Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Great Long Weekend, Stairs, and Other House News

We had a wonderful few days with our friends. Jeremy had a lot of help with modifying the stairs (NOT his favorite project),

installing the last few windows,

and a few other miscellaneous projects. The boys and I had a wonderful time enjoying the company of our great friends. We played and played and played. We played at the parks, read, played games, went to IKEA and library storytime and Sunday School together, and generally had a great time. I think the highlight of our playtimes came during our last full day together. Our friends stayed with us for 3 nights and then at a hotel for 1 night with their younger two (the four biggest kids had a genuine sleepover at our place) and then all six of them stayed at the hotel for the last night. The hotel had a pool, so on our last day together, we took all six of the kids swimming in the afternoon. We had an amazing time. The pool was on the small side and was fairly shallow, so it was perfect for our situation. The hot tub was closed for maintenance, so we didn't have to worry about disrupting anyone's pursuit of more peaceful relaxation. We played and played and played. The 9-month-old (who hadn't napped much) ended up loving the water, and of course all the bigger kids enjoyed it, too. I spent a lot of time catching the kids as they jumped to me in the "deep end." After they were aided in "swimming" back to the steps, they would climb out and hurry back to the end of the line and wait for their turn to jump again. All the kids did great and got more and more brave throughout the afternoon. I was really impressed with Taylor's bravery. He puttered around floating on his back (important side note: lifejackets were worn! ;-) all by himself. Even though the kids both had swimming lessons last fall, the winter out of the water has taken a toll on whatever "skills" they may have acquired. Last time we went to the pool, they were both acting scared of the water and didn't seem to remember anything from their lessons, so I was encouraged to see that, at least in the security of his lifevest, Taylor was comfortable in the water.

It wasn't ALL work and no play for Jeremy, either. He and I got to go out on a date (what a novelty! :-). We went to Gustav's, a local German restaurant that we've always wanted to visit. We each got a sampler plate with six different items, so it was quite a culinary adventure. It was VERY nice to get out by ourselves for a little while - we are so thankful to our friends for keeping the rugrats for us. Jeremy and his friend also took Sunday afternoon off and went to Harbor Freight (a break from Home Depot, anyway :-) and then spent some time relaxing at Borders.

The whole visit was so refreshing for me - it's amazing what a difference it is to hang out IN PERSON with a dear friend rather than on the phone. :-) I also got to do a lot of cooking and baking (I know that sounds really weird, but in lieu of the nesting that I'm not able to do and the scrapbooking I ought to be doing (Aric's baby book has exactly 1 page completed), I'm fulfilling my nesting urge right now by cooking and baking, and it was great to have a large audience so I could bake a bit more than normal. I generally don't allow myself to make a full-sized dessert every day because I'm the one in my family who most loves dessert, so a cake a day isn't exactly beneficial. :-)

Here are the "big kids" hanging out the morning of their sleepover :-)

As far as the house project goes, Jeremy's doing a bit of the drain/waste plumbing and contracting some of it out to save some time. Hopefully, it'll be about done after our subcontractor does his part this weekend. Jeremy spent most of the day yesterday crawling around under the house replacing a smelly, partly clogged kitchen drain/waste pipe. It was not enjoyable in the least, but by the end of the day, he had it replaced with clean new pipes. Hopefully, he'll soon have that line of pipe tied into the washing machine drain pipe and then he'll be done with his portion of drain piping. Next week, if his supplies come in, he'll work on the supply-line plumbing, and I believe we'll be about ready for sheetrock once that job is completed. There are so many small "hiccups" inherent in this type of project that I don't really know a timeline for getting actual walls installed, but I'll try to keep you posted.

A few "miscellaneous projects":

Jeremy has finished furring out the basement walls.

He's also turned an attic access into a great big storage cabinet in our master bath. Eventually we'll have his & hers vanities on either side of this cabinet. It was a great idea (thanks, D!) and I'm thankful to have that added storage - it should be really nice!

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