Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

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Wesley was a panda and Parker was a darling bee.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010


Carving pumpkins might just be the second best thing about Halloween.  (The first is easily trick-or-treating with our munchkins and visiting with all our great neighbors….while Kyla tries really hard to wait patiently to move on to the next candy bowl.)

We celebrated my dad’s birthday today and conveniently picked up the girls at the same time.  It’s a good time to carve pumpkins as a family.  Dad cracked me up when he got out his drill and 1.5” bit to carve his jack-o-lantern.  Next year, we’ll set him loose with a chainsaw.

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Piper was fascinated, too. (Dad’s pumpkin turned out great, but I don’t have a picture to prove it.  I’ll update this if I can get one.)

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Dwayne carved his “Daddy” pumpkin and an owl one for Kyla. 

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I carved a cat for Piper (it looks slightly better in person) and this other one for Wesley.  I really like how his turned out.

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As always, Dwayne’s wins best overall—not only are they clever and intricate, but they are carefully done.   I got two pumpkins carved free-handed from ideas I got from a book while taking care of 3 children who only seem to need Mama…about every two minutes.  That wins its own prize.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

While I Was Refinishing the Floor…

Gramma and Papa brought Kyla and Piper to Discovery Pond to play.  Looks like fun!


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Why I Haven’t Blogged for Two Weeks

The first week—I just blogged several entries (all with fudged dates, of course), so nothing to blog.

The second week—I was doing a New Project.

And I love it! Now that it’s done.

I refinished our kitchen floor. We’ve lived here 7 1/2 years and I’ve never taken care of our wood floor. It’s not a great floor at its best, but I was beginning to loathe the floor. Whatever finish it originally had was all but worn off except around the edges and under the refrigerator. So not only was it ugly, but it was so difficult to clean. Berry juices, particularly, could not be scrubbed out. Good Ol’ “Not Me” used a black pen on the floor and that would come off, either.

Something had to be done.

So last Monday and Tuesday nights, after the kids had gone to bed, I got out the sander—the small 5” diameter one that I usually love. Since most of the finish was already worn off, I just needed to use the 80 grit around the edges and under a few of the less used areas. The next night, I used 150 then 220 on the entire floor. It was so smooth. Ugly. But smooth.

This is the floor after the sanding. It doesn’t look much different than before the sanding. (But juice and pen stains had disappeared!)

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Then I was eager to see if the Red Chestnut stain would look okay. I didn’t condition this under-the-refrigerator space, so you can see the color didn’t come out evenly. But generally, I liked most of it.

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Then I conditioned the floor and gave it two coats of stain. Oh, and my parents picked up Kyla and Piper Wednesday afternoon so I could tackle this during Wesley’s naps. Otherwise, this would have been impossible. It took some planning. The first polyurethane coat took more than 12 hours to dry, instead of the usual 4, probably due to the damp. But eventually I got three coats on. I always use an oil-base because I love how it makes the wood glow.

This is the final result.

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I can’t stress enough that this is a very amateurish job, but it still looks terrific. AND, more importantly, it is a dream to clean.

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Cost: almost $85. Includes one can wood conditioner, one can Red Chestnut stain, 220 grit sandpaper for the palm sander (I had plenty of the other grits), and the $45 gallon can of wood floor oil polyurethane, which I have about half left over.

Extra Labor Cost: The dust from the sanding got everywhere—the closed cupboards with the dishes and cookware, the curtains, the cobwebs, every conceivable surface upstairs, and it pretty much clogged our electric air filter.

Additional Cost: For all my hard work, I treated myself to a Shark Steam Cleaner-Mop at Costco now that I actually have the required “sealed surface” to use it on. Regular price: $95, but I had a $25 coupon.

Unexpected bonus: Hard labor and extremely limited access to the kitchen took off about half the baby pounds I’ve been wanting to lose!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Baby Love

This boy cracks me up! It’s been a busy week for Wesley. We found out he weighs 17# 2oz, which puts him right at the 5th percentile for weight (15 percentile for height). Which means we are adding butter to his oatmeal and veggies, and lots of cheese and yogurt. Fatten up boy—do you want to be like your uncles Keith and Brian?!

