3:30pm - Leave for train station, Lucy naps.
4:15pm - Arrive at station, Lucy wakes up.
4:29pm - Board train. Estimated arrival time = 9:30pm
6:30pm - Change baby into pajamas and attempt to adapt bedtime routine to train.
7:00pm - Lucy is asleep.
7:45pm - Lucy woke up on train with bright fluorescent lights every 2 feet along the ceiling so she thinks it must be middle of the afternoon and after her nice "nap", she is now refreshed and ready to play again.
8:05pm - Train stops at station but doesn't start again.
8:10pm - Official Conductor Announcement: Train in front of ours is stopped. Wait for more news.
8:12pm - Call my brother to tell him not to leave to pick me up until I have more details. Lucy plays happily on my lap.
8:15pm - Official Conductor Announcement: Train in front of ours is derailed. We will probably be here for several hours. Wait for more details.
8:18pm - Call my dad to tell him bad news. Call interrupted by incredible puking baby.
8:25pm - Baby is now clean and changed back into pre-bedtime routine clothes and playing happily again. Lacking a change of clothes, I still smell like baby puke. Official Conductor Announcement: Buses have been sent to pick us up and take us to the train stations. Buses scheduled to arrive in approximately 2 hours but they will let us know if they will be late.
8:26pm - Call my dad again to plead for rescue.
9:00pm - Baby still awake. Have attempted to shield her from light by laying her under tray tables covered with jacket and receiving blankets. Decided not the throttle conductor when he walks by and comments on the "fun time I must be having building a fort."
9:30pm - Fort building efforts fail. Baby still awake.
10:00pm - Baby still awake.
10:30pm - Baby still awake. No buses yet but have been told they should be arriving "soon".
10:35pm - Dad arrives!
10:37pm - Lucy goes to sleep almost instantaneously once put in comfy car seat in quiet dark car.
12:25am - Arrive at parent's home. Lucy still sleeping away. Thank my
You can see wear down the center of the photo, in the high traffic area. You can also see some yellowing of the wood.
I rented an orbital floor sander from the local rental place. All sanders I saw in how-to articles had 3 sanding discs on the bottom, but this had one big rectangular pad (the sander looked something like this). The rental place also gave me a bunch of sandpaper (of grits 20, 36, 60, 80, and 100), and said I would not have to pay for what I didn't use. Note: these sanders are quite heavy.
Before sanding, I shut the bedroom doors and put newspaper under them. I also taped over the outlets and hung a sheet of plastic between the dining room and kitchen. These measures were intended to keep dust out of these places. I also donned safety glasses, a dust mask, and ear plugs. Previously, I went over the floor a few times to make sure I removed all carpet staples and nails. We did not remove our baseboards prior to sanding.
I started sanding with 36-grit paper (smaller numbers mean coarser paper), sanding primarily with the grain of the wood, although the rotation of the sander means it goes across the grain half the time.. The first pass revealed a large number of 6" by 1" slight depressions in the floor, perpendicular to the grain of the wood. I thought these might be relics from a previous drum sanding job gone bad (note: besides the orbital that I rented, drum sanders are the other type available. These sand more effectively and efficiently, but in the hands of an amateur, these can cause damage to the floor due to excessive sanding). I also found some wide scratches that I had not noticed previously. Apparently, floor finish can really hide some flaws in hardwood.
I had a heck of a time with these depressions. The sander had little effect on them. I tried using the 5" palm orbital sander I had on hand, but it also had little effect, as did sanding by hand. I also found that the area a couple inches out from the wall, all the way around the house, was similarly impervious to my efforts. I knew I needed to get the finish off of these spots, or they would stick out when I tried to stain the floor.
After doing two passes with the 36 paper (one at a 45 degree angle across the grain), two 60 passes, a 20 pass (I was desperate), another 36, and two 80 passes, I thought the floor was acceptable. The finer sandpapers are intended to remove the scratches put in the floor by the coarse paper, and give the floors a smooth, even finish (I should note here that I vacuumed the floor after each pass with a shop-vac to remove dust). I should also note that I generally used two sheets of sandpaper per pass, with each pass covering about 450 square feet. There appeared to be some color left in the wood, but I thought I had removed enough material that I could stain over what was left.
