Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mystery Solved

Well, the mystery of Cara's fussiness has been solved--dum dum dum--she has a new tooth! It's just started to peek thru her gums, it's so white and cute! Another date to fill in on her calendar and baby book. She's growing up so fast!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Prayer Request

I have never posted anything like this before. I am asking that you pray, think good thoughts and pass this on to your family and friends so that they can do the same.
My husband (we are still married even though we're separated) just told me that he may have a cancerous lump under his chin. He is to go next week for a biopsy to determine if it is cancer or benign is only 31 years old and mostly a heathly guy. Maybe I'm being selfish but I'm not ready to lose him yet and my girls need their father.
I am trying not to assume the worst until I hear the results but, it's hard not to, especially since cancer runs rampant in his family. As he once told me, the men in his family don't live long. I tried to tell him that I didn't believe that it was his time. Of course, only God knows when it's someone's time...
So, please pray, think good thoughts, meditate or do whatever it is that suits you. I will keep you all posted.
Thanks so much, in advance.

Check it out

Thanks to Lauren for the tips on how to add my Flickr account to my blog! You can find it on the sidebar. Click it and you'll be able to see all of my latest pictures, including those from Christmas. I was a tad bit disappointed to see that there weren't any good shots of Caitlin. My dad was appointed camera man while I handed out presents. He didn't get many pictures at all as he quickly became consumed with opening his own presents. I am going to have to learn how to crop using iPhoto so that I can post the few pictures that I do have of Caitlin. Truth be told, she was so busy tossing paper aside that I doubt my dad would've gotten too many good shots anyhow...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pure Frustration

For those of you without kids, consider this a good dose of birth control or why you don't want to have kids...
For the past few days, my youngest, 5 month old Cara, has been very fussy almost to the point of being inconsolable at times. I've tried everything from feeding to a car ride to calm her down. On she wails. If I I could truly decode her cries--is she overstimulated, tired, hungry, bored, mad? Does she have gas? Is she teething? Your guess is as good as mine.
She is content right now, in her car seat, go figure...I wonder how long it will last?

P.S. Christmas pictures will be coming soon, I soon as I get more than 30 seconds of free time & peace.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays One & All

I wanted to wish you all the blessings that this holiday season can bring. The love of family, friends and memories.

Christmas this year is going to be in two parts. Santa will come tonight for Caitlin & Cara and tomorrow morning, they will open the gifts that he brings along with some from their daddy and an honorary aunt.

Our big celebration won't be until the 27th when my brother Mike and my soon to be sister Ally arrive here. Matt is actually on his way back from Denver via Amtrak today (Christmas Eve). He was in the Mile High City for the Blizzard of 2006. Anyway, we will open the majority of presents then and of course, the stocking that were hung on the couch (we lack a fireplace) with care.

Caitlin is beyond excited this year and it has been fun doing all of the rituals with her--visiting Santa, decorating the tree, making cookies, etc. The honorary aunt sent a Winnie the Pooh Christmas Countdown calendar, so we have been doing that everyday too. Tonight, Grandma is going to read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to the girls, another tradition in our house. I MUST remember to get a picture of this.

This is Cara's first Christmas, so it is just so priceless. Of course, she is clueless but, it will be fun for me, no doubt.

I'm so blessed to be able to be here with my family for the holidays. Even though the circumstances that brought us here weren't the best, it has all worked out splendidly.

So, HAPPY HOLIDAYS everyone, Happy Holidays!

Please excuse me while I crank up the Christmas tunes on the stereo...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

We saw Santa Claus, we saw Santa Claus

...and for the record, Santa lives in a cabin, at least here in Montrose.
Caitlin was so excited when I told her that we were going to go see Santa. Such of a different reaction from last year where she wanted nothing to do with the man, much less sit on his lap. This year, she not so patiently waited her turn and then climbed right up into his lap and began to tell him how she wanted a Dora the Explorer Kitchen for Christmas. (Sorry to disappoint you, little girl, but Santa's helper a.k.a. your momma has already purchased your gifts) and how much she can't wait for it to be "Merry Christmas time". I handed Cara off to a sweet Mrs. Claus and then tried to persuade Caitlin to smile for the camera. All I got was a look of, "Gee Mom, can't you see that I'm busy?" from her. Cara looked so content with Mrs. Claus and much to my surprise, she did not cry...possibly because she couldn't tell who it was that was holding her. I'm so happy that this year was a happy & memorable experience for both girls.

(Caitlin fell in the parking lot right before we got to the cabin, hence the dirt on her tights) It is almost impossible to get a non-cheesey smile out of this girls these days!

Why we love KidzPlex

Why we love's a simple thing, really...there, Caitlin can run around and be silly 'till her heart's content. In fact, it is encouraged. There are always kids her age for her to play with. She gets more brave each time that we go (climbing up to the very top of the structure, going down the long purple slide, doing the zip line all by herself...). They have popsicles for the unreal price of 10 cents. There's a really sweet employee who loves to play with the kids and help them out, which is wonderful to a mom who already has her hands full with a baby. Speaking of babies, they have a cute tot area too, so that Cara could get in on the action. All of this for the bargain price of $3 for limitless hours of fun. Can't beat it, can you? Did I mention that it tires Caitlin out? I just love the peace & quiet on the way home...totally worth the drive up there (it is in Grand Junction).

