Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

We had a great weekend. We spent a lot of time outside, spent some time inside re-arranging and re-delegating spaces in the house, and Mike spent some time putting together a new toy he bought for himself. He found a fantastic deal on a miter saw.

And since he now has a 'work bench/area' downstairs, buying the miter saw at about 80% off was an obvious decision. It fits perfectly downstairs, and now Mike and I can stop carrying the neighbor's saw across the yard every time we need to cut some wood. Just about as soon as he had it put together, a branch randomly fell off one of our maples in the front yard. I'm sure the storm in April had something to do with weakening it. It doesn't really look like that big of a branch in the picture, but it was. Luckily it didn't land on the house or car, so not a big deal. Unfortunately, Mike bought a miter saw instead of a chainsaw, so we had to use a hand saw to cut it into manageable pieces, which took a decent amount of time.

We were also able to spend some time getting to know Jack a little better. I don't have any more pictures of him yet, but I'm sure I will soon. He is still a pretty timid guy. He really likes his kennel, and spends most of the day sitting in it with the door open. He is very quiet and submissive. He does seem to have a bit of a Shih Tzu personality. For example, yesterday when Mike and I took him for a walk, he got to the edge of our lawn and refused to walk any more. Because why walk when someone will carry you? That will have to end soon enough, however. I brought him to the vet today and she thought he might be a Shih Tzu-Labrador mix, and would easily weigh 30 pounds. I guess time will tell.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

We got a dog!

We just picked him up today. Claire named him Jack, he's a shih tzu, and he is only 8 weeks old. His original name was Triscuit because the first owners kept him and his five siblings in a cupboard. Jack's foster mom said the 'pantry pups' hadn't seen the light of day for the first six weeks of their lives, and had a hard time walking around at first. But being puppies, they all bounced back rather quickly.

Obviously, he is quite the cute pup. What we know about him so far, is that he loves to lay in the grass and watch cars drive by when he's not chasing Claire around the yard. He hates his collar and has no idea what a leash is for. I'm sure we'll add a lot to that list quickly.

Enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One Year Later

It was one year ago today that we closed on our house. It really doesn't seem like that long ago. In fact, just the other day someone asked me when we moved to Maine, and I started to say 'about six months ago' and then I realized it had actually been a year. And it has been quite the year, full of a lot of firsts. Having our first house obviously being the big one. And then the first time making improvements/repairs on the house, the first huge storm (weathered nicely from Hawaii) which lead to our first home insurance claims. I feel like we have really seen and done a lot in Maine in the year we have been here. We've done a lot outside the state as well. Looking back through the blog I think we have really made the most of the opportunity to live out here, and its been a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Summer!

Yesterday Claire got a "Happy Summer" package in the mail from Jim and Monnie (and Howie!). It had a bunch of great summer things inside like wind-up water toys, those sponge capsules you put in water and they pop open and turn into something (in this case, bugs), gel pens, a Push Pop and bubbles, which was the big hit. I've already re-filled the container twice, and I'm sure thats just the beginning. She loves it. Thanks Jim and Monnie!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Today we are putting polyurethane on trim for the basement. To clear room we cleaned out the unfinished basement, build stands to keep the wood piles off the floor and I got a workbench. I thought I would post a picture for my dad who I thought would be pleased with the new addition.

Claire's First Bike Ride

I put training wheels on Claire's bike and she is getting ready for cycling season. She is amazing and the basement is a perfect place to start. Monday is supposed to be warm and dry so look for an update with outdoor pictures.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Denim

Last week was finally the tipping point. I knew I needed new jeans, but I was unwilling to spend the time shopping for some. But like anything else, you eventually get to a certain point where you can't put it off any longer. And that point happened to come on a day that I had to take Claire with me. So I left with a strategy: look at my current favorite two pair of jeans, and then go looking for the same name brand. I knew I wouldn't be able to find the same style, but I figured the chances would be good that there would be at least something I liked from that brand. But, I was wrong. I finally had some success at Macy's, but finding something I liked was much more difficult than I thought it would be, and it didn't have anything to do with Claire coming along. She actually went from store to store very willingly, and even had some very genuine sounding compliments like "Mom! You look fantastic in those jeans!" or "Oh, I like those ones, they are real long!" and even "Try sitting down on the floor, Mom. Like we are playing a game." Pretty helpful, really.

