Wednesday, December 26, 2007

White Christmas

Our house on the morning after Christmas after Rob shoveled the driveway

We had a White Christmas this year, maybe a little too white. It was the biggest Christmas Day snowfall on record for Denver. The drifts in our driveway were about 2' high!

Typically on holidays, we cram in visits with both families since both of our families are in town. However, with the 6" of snow that came within two hours on Christmas morning and the fact that Ethan, Ashleigh, and I were all getting over colds, we opted out of the drive to the Springs. I missed seeing my family, but we did make it over to my dad's for a little while and that trip of 2 miles took 45 minutes, round-trip, with lots of sliding on icy roads, so you can see why we made the decision not to drive the 80 miles to my sister's in Colorado Springs. After coming back home to get the truck, we did make it to my in-laws' house in Elizabeth and it was nice spending the day in one place since it snowed all day.

Other than being sick, Ethan's first Christmas was wonderful! He loved the paper and bows more than the actual gifts inside, but had lots of help from his big sister in opening presents. We gave Ashleigh a rocking horse that neighs and gallops when you push his ear, which she just loves! Ethan got an activity triangle play toy and holds onto it tightly when big sister is around. It's only a matter of time before he'll be stronger than she is and taking toys away from her.

Dressed up for church on Christmas Eve

Ethan sitting up, just before falling over again!

Ethan and Ashleigh hanging Christmas stockings

Ashleigh's new Rocking Horse

Ethan and Daddy on Christmas morning

We also started Ethan on solid foods two weeks ago and so far, he has had rice cereal, oatmeal, applesauce, and squash. His favorite is oatmeal with applesauce and a little cinnamon. I'm also making my own baby food, going off of advice from several friends who have done it with their kids. Extra special moment last week when Ethan said his first ma-ma when we were out Christmas shopping and he was getting hungry and annoyed that I wasn't stopping everything to feed him. Since he was looking right at me, I count it as his first word. We'll work on the da-das next now!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Crested Butte Trip (that didn't happen...)

I know I promised pictures from our weekend ski trip and Ashleigh's first time on skis, however, after 15 hours in the car and 6 hours of waiting for Monarch pass to re-open after a multi-car accident and avalanche blasting, we decided to turn around. It was a hard choice, considering once we were up there, how awesome 40" of powder would be. That was the total over the past 24 hours and they had another foot and a half the day before. We're still hoping we can reschedule the trip for later in the season and not lose our money, but those are details to still work out.

We did make the most of our weekend by going back to the Springs and staying with my sister and her husband. We tried to go to Cave of the Winds on Saturday, but the road was closed due to icy conditions, so double 'doh! Third try was a charm and we took Ashleigh sledding in their driveway. She loved it and didn't care what we did, as long as it was with mom and dad. I even strapped on my board for a run down their driveway and over the jump we made, but it really wasn't the same as boarding on 3 feet of powder. Next time...

Is this road every going to open?!?

Leaving the Van Briggle Pottery factory in the Springs

Mommy, Daddy, and Ashleigh going sledding


Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanksgiving and Transitions

This month has just flown by! For Thanksgiving, we went out to Rob's parents' house and had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. My mom also came, along with Rob's brother Rick who flew in from Alberqueque and Rob's grandmother from Riverton, WY was also there. Nothing too eventful, which is good because on most holidays, we rush around to two houses and have two large dinners, so it was nice being in one place all day.

This week also marks the end of the Kenzie era as this was my last week of watching her. Her mom is having a baby at the end of December and is now done with her job also. It's both sad and happy as I know Ashleigh will miss her good friend coming over three days a week. It will be good to be able to give more time and attention to Ethan now that he's almost mobile and will be starting solid foods next month. It was a good 13 months with Kenzie, but I'm definitely looking forward to the break and hopefully, won't get too bored. I seriously doubt I will be as the kids keep me busy. The kids and I went to Open Gym on Kenzie's last day, so I posted some pictures from there and my first ever blog video is at the bottom (no sound as it is from our digital camera and our video camera is not digital).

