We are moving!

In 10 days we are doing back to back closings on our soon-to-be old house and our soon-to-be new house. Needless to say that things have been pretty crazy around here lately. I think that once we move the general craziness will continue through the new year. Between unpacking, visitors (always welcome!), and traveling we will be in a state of chaos. It's all good though, because we are so looking forward to starting our new lives closer to Denver, Boulder, Rocky Mountain Ntl. Park, and a boat load of other places we are excited to explore.

Soon-to-be old house
Right now we are living with boxes. They have taken over the front room, dining room, and are infiltrating our bedroom. Luckily we have a storage unit, but it is already jam packed. I do not know how we amassed so much stuff over the last 5 years or where it is going to go in our 1000 less sq. ft. house. I guess I just need to get crafty with storage. I am always up for a challenge!

In other news, and quickly too, here is what we have been up to:
  • Dave & I celebrated our 4th anniversary. By celebrate I mean we got dessert from Whole Foods and ate it after the kids went to bed. Moving is expensive!
  • Today is my 31st birthday!
  • Fletcher is starting to recognize letters of the alphabet.
  • Archie is almost 3! He pays attention to everything and is quite empathetic which makes me an extremely happy parent. 
  • Fletcher cracked my iPad screen. I guess I should be happy that it took 3 years for the first electronic item to be destroyed by a child. I thought typing it out would comfort me, but I am still annoyed. 
  • I am actually kind of excited to live in a hotel for the 4 days in between houses. Somebody else can do the laundry and clean up after me for a change. The sad thing is that I will probably still clean. 
  • My Mom and Dad are coming to help us move. I am wondering if there is a horse track near Denver and that is real reason my Dad is coming. Kidding! kind of. 
  • That's all I've got people. 


He cooks, he cleans, and he loves his Mom!

Today Dave went to the store and took Fletcher. To make it fun for Archie I decided we should make some whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. I have let Archie help me cook before, but this time I let him take over. I was his sous chef and he was the head chef. Granted, the clean up job left by the head chef wasn't terribly fun but he had fun and didn't mind that Fletcher got to go the store with Daddy. The cookies were actually really yummy too. 


Whole wheat pear pancakes

I have been enjoying cooking and baking again since we've started eating healthier over these last few months. I have been regularly using ingredients like flax meal, chia seeds, agave nectar, and nutritional yeast in our foods. It is fun trying new things and seeing if we can incorporate them into our daily diets. Since the beginning of June I have lost almost 20 lbs. by exercising and eating better and Dave has lost 15 simply b/c of the diet change. My kids are also reaping the benefits of whole grains, lentils, and good role models. Archie will stretch with me before my workouts and he knows that we I leave with my tennis shoes on that I am going to exercise.

Many of the recipes I make are found online and I just modify them to make them better. This morning, however, as I was looking for a whole wheat pear pancake recipe I couldn't find one that I liked so I made one up. I enjoy making pancakes on the weekends b/c there are infinite possibilities and it is really easy to make them healthier. Of course once Dave douses them with maple syrup they become slightly less healthy, but I try. Anyway, my recipe for whole wheat pear pancakes is as follows.

Whole Wheat Pear Pancakes

Dry Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (I may use agave nectar next time though)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I use King Arthur bread salt for all my bread goodies)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • cinnamon to taste or 1/2 tsp
Wet Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 2 heaping tbsp of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ripe pear, grated
  1. In a medium sized bowl beat together egg and soy milk. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.
  2. In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Stir until just mixed and let sit for 10 minutes while griddle is heating. This will give the chia seeds times to gel. 
  4. Fry em up like you would any ol' pancake. I use our Cuisinart griddle with a little bit of Pam when making pancakes. Makes 9-10 pancakes.
Nutritional Information per serving (I gathered this info from Spark Recipes and it is based off making 9 pancakes)
  • calories: 98
  • fat: 2.7 g
  • cholesterol: 20.6 mg
  • carbohydrates: 16.7 g
  • sodium: 236.4 mg
  • fiber: 3.3 g
  • sugar: 3.6 g
  • protein: 4.1 g
This is what my counter looks like when I am cooking complete with monster trucks and coffee.

I wish my pear would have been more ripe.

Collection of utensils that help make wonderful food. 

This is what Fletcher thinks of my creative process.

The greatest wedding gift we didn't register for. The surface can flip to become a grill.


Banana Flax Muffins

I had some bananas that were going bad and I wanted to make some healthy muffins for my kiddos. Many of the recipes I came across that called themselves "healthy" were a joke. White flour, canola oil, granulated sugar, and bananas do not a healthy muffin make. I finally found one that provided a good base to work from. I modified a few of the ingredient amounts and came out with a dozen muffins packed with good stuff and only 167 calories a piece. 

