Posts filed under ‘Raising Reagan’

All Fun and Games!

Part of Perfect Moment Mondays…

Legend CityThe only “fun parks” we had growing up in Arizona were water slides. There was only one amusement park in the entire state – Legend City in Phoenix. And anytime we happened to be visiting Phoenix, a 3-hour drive from Lake Havasu City where I grew up, it always seemed to be closed for one reason or another. It was permanently closed in 1983 after suffering several bankruptcies. I guess it was just too hot to expect people to put their kids in metal spinning cups when it was 120 degrees out. Elitch GardensSince its’ closing, Phoenix remains the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a major amusement park.

So, I have to say I’m a little jealous of my daughter Reagan, whose summer daycare visits Denver’s Elitch Gardens once a week. There’s also Lakeside Amusement Park and Heritage Square within the Denver metro area. Frontier Airlines does a family picnic at Elitch’s every summer, and though we missed it this summer, I decided it was time to try a different park. So we made the trek to Golden to visit the charming Heritage Square, where all the rides were just right for a 3 & 4-year-old.

Heritage Square carousel

Reagan and gal-pal, Sarah were keeping us on our toes as they scampered from ride to ride, sometimes squabbling over which ride to do next. There were enough rides to keep the fun going all day. Thankfully, Sarah’s mommy took on the job of riding the spinning rides with the girls as I didn’t last long after one or two of them. Reagan definitely takes after her mommy as mid-way through the tea-cup ride, she began to look a little queasy with her head between her knees. The ride was stopped so she could get off, despite her protests. I explained that we didn’t want to stay on if it made her tummy hurt. After each subsequent ride she would proudly proclaim “it didn’t make my throat hurt, Mommy!”

Heritage Square tea-cup ride

We saved the Ferris Wheel for last and enjoyed the spectacular view.

Heritage Square ferris wheel

No day out is complete without ice cream, and the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor at Heritage Square was as quaint as the rest of the village. Reagan enjoyed her usual of mint chip and I had the spumoni, filled with fruit and nuts. Both were homemade and the largest scoops I had ever seen. It was no wonder Reagan had some difficulty keeping hers’ on her cone. As the ice cream dripped all over her hands, I tried to teach her the art of keeping the ice cream equally licked on all sides. She’s still getting it, but is sure to be a pro in no time.

As we drove home, Reagan nodded off in her car seat. That’s when you know it’s been a perfect day.

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August 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm 9 comments

Hey! Where’d my blog go? And more important matters.

dead houseplantWhile I’m sure no one really noticed, *ahem* it has been over TWO MONTHS since my last post! Ack! Hellooooo… anybody out there? You’ve all gone on to more important things than checking in to see if I’ve come back from the dead, I know. After my first successful year of regular (okay, somewhat regular) posts, I let a few weeks lapse give my perfectionist ego all the justification it needed to apply the “all-or-nothing clause” and wait for my world to stop spinning on its’ axis so I’d have a good hour to devote to a proper post. HA! My poor house plants, which have been brought back from the brink more times than Dick Cheney on a stretcher, were sadly under the same clause. Only, there’s no bringing them back this time.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about blogging over this past year, it’s that you can’t wait to finish the laundry, pay the bills, mop the floors, and have dinner simmering on the stove before you give some love to your blog. Nope. Bloggers are probably some of the worst housekeepers you’ll ever meet, and they’ll be the first to admit it – on their blogs to the whole world. Because it’s all about being genuine, not perfect. And genuine means you may only have 15 minutes to get what’s in your head out on the page; typos and all. I’m still learning to embrace this part of blogging… seizing the moment when inspiration hits. Kind of like a Cialis ad.

There have been many moments of inspiration over these past two months, but since I didn’t seize those moments then, here they are in a nutshell now:

