Tuesday, August 30, 2011

we got . . .

a couch!

It's starting to feel like a real living room.


Monday, August 29, 2011

a first!

Adrian loves to bike and was excited for David to be able to join in on the fun.

One Saturday morning a few weeks ago he set out to try to get a bike trailer he'd seen on craigslist. It had already sold but the first garage sale he ran across after that had this wonderful kids' bike seat for only $10! Yippee!

He also got the adorable fish helmet for him that I just love.

As you can see, David loves being on the bike with his Daddy.

A couple weeks later we were very excited and thankful to find a steal of a deal on a tandem bicycle off of craigslist so we now get to ride as a whole family on our bicycle built for three!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Colorado Springs Streets - A-Z {Academy} part three

I really will finish Academy at some point and move onto a "B" street. I guess it is going to take me a LONG time to get through the alphabet at this rate.

So here is part three of Academy and I am hoping to finish up the street in one more jaunt/post. We'll see.

This section of Academy is in the Vickers/Dublin vicinity.

(I still remember learning the word vicinity from reading a Nancy Drew book. Do you have any memories like that?)

First up, Erindale Square:

It says "Church of Christ" on the sign but I haven't really been able to figure out one that meets there. hmm . . .

Also, it's fun to me to see the headquarters of so many different ministries as I drive around town. I used to hear "Walk the Talk" on the radio in Dallas for years and lo and behold, here they are.

We haven't yet tried out this Mexican place. There is definitely and understandably I guess, a lack of "Tex Mex" here. So far I haven't really been to a Mexican restaurant that I would call my favorite. Anyone been to this place? Do you like it?

Pikes Perk Coffee

get it?

Pikes Perk, like Pikes Peak but perk for coffee?

I've been to this location once with some ladies from one of the churches we've been visiting. They have an exersaucer and some other toys and things which is kind of nice if you don't mind your child using toys a billion other kids have used. I did it although I did use the ubiquitous baby wipe on it first.

Adrian and I have been to the location downtown. We really liked it. Good coffee drinks.

I don't eat at Chili's super often but it is great for a just knowing what you're going to get kind of experience. I like their sliders, nachos, chips and salsa with ranch and cajun chicken pasta.

What is your favorite thing at Chili's?

We've been to this Chili's a couple different times after church both with my parents and my brother & sister-in-law and nephews. I have to say, they've been very good to us, especially since one of those times we ended up with a sick baby after we'd ordered but before our food came and they boxed everything up for us to take. Thank you, Chili's.

I haven't yet been to this coffee shop. Any of you? Opinions?

My Gym, I don't know much about it but I wonder if one day in the not too distant future we'll be attending birthday parties here like The Little Gym in Texas. It says "Children's Fitness Center". I do dearly hope that it is for fun fitness not pressuring young children into being the world's greatest athletes type of place. Okay, stepping off my soapbox.

Okay, I'm always up for browsing Tuesday Morning and the Consignment of Collectibles could be fun, but Vacuums and Dragons???? What in the world does that even mean?

I have no idea.

Okay, now for a few updates on places north of here on Academy that I've covered before.

I did go to the Old Navy and Carter's on Academy and the Old Navy is definitely different than some I've been to before. Maybe they are revamping all of them and this is the new layout?

The dressing rooms were in the middle which I liked because for some reason I often have a hard time finding the dressing rooms there. They also had cool carts that a certain young man enjoyed riding in better than most. The clothes were pretty tightly packed together which made it a little tricky to steer around but there was lots of stuff to see and lots of clearance which is always nice. I bought a fun pair of pants, cardigan and striped tank that will all be great for fall.

Next I went over to Carter's and found some super cute jammies on clearance. I also found out that Wednesday is grandparent discount day so you can bet I'll be trying to talk my mom into going shopping with me on a Wednesday next time I want to go to Carter's. Not that I think it will take much convincing.

I also made it to Gatherings. It was a little more "primitive style" overall than I was expecting but they had some neat cards and lots of stamped silverware that was fun. I got a butter knife that says, "spread love".

The Good Times on Academy closed but I went to another location and treated myself to a sundae one day when my great brother-in-law took David on a hike so I could run errands by myself. It was pretty good but I don't know if I'll be tempted back or not.

So, there you have it, a little more of Academy and hopefully we can move on to streets starting with other letters soon.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

toys to take on the plane

One of the friends I've met through blogging is taking an airplane trip soon and asked for any and all advice for traveling with a one year old.

I had already been contemplating doing this post and that cinched the deal. I'll bet a lot of us have wished for advice on traveling with kids before so here's my take on what toys might be good for the plane.

Toys are going to vary by age range for sure and you know your child and his/her interests best but here's what I took for my nearly 16 month old son.

Roughly from left to right starting in the back:

First up the girly pink bag . . . I thought it would be simplest to have all of the toys in one place little pouch that I could pull out of the diaper bag and not have to be pulling the whole diaper bag out from under the seat and shoving it back in while holding David and keeping my seatbelt securely fastened. It worked really great actually and I just used something I already had and luckily David is not old enough yet to care what color it was.

