Thursday, May 27, 2010

27 May 2010

We have a gas stove now, to Mr. Brown's delight. Our first week here, I set the library books on the counter and went to get something from the fridge. Rose Pink says, "Um, Mom, I think the magazine's on fire!" I turned around and sure enough, Nut Brown had tugged his book out of the stack and pushed the Big Backyard magazine that we'd checked out into the flame under a pot. I grabbed the magazine and went to put it in the sink, but it blew out as I moved it through the air. Very exciting - and we don't put books on the counter any more!

Monday, May 24, 2010

22 May 2010

Happy birthday to me! For my birthday, Mr. Brown took me to the garden center and turned me loose. I bought a lot of annuals, two azalea bushes, and some dahlia bulbs. At the farmers' market, I got two tomato plants and some herbs - basil, thyme, rosemary. I am making progress digging up hostas and planting flowering things. For my birthday present, Rose Pink picked out lots of seeds for me: lettuce, cucumber and peas, also poppy flowers. Nut Brown randomly sang Happy Birthday to me all weekend.

Sunday afternoon, Mr. Brown let me do something that I love, which is cook with him. We made applesauce (with the kids' help) and ham and mashed potatoes and dill bread and strawberry rhubarb kissel, and he made steamed asparagus. It was wonderfully fun, and the food was delicious too.

I went to the doctor this week because I have a sore index finger that won't heal. It looked like a bruised fingernail, but it didn't get any better for six weeks. I learned to type with nine fingers, and Mr. Brown decided that I should see a doctor about it. Poking around online, it looks like it might a digital ulcer that's a complication of Raynaud's syndrome that I'm pretty sure I have. The doctor was pretty fabulously unhelpful. Luckily our ward is full of medical residents and they were ready to look things up for me. (It was a couple of them who named the phenomenon of my fingers turning completely white when they get suddenly cold.) Hopefully they can find out what sort of specialist I should consult.

Friday, May 21, 2010

family pictures

We had these made back in March. For our Christmas letters.

21 May 2010

Today I called in sick. We were going to have pancakes for breakfast, but were out of milk, so we were going to run to the store just to buy milk, and on the way out the door Mr. Brown collected all the things we had to be mailed at the post office and also our rebate check so we could open a bank we went out for breakfast and then ran errands.

We got chocolate donut holes for the kids, five each. Nut Brown said he was still hungry afterward, and Mr. Brown wanted another muffin, so he and Nut Brown went back to the counter. Nut Brown selected a chocolate donut. Are you sure? Mr. Brown asked. Oh yes, Nut Brown insisted. I've never had a chocolate donut before!

We stopped at the bank in the grocery store to open a cash account. While we were waiting for some paperwork to print, Rose Pink started a game with Nut Brown. You stand over there, she directed, and sing the song. It goes like this:

I looked out the window and what did I see...

A great big zombie coming after me!

And then I'll chase you!

They took turns being the zombie.


Tonight, reading scriptures, Rose Pink read, "...saying that he was a... Mormon..."

Mr. Brown corrected her, "Close but not quite, it says monster." I objected. I think there's a fair amount of difference between Mormons and monsters!


In the beds at our house, some previous person planted hostas, and no one has done anything since. And now, in my beds, I have HOSTAS. I like hostas well enough, but I like them usually in combination with other more colorful things. So I announced my intention to dig them up, and replant them along the side of our house in a strip of dirt there. (In the photo above, you can see the crater where I successfully (with Mr. Brown's help) uprooted one of the monsters. He got planted farther back in the yard by a tree.)

Rose Pink wanted to help. With no supervision or assistance from me she dug up a smaller hosta, broke it into four pieces, and replanted them in the dirt strip. And then she watered them. And then she told me she'd done it. She is amazing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

20 May 2010

Rose Pink went to the dentist for the first time this week! I was surprisingly nervous sending her off with the nice pediatric hygienist but she was a champ. Had her teeth scrubbed and a fluoride treatment and earned a treat from the dentist's treasure chest. No cavities! The waiting room had a white board with markers for entertaining children, and Nut Brown and I had a blast with that while we were waiting for her. (Mr. Brown was also in the back getting fitted for a crown.)

Sorry no pictures- we had issues uploading them. Hopefully we'll figure it out soon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

17 May 2010

Saturday we went to the Detroit Zoo. The zoo that is a five minute drive from the house. We had the choice of paying $36 for our family to get in for the day, or buying an $80 family pass for the year. Did I mention that it's open in the winter? We bought the family pass.

The zoo is definitely a "zoological park". There are lots of animals and exhibits but also lots of green areas, lots of picnic tables, and a big playground. We enjoyed the butterfly house and aviary immensely, checked out the penguins (very cool) and then walked all the way to the back of the zoo to see the polar bear & seal exhibit. You can walk through a glass tunnel that runs through the pool they have set up for the bears & seals. It was neat, but the shifting sunlight patterns made me a little seasick. Very cool to watch the seals swim around, though!!! The polar bear wasn't present.

Rose Pink and I turned over one of the small garden beds and got ready to buy some annuals to go in it. And a very nice person from church offered to watch our kids on Saturday night so Mr. Brown & I can go out for my birthday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

13 May 2010

New toy at our house - blocks that snap together. Super, super fun. Nut Brown likes to make guns out of them. Yesterday he made himself a gun that said 'bum, bum'. Then he made me a much, much smaller gun. I told him that since my gun was so much smaller it said 'bing, bing', but he insisted that my gun also said 'bum, bum'.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

12 May 2010

Here we are in Michigan! The whole move has gone very, very smoothly, and we are very pleased and excited by our new house and our new town.

