Thursday, July 26, 2007

Here is our day at The Beach

We celebrated my mom's birthday by going to a waterpark Sunday. We had a pretty fun day at The Beach. Here are some pictures - do you prefer scrolling or slideshows???

Anara playing her favorite game, "Handy Shoey"

Violet checking out the sand-looking concrete.

New trick.

Taking a little break

Practicing walking.

Wide awake on the ride home

Not so wide awake.

This is what you get for hassling me about blogging.

Sorry about the lack of text, but I don't feel like writing right now and I was under pressure to get some new pics. up. Here is what everyone wants and I will write to pacify myself later.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Couldn't Do-it-myself

In response to intense pressure from a co-worker and my supervisor to get some new stuff posted to the blog, I'm taking my turn tonight to write a quick update while Amanda is out. Hopefully my effort will pay off in my interim performance review on Thursday.

Last week I sent Amanda and the girls to our hometown to hang out with family for a few days so I could refinish our floors. Before we moved into this house almost 4 years ago, I did the same thing in our bedroom and had pretty good results:

Before: During: After:
A couple of months ago, we decided to pull up the carpet in the corner of our dining room to see what kind of floors we might have underneath. We were happy to find hardwood and I knew that if I could make the floors in our bedroom look pretty good, the floors in the dining room and living room would look real nice. Here are some before pictures of the floors in the dining room and living room. The spots and streaks you see are where I filled holes and scratches with wood filler.

I rented a drum sander and edger from Mullin Rental, a few blocks away, and it was the same one I rented a few years ago, so I felt pretty confident in my ability to get all the sanding done in one day. I picked up the sander and started to work at about 8:00 Friday morning. I think it was around 10:00 that night before I was finally done with the heavy sanding. Joel even came over to help, but my original hope was to have the floor stained by the end of the day so I could do polyurethane the next day. I was way off.

I don't know if it's just a case of male arrogance or just that I am in general a pretty optimistic person, but I tend to really struggle with underestimating the time it's going to take to do projects. I also tend to think I'll be fine doing things by myself. This one was a classic example. I hoped to work Friday and Saturday, and then head up north to be with my girls most of the day Sunday and Monday. Instead, on Saturday afternoon around 3:00 I still hadn't gotten the floors stained. Fortunately for me, Jason Mackey called just then to see how it was going and offered to come over and help. He was a true "hero of the hardwood" (A special thanks to his wife Amy for bringing us Subway later on, too). Anyway, I ended up not finishing until 2:30 in the afternoon on Monday. Taking the advice of my mom, from now on I'm going to automatically double the time I estimate to do any project...if I think it sounds about right.

Here are some more pics showing some of the in between stages and eventually how the floors turned out. I have to say, this project was by far the most difficult one I've done on this house, but probably also the most rewarding. There are still a lot of nicks and scratches, and definitely a lot of squeaks, but with a house almost 100 years old, that's what we call "character."

Joel helping with the sanding
Contrast of a room half done
Bare wood in the living room
Bare wood in the dining room
First coat of stain in the living room
First coat of stain in the dining room
The finished living room

The finished dining room

Friday, July 20, 2007


Here is a picture of Violet sporting Annie's hand-me-downs and shoes that are still too big.

Anara really liked Annie's shoes too.
Violet has been teaching Anara some new words. "Mine" is the most recent and most unfortunate word that Anara can pronounce perfectly. In fact, when they are playing "mine" tug of war you can barely tell them apart. Anara doesn't understand the context of mine, but she says it beautifully. She also says "no" and "no no no", and she can throw herself into the floor when she doesn't get what she wants just like Violet does. I am just amazed at how she fast she is picking up bad habits :)

Nate refinished our hardwood floors in the dining and living room.

That's all for now - both girls are requiring attention.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Silly Babies

Yesterday Violet was standing at the front door watching her little friend play across the street. She had her face pressed to the glass with her hands on the window and said, "I wish I could have a backpack like that.....but I can't." I started laughing and said, "A backpack like what Violet?" And she said, "I wish I could have a backpack like Doodlebugs, but I can't." I was laughing pretty hard at her and she said, "Are we gonna call Daddy?" with a smile on her face. If Violet says anything particularly humorous we always call Nate and tell him. We called Daddy.

