Tuesday, September 29, 2009

best mini-vacation ever!

Last weekend Rog hatched an idea for a little getaway. We haven't gone anywhere this summer since the Young family reunion in Mancos. He hammered out the lodging and activities, I was on snacks and packing - the perfect division of labor. We had a great time! Katie announced early on that she wanted to go swimming 3 times - we almost met that request.

We drove down to Manitou Springs - right next door to Colorado Springs - Friday afternoon. We were hoping to swim before dinner, but traffic did not cooperate. The restaurant had animal heads and other 'western' stuff all over the walls, so between the decorations and mini-corn dogs we were off to a good start. Playing in the pool afterwards - which was the warmest pool I've ever been in - sealed the first day as 'totally fun' (Katie).

Saturday morning we went swimming again after breakfast and cartoons - so far a banner day for Katie once again. We then rode the cog train up Pike's Peak. The steam engines have been retired on this track too, but the train enthusiasts in our family had fun anyway. The original plan was to have one pair of adults ride up with the kids while the other drove up the mountain in the car and then switch at the top, but the road was closed because of snow. It's only September!
(Katie repeating over and over: Momma, I'm chilly!)
When we got to the top of the mountain, it was easier to understand the closure. The temperature when we started in Manitou Springs was around 70 degrees - at 14,000 feet it was 20 degrees, plus the windchill factor. We did not spend too much time running around outside, although Katie and Alex did have a small snowball fight and enjoyed stomping in the drifts. The kids had no trouble with the altitude; it seems to be the most challenging for folks over 6 feet tall - at least in our family. Luckily the gallon of water Rog drank on the way up helped him recover quickly on the way back down. Thankfully Max slept on the way up, because it was wiggle-mania all the way down.

And there you have the first - and thus far BEST - mini-vacation. Hopefully it won't be long before the next one.

input please

My Grandmother Kathy hand-knit Christmas stockings for everyone in my family - parents and brothers and sisters. My mom would like to carry on this tradition and have matching socks for all the spouses and grandchildren, and me and my needles have finally gotten busy to try and comply. I have a number of socks to catch up on - and Carol is always hoping for more additions! The socks my grandmother made have pictures knit into them - I am no where near that patient. Too much counting for me. I decided to use the same palate, but change the design for each sock. After a number of consultations with my grandmother and some searching, I figured out how to do the toe and heel - it's not an exact replica, but it's close to the originals.

Now, as to pattern.

What do you think? I like the different stripes for the boys. Now that I see Roger's argyle next to them, is it too busy? I mean, he is a complicated fellow - wink wink - but is it too much? And what should I do for Katie's sock? She said she wanted snowflakes - she's complicated too - but is that too different? What other patterns fit in with the mix?


Sunday, September 27, 2009

july adventures

We were pretty good about hitting the park at least once a week - at least during the first part of the summer. There are a couple of parks here that have water features, which makes it cool enough for everyone - meaning ME - to enjoy! The Denver Botanic Gardens had an exhibit of dinosaurs this summer, so we had an adventure day with our buddies the Chapdelaines. The gardens were amazing. It's funny how many years I drove past them and thought I should go check them out but never did. I decided to wait until I could make it a real adventure! The kids were not as excited about the plants as the big girls were, but they did have a blast searching for dinosaurs everywhere.
The Longmont Museum had an exhibit called 'Little Builders.' We didn't discover it until near the end of its run, otherwise I'm sure we would have returned again and again. There were all sorts of things to build with - giant Lego-type blocks, wooden blocks, PVC pipe and fittings. Alex was - surprise! - most interested in the displays that involved movement - the crane, the conveyor belt, and the 'air cone.' Katie liked climbing in the little play houses and up on the 'construction work site.'
Roger got his boat out to the reservoir a handful of times. Unfortunately, he didn't have too much luck with the wind this season.

In case your name is Carol and you're freaking out about the lack of life jackets on everyone, the depth here is only a couple of feet. Roger had just sailed over to us on the shore.The discovery that Katie not only fits well on top of the stroller but loves to ride up there really made my life easier this summer. With the carabiners on the handle for holding more of our paraphernalia and Seven's leash, our traveling rig is about as good as it can get.

random happy late birthday to rog

For Roger's birthday this year - back in June - we went on a hike towards Longmont Reservoir. Not the reservoir where we often hang out, but the actual reservoir for Longmont. We brought along a picnic supper and set out. On this particular occasion we were thwarted from reaching the end by some rain and a late start, but the kids enjoyed freaking Oma out by walking too close to the water on the little stretch of beach where we ate.

