Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fear Factor

This week's blog challenge:
  • With Halloween upon us, tell us about a time in your life when you were scared. Shaking, screaching, frozen, trembling, crying, sick-to-your-stomach, whatever scared. Maybe you were a child, maybe you were an adult, maybe it was a nightmare, maybe it was a job interview. Whatever. You've been scared before. Tell us!

I"m too afraid to answer this!

Seriously, you need to believe that I am a strong, confident woman and not the slightest bit afraid of mice.

Really, mice, they don't bother me in the least. (hyperventilating begins)

Honest, you've got to believe me on this one....(where is that darn brown paper bag when you need it, must get visual images of mice out of my mind, NOW!)

Only on Jericho Court

Will you find...

A pumpkin with leaves for hair...

A moose doing his homework...

and a snowman melting before we can get to the photo op! It's just been one of those fun filled days of Fall!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Welcome to the world Baby E.K.!

It's been 9 plus years since I've celebrated the birth of a nephew. So, it is with great pride and excitment that I note the safe arrival of Little E., born to my BIL and his wife out in CA.

He arrived Thursday, just a day after his uncle's birthday (so, as long as I remember Hubby's birthday, I stand a fair chance of remembering Little E's birthday). He's a big one: checking in at 8 pounds, 14.8 ounces. All are doing well and hope to be released from the hospital tomorrow or Monday. (yeah, c-section. But come on, have you noticed the melons the Things sport? That's not from MY side! Giggle Giggle)

Thing Two was most excited. When we asked him: why so happy, he started to do a little dance and twirl around, singing "I'm not the baby, wahooo! I"m not the baby, wahoo!". We hate to tell him that on the maternal side, he's still the youngest.

A priceless day

Thing Two was invited to a birthday party at one of THOSE places (read with dread). Not the Rodent Pizza Joint (that was code for chuck e. cheese when they were younger. If we said the actual name, they were sure to hear us, even if in the opposite end of the house, and the begging and pleading to go right now would start). But, someplace very similar: with the arcarde, the indoor mini golf, the indoor amusement rides and bowling. Yeah, one of those places: when you get the invite you go "Aw Man, must we?"

So, I decided I'd take them both, leave the one with the party and head off with the other one and let him play (of course, it would mean this would become a costly afternoon for me while trying to keep things balanced for the uninvited brother). (side note: the very kind party mom did suggest that he could join the party group but I knew I didn't have the patience in me to have him be a part of the group).

And although I entered the day with sheer dread over the entire noise and chaos factor that comes with parties at those places, my mood quickly shifted to one of delight and awe.

In the months that have passed since we've visited such a place, I realized how much growth Thing One has experienced. He was calm. He was patient and he was willing to negotiate.

And, we all had a great time.

I don't care what some people tell you, as they get older, many many things get better and easier! This was no doubt one of those days!

(and a shout out to my pal Colleen who carpooled with me. I had a great time, even if my ears are still buzzing from the noise of it all!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Do Overs

This week's blog challenge:
  • Quote:
    If I had it all to do over again, I would do most all things differently. However, how would I know that, if I had not had the opportunity to do them the first time.-Janice Markowitz
  • In golf, there's this thing called a Mulligan. Basically, if your golfing buddies agree to let you have it, it's your chance to try again without a penalty. It's a do-over. We don't get many Mulligans in life. But if we did... If there was one Mulligan you could take - one do-over - what would it be?

Ok, here she goes with another tough challenge for me! But, I know that if I blow it off, I'll be ridden with challenge guilt. So, I"ll give it a try: at least I'll share with you why I find this task almost impossible to complete.

Oh, don't worry, I've done plenty of things wrong in my life. But, since I'm one of those glass half full types, spending time thinking of the would a, should a, could a's just doesn't go with the way I look at life.

In terms of dating, sure, there were "fish that got away", but as I'm sure my sister will back me up when I say, they all needed to be caught and released! And from those experiences, I knew when Hubby came along, he was one worth hanging on to. I caught him and have no intentions of releasing him. (even with Midlife Crisis v2.1)

When my mom was in the end stages of her battle with cancer, sure I could have asked Uncle Sam for a compassionate re-assignment to here in Denver. I could have been within a short drive to her place in Wyoming. A Do-Over I still ponder over some 19 years later. But, that eternally optimistic side of me says "well, yes, but if you weren't at Ft. Bragg, you'd not have met JandL who later introduced you to Hubby". Nor, would I have learned that very important lesson that friends are the family you meet along the way. During my Army days, living far away from family as many of us do, you become really close to those that share your plight. Would I have experienced that same life lesson if I'd exercised my "do over" for the decision I made to stay put? I really don't think I would have.

