Saturday, November 22, 2008

Anabelle has started to perfect going down the stairs. She straightens out her body and bends at the waist just exactly right so that she can slide backwards down stairs. She's gotten really fast. She giggles as she's sliding! She has also started calling the pets by name occassionally. She calls Hobie "Bobie" and Jasper "Japper." While smiling a big cheesy grin, she also pats her belly with both hands and tries her best to say belly. As a total Star Trek nerd, I have been telling her "Hoot-a boot-a Solo" because I thought some of her babbling sounded a little Star Trek-ish. She is repeating me! She has also started to prefer walking to crawling. What a big girl!

Emma Rose saying "She was like . . . " When she starts sentences this way, she's usually referring to what she thinks Anabelle is thinking about a particular event. For example, "Anabelle was like why are you jumping around Daddy?" Emma Rose has also recently started brushing my hair. I'm not sure what spurred on this recent interest, but it's really cute that she's really getting to be a little girl.

Emma Rose has started quoting movies just like her daddy. She quotes them at oddly appropriate times.
1. "Don't just hork it down." (Ratatouille)
2. "Stand back. I can smell your breath." (Kung Fu Panda)
We saw a new bird at the feeder this morning! Our best guest is that it was an immature Yellow-rumped Warbler. It was the myrtle form of the species, and it looked a little like the pine warbler we saw a little while ago. What was so amzing is how yellow the little rump was. We read that it is sometimes called a butter-butt! Unfortunately, we did not get a picture of this one. Maybe he'll come back soon and we'll have the camera.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Anabelle's fifth tooth finally fought its way through the gum! The fifth tooth is the one on her right next to her two front teeth. The sixth one is working its way out, but I'm sure it'll be January before we see it. She is drooling all over herself and is chewing on her fingers. She must be the slowest teether in the world!

Wednesday morning at breaksfast, Emma Rose and Anabelle were so funny and very entertaining. Emma Rose looked at Anabelle and threw her head back and then into her chest. Anabelle giggled and did the same. Repeat. For about 5 minutes, they did this back and forth to one another and giggled. It was so funny. Emma Rose told me the other day she is glad we have Anabelle. This must be one of the reasons she is glad.

The girls are having really fun times in Emma Rose's room. Today, the closet exploded. I also managed to get a couple of pictures of Anabelle walking. She's doing much better: the drunken sailor walk seems to have turned into a sobering up drunken sailor walk. She still thinks it's funny when she falls!

Tuesday night, Joe Griffith (Nicki's hubby) came over to paint the mural on the garage wall. John still can't stop smiling. He keeps looking out in the garage and telling me (and himself, too) how cool the mural is. Joe is a really good artist, and his favorite medium is spray paint. We can still smell the aroma in the garage! He painted the mustang racing pony on top of the Ford blue garage wall. John's cobra, Ramona, parks right next to it. It really is very cool. Joe is awesome! I made dinner for all of us last night after the mural was completed. (I couldn't risk poisoning him prior to that.) My first attempt at the Uncle Eric's fish recipe was successful! I made fried rice to go with it! Yum!

Construction is in full swing right next to our house. The builder finally started on the lot immediately next to us, and it continues on the lot next to that. Forms are being poured today. That particular lot is under contract, so if all goes smoothly for the buyers, we should have more neighbors soon. In the mean time, we're going to see lots of construction vehicles and hear lots of construction noise. And today, the lot on the east side of the house will be getting forms poured very soon. We saw the newest set of construction workers there this afternoon. Our house is shaking - literally - from all the work that's being done. It really is pretty neat to see the neighborhood grow and change. Soon, our street will be filled with houses!

Left Pic: Lot on east of our house / Right Pic: Two lots on west side of our house

It seems the construction noise has not scared off any of the house finches. They are devouring the seed in the feeders! It's rare that I look out the window and don't see any birds. I keep looking for more pine siskins, but I haven't seen any more of them. We can't wait to put out the blue bird house my dear friend Nicki gave to me for birthday! It'll be really fun to see the little baby blue birds in the yard and show them to Emma Rose and Anabelle!

From the Kitchen Window: House Finches

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Emma Rose is now becoming an expert at Wii bowling! She loves to pretend play with Daddy, and Wednesday, she bowled with me - for real! In two games, she was able to get several spares and two strikes. She still has a bit of trouble figuring out when to press the "B" button and then when to release it. Most often the bowlig ball just crawls down the lane, but she can sometimes get a little bit of speed worked up. She also gets a little frustrated and says she's "not very good at this." But when she knocks down the pins, she smiles a big smile and is very proud of herself. It is very exciting, and I think we'll have something new to do. We have a little bit of work to do to so that she won't get frustrated, and I think we may have a new Wii Champion Bowler in our family. (Watch out, Uncle Eric!!) It'll be especially nice since it's so cold outside now, and we won't be able to get out as much anymore.