HERE IS THE ORIGINAL RECIPE and below I will add my modified version. I reduced the amount of brown sugar and canola oil, increased the amount of applesauce, and added agave nectar. 


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/8 cup canola oil
1/8 cup agave nectar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with Pam baking spray. In large bowl combine all dry ingredients, including sugar. In smaller bowl, whisk all wet ingredients and bananas together. Make well in dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients in. Stir slowly and gently until flour mixture is just incorporated into the wet mixture. Scoop muffin batter into muffin tins 3/4 way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a muffin. Cool 5-10 minutes before removing. 

I baked mine for 25 minutes, they came out perfectly and taste delicious!

Kid tested and approved

Next up I will be trying  a protein ball recipe that I found on Pinterest. I haven't baked in a long time, but today has me back in the kitchen. Today in Aurora, CO a gunman opening fire in a movie theater killing 12 people. Living in CO means that this news is everywhere and on everyone's minds. When I get stressed I bake. There is nothing like making tasty, healthy treats for my kids and good smells throughout my house to help calm a person and remind them of the good things in life. My heart goes out to the people affected by this tragedy and to the people of my state who have dealt with fires and death already this past month. Hopefully we will all come out stronger on the other side. 



Last week I finally took the plunge and got laser eye corrective surgery. After several preliminary appointments, it was determined that I was not a good LASIK candidate because of my corneal thickness. I was, however, a good PRK candidate. After doing a little more research, talking with people whom have had PRK, and just basically being done with glasses I decided to go for it. In the week leading up to the surgery I was very anxious. I had a hard time falling asleep at night b/c my brain just wouldn't shut down. It was kind of a relief once surgery day was here.

Surgery Day 4/26/2012
Dave's parents were in town so I knew the kids would be taken care of during my recovery so no stress there. Dave went with me to the Wright Eye Center for my surgery which was scheduled at 1:10 p.m. I filled out some forms, paid a lot of money, and then took some Valium. It is hard to tell when the Valium starts working. I still had minor butterflies after about 45 minutes so they gave me another. I was taken to a holding room so to speak where I sat on a recliner and a nurse would give me eye drops every 5-10 minutes to help numb my eyes. At one point I had to go get my eye drawn on so they knew where to direct the laser to correct the astigmatism in my left eye.

About an hour after arriving at the center, the nurse asked if I was ready. I'm not sure you can ever be 100% ready to have a laser directed at your eye, but I might as well go get it over with. Right? I laid down on a table in a dark room with some nurses and my Dr. They used a metal clamp to keep my eye open. Putting the clamp on was surprisingly the most obnoxious part of the whole ordeal. Some sort of medicine was placed on my eye for 1 minute while a nurse counted up, then I could see the Dr. scraping my eye with an instrument but couldn't feel it at all. Next up is the laser. I am told to look at the green light and then I hear a female voice through the machine say something along the lines of "22 seconds laser set". The laser part looked like what I would imagine an alien abduction might seem light. Very blurry, lots of lights, and slight burning smell. Then it was over and I was getting a saline wash and then a contact put over my right eye.

My left eye went very similarly except the laser said, "27 seconds laser set" and the Dr. moved my head around slightly. I am assuming he was correcting my astigmatism. The whole process took about 10 minutes. I sat up and already could see better than I could just 11 minutes ago. There was no pain yet either as I had taken a Demerol prior to the surgery. They checked out my eyes for like 2 minutes and then I was able to go home. Dave lead me out to the car and we went home. I put on my pajamas. laid down, and slept for the next 3 days. I had my alarm set to go off 4 times/day so I culd put in my antibiotic eye drops, steroid eye drops, take my Demerol, and take my Promethazine. I am told I came down about once/day to eat but I really don't remember much from those days.

(update 7/1/12)

It's been a little over 2 months since my surgery and my vision is better than 20/20! I wake up wit dry eyes, but that is the only side effect I have noticed. I am more than thrilled with the ability to see unaided my glasses or contacts. Having PRK was totally worth the cost, the recovery, and having a laser pointed at my eye!

May and June updates

I cannot believe two months have gone by and I've severely neglected this blog. I have been quite active on my scrapbooking blog though! I will try to remember what has been going on around here but my thoughts are all over the place so maybe I will break it down into categories.


After 9 months of Dave commuting to Denver, we have finally put our house on the market. Our MLS listing went live this past Thursday and we've had 6 showings since then. So far no takers, but the feedback has been mostly good. People think it is fairly priced, the problems areas they have identified are ones we are already aware of, and it shows well according to the Realtors. We have already sank too much money into this house the eventual buyers will just have to see all the positives over the few downfalls. I think it is a great house and we really are not trying to hide anything from prospective buyers.

