Friday, December 26, 2014

A Not So Usual Thanksgiving and a Somewhat Chaotic Christmas

Brandon has been plugging away on our kitchen remodel.  In September and October he framed, roofed, and put siding on the addition, but we were waiting until absolutely necessary to take out the existing wall as we knew that that was when things were really going to get crazy.  However, with our new little one expected in just a couple months it's now or never so Thanksgiving weekend we jumped in.

Here's the progress from the outside.

We began Thanksgiving weekend sealing off the kitchen from the remainder of the house.

Then the day after Thanksgiving, with the help of my brothers, the demo began as they removed flooring, and cabinets, and what was the exterior wall of the house, and then lifting up a huge beam to support the new room.
The kids are really not so helpful but definitely entertaining.

Getting the supports for the beam ready.

And up it goes.

This is about how we left it after 2 really long days of work.

At the end of week 1 the remainder of the framing that had to be done was done.  The wall separating the kitchen from the den was in place and the remaining rafters were up.

On a fun note we also squeezed in a minute to get our Christmas tree from a farm just down the road from us and to do a little decorating.

Week 2 was finalizing the plumbing and electrical for the new kitchen as well as installing the insulation.  Brandon literally works every night after he gets home until late.  Don't know how he does it and I am amazed at how much he is getting done each week.  Oh and don't worry about me, I'm getting to spend lots of time crafting and nesting for our baby girl so I really cannot complain.

On the Friday of our 2nd week we had planned on getting the insulation inspected so that he could begin dry-walling but a it ended up that the inspector was not able to come out that day, thus holding us up for the entire weekend.  This was obviously very disappointing, but I think God knew we needed a weekend off after so many days of consistent work.  It was a blessing to have a little bit of forced free time to hang out as a family.
Our 1st burn pile.

Week 3 and 4 have been dry wall, dry wall, dry wall.  Brandon hung and is in the process of taping and finishing the drywall in both rooms as well as smoothing out the textured ceiling in the living room so that it transitions nicely into the new kitchen!

And so here we are the week of Christmas feeling a little cramped but festive none the less, thankful that we can escape to Grammy's house during the day to play, and anticipating how great its going to be in a month or so to open everything back up again and get back to a more normal routine.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cooper's 2nd Birthday

Grammy takes each of the kids to get a build-a-bear for their 2nd birthday.  So the week of Cooper's birthday he got to pick out his new puppy Floppy who he absolutely adores.
Giving Floppy a bath.
Sadie and Wyatt got to bring their bears so that they could pick out new outfits for them as well.
Obviously he's barely humoring me with a picture.

Happy Birthday Cooper!!!

I took the kids to the dollar store earlier in the week and let them each pick out and wrap their own present for Cooper.  I tried to deter Wyatt from the pointer thinking that there were other better choices, but what do I know.  He loved it and carried it around for days.  You'll notice it in his hand in almost all of the remaining birthday pictures which span from first thing in the morning to dinner that night.

He also got a new pair of boots just like Squirts which he loves!!!

How quickly they figure out mischievous ways to use toys.

This year we did a monster party as Cooper is very into pretending to be a monster these days.  One of the kids favorite games is monsters, which basically consists of Cooper chasing the older two around the house making scary noises while they try to hide from him.  I'm not sure how I feel about the game as poor Cooper is always the one they are hiding from, but he seems to genuinely enjoy finding them and hearing them scream so I've given up fighting it for now.  If they're all happy, then I'm happy!

Uncle Robert found these fun monster balloons.

He also found got Cooper this train track which he thought was a lot of fun and which we all love because it has a bulldozer which is our favorite word to hear Cooper say these days.

Birthdays are always a fun time of celebrating little lives and thinking back on how much they have changed and grown.  For Cooper this year I think most pronounced has been the explosion of his vocabulary and personality.  He talks a ton!!!  So much more than I remember either Sadie or Wyatt talking at his age.  We love hearing him say "Squirt and Sadie", "Bulldozer", "Frosty the Snowman", "I Love You", "My Uncles", "No Daddy" when being tickled, and "Mercy" also when being tickled.  Hearing him giggle uncontrollably is definitely one of our favorite things.  He is so ticklish that cutting his hair is a major feat, and getting him giggling is so easy that we can't help but get him going nearly every day.  He loves trucks and tractors and tools and he is not a baby or a big boy, he is a "farmer" and a "cowboy."  He's got an option about EVERYTHING, and he is most definitely one of the big kids.  To my complete amazement he have up his mimi (pacifier) without a fuss and started sleeping in his big boy bed in Sadie and Wyatt's room about a month ago.  He was very excited to join them and has done great!  We are just loving this very sweet and very expressive stage in his life and hoping that it doesn't pass by too quickly.

Monday, December 22, 2014

California: Part 2

After our small group meeting on Monday night we headed down to Anaheim to meet up with my sister Amy and her family, my Mom, and my aunt Kathy.  This November marked 5 years since my Dad passed away and what would have been his 55th birthday.  Vacationing as a family was always so fun.  So, in memory of him, my Mom treated our families to Disneyland and we had a chance to make some really wonderful new memories as a family.  

We spent 3 days at Disneyland and here's the recap:

We stayed in a great condo which was only about a 10 minute walk from the main gates.  The entire place was Disney themed and even came with a closet full of dress-up clothes which the kids loved!!!
Wyatt, Sadie, and Payton

 Waiting in line for our 1st ride.

 You can't really tell from this picture, but believe me Brandon can really get the teacup moving!

 Buzz Light Year was Wyatt's favorite ride!

This one the kids DID NOT LIKE!!!

Meeting Elsa and Ana was definitely a highlight of our trip!

 We also meet a lot of other characters along the way.

The girls were especially excited to meet Cinderella and we may have told them to get out of their stroller and run after her as she was walking away so that they would get their moment with her.  We try not to be those moms but sometimes you just have too!!

It was also a lot of fun to go back to Cars Land since Brandon spent a lot of time working there while I was pregnant with Wyatt.

Cooper thought the parade was the BEST THING EVER so we ended up staying to watch it twice!!!  Seriously, he was barely containable as it passed by.  He cracks me up sometimes.

We had thought that by staying close to the park and having 3 days we'd probably take it slow and get the kids home for naps at least a couple of the days, but once we were there it was like the adrenaline kicked in and we couldn't get enough.  The kids rode every ride they could and most of them twice because we were able to get the family switch passes, and we basically opened and closed the park every day.  Then as we'd walked home to make dinner most of the kids would crash, exhausted. In fact, one of the nights Wyatt was so tired that he practically begged to go to sleep with out eating.  I think that means we had too much fun!!!

 Of course we had a few of these moments too....

We wrapped up our time in California visiting Brandon's Mom and Nana in Oceanside, and then his Dad and Grandparents in Escondido.

And on the way home they slept from pure exhaustion and we wished we could join them.