Thursday, June 26, 2014

Building a Patio: Update #4 We're DONE!

This week, finally, we put the final pieces together for the patio. Here's Update #3 if you missed it!
I cannot say how excited, relieved, thankful... it is to be done!! Now we're just working on leveling out the ground around the patio and reseeding the grass. I'm anxious for the grass to grow in because the dirt and sand is easily tracked onto the patio. 
 Perry spent Saturday morning putting in the last few bricks where we have the barbecue and JP and I began setting up the patio set given to us by Grandma. 
 He was such a good helper! 
 And was very quick to clean up when he learned he could play in the box the chairs came in... We have since cut a door into the side of it and Hunter and JP have colored/scribbled all over their new "house".
 I had a heck of a time actually assembling the chairs. Again, after a lot of cursing, Perry came to my rescue and assembled most of them, but also wound up cursing at the chair I was working on too. Glad it wasn't just me!
I'm loving the area for the grill. It keeps it accessible but out of the way, and blocks my view of under the deck. (Mostly a huge dirt pile) 
I put in the edgers this week. We have them level with the yard, but raised under the deck by the grill to help keep the dirt/sand out. 
While putting in one of the last raised edgers the other day, I was holding a brick in place while I used the rubber mallet to pound it into place. Somehow I missed and smashed my thumb. It immediately turned blue and I wanted to scream, but I kept it together. Hunter came over right away when he realized I was in pain. He switched into "Dr. Hunter" in a flash by retrieving a bag he had filled with ice and frozen berries (which he put in there for me to eat once the ice melted) and a popsicle. As I laid out on the grass to prevent myself from fainting, he collected a few rocks and brought them over to me and proceeded to tell me about all of them. JP on the other hand had disappeared for a while in search of a band aide because he thought I was going to bleed out. By the time the band aide made it outside, it lost all of its stickiness. My thumb has since turned purple on the top and side. 

Perry's finger which he smashed a the other weekend with a brick, is still on the mend. Surprisingly he hasn't lost the nail yet. Looks like no one came away from this project in one piece!

So Long Training Wheels!!

I don't know how to say this other than just saying it. HUNTER AND JP CAN BIKE WITHOUT TRAINING WHEELS!!

Hunter has struggled for a few weeks now with his balance. He was very wobbly when starting so he'd either stop pedaling and fall off his bike, or he'd put his feet down and drag then until he stopped. He would try two or three times and be done. This past week he finally got enough confidence and determination to keep trying. He almost had it when on his 16'' bike, but as soon as he hopped on JP's, away he went! 
As a reward, instead of animal crackers, I took the kids to get slushies. Hunter was SO proud of himself! He told our next door neighbor that "the next time you see me riding without training wheels, you have to give me a dollar." And that's exactly what she did when she saw him that night. He was so excited! The rest of the evening he walked around talking in his big-kid-i-know-everything voice. It was adorable!
That brings me to JP. From the time we started practicing a few weeks ago, he had it. He wasn't nearly as wobbly as Hunter, and could bike longer than Hunter. But he also would only try once or twice and be done. Just getting him to get on was a struggle because he wasn't motivated to even try. I offered slushies, frosties, dilly bars...basically anything to get this kid on his bike, but he just wasn't having it. He was great about running down the road for Hunter to chase him on his bike and very encouraging for Hunter, but he wanted nothing to do with biking on his own. Until I mentioned Ninja Turtles... Now he can bike without my help. I was lucky to get a video of him, because he didn't want me to watch. At. All. Or cheer for him either. He still struggles with starting, but once he starts, he goes and goes!

For learning how to bike without the extra wheels, Hunter gets to go with dad to pick out a new helmet, and his own golf club. JP also gets a new bike helmet, probably a Ninja Turtle one, or a green one none the less, and has also requested Ninja Turtle Playdough. He thinks it's something we can buy at the store, but I'm thinking about just making some green playdough and wrapping the container it's in with NT fabric. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

The After-Party of Casey's Party

The party was just beginning after Casey opened all of his presents. We still had half of the day left! 
 After we laid Charlotte down for an afternoon nap, the boys went outside and spent the majority of their time hitting golf balls around the yard, while Perry and I drove around a little bit to check out some homes in the area. 
 When we got back, the tent was already set up for Hunter, JP, Aunt Bobby, and Aunt Kim to sleep in that night. As far as I know, everyone enjoyed themselves. They told a lot of the same jokes over and over. JP favorite joke is one he made up himself the other week. It goes like this: "Knock knock. Who's there? Glasses. Glasses who? Glasses hooked up to a mustache!" And then he busts out laughing. Every time. 

