Thursday, May 31, 2007

A little consideration would go a LONG ways!

I've had it, that's it, I'm throwing in the towel, no more Mrs. NiceWoman. From now on, I'll be playing hard ball and rounding the bases in a furry.

To my downstairs neighbors, consider this your warning! We've all just about had it with your loud, obnoxious, gang-banging music blaring at all hours and all decibel levels. In case you haven't live on the 2nd floor, so that means that people live both above and below you! It really wouldn't kill you to have an ounce of consideration for those around, especially those with little kids who are trying to sleep, who have jobs that require them to sleep during the day (and night) and, heaven forbid, those who don't want their place to sound like a club gone bad!

Apparently, informing the property manager has no effect on you, so let me just say that we are stepping up the game. The next time that our floor vibrates at an obscene hour, we will be calling the courtesy security patrol and they will be paying you a not so welcomed visit. If that doesn't work, we will be calling the police. I know, I know, they are frequent guests at your place--well, that's great, they shouldn't have any trouble finding you then. Now, please understand, we are not saying that you have to walk around on your tiptoes and whisper. See, we realize that we live in an apartment too and that certain noise is a fact of life. However, you've taken "noise" to a whole new level. Webster's has created a new definition of the term just in your honor.

That said, please, go onto Ebay and buy yourself some consideration!

Oh, and to our chain-smoking, puffing like a train next door neighbor. The city of Aurora called, there's now a new smog zone right over your head and it ain't attractive. They wanted me to tell you that every day is a no-burn day. All joking aside, we would appreciate not inhaling 2nd hand smoke every time we want to open our windows or turn on the A/C. If you want to smoke, do so in your car going 90 down I-25. That way, no one really has to smell it 'cause they're going too fast. Thank you!

Bottom line, apartment living bites rocks! We've never had this much trouble with our neighbors before. I must be the low-life residents that this place attracts coupled with the fact that the property management does nothing to enforce the "rules" that we're forced to sign as part of the lease. We have affectionatly named this place DelPoopAy (Actually called Del Arte Lofts & Flats) and when our lease is up in August, we plan on high-tailing it out of here. Oh, I hope and I pray!

Well-rounded look at me


There are many different types of tests on the internet today. Personality tests, purity tests, stereotype tests, political tests. But now, there is one test to rule them all.

Traditionally, online tests would ask certain questions about your musical tastes or clothing for a stereotype, your experiences for a purity test, or deep questions for a personality test.We're turning that upside down - all the questions affect all the results, and we've got some innovative results too! Enjoy :-)

You are more logical than emotional, more concerned about self than concerned about others, more atheist than religious, more loner than dependent, more lazy than workaholic, more traditional than rebel, more engineering mind than artistic mind, more idealist than cynical, more leader than follower, and more introverted than extroverted.
As for specific personality traits, you are adventurious (100%), intellectual (74%), romantic (71%), greedy (55%).

Young Professional (100%)
Old Geezer (50%)
Punk Rock (47%)

Sex (19%)
Substances (8%)
Travel (24%)

Your political views would best be described as Liberal, whom
you agree with around 46% of the time.

Your attitude toward life best associates you with Working Class.
You make more than 82% of those who have taken this test,
and 8% less than the U.S. average.

If your life was a movie, it would be rated PG.
By the way, your hottness rank is 45%, hotter than 9% of other test takers.


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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rain, tornado watches and hailstorms

Gotta love Colorado weather. In the matter of eight hours, you can see all weather extremes. Yesterday was one such day. Started off cloudy and a bit on the cool side, then the wind picked up to about 35-40 MPH. After that, it started to pour, complete with thunder and lightening. Next thing we know, NickJr is interrupted for a weather bulletin. We were under a tornado watch for several hours. The sky was a really icky color between gray and green though nothing else really happened. It got pretty cold last night though, enough for the girls to put on their winter pajamas and for me to put on my flannel bottoms. Woke up this morning to partly cloudy skies. You can barely tell that there was any severe weather around here yesterday.

