Wednesday, May 27, 2009

End of Kindergarten Wrap-Up

Two more days of school! I can't believe Brandon's kindergarten year is wrapping up. He's come so far with his reading, math, and cognitive thought in sciences. I'm so proud of him! The last week has been a little crazy with end-of-the-year stuff. On top of coming down with something, I can only do so much in his classroom due to having Caitlin with me. Still, I've been able to go see his kindergarten music class sing, hear his published book (which they had original ideas, rough drafts, and re-writes prior to us parents seeing them.), and to celebrate. Yesterday was the zoo, and tomorrow is a beach party (ironic, since we no longer live by the beach).

I think we're both excited about the summer approaching. Excited about no more school. It hasn't been that warm lately, but we've emerged from the strange cocoon that is winter in Colorado. Even though this winter was mild (except for our freezing cold December, in which it was, at one time, 19 below zero), the winds howl through this state. I don't know how anyone would want to live in Wyoming, since the wind is worse there. The wind chill is close to zero most of the time, and we all seem to cocoon in our warm houses. It's quite a change from living in California. But I think that we are all looking forward to the ease of summer. The end of our year-long routines. The ability to gather our thoughts together, be a family, and prepare for the next year. Just this week a new family moved on to our street with a boy Brandon's age, so that is also something to look forward to.

So now I move forward to the end of the year. The end of my crazy, rushed year, with an almost first grader and a soon to be pre-schooler. I'm looking forward to it. Now if I could just get over this head cold!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May Showers

It's been raining for days now. The temperatures hover somewhere in mid 50's. We've gotten both drizzle and bouts of heavy rain (half an inch or more in under an hour). Laundry is a mish-mash of both shorts and tank tops from our 90 degree temps early last week along with sweats and long sleeved shirts from the last few days. I'm loving the rain, and beautiful green-ness that it brings. Colorado is not nearly as green as people think it is, so I need to enjoy the few months we have. This is our third May in Colorado, and I think I'm finally getting the patterns! I'm also acclimating.

Our first May rainstorm was in the low 40's, and I pulled out a few sweaters for me and the kids. Last May, thunderstorms rolled through town on a regular basis. I remember being grateful for days at home, as I had just broken my little toe on my left foot, and had a sprained right foot. Wearing flip-flops in rainy, cold weather is not now, and has never been appealing to me. I wanted to wear socks, but wasn't looking for sweaters. This May, during the rain, I tackled my closet. The middle bar was sagging and the shelf was pulling loose in the corner. Turns out the support for the closet wasn't properly set up, but I didn't figure that one out until I'd gone through all my stuff and purged a few things - including sweaters I haven't worn all winter. This weather we're having just doesn't seem all that cold to me. Must be the dry air. Must be the fact that most of December wasn't above zero, and I got use to real cold. Must be because I'm figuring out Colorado, and how to live in these dry, often extreme conditions. Now if I can just get down how to live in the heat during the summer without withering like a flower in the sun, I'll be doing good!

Monday, May 25, 2009

There Was A Little Girl Who Spotted a Fly.........

Last Wednesday I put the kids to bed. We brushed our teeth, washed our faces, and read our books. We said our prayers and turned out the lights. Mommy went downstairs, snuggled into the couch, and attempted to finish a program I'd been attempting to watch earlier. Then I heard it. Screaming!!!

I rushed upstairs to see what was the matter! Caitlin was standing at the top of the stairs in utter hysterics. Tears streaming down her little face. Sobbing, screaming, unable to speak (or take a deep breath, for that matter). I was concerned. What could it be? She pointed to the wall, sobbing, and said "Mommy, there's a fly!!"

A fly?

My girl is in utter hysterics because of a fly?

I looked up, but could see no fly. I didn't disbelieve her. The day had been warm and we'd had the windows and doors opened. No matter how good my kids are at closing the screen doors, bugs still manage to get in.

But a fly?

But no, this was no ordinary fly. In fact, it was not even a fly. It was a spiderweb. The shadow of a spiderweb on the wall. That's what Caitlin was pointing at. That's what she was sobbing at. A shadow. Of a spiderweb.

All the normal Mommy niceness went out the window. My sympathy levels have gone waaaayyy down as her irrational fears of things like flies has gone way up. She is afraid of every bug, tree branch, noise, or wind storm that comes her way, and I'm tired of it! Every day there is some form of crying because of some fearsome creature she can't stand. This makes every outing a nightmare, and park days are the worst. There is no more sympathy left.

I marched her straight back into her room, put her under the covers, and sat there for a while. After she calmed down we said prayers again and turned on her new CD. She managed to snuggle under her covers and fall asleep. Meanwhile, I headed downstairs and poured myself a glass of wine, and again attempted to watch whatever program I'd been trying to watch before all this. It had been a long day anyway, and I can't remember if I ever finished what I was watching, or just went to bed. I was already drained, and my hysterical child wasn't helping much.

