Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cleaning the house

That's what we did this weekend. Yes, we did the inside, but we also did the outside with the powerwasher. My back is still killing me. But the side of the house looks much nicer and as an extra bonus, we discovered to our great surprise that what we thought was a gray cement strip along the side of the house is not gray at all, but more of a beige color like the house!

powerwashing the house
powerwashing the house
it's not gray cement!

While we were busy cleaning the dirt and grime off one side of the house, Benjamin occupied himself by adding more dirt and grime to the front patio. What a helpful little guy.

making new messes
Oh, by the way - the chimney sweep came on Monday, so we can now use our fireplace whenever we decide it's cold enough - and that day may not be far off given how we've taken to wearing thick sweaters inside already. Brr!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How do you heat your house?

It's probably still feeling like the end of summer for a lot of you, but we haven't had much of a summer here and it's already getting colder.

When we moved to this house last year, we got to control our own home's heat for the first time ever. Our apartment and then condo both had collective heating. In the apartment all we could do was turn off the radiators and open the windows (but of course we paid regardless), and in the condo we couldn't even turn off the heat, we could only open the windows (and again, paid regardless).

So being able to manage our own heat is a luxury to us. Our house has electric radiators in every room. Each has a thermostat so they aren't just heating permanently, but each is set separately; there is no central thermostat. We also have a glass-fronted fireplace, and that is mainly what we use to heat the house in the wintertime.

This is the price of our luxury, though: cleaning the fireplace every morning. That means sweeping the soot into the grate holes so it goes down into the ash tray, which then has to be emptied (ideally without getting ashes all over the floor), and cleaning the glass windows on the front & side of the fireplace because they turn black in just a day's time, and what's the point of a pretty fire if you can't see it?

This year we ordered twice the amount of wood we ordered last year since we didn't have quite enough last year. Of course, last year we were just learning and we think that now we know how to burn the wood more efficiently this year so it lasts longer.

So this is our winter heat source:

It was delivered in August this year and the man who delivers it backs his trailer up and dumps it in the street in front of the house. So we had to plan delivery for a day we were home most of the day since it takes a few hours to stack it. This year Frederic got lucky and got to do it all by himself since I was too weak with morning sickness to help. (He says he didn't feel very lucky.)

Now all we need is our chimney swept. Every year the chimney sweep comes around and makes appointments but I think we will call this year instead of waiting for him to show up. It's already chilly so we may just need that fireplace soon!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

new baby

Here is the newest member of our family!

The ultrasound was on Monday; everything looks fine and today marks the beginning of the second trimester, 13 weeks. This gives us an estimated due date of March 19th although my "official" estimated due date will probably be around March 28th since the French seem to think pregnancy is longer than 40 weeks.

I'm trying to wean off the anti-vomiting/anti-nausea medication (which works better than I thought, based on the night I *didn't* take it earlier this week) since it knocks me out and that's not a great idea for someone trying to take care of a busy toddler and get some work done every now & then. I'm starting to feel a little better finally which is nice.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

September 8th

I haven't thrown up in 2 whole days. But I'm still feeling pretty miserable, so we're not out of the woods yet.

My mom came to help us out for a couple of weeks which was wonderful - she worked in the yard, entertained Benjamin, kept my house clean, did my laundry, stripped wallpaper & primed the guest room, and I got to lie around and be miserable to my heart's content.

The day before she left we had an excursion to Ikea so she couldn't say we kept her imprisoned in the house for 2 weeks.

Yum, ice cream!!

This is Benjamin reading with Frederic a couple of weeks ago.