Friday, December 08, 2006

My Chunky Monkey

Cara had her 4 month check up today and would anyone care to phantom a guess as to how much she weighed? *drumroll* 15 lbs! Truly earning my new nickname for her...chunky monkey. But, she is a really cute one at that.
The pediatrician just adored her singing, "I'm falling in love with you". He is such of a sweetheart and my favorite doctor in the practice.
Cara was given a clean bill of health along with three shots. We do have a couple of appointments with specialists coming up. One for a hearing test, given my hearing loss and all and the other for a vision screening. I am a bit concerned because she seems to cross her eyes more than normal. While it has decressed lately, I am still concerned since there is some family history of lazy eye and vision problems. Her doctor isn't real worried since a lot of babies do this but then outgrow it around 6 months.
Otherwise, no real concerns and Cara is hitting all of the developmental milestones.

A smack in the face...

Some of you know about my current job dilemna...I was offered (officially) a position as a library technician at a correctional facility in south east Colorado on Tuesday. This followed an informal offer from the regional librarian. I was all set to take the offer when the business manager for the contract employer called on Tuesday. However, that all went south when she quoted my salary. Let me back up a bit and explain...when I interviewed for this position a few weeks ago, I was told by the regional librarian that I would get a raise in my salary since I had two years of DOC experience. I was thrilled because I knew that I couldn't raise two kids on what I made before. Even with a raise, I'd be cutting it close every month. So, imagine my surprise, when I find out that the contrct employer is going to offer me the EXACT SAME salary that I made when I resigned! WTH?! I was furious, of course. After I had cooled down some, I did some serious number crunching & sure enough, there's no way that I can make it off of that pathetic salary. Long story short, I'm going to decline the offer some time today. I am really bummed 'cause I was looking forward to going back to work (yes,in a prison) and working with one of my good friends. But, maybe this is happeningfor a reason??

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Milestones & Memory Making

In my previous post, I mentioned how playing in the snow with Caitlin was going to be something that I remembered forever. Seems that we are making a lot of memories these days, as well as ticking off some milestones.
Here are just a few--

*Caitlin (and I say this with great conviction) is finally fully potty-trained (except for nighttime). Those that have been following this journey know what a celebration this is. Our fiercly independant and stubborn daughter finally decided that "it was time". I think, that bringing the potty chair back into the picture finally did the trick. Caitlin calls it "my special potty". There were shouts of joys and big smiles in our house on Monday, followed by a mad dash to Cold Stone for the promised reward for doing #2 on the potty.
*Cara is starting to teethe. Can she really be old enough for this to be happening? She has been drooling a lot and has enjoyed "gumming" my fingers and chewing on just about anything that she can get into her mouth. Unlike her big sister, Cara seems to enough the teething rings that you freeze and we are working on getting her to be able to hold it & put it in her mouth. We don't see any teeth yet, just mounds in her gums. It could be weeks, it could be months. All I know is, I'll be watching!
*Caitlin has mastered being able to play Candyland, for real, by the rules. We played today and she did so well, moving her gingerbread piece in the right direction, finding the right colors and taking turns. She even won this game.
*And finally, Cara started her first solid food last night. She had a little bit of very watery rice cereal. Mostly, she just made "eww, this is gross faces" and spit it out, but Rome wasn't built in a day. Soon, she will be eating wonderful entrees like turkey & rice. All in due time, all in due time.

My girls keep growing up before my eyes. While it saddens me sometimes, I am also extremely proud!

Colorado Winter Wonderland

As the "big storm" continues to sweep the nation, it has thankfully left our neck of the woods in western Colorado. Though, not before dumping 9.5 inches of snow on the ground and bringing us frigid temperatures both day & night. Nevertheless, our clan managed to make the best of it. This really is the first year that Caitlin has been both aware of the snow and wanting to play in it. For months, she has been asking when the snow would come so that she could make a snow angel. Well, on Tuesday, she got her wish. Outfitted in more layers than was probably necessary, she & I (along with the family golden) frolicked in the snow having snowball fights (even though the snow didn't pack very well--common for our semi-arid area), making snow people and running around exclaiming at our foot prints in the fresh snow. I doubt that Caitlin has as much fun in 30 minutes as she did that day. It took a lot of convincing to get her to come inside, even though she was as frozen as a popsicle. As I stood watching her play, I couldn't help but recall similar childhood memories of begging my parents to help me put on my snowpants so that I, too, could go out and enjoy freshly fallen snow. That day, I really saw things through the eyes of my child and gained some new insights into her life. It was truly a wonderful day, makings for a life-long memory.
After coming inside, Caitlin enjoyed a warm bath followed by a snuggle and I made myself a mocha, sat back and watched the Christmas lights come on outside. A small blue spruce in the front yard looked absolutely beautiful covered in snow with multi-colored lights shining through (if I can get the picture from my dad, I will post it). That night, I added an extra blanket to our bed and snuggled up close to Caitie as we endured below freezing temperatures. What a magical day!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Cute kiddo pics

I realized that I have been slacking off on posting pictures lately. Here are some of the cutest recent ones.

Yumm, lamb! I have expensive tastes already

Me & my best buddies

Oh my gosh! Do you think I could LOVE soccer?

Total goofball!

