Saturday, November 26, 2011

In the Neighborhood

Hello friends and family,

What an unbelievable week, month, and quarter.  My computer and desk are still in boxes so this is a more difficult task because i'm working on my laptop without my photo shop tools.  I'll tell the long version of the story in reverse chronology because that's the way my pictures embedded for some reason.  Whoever said "computers only do what you tell them to do" said that before the internet was invented.

We are fully moved in and partially out of boxes.  I found my deodorant and razor so that is a start.  I crop 90% of all blog pictures so you can see Easton and Layla's happy faces.  The house picture works much better fully zoomed out to get an idea of the homestead.  The huge saguaro cactus is a bonus with purchase of the home.  Desert landscaping is awesome because I don't have to mow any grass.

A large portion of time is spent on the back patio for Arizonians this time of year.  The light-jacket evenings make for comfortable conversations in the great outdoors.  After a smashing success of a Thanksgiving dinner the ladies relaxed outside as the kids swam in the hot tub.  Special thanks to Tam for joining forces with us to produce such a top-notch meal.

The dining room table had enough seats for everyone, but just to be comfortable we sat Easton and Layla at their own special table for our first big meal in the new house.

Our kitchen was like Grand Central Station during prep time for dinner.  I learned a long time ago to stay out the way in these situations.  They had it covered well.  Even though we'd only been in the house for two days all of the cookware and ingredients were in their place.

Ouma spent many hours playing with the twins during their week-long visit.  Her greatest contribution was keeping the them happy and engaged during the move and remodel.  She contributed in such a huge way to the moving, cleaning, and helping, but her bonding time with the twins was what I hoped for more than anything.  One particular afternoon she took them down to the green belt to play.  They met a mother and daughter, Ruby, who are our new neighbors.  Her personality is very similar to Layla.  they were best friends within about 10 minutes of meeting.

Oupa and Ouma joined the twins for some cuddle time one morning in Layla's room.  Oupa is an athletic work house.  I already knew that much. However, I didn't realize he had the strength and will power to do heavy-duty manual labor non-stop for six days straight!  The only regret from their visit is how we didn't have any big (or small) fun outings together.  I'm already looking forward to their next trip here so we can play, relax, and enjoy some vacation time together.  

Here is a picture of our first meal in the new house.  Nothing else was set up yet so we used Easton and Layla's table to break in the kitchen.

No TV for entertainment?  No problem...  We have princess ballerina Layla to entertain us for hours on end.    She even has her own "interpretive dance" like at the Swingle reunion so many years ago when I first met Kendra.

The twins are improving daily at their ability to "play together" without our constant supervision.  Talk about a game changer...  Kendra and I can actually have a conversation or complete a task without interruption or crying.  Who'd have thought?

Kendra set them up for success by providing the two felt boards and ample felt knickknacks.  Layla called for us to come see her work and we found Easton willingly supplanted the felt board.

during the move I tried to capture the twins for their first night in the new house.  Instead I got Easton's silly face and Layla's unnatural stiff-as-a-board expression.  They were both Wiley Coyotes running around through the unfamiliar surroundings all the way up to bed-time every night.

Our friend Kyle was a big help during the move.  He did everything from demolition of tile to wiring up our entertainment center.  Part of his return on the investment is admiration from Uno and Dos.  When he comes in the door they show him the meaning of the term, "twinpact" by charging towards him with arms wide open ready to give big hugs.  Kyle isn't all that experienced with little kids, but he's earned Easton and Layla's vote of confidence.  They successfully tested the new couch rocker on the back patio.

The body science books Kendra chooses for them from the library result in interested conversations I overhear.   They had an in-depth review of "what is a uvula" including the up-close and personal inspection.

Ouma and Oupa are already gone back to their normal lives in Sacramento.  We are doing well to figure out what is normal now in our new place.  The twins both expressed how much they miss Ouma and Oupa within an hour after they left for the airport.  This is the hard part about family living in other states, but we are managing well in spite of it.

Our Christmas plans are up in the air, but we know we're staying in town.  No tree or decorations this year because there is much more important work to be done like adding a toilet to our master bathroom.  :)

See you soon!

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