Saturday, July 31, 2010

Backyard Update

Just a refresher...here's what the garden area of the yard looked like with the old slanted retaining wall.

Here is a picture of the new retaining wall going up.


And here's what the area looks like now. I love the new straight retaining wall! So much better! The boys love walking on it because of the way it steps down.



Another refresher...here's what the corner under the deck looked like before.



Here's what it looks like now...the crooked fence gone and stairs out of the yard are finished with gravel. We need to make a trip to the dump and put the swing set together...once that happens the area under the deck will look a lot cleaner.


Here's another angle. This was really the most difficult area of the yard to figure out what to do with it. Frankly I'm still not really satisfied with it, but there really wasn't much we could do with it. The way the easement came down into the yard and the fact that the area under the deck would be impossible to grow anything we just decided to do all the gravel. The boys love playing with rocks so...it works!





Look at how clean the easement is!!! This easement hasn't looked this clean in over a year. No more blocks, no more gravel and no more dirt. Owen's a little upset about that! The stuff piled up at the bottom is going to the dump...minus the wheelbarrow.





Here's a look at the yard from the easement.



Here's a look at the yard from the opposite side. The grass is looking pretty good, but for some reason we can not get it to grow right in the middle.



The other day Michael set out to get the stump out of the area where the swing set is going to be. Unfortunately the stump is about 3 times the size of the one he took out with the help of 3 other guys! So he dug it out as much as he could and then we decided to have a little fun.



This is Jack's idea of fun...eating dirt! Don't ask!



We decided to make the stump into our very own fire pit!



Once Owen saw what we were doing he decided to take some of the kindling and wood that Michael was using and make his very own "fireplace".




Then Daddy indulged Owen and lit his fire. "That's my fireplace mommy!"



He was so happy with his fire...it didn't last long. I think we are going to have to watch him though...thankfully those lighter things are child safe and he hasn't figured it out yet. We also keep them out of reach too!



After he was done with his fire he walked...okay marched over to do his job....dig in the dirt. I love how he seriously thinks that's his job! It's so cute!




Ella girl was not too happy during this whole outdoor adventure...she has a cold!



The smell of the fire totally reminded me of camping so I went upstairs and got the little smokies.


I'm not much a smores person so nothing says camping like little smokies. Owen was pretty excited about it too.



Unfortunately the fire was SO hot that the boys didn't even roast their smokies they just stuck them on the sticks and ate them. They thought it was fun. Michael roasted about 6 for us before the makeshift stick he was using was down for the count. It was one HOT fire!!! It burned for about 3 hours.

The next day Michael chopped into the stump and burned it for 5 hours and it really made a dent and set the fence that was behind it on fire, but we were going to build a new one anyway...no really we were!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Have you sucked on an elephant's trunk today?

Well maybe you should! Ella found it quite nice!

Just for fun...here's a video of her and the elephant. No babies or elephants were harmed in the making of this video.

video

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Renton River Days

On Sunday we decided to brave the heat and the crowds and head to Renton River Days to hear a friend of ours play his guitar on stage. The day had it's ups and downs, but overall I would say it was a learning experience...maybe next year will be better! :) The first good thing we got was awesome parking and it was in the shade!!!
I knew the firetruck would be a big hit with the boys. At first Owen was nervous because of his previous run in with them at the parade on Saturday. Once we told him they weren't going to make noise he was more relaxed.

He loved stepping on the brake because they have air brakes so it would make this hiss sound because of the air releasing.


They also had the firefighters on hand to let the kids turn the hoses on. Owen could almost turn the water off on his own.


Jack wasn't nearly as interested with the firefighter stuff he just did it because Owen did. He'll do pretty much anything Bubba does!


Once the Art Market opened at noon we went over to the stage area and sat down to watch our friend Fillip play. It was fun hearing live music.



This is when I broke out the peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches....a new favorite at our house!


The kids did really well, but after a while they started wanting to go play on the inflatables that were there. This is where things started to go downhill.


This is the last picture of Owen in his blue and white sunhat...no, no my child is fine and sleeping in the other room as I type this. But his hat is sadly gone! While playing on the inflatables he lost it and Daddy didn't notice and now it's gone. I have the number to the event coordinator so I need to call and see if it got turned into the loss and found after we left, but I'm still mourning it! I know, I know it's a hat!
While the boys were playing Ella and I stayed behind to continue listening to the music, but then I got a call from Michael asking me to come get Jack. Jack wasn't too thrilled about the inflatables either and it was hard for Michael to look after Jack and keep track of Owen running all over the place. So I went and picked up Jack and brought him back to the music area, but we left shortly after that due to both him and Ella having meltdowns.


