Posted by: dlc136 | October 19, 2016

Dakota’s 5th checkup appt

We had Kota’s 5 yr doctor’s appointment on Monday, 10/17 and here were her stats:

Weight- 44 lbs 8 oz (77th percentile)

Height- 45 1/4 in (92nd percentile!)

So she grew 3 inches in a year and gained 4 lbs.  Growing up too fast!🙂

Monday was our typical busy day but it was made even busier with Kota’s dr appt thrown in there for some extra fun!  We checked the mail on the way home from dropping Skylar off at school and found that Kota’s bday present from Grammy had FINALLY arrived!  Yay!


Poor Kota had to wait until that evening to open her gift so that Daddy could be there to watch and we FaceTimed w/ Grammy too.  Such torture for her seeing that gift sitting there all day🙂

After our usual Stroller Strides class we played on the playground for ~15 minutes and then headed to the grocery store to get some fresh green beans b/c I was making dinner for a fellow SS mom who just had a baby.  We were dropping dinner off at her house after Skylar’s ballet lesson.  Anyway, so we hit the grocery store and then went home and had lunch and then let the puppy out.  Then it was time for Kota’s dr appt @1:15 pm.  And I was totally kicking myself for making the appt at that time b/c that’s right in the middle of Summy’s naptime.  But, as I was saying to Chris that night, it was the earliest appt they had when I called the office- otherwise we would’ve had to wait til the end of October or something for Kota’s checkup.  Well, next time I’m definitely going to just wait those extra couple of weeks so I don’t have a super inconvenient time for young kids!  I think 2 extra weeks wouldn’t have made that big of a difference for a 5 yr old.  Lesson learned.  Anyway, so yeah, we had the dr appt @1:15 and got home at 2 pm.  I immediately put Summy down for her nap but, of course, I fell asleep for a bit while doing so and so when I woke up at 2:30 I immediately jumped in the shower and was rushing to get everyone out of the house to head back to school to pick Skylar up by 3:15 pm.  Argh- holy hectic day!  And then it continued w/ coming home and getting Skylar ready for ballet class and then going to ballet class and keeping Summer and Kota entertained for the hour.  Then coming home, picking up the food and dropping it off at the friend’s house and then finally coming home and eating our dinner.  Whew- Mondays just totally wear me out and I don’t make them any easier on myself by volunteering to do things like let puppies out and take dinner to friends.   Oh well, I can rest when I’m old, right?

And now both girls want to do gymnastics and the days/times for their skill level are not very convenient.  We can basically do Tuesday evening 5:20-6:20 for Skylar and 6:30-7:30 pm for Kota.  Not sure why the younger kids are later than the older kids but that’s the way the schedule is set up.  There are other gyms that have times on Saturdays but I hate having something scheduled for EVERY Saturday.  I just can’t handle that level of commitment at this time in life- the Nutcracker is enough of a commitment for me right now.  And adding yet ANOTHER hectic day sounds like torture to me.  B/c if we signed up for these classes on Tues evening, I would have to make sure I leave work on time at 4:20-ish to get up to Primrose before 5 pm so we could be to the gym by 5:10-ish to be able to change into a gymnastics leotard and be ready for class.  Sounds hectic and torturous to me just talking about it let alone actually doing it week after week after week.  I’m totally procrastinating on signing the girls up.  Right now Kota does dance and soccer during daycare and that totally works for us.  Unfortunately, gymnastics isn’t offered during the day or even after school there for Skylar so that’s a bummer.

Anyway, 2 photos from the dr appt on Monday- Kota reading books while waiting for the ped to show up:


And Summy doing her exercises in the dr’s office:


Dr. Linsky also got to witness, first-hand, Summy’s spit-shining everything in the office🙂  I felt bad that Summy was getting her spit/germs all over the place but, at the same time, it was keeping her quiet and happy so I let her continue.  Ah to be child #3 and get away with everything… huh, Cindy?😉

And then after dinner we FaceTimed Grammy and Kota FINALLY got to open her gifts- yay!


After Summer’s bath I asked Chris to comb Summy’s hair so it didn’t get so snarly and crazy at night (not sure if this helps or not but it makes me feel better…) and this is the end result🙂  Last night he did the comb-over style but I didn’t get a picture of it.


And now it’s already Wednesday.  The girls and I went to the pottery place at the mall yesterday after I picked them up from Primrose to get their finished pottery pieces. They turned out really nicely- I’ll have to take a photo of them and share.  Then Kota really wanted to go tot Red Robin for dinner for mac&cheese but I said we could go to IHOP b/c they have a “kids eat free after 4 pm” special so it makes it cheaper than RR.  Plus, IHOP is a whole lot less crowded than RR for dinner. Chris always groans when I suggest IHOP but it’s my rationalizing of being able to go out to dinner- we can spend less $ and not have to wait as long.  Plus I love eating breakfast for any meal of the day!

Skylar has off school tomorrow and Fri b/c of Parent/Teacher conferences.  Her report card comes out today so I need to sign in online and get it and review it w/ her before our conference w/ Mrs. Hough tomorrow @5:30 pm.  I’m going to work from home tomorrow so Skylar doesn’t have to go to Primrose tomorrow.  I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to let Kota stay home or not yet.  In some ways it’s easy b/c S&D can play w/ each other but sometimes they get in fights that I have to break up so it makes more work for me.  Plus Kota has soccer on Thursdays that we pay for so I don’t want her to miss out on that.

On Friday I’m planning to go to the local pumpkin farm out off of Woodmen Rd. w/ the girls after SS class.  We skipped going to this farm last Sun w/ the other SS people in favor of trying out the 1 in Canon City with Chris.  The 1 in Canon City is only open on Sat and Sun but the local one is open every day.  So we’ll see what that one’s like.  And then this Sat is nothing really except Skylar’s Nutcracker rehearsal from 2:45-3:15 pm.  The weather had cooled off Monday evening and our highs for the day this week have been ~58-61 but it’s supposed to warm up again by this weekend.  Highs of about 73 or so… so maybe it’ll be nice enough again to get out and go for a bike ride or a hike in the AM before lunch and naptime.  And the girls definitely want to paint their pumpkins this weekend.  We’ll save carving the big pumpkins for next w/e right before Halloween.

