Archive for June, 2011

…it’s a borer.

We’ve got bees.  Of the carpenter variety.  Also known as the “eat your house” variety.


On Tuesday we took their dogs out for their nightly romp in the yard before closing the gate (because after all this time, they still don’t think to go before bedtime, and then they look at us with pleading eyes when we’re already settled in for the night, and we have to trudge back downstairs, open the gate, etc…).  We were standing under the cover of the top deck because a storm had already rolled in, and it was beginning to rain.  Linus who heard the roll of thunder somewhere not-very-nearby was hiding behind the generator with his tail between his legs, Sally was peeing on the deck because Sally’s goal is to be as annoying as possible at all time, and Lucy — totally oblivious to the rainfall — was grazing on grass in the yard down below.  It was while we were waiting for Sally to stop ruining the deck, and for Linus to emerge from his hideout, and for Lucy to finish fourth meal, that I noticed damage to the railing around our lower deck.

Honey, I said, I think we’re in trouble.  I think we have termites.

But it wasn’t quite like termite damage.  This was bigger, less scattered, and looked more like the aftermath of wild west shootout.  It was damage from a glock — or it was another kind of creature, one I wasn’t familiar with. 

After some research, we decided it was woodboring beetles.   So we stopped at Home Depot for some anti-bug poisons and prepared for a massive beetle onslaught.  We decided to remove some of the infested wood, and G took a sledge hammer to the most damaged deck railing.

Imagine our surprise when the board came down and out flew a mass of enormous bees.

Well, that wasn’t what we expected. 

Luckily one of the products we bought is for termites AND carpenter bees (actually, it’s not even for beetles — we were improvising), so G sprayed the heck out of the nest chambers scattered across our deck, and we will see what happens.  Apparently these suckers return year after year and even hibernate in their nests over winter, so we will have to seal and paint the boards if we want to prevent them from coming back.  But it seems the timing of that must.be.perfect (bee people online are intense!), and honestly, I think it might just be easier to get rid of all the eaten pieces.

Maybe this is the impetus to create a fabulous new deck staircase to the backyard?


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June 28

Last weekend’s wedding was the perfect opportunity to reflect on our own wedding three years ago. I’ll never forget the first two things G said to me: how beautiful I looked, and that he’d never been hotter in his entire life. Luckily, he said them in the proper order.

But once I get past the steamy, oppressive heat that filled the day, there is so much more to remember and look back on. Our family and friends who flew in from all corners of the country to spend the day with us, who partied until the end of the night (and way beyond!) and created the memories that fill us. The details of the day – invitations, menus, programs, fans, sand dollars on champagne flutes – that I had so much fun working on, but that also ensured that I wouldn’t step foot in a Michaels for more than a year. (I believe they also contributed to copious alcohol consumption by the ladies on my side of the family…) Our delicious, but sparsely decorated, cake, and the wonderful entrée that I still think is the best wedding meal I’ve ever had. The lightning storm that broke through the night at the end of our reception, and the brief loss in power that I assumed for so long was due to the storm. The amazing crab feast on Friday night, and the family brunch on Sunday morning before we all said goodbye.

Every so often I think to look back on our slideshow from the day, and it fills me with wonderful memories. http://www.bishophotography.com/slideshow/ErinandGreg/

It’s hard to believe it has already been three years since our wedding day, and now we’re so blessed to be starting the next chapter of our lives.

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Wedding Weekend

Erin and Chris’ wedding was absolutely beautiful.  The ceremony took place at the chapel at Villanova, where Erin and Chris both went to school, and the reception took place at a gorgeous home called the Appleford Estate (http://www.applefordestate.com/).  The weather was incredible, and we enjoyed dinner and dancing under a white tent on the side of the house.  Cocktails, drinks, and a dessert bar were outside on the lawn next to the gardens, with candles and wrought iron tables scattered the grass.  (The reception was very Great Gatsby with a country twist.) Mom K took way more pictures than we did, so I will have to defer part of this post to her pics, but here are just a few we took from the special day!

Before the ceremony:

Before the reception:

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Baby Girl Shower in C-hocken

Actually, I have no idea what locals call Conshohocken.  C-hock?  The Hock?  Philly’s left arm?  At any rate, we are back home now recovering from a very whirlwind weekend.  The wedding was beautiful, but that is for another post.  This is a Friday night Marriott fifth floor baby shower post.  We had to show off the amazing collection of beautiful baby girl things we got from Mom and Dad K this weekend.  (This post could also be named “99% of the baby things we now own”.)

First the wide shot (holy baby stuff!):

A more detailed look at one half of the baby things, featuring: footie jammies, burp cloths, receiving blankets, bibs, shoes and hat, mittens, onesies, and a teeny tiny swimsuit.

A detailed look at the second half, featuring: footie jammies, gowns, jeans, rattles, books, shoe socks, dishwasher baskets, baby skin care kit, a totally daunting baby healthcare kit, photo album, plush blanket for the stroller (in orange/white bag), and an embroidered terry cloth hoodie blanket for baby girl.

