Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Somebody turned 3 yesterday!!

I just can't believe Ian is 3. Where has the time gone, really?

We had a pretty nice celebration. We went out for breakfast, pancakes at IHOP by the birthday boys request. Then we hit the clearance at Target (ok, that wasn't so much for Ian as it was for me...). We found some great deals though, new stockings and a tree skirt and bed sheets....holy cow they had flannel sheets in any size for $4.99!! We all got new sheets! I also got new stuff for the kids bathroom, changed it up a bit. There's been changes to the kids rooms too, I'll post pictures of that later!

Anyway.....about Ian!

We had his party planned for 4pm. I tried to get him to nap so he would be full of energy for his party but it was a no-go. He rested for about an hour but no sleep. Luckily he did ok anyway! The party was at Party On, which is the same place we had Gracie's 3rd birthday at. The theme he choose for his party was race cars so he had a racing car cake and we used decorations from the movie Cars. A lot of his little friends came and we all had a lot of fun! And boy did he make out on gifts, man he got some great toys!!!

Before we left home he wanted to open one present, this is what Gracie got him!


Payge, building with the blocks.
Halem at the bottom of a slide.
Atreyu at the top of a slide.
Gracie jumping.
Damien coming out of the tunnel.
Gracie and Spencer, the boy she insists she's going to marry.
Grandma and a gaggle of kids after coming down the huge fire truck slide.

Jacob shooting hoops.Ian coming out of the fire truck slide.

Grandma and Ian going down the slide.Opening presents while on the birthday throne.

Covering his ears while we were singing happy birthday. He said we were too loud!
Still covering.Two happy kids at the end of a great party!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Still sick!

It's officially hit all of us now, I was the last man standing but I succumbed today. Ick is all I have to say about that. James was sick all day yesterday and as and added bonus Ian puked at 4am today, almost 60 hours since he had last gotten sick. This bug is bad. Seriously bad. In spite of the illness we did go out today, very quickly. We ran to the nearest Build-A-Bear to keep up our Christmas Eve tradition of having the kids make new stuffed animals. Gracie made a pink kitty cat like her friend Payge has, she's very excited that they will have matching pets now! Ian made a dinosaur and named it Ian, silly kid!

Tomorrow we will be having Christmas all by ourselves. We had plans to head up to the in-laws but that is definitely not happening in our condition! The plan is to shoot for Saturday afternoon, hopefully we will all be better by then. Of course we have Ian's birthday next Tuesday too, so we gotta get over this. I have the bounce house place that we went to for Gracie's 3rd birthday all rented and paid for, I do not want to cancel his party!!!

I can't believe he's gonna be 3. Heaven help me, time flies so fast.......

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sick

We've had the puking flu around here for over a week now. First Gracie had it, then we had a couple days where I thought everyone was fine. Gracie went to her rec center class, we went to the museum, we went to a home school activity, we went to our LLL meeting. Yep, we did a very efficient job of spreading the germs throughout the entire Metro Denver area. Saturday morning Ian woke up puking and has been at it on and off ever since. It's not been much fun around here at all. I am so sick of my sad tired little Ian, I want happy Ian back.

Here's hoping it all clears up before our plans for Wednesday evening!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recent pictures

It's just so much easier to put them on facebook!!!!!

CLICK HERE

You can click on each picture to make it larger or go through it like a slide show. So nifty!

Chaos

That's the only word that comes to mind right now, the last week has been absolute chaos!

It all starts with a foster dog named Garrett. He came in on a transport from Kansas last Wednesday. Poor guy had wandered up to a farm and got attacked by the resident farm dog. The farmer brought him to the shelter and his time was up. The shelter people loved him so they figured out how to get him to rescue. They neutered him before he was picked up for the rescue.

Sounds like the perfect end for him, right?

Except that his neuter got infected and apparently no one noticed. I have no idea how no one could have noticed because when I got him in my house on Wednesday night and took a good look at him he was dripping blood!!! Yes, visibly dripping blood. So off to the doggie ER we went. The vet there said that it was the worst infection he'd ever seen, gave me pain meds and an antibiotic and said he needed to go to the regular vet in a couple days. He said that in his opinion the entire site would have to be removed.

So Wednesday night I slept down on the couch. Garrett was in so much pain and was also loopy from the medications, he was crying and whining and pacing and freaking out. I stayed down there and hushed him every hour or two. Not a great night sleep. The next day was the same. Dog was in serious pain, it was awful. James slept on the couch that night. Finally Friday came and the vet appointment. It took her about one minute to assess it and say that it was definitely going to be removed, now. So Garrett went into surgery and had his balls removed.

Upon further investigation the vet also found he has infections in both his ears that were so bad his ears were filled with pus. He also had chemical burns on his lips which were causing the skin to fall off and bleed. (I had asked them to check on that because I saw the blood but I had no idea about his ears). He had to spend the night which was kind of a pain since I had to work on Saturday, so James was going to have to pick him up.

Anyway, Saturday dawns. I head off for a free oil change which as of this morning has turned into a 15,000 mile maintenance and alignment to the tune of $390. Oy!!! After my not so free oil change I went to work. James picked up Garrett. Errands were run, time was run out. I came home from work, more errands were run and we headed up to Loveland to see the in-laws and friends. Another person from the rescue checked on Garrett twice while we were gone. Kids made a gingerbread house with Grandma and we chatted and ate. Headed to party. Party was fun, kids ran like crazy, food was eaten, games were played, gift cards were had by all!! We headed home and pulled in around 10:30. Tucked kids into bed, and hit the sack ourselves.

12:45 we are awoken by a scream that would wake the dead.

Gracie had puked all over her bed and was coming down the hall looking for us. She was totally freaking out and it was insane for awhile because Garrett was in our bathroom and we had to turn her around to head to her bathroom. Screaming, crying, barking and barfing ensued for the next few minutes. Once Gracie settled down I got her in the shower while we quickly got laundry started and a bed made for her on our bedroom floor. Garrett was moved down to the kitchen with Maggie and threatened with his life if he barked again. Amazingly he listened!!

Gracie was settled into her new bed with a bowl and given instructions on what to do should she need to throw up again. Those instructions were followed repeatedly about every 45 minutes the rest of the night while she slept and puked on and off.

Sunday we all slept til 8 which is sleeping in around here!! It was snowing out and freezing cold. I had a party at 1 and was nervous about driving the bus on snowy roads for the first time. Gracie watched TV. I left at 11:30. Kids chilled. James did homework. I stopped on my way home from work to get some homeopathics and herbs for the puking. Around 6 Gracie every so slightly puked again, there wasn't much to come out though. We watched the Apple Dumpling Gang and then everyone went to bed.

It was a good night and Gracie slept without puking, thank goodness. Now we're just waiting to see if Ian catches it. I've felt a little queezy but nothing more.

We have a possible match for Garrett with all his problems and everything!!! So he may be adopted by the end of the week.

Hopefully next weekend will be a lot less insane. I have to work a lot so it might not calm down, but one can hope!!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Perfection

I love seasons. I love snow. I also love sunshine and warmth.

As I was standing outside this December 7th, in a short sleeved shirt with the sun on my face in the hugeness that is Invesco field I was reminded of just exactly how much I love Colorado. I have seasons, I have snow, and I have 70 degree days in December.

For me, it is perfect!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Booked!

Man, the first half of 2009 is gonna be crazy. Life just doesn't slow down I guess!

Here's the run-down on the next 3 months or so:

4 parties for Christmas/New Years

Ian's birthday party on the 30th

Morning swim lessons for both kids the first two weeks of January. We've never done lessons in this format before, we usually do them every Saturday for 8 weeks. That's not going to be possible though due to all the travel we have going on so I'm going to try a block class and see how it goes.

