Monday, May 20, 2013

11 months

Ashford is 11 months old, and so full of personality!  He is still a peanut at about 19 pounds.   He still wears mostly 9 month clothes.  I attribute his slender frame to his refusal to eat most things - yes, that is still going on.  It is my biggest worry.
Maybe if they made wood-flavored baby food, he would be happier.  He gnawed a hole in both sides of his top crib rail, so that is awesome.  He is just starting to walk, when he's not thinking too hard about it, he will walk for several steps before falling, so I think he just has stage fright. 
He still has regular meltdowns, but in the last week or so he's been healthy (we think he has allergies like me) and a total joy to be around.  He doesn't appreciate my non-smart phone, though.
I've been completely obsessed with taking photos of him.  I'm not sure what my deal is, but I bring my camera on every walk, every time we step out in the yard, I have it for every bath, it's ridiculous.  I've been trying to take photos that aren't your standard pose, so when he doesn't look at me or gets too close to the camera, I take a photo anyway.
Sometimes you get great photos.  And you may wonder, what is he smiling at out of the frame?  Or, is there a spider about to fall on my head?
So, we've been having fun.  The kid loves swim lessons, climbing stairs, and chasing the cats.  He also loves taking walks in the stroller and 'dancing' with us. 
He is warming up to books, which gives me immense relief.  He used to just hit them, throw them, try to eat them....I had visions of him never reading because I failed to get him into it when he was a baby, so YAY! 
In a couple weeks he will be one.  I hear that is a big birthday, so I'm about 7 days away from freaking out and doing everything last minute.  Guess I will just relax until then! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I hate my city

Uh, this might seem like a weird post for the one immediately following our 'look how much we love our house' feature in the paper...awkward.  I have straight up had it with our city.  In the 5 years we've lived here, we have watched our services go down (recycling pickup every two weeks instead of every week, skipping garbage/recycling pickup if your day is a holiday instead of moving it one day later) and our taxes go up.  We currently pay just over $4600 a year for our property taxes, is that not ridiculous?!  Our water bill increases.  Our street doesn't get plowed for over half a day after a snowfall, and after one storm this winter our street NEVER got plowed.  We were sliding around ruts of snow for days.  Our street is full of potholes and good luck catching the dump or any city offices while they are open.  Our assessment keeps going down, making this all the more irritating.  Then a couple weeks ago, the city sidewalk inspector made his rounds and gave me the cherry on the top of my annoyance sundae.  
Shortly after the green spray paint, we got a certified letter note on the door.  What is that, city?  You want me to go to the post office during my lunch hour and wait for 30 minutes for this stupid letter?  Great.  The post office workers yukking it up about how I better 'get ready to shell out some dough for my sidewalk' when handing over the letter was also enjoyable.  It said that we had to fix the difference in elevation between the 75 year old flagstone approach and the sidewalk.  That sand you see by the street was the city fixing a water leak the same day we got the letter.  It is still a pile of sand two weeks later, they are supposedly planting grass...I'll believe that when I see it.  
We have the only flagstone walkway in our neighborhood, and I'm sick at the thought of replacing it.  I decided to call the sidewalk engineer to see what our options were.  When I called the number on the letter, it brought me to a voicemail system where you couldn't move forward without a last name or an extension, of which NEITHER were included on the letter.  Classic!  I called the public works commissioner because his name was on the letter.  I bet he loved that.  
I finally got in contact with the engineer and he told me my options were to get the flagstone level/replaced with a contractor, have the city rip it out and put in bright white concrete, or rip it out entirely and plant grass.  Of course all these options require me going downtown to buy a permit.  And we have until June 21 to do it.  I am so upset about messing with this original part of the house.  
I refuse to have the city pour regular concrete in there, but I don't know how much it will be to fix the flagstone - and if it will even match the old stuff.  I also don't want to take the entire thing out because we use it all the time.  Anyone have any advice?