Sunday, December 31, 2006


Today Brandon asked me if there were real boys in his boysenberry fruit strips.

At least we know that his mind is working just fine!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Been A While

hi - it's been a while since I wrote a blog. Probably because I tend to blog when the kids are napping and I have some time to myself. Brian has the week off between Christmas and New Years, so he's home this week. I'm never at home by myself! There's always someone else in the living room by the laptop. Odd, huh, that that's the reason I haven't blogged!

Not much has happened since Christmas. We've been playing with all the new toys and generally enjoying time together as a family. Caitlin has been walking up a storm! She got inspired on Christmas day to walk around (guess she had to all those new toys!), and has been on a roll ever since. She now takes 10-15 steps at time, and can walk down the hallway by herself. She's still pretty loosey-goosey when she walks around, but she gets better every day. We've discovered just how much Brandon pays attention to what goes on around him. He now requests mommy's favorite song, "I Don't Feel Like Dancing," whenever we get into the car. I obviously played it a few too many times when I got the CD! We got him a "Hide 'em in Your Heart" CD at Bereans today. Maybe he can start singing some scripture instead of European club hits!

Here are some Christmas pictures for your enjoyment!

Brandon setting out milk and cookies for Santa

Brandon wondering why Santa didn't eat all the cookie!

Caitlin at the new woodworking table (doesn't that nail look like a cigar?)

Caitlin and cousin Danny

Brandon and his cousin Chris

Monday, December 25, 2006


Our first Christmas with an excited child! Brandon came into our bedroom this morning at 7:45 to ask if Santa came last night (into our dark bedroom - this is a big step for him)(oh, and my apologies to all of you who's kids came in much too early!). Brandon was highly perturbed last night at the idea that Santa was going to come down our chimney and leave him presents. He told me that the fire place was for smoke, and then asked if Santa was going to break on the way down. I guess it is breaking and entering, when you really think about it. I don't know why we think it's totally normal for a jolly fat man to enter our house late at night when we're sleeping. On top of it, we leave him food! We are basically inviting him in. Then, after breaking and entering, Santa leaves presents? So not like the stories on the ten o'clock news. You can see why the whole notion had Brandon a little alarmed. However, after his first question this morning, I knew he had gotten over his fears. Now I'm a little worried about the whole Santa thing now, but I'm moving on.

Following are a few early morning pictures of the kids opening their presents at home. I'll post more later, after all our Christmas adventures. Hope your Christmas is Merry!

very excited that stuff is in his stocking!

even more excited that there are gifts under the tree

I think she gets the concept of opening presents

Must gnaw on pooh bear.....

Posting is so much more fun when I get to rock out to my new CD's. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Look Who's Trying to Walk!

Coming to get you, Mom!

Brandon is Caitlin's perpetual cheerleader (unless she's near his train table!)

okay, there's no walking in this one. I just thought it was cute!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lamb Ears and Stage Fright

The children at Highway did a sing along last Sunday, the 17th. Brandon, of course, was scared to go on stage. He was being held offstage by a friend's dad until Brian went to see where on earth he was! (thanks, Joel!) Brian did manage to get Brandon to sit on stage as long as he remained at Brandon's side. That was just so mom could see her wee babe on stage! We had practiced the songs, and he knew both of them by heart. But still, stage fright set it.

The 2 and 3 year olds were lambs in the productions, while the older children were angels, shepherds, etc. Not only was Brandon barely on stage, but he wouldn't wear the lamb ears. I got him to wear them afterwards in his class.


Make a Funny Face!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Things I have realized today

*We don't have calm children
*My house may possibly never be clean again (although I would settle for merely "messy" verses the "tornado just passed through my house" look)
*Caitlin will always cry when I go to the grocery store. Anyone want to go shopping for me?
*I've always known it, but I really love my husband. I love him even more when he bathes the children and when he puts one or both of them to bed.
*Other people get worn out by my kids (yeah! It's not just me!)
*Other people's kids wear them out as well (again, Yeah! It's not just me!)
*It is necessary to get out of the house in the early evening. The witching hour starts at 4:30 at our house.
*It's cold outside at 5:30 pm. I don't mind it, but it's cold! And it's dark. But my kids aren't whining.
*Getting babies to wear mittens is next to impossible.
*Getting babies to wear hats is next to impossible.
*Wiping a baby's nose is next to impossible.
*Getting enough sleep is next to impossible.
*My neighbor's little boy is a wonderful kid, and he and Brandon just love playing together.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sidelined by a Question

We were singing "Silent Night" in the car on the way home today when Brandon completely sidelined me with the following question:

Mommy, what's a virgin?


I thought I had a few more years before I needed to answer that question! I'm still not sure what to tell a 3 year old. So, I told him that a virgin is someone who hasn't had a baby. I thought that was good until I heard his little voice again, from the back seat:

Mommy, boys can't be virgins.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006


No, I haven't dropped off the face of the planet. Actually, we were out exploring more of the planet last weekend. Brian and I headed off to Colorado to explore our options. I've posted a few pictures below to prove that we didn't just drop the kids off with the grandparents and head to Hawaii.

