Monday, December 19, 2011

18 Days Off and It's Snowing Outside...No Problem

So, what do you do with your two boys when you are facing down the long end of 18 days off of school and it's snowing outside? Why, you hold Boot Camp, of course.

This weekend Steve and I just about had it with the whining, complaining, fighting, sighing, wrestling and general grumpiness around the house. We went to the mall for Build-A-Bears on Saturday morning. Each kid got an amazingly cute animal but 10 minutes after we got home, the cuteness wore off. Grumpiness ensued and we listened to them argue until we left later that afternoon for our annual Christmas pictures.

Taking Christmas pictures is never a fun process but this time it turned out to be even worse. After arriving 20 minutes after our previously scheduled time (at least they were nice enough to call and let us know they were running behind), we still had to wait an hour. I did not think to bring the boys' DSi's since I thought we were going to walk right in because they had bumped us by 20 minutes. Bad move on my part. So after 2 hours we were finally done.

Again, insert complaining and arguing boys here. Since neither Steve nor I felt like cooking, we decided on pizza for dinner. Since neither Steve nor I felt like entertaining the boys for the next 3 hours, we invited our fabulous neighbors over. Best. Idea. Ever. The kids all had a great time and so did we.

Sunday rolled around and our boys complained about going to church. We persevered and made it through. (It seems horrible to talk that way about church but Cam complained the entire time that his throat hurt and Colin sat there like a sack of wet noodles.) Amazingly, when we got home Cam was better and at the mention of going bowling later that day, was very happy and fully recovered. With 5 hours to wait for bowling, the whining, wrestling and complaining continued.

I knew when I woke up this morning that it was probably going to be a long day at home. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love to spend time with my kids. However, I have some things that I need to do around the house, I slept later than I expected and I want to get some exercise in since the Christmas cookies are the bane of my existence.

I cleaned a bit and ran 4 miles. By 11:00am the boys had already unwrapped two Christmas presents (with permission but for lack of anything better to do), played wii bowling, Boom Blox and ate lunch. Colin was in his room pouting in his bed and Cam was following me around like a lost puppy.

This afternoon I plan on taking the kids to see Chipwrecked with the fabulous neighbors in the picture above. Being stuck in the house all day AND sitting through a movie leads me to predict that the boys will be up well past their bedtime and complaining through most of the day. Insert boot camp here....

Both boys ran a mile on the treadmill. Colin finished in 16:38 and Cam at a slower 20:05 pace. While one boy was on the treadmill, I stretched and lifted weights with the other boy. We did lunges, sit ups, push ups, planks, curls and tricep dips. I must say, I am very proud of myself for thinking outside of the box on this one. Ordinarily, this would not be my cup of tea. Both boys seemed to enjoy the exercises and now I feel better about letting them sit around the house and do nothing all day. Mommy guilt be gone!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ten on Thursday

1. I always feel like if I don't have anything funny or creative to say, my message is not "blog worthy". That's why you have not seen any recent posts.

2. I also feel like if I do not include photos, my blogs are boring. Agree or not agree?

3. Once again this year I have overbought for my kids. Between what we have bought for them and what everyone else has bought for them, it's going to be Christmas Pallooza 2011. I started out with only 4 things for each of them. That sounded like enough to me. But then this video game needed this attachment and this electronic needed this cover and the needed points cards for this....and on and on and on...

4. I actually sort of bought something for Steve this year. Okay, so he ordered a bike frame and said, "This is what you are getting me this year". But usually he orders something and does not even give me a chance to put it under the tree. I am not sure if the bike frame will fit under the tree so maybe I will take a picture of it, wrap it up and put that under the tree. No, too much work. just go ahead and put it in the garage honey.

5. I have made so many cookies, candies and batches of chex mix. I don't even think I can eat anymore. However, I must continue on, put on a happy face and make more cookies with my kids.

6. We have not been able to go out in the evenings to look at Christmas lights. Get prepared neighbors, we will be driving by your houses this weekend.

7. Speaking of the holiday break...I am so ready.

8. I went to the dentist yesterday and and finally found out that the annoying discomfort on one of my back teeth is due to a crack in my tooth. The dentist gave me a few options. 1. Wait until it cracks completely off and have an emergency root canal. 2. Have a root canal now. 3. Have a crown put on now and a root canal in a few years. None of those sound like like great options to me.

