Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finally Done!

Hey! It is my 100th post!!!!

It has been a heck of a long time since I sat down to write like this. It seems that the more I have to write about, the less time I have to do it. So I guess I will do this in some kind of order...

Travis and Chelsea continue to do well. Travis turned 7 years old this winter (I can't wrap my head around how fast that went) and he is finishing up first grade. He has enjoyed this year so much. I think a large part of it is due to the fact that he loves his teacher. She is so wonderful and positive. I have been very happy with this year and have to cross my fingers that the next 11 years go as well. Trav played basketball in the winter and is now playing baseball. He continues to draw and over spring vacation he took a few art courses at the local art museum. He loved it. His biggest news is that he has a new pet. I made this deal with him in November that if he keeps his new room clean for a full month, I would get him a hamster (NO! I NEVER thought it would happen!). I thought he had forgotten about it! On April 10th he announced that he would start his month that night. On May 11th we went and picked out Chloe...a dwarf hamster. He truly kept up his end of the bargain so I needed to pay up. It is kind of cute (in a rodent sort of way). Travis has ushered out the age of trains and found a new love: All things Star Wars!
Travis on his field trip to the Zoo

And now for Chelsea...Chelsea...Chelsea. She is so big now she barely has any baby left in her. She is a spitfire. She is fairly happy, but when she is not, WATCH OUT! She has been taking dance for this school year. I think she drives her teacher crazy because she refuses to listen. She is definitely a girl with her own agenda. But she loves dancing and as long as she is having fun, that is all that matters to me. She is only three-and-a-half after all. She has very little interest in coloring or writing her name. I guess Chelsea is happiest when she can do exactly what she wants, when she wants to! I wonder where she gets that from! She is very girly and has a definite sense of style. The frillier and sparklier the better. Sometimes she leaves our house looking like a cross between a disco ball and a clown, but at least she knows what she likes!
Chelsea in true princess form!

John and I are working hard. I am winding down at school. We had a new principal this year and it was different (in a good way). This is my 13th year teaching. 11 of those years have been in first grade. This year has been interesting in many ways. I have taken my class so far that it is almost a shame to let them go. ALMOST but not quite. John's knee continues to hurt him. He saw a surgeon and was told that he was not ready to replace the knee yet. I guess the doc feels that he has a few more tricks up his sleeve for John. I hope so. It is awful to see someone you love in so much pain all them time. He is the assistant coach of Travis's baseball team. His grandfather passed away this spring at 91 years old. He used to belong to the Greendale Men's Club. I guess it is only fitting that Travis's team this year is sponsored by the Greendale Men's Club. Grandpa Carl is looking down with his wide jovial smile and letting off a big belly laugh.

Construction is done on the inside of the house. We love it! We have decorated most of the rooms over the last few months. Most of it was done before Christmas, actually. The only room that wasn't done was Chelsea's room. We ran out of time. I needed to wait to do this post until we did Chelsea's room. We finished it a few weeks ago. Some of these pictures are taken around Christmas time. We had a family party a few days after. I took pictures before the party to ensure that everything was nice and clean in the pictures.

Now for a photo tour of the house. Since we seldom use our front door, I will start at the back door. It now opens into a mudroom that is open to our newly renovated kitchen. We had a little space so we put our computer in its hutch there. We added an island to the kitchen and redid the floor, back splash and counters. If you remember from my previous updates I painted the cabinets. Then I distressed them to make them look just like I wanted them.

Our toy room is now a dining room. We took my mom's old dining table and stretched it out. It seats six comfortably. We could take out the inserts for a smaller table, but we don't usually bother. We got a new chandelier and were able to put John's Grandma Mil's hutch in there. We also have a glass front bookcase that is now a china cabinet.

If you go in the other direction out of the kitchen, you enter our living room. Not a whole lot changed in there. A new chair maybe and the dry sink I got from Salvation Army finally got a permanent home. The living room abuts the back of the mudroom coat closet so we had to get rid of a window. It used to be where the dry sink now stands.

If you walk a little farther you will come to our front porch. This has always been the best place in the house (in my opinion). We moved our old kitchen table out there and use the other side as a sitting room. It is so comfy and bright. It needs a new coat of paint, but I intend to put that off until next spring. I want to enjoy my porch this summer. Last summer it was a storage area for all of the things we needed to move during construction!

