Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving / Graham is 18 months old!

It's been a while since I've updated my blog. That's because we have actually been away. Bobby, Graham and I drove out to Phoenix and spent 2 weeks there. What gorgeous weather! Low 70s with very low humidity - just perfect!
And I did lose my camera as well, so I didn't get a chance to take a lot of pictures. I'm still wondering what happened to my Hello Kitty bag. I have a feeling that a store employee may have stolen it from my car while I was not looking, but that's a bold accusation!
We did get a new camera but there was a defect on the lens. It was labeled as a "tough" camera but I guess it wasn't Graham-proof!

Graham loves playing in the backyard at the Phoenix place. I've told him lots of times about not touching the cacti. So far so good!
He loves playing with and kicking the pebbles and putting stuff into his mouth:
And Graham enjoys hanging off Daddy's chair too:
And other times, he just tries to escape the property!
We finally had the floors installed... and we love it! Here's the before:
And here's the after!
As you can see, Graham LOVES to sweep! And as you can also see, the quality of the camera started to deteriorate!
Can't believe Graham is now 1 1/2 years old. He is surely more than a handful now! It's getting quite difficult taking him to the store because anytime he sees something that he wants, it's "tis, tis, tis..."! And we've had a few meltdowns because of "toy separation anxiety"! Hopefully he will grow out of this one! And he has been wanting to walk more, which in a way is good (because he's getting heavier!), but at the same time, he just takes off! Thankfully he has been getting better about holding Mommy's or Daddy's hand.

We really didn't do too much this past Thanksgiving. Bobby wanted to go to a car show in downtown Phoenix, so we did that. And after that, we went to a friend's restaurant for an early dinner. No turkey but according to Bobby, they had heavenly olives! I guess I'll never know. YUCK!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No more handbags for Mommy!

I can't believe this... I think I'm really losing my mind! Perhaps I could blame it on motherhood, but seriously, I'm pretty sure that when I was unloading from the shopping cart into the car, my last item was my little "Hello Kitty" tote bag. I only had one more stop at a different store, where I do remember just carrying my wallet in my back pocket. I did have to rearrange a few things in the back trunk and I didn't really look for the bag there in the mountain of other plastic bags, but by the time I got home, my little tote bag was gone! AND, I had the digital camera in it as well! We were going to get a new camera soon, but I was definitely not wanting to lose this older one! Crazy! A day later and I still can't figure it out! I suppose, if anything, I do still have my wallet. Phew!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Graham, our little parrot!

Graham has been learning to talk a lot these days!

In this recent video, he's trying to say "grape" and "thank you" in Chinese:
~ Grape = Pu tao
~ Thank you = Xie xie

And here, Graham is trying to say "There he/it is":

And finally, here is just one of Graham helping Mommy sweep up the leaves in the garage. Well... he tried :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Garage floor is stained - Finally!

Last weekend, Bobby and I finally stained our garage floor. We've been wanting to do that for the past two summers now and somehow, it just never happened! The climate has to be within a certain temperature during the staining process. I guess we always came up with some sort of excuse and we would just end up on the golf course!

Before staining the garage, I finally finished up painting the ceiling of the garage. It is the same color as the exterior of the house, but it looks a lot more blue! I also cleaned up the work-table. What a mess!
It looks so much better now!
On Thursday, I started to clear everything off the garage floor. I had to hand-scrub some of the stubborn stains on the floor. And after a few good rinses, the floor was so clean! There was no turning back now!
The first step was to etch the concrete. And gosh, it's amazing how dirty the floor still was! After a few more good rinses, it was good to go.
We had to wait for the floor to dry before staining it the next day. The forecast for the weekend didn't look very good though. But I told Bobby that we were going to stick to the plan! We even bought a space heater to keep the garage floor warm! Like I said before - nothing was going to stop us now!

On Sunday, once the floor temperature was warm enough (as well as in time for Graham's nap), we finally started to stain. That was the easy part. The difficult part was spreading those flakes! Bobby said that it was an art. He was building little cities and countries - as these flakes would pile up high on one another! I, on the other hand, told him that it was all in the wrist. Check out my own technique! :-)
We decided to start from the outside in with the garage door closed because we were anticipating bad weather on Sunday. We had prepped the outside of the garage so the rain would not come into the garage as it dries.
Probably would have been easier if we had the garage door just a little higher!
And probably shouldn't have taped everything down so soon. Sure made touching up a little bit more difficult!
Once the staining was done, Bobby was still quite skeptical about the duct-tape and tarp method on the garage door. Thankfully it held up quite well despite the tornado warning AND earthquake!

And... drumroll... here it is!
A close-up will probably help show what it really looks like:
AWESOME...!!! :-)

And we just can't seem to keep those leaves out! Good thing we have Mommy's little helper:
Graham sure loves that broom!

By the way, the deck stain is holding up really well too! Look at all that water on the surface of the wood!
It has been a busy two weekends but we are so happy with the final results! Moving on to other projects around the house. Never a dull moment! :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another quake!

Wow... can you believe it? Another earthquake last night! This was a 4.6... so kinda like the first one that we experienced early Saturday morning. And on top of that, we were under a tornado warning last night. Thankfully we were clear of any tornadoes touching down!