9. Slices Pizza in Erie, are not going to last very long if you can not have any pizza ready for your customers when they come in to order a slice of pizza for lunch. I can say that I am not terribly impressed.

10. I hate to admit this but I had two Nutella sandwiches yesterday.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Happy Place

I found my happy place this last week. It was in several different places and in several different moments. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

The boys and I crafted it up this week. I know the next few weeks prior to Christmas will be filled with school, homework and standard activities of the week. I wanted to make sure that we took the time to get into the craft box and decorate the house. We still have more up our sleeve, but this is a good start.

Every year the boys make a gingerbread house. This year I let each of them pick their own gingerbread kit. The Santa and sleigh that Colin picked turned out to be a little technical. However, what's not to love about candy and sugar?

Cam picked an entire village. That translated into more candy and more sugar. I know you are not surprised.

Both of the gingerbread creations turned out really cute.

In our crafting frenzy Steve and I managed to buy a new couch. Let me clarify, I went furniture looking on Friday afternoon. Then I came home and Steve went Friday night. The on Saturday morning, Steve went and purchased the couch that we both agreed on in separate shopping trips. Oh the life of parenting. I love this couch. We can all sit and snuggle together.

Every year the boys add a "tree" to our holiday collection. They are so easy to make. You just cover a piece of floral foam with fabric. Then use decorative push pins to add the buttons and foam pieces to your tree. This year the boys decided to use glitter paint too.

These are the completed trees over the last three years. I just love them.

I have to give credit to Steve. He put up all the outside decorations. Notice the straight lines of the lights? Notice the bicycle decorated in lights? Notice my cute little penguin and snowman that my sweet kids bought for me?

The boys and I decorated the tree. This is the first year that I have not put every single ornament on the tree. We were on ornament overload. The boys each buy one new ornament a year. Steve and I buy one new ornament as a couple. Combine those with all of the ornaments we already have and it takes hours to put them all on the tree.

We also went skiing over Thanksgiving break. It was a great success with both boys really picking up on their skills that they learned last year in lessons. We went tubing too. Lots of fun!

Of course I can't forget to mention that the boys played hours and house of their DSi games. Nice and relaxing. That's how I like my holidays.

Of course let's not forget that I made two batches of chocolate chip cookies, spent Thanksgiving with family in Aurora, took a kid to urgent care, saw a movie with a great friend, cleaned out the storage area and went Black Friday shopping at midnight. I know how to make the most of a holiday break. Only three more weeks until Christmas break!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Steve found a crack in the regulator valve on our BRAND NEW oven. He has been going round and round with GE since Appliance Factory Outlet won't do anything to help. It sounds like we are going to have to pay for them to come out and fix our BRAND NEW oven. Word to the wise...don't purchase appliances from Appliance Factory Outlet.

2. I almost did not write this Ten on Tuesday because I forgot it was Tuesday. My days have been all off. I am very surprised that I have not forgotten to pick up my kids or take them to appointments the last few weeks.

3. I just learned from my boys that stapling jello to a tree is impossible. Good to know.

4. We are cat sitting Snicks the Wonder Kitty for the next several days. I miss that little fireball! She still growls like she is going to take you head off.

5. I can not wait until Thanksgiving break. Really. Can. Not. Wait.

6. Cam seems to have made a full recovery from his horrible round of strep throat this weekend. The horribleness only lasted one day but it was bad.

7. I have discovered that being a school nurse is a lot like being a mom. You give the kids some ice water and a piece of candy (maybe a band aid or two) and they are all better. Maybe I was destined to be a nurse. Or maybe just a mom. Yeah, knowing what my sis is going through in nursing school, I think I will just stick with being a mom.

8. Since our oven is out of commission, we ordered Chili's for dinner tonight. Not a bad gig.

9. I had someone come over and clean the house last week. I can't seem to keep up with all of the chores since Steve and I are both working full time. The woman that cleaned our house did such a great job on our kitchen floor. It's slicker than snot. Each of us have wiped out at least once. Wearing socks in our house is no longer a good idea.

10. We still have not bought a new couch. We only went couch shopping once for about 1 hour with both boys. We did not get a whole lot accomplished on that trip. I sure hope we can buy something soon because I can not sit on our couch. It hurts my back more than sitting on the floor.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Not So Much

You know how we got a new fridge? And microwave? And oven? And dishwasher? Well, one of the three works properly. It seems like our luck has just not been great lately. I know there are bigger things in the world to complain about but I just feel the need to complain about my petty little problems for just a minute. So, if you can stand it, read on. If not, I'll catch you on the next post.

