Thursday, July 31, 2008

Everything is driving me crazy today...

1. Carter is 2. He acts like he is 2. I am not going shopping with him anymore.

2. I can't find the darn sponge brush that I know is somewhere in this house. I know it's here because I have spent the last week and a half cleaning and reorganizing... and I know I saw it on one of the 3 levels of this house... or in the shed.

3. Someone threw away the paint swatches that I needed to go get more paint from Lowe's so I could use the sponge brush to touch up around all the outlet covers because I didn't paint close enough for the cover to actually hide the white paint.

4. A neighbor is currently using a chainsaw below Carter's window (it took him over an hour to finally fall asleep today). Don't they know this time of the day is nap time. That's what Saturday mornings are for. I'm kidding (kind of). I've only ever gone outside once during a nap to tell someone to turn down their music.

Ok... I think that's it. Maybe I'm just bummed because Dan unofficially went back to work today. Oh yeah... one more thing...

5. Since we are one the school network... I can hardly access any website because EVERYTHING is blocked. Even the ads on some of the sights I can access are blocked. I know it's a good thing for high schooolers... but it's driving me a little nutso.

Whew... I'm done.

Here's a pic of Carter today with his paciblankie. It's one word to him since one doesn't really seem to work without the other.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I finally uploaded some pictures from the week to Dan's computer. Here are some of our highlights...

These three (Scott is Steven's best friend... he has his own place at our table) were here for dinner tonight. It was fun to reconnect before Steven and Fred move back in on the 17th. It was also kind of crazy... like normal. Carter had a blast. I'm pretty sure he was laughing the entire time they were here. It was one of the first nights since we've been home that Carter went to bed with no issue. We're thinking he can't sleep unless there is some sort of high energy activity that he can hear downstairs. I mean... that's all he's ever really known.

Enjoying cake (and some ice cream that mysteriously appeared in his bowl) with the guys.

Helping "sprinkle" tonight's dessert this afternoon (you can tell I'm really excited about all the sprinkles on the floor).

Our finished fence!! It's amazing how different (and clean) our yard feels.

Julie... you know I had to put it up. Doesn't she look awesome in her pre-motorcycle helmet gear!
Fun summer days at the pool. It was actually too hot one day this week to even enjoy the water. I can't wait for Fall!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I was telling someone the other day how much I love living in Maplewood. I love it for many reasons... but one big reason is that we could survive without a car if we needed to. Everything is within walking distance... and most things are just about a block away. Our favorite place to walk right now is to our community pool. Carter LOVES it. He started jumping in by himself tonight. I love it because I can lounge in the shade with a magazine while Dan and Carter play in the water. Tonight I saw Carter get out of the pool and start looking for me. Dan was pointing to where I was but Carter was sprinting in the other direction. I watched as Dan tried to catch up with him. He stopped right in front of a nice looking woman laying by the side of the lap pool in a bikini. He thought it was me!! I was laughing so hard as I sat in my one piece with board shorts on. I'll have to give him a huge hug for that mistake.

I'll post some pool pictures soon. We had to take my computer in to be fixed and won't have it back for about 10 days. We moved one of the Joe's Place machines up from the basement... but I don't have any pictures on here.

Speaking of Joe's Place... Fred got back early this morning from the USATF Jr. Olympics in Omaha, NE. Here is an article about the team before they left last week. Fred didn't place in the top 10 but still did AWESOME. Here's another article that was just below the track story in the same paper. That's Fred standing behind #25. We're looking forward to watching a lot of sporting events this year.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I was looking forward to getting caught up on my blogging yesterday.... but the School District turned off their power at 11am. That means our Internet signal is gone until they turn it back on... which I'm guessing is Monday. I have one bar of a neighbors signal right now. Oh yeah... my computer also had a fatal error yesterday. Thank goodness Dan backed everything up in two different places before we went home for the summer!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

If there is one thing Dan and I have gotten good at the last two years... it would have to be moving things to at least 5 different places in our house before actually taking them to the Goodwill. So many people have been so generous... but we only have so much room in the house. The weekend we left for vacation our basement flooded in two different places. One side had sewage coming up out of drains and the toilet and the other side had water pouring out. Those two areas met in the middle to almost completely cover our basement. By the time we got home the School District had put in new drywall and carpet... so Dan and I have spent the last day and a half trying to figure out what needs to be thrown out and scrubbing the furniture that did stay. We also cleaned out our tiny storage room and our shed in the back yard. Dan ended up taking two truck loads to the Goodwill and one load to a school dumpster. We are so excited to have more storage (and a clean basement). Here is a picture of the basement with new carpet.

I should have done before and after pictures.

I thought I would also include a picture of our new fence. This is an exciting addition to our house for multiple reasons:
a. It will prevent at least 30 kids from walking to and from school through our yard each day.
b. It will greatly reduce the number of things stolen from the yard (including laundry that was set out to dry)
c. It will prevent high schoolers from urinating in front of me while I am sitting at my computer in front of the window (that was the last straw).
d. It will make backyard time with Carter so much easier!!!

It's actually kind of funny... the fence was finished on Monday but they haven't put the front and back gates on yet. Today Dan was on our side deck when a high schooler walked through the yard... and kept walking even when he saw Dan. Seriously... it's not even that much of a short cut.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Swinging with Ty (Fred's youngest brother) yesterday. He stopped by on his way home from the pool. Carter stood on the sidewalk yelling "Bye Ty" for a long time after he left on his bike. Ty was so excited that Carter was saying his name and that he let Ty pick him up.

