Tuesday, July 24, 2012


With all these house showings, we've spent a lot of time in the car lately.  When Bryan starts to get a little antsy, I jump in the back seat and entertain him by saying stupid things and taking lots of cell phone pictures. Here's the result:

Bryan's cooing sounds a lot like "aaahhh-goooooo."  I pretend that means "I love you" in baby.  We say, "I agoo you" a lot around here and always get a little smile or two.  And sometimes an "agoo" too!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A humbling life lesson

This weekend was not what we would consider normal, typical, interesting or even fun, really.  But it was absolutely humbling.  I am not great at asking for help.  Some may call that stubborn, I call it a combination of genetic personality traits, independence and with self-sufficiency.  Others will know that I get this wonderful blend from both sides of my family.

Friday morning began the blur of events.  In the wake of the tragic events in our neighboring town, the entire metro-Denver area mourned the loss of twelve individuals and prayed for the recovery of  the 59 wounded.  It's all our local media covered for two days and because it was so close to home (and I have momma-bear blood now) it was difficult to focus on anything else.

Friday afternoon, our house was listed for sale and went live in the MLS listing (we love this house, just need a little more space for Nugget to play and Chris to work).  I needed a little fresh, albeit hot air so decided to water my flowers on the back porch. As I was running from the wasps that have apparently taken a liking to my cute plant with pretty pink flowers on it, I got to the edge of the deck and thought to myself, "Huh.the air conditioner sounds funny."  But quickly forgot about it as I retreated into the house, avoiding any further confrontation with the wasps.  By Friday evening, it was 79 degrees in the house.  By 3:00 am, it was 84.

Our A/C went kaput.  So, our house is on the market, we have seven showings scheduled for Saturday, temperatures are in the upper 90's and we have no A/C.  We quickly picked up the house, took the dogs to PetSmart to board them for the weekend, packed plenty of stuff for the baby, left a note about the A/C for the house hunters and vacated. Thankfully we have a wonderfully happy baby that seems to adapt to weirdness pretty well.  So well that he sat playfully (no crying, or anything) at Champps Sports Bar and  Grille for three and a half ours as we lunched with friends in town from San Antonio, TX.  After that, we did a little driving, hanging out at the neighbors house and were finally able to return home at 6:30 pm. That's when the HVAC guy told us the motor in the unit had burned up and he'd have to replace it on Monday.

We called Chris' parents to tell them the news and they gave us hotel points to stay a couple of  nights at a Hilton Garden Inn.  There was another showing schedule at 6:45 so we had to hurry, grab enough stuff for us for over night, the pack & play, tons of baby stuff, and skedaddle before the next group showed up.

Turns out that Bryan's reflux was acting up Saturday night.  We had been up with him all night to keep him from crying in that the walls were so thin we could hear the neighbors' TV.  We were certain we were going to get kicked out of the hotel so at about 4:30 am, we packed up and came home, checking out a day early.  If we aren't going to sleep, I'd rather not sleep at home.  Home to an 87 degree house.  Sigh.  Thankfully Sunday brought only a couple of showings.

Sunday night, we had some friends offer up their guest room and guest bath to us and we humbly and graciously accepted.  It was their wedding anniversary, and they have two kids of their own.  Not to mention that Bryan had been a little fussy because of his reflux and he also has a cold.  The heat in our home was unbearable by 6:30 pm (thermostat read 89), so we packed up and headed over.

We pulled in their driveway just in time to watch Air Force One fly over their house and were quickly reminded of what is most important in life.  It's not air conditioning.  It is a modern luxury that we have grown accustomed to and while it's more comfortable to have it, we don't really need it.

As Chris and I dozed off to sleep, I couldn't fight back the tears as I counted my blessings.  A happy baby that was peacefully sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings (and slept through the night too!), wonderful friends who opened their door (and a bottle of wine) for us to get a good night's sleep, and even more importantly, for our little family of three and our chronic knack for biting off more than we can chew but always managing to find a way for everything to work out.

It's good to be me.  Even when I am hot, sweaty and cranky.  Thanks, Turner family for the laughs, the wine,  the room and the air conditioning.  You are our Colorado family and we are so grateful for your friendship and hospitality.  We love you guys!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

My rant for today...

I don't talk about politics outside my home EVER, and I refuse to engage a friend when the conversation somehow moves in that direction. My political opinions are just that...opinions that belong to me that I will never expect anyone to share or understand.  But not today.  I guess you could say that the straw has broken this camel's back.

I come from a family of cops and hunters.  Both of whom carry weapons for very good reasons.  The former, to keep the bad guys in check and the later to hunt food for the family.  I believe in our second amendment right to bare arms.  However, I think it's time that we take another look at the second amendment and maybe update it to be more applicable to the twenty-first century.

Our enemies should never be better or "more" armed than our police officers.  And I can think of NO reason that a civilian would need a multitude of weapons...especially of the automatic variety.

Today we slept in (on accident) and woke up to dozens of emails asking about what happened.  We quickly turned on the local news to learn that our wonderful city and its suburbs had suffered yet another massacre.  A "very deranged" gunman walked into a theater and opened fire, injuring 59 and killing 12.  My list of reasons for being so upset about this is long (why was a 4 month old baby at a movie...let alone at midnight!), but I will try and stay on topic.

This guy walked in with tear gas, two 40-caliber Glock handguns, a single-barrel shot gun and an AR-15 assault rifle and opened fire.  Surely, and ironically, he must have had a screw or two loose.  I don't care if he was getting his PhD in neuroscience...the guy was a little "off" to say the least.

