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.


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