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By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, November 9, 2006
After nine months, I'm finally getting some sleep....it's heavenly.
I've been hesitant to blog about my shuteye in case it was just some fluke but it's been over a week and Soren has slept in his own bed every night. I wouldn't say he sleeps through the entire night but it's pretty darn close.
I have to give all the credit to his dad who has been home with him during the day. He makes sure that the baby stays on a fairly routine schedule with naps at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. plus breakfast, lunch, snack. He ALWAYS puts him in his crib for naps no matter how long the crying ensued.
Something just clicked finally. The repetitive routine of dinner, bath, bed finally got through to my little boy. He fusses for just a few minutes and then he's visiting the sandman.
It's been better for all of us including the baby. He seems to be getting a lot more sleep on his own as he can flip and flop and groan all he wants in his little cage.
Dad and I have time to pick up toys, talk about politics and watch movies. I even painted my toenails the other night! I love Soren but I really need some time for myself. I mean, no woman should have to give up toe maintenance just because she's a mom.
My mental clarity is returning and I no longer dread the 8 o'clock hour. As a matter of fact, I can't wait to fall into bed every night. I have A LOT of catching up to do!
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
The skunk and the truck!
Ava as the skunk:
Carter as the truck:
Congratulations to the Ava and Carter! Their moms, Miranda Ruble and Kelly Culver, will receive two tickets to the Avalon Theater!
Many thanks to all those who voted and submitted entries.
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Don't forget to vote in our Halloween costume contest.
(Oh, and while you're at it, make sure you vote in the election, too. There are a lot of items on this year's ballot, so you might want to take your sample ballot with you when you go.)
I'm happy to say that it's very close contest with each of adorable entrants getting votes.
A big thank you to everyone who sent in pictures.
Winners will be announced tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
I was a pretty good soccer mom for the two seasons Alex played the game. I was a really good karate/stick-fighting mom, having earned my own black-belt in another life. I was even a good football mom and was happy to finally learn how that game is played. I’m an excellent lacrosse mom because that game is a blast to watch and
they get to play in Aspen. I’m afraid, however, I’m not going to be a very good tennis mom.
First of all, I like to cheer. I like to cheer a lot, and loudly. You’re expected to cheer for soccer and football and karate and lacrosse. So I do. (Sometimes a bit too much, apparently. During one game years ago, Alex actually stopped mid-play on the field and shouted, “Mom, please go wait in the car!" I was eventually vindicated when his lacrosse team lost the only game I couldn’t attend, and his teammates said they lost because I wasn’t there to cheer. Ha! So there!)
In tennis, cheering is seriously frowned upon. I don’t think anybody does it. I just sat through Alex’s weekend-long USTA sanctioned tournament and there was definitely no cheering. Not even clapping! What kind of sport doesn’t even warrant clapping?
I also don’t understand how tennis is scored. The game itself is easy to understand. Hit the ball over the net. I get it. But scoring? Did they make it difficult because the game itself is so . . . . not complex? It’s not really that exciting as a spectator sport. Much like golf in that respect. (I know, boss. Just blew my Christmas bonus.)
At this tournament, when I wasn't watching Alex play, I entertained myself by listening to a couple 12-year-old players constantly berate their own play and yell at themselves after every swing of their racket. It was weird. Really weird. Where was that pressure coming from, I wondered? I’m pretty sure they didn’t have Nike contracts. No college scouts were around. Nobody was cheering more for one player than the other, that’s for sure. Maybe they were upset because they didn’t understand the scoring thing either.
I’m also not big on that throwing-the-racket-temper-tantrum maneuver that a couple kids demonstrated. My son did it once and I almost went out on the court and dragged him off by the ear. His coach saw it though and admonished him from the sidelines, to which Alex responded, “Oops, it was an accident." Uh-huh. One that will cost him extra rounds of push-ups at practice today!
Alex gets his taste and talent for tennis from his dad and his Papa (his dad’s dad). Both are very good tennis players. (I’ll refrain from adding “back in the day" since Christmas is coming! ) And both would make much better tennis moms than I ever will.
Regardless of my own thoughts on the sport, it’s one my son very much enjoys right now. So I’ll be there, cheering silently at his matches, and counting the days until lacrosse practice starts this spring!
P.S. He placed third in his singles group at the tournament. That’s my boy!
