Monday, November 26, 2012

Rasslin' Up some Candy

Halloween seemed to happen suddenly here, even though we had been looking forward to it for some time. We carved a giant (!) pumpkin and a couple small ones... it was the first year that M wanted to help and had an opinion about the face. 




 We had some fun with decorations....

Aunt Mimi had a little get together at her house so we could see all the kids in costume, including the one she made for Ripples. I'll say it again, I have the best friends.
M looks cool as a cucumber in her cowgirl costume...
Ripples is not too sure about being dressed as a
Candy Corn and  left on the bench... those kids will eat anything!
Getting individual pics of the kids wasn't too hard.
Brad and Oz, dressed in his lederhosen.  
Getting them all together was another story...

Our best attempt at getting Gus (Monkey), M (Cowgirl), Ripples (Candy Corn),
Reno (Lion) and Oz (Accordion Aficionado).


Latter, M was willing to ham it up a little:





Daddy was in charge of her costume this year and did a great job!
Trick or Treating went better than before, with M being interested in candy now. She didn't try to eat every piece right as she got it and she didn't try to go into anyone's house. But her favorite part of the night was still answering the door and giving out candy, which is good because I've been looking to delegate that job for a long time now!

Friday, November 9, 2012

What's another word for clever?

Walking to my class, I saw this on the bulletin board:

I love working on a college campus. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Whole New Level

So my mom finally convinced us that we needed the new freezer she's been wanting to get us...
This was her reasoning:

I've been pumping and freezing milk to take to Ripples' daycare, and let's just say the supply has been good.  It's been slowly taking over our regular freezer. Which means there isn't much room for other stuff. 
Now that we have the new freezer, all I can say is, "Mom, we're going to need more Otter Pops too."


Friday, October 19, 2012

Didn't think it was possible

Could anything be more cute than this?:

How about this?


Adding a hand knitted sweater (by one Nancy Smith - master knitter no less..) adds cuteness to any situation.
 It even came with a hat. I can't wait for the weather to get cooler so we can use it more! 
Ripples says thanks Nancy! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You are getting very sleepy


"Someone" has learned to find her thumb. They are best friends now.
We wake in the night to loud slurping sounds... we fall asleep to loud slurping.
I can only see this ending a couple ways, I hope it's the way in which she continues to self sooth and then miraculously stops sucking her thumb on her own.
I can hope, can't I?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Like a boss

M has been learning all kinds of new tricks and showing off at the park.
video


video

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Growth Spurt

What's going on with the baby you ask?
This is what is going on:

Don't see it? Here is a close up.


She is literally busting out of her clothes. 
Guess I'll mark down "Growth Spurt" in her baby book this week....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Baby Bliss

So... for all you following along, we up and had another baby. A perfectly, awesomely, chubby baby who's happy and sleeps at night. Her name is Ripley, but we call her Ripples.

I don't mean to overload you with cuteness or anything, but get ready for an onslaught.
In the Hospital, ready to go home


First day home
sleepy with daddy
First real bath
Stylin' at the park

Relaxing time with big sis, R is giving us the "don't bother us" look.
This is eerily similar to the "get off my lawn" look an old man would give. 
To top it off... here is a little baby dream, complete with goofy smiles.
Your welcome.

video

Monday, September 10, 2012

First day of the rest of her life...


M recently started Kindergarten at our neighborhood school.


I can only say her attitude was.... unfazed. 

She was happy to see all the new kids and a familiar face. 
One of her table mates is a little gal she's known for years. 

