Yesterday, Cassey reports, after she got home from dropping me off at the metro, Ephraim reached down and touched the hub caps on our car and said "hot". Later when she left to pick me up from the metro, he reached down, touched the hub caps and said "not hot". I tried to get Ephraim to repeat the response for me and I ended up accidentally inventing the "is it hot" game. He'll take a toy car, point at the hub and say "is it hot?" Then he touches it, gets a strange expression on his face and indicates whether or not it's hot. It's cute, but it gets old. Kind of neat nonetheless.

Today Ephraim had a birthday party to go to. They had rented one of those bouncy castles and consequently the back door of their house was left open. As a consequence of that, they didn't have their air conditioning running. I was sweating beads. Ephraim didn't seem to mind the temperature, however, but he found the bouncy castle a little intimidating. I went in with him to try to get him warmed up to it, but he just didn't much like it at all. I suppose he's a little unsteady on his feet still for that, especially when there are bigger kids in the castle. (The birthday boy had older cousins at the party.) I got kneed in the head pretty solidly just sitting in there with Ephraim. It was the coolest place to be however. It was shady and it had a nice current of air. The house, in comparison, was miserable.

Anyhow, I had high hopes for getting Ephraim all tired out, but he never took to the bouncy castle, and for the first half of the party he clung to me, likely afraid I was going to leave him as this was a house where we'd taken him a couple of times before to be babysat. He was having fun in the end, however.

Yesterday we went out to look at homes, and the first house we went to look at had a huge yard. Normally the lots we look at are about 5000 square feet. As I stepped out into the back yard, I heard our agent say the lot was 15000 square feet. The area directly behind the house didn't look too large, but looking to my left, the fence was nowhere nearby and there was a huge area about the size of two more lots. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, the previous owner had stripped the house. He'd taken all the cabinets and appliances in the kitchen. He'd even taken the sinks in both the kitchen and the bathroom. The house had central air conditioning infrastructure, but going around the house there was a spot where the former owner had clearly ripped out the AC unit. I think we said we would be willing to pay $320,000 for the house, but the asking price was $325,000. Unfortunately, in today's market, people are getting more than they ask and we didn't even have to know the asking price to know that what we would be able to offer would not be enough. The house simply needed too much work for us to be able to afford it and the yard is simply too rare and fantastic to imagine that others with more purchasing power won't be buying it up.