Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cohorts in crime

Dominic and Tank are often mutually engaged in mischief. Here they are, caught in the act.

Despite how many times we ask Dominic not to climb on the dishwasher and stick the dishes in his mouth (clean or dirty), he finds some sort of satisfaction from it.

And Tank’s usually right by his side to lick the dishes clean, or not-so-clean.

Tonight I’m hangin’ with the kiddies while Vickey and my mom entertain some of the ladies in our ward with their first ever cooking class. Tonight the Codella duo tackles chicken Cacciatore. I don’t mind because I got a preview at dinner (and ate twice as much as I should have). Yummy stuff!

My mom’s here this week visiting the grandkids (the adults are an ancillary audience). We haven’t seen her since March. Eliana has tried to monopolize as much of her time as possible. Grandma’s not feeling too great since arriving. She appears to have caught a sore throat bug on the airplane. But we’re having fun regardless.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Beauty school

Vickey took the kids to get their hair cut today. Dominic ended up with what’s called a faux-hawk (that’s a Mohawk that doesn’t go down the back of his head). Whatever!

But it is cute in a sort of baby boy look at me way.

And Eliana asked her mom to take her to get her ears pierced! We thought she was set on waiting till her sixth birthday, but oh no, she decided that today was the day. According to Vickey, once Ellie saw the pink and gold earrings, it was all over.

Here she is, five going on fifteen.

And after her dip in the Coglianese pool…

She insisted she wasn’t done swimming for the year so she and Olympia joined the Coglianese kids for a short swim late this afternoon.

Tonight she’s sleeping in a tent in Olympia’s back yard with Olympia’s mom and sister. What a life!

Sir Tank at age four

Tank’s favorite lounging spot downstairs is the bean bag (fair warning – hair alert).

He’s pretty calm and fun when it’s just us, but introduce someone else and he’s hyper!

But like we always say, at least he’s a good looking dog.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Back to dance class

Eliana began her fall dance classes today. Here she’s posing in her new leotard (a birthday gift from grandma).

She had a full day today with school and dance class. Vickey volunteers in Ellie’s classroom on Thursday’s so Ellie even got to have her mom in her class for a couple hours today.

The band aid is covering a zit on Eliana’s leg. Vickey said Ellie acted like she was going to die when Vickey tried to squeeze it today. When I came home it’s the first thing Eliana showed me. I could tell from the limp that she was nursing it for all it’s worth. What a drama queen!

Bellybutton discovery

Dominic has recently discovered his bellybutton. He likes to stick his finger in it and giggle. He also likes to lift up others’ shirts and look for their bellybutton.

Here he’s practicing the manly habit of lounging in the family room with only one article of clothing on.

Good on ya, DJ!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Little man walking

Dominic has finally learned what it’s like to be walking instead of crawling on all fours. Several times today he stood up and took a half-dozen steps. Tonight he repeatedly walked from Vickey to me and back giggling with each successful trip.

It’s fun to see your kids progress.

It has been different with Dominic as he develops at a different rate than Eliana. I suppose it’s different for each child.

Of course he’s not a perfect walker yet, but he’s getting pretty close. Perhaps this weekend when Grandma Codella comes for a visit he’ll be motoring around upright instead of crawling. I’m sure he’ll continue to chase Tank with his toy walker. He loves pushing it around and chasing the dog.

The weather finally turned to fall weather last weekend. The temperatures are moderate now and thus begins the three months when you know you’re living in a great climate (it makes up for the past three months).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The birthday weekend

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. I feel like I’d need to post at least 10 photos to bring you up to speed on the happenings in our family life over the past week. It’s been a whirlwind.

Eliana shared birthday cupcakes with her kindergarten class on Friday.

Thanks to the Snows for surprising Vickey with your presence on Sunday for her birthday. And thanks to Grandma Snow for flying down Friday to surprise Eliana on her birthday. She had a great time playing with you!

