Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Wow, look at the difference!

I finally decided that it would be a good idea to post Caitlin's second birthday picture that we recently got back from the protrait studio.
I got to comparing this year to last year and boy, what a difference...see for yourself!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Oh yeah...

I forgot to mention that Caitlin still has Puppy, her stuffed dog who has been everywhere with her. If you look back in the archives, you will find several pictures of Caitie with Puppy.
Puppy (aka TY's Whiffer) when he was brand new. Causality of being the beloved friend of a toddler has meant several trips into the washing machine (on delicate cycle, of course). Let's just say Puppy's not as fluffy or as colorful as he once was, but no dog is more loved.

Ba-ba free is the way to be!

The last remaining babas--will we bury it, tie it to a balloon, put it in a keepsake box? --->

Today marks the 2nd ba-ba (aka binky) free day for Caitlin. We were encouraged by our pediatrician at Caitlin's 2 year well baby visit, to "phase out" her pacifier use. She never takes her ba-ba to day care but seems to cling to it on her "days off". We worked hard getting her down to only naptime and bedtime while at home. Over the weekend, she used it less and less until yesterday, she went the whole day without mentioning it...so...Ben and I decided to permanently rid Caitlin of her beloved safety object. Last night was a bit hard, she kept asking for ba-bas but, we just kept repeating that, "Babas are all gone, honey. You're a big girl & you don't need babas anymore." While it brought many tears, we held firm. Finally, at around 10:45 p.m. MDT last night, Caitlin surrendered to the Sandman. Tonight was a similar battle--tears, a mini tantrum and finally exhaustion. Day 3, here we come! In the words of the Doodlebops, "We can do it, we can do anything!" I just hope that the next few night are a bit smoother. Phasing out is hard work!

Thank you Babas for soothing our daughter for the past 25 months. There are days that we couldn't imagine not having your assistance. You have ended trantrums, stopped tears and brought smiles to Caitlin's face. We admit, she looked awfully cute with you in her mouth. Now, Caitlin is a big girl and doesn't have a need for you anymore. Rest in peace, dear babas!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Your comments, please

I'm desperate for someone to leave me a comment so that I know that a living, breathing person out there actually cares that I take the time to write down my thoughts, our happenings and the like. While, this site may never reach 10,000...I'd like to know that it's reaching someone...anyone...
This is a pitiful plea, I know, but humor me!

By the way, you can leave your comments by clicking on where is says "0 Comments".

Monday, August 22, 2005

Affectionately Known As Crusty Butt

Catching title, isn't it?
This is the story of our adventure up to the resort town (yes, I think it's becoming a trend) of Crested Butte, Colorado. We met up with my parents here in Montrose and drove together up to Gunnison, home of Western State College, where my brother Matt is a freshman. After swinging by Matt's dorm to pick him up, we headed up to the mountain town. We strolled leisurely thru town stopping at an artist co-op (I saw so many pretty things!), toy store (see picture & description below) and a dog/cat supply store that boasted treats such as gingerbread men and Boston Terrier Cream Pies. I wanted to eat lunch at a place called Pitas in Paradise (my brother was even on board with me), but we ended up going to a chinese place where I tried Thai Ice Tea for the first time. It was sweet and yet, a bit smokey.
After lunch, we strolled back down to the car, looking at Crested Butte reality along the way. A shack on the outskirts of town goes for a much as a nice home here in Montrose!
We wrapped up our trip with some TCBY and a snooze (don't worry, my mom was driving) on the way home. Ahh, it's so nice to have these little getaways!

Pictures from "Crusty Butt"

Finally, a picture of Ben & I--just the two of us.

Posted on the wall of a building with a steep metal roof!

I was dying for a pital, falfalel or something Greek!

1880's original architechture--beams.

We stopped in this really neat toy store and Caitlin immediately found this litle shopping cart. She threw quite a fit when we made her put it back so we could leave the store. She will probably see something very similar under the Christmas tree this year.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Grin & Bear It

As the price of gas in Montrose hits a record high of $2.69/gallon for regular (85), we're told by our wonderful Montrose Daily Press staff to "grin & bear it". Good advice and I normally, I would heed to it. It's a little difficult though, when it costs $34.50 to fill up a 12 gallon tank. I drive 40 minutes (32 miles) to work each way, so I go thru about a tank of gas a week. Yes, I'm feeling the pinch! I only run to the pump when the yellow warning light comes on. I swear, if gas gets to $3/gallon, I'm going on strike! I will be demanding a state vehicle or mileage reimbursement. No more leisurely drives for this librarian!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hotchkiss, CO--beautiful mountain veiws from the "highway"

A working coal-refinery outside of Austin, CO.

Paonia resevoir--see the boat?

More views of the West Elk Mountains--hardly any snow this time of year.

We had a great time yesterday! Ben & I dug out the Colorado map and decided to take a journey to Aspen, CO. After verifying the route, we stopped off at Safeway for some speciality sub sandwhiches, drinks and cookies and hit the road. Our route took us thru Hotchkiss, Paonia and many little towns in between.

Redstone, CO

Caitlin & Ben posing under "The One that Got Away" at the Redstone Park.

Daddy & Daughter

Throwing big rocks in the river is f-u-n!

We stopped in Redstone, CO to eat our lunch. I remembered, from years ago, there being a park right by the Crystal River. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we all had fun playing in the park and "skipping" rocks in the river. Redstone is a really neat town with a unique history. Read about the history here.

