Monday, November 23, 2009

You Moved Where??

We first started this blog 4 years ago to document our move to Southern California, and the process moving into and living in our condo in West Hollywood.

Things change over 4 years, and now that we moved over the weekend, we are:
  1. No longer homeowners, we sold our condo. There were a variety of reasons for this: we wanted an actual yard, a 3rd bedroom would be nice, we didn't like the building we were living it, and we also realized that we could get a lot more for our money renting than paying a mortgage. So we bit the bullet, and sold.

  2. Renters in an single family house. A great, 1930's vintage Spanish architecture house. It's about 2x the size of our condo, with wonderful details all over. The house is great because it has not been largely renovated & screwed up, like so many in LA have been.

  3. We are no longer residents of West Hollywood, but Los Angeles residents now. This is sad to me... WeHo is a pretty well run small city within a city; LA is a horribly run huge city. We moved about 3.5 miles (from A to B on the map above).

  4. Air conditioning-less. We had 2 large criteria when we were looking at places to rent; it needed A/C and a dishwasher. The place we chose has neither. We're having a dishwasher delivered next week... the A/C, check in with us in June and see how we are faring.

  5. Closer to work for Sarah and daycare for Claire. This should be pretty sweet, I should be able to walk or stroller Claire to daycare in the morning.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Webcams, Claire & the Grandparents

We try to keep in touch with everyone using our web cameras. We got into the habit when Gary's sister's family lived in Sydney for 2 years; the webcam conversations were far more convenient and cheaper than normal phone calls.

Claire is now starting to pay attention to who is on the computer screen when the webcam is going. We set the laptop up right in front of her, and she will check out what is there, for a little while.

Here, Claire is actively watching OhLaLa be entertaining.

Claire having a discussion with Auntie Linda & cousin Tabitha from her play mat.

The Maiden Voyage

Gary got a new toy the other day.

A table saw?
A socket set?
A new bike?


I finally got a KitchenAid Artisan mixer. Sweet! I have been coveting one for a long, long time, and KitchenAid sells things directly on eBay, so i bit the bullet and got me a fancy grey one. These things come in any color under the rainbow, including hot pink and Martha Stewart powder blue, but I went for a more industrial look.

I made chocolate chip cookies to christen the mixer. It makes all the dirty work so much easier. Let the baking commence!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gary & Claire's wanderings

Here are some of the recent walks with Claire in the stroller. We have been heading out in the morning to avoid the heat. We usually also try to include an errand or two on our trip. Living within walking distance of most of our needs is a definite convenience.

Bringing along the GPS just leads to another level of interest for our excursions. I've been trying to wander the streets a bit, get the know our neighborhood and city better and better. Claire is a little angel in the stroller, I think she just likes to see the world around her. After a long walk she may fall asleep in the stroller, but usually she is just looking out, very interested in everything that goes past.

Another big hike into Runyan Canyon. We went all the way to the top this time.

The Sunset Strip with Claire. We went by all the nightlife hot spots... at 830am.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Baby technology & the stay at home Dad

There is always a bit of technology out there, and when it is done well, it can be a tremendous help. These are the things which I have found fun & interesting while I have been the stay at home parent.

Video baby monitor.
Although we have a small place, it is great to be able to see what little Claire is up to when we put her down to sleep. This has audio also, but often if you see her fussing before she starts calling out, you can get her calmed much faster. This thing has infrared also, so you can see at night.

This will probably be useful when she is in her teen years also...

Baby Activity Logger app for the iPhone.
Throughout the course of the day, with the infant you are always trying to remember "when did i feed/change her last? how log has she been asleep/awake?" I tried writing this stuff down for a while but thought that there must be an easier way to keep track of this.

You quickly select the activity you want to log.

You can edit things later, in case you miss some exciting event.