Job Update

I sent out a mass email to just about everyone but, just so that no one can say they didn't know...
I was offered the prison library job that's two hours east of Pueblo. I interviewed on a Tuesday and the Regional Librarian called me that next day to offer me the job. Now, all is not said and done because I still have to go to the Springs for an integrity interview (intensive background check, basically) and also have to be formally offered the position by the contracting employer. I am still waiting for a call for the background interview. I have no doubt that I will pass, I did before and I haven't committed any felons or murders in the past 4 months, so I think I'm good. As for as the contract offer, it had better be at least $200/month more than it was last time or I will most likely turn them down. I may turn them down anyway and here's the story behind that...
I always thought that I made decent money--at least in the library tech word--but what I failed to realize is that yeah, it's a decent amount, but only when you have a 2nd income (read a spouse). It ain't crap by itself when you're trying to pay off bills and raise two beautiful girls. So, I have a new dilemna...can I live off of the salary that they offer me? Can I take this job? Hmm...good questions and believe me, I have been stewing over them for quite awhile. I have basically decided to wait until I get my contract before making a final decision. My good friend, Jeanne, has offered for the girls & I to stay with her for a few months while I get a feel for the area and the job to make sure that I like it. I just might take her up on the offer if we can get everything squared away with day care and training. The big problem is that I may have to train on the swing shift which is 12noon-9pm. Uh oh, you might be thinking...big problem finding day care for the evening. Yep, that's exactly it. So, I'm trying to get something set up so that I can make this work. While living with Jeanne, I would, hopefully, be able to get a little bit ahead on some of my bills so that, again hopefully, I'll be able to live on my own with the girls off of my salary.
I hope that this all works out, if it's what I decide that I want to do, because the sense of accomplishment I'd feel being out on my own would be so wonderful!

Then again, if I decide not to be that risky, Montrose County called today to have me interview (yet again) for some part time position. So, who knows! Right now, I just want a call from the DOC about that stupid interview...

Friday, November 17, 2006

That's the way the cookie crumbles...

Well, it doesn't look like I'm going to be a court clerk, at least not for Montrose County. I got a call on Wednesday informing me that they had chosen someone else for the full-time position, and of course, that person accepted the job. The head clerk did ask if I wanted to be placed on "the list" for the part time position and I told her to go ahead. While I was a bit bummed not to get the job because I dearly and desperately need income, I know it just wasn't meant to be. When I went to the 2nd interview on Tuesday and learned the exact duties of the position, the more I began to wonder if I would do a good job and if I would like it. I would've had to do a lot of transcription, data entry and answering telephone calls. Frankly, it sounded kind of boring. Mind you, the pay was pretty good as were the hours, but I found myself wondering if I would enjoy it. Oh well, their loss.

In other news, I did get called for an interview for another prison library job. This prison is located in southeastern Colorado...about two hours east of Pueblo, for those that want to pull out a map. My good friend Jeanne works there as the Library Tech III, so I would be working "under" her though we work so well together that I wouldn't feel like she was my boss most days. We worked together briefly while I worked in Delta and became instant friends. Anyway, this interview is next Tuesday at noon. My mom, the girls and I will be trekking over there on Monday since it's at least a 6 hour drive across and is really hard to do with the girls--especially Cara who is going through a stranger anxiety phase, so that I can't leave her with anyone.
I am having mixed feelings about this job. While I will love working with Jeanne & the inmates again, it is SO far away from my family and support system. It is, as it looks right now, my only shot at making a living wage and, it might be a really good thing for me to be out on my own. I just don't know if I'm ready for that big of a leap yet. I'm just taking things one step at a time to ace the interview first, and go from there. So, once again, if you could pray, cross fingers, etc. for me, I'd appreciate it. I'm in dire need of some divine inspiration!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Got a "call back"

Just when I was about to give up on the court clerk job (they were supposed to call yesterday to let me know one way or another), I got a call asking me to come back for a second interview next week! I guess I did better than I thought 'cause only the top three were going to be invited to interview again. So, on Tuesday, I have to knock the socks off of some more big wigs in order to get the job. Please keep fingers crossed for me. I will keep you posted.

I'm so psyched!

Well, I finally heard from Montrose County about the court clerk job I applied for a few weeks ago. I have an interview tomorrow @ 2pm. I have to go to the probation department first to take a typing test and then the interview will follow. I hope that I do well on the typing test. I can type fast most days but sometimes, my accuracy isn't the greatest. I wonder what a good typing speed is? I took this online typing timed test earlier this morning and I was at about 56 WPM...hmm...

Anyway, wish me luck. I really want to get this job 'cause the idea of, once again, being able to pay my bills and provide for my daughters is so appealing.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The final product

Okay, Blogger is being totally stupid and won't let me post this picture along with the others so I'm going to try to do it this way. *raspberries to Blogger*

Here are the pumpkins. Caitlin's is obviously the one on the right. The other one my mom carved using one of those patterns.