We headed out the Boulder/Denver metro area to see if we would consider that area as a place to live. The option for us to move there is on the table. It's a very nice area. Not nearly as crowded as Santa Clara county. We were pleasantly surprised to find parking at the local cool mall just two weeks before Christmas. We did have to wait for a table at a restaurant there, though. It was a nice change to look at houses that we could afford. It's amazing what $350,000 can buy out there. You can get a 2500 square foot house with 4 bedrooms, and that's not including the basement! Here, $350K would only get you a studio apartment in a scary part of town. It's nice to know that we can afford a home somewhere, just not here.

Overall, our impressions were very favorable. We've explored other places in the past years, but none have panned out. I'll keep you updated on this situation. We may move...we may stay put. Only God knows right now.

View from the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder

The view from our hotel room. The mountains look so much smaller in this picture than they did from our window

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bathtime Photos

I took a couple pictures of Caitlin tonight at bathtime that reminded me of some that I took of Brandon when he was around the same age. I can't really call this a comparison because Caitlin is about a month older than Brandon was in these photos. They're cute, though, and show some definite differences in body shape!

Cute Brandon waiting for his bath. 9 1/2 months old

Cute Caitlin waiting to get in the bathtub (her big brother always has to get in first!) 10 1/2 months old.

Just cute

Monday, December 04, 2006

Let Me Outside!

What you can't see here is the fact that her daddy and big brother are playing ball outside in the back yard. How desperately Caitlin wants to go outside! If I could trust the fact that she wouldn't just eat the bugs and twigs on the ground, I'd let her out.

Please, Mom, just let me go outside!

What are they doing?

Blurry (sadly), but you get the point (yes, she's clapping)

If I press my nose a little closer to the glass I might just magically go outside

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Just Kidding

Following is a conversation that Brandon and I had in the car:

Mom! Mom! Look, I see the moon!

I see it, too.

Mom, there's 2 moons.

No! There's only 1 moon.

No, Mom! There's 3 moons!

There's only 1 moon. You're so silly!

(keep going in the conversation until we get up to 12 moons)

I'm just kidding, Mom. There's only 1 moon!

I think that he finally gets the concept of kidding, and of joking around. This is going to make life a lot easier!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The End

Back in early November I was challenged by my friend Arlene to post a blog for each and every day as a part of NaBloPoMo (aka National Blog Posting Month). E-A-C-H and E-V-E-R-Y day. Today, that challenge has ended. I would do the dance of joy, but I'm currently too tired to get off the couch. It has been a crazy month. Brian has been traveling quite a bit for work, which is always a little difficult with 2 small ones. Normally it isn't so bad, but I have spent the better part of the month of November battling numerous illnesses (mostly colds, migraines, and possibly the flu) that left me feeling tired, beat, and sometimes unable to be on the computer for more than a few minutes at a time. On the upside, I've lost a few pounds and caught up on all my shows on TiVo. Finding something to blog about everyday was often a challenge. It was also a challenge to keep posting during our Thanksgiving travels to my parent's house. It's hard to share a computer with 7 people! But I did it, and it's over, and now I don't have to feel guilty if nothing cute or noteworthy happens during my day! I'll leave you with the latest cute thing that happened recently:

The other night I was driving to HFM with the kids. Brandon and I were talking about how everyone and everything starts off as a baby. Trees were saplings, sheep were lambs, and even mommy was a baby at one time. But now I'm a grown up. So Brandon said:

Someday I'll be a grown up, too.

Yes, you will.

Yeah. I'll be a grown up when I'm 5.

Really? When you're 5?

Yeah. But not when I'm 4.


But I don't want to wear contact lenses when I'm 5. (mommy wears them)

Okay. We'll see what we can do about that.

I'll be a happy mommy if he doesn't have to wear contact lenses at the age of 5, or ever! I guess he does listen when I say that only grown ups wear contacts. It's funny what goes through a child's head. 5 is a big age to him. He'll get to start kindergarten! (I might cry, I might demonstrate the above-mentioned dance of joy - I'm not really sure how I'll react when that day finally comes). I remember really wanting to be 12. That was a long time ago. I hope he isn't disappointed when he still can't drive at the age of 5, or use a real knife. Guess we'll just take life as it comes!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


We had an interesting lunchtime this afternoon. Today was playgroup day. So, being the good mom that I am, I bundled my babies up in the 40 degree weather to go an play outside. I figured that if kids in Minnesota could handle it, so could we. I don't think Caitlin liked the cold. She cried a lot, and was mad that she couldn't eat the tanbark because of her mittens. Oh well.