Picking her name on the SmartBoard
It's amazing how grown up they are expected to be and seeing the ranges of kids.
 M did really well, even managing a "Good Morning Mrs. Hill!" in her best big girl voice. 
We're all looking forward to a great year, full of new friends and new skills!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hittin' the Road

Somewhere along the way it occurred to us that the family room was A) not the only place a bike can be ridden and B) not the best place for a bike to be ridden. I think it happen about the time M noticed her bike was conspicuously missing from the family room and asked for it back.
The situation motivated us to take our kid out side to ride her bike like normal parents would.

video
It was a resounding success, until the last 5 seconds of the evening when she tried to ride it up the driveway and tipped over in the gutter, earning herself a skinned knee. But then she hopped back up and rode her bike all the way to the front door, took it into the house and then into the family room. Old habits....
Like with many things as of late (horseback riding, funderland, camping outside, helping around the house, playing at the playground) we managed our expectations, not knowing if she will be able to handle the new challenge. But a few minutes into it we look at each other and shrug because she's totally getting it and it's going much better than we hoped. It makes us wonder, of all the things that could hold her back, are we the biggest?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Beating the Heat

So... there is nothing quite like an afternoon where you mix scorching heat, water, a swing set and subtract clothing.


In all honesty, I can't believe this didn't happen sooner....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Funderland!

We tried to take advantage of our mutual time off this summer and have some fun with M. Funderland had been a long time goal and we finally got to go!
If you've never been, it's a small amusement park near the zoo here in town. It's a perfect place to take a 5 year old on a mild summer day. The lines aren't too long, there are sno-cones to be had and it's just enough to be exciting but not too big that you need to dedicate more than a couple hours. 
We used the experience to test out if M could handle the noise that amusement rides make. She seems to be a little sensitive and since we're planning a trip to Disneyland later this year we thought it would be a good test run. 
Good news: The noise doesn't scare her.
Bad News: Nothing scares her. 
She wanted to go on every ride, including the fastest one that even goes backwards. She wanted to do that one by herself. I can see Disneyland being both intensely fun
and excruciatingly frustrating for her.
 Eh, we'll worry about that when we get there!

On the other hand, Funderland was a smashing success! 
The Tea Cups - They were definitely the fastest spinners!

Pinned to the inside of the cup!

The Red - er - White Baron 
The Dragon roller coaster. A little scary at first, but then all fun!

The Carousel is always a favorite

Can't wait to go back when Reno, Oz, Miles and Ripples are big enough!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Afterbath...

After the chicks take their dust baths they are like ticking time bombs of dirt. You don't want too get to close when they are ready to shake!
According to BZ, "Afterbath" is the aftermath of a chicken dust bath.
Behold:


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cowgirl part II


This week M "learned to trot". 
By that I mean that she learned to hold on while Lola trotted. 
It's a lesson I hope sticks!


video

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cowgirl Maryn

In a lucky turn of events, we've been able to set M up with "horseback riding lessons" this summer. In reality she gets to visit Shannon who usually trains serious riders and horses for shows. But Shannon agreed to let M ride her horses and is showing her how to go, stop, turn, not get killed, etc.
It's pretty much the best thing M can think of doing, well.... maybe if we could find a way to add in a trampoline it might be better, but still.
This Friday M got to ride Lola, just about the sweetest horse you could think of. 
But Big.. and skeptical.
Lola is wondering why, why is this creature here? She had been a good horse, hadn't she?!
Finally M gave Lola some carrots and Lola decided they were best friends.
Shannon taught M to brush Lola and some of the names of the equipment. 
M looks like she is listening, but she's probably just thinking about how soon she can give Lola more carrots. 
 They led Lola down to the arena.
The view from on top of a horse allowed M to see that not only did Shannon have horses, but she had lots of other animals... some of which we have at home but that are super exciting at Shannon's house. There were some distraction problems...

"Shannon has CHICKENS?! MOM!"
"Yes honey, chickens, please HOLD ON."
Shannon had to teach M to say "WEE!" when she is excited instead of "WHOA!".. Evidently Lola doesn't get the difference between an excited Whoa and a please stop-Whoa.


M didn't fall off, so the arena time was a success. 


They got to walk Lola out to the pasture and out to a washing area. They sprayed her down with water (not Lola's favorite) but then gave her some more carrots so all was forgiven. 
We're already looking forward to this Friday!
When is that carrot dispenser coming back?!





Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cave Woman



When we bought our new house (yes, I'll get around to posting about THAT some day...), one of the things I was most excited about was the shed.