And then you can generate reports. The one below here shows Claire's sleep patterns over a week.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Claire goes to College

We got a card in the mail shortly after Claire was born from UCLA asking if we would allow Claire to be a participant in research involving infants. I guess they recruit from local birth records. Since this is peripherally related to Gary's work & education, we signed Claire up. Claire is now "attenting" UCLA :)

When you sign up, your infant becomes part of a research pool for several different areas of study. Claire has been in 2 research projects so far. One with the UCLA Baby Lab, where the test involved her vision & perception, and one with the UCLA Language Acquisition Lab, which involved her listening to vowels sounds which vary from language to language. The test was investigating differences between sound perception for infants exposed to English only, Spanish & English & Spanish only in their daily lives.

The research is interesting & there is really no impact on Claire. A piece of cake. We bring her in & both times she has just sat on our lap & watched some different graphics on a big TV or computer monitor & they record her responses. The tests take maybe 10 minutes. She gets a prize after each test; a couple t-shirts so far. There probably will be a few more studies she could be a part of.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Walking with the camera

Claire & I took a hike into Runyon Canyon Park the other day.
Crazy uphill, 800 vertical feet in a pretty quick hike.

As you can see, i'm getting pretty good at taking self portrait photos of Claire and I with the camera on my iPhone. Notice the wonderful composition :)

Here is the route I took, i brought my Garmin cycling/hiking computer with me. I'm going to try and remember to bring this for our walks, to keep track of where we have been. 1088 feet of elevation gain in 2.4 miles, round trip, so really it's 1000+ feet of elevation gain in the first 1.2 miles, whew!

Friday, July 24, 2009

a project that will last

maybe 1 year ago i got a photo and slide scanner to digitize some old slides i had. it has worked great so far, and really create a nice copy of some of the old media i have laying around with no way to view it.

when my grandfather passed away a few years ago he left a lot of stuff behind (he was a bit of a hoarder), one thing that always seemed interesting was the photo slides he had. my aunt Teresa got the entire collection and wasn't sure what to do with them, so i offered to scan them. a larger project than i was probably expecting, but it will be interesting none the less. Scanning slides is a fairly slow process, and one which only needs attention every 15 minutes or so. hopefully i can make a dent in this box of slides.... there are probably a couple thousand in this box, whew.

i've got a few done, here are some i like:

This is my mom when she was probably 18 or so, I think it's a great photo of her.

This is my mom, holding my sister Linda, in 1970. My uncle Don and aunt Louise are standing next to the car.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gary the Stay at Home Dad

Thanks to the California Family Medical Leave Act, Gary is going to be able to combine vacation and some leave and be at home for 10 weeks. This Friday is my last day. Woohoo.

Sarah will be heading back to work at LACMA, and so I will use up all my vacation and be the house husband for a while. I will try and keep the blog updated with Claire and my adventures.

This is the first significant break from work since I started at IBM over 10 years ago and I am looking forward to the time off. The chance to spend lots of time with little Claire and also just to have a different routine and interact with different people rather than than going to work every day and staring at the laptop screen will be a nice change.

It is good to know that I am not alone in this Stay at Home Dad business. In the 1980s there apparently was a documentary made on the topic:

I will keep fit using the Stay at Home Dad workout:

And there also is a Stay at Home Dad theme song:

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Claire and Her Shots

Claire got her first immunization shots last week.
No, we are not one of the affluent, celebrity crazed flock which are convinced, despite all evidence to the contrary, that somehow immunization shots are related to autism. So Claire got stuck with a couple needles the other day. She had to get 3 shots, which seemed bad until they told us that until a few weeks ago, it was 5 shots. They had some new combination medicine now.

Fairly traumatic for Sarah and I, hearing your child wail that loud and knowing there isn't a whole lot you can do to avoid the pain. We figured that it must be a crummy job for the nurse doing it... "so what do you do all day? Me, I make babies cry like they never have before."

She didn't have any sort of lasting negative reaction & recovered like a champ, but the shots seemed to make her sleepy. She was conked out for a majority of the afternoon and then slept though the night. Kind of a strange benefit; Sarah and I getting to eat dinner interrupted.

