Always an adventure

NaBloPoMo – Day 27

Bet you were starting to wonder if I was going to get a post in today, weren’t you? Me too, but here it is!

Yesterday we did a little day trip to Estes Park to spend some time with my parents at their timeshare resort and we all went out for a late lunch together to this great restaurant called Poppy’s. If you are in Estes Park, check it out. :)

On the drive to Estes, I remarked to Jody that I once got carsick as a child while reading books in the car on a trip. And I wondered aloud if the same thing would happen to Ava who was, at the time, “reading” in the backseat. Not 5 minutes later, she threw up all over her shirt, and then some more into a washcloth I quickly hurled under her chin, and the some more into a Taco Bell cup also hurriedly shoved into her general direction. Oops. That’s what I get for putting that thought out into the universe.

I cleaned her up as best as I could while she was buckled into her carseat. After getting off of the two-lane windy mountain road, Jody pulled over and we were able to clean her up a bit more. At this point she decided she needed to go to the bathroom too, and I was so thankful Jody had the foresight to bring along a little potty with us. So she crouched in the back of the car and took care of business, as I rinsed her shirt off outside with my water bottle, and Jody sat in Ava’s carseat (LOL) to entertain Julian who had woken up from all of the commotion. What a sight we must have been.

Of course I hadn’t packed an extra shirt for her, but my parents had a washer/dryer at their place and Grandma got her shirt clean in no time. Thankfully, it did seem to really just be a case of motion sickness and not another round of the stomach flu (which Grandma and Grandpa both had on Thanksgiving Day this year).

Note to self: no more reading in the car on windy mountain roads.

We’re heading back up to Estes tomorrow for a few days of vacation and Jody and I are hoping to sneak out for a date or two. We actually got out tonight for a “date” of sorts while Grandma and Grandpa watched the kiddos, but it was only so we could go to another parents’ night at Ava’s school.

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep on blogging while on vacation. I really don’t think it will be that big of a deal. Between my mom’s laptop and Jody’s laptop and the WiFi at the resort, I should have no connectivity issues. I can’t promise anything extraordinary (though ya never know!), but I will be popping on. Oh, and tomorrow, at long last, I’m posting Julian’s birth story. :)

I took these pics (with a new point & shoot camera from HP that I’m trying out and will be giving away on my blog in the near future – woot, woot!) while we were up in Estes yesterday. The first one is the view as you are heading into the city. And the second one is about what our view of the mountains will be from our bedroom window.

Estes Park Mountains outside of Estes Park

Now I need to go figure out what all I need to pack for our little vacation. It seems like we are going to have to cram an awful lot of stuff (baby gate, fan AKA white noise maker, clothes, coats, hats, boots, food, kitchen sink…) into our Forester for a three-day trip. Wish me luck and a vomit-free drive this time!

Shopping, hiking and good “clean” fun (with pics)

Looking for Best Shot Monday? It’s the post below. :)

It was a marvelous weekend around here and it started early. Jody took Friday off of work so I could have a day to do things for myself. Woohoo! I started the day by running an errand to the post office to mail off my contest winners’ items. Then I hit up Kohl’s for their awesome end of the season clearance. Since the prices were so low, I figured I would pick up some things for the kids for next summer.

For Ava, I got 3 shirts, 1 skort, 1 dress, 1 pair of shorts and a pair of capri pants, all in size 5. (She’s wearing size 4T this summer, so I figure 5 is a safe bet.) It was the first time I’ve shopped for her in the girls’ department rather than the infant/toddler section and it was quite different. I guess once you are a girl, you want to start dressing like a little hootchie-mama. Ugh. I’m so not ready for that with a 4-year-old (which she will be next year). I managed to find some respectable things though and felt like I did all right. It just took more time to weed through the hootchie clothes.

For Julian, I got a bathing suit, 3 shirts, 1 sleeveless romper, 2 pairs of footed pajamas, 1 shorts/shirt set, and 1 long-sleeved romper all in size 24 months. I was surprised to see tons of cute little girls’ stuff left on clearance, but not nearly as much little boys’ stuff.

