Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our crazy lives

We have so much going on with out home, church, work, friends, etc that it's amazing I get the house clean or the laundry done...oh wait, I don't get the house clean or the laundry done.

Anyway-you'll notice while looking through the posts that 8 posts were made TODAY! That's because alot of blogworthy stuff has been happening and today was the first time I've been able to get to upload pics. The only reason I had time today was because literally didn't want to watch the paint dry in the basement so I worked on the blog instead.

When looking at these posts from today, you may want to start at the bottom and work your way up so you view them chronologically.

Below is a picture of what the noonhour looks like at my house. Alaric and Amara eat at the same time. Alaric eats with his booster chair at the counter in the kitchen while Amara lays in her carseat with her bottle propped in front of her with her blankie. This way, I may actually be able to get a few bites of lunch in myself or I can help get Alaric fed, clean the kitchen from dinner last night and breakfast, sweep the floor, etc. It's my new favorite way of saving time and giving me my hands back.

Enjoy the crazy amount of posts below!

Updates to Basement

Wow are things moving! This picture was taken last Wednesday. All the walls were mudded and then....
Jamey and Jeff then sanded everything. It was incredibly messy at our home for two days. The dust has now settled and it's everywhere. I can't, and won't even think about cleaning and dusting the upstairs until this project this done because it will just drive me crazy if I have to dust everyday to stay ahead.
Thursday night we had to prime everything- ceiling and walls. We had to get it all done Thursday night so Jamey and Jeff could come back Friday and patch anything necessary. Thank God for our neighbors! Our next door neighbor, June came over in the rain and spent a few hours with us!

Because there was absolutely NOTHING Alaric could mess up, he had the pleasure of helping us paint!

This picture was taken Monday night. We have spent days doing nothing but trim and doors! One coat of primer and atleast two, sometimes three coats of paint. We are so sick of trim and doors. You don't realize what all has to be done when you are starting for scratch!

So, here's the tentative timeline....
  • Today-Sunday- get every square inch of the basement painted
  • Monday-Wedneday(11/3-5)- Jamey back to install trim and hopefully install our custom cabinets and bar ( if they get in).
  • Thursday-Friday(11/6-7)-Carpet layers come and install our new carpet
  • Thursday-Sunday(11/6-9)- Brian leaves for Conference in Indiana
  • Weekend-I will clean the basement and the unfinished part top to bottom so we can put together storage shelves and get ready to move back in from our storage unit across town.
  • Monday-Friday(11/10-14)-Move back into basement
  • Saturday (11/15)-Last home game for Illini Football
  • Sunday (11/16)-23 people ( including 9 children) to our home for Thankgiving Dinner

Tons to do! You''ll see big changes as these pictures keep coming!

Amara's first bath in the big bathtub

Amara is too big for her baby tub and not sitting up yet so Monday night was her first time in her Bumbo seat in the big bathtub. She did really well- a bit cold I think but fine.

Alaric says she can't wait to take baths with her!

Best Friends Halloween Party

Brian and I have a group of 7 couples who all have kids the same age and have become our dear friends. Our children have all become very close too. We are together lots throughout the year with birthday parties, girls nights out, playdates, BBQ's, and just get-togethers.

One of the couples, Heidi and Matt Echkardt are moving to Iowa City in a month. We decided to have one last party at their place in Tolono.

Here are the Dills...Anne, Adam, and Charlie!
This is our host family, The Echardts...Heidi, Matt, James, and Cindy!

The Fultons!

Group picture for the kids! Not bad for 9 kids under 4 years of age!

The Shaws...Andrea, Jake, and Lauren!

The Jacksons...Tiffany, Clint, and Mackenzie!

The Ryles...Stephanie, Scott, and Cameron!

The Johnsons...Cynthia, Ryan, and Samantha!

The guys!

The girls! 4 of the 7 are pregnant! Our group with have four more kids by summer. That means that all 7 of us will have had a baby within one year's time- that's AMAZING!

Here are the youngest...Cindy on the left, Mackenzie in the middle, and Amara on the right!

The kids decorated pumpkins too! We love this group of event- Thankgiving Dinner at our home on the 16th!

McKinley Church Halloween Party

Well, Sunday began our first ( and second) of 4 Halloween parties. Sunday early afternoon was to be the annual Trick or Treat for Unicef party at the farm of a church family. The 40mph winds moved the party inside of the church instead.

Alaric was so excited to put on his Thomas the Train costume. 75 cents at a garage sale, thankyou! And Amara was cute enough to eat in the strawberry costume Nana purchased for her.

This is Amara at church watching the other toddlers play a game.

The party was hosted by the McKinely Jr/Sr HighSchoolers. It was perfect for the young ones- even inside. They played pass the pumpkin, candy corn races, a scanvenger hunt and more. They had food and even roaster smores in the fire place( very creative)

Here is Alaric's scavenger hunt team with the high school helpers.
We only stayed at the church party for an hour because we had another Halloween party to get to on the other side of town ( wow Alaric is popular)


Of Course I'm biased but COME ON....I have the cutest kids in the world. Look at this picture. This is why I was put on this earth- the man of my dreams and my two kids. Aren't they gorgeous?

The kids were all decked out in their Illini grear Saturday. Our loyalty didn't cut it against Wisconsin but it will this week against Iowa! It has to or our family in Iowa will never let us live it down.

I took a picture of the kids before church because they were so stinkin' cute.

This is Amara in one of her matching sleepers and hats. She is just now getting out of her newborn clothes and into 0-3 month. She will be 5 months tomorrow and weighs 13 pounds. My little munchkin.

