Monday, April 30, 2012

Springtime in Alaska

After a long winter we've been having a beautiful spring. The snow is all gone except for the big piles and the shady or forested areas. 

It's been getting Sabrina right of bed doing crazy things like immediately putting on all the jewelry she can find or going and getting Buddha and sitting down on the couch holding him.  

The girls just recently went to the doctor for their 4-year-old and 18-month-old appointments.  Stats:
Sabrina: Weight: 24 lb 7 oz (70%)  Height: 33 inches (85%)
Celia: Weight: 34 lb 5 oz (60%)  Height: 38.5 inches (25%)

Tonight we went on our first bike ride of the season.  It was family home evening bike ride, so they ate some jelly beans in the "bike tent" as their "treat."  We rode to a local lake to see the ducks.  It was a bit too cold (and unexpectedly frozen) for ducks.  Oh well.  Still had a great time.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kitchen: The Big Reveal

Here is the big "before" picture of our kitchen.  This is the picture that was taken by our cousins of the house right after we bought it (but had not seen it yet). 

This is about a month after we moved in and painted.  That curly board was taken down within two months of living here, but we took no pictures of the "before" kitchen without it.

Just before we began to renovate the kitchen, I put some frozen bananas on the counter to thaw.  Did you know bananas could stain?  Yup.  Turns out they can.  We need a new counter...

Tom got to work and took all the cabinets down in one evening.

When Tom started taking the cabinets out, we discovered the original flooring.

Cousin Travis came over and Tom and Travis were able to hang all the top cabinets in one Saturday.

Then we lived with a top half of an awesome kitchen and the old bottom part for a week before our friend, Jon, came to help Tom with the bottom cabinets.  Two of the cabinets broke in transit, so after the other base cabinets were installed, we had to wait five weeks before finishing up (one week of that was spent in Florida, luckily).

Once we returned from Florida to find the new base cabinets had arrived, Tom installed those and Travis returned to help install the 3/4" hardwood plywood countertops with 1/4" backerboard on top.  Tempting to keep all the counter space when you see how much it would be without putting the sink back in...

But then you remember you need a sink...

As I mentioned in a previous post, we wet-sawed in the blizzard the day before Easter when we broke the snow record and we finished installing all the tiles Monday and Tuesday after Easter.  Then we had to glue and clamp the front lip pieces (as pictured).  Then install the backsplashes, then seal the granite.  After 24 hours, we could install the sink.  Through the whole process, we were only without a sink for 9 days.  Pretty good, I would say.

Here it is.  We're obviously only done with "Phase 1" as the toe-kicks, and the range hood vent haven't been finished, and the floor and the appliances have not been replaced (except the new microwave), and of course we don't even have a light in the kitchen yet.  But it's heavenly.  And awesome.  And we've done so much cooking and baking in the past week (thanks to the sun being up from 6:20 AM-9:40 PM so we can see without having a light).

Good job Tom.  Special thanks to Travis and Jon for helping with the install.  And Law for truck usage.  And Taylor for babysitting while Tom and I cut and installed the granite tiles.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DisneyWorld: Day 1

Now that our kitchen is done (Will post pictures later... because we still haven't installed a light, there's a short frame of time in which I can take pictures in the kitchen), I can finally get around to getting some of these pictures up from the super fun trip we had to DisneyWorld with my family.  We were there on Celia's birthday, but we went for my mom's 60th birthday... so those matching shirts you see us wearing are of my mom's original birth announcement.  

We began our first day at the Ohana character breakfast at the Polynesian Resort.  Celia got into the Hawaiian princess thing wearing that necklace on her head and being very serious about playing that maraca in the little parade around the restaurant.  We met lots of characters (Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch).  Celia was pretty freaked out by the Lilo since she's supposed to be a little girl but showed up with a big plastic head.  Very seriously after the breakfast she said "I think someone was pretending to be Lilo."  The breakfast was delicious Mickey waffles, fresh fruit (a giant bowl of fresh pineapple at my request), and some "Stitch juice" of passionfruit, guava, etc.  It was a great kick-off to the magic. 

Then we took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and rode the train to the carousel in FantasyLand.  By this point, Sabrina was pretty much ready to fall asleep and so was Celia to a lesser extent (it's a long journey from Alaska to Florida).  But Celia was very excited about riding that horse on the carousel, and Sabrina, as Tom says, "tolerated it" (she would rather be sleeping).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sabrina: 18 Months

I wanted to give a Sabrina update because she is so hilarious these days.  She's getting so old and thinks she's 4 like Celia.  She throws an absolute fit if we do anything differently for her than for Celia (like peeling apples because she chokes on the peel or giving her a sippy cup because she spills everything, etc.).  She likes to throw fits, but mainly it's because she doesn't have a lot of words to communicate so she does a lot of screaming and crying when we don't understand (or do understand, but won't fulfill an odd request like moving Celia's plate of food over so she can push it on the floor).  As far as consistent words, she says: Mama, Dad, Light, All Done, More, and Gone.  She will randomly say others that we will then never hear again.  Like yesterday, as we were walking into the grocery store, she pointed to each cart we saw in the parking lot on the way and said "cart" but then she probably won't say that again.  It's happened a lot.  Today, however, she said her first two-syllable word (mama doesn't count because it's the same one twice) and put two words together by herself (all done doesn't count because those two words are always together.  We were eating lunch and I took an apple out to cut it.  She pointed and said "apple."  Then later on, I said: "eat one apple and you can get out."  She pointed to the piece of apple on her plate, looked at me, and said: "bite apple."  I was so proud.  She rarely verbally communicates.  She is the most amazing nodder and head-shaker, however.