This morning Violet swallowed her vitamins, which is usually followed by a piece of gum. She forgot the gum and I let it go. About 30min. later she said, "Mama we forgot my gum. Do we have that spicy kind?" I told her that we didn't have any spicy kind and she said, "Aw man."

Violet has been doing a lot of doodling on her Doodlepro. I think she is pretty talented for a 2 year-old. See for yourself.... She said this drawing was flowers and then later said balloons too. Maybe I made too big of deal because now she is stuck in a rut drawing mostly balloons and flowers with a few "strawberries, vegetables, and onions" thrown in every once in a while.

Anara is developing quite a personality. She loves to be laughed at and repeats the same joke as long as the laughs keep coming. Last night I showed the girls my silliest face for the 1st time (Jody, you know the one I wasn't allowed to show Nate until we were wed). Basically I cross my eyes, tuck my top lip under and stick my tongue out like a lizard. Anara was successfully mimicking my silly face. She had her lip tucked under, crossed her eyes, and was moving her head side to side with her tongue out. Violet wasn't even able to copy this face. We were laughing pretty hard and Anara kept on. I just tried to get a video of it but she kept coming towards the camera and it's not the greatest. This isn't anywhere near the effort she was making to mimic the face last night.

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"Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Anara you stink!" Violet said this as she came running into the room to smell Anara. She leaned down, smelled the diaper area and ran out of the room saying, "That's disgusting!" I am not certain where she learned, "Oh my gosh", but I am trying to make sure that she isn't hearing it from me ( I think I usually say "Oh my goodness" - maybe not much better). It is so hard to remember not to say the things you don't want your kids repeating. Often Violet says, "huh" trying to get Nate or I to repeat ourselves, and I know that we both say that to her, but it sounds so dumb coming out of a 2 y/o mouth. Back to "Oh my gosh", last night I was standing outside and I heard the 4 y/o girl next door saying, "Oh my gosh" repeatedly. Maybe this is where Vi heard it.

Here is a cheesy video of Violet singing a "Signing Time" song into a pretend microphone. You hear her say, "... Alex and Leah, come and you know the colors of the rainbow too... there's red, orange, yellow, green, purple, and blue" for the sake of rhyme the colors out of order and no amount of convincing will make Violet believe differently.

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After Violet was finished with the microphone I caught Anara trying to sing her own version.

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Hmmm....there was one other story I wanted to put on here for the grandparents but now I can't remember......

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Everyone needs a Violet

Yesterday we were getting ready for a trip to the library when I realized that Anara needed her diaper changed. Violet decided to color while she waited for me to change Anara. She is in constant conversation and I don't always pay close attention to what she is saying. However, I heard her say, "Dr. Leland" a couple times and this time it registered. Anara had a MD appt. at 3:00 yesterday. I had totally forgotten about it and when I looked at the clock it was 2:30. The next 10 minutes were a blur and I rushed to dress more "doctor visit" appropriate, change a diaper, and get the girls in the car. The amazing thing is that I had never told Violet we had a MD appt. so she couldn't have remembered that I told her we were going to Dr. Leland. It's not like she talks about Dr. Leland all the time. Without Violet's reminder we would have been at the library instead of the doctor's office. Thanks to Violet, Anara has two shot marks on her legs today :)

Another weird Violet thing..... Last June (when Vi was only 1), Nate went to Australia for work. He was working on his expense report and couldn't find his hotel receipt anywhere. He came home from work and asked Violet where his hotel receipt was. Violet walked directly into our bedroom and pulled some papers out of my knitting basket (she wasn't allowed to touch the knitting basket). Nate took the papers from her and lo and behold - a hotel receipt among my print outs of knitting instructions.

