Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Life

Back to the daily grind. Needed to wake up to an alarm this morning. If I need to wake up to an alarm, it's probably to early to get up. Although part of me is happy to get back to the schedule, I'm not ready to restart our early mornings. Back to sleepy morning kids. Back to rushed breakfasts and rushed mornings. Back to Brian leaving for work. Back to needing coffee in the morning instead of it being a pleasant experience with breakfast.

On the plus side, I'm back to Brandon in school, which he loves. A few free hours for me , as Caitlin goes back to school tomorrow. Her fever is gone, and all she seems to have left of her weekend illness is a cough. We even walked to school this morning. Right now only my feet hurt, instead of feet and legs. I should know by this evening or tomorrow morning how much I'll pay for that little 1-mile walk to and from school. Caitlin and I will join Brandon on his class scavenger hunt this afternoon, so I may know earlier than that!

I am grateful for the mornings I had to sleep in last week. I think it helped me recover from my own illness, and just catch up on much needed sleep. I accomplished a lot around the house, which I don't manage to do during our regular weeks.  We had fun just being together as a family, and the kids love to have all the extra time to hang out with their Dad.  And the best thing - it's only for a few weeks, and then we're off on Christmas break. We're spending Christmas at home this year. A first for me. Ever. I've always spend Christmas with family. We'll be visiting them after Christmas, but I'm grateful to not fly during the busiest time of the year, and grateful to not have to miss out on everything going on around town because we're not usually around to enjoy it.

Now, off to shower and finish our charity bags. We cleaned out our closet and the kids rooms. So much needed to go.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fort Collins

In preparation for the yearly forced PTO, in which Brian has had to take time off, we planned on taking a couple of days and exploring Fort Collins. We also needed something to keep us busy, since schools here take the whole week of Thanksgiving off, not just the day of and the day after. There was no forced PTO this year, so we didn't have to go. But we went anyway. We booked the hotel a couple of weeks back, and told the kids that we were going to go out of town for a few days. Bad move on our part. We shouldn't have told them that early. Caitlin has asked every. single. day. for. two. weeks. when (when, Mommy, when?) are we going out of town?

Fort Collins is just over an hour north of us, and the last big city in Colorado before you hit Wyoming. At just over 130,000 people, it's not really that big, either. But we're getting use to that. We had fun exploring. I especially liked the area around CSU. But then again, I always like areas around older college campuses. I like the character. I like the trees. I like the idea that there is so much energy around universities. I'm not sure I'd like living around all of those young, crazy college students, which is why I don't live by a university. But I like being near them. We drove around a lot. The bitter winds prevented us from doing much outside until the last day. Once my ears begin to hurt, I'm done.

But for all the fun of Fort Collins, the biggest draw for the kids was ......

the indoor pool!!!

How can you beat an indoor pool? Caitlin loves swimming, and asks me oh, about every other day when we can go to an inside pool. It doesn't help that the pools here close right after Labor Day, and that we drive by the closed pool on a frequent basis. Caitlin looks longingly out her window as we drive by..........

So, into the pool we went. Day after day. Luckily they were satisfied with an hour. And the Residence Inn was hardly crowded in the days before Thanksgiving, so we had the pool and hot tub to ourselves. The kids had their life jackets and goggles, and were set. I got to try out my new suit, bought during the Land's End bathing suit clearance and sent right after Labor Day (which is when all the outdoor pools close in Colorado). We got to get out of the house for a few days. We got to explore a new town. And we got to swim in a heated indoor pool. It was a fun time for the entire P-4 family!

** just in case you're worried about this last picture, Brandon is doing a shark impersonation, not having a bad time in the pool!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


