Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vacation Part 4: Project!!

What happens when you put two ambitious women in the same house for 2 weeks, one with a stylistic vision and the other with a credit card, and nothing to do but watch and entertain a bunch of little kids?

Redecorate the bathroom and hall!

The project consisted of stripping the wallpaper, scrubbing the paste off, spackling, sanding the spackle, masking the woodwork, painting the walls (3 colors) and the ceiling, selecting and installing a mirror, light fixtures, switchplates, drawer pulls, and lastly cleanup.

Total Cost: $250
Time: 4 days
Trips to the hardware store: 5

Mom trusted my vision of what would be a good look for the bathroom, took the leap of faith on some new, vibrant colors, and on painting the oak bathroom cabinet, and it turned out great!

(circa 1995)






Friday, June 25, 2010

Vacation Part 3: Tired

25 ft of nylon rope: $10
1 old tire: Free
add 1 ash tree plus 25 years=
Years of fun and many more miles: Priceless!

Vacation Part 2: Monkeys and Manatees

Brookfield Zoo. We saw so many animals. We especially enjoyed the monkeys jumping and swinging, catching grapes in their mouth from 30 feet away, and playing in the hay. Leah liked the big cats. I enjoyed the underwater viewing of the manatees and seals. The kids also enjoyed the carousel. Samuel slept through half of the day! While Mom, Dad, Frank and the littlest ones got stuck in the giraffe house, Daniel, Leah and I had an adventure getting to the train station during a thunderstorm. The kids wanted to experience a train ride home. A good samaratin drove us to the station, but just crossing the street we got totally drenched. I've forgotten about the spontanous, violent storms and the torrential rain!

At home, my kids were "monkeys" climbing in Grandma's backyard, and then "manatees" swimming in the pool. This is the life!

Vacation Part 1: Cousins!

Morten Arboretum
Park with Paul

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Feat for Four

About once every couple of years I get an itch to hike the Y. I keep forgetting how steep and uneventful a climb it is. To satisfy Leah's desire to "go on a mountain," and hearing her comment along the lines that a walk at Bridal Veil Falls isn't mountainous enough, I decided she needed to hike the Y, too.

We can see the Y from our house, and she agreed that it would be cool to go that high. We got her some real walking shoes (with laces!) specifically for the trek. (And she wore those pink sketchers for 48 hours straight after getting them). We had countless conversations about how it would be hard, but that we would keep going. We are trying to teach her the idea of working hard to accomplish a goal. As for me, I am trying to train myself that having little kids doesn’t have to stop me from doing hard and adventurous things like this.

Well, Memorial Day was the day that did not get rained out. Honestly, I thought we would turn around half way up. But we pushed ourselves and we encouraged Leah to push herself, and we made it all the way to the top! We had to pace her with a 30-second break at each switchback, but as we got close enough to see the Y, she renewed her excitement at being so close to our goal. Now she can look at the Y and know that she walked there!

Unfortunately, the kids were grumpy the whole way down and Chris had to carry Leah on his shoulders. I had Samuel in a too-small carrier on my back the whole way (30 extra pounds makes a big difference), and he fell asleep on the way down. I have to say going down was nearly as hard as going up as my legs were tired and shaky and I didn't have a lot of traction on the steep, dry dirt/gravel trail. I even got some war wounds-I turned my ankle and skinned my knee on the way down.

Here are some pictures to prove that we really did it! (Note the grumpy children hiking/not grumpy children eating ice cream)

Three quarters of the way up.

At the top.

Chris and Leah climbing on the rocks.

Chris rubbed his cone on his face, too. Happy Memorial Day!