Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Many Thanks To Nana Banana

Chase was SO happy to receive this lovely care package from Nana Banana.

She loved the strange squeazy thing, the flashing wand, the mask, the corn, the gourd, and the pumpkin. She was a bit scared of the costume pieces (fake nose/glasses) and flashing teeth.

Happy Halloween!

We were invited to join in a tiny tot parade in Stapleton (a new, very Desperate Housewives neighborhood), which used to be the location of Denver's airport (and is about 15 minutes East of where we live). When they moved the airport further away from Denver, there was a large amount of unused land, which they decided to rebuild as a "new, trendy (read: very white) " neighborhood. The houses are all brand new - and huge. But they are all right next to each other. And the yards are tiny.

Going there always makes me feel like I need a manicure and a perfect haircut.

The parade...


Go, Kermit. Go!

After an hour of running around, there's no place like Dada's arms...

From there, we headed home to trick-or-treat.

Chase got the hang of it after the first house. And, although she didn't get to eat any of it, she still enjoyed the process. She was so super sweet, and said Thank You (dah-dah) and Happy Halloween (Hah, Hah, Hah, Hah, Hah) to everyone who gave her candy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Greek Yogurt

I found a housekeeper. A little, old, Greek woman, who cleans other houses on our block. She is pretty good at cleaning, too! When I first met her, I asked her if she knew how to make Greek yogurt (one of my favorite foods of all time). She said she'd teach me.

So she showed-up today, to clean. And teach me how to make Greek yogurt. And brought home-made baklava. SO FABULOUS.

First she warmed a quart of whole milk, until "the milk come up." (I'm still trying to figure out what this means). Then "let it cool until you can stir it with your finger 20-times." And then she added three, large spoons of plain, whole yogurt to a small bowl, mixed it up and added it to the milk. Then she said "cover it in a blanket and leave to tomorrow." So she wrapped-up my bowl of yogurt-to-be, in a fleece blanket, very carefully, like a baby, and patted the top lightly, saying "good luck" - to the yogurt, not me.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Star Light. Star Bright.

Chase actually hummed "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight," this morning. By herself. Unprompted. And with perfect tone. It was amazing.

And then, while she was in the bath, she took a small pitcher - put it down into the bath, so that the bottom rested flat on the bottom of the tub - and water filled it up - right over the top. When she realized how it worked, she took a small foam number, put it into the pitcher (while it was empty) and submerged it - watching the small foam number float to the top. Then she took the pitcher out, poured out the water, took the foam number (from wherever it landed), placed it back in the (now empty) pitcher and did it again and again.

I am so amazed by her development.

Chase also notices things. And names them. Like the moon. It's pretty wild to be driving along and hear the word "moon," come from a little voice in the back seat.

Another big surprise - she makes sure that every last one of her stuffed animals gets it's own verse in "Happy Birthday" (one of her favorite songs of all time).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Introducing... Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird and Kermit The Frog.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Have You Noticed?

I have found a pattern. A pattern in the way parents answer the question, "do you know of a good baby sitter?" They pause and say either:

(a) "Um, yes, but she's really busy. She really doesn't have time. She's the only person we use."

- or -

(b)"No, we don't." Which means they are lying.

Now let me just say - I am not looking for someone full time. Not even part time. I just want two-friggin-early-evenings-(2-hours-max!)-dinners-out-without-chasing-a-toddler-around- the-restaurant-and-let's-not-forget-the- -adult-conversation-with-my-husband. That's four hours a month where I don't have to worry about picking poop up or changing diapers. Is that too much to ask for? Seriously.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Les Dents

"Start saving now for braces," the dentist told me.

Apparently, Chase doesn't have much space between her baby teeth, which means that when the big, adult teeth come in, there won't be enough room in her mouth.

The dentist also told me I should be brushing Chase's teeth, 2x per day - real brushing. And flossing her teeth. Are you kidding me? At present, she chews on her toothbrush, once per day.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Yesterday it was 80 degrees. Today, it snowed.
By the time I woke up, we had nearly three inches- on the ground.
This, of course, means the mountain resorts are o-p-e-n.

A funny story - we were in the grocery store today.
I was holding Chase. She started saying "mee mee, mee mee."
I turned to look - and she was pointing at a change machine - the kind that turns coins into dollars. She had a big smile on her face. "Mee mee!"

