Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Our little guy loves shoes of all shapes and sizes - too big, too small, too heavy (like dad's steel-toed work boots), or completely the wrong gender. While getting ready one morning Patrick was being unusually quiet while hanging out in my room, so I went to go check it out. He was in our closet, having picked out this lovely pair of shoes, and was walking around in them. I'm all about playing dress-up, forget the gender stereotypes, but it is downright scary how good he is at walking in high heels. Could you teach me that, Patrick?

Saturday, August 22, 2009


It's been unseasonably cold for August, huh? While many have moped and moaned this temperature downturn, it's been GREAT for us since it's allowed us to do a lot more yard work. MUCH easier to get motivated to dig in the dirt when it's 70 degrees than when it's 107 degrees! However, it hasn't been so cold that Patrick has avoided getting in the water - his pool, playing with the hose, splashing in in random puddle he can find... so here are our quintessential summer photographs: drinking straight from the hose. In a diaper, no less.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Babes in Utero-land

First off, everything continues to go well with the pregnancy. Most of the time, in fact, I don't actually remember I'm pregnant because he's what I like to call a "lazy fetus;" compared to Patrick, this child doesn't move at all. This can be kinda scary sometimes, but almost every single time I think "are you still alive in there??" I'll get a little boot to my bladder. Then, of course, I think "whoa, gotta pee! gotta pee!" Then, in spite of it being my second pregnancy, and relatively close to my last pregnancy, my belly seems to have stayed pretty small. I attribute this to the new house an all the physical labor I'm doing - not strenuous physical labor, but pulling weeds and scraping popcorn ceilings isn't what I'd call "relaxing." In fact, at my prenatal visit the week before we moved I'd gained 7 pounds in 3 weeks - the doctors were all giving me "the look" like "keep that up and you'll be giving birth to a whale... or at least as a whale!" Well, maybe it was a growth spurt, maybe it was my recent 11-day Texas vacation (everything is bigger in Texas, including my sister's ankles and my waistline, apparently), or maybe I really did just need to get my rear in gear because AFTER we moved into the house, exactly 3 weeks after the 7-pound incident, I'd only gained one freaking pound. No sideways glances over any medical charts THAT time! Anywho, the combined factors (mostly) make me forget that time is ticking away.

I certainly couldn't deny it, though, when we got our latest ultrasound! There was some excess fluid in the baby's kidneys so they wanted to double-check the situation at a later date (like last week) and we got a whole new pack of pictures that show-without-really-showing what our little guy looks like. I thought it was interesting to see the size difference from 8 weeks to 28 weeks, that's why they're included. In the last picture, our most recent, he looks pretty content sucking his thumb :) And is it just me, or does it look like he has a HUGE bicep? Hah!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The whole 9 yards

Yeah, like I need NINE yards to weed! One is plenty. Here's what's going on in our li'l patch of heaven.
This crazy half-enclosed gazebo-thing. It looks SO ODD in pictures, even pretty odd in real-life, but it's just so darn functional that we can't argue with it. Protection from the sun and rain, a west wall to shade it every evening, low walls for seating, etc. Next summer we'll pick up some furniture that's a little classier than camping chairs.
Patrick's sandbox. Unfortunately, all the weeds grew right through the protective layer under the sand, so now it's all torn up and we have to EMPTY the sandbox, re-lay black fabric, and re-fill the sand. Patrick's not too picky, though, he just digs around the uprooted fabric.
These pavers are just to the right of the covered area; we're pretty sure it was for a hot tub, but we plan on turning it into a relaxing fire-pit area.
To the left of the covered area (behind the wall with windows... why windows? We're not sure) is the massive storage area. When Patrick's bad we send him to sleep out here :) Oh, alright, but we WOULD like to try yard-camping one of these days.
There are two horseshoe pits, both extremely overgrown, but we'd like to restore this one because how cool is that??
Just north of the horseshoes is the Forbidden Forrest. We have about 20 feet more of backyard than you can see because these outrageous dead shrubs! But they remain, in spite of my love of chopping and trimming, because we have no other plans for this area and they're at least a little sound barrier between us and 120th Avenue.
To the right of the Forbidden Forrest is our new compost bin! With so many weeds and shrubs and gardening extras, it seemed silly to throw them away (plus impossible to fit them in the dumpster), so Joe built this for me. Still have work to do o it, and the compost won't be ready for at least a year, but it gives us a great place to dump it all! And when it IS ready, it can go towards our little garden...
...just to the south! We gave up some grass for it, but the soil is very good I needed a place FAST to put my plants! They were all in pots until we moved in, so we weren't planting our garden 'til AUGUST! I thought we'd just have to wait 'til next summer and try again since it was such a late transplant, but it looks like we might have something to look forward to this fall.
Maybe a watermelon?
Or some seriously deformed cucumbers?
Definitely some fried green tomatoes!
And a couple little peppers for good measure. Although a number of our neighbors have huge tomato plants with red, ripe tomatoes, I consider it QUITE an accomplishment to have any veggies all! Until we got them in the ground, not a single plant had anything but leaves, and 2 weeks later almost every one does!
So that's our very busy backyard, we're out there every single day working on one project or another. Boy, I do NOT miss living in an apartment! We love you, house!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pictures of the new casa

