Monday, April 28, 2008

Making household updates

In addition to updating our bedroom furniture and bedding, we are making some much-needed improvements to our kitchen as well. Since we have decided not to move for a few more years, we would like to enjoy the updates while we are still living here. After looking a few different times for the right ones, we have finally made the big purchase- new dishwasher, oven, stove-top, microwave, refrigerator, washer, and dryer. All in stainless steel and I couldn't be more excited! The only bummer is the soonest delivery date wasn't until May 14th, so I'll have to wait a little longer to fully enjoy my new toys. I think I am most excited about the 3-door refrigerator and the washer and dryer (pictured above). We'll also be keeping our old fridge in the garage for extra storage, so we can avoid the freezer overload we usually experience after a trip to Costco! I truly feel like a housewife/mother when I can get so excited about appliances! :) When we finally get them, I'll post some before and after pictures.

In other news, I got to hear the baby's heartbeat on Friday for the first time. We had seen it twice before on an ultrasound, but hadn't actually heard it yet. I was sorry Rick wasn't there to hear it too. We are also looking at possibly taking a trip to Disney World or Disneyland this summer with the kids and I can hardly contain my excitement! I'll truly get excited when we actually book the trip, but it's been fun getting online to plan and research our best options. Rick isn't much of a Disney person, but I love every bit of it and I think it will be so fun to experience it through the eyes of our kiddos. Obviously I won't be able to ride any of the fun, thrill rides, but there is so much more to see that I usually miss out on by focusing on the big rides. Rick will still get a chance to go on them, but we'll also be spending much more time in Fantasyland and Toontown then I ever have before at Disney! So, I'll keep you posted on whether or not we end up planning it for sure. I think it would be a great college graduation/30th birthday present for me, don't you? :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

For fans of "Lost"

For any of you who watch "Lost", it is coming back tonight with a new episode after a little break. While my sister was living in Hawaii, she became friends with a woman named Ann who has a daughter about 8 months old or so. Ann and her daughter, Sabrina, were hanging out on a beach on Oahu one day and were approached by a casting agent for "Lost" about their daughter playing the baby Aaron on the show. If you know how the show works, time moves very slowly in the plot (I think only 30+ days have passed since the show began) and they are constantly having to recast babies so Aaron stays young- he was born on the island and already looks WAY bigger than a one-month old on the show, but I guess that's television! Apparently they keep two babies on set at a time in case one is tired or fussy and they use whichever one will handle the particular scene well. So, Sabrina will be in tonights episode playing Aaron and I believe next week too. The other baby on set was named Oscar and he may be in some of the scenes too. They filmed back in mid-March on a sound stage for some of it, then in a jungle, and finally on a North Shore beach. So fun!

I just thought this was the coolest story and had to share. It seems so crazy that they were just approached on the beach and now their daughter is going to be on one of the most popular shows out there! Robyn passed along some pictures of Sabrina with the actors who play Sawyer, Hurley, Claire (Aaron's mom), and Kate and it sounds like they were all very kind and welcoming. They also talked to the actors who play Locke and Ben. I think it will be so fun watching with this six-degrees of separation-type connection!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

WARNING: This post contains a potty story. Read with caution!

If you don't like reading stories about other children's pooping, you should probably stop reading this particular post. :)

Today the kids had peanut butter and jelly for lunch and a huge portion of it ended up in their hair and on their faces. The brilliant mom that I am, I decided to give the kids a bath rather than hose them off in the sink before nap time. Well, our children go #2 like clockwork after they eat, usually within a half an hour or so. Perfect timing...

I must note that Rick and I usually do bath time together or he does it on his own, so this was going to be a challenge getting them out, diapered, and dressed in a timely manner anyhow. I decided to dry and diaper Riley first, then let her play while I got Tyson diapered and dressed. Well, before I could get Riley's diaper on, I noticed a little surprise in the tub courtesy of Tyson. I rushed to clean it up and get Tyson out and ready, while leaving Riley to run around still not wearing her diaper... you can see where I'm going with this, right?

Just as I got Tyson all lotioned up, Riley started saying, "Riley pooh-pooh too" and making those funny faces- standing in her room over the carpet. Sure enough, Riley pooh-pooh too! I grabbed her across my arms with her butt in the air and got to the toilet just in time! Crisis diverted! All I could do was laugh at myself, having one of those crazy parenting moments! :) I think this will be the last mid-day impromptu baths I'll be giving the kids for a while. What's really funny is, all I could think was- sweet, we saved two diapers today!

So, that was my big fun for today!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New bedroom

Here are a few pictures of our new bedroom set. The room is still a work in progress, but hopefully my mom and sister will visit soon to help us decorate the rest!

