Posted by: dlc136 | August 30, 2016

More snow…and weekend adventures

Yay waking up to more snow on Pikes Peak yesterday AM!  And I especially love it b/c it’s UP THERE and not DOWN HERE!  It was still 80 degrees yesterday and we were wearing shorts while the snow stayed up on the peak looking pretty.

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And it was kinda weird b/c we were driving home from the zoo on Sunday (more details about that later) and all of a sudden Chris noticed there was snow on the peak.  We swear it hadn’t been there an hour before but…there it was.

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So you can tell the peak got a bunch more snow Sun night into Monday.  I love snow🙂

OK, back to our weekend.  Friday everyone seemed to wake up cranky (including me) so I decided on a whim to go to the zoo after exercise class w/ Kota and Summy.  I didn’t need to do any grocery shopping or run any other errands so I figured this would be a nice thing to distract us.  Kota had fun feeding the budgies (birds) and Summy really enjoyed the birds too.  Skylar does NOT like the birds- the only time she was in there she had nightmares that night that there were birds in her bed.  So she doesn’t go in to see the budgies flying around anymore- she waits outside🙂

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Kota and Summy also had fun playing on this see saw in a little play area:

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And we saw the grizzly bears for the first time!  We’ve never ventured up to the bears enclosure b/c you have to use an elevator to get there (or walk up the stairs but we always have a stroller so we can’t do that) and there’s always a line for the elevator and I’m never patient enough to wait.  Anyway… today was our day and the 2 grizzlies did NOT disappoint!  These bears were HUGE!!!  Easily the biggest bears I’ve ever seen in a zoo- to give a size reference, they were bigger than the polar bears at the Philly zoo.  And the zoo keepers were feeding them treats when we were there b/c they needed to draw some blood so we got to see them pretty darn close up!  This picture doesn’t really show the size of the bear too well but it’s the best one I got.  I also got a video of the other bear playing in the water and trying to catch a fish.  So cool!  And as we were walking away we could hear the bears growl/roar.

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We also went into the goat petting area on Friday that we’ve never gone in before.  Summy was very focused on the poor goats tails and I kept trying to swat her hand away from touching them since they’re so close to their butts- yuck.

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We left the zoo at about 2pm and I think Summer was asleep before we were even out of the parking lot!  We sat in our driveway watching a movie (Kota), reading a book (me on my Kindle) and sleeping (Summy) til 3pm when it was time to go get Skylar from school.  She was sad/mad/bummed that we went to the zoo w/o her so I said maybe we could go back on Sunday w/ Daddy.  We didn’t do anything exciting Friday night. A photo of Summy coloring on Fri afternoon:

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Saturday- Skylar’s “Back to School Carnival” was Sat from 10am-1pm at her school.  I had volunteered to run the putt putt golf activity for the entire time and it was just me running it and I was SWEATING the whole time running around!  You’d think it would be pretty easy, right?  I mean, it’s putt putt golf.  But with elementary school kids the balls were going EVERYWHERE except in the hole🙂  And there was always a line of kids waiting their turn so I was trying to go as fast as possible.  I was pretty glad when 1pm rolled around!  Chris brought the girls and did all the activities with them.  They stopped by my activity to say hi and take their turn w/ golf.  Sounds like the girls had a nice time w/ Daddy.  Chris said he might’ve taken a photo w/ his phone so if he did I’ll add one later.  I was pooped after the carnival so we pretty much did nothing for the rest of the day!  I let S&D watch TV while Chris was napping w/ Summy in her room so I could rest for a little bit too!  A photo of Summy playing w/ stickers on Sat afternoon:

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Sunday- the zoo.  As promised, we headed to the zoo on Sunday and got there at about 10:30am and left by about 3pm.  We had a nice time but, unfortunately, the grizzly bears were no where to be seen that day- bummer!  I asked the girls to pose by the giraffes to (sort of) show how the zoo is built into the side of the mountain:

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And then just as we were getting the lions we heard the zoo keeper start their talk so we got to hear all about the 3 lion cubs (about a year old now and weight about 200 lbs!) and the male lion- 480lbs!  A photo of the girls w/ 1 of the cubs in the background:

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And then 1 of S&D “playing with” the orangutan:

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And then 1 of Chris w/ the girls over by the elephants w/ the view of the city in the background:

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You can see the clouds in the sky in this photo- maybe these were the clouds that dropped the snow on PP?🙂  So, yeah, a very nice trip to the zoo and we were all sufficiently pooped after our trip.

Mon, 8/29- snow on the peak in the AM, usual exercise class and then a couple of the exercise moms and kids headed up to Castle Rock to go to the Phillip S. Miller playground/park there.  Kota and Summy had a great time playing on everything but, unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos b/c I was too busy playign w/ them or making sure they didn’t fall down hills!  Also unfortunately, some clouds rolled in and it started raining at 12:30pm so we headed home.  And it POURED for the rest of the day!  Holy rain!  I was seeing some photos/videos on the news of the flooding in other parts of the city (my phone was beeping like crazy w/ all the flood warnings going off!) w/ rain and hail.  Holy crazy weather!  Glad it avoided our house!  But it was still raining pretty well when it was time to pick Skylar up from school so I had to bust out the rain cover for the stroller so we could walk over to the school.  It really doesn’t pay to drive to the school b/c there isn’t a good spot to park so you still have to get out of your car and walk to actually get her.  So we just bundled up in our rain coats and boots and broke out the rain cvoer.  And I brought Skylar’s umbrella for the walk home.  This is the 1st time it’s been raining at pick-up time in the (almost) year we’ve lived here!  It has been snowing several times but no rain.

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And then, of course, my wonderful view of PP on my walk in to work this AM.  I liked the couple clouds that are surrounding the peak…  kinda hard to see in the photo.

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Happy Tuesday everyone!

Posted by: dlc136 | August 25, 2016

Snow!

Yes, I’m crazy and I know there are TONS of people out there who think oppositely of me!  I’m not wishing summer away (according to the weather forecast, it’ll return this weekend) but I always get excited for that first glimpse of snow.  And that first glimpse came this AM!

I had seen some snow peeking out from under the clouds that covered the peak yesterday but couldn’t get a good enough photo to make it worthwhile to post.  But this AM we could see the snow in all its glory🙂

My grainy 6:15am photo before the sun fully came up:

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And then a couple more after the sun started coming up:

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And as we were getting the girls dressed I checked my phone for the weather and saw that it said it was COLD outside- brrr!

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And as I was heading to work today I saw some dudes working on top of a building and thought “Wow- what a great view to have while working today”.  You can just barely see the top of PP above the Midas building:

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And a view from the highway (as I was sitting in traffic)- what a view in the AM!

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And then 1 last 1 while walking into the plant- the view from our parking lot.  I don’t care how bad of a mood I’m in, this view always makes me feel better!!

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And, as a disclaimer, I took the photo above by basically holding up my phone and snapping a photo and hoping it turned out OK while focusing on traffic🙂

Happy Thursday!

Posted by: dlc136 | August 24, 2016

Adventures with Grammy

We had a really nice visit with Grammy and were sad to say goodbye Monday afternoon at the airport.

Wed, 8/17

Chris picked the girls up from daycare and then I met them in a parking lot at a shopping center so we all headed up to the airport in the minivan.  Grammy’s flight was on-time and we were right there at the top of the escalators from the train waiting to give her hugs hello.  We stopped at Red Robin in Castle Rock for dinner and then headed home (after picking up the Yota from the parking lot of course).

Thurs, 8/18

Skylar didn’t have school on either Thurs or Fri so Kota stayed home on Thurs to spend the day with Grammy too.  Chris dropped Summy off at Primrose.  Sounds like the girls had a nice day w/ Grammy- they got their toenails painted and little flowers on them too.  So cute.  I really can’t remember what we did for dinner that night… oh well.  S&D slept down in the basement w/ Grammy again and loved it. A random photo while playing:

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Fri, 8/19

We all went to exercise class w/ me in the AM (S&D and Grammy stayed at the playground while I took Summy in the single Jeep stroller w/ me) and then we left immediately afterwards to head to The North Pole.  Karen had been there before with me back in 2010 so at least she was prepared for all the hills🙂  We got there at about 11 am and stayed til the very end at 5 pm again.

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We had great weather with only a short rain shower at about 3 pm.  Otherwise it was partly cloudy which helped it not feel too hot.  In fact, there were times I was actually a tiny bit chilly!  I think the only ride we didn’t get on was the Sky Ride b/c we forgot about it right at the front of the park b/c we headed straight for the cars.  Skylar waving while riding her own car this time since there were only 2 adults- big girl!!

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Riding the airplane things:

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We stopped for lunch and afterwards took a photo by the polar bear:

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And then I rode that spinning ride that goes around and up and down 2x (twice!) b/c both S&D wanted to go on it but Karen wanted no part of it🙂  So, again, after that we headed for the train so my stomach could calm down for a bit🙂

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We rode the big Ferris wheel (the highest Ferris wheel in the WORLD is what they claim) today b/c we made sure to head over there before they shut it down b/c of the mountain lion (and they did shut it down early again at about 4 pm).  Skylar was scared of it at 1st but then wanted to go on it multiple times.  We fed the deer today- Karen got a great video where Summy was SO excited about the deer that she let out a scream and scared a deer so much it jumped sky high- too funny.

