Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rudolph The Pink Eye Reindeer

Just when I think we are in the clear, that all we have to do is coast until the New Year (and we can put this very difficult year behind us), both kids come down with Pink Eye. Seriously. I have been washing sheets, clothes, washcloths, doorknobs and all surfaces in our house like it's nobody's business. We have been sterilizing our hands 100 times/day. The good news? Pink eye only stays contagious on a surface for 12 hours. Bad news? We have so many surfaces.

Oh, and everyone is sick, too.

This brings to an end a year that began with a dnc that led to a HepA scare (thanks to a druggie nurse who was injecting herself with pain meds and then filling the empty needles with saline and putting it back on the shelf, when she knew she had HepA). She was working during the time I had my surgery. Luckily, I did not get it. Hubs also faced major medical issues this year, which included a broken wrist and a diabetes scare (it was just a bad computer, it turns out). Both kids, luckily, have been quite healthy, all things considered. But now we're getting hit with a double-whammy. Fabulous.

Bring on the New Year. We are ready to put this year behind us.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

About Blogging

So I haven't written in a while. Mostly because I can't find the time. And because I can't actually blog about what we've been going through. So here's a shot at catching-up, without disclosing too much. Mostly what it comes down to is that Hub's work has been very stressful. Very, very stressful.

And he has been trying to make things better. But the road to making things better has been riddled with U-turns, speedbumps, and finding out that the road he thought he was on, was actually a different road entirely. And this has been going on for months. Like 6 months. And it's taken us on a number of different roads - each one holding it's own surprise. So needless to say, we are super-stressed here. Both of us have eye-twitches now. My skin is breaking out (and it never, ever breaks out).

And on another note, my body is still recovering from having Mads and being on that crazy diet. Which could be another reason why my skin is breaking out. Let's just say things are far from normal, and that I've been told by my doctor that it could take up to 9 months to recover fully. I've had blood tests done and everything comes out normal. I've lost a ton of hair (which is linked to nursing for almost 9 months, and probably my crazy diet), but I also have a ton of new hair coming in, so that's good news.

With Colorado being as dry as it is, we have to keep the radiator on. Chase is getting bloody noses again. And everything is drying out. Everything.

So that's it in a nutshell. That's what's going on behind the scenes.

We are looking forward to our upcoming trip to Portland, to catch up with friends and family over Christmas. And we are looking forward to a new year, which we hope will bring us to the right road, the straight road, the road we can travel on for the next couple years (and we hope this new road will have fewer twists and turns, and maybe even have some downhill so we can coast a little).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mads Took Her First Step!

Mads turns 1 on 22 Dec. And she not only took one step tonight - she took two! Amazing!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Here is Madoc at her Baptism (in Mobile, AL)...

And my beautiful Chase...

At the Bragg-Mitchell...

The lovely Lockett (Back at Great Granny Annie's house)...

Great-Grand-Daddy Claude...

NeeNee and Mads at the pig pull...

Auntie Lockett & Uncle Courtney...

And the big hill that Chase must have gone down a thousand times, on her little toy car...

NeeNee & Great-Granny-Annie...

The feast...

Brian, a 7-month pregnant Lockett and an exhausted Chase ...

Saying good-byes...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Long Time, No Post

I will post pictures soon.

We just returned from a trip down South. It was really lovely. I just have to quickly note, before I forget, that last night Mads was the cutest, ever. At 11-months, she was up last night after Chase went to bed and she was playing with some pots and pans in the hotel room. She was stirring with a plastic spatula. And then would pause for a moment to pretend-taste her food. It was seriously hilarious. I so wish I had a video of it. If she does it again, the video camera comes out.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Proud Parents

We went to our first parent/teacher conference today. At Chase's pre-school. And we basked in the glory of our daughter. The teacher told us Chase is a leader, that she does really well with co-operative play, that she has lots of friends, great fine motor skills and that she is extremely attuned to how others feel - the teacher emphasized how empathetic Chase is and how much she cares about others. She also recommended Chase be evaluated by a speech therapist for her stuttering. And finally, she said to continue to empower her because it will help her when she faces bullies. Oh no, not bullies!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The New Madsy And Cars, Cars, Cars

Madsy used the toilet today. Unbelievable. She also stood, unaided, for a couple minutes, like it was no big thing. Next thing you know she's going to be walking and talking.

