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In honor of the much-anticipated arrival of Miss Kyra Antoinette Shafer, and because I know that new parents really need all the help they can get, I’m posting these helpful Baby Do’s and Dont’s. Kevin, you might want to print these out and keep them handy.

Congratulations, Christa and Kevin, we’re so proud and excited! Can’t wait to meet our new little cousin.

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Yargh. As I may have mentioned, this time of year IS SO NOT FUN. We had tornados (IT’S A TWISTER!) one week, catastrophic snow storms the next week. Global climate change has jacked us UP. That, combined with the usual seasonal affective boredom disorder, has meant we have really not made much headway in our ongoing debacle. HAH! I MEAN REMODEL.

So Saturday morning Tony got all motivated and started stripping wallpaper (again. sob.) in the dining room. Taking off layers two and three, which shall hence be known as The Blue and The Pink. It’s crazy, The Blue was hanging on to the plaster for dear life in the hall and Parlor, but in the dining room it just kind of chips off. Underneath it is The Pink, which has been coming up pretty easily as well. So we each put in 45 minutes to an hour of stripping and called it a day.

I have an appointment with the fabulous Contractor Guy on Thursday to assess the pit of despair that we call a kitchen. He has done awesome work at my sister’s house and apparently enjoys the challenges of old homes. AND HELLO, HE IS FROM WEST VIRGINIA. So, obviously we love him to death already. I intend to offer to pay him in pepperoni rolls and I’ll let you know how that goes over.

In other news, the short and loud half of our family continue to entertain us daily. Anthony is starting to talk a lot… real words even! He started with the obvious: “lunch.” And “car,” “juice,” and “that.” He uttered his first BIG long compound word last week, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that it was “meatball.” Followed a few days later by “basketball.” Or, actually it might be “baseball.” Whichever. Rosie has been painting and doing “crafts” at every opportunity and is getting good at writing her name. One entire wall in our kitchen is filled with her construction paper paintings, and she kindly pointed out that now we don’t need wallpaper, we can just user her ART instead. Which is actually not the worst idea I’ve ever heard….

On to the pictures. As always, click to enlarge.

Here is Tony stripping The Blue and revealing The Pink. Which, actually, in these pictures it looks like The Brown, because it’s wet. It’s got the cutest pattern of white Queen Anne’s Lace on it. I would totally buy that wallpaper.


Art class. For future reference, if you lick that glitter glue there, it WILL make your diaper contents sparkly.

Jumping off of furniture turns out to be a good way for The Short And The Loud to combat the dreaded winter cabin fever. I haven’t tried it yet myself. But I’m close…