Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Growing up too fast

Monday was Aiden's first day of pre-school. As I mentioned before, pre-school has become quite a big deal since I was doing it. We had to pack a lunch and a back pack. This is serious business.

Luckily, Aiden lightened the mood Monday morning.

I woke up feeling so excited for him, I was smiling and cheerful as I got his things together.  But as the time drew closer to drop him off, my tummy started turning in circles and knotting up. Did he have enough food in his lunch box? What if  he needed more that one pair of extra clothes? What if his new tennis shoes hurt his feet all day? 

What if he cried when I left?

It took everything I had to hold it together.

When Steve and I gave him his back pack to try on, he wanted nothing to do with it. Until Mommy tried it on -- he thought that was pretty cool so he gave it a shot. Then I gave him his lunch box to carry. It almost pulled him over! Maybe I packed too much food?? But what if he was really hungry??

We went outside to take some pictures, and he loved the extra attention, but I don't think he knew what it all meant yet.

Both Steve and I were beaming with pride. I can't believe how big he's gotten and how well adjusted he is. Truly, he is a brave little boy.

After a million pictures with Mom and Dad, Papa tried explaining to him where he was going to go and all the different things he was going to learn.

Then we all piled into the car and headed to school. We decided to go a little early in case of any potential melt downs. Plus he would have time to scope out the class room before it was busy with other kids.

He carried his stuff all the way inside and wouldn't let anyone help.

When we got to his class room, we gave him his cubbie to look at. He really liked it, both as a cubbie and as a hat. He even took it down the hall a little ways.

When Mrs. Hastings got there, she let him go in and play with some toys. He took to the cars right away and started playing with other kids.

We took a few steps back and Steve went outside to see if he'd notice. I was already tearing up, did that mean I had to leave too?

But sure enough, he wasn't paying any mind to Mommy or Daddy or Papa. So we all went in the hall and watched through the one-way window a while as he met new kids and played cars.

I sobbed.

After about 10 minutes he stood up, looked around and said, "Mommy's gone..."

I don't think I have ever felt more pain square in my chest.

Luckily, the teachers were on their A-Game and distracted him with the pet fish.

He was just fine. Even if I was totally falling apart.

And he brought home some awesome artwork --

This is going to be good. It's strange how a glob of yellow paint can fill up every empty space in your heart.

Momma's waiting at the finish line
And wipes the teardrops from her eyes
She says, "You did just fine honey, that's okay
Sometimes life's just that way
"You're gonna lose the race from time to time
But you're always gonna find

You can't lose me
Bet your life
I am here and I will always be
Just a wish away
Wherever you go
No matter how far
My love is where you are
You won't be lost if you believe
You can't lose me

Momma used to say It won't be long
'Til it's time to go out on your own
Chase your dreams find your place in life
I know you'll do just fine
When that day finally came
There were things she needed to but could not say
So I whispered softly as I wiped
The tears from Momma's eyes

You can't lose me
Bet your life
I am here and I will always be
Just a wish away
Wherever I go
No matter how far
My love is where you are
You won't be lost if you believe
You can't lose me

Friday, August 26, 2011

In Her Shoes

Is an awesome movie, if you are a girl. With a sister. And it's complicated. And you really like shoes.

I find as my sister and I get older, that our bond grows stronger and stronger. We have definitely not always been on the same page. In fact it is very fair to say we have taken drastically different life paths, but I think that was always sort of to be expected.

In my few years as a parent, I think I have matured greatly, and I think my sister recognizes it and can maybe even appreciate it, she can probably even take a little credit for it. However, I am just as much a child as I have always been, and I love to laugh. I particularly love to make my sister laugh. There is something very rewarding in seeing her smile (because between us, she gets a little stressed sometimes).

Anyway, what does this all have to do with In Her Shoes?? Well there is a line in this movie, where Toni Collette (United States of Tara anyone?) says,"When I feel bad I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good...food just makes me fat...shoes always fit."

So, to handle my stress this week. I went shoe shopping. With my sister.

And boy did we giggle...

