Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tree Down

Last week there was a storm in our area.  Lots of rain and wind.  I took the girls grocery shopping (yay for Target's underground parking lot so we didn't have to deal with the storm) and we returned to find this on our street:

A tree got knocked over and was blocking the entire street.  Luckily, it didn't fall into any houses or cars!

I couldn't drive to our house (obviously) so I had to park on the street and take two trips with the girls in the rain to get the groceries inside.

 This is the view from our garage:

 Here I am with the wet girls.  A little rain never hurt anyone.

I was surprised how quickly they cleared the street!  Not sure when the tree went down, but it was completely chopped up and on the side of the road about 2.5 hours after we got home.  


A few weeks ago I put my long hair over my lip and told Pippa I had mustache.   Then she wanted one.  So I put my hair over her lip.  We had a good giggle and I thought that was it.

Yesterday Pippa found a long skinny piece of shelf liner and immediately held it up to her lip and said, "mustache?" So of course we all had to have mustaches.

Pippa looks a bit like Jack Black in Nacho Libre (like this), Roxy looks like an villain from a silent movie, and I look kind of like an actual man (yikes).

For your viewing pleasure...

Moving x2

When we moved back to the USA from Munich, Germany we landed in the Bay Area a few days before Thanksgiving.  One reason it was hard to find a place was because no one wants to move / sell / rent during the holidays aka between Thanksgiving and New Years aka when we needed to get a new place.  We found a place and intentionally signed an 11 month lease so we would move the next year at the start of November and not have to deal with the moving during the holidays stuff again.

Looking for a new place is massively time consuming, especially here where everything is done on Craigslist (at least for renting).  It was especially hard this time around because we had a new baby (Roxy).  But we found a place and moved at the start of November.

My dad came out to help with and meet Baby Roxy and instead of spending all his time playing with Pippa and Roxy he spent most of his time helping packing us and moving us.  And thank goodness. We really couldn't have done it without him.

But the day we moved into the new duplex (we were so excited! the end of a circle! a garage! a small backyard! three bedrooms! in the same ward! relatively cheap!) we noticed that the room we wanted to put Baby Roxy in smelled funny. Like cigarette smoke funny.  Pippa's room smelled a bit like it, too. We didn't notice the smell when we first looked at the duplex because the owner had painted that day and had the windows open so all we smelled was paint. We kept Roxy in our room while we tried many different things to make the smell go away.  Nothing worked.  Third hand smoke is real, yo, and we didn't want to expose our girls to that. So on December 2 we gave our 30 day notice to the landlady.  Which meant that we had to look for a place to live. Again. And we would have to move during the holidays. Again.  Since we were breaking the lease we also weren't sure if we would get the security deposit of $2,500 back (the lease agreement was vague on that point).

It was stressful giving our 30 day notice knowing we might be out that $2,500 and without having another place lined up and knowing that there weren't many options due to the holidays (apartment complexes always have openings, but we really wanted a house or a duplex).  We (I) did a ton of Craigslist stalking and I set up alerts with certain parameters so every time a new posting went up that fit our requirements I received an email. So much time spent looking through those emails.

We didn't really want to set up or do much for Christmas because we didn't know when we would be moving.  We were sad about this because we didn't really do Christmas last year (all of our Christmas things were still in transit from Germany and we were cash poor from all the moving and traveling around Europe) and were really looking forward to doing it this year when Pippa would understand a bit what was going on.  And starting around Thanksgiving T was excited for Christmas. That by itself is a big deal - T hasn't been excited for Christmas since high school. But for the second year in a row we weren't really going to have Christmas.

We found a place that fit our requirements (basically 3 bedrooms and close-ish to a BART station) that was having an open house Saturday December 13.  I emailed the owner and asked if we could see it before then.  He said we could see it that afternoon - a Thursday (T was working from home because there was a bad storm). My mom arrived (she was already planning to visit us) and literally two minutes after she walked in the door T and I left her with both girls and left to check out the house. We really liked the house and we applied for it that night.

But of course even though we liked it, we still had to look at and apply for other places (in person and online) because the owner was showing it to other people that night and the open house was still going to happen.  Saturday came and the owner of the house called us from the open house and told us the lease was ours if we wanted it!  Yay!  We could move in December 27th.  That night (the 13th) T went out and bought us a Christmas tree and we also started packing that night.

It was only two weeks from when we started looking for a new place, but man! those two weeks were so stressful!

So for Christmas we put up the Christmas tree and ornaments but that was it.  By the middle of December we paid full rent at the cigarette duplex, security deposit at the new house, and full January rent for the new house and we STILL weren't sure if we would get the cigarette duplex security deposit back.  If you know San Francisco housing prices, you know this is a lot of money to plunk down.

We don't have a lot of stuff and most of our ward would be out of town for Christmas and wouldn't be able to help so T and I decided pack everything ourselves but to hire movers to do the actual lifting. Such a good decision.  Especially because on moving day Roxy was up for the day at 2 a.m.

By noon on the 27th all of our stuff was moved into the new place.  And Pippa, Roxy, and T promptly took naps.  I tried, but I was too cold (the heat had been off in the new place for a month plus the doors to the house were left open for 1.5 hours for the movers).  I had high hopes of unpacking at least the kitchen stuff that afternoon.  But we discovered that the previous tenants did not clean. At all.

