Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it... good god, it's still snowing?!

As I think I mentioned in the previous entries, Seattle isn't a town that gets much snow. And, when it does, that snow generally only last a day or two, and then we are back to our usual cold and wet weather. So, as you might imagine, it's been a bit of a surprise for those of us living here, that it has effectively been snowing for over a week now.

Compare this picture to the one in our previous entry to see how the snow keeps piling up outside.

And, with a newborn baby, a house on a hill, and only a Honda Accord, we've essentially been snowed in here for that time. Needless to say, while the day to day beauty of the snow isn't lost on us, we are getting a little stir-crazy and cabin fever has started to set in. So, what do you do when you are trapped at your house for a week? Well, here's a short list:

1) Change the babies diapers.
2) Feed the baby.
3) Watch the baby sleep.
4) Construct elaborate charts tracking babies diaper changes, feeding patterns and sleep patterns.
5) Stare at the tree.
6) Stare at the snow.
7) Shovel snow.
6) Watch shoveled sections of sidewalk re-fill with snow.
7) Play games.
8) Design new games from scratch.
9) Drink hot chocolate.
10) Drink egg nog.
11) Drink wine.
12) Fixate on the Cliff Mass Weather Blog.
13) Repeat.

...another occasional snow sotrm activity.

Yup. That's pretty much it. I've actually been a little luckier than Sarah because I've been able to get out of the house once of twice. Generally, it's just to do a quick loop around the neighborhood to scout out the Snopocalypse. But still, the fresh air, being able to say "hi" to the occasional neighbor, and getting to crunch through the snow has been a nice experience.

Braving the snowstorm.

As for Stella, she's probably relieved to be stuck in doors, since she's been attacked by the baby acne fairy. She's definitely improved, but there were a couple of days there where we couldn't help but feel sorry for our little blotchy baby. Also, it bears mentioning that tomorrow marks the end of her 4th week on the planet, and (aside from the acne and some diaper rash) it so far so good!

Sarah and Stella curl up to keep warm inside. Stella is shy because of her acne.

We are starting to get a little stressed about Christmas though. Not only will all this snow make it potentially difficult to get to relatives houses for the holidays. But, since Stella's arrival, we still haven't had a chance to do any major Christmas shopping. As it stands right now, I think we are hoping to have a chance rush around and pick up some stuff on Tuesday... but we are going to need the Seattle snow-gods to cut us some slack for that to happen. So, if you are on our shopping list, don't be surprised if you end up with an IOU.

But, as I mentioned, it's hard to fixate on the stressful things, when the snow makes every day seem new and interesting...

Various animal and bird prints keep appearing in our backyard, here Sarah managed to capture a picture of one visitor.

Snow on a tree in the backyard.

Ice crystal form on a branch outside our window. Last night brough freezing rain in addition snow.

OK... basement is getting cold, and the snow is still falling here on Beacon Hill, at 6pm on Sunday, so I'm going to go hide upstairs with my girls. Happy snow days, everyone!

Here's all our latest photos of life during the snow storm.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 a Winter Wonderland.

"Oh the weather outside if frightful, but inside its so delightful!"

Sometimes, life makes it easy to sit around and do nothing...

Despite the fact that Sarah and I are still finding our stride as parents, both of us still wrestle with the feeling that we should be "doing something" every day. Its a little odd to wake up each morning with the realization that all we have ahead of us are a few chores, a few dirty diapers, and staring at a sleeping baby. I mean, since we spent the better part of '07 packing our days with visits to Buddhist temples, overlong bus rides and arguing with auto-rickshaw drivers, the idea of staying in is, in a way, daunting.

But, luckily for us mother nature stepped in an dumped a couple of inches of snow on us over the weekend, dropped the temperature into the low 20's and gave us the perfect excuse to snuggle in and do nothing. (As if taking care of Stella isn't excuse enough.)

Now, Washington state tends to be the Mother Bear of the Lower Forty Eight. We aren't too hot like, say California or the South. But, neither are we too cold and prone to deathly cold-snaps like most of the Mid-West. Instead our temperature is just right. Well, if "just right" means 60 degrees, and soaking wet.

But, a rather uncharacteristic cold front rolled through on Saturday night and left our house looking like this...

Our house from the street the morning after the snowfall. Usually, snow like this will melt over the next 24 hours, but this time its mostly still there several days later.

A photo from our front window on the night of the snowfall. I had to use an extended exposure, and it gave some neat colors and tones ot the picture.

And, now it sounds like we are in for a second round of snow tonight or tomorrow... which should hopefully convince us to stay in through the weekend. Fingers crossed.

Still, that's not to say that we haven't done anything except take care of Stella. In fact, with her birth now three weeks behind us, we figured that it was finally time to start thinking about the holidays and buy a Christmas tree. So, bundling Stella up, we headed over to Capital Hill to purchase a tree.

Oops! Apparently, we thought that the ceiling of our living room was higher than it was! In our defense, it was so cold out that we LITERALLY bought the first tree we looked at.

The family poses in front of the newly decorated tree. (Notice the top is now sawed off.) I love the lighting in this photo though.

The whole family poses for a photo together on the couch. Apparently, everyone else decided to look at the camera while I looked at the tree.

Oh, and wonder why the cats look so well behaved? Notice the spray bottle on the coffee table! I kid! Sort of. Ah, Christmas Cheer!

Happy Holidays everyone!

See all of the photos [url=]here![/url]

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Stella Photos

Someday, this blog will go back to being about our various adventures and travels. But, for the time being, it's settling comfortably into the roll of being a baby blog and a place for me to post pictures of Stella.

To that end, here is another collection of photos from Stella's second week. And some highlights...

Someone we know described babies as being like fireplaces, because even when they aren't doing anything exciting, you still just stare at them. And, take pictures of them.

Comic books, and Stella: A typical evening for me. Notice how, even though it's December, I'm laying on top of the covers... the girl is a little furnace.

Sarah and Stella together. Sarah amazes me each day with how wonderfully and naturally she's slipped into the roll of mother. Stella's a lucky girl.

Oh, and as a side note: Happy Birthday to me! I turn 33 today. As the Christmas song says "the weather outside is frightful..." with rain and wind. So, sound like a perfect day to spend indoors with my two girls. Delightful!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Stella's birth and first week!

"Omigosh!" A Stella action shot!

The first week of parenthood has been a wonderful and exhausting experience. And one that has seemed to fly by despite the fact that we've mainly been resting and changing diapers. Just yesterday, Sarah and I found ourselves in disbelief of the fact that our little Stella is already one week old!

Anyhow, to cut to the chase, here are all the photos we've taken both in the hospital after the birth and over the last week.

Here's a few highlights...

I love this picture. The look on Sarah's face is the look of a mom who just met her daughter a few minutes earlier, and has already fallen in love with her.

Stella blissed out in her first bath.

As much as I dislike my profile, I love the warmth of this shot. Stella is just crashed out, as you can tell by her little limp arm.