Rob worked every Saturday of November, on top of his 5 days/week, so December is looking better in even more ways. He still works the 1st Saturday of December, but is then back to normal days and no weekends in December. We're also planning a fun weekend trip to Crested Butte in December to teach Ashleigh how to ski and get some skiing in ourselves with my sister and her husband, so we're definitely looking forward to the weekend away! Pictures to follow in a few weeks...

Ashleigh and Kenzie having a snowball fight

Ethan grabs his toes now!

Ashleigh helping Kenzie on the balance beam with Kellyn behind them

Kenzie and Ashleigh playing on the bar

Friday, November 02, 2007

Kids' Halloween Costumes

Ethan's First Halloween at 4 mo

Kenzie (2 yrs) as Elmo and Ashleigh (3 yrs) as Cinderella

Janice, Ethan, and Ashleigh at the Harvest Festival

Ashleigh playing a duck game

Getting ready to trick-or-treat at the library

We celebrated Halloween this year at Pinecrest's Harvest Festival. I love that the kids have a safe and unscary place where they can go burn off some energy in the bouncy castles, playing games, and still come home with a bag of candy. They did a great job and had a walk-through-the-Bible theme to the games. Ashleigh went as Cinderella and my mother-in-law sewed her costume. For Ethan's first Halloween, he was a kangaroo. Although we only made it to the last half-hour of the festival as our new truck tires took longer than we expected, it was still fun and she got plenty of candy! We also did some trick-or-treating at library story time and the Denver aquarium last Saturday.

We also found a newer used car this week to replace the Daewoo we sold last week, a Kia Spectra. We got a great deal on it and it only has 21k miles, so it'll be a long time before that car is miled-out and we need to replace it with something else. With Rob's commute, he puts 28k miles/year on a car, so it doesn't make any sense to buy new. Hopefully, the Kia will be better than the Daewoo and it'll be easier to find parts as they are more common. One plus is that the A/C works on the Kia and just went out a few months ago on the Daewoo.

Rob's grandma and grandpa were in town last weekend, so we took a four-generation photo with Ethan - very special! They went with us to the aquarium to help celebrate Ashleigh's birthday with us too.

Four Generations!
Terry, Rob, Grandpa Don, and Ethan (4 mo)

Happy kid! I love this age with his shrieks and laughs

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ashleigh's Third Birthday!

I can't believe my little girl is already 3! The speaker at this month's Mom's R&R brunch was speaking on Sanity Savers for Moms yesterday and said that "the days last forever, but the years fly by!" Isn't that the truth with so many of my days?!? Especially this past week, between sanding our deck, the Mom's brunch, selling our car, trying (unsuccessfully) to get World Series tickets, watching the games, and Ashleigh's birthday, it's been a long week and I'm very thankful today is Friday.

We had a great birthday party for Ashleigh on Wednesday with the neighborhood kids. We did a little painting/stamping fall centerpiece craft and then took all the kids outside for a picnic lunch in our backyard. We also had cupcakes and ice cream, which was Ashleigh's favorite part! It was a fun, low-key party, which is just what Ashleigh needed with her shy personality. We are also taking her to the Denver aquarium tomorrow with a few other people, which I'm sure she will also enjoy.

Frosting and decorating cupcakes for the party

Making Fall Centerpieces with Luke and Kellyn

Picnic lunch in the backyard

Kenzie and Ashleigh waiting for cupcakes

(I know this is Ashleigh's birthday post, but I took this adorable picture of Ethan yesterday (4 mo) and couldn't resist!)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Anniversaries and Fall Fun

