Tuesday, June 23, 2009

happy father's day

First a note of (belated) happy father's day wishes to all the daddies we know out there, especially the ones that belong to us! You may enjoy this funny article about how Father's Day gets short shrift. Dads, we may not say it often enough because we're too stressed out, too exhausted or too busy but it's true: You matter to us. You matter to your kids. Your involvement, love, and especially your humor make a big difference in our families. So thanks for everything you do, and keep up the good work!

We had a nice day. We got things started with breakfast in bed for Daddy. Then we packed up in a hurry and ran out the door to drive up to beautiful Boulder for a gorgeous walk in the woods. We went with our friends Adam & Elisa and their little boy Ethan. We took Sasha along with us too. And the good weather I ordered came through.

Here we are about to hit the trail.

You may have heard her say "Look Adam, look!" a few times. It is possible she has developed her first crush on an older man!

Pausing for a break at a scenic overlook

Mama & Roan

Adam with Ethan. What a grin!

On our walk

The Maines family

Then after our hike we went to brunch buffet at Chautauqua park. It was super yummy, but I think we all ate too much! Baby Sarah came with us, and here is Roan toting her around in her baby backpack.

After brunch we hit the playground

Ethan snuggled up with his Mama

Arwen concluded his day with a little work on the wind turbine. It's really coming along! And then late Sunday night Jen got back from Spain. Yay!!! We missed her!

I've been a little behind on posting lately. I just haven't been inspired to sit in front of the computer after work. So now it's time to catch up on all the fun we've been having. Just a warning to those of you already fatigued by this point in the post: a seemingly endless onslaught of photos and videos is headed your way. Feel free to fast forward. This is for the grandmas (and grandpas!)

As you know, Roan earned her caterpiller sprinkler. The first time we attempted to give it a try, we were not met with success. It was just a little too windy that afternoon, so she wanted nothing to do with the water. Here she is posing as an unhappy swimsuit model.

Notice the shoes in the photo above. Here is another little fall from grace by yours truly. Though a firm believer in the importance of sensible shoes, I somehow let this child talk me out of the safe, sturdy water shoes I had picked up in favor of platform open toed hello kitty sandals. Well actually there wasn't much talking. She threw the other ones out of the cart. Twice. These are no doubt a serious tripping hazard, but I suppose she'll look great falling down.

One afternoon when on our way somewhere we heard Roan in the backseat shushing Baby Sarah. I thought it was cute, but it doesn't translate in the photo all that well. She kind of looks like she's picking her nose.

Here's some photographic evidence that my little angel isn't always an angel. Here she is throwing a little tantrum. In pigtails, a diaper and sporting a backpack it begged for a photo or two.

This video is either from shortly before or shortly after the temper tantrum. One minute you're down, the next you're up!

Here she is buck naked watching some good old fashioned television. We've started letting her pick out a movie along with her books each week at the library. And I've been letting her go in little or no clothes, weather permitting. It's been helping with the potty training.

Just hanging out

Here are a couple from a trip to the playground a week or two ago.

On the slide. We've been reading The Three Bears a lot lately. You may notice Roan say something along the lines of Goldilocks: "It's not too hot. It's just cold." (instead of "it's just right")

This is her very first time blowing bubbles on her own. Yeah!

And that's all for now!

today's breakfast conversation

This is the actual conversation overheard at our breakfast table this morning.

Roan, looking up from her cereal bowl: "Want a popcicle, Mama."
Me: "No, I'm sorry Roan--"
Roan: "Want popcicle Mama! Please!"
Me: "Sweetie, popcicles are something we have after we eat a good healthy dinner."
Roan: "Want some dinner, Mama."

Outsmarted by a two-year-old, as usual.

Friday, June 19, 2009


A happy Father's Day blog entry is coming soon. In the meantime, here's one that's been sitting around unposted for some crazy reason.

It's weird. I've composed at least 3 blog entries in their entirety in my head but never managed to get 'em typed in. And by now I can't remember what I wanted to say.

I guess we have some good progress to report. Roan is back to her regular angel self at bedtime, thank goodness. Although our social lives are taking a hit. It's a real inconvenience to have to leave the bar early to get your toddler to bed.

I realized one of the problems was lack of white noise. We've taken the humidifier out of her room for the summer since we're not running the heater all the time. And we haven't put the portable AC unit in her room yet because it's been relatively cool so far. So I started taking my iPhone in her room at bedtime and playing the "Roan Sleepy" playlist I compiled from all the kiddie music CDs we have. Now when it comes time to sing songs at bedtime she's started requesting "One the phone, Mommy!" Yeah I never said I could sing, kid.

