Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Fashion Statement

Fall is here, but winter is not. The leaves are turning, but the days are still warm (a mere 65 degrees can feel blazingly hot in the Colorado sun). But yet, this is how my children chose to dress tonight.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ninja Kitty

Have you seen this one?


I saw it on Yahoo! and on my friend Mike's blog. I laughed so hard that Brandon and Caitlin asked me what was so funny. I guess I'm taking it personally, because it reminds me of a cat that use to live next door to us. There was a shared balcony between our apartment and the one across the hall. The neighbor's cat, Jazz, use to wiggle his way between the iron bars and come over and visit us. We'd only been our Mt. View apartment a few months (known affectionately as the "hot box" to our friends. Here's the review I wrote after we moved. It's sad to think that our current mortgage is only slightly higher than our rent at that place! Anyway....). I thought a small, feral cat was sleeping on our balcony until our frantic neighbor, who I'd never even seen until that day, asked if I'd seen his new kitten. Our relationship (us and the cat) began. Jazz was one of the few reasons to stay at that horrible place, and we missed him after we moved. We use to catsit after we left. In fact, I was at my former neighbor's apartment, feeding and playing with Jazz when I went into the painful phase of my labor with Brandon. Jazz was a sweet kitty.

Here are a few pictures of him sneaking up on us (his specialty) so you know that I'm not crazy in my comparisons!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Last 5 Septembers.....

What we were doing either on or right around this same date in September of...



only the boy in the above picture is mine! The girl is his bestest buddy, Emily!





Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Finally - Food!

Amazingly enough, my kids are currently eating homemade macaroni and cheese. I did a half variation of the Alton Brown stove top recipe found here, using half the butter called for, omitting the hot sauce, and using regular milk (since I was out of evaporated milk), and they're eating it up! Last night I made them simple quesadillas, which they gobbled down, too. I'm now out of cheese, but that's okay. A store run in our immediate future, since Caitlin decided potty training was a big hassle, and we're getting close to being out of diapers (that's a whole other story for another post, and I get a headache just thinking about it!).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Welcome to Fall

The temperatures have been nice (well, in the 80's today, so still summer like), and the trees are beginning to change colors. A storm front is moving through, and the wind is shaking many leaves to the ground. Aaaahhh, fall. I'm happy. Summer is over! I'm looking forward to the cooler weather. It was so nice, until I found this in my backyard..............

creepy, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

5 Today

Another year goes by, and I wonder where my baby went. Is this a parental thing? I am always going to wonder where the little baby I had went, even when he's 21? Am I ever going to feel fully prepared to parent into the next age?

But my baby is 5 today! The big 5. The youngest child in his kindergarten class. But the biggest kid in my house!

There have been a lot of changes in the last year. Between moving, preschool, and now kindergarten, Brandon has been growing up. Although still a sensitive child, he has really come out of his shell as far as his personality is concerned. He has become adept at making friends, and became a "boy" during his preschool years - meaning that he ran around with his little friends (mostly boys), yelling, playing with balls and toys, and generally acting like what everyone expects boys to act like. He can read, write marginally well, and has a mind bent towards logic and conclusions (math and science, anyone?). He managed to make friends despite moving twice. This year we had 11 kids at his birthday party!

Happy Birthday, little one. I love you so much!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Windshield Update

I got my windshield fixed on Friday. It was rather nice to know I couldn't physically go anywhere Friday morning, since the week was pretty busy. I woke up at 6:00 am to go walking, only to be greeting by pouring rain. No problem - I just went back to bed. I vaguely recall Brian getting dressed (I heard the drawer open), and I remember hearing the garage door shut. The next thing I knew it was 8:30, Caitlin was in her room saying "Mommy, I want to get out of bed!" over and and over, and the phone was ringing. My eyes flew open, and I was immediately hit by the realization that the windshield replacement guys were going to be here sometime between 7:30 and noon! This wasn't an issue for my normal Friday routine, where I get up at 6:00 am. But I went back to bed! I rushed down the stairs to get the phone (hoping all the while they weren't calling from my porch! I'm quite a sight in my pink jammies in the morning!), and was told they'd be at my house in an hour. Whew! Enough time to toss on some sweats and brush my teeth.