Same with other matters in my every day mom life. Just today, I went all "tea kettle" on someone who, although she probably deserved it for other things, today's action didn't warrant me reaching a boiling point and screeching at her. Based on past experiences, once I realized I'd goofed up (again, because I try to learn from those Uh Oh moments in life), I knew I'd better take the high road and just admit my error and get through it as fast as I could. Having a do-over would have saved me the embarrassment of apologizing. But, I sort of feel like it is a good skill to practice , how to apologize graciously.

So, where does that leave me? Well, I guess...The one do-over I wish I could take was when Bill Gates called me up way back when and asked me to invest in this little thing called the internet I should have said "sure". Instead, I said "Nah, people hate to type, the idea is sure to be a flop!"

(and if you heard Nathan Lane on the View this morning, you'll know I"m totally stealing his line!)

In the words of Maya Angelou who once wrote of herself, "You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better." I try to make that one of my philosophies of who I am. Looking Back is fine. Looking Back with regret is going get you nothing but a whole heap of sadness!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Snowy Day

Today, we enjoyed a nice healthy taste of reality that winter is on her way. We got about 6-8 inches of heavy wet stuff. But, don't worry, I'm sure that's the last storm we'll have for awhile.

Why am I so certain it won't snow for a long time?

Because I broke down and ordered the Things new snow boots!

Apparently, size 1 is very popular as I checked out 3 local spots this weekend and found NADA.... So, a package should arrive in the next couple of days.

After which, I'm sure we won't see snow again until Spring...
For today evil Mommy made them wear boots that were about one size too small. And yes, two years age separates them, but they wear the same sized EVERYTHING: coats, jackets, pants, shirts and even boots. So much for the hand me down theory!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sneak Peek

So, I mentioned earlier what a productive weekend I had. Here's a little sample of what I've been up to.

My friend has done an incredible job of keeping those of us "wannabee" travelers" up to date on her most amazing family vacation in Spain. So, on a whim, I mentioned to another friend "I should make her a scrapbook from her blog pictures".

And like so many things, it is those whims that prove the most fun! Saturday I printed out pictures and by Sunday afternoon I had her album ready. She and her family get back home later this evening and the album, completed with journaling (because I printed out her blog text too) is ready and waiting for her on her front porch. Oh, and I baked some chocolate chip cookies for the guys because well, they just don't get this whole scrapbooking thing. So, by tomorrow I should know whether Operation MTC was a success.
MTC: Make Tracey Cry. We shall sure made me cry and I didn't even know half the people in the photos!

Random Acts of kindness: I know that the person on the receiving end appreciates them, but being on the giving end really fills my heart with joy and delight!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Brotherly negotiations

Most days, the Things play well together. Like any set of siblings, some moments are better than others. But, for the most part, they do pretty good. With that in mind, I overheard them discussing what they wanted to do in terms of play. Thing One really wanted to play transformers. Now, I'm not sure if Thing Two didn't want to, or rather wanted to be talked into playing with his brother. Their discussion went something like this

  • Thing One: Please play transformers with me
  • Thing Two: Nah, I don't think so...
  • Thing One: I'll let you give me a wedgie..
  • Thing Two: Ok, but they get to be atomic and I'm going to give you TEN!
  • Thing One: You're on!

Boys...they'll find a way to work that whole underwear/wedgie bit into so many aspects of their day!

Tomorrow they head back to school. I must say I've enjoyed our time off. A few squabbles here and there, but for the most part, we've all had a great break. Now back to the routine of school...I sure hope we're ready for it!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Operation "MTC" is well underway

Oh, I'm just about to burst with excitement. I have two surprise projects that I needed to not only start but complete in the next couple of weeks. Version 1.0 of Operation MTC is not only started but complete. I really wish I could share with you the details but ya just never know who is lurking and reading the blog.

But, I promise, in the coming days I will share a couple pictures. Yep, even Hubby was impressed with the final project. So, there, that eliminates one possible recipient, eh?

And I'm clean up the mess from this project and start brainstorming for the next project.

Busy Busy Busy...and it feels great!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Must get this day started...

But instead, I'm sitting here in my quiet little corner of the house, procrastinating as usual. Need to get my shower in before the neighbor boys come over to play. Then this afternoon I'm working.

Now I'm not sure is it fair to call it work when we're teaching the kids how to make fondue and enjoying our tasty treats. Yes, it is work because I don't get to stir in any vino or sip from my glass while savoring the finished product.