Ashleigh at our neighbor, Chase's birthday party

Ethan (3 mo) in his carseat

Ashleigh (almost 3) and Jonas (4) watching the Broncos

Laina (5 mo), Ethan, and Ashleigh

I can't believe Rob and I have been married for five years! The time goes so fast and I guess having kids makes it speed up even more than when it was just the two of us. Ethan is already three months and 14.5 pounds, so he also is growing quickly. During the past few weeks, we've been mainly hanging out with friends, going to the park, and enjoying the last bit of summer. They're predicting snow and a cold and rainy weekend, so we have been taking advantage of the warm weather. We even went to Cold Stone for ice cream after dinner tonight and Ashleigh just loved it! Ethan watched us with his big eyes the whole time (just like in the second picture up above) and can't wait to eat what we're eating. He gets hungry just watching us eat dinner, even if he just ate.

Earlier today, we went to storytime at the library down the street and after the books on firefighters, we took a tour of the fire station next door. That was great and my first time in a firehouse. Ashleigh was quite nervous and scared of the man in his firefighting gear and mask, but loved their pet salamander and touched it and told daddy all about it when he got home.

I can't believe our Rockies are doing so well in the playoffs! They're up two games and play their third tomorrow night, so GO ROCKIES! Wouldn't that be crazy if they win tomorrow and the division playoffs and make it into the World Series?!? Broncos on the other hand... not doing so well, but it's still fun to watch the games.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cell phone mishaps

For the record, cell phones do not survive being submerged in hot chocolate. We've been having cooler weather this week as fall is quickly approaching. What better way to bring in fall than with a nice mug of hot chocolate. I don't even know how I managed to drop it in, but I did with a big splash all over the carpet, and now it no longer works. Even with my engineering husband's wonderful talent to fix things, he couldn't get it to work again after taking it apart and cleaning every piece, it still didn't come back to life. So now, we have 1 1/2 months to go on our current contract and are hoping we can get new phones before then.

I also just realized Ethan is 12 weeks old today. He's doing great and converses with me in baby babble talk. His smiles and coos are the cutest! Here are a few pictures of the little guy. Also, potty training is going much better since my last post.

Four Generations on Rob's Dad's side

Four Generations on Rob's Mom's side

My sister, Jen, and Ethan celebrating her birthday

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Potty Training Accidents

Ugh! Just when I thought Ashleigh was potty trained, now come the accidents. We were 11 days without any incidents, but we had a pee accident on the floor in the bathroom this morning (no big deal, just throw the floor rugs into the washer and some 409 on the floor and it's cleaned up). She was also very cranky and when she refused to eat anything for lunch, I thought maybe she wasn't feeling well. After a short nap, she felt warm, so I took her temperature. I found out she had a fever of 100.6 F and was a little relieved that her crankiness was sick related.

Kenzie, Ashleigh, and I played Play-doh for a while, and I put Ashleigh back to bed. While Tracy was over to pick up Kenzie, Ashleigh woke up again after another short nap, cranky and waiting for me at the top of the stairs. I picked her up to bring her downstairs and when I was setting her down on the couch, noticed her lumpy bottom. She had her first poop accident without a diaper since we started potty training three weeks ago and it really was awful. I don't think it would have been so bad, if not for Tracy waiting for me to finish cleaning up Ashleigh and her clothes (more laundry). She did help me out by holding Ethan and keeping Kenzie out of the bathroom. However, when I made the comment, "that's the fun of potty training", after everything was cleaned up, she said "I want to have Kenzie potty trained by the time the new baby comes." Now Kenzie just turned 2 and is showing great promise by going on the potty and is very interested right now, but I really don't want to have two potty-training toddlers plus a newborn. We would never leave the house! After a day like today, I'm almost ready to put Ashleigh back in diapers (well, not quite because she did have a fever), but I'd definitely say it was a discouraging and very challenging day, to say the least.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ethan's First Camping Trip

Rob, Ashleigh, Ethan, and Janice at the falls

Ethan in the Snugli dazed by the trees

Meadow where we saw a moose on our hike

Hanging out at the campsite

Rob making s'mores with the kids

A few weeks ago, we took little Ethan camping with three other families from our small group near Grand Lake. At just 5 1/2 weeks old, he did amazing! He's definitely a trooper and babies seem so adaptable to different surroundings. He woke up once in the night the first night, then the second night was colder, so he did sleep half the night in Rob's sleeping bag and the second half in mine so that he'd be warm. He also performed an amazing feat after we got home from the trip and he was laying on the floor, he rolled over for the first time! Rob and I missed it as our backs were turned, but Ashleigh saw it and said "Ethan's doing something!"

