Sunday, December 05, 2010

I think she likes it

We barely made it to the month of December before breaking out a xmas (or was it a bday) gift early. She seems pretty happy. I'm not sure if her smile reflects the excitement of knowing at 2 she's in charge of the household (and a lifetime of getting presents early) - or the train is just that cool.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The microwave has left the countertop...

Over cinnamon toast crunch it was decided to move the microwave. I had been dying to take a saber saw to the cabinet myself - but was told no construction was allowed until all the pieces were in hand (we need a new custom size door/drawer). I don't know what effect vacation had - but he must have missed his saber saw. Today at 9:30AM he thought it would be a good idea to just jump into the project. And now at 4:30 the project is complete (minus the door) and he's vacuuming my car. Somethings up, stuff just doesn't work like this in my universe. Our help was even helpful. I only heard a couple complaints about tools walking away...the level seemed to have grown legs and walked away (in Olivia's hand no doubt). Kitchen remodel of 2006 is almost complete, just need to finalize the refrigerator. I'm almost beaten down to accept a 38" standard depth rather than the 42" which will require drywall work. I hate cleaning up drywall dust.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pretty Girls....

Know how to get dirty too! Big brothers birthday party was a Mighty Machine theme complete with chocolate cake. We made them put on their super soaker stain resistant wear for the cake eating ceremony.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Turns out the best part of gymnastics is the sticker and cookies presentation at the end of each class. Hmmm...thats a farily expensive set of 5 cookies. Oh well - Olivia is progressing very nicely learning to do pizza's on the uneven bars, jumps in the hot-tub, donkey kicks, somersalts and back-rollovers - not to mention the climbing happening all over our house now. Whose idea was this again?
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We waddled up for a visit with Mr. Wadlow this past weekend.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Amazon Prime puked toys into my backyard and all Olivia has to say about it is MORE MORE! When I knew I was having a baby there were a few things I could not wait to purchase. The first was a play kitchen and somewhere on the list was a parachute. The kids are not quite old enough to get the parachute game, but they totally love 'kid popcorn' and the magic carpet ride. The adults are getting the work out with these games!

Posted by Picasa


Movie night is back! And this year we've set up dual amplifiers in the TV room - I mean MEDIA room. One controls the inside the other controls the BOSE and rock speakers outside. We've also discovered what 'monitor out' means and have a 75ft cord running from inside out through the sinus cavity direct to the projector. Its awesome. Jon still has to "get in the hole" to get it routed properly - for now its running through the window - but I don't care - I'm watching movies! We debuted the new system with an on demand showing of Greenberg. The movie was pretty bad and we're not sold that component video is high enough quality. I cannot even believe I can tell a difference, but after watching on HDMI you actually can. Ridiculous.

Summer finally has arrived in Seattle. Sweet! Only 3 more weeks 'till Fall.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 05, 2010


I've always known things just look better wearing a crown. I don't leave home without mine. We finally got the crown installed in the kitchen and wow does it make a statement. The cove lighting and under cabinet lighting don't hurt either. We have rope lighting LEDs in the cove and xenon spot lights under the cabinet. We also have digital dimming switches that have two switches in one gang plate. These were extra special not carried at either Lowe's or the Dep...but they were PRIME from the Zon. There is still some trim and putty work, but set one is complete.
We've learned alot in this project so far and the second set of cabinets is currently under construction. Some of the lessons learned:
1. Shoot straight for crown on cabinets (angle on ceiling)
2. Don't cut an electrical box out with a saber saw (you get to re-wire the entire circuit as a bonus project)
3. Light bulbs can give off a different color (change the bulb not the fixture...)
4. Fish tape is your friend

BBQ Weather

Good thing it wasn't BBQ weather this July 4th cause the new grill was delivered with two forklift holes in the box. Sucks. The grill head survived the trip but the cart wasn't so lucky. We perched the grill on a folding table until we get the cart. I thought I found such a great deal and even skipped the eBay mark-up buying off the grid. I'm convinced this eBay authorized seller is pimping rejects of some sort. I can't figure how he's got this gig working from HI shipping from CA....hmmm but I want to join him! The grill worked remarkably well on the folding table. Now its time to experiment with the smoker box, flavor bars and rotisserie. Our last grill was converted from propane to natural gas. The conversion didn't go as planned so we drilled the holes a little bigger...that was a big mistake. The orifice allowed so much fuel through we melted two of the three burner knobs and flames would shoot out the sides. Only the center burner was NSF approved for cooking. It was Fred Flintstone style grilling at our house. Finally we are approved for general audiences once again.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 04, 2010


