November 25, 2007

The Final Product

Here's a video of the floors and tile after completion. Today I realized we had the "chromatic" bulbs in the ceiling lights of the kitchen which gave off a redish light and when I changed them out for energy efficient flourescent lights the floors looked the normal oak color. Now, funny enough, everthing looks red in this video now - go figure.

Anyway. I didn't realize how much Elmo and I sound like an old married couple at the start of this video, it's pretty funny. But after working next to someone for 12 four-hour days I challenge you not to sound like us. But I now have a greater insight into what Tutu goes through on a daily basis - I am in awe of you Tutu!



Posted by Kevin at 09:19 PM | Comments (1)

November 23, 2007

The New Floors

I wanted to show Chrissie our new kitchen floors using our webcam and our laptop but was having EXTREME Windows 2000 issues. Let's just say it wasn't really Plug & Play until XP.

Anyway, I decided to use the internet to show the world what our floors look like now. The oak turned out more red than I was planning. I note this several times on the video 'cause on the camera screen, with the auto-light adjustment on, the oak floors looked very normal. But looking at it now, on the computer, the redness does come out. So just ignore the comments about them not looking red - they do.

So here's the video - out with the old vinyl ugliness, in with the new laminate goodness. Hopefully Chrissie'll like it, 'cause I really don't want to tear them out.




Posted by Kevin at 11:05 PM | Comments (130)

November 20, 2007

When There's A Smile In Your Heart

Kulia survived her first trip to Disneyland and she did great.

It was crowded and overcast, rides were broken and lines long but Kulia was the best little trooper. She skipped from ride to ride. She hung on the bars in line and screamed with joy on the Toon Town roller coaster. We didn't get to see any characters. They were pretty mobbed and everytime we found one, they were on their way for a water break. But the girls didn't mind. Disneyland is just overwhelming as is. I'm hoping we can go back after Thanksgiving when everyone is back in school. Maybe then we could see the Princesses and hug Mickey.

Of all the rides, It's A Small World stood out. They had decorated it for Christmas and changed the song to Christmas carols. It was beautiful. The girls were wiped by the end but made it back to the car without a melt down. I don't know how much Kulia will remember, but I hope something of the day stays with her. What a great little trooper she is.

Posted by Chrissie at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2007

Easy Peasy

Wow, that was the easiest plane ride ever. The girls did great watching the little DVD and snoozing. After our 6 hour trip to Hawaii, a mere 2 hour jaunt down to LA is nothing. This was also the first time I didn't lug a giant car seat onto the plane and that made a world of difference.

Leina was on fire the day of our trip. She was Ms. Chatty Kathy Social Butterfly and had everyone around her cracking up. She informed every person who made eye contact with her that she was going to visit her grandparents and going to Disney land. This cause quite a few chuckles and smiles but my favorite was the poor business man she cornered on the plane while we were waiting for everyone to board. After informing him about her trip to Disney Land, she asked if he was going too. If so, she told him to look for her so she could show him where her favorite Peter Pan ride was. Poor guy, he tried his best to bury his head into his iPhone but she was persistant. Eventually, he moved to another seat. Guess he didn't want to chat with a 4 year old about Disneyland for two hours.

The girls are running around her like wild things. They love discovering all the strange stuff my parents have like harmonicas and old plastic easter eggs. Sleeping isn't so hot. Last night Leina woke me at 1am, 2:30am, and the sister got up at 6:30am. Ugh. I have forgotten how horrible it is to deal with fragmented sleep. I'm optimistic that they will settle into their new beds nicely in the next few days and I can get some sleep!

Oh yes, Kevin found the charger. It was on my craft table mixed in with my bead box. Now, this discovery gives rise to two questions.

1. How did the camera charger get upstairs in my bead box?
2. What was Kevin doing looking in my beads in the first place?

Kevin appears to be surviving nicely. He has hung out with our buds Kat & Josh eating ribs, slept in, played on the computer, and has lined up several other dinners over the next few days. Even worse, he has the whole week off from work. So he gets to loll about doing whatever he wants without a poopy diaper in sight for the next 5 days. He can barely control the giddy.

