Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Amazing Michael and other fun things...

First off, I have an amazing husband. Yeah yeah yeah, everybody says that on their blogs, but I mean it! If you saw the previous post about Michael laying a patio (go see it here if you didn't!), that should have been your first clue. But last night, after laying the patio, Michael finished the beautiful living room table he has been working on for months! It is perfect in the living room! He worked so hard on it, and I'm so excited to have it gracing our living room. Here are some pictures:







Seriously, doesn't it look awesome? I can't believe you designed and made the whole thing all by yourself, honey! Way to go! I love it!

In other awesome news, it was finally a beautiful fall day yesterday so we took advantage of it by taking a nice long walk with AnnaMarie and the girls to a beautiful park by their house. It was sooooo nice outside! I loved the sunshine and how much energy we squeezed out of those kids. Plus we got some great pictures! We had so much fun, so thanks AnnaMarie! Here are way too many pictures:

Katie and Ryan had fun holding hands and running around together picking dead flowers:


Ryan giving Katie a hug:


AnnaMarie pointed out a fuzzy caterpillar to the kids and they went nuts! They absolutely loved it and had so much fun talking to it and getting as close to it as possible.



Happy little Calvin:


Katie had a great time running wild:





Calvin loves bugs and had so much fun watching them crawl around on the slide that it took him a while to remember to go down:


The kids also had a lot of fun on the big bench swing:





Katie especially loved it:



Katie and Calvin had fun exploring the underside of a bench:


Katie and Ryan even helped push the stroller on the way back:


And found a hill to roll down. Actually, Katie was rolling down, but Ryan really wanted to roll UP, so that's what he did:


It's so nice having cousins around! We love you guys!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Patio!

This part is from last Saturday...I fell asleep writing it

Today was a long day of working on our new patio. It started about 9 when Caroline took Calvin to the store, and Ryan helped me. When Caroline came back, Calvin went and took a nap, so Rya and I were able to just keep working.

Ryan and I had already dug up the dirt where the patio was going and covered it in gravel. Today we started by leveling off the gravel, then covering the gravel with dirt and smoothing it out.

After the dirt was in place, it was time to start laying bricks. After 1/2 an hour of trying different brick configurations, I figured out something that would work with the bricks we have and started laying the bricks down.

Ryan was super funny. Whatever part I was working on, he wanted to work on. I wanted him to do the dirt part, while I placed bricks, but he just wanted to "be a brick man". Except that the bricks are heavy for him. He would carry over one brick, then have to take a break, then carry another, and so on.

During the brief times that I could get him moving dirt for me, he would call me 'brick man' -- HEY BRICK MAN, DO YOU NEED ANY DIRT?". That was fun.

(Now I'm writing today, picking up where I left off when I fell asleep)

Eventually Ryan went to bed, and Caroline came out to help. It was our first experience using cement. Saturday was a pretty nice day, but by 10:00 pm it was getting cold. And dark. And we were tired. And we didn't really know how to do the cement. As you will see in the pictures, it definitely isn't a professional job. Still, for a first time try late on a cold night, we're happy with it.

In case it's not obvious, it's a semi-circle which circles the sliding kitchen door. Above: Calvin admires the new patio. We tried to make good sitting stairs, for watching the kids play in the back yard.



Here's a side shot. The ground bricks are all wet from getting sprayed and swept, so they're not really that shiny. We got all the bricks for free from Freecycle, Criagslist and the Twin Cities free listing website. The gravel we got from the yard (where there used to be flowers...or something). We cannibalized part of the ring of pavers around the pine tree in the front yard for the bottom step.

Some parts of the dirt under the patio settled more than others, so we're going to need to pull up the bricks in those parts and add more dirt. And we are going to use a wire brush to clean the extra cement off of the bricks. And get some more mortar to fill in the gaps we missed.


And get rid of the extra cement chunks we dug up out of that dirt. And plant grass. Or raspberries or blueberries.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why!?

Calvin said "Why" for the first time today. At least, it was the first time that we noticed and it was in context.

He wanted to play with the two tubes of caulk that I had sitting on the piano. He was tired, cranky and a little bit teary to begin with. He whined "chours" and pointed at the caulk. I said, "no Calvin, you can't have the caulk". "Whyyyyyyy?" he bawled.

My explanation that caulk is not a toy and that I wanted them left on top of the piano quicky soothed him and he returned to his normal happy self.

He didn't like that at all and cried harder until Caroline took him and put him to bed. Aaaaannd...15 minutes later, he's still crying.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

MN Wilds Vs. Avalanche

Last night Dr. Tyler brought me to the Wilds vs. Avalanche (Avalanches?) game. He was the on-call resident or something in case there were any crowd injuries. Other than giving a benadryl to a kid who thought his peanut allergies were acting up, he got to sit and watch the whole game.

The game was a lot of fun. I guess the Wilds weren't really supposed to win it, but they did! The puck spent a lot of time down by their net though, and it went into overtime and a shootout, so I think they got lucky.

