Sharing my adventures, thoughts and occassional jokes. Sorting through laundry, and a little bit of life…This is How I Train My Dragons…

…They Still Loved Me.

I loved my childhood. My favorite part was being around my brothers. I had (still have) two of the best big brothers a girl could have asked for. I have so many fond memories growing up, and most of them contain Corey and Chris. They always included me in everything they did, and were always encouraging. Even if it was encouraging me “not to tell Mom and Dad” that Corey shot Chris in the chest with his BB gun while they were gone! I never wanted to disappoint them, so I assured them that I wouldn’t tell. I kept my promise too. That was until I saw my parents pull into the driveway, and I must have forgotten about the whole, “cross my heart, blah blah blah, stick a needle, blah blah blah”. Heck yes I told my parents. I ran as fast as I could  and blabbed the entire thing. Probably a little bit more dramatic than it actually was, but nonetheless…I was a total tattletale. But they still loved me.  

One of my favorite past times was watching the old home movies. Seeing these…it’s pretty apparent that they were pretty fond of me as well. I mean, really, how can you not be? 🙂 My favorite one is when I was about 2 or 3 months old. My brothers are sitting on the couch passing me back and forth. Literally. If I didn’t know any better I would have thought that I was a bobble head. I grew up thinking that my head was not attached to the rest of my body after seeing the way it was flopped around. I always wished that these movies had sound because I would like to think that our parents were in the background yelling, “hold her head!”. Corey and Chris were all smiles the entire time, playing pass the Caiti. I later learned that when my Mom would ask them to keep an eye on me, they would prop me up on the couch by stacking pillows 3 high on each side of me. But, they still loved me.  

I remember them playing Barbie’s with me one second and the next we were playing G.I. Joe’s and having crab apple fights. I followed them everywhere. They would play Cops and Robbers on the 3-wheelers, and I would either be in my play house serving them “coffee” and “donuts” out of my drive through window, or I would be slowly tagging behind driving the riding lawnmower! Of course, if I was the cop I NEVER caught up to the robbers on that slow thing!  Literally, there was turtle speed and rabbit speed. I’ve never seen a slower rabbit.

Every once in a while our parents would take us to the gas station to get a candy bar and I would wait to pick mine out until Corey and Chris had picked theirs. It never failed, I would pick the exact same thing as they picked. Obviously, they wouldn’t pick the same thing…so I would always pick which one sounded best. Still, it was identical to one of them. Every once in a while I could detect some irritation with a sigh…But they still loved me. 

I remember every night my mom would take me to their rooms so I could hug and kiss them goodnight. On Christmas Eve, my brothers would let me sleep with them. As weird as this might sound, I remember wanting to be like them SO bad, that just like them, I would wear only my undies. Every single picture we have on Christmas morning is me, and my brothers, in our skivvies. Well, not every picture. The funny thing is, I would always get them matching gifts; matching type writers (yeah, they were awesome), matching shirts, hats…really matching anything. But they still loved me. 

I sit here tonight wishing for my kids to have the same type of relationship as I have had with my brothers growing up. Not afraid to be silly with each other. Always willing to listen…no matter how busy their lives are. I’m sure I was pretty annoying at times; always tagging along (and the occasional tattling). But, I could never get tired of them. They are two men that I will always look up to no matter how old we get. 

I love them…and I’m pretty sure they still love me. 🙂


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This weekend all 3 of our kids stayed in Denver with the Grandparents. It has been a LONG time since all of the kids have stayed somewhere at the same time…for two nights. So, Ray got home from work Friday night and we decide to go out to eat; just the two of us.  It was so weird not being placed in the “family section”, requesting a high chair (wrestling Eydan to sit in said high chair the entire meal), asking the waiter to come back, more than once, for sides of ranch, and being constantly asked for a quarter to use in the bouncy ball machine. We got sat in a two person booth, with dim lighting. I forgot that they made booths for two people. I felt like a teenager that just got upgraded to sit at the Adult Table at Thanksgiving…no more mashed potato flinging, crayon slinging kid table. It was nice to have a date night. 

That’s not even the end of our night! After dinner, we went and got a movie and some hair dye. Oh yeah, we picked up some light bulbs too. J I know, I know. We are two wild and crazy kids going to Wal-Mart on a Friday night. Woot woot! Truthfully, we almost went and got Ray’s hair cut. And, if anyone reading this has been married or has kids…I hope you understand that time alone comes few and far between. And, if anyone reading this has seen Ray’s hair, I hope you understand why a hair cut is on the top our “we-are-kid-less-for-the-night-so-what-should-we-do-night”. So, spending time with Ray while he got his hair cut sounded like a great night to me. I’m pretty easy to please. Well, we decided to save the hair cut for another crazy, “let our hair down” kind of night. Get it? Hair cut…let your hair down. Sorry, I tend to amuse myself. Anyway, after dinner and our Wal-Mart trip we headed home. We got comfy on the couch, I snuggled in my Snuggie (not afraid to admit I have one), and we put the movie in. We got The Hunger Games. It was also quite strange watching a movie without being constantly asked, “is that the good guy”…unless Ray was asking me this question, I wouldn’t know because I fell asleep within 5 minutes of the movie! Is anyone else like that? I was so excited to spend time alone with Ray, snuggling, watching movies…and I fall asleep before the tributes even go to the Capitol! I didn’t even get to drink my un-shared, un-slobbered on, Diet Coke. This Mama was pooped. Apparently date night equaled fall asleep at 9:30pm on the couch night. It was amazing.