  1. Mile High Mamas at Denver Childrens MuseumReagan and I attended the new bubbles exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Denver with the Mile High Mamas. We had a blast!
  2. Jim Kelly’s Second Annual Crawfish Boil was held. Reagan managed to eat the tops off of 6 cupcakes without me seeing, until I found the evidence all over Jim’s yard.
  3. I was finally making progress on my New Year’s resolution to go back to the gym when a short-term, full-time contract position was plopped in my lap. Given a little lapse in my freelance work, I gladly accepted it and started work the next day.
  4. After 2+ years on disability because of cancer, my husband won his fight to return to the Air Force Reserves! He won’t be able to fly with his C-130 unit at Petersen Air Force Base for another 3 years, but, will be cross-trained into another position. A letter from Senator Mary Landrieu of Danny’s home state of Louisiana was sure to have helped and we are forever grateful.
  5. Danny receives the long-awaited letter from the FAA telling him he can return to work at Frontier! Our livelihood is finally restored!
  6. Danny is studying full-time while I’m working full-time and Reagan is at daycare full-time. *Ugh*
  7. Working full-time, taking care of my family and the house, begins to take it’s toll. I’m bone-tired and the house is slowly sliding into a sinkhole of disorganization. My perfectionist side gives up.
  8. Danny’s first day back at work at Frontier (in training)!
  9. My iMac goes in for repair for the 3rd time in as many years. It has now had more parts replaced than Tara Reid. Or Heidi Montag. Take your pick.
  10. Apple refuses to see it my way and give me a new computer to replace the lemon they gave me after all the trouble I’ve had. *fuming* But, they will fix it.
  11. Reagan gets a new princess sleeping bag and we have the easiest bedtime routine ever every night for the next week!
  12. 4th of July in Steamboat SpringsWe spend a glorious 4th of July weekend in Steamboat Springs with friends!
  13. My contract job is finally up and I’ve decided that two parents working outside the home is definitely not for us.
  14. Reagan’s first sleepover birthday party for her friend, Ana (4) in Winter Park!
  15. City Park Jazz in Denver with our friends, the Kellys!
  16. Packed up Reagan’s baby monitor. Forever. *milestone*
  17. My iMac is ready! (2 weeks later) Now for the miserable task of restoring all my files from back-up. *blech*
  18. Back to the gym and feeling good again!
  19. Another friend turns 4! Good times with the Bickings!
  20. Reagan takes her first swim class!

cockpitAnd last night, Danny passes his check ride and we pop open the champagne to toast to his official return to the friendly skies as soon as next week!

But the biggest news of all… today Danny got the official word from his Oncologist that his most recent PET Scan shows no signs of Lymphoma and that he is AS GOOD AS CURED!!!! Hallelujah!!!

Time to pop open another bottle of champagne!

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July 28, 2010 at 5:11 pm 9 comments

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee!

Part of Perfect Moment Mondays…

On Friday, Reagan rode in the St. Jude’s Trike-a-Thon with her preschool class. There was some pretty steep competition, but she held her own.

The morning started with the competitors getting their game faces on.

Followed by some bubble action to prepare for their slippery competition.

Once they were off, Reagan managed to stay out front, while others got “off-track.”

She strategically changed vehicles half-way through, riding “Flintstone-style.”

Soon, every rider became distracted by the playground and dropped out of the race…

But there were no losers. Only winners. Including the parents who got at least a solid two hours of nap time out of every little triker.

May 2, 2010 at 9:13 pm 4 comments

How to Win at an Easter Egg Hunt

Part of Perfect Moment Mondays…

Had it been me that was asked to pose for this photo at age three, I would’ve run screaming the other way. But, the cross-eyed, pinched-face bunny with the psychedelic vest had become Reagan’s best friend on this day. Just look at all the loot he left for her to find!

Being the oldest in her group at preschool gave Reagan a decided advantage on the playing field. She scooped up the colored plastic eggs and goody bags spilled across the lawn with speed and ease.

So much speed, that before long, her bucket was overflowing and I made her stop to be fair to the littler kids and the older ones who had yet to take their turn.

Then Reagan did something else I’m sure I would never have done had it been me at age three. She immediately began handing out her goodies to all her friends, naming each of them as she pulled a treat out of her bucket. My heart swelled with pride. And the rest of me sighed with relief that there would be just a little less candy in the house to cause other parts of me to swell. Everybody wins!

April 5, 2010 at 7:23 pm 2 comments


Part of Perfect Moment Mondays…

Among perfect moments, none is more perfect than those we spend with friends. So, on Saturday when we had the chance to spend the morning with our girlfriends at the Denver Children’s Museum, we were all about it.

There was so much to do, see, explore… from trying on costumes and dancing in front of the mirror, to shopping in their very own kid-sized Whole Foods store, we took it all in. With the weather a nippy 25 degrees out, it was the perfect day to spend inside.

Our favorite area by far was the art room where the girls got a chance to express themselves.

Some more than others…

For some reason, I don’t think face-painting was what Reagan had in mind, but to each her own! 🙂

March 22, 2010 at 9:27 pm 4 comments

Daddy-Daughter Day

Part of Perfect Moment Mondays…

Some of my favorite moments in my daughter’s life happen when I’m not even there. By design. Other special moments I’ve missed, I will grieve over, but these… I relish. Because it means a special bond is being built between the two people I love the most. A different kind of bond than I will ever have with either of them. I call them daddy-daughter days.

