Monday, July 29, 2013

Deck Demolish

So our project for this summer is replacing our back deck. We have never really liked it... it's big which some people have said is a good thing, but it splits up our yard. The deck was done more or less half ass and was getting pretty weathered. We have spent the last three or so years hammering nails in to avoid a stubbed toe and this past year blocking off part of the railing that was missing the lattice to save Isaac from falling. So we are glad to have gotten rid of it.

Here are some pictures of the deck as it was.



Saturday we worked on getting the railings down.
deck tear down-1

deck tear down-2

I forgot to take a mid-way picture. Kyle got a lot of the floor slats off while Isaac and I went to church. I had to sub in Sunday school, so Kyle said he'd just stay home and get to working on tearing the deck down. We had a lady coming to pick up the deck Sunday afternoon. I had posted on craigslist to see if anyone was interested before we got to tearing it down and I had 12 emails in less than an hour. She was the first to respond so she was the lucky winner :-P She was wanting to use the wood to build a shed so we didn't want to completely bust it up during tear down. We did our best to take it apart and salvage the wood, but a few pieces had to get demolished to come apart. She arrived about 12:30 and all that was left was the frame, thanks to Kyle. We were thinking it'd take a while, but once I got Isaac down for a nap and came back outside around 1:15 there were only four or so base boards left! We had it all taken apart by 2:00 and she left to go rent a truck to haul it away. While she was gone we cleaned up the slab a bit.
deck tear down-4

Notice the rebar in the concrete... that is what 'held' the deck in place. Although we just lifted the base posts off, which were rotted around the rebar.
deck tear down-7

deck tear down-3

She came back around 4:30, Isaac hadn't been up from nap long. Long enough to have a little snack and catch the ice cream truck. We had just finished sitting out front and watching his popcile melt when she pulled around back. We got it loaded in no time, she brought along her daughter so it was four of us loading. Hope she made it back to Stillwater safely.

After she left we headed over to Menards to get cinder blocks for temporary steps (more on this later).

This morning we saw our storage area in the basement illuminated from the light shining through the window that used to be under the deck. We couldn't believe how much light was coming in.

Today Isaac and I worked on moving the rocks that were under the stairs. We relocated them to the bed next to the garage. He had a lot of fun playing in the dirt and rocks. And was even quite the help carrying the bucket of rocks and dumping it next to the garage.

Tonight Kyle tackled the rebar. Isaac and I picked up an angle grinder at the HD today.

We got far away as he worked, but observed from a distance.

Here I am standing inside while he worked on the one at the bottom of the stairs.

He got four cut today and plans to do the remaining four tomorrow. We are thinking of getting a bit of cement mix to put over the tops as they are indented a bit, which would help smooth them over for feel and appeal.

I should also add, I think I broke my toe the umpteenth time I ran into it yesterday. Definitely glad they are gone.

For stairs here is the visual: (don't mind Isaac he was playing and I said "Isaac!" right as I took the picture so he'd look, heehee)


And for visualization purposes... I almost hate to post this because then people will have a standard. But this is the style of deck we are wanting to build in it's place.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bike Ride to Cedar Lake

Tuesday evening I took Isaac on a bike ride. Kyle had taken him over the weekend a few times and he loved it! He has always loved it but we haven't been for a month or so.

Back track a bit to Saturday, Kyle took me for a run. Which I did pretty good, ran 1.2, walked .5, ran another .5 or so. I have been TERRIBLE at running since before I had Isaac. It's just not easy anymore, when I am given the option of running or taking a shower I usually take a shower because it's been a day or so since the last one and if I choose running instead then it'd be another day or so for a shower... which would NOT be a good smell. Anyway, needless to say it'd been a while since I ran...

Okay back to Tuesday, my legs were already sore from the run a few days prior and riding the bike while pushing a stroller wasn't the best feeling. I had packed up the sand toys with the intention of going to Cedar Lake Beach, which is just about a mile on the bike trail from our house. I made it to the corner of Cedar Lake and had ever intention of turning around and going home. The Beach was still a ways south of the point we were and I had to go all the way BACK home. And I didn't want to miss Kyle getting home from work. Well with some encouragement from Kyle I decided just to bike on to the beach. Which I'm glad I did because it wasn't as far as I was thinking. (I did time it on the way home, took us 20 minutes... not too shabby and why I LOVE where we live! Granted it's not an ocean beach, but still a beach)

So we unloaded our sand toys and got busy.
cedarlake beach-1

cedarlake beach-2

cedarlake beach-3

cedarlake beach-4

cedarlake beach-5

Here's a cute little video. His "ya" 's are so pronounced but he was saying them so soft to me since I had the video camera rolling.

I had packed an extra set of clothes just in case he wanted to get wet. When we were done in the sand I suggested washing our feet off in the water... well he wanted to get IN the water so the extra clothes came in handy.