January 23-30 we head to Oceanside CA for a week in the sand and sun. We have a house rented there and we have friends going with us!! I expect it will be a blast.

February 18-25 we are in the Carolinas, first for April and Troy's wedding and then we will head to Greenville to visit my brother and sister-in-law. I figured since we were flying out there we mine as well see everyone we can!

March 7th there is yet another weddidng, this time James buddy Chris and the lovely Becky will be getting hitched in Iowa. We haven't quite figured out our travel plans for that one yet.

Add to all of that the regular home school, La Leche League and API meetings we have, making whatever runs I have to for the Retriever Rescue, and attempting to have occasional playdates with friends and yeah, we're booked!

Poor James is gonna have like no vacation time by the second week of March!!! It's worth it though, we will be spending lots of time with people we love!

Monday, December 01, 2008

I love my Dyson.

Hello. My name is Alice and I am a recent Dyson convert.

I bought a Dyson Pink (DC07) last week on Black Friday. It was $50 off and came with a $100 gift card so the total price on it was just $249. I have been wanting one for awhile and the vacuum I've had since we got married has been slowly dying despite my best efforts, so it was time.

All I can say is oh my stinkin' heck, I had no idea I had such terrible, awful, very bad things laying around in my carpet. So gross. So very very gross.

We got home on Saturday afternoon and I vacuumed twice. The first time the canister was filled before I was even finished. We only have like 650 sqft of carpeting. The hair......oh the hair. I knew we had a problem a couple weeks ago when I squatted down after vacuuming and could still rake a pile of hair up off the carpet with my hand. Since we own 3 pets and generally have an extra dog also taking up residence pet hair is an issue and it cannot be left alone. I knew there would be a ton of hair and there was, it was like a giant swirling rat in the canister.

The second pass through still got an awful lot of hair but also a lot of dust and dirt. I filled the canister again on the exact same area I had just done. Nasty doesn't even begin to explain it!!!!

I vacuumed again this morning, I just never had time to do it again yesterday. And again I filled the canister. This time it was even less hair and even more dirt and dust. It's like I'm peeling layers off of my carpeting, now we're getting down to the deeply ground stuff.

I plan to vacuum as much as humanly possible until I feel we have reached the bottom. It may take weeks at this rate!!!

We'll see if the love affair lasts but so far I am a complete believer in Dyson. In fact I was singing that song in my head while vacuuming. You know, the one by the Monkees. "Now I'm a believer...." Oh yeah.

Found!!!!!

Mommy blanket has been found. She did end up going to the laundry with the room sheets. I don't know if she ended up getting washed or not so I'm not sure the condition she's in but at least she has been found.

Yes, she. Gracie refers to the blanket in the female gender so I guess I should too!!

I'm just so happy she's been found. A couple days and she should be back here safe at home.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lost

This afternoon as we were unpacking from our trip we discovered something very very bad. Gracie's mommy blanket is missing. Mommy blanket is her lovey. It was my blanket growing up, thus the name "mommy blanket". It has been reworked with a new backing and new ties but the original fabric is on the top. It is faded, worn, and truly beloved. And now it's gone.

I called our timeshare right away and told them the situation. Unfortunately I called 30 minutes after the cleaning crew had gone home for the day and the room lost and found is in their area which was locked and apparently could not be gotten into. So they passed me through to the cleaning managers voicemail and I left her a message pleading for a phone call tomorrow morning as soon as possible.

Then I had to tell Gracie. Oh the heartbreak! She said she won't be able to sleep without it and went on and on about how special it is and how she needs it so much. I feel so bad. I know exactly how she feels. There were many days in my youth, (and to be honest, my adulthood, I took that blanket with me to college and still used it on my pillow well into my 20's) that I cried tears upon tears into that blanket and it's softness helped me go to sleep for more than half my life. She is very upset and I am just praying that they have the blanket and can mail it to us first thing Monday. I really don't want to drive to get it, it would be about 6 hours round trip, but I will if I have to.

There is a slight possibility that the timeshare won't have the blanket. We made one stop on the way down, at a gas station. It took us much longer than usual to drive down because there was a major snowstorm on the west side of the divide, it was like a blizzard at some points. Anyway, we stopped at a gas station and I had to grab snacks out for the kids. I opened the back gate and Gracie's pillow and one of our duffles flew out and landed on the ground. I snatched them up super fast because the ground was disgusting with dirty melted snow. Then I grabbed the snacks and took them up to the front. I am now freaking out that the blankie fell out too and I somehow missed it. If so it's probably gone for good and that thought just breaks my heart.

So if you feel like sending some love, thoughts, vibes, prayers, whatever it is you do out into the universe for the mommy blanket tonight that would be great. I am hoping for nothing but good news when I talk to the cleaners tomorrow.

****UPDATE 11/30****
As of this morning mommy blanket is still missing. I called the hotel again, they searched the room and checked lost and found and it's not there. I called the gas station we stopped at and they do not have it. Our very last hope is that mommy blanket got caught up in the sheets and went to the laundry. They said this has happened a couple other times. If so she will hopefully be returned to the hotel tomorrow sometime. The manager is suppose to call me tomorrow.

Gracie cried herself to sleep tonight. This sucks so bad.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pictures!

CLICK HERE to see pictures of our most recent adventures!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


We are being totally lazy up in Avon Colorado with a fire burning in the fireplace and Tom and Jerry on the tv. Gracie declared today a pajama day which sounded awesome to everyone. I have to get the ham warmed up and make some mashed potatoes and green bean casserole put together so we can eat sometime this afternoon.

I hope you are all having as lovely a holiday as we are!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Such a klutz.

I chalk it up to genetics. I really don't know where else to lay the blame because I'm pretty sure I've been this way since birth.

I fell yesterday. It was a total yard sale type fall, I basically hurt every part of my body except my head, and thank goodness for that!!

I had to take Aria to another foster home because we are leaving for a week on Sunday and last night was the best time for me and her new foster to do the exchange. The night started off badly because I totally forgot I was suppose to meet this person at 6:30 in Denver and suddenly at 7pm I freaked out realizing I missed it. She never called me though, which was weird. Anyway, I called her, left a message and jumped in the car. She never called me back. I got to our meeting spot an hour late and of course she wasn't there. I didn't know what to do so I called the rescue foster coordinator to find out if there was another phone number for this person. There was a bit of phone tag and then I was told to just head up to her house (in Westminster, so about 45 minutes from my house). Apparently she had left her phone at home and she thought she missed me because she was a little late and she had no way to get a hold of me. Figures right?! So I headed to her house.

Once I got Aria in the house I headed out to grab her food. Their house is on a little hill with 5 long steps leading down to the sidewalk. They are railroad tie steps which are filled with those small sharp black rocks. I tripped or slipped or something on the top step and went all the way down, when I stopped my right hand was on the sidewalk. Oy.

Injuries are as follows:
Both knees are skinned.
My right shin is skinned and bruised badly. Like 2" long skinned to the bone. It's so gross.
My left elbow is skinned.
My left wrist and shoulder are sore.
My left hand is skinned on the knuckles. When I stopped I was laying on this arm.
My stomach is bruised, painfully so. It hurts while I am just sitting here.
My neck is out of whack.
My right hip hurts.
Both my ankles are sore

I don't know how I didn't hit my head at all but I didn't thank goodness. It's the only part that doesn't hurt!!! I don't know why these things happen to me but the fall season seems to be the season I hurt myself. It's so weird.

