It’s Finally Done!

After several months of hard work by Mark (and with help from Aliyah and another good friend of ours) our dining room is finally complete!  It looks so cool and so different.  It used to be extremely dark and gloomy.  Now it is anything but. 

Here is how the room looked before.  These were taken at Isaac’s birthday party almost 2 years ago:

Before 1Before 2

We went with a Caribbean theme.  Here is the inspiration for the colors in the room (my mom gave me these a few years ago):

Inspiration for room

We also bought these colorful prints from a local Tobago artist when we went there on vacation a couple of years ago.  Mark bought the frames and matted them himself:

Mauvais Langue Print

And here is how the dining room looks now:

Room 1Room 2

Last night we had a small dinner party to celebrate Ben’s first birthday, and to thank our good friends who helped us so much in those difficult first weeks after Ben was born.  We got to use the brand new room for the very first time!  Ben was content for most of the evening and watched us eat from the vantage point of his swing.  We did have cake and ice cream.  I put just a tiny amount of ice cream on his lips.  He wasn’t fond of the temperature (turned his head away as soon as the ice cream touched him), but he didn’t complain about the taste.  Among our guests were twin girls Isaac’s age – the kids entertained themselves the entire evening.

I am SO glad that we no longer have to sit in the cramped kitchen for family meals anymore.

A Weekendfull of Boys


Drum Sander 

Mark has been refinishing the dining room floor.  The floor sander is large and extremely noisy (shakes the house to its foundation), so for most of this process I decided that I would keep all three boys out of the house entirely.  The job was supposed to have been completed on Saturday, but actually Mark didn’t get done until late Sunday evening.

But I had such a great time entertaining the boys!

On Saturday morning we watched Isaac’s soccer game.  I’m not sure who won since they don’t really keep score at this level.  The weather was perfect; a far cry from last week’s game.

Isaac soccer game 2

Then we went to Target (my favorite store) so I could buy some sunscreen, a salad spinner and other necessities.  We had lunch at McDonalds.  Ben started to get fussy, so we went to the park.  Ben got to ride in his stroller and really enjoyed himself. 

Ben in Stroller 

He watched the two big boys at the swings.  Then Isaac and Jonny saw some harmless honeybees, got scared (even though I assured them that the bees were only interested in flowers), and sat with me in the shade and ate the snacks we got at Target.  Ben loved the fresh air and gave us lots of “audible smilies”.  I really need to figure out how to capture those on video and post them on this blog.

Boys at swings 2 

(When Mark saw these pictures he said, “Jonny doesn’t swing on the baby swings anymore.”  Oh well.)

We stopped at EB Games and got 3 new games for the boys’ Game Boys because I wanted to make sure they didn’t fall asleep on the drive back – worked like a charm.  We went to our local creamery to have some delicious homemade ice cream and to buy milk.  

Boys at swings 

We bought Daddy a vanilla milkshake to go and came back home.  The floor still wasn’t done.  Mark decided to call it quits for the day.  We ended up eating out at one of our very good local Mexican restaurants.  Here are Jonny and Isaac playing video games while they wait for Mark to get ready.  I didn’t get done with dinner in time to go to Aliyah’s Orchesis recital. 


As you can imagine, we had NO trouble getting them ready for bed that night!

Jonny tuckered out

Ben in new spring outfit

That’s Ben’s new outfit that he wore to church this morning.  Today wasn’t quite as much fun for Jonathan and Isaac since after church and lunch at Wendy’s I took them to the grocery store.  Mark made good progress with the floor and now it is ready for staining.   We are supposed to have company for dinner on Saturday night.  Here’s hoping the room is ready by then!

Happy Easter!

Please Let Me In 

What awful weather!  Would you believe we had snow flurries again both Saturday and Sunday???? 

We spent this weekend at the beautiful new home of Mark’s sister Dawn and her husband Dan.  They have two sons who are a little older than Isaac.  Needless to say, all the boys had a blast.  We hardly ever saw them.  They spent most of their time playing together in the basement, surfacing briefly to eat and watch TV.  They all got along extremely well.  Jonny actually petted Wolfie the poodle – the last time we visited he wouldn’t even go down on the floor when Wolfie was around.  I suppose it helped that Wolfie is recovering from a broken leg and was tethered for most of our visit.  The first photo is of Wolfie on a bathroom break.  He wasn’t interested in doing ANYTHING except coming back inside where it was warm!

Hi Wolfie

Boys and Ben

Nana and Ben

Ben tolerated the 3.5 hour drive fairly well.  He seemed to enjoy the visit since he had more people than usual doting on him.  The trip didn’t seem to affect his sleeping habits at all.  Can’t say the same for Jonny who awoke multiple times both nights we were there.

