Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas- A Holiday in 3 parts

Part 1- Pueblo

Last week we went to Pueblo to do an early Christmas with Matt's family. They will be in New York for Christmas. Elie loves going down there, her uncles dote on her. We had a Christmas dinner of lasagna that was awesome. We opened gifts and gave my favorite present of the year: a marine dog. Matt's bro Luke is over seas right now, so we made his parents a dog in a Marine outfit at build a bear. We recorded a message from Luke to wish his parents a merry Christmas. it turned out great and was a big hit. Elie and her Grandpa read "What God wants for Christmas".



Part 2- Ross Family Christmas with friends

On Christmas eve, we celebrated Christmas with my family and our good friends the McHams who were in town for a few days. We started with a brunch at my sister Amanda's house which was fabulous! We opened presents and then took the kids home for much needed naps. When the kids woke up, we all met up at dad's church for the 4pm service. Elie loved the candles and the music. We then went to Dad's house to do dinner and stockings. The kids were beat by bedtime.


Part 3- Crocker Family Christmas

We had Christmas morning with just our family, mom and dad. It was really nice. We started with the birth of Jesus, moved on to stocking and presents. We had a wonderful breakfast of waffels with home-made peach jam, eggs with green chilie and juice. The girls loved it. We have a family tradition of 3 gifts each, just like Jesus got. Somehow, we still end up with tons of stuff. I got a fabulous cook book from Matt's folks in CA with all kinds of really cool cup cake ideas. Can't wait to try it out, and I just happen to know of some little one who has a birthday comming up!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Picture

My dads house has a little photo studio in the garage, we get some great pictures of the kiddos out there. Here are some of the latest.





Here are the girls in front of our Christmas tree. I hope to take some more "Christmas Pictures" before the season is over, after all Addilyn does have 5 Christmas dresses.





Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Preschool

Did you know I go to preschool? Its true! We start out with a greeting in "circle time" then we have a snack, more "circle time" and a craft. Of course, for us grown ups, they don't call it preschool, they call it MOPS!

Please, don't think this is bitterness, it is simple irony. I am not sure where along the way it was decide that "good Christian women" like to do xyz. Sometime MOPS makes me feel like I am 80. Matt laughs at some of the crafts I bring home and asks if I want to hang them on the fridge. He isn't being mean, he just knows that it is really NOT me to be told what to make and how to make it.

My dream for MOPS? I would love something that acknowledged us a full and complete modern women. I am more than a mother and more than a wife, not that I don't love those titles. I spend my life doing the "wife/mother" thing and sometimes I would love a chance to explore other aspects of who I am. What if we started a book club? And please, don't make us read Christian literature. What if we all talked about what we did before kids and offered to help each other out with our talents. You were an accountant pre-children? Great! You can help us figure out taxes and budgeting! You were a teacher? Perfect! Lets have an open forum of what you think of the schools in our area. What would happen if we had a fashion consultant come in and discuss trends that work for busy women. What if we had a "coffee house" atmosphere with comfy chairs and time to just sit and connect with other mothers about things we care about.

Please don't think that I am not grateful for my MOPS group. I love those girls and know how hard the leadership works to pull it off, after all I am a MOPS leadership drop-out. Sometimes it just feels like another "christian" shoe that doesn't really fit me right. I think the politics (must preach Gospel 2 times a year, etc...) get in the way of what the ministry could be. And don't even get me started on the "MOPS and Pops" night.

I am not saying my way is right or even better. It is just different. Maybe no one else really wants different. Maybe everyone else would hate my style of MOPS and that is ok. Sometimes it it just hard to put on my happy face and play my role as "happy mommy and wife who loves Jesus."

Monday, December 8, 2008

By the Numbers

-1- Number of showers I have taken by myself in the last 2 weeks. Yes, I have taken more than one shower. For some reason both girls seem to sleep better if they take a shower instead of a bath at night. Since Elie is too old to shower with Papa anymore, that leaves me. Who says "3's a crowd?"

-4- Number of long sleeve shirts I bought at Target when they were on sale. Finally, someone realised that not all women like to have the belly/butt crack showing. The shirts are long, with sleeves that actually cover my wrists and they wash up great.

-14- pairs of shoes that Addilyn has in size 2. Yes, I know, the child doesn't walk. "Hi, my name is Gretchen and I have a problem with shoes..."

-1/2 tsp- Addilyn's dose of Tylenol.

-4- number of hours between doses. She is getting teeth. Or she has a cold. Or something that Tylenol fixes.

-3- Times I do yoga a week. I really like. Who knew I would ever say that about any for of exercise?

-4- Types of Christmas cookies made so far. We have dark chocolate dipped short bread, revel bars, ginger molasses cookies and fudge.

-10- Number of pounds I would like to loose. The chance of this actually happening in the next few months is slim. See above.

-20- Number of times a day that Elie makes Addilyn belly laugh. I'm not sure why she is so much funnier than I am. I guess I just can't compete with silly faces and farting noises.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On my mind

- Why is it that I am the only one in the house who hangs up wet towels? I am also in charge of keeping track of the amount of t.p. left, all toilet cleaning, finding socks and everything else that disappears. What, exactly, is my job description and why don't I get paid more?

- I am not fat, I am currently...fluffy?! I think this is how the math works:
high school weight+10 lbs= college weight.
College weight+ 5lbs= married weight.
College weight+10 lbs per each child born in the last 12 months+ 5 lbs per kid over the age of 1= mommy weight.
Mommy weight-a lb per hour of free time you have each week= adult married weight.

- I have started my Christmas baking. This actually balances everything out. I eat some of the baking, but give it a week and I am so sick of smelling, looking at and being around the junk that I end up giving most of it away.

- Christmas cards. Do I bother? Does anyone really read them anyway? Everyone I care about knows what is going on in my life. They know what my kids look like. They don't really want a picture of me.

-Through a good friend, I just got a pair of fake Uggs. Love them. Not water proof. In CO I think you can get away with wearing them with just about everything.

