Sunday, June 28, 2009

Denver Days

The first stop of our great Colorado adventure was Denver. We enjoyed a few days with electricity and running water at a Holiday Inn before we start camping today. Colter a.k.a. Fishboy loves the pool! He likes for John and I to throw him back and forth in his float to make BIG splashes.

Yesterday we visited the Denver Zoo. It's an awesome zoo! The animals have lots of room in their enclosures and the way this zoo is set up, visitors can see the animals in their outdoor and indoor homes, so there aren't as many no shows as there are in other zoos. There are a ton of animals as well (multiple tons actually--those elephants are pretty big). Colter's favorite exhibit was probably the seals, but he didn't understand why he couldn't jump in with them. He really wanted to go "imming."

John and Colter were able to make friends with this elephant. It was quite friendly.

After we rested up from our three hours in the zoo, we went to the the Cherry Creek Shopping Center which was the biggest mall I've ever seen. Being a small town girl, I saw all kinds of stores that I'd only heard about on TV. If I didn't have a two-year-old in tow, I could imagine a huge shopping spree. After Colter's fifth trip up and down an escalator, we went back to the hotel for more swimming!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We're Not in Kansas Anymore...

But we were! Did I mention that we headed west on Thursday? We went to Colorado to spend some time in the nice, cool mountains and escape the summer heat at home. On our way through Kansas, we were able to visit my dad. Dad is a custom harvester, and he travels around the Midwest cutting wheat all summer. He was working pretty much right on our way, so it worked out perfectly for us to see him. Colter was exposed to combines for the first time, and he thought they were a bit scary! It was actually the first time my city-boy husband was up close to a combine as well, but if the combines scared him, he didn't admit it. John got to go for his first combine ride, but since Colter wasn't brave enough to get in the combine, he and I battled the giant mosquitoes and played in the field while Dad and John cut a load.When the big, scary combines got close, Colter wanted up!We were so late getting to the wheat field, that I didn't get a chance to take many pictures before dark or ride in the combine with Dad, but it was good to see him for a little while. We had run into several problems on our trip and were wondering if we should turn around and go home. The day before we left, John had taken the doorknob off the pop-up camper and taken it to a locksmith to get a new key. He didn't realize it until it was too late that day to fix the problem, but the locksmith kept part of the doorknob, so we couldn't leave until we got the part back. That and just the fact that we're slow, kept us from leaving as early as we had planned. Then, when we were only two hours away from home, one of the tires on the pop-up started splitting open, so we had to stop and get a new tire. We thought we were getting a new one at Wal-Mart, but it took them 45 minutes to decide that they actually didn't have the right tire, so we had to go find another tire place. We finally got that squared away, and as we were traveling in the close to 100 degree heat, the air conditioner started giving us problems! It kicks off whenever we are going up a hill; we think pulling the camper is affecting how much power goes to the air conditioner, but we don't really know. Hopefully, it keeps working. We just moved slowly all day, but the next day things went better, so we kept at it. :)
Colter had been a super traveler so far, and our new portable DVD player has proven to be a smart investment. More vacation details later!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Kids' Table

I forgot to mention in my last post that Colter's birthday party day included two birthday parties! Colter and his grandma are birthday buddies (almost). Their birthdays are only six days apart, so after celebrating Colter's birthday at noon, the family went out to eat to celebrate John's mom's birthday. We had lots of good food and Colter and his grandma were both serenaded and presented with free ice cream. Yum!

Ever since Colter has been around, I have been demoted to the kids' end of the table whenever the whole family eats out. Colter's cousins all want to sit by him, and of course I have to sit by him to prevent him from leaping out of his seat and throwing food at the people next to us, so that leaves me surrounded by my nieces. That's totally fine; to be honest I would rather sit by the girls anyway because I don't get to see them very often, but I really wonder what the grown-ups were saying at the other end of the table. If I had a microphone at the other end of the table to satisfy my nosiness, I would be totally fine. What were they discussing? Politics? World events? Reminiscing how John's brother used to torture him? Oh well. I guess I'll never know. That's okay; I know I'm way too young and vibrant to sit with the grown-ups anyway.

