Common Mom Rotating Header Image

growing up


There are all kinds of milestones in a kid’s life. I’m pretty sure those milestones, or at least the importance of each one, are different for the kid and the parents.

My baby got his first babysitting gig.

A neighbor from the “old” neighborhood asked if he’d be interested in watching their 1st grader from the time school is out until Dad gets home from work next week. They ride the same bus, so it’ll be easy.

Dude was ecstatic. He was like “I would totally like to do that!”

I was like “Sure, he’s responsible and can totally do it.”

Then I was like “What?! My baby responsible for another human being all by himself for 2 hours each day!”

He will be fine. He knows lots of stuff. He’s a lot of fun. And I’m only minutes away . . . even though I know won’t need anything.

Dude and mini-Dude will have a blast.

Just one more milestone for Mom to accept even though Dude doesn’t even see it as one.


Our efforts to start packing up our space have been thwarted . . . thwarted by the fact that we are going to the Bahamas over Turkey Break (need summer clothes) and that it’s been snowing a lot up in the mountains, just a couple short hours from our house (need snowboarding clothes). Princess has a birthday in December (need cake pans and decorating stuff). Family is visiting for Christmas (need a functional guest room and holiday decorations). We still have to work (need offices and desks and work stuff).

So nothing can really get packed.

The kiddos ran across their ski/snowboarding gear during their room sweeps. Princess tired hers on and I just about died laughing! The pants and jacket have been worn for 2 1/2 seasons. The pants were literally half way up to her knees. We can’t “get away with them for one more year.” The jacket barely fit – we were going to make it work for half the season. Dude had the same issue with his pants, which he assured me fit well (before he tried them on). His jacket sleeves went half way up his to his elbows.

His pants were too big for Princess, so she needed new ski pants no matter what. His jacket would fit her at the end of the season when she outgrew hers – yay – a win! Her gloves barely fit on her hands and her gators wouldn’t fit over her big melon. So she needed to be totally outfitted (have I mentioned they both got new skis/boards/boots/bindings in September – they both have grown so much this past year!). Dude needed new jacket and pants.

So we grabbed all the coupons we could find and headed to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Everything was so on sale (weird at this time of year!) and we had such good discounts that it was worth it to buy new jackets and pants for both of them. When you divide the cost by 2 years (which is how long they usually fit in their stuff), it doesn’t cost much at all.

I will also justify it by saying this was a really difficult year for many in our community with the fires and floods wiping out entire homes. We can now happily donate their jackets, snow pants, gloves, and winter boots to the local coat/hat/mitten drive so some kiddos in need can be warm this winter.

I’ve trained my children well. They both stopped by the clearance shoe rack on the way out of the store (Always always always stop by the clearance rack – you never know what you might find!****). They both found the exact tennies they’ve been wanting, in their sizes, for a great deal (they both did need new shoes – toes almost sticking out the ends!).

I had to giggle because when Dude came over to show Hubby the shoes, Hubby said “Dude. Those are the wrong size. Go see if they have your size.”

Dude said “These are my size. See…” and he slipped them on. Perfect size for thim.

Hubby was crushed!

Dude is now wearing the same size shoes as Hubby.

Hubby promptly told Dude to “Stop eating all the time!” :-)

And he thought I was sad for being all bummed when Dude was wearing the same size shoes as I am earlier this year!

Gotta love a good clearance rack!

****Do we sometimes buy stuff we wouldn’t get otherwise? Yes! But more often than not we find a great deal on things we’ve been looking for.

Really? Thank You!

Dude had a haircut yesterday right after school, so I picked him and Princess up from school, dropped him at his haircut, dropped Princess at swim team, ran back to pick up Dude, then we went to sit at her swim team practice until it was over.

Practice starts at 4:30 and that’s about what time we got there.

At 5:15 Dude got all excited because “it’s almost over!”

Um – no it’s not. Keep on doin’ whatever it is you’re doin’ – practice is until 6:00 and then she has to shower, which will take no less than 15 minutes, probably more judging by the kids who are at practice today.

“Awwwwww!!! Really?”

Yes – really.

Then he had a grand epiphany. “Is this what you do every day she has swim team pratice? Three times a week you just sit here and work on your computer while she’s in there swimming?”

Um – yep.

“So what do you do while I’m at baseball practice since it’s outside and there aren’t tables and internet?”

I sit and watch and chat with the other parents. Maybe take a walk sometimes. But mostly just sit and watch.

“Really? All the time you just sit and watch?”


“Really? Well . . . thank you for doing that!”

Love it when the kiddos get older and start to “get it” :-)

A Princess





Last year, my Princess chose to wear contacts for her school photos. I was not-so-secretly-happy when she chose to wear her glasses this year. She looks SOOOO cute in her glasses, and it’s just who she is :-)

Yes – This is Really Happening





I think I’ll go cry now.

It’s a Date!