As a bonus, one glass was broken, and there was one fight!

If you want to hear a ridiculous song, check out the Wild's Fight song lyrics:

Here are my favorite lines (full lyrics here):

...
We took our knocks
In the penalty box
Our mother was the referee
...
The day they try to take this game
Is the day the gloves come off
...


And finally, some videos:

The Fight Song:


The broken glass:



The fight:



Thanks Tyler!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHAEL!!!!!!


Today is Michael's 28th birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweetheart! We had a nice morning all together and, in the grand tradition of our little Moore family, we opened presents pretty much first thing in the morning. We don't like waiting! Although Ryan did spill the beans on 3 of the 4 presents, so the anticipation probably wasn't killing him like it usually is :)

We haven't gotten to see much of him today, since he was at work and Tyler very awesomely invited him to a hockey game tonight, but we were able to squeeze in dinner and blowing out candles (he didin't even get to eat any of the cake yet, poor guy!). So, I thought I would at least post an ode to Michael here in case I'm unconscious when he gets back :) Here are my top ten things I love about Michael:

#10- Making up goofy songs. Michael is constantly making up goofy songs, with or without the help of musical instruments. They without fail involve something he likes about me or the boys. It's really funny, and really sweet.

#9- Hardworking. Michael never quits. Aside from his 9 to 5 job, he also does web consulting, runs a knife sharpening business, runs a vhs to digital conversion business, works REALLY hard at his calling in young mens', fixes our house, builds furniture, keeps on top of our finances, bills, investments, etc., and when he's not doing any of that, if he has a minute to sit down and relax by himself, he's usually reading something educational online so that he'll know how to do EVEN MORE stuff. It's incredible. I feel lazy.

#8- Piano playing skills. Michael is really good at the piano. I love hearing him play classical music especially. It really makes our home more peaceful and more beautiful. It's also fun when he accompanies me and I sing. I really like getting to do that together.

#7- Michael lets me warm up my toes on him when I'm cold. Any time. No matter how cold. And he smiles while I do it. You can't beat that!

#6-Handyman skills. Michael can fix or make anything. Really. From soldering new pipes in place of the leaky ones, to building a beautiful credenza out of scratch, to baking delicious Brazilian flan, to gluing his shoes back together when they break, to recovering pictures I deleted off my camera, YOU NAME IT, HE CAN DO IT! I love that.

#5-His hat. I got Michael a souvenier from Germany when I was there last year- a traditional German hat. He wears it every chance he gets! Maybe it's because I had a dad growing up that wore a hat that as a teenager I would roll my eyes at every time I saw it, but it really makes me smile to see him wear it. I love that he loves it and doesn't care that it's unconventional. Plus, honey, you look hot in it! JA, WOHL!

#4- Mirror notes. Michael is so thoughtful, and leaves notes for me in dry erase markers on our mirrors. They make my day, and I have a hard time erasing them because I love them so much.

#3- Telling me I'm beautiful (and actually believing it), even when I truly look like a dog-tired, pregnant, sleep-deprived, crazy-haired, unkempt mother of two crazy boys.

#2- Selflessness. Michael always thinks about me first, whether it's warming up the rice sock he made for me if he thinks I'm cold, offering me the last piece of whatever it is we are eating, asking me if I want him to drive when we go somewhere even if he's tired, giving me a backrub after a long day even if he'd rather be asleep, staying up late "working on computer stuff" when he's actually sneakily doing the dishes, and millions of other things. He's the best man I know, and I'm so lucky to have him.

#1- His love for me and our boys. Following the example of his dad, his grandpa, and other great men in his family, there is never a doubt what is most important to him--his family. Michael is so great at showing his love for me and our boys. Even as small as they are, the boys know without a doubt that their daddy loves them no matter what and that he is always there when they need him. And I know that no matter what, we are what's most important to him, and he will be there whenever I need him. He always has a ready hug, warm smile and kind word. He will and does do anything and everything for us. We love you so much, Michael!

You really are the best husband and daddy we could ask for. I love you, Michael! The boys love you, too! Happy Birthday!



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finally Fall!

So finally for the last few days it has actually felt like fall around here. It's not raining or snowing, and it's warm enough so that I don't feel the need to bundle up in my winter coat and gloves every time I go out! Hooray! Fall is my very favorite season (I'm sure that has nothing to do with my birthday, anniversary, Michael's birthday, Halloween and Thanksgiving all being in one season...) and so I've honestly felt cheated this year since it hasn't really felt like fall at all. But better late than never, and we have been enjoying it!

This weekend was Katie's second birthday and so Michael's whole family came down to celebrate. It was so fun to have everyone here (I can say that, because I didn't host the throng of teenagers at night and not to mention EVERYONE all day every day at my house like AnnaMarie did...THANK YOU ANNAMARIE!!!!!!!) and to play and watch the boys have fun with all of you. Happy Birthday, Katie! We love you! Thanks for coming down, everyone! And, by the way, if any of you out there know where to find khakis in mens' size 29W 34L, please let me know so Benjamin can finally find some pants to buy (we scoured the maplewood mall to no avail. I'm almost positive he tried on every pair of khakis in that mall that was relatively close to his size).

