Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If Audrey Hepburn and Norman Rockwell had a love affair...

If Audrey Hepburn

and Norman Rockwell

had a love affair....

They would live in a little one bed room apartment that is lit by afternoon sunlight.

It would be cozy in the winter by their fire place, whose mantel shows what is dear to them.

They would have their friends, like Elvis Presley, over on the weekends for martinis.

And they would collect their favorite adventures together on shelves.

And they would spend their evenings writing in books about far away places.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Big Changes

Late last week, Aiden and I stopped by my sister's apartment to help with some stuff and drop off some clothes. While we were there, I sat Aiden down for a little chat. I said, "Do you think it will be okay if we live here Bubba?" He looked around, hesitant. Then we went into the bedroom and I said, "Your bed will go in here with my bed, and we will have a sleep over every night, won't that be fun?" He still seemed unsure. So we sat down at the table and I told him, "This is going to be a really big adventure, and Mommy is a little scared. So I really need you to to come with me on this adventure, to make it fun, and to hold my hand. It's Mommy's job to protect you and your job to give Mommy lots of kisses so that I can keep doing my job."

Then he gave me a kiss, and we decided to have an adventure.

Saturday morning, around 5 am, Aiden climbed out of bed and came wandering down to the basement where I was sleeping, all by himself in the dark. He then proceeded to play "Musical Beds" between the basement and upstairs for a couple hours, before everyone decided it was time to get up.

Being up so early on a Saturday has perks -- we decided to go get donuts from Donut Hut for everyone (Bre and Dave and Dad) who was going to be moving all morning.

By the time we got the donuts to the apartment, Bubba crashed.

So Bre and I had a nice little chat over coffee and donuts, got organized and waited for Randalicious to show up so we could start some moving. But of course, when you make plans, nothing ever works accordingly. The  movers called to say they were running late and Aiden woke up to join us at the table.

After breakfast, Aiden hung out with Grandpa for a bit while I went with Bre to take care of my paperwork for the apartment and we got a load of stuff moved. Then Aiden and I met up with Mom and Chris to start moving big things.

The first load we took from the storage unit was painful. I have never had to physically move my dresser myself before, the furniture company delivered it when I bought it and a couple guys moved it to my last house   for me so this was the first time I ever picked it up. Holy crap. I never want to do that again.

When we got back to the apartment with our first load, Chris and I were exhausted, so we decided to do a little organizing and my Grandma came over with dinner, so the plan was to take a break and eat.

I took the opportunity to make my first decorating decision.

Then, what do you know, Katie comes walking in -- with a present.

I had suspected that my friend Rachel was planning to come over and help me but that was about it. So when I saw Katie, I was really confused. Sure enough, Rachel came in next with Dylan, and they had a present with them too! Before I knew it, my one bedroom apartment was full of people and presents to help get me settled. Thank God! I was so relieved to have help.

Typically, I really don't ask for people to help me with these types of things because I hate imposing on their time and priorities, plus moving sucks. I can't believe all these people just decided they were going to help and then showed up and got the damn thing done. And on top of that, everyone brought me kitchen stuff!!

When Steve and I divided everything up, I told him that nothing we owned was worth fighting over, so I didn't  end up with much to get myself started on. Which is okay, just stressful. And I am the last person in the world to tell people I need things or to ask for them, so I do realize how truly blessed I am that people just kind of return that karma by taking care of me anyway.

I am so lucky to have my parents. Its hard to always be able to tell them how much you appreciate them and sometimes you just kind of hope they know. But without my mom and Chris and Randalicious I would be totally lost.

After I got to open all my new kitchen stuff, we ate dinner and took a breather.

The Grand-papa's wouldn't take a break though, they kept right on workin...

Grammie made lasagna and garlic bread and salad for dinner, so I was ready for a nap when we finished eating. But, we rallied together and made another big trip to the storage unit for all the heavy stuff. Between Katie and Rachel's cars we nearly cleared my stuff out. And between Jake and Dylan (total rockstars!) Chris and I hardly had to carry anything else.

After that big load, we enjoyed some cake, and the boys got to have the only beer I had in my fridge for their efforts.

The next day, moving was easy. Chris and I were able to finish all the heavy lifting and all that was left was to put the place together. It was so stressful. Since my bookshelves weren't put together, I couldn't put my books away - which constitute about half my boxes. I had to go to Walmart for essential things Aiden and I would need (his dishes and silverware, pots and pans, cleaning supplies, etc) and the essentials sure add up quick.