Here is a link to a photo of her with her little bandages covering her war wounds.

Monday, July 06, 2009

New Phones

Sarah and i finally bit the bullet and moved forward in our mobile phone technology. Up until now were were of the "I'll take the free phone please" cell phone opinion. But with all the new fancy things which have come out, we decided to go for it. For a long time i was holding out that one of the cell phone companies would come out with something compelling, competitive which was low priced, but they got us by the throats and i realized that day was never going to come.

So we got 2 iphones now. All modern and fancy and everything. Gotta love the Apple store, when you admit to not being a Mac person having that air of superiority just cascade down upon you. The joys of being talked down to like you are some sort of world class moron for not falling into the Cult of the Mac. My favorite comment from our salesperson was "well you know, the windows machines are great, if you never turn them on... just use them as as a paperweight." Interesting sales tactic "step 1, insult the customer. Make you you establish that you are doing them a favor by taking their money." grrrr.

Other than that, we are satisfied so far. Now i have a high tech, mobile "brag book" which we can use to show off pictures of our little girl. I can't wait to install the fart application and the lighter, those seem to be the essentials.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Door & Lock Set

A couple of weeks ago when Sarah was home with Claire, she went to go outside & discovered she was locked INSIDE the condo. Our front door & lock had been a little wacky for a while, it only liked to open when you turned the doorknob to the right, not the left, and other such weirdo things. So Sarah had to call a neighbor to let her out of the house; a strange set of circumstances.

So we needed to replace the front door & lock. I think the previous owners had tried to beat down the door at some time or something, the door was a bit beat up. After calling around a few places, and having people not call us back... I guess the economy isn't that bad when you try to hire a place and they don't return calls.

So we had our friend Paul help us out, the master craftsman that he is. Gary helped out in the vital "hold this here" capacity. We got a new fancy door, just like the old one, with fancy pewter lock set to replace the gawd-awful ugly set before it.

Here is our original door, crappy lockset and all.

Here we are, in transition, door removed and tools to get the job done around. It ewent pretty quickly, 4.5 hours in total I think.

And here is our fancy new door, all complete. A dramatic change, yes, going from a plain, solid, white door to a plain, solid, white door.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dame Edna as the first night out

Saturday the 20th will be the first time Sarah and I are going out for the afternoon / evening together and having a babysitter. Oh La La is going to take care of little Claire while we go to the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown Los Angeles to see Dame Edna. It should be hilarious, she is a riot, and will will possibly learn about Australian culture also :)

I included a clip below here to familiarize those less familiar with Dame Edna's art.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Kindle, Claire & a Pony

I got a Kindle 2 a couple months ago, partly because i wanted a new toy to play around with and partly because i've always thought something like this would be great for reading the newspaper. I think i am one of a dieing breed; i have a daily subscription to a newspaper (the LA Times currently, San Jose Mercury News before that) and i read it every day, pretty much cover to cover. The Calendar or entertainment section is a trashy, gossipy waste of time, but i digress. I read the paper because TV news is the worst crap available, a slide show of the sensational garbage of the day; nothing more. Watch Good Day LA sometime and let me know what you have learned of the state of the world afterward.

The website versions of newspapers have never really been the same experience as reading it in paper. They always had so much other 'crap' on them, lots of navigation elements, ads in weird places and they never lead you from one story to another very well. So i will read a breaking story online, but anything else i will read on the Kindle.

So at the end of every week there is a foot high stack of papers, i always figured that an electronic delivery of this would be more convenient and would; 1) reduce the amount of paper used 2) reduce the expense of delivery & not have to rely on newspaper delivery folks who are late or throw the paper into the sprinklers, etc.

The cost is about the same, and I have gotten accustomed to it. Originally i had always thought that i would only want to get some sort electronic reader if it's size was similar to a newspaper. The kindle is far smaller, and i always thought i would only want something which would display articles in a couple columns.

