Sunday, December 30, 2007

24 Hours in Colorado

We are still having fun in Colorado. David and Suzanne made it safely last night, but they did say that it was pretty heavy snow on the road.

Emma was the only kid brave enough to try and brave the elements yesterday.

The kiddos had a great time playing together. Emma is JD's personal entertainment center. He loves to watch her play!

Emma helped Jon cook baked ziti last night. A chef in the making!

We rounded up the evening with 3 episodes of 24. We are all hooked now. But we have to wait until the kids go back to sleep to continue the series tonight!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's Getting Cold In Here

So far, so cold...I mean good. We have been enjoying ourselves up here in Colorado. We have not had much major snow in the last day or so. But it is VERY cold. Wind chills of -48 degrees at night.
Here is the view from the cabin in the morning.

We bundled up yesterday and braved our way into Breckenridge so Jon could get in some skiing and I could try to do some shopping with JD. It was around 1 or 2 degrees most of the day. I put JD in his supercute winter clothes (thank you Grandma) and got his hat and mittens and his coat for our trip.

We visited the place where we got stuck on our way. I had to take pictures since I have had some requests. For those who have visited the cabin, you can see the big turn at the end of the road in the distance.

My shopping trip basically turned into a trip to Walmart because the parking lots were so terrible and busy. Oh well. We picked up Jon from some really cold skiing (he said he thought he had frostbite) and got a bite to eat in Breckenridge.

For most of the day, we had been keeping tabs on Josh and Dara who were on their way up. By 6:00pm local time, they were in Amarillo (a LONG way from Colorado). Jon and I watched a movie and got JD to bed early.

Around 3:30 am, the crew arrived with the dog and two sleepy girls. Dara said that as they drove through the "snow tunnel" (see my previous blog post picture), Ellie (the almost 2-year-old) said "Oh OH!" over and over.

We got everyone unpacked and settled down for the rest of the night by around 4:30 (Josh wanted to fire up some breakfast at that point). We all slept until around 7:30 am this morning and the guys left to go skiing.

Jon and Josh came back about an hour later after they said that we were getting a lot of blowing snow. No rest (or skiing) for the weary. Now they will spend the rest of the afternoon plowing out the road so that David and Suzanne don't get stuck tonight.

The guys did manage to get some food for a few meals so we will have some yummy food if we get snowed in this week!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

So much to blog about! We had a lovely Christmas. JD really enjoyed his first Christmas, opening presents and playing with new toys.

But let's back up. We got a surprise phone call on December 22 from our friend Jordan saying that he got a catering job and needed help from Jon on December 23. The big news is that the catering job was for Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo! Jon, Jordan and Josh were back in action, cooking up a Mexican feast for their party. Jon said it was pretty laid back and that everyone really enjoyed the food.

We left for Colorado on Christmas Day in the afternoon. We planned to drive halfway and stay in Salina, Kansas to take it easy with JD. It worked out great and JD took his afternoon nap during most of the trip. When he woke up, we watched the Wiggles.

Yesterday, we made our way into the valley to get to the cabin. We were a little nervous because our neighbor up here had called us to let us know how bad the snow drifts were on the road. But we wanted to try it in daylight hours so we knew what we were dealing with.

We got on the road to the cabin with no problems until we got to the big corner to turn into our house. Our neighbor had been plowing for most of the day and still had not really cleared it out enough to drive through. He was kind enough to let us drive through his field to bypass the mess.

We did pretty good most of the rest of the way until we got to the hill right before the house. Then we got STUCK. Jon decided to hike it in to the house and get the truck with the plow to get our car in. No problem. JD and I chilled out in the car and watched the Wiggles (over and over).

About an hour later, Jon came walking back with a shovel and my hiking boots slung over his shoulder - not a good sign. The truck battery had died and needed recharging. So Jon worked on trying to dig us out, which didn't work. So we bundled JD up in his new snowsuit and I put on my hiking boots and we walked to the house. It wasn't too bad - about 15 minutes, but it was uphill in high altitude.

