Saturday, July 25, 2009

HOT, baby, hot!

I've got to keep this short, as I have the major paper for this semester due at the end of the day today (YIKES. panic, panic).

I just wanted to take a moment to talk about just how hot I was yesterday afternoon. On the good side, it was the first day in two weeks of living in our house that I was very uncomfortable. I was so uncomfortable that I took my shirt off, even though we don't have any window dressings. That's right, we don't have blinds or curtains on any of our windows. The internal thermostat read 85 degrees, and that's with the evaporative cooler working non-stop. It stayed 85 degrees for at least four hours of the afternoon yesterday. Gag.

Anyone who has had the misfortune of being around me, especially in childhood, when I was sticky and hot for any period of time and experienced my horrendous moodiness knows that I do not function well in heat. In fact, my parents worked hard at trying to convince us to invest in the installation of central air in our house. However, after much research and various considerations, we decided to go with installing a down draft swamp cooler (aka evaporative cooler). Instead of using freon (which is what air conditioners use) to cool the air, swamp coolers use water to cool the warm air. So, swamp coolers are not just glorified fans. Nope.

From what I read and from what people told me, swamp coolers can make the inside house air up to TWENTY degrees cooler than the outside air. Yesterday afternoon, I was like, where is this powerful master of cooling the air?! I am so dang hot. My computer said it was 95 degrees outside. That meant that the evaporative cooler lowered the inside temperature by 10 degrees. Not bad, but not enough for this little lady. Once I headed out to do work, several places said that the temperature was nearly 100 degrees. That made a significant change in my attitude. Our swamp cooler was working like it should after all (it could the inside air by about 15 degrees), and the people advocating the swamp cooler (for successfully cooling the air, being eco-friendly, being more cost effective, etc.) weren't lying after all.

Apparently, my skin has grown a lot thinner since I am no longer spoilt by having air conditioning in my home. After spending just a couple of hours at Starbucks, I was shivering, with goose bumps all over my body. I have never been known, up to now, to be sensitive to the power of air conditioning.

In other news, after I finish this paper, I'm going to work fast and furiously on getting ahead for the weekly Biblical Interpretation (BI) assignments, since, hopefully we'll have lots of visitors in the next month or two. My parents are coming earlier in August, to help me take care of the girls, while Troy flies to a friend's wedding and participates in some bachelor activities. Troy has been dying to go camping for YEARS, and I really want him to have some relaxing time with no family or house responsibilities. Hopefully Troy's parents will come soon, as well. Some friends are also planning on coming for a visit from out of town. YAY for visitors! So, I've got to kick my studying butt in high gear, so I can be worry-free about spending loads of time with friends and family.

Friday, July 10, 2009

By golly, there is such a thing as a free lunch

We're in the midst of packing up our belongings and getting ready to move. Very hectic and very tiring. Troy spent the better part of the day working on our house, and I was busy trying to keep my children from panicking and packing when I had a moment. Isabella and Victoria, each in their own way, showed me that they didn't like the change they were sensing. Isabella had to have her own way, more so than usual. And, Victoria was very whiny; usually she only screams when she's hungry, tired, or needs more time with me.

Blessings came in the form of two friends lending several hours of their time. Lynette brought over ten brand new book boxes and slaved away at wiping down and boxing up books. She cleared two and a half book cases. Only four and a half to go. My friend, Kathryn bagged up on the photographs on the wall and the desk photos as well. She also boxed up all the fragile items in the living room and dining room. Quite fast they worked. Then Lynette took all the framed pictures to the house and she and her husband took the ten boxes of books to the house and unloaded the books so that the boxes would be ready for more books. I don't know what I would have done without that help. Cry, I guess. Troy hired a company to load our stuff up in their truck and drop it off at the house on Saturday morning. That's right, the day after tomorrow, we're paying people to load and unload. That deadline is a great incentive to work fast, but it also stresses me out. How the heck am I supposed to pack like mad when I have two adorable little monsters hanging on to me?!

Welp, here's a little relief from the stress for everyone. Took these pictures at Hudson Garden, right by the seminary, where the girls and I enjoyed free entrance for a special day. I think they were celebrating their anniversary, so admission was free. Yay!

Isabella wanted to cross this bridge over and over again. As you can probably guess, we didn't get very far in exploring this huge garden. These days, when I alone am with the girls, I try to get Isabella to walk and put Victoria in the stroller. Must help Isabella burn her energy and encourage her curiosity.

Victoria's a rather curious gal herself. She's been able to say "one" and "two" in Chinese; it's really cute.


Hudson Gardens had dancing performances, different kinds of modern dance. It was so cool, and Isabella was quite taken by it. Couldn't keep her eyes off of the performers when they were dancing.

It is SO hard to get both girls to look at me when I'm taking their picture. Nearly impossible.

A gal who was passing by was kind enough to take a picture of us. She did a better job of filling the frame; thank you. Again, couldn't get the girls to look at the camera.

Isabella's "laughing" in this picture. She offers plenty of genuine laughs, but in this photograph, I asked her to laugh and she obliged.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Our little walking trips to Starbucks

I thought that all children, especially young ones thrived on routines, with designated times for snacks and naps. But, Isabella is one who really depends on routines. She is accustomed to arriving at Starbucks during snack time. But her routine habits don't stop there. She wants to have a banana and some bread while she's there. Interesting, since when we're home, she usually has, amongst other things, strawberries and an apple.


Victoria, too, seems to be a bit that way. She'll eat banana when we're out, but at home, oftentimes, she'll take them out of her mouth or spit it out.
Subsequent to the Littleton Historic Museum visit, we skipped right on to the park across the street. Looked like Isabella and Victoria (but especially Isabella) would have a grander time there. Score!

This slide really looked intimidating or scary, even to Troy. Not kidding. Troy said he enjoyed it. Isabella didn't ask to go on it again.

The girls both enjoyed swinging. Victoria splits her time between exploring the grass and rocks and hanging out in the Ergo with me.


Not following directions

The Denver Zoo, probably any zoo, says not to pet or feed the animals. Does that include wandering chipmunks? Well, if it does, we broke that rule and fed it some Cheerios. Sadly Troy and I had more fun watching the chipmunk munch on them than the girls did. Isabella did try her hand at feeding it.


Since we have been house hunting, our days at the zoo have been limited. We have tried to keep some sort of family time on Saturdays until the last week or two. Instead, we'd venture a bit closer, to the Littleton Historic Museum or a nearby park.

I don't think either kids complained. In fact, Isabella loves the park, where she can play with wood chips, climb, and slide down slides. That's right, swinging on the swing has dropped in importance and fun for Isabella. Victoria, on the other hand, loves the swing.

Isabella insists on riding the "cow" every time she sees it at the zoo.

Here's a lovely little moment between father and daughter.


Well, enjoy. I've got two children who woke up from the naps in a testy mood. Off I go!