Then, yesterday I helped serve bratwurst at Greeley Harley. I got done helping out there at about 3pm  Let’s have a quick math session. I got off at 3, and Ray had to work until 6…that left me with 3 hours by myself. Three hours doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but for me it could be filled with endless possibilities. I could do laundry without having to fold and refold the same thing more than once if it gets knocked off the couch. I could mop the floors without having tiny foot streaks, or someone doing the moonwalk across the wet floor (Ray was at work remember). I could mow the lawn. I could read a book. I could watch something other than the Disney Channel. I got home, and did NONE of the above. I plopped my butt on the couch, and fell asleep. What is it with me and falling asleep when the kids aren’t around? J After my 30 minute nap, I decided to get up. No, not up off of the couch. I just sat up. I flipped through the TV trying to find something that I wanted to watch and I found it…Steel Magnolias. One of my favorite movies of all time. I turned the channel, and let’s just say I was a little more than disappointed when the schedule on the TV was wrong; that is not what was on. So, I decided to keep searching. I found the next best thing; Basketball Wives of LA. Seriously, I have never watched that show, but I was hooked. I moved off of the couch one time, and that was to go buy a brownie and some Chocolate Brownie Chunk ice cream. My unopened box of hair dye couldn’t even convince me to move! I shamelessly watched 2 ½ hours of Basketball Wives while eating ice cream. I was the poster child for a couch potato last night. It was amazing.

It has been a nice, relaxing weekend; spending time with my best friend. It was much needed. As a wife, and a Mom…it was needed. But now, we sit here lacking the 3 missing links of our family…we’re ready to see our babies. I wouldn’t change the high chair wrestling, the crayon slinging, the Disney Channel, the hundreds of bouncy balls around the house, or the folding/refolding laundry sessions for anything.

It’s amazing. 



Be proud…

Every day I am amazed with my kids. I look at them and see so many of their traits that they received from their Dad.  My husband, Ray, blessed them with his good looks, his outgoing personality and his charm.  Sometimes I look at them and see so many characteristics in the “Ray Column”, then look at the “Caiti Column” and wonder where everything is. Then, they trip over their own feet, or run into the wall and I look lovingly at them and think, “Ah, there I am.”

I am definitely the reason that my son Elijah, has turned out to be so clumsy. I will own that…proudly. I have come to the conclusion that if picture day or a Holiday (where pictures will most likely be taken) is coming up, Elijah needs to either be locked in his room or fitted with a full body, padded suit…and face mask. It never fails, my poor son has always had some type of injury (most could have been prevented) and we have proof of all of these injuries because they all have impeccable timing. Right before family pictures, he fell into the corner of a wooden chest. Proof.  Four hours before we take the kids to see Mary Poppins, he clothes lines himself with ½ inch thick wire. Proof. The day before Kindergarten class pictures, he trips on the playground equipment and gets 42 stitches and 3 teeth pulled. Definite proof. When kids are born, parents aren’t promised what traits they’ll pass on. So whether you give your kids your looks, your personality, your smarts, or even your clumsiness…be proud of them.

Parent Teacher conferences were this past week, and I must say I am always nervous going in.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m always super excited for my kids because I know that they always try their best but,  someone is about to tell me how my kids are behaving when I’m not around…kind of  a scary thought! Emaleigh, my 3rd grader, is SO much more outspoken than my first grade son, Elijah. Emaleigh is an exact duplicate of my Ray. Both very candid, and not afraid to “tell it like it is”. (Can you see where conferences might get a little nerve-racking?) Whereas, Elijah is more like me; quiet until he gets to know someone, and he’s comfortable opening up.  I left both of their conferences not only so proud of them, but so excited to see equal parts that Ray and I have given them.

I encourage you; no matter what your kids look like on picture day, if they miss every basket they shoot (again, there is a reason I was a cheerleader), or if they have one bad grade reported…be supportive of them. Be optimistic and be encouraging. Words have so much power, especially over such little ones…be there for them. Love them unconditionally.  Support them constantly.It might sound small to you, but it’s HUGE to them. On top of that, be supportive of the men and women who take care of your kids all day long. Get to know them because when it’s all said and done, you are on the same team….your kids team!


Just a hop over the fence…3 times.

So, just like many of you, we had no power at our house last night.  It’s amazing how often throughout those two hours we were without electricity we forgot and would try to turn on the lights…and how it seemed like 2 days, not 2 hours.  I’ll give you a peek into how we spent those two hours.

