Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Drum roll please.......

Time - 4:30am this morning. Aidan walks into our room, "Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom and my tooth came out, see? Can you put it in a safe place please?"

Whew! We've been waiting for this tooth to come out for several weeks now. One day I was brushing his teeth and noticed something white behind one of them. It was his permanent tooth coming in behind it. So we've wiggled and wiggled and wiggled it, but nothing.
Thank you corn on the cob for doing the trick. While eating it last night Aidan announced with trepidation that his tooth was really loose now. He was a little scared about losing his tooth and getting a visit from the tooth fairy, but now he's pretty excited to see what the tooth fairy brings tonight. What's the going rate, anyway??

Also, I included a couple of pictures of the boys enjoying the kid's waterslide at our rec. pool.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A zoo nestled in the mountains

Today we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs - about 45 minutes south of Castle Rock and a beautiful drive. The zoo is on the smaller side, but I think it's fabulous. It's a beautiful setting - starting off at around 6800 feet above sea level and then gaining 120 feet by the time you reach the highest set of exhibits. So lots of climbing, but there was so much packed in the zoo I barely noticed it. At times, I think Aidan did (Kellen would just ask to go into his stroller when he got tired), but overall the kids had a blast.
When you first walk in you see a ton of giraffes in a setting almost as great as the what the giraffes have at the SF Zoo. There were a couple of giraffes who kept licking each other - like french kissing, don't know what that was all about, but then we noticed you could really get up close and personal with the giraffes. They would allow you to pet them, especially if you had a special giraffe cracker in hand. Here's a picture of Kellen trying to feed the giraffe. First time he just threw it at the giraffe, but that didn't work. You have to practically place it on their tongue and they curl it into their mouths. As for Aidan....not so interested in getting up close and personal with them.

After the giraffes, we then headed off to see some other animals and came across a little train. So little in fact, it only appealed to Kellen. Not exciting enough for Aidan. So once again, here's another picture of Kellen riding the train.
Next stop, "My Big Backyard" aka the children's play area. Very cute, lots of interactive things for the kids to do and see - petting zoo, play structures, climbing structures, carousel, you name it.

After playing in the kid's area for a little while we went to find some other animal exhibits and came across pony rides. Kellen really wanted to ride the pony, Aidan not so much. So here's Kellen riding the pony, very serious work. (Although we did tell him to hold on very tight and not let go.)
After the pony ride we discovered the feline section and as strange as this sounds the wallaby section. There were 4 beautiful mountain lions stretched along their cage posing to all of us who gawked at them. They truly are magnificent creatures, but one I'm not too eager to encounter in the wild. As a fellow gawker stated, "I like them behind that cage."
The Wallabies are so cute and they seem to be pretty docile. One was laying by the wires keeping us humans out, but it actually allowed us to reach in and pet it. They are very soft and did I say cute? Don't believe me, well take a look at this next picture....

We're off again in search of the hippos! I usually find hippos kind've boring. All they do is lay in the water and you hardly see them. Well not the hippos at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Those 3 hippos are pretty feisty fatsos! The started off in the water, but one of them kept "teasing" the others and opening it's mouth and making a lot of noise. Pretty exciting. Then one walked out of the water and boy are they HUGE! It's amazing they can even walk. They have these short stubby legs and kind've remind me of an obscenely overgrown weiner dog - minus the head. (Just the body shape. Okay, maybe my imagination is a little wild.) They definitely know when it's snack time because one walked into their inside pen and soon the other 3 followed to eat.
At the zoo, I'm thinking this is pretty cool. We've seen some great animals, gotten up close and personal with them, but the best is yet to come...I think. We wind our way to the primate exhibit. I always love seeing the monkeys, gorillas and orangutans. They are pretty entertaining, but we were in for a real treat today.
We walk inside a primate exhibit and notice a zookeeper laying down with a baby orangutan on it's tummy sleeping. Now how cute is that? I guess it's mother delivered the baby boy within 2 minutes so she never really bonded with him so the zookeepers divide their time playing mommy. It's not everyday you get to see baby orangutans let alone being cuddled by a human.

We finally wander off to the gorillas thinking how sweet it was to see the baby orangutan and low and behold we look up into the grasslands as a mother and it's baby start climbing along the side of the moutain. Wow! 2 baby primates in one day, pretty cool!
As you can see we had a great time at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I actually found it more enjoyable than the Denver Zoo, but maybe we just got lucky today. I'm actually looking forward to going back to Colorado Springs to do all the other tourist stuff they have in the area. So stay tuned....