As I pulled into our garage upon returning home, I smelled something funny. I though the car was overheating, or something weird like that. As I got out, I realized that it smelled more like a campfire than a hot engine (yes, I do know both smells). As it turns out, a condo one street up had caught fire. The sirens and howling dogs were getting louder and louder. Brandon was very excited about hearing all the fire engines, but very concerned that they were getting closer. I asked Brandon if he wanted to go see the fire (I could see the column of smoke just past our house). He said yes, timidly. So, again, being the good mom that I am, I scooped him up, and locked the garage door (Caitlin was fast asleep in her car seat. See - I'm such a good mom - I didn't wake her up!).

We walked over to see all the commotion. Brandon, of course, was scared witless. I know my child's boundaries, so I kept walking. He always asks about fire trucks, hoses, and fire hydrants. This was the perfect teaching opportunity. There were several fire trucks, several hazmat trucks, and fireman putting their gear on and rushing to the scene. Brandon got to see the big hose hooked up to the fire hydrant. Now maybe he'll believe me when I tell him that fireman can get water out of them! We saw smoke, but not really any fire. I can't find anything on the fire, so it must not have been all that big. Brandon did calm down after our neighbors showed up. He explained it all to 4 year old Kyle, who didn't like the sirens.

The aftermath of all this? Brandon knows where all the smoke alarms are in the house. I've put the fire extinguisher right outside of his bedroom door. He wanted it there. Guess it makes him feel safe. We had a long talk about how we should always be careful with matches and fire. We also talked about sirens, and how the firetrucks only turn on their sirens when they need to get somewhere fast. Drivers need to pull over when they hear sirens nearby (Brandon's very concerned about the rules of the road when I'm driving. I hope he's not some bad backseat driver when he's older!).

Brandon reminded me at bedtime not to have a fire anywhere else in the house except in the fireplace. Good idea!

The fire truck and firemen

the road in general

Now he'll believe me that firemen can get water out of a fire hydrant!

The smoke (at the very end. You can see it if you squint)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Independent Little Man

Brandon is my little independent man. He wants to do everything all by himself. This includes opening and closing the doors, buckling his own seatbelt (the harness of his booster seat), picking out his own clothes, and now, making his own PB&J sandwiches. Yes, you heard right. My three year old now wants to make his own sandwiches. I shouldn't be shocked, since this is the same kid who wants to do the laundry by himself, and is highly insulted when I don't let him. But I digress. If I don't let him make his own sandwich? Then there is the whining and the crying. Now, I don't give in to whining and crying on a regular basis, but I really do feel that this is different. So, I get the ingredients out, open the jars, and then hover over Brandon as he scrapes out some peanut butter with his plastic Ikea knife, scoops out the jelly with a spoon, and then smears them together on the bread. He isn't allowed (yet) to put the bread together and cut it in half. I'm sure he'll request to do that by next week. When I can find my camera, I'll post a picture of him in the kitchen making a sandwich. It really is cute. At the rate he's going, he's going to insist on driving the car when he's ten, and will move out when he's fifteen.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oh, The Places You (use to) Go!

Today Brandon asked me what a swamp was. I pulled out my photo album from a trip to Louisiana and showed him pictures of the swamps and of the alligators that followed our boat. Later, he asked me what Big Ben was. I pulled out another photo album and proceeded to show him Big Ben from a trip to London.

Oh, the places I use to go! My days of travel. I do miss them. I wanted to be a mom, and we wanted to have children, and God has granted my wishes. I still miss the freedom to travel and see the world. I hope that we can do that again in the future. I really hope that we can take Brandon and Caitlin along when they are older so that they can see all the wonders the world has to offer.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wrestling with Pooh Bear

It has become obvious to me that you need to start your kids young if you want them to have a career in wrestling. Caitlin is showing fine form here in the chunky-weight infant category.

Sizing up the opponent


Ha-ha! I've got you now!

Hey, you're kinda cute! (Never a good thing to realize during a match!)

Oh, Hi Mom!!! Were you watching this whole time?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Whistling Man

Today at lunch Brandon asked me about the Whistling Man.
What....? What Whistling Man?

You know, he said, The Whistling Man. He rolls.

What....? (still have no idea what he means)

The Whistling Man, Mom (add an impatient sigh here to get the full effect). In the song you sing.

Oh, you mean This Old Man? As in:
This old man, he played one
He played knick-knack on my thumb
With a knick-knack paddywhack, give a dog a bone
This old man came rolling home

Oh, Yes, This Old Man. Why did he roll? Why didn't he just walk?

What I really want to know is who makes up all these songs that make no sense? Earlier we were singing "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt". That also makes no sense (and who would give their kid a name like "Jingleheimer", anyway?). Brandon still wants to know who we are locking up when we sing "London Bridge". I give up!

By the way, I still think that the old man rolled home because he was drunk. But I think I'll wait a few more years before explaining that one to Brandon.

Home at Last

We are home at last, with 2 cranky, semi-napless children. Seriously, I have no idea how I would cope with life if it wasn't for Round Table Pizza. I wouldn't have minded cooking a meal, but all the cleaning up is a different story.

