Sunday, June 29, 2008

Milk, please.

Not much to say tonight... I am really tired from work, but I just wanted to pass along my picture
of Peanut for tonight.
Just now Paul came up to me and said "Milk, please."
I said to him, "Go ask Daddy."
He looked at me, then turned around and walked to Daddy, looked at Daddy, then ran back to me.
"Milk, please."
"Go ask Daddy."
Peanut runs to Daddy...
"Daddy... "
Runs back to me.
"Milk, please."
"Why won't you ask Daddy?"
He looks at Daddy, all shy, and then back at me.
"Milk, please."

So, excuse me while I go get him some milk.

I do not know why he cannot ask his Daddy for anything. Whenever he wants something he comes to me, and I am by far the more strict parent. Daddy always gives him things without making him say please, or anything, but he thinks Mommy should be the one to wait on him. Ah well. I do not think I would like it any other way... apparently, either would he!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fires = Boring for Babies

I am sure everyone knows about the fires burning all over California and making the air quite a mess. Auburn is no exception. I do not know if you can tell from the pictures, but there is a nasty smoke cloud lingering like fog everywhere. It smells so bad, and if you look closely, you can see fairly large particles floating everywhere. NOT a good day to be outside; nor was yesterday, and probably not for the next several days.
That said, what is a Mommy to do with a Peanut who is used to playing outside for a good portion of the day?
I am going totally insane, and so is Little P, so we have to turn to the Toddler Busy Book, all of the toys, and all of the story books scattered around the house.
Today after we finished cleaning Paul's room, bouncing balls all over the house, reading a million books, cleaning Paul's room again and blowing a half-gallon of bubbles Mommy decided it was nap time... Paul did not think it was nap time.
So, Mommy resorted to the babysitter, and Paul is currently watching his Little People DVD. At least he is sitting down. Oh, how I wish the air was clean!
Any ideas for entertainment for a mommy and a baby stuck inside????

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Feet Ball!

Paul loves balls more than any other toy on the planet (besides the remote control and telephone), and while we were shopping last night we walked past several balls that Paul pointed too and laughed at. Then he gave a curious look and said cautiously, "Ball?"
"Yes," Mommy said. "Football."
Currently the "feetball" goes all around the house with us, including into the shower, and he cannot be parted with it. He looks like some super excited football fan waiting for the big game. At least he has not bothered the phone today.

Monday, June 23, 2008


A boy after his dad's own heart! I was hoping to find matching PJ's for Daddy and Paul, but they only make these in little sizes...

Cousin John

Little P met his cousin John for the first time yesterday, and, as it is with every other kid on the planet, Paul wanted to give hugs and kisses... much to the dismay of his older cousin. Little John was afraid of Little Paul (from what I hear, since I was at work). Here are some pictures of them as they were getting to know each other.
My cousin Richard is my nearest of three cousins, and I love him dearly; I am sad to say that time and distance has not permitted us to introduce our boys earlier! As it was, I could not even be present at their first meeting! Such is life! One must always appreciate the people in one's life and try not to lose contact with those that are special!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The trouble with grown-ups...

Is that they are always on the move; working, cleaning, fixing, etc. Kids are awesome because all they want to do is play. It is their first priority, closely followed by eating (in Paul's case, anyway). Awesome.
We have run into tons of obstacles during our kitchen remodel, the least of which are actual problems in the kitchen. Between me working my regular and overtime shifts, Daddy driving to Oroville daily for training, Me taking Sydney to the vet because she sliced open her leg on a fence, Paul on a super-ultra-nobody-in-the-world-is-as-good-as-mommy kick, spring cleaning, the back bathroom toilet literally falling apart, the garden being eaten by something non-human in the middle of the night, and Daddy not really knowing how to cut baseboards, but trying really hard anyway, we have yet to finish the kitchen. We were hoping for today, but it will be tomorrow at the earliest and Monday or Tuesday most likely. It looks great, and the floor is all in, but this is a learning process and the baseboards are proving quite a challenge. They seemed like they would be the easiest part, but it is actually pretty hard to make two 45 degree angle ends match perfectly together. It takes time and patience, both of which are nearly non-existent for Daddy, Uncle James and I.
Paul has all the time in the world, though; and frankly, he is bored to death of the whole remodel... unless he gets to help. He had fun when grandpa came over to inspect Daddy's work and he got to sit by them in the kitchen for a little while. Other than that, he would rather sit in his shopping cart and stare at the wall all day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Of Course

Man, this kid is cute!