I will never object to walking through a metal detector, anywhere, anytime.  But it is increasingly providing a false sense of security.  This yahoo was in the theater, slipped out the emergency exit and managed to reenter through that door wearing a gas mask and Kevlar vest and carrying more artillery than the Denver PD, Aurora PD or any other agency carries at one time.

I understand the argument that some have for carrying handguns.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say, "when that a-hole opens fire, if I have a licence and a concealed handgun, I can take him down."  I never respond, but today I will finally say what's on my mind when I hear that.

Here's my response:  "Really?  Because in the Saturday afternoon class you took that gives you the right to have that gun, did they teach you about staying calm in a crisis situation?  Is your aim so spot-on perfect that in a crisis you could be guaranteed 100% to only hit your target, and would need only a single shot to do so?  And because you are allowed to carry that handgun, that a-hole who just opened fire that you are planning on taking out is also allowed to carry weapons but his are bigger, better, faster and stronger than yours.  The only difference between you and him is the size of the gun, a Kevlar protective vest and a few brain cells."

Whew.  I feel slightly better.  Handguns aren't our problem, nor are hunting riflfes.  It's the availability and legality of bigger, more powerful weapons I have a problem with.  I am not an activist.  I won't start a march or a protest or even write a congressman or senator.  It just bugs me.  A lot.

The only thing I will do is raise my son to be a good man.  To understand right from wrong and respect the life we are each given.  That every person he meets will be someone's son or daughter, sister or brother, niece or nephew.  And that everyone deserves to be loved.  That sometimes good people do bad things.  And very rarely is a person a truly bad person.  I will raise my son to have educated opinions and know it's always OK to have an opinion as long as he can articulate why he feels that way.  That there is NEVER a good reason for taking the life of another person.  I will teach my son about stranger danger, how to be aware of his surroundings and what to do if he sees something suspicious...all without making him afraid of everything.  And God willing, I will never have to explain to him why some a-hole walked into a place my son feels safe and opened fire.

And that's all I have to say about that.  Because this is my blog and today I am just ranting, I have turned off the comments for this post.  I am sure you can do a simple Google search and find far more passionate and educated stances on this issue than I have made here.  I am also certain you could dig up just as many with differing opinions that are far more passionate and educated.  But this is just one humble woman's cursory opinion on a very politically charged issue.

I am noting here in very fine print that I am pretty sure most of my family disagrees with gun control legislation and that if this blog were to fall in the hands of SOME of my family members, I may be stripped of maiden name.  But hey, what's a family gathering without a good heated discussion where there is no absolute right or wrong?  Just a whole lotta Mac-opinions! 

Also note, that I don't advocate for so much regulation that we aren't allowed target practice, skeet shooting recreation, hunting and a little red-rider fun.  I just don't see the need for automatic weapons to be allowed in civilian hands. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

An open letter to the housing market fairy

As of midnight tonight (or tomorrow, depending on your perspective), our house will officially be on the market.  And as of midnight tonight, Chris and I will not allow anyone to check our respective blood pressure at any time until further notice.  With that, here's the letter!  

Dear Housing Market Fairy,
We have a new baby in this house.  He's super cute and we want to give him everything we possibly can.  Including great play space inside and out.  So, we need a new house.  But because our little Nugget is only three months old, and we have two dogs, vacating our current house in two hour blocks of time on weekends is going to be tough.  We know we have to do it, but if you could pretty pretty pretty please with a chimney on top, send the right buyers to look at our house quickly, we would really appreciate it.

Thanks tons.
C.J. and Nugget, et. al.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My wish for today...

I wish I had superhero powers.  The last week has been nuts, and its about to get nuttier than a peanut factory around here!!

About a month ago Chris and I decided that we need a bigger house.  This stemmed from the fact that we want more comfortable space for grandparents to come and stay, and even more importantly, Chris needs a better office.  Working in the unfinished basement just isn't cutting the mustard anymore.  We thought about finishing the basement, but our Realtor advised against it in that we are already the largest floor plan on the block and finishing the basement would price us out of the neighborhood.

So, now that we have our daycare straightened around (not an appropriate story for a blog...let's just say that a switch was made due to some concerns that we had), I am working full time, de-cluttering and packing unnecessary stuff, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning (damn dogs), and staging the house to be appealing to anyone who walks in the front door.  All of these things must happen while Bryan is at "school" in that he only takes two 30-minute naps per day.  So when he's home, NOTHING gets done!!   That means lots of hustle from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm when we leave to pick him up.  And while it doesn't sound like much, I am managing the cooking, cleaning, house prep, baby loving, bath time, working full time, and being a wife all with a pinched nerve in my neck that's causing significant pain and also making 40% of my fingers totally numb and tingly all the time.  It's awesome.

Mom and Dad will be here two weeks from today, and three days after they leave, my in-laws will be here.  Did I mention NUTS???  When it rains, it pours.  But we love every second of it!

The result of all this nuttiness is an awesome looking house.  Combined with a little creativity here and there, and we have a house that anyone would want to buy.  But, in all honesty, our greatest accomplishment in all of this chaos is a VERY happy baby.  Tragically, he doesn't like to have his picture taken.  We go from cooing to frowning the second the camera comes out!

So, here are a few pictures of what we are most proud of:

4th of July, practicing sitting up.

I got a smile!!  Thanks for the onesie, Kim!  Gnome sweet gnome!
Bryan gets Daddy time every morning.  So sweet!
And because we had to get rid of the pictures of grandparents in Nugget's room, I had to find something for the wall.  I  couldn't find anything I loved.  So I made something.  Cool, eh?