Sooo....when we went to install the new microwave, the door would not shut properly. Well, it shut but every time it shut the microwave came on. Not a great feature so we took it back and got a new one. No problem. Just time and effort on our part.

Steve installed our new oven and after a few tries to get the gas line connected properly, we just can't seem to get past the very faint smell of gas coming from the oven. I think we have narrowed it down to the burners on the top. The connections in the back all seem to be sealed. However, I'm pretty sure that smelling even the faintest odor of gas from your oven is not normal. We are either going to have to take it back or have someone (who will probably charge a ridiculous amount) come out to see what is wrong with the oven. Since I don't think we should be having problems with a brand new oven, we will probably have to return that too. Again, I am sure they will take it back, but it's our time and effort.

In comes the fridge. Besides the fact that it is ginormous, the water/ice dispenser on the front only works intermittently. It has only stopped working on me. Steve joke saying that I am impatient and am not waiting long enough for it to reset from one selection from another. Since the fridge was the floor model, I have a feeling it was "used" a lot prior to becoming ours. So, the fridge might have to be returned too.

Those are our appliance woes. Nothing major but just a lot of time and effort on our part. Time is something that is in short supply around here. We are always coming and going in opposite directions. This was supposed to be a relaxing Saturday at the Silva house. When Cam woke up early in Saturday after a horrible night of sleeping on Friday, I took him to the doctor and he had strep. My kids don't get "normal" strep. They get high fever, shivering, vomiting strep. Aren't we lucky? So I cancelled our appointment the we had scheduled to get our Christmas pictures taken and cancelled to amazing sitter that we had scheduled for the boys. So instead of going on a date with my husband, I spent the day taking care of Cam while Steve went to work and ran errands. Not the way that I planned to spend the day.

It just seems that we can't catch a break. I'd like to stamp my feet and throw a fit but I'm a grown up now so I'll just blog about it and deal.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

They Love Me...They Really Really Love Me!

As the last post might have indicated, I'm a little Christmas crazy. My family typically does not willingly support my habit. However, on a recent trip to Home Depot, my boys thought about me. All three of my boys. They love me. They really really love me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Christmas Mania

Yes, it's that time of year for me! November 1 marks the beginning of my Christmas season. To all those people in the world that are dismayed about Christmas decorations replacing Halloween decorations in the seasonal aisle on November 1...why be a hater?

Embrace the crazy. Embrace the beauty. Embrace the snowman that sings and dances when you walk by. Embrace the inflatable that is larger than your house. Embrace the zillion lights in your neighbor's front yard. Embrace the person that starts listening to the "all Christmas music" station the minute it hits the air.

Mostly, embrace the reason. Embrace the joy and the love. Embrace the symbolism and the tradition. Embrace being with family and the warm smell of cinnamon. Embrace the happiness and the smiles. Embrace that our Savior is born.

Just so we're clear, you can also embrace that in about 10 days it will look like Christmas threw up in (and outside of) my house.

Monday, October 31, 2011

This Is What It's Like....

This is what it's like having a child with's heartbreaking. For those of you that don't know and don't understand, let me give you a glimpse into the world of an anxious child.

It's Halloween night. Every child in the USA is amped up and ready to get some candy. They are proud to show off their Halloween costume. Proud to draw attention to themselves. Proud to step up to that door and holler, "Trick or Treat".

Not a child with high anxiety. The child with high anxiety had a great time at the school Halloween party. There was not a moment where someone would have thought that the anxious child was not having fun. In fact, his dad was even at the party snapping pictures of all the smiling faces.

As the afternoon wears on the anxious child takes off his costume. When he is prompted to put his costume back on, he asked if we could go trick or treating a few minutes late because he was busy doing something else (building legos, which is an all time favorite past time that can be self absorbing and soothing). Now you might ask yourself, what child does not want to leave on time for trick or treating? The answer, the anxious child.

The plan was to have dinner at a friends house and go out trick or treating (as we have done every year for the past 3 years) with them. We always have a great time hanging out with this family and trick or treating with them is always a huge highlight of the year. Ten minutes after we stepped through the door I could tell that the anxious child was on edge. He went outside for just a few minutes after a lot of prompting but he did not play with the other kids. The kids were not doing anything wrong, the anxious child just needed to be by himself.

