Friday, June 29, 2007

Best High Chair EVER

Okay - here's my shameless product ad for the day - this high chair, called the MeToo is the best thing ever. I wasn't sure how I was going to feed Matthew in hotel rooms and on picnic tables, etc... while on vacation, and I was telling my friend Judi about it, and she offered to loan me one of her portable ones. Well, let me tell you - I loved it so much I came right home and ordered one for us! This thing is awesome - it folds completely flat to less than an inch thick - stuffs into a suitcase with no problem, and if you're not traveling, it just rides around on the floor of the car for restaurants. We even put it in a backpack for picnics - fit just fine. I think the actual company is out of New Zealand, but there are distributors in the US - actually Target sells these things online, but you can get them slightly cheaper with other online dealers. I got mine in navy blue, but they also come in red and black! Also great for trips to Grandma's, or to friends and relative's houses that wouldn't have an extra high chair stashed away. Honestly, I can't say enough good stuff about this thing, so I'll shut up now or I'll be here all day!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Matthew's First Birthday!

Matthew posing with his cake that I made him...
And chowing on it a few minutes later!
So Matthew is now 1! We celebrated at my Mom and Dad's house - we had arrived there after our vacation a few days before his birthday and decided to stay until then so we could all celebrate together! I think he liked his cake, although he had a little "help" from Jonathan blowing out the candle! Happy Birthday, Matthew! I can't believe you're 1 already!

More Vacation Photos

Here's my boys, horsing around, eating dinner one night at the hotel.

Jonathan at Rocky Mountain National Park

Me and my boys at Devil's Tower National Monument - Matthew is enjoying the ride in my cool sling my girlfriend Liz made for me!

And here we are at Mt. Rushmore - what a neat spot!! So that's some vacation photos - I have tons more, of course, but how many can I post? Besides, I have other things to blog about - Matthew's first birthday for instance, was LAST FRIDAY, and I still haven't posted any pics of him. I'll do that next, as soon as I get done some "chores".

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Cowboys

Just wanted to share a pic of my "cowboys". Here they are at my cousin Jean's wedding in Cheyenne - it was a pretty casual wedding - she was married on horseback in a meadow, and most of the guests were dressed similarly. Cute, huh?

My Beverage Dilemma

Okay - anybody who lives near the Rockies, or at least in the western part of the mid-west - you've got to help me with this one. Do you guys EVER drink ginger ale? Do you know what it is? I swear I never encountered one can, bottle or glass of ginger ale in 4 states - Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota or Nebraska - and I'm talking vending machines, convenience stores, bars, AND restaurants. Am I crazy? And I WAS looking for it - Jonathan loves the stuff and will contentedly sip at a few ounces of it forever - and I couldn't find ANY! And then, to make matters worse, a few bartenders offered to "make" me ginger ale by mixing Sprite with a "splash of Coke". Ummmm....that's not ginger ale, not even close. So come on, what gives? Ginger ale can't be all THAT obscure, can it?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Back From Vacation!

Well, we're back. I have pictures, lots of pictures, but right now I just don't have time to post them. Our vacation was awesome. Not just because we had a good time and saw lots of sights, which we did, but because Mark and I just had a great time with our boys. We survived, and we survived a lot better than we expected - a 12 day trip, a 2 hour time difference, four different states, three different hotels, 2000 miles on our rental car, a three year old and a one year old - that's a lot of numbers, and it was amazing how great it was.

We actually learned a lot. About ourselves, about our kids. After this trip, Jonathan now eats better. Why? Because we gave him the business. No more drinks, no more stall tactics, no more ploys. He eats, or it gets fed to him. And after two or three meals with tears, he finally figured out we meant it, and now, voila, he eats. Still not great, but when we tell him to eat, he does.

And one day, we headed out to an early morning birding trip. We packed the rental car - toys, binoculars, maps, snacks, drinks, everything you could possibly need when dragging two little guys along on your hobby, and it was only when we got out there did we realize that Mark and I had brought nothing for ourselves: no snacks, no drinks. And of course, we remember only when we were dying of thirst and about 40 miles from the nearest vending machine.....Mark and I had a minor battle over a half-empty bottle of warm root beer we discovered in the car (yes, it was ours from the day before!) but we secretly applauded ourselves for having made sure our kid's needs were met before ours, and that gives me the warm fuzzies.