We are heading to Disneyland tomorrow. It will be Kulia's first trip and I'm so excited. DisneyLand with a child is truely magical. I'll try and post a few picks when I get a chance. Hopefully, my sleep deprived kids will make it all day long!

Posted by Chrissie at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2007

One Thing

I can't find our camera battery charger.

And it is driving me C-R-A-Z-Y.

I just used it. Right before we went to the zoo a few days ago. It is always by the kitchen sink plug sitting in its own little charger bowl just waiting for use. But when I went to pack it, it was gone. Vanished. Kevin and I torn apart the house last night looking for it. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Arrrrgh. Nothing makes me more frustrated than items being misplaced. I have a place for everything. A box, a drawer, or a room. Important stuff, like chargers, are kept up high were little hands can't reach them. Kevin has learned not to mess with my bizarre organizational tendencies. When he needs something, he asks me and I find it. This is how it works. Chargers are not suppose to move. So not acceptable.

I'm going to have Kevin order a new one but I know once he does, we'll find the old one in some odd place. But I gotta tell you, this missing charger is keeeling me dude.

Aside from the wayward charger, we are packed and ready to go. Yippee!

Posted by Chrissie at 03:05 PM | Comments (2)

November 13, 2007

Packing

Just a short post today. I'm attempting to pack everything I need for myself, Leina and Kulia for two weeks into two suitcases. Wanna come help? Yeah, I didn't think so. In two days we are heading to LA to visit the grandparents. Yippee! The girls are so excited they can hardly sleep. Leina in particular. Kulia is still stuck on the fact that daddy isn't coming with us.

As much as I love visiting family, I dread taking my kids to the airport. All those people and lines and business. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get through the metal detector with two toddlers? Just taking off and putting back on their shoes takes 10 minutes are a good day. (My girls are very particular about how their socks go on. Sigh.) Then we have to unload all our carry-ons, fold down the stroller, and gather it all back. Bleck.

As for packing, my mother insists it is "cold" in LA. I have to take her assessment with a grain of salt. Today, our high was 50 degrees and we are all in short sleeves. For this reason alone, I have packed the following types of clothing:

Shorts and t-shirt with sandals.
Pants and long sleeves.
Vests.
Windbreakers.
Heavy coats.
Tights.
Sunglasses and sun hat.
Light night gowns.
Footed PJ's.

So if our plane gets re-directed to Hawaii, we'll be ok. (Please oh please oh please send us to Hawaii.) On the other hand, if we land in Wisconsin, we'd be just fine. This breath-taking range of clothing items means a very full suitcase so my original plan of packing Christmas presents has to be scuttled. Looks like I'll have to brave the post office like the rest of the population. Drat.

My five minute rest is over. I now have to figure how many socks, undies, and hair clips we need over the next two weeks. At the rate my girls lose hair clips, I'm thinking 2 dozen per child ought to work. Socks? That's a whole other ball park.

Posted by Chrissie at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2007

Rainy Day

The weather has taken a serious turn. The wind has stripped the trees of all their beautiful fall leaves and it appears that winter is on the horizon. Leaving the YMCA this morning, I had a moment or two when I was sure the wind was going to pick up Kulia and whisk her away to Oz. She may have been under the same impression because she practically climbed up my leg and into my arms.

So what do you do on a cold and stormy Oregon Monday? Well, lets see. Some of us like to work on art projects.


Others prefer to hone their musical abilities.


But I think the smartest move is to curl up with a quilt and take a nap under the grey and gloomy skies.

Posted by Chrissie at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2007

Puppy Love

Poor Josh. Every time he leaves town, we make plans to have Kat over for some fun. He was heading out of town this weekend so we decided on a Buster's run for ribs and then some card games or crafting while he was gone. When he heard the plans he was, justifiably enough, a little grumbly about missing out on the fun. Even better, Kat was going to bring down Melo puppy so she could be worshiped and adored by my children as a princess puppy should be. So imagine my alarm to learn that Melo has pulled a muscle/strained a joint/pinched a nerve or done something that required lots of rest and no activity for a week. When I told Leina that Melo couldn't come visit this weekend she was sad. When I told her Melo was hurt and had to go to the vet, she began crying.