In her defense, I did find a moth upstairs the next day. This could have been the culprit. Still, screams?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Caitlin got ahold of my MOPS finance check stamper, and now says "For Deposit Only" all up and down her ams. *Sigh* At least it's bath night!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Good Rules

Brandon just told me two good rules to live by:

1) Always cough into your arm
2) Never disturb bees or wasps

I think these are good rules to live by. I have a few more to add on to those as time goes by (such as "Don't hit your sister", or "Look for cars when you're riding your bike"), but these ones will do for now!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Upcoming Summer

Brandon just told me the most wondrous news today - only 10 more days of school! To be honest, I'm looking forward to it. Completely and totally. I may have a change of heart in 11 school days, but right now it sounds like good news to me. I think I just need a break from the school year. Every parent must feel this way at one time or another (I can't be alone in this sentiment!). I need a break from the pressure of time. Of the rushed requirement of leaving every group that I've struggled to be a part of this year early in order to get Brandon to school on time. A break from the monotony of dropping Brandon off at school. Of picking him up at school 2 hours and 45 minutes later. Of standing outside at the school, which channels both the wind and the searing sun. Of letting my kids blow off steam at the kindergarten playground in the dirt and rocks. Of doing homework (not that the reading and writing is going away for the summer, but I might take a week off!). Of all the papers, informational and artistic, that flood my house and are drowning me!

I don't know what summer holds. Today was the last day of my weekly commitments. Aside from balancing the MOPS books and passing the finances on to the next person, I am done for the summer. I'm not sure what the kids and I are going to do. The last two summers were long and hot, with few breaks. However, two years into our Colorado adventure, the kids and I have finally made a few friends that we can hang out with sometimes. I need to research local centers to see if I can find anything for the kids to do. They could both use a gymnastics class! I didn't get on the ball earlier, so I'm probably too late to sign them up for anything. Such is the life of the mom who doesn't think of that sort of stuff! There weren't a lot, if any, extracurricular activities around where I grew up, so signing the kids up for fun stuff doesn't enter my mind most of the time. I've got to get better at this. Especially now that the kids have had a taste of friends and daily activities!

I'm sure by mid-August I'll be so ready for school to start that I'll be able to taste it! Just like I look forward to winter by about July, I am still ready for the cold, snow and wind to be done sometime around February. Next year I get a few hours a week to myself, and I can't wait. The year will be busier and the days will start earlier, but getting those few hours might make it all worth it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I felt so free as I walked out of MOPS today. It was the last one at our church for the 2008-2009 season. I felt unencumbered for a number of reasons. Not only did I sleep great (although I still feel wiped out), but the kids and I had a calm morning. And they were good when it was time to leave MOPS as well (they love their teachers, and I'm the mom that always has to leave early. Not a good combo). I always feel lighter when I'm not carrying everyone else's coats, projects, lunches, you name it. It's a warm, breezy day (82 outside, 72 inside). And I got to wear a skirt. That always makes me feel a little lighter on my feet!

Now if only I could get the Colorado drivers to consider trying to go the speed limit! I was going at least good 15 to 20 slower than necessary trying to get to Brandon's school. It doesn't seem like much, but I already have to leave MOPS early as it is just to get him to kindergarten (which is under 3 hours!). Since today's meeting was meeting was more a tea party than anything else, leaving early wasn't an issue. However, I don't want to have to leave any earlier because the drivers here can't get it together enough to go over 25! They haven't ruined my good, lightweight day, but I am considering getting a bullhorn so I can ask the slow ones to move over and let me go by. With my luck, they're hard of hearing, too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers everywhere! Despite the fact that I think Mother's Day is a completely made up, commercialized holiday (Hallmark might have been in cahoots with a floral chain) in which one set of people are required to buy gifts for another, the fun of getting home-made cards from Brandon and Caitlin, along with a cute vase Brandon made, might make me change my mind!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Garage Sales

This weekend was garage sale weekend in our little town. Most of our town is a series of HOA's, and garage sales aren't allowed. It's one of those strange little rules that I don't think about most of the time, since I'm more a sell-it-on Craigslist kind of gal than a garage sale gal. To appease those who like to have garage sales, the town has a twice yearly, town-wide garage sale. I've found that people who live in neighboring towns come over to our little town to check it all out!

Last year I got a lot of size 3 and 4 clothes for Caitlin, as her hand-me-downs only went up to 2T. This year, all I wanted was a TV stand. Brian is seriously considering some huge flat panel TV, and we'd like to put our old TV in the basement for watching DVD's (and maybe TV, whenever we get a converter box). I drove around yesterday, but with Caitlin and her friend Mattie in tow (as Mattie's mom was holding a sale herself), I didn't get much done. Today I drove around again, stopping occasionally, and managed to find a decent little TV stand for a price I was willing to pay. I also found a box of random Legos for Brandon. He was thrilled! Both kids were not excited about the fact that I insisted on washing them with dish soap and some Basic-G germicide before we played with them. But they were ready to be rinsed and dried after we got back from dinner. We are a little worried by the huge snake head and various fake spiders that were in the box, but they all say Lego, so we're assuming they're from some boxed set that we don't know about. Maybe the "How to Mess With Your Mom" set, but who knows?