They also set up the game Ladder Ball while Perry and I were gone. We played as soon as we got back. And lost. By a lot. Meanwhile, Chris filled up Casey's little pool for the boys to play in, but they decided against it when they realized how cold the water was. JP, however, told Aunt Kim that he would jump in as long as she had a towel ready for him. As she headed toward the house to get a towel, he stood on top of the slide attach to the little pool...and then slipped in. Everyone started cheering and he just got out and started wandering off in embarrassment. They thought he was brave to jump in! Meanwhile I'm shouting to Kim, who is among the cheer squad to GO GET THE TOWEL! It took him a while to snap out of his embarrassment, but Aunt Bobby was with him the whole time snuggling him to death. 
After that little ordeal, a little competition was created to see who could chip the golf ball into the little pool. I was horrible. But I think there was a few that made it?
 As the evening started to kick in, a campfire was started.
Never quite made it to marshmallow roasting, but Nanny and Papa sure enjoyed hanging out with the grandkids around the fire.
 Charlotte and Casey entertained themselves with the balls from the ladder ball game. 
 They had to much fun with them!
 Even though I'm sure she would have rather stayed home, Roxy probably loved to get outside and run around with another dog, when she wasn't afraid for her life!
 The boys had a lot of fun in Casey's new car. They were pretty good about pushing each other around, but really enjoyed when the "big people" did it. 
 Before it was too dark out, Chris pulled out his beer pong table and a few games were played.
 I think it's safe to say the Concienne brothers are undefeated. Perry on the other hand... He's lucky he has me to keep an eye on him! If it wasn't for me, he'd probably still be in the guest room rubbing the walls down in search of the door!
 A year later we now have little big kids!!  
Before everyone headed home, Nanny and Papa got a picture with all of their grandkids. It was kind of a struggle to get them all to look at me. And JP pouting the whole time didn't help. As the took photo after photo, Papa Craig's expression worsened as Hunter kept squeezing harder and harder around his neck...
Then we took family picture since it had been about 2 years since our last one. JP was the challenging one again....

Casey's 1st Birthday Party

Happy birthday to Casey!
Where did this past year go?!
 This past weekend, we traveled to Spokane to celebrate the little guy's 1st birthday. A few weeks ago when I was there in May, I helped Kile make fondant and taught her how to make a dog so Casey could have a Clifford the Dog cake. She made and frosted the cake by herself and did a wonderful job!
Kile's mother-in-law, Anne, and Kim carved this cool creation out of watermelon. Such a cool idea!
 When we arrived, both boys were really shy. In the car they couldn't wait until we were at Casey's house. I don't think they expected so many people. Casey was lucky to have so many people celebrate with him, including everyone on his mom's side, and almost everyone on his dad's side. A couple neighbors stopped by as well as some family friends. 
 Charlotte was a little out of sorts too. She didn't want to play, just wanted to be held by someone. 
 Casey is so animated! It's cute! I couldn't pick a favorite!
Here's Casey before he dug into his cake. 
 But before he devoured the thing, we sang him 'Happy Birthday'...
 ...while he put out the candle, with his hand. 
 He snapped out of it pretty quick. He did, however, only eat with his left hand though...
He had so much cake to eat!
We snagged a few family photos while he stuffed his face. 

 After he ate all he could of his cake, he took a quick bath before opening presents. Although he's not walking yet, he practicing! He took quite a few steps right here, and even sneezed without toppling over! Nice work Casey!
 Where ever there are presents, there is Jim. He was such a good helper!
There's no doubt that Casey is one well-loved little boy!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Charlotte's Physical Therapy is Paying Off!

Charli has been going to physical therapy now for about three weeks. I was little hesitant to take her at first, but after two weeks, I can see a difference in where she was and where is now in her scooting. She still scoots around, but she has on multiple occasions tried to crawl the normal way, and has even started to cruise along furniture. Her pediatrician was surprised that she was doing at her 12 month appointment, but she is now! 

Each morning, or as often as we can, we do activities like playing on her knees, climbing the stairs, and playing games to make her go from standing to squatting, all of which are helping her build up her core muscles. Today was a HUGE day for her. Not only did she take a ton of steps, she later stood up by herself without holding onto anything. Straight from squatting to standing. I think she surprised herself! 
Charlotte's first few steps! WooHoo! At PT her doctor suggested standing her up against a wall to help her gain more confidence in standing and so she has someone to walk to. Since Charlotte, and most babies at some point, lack confidence in standing alone, she has a hard time letting go of my hand. By going up against a wall, she can lean back on it to regain control. [Try this with Casey, Kile!]

Building a Patio: Update #3

We made a lot of progress on the patio is past weekend. After catching up on some much needed sleep, we ran to Home Depot before diving into to all the work that needed to get done. We picked up one load of pavers, some bricks for the edges, and more weed block because I didn't get enough the last time I went. 
The first thing we did was lay out the rules of the sand to the boys (and then repeated them multiple times throughout the day) before we started to spread out and water the sand. 
Meanwhile, Charli rocked her new ponytail do while kickin' it in the sand pile. I don't know how much sand she ate, but two days later, she's still pooping it out... Hunter and JP opted to make a huge mess of the dirt pile Perry dug up the other night. After throwing chunks of dirt at the mower though, they promptly were kicked off...
Perry started laying down pavers while I finished spreading out the sand. Once I was done with that, and when Grandma arrived, he showed us how to lay the pavers too. When he was checking one of the first couple pavers I set, he dropped one on his finger and pretty much ripped the nail off. It's barely hanging on. After a short injury break, everyone went back to work. Grandma and I still weren't even remotely close to as fast as he was with an injured finger, but we held our own. 
Grandma had extra help. Hunter was her very own "water boy" asking her if she needed a drink about every fifteen minutes. If he wasn't doing that, he was randomly shouting, "Let's go Grandma!" or "Get it moving Mom!" Very motivational....JP also helped out by banging the hammer a few time for Grandma, and by being the wobble tester. They both like this job of standing on the paver to see if it wobbled. Very important job for them. 
 By the end of Saturday night, this is what we accomplished. 
By the end of Sunday night, this is what Perry accomplished. I say Perry because after laying 3 pavers and it taking about 45 minutes, I gave up crying. It's quite frustrating. It's level left to right, but it has to much or to little slant. You fix the slant, you mess up the level. After I kind of got it together, my new job was to sprinkle sand in the cracks and water it down to help set them.