Saturday, June 29, 2013

More Progress in the Yard

Along with my 'nesting' as we get ready for Baby #2, we have also been getting some stuff finished in the yard.  My hope is to get as much done as we can before the baby comes so that once he's here, we can just enjoy the house/yard --i.e. try to survive with two kids and no sleep! :)  

One of the projects has been filling rocks along the back of the house.  When we moved into our house, the back was filled with weeds and plants we didn't like.  We pulled them up every year but they kept growing back.  We also had a LOT of earwigs (really gross bugs) nesting in that area.  So, in hopes to stop the weeds and bugs and to make it a little prettier, we pulled up everything (again) and laid down double thick weed barrier and then topped it off with rock.  Erik has been getting buckets of rock every few days in an effort to rid his co-worker's house of the rock they no longer want.  They are giving it to us for free --it's just that we need to haul it away ourselves.  So, slowly but surely we're filling the spot with rocks (2 to 4 buckets at a time).  A few weekends ago, we added a few plants and also continued the rock/plant bed along the side of the deck.  I think it's starting to take shape!  Just a few more buckets of rock to go!

We also added some different plants from Linders Greenhouse to the front.  I am not very good with plants or knowing what to put where.  I wanted to add a little "height" to the plants in the front --because we apparently killed off the tall hostas we put there a few summers ago.  (see that post here)  Now we just need another couple bags of mulch in the front and we'll call it 'good' for the rest of the summer.  Then I guess we'll see what grows back next year! 
Me and My Sweet Little Helper

Tryg's Fort!

This post is VERY late!  While I was putting photos on our blog, I ran into these photos and had to share.  I think I posted a few pictures on Facebook but not the whole story....

I have had the idea to make the bottom half of Tryg's closet into a fort for a while now.  I always wanted a cool spot to hang out in when I was a kid, so I knew I wanted to do it for my kid(s) someday!  In April I had some extra vacation days that I needed to use up before I 'lost them' when I go on maternity leave (any day now).  So, I took a day off and our friend, Brad had a day off too.  He came over to help me make the fort a reality!  I LOVE it and I am so glad we did it!  Tryg loves it too.  Now that he's in a 'big boy bed' we often hear him playing in his fort at night, instead of sleeping.  Little stinker!  However, I secretly love it. :)

Step 1:  Buy wood from Home Depot and have them cut it.  We got beadboard for the front, plywood for the top and some trim pieces.
Step 2:  Paint the wood ahead of time. We painted ours the night before assembly and I just did touch ups once we were finished putting it together.
 Step 3: Use 2x4s for braces in the front and back of the closet.
 Step 4: Layout top board and hinges to see how they will fit (dry fit).  We decided it was a good idea to put the front piece on hinges in case we ever needed to get into the bottom half of the closet.  It just lifts up from the bottom (we put two "hook and eye latches" on the bottom to keep it shut --however, the toddler often unlatches them).
 Step 5: Cut the window and door holes in the beadboard.
Step 6: Add trim pieces around window, door, top and bottom of front (not pictured).
Step 7: Add hinges to back of the front beadboard.
 Step 8: Secure hinges to front brace piece.
 Step 9: Attach rope lights around the top (inside) for lighting.
 Step 10: Put on the top. (we just set it on the top and didn't attach it)
Step 11: Add a curtain to the top to keep the clothes and shelves 'hidden.'
 Step 12: Add pillows to make it a little more comfy (we also added a sleeping bag later because the hardwood floors are, well, hard.).
 Step 13:  Show it to your son and let him go nuts! :)  He loves it!
Thank you "Uncle Brad" for all of your hard work!  It's wonderful to have the 'idea in my head' become real!  So glad we finished it in one day.  We love it!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Kid Birthday Party!

