Saturday, January 31, 2009


Brandon's new word: Awesome!

Used in sentences like "Awesome for you, dude. You're going to get killed!" (while playing Lego Starwars on the Wii).

If the word "awesome" wasn't also used for things like racing cars and making space ships, I might be worried that our sensitive little boy is becoming violent!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An Answer to the Age Old Question................

Got this one from my friend Andy. My favorite part - how it takes three times as long to do any task with kids. So true! I get up at 6:30 hoping that I can leave my house at 8:45 on days we have to be somewhere! And thanks for reminding me that I'm not insane for wanting a few moments to myself....

But, even though it's hard to keep in touch, hard to call, and hard to make sense in an e-mail due to the kid factor in my life, I think about my friends all the time. Last weekend I got the chance to spend some time with two of my favorite girlfriends. One I have some history with, and one I bonded with quicker than I've bonded with anyone in my life. Ever. It was heaven to spend time alone with them. I'll write more later, but it was too short. Moving away from them was harder than I thought it would be (especially considering how often I've moved and gone on with life). So, if you think kids and lack of time mean that friends don't count, you are wrong. So very, very wrong.

Carolyn Hax is a columnist for the Washington Post who writes a Dear Abby-style column called "Tell Me About It."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quick Caitlin Stats

Caitlin's 3 year well check was this morning. Our little girl weighed in at 28 1/2 pounds, and is 37 1/2 inches tall. Her percentiles are 60th for height and 30th for weight. Brandon, at the same age, weighed 31 pounds and was an inch taller.

All in all, Caitlin is doing well. She's now on a round of antibiotics for a rash that will not clear up. It's on her rear, but not in a common diaper rash area. I was worried about it because it isn't responding to anything, and is more like acne than a rash (with papules and pustules). Her skin is pretty sensitive, which has limited what we can use on her. Right now I'm down to Unpetroleum Jelly (we're out of Desitin). All Pampers products and generics have been banned due to horrible rashes (Pampers have always been banned. What's in those things, anyway?). Her pediatrician also advised us to use chlorine-free diapers and limit the use of Pull-ups (I guess kids react badly to them, too). Whole Foods, here I come - as soon as I get home from my trip (Christmas and birthday present - without kids - with friends - for 3 days - leaving in an hour and a half!). Right now, I need to dry my jeans and finish packing!

Monday, January 19, 2009

On Being Three

The kids and I headed down to the park, and were talking to Caitlin about her birthday. Since we'd had a party for her on Saturday, she thought her birthday was that day, too! I think birthday's should be celebrated on the actual day, too, so we had cake tonight, and opened gifts from family.

Caitlin celebrated her birthday in style on Saturday. Her bestest buds, of which there are 3, and a their parents and siblings came over to party. I thought that Shrinky Dink necklaces would be a fun idea. I *must* have been thinking Caitlin was 5 or something, as it was a little too much for the 3 year old set, but the 5 year olds and parents were really getting into it! Oh well. My other wonderous craft was decorating your own cupcake, which went over a little better than the necklaces. We went through a heck of a lot of cupcakes and sprinkles, 10 dozen Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, and a bunch of cut-up fruit. We really didn't think we'd go through all those nuggets, but we were wrong!

It was only 3 hours out of our day, but Brian and I were just beat after everyone left. We should have napped when Caitlin napped, but there was much cleaning to do. We ended up going out to dinner that evening because I couldn't muster up the energy to cook. It's amazing how tiring even doing a simple party at home can be!

The funniest part of our day today was when I told Caitlin that today was her real birthday, even though we'd celebrated with friends on Saturday. She got a very confused look on her face, and said, "But I'm not big." I was also confused, so I asked her "Did you think that you'd be big like Mommy when you turned three?" Her response? Yes! Poor Caitlin. You have many more birthdays to go before you're as big as Mommy! I'm not in a hurry for that!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"House Hunters", Anyone?

