Monday, May 30, 2011

White Trash

Saturday I wanted to capture how cute Riley looked in the skirt she got from Grandma Suzie and Grandpa Michael and the Madonna shirt that cousin, Tater Tot, got her.

Unfortunately, she wasn't too happy when I took the above picture, but she still was cute. Later I was able to get another picture when we were out on the deck.

As you can see the shirt is a little on the small side and I think this will be the last time she will be able to squeeze into it. On a side note she has really been embracing her belly button this weekend. When you ask her where it is she lifts her shirt up, points to it, and says 'belly button'. At least it sounds pretty close to 'belly button'.

She woke up ravished after her nap. The moment she saw the bananas she started making monkey noises. Ooh ooh, aah aah.

Can I get a little help here?

Inhaling my banana

Can barely take a break from eating to drink some milk.

 After a hard day of playing, napping, and eating Riley looked like this:

Pretty, isn't it?

As you can see in the above photo she was holding the lens cap to the camera. I kept attempting to get a picture of her in all her hot messness which was difficult since she kept chasing me with the lens... as she wanted to put the lens on the camera. We went back and forth across the room and it looked a little like this:

Then on to the other side of the room...

While we are looking at pictures of my white trash child I might as well share another picture from last week when she was getting ready for bed.

Please note the bold fashion statement she is making. I like to think of her as fashion forward. Soon, you too, will all be mixing patterns and clashing colors. When this look becomes the new trend you can all look back and thank Riley for it. You're welcome.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

99 Things

I randomly came across a blog with the following idea... list 99 things you may or may not have done. I know you are thinking "99 things? Really? You expect me to read through 99 things? Why not 32, or 7? I can commit to 7." Sorry, but it is what it is.

I've basically copied the list, bolded the ones I've done (with some explanations), and am sharing with you. Enjoy.

1. Start your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

Jay Cooke state park

3. Played in a band - no, but in high school a handful of us girls started a band. I think we picked out our name and who would do what, but that was as far as it went. I can't recall the band name, but I am pretty sure I was going to play the keyboard (yeah, it was obviously the '80's).
4. Visited Hawaii

Whale watching in Hawaii with Hawaii Laura who will always be known as Hawaii Laura even though we met in MN and she currently lives in Cali.

5. Watched a meteor shower - I think?
6. Given more than you can afford to charity - given, but more than I can afford? probably not.
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain - I doubt the draaaaiiiinnnnpipe counts.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo - And I can't sing. At all. You will want to avoid listening to me sing at all costs.

11. Bungee jumped - I have no desire to. Ever.
12. Visited Paris - I was stuck in the train station because it was raining and we couldn't store our very large bags in the train station lockers because they were closed due to a bomb watch. We decided to keep traveling on to London. My total Paris experience involved about two hours sitting in a train station. And I'm ok with that.
13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child - no, but I am adopted. Unless when you say 'child' you mean 'cat'... then yes I have.
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetable
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train - in Europe.

21.Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch Hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill - I consider it a mental health day.
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon - I used to be on the track team in junior high. I was nicknamed the 'baton beauty' because all I wanted to run was the relay 'baton' races, but I wouldn't consider that a marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - wanted to, but they are spendy!
29. Seen a total eclipse - I don't recall, but every time I read this I hear the song 'Total eclipse of the heart' in my head.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31.Hit a home run - I am going to bold this even though I am not totally sure I did this, but I played softball long enough that I think I had to at some time.
32. Been on a cruise - and have no intention to.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - I have been to Germany, but not sure if I was in the area my ancestors came from.
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - this one was hard to bold. Yes, I have enough money to truly be satisfied. Would I like more money? Yes, please.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David - and went to pretty much every museum while in Florence.

41. Sung karaoke - against my will and only as backup.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted - my brother was an artist and did my portrait in pencil. He drew and painted a number of pictures for me, but my favorite is a ballerina he painted just for me.

Made just for me.
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - snorkeling in Belize and the USVI and I can barely swim. It was awesome... especially in Belize. 

