Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Helping

Matthew has been really, really good about his adjusted schedule and craziness, which to me is the biggest form of helping I can expect from a little guy. His increased mobility has helped immensely in his ability to entertain himself. Unfortunately, he's speeding up and learning to move from one position to another on his own. Here he is chasing down his sippy:



Grandpa is also helping by sharing the treasures he finds at grandma's house. Sorry Uncle Matt, grandpa beat you to giving little Matt his first drum.


We brought his little bead maze and he's definitely figuring out how it works:



Here's Matthew supervising cleaning out the garage.And some pictures of saying goodbye to grandma the first time we left.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Too much cute

Thursday night, Matthew and I headed back to Wyoming to take care of a few things, as well as eventually celebrate the 4th. He did fabulously in the car and helped me pack up a garage full of things we brought into town for a yard sale. Today he helped grandma calculate prices and make sales. . .

but mostly he did what he does best: looking cute. AND, when you throw in two 7 week kittens it's almost too much cute to handle.



The day was a success as we made a couple hundred dollars, made a few people real happy and got one kitten adopted. We probably got the most offers for Matthew but since he was being really good and cute, we decided not to sell him today :-)

Then he got to celebrate with grandma's yummy pickled beets and some fresh summer fruit.
All in all, not a bad day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Still a work in progress

Well, we have the living room, "dining room", bedroom and nursery box-free and everything put away!! Thank goodness the apartment is now comfortably livable just in time for me and Matthew to head back to Wyoming for a few weeks :-)

Anyway, Matthew is a big help with unpacking, but prefers to unpack the boxes that I am packing to put in storage. Sigh. He also prefers to unpack the loudest things possible if given the opportunity.
The other day when Matthew was helping us unpack, Matthew created his own wardrobe malfunction.

Thank goodness the rest of our diaper stash closes with snaps instead of velcro or I'm certain we'd be playing diaper-on-diaper-off all.summer.long. He thought it was pretty funny.

Or maybe he's thinking of auditioning to be the new Coppertone baby. I'm sure June would audition as well.

Much of the day while I fiddle around the apartment, Matthew does some, ummm, "researching" instead of just "reading". He'll spend 30-40 minutes spreading his books around him, all open and then going back and forth among them, flipping pages. I'm certain today he was composing a very thoughtful essay on the relative merits of how dinosaurs love their dogs and it's influence in the discovery of whether or not your mama is a llama.


As I was unpacking and cleaning the nursery, I packed away many of Matthew's baby toys. I've been eyeing a bead maze in the stores for him (he loves the one in Borders) and lo and behold, I found a nice used one on Craigslist (another perk of living in a larger area) and she threw the smaller one in as well. Matthew approves:

And it's the right height for practicing pulling up, if Matthew ever decides he wants to do that.
However, before he heads for the bead maze, he always heads to his book bins to "read". Looks like we'll have quite the reader on our hands.

So after all that unpacking, here's the current state of our apartment. The kitchen is 99% unpacked, though I still need to go through those totes on the fridge and pack up the bottles. Though it's not great or attractive, I'm cool with stacking my pots on the fridge so they're close to the stove. However, the 2 I use every day get nested in the center which is annoying so I'm currently looking for a better solution.
And the other side:
I'm testing out keeping most of my dry goods in glass containers on the ledge. Not all of my containers are pretty, but it's functional and a good way to use some of the old canning jars and vintage jars I had found at grandma's.

And here's the weird 9" space between the fridge and the wall. Though I found a decorative (i.e. expensive) shelf to put in there, I think I'm pretty content with our curtain rod and shoe rack solution. It's great for keeping the bread away from the Sky's reach and the lower pockets hold our bulky travel mugs and water bottles. And since I planned for my pot lids to go in the drawer under the stove only to discover our stove has no drawer, they're in a bucket on the floor for now.

