Monday, December 31, 2012

House drama

It's been a crazy, what, 36 hours over here.

We put in an offer on a house yesterday -- a really lovely house, probably nicer we deserve, right here in our neighborhood. The seller countered our offer, we countered that and got word this morning that she accepted.

Hooray! We quickly got a lawyer, set up an inspection for Saturday, everybody signed the paperwork. It was all very exciting.

Then our agent called a few hours later to say, "you're not going to believe this." Apparently the seller accepted somebody else's offer. WHAT? We have no idea what actually happened, only that when our agent expressed disbelief, the seller's agent's only explanation was something like, "hey, it's not illegal." And apparently it's not. Neither lawyer had approved the papers so the contract wasn't binding yet.

So that happened.

It's sad to lose the house, but mostly we're just glad we got out before getting further tangled with such a shady seller (the agent is one of Holly Creek's associates at Nothnagle, if anybody's house hunting -- watch out!) I drove by today, back when I thought we were buying the house, and saw that they had just put up an "Open Sunday" sign out front -- a little troubling on a house that just went under agreement, no? It was still up this evening. I hope the new buyers have a good time with that.

Our agent says there will be a lot of new listings after the New Year. We are definitely looking forward to better things in 2013. Happy New Year!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

First Christmas at home

Ahhhhhh.... the joy of not traveling!

Here is the snow that fell a few days before Christmas.

Not only was it lovely, we were free to enjoy it because we didn't have to worry about weather conditions on the Thruway. Hooray!!!!!

Here is Christmas morning under our own Christmas tree.

Molly came into our bedroom the first time around 4:30 a.m. and I'm not sure she ever got back to sleep. Kate woke up at 5:15 and that's when I was up for the day. I snuggled in bed with Molly while Kate snoozed in her crib a bit. I was grumpy but that turned out to be the best part of the day for me, lying in the dark listening to Molly's non-stop monologue about how quiet the reindeer must have been because she didn't hear anything on the roof, and what are those gray birds at grandma's bird feeder are called? and on and on.

When we finally let the kids downstairs around 6, Molly wanted to hit the stockings first. I'm pretty sure she was expecting loads of candy, which Santa didn't bring (maybe he knew there was still pinata candy in the cupboards). But there was enough in there to keep the kids occupied while Jim made French toast and sausage.
They opened presents slowly all morning.

Then we finally got dressed and headed over to Grandma's house for a big family Christmas.

We thought we were coming home early enough that the girls could play with their toys a little before bed, but both zonked out in the car and didn't wake up when we carried them to bed. The house was quiet by 5:30!!! All the better for Mom and Dad to catch up on some rest, too. What a lovely Christmas day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All...

and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Little elves

Working on a secret Christmas project.

We were having such a good day yesterday that dinner was ready to go in the oven early so we went outside in the drizzle for a walk. It was getting dark already at 4:30 and the street lights were on. A lot of people's Christmas lights were on, too. Kate had her hands in her coat pockets, which I've never seen her do before. It was really cute ... until she tripped and fell on her face with no hands to catch the fall.

So now she has this ...

Poor girl.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

5-year-old girl!!

 What a wild birthday! Opening presents before dawn, waffles and hot cocoa for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch, pinata and cupcakes and ice cream at the birthday party -- it's fair to say that Molly's own plan for her big day nearly overwhelmed her. She made it through, though, with just a dash of rudeness and a sprinkling of candy tantrums. Hooray for her first Rochester birthday!!

Waiting for Daddy to get out of the shower so she can go outside to try her scooter ... after several minor crashes riding it around our teeny kitchen. Apologies to the landlord.

Pull-the-ribbon pinata. What a perfect invention for a December birthday!


Notice the (not quite finished) birthday sweater? She said "yay, my birthday sweater" when she opened it this morning, then tossed it across the table and said she didn't want it. As predicted. Fortunately she had a change of heart and wore it for a good part of the day. :)

Strange as it is to think that five whole years have passed since the day this baby girl was born, what's really getting me is that kindergarten registration information just showed up at our door last week. Deep breath. It's going to be OK....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas fun

We finally busted out the Christmas tree ornaments Saturday.

Molly carefully matched her outfit to Kate's.
Kate has grown attached to a few of them. This one she calls pup. She also carries around one she calls "paca sheep" (it's sort of an alpaca or sheep type creature, very soft).

