Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I've had a few of you friends ask how the house situation's going, and I completely forget to respond about it in emails so I thought I'd update the world via my blog.  S'cuse me while I whip this out.

We listed our home  June 1st, a couple days after we'd moved out (the realtor wanted to hit a weekend rush from the get-go), and had it professionally cleaned and I staged our furniture and we stayed up 'til 1 a.m. the morning we left to touch up paint and all those little things.  I guess the work and the waiting was worth it because in one week we had 23 showing and one glorious offer for full asking price. WHAAAAAAAT?!?!? A full-price offer the first week it was on the market!  You have not read this before now because I am terrified it will all fall to pieces if I print it.  However, we've already had our home inspection, the buyers asked for a sewer scope and furnace certification, which both came back with glowing reports, so the only thing left is the appraiser to OK the price. Phew.  I think we might survive the home-selling process with SERIOUSLY minimal effort! 

I think we might survive the home-buying process with SERIOUSLY minimal effort!  Our realtor here listed us a bajillion homes and we combed through to narrow it down to about 40, then drove through the neighborhoods to narrow it down to about 20, then a few homes went under contract or decided not to sell and we were down to a dozen we wanted to see. On our third day of excursions we found it.
Oddly enough, it is seriously similar to our Thornton house :)  Maybe it's because we fixed it up so we loved it right before we left and now want to live out the dream of actually living there and ENJOYING our hard work? Hmmm...possibly. But ALSO it is in a great neighborhood, near my sister's house, it backs up to a park (yep, my back gate will lead me to a giant open field and a playground), it has a covered patio (can't live without one after Thornton), it has a tree that we are drooling over because it's perfect for a treehouse (bring on the projects!), and the price was even less than what we bought our Thornton home for - and that was a foreclosure!  We put an offer in, they countered, and we accepted.  We are now under contract on TWO homes - one to sell, one to buy!

We are ecstatic, believe me, and recognize that all of this - the initial job connection, the job interviews, the following job offer, the location, the home-selling process, the home-looking process, getting under contract on an awesome home so easily here - they are ALL blessings from Heavenly Father (which we undoubtedly don't deserve).  I don't want anyone thinking we're all full of ourselves because things have gone off without a hitch, and if Heavenly Father ever read my blog I think he'd be ticked if He got that impression!  So that's my disclaimer, don't try to go deflating my head. Now you have the update: we are incredibly blessed to be selling our home and buying a new one and carrying on in our wonderful crazy life down here in Pueblo.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Less sugar, more spice

It's not all fun and games around here, if that's the impression you got on my last post.  For one, we are surrounded by pirates.  And sharks.  And yes, it's complete with a skull-and-crossbones multi-colored flag on top, so WATCH OUT.

For another, there are some seriously mouthy comments to rival the seriously sweet comments.

Eli doesn't read Harry Potter with us, though he's seen snippets of the movies, but he HAS picked up on the use of wands.  Sort of.  He picks up branches, paint stir sticks, and spatulas to unleash "expelliarmus! Psssssssssssssssst! You're dead!" He most recently "expelliarmus"ed Caroline out of the bathroom because he was trying to get some private time and she wouldn't leave him alone.

Another example: the kids weren't exactly thrilled to go house-hunting but sometimes we all have to do things we don't want to do and we dragged them along.  Patrick was particularly vocal about how awful it was, though, so while loading up after yet another house Joe was reading Patrick the riot act about how he needed to BE QUIET or he was going to be in SERIOUS trouble....

Patrick: Dad, I think you're forgetting about one thing...
Joe: Oh, yeah? What's that?
Patrick: How hard I can punch.

We don't encourage him punching people by any means, but he likes to practice a good ka-pow on Joe's palms, so we were shocked and internally dying with laughter at his attempt at a threat.  Hey, maybe we're not the best parents out there, but we all know I wasn't puttin' up that front anyway :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sweeter than sugar mush-puddles