The word date hasn't been in my vocabulary for a long time - a very long time... We've entered a new 'date-ing' arena, the "PLAY Date". And you may as well do it up right we had toys, wine, coffee, cookies, a princess (big sister joined us), gossip, dancing and a couple of biters! It seems Olivia and her friend CAS are among the strong personalities in the classroom. Its been reported it is necessary to keep these little love-birds separated.
We decided maybe a little one-on-one time might help tame the teeth. So we made a 'date' to get the families together at 10AM on a Sunday. This is certainly the earliest start time of a date I've ever had, I think a few ended at this time, but never started.
The future class clown and most likely to succeed will hopefully be friends for a long long time (despite the scars!).

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Second time's a Charm

It seems we always do things twice around here. In this episode we finally bit the bullet and got a range hood. I searched and searched learning about 3 1/4" X 10" vs. 9" round; internal vs. external blowers; sones - more than I ever really wanted to know about air blowers. The prices for these hunks of petroleum are unbelievable. I was dead set against ordering the one that matched the stove due to the location of the 'branding'. Shopping around I found them for $1500 but then you also had to buy the blower! Oh my - so when our local discount warehouse showed me a beautiful Italian brand for $250 I jumped on it. It arrived, we installed (with the normal fanfare) and on the low squeaked and not to mention 1:00pm was 13:00 on this fine Italian stallion. I couldn't handled the time change and I certainly was not going to listen to what sounded like a bad serpentine belt. Not to mention since the removal of the microwave I'd been running into the garage to cook - you have no idea how many times a day you use that little electron exciter. I was getting desperate. So - my longtime best friend had something that appeared to be sufficient. It arrived - we did the install dance again and its beautiful. Now to finish the crown, under/over cabinet lighting and find a place to install that new microwave. I can't have it on the counter but can't find a cabinet I'm willing to sacrifice either. We'll see how long it sits on the counter I can't have it on.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Toy Tester

Only 185 shopping days left! The retail buyers are putting their orders in now. They were checking their list and checking it twice to be sure the toy experts would be happy with the selection. We took part in days of play to trial some stuff.

Posted by Picasa

Animal House

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Vacation Vacation Vacation

We were so proud at this moment. We're on our first family vacation; a long weekend over Father's Day / Anniversary at Lake Quinault staying at the national park lodge. No TV, no Phone, no 3G and wifi only in the common areas - so we thought. Everything seemed to be going smoothly. We departed about 11AM (would like that to have been earlier...but not a disaster), stopped for lunch in Olympia at 1PM (this is when I should have reconsidered my comfort level). Lunch was at Water Street Cafe and Bar. The menu was fabulous - so me per-baby. The problem was this was not a baby place and the waitress must not have remembered what kids are like. They had high chairs so its not like Olivia was an alien - lunch took 90 minutes - they wanted to preserve the 'experience' I guess. We swapped duties of playing in the park and eating as each course arrived. Then back in the car all set for nap time, this worked perfectly. Awake upon arrival ready for some playtime. We hit the pool at 4:30 with a reservation for dinner at 6. We ordered a bottle of the Lake Quinault Red had a somewhat 'normal' dinner; playtime and then bedtime routine with the picture above taken at 19:59. We spent the rest of the evening playing memory on the iPAD. I beat the pants off of JR. The lodge being so old was a bit loud. Lots of squeaking floors, people walking down the hall and talking and then at very odd hours clanging from the steam heater.

Day 2 started somewhat earlier at around 2AM when I had to rescue Olivia from being stuck under the bed. I tried crawling back into bed with her but she was all over the place. At one point I laid on the floor with her - that sucked - then she finally collapsed and we slept till 8AM or so. Everyone woke up tired; a coffee and some breakfast helped. Hiking the morning away in the splendor of nature - we did our best to stick to the routine - so at 12PM EVERYONE was down for nap time. No one stirred till 4 at which point we woke HER up! For an afternoon activity we hiked to the largest western cedar in the world and took a walk inside. During our drive around the lake we saw a few for sale signs and discussed the idea of a vacation home. Then dinner at the Salmon House (excellent) a shopping trip at the Mercantile. Tonight I'd thought it would be excellent to go swimming then hit the showers in the locker room as 'bath-time'. Also we were thinking wear her out = a full nights sleep. So we closed the pool at 10pm, shower and then a cold walk in a towel back to the room (cause you can't put on nighty nights without a diaper!). Then to bed - again no problem. I was granted a 'vacation' to sit in the common area to surf. Once the snoring began, I went to bed - I was no fool - JR surfed till midnight suddenly wifi was reaching our room!