-I love snow. I hate when it melts and makes the yard all muddy and I feel like I spend my life cleaning dog paws. Really bad since Addie spends most of her time on the floor. She eats everything. You do the math.

- I have closet vomit all over my bedroom floor. I share a closet with Matt and have enough clothes to wardrobe half of CO. It comes in 4 sizes. See above for explanation of why. I doubt my size will ever been in the single digit's again. I should just mourn the loss.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Snow Day!




Finally, we got some snow. I mean, its getting a little ridiculous that it is almost December and we haven't even had anything to shovel yet. Elie loved the snow. Addilyn was fine with it, but over all unimpressed.


We went sledding in the front yard. I know, its not really much of a hill, but when your 3 you have to start somewhere. Otis loves the snow, him and Elie love to play chase.


Both kids have a cold. Again. I think I see a theme for the winter. They both handle it like champs. Addilyn is a terrible sleeper and has been since day one, so it really isn't much different than usual. Lots of boogers at the Crocker house.



Posted by Picasa




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful Tuesday


Today I am thankful for 3 year olds. Yes, Elie is sometimes a pain in the neck, but I love this age. She is learning so fast. Last night we discussed "Carnivore and herbivore" and what was what. We have been talking about water, ice and steam. We sort things by size and color. We tell stories. I have learned that you never tell a 3 year old a secret, Elie and Matt went Christmas shopping for me and I know exactly what they bought! Elie is such a blessing in my life. I love watching her care for her little sister, she crys if anyone gets hurt, and loves to make you feel better when your having a bad a day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful Monday

Today I am thankful for 10 month olds with a sense of humor. Addilyn has discovered hers. She puts her binky in my mouth and laughs. She puts her shoe on her head and laughs. She gets why things are funny and its great. Here is a video of her latest trick. We may not win the "Parenting of the Year" award, but gosh, its funny!






video




Addilyn has more than enough personality to fit in well with this family. She is so funny anymore, wanting to communicate and be part of all the action. Here are some recent pics of our sweet youngest baby. Thank you God, for starting people out as sweet little babies.








Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friendship

I consider myself blessed beyond measure to be surrounded by wonderful women. I have a great play group who goes out for girls nights. I have single women who remind me what it looks like to be cool. I have MOPS and some wonderful ladies who are older, mentor moms. I have my sisters.
Our Friday morning bible study is on wisdom, taken straight from Proverbs. This week we talked about friendship. Here is what I learned:
  1. Friendship is distinctive. Friends and acquaintances are different. It is better to have a few close friends than a whole host of acquaintance who don't know your heart. Friends have your best interest at heart and an acquaintance has common interest. It is the difference of know about someone and truly knowing someone.
  2. Friendship endures. Even when I don't NEED you as a friend, I want you in my life. I love you when your a pain and when your fun. Friendship makes the choice to love when your unlovable
  3. A friend provides and asks for "heartfelt council". Influence goes both ways. It is iron sharpening iron.
  4. Friends are "trustworthy with a wound", they will tell you like it is even when it hurts. A real friend avoids mean spirited barbs and teasing. If there is a problem, it is dealt with and it further cements a real friendship rather than destroying it.
  5. There is always risk involved. Only those who really know your heart can break it. Gossip is the greatest cause of damage to friendship. You should never tell a secret that would cause a friends loss of dignity.

I love my friends and Cherish the opportunity to draw acquaintances closer. God has blessed this season in my life. I want to always strive to be a good friend, to respect a friends heart and secrets. Lord, guard my tongue, give me courage to open my heart to relationships they may hurt, let me love like Jesus.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday

Addilyn looking longingly at her sister having fun in the snow


Elie, dressed and ready to play!



Usually I love Fridays. I have MOPS or bible study and shop in the afternoon followed by yoga. Matt is either home or on his way. Not today. Matt is in Hawaii over the weekend so its just the girls and I. I hate when he travels over a weekend, everyone else is doing family time so our weekends just drag.

Yesterday it snowed! Elie looked outside and said "It's a snowing day!". She was thrilled and didn't even make it out of her jammies before she had on her snow boots. I asked her if she wanted breakfast first and she told me "not yet!". On went the jacket and new mittens from Grandma and Bumpa and Elie and the dogs went out to play. She played in the snow for a good half hour. The dogs loved it. Poor baby Addilyn just looked out the window longingly.

Friday is always busy for us, yesterday was no exception. The day started with bible study, a Beth Moore study on wisdom, and then home for lunch and naps. Normally Matt lets me do all my shopping on Friday's without the kids, but he wasn't home. After naps the girls went to aunt Amanda's so I could hit the store. I picked up the kids, brought them home to feed them dinner and get ready for Grandma to come over and watch them while I went to a shower. I finished the prep for Bonnie's baby shower and headed out the door when mom got in. By the time I got home last night it was almost 10. My kitchen was a mess and the baby was awake. I did a quick clean so I would be able to identify my counters for breakfast, put baby to bed and stumbled into bed myself. Addilyn was up twice last night and up for the day a little after 5. Why this child doesn't sleep is beyond me. If she wasn't such a sweet baby I would have sold her to gypsies months ago!


Chocolate Mousse I made for Bonnie's baby shower

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monkey Cake


I forgot to post a picture of Elie's birthday cake. She is really into curious George so we made a monkey cake. Yesterday, her friend came over to celebrate and play with her. Aunt Amanda gave Elie a really cool Curious George coloring book with stickers, so I copied a page and put out some birthday stickers and stamps. This morning Elie asked "Why is my birthday all over?" I told her she only gets one a year. She said "Oh, that makes me sad."

Monday, November 10, 2008

The death of Fair

Once upon a time, back when I was young, I believed in fanciful things like most children do. I believed that my stuffed animals had feelings that were hurt if I failed to kiss them good night. I believed there was a monster under my bed who would eat my feet when I had to get up to pee in the middle of the night. I believed in fair. I never did have the chance to believe in Santa or the Easter bunny do to insistence of my sisters that they were not real. Childhood is a lovely thing.

