Monday, April 30, 2012

Apartment Hunting

We are down to one month and one day before our lease expires at our apartment here, and since classes at the college are ending soon, the rental market is in upheaval here.

We found a townhome we sort of like here, it is better than our current place because:
1. It has a garage.
2. The space is laid out better.
3. It doesn't have carpet in the dining room and bathrooms.
4. There's no one underneath us (so the tots and I can have dance parties).
5. Though small, it has a backyard (VERY important for the sake of toddlers and BBQs).

There are some cons, though:
1. It's location isn't quite as nice (we wouldn't be able to walk to the park and shops, at least not unless I buy a double stroller big enough for two tall tots).
2. It has 2.5 bathrooms.  I don't want to clean more than 1.5, to be honest.
3. It's boring.  The place we have, though not sanitary-feeling, is a much cooler space.
4. The range in the townhome is awful, an old cheap electric thing.

Unfortunately, I value cleanliness over coolness.  That's the disadvantage of being a parent.

Five years ago, and these amazing built-in book shelves (with library ladder) would've had me...

...but now all I can think of is toddlers trying it.

Yup, that's more me.

We have one more place we are looking at tonight, and if we don't like it, we'll probably go ahead and sign a lease on the townhome.  I'm kind of nervous, though, as soon as we tell our current landlords we aren't renewing our lease (on the 3rd) we have to be available for "showings" here, in other words, the place has to be clean, and we have to be able to evacuate, both of which are pretty difficult with toddlers.  Of course, considering the dozens of houses/apartments we've viewed in the last few weeks, the definition of "clean" is pretty loose.

I'd better pick my dirty underwear off the floor beforehand, though.

Friday, April 27, 2012


I have something I need to share with you, my limited but loyal audience, made up primarily of people I'm related to:

The tots and I spend most of the day doing absolutely fact, I'm a pretty hands-off parent most of the time.  I let them play by themselves, and only intervene when I'm afraid the downstairs neighbors are going to turn us in for breaking the noise ordinance.  The good news is, because of that, they are pretty independent and play really well together.  I call this method Laissez-faire Parenting, an environment in which transactions between private parties are (mostly) free from parental intervention.

I think many of you are under the false impression that I'm a hands-on parent, that because we go for one walk or one trip to the park a day, because we do one awesome project a week, and I document it with photos, it seems likes we are doing awesome stuff all the time.  Well, that's just not true.  Those are 10-90 minute parts of our day, often not even the best parts, they just happen to be the most interesting.

Keeping that in mind, I would like to share about our yesterday and this morning.  Yesterday, I made this for breakfast.  It's toast, with ricotta and arugula and a poached egg.  That actually doesn't have anything to do with anything, but it was dang tasty.

The tots and I were bored, and it was overcast and a bit drizzly and dreary, so about 10am I decided we should go to Fort Collins.  Fort Collins is about an hour drive away, but there's real shopping there, a Whole Foods and a Sam's Club, and we needed coffee and toothpaste and such.  So, we hopped in the car and away we went.  I'm going to pretend this was how the kids were the whole way:

It's a lie, though.  Jubee screamed at me for some reason I'm still not clear about, pretty much the entire way, and Sam kicked my seat and giggled, and repeated, "be quiet, Jubawee," until it was nearly as annoying as the screaming.

Once we got there, though, it was worth it.  The tots decided they were happy and loved each other (and me) and shopping was a pleasant experience.  I picked up a rotisserie chicken and some potato salad and coleslaw for dinner at Whole Foods, we stocked up on coffee and toothpaste and I also got some more coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (with the mutha).   

The drive back was everything a drive through the mountains should be.  The tots were sleepy and happy, and I got to listen to my The Civil Wars CD in between renditions of the ABCs, Manamana, and Chugga Chugga Choo Choo.  Oh my gosh, have you guys seen this?  It's freakin' hilarious:

It's called Choo Choo Soul, the kids watch it on Disney Jr.  I love the conductor lady who is obviously channeling J-Lo, and her huge hoop earrings.  I feel like this show is going to somehow counterbalance my kid's dorky genes inherited from me and Cam.

Anyway, when we got home, I put the kids at the table with dinner, and went to clean up a few dishes before Cam got home.  The kids got awfully quiet, so I went to check on them, and this is what I found:

I asked Sam what happened, and he said, "like this, mom," and windmilled his arms around in a repetitive throwing motion.  Yeah, they had a food fight, with rolls and potato salad...I wish this picture could show the sheer quantity of it, there was potato salad stuck to the walls and rolls covering the floor.  It's amazing how much food seems to expand when it's off the plate.

