Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME

Well, Friday was my birthday. It is official. I am now in my mid thirties. However, I emphasized to Husband #1...He will always be older than me (by two months and ten days!). I have no pictures to commemorate the day but it was lovely nonetheless. The kids and I hung with some friends at a local coffee shop that has a play area inside for the kids. I then spent the afternoon on the phone with various friends and family.

Husband #1 came home with a bottle of champagne that we drank while we got ready to leave for dinner and for the sitter to arrive. He almost wasn't able to go to dinner due to a transplant and liver resection during the day and then another transplant for 9pm that night. His coworker agreed to come in and do the case for him so he would not have to leave dinner and go back to the hospital. Thanks Jeff!!

We went to dinner at a Spanish tapas place. It was super yummy and we had fun ordering MANY things off the menu but not eating a ton of food. After that we went to a decadent chocolate bar for chocolate martinis and a banana split.

Of course we were home by 10pm when the storm started and had both kids screaming within 10 minutes. So the rest of the night went like this...both kids in bed with us due to hail and thundering. Took both kids back to bed after about an hour. Bumblebee ended back with us at some point. Took Bumblebee back to bed some time later at which point Double A joined us for the rest of the night. Take all that peppered with several phone calls and pages from the hospital and we are all tired today. Husband #1 had to get up and leave for the airport to go to Toronto for a medical conference so at least he gets to nap on the plane :)

So last Monday we went to get my birthday present at Gringo Jones which is a cross between a junk store and an import store. I specifically wanted a blown glass bowl/plate thing they have there. We are going to hang it on our back porch. We also got a wrought iron fleur de lis to hang on the empty spot of brick wall by the patio. We found a cool piece of furniture for the kitchen that needs just a touch of gluing and will give us some extra storage and such. Husband #1 was "project-ed out" by the time these purchases were made so nothing is hung or glued just yet but it will be and I will post finished pics then. For now here is a pic of the bowl just sitting on our floor for the picture. I kind of have a "thing" for art glass pieces which Husband #1 calls "blown glass."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Completion! And we LOVE it!

Well, the yard has actually been done for just over a week but I have been way too lazy to post any pictures of it. I have also been way too busy enjoying it to post any pictures of it. The kids are out there almost every day. Husband #1 and I are out there almost every day. We also worked on the back porch so we have been enjoying that also. We are very pleased with the plants and the grass and the layout and pretty much everything. We keep marveling at how wonderful it is out there now. We have eaten dinner outside almost everyday since it has been finished and Husband #1 says we have used more propane for grilling in the last two weeks than we have in the two years we have lived here! These shots are from the same angles as the "before" shots in the first yard post.
  • #1 Standing on the back porch looking to the rear right corner of the yard. The foreground is where the pavers used to be for the old patio.
  • #2 Standing in the back right corner looking across the back fence towards the left rear corner. The pavers have been laid along the back fence for Belle to run along.
  • #3 Standing in the rear right corner looking towards the house. The back porch needs painted still but we took the door and windows off and it has made a HUGE difference. We actually have room on the patio for the grill, the firepit and the patio table with tons leftover.
It is kind of hard to get the whole picture in these photos but it is drastically different and improved. We have tried to use as many "southern" plantings as would live here. Sadly no gardenias or camellias. We have several hydrangeas (my favorite) and will be selecting some unique and interesting daylilies to plant ourselves. We have a red dogwood, forest pansy redbud, crepe myrtle, hostas and some things new to us such as two different varieties of Viburnum and a Nine Bark.
We would love to have anyone come visit and enjoy the yard in person with us!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A great weekend

This weekend was finally warm and sunny after a week or so of rain and mid 50's temps. We spent Saturday outside doing various projects. Husband #1 presure washed the patio furniture and the front stoop and other concrete to get it looking as nice as the new patio. He then waterproofed the front stoop in another effort to stop the water from coming into the cellar. My project was cleaning the back porch. We ended up taking off the old windows and now we have a open air porch. I scraped the peeling paint and scrubbed the walls and floor in an effort to prepare it for being painted (hopefully soon). Husband #1 and I rewarded ourselves with a cocktail by the fire pit on our new patio. It was wonderful

Today Husband #1 spent the day gluing various broken toys of the kids, doing odds and ends of organizing in the basement, and vacuuming the house. Meanwhile I spent the enitre day apinting the guest bedroom. I had started aboout two weeks ago and finished up the first phase today. The vertical walls are now all a light olive green color. The next phase will be painting the slanted walls and ceiling a light cream and the trim a white. That room was so gross from those who came before us it looks better already.