Also today, we went to a kiddy consignment shop, to pick up a few toys for our upcoming trip South. One of the things I picked-up was a bag of cars. Chase has now been playing with them for over an hour. She has named them. Rainbowsill (a red race car with a red, blue and white stripe down the front), Fireworld (an orange car), Woopin (a green car), Taxi of the Rainbow, Woopin-Patoofin, Waxi-Potaxi and AnnieLove (a red car).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Art Museum

So we went to the Denver Museum of Art today - they have a craft day once per month. I was especially struck by how taken with the art Chase was... I never thought to take her to an art museum. Sounds strange, I know, but it just didn't seem like a place to take a three year old. But Chase loved it, and I was really sorry that we had to go without seeing the art.

On our way out, Chase ran over to a large work of art, and on her way there, she tripped and caught herself by putting her entire hand, open palm, snack-covered, fingers wide - on the painting - gasp! I pulled her off. Luckily her hand did not stick to the painting. No alarm sounded. But there was another family that witnessed the event. So I looked right at them and smiled. And sang a little tune, like "you saw nothing, right?" And one of them gave me a smile back, as if to say, "saw what?"

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Chase Story

Chase got really close to me. Really close to me. Noses touching. "Mommy," she whispered. "Yes?" I whispered back. "Mommy, why do you have pictures of me in your eyes?" "Because I love you," I whispered back.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Hubs flew to Hong Kong first thing. Chase put on her costume when she awoke; she picked out the Ling Ling the Chinese Panda. Super cute!

We then went to the airport and picked-up Nana Cris, who flew out for Halloween(and to keep me company - Hubs has been gone a lot lately). From the airport we made a quick trip to Whole Foods and then on to Boo at the Zoo (the Denver Zoo is mobbed every year by kids and parents in full costume - they give out candy, have crafts, etc.) The best part is seeing everyone in costume.

We met up with some friends, Chloe & Cooper...

Picked-up some candy, did some crafts ...

And then it was home for a quick dinner...

And then off to trick-or-treat!

Oh and all the candy, too!

And then Chase and Madoc stayed-up, waiting for the bigger, older kids to come to the door. All in all, it was a wonderful day. But we missed DADDY!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Little Food Critic & More

I made Chili Con Carne with cheddar biscuits for dinner tonight. Chase tasted the buscuits and told me "Mom, you put too much cheese in these. They taste like Play Dough. Next time, don't put so much cheese in them."

Yesterday, I wrote the name of one of Chase's friends on a piece of paper. Chase took a pen and wrote "Linus" right next to it. I said, "Chase, I never knew you knew how to write."

"Oh Mom," she said. "I've known how to do this for a long time in my head."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tie A Ribbon

Chase was getting really upset with me, because she wanted me to wake her up and snuggle with her at night. Truth is, I do sneak into her room after I put Madoc to sleep and give her a little cuddle, but she is never awake, in fact she is so asleep she doesn't even realize I am there.

So I told her I would tie a ribbon to her bed after I came to check on her. So far, it's working like a charm. She wakes up, sees the ribbon and is a happy girl. Now I just have to remember to tie it...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Madoc At 10 Months

Wow. I seriously can't believe Mads is 10 months. Things are getting easier, and harder. Still battling various things that cause sleep deprivation - she's had a cough for the past two weeks - this following the appearance of her four top teeth. But even though night is rough, she is such a little angel, and such a pleasure to be around. She gives me strength when Chase is having a tantrum, just as Chase gives me strength when Mads starts shrieking.