52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie - not sure if this counts, but my friend, NE Laura, filmed a 5 minutes film called 'The Party' in which I played an art expert who said 'pontificate' a lot.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business - Adaia Services. It was a home management/personal assistant business. I still do some work on it from time to time where I help people with their parties. I basically help set up, serve food, and clean up. It sorta dissolved when I received my MS degree.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies - and have eaten my fair share. So much that I should be considered a honorary Girl Scout.
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma - shame on me for not doing this!
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check - unfortunately
68. Flown in a helicopter - in Hawaii and it was awesome.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - It was over 10 years ago, but I think I may have.
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. See the Grand Canyon in person - one day I plan to!
80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalen
84. Had your picture in the newspaper - I was playing softball
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - When I was young I was there when my sister and her then husband killed and butchered chickens. I had no desire to help and was a bit mortified by the whole process. My sister, on the other hand, seemed to love it. L.o.v.e. it.
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury

91.Met someone famous - quite a few years ago I was in LA with some friends and we went on a couple studio tours. While at one we got to watch an episode of Cheers being filmed... and then ran into John Tesh on the way out. I know you are jealous.
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo - two
94. Had a baby - one

The one and only baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

I would love to see your comments about this. Are there items that should be on this list? Do you want more details of my (apparently) extremely exciting life? Are you jealous that I met John Tesh? Do I say 'awesome' too much? Do tell.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Our Weekend

Last Friday I left work a little early so I could go visit my mother in law, Suzie, in the hospital with Jesse and Riley. Suzie had surgery on Monday and I hadn't gotten to visit all week so I wanted to see how she was doing and let her know I was thinking about her. While we were visiting Riley noticed the door across the hall was open. She became quite fascinated with getting into this room and we assumed that it was because they had their TV on. However, after closer inspection we noticed a huge balloon with a smiley face on it. Our last couple experiences with balloons caused her to have complete breakdowns so we weren't sure if she actually saw the balloon or not. If there ever was a balloon that was going to freak her out it this would be the one to do it.

This is one huge balloon

No seriously, this is one big balloon!

Riley and I were out in the hall waiting for Suzie and Jesse to take a stroll around the hospital floor. While we were waiting I was attempting to keep Riley out of the balloon room. She thought this was a great game and laughed super hard when I would get in her way. Thankfully. Because I could so see it going the way of the tantrum. After a nice cruise around the hospital floor we arrived back outside grandma's room only to have a woman appear from across the hall.  She asked if we wanted to have the balloon as it was given to her 20 year old son who had no interest in it. We hesitantly walked Riley up to the balloon and she actually seemed somewhat interested in it. So we took it home and she randomly points at it and sorta plays with it. This is a big step and we are relieved that she doesn't have Globophobia as my husband feared.

While at the hospital Riley did two new things (way to show off in front of grandma!).

1. She signed 'please'. I was talking to Riley and said the word 'please'. In turn Riley took her hand and swirled it across her chest. I have randomly been working on some signs so I wasn't sure how much my signing would take with her. In fact, she did it twice. She's so smart.

2. When we were leaving Riley waved at grandma and said 'bye' without being provoked to do so. She's been waving for some time although it is often on her own schedule. Sometimes it is several minutes after the fact. But this is the first time she said 'bye'. She has a toy that will say 'bye, bye' after a couple minutes of inactivity and this weekend when she played with it she would copy it each time it said 'bye, bye'. Needless to say we heard a fair amount of 'bye' this past weekend.

Riley was smelling like suntan lotion Friday night so it was definitely bath night. She is still a big fan of the bath and now also loves bubbles in the bath (this was an iffy thing for awhile).

Bath pigtails!

Saturday was a pretty good day for Riley. We had a somewhat busy day planned as we wanted to go look at lighting for our kitchen (no luck finding what we wanted), put the knobs on the cabinets (thank you Jesse), and continue to put items into the cabinet (and out of the guest bedroom). Riley was great about playing by herself and keeping herself busy. We even got to go to the park when the sun came out.

There's a balloon up there.

I can play by myself like a big girl.

Grandma was able to go home from the hospital on Saturday so we went to visit her and Grandpa Michael on Sunday. Shortly before we left there was a tornado siren that went off in our neighborhood, but when we turned on the news there wasn't a huge alert so we weren't sure what to do. The sirens stopped and we hopped in the car. I know, probably not the smartest thing to do as we probably should have been a little safer and huddled down in the basement until it was all clear. While in the car we discovered the storm was heading in the opposite direction from us so we continued on. Little did we know that before we left home a tornado touched down within a couple miles of our home. Then the storm headed north and caused a lot of destructive damage. Sadly some lives were lost, a lot of people injured, homes destroyed, and so many trees down. Some friends of ours live right in the path and had a tree come down on their house. Luckily, they are safe and sound.

