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April, 2007:

Weekend Warriors

What a great weekend! After our foot+ of snow last weekend, we had 75-80 degrees both Saturday and Sunday this week. Saturday, I joined some friends for our semi-annual scrapbooking day. We met from 9:00-8:00 and scrapbooked all day with some other ladies at a Memoranza event. It was tough to be inside all day instead of out playing with our families, but it’s always nice to get that adult day, no matter where it is. While I was hangin’ with the ladies, Dan got to spend the day alone with the kids, which he seldom gets to do. They went to Jason’s soccer game, went to the park where there just happened to be a huge “to do” for the March of Dimes run, which meant face painting, bouncy houses, and cheeseburgers . . . then they were off to the ice cream shop to get some blue bubble gum ice cream . . . a quick stop at Blockbuster on the way home and their day was almost complete. Really, what beautiful Saturday is complete without hours of playing outside at home – riding bikes, brushing Maggie, playing tee-ball in the cul de sac?! I finished my day with a couple drinks with the ladies . . . awesome day for everyone!

Sunday, we got to enjoy another beautiful day! We couldn’t pass up the beautiful weather and headed down to the south end of town to Red Rocks Open Space for a day of hiking in the quarry . . . fun! It’s always great climbing on all the red rocks, and the kids found a bunch of bugs that they caught and put in the bug catcher . . . grasshoppers, beetles, ladybugs . . . they even filled a water bottle cap with water and put it in there so the bugs could get drinks :-) Then we were off to Garden of the Gods for a picnic lunch – it was beautiful! Back down south a bit further to check out a new camping showroom where we looked at a couple pop-ups. I’m still lobbying for that pop-up this spring . . . I’m not quite ready to give up and get decked out for tent camping – I love tent camping, but when Dan’s gone, it’s just too tough with just me. Here I come pop-up! After looking at campers and explaining to Jason and Keira why we didn’t have one attached to the Jeep when we left, we drove the 30 miles back home, changed into golfing gear, and headed to the driving range. Had to try out the used but new-to-me clubs that I want to buy! Jason and I had a great time on the range while Dan and Keira checked out the pool. Then we were off, heading back to town for Jason’s soccer game. The boys did great! They only had 4 guys, and everyone else had fun like we did, so they were a little pooped at the end of the game, but they always have a great time and are a ton of fun to watch – who can’t enjoy watching 6 year olds play soccer? After the game, we’re off to a quick dinner and home for baths and bed.

Quite a weekend for everyone – but you can’t say we don’t start summer out with a bang!

What fun did you have last weekend?

The Olden Days

I was reading books with my son, Jason, the other night before bed. He was holding a stretchy green ball that has spikes on it (he calls it his sea urchin). He took two of the spikes and pulled them way up high and let the ball hang down. Then he said “Hey Mom – is this what TV’s looked like in the olden days? You know, then they had those weird things sticking up out of them?”

THE OLDEN DAYS?!?! OMG! I remember having that very TV in my house as a child – and I certainly don’t consider myself old!

I picture the olden days as buggies and horses on dirt roads Little House on the Prairie style. Not so much as color TVs with rabbit ears!

Earth Day

As I wrote yesterday, we had a good blizzard – it ended up dropping 12 inches of heavy wet snow! We lost power from 10:00 p.m. last night until 8:00 a.m. this morning, then again from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. It was a bit chilly (and dark!) this morning when we woke up. Our poor trees couldn’t take it.

Some snapped in half

Broken Trees

Others just bowed to the ground under the weight

Bent Trees

Earth Day was this past weekend and Jason had been learning all about it at school. He almost made me cry yesterday afternoon when he got all bundled up and went out in the blizzard to clear the heavy snow off all the small trees in the front yard and stand them back up. Then we get in the car this morning to head to school and he said “I can’t wait to get home after school. I need to clean off all the trees so they can stand up and be happy!”

There are so many reasons I’m glad I have children . . . my favorite reason is The Simple Things :-)

Let It Snow Let It Snow

The kids and I woke up this morning to a BLIZZARD – yup, on April 24th there’s a blizzard outside.

