Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas Day 2005

Ooo, what's in my stocking?!

Our lovely Tannebaum

Opening My First Leap Pad

This looks like something with Disney Princesses on it! Right on Momma!

I'm so into unwrapping gifts this year--bring 'em on!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Caitlin is on board a train that circles a big Christmas tree in Union Station. She was so excited to get in, no fear! Posted by Picasa

All Aboard! Posted by Picasa

Stomping Bubbles Posted by Picasa

Hanging Around in the Tot Lot @ Science City Posted by Picasa

Union Station Posted by Picasa

The Graduate & the 3 of Us Posted by Picasa

Gates BBQ-yummy! Posted by Picasa

Our KC Experience

Here are the highlights of our trip to Kansas City--

Our flight left Montrose at 9-something in the morning last Thursday and we arrived in KC without a glitch around 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Caitlin was very good on the flights (we had two-one from Montrose to Denver & from Denver to Kansas City). She only kicked my mom's seat a few times and had only one toddler meltdown. This was her first flight since she was an infant in a Baby Bjorn. Word of advice if you're traveling with an active toddler, bring the carseat! We found it worth it to lug it thru the airport.

So, we arrive in KC and check into our hotel and then headed over to my brother & his fiance's place about 1/2 mile away for some pizza. We basically vegged on Thursday though we did hit Costco and a grocery store to prepare for Mike's graduation reception.

Friday's highlight was Mike's graduation from UMKC. The actual graduation wasn't until 7 pm so we had some time to spare. We ate a wonderful lunch of some of KC's best BBQ at Gates. Eating there is a rite of passage for all tourists. We got two huge platters with all kinds of BBQ meat, my personal favorite being the ribs. The serve it with a loaf of white bread, interesting.
Mike's graduation was very nice and with her Crayola Color Wonder coloring book, Caitlin behaved quite well. I tried to take some pictures but the delay on the digital camera kept me from catching my brother has he walked across the stage. I'm hoping that someone else was able to get a better picture. I had tears in my eyes a few times thru the ceremony...after all, it's my "little" brother graduating from COLLEGE! I can remember him in overalls with chubby cheeks. Boy, I'm going to be a basket case with Caitlin graduates! Following the graduation, we held a reception for Mike. He was disappointed with the turn-out and we had a lot of leftover food, but I know that he had fun with those that did show.

Saturday found us at Crown Center and Union Station. Crown Center is home to Hallmark and a lot of neat stores. There's a Visitor's Center for Hallmark where you can supposedly take a tour, make greeting cards and lots of other things. I really liked the Crayola store and the harp player in the lobby. We walked, via enclosed walkway (called the Link) to Union Station. This station has been remolded to house an Amtrak station, shops, cafes, a planetarium, Science City, an IMAX theatre and a whole lot more. When we were there, they had a cool model train exhibit set up in the main lobby, a huge Christmas tree with a train around it that kids could ride in (see pictures) at the end of another wing, and acrobats doing all kinds of neat stuff. It was really a magical experience. We took in Science City and the IMAX and loved both. Caitlin had a blast in the Tot Lot climbing around and "hanging" out.

Sunday found us at a couple of malls finishing up some holiday shopping. I was desperate to make Caitlin a holiday bear this year, so we had to make a stop at Build-A-Bear. The line wasn't too long and the end result was one cute bear...just hope Caitlin loves him. In the evening, we were at KCI waiting to catch our flight to Denver. In true airline fashion, our plane was late coming into KCI and we were 25 minutes late getting into Denver. Even if the flight had been on-time, we only had about 45 minutes to traverse about 35 gates at almost impossible task. Well, by the time we actually landed, we really didn't stand a chance but still, we ran like mad to the commuter flight gate. Alas, we missed the flight and it was the last one into Montrose that night. With all other flights in the area booked or cancelled (weather), it looked like we were doomed to be stuck in Denver that night. After waiting over 3 hours in line with United Customer Service, we were given hotel vouchers (to a wonderful Red Lion Hotel) and a refund on our missed flight. The 6 of us then boarded a freezing cold shuttle to the hotel arriving around 1 am. We slept, got up, piled into a rental car and drove home since United couldn't get all of us home until after Christmas! We arrived a day late but safely. And that, my friends, is our KC to follow...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Airplane in the sky

In the words of a toddler: "I go on an airplane in the sky with Uncle Matt and Grandma, pretty soon!" Soon is tomorrow morning at sunrise. We will be traversing the skies to attend my brother, Mike's, graduation from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He is getting her Bachelors of Art in Tuba Performance. I'm not just gloating because he's my little brother, but Mike is really good...having just won 1st place in a regional college brass competition. You go man!We will post news of the adventure when we return.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A little bit of cuteness & love for Puppy

Just in case their was any doubt of the cuteness or Caitlin's love of Puppy. ;)'s my secret place!