This weekend Riley also helped while I continued to put kitchen items back in the cabinets. She (and our cat, Lucy) are big fans of the salad spinner. For the past month or so it has been on the floor in the guest room. I am a little hesitant to store it away in a cabinet as she enjoys playing with it so much. Actually, I would say she is a bit territorial with it.

This is the salad spinner bowl.
Then you add the top and start spinning...
... and then pull it off when it is still spinning... and don't you dare touch it... it's mine!
Overall we had a good weekend.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dream 5/22/11

According to my husband I had another dream about nothing. Nothing? This dream is chock full of... stuff! To preface this dream there was a tornado that hit our area and surrounding areas last night. Additionally, Riley recently received a huuuuuggggeee balloon with a smiley face on it. Riley also woke around 4 am and had a hard time getting back to sleep (Jesse was the rock star who got up with her). The rest I cannot explain.


The dream begins with me getting up to go the bathroom at 4 am. The pocket door to the bathroom was slightly ajar. Jesse peeks his head in as I am washing my hands and jingles keys at me. I look at him trying to figure out why he is jingling keys at me at 4 am, but not actually saying anything. This annoys me and I bark “what!?” at him. He finally states that he is going outside to lock up the Honda as he saw some people wandering around outside.

I look down and Riley is trying to glide the door open (something she often does in real life). I pick her up and she seems way too awake for 4 am. I just want to go to bed, but it is clear that she won’t be going back to bed. I carry her over to my bedroom window and look out at… a mess. I knew there were a lot of items in the driveway before we went to bed which was why the Honda was parked out front, but the vision I had before me had items everywhere. Then I noticed that the garage was gone. There were a few items still sitting inside the garage, but I was pretty much just looking at the concrete slab. Come to think of it where was the Mazda? So Riley and I are looking out the window when a long, heavy metal bar comes flying from the driveway up to the second story window and slams into the glass before dropping to the ground. Unbelievably the window does not break.

I decide we better get downstairs and check on Jesse who has gone outside. When I get down to the main floor I see Jesse’s friend, Raul, and another one of his video game buddies. Raul is in the dining room and the other guy is in the living room which is overly decorated with Christmas decorations… including two Christmas trees. As I am standing in the dining room I realized that there is another Christmas tree to my side. Raul identifies it as his. I remember asking why he brought his tree over and know he answered me, but I can’t remember what his reason was. I guess it will be one of those mysteries of life. 

Raul then shares that he is actually here to look at our frieze on our kitchen ceiling (would that be called a frieze?) He has a much more elaborate one and discovered that he needed to keep the 5 components (?) when remodeling it. I don't know what this means, but it made sense in the dream. The kitchen in the dream looks completely different than it does in real life. Imagine 1970's with an ugly frieze on the ceiling. Ugh.

I turn out of the kitchen an back into the dining room to see the Christmas decor gone... to be replaced by many, many balloons.

Including smaller versions of a smiley faced balloon she received on Friday which will probably make more sense when I make my next post.

And that was that. At least that was all I remember.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kitchen Remodel part 1

When Jesse and I bought the red house we knew that a kitchen remodel was in the future. Our kitchen was in its original 1948 style... including the bright yellow counter tops. (In fact we have a matching yellow kitchen table which is now a garage table.)

Notice the high tech clamp on the fridge.

Our first step was to replace the stove and fridge. We were able to do this a couple years ago when we received new ones for a wedding present (thank you Suzie and Michael!). The old fridge was pretty classy, it even had a clamp attached to the door since the magnetic strip no longer worked properly. After we received the new one it took me quite awhile to not reach for the clamp to securely close the fridge. For the stove we ran a new gas line up to it as I was so over having an electric stove. Once you go gas you never go back. Isn't that how the saying goes?

We were sidetracked from moving forward on the kitchen for a couple years as we remodeled part of the basement (I'll probably feature that in a future post) Now that the kid isn't so much a baby anymore we were ready to update the kitchen. We started with removing part of the wall that leads into the dining room. The plan is to add a counter top with bar stools here. We also wanted to replace the yellow counter top and eventually tile the floor. Jesse started the demo one day while I was at work. I came home to this:

Yeah Jesse for starting the demo!