The Kids
An attempt at a family portrait---after the long, fun-filled day of birthdays, Colter was done. I love how everyone is looking at Colter as I tried to reason with him, and the look on my sister-in-law's face is funny! She looks shocked at Colter's behavior. :) What? Sweet, little Colter is throwing a fit? Surely not!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Belated Birthday Post

I knew I could count on Grandad! When I was busy catering to all my nieces and nephews at Colter’s birthday party, I didn’t stress out about not really having time to take pictures because I knew my father-in-law would have it covered. Sure enough, when the CDs arrived with pictures from Colter’s 2nd birthday party arrived, there were 193 images! 193! Whoo hoo!!!! I love how well-documented Colter’s life is.

After last year’s rushed birthday party experience that ended in a scary thunderstorm sending all the guests fleeing, we decided to cram our family into our house. Then in case of rain, we would have a roof. Roofs are good. :) Fitting all our family into our @1400 square foot home is no small feat. There were 27 people at the party, and that wasn’t the whole crew! My dad, brother, brother-in-law, and Courtney’s Nathan who technically isn’t related but has been her boyfriend for years so he counts as family, couldn’t make it because they were all working and a few friends that we had invited couldn’t come either. I don’t know what we’re going to do down the road! I have two brothers and two sisters and could end up with a lot of nieces and nephews! We’re going to have to be one of those families that builds a shed just for family gatherings. Even though it was a bit crowded, everything went great. We had a yummy birthday feast, we played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, had a piñata (sort of), and the kids played in the sprinkler. The sort-of-piñata was my sister. Colter likes to hit things, so I thought he would like a piñata, but I never got around to making one, and I didn’t want to spend $20 on one. Instead, Courtney held the candy, and the kids hit her until she threw it around the yard. FUNNY! I think we might have an Aunt Courtney piñata at every birthday party from now on. I think it would make a great tradition—how about you, Courtney?

Colter had so much fun at his party! He loves to have company over, and there were lots of playmates for him. He got to play with all of his first cousins at one time, and he had a ball. Plus, he got several awesome new toys, including a tricycle, a Radio Flyer wagon, and a Power Wheels truck. The kid is set for life. We probably don’t need to have any more birthday parties. :)

Have you noticed all of the cake shows that are on TV now? I think I could have my own show. My speciality could be cupcake bear cakes with slightly crossed eyes and super-yummy caramel icing.

Colter was a very neat cake eater unlike at his first birthday! He did end up with a blue booger though.

There were a lot of neat eaters at the party. No frosting on these faces...

Alexis daintily licked any frosting off her fingers.

Sweet Justin managed to maintain a frosting free face.

Then there was Carter! Hee Hee. :)

See? There were a lot of people at Colter's party!Fun times in the sprinkler!
But what were these guys doing?

A kiss goodbye for Natalie...or is it Nicole? Natalie? Hmmm....the trials of having identical twins in the family!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drunken Slug Party

EEEEWWWWWW!!! Slimy slugs invaded our flowerbed! For several weeks, it has been apparent that some creepy creature likes to snack on our vinca. Insecticidal soap helped a little, but even after we sprayed the flowers, they were still getting eaten. One evening John discovered some slugs on the flowers and upon closer inspection, he found slugs all over the flowerbed! Gross! John heard that beer attracted slugs, and that if shallow pans are filled with beer, slugs will get in the beer and drown. Or maybe it's the taste of beer that kills them....that wouldn't surprise me. :) We only needed a can of beer to try this out, and since we don't drink beer, I called my reliable alcohol source who shall remain unnamed and acquired a couple cans of Bud Light. We put out bowls of beer, and before the slugs had a chance to sniff it out, the cats did! I guess Sine and Tangent's mothers didn't have a chance to tell them about the evils of alcohol. I wasn't quick enough to catch a picture of the cats drinking the beer, but they were very intrigued by it. We ended up putting them in the garage, so we didn't have drunken cats roaming the neighborhood. They get into enough mischief already.
Back to the slugs---we left the beer out all night and the next morning, there really were slugs in the bottom of the bowl! I didn't have much confidence in the theory, but I was wrong; it works! The only problem was that many of the slugs took a sip of the beer and were able to crawl out of the bowl, so the next evening, John went out and checked the beer ever so often. He skimmed out and disposed of 25 or 30 slugs. YUCK! That'll teach the slugs to mess with our flowers!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

Happy Birthday Colter!!!!
Colter is two-years-old today! He's such a big boy all of a sudden. Sniff. Colter had a great time at his birthday party on Saturday and at the Discovery Center today. There has been lots of birthday excitement at our house--and cake. Lots of cake. :)
The hard thing about being the host of a big birthday bash is that I didn't really have time for pictures. Someday when I get copies of Grandad's, I'll post more pictures and details.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sine, Cosine, and Tangent

John is teaching an ACT prep. class during summer school this year, and they must be bored. Apparently, instead of diligently studying test taking methods, they are talking about our cats because I just got an email requesting a blog post with pictures of the cats! Maybe there's some kind of ACT test secret that looking at pictures of cats will increase scores by 4 points (on average). Maybe....or maybe not! Here's some pictures of cats anyway.

