Monday, July 20, 2009

Kimball Family Reunion

This last weekend, Matt, Nicole, and I packed up and drove down to St. George for the Kimball Family Reunion. Matt's grandparents live in St. George and put together a reunion for all the Kimball family. Matt got work off on Friday and we left early in the morning after Nicole's first feeding. Nicole did surprisingly well on the trip. She slept most of the way and we only had to stop once to feed her. I'm so glad that she travels well! I feared that she would be upset the whole trip. Luckily, St. George is not that far away.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn where the event was being held. They had an indoor/outdoor pool. We decided that it was a good opportunity to take Nicole swimming.

It was difficult getting her into the little swim diapers. They are tight little diapers that you slip on. But, I got her into it.

Momma Kimball bought her a little swimsuit. She searched for a long time for one small enough and it turned out to be a little too small. She looked like she was in a little wrestling outfit. But, it worked and she looked cute.
She wasn't really sure what was going on when we took her out to the pool, but Daddy was excited!
When we first put her in, she did not like it and kept struggling, but eventually she just looked at the water with confused looks. No crying, which I count as a success.

We stayed inside most of the time, but Matt took her outside once and she flailed because it was sunny and the sun is her worst enemy.
I got her out of the pool eventually and she was happy to be held by Momma.
I was really excited about her first swim. I wanted to take her to the pool again, but we never got the chance.
Most of our meals during the reunion were at a church not far from the hotel. We tried to pawn off Nicole on relatives, but she cried every time. She has figured out when Mommy and Daddy are not holding and has decided that she doesn't like it. Sigh* It made for very tired Mommy arms because she wouldn't let others hold her.
Though Momma Kimball tried many times, Nicole cried every time she held her. I guess she is just very particular.
Matt invented a new game where he teaches Nicole to pull his hair. Now she wants to pull my hair too. I don't think that I like this game.
One of the best parts about St. George is that it has an In and Out. I had never been and Matt insisted that we go. So, we went and I foolishly ordered a single patty cheesburger. Then, I realized that I should have ordered a Double Double. So, we had to sneak out during the reunion to go again.
Here is us at In and Out. It was really yummy. More yummy than I thought that it would be.
Matt takes In and Out very seriously.

It was a great trip! We got to see all the Kimball Clan and played lots of games and had fun. I'm really glad that we went. I'm also very glad to be home and get back to our normal schedule.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Things Matt Builds With His Bare Hands!

A few weeks ago, we had Anne, Carlitos, and little Lucy over for dinner. We put on a movie in our downstairs family room for the kids to watch. Little Lucy has learned to crawl and loves to pull herself up on things. She also likes to be right in front of the tv, touching it. So, she decided to pull herself up on the tv. But, our entertainment system is not deep enough for our ginormous tv. So, we put a board under the tv to get it to fit in the entertainment system. This makes for a precariously balanced, front heavy tv. We immediately realized how dangerous this is for small children when Lucy decided that playing with the tv was a fun game. The tv didn't fall when Lucy decided to play with it, but it made us realize that it will not be too long before our little Coley O is crawling around and also trying to pull herself up on the tv. We needed a new solution.

Matt first suggested that we get a new tv (flatscreen of course). I countered that we just needed a new entertainment system because all the dvds, game systems, and satelite were down at kid level where they could grab and destroy. Matt came around to my way of thinking and we decided on a new entertainment system because it is a lot cheaper than buying a new tv. But, Matt wanted to build it himself to save money and so that we could customize it to our needs.

Unfortunately, I neglected to get a before picture of the entertainment system because once we decided that we were going to build it and we had designed on paper what we wanted, Matt immediately started to dismantle our old entertainment center. He used the wood from the old center to help build the new center. The following is a step by step picture montage of the process of building the new system.

(I did none of the work and Matt did it all. He is very skilled and it was his first piece of furniture that he ever made.)

We decided that it would be safest to mount the center piece to the wall so that even if Nicole did climb up on it, it would not fall on her. (Matt is paranoid about this because a few years ago a child was killed at Circuit City from climbing on a tv display.)