Redstone, CO

Redstone Coke Ovens

Enterance to Redstone Park

Wee! I'm holding on like a big girl! I even jumped off of the swing (scared
Mommy & Daddy) and landed on my feet!

Aspen-its mathematical.

We arrived in Aspen around 3 o'clock and spent quite a few minutes searching for a free place to park. After paying $43 ($2.61/gallon) for gas, we needed to be as economical as possible. We strolled the streets of Aspen and then decided to check out the fare for the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain. The views are incredible from up there. Unfortunately, the fare was $20/person and we'd only be up on the mountain for about 35-40 minutes before closing. That works out to about $1/minute! We decided it wasn't worth it, this time and will come back when we have more time. Instead, we headed back "downtown" and walked around some more. We saw a bear made completely out of nails and a really cool water feature that the kids loved playing in. We stopped for ice cream at Maggie Moo's on Durant Ave where I had an concotion called Strawberry Skyrocket and Caitie had blue cotton candy ice cream with mini M&Ms mixed in. Yummy! Maggie Moo's wrapped up our trip to Aspen (this time). Finally, Ben got to see the setting of Dumb & Dumber. Going to Aspen seems to be a rite of passage for us "Western Slope" residents.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Around her world in 60 minutes

She's waving at some "big kids" walking across the street, not at me.

So confident--no fear!

To the bike path!

Caitlin officially learned how to pedal her trike for long distances last night. We spend close to an hour going up and down our street and over to the bike path that runs behind our place. Soon, we'll all be able to go bike riding together! I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

CEA 2005

For those who have been wondering where I've been for the past couple of days, the answer is: "What is at the annual CEA conference in Colorado Springs". CEA is the Colorado Education Association and every year they host a conference on the Front Range of Colorado. While it is primarily geared towards teachers (public and institutional alike), the Colorado State Library in conjunction with the Colorado Correctional Libraries plans a day of fun for us library folk. So, I headed over on Sunday afternoon to Buena Vista, CO with my friend Jeanne, another prison librarian. The plan was to spend the day with her, visit the two correctional facitilies in Buena Vista and then drive with her to "the Springs" early Monday morning. We took a rather unusual (at least for me) route to Buena Vista via Interstate 70 and then Highway 24 through Leadville, CO--elevation 10,200 feet). We had to take a detour in Leadville to get around a parade which allowed me to see some beautiful "painted ladies" Victorian era homes. I also was able to take a few pictures of the mountains from my car (see below). Anyway, Jeanne & I had a lot of fun sharing workplace gossip and eating steaks and Olathe Sweet sweet corn. Jeanne had picked some up at the while in the area for the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival. This is a big deal if you like crowds, corn and country music. Olathe is about 10 minutes from Montrose, FYI. We woke up at the crack of dawn, and I watched the sun peak out over the foothills out Jeanne's windows. Those are some beautiful views! We left for Colorado Springs around 8:30 in the morning and arrived at the Park Plaza Hotel. It's a good thing that the state was paying for my room (and I'm forever greatful to them for providing a roof over my head), because I don't think I would spend my own moo-lah to stay there. This hotel used to be a Holiday Inn back in the day but it was brought out. The story stops there because almost nothing was done to the hotel to improve it's star rating. Enough said.

The conference, on a scale of 1 to 10 would get about a 6. We librarians enjoyed a session called, "Everything you need to know about the Intranet" which explained the ins and out of the new Correctional Libraries intranet. I picked up a few pointers and had fun catching up with my collegues. After the session, friends Patti, Jeanne, Miriam & I took to the streets in search of dinner. Patti led us to Guiseppe's, an Italian restraunt housed in an old train depot. We ate and chatted while watching freight trains go by. I tried vanilla gelato for the first time--very yummy! When then headed over to the Citadel mall in search of pants that would mimic our new uniforms (we are only allowed 3 pairs for free) and shoes (for me). I struck gold on shoes, finding a Sketchers sale at Mervyn's. Finally, my feet can walk in comfort!

On Tuesday was the day-long in-service. The guest speaker this year was Charles Fay from the Love and Logic Institute. If you have not read Parenting with Love & Logic, I highly recommend that you do so. There are also audio CDs and books on the stages of parenting as well as teaching and marriage. Dr. Fay's presentation was very entertaining and he had everyone laughing for a good majority of the day. I, however, had trouble staying awake due to a sinus cold that was kicking my butt. Thankfully, a 24 hour sinus tablet did the trick, along with some Oriental trail mix--spice it up!

I headed home to Montrose around 3:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday, arriving at the homestead a little after 8pm. I ran into some cool mountain thunderstorms, stopped for Cold Stone (their blueberry creation is amazing!) in Canon City and chicken fries @ BK in Salida (not worth all of the hype). I even saw a bighorn sheep and several deer along the way. They all seemed determined to act as a natural road block!

All in all, it was a good get-away...I got some much needed alone time as well as "girl" time with my friends. I need to do both of these things more often.

Driving at 10,2000 feet

Here are the pictures of Leadville, CO--elevation 10,200 feet. I was surprised to get a strong digital roam signal (that's Sprint for ya) while in town.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My Reading List

Here are the books that I'm tackeling at the moment. Reviews to come later--all that I can say is that "Confessions of a Slacker Mom" is pretty hilarious...just look at the title of one of the chapters!

I think I see, I think I see

Do you see a little two-year old girl?


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