At the dinner table there was a lot of laughing and fun going on and the anxious child did not join in the jokes. Then the tell tale sign, he asked if he could go lay down on the floor in a quite corner.

Bells went off in my head. His anxiety was getting the better of him. I was trying to finish my dinner as fast as I could. However, before I could finish the tipping point had already passed. The anxious child asked to go outside because all the noise and chaos of the day had just come crashing down around him.

Ten minutes later I was taking the anxious child home on Halloween night. He was in tears and refusing to go trick or treating. I had just bailed on our friends that were probably wondering what in the world happened. If felt so bad but knew that the situation was not going to get better before it got worse. I was right. A full blown episode ensued with the anxious child. The day had caught up with him.

All the noise. The chaos. The attention. The different people in the classroom. The altered evening routine. Even with the prospect of collecting a bucket full of candy, it was just too much for the anxious child.

After going through some of the strategies that the psychologist has taught us, I was able to get the anxious child back down from his anxiety attack. That's literally what happens. A full blown anxiety attack in a 7 year old. It's so sad. It's so heartbreaking. And what's worse, he is realizing that he is different from other kids. He has asked why his brother can handle certain things (like play dates and sleepovers) and he can't.

I was able to get him out to trick or treat. But he wanted to go alone. No brother. No friends. So be it. For an hour he was able to feel like a kid without the weight of the world on his shoulders. It was nice to see him be a kid for a few hours.

He knows that not wanting to go swimming with a friend, not wanting to be in lego camp, not wanting to go to a friends house after school, not wanting to go trick or treating...not wanting to do those things is just not normal.

It. Breaks. My. Heart.

I just realized tonight in that moment of his pain (crying huge tears and not being able to explain how he feels) that I have pushed him too hard too many times. I have pushed him to go to a friends house when he did not want to go. I thought I was doing what was best for him. I thought he "needed" to socialize. To some extent he does. But it dawned on me tonight that when he goes to a friends house, he has no outlet to go into a room and shut the door the clear his head in peace and quite. He has no way to take himself to a calming place when he has a friend constantly wanting his attention.

How many times have I sent him to a friend's house knowing that he really wanted that friend to come to our house? I always thought it was because he wanted to be around me. Nope. It's because he wants to be able to have that outlet to go to his room and shut the door for a few minutes. It's so that he can have a way to exit the chaos without drawing any attention to himself.

I didn't get it until tonight. I have no idea why I didn't get it. Tonight, I did.

His psychologist has told me before that she wanted to test him for sensory issues and giftedness. I was always against it. Not anymore. Now I see that he is different. Now HE sees that he is different. If having him tested gets him some extra support, I am all for it.

Everyday we try to make the right decisions for our anxious child. We help pick out clothes that aren't too scratchy, food for lunch that's not to different, track his homework so that it does not get forgotten. We do what we can to make things routine. We do our best.

We switched schools after a very hard decision so that he would be more comfortable. He see a psychologist that costs more than a monthly car payment. We try to keep a schedule. We anticipate anxiety points and try to work around them. It's hard living with an anxious child. A sweet anxious child.

I have to say that I am tired of all the questions about school. I am tired of people I barely know questioning why my anxious child does not go to the school where I work. My anxious child has found comfort with a teacher at a different school. He has found comfort in the routine, in the friendships, in the familiarity of the school where he attended last year.

Any parent should understand that you do what is best for your child, not what you think will LOOK best in another person's eyes.

It may look like I shelter my anxious child. It many look like I enable my anxious child. It may look like I coddle my anxious child. But here is the point; he is MY child. Not YOURS. MY child that did not want to go trick or treating. MY child that does not want to have play dates. MY child that does not want to go swimming with friends. MY child that does not want to be in the lego club despite the fact that he loves legos. MY child that is beginning to understand that he is not like all the other kids. It's hard because he does not want to leave the house most days. He does not want anyone other than me picking him up from school. He does not want his routine altered. He does not want to be in any sport or on any club that might change his routine. There are so many confining "rules" when you live with an anxious child. No, he won't just "get over it" or "learn how to deal with it". This is what it's like living with an anxious child.

It is a constant roller coaster of emotions. A constant wave of joy and sadness. A constant craving of routine. A constant need to explain to others why we can't do certain things with our anxious child. This is what it's like to live with an anxious child.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Just One Word

Some would call it "Fate".

Others would call it "Destiny".

Maybe even "Soulmates".

I call it....

"Addie and Cam".