Halloween 2006

Each Halloween, it seems, is more fun than the last. This year was no exception. Caitlin was totally into the whole thing from pumpkin carving to ringing door bells. My mom hand-made (gotta love someone who can sew 'cause I haven't a clue) her a Sleeping Beauty costume (the Disney Princess obsession continues) which she loved dancing around the house in, holding her skirt out while she twirled.
This year, Cait was really into making a face on the pumpkin. At one point, I asked her what shape she wanted to make the pumpkin's ears and she said that she would be right back because she needed to look in the mirror to see what shape HER ears were. She comes back and says that they are kind of a cresent or almond shape. How smart! Her pumpkin is the one on the right.
We ended up spending 2 hours trick-or-treating at the neighborhood across the street from my parents' house. Caitlin got a lot of loot, which I carefully inspected. What was funny was how she would exclaim over and scrutnize each piece of candy that she got. "Oooo, a sucker! Those are my favorite! Thank you!"

This was Cara's first Halloween--another milestone! She went out as a wooly lamb wearing the same costume that Caitlin wore at about a year old. True, it was a bit big in the arms on Cara, but honestly, there wasn't that much room. Cara cruised the neighboorhood in her stroller while her big sister ran door-to-door. That baby was roasty-toasty the whole time as the costume is thick faux fur. Cara fell asleep about halfway thru the Halloween adventure but nonetheless, she got lots of comments on being a precious little lamb.

Monday, October 30, 2006

All Flushed Out

If this doesn't make you laugh, then well, you have no sense of humor. Read on...

On Saturday, the girls, Ben & I were in Ridgway eating at the famous True Grit Cafe. I was enjoying a BLT on sourdough and great conversation with Ben when our oldest announced that she needed to use the potty and I decided I would follow suit. So, I'm wrapping things up while trying to help Caitlin and turn half way around (so that my eyes are not directly watching the toilet bowl) and then I flush. I turn back around for a second to hear a metalic "thunk" and see a brief spot of green. The light bulb went off in my head, my keys were going down the toilet! Frantic, I stick my hand in the toilet and try to rescue them at no avail. Next, I get out the trusty plunger hoping for a miracle to return the heavy item to the bowl. No luck there either. I was faced with the reality that my keys were being flushed to a treatment facility somewhere. Embarassed as heck, I seek out our waitress to tell her that my keys just might cause them some plumbing problems but not to worry about my keys--they're non-essential. Thankfully, earlier that same day, we had dropped my car off at Big O to have them fix a slow leak in one of my tires. So, my only set of car keys were safe with them. Even so, I felt so dumb. I mean, how do you flush keys? Rings, I can understand, they are small and all but keys?! In my defense, the pockets on the jeans I was wearing are really shallow and things have a tendancy to barely fit. I think that by sitting down and then rising quickly, I caused the keys to shift and fall...simple physics, I suppose.

Okay, go ahead and laugh now! I had Ben, two waitresses and Caitlin laughing at me.

Oh, one more thing. It seems that I got a lemon of a laptop. The second time I tried to boot it up, it won't and the screen gets these pastel stripes all over it. I couldn't hear the hard drive working either. CRUD! I have to send the bloody thing back to Apple, again. This time, I am going to insist on a new laptop...this one seems to be doomed.

First Snow

Montrose just got it's first snowfall of the season. A blizzard was predicted for pretty much the whole state for today and yesterday. We only got a couple of inches here but it blew in so violently. First it was almost totally blue sky, then the wind came up (enough to blow our storm door off of one of it's hinges), the sky turned DARK gray and then the rain started. Soon, rain gave away to sleet and sleet to snow. My eldest daughter, was of course, thrilled 'cause she thought it was Christmas time and wants to go out and make snow angels in the yard. The snow/rain mess snapped a big, huge willow tree nearly in half in my neighbor's backyard and caused my dad's flight to Denver to be cancelled. I guess they cancelled a lot of flights due to the fact that they feared the flight into Denver would be hell. I heard on the news that Denver really didn't get hit that badly but Colorado Springs truly got the blizzard--13 inches in 2 hours. Dang, I'd love that here...enough snow to make snowmen and snow angels. Though, I'm sure it would've delayed my dad's flight even more and he really wants to go to my cousin's wedding so...

Anyway, kinda cool to see the snow, even if it is way early. This has been an odd year for Montrose anyway, lots of rain and gray'd think it was Michigan or Seattle.

Thank You Apple!

(I just realized that I had posted on MySpace and not copied them over to this blog)

Well, I just got my laptop back from the nice FedEx guy this morning. I had to send it in about a week ago 'cause it wouldn't boot up for the longest time and then smelled like fried computer parts. So, Apple sent me a box, with explicit instructions of how to package the darn thing and I shipped it off to them. I was kept informed of the entire process and was surprised that I had my laptop back in less than a week. I have to say that I am very impressed with Apple. The associates I spoke to on the phone with polite and knowledgable and now, I have my computer back better than ever with a new touch pad and all. One is SO worth buying th extended warranty on big purchase items like computers. I don't even want to think how much this would've cost to fix without one (though Apple gives you a limited warranty with every new purchase and the AppleCare that I have goes above and beyond that...but still...). I'm a happy camper.

So, thank you Apple, I am one satisfied customer. You've made a believer out of me! :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Going to be the death of me!