To squeeze a bit more storage out of the kitchen area, we are using part of the entry closet as a pantry. It could still use a bit more culling, but it's quite convenient so far.
With the gratuitous amount of storage at the old house, I was pretty used to stockpiling food and cooking out of the pantry/deep freezer so I'm working to change my meal planning a bit to go more week-by-week than long term. However, I think I've found a good solution for now. Our first meal was a success and the rest of the week has gone just as well. Aside from the day we moved in, we have resisted the big city temptations and yummy restaurants and have eaten healthily at home each night. As an aside, mini-meatloaves in muffin tins are genius because they cook so quickly. Thanks to whatever mastermind came up with this idea!

And here's the dining area. The bulky buffet which I was cursing before the move has become a godsend. It's perfect for storing my extra appliances, serving platters and more. The ratty rug I've had since college is now our rear entryway/Matthew food catcher.
And the living room. The junk between the piano and TV is artwork and things to hang on the wall if I'm ever motivated enough to deal with more of those 3M sticky things and/or patching holes eventually in the unfortunately not-white rental walls. The storage tote is our stand-in as we debate the relative merits of purchasing a storage ottoman instead of reclaiming our coffee table with the purchase of an entertainment center. Grandma's hope chest is being used as an end table with plenty of storage for our Wii stuff. We even have space for the dog bed and it still feels much more open than the last house which is nice. All in all, if I forget the disaster of boxes in the guest room and the fact that we have a storage unit, we fit in the apartment far better than I thought we would.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Today we've had the joy of celebrating James' first Father's day. Watching James every day with Matthew is its own gift for me, as he is thriving in fatherhood more than I could have ever dreamed. Watching his face light up when he first sees Matthew in the morning or when he would come down from work is almost as magical as watching Matthew's face light up in exchange. Matthew watches and studies James and just can't get enough of him. Here he is watching intently as James left to take boxes to storage the other day:
So today I am incredibly thankful for and we are celebrating my best friend, a wonderful husband, and amazing father. Happy Father's Day James!

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention how lucky I was to be raised by an amazing father. He taught me the important things in life, things like learning how to fish, how to take amazing vacations, how to relax on a Saturday and most importantly, how to chicken dance :-) (Oh yeah, and can you pick up on the amazing sense of style I got from him?)


He's also apparently a funny guy too!
So happy Father's Day dad! Thanks for everything!

And happy (grand)father's day to both Grandpas! Matthew sure is one lucky little guy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Floods, Goodbyes, Kitchens and more!

So, apparently I haven't downloaded/taken photos for a while. Here's what's been waiting around on my camera. First, some pictures of a sunset. These were taken during the flood as its not normal to see water from the end of our (old) driveway.
Here are a few other shots from the flood.
These were taken around the same place the last ones were taken.


As I took these pics, my neighbor and I took our dogs for one last walk. June will definitely miss her boyfriend Riley. We also caught sight of these Sandhill cranes enjoying the water.
And here's a short video of their calls.

Thankfully, the second wave of flooding that was forecast for today/yesterday was comparatively mild and the county can begin clean up/rebuilding back to a semi-normal existence.

In the meantime, we got the entire house sorted and packed and the movers came on Monday to whisk away 259 of our most prized possessions, leaving the old farmhouse (mostly) empty for the first time in its entire existence. Though I was all wrapped up in logistics (read: chaos) of moving and it didn't hit me later, it's a pretty emotional thing to see the house empty. More on that later.

We also had both cars filled to the brim, including the rooftop carrier for James. Tuesday and Wednesday we ran our last minute errands, said some of our goodbyes and headed out Wednesday night for Montana. We arrived around 12:30am Thursday, and our possessions arrived with the super eager moving crew 7.5 hours later. More power to these young gentleman who RAN to the truck and off the truck and with our stuff. I can't think of anything less appealing than running around with someone else's junk. While they were running in and out of the house, we kept the kitties locked up in the laundry room:
Precisely so they wouldn't try this:
4 hours after the movers started, they left us with this:
and this (admittedly, hidden somewhere in there is my buffet, so the pile is not as bad as it seems).
Sadly, most of these boxes are marked 'kitchen'. Had the movers put 1 box actually in the kitchen, it would have rendered the space completely useless. Oh how I miss the old kitchen already. Speaking of the old kitchen, here are two videos of Matthew I took in it before we left. First, Matthew and Olivia play:

Then, a video of the weird creepy exorcist/growl/demon noise Matthew keeps making. It cracks me up most of the time, but sometimes when it sounds like he's speaking in sentences with it, it's kinda creepy:

Surprisingly, James and I made a nice sized dent in the above pile and hopefully by early next week I'll have pics of the place looking a little more settled.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We're still alive

Monday, 259 of our items were put on the truck and will meet us in Montana tomorrow morning. The van and Explorer are loaded down and fully packed (including my camera which is "somewhere in the van" where it was *supposed* to be easily accessible.) In the meantime, Matthew's been cruising around grandma's furniture like a pro. Proof from the webcam:
Matthew's been a trooper considering he's had to nap all over creation. His diet has been severely wacky as we are clearing out the house, and I do worry that he'll do this from all the blueberries:
The dogs are doing well at grandma's, with the exception of June's reluctance to go in grandma's basement. The cats are enjoying the empty house and hopefully Iris will do well in the car tonight. We'll chat with you all later from Big Sky country (aka the state where everyone already thinks we live!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flooding Update


Just a quick update. First, thank you for all of those who are sending good thoughts and prayers our way. Things were slightly better across the county today with some areas receding, but everyone is bracing for the worst as semi-heavy rain and snow are forecast for this weekend. Unfortunately it's raining right now.

Anyway, here are some unique aerial pictures that have been shared on Facebook. If you have a Facebook account you can check them out in this album created by Zac Larsen at http://www.facebook.com/FremontCountyFlood2010#!/album.php?aid=2167591&id=193303596&page=2

Here are just a few he has shared. This one have been posted on many family and friends walls as these are my mother's family's ranch: The ranch house is behind the trees on the left.


And this is of the intersection about a mile down the road from us. Normally there is a road between the two houses, and the highway running SW/NE in the photo is our road.
And here is water on the streets of Lander.
Again, all credit for the photos in this post goes to Zac Larsen. As devastating as the pictures are, there have been no lives lost and the emergency response has been quick and effective and the volunteer outpouring amazing.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Fabulous Day



You should know I'm posting this well past my bedtime, but I'm waiting for James to get back from filling sandbags . . . PLUS, as I was trying to go to sleep, some crazy woman rang my doorbell looking for someone at 11 frickin' 15pm. Crazy. So I decided to blog in the meantime :-)

First, on Monday we were going to go hike the falls at Sinks Canyon for my birthday, and then this happened:(Photo courtesy Dain Medow and the Fremont County Flood Facebook Group)

Fremont County is facing record flooding. Our extended family's ranch is taking on water and the road to Riverton for us is now blocked off right outside our driveway. We can see the river from our house now, though we are fortunate to be high and dry. Please, please keep this area in your thoughts and prayers as the current forecast looks like this:
and not surprisingly, the National Weather Service is predicting it will get worse before it gets better. You can check out more information and pics at the facebook page (which for lord only knows what reason is the emergency mgmt team's "official" method of communication): http://www.facebook.com/FremontCountyFlood2010

Anyway, back to the slightly lighter matter of our Monday excursion, before we headed out to help with flood matters. Our second choice was we were going to go to the Handcart Museum (also on our 101 things list). However, Matthew napped weird (welcome to my life) and well, we were a little worried about the highway washing out and getting stuck in Sweetwater Station. Sooo, we headed to the park for a fabulous picnic! In exciting news, Matthew has finally mastered the straw, which means I can stop packing a sippy cup around. Hooray!
However, his newest, favoritest food are blueberries.

Then we went swinging



And we found these cool stepping stone things that were the perfect height
and nicely spaced for cruising attempts

Then much to our surprise, we completed another one of our 101 things. While we were at the park we were working with the dogs to chill out and look what June decided to do:

TWICE!

Though it wasn't the original plan, we are able to cross another one off our list.

Before we left we stopped to take some pics of James and I with Matthew.



Then we headed to the Wind River Heritage Center, formerly and kinda currently the Jake Korell museum. It was unique. The mounts truly are fantastic and I can imagine on the days when you catch Jake there, it's quite the experience. The rest is well, a work in progress.


Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...