So I guess a trip to the United States Mint in Denver is in order.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Go Sox. Go!

Pumpkin Patch

Our local Methodist Church has a pumpkin patch. As Halloween is right around the corner, we decided it was about time to pick out a pumpkin. So we arranged a play date with one of Chase's friends, Jordie. The girls moved pumpkins around and ran themselves until they were too tired to stand up.

It was a warm, beautiful day. Tomorrow it is supposed to snow.

Chase and Dada...

Chase and her friend, Jordie...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What a day!

Today was tough.

Hubs came home last night - sick, sick, sick. He spent the entire day in bed. Poor darling, he's still there.

I took Taggart to the vet. I confided in the vet that I was exhausted by this puppy; that I found myself utterly frustrated by the training (potty and otherwise), as he is not as smart as our last boxer. And it seems I have to get physical for him to listen - and napping him on the nose and on the bum hasn't made much difference, except that Chase runs around saying no and hits him with his toys - not exactly the lesson I want to teach my daughter about animals. So the vet helped. She gave me some new ideas about how to handle him. She told me to crate him more. She also told me to attach him to my belt, so that he is never on his own in the house, which makes correction easier. And finally, she told me to grr at him when he does something bad, and to scream when he nips. I guess that's better than making "no" every other word.

Fast forward to the afternoon - Tag had an allergic reaction to his vaccination, but I didn't find this out until 5 minutes before a (real jerk) contractor was due to arrive (to take a look at our oh-so-funky-kitchen). Chase hadn't napped. The vet told me Taggart could start convulsing at any minute. And the contractor gave me a guilt trip because he canceled his pilates class to meet with me.

What about the good news? The Denver Rockies made the World Series. Fingers crossed the Red Sox pull through...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Chase's latest word is new - pronounced "nnn-ooooooo."

Auntie Lockett brought Chase a lovely new baby, and she loves it.
Chase calls her "nnn-oooooo."

Mee Mee

So I bought four little plastic pumpkins for Chase. I thought they'd be fun to put things in. What did she put in them? "Mee Mee" - her word for money.

Chase loves coins. Big coins, little coins. Coins from England, Switzerland, Thailand, China. She loves them all. I used to think it was funny that when we came back to the US (while we lived abroad), Chase would smell American bills. Now I think her love of money is a little more serious.

Hmmm... Maybe she'll be a banker. Or investor. Or maybe she'll find a way to spend other people's money.

At any rate, she loves counting money. Or at least transferring it from one pumpkin to another. I tried to put something else in her pumpkin and she screamed.

I'm thinking Halloween will be a real shocker. I can just imagine her surprise when people offer her candy instead of money.

19 Months

Dear Chase,

This week you turn 19-months-old. I'm writing this now, because I never know when I will have a free moment.

I can't believe how quickly the time has passed. I can still remember the look of awe on your face when you came into the world. Your lips forming a perfect little "o," as if in wonder of what had just happened. I remember bringing you home from the hospital, packing up the car and moving to Switzerland.

I remember what an amazing sport you were as we sped across England and France, en route to Zurich. I remember taking you down to the Zurichsee. Putting your tiny toes in the water. Watching you sleep. You first showed you had a sense of humor in Switzerland. It was Switzerland where you had your first solid food and where you got your first tooth - and perhaps where you developed your love of cheese. I remember flying with you back to Portland to visit your great grandmother, Mary The Great, and how much joy you brought her. She loved you so much. I wish so much she could be here to play with you now, to watch you grow. I wish so much you could have actually known her - she was an amazing woman.

And I remember moving you to China, by way of Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. I remember what seemed to be an endless chain of hotel rooms. I remember being so worried about traveling alone with you - but in the end we made so many international flights together, alone, that I've lost count. You are an amazing traveler, my dearest little.

It was in China that you started talking. Where your palate expanded to include broccoli with oyster sauce, fish, noodles (of all kinds), and various other things. You learned to walk in China.

You are such a joy and delight to all who meet you. Everyone loves your laugh. When you laugh, the other children near you start laughing too.

I like your style Chase. You have a sense of humor and take a light, sensible approach to whatever comes you way. Always ready for the next adventure, your favorite thing to say is "Go, Dog. Go!"

We love you so much.


