Thursday, February 02, 2012

Ride 'em Cowboy

I have so many stories I want to share on this scrappy little blog, but in a way it's like trying to rekindle a relationship with an old friend.  You'd really love to call them up and say hello, but you know that it's going to be a loooong conversation because you haven't spoken in forever.  So you put it off, waiting for the evening when you can fully commit yourself to deep session of Friendship Rekindling.  But for various reasons (30 Rock reruns, facebook trolling) you run out of time and you put it off.  Again and again.  And then it becomes that "thing" that haunts and daunts you, when all you really wish you could do is pop in for a quick chat and then go on your merry way again.  That's how I feel about blog updates. I just want to say hey, and instead I feel pressured to write a witty dissertation on life and family. I've seen this panic in the writings of others, however, and after going bleary eyed from fine print I've come to the following realizations: people mostly just want to see pictures.  With some cute captions. So, as I do every 6 weeks or so, here's my attempt to rekindle our friendship without making a big deal out of it.

National Western Stock Show!  Have you been?  I never had, and like a lot of local events I've never been to, having a kid is a perfect excuse to go check them out. 

Denver.  We're literally a cow town.

 First stop on the list was the petting zoo. The attendant turned in alarm when Holly screamed at the top of her lungs, but I assured him that she hadn't been bit, it was her "I'm so excited and I just can't hide it" sound.

 This was hands down THE cleanest petting zoo I've even encountered.  The animals were freshly laundered and any stray poop was deftly whisked away by shiny faced 4H members.

Llama llama big as mama

I'm one hot donkey

After the petting zoo we moved on to the arena where pretty young heifers were being paraded around and judged by old men. Best part: telling Holly, "Did you hear that?  That's what the cow says!"

I pretend like I don't care but I so totally do.

It's like a dog show...but with cows.

 We left the arena and then explored the sheep and cattle holding areas.  Staging areas?  I don't know what it's called, but I tell you it was like toddlers in tiaras.  I've never seen so many people lovingly scrubbing down their cows and then fawning over soft cow fur with blow dryers and brushes until they are just the cuddliest, cleanest little bovine this side of Oklahoma.


My favorite!

The kiddos definitely started to tire out after a couple hours of walking around even though we never got to see the good stuff like mutton busting or mexican rodeo. That's just the carrot to get us in the door for next year.  I can't wait!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I guess I knew that kids get sick a lot, but I always assumed they were just colds and the kids got over them.  Which they do, of course, but there's some other weirdness mixed in that no one ever warns you about.  Anyone who has ever had to google "rash" knows what I mean. It's crash course in all kinds of infectious diseases that you never knew were even possible. This summer Holly got a light pattern of red, raised bumps all over her skin which I thought at first might be a heat rash but it didn't go away.  After sorting though reams of ungodly photos, trying to match the angry red welts on the screen to the ones on my little girl's back, I deduced that she likely had roseola.  The crazy thing is, did you know that almost every single kid gets this by the time they are 2?  Yeah neither did I.  Consider this my PSA to all other new parents out there.  Of course, she also had a blister on her tongue which *might* have been due to teething her 1-year molars, or *might* have been hand, foot and mouth disease.  Did you know this is a fairly common infection in preschool age kids?  Seriously, wtf.  The best part was having to call my sister and tell her, "Hey!  It was so much fun having you, Matt and the twins up at our mountain house for the weekend!  By the way Holly may have a highly contagious disease.  Kbye."

But kids are resilient, and within days she was back to normal.  Luckily the twins never caught the roseola-hoof-and-mouth bug.  We were all set to have Thanksgiving at Christine's house but a couple of days beforehand Holly got a touch of a runny nose, hereto known as the harbinger of doom and misery.  She was not her normal self.

Hi mama, I'm going to sneeze in your mouth now.

  How could you let this happen to me?

Roll me for bed sores in an hour.

 She was obviously miserable and absolutely refused to be put down, or not snuggled exclusively by the mama.  The same mama who had her mouth sneezed in and was now a puddle of crud.

 Wheee.  Hiking is fun.

We spent Thanksgiving at home, passed out on the couch, and later managed to pick at some of the side dish I had prepared for the big family dinner.  Holly was still acting very pathetic and we realized that something else may be going on, perhaps an ear infection.  We took her to the pediatrician the next day and had our suspicions confirmed, leaving with a prescription for amoxicillin.

 Yum yum, pink medicine and a bedtime story!

 The drug did its trick and she was feeling MUCH better within a day or two.  Me, I was fighting the crud for 2 weeks before I finally stopped coughing up terrible things into the sink.  Steve claims he came down with something as well but I don't believe him.