This year we did a "Kid Birthday Party" instead of having a bigger bash at our house.  Since we didn't know how things would be going with Baby #2 on the way, we thought we'd take the party 'off site' to The Monkey House in White Bear Lake.  Tryg had been there to play before and loves it.  We thought this would be a great option for us -without having the work of cleaning up our house and hosting everything there.  The major downside to it was that they put a limit on the total number of people we could invite (kids and adults).  However, we were able to invite friends with kids that are about Tryg's age and they had a blast!  Daddy, Papa Jim, Bompa Randy, Auntie Amy and Brian had a blast too --even though they are not Tryg's age. :-)

Thank you to everyone who was able to come and celebrate with us.  It was short notice but we were glad that you were able to join us.  Thank you also for the gifts.  Tryg loves his new selection of toys and honestly plays with all of them almost daily --and I like his new outfits :-)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Memorable Weekend

I told Erik last night, "I hope I never forget this past weekend."  Not that the weekend itself was that thrilling, but the events and circumstances just make for an interesting few days.

It started Friday evening.  We met up with Carly and Doug to bring Tryg to the Children's Museum for his 3rd Birthday!  He LOVED it.  I bet he could have stayed for 3 times the amount of time we did.  He just loved looking at all the stuff and playing with it all.  He never wanted to leave a room to go on to the next room.  We tried to explain to the 3 year old that there are more things that we can see and do and that we can come back another day.  We ended up getting a summer pass off of the Living Social Deal site.  It's already the end of June but weather-wise, it feels like summer just started!  We'll need to get back a few times over the summer for him to enjoy it!  With all the rain we've doesn't seem like we will risk missing warm sunny days when we go back.

Speaking of weather.... as we went to leave the museum, we saw the sheets of rain pouring down and got emergency weather alerts on our cell phones!  It was crazy!  In downtown St. Paul, the water was just flowing down the streets like small rivers.  Cars were stalling out because of being in water that was too deep.  Luckily, there were skyways to get back to our car.  We took it slow and were shocked by all we saw.  We finally made it home safely to find that we had no power!  

So, we had Tryg's birthday cake (part 2) by candle light.  Then he opened gifts from Carly and Doug and from us.  This was priceless!  Erik had the idea to give him a Buzz Lightyear for a while now.  Tryg talks about it all the time and loves Toy Story!  So, we got it (our big splurge) and we also got a 75 cent Buzz Lightyear Halloween costume to put into the gift bag as well.  With both of the items inside, the bag was a bit crowded and whenever you moved or bumped it, it would activate Buzz' voice.  So, when Erik was reading the card from us to Tryg, Buzz' voice all of a sudden started up.  Tryg had the best look on his face as his eyes were wide and he exclaimed, "That's Buzz Lightyear!"  He immediately stopped listening to Daddy reading the card and proceeded to rip the tissue paper out of the top of the gift bag as fast as he could.  This all happened in the dark (without power) but it was so wonderful!  This is definitely one of the moments I hope I do not forget as a parent!  I know Buzz is just a material possession but it is so fun to light up your child's world every once in a while (no pun intended).  I also know that, as the years go by, it will be much more difficult to make times like this happen.  
Opening birthday gifts by flashlight.
How many people does it take to get Buzz out of his packaging in the dark? :)
The rest of the weekend wasn't all that exciting except for watching our neighbors pull of a graduation open house without power and to try to survive not having power ourselves.  I just think it's pretty funny to think about....Tryg's 3rd Birthday, me being 38 weeks pregnant and our house being without power from Friday through Sunday mid-afternoon!  It caused us to clean out our fridge and freezer and do a lot of added yard work (picking up branches that blew down).  Erik did most of the yard work, but I cleaned out the fridge with my prego belly.  Luckily Carly and Doug had a completely empty spare freezer and were able to take all of the frozen meals I made in preparation for Baby #2's arrival.  

We were also able to get the bassinet up in our bedroom and clean out the car seat.  Still no name for #2.  But with each day, we're getting more prepared.  I hope!  **And yes, I am still hoping the baby is late!