This is our daughter's latest hiding spot, though she would most likely call it a haven. Doesn't she look so comfy with Puppy & her book?

Goofy Fun, Take 2


More's Caitie in our laundry basket. Ben & I were being industrious, trying to get all of our laundry done but Caitlin wouldn't have it. We had to take a time out to take some cute pictures!

Goofy Fun, Take 1

We're still poundering what Caitlin thought was so funny a few nights ago. She started laughing, fell to the floor, stomped her feet and somehow, made her way into the kitchen...rolling and laughing all the way---ha ha ha!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I guess 7+ years of library experience, 18 months of which in my current position, doesn't mean squat when applying for a transfer (read lateral) position to another facility. I had my interview for the Library Technician II position in Canon City on Monday. Honestly, maybe I had a bit too much faith in myself and my abilities, because I thought that I was a shoo-in for this position. I mean, what more could they want? I come fully trained with a good knowledge of how a correctional library should run. I went to the interview confident that I was the best person for the job, I knew that I could do it. Turns out though that my experiences and knowledge in library operations doesn't hold up to someone with the almighty MLS degree. It seems that the superiors view this piece of insignificant paper as more powerful or useful than years of invested time in making libraries better places to be. I was runner-up to someone with next to no library experience but, most likely, a Masters in Library Science. I think that the powers-that-be think that by hiring MLS staff, they are getting more for their money because these individuals know all there is to know about libraries. That might be so, on paper, but they haven't a clue how to survive in a correctional setting. Good luck lady, you're going to need it...inmates can smell vulernability from miles away and they will eat your naive self alive. I can't wait until the day that I hear regret out of the mouths of my superiors...when they come knocking on my door to offer me the position because Ms. MLS has left for a better paying position. I'm sorry, I won't be answering. If you didn't think I could do it the first time around, how do you expect me to believe that you believe in my abilities as the runner-up? Don't belittle me and then come begging but--if you are determined to--there had better be a serious pay raise included in that offer.
Also, don't offer me a chance at getting a position at another library...I don't want your consolation prize. I will find a library that appreciates my experience and knowledge.. *raspberries on you*
Thanks for not having faith in your own library staff!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fun @ KidPlex

My mom & I took Caitlin up to KidPlex in Grand Junction on Monday. I felt guilty because it is way too cold for Caitlin to play outside most days so she's been cooped up indoors. I was browsing around on the net for tumbling classes and came across the website for KidPlex. This place is huge! In addition to the indoor playground, the have gymnastics, a climbing wall and all kinds of stuff. For $2, Caitlin and I had a blast climbing all over the structure--thru tubes, down slides, throwing balls in the ball pit and bouncing on gigantic balls. Granted, I was very sore afterwards, but playing with my daughter and hearing her giggle was priceless.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Cute Caitlin Pictures

Posted for those family members who have been begging (aka threatening) me for more pictures of Cait...

Lifestyle Changes Part 2

The second major change hasn't officially happened yet, but it seems that the planets and whatnot will be aligned in my favor this month, not to mention that I have several people praying, thinking good thoughts & crossing body parts for me.

As most know, I have been working at a minimum security correctional center library near here (can't name due to DOC regulations) for a little over a year. While I have loved my job there, more than I ever anticipated, I have not been able to grow in that position due to a domineering co-worker. So, to remedy the situation, I have applied for, and have been selected for an interview, a transfer position to another minimum security prison in Canon City, CO--about 3 hours east of Montrose. My interview has been set for Decemeber 5th and I am busy polishing up on my interviewing skills to make sure that I'm at the top of my game. It seems that I have much in my favor in getting this job--previous library experience, DOC experience and the fact that the Regional Librarian (my direct boss) seems to like me. In getting this job, I will be the sole person in charge of library services and programs for a population of approximately 500 male offenders. Right now, I am only working part-time in the general library and feel that I am not able to do all of the things that I yearn to do. With moving on, I will be able to spread my wings. Two of my dear friends have been training me in library necessities so that I will be ready to "hold my own" when the time comes.

