Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tooth Fairy Prep

Caitlin put her tooth in her special pillow made by her Nana, and put it under her pillow. Lo and behold, the ever-stocked tooth fairy came with a gold coin. Caitlin is thrilled that she's now officially joined the ranks of the big kids!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Someone finally lost her first tooth today! It's only been lose for about a month, now!

She is so proud! This morning Caitlin told me she'd found something hard and rock-like in her breakfast. I was busy making lunches, so told her just to put it on the plate and not eat it, which she did. She ate the rest of her breakfast, got her backpack ready, put her shoes on, and got her hair combed. Right as she was about to put her breakfast dish in the dishwasher, she came up and showed me her "rock." Her tooth! There was no bleeding and no pain, so we didn't even know that was the hard thing hiding in the dried peas. Good thing it didn't stick in the banana she'd had first - we might never have found it! I'm sure everybody she knows at school will see her gap today.

Based on how long it took her to get her baby teeth in, I thought she'd be closer to second grade before she lost even one tooth. Guess not! Tonight we'll put her tooth in her special tooth fairy pillow. Good thing the tooth fairy went to the bank last month. Never know when she'll need a gold coin!

Crazy Hair Day!

The kids had Crazy Hair Day at Base Camp on Wednesday. Caitlin was all on board. We talked about what she wanted. Although I rarely do her hair, we have an abundance of rubber bands and clips left over from her younger years. She dug through her stuff, came up with some clips and things she liked, told me what she wanted, and we went to town. In the end she looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book!

Brandon was another story. He wanted to do something for Crazy Hair Day, but didn't know what. I have some hair clay that will do chunky styles, and I told him I could just spike it in the front. He said yes. After I finished Caitlin's hair, I called Brandon into the bathroom. When I got no reply, I headed downstairs and found him in a crumpled ball on the couch, sobbing. He had changed his mind. I reassured him that was okay, and we left it. About 10 minutes later I  found him on the couch again in a crumpled, soggy mess because he decided he did want to do it, but he didn't know if anyone else would be doing it. We found the postcard that we'd gotten last Wednesday, and I showed him an e-mail I'd received, all to try and convince him that the 26th was really Crazy Hair Day, and that he didn't have to worry about being the only one with crazy hair. It took longer than I thought it would. We decided just to do the front, and then he could smooth it down if I was wrong. *Sigh* I understand conformity. Deep down inside I'm a conformist, too. There have been so many times in my life that I have struggled to fit in. To not be the new girl. To not be the odd one. To not be the smart one. To try and make friends. But I didn't think the fear of the unknown would manifest itself in someone so young. We talked about how he didn't want to stand out in the crowd. He didn't want to be the odd one out. I assured him he wouldn't. So we dried the tears, blew the nose, and styled the hair. I even got a couple of cute pictures out of it as well:

This is how Brandon smiles when I say "smile"

This is his real smile. I like this one better

Because Brandon never acts out in public, no one gets how sensitive he really is. All they see is this relatively normal child who does well in school and obeys. Those are true, but sometimes all the behind the scenes "scenes," like this one, can take a toll! 

Wednesday was a dress rehearsal for us. The next day at school it was Crazy Hair Day! Since we'd done it all before, it was smooth sailing on Thursday morning. Not every mom in the school had as easy of a time as I did. There was much rushing around. Thursday we spiked all of Brandon's hair. Fun!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Caitlin just used 3/4 of a new can of Bon Ami to clean the tub! Oy! Child of mine..... what am I going to do with you? I hope that bathtub shines! (And I hope you cleaned off all the powder you dumped on the floor!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Colors

Yesterday we went up to the mountains outside of Boulder to look at the fall foliage. There's a mix of evergreens and deciduous trees in the foothills, so the colors are beautiful. Mostly yellows, though. Lots of aspens and cottonwoods. The only reds I see regularly are the maple trees planted around town (along with the hot pink autumn colors of our burning bush in the backyard).  The trees have only started turning down where we live, but it was peaking just a few thousand feet higher.

I met a woman and her father while standing on the side of the road to get these shots. She was sweet enough to take a couple of photos of our family. I took one of her and her dad and e-mailed them out to her. Turns out her dad is one of the few remaining survivors of Iwo Jima. I thought that was pretty cool.!

On the way home we stopped at a dam, and at Boulder Falls. Amazingly, even though we were in close proximity with water, Caitlin did not come home sopping wet. Maybe there's hope for us yet!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Adventures in Making Apple Sauce

We have an apple tree. Up until this year, we thought we had a crab apple tree. It only produced tiny little apples, and they were usually bug infested. This year it's different. We are getting more regular-sized apples, many are in great shape, and there are so many that the tree branches are starting to break. So what did we do? We made apple sauce! The kids wanted to get in on the action. Can't let mom have all the fun.

Taking the apples off of the apple corer/peeler

Inspecting to make sure nothing else got to it first (these are seriously organic apples, folks!)

Caitlin gets her turn

She also must make sure nothing's in there

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Adventures in Being Unable to Get It Together"

If last week had a title, it would be called "Adventures in Being Unable to Get It Together" (or, more appropriately, adventures in me being unable to get it together!) There were so many cups pouring into that bucket! Let me explain.

