Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kitchen Update January 18

It's been a few weeks since the last kitchen update. We took a few weeks off for Christmas so we'd have time to make presents for the kids and help them make presents for each other. Then we went up to my dad's house for New Years, then last week all we got done was putting up the rest of the shelves and cork.

This week we started getting back in the kitchen remodel groove. We cut the trim and window sill, and then we were ready do put in the backsplash!

We only got this side up, we're going to do behind the stove and dishwasher when the rest of our tile arrives, hopefully by next weekend.

We'll grout it next week.

We also go new switches.

The two for the kitchen are dimmer switches (though we don't have dimmer CFL bulbs yet). The other is for the garage, which I turned right side up and moved over next to the garage door instead of in the middle.

And a new outlet with USB ports!

We had replaced the outlets by the sink and above the stove with rectangle styled GFCI outlets soon after moving into the house, so those were already white and in good shape. Our other outlets and switches were all mismatching, painted over multiple times and grimy.

We even replaced the weird ceiling outlet. That work box isn't grounded like most of the rest of them in the house and whoever put it in snipped the grounding wire (if it was even hooked up) so we put in a GFCI outlet up there.

So, nothing too exciting, but at least we're back at it!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My girls

With school back in full force, it's just the girls and me at home during the day.  Sophie has preschool twice a week for a couple of hours, and when she is gone, Hannah either naps or accompanies me on errands that are easier to do with just one child (read: every errand in the history of the world). 

My girls are at great ages.  Sophie had a rough couple of months.  Let's just say four and a half was not being kind to her--lots of drama, crying, disobedience, defiance, that sort of stuff, but I am thrilled to report that the last few weeks have been dramatically better!  Sophie has been so sweet and helpful for the most part.  She does her chores well, she works hard to be considerate and thoughtful, and she is very good to Hannah.  When I ask her to do something like play with Hannah even when she'd rather be doing something else, her facial expressions tell a little story that goes something like this "I don't want to.  But wait, maybe I should even if I don't want to.  But I don't want to.  But I will, because that's the right thing to do.  Quick, I should smile so it looks like I am happy about it.  I guess I am kind of happy about it after all! (cue genuine smile)"  She's a sweetheart, and I am grateful and happy to have her with me.  I will miss this in the fall when she starts all day school!

Hannah has turned a corner as well, but the other direction!  At 21 months she has already entered the terrible twos!  Deep down inside, Hannah is a happy little ball of sunshine.  And I fully believe that she will return to that state after the terrible twos have run their course.  But for now, she often refuses naps, even though she is tired and we try multiple times a day.  Which means Crazy Hannah comes out to say "hello", or, more accurately, "MINE!  MINE!  NOOOOOOOOO!"  Heaven help us when we get together with other little kids and Hannah has not napped.  It is rough.  But I still do get to see Sweetheart Hannah sometimes, and those times are good times, for sure!  Hannah is talking up a storm, even more so than before.  One of my favorite things about her is that she is exceptionally polite, always saying please and thank you and sorry, and it's especially adorable that she tells us all the time that she loves us.  When I say it first to her, she says in her adorable little munchkin voice, "I wuv you too, Mommy!"

Hannah is growing more independent every day.  She wants to feed herself, put things on herself, read books herself, you name it!  My little baby is growing up!  Her almost-two-year-old-emotions are high, though, and if she is unsuccessful at doing something herself, it ofter induces tears.  The other day she thought she wanted some slippers on her feet, but I guess she wasn't sure.  She tried to get them on to no avail, and then brought them to me.  She put them on my lap and I asked if she wanted to wear them.  She said yes.  I asked her to give me her foot.  She did.  But when I tried to put the slipper on, she would scream and cry.  Repeat about a million times.  Until I finally threw my hands in the air and told her that I had no idea what she wanted and we were done with the slippers.  Then she plodded off to find Sophie.  Ah, two year olds!  Sophie's bed is a day bed with a roll out trundle bed underneath.  Hannah slept on her "big girl bed"--the trundle rolled out--last night for the first time.  It took a while to fall asleep, meaning a lot of out of bed, back to bed nonsense, but finally one time when Michael tucked her in once again, it worked and she fell asleep.  She is pretty adept at climbing out of cribs, so it was time.  What a big girl!

