Month: November 2009

Well it's was a very successful four-ish days off. We fit in a bit of rest, but mostly we had stuff to do and we did!

Wednesday: gym, hanging out, naps, cooking!
Thursday: Turkey Trot (4 mi in 48 min), dinner with family, kids crashed before 7 PM (for the night), got to hang out with hubby for a while
Friday: gym, zoo, lunch, naps, Matt & Ryan do demo work, Indian food
Saturday: gym, dance, drop kids off at Mom & Dad's, home for leftovers for lunch, naps, errands (Christmas shopping), excellent steak dinner @ home, picked up Ben, watched Tudors
Sunday: gym with good friends, errands, picked up Tabby, home for naps, picked up house, laundry, put up Christmas tree, made chicken parm for dinner, decked the halls, skyped with Auntie Theresa, bed for kids, computer time for me … soon to CRASH

Hope you had a lovely holiday weekend!


In no particular order, one for every day of the month of November … things that I am thankful for.

1. my amazing husband
2. jobs that we like that pay our bills and allow us to save for the future
3. our awesome libraries!!
4. living in the land of the free and the home of the brave
5. my darling, clever little girl
6. my charming, sweet little boy
7. our family who are fun to be with and give us unparalleled support
8. PTO (need i say more???)
9. a dog who is so patient with the kids and still loves us even though he doesn’t get nearly as many walkies
10. good health
11. our babysitter and her family
12. DVR (Tivo)
13. online shopping
14. excellent health insurance
15. great friends that make me laugh and keep me sane
16. my treadmill and gym membership
17. Colorado: awesome weather, extravagant beauty
18. audio books!
19. our awesome camera
20. my food processor (which kept me from having to chop like 10 cups of onions for stuffing last night)
21. my kickass Android Phone
22. our sweet little house filled with wonderful memories
23. freelance work
24. running water and electricity (particularly as it applies to hot showers and clean clothes)
25. excellent food and even better people with whom to share it
26. Google Reader
27. weekends
28. our charming little neighborhood
29. a basement remodel that seems to be going well
30. my sweet ride that gets me around in snowstorms and looks cool with a pirate sticker


Really, I am too tired to blog. But I am never too tired to tell you about Ben. My baby boy is 7 months old today!! He is closer to 1 than 0.

He is a big boy! He weighed in at over 20 lbs (20 lbs, 8 oz) at his last checkup, putting him in the 85th percentile for weight. He is 65th for height. He seems to keep going up for height and down in weight. That seems like a good thing, I think. Of course he is still waking up in the middle of the night to have a bottle (which he sucks down ravenously as though we have not fed him in days, rather than hours). He eats his solids and does it pretty well, I think, but he does seem to have more texture issues than Tabby had at the same age and a bit more of a heightened gag reflex. But it’s also possible that I’m remembering incorrectly.

Sitting up has opened up a new world for him and he will now play happily on the floor with the piano or the bead maze for quite a while. His jumper is also a constant favorite, where he exercises the heck out of his little legs, bouncing like mad and squealing with delight. The swing is still a fave, but he now only likes it when he’s a bit tired. If he’s ready to go, he’d much prefer his jumper. He keeps purposefully rolling onto his tummy and tries to push himself on all fours. He can get his upper body up a bit, but cannot so far negotiate his legs under himself. It’s kind of cute to watch, but he isn’t at all pleased when he can’t right himself.

Other than the waking up at night, he’s a good night sleeper. He likes a bottle right before bed and once he’s done, he’ll snuggle down in his crib with his doggy and sleep until hunger strikes again, usually about 5-6 hours. During the day, it’s a mixed bag. Sometimes he’ll nap for 2 hours and more frequently, around 45 minutes.

Nap or not, he has a very cheerful and friendly disposition and it takes a lot to make him cranky. But recently, we have noticed a little stranger anxiety. He clouded up in mere seconds when we were talking with another family who had a baby about his age. And he flipped out when I put him on the floor in front of a toy at a playdate. I was right behind him, but I guess not being able to see me scared him.

I feel so lucky to get to be this little guy’s mama!

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Jayesel posed an interesting question: “If you woke up and your house was spotless, your children were being cared for elsewhere, and your work was done, what would you do (besides faint)?”