Oh, and Summy is a talking machine these days!  She has recently started saying/asking “What’s that?”  I need to catch it on video b/c it’s just so stinkin’ cute but, so far, she hasn’t performed on demand for me videoing it.  :(  She has also started saying “I try it” when she wants to have something or taste/try something.  Again, so stinkin’ cute to hear her say it.  And she’s getting pretty good about putting 3 word sentences together- amazing!  Oh!  And how could I have forgotten?!?  She went PEE PEE in the POTTY on Monday AM.  I think it was just a coincidence that she happened to be on the potty when the pee pees came out… but still!  Pee pees in the potty for Summer!  Monday, 10/17!

I think that’s about all that’s new from here.

Posted by: dlc136 | October 18, 2016

Pumpkin farm and Royal Gorge

On Sunday we headed to Annie’s Pumpkin Patch in Canon City about an hour away.  As always, I aimed for getting there as early as possible to avoid crowds.  It opened at 10am and I think we were there by 10:15am.  This farm wasn’t super big (definitely smaller than Merrymead and Linvilla but probably bigger than Milky Way) but it was pretty cute and had a bunch of activities for the kids.  Plus 1 pumpkin came with each paid admission so Chris, Skylar and I each got to pick out a pumpkin.  But then it turned out that Skylar only wanted to pick out a couple tiny pumpkins so I ended up letting Kota pick out a big pumpkin and just paying for the cheaper tiny pumpkins.  And then Summy, of course, wanted to pick out a pumpkin too so she got a tiny one.  But I think she thought it was a ball b/c she just kept throwing it.  I was afraid it was going to explode (or just get smooshed) on the ground so when Chris came back w/ the wagon to carry the pumpkins, Summy didn’t get to hold her pumpkin after that.

Anyway, I digress.  The 1st activity we hit was the “ducky river” as I’m calling it.  I can’t describe it very well so I’ll just show a couple photos.  The girls loved pumping the handle to get the water flowing.




After that we headed over to the slide on top of the hay bales.  Unfortunately, all the photos of the slide are on Chris’ phone so I’ll have to add some later.  The girls all enjoyed climbing up the hay and then sliding down the slide MANY times!  But since Summy was too small to climb the hay herself, I had to keep going up (and then coming back down) the hay bales with her.  Got a good leg workout🙂  Unfortunately, as she was running from the end of the slide back around to go back up the hay bales, she tripped on the ground and did a face plant.  I mean we’re talking dirt-in-the-mouth-and-up-her-nose faceplant.  Ouch.  And she wasn’t too happy about it either and ended up scratching the side of her nose and it started bleeding. Of course we hadn’t brought wipes in with us so Summer and I took a trip back to the car to clean her face up.  Little Miss Bruiser was at it again🙂

As Summy and I were getting back from the car we saw Kota scaling the mountain ‘o hay with the help of Daddy:



Skylar had gone first and was already down on the ground brushing off and shaking out all the hay🙂

After that we headed over towards the hay ride area and stopped at the little decoration where you stick your face thru it:


Unfortunately, the hay ride wagon was just pulling away as we got there so we decided to continue wandering and check out the other activities.  The girls patronized me and stood next to the requisite ruler to see how tall they are:


And then we entered the corn maze… and I swear we would STILL be in that stinkin’ corn maze if we hadn’t “cheated” and cut thru the corn to get the heck outta there!🙂


Skylar took this photo of us- she’s a pretty good photographer now. She managed to get our entire bodies in the photo🙂


The girls were fascinated and obsessed with the corn still on the stalks.  They kept wanting to pick and peel every single ear they saw.  Remember when I said we’d STILL be in that maze… this was part of the reason why🙂


I thought this one was cute b/c I took 1 selfie but then realized I couldn’t see Summy so I said “Summy!  I can’t see you!  Move out from behind Kota!”  And she did🙂


Skylar was looking at her sheet (in the photo above) for the little “game” they have set up in the maze- trying to find different things throughout the maze.  We found a bunch of them… but definitely not ALL of them.  Again, we would STILL be in that maze 2 days later if we had stuck around trying to find them all. And the maze turns into a “haunted” maze at night so I don’t think the girls would’ve liked that very much🙂

And then just another cute photo of the girls in the maze:


And then, like I said, we got close enough to the edge of the maze that we could see the pumpkin field thru the corn stalks and we busted thru the corn (well, other people had done the same thing so we weren’t really forging a new path!) and out of the maze!  Freedom!

Then everyone patronized me again and we got a family photo by the fall decoration set up.  My family must really love me to patronize me with so many photos, huh?😉


After this photo all the girls were super thirsty (it was getting pretty darn HOT out by this point! At 1:30 pm when we were leaving the farm our car thermometer said 86 degrees!!!) so Chris headed out to the car to get their water bottles.  While we were waiting for him I took a couple photos of Summy and Kota sitting on some pumpkins (can’t remember why I didn’t get 1 of Skylar… maybe she was already heading over to the pumpkin piles to check out pumpkins?!?  Who knows.)



Next we headed to the hayride- Summer’s first hay ride!🙂


After the hayride we decided to pick out our pumpkins, take them to the car and then eat lunch there.  As I said earlier, Skylar wanted tiny pumpkins and when I asked her to hold up the ones she chose so I could get a picture, this was the resulting photo:


Funny how she’s holding them like they’re tiny little boobies🙂  I didn’t truly realize how she was holding them til I was scrolling thru the photos later that evening.  Too funny. Anyway, I digress.  We picked out our 3 big pumpkins and then each girl got to pick out a tiny (well, 3 for Skylar) pumpkin too.  And Kota wanted to pull the wagon back to the car- strong girl!


After we dropped our pumpkins at the car, Chris stood in the food line to get some lunch.  The corn bin was close to the food line so I let the girls play in the corn while we waited for Chris.  I had titled this photo on FB “Who wants to bet Summy’s going to end up with some corn in her diaper? :)”  And, sure enough, she did!  I changed her diaper right before Chris got the food (the food line was LONG b/c it was getting CROWDED at this point (~12:30 pm)) and about 4 kernels of corn fell out.