Yes, crying.

This girl loves Melo almost as much as Kat does and for those of you who know Kat, you will realize how much love this is. To calm Leina down, I told her she could send Melo a special message to help her feel better.

Melo, this one is for you puppy. Get well soon. (Toward the end, Leina actually starts tearing up again thinking about Melo being sick. Ah, my sweet sensitive girl!)

Posted by Chrissie at 02:51 PM | Comments (1)

November 07, 2007

The Lottery

With my girls, you never know what the day will bring. Some days, they rise from bed grumpy and obstinate. Other days, they are sunshine and happiness. Today, I would have to categorize them as barely controlled balls of energy.

Each morning, Leina wakes at 7am and runs into our room to roust Kevin who heads downstairs to start breakfast. I usually lie in bed another 20-30 minutes gathering my strength and giving Kevin some quality time with his girls. So when I do lumber down the stair around 7:30am, I never know what will greet me. This morning, however, as I lay in bed fortifying myself, I could hear the distinct sounds of pounding feet, shrieks, and giggles coming from below.

This is what I found.

And they haven't stopped since. I'm thinking they are liking the extra hour of sleep in the morning. Either that or they have begun sneaking sips from my coffee cup when I am not looking. Wouldn't you love to have this much energy before 8am? I know I would.

(As you can see from the clip, Kevin has recovered from his horrible day. Baby kisses can erase just about all forms of heartache thankfully!)

Posted by Chrissie at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2007

Retake



This was Leina's first try at her school photo. Needless to say, we signed up for a picture re-take today. I'm hoping round two yields something a little better. I can only guess that Leina was talking during the entire time. I can't really complain because I have a hard time snapping a decent shot of her myself. It really is a rare moment when her mouth isn't going a mile a minute. I shudder to think about our phone bill when she reaches her teen years.

Poor Kevin is having a truely terrible day. Awful would be an understatement. Too many demands, too few resources, and too much of a work ethic on his part have all collided. He called me early today after storming out of work. I guess he totally lost his cool and let fly. He was so mad he actually left the building, got in his car, and drove off. My only suggestion was that he go somewhere to blow of steam - talk a walk, get a cup of coffee, drive mindlessly. I'm not sure where he went or how he's doing but I hope he's able to shake off his rage and make it through the day. Sometimes, being a hard and conscientious worker means caring too much. It ain't fair, but it is true. I'm sure Kevin will work through it but I find myself falling into mommy mode - I want to wave a magic wand and make it all better. Somehow, I don't think a Hello Kitty band-aid will make it right though. If only you could have a retake day in life. Wouldn't it be great? Things go horrible wrong and turn out topsy-turvy and everyone just smiles, shakes their heads, and says, "well, we're gonna need a retake." Only in preschool I guess, too bad.

Posted by Chrissie at 02:42 PM | Comments (1)

November 05, 2007

Back to the Grind



The weekend of freedom is over and my little ones are back resting in their rooms. They had a blast at the grandparents' house and were duly spoiled and treated. Usually, when they leave I mope around the house missing them. This time, however, I was floating on freedom while Kevin bemoaned their absence. He couldn't wait to get them back while I was much more willing to prolong my freedom.

Now that November is officially here, the Christmas panic has set in. I have so many presents to make. I have a ridiculously long and ambitious list taped above my desk. The frenzy is so great that even the kids have noticed. Today, Leina asked me if I could play with her or if I had more sewing to do. Sorry kid. Momma can't play until after Dec 23rd.

Here's a sneak peak at a little pillow I'm making for a special little neice this year. It came out so cute! I want to keep if for myself! Now, I just have to make three more pillows, two kitty cats, a raven ornament, three banners... oh my, I must cease typing and begin sewing immediately!

Posted by Chrissie at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2007

Free At Last

My children.

Are.

Gone.

Gone!

We threw them out at their grandparents house and fled. Seriously. I left a trail of burned rubber out of their driveway. Then, we shopped, ate, drove, talked, worked, showered, and ate some more. It was heavenly.

