Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day at the Zoo


Our Boston friends Robert and Christina were in town with their 1 1/2 year old son, Marcus, and we went to the Los Angeles Zoo with them on Saturday. We got a family membership so if any of you also have memberships and want to go with us, let me know. Marcus was adorable, and it was great to finally meet him and to catch up with R & C. Parenthood agrees with them. Above, 3 somewhat random photos that represent the day.

Oh, and in bad news, the autofocus on my camera is broken (or maybe accidentally turned off, I need to read the manual more closely or bug Steve or Lori about it before trying Nikon.) So many shots are blurry.
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Adventures in Homeownership, Chapter 52, Plumbing

Today I spent the morning with 2 plumbers and the afternoon with two different ones. We've had a slow drain leak in Lauren's bathtub for a few weeks now (so the water doesn't stay in the tub), and then recently a leak in the living room ceiling when someone takes a shower there. Luckily, we have a home warranty (from Virginia Surety Company and we're pretty happy with them). So I called the home warranty company, they authorized the repair, I called the plumber whose name they gave me, and he came out this morning. Two guys assessed the whole leak and told me it was a faulty drain ummm...I forgot the word. But anyway, they wanted to charge the home warranty company $800 to fix it, plus drywall.

The home warranty company got on the phone with me and told me they authorized the repair, but not at that amount of money, so they were going to send a different plumbing company out. These guys came around 2:00 and were here until about 6:00. They had to cut a hole in the ceiling and then saw through some wood to get at the pipes and fix everything. Evidently some people's bathrooms have "access panels" but when they built our condo, they didn't put one in. I also found out that to plumbers, we have a townhouse. They don't care about the shared garage thing that seems to define "condo" for realtors. They just care about no one being below or above us when pipes leak!

Anyway, they got all done, finally, after being here all day and the elaborate process of laying plastic sheets to cover furniture in the living room, cutting through the drywall, and starting and stopping water. "It's all fixed." After they left, I found out the bad news. This will seem like such an insignificant thing to most people, but it turns out they substituted the kind of bathtub drain we had before, which was a nice switch you could flip up to keep the water in, or down to drain it out. Now we have the kind you have to step on in a certain spot. I hate that kind! Because whenever I take baths, I always hit it by accident with my foot and have to fumble around in the bath bubbles to find exactly which spot to press to get it to hold the water again. My parents have this kind of drain in their tubs, and when Lauren takes baths there, I have to stay nearby because she's constantly draining water by mistake.

It's the little things in life, the little things. One thing I looked at when we bought this place was the plumbing. As nice as it would have been to have, say, a nice view, to me it is even nicer to have tons and tons of hot water that rushes out of the pipes so that many people can take showers and hot relaxing baths without the last person cursing the penultimate person for using up all the hot water. By my own standard, I'm in 5 stars. But it just went down to 3 stars with this new drain...

Friday, March 05, 2010

Dog People- WWYD?

This morning I was driving Lauren to school when I saw a guy run out in front of some cars. Luckily it was in a school zone (LAPD is ticket-crazy these days so I try to remember to especially slow down there!) so traffic wasn't moving that fast. Then I saw why he was running. He was chasing a yellow dog. I put on my flashers and the dog ran in front of my car, going much faster than the man, and on to the sidewalk. He turned right down a side street so I turned right and followed him. A silver car turned right behind me.

Another guy came running across that street and tried to catch the dog. The man in the silver car pulled over. "Is that your dog?", I asked. "No, I think he belongs to that guy back there. Do you have any food? I think we could get him." So now there were 4 of us running after the dog. While we were talking, yellow dog rounded the corner and into another intersection, so the silver car and I took off after him. He ran up a steep driveway so we both went up the driveway. He then ran down the driveway, leaving us to turn our cars around. He was about a mile away from the original spot by then. Still the chase continued.

As we were pursuing him, I remember that I did have some food-Lauren's pizza for her lunch. So I pulled alongside silver car guy and tossed it to him. Then I went home to get Lauren another slice of pizza and to grab a leash and collar. Because it occured to me, what would we have done with him if we did catch him? He was bare-necked and skittish. It was kind of foolish to even chase him in the first place. But we 4 strangers could not watch a dog almost get hit by a car and not try to protect him.

I hope the little guy is okay. I don't know if he is, when I drove around the area after I got the pizza, no sign of him. And no sign of any of the searchers, either. But it's funny how, life in the big city, people pass by each other and don't say hello but when an animal needs help, strangers band together. And then again, more life in the big city, we will never know how the story ends!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

American Girl


Lately Lauren's been really into "American" things and yesterday when she saw this dress at The Children's Place, she said "ooh, it is just my style" so Ryan bought it for her with the matching headband. Then when we got home, she insisted on putting it on right away, twirling around in it, and calling my parents to tell them all about it. She's going to wear it for class pictures tomorrow, and again at her birthday, Fourth of July...

She loves the "American Girl Doll" books and didn't know until recently, about the dolls that came with them, and the store and the lifestyle. She's been past the store but thinks it's some kind of museum. Recently she realized that the company sells dolls to go with the books and she says "I might like to start a whole COLLECTION of them for Christmas!" (I think I would rather collect hundred dollar bills instead of spending $300 a pop on the dolls)
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Monday, March 01, 2010

First ride in the Pipmobile

My dad bought a 1969 Karmann Ghia a year or two ago. He is restoring it in his garage and refers to it as Lauren's Pipmobile. She had been begging us to put her carseat in it so she could go for a ride, so this weekend I finally did. It was not easy! We're lucky the car has seatbelts, let alone finding LATCH hooks. We made do with some luggage clips and creative knot tying. (They were only going around the block.) They had a great time, see below:

Quotes from the "Lee"

"I'm not PIP, don't call me PIP. You can call me Lee! Or just Lauren, how about that?"

On smelling my new lotion: "Mmm, that smells like a bee!"
-"A bee?"
-"Yes, like a bee that has been pollinating lots of beautiful flowers"

"What I want to be when I grow up is a checker for the Yankees."
-"A checker?"
-"Yes, well, the Dodgers won't let girls do it so I will have to work for the Yankees. The checker is the person who makes sure, when they have games all over, that everyone gets on the plane! Like I will say 'Derek Jeter, are you here?' and go and find Derek Jeter and get him on the plane!"
6 months ago, same question:
"What I want to be when I grow up is a doctor AND a nurse! So people don't have to wait!"