Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Brandon finally got his wish - a snowfall wet enough to build a snowman.

We got 12 inches of very wet snow last night. Most of it fell between the hours of 3:30 to 11:00 pm. Before that we had two hours of rain, so shoveling the driveway and sidewalk this morning was back-breaking. I've never seen this much water underneath the snow. The intense Colorado sun is already turning much of the snow to slush. Imagine shoveling 12 inches of slushy. Not fun.

The power went off a few times last night. I'm not sure why, since most of our power cables are underground here. Maybe they had to break the circuits to help Denver? Their snowfall was not as wet or as much, but their power lines are mostly above ground down there. Caitlin was not a happy camper about the power going out. I was unprepared for the waterworks, so all our candles are still out on the coffee table. I couldn't risk not having them *right there* should we have another horrific 5 minute outage. Amazing enough, the satellite dish did not go out. Maybe that recent visit Directv made out here made a difference? One can only hope. When you're trapped inside your house, not having TV is a sad, sad thing!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Losing It

It finally happened. After his grand announcement on February 6th that his gums were loose around his tooth, Brandon lost his first tooth last night. The tooth was practically sticking straight out of his gums (instead of pointing upwards), but yet it wouldn't come out. After much pulling and prying, we asked if he wanted to try tying it with dental floss. He did, so I managed to yank it out. Brandon wasn't very happy with me during the yanking, but got over it quickly when the tooth actually came out.

The funny thing is, it's not the first tooth that was loose. That one is still in. His second tooth came out. The first one is pretty loose, though, so it might come out in a few days. I guess I'll need to wait until he tells me he's ready.

After pulling his tooth, we put it in his tooth fairy pillow that his Nana made for him. He put it under his pillow, and the tooth fairy brought him a coveted gold coin that he so wanted.

Caitlin desperately wanted in on the action. She keep testing her teeth to see if they're loose. Judging by how long it took for her first tooth to come in, she'll be around 12 before she loses a tooth.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Look Ma, No Training Wheels!

We got Brandon a bike for his fifth birthday. Seems like ages ago. He really wanted it, and was ready for it. Several factors lined up against him and his bike riding - he wasn't steady, winters here are cold, cold, cold, we lived on a hill, and there was no one around to ride with.

Enter our neighbor, who graciously offered to help Brandon learn how to ride a bike without training wheels. He's into bikes, and has taught many kids to ride bikes. So today, the first nice day of the year (and I'm not kidding), we headed to the basketball court/parking lot just down the road from our house. Talk about ready! Brandon needed help at first, but within the hour was riding fairly well on his own. He still has a lot to learn (like looking where you're riding, and getting on without help), but I was impressed with how fast he steadied himself and rode around the lot. We should have done this sooner. Of course, it's been freezing cold, windy, snowy, etc. He wants to ride again tomorrow. We may head down before soccer practice. And before the next snowstorm blows in on Friday!

The first video was taken around 3:20 this afternoon. The second video was taken around 4:15.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's March - So I Must be Sick

March is one of those weird months in which the temperatures rise up and fall down. This is the month where I'm tired of the snow and tired of being cold. I think it's because March seems to herald the arrival of spring in California. Even though it will be a couple of months before anything besides the tulips grow, I'm still a California girl and I still want things green instead of brown. I'm sure we'll get a few more snowstorms between now and the end of April, but I can hope, can't I?

March is also the month that I get sick. I know that fluxuating temperatures don't help, but otherwise I have no idea why March is so wonderful for incubating illness. Last week I woke up with a sore throat and had a headache. It got progressively worse, into a nice head-cold. I had to bring treats for Bible Study on Wednesday; otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone. On Thursday we had a soccer meeting in Boulder. Brian was gone on business most of the week, but got home Wednesday night and worked from home Thursday afternoon. We were talking about dinner plans, and my right eye started watering. Then it got all gunky. Then it turned bright red. All in about 5 minutes. I took out my contacts, put on my glasses, and went to dinner and the soccer meeting. By the time we got home my eye was swollen and bright red. My guess was pink-eye, but I never got it diagnosed. Instead, I pulled Caitlin's pink-eye eye drops from the cupboard and started using them. Friday my eye was no longer red, gunky or watery, but was still incredibly swollen. More eye drops and glasses. It's now Tuesday and I'm still in glasses, although I'm attempting contact lenses today. I looked up pink-eye on the internet, and I guess you can get it just from being sick. Makes sense, although it's never happened to me before. I've always caught it from someone else. I can't wait to be done with the eye drops. They irritate the skin around my eyes. And the laundry. Between both kids having eye issues last month, and mine this month, I've done more towels and linens in one month that any one person should have to do in three!

I can do without the coughing, sneezing, throbbing headaches and runny nose, too. It's getting old. Medications like Advil and psuedophedrine help, but only for a short time. I don't remember when I started buying Kleenex in bulk at places like Costco, but I can no longer imagine not having a few boxes stored in the garage for times like this. It's just so constant, too. All I want to do is collapse on the couch. Yesterday I was so lightheaded around lunch time that I wondered if I should have been using a knife! I haven't spent much time in public because I don't want to infect anyone. Today I need to do some grocery shopping. At least all the stores have the Lysol wipes for the carts. Usually people use them to wipe carts off before shopping in order to keep themselves healthy. I'll do that, and wipe it down after using it so the next person can remain healthy!