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Trip down Memory Lane

My high school alma mater has a website where alumni can publish posts informing their old friends and classmates what they have been up to since graduation. I decided to update my post informing those who are interested that we moved to Colorado. I also took a gander at what some of my long lost friends have been up to and discovered one of my dear friends Jennifer Clark had moved to Denver, Colorado in 2005. Low and behold, as I was sending her an email she was doing the same to me. make a long story short I finally got to see her and her adorable 3 month old son Rohan today. Can you say cute? He is so adorable and so little. Boy do you forget how quickly your kids grow.

Anyway, it was so great to see her and catch up on the last, I don't know, 16 years! Even though I can't believe 16 years has come and gone in an instant it seems like we never lost touch. Here's a picture of Jen and I. I forgot to have Rick take a great picture of us at the house, but this one will suffice until we meet up again...hopefully soon.

It's amazing to think how much we have accomplished since high school. Both happily married with children and living in a beautiful state and enjoying life. I wonder what life will bring us in the next 16 years....

Friday, September 14, 2007

O Happy Day!

Yippee! They've started work on our lot! We're sooo excited. We've been waiting for this moment for, well, since we decided to move to Colorado. It finally feels like we'll actually move into our new house in several months. Of course this is just the beginning, but this is a HUGH milestone for us. It's definitely something to look forward to. (BTW, Aidan was in school when this picture was taken. )

Castle Rock's indoor pool area

While Aidan's in swim lessons twice a week Kellen and I spend our time playing at the leisure pool. Of course we arrive early so Aidan has some time to play too. They have a blast and I'm looking forward to trying out their big slides too. This will be a great place to go when it's cold and snowy outside!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Aidan's favorite pasttimes

I was going to label this post as "The Karate Kid" because I have some pictures (see below) of Aidan in his karate (Tae Kwon do) uniform, but I couldn't pass up a picture of Aidan's other pasttime...

watching our new washer and dryer. It's amazing at how intriguing something we adults take for granted is for little children. I guess if you stop to think about it, what a washer and dryer does is pretty cool. It sure makes life that much easier for me. And I need all the help I can get these days with an almost 3 year in the worst stage imaginable. Kellen has tantrums multiple times a day. Screaming at the top of his lungs and throwing things. Have you ever just wanted to drop them off somewhere and pick them up when they are 4? Ages 2-3, not my favorite time as a parent. It's strange how much emotion can come from a little human being. It's like they are possessed. They can be the cutest things and the most evil, how is that possible? Anyway, back to Aidan. (Sorry, can you tell Kellen's just ended yet another tantrum.)

Aidan, unlike all the millions of American children was not interested in soccer, but he was interested in a Karate/Tae Kwon Do class so we decided to check it out. He's only gone 3 times, but he loves it and takes it VERY seriously. I think it's great. I just want him to remain active and find something he loves. He's also taking swim lessons at our community rec. center which is phenomenal. I'll have to take some pictures of the leisure pool. It's amazing.

As for Kellen, besides throwing tantrums constantly, he's just being dragged from one place to another. He's very ready for preschool or something similar, but either it's at a bad time or he's too young. I'm hoping to get him enrolled in something after he turns 3. I think Mom and child will be much happier then.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Am I a snob or a cheapskate?

So I'm missing California and all my friends and family a little bit so I decided while Aidan is in school and Kellen is napping I'd check out my friend's blog pages, yikes! My friend Brenda tagged her blogger friends to create a list of 10 things I splurge on and 10 things where I'm a cheapskate. I usually don't fall for these things, but since I found this one interesting I decided to take her up on her challenge.

10 Things we Splurge on:

(in random order)

10. - cars (Rick's really anal when it comes to taking care of our cars. I guess you can say it's a hobby of his)

9. - food (I will buy generic, but I can't get myself to shop at a Super WalMart or Super Target. I miss my Lunardi's and Trader Joe's. I try to avoid buying many processed foods. Not perfect, but I try. If I can't pronounce it I try to avoid it.)

8. - jewelry (I don't wear much jewelry, but what I do wear better be nice.)

7. - diapers (like Brenda, I've tried the cheapies and they don't work. Only Pampers for my kids. They fit their bodies the best.)

6. - furniture (I want something that lasts with two rambunctious boys in tow.)

5. - sunglasses (I need a prescription so I can't go cheap and Rick loves his Maui Jim's. Hey we hang onto them, unless they're crushed in a suitcase to Cabo.)

4. - Electronics (we want something that lasts and works.)

3. - Gas for Rick's car (hey, it requires the highest octane, really. Thankfully my car seems to be fine on the lowest, yippee, cheaper gas in CO....finally)

2. - catfood (I spoiled my cats before kids, now it's a necessity since their tummies are so sensitive)

1. - Vacations (sort've - we like to go to Cabo and take the kids places, but usually we get a good deal on a place - because of our friends in Cabo - or we find a cheap rate when we travel.)