The girls had a fun time in that corn bin and could’ve definitely stayed there for longer.  Here’s 1 of Skylar doing her “corn angels” and Summy dumping corn on her head:


After this we ate lunch at the picnic tables there and then headed to the car.  As we were driving to the farm I had seen a sign that said the Royal Gorge was 12 miles west of Canon City… I didn’t really realize that the Royal Gorge was SO close to Canon City!  So we/I pushed Summy past her naptime and we made it to the Royal Gorge before she fell asleep (barely!  I had to tickle her feet to keep her awake for probably the last 1/2 mile!).  I carried her for most of our time at the Royal Gorge so she didn’t get too cranky.  Chris and I couldn’t remember the last time we were actually AT the Royal Gorge… maybe early 2000’s?  I have a vague memory of going there w/ the Nagles (maybe?) one time when they visited b/c I think I remembered riding this little train ride they used to have.  Lisa- do you have any memory of this?  I’m guessing E&H would’ve only been about 2 or so?  Maybe younger?  I couldn’t find any photos of this stuff so maybe I’m just making it up?!?  Anyway, I digress… again.  So since we hadn’t been to the gorge in forever (the last time we were probably in the area was when we rafted thru the gorge in 2006-ish) we decided to go.  There was a big forest fire in the area in June 2013 that burned down a whole bunch of stuff there- the aerial tram stuff burned, the incline car thing that took you to the bottom of the gorge burned (the gears melted from the heat of the fire), the old visitors’ center burned and all the rides that were in the area were destroyed as well.  The sign in the new visitors’ center said it opened in Aug 2014.  And the place looks WAY different now!  I don’t know if they had managed to save the water clock or if they just rebuilt it but there’s still one there:


And then I took this photo b/c this building was where the incline tram thing went down to the bottom of the gorge… and nothing is left but the stones of the building:


The track for the incline tram thing still exists but no tram:


They built a little “overlook” area so you can see down into the gorge where the platform was where the incline tram thing dropped you off.  Of course the photo doesn’t do the view justice!  But looking at the photo will remind me of my memories of how beautiful it is🙂


Summer absolutely loved leaning over the edge and looking down into the gorge each time I would step close to the railing.  She was making me nervous!


After this we headed to the bridge and started walking across it.  It was WINDY!!!!  They actually had the gondola closed (they built a gondola w/ about 6 gondola cars vs the single aerial tram car they had before) b/c of the wind.  That was OK w/ me tho b/c there’s no way I would’ve stepped foot into a gondola with that kind of wind!  Anyway, as we were walking across the bridge we stopped to look down at the water and Chris saw that there were actually 3 rafts down in the river!  So cool!  So we got to tell the girls “Mommy and Daddy did that a long time ago!”  They asked us “How did you get down there?!?”🙂  So we tried to explain how you start upriver and then travel down into the gorge… not sure they understood but whatever- they enjoyed watching the rafts float along the river!


And then we stopped in front of the NJ flag and sign:


The PA flag/sign photo is on Chris’ phone/camera and the CO one didn’t turn out very well.  And you can see in the above photo that Summy was still trying to look over the edge at the gorge below! When we got to the middle of the bridge that thing was swaying and moving pretty good!  The girls could definitely feel it and, I’m not gonna lie, it was starting to freak me out a little when we would stop walking and just stand there.  I just wanted to keep moving!  Yes, I’m a wimp.

We got to the other side and played on the couple rides they had there.  We watched this ride they have called the “Royal Rush Skycoaster” on the edge of the gorge which is basically a big rope swing where they pull you back and then let you swing out over the gorge.  The girls liked listening for the people screaming when they’d release the cord holding them up🙂  There was also a zip line ride but that was closed b/c of the wind too.  Anyway, we didn’t do either of those rides- just walked to the edge of the gorge and looked around again. I captioned this photo on FB “Summy just was NOT feeling the selfie at this moment… we (mostly just I) had pushed her way past her nap time and she was tired!”


But the view was still beautiful to look at!


S&D had gotten some “junior ranger” quizzes to complete while we were there- they had to answer questions and then find the letters those specific locations.  And then unscramble all the letters to figure out what word was being spelled.  Kota got bored of it after about 3 minutes but Skylar stuck w/ it and completed all of them!  And then she even unscrambled all the letters and spelled the word “Bridge” by herself!  Way to go Skylar!  So she was the only one who officially completed the junior ranger test but the nice guy gave all 3 girls badges🙂

And that was our day!  After that we high-tailed it back to the car in hopes that Summer might fall asleep for a little bit (she stayed awake for most of the drive home and then fell asleep at 5 pm when we were almost home- figures!).  We had an uneventful drive home, got dinner and then it was an early bedtime for everyone!  And 1 last photo from the day- Skylar reading a book to Summer before bedtime.  So sweet!


A fun Sunday!






Posted by: dlc136 | October 17, 2016

Dakota’s 1st solo bike ride

But first let me talk about Thursday and Friday.  I hung up the girls’ updated photos above our fireplace- please don’t look at all the crap on the mantel… any flat surface in our house gathers crap!


And it was such a warm day on Friday that when Skylar got home from school the girls asked if they could put their bathing suits on and play in the water.  At first they asked me if I could blow up the pool but I didn’t feel like doing that so I just gave them buckets/totes to fill up and play with.


Oh, and some photos of colorful trees on our street that I took as we were walking to school that AM:



And then one at Rampart Park where I go to Stroller Strides.  I had just noticed that AM that a bunch of the trees had changed color and were pretty:


So, yeah, some pretty colors going on around Colorado Springs.

So back to Saturday and Kota’s 1st solo 2-wheeler bike ride w/ the family.  We rode ~5 miles and she did great!  She was defintely pooped afterwards but she was a trooper and rode the entire way!  Go Kota!

Zooming off ahead of everyone!


What a beautiful view during our bike ride!


And then some pretty yellow trees w/ Pikes Peak in the background.  And Chris and the girls are on the trail off to the left of this photo:


And then 1 of Chris and S&D:


1 of me w/ the girls as we were crossing a bridge and Pikes Peak was peeking above the trees in the background:


And yet another 1 with some pretty fall colors:


And then… finally!  The reward after our bike ride.. the playground!!!



It was quite a warm day!  Check out the screenshot of the weather app on my phone- 81 degrees on October 15th!


