Friday, June 29, 2007

She'll Be Famous! She's Already Avoiding the Camera!

I uploaded some pictures from the camera this evening, and found yet another of Caitlin's paparazzi pictures:
Her attempts to shield her face from the camera are rudimentary, at best, but I'm sure they'll evolve over time. I didn't know she had any reason to want the camera to back off, since she won't be gracing the public with her presence any time soon. Then I came across this picture:

Weaving and swaying. Not her best side. I can see why she was trying to get the mom paparazzi off her back!

Colorado Observations

Now that we've lived here for almost 7 weeks, I can complain write up a few things that I have observed about this area of Colorado. Keep in mind that these are coming from a California native who spends a lot of time alone, mentally and physically.

*Coloradans, as a whole, don't feel a need to go anywhere in a hurry. At first I thought I felt this way because I am always right on the cusp of being late, so I never bothered to share this observation. Brian brought it up one evening, and I felt validated. He's always on time, so at least I know it's not just me!

*The sky over Colorado is way cooler than the sky over California. The clouds... the colors... the rain... I use to get so sick of the of the clear, cloudless, warm days that we had 8 months out of the year in the Bay Area. Here, although it's much hotter, there is more daily variation.

*It's hotter here. Air conditioning makes our house livable, but....

*No one has ever thought to put a kids play area in the shade! Why not? I mean, there are a few trees around here.  Haven't found one park with any real shade! Which leads me to my next observation.....

*What do people do with little kids when you can't go outside and play? The slides and play structures are blazing hot by 10:30, and my kids actually cry when they are outside. They want to slide and play, but they can't.

*I can only go to the play area at the mall, the rec center, or Chick-Fil-A so many times in one week. I'm getting ready to crack!

*Evenings do not cool down here. I'm sure that's a Bay Area exclusive. But after 19 years of living in the Bay Area I'm use to it. It does cool down at night to the mid 60's or so, but not until the wee hours of the morning, and only for about half an hour at that. It's often still 75 degrees or hotter at 10:00 pm, and back to 70 by 7:00 am. Oh my word, that's a heat wave where I'm from!

*Primetime on TV starts an hour earlier. While there are some benefits, the negatives outweigh them. Nielson must not bother with people who live in the mountain time zone. I mean, how can you watch any programing when you have jobs? Or young kids? Or anything? Do people just do everything earlier here? Get home earlier? Eat earlier? Go to bed earlier? Our times for doing things during the day haven't changed at all since moving here, and may never change. I'm sad that I'm never going to be able to watch "Jeopardy" again unless I have a DVR. 

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Preschooler Punchlines

My friend Anni has enlightened my world with the blog of Wendi Aarons. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. The blog that speaks the most to me is titled A List of What Are Apparently The Only Eight Punchlines Preschoolers Use for Their Jokes. Oh my gosh! It's my life! The conversation we have *daily* as we are pulling out of the driveway consists of me telling Brandon that we are not going to talk about poo poos or pee pees (or "peeps", as he calls them) when we aren't in the car or at home. I didn't think I would need to have this conversation multiples times per day. However, the necessity is warranted. Otherwise I am the mom in the grocery store has abandoned her cart, hiding one aisle over because her son is singing the "How we go Pee and Poop" song in the vegetable section. Personal references and sound effects are usually included.

All of Ms. Aaron's blog entries have tickled my funny bone, though. I'm still giggling over "Kenny Loggins Must Die". Check it out if you get a chance.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Sky Over Our Neighborhood

We looked out the window around 8:00 tonight and were immediately struck by the strange hue of the landscape. The sunset and the cloud cover turned the sky a pinkish-yellow, and the reflection off the clouds turned our neighborhood the same color.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Comparisons at 17 months

Brandon just before he turned 17 months old. I think he's staring at some large garbage trucks in action off in the distance (such a boy!). At almost 17 months he was just starting to fit into his 12-18 month clothes. They were so big on him. I think he wore this outfit until he was 2!

Caitlin a day before she turned 17 months old. She is, as usual, staring at the ground and wandering away from me. She's starting to lean out. I'm not sure she's put on any weight since her 15 month appointment. I guess we'll see in a month. She fits into most of her 12-18 month clothes, but many are still too big for her. She does eat, though, which is a big change from the world of Brandon (boy with no body fat). She's just so active!

