Monday, March 30, 2009

Snow Day

The weather man did not disappoint! We got lots of snow on thursday, although in our area of town it was definately NOT a blizzard. Still, it was enough to close Ft. Carson on friday so that Micah didn't have to go to work, and that hasn't happend in a couple of years.

Meanwhile, Nicole was stuck at the hospital for 36 hours straight. Initially she was in lock-down and was going to have to work a 12 hour night shift following her 12 hour day shift......But enough night nurses were able to make it in that she was able to sleep at the hospital and work the next day instead.
It was probably the longest snow day of our lives, trapped in the house with a sick, crabby baby. Most businesses were closed so there wasn't any place to go anyway, and with Skylar's bad cold I didn't want to take her out in the weather (although she did end up going out in her snowsuit for about 15 minutes).

I decided to pull out the sofa bed and let Skylar hang out and play and maybe even sleep. It would have been so fun to lay around and watch movies all day...but it only lasted a few minutes:

Nothing was very fun for very long. I have figured out that when Skylar is unhappy sometimes all she wants is to be naked. She also loves her pink hat. It worked like a charm:

But again, not for long.......
So we entertained ourselves at Sabot's expense. Even when she doesn't feel well, her dogs always make her happy.
Nicole had a different method of entertainment--letting Skylar play in her blueberry applesauce. Hey, whatever works!

None of us felt like cooking on saturday night. Micah ate leftovers, and Nicole was "craving" cabbage. Apparently reading Angela's Ashes, a very sad memoir about a poverty stricken Irish family, made her hungry for cabbage. In the end we stir-fried it with sesame oil, soy sauce and sprinkled some sesame seeds on it, and it wasn't bad.

But when I saw that she was eating her cabbage with a glass of water and a celery stick on the side, I had to accuse her of being on a super-model diet. I mean, I know we're eating healthier around here, but for pity's sake! I miss my old tub-of-cool-whip-eating sister! Oh wait, we still eat cool-whip by the tub, never mind.

Speaking of cool-whip by the tub, it's practically a food-group around here. So last night when Nicole made some biscuits and sliced up strawberries for strawberry shortcake, it was a minor emergency when we realized there was no cool-whip in the fridge. At first we decided we would just make it work, we would just go without.....but it wouldn't have been the same. In the end we couldn't do it, so I jumped in the car and headed to Albertson's around 9:00 last night.

And I am soooo glad I did.

As I was pulling out of the parking lot to go home I noticed a little girl playing by the street near an apartment complex. This happens to be a pretty busy street that people drive way too fast on. She moved back from the street and I assumed that her parents must have called her, and I saw other cars slow down and look and then keep going. But as I was driving home I decided it didn't feel right, and I turned around and went back.

When I got back to the apartments, there she was again, right on the edge of the curb about to walk into traffic and no adults in sight. I ran over to her and asked her where her mom and dad were. She was only about 3, so she just pointed at the building. Then I noticed that she was barefoot, no coat and short sleeves, and it was 30 degrees outside and windy, not to mention late at night. She was freezing. I took her to my car, but I didn't want to put her IN my car in case somebody thought I was kidnapping her. Unfortunately, I didn't have my cell phone either. So I told her to show me where she lived and we walked up to the 3rd floor and I knocked on the door she pointed to. I could hear people inside but nobody answered.

At this point, I was pretty upset, and would have definately called the police if I'd had my cell phone. Instead I decided to walk to the nearby gas station with her and call from there. On the way a lady walked across the parking lot, who happened to be a neighbor, and I asked her if she knew where the little girl lived. She pointed to the same apartment and went up and banged on the door. This time a man answered and guess what??? He hadn't even known his daughter was missing.

He seemed genuinely happy to see her, and said he'd been back and forth doing laundry and hadn't noticed she was gone. I thought back to all the times Nicole had escaped from the house, so in the end I'm glad I didn't call the police. Honestly, if he hadn't seemed to care or if the little girl had acted wierd with him at all, I would have called anyway. I've done it several times before.

So that's our weekend in a nutshell: surviving an almost-blizzard, entertaining a sick baby, cabbage and cool-whip eating, rescuing random children, and all. And that folks, is domestic bliss.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

News you can't use

I'm sitting here awaiting the blizzard of '09 (supposedly we'll be getting 8-15 inches in the next 24 hours). Skylar is asleep right now after two very sleepless nights and one trip to the doctor. No sleep for her means no sleep for me. Micah just called and ordered me to "rest" and since I think blogging is more fun than sleeping, here I sit.
On the upside, I may help your self-esteem by blogging today since no doubt after you read what I'm about to write you are bound to feel better about your productive and intelligent life. Anyway, I have some very important topics to discuss today.

First of all, I just want to say how happy I am to see these little guys back in stores:

I am a self-proclaimed Peepaholic, and apparently am also easily suckered in by the geniuses in Peeps marketing. As any dedicated peep-lover has observed, there is a whole new slew of colors this year and I have to try every one....just in case orange sugar tastes different then yellow sugar. It doesn't.

But I have a bone to pick with these same marketing geniuses. I noticed they now sell sugar-free peeps. How can something made entirely of sugar become sugar-free??? If you're going to eat a peep, just eat a peep, not a faux peep. What is the world coming to?
While I'm on the topic of crazy, the other day while parusing fashion mags at the Y (that rack of magazines is a huge motivator to get me on the elliptical, thank you YMCA) it came to my attention that the spring/summer trends are inspired by the depressing economic times that we are currently in. Everything right now is "depression era" clothing, aka, really ugly. So instead of paying $500 for a cute designer top, you can now pay the same amount for a really ugly, depression-era, raggedy, poor-person top. All I could think about was Zoolander and the "derelict" line. (If you haven't seen the movie, don't bother, you aren't missing anything.)

I'm no fashionista, especially not since having Skylar, and if I'm not leaving the house I'm pretty much only in yoga pants. I prefer the term "yoga" because it implies I may have just worked out as opposed to wearing "sweatpants" that say "I've given up on life" or worse, "I still look pregnant a year after having a baby". (I'm a little bitter--a sweet and well-intentioned lady at church rubbed my stomache and asked me if I was pregnant a couple of weeks ago.)

However I do feel obligated to pass on a little fashion nugget for you to digest. It has come to my attention that capris may be on there way out. Furthermore---and it pains me to write this--it would appear that capris are the new "mom jean". I know, I know....the truth hurts. I didn't believe it at first either. But I've had a couple of weeks to digest this little tidbit, and after considering it, I decided it might be true.

Think about it---capris with athletic shoes/sneakers---total "mom jean" look. Adding socks to that combo is the kiss of death. I was indignant at first, since I like wearing heels or flip flops with capris in the summer. I went on to read that if you're going to wear heels you should just wear them with trousers as it creates a "long, lean line" and that flip flops are more flattering with long-shorts (there were pictures to prove this point). Hmmmm. Something to think about.

I'm not suggesting everyone throw out their capris. They are still a women's best friend since they conceal a multitude of sins. I have decided that in order to avoid the slippery-slope that is "mom inspired fashion" (I'm not immune--I bought a skirted, polka dot swim dress with a ruffle on the bottom--it's true) I am going to forgo capris and maybe even shorts entirely.

Enter the sundress. I intend to be comfortable AND cute while putting forth very little effort, and I feel I can best accomplish this with an outfit that requires little to no thought. It's all one-peice, there is no matching required, and if it's well-cut it will still hide a multitude of sins. I declare this summer the year of the sundress.

(And just in case you don't know what the reference is to "mom jeans" HERE is the best SNL skit EVER.)

I think our blizzard has started!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

To middle school we go....

Last week Nicole, Skylar and I went up to Mesa Middle School in Castle Rock to visit Mrs. Lathrop (rumored to be the funnest science teacher in the district). I wanted to show Skylar where she was going to be attending school next year (Yep, she's THAT gifted).
Okay, in all seriousness she won't be going there for another 1o years. That's when the "exchange program" goes into effect. I'm not a big fan of kids after the age of 11, and Kristy prefers them older, so Skylar will be going to live with Aunt Kristy and Uncle Andy from 6th grade until college. It's already been worked out. (Likewise, I have generously offered to keep her babies until they are of "manageable age"--around 4 or 5--she has yet to take me up on it).
Fortunately, Skylar loved middle school and has been using words like "velocity", "gravity" and "force" in full sentences ever since. Kristy has a really cool white board. You can just write with your finger on the wall in different colors. It's very tech-savvy. So much so, that I'm getting a headache just thinking about it. Nicole and Skylar drew a picture for the class.
Skylar got an A+ for her drawing. (Notice she has her eyes closed just like her mommy does in almost every picture!)
Here is Kristy assisting a student and answering questions while simultaneously holding a baby. She looks like a natural. I think homeschooling might be in Kristy's future.
Nicole was deep in concentration, soaking in all of the science-y stuff like a sponge. Skylar was a little bored. She knew it all already.
Personally, I found the boy with the full "molestache" the most intriguing thing. I couldn't stop staring. How does such a young boy have so much facial hair? Is he ostracized by his friends? Do they thinks it's cool? Why does HE think it's cool? Mustaches are almost NEVER cool (unless your Charlton Heston), especially not when you're twelve. I wanted to help him--take him aside and give him some council. Let him know that he won't get a girlfriend looking like that. But alas, I just sat three feet away and stared at it as I contemplated his fate.
I'll admit I was secretly hoping to witness some teen angst. Maybe a dramatic break-up or broken braces.......something. Unfortunately, Kristy's students were all really well behaved and the hormones in the room seemed to be under control. All in all, it was a great visit. It reminded me of how glad I am to not be in school anymore. I think Kristy (and all the other teachers out there) are heroes among us. And maybe slightly masochistic too.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Skylar's Dedication

Skylar was dedicated last sunday at Woodman Valley in the prayer chapel. It was really small-- just family, a minister and the children's program director. Our church is too big to do baby dedications in the regular service, but I liked it better this way anyway. The life verse we chose for her:

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always" 1 Chron 16:11

By the end of it all, Skylar was done....until Aunt Nicole showed her the wonder that is the fortune cookie. She thought those were great!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reluctant participation in local festivities

I had no intentions of doing anything for St. Patrick's day. No traditional dinner, no cute little "Kiss me I'm Irish" t-shirt for Skylar (she ISN'T after all), no four leaf clovers or green mardi gras beads in sight....just another day with a higher than average number of intoxicated people driving around me.

Personally, it just seems like an irrelevant holiday--I'm not Irish, I don't drink beer, and I consider corned beef and cabbage a culinary crime. In my opinion, if people still have to go to work than it isn't a real holiday. Maybe when Skylar is old enough to care I will summon up the motivation to dye her milk green---my mom did that once. We wouldn't drink it.

So on Saturday Nicole and I decided to go for a little hike and then walk around downtown and find an obscure ethnic restaurant we've never tried. This was the official inauguration of the "Restaurant of the Month Club". Membership count: 2. We are taking new members if you are interested in joining. Micah and I always seem to end up at the same places that we know are good. Nicole is more of a risk taker. So we decided to find an Indian restaurant.

As we were driving downtown we noticed that all the streets were blocked off and traffic was a disaster. With genuine enthusiasm Nicole realized that a parade was about to start. I wasn't too excited...Nicole was thrilled!!! This is her idea of a good time. (Well, this and the occasional Renaissance festival.) This was local culture at it's finest! So to the parade we went along with thousands of Colorado's springs finest citizens.

It was incredibly long, at least 2 hours that we saw and we missed the beginning and end. Especially when you take into account that it was nothing but one long, live commercial for all the local businesses. With the exception of the man on stilts doing black flips. He was cool. Oddly, Nicole had seen him before in Manitou Springs.

The most unusual thing we saw was a girl in a sheer black tutu and thong. Seriously. At first we thought she wasn't wearing anything under that tutu, but she walked by us more than once so we were able to sufficiently analyze the situation. I couldn't believe that: 1. She had that kind of brazen confidence (she was not a small girl), 2. She wasn't freezing her buns off...literally, 3. She hadn't been arrested for indecent exposure.

Now a few pics from our day:

Skylar was thoroughly amused by her first parade. Can we say over-stimulation???
This was the highlight for me. It took 5 men to hold onto this enormous floating burrito.A picture of Pike's Peak with some fresh snow!
The day started with our little stroll through Garden of the Gods. It can hardly be called a hike, but the first place we tried to go was closed to the public that day.

Little did we know as we took in God's creation and gazed at the glorious mountains that a girl in a sheer tutu was about to cross our paths.

Monday, March 16, 2009

"This is why we have a child!"

I hear this phrase often. Usually when Micah is doing something with Skylar that he thinks is hilarious.....and she doesn't. Last night Micah was entertaining her so I could make dinner. Skylar loves to play in her room (just don't try to change her diaper, her clothes, or put her to sleep in there).

These days her favorite activities are emptying her shoe drawer, emptying her box of bows, emptying her basket of books, emptying her cradle with stuffed get the idea. So when I heard her crying and Micah laughing hysterically, I decided to go check it out. That's usually not a good combination. This is what I found:

While she was trying to play with her bows he was busy putting every single one in her hair. She was not amused. Clearly Micah was having a great time.

She came crawling over so I would save her. Poor baby.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I just love having a little girl.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Giant Buns!!!!

I'm referring to the bakery kind. Although eating enough of the bakery kind will inevitably result in the other kind.

Shocking factoid: Austins are eaters. And we like to feed people. It's in our genetics. Really, I think it's so we have an excuse to eat WITH people, it's not just that we're trying to make you fat. Some might refer to it as "being hospitable" while others would call us "food pushers". It's just what we do, and I'm not apologizing for it.
It's actually kind of spiritually relevant too.....since everyone knows that food and fellowship go hand in hand and you just can't have one without the other. A bible study with no snacks or potluck? Forget about it. I'll learn about Jesus someplace where I can eat at the same time.

As you probably know, Nicole came to live with us in December. We love having her here. Skylar adores her. Micah has devised strategies for sabotaging any efforts she may have to move out. After all, she does make him breakfast and even pack his lunch for him, something he has quickly grown accustomed to. Shocking factoid dos: I married an eater. Nicole loves to bake, as do I. So with her in the house, it goes something like this.

Nicole: "Don't homemade pretzels sound good?"

Me: "Heck yeah, if you're making them!"

You can substitute chocolate cake, brownies, blueberry strudel muffins, etc in the place of pretzels. It goes both ways--sometimes I'm the one with the craving (homemade donuts anyone?). You get the idea. Basically we are making each other fat.

So the other day Nicole went and did The Incline (a vertical mile of steps on the side of Pike's Peak), and oh whoops, the German bakery was on the way home. So with that Austin blood coursing through her veins, she was in that German bakery faster than you can say edelweiss. And she brought home these:

She pointed out that I always get a Slurpee after the incline, so really it's no different. Except that slurpees just have sugar.....not fat AND sugar. Clearly slurpees are a much healthier choice. I guess you could argue that working out and then eating something bad for you totally negates the work-out. You would be right, and in both instances we would be wrong.

To help you visualize their magnitude, they are on large dinner plates and roughly the size of your head. I stoically told her I would not partake in her delicacies, to which she replied "It's okay, Micah will eat them". Then we had a little heart to heart about stopping all of this baked goodness for awhile in hopes that bathing suit season won't be as traumatic as it was last year. So far so good.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


A couple of weeks ago I moved Skylar from her pack n' play at the foot of our bed to her very own room down the hall. The room farthest away from ours. Where we can't hear her. Ever.

Okay, except for the fact that the baby monitor is turned up to full blast.

Anyway, the initial adjustment was difficult. We had a few rough nights where I was trekking down the hall multiple times--my reason for avoiding the big move in the first place. Then one night she only woke up once, and within a couple of nights she wasn't making a peep.

Lo and behold we had 4 blissful nights of full, uninterrupted sleep. Twice I was even able to get up, pump, do a quiet time, take a shower, put on my make-up AND...dry my hair! All before she woke up. It was heaven. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel....the other side of might be normal again!

I didn't want to share my big news for fear of jinxing it. Then a few days ago I was talking to Gayle and I had to brag about how Skylar was sleeping through the night. I think I may have told Kristy too.

And guess what? It all went to crap.

The problem is, now I know what I'm missing. It's as though someone took me to the Promise Land, and then took all the milk and honey away. And the chocolate too. And made me eat cottage cheese instead. I HATE cottage cheese. The texture is so gross.

I shouldn't be complaining. In the whole scope of things it's trivial, really. It's just that she isn't a newborn anymore, she's almost a year old. I feel like I've done my time. That and...I just like sleep. Sleep is my long lost friend.

I look forward to our next reunion.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Make a Boy's Dream Come True!

Today is my brother Josh's 20th birthday. I'm about 99% sure Josh doesn't read this blog except maybe when he's home and my mom forces him to sit down and look at pictures of Skylar. Regardless, this post is in honor of Josh who sent out this heartfelt plea for his birthday:

"Hey beloved brother and sisters,

As you may know March 6th marks the day that a certain young man leaves childhood and enters land only trod by men. That's right, the 20's.

I don't know if you were thinking about getting him something (personally he's all about the policy that if you don't see the person on their birthday a simple call is sufficient). But for those of you that do insist on giving gifts you may have been asking yourself, "What do i get a person leaving childhood behind quicker than Thomas can inhale half a dozen double cheese burgers?"

A large knife? War paint? Tomahawk? Compound bow? Cross bow? Long bow? Roman catapult? English Cannon? Large tires? Anything camouflage? Numb chucks? Battle Ax? A mace? Hand grenades? Massive amounts of gunpowder? Abram tank? F-16?

No, no, no something much less expensive.

A Suriname Red Tail Boa Constrictor from South America. Of the Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Subphylum: Vertebrata, Class: Reptilia, Order: Squamata, Suborder: Serpentes, Family: Boidae, Subfamily: Boinae, Genus: Boa, Species: B. constrictor.

Now there is one at the local pet store that has caught his eye. His name will be Leonidas and has a price tag of only $80. So with your contributions this dream can become a reality."

While I appreciate Josh's fervency (and vast knowledge of weaponry) I told Josh I could not support this dream based on the fact that this creature could grow large enough to overtake and possibly strangle him. Not to mention, we'll be moving to SC for Micah's career course in about 9 months and there is a good chance this snake could show up at a family gathering of some kind.

Jennifer and Thomas were adamantly opposed as well. Thomas referenced scripture to back up his argument, which basically amounted to Snakes=Satan. Impressive, really.

Nicole, ever the supportive one, didn't hesitate on the condition that she never had to see him feed it.

Bekah agreed, also with conditions:

"Josh, I'm totally in. As long as you will not make me hold it or touch it. I also do not want it near me, unless i chose to go near it. But i do have a question. What are you going to do with it when it "will get to be 10 feet long, weigh over 50 pounds, urinate and defecate like a St. Bernard, and should live more than 30 years." I did my research."

Good point Bekah.

So Happy Birthday Josh....with or without Leonidas.

This picture is just for fun. Josh aptly refers to it as "The Special Olympics Downhill Bike Team". Otherwise known as my family on vacation in Alaska. Jenn and I were not there because we had already been "cut off" at this point. Actually, she was in Afghanistan, and Micah was in Iraq so I didn't go even though my father generously offered to take me. It's a relief to see mom still dresses everyone alike so they won't get lost.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spring Fever continued....

For some reason Picasa would only let me upload 4 pictures at a time, so here are the rest of our pictures from the park. Skylar had a blast! The weather has been the 60's and 70's, although that's going to change this weekend.

These are Skylar's new summer flip flops. She actually likes them and keeps them on. We'll see how long it takes for the novelty to wear off!
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Spring Fever!

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Monday, March 2, 2009

A mini-vacation!

So really, what is more relaxing than a weekend in the mountains?

I mean nothing spells R-E-L-A-X-A-T-I-O-N like spending an entire day trying to pack while holding a fussy baby. After filling the suitcase with enough tiny clothes for every possible emergency situation and temperatures ranging from 5 degrees up to 60, along with the pack n' play, stroller, bag of toys, high chair, baby monitor, emergency medications and enough food to feed a third world country for two weeks....we were off!

Did I mention it took ALL DAY to get ready? And that we were only going 100 miles away? For less than 48 hours?

Even though Micah got off work before 5:00 we still managed to roll in to Breckenridge at 8:30 pm. You know, after a dinner stop, a poopy diaper stop, a "Let's find the headlamp so Keri doesn't have to pump in the dark" stop", etc. I also got to ride in the back seat on those twisty mountain roads while singing 20 verses of The Wheels on the Bus, Down by the Bay, and our very favorite...Skylar Went Down to the Alligator Farm.

You just can't beat that.

On the bright side, I didn't have to worry about getting the dogs to the doggy resort. Nicole opted not to come, but instead to have some much needed alone time (I think she actually DID relax). So Sabot and Jack kept her company. Lucky Nicole.

Despite getting off to a rocky start, and Skylar's refusal to sleep at night along with her case of altitude sickness (or so I decided after her crankiness and the fact that she threw up on Saturday), we had a great time hanging out with Amy, Jon and Addie Hilton and Frank and Cariann Harmon-Colman. The townhouse we stayed in was awesome and less than a mile from the gondola.

The boys skied on Saturday while the girls did some serious damage at the outlet malls. Skylar now has the cutest bathing suit you've ever seen for summer. We'll debut that later in the season:) Try not to lose any sleep in anticipation.

Here are Frank, Jon and Micah after a long day of skiing:

Skylar and Addie getting ready for a day on the town.

Here is Amy showing Jon her substantial pile of baby clothes for Addison and Bennett (the best-dressed unborn child ever). Although I've known Amy for 4 years, I learned some new things about her this weekend. As we pulled up to the outlet mall she had this crazy look in her eyes. Amy is 6 months pregnant and has to eat every couple of hours or she gets sick/crabby/kinda crazy. Her desire for bargains was so great that she didn't realize it was lunch time until 1:00---a full 5 hours after breakfast.

Skylar entertained herself in a restaurant by emptying the contents of her diaper bag. Hey, whatever works. So what if wipes are her new favorite snack?

We realized that Breck isn't the most kid-friendly town. Especially not with signs like this on the door. I could do an entire post on my annoyance over this sign, but I'll spare you. Let's just say, we didn't eat here.

Yay for weekend getaways, and outlet malls....and snow:)


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