Aquatennial Parade of Torches

Last Wednesday (July 17th) we went to the Minneapolis Aquatennial Parade. It is called 'CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade' although there were not as many torches as I would have liked to have seen. It was from 9pm-10:30pm so a little late for Isaac but this was his first parade and he had a long late nap so we thought what the hay. We are glad we went, he had a lot of fun. Even though he looks very tired he enjoyed everything.We rode with a neighbor friend and happened to bump into her neighbor while there.
aq parade-2

He found our friend's buzz light up toy quite amusing
aq parade-3

aq parade-4

aq parade-5

The big kids crossed the street to get some yummy cold treats. It was a WARM evening!
aq parade-6

He LOVED the planes that flew overhead to start the night off
aq parade-7

I did say it was late at night, he does look tired, but enjoyed himself.
aq parade-8

Then of course was in to the police cars and fire trucks. (He is obsessed with trucks right now)
aq parade-9

aq parade-10

aq parade-11

aq parade-12

aq parade-13

aq parade-14

So Minneapolis has two sister cities, one somewhere in Japan, the other in Mexico. Who knew. Not sure how one gets a sister city.
aq parade-15

90 degrees and in this, she's a trooper.
aq parade-16

aq parade-17

Watching the marching band
aq parade-18

aq parade-19

aq parade-20

Tried to get him waving at the floats on video but of course he stopped when I started recording:

A parade wouldn't be complete without the politicians :-P
aq parade-21

And finally the torches!
aq parade-22

aq parade-23

aq parade-24

aq parade-25

aq parade-26

And the Peanuts Characters representing:
aq parade-27

aq parade-28

We left a little early, about 10:00. Wanted to beat the traffic. We had a fun time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New England Trip Videos

Here are some videos we took throughout the trip.

Isaac jumping into the pool at the hotel in York, Maine

Isaac and Harper talking (taken by Yaya)

Isaac running around the yard and pushing the bunny. (TOO funny!)

Just a little video of us hanging out, naming parts of his face. With a nice smack to the camera to open the scene.

He got so excited when trucks would drive by. Here is a mini version of what he'd do. They were usually much louder and a lot more "ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya" 's

Monday, July 15, 2013

New England Trip: Day 8 - Boston

The final day of our trip was spent in Boston. We didn't fly out til that evening so we wanted to get some sight seeing in. It was a beautiful day and ended up getting pretty hot in the afternoon. We got up and packed our bags good and tight, took one to the car in the parking ramp, left the other in the luggage storage with the hotel and checked out. We stopped at a little cafe and got coffee and some muffins for breakfast. Then went to find the tour bus we decided on. We went with Old Town Trolley Tours, due to the positive reviews. They were clearly more popular as we were riding on a fully trolley we saw another company tour next to us with 3 people on their trolley. The fact that they had only a 5 minute wait time at stops was our persuading factor. And the ticket store was right next to our hotel. We bought our tickets and headed to aboard the trolley.
New England Trip-296

Our tour guide was Miles, who was funny and entertaining. He kept pulling the trolley bell, which Isaac enjoyed. It first took us out to USS Constitution. It was a hop on hop off trolley tour, but we planned to just write it to Fenway Park, do the ball park tour, then ride it back to where we got on. If we had more time we would have loved to hop off and on at a few places and explore a little bit more... next time maybe.

Isaac was very entertained by all the fun transportation vehicles we saw. Like this concrete truck.
New England Trip-297

Here's the USS Constitution
New England Trip-299

As you can tell from Isaac's red cheeks we were rather warm
New England Trip-300

Here is The New England Holocaust Memorial; inscribed on the glass structures are 6 million random numbers, one for each Jew who died during the Holocaust.
 New England Trip-301

This is the Christian Science Church, which our tour guide said is an amazing building, architecturally. And recommended exploring it not for the religious side of it but just for the beauty of the building.
New England Trip-302

The tall building here is the Prudential Tower. It was made to look like computer punch card from the 70's. It is the second tallest building in Boston.
New England Trip-304

We made it to the Fenway stop in time for the 11 o'clock tour. We bought our tickets with the tour line so we didn't have to meet the 15 minutes prior to tour time deadline. We got dropped off at 10:55 and hurried over to the gate to join the 11 crown. Perfect timing.
New England Trip-305

They hung this jersey, which says "Boston Strong" after the marathon bombing.
New England Trip-306

And here's the park.
New England Trip-307

 New England Trip-309

New England Trip-310

New England Trip-311

New England Trip-314

It was a guided tour, which having a little guy I couldn't pay too much attention to what the guide was saying. But it was still fun to just see the park from all different angles. Like from the top of the green monstah:
New England Trip-315

New England Trip-316

New England Trip-317

New England Trip-320

Isaac again not wanting to be in one place. He was getting rather tired at this point, way over due for a nap. He managed to stay happy when we walked him.
New England Trip-324

