SJ on the Move

Monday, May 31, 2010

Jayden's Birthday Party

Here are a few pictures from J's birthday party in the backyard on Memorial Day:

J enjoys his appetizer of berries!

J's cupcake tower. His favorite was the chocolate on chocolate one!

J was pleased to get his own roll of t.p. from his Gami. She knew how much he liked to sneak into the bathroom to unroll our roll so she thought J needed his own. J did not let go of it! He also enjoyed riding on his new rocket ship! A special thanks to J's sister who opened all his presents for him! Happy Birthday, Jayden!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The End of Three Eras

The First Era: My job as a Physical Therapist. After 10 years of working, 9 of which have been at the Boston VA Hospital, I have decided to close out this chapter of my life in order to be home full time with the kiddos. It is, of course, a bittersweet decision. I have worked with these great folks for a long time and I will miss working side by side with them dearly. Each of these people has helped me so much over the years - they are not only professional and helpful to bounce ideas off of, but they are very friendly and supportive. It is these 3 people that I will miss the most about not working. The second thing I will miss the most is the Veterans whom I served. It was a challenging population with which to work, but they taught me a lot about sacrifice, community, and the need to be strong in the face of adversity. I am so thankful to have been able to serve my country by serving these brave men and women. It was a privilege to work with Veterans and I'm glad to have met every one of them.

But, saying good bye to my coworkers and patients means being able to say hello every morning to S and J when they wake up. It means being able to give them lots of TLC when they are sick. It means being able to take them to fun places. It means being able to soak in their love each and every day. For these things I am also grateful. It is a privilege beyond measure to raise these two precious kids and I am very blessed to be their Mom. I pray each and every day that God will guide me to be the best Mom I can be.

The Second Era: Sydney's life as a pre-schooler. After several years of day cares and preschools Sydney is finally done. She ended today at Arlington Creative Start where she has been for the last 2 years. She is thrilled with this and is so excited that her next phase will be Kindergarten in September. She brought home pictures and photos to remind her of her last year and she has so many special memories. Her teachers (in the photo below) all had wonderful things to say about Sydney - especially that she was a good leader and organizer, loved to read to her friends, and would play with everyone. Yes, that about sums up Sydney. "She's going to do great in Kindergarten," they said! Yesterday she got to visit her Kindergarten at the Hardy School in Arlington. She was excited to see the big kids in their classroom and can't wait to be one of them.

Congratulations, Sydney, on your "graduation" into big-kid world!

The Third Era: Jayden's time with his nanny. Today was Jayden's last day with his awesome nanny, Angela. She has provided him such loving care over the past several months. Nathan and I felt such good peace of mind while we were at work knowing he was well taken care of. We appreciate all Angela did to care for Jayden - wipe his runny nose, change his diaper, keep him on a good nap schedule, take him for walks, and just have fun with him! Thank you, Angela!

Here's to the beginning of a new Era. One that I'm sure will be filled with its own ups and downs, but will most of all be filled with love. And how exciting is that?!?!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Jayden!

As I write this blog, the time is approaching 9:13pm, the exact moment that Jayden was born one year ago. I think I'll pause for a moment and reflect on the past year - I can't believe it's been that long already. Jayden has been such a blessing to us this year. He was an early smiler, which was good, since he wasn't a great napper as a little baby and he spit up a lot! His smiles would always melt my heart and I'd forget about all those little mishaps and having to change my clothes and his several times a day and about all the laundry that was piling up! After Jayden reached about 3-4 months hold his sleeping got much better and since then he's been stellar. All you have to do is lay him in his crib with his "sleepy puppy" and he's good to go. Mobility wise, he's starting to cruise around and pulls up on everything. Really soon we expect him to simply let go and walk on his own. Until then he'll crawl all over the place - he especially likes to try to sneak into the bathroom to play with the toilet paper roll! Jayden continues to be an overall happy and easy going baby. We can't wait to see what his second year of life holds for him and for us. But, at the same time I don't want to say good-bye to his babyhood. I wish I could keep him little for a little bit longer.

It has also been neat to watch the relationship with J and sister Sydney over the year. Jayden has been blessed with a wonderful big sister. Sydney has always been ready to lend a hand and play with Jayden. She's always watching out for him and he always smiles at her. She loves to tickle his tummy and make him laugh. I think Sydney is going to continue to keep a watchful eye on him as he grows older! He's so lucky to have her!

