Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Been Busy?

Why yes, we've been busy this month. It seems like I don't sit down until 8pm every night and by then I am just wiped out.

Cam had spring break last week. Colin has spring break this week. You see the problem with that right? We (meaning ME) have been going non-stop for two weeks. I didn't want Cam to have to sit at home during his break and it doesn't seem fair for Colin to have to sit around either. Here's a short list of our recent activities.

Denver Zoo

Camp out in the living room


Play date at Waneka Park

Play date out our neighborhood park


Extreme Altitude Gymnastics

Attempt at WOW Museum but way too busy

Rope World

Cut down a tree in the backyard (Okay, this was really grandpa but the boys picked up over 300 sticks in the yard)

Shoveled 2 truckloads of dirt into the new raised garden beds (Again, this was really grandpa and Steve but I helped some and the boys spent a lot of time outside.)

Bike ride through the neighborhood

Feeding Snicks everyday at neighbor's



Library Again

7 year well visit for Colin

Clothes Shopping

Ahead of us we still have Extreme Altitude again, the zoo again, and seeing HOP on Friday.

With all of that, mix in that I had a full day of teacher interviews on Tuesday. Another full day on Thursday. Another full day on Saturday and Monday evening and you have a very busy week. Oh, and I still work a part-time job.

I still contend that being a stay-at-home mom is the most exhausting job in the world. Running the kids places everyday and keeping everything else at home in working order is no easy task. The thing is, when you stay home, you are responsible for everything....laundry, bills, meals, groceries, laundry, cleaning, errands, laundry, schedules, yard work, laundry, Dr. appointments, soccer practice, you see a pattern here?

Wanna see what my house looks like right now?

How about I just throw in some pictures of our activities instead? You'll notice Flat Stanley in some of these. We're carrying him around for my nephew. I've tried get Stanley in some fun shots but I keep forgetting to take him out of my purse.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ten on Tuesday...A Little Late

1. Colin’s Boyscout trip this weekend sort of fell through. Long story short we did not realize that we would be sharing a room with another family. That would be fine if we knew any families in Boyscouts. But nope, none of our friends were going for the Winterfest so we were going to be rooming with a family that we did not know. Since that was not enticing to Steve or myself, we bowed out. Instead, we had a family campout in the living room. We set up three air mattresses and rented some dvd’s. The boys ate McDonald’s on their beds, we played wii, board games and fell asleep watching movies.

2. Day two of the family campout was a day at the zoo. We spent the majority of Saturday at the zoo. It was fun to have Steve with us all day. After the zoo, we decided instead of letting the kids pick something from the gift shop, we would go over the Build-A-Bear at the mall. They had the new HOP E.B. out. Since I secretly want one, I settled for getting one for each of the boys. I have not been this excited about a movie for a long time.

3. Steve and I spent Sunday out in the back yard. I planted some flower bulbs (purple cone flowers, dahlias and peonies) that I am hoping will come up in early summer. We’ll see. I tried and tried to get purple cone flowers to grow in my yard with no success. I see them growing all over the place so I am hoping that by really amending the soil, I can get them to grow.

4. We are planning on putting in a few small raised gardens for this summer. Our yard is not huge but I think we have figured out how to best utilize our space. Of course, it is going to be a lot more work than anticipated but it will all be worth it (says the wife that will just tell the husband where to dig).

5. I took Cam for a private ski lesson last Thursday. He’s getting better at his turns but his instructor said that Cam still has not fear. Therefore, Cam should not go down the mountain first but should follow someone. I am hoping that we can go back up on Sunday with the whole family.

6. Cam’s speech therapy is helping a lot. He’s working on his “r” sounds now. I think this might be a slow go since there are so many blends but we’ll keep working away.

7. Colin is such a bright little cookie. He continues to bring home super grades and finished work. He such a perfectionist in his work. I am trying to teach him that everything does not have to be perfect but he gets really anxious when he does not finish something exactly right.

8. Grandma and grandpa rolled into town today. They’ll be at our house for a few weeks and then will head up to Estes Park for the summer/fall. Grandma was at our house for a total of 2 hours before she took Cam out to buy a toy and to McDonald’s for lunch. That’s a grandmas job I suppose.