This was the first pair I fell in love with, and I think my sister dear thought maybe one pair would do the trick. But I had a bigger picture in mind. As the boxes started stacking up, we continued to giggle.

These suckers were her idea, 4 1/2 inch heel, 2 inch platform. I needed help balancing to  put them on. And after I tried them, I made Bre try them too. We discovered that the platform actually helps you balance - clever strippers have known this secret a long time I suspect.

The doofy things actually kinda grew on me a bit....not to worry, I didn't get them. That would be silly. And this was a serious shoe rampage...

Next, I set my eyes on these sparkly gems. This may sound weird. Especially because they are closed toe heels - but I liked the way my toes looked. So I added them to the pile.

Even though Bre wasn't buying, I got her to try some on too.

After I had these two pairs, I decided I wanted to revisit the idea of spiked heels...I don't have a picture but it was similar to this: 

Don't worry, I talked myself out of it. But while I was checking them out, I found the most magnificent shoe specimen I have ever had the pleasure of trying on...

I have no idea when or if or with what I will ever wear them...but I am in love.

Now, with three boxes and Bre about to pee her pants, I headed to check out. Out the corner of my eye, I saw boots! Boots! How could I not try on boots. I changed course...but alas found no boots I wanted.

As I headed back toward the register for the second time, I let out a big sigh of relief.

"Feel better?" Bre asked.

I smiled. 

I feel good. 

Things are going to be just fine.

Things are also going to be a bit sparkly....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lets get Orientated

Following the minor freak out about Aiden's pre-school enrollment, I received a call from the pre-school with an update about construction and payment and I stated asking all my questions. The poor woman on the phone only replied with, "Are you going to make it to parent orientation?"

To which I replied, "Uhhh....what's that?"

I repeat, poor woman.

Last night was parent orientation. I sat, feeling slightly out of place because of my age, lack of partner, and totally clueless-ness, with all the other parents and studied the handbook in a big seminar room. It felt like I was back in night class. Taking notes, following along with the power point, I was ready for any potential pop-quiz, I promise you that.

After we went over all the major to-dos, we got to separate and go to our kid's classrooms to meet teachers. Mrs. Hastings will be with Aiden for the school year and I love her. I had to fill out a survey about Aiden's strengths and weaknesses and what I want him to learn.

First of all, I am a horrible parent - strengths: I blanked. What do they mean? He's really good at choo-choos...I tried not to panic, took a couple breaths and it came to me - he can name at least 30 animals. He knows his colors (except red v green - not to worry vision screening in September will tell us if he's color blind). And he is an excellent baseball hitter.

Weaknesses...again, I choked. My precious angel has no weaknesses....but ultimately I went with sharing, counting (he says 1, 2, 5, 1 when he counts) and communicating verbally instead of physically when he gets frustrated.

I decided I really want Aiden to learn his alphabet and numbers this year. When I handed in my survey, the teacher said, "Are you not worried about him learning potty training?"

Wow, I have become a master in the fine art of "dropping the ball." I inquired, "Is that really an option?" And she told me, she would be very surprised if Aiden wasn't potty trained by the end of September, at the very least, the end of her class.

I am feeling a lot better about this.

Now, we just need to find a back pack and a lunch box.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Small Dilemma...Or Two

Well, it is that time of year - back to school time. I started noticing about a week ago, when traffic in Boulder got grossly worse in the evenings. Last Thursday the highway traffic on my secluded 93-Route took 2 hours! With all the hub-bub around town, I decided I should start ordering my books and getting ready for my classes since they are coming up quickly.

When I looked over my list for Literature of the American West, my eye was caught by A River Runs Through It - because I read that before. And then I noticed the name Edward Abbey...because I know him, I was an avid fan of his essays about 3 semesters ago...uh-oh I thought, perhaps I am repeating a class??

Since I had an appointment with my academic advisor already I decided to wait until I saw her to order books, just in case I was making a mistake that might keep my from graduating in December. Lucky me, I am repeating a class, but it's okay. I am repeating Topics In Popular Culture to be exact, and those silly book nerds over in the English Department want you to take that class twice - 2 different topics. The books I will be re-reading are just a coincidence though.