The kids were both tired, cranky, and entering the meltdown stage when we left my parent's house. Caitlin was in serious need of a nap (someone decided she didn't need to sleep last night from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am). Brandon was up late watching "Cars" with his uncles and grandparents, and didn't get to bed until after 10:00 pm. He didn't realize we were leaving grandma and grandpa's house until he was strapped in his booster seat. Then the flood began. The hysterical, hyper, crying, whining flood. He needed kisses... he needed hugs... he needed his tears wiped away.... what he really needed was a nap! He fell asleep within 5 minutes of driving away. Caitlin took about half an hour. For an hour and a half we had a quiet car. It was nice. After that we had much noise. Happy noise, but much noise. An hour later the noises weren't so happy. Mostly from Caitlin. I found out that Caitlin would be quiet for a few minutes if I put a cheerio in her mouth. One by one, minute by minute, we made it home without any screaming.

We were all happy to get home. Caitlin was so very happy to crawl. She visited her favorite places - the closet, the bathtub, the shower in my bathroom, Brandon's bookshelf. Yes, she's happy to be home. She crashed in bed at 7:30. That late only because she needed a bath. After her little stint of not going to sleep until 2:00 am last night, I expected this. I'm sure I will crash shortly as well, since Caitlin didn't stay up alone last night. Yes, I'm happy to be home. Happy to be able to close her door if she wakes up in the middle of the night. Happy to close my door. Happy she won't wake up her brother. Yeah! We're home!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Leaving the House Alone

Today Brian and I got to do amazing things, such as go to the mall - by ourselves. Have lunch - by ourselves. See a movie (wow!). All due to the loving offers of babysitting by Grandma and Grandpa.t Brandon also got quite a treat tonight. He got to watch the movie "Cars" for the first time, surrounded by his uncles, aunt, and grandparents. I haven't asked him about the movie yet, but I'm sure it was a hit. I'm just excited that I was able to get on the computer (since it's shared by 7 people during the holidays!).

We decided to brave Black Friday, as it's currently called, and go to the mall in Fresno. Yes, it was crowded, but not by Bay Area standards. We drove around for a whole 3 minutes before we found a parking space. We waited 10 minutes before having lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. Terrible, I know, but someone had to do it! The last time we braved the crowds at home was in 2003. I didn't really want to go, but 2 1/2 month old Brandon wouldn't sleep at home. We knew he'd snooze at the mall. Something that Caitlin would never do! We were brave then!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I Am Thankful...

...that my children have such loving Grandparents. On both sides. We are currently visiting my parents. I am warmed to the core to see such love for my little rug rats. On top of grandparents, my kids have aunts and uncles who adore them and love them (and amuse them to no end). I don't often take the time to appreciate the fact that Brian and I come from such loving families. Yes, of course, they are all weird (admit it. Where do you think we get it from?), but they are loving, and that's what it all boils down to, isn't it? Love your neighbor as yourself. Honor your father and mother. If possible, as far as depends on you, live in peace with all men. I am thankful for these things, and so many more.

Tooth #2

Yes, we have a second tooth. It's little, but it's there. This explains the runny nose and general crankiness.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Traveling with Kids

Do you remember a time when you could pack up your bag, rucksack, or suitcase and leave your house on a trip in under an hour? Or a time when you packed light - and I mean light - for a weekend trip? I do. Packing and going on a trip with kids is such fun, isn't it? I just love how it takes me several days to get ready for a four day trip.

First, there's the laundry. And oh, how much laundry there is! The sorting, the spot treatment, the washing, the drying, the folding, the putting away..... Lucky for me that my three year old wants to help. Unlucky for me that he is insulted when I don't enlist his help, and he actually cries that he didn't get to put the clothes in the "washing machine-machine."

Second, there is the packing. And packing. And packing. I'm usually doing this late at night, after a long day of laundry (see above). These days I have to actually make a list of things to pack and cross things off once they're in the suitcase. There is a really good chance that if it's not on the list it probably won't go (I forgot Caitlin's PJ's last time. They're on the list now). I can pack Brandon's bag after he's asleep, since nothing seems to wake him up. Caitlin, on the other hand, is a light sleeper. I have to grab all of her stuff out of her room before she goes to sleep, because if you even breathe too loudly near her door she might wake up! Then there's all the baby paraphernalia that has to come - the bottles, the baby food, the formula, the diapers, the monitors, etc. My parents have a pack-and-play and a toddler bed, so I at least I don't have to worry about forgetting those, too! It got a lot easier to travel with Brandon after the age of two, and is easier still now that he's potty trained.