At some point, I stopped kissing my stuffed animals every night before bed. I am sure it was originally with some pangs of guilt. While I no longer believe my animals are real, they do hold a special place in my heart filled with memories of tea parties and hide and seek.

I am not sure when I stopped jumping into bed to avoid the dreaded toe monster. I am assume it was when I became old enough to worry about fear not being cool. I still don't like the dark, but manage to walk to my bed with grace and dignity befitting my age. Currently I know the only things to fear under my bed are very old socks and an embarrassingly large amount of dust. My getting to bed is impeded only by the two large dogs I trip over.

Fair is a different story. My parents always were a proponent of Fair during Christmas, making sure to spend the same amount of money for each of us girls. In school, teachers told us about Fair and grading. Fair popped up in everything; sports, friendship, and slices of pie. Everyone seemed to like and support him. Great lengths were undertaken to make sure he was present at important events.

When I was in middle school, our youth group took a missions trip to Arizona. We worked with mentally handicapped adults and did VBS on a Indian reservation. Fair began to feel ill. What I saw and heard of those children's lives did nothing to support Him.

I married young. Fair failed to show up. I worked hard and felt, at times, if anything got done it was because I did it. Where was Fair? I was sure that this is not what I had signed up for. Fair seemed to be different according to who called upon him. Fair became critically ill.

My dad has gone to Nepal. We now partner with some pastors there to take care of women and children who have been left by the men who promised to care for them. Apparently, Fair has never shown up in this country in any form. I read a blog about a man who gave up everything in American to help orphan children in Haiti. It seems that Fair must not get out much, because he has never gone to Haiti either.

My friend has cancer. Not the kind that leaves you inconvenienced for a little while, but the kind that threatens to steal her away from her babies. Cancer will take her health, her breasts, her hair, her time. It will steal mommy away from child and wife away from husband. Her life will never look the same again. It stole her sense of safety.

So long, dear friend Fair. I wanted to believe in you, I held on even when it didn't look like I should. I am not sure what I will do with the hole you leave in my life. I know Someone who wants to fill it with things like grace, faith and hope, but it seems so scary to trust again. I will start with Faith, I will try to believe that He who fills the holes really dose know what He is doing. I will fill the whole with Him who doesn't do what is fair, but does what is best.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

3 years ago...



Eliana was born. Here is her story




Matt and I decided that we were ready for kids. We were just waiting for God to decide we ready for kids. Wouldn't you know it, the day before we left for a trip for Italy we found out I was expecting. Like my sister Steph has said, you know how babies are made, but it is always a little surprising to find out it actually works!




My time in Italy was a lot of fun, I was tired and took lots of naps but over all felt pretty good. When we got back to the US we had our first ultrasound and saw Elie for the first time. I was 9 weeks along and she was this itty bitty baby floating around in a sea of black.




I struggled with some headaches, high blood pressure and swelling. Matt got the chicken pox when I was about 6 months along but I never got them. At 20 weeks we tried to get a peek to see if we were going to have a boy or girl, but Elie wasn't feeling cooperative. At 32 weeks the doctor thought she may not be head down so we had another ultrasound and this is where the fun began.




Turns out the doc was right, she was head up. Not only that, but she had very little fluid so she wasn't going to turn. So much for all the planning I had done for a natural birth. This was the first time I was faced with kids not doing things like I had planned, just God's sense of humor. We planned a c-section for 37 weeks, deciding at this point she was safer out than in. I went weekly for ultrasounds and that is when we discovered we were having a girl.




The day before my scheduled c-section, my doc called. She had a family emergency and had to go out of town. Would I be interested in coming in a day early to deliver? We rushed around and called family and went in that evening to meet our little girl.




The c-section went as planned. Elie was delivered healthy and happy, she had very dry skin from being in low fluid for a month and looked a lot like Elmer Fud. We loved her anyway. She was 6lbs 8oz and 20 inches. My recovery went well and Elie grew to be the little girl who we love today.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Baby's gettin' big


I can't believe that Addilyn is 9 months old. It seems like just yesterday that she joined our family. Here is her 9 month update:


  • Addilyn is a peanut, not yet 15 lbs. Elie was 17 at a year, we will see if Addie is even that big.

  • She is on the move! Addilyn crawls in a weird half army crawl half normal crawl sort of thing because of the hardwood, I'm assuming. She is scary fast. She pulls up to her knees on everything she can reach, which isn't much because she is tiny.

  • Addilyn says more, mama, papa, and hi. She signs nurse, more, all done, and drink. Elie is always telling me what she believes Addilyn is saying. Addilyn also claps and dances.

  • We FINALLY have teeth! Yes, she grew two. We were wondering because she hasn't been sleeping great for a few days, but she is never a wonderful sleeper, so it was hard to tell.

  • Addilyn's favorite toys have 4 legs and fur. If she crawls over and they walk away, she is heart broken. Lucky for her, they are very tolerant.

Halloween was fun. We had a party on Wends. at Kits for all they playgroup kids. I got together with some of my former students and their mama's on Thursday for another party and we went trick-or-treating with the Honeycutts and Osness' on Friday. Every day since Elie has asked if we can go trick-or-treating.


Elie woke up this morning with a lousy cold and pronounced that she was "very sick". Now I am sure Addilyn will get it. It is beginning to look like I may never again enjoy a full nights sleep. Elie is SUCH a whiner when she doesn't feel good, she gets that from Matt!


This week we will be getting new windows in our house. I am so excited. Maybe now addilyns curtains won't move on windy days even when her window is shut. We made a great deal with Matt Osness, God has blessed us with a great brother in law!


Thursday Elie's friends are coming over for a birthday celebration and play date. Elie is all into Curious George and chose a monkey cake. I will be sure to take pictures.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our trip- Part 2

Here are the highlights of the rest of the trip:

Friday: Matt went to work and then came back to the hotel to pick up Addilyn and I. We drove to his friend Otis' house and dropped off the baby and went out to a great little Mexican place. The town his friend lives in is beautiful, so we walked around for a while before going to pick up Addie.