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Kota and I went on the zip line ride TWICE!  Skylar didn’t really want to go on it and Karen didn’t really want to hike up the huge hill to get to it so they headed over to go on different rides while Kota and I went on the zip line ride.  After the first time on the zip line we went on a ride right next to it and when we got off that ride we saw that there was ABSOLUTELY NO ONE in line for the zip line- how odd!  So I asked Kota if she wanted to go on again and she said YES!  But then we met back up Grammy, S&S after that.  Here’s a photo of that super spinning ride that Lisa spun me on 6 yrs ago and made me feel ill🙂

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And a photo of the girls on the cars with Summy:

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During the quick rain storm we headed to the ice cream place and had a snack while we waited for the rain to stop.

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After the rain stopped we went on a bunch more rides and then headed out at about 5 pm.  What a fun day with NO crowds at the amusement park!  A couple more photos- Summy watching S&D on the dropping/bouncing ride:

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And then 1 more time on the kiddie ferris wheel- Summy was actually able to go on w/ only S&D w/ her:

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Chris and I headed up to Morton’s Steakhouse in Denver that night for our anniversary dinner- thanks Karen for watching the girls!  As we were driving home from The North Pole a HUGE thunderstorm rolled in- yikes!  I jumped out of the car so I could head in and get a shower while Karen waited in the car w/ the girls to see if the rain would let up at all so everyone wouldn’t get as wet getting out of the car.  The thunderstorm was quite a big one and it was still raining quite hard when Chris and I left our house at about 6:30 pm for Denver.  We were, of course, late for our reservation, but we still got a table immediately and had a super nice dinner.  I got a combo plate thing w/ a filet, bacon wrapped scallops and shrimp.  Yum!  Chris, of course, got a big ‘ole filet and we shared some mashed potatoes.  Oh, and I actually splurged and got a glass of wine- a Riesling that was very tasty.

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Chris wanted to walk around Denver (16th St Mall or just down Wynkoop) a bit but it was 9:45 pm by that time and it was still going to take us an hour to get home so I was the lame-o and said no, I want to head home.  A very nice evening dining without kids- yay🙂

Sat, 8/20

We didn’t do much that day.  I went to the grocery store to get food for Summy’s “party” on Sunday.  And a cold front had moved in w/ that rain storm the night before and it was COLD Sat AM when I went outside! 55 degrees- brrr!

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Unfortunately, I FORGOT to pick up a cake while I was at the grocery store.  Doh!  So I had to go back during Summy’s naptime to pick one out- and I ended up choosing a small marble (choc/van) cake and then chocolate cupcakes.  While Kota and I were at the grocery store getting the cake/cupcakes, Karen ended up walking to the playground and then park w/ Skylar and neighbor Alli.  The trek home from the park was quite the hike for everyone coming back up the hill to the neighborhood!  Bret, Pub and Maya arrived at about 5:30 pm.  They had hiked a 14er (Mt. Bierstadt) that day and then headed down to the Springs.  Bret carried Maya on his back the entire hike- very impressive!  They said they had a good hike but, unfortunately, Pub had some altitude sickness so she wasn’t feeling 100% that evening.  I had made chicken and cheesy potatoes for dinner but they had all eaten a late lunch and weren’t very hungry so it was just us eating while the Meldrums showered and got cleaned up.  We sat around after dinner chatting for a bit while the kids played.  I think I put Summy to bed at about 9 pm and then everyone else was heading to bed by ~10 pm.

Sun, 8/21

Summer’s birthday party/lunch!  I made french toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast and then we started getting ready to head over to Fox Run Regional Park to celebrate Summer’s birthday.  I had gone to get a couple balloons for Summy and picked up 1 for each of the older girls too:

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We picked up sandwiches from Jimmy Johns on our way there and I also brought fruit (cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes and peaches), chips and pirate booty.  We got to the park and, unfortunately, couldn’t find a picnic table to sit at (we got there kinda late at about 11:45 am) so we decided to just have a picnic on the ground and chose a nice shady spot.  We played on the playground for a bit and then got out the soccer ball and Frisbee and played with those for a bit.

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A good action shot of Skylar throwing the frisbee:

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And Kota had a couple good throws too- too bad she was throwing where no one was standing🙂  And check out Summy and the action shot of her kicking the soccer ball!

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Then we all got kinda hungry by about 12:45 pm and headed back to our spot to eat our sandwiches.

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I like this photo b/c it looks like Summy is trying to drag the balloons w/ her somewhere:

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I tried desperately to get a photo of Summy sitting in Grammy’s lap but she wouldn’t look at the camera for me.  But then Bret tried and he got a good one and I asked him to send it to me:

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And one of Kota looking cute:

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And then 1 of Maya chillaxin in 1 of the chairs:

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After sandwiches we broke out the cake and sang Happy Birthday to Summer.  We couldn’t get the candle to light b/c of the wind so we just simulated blowing out the candle and the look on Summy’s face was priceless.  Everyone was saying “blow out the candle Summy” and she had this look on her face that said “Huh?”

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After cake we broke out the bubbles and blew bubbles for quite a while and all the kids loved that.  In fact, we made some new friends b/c other kids came over to help chase and pop the bubbles🙂

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Summy was getting a bit cranky after that (she woke up w/ a cold/runny nose on Sat or Sun AM- can’t remember exactly which one) so we started packing up and heading out.  We sat in a shady area near the cars to let Summy unwrap her gifts from the Meldrums and she loved unwrapping the gifts!

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We said bye to Bret, Pub and Maya and I think we were leaving the park at a little before 3 pm?  The girls had a terrific time playing together!

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Kota had a birthday party for a Primrose friend that evening at 4 pm til 5:30 pm at a place called Little Monkey Bizness that we’ve been to before.  She had a great time playing w/ her friends and she talked Grammy into coming w/ her and me to the party.  Fun times.

Mon, 8/22

Happy 2nd birthday Summy!

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We all (well, except for Chris who had to go to work) walked Skylar to school and then headed to exercise class as usual.  Kota stayed w/ Grammy on the playground and riding her bike while I kept Summy in the stroller w/ me again.  After exercise class we headed straight to Garden of the Gods b/c Karen has never seen it and said she wanted to see it.  We walked around a bit and Karen loved seeing all the pretty views.  Here’s Grammy w/ Summy and Kota and Kissing Camels (or Camel Kissing a Frog’s Butt if you’re Ellie and Hannah) in the background:

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And a selfie of Summy and Mommy- she was pretty tired after running around at the playground and then at GoG plus she was still battling her cold:

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After that we headed home to get some lunch, I took a shower and Karen packed up.  Then we piled in the car, picked up Chris from work and headed to the airport.  Everyone fell asleep on me while in the car.  I held my phone up in selfie mode and snapped a photo and managed to capture everyone sleeping🙂

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One last random photo in the airport:

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Chris and the girls waiting to see Grammy go down the escalator to the train:

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Waving bye- there were many tears from Skylar and even some from Kota:

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Then we headed home and decided to stop at Texas Roadhouse in Monument for dinner for Summy’s birthday.  I joked on FB w/ the caption to this photo being “…Ok, ok, ok.  So the steaks were more for Chris and me than the 2 yr old whose birthday it actually was”🙂  But there are also $0.99 kids meals on Monday nights so we couldn’t pass up that deal!!

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And then after dinner Summy was playing w/ my napkin being silly:

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And a couple last photos before bedtime when we took the obligatory photo in the recliner to mark her growth:

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And then of course S&D wanted to join in on the photo action!

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And now it’s Wed night and it has been the usual work/week night routine for Tues and Wed.

This weekend we have Skylar’s “Back to School” carnival on Saturday from 10am-1pm.  I volunteered to run 1 of the activities so hopefully it’s not too torturous🙂  No visitors for us this weekend though- we’re going to be lonely and not know what to do with ourselves😉

Posted by: dlc136 | August 16, 2016

Miscellaneous

A bunch of hodge podge things I’m remembering right now:

Skylar got a couple Target giftcards for her bday and she wanted to go shopping.  OMG- what an experience.  It was a math lesson, for sure, for her!  I’m not always the most patient person when it comes to teaching math either, unfortunately.  Many times Chris has to take over helping her w/ her math homework b/c he’s way more patient with this stuff.  Anyway, back to Target… of course she wanted EVERYTHING she saw but then I started talking about how much things cost vs how much $$$ she has on the GC.  So we stood there and talked about what she could get if she got 1 big thing vs several smaller things, etc.  It was definitely a good lesson for her!  Unfortunately, it was kinda torturous for Kota b/c she didn’t have any bday GC’s to be able to spend and she wanted to get stuff too😦  Anyway, here’s Skylar on Mon night w/ her things that she picked out- Shopkins stuff and a couple books:

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I let Summy play in the water at the kitchen sink Mon afternoon and she is now addicted to playing in the water (just like Skylar and Kota were at this age)- but at least it kept her quiet and occupied while I was cooking dinner!!

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And I found an old one of Skylar and Kota sharing the sink in Dec 2012:

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And another one from Feb 2013:

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And then 1 of poor Nittany who was stuck on the stairs b/c we had the gate up🙂

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And a couple more recent ones from Chris’ phone from our day at Breck w/ the Grotes- S&D getting their harnesses on so they could do the zipline.

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And then 1 of the 5 of us at Dillon Marina on Tues AM before heading to Breck:

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And an older one from Chris’ phone.  We were at Skylar’s school playground and the sun was shining beautifully thru the clouds:

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And then a couple of Ranch Dressing girl from this past Sat night at Red Robin:

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And 1 more old one from May 2013- look at Kota here!  Too funny and cute:

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Not too much else is new here.  Can you believe Summer’s going to be 2 on Monday?!?