As I was walking up to the cash register, I thought about my own wardrobe which consists largely of green shirts this year and I decided to briefly look for some things for me. I found 1 t-shirt (in pink – woot!) and a camouflage skort.

All in all, I bought 18 items and, with my extra 15% discount coupon, it came up to a grand total of $94! Gotta love the bargains at Kohl’s. :)

After my shopping spree, I headed home to nurse Julian, then set out later in the day to do some reading (in peace and quiet). I stopped at Starbucks for a Blueberries ‘n Cream Frappuccino and found out they are having a story time, as well as a craft free of charge there on Thursday, so we might try to go to that. After I had my cool beverage, I went to Border’s to hang out in a comfy chair and read. (More on what I’m currently reading another time.)

After about an hour, I picked up pizza for dinner and headed home.

It was a lovely, relatively kid-free day, and being away from them for a few hours made me appreciate them all the more. I think Jody should take the day off more often. :)

On Saturday, I packed a picnic lunch and we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park to do some hiking. We hiked to two lakes (Nymph and Dream). Ava rode in the backpack on Jody for part of the time and did a fair amount of hiking herself, and Julian rode in the Ergo on me the whole time.

Nymph Lake 8/11/07Daddy n the kids at Nymph Lake 8/11/07Ava & daddy hiking near Dream Lake 8/11/07Mama and Julian at Dream Lake 8/11/07
Ava having an apple 8/11/07Julian trying to have an apple 8/11/07Ava doing some bouldering 8/11/07Ava in the backpack on daddy 8/11/07

It was a beautiful day for hiking, and apart from not remembering how much elevation gain there was on that hike (which is all the harder when you are packing a kid – boy, was I getting winded!), it was a lot of fun. Ava really enjoyed hiking on her own and did well in the pack too. Julian started getting a little fussy at the second lake so we decided to call it a day and head back to the shuttle bus which took us to our car. Both kids conked out on the drive home, and I was close to doing so myself as well. ;)

On Sunday, I tackled some of the clutter I complained about over the weekend, specifically cleaning up my “office” area. I filled an entire Vitamin Cottage bag with paper and receipts to recycle! Why I’ve saved every single receipt from the grocery store (and every other place) for the past year or so is beyond me. I’ve developed a new system and it involves only saving receipts on things I might actually need to return – not groceries. (So smart, eh?)

I should’ve taken a before and after shot, because my desk looks sooo much better now. I feel better about it too. It was good to make a dent in the huge decluttering task I have before me.

It was nice to have a relaxing, fun and productive weekend all in one. :)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Hooray! Jody gets back from San Francisco today! He’s been gone AGAIN for four days this past week. This week was harder than last. I’m sure it’s because it was two weeks in a row of having him gone. Ava seems to miss him a lot more this week too and had a couple of really rough nights, though thankfully she slept well last night and is actually still snoozing. She needs the Zzzzzzs. Anyway, I’m happy to say he shouldn’t have to travel again for a few months.

We hooked up with some friends yesterday at a cafe and the kids got to play while we listened to live music and had lunch. Then we let the kids play outside in the grass for a while. Ava found a nice pile of fresh top soil and proceeded to cover herself in it. Good times. ;) It was a beautiful day – sunny and near 70 degrees.

Today is supposed to be gorgeous as well and we have plans to go to a St. Patty’s day bonfire tonight at some new friends’ house. It sounds like a really good time. They eat, drink, play instruments, sing songs and tell stories around the fire. I don’t know how late we will stay since Ava has been going to bed earlier these days (plus I’m scared of all the drunks on the roads), but I think if we bring her pjs and put her in them before driving home, we’ll be OK.

We’ve been watching a lot of YouTube around here lately. Ava loves watching old Muppet and Sesame Street skits. Here’s one we recently stumbled upon…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Muppets – the Swedish chef, Animal and Beaker. :) Have fun and be safe.

Single parenting

Each time Jody travels for work, I have a renewed appreciation for single parents.

This week was the first time he had to leave for a few days (three to be exact) since I had Julian. I wasn’t looking forward to doing it all with both kids on my own, but I’m happy to report that we managed and even did fairly well. (His being out of town was another reason why my computer time was limited this week.)