One of the unexpected benefits I have found though is that reading a 'normal' paper kind of requires 2 hands and can be a little noisy with the rustling of the paper, etc. The Kindle only requires 1 hand hand basically makes no noise. Therefore it is a great way to get a little reading done when you have to hold an infant. So i can still get my news, and Claire is all soothed, everyone is happy.

When the kindle gets tired and needs a pick-me-up of the plug-in variety, it rides our pony in the living room. :)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Has the Bougainvillea recovered?

We got a Bougainvillea plant when we lived in San Jose. It seemed to do really well there for us. Then we moved to LA. From that point on, the plant seems to be in a state of suspended animation. All of its' leaves will fall off and it will appear to have completely died, then a couple leaves will come back, it will bloom... on and on. But it never appears fully healthy.

Now it has a bunch of leaves on it. Is this the the re-dawning of the bougainvillea? Will it now surge into a thriving plant?

The part of this which drives us crazy is that bougainvillea grows like a weed in LA. It grows by the side of the freeways into bushes that appear more like trees. I keep threatening to transplant ours into the median on our street, where i'm sure it will triple in size within 6 months.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Magical Minnaert Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch

When Gary's parents were around the other weekend we made an old family tradition for dessert, my Grandma Minnaert' Rhubarb Crunch.

We had gotten a pile of strawberries in our CSA and this was a fitting use of them. It turned out great.

The recipe is as follows.

3/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup flour
4 cups diced rhubarb
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 box strawberry jello powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put mixed rhubarb and strawberries into a 9 x 9 inch greased pan. Cover with rhubarb. Cook sugar, water, cornstarch, vanilla and jello until thick and clear. Pour over rhubarb and strawberries. Mix oatmeal, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour until crumbly. Pour over top. Cook for 1 hour.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Private photos on Flickr

All of the photos of Claire we post on Flickr will be "private". This means that in order to view the images, you will need to have a Flickr user id and become our "contact" or "friend" of ours.. Flickr is free to join and it should just take a couple minutes to sign up.

Our username is Minnaert, and the link below is to our photostream. we will periodically add photos of young Claire as albums.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

3 weeks old & some new photos

We posted a set of young Claire's first 3 weeks on Flickr yesterday. Enjoy.

I like the one where she has a finger pointing to her eye.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Riding to Glendale for Bike to Work Week

For Bike to Work Week, I commuted to Glendale twice, on Tuesday & Friday. I take the less busy city streets from West Hollywood to Glendale for the 9 mile trip each way. There is a bit of a hill through Los Feliz, but overall, it is a pretty flat route. I ride it in about 40 minutes to go each way, if i drive, it takes about 30 minutes, and then I have to pay for parking and gas & all that junk.

Since I will be working in Glendale while Sarah is home with Claire on maternity leave, i plan on biking here regularly. I'm a member of 24 Hour Fitness, which has a club in the building where I work, so i can store my biking stuff in a locker during the day & take a shower once I get here, which I am sure my fellow cubicle dwellers appreciate.

I'm a member of the League of American Bicyclists, who promotes Bike to work week. They are also a good organization which advocates for cyclists and promotes responsible bicycling & commuting.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The final results are in

The final results are in from the big baby guess contest.

The overall winner of the Baby arrival date guessing game was Paul Welka (Gary's IBM colleague). He almost ran the table, getting nearly everything correct or very close.

The complete 'correct' info was:
Claire Abigail, girl, born April 29th, 2009 at 1:31pm, 7 lbs 6 ounces

Overall Winner:
Paul Welka
Girl, 4/29/2009, 10:00 am, 7 lbs 8 ounces

Day & Date winner (missing by 1 hour, 19 minutes):
Matt Novak (Gary's IBM colleague)
April 29, 2009, 12:12 pm

Weight winners (all guessing 7lbs 6 ounces):
Arno Huang (Gary's IBM colleague)
Kristina Huthmacher (Sarah's cousin in law)
Cody Schaff (Gary's IBM colleague)

Gender guesses favored a girl, 19 to 17. It seems like people had an accurate sense on this.