(Okay, that's three words but it still works.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Cutest Acorns

We actually spent a weekend at home. Of course we couldn't just sit and do nothing so we crafted away. I found this cute recipe that only involved a microwave, chocolate chips, Hershey's kisses and mini nutter butters. I substituted mini vanilla wafers just to stay away from the peanut allergies. Look how cute they turned out. (And don't forget to look at those cute kids while you are at it.)

Unwrap the Hershey Kisses.
Melt half of the chocolate chips in the microwave 15 seconds at a time. Stir in between.
Use a butter knife and spread a small dab of the melted chocolate chips onto the underside of the mini vanilla wafer (or mini nutter butter). This acts as your "glue".
Stick a Hershey's Kiss to the chocolate glue. You have your acorn base.
Set aside and keep gluing.
Next use a small dab of melted chocolate on the top of the mini vanilla wafer to glue a chocolate chip to the top for the acorn stem.
Done! Easy!

How cute are these? I have to admit, the mini nutter butters looked a little cuter, but again, to stay away from peanut allergies, I thought the mini vanilla wafers were a good substitute.

Just because I could not resist, here is a picture of my two cute acorns finding the perfect pumpkins in the patch today after school. It was windy and dusty but we persevered and found the perfect pumpkins for two cute acorns.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mount Rushmore Rocks

This boy had a Birthday this weekend. It just so happens that we also had a 3-day weekend so we took advantage of the extra day off and surprised the boys with a trip to Mt. Rushmore. They were shocked Friday morning when we told them that Dad had taken the day off and that they needed to get in the car so we could leave for Mt. Rushmore. Colin did not believe us at first. Cam thought we were joking. Six hours later (okay 6 1/2) we were on our way up the mountain to see The Face Place.

These are the pictures of our trip in backwards order. I'm just a little too tired to switch them all around right now so you get end to beginning with some narration in between.

This is Cam's birthday celebration tonight when we got home. A boy after my own heart, he wanted chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. Yum.

What's a birthday without a goofy brother picture? Here's Colin in true form.

And now onto our trip. We took the Scenic Tour of Jewel Cave. It was amazing! Cam was a little leery at first. He was tired from swimming and going to the Reptile Gardens that morning. All he really wanted to do was go back to the hotel and play video games. However, somewhere along the tour, he got his second wind. The cave was dark and a little scary. Colin loved it and was fascinated by all of the rock formations. Jewel Cave is the second largest cave system on the planet. The amount of cave discovered so far is 155.12 miles. The discovered distance is always changing as so much of the cave has yet to be explored. It is estimated that the 155.12 miles that have been discovered is only 2-5% of the actual cave size. That's pretty amazing.

Here's Cam being Cam. He was grunchy and grouchy and decided to pose for the camera. At least he smiled all of 2.5 seconds.

Prior to the Jewel Cave, we went to Reptile Gardens

Although they did not have as many shows since it was "off season", the boys were riveted by the snake show. We saw an anaconda (pictured here that both of the boys touched....eww) a cobra, a rattlesnake and many others. This show is not for the squeamish. There were a lot of snakes. The entire facility was crammed with snakes, lizards, frogs, geckos, turtles, spiders, crocs, alligators...all things scaly, some things furry and a few feathers thrown in there too. We could have spent a lot more time there but at 2 hours the boys were tired and we needed to drive up to the Jewel Cave for our afternoon tour.

Yes, that is a cobra. We were about 10 feet away from the cobra only divided by a short Plexiglas wall. Surprisingly, the cobra is not even close to being the deadliest snake on earth.

Let's not forget this amazing hotel. Granted, the room was not fancy, the food was not great and the level of noise was what you would expect from a hotel with an indoor water park attached to it, but the boys had such a great time. This water park was amazingly fun for them. There were slides, water guns, a lazy river, a large hot tub, did I mention slides? One slide looked like a toilet bowl. It swished you down the bowl and down the tube. literally. I went down it with Colin on a raft. At the end the raft flipped over and Colin flew over me. Not so much fun. That was the first and the last slide I went on during our trip. I am not a fan of water on a good day. However, watching the boys laugh and giggle was great. We could have spent two full days at the water park. With the time allotted, we spent from 7:30pm-9:00pm on Friday and 8:30am-10:00am on Saturday at the water park. It was well worth the stomping feet in the room above us. When you stay at a hotel with a water park, you have to expect a little noise. I can't take the credit for this fun water park hotel find. You can read about my friend's trip to the Face Place and this great hotel here.