But then I rented the edger, and found out I was wrong. The edger is a foot-tall unit that uses one 7-8" sanding disc that is attached to the unit by a bolt. When operating it, only one side of the disc actually touches the floor. The edger, which spins at a high rate of speed, instantaneously reduced my edges to white bare wood, in stark contrast to the rest of the floor, and the numerous passes I made over it. I was tempted to use the edger to do the whole floor, but that would have taken days and killed my back.
So I decided to try a 3-disc edger, thinking that maybe the sander I had rented was the problem. Lowe's carries such a sander, so I rented theirs. Note: while the sander I first rented did a very poor job of picking up dust, despite having a vacuum attachment that is supposed to do just that, the Varathane from Lowe's does great in this regard. This sander worked well for about two minutes, then seemed to do nothing. It was as if the sandpaper only worked when brand new (it turns out this was the floor's fault, not the machine's). With this sander, I managed to feather the edges of the floor, so the contrast between the white edges and the light brown rest of the floor was not so stark. But it still didn't look right.
At the beginning of this process, we got a quote from a company to see what it would cost to have someone else do this job. The quote was quite high. But after renting the Varathane, we decided to get another quote, to see what it would cost just to drum sand it. I thought about renting a drum sander myself, but didn't really want to mess with one of those.
The quote we got wasn't too bad, and we wanted to get this done, so we bit the bullet and hired a local company to do it, and the floors ended up nice and white in short order. My ego was assuaged by the fact that the owner of the company confirmed that there was drum sander damage on the floor. He also said there was something weird with the finish on our floor, so he had to use more sandpaper than normal to get the job done. This made me feel good, because all the how-to's I read made sanding seem easy and straightforward, but that wasn't my experience.
That wraps up the sanding part of the job. Here are some links I found helpful.
Next, I will discuss staining, a much more successful endeavor.
This may sound surprising, given the religious discord we often see in the news. But the authors state that people who know members of other religions are more tolerant of them. They call this the "Aunt Susan" principle, stating that, often due to inter-religious marriages, many people have a relative of another faith.
I would like to look at one specific point that the Economist column brings up. It says that 9 of 10 of those surveyed think that people from other faiths can go to heaven. This is seen as a mark of tolerance, and the 1 in 10 who don't see it this way are called "inflexible."
Speaking solely for Christianity (although I gather Islam is the same), our doctrine says there's one path to heaven. Don't follow it, you don't get there. But this sounds harsh and unfair to a lot of people. I suspect that most of the 90% of people cited in the study are not deeply involved in their faith, and thus assume that any "good" person can go to heaven. Or else they believe that, no matter what the Bible says, people from other religions still believe in a God of some sort, so they're OK. Maybe they go to a non-denominational megachurch that focuses solely on the feel-good parts of Christianity.
What this story suggests, then, is that our society is better off if everyone is only casually religious. The Economist author states that, for the "inflexible" 10%, Aunt Susan "is not welcome in their company." He seems to assume that, if you don't think someone is headed for heaven, you dislike them. Ergo, devout people create divisions in, and are bad for, society.
If you are only interested in this from the societal aspect, maybe these findings make sense. But from a religious standpoint, the lack of knowledge/acceptance of basic doctrine is troubling.
But I would dispute the assumption that the devout dislike those that aren't going to heaven. Sure, there are people like that, but there are many others that have devoted their lives (or at least a good portion of their time and/or resources) to reach out to these people to try to improve their lives, in hopes that they will eventually end up in heaven. That sounds like good social capital to me.
Growing up with a dad in the army and an "army wife" for a mom, I remember them going to a number of functions. There were "hail and farewells", conferences and my favorite, balls. I'm so glad they called them balls and not dances or reception; balls sounded so exotic and fancy to my 7 year old ears.