The reason I met with my advisor in the first place was to ask about where to go, what to do, and when to do it, for grad school. As it turns out, if I want to go to grad school at CU for marketing -- my only option is to go all the way and get my Ph.D, which would require that I obtain an MBA simultaneously, work a 20 hour a week assistanceship, and the whole thing would take 5 years.

I have a few choices, I can look at other schools, which I am in the process of doing now, but it seems pretty standard that I would just be getting an MBA to go with a specialized marketing degree, and that it's gonna take a good chunk of time. Now, I really love school. And I am not afraid to work hard, but to be really honest - I have been working my ass off since I was 15 it feels like. I don't know that I can do 5 more years of it.

Another option is I can get my MFA or Ph.D in Lit -- which I know I would enjoy, but I am not sure it serves the same purpose as going back for marketing would. And if I want to do so, I need to take my GRE as soon as possible so I can apply for next fall. Allow me to be really honest again?? Not entirely sure I want to study for my GRE while I am still taking classes this semester.

Dilemma: I am lost.

Bottom line: it all comes back to financial aid. I might not be doing anything if the only possible aid I can get is working as a TA 20 hours a week.

I want to put the whole thing out of my mind, but unfortunately, decisions must be made. Soon.

But since we are on the subject of school...let's talk about everyone's favorite monkey.

Aiden is officially enrolled in pre-school, 2 days a week. It was a lot easier that I thought it was going to be. I did all the forms online yesterday and have been getting everything together for awhile so it went pretty quickly.

Once he was enrolled, the next step was to  drop off the enrollment fee, first month's tuition and sign his medical waiver. So, I left work early yesterday and went by the pre-school to take care of this stuff.

Dilemma: no one was there. The pre-school is under a small amount of construction.

I left a message on their voice mail, I figure, since they're getting ready for their school year, they will probably be back up and running really soon. This doesn't bother me one bit, because, if we are still being completely honest, I was already getting a little choked up thinking about Aiden's first day. This gives me time to better prepare emotionally.

Since I was off work early and spent no time at all at the day care, I got to go home and snuggle the little bubba for a bit.

And even though he doesn't have an official start date yet for pre-school, we went for FroYo to celebrate anyway.

I can't believe how fast he's growing up.
And yes those are gummie worms in my cup of yogurt...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Rockies Kid

This year for Father's Day, Bre and I decided to get Rockies tickets for Dad so we could all go together. Unfortunately, summer schedules don't always allow much flexibility. So in June, when we picked tickets, we decided on a late summer, evening game. On Tuesday, we finally went to the ball park.

Aiden has been to baseball games before, the first one when he was about 6 months old and being used by Uncle Nik to pick up girls ;) And again even this year with Papa -- but he slept through the whole thing.

He was definitely awake and alert for this game. There was a lot of interesting stuff going on -- like peanut cracking and eating, water fountains, ice cream, and since we were sitting along the foul line he got to see lots of fly balls up close and personal.

The Rockies had a very exciting come back and win on Monday night, and we thought they might make it a repeat performance on Tuesday night (thus the fountain going off) which made for an interesting game at least. But unfortunately, Giambi doesn't get to bat three times in a row.

Aiden didn't seem to mind though. He was too busy playing musical laps and keeping the ground beneath our seats clean - he's a very neat little boy.

After the game, it was pretty precious -- Aiden didn't want to leave with out saying "Buh-bye water, buh-bye baseball, buh-bye Rockies" -- I think he's gonna be a big fan of baseball games.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dear Aiden

Dear Aiden,

Have I ever told you that you are a precious gift. Even when I am frustrated, I am awed by the light in your eyes. You are intelligent, and silly and beautiful from the inside out. You deserve a life full of wonder and adventure. 

I know that things don't make sense right now, and I promise you there will be quite a few days ahead that are equally confusing, possibly even painful. I know that I can not make all your troubles and fears disappear with a kiss and a snuggle -- but I promise you that we can try that prescription first, every time. 