9. Camism: Cam kissed my hand the other day. When I asked if he ever gave anyone else a kiss like that he said, “Only “A” because she’s my Princess.” Melt. My. Heart.

10. Can’t wait for warm spring weather!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. It's been a busy week already. We have been able to be outside a lot more in the last few days with the beautiful weather. My tulips are peaking through!

2. I am taking Cam up to the slopes on Thurs. for another ski lesson. Colin will be in school so Cam can get a full hour with his instructor. He's so excited!

3. My parents are headed to Colorado this weekend. We're looking forward to spending some time with them this summer in the mountains.

4. My sis might be coming to see us next week too. I'm praying that everything works out so that she can make it here.

5. The boys are really missing our pets. I don't miss Cam being stuffy and grouchy all of the time but I do miss the pets too.

6. Camism: At the dinner table last week Cam wanted to say the dinner prayer. "God thank you for our food, our family and and friends. Please watch over the recipient of the child that received our shoe box over Christmas."

7. I am such a geek. I had a really good time on Saturday interviewing teachers at a job fair for 5 hours.

8. I still have the massage gift card that Steve gave me for Valentine's Day. It seems that life is only going to get busier so I had better get that scheduled.

9. Colin has been having some trouble with keeping a positive about going to school. I'm not sure what has changed or triggered the tears but they have made an appearance again.

10. I just noticed that I have 7 dvd's from the library sitting on my shelf that are due today. It's 9:45pm. Guess they'll be late. And yes, we do check out books from the library too.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Full Circle

Today we took the kids out of school to go skiing. We feel like sometimes family time trumps school work. We support their learning at home every day. We read to them, help them with their homework, talk with them about their day. We are (in my opinion) very involved parents.

So today we took a day off. We went up to Eldora where the kids had a 1 hour private lesson. After the lesson, Steve and I skied with the boys for the very first time. The boys have taken lessons before. Steve and I have skied by ourselves before. But we have never tried skiing with the boys. Since this was Cam's third time getting up on the lift with his instructor, we figured we could handle both kids for a few hours on the mountain. To say that we had fun is an extreme understatement. This day meant so much to me.

Let me take you back a few years. Okay, about 25 years. Although my parents both worked full time and raised four kids, we took family vacations every year. Actually, two family vacations every year. We lived in KS and traveled twice a year to Colorado. It was our summer and winter vacation destination. We spent a week in the summer horse back riding, camping, walking through cute little towns, riding the Durango train, seeing Santa's Workshop, visiting rock shops, buying watermelon at fruit stands on the side of the road and generally enjoying all that is beautiful in Colorado.

In the winter, we did this.
Every year we would spend a week in Crested Butte. Sometimes we would go over Christmas vacation. On these trips we would celebrate my brother's birthday (December 25!) in a hotel room with a suzi q and a candle. Sometimes we spent our spring break in CB. Other times my parents would pull us out of school for a week. We did our homework on the 26 hour round trip drive. We'd be at the lift when it opened at 9am and close down the lifts at 4pm. We would time it just right so we could be on our last run as they were shutting things down. We would feed the snowbirds french fries from the balcony of the warming hut where we paid just $8.00 for a burger. Remember, that was 25 years ago.

When we finally arrived back to our condo, or hotel or motel....wherever we happened to stay that trip, we would all look forward to peeling off our ski bibs and hopping in the hot tub. Bruised and battered (but smiling ear to ear) we would make our way to town to eat at Donita's. Always Donita's. Or Kacheevers. Or the pizza place. Or the Black Bear. If I close my eyes I can see the delicious pizza from the Black Bear. Great big mushrooms and thick crust. Yum. We'd wake up the next day and do it all over again. I don't know how my parents did it. Four kids plus mom and dad. Six sets of skis. Six lift tickets. Six people to feed at every meal out. Six piles of ski clothes. 26 hours of driving. A week off of work and school.

