Saturday, December 26, 2009

Growing Belly, Pretty Quiet December

Well, this is a little creepy to see. In the span of about 4-5 weeks my belly has gotten pretty noticeably bigger. And that second pic is about a week and a half old so I'm even bigger today! I am now officially in maternity clothes and just kind of getting used to taking up a bit more space than usual. Our little Demon Baby is kicking A LOT lately. Or at least she's big enough that I can feel it more often now. We're getting more excited and/ looking forward to the new year and all the work that will go into getting her room and the house ready for her arrival in May.

Here's a couple totally adorable kitty pics from this month. We call them the "Trifecta of Terror"
although Pandora is really the only terror of the bunch. She took an instant liking to the X-Mess tree and proceeded to try and help me un-decorate it immediately after I had finished decorating it.

I need to post a couple more pics of the lovely X-Mess dinner we had in our house! It was super casual and laid back, which was about all I could handle, being pregnant and all. Just my parents and Jonathan's parents over for turkey dinner. It was a really great evening with our awesome families.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's A Girl!

We're having a girl! Hurray! We're so excited. Just what we wanted. She was very uncooperative during the amnio. She was bouncing and dancing around, not showing her spine to the technician. But eventually we got to see all her insides, fingers and toes. They said she looks perfect so far. And the test results came back ok! She's got all her chromosomes and they are all pointing in the right direction. Whew! The test wasn't too tough. Not like I've never been stuck with a needle before. The cramping afterward was unexpected and a little scary but it went away after a couple hours. So now we're into the 17th week and things are going great! We think we're going to paint her room lavender (with purple and mulberry trim). Going with dark wood for all the furniture if possible.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween! - 3 months late...

Ok this is a little late but I've been busy and tired. Pregnancy does that to you. Here's a few pics from our first halloween in our house!

We had about 95 kids come by. It was good fun! Although we realized pretty quickly that we need to sit about halfway down the steps to give out candy so the really little kids don't trip on their way up and crack their skulls open. That would be bad.

Jonathan and I both love carving pumpkins. We wanted to do one for each step but that was a bit ambitious so we stuck to 4. I made a big batch of beef stew and we kept the horror movies going all night.

Our neighbors were very impressed with our decorating. Gwydion was kind enough to come over and supply us with some mini spots for the evening. We'd like to add fog next year. Of course it was nowhere near as cool as Chez Neumansky. We have some catching up to do.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Doorway for Baby!

So now that we have a baby on the way we need a little more access around the house. When we moved in the only way to get from one side of the house to the other was to walk to the entryway and cross over. We really need better access from the nursery to the kitchen. So Mom and Doug came down and stayed with us this last week and while they were here Doug helped us install a new doorway! 

Here's an adorable pic of Lucky explaining to my parents what she'd like us to do with the back yard. We tried to tell her that project was being put on hold for a while but she was being very insistent about the koi pond. 

BEFORE SHOT - So here is the back wall of our kitchen. The door you see goes to the small hallway that holds the office and 2nd bathroom. We decided to put the new doorway right in this corner so that we'd have easy access to the baby's room from the kitchen and by looking at the layout of the place it doesn't seem like this position would interfere with any electrical or heating stuff. and putting it in the corner wouldn't break up the wall in the kitchen or the baby's room. 

Here's Pandora helping mom and I lay out plastic. This was going to be one of those messy jobs so we cleaned out the kitchen as much as possible. 

The initial deconstruction went a little slow. Doug wanted to be careful we didn't cut through anything important or disturb any load bearing walls. We got lucky on this one. We didn't run into anything at all really. It just took a long time to get through the lathe and plaster which was underneath two layers of sheetrock. The first layer must have been the original from when the house was built. I'm guessing the second layer was from more recently. It was thicker. 

Eventually, the men started working from the other side of the wall. You can see Jonathan's "zombie shot" through the boards. 

Of course when the men got hungry Mom and I made sure they ate well. 