And Grammy arrives tomorrow- the girls are VERY excited!

Posted by: dlc136 | August 15, 2016

First Day of 2nd Grade

Skylar had a good 1st day of 2nd grade!  We all walked to school together (after taking the obligatory “First Day” photo out front of course).

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The obligatory photo in front of her school sign w/ Pikes Peak in the background and Kota off to the side🙂

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We all walked her to her classroom too.  A picture in front of Mrs. Hough’s Welcome Wall- Skylar’s name is at about 1 o’clock above Skylar’s head:

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And then a photo w/ Mrs. Hough:

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And a photo of her desk:

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And now Skylar sitting in said desk:

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One last hug from Daddy:

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And then we left her in peace to do her Word Find and get her day started.  No tears from Skylar or anyone (mainly me).  She got hugs from both Kota and Summy too but I didn’t snap a photo of those.  She was 1 well-documented little girl this AM🙂  I was actually a little bit sad yesterday thinking about Skyar heading back to school.  I have actually enjoyed (despite all my rantings and ravings that might say otherwise) having all my girls at home w/ me during the summer and having no “set schedule” of when we need to get to school, when I need to get Summer down for a nap so she can be up in time to go get Skylar, no ballet classes, etc.  But now it’s back to the school-year grind… suck it up Mommy and get back in the groove!  Skylar said she was ready to head back to school and see her friends and everyone so that made me feel good.  She actually has 3 or 4 kids from her 1st grade class in her 2nd grade class.  Anaya, who came to her bday party, is in her class as well as 2 other boys.  We saw 1 of her 1st grade classmates on the lawn after school and they said hi to each other.  I can’t remember if I mentioned in my last blog post that there are 4 2nd grade classes?  There were also 4 1st Grade classes last year.

The rest of the day was a typical Monday- exercise class, playground, trip to Target, lunch, naptime and then heading back to school to pick Skylar up at 3:15pm.  Kota got to ride her 2-wheeler to school though so she was excited about that!  I had thought of something else I wanted to add to my blog post but now I’ve forgotten what that was… oh well.  It either wasn’t that important or I’ll remember it later and write about it.

OK, this is just a short post b/c I stayed up too late last night watching the Olympics and finishing my w/e blog post.  So it’s an early bedtime for me tonight!

Posted by: dlc136 | August 14, 2016

Adventures with the Nagles

We had a great weekend with the Nagles!  We were very sad to say goodbye to them this afternoon😦

Thurs, 8/11

Happy 15th anniversary to us!  We celebrated by going to Skylar’s Back to School night and meeting her teacher and then heading to Red Robin for dinner🙂  We left Kota and Summer at Primrose and just Chris, Skylar and I headed to Academy Endeavor to Back to School night.  Skylar will have Mrs. Hough for 2nd grade and she seemed very nice.  She has been teaching for 31 yrs and is actually a Colorado native!  We also signed up for a “Get to know you” 10-min interview for Friday @11am.  Dinner at Red Robin was good- we had milkshakes and mac and cheese and burgers- yum🙂  We’re also going to head to Morton’s Steak House in Denver when Karen is here visiting- she said she’d watch the girls for us while we went out- thank you!!

Fri, 8/12

We had a follow-up dr appt for the cyst on Skylar’s butt and the PA (who turned out to be the mom of 1 of Dakota’s Primrose classmates!  When we walked into the office Kota said “That’s Hunter’s mom!” and she said “Yes, I am :)”) was very happy (and a little surprised as even she admitted) with the progress and improvement in the cyst.  She didn’t feel any further action was required and we’re just going to finish out the 10 days of the antibiotic and make sure nothing gets worse.  Yay!  The appt went SO quick (it was @8:30am so I was pretty sure i wasn’t going to make it to exercise class but thought I might go to the gym so I put on my exercise clothes) that we actually made it to exercise class!  I stopped back at home quickly and put Kota’s bike in the car so she could ride while Skylar sat in the stroller and then headed to the park to meet up with everyone.  It always starts my day off well if I can make it to exercise class!  Today was no exception- I get my adult interaction with everyone, the girls get to play w/ the kids and then we get to play on the playground afterwards.  Win win situation!  A photo of all the kids playing after class- even Summy was allowed to play w/ the big kids!

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After class and the playground we headed Skylar’s school for her “Get to know you” interview.  I had to bring Kota and Summy w/ me but they behaved nicely and we had a nice quick chat w/ Mrs. Hough.  After that we headed to the grocery store to re-stock our fridge b/c it was VERY empty!  We definitely needed to get some food before Lisa and the girls showed up.  The afternoon was uneventful- naptime, finishing up laundry, getting the beds ready, etc.  The Nagles arrived at ~5:30pm and they said they had just driven thru a bunch of hail by the Air Force Academy.  Yikes!  Luckily no damage to John/Marilyn’s car.  We hung out for a bit and then decided on dinner and Lisa and I went out and picked it up- Steak ‘n Shake for burgers and Pei Wei for some Chinese- yum!  John/Marilyn and John were staying at a hotel so our house wasn’t SUPER crowded and Lisa and the girls slept at our place.  I think it all worked out well.  We ended up having the 4 girls sleep in the basement on the 2 air mattresses and Lisa was in S&D’s room in 1 of their beds.  Sorry for the twin bed Lisa!  There was a thunderstorm that passed thru right as we were trying to get the girls in bed so that had them all a little scared but Lisa laid down there with them for a little bit and they all fell asleep.  Lisa and I watched a little of the Olympics but then we went to bed too.

Sat, 8/13

We headed to The North Pole in Cascade, CO- it’s an amusement park that we (the Nagles, Karen, Skylar and I) had gone to 6 yrs ago!  We’re pretty sure Chris and Mike were hiking or camping or something and that’s why they weren’t there.  Anyway, we headed there for the day and had a fun time.  I’d say this place is the size of Dutch Wonderland minus the water park area.  It’s a fun little place and not super expensive (I had coupons so it was ~$16pp to get in and ages 2 and under and 60+ are free!  Nice!)  Anyway- here are the girls in the sled by the entrance:

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We went on the sky ride first- just like they have at DW but you ride it round trip (no getting off at the other side)- from there we were able to see a lot of the rides that they had there.  We headed to a spiral slide next where you sit on a burlap bag and ride down it.  Even Summy could go on this one w/ an adult- she LOVED it!  In fact, all the girls loved it and could’ve stayed on that for hours!  After that they rode the little kid ride- some airplanes- with Summy.  Hannah was a little crammed in on that ride for sure!  After that we headed over to the cars like they have at DW too.  Here’s a photo of Chris and Kota and you can see the spiral slide (peppermint candy stick looking thing in the background), airplanes, and the tilt-a-whirl in the background:

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While the big girls were going on a bigger kid ride (kinda like the Musik Express ride in OCNJ) I took Summy on the motorcycle little kid ride:

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Everyone went on the tilt-a-whirl after that (even Summy) and loved it!  Chris got photos and videos w/ his phone so I’ll have to add some photos later.  After that we went on this other ride that went around and up and down (not a very good description of it, huh?) but suffice it to say that it made me feel kinda nauseous.  Ugh.  So I needed to take a break for a bit after that!  John didn’t feel too good either (he had gone on w/ Skylar b/c there was NO WAY Chris wanted to go on that ride).  Lisa went on w/ Hannah (Ellie sat by herself) and she said she felt fine.  So we headed to the train next and rode that so our stomachs could settle down a little🙂  Again, Chris has the photo on his phone so I’ll have to add it later.  I think after that we decided to get some lunch and just got burgers and hot dogs from a place nearby.  A photo of the group after lunch looking in some of the shops by the food place:

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After lunch we decided to head over and do the Santa’s Sleigh zip line ride in case any storms rolled in in the afternoon- we didn’t want to miss out on the good rides.  Unfortunately, the wait time for that ride was over an HOUR!  O.M.G.  Luckily there were 2 rides nearby that the girls could ride over and over again while the adults waited in the zip line line.  Here are the big girls (poor Summy was stuck in her stroller and couldn’t go on these rides) on the rocket ship ride:

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I rode this ride w/ them 3 times b/c technically S&D were supposed to have an adult w/ them b/c they are under 48″ tall but then the ride operator just let them on w/o me so I was pretty happy I didn’t have to keep going on.  We also rode the other ride that was nearby but I forget what it was called.  I went on w/ Skylar and Lisa rode w/ Kota b/c the ride went around in circles and Chris doesn’t like those kinds of rides.  Thanks Lisa!  And then FINALLY it was our turn for the zip line!  Yay!  It was really fun but not sure it was worth an HOUR long wait (but then again, there are very few things that I think are actually worth an hour long wait!).  I have a photo of Chris and Skylar from my phone and Chris has 1 of me and Kota on his phone:

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You loaded into the sleigh at the bottom of the hill and then they dragged you backwards up the hill on the line and then released you down the hill.  I think the most shocking/surprising/jarring part was the abrupt stop at the bottom of the hill/ride!

After the zip line we headed to get some ice cream but made a stop to ride the merry-go-round first:

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We were still hoping Summy would take a nap in her stroller so she didn’t get to go on the ride.  Unfortunately, she showed no signs of falling asleep in the stroller so we gave up trying and just let her go on as many rides as she wanted.

Ice cream break!

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After that we went on 2 rides that were near the ice cream place- the lady bugs and the Xmas tree ride.  IMG_2547a

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And then the Xmas tree ride that is kinda like the Dumbo ride in OCNJ- you push/pull a bar to make yourself go up and down while you go around in a circle.  And my caption for this photo was “Hey, Summer, you’re not supposed to EAT the ride- you’re supposed to just ride on it!”

