Saturday, May 28, 2011

Well On Our Way

We are well on our way to finally having a garden this summer! Hurray! Thursday was Brad's day off so after I got home from work, we set to the task of getting the garden planted. Brad's parents had quite an assemblage of strawberries growing in yard that were about to overthrow all the other plants in the garden, so we happily took some of the plants off of their hands. In addition we were able to plant quite a few tomato plants and some peppers. We still have to plants some squash, cucumbers, carrots, and corn. That is our goal for this evening. It would have been nice to get it all done on Thursday, but despite our attempts at distracting Ellie from the dirt with enticings such as cheerios, graham crackers, and toys, she decided that dirt was ore interesting. And as probably most parents know, you don't just dirty yourself with dirt when you are 10 months old, you must taste the dirt. So once Ellie discovered dirt, we had to end the project for the time being. But! We are well on our way!

We are also well on our way to a happy, clean, and newly painted piano. I am using a lot of guidance on this project from Allthingsthrifty. This week we got some paint stripper to finish the job that elbow grease just couldn't cut. We took off all the panels to show the innards of the piano, and vacuumed the lovely instrument out. We also took off all the keys to the paino. That was an adventure! Who knew so much stuff was hiding underneath those piano keys! We found 3 earings, who knows how much loose change (mostly pennies), stickers, and mouse poop. Pretty gross to think that mice were once upon a time tickling the underside of those ivories. Yuck! Anyway, the piano is now in the garage awaiting some paint stripping and some final sanding. Then it is onto paint! Oh, and I don't think it will be done by May (Brad just tells me to have faith).

And our little Ellie is well on her way to being a one year old. That's right, she is going to be 11 months old on Monday. Only one more month until we reach that milestone. She is so much fun to have around. This past week I have really noticed how much fun she his having putting stuff in things. She loves to play with the little red bucket in the picture. She pulls it out of the bottom drawer in the kitchen and dumps everything out of it. This is followed by attempting to refill it, but most often she gets distracted by one thing or another that she is putting in it, and forgets about the task. This of course means I am left to clean up the mess. That's okay though. She now has 4 pearly white teeth. I think another is wanting to pop through too. She is saying all sorts of words too. When it tickle her back she says "ticka ticka." She points to the window by the neighbor's house and says "da" (dog). She points to Dad and says "da." She picks up her monkey and says "ee-ee-oo-oo." She doesn't say "ma" when I'm around, but Dad said she says it when I'm gone. Anyway, as usual, we are loving her.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Piano Project

Back in February I was perusing KSL when I came upon this beauty. Ok, so it isn't exactly a beauty, but I had been toying with the idea of wanting a piano, and this one fit into the budget. It has definitely seen better days, but Brad and I have spent the last month trying to strip the layers of paint that have accumulated on it and we are almost done with the task. It is looking better...... sort of. Now the task at hand it to decide how to finish this wonderful instrument. I originally wanted to just stain the wood after we stripped it, but I don't think this is a viable option after seeing all the different types of wood there are. I am considering the idea of staining the flat top surfaces of the piano, and antiquing the rest, similar to this table refinished by Miss Mustard Seed

I can use all the help I can get. So if you have ever painted a piano, or refinished a big piece of furniture, or know a little something that might help me in this endeavor, I would greatly appreciate a comment. This project, according to our summer project outline, is supposed to be done by the end of May (we'll see if it really happens). Wish us luck!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Zoo, the zoo! A Trip to the Zoo!