Last night my new found crafty gal pal, CFD, and I celebrated her 10th wedding anniversary by taking a calendar class together at Archivers. Ok, so she's always been my pal, but recently we've started to get together and actually craft! Prior to this, we did more talk than actual scrapbooking. The class was fun and I think she only felt a tinge of guilt for forgetting her own anniversary when she made plans to go to this class with moi! I'll try to post a couple pictures later on, if just to make TZ jealous.

(*for those non-locals, TZ is another good friend who's on Holiday in Spain and is busy blogging all about it, yet also sniffs that she's homesick. Yeah right, you should see the beautiful stuff she's getting to see while all we have to entertain ourselves with is the occasional scrap crap class. Check out her adventures at

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What a difference a day makes...

Yesterday: shorts, tshirts and belly laughs amongst the pumpkins

Today: Why yes, I believe this is the first measurable snow fall in the 'burbs for the season.

TZ, promise me you aren't still homesick. And if you are, go have a churro and a cafe con leche and blog about it in the morning, ok?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Inside, Outside, Upside, Downside

This week's blogger challenge:
  • Pick a day this week, and blog about what's going on outside and what's going on inside. I'm thinking in literal terms: outside your house and inside your house. Or outside your place of business and inside it. But if you want to get creative, feel free to blog about YOU - what's going on inside as opposed to what you're allowing the world to see on the outside.Extra points for posting photos! If you can't post photos, then do your best to illustrate with your words. Give us a clear visual of what's happening inside and out!Don't worry about your house being messy, or your outside being boring. Document a day this week, just as you're living it. Tell us about the sounds outside and the sounds inside... or what the squirrels are eating and what you're eating... or what the temp is out there and how comfy you are inside... or what needs to be done outside and what needs to be done inside.Whatever. Be creative. Just blog about inside/outside.

Inside: The house is rather rumpled. The laundry basket is overflowing. There are dishes that need washing. Papers are piled on every known hot spot in the house. The Things are starting week 3 of their 3 weeks of track off. I too am feeling rumpled and worn out. I have no desire to work on chores here in the house. We've all got a good case of cabin fever (or shack rot as my dear old dad calls it).

The cure for the common track off: let's head outdoors...

Outside: Beautiful clear blue skies! You could even see Pikes Peak this morning from Smoky Hill. Lately, the haze and brown cloud has obstructed our view of the Front Range. But, not today: blue skies with puffy white clouds. Just enough crispness to the air to let you appreciate that today is to be enjoyed for tomorrow a cold front is moving in.

Upside: we managed to accomplish a couple errands. The Things picked out their Halloween costumes. We also made our annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch, aka, Nick's Garden center.

When they were little, I made a big deal of going out to the actual patch. We'd spend close to an hour getting there (Anderson Farms for the curious locals that read this). We'd pay a ridiculous amount of $ to ride the tractor out to the fields, picking our own pumpkins and checking out the other "agri-entertaintment" features that were included in that hideously expensive entrance fee. But, in the end, the only one who was impressed was me. So, for the past couple of years, we've stayed local, and everyone has a grand time. The Things even had the bounce house and the hay bale maze to themselves. It doesn't really get much better than that.

Downside: if the weather people are right, today was the last warm day for awhile. Cold and wet stuff moving in. I've got not a clue as to what to fix for dinner. No magic housekeeper showed up while we were out goofing off so those dishes, laundry and paperwork is still waiting for us. Or rather waiting for mess, my job to pick it up. But you know what, today I just enjoyed being with my boys, visiting old, familiar places and taking a moment to enjoy the day..because as we all know, time marches on a bit too fast most days!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Another project finished...

Ah, it always feels good to put that final layout together. I've spent a lot of time working on vacation pictures this past month. And yesterday afternoon, I finished the last one destined for our vacation album. (at least until we take another trip).

I got together with two gal pals last night and was worried I'd not be inspired to start some new stuff.I'm always a little slow changing gears: from the end of one project to the start of something new. Fear not, I still managed to finish up about 8 pages.

Oh no, if I keep up this pace, I might just be ready to print off some new stuff. Nope, I just discovered some other stacks of unscrapped photos. Whew, ya'll might not want to be my friend any more if I get too caught up. Happy Scrapping to ya'll!

Last week's blogger challenge

I tried to skip it completely. It invovled picking three books to have with you if stuck on a deserted island. I've never liked these sort of challenges: because just the thought of being stuck somewhere without my family, my TiVo and/or my high speed internet is more than my lazy, technology driven brain can handle.

But, now with a new week and a new challenge posted, guilt has gotten the best of me and I feel the need to play catch up. For starters, I would take some sort of survival guide.