I was quite happy and proud of myself for having both kids asleep by 8:30 all three nights. That rarely happens when we are both home! I think the fact that I was able to do dinner around 5 or 5:30 then still have plenty of time for Ava to wind down before bed helped a lot. When Jody is here working, he doesn’t get home until 6 at the earliest, usually more like 6:40, so we tend to eat dinner later than most people, which results in a later bedtime for Ava. (Of course we all got up at around 6:30 this morning which was at least an hour too early for me, but c’est la vie.)

We had some friends over for a playgroup yesterday which helped break up the time a bit. It was very nice for me to get some adult interaction and Ava enjoyed playing with her friends. And the weather has been nice the past few days so we spent a good chunk of time playing in the backyard each day. (Hooray for spring!)

Even though we made it through unscathed, I’m glad Jody only has to travel about once every quarter. I wouldn’t want to do this on a regular basis. And I’m glad I’ll have the weekend with Jody back home now so I can catch up on some Zzzzzzs. ;)

Our trip to MI (with lots of pics)

We had a very nice trip to MI and managed to fit quite a bit into a week and still have time to relax. The many pics below (taken with my lousy point & shoot camera since I didn’t want to risk damaging my nice one) show some of the highlights from the trip.

One thing we didn’t get any pics of though was our floating trip down the Au Sable River. My parents, Jody, Ava and I had four floaty lounge-chair type things that we tied together and floated down the river. Ava sat on daddy’s lap for most of the float, then came over to join me and baby brother for the end of it. It was a lot of fun, though got a bit chilly at the end when the wind started picking up.

I also feel bad because I didn’t get any good pics of Ava playing with her grandparents, mostly because when she was occupied with them, I was off doing something else. She had a lot of fun with them though – helping water flowers, picking vegetables in the garden, going for wagon rides around the neighborhood and reading books.

Jody got to golf a couple times with my dad, which was fun for him because he never golfs, but also made him realize how much practicing he’d need to do to be any good. ;)

It was nice to spend some time with my parents and not feel rushed to go do this, that or the other thing, which is usually how our visits go because there’s always some big function planned. They seem really happy and settled in their place in Oscoda.

On our last day in MI, we travelled back down state (since we were flying out of Detroit Airport) and stopped by my aunt, uncle and cousins’ house for lunch, then briefly saw my brother at his house before getting to the airport to catch our flight home. The flight was delayed about an hour and a half – first, waiting on the flight attendants, then, after they loaded us on the plane, waiting for the pilot (doh!). But we had a safe, uneventful flight home. :)

Click the pic to view it larger

A perfect day (though a little windy) at Lake Huron – 8/13/06:

Going swimming in the big lake – 8/13/06:

Practicing her golf swing with daddy (though after the way he golfed this week, it should’ve been grandma or grandpa helping her!) – 8/13/06:

We had s’more at a campfire in grandma and grandpa’s backyard (grandma and Aunt Carrie in the pic too) – 8/13/06:

At Foote Dam (with grandpa) – 8/14/06:

Chasing the fishies (minnows) down at “Three Pipes” on the Au Sable River – 8/15/06:

Looking for more fishies – 8/15/06:

Being a little fishy herself – 8/15/06:

Swimming with daddy – 8/15/06:

On the beach at Negwegon State Park (a beautiful secluded beach on the way to Alpena) – 8/17/06:

Rock thrower – 8/17/06:

In her own little world, exploring the beach – 8/17/06:

Walking on the beach with mommy – 8/17/06:

Stopping to check out the view (while Ava slept in the car) – 8/17/06:

Picking blueberries (she ate most of what she picked, right off the bushes) – 8/18/06:

Ava showing off a freshly-picked blueberry – 8/18/06:

Taking a break from picking to smile with grandma – 8/18/06:

Modeling the new tutu grandma and mommy made – 8/18/06:

Our family (in front of grandma and grandpa’s house) before the drive down state to the airport – 8/19/06:

Time to say good-bye to grandma and grandpa before we fly home to CO (at the airport in Detroit) – 8/19/06:

It’s good to be home (I confess I missed my bed and body pillow), though we’re not settled back into our groove yet. Ava and I went to a grape jelly canning “party” this morning at a friend’s house. I’d never canned anything myself before so it was cool to see how it’s all done and I’m excited to taste the jar of jelly we brought home. :)

I can’t believe that I’ll be 28 weeks along this week!! I’m really getting close to the end and I don’t feel ready at all. I have both a midwife appointment and acupuncturist appointment this week. I’m also going to look into seeing a chiropractor a time or two before baby boy comes to make sure I’m well-aligned. I’ve never been before, but I know it certainly can’t hurt.

