Tuesday, January 29, 2008

House Progress

Now that they've framed the house things are moving along quickly. We're expected to close on 2/28 and I know the builder is eager to get our house off their books. Here are some pictures we've taken over the last couple of weeks.

Tile stacked on the roof. They stack them on the roof for a few days so the house can get used to the weight of the tile. I hope one of these days they will actually paint our house and add the stonework where the 3 front windows are as well as the the curved section on the left-hand side of the house.
kitchen - door to dining room (right), pantry on the left
kitchen a week later with the cabinets installed and the island in the middle.

part of the kitchen - where the double ovens will go.
master tub - drywall phase
master tub with part of the tile installed...my design I hope it looks good:)
master shower - drywall phase
master shower with tile partially installed
It was really dark in the master bathroom and they were in the middle of installing the tile on the floor so I couldn't walk in and get a better picture. We'll go back to the house soon and take some more pictures. I can't wait to see what they've done now.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Denver Aquarium

A Denver Aquarium? Sounds kind've weird doesn't it, considering the fact that Colorado is a land-locked state. I wasn't quite sure how great a "land-locked aquarium" could really be especially being spoiled by Monterey Bay Aquarium, but I have to say it's really a great aquarium. Lots to see and do, lots to look at and learn about. They have a section dedicated to Colorado native fish and other river animals, plus they have some Sumatran Tigers - about 4 of them. They are supposed to be the smallest of the tiger breed, but they were still huge.

The kids had a blast seeing all the different types of fish and sea animals, plus learning about different habitats. The rainforest, the desert, with it's own flash flood which occurs every 10 minutes of so. Kellen DID NOT like that part. Although he didn't mind the real thunderstorms we witnessed for the first time last summer, he definitely does not like the man-made kind. It took me a while to calm him down from that exhibit.

We had a great time with some friends we met here. They moved to Castle Rock from Santa Cruz about 5 years ago. Kenobi, the oldest is in Aidan's Tae Kwon Do class and Jaiden, the youngest is in Kellen's preschool class.

Can't wait to go back again. It may not have the beautiful surroundings like MBA, but as long as the kids loved it it's good enough for me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Either I've forgotten how to add or a little bundle is expected to arrive on or around 7/30.

Aidan - 2001

Kellen - 2004

Rick is very excited about the prospect of a girl. Sure, I'd love a girl, but I'm not getting my hopes up and the most important thing to me is that the baby is healthy. So far, all is going well and (because age-wise I'm on the cusp of being considered an older mom, ha, ha) the tests so far are promising that we have a healthy baby developing.

Rick told the kids on Monday night after my doctor's appt. Kellen looked a little scared...I don't think he knew what this would mean to him, but Aidan seemed a little more excited and remembers me having a big tummy so he keeps looking for it. I also prepped myself for the "6 year old sex talk" because I just knew Aidan would ask me about it and sure enough, yesterday evening he did. He didn't just want to know where the baby is, but how it gets in there. Whew! I'm so glad I was prepared to give him a good, honest, but not so detailed answer. I think the answer I gave him appeased him too.

As for what they wish for? Aidan goes back and forth on a boy or girl. And Kellen wants a baby.

We're excited and personally I'm looking forward to completing our family (yes no more after this one) and moving on to the next phase of our child-rearing lives.

Oh, and by the way we're set to close on the house on February 28th. We can't wait!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Playdates, playdates, and more playdates

Is it just my kid or is kindergarten the true start of a thousand playdates? I'm happy my child has a lot of friends who love to hang out with him and I've been meeting some great moms who love to have playdates with us. I'm just hoping it won't turn into too much. We'll see after Friday.

Here's Aidan's little social calendar this week:

Monday - Taekwondo at 4:30pm (has 2 friends he sometimes goofs-off with in the class)
Tuesday - playdate at our house 10am with Chris
Wednesday - Taekwondo at 4:30pm
Thursday - playdate at our house at 9:45am with Luke
Friday - playdate at Chris' house at 10am, goes to school with him then rides the bus home (a HUGE excitement for Aidan) with Brennan and eats dinner with his family. Pick-up at 7pm.