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His top two teeth also finally cut through. You can see the drool dribbling down his chin. (Wesley, when you are older, I owe you something for the following picture, in addition to my apologies.)

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He can do so much more than I think I baby lump should. He will turn pages in his board book (in the correct direction) when I ask him to. He can see a toy in a sterilite container, crawl across the floor to reach it, pull himself up on the storage box, reach in to grab the toy, then sit back down and play with it. Babies are so amazing!

Here, he plays peekaboo with me by pulling his blanket over his head when I ask “Where’s Wesley?” Then, so I am equally trained, I wait for him to pull it back down and then exclaim, “There he is!”

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The 30 second video that only grandparents are obligated to watch:

Monday, October 18, 2010

9 Months!

10-18 Wesley 9 months 032 A baby’s 9th month “birthday ” is important because that signifies, more or less, the  same length of time as gestation.  (Julie, I said “more or less”!)

Which means I am contemplating those last 11.5 pounds I have left to lose for that ever-taunting  pre-pregnancy weight.  Funny, I had only 10 pounds to lose at the beginning of summer…..

Wesley has other things to think about 10-18 Wesley 9 months 035than Mama’s love handles, though.



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He is now able to easily go from laying down to sitting up.  There are days I can’t even do that!   He hasn’t crawled more than a few steps at a time, but he is moving all around,and standing against furniture.  He’s figuring out what his hands can do, besides cram food into his mouth.  This boy, the one who wriggles with happiness whenever he sees me, the one who doesn’t hit, push, tease, or tattle,  the one who is happy to eat whatever I make for him, the one who gets into his carseat without a fuss, gets dressed without tears, gets out of the bath without a tantrum, this boy is my joy.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Perfect Autumn Day


In spite of an all-hands family cold, we enjoyed very much a perfect northwest autumn day. While Dwayne watched over a sleeping Wesley inside (while trying out the controls on the new Halo game), the girls came outside with me to help rake leaves.  At least Piper did.  Kyla pouted in the swing bench because she wanted to use the rake Piper was using, not any of the other four rakes we had.  Okay, so it was a mostly perfect day.  (And did I mention she has a cold?)

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Piper knew exactly what to do with the pile of leaves.  Here’s the run up….

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And the landing!

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Kyla cheers up and decides to join us.


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She sticks the landing.

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I showed the girls the ropes.  The ropes we had from the old tire swing, and how to swing on them and land in the pile of leaves. 

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A Small Step for Mankind


“I have conquered all!”

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Last night we had an usually early evening, so we had time for a family game.  We played on the floor and put Wesley far enough away that he couldn’t eat the elephant game pieces.  But those painted plastic pachyderms must have looked really tasty because Wesley went from rocking on his hands and knees to actually crawling two steps!  He looked a little bewildered by what he had done, but perhaps he was mimicking the expressions of the rest of us.

Go, Wes, Go!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Because There’s Not Enough Pictures of Wesley

Hey, Wes! What are you hiding behind that spoon?

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Oh. That figures.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


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She loves her animals, but sometimes she loves them a wee bit much. I had to take Smokey’s collar off to protect her from Piper’s new-found interest in making a belt a leash and pulling kitty along for a “walk”.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Breaking News!

Wesley is crawling! 

Absorb that for a minute before I give you the fine print, because it becomes slightly less exciting than that.  First, the boy can move pretty well by doing the bum-scoot, rolling, wiggling backwards, turning, and wiggling backwards again. If you put him down somewhere, the one place you know he won’t be in a minute is where you left him.

Today, he got on his hands and knees (a newer skill), rocked back and forth a few times, and accidently crawled a few steps backwards.  He looked a little puzzled, but did it again. 

I predict it will be at least another week before he figures out forward drive, but at least he’s getting the all-wheels concept now!

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