First, a photo of the upgraded outside, with the new garage door and screen door by Joe. Fortunately you can't see the extent of the weeds and overgrowth!

Starting in the basement (family room) and working up, here is our house!

This is Patrick' play nook, complete with chalkboard on the wall, dress-up clothes, toys, and highly cleanable floor tiles (remember how I got 'em? anyone?)

The actual family room part of the family room, since we usually watch movies together as a family. Patrick considers himself a big enough part of this family that he can watch movies all by himself while I wander around taking pictures to blog about.

The computer nook (we're big fans of nooks around here!) where I concoct these posts to more effectively waste your time (is it working? are you ignoring that glaring pile of laundry yet?). As for us, we are ignoring that we've torn down huge strips of wallpaper (it will all come down eventually) because we, too, are easily distracted (like, why am I blogging instead of greasing up my elbows to get the rest down?)

Entrance to the guest bedroom on the left (not pictured because HOLY COW IT'S A MESS -- I just started scraping the awesome popcorn ceiling off last night. Why am I not doing THAT instead of blogging, either??) and the laundry room/bath.

Our *awe-some!* $60 purchase (for the pair!). I am in SHOCK every time I load laundry because it holds about 8 gajillion times more stuff than our previous stackable washer/dryer; I'm not forced to do laundry every time 3 pairs of pants are dirty. Huz-ZAH :-D

The not-so-awesome guest bathroom - 3 paint colors and lots of wall patches; it's like a quilt! A really, really ugly quilt with bad tile in the shower (opposite the toilet, but not shown, I can't really get back far enough to take a photo. It's a tight squeeze, ok?), a lame vanity, and my shockingly bad blue toilet cover set. Worst quilt EVER. Good thing we're gutting it! But not tonight, I'm busy posting pictures with funny captions.