Hmmmm. Just the thought of this scenario makes me almost giddy with glee … and yet, the fact that I started this post 3 or 4 days ago will let you know how utterly unlikely it is. Nonetheless, I feel I should be prepared for the possibility, right??

1. Catch up on my to-do list. This probably seems counter-intuitive, but over 60% of my to-do list at anytime is a bunch of stuff that I'd love to accomplish that would make my life easier but that I have trouble getting to, like putting new workout music on my mp3 player.
2. I would probably play a computer game … Sims 3 or Civ 4.
3. Craft a new theme for my blog … getting sick of this one and I think it's time for a change.
4. Go Shopping! – This is a fantasy, right? So in the fantasy my basement remodel is costing me 0 and I have $$ to go shopping and of course without the kids? Hell yes.
5. See a movie … in the theatre … that doesn't involve animation.
6. With lots of time, I'd probably hit the gym and get in a nice long run and training session … do exactly what I want, no time limits. I would also take the opportunity to use the steam room which I have yet to use in the months we've belonged to this gym.
7. Read (not listen to!) a book. There are about 3 on my shelf I can't get in audio form (at least for free).
8. Sleep. It has to be here … I am almost always deficient … but only after I'd had quite a lot of fun.
9. Make something! All my craft stuff is hidden away and hardly ever sees the light of day. Nooooo time!

Now the question is … what about YOU?


In the Land of Chaos, all is going well. Framing done. Drywall going up. The adults of the house scrambling to finish the electrical stuff in time. Me hyper-ventilating over the $$ we’re spending. Matt talking me off the edge. Y’know business as usual.

I’ll tell you something else. Every morning at 4:30 AM my alarm goes off. I hit snooze once or twice (my alarm does snooze in 9 min increments, no idea how to change this) and almost always, drag myself out of bed. I could get about 1.25 hours more of half sleep if I really wanted, or I could go to the gym. Gym almost always wins. Wouldn’t you think that after I had that cute little lunker over there that all of the baby weight would just go away? Yea, not so much. So I have one very simple goal right now: fit into my freaking ski jacket so I can get up on the slopes. We have two more weeks until our first planned trip to the mountains and I haven’t tried my jacket on again recently, but I am hoping I can make it. Truthfully, it does fit. It just isn’t at all attractive or comfortable. I care little about attractive … but comfortable is a must.

I have been reading (listening to) Mary Kay Andrews’ books lately. They were recommended to me by Ani and they are delightful! They all take place in the south (where I spent four lovely years) and have excellent, complex characters and great stories. I am also reading It Happened in Denver, a book full of short history lessons on Denver. Extremely enjoyable.

Both kiddos have decided to talk a lot recently. Tabby usually talks a blue-streak anyhow, but suddenly she is much more with the give-and-take conversation. She seems to remember things better and volunteers more on her own. She is excellent on the phone and really has a conversation! Yesterday she was on the phone with her Grammy and my mom told her that GiGi (great grandma, my mom’s mom) wasn’t feeling well. Tabby got very concerned. “She’s not feeling well?! Give her a big hug for me!” And Ben has started babbling on at length. Many different consonants and syllable after syllable. He keeps saying “dadadadad” and “haaaiii” but not in context, of course.

In other news … I desperately need a nap.

We had what I am very happy to call a nice weekend. I am not sure I even once felt rushed or frantic. That said, we did not sit around. We watched only one TV show all weekend (and I almost didn't stay awake through it!) and we worked very very hard.

The snow started Friday so we went to the pizza place just down the street and then trekked back home. Ben went to bed and Tabby and I worked on an art project and listened to Christmas carols. After she went to bed, Matt and I went back to work on our projects … me freelance and him the house.

After gym and dance and Taco Bell on Saturday morning, we spent an annoying amount of time and $$ at the Home Depot, getting everything ready to do the electrical in our basement. My dad came over and we worked on the wiring. My mom and sister showed up a bit later with dinner and the wiring fun went late into the night.

Sunday after gym + errands, it was back to wiring. My mom watched the kids and Matt and Dad and I wired things up, hung lighting kits, etc. etc. We now have three rooms with outlets (they even work – we checked!) and all of our recessed light boxes are installed and some have line run to them. Matt and I will continue to work on this stuff in the evenings after the kids go to bed.

