Common Mom Rotating Header Image

July, 2008:

What’s Missing In This Photo?


Have you figured it out yet?

It’s ME! I’M missing from this photo! It finally happened . . . Princess can touch the bottom of the pool (barely) and can swim back to the edge if necessary. So, for the first time EVER, I found myself sitting outside of the pool while the two of them were in the pool – by themselves. Hubby wasn’t in the water either. All those swimming lessons they get at summer camp have paid off.

I really love swimming and am usually in the pool with them having fun and staying cool. But at this particular moment I found myself sitting in a lawn chair, without anyone under 4 feet tall near me. It was weird.

And sad :-( There’s been lots of growing up this week . . . too much if you ask me!


Goodbye Grandma and Grandpa!

Noisy Grandma and Monster Grandpa came to visit us for a whole week – we were so excited and we had a great time! There are so many things to do around here that it’s difficult to choose what we WON’T do when we have visitors. This week we chose to do all of these things . . .

We went to a Rockies game! It was Dude and Princess’ first time at a Rockies game, too. We got to ride the light rail, which was new to all of us, and we had a great time. Best of all . . . the tickets were free! And we had great seats . . . just past 3rd base, 30 rows up . . . which meant we were in the shade of the upper deck . . . a HUGE blessing since it was 100 degrees out!


We took them hiking at one of our favorite spots. Princess took this photo of Noisy Grandma and Dude at the beginning of the trail. We got to climb on the huge rocks and G’ma and G’pa got to see some great sites. We only hiked to the quarry and back since G’ma and G’pa aren’t used to the altitude . . . but it was still fun and beautiful as always.


We went swimming! After the hike, we cruised to the pool to cool off. We had a great time playing keep away and letting the kids swim between our legs. It was really great to hang out at the pool for a while and have some fun.


We rented a mini van (for free . . . can you call it renting if it was free?) and headed up into the mountains to play for the day. We ran into some unexpected construction on the way, so it took us longer than expected, but we still had time for a yummy lunch and to catch the chairlift to the top of the mountain. The views were AMAZING and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. G’ma and G’pa did really well at 10,500 feet considering that they’re from sea level 😉 Yes, we’re standing on a huge snowmound in the end of July – have I mentioned that I LOVE where I live?


We took the kids to summer camp one day and the adults took a drive up a narrow, rocky, dirt, forest service road with no guard rails, just to get to some very cool monster rocks with a view of Pikes Peak in the background.


Monster Grandpa jumped on the trampoline with Dude. He jumped so hard that he knocked Dude over, and one of Dude’s shoes flew off! It was pretty hilarious and Dude giggled and giggled and thought it was the best thing in the world.


They even tolerated going to yet another baseball game with us, and 4 extra 8 year old boys, to celebrate Dude’s 8th birthday. They are such good sports! The boys slept in the room right above G’ma and G’pa’s room, and I’m sure they were anything but quiet 😉


They got to go to a 3rd baseball game when they watched Dude and his Mets take on the Rockies in the Coach Pitch game on Saturday before they had to head home. They even tolerated it when Dude said he didn’t want to give them kisses in front of “The Guys” . . . way too much growing up going on! I guess you turn 8 and that’s that :-(

Apparently, it was a baseball themed week, even though that was unintentional. In addition, there was plenty of relaxing at home, playing games, reading books, watching movies, and just plain enjoying our time with Grandma and Grandpa. We can’t wait to see them in September . . . when I’ll explain to Dude that hugs are ALWAYS OK and pretty much required for Grandparents, no matter where you are or what you’re doing 😉

He’s Not Actually 8 Yet . . .

His birthday is this coming Friday, but we had his party last weekend :-) Dude invited 4 friends to join us for the baseball game and then sleep over. It. Was. A. BLAST! I made him a baseball birthday cake, which he thought was way cool . . . even though the frosting totally sucked (really, Duncan Hines Whipped White Frosting is TERRIBLE!). But, the boys ate it anyway :-)

We also thought it would be fun (and safer!) to make them all matching t-shirts to wear to the game . . . in bright red, so they’re easier for a tired mom’s eyes to keep track of 😉 We got these baseball t-shirts on clearance at Target.

 Then we thought it would be cool to make them look like more like baseball jerseys, so we put their names and the number 8 on the back (Princess wanted a 6 since she’ll be 6 – girls!).

