Monday, November 29, 2010

Asher's 3rd Birthday!

Today Asher Wade turned 3 years old. Normally when Asher wakes up, he is a bit cranky. But, not today! He came running down the stairs excited for his big day. He skipped over his breakfast to go and play with his new batman cave he got from his party. He and Addison played most of the morning with those toys.

Then, it was time to head out to jump. We visited Bounce U in La Vista for open jump, along with many other kids. It was quite busy. Addison and Asher played well at first, then Asher wanted up. He was done within a half hour, but Addison kept playing for another hour. Asher and I jumped together for a bit, but I found he just does not do well with crowds of kids (especially ones bigger than he is). After jumping and lunch, the kids were ready for a nap. They were both asleep within minutes.

After picking up Alivia from school, it was time to go to the movie Tangled. The kids loaded up on treats and popcorn. It is a good thing we only go to the movies a couple times a year...prices are outrageous now! The movie, Tangled, is adorable, and we would completely recommend it. Asher, however, wanted to go home after the 15 minutes of previews (Seriously, they need to only have 1-2 previews for kids movies!). All in all, I think he (and the girls) had a good time.

Once at home, Asher opened his presents from us, scooting around the house on his new spider-man scooter, before heading back to the Bat Cave and the big truck. Those are his new favorite least for the moment. We would totally recommend the Bat Cave because it has so many things to do!

I measured Asher tonight and he did grow an inch since he was 2 1/2, but not enough to fit into his size 2 clothes yet. He is wearing mostly 24 month clothes and just a couple size 2 pants with a couple rolls on the bottoms. At this point, it does not look like he is going to be tall. Asher likes to read books, color, count (he is up to 20, only missing numbers sometimes), but he really struggles with his colors. With that said, he acted like he could not count forever, and then one day he counted 20 items like he had done it forever. It is difficult to get him to be serious enough to show me he knows things. Asher likes playing with cars and trucks, playing at the playground, hauling things behind his tractor, riding his plasma car down the driveway going mock speeds, and jumping off of the playhouse into the jumper (and no, I do not allow this!!). Asher is a bit on the wild side. But, he is a behaved wild most of the time.

Asher is very sensitive, too. He likes to fall to sleep holding my hand. He is actually sleeping on my lap as I type this (he does not like the sound from the wind). He is good about using his manners, saying sorry, please and thank you and likes to give Mommy and Daddy kisses and hugs! Asher likes to play with his friends Cameron, Keegan, and Simon, and cousins Ben, Henry and Lucas. He BFFs are Alivia and Addison. He is very close to Addison and will really miss her when she goes to school next fall.

Happy Birthday Asher! We love you!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Asher's 3rd Birthday Party...

Today we celebrated Asher's 3rd Birthday Spidey style. Asher was so excited when everyone started arriving. We celebrated with Spider Man cupcakes and snacks before opening presents fit for our little super hero.

Here's to our little boy, Asher Wade, turning 3! Happy Birthday, Asher!

Making an Airplane

That's right, my Dad is building a RV-12 Airplane! It is something he has always wanted to do. Well, today he needed my help. Yes, MINE! Well, only because I was someone that could fit into the plain to redo something for him. I got the task completed without damaging the plane! Yeah! And, now I can say I helped build his airplane, if even just a little.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Decorating for Christmas 2010

Today we decked the halls inside our home (pictures of the exterior to soon follow). The kids had so much fun! Addison walked down the stairs from her nap and said, "'s beautiful" when she saw the tree up, lit up and ready to be decorated. Too cute!

Before and After: Painting the Main Level...

After 30+ paint samples, we selected a paint color and got to work this weekend.

First, let me explain the reason for the 30+ samples at $3-$7 each from several paint stores. First of all, I got most of them from Lowes. At least in Papillion, they have no idea what they are doing (you think I would have learned this after the first 2 samples!). The colors never matched the sample card. Seriously, the actual color was always lighter, pinker, greener, grayer, etc. It was annoying. Chris even selected one and painted one wall to find out it was too light and had a hint of pink in it!

After we were invited to dinner at our neighbors last week, I emailed her to ask her what color they used in their home. Before she got back to me, I asked my friend Laura who told me her house was Latte by Sherwin Williams. I ran out and got the paint sample (cha ching!) and loved it! It turns out, that our neighbors used the same color! So, this weekend, we painted the family room, dining room, and the wall leading up the stairs. We have the dining room (which includes the ceiling - ugh), the next to impossible to access entry way, and upstairs hallway that we want painted in the same Latte color. We selected the Harmony paint from Sherwin Williams because of its washability, in an eggshell. We have the kitchen in a semi gloss so we can wash it, and it is just too shiny! Someday...we will probably have to paint that AGAIN! We like the soothing look of the eggshell better. But, the Harmony is $38 a gallon!! versus $19 for the other eggshell SW offers (sure scrub), We plan to use the Sure Scrub by SW in the dining room and maybe the hallway upstairs. It was recommended by the professional painter we had come by, so it should work okay for us. Then...we will just have the basement, master bedroom and the master bathroom left to paint. We have not decided on the color of the master bedroom yet, so that room will just have to wait. Besides, we have to paint the ceiling in there, too!