By Robin Dearing
Monday, November 6, 2006
Here they are — the entrants for the 1st Annual Haute Mamas Costume Contest.
Edited to add an entry that was mistakenly omitted by me and my careless fingers.
8. Shase as a frog
1. Ava as a skunk
2. Carson as Spiderman
3. Carter as a truck
4. Colbin as a lion
5. Hannah as Little Red Riding Hood
6. Jack as a chicken
7. Kate as a cat
Please take a moment to vote for your favorite two costumes by leaving a comment below or e-mailing me at Robin Dearing
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Saturday, November 4, 2006
A quick weekend note:
Don't forget to send us your Halloween Pictures for the Contest.
And, it's been a busy month here in the DS newsroom. The month of October found me doing a different job, mostly compiling the daily Planner, Out and About briefs and our Of Interest column.
I remember a comment left here at Haute Mamas asking about ways to find other parents and children in the Grand Valley. There are a surprising number of groups looking for people with similiar interests.
I've compiled this list in hopes of helping anyone looking for resources. Notice I filed it under a "Parent Resources" category for future easy reference. I'll try to update it from time to time.
Young Parents Support Group for mothers ages 12-24, information/support, 6 p.m. Monday, American Lutheran Church, 1350 N. Seventh St., 244-3842, 244-3836.
Mothers’ Initiative Hot Line, for mothers of an adult child with AIDS, noon-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, (800) 566-6599.
ToughLove, self-help program for parents troubled by teenage behavior, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Unity Church, 3205 N. 12th St., 640-2591.
Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), support for teenage mothers, 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Clifton Assembly of God, 258 Fifth St. in Clifton, fun, food, creative activities, childcare/transportation available, 434-6907.
MOPS: Mothers of Preschoolers, Thursday, Redlands Community Church, 2327 Broadway.
Western Colorado Parent Support Group, for parents concerned about their children’s choices (drugs, alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, questionable friends), meets twice monthly, 858-8368.
MOMS Club of Grand Junction, support group for at-home mothers, monthly activities, play groups park days and service projects, 314-9050.
At-Home Dads Western Slope Chapter, for fathers who are primary caregivers for their children, playgroup, 625-9817 or e-mail email@example.com.
Rainbows, free peer support group for children K-8 who have lost a parent to death or whose parents have divorced, also groups for parents and stepparents, 243-1785.
Exercise class for teens, 4-5 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, The Teen Bistro, 1505 Chipeta Ave., building B, step, free weights, toning, 241-8001.
Kindermusik Village classes sessions for parents/babies ages birth-18 months, physical/brain development exercises and bonding activities, 9 a.m. Wednesday-Thursday; Sign and Sign, sign-language for hearing and hearing-impared babies/parents, Kidszplex, 609 Road 25; other classes available up to age 8, 523-1298.
Early Pregnancy Classes, 6 p.m. every other Thursday, 20 South Nevada, Montrose, 249-2933.
Children’s Immunization Clinic walk-in, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday- Friday, no appointment; children’s physical exam clinic, by appointment, some evening hours, Mesa County Health Department, 510 Road 29, 248-6900.
Child Health Hot Line, toll-free, for children without health insurance, (800) 688-7777.
Babysitter’s Training, American Red Cross, 506 Gunnison Ave., 242-4851.
The Tree House Bistro seeking high school and college age people to join the Bistro board to create, implement and supervise the programming at the Bistro, 1505 Chipeta Ave., building B, 241-8001, e-mail TerriKtreehouse@aol.com.
Hilltop Community Resources’ Young Parents Program, group facilitators, training provided, 244-3803.
Project Wings, provide support to families who have adopted children with special needs, training provided, 255-7342.
The Foster Grandparents Program needs seniors 60 or older to work with children mentoring and tutoring, 263-9091.
Riverside Tutoring Center offers no cost tutoring services for kindergarten-seventh grade and homework help for eighth-12th grade, students must qualify academically and financially, Monday, Tuesday and/or Wednesday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. or 5:30-6:30 p.m., and 2-4 p.m. Wednesday for elementary school early release, 552 W. Main St., annex building next to Dual Immersion Academy and Old Riverside School, 433-0481, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
55 Alive/Mature Driving classes take place at least twice a month, $10, certificate issued for insurance discount, 243-2531.
