28 October 2012

Gingerbread Houses

I am really into Christmas right now since here in Utah it feels like Christmas in California, minus the snow we just got.  I have tried to refrain from putting up all of the Christmas decorations, but I have started listening to Christmas music and got out our Christmas blanket.  And last night Charles was so nice to me to humor me in making gingerbread houses while every other sensible person was out celebrating Halloween.
Before getting into the house that we made last night, I wanted to point out a few ways that I have matured my gingerbread house making skills.  As a kid we always had fun making gingerbread houses, of course though we always used graham crackers instead.  After actually making gingerbread I can see why graham crackers were SO MUCH EASIER!  Also, as a kid the whole goal was to pack as much candy as possible onto your house because that meant you got more to eat later.  Consequently I would make a little house and a huge candy garden.  This time around I actually tried to make our house look nice.  I probably wasn't as tempted to throw as much candy on since all of the extra candy is ours to eat anyway.
Here is our cute little cottage with its Christmas lights on.  There is a little couple sitting on the front porch in their chairs and a mail box on the left of the house.
 On the right of the house is a wreath, dog house, and well.
 We had our friends come over and this is their cute little house.  I love their shutters and rail around their porch.  They have such cute little flower beds with chickens out front.  On the left is their little manger scene.
I really like their little chimney. 
Charlie was really good while we made our houses.  The only things that he begged for was the graham crackers and pretzels that we had out.  I am so glad that Charlie doesn't know what candy is or last night would have been so hard since we had about 12 or so different kinds of candy out.

Charlie is Growing Up (you probably could have guessed that))

Here you are folks, Charlie using a spoon!  Not super great, but I think he might get up to half of the food off the spoon.  The other half often falls or drips down his chin.  I still don't always give him a utensil, because they still often become toys.  Utensils are a privilege not a guarantee.
Charlie got his first pair of real shoes.  Like me when I was little, he cried when we first put them on.  Thankfully he only cried for a few minutes, where me on the other hand cried for a few hours.
Charlie LOVES corners or anything similar to a corner.  In one day I took photos of all of the corners that he went into.  Kitchen table legs.
 Next to the stairs.
 In between couch cushions.
Fireplace and the autumn.
 Elbow of couch.
Bathroom counter and wall. 
 Speaking of bathrooms, Charlie LOVES playing with our plunger.  I often find it in random areas of the house!  Thankfully it is quite clean, especially since he tries to drink from it.
 Charlie LOVES making silly faces, this is his current favorite.
 We call it his "Oooh Face" or the "Surprised Face."
Charlie is getting 3-4 more teeth at the moment.  It is kind of hard to tell since he doesn't really let us look in his mouth.  This will put him at about 12 teeth!

Charlie loves picking up Kitty like Mommy does.  Unfortunately for Kitty, Charlie doesn't do a good job.  He usually gets fist fulls of fur, Kitty's hind legs, or the tail.  He also doesn't get the idea of petting and smacks Kitty instead.  We are trying to teach him, but it is a long process.

09 October 2012

Family Photo Before Baby #2 Comes

We took a family photo and here it is.  You can see the cute little baby bump in this one.  If you want to compare it to when I was pregnant with Charlie, here is a post when I was about just as far along.  With all of the yard work I have been doing (about 3-5 hours a day) I sure haven't gained as much weight this pregnancy.  I hadn't realized that I gained so much weight in my face with Charlie.  I think that eating with a one year old also helps.  He can sure help me loose my appetite quickly when he eats his regurgitated food, puts his food in his water, or other such things that shouldn't be said out loud for fear of keeping women from having children :)

Yard Progression for 2012

Charles and I, especially Charles, has worked long and hard on our front yard making sure that everything he did was engineered amazingly.  Here is a before picture of our yard since I am sure you can't imagine a house with just dirt :)
Here is our side yard.  We decided to divide it in half.  Half grass and half a flower bed.  The flowerbed will come next year.  Charles did the sprinkler system for it, but it needs a TON more dirt to get it to the level that we want.  We dragged the three boulders up front, but they will eventually get moved further into the flowerbed.  You can also see our new mailbox that isn't yet finished.  Charles has slowly been making it.  It will eventually have rock all over it.
Side yard close up of boulders and trees, yes, there are actually two trees.  There is a little tiny tri-color beech tree that may or may not live.
 Here is the front park strip in front of the main side of the yard.  We LOVE the huge rock that we put in it and the four different types of trees.  In our entire front yard we have a total of nine trees that are all different.
Here is the front of our main yard.  In the top left corner of the lawn where we have an oak tree and boulder, there will eventually be a flower bed and a waterfall.  On the bottom right corner of the lawn, we will have another waterfall and a huge flowerbed.
 Here is a picture of the future huge flowerbed.  Where the cinder block little wall is will be the beginning of the water fall that will be on the grass side of things.  If all these descriptions don't make sense, you can come to our house and we will give you the huge grand tour of what our yard will look like one day.
We also had 1/3 of our fence installed this year.  We are only installing the sides as our adjoining neighbors decide to put up a fence.  We decided to go with SimTek as our fence since regular vinyl isn't our favorite because of the little holes it can get, the smudges, and such.  The fence is on the south side of our house (left side, if facing the house).  We didn't spring for the portion of the fence that will connect up to our house.  (The house in the photo is our neighbors.)

Funny Little Life

Charlie has learned how to "dance."  He likes to do it quite often.
Last Saturday while I went to the General Relief Society Broadcast Charles was in charge of taking care of Charlie and getting him to bed.  The next morning I kept thinking that Charlie's bum looked like a bum without a diaper on it.  As well, while holding Charlie, I could have sworn I felt his crotch get warm as if he was peeing.  When I went to get Charlie out of his pj's and change his diaper I realized that Charlie wasn't wearing his diaper.  That is, it wasn't where it should have been.  The diaper had slid down one of his legs and was stuck there.  I had lots of fun cleaning up the mess :)
 Here are some pictures of Charlie getting the tow rope ready around the car to tow boulders across the yard.  I had mentioned him doing it in this post.

 Our neighbors were doing construction in their back yard with heavy machinery so I let Charlie stand next to the window on our kitchen counter while I did dishes in the morning.  Once the machinery stopped he found the dishes much more exciting.  Hence sitting in the semi-clean crock-pot and playing with whatever he could reach.

 One of our birds kept getting his leg stuck in the top of the cage so I would un-stick the claw.  I was befuddled at how the bird seemed to keep making the same mistake that would get him so stuck.  Finally during a meal I saw him stuck and so I helped him out.  Before I had even sat back in my chair he was re-stuck!  That was when it finally dawned on me that he wasn't stuck at all but liked to sit like that.  During the course of the meal I watched him get his leg in the roof of the cage and then take it down.  My emotions for the bird went from sympathy to the idea that we had the oddest bird ever.  I don't see how that is comfortable in the least.