We just got back from a massive meal with Kat & Josh. I wanted to go somewhere that didn't have a kids menu or a kids corner or even kids. Anywhere. None! I had delicious frufru drinks, an artsy fartsy dish and a ginorous chocolate dessert thingy. And I didn't even have to break out the wipes once. No one spilled their water or announced half way through the meal that their poo-poos were starting.

Did I mention that my kids are gone?

Tomorrow I will do whatever I want and not have to microwave a single dino nugget or mediate a toy dispute, or try and convince a child to stop pulling on the dog's tail. Oh my goodness, just the thought makes me giddy.

And now, I'm off to bed with no worries of being rousted at 2:30am with an accident. I've shivering with joy. Good night!

Posted by Chrissie at 10:58 PM | Comments (1)

November 02, 2007

Zoo Day

Today was perfect - clear, cold, sunny and Friday. We has a totally free day so I rounded up the kids and headed for the zoo. The place was empty and the animals active. In sum, we had a great day.

Leina's reaction to entering the zoo? Excitement.

Kulia's reaction to entering the zoo? Energy!

After tromping about, we stopped for snacks. Kulia took her eating very seriously.

Leina was all smiles.

Their favorite part, however, were some animal structures they could climb on. They must have spent 30 minutes jumping and scaling these statutes. Kulia liked the little cubs...

Leina, however, prefered to curl up in the sun with the mountain lion.

This was one fine fall day. Hope your friday was just as wonderful.

Posted by Chrissie at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2007

They Were Right

Yesindeedie. Too much candy will make you sick. How do I know this? Not because my children sing about it incessantly let. Nor because they ate too much candy last night. Oh no, I have a much more personal and first hand knowledge about how awful you feel after glutting yourself on mini-candy bars.

Halloween started out great. Kev can home at a decent hour, the kids were dressed and ready to hit the road, the weather was cold but clear. Perfect. Around 6:30pm, Kevin and the girls headed out the door leaving me home to dole out the candy.

Now, I had a plan. My brilliant idea was to dump all the candy I really love into the candy bowl first. This would ensure that it would be totally given away and not available to lie around the house and mock me and my lack of self discipline. The plan was brilliant in design but lacked in execution. I was blissfully unaware of my folly as I heaped our candy bowl with mounds of scrumptious chocolately goodness.

You see, I had forgotten about the time delay. I don't know about your house, be we seem to get hit in waves. We'll have a stream of 20 kids marching up and down our porch and then..... a dead space of ten minutes until the next mob descends. It was that dead space that did me in.

The candy had just hit the bowl when the first fist knocked on my door. Smiling, I opened it up and grabbed candy to drop into eager bags. One, five, fifteen kids tromped to my door. And then, as quickly as they came, they were gone. I closed the door and realized I was alone with a giant mound of my favorite candy and I had nothing to do. I couldn't really go start the dishes or fold the laundry. No watching TV or reading to keep my hands busy. Instead I paced up and down our front room, peering out our window, willing a kid (any kid) to head up my front walk. After 2 minutes, I caved. I scarfed a teeny tiny Almond Joy - perfect in its balance of crunchy almond, bitter dark chocolate, and dry sweet coconut. I had just crumpled the wrapper when my hand snaked out to grab a lollipop - sour apple flavor drizzled in caramel. When the next kid wave hit, the trick or treaters found me with a bowl of candy, a pock full of wrappers, and a lollipop in my mouth. It quickly went down hill. By the time my candy bowl needed a refill, I didn't feel too great. Luckily, the next candy in line was the stuff I don't care for so it was easy for me to abstain but the damage was done. The candy was getting crazy in my tummy and it was not fun.

I will say, however, that there was a silver lining. As planned, I handed out all the stuff I like and what we have left doesn't tempt me in the least. However, I forgot to take into account the fact that my children would be tromping home with little tubs full of yumminess. In fact, as I type this, my tummy is again not so hot and I am surrounded by empty candy wrappers. Did you know that Milky Ways now come in dark chocolate? Or that Tootsie rolls have a vanilla flavor? That SweetTarts are, in fact, both sweet and tart?

Oh help me. Please. Come to my house and take all these bite sized temptations away from me!

Posted by Chrissie at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)