My youngest brother got married! Yay! We are so happy for him, and so happy to officially welcome Liz into our lives (even though she's been part of our lives for a couple of years now).
Aren't they cute? 

Their wedding was September 8th. Our family flew out to my parent's house on the evening of the 4th and stayed until the 10th. We were joined a few days later by my sister and her husband, and my other brother and his girlfriend, 3 more cats (to go with the 5 that live there), and for a brief moment, 2 dogs. Keith and Liz both stayed at the house as well, although Liz stayed with her family at a friend's house the night before the wedding. All of us - parents and siblings and significant others in one house! Oh my! With wedding preparations! Oh my! We managed to get the kids to do some homework that week, too. Not easy. Which leads me to the next cup....

Our school does literacy testing after school starts. They test the Thursday before Labor Day, and the teachers go over the results Friday. All of this resulted in 5 days off for the Labor Day holiday for the kids. Add that to the 6 days we were in California, and that means the kids were out of school/school habits for 11 days! 5 days off, 1 day back at school (the 5th), and then another 6 days off. Yes, my calculations include weekends. The kids had a bumpy re-entry back into the world of school. With classes now teaching at a normal pace, they were a little behind. There was much snuggling, cuddling and reassurance time after school. Especially for Caitlin. She loves school, but hasn't really adjusted to the full day, or how tired it makes her. Not that I would have changed anything, it was just a hard 4 days back with back-to-back time off for my little ones.

After School
What a busy week! Tuesday - homework, soccer practice and a birthday party for a good friend! Wednesday - homework and Base Camp (the Wednesday evening church activity the kids are doing this year instead of AWANA). Thursday - homework, catch-up homework, and a little breather. Friday - soccer game, rest time. Saturday - homework, catch-up homework, Brandon's birthday party. Sunday-church, homework, Brandon's star-student-of-the-week homework (photos, artifacts, and an autobiography), Brandon's real birthday.

No wonder the kids woke up with sniffles on Friday morning. Keeping them healthy has been hard! I've had a hard time fighting off this cold I came down with. I'm sure all the fruits and veggies helped, along with making sleep a priority, but the coughing friends haven't. Pray for a healthier week!

Worked at work. Worked at home. Now gone for a week.

Fighting a head cold. Very achy. Haven't slept all that well since we got home, either. I'm hoping this week is better.

Here's a list of things I couldn't keep up with:
  • Catch-up homework
  • Multiple forms that the school and school districts requires me and the kids to sign every single year (it gets old)
  • The house (it's a mess)
  • Groceries (everywhere and not put away properly)
  • Exercise (what's that?)
  • Bible Study (I have today and tomorrow to catch up)
  • Laundry (might be done now)
  • Mail
  • Caitlin's nervousness about her "place" in school and with friends, and being nervous about not fitting in
  • Wishing my mother-in-law a happy birthday. It was on my mind, I talked about it with Brian, but I completely forgot to say anything until this morning

There are sheets on one couch, Legos on the floor, shoes everywhere, messy rooms, and piles of mail and papers. Ugh! Today is going to be one busy day! I might be going to bed at the same time as the kids tonight! Nothing was particularly awful this week, but all the catch-up was a bit much. And I'm a stay-at-home mom!  I'm really hoping that the worst of the catching-up is behind us now, and that we can just focus on this week. That would be nice.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Caitlin was just looking at the computer, and asked why there was a lit up apple on the front of ours. We had a little conversation about companies, products, and branding. Then I told her that our computer was made by a company called Apple. She laughed and laughed. "A company called "Apple"?" Apparently that was the funniest thing she's heard all day!

Old Stuff

Yesterday I placed a pair of shorts in the donation bag.  I came across them while cleaning my closet. After trying them on, I realized that I bought them about a month before my wedding, which was in February of 1999! My choices were limited in January in northern California, which may well explain why I bought a pair of dark blue shorts. I should never, ever wear dark shorts against the white skin of my thighs, especially on a vacation taking place in the middle of winter! Oddly enough, they're still fairly fashionable, so to the donation bag they went.

This morning I plugged in my electric kettle to heat up some water. I heard a strange noise, and saw the cord sizzling a little. Little wisps of smoke rose up. The water heated up just fine after that, but I think it's time to toss the almost 16-year-old kettle (bought in December of 1996). I looked at a few kettles on Amazon this morning. They've really come down in price over the last 16 years! Then there's the fact that I can boil water in a pan on the stove. I'm not the tea drinker that I use to be, so maybe a pan's the way to go.

Sometimes I wonder what I've spent our money on. I live in a country where shopping is encouraged, excess is rampant, and frugality is viewed as odd. I'm frugal when it comes to grocery shopping, stocking up with sales and coupons and trying to purchase the best quality at the best price. I rarely buy clothing when it's not on sale or clearance. Then there are times that I wonder why I bought something. We don't use it, don't eat it, or it doesn't fit right. What  was I thinking? Am I just being wasteful?  Enter this week, and the day that I gave away shorts that are 13 1/2 years old, or tossed a kettle with a faulty cord. My curling iron of 9 years broke a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I'm holding on to things too long, but it was nice to know that I'm not entirely wasteful with everything I buy!