After the windshield repaire guys got here, they asked me how my windshield got broken, and I told them the Caitlin story. They both looked a little shocked, and the lead guy said "Well, it's kind of hard to break a windshield. I can't break it even if I smack it with my hand." He them proceeded to whack the inside of the windshield with his hand - and it shattered! Huge cracks spread across the entire windshield! His eyes got big, and he said "I think your windshield is defective." I had to laugh! At least now I can see how Caitlin might have cracked the thing using her head as the weapon! And without any serious repercussions!

Thinking in Status Updates

Is it sad that half the time I think of my actions in terms of Facebook status updates? For example....

"Rochelle is having her third Hershey's miniature in the last 5 minutes. Thank God there were only 3 left in the house!"

"Rochelle would like her children to serve themselves dinner."

"Rochelle wishes Brandon could drive himself to school."

"Rochelle would like another glass (or two) of wine."

"Rochelle is sad that Brian just left for week one of two work weeks in New York. She's also sad she didn't get to go."

"Rochelle is repeating the mantra, "I love my kids, I love my kids, I love my kids....."

I'm not sure what worse - the fact that I am thinking like this , or the fact that I am thinking about myself in the third person (which, as any sane person can attest to, means you are mentally unwell).

Friday, September 12, 2008


Is it sad that I'm excited I'm finally out of dish detergent? I bought a huge thing of Dawn from Costco over a year ago, and it's finally finished! After we moved to Colorado I decided to switch from conventional cleaners to eco-friendly cleaners, and have not been disappointed. I breath easier, have stopped sneezing when I clean or do laundry, and feel better that I'm not filling the air of my house with toxic chemicals. I haven't had any skin irritations or rashes with the eco-friendly detergents or lotions I've been using, which is a big plus for my skin! I've always been limited in what I could use due to allergic reactions. Caitlin is very much the same. I'm still waiting to run out of dishwasher detergent, which will be my final cleaning product to switch. There are a lot of choices around here. My local Costco offers several eco-friendly options from a couple Colorado-based companies, which makes it easier on my wallet. I'm working on organic, too, but that undertaking is so huge that I'm still having a hard time wrapping my brain around it. I have discovered that Whole Foods is cheaper than Safeway in most areas, so I'm shopping there more often. There are more health-food-ish stores here than I remember in California, offering more organic and eco-friendly alternatives. I still haven't found a good substitute for Oxi-Clean powder, or regular bleach, but I'm working on that. Like everything, change takes time. But there are so many options out there that I'm sure I'll find something!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Who Had a Baby?

My friend Janet asked me to pick up some Costco-brand diapers for her the other day. Costco doesn't extend up in northern Colorado, so her closest options are 45 minutes away. Thus, no Costco membership. I told Caitlin that we were going to go to Costco today after dropping Brandon off. Brandon asked why, and I told him that Abbie's mommy needed diapers for baby Sarah. Later on Caitlin asked if we were still going to Costco, and why. Brandon said, very loudly (and twice) "Because Padyn's mommy just had a baby and needs diapers!" So Arlene, if you are reading this, you just had a baby (surprise!), and I'm shipping you Costco-brand diapers from Colorado.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


IKEA Centennial would extend western presence into Rocky Mountain Region:

"IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced it is submitting plans to the City of Centennial, Colorado for a store that would increase the Swedish retailer’s presence in the western United States. Submitting an application to the City marks the beginning of the governmental approval process. A store opening date has not yet been determined. Until IKEA Centennial opens, customers can shop nearby IKEA stores in Draper, UT; Tempe, AZ; or online at www.ikea-usa.com. [...]"

