Friday, November 30, 2007

Good Grooming

Chase just isn't into any part of the grooming process. She hates brushing her teeth, won't stand for having her hair brushed, won't sit still long enough for me to clip her nails. Won't keep barrettes in her hair (to keep hair out of her eyes).

And as a result, she arrives at the park and ready for play dates with unkempt hair (that goes every which way), scraggly nails and bad breath. Pretty, oh so pretty.

Oh dear, I must figure out how to make it - *fun*

At this point I'd settled for tolerable.


None here. Except I went to the dentist today and she couldn't numb my nerve. It took about 14 different injections of Novocaine - four of which were injected into tiny holes she drilled into my tooth. I SO dislike (dread) going to the dentist. And I've got three more visits in the pipeline.

As one dentist said to me, "God gave you a lot of gifts, but good teeth was not one of them."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Hols: The Pig Pull

My favorite part of the week - The Pig Pull!

The shed (where everyone gathers for dinner)...

The shed's kitchen...

The smoker...

The pig...

The head...

The dinner...

Chase, riding off into the sunset on the white "ma" (horse)...

Thanksgiving Hols: Family & Friends

Chase with Poppa Joe and Nee Nee Kar Kar...

Chase with Goo Goo Lockett...

How kids have fun in the country... (note the little tike on the bike)

Lockett and Courtney trying to stay warm (it was SO cold)...

And of course, the guns (note the little guy responsible for making sure the clay pigeons soar)...

Thanksgiving Hols: Photos From The Road

A couple pictures from the road...

Entertaining Chase is getting more difficult...

The place you can buy fruit...

The place you can buy shoes...

The place where you buy crawfish...

One of many sweet potato trucks...

The place you can buy BBQ...

Thanksgiving Hols: Mobile, AL: Part 2

A trip down South just isn't complete without a game of Dominoes!

Thanksgiving Hols: Mobile, AL

Left to right: Great Grand Daddy Herbert, Lockett (Hubs's sister), Courtney (Lockett's finance), me (long hair!), Chase, Joe (Hubs's dad), Karla (Hubs's mom) and Great Granny Annie.

Dinner: Turkey, sweet potatoes, creamed corn, dressing, green beans and cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving Hols

So Hubs and I just returned from a trip "down South."

After a brief visit to Birmingham, AL (to see Hubs's parents), we jumped in the car and drove down to Mobile, Alabama (where we were married almost NINE years ago) - where we had Thanksgiving - and then drove on to Jackson, MS (to visit Hubs's grand dad on his father's side) - and then on to Smith Country for a family reunion (on my husband's side) and then on to a pig pull, in the backwoods of Mississippi. Lots of guns, pick-up trucks, great food (some crazy fabulous casseroles), and kids riding dirt bikes (the youngest was age 4 - he had training wheels on his dirt bike!).

And as I have been remiss at posting photos, the next couple posts will be VERY photo heavy and text light.

Friday, November 16, 2007


We went out to dinner tonight, with our neighbors. They brought Cooper, Chase's new ("newww") beau. Cooper's dad asked him, "Who do you love more? me or Chasie?" To which Cooper responded, "Chasie."

Coopers parents swear that the only person he talks about is Chase. All-the-time.

Meanwhile, Chase basically ignored Cooper throughout dinner, sprinkling everything she could find with the grated Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt shakers (we went to our local pizza place.) She was a woman obsessed.

I may just have to get those shakers and fill them with sand and let her loose in the backyard.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Running With The Bulls

So everything is fine and dandy in the wild world of mole biopsies. Thank goodness.

The down side: I will have a scar on my lower back (where most people have tattoos of roses or crosses) that looks like someone put a cigar out on me.

If someone asks, I was gored while running with the bulls in Paploma.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Keeping Busy

Many people wonder what stay-at-home moms "do" every day.

It sounds glamorous, I know.

I used to get offended - even angry - when people asked "do you work outside the home?" I wanted to say, "c'mon, we are not living in the '50s, I have a career." Now I don't even flinch when people ask. I do, however, constantly worry about my career, which was the very thing that defined me, until I had Chase. And now it's like I never even had a "real job."

It's interesting to ask "stay-at-home" moms about what they did before they had babies. Try it. A look comes into their eyes. And they talk about past accomplishments, like they are recounting stories from their great grandmother's time. A time long ago. The details are fuzzy. But they're sure it happened. At least they think it happened.