Check out this slide show to see some of the extreme weather Colorado saw. Slide 12 shows the tennis ball sized hail that fell from the sky around Elizabeth in Elbert County. Amazing! I have only seen golf ball sized in my time and I remember going out into the front yard of a house that I was at for a birthday party, putting some into a ET glass and coming back inside to add sugar and food coloring to it. Ahh, the memories!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day!

Graphics & Layouts

Let us remember to give thanks to all the men & women who fight every day for our freedom. We are truly blessed to live in this county and sometimes, I know that I take it for granted.

So, today, spend time with your family & friends, grill some hot dogs and burgers and think of some of the wonderful reasons why living in the United States is great. When you see a flag blowing in the wind, count your blessings.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Getting Acquainted

Now that we can finally see the floor here at the apartment, time has been freed up to do other, more entertaining things. Take Friday for example. We decided, spur of the moment, that we couldn't miss the premiere of Shrek the Third. However, going to a movie theater with two small kids spells D-I-A-S-T-E-R. Thankfully, there are a few drive-in theaters still operating in the Denver Metro area. Feeling like Speedy Gonzales, we ran around the house gathering up blankets and sweaters, piled in the car and headed to the Cinderella Drive In down the road in Engelwood. We got there with plenty of time to spare and while the girls finished their naps in the car, Ben went off in search of classic drive-in food (corn dogs, nachos, candy). I was amazed and how big this place is. It has two screens and rows upon rows of parking. By the time the movie started, the lot for Shrek was pretty darn full. There was quite a line of people hoping to get in and many who watched it through the slots in the fence. Next to us was a SWEET tan '46 Chevy Impala (kudos to me for identifying the car) and an awesome little family. We enjoyed the movie (well, Ben, Caitlin & I did, Cara slept) and the fact that we could take the whole family to the movies for under $20 without having to worrying about Cara crying or Caitlin sitting still. Shrek the Third gets about 1 1/2 thumbs up from us though, it was good but not "laughing until you throw up" funny.
Fast forward to yesterday, we spent the evening after Ben got home from work, driving around a northern suburb looking at housing. Ben is hopeful that we might be truly house hunting by the end of the summer. We found a couple of really cute townhouses in our price range. This town is not that far from Denver and has good schools. We are working with a mortgage broker to see what can be done. So, keep your fingers crossed for us. Anyway, it was fun to drive around, looking at homes, and talking about what we want or, do not want in a perspective house.
Today, we are planning a trip to Borders so that I can spend my birthday gift card and then to Payless to pick up THE PERFECT pair of shoes to go with Caitlin's flower girl dress for her Uncle Kofi's wedding in June. Then, we'll rendevous back to the "flat" to finish up some house work.
Oh, while we were out yesterday, I came across a table that was set up near the mall's play place that was promoting a new charter school in our area. While we're hoping to move out of Aurora, if we don't this could be a great option for Caitlin. They are teaching multi-culturalism and awareness and will be offering instruction in three foreign languages (Chinese and Spanish to start) with a promise to add a third next school year. Best part, it's a public charter school which = FREE! From what I've heard and read, this place sounds right up Caitlin's alley! The public schools here are not that wonderful, so this would be a great alternative.
One more thing...I may not be going back to work after all. The harsh reality regarding the price of putting two kids in day care has hit home--hard. My salary at the library will only leave me with $200/month after forking over $1500 for childcare. Did I mention that a few days a week, Cara will be in another person's care for 11 hours out of 24? Add that to the fact that we are having a hard time finding licensed people to watch Cara who are willing to be open past 6pm for those of us that do not have the luxury of working early mornings. The final decision hasn't been made yet, as Ben & I need to do some serious number crunching, but I think I know, in my heart, what's the right thing to do.

Okay, okay, I'm done rambling now, I promise!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stop the Madness!

