Monday, April 27, 2015

Now We Won't Fall Down the Stairs!

The railing is finally installed!  This area has gone through quite the transformation since we first saw it over 5 1/2 years ago.  Here are just the recent photos of this space - the railing really makes it look finished.  Chris did a fantastic job (now I just need to finish caulking and touching up the paint).

Before the riots in Baltimore, I took the kids to the zoo on Monday.  We had a nice day and plan on going back often since we now have a membership.  Here are a few pictures of the visit:

The kids are generally pretty good about playing together.  Here is a picture of them playing with the rice sensory bin.

Finally, Josh is so close to walking but doesn't realize that he can do it yet.  Here's a video of him using his walker and every time he runs into something, he picks up the walker to head the right direction. 


He's fast so I'm sure he'll be running before we know it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Carpet and Critters

It's been a couple weeks since I wrote - we've been doing a lot! 

The big house news was the carpet installation upstairs.  What a difference some carpet makes in this space.  There were quite a few different tiles on the floor up here so it was nice to have a consistent flooring! 

We still have a few things to finish up here - installing the railing, caulking the bathroom, installing the bathroom fixtures, and painting the stairs.  Of course now the weather is warming so we're spending more time playing and working outside instead.  Maybe a rainy day will force us to finish so we can post some real before/after pictures.

I took the kids down to DC last week with some friends to look at the cherry blossoms.  We had a good time with a picnic and even stopped by the Air and Space Museum too.  It was great!

One thing that comes with warm weather is critters (and bugs and snakes) coming out.  Unfortunately, a baby rat snake found it's way into our basement.  I was able to take care of it (and in the process probably made Chris happy I'm not squeamish). 

We also had a lot of ants show up on our porch and patio - at least they're staying outside for now!

One other fun thing we did was to travel up to Penn State for the Blue-White game over the weekend.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures of the day but the kids had fun (particularly the Creamery ice cream!). 

Hopefully we'll have a lot more to show next week!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Josh's First Birthday and Happy Easter!

We had quite a day of celebrating on Sunday.  It was not only Easter but also Josh's first birthday.  We traveled to Ohio to spend the weekend with Chris' family. 

The kids had a lot of fun being with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  Not to mention the Easter baskets and egg hunt!


Josh had his first taste of cake.  Initially, he wasn't so happy about it but it grew on him.


During our trip, we visited the zoo at Oglebay for an Easter treasure hunt.  Samantha had a great time!  Of course the only good picture of her we got was with the goats.

One other thing Samantha enjoyed was playing with toys that Chris played with as a boy.  Here she has lined up all the dinosaurs on a "sidewalk" she built.  

A couple things at the house this week included getting (and spreading some) mulch...

...and removing this lovely railing upstairs.

Finally, our church hosted an egg hunt this morning and the kids actually went for a photo with the Easter bunny.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Almost Done...

We were able to finish up a lot of the bathroom this week.  The shower and floor are grouted and the vanity, lights, shelves, and toilet are all in place. 

I moved a ton of stuff downstairs that was not necessary for the remaining work.  It gave Chris plenty of space to install most of the trim.  Hopefully we'll be able to caulk and touch up the paint this week.

While Chris installed the trim, I took the kids to an egg hunt.  Samantha loved it and even Josh was able to collect several eggs for his bucket.  They did a nice job with crafts, cookie decorating, face painting, and even a couple moon bounces.

We also had an egg hunt today with my MOPS group.  Josh's face says it all - it was a blast!

Last week we hosted a St. Patrick's Day play date (a week late) with some friends.  Samantha loved the Irish music and requested it for many days afterwards.  Josh was a happy little leprechaun too.

Samantha had so much fun during the play date but wasn't so thrilled about the green mustache and goatee!  

I'll end with a couple pictures from the week.  Josh really enjoys knocking things down so Samantha and I started to build towers with yogurt containers.  Most of the time he'd only let us get two stacked but we finally made one almost to the ceiling (he loved knocking that one down!).

