Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Random Smatterings

*When we lived in Istanbul, I could've cared less if we owned a stroller. The sidewalks there are horrible and public transportation is pretty good. I used our old Graco stroller some when we lived about a 20-minute walk away from a nice park, in a nice area of the city (and therefore decent sidewalks), and other than that, I never used it. It was just easier to wear Lane in the ERGO. When we went to the Canary Islands a year and a half ago, we bought an umbrella stroller for the airports. Then after Noel was born, if I really needed to go somewhere with both girls and without Shannon, I'd push Lane and wear Noel. We planned on making Lane walk when Noel got too big for the ERGO. We always said we'd never buy a double stroller.

Well, then we knew someone who got a Phil & Ted's and loved it. And then we moved here. Also horrible sidewalks. Parks within walking distance for Lane, but not for her to walk there, play, and also make it home. Wearing Noel in the winter (with bulky coats and boots and scarves and hats) is just no fun. Lots of potholes in the roads and sidewalks here. So we decided to bite the bullet and buy one. And I love it. I've had it less than a week and think that no one should ever bother buying any other stroller, except maybe a light umbrella stroller for traveling. And even then...I'm not sold that you'd want it after using this one!

Phil & Ted's Explorer. I'm in love. With the girls, too. =)

*I think this may be the first year in a very long time that our taxes are not done by this late in the year. I told Shannon last week that I need to finish them next week. No excuses...it has to be done. Once again, blech. I also find it highly...interesting...that while Shannon is the one who handles all of our day-to-day finances (balancing the checkbook, checking accounts online, making transfers to savings, etc.), I'm the one who does our taxes every year.

*We bought a car last week. Here, you pay in cash. Hence, Shannon paid with this:

That's our Jesus Storybook Bible on the left, just for comparison's sake.

*Last week there was a bit of outdoor construction going on in our parking lot. Some diggers and cranes and other large trucks come, and they dug up the ground and replaced the pipes. They turned our water and gas off one of the days. And then, after three days, they covered it all back up and left us with the large pile of dirt you see on the right. Yup...we still have it, sitting in the grass/parking lot. How kind of them.

*I'm in the process of "training" my hair to only need to be washed every other day. It's involved about a week of somewhat-greasiness, but it hasn't been that bad. I like having my hair short, but I really don't have time to blow-dry and straighten it every day. And I'm really dreading summer, when I'll be blow-drying and straightening it with no air conditioner. So I'm trying to train it to not be washed (and therefore styled) every day. I think it's working. If you see me and I'm slightly greasy, well, forgive it for another few weeks. After that, tell me it's not working and to wash my hair.

*Every evening (and morning, for that matter) around sunset, the buildings and trees around us are flooded with birds. I mean, thousands of birds. The sky practically gets black from all the birds. It's straight out of Alfred Hitchcock.

This photo doesn't do it justice at all, but if I waited until all the birds were there, it would be too dark to see them.

*I've been spring cleaning, when I have a few minutes. A couple weeks ago, I cleaned out the kitchen pretty well. I wiped down the insides of all the cabinets, the top of the fridge and cabinets, and organized random grains and beans and flours into better containers. I vacuumed behind the fridge and cleaned the stovetop and microwave. Last week I cleaned most of our windows, inside and out. I vacuumed off all the blinds. I washed our comforter covers. Up next: wiping down all baseboards, the tops of door frames, vacuuming cobwebs out of the corners between walls and ceilings, and cleaning Shannon's office. It's the room that gets the most neglect, since he's usually working in there when I'm cleaning, so therefore I don't clean it. Blech.

At least my helper is cute.

*We're back on the cloth-diaper wagon. It was nice having a break from washing diapers for oh, six months (three in transition and three of nasty teething diapers), but I'm glad to be using them again. If nothing else, here diapers cost around $23 for a pack of 60ish size 4's, which means that we were spending around $60 a month on diapers. I'm looking forward to getting that number back down to $15 or so (one per night and Noel wears 'sposies on Sundays, since we're gone almost all day).

*A week or so ago we went out with some friends to a place where they camp, rock-climb, hike, and so on. I played ultimate frisbee for the first time in about six years. Unfortunately we couldn't stay all day, as Shannon had a meeting that afternoon, but we had a grand time that morning, and we're looking forward to going more often this summer. I'm looking forward to rock-climbing. And Lane...she's looking forward to zip-lining again. I can't remember the last time she was that excited about anything. "Do it uh'gen, mama, do it uh'gen. I wanna fly uh'gen, mama, wanna fly uh'gen."

I mean, check out that smile. If that's not the face of someone who had a good time, I'm not sure what is.

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