I would sit on the bed watching my mom get ready. She would be wearing a pretty dress, putting on her make-up and jewelry. Then the very last step would be perfume. Spraying a bit of Poison in the air, she would gracefully step through telling me this was the secret to smelling nice without being overpowering to anyone within three feet of you. Then she would spray some for me to walk through too. I had all sorts of ideas of what the balls must be like, most of which were probably a little overblown, but either way it was so exciting to see them head off and I couldn't wait until I got married and got to go on dates too.
Not that I minded being left with a babysitter. Babysitter came with special treats like popcorn, frozen pizza, games and movies and the opportunity to pick on my brothers with a less perceptive overseer (oh wait, that was supposed to be a secret). It was great fun.
This past Saturday night, Craig and I had a date night. I’m not ready to leave Lucy so we had to be creative. After putting her down, Craig threw a pizza in the oven, picked up the toys, oatmeal canister, pots and pans, and diapers turned burp rags that had been strewn all over the living room floor. I threw a load of diapers in the wash, took a shower and laid down a blanket and some pillows on the now picked-up floor. We sat with our dinner and had some great conversations. Then we snuggled up and watched a movie (eclipse - Craig is a good sport). We had to pause the movie once so I could go feed a baby back to sleep but it worked.
Someday date nights will change. The frozen pizza and movies will stay at the house but I will not. Someday I will get dressed up and spray perfume and Craig will come in to help me put on my necklace and give both his girls a kiss before sending the littler one off to look for the babysitter. Someday will come soon enough. But for now, I wouldn't change a thing.
It does make me so glad you are my snuggly little girl. I didn't realize how much so until the last few outings we have been at where other moms and babies are but you are really a momma's girl. You like to go places and see new things and new people for a little while but mostly, you like to be somewhere familiar, especially sitting in my lap or being worn and talking to me. You've started staring up at me when I wear you. You'll look around for a few minutes then stop, look at me, smile, then go back to looking around. It's as if you need to check in.
The "kisses" I talked about last month are definitely kisses now. They are messy but deliberate. I can even turn my cheek to you and say kiss and you will lean forward and slobber on me. And you love getting lots of kisses too. A "smoochie attack" rarely fails to get a laugh.
But you love your daddy too. I can tell now that you really do respond differently to us both. If you are hurt or hungry, you want me but you've realized that this "daddy" guy is fun to play with. I love watching you light up when he walks into the room and I can't wait to see your relationship develop more and more.
She had already tasted sweet potatoes at this point but wasn't convinced she liked them. She would lean in to taste them, make a weird I-don't-think-I-like-this face, then lean in again. Silly baby. And apples were a no go. She picked them up and threw them but wasn't interested in eating them. But she is a fan of the 'nana.
Back to the point, Thanksgiving was good here. My mom always kept our menu consistent throughout the years so my aunt and I were able to copy it fairly easily by making the pies the night before (two pumpkin and one apple, the same every year!) and assembling the casseroles first thing in the morning. I think we were a little too concerned about being timely though - the turkey was done by 11am! We all ate a lot so we must have been hungry anyway.
Lucy also got her first meal - sweet potatoes. She had a good time playing with them and did taste them but I don't think she actually swallowed much. She'll get the hang of it in time and until then, at least we got some cute pictures!
Lucy has been enjoying all the attention she gets from Grandpa and Bubbie. We didn't want her other grandparents to miss out though, so here's just a sample of the view from around here:
Note on the video: Her new favorite activity is playing with pots and pans and she had been sitting there for about 5 minutes playing happily while I ran around trying to find the camera. Then as soon as I did, she stirred it a little too hard and got hurt/scared. But 2 minutes later she was back playing again. Why is it so difficult to capture the good moments on camera?!
One might respond, "It's necessary to keep us safe." That would be a legitimate argument, but there's no reason to think that this stuff is accomplishing anything. While TSA reacts to the last attack (we had to take our shoes off after the shoe bomber, they "touch our junk" after the undie bomber), terrorists are working on other plots.
If we wanted to get serious, we would stop screening little kids, nuns, and people with colostomy bags. We have to admit that the people trying these attacks come from, or have ties to, certain countries. It doesn't have to be "racial profiling." Profile young men with ties to Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, etc. Sure, keep on doing random screening of other people, but let's stop bending over backwards to appear to be truly random by screening people who obviously aren't threats. Of course, this won't happen.