Now for the upstairs. A lot has changed up there. We now have three bedrooms up there. We added a good sized master bedroom. We painted it a sunny yellow (called Melted Butter because John refused to ask the guy at the store for Pooh Bear Yellow). It is plenty big and even has a little sitting area for me! I read and correct papers and watch TV.

Travis took our old room. It is painted a bright blue color and has all of his toys in it. He is happy to have his own space at last. He and Chelsea still bug each other but at least now they can be separated as needed. Travis and Chloe the Hamster are cohabitating quite nicely in the blue room.

Chelsea's room has three white walls and a bright pink wall. Her accents in her room are pale and hot pink. She has a little princess theme going on in there. We put Grandma Mil's rocking chair in her room. It is very small for an adult to sit in, but looks cute covered with pink cushions and her dolls on it.

The downfall to all of the work we did last summer is that our yard is totaled! We plan to do a little work out there this summer. Hopefully we will get it in good condition (or at least usable) by early summer. Maybe that will be my next post!
Well I guess that is all the news I have right now. It is getting close to "Happy Hour" (a.k.a bedtime) here and the kids are calling. There was a lot to report in my 100th entry. Hopefully it won't be my last. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I know I am two days late with this wish! Halloween has come and gone. Guess what I am doing right now. I am listening to Christmas Music. Yup... CHRISTMAS MUSIC!

Travis's soccer season came to an end this weekend (and not too soon, by the way!). He really did learn a lot this season. He is a natural on defense. When I played field hockey I remember feeling so much more comfortable in a defensive position. I think Travis is too.

On Saturday we met up with some neighbors and friends and walked the neighborhood. Travis was Buzz Lightyear. Chelsea was a "Ballerina Princess". They were so cute! One of my neighbors knows that I dread Halloween because Travis has the peanut and nut allergy and we can't have any nuts or nut products in the house. We end up giving up half of the kids candy. So my neighbor, who also happens to be an old family friend, bought two bags of Skittles especially for Travis and Chelsea! I thought that was so kind of her. Chelsea really got into it this year. She was so excited. She would get so angry when she wasn't given candy. Being so small, she was often overlooked by the homeowners. A few times she threw an all-out tantrum on their doorsteps.
Here is Travis as Buzz!
Chelsea was very pleased that she got to use the body glitter and lip gloss that she got from Tita and Uncle Scott and Caroline and Isabel for her birthday.
Here they are getting ready to leave.
Chelsea admires herself in the reflection of Dad's car.
The trick-or-treating gang!
Chelsea continues to enjoy dance class (although sometimes I find the teacher a bit harsh). She has a big smile on her face every time she is asked to do anything. This week she was asked to demonstrate how to point her toes. She was so proud. I am glad she likes it so much.

The house plugs along. The closet in our bedroom has been finished. There are still some electrical projects to do and the kitchen and mudroom floor needs to be laid. All in all there is light at the end of the tunnel, although sometimes I feel I have to look especially hard to find it.

On to the holidays!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Blog Slacker

It has been a long time since I posted last! Life is busy and getting busier all the time. Two kids...two schedules! Two adults.... opposite schedules! You can see where this is going, right?

We have been working on the kitchen and it is coming along great. We have painted and finished the back splash and counter top. Actually Malcolm and Grandpa Ernie did the whole thing. We just painted. I plan on finishing the paint up in the kitchen this weekend. We love it so far! The butcher block before we oiled it.
After the oil.
The backsplash project in progress.
The new look around the stove.

We took a field trip to New Jersey for my niece's christening. It was so nice to see Sweet Caroline and meet Baby Isabel. My brother Scott and SIL Christine are adjusting to life with two kids. My mother and my grandmother were surrounded by grandchildren. I got my baby-fix.

Chelsea is still in ballerina mode! Here she is posing in the tutu that she got from Uncle Scott, Tita, Sweet Caroline and Isabel.
Actually I have been thinking about giving up the blog. I just don't have the time right now. I don't want to close the blog. I just want to not feel stressed out if I don't get to posting every week. It ends up being another thing that I feel guilty about. It started off as fun, but I guess it has become a little bit of a chore now.