We took Ellie out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory Friday night for her birthday. Afterwards she opted for going home to play with her new toys over getting her ears pierced. I think we talked up the painful part of it sufficiently enough to scare her away from going through with it. She now says she wants her ears pierced when she’s six.

Eliana had a dozen or so friends gather at the Henderson Mission Hills water park for a birthday celebration Saturday night. The kids played in the water, did an art project, and ate cupcakes and cookies while Ellie opened her gifts. Thank you all for the generous gifts!

Charley didn’t disappoint with the commission I gave him months ago to paint two landscape paintings for our family room for Vickey’s fortieth. I thought it would be a sentimental gift, one she would enjoy forever. Unfortunately we’re missing the paintings now because Charley had to take them back to his studio yesterday to put a few finishing touches on them. But I think it’s safe to say Vickey was surprised and very pleased with the gift.

Mark, Gordon and Charley helped over a few days’ time to assemble most of the play set. There are just a few more parts of it to put together. The kids and their friends have already enjoyed the new play set even though we don’t have the rubber mulch down yet, just a weed barrier ground cover.

We went out to dinner for Vickey’s birthday night on Monday and enjoyed some Monday Night Football and good Mexican food. Then the adults played Can I? (a family favorite card game) until way too late.

The front of the house stone work was finished Saturday. It looks great! I did some running around town Friday to secure all the trim stones we needed.

I still have some outdoor lighting work to do, as well as tending to bushes in this heat to keep them alive and completing the installation of the play set.

Work’s keeping me very busy. I usually leave at 6:40 and am lucky to get home by 6. There’s just a whole lot going on right now.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The thousand pound crate

Yesterday I signed for a delivery that was dropped off in our driveway by a forklift. It’s the new play set we ordered from Vinyl Adventure.

Tonight I unpacked the crate so I could manage transporting smaller pieces to the back yard, and so we’d be able to once again utilize the garage for parking.

And with an unexpected confluence of the universe, our front courtyard was finished today, so I didn’t have to traverse mounds of dirt, rock and paver stone to get the pieces to the back.

My project for Saturday is to see how close I can come to assembling the play set. I’m hoping Mark will help me—mostly out of pity and partly because of friendship (it’s times like these that I know my brother’s glad he lives in Salt Lake).

There are many pieces: three swings, monkey bars, a play house, picnic table and two slides. The quality of the pieces was apparent by their weight. We think it’ll look very nice and provide hours of outdoor enjoyment for the little ones.

We’ll snap some photos of the front yard tomorrow and post them so you can see the progress. We’re still not done with the cultured stone crew; they’ll be back Saturday morning. And unfortunately, we learned today that some of the trim pieces we need won’t arrive for several weeks. So that crew still won’t be done for many more weeks.

But the front courtyard, plants and rock are all in. The outdoor lighting still requires some electrical work that I hope to get to next week.

I seem to recall suggesting perhaps we’d be done with the re-landscaping project by the end of October. I’m beginning to think that estimate may be too optimistic.

An open house for parents (and rowdy kids)

I gained a new appreciation for Vickey and her 10-year career as a public school teacher last night (for my sister as well, as she has taught in the public schools in New York and Vermont for about that long).

We attended Eliana’s elementary school open house last night. The school cafeteria was full to overflowing with teachers, administrators, parents and young children.

The small room—small in the sense of everything being designed for kids—was quite warm and very noisy, with a sound system barely adequate to hear what was being said.

We sat (I stood because there wasn’t a spare seat for me) for about 30 minutes while the principal introduced her staff and welcomed us to a new school year. The principal was just what you’d imagine for an elementary school principal: young, cheery, friendly, upbeat and reassuring.

Then we were “dismissed to go to our classrooms.” It’s been a while since I was dismissed like that.

Ellie’s classroom was nice, very kindergarten-esque. I’m sure she enjoys it there with the other kids. Perhaps one of these days I’ll be able to volunteer to be in the classroom to see first-hand.

