Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I am sweaty and hot.

My hair has made its way to some form of an updo.

I have various spots and smudges on my clothes.

But I am proudly rockin' my new necklace,

with my SAHM of three boys motto.

Lovin' my life!

Monday, June 29, 2009


When the tongue is sticking out, you know they are focused.

After spending the morning at our favorite park riding bikes, getting soaked in the fountain, and monkeying around on the equipment for hours, our indoor activity this afternoon was puzzles.

The boys love to get out the basket of puzzles and are sure to put together each and every one. It is pure bliss for momma for about an hour!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Little Explorers

It was HOT in Denver this weekend, so Bryan had the great idea to beat the heat by spending the majority of Saturday indoors at the Natural History Museum, even taking in an IMAX movie "Wild Ocean."

Warren and Jack really enjoyed seeing all the exhibits, but particularly liked the Space Exploration one. They even pleaded to go back to that one at the end of our visit.

They are such little sponges for information and I find it to be so true that they learn best by doing and playing -- much moreso than reading or flashcards, or all the other fancy learning tools/toys I have ever bought into.

I have definitely never seen their faces light up like they did at the museum when I pull out the Summer workbooks we have been doing. But I will continue to offer them that form of learning too -- it can't hurt to have multiple sources, right? And it certainly doesn't hurt to have a little quiet time for mom, as they trace letters and connect dots for just a few minutes.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Feeling Blue?

Well, I can assure you of one thing that will lighten the morning mood -- a huge basket of delicious blueberries. There are squeals of delight when I pull it out of the refrigerator.

Add one plum per child,
and maybe two for mom,
and you're on your way to a great start of the day!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Recon Mission: 'Soak yer Mom'

Now, I don't know what other people experience when they bathe their little ones, but around here, the designated parent-in-charge (and the floor) is generally drenched.

Four little hands and four little feet are white and withered.

What's left of the water in the bath is luke-warm at best.

And occasionally, some memories are captured on camera.

...last night was certainly no exception...

And since I had my camera out in the treacherous zone of the Western-style dueling water guns (aka the boys' bathroom), I thought I would also capture a little more of that room.

Note: their cool toothbrushes that suction upright to the counter, the two sinks (they still always cram around one, elbowing each other off the step stool to wash their hands), the tile that goes to the ceiling to protect the drywall...can't imagine why, the jungle and camo theme, the plethora of lotions for their super sensitive skin...
and the fact that I have been playing with the aperture 'f' value on my camera.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We loaded up the bikes and headed downtown this morning, to get out before the Vet came over to give Wrigley his shots and do a check-up. There is a great trail right along the river near the Children's Museum that we have never ventured to. So, I decided today was the day to check out some uncharted territory for us.

Which made me think about the fact that we as a family are very soon going to be trailblazing on another front, with the addition of our third child. I wonder how different it is going to be. What new challenges we will face. And how the rest of the Summer will shape out with the baby in tow.

I have been trying to make an extra effort the past couple of weeks to take the boys out and about, doing the typical Summer outings, because I just don't know how possible it will be in another month to hop in the car and set off. But, knowing me...we'll find a way and will soon enough establish a new normal.

It will be out of necessity after all, since the only thing that slows my boys down is the need for sustenance.

And the occasional little break in the shade.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Catch and Release

When I pulled my little camera bag out of our beach bag today at the pond, Warren quickly quipped, "Oh, is that fishing poles, Mommy?"

"Um, no, Sweetie. Sorry, it's just my camera."

"That's okay then, we can just use our hats to catch fish. Come on, Jack!"
Could it be the next (or first) great suburban sport?

Well, maybe...probably...most-definitely not. But they sure had fun --Hat Fishing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day 2009 [from his perspective]

What do you do when you are done proudly displaying all your tools on the walls of the garage -- drive to a top-rated restaurant for delicious BBQ, of course!

And then watch as your boys fill up on Rootbeer and chips from the comfort of your lap, before the real food even arrives.

And watch as your smokin' hot wife (...okay, okay, gigs up. It's me, Charity, writing this...) plays with her new camera and takes an incessant amount of photos.

Good Weather. Good Company. Great BBQ.

And the satisfaction of knowing your tools are fastened to the wall...handy...waiting to shine proudly when the headlights of your truck pull in the garage.

What more can a Daddy ask for on Father's Day?

Father's Day 2009

Peg-board Engineering:

I am told that man's true best friend is peg-board.

Bryan's request for Father's Day was to have time to organize his tools in the garage...

well, that and his favorite dinner -- BBQ, but more on that later.

And what were the other guys doing while Daddy worked?

{I am gonna pretend that I didn't see Jack using a plunger as a sword...}

{Or Warren, "rearranging" Daddy's sockets for him}

The end result is quite impressive...more Father's Day pictures to come!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Not Likely

You will not see me react this way if I am ever told that it is time for bed:

If the day should ever come that I am actually urged, encouraged, or enticed to embrace bedtime, my reaction is likely to be very, very different than Jack's last night.

