Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wrapping it up!

That's just about enough snow and ice to last me about 5 years.  It's made for good conversation and entertainment.  Just reading the Snoqualmie Ridge Community page on Facebook has been hilarious. People have been trapped inside too long - not me.  I love it.  Children have been out of school too long, including tomorrow.  Wnter Break was already next week, so they're out until the 25th.

Most of the roads are cleared, and the temps in the 40s melted a lot, but we're already freezing again tonight with rain coming up.

 And my brother sent this from Birmingham.

When I woke up this morning, I went to the balcony door and opened it, and you'd think it was the first day of spring.  A balmy 40 degrees with a mild wind and clear skies.  I just took a deep breath and enjoyed it.  The rain came midday along with lower temps, and I don't still want to spend a bit of time outside.

No mail again today.  I probably have really important things at the post office.

This is right outside my sewing room window, so I could watch the melting progress while I sewed.

I was hoping it would fall all at one time, but so far it's just gradually disappearing.  This was a welcome sight late yesterday.

Ryan came over again and shoveled off my porch and walk and helped some of the neighbors as well as digging out Elise's car where the plow had dumped feet of snow on it..  The apartment people haven't done a really good job of handling this, in my opinion, or maybe it just got to be too much.  I'm not sure anyone could have foreseen what a big deal this was.  North Bend has National Guard trucks helping people there.

I took a few pictures from the Ridge page.

A unicorn and a dinosaur went to the drive up window at Starbucks but were unable to be served because their arms were too short.  So, they just went in.

There are several videos of this, and the unicorn had a really hard time staying upright.  She kept falling on her back and not being able to get up.

Like this little one.  She was a trooper about playing with the rest of the family, but she spent a good bit of time falling down and even swimming in the snow once.  Those crazy layers of clothes don't help a toddler's balance either.


I gave Graysen a Lite-Brite for her birthday yesterday and didn't know how it would be received.  It's a lot smaller than the old ones, but they both loved it.  They even worked together on drawing a unicorn.

It blinks too.

Julie came over with Graysen and tried on her new clothes.  I didn't get a picture of her with her hair combed and her dress on, but I did get this.

I'm on a roll with this doll clothes making.  Graysen is making requests faster than I can sew though, and it's turning into designing clothes for herself.  "Mimi, can you make me a black dress with a red anchor on the top and two red heart pockets on the skirt?"  Hmmm.  Even if I could ...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Happy Birthday to Graysen

This picture that Emily sent yesterday is so perfect and so perfectly depicts this big 6-year-old.  She never walks when she can run, and she is full of life and fun and curiosity.

I met her when she was 1-day-old and fell completely in love with her.  I actually fell in love with her when I first heard she was going to be born, even before I knew whether she was a boy or girl or what her personality was going to be or anything about her.

I've saved so many of the texts between Emily and me those months before she was born, just imaging her and planning for her and not knowing what to expect.

This is what I wrote after we got to Washington and met her.

I have this memory that makes me teary this morning thinking about it.  On the way to the airport, I was busy texting and talking to people and being so excited and reading things to Mike as he drove.  We stopped in a little town on the way to the airport to eat something, and it is etched in my memory how I felt at that moment.  I don't remember the name of the restaurant or what we ate, but I do remember that feeling of euphoria.  Mike felt it too, and we would talk, but we couldn't stop grinning at each other across the table.  We were entering into a new phase of our lives and welcomed every second of anticipation.

So from that first day, we just adored this little girl, and everything she did was just amazing and wonderful.  We had to leave her and go back home, but we pounced on every picture and text until we could see her again.

Many things have changed in those years.  My life has been turned upside down and then settled into a new one, and the one constant in all this has been Graysen and then Katherine and the love I have for them - and so much that they give back to me.  I know there will be a time when she grows up and not so close to me, but so far her face lights up when she sees me every day, and she still sits in my lap and pats my face, and I'm going to enjoy every minute.  She remembers PopPop, or says she does, and is unfailingly certain that she will see him again and listen to his stories and eat chocolate raisins together.

Unfortunately, I don't have all day to go about this special girl who has to miss her school birthday celebration today because of a snow day.  I know she will get to wear her special birthday crown tomorrow - on Valentine's Day or the next day, but she will be so excited.

Saturday is the big birthday party at the YMCA.  It's a bouncy house party with lots of unicorns and pink things and a special cake and so many friends.  We're praying for good weather by then so people can get there easily, even though snow and rain are predicted.

I'll come back and find some of her other birthday pictures as I have time today.  I'm hoping someone will brave the snow and ice and bring her to me!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Still Nothing But White

 I can do nothing but go from window to window and see the same scenes.  I'd love to have more interesting scenes than the same old views from the apartment, but I'm kind of stuck here right now.