We went to the fire engine parade in Honeoye Falls Saturday night.

Cousins in matchy mittens.

Kate watches the parade from the warm car.

Uncle David and Henry in the fire truck with Santa on top. So cool!!!!

Pizza and cookies after. What a great night!
Yesterday we had a new friend over to play -- our first play date with a new friend since the move. It went very well. The little girl is 3 and a real sweetheart. Molly read her Christmas stories and they played in the toy kitchen for a while. They let Kate play, too, which was nice. These are friends we met at the Waldorf parent-child class. Tomorrow is our last class of this session. They start another one in January and I think we'll all still go.

Today we had nothing planned and Molly talked me into going to the mall Santa. She's been saying she wanted to go for a while but I thought she might forget. As soon as I said yes she disappeared into her room and came out dressed in red velvet. She was on her best behavior all morning.

We had an hour to kill at Marketplace before Santa showed up so Molly picked out a Christmas present for Kate (while Kate wasn't looking, of course). Then we went to the food court for a wholesome morning snack -- Tom Wahl's cheeseburger and fries.

I didn't get any photos of the girls with Santa because they didn't leave my side. Molly went through with it, though. We had to get out of line once because she lost her nerve but she went back and it was great.

The mall Santa was awesome!! Totally not creepy, real whiskers, an eerily natural "ho ho ho" laugh. He took a long time talking to each group of kids and did a nice job of talking to Molly without overwhelming her.
He asked her if she ate her vegetables. Yes. Did she pick up her toys? Yes. Did she go to bed right when she's supposed to? No. (We had a little laugh, and Santa said he's sure she goes to bed most of the time -- which she does. It's funny that she thinks she doesn't).

Until this weekend the only thing Molly wanted from Santa was gold, silver and rubies. Then she found the necklace that Santa brought her last year and decide that covered it. So she changed her mind to coloring books. That's her only specific request. The rest is up to Santa. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Chocolate coins, animal crackers, clementines ... Kate approves.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting for Sinterklaas

Do you think he'll come tonight? Two little girls really hope so!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas tree

Molly talked me into setting up our Christmas tree today. 

According to the date on the box, this tree is now 10 years old. I got it on Black Friday in 2002 on impulse to decorate our old apartment. It has become a tradition to unwrap the box and assemble it, matching the letters to the right levels, jiggling the little metal hooks into the trunk, opening out the bendable branches. It's really horrible --not exactly a walk through a snowy tree farm to cut our own -- yet a tradition nonetheless.

This is the first year Molly has been able to help me jiggle in the metal hooks to put the branches on. Just like in the olden days, right? She was also able to help with the lights. Voila!

Kate missed the fun because she was napping. That's OK. Kate makes her own fun.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


This year we are thankful to not have to travel for the holidays. Jim and I figured out that we have driven to Rochester for Thanksgiving every year since we were in high school. What a relief to be home.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birthday happiness

What a lovely day it has been! My birthday morning started early, as usual, cuddling Kate in the dark on the couch just after 5 a.m. The treat today was that she fell back asleep and we dozed together until 6:45!!! Nobody in this house ever sleeps that late.

The double treat there is that Kate woke up in a fabulous mood. She led my by the finger into the kitchen where Jim was making us all oatmeal and Molly gave me a big hug, dressed in full ballerina costume. I think she was more excited about my birthday today than anybody. She gave me a card she had just made in the wee hours of the morning while everybody else was asleep. She even chose my favorite color for the paper and sounded out all the words herself. :)

We drove over to my mom's to clean the bunny cage, as per our Thursday routine, and we all were treated to quite an array of special birthday nibbles.

I negotiated a few minutes alone to drive to storage where I dug out some things I've been missing, including my kitchen aprons. Finally found those, yay!!! (simple pleasures, right?)

Back at my mom's house, I dug around in her attic and found a treasure trove of our old toys, many of which may find their way under our Christmas tree this year (the legos, at least). I brought home three huge boxes of Barbie stuff to sort, too. I don't think the girls are old enough for that stuff yet but I'm so excited to get out all the little drawers of clothes and see what's in there. The stuff appears to be all packed up just the way I left it when I was a little kid!

