Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Temple of Doom

I was going to lump these pictures in with some pictures I took last weekend, but….really 652 Lego pieces deserves it’s own post.

Mom got Cade the Indiana Jones Temple of Doom set for his birthday. She gave it to him on Friday evening, before we headed to Branson. He salivated over the thought of playing with it the entire weekend. Jay told him that he would help him Sunday evening, but he had to go to the school for a bit Sunday afternoon.

This is where my memory gets a little fuzzy….I know I took a nap that afternoon but I’m not sure if I was asleep when he did this or if I was awake. I’m not too sure I didn’t sit there in a stupor and watch him do it, but I just can’t remember.

He opened every bag and dumped out every piece. When Jay got home and saw the mess he asked me why I let him do it. Uhm…I really don’t know why I didn’t make him stop. I guess I didn’t see what was so bad about 652 Legos covering my family room floor?

Needless to say there was some heavy duty Lego building going on in our household that evening. Luckily I managed to screw up enough of the little sets from the generic box of Legos that I’m not required to help build these things. Actually, I don’t think either one of them even considered the possibility that I could help. Since I’m still a little stung from Jay laughing over an airplane several years ago – that was fine with me.

You should’ve heard Jay when he reached the end of instruction booklet #1. He thought he was in serious trouble. Then he realized there was a book #2, which was just as thick as book #1. About the same thickness as your average appliance instruction booklet. Jay couldn’t sleep Sunday night so he stayed up until midnight trying to get it finished.  Monday morning Jay had to leave early. I woke Cade up a little earlier so he could play with it. He went straight to the same scene in the movie so he could watch it and play with the toy at the same time.

Right now all three of us are too scared to move it, so it’s still in front on the TV. Not exactly sure where the permanent home of The Temple of Doom is going to be….It may still be in the same spot on his 9th Birthday.  Oh and that red bucket behind Cade in picture's got about 20 leftover pieces.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Plans and Blueprints

I've got several different posts rolling around in my head, but this happened on the way home a few minutes ago.  I had to post this instead, mostly for our on memory.

Cade is obsessed with dates right now.  He's constantly asking how old we were in different years, what year we were married, what year we were born, how old would he be if he was born in X year, etc.  Tonight he asked one of his favorites with a different twist.  He wanted to know when we were married but then he said he knew when we were married, he wanted to know what season it was.  I explained to him it was December 18 so it was one week before Christmas.  We talked a little bit about having a winter wedding vs a summer wedding and stuff.  Then he said "I know what I'm going to get you for your anniversary".  Thinking it would be something like a card or something along those lines I asked him what he was thinking he'd get us.  He was quiet for a minute and then he said he didn't want to tell me.  I said that was fine and I understood.  Then he says (completely serious)....

 "I also need to draw the plans up first.  Actually if you knew of a place I could have blueprints drawn that would be the best"

Unfortunately we arrived at our mailbox at that moment and he got distracted from his plans by a shiny advertisement for Dish.  He then started  a conversation about why he thinks DirecTV is better than Dish.  Of course my interest in the gift idea went from being "oh how cute" to "what in the heck is he imagining ".  Maybe someday, when he has access to blueprints, I'll finally know.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Green Room - Part 1

I didn't put anything on the blog after we got the call last month.  Mostly I just didn't have time.  Once we got back I didn't feel like it for obvious reasons.  Now that we've gotten farther away from that time in our lives I've felt like showing you a little of what those days were like.  For those of you who have biological kids think back to all the work you did in the 9 months before they were born.  Yeah, we had to cram all of that into one weekend.  It was absolutely crazy around our house. 

We got the call on Wednesday, February 10th.  The baby was due any day.  We spent the next couple of days in shock.  We didn't get much done except for trying to come up with a game plan for that weekend.  On that Friday evening Jay and I went shopping for new bedroom furniture for Cade.  We managed to find what we wanted but we didn't commit to buying it yet.  We still wanted to look a few more places.  We also ended up in the baby section of Macy's.  It was the first time in years I willingly looked at baby things.  We ended up buying a couple of outfits.

On Saturday Sharon came over and the real work started.  We had to take the green room and turn it into a nursery.  We were about 2 weeks shy of being in our house for 5 years. You can imagine what the spare room looked like after serving as a storage room/playroom for 5 years.

The color of this room looks off in the pictures.  It more of a lime green, instead of an olive green.
Here’s the closet…it looks innocent enough.