Speaking of Ashleigh, she fell in the creek by the campsite and was drenched from head to toe. Actually quite scary as a parent as it was waist-deep water. At least it wasn't fast moving, or our little girl may have been swept away. Although she is still scared of water, but maybe that's a good thing. Here's the after picture:

We've been doing well and are getting some sleep now. Ethan started sleeping through the night a week ago, but now, Ashleigh is waking us up to use the potty. We started potty training with Ashleigh a few weeks ago and she's definitely getting the hang of it. No accidents for over a week now! Yea, Ashleigh! We're so proud of her. I'd say potty training has been THE most challenging thing I've done as a parent so far. Some parents have said potty training is the pits of parenting and others say that's as hard as parenting gets, but I'm not getting my hopes up just yet...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Family Reunion Weekend

Ashleigh feeding the giraffe at the Cheyenne Mtn. Zoo

My cousins walking around at the zoo

Hanging out at the hotel pool with the family

Jennifer, Ethan, and Me dressed alike

Ventriloquism act during a talent show

We just had a family reunion last weekend in Colorado Springs and Woodland Park for my dad's side. We went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo together on Friday, which was my first outing with both kids and without Rob. I was quite proud of myself for getting all of us ready and at the zoo in Colorado Springs by 11 am. Ashleigh's favorite part of the zoo was feeding the giraffes crackers. She just loved it! They have these long black tongues that grab the crackers right out of your hands. She also loved the alligators. Even though Rob wasn't with me, my sister and her husband helped me out and pushed the double stroller up the hills.

After the zoo, we got ice cream together, then drove out to the hotel and went swimming in their pool. We also had dinner together as a group and watched the talent show for anyone who wanted to perform. It was lots of fun and the kids are adorable with their singing acts. My sister also hosted a BBQ at their house as part of the reunion on Saturday and we enjoyed that as well as Rob was able to meet some of my family that couldn't make it for the wedding or the young kids who weren't around yet. On the way to the BBQ, Ashleigh did get car sick about two houses away from my sister's house, and while I didn't have an extra outfit for Ashleigh in the diaper bag, my sister's neighbors were holding a garage sale and happened to have 4T outfits that were very cute. Goes to show God always provides, even in the midst of a parental crisis.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chris & Ashley's Wedding

Janice, Laurie, Ethan (2 1/2 wks), and Ruby (2 1/2 yrs) waiting for the rain to stop

Ethan, Janice, and Rob before the ceremony

Beautiful Wedding!

The happy couple enjoying dinner together

Our friends, Chris and Ashley were married on July 14th in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. They had a beautiful outdoor wedding and reception in the mountains of southwest Colorado. There was a two-hour rain delay on the ceremony, but it did let up long enough to still have the wedding outside and it was very touching. My friend, Mike, performed the ceremony and did an excellent job. We had a wonderful time and got to see friends from high school I hadn't seen in years! It's like the 10-year reunion we never had. (Not quite, but probably the closest we'll have since one was never planned).

Ethan did well too for his first road trip and we took a detour through Albuquerque to visit with Rob's brother on Friday night and so he could see baby Ethan. He's the only one of both Rob's and my family (parents and siblings) that doesn't live in Colorado and we're blessed to have everyone so close. Ashleigh got to stay in Denver with Grandma and enjoyed the one-on-one attention she could give her that Rob and I can't right now, so she also had fun.

Rob's Brother Rick with Ethan