We first noticed it when we were headed into town to buy our snacks for our family movie night, lovingly dubbed “Junk Food Night”. There were absolutely NO stoplights on 23rd Avenue that were working.  But, low and behold, we made it to our destination, the Mecca of junk food…Wal-Mart.  And they in fact…HAD POWER! Sweet, our world was back to normal. We bought all of our food, including a bunch of unhealthy food and frozen pizza (hey, it has veggies…it’s healthy).  We then left Wal-Mart to find that it was not just stoplights that were without power! As we headed south on 23rd Avenue we saw that there was no power at any stores, restaurants, even McDonald’s!! We cautiously continued home and as we inched closer and closer, the kids started to get a little more and more apprehensive. Elijah wanted to make sure the car still had electricity and we weren’t going to be stranded, so every 3 or so minutes on the ride home he would say, “Mommy, please turn the lights on.” So I would turn on the dome lights to make him feel a little better. We crossed the Platte and noticed our cute little town of LaSalle was completely dark. Farmer’s Inn, Subway, even Valero was pitch black. What? No Corner Store?

Finally, we pulled into the driveway. I pushed the garage door opener and…oh yeah, we have no power. I then realized that our front screen door is locked, and we don’t have a key. I have one option: Jump the fence. I decide that it would be best to climb over the side that has all of the trash that I could easily step on. Before I leave the car, I have to give my kids a little pep talk. I assure them that I’ll be back to let them in the house, I’ll be ok, and I’m not going to get eaten by whatever ate the electricity lines. I take my phone to use as a flashlight, lock the car and I very slowly climb over the fence. I hop down (I think it was more like a “plop” than a “hop”) and I go to the back door. I twist the handle, and it’s locked. Locked? Perfect. Keys to the back door are in the car. This time I decide to climb over the fence on the other side of the house. Using the sides as a ladder, it was much easier to maneuver.

I made it back to the car to find that the car doors were now locked, with my 3 kids in it. I can see Eydan strapped in his seat (he won’t be much help to unlock the doors), so I tap on the windows and see 2 little heads pop up. When I correctly answered the two security questions they had for me, I was able to get the keys out of my glove box.  (If you’re wondering, the questions were 1. Is your name Mommy? and 2. Are you OUR Mommy?) Anyway, back to the fence I go. As I’m walking over to the fence I see our neighbor. He asks if I would like a ladder. No. I got this. Then he asks if I would like a flashlight. Ah, yes please, the shimmer from my cell phone is just not cutting it. I wait patiently while he goes into his garage. He comes out with (not even kidding) a flashlight that looks just like a light saber. Oh boy. He makes sure that I know that there are in fact two settings on the light. I can either light up just the top, or light the entire saber. This could be fun…let’s light the baby up! I waited for him to leave because I really didn’t want an audience since it was now my 3rd time climbing our fence…might not be as graceful as the first two times.  I managed to get to the top, straddle the fence (still holding the light saber) and then I see car lights coming. Our neighbor across the street had just got home, so what do I do? Duck…light saber and all. I waited until their lights went off and I could see them go into their house, and I finished my descent down our fence. Why duck, you ask? I really wasn’t in the market for any witnesses to the fall to my death. Phew, I made it. I couldn’t tell if Chewy was barking at me because he thought I was an intruder or because he thought I might attack him with my laser sword. Either way, he was happy to see it was me, and I in fact was not planning on attacking him.

I finally make it INTO our house, go unlock our front door, go to the car to get the kids out, successfully answer my 2nd round of security questions, and get our junk food out. We form a train to travel around the house because our only source of light is the light saber. As we get to each room I hear the kids try to flick on each light. What part of NO POWER do we not understand?! I lost track of how many times they asked, “Can we cook the pizza yet?” Again my children, we have NO POWER.  “Mommy, I’ll go check the TV”…apparently we aren’t truly without power, until we have no TV. I’m pretty sure my kids saw their lives flash before their eyes when the TV wouldn’t turn on. Yes, it was then they realized WE HAVE NO POWER.

We decided to go hang out with our neighbor outside because it was actually lighter out there than it was in our house.  We decided it might be fun to wait for Ray to get home in the front yard. Now, if any of you throughout this story have thought, Where was Ray, and why wasn’t he the one scaling the fence?, He was hiding in the car with the kids the whole time! Just kidding, he headed home on the motorcycle about 45 minutes behind us. Anyway, Ray made it home safe, we didn’t get eaten alive, and the power came on after being off for about 2 hours. When it did come on, our house literally lit up like Clark Grizzwald lived here. I then realized that the kids had gone into each room, to test the lights in hopes that they would find the ONE that worked. Again, NO POWER means NO POWER.

So, let me leave you with a few pieces of advice. Always make sure you know the answers to your kids’ security questions because you never know when they’ll lock you out.  And most important of all,  invest in a light saber flash light…It made my experience just a little bit enjoyable. I was a little bummed that I had to give it back. But on the bright side, I added my first item to my Christmas list last night.

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