By Sunday morning this is what it looked like. Remember that innocent looking closet? This is what it turned in to. All I could do Sunday morning was wonder around saying “I don’t know where to start” That afternoon my friend Sandra and I went shopping for baby things. She really helped me mentally sort through what we needed now and what could wait. It was a lot of fun buying stuff that I had avoided for years.

The mess moved into Cade's room....
and our room...
and the family room.  Seriously, where did all this stuff come from???

Luckily Monday was President’s Day, which meant I was off work. I spent the day trying to finish the paint in the room and getting it in order. I’m not one to ask for help, especially in my home, but I got desperate Monday evening. We needed some serious help to get everything done before we were supposed to leave Tuesday morning. Lyle came over to help Jay move some furniture and Jania came with him. I’m sure Jania got into more than she planned, but she really helped us out. She ended up folding some laundry and packed up the baby stuff for us. About the time they were ready to leave Jim and Sharon got here. They helped us finish getting things together. It was great to have so much help. There’s no way we could’ve left with our house being back to normal if we hadn’t had all the help we did. When we left Tuesday morning everything was back in place, but it wasn’t clean, but it was when we got home. Leslie arranged for us to have someone clean our house while we were gone. I thought that it would be great to come home to a clean house with a baby…I actually think it meant more to come home to the clean house when we didn’t get a baby. It was nice to come home that weekend and focusing on getting back to normal instead of cleaning the house.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Crazy Eights

I hope the other 362 days before his 9th birthday aren’t as crazy as the first three. It all started on Thursday, the 18th (my birthday). He woke me up around midnight to wish me Happy Birthday tell me that his stomach hurt. I’m not convinced that he knows the difference between nausea and cramps because we went back and forth. I’d try to get him to explain how he felt – one minute it sounded like nausea them it sounded like cramps. Whatever it was, it made for one long night in our household. The next morning he went to stay with MeMo and Papa Jim to recover from whatever he had. When Jay and I got to their house Thursday evening Cade was running a fever and did not look good.

Later on Thursday night he perked up, but we still thought it was for the best to cancel the sleepover. He was disappointed, but we promised to make it up to him. We told him we’d take him to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It was coming out Friday night. We also knew that we had to cancel the party because we couldn’t send him to school on Friday even if he did seem to be feeling better. On Friday he got to hang out with MeMo again, but he was about 99% back to normal. Thank Goodness!!! I’ve talked to some other people who’ve had this and I think it does consist of nausea and cramping. As dramatic as Cade was Thursday morning, I’m guessing he had both too.

On Saturday things started looking not so good for his Sunday afternoon family party. We had the worst March weather I can remember in my 33 years. Saturday started with a nasty rain and it progressed to freezing something and then into snow. I think we got around 6 inches Saturday into Sunday. Then Sunday morning it started raining again which turned the snow into a slushy mess.

Did I mention we planned to grill for Cade’s party? Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of Jay and Terry at the grill, but it was funny. Two guys standing over a grill with a nasty white mess all around them. Definitely not what you’d expect on March 21st.

Because of the weather not every one made it to the party, but we still had a good time. Thanks to Terry, MeMo and Papa Jim for sticking it out and trying to make it good. Cade was so excited for this party – he even made some of his own decorations Sunday. Even though he knew the weather was bad, he was still pretty disappointed that not every one could be here….he is only 8 after all….

In keeping with the tradition set by the 6th Civil War party, Jim and Sharon came in costume. There was a loud banging on our door, with Jim yelling for Indiana Jones. He said that someone had Marion and that Indiana needed to free her. Sharon appeared as Marion from Raiders of the Lost Ark wearing a white dress – her wedding dress! Behind her was Terry carrying the Ark solo (Megan was on a school trip). Luckily Indiana jumped up and helped Terry so no one touched the ark. That would’ve killed the party mood!

Even though it was a small group we still had a good time and I’m sure Cade will always remember his 8th birthday….I know Jay and I will always remember it!

As usual Janella did a great job with the cake.

Here is one of Cade's decorations.  He used pillow stuffing to make spider webs.  He also made some signs warning us not to step on the diamond shaped squares. 
Here's Jay's crepe paper version of jungle vines

Terry and Cade with the Ark

Here's Marion after Indiana saved her

The older Indiana with his purse  bag

The older Indiana and Marion.  Guess who got to keep the whip?

The party guests

Eight Candles on the Cake

The wax hadn't even dried before Cade started taking the toys off the cake.

This was the present from Uncle Terry and Aunt Megan - a Castle Dig.  It's been a big hit, and it wasn't even an "assigned" gift.    Last night Cade got covered in dust.  It was pretty cute.