I'm glad for pain killers today. James has some nifty pills from when he had work done on his teeth and I took one last night. It made me feel very good and I actually slept well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Classic Gracie

Gracie in response to her dad telling her to pick up the toys from the bath:

No!! I'm naked and I'm a woman and I can do whatever I want so get outta my way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah. It's been a wild ride so far and all signs point towards it not slowing down any time soon.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dogs I have loved.

How did I become a doggie foster mom anyway?

It all started in September of 2007 with cats. I was on Craigslist in the pets section for reasons that cannot be explained because I had no reason to be there. We had two cats and a dog and no room for anymore in our 1360 sq ft town home. But there I was, and I opened a post where this woman was saying she had 7 cats she needed to place, immediately, two adults and 5 kittens. The mother of the kittens was also the mother of the other adult cat, so it was an entire family. She said she was going to take them to Dumb Friends League if someone didn't take them. I couldn't have her do that, my emotions took over and that afternoon I drove to her house and took them. All of them. I was determined to get them all fixed and adopt them all out. And I did. It was the biggest volunteer project I'd ever taken on and I pulled it off well, getting all the cats fixed through subsidized neuters with the DDFL and finding them all homes. I also took back and re-homed two of them when the initial adoptions didn't work out. Accomplishing the whole thing made me feel really good and it also taught me a huge lesson. One person can make a difference, we just need to stop making excuses and do it. It doesn't have to be dogs. Whatever that thing is, that thing you want to do that's not about you, that's about helping someone or something else. Just do it!

After that initial situation I thought about doing it again. But we moved Ian into the office (which is where we kept the cats) and we were honestly out of space to house cats since integrating foster cats into the household wasn't really an option. (If you've had cats you know what I mean.) So, again while perusing Craigslist, I came across a post from the Retriever Rescue of Colorado saying how badly they need foster homes. I filled out an application and waited. I heard back within a couple days so then I needed to sell it to James. He was reluctant but willing to try it. RROC takes retrievers of all sorts (Labs, Goldens, Chessies, and Tollers), places them with fosters to evaluate the dogs personalities and then matches them with families. It's a cool process, seeing the information they get and the care they take to put the right dogs with the right people. So we waited. And we had Boulder placed with us. And the rest is history....... I'll keep adding dogs as they pass through our family, the first dogs are at the bottom of the post. I've also helped place two additional cats in this time, even when logic said I couldn't.

This is Garrett. He's approximately 5 years old. He came into rescue from out of state. He had been in a shelter after being found as a stray who was attacked by a farm dog. The shelter people loved him but his days were up so they found a way to get him transported. Upon arrival it was found that he had a horrendous infection from his neuter surgery the week before. He had to undergo another surgery to remove the entire scrotum. He's a great dog with a lot of potential, he'll be perfect for just about any situation!

Aria is about 8 and is a total sweetie, just like Kirby was. She was abused to some extent, you can tell by her head shyness, but it hasn't damaged her spirit in the least. She's been great with the whole family and hopefully is meeting with a perspective family this weekend.

Beethoven was my first and last puppy. 10 weeks old, no manners and missing his litter terribly. It was a long two weeks but he was finally placed with a family that had an older golden retriever and a 2 year old little girl. He is going to live a long happy life with those folks, that much is sure!
Kirby was a pure gentleman. I wanted to adopt him so bad, like really terribly bad. I still miss him. He went to a new home that had no kids and three cats and was totally going to be spoiled by his new people, so I am happy for him. He was also my first senior and the dog that has made me realize how terrific adopting and older dog can be. He was perfect with everything, dogs, kids, cats...... He was already housebroken and knew commands. How on earth he ended up a stray in our rescue I will never know because he was a total beauty with a personality to match.
This is Brinzey. She was 9 months of pure energy. She also transferred to another foster home when her energy just became too much for me and the kids to deal with. There are limitations to housing strange dogs with small children and no yard. She was adopted about a week after she moved from us.
Holly. Holly was a love. She was the first foster I wanted to adopt. She was about 6 months old and was so sweet, so calm, so pretty. She had a rough first night with her adoptive family and ended up running away the next morning so the kids, Maggie, and I went to the neighborhood she ran off in and looked for her with her new owner. Thank goodness we found her and got her resettled with her family.

Brynn came in on a transport from a high-kill shelter out of state. She was insane. And she had giardia. And she was insane...... She transferred to another foster home without children and with a yard because an insane doggie that has giardia and doesn't have access to a yard is just wayyyyy more trouble than it's worth. But I was part of her story and she was a sweetie. Just a little nuts!

Boulder, our first foster. He was a fence jumper, climber, escape artist extraordinaire. He went to a nice couple in Highlands Ranch who had a bedroom full of bunnies, seriously. It was awesome!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall Weather





We had to break out the cold weather clothing the other day. Winter is definitely in the air!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A good day!

We headed up to Loveland this morning and had the wonderful opportunity to leave the kids with my in-laws for the afternoon! It was so nice, we have recently lost yet another babysitter, (they all move away, I'm starting to get a complex), and we hadn't been out on a date in almost 2 months.

We had a great afternoon walking around a couple outdoor malls and having lunch. We managed to hit a couple awesome sales. James got some great jeans and shirts at Eddie Bauer which was having 50% off all their clearance! I found a new purse (the first purse I've had in over 4 years, now that I don't have a diaper bag and I have a job I actually have need of one), and we found outfits for our Christmas pictures. Now we just need a photographer!

It was kind of a delayed celebration of our anniversary and I'm glad we were able to squeeze it in. The break was needed and it's so nice to have loving grandparents to leave the kids with for awhile. Thanks Heather and Brian! The kids had a great time and the little turkey cookies were delicious!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The engine on the bus goes click, click, click.

I arrived at the bus storage at 1:15, an hour before the party was suppose to start which gave me plenty of time to get the bus going and be there without rushing at all. Ha. The first thing I always do is run and start the bus, then I give it a couple minutes while I organize things and then I move it out, park my car, and take off. The bus was suppose to be plugged in today. This was a first, I have never had to deal with that before but because of the cold weather it's a new part of the routine. Apparently the plug helps the bus turn over the first time every time. When I pulled up to storage the first thing I noticed was that there was no plug. Uh-oh.

So I jumped on the bus and tried to start it. And tried. And tried. The engine was trying to turn over to no avail. Then I turned the key and.........nothing. Freak. So I called my boss who is out of town in the mountains this weekend. Thus began my education on bringing our big green bus to life when it would rather stay cold and lifeless in the gravel storage lot.

First off she told me to get into this little box under the seat and find this aerosol can of highly flammable gas. Ooookay. Then she told me to open the engine compartment and find this little funnel thing that had a sticker on it saying: WARNING Do not spray any starter fluids, flammable liquids, etc.......in here or you will die. I'm paraphrasing a bit but that was the gist of it. When I told her I located the funnel she said "Good, now spray that stuff in there for just a second, then run like heck on the bus and try to start it. Make sure you don't spray too much because it will start on fire." Um. Ok. *thinking my life is over*

I did it, but honestly, I probably didn't spray enough in. Who wants to die in a fiery explosion? Not I. When I tried to start the bus it didn't work.

So I called my boss back and she says. "Ok, well, now look under the drivers seat and get the hammer." I kid you not. I grabbed it and she told me to find this specific part underneath the engine. I was told to find someone to crank the bus while I climb in between the wheel and engine and crouch down and use the hammer to whack this part (the starter). She said if that didn't work then it was probably hopeless.

So I wandered over to this couple that was working on their camper and the woman said she would gladly try to crank the bus while I was under it whacking away with a hammer. I got in position, told her to go and she did. Sparks were flying, I was beating the starter, and miracle of miracles the bus started. Thank god my hair didn't get caught in the belt that was whirring away by my ear.