Jayden's birthday started with a late wake up time and then he got to spend the morning with his awesome nanny, Angela. I left work early today because Jayden had a doctor's appt. He had a follow up appt with his ENT specialist and alas, on his birthday, was told he'd need ear tube surgery and more anti-biotics for another ear infection. Jayden took the news in stride and later we shared a blueberry muffin together. We then picked Sydney up early from school. Later we walked to the bakery and Sydney and I picked out some special birthday cupcakes for everyone. Then it was time for the playground with friends before heading home for dinner. Unfortunately, at this time Jayden was getting very tired, fussy, and quite congested and overall not feeling well. We rushed him through dinner so he could enjoy his cupcake and his presents before heading to bed. He perked up a bit when he got some new presents (who wouldn't, really?!), but soon it was time for bed.

Since he's a little sick the bed time did not go as smoothly as usual. He cried. I snuggled with him. He cried. I rocked him. He finally settled and then went to sleep. Overall today ended like his life began one year ago - with cries and cuddles and lots of love.

We love you, Jayden, and are so glad God gave you to us to be in our family!

Jayden gets ready to attack his cupcake!

J decides sharing his cupcake with S is more fun than eating it himself.

Don't' be fooled. Yes, the cupcake is "gone", but it is only smeared all around his tray. I don't even think he was interested in one bite. The crumbs on his face are from us trying to "force" him to have a taste. He just wasn't that interested. Maybe another day when he's feeling better.
Hello toddlerhood...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The straightest distance between two points is a...? (Part II)

I didn't think it would be possible for my triumphal return to the United States to surpass my outgoing journey in zaneyness, but alas - that was not true.

T 0:00 (11:00 a.m. CET): As the Keflavik airport in Iceland was closed the day before, I was feeling a bit nervous that we were going to run into trouble on our return journey. But, I checked several times during the morning and right before checking out of the hotel to make sure our flight was on time and everything was running smoothly. So far, so good.

T 0:30 (11:30 a.m. CET): Depart in a cab to Charles de Gaulle airport. Traffic is a bit busy heading out of the city, but we still make good time to the airport - passing by the famous Concorde on the way. What's interesting looking at that plane is how small it is. I wonder how comfortable it would have been on the inside.

T 1:00 (12:00 p.m. CET): Arrived at CDG airport. Getting to the check-in at IcelandAir, or 2:15 p.m. flight is showing "On-Time" so that is encouraging. There does seem to be quite a long line to check in, however, and the line seems to be moving very slowly. I can't tell all what is going on, but there appears to be quite a lot of drama at check-in as well. Lots of people speaking with exaggerated hand motions.

After about 20 minutes of standing in line, I'm starting to get a bit nervous. I finally get up to check-in, and they tell me that they are concerned about the flight from Keflavik to Boston, and that it might be cancelled. So, they would like me to go to the ticket counter to rebooked on a different flight to Boston.

This was very irritating, because they could have told me that before waiting for 20-25 minutes in line, or simply put up a sign that says "Flights out of Iceland might be cancelled, please see agent for rebooking".

T 1:30 (12:30 p.m. CET): Go to the IcelandAir ticket agent for rebooking. They put us on the 4:30 p.m. AirFrance to JFK, with then a connection to Boston. The ticket agent tells us "You need to RUN to Terminal 2E to catch the plane". I'm a little confused, and I ask for clarification "This flight is at 4:30, correct, 4 hours from now?" You know, sometimes it's a little confusing with how the Europeans like to use what we call 'military' time in the US and maybe I was misinterpreting. But, I wasn't. "Yes, it is at 4:30" she replied "but, they board 1 hour before". Okay, but that still gives us a 3 hour buffer - what whatever.

T 1:45 (12:45 p.m. CET): My colleague realizes that the ticket agent never gave us our passports back, so we return to the IcelandAir ticket counter. Whew! Disaster averted.

T 2:00 (1:00 p.m. CET): We board the CDGVAL train to go over to terminal 2. One of the things I dislike about CDG is the distance between terminals. It can make it very challenging with making connections, as well as requiring to go through security again.

T 2:15 (1:15 p.m. CET): Checking in with AirFrance and they give us our boarding passes, row 30. Well, we had business class tickets on IcelandAir, and I was not relishing the 8 hour flight to JFK in economy. I discuss this with the ticket agent, but she explains that the Flight Interruption Manifest/Memo (I forget what it was) said 'economy' and the only people that can change the FIM is IcelandAir. They suggest I got back to AirFrance ticketing and see if we can pay an upgrade fee and work it out with IcelandAir later

T 2:30 (1:30 p.m. CET): Over to AirFrance ticketing. Evidently, tickets with a FIM cannot be upgraded, modified, or in any way changed. If we wanted to buy a business class ticket to Boston, the cost is 4500 Euros. I gulped and said "Each?". "Yes, each". Well, even with the falling Euro that's pretty darn expensive.