Owen had so much fun during this time running through the inflatable obstacle course. Jack was so tired, but would not fall asleep in the stroller. Thankfully Ella was fast asleep in the Bjorn or I think I would have really lost it.


When I was finally tired of dealing with Jack and being scorched in the sun we walked over to the booths to look at all the things that were being sold. During this time I had to walk away from Michael and the boys because Owen was screaming about going on the inflatables over and over.

We left shortly after that and headed home for nap time. I think next year we are going to find a spot to sit with the beach umbrella and have some more relaxing time and not try to push it so much. It's all a learning process with this many kids. I know that when I'm tired I'm not happy and neither are they.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sitting Up/Falling Over

I've been trying to get Ella to sit up lately, but she is such a leaner and a back archer it's so hard. She almost instantly arches her back and falls over. The boppy helps by cushioning her fall, but she's just not that interested in sitting up unassisted right now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Skate Park

After nap time on Saturday we decided to get out and enjoy the weather some more. At first we headed down to the beach, but the tide was in so it wasn't very fun so we went over to a locate park instead. Unfortunately we had the boys in shoes that were more suited for sand and not wood chips that were all over the playground. But leave it to boys to come up with a new game.
Thankfully there were no kids actually using the skate park so the boys were able to turn it into their very own balance beam and slide.

First they would run over and climb up on one side...

Then they would walk over to the other side. This was no big deal for Owen. He could practically run over.


Jack on the other hand is our clumsy boy so it took quite a bit of concentration for him to not fall. And he never did fall!!!
He would get pretty excited when he made it across too!

Then they would slide down the ramp and run back and do it all over again. They did this for about 10 minutes and then it was time to go just as two skaters showed up.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Family Photos!

While GG was out here for Pa's birthday we decided to head to Sears and get new family pictures taken.
I think the family photo turned out SO good. Everyone is looking and none of the kids are frowning. I love the little matter of fact look on Ella's face!

Ga-Ga & Pa lookin' good!


It was so fun to include Stephie in our family pics since she will very soon be legally part of our family. Of course we already think of her as family! Don't you love the ring action going on!!!


I love this pictures of us with the exception of Ella's sweet face. She's looks so...unsure! But seriously for an almost 5 month old she did great. The boys did really well!!!



Back at Owen's 2nd birthday pictures we got a picture of just Michael and the boys so we decided to do that again. Love those guys in my life!!


Since we got pictures of the boys we needed pictures of the girls! My sweet angel baby!


And last but not least...GG with all the kids!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Renton River Days Parade...AKA Owen's Worst Nightmare!


Let's go!!!




We got a really good spot...didn't think about bringing chairs, but the curb was fine!



It's so cute how kids can be SO happy even though they have no idea what's going to happen.




Jack didn't know what to think, but he just rolls with it!





Ella was a pretty happy girl!






The balloons were a HUGE hit. After I took this picture the poor guy was swarmed by kids!





After a while I put Ella in the stroller so I could take pictures and help Owen and Jack when they started throwing out candy. She was fine...she had her best friends to keep her busy...her hands!


All ready for the parade to start!



Look mama there are firetrucks...




and Police Motorcycles...



and ambulances...


and firetrucks with huge ladders!


One of the things that surprised me about the parade is how politically driven it was. I think I've only been to two parades in my life so I don't remember seeing political candidates before. It was fun getting to see Dave Reichert.
Jack was having fun the whole time sitting on the curb.


This is right about the time that Owen got nervous. Owen has never liked loud noises so when the firetrucks started sounded there sirens and blowing there horns he started clutching onto Michael and hiding his face.


Then a little while later the garbage trucks came and they were kind of competing with each other using there horns.


That's when Owen got really nervous and started hiding his face, crying and saying he wanted to go home. Michael ended up taking him around the corner away from the noise.



While Michael had Owen around the corner the SeaFair pirates came by and blew off a canon right in front of us. It kind of freaked me out so I'm glad that he wasn't right there for that or he would have really been scarred for life.




After the pirates came by the clowns came out and Jack got to see Woody & Buzz clowns.



My favorite parts of the parade were the couple marching bands. I love the music!



That was the last picture I got because then my camera battery died. Michael and Owen joined us for the last little bit, but then we saw the end of the parade coming and it was the firetrucks again so we decided to leave before that. We tried explaining to him that the noises can't hurt him, but there was nothing we could do to make him feel safe. Next year we are going to bring earplugs so hopefully that will help him not be so freaked out.