Mads and Chase are really enjoying their time together now. Just this week, they took a bath together for the first time and both LOVED it. Lots of happy shrieking, smiles, splashes. And Mads already has a voice - she really lets you know if she wants something, or is unhappy about something. For example, this morning I was taking a shower and she started crying and didn't stop until I made a bath and put her in. She has also taken to eating at the same table as Chase. She stands right next to her and I put a plate down that has what Chase has and they happily nibble together. Tonight, they raced each other up the stairs. Madoc laughed the entire time. And then cried when she got to the top because the fun was over. It's brilliant. So beautiful.

And I love how cuddly Mads has become. She just curls right up and puts her head on my chest, or in my arms. Speaking of which, I've started telling Chase the Cuddle Chronicles, which I should turn into a book someday - each night I tell her a short story about when we used to snuggle together, and I tell her a story about the country we were in at the time, and what we used to do, and always end with her cuddling right next to us. I think she understands why we need to cuddle Madoc so much but it doesn't make it any easier.

The girls are my life. I spend every waking moment with them. Terrified I will miss something and that I will never be able to get this time back. But I'm realizing more and more that I need time for me. Time to regenerate; I'm pretty warn out. When Mads finally starts sleeping through the night (oh please, oh please let it be soon), I will make a point of getting a little time to myself every day, even if I have to wake up before the girls do (so as not to miss anything). I need it to be a better mom and a better wife.

And to my dear husband who has been so supportive throughout - thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chase And Madoc

Chase said to me, "Madoc wants to know why I can do so many things she can't do." Cute.

She also told me, "Mommy, you're the best. You're the best, Mommy." I usually dislike it when she repeats herself over and over again, but I really loved it that time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Am I Bad

Wow. I have really slowed down on the blogging. Maybe it's because I'm FRIGGIN exhausted these days. Yes, that's it. Will I ever sleep again?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009

Long Time, No Post

No time. That's why. Madoc has been teething nonstop for the past month - she just had her four front teeth poke through her little gums a couple days ago. She hasn't been sleeping. Neither have I.

Madoc can now say "Mama" and "Dada." She can also say something close to doggy. She dances to music. Shakes her head to everything. It's hilarious. She chases Chase around the house. The girls are really beginning to enjoy each other. It is wonderful to see.

Hubs broke his wrist. Had surgery. Six pins. Doctor says it will take about 10 weeks to heal. We've gotten through one week, and it's pretty hard for both of us. He has to keep it elevated. And I can't count on him like I used to to help around the house and with the kids. Makes me tired just thinking about it.

Chase is using new words, phrases. She is beginning to speak more like an adult, less like a child. She loves school. She loves her friends. She played at school from 11:30 - 4:30 (I picked her up at 3:15 and we stayed on in the playground with a couple friends until almost 5 pm). And she didn't want to leave. Not even then. She is such a social little lady.

Other than that, there are a couple things in the hopper that could really change our lives - again - but until any of it becomes a reality, it's best for the moment to enjoy the present. I have a feeling we are in for big change.


Chase told me she wants to be a "spooky carrot" for Halloween. I asked her what Madoc should be - she said, "a spooky watermelon."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

You Look Like A...

Yesterday Chase told Madoc she looked like a goat. Today, Chase told her she looked like a chicken. Nice.

Monday, September 28, 2009


So we spent last weekend in the mountains, which was a nice little "get away." Unfortunately, Hubs broke his wrist, while riding his mountain bike - and now he's scheduled for surgery on Friday.

Poor darling Hubs. I love you so much. I am so sorry this happened to you. All my fingers and toes are crossed that your surgery goes well. And no, it's not just because I need help changing diapers. You are the love of my life, not to mention my best friend. Seeing you in a cast makes me want to cry.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Think We Just Lost The House

So I just noticed the house we bid on is back on the auction block. Chances are they will not accept offers before the auction. Here we go again? Maybe not - we aren't in the cash position they need us to be in and are not fond of financing. Mewantstocry.

Friday, September 18, 2009


While we placed the highest bid, we are still awaiting word from the bank as to if we get the house. At first I was terrified we might get the house; now I'm terrified we won't.

Chase is loving school. Montview is really a great place for her. As my mom said, her tantrums have subsided and she has become a very happy little girl, once again.

Madoc is crawling. She is pulling up to standing. Oh goodness. Not even 9 months and standing. Eegads. She still puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. I keep trying to keep things out of her mouth, but things inevitably find their way into her mouth. She is also teething like crazy, which means, once again, that there is no sleep for me. I can't believe it has been over a year since I slept through the night.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I've Got To Get The Boys

Today, after I picked Chase up from preschool, we went out onto the playground and I let her play with the kids for a while. She ran around like crazy. I was trying to figure out what she was doing. She came by a little while later, completely out of breath, and told me she was trying to "get the boys."

Okay, so she is 3 - and trying to get the boys. Is this really possible? I was terrified of boys until, well, I found my husband. Now I think boys are cool. But where did this boy thing come from? I think we are in trouble if she is already running after older boys at school ...

I'm So Proud Of You

"I'm so proud of you, Chase." I said as we were sitting on the couch.
"I'm so proud of you, Mom." Chase replied.
"Oh yah? Why?" - me
"Because you draw pictures with me." She replied.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New House

Still awaiting word from the bank as to if they will accept our offer.
Here's a picture. The house is crazy, isn't it?


Living Room:

Dining Room:

The Front:

It's bananas!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New House

I kinda wanna puke. We just bought an amazing house online. The house is in Portland, Oregon, which means we will return, if all goes well, to the city I grew up in, the city I love, and the city where my family (and my husband's sister) lives. HURRAY.

So here's the story. A friend here told me about her friend, who bought 6 houses over the summer. The average price she payed? $40K. Each house has been rented. Next year she will be able to retire. Wild stuff. So I thought I would just *jump* online and check out the auction scene in Portland. Would you believe we found a property - one we both LOVE - which was going up for auction, well, today. After a week of obsessing, and I mean REALLY obsessing, we finally had a chance to bid on the property today. Would you believe we were the winning bid? I still can't. I'm super happy, but at the same time I am sick to my stomach.

There are still some hoops we've got to jump through. Hoops that have to do with financing. And for some reason they *sold* it to us, without us meeting their reserve bid, so the seller has to confirm they will sell the house to us for the bid we placed.

The good news? The house looks amazing. It is in one of the best school districts in Portland. The bad news? It is on a VERY busy street. VERY busy. So we're going to have to figure out a way to make it safer. For everyone involved. We're so excited. Will post pictures if we actually get it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To School Chase Goes

Today is Chase's first day of preschool. The school we chose is co-operative, which means there is a lot of parent involvement. Every day there is a helping parent and child. The helping family provides the snack. We signed-up for the first day. Here is Chase making the snack...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chase Updates

Chase starts preschool tomorrow! I can't believe she is old enough. But I am glad she is. She needs school - she is a social creature and craves interaction. Even if I line-up three play-dates in one day, she says, "and then who will we see? what will we do?" On the days I don't have anything lined-up, she becomes unmanageable. Big tantrums over nothing. Sobbing. Screaming. Just because she has nothing better to do. I try to keep her busy, but I just can't have something for her every minute of every day. Hope it gets better soon. Age 3 has been a real challenge for all involved.

And she starts violin next week. Hurray!


we are obsessed by this house. it is haunting us, from Portland. it goes up for auction on Sunday. wish us luck.

Mads Developments

She is really moving now. She is clapping. She is waving "bye." She is saying "dada." She has been weaned. She loves her Daddy - big smiles - all the time. And she loves, loves, loves Taggart. And Taggart, well, tolerates her.

Are You My Mother?

Yes, Chase asked me if I was really her mother. Just a casual question over breakfast.