And only 8% humidity!  Holy dryness!  Fire danger is defintely high around here!  In fact, 3 fires started today for various reasons- 1 just to the west of the AFA but near that reservoir that we hiked to at the end of September, 1 off of Hwy 115 (the road we had taken to get to Canon City and the farm we went to on Sunday) and 1 in Westcliffe which is pretty far from us.  Yikes.


After playing on the playground for awhile, we left at about 11:45 am to head home for lunch and then naptime.  Skylar had her Nutcracker rehearsal that day from 3:15- 3:45 pm and then there was a parents’ meeting at the studio for Nutcracker performance info.  Holy overload of info and overwhelmed feelings!  I went to the meeting and we received a PACKET of info!  This performance is NO JOKE!  Lisa- I don’t know how detailed or involved E&H’s performance is… but the amount of details and info almost overwhelmed me!  There are 3 performances- Monday, 12/19 @7 pm, Tues, 12/20 @3 pm and @7 pm.  There is also a dress rehearsal (pretty much a full performance run-thru) at 3 pm on Monday, 12/19.  So we/I/someone has to drop Skylar off at 10 am on Monday, 12/19 and then pick her up at 4:30-ish and then have her back by 6:30pm.  The Pikes Peak Center is about 20 min from our house but it’s a Monday so there will be rush hour traffic.. so I can only imagine I will be spending all day downtown with Skylar.  I’m pretty sure either Chris will have to take a vacation day for Mon or we’ll send Kota and Summy to Primrose for the day so i can be unencumbered by other kids.  Jeez. There’s also a rehearsal on Sun, 12/18 sometime in the afternoon too- this time w/ the orchestra who will be accompanying the performance.  So yeah, it seems like our life will be ruled by the Nutcracker for those 2 days.  I”m sure Skylar will enjoy being up on the stage tho so hopefully it’ll all be worth it!  Oh yeah, and I have to practice Skylar’s “performance make up”… I have to buy the make up first though.  In addition to the blush, eye shadow and lipstick that she usually wears for recitals, I have to do foundation now too.  Ugh!  I am so not looking forward to that.  I’ll struggle thru it somehow tho.

When Skylar and I got home from the ballet studio, we ordered Noodles for dinner and that was about it for the night.  I did manage to spend some quality time on the couch watching some college football and playing games on my phone that night.  Aaah, relaxation!

A fun Saturday!


Posted by: dlc136 | October 13, 2016

Random weekday stuff…

Monday, 10/10 was our 1st day “puppy sitting” for our neighbors up the street!  They (the Gallaghers- they’re the Navy family 3 houses up) had gotten a Golden Retriever puppy the other week and asked me if I would be able to let her (they named her Star) out during the day on Mondays and Fridays when I’m home.  Another neighbor was going to do it on Tues-Thurs.  Of course I said YES!!!  What a great way to get my puppy fix but not have to ACTUALLY have a pet!🙂

So on Monday we went over at 11 am and 1 pm to let her out and play with her for a little bit.  Their sons get home from school at 3:15 pm so then they take over with letting her out and playing.  I snapped a couple photos of the girls playing w/ Star in the backyard and sent a couple to Chris w/ the caption saying “Too bad puppies are SO much work b/c the girls absolutely love playing with her!”  And Star really seems to like Summy- I think b/c she’s the smallest and more her size and she can jump up and lick Summy’s face.  Summy just giggles the entire time and then kinda runs away saying “Come on Star!”  Of course you have to be able to speak/understand Summy language to be able to understand her🙂





Too cute!

Kota asked me to open 1 of her birthday presents she had gotten on Sunday- a tea set.  So she and Summy had a tea party while I was getting lunch ready.


Oh, and I think I’ve mentioned 1 of our neighbors before… 2 houses up and next door to the Gallaghers .  The girls call the husband Mr. Steve and call their house “the farm” b/c they have chickens and ducks in their backyard that they keep for eggs and then eventually for meat.  Well, this year they have a TURKEY!   The girls had told me earlier that “Mr. Steve got a turkey today!” but I forgot about it.  When we were at the Gallaghers on Monday letting Star out I heard the thing gobble next door so we went over to the fence and peeked through to see it.  Holy BIG turkey!  I held my phone up over the fence and snapped a photo of it- it’s pretty big!  I hope they’re having a big group for Thanksgiving day🙂  Our house is the 1st tan house you can see in the photo below… but there’s actually another house in between ours and Mr. Steve’s so we can only sometimes hear the ducks and I’ve never heard the turkey from our house.


And, of course, I have to have at least 1 photo of Pikes Peak from our kitchen window, right?  I took this one morning (Tuesday?) b/c the peak just looked so pretty w/ the sun shining on it at sunrise.  I’m glad I snapped the photo when I did b/c shortly after the sun rose higher and went behind a cloud and the peak was in shadows b/c it was a pretty cloudy day.


I get to pick up our JCP photos tonight after work!  I’m looking forward to seeing them and then hanging them on the wall to update the girls’ pictures!

It’s also a fundraiser night tonight at Little Caesars for Skylar’s elementary school (10% of the proceeds go to her school) so I don’t have to cook dinner tonight!  Yay!  Pizza for dinner it is!

It’s PJ day at school today for Kota (usually it’s on Fridays and she misses it) so she was very excited to wear her PJs to school.  Chris also asked Primrose yesterday if they could try to not let Kota nap b/c when she naps at school she does NOT go to bed at night very easily.  Tuesday night (when she had napped at school) she was awake until at least 10:15 pm!  She was getting out of bed and coming to the top of the stairs to talk to me (I was in the kitchen cleaning up, packing S’s lunch, etc) over and over again!  When she takes a nap at school I call her a tumbleweed b/c at night she’ll just roll around in her bed like a tumbleweed and not go to sleep.  Sometimes she’ll keep talking to Skylar and keep her awake and then Skylar will come downstairs and tell me that Kota’s keeping her awake and then I have to go threaten Kota to get her to stay quiet and try to go to sleep.  So ANYWAY (that was a major run on sentence) Chris asked them to not let Kota nap and it worked wonderfully!  Kota went straight to sleep last night when I put her and Skylar to bed at 8:30 pm.  Sweet!  Kota told me yesterday when I picked up her that she can bring a coloring book to school so she can do some coloring during naptime when the other kids are sleeping.  Apparently there’s 1 other girl who doesn’t (or isn’t allowed?) nap too so they hang out together (but aren’t allowed to talk since it’s quiet time).