It looks like Claire came in a bit bigger than most people thought. The average guess was 7 lbs, 3 ounces, she came in at 7 lbs 6 ounces.

The majority of the guesses were expecting a late arrival for little Claire, but she showed up right on time, on her April 29th due date.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Dear Claire

Dear Claire,
This is the story about the day (or days) you were born.

Your due date was Wednesday, April 29th. Lots of friends and relatives guessed on when you were going to arrive. We knew if you were going to be a boy or a girl, but we didn't tell anyone else, you were a big mystery.

On Monday April 28th, at 2am. your mommy had some contractions, but these were very infrequent, off and on throughout the middle of the night. The following afternoon mommy and daddy went for a walk to try and move things along, but you stayed put.

On Tuesday April 29th your mommy's water broke about 5:30am. Daddy had gone to the gym shortly before that. When he came home, we waited around the house for the contractions to get stronger, watching Good Day LA on t.v.

We went to the hospital at about 11am. We got checked in and met our first nurse Lelah. The doctors were not sure that the waters had broken. The doctors checked and saw your mommy was 2 cm dilated. Mommy had lots of contractions, each 5 minutes apart. At 5pm the doctors checked and mommy was still 2 cm dilated. Mommy was exhausted and the doctors gave her an epidural to help with the pain.

At about 7:30pm we moved to a much fancier delivery room with a big view of the Hollywood Hills. Our second nurse, Sparky, took over. We watched the Dodgers beat the Giants 5 - 3 on t.v. as we wondered what was taking such a long time, but the doctors and nurses all said that this was normal and we should just try and get some sleep. Both your mommy and daddy tried, but didn't sleep much.

Oh La La (Francine, Sarah's mom, prefers Oh La La to 'grandma') drove up from great grandpa's house in Torrance at 12 noon and dutifully stayed in the hospital waiting room. She finished your baby quilt while she waited. She also ate lunch with daddy and gave mommy some crystals for good luck.

At about 2am the water finally fully broke, much more than it had before. The nurse checked and mommy was 5 cm dilated, showing things were moving along. Your mommy felt cold late at night and shook some times also.

Throughout the night lots of friends and relatives all sent their best wishes. saying how excited they were to meet you.

The entire time at the hospital we could monitor the contractions and your little heart beat. At about 4am your heart rate became elevated for a couple hours. The doctors thought that there may be an infection and gave you & mommy Tylenol other antibiotics and put ice packs on your mommy's belly to bring down her temperature, and therefore your temperature & heart rate. At about 4:30am the doctors were thinking you might be getting too tired and we talked about maybe having to do a c-section. We waited 30 minutes and see if you got better. By 5am your heart rate came down and things were all looking pretty good.

Your mommy liked the nurse Sparky a lot. She did a great job of making her feel comfortable in the middle of the night when she was scared and uncomfortable. At about 7:30am we got our 3rd nurse, Dawn. Both mommy and daddy took little cat naps before Sparky & Dawn switched.

At about 8am Dawn had mommy turn on her side to hopefully get you to speed up. At about 9:30am Dawn checked and found mommy was 10cm dilated, meaning you were ready, hurray! Mommy turned on her other side to try and speed things up more. At about 11am mommy started to push. You were ready to come and meet us!

We pushed for about 2 hours. Your mommy was getting pretty tired, everyone was wondering if you were really going to show up or not. Dr. Lee realized that you were a "Cephalic Presentation", or going to be delivered face first, or "sunny side up". This was probably one of the reasons you took so long. During the pushing your mommy's temperature rose to 103 and your heart beat went up, higher than what the doctors thought might be good.

Dr. Lee and nurse Dawn really started to encourage your mommy to push hard & she did. Your little head started to show and then a couple really big pushes later your head & shoulders came out all of a sudden.

