Happy New Year!

I haven’t thought about any resolutions and I don’t have any grand insights to write about. I do have some nice pictures, though. I wish everyone a Happy New Year and that 2014 brings you more adventures and memories. 

Natalie’s art is getting quite detailed:

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The kids colored together for a nice, long time yesterday:

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Conrad tried on James’ new boots:

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James hung up the shelf last night and I decorated it this morning – with all stuff that we already had! It turns out that we have plenty of cool stuff:

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Natalie and James did a warm up before playing  a game of basketball:

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James is showing the apartment this weekend to prospective tenants, so fingers crossed! Otherwise, we’re laying low and hitting the snow for some fun. See you all next year!

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Monday

It went pretty well despite it being a Monday. I did start to get crabby towards the end of the day, as it was another nap free day for Conrad (so 10 hours of a 22 month old and 13 hours of a 4 year old…it’s a loooong day), and while I was fixing us dinner plates and he was whining, I snapped: “I’m not your servant you know.” To which Natalie responded to Conrad with: “Yeah, dude. She’s yours AND my servant!”. Yes, I busted out in laughter, because it was hilarious and turned my mood around, which was important. The mom = servant part…well, we’ll work on that.

We unpacked 27 boxes of books over the weekend. Now we have to deal with the onslaught of boxes tonight – break them down and pack them up for dumping in the recycling at the building. It really clears up the garage though, because folks, it’s ridiculous out there. There are empty boxes piled up way high and it’s irritating.

I’ll get to Christmas, but first, I thought I’d post photos of our living room. Aside from a few missing things (lampshade and shelf on the wall), it’s done! It looks better during the day because of the lovely sunlight, but it’s also messy from the kids being kids.

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A couple of notes: the futon cover is normally bright orange, our beige one is our back up when we wash the orange one; the tv cords are rather unkempt and have yet to be dealt with; the bookshelf on the left doesn’t have its books on the top shelf  because I can’t reach it; the curtains are shower curtains! We hope you like it! It will be fully completed and shiny for our combined kids birthday party in the spring. That’s our new,’ get everything done by date’, so that we can do other things like update our credit card mailing addresses and watch a movie now and again.

The building is coming along nicely. Our handyman had some family issues to take care of back home in Mongolia, so he needed a few days for that, and should be done with the work this Wednesday. We’re following up with a few rental leads and otherwise we’re listing it for rent after Wednesday. James is heading there to follow up with our handyman and take photos and do some work. The kitchen looks really nice! If I can, I’ll have James post some pictures of the apartment.

Happy New Year!

Saturday

I finally went to see an optometrist about my ocular migraines. My prescription remains unchanged, even though I last had my eyes checked four years ago, and she saw no damage or anything of concern related to my ocular halos, so good news! It did mean, however, that my pupils were dilated and on such a sunny day, it was a very squinty one for me. We also had our good friend, Lindsay come out for a visit and Conrad napped from 3pm-6pm and went to bed at 10pm (Nat at 9pm) and everyone was up bright and early at 730am, so….today sucks. We’ve gotten little done and I’ve barely had any time to put up a post. 

Today, we’re laying low and putting everyone to bed early. ‘Construction girl’ paid us a visit, as did ‘Conrad,the non union worker’:

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Whew

We made it to the other side of Christmas 2013! It was exhausting, but the really great kind of exhausting, so we’re glad. I’ll post more this weekend when I have time. We’ve been busy – James went back to work yesterday and we had some building snafus (it will be fantastic when it’s sold!) and Conrad failed to nap yesterday and Natalie had a couple of crying wake ups.Poor Izzy has every known side effect known to dogs whenever she has to take medication, so we’re letting her out every 2 hours or so….

So…whew!

We’re taking down our tree tonight (I know, it’s early, but it’s in the way) to make room for our new bookshelves. There are 27 boxes of books to be unpacked…..and the garage is a nightmare right now and it’s stressing me out. We need to break down the boxes, but that means we need to finish unpacking them.  