We went to dinner with some work colleagues friday night at a very nice Italian restaurant but the rest of the weekend we grilled burgers and shrimp. They both turned out great and we ate on the new patio!

The landscaper came by and we finalized the plans for plant choices and placement. If the weather holds out we will be finished MONDAY!! I will finally be able to post some pictures of the completed project :) it looks so much better already but we have not had a fence for several weeks now. Surprisingly Belle just hangs out in the backyard. I guess she knows she's got a good thing going!

Overall it was very lovely and productive weekend. This week will be the last week of school for Double A for the summer. Bumblebee will attend his speech program for two months this summer so he does not backslide and then Double A starts Kindergarten September 2nd!! I'll close this random rambling post with a preview of the final project. This is what the patio looks like from the back corner of the yard. This was taken about two weeks ago, right after the patio was completed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!

My Mother's Day surprise actually happened a few weeks ago. I went out of town to do this:

(a girl's weekend of scrapbooking in North Carolina.)

Husband #1 stayed home with the kids all weekend. Much to my surprise he did this:

and this:He painted the downstairs bathroom walls and trim, installed new light fixtures, a towel hook, hung a picture we had waiting, printed two pictures in black and white (shocking for him) and bought frames and hung them and bought a candle!! It looks FABULOUS!! Makes me think maybe I should go out of town more often. He says no! ****(for those of you not familiar with our house - it is 72 years old and the teal and peach and orange tile are original and not our selections! That is why we went with white for trim and walls. Really, what color can you add to THAT!!??)****

Today husband #1 is at work and the kids are trying hard to behave. Double A is very worried she will misbehave and keeps telling me she loves me and then says "if I accidentally hit Bumblebee will that be okay?" or "if I forget and don't act good, that's okay, right?"

At school Double A made this for me:

Click on it to make it larger and read the words. She actually did a pretty good job with accurate answers! She also made this:

So, today it is raining (again/still) and the high is only going to be 55!! What is wrong with this place??!! It is the middle of May!! Anyway, the kids are dragging out everything they own to make a bus or some such thing because we have ben trapped in the house for a week with cold and rain. Maybe I will go sit in my newly redone bathroom and bask in its beauty. Happy Mother's Day to me (and all of you mother's out there reading this!)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Harvey Rocks!!

Harvey is our concrete guy. I appreciate him immensely because he is doing a great job. But more improtantly he is doing a great job because it is important to him, not because he has to or wants to get paid, etc. But because that is the way you are supposed to do things. Like my Dad has always said "If it is a job worth doing, it is a job worth doing right." Harvey must live by this saying also. If anyone lives in the St. Louis area and needs concrete work, I highly recommend me for his info!

It stayed dry enough for them to lay concrete on Saturday!!! It was chilly (mid 50's) and overcast but they got it done! I have included some in progress pitures here. Finished pictures will be later since we could not get out there until later today and walk on it so no pics yet. Harvey is the one in the gray sweatshirt with the smoothing thing on the red pole. All the guys were great and hard workers, seemingly with a nice attention to detail.

Tell you what...I do not envy concrete workers. Their backs must be killing them after working all day bent over shoveling wet concrete or smoothing or putting those grooves in or whatever.

Now do you see why??

Does the huge amount of mud in our backyard now make you see why we had to do this project. It rained...but not THAT much.
That last picture is on the new patio laid out but partially covered with a tarp because more rain was expected and it was already pretty mushy for laying concrete. They had the gravel in and were hoping by Saturday it would be dry enough and stay dry to lay the concrete. If not, another week of waiting because our concrete guy only works this side job on the evenings and weekends.
Have I mentioned that we have had our air conditioner disconnected since the first day of bobcatting? We had a weird cold snap last week and actually had sleet around lunchtime Monday so we have been okay in the house without AC, so far.