Samantha has been coloring a lot lately.  When the crayons are left unattended, Josh makes a beeline for them.  Unfortunately, one of these times was while I was getting dinner started.  He nibbled on quite a few colors before I realized why he was so quiet.  Little stinker!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Major Progress

We've been working hard to finish the upstairs - it always takes longer than we anticipate.  We were able to finish up a lot though.  The doors have been installed, the lights are installed, and the electricity is turned on.  The biggest progress though is the tiling in the shower and on the floor. 

I still have to grout the floor but overall it's a big improvement from what it looked like when we bought the place:

The work still to be done includes installing all the bathroom fixtures, installing trim, installing the railing, touching up drywall and paint, installing carpet, and painting the stairs.  It'll still be at least a couple weeks - just in time for it to get nice outside.

It has been warm a few days so the kids have been going outside with Chris when he gets home - and they love it!  It's been a long winter.

Josh has been more active lately - he loves jumping on the couch when Daddy is coming home.

And here he's trying to cut one of Samantha's princesses with a plastic knife - we'll have to watch this little guy! 

We had a big snow last week and tried to play in it.  Unfortunately, it was a little too deep for the kids to do much. 

I'll end with some pictures from the science center.  Samantha's friend was turning 3 so we all went to celebrate.  Josh loved the water table and Samantha really enjoyed building towers and playing in the undersea area. 

Hopefully next week we'll have plenty to show for the upstairs!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Small Accomplishments

We accomplished some small things upstairs this weekend.  There are a couple big tasks left to finish the upstairs and a lot of small ones. 

We installed backer board on the floor, installed the first part of the shower base, installed some lights, installed a door, and sanded the stairs.

The shower base requires some more work before we can put the backer board in the shower.  We should be able to start tiling this coming weekend.  We had a couple issues with some of the lighting but nothing that can't be easily fixed with a trip to Lowe's.  The stairs will be painted as one of the last things to happen.  At least the sanding is done so we have very little dusty work left.

There's not much else to write about this week so I'll just end with a couple cute pictures of the kids.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow, Snow, Snow

We had some cold temperatures and a lot of snow this week. 

Samantha had fun playing in the snow and helping Daddy shovel off the driveway a couple times.  Our snow Saturday was almost 9 inches deep so the pile of snow next to the driveway was fun for Samantha to climb over. 

Sunday was really warm so we put on our rain boots and went for a walk.  Of course Samantha loved playing in the puddles.

Our house work for the week was finishing the drywall and painting in the upstairs closet (there were a lot of corners!).  Chris also finished up the drywall in the bathroom (with the exception of near the shower).  I was able to finish painting the railing parts and all the doors.  We should be able to finish painting the bathroom and putting down the backer board for the tile too. 

I did a little extra painting this weekend.  A friend in my book club celebrated her 60th birthday with a painting party.  We painted "Aurora Through the Trees" and had a lot of fun.  I'm not an artist but I think I did alright - Samantha was able to describe the painting when I showed it to her!

Now for a few kid things from the week. 

Samantha is starting to improve her drawing and coloring.  Here is a picture she drew of Josh - his head is the small scribble on the right and his arms/hands go up and down instead of to the sides.  

She was really proud of the Mardi Gras mask she made.

Overall Samantha is a pretty good eater but every once in awhile she starts playing with her food once she's full.  Here's what she did with her clementine and cereal this week.

And she enjoys building towers every time she plays with blocks.  Future architect?

Josh likes getting into everything possible.  One of his favorites is storming the castle.  One day he pulled himself up, threw all the princes on the ground, picked up a princess and started chewing on her head.  He looked like a mini-King Kong.  

During all the snow shoveling outside, he really likes sitting on the couch with me watching all the activity.

Hopefully we'll be able to get a lot accomplished upstairs this week - we can't wait to move the furniture out of the basement!