Thursday, December 27, 2007
We saved the best present for last.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The owner was even more irrate as the bill was in dispute and they had assured him they were working it out. I'm sure he felt horrible putting us in this situation too. We had a flurry of calls and a bit of drama this afternoon. I have a few things to say about Austin Utility and their red tape but let's just leave it at 'not very helpful'. The owner went down and sorted it out. Good news is that they are supposed to be back on their way out to turn it back on right now. And I'm relieved that the nice owner is not in jail as he was hopping mad when he headed to their offices.
My mom's flight will be in soon, hopefully all will be resolved before tonight or we will all be huddled together sleeping on the floor in our old house.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The layout of the new house has been great for the kids. They have more room to run around, a big playroom just off the main living room and of course the safe contained yard I wrote about earlier. It is going to be a lot easier to keep them entertained here. And I need the break. It is getting a bit harder to chase after them as my belly grows.
The worst thing about the move is that they are not napping - yikes. We don't have their blackout shades up so that may be the issue.
Work has been crazy too. I'm working on completing a website and rolling it out to about 40 countries before the x-mas break. It will feel good to have that done and be able to enjoy my time off. David and my offices are both closed next week through the new year. And my mom comes tomorrow so that will be a big help.
Who knows, we may even get a chance to get a group photo of the kids and send late Christmas cards. Our first couple of tries were disasters. We could not get a single photo with all three. If you don't get a card from us this year, this is why...
Friday, December 14, 2007
I decided to see how long the babies would stay in the bath, splashing and giggling and having a grand old time if I didn't remove them. I gave up at 50 minutes of fun and took them out. Both boys promptly peed on the floor. I guess I should have been thankful they didn't go in the tub.
Then it occurred to me that this may be our last night in this house. It may be their last bath in this tub. We are moving tomorrow and the decision on our house project is still pending. It makes me a bit sad. I like this little house and our place in this world.
This is also the last month our kids get to be our babies. Not too much longer and there will be a new baby in our home.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I love garage sales and moves, it gives you incentive to get rid of lots of things that have accumulated over time. I like seeing my things going to others who will put them to good use, instead of gathering dust in my house.
I dread thinking of all the clutter we will accumulate with four children in the house. The toys and books and clothes seem to multiply at night.
But someone at work shared this great idea with me today...
They put a basket next to their Christmas tree prior to the holiday. The children are asked to go through their toys and find toys to donate to other children to put in the basket. Before Christmas the basket goes off to share with other children and it makes way for new toys -putting old toys to good use and clearing out clutter. Brilliant!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
The new yard is perfect for us. It is fenced in and has grass and a low deck without a drop off. There is lots of open playspace without the hazards of our heavily landscaped yard, deck and stone path.
The trips love being outside. They have tons of fun at our park on the playscapes and just as much fun exploring, picking up leaves and finding sticks. The park is wonderful, but it is a lot of work to keep up with them. It will be nice to have options.
I think we will be spending most waking moments outside as long as the weather permits. Luckily we have very moderate weather here in Austin.
So I've been researching playhouses and playscapes to make the yard even more fun. I found this 'neat and tidy cottage' from Step2. It has a door, shutters they can open and close, a doorbell and a play sink. They may outgrow this playhouse before the other alternatives but I think we will get lots of mileage over the next couple years. I like that you can easily see in the house and that we won't have to hover (like some of the playscapes would require).
I took too long to decide, so we won't get this by Christmas, but it will be a good gift for them just before Quattro arrives. And probably bigger gift to us as it will provide lots of entertainment.
This new Baby Mod line of cribs at Walmart have the look of Netto and Ouef at the fraction of the cost. I didn't get to see it in person but the reviews were great. This changing table easily converts to a dresser.
Light sky blue for the walls. Cream linen drapery or roman shades. Our chocolate brown glider and some affordable art from Etsy to finish it off.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
A few of the hand print ornaments we made last year have some nibbles missing from the edges. We must have some little furry friends in the attic.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I've always enjoyed going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and remember getting to pick out one present before mass. I'd look for the box with a squishy top, a clear giveaway that it was a baby doll and a perfect present to take to mass.
Several replied that everyone got new PJs on Christmas Eve. I love that idea. And makes for great Christmas day photos.
Leaving cookies and milk for Santa was also high on the list. Our Santa prefers Chocolate Chip.
And I liked the idea of visiting the Christmas Tree farm as a family to pick out the tree. We have a good one nearby, Elgin Christmas Farm with hayrides. Not sure if the kids are old enough to enjoy that yet. One memorable Christmas we spent at my Grandparent's farm and stayed in their tiny farmhouse. We cut down a cute little Charlie Brown Christmas tree and decorated it with a few candies and whatever we could round up. It was pretty chilly and we didn't have heat but we bundled up and it was a lot of fun.
I'd also like each child to get or make an ornament each year. Last year I made heart ornaments with each child's handprint using crayola's magic maker clay.
Please share your favorite holiday traditions.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Financing is all lined up - finally - and luckily there were two rate decreases along the way. Our rental house (only two houses down) is getting it's final touches and will be ready for us in a week.
