Wednesday, May 21, 2008

foot-pots and pearl's house

today was a big day for me and noah, separately. it was noah's first day of childcare--meaning official, i'm-paying-someone-to-care-for-him style childcare. i've been thinking for a while about trying to organize a regular break for myself and playtime with other kids for noah. and then a few weeks ago we ran into our friends heather and joey, who have a two-year-old named pearl, and who are running a childcare at their house and had an opening on wednesday mornings.

so noah and i visited pearl's house on monday and he had a great time. they live a little bit out of town and have a great big yard, a garden, chickens, a sandbox, a little slide, little bikes, etc. the kids spend lots of time outside and help work in the garden and feed the chickens, which are both new activities for noah. and they do more messy projects than we usually do at home (like painting, play-doh, making mudpies, etc.), which is great. i feel really excited for noah to be exposed to difference, and to learn that the world is bigger than our little life. and to learn to play with other kids and to be okay with other grown-ups.

but i was still nervous and a little sad as i left him today and worried while i was out that heather would call and tell me noah was a wreck. not at all! he had a great time and was still quite content when i came to pick him up. he said "hi, mama!" but continued playing happily. what a surprise! i'm so glad to have found a safe, fun place for him to be for a little bit each week. he seems genuinely happy to go to pearl's house and is excited to do it again next week. who knew?

here is his first take-home art project, which he points to proudly on the fridge. note how it's labeled "noah b."--welcome to the world of not being an original!

i spent my few hours running errands, which was easier than it would have been with noah but still not all that fun. (next week i've decided i'll do something really relaxing.) my guilt at leaving noah led me to buy him a few special items, including a little watering can. he's been really into watering lately, although he likes to water the sidewalk just as much as the plants.

and i also got him his first pair of flip-flops, which he calls foot-pots. i recently broke out mine for the season and he was super intrigued. he tries to wear mine, but has a hard time walking in them. so when i saw these tiny ones today, i got them. and noah loved them! he put them on right away and didn't want to take them off for naptime. i love his chubby little feet!

iron street: demolition

since we got the keys to the new house last week, aaron has wasted no time moving ahead with projects. a lot of what he's been busy with has been logistical--planning, meeting with planners at city hall, ordering supplies, etc. but now that those things are getting settled he can start doing the fun stuff--demolition! the house is currently full of piles of yuck: the old tub, toilet and sink, the old kitchen cabinets, and random other walls, doors, fixtures, etc. that are waiting to be thrown into the dumpster. in his tearing things apart, aaron discovered these cool layers of arts-and-crafts style wallpaper. he said he also discovered a happy meal toy from about ten years ago.

yesterday's demolition was the chimney, which is no longer in use and which was falling apart. aaron, patrick and kevin climbed up into the attic and threw bricks down to the ground. aaron later stacked all the bricks under the back porch to save for a patio.

the ascension.

and looking cool. ("look cool!" i said to the guys as i prepared to snap their picture. "how would that be different from normal?" kevin asked.)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

a little piece of earth

we are homeowners! somehow a miracle occured and we have received the keys to a little blue craftsman house one block from where we live now. here is a photo of the proud bandstra boys in front of their new home.

although i've been a content renter for a long time, and have especially enjoyed our years here on humboldt street, i'm beginning to understand the mythology of homeownership. while i'm not sure it's necessarily the american dream, there is definitely something very special about having a little piece of earth to call one's own. (remember mary's garden in the secret garden?) i haven't seen aaron so excited in a long time--always thinking of ways to make our new little home better, more beautiful, more solid, more efficient, and mostly so happy to be able to do something very useful for his family. and i am finding myself dreaming about growing food and flowers, and learning how to care for our little piece of earth, and teaching noah to tend things too. and it's so fun to have a blank palette from which to work--to consider our family's needs, our values and our style, and how to help our home to embody those. there's just so much possibility! so suddenly i am understanding that there is a difference in the level of care given to a place that is someone else's versus a place that is yours. i hope we can be good stewards of this little piece of earth we've been given.


our plan is to stay in our apartment for a few months while aaron works on making the new house lovely, and to move in at the end of july. hopefully that will leave enough time to settle in before this new baby comes!

i'm excited to start my little garden over there and noah has requested a sandbox, which should keep the two of us occupied while aaron does the big work. aaron began today by tearing out the contents of the bathroom, the kitchen and a closet in the front of the house. work will continue this week with removal of the chimney and the three layers of old roofing. then next saturday will be a big work party to put up a new roof. and then... well, that's enough for now!

we'll keep posting pictures as things progress. here are some symbolic images of our new status.

i'm not sure why there is a steelers emblem on our house key, but it worked to open the front door. note that the other one says wal-mart. we will be making new copies of these keys soon.

our very own mailbox! i affixed this label today and clipped on some outgoing mail... we'll see if it works!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

mother's day at the beach

we had a very relaxing mother's day, which was exactly the thing after two long weekends in seattle (more on that next post). aaron got up early to make me breakfast: fruit salad, coffee and the delicious and not-at-all-good-for-you orange rolls that come in a little tube with frosting. it was great. and he and noah gave me some new gardening tools for my theoretical new garden. i'm looking forward to getting them dirty!

we spent the morning at clayton beach, which was a great place to relax and let noah explore. he was very tentative at first, given the dirtyness of the sand and the coldness of the water, but he got used to both and enjoyed himself a lot. his favorite part was climbing up a little sand dune with aaron and running down again at full speed, yelling "geronimo!" see video below.

Video thumbnail. Click to play
aaron also made me a chocolate cheesecake for dessert that night, which was awesome. actually, i'm now reminded that there's still one piece left in the fridge... must go check!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

bike basket (a movie)

wherein noah thanks the wassell boys for his new treats, most of which are stored in the basket of his new little bike from daddy. not a very exciting video, but a chance to hear noah's little voice and check out some of his birthday loot...