I'm really hoping that the city of Centennial approves this. Even though I don't have a lot of stuff from there, I really like IKEA. Despite what the linked article says about "nearby IKEA stores", Draper is about 550 miles away (a mere 8 hours through the Rockies, provided there's no snow and/or the roads aren't closed), and the Tempe store is about 950 miles away. So much for "nearby"!

Now if we can just convince Trader Joe's to come here, it would make Colorado a nicer place to live! The closest store is over 400 miles away in Santa Fe (and yes, I've been there!).

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Overloaded Fridge

Does your refrigerator look like this? Hopefully not if you don't have kids.... but seriously... it's getting crazy around here! Due to an upswing in coloring, writing, and picture making (I think kindergarten is to blame), our refrigerator looks as if it might fall over because of excess weight! I had no idea that my kids would view the fridge as their own personal art gallery. Now that fall has arrived, along with the regular schedule of school, Sunday school, MOPS and care during Bible study - let inundation of paperwork begin!

You can see Caitlin's frustration - first because she can't find a free magnet, and then because the newly found magnet can't hold up the pictures! Looks like I need to do some clutter elimination in the near future!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

hello, Imagination Movers!

The Imagination Movers are here! Finally! Their long-anticipated (well, by Brandon) TV show premiered on the Disney Channel today. Brandon has loved their music since he was about 2 1/2, and so have I. Okay, "love" might be too strong of a word to describe how I feel about it, but the music is good, the singers are good, it's not at all annoying, and I don't cringe when one of the songs gets stuck in my head! I will happily dance around to the Imagination Movers songs when the kids want to listen to it! For some odd reason I've been reminiscing about The Monkees. Maybe because the Imagination Movers warehouse reminds me of The Monkees loft? Who knows. I am glad the show is on now, and I'm sure we'll be watching it frequently!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

More Great Moments In Parenting

When you give your son a very deserved time out for 5 minutes. Then you start enjoying your life without said whiny child in the room, and forget that he's in time out. You realize it's been more like 10 minutes, and rush upstairs, where said child is still sitting on his bed. Niiice....

Shattered Glass

See this.... Know what it is? A big spider? An asterisk? Take a guess. I'll bet you can guess what it is....

If you guessed a cracked windshield on my car, you are right! Woo hoo! Bonus points for you!

Now, if you can guess what caused it, you'll be the smartest person reading this blog. Okay, go...




Give up? Here's the answer...


Yes, you heard me right. Caitlin's head caused a huge crack in my windshield this morning. At least that's the story I got. The crack itself is bigger than my whole hand, with fingers spread apart.

Usually the kids, once shoes are on, will head out to the garage and get in the car a few minutes before me. That's the time I'm gathering up the cups, lunches, my bag, etc. You moms and dads know how that goes. Brandon opens up the car door, and they get into their seats. Today was no different, except for the fact that Caitlin went into the car and evidently got into my seat. We were on our way to my MOPS steering meeting, and the kids went into the garage. I grabbed my finance stuff and my bag, Brandon's kindergarten stuff, lunch for the kids, and their cups. I went out into the garage a few minutes later, put the stuff on the passenger side, and went to strap the kids in. They were both very quiet, although Caitlin was sniffling. Since I hadn't seen the cracked windshield yet (it's on the drivers side, near the top), Brandon proceeded to tell me all about it. Then Caitlin began to cry, since I guess she'd managed to stifle it when I came into the garage. But still, it wasn't a hard cry.

I'm not sure exactly what happened, except that it involved some sort of jumping that lead to the breaking of the windshield. There was some crying, but no cuts, bruises, or anything else that you would expect from a kid who'd just cracked the car windshield with her head. I talked with Caitlin and examined her head. I made her do a few things, like follow my finger with her eyes. I had her walk around for a couple of minutes to see if she was doing anything funny. She wasn't acting any any different, but I asked the childcare workers keep an extra eye on her. They said she was fine the whole time.