The kids have been getting along together REALLY well this past week.  Almost scary well (is that possible?), so I had hours upon hours to myself unexpectedly today, which ended up being used on Pinterest.  I did not intend to spend any significant amount of time online because there is always juice to be gotten, fights to be regulated, spills to clean up from that juice that got spilled during the fight, etc - but things were going so smoothly, time flew!  Playdough was played with!  Pictures were drawn!  No fights caused alarming juice spills! But if you follow me, you may have noticed - I haven't been on for at least 2 months straight because of days like today - it sucks time like a BLACK HOLE so I made it off-limits!  But while the kids have so thoroughly entertained themselves I've had opportunities to listen in and laugh as silently as possible (so as not to draw attention to the fact that I am still in the room and could be doling at treats or finding lost toys), and it's been really fun.  THIS is what I imagined parenting would be like (except that my mom baked and tole-painted instead of blogged while we played barbies or paper dolls, not Dinosaur vs Airplane) and THIS is why we wanted kids close in age.  Ahhh, my scheme is working out so well!

In the morning I encourage sleep as much as possible, letting everyone sleep in as needed and shushing the rest of the people until everyone is up.  Patrick is typically the last one up, and these past 2 morning Eli greeted him with a BIG hug when he came out of his room and said "I am so glad to see you!" So genuine, my heart is a big pile of melty-ness.  I was also impressed he used the word "glad," he talks a lot more than Patrick did at this age!

Patrick confided a special little tidbit to me tonight, and my heart became a mushy puddle again.  He adores his grandpa Gustavson, who sings him a particular lullaby when he's around, and Patrick has channeled that love into that particular song.  Song = love.  Patrick began requesting that lullaby from ME (who was not sung this song, so I didn't know it), so I had to go online and learn the words and now we sing it before bed every night, to avoid the 2 a.m. OH NO MOM FORGOT TO SING ME MY SONG moment, complete with by-the-bedside sniffles to wake me up so I can remedy the situation.  It's a sweet moment we have together before bed, but tonight he said "I just like you to sing me that song because when I go to bed I can sing it again in my head and it's like you're singing it to me one hundred times."  FINE!  Let me wipe my tears and I will sing it to you whenever you want, you sweet little weirdo.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The house we're renting is redone and BEAUTIFUL on the inside, but it's over on the east side of Pueblo which is not the beautiful side of town.  I'm glad we moved here, though, because I'm totally not prejudice against it now - we have very friendly neighbors, the kids and I like to walk around the neighborhood (there's a very interesting mix of well-kept homes and run-down wannabes that I daydream about restoring), and there is a fantastic park only 4 blocks away!  All in all, I'd say it's not a terrible place to live, which is what we had heard.  But anyway, that park...

With temps hovering near triple digits we headed to that park today because on one side there is a regular ol' park and on the OTHER side is a splash park! We've stopped by before but didn't have swimsuits (the boys got soaking wet anyway!) so today we made plans with Kari and actually dressed for the occasion - including me! Even with 7 people and 5 in swimsuits only 2 got wet (intentionally) - Patrick and I! In spite of a rotund belly reminding me that I'm a mom, I definitely felt like a kid again :) 

Patrick had the most fun - he's very outgoing and made a friend the first 2 minutes we were there, then ran around with him the whole time...

...except when he got chilly and came to lay on the concrete or snuggle with me to warm up.

I dragged Eli in with me one time and he laughed until he cried!  But not in a good way, so I took him back to lay on the concrete, too, where he stayed the rest of the time.

Caroline didn't want anything to do with the water.  I'd hoped that me getting in the spirit and getting in the sprayers would make her want to, too, but it was no-go.  I guess I don't need to bother with a swimsuit next time!

 Also, her favorite person in the whole world, "Addo," was in the shade - she couldn't leave her!

I'd say this could be another great way to spend the morning when we need to get out of the house to let Joe rest.  Of course, when we got home the first thing Eli did was go turn on the hose and get his clothes all wet - FIGURES.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Nappy-tappy time

Our first few nights in Pueblo included a lot more crying than usual - the kids were a little unsettled being in a new place. Everyone has settled in since then and I think we may even have passed the hump of Caroline waking up pre- 6 a.m. every day (she used to sleep until 7 or later in Denver, Pueblo is apparantly worth getting up for!), so that could be sweeeeeet. It was also be sweeeet if I did not just cruse myself by writing she's back to sleeping in.Anyway, we've been doing whatever we need to to get a few Z's so I took a few snaps (how ELSE can I remember that we ever slept? Heaven forbid).
But I know you're not SERIOUSLY interested in how my kids sleep, so I'll quit typing and post 'em.