Third, there is the getting there. This involves packing up the car. Planes are even harder, as you have to edit what you need down to the bare minimum! Packing up the car usually involves letting the kids either run amok in the house while you load, or strapping them in the car seat before you load. I prefer the latter. It's easier when your husband is there. You can divide and conquer the tasks and the kids. The car ride is good when kids are sleeping. Brandon has always been pretty good the car, but Caitlin is another story. There's nothing quite like feeding a bottle to a child who is sitting in the back seat when you are sitting in the front seat, just because you don't want to waste another 10 minutes on the side of the road. My arm still hurts!

Then, there is the best part - ARRIVAL! Not only am I happy, but my kids are happy, my husband is happy, and the grandparents are happy. Yeah! We are finally here! My sister and my brothers will be here, too. More fun for all of us. I know that I will sleep well tonight. I'm exhausted. My kids are exhausted. It will be great.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tony vs. Tigger

Brandon, Caitlin and I were wandering around Longs this morning, waiting for a prescription to be filled. As we walked down the cereal aisle, Brandon got very excited. I wasn't too happy that all the bright and colorful boxes were right at a child's eye level, but I digress.... Anyway, Brandon said "Mommy, Mommy, I have to show you something!" He hopped off the stroller and went to the box of Frosted Flakes.

"Mommy, what's this?"

"Those are Frosted Flakes."

"It has Tigger on the box."

"Well, that's actually Tony the Tiger. It's not Tigger."

"Must be his cousin."

Anything you say, hon. Anything you say....

Monday, November 20, 2006

My Small World

I took up the challenge to blog every day for the month of November, knowing full well that there were going to be many days that nothing noteworthy happened. I knew there would be days that I would have to stretch my brain to come up with anything to write about. So far, today is one of those days. I'm not really complaining, since all I wanted to do was stay home today. I also wanted to sleep in, but that didn't happen. Following, for your perusal, are the events of my day so far, in chronological order:

I woke up at 6:40 to the sound of my husband's alarm. I never did go back to sleep, but I didn't get out of bed either.
At 7:15 I heard the dulcet tones of Caitlin babbling to herself. She wasn’t complaining (yet), but hadn’t had a bottle since 11:00 the night before, so I knew it was coming.
After feeding Caitlin, I tried to convince her return to sleep. Luckily, she took my advice.
I got a shower! Always a plus.
I got breakfast! Even better.
Caitlin decided sleeping was over at 8:45. Not bad, little one, not bad.
I had to wake Brandon up at 9:30. And he was still a grump.
By 10:30 everyone had been fed, I had dinner made (chili in the crock-pot), and had both kids and myself dressed (woo hoo!). I then tried to convince Brandon that we should go outside for a while. He thinks my advice is crap lately, so I had to try pretty hard. I was successful, but he was still a grump.
11:00 – finally got outside
12:00 – had to convince Brandon that it was now time to go home. Again, he thinks my advice is crap. He sweet talked me into the game where Caitlin chases him (which is really me - holding Caitlin – chasing after him as he peddles his tricycle furiously down the sidewalk). Not the funnest game for me, but I’m hoping to foster some brotherly love between siblings.
Caitlin has a nap at 12:30.
Brandon and mommy do Brandon’s favorite activity – shredding paper. (He has no idea what’s coming up tomorrow – 2 years of bank statements! He might faint. I’ll let you know. )
1:30 – Brandon’s in bed, after some whining, and mom breathes a sigh of relief.
Now - A couple of hours to myself. I can finish organizing the 2005 photos. All 12 months worth. I am so behind.

It's kind of sad to realize how small your life is when you have little kids. But what a difference that happy small world makes to those children!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Caitlin is 10 months old today!

Happy 1o month birthday little girl. How on earth did you get to be 10 months old? Didn't I just give birth to you? You are a cute and sweet little girl. You're active and very mobile - you started rolling at 3 1/2 months, and commando crawling at 5 months. We never did get that nice period of immobility where most babies just sit but can't crawl anywhere. No... you decided to crawl at 6 1/2 months! It's just as well, since now you always wanted to crawl around the house to find Brandon when he decided to go play in another room, or just go and visit the bathtub. These days you're not too excited about your bottle and would like to feed yourself. No problem there, either. We'll just switch to a sippy cup and give you finger foods. Thanks for being a good sleeper. You've never woken up as much in the middle of the night as your big brother did. And, just like him, you usually go right back to sleep when you do wake up. Mom and Dad appreciate that, big time.

We love you, baby girl!

Washers and Dryers

Last night I went to check on Brandon about an hour and a half after he'd gone to bed. He saw me. His little lower lip was quivering. I asked him what was wrong. His response: "I wanted to put the clothes in the dryer." Who knew?

Today I told him he could help me put the clothes in the dryer (they were already in the washer). He started crying. I asked him what was wrong. His response: "I wanted to put the clothes in the washing machine-machine."

No matter what I do, I just can't make the boy happy!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

"Confusion and Delay"

Brian and I were watching the 10 'o clock news tonight on channel 2. The newscaster was talking about a robbery at a local bowling alley, and stated that the robber caused "confusion and delay" at the bowling alley this morning. Someone has been watching too much "Thomas and Friends". Those of you who have been stuck watching too much "Thomas and Friends" with your child know *exactly* what I mean! I'd never heard that phrase before I had kids, and hope never to hear it when Brandon's Thomas days are through.