So, if I get this position (I should know within a week of the interview), it will mean another move, in the dead of winter. Thankfully, I have the support and assistance of my family & friends to help with the move. I will greatly miss my family here and the Montrose area as Canon City isn't nearly so pretty and is even more in the desert. Not being able to drop in on my parents and having them available for babysitting emergencies will be so hard. Somehow though, I know we will make it work. I am really excited at the prospect of getting this job as are my many collegues within the Department of Corrections, most of which have become my dearest friends. Finally, I will be able to socialize with them without mountains standing in between them & me.

As of now, assuming that I get the position, we will be moving sometime in January. I have been scoping out housing in Pueblo West, a fast-growing town about 13 miles from Canon City, and there seems to be much for sale/rent for the same or less than what we are paying here. Gas prices are also lower, which will make my daily commute less of a strain on the checkbook.
I know that Ben is excited at the prospect of moving east as we will be that much closer to Colorado Springs (30 minutes) & Denver (2 hours) which offer endless shopping and culture activities.

So...pray, think good thoughts, cross body parts or whatever you "thing" is for me, okay? I will keep you all posted on any developments.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Lifestyle Changes

As I sit here reading our blog, I've noticed that most of our posts have been about Caitlin or things that we've done as a family. I've neglected to update my dear friends & family on some monumental changes in my life. So, sit back, it's going to be a long story.

1. Okay, most of you know that I've been battling with hypoglycemia for about 10 years ever since almost passing out while hiking with my mom one day back in college. I have been trying to take care of it myself by eating more protein. The only problem is that I'm a major carb-aholic. I can't help it, I love my breads and pastas! Anyway, so...I was only having marginal success in controlling my blood sugar highs & lows. There would be days that I would be fine and days when I felt horrible and was grabbing protein at every turn. I was starting to get tired of the rollercoaster ride, not to mention weight gain so, I went to my general practioner.

He counsled me and then, determined, somehow, that I had depression (I told him that I wasn't sleeping well, big mistake) and he sent me to the hospital for a battery of tests--even though I told him I wasn't depressed and that low blood sugar can affect mood and make one sleepy. I know nothing though, I'm not a doctor, right? The tests, of course, don't find anything abnormal-thank goodness-but that doesn't help me. I try to tell my doctor that I think it's my hypoglycemia but he won't listen. "You don't have hypoglycemia", he says. I counter with, "Oh yes I do, I was formally diagnosed following a fast before I had my daughter!" He still didn't believe me, jerk! So, I walked out of his office $115 poorer and with no solution for my problem.

The big turn of events happened in late October. I was at work and started to feel like udder crud. I grabbed some sugar and then some protein but it didn't help. I ran across to the medical building (remember, I work in a correctional center) and had them poke me and get my blood glucose level. Sure enough, it was dangerously low--34! So, the nurse was feeding me sugar and telling me to go home. I did and slept all day. But first, I called Dr. "You don't have hypoglycemia" to set up another appointment. I planned to tell him off, armed with a signed copy of my blood glucose results and a bunch of stuff I found on WebMD about my condition. I was MAD! Make no mistake, the nurses in the office knew how upset I was. By the time I finally got to see the doctor, I was practically livid. I threw the paperwork at him and told my story. He said, "Well Laura, you obviously have something because this isn't normal". Gee, you think? He said that this stuff (endocrinology) was out of his hands so he referred me to a specialist an hour away.

I set up an appointment and was so hopeful, that finally, someone would believe me and help me deal with my condition. I sat through finger stabs every hour for 8 hours, a 24+ hour fast and two walks around downtown Grand Junction before I saw the doctor. He asked me a ton of questions--all with his eyes closed, don't ask--and finally diagnosed me with reactive hypoglycemia. Ta-da! Finally! I had something r-e-a-l! Take that Dr. "You don't have hypoglycemia"! Anyway, upon the diagnosis, I was given 2 Rx (neither of which I've filled-one was a mild anti-anxiety med and the other was a heart med my mom wouldn't let me take after consulting an internal med specialist) and told to schedule an appointment with their nutritionist.