On top of it all, Aiden decided that he likes exploring and has been continually trying to sneak out the front door at every opportunity. So now, along with my welcome mat, there is a baby gate outside my front door. He hates the baby gate, and has decided to throw things out into the hallway as often as possible, hoping I will let him go get them.

Bre, sensing my frustration and helplessness, came over to save the day. She helped me finish laundry, clean my dishes, put things away and even got Aiden out of my hair for a solid hour so I could get things under control.

Aiden was just as grateful as I was, and showed his thanks to Aunt B in the nicest way...

By jumping on her.

Needless to say, it has been a chaotic couple of days. But that's how adventures are. Chaotic and crazy. A little bit scary. Sometimes lonely. Messy and unpredictable. Surprisingly difficult and surprisingly sweet.

Thanks again to everyone who helped and big thanks to my mommy for making it all happen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Life is Full of Little Surprises

Like seeing my mom on her birthday...

 Since my mom canceled her birthday plans for next weekend to help me move, I decided I would go up and see her after work on her birthday. I called the grocery store to order a cake for her and we had all sorts of communication problems and were in total disagreement about how her name should be spelled.

So I had to call in the big guns, my step-dad, and have him order the cake to make sure it was done correctly. And even still, when I went to pick it up, the damn cake wasn't in either of our names...

But I made it home and surprised my mama and she was very happy. We had dinner and cake together.

After that I went to hang out with my pals for a bit. Someone mentioned that it was funny how I come to the mountains to have fun, because they like to go to Denver to have fun. But, I feel like I can go out any old time I want in Denver, I never get to just hang around with my buds and relax though.

Anyway, I have been so excited about surprising my mom for her birthday that I didn't notice all the little surprises life had in store for me...

 Like a sleepy little boy after pre-school on Monday, which is going really well now.

One hundred pink roses that I hope will live long enough to look beautiful in my new home next week.

And one, very old, very delicious smelling, first edition copy of "The Beetle" -- my favorite book in the world.

I've been thinking a lot this week about how important it is to let life take control sometimes. I have always been a go-with-the-flow or "along for the ride" kind of girl, and now more than ever, with big things coming up for Aiden and I -- I have been meditating a lot on the idea of just letting life happen.

To life's little surprises.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

For What it's Worth

Last night I sang Aiden a little lullaby...

I got to love, I rode the rails
You came with me because you cared
I was broke and I was scared
You held my hand and took away my fear
We knew it couldn't last 
And that was hard
Looked out the window and watched the cars fly by
I look at you and I start to cry
What you did was
You saved my life
I won't forget it

And he was asleep all on his own by 9 o'clock.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Young at Heart

After what felt like months of planning, we finally celebrated Randalicious' 60th birthday this last weekend at one of his favorite spots - The Morrison Inn.

Bre spent a good amount of time trying to track down not only his old work colleagues but also some of his really old friends (as in they have known my dad since high school or grade school).

We reserved the upper "sun-room" of the restaurant and went early to set up with 60 black balloons - we really wanted to make sure he felt...distinguished.

The trickiest part was getting the balloons into the upper sun-room of the restaurant, but once we had it figured out, we had about an hour to kill before people started arriving. So we had a nice leisurely margarita.

Dad's Birthday cake had his graduation photo on it -- it got a lot of giggles and "Who is that?!" comments.

The gift we got for him, besides his awesome party, was a framed photo of the 3 of us having margaritas together at...The Morrison Inn of course!

Randalicious was the first to arrive, mostly because we wouldn't have recognized his old college pals ourselves. And sure enough, they were the first buddies of his to follow in after him.

On the far right is his best pal Gary, who he has known since 2nd grade and lived with a couple times in college...sounds familiar huh? I was very impressed with this bunch for behaving so well...maybe old age is making them docile?? Doesn't sound right...

We got a couple good family shots, which of course means more fancy photo frames for Christmas and then Aiden helped Papa blow out his birthday candles.

A couple of my pals who came (because in my small circle parents are interchangeable) helped out with birthday cake distribution, so I got to relax and enjoy Aiden's meticulous cake eating for a couple moments...

After everyone was filled up with tequila, jalapeno poppers, and raspberry cake, we wrangled the old guys for a couple group shots.