We’ll finish today on a pleasant note, however, and I’ll leave you with a photo of my favorite people in the whole world: 

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Blueberry jam and other news

Hello! This will probably be it until after Christmas, so it’s jam packed. First, Conrad has picked up a bunch of new words and is quite pleased with himself! It’s fun to hear him say more and it will be great when during our play, he can make his character say more than, ‘hello’, over and over and over…..Natalie is writing more and more! Today, she helped me write out the grocery list and I helped her sound out the words (phonetically for the most part), so that she could write them down. It’s rather exciting and she’s really proud of herself! Although she still fists the pen/pencil, when we ask her, she can quite easily switch to the proper grip, but tells us she is more comfortable writing the other way. In time, she’ll switch, so we’re not really concerned. We’ve tried two churches and although we found friendly people at both, we’re going with the Lutheran church. It was PACKED with families and felt very relaxed (it was their casual service) and we didn’t feel like we needed to shush the kids or be extra quiet, which is a big win in my book.

Conrad has gotten more into books in the last week or so. It’s still challenging to read to the kids, since neither of them is willing to patiently wait for their books turn, but we’re getting there slowly. Along with horseback riding lessons, we’re signing Natalie up for a cooking class for kids. The riding lessons are a Christmas gift from my Dad and Pat, and I casually dropped the idea while chatting with Natalie and she perked up and smiled. She LOVES going for pony rides and is very brave and quite comfortable with the ponies, so we’re hoping that she will gain some confidence and skills in this class. It doesn’t hurt that she feels like a princess while riding!

We’re celebrating Christmas Eve with Swedish food! While the sausage I had growing up was the best I’ve had, the version we get is pretty tasty. I’ll keep an eye out for getting some locally, but for now, James picked some up in the city. My Grandma would order the sausage months in advance – it was made in batches by a local butcher and you could only get it if you had preordered it and it was so delicious. Maybe, I’ll take it up a notch and try my hand at making it myself! Or not….haha.

Christmas Day, we’re hosting and we’ve come up with a yummy menu – ham with a honey thyme glaze, winter greens gratin, glazed carrots and parsnips, a salad, cranberry sauce, rolls and brownies and gingerbread cake. We’re not making all of this ourselves, but the main dishes and the brownies are ours to claim. I can’t wait to set out our pretty dishes that came from my Grandma!

I do have a photo montage, and it’s from today! We made a batch of blueberry jam and it was easy and turned out pretty well! It’s a bit sweet, so we’ve learned to spread thinly……while we waited for it to cook, Nat read some of her books and Conrad tried out some new ‘shoes’…..

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Nat’s anatomically correct art and a sneak peek of the living room!

After Nat finished her princess crowns, she had leftover jewel stickers, so she got to work and made some paper plate art. This is a picture of a man under the yellow sun and a blue sky, eating lots and lots of donuts. Note the penis, ahem.

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James put up the rest of the curtains last night, while I spent over two hours putting together my new bedside table….why oh why did that take two hours?!? It’s cute, but you’ll see later. To give you a better idea, our new bookshelves will line the wall behind the tree. The temporary and ugly plastic toy storage will be gone as well. It’s going to look nice!

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I’d write a longer post, but my computer is on a windowsill and the kids LOVE the power strip’s on/off button…..it’s annoying. Next week we should receive our new desks and bookcases. Once that happens, I’ll post a photo tour of the downstairs! We’re off to the winter market today and while at first, I was planning around Conrad’s nap and travel times, I remembered that it will take us about five minutes to drive there and that we can park in a big parking lot. A definite plus for kids who hate the car!

Natalie’s book nook!

I want to post the finished rooms as much as possible, and Nat’s is SO close! Let’s start with her book nook. It was painted a lovely purple by Pat, that Natalie picked out and it’s awesome! We all love it and it really defines the area. The only new purchase for this area was a new black frame for one of her posters – her old one had been cracked for a few years – we even owned the curtain rod! Without further ado:

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Her room should be done after James’ visit to the building this week to pick up her new decal and a piece of art that we left behind. We also solved our kitchen curtain dilemma – as it turns out I have 10 yards of upholstery fabric that was going to be used on a chair that we ended up tossing out, so, voila! Free!! Well, nearly, haha! I got it at the crazy low sale price of $50, because have you seen the price of upholstery fabric?! It’s insane! Anyways, I’m going to start sewing them tomorrow night and we’re excited!