I went home, called and booked an appointment with her for the following week. We met, she disected my diet and we came up with a high protein, low carb plan for me to follow. Not as strict as Atkins as I can eat 30-45 carbs a meal, but it's hard for me, someone who could easily eat a loaf of bread in one sitting. I'm struggling with it, but I'll get it all figured out. The best part, if I follow the diet and exercise (my biggest challenge), I'll see some pounds shed off! :)

Needless to say, I've dropped my general practioner. I need someone who will believe me. Now, I have the task of finding another who will take my horribly cheap insurance.

Okay, this is a long post, so I'm going to post it and then do another post for the other thing that's happened...

Monday, November 14, 2005

What do you get?

I've been having a hard time this year, in deciding what to get Caitlin for Christmas. She's too young for "toddler" toys but too big for a Power Wheel and all of the "in" electronic toys. After much thought, I think I've found the perfect solution. A Disney Princess themed room. It is all about Cinderella & Snow White at our house. We watch both movies over & over again, Caitlin was Snow White for Halloween and can spot her favorite princesses from yards away.
Anyway, here is part of what she is going to get--look at this. Lillian Vernon also has Disney Princess bookshelves and other "accessories". Her bedroom will be fit for any princess soon.

Speaking of bedrooms--I think we are about to undergo a renovation of sorts in Caitlin's room. This morning, when Caitlin woke up, she handed all of her stuffed animals, blankets and pillows to me. With my hands full, I asked her how she was going to get out of her crib. She looked at me and said, "Like this...". Then, in three quick motions, she had both legs over the side of her crib with her butt resting on the "bar". Then she said, "1...2...3..." and jumped to the ground. I'm sure the look on my face was priceless. I didn't know whether to be proud or upset. Honestly, I'm not sure that Caitlin realizes that climbing out is an option, but I don't think it will be long before she'll come in at 2 o'clock in the morning and tug on my arm. Before we know it, we will be converting her crib into a toddler bed. I'll leave the construction to Ben!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Little Riding Hood

Caitlin has an obsession with all things princess (especially Snow White & Cinderella). Here she is modeling a "shrug"--a gift from her aunt Ef. She thinks she looks like Snow White but I think she's a spitting image of Little Red (albeit white in the this case) Riding Hood. You be the judge.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Fairy Tale Halloween

A whirly-twirly princess

About to blow out the candle--oh no!

As you can plainly see, Caitlin was Snow White (or Snow Mocha as Daddy calls her) for Halloween. Grandma lovingly made the costume. At first, we were afraid that Caitlin wouldn't wear the costume because she had been avoiding it like it had cooties for awhile. However, when we told her that she need to, "put on her princess dress so that we can get some candy", she got so excited and loved wearing the dress. She was all business as we went from door-to-door down our street--saying "Trick or Treat" and then reaching into the bowls and "taking her fair share" of the candy. She was polite though, always saying thank you. She even got to play with our next door neighbor's bunny. All in all, I think Caitlin scored about 50 pieces of candy which are being rationed and will hopefully last until Thanksgiving! We're just making her brush her teeth after every piece.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Mommy & Daughter

Me & Cait--yes, that's a spoon in her mouth, don't ask me why!
(I took this picture myself, holding the camera away from us, pretty good, eh?)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

We Caught It...

It seems that the fall cold season has made a visit to our house. No amount of daily vitamins or orange juice could’ve stopped it.
Caitlin woke up early Friday morning pretty unhappy and tugging on her ear. At fist, we thought maybe her earrings were bothering her or that she had slept in a weird position. But no, it couldn’t be that. We took her temperature instantly, thank you ear scan, and she had a little bit of a fever but nothing to be alarmed about. Then, we noticed ever since she woke up, Cait had wanted to have her left ear pressed up against something (a shoulder, a pillow, the couch cushion) and would fuss if we tried to expose the ear to sound or air. I got her to lift her head long enough to see that her poor ear was pretty red. That sent up a red flag to this mommy & daddy and we were immediately on the phone to the pediatrician’s office. Of course, they wanted to see Caitlin. Ben was able to take her (this bad mommy had to report to work for a few hours) and calm her while the doctor looked in her ears and down her throat. The diagnosis was---*drum roll*--a “progressed” inner ear infection, probably a symptom of a strain of bacteria that’s been going around and making everyone miserable. She prescribed some Amoxicillin and handed Ben a sample of Children’s Motrin to help with the pain Cait was feeling. Thankfully, Cait is a pro when it comes to taking medicine and after her first dose, she was a lot more comfortable. We are on the meds for a least another couple of days, as we have to finish the whole bottle. Caitlin’s cold also seems to have progressed from an ear infection to a full blown cold complete with a cough and hoarse voice.
I have also come down with a little throat irritation and a headache. Ben, so far, has remained unscathed—luck duck! In the meantime, Cait & I are just going to take it easy, drink lots of liquids and pray that this passes before tomorrow night!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Caitlin's Weekend