By the way, we ended up getting 3" of rain during the storm and my rain barrel is completely overfilled! All 70 gallons of it! What are we going to do with all that water! Well, at least we know that the new gutter and downspout is working great :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Earthquake in Oklahoma!

We were fast asleep this past Friday night (early Sat actually) when we were abruptly disturbed by a shaking house! Bobby pretty much leaped out of bed - ready to go! Not exactly sure where, but he was ready. I, on the other hand, just told him that it was an earthquake and continued to snuggle under the covers. A few seconds later, the shaking subsided. The next day, we found out that the earthquake was a 4.7 on the Richter scale.
On Saturday night, just as we were going to go to bed, the house started rumbling again! By now, Bobby figured out that it was another earthquake and didn't panic as much as he did the day before. Although, a few seconds later, the vibrations started getting stronger! I propped myself up in bed (and actually panicked a little too!) and told Bobby to go get Graham. Well, Bobby stood ready in the hallway in case the roof did come down. A few more seconds later, it was all over. We found out the next day that this one was a 5.6 on the Richter scale! That's the strongest earthquake recorded in Oklahoma!
Well, as we finally went to bed that night, I asked Bobby where we were going to move to next!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Graham at 17 months

Graham turned 17 months a couple of week ago and looks like I forgot to write about his progress... again! Maybe Daddy does need to buy those cupcakes to celebrate, so that I would remember the occasion a little bit better :-)

Graham is definitely his own little person now. He knows exactly what he wants and what he doesn't want! Still very good with "no, no..." and then, when I show him or give him the incorrect thing, then it's "no... No... NOOO...!" as he shakes his head vigorously!

We continue to practice the concept of sharing with Graham:

And we continue to quiz him on how to say certain words:

Most of the time, I still can't figure out what he's saying! He loves to jibber-jabber, especially when he's in his crib. Right now, here are some of his favorite words:

- "xia yu" for rain in Chinese,
- "back" ~ to put something back at its place
- "walk" ~ when he wants down from your arms so he can walk
- "na na" ~ for his blankie (this one still baffles me!)
- "dark" or more like "dak" ~ when he enters a dark room/place
- "shoe" or more like "shi"
- "cheesestick" or more like "chee-stek"
- "bau bau" ~ when he wants to be picked up, which is his most favorite of all!

During this past week, Graham had his first taste of sidewalk chalk:
Graham continues to surprise me at how much he can understand and comprehend. He definitely impresses Mommy and especially Daddy every day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another hair cut for Graham

Graham's hair was getting long again so I decided to give him another haircut. This time, I used his booster chair and some tools from the garage to distract him. I think I really need to practice a little bit more.

Graham looks like Moe of The Three Stooges!
Yeah... He's wondering what happened to his hair too!
And then, when he finally figured it out...

"Come any closer and I'm going to kung-fu you!"
By the way, the PJ outfit that Graham was wearing is completely filled with hair now! I put it in the wash thinking that the hair would all come off - WRONG! So now, I'm debating about using a lint brush (that's a lot of rolling!) or just throwing them out :-s

Happy Halloween!

This Halloween, instead of buying an outfit for Graham, I decided to make one. A little more than $7 later, we decided to test-drive the outfit at the local pumpkin patch.

Here it is...

Graham, our little pumpkin!
And,... off he goes!
We were here a couple of weeks ago, so Graham knew exactly where he was going. He loves playing in those big playhouses:
Moving on to the next thing... a Radio Flyer wagon with a pumpkin in it:
But then, back at another playhouse - a bigger one this time:
And another one! Graham loved playing with these shutters:
We tried to take some pictures by the haystack, but Graham just would not sit still!
We did get a nice photo op with Daddy!
Although, this other one didn't work out so well.
So, we let Graham roam around on his own again.
He was having so much fun that we literally had to carry him out of the place!
Looks like the pumpkin outfit was a success! So on Halloween itself, we decided to trick-or-treat at the mall since we had an errand to run there as well. Before leaving, we set out the candy bowl on the front porch.

Graham had first dibs!
"I got one, Mama!"At the mall, it took Graham a while to warm up to the idea of trick-or-treating:
But once he figured it out, he was off!
Graham was our happy little pumpkin and at the end of it all, he was quite pooped!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Good looking deck!

Bobby and I spent the weekend staining our deck. It was stained 2 summers ago but despite the 3-year warranty, it was looking pretty drab! So we decided to stain it again and this time, instead of using a toner, we decided to go with a semi-transparent stain (cedar naturaltone). We also decided to put on two coats of it! Here's the before and after - after the first coat of stain.
Yup, that's me... working hard over there! I was the designated "creaser" - taking care of all the creases. Supposedly I would have to work 6 more years before I could use the stain sponger like Mr. Bobby.

Anyhow, here's the deck after 2 coats of stain. I think it looks pretty awesome! Especially after all that hard work!

Oh, and by the way, here's our new little gutter and downspout that runs into the new rain barrel:
Can't wait for it to rain! There's a 50% chance of rain this Wednesday. I might be out there with an umbrella checking up on it :-)

And Bobby is so happy on his new grass seeds. They are actually sprouting!
Hopefully they will grow a little more before the winter frost comes. We also put in some more flowers/Mums out front and also a new Juniper (Blue Star). Hopefully it will survive next Summer!