My ankles over-pronate. Meaning, they roll inward more than normal whenever I walk, putting all the stress on the soft tissue of my feet and extra stress on my big toe. More information than you wanted to know, I'm sure. According to the x-rays and podiatrist exams, it's just how I'm built and now needs to be corrected. This has been going on all my life, and explains so many of the problems I've had. It was interesting to have the podiatrist point out things that I *may* have experienced, and realizing during her talk that I've gone through most of what she talked about. The extreme pain, though, is a new thing. I have all the symptoms and pain of plantar fasciitis, caused by the pronation. About this time last year I started having a lot of pain in my feet. I wasn't sure what was going on, but thought it may have something to do with my clumsy episodes in spring of 2008, where I sprained my right foot and then, a month later, broke the toe (I think) on my left foot. In the fall, I started having huge amounts of pain in my feet, ankles, knees and hips. Getting up was painful. Walking was painful. Standing was painful. Grocery shopping was painful. Picking Brandon up from school was painful. About the only thing that wasn't painful was sitting on my a-double-s, and that is what I did (and I am paying for my suddenly sedentary lifestyle). But every step I took hurt. It still does. Finally, just last month, I made an appointment with a podiatrist. After exams and x-rays, it was determined that I don't have plantar fasciitis, or knee problems, or more broken toes (which was what prompted the appointment in the first place). I have over-pronating ankles, which are causing bone spurs on my heels, and a whole host of problems. And I need custom orthotics for my shoes.

Yay! A diagnosis!

Boo! Orthotics. Custom. Nothing like that just before turning 40 to help make me feel young (and poor. They're expensive!).

So here I am. I picked up the orthotics yesterday, just in time for our trip to Fort Collins. They're not big, but they do make my shoes fit differently. I'm not sure how many pairs of shoes I'm going to have to give away. No more Dansko's for me, or Bass, as far as I can tell. The shoes that have come recommended are all expensive, and range from "fine" to "even my grandfather wouldn't have worn that". Josef Seibel? Comfort shoes? I haven't found a pair yet that doesn't make me look like an old man in the 1970's. All I'm missing is the leisure suit. In peach.

I'm curious to see how this all goes. I've only worn the orthotics for a few hours, as I am suppose to build up my wearing time. Then I'm suppose to wear them all day. Even at home. In my slippers. I'm a barefoot kind of gal, and have never liked wearing shoes at home, so this will be interesting. I may need to convert my moccasins to house shoes so I can at least be comfortable at home. I feel so old. But if these help, I may be able to go for a walk without experiencing shooting pains in my heels, and up through my legs and hips. I may be able wake up in the morning and walk instead of fall. I may again be able to carry my own children down the stairs of my house (I had to give that one up a couple months ago due to fear of falling). I may walk without a limp. Even when I'm not limping, every step still hurts. It has for most of this year. And that I am completely willing to give up.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Caitlin has declared today to be a pajama day. Meaning she gets to wear pajamas all day. But we have a foot of new snow outside. Let's hope that a trip to the local mall makes her change her mind. These kids will need to run around somewhere today! And she doesn't get to wear footie jammies out into the snow with her boots!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vampire Teeth

Aaahh, the joys of 25 cent vampire teeth at the after Halloween sale at King Soopers:

Scary, aren't they?

Monday, November 09, 2009


November 2nd was Caitlin's first dental appointment - and Brandon's second. It's been a long while since I took Brandon to the dentist. March, 2007, in California, to be exact. I'm not sure why I've avoided the dentist. Probably because it's just been one more thing to do on my already long list of things to do!

The kids were very good. Although there was a kid's room at the dental office - complete with two sit-down Pac-Man games and a flat-screen TV playing DVD's, the kids wanted to be together. Caitlin went in first, and was such a big girl during her 360 degree dental x-ray, and all the individual x-rays. I truly think she wants to be a big girl, and things like going to the dentist, wearing her lead vest, and behaving well put her up a notch closer to that category. She then moved on to the dental office, where she  waited for her first exam. After Caitlin's x-rays were done, Brandon moved on in to the x-ray room. He was just as good, being still for his 360 degree x-ray, and doing all the right stuff for his other x-rays and pictures. Caitlin went down in ranking from her "extremely good girl" status to "not so great" when she wouldn't stay in the exam room. The rooms were right next to each other, but yet she kept popping out, or having to go down the hall for unknown, mysterious reasons. I spent a good chunk of time following after her and leading her back to the exam room. After the dentist came in for her exam, she managed to stay put - even holding the suctioning device for the hygenist. She got to wear sunglasses during the exam, and for some reason, looked like a biker chick to me!  Brandon, of course, was completely fine. He was excellent for our dentist back in California when he was 3 1/2, and I doubted he would have regressed now that he's older!

