Saturday, January 29, 2011

cardboard house

Some of my favorite memories are from playing in houses made of refrigerator boxes.
This morning, Nicholas helped me make his very first cardboard house.

 He really liked the coloring part.
We had to watch him close, though, to make sure he only drew on cardboard walls, not real walls.
And he's only tried to climb through the window once,
but he tipped it over twice;
he thinks the walls should be strong enough to support him leaning against them.  That's why we have it shoved against the corner now.
We got the box from this:
Our new vanity!
The plumber came this morning to move our pipes (this vanity is more than twice the length of the last one).
All of the cement board is laid and ready for tile...although the tiling project has been delayed day after day by one thing or another. (Pack meeting, car repairs, attending baptisms, minor illnesses, etc.)
I'm still really hoping to have this bathroom done by Friday-do you think we'll make it?

Even though nothing else is done yet, I still love to go in there sometimes and look at our new light fixture and the new gray paint-which looks about a billion times better than the wallpaper ever did.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

clean water

Don't you like how he stashed the dish brush in my vase on the windowsill?

On Saturday a woman came past our house, asking for samples of water.
Complimentary testing, she said, results will be free.
Okay, sure, you can have a plastic test tube full of water from my bathroom sink.

Yesterday afternoon I got a call-the results were in.  A representative was near my home.  Could he come over and show us what he found?  (and p.s. we'll give you a gift card to HEB) they said.
Well, I'm always up for free groceries.

What they didn't say was that the very charming man would show up with a suitcase full of demonstrations and the intent to stay in our home for three full hours.
What they didn't say was that he would stay for 45 minutes after we told him we didn't want to spend $6998 on a water purification system.
Perhaps it was my fault.  I should have known better-I should have realized it was going to take that long.

It was somewhere between me giving Nicholas his fifth (fifth!) handful of marshmallows (our rice dinner was on the stove when he arrived...three hours later it was more than cold)
and Nicholas opening the freezer and pulling out the skinny cows because he figured if mom doesn't make dinner, maybe that means she'll let me have ice cream instead?
I decided I had had enough.   

This man, he was so charming, he made us feel like we didn't want to be rude.  But no means no (didn't we learn that as toddlers?)  and we had said no.  

He kept trying to convince us that we would actually be saving money by going into debt for this.

So I told him,
mister (okay, well I didn't say mister) 
We grew up being taught that if you don't have the money for it, you don't buy it.  (SNL anyone?)  And that is why we will not buy this system.  
Thank you, 
now go away (okay, I didn't say that last part either).

He left.

Our water might not be crystal clear under a microscope,
and I'll still be scrubbing hard water stains off of the sink,
but we went to bed last night feeling so grateful that we have living prophets to guide us, to teach us to stay out of debt,
and so so grateful for wise parents who taught us well.

And today I'm going grocery shopping.  So all was not a waste.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

a party too

I came downstairs a few mornings ago, where Nicholas was playing by himself,
and the first thing I saw was my little boy with his sippy cup of juice, sitting next to the clean pants I was about to change into,
holding the sippy cup upside down so that it would drip, slowly, onto my pants.
There was quite a puddle, so he must have been doing it for a relatively long time.

"Nicholas!"  I said, "What are you doing?"  In that Mom voice, you know-shock and disapproval with the undertones of confusion, polished with love.

He looked up with his big blue eyes, shrugged his shoulders and said,
"A party?"

Can't you see, Mom, this is a party!

And I'm sure it was a pretty fun party while it lasted.
I have to say, I love those moments when you just can't get mad because you're laughing too hard. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

sock party

Attempting to put on Daddy's socks-not as easy as it might seem.

 My boy is perfection, and hanging out with him every day fills me up- his silliness gives me the patience to handle his sometimes neediness.  The way he says please "pb-ueazz" melts my heart and I just can't help but pick him up and kiss him. 
He's been a super super picky eater lately (cereal, yogurt, and crackers pb-ueazz and nothing else, thank you) but when he does eat-he is the most adorable chewer you've ever seen.  Seriously.
He loves on us all day long-giving kisses and hugs--the long, snuggling, breathing-in-my-ear hugs.
And as always...there's those blue blue eyes. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

this post is brought to you by the letter "P"

it's a party

My brother Nathan was baptized on Saturday.  Because we couldn't be there in person, we sent a little video of our congratulations for him to watch afterwards.

If you've ever tried to make a video (or mop the floor or do the dishes or practice the piano or go to the bathroom) with a 17-month old you know that...well, they have a way of being adorable but also complicating things.

We ended up with WAY more outtakes and bloopers than actual video.
At one point, Kent was fiddling with the video overlays-there's one with streamers and balloons and he told Nicholas "It's a party!"

We went to IKEA on Saturday morning, and as we were walking through the showrooms, Nicholas was running wild shouting something that sounded like
"A pie! A pie!"
Cute, but probably the type of behavior we are going to need to curb here pretty quickly-as my sister Shannon pointed out:  a seven-year-old running wild in IKEA just isn't quite as cute as a toddler...

But on a side note, am I the only mother who feels completely clueless about what in the heck I should be doing as I attempt to discipline?

Anyway, it wasn't until two days later (two days of non-stop "a pie!") that we realized he wasn't saying he wanted dessert, 
he was declaring "It's a party!"

Every moment of our lives can now be turned into a party at any moment.
Nicholas wakes up from his nap:  "A party!"  Nicholas gets in the bathtub: "A party!"
Nicholas wrestles on the bed with mommy: "A party!"
And I have to say,
it certainly does seem like he's right.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

please tell me you understand why it took me so long.

What do you notice about these three pictures?

