Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nesting


We seem to have a sweet little friend who is moving in the same time we are. A lovely little robin is making her home in an eave above our front porch. The boys and I watched her work this morning as we were eating breakfast. What a treat! I hope she'll lay eggs and we'll get to see some babies appear. The boys are very excited over this development. I think it seem ideal that we are building our new nest as she builds hers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Angels Amongst Us

Jackson: Mommy, when someone dies, and they become an angel, do they then come back to earth and become a baby again?

Wow. Such a thought provoking moment from my almost 5 (5!) year old. We've talked briefly about death before, and the idea of angels. I try and answer his questions as they come up, but I don't always have the answers. How do I tell him that at the age of 35 I'm still pondering all of this myself? I told him that some people believe that angels do come back again as babies, and some people believe angels stay in heaven. And some people don't believe in angels at all. But that it was his choice to decide what he believed, and how lucky he is to live in a place and a time when he can make those decisions for himself. He told me he thinks angels are in our house right now, watching over us, he can almost feel them. I told him I completely agree.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

chaos from above
chaos at ground level
sick baby boy
mad scientist
(he's "playing scientist" with a bucket of water and some medicine droppers - clever mommy if I do say so myself)
chaos up close

Ah yes, it has been a week since my last post. Much goings on in the past week. Insanely busy week. But we are at last moved into our new home. The home, I pray, we will be in for the long run. I've never felt like any home we have lived in thus far was 'for the long run' but I definitely feel that about this house. It has so much we want, love and need. There is more space than we even know what to do with. It is perfect. Well, almost. It needed (needs) some work. But we have jumped in with all the fervor two mid-30-something's-with-two-sick-children can muster. Yes, that's right. Two sick youngsters. NOT the best way to christen a house, but alas, they both christened it with gusto. blech. But other, better improvements have also come along...

Paint - for the new house. Love it. Well, like it, learning to love it. Sometimes change is difficult when you get cozy with your old ways. But fresh is good so I'm learning to love a color I wasn't so sure about. It certainly beats the butterscotch color that covered the walls prior. It is sort of a soft gray color, with some brown overtones. Learning to love it. Check. There is also a soft yellow in our bedroom - I thought it was cream. It isn't. But I'm learning to love it, too. And I do love how light and airy it is. I'm itching to decorate! Red in Jackson's room, per his request. Darling. Blue in Holden's room, per his request. Precious. The rest of the previous colors have stayed. I love the spring green of my office (my office!). I think the boys' bathroom is absolutely perfect. And I can live with the walk out basement color for a bit, since it is brand new though not of our choosing (again with the butterscotch...).

And on to Cleaning. This house needed the deepest cleaning you can imagine. There was a thick layer of 8 year old dirt and grime that we had to see through in order to see the true beauty of this house. But we could see it. It was there. But it was more than I could have handled on my own with two small children in tow. We hired a cleaning company. It took them 8 hours to clean the house. 8 hours. Yes, that is how filthy it was. And no it wasn't a foreclosure (though they asked me if it was because they said they had never cleaned one house for as long as they cleaned ours - lucky us). It was just really dirty. That was the best money we spent thus far on the house, bar none. If you need a really top notch cleaning crew, I know of one. They were amazing.

And then there was the move itself. We hired movers. I can say nothing to that except we are far too old to move ourselves or to expect our friends to pitch in and help us move our stuff. The days of owning 6 boxes and a fold out couch are long behind us. A moving company is the only way to go. They got the job done lickety split, and were polite to boost --but seriously, I'm not so old that I should be referred to as "ma'am" am I??? I guess not.

And that is that. We have unpacked boxes. Made a trip to Lowe's. Have another trip planned. The Internet is up and running (obviously). Cable is up. We have shoddy cell phone coverage. Apologies for that. Furniture is in place. I'm working on window coverings. Brainstorming decorating ideas. Doing loads and loads of laundry. Oh yes, I have a new washer and dryer! Shawn's cleaning things that even the cleaners couldn't get to. We've met a few of the neighbors. The boys are adjusting (though they are cranky to the nth degree, which I'm attributing to getting over illness and the complete craziness of moving) And life, as they say, is moving forward.