The view when you come up the stairs (it's a split-level, so it's very open) of the living room. We love the fireplace, not so much loving the wood paneling. We plan on tearing it down, painting it white, and reusing it as wainscoting in Patrick's room. Aren't WE so earth-friendly??
The living room view from the "dining room." It's a simple eat-in kitchen, but hey, we don't exactly have a dining room set, so who cares? Certainly not our tiny drop-leaf table!
Ta-da! Our tiny drop-leaf table! Joe always hits his head on the light that hangs down directly into the middle of nowhere, poor guy. The good news is he leaves too early for breakfast, obviously misses lunch at home, and is practically never home in time for dinner, so that table with that light get minimum head-bumpage.
The fantastically open kitchen with another *awe-some!* purchase, our $80 fridge. 23.5 cubic feet of "fill 'er up!" as opposed to our apartment's 12 cubic foot "fridge" (freezer! our milk was constantly frozen). Everyone sing along: "Heaven, I'm in heaven..."
Patrick's bedroom. It could use a little paint, n'est-ce pas? Maybe just some taste in paint, maybe something a little less orange sherbet and pasty pink flesh - the previous owners were WAAAAY into accent walls, though we're unsure of which walls they were actually accenting, since they just seemed to paint every wall a different color... except the master bath, which is all purple, including the ceiling. But that's coming up, so hang on! At any rate, we're going light blue, thanks for asking.
The giant closet. It's not that it's extra long or deep, but the doors go all the way to the ceiling! That just seems WEIRD.
Patrick's baby quilt, compliments of grandma Smiley (thanks!), was the inspiration for the color scheme of our final plans - light blue, white, and black accents. The black was my addition, I'm oddly addicted to black right now and want to paint everything. I almost painted the baby cradle black, but decided that was what one might call "morbid" instead of "cool."
Master bedroom - pretty plain. We'll probably decorate this room last since it's probably the last place in the house a guest would look!
Extremely hard to tell here, but this area is set back about 3 feet, so we're going to put a curtain across it and apportion it as the new baby's "room." I don't want the baby in Patrick's room waking him up 6 times a night, but our other bedroom is down in the basement and I don't want to do stairs 6 times a night, so this seemed like a logical solution. We'll work on it closer to time.
Entrance to our walk-in closet, plus the dresser I stole from Patrick (I gave him that honkin' big red one in return) We're pretty stoked about keeping it clean and organized this time. No, SERIOUSLY, I SWEAR I won't let it turn into a heap again!
See? So far, so good!
The *gorgeous* purple cave. No windows, crusty stained mirror, same funky vanity where you can't get to the toilet tank to save your life, rockin' "wood" linoleum, etc etc. We have got PLANS for this baby!
So that's about it! 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and one great backyard that I will write about later because it deserves its own post. What's YOUR favorite part of my house?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What did YOU do today?

Well, if your cousin is visiting for a few days, your days probably looked a little something like this:

First, take a little bike ride. This is the first time my bike trailer's seen double-kid action, and it is TOUGH to haul two chunkers! Especially when the park you visit is entirely an uphill ride, I thought my legs were going to fall off. No pictures at the park, I figure sand and nice cameras don't mix.

Then play outside. As soon as the pool is spotted (about 5 seconds into our foray) there's little chance we'll do much else, so bust out the swimsuits, some water toys, and the hose! Let's get wet. This was the first of THREE swims.
After a nice swim you might consider some nice, light reading like Kalena did. In fact, I think she considered every book on that shelf!

Tunnel around the family room always makes for a fun afternoon...

...Especially when someone's waiting for your on the other end of the tunnel!

Then to top of the day, everyone should enjoy their favorite meal. In this case, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and watermelon. Yummmm!

Looking forward to a few more days of fun with my neice Kalena while her mom visits our new neice Amelia that I blogged about last time. Hope your days are as fun-filled as ours our!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sweet baby girl

Found the camera (it was hiding in the car's console the entire time!) with time to take a few photos at the hospital on Wednesday before we headed home. Hooray!
Snuggling the sweet little bundle of joy - I LOVE how easy newborns are to handle compared to a toddler!

Her sweet, impossibly small, terrifically perfect, feet.
Her so-terribly-sad-it's-funny face, working up to a big cry over nothing (aren't they always?)

Patrick LOVES little babies, and Amelia is no exception. He would climb right into the chair and pat his lap, like "put her here, mom!" Of course, as soon as he was done holding her he'd just kinda shove her off, but it was sweet while it lasted. Here, newborns being newborn, she got a little feel of his collar near her mouth she tried to nurse on Patrick! The man really like his nipples (seriously, folks, you have to keep a shirt on him just to make him stop touching them) but I doubt he'd like to share. Back to mom you go!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Baby time!

No, not MY baby, and no, there aren't any pictures for this post, either (remember the lost camera? Well, it wasn't in my overnight bag either!) but I'm happy to be the proud poster of new niece news, as in, I have a really darn cute one.

