Memorial Day Part II: NUGGETS fever

This is in no way a rival to Sara's eloquent,clever and as always tremendously delightful post but I needed to piggy back a bit to describe Memorial Day weekend in Colorado. One word my friends


Yep, I am convinced [and have substantial statistically corroborating evidence to prove it] that it always rains Memorial Day weekend and then is sunny and gorgeous the next day - you know what I am back at work.

So it was good TV watching weather as I watched the Nuggets play on Saturday and Monday! Yep, I've been a hardcore fan for almost 2 weeks now. In fact, I'm first chair clarinet on the bandwagon that we've all been enthusiastically jumping on as we cheer our team on. As you may recall, The Rockies had a similar "Cinderella" season to the World Series several years ago and our State experienced the same sort of unifying phenomenon. It is amazing as everyone is just a little nicer, just a little happier, just a little more yellow and blue. You pass folks on the street and you give them that knowing "so did you watch the game?" smile. Unless of course you are Rand and have celestial connections and somehow get tickets to both games. This leads me to my favorite conversation of the weekend [I was with Carrie, Dave, and Brig on Monday]:

Laura: Hey guys, are we going to watch the game? Let me call Leslie and see if we can go there.

Leslie: Rand and I are actually going to the game but you are welcome to come watch it with the boys and Becky [impostor babysitter]

Dave: Even though I haven't done anything today, I'm really tired and don't feel like driving to Broomfield.

Carrie: Yeah, I want to watch the game also but feel the same as Dave

Laura: Don't you have any friends who have a TV/cable? What about Wandrys?

Carrie: No, they don't have cable.

Laura: Is it on the Internet?

Carrie: Dave, can we splice in cable just for the game?

Dave: Uh, no and plus it isn't legal. Maybe we can drive to my mom's to watch it.

As we drive in the pouring rain 20 minutes South to Dave's mom's house

Dave: Carrie, I'm thinking we should get cable for Christmas!!!

Tune in tonight for game SIX!!!


Memorial Day 2009

What an action-packed weekend we had!

It all started Friday morning, when Scout awoke with big puffy red eyes. I knew it was an allergic reaction to something, and kept thinking (especially as it turned into a nasty rash on her cheek and forehead as well), "Man am I glad she didn't have this on Tuesday when she had her photo shoot!" She had been chosen to model for a new Johnson and Johnson product launch. The above photo is one that was taken that day. I don't have any of her poison ivy on this computer (and am too lazy to walk into the living room to get some) so just imagine that beautiful girl, covered in a nasty red rash.

Friday evening Amy and Brian showed up with their little cuties, Vera and Ella. Ella and Scout hit it off immediately, and had not one but TWO cousin sleep overs (Scout is only allowed to have sleep overs with her cousins, so she was very excited about it... so excited she didn't mind sleeping on a shared blow up mattress the size of a postage stamp.) Vera was adorable and we tried not to notice what an amazing communicator she is... despite being 5 months younger than Crosby. Get a delayed kid and an advanced kid together, and there is a vast difference. They very much enjoyed watching Dora together though, so once again we find that Dora is the glue that holds us all together.

We had fun playing in the backyard all afternoon and ate dinner, and then around bedtime Calder complained that his ear was hurting (he had mentioned it that morning, too) so I decided to take a look. And nearly freaked out. Because inside his ear was one of the freakiest things I HAVE EVER SEEN. It looked like a wheat kernel (maybe bigger) and was surrounded by tiny black specks. My first thought was that a bug had taken up residence in his ear and laid one thousand tiny eggs. I casually said to Trav, "Hey... will you come and take a look at this?" and he looked as shaken as I felt. It was clear something was wrong, but we were trying to keep things mellow for C. Brian looked in and declared it was a tick, which I had suspected. He began describing the ticks that would attach to his dogs and how they'd get so big their shells would crack apart, and Travis began giving Brian non-verbal cues to stop talking while I sauntered over to the phone to call our resident health expert, Tania.

Thank goodness she was home (and thank goodness all the people in this story so far have blogs, so you can go and check them out with my awesome links). She told us to come right over and she and Emily graciously paused their movie to remove said tick. She was amazed at how big it was... I think it's been in there quite a while. What's so crazy is that three years ago almost exactly, after we first moved here, Calder had a tick behind his ear and Tania took that one out too. We were both amazed at how much better he handled this tick than the last one. He's come a long, long way in three years. I can't believe it happened to him AGAIN. Scout would have been delighted at the chance to show up at Emily's house on a Friday night, and would have been intrigued by the tick. She probably would have brought a vial for it, and kept it in her room and named it Phil. But she did get the poison ivy, so I guess her life isn't totally charmed.

