Tuesday, October 21, 2008


So I've always had all these friends and family who do amazing crafty things...Esme's Aunt Anna and Grandma Mary Ellen knit her beautiful amazing sweaters, Esme's Auntie Melanie made her these shoes that get more compliments than the rest of her wardrobe combined (and trust me that's saying a lot), My childhood friend Sara has alwas been an amazing artist, Jess makes supercute onesies...I'm surrounded.
I've always managed to not have time to be crafty myself...you know I've been "so busy with my career" :) I told myself when we moved here that I would find ways to bring some creativity to our house and I'm very proud of myself because I actually have.

Below you will find some pictures as proof of my newfound craftiness:

I created this wall of pictures in the living room...personally I think the crookedness is part of the charm plus

it's fun to finally feel surrounded by friends and family

Every move for us results in way too much time at Ikea...recently they had these simple wooden frames that you could stretch fabric over...
I made one for the bathroom and two for Esme's room

This last project has to be my favorite. I painted one wall between the kitchen and dining room with chalkboard paint and created a calendar, a to do list, a grocery list...esme can draw on the bottom and we're going to put a prayer on the top.

This one makes me proud!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

politics (a rare topic for me)

so I watched a half hour of the presidential debate last night. and I was struck by a few things.
I thought it was odd how much McCain was blinking...then Andrew pointed out that he looked nervous and I realized people do tend to blink a lot when their nervous. It seemed like he was trying hard to be on the offense and that seemed to keep him nervous (at least for the first half hour). Hopefully (for his sake) he got a little more relaxed as things went on.
That's one thing I always notice about Obama, he seems relaxed in any environment.

The next thing that struck me was how frustrated I was by being told that "The American Dream" is to own a home. There was only a brief period a few years ago where I really wanted to own a home and I quickly realized that given my lifestyle that will probably just not happen. I don't think I'm any less of an American for not owning a home and I don't feel my dreams are not being realized because of it.
I also feel frustrated that no one is placing any blame for this financial crisis on the every man. I understand where things started and the role that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the oil companies, etc...play in the crisis. BUT I really think most of us (and my bank account will tell a horrific tale) are at fault for overspending, misusing credit, not reading fine print, not being accountable.
I sat there thinking last night that I would happily vote for someone who would risk pissing off the American People by actually telling us that we do deserve some of the blame. And that we better shape up and get our affairs in order. Well they might need to stand for a few other things as well but I think that sort of truth telling would be a great start!`

I get nervous writing things like this because there is so much depth of emotion and thought and feeling that everyone puts into their beliefs and there's no way I could summarize everything I think in a simple blog post...these thoughts are definitely greatly simplified and just observations...I am curious about others observations from the debate if you watched, I'd love to know what others made of my observations or what your own were. Not to start our own debate or anything just to put some thoughts out there in a safe environment.

Monday, October 6, 2008


We've had a pretty devastating day here at our house.

Francis attacked a dog at the dog park this morning.
Any of you who know Francis know how far he's come since we've had him.
He is becoming such a good dog, he's calmed down a ton, he's accepted that Esme is not some small woodland creature we brought home to torture him.
We've been going for runs four mornings a week and while my sister was here we went to the dog park quite often.
Francis has not been above mania in the past but has never attempted to bite anyone dog or human, he'd even been playing happily with this puppy at the park today when out of nowhere he just attacked.
The dog was squealing and I think that sort of set Francis off (which does not justify or excuse the behavior in any way, Francis is completely at fault here). I was not strong enough to get Francis off the other dog and the really hard part was getting his jaws pried apart.
It felt like such a nightmare as it was happening and continues to feel like a bad dream as it's played out throughout the day.
Luckily the other dog is okay. He had ten puncture wounds and required 8 stitches. My hands and one arm are covered in bites and scratches, my knees are rubbed raw.
The worst part (well it's not really the worst part but you know...) is that I feel like I've failed Francis. We've tried so hard to give him a happy home and enough exercise and well you know everything...we've tried and it was finally starting to seem like it was paying off. I'm just not sure where I went wrong.
Maybe we will finally have to get more professional training for him...we can't just keep him inside forever but for the first time I'm afraid to take him outside.
Life around here is far too far from dull...please say a prayer for Francis...and us. I know there's a good dog somewhere in there.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

about time for an update

Esme decides that amazingly enough there may be something better than
Cheerios in the world...something anyone would surely climb inside the cupboard for!
Fruit Loops!!!

We are finally settled here in the city of brotherly love!
There's been a lot going on with our little family, so much that I hadn't realized it's been almost a month since my last posting, Wow!

I'm working at Starbucks four mornings a week which seems to be going really well. I like everyone I work with and I'm getting the hang of working behind the counter again. I think the team and the customers are surviving on the mornings I'm in charge and every shift gets a little bit better.

Esme visits mama's work

I get up before work to take the dogs for a run around the square which seems to help their energy level (and mine for the most part I think) We also have a dog park just seven blocks west and right at the end of our street we're trying to take them there 3-4 times a week since that seems to help as well.

I'm also working as a personal assistant to our landlord which is a job I can do while I have Esme with me...I think I'll be working about 10 hours a week for him, it's definitely interesting to be accomplishing things for someone else while feeling like your still not getting all your own things done. I keep telling myself that as soon as we get a routine we'll be okay.

My sister was here for the past two weeks and did a great job getting us settled into a routine...if only we could have kept her. She had Esme napping every morning, helped me get the last of our things settled in the house, helped exercise the dogs, walked miles and miles around the city with us!

While Mel was here we went up to our brother's house to celebrate our sister-in-laws birthday with a barbecue; the highlight of which was my brother burning the paint off his new grill! My brother, sister, Esme and I also took the dogs to the Carnivale of the Dogs in Rittenhouse Square where Francis actually proved to be better than Clare at the agility course (mostly due to his lack of fear rather than any actual skill). We also got caricatures of the dogs, they had artists there doing them for free and that was really fun!

The Caricatures

My sister also spent lots of time teaching Esme new words and other fun things. Esme's vocabulary consists primarily of:

  • saying "Uh-Oh" anytime: anyone drops anything, she drops anything, she throws something, she feeds the dogs, the dogs do something bad.
  • Her other favorite word is "Doggy" she actually says it quite clearly and even identified a doggy in a commercial on tv the other day. Every walk we take she points out every doggy we see and at the dog park is quite proud to point out her doggies.
  • "Hi-i" is one of her new words. She is definitely selective about who she will actually say hi-i to but she greets us every morning with it and is very proud when she does say it to strangers.
  • she also sometimes says "dow" to mean I want off your lap or off the bed or out of the stroller.
  • The other thing we hear quite frequently is "Ah-Duh" this means all done and is invoked at the end of eating, at the end of a diaper change, when she's done playing with something, when she's thrown something and she knows this time I won't give it back.

Our frequent trips to Ikea as we were settling in here resulted in a new addition to our doggish household; Esme's favorite new friend "Go-Go" he is a golden lab (STUFFED) that she hugs fervently and loves to nap with. When she's doing something she shouldn't we tell her go find "Go-Go", she'll toddle over to wherever she left him, hug him and drag him by the paw wherever she goes next. Thank goodness he's much more compliant than Francis or Clare.

This brings me to the most important news. Esme has been walking for about two and half weeks now. She can walk from one end of the house to the other unassisted and is even teaching herself to climb stairs (which is of course discouraged by both her fearful parents). A favorite pastime is opening and closing anything; mostly doors but the dog gates, drawers, and the refrigerator will also do in a pinch.

This video is Esme and Go-Go on one of the first days she was walking!

I think that gets us pretty much caught up!