Cam started off his birthday morning opening presents. Of course he was pretty excited and both boys were awake bright and early that day. We did what we could to make Cam's day special (duh, we went to Mt. Rushmore) but he did not want too much attention put on him. He even refused to wear the, "It's My Birthday" button.

Colin was so happy to watch Cam open his presents. I have to say, I think this is the first birthday where tears have not be shed over a small bit of present jealousy from the other sibling. I love that my boys are getting older and more mature. But can we just hold their ages here please? Pretty please?

And to end (or begin) our tip, the Faces. The boys were amazed at this image in real life. I think they only thought it was on Phineas and Ferb, not in real life. However, they were disappointed that there were not any bobble heads in the gift shop. Someone is missing the boat here.

There is so much more about our trip that was amazing. The trees were beautiful. The crowds were non existent. The drive was breath taking. On our way to Jewel Cave, we even saw Crazy Horse. We saw deer, antelope and pronghorn sheep all along the way. If you ever have a chance to take a vacation to South Dakota, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Weekend Plans

It's been a heck of a week. But enough about that....we're going to Mt. Rushmore tomorrow!

I already have all of the directions printed and our plans all put together. The only thing missing is the packing of the clothes and putting all of that luggage in the car. I won't be home until at least 8pm tonight so that's not going to be a whole lot of fun. With the busy week behind me I have not had much time for laundry or packing so that all has to be done tonight.

I am looking forward to spending a weekend alone with my family. It's going to be busy for sure but someone is turning 6 on Saturday and I think this is a great way to celebrate.

The trip is a surprise to the boys since they told us after the last "surprise trip" that they always wanted to be surprised when we went on a trip. Easy for them to say. It is difficult to pack without them noticing.

So the next update will contain plenty of pictures of "the face place" and family photos. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Bet you thought this was going to be a "Ten on Tuesday" post.

2. I'm 5' 10.

3. I could eat 10 oreos in one sitting. That's how much I love them.

4. Steve and I have been married 10 years (+1). Ha ha.

5. In my high school graduation year book my 10 year goal was to be a vet or a school counselor, to be married and have kids. Close enough.

6. I do about 10 loads of laundry a week.

7. I have owned almost 10 cats in my lifetime. This includes my childhood. (Dominic, Inky I, Inky II, Spaz, Fido, Tabby, Bonzi, Snickers) Spaz lived to the ripe old cat age of 21.

8. I run about a 10 minute mile. I'm not breaking any records here but at least I enjoy it.

9. I have probably watched Twilight 10 times.

10. It has been a very very very long time since I have slept until 10am. I have usually been up for 5 hours by then.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Divine Secrets of the Cupicha Sisterhood

So if you have ever wondered what I will look like when I am 20 years older, here is a sneak peak. This is my mom with her three sisters. Cupicha's by birth, friends by choice.

Yep, I'm pretty much destined to have the most beautiful gray hair you have ever seen. That's my mom on the left with her three sisters. Notice the large margaritas in two of their hands? That would be why they all look like they are cracking up at some inside joke that none of us will ever know the punch line to. I have a feeling that the night did not end with just one drink.

This is how these ladies act whenever they are together. They laugh. They talk over each other. They each share their stories. They talk about their kids and their grand kids. They have experienced so much in their lives. Heartbreak. Joy. Death. A crazy rocky childhood. And yet they all still smile. They are separated by miles and miles but when they get together they act like they see each other every day.

And the party just goes on and on. I hope that someday that I can have as much fun with my siblings as these three ladies. Somehow, I bet it will involve margaritas.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Today is my Monday so technically I should not be writing this.

2. I am glad to be home after a weekend in Indiana, a weekend in Breckenridge and a weekend in Kansas City.

3. I got to hold my great-niece, Olivia, this weekend. I seriously almost did not give her back to her mom. She is just precious.

4. I realized after flying twice over the last two weeks that I really really hate flying. My heart stops at take off and landing and any little bump in between. Upon landing I always look out the window to judge when we get close enough to the ground that if we crash, maybe we are close enough to the ground that we won't die. I really hate flying.