Home Sweet Home. I love it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yes.

Yes it's 10 til 10. Yes my baby was up sick as a dog last night so I'm goin' on about 4 hours of sleep. Yes I should be sleeping now. Yes I have a house to pack in 2 days time. Yes I have another house to unpack...at my leisure. Yes both houses are a mess. Yes I have 18 loads of laundry to do, and that's just the whites. Yes I think I forgot to brush my teeth this morning. Yes my baby is feeling a bit better and is, at the very least, sleeping. Yes my other baby turns 5 in two week's time. Yes I'm freaked out that I have an almost 5 year old, because surely I'm still just 22 myself? Yes I'm planning a birthday party. Yes there are diet coke cans surrounding me on all sides of my desk. Yes my hub is out for much deserved drinks with his best dude friend. Yes I have two, maybe 3, photography gigs booked in the next couple of weeks (!). Yes all that snow melted in a single day and our sump pump has been going non-stop all day long and freaking me out because I keep thinking it is the garage door opening but it's not, it's the sump pump. Yes I never knew what a sump pump was until I moved to Colorado. Yes I can't get into the book that is currently sitting on my bedside table. Yes I should be asleep. Yes I have spent the last 2 hours looking at decorating blogs, even though I have, yes, an entire house to pack. Yes, that time it really was the garage door opener. Hub is home. Good night.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blizzard '09

So very much to catch up on, but just about too tired to commit to all the details. In short: Friday we closed on our new house! Much excitement. The event was almost derailed by a crazy mid-April (mid-April!) blizzard which struck Colorado Thursday evening and lasted until early Sunday morning. We feared we might miss the closing, but it happened and we are now officially the proud owners of a new house (or to phrase it more correctly, we are the proud owners of a mortgage!). And the snow kept tumbling down...

Saturday was a massive barrage of big, fat wet flakes. The town was covered in a blanket of the heaviest snow I've ever seen. It was like icing dripping off of a cake, it was so thick. But not so thick that I couldn't make it to my 9AM hair appointment - priorities! We managed a few trips to the new house to drop off some unwieldy items, and I shampooed the carpets. The boys ran around like crazy, wild monkey, but were both too afraid to go down to the basement by themselves (it is a finished walk out, NOT scary, but they saw a tiny - dead- spider and that was that).

Today was more running back and forth with loads of stuff to drop off, and more cleaning. The boys were not as into running. Holden had a temperature from an oncoming cold, and Jackson was having an ornery day. He and time-out enjoyed one another's company quite a bit. But poor Holden took a short nap on the floor of his new room, and then cuddled up next to one of us the rest of the afternoon. The storm stopped by today and the 30+ inches of snow were quickly melting into the run off behind the new house. Everything looked lovely and fresh and ready for our new beginning (except of course my sick babe who just wanted to crash).

Much more to do in the upcoming week. More unwieldies to take to the new house. More cleaning. Painters coming. Cleaners coming. Gotta finish packing. Gotta get address changes done. Then there's soccer and school and gymnastics and Shawn's work and getting the old house cleaned up and Jackson's birthday is coming up and I'm working on some crib tales photography stuff, and hopefully Holden will be feeling better, and blah blah blah...you get my point. BUSY! Very little blogging to come this week. But hopefully in the weeks ahead pictures of the new house, attitude adjustment from the almost-5-year-old, a well toddler, and sanity for mama and daddy.


