Monday, November 22, 2010

Virginia is for Friends

A couple of weeks ago I went to visit my friend Janette in the Norfolk, Virginia area. The hardest part about leaving St. Louis was leaving the people. I plan to visit St. Louis before the end of the year, but so many of our friends moved at the same time we moved- you can never go home again. Another huge batch of my friends moves away from STL this summer, so I have go back a couple times before then.

So visiting Janette and her two girls was a huge treat. There were also very occasional sightings of her surgical intern husband. We spent a week there and it was so nice to be with another adult all day, not to mention that Janette's one of my favorite people ever. During the week we spent a lot of time in their beautiful home, hosted preschool, and visited the aquarium.

Henry generously shared his cold with the girls, after a little boy generously shared it with Henry at church. But karma is out there somewhere, so we came home with a different cold. So, sorry Miss M about the runny nose. That's all our fault.
Henry loved the aquarium, pointing at the fish and watching the people. He wasn't as interested in Colonial Williamsburg, and so he tried to steal some old guy's scooter in order to make an escape attempt. He would have been content just to play with the girls' toys all week. They have a horse on springs just like the Wheadon's had when I was growing up. He also loved their slide. The stroller was loved a little too much- Henry would freak out if anyone touched it, so it got put away for the rest of our visit. He is not good at sharing, and was constantly taking toys away from Miss M, who then generally looked sad but didn't do anything about it. He tried to take away a helicopter from a girl during the preschool session, who put up a real fight. If it hadn't been my kid causing the problem, I would have loved to just watch those two wrestle for it. They were both very determined and adult intervention was necessary. As it stands, we're continuing to work on the problem.
On our way to the airport, we visited their botanical gardens. Of course they were beautiful, but Henry's favorite part is the playground. After he came down the slide, I realized there was a problem with his diaper. See how his right pant leg (our left) has a bit of bulk to it? Yeah, that is his diaper around his ankle. I have no idea how that happened. A quick diaper and outfit change later, he was back on the playground.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Our New Roof

Our new roof was installed last week. Buying a new roof is a very un-exciting way to spend money. Once you've spent the money, you have a roof. Which is what you had before you started, this one's just newer. We knew when we moved here we'd have to get a new roof within three years. The home inspector said he would do it Summer 2011 if it were his house. However, after we'd moved in our insurance company said they'd cancel our policy if we didn't replace it before December. The contractors who came to look at our roof said they were being ridiculous- they agreed with the home inspector. However, now it's done and I can stop worrying about it.

The picture above is the roof installation in progress. The new shingle has been laid on the main section of the roof, and you can compare it with the older orange shingle on the small section of old roof on the first floor.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Halloween Madness

The day before Halloween, we had a "Trunk-or-Treat" with our ward. The party was held at the church, had activities and chili first, then ended with passing out candy in the parking lot. Henry had no interest in going car to car for treats, but ended up helping Nick pass out candy from our undecorated trunk. Henry is wearing an elephant costume, which is even cuter when he wears the hood part of it. I wore my Snow White dress, Nick wore clothes. To the kid getting candy: Where's your costume? Holding a toy sword is not a costume.

On Halloween, we were totally surprised by the volume of trick-or-treaters. Our neighbor had warned us, "We go through bags and bags of candy, then pretend we're not home." As a result, I bought what I thought was a lot of candy. I bough a few bags of fun size bars, some bags of bite size bars, and then as back-up, a couple hundred suckers. The trick-or-treating started as 3:30, and about 6:30, we turned off our lights and pretended to be not at home because all of the candy was gone. We spent about $70 on candy and had still run out. The saddest part of it was there was no candy for us to eat- no leftovers, and Henry had never collected any.

We estimate we had between 450-500 trick-or-treaters. One odd thing- a lot of adults were collecting candy. I don't know if it's something lost in cultural translation, but I thought it was just for kids. So a lot of adults would have their own bag for collecting that they'd put out for their treat, in addition to their toddler's treat bag. We had a few adults who had no kids in sight. I'm a little astonished by that. Of course, you always get kids and teens who you think, "aren't they a little old for this?" but I guess in this area, age knows no limits.

This neighborhood goes all out for Halloween. A lot of families have really elaborate decorations for the holiday, and in the past the neighborhood has even done a two block long spook alley. So between that and the front doors being only thirty feet apart, it makes us the perfect Halloween destination. We could quickly tell that the vast majority of our visitors were not from this neighborhood. For one thing, our tiny 6-block neighborhood doesn't have 500 kids total. But also the ethnicity of our visitors didn't match the demographics of the neighborhood.

So next year, we will buy more candy and we may still run out of it before the night is over.