Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tulip Festival

This is the post that should have the most gorgeous photos of the year as we spent the day at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.  However, none of the pictures turned out (moving children, wrong setting, chasing after a runaway, etc). 

The first picture is a hint what a carful of kids looks like.  Here, we have 5 girls, ages 10 months to 2.5 years, plus me and Elizabeth, Hannah and Sarah’s mother.  Aubrey came along, too, to play with her friends.

 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 007Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 019

Here’s a badly exposed picture of Piper in front of the tulips. When I went two years ago, I got some darling photos of Kyla sitting (because she couldn’t toddle yet) in front of rows and rows of tulips.  This year, well, first of all, Kyla had worked herself into long-term detention in the backpack and Piper wasn’t about to sit still for the oh-so-slow camera and there were two other cats, um, toddlers to herd.  Phew, another adventure completed.

Not Trash Day…thankfully!

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 001

“Hey, Mom! I’m in the garbage can! Look!”

“Okay, Kyla, stay there while I go find the camera!”

Monday, April 27, 2009

Laundry Room: The latest project

{Note: this entry is mostly for Kim and Marcie, two friends who appreciate projects and laundry rooms.]


I feel like I did all the work myself on my new laundry room, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Dwayne, with Keith, Keith, and Jim, cut out and installed the new door in the hallway, rewired the area, put in studs and framed the new wall (where the old double doors were).  We hired a plumber/contractor to move all the water and gas pipes to where I wanted them and to build a false half-wall to conceal them.  We also hired someone to drywall the new wall, another to take out the old flooring, and one more to tile the floor.  What did I do that made it seem like I had actually done all the grunt labor myself?  Drywalled, textured, and painted all the original cut-outs and new wall (that Dwayne and crew constructed); got 4 bids (at least) for each contracted job and made final hiring and rejecting choices; found new cabinets and utility sink on Craigslist and got rid of old stuff on same online service; chose the new tile and countertop; stained, varnished, and trimmed new wood shelf;  painted the room (3 times plus ceiling) and did all the trim and finishing work.  My dad was the brains—and the brawn—behind installing the cabinets and cutting out the counter.  He and Dwayne plumbed the sink. 

And thanks to all the people we hired to do various parts, I was without my wash machine and dryer for less than three weeks. (Unfortunately, Kyla, Piper, and I all had a stomach bug briefly during that time.) 


The details:

Laundry Room 005

I had the plumbing moved so that I could put the washer/dryer in a more roomy area.  Mostly, I can now open the doors and still have room for a basket.


 Laundry Room 004  Laundry Room 008

Some of the finishing details I really like are the use of the white knobs that came with the cabinetry.  I replaced them with burnished nickel and bought special screws to put the old knobs on the wall.  The ones on the right are near my sewing machine and hold quilting gear.


Laundry Room 006

I love my new countertop.  There is storage on both ends of it and the utility sink is right under the window.  Under the window is a wall-length shelf about a foot deep.  I bought the counter at Home Depot and my dad brought up his jigsaw and cut out the space for the sink.  Against the back wall, you can see poles to hang clothes on both sides of the cabinet.


 Laundry Room 014Laundry Room 011

I saw the inspiration for this drying rack on a website for specialty products for laundry room design.  I used the dowels on my old drying rack and left over 1x2s to make this.  It is held to the wall with magnets.  If you count the two new drill bits I had to buy to finish this, I spent less than $20 on it.  This was going for closer to $150 at the site.

MI269_1 This is the design that inspired me.


Now only if I could figure out how an easy way to get the clean and dry clothes folded and put away…..

Day at the Zoo!

We went the zoo today with Kyla’s friend Isaac, Isaac’s mom, and Isaac’s baby brother, Nathan.  (Our lives to revolve around the 2- year-olds.)     
04-27-2009 Zoo with Isaac 003

As much fun as it was to see the bears, giraffes, and otters (and Piper wagged her tail as hard as she could when she saw a new animal!), we stumbled across our best adventure by accident.  We parked the strollers so that we could go see the birds in Willawong Station.  When we came out, Piper toddled away from the strollers, Kyla went after her, and Isaac went hiding.  By hiding, I mean that a toddler in a Bright Red sweater hid behind a fairly sparse bush about 10 feet from me and called out excitedly, “'I’m hiding!” 

Kyla had to chase him though the jungle and not willing to be a spectator, Piper followed.  For the next half hour, the kids ran around on the trails, “hid”, climbed over logs, and crawled behind bushes.  Susanne and I laughed almost as much as they did!

 04-27-2009 Zoo with Isaac 012Peekaboo Piper!

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Kyla looks for Isaac.


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I got him!


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Piper runs after the others.


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Time to go home.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bath Time

The girls seem to be at their cutest when there’s a marked absence of clothing, but I try not to publish anything that will truly embarrass them. The water hasn’t done any good in regards to Kyla’s mac-n-cheese face, but she is so happy!

4-18-09 Bath 2

Piper has been getting a funny smile as she gets more teeth and personality (though I think that kid had some major personality before she rolled over for the first time!). Here, she hams it up for the camera.

04-02-09 Bath Piper04-02-09 Bath 2

A Sunny Saturday

Theno’s, a local ice creamery/fudgery, had it’s 65th anniversary today and celebrated with $1.00 scoops of ice cream and a bouncy toy for the kids.  Kyla jumped to work up her appetite for her own ice cream cone while Piper happily moved rocks from one spot to another.  But both girls were pleased when it was time to get our treats!April 2009 137April 2009 139April 2009 141  April 2009 144

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Easter was the wonderful holiday it usually is, and Dwayne and I go to host this year! Everyone else potlucked and Dwayne and I tried to get our house into shape after three weeks of remodeling our laundry room. It was well worth the cleaning effort!

Grandma Kruger has adopted the tradition of getting the girls Easter dresses every year. I had hoped for better pictures, but trust me, they were dolls.

4-12-09 Easter

4-12-09 Easter 34-12-09 Easter 4

Kyla was looking forward to “Easter egg hunt with my friends” for about two weeks prior to Easter. There was no way a little rain was going to spoil this treat! I “hid” eggs downstairs for the five girls, Mabel, Evelyn, Coco, Kyla, and Piper.

4-12-09 Easter Egg hunt 3 4-12-09 Easter Egg hunt 5 4-12-09 Easter Egg hunt 6 4-12-09 Easter Egg hunt 1

Piper found the biggest basket and egg of all!

4-12-09 Easter Egg hunt 8

Friday, April 10, 2009

Should Have Been A Nicer Day

It wasn’t warm enough to eat our popsicles outside, but the girls enjoyed their treat nonetheless.

4-10-09 Popsicle Kyla4-10-09 Popsicle Piper

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Zoo

On a beautiful day during Spring Break (not that it matters to us non-schoolers), we went with some friends to the zoo. The only picture that turned out well was this adorable one of Piper watching the fish swim in the brown bear exhibit.

4-7-09 Zoo Piper

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kicking Back with the Bottle

04-03-09 lounging Piper

Piper allows no obstacle (except, perhaps, Kyla) get in her way. She has taught herself to climb onto a kitchen chair, crawl from there to the tabletop, then makes her way over to her high chair and climbs right in.