But on a personal note, I'm undecided over whether I should choose X-ray or pat down if I am posed with the choice when I fly at Christmas (if this system survives that long). I like the idea of opting out of the scanners as a form of protest, and thus slowing things down and creating extra work for TSA. But then I have to be patted down. So I'll have to think about it.
We bought a bathroom exhaust fan last night…and the crowd goes wild! After all that, we just went in to Lowe's, found one for under $100 that had a light with it and walked out. Easy peasy. It was a bit anti-climactic.
I never did respond to Rachel’s question about the need for a heater. The only reason we were considering it is about 17 lbs, bald and used to cry whenever she was given a bath. Yep, that is “used to” as in – past tense! I really do think it was because she was cold. Our bathroom is small and the vent in there won’t shut so during the summer when we had the air on, it was colder than most of the house. Now that we have the heat on, it is one of the warmest rooms. And she know likes baths again. Coincidence? I think not.
I’ll make a confession, until last week when we tried out baths again, I was only giving her a shower once every 14 days or so. I know that is a long time but even with showers, she would cry as soon as she got out of the (nice warm) water into the (mean cold) air. And not just fuss a little bit, cry so hard she would throw up, which would often mean she ended the bath messier than when she started out. She didn’t understand that it was only for a few seconds and then I would put clothes on her and she would be warm again. Since she wasn’t running around all day getting sweaty and dirty, I thought two weeks worked. But we have now moved back to bathing every other day and I must say, I do feel better about it. So why didn’t we go with the heated fan?
Well, Rachel made some good points about the negatives to a heater, then the electrician made an even better one – it would require its own circuit and add an extra hundred dollars to the installation costs (plus the additional cost to buy the heater/fan combo) so we said "no thanks". If we have problems with Lucy and the cold again, we’ll just buy a space heater. I would say go back to the bi-weekly baths but she might get a some sort of complex if her dad keeps referring to her as his “stinky feet baby”.
- We needed a hugger style. They don't work quite as well as down rod styles but our ceilings are only about 8 ft tall so anything that dropped down too low would be dangerous. Not cool (pun intended).
- We need a smaller fan. Most fans only come in 52 inches but that was going to be too big and a lot of smaller fans look like they belong in kids bedrooms. Despite Craig's insistence that we could make a plane propeller fan themed living room work, I didn't really think that was the direction we wanted to go.
two or three drops of
gushing blood and started to feel woozy. Now I've started wearing gloves so my hands are safe but after spending the day on the floor with all the dust from the carpet, my sinuses are killing me. Clumsy and congested - I'm so pathetic.
- Macaroni and cheese box. Maybe that person has a microwave in the car?
- Empty toilet paper roll. This is the only bathroom-related item I want to find.
- Beer bottle. Of course.
- Long-expired temporary license tags.
- Decluttering my emails. Instead of deleting each day the emails I've signed up for but don't want to get anymore, I'm actually going to the site and unsubscribing. It only takes a minute or two for each one but hopefully it will streamline my email. (But don't "unsubscripe" from real spam, like "get a bigger *** in 3 days with our magic pills", that will only let them know you are real and send more your way.)
- Throw out magazines. I've come to the realization that I will never read them again and if I keep them all, I won't be able to find that one project idea I really did want to follow through with. Today I sat with Lucy and tore out the pictures/projects I liked, stuck them in a notebook, and threw the rest away. Lucy enjoyed tearing and drooling on the rest of the magazine while I worked so I actually got a lot done in just 30 minutes.
- I put a paper bag next to Lucy's changing table. Whenever I get her dressed in something only to find out it no longer fits, I just toss it in the bag. This happens several times a week and if the bag wasn't there, I would probably put it back in the dresser thinking I would sort through all the clothes later - but never would. This takes no time at all and when the bag is full, I take it downstairs to my storage system.