Camp Kiwanis in partnership with Hilltop, offering youth groups the opportunity to enjoy camping in the Grand Mesa National Forest, 242-4400, email@example.com.
Family Steps early-childhood/parenting education program for families with children ages prenatal to 3, 1129 Colorado Ave., 244-3825.
Mesa County Partners restitution crews available, $25 an hour includes four to six youth, supervisor, vehicle and basic tools for basic landscaping, clean-up in and around yards, outside painting and more, 245-5555, ext. 33.
Hilltop Community Resource’s Young Parents Program support for pregnant/parenting women ages 12-22, 244-3803.
Bright Beginnings’ Warm Welcome Program for newborn to age 3, to improve lives in the most critical period of development, 254-8240.
Girls in kindergarten though 12th grade encouraged to register in the Girl Scout program, Girl Scouts of Chipeta Council, 242-4461.
By Robin Dearing
Friday, November 3, 2006
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
But before you decide to hate me because I was born in California, you should know that my mom grew up in Colorado. My gramma and
two of my mom’s sisters and
her brother and
their families all live on the Front Range. So, I’m not even a generation removed from this great state.
As much as I love California (and by "California," I mean Northern California) and miss the Pacific Ocean, the Sierra-Nevadas and the culture that a major metropolitan area has to offer, I love raising our kids here in the Grand Valley.
When I moved here 10 years ago, I never expected to grow so attached to this valley. But I do. I have to admit that sometimes I get a little misty when we walk downtown for the festivals, farmer's markets or just to have brunch at the bagel shop because it's so quaint and charming.
I love the view of the Mesa, the monument and the Bookcliffs.
I love that we have so many wonderful friends who are from this valley and across the country and we run into them at the grocery store or at the park or a parade or when we're just walking down the street.
I love that my kid learned to ride a two-wheeler on a tree-lined street where our neighbors would stop to cheer her on and congratulate her on yet another accomplishment.
I love when the peaches are in season and I love when the leaves turn yellow and red. I love it when we get a dusting of snow and my daughter gets on her hands and knees and eats it like she’s a snow cow.
I even love it when it gets hot and we can walk over to Lincoln Park Pool to cool off.
I love that my kid’s school is a half-block away from our house and that not even a full-year into her first year there, everyone seems to know her name and that I belong to her.
I love that we have the best neighbors we ever hoped to have and that they’ve become some of our favorite friends ever.
But there’s one thing I hate about living in western Colorado and this one thing has made me consider moving away from the valley that I love on more than one occasion. And that’s the fact that my parents and my brother live in California and my extended family lives on the Front Range and that Bill’s entire family lives in and around Buffalo, New York.
But we are lucky that we can talk on the phone and we visit with my parents at least once a year. I make videos so Margaret’s grandparents can see her in her school productions and I send pictures in e-mails.
But it’s not the same. No matter how wonderful our adopted family is here, it’s not the same as having my own flesh and blood close by.
I miss them. Desperately.
Thursday, November 2, 2006
My nephew and the baby of the Lickers clan started kindergarten this year. His name is Sam and he is 5. He’s the quirkiest little kid you’ll ever meet and he absolutely slays me.
He’s a small kid, even for 5. Petite, you might say. Blonde hair and golden brown eyes. Probably weighs all of 35 pounds soaking wet after a big meal, which for Sam is defined as more than two bites of anything. The kid hardly ever eats. He lives on love and air.
When he does eat, he has some unusual ways of doing so. He will eat the top off a donut in a perfectly horizontal way, leaving only the bottom half. He will eat only the frosting off of cake. He ate a carrot about six months ago and still talks about it. He told Grandma he doesn’t like to eat at her house “because everything is home made.?
Sam has a quick wit and delivers great one-liners. For example, one day he was running around au natural after his bath. As his little self flitted past me down the hall I remarked •Sammy, you have no butt!? He stopped, looked up at me and said matter-of-factly •Well, YOU don’t have a penis!?
He has this tendency to travel to an alternate universe and return through a worm hole to say things that have no apparent connection to what is happening in this dimension. I think the kid will grow up to be the next daVinci, or Kierkegaard.
One evening we were sitting and chatting and Sam looks up and says. •Aunt Lynn, I think you should have married Rick instead of that other guy because nobody ever really liked him.?
Last night at an extended family dinner he pulls his shirt up and over his head and states, •If I was a mother I would find this very disturbing.?