Back then we did it differently. We didn't wear helmets. We rarely wore sunscreen. We didn't carry water. We just went. Straight down the mountain and back up. A million zillion times. I loved skiing with my parents. I loved spending time with my parents. I loved it when my mom would try a jump or go through the trees. I loved it when my dad would wear his cowboy hat and yelp all the way down the mountain. I loved it when my brother would challenge me to a black diamond run and when my sisters and I would ski backwards halfway down the mountain. I loved all of those memories and will cherish them forever.
So this is what we looked like today. See those smiles. That's after four hours of skiing. They're still smiling. Even when Cam fell 100 times, he was still smiling. And so it came around full circle. The skiing, the family time, the memories.

I hope that today I was able to create some of those memories for my kids. Sometimes I feel like I am in a dream when I wake up an realize I live in CO. This is a place that my family has always loved. And. I. Live. Here. God has created such a beautiful backdrop in the Rocky Mountains. I am so lucky. Today was a wonderful day of recreating those memories that I have with my own parents. I'll be smiling from ear to ear tonight when I fall asleep. I am so lucky. Happiness full circle.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Under Construction

I am trying to update/change my template for my blog. Since I am not as computer savvy as I once thought, this is taking longer than expected. Please excuse the ultra large picture of my family and the little wrenches all over the site.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Colin lost a tooth while he was sleeping last night. He came in our room at 5:30am and expressed, "Something is not right. I think I lost my tooth in my sleep." After Steve took a quick look, he did indeed loose his tooth. It was sitting on his pillow. He has another one that will probably come out at school today. He has now lost all of his front teeth. They are in various stages of growth and I can't wait to get his picture taken!

2. Camden and I have had some very interesting conversations about marriage lately. Yes, my 5 year old and I are talking about marriage. He has a "girl" friend at school that has convinced him they are getting married. Boys typically don't entertain this thought in preschool. They are too busy digging in the mud and sticking things up their nose (more on that later). But Cam took my wedding ring off on Sunday and put it on his finger. He wondered aloud if he and "S" would have the same rings as me and daddy. He wondered where they would live and what type of pet they would have. Those are two very important aspects of a marriage. Then yesterday he asked me about love. He wondered if you had to marry everyone that you loved and if you could marry someone without loving them. He said he felt like he loved a lot of people but he knew he couldn't marry a lot of people. The conversation progressed to him telling me that he thought he loved his friend "A" but they had not really talked about getting married. He also loved his friend "S" and she wanted to marry him so he thought that's what he should do. However, he wants to have "A" over for a sleep over before he having "S" over. My head is spinning. He's only five. What is it going to be like when he's 15?

3. To "summer camp" or not to "summer camp"? I would like to sign the boys up for at least one summer camp a piece this year. Last year they both did a Lego camp and a few other short morning craft camps together. Based on their ages they were able to be in the same classes. This year, not so much. I'm not sure that they are going to go for the whole separated from each other thing. A lot of the camps are full day which seems like overkill to me. However, there are so many cool options...sports camp, pet camp, lego camp, bug camp, gymnastics camp, soccer camp, pottery camp, science camp, swimming camp, craft camp....
I don't have a problem signing them up for camp but they notoriously throw fits about having to actually go to these things once they are signed up. It's an interesting battle since I have never once allowed them to not go to something after signing them up. Is it worth the battle?

4. We are now a pet free home. We were able to find a home (a neighbor just a few blocks away) to keep Snicks. Cam's allergies were getting out of control so we thought we would give it a try. After taking Snicks to the neighbor's I cleaned every scrap of everything in the house to get the fur out. When I say everything, I mean everything....drapes, rugs, sheets, comforters, towels, vents, floors, window tracks, couches... Two days later, Cam was symptom free. He has not had so much a a sniffle. No itchy eyes. No sneezing. No miserable attitude. I hate being a pet free home. But I love having a well kid.

5. Speaking of sniffling, at the mall on Sunday Cam asked for a tissue. When I looked over, he had a green bead coming out of his nose. I have no idea when or how it got there. He would not fee up to putting it in his nose. The strange thing is, he did not get belligerent when I asked him if he put it in his nose. I would have expected this reaction from Cam. When he does something wrong, he gets angry and mean. I am not going to push the issue other than telling him that putting things in our nose is never a good idea. These are the things that are just not written in parenting books anywhere.