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And a photo of Hannah and Skylar in front of us:

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And then during a bathroom break, Hannah happened to see this little guy staring at everyone from underneath the wood beam- good eyes Hannah!

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Then we headed down a hill to an area that had ~10 rides grouped together and all the girls had a great time riding them over and over b/c the crowds had thinned out by this point so they could just get right back on the ride as many times as they wanted.  A photo of a ride that just went around (quite fast I might add!) in a circle:

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I was riding w/ Summy and all the big girls were in front of us.

Then the big girls went on this little Ferris wheel thing:

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And then while the big girls were going on this spinning ride thing (I only got a video of it- no photo) I put Summy on this little kid ride:

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She looks thrilled, doesn’t she?  She was SO tired but just would NOT go to sleep in the stroller!  Anyway, the big girls went on the roller coaster too:

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And Summer went on the fire engine ride ~3x while the big girls went on the roller coaster and then the spinning ride again.  Then all the big girls wanted to cram onto the little kid ride w/ Summy:

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And this photo is a little blurry but Summy absolutely loved this race car ride and was yelling “Yay!” randomly during the entire ride🙂

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They also went on a boat ride (similar to the 1 in OCNJ) and a ride where you sit in a seat and then it raises you up and then drops you (similar to the 1 in OCNJ near the caterpillar roller coaster) but I’ll skip those photos.  By this time it was ~4:30pm and the park closed at 5pm.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get on the big Ferris wheel b/c they closed it early b/c a mountain lion has been spotted in the park at about this time each day so, as a precaution, they close the Ferris wheel (the area where the mtn lion has been spotted everyday).  Bummer that we didn’t know they were going to do this!  We would’ve made sure to go on it earlier in the day!  Oh well.  So we headed up to go on the Scrambler and then do the maze and then it was 5pm and they were kicking us out🙂  As we were waiting in line to exit, wouldn’t you know it, Summy fell asleep in her stroller.  OMG kid- you couldn’t just wait til the car?!?  Poor little girl was just all tuckered out from a very exciting day!

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I was SURE she would wake up when we put her in her carseat and then be a bear for the rest of the evening but she actually stayed asleep when Chris xferred her from the stroller to car!  Amazing!  We decided to head to Red Robin for dinner- here’s our table of 11 (we were sitting next to a table of 25 people- wow!):

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Summy was getting a little itchy at the end of the meal but she occupied/entertained herself by reaching over and grabbing the cup of ranch dressing they brought out w/ the fries and proceeding to EAT the ranch dressing by itself-  yum!  Or should I say- ugh!

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But, hey, it kept her quiet so we weren’t about to take it away from her🙂  After dinner we headed home (John/Marilyn and John to the hotel), got baths and went to bed.

Sun, 8/14

I woke up this morning and saw that it was already 7:40am!  Wow- everyone slept in LATE!  So I jumped in the shower and started the getting ready process and when I went downstairs I found Lisa reading to Kota- so cute!

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Our adventures for today were Garden of the Gods and then Cave of the Winds.  Both were fun and we had excellent weather again.  A photo of the girls in GOG:

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I forget who said it 1st but either Hannah or Ellie said they thought that Kissing Camels (supposed to look like 2 camels facing each other kissing) looked more like a camel kissing the butt of a frog.  And as soon as they said that I could totally see it and I’ll never be able to look at Kissing Camels again and not see a frog’s butt🙂

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Playing in the fun crack in the rocks with E&H this time:

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Hannah asked Lisa to hold her hat while she climbed thru- Lookin’ good Lisa!🙂

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We did the usual loop around the Central Garden area and the girls enjoyed running and climbing on as many rocks as we would let them🙂

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A photo of Lisa from my vantage point when she was helping E&H climb up some rocks- Hello over there Lisa!

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And then of course a photo of 1 of my favorite views in GOG:

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And then a group selfie as we were heading back towards the car:

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We only spent about an hour in GOG since we had gotten a late start to the morning and we had a 2:30 tour reservation at Cave of the Winds.  We made a quick stop at A&W/KFC in Manitou Springs for lunch and then headed over to Cave of the Winds.  Neither Chris nor I have ever been there so we had no idea what it would be like.  We signed up for the basic 45 min tour of the cave (they have more extensive tours of 2+hrs but we didn’t think the kids would tolerate those very well) and it was pretty cool in my opinion!  Summy got a little loud about halfway thru the tour and I had to work pretty hard to keep her quiet but, overall, I really enjoyed the tour.  They also had a couple “rides” there- a ropes course, a zip line thing, and then this bungee jumping type ride where you sat in a seat and then they dropped you off a platform and you swung back and forth over the canyon.  Of course I’m not explaining in very well but you an check out their website if you want to see it:

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We stood on the balcony/deck area checking out the canyon below:

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And then it was our turn for our tour- we had to meet over by the big black stuffed bear- the girls loved it!

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Summy just kept giving the thing big hugs but it kinda looks like she’s mauling the poor bear in this photo🙂

A photo of Lisa inside the cave at the beginning of the tour:

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And then 1 of the group walking thru a different part of the cave:

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I think all the bigger girls really enjoyed the tour- well, for the most part.  There was 1 part where they took you into a darker room and then turned out all the lights so you could experience “cave darkness” and I don’t think any of the girls particularly loved that part!  They all seemed kinda happy when they turned the lights back on🙂

After that we said goodbye to the Nagles b/c they had to head back up to Greeley b/c John has to work tomorrow.  The Nagles leave tomorrow night on the red-eye flight from DEN to PHL.  Thank you for coming down to the Springs Nagle family!  We loved having you visit!

Next up- Skylar starts 2nd grade tomorrow and Grammy arrives on Wednesday!

Posted by: dlc136 | August 11, 2016

Adventures with the Grotes

The Grotes arrived on Sat, 8/6 at about 4:30pm.  We hung out in the front yard watching the girls play together.  They all got along wonderfully and just immediately started playing with each other- yay!  We finally decided that we wanted to order from Noodles for the girls and Chris and Priscilla, Brian and I were getting mexican for dinner.  Yum!  It was the 1st of several late nights for all the girls. Summy was the 1st to go to bed at about 9:30pm- holy LATE bedtime for the little girl!  She was a trooper tho w/ staying up so late.

Sunday, 8/7

We drove to the top of Pikes Peak and also toured Garden of the Gods.  It was a VERY full and busy day!  We left our house at about 9:30am and had to wait in a bit of a line to get thru the pay gate at Pikes Peak.  We made a stop at Crystal Reservoir first to look around:

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But then the clouds started rolling in so we decided to forego any further stops and head straight for the top in hopes of beating the clouds.  We didn’t succeed 100%- we got a small view of the ground before clouds totally rolled in.  And, man, was it cold up there!  Cloudy and 48 degrees at the top- brrr!

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And 1 of Chris and the girls on the other side of the top- you can see the big cloud rolling in behind him:

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We headed inside after exploring the summit and got a snack at the snack shop- donuts and fries- yum!  On our way back down our minivan’s brakes were too hot (I was only using 2nd gear (vs. 1st gear) and it wasn’t slowing me down enough and I had my foot on the brakes the entire time) so we had to pull over (they have park rangers who check your brakes at a certain checkpoint and recommend whether or not you need to pull over).  So we explored that area for ~20-30 min while our brakes cooled down (the Grotes were fine- they used 1st gear).  We stopped at 1 or 2 more stops on our way down too but I plan on sharing ALL of our photos on Shutterfly so no need to inundate the post w/ photos.  After we got off of Pikes Peak we headed to a Jimmy Johns to pick up sandwiches and to eat at Garden of the Gods.  Garden of the Gods was PACKED too but we managed to find 2 parking spots in the Kissing Camels parking lot.  It was seriously like Christmas time at the mall where you are stalking people heading back to their car so you can get their parking spot!  It was insane.  And we were all borderline HANGRY (hungry+angry) so that didn’t help the situation either.  But we survived, ate our sandwiches and everyone had a blast running around and exploring.  Priscilla was enthralled w/ the rock climbers and watched them for quite awhile while the girls found a crack in between some rocks that they would’ve played in for the entire time if we had let them.

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A family photo:

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We hiked all around the Central Garden area (the prettiest area in my opinion) and the girls loved all of it:

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And I captioned this photo on FB, “Hey, who’s that creepy guy in the background?!?”… Brian photo-bombing our photo of the girls:

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It was another late night for everyone on Sunday- but also a super fun day!

Monday, 8/8

We were attempting to get up and out the door as early as possible b/c the Grotes wanted to see Seven Falls in the Springs before heading up to Lake Dillon.  We managed to leave our house at about 9:30am again and got to Seven Falls at about 10:30am or so.  The Broadmoor bought Seven Falls several years ago and changed it around a bit.  You now have to park in a parking lot near The Broadmoor and they bus you over to Seven Falls (~ a 10min drive).  That’s OK b/c there really wasn’t a lot of parking there anyway so it’s a much better setup.  I had attempted to go to Seven Falls in 2012 when I was out in CO for 2 weeks when Oracle was launching and a co-worker and I thought we had a couple hours before we had to do some testing.  So we headed to Seven Falls but just as we got there it started thundering and then we got a call asking us to head back to the plant.  So we never made it up the falls.  Bummer.  Anyway, back to Monday.  The Broadmoor has really put a lot of $$$ and effort into sprucing up Seven Falls!  It was quite pretty!