We had a great family dinner on Saturday night – Mark’s mom was also able to join us for a wonderfully flavorful roast beef dinner. 

 Easter DinnerEaster Dinner 2

On the way home we had Mc Donalds.  Evidently they are the only fast-food restaurant open on Easter Sunday.

Mc Donalds for Lunch

We had a great weekend trip.  Thanks Dawn and Dan!

In other news, Mark came home last night and started priming the dining room walls.  Here they are now – all white (a big improvement over the deep green already) and ready to paint!!!!

Mark PaintingWhite Dining Room

Just Your Average Weekend

Jonny Gameboy 

It hasn’t been particularly interesting around here lately…

I spent most of Saturday grocery shopping.  Ben came with me to the grocery store.  Mark assured me that he usually loves being out, but he slept for most of the trip, and when he finally awakened, he complained until we got home!

There was a lot of video game playing by the two older boys.  The above photo is of Jonny begging to play with the Game Boy.  If you look closely, you’ll notice he has a bruise on his left cheek.  He got it the same night I took that cute picture of him and Isaac together in their bed.  He tumbled out of bed and smacked his cheek on the open nightstand drawer.  Ouch!  He screamed bloody murder but I didn’t notice the bruise until the following morning.  Poor little guy.  I’ve fussed over that cheek so much that he now tells me sternly, “Don’t ask me about my face!”

Ben is loving his Bumbo seat and his toys lately.  His hearing aids have begun falling out again and the ear molds probably need to be resized.  He’s been “talking” alot and has starting saying what sounds to me like “mama”!!!  😉

Ben Bumbo 1Ben Bumbo 2

Isaac seems to be coming down with something and has run a fever 2 nights in a row.  I don’t think he’ll be going to school tomorrow.  He was well enough today to watch alot of TV.  He and I watched Avatar on Nickelodeon which I find strangely entertaining.  We have a “How to Draw Veggie Tales” DVD we got out for the first time, and the boys enjoyed that.  We are reading Isaac’s 10-chapter Magic Schoolhouse library book from school.  Sometimes I wish he would borrow shorter books from the library (at least until he can read them all by himself), but I am glad he enjoys books so much. 

Larry The Cucumber

Mark has made some great headway with the dining room walls.  He has finally got the hang of the wallpaper steamer, and things are starting to move along a little more quickly.  I will be so glad when we can finally paint the room a more cheerful color.  I hate wallpaper.


I made a new recipe for Tandoori Chicken which I loved, but Mark likes the old way better.  The boys seem to like them equally well and cleaned their plates.

So our weekend is now over.  We start off with a bang tomorrow: we need to take the van to be repaired.  It seems that my previous report about Mark’s little accident was overly optimistic.  I just hope the repairs won’t be too expensive.  😦

Anyone Want Popcorn?

New Nuke

We live in a very old house. The appliances are also quite old. It seems like they all quit working properly as soon as we moved in. The microwave was the first to die. It quit working within a few months of our arrival, and since then we’ve been using the small countertop model we were given as a wedding gift almost 12 years ago. Since we are in the process of fixing up the house to (hopefully) sell, we are replacing some of the appliances. Mark ordered us a brand-new microwave and it arrived today. He installed it with help of a friend:

It looks great, and it actually works!!!

Next on the agenda is a new refrigerator.

I had a half-day off work today so I was able to be home for Ben’s PT session. He had a great time laughing and giggling for his therapist for most of the session – he only became irritable towards the very end.

I had a late meeting for work this evening, so once again Mark was left to face yet another bedtime alone. Jonny gave Mark a particularly trying time: would you believe that after he had been sent to bed he went into the bathtub with his PJs on, and turned on the water??!? He came down to the living room, wet and freezing cold, to find Mark.

Mark changed him, took him to Isaac’s bed and sternly advised him to stay put. Must have worked – here they are now. Aren’t they cute? I’ll have to keep this picture to show them when they are teenagers! 😉

Isaac and Jonny sleeping

This Old House

Our House 

We live in a VERY old house, and it shows.

In addition to the usual quirks that old homes have, the previous owners had awful taste when it came to interior decorating.  When we first moved here 2 1/2 years ago, we had to put up all new drywall and floors in the living room and foyer.  I won’t even begin to relate THAT sordid story. 

Our current project involves redecorating the dining room.  We have appalling dark green wallpaper stuck on top of equally appalling dark green paint.  The wallpaper seems to be stuck on with epoxy or something equally tenacious.  Mark has spent many hours on this task already, but his progress is painfully slow: 

Dining room wall

We would like to paint the room a nice bright color, but what I REALLY want is to move into a nicer, newer home with a big fenced yard for the boys to play in!   I guess we are just making things nicer for the prospective new owners, which is OK.

Poor Ben has post-antibiotic diarrhea.  I really hope it stops soon.