Every single shelf, drawer, window sill, toilet, sink, shower, floor, closet (and the closets are custom closets with tons of shelves and cubbies!) was dirty and needed to be cleaned before anything could be put away.  And we had to buy and put in shelf liners on every shelf in the whole house. Some areas were straight up filthy. (The kitchen tile appeared to have dark brown grout - no it's actually white, it was just ridiculously dirty and took three hours of scrubbing to look mostly clean. The master shower - yuck, T scrubbed it for literally an hour. After 1.5 months here there are some areas that still need deep cleaning) We couldn't even just put stuff in the garage because there were leaves, dirt, and cobwebs everywhere and several mystery spills.

The kitchen tile with a few grout lines cleaned.  

We essentially took Saturday and Sunday off from clean and unpacking.  On Monday we went to clean the old duplex hoping that if we did a good enough job we would get all of our security deposit back.  At the old place we throughly cleaned 2.5 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, kitchen, and living room. ($2,500 is a good motivator to do a thorough job cleaning - and we DID get our full security deposit back from the cigarette duplex!  Huzzah!  Seriously, so relieved!) Then we came home and started cleaning the new place (3 full bathrooms, 4 bedrooms, kitchen, living room, and garage).  Cleaning two whole houses and packing and unpacking aren't easily done with a toddler who wants to "help" and a fussy baby who needs to be worn.  Needless to say after two moves in under two months we are SOOOO over cleaning and moving and really hope we don't have to do it again for at least a few years.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Apparently, all babies think hiccups are funny (remember when Pippa had them?).  Here's Roxy laughing with the hiccups.  Of course she was giggling more before I pulled the camera out, but she still gave me a few.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Shadows + miscelaneous

Pippa is really into her shadow these days.  She always waves to it when we are out on walks and she loves to dance and watch her shadow dance.


And some more photos from that day.

She let me put her hair in "pom-poms" and she almost never lets me do her hair.

 "Helping" Roxy in the jumper.  Roxy thinks the jumper is just ok and Pippa really loves the jumper.  Well, she really loves pushing it violently like a swing when Roxy isn't in it.

This is after nap hair. (I did take the pom-poms out for her nap.  Otherwise, ouch.)

Pippa often wants to hold Roxy after Roxy wakes from a nap.  These faces are pretty typical of both of them in this situation.  Doesn't Roxy's hair look extra fluffy here?  Well, Roxy in general looks pretty fluffy here :) Roxy is actually wearing Pippa's size 2T leggings here.  They fit perfectly except for the length.

Pippa took this awesome photo of me and Roxy.

This is my life quite often.  Wearing Roxy to keep her happy and holding Pippa at the same time to keep her happy.  Roxy is still wearing Pippa's leggings.

Just being adorable reading to herself.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Roxy at Five Months

Roxy on her 5 month birthday

Here's what Roxy was up to between four and five months:
  • Sticks out her tongue a lot.  She was doing this before, but now it's a lot.
  • Rolled from front to back (pretty sure it was an accident, though)
  • Nicknames: La-La (Pippa calls her this and sometimes we do, too), Roxy Babe, Blue Eyes, Lil' Roxy, and mostly Squishy, Squish, and Big Squish
  • Started smacking lips
  • Likes diaper changes (has for a long while, just don't think I've mentioned it before)
  • Had chapped face cheeks a few times - they are so bright red!  Aquaphor at bedtime makes them better by morning, though.
  • Gets a red face SO quickly when crying or mad
  • We pulled out the six month clothes and she has already out grown a bunch of them (and some of them were too tight to begin with!)
  • Completely weaned off her acid reflux medicine
  • Rolls from back to front on purpose
  • Goes for the jugular - when I hold her up by my shoulder she almost always makes a lunge with her mouth for my neck.
  • Pippa stresses her out sometimes.  Roxy will be playing on the floor just fine but if Pippa comes near her, Roxy will start to fuss or straight up cry.
  • Laughs when Pippa runs, dances, or jumps.  Laughs even more when she is in the carrier and I do those things with Pippa so it's like Roxy is doing it, too.
  • At about 4.5 months Pippa started being noticeably nicer to Roxy.   

Monday, February 2, 2015


My Aunt B gave Pippa and Roxy matching outfits for Christmas. Adorable. So of course we had to take some photos.

First, Pippa in pigtails. This is the first time in ages (like since summer or even earlier) that Pippa has consented to have her hair in pigtails.  She still wouldn't let me pin back her bangs, though.

Here is the final matchy-matchy photo (and the very last photo we took).
I love that this photo shows how blue Roxy's eyes are.  They are blue like the great-grandmothers she is named for.  I hope they stay this blue, but we'll see.

And here are a few of the bazillion outtakes.

And a few photos from that same day. Pippa's closet doors are mirrors and she is a bit obsessed with them. She makes faces, poses, sings, and watches herself playing in these mirros all. the. time.  She was playing with her new Lammily doll and I asked her to show it to me but she couldn't stop looking in the mirror.