It's been days since I've gotten the mail, and I don't believe I will be checking it any time soon.

I love seeing fresh snow before anyone has walked on it.

 I'm babysitting Jack the spaniel for another couple of days, and I took this before he made his morning bathroom trip.  His mom told me last night that I could just let him run outside without his leash, and he would come right back.  I have to admit that was the scariest but most freeing thing I've done lately, to let him out the door to disappear and trust he would return.  The snow is up to his chin,  and he has long legs.  He just gallops along eating snow until he finds a proper spot.  And then he comes bounding up those stairs, ready to be warm.

This was last night before Kelly brought him over and before I swept the covered stairs.  According to my broom-handle mesurement, it was 8 inches on the landing.

 The wind has been blowing so hard it's causing deep drifts in places.


I think I'm glad I haven't traded cars yet.  I just hope this one will crank when I try it.

Just some pictures of the balcony.  It's covered and never gets wet when it rains.  Shows how hard the wind has been blowing.

Elise did the hummingbird feeder filling and the birdseed feast.  A lot of the birds come and linger awhile after they eat, leaving little birdie feet marks everywhere.
I think that's Elise's car between the buildings.  The city wanted all cars off the streets for the snow plow, but she had no place to park other than that.  We only have one parking spot, so lots of tenants here have to park at least one car on the street.

Jack is deciding whether or not to go out and chase a bird.  He just went out and ate a little snow and came back in.  He loves his warmth as much as we do.

 I took this yesterday afternoon when the snow blizzard started again.  It's nice to be in my warm sewing room doing what I want to do and still enjoying this scene.

I was productive too.  Ryan had sent over 5 pairs of pants for me to repair enough for him to wear to work in.  I did my best, but frankly he needs to let some of them go!

Under Graysen's direction, I made this pillowcase dress for her doll.  She picked out the fabric and the trim and was very pleased.  She can't tie bows yet, so I'll have to figure out what to do about that.

I've made 3 outfits for the dolls and am finding it very satisfying.

I haven't seen my babies in 3 days.  Schools are closed, of course, and I hope they're enjoying the snow.

I agonized over Emily getting home from New Orleans yesteday.  Her flight from New Orleans was delayed on Sunday night so that she would miss her Salt Lake City connection.  She had to leave early Monday morning to fly to Atlanta and then home.  I sweated it out, her getting to Seattle before the roads got bad, but she made it just right.  Afterwards, I was seeing notices of the roads being awful.

This morning, there is too much snow for the snow plows on the side streets (I didn't know that was possible), and the Parkway is too dangerous to drive safely on.  So, I think everyone is resigned to staying inside one more day and see if we'll get up to a melting temperature.  I do believe most people have had just about as much enjoyment over this unexpected treat as they can stand.  We're so lucky to still have power.  I heard Seattle is really suffering with power outages.

My plans today are to sew a little more, do some housework, and not much else.  If I know my family, they will all be over today, even if they have to use snowshoes.

Tomorrow is Graysen's birthday.  A big 6-year-old.  Her birthday party is Saturday at the Y right down the street.  Let's hope the weather cooperates for her, because she is beyond excited right now.

Tomorrow I will find the cutest pictures of her I can find as a contrast to what's going on outside.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Interesting 24 hours

The snow came as promised - on top of the icy slush - and then the wind came to blow it all around.  It's beautiful to look at but not so lovely underneath.

Ryan brought the girls from school around noon yesterday and visited for a bit until the snow started falling on cue.  It took all night to get the 8 inches the first day but only maybe 3 hours to get 6 this time.

We hardly noticed the weather since it was warm and active and loud indoors.  Jack had arrived at 11:00 and spent a while sniffing every corner of every room.  The only venturing outside was when Jack started pacing and had to be taken out.  Elise and I took turns going with him, but I only went down a few steps and was glad he had a long leash.  He didn't like the cold any more than we did, since he didn't linger.

And Layla pretended she hated Jack.  She would crouch down and follow him everywhere, but when he turned his head to look at her, she would go into this overly dramatic growling and hissing.  Jack was not impressed and didn't pay her a bit of attention, which made her even more curious.

We did most of the same things from the night before, but somehow with a dog, cat, and 2 kids, it was crazy, enough so that I was watching the clock for bedtime.

Katherine didn't go to sleep immediately this time but had to have two books read to her first, because she doesn't like "Marona" books (books without pictures on each page).  Graysen loves to listen to them though, so we read several chapters.  At one point, Ramona said her favorite time at school was playground time, and Graysen said that was her favorite too.  I asked Katherine what her favorite part of school was.  She was lying on her back with her feet in the air and her grumpy face on, but she never paused, "It's lunch.   Mimi, I need somepin to eat now."