He used the bottom of the old system and cut it to fit the size we wanted. He made a frame mounted to the wall and put up backing that would serve as the back of the system.
Then, he was able to salvage wood from the old one for the sides and the top of the system. You will notice the hole in the side there, that is for the computer to go in and out.
He walled off the section for the computer so that the computer can come in and out of that side compartment. We are using the tv as a monitor so that we can watch media online on the tv (like
The side door flips up and out and the bottom slides out like a drawer so that the computer can be slid in and out. Matt came up with this idea and used the drawer rails from the old system to make it work.
Then, he built a bunch of shelves inside to fit all of our components and some dvds. He also built rails out of wood for sliding doors in the front. He used his table saw to build his own rails rather than buying premade rails. Here is a pic with him testing the rails.
Then, he built shelves on each side of the main unit to house our dvds out of the reach of small children. These are also securely mounted to the wall.
Then, he bondoed it all together, caulked, and painted them all for a sleek, clean look. I did nothing of this, but I did watch the baby while he worked on it every day after work for two weeks. So, I feel like I contributed a little. Plus, I helped to design it.
The other day we were at Target and we noticed this 42 inch flat screen on sale for $400. It was a discontinued tv and it was on clearance. Plus, the only one they had left was the display, which they sold to us for an addition 30% off. So, Matt got his wish after all and got his flat screen tv.

Here is the finished product with plexiglass doors and plenty of dvd and storage space. I love it! It turned out better than anything we could buy. And, we did it all (tv included) for about $500. I'm so glad that my husband is handy and willing and able to build things with his hands!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! Here's a picture of what Nicole thinks of the fourth!

This year for the fourth, Matt got the third of July off from work. But, he didn't tell me that he got it off, I heard it from my Mom first. Matt was trying to make it into a surprise, but Mom spilled the beans. I was just happy that I got three full days with Matt rather than just two. I would love it if neither of us had to work and we could just be together all the time. If only we were independently wealthy. I wonder what it wouuld be like.
On Friday, we took Nicole to Freedom Days. Which is essentially a bunch of booths outside by the courthouse that sell things. We like to walk around and see what is being sold. I bought Nicole this hat because Nicole really hates the sun. Everytime I take her outside she acts like I have wounded her with the sun. She shuts her eyes tight and flails. So, the hat helped to shade her. Though she didn't like it on her head, she seemed to like the shade.
While we were at Freedom Days we found some little kid sun glasses and we bought them for Nicole. She looked super cute! And, it helped further her avoidance of the sun. She liked to eat them more than she liked to wear them. It was actually the first time that Nicole has grabbed something with her hands and brought it to her mouth. She has brought blankets to her face, but nothing heavier than a blanket. We were very exicted that she learned a new trick. I'm sure we won't be excited when she tries to put things into her mouth that should not go there. She grabbed her dirty diaper this morning when I was changing her and I was not excited about that.
Matt didn't want me to take a picture of him while we were at Freedom Days, but I got him anyway.
There were a lot of cool/restored cars at Freedom Days and Matt enjoyed walking around looking at them.
Nicole seemed to tolerate being out in the sun for an hour, but then she got angry and fell asleep. I really enjoyed the outing though. Being with my own family for the fourth seemed to make it more fun than it has been in previous years. Even though all we did was walk around and look at things. When Nicole is older she will enjoy it more because she will be able to ride the rides and play. I'm excited for her to grow up and experience those things. But, at the same time, I want her to stay my little baby forever.
After Freedom Days, we came home and just hung out. Nicole loves her high chair! For some reason, she always wants to put her feet up on the tray. Later in the day on Friday, we went to a park in Orem and met up with a bunch of people that I went to college with in Hawaii. The Allreds, whose house I lived in in Hawaii, were in from Hawaii and were there too. It was fun to see everyone again. Even though most of us already live in Utah, we hardly get together.

For the fourth itself, Matt worked on building our entertainment system all morning. (Post to come about that project) Then, we drove up to my parents house for a barbeque. My dad got a new grill for father's day and he does not like to pass up an opportunity to use it! Most of my siblings and their children were there.

Johnny kept trying to get people to go outside and play games, so Matt, Anthon, Krista and I went outside and played soccer for a while. I cut out early because it was just too hot, but the boys kept playing for hours. Matt got very burnt. I opted to go inside and play Boggle instead. I love Boggle! Mostly because I am really good at it.

While we were outside playing, Marie watched Nicoley for me. What a good sister/aunt she is. Nicole was attempting to take a nap with her, but Nicole likes to wake up everytime her pacifier falls out and I don't think that Marie got very much sleep.

We left my parents and came home. Matt resumed work on building things with his hands and I took care of the baby. We didn't watch fireworks, neither did we buy fireworks. When Nicole gets older we will do more things like that, but I just don't think that she would appreciate it right now. Plus, she likes to go to bed at 9pm or she gets really angry. And it doesn't even get dark until 9 nowadays.

It was a good fourth! I loved just spending time with my husband and my daughter. There is nothing better.