Am I glad to be back? Absolutely NOT. Am I ready to go home ?(still not home - staying at my mom's until Matthew's birthday on Friday). YES. I feel refreshed, ready to get back into the routine, ready to take my little guys home to their own little beds in their own little rooms. I had a goal on this trip: arrive home afterward with two healthy children. I think I exceeded that goal - I got home with two healthy children, and somehow managed to have a great time! I look forward to our next family vacation! Stay tuned for more vacation stories and some pictures!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Greetings From Cowboy Country!

Hello from Cheyenne, Wyoming! We made it - and believe it or not, the plane ride was MUCH better than we expected! Matthew was happy just sitting with us, or being carried around in the back of the plane, and even fell asleep for a good 45 minutes! Jonathan was a little more active, but for the most part, he stayed in his seat and played with the toys I'd bought him and pulled out new for the trip. The pic above shows them looking out the plane window - both of them were endlessly fascinated by the window and what they could see. And luckily, it was a very smooth flight!

Now although the weather in Denver and Cheyenne wasn't the greatest when we got here, it HAS gotten much better in a day, and it looks like it will be lovely weather for my cousin Jean's outdoor wedding tomorrow. She's getting married at Terry Bison Ranch here in Cheyenne. Today, we all went to the ranch for a shower for Jean. I had Matthew with me, so Jonathan went with Mark on a little train ride they have there on the ranch. He loved the train and loved seeing the animals. So later on, we decided to let him go on a pony ride, but that turned out disastrous. For some unknown reason, the pony bucked him off! LUCKILY, Mark was standing right there with his hand on him and caught him (albeit awkwardly) before he hit the ground. But that was it for Jonathan. He didn't want to get near another pony - not that I could blame him. They were very apologetic and refunded our fee, but somehow, I think they should've done more. Tomorrow, some other kid will probably get on that same pony. Maybe it was just having a bad day. Oh well - here's a pic of Jonathan on another "horse" - this one a little bit safer!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Turtles and Lawn Mowers

So here's what turned up in our driveway last night - just an Eastern Box Turtle - but a pretty good-sized one. We took Jonathan out to see it, but he was a little scared of it - otherwise, HE'D be in the picture, too!
In other news, having only a few days left before we leave for extended vacation, we decided to finally cut the grass....well, until our lawn mower told us otherwise. It was running rough, so I shut it off, and then couldn't get it started again! Thanks to our awesome neighbor, Grover, and a few new parts acquired in a late-night stealth mission to Sears, we're back in business, but the grass still isn't cut. Hopefully, the rain will hold off today and Mark can come home from work a few hours early and we can get it done. If we don't, we're going to come back to hay. And a letter from the neighborhood association!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

My 3 Year Old Cutie

Okay - tell me this isn't really cute -- I skipped out for an hour or so this morning, leaving Mark with the kids. Went to Sears for a bit, and then, on my way home, called Mark and asked him if he wanted me to pick up lunch. So I stopped at Arby's drive-thru, and was home a few minutes later. Jonathan heard my van pull up, and ran to greet me at the door. I'm carrying an Arby's bag and a drink, and Jonathan says to me "Where you been, Mommy?" And I answered "Mommy went to Sears, buddy." To which he responds: "No, Mommy didn't go to Sears, Mommy went to Arby's!" Either the kid can read, or he knows every fast food logo on the road - doesn't say much about my cooking, huh? Seriously, though - he also recognizes the WalMart bags I bring home, as well as Lowe's and Martin's (our local market). He knows all this, and yet he still can't figure out how to pull up his pants by himself after going potty - hmmmmm......

Friday, June 1, 2007

Packing Up

Well, we're getting ready to head out of town for awhile. My cousin Jean is getting married in Cheyenne, WY next week, and Mark and I and the boys are going to make a vacation out of it. We'll be there for the wedding, and then afterward, we're headed to Rapid City, SD to do some sightseeing, some birding and some relaxation! Hope to hit Badlands National Park, Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore and some other spots. We'll be dragging our computer along, so hopefully we'll be able to post a few pics along the way. In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out what a 3.5 hour plane ride is going to be like with a 3 year old and an almost 1 year old!

So after my last "rant" post about sibling rivalry, guess what happened this morning? Jonathan was in our bedroom when Matthew woke up and Jonathan heard him on the monitor. He told me that "Matt-you" was awake and that he wanted to go see him to "make him laugh and give him toys." How cute is that? A rare ray of sunshine between the two of them! And this afternoon, they both conspired together to overturn a full basket of CLEAN laundry and spread it all over the room. Giggling the whole time, I might add. How could I get upset? They were finally playing together happily, enjoying each other's company. Not the BEST example of domestic bliss, but at this point, I'll take what I can get! Off to fold up those clothes....again.