Chad, Jessica, Jet and Aijiahlyn

Saturday, July 27, 2013

While Hubby's Away

What do you do when your husband earns a 3 1/2 day Alaskan fishing trip?  You pretend you're on vacation too....well, at least you figure that's the best way to do it 1/2 way through.

I originially thought I would have the dining room all beautified and complete by the time he got home, with a chalkboard wall (with an amazingly beautiful quote in the perfect font), new chairs, a table runner and perhaps a clock.  Well, I COULD have done that, but it would have involved ignoring Jet and Aijah more than they deserved.  C'mon, their dad is gone, the last they need is a busy, frantic mom saying, "Don't touch that, the paint is still wet," "I'm almost done, we can play later." etc etc.  So, I decided that I would focus on doing fun things with the kids.  We managed to...

-hike Mt. Baldy (up one way, down the other, back up another way, and back down the original way (I didn't drive 25 minutes to hike for 1 mile, no way, and unfortunately Jet was worn out after the first hike, but I was selfish and made him do the rest.  He did it.  I tried every inspirational idea I could muster.  At one point, I gave him a piggy-back while Aijah was in the Bjorn.  It wasn't that bad, but Jet didn't like it.  Boo.  I wanted to feel like Little Miss Powerhouse.  I'll never know how tired his legs really were, but he got back to his old self once we were in the shade going downhill, for the most part.)
-Have a pool party with some friends from church
-Pick lots of blackberries
-Run through the EWEB fountains
-Have 2 picnics
-Have a super fun night with Grandma, watering plants, reading books and eating strawberry shortcakes
-Go farther than we ever have at "the place with the hills," along with the dogs, who are always ridiculously giddy there.
-Jared and Hailey watched Aijah so I could take Jet to see The Kroods.  Going to the movies is a rare treat these days (that's a big chunk of time for babysitting etc) , and I probably enjoyed it more than Jet.  lol.
-Run some pretty lame was when I was in "dining room mode"

It was just some good, relaxed times.  All I told myself was, "keep up with the house, that's it."  It was vacation in a way.  I didn't have to cook for Chad ( I'm happy just picking through the fridge, concocting as I go), or do his laundry, or tell him to pick up this or that.  I only made the bed once.  Give me a blanket and I'm good.  Normally, I put more on top of my plate, because really, you have to.  There is just more to do.  But, I put it on the back burner and focused on being a little more chill and making sure Jet and Aijah got some good lovin'.  It was good bonding time.  I learned, well relearned, the best way for me to bond with Jet, is to just be silly.  It doesn't matter what we're doing.  I LOVE shopping with him because I just talk silliness to the kid most of the time.  I did this ever since he was a baby.  It's so fun.  Accents come out, giggles abound.  Sometimes I'll play the snob, or the grouchy old lady, or stuffy old man, or Gloria from Modern Family, or just be loopy.  I forget to do this sometimes because I'm stressed and in a time crunch, and it's lame.  Why not make it fun?  When Chad comes with us, he thinks my voices are a wee bit annoying.  SOWRY!  We's just bees havins some fun.  Ah ha ha!  Daddy thinks I'm      

Unfortunately, this morning, it was back to real life.  But, I'm working into it.  Got Jet's room a little more organized.  I asleep for 20 minutes while Aijah and Jet were playing.  Whoopsee.  Hurrah, Aijah didn't choke on anything, she's ALIVE!!!  Thank GOODNESS!

Why is the "don't want to do list" so long lately?  Ug.  One thing at time.  Chop away.  Chop.  Chop.  CHOP!!!!!!!  I'm sick of chopping.  See?  I'm still in vacation mentality.  Chad now has to work for 9 days straight.  Lovely.  Anyone want to take Jet shopping with them?  I promise he'll make you laugh.  : )

Thursday, July 11, 2013


 We have managed to fit in some adventures over the past few months.  First, Aijahlyn and me at the "park with the big hills."  After a 1/4 mile walk, there are some hills we always run down, over and over. 

 Here we are, mid-downhill.  Obviously, she loved it.  Normally, Jet comes too.  I can't remember why it was just Aijah, the dogs, and me.

 This was a great outing.  It was in the late Spring, on a day that felt like Summer.    We rocked that tire swing.  Aijah picked a lot of grass.  : )

 Bless you!

 Found an earlier pic of the kitchen.  NBA
Tried a new spot.  GREAT!  I posted a city map in Jet's room, and we are writing down where we have been.  So far, we have been to 5 new spots.  Very proud of us.  He's always been my adventure buddy, and now Aijah is too.