Day 3 once again started a bit early. The first sounds of life began about 1AM - but those were quickly eased. Then 2AM it was our favorite wiggle worm once again in the (queen size) bed. We fought the bird for 2 hours and the bird finally won. At 4AM - we all got up turned the lights on showered, packed and got the heck outta there! All that pride in that photo evaporated as we were those loud people in a hotel room at ungodly hours - baby crying, doors slamming, talking, walking in the hall, luggage squeaking and hitting the wall (this family doesn't make two trips) - all of it! Back in the car she slept the ENTIRE way home. Jon was all gung-ho to stop at Lana's for blueberry pancakes. That would have meant breakfast at 7:15 - but I said no doubt Olivia will be asleep by then and I'm not moving her. Jon asked - are we going to order and eat separately (to me that meant breakfast would take 2X the normal amount of time). I said no, just bring my plate to the car. I think he was too embarrassed to do that - and knew I was serious - so it was McD's in Aberdeen for breakfast and home by 9:30AM. Considering we couldn't get our act together to leave for vacation prior to 11AM - arriving home from vacation by 9:30AM is definitely a lesson learned.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kid Table

Not so sure when the kid table became the only table! The adults are out in the yard...or more specifically running back and forth from the food to keep these smiling faces happy. I'm not sure I ate at all! Hurry up and eat...we've got an ice cream sundae bar in the kitchen!

Its almost barbecue season with movies on the patio and sunset at 10! You wouldn't know this is the first gate to summer in Seattle with the rain and 50 degree weather this 3 day weekend.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 24, 2010


This picture speaks to me and says: "i don't want this old technology (blackberry)! Give me that iPHONE!". She loves both the iPhone and iPad. The applications they have for kids are amazing. Even with piano playing, coloring, and animal sounds...her favorite thing is to watch videos of Olivia! She is definately going to be a member of the Apple generation.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I think she's checking to make sure JR is doing a proper walk around - cause she's not the first officer....

Here we are safely landed about to start running for the bus!
Posted by Picasa

The long road home

I did it. Something I've wanted to do for at least 3 years. I completed the destination yarn tour of 25 Puget Sound Yarn stores! Olivia did too - although she didn't qualify for the big prize. It took me 3 of 4 days - I even took a vacation day to get a head start. Driving and respecting the nap time, snack and meal times, not to mention diaper changes was quite the challenge. Saturday we flew to Whidbey island for two stops. We confirmed in advance transportation from the airport existed. At the first stop near Oak Harbor we arrived about 11:45; Google said the first bus wasn't 'till 12:20. I convince JR (with Olivia on his back) to just start walking - we'll get to the next stop about the time...and just then the bus passed us! We started running; luckily this is Whidbey island and the driver stopped...and then started to back up to get us! SWEET! On the bus I bumped into a girl I met on day one in Bellevue (then also in Renton) who was doing this tour by bike. Yes, bike (now go look at the map where all these stores are with that in mind). Back to the plane and heading to the beautiful town of Langley. Unfortunately Google was incorrect on the bus transportation options and we found ourselves with two options: (1) walk the 2.5 miles to town and back (with Olivia on JRs back) or (2) ride courtesy bikes the 2.5 miles to town and back (with Olivia on JRs back). We chose option 1 and 2. It was downhill all the way...and uphill all the way back. Sunday was the long haul to Bainbridge for the cutest shop of all - Churchmouse Yarn and Tea - this shop owner has her business model perfected. I didn't know till now but she has avoided going 'online' - perhaps the secret to her success? Finally, Sunday afternoon a quick whirlwind around Seattle and finishing in Mill Creek at my 'neighborhood' store. So glad I did it; don't have to ever again.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Serenity Garden

This is the serenity garden as JR refers to it. It is the resting place of the hanging baskets I loved for such a short time (till they died because of lack of water). But NO MORE will I have water run down my arm or get mud on my leg from dragging that hose around (we have the heaviest darn hose on earth). I now have this feature for my beautiful baskets! I'm hoping the flowers will touch the ground before the summer is over.

Posted by Picasa