Profound soap

I just noticed that my new Dove deep moisture hand soap is "hydratation profonde". Does that mean I have profoundly deep moisturizing soap? Who really knows....

Friday, November 17, 2006

She Moves Fast....

She moves fast.... note the translucent head....

She moves fast.... toward the camera.....note the ever famous Caitlin head shots

Caitlin may be getting a second tooth

we may have 2 teeth by the time she's one year old. I do wish it would pop out, since she is cranky as all get up! She is also trying her hand at standing - and getting good at it. We may have a walker by one year as well! Gotta run - crazy day!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Babies

Look - they were behaving themselves. There was no screaming. No fighting. No tears. Just love. It lasted, too. We had a fun evening. These pictures were taken on the way to the bath. Brandon decided it would be fun to tickle and hug Caitlin. Luckily, this time, she agreed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Reading At the Red Rock

Today our playgroup went to the Red Rock coffee shop in Mountain View for story time before we went to the park. The stage at the coffee shop was strewn with pillows for the children to sit on, and most of the moms sat at the tables near the stage. A few of the Highway staff read books to the children for about an hour. It was fun for all... except for Brandon. He reacted, as I thought he would, with abject terror at the entire prospect. I decided not to bring my stroller, as the Red Rock isn't a big place. Brandon held on to my shirt, and then my legs, and then the diaper bag with such strength that I literally thought he would pull me down, or that I would drop Caitlin. Someone actually volunteered to bring my chai mocha (tasty, by the way) to the table. He probably knew that I would eventually end up scalding my child as I spilled the tea all over Brandon. Thanks, Clay. I really appreciated that! Oh - and they have oatcakes. I seriously love oatcakes, and haven't had one for about 5 years!

Caitlin was having a great time. She crawled around in a small area, happily babbling, listening to the stories, and clapping (her new thing since last Friday). There were a couple of friends from Highway who love babies, and were very happy to entertain her - and she was very happy to be entertained. But Brandon... that's another story. He begged me to hold him for the first 45 minutes. Did I want to hold him? No.... I wanted him to go up on the small stage (a whopping 5 feet in front of me, maybe) with his friends and happily listen to the readings . You have to remember that this is the same kid who would happily read books all day. His definition of a good time involves 3 things - riding his tricycle, playing trains, and reading all the books in his bookcase. Brandon read along outloud, quietly, in sync, to "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" as John Riemenschitter read it to the crowd.This boy has memorized entire books before. It's not as if he doesn't like to read or be read to. He's just so timid. How am I ever going to get this kid to attend preschool with new kids if he won't even sit in a room with all the kids he actually knows?

All in all, the reading at the Red Rock was a success. I hope we can add it in rotation to our regular schedule after the new year. Maybe Brandon will appreciate it more and not be so scared if we are there on a more regular basis. Maybe I won't be so uptight about my little boy being so unwilling to open up to new experiences if he can assimilate after a few times. I had visions of him screaming as I leave on the first day of preschool... but I'm getting over that. Let's just *hope* this is a phase of toddlerhood that Brandon is going through (hey, I can dream, can't I?) . But seriously - I think this is just Brandon - for life.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Brandon Can Share!

I must quickly tell you this .... Brandon really can share his toys. Really.

We went to the park today, as a reward for being such a good boy at Costco. Brandon had brought a bucket, his large back-hoe, and some smaller "big machines", such as a loader or dump truck. While I was pushing Caitlin on the swing, he played near by in the sand. He was approached by several children at different times, and he shared... all on his own.... didn't yell or scream.... politely said he didn't want to share his big back-hoe, but that they could play with his other vehicles.....

I was so overwhelmed I didn't know what to say. I went over to him and whispered in his ear that I had seen him sharing his toys, and that he was a big boy, and that I was so happy he was sharing his toys. I just couldn't believe how smooth it was all going, and how he wasn't completely over reacting, which is his normal response. All I can say is that my little boy is growing up right before my eyes!

Balancing My Brain

Okay, gals, who in your house handles the finances? In my house it's me. Balancing the checkbook today was a monumental feat of accomplishment. And it shouldn't be. All I'm really doing is adding, subtracting (more than I'd like), and writing a few checks. I had to do this while the kids were napping - and then I needed a nap! Is it just me? In the past I could blame it on my new mommy brain, or my pregnancy brain, but neither one of those is an acceptable excuse anymore. Yes, I've had a migraine for almost two weeks now, and no, it hasn't completely gone away yet, but still.... this is ridiculous!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Laundry Day II

Remember that minute I took this morning to check my email while Brandon put all the clothes in the washing machine? I realized it was too quiet. I went to check up on Caitlin, and this is what I found.....