I'd also take an epic history book. One that has a lot of pages because when I'm in the mood to read, I read rather quickly and I don't like reading the same stuff over. Historical fiction is the type of book I"d like to read these days, but my mind wanders way too quickly for me to focus for any length of time. Stuck on an island with few distractions, well I'm hoping I'd fnd the patience to focus on reading a bit more than I have these past few months.

And as for my third book, I"m thinking the bible or some book of inspirational messages would come in mighty handy. Because, once I've finished my other two books, I"ll be a cranky gal as I don't like reading the same stuff over and over. And yet, I'd be still stuck on that deserted island, all alone because I can never figure out which two celebrities I"d want with me (that's the other "what if/pick two" games I'm hopeless at!)

So, Rescue me quickly: I need my king sized bed, my color tv, my laptop computer not to mention the social fix I get daily from my family and friends!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Maybe brothers shouldn't bathe together

Although the things are getting older, they still enjoy sharing time together in the tub. Except recently, Mr. ever so observant Thing Two has taken notice of his brother's anatomy. And in classic envy, he wonders "how does he get his into THAT mode!". (Thing One is quite the master of his domain so to speak).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Circle of Life

Number of times I got goosebumps: 5 (I can't believe I'm FINALLY seeing this play)
Number of times I wiped away the tears of happiness: 3 (He lives in You, He lives in Me...OMG! Somebody pass the tissues!)
Thoughts during intermission: Oh crap, we're half way through? I don't want this play to ever end!
Realizing I was finally getting to see this most incredible play: Priceless!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Be it ever so humble
Be it ever so rumpled
It is so very good to be home
With not a darn tootin' thing on the calendar that requires packing, car rides or sleeping in hotels.

Two weekends back to back of being gone, as fun as each trip was, is more than this homebody was ready for. And today just sings of Fall: with overcast skies, cool temps. I'm one happy Momma! Even as I face laundry piled higher than Pikes Peak! I'm home...and that is always the very best place to be!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Rushing Through Rushmore

Just a quick update: we've made it to the Black Hills Region. Mt. Rushmore wasn't much different from what I recall as a kid. The Things: as usual were more impressed with the little stuff. Thing Two insisted on standing on stage and reciting the pledge of allegiance with his Grandpa. He also enjoyed testing out the plunger in the museum: simulating the explosions they used to create the monument.

Sadly, the wind kept us from enjoying the surrounding trails and just being outside was draining.

Next stop on the tour was the Crazy Horse Monument. If you've never been and have a chance, check it out. I can't find the right words this evening to describe what makes it so unique: maybe the grassroots approach to the construction of the monument, or the small town feel to the musuem with an eclectic collection of all things Native American. I don't know: it was just sort of an Americana Experience you should check out sometime, right up there with Wall Drug.

We finished out the day with two trips to the pool and one lesson (this time from Grandpa) about trespassing. You see, there is a small putt putt golf place right next to the hotel. But, it is closed for the season. Grandpa saved the day: when he announced that he has clubs and a ball in the trunk of his car, all they'd need to do is jump the fence. They got in a round of golf and the only one to question them was some other kid asking how much a round of golf cost. Hmmm...I guess occasionally a memorable experience is worth a little law breaking.

Tomorrow we head back, but before hitting the road, we hope to make one more tourist stop...assuming my energy lasts.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Weekend Get Away

Well, we're loaded and ready to head out for the weekend. Going to the Black Hills of SD. Hubby and a couple of his buddies are taking their bikes and I'll be driving the "support" vehicle (aka, the Mystery Van). I'm eager to show the boys Mt. Rushmore and if all goes well, Grandpa will be meeting up with us tomorrow evening.
The downside will be the drive through SE Wyoming into SD. Ugly just doesn't seem to be powerful enough to describe the landscape of the land we'll pass through tomorrow en route to the beauty that is the Black Hills.

See ya'll later...

Things we shouldn't blog about

Yesterday I was enjoying a lovely cup of coffee and delightful conversation with the neighborhood ladies (Thanks TZ!). The topic turned to what we should not blog about. We all agreed that naked pictures of our kids, as cute as they are, should be left off the blog. The same with belly aching about the people in our lives who annoy us to no end. Oh sure, once in awhile, you just can't help it, but for the most part, not a good idea to use your blog to vent.

But what about stories that you find hiliarious but your kids find rather sensitive? Thing One did something rather childish and stupid the other night.

He had something in his mouth he shouldn't have. And, he swallowed it. After I finished scolding him , he asked that I please not tell anyone because he felt so embarrassed.

Which leaves me with the dilemma, can I blog about it? The concensus was yes. Blog, just don't share photos when you find the swallowed item (TZ told us about a woman who made a scrapbook page that looked like Winnie the Pooh, only the pictures weren't of Pooh but rather Poo! EWWW).