I'd like to be well by then end of this week. Next week is spring break, and I'll be with the kids by myself most of the time. Brian's been traveling, but has (luckily for me) been home for almost a week before he heads out again tomorrow. I want to do some fun things with the kids, providing the weather's good, and I don't want to have to take eye drops and boxes of Kleenex with me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Brandon's Musings

Yesterday, on the way to church, Caitlin was talking about things you can't eat. You can't eat cars. You can't eat our house. You can't eat the earth.

From the back seat we also hear this in a small, almost under-his-breath voice: 
"Yeah, 'cause if you eat the earth you'd be very






Thursday, March 04, 2010

Why You Should Always Check Your Child's Homework

The homework picture turned into class for the "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up" assignment:

The follow-up letter the teacher received the next day:

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.

I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.

From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Mrs. Smith

Monday, March 01, 2010

I Didn't Invite You Over

Brandon's best buddy is J, another 6 year old who lives on our street. They get along well and are in the same class at school. J's family moved on to our street in May of 2009. At their previous house here in the same town, J was friends with another 6 year old boy who we'll call N. He's a nice kid. Kind of whiny, but otherwise fairly nice. Brandon, J and N are all in the First Grade, all go to the same school, and play together at recess (from what I've heard).

Lately, N is over at J's house all the time.

Usually I couldn't care less what play dates other kids have. Really - it's none of my business. But this is different. Since just before Christmas, our normal routine has been J's dad picking up the boys from school most days. It's so nice. I love it. Although Caitlin doesn't nap anymore, she still needs an hour or so of downtime. Not having to go to the school makes all that possible. All in all, it just makes my day so much smoother. The boys will play on the playground for half-an-hour or so, if it's nice outside, and then they walk home. Brandon is usually pretty hungry when he gets home, and has a snack and watches a video. Then we read. Afterwards he can play inside or outside until dinner time.

On the days that N comes over to J's house, the routine is harder to manage. The boys play at school, and walk home. J and N go to J's place, and Brandon comes home. Usually Brandon tells me whether or not N walked home with them. Our routine starts - but we can't get more than 10 minutes into it when J and N are at our door! Not only do they want to play with Brandon, but they want to come inside and play with all his toys. I've kind of had it.

Here's my dilemma - I didn't invite N over - J's dad did. Why, then, do I become the responsible adult? What do I do? I can see this going on forever (seriously, this has been happening since summer, with a small reprieve only during vacations when we're gone, or during winter storms). Do I tell N and J that they can't come over? It seems useless. J comes over all the time. He roams the neighborhood when he can't come to my place. I see him outside the windows. Telling J's dad that the boys can't come over does no good. He'd be receptive to the idea. He'd even agree with me. And, after a week or so of things improving, it would all go back to what it use to be. He doesn't watch his own child, much less his child's friend. Whenever N comes over to J's house, he comes to my house. Every time. Sometimes as early as 10 minutes after getting home, sometimes up to half an hour later. When N comes over he loves to head straight up to Brandon's room and play with Legos, and Lincoln Logs, and Hot Wheels - any toy that has 50,000 pieces. And he loves to leave all those pieces all over the place for me and Brandon to clean up. I'm tired of it. J and N are both very loud, which irritates my senses. Brandon can get that way, too, but he's not as obnoxious as the others. It's like the three of them feed off of each other. When J, N and Brandon get together, N always ends up as the "bad guy" in their games. He can't handle it, and whines incessantly that I need to tell J to stop it. I'm tired of that, too. There is something about the three boys together that drives me mad! N is not a bad kid. But still - I didn't invite him over. He comes over 2 to 3 times a week. Sometimes more. Lately I've been putting the house off limits. But then J and N, and Brandon, usually, want to get the trucks out of the garage and go play in the back yard. My backyard. Of course, the toys are left everywhere instead of being put back. And guess who gets to clean them up? Just today I specifically told each boy that he had to pick up whatever toy he took into the back yard. They ignored me. I nicely told each boy he needed to put his toy back or we couldn't play with them for a long time. There were many tears, and I'm not sure why.

One of the hardest things for me is that I feel like I should even have to deal with this. I shouldn't have to put my house off limits. I shouldn't have to talk to J's dad. I shouldn't have to! He should take responsibility for N coming over to his house, and he's not. I'm a good mom. I'm responsible for my own children. I get them ready in the morning, see them in the afternoons, and know how they are feeling. Are they happy? Sad? I know these things. We talk and discuss things. We make play dates and make sure that we have a balance of social time, academic time, and family time. I'm at a loss as to what to do with another parent who isn't as in tune with his kids. I hate confrontation, but need to figure out what to do to resolve this. This has been going on since summer, and I don't see it ending any time soon.