I think I packed three board books, Goodnight Gorilla, one of our favorites being one of them.

This pinwheel was actually part of the decor at my baby shower and I have used them in various ways since then. David loves them and I knew it would be a small, lightweight, interactive toy to bring. It turned out to be my "go to" toy for the entire five days. It was great on the plane, in restaurants or while he was in the stroller and we were walking around.

I brought a straw because I thought again it was extremely small and lightweight and I could blow through it onto his skin or hair and he could bend it, etc. but I don't think we ever even pulled it out.

These pliers are from his toolset that he got for his birthday. We still don't know who gave it to us but it sure is getting a lot of mileage! These pliers are always a fun toy for him to play with and he enjoyed them on the trip as well.

The tinker toy is from his sweet Aunt Kim who let it be taken from the set at her house. It has been a favorite for awhile. He played with it a little on the plane but it is really better for rolling so I probably could have left it at home.

The "I" and the "D" "train cars" are from a set that spells his name that his Grandma gave him for Christmas. They connect with magnets and I just brought two for him to pull apart and put back together. We also use these as church bag toys too.

The plastic fish is a bath toy that squirts water or when empty, blows air. We used that more than once as I sang songs about fishies and made it swim, blew air on David by squeezing it, etc.

I brought the baby spoon because he enjoys chewing on the rubber tips. Since we didn't ever feed him baby food he doesn't really associate them with eating real food but lately he has really enjoyed pretending to feed me with them and I knew that would be a quiet, easy game we could get a lot of mileage out of on the plane. Turns out we didn't ever pull it out but if we had run out of other things I think it would have been good.

He hasn't really taken a pacifier since six months, preferring his thumb, but since the move he has found some and enjoyed popping them in his mouth or playing with them/chewing on them for short periods of time. I thought this might also help his ears on take off and landing.

The adorable lion toy is a gift from his great-grandma last Christmas. You push the bottom and the whole thing collapses. David thinks it is very funny and we used this one a whole lot on the plane.

The red white and blue cloth is a napkin. I stuck it in thinking it would be handy for peek-a-boo or hiding objects under for him to find but we didn't end up using it either.

I got the stickers because my mom had told me my sister-in-law had used them as a great plane toy for my nephew. We did use some on the way back and they were good for killing some time.

The little hedgehog is a finger puppet that his Sweetie gave him. He loved how soft and fuzzy it was and enjoyed me making it kiss him, etc. I also brought a little chick inside an egg finger puppet that is not pictured. He loves for me to pop that little chick out of the egg and say boo. Then he'll push it back in. He learned to say "chicken" on this trip while playing with it!

The bracelet is because I tried to wear fun jewelry that he could play with on the flight but that wouldn't set off the metal detector!

The bath glove with the animals on the fingers is a gift from his Grandma. I think it may have come from France even! I used the animals to "talk" to David on the flight and that was fun.

The toy ring was has turned out to be something we have used from his littlest days until now. It can be put on and taken off things and his Daddy even likes to make him giggle by hanging it on his ear.

This little Fisher Price truck and another we have like it were birthday gifts from his Aunt Gail. He has used them a ton and this is his smallest vehicle. He pushes cars and trucks around all day but I needed something really small for the trip. This fit the bill.

The travel Q-tip box is something I found as I was packing and cleaning out my toiletries bag. I thought it would be a big hit with my little guy who loves to figure things out and put things inside things but it wasn't that big a hit.

As I've written this I've realized how many of these things were gifts and am once again overwhelmed with how blessed we are with people who love us and our sweet boy.

I hope this has helped any of you who are anticipating traveling with little ones and as we're not done traveling, I would *love* to hear any suggestions, ideas and tips *you* have for traveling with little kids.



Monday, August 22, 2011

the Royal Gorge

While a bunch of our family was here in July for a family reunion, one of the things we did was tour the Royal Gorge. My cousin Jonathan captured this picture of Sweetie, David and I on the bridge over the gorge.

This is really special to me because I can remember as a little girl, my Sweetie and Poppy taking a vacation and visiting the Royal Gorge and her telling me all about it and showing me pictures and here I got to go with her to see this thing that I remember capturing my imagination as a child.

Blessings abound.

Have you ever been to the Royal Gorge?


Saturday, August 20, 2011

our tomatoes are ripe!!!

These made for a great lunch today!

Our garden adventure is working.

Do you garden?


Friday, August 19, 2011

helping around the house

Doing laundry is so much more fun for me now. A certain little mister enjoys helping me. Truth be told, mostly he likes pushing the button on the drier at the end to turn it on but I'll take it!

Do you have a favorite laundry tip?


Thursday, August 18, 2011

last day in Chicago

We spent five days in Chicago. We went because Adrian's Granny & cousin who live in England as well as his dad were going to be in town and we wanted to meet up with all of them for a visit. It was wonderful to get to spend time together. They left on Sunday and we stayed two extra days even though it meant Adrian had to work during the day, telecommuting from cafes and coffee shops with free wifi.

We had an amazing breakfast on our last day in Chicago. We went to a place called Orange that I've been wanting to try out for about six years now, since my very first visit to Chicago with my mom, aunt and our friend, Sheryl.