I am very close to hitting my 100th entry, though! So I may hang in there for another two posts. We shall see!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Celebration in the Middle of Chaos

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been. I will give a rundown in no particular order:

The kids have been crazy busy lately. Chelsea started dance and gymnastics. She loves it. I think she is the youngest one in the class. My cousin Erica is helping to teach the class, which makes Chelsea a little more comfortable, I think. She was definitely surprised to learn that she was not in charge!
Chelsea is ready to go to her first dance class.
Erica helps Chelsea get ready for a roll.
Chelsea and Erica
Chelsea got some new outfits for her birthday, so she wore them to her second class.

This is how she left the house on Saturday. I guess she wasn't ready to stop partying.
Travis started soccer for his 4th season. He seems to be getting better with his foot work all the time! We were supposed to have double duty games this weekend, but it is pouring today so I think we will be washed out.
Travis prepares to kick the ball.

John and his coworkers had another charity sporting event. They donated money to Autism research. This time it was softball and John's team (The Bonecrushers) won by a landslide.
The Girls' Team
The Boys' Team
John celebrates the victory
I love this picture of John. You can really see how happy he is to be a part of this event. He loves softball and it is nice to see him do something fun. He works so hard all the time.
The Bonecrushers: They got their names because they were playing the Orthopedic Staff.
John at the Bat

What did the kids do during this event? Well Chelsea found a friend who had brought some cosmetics with her. Here they are covering themselves in body glitter.

Chelsea took a break from beautifying herself to tackle her brother.
Travis hung out with John. He wanted his shirt to be just like dad's shirt.
Our friend Will had a birthday party at a local gymnastics place. The kids had a blast!

The house is coming along. The bulk of the new spaces have been sheetrocked and we are almost ready to paint. Our new counter tops are in, but have yet to be installed. The wall in the kitchen is down and a half wall has been added. It definitely makes the space seem a lot bigger. John is slowly painting the trim. He finished the hallway and is working his way into the living room. Malcolm and Ernie are working hard and I think they are teaching John some new skills.

We had to take a break from all of that this Friday to have our family here to celebrate Chelsea's third birthday. My baby is THREE! I can't believe it. She had been talking about her birthday for a few weeks. In fact, each time we left the house, she asked, "Are we going to my birthday now?" She was so happy when it finally arrived. Her eyes lit up like Christmas when she saw the presents. She got some baby dolls and a ballerina doll, some puzzles, and lots of clothes for the cold weather. The theme seemed to be "ballerinas" this year. She went with me to pick out her cake and we found a cake with Zoe from Sesame Street dressed up as a ballerina. She loved it.
We kept the party small this year. It was so cramped in this house with the construction. I think I am going to let her have a "Ballerina Party" when this project is done. That way she can invite all of her little friends. She has been talking about having her friends come to her party for a while now. I was so sad that we couldn't do it.
We let her open our presents the night before. Chelsea poses with her two facotiet guys.

Chelsea and her doll dressed up for her party. They sell these dresses with the matching doll dress at TJ Maxx. So cute.

Being 3 is very tiring!
John and I took a night off from our responsibilites and went to the U2 concert. We very rarely do stuff like this. My mom babysat and we didn't get home until 1:00 AM. We had a terrific time until Tuesday came and it was back to business as usual. We went with our friends Michele and Jay. We met up with my Aunt Michelle and Uncle Stephen and their friends. We did a little tailgating and headed in to the concert right before they went on. It was an awesome show. They even sang "Ultraviolet" which is my favorite song of theirs. I have been to a U2 show that was really preachy and depressing and full of political agenda. This one was not like that. It was fun and upbeat with only a little of the social conscience stuff. It was a good balance really.

The sad news is that my friend Jennifer's mom died a few weeks ago after a seven year battle with ovarian cancer. It was so sad. Jennifer and her brother did the readings and a family friend did a beautiful job with the eulogy. My hearts go out to her and her family!

Well that is a quick update in a nutshell. Travis's soccer game was just cancelled. Am I a bad mom for being happy in this fact? I have been given the gift of time! It will be a quiet but productive (hopefully) day. I have a long list to keep me busy! I am actually looking forward to a day at home. I can't remember the last one we had!