Let’s see… what else is new?  We did FaceTime w/ Gramma Bonnie and PopPop on either Sat or Sun- I think it was Sunday b/c Mom had gotten home from the hospital on Saturday?  So it was nice to see Mom and hear about her stay in the hospital and what all they learned during the week.  I got to talk to her on the phone last night for longer b/c Kota somehow accidentally called her (not FaceTimed) from the iPad but then hung up and so Mom called me back.  I don’t even know how Kota managed to call mom’s cell phone b/c our iPad doesn’t have cellular service… oh well.  Anyway, it was nice talking to Mom and Chris actually took the girls upstairs so I could have some quiet to talk🙂

I think that’s about all that’s new.  I’m hoping to go to a local pumpkin farm on Sunday w/ my Stroller Strides group.  We’ve never been there before so hopefully it’ll at least sort of measure up to either Merrymead or Milky Way farms back in PA!  I kind of doubt it b/c this farm is to the east of the Springs so it’s on the plains whereas Merrymead and Milky Way have big trees surrounding their farms… but I’ll wait and see what the farm is like and reserve judgement for Sunday🙂

Posted by: dlc136 | October 12, 2016

Kota’s 5th birthday party

Sunday, 10/9 was Kota’s 5th birthday party at The Little Gym here in the Springs.  She had 13 friends from Primrose come for a total of 16 kids (including our 3 girls) at the party.  I think all the kids had a fun time and the “coaches” or party leaders at The Little Gym were awesome!  Very engaging and kept the kids moving and entertained!  It was also awesome b/c they did EVERYTHING for us!  We brought some snacks, the birthday cake and 5 birthday balloons and they supplied everything else for us.  Actually, we brought some Shimmer and Shine plates and napkins to go along w/ the Shimmer and Shine balloons Kota wanted as her “theme”.   Her party was from 3-4:30 pm.  And a funny thing is that a fellow Primrose classmate was having her 5th birthday party at The Little Gym in the time slot before Kota’s party (1-2:30 pm)🙂  And Ackley’s mom said Skylar could come to her party so S&D had 2 birthday parties in a row!

Kota w/ her cake at home:


And then 1 w/ Skylar too (Summy was already napping):


And then some photos from the party- Summy walking on the balance beam:


And now it’s Skylar’s turn:


A circle time activity with the “coaches” or leaders- Summy was nicely sitting in the circle like a big girl🙂


It was a nice combo of activities for the party- they would let the kids do some free time play on the equipment and then do a circle time activity and then alternate back to some free time.  The kids enjoyed it.  I took this next photo b/c the coaches were telling the kids to follow them while they ran around the gym… but Summy was just kinda standing there not doing anything except watching the other kids.  I think this photo shows it pretty well b/c all the other kids are in action moves and kinda blurry but Summy is perfectly clear b/c she’s just standing still🙂


And then back to some free time to play on the equipment- Kota really loved swinging on the bars- the high bar…


And the low bar:


And then it was time for another group activity- the parachute!  All kids love the parachute!  Plus this was a nice lineup of the kids to document who was at the party!


And some action shots w/ the parachute- funny how Summy’s just kinda standing there w/ her fingers in her mouth watching all the big kids.  She did eventually get into it and shook the parachute just like all the other kids:


Skylar was really getting into it by the way her hair was looking all crazy, huh?


And then they wrapped Kota up in the middle of the parachute like a Hershey kiss and then spun and unwrapped her- fun!


And then they had the air mattress to bounce on.  They had all the kids sit on it and then started inflating it- the looks on the kids’ faces when the thing started inflating were priceless!


And bubbles- everyone loves bubbles!!


And now it’s snack and cake time in the party room!


Kota and her balloons:


Close up on the cake- King Soopers bakery didn’t have a Shimmer and Shine cake so Kota chose princesses:


Singing Happy Birthday:


S&S watching their sister:


Blowing out the candles!


And now at home and it’s time to start opening presents!  I let Kota take all the gifts out of the bags the nice ladies at The Little Gym packed them into and she spread them all out around her so she could admire them while waiting to open them🙂


Kota’s birthday was an even bigger event for presents than Christmas!  13 new gifts for her- present overload!🙂

It was definitely a fun day!


Posted by: dlc136 | October 12, 2016

The Crags

A Stroller Strides mom had posted photos on FB of her family’s hike the other weekend when they hiked a trail called The Crags.  I asked her if she thought the trail was too difficult for little kids (she has a 5 and 2 yr old) and she said her 5 yr old did pretty well and they carried the 2 yr old in the carrier.  Chris and I had hiked this trail with friends a LONG time ago (November 2004!) and so I thought I’d give it a try again.  Chris has, again, been working a ton of OT this past week so all he wanted to do on Sat AM was sleep.  The girls were all up relatively early (7:15-ish) so I told him that I was going to take Summy and go hike this trail while he could stay home w/ S&D and let them watch TV all AM while he sleeps🙂  S&D are getting to the point of independence where they can get themselves dressed (altho they prefer to stay in their PJs as long as we’ll let them!) and get enough food out of the pantry to keep themselves alive w/o our help🙂  So yeah, I took Summy and we left the house at 8:45 am and got to the trailhead at about 10 am.  I drove Chris’ Jeep and was glad I did so b/c the access road was pretty rutted and bumpy!  Summy was loving all the bumps and rumbling though🙂

The trail was 5 miles long (2.5 miles each way) and I started hiking at 10:07 am and got to the top at 11:37 am.  I happened to look at my phone/clock each time so that’s why I know the SPECIFIC times.  So 1 1/2 hrs to get up and then it took me less than an hour to get down- I was back in the car and leaving at 1 pm.  The trail description said there was only ~850 ft of elevation gain so not a super steep trail… HOWEVER, I swear 400 ft of elevation gain were in the 1st half mile of the trail and then the other 400 ft were at the last 1/2 mile of the trail!  Those 2 sections were pretty challenging to me with Summy on my back- an extra 30+ lbs!  But she was pretty much happy during the entire hike and we had a good time so it was worth it!  However, I’m not sure I’d go back and do it again w/ S&D!  I think it would definitely be a pretty big challenge for them!  The most we’ve hike is a little over 4 miles and both times have been on relatively flat trails.  So this is another mile further than that and definitely uphill!  Anyway, I’m rambling.