There were 2 pediatricians waiting to check you out right away since your heart beat was high. Dr Lee also noticed that there was meconium in the amniotic fluid (you had pooped inside before you were born) and that you needed to be cleaned up quick and have your lungs cleared out, which the pediatricians did. After you were weighed & measured, your daddy followed you to the observation room where they bathed you, lowering your high temperature, drew some blood, gave you an IV line and a shot of antibiotics. 1 hour after you were born you, daddy and mommy were all back in the same room together.

Oh La La visited you after we moved to the post partem room, which was much less fancy than the delivery room; there was a view of the other building, not the nice hills.

We couldn't believe how happy we were once you arrived Claire Abigail. You were all we ever wished for. We will remember this day better than any day before.

Friday, April 03, 2009

a bassinet tradition

The Bassinett is ready for a new occupant
Sarah's grandpa made this bassinet many years ago. It was passed on for use to use, and it fits just right into our bedroom. We got a new mattress, and Francine made a nice new sheet for it. I believe she has a couple more on the way for us.

This bassinet is great, it swings, is just the right size and is a family tradition. On the underside of the bassinet are all of the babies which have used it. Our kiddie will be kid #14 to use it! Amazing. There is a bit of a gap though. Sarah's cousin Tom was apparently the most recent occupant, 14 years ago. Maybe we will be starting the 2nd wave of kids to make use of the bassinet.
Bassinet occupants

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Nest & Cloffice: How we converted a home office space to a kids room with office space

Since we have a somewhat petite living area here... 950 square feet, with the impending addition to the family, there is no unused space, things had to be rearranged. The home office / guest room had to change to much more like 95% kids room, 5% office.

The room prior had a pretty strong office feel to it; big filing cabinet, desk, the small cabinet housed the home network equipment and multi-function printer. The closet in the room was pretty big, a 'step in' closet, but we had piled our old files and books which didn't fit elsewhere in there.

Our goals for the room could be summed up as follows:
  • Create space in the room for crib, changing table, clothes & toy storage... kid stuff space.
  • Move all the network gear into some place far less visible, but still accessible, especially for the printer.
  • Sell the current desk & create a smaller, possibly convertible or hidable workspace similar to a "compact office" or office armoires, so Gary can still work at home.
  • Sell the 4 drawer filing cabinet & reduce what we have filed to a 2 drawer cabinet. Throw out or scan which is not retained in hard copy
  • Transform the closet to possibly create more efficient & organized storage.
  • Reduce the amount of crap we had stored in the closet dramatically; selling books, throwing away junk & scanning things for which hard copies are no longer needed.
  • Make things functional, but with charm.

While we were trying to figure out how to move everything around, and how anything we got might fit into the place, we started using the Ikea planning software, which is 1) free, and 2) pretty easy to use & includes all the typical furniture pieces you may want to put in your rooms.

A while ago we got rid of the futon we had in the room, when we had some other grand scheme. We craigslisted the desk & big filing cabinet. Gary sold / traded / gave away a pile of books from the closet (via amazon, ebay & bookmooch). The paper feeder on the multi-function printer proved it worth. Probably 6 linear feet of paper and documents or more has been scanned. We store everything we scan on our network drive, shred it & also burn a copy to DVD and drop it into the safety deposit box.
Our former filing cabinet, desk & futon

The cabinet in the room had the multi-function printer on top, as well as the router, modem & network drive inside it. The cabinet was the perfect size for a changing table, so we left it & set out to relocate the network stuff. Moving them into the closet seemed the most obvious choice since we print wirelessly, so it doesn't need to be out in the open.

The biggest problem we had with the closet was that it had no power, lighting or phone jack. After getting an insane estimate from an electrician to add all these, i ran a phone line extension (for DSL + phone), and the power strip / battery backup cord along the baseboards into the closet. For lighting we got a track light, which can use a regular cord and have a switch.