April Blizzard 

They’re predicting anywhere from 10-14 inches of snow where I live (however 8 miles south in town they don’t have accumulation yet!) The drive to school was awful because here in Colorado, they don’t know how to use snowplows. All the public schools are closed, but Jason and Keira go to a Montessori school so they’re almost always open. I’m guessing I’ll be playing the part of the part-time single working mother today and picking them up early so they can play at home while I work from home (which I do not like to do – I much prefer to go in to the office!).

I won’t complain though – being a Minnesotan I LOVE the snow and I really miss winter. AND, I can’t wait to use my snowblower one last time this season. So here’s to spring snowstorms in Colorado – gotta love ’em!

What kind of weather are you enjoying?

Sad Goodbyes

Noisy Grandma is about to get on her plane. We had a great weekend – soccer games, the park, ice cream, playing games, amusement parks . . . it’s always so sad when it ends. Jason is so sensitive and always cries when Noisy Grandma has to leave. Keira always acts so tough until the minute it’s time for the last hug and kiss, then she loses it and won’t let go, which makes everyone cry.

It was so nice last night watching Jason and Keira both cuddle up to Noisy Grandma on the couch for their last evening together and hearing Jason say very quietly “Grandma – I wish you could stay a whole nother week. I’m going to miss you.” But little Keira, who’s always looking on the bright side, said “Me, too, but do you know that in August we get to stay with you for 5 whole days without mom and dad! So we’ll see you then!”

Even so, it doesn’t make the goodbyes any less sad or tearful.

Friday Adventure

Yesterday I wrote how excited I was because Noisy Grandma was coming! She did indeed arrive and the kids were ecstatic.

Mom and I had planned to spend today (Friday) together while the kids were at school. We weren’t sure what we were going to do – maybe golf, maybe a drive in the mountains, maybe a walk, maybe play games, who knew – but it was going to be just us adult girls.

When I woke this morning, I was once again reminded that I am not the one in charge. I got Keira up to take her bath and noticed her cheeks were really red when I kissed her – I figured maybe she was just warm from being cuddled up in warm jammies and a big comforter. When she got undressed to get into the tub I saw that her entire body was covered in a rash! From head to toe, she was full of red spots. Jason called her the spotted girl all morning :-) I called the pediatrician to make a same-day appt. After taking Jason to school, Grandma, Keira, and I went to the doc’s office. And what wisdom did he impart on us? That he has no clue what it is. That he had a girl in last week with the same thing, but hers cleared up after a couple days. That we should stop giving her the amoxicillin that she was taking for strep (that was our adventure to the doc office LAST Friday) just in case it was an allergic reaction. That since she’s broken out, she is not contagious. Oh, AND, she has something in her ear – OTHER THAN A TUBE! I couldn’t friggin’ believe it! (flashback to the Googly eye incident of March 27th) I questioned Doc repeatedly on are you sure it’s not just her tube that’s coming out? Cuz she’s going to see the ear doc in May for her final check up. It’s been in there for 2 years and maybe it’s covered in a big ball of wax. He insisted that it would have to be the biggest weirdest shaped ear tube he’s ever seen. I finally gave in because just last Friday when we had Keira at the doc for strep, the other doc said she could see the tube just fine and it looked like it was on its way out.

So, next Tuesday Keira and I get to pay a visit to the ENT – I wasn’t waiting 6 weeks for her previously scheduled appointment. At that time, he will remove the tube and whatever other foreign object happens to be in her ear. I have to say that I’m interested to see what it is, but it’ll be pretty hard to beat a googly eye!

Noisy Grandma

Today is an awesome day – Noisy Grandma (aka my mother) is coming to visit from MN!

Jodie and NG 

She wanted it to be a surprise for the kids, so they don’t know yet. She’ll get to surprise them when she picks them up from school today.

How, you may be asking, did she come to be called Noisy Grandma? I assume that growing up in a family of 7 children helped her boisterousness come out at an early age. As for why my children gave her that name? It’s kind of funny! When Jason was just shy of 3 and Keira was just 6 months old, we went to MN to visit everyone. We got there on a Friday before my mom was home from work, but my step-father (Monster Grandpa) was already home. Jason barrels into the house with all the enthusiasm of an almost-3 year old ready for a sleepover at Grandma’s house and says “Hey! Where IS that Noisy Grandma?!”