I figured this would be the case, but all the Aspens had already lost their leaves and there were no spectacular fall colors.  But Summy looks happy, doesn’t she?🙂


The other fun thing was that there were still small patches of snow left in the shady areas and Summy recognized the snow!  So she was keeping an eagle eye out for the snow and would point and yell “Snow!” whenever she saw it.  And a couple times she actually spotted the snow before I did!🙂


In front of some cool rocks in the background- again, happy girl in the photo!


And check this out- I actually went back and found our photos from 2004 when Chris and I snowshoed this trail.  A side-by-side comparison with those rocks in the background- 12 yrs apart!  A little bit of a different angle but still the same rocks.

More cool rocks:


And I think I actually found the rock where we took HB’s photo a long time ago!  I remembered the picture looking a little different (thought it showed more of the rock) but the snow makes it look different too.

And a random one of HB- this is pretty much how I remember her from all our hiking and snowshoeing adventures- running like a crazy brown girl🙂


Back to Saturday, we finally got high enough on the trail to where we started having some pretty overlooks of the area.  You can barely see it, but in the background are the reservoirs that you get to from the Pikes Peak highway.  You can actually see the PP road from the top of the Crags.


And this is what the trail looked like at one point cutting straight thru the rocks🙂


And we made it to the top!


All my other selfies that I tried to take didn’t really show the snow-covered mtns in the background very well- bummer!  The view was definitely awesome that day!  So clear!

Here’s one from 2004 of Chris and our friend, Kelly, pointing at those same rocks that are behind me and Summy:


I took this photo of a scraggly tree at the top:


And then realized that Chris had taken a picture of me in 2004 next to the same tree🙂


And then I had taken a picture of some rocks on 1 of the nearby peaks:


And we had taken a photo of the same peak back in 2004- check out how there’s less trees back then… of course the zoom on the photos are different and the sunlight/shade angle are different and the snow makes it look different so it’s kinda hard to compare… but trust me, this is the same set of rocks on a nearby peak🙂


And let’s see… here’s 1 of me and Chris from ’04. And hey, I still have that fleece jacket I’m wearing in the photo below- I actually wore it to work today :):


And then a pano photo I took last weekend- you can see the rock we were leaning against in my photo above is now just to the right of the pine tree in my photo below (there’s a bird sitting on top of the rock if you look REALLY closely).


Let’s see… what other photos did I take? Another pano photo of that nearby peak w/ the rocks on it:


I actually filled up my phone with photos and videos by the time I had started back down so I didn’t take any other photos on the way down the trail.  But I was hoofing it back to the car as fast as possible b/c my back was starting to HURT after carrying Summy for so long so I wasn’t really stopping to take any photos.  I realized I was out of practice at carrying her b/c Chris has been carrying her all summer when we hike.  I was doing OK until I was about halfway down (maybe around mile 4-ish?) and then I got pretty hungry but Summy had fallen asleep in the backpack at about 12:15 pm and I didn’t dare try to get her off my back to set the backpack down to get some food out of it for fear of waking her up and then having to deal w/ the wrath of Summy after a super short nap!  As it was, she only slept 30 min in the backpack and that was the ONLY nap she had all day.  Ugh.  So she was definitely not in her best mood when we went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner that night for Chris’ bday- hence my comment in the previous post about the girls annoying Chris.  Her short nap was definitely a factor.

Anyway, to wrap up my hike summary, we had a nice time and I got a GREAT workout!

Posted by: dlc136 | October 11, 2016

Happy birthday Chris!

It was Chris’42nd birthday on Friday and the girls and I decorated the house, got him some balloons, a couple silly presents, and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake for his bday.  The girls were hiding when Chris got home so they could jump out and yell “Surprise!” and “Happy Birthday!” to him.  At first they were going to hide in the basement but then I explained the finer points of hiding somewhere close by so they can hear when Daddy got home and be ready to jump up and yell🙂


Unfortunately, Chris worked a pretty long day on Friday and didn’t get home til late (6pm-ish?) so we skipped going out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse (Chris’ request) and just got pizza and takeout Chinese for me and the usual dinner for the girls and ate at home.  Then we did FaceTime w/ Grammy and sang Happy Birthday.

FaceTime w/ Grammy:


The cake.  I didn’t have an individual 4 candle so I had to improvise🙂


We went out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner on Saturday but no photos from that night because, unfortunately, the girls were annoying Chris so we skipped his ice cream after dinner and just headed home.

Happy Birthday Chris!

Posted by: dlc136 | October 5, 2016

Kota’s birthday… continued

Gramma Bonnie and PopPop’s gift showed up in the mail on Monday so Kota got to open another gift!  She even let Skylar help her open the outer packaging paper!



But she opened the bag by herself🙂


She loved her Rubble!!


Summy enjoyed playing with the packing newspaper and throwing it all around and then helping throw it in the recycling bin🙂

Oh, speaking of Summy… the little bruiser was at it again!  Luckily she waited until AFTER the photos on Saturday to take a header on the front cement steps and scrape her face up!  She was outside with Chris while he was watering the flowers on Sunday and she somehow tripped up the steps and whacked her head and got a pretty good bump on her forehead and scraped her cheek, eyebrow AND nose!


And this photo looked funny- I think she was in the middle of coughing in this photo (she, of course, has a cold w/ a nasty cough and runny nose):


And I actually turned on the heat in our house last night!  There was a freeze warning last night for the northern part of the county (more north of us) but we were supposed to get down to 32 degrees last night too.  Well, I think we were colder than that… I set our heat to kick on if it got below 65 degrees in our house and it definitely kicked on!  And when I looked at the temp this AM to see what the weather was going to be, this is what greeted me.  Brrr!


Lisa and I bought our tix to The Rockettes show in NYC for Thurs, 12/29 the other night.  I”m excited to go see it again and get to go to the city for the day.  I missed it in 2014 for some reason (b/c we had just had Summy?) and missed it last year b/c we stayed in CO.