New England Trip-325

New England Trip-326

The only way to access the top of 'The Green Monster' and get home run balls, was to bring a ladder out to reach the 14 foot ladder you see to the left in this picture. Today, there is no use for that ladder. This score board is the only one still in circulation that has men behind the board manually changing out the tiles for the stats. The At Bat, Ball, Strike, Out, Hit, & Error are the only things electric, everything else is manual. Even the League scores. The men behind the board do have free wi-fi which helps them to keep the league scores updated. A series of dashes and dots run vertically down the two center divider columns, under the N, in American League and between the E and P. They symbolize the initials of former team owners Thomas Austin Yawkey (TAY) and Jean Remington Yawkey (JRY) written in morse code. Mr. Yawkey's initials are on the left. 
New England Trip-328

Not so happy here....
New England Trip-329

There's our trolley stop
New England Trip-330

We thought it was a 60 minute tour but it was actually 90 minutes.  Still looking at the ball park....
New England Trip-332

Ahhh air conditioning at last...
New England Trip-333 the little museum they had at the end of the tour.

These baseballs had been signed by people who have won world series.
New England Trip-336

World Series rings from 2004 and 2007
New England Trip-335

And we had to get a souvenir. We got Isaac a Red Sox baseball.
New England Trip-337

Standing outside the gate, we watched this car (the one on the left) back up into the one behind it. She was an official of some sort, stopping to eat her lunch. She didn't even realized she had bumped it.
New England Trip-338

We went to a local little restaurant and had lunch then made our way to the trolley waiting area. We didn't have to wait long, but boy was it hot.
New England Trip-339

Once we got back on the trolley Isaac was struggling to keep his eyes open. It was rather hot, but we were getting a nice breeze from the window. He did manage to close his eyes for a while and get a few minutes of sleep.

Here we are crossing the Harvard Bridge.
New England Trip-340

There in the distance you can see the Longfellow Bridge and The Zakim bridge in the distance. The barge there in the water is filled with explosives ready for the fireworks celebration the next day.
New England Trip-341

New England Trip-342

We crossed over into to Cambridge for one stop, saw a little of MIT, then headed back to Boston. Here is the home of the famous 'Boston Creme Pie'
New England Trip-345

Oh and the tour guide happen to be the SAME one we had earlier. Good thing we enjoyed him. He was on a new trolley now.
New England Trip-347

Getting closer to our destination, we are back on Atlantic Ave.
New England Trip-348

New England Trip-349

Once we got back we wanted to get the car out of the ramp as we didn't want it there over the 24 hour time period. We decided we'd drive the '18 minute' to Cambridge and maybe visit the Curious George store.... but we got stuck in traffic. Since Storrow Dr was closed for the 4th celebration the next day it was a bit nuts. But we did get to see parts of Boston close up for a long time as we sat still in the car. Oh and Isaac was getting a good nap in so we really weren't bothered with it.
New England Trip-350

New England Trip-352

After 2 hours in the car (to go gps 10 mintues) we decided to abandon the idea of going to the Curious George store and seeing Harvard. (even though we were 4 blocks away). Who knew how long it would take us to get the car returned and to the airport. So we made a right and headed toward the airport. Went a ways without traffic then as we needed to get through Boston again to the other side where the airport was we hit some again. Luckily the tunnel exit for the airport wasn't the main attraction and we got away from the traffic by heading toward the airport.

It took us almost no time at all to return the car and take the shuttle to the airport. It was so fast in fact that we were THREE hours early.... and in-case you were wondering, SunCountry doesn't have anyone to check you in that early. So we waited..... an hour.... at least we weren't alone. One gal was there before us, then we started to see the crowd for as we all waited to check into our flight.
New England Trip-353

New England Trip-356

Once we got checked in and through security we grabbed some food... which Isaac shredded his muffin all over the place since they really had no kid friendly food. After that stress ball of greatness, we took turns chasing Isaac around. Well he found some friends that chased him around, we just stayed close.
New England Trip-357

After being at the airport ENTIRELY too long, we finally boarded our 8:55pm flight. We all got seated, they told us to turn off our electronic devices and buckle up. Then the captain came on (here it is, we thought we might get away with no airport drama) there was something wrong with the balance software, even though the plane is secure and balance the software thinks otherwise, they were waiting for it to get fixed in order to start the plane.
New England Trip-360

Then the sweat began, an hour and a half later, after we were all practically melted and Isaac was probably the most patient on the plane, we were ready for take off.
New England Trip-361

Isaac did great on the plane again, we didn't even have to break out the iPad. He was so tired he was asleep as soon as we were in the air and the plane cabin had airflow back.

This obviously delayed our landing a bit. My friend was keeping Harpo and luckily she works the evening shift like me so she's not one that is early to bed. We picked up Harpo about 1am or so and headed home straight for bed.
All images are copyright of Daisy Simpson. It is unlawful and illegal to copy, scan, alter or edit the images in any way. This depreciates the photos value as well as my reputation, I take great care in capturing and editing each image and they are each important to me. Thank you for respecting my passion and my copyright.