Now here's the weird thing.... the crack not the inside. You can barely feel it on the outside, though. It's almost like it's inside the glass. I'm going to have to do some more investigating in the garage to see if I see anything might have fallen on the window. Or is that how safety glass works? Caitlin did bring a wooden train with her into the car. Maybe that was the culprit? I didn't really get the whole story. It did make us about 15 minutes late, though. We were doing good this morning, too. We would have been early. I don't need any help being late to stuff - being on time is hard enough for me. It was difficult before having kids, and got worse after they were born! Then, on top of it all, the MOPS leader was really pissed off that I was late! Seriously? That floored me. My kid is always more important than MOPS. Always. I reminded myself that this is only a one-year commitment. That became obvious not long after I join and started hanging out with everyone. Anyway, I need to talk to Brandon after kindergarten and find out what he says happened. I'll let you know the whole story, from the mouth of a kindergartner, once I get it straight!

For now, I'll just settle with calling our insurance agency. I need a new windshield.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Colorado Weather

September has arrived! September in California is quite a warm month. How can I ever forget the hot streak that happened the week preceding and following Brandon's birth! The temperatures hovered around 100, which is not all that fun when you are immensely pregnant and don't have central A/C. I went to the hospital at midnight on the 16th, and it was still 84 degrees outside. They were going to send me home, but I begged to be allowed to labor on in the maternity ward, since they had A/C (in fact, it was freezing! Just above 60 degrees in my birthing room). It was a slow night, so they let me stay.

Then there's Colorado. It's been progressively getting cooler here, but was still in the upper 80's every day last week. In July/August we had 24 days above 90 degrees, and the lows were in the upper 60's. Which, I realize, is nothing for those of you who live in the central valley, but hot none-the-less. Cold fronts move down from Canada here, or from Seattle, so we had some odd weather in late August - 50 degrees and raining for three days. Snow covered the mountain peaks for about a week. September 1st here was 85 degrees. Yesterday hit about 64. Today, maybe 70. Tomorrow should be about the same, but Friday might hit 55. The highs are hitting right around 4:00 pm, then quickly falling. I put on my sandals today when I rushed over to the school to get Brandon, and they are too big! I almost tripped over myself just walking to his class! My feet swell just a bit in the summer, which means that the sandals I wear all summer have a slightly snug fit. Just enough to keep my feet in them. But when it's cold, they barely stay on. I have the same issue with my hands. My big knuckles are the only reason my rings stay on during the winter.

This weather makes me realized that I'm ready for the hot summer days, and hot summer nights, to end. But, even in as much as I love winter, I'm not quite ready for it yet either. The cold temperatures don't feel as bad as they should here due to the almost complete lack of moisture in the air during winter. But it's not winter, yet! There is still some moisture in the air (although you can feel it leaving). The winds off the Rockies at 6:30 this morning were pretty bitter, though, and make me wonder how I'm going to get out and exercise at all in the next few months. Guess I need to break out those cold-weather sweats I got many years back, and gloves. It's suppose to be back up to 80 by the middle of next week, but I don't think the evening and morning lows will be back up to the 60's. I hate hot Septembers. Always have. Now I'm getting the type of weather I want in September - cooler - and yet I am complaining. So typical of me.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I'm sad to hear that Don LaFontaine died on Monday. For years I've been fascinated with how he got to do what he got to do (voiceovers and "the voice" of movie trailers). As Brian can attest, I've wanted his job for a while now. RIP, Mr. LaFontaine.


Monday, September 01, 2008


I'm so tired of all the little nasty bugs in Colorado. They're tiny, but committing genocide in my house! It could be so much worse, I know. I could be in Texas. But still, these little bugs are everywhere. Dying in my lights. Collecting on the window sills. I lifted the blinds the other night on a fairly unused window in the living room, and there must have been about 100 little dead bugs! Yuck! I got out the vacuum cleaner immediately to dispose of the carnage. It's been a little better since Brian re-screened the sliding door screen, but still...!

And now, one is crawling across the computer screen.


Can't you see it?