Yep. I AM a mother and I though it was hilarious, much to my sister•s chagrin.
A few days before Halloween he says to me, “Aunt Lynn, did I show you my pet rock, Roger??
•No, go get him.? He runs out of the room and returns with this:
•And I made him a Frankenstein costume.?
See? I truly think the kid is brilliant. He has resurrected the whole pet rock thing AND designed a custom line of clothing for them! He is destined to be a millionaire.
I have numerous nieces and nephews and they are all special in one way or another. Sammy just captures my attention because he makes me laugh and I never know where his mind will take us next.
Looking for pet rocks
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
I think life is what you make of it and the holidays are no exception. This year my family went all out and did Halloween up right. Maybe it was because we have a kid and maybe it was because the mood just struck us. Whatever it was we had a busy and truly happy Halloween.
It started with National Pumpkin Carving Day which of course we celebrated by having a carving contest. My hubby had a creative burst of genius and decided we needed to use hollowed out eggs for creepy eyeballs.
We had to carve in shifts as someone had to hold the baby and keep him from ingesting errant pumpkin seeds. Inspired by Marty's genius, I created this pumpkin I call "Whimsy."
Yeah—those are chopsticks and green tomato antennae. I don't know who won the contest but we had quite a few comments by the trick or treaters about our unusual eyeball choice.
Prince Soren loved Halloween. He wore his costume with pride and never tried to eat his crown.
He greeted everyone with a big smile while he used a small box of Hot Tamales as a rattle. Of course he played the charming part perfectly.
Mostly he charmed the people here at the Daily Sentinel, like Robin.
We finished by handing out candy to mostly teenage beggars at our door. By 7 p.m. my prince was pooped and so was I!
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Tonight's the night all the ghosts, goblins, Cinderellas and Little Mermaids come out and beg for candy at stranger's doors.
If you think about it, trick-or-treating is a strange practice. We teach our kids to never
take candy from strangers — except for this one night where we brave the cold and walk our kids around dressed in any sort of feathery, polyester and plastic apparel so they can ring doorbell after doorbell expecting the folks within to haul their cookies to the door and give the little kids free candy.
And I think it's all just great.
Mostly because I love to eat Halloween candy and there's no way my kid can eat all that candy herself. I mean, she only gets a piece or two a day and she always ends up with a huge bag that will most definitely go bad if I don't eat it by next week.
But tonight won't be Margaret's first time trick-or-treating this year.
Saturday, my friend and I walked downtown with our two daughters and a pair of adorably well-behaved twins that I could eat with a spoon they are so sweet to let our gaggle of kids beg free candy from the merchants downtown.
I love living in Grand Junction and I love it all the more because I live close enough to downtown that we can easily walk down to enjoy the plethora of events and festivals that go on along our charming Main Street.
I remarked to my friend Saturday that our downtown merchants are so generous in that they opened their doors and their pocketbooks to allows scores of bedecked children to tromp in and out of their stores for several hours and handed out free candy and expect nothing in return.
There were crowds of fairies, ninjas, cowboys, princesses, unicorns and firemen roaming the street as we walked from store to store encouraging them to fill their bags while we tried to keep track of all four kids — it's like herding cats, I tell ya.
After the walk down one side of Main Street, our quartet was running out of steam. We stopped at one of the free cookie decorating tables and had the kids make a cookie then sit and eat it.
Lemme just say, I am impressed by the power of sugar. While we were waiting for the kids to munch their pumpkin-shaped cookies, our little Davy Crocket started to fade. His blinks got longer and longer and I'm sure if we hadn't been watching him and chuckling under our breath, he would have fallen asleep right there on Main Street amid all the Halloween hoo-ha.
But then, 20 minutes later on our walk back home, he was racing ahead of us trying to be the first one to reach the corner. I am now a convert to the power of granulated sugar.
Lookit these girls:
Pretty cute costumes, eh?
Oh? But not as cute as your kid/grandkid/niece/nephew/neighbor's costume?
Then prove it by sending pictures of your little ones to me at Robin Dearing
by Monday, Nov. 6.
On Monday, we'll post all the Halloween costume pictures we get and then you — that's right, dear readers — you will vote on who you think is the best/cutest/most creative costume. The two that receive the most votes will receive two tickets to the Avalon Theater.
You can e-mail me or post any questions in our comments.