Never in a million years did I ever think that someday I would be using a hammer to start a bus. Just goes to show you what I know!!!

And yes, I remembered to plug the bus in before I left tonight. But if my co-worker leaves it unplugged again I will be doing the same to her so she can experience the joy of starting a cold bus with a stranger and a hammer.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Death came much too soon

Two years ago today my friend Sarah was killed by a drunk driver. She was 34 years old and at the time her kids were 2 years old and 8 months old, thank God they were not with her in the car. They needed their mommy and she was ripped from them in a moment. The woman who killed Sarah also died and left her then 3 year old daughter injured and motherless.

This kind of thing does not need to happen. Please if you drink, please do not drive while drunk. Please do not drive even if you only have a buzz. Please be responsible. There is no good reason to kill the mother (or father or grandparent or child) of anyone. Nothing is worth that. Nothing.

Please don't drink and drive. If the only good thing that comes from Sarah's death is another child not having to say good-bye to their mother much too soon then her death was not in vain.

Please don't drink and drive.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Gracie's message to Obama

Word for word right out of her mouth.


to barrack obama

i would like to shake your hand
i would like you to be president i would vote for you because I like you barrack obama and you are going to be president

i really understand and I love you more and I want you to be president because you can be calm, never ever give up

we can always see another president just like george washington we want to see someone who can stand up and cut taxes for our families
i would really like to hear a song you like

so please barrack obama I approve that you can be the president of the united states i would like to appreciate this common person
there's nothing i can do about it you can be president so i can see you at mt. rushmore
and that's my message. you will like it.

from gracie burson

The rundown

~ Go Vote!!!

~I smashed my finger bad yesterday in the van door, the wind caught it as I was trying to close it quietly because Ian was asleep. It's not broken but my nail might fall off. It's hard to do some things with just one thumb! On the upside James brought home BBQ and wine for dinner.

~Our foster dog has a bladder infection, we spent 2 hours at the vet yesterday right before the thumb smashing. Good times!

~Yesterday was 6 years since James and I said "I DO". I love him even more today than I did then!

~We got a loft bed for Gracie's room, so she has a full bed with an awesome playroom set up underneath it now and Ian has the twin bed so he gained play space as well. I will get pictures soon but due to the thumb situation I haven't finished moving everything around as we would like to have it. Soon as it's ready I will take pictures.

I hope you are all having a good week!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Overheard in our kitchen

Me: I bought some Ghirardelli chips today at Costco.

James: Oooooooo. I love you. You're so sexy.


Oh yeah, do I know the way to my mans stomach or what!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's up?

Not much really!

The kids have colds that started up on Sunday and are starting to get a little better now. It's mostly a cough with a slightly runny nose. Not much worth worrying about thank goodness!

We still haven't carved our pumpkins. I think tonight will be the night. I need to bake the pumpkin seeds too, that's one of my favorite parts of carving pumpkins!

I think I am completely done with diapers. Ian has not worn one to bed for over a week now. Of course he did wet this morning but that is partly due to the fact that when James goes in to him in the mornings he doesn't always remember to take Ian immediately to the potty. Do not pass go, do not collect $100, just go to the potty!!! If anyone is interested I have 6 Fuzzi Bunz size medium in very good condition, multiple darker colors (blues, greens, red). I have inserts too, probably 10 or so. The last baby thing to go. It's kinda sad actually.

I am a Costco addict. It's serious. It has taken me 3 paychecks to get our pantry bursting at the seams and I am so glad I've done it. My goal was to build from the bottom up, first the staples and non-perishables, then stuff we eat weekly and finally add in the frozen section. Today I bought some frozen stuff which I think will really help us save money. We LOVE to eat out, it's a budget buster on an almost monthly basis. So I decided to buy us some stuff that we like to eat like pizza, orange chicken, chicken nuggets, etc..... and keep that as something easy to make when we get the urge to eat out. I don't want to live on processed foods but the truth is that's what we're eating when we go out so I mine as well keep a few in the freezer and save the pennies. I always have the best intentions to make every meal from scratch. Unfortunately I'm just not that organized or motivated. Anyway........ I haven't even hit the regular part of Costco yet, just the food. I need to go in there and explore the rest of the store some day, they have toys for Christmas out and a whole 'nother side to the store that needs exploring. I never have time to just wander around in there but I am determined to some time soon!

I'm loving having the Sprouts down the street, I've been in there like twice a week and it was so nice to have it there when I needed homeopatics for the kids colds the other day. A million times nicer than having to go to the other health food store way across town.

Gas is $2.33. Never thought I would be happy about that. Gas was less than a $1 a gallon when I moved out here almost 10 years ago. Nuts!!!

Well, that's all around here. I will post pictures once we carve the pumpkins. Ta-ta!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh yeah, I almost forgot!!

No chicken pox ever showed up. Both kids had a couple days of low fevers but absolutely no other symptoms. I am super curious now to take them for a blood titer to see if they are actually immune but I don't think it's worth the stress of having blood drawn so I won't. I wish there was another way to know if they actually gained immunity but I think they only way I will know is if they get exposed again and don't get it! How awesome would it be if they are immune without having any of the crappy itching and all that?? It's pretty unlikely but I can hope!

Obama Rally (Alternate title: Tickets? We don't need no stinkin' tickets!)

So.......we went to Ft. Collins to see Obama speak yesterday. It was pretty awesome and pretty disappointing all at the same time.

We left home at 9am and drove to Joe and Jen's house to meet up with them and Tom, then we carpooled over to the CSU campus, James alma mater. It was pretty chilly and cloudy when we got there but it was suppose to warm up so we kept our fingers crossed. I think we got there about 10:30.

Joe had secured some VIP tickets so we jumped into the regular line since it was right in front of us and then Joe and Tom went looking for the VIP line to make sure such a thing actually existed. They came back a little while later and told us they found it and it was wayyyyy shorter. So we all left our place in line and headed over there.

The rally was suppose to start at 3:30 and at about 2:00 they started letting people in. People from the other line, the one we were in but left for the shorter VIP line. You can see where this is going, can't you........

So we waited and waited and waited. And ate lunch. And the kids plalyed in the leaves. And the kids played with Tom (he makes an excellent child play structure) and we watched the other line start moving. And we watched it keep moving. For like and hour. And we told our selves "Well, they must be filling in the regular line from the side or something. Surely they are keeping a section in the front open for those 2,000 of us who were lucky enough to secure these cute little blue pieces of paper. Surely we will be up front, that's what we were told."

So we stood patiently. I think we were probably somewhere between 700-800 in the VIP line. At an event where they expect something like 30,000 people that's really not a bad place to be.

So finally our line started moving. It was moving so stinking slow. Then I had a wonderful episode of Hypoglycemia. That was fun. I've never had something like that happen so dramatically before. My right arm was numb and tingly and I lost some coherance when I was speaking. Totally freaked me out. I was saved by some tick tacks that Joe and Jen had. Now I gotta figure out how to not have that happen again.

Anyway......we got about 10 feet from the security thing and they stopped everyone. All the gates were stopped. One thing we could see was that the VIP line had exactly one metal detector where the regular line had like 8. The other thing we could see is that they were filtering us all in with the regular line once we got past security. Nice. No special view for us. *sigh* VIP ended up meaning nothing.

This is where it got interesting. All the sudden the cops who were running everything said everyone could go. Just go in. Fast. They turned all the metal detectors and just told everyone to hurry on in. It was weird and it made me feel kind of freaked out. I was shocked they were letting everyone bypass security. Some people started just running through the gates and down the hill. It made me pretty nervous.