My little sis Kari was due today with her first baby, so for a few months we've been planning on having me come and be with her and her husband during labor. I think this was more my idea than hers, since I had a big, fat chip on my shoulder about husbands during labor, but she went willingly along with it. We had to play things by ear since she wasn't scheduled for an induction or a c-section and I live 2 hours away (fortunately only 2; just last week it was 3 hours!) and I have crazy ol' Patrick, but everything ended up working perfectly. She started having contractions about 2:30 in the morning, and by 4:30 when she knew I'd be awake anyway (what with Joe getting ready for work), she was ready to call because it was the real deal. I had time to put some things together before Patrick woke up (the only time in my life I haven't cursed him at 5:30 in the morning) so we had breakfast and hit the road by 6:00, beating morning rush hour and hitting Pueblo around 8:00. We just had time to say hello before I was kicked out since she was getting and epidural, but once that was over we had lots of time to chill - and chill she was! With a very good epidural, Kari hardly noticed contractions from then on out so we just chatted and waited for the nurse to come in and check her every now and again. Kari's friend Stevie (a girl, don't get confused) came to visit during this part, bringing along a 10-month-old she watches for daycare, and when she left she was kind enough to take Patrick with her so we could be toddler-free during the nitty-gritty. Contractions stayed regular and Kari progressed pretty quickly, all while being blissfully PAIN FREE, so before we all knew it, it was time for her to push! Seriously, that sounds like too simple of an explanation, but it's exactly how it was. Since she could feel pressure she knew when a contraction was coming; since she knew when a contraction was coming she knew when to push; since she knew when to push they didn't have to turn her epidural down, and TA-DA! ...about 9 contractions later the doctor came in and by 10 contractions (also known as an hour with a contraction every 5 minutes) the baby came out! Seriously, what the heck is that doctor for anyway? One stupid contraction? But I digress... Kari was a serious trooper and it was really amazing to be part of the experience, I'm really thankful she let me be there! So now I'm in Pueblo for the night, visiting again tomorrow morning before we head back to Thornton to hunt down that camera. Looking forward to posting more tomorrow!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yeah, STILL no pics...

We've lived in our new house more than a week and I haven't written about it yet?!? How DARE I! **Well, that's what I would be thinking if one of my friends or family had bought a house and failed to communicate any further information, so I figure I should get started WITHOUT picstures, especially since I have another important blog to post now!**

We've been busy (to say the least)! We closed on the house on Thursday July 27th (or something like that, I don't have a calendar handy) but Joe had to work all weekend so we had to get everything loaded from the apartment and unloaded to the house Friday afternoon/evening, since the moving van was due back in Fort Collins by noon on Saturday (thanks, UHAUL. Jerks). When he got off work, Joe got crazy and loaded the 26-foot truck almost all by himself before any help could arrive - it was quite a sight to see! We drove the hour south and arrived in Thornton at 7:15 p.m. to a veritable Mormon mosh-pit of our new ward! They apparently mobilize quickly, since I'd only called 24 hours in advance to let them know we were coming. They unloaded the entire truck while I directed the flow of boxes and we still had time to shoot the breeze afterwards, all before 8:00! Seriously, 5 gold stars for efficiency with these guys!

Since then we have unpacked boxes, weeded the yard, planted our garden, had the main sewer line power jetted (stinky), had the kitchen sink power jetted (really really REALLY stinky, I almost threw up), unpacked more boxes, pulled more weeds, torn down some wallpaper in the basement, patched drywall holes, cleaned the gutters, primed the guest room to paint it tonight, dreamed up master plans for both bathrooms, gotten 312 mosquito bites while enjoying our patio because we hadn't found the bug spray yet, had 2 big fights, unpacked more boxes, decorated Patrick's room (cute!), got our phone and Internet set up (call me! 303-280-2445), made 12 trips to Home Depot and 3 to Ross, installed new screens on both the front and back doors, sorted through nearly a week of trash after learning we had our dumpsters mixed up, pulled more weeds, and passed out from fatigue every night since last Friday. Is that about right, or am I simply new to the game? I'm just VERY THANKFUL we're in a place we actually plan on staying, otherwise half those boxes would stay packed up and all of those darn weeds would stay put. Good riddance to you, thistles!

I'm taking pictures when I remember, trying to get the "before" and "after," but seems on par to remember photos halfway through something (like priming a bedroom), so I don't have many true "before" photos. Oh, well, all we really care about is after! So as soon as I RE-FIND my camera (lost it, then found it, but now it's lost again) I'll post the photos to show how the the front of our very own house looks after it got a new garage door (the most inexpensive and boring one available, with no garage door opener, thanks cheap-o bank!) and a new front door screen from Joe (it makes the best summer-time screen-door slap when you shut it). For now, just imagine that it's gorgeous, okay? Thanks!