It was so nice to see Randalicious catch up with the guys, he certainly needs it from time to time. And it was a wonderful way to spend the end of the weekend - margaritas with friends. 

Out of the tree of life, I just picked me a plum
You came along and everything starting to hum
Still it's a real good bet, the best is yet to come
The best is yet to come, and babe, won't that be fine
You think you've seen the sun, but you ain't seen it shine

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Science of Zzzz's

The science of sleep is that there is obviously no science to it at all. Especially when you are talking about a toddler who is dealing with separation anxiety.

In general, there are all sorts of tricky stumps to climb over when transitioning from infant to toddler sleep. With all the new changes in his world, Aiden has extra challenges to overcome. He's begun pre-school which is a whole other sect of separation anxiety, he is trying to assure himself that he won't be neglected over night when he goes to sleep, and he is more than ready to be out of the crib for good.

To start dealing with the issues, I have been addressing the typical things that come up for kids who aren't going through any distress - this includes being over stimulated before bed time, being rewarded for sleeping all night in his bed, etc.

He has a coloring book to play with in the evening instead of watching TV and he has been getting stickers the last couple mornings for staying in bed all night.

I've been laying down on the floor of his room at bed time recently, so that he has the idea that everyone else is going to bed and so that he feels more secure about going to bed. While this has been messing up my own sleep and homework schedule it is making for much more relaxing bed time for him. He doesn't feel like he's being stuck in his crib and abandoned.

I'm not sure how to gradually scale this back yet but I think once we move and he gets into the routine of me waking him up every morning he will be much happier about going to bed alone at night.

Also to keep him from feeling trapped, we lowered the side of the crib as far as it could go. Until we move, we wont have an actual toddler bed so this will make do. And oddly enough, he is so happy about being able to get in and out himself that he put himself down for a nap on Saturday.

I had been keeping him up all day hoping he would be tired and pass out at night. Around 5 or so, after a few great rounds of baseball in the back yard, he decided he had had enough.

He went upstairs by himself and tossed everything out of the crib, climbed in, and crashed out. But not without taking his pants off.

Even though I am becoming a much more cranky version of myself these days, the funky sleep schedule does have it's upsides:

Wishing sweet sleep to all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What a Night of Sleep Can Do for You

First of all can I tell you how much Aiden has been learning in pre-school?

Yesterday he used Dexter to demonstrate his knowledge of body parts:

He was telling me (without being prompted) where Dex's nose, mouth and ears are.
Boo was being very helpful.

Anyway --

Last night was really hard on both Aiden and I. As I mentioned previously, he's been having a hard time going to bed and we're working on re-structuring the routine. If you are a parent, you know that any type of sleep training  gets really a lot worse before it gets better. But you also know that the result is totally worth it.

Well, we are having a really rough patch right now. It's hard to find the balance between giving enough comfort and love to help them fall asleep and at the same time being stern about bed time and how important it is to go to bed.

After story time and snuggles last night, I laid down on the floor next to his bed again, telling him I would stay if he laid down and closed his eyes too. This worked for 15 minutes or so, and then I decided he was calm and peaceful enough for me to let him go it alone. Big mistake.

Not only did he yell and scream but he flung himself from the crib.

After putting him back in bed I laid back down with him for a bit longer. At this point we had been working on going to bed for 2 hours. When I finally noticed his eyes getting heavy I sat up so he knew I was not going to sleep (the idea is that he knows he can go to sleep safely even when I am not sleeping). I rubbed his back a little and scratched his head and he was done.

When I sat down to start my homework, I just started to cry. Somewhere in that 2 hours getting Aiden to sleep I realized how much he really really needs me and that he is not getting enough of me. And going to grad school right now is just not an option for me. It was really tough to get to that point and even harder to just admit it to myself. But Aiden is the most important thing and always has been, always will be.

I am beyond grateful for my amazing support system. I am truly blessed.

Unfortunately, it's just not enough to get through this next big thing. And that's okay. Being a parent and an adult is about making the tough choices and realizing what you can feasibly do (or not do) before getting yourself in too deep.

On top of all this, Aiden was up continually through the night and not excited about Mommy going to work this morning. While it is extremely difficult to leave that kid when he doesn't want you to go, it really helped solidify my decision. Aiden wants and needs me around right now. That's not always going to be the case.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

having a day....

I am blaming the weather on everything that goes wrong this week. Just because Labor Day was two days ago doesn't mean that Winter has to start right now does it?