I am currently seeking employment and came across a very intriguing job in the Montrose paper the other day. It is for a deputy court clerk for the county judicial court. Basically, it sounds like I would be typing up court proceedings. Not very glamorous but, the pay is good and it would be a steady M-F job. So, I hopped onto the website and downloaded the application. Piece of cake, it was, the same old, same old stuff. Well, as I read the job ad, there was a mention of a supplemental form that needs to be filled out in addition to the application for a candidate to be considered for the position. No problem, I thought, how hard could it be, a few more blamks to fill in or boxes to tick. Boy, was I in for a surprise when I downloaded the required form. It consists of 10 very detailed questions. I feel like I'm trying to get clearance to work for the CIA or Secret Service or better yet, going for eassyist of the year. Here's just an sample of the questions I have to answer---
What is your management/adminstrative style? Provide examples of how these philosophies can effect the operation and moral in an organization. Explain and provide examples of how you make decisions.

Holy poop Batman, huh? Sympathy, please. I imagine that their reasoning behind using these questions is to rule out the underqualified but honestly, they just about scared me away and I LIKE to write and have a good vocabulary! Anyway, wish me luck...I have to have this turned in by the 24th of this month.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thunderous Outing

I totally forgot to post about a trip that the girls and I took with Ben a couple of Saturdays ago down to Ouray, CO. We hopped in the car for a half hour drive south to the Switzerland of America to visit Box Canyon Falls. This is a little city park nesteled above the beautiful town of Ouray. Obviously, there's a waterfall. It's super cool 'cause it thunders thru a steep canyon with a small "box" like beginning and then down a considerable drop. Because of the "box" the water is very noisy and the current quite strong a lot of the year. You can walk thru the canyon and then down to the actual falls where you can see and hear the mighty water as well as dip your toes in. Forget about getting any pictures most days though 'cause the spray from the falls puts water spots all over the lense. Believe me, I tried.

Anyway, we had a wonderful time together. Ben & I had a great, friendly conversation on the way there, even telling jokes and laughing like the good 'ole days. Ben strapped Cara to his chest in her front carrier and spent a good deal of the stroll to the falls staring at his youngest daughter. We had to convince Caitlin to go down to the water, but she was happy that she did as she splashed around in the water and exclaimed at how cool the waterfall was. The only downside was when, on the way down, I backed up into a fence to get a picture and poked my heel on an exposed piece of fencing, thus poking a small hole in my hell as well as a scrape. My on call nurse (read my mom) assured me that I didn't need a Tetnus shot though, thank goodness. All in all, we had a wonderful time! It's these kinds of things that I want the girls to see. Their parents enjoying each other's company--laughing, joking and smiling...

Are they kidding?

My friend Lyla did this and was worried 'cause she looked most like a man. Well, at least she looked most like a WHITE man. I apparently look Oriental. I think I should be very worried! Y-I-K-E-S! I'm going to have to do a Google search to see who this guy is that I supposedly resemble.

To the Zoo We Go!

Caitlin meets the giraffes!
Give me a cracker!--Please!
Daddy & Daughter on a giant mushroom in My Big Backyard
"Guys it's called a hollow!"

Last Saturday, Caitlin, Cara & I met up with Ben in Colorado Springs for the afternoon. We decided to take the girls to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. This zoo is unique because it in set in a mountainous area and you have to walk up some steep inclines to get to the exhibits. I got quite a work out pushing a stroller loaded with a 11+ pound baby, portable cooler and overstuffed diaper bag. We had fun seeing lion, tigers and bears (oh my!) along with monkey and giraffes. The giraffe exhibit was the coolest. They built up decks all around the exhibits so that you were at "head height" with the tall creatures. This way, you could pet them and feed them Wasa crackers. Cait had fun watching one stick out its LONG tongue and try to grab the crackers. Here are a few pictures from our outing. (None of Cara because she slept peacefully through the whole experience)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Got Wireless?

My soon-to-be ex-husband and computer guru was in town yesterday to visit the girls (we had a wonderful time together) and decided to do one of the sweetest things...he set up a wireless network at my parents' house! Now, I can sit in the living room, keep an eye on both girls and blog...what could be sweeter than that? I've been dying to use my laptop, which has been sitting, neglected, in a closet, pretty much since we arrived here. The only time I've been able to use it has been during my rare getaways to the Montrose library where they have WiFi. So, I'm so excited to have my Apple back...PC's just can't compare anymore though, I am finding that there are some things that just aren't totally Apple compatible yet. Ben told me that I could sit outside on the patio and probably get a decent enough signal to be able to surf. Again, SWEEEEET, I say! I love the innovations of the modern world.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Baby Guzzler

Yesterday was Cara's 2 month well baby check up. Lately, we have noticed that she was getting chubby and her belly always looked so full after feedings. Of course, weight gain is normal, so we blew it off. I mean, at most, we figured she'd weigh about 9lbs (an once a day for about a month...). Imagine my shock when we went into the doctor and Cara tipped the scale to...11 lbs, 1 oz! She's almost doubled her birth weight of 6 lbs, 6 oz, which supposedly doesn't happen until around 6 months. SO, it seems that Cara is a little bit ahead of the game. Still, she's only in the 50% for weight but 90% for height. When her pediatrician saw her, she commented on how healthy and glowing Cara looked and to continue whatever I was doing. She asked me how often Cara ate and for how long. I think, because of her weight, she expected me to say that she ate practically 24/7. Actually, I guess Cara is a power-eater because she only nurses for about 20 minutes most of the time. She must get down to business when she eats or something. Her pediatrician gave Cara the nickname of "Guzzler"...seems fitting, at least right now.

