Saturday, March 20, 2010

Colorado in March

Thursday hit 70 degrees in the afternoon. Hours later it was snowing and by Friday afternoon we were buried in over a foot of snow.
Elizabeth, Gregario, and I had a great time playing out in the back yard. Gregario just loves the snow and the deeper it is, the more fun he seems to have. We couldn't stay out for very long, the blizzard conditions made it pretty hospitable. After playing in the snow we came in and had some tea. Gregario took a long nap.

Andrew 3 months old

Andrew is all smiles at 3 months old! He is such a happy little boy and such a joy to be around. He absolutely adores his sister and his face just lights up whenever she is around. He is always interested in what she is doing and Elizabeth is always interested in "teaching" Andrew something.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hummingbird Elizabeth

Our little Elizabeth definitely marches to her own drummer. The above picture is of Elizabeth ready to go to church last Sunday. The priests absolutely love seeing her every Sunday as she runs up to them and gives them a big hug and tells them all kinds of stories about how she is going to get a chocolate doughnut after church or get to light one of the candles for Jesus. She has a beautiful imagination and every day she is up to something interesting. Lately, she has been calling me Hummingbird Mommy or Mommy Kate. For a few days she decided to call me mom but that didn't go over too well. I would like to be Mommy for a few more years anyway. And my mom is still Momma and always will be Momma to me. The other night I was singing Elizabeth some songs before she went to sleep. She said to me, "mommy, we're best friends." I of course was thrilled and told her that I would love to be her best friend and that I hoped that I was her best friend someday. She then said to me, I have to lick your nose now and before I knew it, she gave me a huge lick right across my nose and glasses. She laughed and laughed and said that now we were really best friends! I have no idea how she comes up with this stuff!
The above picture is Elizabeth attempting to get ready for bed one day last week. She likes to sleep with a stuffed animal or two but on this particular evening, she went a bit overboard. From front to back is Maryland crab, Baby Doll in her car seat, Curious George in his bouncy chair, Sarah Bear (named after her friend at school), teddy bear, The Swedish Chef, and her bag/box full of Little People. Needless to say, the herd was slimmed down prior to bedtime.

And you always need a friend to bounce with in the bouncy chair! Jesus Loves Me Bunny from Great Grandma Bunny is a good one!

Friday, March 12, 2010

One for the Record Books

On the way back home from our weekend trip we took Loveland pass which for those who aren't used to Colorado mountain passes can be a bit of a white knuckled drive. On the way up you first notice all of the snow everywhere and what would normally be the shoulder of the road is now 4 feet deep in snow, then you see signs that read "No Stopping - Avalanche Area." As you begin to wind your way up the switch backs you then realize how high you are getting, how steep the mountain is, immediately followed by a quick realization that there aren't any guard rails along the road. Then come the back country skiers who at about halfway up hitch-hike their way back to the top and ski the day away in the avalanche-prone back country in search of the ultimate powder runs. At the summit are spectacular vistas of the surrounding range if its clear, typically a lot of wind and a lovely sign denoting the elevation - 11,990 ft. My dad just couldn't resist the opportunity to get his picture taken next to the sign with his "Got Oxygen?" t-shirt. Andrew on the other hand decided to forever etch the occasion into our memories commemorating the summiting of the pass with an enormous diaper busting poop avalanche that he had apparently been working on for some time. It was everywhere. So what does one do when you are at 11,990 ft of elevation on a very cold and windy mountain pass with an infant who's diaper is literally overflowing with feces and is crying because while he is revealed to have rid himself of his excrement he doesn't really like the idea of sitting in it for an extended period of time? Putting ourselves in his shoes we of course decided that we had to change the diaper, the only problem was how and where? The car was loaded to the gills after a long weekend in the mountains full of a weekend's worth of warm clothing suitable for any winter alpine adventure for three people as well as food, toys, a bouncy chair, two car seats and a growing family of four. Due to the hostile environment outside and the completely loaded car on the inside the only place left to change Andrew was the front seat of the car - also entirely full. With the utmost care not to further spread the oozing poo throughout the car Kate turnder around in he seat, sitting on her knees she extracted Andrew from the car seat and brought him into the front seat. All the while Andrew continued to protest and Elizabeth alternated between singing, asking questions, wanting to get out of the car to play in the snow, and telling Andrew "its ok."
Kate began the process of changing the diaper which we already knew was going to be one for the record books. With the steering wheel in front of me and the usual road trip junk filling the front seat there wasn't much I could do to help other than pull the wipes out of the box and hand them to Kate like a nurse handing the doctor the instruments for surgery. After about the 10th wipe I was really starting to get nervous because of rate of wipe consumption wasn't slowing down but the box of wipes was one of the smaller sized "travel" sized containers and I knew the end was quickly approaching. Fortunately, with one wipe left Kate declared Andrew to be "clean" which at this point has more of a relative meaning than an absolute one seeing as how he still had a bit of poo on his clothes. Changing his clothes was out of the question now because as it happened, his clothes were in the other car with my parents who were fortunate enough take off immediately after the taking of the lovely summit picture above. On top of that we had an hour and a half to go and he wanted to something to suck on. Typically Andrew will suck on his hands and sometimes he like to suck on mommy or daddy's hands as well but considering the sanitation problem we are now faced with this is out of the question. We used the remaining wipe to clean ourselves up as much as possible, put Andrew back in his car seat and kate did her best to try to feed Andrew, now in the back seat of the car, from the front seat of the car while wearing her seat belt. Eventually we made it off the mountain, down to the interstate, and out of the high country back down into the Denver safely. Andrew was of course taken strait to the bath tub for a proper cleansing with Elizabeth assisting mommy while I unloaded and sterilized the car.


Here we have Jan V and Jan VI with little Andrew in his super cute little red outfit.

Here we have Jan V with Jan VI in the same little red outfit 33 years ago!

Winter weekend

Last weekend we went up to Keystone with the kids and Jan and Lois. What a great time we all had. We really wanted to do something special as a family and get to spend some fun time with Elizabeth as Jan and I felt like we hadn't done anything with her since Andrew was born. Elizabeth is such a patient and loving child that it didn't seem to bother her at all but it of course bothered mommy and daddy. It was wonderful to have Jan and Lois with us. We all took turns with Andrew in the condo so that everyone could get out and do some fun stuff but Jan and Lois took the majority of Andrew duty. Thank you both!
The weather was perfect all weekend. Well, probably not perfect for all of the skiers but perfect for wanting to get outside with a 2 1/2 year old. The funny part was that we were so busy doing everything else that we didn't even miss skiing (I never thought I would say that).

One of the many highlights of the trip was a sleigh ride, hot apple cider and all. Elizabeth loved meeting the horses, Shadow and Storm and thought that the cowboys driving the sleigh were great. My mom and dad will be happy to hear that as they have been wanting to take Elizabeth to the rodeo (yes readers, my parents are HUGE rodeo fans).

There was an outdoor heated pool right across the street from our condo. Elizabeth was thrilled to get to go swimming. The water was a bit cool so we didn't stay in very long but there is always something nice and relaxing about swimming outside in a "warm" pool when it's freezing cold outside.

Elizabeth did a great job ice skating. She was not very sure about the whole thing at first but really started to get the hang of it to the point that she didn't want to go home. She is a very determined child and boy was she determined to try to get the whole balance thing down.

And wherever we go, like most parents, a lot of gear comes with us. Good by Keystone! We will definitely be back for another adventure!