So, at this point my colleague took her boarding pass and headed to security. I thought I would take the opportunity to see if I could find someone to talk to about my lost bag, since I had some free time.

T 2:45 (1:45 p.m. CET): I stopped at the information desk to find out where I could talk to someone about my lost baggage. The woman there points me to a door and says she is going to buzz me through, and that I can find lost baggage on the other side. So, I go to the door, it opens, and I walk through.

On the other side of the door I find myself in the baggage reclaim area of the terminal, which is a secure area. I have not passed through security. What is also weird is that there is no one around, as it seems that no flights have come in for awhile. I'm getting a little nervous now as I realize I really should not be where I am. If someone sees me on a CC TV camera they might end up causing an international incident - not the finish I was hoping for on this trip, although it would certainly fit.

I find the lost baggage area and sit down with the AirFrance representative. She basically goes to the same website that I was checking, and relays the same information I had previously seen. So, no big help there.

T 3:00 (2:00 p.m. CET): As I still have some time to kill, I decide to head back to Terminal 1 to see if I can talk to SAS about my lost bag (as I think they might have it) or talk to IcelandAir about my coach class seat. So, I hop back on the CDGVAL train over the to terminal 1 (curiously you go from terminal 2, to terminal 3, and then to terminal 1).

T 3:30 (2:30 p.m. CET): I can't find the SAS desk, but I do see the IcelandAir desk and there is no line. So, I go and talk to them about how I had a business class ticket but they gave me an economy class FIM. They apologized for the error, and gave me a new FIM with business class. So, with this victory under my belt I decide to head back to terminal 2, so I hop back on the CDGVAL train.

T 4:00 (3:00 p.m. CET): I arrive back at AirFrance check in, and explain that I already had a boarding pass, but they had mistakenly given me an economy class FIM, but now I had a business class FIM, and I would like to get my business class boarding pass. We go through the whole check in process - "Any bags to check?" - HAH! - and she prints out my boarding pass - Row 30. Again!

I explained that I had just gone through quite a lengthy process to get a new business class FIM. She examined the FIM and agreed that it said business class, but for some reason the system was booking me in as economy. She promised to talk to her supervisor and get on the phone with IcelandAir to sort it out.

T 4:30 (3:30 p.m. CET): After pacing back and forth for 30 minutes while several AirFrance employees conferred, spoke on the phone, gesticulated wildly, they call me over and tell me that they got it worked out and presented me with my very own business class boarding pass. Hooray! Unfortunately, they told me that the connecting flight from JFK to Boston was showing as very full, so they weren't able to get a confirmed seat right now, but that I would be able to get a confirmed seat once I got to JFK.

T 5:00 (4:00 p.m. CET): Through security, I meet up with my colleague for a brief visit to the AirFrance lounge as by this time I am absolutely starving (no lunch). You might think that the AirFrance lounge in Paris might be their 'flagship' lounge, as you can guess, it was no Virgin Airlines. I would have gladly traded some of the available champagne for something a little more substantial to eat than potato chips. Beggars can't be choosers I guess.

T 5:30 (4:30 p.m. CET): On the plane, nestled into business class for the fairly long journey from Paris to NYC. This travel route is always a little discouraging since you fly right past Boston before landing in NYC, and then turn around to get on another plane and fly back.

T 9:00 (8:00 p.m CET): Sitting next to an elderly gentleman on a plane with a horrible hacking cough. He's on supplemental oxygen and talking to the woman next to him how he had to fight with his insurance company to pay for a home healthcare worker to help him recuperate while he was in Paris. I'm not sure what affliction he had, but I'm starting to wonder what the incubation period for the Plague is....

T 12:00 (11:00 p.m. CET): The flight attendants have now all retreated to the galley to prepare our dinner, which is good, as I'm getting hungry. My colleague ended up sitting behind me, and all of a sudden she RUNS past me to the galley. Curious, I turned around to see that the man sitting next to her had vomited all over himself, and not a small amount. Thankfully, you don't see that every day. The flight attendants all coalesce around him and try to get him cleaned up (those little steamed napkins weren't really made for this purpose). My colleague chooses a different seat.