With each game ticket, the kids got a hot dog, chips, small soda, Nestle Drumstick birthday treat, and an all game pass to the Fun Zone (bouncy houses, speed pitch, giant slide). We ate dinner and headed to the Fun Zone right away. They had lots of fun, then headed back to their seats to watch the game. The boys got on the giant scoreboard screen multiple times, which was cool – gotta love minor league baseball! At one point, they put the Kiss Cam up . . . the 8 year olds were of course embarrassed for all the fools who were silly enough to kiss in front of everyone 😉

Dude got his name announced over the PA and his name scrolled across the giant scoreboard to say Happy Birthday to him . . . very cool :-) Then, Sox the Fox, the team mascot, came over to give Dude a birthday present – a baseball signed by the team and a miniature wooden bat. All the boys enjoyed their treats . . . not like they hadn’t already had enough sugar 😉

Since it was Friday, there was a fireworks show after the game – the fireworks were spectacular! We headed home and got everyone in bed by 11:00 p.m. They were of course up at 6:30, ready to go . . . so Hubby made M&M Pancakes and sent them out to play. All the boys got along so well and were so well-behaved – it was a pleasure to have all of them. And I must say that I was very impressed with Dude’s choice of party guests. The boy has a wide array of friends . . . one from daycare (he’s known T since he was 8 weeks old), one from preschool, one from down the street (Dude and H share the exact same birthday!), and one that he met in school this year. It was a great group of boys to have over.

So, Dude’s birthday is over until next year . . . and I must say that 8 just seems so old . . . I mean, really, so much older than 7. How can that be? I don’t know . . . but I know I don’t like it!

Oh – I must give a great big thank you to Grandma and Grandpa, who were here on vacation and went to the game with us. I’m sure spending the evening with five 8 year old boys at the baseball game and then having them sleep over in the room right above theirs wasn’t their idea of vacation! But they were very helpful and very wonderful with the boys. Thank you thank you thank you!

My Eight Names

Still havin’ fun playin’ with the fam!

Pam at Random Thoughts posted this, and I thought it was fun. So here goes…

1. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle)

2. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color and favorite animal)
Green Dog

3. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (your middle name and street you live on/or
neighborhood if it’s a number)
Lynn Stella 

4. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2
letters of your first name)

5. YOUR SUPERHERO/CRIMINAL NAME: (Your 2nd favorite color, and favorite
Blue Canadian Club

6. YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your
last name, 1st letter of your last name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden
name, 3rd letter of your dads name, 1st letter of a siblings first name,
and last letter of your moms first name)?

7. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (parents middle names)?
Ann Jacob

8. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets)?
Black Duma

Well, THAT Was Easy!

Still busy playing with the fam! Here’s part two of the Trampoline Saga 😉

Yes, IT is done! And do you know how long it took me to unattach and reattach all the springs the CORRECT way? 10 minutes. Yup, 10 friggin’ minutes. After all that crap on Sunday, it took me 10 MINUTES to get the trampoline all set up. No pulling, no dragging, no killing my back, no cutting my hands with rusty spring ends. 10 minutes of mildly stretching springs while whistling a little tune (OK, I can’t whistle – but if I COULD whistle, I certainly would have!).

Anyone who knows me KNOWS that had I been given insructions for this thing, I would have read them all through first before doing anything, and only after reading all the instructions would I have started over at step 1 and begun assembling the trampoline. You see, I’m a technical writer. I write instructions every single day for hours and hours. I would have read those instructions if for no other reason than to make the person who wrote them feel like they’d written something useful 😉 But I was NOT given instructions (used old trampoline dragged from the neighbors yard) and walking the 20 yards in to the office and turning on the computer to google “trampoline assembly instructions” would have taken an entire 5 minutes. And that, ladies and gentlemen, would obviously have been a waste of time :-)

Is It Done yet?

We’re headed to the mountains to play for the day! The kids have been jumping on the trampoline, so I felt the need to share this post that was previously posted on May 21, 2007 :-) I’ll post Part Deux tomorrow.


So I bought the kids a trampoline this weekend . . . an old used one from the neighbors. They had a moving truck out front so I asked if they had sold the trampoline with the house or would be willing to sell it to me. They said it was all ours – $50 – woo hoo! The dad who lives there (we’ll call him Jim Bob) and I were silly enough to think we could just tip it up and roll it to my yard. GREAT idea . . . IF we had 4 adults that were over 6 feet tall AND had yards with no trees or hills. When it’s just me and Jason, that wasn’t such a great idea. And I HAD to move it yesterday cuz they are closing on Wednesday. I didn’t ask Jim Bob to help cuz they were obviously busy packing and moving . . . figured they had enough going on. So, Jason, my 6 year old, and I tried semi-disassembling the trampoline . . . no luck. Apparently when you take just the legs off, the thing becomes unround and this freaky shape. So we started undoing some of the springs . . . which was a royal pain in the ass! Cuz once you undo one side, the other side is pulling so tight that you can’t stretch them anymore. ICK! We finally, with the use of a crow bar and bungee cords (don’t ask) got them all off. We totally disassembled the thing and took it to our yard, where I promptly realized we do not have a flat spot large enough for a trampoline :-) We found the “best” spot that wasn’t right in front of the storage closet and started reassembling. We’ll have to cut off a couple tree branches, but I’m OK with that 😉 We got it “round” and started attaching the springs. I got 3/4 of them done and couldn’t stretch the rest, so decided to put the legs on and get it as finished as I could. Bad idea. When you attach the springs first, the thing gets all contorted and not round (see statement above) and the legs won’t fit in the holes and you can’t rotate the frame. So, undo all springs – again. Attach legs, which is a pain with one person cuz when you lift one side to attach the legs, the legs on the other side fall out. Jason was a great help, really. Keira (she’s 4) not so much – “Is it done yet? When can I bounce on it? It’s REALLY big mommy – how did you get that over here? You should have waited for Daddy. He’s strong and could do it better than you…” Finally got all legs on and it’s round and actually sitting pretty level – wedged between some huge pine trees. Then I hear Keira yell “Jason, don’t swing in to me on that thing!” I yelled across the yard “Jason, get down! Do NOT swing in to your sister on that!” Then BAM – and Jason screams. He was standing half on the swing set with his legs around the new green disc swing thing and apparently “slipped” (whatever!) and swung toward Keira, but his plan didn’t go as well as he thought it would – and he fell half way off the green disc and the other side came up and smacked him in the mouth. Blood everywhere. He totally cut his top lip with those new huge pointy teeth he has – and knocked one of them a little loose! I was SO MAD! Took him inside, the whole time being the good mother I am and telling him that I’m sorry he hurt himself, but I don’t feel bad for him because I told him not to do it and he did anyway and this was his natural punishment for being a pain to his sister. Gave him and Keira each a popcicle – his to use as ice on his lip and Keira to have cuz, well, it wouldn’t be fair for just J to have one. You see, his mouth was dripping blood and I didn’t want him walking to the kitchen to get ice, which would have required him to walk across the freshly shampooed carpet and up the stairs, all the while dripping blood on it, so I sent him around to the garage for popcicles out of the freezer instead of to the kitchen for ice. I know, I’m in the running for the mother of the year award!