Saturday: We checked out of our hotel in San Jose after a big breakfast and headed up to San Fransisco. We got there a little after noon and walked down pier 39 and fisherman's wharf. We then headed up to my happy place; the Ghirilldeli Factory. We enjoyed some chocolate and people watching then headed back to the car. From there we headed up to the red wood forest, Muir woods. Addilyn fell asleep in the car, so we didn't stop for long and just enjoyed the view. We checked into our hotel in Napa, it was awesome. Completely gorgeous with swans, fountains, beautiful outdoor sitting areas and an open bar.

Sunday: Our day of rest was spent worshiping God over the glory of beautiful country and good wine. We started at V. Suttie, where we have been before. We enjoyed a 6 sample tasting before moving on to Sterling Vineyards. At Sterling, you take a gondola up to the top of a hill that over looks the vineyard. This was our favorite. The tour was informative and you get to sample 5 different wines. On to our last vineyard, that was our least favorite. They had beautiful gardens, but seemed pretentious. They did have a nice display of pumpkins and gourds, which addilyn thoroughly enjoyed. We headed back to the hotel by way of the groceries store to pick up some munchies for dinner.

Monday: Are day started bright and early, after enjoying a cooked to order breakfast. We headed out to my second favorite places- the Jelly Belly factory. They have the coolest tour, but you can't take pictures. We ate a quick lunch and headed to the airport.

Well, that was our trip, we had a blast. It feels so good to be home as a family again.

A funny Elie saying: Matt was showing her the pictures we took. she saw the big things of wine and I explained that the wine was aged in the barrels. Matt told her some of the wine was older than she was. She said" I'm not old, I am regular. See, smell me!"

Friday, October 24, 2008

California

So far, its been quite a week! We left home on Tuesday, dropped off two large mutts at two different houses and headed to Pueblo. Elie was thrilled, she LOVES going to Nana's house. Wednesday morning we enjoyed breakfast and said goodbye to Elie, she was totally ok with us leaving, and started the almost 3 hour drive up to DIA with Addilyn.

After a quick stop at the Babies r us in Park meadow and lunch at our favorite Burger place, 5 Guys, we boarded a plane. Addilyn promptly had a huge, screaming melt down. It wasn't pretty. We were "those people". After about a half hour Addilyn fell asleep. The rest of the flight was uneventful. We stopped by our Whole Foods and picked up some GF stuff for Addilyn and I to eat this weekend.

Matt has spent the last few days working while us girls chill in the hotel. Addilyn has been taking great naps and I have been enjoying the quite time. Last night we rented the newest Indiana Jones movie and popped pop corn. Tonight we are headed out to a nice dinner, just Matt and I, while his Buddie watches the babe. Tomorrow we head north to San Fransisco. More to come...



Our "bathing beauty" enjoying a bath at the hotel



The bedroom


Our "living room"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Family Fun Day

Its that time of year again, time for everyones favorite made up holiday, Fall Family Fun Day. This year was great, we ate a huge brunch, carved pumpkins, played football and at the park and came home for a big soup dinner. Here are the pictures!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sisters


I am a lucky girl. I have 2 sisters, who I love dearly. They are my best friends. As my girls grow it is so fun to see them enjoy each other. Ok, so Elie likes Addie more than the other way around, but that is because Eliana is exceedingly annoying to her little sister and Addie is just to little to fight back. Give it a few months, when Addilyn can talk and move more and steal all of Elie's toys, and I am sure the tables will turn. But I am optimistic that when they grow up they will enjoy each other as much as my sisters and I do.

video

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Todays Thoughts

-I just found out a friend of mine has cancer. At first they thought it was not too bad, come to find out it is stage 3. With her type of cancer at this stage, survival is about 50%. She has kids my girls age. I am not sure how to process this. What do you say? What do you do? Kinda puts my "bad" days in perspective. She is going to lose both breasts and have chemo. God, please be with her, comfort her and her husband. Heal her.

-I am doing a book club with some of my girl friends. We are starting with "The Love Dare" which is a 40 day challenge. I want to be excited, but then again I dread being challenged. This is pure laziness on my part. The more I learn about God and Love, the less I feel like I really know. The more I learn about love, the more I feel like I really suck at it. Sometimes I just want to hide behind my wall of "good enough". I want to hold on to my selfish nature like it is something to treasure. If I love like Jesus, I open up my heart, share all my possessions, trust God not to give me more than I can deal with. The thing is, God will give me more than I can deal with, it is what He does. That way I have no choice but to depend on Him. I am not brave. I like to be comfortable. God, give me courage to love like You, with open hands and no expectations. Lord, let me Love until I bleed.

-I have just made a discovery about myself. I (dare I say it "out loud"!?) like to exercise. Not that you will ever find me running, biking until it hurts (I will leave that to Kari) or any of that crazy nonsense. I like yoga, I do it 2 or 3 times a week. It works for me. I get into this "zone" I have always heard about and never believed. Not only that, yoga is kicking my ever-to-big ass. I am sore and I actually kinda like it. Maybe because my pants are fitting to big. I feel healthy (as I type this I am eating a Blondie)

-Politics are funny. They strike such an emotional chord. Everyone wants what is "right" and "Godly" and "best" but it seems we can't agree on what it looks like or how to get there.

-We have mice, again. Every year at this time we get them. We have caught 2. Otis just chased another one across the floor. ICK!!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Politics

Ok, since everyone else is doing it, I figured I would jump in again with my "2 cents" on the political thing. Those of you who don't give a rip or vote down party lines, you won't offend me if you skip this post. This by no means implies that I know which way to vote, it is just ramblings.

1- I am sick of rich white guys in Washington. This "main street" vs "wall street" crap is driving me insane. Everyone is pointing fingers when the truth is we ALL made this mess.