In yet another birthday treat, Kate stayed awake on the drive home so I was able to put her down for a real nap in her bed. That meant I got a real nap, too. I must have been sleeping pretty deeply because when I dozed off Molly was banging around in the living room on the giant Big piano while simultaneously cranking the Sound of Music sound track. And when I woke up it was only because she was fishing around under the covers trying to find my fingernails and filing them with a nail file she had found on my dresser. It wasn't until I woke up a bit that I realized she had put a barrette in my hair. :)

After nap I pulled out the cake recipe I've been looking forward to trying for weeks. It involved melting 4 bars of chocolate and a stick and a half of butter, whisking egg whites into stiff peaks and other fun stuff like that. So much fun!!! The cookbook, "Bistro Cooking" by Patricia Wells, has captured my imagination with her little introductions and the mood she sets of small family restaurant cooking around France. The chocolate cake I made had this quote next to it:

"Life is so brief that we should not glance either too far backwards or forwards ... therefore study how to fix our happiness in our glass and in our plate." --Grimod de la Reyniere

The fact that the cake cracked and crumbled as it came out of the pan made it no less delicious.

Make a wish!

Bedtime for the girls was calm and easy. Now I'm off to do some knitting and play with my Barbies sort some boxes. :) I couldn't ask for a better day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Slow days

Our exciting season of birthdays and holidays begins this week -- my birthday then Thanksgiving then Jim's birthday then Molly's birthday then Christmas. Molly is giddy. She makes new plans for her birthday party daily. We were going to have a formal ball, now she wants an art party (where everybody does art, or something?). She has also requested I knit her a birthday sweater and I'm having a terrible time finding yarn to meet her specs. We colored a picture of it so I'd get it just right -- bright pink, bright orange, red sleeves, purplish-pink back .... It's going to be an act of love. :)

We've had some instruments out lately. Molly's into the guitar .. in the sense that she likes to strum it and sing songs she makes up. She gets furious if you try to show her anything about how to play for real on any instrument. :) That's fine. I like her songs best anyway.

Kate is all chatty now. It's hard to bring her into the bedroom at night (where Molly's just falling asleep) because she talks and talks. "Light? Dark. Dark. Milk. Nap. Rock. Blankie. Sock." I've even heard her a few times in the night saying "Molly?" and I hold my breath to hear if she's going to wake up her sister.

She's also into pretending now, mostly pretending to be a cat. Out of nowhere she'll flop down on hands and knees and crawl around saying, "meow." She has a sudden new capacity to focus on toys occasionally, too. The other night at dinner we looked over and noticed her sitting at the little table with a plate of wooden food, pretending to cut it with a fork and knife. And she likes to run around pretending to fly -- flapping her arms and saying "fly, fly."

We've had some lovely walks around the neighborhood and a few really warm days that were nice for playing outside.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


We are officially no longer homeowners. Hooray!!!! The closing took place Thursday, deed was registered Friday morning, check is in the mail. It's all very surreal. We spent so much energy not getting our hopes up  that it's hard to stop worrying about the house and mentally let the whole thing go. What a relief!!!!!

We opened a ceremonial bottle of champagne after the kids went to bed last night -- champagne we got when we bought the house to save for the day we paid off the mortgage. Probably it was a bad idea to leave the bottle as one of the last things to unpack from the car in the heat of summer. Good thing there was a little Halloween candy to chase it down after the ceremonial emptying down the drain. :)

Speaking of candy, Molly's done with her entire candy stash. We let her go at it Halloween night and all of the next day. She shared a bunch of it with the rest of us, but I cringe to think how much she must have eaten herself. I think today both kids are finally coming down off the candy hangovers. Bedtime was easy for once.

Our other happy news Friday was that Kate is gaining weight and officially back to a normal doctor visit schedule. They printed the growth chart for us because the line is so dramatic. At 15 months she was 3rd percentile for weight. Now at 19 months she's 29th! They told us to keep doing what we're doing. More candy for breakfast, I guess. :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat

Scenes from last night...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The spooky news of the day is that the closing on our house has been pushed back to Friday or Monday. Buyers' lawyer lost power in the storm. I guess we won't be getting that big treat today we were hoping for. I'll just have to eat more Skittles to make up for it.

Happy Halloween!!!