And I'd like to thank Terry and Megan for the layer of dust covering our kitchen table!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

See What I Got...

Guess I should's the flowers not the calendar with the bunny on top!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beds, Parties and Cribs...

We finally got the parts to Cade’s bed last Tuesday. We still don’t have the chest and nightstand, but at least we have the bed. He’s no longer sleeping on the floor and I was able to get his toys put away. This new bed is a captains bed and it is huge. It’s supposed to have a library headboard where Cade planned on keeping some of his Lego Model treasures. Either the bed in the store didn’t have a box spring or Cade’s mattress is really tall because we can’t see the headboard. So far Cade is really pleased with the bed. It has a total of 8 drawers and two cubby holes. It also has a door on the end. He’s discovered he can crawl in that door and hide under the bed. I tried to not store anything in that part because he was so excited about that little hiding area. I’m not sure you can tell by the pictures, but the bed is taking over the whole room. I have no idea what it will look like when we finally get the other furniture pieces.
Another big diversion around our house the last few weeks has been Cade’s upcoming birthday. Jay and I are being really brave and we’ve invited 5 boys over on Friday night. Due to our girls basketball team going to the Final Four I think only three of the boys will be at the party. Still, a total of 4 seven/eight year olds in our house will be plenty. Cade wants to do an Indiana Jones treasure hunt. Jay and I aren’t quite sure what we are going to do, so we’ve been thinking on that for the past week. We’ve got to get something nailed down tonight. I told Cade the weather might not cooperate so we’d be inside and I didn’t know if the treasure hunt would work. He was disappointed with that answer so we’ll be pulling a treasure hunt together tonight.

His big family party will be Sunday afternoon. Out of his other 7 parties only two have them have been decent weather. I think this Sunday may hold the record for being the nastiest day ever for his March party – they are even calling for snow!!! Seems like I remember things being a whole lot warmer on my birthday when I was a kid. One year I wore shorts. I think this year I’ll be in a turtleneck!!! We are looking forward to the big get together. Hopefully everyone in the family has found their “assigned” gifts…ha ha.

Other than the party and regular school stuff – Cade seems to be handling everything ok. We’ve finally got the ok from him to take down the crib a couple of weeks ago. Due to us moving all of his toys into the spare room to make room for the new bed we weren’t able to put up we didn’t have enough room to take the crib down. Now that the toys are cleared out of the way were still debating where we are going to put the crib. I know that there are at least three basements where we could store it, but we aren’t sure we want to do that. We still have high hopes of using it someday and we don’t want it to be ruined. In some ways I think I’m dragging my feet because taking it down seems so final. I was so ready to take it down and get the room back to normal but the day we moved the couch in was hard. We ended up pushing the couch to one side of the room and the crib to the other. I just wasn’t quite ready to let it go. I don’t know that I’m any more ready now so it’s hard to know what to do. Something about it feels so final…like I’ll never see it again… or like we are giving up…

But I don’t want the other parents walking back there Friday night and wondering if we’re looney because we have a crib and obviously no baby. Also, Cade in his 7 year old innocence, suggested that one of the smaller boys coming Friday night could sleep in the crib. Yeah, I guess it’s time to take it down.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Jay's Project

 Jay's always had a dream of owning a Hawaiian Ice business. Every time he would taste the sticky sweet goodness he'd bring up his business idea again. Around the first of the year he started getting a little more serious about this idea. He just happened onto the deal of the century on e-bay around January 11. After kicking the idea around and talking to Alven, the guy who had it for sell, Jay decided to bid on it. On Sunday, January 17 we had a stressful moment at our house. Jay was intently watching the bidding process for the beauty below. Unfortunately Jay was out bid by just a few dollars. Alven called to see if it was Jay who won. Jay told him it wasn't, but if something fell through with the sell to let him know. Jay was pretty disappointed over the next 24 hours. Then his life changed - on Tuesday, January 19 he got a phone call from Alven. The buyer couldn't get all the money together, he wanted to know if we were interested. That next weekend Jay and I made the 14 hour round trip journey to Champaign, Illinois to look over the trailer and purchase it.

We also got to meet one of the highest energy individuals we've ever seen. Alven gave us about an hour long crash course in how to operate your Hawaiian Ice business. He was spouting off instructions right and left. I was trying to write them down. It was a lot of information all at once! Alven was selling the trailer because his business was so good he opened a store front for the Hawaiian Ice. He also owns his own popcorn business where he sells gourmet popcorn. He was a very interesting man.