Despite the craziness, I love that my girls want to be with me.  I love that they love when I play with them, read to them, and let them help me with things around the house.  They are sweet, they are funny, they are entertaining and they are loving.  I am one lucky mama!

Sophie showing Hannah a book for shapes that she drew:

My girls snuggling:

Sisters and buddies:

A smooch from Sophie!

Happy that they're about to get candy canes:

Sad that they just got candy canes??

Sophie girl:

Haha, not sure about this one!  No idea why she was plugging her nose!

Hannah showing Sophie what a puppy says (she whispers "Puppy!", then does some doggy panting followed by slobbery puppy kisses!):

Love this one:

These girls make me happy:

Hannah and her daddy:

My Sophie girl and me:

Hannah making her happy face:

And her fishy face:

And her silly face:

In case you really needed to see Hannah's version of what a puppy says, thanks Aunt Kelly, you're a brave woman!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Back in the saddle!

Why hello, everyone!  It feels like it has been SUCH a long time since I have posted on here about anything other than kitchen remodel updates.  But it has been a busy busy busy couple of months!

Out entire family was sick with influenza, and the kids all had double ear infections and some of them had pink eye.  I also got pink eye.  It was crazy, but we luckily were able to kick all of our illnesses by Christmas Eve.  It was a Christmas miracle!  So we spent Christmas feeling happy and well, which was especially good in Ryan's case, since he left on Christmas day for the trip of a lifetime to Hawaii with my parents, in honor of his baptism earlier this year.  That trip deserves a post or two all of its own!

On Christmas Eve we all headed to the Barringers' house for Christmas Eve dinner, a live nativity, and lots of fun!  It is so great to have family nearby.  It was a delicious dinner, and pretty warm outside, so after dinner we took a stroll to enjoy some Christmas lights in Kelly's neighborhood.  Then we came back to the house and the kids put on a live nativity for us.  I was the director and my dad was the narrator, and it was a lot of fun!  We all had such a nice time.  We headed home around 7:30 or so, in order to get our kids all tucked in at a decent hour!

Christmas morning was magical as ever!  Except that the adults woke up early to a grumpy Hannah, who then fell back asleep, so all of the adults were hanging out in the living room, tapping our toes, waiting for the kids to wake up!  Now that's a first!  Finally they did, and they were all surprised and delighted with the stockings and the toy from Santa.  Then we all took turns opening our gifts, and it was a lot of fun.  This year I helped the kids make gifts for everyone.  Calvin made little notebooks, Ryan made some woven bracelets, and Sophie made little snuggle friends filled with beans that you can warm up in the microwave.  The kids were so dlighted to watch people open what they had made for them.  It was very sweet.

 Ryan and my parents left for the airport at about 11:00 AM on Christmas morning, and for the rest of the day, Calvin and Sophie and Hannah played nicely together with their new things and we had a peaceful, lovely day.  Hannah even napped on the couch with Michael for a while.

On Saturday it finally snowed!  So we made the most of it and did a little playing and sledding in the front yard.  Sophie asked Michael to take her sledding across the street where there is a better hill, and Calvin and Hannah were ready to go in, so Michael and Sophie had a little sledding time all by themselves!  Sophie was so thrilled that she spent the rest of the day telling Michael how much she loved him :)

On the 29th we drove up to Ironwood to visit Grandpa and Christy, and Abbey, Spencer and Melanie who were up there visiting as well.  AnnaMarie and co were kind enough to hamster sit for us while we were gone, and I think Chippy had more fun (riding on toy trucks is fun for hamsters, right??) than she's ever had in her life.  Our trip up north was delightful and relaxed, just as it always is.  The kids slept well, we all ate well, played games and hung out to our hearts' content.  I won monopoly, so that didn't hurt either!