It was an experience for me, too. The 360 degree x-ray shows the kids' whole mouths. Not only can you see their jaws and teeth that are visible, but you can see all the adult teeth and molars hiding up in the gums, just waiting to come down. And they're big, too! Brandon's 12 year molars are already showing, along with Caitlin's 6 year molars. It's pretty amazing. On my own x-ray from my appointment a week earlier, I could see where my sinuses connect to my jaws, which explains why all my teeth hurt when I get a head cold or allergies. If it affects my sinuses, my teeth just ache! All our x-rays looked like something out of a horror movie, but they were fascinating!

Their results were good, too. No cavities for either kid. Not even an hint of a cavity. Caitlin did have some tartar issues. Brandon must take after me, as he had hardly any tartar on his teeth at all. The dentist noted that Brandon may not ever need orthodontic work. His teeth are evenly spaced and very straight, with plenty of room to house the adult teeth and molars that are already there on the x-ray. So far there aren't any wisdom tooth buds, so he may not have to worry about those, either. Of course, mine didn't come in until I was in college, and I got them out in my late twenties. Caitlin, on the other hand, already has a crossbite, which will need to be orthodontically treated when she's older. It's an even crossbite - as if her upper jaw shifted to one side.  But it will reshape her jaws and teeth if not treated at some point. Her teeth don't have a lot of space between them like Brandon's, so there's no telling if her adult teeth will be straight when they come in, or crooked due to lack of space. I guess I should start putting money aside for braces now that I know she'll need them at some point!

You can see more pictures of the kid at the dentist on my picture site here.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

What? November?

In order to save myself some stress this year, I decided not to do write every day in November. Last year I kind of didn't want to do it. My sister was getting married, and both kids were in the wedding. I knew we'd be flying out to California at the end of the month, and would be there for a week. But I did it anyway, and hated almost every minute of it. Trying to come up with new and interesting things to report. Fun family pictures. All the while trying not to be depressing, as I have been told my blog is depressing.

But now I keep not writing. Not telling you what's going on. Have I lost interest? I'm not sure. Maybe there isn't a lot to write about. Maybe the early mornings, late nights, trying to get Caitlin to nap and getting Brandon to do homework are too much. Maybe I can't handle First grade.

To tell the truth, even though we've been busy, it hasn't been interesting. Every morning I get up, get ready, get the kids up, head to the school.......... it's all the same. Some days I drive to Boulder to drop Caitlin and the carpool off at preschool.  Some days I pick her and the carpool up. Every day at 2:30 I have to be at Brandon's school to pick him up. Everyday he runs out yelling "Mommy, Mommy!" and give me a big hug around the legs. Then we head to the playground to play off some excess energy. Sometimes the days blend together and I am surprised by the end of the week, but more often they don't.

So, what have we been up to:
Halloween! So much fun for the kids this year. Brandon was a western sheriff, and Caitlin was a ghost. We went trick-or-treating in the neighborhood for the first time ever. It was a real treat. I did have to leave half way to take Caitlin home to Brian. Luckily, Brandon got to continue on with friends and I met up with them a little while later. We now have more candy than any one person should eat in a year.

School!  Brandon loves First Grade. He had a hard time adjusting to the work and the hours (we're at school before 8:00 am every morning), but has it down now. Let's hope the holidays don't screw that up! Caitlin just loves preschool. I sometimes wonder if two mornings a week is enough for her, but I think we're doing good. Monday is our only free morning together, and it seems to work well. Caitlin feels like such a big girl at school, and always wants to do Brandon's homework with him. At this rate, she'll be doing multiplication before kindergarten!

Candy Land!  Caitlin's into Candy Land. Pray for me. I've played more Candy Land this week than I have in the last year.

Organizing!  It's time for "the change". Brandon's kind of outgrowing his size 5 clothes, but is not quite into size 6, so I've been going through his stuff and adding and subtracting clothes. I've also put away summer things and moved straight into winter stuff (although the temperatures this week were in the low 70's!). Caitlin is moving into some size 4's already. My room is a mess of boxes and clothes as we pull out the old and hang up the new. Add to that the fact that I was once again thinking of living in a small house, and I can't resist the urge to start going through our stuff again.

So, now you are up to date on our little household. Exciting, isn't it?