On the flip side, we went out looking at houses in Arvada yesterday. We saw five properties and they all had good and bad qualities. They were all in the right ballpark but nothing I was totally in love with came across our path. We love the town though and know that our right property is out there.


In May we took a trip back east for Brian and Erin's wedding in NY. We flew into MI and drove to NY. My Mom came with us to help watch the boys while we attended all the wedding festivities. We had a fantastic time and the boys traveled beautifully. Rochester was a very beautiful town although we only really saw near where Brian and Erin live. Their wedding was lovely and the reception was just gorgeous! On our way back to MI we stopped at Niagara Falls. I think the boys had fun and I had forgotten how magnificent those falls are. The Canadian side is also 1000x's better than the US side. Go figure.

Back in MI we were able to catch up with some friends but not all unfortunately. It is so hard to get everything done that we want to when we are back east. The time flies and then we have to return home. At least we will closer to the airport next time we have to travel!


About one month ago I started calorie tracking and a week later I started the couch to 5k (c25k) program. My weight was holding steady at around 160 for awhile but then started climbing again. I decided that I didn't want to be the person who gains an extra 5 lbs. with each kid. I was 150 when I got pregnant with Archie and 155 when I got pregnant with Fletcher. Well I am proud to say that after only 1 month I am 150 lbs. My goal weight has always been 145 b/c that was where it hovered for a majority of my 20s. I think my 30s may actually be better than my 20s!

Today is the last day of my 4th week of the c25k program which is an 8 week program. I joined Gold's Gym b/c the air quality here has gone to crap since the Waldo Canyon fire broke out last week. Running on a treadmill is actually way easier than navigating the hills around here.

(left is from 1 month ago, right is from 2 days ago)


Archer and Fletcher are growing and changing daily. Just when I think they are the best, they surprise me with some new phrase, activity, or even just a smile! Conversely, just when I think I cannot do it anymore, I find a strength inside of me that I didn't know existed. These children are equal parts fascinating, loving, annoying, demanding, and wonderful. We still want a third but are in no hurry as our second still doesn't sleep through the night.

Fletcher is a full fledged walker and he has recently learned how to stand up without holding onto anything. He has mastered the stairs and even is learning how to go down them on his belly. His personality is so different than Archie's too. Fletcher has no fear. He will climb over the edge of the couch without pause, stand at the top of the stairs and laugh, and climb onto the table without ever looking down. He is also a lot more demanding than Archie ever was. Fletcher needs constant attention and is not content to play by himself. He is a lot more like me and Archie is a lot more like Dave.

Archer is talking up a storm and picks up on concepts really quickly. He is super smart and I sometimes forget that he still only 2 years old. I have more intelligent conversations with this kid than I do with some adults. Right now he is very much into water play. He helps we water the garden every morning, has recently discovered water balloons, and he even washes his hands all by himself. He knows how to use our Google tv remote, Dave's tablet, and my phone without assistance. His new favorite phrases are "that's not cool" and he ends every query with a "maybe".

I think that is all I've got for right now. The house needs to be cleaned b/c we cannot leave until it is show worthy as we might get a call for a showing at any time. Oy.


Painting the kitchen

We are still in the process of getting out house ready to put on the market. We have had a new deck built, new carpet put in, new light fixtures, door knobs, fire door, repainted all the trim, switched out the thermostat, packed, cleaned, donated, etc.. You name it, we've done it. However, the kitchen was a sight. We have old, 1980s cabinets that I've hated since we've moved it, but dealt with b/c it was functional. I just knew that it would be a rough sell for anyone coming in and immediately seeing this depressng kitchen. 

We went to Home Depot and I asked the lady at the counter what the best paint was for cabinets. She directed me to this kit from Rustoleum that included everything we would need to redo the cabinets. Sold. I chose the color espresso as our walls are light, the floor is light and there is a window that gets great light for most of the day. It was a lot of work to get these cabinets. We worked 3 hours every night after the kids went to bed for over a week. Dave has sworn he will never do this again, but the transformation was less than $100 and made a world of difference. I am impressed. 


House progress

Yesterday we rented a U-Haul van to move a bunch of boxes and some furniture to our storage unit. The trim on the first floor has been painted, we got an estimate for painting the exterior, Dave has the contact info for a realtor in Denver, and we are going to be working on the basement next weekend. This week we plan on getting the trim upstairs done and I would like to have the guest room packed and ready for staging. We are both just done with this house. I am sure I will be sad come moving day, but for now I just want to get it sold.

