Saturday, April 30, 2005

What it was REALLY like! Posted by Hello

You MUST see this movie!

As my prison friends would say, "That is a direct order!" You must rent/buy/borrow "Hotel Rwanda" ASAP! Ben, my mother-in-law Hannah (who's been visiting for almost 2 weeks) and I sat down to watch this movie that we borrowed from my parents. I had heard and read fantastic reviews for this movie and was anxious to watch it for myself. Being only 17-ish when all of the fighting and killing was going on in Rwanda, I did what one reporter in the movie said, "People in America will see this, think it is sad, and return to eating their dinners". I remember hearing about the turmoil on the news and reading about it in my current events class but not letting the situation have an impact on me because it was happening halfway around the world in a country I knew almost nothing about. My American sheltered eyes were so shocked to see what really happened in Rwanda in 1994 and how one man saved the lives of many innocent people, buying lives at time. How can you put a price on a human life?! The horror of the genocide only compares to one time in history (at least in my mind) and that was the genocide practiced by Nazi Germany during World War. In some ways, what happened in Rwanda was more devastating and inhumane since thousands of children were slaughtered in order to stop further generations of Tutzi from coming to power or having any influence. This movie is by no means a "feel good" movie and at times, I found myself turning away or gasping in anticipation. However, this story needed to be told and it was--very well! I was so touched by what happened (especially the hundreds of children who were left parent-less following the massacre) that I cried for a good 30 minutes afterwards and told Ben that it's a good thing I was so young. Otherwise, our family would've increased 10-fold because I would've adopted as many of these children as I could. "Hotel Rwanda" has a powerful message--one that we all need to hear. You need to head over to Blockbuster or get online with Netflix and get this movie right now!

Say hello to temper tantrums

I think that it's safe to say that we have entered the world of toddler temper tantrums. The other day (Friday, if I recall correctly), Caitlin had her first full blown fit. We refused to let Caitlin have her coveted Oreo cookie at 7:45 pm. It is a house rule--no sweets after 7 pm. Although Caitlin probably thought that this rule was unconstitutional, she was quickly vetoed. Ben & I stood our ground, refusing to give her the chocolate goody and watched as our little girl went from princess to demon in about 10 seconds flat! Fists clench, eyebrows creased and the screaming began. Let me just say that Caitlin has perfected the "I'm mad at you" scream--complete with it's ear piercing pitch. We tried to appease our child at no avail as she continued her tantrum. Finding it slightly amusing, Ben grabbed the video camera and started to document "The First Tantrum" and test of our parenting skills. Caitlin could not be calmed, held or bribed (moment of parental weakness) and finally put herself in a corner of the kitchen and had herself a good cry. After about 5 minutes, the fit was over as suddenly as it came on--like the aftermath of a tornado. She must've tried herself out because she came over to Momma wanting to be picked up and cuddled. We cuddled for a few minutes and then she was out like a light--at an early 8:30 pm. Ben & I were so proud of ourselves for riding out the storm and not giving in. Score one for the parents--we have many more tests to come!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Climbing on Daddy, what fun! Posted by Hello

Oh, the places I can go! Posted by Hello

Look Mama, I'm fluffy clean. Posted by Hello

I wanted ya'll to see my teeth! Posted by Hello

Snapshots of Caitlin

We just wanted to share these recent pictures of Caitlin with you all. She's been having fun being goofy lately--climbing on Daddy and into the dryer. Toddlers will try everything at least once. :)

Monday, April 18, 2005

Thoughtful (and funny) words Posted by Hello

Free babysitting--heck yeah! Posted by Hello

Pampering Goodies Posted by Hello

Early Birthday Celebration!

Despite the celebration being a week (8 days technically) before my actual birthday, I still found the anticipation and excitement rising as the hands on the clock approached 6:30pm last night. We were to meet my parents and brother, Matt at the Grand Junction Applebee's for dinner. The crew arrived promptly and we sat down to drinks (non-alcoholic), queso and mozzarella sticks. Conversation flowed along with exclamations from Caitlin over her newest art creations or the newly discovered joy of blowing bubbles in chocolate milk (ice tea and lemonade work, too). I enjoyed one of my favorite entrees--the Oriental Chicken Roll-up while Ben had the Orange Chicken Skillet. The food was delicious and the service impeccable--maybe because the waiter knew that with a big party, he was likely to get a generous tip?
After dinner, we headed back to Montrose for dessert where my aunt & uncle joined the growing list of part-goers. My mom prepared two fresh strawberry pies for my birthday dessert. This has been a tradition for many, many years and is my absolute favorite thing about April! :) I told everyone that one pie was for them and the other was for me! Funny thing is, this is exactly how it turned out. When we left late into the night, I didn't leave empty handed but with almost a whole pie to enjoy at home.
My family was particularly pampering with my gifts this year. Here is what it entailed: A subscription to the local newspaper; manicure, pedicure and 1-hour massage; gift certificate to my favorite restaurant (Camp Robber Cafe); gift card for a movie at one of theatres in town and *dah dah dum* a certificate for free babysitting! One long day of pampering coming my way!
Ben also spoiled me with two more Italian charms for my bracelet and a promise of an indoor/outdoor Foreman grill. I can almost smell the steaks burning--umm, I mean cooking!