The construction has really started in earnest on the house two lots over. Walls for the basement are going up, and this morning, it sounded as if they were working in our front yard. They were banging on cement and metal, so hopefully the noise won't be so bad when they start banging on wood. This will really test how well the girls can nap through noise. I may have to start playing relaxing music really loud downstairs to disguise the construction work. That begs the question: is relaxing music really relzxing if it's played loudly?

I have discovered in recent weeks just how much Anabelle seems to love music. When she hears music she likes, she bobs her head from side to side or if she's standing, she bounces up and down. She also seems to have a special affection for the musich on Disney's Imagination Movers and the Can you Teach my Alligator Manners short cartoon. We get to hear actual giggling when they come on. Anabelle is also still working on her fifth tooth. She must be the world's slowest teether. She is using the four teeth she has very well. It's so cute to see her bite something using those teeth very precisely. She even purses her lips slightly when she does it.

Emma Rose Funnies
  • This morning, Emma Rose told me she had to go to the potty - number 2. She started walking away, looked back at me over her shoulder, pointed to her bottom, and said, "See Mommy. The poopy is in there."
  • This afternoon, Emma Rose, Anabelle, and I were playing kitchen. Emma Rose made a delightful snack for me: wooden cucumbers, bread, and carrots. She gave me each in a separate bowl and then told me, "Snack it up, Girl!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Last week, Emma Rose and I ran into a store while Daddy and Anabelle sat in the car. Emma Rose was very busy looking at and picking up every pretty item on the shelves. I told her we had to hurry because Daddy was hungry. Then I asked, "Do you know what happens to Daddy when he gets hungry?" She shook her head, and I told her Daddy turns into a monster. He really does get grumpy when he's hungry. A few days later, we were upstairs and Daddy was being the Tickle Monster. Emma Rose looked at Daddy and asked, "Do you need a snack?" and quickly ran to her kitchen to whip something up. She took me very seriously!
Emma Rose had to go to time out this weekend. After it was over, I went to talk with her about what she had done and why she had to go to time out. She looked at me and in her sweetest voice and with her most precious facial expression said, "God made me special, and I'm your little girl." It was a very sweet distraction from the pertinent issue, but I'm glad she understands I still love her even if she has to go to time out. It was also very difficult to keep a straight face!
We had a new bird at our feeder over the weekend. I couldn't quite tell what he was, but he really looked most like the picture of the Nelson's Sharped Tailed Sparrow. I emailed the folks at the Cornell Lab, and they told me the bird is a Chipping Sparrow in "winter plumage." I guess some of the birds have a summer/spring and fall/winter wardrobe just like people. At least I was right that it was a sparrow!

Chipping Sparrow

John and Emma Rose also painted one side of the garage Ford blue. He is awaiting a mural of the Mustang's logo from reknowned artist Joseph Griffith. John is slowly converting the garage into his own area dedicated to Ramona, his mustang. I will still be allowed parking privileges, or he will be in big trouble. I'm very thankful that we can now actually use our garage for cars rather than just for storing all of our crap. Now, it's all in the basement, and although much more spread out, it is much more organized.

Emma Rose Painting Primer on the Garage Wall

Deck Extension: Day 10
No visible progress has been made on the deck. However, deck building software has been purchased, and the permission slip for the HOA has been started. We have also learned that we can buy a book at Home Depot to make sure we adhere to the building codes. I can now see that John's planning tendencies are getting the best of him. If it keeps getting cold, no one will be able to dig in the rock hard Georgia red clay to do any work.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Anabelle is amazing us with how many words she is saying. "Sister" and some mangled version of Emma Rose are a couple of new ones. She is also able to say "Sally," which is the blue Porsche from Disney's Cars movie. She's also started making this funny face: She pokes out her bottom jaw, shows her bottom teeth, and growls. The face is specifically meant to encourage her daddy to chase her. That's the face he makes right before tickling or chasing the girls.

Anabelle also climbed up on the ottoman all by herself yesterday. She was pleased with herself and gave me a pretty smug look after she was up on the chair!

John and I painted the powder room. (I helped very little, and most of the credit goes to John.) Once Emma Rose started washing her hands on her own, there were rainbows of soapy water that were permanently a part of the paint beside the sink and towel. We painted it a nice crisp green in a satin finish. So far, I like it. The best part is that we did it in just under 3 days! Everything has been put back together and the room can be used once again! We hopefully won't have any more soapy water rainbows for our viewing pleasure.