Here are her complete weigh-in stats:
Weight-11 lbs, 1 oz
Height-21 1/2 inches
Head circumference-16 1/4 inches

She also got three shots that day but took them like a champ. Only cried briefly until given her pacifier and some Tylenol and has been just fine since.

Her next appointment is in November, it will be fun to see how much she's grown. No doubt that Cara is as different as night & day from Caitlin. We were still concerned about Caitlin's weight rebounding from birth at her 2 month check up. So, it's nice to be on the other side of the equation now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Photogenic Princess

Had to post this, it's just so cute!

Cara Fix, Part 3

Exercising some head control---

Step aside Mr. Ali!

Look how big (long) I am--Cara Louise @ two months!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Just call me Tinker Bell

These pictures are from a mother-oldest daughter visit to the Climbing Tree Children's Museum in Montrose. One rainy afternoon, I decided to have some quality time with Caitlin. What can I say, we both had a blast. They did an awesome job with this place. Inside, they have a huge treehouse and lots of little activity centers. It reminds me of the Denver Children's Museum on a smaller scale. Caitlin's favorite activity, by far, was the huge trunk of dress up clothes. In the hour or so that she was there, she as Sleeping Beauty and then, Tinkerbell complete with fairy wings. Anyway, I had to pull Caitlin out of there when it was time to go...thankfully, there weren't that many people to see her meltdown and give me the "bad mommy" stare!

Creative Explorations

As I mentioned in another post, I took Caitlin to storytime at the library here in town. This was the first time that she had been to an organized storytime and she loved it. The theme was "Things to do outside". The librarian read a couple of books about nature walks and the great outdoors and then the kids (about 6 total) went outside of the library to collect some leaves and twigs to make a fall collage. It was supposed to be like a landscape. Here is what Caitlin & I (the artistically challenged one) came up with.

While it will never hang in the Met, we were proud of it.

My girls

Being a mommy has been my greatest joy as of late...the one thing that I can hold on to and give my all and watch them blossom. Caitlin continues to be such of a firecracker, always keeping me on my toes. She has great fun playing pretend and her favorite thing to pretend to be is a puppy. She even has a "bone" that we have to throw for her. Caitlin had her first experience with big girl library storytime last week, and had a blast listening to the stories and making an art project afterwards. She has also spent hours making play dough creations at Grandma's kitchen counter. My eldest daughter is so smart and creative!
Cara has changed so much, even in the past few weeks, it's amazing. I feel like I need to constantly have a video camera on in order to capture everything. Lately, she has been smiling all the time, especially when she first sees me after a nap or if I laugh. She has also become much more alert, staying awake a lot more and interacting with people and toys. She loves to "play" with the bug that hangs down from her carseat and has staring contests with the lion on the tray of her swing. She has also mastered the skill of holding her head up for minutes at a time. I just love being there to watch her accomplish these milestones though part of me wants to tell her to slow down! Caitlin grew up (and contines to) too fast and I'm afraid the same thing is happening to Cara. I am anxious to get her into the doctor for her 2 month appointment to see how much she has grown. She is a happy, chubby and hungry baby.

Life Coaching...

I just got out of my first counseling session with a life coach. I decided that it would be a good idea to have an impartial third party to talk to about this mess that I call my life. In the past month, I've lost my home, my career, my husband and one of my best friends--it has been a lot to digest. I find myself, sitting, and thinking, "Where do I go from here?" I know that I need to pick up the pieces and move on, I'm just not sure how to do that. Part of me feels so cheated. Here I was, prepared to spend quality time raising my two daughters and enjoying exploring the big city with them and now, my world has been turned upside down...all of my expectations have been tossed to the wind. Now, I am living with my parents (again) and may be forced to join the minimum wage workforce just to pay some of my bills. The idea of having to do unskilled labor just doesn't sit well with me when I think about how I worked my butt off for 4 years in college and then have several years of experience working in a library. It just seems so demeaning and I'm having a hard time getting past that. Plus, when I think about it, it hardly seems worth my while to go to work at some job that I'm really not going to like, put both of my children into the arms of strangers, make minimum wage and only have a few $$ left to pay off creditors. I suppose though, that having a little bit of money is better than not having any. I have faced the facts that my good credit rating is forever ruined. I just pray that my car (which I just finally paid off) holds out for another 7 years! It's scary for me not to have my credit to fall back on since that's how my family has survived for the last almost 6 years...need something? Laura will charge it. I am going to have to get used to living within my means without my safety neat--SCARY.
I am also dealing with the reality that I'm going to be a single parent and that my girls are well on their way to becoming a national statistic. I am so scaredthat I'm not going to be able to handle it or provide a good life for my girls. I know, I need a serious shot of "believe in thyself" but it's so hard for me to think positive right now. Since I am going to have sole physical custoy, I am going to be the sole person responsible for raising my girls to be positive members of society, a task that frightens me to no end. I'm not the best parent, I lose my cool a lot, getting very short and frustrated. I know this much, I'm going to try my darnest! I just want my girls to be happy and well adjusted, that's all that matters to me.
Thankfully, Caitlin hasn't been affected too much yet by what's going on. She does know that we're living with Grandma and Grandpa and that Daddy lives somewhere else but that's about all that she understands. Someday, I'm going to have to explain it to her. She adores her daddy and I think the feeling is mutual with him, so I will do what I can to preserve her relationship with him. Cara is so young and doesn't have a clue, for better or worse. Her daddy is really going to have to work hard to have a relationship with her.
Oh, the changes that our lives are going to be going through.
I have started the process of filing the divorce paperwork. It's 20 pages long! Ben & I are going to have to get together a few times to work out some things, but hopefully, by my 29th birthday, the divorce will be final and then, I'll be really free to move on. I need to figure out how to live my life on purpose and get through all of these transitions.

