Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Our Backyard Mostly Complete

For a before video, click here. Well, we have mostly finished. You can view our Never Ending House To-Do List to get an update on what we still have left. WARNING LOTS AND LOTS OF PHOTOS!!!

The Planter Box
Where to start? I guess I'll start at the planter box that used to be outside of our Eat-in Kitchen Area. I have no photos of the planter intact, but here is a photo from when Mr. Howard knocked it out.

Then, Mr. Howard knocked out all the concrete with a jack-hammer.

Then he began laying pavers: Then he began building the deck: And More building:
And more: And More: Until it looked like This:
And This:While we're on the patio, Mr. Howard also installed a new patio fan!! (with the supervision of his dad). A before Photo:
A During PhotoAnd an After Photo:
The New Grass
Next we began work on laying sod in part of the yard!
After we cleared the land, removed the rock and palm tree, and got it ready: Laying the Sod with our SUPER HELPFUL neighbor Filip:

All Done With Sod, but no Wood Chips! All Completed: New Sod, New Wood Chips, New Cedar Board around the tree!
Hauling the Concrete
After removing all the concrete from the old patio, all the rocks from the old spot where we put the grass, and all sorts of other backyard debris, it became necessary to rent a dumpster and head on down to the dump to take it all.

I didn't really get a good before photo. Oops. This was after they had already been working for a while. Thank you Denny, Filip, Paul, & Mr. Howard. What would we have done without you?
Mr. Howard was SERIOUSLY excited about the dump truck...Like a kid in a candy shop!

Next we began getting the ground ready for the playground equipment!

Filip, our FABULOUS neighbor, helped us build it!! It took a while!

We finished it just in time for the weather to get REALLY hot!

So Much better! But we still had one last thing to do! (Look at all those weeds at the top of the wall)!

The Retaining Wall

We still had to paint the retaining wall, get rid of all the weeds at the top of it and plant a whole bunch of new plants.

This is a during photo (for befores, you'll have to look back at the rest). But you can see the wall was still the original color. And All Finished!! New Paint Color! Goodbye Weeds! Hello Peter pan Agapanthus!
Painted Wall. Still need to add capstone!

Other Side of the Yard - Painted Wall, De-weeded, Looking Fabulous! Wow! Just looking at these photos reminds me of HOW MUCH we've done!!! It was a lot of hard work and while I definitely did a lot, Mr. Howard and Filip did the majority of the hard work!!! Aren't we sooo lucky to have neighbors who help us remodel our yard.

Special thanks also need to go out to Denny for helping haul concrete, the plumber who fixed our water pressure (so that we could use our sprinklers), Paul who helped us haul concrete, let us borrow his ladder, wheelbarrow, and I'm sure a million other things, and of course, MR. HOWARD for taking a whole week off of work to dedicate all the time needed to complete it!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm Already Behind

But...I have an excuse!!! In addition to Mr. Howard's CRAZY hours, trying to help him with two class assignments, dropping the in-laws off at the airport, and spending about an hour on the phone tying up loose odds and ends...I GOT OFFERED A JOB!!!

I have been offered a 7th grade position at the school I've been working at for 4 years. I am very, very happy and quite relieved to know that I have a job next year!!! I was beginning to worry about traveling without knowing. I was worried they'd call to offer me something and I wouldn't return their call quickly enough (with the time difference).

So my schedule for posting will need to be updated and I will start with the backyard remodel tomorrow!! Oh Happy News!

Monday, June 28, 2010

I've Been Gone

I know, I know. I have disappeared! Things have been crazy with the backyard remodel, the arrival of my in-laws, and Connor's First Birthday party!! Here is my plan (you know me and plans...if I write it, I have to follow it):

Tuesday Wednesday: Backyard Remodel Photos & Update
Wednesday Thursday: San Francisco Acquarium of the Bay Update & Photos
Thursday Friday: Connor's First Birthday Update & Photos
Friday Saturday: Some Photos from The Howards' Visit
Saturday Sunday: A Video or 2 from the past couple weeks!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fifty Weeks Old

Look at that sourpuss face he's making in that photo! He was A-N-G-R-Y that I was making him stay by the chair. He wanted to walk around and I kept snapping the photo and he'd have wiggled just far enough out of it that I couldn't see him. This week marks the last week before he eats sugar for the first time because of his birthday cake on Saturday. In other news he has ALMOST broken another tooth on the bottom. I'd say we've got another couple of days and then he'll have 7 teeth. Please, Lord, let him cut the tooth before teething in foreign countries allowed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

Daddy had to work on Father's Day, but we were able to spend a delicious dinner together celebrating. Connor gave Daddy his gifts:
They hung out together!
Connor helped pull the gifts out of the bags for Daddy!
And then Connor went to bed, letting Daddy relax and have an early night!

