Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Munchkin Masquerade

Took the kids to Boulder today for Boulder's Munchkin Masquerade downtown at the Pearl Street Mall. The businesses at the mall give out candy to all the kids. Brian heard about it from a co-worker, and thought it sounded like fun. He got home early from his latest trip to Boston, so we headed to Boulder. I had to trick Brandon into getting into his costume for his Daddy, but he did it without too much complaining.

It was madness! For some reason I just wasn't expecting that many people. It was warm for Halloween here. I think it was somewhere between 45 and 50 when we were out. The local fire department was there with a fire truck, there was a police car that you could sit in, a bus you could walk through, and throngs of people. It was a lot more fun than I expected. Brandon just kept running from place to place. We had to divide and conquer - one kid per adult. Brandon wore his puppy costume that he wore to school on Monday, and Caitlin dressed up as a kitten. I got her some kitty ears, but they kept falling off. Brian put them on her backwards on accident, and discovered that they'll stay on that way! I discovered that waterproof eyeliner stays on your face all day, even through the numerous nose-blowings that Caitlin went through. Even make-up remover didn't phase the eyeliner. The kids cheeks were pink from scrubbing before bedtime. Luckily, even with going from store to store, the kids didn't get much candy. I think it's a doable amount for the next few weeks.

We didn't want to take the kids out trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. It was just dark and cold. Plus, Caitlin has a bad habit of trying to run away, which gets old after a while. We turned on our lights after we got home, and had many trick-or-treaters come to the door. Caitlin was so enthralled by it all. She kept wanting to follow the kids on to the next house. She even ran out of the house and followed one family up the street. Their kids were about the same age as ours, so maybe she felt a kinship with the littlest pumpkin! We handed out handfuls of candy, but still have candy left. Maybe I'll have Brian take it to work next week. Otherwise I might just eat it all. No one needs that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Our Loaner Rug

I have to return it to The Great Indoors today. We're buying a bigger version. I think it's pretty. What do you think?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Noah's Ark Party

Brandon's preschool doesn't do a Halloween party. Instead, they do a Noah's Ark Party, and the kids can come dressed as their favorite animal. Parents and siblings were invited to stay and participate/help out (which was great for us, since Caitlin thinks that it's her preschool, too!). It's late, and I'm tired, but I thought I would leave you with a picture of Brandon, as a puppy, and Caitlin, as a kitten, before I head off to bed. More pictures will be on the photo site in a few days.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Raking Leaves

Brian mowed the lawn last weekend. It looked fabulous. He drained the sprinkler system today, since the temperature is 33 degrees. It reached a whopping 54 degrees today. Tomorrow is suppose to be 70. I know I talk about the weather a lot, but it's just so weird. Back to my point - Brian mowed our lawn last week. Our little neighborhood is one of tract houses. Two-story, relatively new, nice tract housing, but tract none-the-less. Our HOA has certain rules and regulations (which I have not taken any time to sit down and read), and the big, general one is "keep it nice".
On Thursday, our tree decided it was time to dump half the leaves! Our lawn was covered! Man, it all looked so nice on Wednesday. We were the total conformist family on the block. Then came Thursday. Now we're the crappy lawn family. Can we remember to get lawn and leaf bags at the store? Of course not! I forgot at Wal-Mart. Brian forgot at Safeway. All within 2 hours. I'll probably forget tomorrow when I'm at the store as well!

I've included a few pics of our lawn for your enjoyment. If you haven't bothered to clean up your front lawn, you can now feel a little bit better about yourselves! Both kids wanted to get in on the action. Brandon is trying to handle the huge rake, and Caitlin thinks she is raking with her little broom!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Question of the Day

Brandon and I were working out in the garage today, trying to clear a few more boxes out. Brian's gone next week anyway, so there's not rush, but eventually he would like to park in the garage, too. Brandon, in all his innocence, looks up at me, and the following conversation ensued:

Brandon: "Mommy, how to do babies get into their Mommy's tummies?"

Me (not exactly sure how to answer that one): "Uh, the daddy puts the baby in the mommy's tummy."

Brandon: "But how do the daddies do that?"

