DSC_0268, originally uploaded by isabelle gr.

Just hanging out, wearing some knee socks and stuff.


end of summer

Clara will be five months old at the end of this week. She has lots of energy and smiles, but not much hair. Our summer was filled with traveling and fun all over the East and West Coasts. Exhausting!


dog day

IMG_0441, originally uploaded by isabelle gr.

A suggestion for how you might spend an afternoon in March, if your tastes run to lounging in the pale spring sun, half-hearted fly-catching, and spying on humans.


signs of spring

IMG_0290, originally uploaded by isabelle gr.

There's an old familiar adage that has a special Seattle variation: "April showers bring May showers". True, but we need to write a new saying about how every February for the two - three weeks around Valentines' Day, the clouds part, the snowy mountain peaks glisten in the sunshine, and every bulb and flowering tree bursts into bloom. The pale, winter-worn people of the metrop seem to float down the sidewalks on clouds of cherry blossom perfume. Dogs frolic with renewed spirit; birds belt out saucy arias at all hours. I've never experienced a more dramatic springtime.

In the mediterranean micro-mini-climate of our driveway, our precocious clematis led the way again this year, since it can reach the sunniest high corner of our garden. This is its first bloom of the season, and it motivates me to get out and clean up the ravages of the winter. I uncovered many of our herbs and strawberries, looking fresh and chipper. We also have some mutant tulips that decided to go the full monty and now look like they regret it. It's always a surprise to see who thrives and who simply survives. The clematis is the over-achiever in the thrive bunch.

These zigzags are the beginnings of our new stairs. By the time the sun went down, the landing, treads and risers were in all in place. This weekend, the railing will materialize.


Moving into our bedroom

IMG_0243, originally uploaded by isabelle gr.

Although we are not completely moved into our room yet -- no art on the walls, no shelves -- I couldn't wait to share photo. We rolled out the rug, set up the bed, and even hung curtains, making this the most official bedroom we've ever had! Did I mention that we have a real door?

In case you were wondering if Nick spends all of his time standing on the very top rung of ladders, the answer is yes. Except when he climbs down every so often to build amazing Valentines' surprises, like this new mirror! It is made from the same cherry wood that he built our ceiling with. This is me, Bauhaus, and the baby at 32 weeks.


a fresh coat of paint

IMG_0240, originally uploaded by isabelle gr.

Our new bedroom is 99% ready, and by the end of today it will be 100%. What's left? A bit of trim and our extra tall door to paint, a bed frame to buy, and a rug pad to put between the cold concrete floor and our rug. Icelandic Poppy is the name of the barely pink color we chose for the walls, our concession to the fact that this bedroom is part nursery, part grown up room.

The corner you see here is actually the nursery nook. We left the twisting wooden column white, a nod to the days when this room was used to sew sail cloth for the boats made in Ballard. To the left of the column will be the baby's changing table/dresser, and to the right will be her crib eventually, after she outgrows the co-sleeper. For now we'll put the rocking chair in that corner. We'll add some shelves over the dresser, too. I can't wait to move everything in!

Here I am at 30 weeks and 5 days, painting my laundry room. I am wearing: my high tech, not-your-wimpy-dust-mask, asthmatic's special respirator; ancient running shoes; and pre-pregnancy painting jeans held up by the sheer power of will. Attractive!