Once we got the trailer home Jay started working it over some. Structurally it was good, cosmetically not so good. Since our favorite color is red we decided to re-paint it. Jay also had to do some work on the floor so he put down new black tile. There are also a few other changes we had to make to get it in line with the Missouri Heath Department Codes. I guess in Illinois they don't have flies because Alven wasn't required to have a sliding screen. Those crazy Illinois laws are still haunting us.....

I'm learning how to become the master mixer of Hawaiian Ice flavors. I mixed up a couple of batches a few weeks ago and those turned out great. Tuesday night I tried out the rest of the flavors and that didn't turn out great. I'm going to toss them and start over. I tried doing it the way Alven told us he did it. Apparently that works for Hawaiian Ice Masters and not novices. I think I need more experience before I try it his way again.  That night Jay shaved some ice and we tried a bite full of all the flavors.  Some day if we become diabetic we'll probably blame it on this business venture.  You add 2 3/4 cups of sugar to 2 quarts of water.  Talk about a sugar rush!

Alven has called Jay a couple of times about some events in Illinois. I think he wants us to come because we could help each other out...his salty popcorn would draw in the customers for us. He is going to get back to us once he has more information. We have also got some events lined up for May and June. This should be an interesting summer for us. I think once we make our first million I'll quit my job and start selling it full time!!

Oh, just so you'll know we are selling Hawaiian Ice...not icees, not snow cones, it's a Hawaiian Ice trailer. There is a distinct difference according to Alven. With Hawaiian Ice you get a light fluffy product that has good flavor all the way through. So those of you who didn't know the difference - now you do!!!

Before pictures.  I wish I had gotten some inside pictures, but I don't think I did.

Here is the finished product.  Once we get the inside finished and cleaned up I'll post some of those pictures.

If anyone can think of a good name let me know.  I'll give you free drinks for a year!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

My New Hobby

I’ll try to spend some time this week detailing how each of us is doing and how we are keeping busy. Really, we are doing ok. Nobody is curled up in a corner rocking back and forth, but keeping busy is a way for us to cope and to make sure that we don’t end up in a corner somewhere. Last week I did have a few days where I felt a little weepy for about 10 minutes but then it passed. One morning I decided that I wanted to get out the new dish towels and wash cloths I had bought to use in the hotel room for the baby bottles. When we first got back I put them away with the baby things because I couldn’t look at them. Last week I ran out of clean kitchen wash clothes so I decided to get one of those out. The tub they were in was stuck in the closet and there was no way I was going to be able to get to it unless I pulled everything out. That situation ended up with me crying – I think part of it was the frustration from the tub being stuck, but it caused the other emotions to let loose. After a few minutes I was pretty much back to normal. Last night though I decided it was time to really try to dig the towels out. Mine are really looking gross. I calmly went to the room and got the tub out. This time there were no tears, but I had to tell myself to not think about it, don’t look at the stuff, just grab what I needed and get out of there. I’ve learned that I really have to be in the right frame of mind before I attempt to get stuff out of that closet otherwise it turns into a disaster. I think that’s part of grieving/coping – you have to learn what works for you and what allows you to deal with the situation.

So back to how I’m staying busy – I’ve decided to take up sewing. I took Home Ec my HS Freshmen year and I hated it. I really hated the sewing part. It gave me tension headaches. so once I got my shirt and shorts finished I never touched a machine again. Lately I had been thinking it would be nice to know how to make a few things. I really started thinking about it once I decided we needed new kitchen curtains. I’ve looked several places at different times and never found a style that suited me. Finally it hit me, I could solve two problems at once – my need for a hobby and my need for new curtains. I decided to sew them myself.

Two Saturday’s ago mom and I went to a fabric store in Springfield. It was like heaven. There were so many colors and choices and options – I wanted it all. Finally I settled on a fabric and I bought 7 yards of it. It came on an enormous roll that barely fit in my car. Then we headed to Hobby Lobby and bought the other supplies that I needed to sew. I was set. I got home that night and I quickly whipped up a practice curtain for our utility room. I decided to wait on the big roll of fabric though until this past weekend. I wanted mom to help me. With mom’s help I got the new curtains made on Saturday. Yesterday, I got up at 6:30 am because I was so excited. I wanted to get them ironed and hung before we left for church. I’ve got a few other sewing disaster stories to tell you about, but I’ll wait. This post is already long and I want to add pictures of the final product. I’ve got to go to Springfield tomorrow and I’m planning on going back to the store. I’ve got an idea for a couple of other projects.