Let's see, what else. At the moment I am feeling a bit disorganized and perpetually behind. Here are my current waiting-to-be-finished projects: a hat and bootie set for a friend's baby, a not yet started pink sweater for friend's baby, short sleeved sweater for myself that I had planned to finish last fall, chocolate shrug for Jen that I have attempted and failed to knit 3 times so far, a book on healthy sustainable eating habits by Mark Bitman called Food Matters, putting trellis up in the garden for the peas to climb, finishing plans for the front yard landscaping, sanding, caulking and paiting the trim in the back hallway, a great little novel I just started last night called The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, getting back to running 3 times a week, the ab workout I swear to start every night and then conveniently forget about, organizing my closet, organizing Roan's closet, and figuring some method for organizing her ever-multiplying toys.

The other day I was really proud of myself and feeling like a top-notch mom because I managed to iron Roan's clothes, feed her a proper hot breakfast AND give her a bath all in the same day. I mean, ironing Roan's clothes? Seriously, that only happens maybe 3 or 4 times a YEAR including annual family portraits and holidays. And then I go over to my friend Liz's house who has 4 adorable kids (all 6 and under) and who manages to barbecue for the whole neighborhood every week. It's not that she makes it look easy. But she does make it look really fun.

Roan and I have been enjoying our Wednesdays off together a bunch. And although a substantial part of those days is always devoted to getting shopping and other household "to dos" done, we still manage to have fun. We always squeeze in a trip to the library, a trip to the park, and some other fun activity. And then all that hum drum day to day stuff we still try to make fun. She says something silly, or I do, we find a funny game to play or just cuddle up and read some books.

I'm hoping we can get some time in the pool in the near future. It's been so rainy in Denver it doesn't feel like summer's really started yet. Roan managed to fill up her chore chart just last night so she did finally earn her "Banzai Waterpillar" as promised. I'm sure we'll at least get a chance to bring that thing out this weekend.

Oh also I can't believe I forgot to post photos from Scarlett's birthday party. Roan had so much fun!

Scarlett on one of her bikes

Roan on Scarlett's hotwheel

Roan in the poncho I decorated

Scarlett's daddy with the Dora pinata

Roan, Scarlett & Camilla and their post-pinata booty

Camilla & Scarlett

Camilla & Roan

Friday, June 12, 2009

Here's an update with what's been going on with Roan lately.

First of all, she is freakin adorable. The videos don't even do her justice. Whether she's playing on her own with her toys or putting her arms around my neck to give me a big ol hug, she is as cute as a button. The other night I wasn't feeling well and was resting up in bed. She came in with a sheet of Dora the Explorer stickers (a highly prized recent birthday party acquisition). One by one, she carefully placed each sticker on my hands and arms and then said, "You feel better now Mama?" I looked down at my Dora-dotted appendages and realized to my surprise that yes, I did feel better.

It's not all sunshine and roses though, I will tell you. We have enabled some bad patterns with her around bedtime lately and are reaping what we have sewn. First off, with the long summer days we've been letting her bedtime drift further and further back. I find myself getting caught up having fun in the evening and not wanting to call it a day. Then when I do need her to go bed on time (like on a Sunday night) it's no surprise that it's next to impossible.

We've also been letting her climb up in bed with us in the middle of the night. It's nice snuggling with her. But now she doesn't want to go to sleep in her own bed and it's not so nice when she shows up every single night. There have been many screaming tantrums at bedtime this week. And there have been many wee hour wakings in which one of us has to put her back in her own bed. We are taking responsiblity and getting the routine back on track. But in the meanwhile we feel like we've been run over by a truck each morning from all the sleep interruptions.

We resorted to putting a doorknob guard on the inside of her bedroom door. It's a little device that theoretically should prevent her from turning the knob. We shoulda known that with the smarts and stubbornness of her Daddy, that thing is no match for her. Yesterday shortly after Attempt #1 at putting her down for a nap she walked out of her room with it in two pieces and said matter of factly, "Me no want this on Mommy. No want it." I couldn't believe it. I mean, I thought it might at least get us through ONE naptime! If I might be so bold as to translate her statement from toddler-ease, I believe what she intended to say was, "I spit in the face of your pathetic attempt to toddler proof me!"

On the potty training front, we have completely stalled out. Roan goes pretty consistently at school (pee only) and refuses to go pretty consistently at home. It's been a long time since she's wanted to wear undies and been able to keep them dry all day. I think it's time to get the books back out and let the experts weigh in. I'm not wanting to force anything upon her, but I'm also not wanting it to drag out unnecessarily when she's physically capable of being daytime potty trained.

One idea we have for both the sleep issues and the potty training is to reinstate the use of her "chore chart." She gets gold stars for doing things like eating her veggies or going potty. With enough gold stars, she gets to cash in for a reward. We are currently offering her a reward of a caterpillar lawn sprinkler who shoots water out of his arms, legs and antennae. She seeemed impressed, and it's only a $10 toy. Thank goodness for bargain-priced bribery!

This was so cute the other night. She decided she needed to change the diaper of virtually every baby in her collection. She would put them down on the changing pad, wipe them, then toss them into the pile one by one. She said "I'm gonna make a mountain."

