Common Mom Rotating Header Image

June, 2007:


I love that my children eat. I love that we’ve never had a problem with them eating food. I feel fortunate that they’re both willing to try just about everything and end up really liking about 3/4 of it. In our house, you eat what we make for dinner, or you go hungry. Now I don’t go around serving my kids liver and onions or anything – I mean does ANYBODY want that? But they do love things like grilled salmon and pretty much any vegetable. Yesterday, I was tired and didn’t feel like cooking. I was being all mommy smart and thinking I’d tell them they could have whatever they wanted and I’d end up making mac and cheese or something. So when I picked them up from school I asked them what they wanted for dinner. . . in unison they said “Chicken Alfredo!” Jason added “And can we have that bread with pepper jack cheese on it?” Keira chimed in with “And some broccoli please – I looooove broccoli!” I just have to wonder how many 4 and 6 year olds request that meal when you tell them dinner is totally their choice? So I made them chicken alfredo, french bread with pepper jack cheese on it, and steamed broccoli. They both at a gazillion servings of chicken alfredo and wiped us out of broccoli . . . Keira said “Mom, you didn’t make enough broccoli. Why didn’t you make more broccoli?” Um, because I thought an entire head of broccoli would be enough for the three of us since Dad is gone!

I guess I’m just being thankful today that my kids are easy when it comes to food. We know so many people who aren’t that fortunate, through no fault of their own, and I feel for them. Having to make two meals every night, not being able to go out to eat wherever you want because your kids might not find something on the menu they like. Some kids just won’t eat, or they will only eat two things. Heck, I have adult friends that are terribly picky eaters! I don’t like to cook, and if I had to think hard every day about what I was cooking, or had to cook something different for my kids, I think I’d go crazy.

So a big THANK YOU  goes out to my wonderful children today for making part of mommy’s life a little easier.

First Steps in Becoming Green

I decided to go ahead and take the first step toward being a green parent. I was all excited to go around the house and unplug all the necessary electronics that we don’t use very often and plug them in to power strips. I started my journey around the house, ready to unplug and make a list of how many power strips I needed. 15 minutes later, my list was empty and I had unplugged a grand total of 3 items . . . all 3 of them in the spare bedroom. The TV, the alarm clock, and the electric blanket. Apparently, we’re pretty green already as far as that is concerned! The kids each have one alarm clock plugged in in their rooms. All the gazillion things hooked up to our computer are already on a power strip that is turned off. The TV, VCR, DVD player, Receiver in the family room are all on a power strip, which is turned off. The Receiver, speakers, iPod connection thingy upstairs are all on a power strip, that is turned off.

So, that was the easiest green move I’ve had to make! Next up, light bulbs. Counting all those babies will leave me quite a list!

Wordless Wednesday – The Spanish Peaks

The Spanish Peaks

The view from our campsite

Rock Star

We all do it, and I’m sure you do it . . . those few precious moments that you might get alone in your car, you open the sunroof, crank the radio (loud enough that you can’t hear your voice of course), and have at it. Singing along with the best of them on the radio – YOU are the next American Idol!

Today, I had a rock star morning. Instead of getting up early to shower and get ready for work before the kids got up, I got up when they did. I put on workout clothes, packed my work clothes in the gym bag, got the kids all ready for summer camp, and we headed out. We got to practice being rock stars to the tune of Old MacDonald on the way to school, but after that, it was all me ba-by! On the way to the gym, that new groovin’ song Dance All Night to This DJ (I have no clue what the real name is – that’s the ONE song that won’t scroll across my radio screen with the artist and song name) came on – so I cranked it and had at it. It’s good to get revved up before a good workout! 20 good minutes on the eliptical, 30 minutes lifting weights, shower at the club and I’m back in the car ready for work. I head out of the parking lot jammin’ quietly (the driving range is right there – don’t wanna disturb the golfers!) to Green Day’s Holiday, thinkin’ this is a good start! As I pull on to the Interstate, what song comes on the radio? Rock Star by Nickelback. Crank it up ba-by! Jammin’ jammin’ jammin’ . . . passin’ passin’ passin’ . . . notice I’m goin’ 90 – oops, set the cruise! After jammin’ to Nickelback, I’m thinkin’ I’ll get some nice slow me down music, but nope . . . Tainted Love comes on. Now I don’t know about you, but for some reason I just HAVE to sing to this song. Maybe because it’s one of the few songs you can understand all the words to. But I am cruisin’ and jammin’ – and speeding through the construction zone, oops! I finally had to slow down for the stop light by my office, but for some reason I didn’t stop jammin’ today. I just kept right at it . . . and when I looked to make sure the intersection was clear, the kids (they were maybe 17) in the car next to me were laughing their asses off! I thought maybe they were laughing at something they had said among themselves, but when they looked at me and gave me the thumbs up, I knew it was all me – the old lady in the car next to them who thinks that Tainted Love is a song to jam to.

But who am I to let a couple teenagers ruin a great start to a day! I’m gonna party like a rock star all day! Well, at least as much as I can while sitting in my tiny cube writing documentation for inventory control software, thinking about picking the kids up after school, taking them to gymnastics, and dining on McDonald’s for dinner.