Anyway, back to the trampoline – I started attaching all the springs and got about 3/4 finished and can’t even come close to attaching the rest. Can’t stretch them far enough. I endure a dinner of my daughter looking longingly out the sliding glass door and saying “I sure wish I could bounce on that huge trampoline. When is Daddy coming home? I bet he could finish it.”

So I get online today to see what the “trick” is. Lo and behold, I have to undo ALL the friggin’ springs AGAIN! It says to do it in quarters . . . which I kind of did, but not really. So we’ll see if I actually get this thing completely assembled this evening or if my 4 year old will belittle me and tell me how much stronger Daddy is than I am.

Take Me Out To The Ballllll Game!

We joined some friends and took the kids and Grandma and Grandpa to their first Rockies game! The bummer was that we had our tickets before the rest decided to go, so we couldn’t sit with them :-( But, we had a WONDERFUL time – our seats were excellent (we almost caught a couple foul balls!) and best of all, they were in the shade, which was a big deal considering it was about 100 degrees! Have I ever mentioned how much I love love love baseball? And how much I love the baseball park? We don’t usually go to major league games (too spendy) but we do really enjoy AAA baseball here in town. Anyway – we got some free tickets to the Rockies game, so we made the trek to take the kids to their first Rockies game. We rode the light rail downtown, the game was fast (under 3 hours), there were homeruns, and our team won 12-3 or something like that, and we had a blast!

You didn’t think I’d actually go to an entire baseball game and not take any pictures, did you?




(The purple row of seats indicates that you are one mile high if you sit there.)






Winter In July?

Naaaaaahhh . . . just a little nickel-sized hail. OK, there was a lot of it! On my 15 minute drive home from work, I go up in elevation a bit. In that time, it went from 85 and sunny, to cloudy and rainy, to 57 and hail! There was so much hail on the road to my house that the car was getting pulled all over like it was a snowdrift! This is just our backyard a little while after the hail stopped. Not so much in the yard, but it’s weird how it accumulates in some places and not others!

They’re Coming!

We’re so excited . . . tomorrow, my Mom and Stepdad are coming to visit!

They are known as Noisy Grandma and Monster Grandpa to Princess and Dude. But shhhhhhh – don’t tell. Princess and Dude don’t know – it’s a surprise! AND, we’re being selfish . . . they kids have kid swap this Saturday at a friend’s house, so the adults are going to use the night out with a free sitter to get a nice dinner and chat and let G’ma and G’pa unwind from their long drive. Then on Sunday, let the games begin! They’re here for a full week, and I took the whole week off from work. We never get visitors for an entire week and we’re so excited! AND, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a week off of work and not had to pack 4 suitcases and stuff everything in the Jeep for many many many hours of driving and many days of living out of suitcases. So I’m extra excited about this! So far we’ve got the following planned . . . Rockies game, zoo (we have an awesome zoo!), day trip to the mountains, Jason’s baseball game . . . and we’ll leave a few days for hanging out and relaxing or heading to the pool.

We Can’t Wait!!!

Office Olympics

No time to write . . . the office olympics are ending today! We’ve had wonderful events such as floppy discus toss, wastebasketball, paper airplane throw, yoga ball dribble, paperclip doubles, and marker archery. My team, Team Switzerland, has not done well so far :-( But, today is a new day! I’m off to compete in the paper cup stacking and water relay and then to cheer my teammates on in the final event, chair rowing. Finally, the closing ceremonies and a potluck lunch. Fun fun fun!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful week!

What are you doing to gear up for the olympics?