Almost Done! Almost...

Getting there! Daddy and Uncle James have been working hard on my new floor, and it looks great so far. There is actually still a long way to go, plus the baseboards, which we have not even bought yet, but it is coming right along. What do you think?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Kitchen Floors and Dinosaurs

Ugh...We spent all day today ripping linoleum out of the kitchen, and I am exhausted. Who would have thought that one would need a crowbar and hammer to take up linoleum? It is pretty tough stuff! I got a really great workout and my arms are going to be killing me tomorrow, but it is all out of the kitchen and pantry, and now we just have to scrape up all this paper stuff and put in the laminate. That should be the easy part, as it all just locks together, but measuring, cutting and trying to make the boards match decently may turn out to be quite a chore. Hopefully Daddy will work on it a little tomorrow before I get home...
Meanwhile, out in the living room...
Uncle James could not figure out what to do with Little P, who continuously called for his "Mommees" the whole morning, so Mommy found some dinosaurs in the closet and showed them to Paul. He practiced saying "dinosaurs" all day, and says it quite well now.
We are both making progress!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trouble? Me?

Paul knows better than to touch the remote, but, as usual, things he is not supposed to touch quickly become his favorite toys.

The Slide

Paul is perfecting his monkey-like climbing abilities. I have been afraid to let him climb high things because of the whole falling-off-and-breaking-something thing, but today I let him climb around all by himself with the big kids and I did not even hover or anything! Yay! Milestone for Mommy!
Anyway, he did not fall once, and he had a great time climbing the mountain and sliding down the slide about four trillion times. I am glad he is developing his gross motor skills and all, but I was taking pictures and trying not to cry... my baby is growing up already! He does not even need me around to catch him anymore. He'll be graduating from Oxford before I know it!
Sorry if the pics are a little blurry, it is difficult to clearly capture a tiny person moving 300mph.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Garden Update

The garden is coming right along, besides the peas that something killed and buried right in the garden. I do not think it was the evil devil-spawn gopher this time; I think it was my dog! Lame. They are definitely working together to destroy my summer harvest. Two things you do not want if you are an aspiring farmer: gophers and dogs. Also bugs that eat leaves and plants... Lame.
Other than those pests, the garden is coming right along, and in a few months I should have some nice tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and squash. The Peas are done for, and something ate the okra before it even had a chance...
I have some really great sunflowers growing, too, just for fun. They did not look like they were going to make it a few weeks ago, but they have really sprouted and they look so cool!

Computer Baby

I think it is funny how kids imitate their parents. I give one point to "Nurture" in the Nature vs. Nurture debate. "Nature" says that humans get their personalities/habits/etc. from heredity and the gene pool, while "Nurture" says that humans get their personalities/habits/etc from environmental factors and how one is raised by parents/other humans. This is the most basic explanation of these theories, of course, but you get the picture. I believe that people become who they are out of a mixture of the two, but some things make me think one may have more impact than the other.
Anyway, Little P has started "blogging" (as Daddy puts it). Whenever someone is not sitting at the computer, Paul climbs into the computer chair and types away on the keyboard. He is very good about it, actually, and does not bang his fists on the keys, but uses his fingers gently. Daddy maintains that I am creating a monster, as Little P never even gave the computer a second thought before I started this blog, but now the computer is one of Paul's favorite toys.
It makes me very conscious of myself and fellow adults, since it is obvious Little P will be picking up many possibly lifelong traits from older people, most especially myself. I try to avoid saying things I never want him to say and doing things I never want him to do, but I have come to realize that even things I take for granted make an impact on him. Even blogging. Not that there is any harm in knowing how to use a computer, but I would much rather see him outside playing than at the computer.
Guess I will have to spend more time in the garden...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Oh, Yes...

Here is Paul while Daddy and Uncle James were "babysitting" while Mommy was demolishing the kitchen. He just finished spilling a glass of water all over himself and the living room floor, but he is sure cute! Sorry, mom bias...
The three of them were also watching Footloose, and Paul was dancing like crazy throughout most of the movie.