Her teacher was pleasant, although a bit stressed to get through her presentation amidst dozens of noisy children of all ages and anxious parents. Me, I wasn’t too anxious as I’ve been on allergy medication (it makes me drowsy) for a yucky sinus infection and I was looking forward to bedtime.

I always wondered why Vickey came home from parent teacher nights hoarse. I certainly can understand why after watching Mrs. Gupton for 25 minutes in that setting.

And I should mention that yesterday Vickey underwent the second part of her root canal, sitting in the dental chair for more than two hours. And she still went to the open house! Now that's dedication.

From my perspective, Eliana seems to be in a good school with a good teacher and good support system. I was a bit surprised to hear Mrs. Gupton talk of kindergartners who could read . . . . Could I read at age five? I don’t think so.

At any rate, I’m sure Ellie will progress in her learning and perhaps do better at it than she has at respecting her parents lately. Can you say five going on 16?

Tomorrow’s Ellie’s fifth birthday and I’m planning to take her shopping in the afternoon while Vickey and Dominic pick-up Grandma Snow who’s flying in for a surprise birthday visit. Then we’ll all go out to dinner for her birthday. Ellie chose The Cheesecake Factory (and I’ll bet she orders the pepperoni pizza; so predictable).

After dinner—are you ready for this, grandma?—we’re planning to get Ellie’s ears pierced! That’s what she has told us for several weeks she wants to do for her birthday. Vickey and I keep talking with her about it to prepare her for the temporary pain and long-term care (that'll weigh more on Vickey's shoulders, I suspect). And we’ve told her she doesn’t have to go through with it if she doesn’t want to once we get there.

If I know Ellie and her determined will, she will want to go through with it. We’ll find out soon enough.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Stone walled

I have to say I’m completely impressed with our friend, Armando, and his talented crew. They completed installing Eldorado Stone’s sawtooth rustic ledge product on the front of our home in one day.

They’re coming back next Saturday to work on our courtyard wall and complete the trim around the window, door and archway (we didn’t have the materials for that yesterday).

This is a change Vickey and I have wanted to make to the house since moving in, but the builder wanted way too much for the upgrade.

We’re very pleased with the way it turned out and look forward to the final touches next weekend.

A new bathroom floor at Codella Marketing

Since moving into our office space last fall David and I have discussed replacing the bathroom floor. We wanted the linoleum out and tile in.

We finally got around to tackling the project with the help of Kyle.

This slate is the same product that’s being used in the homes at Brickwater Condominiums, one of my clients. I saw it at the sales center a few weeks ago and loved it!

The floor is still a work in progress (it needs grout and baseboards), but it’s taking shape.

Thanks, Kyle, for all your help!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Work continues

Our front yard remains a work in progress.

Today the stone mason crew showed up at 6 a.m. to begin applying cultured stone to the front of the house. They’re trying to finish today since we told them we don’t want them to work on Sunday.

Since this is a side gig for them, what they don’t finish today will have to wait until next Saturday.

Like I said before, perhaps by October we’ll be passed the work part of this project and on to the enjoyment part of it. We’re looking forward to our home’s new look.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The two step

Today for the first time Dominic took two steps on his own. He’s also starting to stand on his own.

Last night he was standing at the pantry, something I do myself quite often, only my view is much higher than his, and the next thing we knew he was on his back with a basket full of food on top of him. He was holding on to a drawer and lost his balance. He maintained his grip on the drawer as he fell backwards and ended up bruising his left cheek. Poor guy!

Tonight Vickey and I went out to dinner and did a little shopping for Eliana’s upcoming birthday. It was a fun night out, even though I was bored at the mall.

The landscapers made some progress on the front yard the past few days. Hopefully a lot will happen in that regard tomorrow.

And this afternoon I worked with Kyle (he’s working with my office partner) to lay down a slate tile floor in our office bathroom. Tomorrow we’ve got to rent a tile saw to finish up the project. Should be fun.