The boys are doing well. In the past week Fletcher has really started moving everywhere! He's up, he's down, he's here, he's there, and he's making a mess wherever he lands. He has also been sleeping even worse than before if that is believable. There have been a few nights where we literally cannot set him down. He is making our decision to space out baby #2 and #3 further than #1 and #2. Archie has started taking art and music classes at Gymboree. The level 6 play and learn class wasn't really a good fit for us but it worked out great. He loves bringing his art work home and showing it off to us all week.

This week I finally just said to heck with it and cut off all my hair. I was tired of Fletcher pulling at it constantly plus it was kind of boring. My hair stylist is fantastic and she did an excellent job of giving me a cut that was both what I wanted and what works with my hair. I am not looking forward to having to find a new stylist when we move.

Well here are some recent pictures in case you don't feel like reading my thoughts but want to see the kiddos.

Archie playing in the infant car seat

Fletcher's 1st haircut

I cannot get a good picture of the 2 of them together.

My new haircut

He has finally learned to drink from a bottle

Loving the great weather in their Radio Flyer


Our Color Me Mine results

As I posted last week, we went to Color Me Mine on family fun day. We picked up our finished pottery pieces yesterday and they are not nearly as scary as I was imagining. I apologize for the lighting but it is early morning and I made do with either the flash or above head lights.

inside of my pencil holder

side view of pencil holder

Archie's bear plate


Cleaning out my closet

Literally. Dave and I spent about 2 hours cleaning out our master closet. I had clothes from college that I haven't worn in as many years and still I have moved them at least 5 times. We had broken hangars, holey clothes, worn out shoes, about 15 various backpacks, duffel bags, stuff sacks, ties that my Dad wouldn't even wear, and belts worthy of a 15 year old goths wardrobe. That goodness for babysitters and Good Will.


Family Fun Day

Dave took the day off work today so we could go up to Denver to meet with friends before their plane left in the afternoon. However, every time we make plans it tends to snow and ruin them. That happened today. Since Dave already had the day off though, we decided to do things as a family. We started off going to breakfast where both kids were surprisingly well behaved. Then we went to story time at the library and Archie picked out some new bed time books. Next door to the library is a great toy store so we headed there afterwards. Nap time was approaching so it was back home for a bit.

When naps were over and lunch was had, it was time to go play at Gymboree. When we got there, however, it was closed. Across the parking lot was a Color Me Mine where you paint pottery and they fire it for you. Archie and I painted while Dave helped and watched Fletcher. I painted a pencil holder and Archie painted a bear shaped plate. He had fun, but the plate is just hideous! Dave and I joked that it would be the plate you had to use if you were bad.

We went to the mall so Archie could run around for a bit and then we also got some ice cream. Dinner time was approaching so it was back home for the night where I made a quinoa roasted bell pepper chili. All in all, we had a fantastic family fun day. It was great having Dave home on a weekday without him having to do any work.

My attempt at getting their picture together.


working on the weekend

Dave has been commuting for 5 months now. It really isn't as bad as I was expecting, but I still miss being able to meet up with him for lunch, having him come to the kids appointments with me, and having him home at 5. Thankfully, he has a job that he enjoys and that really does a lot to help with our overall happiness for sure.

We are still planning on moving up to Denver but the process is slow going. Part of the problem is that we are so tired that we just want to veg on the weekends. However, we finally talked with our babysitter and she has been, and will continue to, watch the kids one day every weekend so we can work on the house. Yesterday we actually made a list and got everything done on that list. Kitchen ceiling painted, door to garage painted, door knobs switched out on 2nd floor, boxes to garage, dining room put back together, and light bulbs switched out. Next week we want to paint the trim on the 1st floor for sure and then I have to figure out what other items on our too long list we can fit into the 4 hours that our kids are at the sitters.

I would love to have our house on the market in April. We cannot buy another house until this one sells and I really do not want to spent another 6 months in the Springs. I am ready to dive into all that Denver has to offer for both me and my family.


brother kisses

In the past month, Archie has shown a lot more interest in his brother. He plays with him, hugs him, gives him toys, let me know when "Fletcher crying", and will ask about him. My favorite are the hugs and kisses though. There really isn't anything much more adorable than sibling love at this age level.

In other news, Fletcher is now mobile. He crawls, scoots, rolls, reaches, and can get up the stiar from the family room to the kitchen. He is happy as a clam!



At a pumpkin patch and corn maze Oct. '11

Family photo Oct. '11

Archie playing in corn Oct. '11

At Rocky Mountain Ntl. Park in October '11

RMNP Oct. '11

Archie painting on his new easel Feb. '12

Fletcher playing too early in the morning Feb. '11

Warrior Archie Feb. '11