Kitchen Update

I am still working very hard on my kitchen, and I am happy to say it looks different and much better! I have finally adjusted all of the cabinets so that they open and close nicely, and today we took out the cabinet that was in the way, and I put together my island. All we have left is some paint touch-up and the floor (which we have not ordered yet). The floor will be the most difficult part, but I am looking forward to it. Once we order it I am going to tear out the old floor. We had to take some of it out already to get out the old cabinet, and I think the base floor looks better than the linoleum!
Here is a before and after so far...
I have to work early in the morning, so good night and have a lovely weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hat, Hat

We are having a yard sale this weekend (Fri-Sun) to get rid of some of our stuff, as well as try to get rid of some of the stuff that was in this house when we bought it. There is some pretty good stuff out here, but Paul has dibs on a little basket, uh, I mean hat, that he found in a pile of baskets. He was looking through a pile of stuff this afternoon with the rest of the people looking around, and he pulled this "hat" out of a bigger basket and put it right on his head.
"Hat! Hat!"
Paul has never liked hats on his head, and has been pulling them off his head since he was able to figure out how to reach up and grab them. However, he decided that this was the coolest hat EVER, and wore it around for about half an hour before discarding it for the next thing that caught his attention... a hole punch.
It is a beautiful weekend! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gopher Eradication

A gopher has been tunneling and making little gopher holes all through my flower beds for a couple of months, and up until now has not been that big a deal. Up until the last couple weeks he did not make too many holes, and any dirt he pushed up could be repaired by simply stepping on the dirt. It was also munching on my strawberries growing in the garden, but there was enough for everybody, so I did not mind sharing a few.
This week the critter looks like he has grown to the size of a dog! Well, I have not actually seen him, but he has tunneled through all of my gardens , pushing up and displacing dirt everywhere, making giant holes in the ground, and the freakin' thing has devoured two entire strawberry plants! Strawberries, leaves, stems, roots, everything! Gone. Underground.
So much for sharing.
I know it is outside, and technically his territory, and I hate to go all Caddy Shack on the little guy, but I am officially on a gopher hunt.
He brought it on himself...

Nooo, Nooo

Little P has finally come to the "no" stage. Some people consider this some sort of precious milestone... I consider it annoying. Up until last week, if we did not want Little P to do something we would say "No, Paul. Let's do ______ instead," and he could be redirected to some safer or less destructive activity. He would sometimes cry a little, but he would pretty much just get over it and move on.
This past Wednesday morning, while I was innocently making breakfast, Peanut walked over to the dog water and splashed in it. Nothing new. I walked over to Paul to "redirect" this behavior, but he knew I was coming, and before I could say anything he looked right at me and screamed "Nooo! Nooo!" (pronounced New, New) because he did not want to be taken away from his fun dog water bath. Resisting the urge to burst out laughing, I brought P out to the living room to play with other toys.
Every time Paul does not want something or does not want to do something he cries "Nooo, Nooo!" This is mostly annoying because it is really funny and I want to laugh whenever he says it, but I cannot encourage him, so I just redirect him and try not to smile.
The word "No" is currently banned from our house as well, which is also annoying because I particularly like that word. Daddy and Uncle James are also getting used to it, but we all slip up quite a bit. One does not realize how much one says "no" until it must be changed to a different word!
Paul is stuffing the toothbrush into the VCR
"N--" Oops "Paul, that is not how we use a toothbrush, let's brush our teeth instead."

Paul is riding Sydney like a horse
"Nn---" Oops, I mean: "Paul we do not ride the dog, let's pet the dog instead."

And so on for the entire day. And the next day, and the next day.
We are finishing day 6 of the No-a-thon and the attempt to end it
"Paul, it is time for bed."
"Noooo, Noooo, Nooo!"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mommy's New Kitchen