I like Roger and Max's matching haircuts - well, I should say hair STYLES, since Max is nicely on track for receiving his first hair cut at the age of 2 like his older brother.

After we read 'Bread and Jam for Francis' for the first time Katie switched to that diet. She did not quite grasp the point of the book, but at least she was eating something!

Max continues to sleep doing the splits. I just love what a little flexible guy he is.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

retro time

Here's a little fashion show of Max sporting some togs that I believe DAVE might have worn, oh, say 39 years ago or so. No comment on the percentage of polyester in the fabric, but I think Max pulls them off.

One day Katie came on some errands with me in Boulder. We drove down 30th Street to go return something at Macy's, and she spotted 'the ROCKET PARK.' Since learning of its existence, she asks me at least 4 times a week if we can go to THE ROCKET PARK. So, we finally hit it. Scott Carpenter Park has gotten a few updates, but is still just as fun as it was a couple of years ago when WE used to want to go to the rocket park. It will, however, take a few more visits for Katie and Alex to climb up to the top of the rocket. Luckily now that she's played there once, Katie now wants to go back even more.

(Now that I see these photos posted, I'd LIKE to say that it's my camera or a problem with blogspot, but I'm pretty sure that Max's face is indeed just always covered with some kind of goo.)

weekend with aunt mag

In August Kalle had a conference in Denver, and luckily Mag and her new little friend came along for the ride!

Alex could NOT stop kissing his new little cousin. He is so smitten with her - as are we all!

We have finally found someone that makes Max look like a GIANT!

With Mag we skipped the adventures and just hung out playing at Oma's house to maximize our time. We are still working selling CO as a better place to live!

One of the funniest things we did was play a lot of hide-and-seek. Or more accurately, watch Katie and Alex try to play. The best hiding place was when Katie 'hid' underneath the top of our mattress that I had just cut off - more on that later - right smack in the middle of our living room. Alex came out and looked and looked and could not find her, despite the HUGE lump in the middle of the floor. So funny.

Friday, September 25, 2009

weekend with lizzy

Aunt Lizard came out for Labor Day weekend. It was totally action packed.

There was a lot of wrestle mania . . .

We played at the reservoir. Alex had a grand time dumping water on Liz the entire time. Not pictured is the new trick Liz taught Katie to do in the lake . . .
We went up to Loveland and rode the train for the last time of the season . . .

We went down to the Taste of Colorado in Denver with Oma and checked out some rides and some street vendors. I got scammed by 'Egyptian COMFORT 1200' sheets - my brain read COTTON, but they are NOT 1200 thread count, and most definitely NOT cotton. A nice couple gave us their extra tickets as we were leaving, which was great since each ride was the equivalent of about $4 a person. In the center bottom Katie and Liz were rocking out to 'I Can't Get No Satisfaction.'

Since Aunt Lizard was around we added to the tye dye collection . . .
On Labor Day we went up to Georgetown and rode the Georgetown Loop. The trees aren't really changing yet but everyone had fun. Roger worked hard to get over his disappointment that the engine is no longer a steam engine and just a regular old diesel now.
As always, the visit was too short, and we're ready to have Liz come out again to play with us, the soon the better!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

in honor of max's birthday . . .

I have been a super slacker this summer, and every day I think 'I really ought to slap some new pictures up on the old blog' and then the morning dawns anew and it has not happened. Thanks to Aunt Jules for kicking me into gear. At least I know there is ONE person out there who actually checks this thing! Downloading all the pictures off of the camera reminded me of all the adventures we had this summer, so stay tuned for a recap.

In the meantime, our little Max is ONE! Katie and Alex decorated Max's cake.

We spent the morning at the reservoir - how can it be warm enough in September in CO to play in the sand in swimsuits?! - and then came home and put everyone to bed for naps - including Oma and Opa.

Max got to attack his cake before dinner. I thought he might put on a better show if he was actually hungry, but he kept his methodical approach even for chocolate cake. He would examine the cake and then choose the spot - probably based on M&M color - that he was interested in. He'd then go for a little grab and then start the process over again.

I can't stand how cute his wiry little body is, and how different he is from his brother already. Alex is a tank, and Max is just a little string bean, but still so strong and CONSTANTLY moving moving moving. He gives the best sloppy kisses ever, and loves to watch his brother and sister all the time. They are not quite ready for his kind of help with everything yet - when he comes near the train tracks they both yell 'KING KONG!' They do enjoy playing with Max's birthday loot, and even let him play once in a while.