Me (again, totally unsure of what to say): "Oh, there are ways to get to mommy's tummies that only daddy's know about."

Brandon (slightly confused by my answer): "Did Daddy rip a big hole in you to put the baby inside your tummy?"

Me (trying not to laugh, but still can't think of a good way to answer these questions for a 4 year old): "No, he didn't rip a hole in me. But there are other ways."

Brandon: "Like your bottom"

Me (mentally screaming aaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!): "No, not that way."

Brandon: "Like your mouth."

Me: "No, not that way, either."

Brandon: "Tell me, I want to know."

Me: "You have to be a daddy first."

Brandon: "I want to be a daddy now."

Me: "You're too young to be a daddy."

Brandon: "When can I be a daddy."

Me: "Not until you're twenty."

Brandon (looking dejected): "Oh."

While I don't want Brandon to grow up with some distorted idea of how babies are made, I don't really want to sit down with him and explain the whole baby-making process. He's 4! Now Brandon's going to have some sort of complex that he can't be a daddy until he's twenty. And then, if he isn't a daddy when he's twenty (which I really hope he's not), he's going to be the only male on the planet feeling his biological clock ticking. Those years of therapy are going to cost a lot. I guess I should start saving now.

By the way - how do you answer his question? He's a boy who wants details!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Unpacking and Pain

We have come to the conclusion (again!) that we have too much stuff. We purged before we left California, and after we got to Colorado. What are we doing now? You guessed it - purging! Again! Brian was unpacking one of our many many boxes of kitchen stuff the other day, and decided that we didn't need 7 spatulas. Or 4 bottle openers. I have vague memories of buying a bottle opener a few years ago because our favorite one broke, but I have no idea where the other ones came from! And the garlic press? I just buy my garlic chopped or minced these days. No need to press what I don't buy. I just wish I had someone to give all this stuff. And another thing -where is this stuff from? Our wedding registry? Our individual apartment stuff that we combined when we got married? I moved into what would be our first apartment about 4 months prior to our wedding. My roommate was very "unique" (for lack of a nicer word), and created a dark cloud over me at a time in my life that I didn't need a dark cloud hovering (has there ever been a time that I do need a dark cloud?), so I moved out. I knew she owned all the living room furniture, but didn't remember that she owned most of what we had in the kitchen, too. I remember trying to cook dinner for Brian and myself one evening, and not having enough utensils or pans to cook with. Not to mention only having 1 dishtowel and no oven mitts. It was an interesting cooking experiment. My, though, how far we've come with our well-stocked house! Pre-marriage I only had 4 spoons, knives, etc. I couldn't wait to get silverware as wedding presents. Sad, but true! That's what I wanted the most. Spoons.

We have a lot of unpacking to do, but have come a long way. I haven't done much the last two days due to a small but impactful injury. I slammed my right index finger in the car door Tuesday morning while loading up for MOPS. I was bringing food for the meeting, and was trying to leave early. Brandon was being a pill and greatly hindering my progress. I'm not sure how the finger got between the door, but it was a doozy! I cried all the way to Boulder. I kept thinking that at my age I shouldn't cry when I physically get hurt, but the automatic response to the pain was tears. And lots of them. Even though I was composed and not sobbing, the tears kept flowing freely for the next 15 minutes. The pain is intense. Half my nail bed is a lovely shade of purple. I might have to paint my nails one of these days. I've only done this one time before that I can remember (in college), and I nearly passed out in the parking lot from the pain. I slammed my thumb in the door so hard that I cracked the nail all the way across. And my thumb got stuck! I had locked the door before shutting it. There I was, freezing in the early morning Monterey Bay fog, fumbling in my purse for my keys! I had to unlock the door to free my hand. A very nice soul who had witnessed the whole thing took me to the nurses office, where I spent the next hour lying on bed with my thumb above my head. My point is (and I do have one, really!) that one seemingly innocuous thing can really sideline your day. Or, as in my case, days. I've been doing more things with my left hand. I'm pretty ambidextrous until it comes to the precision stuff, such as writing or breaking down boxes with an exact-o knife. Touch typing without using my right index finger has been a challenge as well. And I keep hurting myself while putting office stuff on a shelf, or fixing dinner. The swelling has gone down, at least, and I can bend my finger again. But I'm still constantly hurting the poor thing! It's so hard to not just instinctively use my right hand! But still, we are are making progress on all the house stuff. I found Caitlin's lamp bulb today, so she has light in her room. I think we've unpacked the whole kitchen (we're just going to toss the next kitchen box we find, unopened, if we find one!). Tomorrow - who knows. I may have to bag it all and do some Halloween shopping!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