4 o'clock came - and went. No tricker or treaters. Finally at around 4:45 we had our first batch but they were really slow in trickling in. It wasn't long though before Lucy was done with the whole halloween thing so we passed off our candy duties to a willing uncle Ben. By the morning there wasn't much candy left, I'm not sure if we had a lot of kids show up later in the evening or if the hander-outer took his fair share of treats in the process but either way, fun was had by all so I'm going to call the evening a success.
It was a packed weekend. We got to Austin Thursday morning and after a little nap then headed to the rehearsal. Lucy made it through the first go through hanging out with Craig but soon decided that only mom would do. Luckily I’ve been a bridesmaid before and groomswomaning isn’t very different.
We tried to convoy to the rehearsal dinner but someone had a little breakdown on the way so we sent the rest of the family ahead. After a change of clothes we continued (have I ever mentioned that when Lucy gets really upset, she projectile vomits?). Before we got there though, we had to change clothes again due to a diaper incident - so much for preparing cute outfits in advance! Luckily once we got to the bbq place (of course, what other food would we eat in Texas!) she quickly fell asleep in the sling and slept through most of it.
Friday was wedding day! We spent the morning at the house, I tried to get Lucy to take really good naps and my brother and his friends worked all the kinks out of the video feed system. We had to get to the church fairly early for pictures but this time I had learned my lesson and kept Lucy in a diaper until the very end.
Windsor is a true kindred spirit and baby lover, holding a baby while in her wedding dress is brave indeed! This is only the picture Craig captured on the sly. I can’t wait to see the real ones. Eventually I did get her dressed though so we could get a few family type pictures.
Then it was walk down the aisle time! The wedding was wonderful: the homily was great, all about how to share the gospel through your marriage, then after the vows and rings were exchanged, we had the Eucharist and Rick and Windsor served us the wine. It was so sweet.
Windsor looked gorgeous. The theme was vintage and family and when everything was described to me these past few months, I couldn’t really picture it but once I saw it, I totally got it and it all looked beautiful. Craig and Lucy didn’t get to see much of the wedding. Lucy was just not in the mood to sit and be quiet so they hung around outside with another baby/parent duo.
Then the party started! They had a live band. They were really good but a bit loud for a baby so we stayed in the back. That didn’t mean we didn’t dance though – here is Lucy and her daddy swaying to “My Girl”. Isn’t a burpy the perfect accessory to a nice suit?
Some of you might recognize L, he was my ring bearer. He is quite a bit bigger now although just as cute and as you can see, quite smooth.
After dinner, I took a few minutes to look at the tables they had set up. They had brought it a lot of neat family things, like story cards in the favor bags so we read about her family and remember some of our families’ favorite times. There were pictures of not just Rick and Windsor but lots of family pictures as well. And as I mentioned before, a table with notes to write for my mom. I love how family is so important to both of them and I love that now both of them are a part of my family! Yeah for a new sister/aunt.
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it through the whole event since Lucy hit her breaking point about 10pm but I do hope to watch the rest next time I visit my parents. It was okay since I was in charge of getting Ben back to the house at a relatively reasonable hour as well. He had the ACT test early in the morning – but that’s a whole other story.
Most weddings end with the reception but not this one. Since it was on a Friday night, we still had all of Saturday to celebrate. Saturday morning we took a little cruise up the lake. It rained right before and right after the cruise but I guess the weather knew we were trying to celebrate because it was gorgeous during the ride. Here’s the newly married couple, aren’t they cute?
Here’s the not-so-newly married couple, but we’re cute too, right?The aloe is in the picture because just a few minutes before this picture was taken, Lucy grabbed it and poked herself in the eye with it. I guess Craig wanted to remember the traumatic experience? The cruise was great because it gave me a chance to catch up with my middle school friend Emily before she had to leave town again.
Saturday evening I took absolutely no pictures, but that was only because I was too busy talking and eating. We had a bbq with family and old friends that we pretty much consider family. Lucy even cooperated and slept well on my dad’s bed in the back of the house so I could actually talk to people. It was a great time to catch up on what everyone has been up to lately and say goodbye to Rick and Windsor one last time before we all went our separate ways. Sunday morning, bright and early, we flew back home and I took a nice long nap.