The Closet

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I love home-improvement projects. They keep me busy (or at least give me a distraction from regular "chores") and they challenge my brain just a bit! I have learned that most projects I tackle are more about problem solving. Sometimes there are studs where you want them to be but most often they are not in the right places so you have to figure out how to implement a design and provide the max amount of safety possible! And I have to admit, I kind of like doing I love the results! So the project I decided to work on was remodeling Sydney's closet. It was just one of those standard reach in closets with the shelf and clothes bar that went all the way across, and according to my observations a huge waste of precious space. Her closet is only about 5 feet by 2 feet so I didn't have too much to work with. The first day I ripped out the existing system.
Then I repaired the drywall and sanded down everything and then painted the whole closet white so you couldn't tell that anything else had previously been there. That was the easy part.
Then I bought some Closetmaid shelving and a whole bunch of parts and started working! I ended up installing adjustable shelving on one side of the closet, a shelf on the very top that went all the way across the entire closet, and two clothes bars on the other side.

For the clothes bars I made sure they would fit standard measurement for adult clothes and also the top clothes bar extends farther over than the bottom clothes bar to accommodate long hanging items.
Here's the finished project with all of Sydney's clothes and toys! I can't believe how much stuff we were able to fit in her closet.
The best part is all the toys and art supplies have a place and don't have to be out in the room anywhere.
And then I can just shut the closet doors and everything is nice and clean! One of the main reasons I did this is because we decided to separate Sydney and Sophie...mainly because neither of them were sleeping very well together. Don't get me wrong, the LOVED sharing a room and I think they were very sad for a few days, but since I have separated them, they are both sleeping through the night and even sleeping in again. So it was worth the work.
Sorry I had to brag just a bit about the closet because I was excited I figured it all out. I have a long list of other "projects" I am hoping to tackle in the next couple of years. And just to note, even with tons of planning and measuring and re-measuring, I still ended up going to Lowe's 3-4 times to complete it was not without problems!



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our lives have changed dramatically this month with Mark beginning the evening MBA program at ASU. So far he has been in school for about two weeks and we are starting to adjust to this new gruelling lifestyle! A typical week seems to be Mark leaving for work in the morning and returning home between 9:00 and 10:00 pm depending on whether he has class or not. Weekends don't seem to be too much better. This semester he decided to take one of the electives which is on Saturdays all day long. Even though he is not around much and is usually pretty tired when he is home, we are still doing ok. I realized that by the time he graduates from ASU, Sydney will be done with first grade and Sophie will be three years old! Wow...I'm sure it will go by pretty fast. Sometimes I think that situations like this actually help me to be a better parent because I have to step it up a notch. I am more patient and try harder to do lots of fun things with both girls and still make life as normal as possible even though Mark can't participate. I also try to stay busy and focused and remember all the blessings we have and the future we can look forward to, once these chapters in our life are complete.

Of course, just because Mark is now officially a Sun doesn't mean we haven't forgotten where we came from! Don't worry, we still bleed blue and are true Cougar fans! Is everyone excited for college football season to begin? This time of year always brings back lots of fun memories from BYU. Go Cougars!


A little bit about the smallest member of the house!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Her middle name should have been Trouble! She spends her days dreaming up new ways to get into things she shouldn't. The funny thing is...she knows perfectly well that she isn't supposed to do half the stuff she does. I always hear her saying "No, no, no, no..." Then she will flash me a little smirk and proceed to get into stuff anyway.
I spend lots of time with Sophie (obviously) and just about everyday, someone comments on the fact that she has blond curly hair and I have straight brown hair. She also has blue eyes to add to the intrigue! I guess this is her way of declaring she is determined to do things her own way. You can barely tell in this next picture that she is holding one of those little rubber stoppers that goes on the door stops. This is one of her daily routines. She pulls them off when I'm not looking, chews on them for a bit, and then hides them. Usually I will find them throughout the day, but currently we still have one stopper MIA.
Sophie can climb up on the couches now and is thrilled to utilize this new talent. I also wanted to post this picture because you can kind of see her cute little curls.
Most nights we try and read lots of books to Sydney and sometimes to Sophie. Usually Sophie doesn't want to sit still to even listen to the first page of her baby books. She would prefer to read the books to herself. Note that Mark is sitting on the floor because I would not let him sit on the couch due to the fact that we had gone swimming earlier in the evening and I didn't want dried chlorine on the sofas.
It's still too hot to even think of going outside so we are often trying to think of new games for the girls. This Saturday afternoon activity was a winner! They had so much fun playing in the sink with random kitchen equipment and lots of soap and water.
Some other fun things about Sophie:
She can say,
Nana (Sydney)
No, no, no, no (No)
Ba (ball)
Bubba (bubbles)
Meow (kitty)
Ni..Ni (night, night)
Wa, wa (water)
More (food)
Bah (bath)

Her favorite book is "Ten Little Ladybugs" (which we just happen to have two copies of!)
Her favorite foods are probably cheese cubes, ice-cream, and peaches
She LOVES Baby Einstein
Her favorite song is "Itsy, bitsy, spider" and she can do the motions with the song
She likes to scream (and I think she sounds just like a Roman candle going off...kind of that really loud, piercing, screech or scream), often when we are in public places or places she needs to be church or a library
Sophie loves playing with Sydney, it really doesn't matter what, just as long as she is near Sydney and participating somehow!

And that is a little bit about our little Sophie Grace



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sydney has started Kindergarten! She LOVES fact, last weekend she was so sad that Kindergarten is not in session on Saturdays and Sundays! She has already been in school for almost two weeks now. Although we miss her, we are so glad she has the opportunity to attend such a great school! Here's Sydney on "Meet the Teacher" day.
Here she is on the first day of school...notice she is standing under a tree! Yup, one of our trees in actually big enough now to stand under it (in the shade).
We were almost late to school the first day because the traffic on Mondays is horrible (and we have to take the freeway during rush hour). We made it just in time for her to find her best friend Maddy and then the teachers blew the whistle for all the kids to line up. I didn't really get to take many pictures of her but this is Sydney in line with her class. That's her teacher.
Like I said before, Sydney LOVES Kindergarten. She is learning to write and read and lots of other cool things. She works so hard on her homework each night to make sure she learns all the new concepts. We are so proud of her. She already had to recite her first poem and she was able to do it perfectly!


Guess who turned 5!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sydney celebrated her fifth birthday last month! We had several small celebrations for her...on her actual birthday she opened presents...but because she was sick that week, we took her to her one of her favorite places to eat later on that month! It was nice to just have a small "family" birthday, considering Sydney and I were sick for several weeks right around her birthday. I think she had fun though. Here she is with a "singing" birthday card that her and Sophie LOVE! Sydney actually still has another "singing" birthday card she received on her 4th birthday last year.
Sydney loves the Wii! She plays it with Mark almost every night. I have a sneaky suspicion that Mark was just as excited about this birthday present as Sydney was.

I made Sydney pose for a few pictures of her at age five! Even though we went out in the morning, it was already really hot and sticky.


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