21 Months!

Caitlin turned 21 months on the 19th, and I wrote nothing. It's been quite a whirlwind, this moving, cleaning and unpacking! The landlord of our rental has basically taken possession of the place since we left, which has made cleaning it difficult. They keep going in, and I never know when someone will be there! Big No No, people. Haven't you read your own contract that you made us sign? They are not the brightest when it comes to being landlords! I will be glad when we do the walk through Saturday and to be done with that place, but that is another post! Back to Caitlin.....

So, she's 21 months. She's taller than most kids her age, and taller than most of the 2 year olds I meet. Here are a few highlights of Caitlin:

• She talks a lot! A crazy amount. Just like her brother (and mom, but that’s another post as well). Sometimes we wish she’d just hush!

• She is starting to talk well. Not only has her vocabulary exploded, but she talks in 4 word sentences regularly, and others can understand her. And she knows funny things. When I picked her up at the nursery at church, she pulled off my name tag and said “Mommy’s name.” How did she know that?

• She thinks she goes to preschool, too, and loves going with me to Brandon’s preschool

• She has begun to assert her will. For example, she is no longer content with sitting next to me on the couch. She will fight for one of the legs on my lap. This does not make Brandon happy, but he needs to deal.

• The terrible two’s have begun. Caitlin has started to throw temper tantrums. It was a bad day for her when she realized that we have hardwood floors at this house. She’s use to carpet! The tantrum turned into tears.

• Her favorite book? “A Potty for Me.” Maybe underpants will be in our near future!

• Her favorite video? “Toddler Tunes.” She asks to watch it all the time. She has never asked to watch any video before, and was never entertained by anything until Brandon received this DVD for his birthday.

• Wants to help me do everything! This is not necessarily fun when I’m trying to unpack and organize.

• Loves to watch the feral bunnies in our yard.

• She recently took up singing. We don’t understand the words, but occasionally I can pick out the tune.

• She is so much more aware of the fact that she is a girl like mommy than Brandon was aware of his boyness at the same age. Caitlin really wants to do all the same things I’m doing, which can include cleaning, combing hair, or even putting on lip gloss.

• Her favorite toys are trucks right now. And the stroller.

When she wakes up and I go into her room, the first word out of her mouth is "Daddy!" When Brian goes into her room, the first word out of her mouth is "Mommy!" Neither one of us can win!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Snow Day!

We didn't wake up to snow, but it started before 8:00. The temperature dropped from 37 to 30 degrees, and the snow started to fall. The kids were thrilled. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I still can't find their mittens, so we were only out in the snow for about 5 minutes when Brandon started complaining that his hands were cold. The snow is sticking well in the back yard, but not on the streets. It was 75 yesterday, so the pavement and ground are too warm. Our back yard doesn't get a lot of sun, which explains the winter wonderland. This won't last, so we want the kids to enjoy it while it happens. Here are some pictures to tide you over for a while. I need to head back to our rental and finish cleaning. Not much more. My next big project .... snow boots.

The kids witnessing the first snowfall of the season

Say "cheese!"

For more pictures, click on this link:
Snow Day!

Friday, October 19, 2007

More Colorado Weather

It was 75 today. Nice! Suppose to be 75 or so again tomorrow. Very nice. Suppose to be 35 and snowing Sunday. Hmmm..... we don't have snow boots. Should be interesting. I'll take pictures! I have many to post, but the main computer is still in boxes. The wind gusts the last few days - around 35 miles per hour. All day. All night. The car rocks in the driveway and parking lots before you've even turned on the ignition or started driving! Brandon thinks it's very funny that my hair blows straight up when we're outside. Needless to say, ponytails have been the style of the week.