Okay, thanks for reading this rather somber post...I just felt that I needed to vent about everything that I have been feeling...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cara Fix-part 2

I figured that since I posted pictures of one daughter, I had better be fair and post pictures of the other.
Here are some current pictures of Cara, who turned 6 weeks (*gasp*) on Monday.

Can we say spirit fingers everyone?

Look at that face!

Looking so cool, calm and fashionable. (Taken at my brother's dorm room where we celebrated the many July/August birthdays in the family)

Cara @ 1 month. Excuse the carseat picture but, I wanted to compare it to another car seat picture from her first doctor's appointment to see how much she's grown.

The calming effects of the swing--works on the newest addition too.

The Dog Days of Summer-Literally

One of the best things about being at Grandma's house is the huge backyard (my parents have just under an acre) complete with wading pool. The downside, having to share it with a water-crazy four-legged friend...

Somehow, water from the hose always tastes better.

Caitlin shares her pool with Winston although, he would argue that it was his pool first!

Dog and child, cooling off.

Caitlin--down on the farm

Our "city girl's" first experience on a farm. One of my mom's co-workers has a gentleman's farm complete with cows, horses, sheep, ducks, chickens and turkeys. We took Caitlin one day and she had a blast feeding the animals and collecting fresh eggs from the hen house. We got a dozen to take home and let me tell you, there is a big difference between farm fresh and those from the supermarket.

Caitlin feeding and becoming friendly with the sheep. The family does 4H and these were prize winning sheep. I think Caitlin liked them more than they liked her!

Cowgirl Caitlin on her first horse--doesn't she look like a natural?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Blown Out of the Water

Okay everyone, are you prepared to be shocked? Take a deep breath...

On Sunday, my husband of almost 6 years asked me for a divorce! You're probably wondering what brought this on?! Honestly, I'm still not exactly sure. True, we had a fight but it was the first fight we had had in about 8 months. We have had some rocky times in our marriage, but this really wasn't anything out of the ordinary and I figured it was water under the bridge after it happened. After all, I got the impression that things were going quite well for us. We had moved back to the big city where my husband felt more at home, we appeared to be happy, he had a good job and we had just brought our second daughter into the world. Obviously, I must've seen our marriage through rose tinted glasses. So, you can imagine my shock when my husband announces his desire to end our marriage. The reality still hasn't hit me. Plus, I don't feel that I have the luxury of falling apart, I have two beautiful girls to raise. Anyway, my husband explained his reasoning--he stated that he had fallen out of love with me and that we had nothing in common. He simply wanted his freedom and felt that I was holding him back. After this spiel, he asked me to leave. Not being one who needs to be asked twice, I packed up some essentials for the girls and myself and began our journey west to the only other shelter I had--my parents' house. I am so lucky to have parents who will always love me unconditionally and help me out in times of need. My husband may see this as my weakness but, to me, it's a strength. You can't put a value on the love of a family. We spent Sunday night in a hotel where I spent a good couple of hours talking to a good friend of mine. You know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me. We got up Monday morning and continued the trek to Montrose and have been here ever since.

I am not entirely sure what the future hold for me or my girls. I just know that I need to establish some normalcy as soon as possible. Children thrive on routines and, unfortunately, Caitlin's routine has been greatly distrubed. I know that I need to start over and can't think of a better place to do it. I feel that I need to be close to my support system, so I can't imagine, at least not now, venturing far from Montrose. It hurts me to think about what I am leaving behind in Denver but I'm hoping to stay in touch with the friends I've made and get together when I'm in the area. I have also faced the music that I'm going to have to get a new job. My dream of staying at home where shot dead with the announcement of the big "D" word. I have put a feeler out with my old boss to see if it would be possible to get my old position back as a library technician at the correctional center in Delta. I am anxiously awaiting her response. Otherwise, I am not sure what I will do or where I will go. I would love to get my Masters of Library Science but, that would require relocating to Denver or Kansas. There are many unknowns at this point, I'm just trying to go with the flow as I pick up the pieces of my life.

I have also been doing some research into divorce proceedings and got my second shock in a short time when I found out how much it typically costs to get a divorce--$4000! Yikes! I am sincerely hoping that my husband and I can agree on the terms of
our divorse and just file the paperwork pro se. This will be quicker and save us a lot of money. People are surprised when I tell them how long it takes to get a divorse. There is a 90 day waiting period from the separation and then takes an additional 4-6 months (best case scenerio) to have it finalized. It is my hope to have everything wrapped up by my birthday next year. That is, if we can agree and go pro se. Otherwise, it will be awhile before I'll have thousands of dollars to throw away on a lawyer.

Am I scared? No doubt! I'm on my own for the first time in about 10 years and this time, I have two children to care for. Am I sad? Sure. However, I am starting to see that this could be a good thing if it allows for both of us to move on and lead productive live and be the best possible parents to our girls. I know that they are our only reasons for living, at least at the present time.