Last year after our cat Pancake died, we toyed with the idea of going catless for a little while, but that didn't last long. We are cat people. We went to the pound to get two kittens and came home with three! Yes, we are crazy (in case you were wondering). Most of the cages at the pound were full, and the lady made it clear that unless some cats found a home soon, she would have to make room for more animals if you know what I mean. Even though we don't let our cats live in the house, cats had a better chance living in our yard/garage then in a cage at the pound, so we brought three home. They were quickly dubbed Sine, Cosine, and Tangent (can you tell whose husband is a math teacher?).

This is the day we brought them home last December. Colter was running around the garage all excited, so the cats were a little freaked out. Meet Tangent (the yellow cat) and Sine!
This is Cosine. Cosine and Sine were in the same cage, so I assume they were brothers. Sine was really the one we wanted because he had such big ears, but then Cosine would have been all alone! We couldn't leave him, so we brought him home too. He was such a good cuddler! Unfortunately, Cosine didn't last long at our house. We think he drank some antifreeze that must have leaked out of a neighbor's car. It was so sad! DON'T leave antifreeze out where animals can get it! It's supposed to have a sweet taste, so cats and dogs will drink it. It only takes a teaspoon to kill them, and it is not a pleasant way to go.
I guess from this Gremlin cat face, Cosine wasn't too sure about his new home!
Sine is such a pretty cat!
Tangent is the sweetest kitty ever! She is a great "kiddy cat". Colter and his friend, Scarlet, drag Tangent all over the place, and she never bites or scratches them. She's very patient. Colter loves his kitties!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Facebook Delinquent

Since it's summer, and I have more time on my hands now (sort of), I decided I would finally figure out what Facebook was all about. Last night I wasted several hours of my life adding a photo album and just looking around. As I explored Facebook, I ran across people I knew and added them as friends. Isn’t that the point of Facebook? Isn’t it a social networking site? Find people you know, add them as friends, catch up on old times, and be happy, right? Apparently NOT! I guess there is a secret limit on how many friends one can add in a day, and I added too many! When I tried to add my sister-in-law as a friend, I got a big red message box saying I was participating in activity that is against Facebook policy. Adding friends? Huh? I think I sent a friend request to like, fifteen people. OH no! I’m a spammer! Watch out for me! I’ll soon be flooding people’s emails with tons of annoying messages and notices that they have one three million dollars, but they must send one million dollars to my special bank account in Fiji in order for me to send their prize.

I seriously only sent friend requests to a few people (all of whom I know), and got blocked from adding any more friends!!! I am assuming the block is temporary, but I don’t really know if the block will ever be lifted. I was only active on Facebook and already got kicked out of the club! Maybe I’ll start my own Facebook Delinquent’s club. Wanna join?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Zoo Trip

Colter loves the zoo! He and his friend Carter had a great time on their zoo adventure. Colter's favorite part was probably the water fountains (or whatever the things that squirt water up at random are called. Blogger won't let me move the pictures for some reason today, so these pictures are not in order.

See? He loved running around trying to dodge the water.
I know you'll find this hard to believe, but my almost-two-year-old has gotten a little obstinate. In this picture, I had asked Colter to say cheese. He did, but he turned the opposite direction. I'm sure it wasn't intentional.
We got to ride a train! Colter thought it looked awesome and was excited. When the train actually started up though, he was scared for a few seconds. He got over his fear quickly however, and I practically had to drag him off the train to get him to leave when the ride was over. I love the face Colter is making in this picture! I don't know what the boy that was with us had done to shock Colter, but it must have been something! The boys loved the water!This was Colter's first experience with the water shooting up from the ground. He went over and looked in the hole and got squirted right in the face! Surprise!Did you know giraffes have giant purple tongues? They do, and they will lick you! ICK!Colter wasn't sure about feeding the goats, but I guess he ended up liking it because when we were out of food, he scoured the ground to find food that had been dropped, so he could keep feeding them.My monkey at the zoo!