If THAT doesn’t sound like the life of a rock start, I don’t know what does!

Weekend Warriors

Another weekend full of fun has come and gone. We went on our maiden voyage camping with the new-to-us pop-up this past weekend. It was great! We went to a beautiful state park and had the best weather we could have asked for. We get to see the mountains every single day from our home, but I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of looking at them. We got to see the Spanish Peaks from our campsite every morning when we woke up – it was beautiful and so peaceful! And the sunsets were amazing . . . no pictures yet, but check back for a Wordless Wednesday appearance 😉 We got our fishing licenses for the year and Jason caught a fish! He was so excited . . . did the whole baiting, catching, and reeling in himself. He really wanted to keep it and cook it over the fire, but it was much too small. Keira tired of fishing and gave her pole to Dan while she and I started walking back to the campsite. When Dan and Jason got back, Jason showed me a picture he took . . . Dan caught some “bait” – the teeniest tiniest fish ever . . . all with Keira’s lovely Barbie fishing pole – he was feeling quite manly :-) We took the kids’ bikes with us, and Jason thought it was great that we told him he could go anywhere in the campground he wanted as long as he knew is way back. He slowly started going further and further away and being gone longer and longer – he had such a great time! Keira is still learning to ride her bike and couldn’t keep up with Jason, so she decided to run after him because she can run faster than she can ride right now. It was HILARIOUS! Jason would take off on his bike, and Keira, in her yellow shirt, jean skirt, and yellow crocs would take off running after him. We’d look to the other side of the loop to see Jason ride by, followed by a flash of yellow, giggling and giggling. When they’d get back to our campsite, Keira would be huffing and puffing, but that never stopped her from following Jason around. She’s such a trooper and is always trying to keep up with big brother, in her own little independent way. It was pretty toasty out, so we spent an afternoon at the swim area playing in the sand and the cool water, which is always fun. Man I miss Minnesota water! But I wouldn’t give up my mountains for anything right now :-) Family time, campfires, s’mores, hikes – no phones, tvs, or schedules to keep – what more could we ask for? We had a great weekend! We’re definitely looking forward to our next camping trip – who knows when that will be, but we’ll definitely get one more in before the end of summer.

What did you do for fun this weekend?

Fabulous Friday

As my daughter would say, It’s Fabulous Friday! When they take roll in her classroom each day, they have to answer with the day of the week (Marvelous Monday, Terrific Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, I have no idea what it is Thursday, Fabulous Friday). What a week! We had a great time with Dan’s parents here . . . swimming, golfing, playing cards . . . and of course we had the sad goodbyes when they left :-( Keira always has to run back for “one more hug and kiss!” Then just one more . . . and one more . . . and one more. She’s such a sweetie. Jason is always sad to see them go, but he’s gotten a bit older so he doesn’t get as emotional when they leave, but he’s still always so sad to see them go. The good news is that we get to see them again in 6 weeks when we go to MN :-)

But it’s Fabulous Friday! Fabulous because:

  • Well, it’s Friday!
  • We get to head out for our maiden camping voyage after work/school.
  • We get to spend the weekend doing whatever the heck we want to. No schedules, nowhere to be, nothing specific to do…just hanging out with fishing poles available, beautiful mountain views, a waiting beach, toys to play with, and NO PHONES.
  • We get a family weekend, which we haven’t had for quite some time with Dan’s schedule and his parents visiting. I am SOOO looking forward to a relaxing family weekend together.

Here’s to hoping you have a Fabulous Friday and a great weekend!

2 Ears and 3 Years

Yesterday finally came and went . . . it was a GREAT day because Keira had her last appointment with the hearing specialist. She can FINALLY hear perfectly – woo hoo! For the first 16 months of her life, she had nasty ear infections CONSTANTLY. They wouldn’t go away for anything . . . not if we did “ear massages” – not if we gave her antibiotics – not if we changed her diet. We tried about everything. And each time she was given antibiotics, she got these nasty yeast infections – poor thing :-( So at 16 months the ped. referred us to an ENT. 2 weeks after our first appointment, Keira got tubes put in her ears – it was like a whole new world for her! I guess we didn’t realize how much she COULDN’T hear until she COULD hear. Every noise that we heard every day startled her – the phone ringing, Maggie barking, the toilet flushing, the doorbell ringing. After 12-18 months, the tubes are supposed to fall out on their own. The left one came out at 12 months, right on schedule. The right one did not cooperate as much. It was out of her eardrum in about 24 months, but would not come out of her ear canal. It was in there until, well until Keira put a bead in her ear and we had to go see Dr. Smith (our awesome ENT) to take it out. Anyway, the bummer is that you have to go in every 3 months for a hearing test and ear exam until both tubes are out. After the right tube “fell out” we went for what we hoped would be our last visit to wonderful Dr. Smith. No go . . . Keira’s hearing was awful! She couldn’t hear low tones, especially in her right ear, and it was just plain bad. We figured she had something going on medical-wise (cold, allergies, whatever) so he gave her a break and told us to come back in 8 weeks. Yesterday was 8 weeks, and after another fun-filled day of chaperoning Keira’s preschool class on their fieldtrip to the zoo, we went to visit Dr. Smith one more time. Keira’s hearing was awesome! I’m so excited . . . not that I don’t like Dr. Smith or the awesome Audiologist or the great ladies at the front desk, but I did not want to go back again. Because if she couldn’t hear, the next trip back would have been to get another tube put in her right ear.

