Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Payback is a...

You can fill in the blank. I remember as a kid, my sister and I always knew we had our mom cornered as soon as the upstairs bathroom door shut and the water started running. Why my mom never locked the door is beyond me, but I think she knew we'd probably bang the door down so why bother. I remember those times - me sitting on the sink, my mom hiding behind the shower curtain - as times to pour out my heart or complain or whatever. I thought (or maybe was desperately hoping) that this would not happen to me. I was wrong. Lately, I think my children have a built in tuning device to anytime I go into my bathroom. I can be sitting on the couch or working in the kitchen for HOURS, it seems, and they have no reason to bug me for food, going outside, or tattling about another child. However, the minute I go into the bathroom, I have children lined up at the door for one reason or another. How do they do it? I have no idea, but just relish in the fact that they, too, will one day get their own payback. How delicious.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Yesterday, K and I decided to finally paint CEDs room. We moved into our house 2 years 8 months ago and have had the paint for her room for 2 years 7 months. Yep, we move quickly around here. Though, to our defense, CED has not cleaned her room to the point where we could get in and paint, so... Anyway, it is done now and I think she's happy. K started off by painting her ceiling, which makes me realize how desperately every ceiling in the house needs to be painted. Ugh! In the process of painting, K decided that painting his contacts was a good idea, too. (Not really - painting over your head can have bad effects, though! He did end up with white paint specks all over his contacts. Yuck.) K also installed a ceiling fan in lieu of the standard light fixture. CEDs room gets rather warm (non-air conditioned house) and the fan has already made a difference. We ended up working in her room from about 10:30 until 7:30 - which makes for a long day when it's hot and you're going up and down ladders constantly. But, I think CED is happy with the result (which is not finished quite yet, but more on that later).

Here is a picture of CEDs walls as I was patching the eight million holes she's put in them hanging up posters and such (yes - eight million. And I think I missed about a million more which I noticed as I was precariously perched on a ladder cutting in all the edges).

Why is the corner not painted? Really not sure. I guess that was too hard for the people who last lived here and painted the room these colors.

CED, working hard. Actually, she did do a lot to help - filling paint pans, getting brushes and rollers, loading such brushes and rollers, getting wet rags/paper towels for the unavoidable messes, etc. You can see the difference in colors with the first wall painted. Two walls were painted with this very light green (believe me, it is a very light green).

Here's a better look at the green color of the walls. These were the two hardest walls to paint in her room. One, just like the other rooms on our main level, her room has a 10 foot ceiling. That's a lot of wall to cover with two coats. And two, you can see she has a little alcove area above her closet in the upper left hand corner of the picture. K had a lot of fun painting that area.

The other two walls we painted pink. I would've taken pictures in process, but I just wanted to get done with the painting and I didn't feel like stopping to take pictures. I know. Crabby. But this is the final product of the pink walls. It looks a lot brighter in the pictures than it really is.

Here's the two colors next to each other. They look really good together and it definitely looks like a girl's room now. K thinks CED needs white shag carpeting to complete the look. I think she needs easy clean rubber mats because of all the stuff that gets spilled in there!

On the pink wall you can see in the above picture, we're going to paint white bubbles and write CEDs first name in a color like hot pink across those bubbles (a letter in each bubble). I can picture it, and I think it's going to be super-cute. Now I just have to go get the white and hot pink paint. Maybe in a day or two...

Now the girls want their bathroom painted and MAD and MED are clamoring for their room to be done as well. That just might take us another 2 years and 7 months...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Incline... Again

K and I did the Incline again today. It is fairly hot here (low 90s) and we didn't start until almost 1:00 this afternoon. To add to the challenge, we ended up having to park a 1/2 mile downhill from the entry point. This meant we had to walk uphill all the way to the bottom of the Incline and then climb our way up from there. I wasn't looking to set any new record today, because with the heat I knew that going up the Incline would be challenge enough. K wasn't overly honest with me as we worked our way up the thousands of steps. He kept telling me that we wouldn't make our previous time - but as long as we kept it under our first time, that's a win. Snot. We beat the last time by just over two minutes. I am beat and I know K is too (but he did a 25 mile bike ride before we did the Incline. He's an overachiever.). I feel good about my new time, though! It's a new challenge to beat.