Checking E-mail

It was too quiet. There was no yelling, no fighting. I went downstairs to see what the non-commotion was all about. This is what I found. They were just "checking our e-mail", as Brandon put it. What was that old wives tail... that your children will mimic what they see, not what you say? Here's proof that mommy's on the computer too much....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Brandon's Scary Face

Charming, isn't it? I try not to look. It might give me nightmares.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Prairie Dogs

Today we went looking for Prairie Dogs. Brandon's June preschool class is at the local rec center, about 3 miles from home. I keep seeing prairie dogs as I take him to and from the center. We stopped on Thursday to see a few, and then Brandon thought we should bring Daddy here. Today we did.

There were lots of prairie dogs in this field! Everywhere you looked you'd see one or two scampering away. There were a lot of little ones as well, so it was probably puppy season. I didn't know prairie dogs barked until today. Probably why they are known as "dogs" when they really look like squirrels with little tails. Noisy little critters! After half an hour or so we were done with being in the direct sun, and we'd seen many prairie dogs. I put some of the pictures up on Picasaweb, so you can view more there.

tail up, clearly not happy that we are anywhere near his little burrow!

Mom and baby, hanging out at the burrow entrance.

Brian and his babies!

Rochelle, with the same cute babies! (although Brandon would tell you that he is a big boy, and Caitlin is the baby!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Domestic Operations Officer

I found my friend Leanne's profile on LinkedIn. She's also a stay-at-home mom, and has 3 little ones. Her title: Domestic Operations Officer. I love it! That describes so much more than stay-at-home mom. I guess I fall into that category, too. My wonderful husband provides for our family, and I raise and maintain it. My current job duties include, but are not limited to:
-24-hour on call service
-facilities and household manager, services include janitorial, laundry, household sanitation, and food preparation
-chief transportation officer
-purchasing agent
-accounts payable and receivable (but mostly payable)
-in charge of daily exercise and nutrition program
-counselor (managing tempers and emotional outbursts)
-head of communications, including interpreting

Don't think for one moment that my husband only contributes monitarily. While I'm not going to go into his list, some major duties at his second job include bus boy, bather, and reader of many stories.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Kids Are Trying to Escape

Here's evidence....

Rain Day

It's currently 56 degrees and pouring rain. Should be 90 on Friday. Odd weather here in Colorado. It's 56 degrees. And raining. And my kids are outside and wet. Once again, it's plain to see why I am not in the running for the "best mom of the year" award.

For more pictures of the kids in the rain, click on this link:
June 12 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007


I ran across this picture of Brandon today. Thanksgiving, 2004. He's 14 months old.

It really reminded me of a this picture of Caitlin that was taken last week. She's 16 months old in this one.

You can see the similar expressions! They both have their dad's eyes. Also, Brandon had way more teeth at 14 months than Caitlin does at almost 17 months- at least 10, probably 12. Caitlin - still at 6. No progress. It's been months.

Conversations with Brandon, Part II

Today was grocery shopping day. Never a fun filled adventure, since both kids hate it. You should have seen us at the end of the 35 minutes I was in the store. Caitlin, strapped in the cart, sobbing, eating her pretzel sticks. Brandon, walking next to me because the cart was too full, sobbing that he wanted to go home. Anti-depressants, anyone?

Anyway, I digress. We see the Rockies, in all their magnificent beauty on the way to the store. Today was very clear and bright. No picture I could show you would do our view justice, since the mountains look so much closer in real life. As we're driving toward the mountains, Brandon asks me if we've ever been in those mountains. Yes, we have. We drove through the Rockies on our way here from California. Then he asks me where monsters live. Brandon forgets nothing, and expects the same from you. All of a sudden the conversation he had with daddy zooms back into my mind. Monsters live in the mountains. *Great*.... Now the questions swarm around the fact that we stayed in the mountains. Did we stay with the monsters? Did they stay with us? Were they in our hotel? Brandon gets wrapped up in his questions the way a Pit Bull can wrestle with a tennis ball - you cannot pry it from his grip. After many exasperating attempts to ease his mind that the monsters didn't stay with us, I finally reply, with a sigh, "The monsters live way way up high in the mountains. Much higher than we were staying." (I'm such a great mom....) This seemed to satisfy him - at least for today. I feel so sorry for the teachers he's going to have in school. I hope they can handle his tenacity. Some days I can't. I really can't.