I'll keep you posted about the snow. We'll see if it happens. Either way, it's a motivator to get the boxes out of our garage so we can park our cars in there!

A Shout Out to Roy and Donna

In my feeble attempt to set up our new home, I need to thank two people. First, I need to thank Roy. I knew Roy way back in the days of 20/20 - the singles group where Brian and I met. Roy was a friend, and also very handy. He helped me to change some light fixtures in the first apartment Brian and I lived in when we got married, and hang stuff on the walls. We talked about life and love, and he told me all about the wonderful woman he was dating. He later married her, and they have a cute little family now. Roy also wanted a new cordless drill, but couldn't justify getting a new drill when his old Makita worked just fine. I mentioned my need of a power drill, and lo and behold, received a used, but well maintained Makita drill as a (surprise) bridal shower gift. I use that drill all the time. It has become part of me (I'm actually getting sick of the sight of it since I see it so often these days). I have been the drilling queen - taking down things in our rental and hanging shelves and curtain rods in the new house like they are going out of style! Without that drill I would not be nearly as far as I am! Nor would I be in good spirits. So, thanks, Roy, for the drill. I think of you whenever I use it.

Secondly, I would like to say thanks to Donna, my mother-in-law. Many moons ago she gave Brian a Black and Decker laser level stud finder for Christmas. You know, the kind where you can not only find the studs in the wall for your heavy items, but line up the holes for your nails or screws, and your shelves go up perfectly? I'm not sure Brian has ever used it, but I have found it to be invaluable. Since receving that gift, I have never had to re-hang anything due to to it being crooked. I wanted to hang up a shelf in the kids bathroom the other day, since they don't have a medicine cabinet. The thought of the Tylenol and toothpaste being within Caitlin's grasp just didn't sit well with me! I knew what box the stud finder was in, and I searched for it for an hour in our box-filled garage just so I wouldn't have to estimate where to put the drywall studs. I hate redoing things! I finally found it, and not only do we have a high shelf in the bathroom, but we also have curtain rods and curtains in all the the bedrooms, and the living room. Yay! I'm hoping that Caitlin will sleep in tomorrow morning, but I know that's just a dream. Rain, shine, snow, wind - Caitlin wakes up at 7:15 on the dot! Anyway, thanks Donna for the stud finder laser level. I couldn't live without it. Okay, I could, but my life would be far more crooked!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Why did I do this? I am tired enough, and have nothing to prove. But I had to. Should be interesting, seeing as we are having two sets of house guests in November. I hope they understand. Maybe I should hook the laptop up in my bedroom? Late night blogs, anyone?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

We Are Moved

We are officially moved into our new house. I'm sitting here at the table, amidst the chaos that is my house , checking up on stuff on the internet. I have no idea what is really going on in the world. This is what I do know....

My kids need to go to bed

Although we had a late dinner of Old Chicago pizza, we are sitting here eating the Trader Joe's Peanut Butter filled pretzels. We need to lay off the pretzels. After all, they are imported!

Bunnies. No one tells you about all the wild bunnies in Colorado. There are 2 in our yard as we speak. Did you know that bunnies can take a nap in such a way that they look dead? I've gone out a couple of times to remove "dead bunnies" from our back yard, only to have them magically resurrect themselves and hop away. But seriously, the last thing I need Brandon or Caitlin to find in the back yard is a dead bunny. Caitlin brought me a dead bird that she found under the slide a couple of weeks ago, and I had a small conniption.

I know where my bed is. And the kids beds. And my underwear. But not my shoes.

We have lots of ingredients in the cupboards, but not a lot of food.

I have not been this tired since pregnancy and/or the first couple of weeks home with a newborn.

I need a nap, and it's almost bedtime.

Life is better with TiVo. Brandon was revelling at the new "Little Einsteins" episodes that his dad recorded for him the other day.

I am beginning to hate the sight of cardboard.

I may not be posting for a while. I'm still around though, and will be back soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another Thing I Won't Miss

Being able to see into all my neighbors' back yards from my kitchen. I feel like the neighborhood watch!

