Thursday, March 31, 2011


In the bath tonight, Waimea was singing the song from Sleeping Beauty. Here's her version:

"I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.

I know you, I slide with you up upon my belly."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Evan is in Ireland again on business. He is scheduled to be gone for one month. Yes, 30 full days. Luckily my mom is here for the first two weeks. Here's an overview of what's happened so far:

Day 1: Evan's flight was due to leave at 7:10 PM out of Newark. We were just pulling into the airport at 4:40 PM when Evan realized that he was missing an essential item for international travel---his passport. We had no option but to book it home and try to make it back in time. I drove because Evan is too fuel-efficient-conscious, and because I know back roads (it was rush hour, by this time, after all). We made it back to the airport at around 6:10. Evan didn't have a cell phone, so we had no idea if he made the check-in cut-off time, but we also knew that there was another flight leaving at 9:50 PM, so even if he missed his first flight, he'd just have to wait for the next. Both kids napped in the car, which meant they were going to be up late. And sure enough, they were. Waimea was restless and cranky. And feverish. It turned out to be a rough night. And we found out via email that Evan missed the first flight by 4 minutes.

Day 2: Waimea was still feverish. We decided to the doctor and found out that Waimea had strep for the second time in less than one month. I had already had a cold for over two weeks, and my throat was scratchy, and since it was Friday and my doctor was not open over the weekend, I decided to go to my doctor. No strep, but antibiotics to the rescue.

Day 4: Sunday. Evan and I teach the Sunbeams (3 and 4 year olds) at church. We have about 10 kids on the roster, but usually there are only 4-5 kids. The last time I taught without Evan, there were 7. On this day, there were 9. Yes, NINE. Included in this group were: a girl who spoke no English and likes to wander around the class; another girl with a rare genetic disorder, who although mostly normal, insists on certain things being just so; an investigator's son who was outright hostile; another boy who normally will not respond to anything we do or say to him; a girl who thinks it's okay to wander through all of sharing time; and Waimea, who thinks that because mommy is her teacher she can get away with everything. If my mom had not been there to help, I would've had an anxiety attack.

Can things get any worse?

Day 5: Evan calls me up and teases me with the 1% possibility that he may be able to come home Friday (four days away) because they are having so many problems with the batch they are producing that they may just have to bag it for now and come home and figure out what's wrong.

Day 6: The 1% possibility becomes 100% possibility, pending available flights home for the weekend.

Day 7: Flight is booked for Thursday (the next day). He will be arriving home just before 2 PM, a whole 23 days early. How lucky am I?!?!?!!!

Of course, it means that he'll have to go back later, sometime after Memorial Day, but probably not for a month at a time. And hopefully he'll time it right and I'll be able to go to Finland while he's gone.

I still can't believe how lucky I am.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Desperate Exercise Equations

The Problem:

Evan out of town + Spencer sick with a fever + No exercise equipment at home = No way to get to the gym = No exercise = Katri going CRAZY

The Solution:

Day One:
14 stairs up + 14 stairs down = 28 stairs x 175 times = 4900 stairs climbed = 45+ minutes of exercise = A lot of sweat generated = One satisfied Katri ( = very sore calf muscles two days later)

Day Two:
Spencer + strep positive = Antibiotics (hooray!) = Katri knows she can go to the gym on day three = Not as concerned about getting a full exercise in = Walking around the little island in the center of our court 100+ times = 1/2 hour of easy exercise = Better than nothing

Day Three
Spencer no longer contagious + Back to normal routine at the gym = A huge sigh of relief

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The True Spencer

I love it when Spencer brings home schoolwork that shows his true character. Grandmas and grandpas--this post is for you!

This is a book that he brought home after they celebrated the 1ooth day of school:
(It says: "I wish I had 100 wells. I wish I had 100 toys. I wish I had 100 legos.")

And this, the last page of the book, is my favorite:
(It says, "But I do NOT want 100 peas")

Spencer is the vegetable king. He loves them, almost all of them. But he will not touch peas. He hates them so much that it's the only thing he could think of that he really doesn't want 100 of.

Don't ask me why he wants 100 wells. I'm still trying to figure that one out. A reference to Finland and my dad's lack of a well at the cabin, perhaps?

And this is another project that was brought home recently:
(It says, "I am unique, just like a snowflake because I love snow.")

He said to me one day after school, in a very surprised, yet confused voice, "Mom, someone at school said they hate snow! How can they hate snow? I LOVE snow!"

I love that he loves snow. Because I love it, too. And I do believe that does make us unique.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bad Planning

I love seeing examples of bad architectural planning. But I don't love it in my own house. Do you see the problem here?:Wouldn't be a big problem if there was nothing in that closet, right? Too bad the water shutoff valve to our entire house is in that closet. See the hole in the wall near the hot water heater? That's Evan solution. We even have a cover for it, so it doesn't look so ridiculous.

The most annoying thing about this, though, is that it's a huge amount of wasted space. There are a few water pipes and gas pipes, but they wind all over the place in that closet for absolutely no reason. The rest is wasted space. Talk about a travesty....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Joys of Home-Ownership

Always expect the unexpected. That is our new thought on home ownership.

When we bought our townhome 3 1/2 years ago, the furnace and A/C looked fairly new, and the hot water heater was only five years old. We knew we needed to put in a lot of other work everywhere else, but we were counting on those to last the 3 years we had planned on being in the home. But add 3 1/2 years to a 5 year old hot water heater, and you've got 8 1/2 - 9 years. Most last around 10. Taking into consideration the previous owners' lack of taste, we shouldn't have been surprised that the Moore brand hot water heater (who has ever heard of that brand?!) lasted less than nine.

But surprised we were. I walked into our laundry room on Wednesday night to get the clothes out of the dryer and found a nice big puddle of water at my feet. Good thing my in-laws helped us clean that room out at Christmastime, because it was a pain as it was to clean it all up. I'm just glad we caught it when we did, before all 40 gallons leaked out into our neighbor's home and all over our new hardwood flooring.

Thanks to our contractor friend, Dave, and his plumber, Phil, we had this new baby installed in a few hours' time, and hot water back in the house:
Why didn't we install it ourselves? We could have. Evan has done enough soldering of pipes that he'd be able to do that part of it, and if it had been an electric hot water heater, we may have been more willing to try. But Evan and I both don't want anything to do with altering or playing with gas lines. We've also learned that, in this house, and with our luck, we would've encountered many, many problems, and we probably wouldn't have had hot water for weeks. So we didn't even consider doing it.

And we're glad we didn't. It turns out that the first hot water heater that we bought was crushed in one of the corners and had to be taken back to the store. The valve that turns off the water to the heater was shot, as was the gas valve. And then there was the problem of lifting the old water heater up and over the gas lines, and then lifting the new one up and over. Yeah, so glad we didn't do it. There are just some things that are worth paying someone else to do, and this was surely one of them.