10 Things where I'm a cheapskate

10. - make-up (I don't wear much and can't imagine spending a fortune at the mall, nor do I want to deal with my kids complaining about being some place boring.)

9. - clothes (I love nice clothes and could've added this to the splurge section, but I hate shopping - with kids in tow - so I'll usually pick something up at Target....I really need new clothes. Plus I just can't see myself spending a fortune on clothes for myself.)

8. - laundry detergent - I don't care what brand it is as long as it works.

7. - pampering myself - (what's that anyway. I rarely get a manicure, pedicure, massage, you name it.)

6. - medicine/vitamins - generics fine with me as long as it has the same active ingredients and it's safe.

5. - gas...for my car

4. - movies - we usually wait until they come out on DVD. Besides, what's a babysitter? We haven't found one yet anyway.

Well, I guess I'm more of a snob because I couldn't think of anything else where I'm a cheapskate.

Chelsey, Janet, Tara, Shannon, Deborah, Jen, Peggy - Tag, you're it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Majestic Rockies

We just returned from a wonderful trip to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. They are both located in the Northwestern part of Colorado. About an hour from Boulder. I read somewhere that Rocky Mountain National Park rivals Yellowstone, although it doesn't receive as many tourists, good news for us.
We had a great time. Our hotel was walking distance to town (Estes Park) so it was easy to grab a bite to eat and do some window shopping. And we were also only 4 miles from the entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park.
This picture is of a glacier basin which was formed millions of years ago. Amazing! Unfortunately the picture is a little hazy because it was threatening rain at the time. I'm also not the best photographer so I can't capture the beauty of this region anyway.
On Sunday, we drove to the park and took a shuttle bus to Bear Lake. It's a gorgeous alpine lake and an easy hike for young kids like Aidan and Kellen. Here are a few pictures of Bear Lake.

We then walked a mile (up/down and switchbacks) to Alberta Falls. Here's a picture of Aidan near the falls.

There are so many rocks in this area and they are a lot of fun for the kids to climb. Kellen, of course, thought he could climb just as well as everyone else and became a little frustrated that he couldn't climb as high or as far as his brother and dad. Aidan had a blast climbing the rocks and thought he was a true mountain climber.
The last leg on the hike back to the shuttle bus wasn't as fun for Aidan. He was getting tired, especially during the uphill part, but overall I think they enjoyed it. (In case you're wondering, Kellen got a ride on Daddy's shoulders.)
Later that afternoon, we headed back to Estes Park and took the kids to Fun City. A great place for families to spend a lot of money. They have a miniture golf course, massive slides, bumper cars, go karts, video games, etc.
Here's a picture of the kids (and Rick) going down the big slides.
At first Aidan was a little scared to go down the slides so Rick went with Kellen, but he eventually gathered up his nerve, went with Rick and then went by himself.
We also played a round of miniture golf. (Note to parents of two year olds - they are too young!) Kellen tried to play for about 8 rounds and then just dropped his club and ball and said, "All done!" And walked off. So Rick ended up taking him to ride the go karts and Aidan and I finished playing.
While Kellen and Rick were riding the go karts (too loud for Aidan), Aidan and I rode the bumper cars. Once again, like everything else at Fun City they both had a blast. It was hard for them to leave and they complained on the ride home that they really, really wanted to go back there. We'll have to find something equivalent here.
Monday morning we decided to head back to Rocky Mountain National Park and drive the "highest continuous paved road in the country" to the tundra region. That's over 12,000 feet above sea level. It's quite barren because the elements are too harsh for trees to survive and not many animals stay in the region year round.
Even though I've lived here for a month, trying to carry Kellen for a stretch was hard. I was actually out of breath. Here's a picture of the boys at about 11,000 feet above sea level.
It was pretty cold and windy up there too. Definitely not a place I'd venture to in the near future.
On the way back to civilization we stopped off at another great kid-friendly location called Alluvial Fan. I thought the name for this waterfall was funny until I read the information about it. I'm not going to explain this properly, but this waterfall was created back on July 15, 1982 when a dam at Fawn Lake broke. A garbage collector in the area heard the massive noise (can you imagine, HUGE boulders, trees and other debris crashing down the side of a mountain, gaining speed every second) alerted the Park Rangers who evacuated campers in a neighboring part of the park. The river connecting RMNP and Estes Park rose dramatically flooding the area and eventually the rushing water and debris came to a stop at Lake Estes. Anyway, the alluvial fan or a fan shaped deposit area was formed creating a beautiful waterfall for us to enjoy.

Enough of the science lesson, Rick and Aidan decided to climb the rocks while Kellen and I played "car wash" in the freezing cold stream. Here's a picture of Rick and Aidan near the top of the waterfall. (Or at least as far as one can safely climb.)

We're looking forward to our next Colorado excursion, so stay tuned....