Thursday, August 30, 2012

She's Back and I'm Relieved

Louisa and I returned from DC last week Wednesday and Nate returned from China on Thursday. While we were all happy to be reunited, we were disappointed to realize that Louisa was not her normal self.  On Saturday night we used our digital thermometer for the first time and quickly consulted the American Academy of Pediatrics book to figure out that magic cutoff for consulting the doctor.  Tricky: if it's over 103, call the doctor, but also consider other symptoms.  Well, hers was 103.2 but she didn't have any other symptoms.  Long story short, the fever came down on Sunday but she was tired, cranky and spotted until Tuesday when I finally took her to the doctor. The verdict? Roseola. Nothing serious and no treatment needed.

The GREAT news is that today she was finally, absolutely back to her normal, funny, happy self.  The one AWESOME "side effect" that has stuck around is that she goes down without a cry at naps and at bedtime. Nice work Loubear!

To celebrate normal life with a toddler, we went to Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose. Fun! As the name implies, it's a park (with play structures, picnic areas and carnival rides) and a zoo (with interesting animals like lemurs and capybaras).  I didn't blog about our trip to Half Moon Bay on Sunday, but the highlight was Louisa touching a "wild" starfish.  She stayed true to her wild side today - eagerly touching a python and a small tortoise.  Way more daring than her mother.  Speaking of her mother, I have something in common with the goat pictured below: I'm pregnant!


I'm not sure why Lou's hair is so crazy, I guess the cars were faster than I thought?

The python Lou touched

Plums from the neighbor for dessert

Monday, August 27, 2012

It Costs Money

When I was younger, my mom always used to say, "it costs money just to stay alive."  I don't remember the circumstances, but I imagine it came up most often when I was a teenager and complained about how much things cost and the lack of money I had.

Today that phrase rang through my head over and over again.  I'm sort of in house-hunter mode, but the trouble is, we need to save a whole lot of money before we can actually buy a house out here.  So being in house-hunter mode makes me be in money-saving mode as well.  It's good, and I think I'm pretty good at saving money, but it can be so frustrating when unexpected expenses pop up!  You can't say "wait" or "no" to these.  For example, if your new (used) car has a leaky coolant line, you have to pay more than $400 to fix it.

I'm a big coupon girl, so today when I went to get the oil changed on aforementioned car, I printed off a coupon: $21.95 for a premium oil change. What did I end up paying? $69.95 plus tax! And that was a special offer. Ugh. I learned about synthetic oil today.

Those pesky little (and big) expenses that you don't anticipate. No fun.

What a downer blog post! I think I'll add a picture of Louisa to try and make this visit worth your time. Let me know if that did the trick.

The tide pools of Bean Hollow Beach

Enjoying the smooth pebbles on the beach

Sunday, August 19, 2012

To Five Years!

Yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary, so Lou and I celebrated today by going to Waffle House for lunch. Seriously! In case you think I'm kidding, here is a picture to prove it.

Here's the background story.  Nate and I talked yesterday while he was at a hole-in-the-wall, Indian restaurant in downtown Hong Kong.  He was super-excited about how good and cheap his meal (dal mahkni, chicken briyani, naan and two beers) was. To understand my story, its important to know that Nate and I enjoyed many a good Indian and Ethiopian meal in Uganda in 2008 and still enjoy cooking Indian food together.  So when he commented that his meal in Hong Kong would have been an appropriate anniversary dinner for us, he was spot on (and romantic...sigh).

Fast-forward about 18 hours to Louisa and me driving north on highway 85 through North Carolina. Louisa was acting as if she had a dirty diaper and I was hungry, so I started checking out my options on the green highway signs. When I saw a sign for Waffle House, I immediately dismissed it since I don't like breakfast for lunch, greasy food or chain restaurants. But something in me wanted to make an exception. Obviously chain restaurants are all but unavoidable on a un-planned road trip and greasy breakfast at 11:30 am sounded perfect. So we exited, parked, and ran through the rain for a warm meal.  The grits, bacon, raisin toast and eggs over-easy all tasted great and the coffee was decent. The waitress was really sweet with Louisa while taking our order and telling me about her triplet nieces that visited her last night. Just the word "triplets" made me realize that a 6-hour road trip with a toddler but without your husband - even on your anniversary - is easy easy easy.

A pause in the story for a warning: the ending to my story is not funny or surprising, although I know that is not why you read our blog, so I'll continue without further apology.

The ending is just that sometime during the journey from the Waffle House to DC, I realized that the reason I chose that particular greasy, chain, breakfast restaurant is because its totally the kind of place Nate would pick.  So despite the 12-hour time difference, we each celebrated our anniversary apart/together - he at a tiny Indian restaurant and me at Waffle House.  Happy fifth wedding anniversary, Nate.  You're an awesome husband and an amazing dad.

(For further proof of the amazing dad bit, check out the first picture in my last post, below)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

DC Family & Carolina Friends

We've been on vacation, so I apologize for my absence from our blog.  We celebrated my dad's retirement from the US Navy and now we're in Durham, North Carolina visiting Adrienne, Paul and Geneva.  Erin drove up from Charlotte to be with us too! Lou and I drove down from DC yesterday, leaving Ries behind with Romeo, Oliver, Sarah and Dan. Nate left mid-week for China. Oh Apple.

Louisa (16 months) and Geneva (25 months) are both awake now, so we may take off for a mini-adventure of some sort, so for now, here are some pictures!

Lou pooped right as we all got assembled for the photo, so we had to get creative

The we excused the mobile babes and took a sibling + Oliver photo

Sharing a peach at the Durham farmers' market

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Loving the Tub

Maybe it's because she's study the life of beluga whales so intently, or maybe it was the "parent and me" swim lessons, but whatever the reason, Louisa adores water.  Tonight she was being especially silly with Nate, while I vacuumed in the other bathroom...sorry about the high-pitched hum in the background....

Love to you all.  We miss you very much.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

On Sale Today!

Nate's been bugging me to buy Loubear a kiddie pool for the back yard, so I finally did it today. I found one on Craigslist for $10, but that didn't seem cheap enough, considering that I would have to drive to Mountain View to pick it up. I also saw an ad for a free one, but it had a hole that the seller thought maybe I'd want to patch? Um, no thank you.

After some online shopping (ie, googling "rigid plastic kiddie pool") I wasn't coming up with much (in my price range) until I stumbled upon a suggestion to buy a doggie pool. Sure enough, our local PetSmart (1.36 miles west) had them in stock and ON SALE! How much, you might ask? Regularly $9.99 but on sale today for $7.99. That it what the PetSmart employee proudly announced when I asked where they were. What a steal.

Lou must have know what it was because she got excited when we bought it and even dragged it from the car into the backyard. After an evening bike ride to the dog park where we met Amanda and Andrew, she finally got to take a (skinny) dip. Since we haven't been taking her to any frisbee games this summer, the least I could do is let her use a frisbee as a pool toy, right?

"Lou, show Mom the frisbee"
Trying to understand the strategy sketched out on the back of the disc

Necklaces are a favorite accessory these days

See Where Our Pictures Were Taken