the tub I asked Megan, "Who am I?," as I frequently do. But today instead of replying with her usual "Daddy," she surprised me with a "Mom." To make sure this wasn't a fluke I asked again several times throughout the bath, always to get the heart warming response of "mom." Later I demonstrated her latest accomplishment to Mac. He followed with an inquiry to Megan about his own identity. Her response: "Mom." After being called Daddy for the last six months I found this kind of satisfying. And when Megan signed, "I love you" to me without any cues, I was downright thrilled.

Maybe it wasn't such a bad day after all.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

D-Day is Done!

D(emolition) Day is finished out here in the boon docks.

Megan slept right through the loudest of the banging and clawing and ripping apart of our existing cabinetry.

We're having some feelings of guilt about gutting such high quality (albeit ancient) cabinetry, knowing that they just don't make it like that anymore.

We're also scared (a little bit) that we could have done something better (for a lot more money of course) with the space now that we have a clean slate so to speak.

Needless to say, don't expect any dinner invitations in the near future.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Turtle Beach

I have taken to calling our back porch Turtle Beach: I get to sit in a lounge chair and read magazines while Megan plays in the sand and we both have a great view of the water - a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

Ironically, the sandbox is actually in the shape of a frog, the outdoor decorative thing hanging over the sandbox is a frog, and we have frogs (but not turtles) in our own pond, but then, who wants to go to Toad Beach??

This used to buy me about a half hour of attention diversion for Megan, which in toddler speak is the equivalent of an eternity. Unfortunately, as the novelty has worn off, I only get about a ten minute siesta before Megan starts making frantic "more" signs in the direction of the swing (nevermind that she hasn't yet been in the swing). Oh well, at least I didn't have to drive an hour before getting to our beach and I still got ten minutes!

In the garden

I've finally given in and let Megan crawl around in the mud. And so with the recent sunny weather we have been spending a lot of time outside, giving me a chance to get back to gardening whenever I please. Of course gardening with a one year old does have its challenges all of which are very detrimental to my efficiency. But still Mondays activities included:

- weeding the 8 foot row of bulbs along the driveway
- transplanting three ground cover plants to under the pine trees
- moving three stepping stones
- marking new plants and trees with stakes
- planting a pot of Morroccan mint
- watering said plants and a few other recently planted items
- checking on the seedlings in the greenhouse
- removing some slime from the pond

Not too bad... except this list took me nearly three hours! But I forgot to mention that I also threw pine cones down the hill, hid behind the bushes, broke up dirt clods, picked flowers, climbed the deck stairs, hung out at Turtle beach (aka Megan's sandbox), pushed Megan on the swing, petted the kitties, and prevented Megan's swimming attempt in the pond (only one soaking shoe and sock!).

All this outdoor time has been very educational for Megan. I am proud to report that my daughter can distinguish between good plants and weeds with perfect accuracy. Megan pulled, mangled, sat on, and tormented numerous plants while we were outside, and not one of them, I tell you, was a weed.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Just Ducky

Megan is an Oregon girl for sure - see loves her Ducks!

Sunday, April 9, 2006


Megan was pretty pleased with herself for climbing into this table...until she couldn'e get out!

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Garden Days

We have been having great weather since we got back from California - a great week to be off work (ok, what week isn't?). So far I have been spending most of my time in the garden and Tuesday Megan spent most of the day outside with me, too. She had a great time, but I really wish she'd start walking more than crawling!

We got lots done: pretty much everything is planted in the herb/perennial garden, we added a few more things to the hillside garden, the pond got a few additions, and we made lots of progress in the vegetable garden.

Mac did lots of tilling for me despite the still-too-wet-to-really-till dirt. In addition to these beds, there are three more at the upper end of the field - for the veggies. Unfortunately, they still need a bit more work before they are ready to plant. This lower part is mostly the berry patch. There are six blueberries (6 different varieties) along the fence, a row of cane berries will be along the upper fence, strawberries and bulbs, in the middle triangle, and roses where Mac is planting. The last long strip is for annual flowers - I hope... there were lots of bluejays out this morning, maybe eating my flower seeds.

I admit I have been somewhat impatient with the veggie garden. Really we should be cultivating and amending the soil this season and forego planting, but where's the fun in that?

Sunday, April 2, 2006


While in Californaia we got an opportunity for many multi-generation photos:

Four generations from my mom's side. (Can you guess which family members live in Oregon??).

Five(!) generations on Mac's mom's side - That's Megan's great-great grandma at 97 in the front!

Four generations on Mac's dad's side.

Hopefully Megan inherited some of those longevity genes (and us, too, for that matter!).

Saturday, April 1, 2006

No Foolin'

We traveled to California this weekend to surprise my Grandpa for his 90th birthday.

May we all be so fortunate!!