Melanie was such a little dream.  We all love that sweet little baby!  Hannah especially loved Melanie, and always gave her special attention and love (getting attacked by a goobery 21 month old is fun for babies, right??).  Melanie got a set of cool rattles for Christmas, and one of them was easier for her to hold than the others.  So on one of our first days there, Abbey asked Hannah to give that one to baby Melanie, and that Hannah could play with the others.  After that, Hannah always ran that blue rattle over to Melanie right away before playing with the others, saying "BABY MELL-MEE!"  It was cute.

We had a lovely little New Years Eve celebration and watched all three Back to the Future movies.  Whew!  It was a late night.  Except for Dad, who went to bed early-ish so he could heroically drive to Minneapolis and back for us on New Years Day to pick up Ryan, who was just returning from his Hawaiian adventure.  What a guy!  I was super grateful to not have to make that drive!  Instead we hung out at home and went to visit Aunt Sherry, Uncle Brett, and their lab, Pearl.  They were so sweet and fed us super delicious pizza for lunch and had Christmas gifts for all the kids, which they absolutely loved!  Hannah and Sophie loves playing with Pearl, who is very energetic, and Calvin was absolutely terrified.  It was sad and funny all at the same time!  Eventually both he and Pearl calmed down and he was able to enjoy himself :)  It was so fun to visit with them.  We just love our aunts and uncles and all our family to pieces!

So Ryan joined us once again on New Years night, thanks to Grandpa, and was sooooo excited to tell us all about everything.  He felt very grown up!  He had such an amazing time, and I know he'll never forget it!  On Friday we played around and hung out some more.  I don't even remember any specifics, except that Janny came for a visit, and it was so much fun to see her, and we had a fish fry for dinner and then watched all of the Indiana Jones movies (except the new one because aliens don't belong in an Indiana Jones movie).  It was really fun!

On Saturday, Ryan and Michael went to the Snowmobile Olympus that Uncle Brett was party in charge of, and they had a great time!  Meanwhile, we got an email from Marianne saying that they were on the way to the hospital to have that baby (eeeeeek!!!!) so we went baby shopping and put together a care package to send, and wouldn't you know, by the time we got back, she had already had her!  That was fast!  Ellowyn Pamela Pease made her grand entrace, and both mommy and baby were healthy as can be!  What a blessing.  She has the most adorable chubby little cheeks of all time!

The rest of Saturday was spent making a nice dinner for when Christy's "friend" Bryce came over :)  We had ham and rolls and salad and potatoes and had a great time visiting with him.  He sure is a nice guy, and it was pretty fun to give Christy a little bit of a hard time about a guy.  She's all grown up!

On Sunday morning we packed up, headed to church with Grandpa and the gang, and left from there to head home again!  It was a great trip.  We love living so close to family!  I hope everyone had a delightfully merry Christmas and a happy new year!

And now, for a million pictures!  But I did forget my nice camera when we headed up north, so trust me, there would have been a ton more!

The live nativity at Kelly's house.  Calvin was Joseph, Evie was Mary, Ethan (Kelly's nephew) was the donkey.

Sophie was the angel, Ryan was a wise man with Kevin and Lily, And we also had some shepherds and a cow thrown in there, for good measure.

The kids back home and in their new Christmas jammies!

 The stockings all filled up after Santa came!

The kids' presents:

Santa brought each of them just what they asked for!  Ryan got a book about cool cars, Sophie wanted a Paw Patrol set, Calvin said, "Oh, I just want whatever Santa brings me!" So he got a bucket of army guys, which went along so well with the rubber band guns Michael made for the boys.  So nice when Santa coordinates gifts!  And Hannah got a broom because she is crazy about brooms.

Happy kids opening presents!

Hannah took a little break to have breakfast with Olaf.

Christmas day snuggles:


Playing outside:

Michael is the best dad ever.

Having a sword fight with the new swords Michael made for them!


Delightfully snoozy kids on the drive up to Ironwood:

Haha!  Being a dork with Abbey and Christy.  We sent this picture in a package to Ellowyn.

Hanging out with Janny!

Sophie sure loved little Melanie!

Reunited with my big guy after his big trip!

Melanie and I likes to make silly faces together.


Hannah loved doing water colors :)