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And now the whole group:

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It was a 8/10 mile walk from where they drop you off to where you start climbing the falls and it was just gorgeous!  Unfortunately, as we got to the point where you start climbing the stairs it started raining.  Ugh.  So we waited for the storm cloud to pass and then started our climb up the stairs.  Chris was carrying Summer on his back and Brian carried Madeline on his back.  I do NOT envy them for having that extra weight on their backs going up the 224 steps to the top!  I’m not gonna lie- it was a little bit scary going up and down those stairs!  I had a pretty good grip on that railing the entire time!  Once we got to the top we did a small little hike and then decided it was getting late and we headed down.  The view looking down the stairs to the bottom:

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The water was that muddy brown color b/c a storm had passed thru Sunday night which stirred up all the dirt in the water.  Bummer!

And a group selfie coming back down the stairs:

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We took Hwy 24 thru Fairplay and Breck to get to Dillon rather than heading up I-25 to I-70 to take the “scenic” route there… figuring the Grotes would take I-70 on their way home on Sat.  We stopped at Wilkerson Pass to admire the view looking out towards the “high plains”.  We also stopped at the top of Hoosier Pass (altho there isn’t as pretty of a view from that pass) before heading down into Blue River and then Breck.  I think it was ~5pm by the time we made it to the house.  We explored the house a little and then brought all our stuff in and chose bedrooms.  The house was pretty darn nice!  There were 6 or 7 bedrooms and 4 or 5 bathrooms so it was definitely HUGE!  It was right on Lake Dillon- the view from the deck:

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The only thing that was a little tough for me was that, in true Carl/Carla decorating fashion, everything was quite modern and stuff that Summer could hurt herself on or break.  The dining room table was glass as was the coffee table.  The chairs were very modern Eames chairs that were a bit unstable w/ a (almost) 2-yr old climbing on them.  So we pretty much had to shadow Summer the entire time to make sure she didn’t break something or hurt herself.  We decided to head over and check out the party boat to see if we could take a ride on it.  Unfortunately, the marina closed at 6pm and we got there just a bit after 6pm so we couldn’t get on the boat (we didn’t have the right key to unlock the gate to the dock).  A funny side-story- Carl had told Brian that the boat was in slip G-1.  And, sure enough, there was a party boat in slip G-1.  But, as I said, we didn’t have a key to unlock the gate to get onto the dock so Chris scaled the gate and climbed onto the party boat to go around and unlock it from the boats side of the dock- way to go Chris🙂  Brian got on the party boat to look for the key under the drivers’ seat (b/c that’s where Carl said the key would be hidden) except that this boat didn’t have a drivers’ seat.  So we were on the wrong boat!  Ooops!  And this boat didn’t have any life jackets so we couldn’t take it out even if we had found a key.  So we stood there debating what to do for a bit and trying to get in touch w/ Gayle or anyone who might know more about where this boat was- but we didn’t have any luck.  So we decided to come back Tues AM and take a boat ride first thing in the AM before heading to Breck.  Since it was kind of late at that point we decided to go to Pug Ryans for dinner (vs cooking something for dinner) and had a nice dinner.  Pug Ryans has changed A LOT since the last time I was there (probably 2008 or 2009)!  They put on an addition, built an outside deck facing the main street area, moved the bathrooms around and removed a wall.  Chris and I were saying that we kinda liked the feel of the old place better- now it feels way newer and modern- but, oh well.  And, again, it was another late night for bedtime!  I put Summer to bed and then pretty much fell asleep.  Everyone else stayed up for a bit having a dance party and then watching a movie.  The girls wanted no part of sleeping in twin beds in the bedroom next to ours so Kota slept in the bed w/ me in the room w/ Summer and me and Chris slept in a twin bed in the bedroom next door w/ Skylar.  I slept OK except for when Kota would poke me in the back w/ various body parts but Chris said he didn’t sleep well at all.  Bummer.

Tuesday, 8/9

I think we were up and heading over to the marina at about 9am.  We talked to the marina people and they gave us a key to get onto the dock and we got a life jacket for Summer (assuming Carl didn’t have an infant one on the boat) and then headed over to the dock.  It turns out that Carl’s boat was in slip G-25… NOT G-1.  Small detail.  Unfortunately, even tho we found the right boat we STILL didn’t get to take a ride on it b/c the battery was dead and we couldn’t jump it to get it to start.  Bummer!  Priscilla’s FB post cracked me up and made me laugh so hard.  She posted:

“We got on the boat.  We didn’t move.  But we got on the boat.  #batteryissues”

Too funny.  And too true.  So we brought the battery back to the house to charge it overnight so the Grotes could go out on the boat later in the week.  I made Priscilla promise to post photos of when they eventually got to go for a ride on the boat!

Here’s Summer being held by “Aunt Priscilla”:

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And 1 of the 3 bigger girls ready for action!

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And then one where Brian and Chris are looking at the camera:

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Such a bummer that the boat wouldn’t start… but oh well.  While Brian and Chris were trying to get the boat started, I was pacing the dock w/ Summy b/c she was getting quite antsy and cranky.  I took this photo of Carl/Carla’s house from the dock- theirs is the one you can’t see behind the 3 big trees in between the 2 brown houses just to the left of center in this photo🙂

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After that we headed over to Breck to play at their Summer Adventure Park area.  We took the gondola to Peak 8 which is where all the activities (alpine slide, mountain roller coaster, zip lines, tubing slide, kids ropes course, bouncy house, bungee jump thing, etc) were.  S&D were excited to ride in the gondola w/ Gabrielle and Madeline (vs Chris and me).

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Breck was QUITE crowded that day!  I mean, afterall, it is peak tourist season for the summer so I wasn’t too shocked- just a little bummed at how long the lines were for everything.  We headed to the alpine slide first and I went w/ Skylar 1st while Chris waited down at the base w/ Summy and Kota.  It was SO much fun riding the alpine slide!  Next it was Chris’ turn w/ Kota and Brian/Priscilla took their girls for a 2nd ride.  I headed over to the bungee jumping thing w/ Skylar but the line was too long and Skylar didn’t want to wait so she did the bouncy house and then we did the maze too.  Here’s a photo of Skylar jumping and her head popping up over the wall of the bouncy house🙂

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Then we headed over to the tubing slide and she enjoyed that.  By the time she was done w/ that everyone was off the alpine slide and we headed to the mountain roller coaster.  That thing was FUN!!!  I went on it 1st w/ Kota and then Chris had his turn w/ Skylar (again, Brian/Priscilla went 2x w/ their girls).  We could’ve gone on that OVER and OVER except the line had gotten pretty long.  So we headed up to the “glacier” to play on the snow.  Breck had a pile of snow (just like Copper had) that they somehow managed to keep around so everyone could play in snow in August.  I’m still not sure how they managed to keep a mound of snow from melting but it was fun to play on it.  It was amazing the amount of cold air coming off that pile of snow as you got closer to it!

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Kota saw other kids sliding down the hill of snow on their butts and decided she wanted to do that too.  I warned her that her butt was going to get very wet but she didn’t care.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo or a video of her doing it- bummer!  And her butt did, indeed, get very wet- shorts and underwear!- but, true to her word, she didn’t care and didn’t complain about it at all. After that we headed over to the “kids area” so the girls could do the kids zip line and ropes course.  As the girls were getting their harnesses on (I asked Chris to take some photos so hopefully I can update the post w/ some photos at a later time) I headed over to the lodge to change Summy’s diaper.  Unfortunately, it started raining and I think the girls only got to do 1 activity (zip line?) before everyone came running into the lodge to escape the rain.  We hung out there for quite a while having lunch and waiting to see if the rain would stop but, unfortunately, it didn’t stop raining and they made the announcement at about 4pm that they weren’t going to re-open the park.  Bummer. But they did also announce that we could head over to Guest Services to see if we were eligible for a rain check… and we were!  Sweet!  So we got 4 rain check passes good for a whole other day at Breck!  And they don’t expire until Sept 30th of 2017!  So we don’t even have to worry about using them this summer!  We can wait til next summer if we want when Summer might be old/big enough to go on some of the rides with us!  Awesome!  So we were kinda bummed by the rain but super excited about our rain checks!  Brian and Priscilla headed back today (Thurs) to use their rain checks.  After getting our rain checks we took the bus (the gondola was closed b/c of the lightening) back to the parking lot and our car and headed back to the lake house.  Of course both Summer and Kota fell asleep on the ride back to the house… so we just left them in the car while we packed up and packed the car.  We said good bye to the Grotes (there were lots of tears from Skylar b/c she didn’t want to say bye) and headed home at about 5:30pm.  We made it home in ~2hrs (hit a little bit of traffic on C-470), got some food for dinner and then went to bed as soon as possible!

SUPER fun trip with the Grotes!!  So glad they made the trip to CO to see us!  This was Priscilla’s 1st trip to CO and she fell in love w/ our beautiful state!  Welcome to the “I love CO” club Priscilla🙂

 

Posted by: dlc136 | August 4, 2016

August already?!?

How is that even possible?

Here’s what happened during the end of our July.

