Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Before and after pictures of the kitchen floor

The previous owners left a huge stack of flooring for us in the garage and said there should be enough for us to finish the kitchen if we ever wanted to. Who knows why the previous owners didn't just go ahead and finish the job but they didn't. After a year and a half of each of us tripping over and stubbing our toes on the rather large transition piece between the kitchen and dining area we finally had someone come install the rest of the flooring. Since we already had the flooring we only had to pay for labor.

I found a really nice handyman last year and he came over with one of his employees and they installed our new kitchen flooring. It took them all day and there were a couple of times they had to stop and figure out how they were going to cut a a piece, but they did a great job.

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

The room looks so much larger now, but the funny part is that we've all been well trained and know the point in the room where we need to lift our foot higher so we don't stub our toes. I've caught myself several times lifting my foot slightly higher so that I don't trip over the large transition piece that is no longer there. The old blue flooring was also half an inch lower than the new flooring so we had stepped down slightly into the kitchen area. Yeah, it was weird, but now it's all fixed and the floor is looking good!

Next on my project list is clean up the clutter, save money for new counters, and find time to paint the cabinets.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Things the girls have said

The girls have become true Oregonians.

As we walked out of the house yesterday, Sanaa looked at the sky (which was cloudy but not drizzling at the time) and said, "Oh, what a beautiful day."

Last week as we drove Sanaa to preschool through some thick fog Layla said, "I love fog mommy. I no like sun but I love fog."

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Sanaa is also learning how to pray, which is great to hear. This afternoon Sanaa, Layla, and I were out front doing yard work while Malakai napped. As I fought hard to pull up a rather difficult weed Sanaa stood beside me asked, "Young lady what is your wish?"

At first I thought she was talking to Layla since Layla answered. Then Sanaa said, "And mom what is your wish."

Without much thought I said, "I wish these weeds would disappear so I didn't have to pull them anymore."

Next thing I hear is Sanaa praying, "Dear heavenly father, I wish you would make the weeds go away for my mom. Amen." I glanced at Sanaa to see her hands folded and head bowed. So cute! Then after she was done she said, "Don't worry mom, Jesus is coming back to earth and he'll take care of the weeds."

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Today while encouraging Layla to use her potty and not pee in her underwear (she already peed in two different outfits) the following two conversations occurred at different points in the day.

Conversation #1:
After coming back inside from pulling weeds I asked Layla if she needed to go potty.
Layla: "No. I okay."
Me: (I notice her pants are wet) "Layla did you already pee in your pants?"
Layla: "No. I okay."
Me: "But Layla your pants are wet. Did you already potty?"
Layla: "Yeah. I just having too much fun outside."

Conversation #2:
Me: "Layla before you watch tv I want you to sit on your potty."
Layla: "No. I be okay mommy."
Me: "But I don't want you to pee on my couch."
Layla: "Not my couch? Your couch?"
Me: "Yes it's my couch and I don't want you to pee on it."
Layla: "Not See-see's couch. Not Malkakai's couch. Your couch."
Me: "Yes Layla. But please don't pee on it. I want you to come out here and use your potty."
Layla responded, "Okay mommy. I'll say (she then changes to a high pitched voice) 'Mommy, mommy! I go potty!"

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Layla currently pronounces Malakai's name as Mal-ka-kai and Sanaa's as Sa-na-nah.


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I walked out to the garage to locate a bib for Malakai in the dryer while the girls started to eat their dinner. When I came back inside I thought I heard one of the girls say something and asked, "Is everyone okay?"
Sanaa replied, "Uh-huh. Nobody throw up and nobody died."

Well, that's good to know, especially since I didn't think my cooking was that bad.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Layla's first haircut

Back at the beginning of January, us three girls (Sanaa, Layla, and I) went to get our hair cut. This was Layla's first hair cut ever and she did really well. She's been asking to get her hair cut for awhile but I never got around to taking her. Plus, with a girl you can just put their hair up in a pony tail and skip the hair cuts all together.

I think I only had an inch taken off of Layla's hair so there wasn't a big noticeable difference before and after her hair cut. The two pictures below I took just before her hair was cut.


Layla was very excited and wanted to get her hair cut first. Once she was in the chair she suddenly got a little frightened. She didn't cry but sat completely still and would not move or talk. I have never seen her stay this still unless she's sleeping. It was awesome!


I forgot to take any after pictures, but since only an inch was taken off you couldn't really see much difference. She did get a few layers in her hair as well so that her hair has a little more shape.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Malakai - 7 months old

This last month brought on a lot of changes with Malakai. Just this past week he began the army crawl. I wrote down in his milestones document that he began the army crawl at 6 months and 3 weeks old. He is often up on his arms and knees rocking back forth and probably wishing he could figure out how to crawl. However, over this past week he has gotten pretty good at his army crawl and if he spies something he wants he will do what it takes to get to it. 