This weekend ended with hot chocolate and pancakes at the Rise & Shine Cafe in Winter Park. With sorting, stacking and organizing the jellies in their holder until the strawberry, grape and blackberry each occupied their own space.

But, it began with a day spent on a snow-covered hill in Hideaway Park. One that the previous year was feared when ridden with Mommy on a little red sled. We would not name it Rosebud.

This year, at the fearless age of three, another little red sled, was embraced with Daddy on the same snow-covered hill. To hear it told later, Daddy and Reagan rode down (and walked back up) 100 times. And each time at the bottom, a cheer to do it again was shouted with unbridled enthusiasm. All afternoon, while I was having my own glorious day riding the mountain, my better half and my half pint were building a perfect moment, 100 times over.

March 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm 5 comments

The Best Day of the Year!

Part of Perfect Moment Mondays…

Remember when you looked forward to your birthday? Perhaps, even more than Christmas? What could compare with having your own special day set aside to spend how you wanted, your friends and family lavishing you with attention, presents to rip open and cake and ice cream to sink your teeth into? Somewhere in your 30’s, the day loses its’ charm. Maybe you don’t celebrate at all anymore. I know I don’t.

Nothing brings the magic back more than a just turned three-year-old, whose awareness of birthdays is just starting to peak.

I wanna make cupcakes! How ’bout today? Today? Reagan wants to make cupcakes! Is today my birthday? Is Sarah coming? And Ana? And Nola? And Tyler? How ’bout Sarah? And Ana? And Tyler? And Nola? Let’s make cupcakes! And Sarah will be there? And Ana? And Nola? And Tyler? And Sarah…


The day finally arrives. And like a Jack-in-the-box on Red Bull, she explodes from her bed, “TODAY’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!”

When it’s finally time to get ready, Reagan is the most compliant she has ever been. I think she gets it. The sooner she is dressed and her hair is combed, the sooner we can get to partying!

As the guests arrive Reagan greets each and every one with a hop and a skip, her arms rising and falling in an awkward greeting. She twirls gleefully, then gallops toward the playground, looking back to see if her playmate is following. And without hesitation, they are. Like a ritual dance, where no words are spoken, each knows the purpose of their time together is to run and play until gasping for air, they are forced to make a “mom-stop” for refueling by sippy cup. Then they’re off again, laughing and squealing; a bumped head here and a short crying spell there — but, not for long. A few hugs and kisses later and they’re back in the race. Every now and then pausing to ask if it’s time to eat cupcakes yet or open presents.

Cheeseburgers, fries, chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. A gourmet meal by any preschooler’s standards. But, there’s still more playing to be done, so we must inhale it fast!

Time for cake! Reagan beams as the ceremonial “Happy Birthday” is sung. It’s as if it’s the first and only time it has been sung just for her. Three candles? I can handle that! Pheeeeeeeeeeeew!! The room erupts with applause.

Goofy? Mickey? Minnie? Which do you choose? It’s time to pass out the cupcakes. Strawberry with vanilla frosting and sprinkles – the perfect compliment to my orange soda!

Only 20 minutes left and there are still presents to open! Reagan begins by tugging at the curled ribbon of a bow placed in the center of a package. Sarah shows her how it’s done and rips open another present, before her Daddy reminds her it’s not her birthday. Reagan doesn’t seem to mind. After all, she did the same thing at Sarah’s party eight months earlier. When you’re best buds, what’s yours’ is mine, right?

The gift bags present a bit of a dilemma. What’s all this tissue paper? Is there a present down there somewhere? Oh, YES! Score! A Belle Barbie doll! I’ve noticed a strange pattern with Reagan and dolls. There seems to be a strong impulse to pull off all their clothes and lose their shoes. Every doll in the house is completely naked. I used to try and give them some dignity and dress them whenever I’d find they’d “lost” their clothes, only to discover them a short time later stripped down to their birthday suits once again. What is that? I’ve given up on trying to keep my house free of “Dolls Gone Wild,” and am embracing Reagan’s penchant for the au naturale.

But, I digress…

The perfect moment arrived long after the last present had been opened, hugs and kisses had been given out to all her little friends, and every toy had been painfully extracted from it’s theft-proof box back at home. After Reagan had played with every gift and tried out every color marker in the pack. After she had donned her favorite purple panda pajamas and curled up in her crib with a warm bottle of milk. As I do every night, I peeked in on my angel to watch her sleep, her chest rising and falling beneath her colorful, fleece Dora blanket. I noticed her mouth curled up at the corners and a look of contentedness on her face. I knew she was dreaming of her day and the joy she felt then and as she slept was enough to make birthdays my favorite days all over again.

February 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm 3 comments

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