So what do I do all day? Well, I don't eat bon-bons. I spend almost every minute thinking about what I'm going to do in two minutes time to entertain and educate Chase. And then I think, should I be doing something different? Better? And then I think, if I don't get some adult stimulation, I think my brain will atrophy. It will ooze out of my ears. And for this reason, I often talk to the first adult I see after I leave the house - it's just so refreshing to talk to someone who talks back in complete sentences.

So what do I do all day? I divide it up. First there's breakfast, and a walk around the block with the dog. Chase doesn't care for the morning walks, so I usually have to carry her (now 25lbs), while the dog tugs at his leash. Then we put Tag in his puppy club house and head out - to the zoo, to the Museum of Nature & Science, to the park, to the playground. And then it's back to the house, to walk the dog and have lunch. Then it's nap time. Then Chase wakes up and I try to either get her outside again (after a snack) or do activities inside.

I have also found themes are extremely helpful, as they stimulate both of us. So much so that I've decided to study a new country every week. We take a listen to music from the country, eat foods from the country, learn about famous people from that country and do art projects relating to that country. Last week it was France (Chase loved pointillism, crepes and saying Bonjour.)

Funny story of the week - so we were at the zoo with my Dad. We went to the cafe and I told Chase to say "Merci" to the cashier. I explained to the cashier that it was French week. The cashier said, "Oh, that's great! Arriva-derchi!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

Welcome Jake

A huge welcome to little Jake Joseph Wynkoop Chisholm, born 11 November at 7:52 p.m.

Chase is so looking forward to seeing him over Christmas!!

Stacking Blocks

Proud parent report: Chase stacked 12 blocks. Yes, that's right. TWELVE.

Deep Thoughts

Chase and I popped over to the zoo this morning.
It was cool and overcast, so we had the zoo almost entirely to ourselves.

First stop: the Mongooses (why the plural of Mongoose isn't Mongeese is beyond me).
Then to the lions. Then to the giraffes. Then to the sea lions.

Chase decided to sit on a bench, for the first time, and just watch the giraffes.
I was impressed that she (a) decided to do it all by herself, and (b) was sitting still.

Then she turned to me and whispered, "pee pee."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Where, Exactly, Did The "No" Occur?

Chase rarely tests me (thank goodness) and is always a little angel (thank goodness x 2). But there have been moments where she has done something wrong and I have had to tell her "no."

My little cherub takes the "no" very seriously. And she'll go back to the place, where the "no" occurred and say "no" over and over again, pointing to whatever it was she did as if to underscore that she realizes that she did something wrong and won't do it again.

Clever Girl

So Hubs and I were talking to each other while Chase was falling asleep last night. We talked about a lot of things. Chase was totally quiet, eyes closed, between us. Our conversation turned to how much it was going to cost to take care of our animals - $45/day. And just as the word "dollar" left my lips, our darling daughter sleepily mumbled, "mee mee."

And this morning, when I told her Yei Yei had flown to Portland, she said "Yei Yei," did her sign for airplane and then said "Oh-Oh-Oh," which is how she says Oregon.

Super Huge Thanks

Thanks Dad! We so appreciate you making the trip to Denver. We really enjoyed your visit. I feel SO much better about this house now.

When Chase woke up this morning, she asked about you. Yei Yei? Yei Yei? I told her you took a plane home and she seemed to get it.

Also a very special thank you to Fern, for the oh-so-fabulous bathtub crayon and toys. Bath time has never been so fun. It's all I can do get her out of the bath tub now. Chase gave me a look last time she was in the tub, as if to say, "so this is what bath time is all about. You've been holding out on me mom."

We look forward to seeing you over Christmas and having you both out to snowboard this Winter.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Denver Mint (aka Mee Mee Central)

After picking my dad (Yei Yei) at the airport, we went to the Denver Mint. It was pretty cool, except I couldn't bring anything inside with me. Not even a banana for Chase to eat. And she was hungry. Luckily, she was distracted by all the mee mee.

We learned many interesting facts - like how the penny costs 1.7 cents to make, and how the average life span of a dollar bill is 18 months. We also learned about the new Presidential dollar coins. They look awesome! It was kinda disappointing though, because you were so far away from the money. You are basically in an observation deck. The tour lasted 20 minutes.