Once we were settled in our place for about 10 minutes (if even) they announced Obama!!! That was a shock. The venue was not even full of people yet. Apparently he got there on time and couldn't be delayed, that's why they just let everyone in. Unfortunately our place was totally crappy. We were really far back. Poor Gracie, who the night before was so freaking excited to see Obama couldn't see him at all. She broke down in tears, it was very very sad and I felt like the crappiest parent ever, talking it all up and then having her see absolutely nothing. James could kinda see, and I got a glimpse between a couple people while on tippy toe, but really it was pretty much nothing. We listed as best we could but with Gracie crying, Ian fussing (he wanted to nap so bad) and everyone around us trying to take pictures and see it was pretty nuts.

Tom had a good view since he's so tall so he took a ton of pictures. I put the best ones here.

All in all it was a good day really. The kids had fun playing, we adults had fun talking, and once the sun came out the weather was really nice. I wish the campus had understood the ticket thing better and had done a better job of getting people put inside, but what's done is done.

Oh yeah.....I almost forgot. Joe ran into a woman that was very near us in the first line we were in and she said she was 25 feet from Obama. Yep. Should have stayed in the first line..........




Me and Gracie in the first line, right after we got there.


Joe and Jacob
Me and Ian
Checking NFL scores while in line. Guys gotta have their priorities you know!
The gang of us. Minus me!
Where we were standing once inside the Oval without any zooming. Obama spoke way up there, under the bleachers and down to the left of the blue CHANGE sign you can barely see. This picture was taken with me holding the camera up over my head as high as possible. (Sidenote: Aren't the leaves beautiful!!)
Um, no explination needed.
The man himself!
And again!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just too many.

I found a cat today. I need it to find a new place to stay today. I hate finding stray animals, I always feel like it's my job to take care of them. I don't want to take it to the shelter but I might have to. Adult cats have a 60% chance of being put down in a shelter, that's why I don't want to take him there.

We are getting a rescue dog tonight. This is the major reason the cat must go today. I feel conflicted. Too many unwanted cats and dogs.

Public Service Announcement:

PLEASE SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR DOGS AND CATS AND ADOPT FROM SHELTERS OR RESCUES OR LOOK IN THE FREE ADS OR CRAIGSLIST. DO NOT BUY PETS FROM PET SHOPS, YOU ARE SUPPORTING PUPPY MILLS WHO ARE MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO PET OVER-POPULATION. NOT TO MENTION MOST OF THOSE PLACES ARE RUN UNDER HORRIFIC CONDITIONS AND THE ANIMALS ARE NOT WELL BRED, AT ALL. AND, IF YOU MUST GET RID OF A PET PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO IT YOURSELF, FIND A GOOD AND PROPER HOME AND LOOK EARLY, DON'T WAIT TIL THE LAST SECOND AND DUMP IT AT THE SHELTER. GENERALLY SPEAKING SHELTERS PUT DOWN ALMOST HALF OF WHAT THEY TAKE IN. THEY HAVE TO, THERE IS NO ROOM AND BARELY ANY FUNDING. IT'S TERRIBLE. DON'T DO IT. THERE ARE SO MANY ANIMALS THAT NEED HOMES. SO SO MANY. THE RESCUE I VOLUNTEER FOR TURNS AWAY, ON AVERAGE, 20 DOGS A DAY. THESE ARE LABS, GOLDENS, CHESAPEAKE BAYS, ALMOST ALL ARE PURE BRED. THESE ARE FAMILY DOGS THAT FAMILIES NO LONGER WANT. IF YOU RESEARCH ANY OF THESE RESCUES AT ALL THE STORIES WILL MAKE YOU CRY. IT'S JUST SO OVERWHELMING. DON'T CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROBLEM. SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, that was my rant for the day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Escape Artist

My dear sweet little Ian, he will be the death of me!!

Yesterday afternoon James decided to leave for a haircut after we put Ian down for his nap. Gracie was on the computer in our room and I was in there with her on the laptop. We shut the door so we could talk and not wake Ian up.

About an hour later I heard someone knocking at our front door. At first I ignored it hoping they would just go away. They kept knocking. Then I decided I better get up and go see who it was before they rang the door bell and woke Ian up. I ran downstairs, opened the door and there stood Ian.

My heart completely fell to my feet.

I scooped him up and took him inside, then noticing he had on socks and his crocks and a shirt, but no under ware or pants!!!

Apparently he woke up, went to the bathroom, shut his bedroom door again and went downstairs to find his skateboard. I never heard him. He said he stayed on the porch so I am hoping that is true. We had a talk about going outside without asking mommy and how that is very dangerous. I decided it was better to tell him someone might take him away than to just hope he wouldn't do it again. He got very serious about that and told me he would miss me and he would scream. I told him to just stay in the house and he won't have to worry about it. He agreed, but later that day just headed right out the door without asking.

We bought new deadbolts, the kind that require a key even on the inside. I know that's not super safe either, but I think the chances of a house fire are much less than the chances he might open the door by himself again, so I'll error on that side for awhile. We can switch them back once I know for sure he understands to not wander off.

Gracie never did this kind of thing with the door. She still is very cautious to stay with me and not get lost when we go anywhere. I guess it's just one more difference between a boy and a girl!!

Pumpkin festivals!

Click here to see pictures!!!

That's the link on for the pictures. You can click on each picture to see them larger.

We went to two different festivals. On Saturday we went to one south of us. We were hopeful it would be nice because we haven't been able to find a nice outdoor festival near out house yet. Unfortunately we were really disappointed with this one. It was very very busy and wasn't really at all what it was advertised. First of all it wasn't a pumpkin patch, the pumpkins were all in boxes!! I have never been to a pumpkin patch or festival where they weren't at the very least all spread around on the ground to pick out. All we could do was laugh because it was so weird! The petting "zoo" had 4 goats in it. There was a tractor ride that Ian really wanted to do and we waited in line about 4 times as long as the ride was, they took us about half a block down a dirt path, turned around, and took us back on the same path. There was a straw bale maze that was exactly one bale high. Not much of a challenge, most of the kids were just hopping around from wall to wall. All in all it was a pretty pathetic little festival. Luckily the kids had no idea and were happy as clams. James and I just kept laughing about how we could have done this in our own back yard!

The best part about that festival was the straw bale slide. That was a huge hit!!! Gracie loved it and after only one ride down with me she wanted to ride alone. She did that a couple times and then she took Ian down a few times. I took lots of pictures of that, it was hilarious and very cute!

Sunday we went to the festival down the street. We went there last year too and the kids really liked it. They had the local train club there with a few trains running, Ian absolutely loved that, there was a Thomas train that was his favorite! They also had a jumpy castle obstacle course thing, and a haunted house and a real petting zoo and pumpkin decorating. We did it all and had a great time.

Now all that's left is carving the pumpkins. I'm not sure if we'll wait for next weekend or not!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 15

Still no spots. I'm getting a little irritated at this chicken pox disease, isn't it suppose to be highly contagious?? Urgh!

It was 80 degrees out today and I am sunburned. It feels so good!!!!!

We did a pumpkin patch today but it was very lame so we are doing another one tomorrow. I'll post pictures when I have them all together.

Good Night!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Day 14

No spots yet. I soooooo want this over with. My friend who exposed us just had her other two kids show up with it but unfortunately they are all out of town so we cannot expose again (although we did run into her at the grocery store 2 days ago, so maybe that helped).

I sure hope they break out, I have a bunch of people who want to expose their kids if we get it.

Other news:

We are getting part of an antelope from some friends, we just have to pay for the processing which will be uber cheap. I am very excited. We are also hopefully purchasing 1/4 grassfed steer, we just have to find a couple others to buy the other shares. We will have meat galore!!!