Snow, half way through Saturday's storm
Snow on the trees
View from our (old) back yard - about half way through the storm
Sickly Spiderman

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

This lovely lady is celebrating her birthday today. Though she won't see this post because her computer died this morning :-(

BUT when you DO see this, I love you Mom, and wish you a very very happy birthday. We can't wait to celebrate with you when you come for a visit in a couple of weeks. And Mexican food is on the schedule for sure!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Soccer Mom

It is now official, I am a soccer mom. I mean, isn't that what happens when you pack it in and head to the 'burbs? Next up is my mini-van -- kidding (though I drive a wagon, so close enough)! I relish my soccer mom role, and am thrilled watching Jackson on the field. Better yet, Daddy is the coach, so I get to watch 2 of my favorite guys on the field (and another favorite playing off the field, pretending to be on the field). There are 8 little boys on the team (it is a mixed league but there are no girls on our team for whatever reason). They all chase the ball in a herd. Occasionally they score in the wrong goal. Water breaks are frequent. But always there are smiles and cheers and good sports all around, thanks I'm sure in part to their awesome coach. Who, don't tell, has a really cute tush.

Coach Shawn giving the team a pep talk
Player #8, lighting up the field
And a little dancing from #8 to encourage the team to victory
Ready for his shot (we are not allowed to keep score, but the kid made 2 goals in his first game!)

Holden making a friend and playing a little ball on the side

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Dying Easter Eggs
Showing off the goods

The Easter Bunny came!
Baskets of goodies
Bunny massacre


Aunt Janis preparing delicious seafood Crepes!

Uncle "Owl" helping in the prep (Uncle Al)
A beautiful Easter Table
Nana helping Jackson
Happy boy
Cute mugs that Aunt Janis has - had to take a pic
Chauncey

Jackson declared this "the best Easter ever!" I'd have to agree...

Hope you and yours had a lovely holiday. Our was spent with Shawn's side 0f the family - Nana, Uncle Al, Aunt Janis and Janis's sister Coleen. I missed my family much, as I often do during holidays, but was reminded once again what an amazing family I was blessed to marry into. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Guest Blogger - My Dad

My Dad was barely a teenager when his family immigrated to America from the United Kingdom. He's been here for 53 years now, with nary a trace of his former British accent (you would think he's a born and bread Texan by his drawl), but the memory of his voyage across the sea is still very much ingrained in his memory. I've heard bits and pieces of this story over the years. Dad tends to be a quieter soul when the whole family is together -- probably because he's utterly surrounded by yappy females; so the whole story of his coming to America is actually a newer story to me. I think it shows I should ask more questions and keep my yap shut when my elders are talking.

And so today I introduce to my children the story of their OP's voyage across the sea to a new land... America. Thanks Dad for agreeing to guest blog today. I hope you will contribute more over the months ahead. My boys really should know how fortunate they are to live in a country as wonderful as ours, and how much their ancestors sacrificed to give them this life. (I should also add that Dad was born originally in Haifa Palestine, and immigrated from there to England when he was a toddler)

Coming to America

It was a pleasant evening on that summer day in June of 1953 in England. I was out playing with my pals Barry Kell and Hughey Sloan. When I saw my dad (your grandfather) get off the bus and walk to our house, I knew it was time to go home, because we all ate together when my dad arrived home.

I knew it was going to be a "different" evening by the tone of dad's conversation. After eating our dessert, dad said that he wanted to talk to the whole family. I had no clue what he was going to talk about, but I knew it must be important.

After a few minutes of "soft talk" dad said he had something real important to discuss with us. I suddenly started getting a little shaky when he said that. It was unusual for him to say that, as he always came right to the point in any of his conversations.

He started out by saying that he had thought long and hard about our future. Dad had worked for the United States Air Force as a civilian employee since 1948. He then made the statement: "I am thinking of moving.....to the United States!" We were all taken back by this. "moving to America!!!!!!!! WOW!" Was he kidding? We were English and proud of it!

After he told us some more of his plans for the family, I started getting scared....Move to another country? Saying goodbye to all my friends? Becoming an American? Was he kidding?

He went on to tell us more of his family plans. The more he talked the more scared all of us were (including my mom -your grandmother- who by this time was sobbing her heart out.)
Mom continued to fight this move until the very end!

I went to school the next day and proudly told my friends that I "was going to live in America!" Most of them simply didn't believe it. It was even hard for me to believe it.