I love you, little man, especially your zeal for life that certainly knows no bedtime.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things are about to get interesting around here!

Today was a remarkable day for several reasons, but for now I will just focus on one...

...my NEW Canon Rebel T1i camera. Yup! I finally got an SLR after making due with a point and shoot for long enough.

So, I realize I have a steep learning curve to become proficient and actually get the kind of pictures I am dreaming of. Tonight I will start at the bottom of the curve by reading the manual and I may take a one hour class at the store I bought it from too depending on how the first week of usage goes.

But, I must say, the very first picture I took when I turned the camera on today just in all the automatic modes and default settings wasn't half bad:

{The FIRST picture I took with my new SLR camera...it helps when you have such a cute little guy to practice on}

Now I get to learn all about aperture and lenses and ISO and on and on :) Should be a fun challenge!

Friday, June 19, 2009

And I was worried --

--that I wouldn't know what to do with these two boys all Summer...since this is my first Summer staying home with the kiddos. Ha!

{Impromptu Pinata fun...on a random Thursday night...just because}

{Jack is such a "hat and sunglasses" guy}

{Warren on the rides at City Park with a buddy}

{Perched on a rock like a sunbathing lizard at the Promenade}

{In the backyard at Grandma's, with a racket, a slip 'n slide, and a faceful of frosting}

{Life is but a dream for Jack on the choo choo train at City Park}

{The giant singing horse statue was a little intimidating at first}

Now, don't get me wrong, there are some days when we don't leave the house or even our pajamas for that matter. Opting instead for popcorn and a movie for breakfast and long naps after extensive bike riding. But, since we live in such a great place as Colorado, there is such an abundance of things to do and we love to be on the go! I have a strong suspicion that this Summer is going to fly by.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time is Flying By...

Lately, the weeks and months are just melting together and flying by at what seems like an increasing pace. Sure, if I really sit and ponder what I accomplish and experience each day, it is a lot and each day is full and different. But, at the same time I also remember when I was a little girl and each day seemed like its own unique adventure/lifetime.

Even looking through pictures that I download (and desperately need to organize on our hard drive), reminds me that it has been more than 10 years since Bryan and I graduated high school some 2500 miles apart (as the bird flies).

Here we were last Summer at his 10 year reunion, at the 'Cannon Game' in Pueblo, Colorado:

{Bryan with his Sly Stalone smile}

So, I want to spell out in a list (just because I love lists!) what we have accomplished since graduating high school. This way I can see in black and white what the past 10 years has brought as far as major milestones and accomplishments:

~We both went to college and got Bachelor's degrees from 1997-2003. I stayed on an extra two years and got a Master's (thankfully, since that is when I met Bryan and fell in love...cue harp music)

~We bought our first house and got married, and conceived Warren... ALL in 2003. Yes, it was a busy year. Bryan also started working at his company in 2003, where he STILL works today, and kicks butt by the way!

~Welcomed Warren into our lives in 2004.

~Welcomed Jack into our lives in 2005.

~Bought an investment property in 2006, which is currently a great rental house.

~2007, what to say about 2007? We just enjoyed life and the spoils of dual income, two kids and not much else.

~Bought our new-construction house in 2008, where we currently live. I also crashed the news on Bryan that I was quitting working after flailing for a few years trying to find a career path that I could enjoy. Turned our old house into a rental property too, which is working out mostly good, it is rented out at the moment to a great family.

~All set to welcome our third son into the world in 2009, next month!

I wonder what the next 10 years will hold! I'm sure I will at some point return to work...how long will we stay in this house?...will we have a fourth baby ;) ?...will we ever move to another state than Colorado?...who knows. And I wouldn't even want to know the answers really.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reality -- Laundry Room Edition

On to a room that I spend a LOT of time in. It has recently had some pleasant upgrades with new paint on the walls and a new washer and dryer.

{THE washer...truly one of my favorite Earthly possesions}

And since it is my blog, I am gonna squeeze in some shots of Jack yesterday at the Children's Museum doing his favorite puzzle:

{a high five for Mommy!}

If there is anyone out there in blogland that would like to know how to maximize the size of your uploaded pictures as they appear on your posts, just let me know. I am happy to help!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"My Dear Sweet Firstborn"

Warren, my dear sweet firstborn:

Today your bathed your freshly showered and neatly dressed self head to toe in a mud puddle outside and then presented your muddy and woodchip-stuck-mud self to me proudly at the storm door as I came out to bring the snack...the snack that you had asked me to get from inside moments prior, hmmm sound like a diversion to anyone?

Of course Jack mostly does what you do, so I had two mud soaked boys that I was just in the process of stripping down on the front porch when...the family that I sold our dining room chairs to on Craig's list showed up to pick them up...with their three daughters...awesome.

Then, my dear sweet firstborn, you dumped the entire contents of my new (oversized Coach) purse in the dishwasher...I wouldn't have even realized it probably until tomorrow since I am most definitely not leaving the house with you guys today...except that you casually mentioned it when you told me you got a toy out of my purse from yesterday..."mommy, I got princess leia's gun out of your purse that you took away from me yesterday at the doctor's office, I found it when I dumped your purse in the dishwasher."