But, we’re all happy as clams today because we’re done at the ENT, at least until Keira or Jason sticks something else in their ear 😉

Wordless Wednesday – Eugene and Roo Meet

Eugene and Roo Meet


I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always said I will never own a mini van. It’s not that I don’t like mini vans, they’re actually very convenient and look pretty OK now days. But I still refuse to own one. Today I had the pleasure of driving a mini van for the evening. Grandpa Mike has a mini van, so we put the car seats in there and headed in to town for dinner. On the way in I said “This thing drives pretty nice and the automatic doors are pretty cool, but I still cannot bring myself to buy a mini van.” Jason and Keira were all upset about it :-) They made all kinds of great reasons why we should get a mini van. They liked sitting in the way back far away from mom and dad – aka the long arm of the law. They liked being able to push the button to close the doors – I mean it is pretty tough to reach over and pull the door shut. They liked being able to “walk” back to their seats – they are 4 and 3 feet tall. They liked that we could all ride in there together when Grandma and Grandpa were here visiting – I guess that takes away the who gets to ride with who argument. They liked that we’d be able to take their friends places with us – I think that’s just one more reason NOT to get a mini van :-)

So, after all those excellent reasons to get a mini van, I still can’t bring myself to even consider getting one. And do I have a good reason for not wanting one? Nope! The only reasons are that I love my rugged Jeep and I love my fun little car with the sunroof. I can be cool outdoorsy mom or fun sporty mom, depending on my mood – and the gas prices.

What do you drive?

Weekend Warriors

Happy Monday!

What a great weekend! My in-laws are here, so the kids are having a blast showing Grandma Sue and Grandpa Mike all of their new stuff, especially the trampoline. Keira is such a teaser . . . she and Grandpa always have so much fun together! We played outside a lot, played inside a lot, took Grandpa golfing for Father’s Day, and took Grandma to the pool after golfing.

Golfing was awesome! Me, Dan, Grandpa Mike, and Jason went out for a quick round of 9 holes. It was Jason’s first time on an actual course. He had so much fun, and he did so well! We need to work on the etiquette a bit with him, but he really did well. He and Grandpa shared a cart, and Jason was totally blown away when Grandpa let him drive the cart all by himself. Then when Grandpa was chipping on to the green, Dan told Jason to drive the cart up to where we were – Jason’s eyes got huge and he said “For serious?! All by myself?!” I think that was the highlight of his month :-) After a great round of golf, we cruised home, put on swimming gear, and headed back to the pool. It was hot and the pool felt great! We spent 2 hours jumping around and playing in the pool. I can’t fail to mention the best outfit at the pool – it made me smile and giggle at how much this dad must love his children. He was sitting in a chair next to the pool, wearing nothing but his swim trunks and a humonstrous paper necktie, tied around his neck with yarn. It was Father’s Day, afterall! We also got to see some friends we hadn’t seen for quite a while – so that was lots of fun, too! After all that fresh air and fun, Jason and Keira were totally wiped out, so we all hung out and relaxed . . . well, Dan, Mike, and I did. Sue tried to play games with Jason and Keira, but all Keira and Jason did was argue, so we told them they weren’t allowed to play games together anymore. That didn’t go over so well, but it sure was peaceful for the rest of us without the arguing! After the kids went to bed, Mike, Sue, Dan, and I played out nightly games of Canasta . . . we have so much fun playing cards when Mike and Sue are here!

In between all of that, I got to clean out the popup – woo hoo! I know, it’s not healthy to be so excited about cleaning a camper, but it’s a sickness I have. I couldn’t wait to do it. And really, it wasn’t in that bad of shape and it’s not very big, so it didn’t take too long. But I still don’t understand the whole curtains and valence ruffle thing on popups . . . I mean, you fold the camper up for weeks on end . . . these things get so wrinkled and nasty that they don’t cover the windows all the way anyway – why would someone think it’s a good idea to put curtains and a funky ruffly valance thing on a popup? Well, being the freak that I am, I did go ahead and remove the curtains and wash them, then hang them back up. At least they look fine now while it’s sitting in our yard. I’m sure they’ll be all kinds of funky looking after we fold it up and drag it to the campground this weekend. Now all that’s left is to figure out how the water hookups work and load our bedding and stuff in to it. I’m so excited to go camping! Jason is beside himself with excitement – Keira just thinks it’ll be fun to sleep in the camper bed :-)

Grandma Sue and Grandpa Mike are here until Wednesday. The kids are staying home from summer camp today so they can all go have fun. Me, I’m at work today, but I do get Tuesday and Wednesday off to go play with everyone.

What fun things did you do this weekend?