Monday, July 27, 2009

Finding Fun

So this weekend is the BIG weekend!! In October, as some of you may recall, Matt surprised me by ripping up the carpet throughout our main floor living space, eating area, and hallway, as well as the vinyl flooring in the kitchen. We were thrilled to find the original hardwood floors underneath the carpet - not so fortunate in the kitchen. Either way, big plans were made for Matt to refinish the floors, first by tiling the kitchen, then by sanding and restaining the hardwood. Great plans minus the fact that free time isn't something that comes in great bulk for Matt. Well, after sanding the floors during my June trip to Ohio, another "break" (meaning weekend off) has come for Matt to take advantage of the time and attempt to treat the floors. We decided that staining is not in our best interest, since it adds on extra days of work, so we went with a simple polyeurathane treatment plan - four coats, with about four hours of drying time needed between each coat. Well ... the best laid plans ... :-) LONG story short, we spent two nights living in our basement, with the kids and I needing to be out of the house the entire days of the project (which spanned into Monday and part of Tuesday as well since we had a basement ceiling repair going on during those days). We managed to find some fun locally - basic things like the mall and parks - but were VERY eager to have everything finished up. AND, I am happy to report, that EVERYTHING is finished up! The floors look great and the basement holes (from a leak that developed while I was out of town with the kids) are patched up and ready to be painted! I'll try to find some closeups of floor transitions so you can all see the progress - I'm quite proud of my husband's newfound abilities :-) ... just in case Obama's plan gets put into action. Meanwhile here are some pictures of the kids at the park.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Michigan Wilderness

Anyone remember my posts last summer about me needing to get used to all of the wildlife that seems to be present in Michigan? Well, we have definitely experienced our fair share again this summer - our hedgehog paid us another visit and I have discovered more toads in the backyard. Then, of course, like everyone else who ever visits Costco, we had to wait our turn to cross the parking lot after letting the giant cranes pass by:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thanks Patti!

Though these were given to the kids I believe around Easter time by our beloved friend Patti, they somehow were rediscovered by my kids tonight who went to town with them!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Potty Time???

Like the others who each wanted to try out the potty a little early, Avery today decided it was her turn. Is she ready? No, but I think she'll do pretty good when the time comes. We'll probably try her just after her 2nd birthday like the others. She sure does look cute though, huh?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fun at the Lake

This weekend we had the privelege of being invited to a friend's house on Gun Lake to enjoy a day of swimming, canoeing, and tubing! Matt was on call the day before but was a real trooper to forge ahead and continue on with these plans. He had a 45 min nap on the way there (no, I drove!) and hung on pretty good until Avery's naptime. The kids were SOO excited to be on the water! Caleb, of course, had a million questions about how everything worked and just when he could use it all. It was a small group - just the five of us, our friends Casey and Brandee, and Dan (another Ortho resident) - which meant that there was plenty of quality time on all of the "toys". Unfortunately my camera wasn't charged and I wasn't able to get the pictures I was hoping to. The kids had so much fun playing by the dock and sliding down a slide that was positioned in the shallow water. Matt took them for a canoe ride and we all attempted a paddle boat ride until I remembered that I hadn't worked out in about four years :-) Let's just say we barely made it out past the dock before we turned around. We had a wonderful barbeque lunch full of everyone's favorites and then Avery and Matt headed to bed. While they were sleeping, the rest of us headed out on the pontoon boat to go tubing. Caleb headed out with no hesitation, though we thought best to have Brandee join him. This little four year old had a blast, flying along at 25mph, which I think is QUITE fast for my baby to be bouncing around on an open lake! His ride lasted about 20 min - no one could believe he could hold on for that long! He was having so much fun, I just wish I could have captured his expressions! When the waves weren't bouncing him around he was bouncing up and down on his knees to keep his momentum going :-) Once we decided he should call it quits Addison decided she wanted to try it out. I requested she be kept at about 5 mph - just her speed. She looked so cute sitting in that big tube, just looking around like she was on a wagon ride. We had quite the fun time and look forward to more fun summer days!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Big Girl Avery