 Yes, I was super excited about a dark, dingy, spider filled room in a far corner of my yard. Why? Because said room also had 1) a cement pad,  2) a real roof,  3) tiny, but working windows, 4) funky cabinets out of the 50's, and probably most important 5) electricity and working lights. 

Inside, looking at one end from the door...


The other side...Brad was not included...
I kept thinking that someday it would make a nice workshop. 
Someday. Like when I had time to fix it up.
I could see that it had lots of potential, that wasn't the problem.
What I really wanted was to eventually turn it into a woman cave. 
But then reality hit. 
We have a baby on the way and if there is anything that will halt a selfish scheme to make a shed into a woman cave, it's a new baby. 
We all knew that if it this project didn't get done before the baby came, it was never going to happen.
I set my sights reasonably, I only planned to do things I thought I could do myself, or with minimal help. I was going to clean it out,  get some sheet rock on the walls, paint it and the cabinets (if possible) and then move all my crafty stuff in. Oh, and it had to happen before I got too big and couldn't do those things any more. 
Do-able, No?

And this is where my plan was thrown out of the window. While just in the planning stage my plan was shot down... by loving, generous, skilled family and friends that have ideas of their own. Wonderful ideas. 

Brad helped me (read: pretty much did it himself) clean out the room and move out the cabinets that would fit through the door. 
Then BZ's Mom and Randy, fresh off building an entire house, said "Let there be light!" and added two beautiful windows to the front of the shed. 

They also re-ran a bunch of wiring to add more lights inside and out, and so that I could have outlets anywhere I pointed. 
Boy did I do a lot of pointing. 
At this point, things were great, and pretty reasonable. Then they started talking climate control. 
Why not insulate the walls before sheet rocking? 
Because Uncle David has a bunch of insulation just ready to be picked up! (Of course he does. Just like my in laws have extra giant brand new windows lying around waiting to be put on someone's shed). 
I'm not one to say no to free insulation, so in the insulation went. 
Then they sheet rocked the walls as nice and tidy like. 
But wait... if we're going to insulate the walls, we should insulate the ceiling too, right? 
That meant putting sheet rock on the ceiling.
Which meant installing more ceiling joists. 
Which my dad and I totally did. 
Then we insulated and sheet rocked the ceiling with the help of his tall friends Tommy and Richard. 
And it came out something like this:


Oh, did I forget to mention Linda and Randy also PUT IN AN AIR CONDITIONER?
'Cause they did. 
And it's right next to my ironing board. 
And it's awesome. 

So as you can see, things were escalating a bit... 
From here, they decided that to do the job right (and show off their skills) the walls would have to be textured. 

Starting to look less like a shed and more like a Woman Cave
And I decided that the floor had moisture issues, so it needed to be sealed and painted so that it would be easier to clean 
Before....
.......During the painting process
 And then the "finish work" started. 
Funny how the finish work takes the longest to be finished. 
First there was painting. Lots of painting. 
I painted two walls yellow and the others white.



Brad scraped and cleaned the cabinets and mom and I primered and painted them

Mom priming the one cabinet we couldn't get our the door....
Mean while, out side we were painting away...

First coats of the final blue color.
Who doesn't want aqua blue cabinets?
The cabinets put back in!
And then the real finish work started... baseboards, window trim, 
all donated by people who "had some lying around",
Never in my life did I think I'd be talking about baseboards and trim FOR MY SHED. 
Then the new lights were installed (also donated).

Then the metal sink board we had kept from when we remodeled the kitchen in the Lloyd house (..6 years ago... yes, I kept an 8ft hunk of metal for 6 years, and moved it to a new house. Because I couldn't let it go, I just new I could use it for SOMETHING. Next time don't question me.)
And finally the counter tops (thanks Dad..., and Brad for all the advice)




Some furniture was added by donation. A couple cabinets that had originally been in my great grandparents house when I was growing up, an old dinning room table my dad had made for my mom's parents with new super sturdy legs.
After...
Before...



And all of a sudden the old shed was a Woman Cave. 
Well, not all of a sudden, but in a hundred different moments. 
And I appreciated everyone of them. 
Here's to The Cave and all the people who made it happen!