Saturday morning Brian and I went for a run (impressive because he'd gotten up with Vera when she awoke at 4.30 AM!) and then we headed to the Bronx zoo. We had a blast riding the monorail and seeing the giraffes, and any other animal we passed on the way to and from the monorail. Our favorites from the train ride were the elephants and the baby rhino, which Calder declared was about the same size as Oz. Not too far off, for sure.

We BBQ'd that night and went to the duck pond and had fun hanging out. The next day we did church and more BBQing (we are loving our grill. Can't believe how easy and tasty it is!) with the Palmers, and did lots of playing on the swing in the backyard. The swing/backyard post is coming... it definitely deserves a post all it's own.

Monday I finally took Scout to the dr. Her rash was worse than ever and she was losing it from all the itching, and I'm glad I did because he told me that when poison ivy gets on your face, the only way to get rid of it is using steroids. He also told me that she was exposed to it THREE DAYS before it showed up, so yeah... she got in it at the photo shoot in Long Island! Good thing, because I had been stressing about Crosby getting in it and was afraid it was in our yard somewhere.

We headed into Central Park to hang out with the Barkers one more day before they left. It was a hot, crowded day at the park and the train ride was long both ways, but all in all we had a great weekend. We loved having our cousins come to visit! And thankfully everyone is healing well from their adventures in nature. Can't believe we got a tick and poison ivy and we didn't even go camping! Now we just have to wait three weeks to see if Calder gets lyme disease. Sigh...


Crosby is Two

On Friday May 8th, Crosby turned two. How is this possible? I can't explain it. It only feels like a year, at most, since I experienced what both the midwife and doctor who delivered him said was the 2nd worst birth they'd ever seen. Seriously.

With the older two kids I wrote monthly letters for about 2 years of their lives. I seriously have dropped the ball on that, and it makes me so sad. I'm going to try and start it up again... even if it's a "group letter" to all three kids. When I look back on those letters, I read so many things I had forgotten about. Cute things they did or said; aspects of their little personalities that have now gone.

Anyway, here's a letter to Crosby on his 2nd birthday.

My darling Oz:

Happy birthday! It's hard to believe you are two. In some ways you seem younger (because you still don't talk... but we're working on it!) and in some ways you seem older (because you're bigger than most 3 year olds we know. And some 4 year olds. And physically, you're quite advanced.)

Here is a snapshot of you at exactly two. I wish I had a picture of you eating the yummy cupcakes Amy made for your birthday party, but you hate cake and the picture would have just been of you dropping a cupcake off your high chair, so I didn't bother. I didn't want you to waste one of those cupcakes that I could have been eating! But there are plenty of foods that you do like, for example: GRAPES! (this is probably your favorite thing in the world to eat. But they have to be purple, not green. And when you eat them, after I cut them in half and put them on your tray, you have to turn EACH AND EVERY one of them over, cut side down, before you eat them. OCD?) apples, pineapple, strawberries, toast, yogurt, green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas (but just in baby food form. Real bananas get thrown to the floor), and chocolate. You have no interest whatsoever in ice cream, cookies, cake, lollipops, or really any treat except for chocolate. So your belly is unexplainable... unless maybe you are going to be Santa Clause when you grow up. But if that's the case, why don't you have a beard?

One of the funniest things about your eating habits is that if I offer you something, you always accept it. Then, after inspection if you deem it unworthy of eating, rather than hand it back to me or refuse to take it in the first place, you hurl it to the ground. Nice. You're a big fan of water, green plant juice, and milk. The only "grown up" food you eat is pizza. No meat. Not a chance.

Your prized possession is your blankie. Here is a montage of photos displaying your kiddie pool we have on the deck in back. Your all time favorite past-time is throwing things in water, preferably rocks. So we fill this pool with water, and then get you rocks from the back yard, and you'll spend HOURS throwing rocks in, then getting in the pool and throwing them out, and then getting out of the pool and tossing them back in. The problem is, other things have gotten thrown in besides rocks. Like Dad's iPhone, which miraculously survived the dunk. And Erin's cell phone. Which did not. And an Elmo plays the piano book. On the day I whipped out the camera, you decided to throw your blankie in the water. This provided much entertainment... and I was glad we have 4 backup blankies!

Because you are so interested in water, we have to keep all the toilets in the house tightly shut. But recently, we discovered we also now have to keep the doors to the bathroom shut as well. This is because your new trick is to get in the bathtub and start the water, and then throw your plastic animals in the water rushing from the tap. You often do this when we are rushing to school, requiring a full clothing change, which does not help our punctuality. But we still love you like crazy.