My dad is handy at all things so we naturally reached out to him for assistance. He helped us make sure that we were doing things correctly... and often made suggestions. Lots of suggestions. Most of which we did not follow. These were usually design suggestions and while we appreciate his point of view (sometimes this was quite important if it actually impacted the structural stability), but we had our vision and wanted to move forward with it. My dad should know by now that when I want something a certain way I'll be pretty stubborn about it, right?

Dad and Jesse

Once we had the wall framed up we selected our counter top and ordered it. One of the suggestions my dad had made was to also replace the cabinets. His reasoning was that if we are going to be changing out the counter this is the prime time to change the cabinets. I was torn about doing this as the cabinets were the original cabinets - made of solid wood. Sure they weren't the greatest. The hinges sometimes came loose. The drawers tended to stick. But they were SOLID and it would be super expensive to replace to the same quality. Even if we bought cheaper ones it just wasn't in the budget. My dad is the biggest tight wad I know so I thought he would appreciate that I considered his suggestion, but then said 'no' to save money. However, he called me up one day and was VERY upset that we were putting a new counter top on the old cabinets and "now was the time to change them!". He offered to help us with the cost (as a very early Christmas gift) so we broke down and ordered new cabinets (thanks, dad!) This was a little harder for me than for my husband who probably went to sleep dreaming about drawers that smoothly glide in and out.

First thing we had to do was reschedule the counter tops and then decide on cabinets. Overall, I think this went smoother than it could have. We bought our counter tops at Lowe's (they were on sale) and discovered they also had cabinets on sale. We set up the ordering appointment after Lowe's sent out a team to get exact measurements of our kitchen. Our appointment was the last day of the sale so we had to get the cabinets ordered. My husband picked me up from work that day and instructed me that I may want to sit in the back seat with our daughter who wasn't doing so well. I got in the back seat and proceeded to try and calm her down. She screamed for the whole 20 minutes we drove out to Lowes. We debated several times to just turn around and go home, but hoped that once we arrived something would change. She cried so hard that when she tried to stop crying she would gasp air and then get upset by that and start the screaming cycle all over again. Poor kid. Once we got to the store I nursed her in the car and that solved everything. She was an awesome kid the rest of the evening which went way past her bed time. Luckily we brought a bunch of snacks (like goldfish) and a banana because if we missed her regular bedtime you know we missed dinner. We ended up having to let her crawl around on the floor. The dirty, concrete floor, but whatev. She had fun and we were able to save $500 on our cabinets.

Then... time passes. And passes. And we finally get the date in place when the cabinets will be installed so we start tearing out the old ones.

And on the other side of the kitchen:

So now it really gets hard because we don't have a sink to wash dishes in. We have to make do with the tub, but plan to install the old sink back in once the new cabinets are in. Then when the new counter tops arrive we will put in our new shiny sink. Yeah!

Oh, where to wash you now?

In the tub, of course!

And finally the cabinets arrive at our house only take take up my car space in the garage for two weeks... which causes me to get hail damage on my car... which will probably not get fixed because I have a $500 deductible and it is an old car and it's just not worth it. And please don't think we will use the $500 we saved on the cabinets to pay for the car repair. Not gonna happen.

So finally the big day comes when Keith and his crew install the cabinets.

Once the cabinets were mostly installed we had the counter top people take measurements and make templates. Then... more time will pass and eventually the counter tops will be installed.

Some other kitchen updates that we plan are:
  • A new over the range microwave which Jesse tried to talk me out of. We really don't have much counter space so this would be the optimal spot for the microwave. Jesse thinks we should get rid of it all together. Silly. 
  • A dishwasher which Jesse also conceded to. I have not had a dishwasher since I lived at my parents over 20 years ago. And just to be clear, over 20 years ago means that I was in high school... not 29 and mooching off my folks. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Jesse and I decided to get a drawer dishwasher. One drawer that is. So it will be smaller than your typical dishwasher. I hope this is the right decision and not one I will regret. 
  • A new sink
  • A new faucet
  • Tile floor
  • Tile backsplash
  • Pendant lights for over the sink and bar

Well, I better get back to putting our food and dishes into the new cabinets. More to come as we get closer to completing the kitchen, but one last look at the before and the current:


Edit: My husband put a lot of work in adding the knobs so I better post that picture!

Now... really

One more shot of the other side of the room.