This morning after breakfast I thawed the hummingbird feeder and tried to get rid of some of the snow on the balcony but failed to improve it much.  No reason.  If we have six more days of this, I may as well wait.

Ryan came and got the girls about 10 this morning, so I had to stuff them into their snow clothes.  He brought his snow shovel and cleared around my car and cleaned our walk and steps off.  I swept the steps and was able to go all the way down, but when Kelly came to pick up Jack, she said the landing and steps were just sheets of ice since it had rained.  So, I'm in for another spell.  My YakTrax shoe things seem to work pretty well and give me confidence, but I'm not going to take any chances I don't have to.

So now that Jack and the girls are home, we have a quiet house, and it's so nice.  Elise and I both agree that we adore these little girls, but day after day of just VOICES is a lot to take.  Even when they're coloring or drawing, they're still engaging and wanting you to look at things or help them with something, or they're hungry - or something.  We try our hardest to have patience and not sigh or frown too much and just let them be children.  They make us laugh much more than they make us sigh!

And those snuggles!  Katherine and I were up first this morning, and she was in a chirpy mood and sat in my lap for a long time and talked and talked.

Emily might be coming home early tomorrow.  Ryan is looking at different flights.  It's supposed to start back snowing around 4:00 and snow all night, so I want her in before then.  It's not going to be a fun day waiting.  I don't think the interstates got totally cleared today.

I'm not sure what the next week will be as far as school and work - and everything.  It's suposed to snow 7 out of the next 8 days for some period of time, and I can't imagine things are going to get better with that.  We may be out of groceries by then.  I've already missed picking up a book from the library that came in and haven't been to the mailbox in 2 days.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Waiting ...

Layla is all prepared for Snopocalypse 2019.  She has 30 cans of Fancy Feast Classic Gravy in many flavors, several soft and warm places to sleep, and her friend Jack is coming in a few minutes to stay until tomorrow.  I don't think she'll remember him since the last time he came was her first week here.  But she adored him then.

I don't think the feeling was mutual.  But we'll just have to see.

The girls got off to school this morning without much fanfare but will be home by noon since all the schools are closing early.

The sleepover went well last night, but for some reason, I'm more tired than usual.  We ate pizza, played games, read books, drew and painted a lot, ran wild with Layla, had a bath and another snack and watched two episodes of Calico Critters on Netflix.  I put their sleeping bags next to my bed and hoped they would stay in them.  Katherine was asleep before I could start their bedtime reading, just conked out.  But Graysen listened to 3 chapters of Ramona the Pest and still was wide awake.  Me - not so much.  I asked her if she wanted to rock a few minutes, and she jumped up into my lap with those long legs hanging down and just snuggled so sweetly.  It took her about 3 minutes of rocking to fall asleep, and they both slept fine all night.

Katherine woke up at 5:30 whining that Graysen had stolen her pillow and wanted to get in bed with me, so I let her, and I finally had to wake them up at 7:30 for bacon and yellow eggs and blueberries.

It's hard to get breakfast made and supervise their dressing and pack lunches and brush teeth and redirect thinking 20 times.  I know I once did all this every morning, but I was so much younger.

Ryan and I have to decide if they'll sleep over again tonight.  The snow is supposed to start really hard about 3:00 and drop a couple of inches an hour for the first 3 hours and then snow off and on all night.  It all depends on whether Ryan wants to come get them tomorrow, because I may not be up for a 3-night sleepover.

The sun is shining brightly now, and it's 33 degrees.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

It's Not Funny Any More

So, I've been trapped here for days and still am not allowed to go outside.  Elise drove yesterday but says there's ice packed around my car, and it's not safe to venture out in the parking lot.  She parks on the street, and the walks are clear.

Emily called all cheerful and encouraging on her way to the airport this morning.  She's going to New Orleans, so she can be carefree.  In the meantime, I'm still waiting to hear how I'm going to get the girls home from school today if Ryan is working.  Elise has a dental appointment in Bellevue at 3:00, so she's no help.  

I've ordered the latest in footwear, and they should be here tomorrow.

Product image for Black

I normally wouldn't bother for one or two days a year, but as if this week wasn't bad enough, we're expecting two more worse storms in the next two weeks.  

I read on the community page that the local ER has had about 15 broken wrists, some brain bleeds, and many other ice-related injuries, not to mention all the wrecks that have happened already, including one this morning in North Bend.

I don't want any more snow days because the girls will end up not even having a summer.  It seems funny to think about summer now.

I think I'm pretty positive about everything - or trying to be - but it's getting hard lately!