2- It annoys me when people want to take profits from successful business based on the fact that they are successful. My brother in law is making a killing right now. What does he do? He manages repossessed homes and has more business than he can handle. It is not his fault that people default on a mortgage and no one should be able to take his business profits to help those who can't afford homes just because he is successful.

3- Guess what, "big oil" doesn't set the price of gas, so stop blaming them!

4- I conceptualize the idea of "trickle down" economics. Give the big guys a break and they have better prices so the little guys can buy more. Give rich people tax breaks and they will spend money. I get it, I just don't like it and am not convinced it really works.

5- Must we keep arguing about abortion?! Killing babies is bad. Christian democrats agree with this. They are NOT going to hell. They are just balancing things they don't agree with with other life issues that they DO agree with

6- If I hear one more person talk about how hard a choice a mother has when she chooses to end a babies life, I might just...vomit or something. I hate the idea "she aborted because she knew they baby wouldn't have a good life". People, our poor people are fat. We are one of the only countries in the world that can say this. Babies don't starve here because there is no way they can get food. If a child starves, it is because of a selfish and stupid mother, not because the government doesn't offer options.

7- I am sick of the Pro Lifers preaching "abstain" instead of abortion. In a perfect world, kids wouldn't have sex. We don't live in a perfect world, kids do have sex, its about time we started being a little more pro active. There is a middle ground, it serves no one not to find it.

8- Want to get out of a recession? Lower taxes.

9- I have no faith in our government to handle my money. I am happy to pay my share for roads or schools or whatever, but when it comes to social issues I have way more faith in community organizations run by people who give a damn rather than uncle Sam.

10- I believe we should have health care that we can afford. I believe that doctors are sick of insurance company's too. I don't have a solution and don't like the ones we have been offered by either of the candidate.

11- 2 party politics is crap. This is not what the fore founders of our country had in mind, Washington actually strongly encouraged us in his farewell address to avoid political parties all together. We should have listened.

12- It is not the governments job to take care of the poor, it is the Church's. The church has dropped the ball, we instead spend multi-million dollar budgets on camera crews, music, stages and big buildings to keep all us Christians happy and comfortable. Because of this the government has stepped in to take care of the poor. Unfortunately, they spend waaaay to much money and don't do that great of job. Where does this leave us? With comfortable Christians who pay high taxes.

So, that is where I am politically. I am not a republican or a democrat, I am a disillusioned American who is proud to be part of this country and hopes for so much more.

Circus!

We went to the circus yesterday, it was a blast. Elie loved it, but there was so much to see she didn't know where to look. Here is a video of her telling you all about it!
video

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Life

I haven't really updated on what the Crocker fam has been up to lately. Maybe because my life is just not that exciting? I do have some cute new pictures. So, lets see, we went up into the mountains (well, Evergreen) and went leaf peeping, walked around the lake and ate at Beau Joes (they have gf pizza). We went on a nice bike ride with the girls. Matt and I had our 9 year anniversary, he was soooo sweet and had flowers delivered and chocolates from See's. We are going to celebrate Grandma and Grandpa's 60th anniversary this Friday. That about covers it! Here are some pictures!



Sunday, October 5, 2008

Eating

We do a lot of it in our house. Sometimes I feel like I spend my day either cooking or cleaning up. Hungry is Elie's default, and if she is eating, Addily wants some too. I lack creativity on some (most) days and end up feeding my kids the same stuff-over and over and over. Here is my list to break out of the rut, I choose one from each category. It will look different than yours because we are gluten free. I don't believe in making our kids a different meal than we have at dinner, so most of this is what we do for breakfast and lunch.


Carbohydrates
Rice cakes
Pancakes
Arypas (corn cakes)
English muffin or bagel
Crackers
Oatmeal
pasta
Polenta
quinoa
Muffins or
Rice
potatoes
Bread
popcorn
tortillas

Protein
Hot dogs
Chicken
Taco meat
Cheese
Yogurt
Cottage cheese
Eggs (boiled, salad, mixed)
Lunch meat roll ups
Hamburger sticks
Beef jerky
Peanut butter
beans
bacon
Cream cheese

Veggies
Tomato soup
Frozen mixed
Patties
French fries
Raw (peppers, cucumber)
Fresh steamed
Pumpkin pancakes
Zucchini bread
Carrot sticks
Freeze dried

Fruit
Fresh
applesauce
Frozen berries
Fruit leather
Banana bread
Dried
Baked crisp
Fruit muffins
jelly
Freeze dried
Here are some kid friendly things I make and keep in the freezer or fridge for quick lunches and breakfasts:
Meat sticks: Make your favorite meatloaf recipe (1 lb of meat, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs/cereal/oatmeal/smooshed crackers, a big squirt of ketchup/bbq, 1 egg, seasoning) and shape it into sticks and bake on a cookie sheet for about 15 min. or until done. Serve with ketchup for dipping.
Salad: smoosh/grind up egg/tuna/ham/leftover chicken and mix with mayo and small chopped celery. Serve on rice cakes, crackers or toast.
Easy Pizza: Take a piece of bread or English muffin, toast it till crunchy. Top with pizza sauce and cheese then toast again.
Cucumber Sandwich: Shred a cucumber into cream cheese and serve on whatever your kid will eat.
Baked Goods: At any given time I have pancakes, waffles, muffins, arypa's (corn cakes) and bread in my freezer.
OK, this post has gone on long enough. Please, give me some inspiration, what do you feed the little people at your house or what was your favorite meal growing up? Extra credit if it is gluten free...


Thursday, October 2, 2008

A little help

We have two really cute costumes for Addilyn. Which one should she wear for Halloween? Let me know because Matt and I can't decide.


A Bumble Bee




A skunk

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday

Ok, so I know it isn't Monday. It doesn't really matter because I am stealing this idea from my buddy Kari anyway. It seems appropriate that it is a day late, it it, after all, on my blog.

-I didn't stay in my pj's half the day today because I just never got around to getting dressed. Nope, not me, I am dressed to the nines every day with hair done and make-up on!