So on her last day of antibiotics I saw her scratching at her tummy and said, "That's cute!  Let's scratch our tummies together!"  When she did it again a few minutes later I lifted her shirt and saw a continent of red, angry welts on her skin. Gaaaaaah!  What now?

 It's tough being little.

After five minutes of total mommy brain fade and a deep reluctance to go trolling through horrific "rash" pictures again, a little voice peeped up that she may have hives (that picture doesn't do it justice).  I called her daycare but she had not had any new foods during the day that may have caused the reaction.  Long story short, her pediatrician diagnosed that she has a penicillin allergy.  I was surprised that it would show up on the last day of her treatment, but apparently that's not that uncommon.  So that will be a thing forever more, but it's not the end of the world.  We're all of us healthy once again and will enjoy it until the next plague comes down the pike.

Feeling much better!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Moab Madness


 Moab seems like the center of the outdoor universe in May and October. Not to be left out, we joined the mountain biking masses for a fun-filled long weekend playing in red dirt. We rented half a duplex on the south side of town and convinced our good friends the Allens and Delneros (including munchkins) to come keep us company (it wasn't hard).

To begin, the ride out went extremely well given that Holly hadn't done a car ride (5.5 hrs) that long before. Once we got there, Karen and I had to decide who was going to go biking and who would play with the kids. After I lost, Matt and I decided to go ride Slickrock with one of his college buddies who happened to be in town.


Although this one photo shows an example of the stuff one rides one, the pictures I took of the ride do not generally do it justice. It's absolutely amazing what you can ride up and down without losing traction. If you want to see what is possible, just search "Slickrock" on YouTube and be amazed. It was a great afternoon and I would absolutely do it again.

The second day there, we decided to do a family trip into Arches National Park. The photo montage tells it all. Late in the afternoon, Karen, Chris and Matt went back out to Slickrock so she could experience it too.




Uber dads


The third day was the big boys ride day. We tackled the Porcupine Ridge trial. Unfortunately, I was too stupid to realize my memory card was full so NONE of my pictures and cool videos snips of us going up and down crazy stuff is available. Guess we'll have to go back. During the 14 miles we also had one casualty. Chris took a spill and ended up with a broken finger for his trouble.

While the boys were not having fun, the girls had the kids and went to see Slickrock for themselves.

The three amigos


Best sandbox ever

Hanging out at Slickrock

Holly seemed to like the rocks so Karen and I are thinking we'll get some company out there riding someday. While Chris went to urgent care for an x-ray, the rest of us went for a hike out to Corona arch.




Our last day out in Moab, Karen got to decide what she wanted to do. After careful consideration, we went out to Barlett Wash for a final biking experience. While similar to Slickrock, Barlett Wash was a slightly less sticky, but super fun playground with lots of interesting features to ride and no real trail to follow. Matt and Karen went out for a nice ride and found it to be very entertaining.

Biking at Bartlett Wash

Biking at Bartlett Wash

Biking at Bartlett Wash

Biking at Bartlett Wash

Biking at Bartlett Wash

Biking at Bartlett Wash

All in all, it was a great weekend and we all really look forward to going out again. Moab truly is a great place to have fun outside and everyone who says "I like to mountain bike" ought to give it a try.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Camper

Recently Holly ditched the army crawl and started crawling on her hands and knees. She also gotten SO much better at pulling herself up to standing and cruising the furniture. It's been a fascinating process to see the positive feedback loop of ability --> desire and desire --> ability. Suddenly the world is her oyster, listeria be damned! A while back we bought Holly a cheap little tent on a whim. She was mildly entertained during her "sit there and look cute" phase, but these last couple of days she's gone bananas for it. It's probably only meant to last for 10 uses before the stitching dissolves and it crumples into a heap of "Made in Vietnam" nylon, but I say money well spent:

Right this way everyone.

Welcome to my hobbit hole!

Please feel free to pounce on the furniture.

Hurl yourself backwards and blow your mind with awesomeness.

Like a gerbil in a ball!

A bit of a pickle, but I've been thru worse.

Rock the static, my friends.

What a gregarious little monkey.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nom nom

Witness a summer rite of passage.

Ok guys here we go!

Spiral is my favorite flavor.

Zomg this is getting intense.

I can feeeeel purple!

Phew, I need a breather.

Mama I think you forgot to take out all the bones.

For my first popsicle, I think I'm doing a pretty darn good job.

Yep, I'm a rock star!

"You talkin' to me?!"

Back off she-devil!

I sense the end is near.

There's a few more drops of melted fudge, I can get them!

Hot damn guys that was awesome.

(No word yet on an encore performance, we're still recovering)