This morning, we built this:

It's cute, right?  I wasn't going to make it because we don't really have any art supplies here besides construction paper and markers, but it's amazing what you can do with a box, markers, a dull pocket knife, and waxed and minty dental floss.  If I tweeted, I'd hashtag noexcuses like those people who exercise, only with crafting instead of running.  To be honest, after all that sawing with that dull pocket knife, I'm pretty sure I've burned a few calories; at the very least, the muscles are sore in my left arm. #craftercise #noexcuses

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Potty Training

We were pretty close to being at least #1 trained, most of the time, if I reminded them to go every 20 minutes, before we moved.  After we moved, though, there was a major regression, and they went from being pretty much almost nearly pee-pee potty trained to nothing.

Yesterday, though, we had a break through.  No accidents, we even had toddler-initiated #2 in the potty, which has never happened before.

I'm so relieved, you have no idea.  I'm no longer afraid that they'll be the only 15 year olds still in pullups. In fact, between their sudden interest in enunciation and their newfound love of not going in their pants, most of my mommy worry has dissipated...for now.

We went for a long walk yesterday, over 20 blocks.  We turned in the lease application for a new townhouse and then went to the train tracks, because that's where Sammy loves to go.

And then we went to have a latte.  Well, the kids had milk and cookies.  Mommy had a short latte.  And it was good, perfect really.  You know when a latte is so perfect, naturally sweet and creamy, with no bitter or burned taste from either the milk or the espresso?  Yeah, that nearly never happens, so I add half a pack of raw sugar to mask the icky...but in this case, I regretted adding the sugar, that's how good it was.

Happy Friday Eve everyone!  May your weekend be filled with love, joy, peace, family, friends and other assorted good things.  

Dang, I should work for Hallmark.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Reasons I Love the Pioneer Woman

As you know probably know, from this post, I love the Pioneer Woman.  These are the reasons why I love the Pioneer Woman:

1. Beef Drip Sandwiches This is the first thing I ever saw on her blog, probably a year before I started actually reading it, and it's still my favorite thing in the history of ever.  So yummy, I'm serious.  Don't skip the buttering and toasting the bread step.  It's phenomenal.

2.  Quizzes.  Yes, the Pioneer Woman has quizzes.  There are different kinds, but my favorites are the vocabulary quizzes and the movie quizzes.  She does maybe one or two every month.  So far, I've won first place in a movie quiz, second place in a word quiz, and a runner-up prize on a Lord of the Rings quiz.  And then Saturday, I won a second place prize for another movie quiz.

I'm don't have a lot of unique talents and gifts, but one God-given talent I have is the ability to take tests.  I read can read a question and answer choices almost instantly and I make excellent guesses, plus I've watched a LOT of movies and read quite a bit.  I also have a secret weapon:

Me: "Hey, honey, how much money does the paperboy demand in Better Off Dead?"
Cam: "2 dollars.  Duh."
Me: "Which part of Forrest Gump's body was wounded in Vietnam?"
Cam: "His butt.  Duh."
Me: "What did Dances with Wolves name his dog?"
Cam: "Two Socks.  Duh."

He's a genius.  Just to be fair, he was also pretty impressed that I remembered the name of the villain in Three Amigos.  El Guapo.  Duh.

He doesn't help with the vocabulary quizzes.

Anyway, the prize is always amazon gift cards, which are my favorite kind of prizes.  With my first prize, I bought a few random things, an organizer, some books, and Final Fantasy XIII.

This is what I got on sale after I got second place in the word quiz:

I love them.

I bought my little sister Ruthie these shoes for her birthday with the LOTR quiz winnings:
And now I need to make a decision on this prize.  I'm thinking of saving it and putting it towards one of these for my birthday in July:
I actually have a cool older model:

But I want one with a dough hook, so stinkin' bad.  I kind of like this color...'s called Pistachio, but Cam says it's "Exorcist-puke green."  Now I'll think that every time I see it.  Other choices include:



"Gloss Cinnamon"

I have lots of teal in my kitchen, so that seems like a no-brainer, but really, I have too much teal already.  I also have some red accents (sort of the Gloss Cinnamon color), but red is SO boring, not quite as boring as white, but still, dullsville.

P.S. I found "dullsville" in the thesaurus.  It's probably my favorite word find in months.  I'm going to start using it in real life: "Jeez, this game of hide and go seek is so dullsville."  I hope the kids pick it up soon, that'd be hilarious. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Grocery Shopping Today

Grocery shopping today was hell.  No details, that's all you need to know, all anyone needs to know.  Let's just say this: the check out lady referred to them as "nitro meets glycerin."

Why do such incredibly sweet kids act so rotten on occasion?  And why is it always at the worst time?

Changing gears, for a second...what do you think of their new sunglasses?  They think they are hot stuff, fo' realzies.

Monday, April 23, 2012


So this weekend we went hiking, just like I threatened.  We did it a day later than anticipated, Sunday instead of Saturday, but as long as it happened, that's what really matters, right?

Okay, so this is Turtle Rock.  You see that small-looking rock formation at the very top?  That's it.  It looks like a turtle, apparently.  I couldn't see it, but who am I to argue?