He has also started to sit independently for brief periods. He's not very steady and will often get very excited about a toy and topple over, but it's a start.

Malakai also got his first tooth this past month so beware if he grabs your finger because he will bite. One of his bottom middle teeth came in.

Diaper changes with Malakai are a battle since he will not stay still. He tries to grab his toys, the diaper, the wipes, my hands, and if nothing is within reach why he'll just try and flip over so that he can reach something.

Malakai still wakes up once a night and is a very hungry boy. The amount of formula he takes has increased since there are days that I can nurse him but he still acts hungry so I end up giving him a bottle shortly after nursing him. He is also eating solids at two meals, lunch and dinner. He's much happier if can be at the dining table with us then left out. With Malakai I am making all his baby food. I made some stuff back in the fall when fruits were on sale. So far he's had sweet potato, apples, pears, bananas, avocado, squash, and peas. He favorite seems to be sweet potato and apples mixed together. But I'll keep introducing new foods and new combinations and maybe he'll come up with a new favorite.

Most of the time Malakai is a happy boy. When he's teething he can be fairly clingy and sometimes unconsolable. But in general he's only unhappy if he's hungry or tired.

And here is the proof that he can cry and scream. I had thought that maybe I could take some 7 month pictures before his nap today. Malakai strongly disagreed with me and this was the picture I got. So I waited until after nap time and we got some much better pictures with a much happier boy.

I mentioned that Malakai is very determined to get toys he wants. This evening the girls toy measuring spoons were laying on the bottom of Malakai's exersaucer. He spied the measuring spoons and decided he really wanted them. So he pulled himself over to the exersaucer and hoisted himself up and into the bottom of it.

He was very proud of his accomplishment! I compared Malakai's milestones with Sanaa and Layla's and he is a month ahead of Layla with the army crawl and two months ahead of Sanaa. It appears we have one very motivated little boy on our hands who is going to do his best to keep up with his two big sisters.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Creating wall art

Before Christmas I was working on quite a few homemade gifts. I was painting things, sewing, and crocheting items. The girls really wanted to help so one afternoon I let them create their own wall art while I worked on my projects.

This is the final product. They picked out wooden shapes that were already painted at Michaels. Layla chose a butterfly, dragonfly, and ladybug. Sanaa picked a castle, crown, and the word 'friends.'

They each painted their own 8x11 canvas. Sanaa decided red and pink stripes would look pretty while Layla went for a completely pink canvas. She actually mixed the red and pink right on the canvas while Sanaa mixed the colors in her paint tray.

I helped the girls glue their wood shapes onto the canvas. Then I hot glued a string to the back and we hung them up in their room. (Layla is standing on a stool which is why she appears to be as tall as Sanaa). Both girls were very proud of their creations.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Malakai's dedication

Malakai was dedicated at church on Sunday, December 30, 2012. We picked that date because that was when Nate's parents would be visiting. It's always been important to us to have both sets of grandparents present at our children's dedications. When we lived in Texas we chose our dedication dates based on when my parents were visiting. So the ages of our children varied a lot. Sanaa was almost 3 months old when dedicated, Layla was 8 1/2 months old, and Malakai was 6 1/2 months old when dedicated. 

I'm glad this was our last dedication. Sanaa and Layla did not stay still. They were like Curious George while we were standing in front of the congregation. Layla decided to inspect the pulpit behind us that had a large metal plate on it and banged it to hear what it sounded like. Sanaa noticed the communion items that were set out and reached into the cup. I stopped her hand before it she put it all the way in the cup. And then the girls got bored so they sat down, then stood up, then sat down, and eventually wandered off to sit in the front pew with Nate's parents. Our pastor talked about how important community is when raising children and how parents need help. His best comment was, "And you can see that they can use some help." Yep. We sure can. 

One thing that our current church does differently than our last church was they ask if you have a life verse for your child. Nate and I thought that was a really neat idea. The verse we chose for Malakai's dedication (which we would actually like to use for all our children) is found in 1 Peter 3:15 which says, "But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess."


Malakai did very well when Pastor Mark held him. In fact, Malakai was the best behaved child out of all three!

After Pastor Mark prayed, Pastor Shawna (one of the children's pastors at our church) presented us with an ornament to mark this special occasion in Malakai's life. We'll be able to hang it on our tree each year and remember this day. The ornament has snowflakes on it and the snowflakes are to remind us of how unique Malakai is because God created each of us differently.

