Thursday, March 28, 2013

House Update

So we've been in the new house now for four months. Where we last left off in house updates here, we were close to getting our occupancy permit so that we could move in. As mentioned in other posts, though, it ended up being another month before we were able to move in just before Thanksgiving.

We're all unpacked now except for the sitting room upstairs, which I believe is on the agenda for this week.  For the most part, the house is in pretty good shape, although we definitely have some (re)organizing to do for where we had haphazardly unpacked things just to get them unpacked but either can't find anything now or stuff falls each time we breath near it. We're also keeping very busy with plenty of projects  - and I have the tracking spreadsheet to prove it ;)

My main task right now is to finish the painting - I lost some (ok, all) momentum once we moved, but the last couple of weeks I've been whittling away at my list an hour a night at a time, so hopefully in the next couple of weeks the upstairs and main level will finally be done. We still have to finish the basement and do all the painting down there, but that's more likely to be a late spring/summer project at this point.

Ryan has been working on getting programmable thermostats installed, getting a silt filter in place so we can flush that out on occasion when our water pressure gets down to a trickle, (on a related note) getting a water softening system, burning all our mountains of wood debris from when the lot was cleared, plus a whole lot more.
[The workspace in the garage that Ryan set up, including building the workbench (which can be dismantled to be used for skateboarding) and the shelving above the workbench]
[Our closet, with all the shelving and rods that Ryan installed]
[The pool room, including the light Ryan had built years ago but made look a whole lot better now]

We also had some paving done - the driveway, a patio area in the back, underneath the bonus room (which we're planning to eventually enclose as the"shed" for the mower, etc.), and a paver sidewalk to the back door. We're waiting for spring and then will seal/paint the driveway, add pavers and/or paint a border for the patio, and possibly add a sidewalk from the back door around to the patio area too.
[The newly-paved portion of the driveway, including a turnaround!]
[Patio and the area under the bonus room that we'll be enclosing]
Other upcoming projects include building a fire pit and putting up fencing in the backyard - most of the materials are lying around the yard already, so we just need to figure out exactly how we're doing this and then make it happen :) We're planning to have a "backyard" area for Josie to play in, and a separate garden area next to it with 8' fencing to attempt to keep the deer out. It's doubtful we'll try to grow anything for harvest this year, but hopefully we'll get the raised beds built and some cover crops going in them, maybe a tree or two planted and some of the slower-to-mature plants in the ground. Then next year we'll probably have a bigger focus on really getting the garden going.

Various finished rooms:
[Josie's room]
[The bonus room/play room]
[Upstairs bathroom]
[Dining room]

Saturday, March 16, 2013

20 Months

Unsurprisingly, Josie's changes from the last month were mainly to add more words and get a little bit more communicative. She says "all done" and "up" (popping the "p" repeatedly afterwards, for emphasis perhaps?), "wawa" when she wants water, and has started saying some variation of "what?" (e.g., "bot" or "dot") while pointing at things now. She can make the correct sounds for a dog, cat, cow, horse, sheep, frog, pig, horse, and owl, and can identify all of those plus a deer, raccoon, bird, fish, hedgehog, fox, and various fruits (although lately she seems to like to call everything an apple). She also can identify and say several more obscure body parts (e.g., eyebrow, elbow, armpit), but doesn't know what her arms or legs are quite yet. Oops.
[Telling off Ryan: "no, bad!"]

I was a little confused the other week when she learned "stuck", since I didn't understand how we could possibly be saying that word enough so that 1) she would repeat it afterward, and 2) she would have opportunity to use it again. And then I realized that something seems to get stuck around here just about every day, mainly her.


The kid loves to clean things - she accidentally spilled some milk the other day and was happy to wipe up the floor when I gave her some paper towels (and then ran around randomly wiping down walls and other areas of the floor). Josie will wipe her nose/face if we give her a washcloth, she'll try to suds herself up in the shower, and she loves to brush her teeth. She'll also grab what we call the "orderly cart" (our hamper on wheels), pull it out of our closet and take off with it, waving bye-bye to me as she goes. Then when she inevitably gets stuck in the sharp turn out of our bedroom, she says "uh-oh, stuck", examines the situation, and gets herself unstuck and back on her way. She's also getting pretty good about helping me with laundry, and will take the clothes out of the dryer and throw them into the hamper (although she's decidedly less helpful as I'm trying to move the wet clothes into the dryer, since she'll just grab those out of the dryer too).
[Helping me clean the Roomba]

Josie is getting better at the concept of putting things back when asked, and is hilariously precise about how and where she sets the items, especially if we point to a specific place to put them. We're still trying to remember to give her little tasks to do, so she now puts her comb away after I brush her hair, and puts toys away and grabs books when asked. She also rather suddenly got very good at her shape sorter - she hadn't been that enthusiastic about it for a while, but I set it out last weekend and rather than try to force every shape into the circle as she did previously (and then reluctantly try every other option before finding the match), she knew exactly where each shape went.

So this has been rather a pathetic winter here again.... it has snowed a couple of times, but not much each time at all. We were supposed to get a big snowstorm last week though (dubbed "snowquester" by the Post, which is funny but yet not, if the sequester puts me and many others out of a job...), but yet, as tends to happen around here, it was a bit underwhelming. Instead of double-digit snow accumulation, we got maybe an inch of accumulation before it turned to rain. We had all stayed home to be on the safe side, though, and I think Josie really enjoyed the day anyway. She loved splashing in the slush and puddles, Ryan got to practice plowing the driveway with our new (to us) tractor and plow attachment (although he likened it to plowing a slushie), and Josie had a wonderful time of hitting a giant physio ball over to us so we could bounce it off her belly.

[All bundled up to go out in the slush]
[Josie's attempt to get her snowpants back on]

Josie's favorite activities at the moment are reading and coloring. She spends most of her waking hours at home trying to either drag someone over to the couch to read to her or to the crayons to color with her. It's interesting to see how her skills are developing when it comes to coloring, as she no longer has five crayons in each hand and then tries to color with all of them (and both hands) all at once without regard to what exactly she's coloring on. Now she's down to one crayon at a time (and usually in only one hand at a time), and seems to be getting more deliberate with her actions - still scribbling back and forth for the most part, but she will sometimes try some circular scribbles or seems to be trying to color specific things in her pictures now (e.g., an eye, leg, arm, etc.).

Also, one milestone happened recently that I was particularly pleased about: Josie slept through the night every night for over a week. Then she got sick (again) and her sleep suffered (again), but hey. That's progress :)

Miscellaneous cuteness:

[Taking over my new (to me) chair]
[When did she get so big? And why does she need to be so cute with her crossed ankles?]
   [Busy little fingers on the tablet screen]

[Wearing my shoes and coming after me ]