Jon got the truck battery recharged and went back out for a couple of hours to get the car dug out and plow the road a bit. We got our car back and unloaded. Yay! This morning we woke up to heavy snowfall in the valley. It is 7:30 am here and Jon is already out plowing and trying to get into town for groceries in case it gets really bad here.

Everytime we come to Colorado, we are ready for an adventure! So far we haven't been disappointed.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Just When You Think You're Done

We got up this morning with sense of purpose. There were a lot of things that needed to be done before Christmas and before we could go to Colorado.

JD got us up bright and early at 5:30 (he must have sensed the urgency). Of course, I just rolled back over (since weekends are daddy duty) and got a little more sleep. But when I got up at 7:30, everyone was ready to start working.

We got JD dressed up in a really cute outfit for his 8 month pictures, which we did in front of our Christmas tree. As luck would have it, there were a bunch of really cute ones. Then I decided I needed to get a picture frame, right then and there. (This is not the "one" but I want the people who will be receiving the "one" shortly to be surprised and some of them read the blog).

So I set off to Hobby Lobby and Target to hunt. HUGE mistake. Now that I am a stay-at-home mommy, I forget that everyone else does their shopping on Saturday (especially the weekend before Christmas). Blech.

Then we went to Sam's for some Colorado stuff (bottled water, baby food, socks for Jon - normal stuff). It was starting to get crowded there, but surprisingly not too bad.

The grocery store is what made me decide to never go back to any store ever again. I hate our grocery store on a normal day anyway (way too crowded, never enough checkers, produce is crummy...I could go on and on). But it was beyond awful today. I parked in another zipcode, then I couldn't find a cart, then nothing was where it was supposed to be and they were out of the baby food that I wanted (so was Sam's). I came home with a raging headache and to a screaming child.

But things turned around once JD and I had a nap. Much happier baby, much happier parents. I got most of my presents wrapped and am now enjoying a roaring fire and a Cowboy game with my little family.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Someone's In the Kitchen

JD has discovered the kitchen. He loves to hang out in there while we are trying to cook or clean. So we have given him some of his own kitchen items to play with while he is in there with us.

The only tricky part is that he is so quick these days. In the blink of an eye, he is right behind you (or the hot oven or the trash can in the pantry). So we have to stay on our toes (and not on his)!

JD is also our new vaccuum cleaner. He finds any teeny-tiny thing on the floor and literally sucks it right up. So I have been sweeping 2-3 times every day ahead of our little vaccuum cleaner. But last night, when Jon was cooking in the kitchen, JD was rapidly introduced to Yukon Gold Potatoes, since he managed to get a little piece that had fallen off the pan. Oh well. White potatoes aren't too different from sweet potatoes and carrots, right? They are all root vegetables...

He is also our recycler. All of our magazines and paper products go right into his mouth and turn into a nice mushy pulp, ready for production into a new paper product. I never knew JD was so concerned about the environment. Our little "green" baby.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Madness

Another exciting weekend! I think we survived intact.

We spent most of Friday and Saturday preparing for a holiday dinner with a few family members and some friends. Jon cooked some wonderful dishes and I stayed out of the way and offered helpful advice (are you sure you want to cook it like THAT??).

Jon prepared rib roast, roast chicken, potatoes au gratin, asparagus with roasted red pepper sauce and some hors d'oeuvres. We also made my favorite dessert - molten chocolate cakes. Yummy!

I focused on decorating our dining room and putting ten people at a table that normally seats eight. It actually turned out just fine. We were all cozy.

During dessert we played a version of the Newlywed Game (or Not-So-Newlywed Game in some cases). Dara and Josh (who have been together for SEVENTEEN years) won the game hands down.

Everyone had fun and JD did pretty well, considering all of the noise and commotion at the house. I'm still looking at the dirty crystal glasses and pots & pans in our sink...better think about that tomorrow.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm a Soap Man

Probably only my sister will really understand the title of my blog today, but that's okay.

We had a GREAT day yesterday! JD slept until 8:00 am. That's right, I said 8:00 AM! He was in a great mood for most of the day. Lots of babbling. I think he is starting to understand what mama mama means. I love it!