In the midst of a very busy, tiring week, I've been watching episodes of "House Hunters". If you've never watched the show, you're really not missing much. But it's a half-hour escape for my brain when it's in an overloaded mindset. The show has made me discover how picky of a viewer I am, and how condescending! I am not at all interested in people who are house hunting in say, Georgia, for a 4,000 square foot house with granite counter tops in the kitchen, all for under $150,000.00. Neither Brian nor I can believe how picky these people are! And the choices they have! It's really amazing! Maybe it's because I grew up in small houses, or because I lived in the Bay Area for so long, but I can really only relate to episodes where people are on a limited budget, or looking to buy in expensive places ("House Hunters International" in Paris, anyone?). Sometimes you just don't get everything you want. There are compromises. Not everyone has a living room and a family room and a formal dining room. Not all families live in 2,000 square foot houses. And seriously, people, are we all conformists that we must have 1 and 1/4 inch thick granite counter tops in our kitchens? I do like granite, don't get me wrong. I've had it before and don't have it now. Still - that wasn't number one on my list of things to look for when I was house hunting just over a year ago.

Things I wonder when watching "House Hunters":

• How did Suzanne Whang get that job? I want that job!

• Every house hunter mentions how great the living room or kitchen would be "for entertaining." Am I the only one who doesn't have a lot of friends? Does the rest of the world get together for dinner parties every weekend? My favorite is when couples are moving to a different country think a room is great for entertaining. You don't even speak the language of your new country! Why are you worried about entertaining? You should be more worried about shipping your stuff overseas! And, really ... you can entertain in any size house if you want to.

• Kitchens - any appliance that isn't what you want is crap. Anything. Electric is bad. Very, very bad. Only stainless steel and granite will do, thank you very much. I'd hate to see them try to buy a house in Silicon Valley on a budget!

• Paint. It's always wrong and needs to go. And whatever you don't like is what you are always looking at. No one can look past it.

• Must. Have. Light. Dark rooms simply will not do. Rooms full of window are the best! Hopefully none of these house hunters suffer from migraines.

• Bathrooms are usually too small. And, in New York, they are. I don't watch the McMansion episodes very often, so I'm pretty condescending when the bathroom shown is bigger than my kitchen. And everyone wants double sinks. They're nice, but not having them is not the end of the world. Besides not entertaining a constant stream of guests, we are also apparently the only couple in the world that doesn't attempt to get ready together in the morning, in the same bathroom, at the same time. Never have. I'll take my hair dryer out of the bathroom and dry my hair in front of my dresser mirror than try to get around Brian while he's shaving. Being raised in a house with one bathroom makes you creative. And my marriage is probably better for it.

• And hardwood floors? Throughout the house? We have 900 square feet of hardwood - the entire downstairs- and wish we had more carpeting! Hardwood is nice in the kitchen and dining areas, and great by the doors (especially with what gets tracked in after playing in the snow or mud), but it makes the living areas feel a little stark. Even with large rugs.

• Not quite sure why the new homeowners tear up perfectly good backyards to cement in a pool. Nope. Don't get it.

• People are picky. Especially the ones who have never lived in an area with expensive real estate. I can't believe what people want for what they want to pay. "My First Place" is better at getting the over-picky wanna-be homeowners. I want to see the real people, with real budgets, who are overjoyed at getting nice hardwood or granite, not the ones that must have it.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Brandon Puts Caitlin To Bed

Caitlin's been requesting it, and Brandon was happy to oblige. He picks out two books from their bookcase that he can read. They head into her room and curl up on the glider rocker together. He reads the books to Caitlin, gives her a hug and kiss, and tucks her into bed. He turns off her big lamp, turns on her little lamp (since she can't sleep in the dark anymore), and turns on her music. He then shuts her door most of the way, and trots off to his room. Brian took some video footage yesterday. I'll post it when I figure out how to shrink it down.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Snow Thoughts