I also bought our tix yesterday for The Nutcracker to see Skylar perform.  We’re going to the Tuesday afternoon show (3 pm) so we can leave Summy at daycare and only bring Kota w/ us.  Then either Chris or I will take Skylar to the Mon and Tues night (7 pm) performances while the other person stays home w/ Kota and Summy.

Happy Hump Day!


Posted by: dlc136 | October 3, 2016

Dakota is 5!

Dakota was SO excited for her birthday yesterday!  She kept saying “I’m for real 5!  Not pretend 5… for real 5!”  And she made sure to tell EVERYONE we saw that “today is my birthday!”  Too cute.

She was up nice and early and wanted to open her gifts.  I should back up a bit and say that I had gone to a consignment sale (Just Between Friends up in Castle Rock) the other week and found a Barbie car for her.  I tried to sneak it past her (she and Summy were w/ me b/c we went on Friday) but she saw it at the checkout and immediately asked “Mommy!  Who is the Barbie car for?!?”  I thought about lying to her but in the end just told her it was for her for her bday.  She wanted to immediately play with it but I hid it in my closet and wouldn’t give it to her.  She (and Skylar) spent the week in between continuously asking me where I had hidden the car🙂

Anyway, back to yesterday… we all headed downstairs so Kota could open her gifts.  She really enjoyed the decorations too.



She enjoyed the decorations so much that she asked to take off the streamers from the railing and use it as her flag/toy.  She liked the Paw Patrol shirt:


And she finally got to open the Barbie car and play with it!🙂


I like how Summy’s peaking around in this photo trying to get in on the action too🙂


And then opening her Razor scooter she’s been asking for- she was tired of having to borrow Skylar’s and wanted her own.


After opening her gifts, she immediately went out to the Barbie bin in the front room and got 2 barbies and put them in the car and started playing🙂


After that we did FaceTime w/ Grammy so she could tell Kota Happy Birthday!  And then we all got dressed and Chris asked if we wanted to head to McD’s for breakfast so they could play for a bit- I said sure b/c it was still relatively early and the pottery painting place didn’t open til 11am.

The girls sticking their faces thru the play structure.. I love Summy’s face in this photo.  She was having a BLAST getting to be a big girl and go up to the top and down the slide and all over the place w/ her big sisters.  I commented to Chris about how much more stuff Summy gets to do than either S or D got to do when they were 2.  Ain’t NO WAY we would’ve ever gone to a McD’s play area w/ Skylar when she was 2… and when Kota was 2 I just never got around to it.  We talked about it… but never did it.  Anyway, yeah… 3rd child gets all the perks… right Cindy?😉


We headed to the mall to the pottery painting place right at 11am and let the girls pick out the pieces they wanted to paint.  Kota chose Tiana to paint and Skylar chose a puppy.  They just LOVE painting pottery and could probably do it every weekend if we would let them!  We even let Summy paint a piece of pottery- just a plain tile though… nothing fancy for her.  She SLATHERED that thing w/ paint.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out!


Kota asked Chris to help her and Chris made the comment after we were done and driving home that “Man, I’m way to anal/picky to be doing that with the girls”🙂  But, I will say that Kota has gotten WAY  better at painting recently.  I think the last time we painted pottery was E&H’s bday 2 yrs ago (their 9th bday?) and Kota pretty much just slathered paint all over the kitty she chose.  This time around she paid attention to detail and chose her colors purposefully and everything.  Skylar’s always been quite good and particular about her coloring and painting and continues to be.


Cutie Summy in her  apron:


Chris still helping Kota:


Kota’s Tiana is making progress!


And so is Skylar’s puppy:


Chris put their names and date on each of their pieces- here’s Summy’s finished product:


Summy did get a little bored towards the end so she and I took a walk around the mall while S&D continued painting.  She loved going up and down the escalator!  After painting we headed home for lunch and naptime for Summy.  S&D helped me bake the cupcakes:


And, of course, lick the bowl and beaters!


And then they headed outside to play w/ the neighborhood kids and Kota to ride her new scooter!


We left for Chuck E. Cheese at about 4:15pm, played lots of games, had pizza and generally had a good time!  Summy really enjoyed playing this ball toss game OVER and OVER again.  I got a video of her playing the game and if S or D tried to play the game she tried pushing them out of the way… thinking that it was HER game and ONLY her game.  Ah, Summy… she still needs to learn the finer points of sharing.  But I guess that’s par for the course for a 2-yr old, huh?  S&D both each ate THREE (3!) pieces of pizza each!  I think that’s a record for them!



Dancing w/ Chuck E. Cheese just as we were going home.  Summy even got out there and danced w/ S&D- I got a cute video of her dancing.


But then when Chuck E. throw tix at the end of the dance Summy started wailing and took off out of the crowd and back to me.  She wanted no part of someone throwing stuff at her!  Even if it was tix so she could play her beloved ball game more🙂

S&D w/ Chuck E.:


You can see Skylar holding the toy each of them picked out last night.  Chris has been having them save their points/tickets each time they go so they can get something bigger/better and last night was the night they finally got to cash in their tickets!  They both got a nerf pop launcher thing.  This was a very timely thing to get b/c they had just spent the afternoon at the neighbor’s house playing w/ their nerf launcher guns and loved them!

When we were driving home Lisa texted me asking if we had time for FaceTime since she was in OCNJ at Mom/Dad’s house.  So I said sure- let us get home and we’ll give you a call.  So Kota had some extra people singing Happy Birthday to her last night🙂



After that it was bath and bedtime for everyone.  I’d say Kota had a pretty nice and fun birthday!  And next Sunday, 10/9 is her birthday party with school kids at The Little Gym.




