Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Carter turns 2!

After our summer vacation to Portland, we've decided that it's important to take vacations more often. Bill had the genius idea of going on vacation for the boys' birthdays. Since Carter's birthday was the next one in line, we decided to head down to Colorado Springs for the weekend to celebrate.

It was a nice drive straight down the 25, we booked a decent hotel that was close to a lot of activity. We went to a sports park where Logan and Bill rode go-carts, played video games and mini-golf. The boys had a blast hanging out in a huge indoor sandbox, digging for dinosaur bones. The next day we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, where they have more giraffes than I've seen in one single zoo. They have treats that you can buy to feed the giraffes and the kids LOVED it. We zipped through the rest, seeing big Grizzly Bears, overlooking the vast open landscape, and riding on carousels built in the early 1900's.

We also went to the Dinosaur Resource Center, where they had a huge T-Rex and massive prehistoric sea turtles (which I'd never seen before). It was a blast and the curators working there were so friendly and helpful with the kids. Logan was having an attitude problem and started to cry because he wanted to run around. He was quickly pulled out of his funk by one of the curators who talked to him about dinosaurs and had all sorts of items in his pockets, like claws and such. It was so fun, we ended up going back again later that day after lunch!

We explored some surrounding parts by the museum to check out fossil beds and then drove to the Cave Of The Winds. This was AMAZING. The boys had such a great time walking around, but it was a pain in the ass telling them to keep their hands to themselves every single step of the way (you can't touch the cave walls - or anything, really - and you will incur a huge fine if you do). There was a part of the tour where the guide turned off all of the lights. The darkness was suffocating and incredibly uncomfortable. I was holding Carter on my hip and I could feel him rubbing his face because the extreme darkness felt so awkward. We got a family picture in the cave, and Bill keeps it at work on his desk.

On our last day there, we went to the North Pole. What a weird, strange, fun place to have way up in the Rocky Mountains. It's filled with amusement park rides that Logan couldn't get enough of. Carter was a bit more apprehensive, but still had a great time. We ate ice cream and hot dogs, got dizzy, ran around, laughed and even had a moment for the boys to sit on Santa's lap. Carter didn't want to, but sat next to Logan. Logan didn't hesitate to ask for cars and dinosaurs for Christmas.

We drove home and opened Carter's birthday presents. It's so fun with him being two! He had a blast opening books, cars and his Dinosaur Train train set. The next day we had his birthday party with friends - 20 of them - all running around the house eating our traditional, delicious vegan cupcakes with butter cream frosting (that is obviously not vegan).

We had such a fun time celebrating Carter's 2nd birthday on vacation. I hope this is a new tradition that we can keep up with. What a way to create long-lasting family memories!!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A busy summer of fun

When Logan graduated from Primary school and our summer officially started, I thought to myself "what in the hell are we going to do all summer long? What am I going to do with all of this extra time on my hands?" Well, it was more like "Extra time? What was I thinking!?"

Our summer has been extremely busy - in a good way! It was definitely designated as the summer of fun. Now that Logan is back in school (a first-day-of-school post coming soon) and Carter on his own in Toddler preschool classes (and his 2nd birthday post coming too!), I have two hours a week to free write. Wow, two whole hours.

There's a lot to catch up on...

We took a family trip up to Evergreen, Colorado to do some boating and fishing. Bill is into fly fishing BIG TIME after picking it up this summer. All he wants to do is fish and he can't wait until the boys are old enough to tag along with him. While we were up there, we saw a lot of fun animals like Mountain Goats and even drove up Mount Evans (a food post that I wrote on my restaurant blog), where we got stuck at the top of the mountain in a snow storm. Super scary!

Logan took a farm class for a week or so and had a chance to ride a pony - that I had to lead. Now, this was the biggest pony in the class, one hand short of a horse. And it was somewhat temperamental, stopping at it's own will, snorting and the like. It scared the crap out of me, as I'm not a horse person. The mom behind us had a nippy pony and kept getting bit. Thank god we didn't have that one! But Logan loved it all the same.

There were also a lot of times the kids got face paint. There were city festivals and other special functions. This was one of Logan's favorite designs, and it fits his "too cool for everyone" attitude.

We took many trips up to Estes Park this year for fishing and hanging out in the mountains. We even met our long-time blogging buddies Ashley and Paisley for lunch while they were on a summer vacation visit of their own. It was fun to catch up and even funnier that we already knew a whole lot about each other even though this was the first time we met. I love blogging.

There were many nights of running through sprinklers and eating push-pops. Swinging, slides, sandboxes, cars, bubbles and the boys spent a large chunk of time outside. I dread winter because we're all going to go stir-crazy.

Carter got into a lot of trouble, getting into the baking pantry. And everything else he could get his little hands on. He loves Logan so much - it's adorable. He tries to do everything his big brother does and often gets himself into messy predicaments because of it.

I also had a big scare with asthma and have had to keep rescue inhalers on hand. Clearly, I had to use them a lot and Carter knew exactly what they were for. Fortunately, he didn't know how to press down to get to the medication.

We did a lot of family weekend fun time - going on getaways, playing mini-golf, go-carts and more. The boys had a blast and it was great moments for Bill and I as parents to not just take the time to do these things with the kids, but to enjoy it with them. Teaching Logan how to play golf was awesome!

The boys also came along with me on restaurant reviews around town. Such horrible pain to have to eat cookies and tell me what they think. They are used to me taking pictures of their food when we go out and Logan has actually begun to develop his own food opinions - telling me what he thinks. And he's pretty spot on for a 4 year old. Another food critic in the making - or not.

So, that was about half of our summer. There's more to come - like Carter's 2nd birthday, Logan starting karate lessons, and all that. But, unless I can squeeze in a few moments over the weekend, it will have to wait for Monday!

Monday, October 04, 2010

October seems like a good month to start over

I've been wracked with guilt over the last year or so about this blog, pulling at straws to find the space, the time, the commitment to write regularly like I once had. I feel as though moments of our life have slipped through my fingers, almost forgotten forever. Files of pictures on my desktop wait for editing, wait for a story to be told.

This was the whole reason I started this blog. To make sure we had memories recorded for all time and eternity and generations to come - but mostly for my own selfish reasons of needing a digital memory bank, not wanting to lose precious life moments like I have before. I never wanted my kids to think back on their own childhood, unable to remember a damn thing. But, selfishly again, I never wanted to look back on the second half of my life not remembering a damn thing. 15 years have already been lost forever.

I feel like this space is my heart and soul. This blog is me, my family, our life. I never wrote for an audience, for traffic, for stats (even though I used to obsessively check them). I wrote for me. My love for writing grew in this space. My love for blogging blossomed here. I look back on previous entries from when Logan was a small baby and weep with gratitude that I spent the time to record those memories.

In my absence on this blog, I feel like I've cheated my family. But also, which hurts me more (narcissistically enough), I feel like I've cheated myself.

I suppose this happens to everyone at some point in their life - they lose track, go off the beaten path and return to the straight and narrow. I suppose this happens to every long-term blogger, an ebb and flow of content and time. Some people give up and abandon theirs. I never will, no matter how long my absence is.

But, I think October is a good month to start over.

Logan is back in school and now Carter is, too. While I still blog professionally on my restaurant review blog (which takes up 90% of my writing time), the moments that both boys are in school - two hours a week - I can dedicate writing time to this blog again.

You can expect to read posts on Mondays and Wednesdays. It may take a few weeks to catch up on our summer of fun, but the "what we did today" posts will once again be balanced with those introspective essays I hold dear to my heart.

See you on Wednesday.