Jubee took off running first thing.  I tried to convince her to conserve her energy, but she didn't listen.  Typical.

Here she is, playing on the rocks.  I tried to take some pictures of Sammy, but he was so excited and running so much, they all came out fuzzy.

That is, he was too fast until he asked if he could hold our lunchbag.  Well, who am I to argue with my little gentleman?

As you can see, Jubee wore out very quickly.  This is only after mile 1, and she's already being carried.  Someone should've warned me this is a bad sign.

Sammy was still pretty energetic, though.  See, so fast, he's a blur.

Someone also should've told me that a hike winds up being a lot longer if you stop and look at every body of water.  See Sammy holding Jubee's hand to make sure she doesn't jump in the water?

Cam kept saying, "stop trying to take pictures of me!" but I snuck this one in. I like his pensive look here.

Also, a hike is a lot longer if you have to stop and climb every rock.

We had Sam take this picture of us together, since we don't have a lot of pictures just the two of us.  Yeah, I know my chin is horribly broken out.  How does that happen anyway?

This was about 2 miles in, also about when we ran out of water.  I wasn't worried, because the internet said the trail was only 3 miles long.

So, we kept climbing rocks.  And picked flowers.

And we enjoyed an amazing view.

A little after mile 3, when we thought we were about done, we ran into this patch of snow.  It was 70 degrees outside, but this was shaded enough it hadn't melted yet.  We had a snowball fight in our shorts and t-shirts.  Cam was so thirsty from carrying Jubee for the last two hours, he scraped off the dirt and ate some of the snow.

 Sensing our trek was nearly at an end, we set out again, energized and happy.  Cam and I were taking turns carrying the backpack and Jubee and even occasionally Sam, who apparently has a 3 mile limit.  What a kid, am I right?

...aaaand...a mile later there was still no end in sight.

Jubee was getting very sleepy, and both of the tots required holding most of the time, which means we stopped quite a bit.

We found out later that from where we parked, it was a 5.5 mile hike, not a 3 mile one.  It wound up taking us just shy of 4 hours.  That's just a bit too much for toddlers, I've decided.  At least, next time, we'll bring enough water.  And sunscreen.  The tots are okay, but Cam and I look like overcooked lobsters again.

Friday, April 20, 2012


The only problem with being a stay-at-home-mom is that you can't call in sick, whether you're faking or not.

I sure could use a sick day, too.  I got that stomach bug that Cam and Jubee had last week (does it really take a full week to incubate?).  I won't bore you with the details, suffice to say, it's been rough.

After lunch I talked Sammy into taking a nap with me, but he poked me in the eye for 20 minutes until I turned around, and then he kicked my ribs for another hour until I gave up.

The only reason I've survived today is that we got cable last week, and the kids can watch Disney Jr.  Suddenly, a decision that I made very reluctantly seems like the most brilliant thing I've ever done.

The biggest problem with being sick all day isn't actually the illness, anyway, it is the guilt associated with letting your kids watch tv all day, exacerbated by the emotion of the illness.

In other news, my kids have decided that they are puppies.  Very energetic puppies.

So, until Monday, I'll leave you with these pictures of better days, days that didn't involve vomit and a sink full of dishes and 100 episodes of Timmy Time, days like yesterday.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weekend Plans

Yes, I know it's only Thursday, but I'm already making plans for the weekend.  I hate to leave something like "The Weekend" up to chance, you know?

Saturday is going to be 65 and sunny.  It's going to be amazing...we're going for a hike.

This is Turtle Rock.  It's a 3-4 mile hike, less than 20 miles from here.  I'm going to pack a picnic lunch, a thermos full of coffee, and we're going to have a dang good time.  My guess is, it won't be snowy there at 65 degrees and sunny, but it's supposed to still be amazing.  We're gonna take it slow and try to make a day of it.

Another thing on the agenda is house hunting.  This apartment we are in is huge, and kind of fun, but there just something I can't stand about the carpeted baseboards and carpet in the bathrooms.  It just seems unsanitary, am I right?

Plus, there's something nerve-wracking about having two very noisy and stomping toddlers on the top floor of an apartment building.  Also, we pay about $300 more a month for this place than we should, IMHO.  Our lease is up in less than 6 weeks, so the hunt is on!  We can't buy right now, we are just looking to rent...but we are coming up on a great season, when the college students leave and all the leases run out (not necessarily in that order).

I also realized something important about myself in all this: my requirements for a home to buy and my requirements for a home to rent are totally different.  If I'm buying I want something cool and older, full of quirks and character and things to tweak.  If I'm renting, I want something boring and clean and neutral (because obnoxious colors that other people pick out are never the obnoxious colors that I'd pick out).  I would love to buy a home like the apartment we are in now, but I don't like it as a temporary living situation, not one bit.

So, does anyone have any awesome weekend plans to inspire me, or make me super jealous?