Oh boy, oh boy! Make it stop, please! I'm beginning to think that everything in my life has to be difficult in order for it to be worthwhile. You know that old saying, whatever doesn't break us will make us stronger? This seems to be my mantra. Just when I thought I had life, for the foreseeable future figured out, a few curve balls have to be thrown into the mix of things. Let me explain...
You all might remember that I recently took a job as a circulation clerk despite a decrease in pay, knowing that I'd be making pennies on the dollar after paying for child care X 2. Well, never in a million years did I expect to have this much trouble finding infant openings for Cara. I can't recall how many places we called, even going where no parent should ever go and checking out a few "centers" that are run out of shopping centers. Maybe I'm not current on things and this is the new trend but the few that we've seen have had very small rooms and one in particular smelled peculiar. I did the math and the "play area" in the infant room would allow for about 2 square feet of space per child. What?! Even in our small, awkwardly laid out apartment, Cara has more space than that and we're paying less a month in rent than they want for child care. Are they joking? We are not willing to dive into the realm of in-home day cares because I have lost faith in the Qualistar rating system as well as the state of Colorado's licensing program. The person who signed the license of the provider we originally had (pre-Three Bears) for Caitlin needs to be slapped! Anyway, I digress...we did finally find a early childhood center that we'd like to use for both girls ('cause I'd rather not drive all over Arapahoe county dropping off kiddos if I don't have to). We loved it because it's right across the canal from us and it's a Christian program. They also teach Spanish and ASL starting at the infant level. The atmosphere appeared to be well-rounded and loving. Couldn't get much better, you say? No, it really couldn't. There are just a couple of hurdles or curve balls--
1. They want tuition up front and you have to pay either monthly or bi-monthly. That comes out to $1400. For this financially struggling family, that is impossible to come up with in a week.
2. In addition to tuition, there's an enrollment fee (for both girls) and a materials fee.
3. They close at 5:30pm. That might not seem like an issue but for us, it will be because I do not know my hours at the new job and Ben will have a hard time making it back to Aurora from downtown by then.

So, what we have to decide is whether or not I should go back to work and if so, how on earth are we going to overcome all of these hurdles? I am debating contacting the library supervisor to see if we can't negotiate more money per hour so that it actually, somewhat, makes sense for me to pay 3/4 of my paycheck towards child care. Ben & I are actually considering the fact that it just might not be financially sound for me to return to work just yet...that I should wait until a better-paying offer comes along, preferably when Cara is a year old (no more worrying about her not taking formula or breast milk and also a rate drop if she's walking). We would also have more time to save up for the cost of enrolling the girls. My only concerns are that if I turn this job down, I will be burning bridges and not be able to work for this library system for a long time and may not find anything that pays well when the time comes. In addition, even though it's only a couple more months, I'm afraid that I will go wacko staying home any longer.

I know, I know...Ben & I seriously need to talk. But, when do you find time when your spouse works two jobs and when he is home, he's sleeping or we're jointly taking care of the girls? Late night chats via instant messenger seem to be on the agenda.

Enough venting, time for some strategetic decision making. What would YOU do?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Here's to hoping that all of my mom friends have a great Mother's Day. Relax, be with your family and remember what you love about being a mom. - Your icons network

Friday, May 04, 2007

The time has come, almost.

Well, the day is almost here. All the boxes are just about packed, the moving truck rented. Soon, we will be back in the Denver Metro area. I, for one, am very excited! I get to have my husband back as well as a new job in the public library setting. Officially, we will change residences on Tuesday but it may take a few days to get everyone settled in. So, if I seem to disappear for a little bit, you'll know what's up and won't have the need to send a search party. Now, if you happen to know any fit guys who want to carry couches, mattresses and such up 1 1/2 flights of steps, send them my way!

I guess it's fitting to say goodbye to the good ole Western Slope one more time. This area has been good to me and will always be home. Hopefully, we can visit often. A plan is already brewing in my head for the 4th of July.

Eastward ho!


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