Colorado may be the only state where it can snow big, fluffy snowflakes all night and only have a 2 inch accumulation in the morning!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Getting Back to Normal

The suitcases are unpacked and put away. Most of the laundry is done (except for a load of kids clothes currently sitting in the dryer). There are a few piles around the house of things that are so essential for travel, but have to go back into their places when we get home. There are also a few piles of Christmas toys that have not been introduced to the rest of the toys. We just got back from our Whole Foods grocery expedition. Caitlin is in her room, attempting to nap with the light on and the door open. I'm sitting here, blogging, wondering when her little fear phase will end. I can handle the light now, but the open door is killing me! I hate having to be quiet just because she needs to nap. She's upstairs! I'm downstairs! It's not like I'm going to start jackhammering or something. All I want to do is normal house stuff that makes normal noises. But that will prevent her from sleeping.

All is getting back to normal. Even the weather, which has been mild the last few days, has dropped down to 23. Maybe snow tonight? We're back in Colorado for sure - land of bitter cold winter winds, dry skin, and slow drivers. We're back to bundling up when we head out the door. I knew we were getting spoiled in the central valley when Brandon, Caitlin, Grandpa and I would head out the door to play in the front yard without putting on sweaters, hats, scarves or mittens! However, even though I'm a California girl who is use to milder winter weather, that felt really really strange. I must be getting acclimated!

The next task on my "Getting Back to Normal" list is to undecorate the house. I'm tackling one thing at a time. Unpacking. Then laundry. Then suitcase storage. Then Christmas decorations. By the time I get that done, the shipment of our gifts will arrive, and I'll be ready to tackle that head on!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

We left my parents house at 8:30 yesterday morning for our 3 hour drive back to the Bay Area. We were socked in with fog for most of the drive. I think we had a 600 foot visibility until we got past Pacheco Pass, where the sun miraculously came out for about 15 minutes of our drive. By the time we hit Gilroy, it was foggy again. A high fog this time, so not nearly as bad. Even with the fog, our drive time got us back an hour early. We stopped at the local mall in lieu of a park. Brandon and Caitlin played in the play area, while Mom and Dad chatted with old friends we hadn't seen in a while (who randomly happened to be there), and had lunch.

Our plane flight was about the same. Mundane. On time. Yeah! No delays in San Jose like last year. That has to be the most boring airport to be stranded in. And all that's made worse when you're stranded with two little kids. We landed at 5:30, and were in our car sometime before 6:30. DIA is so large that it seriously does take an hour to get your luggage and get to your car. Fearful of delays and of digging our car out of the snow again, we opted to pay more for parking and park in a lot where the shuttle driver takes you directly to your car. Of course, it was a balmy 47 degrees this time, with no snow in sight. Thankfully the hurricane force winds we'd been hearing about had died down, and didn't start up until after we were home and the car unloaded. Last time we flew home it was Thanksgiving day, and nothing was open when we arrived. We didn't think ahead, and really had no dinner options when we got home. We had waffles. We were thankful this time that it was only New Years Eve, and that restaurants were still open, at least for a couple hours. We got to Sweet Tomatoes at 7:00, due to a request for macaroni and cheese. Luckily they were open until 8:00.

And now we are home. Doing laundry. Happy to have woken up in our own beds. I, for one, was happy to not have to shuffle through my toiletries bag for everything I need to get ready in the morning. The house is a disaster, and the bags are not unpacked, but we are happy. Caitlin, last night, put her head on the coffee table and said "I missed my home". She'd been letting us know, very specifically, that she wanted to be in "our" car and go to "our" home for the last few days now. We even went to the mall today to see what was left of the after Christmas sales and let the kids play in the play area. Caitlin is still in trip-recovery mode, and lost it early on, but we had a good time for a little while. I keep thinking it's Saturday, and that we have to get up early to go to church tomorrow. I'm kinda glad we don't. I want to enjoy a few more days of sleeping in and unhurried mornings before jumping back into our regular, scheduled lives on the 5th!