Hubby and I are going on a date Saturday night. That’s not big news . . . just matched the title of the post :-)

The “bigger” news is that my Dude is going “out with the guys” for the first time tonight. He and 3 buddies are going to a movie (an icky scary one!) on their own. They’ve gone to movies before, but on Saturday afternoon or something.

This time, they originally wanted to go to the 10:30 p.m. showing of the horror movie, but I put the cabosh on that for my Dude.

No way my 13 yerar old is going to a 10:30 p.m. showing of opening night of a horror film on Friday the 13th with all the crazies! 10:30 isn’t the issue, but 10:30 on Friday after school has started and on Friday the 13th and to a horror film is just asking for trouble – plenty of time between school getting out and that movie starting for kiddos to make bad choices and then show up at the movie.

So they’re going to the earlier showing. His buddies were being nice and saying they’d go to the later movie so Dude could go since he has baseball practice until 7:30. I told Dude that I’d pull him out of baseball at 6:30 so he could go with the guys :-)

So I’ll drop him at the theater at 7:00 to meet his buddies and pick them up when it’s over.

He says there aren’t any girls meeting them, but he can’t control it if they happen to show up 😉

I told him he’s going to regret seeing this movie today and that he won’t sleep for days.

He disagrees.

We shall see.

I think I should spray paint Tonks black and put her on his bed for when he comes home 😉

Total Denial

I did not conscent to this . . . to my baby boy starting his last year of middle school and my baby girl starting her last year of elementary school.

I most certainly am NOT OK with this!

In other news, Dude is officially 5′ tall. 5′ + 1/4″ tall to be exact.

I most certainly am NOT OK with that, either!


Ah yes – that’s MUCH better :-)


OMG! Sometime in the past couple of weeks (OK, August 1st exactly), my burrito turned into a full-fledged TEENAGER! Yes, my Dude turned 13. THIRTEEN! He wanted to go play up in Breckenridge with some of his buddies for his birthday, so we did :-) We had the condo for that week, so we invited 4 of his friends up to play for a couple days around his birthday. Princess and I stayed with a friend the two nights the boys were there so they could have their space. I was way excited when my friend, Robyn, agreed to drive all the boys up (her son and Jason have been friends since they were 3!) – saved me a 5-hour round trip. I was even MORE excited when she and her other son stayed with me and Princess up in Breckenridge. We had a great time!

Here are the boys enjoying one of the outdoor hot tubs the first night they were there:

What do I love most about that photo? Dude has been friends with T (furthest left) since he was 8 weeks old! They went to daycare together from the time they were babies. They go to different schools, but they still keep in touch.

Dude has been friends with N (3rd from the left) since they were 3. They met at Montessori when Dude and T left daycare and went to Montessori together. So the 3 of them have been friends for 10 years. N moved away for 3 years and came back last year . . . we couldn’t be happier to have him and his family back!

Dude has been friends with H1 (2nd from the right) since his 3rd birthday – the day we moved into the house we live in now. H1 lives 3 houses away AND shares the same birthday with Dude (happy birthday to you, too, H1!).

Dude has been friends with H2 (furthest right) since 2nd grade when he left Montessori and went to the public school by our house. H2 lives just through a few yards away from us.

Dude has a lot of friends, but I love that these 4 have been his friends for so long and that he holds the so close to his heart.

OK – off the mushy stuff and into the details of the 13th birthday bash!

Robyn and I planned to be back to the condo at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday for the actual birthday – wanted to help Hubby get breakfast made and the hungry beasts fed before we head out to the adventure park on Peak 8! I called to see if Hubby wanted us to grab him Starbucks on the way . . . apparently they all wanted Starbucks :-)

This is what 13 year old boys want for their birthday breakfast…

Starbucks for 5 boys, 3 adults, and 2 siblings is not the cheapest breakfast! :-) They enjoyed their Starbucks while we made pancakes and bacon . . . of course they chowed down on that, too, because TEENAGE BOYS!

They got “ready” in record time. Don’t confuse “getting ready” with actually showering or anything. It meant they brushed their teeth and grabbed their bike helmets . . . because they were headed to mountain bike down Peak 8 at Breck! After a quick lesson on the shifting and disc brakes, they were at the top of the lift in no time heading off on their bikes.


I, of course, followed them like the paparazzi and made them pause and give me one thumbs up before they hurled themselves down the mountain trail – Swingers Switchback!


And there they go – five 13 year old boys who think they are invincible.

I promise you I never had this view on my 13th birthday!


While they were cruising down the mountain, I met up with Robyn, her son J, and Princess for some adventure park fun of our own (more on that next time). On our way up the chairlift to the top of the alpine slide, we saw the boys riding down the trail and got some fun shots.

 Out of the trees and back into the trees!


The invincible boys were rockin’ and cruised right back up for a 2nd run! Then came “the call” from N on his cell. One of them had wiped out and needed stitches, so please send help.