The movers came on Monday, May 3, to pack up. One of them was named Brandon, and he turned out to be the grandson of Walt Peterson, one of the former bishops of our ward. The other guy was named Todd, and Rose Pink had the hugest crush on him. It was so cute to watch her follow him around and talk to him. He was really nice about it, and luckily for her, he was our driver so we saw him again in Michigan when they were unloading our stuff!

Tuesday, May 4, the truck was loaded. We were so impressed with our moving company. They were fast and efficient, and also took good care of our stuff, much better than the company that moved us from Texarkana. We had asked my vt'ers to come help us clean on Tuesday afternoon, and there were five people who came to help us clean our little townhouse. The cleaning was all done by five pm, and we decided to go ahead and start on our journey instead of camping out in our house. We had dinner with our friends the Whites and then set our backs towards Iowa and our faces towards Michigan, and stayed the night in Peru, IL.

We arrived in Michigan on the afternoon of May 5, Wednesday, got the keys to our house and started exploring Royal Oak. There were two immediate hiccups with the house: the fridge didn't work, and the previous tenant had cat. Or cats. Fortunately, the maintenance person for our landlord came by, and we told him about the fridge. He brought us a new one the next day!! We rented a carpet cleaner on Thursday and went over the carpets very carefully. With that plus the strategic application of pet deodorizer products, the cat issue was taken care of. It was fortunate that we had no furniture, so we could go over the entire carpeted area of the house VERY THOROUGHLY. Mr. Brown & I and probably Rose Pink are allergic to cats.

Having overcome those obstacles, we gave ourselves over to learning our way around our new neighborhood. There is a park one block away, super awesome, and another one three or four blocks the other direction. We found the library and got a library card. We checked out the farmers' market on Saturday. We visited a thrift store downtown, and found a variety of grocery stores, including a small one a short walk from our house. We ate dinner at some fun restaurants in downtown Royal Oak, and made the acquaintance of several families at the parks near us. We also found a few things left behind by the former tenant, including some toys, two swivel chairs, a little wheeled table cart, and the most awesome folding chairs ever. We cleaned up everything we wanted to keep, and the kids had a great time playing with their new toys. We really had a good time together in our new house.

On Sunday, we found our ward and discovered it to be very welcoming and full of friendly people. We also had the best Mother's Day ever. Rose Pink was nervous about going to Primary, but did not complain about it afterward, which is a good sign. Mr. Brown & I enjoyed attending Sunday School together, something that hasn't happened in almost five years - either he or I have always been teaching a class somewhere else before!

The Mother's Day gift that Rose Pink produced for me in Primary was a questionnaire. It was a perfect gift for me, and really made me feel so special. Here I reproduce it for you:

1) What is your favorite thing to do with your Mom?

Play Life.

2) Name one of your mom's talents or things she does really well.

sing songs at bedtime

3) What is your favorite food your mom makes?


Ed.: I don't cook. I reheat Mr. Brown's spaghetti.

4) Write about one of your favorite times with your mom.

Going to the mall and getting candy.

5) What are you goin to do for your mom this morther's day to say thank you?

Tell her I Love You.

It really was my favorite mother's day gift ever. And my best Mother's Day ever.

On Saturday, Mr. Brown's tooth started to hurt, and it got worse on Sunday. When I got to work on Monday, I asked a friend for a recommendation for a dentist, and the dentist was kind enough to get Mr. Brown an appointment for that very afternoon. Mr. Brown had an emergency root canal, and he liked the dentist so much that he made all of us appointments with him for later in the month. So even though that started badly, it turned out well.

The truck arrived on Monday morning, and our idyll of stuff-less-ness was over. Our house filled up with boxes and furniture, and we are busy unpacking and figuring out how to live with it. I think the space will suit us very well: the front bedroom is going to be Mr. Brown's "nest", with all his video game stuff and D&D stuff, but also with the family games and homeschool stuff and children's books. Since it has a closet, we put the futon in there so it can double as a guest room for visitors. There is a half bath right next to it. The living room at the moment is going to have a piano in it and some pictures on the walls. We may or may not decide to buy couches. The dining room has a wood floor and a sliding patio door. The china closet is going in there, and I am actually going to get to display my dishes for use. We have put the dining room table in the basement for the moment and are still using the little one in the kitchen for our family meals. The kids love sliding around in their socks on the wood floor.

Upstairs there are two bedrooms, a small one for the kids and a slightly larger one for the parents. Also a larger, full bathroom. The door to the bathroom is awkwardly set up. I am lobbying Mr. Brown to replace it with an opaque, floor length curtain. He protests that it would be awkward for guests, and I rejoinder that we can put the door back when we have guests. So far his strongest argument against is that all the steam from the shower will escape and you will shiver worse than usual when you get out. In our bedroom we put the dresser in the closet (it's a big closet) so actually out in the room there is just our bed, night tables, my clothes chair, and our pink reading chair with a lamp stand. I feel overwhelmed by all our stuff so I'm hoping to keep things simple.

The kids' room is very crowded at the moment with their beds, dressers and boxes of toys. The basement is clean and tidy but completely unfinished, and doesn't even have any extra outlets. I look forward to going through everything we have stashed down there. Mr. Brown yesterday attempted to replace the lousy washer that came with the house with our nice front-loader. He got everything all hooked up, but tells me today that the washer rocks and leaks, sadness. Do washing machine repairmen still exist? Any advice about getting this fixed would be helpful!

I don't like my workspace so much, but at least my teammate Chad moved up at the same time so we can keep each other company. And we're supposed to move in a month or so. Fingers crossed that happens. My commute is only fifteen minutes and is practically traffic-free (we probably could have foregone replacing the side mirrors on the Civic) and I don't mind having a ten-minute walk in from the parking lot. (In the winter that may be a different story!)

Our initial overall impression of our new environment is pretty positive. Further updates as events warrant! Photos once we find the camera cable!