So, what did we learn? Get paint from where the painters buy their paint - Sherwin Williams or Pittsburg Paints. There is a reason why you never see a pro at Home Depot or Lowes. Sherwin Williams is closer to us and they were quite helpful. Also, spend more on brushes and rollers to have the best finish possible without brush marks, brush hairs in the wall, and roller marks. When it comes to painting, you get what you pay for. Luckily, Chris is an great painter/artist. He made a beautiful perfect line from the rounded wall of the kitchen into the family room (and the same from the garage entry to the kitchen). It's perfect!

So...until is painting, painting, painting! Isn't winter fun?

"Living" Room (with our HORRIBLE camera!)

Family Room.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our Home: First Anniversary

Yesterday marked one year since we closed on our home on Ponderosa Drive in Papillion. We closed at 6pm on the eve of Thanksgiving, moving in the evening of Thanksgiving through the weekend. Who could forget that? The excitement of getting our things our of storage (the garage of this home) and finally into the house where it should be! We slept in our home one year ago tonight, fishing out the beds from the garage first. It was so nice to be  in a bed after weeks on the blow up bed in the empty apartment!

Now, there is no looking back. We have tried really hard to make this home our home in the last year. We did not do much to our home in the first month because of the Holidays and commuting Alivia to school in Northwest Omaha. Then, in January, Chris had a job loss scare, so we did not do anything. After Chris secured a job, we got to work in March. First, we ordered plantation shutters and window treatments for installation through the house. Then, we hired someone to install a closet and drop zone in the laundry room. The laundry room turned out to be the first of many rooms to be painted. We painted 3 out of 4 of the bathrooms. Then, we redid the kids' rooms starting with paint. Addison moved into her big girl bed, and got new bedding and accessories. Alivia had her room painted and accessorized. Then, it was Asher's turn for his big boy bed. His room has been painted, but the room is still a work in progress. Next, we had to replace all of the ugly ceiling fans. Seriously, those things were awful! At $250 a set, that was a pricey undertaking in and of itself!

With spring, came outdoor updating. First Chris organized our garage...finally. It is a nice space for storage now as well as a big area to play for the kids on cooler or rainy days. Then, we purchased a fence for the backyard. That was been really nice for the kids! After getting their swingset up, they felt like they were at home! We had our priorities in order (playset and fence first! The kids can care less about the rest!). Additionally, we planted 20 trees and landscaped all around the house. We still have a couple more trees to buy and some finishing touches to do to the front yard landscaping to make it complete. That sounds like a spring 2011 project to me. Chris also has a vision of an outdoor patio area in his dreams...someday. And, I, well, I have always wanted a pool. I am just not sure I want one at this house. Maybe at our next home...that ranch I now want.

With the cooler weather, Chris and I got to the indoor painting. We painted the kitchen and then onto the family room, living room and entry way. What a nightmare that was...but it is nearly complete! We have the challenge of completing the entryway, upstairs hallway, dining room, basement, master bedroom and master bath. Then, the painting will be done. Seriously, really? Painting done? I can only imagine now. Chris says he will NEVER paint again. I believe he is dreaming.

Looking back on the last year, it seems like a long time ago. We have done so much to this home that we are vested (or invested) now. But, Chris and I are still on the 5-7 year plan. Our next move...a modern ranch. Yes, we are already sick of our stairs!

Visit us on our Austin Crib blog where you can follow our home updates...the good, bad and the ugly. I will be beginning the journey from the beginning shortly.

Goals for the second year: Finish landscaping, look into the patio (MAYBE, and that is a BIG maybe), wrought iron spindles inside, finish the painting, and maybe replace the basement carpet. Whew...that sounds like a lot after what we have already done!

We are finally in a place where we can say this is home. Home Sweet Home.

Alivia...Happy Half Birthday!

Yesterday, along with it being Thanksgiving and the anniversary that we closed on our home in Papillion, it was also Alivia's half birthday! With the business of the day, we kind of forgot! But, Alivia was excited to hear that she was now 6 1/2 years old and got another Junie B. Jones book (and a cupcake from Aunt Marsha!).

At 6 1/2 years old, Alivia is growing up. She enjoys playing with friends, preferably away from our home. She loves having friends over, usually having at least one playdate a week with a special friend. She has several BBF's at the moment, but she likes to play with our neighbor Zoe, her class mates Emma, Sydney, Gabby, Nyah and Aryn. At home, she plays well with Addison and Asher. She has an active imagination, playing babies with Addison and active sports with Asher. She continues to like to draw, journal and is now reading much better. It is amazing the progress she has made since summer! She loves Junie B. Jones books, but has many other favorites, too. She is rarely seen without her silly hands and special puppy dog friends.

Alivia likes to watch movies with Daddy and still likes Scooby Doo. At 6 1/2, Alivia Grace does have her bad moments. When she is tired, she can turn into a terror! We are shocked by what comes out of her mouth when she has had enough!

But, she is and will always be our baby girl Alivia. We love you, Alivia Grace.

Happy Half Birthday, you toothless 6 1/2 year old!