AND then, my dear sweet firstborn, as I was picking up my belongings from the grungy, wet bottom of the dishwasher, you got my car keys and managed to jam one of the keys in the patio doorhandle...and it is stuck...still.

So, is it any wonder that I have to keep repeating "dear sweet firstborn" to myself? :)

Oh, that and looking at the lovely pictures you drew my earlier this morning, before the mass destruction ensued:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reality and a little Philosophy

I love seeing what other peoples' houses look like inside -- does it match the outside, is there a common decor, what paint colors have they opted for? So, just in case there are any other voyeuristic types out there and because I know I will like looking at these years from now, I am going to take a couple vignette type shots of each room in my house...in no order and with no timeline in mind because that would ruin all the fun.

The idea is that the rooms are in their 'natural' state, meaning I haven't posed anything or moved anything around...unless of course it was inappropriate or made me look bad :)

So, for today, it is the master bedroom since that is where I was when I had this idea:

{The master bed}

I love this new bedding I got from...Walmart! It is from their Canopy line and is sooo soft. I had a hard time finding something that I liked with the chocolate brown to match the curtains and paint on an adjacent wall. Who knew Walmart was the place to go?

{The builder called this option the "Coffee Bar", which is kind of silly because there is nothing related to coffee going on in the master bedroom. But it is great storage and is where I keep all of our over the counter medicines and random items too}

The light remote turns off the bedside lamps -- or at least it is supposed to! We recently discovered that someone got chocolate all over and inside of it, which might explain why it hasn't been working so great lately ;) And I do have a replacement for the broken knob, so it is just a matter of replacing it. The only reason I haven't done so yet is that they are glass and this one resides behind the bedroom door...kind of saving the extras for more noticeable ones if any more should ahem, spontaneously break.

And now for the little dose of Philosophy.

Now that I am about to have three kids, I have had several people ask me directly "how do you do it?" or I can tell they are thinking that when I pass them in the supermarket or the rec center. This has me thinking...do I have a parenting style, how do I do it, what is my philosophy?

I gave it a little bit of thought and came up with a few things to capture. Nothing earth-shattering but it does paint a bit of a picture of the type of parenting that goes on around here:

~I pick my battles. Some things I let go when it comes to discipline, but others are steadfast and very consistent. The decision is based on considering a combination of the kids' motive, cognisance, degree of potential or incurred collateral damage etc.

~I am pretty lax when it comes to things like food and television -- or at least I MAKE it APPEAR that way to the boys. Not having things be "taboo" and giving them a sense of being in control to an extent produces much more desirable results I have found. I coach them on what they should choose to eat and present them with lots of activities not related to television, while leaving those poorer choices open. And guess what? Nine times out of ten, they choose the healthy snack and lord knows they aren't the least bit interested in TV at this point.

~Naps are vital. Both boys still take naps. They are VERY active and NEED the rest. And it gives me time to have quiet to myself and get things done around the house. A sanity saver for sure!

~My main objective with my kids at this point in their childhood is to foster good healthy self-esteems. I do this by giving lots of positive reinforcement, praise, unabashed displays of love (lots of hugs and kisses at our house!), and making sure to show them how smart they are. I give them lots of opportunities to be successful at trying new things and going outside of their comfort zone when it comes to social situations or physical activity.

~I am not perfect and I am not afraid to let boys know that. I have days when my patience runs low and I don't know the answers to all of their questions. I think that even at 3 and 5, the boys know that. But, more importantly they know I am doing my best overall and that I love them unconditionally and immensely!

That's about it! I also think a lot of parenting is instinctual based on the love you have for your child and doesn't need to be learned from any book or other source. But self-reflection is always good!

Karate Kid

Warren has been doing Karate for a month now, twice per week and he is really enjoying it and learning so much there. They of course learn physical skills but I also really like that they learn about things like confidence and they have a little mantra that they have to repeat that is just the sweetest thing I have ever heard. They have to face the parents and raise their right hand when they say it :)

{Getting ready to leave the house last night for Karate class}

{At class, standing back to back with another boy his age you really get a feel for how tall Warren is for his age}

Bryan and I both take turns taking him each week and so Jack gets some good quality one on one time with the other parent, making cookies or working in the yard. So, it has been working out well. And I really appreciate that the classes are on the weekdays and not on the weekends. We just always have so much to do every weekend that it is not very enjoyable to plan around an activity...I know we eventually will have to with all the sports with three boys, but I am just not ready yet.

Monday, June 8, 2009

An Old-fashioned Carnival

We spent the weekend in Vail, Colorado for a wedding. The weather was great and the boys loved going for a bike ride along side the Colorado River and playing outside at probably the nicest park I have ever seen (only in Vail...). But mostly, they loved riding all the little rides at a local carnival that just happened to be up and running while we were there very near to the condo we stayed at.

Can you remember the feeling of these little thrills in life? Having kids is both watching as your heart lives outside of your body and reliving all the joy and excitement of being a kid.


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