December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!

Here's a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Sens!

It's amazing that another Christmas is here. When you have kids, everything runs in fast-forward. They grow up in front of your eyes and you wonder where time went. It certainly puts into perspective what our parents think about time spent raising us. After all, we were all little kids once!

Here are some pictures - the Christmas card, and Armaan's 18 month pictures.

I love this picture of Priya and Armaan! Such a cute brother and sister pose!

Yup - his middle is as round as ever!

True to my nature of wanting to get things done expeditiously (has anyone seen the movie "Oscar"?), I ordered the appliances on Friday, and they were here on Monday. Thanks to the help of two strong friends, we were able to get the old appliances out, and the new appliances in. I spent about five hours in installation. Most the of time was spent in taking out the old copper piping and rubber hose from the old dishwasher, and putting in new lines. Plumbing has never been my strong suit. At one point there was water shooting out of the copper piping because I turned the shut-off valve upstream of where the T joint for the dishwasher was. So the sink had no hot water, but hello.. lots of hot water in the dishwasher. It was 30 seconds of pure terror as I muscled the connection back in. Onward with the install.. Anyway, there were quite a few things I learned about both water, and gas plumbing, and in the end - it's not really difficult to do once you know what you're doing, have the right tools, and the right couplings and fastenings.

Here's the finished product...

December 19, 2008

The Long Sought Time Off

Ahhh.. freedom! For two whole weeks! Might not sound like much, but it's a welcome break. We won't be leaving for Michigan till Christmas day, so it will actually give me some time to just relax. Well.. relax, and wait for the two Bosch appliances I bought today to show up! Thanks to some good advise, we decided not to go with stainless steel appliances. We saw a few at a showroom, and sure enough - they seemed highly susceptible to smudges and finger- and handprints. Also, how can you have a family of two small kids and lose the ability to stick magnets on the fridge?!! What I did go with was buying a range and dishwasher from Bosch. I decided not to go with the fridge because there are only two models, and both are extremely small - 20 cu-ft for those who are interested. Compare that to the 22 cu-ft we have now, and 25 cu-ft that most other manufacturers offer. So any suggestions that anyone has would be welcome. So far I've been looking at GE stuff.
Tish wanted a dishwasher with hidden controls

The controls are hidden in the door

The kids are coming along fine. Priya finished her fall session at her pre-school. She is now able to start writing her own name, of which she is pretty proud.

The little kitty in her basket

Going for a ride in the snowstorm

While Priya clears the way

Second hair cut. Where are those curls?!!! Here's to hoping for their return.

Putting on a show

The card Priya made for us

Ok.. don't look at the camera, Priya. Ready?

At least they feed them a decent, nutritious meal

While kid brothers get meager helpings...

Ahhh... all done.

December 06, 2008

That was a lot of work

I finally finished the kitchen and dining room project over the Thanksgiving weekend. Well almost.. but that's a little bit later. I think I took my first strip of wallpaper out sometime in August, and little by little got it all done. Here's what the painted rooms look like. I was almost going to say "finished" but its far from finished. We need new blinds, a new light fixture in the kitchen, outlet covers... All the appliances look out of place, so maybe some nice new stainless steel appliances. Oh boy - and here I thought I was just painting the room!

The new fan in the dining room

Tan in the other half of the dining room and kitchen

A few days after I thought I was done, I looked closely at the tan wall shown in the two pictures above. The wall was completely pitted and damaged. When the wallpaper had come off, it had taken off with it small amounts of plaster. I had originally hoped that with a heavy enough coating of paint, the pits would be filled. It was not to be. The wall looked like the surface of the moon. I mean, if you just walked in the room, and walked out, you probably wouldn't notice it. But no - it was there. So Monday night I re-mudded the entire wall. I called off work on Tuesday to sand and then re-prime and paint. Ahhh.. it's a lot better. Still not perfect - but a lot better.

Priya has her Christmas play tonight. But Tish is working, and Armaan has a fever. So I will be staying home, and Priya will go with Skylar. Hopefully she doesn't freak out, and survives ok.

November 24, 2008

Week off

I have all this week off because we have a mandatory shutdown at work. It's part of the cost savings that the company is trying to do. Better than laying off people. But it then gives me the perfect week to finish painting the dining room and kitchen. Here's a panoramic view of the dining room. I'll put up the after picture once it's all done.

I didn't get too many leaves in our yard, so the kids had fun in Christy's pile of leaves. Armaan didn't care for being in the leaves at all - which is the same thing Priya did when she was his age.

Priya making cup cakes

Painting between the lines

November 15, 2008

First haircut

Before we get to the haircut, I'll start with Priya's first pre-school picture. It's so adorable, and she looks so old. She cooperated with the photographer more than she has with anyone else taking her picture.

It was finally time for Armaan to get his haircut. Take a look at the picture below. A girl would be proud to have hair as long as he does! His tight curls in the back didn't make the hair seem that long, but it was getting generally pretty shaggy.

Yep - definitely time for a cut

Getting set up

A sucker to keep him compliant

Almost done

Posing for his picture