From there, we went home and let Tag out to stretch his legs. Then we hit the road, ate Paninis and then to the park. Where she used the slide. Over and over again.

And then it was off to whole foods. We picked up salmon burgers and salads. Yummers. Tomorrow should be interesting...

It is SO nice to have my Dad in town. Really, really nice.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Night. Night.

Chase went to bed tonight with an Indian corn and gourd - one clasped in each hand.

Banking Mee Mee

Today Chase opened a savings account with $20.00 - she loved being in the bank and didn't want to leave. She kept saying, "mee mee, mee mee."

She can't have a checking account until she is 12 years old.
Unless she passes the checking account class they offer.

I can just see her at age 3, explaining it to 12-year-olds...
"You put mee mee in, you take mee mee out."


I had a mole. Until this morning. Now it's gone.
But it didn't just disappear. I went to a dermatologist.

I was a little concerned because it had (I believe) been scratched by Chase (or Taggart), and become a bit red and puffy. Gross, I know. More information than anyone needs. I know.

Anyway, I have never been to a dermatologist before - and I really hope I don't have to go back anytime soon. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the doctor. But the office had pictures of people with skin cancer. And I am a worrier. There was one image of a 19-year-old girl who looked perfectly good, great skin, and then another picture showed her skin under a special light. And all the damage that had already been inflicted. Egads.

So the doctor took a look. He said, "I'm sure you have nothing to worry about, but we're going to take it off and send it to a lab." And just like that, my little friend - which has been attached to me at the hip, was gone. He just took it right off. And now I have a big ole owie instead. Fingers crossed it isn't anything serious- and hopefully it leaves only a little scar.

I hope to have many more bikini days left in my future - even if I'm sitting in the shade.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Start Saving...Mee Mee

I came across a bank today.
A bank dedicated to teaching children about money.
It's called Young Americans Bank.

I think I'm going to have to take Chase down and open an account for her.
And then pay her a penny (I knew pennies were handy for something) for her art work, or for helping out around the house (today she cleared her table after her meal).

Following are the bank's customer statistics:

Number of Total Accounts: 14,762
Number of Depositors Reached Since Inception: 54,417
Customers in all 50 states and 9 foreign countries

Number of accounts: 12,363
Average balance: $800
Average age: 11
Most common reason for saving:
College, Vacations, iPod, X-Box

Certificates of Deposit
Number of accounts: 969
Average balance: $1,388
Average age: 12
Most common reason for saving:
College, Car

Number of accounts: 1,430
Average balance: $510
Average age: 16
Average check written: $35
Most common reason for having a
checking account: Experience
Accounts used most often for:
Entertainment, Shopping, School Fees

Number of Loans: 27
Average Balance: $2,394
Average age: 17
Most common reason for borrowing:
Car, Auto Repairs, College Textbooks

Credit Cards
Number of Credit Cards: 248
Average Balance: $143
Most common reason for having a
credit card: Experience

I voted today. Did you?

It was remarkably difficult though. The first place I went to vote told me I could only vote (because I had not received a ballot by mail) downtown. So Chase and I went downtown. Only to find out the DMV had misinformed us, and that we were not already registered to vote.

It was at this point that Chase became little miss whine and wiggle - and stayed that way while I filled out paperwork, waited for my ballot to be printed, filled out the ballot (I hope I did everything right, I had all of two seconds to concentrate on things - like instructions - and issues - like should police move marijuana possession to the bottom of their list of things to watch out for and spend their time combating violent crime?) and submitted it.

Oh it feels good to be an American.

Monday, November 05, 2007

People Keep Asking

How is "re-entry" going?

It's going well.
Hubs and I are loving Denver.
The air is clear; the sky is blue.
The grass is green.
The playgrounds are clean.
The parents are nice.
The sun is out. All the time.
Found a local dairy that delivers milk.
Taggart has not made a "mess" in several days (knock wood).

But I miss China.
And Switzerland.
And even London.
I miss the crazy, exhausting travel schedule.
The people we've met from all over the world.

I miss the awe that overtakes your soul when you stand in front of the Pyramids. I miss enjoying a glass of wine at a rooftop cafe in Shanghai, scaling the Great Wall in Beijing, taking in the view at the base of the Matterhorn - to name a few.