No fussing over mealtimes - he ate so well yesterday. He took a 3 hour mid-day nap with no issues.

JD really enjoyed his bath last night. I made it with bubbles, which he isn't used to. Boy, was he excited!

Yes, for those who have noticed, he has another forehead bruise. He slipped when he was crawling and smacked his head on the hardwood floor. Poor little guy.

I love it when we have such great days together! It makes the not-so-fun days more bearable!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I am done. I finished my Christmas shopping today. Hallelujah! It is getting worse and worse out there. Crazy drivers, bad weather, grabby people in the stores...not very much fun.

But I had a nice experience at one store today. I was waiting in line to checkout and several people came over to entertain JD and I as we were waiting. It was more for JD's benefit because people were sticking their tongues out and making silly faces and I don't really find that as funny as I used to. But JD thought it was hilarious!

On another note, JD has started full-fledged babbling. Lots of ba-ba's, ma-ma's, de, de, and other noises come out of his mouth, all the time. It is like he is holding his own conversations. I love it! We have progressed from screeching to babbling and it is so much cuter!

I can't wait for him to say Mama and really know what it means!

Monday, December 10, 2007


What a busy weekend! The holiday season is officially upon us and now that I am semi-well again, I can enjoy it!

Our church had its annual Holly Jolly Christmas Party on Saturday night. I am on this committee so we had a few things to do on Friday afternoon (like fluffing artificial Christmas trees until my arms were covered with scratches and setting up tables). I was also a table hostess with my sister, so we decorated a table on Saturday morning.

My husband, my brother-in-law Josh and our friend Jordan were the caterers for the event. This was their first official catering gig together, so they had been planning for weeks (maybe even months). I mentioned a few blogs ago that I missed their yummy tasting party that they had in preparation for their event.

The guys spent the entire day chopping, saute-ing, baking and cooking the ENTIRE meal for 220 people from scratch. Everything was homemade from the bread to the hand tenderized and handrolled flank steak, stuffed with spinach, bacon and carrots. It was really delicious.

Everyone enjoyed the dinner and the event overall (that I could tell). Entertainment was cute with the ministers doing a little choreography and the kiddos singing (my niece Emma had a solo). The only hiccup for me was JD.

JD slept FIVE hours on Saturday to get ready for a semi-stressful evening for him at the Holly Jolly. He went in the church nursery with the other babies and the teens who were babysitting. He started off okay with his Uncle Solomon. I stopped in to check on everything after we served the salad and JD was screaming his head off.

I gave him a bottle (even though I knew he wasn't really that hungry) and Solomon fed him the rest of the bottle before I left. I came back after the salad and JD is screaming again. I rocked JD a bit and played some games and got him back in good spirits again. I told Solomon to come get me if JD started screaming again. About partway through dinner, out comes Solomon. Oh well. I brought JD out with me for the remainder of the meal and the entertainment.

I guess JD was a bit too young for crazy church festivities. Hopefully Uncle Solomon will still want to spend time with his young nephew! I know JD wasn't upset about being with Solomon. I think it had more to do with an unfamiliar situation than anything else.

We had a pretty busy Sunday too. So we all went to bed early on Sunday night to recover. I hope the rest of the holiday season is downhill from here. Whew.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Time Survey

My sister sent this and I thought it was cute for the holidays.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I use more wrapping paper these days (more economical)

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. I am married to a firefighter.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the day after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? After New Years

5. Do you like eggnog? Sure, but it has been a LONG time since I have had it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Cabbage Patch Kid

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Not anymore

8. Hardest person to buy for? My mom

9. Easiest person to buy for? All kids under the age of 6

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A weaving loom that made pot holders (I actually played with it a bunch later, but on Christmas morning, I thought it was LAME)

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas Movie: Christmas Vacation, The Christmas Story, All the claymation shows (Rudolph and such), White Christmas... who can decide??