It took nearly a year and a half to get all the arrangements taken care of - visas, inoculations, paperwork, etc. Finally a date was set....October 19th, 1955 we were to board the ship The Ivernia for our trip to America.

On that October,19th in 1955, I went to tell all my friends and teachers at school one final goodbye. I remember my Math teacher making the comment "so you are going to the 'land of milk and honey' heh?" I said yes and fled the room before I would start to cry.

That afternoon, we drove to Liverpool and to the ship. We boarded at mid afternoon and set sail later in the afternoon. What a trip! 6 days later we arrived at Montreal to see my mom's sister for a few days before we flew to Texas.

Finally, we arrived at our new home in Lubbock, Texas. What an adventure!!!!!!!!!

We went to buy school clothes and other necessities to get enrolled in school. I finally got to wear long pants, but I was still not in style....my mom bought me some blue jeans but they were lined in a plaid material.....not like the Levis that all my classmates would be wearing!

It was truly an adventure of a lifetime. Here we were in a new country and a new life style. It didn't take us long to become "Americanized".

Even though that was 53 years ago, I still remember with vivid details everything that happened. And now, after 53 years, I am proud to say "I am a PROUD AMERICAN!"

The Ivernia, the ship my Dad took when he immigrated to America

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Nuggets

Last week Shawn got us tickets to see the Denver Nuggets play the NY Knicks at Pepsi Center. It was my first professional basketball game. Believe it or not I have seen lots of pro baseball and even a pro football game, but never a basketball game. And though I'm not an athlete, I do enjoy watching basketball more than any other sport. We all 4 had a ball (no pun intended). We munched on popcorn and hotdogs, cheered on the winning team (the Nuggets) and enjoyed a little family time. It was a blast.

Monday, April 06, 2009

My Name In Paint

Was looking for paint for the new house and came across this. My maiden name is Broome, so this naturally caught my eye... it is even spelled the same way. Though I think it is in reference to Broome Street in NYC as the entire paint collection was NYC-themed. Nonetheless, cool.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Treasure Hunt

It's been awhile since I posted any fun kiddo-type activities. Probably because I've been too overwhelmed as of late to DO any fun kiddo-type activities. Once upon a time I had 3-4 big projects a week for the boys to work on --crafts, activities, games. Not because I'm super mom (I'm not by a long shot), but because planned projects make for busy little boys and busy little boys don't get into as much trouble (in theory). But alas, it has been a crazy past few months...

On that note, I introduce a fun little last-minute game I put together for the boys yesterday during rest time. The Treasure Hunt! I made up 10 little cards from regular white paper. On each card I drew a "clue" for the boys to follow around the house. Examples included our purple couch, the boys' bathtub, underneath Jackson's loft bed, etc. The pictures were pretty simply drawn, I am no artist. The final picture was of a chocolate Popsicle. I then wrote a simple letter that Jackson could read, letting them know that the hunt was ON and that a treasure treat would await them at the end. The first clue was also included with this letter. I then hid each picture in sequential order.

When Holden awoke from his nap I yelled out that a letter was waiting for them on the kitchen table. With utter glee they began following the clues. They got each one spot on, nad the excitment built. The final clue was in Holden's crib -- it was a picture of said Popsicle. The boys squealed and ran to the freezer where a congratulatory letter awaited them, as well as a treat for each boy. The boys loved the game, and wanted to make up another one to follow!

We decided to make another one all together for Daddy to follow when he got home from work. I drew the pictures and the boys colored them. We then put the note and the first clue taped to the garage door entry so Shawn would see it first thing when he got home. As soon as he pulled into the garage the boys were ecstatic with excitement. Shawn followed each clue with almost as much enthusiasm as the boys had following him around to each clue. The final clue lead him to his comfy clothes that he likes to put on as soon as he gets home from work. Lots of yelling and cheering followed. It was a great activity for the boys, and a totally fun way to greet Daddy home after a long day at work!