We have just been blown away by just how big Avery is getting! This little girl who didn't say much past "moe" (more), "peez" (please) and "do" (juice) three months ago has just exploded into this ball of energy who, if possible, speaks even more than Caleb did at 19 months! Avery talks NON STOP, putting up to four words together at a time. She just loves to play with her big brother and sister and has just amazed us with her seemingly complete transformation from quiet little angel to busy little beaver. She's a climber, loves to be outside, can figure out just about anything (including how to scale any slide in her path and climb up onto Caleb's big boy bike), and loves to sing and mimic any dance the Wiggles are doing that day. She loves to copy her brother and sister with her own version of their knock knock joke, "Nah nah" (knock knock) "Who's there" "Nana" (Banana) "Banana who?" "Nana odo apple ju" (Banana orange apple juice) or when she's in a more playful mood: "High die" (high five) with her hand held out - "uhpie" (up high) raising her hand - and then lowering it "dow doe" (down low). She cracks us up with her running through the house, "Mommy! Whaa Ah Do?!" (Where are you?) and upon finding us, "Day oo ah" (There you are!). She seems to comprehend reason (though probably doesn't really) and will nod her head with a very serious "oh!" and is very compliant(ish) :-) and easily redirected, "otay mommy!!" One of my favorite things is when I put her down at night and leave her room saying "I love you baby girl" to hear her repeat back, "Ah uhvoo baby mama" She's extremely polite, constantly saying "tankoo" (thank you) or "no tankoo mommy", although has learned quickly that we're more apt to stop pushing her to do something she doesn't want to do (brush her hair, put her to bed, get her out of the tub) by saying "no tankoo" - it's hard to push something on someone so adorable when they're being so polite :-) We just feel so blessed with our little kiddos and try to remember to slow down and enjoy these moments of everyday with them as it all changes so quickly.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth of July Weekend!!

What a fun weekend we had here in Michigan! I can't believe that Fourth of July weekend is here again - it seems pretty significant to us as last year this time was the first time we felt like we were dipping our toes into what Michigan has to offer. This year Matt worked the 4th and the day after, but the kids and I had a great time joining in on the festivities and spending the weekend with various friends. Friday night Matt was able to join us for dinner at a friend's house and for fireworks afterwards. The kids had a blast roasting marshmallows, playing on swingsets, and counting fireflies instead of watching the fireworks :-)
Saturday the kids and I headed to the parade we went to last year and were all quite pleased with how the day went. Last year was filled with tears and disappoint as most everyone in the parade had run out of candy by the time they reached where we were sitting and Caleb and Addie weren't quite fast enough to get to the rare few pieces that were sent out their way before the "big kids" grabbed them all up. This year, on the other hand, we had an over-abundance of loot, with most of it still sitting in my diaper bag. We actually knew several people this year in the parade which made it extra fun for the kids and even met up with some friends of ours from the hospital (Parker and Owen) to sit with! Afterward we headed over to the free carnival and enjoyed 3 hours of rides (and lines), again running into several people from around town that we have met over the past year, which was just a nice reminder for me as to how far we've come this past year. That night the kids and I headed over to Parker's house for a bbq which we all enjoyed.
Sunday was another beautiful day and we headed to the beach with Brandee. The kids had a blast playing in the sand and were even brave enough to experiment with burying each other in it after seeing some big kids doing the same. They were very excited to share their weekend with Daddy through the many pictures we took. Here are some to enjoy:

Four kids, two doctors, and an open flame. Sounds safe to me.

Avery just loved the parade and waving to everyone passing by

Caleb loves these bounce things - and is convinced he's in a race - he won of course

Addison burying Caleb in the sand

Addison buried in the sand

The Baywatch shot

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Veggie Fun

Though we're a little late getting started it has been our intention to plant a vegetable garden in the backyard for the kids to take care of. Turns out it's better that we got off to a late start because I'm afraid it would have been doomed from the start as we're learning as we go. This way we just bought some already started veggies and transplanted them into our garden for a head-start. Though I was originally very eager to get started we decided that I probably shouldn't touch the garden too much at this point in the pregnancy, so Matt and Addison had a nice bonding experience getting things going and playing in the dirt. For our first "practice garden" as I lovingly refer to it, we planted one tomato plant, some peppers, parsley, a pumpkin plant, and some yellow onion. We have had mild success so far and will let you know as it progresses!