And a few close-ups of my favorites from the collection: the adorable sneaker shoe socks, the hooded piggy blanket, and — two favorites — the swimsuit, and the citrus jammies (that have a ruffle on the butt).

Thank you so much for such a wonderful, unexpected surprise shower.  Baby girl is going to be very well dressed!!

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We’re outside of Philly for Erin’s wedding this weekend, and enjoying time with Mom and Dad K in beautiful Conshohocken.  The Marriott had free donuts out this morning, and now we’re at Starbucks getting some work done, so all is good.

Last night we went out to a fantastic restaurant called Bar Savona for dinner.  Appetizers included pizza, fried artichoke hearts, mozzarella antipasta, and arugula salad; entrees were fluke with lemon and capers, eggplant neopolitana, linguine with clams, and veal milanese.  A ricotta cheesecake and some inventive drinks also made an appearance at the table.  A perfect start to the weekend!

Here’s the family outside the restaurant, and one of us learning a very important lesson about standing frontways versus sideways in pictures when pregnant.

We also had quite the baby shower yesterday with Mom and Dad K, and our bounty of baby things has now quadrupled.  But that is for another post, because it is too overwhelming to try and mention everything without picture evidence!

Almost time for the wedding festivities to begin!

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LUCkY Number 7!

Yellow dog turns 7 today, and it’s hard to believe that we’ve had her more than 6 years… (or that it’s only been six years — one of the two).  Either way, we celebrated with her favorite meal: cheeseburgers.  As easy as it was to get Li to pose for his cupcake birthday celebration, it was the exact opposite trying to get Lucy to pose with a cheeseburger.

Editor’s note: this is why Lucy is not my choice for Pups in the Park: Lucy + people with hot dogs = unavoidable disaster.

At any rate, it’s a good time to think back on our fondest memories with our squishiest dog… like when she ate the Halloween pumpkins before they were carved, or when she ate two loaves of bread and got violently ill, or when she ate the leather dining room chair.  Or the many times she has thrown herself into mud puddles and refused to budge, or swam out past the jetty at the dog beach and refused to come back in.  These days, however, it’s mostly her fondness for cuddling, chewing bones, and snorting in her little pool that we think about.  And when she flips all of her food bowls because dinner is .1 minutes late.

Happy Birthday Lucy!

Just in case you’re wondering what you’re seeing in the above sequence (click picture for full-size, optimum Lucy viewing):

1. I place Lucy’s plate in front of her for a photo pose. Before I have even let go of the plate, Lucy has crammed the entire top bun in her mouth.
2. As soon as the bun clears her mouth, Lucy moves to the hamburger and shoves the entire burger in her mouth before we can even consider taking her plate away.
3. It is difficult to chew when one has an entire hamburger in one’s mouth.
4. There is not room for hamburger AND tongue.  Only solution is to remove tongue from mouth.
5. Annnnnd done.  On to the bottom bun. *Editor’s note #2: I did remove the plate at this point because she was not actually supposed to eat an entire hamburger, bun and all, by herself. 

Total time elapsed: 2.3 seconds

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32 weeks!

It’s official: even if I go all the tippy-toed way to the end of this pregnancy and have to be induced, I’ve got less than ten weeks to go.  And if she decides to come at, say, 38 weeks, well then I definitely won’t be prepared!  Are we really only 6 weeks away from watching for labor signs and driving around with an empty carseat and a hospital bag?

Either way, we’re at 32, and all things look good.  People at work are beginning to stare at my belly as it shifts throughout the day with baby girl’s calisthenics, and even though they apologize, they can’t look away.  I know — my stomach is all over the place.  She’s a puncher, a kicker, and a ‘sit-up-straight’er.  Each time she moves, her foot jabs into my rib, and I feel all of my internal organs shove upward.  I’m convinced she’s out of room and she can’t possibly grow another 2-3 pounds in there (or, heaven forbid, more!).  

That said, I feel really great.  Knock on wood, my rings and my shoes still fit fine, I’m sleeping well, and I’m not short-of-breath when I go upstairs at work or walk around golf courses in the heat.  However, I’m starting to wonder why they don’t put extenders on the belly bands of maternity pants, as my stomach seems to be rapidly outgrowing them, but I guess that’s why the fashion gods invented dresses.

Today’s appointment went well: BP still good (100/62), weight still good (though not included here!), and baby’s heartbeat still strong.  Although when the doctor tried to get her heartbeat, baby girl kicked the doppler away.  Twice.  Even the doctor seemed mesmerized by the porpoise swimming around inside of me.  “Wow, another strong kick!” she said.  Yep, felt it. 

34 weeks is my last appointment before they go weekly and before I have to give blood again, so I plan to savor the next couple of weeks immensely.  We’ve also got our meet-n-greet with my pediatrician of choice before that appointment, so I guess we’re really on our way.  Until then, happy 32!

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