The food - the fish in China (albeit toxic), the fondue at Chasealp and the full English breakfast.

But I don't miss the plane rides. Not at all.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

For The Love Of The Game

Taking careful aim...

Slam dunk!

Yah, you know it...

Day Light Savings

I tried to explain day light savings to Chase. We'll find out tomorrow morning if she understood.

All I Want For Christmas Is...

As Walmart has moved-up it's Christmas efforts, I am following suit. Not for me, but for Chase.

And, as everyone lives in a different state, I wanted to make sure you have up-to-date information to ensure we get (1) clothes that fit her, and (2) toys that Chase will play with...

I will keep a running log of what has been purchased (as far as I know) so that there aren't duplicates. Is that terribly tacky? I dunno.

I like to think it's no worse than bridal and baby registries, right? So here goes...

- Child Easel (Thanks, Karla & Joe!)
- Tobaggon (Thanks, Dad!)
- Dress-up clothes (Thanks, Karla!)
- A music box (with something that moves or dances)
- Art supplies (paints, crayons, pens -all washable/non-toxic)
- Musical instruments
- Anything money related (like a piggy bank she can empty and refill)
- Chinese books/DVDs (found on
- Clothes (size: 2T. Shoes: size 7)
- Books (she loves language books, like 1,000 words in Chinese - which she already has. French & Italian would be fun)
- Anything with Curious George
- Anything that teaches numbers, textures, colors
- Anything that would be fun to play with in a bath tub
- Memory games

Please no...
- Candy

Friday, November 02, 2007


I took Chase to the pediatrician yesterday. She came in at 60% for weight, 90% for height. Shocker. The pediatrician reported her development was very good.

His questions included: can she run? (Yes) How many words does she have? (About 60) Can she string two words together? (Yes) Can she stack 4 blocks? (She stacks 5) Can she show the doctor where the eyes, ears, nose and mouth are on his grubby teddy bear? (Yes) He was noticeably impressed that I already took her to see a dentist. (I got a big mommy gold star for this!)

I declined the flu shot. Controversial, I know. I just can't bring myself to inject Chase with more stuff. Plus I think the flue shot is bogus, anyway. The pediatrician said that since she wasn't in day care, he wasn't worried - plus she was probably exposed to "all kinds of good stuff" while she was in China (which is where the flu comes from he said - I don't buy it). He was impressed with how healthy she's been - as have I. Knock wood.

And, with the tetanus shot she rec'd today, she's up-t0-date, until age 2, when she will receive her second dose of Hep A. And then she's all good until age 6 (I think). Awesome. With all our travels I was really worried about ensuring her "jabs" were on track.

I asked him questions about her dry scalp (he suggested Selson blue, twice a week for a month), about her face - near her mouth (which has been covered with little red dots due to teething - he suggested a little cortisone cream).

In other news...

- The Greek yogurt was very good, but not very thick. I could drink it out of a straw. And it used whole milk and whole yogurt - so maybe I need a yogurt maker after all. Plus, it is appealing to think I could make six different flavors at one time. Oh the things that excite me these days.

- I popped into the Denver International School yesterday - and joined a tour. Chase had the chance to sit in on a Mandarin class for 5-year-olds. I was interested to learn that at age 3, 4 and 5, the kids are in full immersion programs - so there is no English in the classrooms. They were learning colors, animals, sizes, and fruits/vegetables - all of which Chase already knows - and while she can't really say all the words yet, she recognized what they were saying. Of course the bonus is they are being taught by a native speaker, whereas Chase has to suffer through my miserable pronunciation. So after much thought (and a discussion with Hubs) we decided to pour our money into private lessons/tutor/Mandarin play for Chase, rather than into a full-blown International school. We figure we'll do enough travel with her to supplement the "international" part of her education.

- Speaking of which, I met a lovely German woman in the park. She speaks only German to her little girl, who is Chase's age. So Chase will soon have a little German in her life again - only suiting. Perhaps she will learn some German, too!

- The Halloween decorations are down. And I'm pretty sure that Starbucks is serving my favorite coffee drink of all time - the Eggnog Latte - which is only complete with a slice of pumpkin loaf. I might just have to go check it out today. I'm thinking if Walmart moved its Christmas sale up a month, Starbucks must be keeping time.