Alaric has a hard time waking up after his afternoon naps- especially if you have to wake him up. He cries and screams and fusses and throws himself around- it's really awesome to be a mother in times like that. Anyway, if you have Amara with you- you're golden because she is his everything.
Yesterday, Amara got up about 10 minutes before him. I hear him yelling and screaming and I assumed Amara woke him up and he was just crabby about it. We came into their room and he says "You took my Amara! Put her back in her crib so I can sleep!" He loves sharing a room with her and incredibly, never wakes up when she screams.
This picutre is seconds after we came in to see him. He's groggy but he loved having Amara is bed with him. He immediately calmed down and asked if he could feed her. Look at her looking at him-ahhhh!

He's so proud to be a big brother and help out!

Date Night Tattoos

The Moms Group of Monticello that I am apart of have 8 Date Nights throughout the year. They provide free babysitting for your kids and you only have to volunteer once to be the babysitters! Bri and I chose the first Date Night to babysit so we now have one date night a month for the next 7 months.

This month we went and got tattoos! Yup! Bri already had Alaric's name above the matching tattoo we got before we got married so he just had Amara put on below his tattoo.

I didn't have either of the names yet so I had both put on above my tattoo.

It was fun and we loved doing something different but I forgot how much it hurts!

Jennifer's B-Day

Thursday, October 23rd was my sister-in-law's birthday. We celebrated on Friday with her family, our family, her parents, and my parents at a favorite pizza place, Jupiters! It was Amara's second time out with us dealing with her 6Pm bedtime and her very messy rice cereal. She doesn't seem to mind here with Grammy!
The place is perfect for kids and adult kids too as it has two lanes of bowling and tons of games!
All Jen asked for her birthday was for Barack Obama to win...only 6 more days til that wish comes the meantime, my mom made her an Obama Birthday cake! Yummy as always!

We went to Jen's parents house for cake and icecream. Alaric and Veronica had so much fun running around and playing together. Here they are on their way up the stairs to Veronica's room at MopMop's house.

What a fun night!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Aunt Anita Comes to Visit

Aunt Anita took a fast trip away from Chicago to come visit us Tuesday and Wednesday. Amara was asleep when she got here last night but we kept Alaric up as late as his eyes would let him to play with Aunt Nita. Bri, Anita, and I stayed up late talking politics, family, etc.

This morning, Anita was thrilled to get Amara out of bed and snuggle as much as she could! We went into Champaign to the mall to take in the kid friendly "stuff" Here is Alaric on a mixer truck. There was a mixer truck, a bus, a roller coaster, a train, a Jeep, and a fish. You put 75 cents in and they bounce and jiggle for 30 seconds. We made the mixer truck bounce once but Alaric didn't even need it. He just hung out on these "rides" for 45 minutes. The mall also has this great "soft play" area that has awesome stuff for little ones to climb on but it was right next to these rider toys so Alaric wasn't interested.
We ate lunch in the foodcourt and Alaric was so excited that his Aunt Nita bought him his own cup of fries and two rami's of ketchup!
The carousel in the food court was the hit of the day...Anita and Alaric rode it three seperate times!
Amara did great at the mall too- even taking a nice nap in her stroller. When we got back home, Anita fed her and we all played outside in the sandbox. It's a chilly October day but the sun was shining and it was so nice to be outside. Anita loves her little princess!

Once both kids were down for their afternoon naps, Anita headed back to Chicago to try and beat traffic. She's swamped at work and won't be able to come back here until February so we are so glad she got to spend a few fun hours with the kids! We miss you already, Aunt Nita!

Monday, October 20, 2008

13 more days until the election!

With only 13 days until the election, excitement is brewing at our house! Alaric loves Obama and can not only spot his name on signs all over our town but can recognize him on TV too.

Each night we finish our prayers with " we pray for World Peace, Barack Obama, and the Chicago Cubs" World Peace is a work in progress and the Cubs are a bust until next season so we are putting all our eggs in this Barack basket and hoping for the best!

No matter who you agree with, don't forget to vote and have your opinion be heard, please! Alaric urges you!

Updates to Basement

Well, when we left on Thursday evening for our weekend, there was drywall in the main room and no where else. The egress window still wasn't complete, and we weren't sure on a real timeline. It's so fun to go away for 3 days and come back to major changes. DOn't forget to look back at old posts to remember what the place used to look like.

The drywall is complete through the whole basement. This is the main room. Mudding had begun everywhere.
Another angle of the main room the corner by the staircase with house our new kitchen counter, counter top, sink and cabinets along the back wall and then a new bar coming out perpendicular from the staircase wall. All parts of this are ordered and should arrive in the next week.
This is the guest room. You can see the egree window is finally complete.
Here is the guest bathroom. We re-drywalled in here too. Once the drywall is complete, we will re-install the toilet and tile the floors.
Back to the guest room.
This is our contractor and dear friend, Jamey Schurvinske. He is owner of Precision Decks and General Contracting. He does stellar work and is a perfectionist ( we appreciate). if you need anything done in the C-U area from handy man work to remodels to full house buildings, he's your guy!
The egress is done. We still have a huge pile of dirt to remove and a cover to have specially made for the top to keep water and critters out but it works and looks great!
The four foot well has a ladder to climb up.

Our hope is to have the drywall and mudding done by Thursday. Jamey is going to give us the doors and trim to paint over the weekend. Hopefully, even though Bri works all weekend, we can also get the primer on the walls. Then, Jamey will come back early next week and patch any walls that need help after the primer and install the doors and trim. Once the cabinets and counters arrive, those will be installed and then all that will be left will be carpet. Then we can finally move back in. Our goal for completion is November 16th since we have 23 people including 9 children under the age of 4 coming over for a Thanksgiving dinner.