One more weird Violet thing..... Violet has a phenomonal internal alarm. It doesn't matter what time she goes to bed or how she sleeps during the night. She can wake up within a couple minutes of the same time everyday. We have tried earlier bedtimes and later bedtimes, but her alarm goes off and she is up. Anara will sleep until she has had enough sleep and then wake up happy.

A minute ago Violet was looking out the window and saw her friend, Victoria, wearing a backpack. Violet said, "I wish I could have a backpack like Doodlebug, but I can't." I am still laughing at this. How does she know "I wish" and how does she know that she can't have one.

Here is a video of Violet saying a verse she memorized a couple months ago. We need to start working on another one. I was also trying to upload a video of Anara saying and signing "Daddy" but it isn't working.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

7/4/07 Pictures and Captions

On Wednesday we went to Uncle Joel and Aunt Nicole's house. We ate lunch, the girls napped, and then we went to their local pool. The girls loved swimming (even Anara seemed to enjoy the water) and you can see some of the fun.

After swimming we went to church for a hog roast, and then Uncle Andy came over for some sparklers.

SpaghettiO's are still disgusting

I just fed the girls lunch. For some reason, I felt compelled to buy an on-sale can of organic spaghettio's (or Bernie O's). Don't think that because they say "organic" I actually think they are healthy. I realize that they are still made from sugar and white flour (just the organic kind) and are just as gross as the Campbell's brand, but I thought it might be a fun and it was pretty cheap. It wasn't fun, it was nasty. Neither Violet or Anara would eat them, and after tasting a bite I can't say that I blame them.

Yesterday was a bad "mom" day. I was worn out from the midweek holiday and both of the girls were grumpy. Violet kept torturing Anara, Anara kept screaming, and I barely kept my sanity. Thankfully today has been much better. Anara and Violet are happy, they are playing well together, and they seem to be enjoying each other.

Here are some of Anara's most recent accomplishments: she can say daddy, mommy, Cheerio, up, doggy, kitty, hi, bye, ni-night, and she can sign thank-you, daddy, down, please, more, all done, and milk. She is sitting up on her own more consistently. She seems to be less disturbed by Violet's loud outbursts. Her wound is totally healed and now we just wait for the scar and skin to return to normal.

Violet is still saying funny things and poop seems to be a frequent topic of conversation. "Let's see if I can make brown poop Mama." "Amanda, could you hold me? Amanda will you pick me up?" "Sometimes Daddy makes big poop and sometimes he makes little poop." "Does Daddy have two blue eyes?" "Mama, did you hear that little toot that I made from my bottom?" "Does Anara walk Mama?" "Is Anara one?" "Do you get ice cream when you make poop?" "The little baby pooped (referring to girl in dollhouse)." "Does my poop stink? Oh, it is stinky. Say 'gross' mama." "Do you like my poop in the potty? Are you proud for my poopin Mama?" "Tom is a bad boy" (Tom is the boy in a library book.) "Does Nina have an owie? Did her band aid fall off. I get her another one."

Andy - I will post 4th of July pictures, just give me some time :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

"Poop goes in the potty - that's what Nina says"

Nate would never start a post in such an undignified manner, but me on the other hand... My friend, Christina, sings this song to Violet about potty training. Today Violet decided to sing this song while attempting to accomplish this goal. She has now been successful 4 of the past 5 days in regards to "poop goes in the potty." She has only one accident with #1. I won't call her "potty trained" because I have thought we were there before, but at least we are dry during the day.

When you are a mother of young children/babies, I think you become obsessed with sleep and poop (at least I am). This baby isn't sleeping...this one poops too much...this one won't poop...uh oh, this one has been asleep for 3 hours now with no sound - are they okay?... Anara finally seems to be finished with diarrhea. She has only been having 1-2 bm's per day and has even been clean a few mornings. The past two nights I have slept straight through from when I put my head on the pillow until an acceptable morning hour. I don't think this has happened since I was in college - jk. Anyway, things are looking pretty good right now. Babies sleeping and pooping appropriately - what more could any mother ask for?