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? November

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My husband’s cinnamon rolls, my mom's date nut bread

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear

17. Favorite Christmas song? It's the Holiday Season (Andy Williams), Carol of the Bells, Nutcracker Music, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Andy Williams)

18. Most Annoying Christmas song? Feliz Navidad

19. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Go down the street to my mom’s

20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph

21. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have had a big bow on the top of ours for the past few years

22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Usually not on Christmas Eve, but this year is an exception

23. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Shopping crowds where people push and shove and don't follow the rules of common courtesy. People are very grabby this time of year.

24. Favorite Christmas Apparel? Footed Christmas pajamas for babies (old fashioned with the buttoned rear-end opening)

25. What I love most about Christmas? Everything. I love Christmas church services, decorating, the food, the kids’ excitement, the songs, the parties. Everything.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Weight Off My Shoulders

Well, I did it.

I stepped on the scale yesterday, cringing and not really wanting to look after such a great Thanksgiving holiday. Plus I haven't worked out for a week since I have been sick. So I was ready for a few extra LBs on the scale.

I purposely gave myself the time around Thanksgiving without standing on a scale. Who wants to know how much the extra pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes packed on while you are enjoying them??

But I needed to get back in the saddle yesterday. It was time to see the damage that was done, so I would know how far I needed to push myself at Baby Boot Camp when I returned.

So I took a deep breath and stepped on the scale with my eyes closed, sucking in my stomach (for some reason I think this helps). And I looked. I did it! I lost the rest of my baby weight. I am officially back to pre-pregnancy weight!

I want to thank so many people for this accomplishment. First - Lean Cuisines for producing such tasty, convenient, yet low calorie and low fat lunches. Second - Baby Boot Camp for making me get out of my pajamas in the morning. Third - My son for never giving me any time to really sit down and eat. Last, but not least - My husband for motivating me to lose the weight ("You know I love you just the way you are, but when are you going to look like you used to?").

It really is true. It took me nine months to put it on and it took me about nine months to take it off. We've come a long way, baby!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Hoarse Whisperer

JD and I are sharing a cold right now. We both are coughing and have runny noses. But here is where the similarities end. My cold seems to have settled in my chest, so I have pretty much lost my voice.

This has amused my son to no end this morning, since I can't say "No" very well. Everytime he tries to eat the Christmas tree cord, I try to say "NO" in a firm and authoritative voice, but it comes out as a squeak. He laughs at me and thinks it is a game.

I haven't been able to sing or talk with him as much today since my throat hurts to talk. So JD has been responsible for his own amusement this morning, which has consisted of the aforesaid tree incident, getting stuck under the living room chair, trying to climb the stairs and working very diligently at pulling down the laundry basket with all the folded laundry.

The other difficulty has been getting him settled down for a nap. I like to get him drowsy before I put him down for naps. I usually put JD in the "sleeper hold" (as my husband refers to it) and cuddle him up with his pacifier with my hair in his face to keep his eyes closed. With a chest cold, this has been more difficult since every time I get him drowsy, I start to cough and wake him back up again or he starts to cough and wakes himself up!

But there is nothing as comforting as a baby resting his head on your chest when you are feeling sick. JD is the best medicine a mother could want.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Charlie Brown Is Coming To Town

I am still a sucker for holiday specials on television. I get so excited about "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or Frosty or Rudolph (narrated by the late great Burl Ives). I still think it puts the newer shows to shame.

I saw an advertisement for "Shrek the Halls" the other day on tv. Blech. How can an ugly ogre and donkey compete with the cute Peanuts gang doing the dance as they are getting ready for the Christmas pageant? And what about when the kids save Frosty from melting away forever when his magic hat is stolen?

I love the cheesy animation and silly songs! Who cares about new high tech computer animation when you have such great classics? Before the time of vhs and dvds, I used to look forward to Charlie Brown (brought to you by Dolly Madison cakes) every year! I couldn't wait for the networks to bring me Rudolph and Frosty or Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

I hope that by the time JD is old enough to appreciate such fine entertainment that he loves it as much as I did when I was a kid. Actually, as much as I still do now!