6. I might have figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Stay tuned.

7. My grocery budget is still on track. It's amazing how much can be saved when you shop the sale ads and use coupons. I saved $7.00 on Claritin by buying box of 20 with 5 free tablets and using a $5 coupon. This is in preparation for the cottonwood blooming season which is just around the corner.

8. If the weather gets warmer (today it is snowing and 19 degrees) we might take the kids skiing this week.

9. I feel that Colin's birthday was not celebrated enough. We had his party. We went out to dinner. We did cake and ice cream. We decorated the house. We did candles. I took treats to school. I took him out this weekend to spend his birthday money. For some reason, it just does not feel "big" enough.

10. I love a clean house. And clean sheets. And clean windows. And clean laundry (that's folded and put away). And clean bathrooms. And clean kitchen floors. And clean counter tops. And clean dishes. And clean tables....I'll let you guess which of these have actually happened this week.

Friday, March 4, 2011

To Colin on Your 7th Birthday

Colin, I can not believe that you are 7 years old. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. You are a shining light in my life. It goes without saying that I love you with all of my heart. You are such a gentle boy. Even though you are seven, you still let mommy give you hugs and kisses. You still let mommy snuggle with you and read you books. You have always been mommy's little boy. Both of us are working on letting that title go. I am trying to give you more space and help you to become more independent.

You are a natural leader. Your little brother wants to be just like you. You are a wonderful student and such a hard worker. Sometimes you are harder on yourself than I would ever be. You are determined to make good grades. You are determined to do the right thing. You care about others, about animals, about the world. You carry so much weight on your shoulders. You believe in God in heaven and talk often about the wonderful feeling that you get when you think about Jesus.
You are so smart. You are a Lego mastermind. It amazes me how you can sit for hour after determined hour and finish a lego project. I love to hear you read and watch you complete amazing math problems.

Colin you are such a blessing to this family. I know you are going to go on to do such great things. I see you as a humanitarian and lego designer all wrapped into one! I love you sweetie. Even when you are goofy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Cam's room is not quite finished. Steve spent all weekend painting figures on the walls. They look great. I am so glad that he has some artistic ability otherwise stick figures would have to suffice. 2. Colin's room is a disaster. We decided while remodeling Cam's room that Colin needed some extra shelving for his Legos. It was 7pm Sunday night before we got the shelf in his room. That meant that things were left in disarray. I need to get another shelf at Target but they were all sold out. Until I get another shelf, there is no point in cleaning things up.

3. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

4. I did a major overhaul of the house yesterday. I vacuumed every inch of our house (including the air vents and couches), washed all the curtains, rugs and every scrap of bedding, blankets towels.... I scrubbed the floors and dusted. I vacuumed out the storage room and the air filter in the hvac unit. I am trying to get all of the allergens out of this house so that Cam can be well. Amazingly, he woke up this morning without a stuffy nose. I don't know if it can actually happen that quickly, but he's not sniffing, sneezing or rubbing his eyes.

5. I ate 29 Robin Eggs for breakfast. I think I have a serious problem. I think there is a short circuit in my brain when it comes to sweets. I don't crave steak or potatoes. I don't crave chips or french fries. I don't crave anything other than chocolate sweets. This is counterproductive to the 4 mile run that I do every day. Make it stop.

6. Cam had a play date yesterday. He took out every toy in his room and spread them out on the floor. Then I overheard him say to his sweet little friend that he made his room messy so that he could earn allowance money for cleaning his room. He's five years old and already working the system.

7. The past few school days have been really easy for Colin. He is waking up happy and going to the bus stop happy. I am afraid that late start tomorrow and no school on Friday will throw him into a tizzy next week.
8. Why oh why did I eat all of those Robin Eggs?

9. I went to the eye Dr. last week. She said I need bifocals. I said no thank you. Enough said about that subject.

10. Camping season is just around the corner!