Kids Without TV

Brian took both televisions over to the new house this morning to get the Directv and TiVo hooked up. So, no TV for us today. We don't watch much, so I don't really miss it (at least not for one day!). I did set up the TiVo this afternoon to record "The Office", though. Can't forget that! However, I've been using the TV for one big thing lately - to distract the kids while I pack! The kids were amazed when they woke up by the big hole in the entertainment center where the TV use to be (there's also a another big hole cut in the wall behind it for a TV. Our entertainment center covered that one!). Here is a view of them watching DVD's on the portable DVD player. Such a great and wondrous invention!

Let's hope Brandon doesn't get eye strain being so close to the TV!

The view I see as I attempt to pack stuff in the dining room:

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Two Highlights of My Day

Today was a MOPS day. Since we had to be at the new house by noon to meet the cleaning service, I was the first mom to show up in Brandon's class for pick-up. The leader was just finishing up the story of Moses leading the Jewish people out of Egypt. Now that Brandon has his preschooler bible, he knows all the stories, and was helping the teacher finish. He and his friend Benjy were all full of joy, bubbling over while telling me the story of how they were playing the story of Moses. They were the bad people, according to them, which I think meant that they were the Egyptians. They showed me, in vivid detail, about how they died in the water after Moses and all the Jewish people ran through to the other side. Niiice. My son. The Egyptian. Dying after the parted Red Sea ran back into the sea bed. Can we say active imagination? Since I was the first mom to head into the class, I just had to laugh at how excited the boys were to relay their story of how they drown!

The other highlight of my day? Caitlin tried to say "You're Welcome" this afternoon. It came out as "You're WEK", but in the context of the situation, I knew what she meant. She obeys simple commands, and loves to carry them out. She puts hers and Brandon's sippy cups in the sink. She carries her plate to the counter when she's finished eating (Brandon started doing this about a year ago, when Caitlin use to go for his abandoned plate), and she likes to put her dirty clothes in the hamper. Well, she likes to put all her clothes in the hamper. Makes laundry day fun. I thanked her this afternoon for putting the milk sippy cups in the sink, and she said "You're WEK!"

I'd forgotten about these two cute incidents today. Brandon is such a bear in the afternoons (a whiny, exasperating bear) that i forget about any fun that might have happened earlier in the day. I hope the bad afternoon phase ends. I think the move is making it worse, so I'm hoping that things will clear up in the next month. If not, I may have to check myself into the psych ward every afternoon. I'm not sure how much longer I can handle Brandon's post-nap, afternoon attitude problems!

So Far....

Our house has been de-odorized.
The ducts have been cleaned.
New carpet has been installed upstairs.
The cleaning service should be finishing up right about now.

steam-cleaning of the basement (part of the odor removal service)

directv installation (yeah! TiVo!)
maybe something else, but I can't remember

we move in!

I can't wait! Not only am I excited to be done with our rental house, but I am excited to move into my own house. I am also excited that this "going between two houses all time" lifestyle that we've been living will soon be done. It's exhausting. Even Brandon asked when we could be done going back and forth. Soon, honey. Soon.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Photo Friday

For more pictures click here.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

It Is So Dry....

It is so dry in Colorado. I wish I had some sort of punchline to finish the sentence, but I don't. The 10% humidity that we're having here is terrible. My eyes hurt. I'm unable to wear my contact lenses more than a few hours a day. My lips are dry. I'm constantly thirsty. My hands ache without lotion. It doesn't help that I've washed them 422 times today already since both kids are sick and I don't need anyone to get sicker. Lotion lurks everywhere in my house, and car, and purse. What doesn't hurt? My face. That is so far the only good thing about low humidity. I have very oily skin. Except here. It was oily in the summer, but the last few days it's just been normal. I've taken showers at night for 2 days now. I usually can't do that because my hair gets a nice oily, greasy shine overnight, regardless of how long ago I washed it. But now, it's just normal. It's made my mornings with the kids a lot easier. It does feel odd to blow dry my hair at 10:00 pm, though. I checked the weather sites we have bookmarked. It's 70% more humid in Las Vegas and 140% Phoenix than in Colorado. How's that for statistics?