While I had an awesome 3 days off work, going back to the routine is really hard. Especially since we won't be taking any more office holidays until Thanksgiving -- that seems far far away.

Anyway, even though it was difficult, I got myself moving yesterday. However, my motivation was delayed when I discovered that I couldn't plug my iPhone into my car radio. This is really not the end of the world. I use my iPod generally except when I want to hear my favorite song which is on the phone. Ugh. I didn't want to force the chord to plug in so I left it alone and went to work with out my morning jam session.

At work I decided I should call the "Schmapple" store and ask about it. Funny story - you can't actually talk to anyone on the phone and if you want to bring your shit in to have it looked at you need to make an appointment. In order to make an appointment, you have to go online. Once online, I tried to make an appointment and discovered in order to make an appointment online you must be using a Safari Internet browser. So I downloaded that, then I got all caught up in this mess about some sort of "One on One Membership Plan" -- really? I could have gone to the store and hit someone over the head with my shoe by now for all this work.

I got myself an appointment and went in at lunch. Of course they were late for my appointment. And when I told the technician that I couldn't plug anything into my iPhone he said to me, "Why not??"






 I didn't go to iPhone college....If I knew why, do you think I would have brought it in here?? Perhaps they thought I was doing them some sort of public service - I broke my phone and knew how to fix it but just wanted to make sure they knew too, so I brought it in to explain it.

Are you freaking kidding me!

Anyway, the guy shines a flashlight in my phone and says, "You broke a piece of your chord off in there, if you take it up the street to the watch store they will have the tools to get it out." This seemed to make sense. Since the Schmapple Store runs on dreams and miracles of course they don't have tools.

So I walked up the street to the watch store. Of course the little guy in the watch store was so old that he couldn't even open his eyes. He looked at my iPhone and said, I can't fix this. Well no shit you can't fix it Captain Obvious, you are a watch repairman.

When I got back to work, I checked the chord that I seem to have broken - it is still fully intact. The people at the Schmapple Store smoke crack!

I hate everything about this company and it's product and it's persnickety, snooty attitude.

And I hate the rain.

But I sure love my Bubba.

He was having a day yesterday also - after a long, fun weekend at the lake he was way over tired. He didn't want to go to  bed at all.

This trend has been showing its face more and more regularly recently. So I decided that it is time to revamp our routine. We need to get back to a good schedule.

So last night, there was no TV after bath - new rule. Instead we had a snuggled up story time. And instead of holding him when he threw a fit, I made a deal with him that if he laid down in bed, I would lay down on the floor where he could see me.

We both laid down, we both crashed.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What does OutNumbered mean?

I have always surrounded my self with boys. Sometimes, intentionally because I couldn't handle girls. Sometimes, subconsciously - we are just drawn together because of shared interests. Sometimes, I even think a few of the men in my life like having me around because girls as friends can be more comforting than other guys.

And that is all just fine.

Unfortunately, as we grow up, there are increasing environmental factors which remind even the best of my guy friends that I am in fact not one of the guys, but a girl. Typically, this rude awakening comes in the form of a new girlfriend. Even more typically, a threatened new girl friend.

I don't blame them, I really don't. When I was younger and less sure of myself, I always felt threatened by my boy friend's best friends -- because that's who they tell everything to. That's who sees them when they are vulnerable. That's who they can safely be angry at without risking a loss.

Somehow, I find myself as a safe place for a few really great men. I love them unconditionally. I would listen for hours or buy 10 shots if it was what they needed. And that is as far as it goes. I work hard to keep them out of certain places in my heart because I love them so much. However, sometimes, it's the places in your heart that you didn't think were so important, which end up hurting the most.

When one of those best friends tells you their girlfriend has to come first -- all you can do is wish them the best. I feel that I am a very understanding person. I know what it's like to be in love. I know how important that can seem. But, again, lets all remember that I am a girl.

Maybe the reason I surround myself with men is because I want so badly to believe that they are logical and strong willed and decent to the core. But that is not the nature of the beast. They beast has hunger pains.

There are a couple people in my life, a nice mixture of guys and girls who I know would have my back even if it was their better half trying to stab it. Those are the ones that matter.

So today, OutNumbered means letting go of people who are too selfish to see past themselves and clinging with all your heart, even the most vulnerable pieces, to the people who would take a bullet for you.

I am not what has happened to me -- I am what I choose to become.