Yes, that's right.
There are no toddlers helping build those houses.
If there were, it would take them fifteen years to build the house.  Or possibly most likely longer.

And that is why I am truly proud to tell you that today,
today I finally finished stripping the wallpaper in my master bathroom.

HOORAY!  Happy dance.  (Being careful not to move my arms-ouch.)
And you  know, if I was queen for a day,
the very first thing I would do would be declare that wallpaper 
is forever banned.  From everywhere.
The end.

Monday, January 10, 2011

maybe I should post this in 11 months

I'm not sure any of us are going to be making this anytime soon.  I don't know about you, but all I want to eat right now is light, good-for-you stuff. We just got back from the grocery store, 
and it was one of those fun trips where I loaded everything onto the counter and smiled at how healthy everything looked.  Fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain bread, V8 juice, eggs, milk, 
and a box of Ghirardelli brownie mix.  For balance, you know.

Anyway, maybe some of us still have a handful of candy canes we want to use up.  Or maybe I'll just have to repost this again in December.
But since you asked, here's the recipe for our Christmas Eve dessert:

Chocolate-Peppermint Striped Delight
45 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup  butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. cold milk, divided
1/4 cup  finely crushed candy canes
1 tub (12 oz.) cool whip, thawed, divided
2 pkg.  Chocolate Instant Pudding
1/4 cup coarsely crushed candy canes

MIX wafer crumbs, butter and 2 Tbsp. sugar; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.
BEAT cream cheese, remaining sugar and 2 Tbsp. milk in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in finely crushed candy canes. Add 1-1/4 cups cool whip; mix well. Spread over crust.
BEAT pudding mixes and remaining milk with whisk 2 min.; pour over cream cheese layer. Let stand 5 min. or until thickened. Cover with remaining cool whip.
REFRIGERATE 4 hours. Top with coarsely crushed candy canes just before serving.

Friday, January 7, 2011

top ten

posts of 2010!

I know it's a little late...but I'm still feeling like we're just getting settled into this year,
I mean, I'm still doing last year's laundry,
so it's not too late for this yet.
I'm not that far behind... right?

So here are my top ten posts of 2010 (based on number of comments received):

  1. The Anniversary Curse.  Wherein the Andersens attempt to purchase and bring home a kitchen island.  I have a feeling this story is going to go down in Andersen family history. 
  2. Six Months. Oh gosh. I had forgotten what those squishable thighs were like.  
  3. New Carpet.  In the first few months of the year we renovated, refinished, re-floored, re-everythinged.
  4. and he's crawling
  5. I am. Mother's Day reflections. 
  6. this week: good things.  My birthday week.
  7. now this.  Our yard makes the transformation from Southern Texas blah to lush green beauty.
  8. when your birthday is on the 4th of july. Kent had a birthday celebration to remember.
  9. the snowball effect.  It seems that home renovations became the theme of our 2010.
  10. lemonade picture no. 1
We had a great year full of adventures, challenges, fun, friends, family, travel, and house projects.
And at this point in time, our master bathroom is gutted, 
I've almost got all the wallpaper removed,
and a paint color and new vanity are chosen.

Welcome to 2011!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas vacation

Nicholas had the time of his life at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  He spent time "redecorating," danced his little heart out, played the piano, 
and my brothers taught him to "shoot" with a nerf gun or a tv remote or pretty much anything long and skinny.
I should have taken a picture of it...he holds the nerf gun sideways like a gangster and just points it at you until you react as if you've been shot.
I think we need to have a girl next.  We need some feminine influence in this house.

One of my favorite parts of the vacation was that Nicholas slept upstairs, so when he woke up, my mom and the kids were already up getting ready for school, 
so when I came upstairs quite a bit later (after sleeping in!) he already had a clean diaper, a belly full of "krahkers" (cereal) and pears, and he was happily playing.  It was heavenly, I tell you.

We played lots of games as a family, 
but I think my favorite was reverse charades.  It's the same as charades, but instead of one person acting and everyone guessing it is 
one person guessing and everyone acting.  
Poor Nathan ended up being used as a prop one too many times, and when the word "Nutcracker" followed the word "Love Handles" my enthusiasm whacked him on the head with my elbow and then his head whacked on the corner of the laptop.  
We end a game when blood is drawn.

Nicholas crashed after Church-he wore himself out walking up and down the rows giving every single person a handshake.

Kent and I enjoyed a wonderful night away at the Anniversary Inn in the African Safari room. Everything was fabulous-we ate dinner at Hamiltons (where our wedding reception was held), watched Prince of Persia, and had an quiet, relaxing night where we didn't once have to think about whether someone else needed to eat or sleep or have his diaper changed. Thanks for watching Nicholas, family!  I don't think he even noticed that we were gone; he was having too much fun.

We were having such a great time that when Sunday night came I just didn't feel ready to leave in the morning.  Southwest is excellent because you can change your flights whenever you want without any extra fees.  I found a flight leaving on Thursday that actually ended up saving us $100!  Wahoo!  So although Kent had to come back to work, Nicholas and I were able to stay a few more days, and it was perfect.

I could go on and on about our trip, but instead I will leave you with a few of the funny little phrases that became our soundtrack:
"Coincidence!  My brother is 12 but he has a friend who is 11!"
"But what about at weddings and stuff?"
"Ho ho ho!"
"Pass the purple crayon please" said really fast
"The man with the serious skinny legs"
"Bukah bukah bukah bukah"
"Ummmm, all right."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

now that's talent

I know this is a terrible, bad, no good cell phone picture, but I just wanted to point out two things:

1. Holy cow.  He built a shampoo tower taller than himself (with just a little help in balancing the top one).  His love for stacking things is still going strong.
2. This picture documents his very first smile-on-command.  Adorable.