On my way out of our little corner store - I had to make a run for vanilla - I overheard a man, saying VERY loudly into his cell phone, "Between you, me, and my lawyer, I was the only grown-up in the courtroom."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Huge Thanks

A super huge thanks to Nee Nee KarKar, PoppaJoe and Goo Goo (Auntie) Lockett for making the trip to Denver. We so enjoyed spending time with you!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Toddler Relocation Services

Chase and I spent most of yesterday building and decorating a little house - otherwise known as the headquarters for Santa Fe Toddler Relocation Services.

Chase and Tag


Monday, October 08, 2007


The weather here is incredible. Blue skies, close to 80 degrees, fresh air. Amazing.
It feels like so long ago, but I sure do remember not wanting to go outside in China.

Chase is out of 18-month-old clothes. She is now wearing size 2T and 3T (depending on brand). The cuffs on the pants need to be rolled up, but other than that, the clothes seem to fit her.
Why is she 18-months and wearing clothes for 3-year-olds?

Her hair is getting longer. Much longer. I am now fighting her at night to comb through her tangles. And so Hubs bought product. De-tangler to be precise. Seems to be working so far.

She names things all day long. And if she doesn't know the name, she always gets the syllable count right.

She loves the TV program Little Einsteins. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the program makes her smarter, on the contrary, there have been a lot of studies that show that they do just the opposite. But there are times when Mom needs a break, so a half hour here and there - without commercials, with classical music, is okay. (My mom would argue against this statement).

For those who don't know, I was only allowed four hours of TV a week. I absolutely understand why my parents did this, but I sure did miss out on a lot of pop culture. And I'm not sure it made me any smarter. I'm sure it made me more creative. But it's not like I can compare my now self, to a self that was allowed to watch TV. What I do know, is that I experience deep, inner conflict as soon as I turn on the TV.

Funny how those things come back to haunt you.

Same thing happens around food. I was not allowed to eat cereal that had sugar in the first three ingredients. Do you have ANY IDEA how many cereals that eliminates? Like, all of them. Except Cheerios. So I stopped eating breakfast. I developed an appetite for sugar, but I think we all have that anyway - it's just when you don't have parents telling you not to eat it.... Anyway, I am now looking for quick snacks for Chase, and everything has sugar, fructose, and other sugary ingredients. I have decided that I am using the 9 gram rule. Nothing with more than 9 grams of sugar per serving. We'll see how that works.

Moderation, moderation, moderation...

Thursday, October 04, 2007


So Hubs asked me how my day was, and I just couldn't bring up the fact it was filled with poop. Just when I thought Tag had the "gotta go outside to do his business," he went and pooped inside. Twice. After he had spent a long time outside, no less. Maybe he got inside and outside mixed up? It wouldn't have been so bad, if I hadn't stepped in it. In bare feet.

And Chase spent a good part of today without a diaper on. It was so warm and beautiful outside. Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Let's just say I'm glad I was looking down.

It's days like this that make me want to go back to "work."

What A Stinker!

When I heard Bush chose to veto a bill that would have provided 10 million American children with health care for the next five years, it put stepping in dog poop (in bare feet) into perspective.

Now I know $35 billion for five years sounds a little expensive, but to date, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $387 billion on the war in Iraq - that's $13,750 per Iraqi in the country - although most of the money has gone to U.S. soldiers. And did you know that if you divide the money by the number of U.S. troops stationed in the country - it equates to over $2 million per soldier?

I'm not saying one is more important than the other, I'm simply comparing things. Dog poop. And where money is being spent - and not spent.

For more information on where money is spent on Iraq, check out Foreign Policy In Focus -

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


So I was in Walmart today, picking up art supplies for my favorite lass.

At check-out, I was mortified by what the lady behind me (with three kids) was buying. She had a dozen instant noodle boxes, some kind of crazy fruit drink with a faux flavor, cookies, and chicken that comes in different shapes. It made me sad. Really sad.

I wanted to report her to the child welfare department.

Monday, October 01, 2007


So I am not getting any Mommy-of-the-year awards this week. With a new puppy, loads to sort and unpack and a toddler running a-muck, I broke down and turned on Sesame Street and put Tag in his kennel for a little while, just to find time to go to the bathroom, clear my head and make a couple calls (to register our new car, old cars, and track down two checks that have gone missing).

I've gotta run, Chase's 3 minute attention span is up - and I'm sure Tag could use more playtime.