T 14:00 (7 p.m. EST):  We finally land in NYC. We hang out on the tarmac for a good 30 minutes while they get our gate ready. I'm really thankful to finally be in the U.S., as this means it should be relatively easy to get home at this point (or so I thought).

T 14:30 (7:30 p.m. EST): I breeze through passport control and customs. Pretty easy when you have no checked baggage, and go straight to the transfer desk to present to them my FIM and get a flight to Boston. Unfortunately, more problems. There is only one confirmed seat available on the 8:30 Delta flight to Boston. Since my colleague and I have the same FIM, it won't be possible for us to travel on different flights, because FIMs are like the stone tablets Moses brought down from Sinai and cannot be changed.

We check with JetBlue, but unfortunately #1) they are the only airline that doesn't take FIMs, and #2) their flight to Boston is sold out. American has a flight leaving at 10:30, but they have only one seat available. So, we don't have any good options. Someone suggested travelling to terminal 7 to talk to IcelandAir about changing the FIM, but we'd never make the flight if we did that, and it seems doubtful anyone would even be at their counter at this hour.

T 15:00 (8:00 p.m. EST): We decide the best thing to do is to take the one confirmed seat, and one standby seat on the 8:30 and hope for the best. Prospects were not good, as there were already 15 people on standby and there are only 46 seats on the plane. So, we walk over to the next terminal (unfortunately we have to walk outside in the howling rain). You might remember that I only have my T-shirt, since my sweatshirt was packed in my bag and is currently still in Europe. Brrrr!

We get to security, and unfortunately there wasn't time for my colleague to check her bag. We go through security, but she had purchased some special French mustard while in Paris, and they weren't going to let her through with it. At this point, my colleague was not willing to give up her mustard for a slim chance of getting on the plane, so they escort her back out of the gate and she heads to the rental car agency to get a rental car and drive back.

T 15:30 (8:30 p.m.): I board the little puddle jumper for the flight back to Boston. I'm in the last row of the plane, so my seat doesn't recline even 1 cm. It's been a pretty long day, and really would love any modicum of comfort - but still thankful to be heading home.

T 16:45 (9:45 p.m.): Our plane sits at the gate for about an hour before moving an inch, and then taxis for 15 minutes before finally taking off. Thankfully, the flight to Boston is only about 45 minutes.

T 17:30 (10:30 p.m.): On the ground in Boston. Once again, since I have no bags, I breeze out of the airport and find a waiting cab.

T 18:00 (11:00 p.m.): Arrive safely at home after yet another exhausting trip. I was in Paris for a total of 36 hours, and spend 36 hours going there and coming back. Not a very good ratio. BTW, I still don't have my bag!

Of course, maybe the icing on the cake, is I check the flight status of what would have been our flight through Iceland, and it did take off! It was delayed a bit, but that flight got into Boston at 7:00 p.m., some 3.5 hours earlier than I did. We could have avoided quite a bit of pain and suffering had IcelandAir not re-routed us through all this mess.

Monday, May 17, 2010

High fashion

So, after spending the morning hoping my luggage would arrive, I eventually came to the conclusion that it wasn't going to happen. AirFrance seemed so efficient at the lost luggage center, taking my name, assigning me a case file I could access from the internet, giving me a toiletries bag, etc., I really believed they were going to find my bag quickly. But, to no avail. BTW, if there is such a thing as pyschological disorder whereby a person brushes their teeth too often, they should give them the toothbrush that comes in the AirFrance emergency toiletries kit - they will be cured of their toothbrushing compulsion in no time.

So, since I didn't want my travel adventure to be for nothing, I decided I would go out and buy some clothes for my meeting. I asked the concierge where to go, and they directed me to this little pedestrian mall near the hotel. So, I went over there and went in the only clothing store I could find, but it seemed to be 'surfing style' clothing, which I didn't think was much of an upgrade over my jeans and T-shirt. So, I went back to the concierge for more information, and they gave me the name of a specific store in the pedestrian mall.

So, then I went back to the mall and found the store. I walked around the store, and couldn't really find anything appropriate. They asked me if I needed help and I said "I'm looking for men's clothes". They said "Sure, right here and pointed to a rack". I looked at the clothes and said "No, I'm sorry, you must have misunderstood, I'm looking for clothes for a MAN". They replied, "Yes, right here" and held up something like a cross between the 'Pirate shirt' from the Seinfeld episode and a Nehru jacket. I said,"Thank you, but that's not really what I had in mind".