Officially Coloradans

We are officially Coloradans, I guess. I still consider myself a California girl at heart. Probably always will, whether I live there again or not. Of course, we've only been out for a month, so it's too early to tell! We registered our cars last week, and were handed the plates right then and there. With Brandon's help, Brian put them on the cars this weekend.

I find it funny that the license plates on both cars end in OWT. When the first set was put on, I thought "OWT. At least I'll be able to find my car in the parking lot." Since everything is unfamiliar, I've been relying on the California plate to guide me to my car. Our SUV, both make and color, is extremely popular here among the mom set. With similar license plates, I'm glad I'll be able to find either car, since the car I drive on weekend errands depends on who has the kids. I also find it funny that our license plates end in OWT... which is the sentiment I get from about half the population of this area. There is a group of people who think that too many people are moving to Colorado, and the urban sprawl is just getting out of hand. Also, the people moving here are driving up the home prices. I'm sure none of them has ever been to California. Urban sprawl seems to be the trend there, and here there are laws to prevent it. And, at least in Silicon Valley, people move in from all over the US and all over the world, which in turn drives up the housing prices. More often than not, I couldn't talk with the people I use to meet on my walks around the old neighborhood. They didn't speak English. Not a word. Not even "I don't speak English." I do meet a lot of people who aren't from here originally. Some from California, some from other places in the US. While I bemoan the lack of Indian and Persian restaurants here, a friend from Chicago bemoans the lack of good Greek restaurants!

So, this is our life right now. We've made progress on the house. Upstairs is great. Downstairs, not so much. I sometimes feel like I live in corporate housing, since the setups here are temporary and not really what I like. We are getting into a June schedule, with Brandon's preschool class and MOPS. I'm sure it will change month to month until September, but a little routine is nice. We've been trying different churches, but have not settled on one yet. Brandon's schooling may hamper any weekday mom's groups I might join if they're not close by, so I hope we can find something that's not too far away (or that meets on Tuesday or Thursday). We've gone to two we like in Boulder, but that is a drive when you have traffic. I don't have to worry about that yet, I guess. I'll just keep local for now. It will be nice to have friends in the future. I miss talking to my girlfriends, especially the ones I saw on a regular basis (Leanne - every week. Chris - almost everyday!). I spend the better part of my day reasoning with a 3 1/2 year old, and trying to get my 17 month old to talk!

Finally, I'll leave you with a picture of Caitlin's favorite activity - pushing something down the street. Bikes, trikes, firetrucks, push-toys - it really doesn't matter. We went around the block right after I took this picture. You can see the joy on her face!

When it's time to be done pushing toys around the block Caitlin throws massive, screaming fits. When I pick her up she kicks her legs and throws her body back. Luckily, I'm expecting it, or I might drop her. I usually let her lay on the floor to finish her tantrum. Brandon's highly disturbed by all of this (his little outbursts are nothing like the textbook ones Caitlin has). I'm hoping it will end soon. I've had to hide most of Brandon's trucks just so she won't see them. The tantrums also happen, though not to the same degree, whenever we are in the garage and she sees a toy. Since we can now park in the garage, this is becoming a daily issue. I rely on my favorite phrase: "This too shall pass." Although it doesn't feel like that when you're in the middle of it!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Picture for Grandma

hi Mom - this picture is just for you....

Friday, June 08, 2007

Milk Home Delivery

Guess what I just did? I started milk delivery, from a local dairy. Isn't that wild? Starting Monday we'll have 3 bottles of whole milk delivered to our front doorstep in glass bottles. Fresh, natural, hormone-free milk for the kiddos. I can't wait!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Twin Boys!

My friend Heather had a great day today. In quite a whirlwind of activity, she gave birth to twin boys! Congratulations, Heather! The lads are doing well, but they are 5 weeks early, so please keep them and their family in your prayers. They are in the NICU, and may get worse before they get better. Check out their website for updates and pictures.

What We Did Today

Nothing horribly exciting. I managed to get up, get showered, and get Brandon off to his June preschool class at the local rec center. It's a nice place, that brand new center! I couldn't put Caitlin down for the fear that I might never see her again. The lure of Brandon's classroom, or the central play area, or the indoor pool, or the elliptical machines.... all fun shiny stuff that Caitlin wants to play with.