Date Night

We're wonderfully blessed to have a daycare that gives us Parent Survival Nights where we can take our Little Man over there at 6:30pm and pick him back up at 10:00pm. We decided to use Friday night to go to Sushi (are you shocked?) and a movie (Killers). We thought the movie was super light and fun and we both thought it was funny! It was the perfect way to spend a date night!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Some day, of course, Connor will write these...but until then, I'll translate what I know he is thinking.

"Daddy, I love you so much. I love that you hold me, cuddle me
when I cry, kiss me even when I'm being a stinker,
play with me, show me how to build things, read to me,
talk to me, and take me to Lowes every Thursday.
I want to be just like you some day! You're the best role
model a baby could have! I love you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Forty-Nine Weeks Old

Wow! Three more weeks until Connor is a year old! This week he learned to throw things out of anger, yell when he doesn't get his way, and throw his toys out of the bathtub. He also loves "fake falling" back in the tub and putting his head in the water, face-up. He lays there and splashes with his legs and smiles. He always acts like it was an accident that he fell, but he clearly makes himself go backwards into the water. He no longer likes his baby jail, but has become accustomed to shoes. He dislikes being strapped into things, but enjoys being strapped into his new swing. He likes closing and opening doors, but dislikes getting his fingers smooshed in them. What an age!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some Before and Afters

To whet your appetite:
The area we laid sod:
Connor's First Birthday Present!
Stay Tuned for More Photos!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This is What Happens When...

I promise to post photos of our MAJOR BACKYARD REMODEL soon, but until then...

This is what happens when you let an eleven month old feed themselves.
And then you have to give him a bath to get mango out of his hair!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My First (Of Many, I'm Sure) "I'm Never Going Out To Eat Again!"

Well, folks, it happened! I totally got embarassed today at Mimi's Cafe while Connor had the time of his life. He laughed, screamed, threw cherios on the floor, threw silverware around, climbed up the chair, and then had a FULL BLOWN melt down in front of everyone in the room. We have a wild child on our hands. I CANNOT even imagine going to a restaurant by myself. How on Earth are we going to do this in Europe?? EEEK!!!

The Wild Child in All His Glory

Friday, June 11, 2010

Forty-eight Weeks Old

From Connor's Perspective:What a week! Mommy has been staying home with me all week. She has a cold and doesn't feel well though, so it's been a bit hard for her to do all the fun things she had planned for her first week off of work. I am running around the house, loving everything, and sleeping a lot. I didn't even get out of my pajamas yesterday because I took so many naps. Maybe I'm growing!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How We're Spending Our Days

We are still holding our spot at daycare, thus paying for it all summer. So we've decided to take advantage, keep him on a consistent routine, and send him in for part of the three days. This allows me to get some stuff done around the house, get ready for his birthday party, get ready for vacation, and next week we'll remodel the backyard. I do feel a bit guilty about this, but I'm trying to remember that I'm no good to him when I'm haggard. AND I'm still spending more time with him than I would if I was working because I'm with him more of the three days and then the rest of the 5 days - all day! Isn't he just an adorable little dinosaur?!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eleven Months Old

Can someone please explain this to me? Clearly I know the process of getting pregnant, carrying a baby in my belly, and then miraculously bringing them into the world. But I DO NOT understand how they just keep growing. How on Earth does that happen? I feel like I blinked and he was a year old.

Pretty soon he's going to be in a big boy bed, and then dating, and then moving away. AHHHHHHH.

Deep breaths. In. Out.

Dear Baby Boy,
Please let me appreciate the step that you're in before moving on to the next!
Your Mama

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Some More Bragging

Another 4.0!! WOOO-HOOOO! So very proud, baby! With Spring 1 and Spring 2 behind him, that's a whole 12 units with straight A's.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

It was Daddy's day off of work today and he decided to match them in Pink Polos (for Mommy's Pink Slip). Aren't they seriously the most adorable little guys a girl could ask for!

Forty-seven Weeks Old

Connor has fully learned to point at things he wants or things he doesn't understand. He often points to things in order to get an explanation as to what they are. So, today, in the bathtub he pointed to a toy and looked at me. I said "That's a blue whale." He grabbed it and stuck it in his mouth. What a fun curious age!

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