Here's the doorway with most of the framing in. Doug spent a lot of time online figuring all this out. There's a lot more to making a doorway that I thought! Having a house that is 115 years old means the walls are weird dimensions which doesn't make things standard or easy. You can see Jonathan is working on the threshold where there's linoleum and wood to dig out. Our neighbor said he might have a spare piece of oak that he could fit in there for us. 
AFTER SHOT - And here is the almost finished doorway, before and after sheetrock! Jonathan has been plastering the seams for a couple days now. Eventually we'll paint. (that's another blog entry)

And now we have a doorway! It took a week but it got done! Thanks again to the parents! It was great that you could help us out! 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Addition to the House!

So in about 7.5 months we'll be getting a small new addition to the house! That right there in the picture is our future demon spawn! We're super excited! The Dr. says it's the right size and I even got to see the blood flow already! This week it's about the size of a raspberry. More updates to come!

Black Sabbath Pancakes 2009!

Instead of going to Burning Man this year, a lot of us old folks decided to stay home where it's clean. Actually, Jonathan and I are just broke from buying a house and don't have any vacation time left... and we wanted to be clean. But of course, old traditions die hard. We decided to bring the desert to  Alameda for one day! We set up the stereo, busted out the pancake mix, and had ourselves some Black Sabbath Pancakes, just like it used to be at Burning Man! Well almost...

Our food choices were a little healthier than the usual sprinkles and gummy worms. Of course there were mimosas and coffee vodka! 

Poop! GUNS! And FIRE!

Christine even made it all the way back from the desert in time to play with us for a while!

Once it got dark we headed over to Chez Neumansky and enjoyed the super pretty fire lounge!

All the pictures from that day can be viewed here:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Visit to Seattle

During the second week of August it just so happened that both our jobs decided to close up shop. We had a whole week off together and were barely getting paid for it. So we went to the best B&B in Washington Sate.... my parent's house! 

Normally, August has the best weather in Washington But when we flew in we realized we'd certainly missed the heat wave they had a couple weeks before. It was cloudy and kind of chilly! Booooo! But we crossed our fingers for Sunday and got pretty lucky.

Lanny & Juliet joined us for the one sunny day we got while we were there. Lanny brought his big huge tackle box and a couple fishing poles. Jonathan even caught a little bass! We went out in the boat for a while and then came back and ate fish! After Doug cleaned it and cooked it of course. Tasted like fish! There was BBQ chicken too. 

The rest of the trip was pretty lax. Clouds and occasional rain. We just took it easy and came home on Wednesday. Got to spend the rest of the week in the Alameda sun! 

Happy kitties and special guests!

Ok, so it's been a while since I posted anything. Just been busy I guess. Here's a few new ones to catch up with. Nothing big going on with the house. We've just been taking it kind of easy since the foundation got finished. The cats are back to acting normal. In fact, after several medicated baths & a few weeks of hissing and swatting, little Pandora has pretty successfully integrated into the household! Lucky is not super thrilled with her but at least she has been standing up to Pandora and showing her who's boss. Mu-Shu loves to play with the kitten and they chase each other around the house and play with toys together. 

Early in October we had a super special guest! Jenna and Isaiah were in town for a few days and made it over to visit! Irene and Natasha came over and we had a wonderful dinner together. Jonathan was a great sport while us girls sat around and cackled for a few hours. Isaiah was so cute. Walking around on his own, playing with the kitties, and munching asparagus. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The cuteness never ends...

Last weekend was a special treat. My parents came to visit. (I have no pictures of that.) Sure they wanted to see the new foundation in all it's glory. Doug was compelled to install a dimmer switch in the dining room (thanks, we love it!) and noodle with a couple other projects. We had a couple nice meals out together and just generally hung out around the house. My parents are pretty chill, so we like hanging with them. But Mom really wanted to get a little face time with the cutest baby on Alameda! So last Saturday we had Dan, Irene and little Natasha over for dinner! Maybe I'll get some more pics when Mom uploads hers. 

Now, while I must agree that Natasha is by far the cutest human baby we've had in our house.... We have gone against all rational thought and were totally sucked into bringing our own little baby home this weekend. We made the terrible mistake of stopping by PetCo on the way back from dropping the parents off at the airport. All we wanted was a new litter box! Of course the crazy cat rescue ladies were there. Of course they had a whole herd of little kittens on hand to tempt us with. And of course we had to pull out this little black ball of fuzzy cuteness and hold her.... 