Sunday, 7/24

Since we had so much excitement with camping and hiking Friday/Saturday we decided to just have a nice “quiet” day on Sunday.  The wind wasn’t blowing hard so Chris asked the girls if they’d like to shoot off the rocket he had bought at Christmas.  Of course they said YES!  So we headed over to the high school near our house to go to the field in the middle of the track that would hopefully give us enough open space to launch the rocket and not lose it when it came down.  He had 3 engines so we got to launch it 3 times- Chris pushed the launch button the 1st time, then Skylar and then Kota.  Each time I video-ed from a safe distance w/ Summy in my arms.  And each time we counted down to launch “10…9…8…” etc and each time the noise the rocket made while launching “scared” Summy so much she actually jumped/flinched in my arms.  She didn’t cry or anything but she definitely didn’t want to be put down or get anywhere near the rocket🙂  S&D LOVED it!  They would’ve spent all day launching the rocket over and over again if we had any more engines!  It was fun to watch them watch the rocket go up in the air and then watch it when the parachute popped and then run after it to try to catch it.  The 2nd and 3rd times the parachute didn’t open fully so the rocket landed pretty quickly.  But, in the grand scheme of things, that was OK b/c the rocket wasn’t damaged and it didn’t have as much time to be pushed around by wind gusts and potentially end up in trees or somewhere where we couldn’t find it.

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After launching the rocket we headed home and got our bathing suits on to go to the pool.  We stayed there til lunchtime but then left at about 1pm to head home for naptime.  They clear the pool for 10 min to force all the kids to rest and so we took that opportunity to get some food from the cafe they have poolside.  We’ve never gotten food from there before and Skylar really wanted to get something.  So we said we’d try their food and see how it was.  It was OK- I’m not sure I’d spend the $$$ again to buy stuff there.  Summer was stuck to my side that day for whatever reason so I spent alot of the time at the pool bouncing her up and down through the water to keep her happy.  What a high-maintenance kid🙂  But at least I got a pretty good arm workout with lifting her up and down!  Unfortunately, when we got back into the pool she swallowed some water which caused a coughing fit which then caused a small “throw up burp”.  Yuck.  Luckily, I caught it all in my hand but I had to quickly leave the pool (while yelling at Kota to follow me… Skylar was still w/ Chris sitting at a table finishing up her lunch) so I could wipe my hand on a towel and wipe Summer’s face off.  Lovely.  At this point it was after 1pm so we decided to just head home for naptime for Summer.  I can’t remember if we did anything else that day or not. A cute photo from that night:

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Monday, 7/25

Typical day.  Exercise class in the AM, play on the playground after class.  Then after naptime we headed back to Skylar’s school playground to play for a little bit.  Skylar actually kept practicing and managed to kick and flip herself over a bar like a gymnastics move.  Way to go Skylar!  Kota could do it w/ a little help from me.  And Summy just loves running all over the playground equipment! I forgot about this but Stacy Larson and her husband Bob were up in Denver the past weekend for a wedding (stayed with Gayle and Russ) and they (and Gayle and Russ too) came down to the Springs to see Garden of the Gods. We were going to have dinner with them but they got a late start down to the springs and so we skipped dinner with them. They stopped by our house after touring Garden of the Gods and we had a nice visit with them. Thanks for stopping by to see us! We did actually have Skylar take a picture of us and Stacy sent me the photo so I’ll have to add it later. I originally wrote this as Monday but we let Skylar open her birthday gifts from us on Tuesday night- Shopkins sheets and blankets🙂

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Tues-Thurs- normal work week stuff.  But we did have the 1st orthodontist appointment on Thurs AM for Skylar.  This orthodontist said it was OK to do nothing right now for her teeth and just come in every 6 mos so he can check on them and see when they do need to do something for her overcrowding situation.  Skylar’s Primrose field trip day was Thursday too so I headed straight to the Beamis School of Art and dropped her off to meet up with her class.

Fri, 7/29- Sun, 7/31

Normally Kota’s Primrose class goes on their field trips on Tues but, for some reason, they switched it to Fri this week.  And Kota REALLY wanted to go on the field trip so Ms. Sherry said we could bring her on Fri so she could go with her friends.  So we dropped her off on Fri at about 8:30am and then picked her up at noon.  She had a great time w/ her friends on the field trip!  So Skylar and Summer and I went to exercise class that AM and then the grocery store before heading back to Primrose to get Kota.  I don’t think we really did anything special for the rest of the day or on Saturday either.  I think we just ran errands and did laundry and other assorted boring stuff around the house on Saturday.  On Sunday I decided I wanted to get out of the house and go up to the mtns so we headed to Copper.  Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the greatest by the time we got there so we only had about 1 1/2 hrs there before it started raining.  The girls did the bungee/rubber bands jumping thing and loved it.  They would’ve gone on it over and over again if we were made of money and would’ve let them🙂

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Copper actually still had a patch of snow where you could (pay to) use the snow terrain park area.  I’m not quite sure how they managed to keep that pile of snow around!

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I had wanted to ride the chairlift up but looking at the weather rolling in, it didn’t seem like the best idea…

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And then 1 by the fire pit ball thing in the middle of the village area.  They actually had s’mores sticks there to use in case you wanted to roast marshmallows!  You can see them sticking out of the bucket to the right of the girls.

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The girls really wanted to do the zipline but when we asked about the restrictions the guy told us you have to be a min of 50 lbs to ride it.  Since neither of them weigh that much we told them they’d have to wait til next year (or maybe the year after for Skylar!) to do it.  And then, by that time, the rain/storm had arrived and it was raining and lightning/thundering so we decided to just head home.  Since traffic on I-70 was already awful when we were driving up to the mtns several hours ago, we decided to head home via Breckenridge and Hwy 24.  We stopped in Fairplay to get some ice cream and finally made it home by 6pm-ish.  It always seems to take SO long to get home via Hwy 24.  Of course, sitting in I-70 traffic would take FOREVER too🙂  When we got home the girls played outside for a little bit while we were getting dinner ready and, for whatever reason, Kota started taking an interest in sitting on Skylar’s small bike w/o training wheels.  And she was doing pretty good at coasting and pedaling for a little bit.  Chris got a video of it and showed it to me when they came in for dinner.  Very impressive Kota!  Way to go!

Monday, 8/1

Again, typical Monday activities- exercise class, playing on the playground afterwards… and Kota just flat out amazing me by getting on the 2-wheeler w/o training wheels and just taking off riding!  She had asked me that AM if she could be the one to be out of the stroller and Skylar sit in the stroller (usually Skylar walks/bikes/etc alongside me and Kota’s in the stroller w/ Summy)- so I said OK.  She said she wanted to bring her bike and I said OK.  While I was getting the stroller ready, she and Skylar headed over to the wide open flat, concrete area at the park and next thing I know Skylar’s yelling “Mommy!  She did it!”.  I turned around and saw Kota just riding circles around the pavement area- holy crap!  She got on the bike and just started riding and I didn’t even get a video of it!  After Chris got home from work that night we headed over to Skylar’s school so Kota could proudly show Daddy how she can ride a 2-wheeler now!  We did FaceTime w/ Grammy so she could see too and I tried to do FaceTime w/ Gramma Bonnie and PopPop but they were travelling home from WI and not able to do FaceTime.  So impressive Kota!  She is still a little wobbly riding on the sidewalks and narrow areas but it’s only her 2nd day of riding a 2-wheeler so I think we’ll cut her some slack🙂

After exercise class we had a craft and Summy just LOVED doing the painting.  She absolutely started wailing when I said it was time to go and I had to pick her up and carry her back to the car b/c she just didn’t want to stop painting🙂

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We had Skylar’s 2nd orthodontist appointment to get a 2nd opinion that day also.  This dentist recommended pulling 1 more tooth in the next couple of months and possibly another one.  He also said to schedule 6 mos appointments so he can watch her teeth and see when something needs to be done about the overcrowding.  Then, after Summer’s naptime we decided to go to the zoo.  Unfortunately, the zoo closes at 5pm so we only had a little over an hour to walk around.  But the girls got to feed the giraffes and see the elephants, lions, meerkats, zebras and some monkeys.  Most of the animals were already in their inside enclosures but we still had fun seeing what we were able to see.  I put Summer down in the giraffe area so we could buy some lettuce to feed them but Summy wanted NO part of being down on the ground by herself!  She immediately put her arms up for me to pick her up again- I guess a bunch of big giraffes looming over you is slightly scary when you’re only almost 2🙂  And I think this was the most excited and into seeing the animals that Summer has been yet!  She was just loving watching the meerkats and was jumping up and down with excitement.  I got a video of her and this picture sort of shows her excitement:

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And a picture of the girls w/ the city in the background- you can sorta see it between the 2 wooden posts in the middle/slight left of the photo:

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Nothing out of the ordinary for Tues-Thurs this week.  Tuesday night was a BAD sleeping night for everyone.  Summy started it off with waking up crying at about midnight (I had gone to bed at 10pm but woken up at 11am b/c I was hot) and wouldn’t soothe herself back to sleep so I ended up sleeping in the chair in her room til about 3:30am.  At about 1am I heard Skylar wake up crying.  At 3:30am I went back to my bed only to find 2 little girls on my side of the bed… so I headed to Kota’s bed to sleep🙂  So last night I think I was in bed and asleep by 9:30pm just in case Summy woke up again.  Luckily she didn’t and everyone slept thru the night.  Whew!

We have a busy couple of weekends coming up.  This weekend the Grotes arrive on Sat afternoon/evening some time.  They’re staying w/ friends in Iowa on Fri night and then driving the rest of the way to CO on Sat.  They’d like to drive to the top of Pikes Peak on Sunday and then on Mon AM we’ll head up to Dillon to stay at Carl/Carla’s house on the lake (Gayle’s uncle).  The Grotes will be there all week but we’re only going to stay for Mon and Tues to conserve on vacation days used.  I can’t wait to see this house!  I’ve heard about it countless times from the Mellingers and Gayle and the rest of the IL crowd.  And, Brian said Carl said it would be OK for us to use his pontoon/party boat to go out on the lake- sweet!!!  I”ll be sure to take lots of photos!