Right before I snapped this picture, she was sucking on the shampoo bottle. The sucking sound was how I found her in the first place. You can never take your eyes off of Caitlin, not even for a minute.

Laundry Day!

Is it wrong that I'm sitting on the sofa checking my email while my 3 year old loads the washing machine? He'd be really mad if I didn't let him do it. Besides, he's washing his own clothes.....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Good Things About Today

-Caitlin took a nap on the way to church, and therefore didn't completely fall apart in the nursery
-Brandon told me I was the best mommy ever (aawww)
-We have our Honda Pilot back from the shop and got it washed. The inside got vacuumed and is clean. That won't last long
-We have milk from the store
-Right now, both kids are in bed
-My migraine is slowly going away, and is more of a throbbing headache
-Brian is excited that, two weeks after buying it, he gets to have control of his new car again

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Double Computers

This is what happens when you marry a computer geek:

On top of it all, the boy is getting interested in daddy's computers!

Caitlin's Self-Imposed Prison

She gets herself trapped in Brandon's chair, sometimes under the table, and then cries out until I go and help her. Why does she do this? Why doesn't she leave the chairs alone? Why can't I have calm, normal children instead of hyperactive children who wear their emotions on their sleeves? Why am I bothering to ask these questions...? I should just be happy with what I have (and I am).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Why, why won't she sit still?

I had to go to Target today to get some stuff for Caitlin. I strapped her in the cart, making the straps as tight as I possibly could. I even switched carts to get one with straps that were tighter. Did that stop Caitlin? No---the girl managed to get her legs out of the cutouts and twist her entire body around so that she was facing Brandon, who was sitting in the basket of the cart. Then she would reach out and grab his hair in her little hands or start standing up. A number of people made comments about turning her around because, you know, it's dangerous to have your child like that in the cart. Duh! Do they think I don't know that? I turned her around 10 times before I left the store, and at that point she was hysterical and I was fairly pissed off. That made even more people look at us. Lovely.

Caitlin doesn't really like it when I try to tell her what to do. is this going to play out when she's a teenager?

Naptime dreams

When Brandon got up from his nap today he asked me why I cooked his trains.

Cooked his trains?

And, he was visibly upset when I didn't get what he was talking about.

Where does he get this stuff? What is this little boy dreaming about during his naps?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Jokes for the day

Since being on the computer is still tricky, I thought I'd share one of my favorite stories with you. I heard this on the radio one morning on the way to work. I almost hit the car in front of me. A different radio station asked listeners to call in with their most embarrassing stories. This is one of the winners:

I was due later that week for an appointment with the gynecologist when early one morning I received a call from his office: I had been rescheduled for early that morning at 9:30am. I has just packed everyone off to work and school and it was around 8:45 already. The trip usually took about 35 minutes so I didn't have any time to spare. As most women do, I'm sure, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So I rushed upstairs, threw off my dressing gown, wet the washcloth and gave myself a wash in "that area" in front of the sink, taking extra care to make sure that I was presentable.I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.

I was in the waiting room only a few minutes when he called me in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure all women do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended I was in Hawaii or some other place a million miles away from here. I was surprised when he said: "My...we have taken a little extra effort this morning, haven't we?" but I didn't respond. The appointment over, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day went as normal, some shopping, cleaning and the evening meal, etc.

At 8:30 that evening my 14 year old daughter was getting ready for a school dance, when she called down from the bathroom, "Mom, where's my washcloth?"I called back for her to get another from the cabinet. She called back, "No, I need that one that was here by the sink. It had all my glitter and sparkles in it.”

Fancy Napkins....

My mom sent me this one the other day. It scares me just a little, as I have a very active, precocious little girl...

My mother taught me to read when I was four years old (her first mistake).....

One day, I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the cabinet doors was ajar. I read the box in the cabinet. I then asked my mother why she was keeping 'napkins' in the bathroom. Didn't they belong in the kitchen? Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts, she told me that those were for "special occasions" (her second mistake)...

Now, fast forward a few months....It's Thanksgiving Day, and my folks are leaving to pick up my uncle and his wife for dinner. Mom has assignments for all of us while they were gone. Mine was to set the table.

When they returned, my uncle came in first and immediately burst into laughter. Next, in came his wife who gasped, then began giggling. Next, in came my father, who roared with laughter.

Then in came Mom, who almost died of embarrassment when she saw each place setting on the table with a "special occasion" napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top. I had even tucked the little tail in so they didn't hang off the edge!! My mother asked me why I used these and, of course, my response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter. "But, Mom, you SAID they were for special occasions!!!"