So, I went back to the concierge again, and told them I couldn't find anything at the store, so they told me I should go to the mall. I went to the taxi stand, and then realized I no longer had any cash. I asked if they would take credit cards, and he said no, so I had to find an ATM. I looked around for one, unsuccessfully, and then headed - back to the concierge - who gave me directions to an ATM a few blocks later.

I get to the ATM, and it was one where you put your card in, and you have about 3 seconds to open the door before it locks again. Unfortunately, the handle of the door was broken off, so there were just a few shards of metal there. I tried 3 or 4 times to put my card in, and pull open the door by using the shards of metal, but I just couldn't do it. So, I went and found another ATM.

Flush with cash, I returned to the taxi stand and asked to go to the mall. The cab driver said "It's just right there, 2 minutes walk". So, I got out of the cab, walked 5 minutes in the direction he said, and there was no mall. So, I went back to......the concierge and asked again where the mall was. Well, it definitely wasn't within walking distance. I went back to the cab stand, and asked again to go to the Bercy 2 mall, but they didn't know what I was talking about. So, I headed back to the hotel, but decided to give it one more go and returned to the taxi stand and finally found one of them who understood where I wanted to go.

I finally got to the mall (time was getting tight now) and went to the store the concierge told me to go to. As I had feared, all the sizes were different than what I was used to, so I was completely lost. I asked for help from someone who helped me out, but I couldn't find anything appropriate in my size at the store. So, I went to another store, where they found me something appropriate - but all the pants were unhemmed, and wouldn't be ready until next week. "No, I'm sorry, but I need these pants right now". So, I went to a 3rd store and found success after taking a bunch of pants into the dressing room and figuring out my size in EU standards.

I raced back to my hotel room to quickly change before my meeting equipped with some dress pants and a nice dress shirt. Of course, upon opening up the dress shirt I realized that it was short sleeves. Oh well, no real option at this point. I may look like somebody from Office Space, but I had less than 15 minutes before I needed to leave for my meeting. Second problem, the shirt was incredibly wrinkled with that "fresh out of the box look". Fine, I'll just iron it. No iron in my room. So, I call down to the front desk "I need an iron - STAT!" Of course, I didn't really say "STAT", because they probably wouldn't know what that means, since I'm not sure anyone in the US really knows what it means, either, but Americans are more likely to have seen the term used on ER so they at least understand the sense of urgency.

Thankfully, even without punctuating my request with "STAT" the iron arrived in short order. I ironed my shirt, and fled to my meeting. Which, I might add turned out to be in an entirely different area of town than I thought it was going to be, as my client moved their world headquarters (how often does that happen?). But, I did make it there on time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The straightest distance between two points is a...?

So, I have a business trip to Paris for a final presentation with a client. In my previous career I might have thought of jetting off to Paris as something glamorous or exciting, but experience has taught me it is little of either. This tale only solidifies that belief:

T -2:00 hours (7 p.m. EST): My flight was scheduled to depart at 9:30, so at 7 p.m. I was about to call a cab for the airport so I could be there the recommended 2 hours prior to departure when I had a thought to check the flight status. Wouldn't you know, the flight was 2 hours delayed, and now scheduled to leave at 11:30. Well, at least it gave me the opportunity to help get the kids to bed.

T 0:00 hours (9 p.m. EST): Flight still showing 2 hours delayed, so I departed in the cab to the airport

T 1:00 hours (10 p.m. EST): Check-in and security was a breeze, as there were hardly any travellers still in the airport. I was curious why there seemed to be nearly a dozen TSA employees standing around manning the one X-ray machine. Got to support the economy!

One nice unexpected perk, I was flying on Icelandair, which has an arrangement with Virgin to use their lounge at the airport. I don't spend a lot of time in airport lounges, but in my somewhat limited experience, I have come to the solid conclusion that there are Virgin lounges, and there is everybody else. I had the opportunity to have someone make me a fresh sandwich from the deli, but I went for the chicken tikka while watching the baseball game on a largescreen television.

T 2:00 hours (11 p.m. EST): Virgin lounge is now closed :-( but we should be boarding soon.

T 3:00 hours (12 p.m. EST): My flight eventually takes off, destination Iceland. I check in at the service desk before boarding and they told me that they were holding all the connecting flights back by 2 hours, so my travel plans would be exactly the same - just delayed 2 hours.

T 8:00 hours (9 a.m .local time): Landing in Iceland. Coming into the airport, I have to say that Iceland appears like nowhere else I have been. If you were looking to film a sci-fi movie and needed a location that looked like another planet - Iceland would be a good choice. Where the airport is located it is incredibly desolate. There is absolutely nothing but what looks like a flat wasteland, more or less. The ground looked black, maybe volcanic rock. What was also interesting was there were all these fissures in the ground, things that looked like craters, and these little "mini-mountains" that seemed to jut up out of nowhere. Very interetsing.