Um – OK! So Hubby started hiking up to them while I chatted with the information guy and he got on the radio to the bike patrol. We finally pinpointed the location of the boys and the patrol arrived. The bike patrol emergency guys immediately complimented the boys on how awesome they were and how they’d done everything right for H1.

N was making H1 lay still, even though he insisted he had to get up. He had a giant dent in his helmet from where it hit a rock when he went over the handlebars. Thank God for helmets or definite concussion or worse! The dent was right on his temple . . . could’ve been bad.

H2 was holding H1’s arm up above his heart.

Dude had taken off his shirt and used it to put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding – there was A LOT of blood.

T had walked out of the trees to signal to Hubby and the bike patrol, who had ended up calling the truck to come get H1.

I have to say I was SOOOOO proud of all of them! Five 13 year old boys alone in the middle of a mountain bike ride down a 10,000 foot mountain, and not ONE of them panicked when they came around a corner to see their buddy lying on the ground with a huge dent in his helmet and this on his elbow:


Lovely, isn’t it?! I have to say that Scouting definitely helped my Dude know what to do in this situation!

The bike patrol wrapped his arm a bit so blood wouldn’t get all over before putting H1 and his bike in the truck and driving him down to the first aid station. Hubby hiked down and the other boys rode down.

I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon on the phone with H1’s Mom figuring out if she wanted me to take him to the ER or to the Urgent Care. Urgent Care it is! After lots of waiting around, lots of cleaning the wound, x-rays of his very sore elbow, and 6 giant stitches, H and I got back to the top of the mountain around 5:00, with one hour left to go.

While we were gone, the other boys took another run down the mountain – this time they upped the ante and went down the black run! No fear :-) They also “mined” for gemstones:


Notice Dude is wearing his new Breck shirt since his other one was full of blood.

They also took a couple runs on the Gold Runner Coaster. When H1 and I got back, everyone had time for one more run down the Alpine Slide – even H1 was determined to end the day on a good note!


Here the boys are heading back to the 4Runner for the trip back to the condo . . .


Even with the drama, I think they all had a great day! When we got back to the condo, we took them down to the restaurant so Dude could get his dream birthday dinner of Bell Pepper Chicken (his favorite!) before they headed back to the pool. H1 had to hold his arm above the water, but other than that, he had no restrictions. Fun night!

Many thanks to Robyn for taking care of Princess after I waved my hand at her, which clearly meant I was going to take care of something else. And also many thanks to Robyn for helping me find all the first aid stuff the doc gave me to purchase for H1’s arm! It was not an easy task :-)

Up next . . . a little more on what the rest of us did while the boys were celebrating teenager-dom and the story of our drive back home, which included changing a flat tire on a forest service road at 11,500 feet.

It’s a good thing we don’t mind an adventure!

One Year

What a difference a year makes!














It’s Not His Fault . . .

. . . that phones are a part of today’s society.

That’s what a wise man said to me and Hubby when we asked him what age he thought was appropriate for a kid to get his own cell phone.

He continued by saying …

“And you don’t want to do anything that will single the kid out. But at the same time, kids need to be able to prove that they are mature enough to understand the responsibility that goes along with having a phone. And they need to understand how much trouble a phone can get them into. They need to prove that they are mature enough to handle all of that responsibility. And also be able to pay for that responsibility.”

And he went on and on and mentioned something about USAA having a contract that parents make their kids sign before they can drive.

Hubby and I just laughed and shook our heads the entire time.

Dude just sat there and rolled his eyes.

Because just days earlier, we had gotten him his own smart phone. And we’d made him sign a contract. A contract that, among other things,:

… started out with him acknowledging how awesome and wonderful his parents were for letting him get a phone and for it being a smart phone to boot 😉
… stated that if he EVER texted something disrespectful to ANYONE, his phone would be immediately taken away.
… started the conversation about thinking long and hard about who he gives his number to because even though he may not make an inappropriate call or send an inappropriate text, others can send them to him and they’re still on HIS phone.
… stated that the minute he walks in the house, his phone is on the counter.
… said he would pay his parents $20 on the first of each month for the use of his phone and that if he missed a payment, his phone would be taken away.

That last one is the only one that gave him pause 😉

There was more – quite a bit more. And it’s not that we actually wanted him to sign the contract, but we wanted him to read everything that we expected of him with regards to his phone. It opened up the door for the conversations we had to have regarding the responsibility that goes along with having a phone.

Why did we ultimately decide to get him a phone? Because we trust him. And for me, I’d always said that when the time came where I was dropping him off places and wanted to make sure he had some way to contact me or vice versa, I would get him a phone.

That time came.

When I bought his phone, I cried when I walked out the door of the store. I didn’t cry because he got a phone. I cried because he’s old enough that I am dropping him off places instead of staying with him, or at least staying in the same venue as he is with his friends, which means he’s growing up.

He’s texting friends on the weekends. And some of those friends are girls.