But come to find out our construction permit expired. Our contractor was tasked with keeping it alive. They thought they did by scheduling the inspection before our contract expired. But the contract expired the day before the inspection and now the city is saying that the permit is dead.
Now, I haven't ever explained the history here. But right before the trips were born, when I was humongous, we rushed to complete the plans and get them submitted in order to beat the deadline for new McMansion laws. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this local legislation, the idea is to limit excessive development and retain the charm of these old neighborhoods. But in reality the actual rules don't defend the 'charm' and are arguably too strict. At least arguably too strict for a family about to have four children living in a bungalow in central Austin.
I'll spare you the details, but at a high level the rules say we can expand our house up to 2,500 sq ft total. However, with the latest rules - if our garage is less than 10 ft from the house (ours is 9 ft) then you have to count the square footage of our garage. I don't understand the rationale here, but that means the city wants our house to only be 2,100 sq ft.
We have protested with the city and our contractor is staked out there today to plead our case. If we lose this battle, we have to reapply for a permit and shorten the garage by one foot! (not sure how long re-applying will take and it will require some additional drawings) or apply for re-instatement (takes more than 30 days plus a fee).
The other thing is, we really went out of our way to ensure the plans retain the charm of the house, even at the expense of changing the roof line. From the front, the house won't look much bigger. The slope of the roof will be more steep, more in line with the English cottage architicture and we will be adding a big shed dormer window to balance the house and add views overlooking the park.
Either way, if we can't get this decision overturned it is going to cost us time and money. Either way we really need to move soon. There is no place to put Quattro in this tiny house.
Monday, November 26, 2007
The traveling was well worth it. The kids had a blast at Grandma's house. She had lots of new toys for them, a nursery set up with three pack and plays and animal art work hung especially for them at their eye level. Grandma G also hosted a big open house for friends to meet her grandbabies. We had a great turnout and the babies enjoyed all the attention. Another highlight was playing with Aunt Audrey. Her dog Gracie was a bit hit too. Especially with Will who is crazy for dogs.
Lily loves using her big girl spoon.
Mmmmm...mashed potatoes. Hope you all had a great thanksgiving too.
Thanks Grandma G!
Monday, November 19, 2007
We were motivated by Quattro's impending due date (and my subsequent nesting) and our move. Yes, move. We are planning on moving two houses down very soon after Thankgiving because we are starting the BIG PROJECT - we are adding a second floor and remodeling the kitchen.
The new floor will include a bedroom for the triplets, a nursery for Quattro (that will someday be Lily's room), a shared bathroom with large tub and double sinks, plus a family room with a great window seat overlooking the park and lots of toy storage. Down stairs we are changing the layout and converting the current kitchen and study to a large kitchen. David will get a new office out of the deal - we will be converting the trips room now to a small getaway and workspace.
Now I'm ready to take the proceeds from the garage sale and purchase Quattro's crib. He won't get a boutique crib like the trips but they have some cute options online for great prices.
Let me know if you like either of these.
Option 1: Da Vinci Emily Crib
Option 2: Da Vince Roxanne Crib
Oh, and I think he needs LuLu the Lamb.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This time it will just be David, me and our trio. We bought an extra ticket so we could put one of our gang in a car seat, the other two will be in our laps. We got a direct flight and are taking the first flight of the day there and back to try and avoid holiday travel troubles. Once we arrive in Florida we will get a rental car with the two extra car seats and drive the remaining hour and a half to my mom's house.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I'm to report to the hospital between 5:30 and 6am, he should be in our arms by 8am. I wonder who he will look like. From the ultrasounds his face looks a bit rounder like Will, but who knows.
Only about two more months, we better get ready.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
He started out his day with a jog with our trio, he has been really good about getting out several times a week and running with the babies. They love it and he is getting really fit. I got him a jogging watch for his birthday present.
We also had a little party at Vino Vino a great wine bar not to far from our house. It reminds me of some of our favorite San Francisco bars, it has modern but cozy laid back feel. It is a wine shop during the day and they have wine store prices instead of restaurant prices on wines so you can get some nice bottles. I'm looking forward to going back after Quattro is born so I can enjoy some myself.
Thanks to all our friends who made it out to celebrate with us. And triple thanks to Grammy and Papa for babysitting our trio so we could go out.
Monday, November 05, 2007
We went to the doctor last Friday to check in and make sure everyone was ok. They ran a bunch of tests that came out fine as they were reluctant to give us more anti-nausea medicine without checking lest they miss something else. But it seems that it really was just a bad stomach bug that lasted almost two weeks. Both boys lost over a pound, that pushed Evan from 25 percentile in weight to down to 5 percentile. We worked on making up for lost time today - starting with breakfast, four slices of french toast and two bananas between the three.
Other news, Will has had a mini language explosion. He likes to point to things and is now saying that (dat), this (dis), dog (gog), cat (gat), light (ligh), baby, juice (jus), and imitates animal sounds like 'quack'.