Anyways, things have been great at our house for the last couple of weeks. Busy for sure, but great. I finally passed the 13 week mark a couple of weeks ago, officially getting back the 3.5 weeks that my obstetrician STOLE from me when he told me I was 9 weeks along instead of 12 weeks along at my last visit (maybe 3 weeks doesn't seem that long to all of you, but it really made me bitter...), so that's good. The boys and I discovered the library down the street and have been checking out books and reading them about a million times. They LOVE it, and so do I. And we discovered Mr. Grumpy's problem--he's teething again (that's Calvin for those of you who need clarification...), so I guess I will forgive all the drooling, complaining, all around grumping and not sleeping through the night. But he seems happier today, so that's a plus. We've been becoming better friends with people in our ward and having fun spending time with our family, so life is good.

Here are some pictures for our Family Home Evening activity last night--raking leaves! Calvin, always the skeptic, took a while to get into it, but then he seemed to enjoy himself. Ryan LOVED it the whole time! Once again, I am posting way too many pictures. The first step is admitting it, right?

Michael chased the boys around with a rake and would whisk a big pile of leaves their direction while they would run. I didn't get a great picture of it, but they really loved it!


After getting buried a few times, Ryan decided it was his turn to do the burying:


He did a great job, too!


The boys, enjoying the leaves:



Ryan in a leaf pile:


Calvin's best attempt at a smile:


Ryan had this smile glued on his face almost the whole time:


Calvin loves wearing his daddy's hat:


Ryan took this picture for us! Not bad!


Me and my Ryan boy, having fun:


Me and my Calvin boy, also having fun:


I love these ones of Calvin and Michael. Michael, you are such a great daddy!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Oregon Cannery!

Has anyone else noticed that filling out the order form for the cannery is like playing Oregon Trail?



...now if I could just swap some of this for a couple cases of bullets.

Everyone knows the only reason you play Oregon Trail is for the hunting.

Sweet Baby Jane

So today we borrowed my sister Kelly's house for another go at Baby Jane's photo shoot. It was definitely better than last time, but Jane sure does have a personality. She likes what she likes, and doesn't like what she doesn't like. No matter how full and happy AnnaMarie got her, boy would she holler and wriggle when we tried to make her do something! But we still got some good ones, although I'm pretty sure that had much more to do with her just being cute even when she's grumpy than it did with me having any sort of photographic skill with newborns. Anyways, here are some of my favorites! Love you, Janey!

I love her adorable big blue eyes. She's such a gorgeous little girl.


I love this one of her on the night stand. It's like she's almost smiling!


This is her disgruntled look.



I love this one, she looks like she's just relaxing there in the baby hammock.



Love those eyes!


This was at the end of our shoot. This is the only one I got of this pose, since she tried to throw herself off the shelf right after this one! She's one tough cookie!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ryan gets a joke

Ryan got his first joke last week. It was funny to watch his confusion then excitement as he figured out what was going on. He has probably known this joke for a year already, and liked saying the joke with me, but never caught on, till now.


Me: I one a snake
Ryan: I two a snake
Me: I three a snake
Ryan: I four a snake
Me: I five a snake
Ryan: I six a snake
Me: I seven a snake
Ryan: I eight a snake
Me: YOU ATE A SNAKE!!! EWWW!!!
Ryan: NO! I said "I EIGHT A SNAKE", like six-seven-eight
Caroline: Wait. So you ate a snake?
Ryan: <confusion><funny face><giggles>

Then we had to run through it a few more times just for fun.

Today he tried to get me caught in the joke, but every time he would start with 1, I would have Caroline say one of the steps, which put him back on even numbers, so he kept eating snakes. He'd start on one, then that wouldn't work, so he'd tell me to start with one, and that wouldn't work either... It made for a happy ride home from Church.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ryan Apple Seed

Today Ryan and I went to the local nursery and bought two apple trees for our yard!

With some research and apple testing by Caroline, we knew we wanted a Honeygold tree. Apple trees need to be cross-pollinated to produce fruit, so we looked at the trees that would be in bloom at the same time as Honeygold, and chose Haralson for our other tree. The Honeygold will be great for eating and applesauce (sweet, flavorful) the Haralson will be great for pies and baking (it's supposed to be good for eating too, but has some zing to it).


The one closer to the house is the Honeygold, the one closer to the camera is the Haralson. They are both semi-dwarf trees, which means that their top 1/2 was grafted on to a semi-dwarf root system. They should grow to be 15-20 feet in diameter and 15-20 feet tall. We chose planting spots that should not interfere with the power lines when they are full grown.


We planted them, then surrounded them with home-made mulch. Caroline has been kindly supportive of me having a composting box in the back yard and it finally came in handy!

So, you are all invited over for apples and pie in 3 to 5 years when they start giving fruit.