Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Phoenix was our first trip with two under two.  It was sort of a mileage run, in that we took the long way there (COS-IAH-LAX-PHX), but we spent the weekend there doing some off-season mattress running as well.

We started by spending the night in Colorado Springs prior to our very early flight out.  This didn't go so well, as Andrew was too excited to sleep.  Because we needed to get up to go to the airport at 4am, this resulted in only about 4 hours of sleep.  Once we were on our way, it wasn't too bad, in spite of being exhausted.

It was Andrew's first flight as a platinum.
On COS-IAH, Clara fell asleep and napped on my lap.  She won't fit there for too much longer!  Andrew enjoyed the bulkhead.

On IAH-LAX, we had an equipment swap to an international 767, which was a really nice thing since our upgrades had cleared.  Andrew is getting really into looking out the window, whether it's at trucks and ground crew or clouds.  Because of the nice big seats, Daddy was able to help Andrew get to sleep and he had a nice nap.  Clara finds it very easy  to sleep with the white noise of the airplane.  So far so good.

The United Clubs that used to be Continental President's Clubs have family rooms where Andrew can be contained and still run around during layovers.  This is a really nice feature for a toddler!

We spent our first night at the Hyatt Regency Resort at Gainey Ranch.  This being the off season, some of the pools were closed for renovation, but that didn't stop us from having a great time swimming!

For our second night, after Andrew woke up from his nap and mommy and daddy had some much needed relaxation time at the Hyatt spa, we made our way over to the Westin Kierland Resort.  Our room had great view of the golf course and a sculpture in the middle of the pond, which Andrew enjoyed looking at.

Watching "Bagpipes at Sunset"
The Westin has a really fun zero-entry pool and a lazy river, both of which were perfect for our little guy in an inner tube.  Clara enjoyed napping on beach chairs.

We went to a timeshare presentation at the Westin Vacation Properties in order to earn a pile of SPG points.  It was pretty interesting - I had never been to one before.  No we didn't buy a timeshare in Phoenix.  :)  After Andrew's nap and some spa time at the Westin's spa (better workout facilities, not as good of relaxation facilities), we hopped back over to the Hyatt for a super tasty dinner at the onsite restaurant SWB, courtesy of a fantastic restaurant.com cert.

The flights home followed the same circuitous path, which was okay until Andrew's nap fell over our layover in LAX, and by the time we boarded LAX-IAH, he was seriously overtired.  He tried, but he couldn't find the right position to go to sleep.  He got pretty worked up, and we ended up with our first ever meltdown on an airplane.  After what seemed like an eternity, he finally got in a little catnap, and that was enough to tide him over and be happy on the IAH-COS leg.  He was asleep as soon as he was in the car seat on the ride home.

In spite of a rough start and a rough end, the middle of this trip was fun, sweet, and relaxing.  Not a bad first outing for our family of four!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Two Months Old

At 2 months:
your child is 11.31 pounds, and that is
at the 44th percentile for weight.
your child is 22.25 inches, and that is
at the 25th percentile for height.
your child has a head circumference of 16 inches, and that is
at the 80th percentile for head circumference.
Here's my lovely girl...

And here she is, flirting with the animals hanging from her bouncy chair...
...and that's why we call her "Squeaker."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Two (or Three) Items

#1)  We went for a walk before dinner.  A little ways down our road there was a snake in the road - a pretty big snake, mostly stretched out.  I've seen garter snakes up under our trailer so I was like, okay, no problem.   Since it was in the middle of the road, I assumed it was roadkill and was bracing myself for snake guts... but it was a whole snake, and as we approached it, it flicked it's tongue.

At that point I was like, "Okay it's alive.  It's a BIG alive snake."  Then I looked at its tail.  "Is it a rattler?  Oh my gosh it's a rattler."

In eight-plus years of living in Colorado, I had yet to see a rattlesnake.  We weren't even sure we'd see them up at our place due to the elevation or what have you.  But it was.  A rattler.  Confirmed when Travis poked it with a long stick and it coiled up into striking position.  (Why yes, we are the brightest bulbs on the string - why do you ask?)  What freaked me out the most was that the entire time we were around, it didn't rattle - stealth, ninja rattlesnake.  Fantastic.

We returned home after that.

#2) First night with the video baby monitor- I'm fascinated.  I can see that this is a neat tool that could help us solve some sleep issues, instead of the crib being a black box.  But I also feel like a creepy stalker.  Made worse by the fact that I kind of wish I could take a screenshot of him sleeping and post it to Facebook.

Bonus #3) Dee-licious dinner tonight - like healthy, Indian hamburger helper.  So fast and easy too!  It's called keema.  Check it out.  We used some CSA tomatoes and chilis.  Added some Cholula for extra kick.

That's all for now.  I have a pile of actual important-to-record-for-posterity blog posts to finish... but that's too overwhelming for the sheer volume of it.  So this is what comes out instead.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Beginning of August

 Here are some photos from the beginning of August...

Gpa Jerry has been helping us install a sink and cabinets in what will become a playroom.  A playroom with a sink? Totally awesome!  Can't wait to do all kinds of projects...

Andrew asked to hold Clara, so we made that happen.  He has been very loving with her - wiping her mouth, holding her hand, giving her snuggles, hugs goodnight... today he wanted to help me put her in the car seat.  I'm so proud of him, and I'm so hopeful for the relationship they might have.

Andrew can show you where Clara's nose is...

...and then he can find his own.
Here is the infamous "defeating the childproof gate" video:

Grilling on the porch
 We celebrated Gpa Jerry's 69th birthday.  Andrew actually wanted to eat the raspberries more than the chocolate cake!

Daddy has big shoes to fill

Also, Andrew knows where his belly is

Monday, August 13, 2012

Buckle up!

Note to self: even though Andrew can climb from the ground into his car seat and get his arms through the straps, we still have to buckle him in before driving away.

So, yeah.  That happened.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


You may have heard me talk about our driveway (1/8mi long, 100 ft of elevation gain) which is one of the perks of living here.  Because of its topography - sand over bedrock and very steep - it takes a beating when it rains or the snow melts.  The previous owner told us that he had it worked on about once every five years, and 2012 happens to be five years since it was last done.  Interestingly enough, 2012 was also about the time that the erosion situation got really bad.

We got a few quotes from local contractors who had a couple different approached, but we thought it would be worthwhile to do a little DIY and see if it made a difference before calling in the professionals.  So we rented a mini-excavator with a plan to clean the sand out of the drainage trench (in some places digging new trench where there had been none before), unplug the culverts at the bottom of the drive, and relocate the liberated material back onto the driveway to smooth it out.

Andrew was, of course, thrilled to watch and "help."

Dressed appropriately: his shirt says "I dig my dad" with an excavator on it.

Even I got in on the action...
Operating spacecraft?  This is much cooler.
When we were done, we had set of awesome new trenches... now we are just waiting for some rain to test them out!!