Looking up at the track lights:

The second issue for the closet was it had basic clothes rod, which wasn't going to work. We replaced the basic closet setup with a Container Store Elfa shelving "system", taking advantage of their yearly Elfa shelving sale... this was probably the thing which kicked this whole project into gear. The sale is normally only in January, so we had to rush before the sale ran out. We've used the Container stuff before, in our laundry area and when we lived in San Jose. It's a great product, but kinda pricey, so the sale helped.

While we were at the Container Store, we got boxes for the various items in the closet. Sarah had a desire to have a coordinated looking closet, we went with black & orange. I was afraid it would look like Halloween, but it is not as spooky as I had envisioned.

All the network stuff (network drive, dsl modem, power backup cables) are all down low, and I punched a hole through the wall so the router is mounted on the wall in our laundry area. We wanted the router out of the closet and a bit higher, thinking that it would have better transmission. The printer sits just above all of this, and then power to the laptop at the workspace is convenient also.

Next a workspace or desktop was needed so Gary could have an area for the laptop, phone, etc, but the space could still function as a closet and whatever was stored within remained accessible. I added a 5/8" thick piece of solid pine as a desktop fit with door hinges & a latch. It folds down onto small supports on the far wall & folds up, simply latching into place. I don't keep a very cluttered desk or utilize a large workspace, just enough room for the laptop, and since nearly everything i work with is in the computer, so I don't have much of a paper need.

I also got some wall mounted organization, overpriced metal plates & stuff, you can attach magnets to them for you miscellaneous papers. etc. We added a simple drawer set to hold pencils, tape and other office supplies.

We needed a bit more "normal" storage in the room, not office storage. The previous cabinet we got from Ikea, we added a second one, slightly different shape, so we have some more diaper / clothes kiddoe storage.

We got a crib from friends who's daughter graduated to a big girl bed (thanks Trevor, Victoria & Lydia!).
With all the books & other junk I sold on eBay, i turned to proceeds into buying a car seat & stroller, a baby monitor video camera thing, a baby bjorn & other stuff. we think we have our "nest" set up fairly well for the big arrival soon; the car seat bases are in the cars, we need to put together our 'suitcase' and have it sitting by the door i think.

Things left to do:
Paint. Yeah, yeah.... we should have done this first, I know, but when the renovation bug strikes, you just gotta run with it. the holes are all patched thought :) I don't know what the previous owners did in this closet, but i think a "drilling holes in the wall" contest was a part of it.

Some hints for those baby gender guessers out there:
  • The room is yellow, we painted it 3 years ago and don't plan on changing it any time soon.
  • The rug we put in the room is blue! we got it about a year ago.
  • We kind of have an elephant theme in the room, sort of. We have a poster which has an elephant on it, which is pink!
  • The bird hanging from the ceiling (or "Berd" to be technical) is blue, of course, we put up in September.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Baby Arrival Date Results, second update

We now have 34 guesses in.

The guesses are leaning toward girl, 18 to 14.

The guesses are still skewed toward a late arrival. Someone guessed 2 weeks early... but there are some popular dates, May 5th and April 26th seem to be the leaders

The weight guesses are all over the map though. Sarah isn't all that excited about the 8.5 pound ones though.

Invite others to guess the due date:

And for those that are interested, here is our baby registry:

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A new type of fire

After staring at a blank, open, ugly fireplace for 3 years, we finally got around to getting new doors installed.

Armands Fireplace is a great fireplace store down in Culver City, and they set us up. We had to order the doors in a custom size, of course, nothing is ever easy. We got to pick our a color and finish and all the fancy details. We went with a pretty simple design, but it makes a nice difference.

Hooray for no more ugly, barren fireplace!

Before the doorsAfter the doors
Fireplace without doors Fireplace with new doors
Fireplace without doors Fireplace with new doors

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Baby Arrival Date Results, so far

We have had 14 guesses so far for the Baby Arrival Date survey.
I charted some of the guesses.

Gender guesses are evenly divided:

People look like they are expecting a late arrival:

7 pounds seems to be the safe guess for now:

Invite others to guess the due date:

And for those that are interested, here is our baby registry: