Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Day Late & a Dollar Short

Did I forget to mention that my first born celebrated a birthday? Really? Oops. Good thing he doesn't read my blog since it was quite an ordeal to make him feel better about his birthday being the latest in the year of our little family by telling him, "But yours will be the FIRST in Colorado!" Ooooh...aahhhh. Yeah, well, you do what you can to avoid a meltdown.

Trey turned eight earlier this month. I didn't want to throw a party for a couple of reasons.
  1. I don't think kids should have a huge bash every year. It kinda makes them less appreciated in my opinion.
  2. We just moved. My house is in no way, shape or form ready to have guests here.
  3. I really didn't want to throw a party. Yep, I'm that mom

So, we told Trey he could pick one friend and we'd go to Dave and Busters. Trey chose his new BFF to go with and new BFF's mom told us about this place that is local to Colorado that is like Chuck E. Cheese's for kids older than 5. Bowling, go-karts, arcades, mini-golf, pizza (even though Trey doesn't eat pizza...yeah, don't go there), a huge ball obstacle course and it goes on. Here's Trey, new BFF and Leah waiting somewhat patiently for the lunch that Trey didn't eat. Yeah, that's totally typical. UGH.

After a bowling alley lunch (don't be jealous) of pizza, chicken strips, fries and orange soda for the kids (whose mom lets kids drink soda? Seriously?) we headed down to the lanes for some cosmic bowling. Not only did we fulfill a fun activity that Trey loves, but he got to check a box in his scouting requirement handbook. Score!

Leah shows her mad skills on the alley using the ramp.

She is a rockstar, in case you were wondering.

The place had ONE ride inside. One was more than enough. It's called the twister. Barf. The kids loved it though. That thing kicked up quite a bit of wind. I could have dried my nailpolish. If I still wore nailpolish. This ride is like one of those horrible carnival rides where the whole ride spins and then you can spin your individual car. I felt ok with it at first because I realized it was being torn down every five weeks and moved to a new location like a regular carnival ride. And then they started the ride WITHOUT checking each of the kids' safety harnesses. !!!

Thankfully, they all held on really tight and no one fell out.

Here's Trey and new BFF in this massive, three story ball war-zone, complete with pneumatic guns to shoot these foam balls at your friends or new found enemies. They stayed in here for an HOUR. One hour. Conveniently, there are tables right outside where the parents can take a break and if they want, even get wasted drunk. Oh, and when you're done? Just leave your beer or wine glass on the table for any kid to walk past a take a swig of. I didn't see it happen but I can imagine it does.

Bill and Leah filling the massive ball rocket with ammunition.

We hit the golf course as a last hoorah. There's the boys tolerating the camera and Leah soaking it up.

This place was a HUGE hit for the kids. For Bill and I? Eh...not so much. It felt dirty. Like a state fair. The whole, not-checking-for-safety thing and the temptation for rebellious kids having booze at their fingertips was kind of a turnoff. My little innocents were blissfully unaware, but we will definitely be visiting Dave and Buster's if we're feeling gamey again.

We made it home around 9pm. Just in time for cake and presents after dropping off new BFF. This was by FAR Trey's favorite present. It's a phlat ball. Just like it sounds, it starts out flat and by the time it reaches your friend or your target or you friend who is the target, it opens up as a ball. It was a hit with all the neighbor boys as well.

Happy Birthday, Dude!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Me Monday

It's Not Me Monday, Fun Day!! If you're unfamiliar with the whole dealio and you're interested in being in the loop you can go here and read all about it.

I hate football. HATE it. The only reason I tolerate the Superbowl is to hang out with friends, eat lots of horrible food and watch the talked about commercials. So, there is no way that I've become interested in how the home team is doing. Not me. I mean, just because I've been forced away from the best place to live in the country does not mean that my devotion would include the lamest game (meaning I can't understand it) ever.

I did not just spend an unknown amount of money on cool weather clothing without figuring out my budget for the month. That would be ludicrous, especially since I was a finance major for a while in college. I mean, who does that? Just because cool weather clothing is mostly for show back home and it's a necessity out here does NOT mean that I can just go shopping nilly willy. I would never do that.

Oh, and of course, that would mean that I would not even think about taking advantage of an Old Navy deal that came across in my email for a mystery discount. Psh. I'm not so influenced by a sale on already clearance priced clothes that I can't pass that up. Seriously. I'm not working. We need to save. Who would do that? Not me!

Since we seem to be following a pattern here, I most certainly would not completely forget about a six pack of chicken breasts that I bought for a great deal until I opened the fridge one day and was knocked over by a horrible smell. With the economy the way it is and those not able to even buy food, I would not let food go to waste. I wouldn't have forgotten to separate it, package it up and stick it in the freezer. Not me!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kid Torture

I'm a pro. I didn't even need to take any classes, it just comes naturally. It all began about seven years ago. I was so mean to my then one year old. I would force him to...(if you have a sensitive soul you may not want to read this) I know, I know. I should attend meetings or something. Food that does not come from a jar for a one year old is purely meant for torture and disdain and I can only be some kind of sadist to continue the cycle. I mean, it's been an ongoing battle torture session ever since then, although he's starting to weaken. Insert evil laugh here. I knew that if he would bend under my pressure I'd eventually have power.

I'm super SUPER mean to my other kid. I make her wear clothes she hates. Isn't that great?! Oh, and shoes and the occassional sweatshirt. I can teach you the tricks of the trade for three low monthly payments of $9.95 plus $3.95 S&H. Oh, who am I kidding? I can just tell you here but if you share these techniques with anyone be sure to give credit where credit is due. You just get some pants and put them on your kid. When she starts complaining that they're too loose (because she has an 8 inch waist, or so it seems) you tighten the adjustable waistband until there is nothing left to tighten. Button her up and voila! She'll throw herself into a fitful heap on the floor crying, "They FEEL FUNNNNEEEEE!!!! They're TOOO LOOOOOSE!!!" Oh yeah, it worked! As long as she seems to think that the pants are too loose even though they're technically a size too small and tightened to the point where there's no gap in the back, then you've won the battle of parent torture. Congratulations. For bonus points, make your child wear a sweatshirt over a long sleeve shirt when the temps reach the 40s. When she yells, "It FEEEELS FUNNNNEEEEE!!!! WAAAHHHHH" again because she was throwing such a fit and was in jeopardy of missing the bus that you didn't take the time to have her hold the sleeves of her shirt in her tiny hands while you slid the sweatshirt on, be confident that you have won the battle. You know it's a good day when one child has two meltdowns before 9am. I chose to leave the third meltdown out today: socks and shoes, but I'm confident I will be discussing that battle sometime in the near future. You may bookmark this site for future reference.

My own reward came when the multitude of moms at the bus stop looked over at Leah and I (because she couldn't walk at this point--score a point--so I was carrying her) and asked with that half frowny face, "What's wrong with Leah? Is she sad because she misses you while she's at school?"

"No, she's mad about her clothes." And then the laughter would come. Not the 'ha ha, sucks to be you' laughter but the 'oh, I've totally been there' laughter. There are a lot of torture pros out there, just be sure you take advice from a legitimite one. I'd hate for you to waste your money on someone who advises you to torture your child simply by making them watch old reruns of Alf. That's just mean.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Part Two

Ok, ok, here it is. The second half of the story. We moved into our hotel in the business section of Denver, unpacked, and called our realtor. My FIL, who is also a realtor, did some researching for us and found an AWESOME lady to be our realtor, who totally listened to us, was completely honest about every place we picked out and didn't try to get us to look at stuff out of our price range. We made home searching our full time job while trying to entertain two small children and figure out which was is which since the mountains out here are on the wrong side. Bill still had to check into work, we still needed to do normal errands like grocery shopping and I had to find stuff to do during the day because 300 square feet is not much space to play. Fortunately there is a public pool/water park in the area that is CHEAP (like $8 cheap) and not like the actual Travel Channel water parks. We googled local parks, we went shopping, we somehow survived the very long four weeks in that hotel.

We looked at a dozen or so houses all along the eastern side of Denver. I had done so much research before we left San Diego that I knew what schools were good, which areas were low crime and what kind of neighborhoods we'd be looking at (thank you google maps). We saw the *perfect* house on our third trip out. It was like a page out of the Pottery Barn catalog. I was ready to make an offer right then and there. Thankfully I'm not impulsive because there was no growing room. What you saw was what there was, which meant no guest room/office/craft room. Boo. We looked at two foreclosures that were amazing. Unfortunately, they both had multiple offers and we didn't have time on our side. The house we ended up deciding on, we'd looked at twice and turned down twice. I thought it was too close to the main road and the eating area was way too small, but other than that, it was a great house. After you compare home after home, certain things seem workable and the home you've rented for the past six years in the quietest neighborhood ever and the excessive square footage become obvious that there was a reason you were renting. Um, because we couldn't afford to buy a place like that, that's why! So we put in our offer, expecting a counter offer. Years of watching HGTV makes me think that I'm an expert when knowing what to expect. They countered but it was hardly noticeable. We closed in thirty days and voila! We bought our first home. I never thought I'd buy anywhere other than California. It's fun and exciting and all, but I'm thinking I would have been elated had it been where I wanted. Maybe, eventually, this IS where I'll want to be. Our neighborhood is great. We met more of our neighbors here the first weekend than we'd met at our old neighborhood the entire time we lived there. My kids are outside playing with friends every single day which didn't happen back "home". We were invited to a block party our first week here. The kids' school is superb. I might think that about any school after leaving the brokest state in the west. My kids actually have art! And music! And computers! That's just crazy talk. They started late because the school is on a year round calendar. Who would think that school starts in July?? Then there was that whole pesky thing of proving that you actually lived in the district.

We're moving a lot more slowly than I'd thought as far as settling in goes. The air up here is thin, and it truly does make for more work. We've been in the state for two and a half months and I still get winded going up the stairs. I have painting and decorating to do. I need to act like I know how to sew curtains and put up some window treatments. We still need to finish opening boxes. Ugh! Just about the time we get it done, it will be time to move again. I long to buy our 'forever' home while living in this transitional state of our life.

To add to the pile, Bill had rotator cuff surgery a month ago which meant a lot of time devoted to him, and not the house. He's been incredibly agile using only one arm. As one new friend calls him, "Chicken Wing". All the 'guy' projects I need him to get done are waiting patiently. Too bad he'll be ready to do them when the weather is even colder than it is now. Oh...and crazy lady? The woman I mentioned in a previous post? Yeah, we got a call from our insurance that she's claiming injury. When the adjuster came out to take pictures of the car, he laughed. "Uh, well, it looks like you've got a LOT of damage there. Seems you'll need to get a new license plate frame." Darn it! And I was saving up for a Coach purse, too. Thank GOD I took pictures. Insurance has them and hopefully crazy lady will disappear.

There's so much more that has happened here. You'll just have to have faith that I will blog again ;)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Not Me Monday!

I'm a long time reader, first time poster of this fun weekly tradition. If ya wanna know what it's all about, clicky on the fancy button above. Let's get on with the fun!

I most certainly did not ignore my blog for a very extended period of time. My last post said I'd write again soon, and well, soon is relative. Yes it is! No, really. Do you believe me yet?

I did not completely forget that my darling daughter requested a cheeseburger from McD's and accidentally order her chicken nuggets instead and then after she looked into her square boxed meal with a face of disappointment, I did not tell her that the cheeseburger machine was broken. I mean, seriously, what kind of mom would do that? Not me!

I am not so ridiculously addicted to crushed ice that I'm willing to chomp on it even when the temps outside reach freezing. What kind of crazy person does that? Not me.

I did not spend $5 on a febreeze Autumn-smelling candle at Wal-Mart. Not that buying a candle is silly in and of itself, but I was a PartyLite consultant for three years and have plenty of candles. Purchasing another one from a discount store is just ridiculous.

Happy Columbus-the-kids-are-in-school-but-the-adults-are-off-Day!