Out with the old...
This was our old bedroom set that Rick had before we got married. It was a beast and even covered a window on one wall.
I took advantage of the empty room and cleaned all the baseboards and vacuumed under the bed. with the new.
Here it is- our new bedroom set and new bedding. It feel like a whole new room with the natural light coming in the window over the bed.
We've never had so much drawer space- it's amazing what having 2 dressers and 2 nightstands has done to open up space in the closet! And Rick decided the new bedroom set needed a new television too...

Miss Riley

After giving so much attention to Tyson in posts, I thought it would be nice to post some cute recent pictures of Riley. She is growing up so quickly! Like I said in the previous post, she loves to use my chapstick and still loves to do *everything* by herself. She is constantly looking out for her little brother- for everything Riley gets or gets to do, she makes sure Tyson is going to get it or get to do it too. And her new favorite thing to do is wash her hands in the sink with her purple foam soap- not a bad thing at all!

Last week, she was kicking her legs while I was trying to change her diaper (no potty training yet!)... not a good thing for my growing baby bump. So, I explained to her about the baby growing in mommy's belly and she had to be gentle. Now, she'll walk up to me and rub my belly and say "hi" to the baby and then go and get her Cabbage Patch baby to hold. I hope she does this well when the baby actually arrives!

The hardest thing lately is the "mommy phase" Riley seems to be going through. A big fear of Rick's when I was going to be home full-time was the constant mommy time and limited daddy time, especially now that he's coaching track and home later in the evenings. When I go in and get her in the mornings, the first thing out of her mouth is, "daddy at work". When Rick goes in on the weekends to get her, the broken record line out of her mouth is, "I want mommy, I want mommy". Pretty harsh! I'm looking forward to summer break and Rick being home for quality family time and a lot more daddy time. Here are some pictures of our girl...

Lounging on the couch, sharing the "blankie" with mommy. Rick thinks this blanket is ugly, so it's OK if you do too!

And playing "peek-a-boo" just a few minutes later.

Saying "cheese"!! I love that face...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Addictive behavior

Ok, so I have been addicted to chapstick for as long as I can remember and it sounds like I may not be alone in this based on some recent blogs I've read. I've use Lip Smackers Dr. Pepper for years and years now and usually buy 2-3 at a time. I don't know what I would do if they quit making it- seriously! When I was a cheerleader in high school nobody was smart enough to put pockets in those little skirts, so I would carry one in my sock. Yes, it created a weird shape in my sock, but a girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do! I share this story because I think the addiction may actually be genetic.

Riley LOVES to use my chapstick, so I let her carry around one of my empty ones. She loves to put some on and is pretty proud of herself that she can put the cap back on all by herself. Sunday, she wanted to take it into church with her and we made her leave it in the car, causing a huge scene on the sidewalk in front of the van and all the people walking in. Then last night, we took it away because she and Tyson were fighting over wanting to hold it... and all heck broke loose!! They both started FREAKING OUT and I couldn't help but laugh- and grab the camera! The picture of Riley is blurry, but you get the idea, the world was obviously coming to an end without her precious chapstick. That's my girl!! I think Tyson was just upset because something in general was taken away, not the chapstick specifically.

A little better...

I suppose this is a step in the right direction, playing with the truck...while sitting on the princess couch!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tyson needs boy toys!

I wanted to post some new pictures of the kids and noticed a trend with all of Tyson's pictures- he's playing with something pink, princess themed, or baby related in every picture! He has a ball with Riley playing in the Petal Cottage house "cooking" and they love to watch movies on Riley's princess couch and chair. Even the movies are Riley's pick- usually "The Little Mermaid", "Enchanted", "Cinderella", or "Beauty and the Beast". We have trucks that he "vrooms" on the coffee table, but for the most part he's surrounded by girlie toys! We're looking into getting a "Cars" couch or chair for him to sit in and we'll have to update our movie collection to include more neutral picks.

Trying to put the baby back in her seat.
Playing peek-a-boo with the baby seat.

He was trying to fit in the seat himself.

Playing peek-a-boo with Riley, who is hiding under the couch.

We were rolling the soccer ball back and forth- the pink and black soccer ball.

Their favorite movie-watching position... with mesmerized looks on their faces.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Heat Wave!!

I love the 70's- not the decade, the temperature! Today it hit 78 degrees in the Gresham/Portland area and I have been in heaven. Last night, we grabbed a quick dinner after Rick finished track and then stopped at Main City Park in downtown Gresham to let the kids play themselves tired. They had a great time on the swings and slide and it made me so excited for the rain to go away and sunny skies to take over for good!