-I didn't tell the baby I was selling her to gypsies because she was being a grump. Not me, I am the perfection of motherhood with infinite patients.

- I didn't let my toddler go without undies all day because I have no idea where they are, how do we lose those things?! Not me, my kids are always clean and well dressed, with matching socks and bows in the hair.

- I didn't eat an embarrassingly large amount of "Sees Chocolates" yesterday and then make a batch of Carmel corn. Nope. only health food in this house!

-I didn't tell my yoga instructor that there was no way I would take her "power yoga" class because it sounds like a lot of work. Not me, I am always up for an exercise challenge!

I am so glad I didn't do any of that! I would hate to have to admit that I don't really have my act together on a day to day basis. What kind of mother would that make me?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Toddler Safety

Some days I am a energetic, creative, wonderful mommy. Most days, I am operating on 5 hours or less sleep with a husband who is out of town. For Elie's own safety, this week I was prepared with ideas of fun things to do. I thought I might share these for those of you who also have toddlers in danger of driving you crazy.
  • Stuffed animal games: Make a train- Get a large sheet out and load it up with all the stuffed animals. Take them for a ride seeing how fast you can go without them all falling off. Sorting- Sort all animals by size, color, or animal type. Hide and seek- Kid waits in room while mama hides animal around house. Kid hunts them out. Birthday party- Pull out the hats and throw a birthday bash for all the animals. Basket ball- Put out a laundry basket and shoot hoops using the animals as balls.
  • Crafts: Tear and glue- Grab a glue stick and tear up tissue paper to glue down to a sheet of paper. Toy prints- Use paint and a few toys or tp rolls. Dip toys in paint and use them to print on paper. Marble painting- Take a large pan with sides and put some paper in it. Drop a couple of colors of paint on paper. Toss in a marble and tip pan back and forth so the marble rolls around in paint. Also fun to do with a oatmeal container, just shake it up and see what happens! Stickers- Use the colored dot stickers and make different pictures using them.
  • Old magazines: Theme-choose a theme (babies, dogs, food) and have your kid go through an old magazine and tear out pictures of these things. Story- Choose 5 pictures and use them to tell a story. Elie's stories are sooo funny this way. Color hunt- Go through and see how many things of a specific color you can find.
  • Snacks: Sorting- Dump all the last bits of dry cereal into a bag, add raisins, mini chocolate chips, peanuts, marshmallows, etc and mix up. Give a kid a bowl of this mix and a egg carton. Have them sort out there snack while they eat it. Rainbow snack- find a food from each of the colors of the rainbow for a snack. Or just pick one and see how many things you can find.
  • Hunts: Bigger/smaller- Give kid a golf ball and tell them to bring you some thing bigger than the ball. Then go find something smaller than the ball. Cup hunt-Give your kid an item (a cup or something) and tell them to go find 5 things that fit in the cup.

My child has survived this week. This really give a whole new meaning to child safety. The funny thing is, we both have a lot of fun doing these things, but I can't ever think of them on the spur of the moment when she is driving me batty. Hope you can use some of the ideas!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

8 Months Old


Today Addilyn is 8 months old, she is 2/3 of the way to being a one year old. That is so crazy to me. I think time passes twice as fast for the second kid. Here is an update on what our sweet baby is up to:


  • Addilyn LOVEs big people food and doesn't eat a bit of baby food, actually she never did. She is happiest if she gets to feed herself and can really put it away.

  • She is on the move! She gets pretty much where ever she wants to go by using a mixture of scooting on her butt, rolling, crawling and army crawling. This annoys Elie to no end.

  • She is still the worst sleeper ever. To this day she has slept through the night once in her life. Last night she was up every hour. Go figure. I am glad I didn't sign up for this parenting gig thinking it was going to be convenient or have easy hours.

  • Elie makes her belly laugh all the time. Mama and papa are funny too, but not as much as the puppies! Otis loves her and lays next to her all the time, she proceeds to pull his hair, poke him in the eye and dig in his mouth. I try to keep her from chewing on him because that is just nasty.

  • Bath time is her very favorite, she squeals and wiggles when I turn on the water.

  • She is the sweetest tempered baby, she will let others hold her and loves to play at my feet. She LOVES to snuggle and gives me big, open mouth kisses.

Being a parent of two has challenges but it is so rewarding to see the girls interact. I know we will continue to add to our family and I can't wait to see Addilyn be the big sister.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Week at Nana's

Last week we went down to Pueblo and spent the week with Matt's family. It was nice to have grown-ups to talk to and someone else to hold babies. We are now going through detox. Elie is bored without Nana and uncles to play with and Addilyn wants to be held. Its going to be a long week, but it was so worth it. Here are some highlights!

Riding the toys at Wal-Mart. Nana always has a quarter!

Playing in the "water mountain" (fountain)

The River walk in Pueblo. Nana with the mammoth stroller

Baby Addie is tuckered out from all the fun

Watching the ladies at the store make cookies

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Insanity

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I went to church today. Shocker, I know. I went to a new church, started by a guy I have known forever. He is charismatic, to put it lightly. His energy and zest for life is almost exhausting. I would love to say his church is the lively, fun and different, but it is the same as every church I have ever been to. Here in lays my problem.

Church equals a greeter at the door handing out name tags and glad handing all who come in. Children are schlepped down to there rooms. Grown-ups file in to sit in pews or rows. There is a greeting followed by announcements. Several armature musicians take the stage and "lead worship". Followed by prayer and offering. The pastor takes the stage and preaches a sermon. We are dismissed to the lobby where people have a light conversation with people they don't really care about, retrieve the children who were inevitably given coloring pages with picture of a white guy Jesus. Go home, repeat next Sunday.