Yes, I replied. I carried you in my tummy for 9-months. And then I pushed really hard. And then you came out. And I held you in my arms and told you that I loved you. Forever and ever and always.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Age 3

Is proving to be a tough year - for all involved. Tonight Chase cried and cried, over what I can only say was absolutely nothing, which she somehow turned into something. She has actually cried herself to sleep twice this week. Not even in bed. One time was in the car. One time was when she was sitting on the couch. I looked over one minute, she was sobbing hysterically. I looked over a minute later and she was fast asleep. It's strange. I'm not sure what to do. I've realized that reasoning with her is useless. Fighting with her just doesn't make sense. So I tell her as rationally as I can that I am "here for her," when she wants to talk, but that I will just be waiting in the other room. It hurts me to hear her cry, but I just don't know what else to do.

On another note, her teacher came to visit us the other day. It was funny to hear Chase giving her a tour of our home. Of her things. It was really quite cute. I'm sure the teacher probably came away from the meeting thinking my home was, at best, a good attempt at managing chaos.

We are all eagerly awaiting my mom, who arrives tonight and will stay for a week. Maybe with her visit I will get some sleep and Chase will get the level of attention she is craving so badly.

Dearest Chase, I'm so sorry I can't spend every waking minute with you. I did for three years, and it was amazing. And now it is still amazing, but in a different way, as Madoc brings joy and light into our lives. You are such a good big sister.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm So Bad At Blogging

The days seem to pass so quickly. And by the end of the day, I am totally exhausted.

I am learning more and more about my children every day. The lesson of the past week is to keep Chase busy at all costs. August has been a slow month. I decided to lay low this month, especially after having problems with my feet, arms and back (pushing myself too hard every day and carrying Mads around everywhere).

Chase has not taken to this new, laid-back schedule. Perhaps because we've been "going, going, going" ever since the day she was born. And a bored Chase is, I've found, a winy, hangers-on, complaining, getting into trouble, girl. VERY much the opposite of the happy, content girl I've had up until this month.

Mads, on the other hand, is a roll with the punches kinda gal. As long as she gets her naps, she is a happy, sweet, content baby. Chase was also a beautiful, sweet, content baby - we are so lucky.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grand Lake, CO

Just returned from a trip to Grand Lake, CO. We went up with Hubs, to spend 4 nights with friends at a cabin. Hubs had to leave after the first night, to go to NJ for work. So I had to take care of both kiddos, which proved to be my greatest challenge thus far. The first night after Hubs left, Chase had a major nose bleed and Mads didn't sleep. The second night, Chase had an "accident" .(she has never, ever, wet the bed. not even when she was a baby) and Mads woke up way too many times. The third night, I finally pulled Mads into bed with us and we managed to only get up three times (only to find out a bear had been right outside our window both times). Below are photos from the first day. I couldn't carry Mads and run after Chase and take pictures.

And, for whatever reason (maybe just to add a little extra challenge), Chase became completely unmanageable by day 3. Didn't listen. Pushed every button (about 75 times). It was like wires crossed in her brain and no matter what, I just couldn't untangle them. I probably should have packed her up and came home the morning of day 3. Plus she started to get sick (one of her friends was sick when we arrived, so all of the craziness could just be Chase getting sick).

I am hoping that a nice, mellow evening will get her back on track.

Snapped these from the car - beautiful country - notice there are no guard rails...

I took these pictures of the dead trees.
Thousands and thousands of them.
The pine beetle has really devastated the forest.
I have to say it made me REALLY uncomfortable being in the middle of so many dead trees.

The green trees are alive. The brown/gray trees are not.

We stayed in a house on a smaller lake (near Grand Lake).
The house had a little beach, boats and a fire pit.
It was a great location for kids.

Chase loved the lake. Too bad there were leeches.

And let's not forget about Mads.
She just turned 8 months.
Beautiful girl. All smiles. All the time.

I had to keep both girls smothered in sunscreen.

And here is the inside of the cabin.
Joy, Chris, Summer and Gigi were our hosts.
So fabulous - but next time Hubs better be there the whole time.