You've become a proficient jumper lately and adore climbing on my bed, burrowing in the pillows, and then jumping all over the place. You also enjoy jumping in your own bed. Most mornings I wake to the sounds of you jumping and laughing. It's better than any alarm clock I could imagine, even the one that puts out a bacon smell instead of an alarm.

Your love and devotion to Dora the Explorer is still intact, despite my attempts to introduce you to other worthy cartoon characters such as the Backyardigans or Bob the Builder. You'll tolerate Diego, but only if Dora is in the episode (or, inexplicably, Baby Dino.) You'll watch certain Baby Einstein shows, and really love watching the kids play Wii sports. In fact, you love watching anyone play sports, your favorite being basketball. When we take the kids to swimming you spend the first half of swimming scanning the floor for items you can pick up and attempt to throw into the pool, and the second half of the time trying to escape to watch the college team practice basketball. This does not include the time you spent about 10 minutes eating a yellow crayon while I talked to Ellis's mom, and then you threw it up all over the two of us. That was super classy, by the way.

Being outside is the best thing in the world to you, and you make a break for the door whenever it's left open for even a second. On rainy days you stand in front of the sliding glass door and stare out, desperate to be out in the water. At the playground, your favorite thing to do is swing. I like it too, because it keeps you in one place so I don't have to chase you all over to keep you alive.

All in all, you are a busy, joyful little guy. This probably goes without saying, but I love you fiercely... as do your siblings, dad, your siblings' friends, and everyone we come in contact with. Your joy is contagious. As I run on the Bronx River path with you in the jogger, people I pass smile with glee at the look of rapture on your face, as you squeal with delight and open and close your hands. You live life to the fullest. Now promise me you won't get any older... I don't want you to stop ever being my baby.

I love you buddy.


My son is turning into my dad

This isn't a current picture of Calder. If you could see him now, his long hair flowing in the breeze, you might think he was a young lad with a hippie mother. I've offered many times to give him his "summer cut" (we buzz the boys every May) but he's decided he wants his hair long. So I've offered a trim. His bangs are so long, they pass his eyes by at least a couple of inches. Maybe when people start thinking he's a girl will he take me up on the haircut.

But, I digress. The picture very aptly shows a side of Calder that is quite a bit like his grampa. Birthday party season is heating up around here, and every time he gets an invitation [and declares that he will NOT be attending] I realize I never posted about a conversation that happened about a month ago.

S: It's Saturday! What are we going to do for fun today?

Me: Well, Calder is lucky... he has a birthday party at 4:00.

C: [Grumbling and sighing heavily] Is it going to take the whole day?


I really like the Better Know a Reader series. I always find your answers (the SEVEN of you who commented, no wait, Yah Yah commented twice so actually only SIX of you commented) very entertaining.

In case you were wondering, I would pick bread. I LOVE bread, especially my mom's homemade bread. I could live on that for six weeks if needed, along with chocolate. My mom usually makes bread before we come to visit, but this trip out she didn't have time, so she took an entire day to make it while we were there. I think Scout and Calder each ate an entire loaf. Nothing beats it, especially fresh from the oven. I made sure my food storage has tons of flour and yeast, so I can make it if need be. Assuming my oven would turn on, that is.

Laura, I love that your "real food" item of choice would be chocolate chip cookies. See for most of us, that's considered a treat. You crack me up.


Better Know a Reader Series: Swine Flu Edition

It's going to take a minute to get to the point of this post... bear with me. It's been a long week, and an even longer DAY. (2 sick kids, no husband, and no end to the rain in sight. 12 hours of being in the house together and I'm ready to climb the walls!)

Things started out badly with the fridge flooding 30 minutes before Trav got on the plane to leave us for 2.5 weeks [this deserves a post by itself, so I won't go into detail here] so it set me back a good 2 days. Set me back from what, you ask? Oh, my OCD kicked in with the arrival of the Swine Flu in NY. I've already been trying to build up my food storage, but the imminent risk of a pandemic threw me into overload as I hit Costco and other stores with a vengeance, trying to prepare for being stuck in the house for 6 weeks or so.

As I walked up and down the aisles, struggling to push my uncooperative cart, I wondered what we could eat for 6 weeks straight. Forget any canned fruits or veggies... my kids wouldn't touch them. I decided on rice, ramen, lots and lots of pasta (seeing a trend here?), peanut butter and honey, and a few other items. Which brings me to the reader input part of this post.

Let's say you were stuck in your house for 6 weeks but could only eat one kind of food. What would it be? Is there anything you could eat over and over again? For the sake of fun, let's say you can pick one "regular" food and one "treat" food. I don't want to influence your answers (I know how you all look up to me...) so I'll answer in a follow up post.

Ready, set... comment!