In other news, my sister is all moved into her apartment just a few miles from our house. :) We’ve seen her more times in the past few days than we have in the last year I think! She goes for her school (3rd year law) orientation tomorrow.

Well, the kiddo is going down for a nap, and I have things to do, so that’s all for now.

Off to the Great Lakes state :)

We’re heading out bright and ridiculously early Saturday (the 12th) morning to catch our 8 a.m. flight to Michigan, where we’ll be until the 19th, spending time primarily with my folks and sis (for a few days) up in Oscoda.

The weather looks to be sunny and in the 80s for the week (yay!), except for one day of possible rain. I can deal with that. :)

After flying into Detroit Metro Airport (cuz it was the cheapest [and I use the term loosely] flights we could get of the airports available to us in MI), Mom is picking us up for the four hour drive up to Oscoda. It’s going to be a loooong day of traveling. Thankfully we’ll have the rest of the week to rest and relax before the trip back home.

My parents live within a couple blocks of the Au Sable River (right pic) and Huron National Forest and within a couple miles of Lake Huron (left pic). We’re looking forward to doing lots of swimming, some nature walks, canoeing, campfires, seeing the sights and just plain relaxing.

For those of you who don’t know, I spent the first 22 years of my life in Michigan (in the Detroit area), before moving to Oklahoma for a year and a half, and eventually to Colorado – where I’ve lived for the past nearly six years now. So while I’m going back to my home state, it won’t really feel like going “home” since my parents sold the house I grew up in and moved four hours up north to Oscoda a few years ago.

Some interesting trivia about Oscoda (and surrounding areas)…
I asked my mom to check into natural or health food stores around there because I know we’ll want to pick up some things for the week. Well, there are no health food stores in Oscoda and they only have one grocery store chain (the other recently closed down), that apparently doesn’t carry any (or very little) organic food. There’s a Wal-mart Supercenter about 20 miles from there that you’d think would carry *some* organic foods, but mom checked it out and they don’t. Gah! Thankfully, I was able to track down one health food store – Marbie’s Nutrition – about 20 miles from Oscoda, so it looks like we’ll be paying ol’ Marbie a visit. ;) Though it’s probably worth putting in a call to Marbie first to make sure they carry what I need. Anyway, I know health food stores exist in other parts of Michigan. Hell, they even have Trader Joe’s. We don’t have Trader Joe’s here! But still, the longer I’m away, the more I realize Michigan is such a DIFFERENT world than Colorado.

I know we’ll have a good time with the fam, and, even though I’m whining about it, we won’t die if we eat conventional food for a week. ;) There are just a few things that I’d like to have on-hand, specifically for Ava. So we’ll do what we have to do. :)

I hope to check in once or twice while we’re there, but I’ll be on *gasp* dial-up so I’m not holding my breath for too much Internet time, which is good anyway since I hope to be enjoying the great outdoors. :) “See” y’all in a week, with some pics and fun stories from the trip.

Just for the record, I’m 26 weeks pregnant today – only 98 days left to go according to my baby-gaga ticker. Wow!! :) Baby boy has been active as all getout lately. I swear my whole stomach lurches at times.
I talked to my midwife’s back-up a couple times this evening (because my midwife is out of town) about the abdominal discomfort I was having yesterday and today and the lightheadedness and it all sounds normal. She suggests I take a calcium/magnesium supplement to help with the round ligament pain, drink more water (is that possible??), and make sure my blood sugar isn’t dropping (i.e. eat) for the lightheadedness. She was very friendly and helpful and, while I wasn’t too concerned about what was going on, I feel much better after having talked to her.