My Exciting Week

Really, it hasn't been. I've officially turned into the soccer chauffeur, however. This week both CED and JAD have attended optional training on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 - 1. JAD started his club team practice on Monday and Thursday from 6 - 7:30 AND high school practice on Wednesday from 9 - 11. Next week will slow down a bit as the Tuesday/Thursday optional training is over with. Wheee! On top of going back and forth to the practice sites (which, aside from the high school practice is a 20 minute drive north via highway), I have gone to the club office to take care of some business, gone grocery shopping, picked CED up from a friend's house, went to my (new!) district office to pick up paperwork, and taken the three girls to their yearly doctor appointment. Is my life exciting, or what? I've paid bills, filled out rebate forms for my contacts, and created a team roster for CEDs team. I just can't stand how riveting my day to day life is!

Last night, however, K and I finally went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. We decided to head to On the Border and we both ate WAY too much. In fact, I may not have to eat today because I still feel full as I type this. Really. The thought of eating anything is beyond me. I think that K and I will work off a portion of what we ate last night as we are heading to the Incline in a couple of hours. Hopefully I can drag the huge lump in my belly up those steps. It was nice to get out just the two of us which we don't do very often. After dinner we went over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond where I had a gift card for. I found a super cute double walled cup that will be perfect to use while running errands and for when I'm at school. Other than that, we came home and just flopped - mainly from being so full.

The rest of our day today after the Incline will simply be doing some errands family style. We are heading to the library (yay! reading material!), Barnes and Noble to pick up one of Jake's summer reading books (yes, we are behind. Why do you ask?), and WalMart (Ks favorite store) to get batteries for his various watches/heart rate monitors that have all decided to stop working. Try not to be too jealous of our scintillating lives. I would feel bad.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Relief

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a new job. I resigned from my previous school back in March because I really felt it was an unhealthy place for me to be working. When an administrator tells you time and again that you need to decide if you want to be a good mom or a good teacher, I take issue with that. I've been teaching for 16 years and have had 5 children in that time. No one has ever told me that I needed to choose. I shouldn't have to choose. I can work a full time job and be a mom at the same time. Ridiculous. I also rarely ever got any positives about things that I did well. My teammate got all that praise. But, I digress.

I applied for well over 50 positions and finally started getting interviews the beginning of June. It's been a long process and I interviewed for six positions. I hate interviewing. Fortunately, the more I interview, the easier it gets and the better my interviews get. Interview number five is where I'll be working next year. I'm really excited that I'm still going to be teaching fifth grade. I ended up interviewing twice with the principal - she called me and asked that I come back the next day to answer more questions. She told me at the end of the interview that it's rare for a position to come up at this school because once people get in, they are there to stay. Wait, could you repeat that please? People LIKE working at this school? What a difference from my last school where almost 25 staff members left by the end of the year!

Today I received a phone call from one of my teammates letting me know that he's excited to have me on the team and the other two teachers would be calling me soon as well. Now that's classy! I've never been called by a teammate to welcome me. I am so beyond excited to be teaching at this school and I haven't even seen my classroom yet. I immediately liked the teaching and administrative staff during my interview and so far, everything is panning out on my original feelings. I'm going to be happy here. I just know it!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Meddling Weather

Yesterday my parents were supposed to take off from the Colorado Springs airport towards home around 4:30 pm. At about 4:00, major thunderstorms popped up and pounded the southern portion of the Springs. At the airport, there were a couple of ground delays (sheeting rain, thunder, and lightning) that interfered with any planes taking off. My parents were connecting in Denver to catch a flight home to Milwaukee and Denver also had a ground delay. However, by the time the rain stopped here (three waves of very heavy rain), my parents had missed their connecting flight in Denver. So, K and I went and picked them up from the airport to bring them back home with us for the night. The kids were so happy to see their grandparents again and there were lots of comments like, "You missed us that much, huh?" and "Let's try not to have so much time in between visits again, okay?" My mom, understandably, was frustrated with the turn of events, but we were delighted to have them stay for one more night. We had great conversation and took a late night walk before heading off to bed.

This morning, my parents and I were up bright and early (3 am) for a drive up to Denver so they could catch their 6:45 flight home. Fortunately for them, there was no rain (it's 'monsoon' season here and we get rain every afternoon in the month of July) and their flight was able to take off on time. I dropped them off, headed home, and went straight back to bed. I think they did the same once they got home, too.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

16 Years

Today K and I have been married for 16 years. We've weathered highs and lows, good and bad, five kids, a move cross country and I love him more and more every day. If given the chance to do it over, I would do it the same as I already have. I love you, K. You balance me out and make me complete. I'm looking forward to the next 16 years and beyond to see where it takes us!