You'll notice the beautiful hardwood floors underneath the kitten? That's because we adopted her!!! She's sitting in our office room right now! OMG she is the friendliest, most adorable little buzzing kitten ever. Jonathan suggested that we name her Pandora, since we figured that all hell would break loose as soon as we took her out of the box inside the house. Well that was a good prediction 'cause as soon as we brought her in, MuShu (our 3 year old Maine Coon) went straight for the jugular. It was a little scary, so we put Pandora in the office room in the back and we're just going to give them time to get used to each other through the door. 

Later on we showed Lucky (our oldest) the kitten and she totally didn't care. MuShu on the other hand is acting very put out. She actually threw a tantrum yesterday, crying and pounding her paws on the carpet in the dining room in front of Jonathan. Wish he had caught that on video. MuShu is calming down a little after a couple days. We hope that by the time Pandora comes out of quarantine MuShu will at least tolerate her enough to bond. The idea is that MuShu and Pandora can play and then MuShu will leave Lucky alone more. Lucky is too old and sick to play anymore. Lucky has been starting to act a little more normal and started coming out of the closet a bit since the foundation work stopped. We're very happy about that. 

So as soon as we brought Pandora home we noticed she sneezed a lot. And the snot coming out of her nose was not clear. When we adopted her, her foster ladies told us that the dry skin on her ear was just a little dry spot that would clear up and that the discharge from her sneezy nose was from the dry air and the fans they had been running all day in the room. (all the kittens that day had snotty noses and eyes) They assured me that she'd been to a vet and she had a clean bill of health. I admit that my internal radar saw red lights flashing but she was SO FREAKIN' CUTE. And we adopted MuShu from a different Petco rescue in Southern CA before with no issues at all so we gambled on this one.

Well, Pandora is now living up to her name. She was continuously sneezing when we brought her home, yellowish-green stuff coming out of her nose. And the dry patch on her ear (which was totally visible BTW) was getting worse. 

A trip to Providence Veterinary confirmed our fear that she had a fever, some kind of viral infection AND ringworm! Great. The vet was able to figure out the ringworm by waving a black-light over the skin. Apparently it glows! So now she gets to stay quarantined for 3 weeks while we give her baths and antibiotics. DRAG. Plus there's the mild threat of exposure to my husband, me and the other two cats in the house since ringworm can, in some cases, transfer to humans. Not common but it happens. (FYI, ringworm actually has nothing to do with worms. It is a fungus like athletes foot.)

Now, I understand that these things happen. I understand that non-profit animal rescues do the best they can with the limited resources they have to work with. I understand that the sweet, wonderful selfless ladies who are fostering the cats do the best they can as well. They are awesome and I salute them for the work that they do. I just think that maybe you need to be 100% sure that the kitten you are adopting out has a 100% clean bill of health. Not just the FIV test and some shots. I would think that ringworm would be easy to spot by someone who fosters a lot of cats or at least easy to spot by the vet who checks out a lot of foster cats. But like I said, these things happen. It's not the end of the world but it was an unpleasant surprise. 

Of course we're keeping little Pandora, and we're ok with taking on the extra cost and work to make her well. That's what a responsible pet owner does. We love the new addition to our family and can't wait to let her out of her room so she can socialize with MuShu and Lucky. I think in the long run it will be good for both of them. MuShu was definitely too territorial. 

More pictures to come!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Foundation Wrap Up

The foundation is DONE! Yay! Just a few last minute things to put back together and life goes back to normal for us and the kitties. Here's a couple pics of the concrete being poured. 

And here's the finished foundation! This is what $25,000 worth of concrete looks like. I think it should be a little more shiny for that kind of money but apparently we're just supposed to be happy it keeps water out of the basement. 

Of course we had to add the final touch. :)

Jonathan's Birthday

This last Sunday we hosted our very first BBQ at the house!It also happened to be Jonathan's birthday last wednesday, giving us the perfect excuse. It took 3 shade structures and 2 slip-n-slides to keep everyone cooled off! Thanks to Dan and Irene who brought the three lane slip-n-slide! Too bad the boys popped it. Good thing we had a spare! I think for the next BBQ we might try making one long slip-n-slide... heehee! There was much food, a 2 layer cake, some beers and great friends. Pay special attention to the East Bay Rat making BUBBLES! And check out the slip-n-slide VIDEO!!!