Example of Daddy's clues
(note clues such as toy box, our bed, bean bag, coffee maker, etc)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Things I'm Going To Miss

In just 3 short weeks we will be moving from our current house into our new home, our dream home, barely a mile away. We are extremely excited. We will at last have some space to breath. Our current home is just fine how it is. It would serve us just fine if we stayed here through the years as our boys grow every bigger and take up even more of our physical space. But the stars have aligned for us to be able to purchase a home that is larger and more in tune with our lifestyle - which is, in essence, being a family who enjoys hanging out at home, playing, laughing, cooking, eating, visiting with friends, and just "being" in the moment in the home of our dreams. So to speak.


So as the day draws nearer, and as I begin to panic with last minute details -- it seems insane to pack for a one mile move, but alas, it is a necessity -- I begin to reflect on what has made this house a home over the past three years. Here, in image form, are the things I will miss most about this house...

The Park Across the Street: Known for its challenging toddler climbing structure, neighborhood hangout, and mommy-breather when life gets a little hectic. I walk 10 steps (give or take) from my front door to this charming little park. I will miss that ease, and I'm sure the boys will, too.

Decorating this banister at Christmas: It was always my dream to have a lovely, crisp white staircase banister to decorate with garland and twinkly lights at the holidays. Sure, it's a silly dream, but it was mine. Fortunately, the new house has a banister as well, so decorating can commence come December.

Master Bedroom: I never liked the color of these faux-suede walls. This is the color the room was when we bought the house 3 years ago. But I was too lazy to paint them. We painted just about every other room in the house, but this one never made the list. Finally with yellows and creams to brighten the space, and a splash of toille, it is at last a room I love.


Open Space: This trail is just behind our house, and a frequent mini-hike for either the boys and me, or all four of us as a family. We have even flown a kite or two from this hill. I love the wide open view it has for us. The boys love visiting the plethora of "chipmunks" (ground hogs) that make this hill their home. They've even recently brought in horses to graze in a nearby fenced off field. Makes you almost forget you live in the suburbs!

Front Porch: It is cute and quaint and perfect for watching the rain or the sun or the day go by. It is a throw back to a time gone by, and I have always loved it for that trait.


Friends: These people. The Weik's. Oh my gosh, how I am going to miss them. I may cry just typing this out. Yes, they will only be a mile away, but it won't be the same to not have impromptu playdates and wine dates and Friday night meals. Lisa, Tyler, Jackson George and Allie are the best friends and neighbors we could ever have asked for, and our lives changed for the better the day they moved in. (Note: An open invitation is extended to you guys any time, day or night; we love you!)

Garden: Three years in the making, and it is finally "just the way I want it." Sniff, sniff...


Bunnies: Sure, they're pests, but it is always a delight to look out and see one of these little fellows in the yard, nibbling on grass or chasing each other under our deck. They are truly adorable, and that is coming from a non-pet-person. Maybe that's why I like them so much - so little responsibility on my part! And the baby bunnies, oh my, melt my heart!

Home Improvements: We have done a ton of improvements over the years, including adding tile to both upstairs bathrooms, lighting upgrades, this shiny faucet, paint, landscaping, blah blah blah. It is hard to move away from something you have put so much time, money and creativity into. Fortunately the new house is filled with lovely fixtures and updates, so hopefully that part of our home improvement days are behind us.


The boys rooms: They are both really cute rooms, if I do say so myself, and I sort of dread having to do them all over again in the new place. Jackson's is all about modes of transportation, and Holden's is all about being a little buckaroo. That he is.


More of our lovely garden: And of course, I couldn't resist this adorable shot. Yes, that is an electric lawn mower. He drives a Prius too, what can I say.

Baby: This is the place I brought my 2nd baby home to. It holds a special place for that honor. All those late nights/early mornings nursing him and snuggling him. The little sounds that come from him as he slept beside us those first few weeks. Those baby feet and hands and toes. Oh my, watch out, my womb is rumbling...



Come to think of it, I will probably miss this house more than I thought...