Isn't it easier to just tell the truth? And be careful who you ask to set the table for you!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things I've Learned While Being Sick

Things I've Learned While Being Sick:

  • That I've forgotten how painful and debilitating migraines can be. They upset the entire balance of life.
  • That, as a mother, if you aren't on your deathbed, you have to learn to function through the pain (to Brian's credit, he's traveling on business. He's been great with the kids during this odd illness).
  • That my "to do" list easily goes on the backburner as I learn to lay still and be quiet when my kids are in bed.
  • That if I'm very still, very quiet, and in a dark room the pain seems to go away
  • I've learned how important bread becomes when it's all you can eat. I tried dinner last night. That didn't work so well. But toast and natural peanut butter seem to work. I've had to fight to keep down each meal, but they have all stayed down today.
  • On the bright side, I've lost a few pounds.
  • I really can't be on the computer that long without wanting to throw up.
  • If you've e-mailed me, I'm not ignoring you. I'll get back to you soon!
  • Putting M&M's in easter eggs and hiding them in the living room entertains a 3 year old for 15 minutes, and he likes you so much better at the end of the game.
  • When you're sick and your husband is traveling, you can change the schedule. Caitlin was in bed at 6:30, and Brandon was in bed by 8:00. And they went right to sleep. Yeah! I layed on the couch for a couple of hours again. It was heaven!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Confession

Remember the laundry I talked about in my post a few days ago? I said "On the good side, I did manage to get a load of laundry done today. It's still hanging out in the dryer, and might well be there until I do another load of laundry, or need my jeans, whichever comes first." I just took that load of clothes out of the dryer this afternoon. The only reason.... Caitlin needed a clean pair of PJ's to wear to bed tonight, and Brandon needed some socks. His drawer was barren.


I took up the challenge to blog everyday in the month of November. Only 7 days into the month, and I'm about to give up. I got sick on Friday night, and being on the computer makes me feel even sicker. My stomach has gotten better (for a while there I couldn't even keep down water), but my headache has not gone away. It's like I've had a migraine since Friday, but I can function a little. Light, food, movement, etc., all seem to make the headache worse. No medication is taking away the pain, either. Being on the computer also makes me feel nauseas. Sorry for the lack of interesting posts today, but this is about all I can write right now.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Young, Cool, Hip

I just figured out how to change the background on my Myspace page. It's not exactly what I wanted, but it's better than what I had. I'll have to keep looking to find something I really like. I feel so young, so cool, so hip. Of course, now I have a raging headache from being on the computer too long (a frequent problem for me), so I have to lay down now. Good thing the kids are napping.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Brandon's Favorite Activity

Have I introduced you to Brandon's favorite activity? Some kids like trains or bikes. These are pretty darn high on Brandon's list. But the one thing he asks to do every day?

Shred paper.

On my powerful little criss-cross shredder.

He's getting pretty good at it, too.

Most kids want to play, but not mine. No, he wants to shred - -paper, that is. At the Fallapalloza set up day, he wanted to help me paint instead of playing in the jumpy house. My boy. What do you do?

Putting the paper in the shredder...

The smile....

The paper release....

He wants to do it all by himself. Alas, he is only 3, so mommy has to supervise. Sadly, we cannot shred daily. There isn't quite enough personal junk mail (ie, credit card applications and the like) for daily shredding. But it is becoming a weekly habit. At least I don't have to worry about my personal information just sitting around.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


We just sold my old purple Pontiac Grand Am. I should have prefaced this with the fact that we just bought a new car last week (I'll tell you about that later). I'm kind of sad to see my old car go, but we didn't need three cars.

My Pontiac was the first new car I bought. I worked hard for a couple of years out of college, and saved enough for a good down payment. I felt like a princess in that car. Mostly because everything worked. Always a plus. The car I had before that one had seen much better days before it came into my possession. I have a great love of air conditioning in the summer (because I'd never had it before), and a heater in the winter (because my thermostat kept freezing open and thus rendered the heater useless). I do not miss the days of keeping a hat, blanket, gloves and legwarmers in my car because I worked nights, was required by the company to wear skirts, and couldn't afford a car with a heater. I do not miss pulling over at 10 o'clock at night, in the rain, to tie my windshield wipers on with baggie ties because they would otherwise fly off, and I needed to see out my window during this particularly bad rainstorm. I do not miss adding coolant to the overflow tank so that the heater would produce a modicum of heat. Buying my Pontiac solved all that. I'm glad I drove it the other night, since I didn't know it would be the last time.

We didn't think that we would sell the car less than 3 hours after posting it on Craigslist. Gotta love Craigslist. Who knew someone would want to buy a car at night? In the dark? Especially a dark purple one? We were so unprepared. The house was a complete disaster, especially the table. So much for pride, huh? I had just started to go through my Pontiac file when the new buyers came in the house to sign the paperwork. I was about to start making dinner, and had just put a video on to keep the kids occupied while I was at the stove. Needless to say, dinner never got made. Good thing we had the foresight to get the title out before Brian went on the test drive.

Goodbye old friend. You were and still are a good car. Yes, you've gotten older and don't look so new, but hasn't that happened to us all? I hope you live a long and happy life with your new family, and give them as few problems as you've given me.