The weather here is schitzoid. The past few days have reached highs in the upper 60's, which I think is great. Yesterday at 11:30 it was 61 degrees. At 1:30 it was 79 degrees. Today it's already 80. I think that the high over the weekend is suppose to hover between 50 and 55 degrees. I can't start to pack summer clothes, or winter clothes, or sandals, or anything. And we move in a week! We sleep under a wool quilt (which is surprisingly cool in summer) and have had to keep a down duvet at the foot of the bed because the nights can be so cool. I'm looking forward to having my bedroom upstairs now, because heat rises. The average daytime temperature downstairs is 65 degrees. I'm so glad we are almost done with this house.

I should go check on Caitlin. She's tired, but refusing to nap. And it's making me schitzoid!

Giving Illness Free Reign

Our family must be getting lazy. I feel like we keep answering the door when illness knocks, and just keep inviting it on it! Caitlin woke up yesterday around 5:30 and promptly threw up on me.
She hasn't felt good for about a week. She'd woken up during the night, whining, but the throwing up was a first. The girl was just burning up and whimpering. She spent most of yesterday whining and whimpering, not sleeping much, and generally wanting to be held. By necessity, I did several loads of laundry, and it's all in stages between washing and being put away. Our big outing of the day was to go over to the new house to give the keys to the odor removal service. I know my little girl needs to stay home, but our new house, which we are moving into a week from Friday, also needs to not smell like smoke! Caitlin did manage to eat a little last night (after throwing up her crackers all over me! Thus necessitating another load of laundry!), and was happy in her bath. Since she didn't sleep much during the afternoon, she was out like a light at bed time. I checked on her a couple of times before I went to bed, and she hadn't moved. Guess she was tired.

Today is Brandon's turn. I'm trying to avoid more vomiting, so there is no talk from me on finishing food. So far, nothing has happened with him. Just general complaining about his tummy hurting and lots of laying around. Today may very well be a day of videos! I usually don't allow more than an hour to an hour and a half of TV a day. But when the kids are sick, what do you do? Makes me wonder how families without TV cope with illness! TV is such a great pacifier, and stops the whining. Yesterday we watched two hours (we watched Cars. Half in the morning, and half in the afternoon). Caitlin wanted to be held during most of the video! I desperately wanted to get out of the house, but I can't subject the rest of the world to my sick kids. I wish more parents felt that way.

Today we don't have anywhere to go. There is no preschool this week due to a teacher's conference, and the odor removal service already has a key to our new house. Brian's away on business, so at least I don't need to worry about dinner or his schedule. Makes things a little easier when I can just focus on the kids. Also makes me a little more crazy when I just focus on the kids. I can try and pack, but that would require me to leave the room. I've come to the conclusion that my leaving the room is an abomination, because the children are compelled to follow me around. Downstairs, all around, where ever I go, whining and messing things up during their entire journey. I'm really looking forward to living in a normal house. One where things fit in rooms and aren't randomly scattered around the house. Our downstairs "family room" is just a disaster. Besides having a large, dangerous fireplace against the wall, which makes me worry that the kids will hit their heads on the hearth, all our office stuff is hanging out, screaming "touch me, eat me, mess me up!" The kids love to follow me downstairs, since that's where my room, bathroom, and laundry are located. So exciting! I cringe whenever I hear that familiar sound of little feet on the stairs. There's also the rough stone tile on the floor, which no amount of rugs can make safe. The last thing I need right now is a trip to Urgent Care because a sick child took a tumble down the stairs and hurt his or her head.

For now I guess we'll just watch some videos. Maybe I'll get some ironing in during nap times. Who can pass up an opportunity to watch "Dr Phil" or "Oprah" while doing some ironing? Wow. I can hardly believe my luck. Since I don't really need to watch "Dr Phil" or "Oprah" (they're "listening" shows that only require some of my attention), that would be good time to pack, too. And I rarely complain about my life when watching "Dr Phil", since I am so completely normal and sane in comparison to most of the featured guests!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Where's Brandon?

It's like Where's Waldo, without the striped shirt.

Oh, wait! I think I've found him!
We're still not sure what the barrier was created for. Maybe he didn't want me to come in and move him under this covers!