Most of my readers are friends and family, so as you know we bought a house last year that is a total wreck and we have been working very hard to fix it up. Seeing as we spend almost every dime we make on the mortgage, we have little left over for home improvement projects. Every few months we manage to scrape together enough to fix something, and this month, with the help of mommy working 15-25 hours of overtime for the last couple weeks, we are fixing up the kitchen a little.
By a little I mean we are painting the cabinets and installing new hardware, removing one cabinet and replacing it with an island, and installing a new floor. So far I have sanded, primed, painted and installed hardware on all but four cabinet doors, and I mean to finish them by tomorrow evening. Tomorrow after work I also need to do some touch-up painting, because no matter how careful you are or how thoroughly you cover something with paint you always miss something.
I have been working on these cabinets for 8-10 hours a day since Wednesday, which includes all of the above-mentioned tasks as well as the hours spent driving around looking for decent hardware on clearance and searching for hinges that matched the size/shape of our current hinges. The main thing we thought about was price, of course, but I shopped around WAY more than I usually do and I found some nice knobs and handles for a decent price; after all, it gets really expensive to buy 36 knobs/handles at $2-3 each. I looked around for an entire day and finally found some that were just over $1 each; they are stainless, and I do not have anything stainless in my kitchen, but they look nice with the paint regardless.
The hinges were a completely different story! The hinges that fit our cabinets do not exist ANYWHERE, except for one tiny hardware store in Auburn. For some reason stores do not carry hinges for 1950's style cabinets. All the salespeople kept asking me why I just did not get new doors with the invisible hinges, as they were more in style, etc.
Ya, cuz I never thought of just getting entirely new doors, ever. Why didn't I think of that?
I finally found a pretty close match, but even they are not perfect, so I have had to do some manipulating (forcing) to make them work. I have some fine tuning to do, but after hours of adjusting and re-adjusting, I only have 2 squeaky doors. Daddy is a little upset because all the doors worked fine before Mommy got to them, but what am I supposed to do, leave them ugly?
Anyway, we do not have our island or floor yet. We are going to go with a wood laminate floor, though. Like Pergo, only not quite as good (but not bad), and way less expensive. We are still doing some research, but we should be able to do 200 square feet for about $500 for materials and we are going to install it ourselves. For those of you not researching flooring, that is a really great price. We do not have any idea how to install a floor, but we are going to learn! Hopefully we can decide on something, tear out the old one and install the new one by the end of June.
I have spent a lot of hours on the internet researching islands, too. Out of the hundreds I have looked at the one I really want is $700. Daddy has put a price cap of $350 on my island, but so far I have not found one I really love in that price range; they are either too small or not my style. I will have to settle on this one, I guess, since I cannot have everything my way, and I am pretty much OK with it because almost any island is better than my current small and poorly placed cabinet. Anyway, I will keep you posted as I work on this project. Here are some before and after pics... How does it look?

Paul's First Haircut

Little P did not have much hair to begin with, but what he did have had been growing out of a small patch on the top of his head in excess, while the rest barely grew at all for the last 17 months; what he did have was becoming quite unruly. I decided yesterday that it was time to get out the electric clippers and give Little P a trim. I had been dreading this because every kid I had ever seen get a haircut at that age screamed his/her head off and squirmed around the entire time. My own brother James once had to have designs shaved into his hair on the sides of his head because he was moving during a haircut and the guard came off the clippers and clean-shaved a patch of his hair from the side of his head. My mom decided that she had to make it look like she had done it on purpose, so she sheared lightning bolts on each side of his head. Clever, but he was 2 and he looked like a dork.
Being afraid of this very situation, I was not sure about how to accomplish this task.
Mommy: Paul, check this out!
Clippers: Buzzzzzz
Uncle Bill (who had just gotten his hair cut): Paul, come sit with me!
Mommy: Uncle James! Come here and help hold Paul in case he tries to run after I start this.
So with Uncle Bill and Uncle James close by, I made the first swipe over his head with the clippers.
Second swipe.
Third swipe.
Paul tilts his head back and closes his eyes.
Fourth swipe.
Paul lays his head on Uncle Bill's shoulder and totally relaxes for the remainder of his haircut.
The whole thing took about four minutes and all I could think after was: What an awesome baby! There is a before and after picture above, but you can barely tell a difference unless you actually see him in person. Trust me, he looks different!

Still Here!

Hi everyone! I did not forget about you, I promise! The Dunkel household has been psycho this week and I will tell you all about it when I get off work today, as it is too difficult to tell you everything when I have to type it on my phone. Here is a preview: Mystery Monday, frog death, hopeful gopher eradication, Paul's first haircut, mommy's work week, and mommy's kitchen makeover... I think there is more, but I cannot think of it now if there is. Stay tuned!