Deck Extension: Day 6
The holes that were dug on Sunday have now been filled in. John found a great "how to" book for decks. It's given both of us some really good ideas, and we have agreed upon a plan that includes how we'll use the space once the deck is built. In about 10 years or more, we'll probably have enough shade to make it tolerable to be out there for more than 5 minutes during the day time in the hot weather. It'll be great for the evenings and at night. I'm very excited and can't wait for the building to begin.

The next steps are to get a permit from Cherokee County and to get approval from the management company that is acting at the Home Owners Association. Both entities require that once approval is granted, building is commenced within 6 months and completed within 12 months. Deadlines are good. Although we have not gotten approval, John has bought some tools . . . of course. Any excuse to buy tools is a good excuse.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Emma Rose has been particularly funny today.
  • First, she woke up and told me she "had a long night." I guess she was secretly watching the election results.
  • This afternoon, she told John to "deal with Anabelle" so that Anabelle would not climb on the stool with her. She has heard John tell me the same thing multiple times.
  • Tonight at dinner, she told me she went upstairs (in our house) to tell her friend hello. I was concerned one of the neighbor's kids was hiding out upstairs, so I asked who the friend is. She casually pointed to herself, shook her head, and said, "Me." I absolutely could not keep a straight face.

Monday, November 3, 2008

John and Emma Rose had a bonding moment yesterday before his sudden urge to start adding the extension to the deck. The baked banana bread while Mommy provided supervision and directions. Daddy even learned about our secret ingredient: two Emma Rose handfuls of mini chocolate chips!

Anabelle also made us very proud. She can now on command stick her finger in her nose. In fact, she can shove her finger up her nose so far that her nose wrinkles. Yes, so very proud.

Anabelle continues to go up and down and up and down the stairs.
Emma Rose helped me in the kitchen last night, and she dipped her face in the bowl of water in the sink. She thought she was hilarious.

Sister Hug Fest!!
Deck Extension: Day 2
John does have a plan. I think this will slow him down but I remain hopeful. He has agreed to the second tier (HOORAY!), and he is working on an electronic design using freebie online deck planning software. From what he says, it's going to be complicated. Translated: the deck may not be finished until spring or later.

This is the picture from day one. The view is from looking down at the back yard from the current postage stamp size deck. (After John dug up one of the tomato plants, Emma Rose told him, "I'm very angry with you, Daddy.")

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween was so much fun! The Carpenter girls were the cutest Sunflower Princess and Butterfly ever. After having the sunflower headband for Emma Rose's costume for a month, we lost it right before Halloween. It was a cute part of the outfit, but I don't think she would have kept it on her head any way. Anabelle kept her butterfly hat on all night, and if I had bet on it, I would have bet she would have cried as soon as we put it on her. It all worked out, and they were really adorable.

Emma Rose has decided she will not pose for pictures anymore and hides when I try to take pictures of her. Sadly, I was only able to get two pictures of my little Sunflower Princess. Maybe she knows that I have plans to embarrass her with silly pictures when she is older.

I dressed the girls in their outfits right before snack time, and Butterfly Anabelle decided it would be a fun game to see how many graham cracker could fit into her mouth. I think she almost made it to 4.

The neighborhood Halloween party was also very fun, and the turn out was pretty good. All the kids dressed up and we had 6 pots of chili for the chili cook off. The one John liked the best won second place! The prize for first place was a free house cleaning.

This is the Shutterfly Site for Halloween Pictures:

Last week, we also saw the start of three new houses being built. Unfortunately and fortunately for us, all three are right by our house. The two lots beside us as you get to our house and the lot on the other side of us were dug out for basements last week. Only one of them are under contract. It'll be great to have new neighbors (we really hope they're nice), but it'll be sad to loose the empty lots next door. Where will we put our yard debris? Thank goodness there are empty lots across the street! We'll get some of the "left-overs" as the houses are built, so it's a fair trade!

Looking at our House from closest to the Entrance

Deck Extension Project: Day 1

Today, John all of the sudden decided to build an extension for our deck. I've been asking him to build onto the postage size deck we have since we moved in 16 months ago, so I am delighted! It is a bit ironic as he makes a living in planning. As of this minute, he really doesn't have a plan more than digging holes and where the new corners of the deck will be. I have requested a second tier, and John has agreed to keep an open mind. Cross your fingers!! It would be so pretty and fun for parties!

I'm not sure how long the project will take, and I'm hopeful he'll have a plan in the next few hours and will finish the project by the end of the year. Maybe I'm asking too much. We'll see. To his credit, John is very smart and meticulous, and I'm sure the finished project will be great. We'll have a little "Deck Party" to celebrate the new addition and John's hard work when it's all done! I'm so glad one of John's hobbies is home improvement.