"Baby sweetpea needs to change her diaper with me. Yay baby sweetpea! You can go in the middle of Pooh Bear...here...[unintelligible]...Now somebody else!"

"His name is Froggy! Laaaay down. He's laying down. I'm gonna hold his feet real good. So he won't have an owie on his hoo hoo. So we can get his poop off his bottom. I'm gonna hold his feet real good. Shh. He can go in the middle. I'm gonna make a mountain."

And then here is my little bookworm reading to Baby Sarah and singing her own version of The Wheels on the Bus.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

we are in so. much. trouble.

We've been enjoying the company of Uncle Doug this week, as he was in town for a company event. We've been putting him up in our basement (really he's been putting up with us), so as a thank-you he wanted to take us out to dinner tonight. 

We settled on something low-key, affordable, and with a great patio. As we were sitting outside enjoying the evening light and sipping margaritas, a table of leather-jacket-wearing motorcycle dudes was seated across from us. One in their group was very young. I would guess about 7 years old. Such a cute little blonge-haired boy too. With a studded leather jacket and a tough t-shirt to match his companions. 

There are lots of cute kids in our neighborhood. This one caught my eye for several reasons. For starters, the adults accompanying him did not appear to be from our 'hood. Not the typical dentists dressed up in leather for an outing on their $30,000 toy Harleys. No, there was a tinge of authenticity to these folks. When their food came and I heard one guy (his dad? an uncle?) bark, "Eat up, boy," I thought ooh these people are for real. 

The other reason this kid caught my eye is because of his persistent attempts to catch Roan's attention. Normally older kids are oblivious to Roan, and it is she that casts intreigued glances from afar. But in this case, this kid seemed quite taken with her. It was starting to make me nervous! I mean, come on, she's only TWO!

He was standing over near his table staring at her and just sort of posing in different ways. He took his jacket off and stood about, then put it back on, grinning, then took it off again but put on his helmet and shades. It was a dance that seemed more befitting of a teenager, not a first grader. I snagged a couple pics on my iPhone. Again, I stress he was doing these things solely for Roan's benefit.

At first Roan was oblivious. But gradually he got her attention. Before long she was completely entranced. I can tell you one thing's for sure. That kid is dang lucky Arwen happened to be sitting with his back to his table, and was completely absorbed in telling an old favorite story. If he had seen what this kid was up to, he would've been beside himself.

At first I could feel my protective instinct going into overdrive. But when I heard that one adult say so gruffly, "Eat up, boy" it totally changed my perspective. All of a sudden this kid went from being a blonde-haired bad-boy-to-be to being a likely candidate for a good snuggle and a sensible bedtime. Perhaps he took one look at Roan and longed for the innocence and nurturing she radiates. And then I had to pause to acknowledge my own historical weakness for cute, blonde-haired bad boys (of which Arwen was a beneficiary). Suddenly things seemed very confusing.

And that's when it hit me. We are in so. much. trouble!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

video update

Videos, videos, videos.

We've had a lot of rain in Denver over the past few weeks. Here is Roan discussing her observations about Sasha's fear of thunder.

We have been playing inside quite a bit. Roan is focused completely on her babies. She just has no interest in legos, trucks, puzzles, playdoh or even painting. She spends a lot of time singing to them, rocking them, changing their imaginary poopy diapers and of course, putting them to sleep. Oh, and don't let me forget: strolling them around. She just got a new doll stroller which she's very excited about, as you can tell from the video of her opening it.

And as you can see from this next video, this stroller arrived just in time. Our house had been overtaken with lifesize strollers used to roll around tiny occupants inside the house. It was making me crazy! She had fun all that night strolling around in the house.

The next morning when I asked her if she'd like to take the stroller outside on a walk with the dogs she looked at me as if Christmas had come. It hadn't even occurred to her that she might get to take her baby in it on a real walk outside.

Here she is singing a couple of songs to her babies.

A recent development with the babies is that they have become rather naughty lately. I frequently overhear Roan in some other part of the house scolding, "No Baby Sarah! That's not okay! That's a bad choice Baby Sarah." Just yesterday I heard her take it a step further: "Look in my eyes Baby Sarah. Listen to what I saying. Not okay!" Here she is playing the disciplinarian with her disobedient babies.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

yes! you're in the right place

Hey there, been offline for a little while. I was getting bored with the old look and feel of the blog so I thought I'd spruce the place up a bit. Surprise! What do you think? I must've looked at a million templates. I finally settled on this one because it's a little chaotic, a little messy (notice the coffee ring) and a splash feminine without being overly girly. Now if it just incorporated dog hair into it somehow, then it would be truly reflective of me and my lifestyle. Let me know if it causes you any problems - if it is slow loading on your screen or if any of the widgets aren't working for you.

Updates to come soon...