The following weekend Lisa and the rest of the Nagles will be heading down to the Springs to visit us.  They’re flying to CO today and will spend the majority of their trip up in Greeley.  We’re going to go to The North Pole amusement park on Sat and then do something else on Sunday (Garden of the Gods, something else?) and then they’ll leave Sun afternoon/evening to head back to Greeley.  The Nagles return to PA on Mon evening on the red eye flight to PHL.

Then the following weekend (well, technically Wed) Grammy will be coming to visit us!  Skylar starts school on Mon, 8/15 but she only goes for Mon-Wed and then has off on Thurs and Fri for “Student Testing”- they assign each student a 30 min time slot where you bring them to school for assessment testing.  So, anyway, Grammy will arrive Wed evening and be here til Monday (Summer’s actual birthday!).  We’re going to celebrate Summy’s birthday on Sun by going to Fox Run regional park again and having a picnic lunch and cake and playing on the playground.  We’ll bring some balloons and party plates/cups/etc to make it “festive”.

So, yeah, we have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us but I’m totally looking forward to it!!!

Posted by: dlc136 | July 31, 2016

Our camping adventure

OK, now for what we’ve been up to since we returned to CO on 7/19…

2 days at school/work for the girls and I and then on Friday, 7/22 it was back to our normal routine for the most part.  We went to exercise class then went to the grocery store for some food for our camping trip that night and then we had a dentist appointment for Skylar at noon.  While in OCNJ Bella had noticed that Skylar had a permanent tooth coming thru on the bottom BEHIND her baby teeth.  So I called on Wed when we got home and made an appt for Fri.  Cindy had told me that Bella had something sort of similar happen and they had to pull both her baby teeth so I was prepared for the dentist to tell me that this was his plan.  And he didn’t disappoint- both of Skylar’s baby teeth came out on Friday.  Here are the girls watching Frozen on the TV on the ceiling while we waited for the dentist to come:

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And, no, Kota didn’t stay in the chair w/ Skylar while the dentist was removing her teeth🙂  And then a photo of the brave patient (she didn’t even cry or squirm at all) after the teeth were removed.  The dentist used some of the numbing gel and then 1 shot of Novocaine and then wiggled the teeth out before getting the pliers and removing the teeth.  Kota was enthralled w/ the entire process and would’ve climbed up on the chair w/ Skylar if I had let her🙂

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And then 1 w/ her balloon and a closer up photo of her and Kota in the background w/ her balloon and prize too (for being a good supporter):

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And then 1 at home and closer up of her (lack of) teeth:

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We FaceTimed w/ Grammy and Gramma Bonnie and PopPop to tell them the exciting news!  And Skylar decided she wanted the tooth fairy to visit while we were camping vs leaving her a note asking her to come back on Saturday🙂

Chris attempted to leave work and get to the dentist office in time to see her teeth pulled (I had texted him letting him know the dentist was recommending pulling them) but JUST missed the big event- bummer.  So we all headed home and started packing for our camping trip.  As always, it took us longer to get out of the house than expected and then we had to make a stop at REI to get a new lantern (our old one’s batteries corroded in it and killed it) and some food for dinner.  We were going simple w/ the food for our 1st camping trip- backpacking food that we could cook with only boiling water using our JetBoil and we brought some Kraft mac & cheese from home for Kota.  Anyway, we were camping at Cheyenne Mountain State Park and it’s about 25-30 min south of our house- close enough that if we needed to bail out at any time for any reason we could be home in our beds quickly🙂  Baby steps for us…

We got to the campground at about 4pm and started setting up the tent:

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After the tent was set up we did a little bit of exploring around our site- there was a nice open field behind us but I didn’t want to go too far into the field lest we find some snakes or other not-so-good critter friends…

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And then we broke out the camp chairs and were watching the field to see if we could see any furry friends… but we need to get a 3rd one b/c we only have 2 kid chairs😦

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And while the girls were amusing themselves and Chris was finishing setting up the cots and pack-n-play (yes, our tent was HUGE!) I started “making” dinner- boiling water🙂  You basically boil the water and then dump it into the self contained food packets and let it sit for 10 min or so to “cook”.  The food actually tastes really good!  I was always a fan of it when we would go backpacking.

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After we cleaned up from dinner the girls (Kota in particular) just kept asking over and over when we could do marshmallows and they just bugged Chris and I too much with their repetition and so we said we weren’t doing marshmallows and just going to bed.  It was already 9pm and late enough and dark so we just went to the bathroom and brushed teeth and headed to bed. I think it was probably 10:30pm-ish by the time everyone actually fell asleep (there was lots of excited giggling and talking from S&D and rolling around from Summy).  I wasn’t used to camping at such a low elevation and it was still quite warm in the tent when we went to sleep.  I had brought warm PJs for everyone that we totally did NOT need.  Oh well- lesson learned. It did eventually get a little cool in the tent so that we could actually cover up with our sleeping bags but nothing compared to how cold I thought it would be when the temp was forecasted to go down to 58.

And the tooth fairy did find us while we were camping.  She left Skylar $5 for her 1st tooth and $1 for her 2nd one.  Skylar was very excited in the AM.  Speaking of the AM, Summy was the 1st to wake up at 5 friggin 20 AM.  O.M.G.  Damn sunlight and no blackout curtains in our tent!  Kota woke up shortly after.  I managed to ignore them and they stayed quiet(ish) til about 6:15am but by then I had been awake for almost an hour and had to pee so I had to get out of the tent.  I took Summy and Kota w/ me and headed to the bathroom and then came back and started getting breakfast ready- nothing but the best for us- donuts and a packaged eggs/bacon meal.  It was actually pretty good and Summy helped Chris and me eat it.  The early risers:

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And with the sun shining thru the trees behind them:

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And the sleepheads still in the tent:

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And then finally- the breakfast of champions… donuts🙂

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Playing around while we were packing up the tent/stuff:

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S&D both wanted to do their “model poses” w/ the rock as their backdrop:

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And here’s an “action shot” of Summy jumping off the rock- this girl has NO fear right now- OMG.

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And then here she is helping us get the bags to pack up the camp chairs:

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And S&D were checking out the “roly poly” bugs:

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And Summy was heading off towards the car to put the bags away- such a little helper🙂  But wait- there are no chairs in those bags yet!

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By the time we were packed up and ready to start our hike it was already almost 11am.  We decided to do Blackmer Loop in the park- it was a 3.5 mi hike rated as a moderate difficulty trail.  And let me tell you- it was definitely challenging for the girls!  Chris said we ended up hiking 4.1 miles (the loop was 3.5 mi but there was a lead-in trail to get to the loop which added some distance) and it was quite hot that day!  And there wasn’t a lot of shade on the trail- whew, talk about tiring!  A photo from the beginning of the hike:

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And then we came across this huge rock w/ a tree growing out of the top of it!  Look closely- the girls are actually standing in front of the rock for a little size comparison.

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I had posted this photo on FB but Summy’s early wake up time caught up w/ her and she fell asleep in the backpack by 11:30am and slept for a good hour or more!

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And then 1 of me and the girls w/ some pretty yellow flowers and a nice view on the trail:

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And a “selfie” I took at the end of the hike w/ everyone behind me:

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I was pooped by the end of the hike (due to lack of sleep and the heat) so I can only imagine how tired the girls were!  But they were troopers- they only complained during the last 20 min or so of the hike and I didn’t blame them by then b/c I was tired and wanted to be done and back at the car!!

So, overall, a fun time camping and we’ll totally do it again and maybe next time the girls won’t bug us so much and we’ll actually get to roast marshmallows!  Keep your fingers crossed for them for their sakes🙂

We got home by about 2pm and, of course, Summy wanted no part of taking a nap so we just played around the house the rest of the day and had an EARLY bedtime for everyone.  I think Summy was asleep by 6:45pm!  Camping tires us all out.

Posted by: dlc136 | July 30, 2016

OCNJ Trip- Part 3

OK, the recap of the last couple of days…

Thurs, July 14th

We headed to JCP 1st thing in the AM to get our Condliff family photo taken.  The photos turned out very nicely, no one threw a fit this year and we weren’t totally sweating to death in the photo studio- all in all, a successful photo session!

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And this might possibly be the 1st year we actually got a successful photo of only all the grandkids!!

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Of course choosing all the photo poses and portrait sizes took forever and a day so our appt at 10am finally finished up at about noon!  We had an excellent photographer lady this year- she busted her butt getting some good photos!  After the photo we decided to head to Charlies for lunch- yum BBTs!  Summy had fallen asleep in Cindy’s car (she was riding in Alex’ car seat so we didn’t have to take 3 cars) for about 10-20 min from JCP to Charlies.  I attempted to put her down for a nap when we got back to the house but, of course, she was having NO part of that plan.  So I ended up saying “Screw it” and bringing her with us to the boardwalk for rides.  She did really well all afternoon with her short nap time.  We wanted to get up to the rides b/c it was Thurs and all rides are 3 tickets from 1-4pm.  Of course we got there pretty late and only had about 45 min to get the discounted ride prices.  But we rode all the expensive rides first- Ferris wheel, the train, the log flume, the roller coaster.  Then we did some of the inside, cheaper rides for Summy.