5. This warm weather has got to go. It's making all the kids at school crazy.

6. Are my kids the only kids in the world that like homework?

7. Lord help me, Cam wants to have his birthday party at Chuck E Cheese.

8. Both boys have learned how to do flips on the trampoline. I am not sure I like that idea.

9. Wood flooring or carpet? That is the question.

10. We are counting down the days until our fridge dies. It has been on its last leg for, oh, about a year now. Just waiting. Anytime fridge. I'm ready.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Look Back

I am beginning to feel a little remorse for all of the things that my boys have outgrown. Going from a stay-at-home mom of 7 years to a full-time working mom is not without its regrets. I did not just "dip my toe" back into the working world. I dove head first. I love my job and am so happy to be doing what I love. But everyday I think of all of the things that I am missing with my boys. I want to freeze time back to when Colin was in half day Kindergarten and Cam was in part-time preschool. Those were there days....

I know that with both boys in school full-time, that even if I stayed home things would not be the same. In fact, I would be a sad sad mommy waiting for my kids to come home from school everyday. At least this way, I don't pine the day away waiting for them to walk through the door.

No, instead, our days go something like this....

I get up at dark 'o thirty to exercise. The morning is the only time I have to exercise since by 4pm when I get home I am toast.

So, I get up at dark o' thirty and exercise. Sometime between 6:30am-7:00am the boys wake up. Occasionally they will sit down and have breakfast with me but most of the time they have not had breakfast when I leave for work at 7:30am.

I get to see them a little throughout the day. A hug here. A wave there. It is nice to be able to see them during the day. Then at 3:30pm we load up in the car and go home. That's it. No special process. No special snack. No special anything.

I miss the days when we could spend 2 hours in the morning at Waneka Lake and have a picnic. I miss the days when we could hang out at the play place in the mall or go to the gymnastics for 2 hours for open gym.

My boys have nearly outgrown the rec center min-miners facility. Bounce houses are a bit questionable for Colin and they both surpass the height chart for the play area at the mall. Parks are fun as long as they have the right equipment but the novelty of playing in the sand is wearing off.

We have nearly outgrown the WOW museum, the Butterfly Pavilion and Discovery Days. These boys are growing up too fast.

My kids are doing homework, chores and are playing outside with the neighbors without our supervision. That whole, "enjoy these days because your kids will grow up too fast" thing is really true. I want to rewind to the 5 and 3 year old days. I know I am crazy for saying it but those crafty mornings and lazy afternoons are sorely missed.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yep, I'm still Here...For Now

Last week my Bestie came to visit. By Bestie I mean Bestie. We have known each other forever and yet we slide seamlessly back into our friendship even though our visits sometimes span 5 years at a time. In fact, I think it has been right at 5 years since I last saw her. This girl and I go way back. Through middle school, high school, college, weddings and babies. We don't talk as often as I would like and yet she knows my heart. I love her dearly and would give anything to be able to cross paths with her more often. I have yet to find a friend that even comes close to replacing her. I so wish we lived in NC in a house right next door to her.

Our kids made quick friends with each other (no surprise there). It seems that there are several boys in line for arranged marriages with her adorable girls but I think Colin and Cam are in the running. As you can see, they were really shy around each other. The boys could not remember their names to save their lives and when they left after their 4 hour visit, they kept calling them "those girls".

So yes, we are still here in Erie, Colorado. I am enjoying my new job as assistant principal and the responsibility that comes with my job. It is great to have the boys in the same school where I work and it seems that their adjustment has been very easy. Colin has not cried a single day and Cam absolutely loves Kindergarten and his teacher. Colin keeps assuring me that he really likes school although he has not made any close friends yet. I get to see him a lot during the day which is both a blessing and a curse.

Steve and I have a lot of opportunities facing us right now. Some keep us here, in Erie, Colorado. Some do not. While we love Colorado and all that it has to offer our family in the way of recreation and vacation, we can't really say that we are tied to this state. We don't have a close network of friends (you know, like your Bestie that you can call on in a moments notice or just feel included without trying). We have people to hang out with but aren't really included in much else. We don't absolutely love our house. Well, we love our house, just not our yard. It's too small for these KS farm land loving grown ups.

My job is great and I am happy to be working in a place that I love with people that are joyful and fun to be around. Steve's job is still demanding but he loves his job too. That's the point. He has some opportunities that will take us to other states. Yes, I said "states" with an "s". He has two different opportunities in two completely different jobs in two completely different states. Or, we can stay right where we are.