After managing to get to class by 9:00, which was no easy feat considering the 60 plus mile-per-hour winds that were blowing around today (it was a struggle to open the car doors, and I wondered if they were going to blow off the hinges once opened!), I also managed to register the car and sign Brandon up for fall preschool. Caitlin was not happy at me for continually putting her in her carseat, and then in the stroller, and then in carseat. Made for a fun outing! According to 2004 census information, the population of Colorado is 4 million plus people (2 million of them living in the Denver metro area alone). The population of California is upwards of 39 million people. This does explain why nothing seems crowded here. When I registered the car today not only did I not wait in any line, but the lady who did the registration just handed me the license plates. Never in my life has anyone at the DMV ever handed me a license plate! It takes weeks, sometimes months, to get them in the mail in California. Although it is fun to be able to go to Wal-Mart on a Saturday and find parking, I do wonder how stores stay in business around here.

Other fun and exciting things we did today:

picked up tree branches out of our driveway and yard
Caitlin rode her bike down the stairs and gave herself a nice bruise on the noggin
Caitlin walked into the same table at the preschool 4 times (not the smartest kid)
Caitlin cried many times
whined some more
did laundry (woo-hoo, I know!)
changed the sheets
fixed the closet doors in Brandon's room (they won't fall off now!)
looked at affordable housing online
still haven't answered any of emails yet (and I'm going to bed anyway!)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What Was I Thinking?

Both kids have taken a real interest in cookware. I have a little cookware set from IKEA, and a couple of plates, spoons, etc., but that's about it. So, the other day I headed down to Toys-R-Us and bought the 85 piece fake food set, and some stainless steel cookware, since sharing is a ship that has not yet docked at our house. What on earth was I thinking? Am I just stupid (don't answer. Just....don't). But 85 pieces? I'm tired enough without having to pick up 85 pieces of fake food plus cookware every evening! No more toys with more than 1 part! No more! Luckily, the food pieces aren't nearly as injuring to the bottom of the feet as Legos or Hotwheels, but they're still annoying. I keep finding fake Pringles and fake drumsticks under the couch. Nice going, Rochelle. Smart move.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

My Best Buy Ever

I went to Macy's today to get some shorts in preparation for the summer. I think I may have 3 pair, and they're all light tan (not a great color for being at parks with little kids). The sun is so intense here that it feels much hotter when you're outside at the park than it did in California (except walking around our old neighborhood in S-Town, which pretty much felt like it does here). Macy's is having a summer clearance, so I got a couple pair of shorts for a decent price. I also found a long sleeved hoodie that not only looked good on me, but was a good catch at $7.50. I decided to buy it for next fall. When the clerk rang it up, it was 1 cent. Yes, 1 cent! A perfectly good, $42.00 hoodie for $0.01! I don't suppose I could do better if I shopped at a thrift store. Score one for trying to be a frugal shopper!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Conversations with Brandon

Tonight, after Brandon had been in bed for 15 minutes or so.....

over the monitor:
Daddy..... daddy.....

Brian goes in to Brandon's bedroom for a few minutes. Comes out, gets the flashlight, and goes back into the room. When he returned to the living room, I asked him how the boy was doing. Brian told me that Brandon is afraid of the monsters. Yup, I've heard that one before. Had to search the closet for them the other night. This is the following conversation, as told to me by Brian:

Brandon: Daddy, where do monsters live?
Daddy: No where. Monsters don't exist.
B: But where do monsters live?
D: They don't exist, Brandon.
B: But where do they live?
D: They don't live anywhere. They don't exist.
B: But Daddy, where do they live?
D: (*sigh*) In the mountains.
B: We drove through through the mountains when we came out from California.
D: Yes we did. But the monsters live way up high in the mountains.
B (Never one for dropping a subject): What would the monsters do if they saw us?
D: They would run away.
B: Would we run after them?
D: No, we'd just let them run away.
B: Oh.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Hello 1980

Last night, as I was lying in bed trying to sleep, I had the dulcet strains of ""Morning Train (Nine To Five)" by Sheena Easton running through my head. Where did that come from? That song came out in what - 1980? I liked it - in 5th grade! The odd thing is that I haven't heard it for years, and yet, there it was, bouncing around in my head like an old friend. Hello, 1980!