Posted by: dlc136 | October 2, 2016


A quick recap from last Sunday- we decided to do a quick hike around Echo Lake at the base of Mt. Evans to see if we could see more fall colors.  Unfortunately, there weren’t many Aspens around the lake but we did see some pretty colors when we drove to Evergreen on our way home.  The lake itself was very pretty and the girls enjoyed watching some ducks on the water.  We (mostly me) also let Summy out of the backpack and she hiked the entire time- about 2 miles round trip!  It took us FOREVER to go 2 miles hiking at her pace🙂  I KNOW Chris wanted to put her in the backpack and go faster but he let her stay out.  And as Karen commented on FB, “I bet you’ll have a hard time getting her back in the backpack next time”.  I would bet the same thing Karen!  We’ll let you know how next time goes🙂

It was COLD in the AM for this hike!  38 degrees and most of the trail was in the shade in the trees- brrr!  I captioned this one “I’m free!… and I have my Pirate Booty!”🙂


And then 1 of all 3 girls sitting on a rock- I had captioned this one “Only 1 girl looks happy to have her photo taken”:


And then we came to a little side path that led to the lake- so we headed out to check out the water.  This photo makes me think Summy is saying “Hey, guys… wait up for me!”


And I specifically told the girls “HOLD YOUR SISTER’S HAND AND DON’T LET GO!” so she wouldn’t fall in the water🙂


And then a better 1 of all 3 of them on a rock:


And then 1 on a fallen tree:


And then we finally made it to the other side of the lake!  Beautiful view of the lake on a gorgeous day!


And 1 of Kota:


And Summy was enthralled with the ducks swimming around and all the girls liked how you could see their feet paddling since the water was so clear!


And then we hiked back to our car- which, again, took FOREVER b/c Summy was walking the entire time.  But the girls had fun getting out and exploring.  After we got back to the car, we turned on a movie for the girls and headed towards Evergreen to take the scenic route home.  I had promised the girls we could stop in Evergreen for ice cream but they were so engrossed in their movie that they never even noticed we never stopped🙂

We saw some pretty trees during our drive home and Chris got some good photos:




And then 1 of me and the girls at the lake:


And then from the other side of the lake- panoramic one first.  So gorgeous!!!


And then a closer up one of us:


And then how ridiculously beautiful is this view?!?


Zoomed out a little- look how clear that water is!  There was a ton of “seaweed” (not sure what it’s called when it’s in a lake- “lakeweed”???)  in the lake the ducks would go under water and then swim thru the stuff (looking for food?) and then pop up in a totally different (sometimes far away from their original dive location!) spot!  The girls just LOVED watching the ducks doing this!  Anyway, I digress…


And now back to our drive to Evergreen- a pretty hillside full of Aspens:


And then 1 last one that was taken by Chris sticking his arm out the window and snapping a photo b/c we were going around a corner and I couldn’t hardly slow down or stop for fear of a car coming up behind us and rear-ending us.  But the yellows were so brilliant!


As I said earlier, the girls didn’t even notice that we never stopped for ice cream… and Summy had fallen asleep before we even made it to Evergreen and we couldn’t even find an ice cream place (other than Baskin Robbins!) so we just kept driving.  We drove thru Morrison and kept our eye out for an ice cream place there… but no such luck either.  So we just headed home and had ice cream at home.

Some photos from during the week.  More of Summy playing in the water 1 night while I was making dinner:



Her feet are actually off the stool b/c she’s leaning down into the sink to pick up something🙂


Skylar, Summer and I headed out on Friday afternoon (Chris stayed home w/ Kota.  Chris had had a procedure done on his throat so he was at home napping and Kota was glued to the TV) to look for a birthday present for Kota.  As we were driving we saw a lone ray of sun shining thru the clouds and Skylar said it looked like a spotlight in the middle of the day.  Very accurate description Skylar!


And then the resulting rainbow after the rainstorm passed through our area.  A panoramic of the rainbow:


Sat, 10/1:

We did JCP photos in the AM of all the girls and they did AWESOME and we got some fantastic photos.  However, getting everyone to the appt was torture again.  I know I said to Chris “Why do I even bother?!?” and he said “Because we always enjoy the finished product and are happy we did it”.  So true.

The birthday girl went first:





Then Skylar:





And last Summy- she looks like such a BIG girl!



Posing so nicely just like her big sisters!


I mean, does THIS look like the face of a kid who TORTURES Mommy and Daddy?!?  No!  Such a sweet face!


And then the group photos.  Posing so nicely w/ her sisters again!


And this 1 cracked me up b/c S&D were already in position and they had left a space for Summy to fit in when we were done changing her from her flowered dress to her jumper and she just walked over, plunked herself down and backed herself right into the spot- like she knew it was meant for her🙂


And a cute close up on their faces:


And then 1 of them standing- so cute, holding her sisters’ hands.  Again, do these look like the faces of kids who torture Mommy and Daddy?!?  No!  Jekyll and Hyde, I tell ya…


OK, so that was pretty much ALL the photos we took yesterday… but they all just turned out so nicely!  I got prints of several of them so, if you read this blog, chances are you can expect a copy of at least 1 of them in the mail sometime in the near future🙂

Saturday afternoon was the Air Force Academy football game vs. Navy.  Usually when they play a rival military academy there’s a pretty good air show before the game.  So S&D and I headed over to Chris’ office parking lot to see what they served up.  Chris stayed home w/ Summy b/c it was naptime.  They had parachuters first parachute into the stadium and then 4 jets so a small air show.  We could see the jets circling to the south of us and the stadium waiting for the signal to start the flyover.  Very fun.  First, a selfie of me and the girls🙂


And then 1 of Skylar watching the jets pass over.  I got several videos too.  The jets are the 2 black dots in the sky that you can see against the clouds🙂  I didn’t bring the good camera so this is the best my phone would do.


While we were watching the jets fly by, Skylar asked me if jets can fly at night.  I told her “I think so but I know who to ask who will DEFINITELY know the answer to that question”.  So I  texted my resident jet-pilot-expert- my HS friend Brian.  So he told me yes, they do fly at night but it’s usually a pretty scary thing to do.  And then Skylar thought of several more questions for him and he was nice enough to answer them all for her.  Thanks Brian!🙂  And he was nice enough to send a photo he has of him in his F-22 when he was refueling over Alaska when they lived up there a couple years ago.  How cool is this?!?  I mean, I guess he could just be lying to me and saying this is him when really it’s a stock Air Force photo and I’d never know the difference🙂  But I doubt he’d do that.  And what’s even cooler is that his wife, Samantha was in the refueling airplane blowing him a kiss!


Samantha had shared this photo on FB right after this happened w/ the caption “This is the closest I’ll ever get to being able to fly with my husband”.   Crazy.


OK, enough of the marathon post.

Next… on to Kota’s birthday!



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