On a good note, sleepover is still on for tonight, and we have lots of food and activities planned.  The next snow is supposed to begin tomorrow around 3 PM and be a big storm, so Ryan just might take the girls home Friday afternoon.  In addition to all this stress, I have Emily's flight into Seattle Sunday to worry about and her getting from the airport home.  

Deep breaths.  I'm sure worse things have happened, and it will be okay.

No way I'm getting out there on that slip-and-slide on foot.

 The sunlight is encouraging though!

Okaaay.  Exhale.  Ryan is working at home today and can pick up the girls and will look at freeing up my car for me.  So, yay for that.

I just noticed this when I went to the window.  Looks like Ken is having a good time.

I see that shoes were not among the things that have survived those 25 years in various attics.  Mike took a lot of pleasure in vacuuming up Barbie shoes though.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Still Snowed In

At least I am.  People are stirring and going to work and picking up garbage and delivering the mail.  The girls have half a day of school.  But I'm going nowhere.  I think Elise is going to the grocery store for me, so there's no reason to risk it.

I think I saw a little melting of roof snow just now, but the only problem is, more snow is predicted this weekend.  And next week.

I thawed the hummingbird water again this morning, and the little birds seem appreciative.  It's only 23 degrees now, so I guess I'll have to do it again before long.

Just some pictures from yesterday and this morning.  There's a lot of beauty when you can enjoy it from the warmth of your living room.  I have enjoyed seeing the pictures other people have posted on the community page of the falls and the elk and everything, but I have no desire to go see it in person.

Mike loved that you could see the mountains from the balcony, and I love it too.  I always teased him through the years about wanting to live in the mountains, but we could never seem to work it out.  Until now when I have to enjoy them by myself.

Garbage day is never pretty, but it seems particularly messy on slushy days.  I was glad to see them though.

My car this morning.  Going nowhere.

The picture doesn't show just how beautiful the glittery rooftoops are against the blue sky.

I took this from my bedroom window yesterday after Elise had been taking out garbage cans.

The Rooster Valley Facebook page had some beautiful pictures and videos of the barn and animals.

I just love all of them and had to post most of them.

I'm with these girls - staying in and staying warm.

This is Katherine's classroom and where Graysen started out two years ago.  It's just as cozy inside as it looks.

Nope.  Still not coming out!

I'm sure Wilbur is finding some hidden treats underneath all that snow.

 The pre-K building. 

  This duck either has short legs or is trying to swim - maybe a little of both.

Thank goodness for Elise and her creativity and patience.  She printed out coloring pages of unicorns and spent a good while discussing colors and other things with the girls.

Clouded leopards too.  

I got a little work done in my room, typing some interviews and podcasts, and only had the job of dressing Barbie and Ken every once in a while.  These poor creatures from the 80s have no clothes that don't make you want to burst out laughing.

From the size, this must be Ken's shirt, but it was really hard to seriously dress him in this, especially when the next thing Graysen brought me was a full-length coat with a fur collar.  What is that stuff on it?  I can't even blame it on tie-dye, although there are a few of those in the box too.

I'm not cooking much, as usual, but I did find this box of Krusteaz muffin mix that looked and was delicious.  I added a lot of raspberries to it, and the girls just loved it, and Elise and I didn't hate it either.  That must be why all 12 muffins were gone in 24 hours.

I did get to clean out the sewing room, and am not quite as terrified to go in there and sew a little.  The shelves still need a lot of cleaning out and simplifying, but it's a start.

I made Graysen's American Girl doll a dress and jacket, but she doesn't live here, so the old Mandy doll from the '80s had to model it even though it was much too big.  

 I made some mistakes but think I can do better on the next one.

  I spent WAY too much time turning these little straps.  I thought I used to have a method, but even after I watched several YouTube videos, I still struggled.

I love my new ironing board cover a little too much!

This is a pattern from a book by Joan Hinds.  I saw her demonstrating how easy it was to make the clothes on a Nancy Zieman Saturday morning show once and figured I could do that.  It's a little more involved than she made it seem but really cute clothes.

 Graysen wants the sundress next and then some pajamas and a sparkly party dress - and lots more!  I probably need to spend some time on Barbie and Ken clothes.

Elise and I are planning a sleepover for the girls Friday night since Emily will be gone for the weekend.  I was fine with one night, but she's getting a little ambitious and suggested two nights.  I'm not sure an apartment surrounded by ice and snow is a good place to be shut up with those two for two nights and two days.  I think we need to give Ryan a couple of days off to pay him back for the repairs and advice he gives us.   We'll see how that works.  We're stocking up on hot chocolate, waffles, eggs, yogurt, pizza, and maybe even corn dogs.  Can't wait ...