While I don't love the prospect of moving, I don't mind the prospect of moving. It's not my first choice but I sort of feel a little stuck where we are now. I am not saying that moving is a great solution to being stuck. Maybe we just need to be more proactive in our pursuit of those life long friends for ourselves and our children. I am not sure what we need to do differently. Maybe we just don't fit into the "Colorado lifestyle"; whatever that might be.

We have plenty of time to make a decision on where we will be living next year at this time. We have moved enough in the past to know that we are not going to rush this decision. We are going to take our time, weigh our options and give our friends in Colorado enough time to convince us to stay. :-)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where in the world is Traci Silva?

Well, working, of course. The good thing is I really love my job. i love the people I work with and the people I work for. Now how many people can say they love their job?

Steve and I have been juggling schedules, kids, house chores,'s been a fine ballet of events.

Oh, and Steve bought a new truck. I must say, he deserved it. He has not had a new car since before Colin was born. He sold his beloved Durango back then so that we could buy a mini van. What a family guy. His Jeep was falling apart and I was scared to drive it 1 mile to work.

I must, say, he seems pretty smitten with the new truck.

Summer is winding down and school is winding up. It seems that we float from one thing to another. I really enjoyed this summer. The time spent with family and friends...those are the things that great memories are made of.

I have to go to work now so I will write more later. Don't feel sorry for me. Remember, I love my job!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. It is Tuesday, right?

2. I have been working a 1/2 shift this week at the school. It's nice to be back to work but each time I leave the house, I have a min-panic attack. I think I will get used to working and leaving my kids, but I'm not sure. Steve is staying home with them from 8am-12pm and then he goes to work. It's not like I am leaving them with a sitter, but I still don't like leaving them.

3. Speaking of leaving. On Sunday I leave for Baltimore. For. Six. Days. That might cause a major panic attack instead of a mini. I don't even want to think about it.

4. We had a very successful trip to KS. The trip was complete with tree swings, wildlife zoos, fishing, swimming, hot wheels tracks, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, great aunts, great uncles, great grandma, tree climbing, fort decorating, ice cream eating, fireworks shooting and lots and lots of driving. Thanks to all of our KS/MO family for having us.

5. We came home to 76 degree weather from the 100 KS heat. I love CO!

6. We only have a few things left on our Silva Summer List. Two of those are "amusement" parks. I am not sure how we are going to fit in a trip to Water World and a trip to Elitch's yet this summer. Do you suppose that sprinklers in the back yard and an outdoor fort would suffice?

7. On Sunday we went to the Denver Nature and Science Museum. The Pirate's exhibit was amazing. However, the coolest thing I saw was the guy that plays "Jason Quartermaine" on General Hospital. I DVR this show every day but only watch about every 5th episode in fast forward. It's my break from reality for 10 minutes a week. I must say, that guy is easy to spot in a crowd. However, I don't think anyone else at the museum that day watched the show because no one gave him a second glance.

8. Baseball season is almost over. Thank goodness. I don't think the boys will be playing baseball next summer. They don't love it enough for me to sit through 3 practices and two games each week.

9. Today Colin and Cam had their first golf lesson. I'm pretty sure they do love golf. Colin wants me to buy him golf clubs to go with his football gear, his soccer gear, his BMX gear, his baseball gear and his desire for a skateboard so that he can have skateboard gear. Pick a sport kid. Pick a sport.

10. School starts August 18. Eeek!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kansas....So Far So Good

We took off on Saturday for our annual trip to Kansas. It's a long drive but always worth it when we get here. Our boys LOVE Kansas! I'm not sure that it is the state of Kansas so much as the people that we get to see IN Kansas. They adore their older cousins, second cousins, third cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great-grandma....the list goes on and on. We make it a point to see as many people as we can while we are here. Since we have the chance to be here for more than a week this time, we get to see A LOT of people.

We also get to do A LOT of things. Normally, we see a $1.00 movie, go to the water spout parks, see the free zoo, go fishing, have milkshakes and swing on the tree swing out back. This time, we have already added a few new activities to our trip. We spent an entire day with the older cousins and their significant others/spouses. Talk about starry eyed boys. They love their older cousins. I mean LOVE. They had so much fun with them.

We also went to Tanganyika Wildlife Park. It's located in Goddard, KS. They have so many fun animals. I think this small little zoo is better than any zoo I have ever been visited. The kids go to pet and feed so many animals. You should go to KS just to see this zoo. (Okay, maybe not, but it was a lot of fun!)

Here are a few snapshots of our fun so far. Stay tuned for more fun from Kansas.