We just had both a Sprouts Farmers Market and a Sunflower Farmers Market open this week in our area, one is about a mile away the other is about two miles away. I got all natural chicken at Sprouts this morning for $1.77 a pound!! I am going to love grocery shopping now and I will be able to give up my angst about not having a Trader Joes nearby (except for the 2 buck chuck, we will never have that I'm afraid). Between these two places and Costco I should be set on everything from homeopathics to toilet paper. Yay!!!!

We have vacation in the Mountians in just over a month. I cannot wait for a week of family time and hopefully some skiing.

The weather has been gorgeous, 70 for the last two days with warm sunshine. Oh how I love Colorado for it's cold weather seasons. I love the cool sunshiney days. I can even take the freezing cold of winter as long as the sun is shining, which it usually is!

My mother-in-law has been here for a few hours to play with the kids. It's nice to have a little time to breathe and I actually have dinner all ready! Score!!

I only have to work about 5 hours tomorrow and nothing on Sunday! Score again!!

I found a fall festival that's on our end of town so we are going tomorrow. Pictures will be coming, I promise.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pox watch, day 13

We seem to have a pretty grumpy 4 year old with a low grade fever. Perhaps we will see spots this weekend.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What's up with us.

So much has been going on, guess I'll do a little update here.

First off, no signs of pox yet. Darn.

The kids and I had dentist appointments this morning and we all checked out ok. Well, Ian wouldn't open his mouth for the dentist but since Gracie's teeth are so good the dentist assumed his were too! We have a new dentist because out old one refused to see us without x-rays. They also informed us that no one would because of liability. Funny, the first doctor I called on our insurance list said we could do whatever we wanted as long as we understood what the procedure was and signed a statement saying we understood what we were advised. Oh how I love being treated with respect and having a choice when it comes to what I want to do with my body. Honestly!! This guy wasn't part of a practice though. I have found that independant doctors, no matter what their speciality, are always more willing to work with "alternative" ideas. Practices usually have rules and regulations that they make you follow and if you don't you get the boot. As usual I have researched x-rays and the benefit of having them and have decided that using them when there is reason to believe there is an issue going on can be very helpful but taking x-rays as a routine without cause is pretty unnecessary. I don't really do unnecessary medical things and I like to be treated with respect for my research and conclusions. It's not really informed consent if they won't let you have a choice now, is it? Luckily he didn't mention Flouride treatments because then I would have had to explain my conclusions on that as well!! Anyway, it was all good, he was a very nice man with a very cozy office and we were all happy.

Ian has a new hobby, he has taken up skateboarding. Yes, skateboarding. It has me totally freaked out, I'm seeing visions of broken wrists and head injuries, but I'm trying to deal! All the neighborhood boys do skateboarding and are always practicing their tricks out in the street by our house. Ian has been hugely impressed with their skills and wants to do it too. He was content to just watch until one of the boys let him use his mini board a couple times. Then he started asking for his own. Last week we were at good will and low and behold there was a mini board for $1.99. There was no leaving the store without it, Ian was hugging it like it was his baby!! He's been doing stuff on it now, mostly in the grass and in the house on the carpet, and it's been really good practice for his balance and coordination. I have to find him a good helmet before I give him an all clear to do it on the sidewalk all the time. I'm sure we'll be seeing an ER at somepoint but I can only protect him so much. He really wants to do it so he is!

Not to be outdone Gracie also has a new hobby. We found a little girls bike in our dumpster a few months ago and we finally got some training wheels for it. She's been riding her little training bike for a year and a half and she decided she's ready for the big kid pedal bike. We got the training wheels on it this weekend and she's been practicing ever since (except for about 12 hours because one of the wheels fell off mid-ride and needed a small repair that required a run to Lowes). I'm pretty sure that by her 5th birthday she'll be on a two wheeler without any help. I actually had tears in my eyes watching her this morning, she looks just so huge riding a big girl bike down the sidewalk. How did the time pass so fast??

Work for James and I is going well, we are figuring out our new schedule with me working weekends and the kids are adjusting, they did a ton better this weekend thank goodness. James is passing his current class with all A's so far, I think he only has 1 or 2 weeks left. So far he's finished every class with an A. I'm so proud of him!!

We are getting a new foster dog this week. Another senior Golden Retriever. She's 8 years old and very cute. I'll have to take some pictures once she arrives and I get her all cleaned up if she needs it. Apparently senior Goldens are in high demand right now so she probably won't stay for more than a week or two. Hopefully I won't fall so hard for her like I did Kirby. Knowing a match will probably happen fast will help with that! We had a puppy black lab for two weeks and I realized, once again, that puppies are a total pain and I just don't like fostering them. He was sweet and all but with no yard and a puppy who is potty training it's just too hard.

And as a final note, I have to give a huge CONGRATULATIONS to our beloved Auntie April. Troy proposed last Saturday and she said yes so I finally won't be the only outsider in the Burson clan, Troy and I can band together in suffering now. (I'm kidding, totally kidding! All my in-laws are great people. I hear horror stories and realize how lucky I am, seriously!) Anyway, I'm so happy April has found a great guy and happy the kids are gaining a great Uncle. High fives all around!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pox Watch, day 7

No signs of anything yet. The manifestation of chicken pox occurs anywhere from 7-21 days after exposure meaning we have two whole weeks before the spots could show up. It's quite possible the kids will have pox on Halloween which is kind of a bummer but we'll make it fun somehow anyway! Gracie seemed a little warm yesterday morning but that disappeared before lunch and she's seemed fine since. She's the one I am assuming will show up with it out of both of them, she was exposed and shared lollipops and drinks a lot more than Ian did. I figure getting the two of them to share stuff here at home will be easy, so if she shows up with it hopefully he will catch it from her.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I like working.

There. I said it. I really like my new jobs.

I drove the bus on Saturday and I had a great time. There were two parties with a few hours in between so I was able to bring the bus home. Some of our friends came over and the kids all played in there for about an hour. They had a great time. The parties went well, I didn't hit any curbs (or worse) and as an added bonus I got the bus parked back at storage in one try. It's a dock parking situation which means I have to back into our space which has very nice motor homes on either side. Last time it took me 4 tries to get it righ.

Sunday I worked the Broncos game. Let me just tell you, it is one long day. I have to be there by 10am. I had to take the light rail though because parking down there is not going to be any faster, especially for the drive home, the interstate and all the side streets were a huge mess. Besides the employees have to park at Coors Field and take a shuttle over. Coors Field is north of Invesco so I would really end up in terrible traffic on the way home since I live south and would have to go through everyone else trying to get home. The light rail worked well, but it takes an hour each way. I left home about 8:10 yesterday morning and got home at 7. That might not be a lot for some but for me, who has only recently reentered the job force....oy!! I was so beat by the time I got home. I also had a headache which started a little after half-time and kept getting worse. I honestly thought I was going to throw up on the train and driving home from the station made me feel nauseous. I called James to tell him I felt like crap and as much as I wanted to see them all I was going to first have to take some ibuprophen and sit in a hot shower. Luckily that did the trick and I felt much better and I was actually hungry after that. We watched extreme home make over together while I ate and the kids told me about their day. They had a very good day, James kept them busy and they all had fun.

I really like both my jobs. They are fun, the people I work with are great and they each focus on areas I am good at. Dealing with the general public, working with kids, and talking. I am not one bit shy and both jobs require being very outgoing and making sure the customer is happy. That I can do. Oh, and I can also drive a bus. Who knew?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Can I have guilt and exhaustion with a side order of freakishly busy?

Oh my gosh.

I am so tired. This weekend I will be away the equivalent of two full work days. This is a change for all of us.