I was struck by the sheer amount of stuff people were selling. A friend of mine asked for donations for her garage sale to raise money for an upcoming trip to Mexico (and she did, praise God, make around $400 more that she even hoped for!). But for all those other sales, where is all this stuff coming from? It brought the cycles of consumerism and consumption to light in a harsh, glaring sort of way. We (as a general population) have so much stuff. So much baby gear, so many clothes (oh my gosh were there clothes!). I try to be picky about what I allow into my house. I have enough stuff already! And I'm constantly purging (mostly kid stuff, but mine, too). Maybe I'm still fearful we'll move to a small house. Maybe it's just me. But still. I looked. And looked. And drove on. And found a TV stand. And am tired of garage sales. I was worn out. I made myself a little challenge to not buy anything new this month, except for food. And to stay out of stores. My kids hate shopping anyway, so they won't mind. We have each other, and we have our health. We can stick it out. And maybe I won't be so tired.


We're a little sorry we weren't able to check out the store, but our kids find both vacuums and dragons just a little bit scary!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Reasons I know it's springtime in the Rockies (or near the Rockies, such as we are):

-It's getting green outside! Flowers and trees are blooming! Such a nice change from the brown of winter
-It's warm
Thursday - 77 degrees and sunny
Friday - 67 degrees and sunny
Saturday - 55 degrees and raining
-Cyclists are reappearing on the roads. So far I haven't encountered any riding three abreast or who think that they have the right-of-way at all times. That's coming.
-Hot car
-Children who complain about getting into said hot car
-Sunscreen is already a necessity for more than 3 minutes in the Colorado sun
-Lawnmower sounds. All day. Everyday. Especially during nap time.
-Only 3 more weeks till school's out!
-Activities are winding down (which is both good and bad)
-Open windows
-The town pools open in just over 2 weeks!
-Bees (and bugs) making their post-winter appearance
-no more footie pajamas for the kids
-laundry includes both shorts and sweatshirts
-I think the snowboots and snow bibs are in the closet for a good 6 months (I thought that in March and April, too, but I think this time is real!)

Two Years Ago

Two years ago today most of our worldly possession were being loaded into a very large truck heading out of California. It was a strange, surreal, and hot day. I was so tired that I'm really not sure I had a complete thought in my head that day. If I did, it probably got lost in the shuffle that was my brain.

I wonder if our move two years ago has anything to do with the organizational and purging mindset that I have today. Is it subconscious? Or is it just me? Honestly, I think it's the latter. I think I'm just weird.

Our house is bigger, but I don't feel the need to fill every square foot of it. I recently purged most of Caitlin's size 2 clothes and gave them to a former neighbor with a 2 year old daughter. I've found a few more things, and the purge began! So far I have filled two large laundry baskets of toys the kids don't play with anymore (or ever, in some cases), plus a garbage-sized bag of stuffed animals. All three are hiding in the basement closet to see if they're missed. I sold all the leftover baby things- crib, bedding, mobiles- a while back, but forgot about the baby monitors. I've purged coats and sweaters, and will save the nice ones for the coat drives that Colorado starts doing around October for the poor or homeless (this place is a cold place to be homeless in during winter!). I am tossing things we don't need or don't use. And, I'm trying to avoid stores (except for a few awesome winter clearance sales for the kids). A friend is having a garage sale to help fund a missions-type trip she and her almost 7 year old daughter will take in July, so a few nicer items went there as well.

I keep having dreams that we need to move to a smaller house, and that I have to get rid of things. I don't know what the underlying reason in the dream is that we're moving, but I wake up exhausted from dreams of sorting and purging. During my waking hours I feel the need to rid myself of whatever I've dreamed about (short of furniture) so I won't dream about it again. Again, is this a subconscious thing I'm doing, since two years ago I was moving everything? I have no idea, but the purging is getting in the way of a few key things I need to wrap up before the end of the month.

Maybe I'm preparing to just spend a few months alone in my house with my kids. School is out in just over 3 weeks, and I'm on my own. We've made a few friends, so we won't be alone all summer, but it will still be a lot of mommy and kids at the park or swimming pool. When I spend a lot of time at home I tend to want to reorganize it. In short, I'm not sure why I'm doing all this, but maybe our moving adventure of two years ago has something to do with it.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Things I should be doing :

*taking a shower
*cleaning the kitchen
*scanning coupons and making a grocery list (we are out of anything fresh)
*getting breakfast for the kids

What I am doing:

*trying to figure out the settings on ?$#**#!!! Facebook, since they changed it all *again* (why, Facebook, why? I'm starting to hate you) and I can't find my friends status updates
*reading a site on how to declutter your kitchen
*letting the kids ride their bikes in the garage in their PJ's.

I think I'm qualified to win the slacker mom of the year award. Wait - I'm heading off to Wal-Mart in a while. If that doesn't qualify me, nothing does!