Boys were scared during a thunderstorm and wanted to sleep together - so snuggly.

Kari's lending me this ginormous pregnancy pillow, and it has saved my unconscious night life, but lately I'm only able to sleep snuggled with the right 1/2 of the pillow because Joe steals and snuggles the other 1/2 - teeheehee!  Kids love to play on it (it's like a GIANT Boppy), and Eli agreed with me that it IS pretty dang awesome to sleep on.  Naps have reached a new level of relaxation!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cooking up cuties

Patrick LOVES to help me make treats and he suggests it more often than I do!  Of course, he does all the dough testing while I do all the cookie baking, but we sure enjoy the time together.  Caroline got in on the action for the first time last week and she seemed to be a big fan, too - who DOESN'T like cookie dough and a big glass of milk?

Testing, testing, one, two three... four... five... six spoonfulls!  

 It's gooooooood!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pueblo Zoo

Although Patrick still gets a bit sad that we live here now (he misses his "Colorado Tho-ton" home) his pain is eased by the balm of the Pueblo Zoo.  We already bought a family pass and have used it twice, the second opportunity being when we will be MOST likely to use it: to escape the house after Joe has worked the previous night.  So we went on Monday after he worked his 1st night shift Sunday night and spend THREE HOURS there.  I would guess there are about 2 hours-worth of things to see there, so that was quite the excursion!  And I STILL had to drag the kids (in the wagon, so it wasn't as bad as dragging them by their toes or something) out of there.  Here I tried valiantly to get them all in one shot:

And technically, they ARE all in one shot.  Win? 

Eli captured child-like awe. 

He was looking at this parrot

 Patrick just likes me to take pictures of him.  If I whip out the camera in ANY direction he smiles "CHEESE!"

Immediately the boys wanted to see the penguins, their favorite exhibit from visit #1.  STILL a favorite exhibit because of this penguin here who is a total show-off.  

Kids love him. 

 I love him.   

 It looked like he and Caroline were synchronized

The boys' 2nd favorite exhibit was the lions.  They weren't out last time, but this visit the mom lion was right on top of pride rock!  Okay, they didn't name it pride rock, IIIII named it pride rock and started singing "The circle of life" and embarrassing all other visitors away from the lions so we could have them to ourselves.  Worked like a charm :)

Pretty sure Caroline got distracted from the lions by a squirrel.  Such is the zoo for little ones.

Caroline randomly wandered over and gave Patrick a big hug.  He obliged - gotta get a record of this before he gets too old and "cool" for little sisters.

Cool little play area - Patrick was, appropriately, wearing Spider man sunglasses.

Eli climbs up to the top of any climbing thing, declares "look how big I climbed!" then climbs back down and does it again. The kiddos never wanted to leave this park-within-a-zoo, but I kept dragging them.

MY favorite exhibit was the ring-tailed lemurs.  Last time the zookeeper had this itsy-bitsy baby lemur in a cage, brought in on the back of... a stuffed animal sloth!  I think they were just introducing the newborn to the environment, it was so dang tiny!  And while the baby clung for dear life to the stuffed animal, the sloth tipped over on its back onto the baby, and still it hung on!  It was hilarious.  This time it was interesting to see it had graduated from stuffed mom to real mom and they were jumping all over the cage together, even while the baby nursed.  Dang, I'm not 1/10th that agile while I'm nursing! Makes me seem like a lazy bum that I congratulate myself for being able to get a drink from the fridge or eat a sandwich with a baby attached to me. 

 Anyway, it was a great morning!  Joe working nights has seemed great, too - I stay up way to late while he works (I've finally stared in on knitting that baby blanket I mentioned while I watch my netflix) and then we (me, Caroline, Eli, and Joe) all nap in the afternoon while Patrick watches a movie.  I'd say it's pretty much "the life," just like my niece and nephew are living over in GJ :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Norm

I knew we'd love living close to Kari and Jonathan and getting the kids together, but I had no idea!  The first week we got together every day, but then she and her husband went and had their "wedding anniversary" and "wanted to celebrate" and have a "tradition" to go to Denver... and I seriously was so bummed!  Not only did I not get to hang out, I didn't even call her because she was obviously spending time with family!  Ridiculous, right? But I'm glad it's the new normal for us, it's been even better than I expected.