The problem was, at least at the stores I was in, there isn't anything I like or would actually wear. I found two choices: Mom Jeans in the Women's Section or Glittery Ripped and Rhinestone Studded Jeans in the Juniors. There have got to be more options between the high waisted pants that go up to my ribcage and low rise jeans that are so low, you can't sit down in them. Something between relaxed fit and painted-on. Maybe I'm just overly picky, because I don't want to spend too much money on a pair of jeans either. Obviously I'm shopping in the wrong places. But mostly, I'm surprised there isn't more between the two extremes. I did find two great pairs, but it took a lot of work to just find the correct style, much less size and fit. In the end, I think the solution is that I need to look in different stores more often so I'm not going to too many stores in one day, and getting nothing but frustrated. And, from now on, Claire comes, Mike stays home. She is a much better shopper than he is.

I don't have a picture of the jeans, but I do have one of Claire planting some pansies we bought at the Portland Farmer's Market.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Seven Wonders of Maine?

Maine has a great small newspaper called the Portland Herald. It doesn't have much national coverage but it is easy to read and tells you everything you want to know about Maine. Today they have a story called "The Seven Wonders of Maine." I hadn't heard of one thing on the list! Sounds like a busy summer.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mothers (especially mine!) It is a beautiful Mother's Day in Maine. We've actually had an amazing run of beautiful weather. Just about the opposite of last year, when it rained every day in April and May. Its fantastic. I forgot how nice it is to have green leaves on the trees around our house.

We don't have a lot planned for today. Claire and I went out for breakfast, and Mike was able to get some sleep after his last call day (woo!) of intern year. We'll go watch him play in a tennis tournament shortly. Claire made me a card that said "Mom I love you up to the sun" which is very sweet. I'd also like to go check out a trail I thought I saw on a map of Great Diamond Island, but I'm not sure if it exists yet. I have to do a bit of research first, so I'm sure we won't get to it today. But speaking of islands, we did get to Long Island this past week. The beach we found was covered in sea glass. We all had fun collecting it. Its a great island, and I'm sure we'll go back when we have a bit more time to explore.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Misbehaving at the Children's Museum

Today started off stormy, so we went to the Children's Museum. Its a rare treat for all three of us to go, and today was no different. After hitting all the favorite spots, we checked out the Ranger Station which was still new to us. We walked around the room looking at the various nature displays such as stuffed (real) animals, wasp and bird nests, sections of tree trunks and those boxes you stick your hand in and try to ID the pine cone or whatever that is hidden inside. Then I found the fun stuff: a table with fake animal poop on it. It was rubbery rather than plastic-y, so it not only looked real, but felt a little more real than I expected as well. I showed Mike, and then I mentioned something about how it would be funny if we'd replaced all the stuff in the ID boxes with the fake animal poop. That was all the suggestion he needed. He did the switch quickly and sneakily.

We are still laughing at our imagined outcomes.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Saturday is for Sleeping.

Its the weekend. And unlike last weekend, when we worked day and night on the basement, this time we are taking it easy. And speaking of the basement, we have some pictures here. We don't have everything in its place yet (couch, ping pong table, foosball table etc), so there aren't any FINAL final pictures, but you get the idea. Its come a long way from the creepy-crawly basement we bought with the house. It sure cleaned up well!

On to this weekend. Claire and I spent most of the day at Crescent Beach State Park. We were hoping to do some tide pooling, but the tides didn't cooperate. We have the Audubon Society's Guide to Seashore Creatures, and I was hoping to identify a few of them, but there were none to be found. We still found a bunch of treasures, of course. Crescent beach is fantastic for finding treasures, plenty of neat rocks and seashells. Today there was actually quite a bit of debris (both natural and not) washed up on the beach. I've only been there a few times, so I'm not sure if its normal, but I would think a lot of it is from the storm a few weeks ago. Today, however, we had great weather. It was sunny, warm, and calm. It wasn't even windy at the beach, which was wonderful. I believe its suppose to be just as nice tomorrow. I've been wanting to go to Long Island (Maine, of course), so maybe we'll hop on the ferry and check it out.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Pep Talk

As I was tucking Claire back in bed after a bathroom break late last night, she said, "Mom, you are the best mom in the whole world."

Somehow, she knows when I need a little lift.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tennis at the Head

Tonight I played tennis at a public court that overlooks the Portland Headlight. I hit with Alex Kay who is a friend from work who was a top junior in Wisconsin and then played at Cornell University. The hitting was great and the view was spectacular. I want to start taking pictures of tennis courts in great locations. There are clay courts on Peaks Island and also at Ferry Beach so those will be our next stops.