Caitlin had a really relaxing weekend. She got to play with her doll house, her Magic Cook kitchen (and it's wide selection of plastic food) and be a mommy to her dolls. We ventured out to Riverbottom park this afternoon for some fresh air but forgot to take the camera along. Caitlin had a blast climbing on the play structures, walking along the river, playing in the Aspen leaves and then riding her bike across the bridge and throwing rocks in the "big water". Today was the perfect fall day, crisp & clear (temperatures in the upper 60's).
Here are some pictures from earlier today, before our park outing...

Three Dozen Things That You Probably Never Wanted to Know About Me

1) Name the last four things you bought: Pack of Doublemint Gum, Fruit Smoothie, highlighters and gas for my car.
2) Name three drinks you regularly drink: milk, H2O, cream soda
3) Last time you cried? This morning
4) What's in your CD player? In my car, Wiggles
5) What's under your bed? I’m afraid to look
6) What time did you wake up today? 7:15 am—thank you Caitlin
7) Current hair? Straight & short—no time for fussing
8) Current clothes? Polo shirt and jeans
9) Current desktop picture? Caitlin covered in a blanket surrounded by her stuffed animals
10) Ever worry? Of course, I’m a mom
11) Current Hate? Crazy drivers
12) Favorite place to be? With my family
13) Least favorite place? Big, noisy party
14) If you could play an instrument? Piano
15) Do you have a crush? Besides my husband, no
16) How tall are you? 5’6”
17) Favorite random quote? “Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.” -M. Scott Peck
18) One person from your past you wish you could go back and talk to? My maternal great-grandmother, I heard she was a cool lady
19) Favorite day? Sunday
20) Where would you like to go? Some days, anywhere but here
21) Where do you want to live when you get married? Already married and we live in a small town in Western Colorado
22) Favorite food? I don’t think I could pick just one thing. I like most Italian food though
23) Color of most clothes you own? Blue or cranberry pink
24) Number of pillows you sleep with? 2
25) What do you wear when you go to sleep? Usually capri pajama bottoms and a T-shirt
26) What were you doing 12AM last night? Sleeping—fast asleep
27) How old will you be in 10 yrs? Yikes—37!
28) What do you think you'll be doing in 10 years? Raising a teenager and hopefully, living in my own house and working as a librarian (one with an MLS)
29) Are you paranoid? Sometimes, depends on what it is
30) Do you burn or tan? Most of the time—burn, but if I use enough sunscreen, it is possible for me to tan
31) What is the brand of your wallet? It’s handmade leather, I got it at a local craft show a few years ago—it’s held up great
32) First piercing: my ears, I think I was about 4
33) First enemy? This kid in 5th grade that used to pick on me, I think his name was Steven
34) Last person you yelled at? It wasn’t yelling exactly, more like an exclamation—when Caitlin spilled her lemonade in my lap—brr!
35) Last person you kissed? Caitlin, on her forehead
36) QUICK what song is stuck in your head? This Wiggles song that goes: “Watching the ponies galloping home…”

My Inner Princess

You Are Cinderella!
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Dignified and hard working. With a gentle and soft-spoken manner you have something many people don't. Patience. Even through the moments of heartbreak you're still able to hold onto all of your hopes and dreams. Bide your time; your dream will come true.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Yep, that sums me up! I think I became Cinderella by osmosis. Caitlin & I must watch it at least twice a week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pumpkin Pickin'

Last night, when Ben got home from work, we headed over just south of Delta to go pumpkin pickin' at Ryan's Farms. They had a huge field filled with every shape & size of pumpkin out there...even some green and white ones. Caitlin had so much fun running up and down the rows before she found her "perfect" pumpkin. She got a little bit scared towards the end-it was starting to get dark-and thought that the pumpkins would get her. A hug and reassurance from Daddy did the trick.

I'm sure we will have more pictures next weekend when we do the actual carving. That was Caitlin's favorite part last year.


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