After the service we took a couple pictures with all the family. Not only were both of our parents there but my brother, sister-in-law, and niece were able to attend Malakai's dedication. Ryan and Karen didn't get to come to Sanaa or Layla's dedication when we lived in Texas so this was really special to have them at Malakai's.

The first picture has Papa Gene and the second picture has Gramma Carol. They took turns taking the pictures of all of us.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Recording some milestones

A couple things happened this week (besides us catching the stomach virus and getting sick) that I wanted to record. Yesterday I showed Layla how to work on some 12-piece puzzles and today she is doing them all by herself. I'm quite impressed. She seems to love puzzles! Sanaa always got very frustrated with puzzles and still does, so I didn't think about showing them to Layla. I remembered the puzzles yesterday and decided to give it a try with Layla while Sanaa was at school. Layla loved it and wanted to do them over and over. I may need to get some new puzzles for her eventually. (Hint: This could make a nice birthday gift for her this summer!)

On Sunday Malakai's first tooth came through! At 6 1/2 months old he is the same age that Sanaa was when her first tooth appeared. Layla's first tooth didn't come through until she was 8 months old. I guess Malakai wants to do everything as early as possible.

With this new tooth, Malakai has also discovered the joy that is to be had when spitting. He now spits all the time and soaks our shoulders when we carry him. He even enjoys spitting when we feed him his solids. Lucky us! Just beware that if you ever offer to feed him you may want to wear something over your clothes so you don't get covered with flying food.

Also, for one of the first times, Sanaa was able to write her name correctly. She knows how to spell her name but struggles to write her name. Her a's always look like lower case e's. Today she came home with a paper where she had written her name with upper case A's and it looked great. She was very proud of herself! In the picture below how she normally writes her name is on top and how she wrote it today is on the bottom. I think I was so excited to see the A's that were written correctly I didn't notice her N looked like a M. In her defense the letter of the day was M.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Layla's shenanigans (part 3) - testing mommy's patience

So far today Layla has ripped 5 pages out of Sanaa's princess book that she received for Christmas from Papa Gene and Gramma Carol, spit water on our couch, threw a hard toy orange at Sanaa hitting her square on the forehead, and covered Sanaa's pizza with applesauce while Sanaa was going to the bathroom. While in her bedroom during one of several timeouts Layla also removed her pants and diaper and peed on the floor. It is taking every ounce of self-control I have to not spank Layla very hard. Spanking hasn't done a thing in the past to deter her and timeouts don't seem to be working either. Taking toys away and banning tv also don't work.

Most of the time I feel like I can handle Layla and deal with her shenanigans, but today I am at a loss as to how to discipline her and deter her from misbehaving. She knows exactly what she is doing and she knows it is wrong.

I seriously did not expect to have a child that tested me this much. It's plumb exhausting and I need to figure out some type of consequence that works for Layla before I go completely crazy.

Friday, January 4, 2013

10th Wedding Anniversary

Today was our 10th wedding anniversary. How can it be that 10 years have passed since Nate and I got married? I remember thinking whenever I heard someone say that they had been married for 10 years (or longer) that it seemed like a really long time but these 10 years have passed in the blink of an eye.

It's funny how 10 years ago we were married here in Oregon and then drove out to the coast for our wedding night. I knew that after that we would go on our honeymoon and then I'd move to Texas. I never dreamed that I would get to live in Oregon again. But here we are, 10 years later with 3 kids and living in Oregon.

These 10 years have been quite a journey as we started out with certain plans and goals. Our plans did not turn out as we expected and God led us in a different direction (sometime I need to write that story down!). But right now, both Nate and I are very happy with where we are and where God has led us.

(I can't believe how young we look!!)

My two little flower girls are now old enough to come babysit my children. That makes me feel rather old!


This past weekend while Nate's parents were out here visiting we left all 3 kids with them and headed out to the coast for a night. We went to Canon Beach and really enjoyed our time away. Even though we had a little bit of a scare with the car (brakes squealing, the car not starting, and being unable to get it out of park) it was a nice break. I think I enjoyed eating dinner and breakfast without kids! I even made it through an entire cup of coffee without reheating it!

This evening Nate brought some red roses home and Sanaa and Layla both thought they were really pretty. Nate told them the flowers were for me and Sanaa responded, "Yeah. It's your anniversary." I had told Sanaa earlier in the day that it was a special day for mommy and daddy because 10 years ago we were married. Sanaa is currently fascinated by weddings and getting married. She doesn't fully understand the concept but has drawn a couple of different pictures where she is in a pretty dress and has informed me that she's getting married in the picture.