I feel guilty. Gracie went on a full on rant this evening about how much she misses me and how she wants me to stay home every day like when she was a baby. She told me she hates being 4 because it's just too hard and she loves me and I should not go work at the football game tomorrow. I will be gone for 9 hours. She is freaking out.

I feel so busy. There is no time. We have been running and running and running. Rec center class, music class, swimming lessons, play dates, home school group, errands, groceries, etc, etc, etc....... Weekends use to be our fun and relax time with daddy. Now they have to stay home with daddy who, if you recall, is in the middle of his MBA and always has something to write or read. Always.

We are trying to adjust but it's hard. I need to just chill and stop playing monday morning quarterback when I get home and James tells me how it went. The kids need to chill and realize that daddy is fun. James needs to get his homework done by Friday night so that he doesn't have to feel the pressure of school when the kids desperately need him while we adjust to this change.

It's hard. I hope it gets better because as much as I really like my job it's just not worth it if our home life goes to heck.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I'm in the Club!

I had my training down at Invesco Field on Wednesday night for the game this Sunday. My assigned area is Club Level West. I am so excited that is where I will be working!! Downside is I really won't get to see the game live but the upside is I won't freeze my butt off once it gets cold around here!! We got a tour on Wednesday and I was sooooo hoping I would be on the club level, it is just beautiful.

Pox watch 2008. May this be the year of the chicken.

Last night I was contacted by a local mom who has a pox upon her house. She has 3 kids, a set of 7 year old twins and a 1 1/2 year old. She has exposed her kids to chicken pox 3 times and finally, after the 3rd exposure 2 weeks ago, one of them has spots. She broke out on Tuesday morning. Hopefully the other two are incubating and will have spots soon as well. She invited us over to play and expose my kids. We shared drinks and lollipops and if the force is with us we will see spots on at least one of them within 21 days.

I realize that purposeful exposure might seem like a strange idea, but it makes sense for us. We don't vaccinate (many reasons for that, search my archives if you want to read further), so immunity that way isn't an option. We could just take the wait and see approach, but that could take years. It's easier in every way for kids to get chicken pox when they are young because it's usually more mild, less complications, less side-effects. Of course there are exceptions to that but I'm speaking in generalizations. I'd like to get it over as soon as possible. Historically purposeful exposure has been used as a way to be prepared for illness. Chicken pox is very methodical, it has the same pattern pretty much every time, so it's easy to expose and then be ready. Kind of nice actually. And natural exposure usually gives life-time immunity. There is the rare person that gets it twice but that is definitely not how it goes for the average person. Also if you contract chicken pox naturally you have less of a chance of developing shingles later. Again, this is not a hard and fast rule but generally this is the case.

All those reasons, along with avoiding the ingredients of vaccines and the uncontrollable side-effects of those vaccines, makes purposeful exposure the best way for my family to help keep our kids healthy and happy.

So, here's crossing my fingers for spots!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

List of restaurants and stores within 5 miles of our house that have closed.

This is the most staggering show of how the economy is doing a nose-dive in our area. It's quite amazing, I have been shocked at the number of businesses closing down. Not just little local places either. National chains have closed stores in our area. It's just so weird.


Black Eyed Pea
Village Inn
Boston's
Pasta Bella (less than a year old)
Lighthouse Cafe (less than 6 months old)
Brother's BBQ (a little over a year old)
Big D's BBQ (less than a year old)
La Shish (only like 3 months old)
Linen's & Things
Albertson's
Tumbleweeds
Gift shop on Main Street
First Tier Bank (about a year old)
House That Brews (less than a year old)



Even more amazing than the amount of businesses that have closed is how our Town is handling it. THEY JUST KEEP BUILDING!!!!!

There are oodles of empty store fronts right now, it's insane. There's half of the old Target, an entire former grocery store and numerous strip malls with empty stores. Off-hand I can think of 3 brand new strip malls, one of which has been finished for an entire year and hasn't had one tenant. It's insane!! There are multiple others going up.

Parker is really a fairly small town. The population is approx. 47,000. The majority of people who live here are commuters, most jobs available within the town are retail sales, there is very little professional opportunity here. This is essentially a bedroom community. We are very close to many large shopping areas. I do not know what the town is thinking by allowing so much expansion of retail and restaurants when it is clear that the town is not supporting these businesses. It's sad to drive around town and see so many places gone or never occupied to begin with.

To be fair, we did just get a Cosco. (Which is never busy, it's amazing!! I've been to a few different Cosco's and this one is totally dead compared to others.) Sadly they build their own new monstrosity of a building though, instead of using one of the few large vacant buildings. And the old Albertson's has a Sprout's moving in. A couple of the small restaurants have been filled with new ones, but all the chain buildings are sitting empty. I'll be interested to see how the new small resturants do, most of them seem to be failing in less than a year.

Does it look like this everywhere in the country? It's obvious when you drive through my area that the economy is in the crapper. Is it like this where you live too? I'm wondering if Parker is just doing a lousy job of handling growth or if it's businesses across the country that are dying.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A job that pays

I have been gainfully employed for a couple weeks now. I have been doing birthday parties and events for the Fun Bus. Believe it or not I am training to learn how to DRIVE the bus tomorrow. Yes, I am going to drive the big green party bus. You have been forewarned.

It hasn't been enough hours though, only 2-3 a weekend actually, so I am adding in a second weekend job. I will be working for Guest Services at Invesco Field for the remaining home Broncos games. Doesn't that sound cool? I'm pretty excited. I've never even been to a Broncos game and now I get to go to 6 this year!!! And they will pay me to be there. Score!!!!! Of course, I might not be so excited in December when it's butt cold out and I still have to do my job but I'm trying to not think too far ahead.

Yay for making money!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Walkin' on Broken Glass

It's been a morning.

Maggie was out of food, as were the cats, so a run to the pet spa (yes, we buy our food at a doggie bakery and pet spa, roll your eyes if you must) was in order. I knew the dogs would be hungry but I didn't want to feed Kirby until I fed Maggie. This would prove to be a bad decision.

I crated Maggie and put the cats in the bathroom with their pan and left Kirby lose since I've done it before (3 hours yesterday) and he was fine. This would prove to be another bad decision.

We were gone 30 minutes, tops.

I got home and was in a rush to feed the dogs so I let Maggie out, collected doggie bowls, opened Maggie's food, scooped up Kirby's food, filled the bowls with a little bit of water and then cracked a can of wet food to mix a little in. Yes, they are spoiled. I set the dog bowls down and turned around. Then I gasped.

My huge hand-painted-by-me pasta bowl was in eleventybillion pieces on the floor.

The amazing part of this whole scenario is that somehow I didn't see my huge pasta bowl broken all over my kitchen floor. I guess I am so use to there being crap (ie, toys) all over my floors that it didn't even register, even when I stood at the sink, directly next to it. Or I am completely myopic. I'll let you be the judge.

So I cleaned up the glass. Bye-bye beautiful bowl.

Then suddenly it occurs to me that there was food in the bowl. I used it as a fruit, bread, whatever else is on my counter and needs containing bowl (when I make a replacement bowl I will not write the word Pasta in it so that I don't need to constantly feel conflicted as to whether my bowl is properly serving it's purpose in life). It contained pumpkin bread that James baked 2 days ago and chocholate chip cookies that I baked last night.

Hum.

So I sent out a search party and it was quickly reported to me that there were cookie remains and ripped bags on the stairs.

Apparently Kirby likes fresh baked goods. Lesson learned. Boy gets to stay in his crate when we leave the house from now on.

So, the mess is cleaned up and I start emptying the dishwasher. In the process of emptying I was passing my awesome 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup from one hand to the other and I somehow missed. The cup flew accross the kitchen and smashed into the fridge and then to the floor.