We just about died laughing! We’d never heard him call her that before! At that point, Tony (my much-taller than 6 foot step-father) came bounding up the stairs Roaring at the kids . . . hence, the name Monster Grandpa :-)

I’m so excited for Noisy Grandma to visit for a long weekend. She plays with the kids, spoils them rotten (but they can take it – it only takes a day or two to get them back in form), reads with them, plays games with them, and all that good stuff. Just last week Keira said how much she missed Grandma and wanted to go see her and Jason was saying how he wished Noisy Grandma could watch one of his soccer games. They’re both going to be happy today! As am I – Mom and I have all day Friday to spend together while the kids are at school. I can’t wait!

And on a side note – many congratulations to my mother who has been smoke-free for 2 months after 40 years of smoking! WOO HOO!

Six Feet One Inch

I’m just giggling to myself right now. I got my ParentCenter e-mail this morning and the feature of the week was their awesome height calculator. I thought “Cool! I’ve got a pretty good idea what it’ll tell me, but I’ll check it out anyway.”

So I filled out the little form, telling them that my daughter was indeed female, that she is 4, that she is 3 feet 2 inches tall, and supplied the height of myself (5′ 2″) and my husband (5′ 7″) – which obviously were not values that they actually used in their calculation. Upon clicking Submit, this is the wisdom Parent Center imparted on me about the pending height of my daughter:

“Your daughter will likely be 6 feet, 1 inches tall at age 18. This prediction is a “best guess” but it’s still just that — a guess. Based on the formula we used,* there’s a 50 percent chance your daughter’s full-grown height will be within 1 inch (above or below) of this prediction, a 69 percent chance it will be within 2 inches, and an 84 percent chance it will be within 3 inches.”

Now even with the 84% chance of it being within 3 inches, my daughter has a chance at being 5′ 10″ tall! Are you kidding me? Keira has about as much chance of being over 5′ 7″ as I have of stuffing an elephant in my refrigerator! You’ve seen our heights, and I can confirm that of all the immediate relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins, great-aunts and great-uncles, grandparents) on both sides of our families, there are maybe 5 that reach 5′ 10″ or higher.

I’ve always joked that if I was a few inches taller I coulda been somebody 😉 Maybe Keira will get my extra couple inches :-)

I Hear Myself In Them Every Day

We all know that our kids are little sponges . . . they hear everything and soak it all up. And I can’t help but laugh and be horrified at the same time when I hear myself in them. My 4 year old, Keira, is the best at throwing words back at me. She is my mini me in every imaginable way!

First there was the dumb-ass comment. The latest was the bad choice. Keira had a pretty bad February – she’d quit taking naps and wasn’t making very good choices in her sleep-deprived stupor. There was trouble at school (hitting, being disruptive in class, talking back to the teacher) and at home (challenges at every corner, talking back to us, being mean to Jason), so she pretty much lost every privilege she had for the entire month. We talked about good and bad choices and how she was the only one responsible for the choices she made. We also talked about how everyone makes some bad choices, but we just need to try really hard not to and to take responsibility when we do make those bad choices. (Aside – she snapped out of it and has become the sweet, lovable, independent Keira we all now and love.)

Apparently she was listening. I can’t remember what Jason was doing, but he was not listening and after a number of times asking him to stop, I yelled at him. Keira, with hands on hips, stared right at me and said “You shouldn’t yell at people. That’s a bad choice mommy!”

Yes, yes it was! Time for the “You’re right, I shouldn’t have done that, mommy’s make mistakes too” talk.

The Fam

Happy Monday morning to all!

I’ve been wanting to add some photos of my family to some posts so you can officially “meet” us. But, I can’t figure out how to get the folder for the photos writable. I guess I just need to spend more time on it than I have.

Anyway – I also have a family Web site that I update monthly. All of our family lives in MN – the closest ones being 900 miles away. So, in addition to the gazillion long distance phone calls we make every month, I update the site so the family can see what we have been up to.

Check it out and meet my family!