I just wanted to thank everyone who's been there for me during all of this. I don't know what I'd do without you! I love you all! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers for awhile as this is not going to be an easy time in my life.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Cara Update

Cara had her 2 week doctor's appointment on Thursday and I'm happy to report that our little Peanut is doing so well. Here are her stats:
6 lbs 9 oz (rebounded from 6lbs 2oz two days after birth)
20 inches long

Her doctor was very pleased with her progress as was I. For those that might remember, we really had some trials with Caitlin when she was really little. For starters, she had trouble gaining her weight back after birth so we had to have her weighed several times a week, and then, there was the thrush incident that ended breast feeding at 6 weeks. Refreshingly, breast feeding with Cara has been a piece of cake, she took to it like a pro. I can also tell that she's eating enough because she has gotten quite the belly lately, it's so cute. I feel so good that I'm able to feed my baby without any problems and watch her grow and prosper. Dr. Quinn said that she should now gain about an once a day for quite a while...holy smokes! No wonder I feel like a cow...she eats every 3 hours like clockwork!

We are also thrilled that Cara's jaundice appears to be on the way out. When she was tested at the doctor's office two days after birth, her billirubin levels were elevated. We were told to have her re-tested (oh my gosh, what a story there is around that) a few days later and if it wasn't down, that they would do the "light treatment". We went to the ER at her doctor's hospital (different than where she was born, another long story) to have her blood drawn and we told we had to go to the hospital where she was born, University of Colorado Hospial. We did, blood was drawn and we waited for the results. Come to find out that her levels were still slightly elevated (15.3 for those familiar) and that the family medicine doctor wanted us to do the natural light treatment at home. Basically, we had to strip Cara down to her diaper and lay her in her cradle near a window that got lots of sunlight. We did this for a few days and then took her back to have her billirubin levels checked again. Thankfully, it was done quite a bit so they let us go without any further "treatment". Hopefully, everything will be back to complete normal at her 2 month check up. If not, it will be UV lights for our little Peanut.

Onto happier notes...we assembled the swing for Cara this morning and I think she was in second heaven. She loved staring at the little lion and mirror on the tray of the swing and was soon off to visit Mr. Sandman. We also assembled the cutest little floor gym for her, having somehow misplaced or gotten rid of the one we had with Caitlin. This one has a little bird on top that flies around. I think the parents got a bigger kick out of it than the least at this age. She just stared at something for a long time, I'm still not sure what.

I guess that's it for now. Pictures will come later.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Little Princess!

Ginger the Giraffe
Princess Caitlin & her balloons
The Disney Princess Big-Girl Bike
Caitlin's 3rd Birthday Cake--all about the Princesses
Caitlin on her new bike

**Sorry for the delay in posting about Caitlin's birthday. We actually celebrated on the 27th**

It seems like just yesterday that we brought Caitlin home from the hospital and now, here we are, celebrating her 3rd birthday. She was actively involved in the planning, insisting that she have the Cinderella cake and party supplies that we found at Target a month or so earlier. Yes, the Disney Princess obsession is still going live and strong.

We celebrated here at home (with Ben, Cara & I along with Grandma Ogoe and Aunt Effie who were visiting from MI) after debating whether or not to go to Chuck E Cheese or somewhere else. Turns out that Caitlin had a blast regardless of the location...she was living up the moment. Ben cooked a big batch of his wonderful spaghetti, I made some french garlic bread and we had veggies on hand for a nice big salad. Caitlin's favorite meal (besides Tyson chicken nuggets) is Daddy's spaghetti, so dinner was a big hit. Afterwards, we presented her with her Disney Princess cake and she was so excited and ready to blow out the candle.

This year, Caitlin received, from Mommy & Daddy, a Little Tyke's easel complete with paints, crayons, marker, glitter pens, colored pencils, stickers, paint sponges...the whole nine yards. It has been a hit since she has been creating little masterpieces (and putting her creative mark on our off-white carpet) every day since we assembled it. On one side there's a big clip for paper and on the other side is a chalkboard. By far, the paints and paper have been the biggest hit.

Aunt Effie (and Uncle Kofi) got Caitie the cutest little Disney Princess big-girl bike. True, it only sits about a two feet off of the ground and has training wheels, but it's a big-girl bike nonetheless. We took Caitlin to a park up in Estes Park (pictures to come) and let her try out her bike the following day. She loves to sit on it and put things in the little backpack but...she's having difficulty pedaling because, unlike her tricycle, she cannot pedal backwards on this bike, when she does, it applies the brake, which frustrates her. So, we have some bike-riding lessons in store of her. No doubt that she will pick it up quickly with a little practice.

Earlier in the week, Aunt Effie took Caitlin to Build-A-Bear Workshop where Caitlin made a birthday giraffe named Ginger. Ginger proudly follows Caitlin just about everywhere wearing her Cinderella outfit. Caitlin had a blast picking out her animal (she wanted just about all of them and we had to convince her that she could only have one) and then dressing her up. Unfortunately, I didn't think to get any pictures from Build-A-Bear. She did, at one point, have a piece of fake hair on and she looked exactly like a little Beatle, no joke!

Anyway, enjoy the pictures! :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Peanut Gallery

Here are some pictures of Cara from the last week. She is such of a good baby, hardly ever cries and is content to just cuddle with Mommy.


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