Stephanie posted about her idea of a perfect church and here is mine.
  • A church full of real people, not perfect people or people who feel like they need to pretend to be perfect to come to church. We are all hypocrites and screw ups.
  • Diversity, hard to come by in Littleton. I want a church full of different people with different back grounds and different ideas of who God is.
  • Worship. Why does this always mean several people in the front of the room with musical instruments, microphones, and power point slides on the wall? Really, if I believe that I am serving an infinite and powerful God who created us all uniquely, then why does this always pass for "worship"? This can't be the only way. What would happen if a church put out art supplies, if there was no "stage", if children were included, and maybe even left an area open for interpretive dance for those who felt lead?
  • Pews and chairs in a row would have no place in my church. This puts the pastor on a pedestal (literally) and creates no sense of community. I doesn't foster learning or conversation. We would have big, soft chairs and kitchen type tables.
  • Toys, my church would have an area where there were toys to play with and children felt welcome to sit and play or stay close to mom and dad. There would be swings and bouncy seats scattered through out the room.
  • Good food, every Sunday is pot luck Sunday.
  • A pastor would be available for counseling. He would get up to bless the food. He would wander the room really getting to know people. He would lead a discussion, cause people to think, and have a tangible way to act out what you just learned.
  • Sunday would be a culmination of living in a community of believers who is actually active in the world. These wouldn't be people who you saw only on Sundays, but actually people who were in your life, who gather together on Sundays to learn and grow and bless others.

I have yet to go to a church like this and I am pretty sure nothing like this exists. It could be because I am the only one discontent with the way things are. I am not sure where this leaves me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Crocker for President!

Thats it, I am running for president. I am sure I can do better than these guys and here is some of my plan to prove it!

Global Warming:
McCain-Would cut greenhouse gas emisions 60 percent by 2050, spend 2 billion a year on clean coal and work on developing neclear power.
Obama- Cut greenhouse gas emisions by 80 percent by 2050 and inver 150 billion over the next 10 years in clean energy. Get 25 percent of US power by other sources by 2025.
Crocker- I am against spending money we don't have, or taxing the heck out of citiczen to get that money. I am a capitalist with great faith in American ingenuitiy. Here is what I would do:

  • have a 2 year contest to create a clean and budget friendly power source with the prize being a goverment contract.
  • Require all power companys (who cause 40 percent of US carbon dioxide emissions) to use at least 20 percent renuable energy within five years with tax breaks for using more.
  • Increase the use of public transportation by offering companies who shuttle workers from light rail and bus stops a tax break, this decreases the amount of cars on the road (33 percent of carbon dioxide comes from viehicals)

Health Care

McCain- provide a health insurance tax credit, people who keep the employers plan would be taxed on it, urge states to cover high risk paticents.

Obama- Mandate that all employers provide health insurance or contribute to national plan that people could buy into on a sliding scale. Require everyone under 18 to have insurance. No one could be turned down due to health history.

Crocker- I don't want the goverment making any choices about my health, it is none of their business and its not why I pay taxes. Socialization is not the answer, I have yet to be impressed with the way the goverment handles big "projects" like this. Its my money, let me do with it as I please.

  • Encourage companies to have health savings accounts that are pre-tax dollars and matched buy the company like 401k are.
  • Expand health clinics, privatly or goverment run, to treat basics (anual exams, well baby, cold and flu type exams) and provide basics for a low charge.
  • Start a "Catastrophic Health Care Plan" this kind of plan is inexpensive and offers no coverage for normal check ups and illnesses. It kicks in if your out of pocket expenses hit over x percentage of your income.
  • Allow paticents to opt into a national health record data base so that no matter where they go the records can be seen by the doctor who is treating them. Have it be accessed like an ATM would be: a card swipe and pass code number.
  • A tax credit for having insurance

I have more, but I am sure your sick of politics for right now, so I will spare you for the time being. Do I have your vote yet?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

At our house

- The T.V is in the basement. It is only on when Elie is watching "Curious George", "Clifford", or "Sesame Street".

- We have family reading time every night. Usually with popcorn, after the bath, before bedtime.

- There is an appallingly large amount of dog hair on the floor. I swiffer all the time, but I have appallingly large dogs so their you go.

- We eat shockingly large amounts of fruit. Currently we have: plums, peaches, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cantaloupe, bananas and kiwi. It may not last us the week.

-Stories are told. Yesterday, when Elie put me to bed because I was sick with the flu, this was her story for me: "Once upon a time there was a fan. It blew mamas hair off, so mama went to the store for a new head. She got blue hair. Then the fan blew off her eyes. She went to Target to get new eyes and a cookie. Then the fan blew off her tummy, so she went to the store and got a new tummy that wasn't sick. The end"

-You will hear "ask me nicely" "try again with a different voice" and "use your nice manners, please". I didn't know I was going to be one of those moms, but I am.

-Clean is one of those things that just never happens, I guess it falls lower on the priority list than eating well, reading books, and building block towers. Some days I am OK with this, often I am not.

- We sing lots. Elie gets annoyed when she ask for a song about a random thing and I don't have one. She tells me "Well, you could try" so I usually make something up. Lucky for me she isn't picky.

- We need new windows, we are missing some pieces of trim on our main floor, the kitchen ceiling has a spot that needs to be fixed, our upstairs faucet is upside down, we have weeds in our back yard and drive way, and we need new carpet downstairs.

- Your welcome to visit. You will get dog hair on your clothes but I will most likely have something yummy for you to eat. The cob webs may ick you out, but I am happy to stop what ever I am doing and hang out to chat.

So, thats us. Whats your house like?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

View from the top

Last night I had the night off. Amanda came over around 6 to watch the kids and I went out to dinner with Matt and some of his work guys. After an embarrassingly large meal, I went to the Hyatt. BY MYSELF! My wonderful husband went home to care for the girls and I stayed down town. The room was very nice, on the 27th floor. Best of all it was empty of all other people. Matt asked if I wanted one of my girl friends to come down with me, and as much as I LOVE my girl friends, it was such a treat to be by myself. I woke up this morning after my first full night of sleep in 8 months. I ordered room service. I watched a movie in bed. I am so thankful for my wonderful family, and even more thankful that I get a break from them. What a great man I married!