Eleventybillion pieces of glass on the floor, take two.

Both the kids are all over it, unbelieveably impressed that we had two such incidents in less than an hours time. I tried to kick them out of the kitchen, they were barefoot because they had been outside in the sandbox. They were both carrying drinks I had poured right before this all happened. Ian was walking towards the livingroom with his cup and apparently he stepped on a small piece of something. He screams, lifts his foot and pours milk all over the dishwasher door, which is open, and contains all my clean silverware.

You know, sometimes I think my life is boring and then I realize this is the stuff that they put in comedy's to make the audience laugh, so maybe I have a really interesting life, maybe I even have a cool life!!

Or maybe I just have spilled milk on the clean silverware.

Monday, September 15, 2008

This is Kirby

There is no denying his beauty.

And his beauty isn't just skin deep either. He has a beautiful soul. Really. I know it sounds weird to say such a thing about a dog but it's true. He just wants to be loved. He follows me everywhere and just wants to put his head on my knee and look at me adoringly. He's only been here for 4 days and he's fit in so perfectly it's amazing.


I think I may be in love.

This is the trouble with fostering. It's business as usual and then WHAM. Beautiful doggie with perfect disposition comes in and I'm suppose to be content just caring for him and passing him on to someone else.

Completing an adoption for him will require a huge box of tissues and a large bottle of tequila.

I'm not sure I can do it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

They make me laugh so darn hard (when I'm not trying to crawl under something to hide).

This morning in the car Ian started yelling that he had a boogie, which was no shocker since we have all been sick around here. I told him he would have to wait a minute and he was quiet. Then he says.

"I got it"

"You got what, did you wipe the boogie off?"

"Nope, I ate it."

Great.........

A few minutes later he starts saying he has a boogie on his finger again. I told him just to wait and he says

"It's otay mama. I like dem. Boogies are my friends."

*me laughing* "They're your friends, eh?"

"Yes, dey my buddies."

"Well, that's fine then. Just don't eat your buddies, ok."

"Otay mama."

"Thanks bud."

"Your welpome mama"


Then we get to the store. I was on the hunt for a pair of tennis shoes and an air pump. I get to the sporting goods section and I'm mumbling to myself about which pump to get, the hand pump, the foot pump, the pump that looks like a pogo stick. Too many choices. So I say

"I'll just get this one, it's the cheap one."

and to my horror and embarrassment Ian starts screaming "NO MAMA, NO GET THE CHEAP ONE, I HATE THE CHEAP ONE, NO GET THE CHEAP ONE!!!"

and Gracie pipes in "It's ok Ian, mama always gets the cheap one. Mama likes cheap stuff. Mama's cheap."

So there you have it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Kids on pot.

I guess it's more accurately kids in the pots, but whatever!!!

Dragging out the pots and pans has become a regular occurrence lately. It can be so loud, but they love it. They are their own little Blue Man group at times!!










Happy Birthday Singa!!!


Singa the kitty is one year old today. She's 8 pounds of cuteness now and she and Gracie will always be the best of friends. Happy birthday Singa, we love you!!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I turned 34.

We celebrated in style!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

it's finally happened

Gracie officially did the whole "blah blah blah bla" thing while Alice was telling her to go to bed.

Oh boy. She's barely 4, and it starts.

Friday, August 08, 2008

James had a birthday (and other random information)

James turned 32 yesterday. We made a day of it, spending most of our time at Elitch Gardens in Denver. The kids had never been there and they earned free tickets there with the library reading program, so we thought it would be a good time to go. We had a blast. Both kids loved every ride they went on, no fear at all. It was awesome. Ian was just barely tall enough to do all the kiddie rides thank goodness, he would have been so sad if he was too short!

We stayed there til 4 after hitting the water park as well. We went home and took a little rest (Ian fell asleep on the way home of course) and then we went to Claim Jumper for a yummy steak dinner. After dinner we returned home for cake and then it was bedtime. I think we had a great day. James got a couple new shirts from Ian, a new DVD/CD player for the living room from Gracie, and I got him tickets to an event we've wanted to go for a couple years and have never made it to. I promise to not forget and schedule a trip somewhere for this one!

I hurt my ankle on Wednesday. Again. I haven't gone to the doctor for it this time because I know from experience there is little they can do. I still have an aircast from the last time and I have used it a little for support when I have needed it but mostly I'm just walking around and being careful. It is sore but not unbearable. I figure if it gets worse I will go have it looked at but they'll probably just tell me to wear the cast.I hate having such issues with my ankles.

We got new living room furniture last Sunday. Brand spankin' new. First new furniture like that either James or I have owned. I love it. We got two bookcases and a love seat and a couch. The chairs are brown leather and the book cases are black with brown trim. Now I just need to paint and our entire house will be decked out. It's only taken 3 years!!! I still have a few projects up my sleeve though. I'd like to redo the kids closets with proper storage stuff so they can reach their toys and things better. I'd also LOVE to put a loft bed in Gracie's room to give her more floor space. I would like to put a loft bed in Ian's room also but I don't think he would be safe enough with one yet. Maybe in another year. And of course I'd love to finish the banister work we wanted to do this spring. It's a big expensive project though which is why we put it off. It's going to be messy too. I'm not sure if we will ever get to it but it sure would make things look nice.

Brinzey the foster dog went to a new home last night and with that I may be closing our chapter on foster dog care. It is a lot of work, and unfortunately a fair amount of stress on everyone here. Maggie gets very nervous with a new dog in the house and the cats do too, especially Singa. She also got attacked by Brinzey a couple days ago. It was innocent, it was an attack of play not of aggression, but Singa got hurt and was miserable for a couple days. She's ok now but I'm not sure I want to risk anything like that again. Plus with the new furniture.....well, I know that sounds totally selfish but I don't want some dog chewing my chairs up! We may just stick to senior dogs, since they are low maintenance. I'm still thinking on it.

Ian is talking so much now. It's amazing when I think of how he was talking just 6 months ago. In fact at his birthday he honestly had just a handful of words. He talks non-stop now. He loves to tell jokes, he will do the "Why did the chicken cross the road?" joke over and over and over again. We're trying to teach him alternate endings to mix it up a bit! He is very polite, he says peas, tank tou, and sowy whenever appropriate. He loves all things Buzz Lightyear and superhero right now. It's just such a sweet cute stage. Oh how I love my little boy!

Gracie is living in a world of imagination. Her mind has just opened up to all the possibilities and she loves to act it all out. She loves to play husband and wife (with Ian) most of all but she also adds other things in. On Monday we went to a home school park date and she and a group of about 6 other kids spent a good hour running around in a small patch of woods playing knights. She informed me she was the knight in shining armour. So cute!!! She's also learning about being sensitive to others and how to see the bigger picture. It's something we talk about a lot, how her actions affect everyone. It's a process, she's only 4. But she's trying. She has a very sensitive side to her and I am trying to help her use it. She's a wonderful and very cool little girl!

Being TV free is going great. I was very impressed that it actually didn't take much of an adjustment and already the kids don't ask for it very much. They are playing together a lot now and finding new things to do. I'm also encouraging helping out around the house and getting them involved in whatever I'm doing as much as I can. Gracie has started doing some educational games on the computer as well as working more in her workbooks. We are also reading more. I joined Children's Book of the Month club and I am really trying to grow our children's library. James and I were both huge readers as kids and I hope our kids will be the same so I have to provide them with good stuff!

We have a busy weekend planned with the local county fair and the local Highlands Festival. I'll try to get some pictures up somewhere once it's all over.

Have a great weekend!