I have been wanting to hike Spencer's Butte for a long time.  I told Jet I would take him once my knee felt better.  Well, I mentioned it a little too soon one morning, and I committed to it before I really should have.  I wasn't sure he could do it (I hadn't been for years, so I didn't remember how hard it was or wasn't), and it was getting hot fast, and it's a big chunk of time.  Well, I told him I would, so we did.  He did awesome!'s REALLY rocky at the top with serious drop-offs, not the safest place.  Ooops, bad mommy.  We went slow at that part.  Honestly, we just had to concentrate on one step at a time, or it would have felt like it was too far and too overwhelming trying to keep us all safe.  But, we did it.  We felt like such studs at the top.  I'm still so proud of him.  Aijah fell asleep on the way down.  It was a bit brutal on the recouping knee, but it was worth it.  He has total bragging rights now.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kitchen Pics

All these pics start when we were already had taken the center wall from the house, and are taken over the course of several weeks.  Above, the peninsula is out, and Chad is demolishing the bulkhead.  And yes, we are great parents and kept Aijah there for a few minutes.  eek.
 Then we had to take down ALL the sheet-rock.  Chad and yours truly on duty.  This is where all the loads to the dump came in.  Piles and piles.  Where the dark couch is, there used to be a wall, from the far edge of the couch, to the metal wall.
 This was the kitchen for a few weeks.  That range wasn't operational.  The fridge was in the garage for weeks.
This is a few weeks later.  The main "kitchen" had been moved to the living room for another few weeks.  
 Some cabinets in.  New fridge actually in the house.
Here is the "cooking station."  Griddle, which Dakota would try to lick clean if I didn't keep the plates turned over.  Ug.  Toaster that only works if you still a rice-cooker spoon in it (thanks Miss Congeniality for the idea, worked like a charm).  Garbage and recycle.  Little dresser for towels, utensils, and a bread drawer.  Chad was living off homemade burritos and sandwiches in his lunch.  Mostly, things that could be packed in a baggy he could throw away, so I didn't have more dishes to do in the bathtub.  Several weeks without a kitchen sink.  Only a week w/o sinks in general.  Brushing teeth using the bathtub just feels wrong.   The place we got the granite, has a special deal where you get free granite for your bathrooms, minus install ofcourse we took advantage of that...but, just more to do on top of it all.  Then when the granite was in, it made everything else look bad, so I had to repaint the bathroom.  Then the windowsill was terrible, but I noticed all the sills in the house were bad, so might as well do them all while the supplies are out.  
 Finally, a kitchen-ISH.  A sink!  A SINK!!!!   A range!!!!  No more griddle.  During our weeks of griddling, I did manage to make soup in a pot on top of the griddle, but oi, we'll pretend it didn't take an hour.  A pot on a griddle only gets to about a medium-low heat.  Torture. 

Getting there.  At least the kitchen is very usable at this point.  So lovely!!!  So excited to get bar stools, and have floating shelves.  Still have to install, backsplash, pendants, rangehood, appliances, floor and some more.  Always more.  More, more more.  But honestly, we're over the hump.

OH MY GOSH.  Talk about your life being turned upside down.  This has been a challenge.  It has been 2 months.  I'm finally starting to feel like myself.  It just stinks when a big part of your life, (cooking for everyone in your house) turns into total chaos, and there is this constant project hanging over your head, and there is only so much you can do, there is only so much other people can do at certain times, and on and on. 

Somewhere in the middle of it I told myself, well, if I work REALLY hard on the rest of the house during this, then the whole house will be in great shape when this is done.  Bad idea.  Then I went even more crazy, feeling like there was too much to do all the time, and basic needs of every one were getting neglected.  So, I had to pull back and say, life is just gonna be about taking care of each other during this situation.  I don't need to be adding more to the plate in an effort to gain more order in other parts of the house.  Let's just focus on this right now.  So, we started doing more fun things, and went on some adventures, and the house just was a disaster.  That worked for awhile.  Then, the disaster was overwhelming.  People would stop by to see the progress of the house, and it would be a  embarrassing because of the mess.  Piles of various projects here and there; piles of floorboards, piles of items from Jerry's, dishes everywhere, Jet's robots everywhere, furniture in weird places, baby playpen and exersaucer in the middle of the living room etc. 

Needless to say, my life the past 2 months has been all about, what else do we have to get done?  What's next?  What do I have to get ready?  What do I have to clean?  What to I have to get out of the way?  This weekend, I couldn't even relax very well, because I've been in this constant, MUST-GET-STUFF-DONE mode.  But yesterday, after I got most of the whole house clean, and I was able to make a meal for my family, and take a shower and stretch and have fun with our kids, I felt great.  I remembered what it's like to just live like I used to.  It also helped reading my old blogs.  They helped me remember how I was before all this.    Oh yeah, I used to be fun, and not a stressed dorkwad.  I was so glad that I had written those blogs.  It feels so good having this project coming to an end.