For some reason we decided it was an OK idea to put all the older kids in 1 car by themselves🙂  Actually, nothing bad happened so it was all OK…

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Summer decided she liked the froggy ride and could go on it again w/o me and with her cousins- yay!  In fact, she REALLY liked ALL the rides!  I think we created a ride monster🙂

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She got off the fire engine ride and immediately wanted to go on it again🙂

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We finally cut the rides off for the kids and then we decided to go miniature golfing at the place just next to Wonderland.  All the kids had fun and I actually won a free game on the last hole!  Next we headed to Manco and Manco for some dinner.  I think this was the last thing to check off my East Coast food bucket list- yum!

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And since it was Thursday it was Family Night on the boardwalk- bands playing everywhere, kid friendly stuff, etc.  We took the kids’ photo at the OCNJ sign thing at the Music Pier:

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There was a DJ playing dance music at about 8th street and there was a huge crowd there.  Then there was another DJ set up right in front of the Music Pier playing more Oldies.  We got a very cute video of Summy dancing to “ABC” by the Jackson 5.  And then all the other kids joined in dancing w/ Summy.  Too cute.  I think we were getting home by 8:30-ish or so.  Quite a long time up on the boardwalk- 5 hrs!  Then it was time for Lisa, E&H to head back to PA for swimming stuff.  A successful (Condliff family photo) and fun (boardwalk, rides, golf, food, dancing) day!

Friday, July 15th

Cindy, Bella and Alex left this morning.  She had hoped to leave by 9am or so but since we got home so late Thurs night Cindy didn’t feel like packing so they all just went to bed and she said she’d do it in the AM.  She didn’t miss her target time by TOO much- I think she was leaving at about 10:30am.  Summy really liked riding in a car seat facing forward I think- she really liked getting in Aunt Cindy’s car🙂  In fact, Cindy left her car doors open and Summy climbed right in and made herself comfortable… I thought Cindy was going to have to take an extra kid back to WI with her b/c Summy started crying when I took her out of the car🙂

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And 1 last photo of everyone- Karen had taken about 10 photos and this (believe it or not) is the best one we managed to get.

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After Cindy and the kids left, we (me and the girls and Dad and Karen) headed to go see Lucy the Elephant in Margate.  Lisa, Cindy and the kids had gone on the day we arrived b/c it wasn’t really beach weather and when S&D heard the other kids talking about the elephant they wanted to go see for themselves.  So I said we’d go after Aunt Cindy left- and Friday was our day.  I’ve actually never been up in Lucy so this was a 1st for me too!

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And some photos from the top:

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And 1 from a different angle after our tour:

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It was a neat little tour- it took ~30min and you got to see inside and hear the history of the elephant.  And what made it even better was that Lisa told me about a Groupon for $11 for 4 people (normally it’s $8pp for the tour) so it was super cheap!  Bonus!  We didn’t do much for the rest of the day b/c it was SUPER hot and humid and we were taking a little break from the beach.  Summy took a nap (I think I fell asleep for a little bit too) and the girls played on Grammy’s iPads and we all just chilled out for a little bit.  Again, I really don’t remember what we did for dinner (probably just leftovers since we had SO many from all our various dinners) but Summy was getting pretty darn crabby so I decided to take her for a bike ride around the Gardens.  I stopped by the bay and took a photo w/ the sunset (even tho the sun was still kinda high in the sky) behind us.

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Summy really likes taking bike rides so this calmed her down and we enjoyed our 30-45min bike ride.  And Skylar and Kota had fun playing with glow necklaces and bracelets that Grammy bought:

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I can’t remember for sure but I think Lisa and the girls came down Friday night?  But I don’t have any photos w/ them in it from Fri night so I can’t be sure🙂

Saturday, July 16th

I think this was the morning that I took the girls and went to Browns for breakfast b/c we were all up relatively early but no one else was… so we rode our bikes up and ate breakfast there.  Yum- donuts!  When we got home everyone else was at Uncle Bills for breakfast.  After that we headed to the beach and had another fun day.  A photo of Ellie and Skylar burying Summy’s feet:

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I think this was the night we had clams for dinner but I don’t have any photos documenting it so I’m just relying on my memory.  Dad headed back from the beach earlier than the rest of us and went to get the clams (200 of them for 3 of us- yum!).  I got a shower 1st and then started the clam steaming process.  I am disappointed to say that 200 clams was almost too many for me, Lisa, and John this time😦  Dad ate a couple but not an equal share.  But by the last 30 or so clams we were definitely all slowing down.  And all 3 of us had some stomach issues afterwards too- ugh.  Maybe there is such a thing as too many clams🙂  I put Summy to bed and then me, S&D and the Nagles headed up to the boardwalk to go to Castaway Cove for the rides there.  The girls LOVED the rides there and I think I may be a convert too!  I may get more tix for there next year vs. Wonderland.  They have pretty much all the same little kid rides for Summer but they also have better big kid rides than Wonderland.  The main drawback is that we can’t really ride our bikes there since it’s at 10th St vs. 6th St.  Anyway, we got to the rides pretty late that night and then closed down the rides!  They closed at 11:30pm and they were pretty much kicking us out the door🙂  We called Chris on our way home and it was ~11:45pm!  Holy lateness!  I think this might be the latest the girls have ever been out/up!  But we had fun!  Riding the hovercraft ride thing:

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They also did the swings, the fun house thing, a little roller coaster, a car ride and then the Alienator (not sure if that’s the actual name of it or not) ride that really spins you around.  Hannah wanted no part of going on it but Ellie went on it with S&D and they all liked it!  Another fun night on the boardwalk.

Sunday, July 17th

Another day at the beach.  We were back in the tide timing where we were going to the beach at low tide which Summy enjoyed WAY more than being there at high tide.  The older girls kinda liked high tide for the waves and being able to ride their boogie boards but Summy wasn’t very thrilled w/ the roughness of the water.  She enjoyed the gully/tide pools of low tide much more.  But the older girls also liked trying to kneel/stand on their boogie boards in the gully so they had fun at low tide too.  We also found TONS of hermit crabs at low tide so that provided entertainment too.

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And Summy discovered collecting shells in her bucket and that entertained her for a LONG TIME!!!  She loved putting the shells in her bucket and then dumping them out in another location on the beach and then filling her bucket again and repeating the process over and over.

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As we were leaving the beach for the day I happened to turn around and look and saw that there were a ton of sailboats on the beach that day and all the colors just struck me as being so pretty!

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We left the beach “early” today so we could get showered and head down to Cape May for dinner at The Lobster House.  Yum.  Luckily we had a nice dinner this time and no run-ins with mean people in the bar area and Summy behaved herself nicely at dinner!

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Another fun day at the shore!

Monday, July 18th

We started the morning with a photo of Summer in Henry’s crate:

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She really liked Henry and just crawled right in there with him and thought it was funny🙂

Another beach day- I snapped a photo while Summy was napping on me of what the beach looked like from my perspective at low tide:

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I used the zoom feature on my camera to try to get a picture of PopPop sitting on the “island” with all the girls while Summy napped but the photo is a little grainy:

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We headed home from the beach kinda late (I didn’t really want to leave the beach since it was our last day on the beach) and then a storm rolled in so we couldn’t go to the Castaway Cove rides b/c of the rain (all their rides are outside).  We got in the cars and started driving towards the boardwalk to see if the storm might go around us and see if we’d get lucky- but no such luck.  The wind was just insane so I called Lisa and said “let’s scrap our plan and head to get some ice cream at TJs instead”.  While we were there the storm rolled in and it really started raining!!  So we waited out the rain:

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When there was a lull in the rain we quickly jumped in the car and headed home.  We swapped our Castaway Cove tix for Wonderland tix and headed up to go on the inside rides there.  It was still kinda raining but luckily the parking lot btwn 5th and 6th Sts was free that night (b/c of the rain) so we didn’t have to search for a parking spot.  We went on a bunch of rides and we actually got to see a really cool rainbow:

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After that we headed home and said bye to Lisa, E&H.  Luckily we’ll get to see them in a couple weeks when they come to CO to visit the Nagles- yay!

Tuesday, July 19th

Our last day in OCNJ- boo!  I spent the AM packing the suitcase and man did it BARELY close!  We left the house at about 1:30pm to get a late lunch at the Malaga Diner and then head to the airport from there for our 5:15pm flight.  Unfortunately we cut it a little close on our timing so Karen pretty much just dropped us off at Departures and said good bye (vs coming in w/ us) and Mom came in with me to make sure everything went OK while Dad circled around the airport.  Nothing like a hurried, rushed good bye.  But there were plenty of tears from Skylar and Kota when we were saying bye…. and even a couple from me too.  But I was quickly distracted by trying to get all 4 of us thru security and to our gate.  I don’t know how it happened but everything went smoothly w/ security and we hit the bathroom one last time before getting to our gate right on time and getting on the plane a couple minutes before the doors closed.  It was quite close but that’s actually my ideal timing b/c I didn’t have any extra time to have to entertain the girls in the terminal or on the plane.  Sweet.  All the girls were excellent on the plane- S&D watched the iPads and Summy played for 2hrs and then was fussy for ~20-30 min but then fell asleep for the 1 1/2 hrs remaining in the flight.  Awesome!  We arrived in DEN ~15 min early and just ahead of a big thunderstorm rolling into the area.  Yay!  Chris picked us up and we had to sprint to the car in the rain but it wasn’t too big of a deal.  Gotta love when everything goes smoothly!  We made it home to the Springs and jumped into bed as fast as possible.  Yay for smooth travels but boo for the end of vacation!

Whew- marathon blog post done!

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