Homemade strawberry pie, does it get any better than this? Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Fish notes Posted by Hello

Good Reads

This week's book is:
You Got Nothing Coming by Jimmy Lerner

One of the inmates at my facility recommended this book to me (he said I needed to see what prison could really be like since our facility is considered "the Hilton") and I am really enjoying it. Yes, the language can be vulgar but Mr. Lerner is a powerful chronicler and you can't help but want to keep turning the pages.

A review from You Got Nothing Coming, Jimmy A. Lerner's memoir of his first year (of a possible 12) as an inmate in a Nevada state prison, is a shocking, hilarious, and heartbreaking narrative of a world both parallel to and absolutely alien from the one most readers inhabit. With deft, economical prose, Lerner, a middle-aged former marketing director for a major corporation, introduces us to his fellow inmates--swastika-tattooed skinheads, Wiccans, methamphetamine addicts, and fashion-conscious prostitutes, among others--as well as a multitude of prisoner scams, nonexistent but on-the-books rehab programs, and the life-or-death intricacies of the convict code of etiquette. Lerner's ear for prison language is pitch-perfect, and much of what we learn comes directly from the mouths of the incarcerated. Lerner has, in effect, written a nonfiction novel, one artfully laced with mordant humor and by turns tender, caustic, insightful, and relentlessly candid.

Even if you don't work in corrections, I highly recommend this book. It never hurts to see life thru the eyes of another.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Ooo, pretty!?

I'll admit, it's pretty... Posted by Hello

April (snow) showers?

April (snow) showers bring May flowers? Let's hope so! Posted by Hello

Spring Forecast=Snow

We woke this morning to find a dusting of snow on our "lawn" and covering the cars. This has to happen right when we were beginning to think that Spring was here to stay. I think, for a few moments, we'd forgotten where we lived. The forecast for the Denver area doesn't look to nice with up to 30 inches in some areas. Out here, I doubt that Montrose will see more than a couple of inches (sticking on the ground that is) since it was in the 60's and 70's earlier this week. I guess it's a good thing that we don't have anything planned except a trip to Wally World.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Monday, April 04, 2005

Good Reads

I thought that I would start up a weekly (hopefully) blurb about some good books/magazines or articles that I've stumbled across. Given my profession as a librarian, this seems fitting, don't you think?

Pick of this week...for all of you parents of toddlers out there (or soon-to-be-toddlers), I present *drumroll* What to Expect: The Toddler Years. As much as I complained about the original title in this series (can cause parents to freak out and call their pediatrician at all hours of the day), I have to give the editors credit on this sequel. It is informative and entertaining without being too alarming. Ben & I have found ourselves turning to this source whenever we find ourselves asking, "Why on earth is she doing that?" The book is in the familiar format of What to Expect When You're Expecting (month-by-month) but also have helpful sections on "Feeding Your Toddler" (when junior insists on eating nothing but dried mango) and a helpful toddler care primer. All in all, I'd have to give this book umm...3 Wiggles...our second highest rating. So, here is a link to the book. You can "skim" through the book online and see for yourself:

Unique Eats

Montrose might not have a big-city selection of cuisine but it does have something that no big city can have--Camp Robber Cafe. The chefs here are amazing, able to create the most delicious combinations I've ever tasted. I've tried many new dishes over the years but an oldie remains a favorite: Southwestern Cilantro Quesilidias. If you're ever in town, you should seek out the little restaurant on Main Street with the masked crow on it's sign. Your taste buds will never forget!
Check out this link:

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Biggest Boy!

Brett, such of a big boy--almost 5! Posted by Hello

Brett, the big boy!

I felt that I had to give my "nephew" Brett his moment in the spotlight. He was so excited to see us last weekend and couldn't wait to show off his new skills of counting, adding and subtracting and writing his name (mind you, he's not yet five). It was really hard for us to leave since before moving to the Rocky Mountain State (yes, it's all our fault Ms. Brown), we got to see Brett almost daily. A rendezvous is planned for sometime next summer...Washington DC, here we come!

Love at first bite! Posted by Hello

Caitie Meets My Little Pony

Above is the picture that we took when "Aunt Krissy" gave Caitlin her first My Little Ponies when we meet in Dillion last Sunday. It was love at first bite for Caitlin! :)


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