A Marathon of a Post

Last Saturday, my family from Wisconsin/Illinois all came out for the week. My sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew were all able to come out for 4 days and see us for the first time since we've moved out here. It was great watching the cousins play together (my niece is 2 months older than MED and my nephew is nine months younger than MAD). They got along fantastically and I don't think there was a single argument amongst them the entire time. My parents also came out last Saturday and have been able to stay through this Saturday. Unfortunately, we didn't make life very fun for them this last part of the week. I had two interviews scheduled - one for Thursday and one for Friday - which ended up turning into three interviews. My parents were stuck at home with my kids while K was working and I was driving all over town interviewing for a teaching position. Fortunately, yesterday I was offered a fifth grade position at a school on the north side of town! I'm extremely excited and I think I will be uber-happy at this school.

Back to our activities for this past week...

We did a lot of hanging around at our house with everyone over the holiday weekend. Sunday night, all of the 'boys' and CED went up to Denver to watch the Colorado Rapids (MLS) play. My family had a great time, my dad enjoyed the experience, and my brother-in-law kept up a running monologue yelling at the other team's keeper (which JAD thought was just awesome). The kids played on the slip-n-slide and ran through the sprinkler for a good portion of time on the Fourth. We went to watch fireworks that night and the kids ran around like crazy people waiting for the show to begin - all the while getting along and having a great time.

On Tuesday, we headed out to Manitou Springs - a great little town about 20 minutes east of Colorado Springs close to the base of Pike's Peak. Manitou has a great main street full of little shops ranging from handmade soap to jewelry to clothing to kitchen wares. It's a great eclectic mix of shops and restaurants and a place we like to go several times a year. To the kids' delight, there's an area in the middle of one side that is full of arcade games and kiddie rides. I think K, my dad, my brother-in-law, and I spent at least $30 in quarters just pumping them in for the 5 youngest to go from ride to ride.

My nephew, C


My niece, M



MED and M

MAD again (just loved this 'victorious' picture!)

My sister's family had to leave Wednesday morning and we spent the afternoon walking around downtown Colorado Springs and visiting some of the quaint shops there. Unfortunately, we are in our 'monsoon' season and we've had rain every afternoon which kind of dampens (literally) any plans outside. Thursday morning, I had to leave for interview number one and my parents stayed home with the kids. My mom ended up cleaning up and reorganizing JED's room which kept us occupied the rest of the afternoon once I got home. Friday morning started out much the same - I went off to two interviews (a first interview and a second interview following up on Thursday's interview) and my parents stayed home, continuing to do various projects around my house (for which I am very thankful, but feel horrible that they felt they had to work!) My dad fixed most of the screens in my house (a previous dog had put holes in all of them trying to escape) and he fixed the girls' bunk bed which was broken on day one of everyone being here (the three girl cousins decided to jump on the bed - bad idea). My mom reorganized the little girls' room - there's a theme going on. When I got home, we headed off to Cheyenne Canon park to do a little hiking. It was beautiful out (very sunny and warm) and we hiked around a couple of reservoirs, switching from trail to trail.

Last night we went to the Sky Sox game. For those that don't know, the Sky Sox are the Colorado Rockies AAA affiliate here in Colorado Springs and going to games is always fun. MAD and MED have been looking forward to this game for well over a week because they get to see Sox the Fox, the team mascot. Last night, they actually had the opportunity to take a picture with Sox and it was the highlight of their day and night. My dad is a huge baseball fan, so I think he enjoyed the experience. We like going because 1) We like baseball (well, almost all of us do - JAD thinks it moves too slow so, therefore, it's boring - mainly, it's not soccer) and 2) it's very family friendly.

My mom and dad

K and the girls

JED - all hopped up on Pepsi

And the coup de grace - MED and MAD with Sox the Fox

By the middle of the seventh inning, MAD had had enough. She curled up on the bench, put her head on CED's lap and went to sleep.

We've had a fantastic time with all of my family and we are very sad to see my parents leave today. We love having people come visit us and we've been very happy to have family around - even for the short time they've been here. It gives us something to look forward to as we have no family close to us. Thanks, mom, dad, L, M, M, and C for coming out to see us. It was a GREAT week!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Last night we all went down to our rec room to watch a movie. We started it rather late (8:15) and it was a 2 1/2 hour movie (Robin Hood). I was 99.99999% sure the two youngest would fall asleep before the movie was halfway over and I was right.

MAD was the first to fall asleep. Here's my oldest and youngest:

And MED was not far behind.

Yes, Desi is sleeping right along with her. Silly dog stayed there for a good hour before finally rolling onto her side. She didn't lose that pillow though. Our dog is a wimp - as long as there's a Linkblanket or pillow around (or even a sock!) she'll lay on it rather than just lay on the floor.