You will likely hear things about Mommy and about Daddy that make you feel angry, or sad, or even a little lost. I am sorry, from the bottom of my heart. Mommy and Daddy are going to do the very best job at being your Mommy and Daddy that they can. We will likely disagree at some point or even quite often about what is best for you, but I promise you that it is because we both want to see you be the happiest little boy that you can be. It may take us some time to figure it out, but we will get there. And along the way, we will love you. Completely. Honestly. Truly love you.

Please be a brave boy and know that I will do everything within reach to make you smile, and if it is out of reach, we will get a ladder.

I promise, as long as I live, to be your exploring companion. 

Life may not always go your way
And every once in awhile you might have a bad day
But I promise you now you won't ever be lonely
The sky turns dark and everything goes wrong
Run to me and I'll leave the light on
And I promise you now you won't ever be lonely

For as long as I live
There will always be a place you belong
Here beside me
Heart and soul baby --  you only
And I promise you now
You won't ever be lonely

It's still gonna snow and it's still gonna rain
The wind's gonna blow on a cold winter day
And I promise you now you won't ever be lonely
You're safe from the world wrapped in my arms
And I'll never let go
Baby, here's where it starts
And I promise you now you won't ever be lonely
Here's a shoulder you can cry on
And a love you can rely on
For as long as I live
There will always be a place you belong

Here beside me
Heart and soul baby -- you only
And I promise you now you won't ever be lonely
No, no, you won't ever be lonely

Love, Mommy

Monday, August 8, 2011


by Brittany Cormack

She dared disagree
lost the man in black
prove it
in masks, hoods, boots and pounds.
then hurled
Tell him?
He'd never learn.
always count wrong
gain thought.
He dared whisper.
thinking strict.
imagined of thought
and less found rhymes
that do new ways suffer

Learning to eat an ice cream cone....

Can be a tough job....

But someone's gotta do it.

Music Makes the World Go 'Round

Recently, I've been getting lots of music recommendations and even happening upon some pretty good stuff on my own.I have always been an avid music listener and these days, it seems like I have a song to describe every day - a life soundtrack.

Some of my new favorites include: Audra Mae, Cary Brothers, Maxwell, Colin Hay, and Marc Broussard - to name a few...

I've also been getting a great deal of live music in these days as well. I have officially been to every Lightleaks show (there have only been two) and cheered on my cousin very enthusiastically. Check his stuff out at: play+record

My sister and I went to see him at the Walnut Room downtown last week - the location which requires you to drive through Five Points that is....

Me and Bre waiting for the show to start

Bre and Chris 
Me and Jeff after the show

When we saw them the first time it was for Battle of the Band: Global Dance Festival and they came in 3rd, so close to playing Red Rocks! That was downtown also and there were so many bands playing that no one really got to do sound-checks and every band just had to throw their best stuff out there. I may be biased but I thought they sounded awesome anyway, and at the Walnut Room they sounded even better. I couldn't be more proud!

So the Lightleaks show was Thursday night and then there was a big group of us who went to see Tim McGraw with Luke Bryan and The Band Perry on Friday night - I am astonished how versatile my tastes have grown to be...

Us girls waiting for the show to start

We didn't get there in time to see The Band Perry but Luke Bryan was getting started right when we found seats - he made the night for me.

While it was still light out and I was groovin to Luke I couldn't help but think about how much bigger Fiddler's Green seemed when I was younger. I know that's an obvious statement, but I remember thinking it could hold a million people. I was also doing so pretty awesome country-concerts-with-my-mama-reminiscing. 

Luke made the night for me - Rain Makes Wiskey!
When Tim McGraw started, he did a couple songs from the center general admission section of the amphitheater.

Opening with Somethin Like That

Working the crowd 
 When he made his way to the stage he introduced the Dance Hall Doctors - and if you know anything about Tim you would agree his best album was Tim McGraw and the Dance Hall Doctors - well if you're me you think so anyway... But this was a very pleasant surprise because those guys can really kill it.

We also found out that the entire tour he's doing right now is for Sirius Satellite Radio so we got to hear pretty much every hit he's ever had!

The music in my life these days has been extremely inspiring, I just hope it keeps on playin'

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Storm

“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in.” ~Haruki Murakami