After disembarking, I found out that my flight to Paris (despite the earlier information to the contrary) had indeed left without me. So, I would need to fly to Copenhagen, and then connect to Paris.

T 9:00 hours (10 a.m. local time): Departing for Copenhagen. Supposedly you could look out the window to the right and see the volcano plume, but I was unfortunately on the wrong side of the plane. Co-incidentally, my flight to Copenhagen was on the exact same aircraft as my flight to Iceland. IcelandAir names their planes (after volcanoes, coincidentally) so I basically got off the plane, and got back on.

T 12:00 hours (3 p.m. CET time): Landing in Copenhagen. Copenhagen airport is like a gigantic mall. An incredible number of high end stores here, a feature of airports I never quite understand.

I needed to get help with my travel situation, so I went to the service desk which was a bit like the RMV- you push a button to get a number. Everything here in Copenhagen seems to be divided between SAS (Scandinavian Air System) and Novia (everyone else). The "RMV" had two areas, one for SAS and one for Novia. They told me Iceland to check in with SAS, so I got a SAS number, and waited to be called. Once I got up there, they told me I was booked on an AirFrance flight, and therefore I had to go to the Novia counter. So, I went and got a Novia number, and waited for my number to be called. Once I got up there, they told me I needed a Flight Interruption Memo from SAS before they could help me. So, I went and got a SAS number, and waited for my number to be called. After receiving my FIM from SAS, I went back to the Novia counter, got a new number, and finally received my boarding pass.

T 13:30 hours (4:30 p.m. CET): Hanging out in the Novia lounge. As you can guess, this ain't no Virgin.

T 15:00 hours (6:00 p.m. CET): Taking off from Copenhagen to Paris.

T 17:00 hours (8:00 p.m. CET): On the ground in Paris. Flight was pretty uneventful, so that's good. It's still light here pretty late in Europe, which is weird.

T 18:00 hours (9:00 p.m. CET): Well, after watching the carousel go around for awhile and eventually stop, it appears that my bag did not make it to Paris. No one has any clue where it is, and since it is after 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday, nobody is really going to care about this until tomorrow except for myself. Whether it is in Copenhagen or Keflavik, there are no more flights coming in today from either location, so I will be without my bag until tomorrow morning at the earliest. My meeting is at 2:00 p.m., so I have a reasonable chance of getting some clothes before then. I don't think I can really show up in jeans and a T-shirt.

T 18:30 hours (9:30 p.m. CET): The gypsy cabs seemed somewhat aggressive at Charles de Gaulle. Actually coming up to you in the cab line and asking where you are going. I've never trusted those guys enough to take one - seems risky. Get in the cab, and realize after leaving the airport that he doesn't have a credit card reader (which I think is unusual in the major cities in Europe). I only have 45 euros on me, so the whole ride to the hotel I'm nervous about the fare. He pulls up to the hotel and the meter reads 44.90. I'm not making that up. I apologized to him that I didn't have more to give him for a tip.

So, we'll see what tomorrow brings. There's a decent chance I get my luggage in time for my meeting. If not, I'll have to just call in from the hotel as I'm not showing up in jeans and a T-shirt. Just the cherry on the top of this adventure.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Sod Project

After trying several times to get good grass to grow in our backyard, and failing, we decided we needed to do something drastic - cut it all out and lay down new sod. So, bye-bye weeds and hello grass! Here are some of the highlights of the day:

The before picture taken from upstairs window:

Nathan wrestling with the very heavy sod cutter. I know he and our friends that helped with this red monster are going to be very sore tomorrow (now, where is the Advil!):

After the old sod is cut and removed, the dirt was raked, rolled and then fertilizer was spead. Finally it was time to lay down the new sod:

Presto! The new lawn is in and ready for watering:

S and J have both been very interested in the project. J loved watching from the upstairs windows and S said she was "the manager" and she stayed down below. In 2 weeks we can walk on our grass and really enjoy all this hard work. Thank you to our friends, J, R, and D, who helped the 60-62 Magnolia St. owners get this done. Hmmm...I see a BBQ in our future :)

p.s. "What happens to all that old sod?" Well, I guess you can get rid of anything on Craig's List if marked "free." In fact the woman is here right now loading the old sod into her pick up truck. Apparently she came from an hour a way. good luck, lady!