This morning, Rick had some grading to do, so the kids and I left in order to give him some quiet time to work. We parked at the library in downtown Gresham, then walked to Craft Warehouse, Pier 1, and visited the fish, hamsters, and cats at Petco. We made our way back to the library and Riley picked out two books for herself and two books for Tyson to check-out. On the way home we stopped at Subway for sandwiches, picked up Rick, and made our way to Happy Valley Park for a sunny day picnic. We walked the pathways surrounding the park and let the kids play for a while on the toddler toys, which we had all to ourselves. I found myself wishing everyday could be this beautiful!! I can't wait for spring (minus the rain) and summer to arrive for good! Happy Valley Park has great toys for the kids, picnic tables, really nice restrooms (a huge plus), a water pad, and concerts in the park every Thursday night during the summer. I think we'll be spending quite a bit of our time there in the months to come!

The only downside to the day was that I forgot to grab the camera!! I was hoping to post some fun pictures of the kids, but Rick assured me there will be MANY other opportunities to photograph the kids playing at the park coming up. So, I promise to bring the camera the next time we head out to enjoy the beautiful weather! I hope the weather was just as nice for each of you today- and you were able to make the most of it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Week in review

I feel like it has been ages since I last posted anything and so much has happened! Here are just a few of the highlights:

Sunday afternoon, our realtor came over to fill out all of the appropriate paperwork to put our house on the market and we also put in an offer on a house in Happy Valley.

Monday night after class, Rick and I both decided the timing just wasn't quite right to move- a big relief! We have a great house right now, so we're going to focus on making a few updates with appliances and the yard in order to make it a better place for us to enjoy in the next few years before we actually do move. A wise fellow-blogger had some words of wisdom about preparing a house to sell. She talked about all of the repairs and improvements we make in order to sell, yet they weren't worth making for our own family while we lived there. I am realizing how incredibly true that is!! Rick spent his spring break fixing water damage to a wall as well as other painting repairs, we had a estimate done to have the front door jam repaired, a long list of closets to clean out, and rooms to deep-clean for me to tackle in the week to come. When the decision was made not to move, we decided to move forward with the repairs and organizing- because our family deserves it!

So... Wednesday, with the kids off to daycare, I tackled four major closets in our house: Tyson's, Riley's, the linen closet, and an "extra storage" closet under the stairs in the family room. I can't explain how amazing I felt when the day was done! I finally pulled out all the clothes the kids have outgrown and divided them into "donate" and "save" and stored the "save" until we find out the gender of our growing baby. I was excited to bring the "donate" boxes to the girl who runs the daycare Riley and Tyson attend. Her husband is from a small village in the Philippines and they send boxes of clothes to the people in the village and everyone gets to pick one or two things each time the boxes arrive. I feel good knowing where the clothes will end up and that they will be needed and appreciated, rather than just dropping them off at Goodwill.

I also converted the storage space under the stairs to my crafts and wrapping closet- yahoo!! Maybe this will be the motivation I need to start documenting and organizing our lives in photo albums and scrapbooks. Maybe... :)

I apparently pushed myself a little to hard Wednesday organizing the closets and ended up with quite a bit of pain and discomfort that evening and into the next day. But I managed to get more cleaning and organizing done in the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms Thursday and ran all the errands I needed to do on Friday while the kids were at daycare again.

Friday night, I started the very last class I have to take on the path to earning my Bachelor's Degree in Human Development. It is a two weekend class, so I was there all day Saturday too and we wrap up the weekend of the 17th. My graduation announcements also arrived in the mail this week, making my dream of graduating seem like such a reality! May 10th will be here before I know it!

Friday was a big day for me on the work-front too- I was officially signed out from work for maternity leave!! I know, I know, I'm only 12 weeks along, but working while pregnant for the third time just wasn't agreeing with my body. My doctor was willing to allow me the extra three months off in order to take it easy, I was looking at going out around the end of June. I feel very blessed to have the extra time at home with the kids and to take the extra pressure off of Rick that he usually feels while I'm on the road. He's coaching track for the spring season, so his plate was already pretty full.

Finally, on Saturday night Rick and I made a fun purchase towards making our bedroom feel like somewhere we can be proud of- a new bedroom set! We have never owned a dresser which makes our closet extremely full, so it is a huge step towards organizing our own bedroom and closet. After four years here, we've only hung one picture on the wall! I can't wait to have a bedroom we can really be proud of and want to spend time in.

I think the whole process of looking at houses to buy, deciding to move, then deciding not to move, has been great for us. I have a whole new appreciation for our house and the space we live in. Why should we live with clutter in our closets, damage to our walls, and a bedroom with no character? We shouldn't- so, we've made the choice to live our lives like our house is going on the market at any time. Everything has a place, purge the stuff we don't need/use, and honor the space we call home by keeping it clean and organized. At least for now... :)