We also saw Steven for the first time yesterday. He saw us walking home from the park and drove over to meet us at the house. He jumped out of the car and sprinted down the sidewalk to Carter. It has been so fun to see everyone again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Talking to Daddy in Texas this morning. It's a good thing we don't live in California or he might have been pulled over.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ah... you gotta love nap time. I am one of those people that has an intense need for alone time at least once a day. It was nice to sit down with a cup of this today and get caught up on all my blog reading. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

We're Home!!

We are home! After 8 weeks on the road we are home! I didn't realize how good it would feel. We had an AMAZING time with friends and family these last two months... but are excited to settle back into a normal routine. It's been like Christmas for Carter to see all of his toys again.

It's funny how much can change in two months. Our basement is a wreck because of flooding. Thankfully new carpet was put in yesterday. A tree is coming down in our front yard, a fence is going up in the backyard (yeah!!!!), and Carter started talking and opening doors.

It was also great to see the familiar things as we came home...

Our beautiful state...

My desk and computer!!!

And the guys! We haven't seen Steven yet... but Fred was the first person we saw as we pulled into Maplewood! It was so fun to see him walking down the street. We missed them so much. Fred's already been by twice! Here he is with his new haircut. He texted me a picture while we were gone... but it was fun to see in person.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Natural light on our sweet boy tonight. He had been in bed for about an hour and yelled down to us for a drink and a snack (you can see the crumbs on his lips). How can we say no snack to the boy who hardly wants to eat. Dan and I were thinking that the lighting looked perfect on his face while he sat eating without even saying anything to each other. He ran down and got the camera and I was able to get the settings right. I bet you can guess what he's looking at out the window...

After 7 1/2 weeks on the road we are finally back in our time zone. We've been in 7 states since Saturday morning! What's the song from that motel commercial... We've been everywhere, man? I can't get it out of my head.

Carter has been the most amazing traveler. We've driven more than 7000 miles on this trip and he has not cried one time in the car... not one time! On the days we are not driving he stands by the car begging to get back in his car seat. It's going to be a shock for him when we actually get back to St. Louis this weekend and start walking places again instead of driving. We're with the Allen family in Lincoln, Nebraska right now. It's been great to spend time with some of our "St. Louis family" these last few days. We were with the Baker's in Colorado two nights ago. I'm going to start updating the blog by dates now that we have wireless again... so be sure to scroll down for more pics from our trip.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Well... our trip is finally winding down. I do have to say that we are looking forward to heading home next week and getting back into a somewhat normal routine. We have had an amazing time with friends and family and are looking forward to the day when we can be closer to everyone again.

I have so much to catch up on... but my Mom is going nuts for a recent picture of Carter... so I thought I would post some pictures from today.

We met my Aunt Jan and her fiance', Alex, in Seattle for a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo and Ballard Locks. Alex lives across the street from one of the zoo entrances... so we walked over. The weather was amazing and so many of the animals were out.

Checking out the pigs. You gotta love being able to wear a fleece in the middle of July!!

Even with all the animals to look at... this was the "exhibit"
we couldn't quite get Carter away from.

A river otter catching a fish right in front of Carter.
It startled me a bit... so the picture is a little blurry.

Jan and Alex on one of the board walks. You can't tell... but Alex is wearing his St. Louis Arch hat in support of his MO visitors.

After the zoo we walked through the rose garden next door. It was beautiful.

After the roses and a bite to eat we drove down to the Ballard Locks. Very cool! I can't believe in all my time in Seattle we have never gone there.

Carter watching the boats pass through to the Puget Sound.

In front of the Locks and salmon slides.

Carter got into the theme of slides and found one of his own by an underwater window.

A salmon heading back up into Lake Washington.

Hanging from a metal wave.

Crossing over the Locks looking towards Lake Washington. Very cool!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tonight we met my good friend Amy and her husband Jason at Lake Sammamish to hang out and play. Their son Isaac is 6 months older than Carter. We had not seen each other for years... so it was sooooo good to catch up!! We met when Amy, Jason and I were all working at a CBS station in Chico. Carter and Isaac had a blast together!!

Swinging at the playground. It's the first time he has really made the swing go by himself.

Thanks for a fun night you guys!!! We can't wait to see you again!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Tonight we drove out to Monroe, WA to Dan's cousin Kim's farm house for dinner and some fun. Dan's Aunt and Uncle were also there. Kim's husband Todd enjoys water skiing... so he invented dry skiing. They hooked up a rope to an ATV and hoped on a skate board. Dan LOVED it... sprained shoulder and all.

Here is 6 year old Jackson pulling Dan around the driveway.

Todd pulling Dan on the all terrain skate board.

3 Carters in the sand.

Dan's dad on Todd's Harley. We made him dress the part... it was pretty funny.

After a week of being around ATVs... we finally convinced Carter to go for a ride. He liked it... but was ready to get off after about 2 minutes.

Following Jackson... Carter has loved being with so many cousins.

We ended the night with tea and hot cocoa in front of their boat house. It was very relaxing. I still can't get used to this cold weather in the middle of the summer!

Friday, July 04, 2008

We spent the 4th back in Lake Stevens, WA with Dan's mom and dad. The weather was beautiful and it was great to stay in one place for the entire day. We played a lot of this in the front yard...

I had no idea Bocce Ball was so much fun. Beware if you play Dan's dad... he's pretty darn good. Carter was a little confused by the fact that we wouldn't let him touch any of the balls... but he still had a lot of fun playing in Papa's car.

He spent many of our Washington hours sitting in the car. Here he is taking a snack break.

The beautiful Washington sky.

Taking an oyster break...

Carter took a taste and spit it right back out.

That night we had an amazing view of fireworks from every window in the house... it was fun to be able to sit on the couch and watch them out the back window.