Tonight Joe's working his first night shift at the distribution center, so we'll see what THAT new normal feels like... I know it'll have some downfalls, but I'm really looking forward to some o the perks! For one, I get the computer all to myself while he's gone :)  Blogger, emails, netflix, it's aaaaallllll mine!  I also plan on taking that time to work on some crafts - possibly unpacking some scrapbooking stuff, but also getting started knitting that baby blanket I've been musing about.  I always told him at Whiting-Turner that if he worked late I wanted him to work LATE so I'd at least have the evening to myself, and now I got my wish with Target!  Ahhh, the reasons I love the new job just keep racking up.

Now that we're here, our new normal means of communication is cell phones, and of course we have a new (temporary) address, so I'm emailing that out - please let me know if I missed you on my contact list!  My email is the same is always, of course, and I still get on facebook once in a blue moon so you can reach me there.  Or just leave a comment here!  I love comments :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

coupon newbie

My sister Kari has turned out to be quite the coupon guru, and was always trying to persuade me to start couponing up in Denver. To be sure, I've heard all the merits (saving money, a mental challenge, it's fun, it's kind of like a game...) but with Joe's long hours I was never able to shop without all 3 kids in tow.  3 kids + couponing = torture.  I did the best I could, which was price matching at Wal-Mart (which still saves a decent amount without running yourself to all the stores in town), but now that we're in Pueblo Kari is pretty convinced we will be able to combine forces and coupon like MAD ladies.  We'll see.

Today was my introduction, and I think I made a couple mistakes.
1) I took all 3 kids, like I said I wouldn't do.
2) I didn't take Kari, which I definitely SHOULD do

We live 3 blocks from Safeway, though, and Kari and I got together yesterday to swap some coupons so I had 3 coupons to use.  I figured I could just walk there with the kids, get my 3 items, save myself some cash and head home - SIMPLE!  Well, I had one win, one neutral, and one loss.

Win: 10 KoolAid packs for $1 (an unexpected sale), plus I had "buy 10 get 5 free" coupon, so I got 15 KoolAid packets for 50 cents!  WIN! Another win: we had a nice walk and picked up trash on the way.
Neutral: I swear it was Safeway that advertised string cheese as BOGO Free, but I didn't bring the ad with me and inside the store it WAS on sale but WAS NOT buy-one-get-one.  So I used my coupon, plus the sale price, and it was a decent deal but not what I'd thought I'd get.
Loss: Random coupon to buy any beef product and get $3.00 off a Dr. Pepper 12-Pack, advertised to be $3.39.  Sweet!  The loss was that I didn't notice (with 3 kids in tow) that you had to buy FOUR 12-packs, and I only bought ONE, which they jacked the price up to $6.29.  I considered heading back through the store and picking up 3 more, "return" the one and buy 4 for the sale price, then asking them to re-apply the coupon... but did I mention the 3 kids?  Today was not that day to make my coupon case. So I paid pretty much the same as the sale price and wasted an awesome coupon. BOO!  See why I need Kari with me? Next time!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Miss me?

Did I say late June we might be moving to Pueblo?  Because apparently I meant late May - and here we are!  In sunny Pueblo, Colorado.  Joe was planning on being here to start work, of course, but I figured I'd stick around and finish projects and spend the summer wrapping up our lives in Thornton... but then, when I got to thinking about how not good I am at keeping a clean house (certainly not clean enough to show!) and how tricky it would be to get showings scheduled around nap time (naps are ALL IMPORTANT to me, as I am a tired pregnant lady), and how it would be a bummer to miss Joe for the few days he worked... it just made sense to pick up and go, in one fell swoop. So we did.

Now the house is up for sale (yay!) and looks great (yay!) and we didn't even get to enjoy it because we were too busy packing and finishing projects (boo).  I honestly didn't even have time to take any pictures of it, people, we were up SO LATE every night working and then we packed up the camera by the time everything was done.  So for a whopping 5 pictures (there used to be more, I don't know where they went) you can see the house at  When we go back to get our furniture I'll be sure to take lots of photos for myself, to remind me of how good it looked, and why we should go crazy on projects EARLIER next time.

Soon to come: updates on what we're doing these days.  For now, sleeeeeeeep.