So, here it goes...this week, until the situation passes....Thing One is knicknamed Quarter Pooper as he swallowed a quarter. Since it isn't the first time he's done something like this, we did not rush him to the Emergency Room (although we did call the Advice Nurse just to make sure protocol hadn't changed since the last time he did this).

Instead, we'll be deducting the quarter from his allowance.

We'll keep you posted on the not included...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Should be folding laundry..

But instead, we're enjoying our track off. The boys have no school for the next three weeks. And while they are doing their thing, I got to play in the craft room today. Here's what I came up with.

Better than laundry, don't you agree?

If I could be

I found this in amongst all the stuff that the Things bring home from school. Stuffed into the bottom of his backpack. Since Thing One is not into writing, when I find something even remotely creative, I am immediately impressed with his effort. I figure at least he's trying. I remember how he used to just answer the question based on what had the shortest letters so he could finish up the assignment. His answers are noted in italics

  • If I could be an animal, I'd be a Yak, because they live in the mountains and I love the mountains.
  • If I could be a bird, I'd be a woodpecker, because they get to chatter
  • If I could be a flower, I'd be a sunflower because they are beautiful.
  • If I could be a piece of furniture, I'd be a bed, because they are soft.
  • If I could be a state, I"d be New York, because it has lots of people
  • If I could be a building, I'd be the Empire State Building, because it is tall and strong, just like I want to be.

In a way, this paper ties into this week's blog challenge. Here's the assignment for those who are playing along at home:

  • If you could live one day without consequences, what would you do? Would you get a tattoo just to see what it was like? Would you skip work or school and sleep all day? Would you have a one-night-stand, or would you buy a yacht, or would you tell your parents what you REALLY think of them? If you could live one day without consequences, what would you do?

I've been thinking about this challenge for two days now. How sad is that? That I spend that much time THINKING about my answer. I know some of it stems from my strong belief that our actions all have consequences, either immediate or long term and thus by nature, I'm a rather cautious person. Toss in my practical side, and well, you can see where this week's challenge is indeed a challenge for me.

I can immediately strike off the one night stand. Why stray off the ranch when you are pretty much pampered here? The grass is just green enough on this side of the fence, thank you very much. The same holds true with telling off my dad. Yeah, I"ve got my issues with some of the things he does (what adult child doesn't?) but all things considered, I realize he is a pretty good dad. (and I've also found the perfect time to call in and check on him: about an hour into his starting his evening happy hour. Best conversation is between Manhattan #2- and #3!)

I"m thinking my day to throw caution to the wind would have to involve some sort of shopping. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my retail therapy just as much as most women. But, I am often guided by what we need, what is practical and what has a purpose. So, on my consequence free day, I"d head out to buy the things that look pretty, taste yummy and are ridiculously over priced. First stop would be the Brighton shop where I"d stock up on not just a purse, but all the accessories to go with it. Then, a quick trip into Talbots to find a new outfit that matches just perfect with my new purse. I"d stop by Del Frisco's and make reservations for dinner and call up my Hubby and tell him to join me for an amazing meal, although way over priced.

But, then in the morning, would my purse and clothes be gone? I guess so, but I"d still have the memory of having had a fabulous day without a care in the world....

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hey, did you miss me?

I'm home from my scrapbooking retreat. Had a wonderful time and I even managed to scrapbook 30 pages! I'd hope to get about 40 done but that's ok: I'm pleased with my pages and am glad I took the time on several of them to get it "just right". Spending time with my good friend Mrs. Mahoney was also a long overdue treat.

I rushed home a bit early (maybe rushed is an exaggeration) as I wanted to give Hubby a chance to ride his motorcycle on this wonderful Fall weekend. Yep, I admit it, I had next to no Mommy guilt with being gone (because face it, the kids get to be an age where they aren't as much work as during those infant/toddler years). But, I did have Biker Wife Guilt! Oh my, heavy sigh, look how far I've come in such a short time. But, in all honesty, this weekend, with clear blue skies and temps in the mid 70s, it seemed more like time for outdoor pursuits rather than indoor stuff.

I was home, had the car completely unloaded (which by the way, was a BLAST to drive. But, don't let Hubby know that I had fun driving HIS convertible) before the Things noticed I was home. Gee, they better not try to pull any such mommy guilt trip on me: I see evidence throughout the house that they had their every wish fulfilled in terms of trips to the video store and dining on fast food! And, they didn't even seem to notice my return.

But, well, Hubby, if/when he reads this, he'll know that he might just have a chance at playing the guilt card if I run away during Bike Season!