Side note: My MRI is scheduled for Monday morning, I should have the results by Thursday.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Order

By looking at my house, you wouldn't think that order is something I strive for. Strangely, it is. I like routine, I like knowing where I am headed, I like having a plan, even better if I have it in list form. I am a list maker, Matt would say it is not one of my most redeeming qualities. He is just bitter because I make lists not only for myself, but for our family, and most annoyingly (or so I am told) for him.

I have some health issues I am contemplating as of late. Nothing is definitive yet, I will have another test or two, but it did prompt me to consider my life. I am currently considering my priorities, both what I say are important and what I actually spend my time doing. Knowing that there is a chance that this is the healthiest I will ever be, what should my focus be?

Growing up being taken to church several times a week, willingly or otherwise, I have had it pounded into my head the God should always be first in my life. This is not a practice I argue with, it is just one that I happen to have no idea how to go about. I have heard it described as a pyramid, with God as the base. I have heard it explained as wheel, God as the center spoke. Strangely enough, these word pictures do me no good.

I am reading the book "The Shack". If you haven't read this book, go to Amazon right now and order it. In the book, God talks about a relationship with him being central in life. Yes, God talks in this book. He describes it as a mobile, with everything floating and flowing around one central point. For some reason, this description jives better with me. Relationship is what makes God first in my life, not a preset formulation of rules and expectations. For God to be numero uno I don't have to spend x amount of hours in bible study and prayer, I don't have to be a church attender, I don't have to say certain things or look a special way. My relationship with Him will look different than anyone elses and that's OK.

So what if "priorities" are not a list? What if it is a general, flowing way of life? What if what is most important to me is what is most important to God? If people and relationship and love expressed is what is on God's heart, and I am in relationship with him, what does that mean for my "to-do" list? What does it mean for my savings account and check book? What does it mean that I spend my next few years, or my life doing?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Brain Vomit

Catchy title, no? Things on my mind, typed out so that they are on my blog, instead of bouncing around in my head.

- I like kids, no shocker there. I usually even like my own kids. I think we will have more. If we have at least one more and then adopt a couple, does that make our family freakishly large? Do I care if I have a freakishly large family? I say this and my baby doesn't even sleep through the night yet. I say "yet" because some day it is bound to happen...right?

-I am generally against waking a sleeping child for just about any reason. It is now almost 4:30 and Elie is still asleep. She has a cold. If she doesn't wake up soon, I will never be able to put her in bed by 7. She needs her sleep but I need the sanity or both kids in bed at a decent hour. What to do?

- I have no idea what to make for dinner tonight. Elie doesn't care and either does Addie. I want burgers or taco bell or something equally nutritionally devoid, but feel guilty feeding that crap to my children. If I cook, I have to clean it up. To clean up, I have to empty the dishwasher of clean dishes. I should also mop and vacuum, but that has nothing to do with food. Are black bean brownies a dinner item?

-I am sick of "stuff". The more I have, the more I have to clean/put away/keep track of. Yet I buy more. Is this because I am a brainwashed American consumer? Some days I day dream of my house burning to the ground. All the stuff is gone and I get a clean start. How is that for really not wanting to clean your house!

- Some days I dream of doing something significant. I know, motherhood is "the most important thing I could ever do" blah blah blah. Its not that I want to escape my life or that I crave the spot light, I just feel like my impact is that of a gnat on a windshield, unnoticed. God has put a few things on my heart and they feel scary and "un wise". Where to go from here?

- My eyes hurt. I blame my contacts and the dust at the living history farm.

- I don't want "church" but my heart longs for community. I won't church shop anymore, it is insulting to all involved. I want "meat" to grow on in a group of believers who want to do life together. I don't want a group who gets together for "bible study" and then goes there own way until they meet again next week. Whats the point of that?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Uninspired


Sorry for the lack of blog post lately, I have been feeling uninspired. See, usually I have a post or two rambling around in my head. I have had the posts in my head, but no inspiration to actually type them out. Here is a brief update on our family:


Addilyn- Is now 7 months old, which totally blows my mind. She is a fine sleeper during the day, but then night hits and she can't seem to figure it out. The child still won't eat baby food. I have a grinder and smash anything she can't gum. She eats everything we do, from pasta with Italian sausage to fruit to corn on the cob. She sits really well and has started rocking back and forth on her hands and knees. She babbles, coos, and giggles. She is the sweetest baby who loves to cuddle. I am thrilled that she is a mama's girl, since Elie is, and always has been, all about papa.


Elie- This child makes me laugh every day. She is over all very well behaved and has an amazing imagination.We recently saw a pincher bug, so Elie has been pretending to be that bug. She crawls around and backs up to you leg and "pinches" you with her butt while saying "PINCH". Its the funniest thing ever. I am so glad she is out of diapers, when I think of having to change two kids everyday, I know I am lucky! Last week we gave binky to the binky fairy in exchange for chocolate. She has done great, only a few rough moments. Right now we all have a cold. Elie loves to help me take care of Addie. The other day she came upstairs and said she needed a wipe. I asked why and she said because Addilyn had a messy face. I asked if she had spit up, Elie said no, she had been feeding her brownie. That's just great, exactly what the baby need, chocolate.


Matt- Is traveling a ton. He will be out of town for about 6 weeks straight, home only for long weekend. He hates it, I hate it, Elie really hates it.


Me- I am tired. Between a husband who travels way two much and a baby who sleeps way too little, I need a vacation and a massage. I joined a gym, which, if you know me at all, you know is crazy because I hate to exercise. The gym has childcare and a hot tub, need I say more?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

By the numbers

In the last 24 hours:



Bowls of cereal eaten by my 2 year old: 4 and the were all for breakfast

Diapers changed: 7

People dressed:3

Baths given/taken:5

Loads of laundry folded:3

Books read: 6

Questions answered: 1,865

Floor swept: 2 times

said "Obey please":20 times

Hours of sleep: not enough

Blogs posted: 1

Glasses of milk spilled on head:1

Facebook status updates: 3

Binky's tossed in the trash: ALL OF THEM!! well, not Addie's