Here is a before shot.  Just kind of plain.  When I took these down though I couldn't beleive how much the yellow had faded, but they were 5 years old.

Here are the new ones.  The yellow is a little brighter than it looks in this picture.  I took these at 5:30 am and I realized you can see my reflection in the window.  Ignore the crazy morning hair!!!

No, I'm not trying to turn my cabinet into a jungle.  I worked over my houseplants yesterday and I'm hoping those shoots will grow some new roots.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Propane Incident of 2010

We had a wild 24 hours in our house Sunday night to Monday night. It is one of those things that I can laugh about now…..Monday night not so much.

Yesterday I wasn't feeling the greatest. I couldn't wait to get home. I beat Jay and Cade to the house so I stretched out on the couch for a few minutes. Jay called and said that Cade's chest and nightstand wouldn't be available until March 19th, but the bed was in. Since the poor kid has been sleeping on a box springs and mattress directly on the floor we decided to head to Springfield to get the bed. That required me to get off the couch and make myself somewhat presentable to go back out. That's when I realized that the house was freezing. I looked at the thermostat and it read 62 degrees. Great! A broken furnace was the last thing I wanted to deal with. Since we had just got propane the end of January I thought there was no way that could be the problem….

Jay slowed to a crawl and pushed Cade out of the truck (maybe a slight exaggeration) so he could go feed before we left. Cade was to move all of the toys from his room to the "We Strongly Dislike Illinois" room (formerly known as the green room) so the new bed could be put together. That meant that #1. I had to help Cade to keep him on task otherwise the toys never would've made it to the "Illinois" room and #2 the calm serenity that was in the "Illinois" room was replaced with utter chaos….like it had been for the past 5 years. All of this was done while I was not feeling well and couldn't wait to talk to Jay about the heating issue.

In the meantime, while waiting on Jay to finally finish feeding, Cade and I opened a package of Hawaiian Ice flavors (Jay's new family project). I was taking the bottles out of the box and handing them to Cade. Cade said "Hey, some of that got on me". Yes, two of the bottles leaked in the box. Our hands were stained bright yellow from the Pina Colada mix. I was wearing a brand new cream colored sweater so I quickly looked down. The way my day had been going I figured the front of it would've been stained. Whew, I thought I had really lucked out…

Jay finally made it home so I tried to catch him before he walked out to also feed Buttons, but I missed him. THEN I missed him again when he walked the trash out to the road. Do you ever feel like when you need to talk to your husband about something important they're MIA? That's the way I felt Monday. Finally I got to tell him we had no heat. He asked if I had checked the propane. Propane is his responsibility so I told him no, but surely that wasn't it. We just bought propane. Jay walked out to the tank and came back. Yes, we were completely out of propane. Which also meant we would be out of hot water. I know February was a cold month, but we had never used 200 gallons of propane in a month. Of course our little stint in Illinois didn't do us any favors in terms of staying on top of things around the household.

It probably worked out good for us to go to Springfield because at least we would be warm. But on the way there I put up my right arm to rub my eyes and Jay noticed yellow Pina Colada mix all down the arm of my new sweater. I knew there was no way I could have not gotten that on my light colored sweater.

We got to Hanks and spent what I felt like was FOREVER trying to get the bed located and loaded. Jay got in the truck after getting it all situated and said "well, they can't find the bed rails". Yes, we drove to Springfield for no reason Monday night because without the bed rails we can't put the bed together. They will be in next Monday. We did get to eat out though, which is always great in my opinion. While we were eating Jay said that all of our problems that night he could indirectly blame on the DCFS. Yeah….mentally unaware of propane, child sleeping on the floor waiting for the arrival of furniture that we don't even need now. Yes, I think it's only fair to make them responsible in our minds.

We got home and Jay and I unloaded the now useless headboard, footboard and captain pedestals. Then we went inside to watch TV in our cold house while sitting on our freezing leather furniture. We could've gotten in bed and at least been a little warmer, but Sunday night, for some unknown reason the TV on Jay's chest in our room decided to fall off. It didn't break the screen but it pulled the plug out of the TV that the antenna/cable hooks in to. I'm afraid the TV is forever lost to us after that incident. Not sure we can blame that one on DCFS, but we would if we could.

We did get propane on Tuesday so everything was back to normal last night. This is probably one of those stories that will get passed around like a family legend over the years. Hey remember the time we had no heat, no hot water and the bed rails weren't in. I did get a good laugh yesterday when I put all the little incidents together….our boy is sleeping on a mattress on the floor in a house with no heat and no warm water. I really hope he didn't tell that story to anyone yesterday….