Wow! It's exhausting typing all this out. I hope he survives this week. I guess I'll find out this weekend. Aidan and Kellen start swim lessons again on Saturday morning.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ratatouille Success

Kellen received the movie Ratatouille for his birthday and it's become Aidan's favorite movie. Like my friend Brenda's kids, Aidan begged me to make Ratatouille for dinner one night. And like Brenda I scoffed at the idea thinking there is no way they are going to eat the vegetables. But to help follow through on my New Year's Resolutions and to appease Aidan I made it for my family last night. And you know what? It was really, really good! Aidan was a trooper and he ate almost 2 servings of Ratatouille and didn't even touch his rice! Amazing! Usually he will only eat rice. Kellen on the other hand didn't try the Ratatouille, but that's okay 3 out of 4 is good enough for me.

Last night we also had a "Meet your Teacher" activity at church with doughnuts and hot cocoa so after the success of Ratatouille I felt good about Aidan topping off the night with a sugar fix!

Here's a picture of our almost empty pan of Ratatouille. Thanks Brenda for the yummy recipe and thanks Aunt Susie and Uncle Ryan for the movie.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I've been hesitant on posting this because I think New Year's resolutions are just something people say to make themselves feel better at the New Year, but no one really follows through on them. However, I only have a few New Year's resolutions I feel are important enough for me to post and commit to. (Since this has turned out longer than expected I included some butterly shots I took recently took to break it up a bit.)

Essentially since we've moved here my food purchases at the grocery store (because there aren't too many grocery store options) have become bad and dismal. I pledge to change that. I no longer want to feed my family nutrition-less food for dinner, nor do I want Aidan to constantly crave junk food like he's been. He's hardly eating fruits and vegetables because every time I push, he pushes back. No more, I've devised a plan (with a little help from Jessica Seinfeld) to sneak in more fruits and vegetables. I purchased Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook and even showed Aidan the pictures. He wanted to try most everything. (Granted I didn't let him know I would be pureeing vegetables and including them in the dishes. Unfortunately my food processor is packed away somewhere so I'll be using the blender for now.)

I also pledge to include a fruit at breakfast and lunch and always have a vegetable at dinner. (The vege at dinner has been easy, but getting the kids to eat them, not so easy.)

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like I've been feeding them TV dinners and processed foods for the last 5 months, but I guess because of the lack of good grocery stores I've been on a cooking block and haven't been inspired to cook great meals.

I also pledge to cut down on everyone's TV time. During the week I limit the kid's TV time to about 1 1/2 hours. No more than that, but the TV has crept in here and there in the evening. I've noticed that even if it's on something like Discovery Channel with "Dirty Jobs" or "Planet Earth" the kids will start paying attention and then no one's engaging with each other. We're glued to the boob tube. No More! I say... now I just got to get Rick on board with this!

And last, but not least....keeping my family physically fit during the winter. I've realized it's a bit harder than I thought here in Colorado. Although it hasn't snowed too often this winter we've had some cold spells so it's hard to just go outside and kick the ball around. Besides, even though the roads clear of snow pretty quickly there are some icy spots so it makes it more difficult. Plus, we were spoiled in California with the good weather and the park right behind our house so we could always take the kids to the park, even for a short period of time. Any cold weather friends have any indoor activity suggestions? Thankfully for the most part keeping the kids active hasn't been too bad since they are soooo active. They have spent a lot of time wrestling and running from our kitchen to our front door. I'm just counting down the days until we move into our house and have more room for them to run, not to mention a backyard to play in.

What, one last thing, date night! Rick and I haven't had a date night since October when my mom and Jerry were visiting. Once we move to our house I want to have a real date night at least once a month.

Okay, so this post has turned out longer and probably more boring than I expected so I've included some pictures of our most recent excursions. To the Butterly Pavillion and to the Denver Zoo. Notice the tiger? He/she was out and loved staring at us. Made me wonder if the moat and gate was big and tall enough. Having taken the kids to the SF zoo many times I can really relate to what's happened there.