Sabrina is also a little helper.  She really likes tasks.  When she was eating candy out of the eggs she found at the hunt, she would eat all the candy and then go throw the egg away (until I told her they weren't trash).  She also likes to start the dishwasher and the laundry.  Sometimes before I'm ready to start them (and then I think I'm going crazy because I don't remember putting soap in and starting it... until I realize at the end of the cycle that I have to put soap in and start it again because it ran without soap).  She's really good at putting her boots away, her clothes in the dirty clothes basket, and putting her dishes in the sink when she's done.  (She also likes putting anything that looks like a dish into the sink even if it is an empty crayon box with the crayons dumped out.)

And she's hilarious.  Right now she's cramming all the waffle on her plate into her mouth just so I'll give her more.  Crazy kid.  We like her.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Record-breaking Easter!

Happy Easter!  Have you read about our Easter in the news yet? 

We did it!  We broke the record for snowiest season on record!  I'm thrilled!  So what did we do on the Saturday before Easter when we got the six inches of snow that broke the record?  Tom and I cut granite tiles with a wet saw for our kitchen.  

The girls were all ready to go Easter egg hunting.  Cousin Taylor took them to find eggs in the snow at a friend's house while Tom and I cut tiles.

Then the girls came home and ate all the candy that found like crazy people.  

This morning we went to Stake Conference all dressed up matching.  And now the girls are eating candy again like crazy people.  

Your house look anything like ours this Easter?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Celia Turns 4: A Disney Princess Party!

Celia was lucky enough to turn 4 WHILE we were in DisneyWorld.  Lucky girl.  She was so brave about everything.  Since she's only 38.5" tall, the only "big" ride she could go on was Kali River rapids.  She was fine the whole time until we got the big wave of water over our heads and then she burst into tears.  But she took it with grace.  And after we got drenched, we headed back to our hotel room (which was actually a house bigger than my house) to get cleaned up and took naps. 

Being in DisneyWorld for Celia's actual birthday meant that we sort of couldn't resist the opportunity to do a character dinner with all the princesses.  It began with a photo with Belle.  (They then provided her with an 8x10 of this picture which is now displayed in her room.)

Aurora came to our table next.  Look at Celia.  Oozing with hilarious joy.

Incessant joy-oozing with Cinderella.

My nephew, Balo, was a great sport with the whole thing.  He even participated in the "princess parade" with all the girls in the restaurant.

My niece, Clara, is a good sport about everything.  And so easy to take pictures of.

Sabrina was a little oblivious to what was happening.

Overall, a total birthday success.  She still talks about it everyday.  It was pretty magical.  So now what do we do with all the rest of her birthdays?  We've probably ruined her for life.  But the pictures were totally worth it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March Goals: Update

Because I'm holding myself publicly accountable for my goals, here's how March went:

CLEANING: Don't talk to me about cleaning.  This kitchen is ruining everything.  I really hope it will be DONE by the end of April so I can get back on this.
TEMPLE: Yup!  Made it to the Ward Temple Session (at which we were the only Ward members).
DATE NIGHT: Thanks to my lovely family, Tom and I had a date night during "Extra Magic Hours" at Hollywood Studios in DisneyWorld from 11PM-1AM.  Though super tiring, it was very memorable as I went on Tower of Terror for the first time in my life.  (I hate falling sensations and the ride was just as bad as I always imagined, but I figured I should go on it once to say I did.)  Tom said I was a very brave 26-year-old.  The proof is below (I took a picture of the ride photo with my phone... so not the clearest thing... but proof!).  Check out that jolly guy next to Tom.  I want to know his story.

We also went on the new Star Tours (a little motion-sicky for my liking though the 3-D effects are much cooler than the old one) and Rockin' Rollercoaster twice (my favorite ride ever of all time... totally worth losing a diamond on the ride five years ago which my insurance then replaced...)

Winter Fun and Break-Up

These first pictures were taken on March 15.  The girls love playing in the sled, I documented our neighbor's car entirely covered in snow, Sabrina likes throwing snow into the sled, and Celia hiked all over our yard and climbed our snow mountain.

Oh, and Celia found frozen dog poop and had me take her picture with it:

Fast forward to Break-up.  Not that kind of break-up.  Break-up is a term used up here for when the snow starts to melt.  Interesting things happen as break-up begins.  These pictures were taken March 22.  The South-facing snow banks get all jagged with sweet icicles and the North-facing banks become geologic structures where you can see every time the temperature got above freezing all winter (as indicated by each of the brown lines).  And there are icicles everywhere.  (I love them so much.)

Now about half of all this snow is gone and the pussy willows outside my window are just starting to bud.  I'm excited for Spring, but a bit sad we got so close to a record-breaking snowfall without actually hitting it. (Though we do live in Alaska, so we can't entirely count it out yet.)

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