On Saturday, like about half of Utah, we decided to enjoy the sunny weather while visiting the animals at Hogle Zoo. It was so stinkin' crowded, but it was a super fun experience. Ellie and I drove down to Salt Lake with Grandma and Grandpa Winter. We met Aunt Aubrey and Ainsley at the zoo. Unfortunately, both Ellie's dad and Ainsley's dad had to work, so Grandpa got a day with his girls. And what a fun day it was! I was very surprised at how much Ellie reacted to the animals. The first animals that I think she really saw and noticed were the ostriches. She just kinda looked at them hesitantly, but didn't really want to take her eyes away from them. We then saw giraffes which was so fun. Ellie pointed at them and waved at them and said her cute little "hi" to them. Oh, it was adorable. And as we walked away, she did all she could to just keep looking at them and wave and say "hi" to them ("hi" is both hello and goodbye in Ellie's world). She was so interested in all the animals, it just really surprised me. This interest was not always an excited interest, but interest nonetheless. The other animals that she really enjoyed seeing were the camels. She once again just pointed and waved. Oh, and she loved the point and say "OOO" in a very excited tone whenever she saw something she liked too. We had a good hour and a half in the zoo before we booked it for the car because of a rainstorm. We got to the car just in time for the storm to really hit hard. We had so much fun on our first to the zoo. Thanks for taking us Grandma and Grandpa! Hopefully Daddy can join us for our next trip to the zoo.

Ellie and Grandpa discovering the ostriches
The souvenir giraffe
An attempt at a cousin picture. Ainsley was much more willing to look at the camera than Ellie was.
Hurray for giraffes! Ellie doing her signature wave.
Miss Ainsley and Grandpa

Friday, May 13, 2011

An Ellie Update

First off, I want to say how nice it is to have a summer break! Brad finished his finals the first week of May. We still don't see him a lot because he is now working full-time at Shopko, his new working "digs." But since he doesn't have to catch a 6:30 train, we do get to have Daddy home in the mornings which we love, and it is so nice while I am trying to get ready for work. Dad usually has the task of dressing Ellie in the morning, and this morning he put her in the cutest little outfit. I didn't realize until I got home after work that he put it on backwards! It made me laugh, but it doesn't matter. I so appreciate the help in the mornings, and Ellie looks cute however she is wearing her clothes.

In Other Ellie news, she is just being an all around doll! Okay, maybe not all the time (like earlier this week when she was trying to break those nasty two top teeth), but for the most part, she is just so cute. She has started to love waving her hand and saying "hi." She started doing that the last couple days in April and during sacrament on May 1, she was sitting down the isle from us with a couple in our ward and she just looked down the way at us and with a big smile, and with a big wave she said "hi." We had seen her do it before, but it just was so cute! And last week at church, I think that's all she did during sacrament was wave and say "hi." She waved to all the primary children as they walked up to sing the Mother's Day songs, and she waved to them as they went to sit down. She waved at the cute little boy across the isle from her, and she waved as we walked out of the chapel. It was rather darling.

She also learned to make kissing sounds about the same time she started waving. She couldn't quite figure out how to make the noise, so she resorted to sticking her finger in her mouth and pulling it out to make the noise. Once again, it is very cute.

Ellie does not like the idea of crawling, but she really wants to get around. So, she scoots everywhere. It is so funny to watch her, and she has become quite proficient at it. This is a video of one of her first "long distance scoots" down the hall. Sorry, the movie switches directions half way through. She is super fast now, and we came to the conclusion this week that the stairs cannot go unprotected anymore. We now have a gate in front of them.
Isn't that funny! She puts all that energy into getting to the train, and then all she does is spin the top a couple times and tosses it away. Ha! Kids are silly, I often wonder what is going on in their minds.

In other mobility news, Ellie also like to hold on to our fingers and walk around the house with our assistance. This, unfortunately, has led to the creation of many a tantrum when she wants to keep walking and Dad or Mom need to be done. Oh dear, I've not had tantrum before this, and I must say, she likes to throw them when she doesn't get her way. Now she throws tantrums when she doesn't want her diaper changed, when she doesn't want to get out of the bathtub, and when she can't play with the thing she wants. Any advice on curbing the tantrums?

Despite the tantrums, we love this girl. She just keeps growing and growing, and she seems to have made drastic changes in her personality and growth in the past two weeks. Here are a couple cute pics of the fast growing lady.

Mommy and Ellie on Easter morning. Aren't her piggers adorable?
This is Ellie playing with her musical toy. She loves to pull herself up off the floor, push the buttons to get the music going, and wiggle her little bum and dance.