For my final act of the weekend, I finished up the next stage in my freelance project, got myself ready for the week and dropped into bed already mostly asleep. The kids were absolute dolls all weekend and so cooperative it was uncanny. Like I said … a nice weekend.


A sample of the goings-on:

• My Tivo hath risen from the dead … praise be to Buddha (I don’t know why, but he somehow seems Tivo related). This miracle happened on Monday and I still have not watched anything.
• We have cooked at home three nights this week!
• I have made it to the gym three mornings and will go today before lunch.
• Ben was introduced to Chicken Gnocchi soup (@ Olive Garden) and was something of a fan.
• My shins are killing me (see item above re: gym).
• I have an entire box of clothing (again) that Ben has outgrown (see item above re: soup).
• There are approximately 10 loads of laundry to do. Wonder who will do them?
• Our paperwork is piling up because the computer attached to the scanner died a fiery death. We have no $$ to replace it (see items below re: basement).
• I made excellent strides last night on my freelance project. And will continue this once the kiddos go down for their naps this afternoon.
• I convinced Matt not to insulate the ceiling of the basement (this as a sound issue and not a heat issue), which will save us around $250.
• The new sub-panel for the basement was installed this week. Handy hubby is wiring the space up this weekend. Drywall starts MONDAY.
• I think my dwindling bank account and general chaotic atmosphere is giving me stress headaches. Have had two so far … not a fan.

I don't want any crap about how it's too early for Christmas music. Honestly, if it were a normal year, I might agree with you. But it isn't. It is the first year Tabby is old enough to really GET Christmas and (more importantly, in my book) sing Christmas carols! Wheee!! Tabby loves to sing and so I am taking advantage of this and teaching her Christmas carols. I started off with Jingle Bells and that is going great! She knows the whole chorus and some of the first verse (she loves to chime in with hahahaha!). We have also started learning “Must Be Santa” and “Deck the Halls.” I am trying for “Silent Night” but since it doesn't have a lot of repetition and isn't so jazzy, she doesn't really care for it as much. To recap: she's 2.

I am also starting to figure out gifts for everyone. Money is especially tight right now what with the whole remodel thing, but I have an automatic savings plan thru ING where we deposit a certain amount of $$ each month into a Christmas account, so it is all there when we need it. It's the second year I've done this and I am so glad for it!

Anyhow, Matt and I are obviously not getting each other gifts (we gave the pricey gift of nice-looking-bathroom already), save the ultra-sexy gifts of Smart Wool (for him) and Oral-B electric toothbrush (for me). With the kids being the ages that they are we get lots of bang for the buck as far as toys go. I don't want to get Ben too many toys since he has access to a TON from Tabby and our friend's little ones, but I do want to get him one or two little things and probably a cute outfit. Tabby will be getting a set of Playmobil from us (Santa?) … I'm thinking this one since it's got a house, animals AND a treehouse! She discovered our old Playmobil at my parents' house this past weekend and was a *huge* fan.

I also want to start doing a couple of gifts for them that we will give every year. I want to get them each a book or two for their “permanent collection.” And I also want to make a donation upon their behalf to Heifer International of some sort of animal. I like Heifer because it's something they can easily understand, concrete and Tabby at least can select what we give and we can read about it together. I hope that as they get older, they can figure out where they want to donate money to. I view it as the beginning of lessons in gratitude and perspective.

And of course I have a few crafty projects up my sleeve … I want to do new ornaments for the family with the kids' photos on them, but I'm trying to come up with something new and different and I may fail miserably. If you know of any cute photo-ornament projects, let me know!


Hi! I'm Jess, a 30-something Colorado native making the most of life with my husband and kiddos. By day, I run the marketing department of a local contracting firm and in my ridiculously scant spare time, I love to run, ski, cook, travel (camp!), photograph and read. Thanks for stopping by!


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Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World
When He Was Wicked
It Happened One Season
First Comes Marriage
Simply Unforgettable
The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills--and Leave a Positive Impression!
The Naked Duke
The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills
Grace and Power
The World of the Ancient Maya
On the Way to the Wedding
The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Your Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent
Rose Harbor in Bloom
The Pearl of Bengal
Surprising Lord Jack
Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life
Anna and the French Kiss
The Lady Most Willing...: A Novel in Three Parts
Gone Girl

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