Thursday, April 30, 2015

so much

Since early March, just two months ago, so much has happened around here.  Pictures, each worth 1000 words will tell the stories for now.

So we moved Jack's mom to an assisted living center, which was hard, but has been confirmed over and over and over as the right thing to do.  At the same time, we started a major remodel of our basement in order to create a space for Jack's brother to come live with us.  This project has, as most do, taken on a life of its own, but looking through these pictures has reminded me that we have done a lot of stuff in these past two months.  For example:

After finding termites and mold, we ended up removing all the sheetrock, insulation, and ceiling, reframing areas, adding additional rooms (an office/sitting area and bathroom).  It was during this massive demolition that I got pneumonia.  Which was no fun.  We also ended up rewiring the entire basement, and also replaced the boiler, water heaters, and heating system for the whole house.  This all seems like a reasonable thing when you're living through a mild winter, until you have no heat for two months, and then for fun, again, the hot water heater and boiler get into a spat and you have only cold water showers for four days straight.  Boo for cold water, or even slightly less than freezing cold water showers.  Yay for cars with good heating systems for the ride to work.

But look how nice two nearly finished new bathrooms, a nearly finished family room, and a finished boiler room look:

While the remodeling was going on at home, Jack, Jr, and I took a trip to California for Jr's work and to get away.  Luckily it was planned before the remodel started or we never would have gone.  We had a good time--Jack and I went to a San Jose Sharks hockey game (note the large shark head that the team skated through onto the ice):

We went for a bit of a drive to see some really big trees at Sequoia Forest/Park:

That is Jr standing in front of those vehicles

And of course, we went to the beach:


These are not my legs:

We also went to San Francisco to the Beach Blanket Babylon Show, which you must see during your next visit to northern California. Hilarious fun.

Before the vacation, I bought a new purse, which is so big I am required to refer to it as "My Bag"--this isn't really an intentional picture.  My phone just wanted to take a picture of My Bag so you can see it is a lovely tomato soup color with leopard print lining.  How could anyone resist this?

We completely filled this huge dumpster with basement remodel debris.  It was one big dumpster.

At some point after the vacation, Shi, Jessie, and I had a baby shower for the drummer's wife and their baby girl, due in about a month.  It was so nice to reconnect with family members.

Because it is spring, we have had some of these:

And some of these:

 And some of these:

These guys don't look like much but they have since unfurled majestically:

While these unfurled in their own luscious way:

This adorable baby girl joined our family last week--Gwen Amelia--

This seems to confirm she really doesn't like to be awakened from her sleeping time:

We still need to paint and install baseboard moulding, door casings and doors, window sills, closet organizers, a few lights, ceiling tiles, and there is a bit of paint touch-up that needs to be done.  But considering the scope of the basement project, I'd say we're getting close to the end.  Hoping Jack's brother moves in in the next week or so.  And then Stu and his family will move into Jack's mom's house across the street.  We couldn't be happier about having them so close.

On Sunday, Jr, Stu's family, and I went to the care center to set up a tv inside and a bird feeder outside of Jack's mom's room.  While Jr, Stu, and Shi reorganized the room and set up the bird feeder, the kids and I walked down to the dining room with Jack's mom.  I cannot even describe the impact of Stu's and Shi's three kids on the residents of the care center.  People who I have never seen look up from their wheelchairs were looking at the kids, smiling at the kids, trying to speak to and interact with the kids.  And Jack's mom was in heaven.  Not only did she get to spend time with her greatgrandkids, she also was the star of the dining room with those kids to show off to everybody.  It was wonderful.  By the time we headed back to her room, we were leading a parade of two other women and three men who were simply delighted to be around children again.  Children truly are a joy.  A simple pleasure we too often take for granted.

You probably need to know that yesterday I wore this outfit to work--sorry you can't see the necklace, which may have been the thing that totally made the ensemble work.


Tonight Jr and I went to my parents' house so he could repair a sprinkler that was broken during a recent mowing of the lawn.  While standing outside by the back door, I looked up and saw my dad smiling and waving at me through the glass.  I went in and he told me to follow him and he'd show me something he had learned to do perfectly.  We headed into the living room where he plopped himself down in the center of the couch and smiled.  I gave him the thumbs up.  He continued to smile.  I said I'd thought he was going to lay down not just sit.  He said that was next.  And smiled again.  And laid down.

I'm sure there has been more.  But this is enough for now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

an amazing girl and the newest darling

8 lbs 2 oz, 20 inches, another brunette.
no name yet, but soon.