It was really yummy! I had the pancake flight. I think the pancakes change weekly and all four stacks are centered around a theme. This one was August fruits. Yum!

Adrian had steak and eggs benedict on brioche toast. It was really yummy as well.

Sweet David had sweet potato fries & cheerios. It turned out to be harder than I expected to feed him with his dairy allergy while eating out the whole trip. I was SUPER impressed with E,leaven though! I stopped in to buy my first ever French macaroons and asked if she would mind filling up David's cup with soy milk for me. Everywhere else I had made this request I had paid a pretty hefty price for a cup of soy milk but what are you going to do without a refrigerator? I reached for my wallet and she told me that it was okay, I didn't owe her anything. Wow! Thank you, E,leaven!

After breakfast, Adrian got to work and David and I walked to Navy Pier to go to the Children's Museum! We had such a good time.

Enjoy the pics.

horse made of "stuff"

love this photo of my walking explorer

cool sound tubes

different perspective

It's the simple things. He loved the stairs.

They had an awesome play space that gave me lots of ideas for early childhood type stuff. I feel like I "know" elementary age having taught that age for so long but this early childhood stuff is new to me. There was a really nice girl who worked there and had a great chat.

lots of sounds, textures, moving things

In another area of the museum there was a "garden". The ground was made of brown corduroy covered bolster type things so that there were "rows" that the kids really could "plant" the crops down in.

neat ball ramp!

down they come

kid sized entrance into the museum of miniatures

waiting for our train to take the El back to the airport

The balloon was well worth the $1.99 price tag at a grocery store off Michigan Avenue the day before. David got to enjoy one of his favorite things in all the world while Mama got to enjoy a little shopping time pushing the stroller with the balloon attached.

Have you been to any children's museums?

Which ones should we add to our list to visit in the future?


first and last photos by Adrian, all other photos by Mama

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

when will I learn?

We just got back from a vacation in Chicago.

It was a really wonderful time of refreshment.

Before we left there were ants trying to build an ant bed in our sunroom.

In my task oriented, worrier mode (and I think I was a little hormonal too) I was convinced that our not taking care of that before we left was going to result in our sunroom being completely taken over by ants while we were gone. As in, I had visions in my head of ant hills taller than us completely enveloping the sunroom upon our return.

We got back late last night, dead on our feet. I've been in the sunroom already a couple of times this morning but hadn't thought about the ants (although there were a couple of times on the trip that I wondered if they were busy taking over). Just now I walked in the sunroom to set a load of laundry to be folded by the couch. I remembered to peer around the other side of the couch where they had been.

Guess what?

I did not see traces of a single ant.


Not a single one.

When will I learn not to worry?

When will it really, fully sink in that God takes care of my needs?

I do not have to be anxious or consumed. I can sleep in peace at night without lying awake worrying over ant beds bigger than my head.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Philippians 4:6-7

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ten on Ten - August 2011

a plum, just what I've always wanted!

I'm fascinated by these roots


{inside the teapot}


{had I told you?}

{plus curtains! just waiting for our couch}


sweet potato

toys get straightened during naptime


I forgot my camera the rest of the day but we picked Daddy up at work and went to Nana & Ducca's house where we enjoyed some tasty Panera Bread with them.

There you have my ten on ten for this August.

Rebekah initiated this whole ten on ten thing.

I really hope that you will take a couple of moments to read this post that she did on Annalea's blog sharing a day in her life. She told how she began blogging and her story was very inspirational to me and I think would be to many of you. You can see how this whole idea of ten on ten must have come about.

She is also presently doing a series called dinner at eight all about dating your spouse at home if you're in the middle of these busy childrearing years or even if you're not why not?

Good stuff!

Happy Wednesday. or thursday if you're reading this tomorrow.

what are you doing today?


Monday, August 8, 2011

which stroller is best?

Uncle Edmund pushing David in his stroller in Downtown Colorado Springs, July 2011

Ultimately of course, that question of "which stroller is best?" depends on the family and how they will want to use it but a friend with a son a little younger than mine recently asked me advice on what stroller to get after the infant "snap and go" stroller days.

I really do love the snap and go and when the first one we bought off craigslist for $20 bucks broke after many months of use and quite a few airplane trips, I was so very excited to find another one at a Just Between Friends consignment sale for $3!!!

The stroller that we use now that David is bigger is the Peg Perego Aria.

Before we got this stroller we thought long and hard, read reviews online and asked lots of questions of other parents. We also "test drove" strollers at Babies R Us since they had a big selection that we could actually practice folding, push around, etc.

Since I really appreciated advice and thoughts from real live parents when I was shopping I thought I would write a post of my own for anyone else who's looking.

In no way is this a paid review. All opinions & photos are strictly my own.

David at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Colorado Springs, July 2011

Sweetie, David and me walking across the bridge that spans the Royal Gorge on a very windy day! Colorado, July 2011

David at the Horticultural Arts Society's annual plant sale
Colorado Springs, May 2011

Here's what I like about the stroller:

the color (orange is my favorite color)

that the canopy pulls way down low and really provides good coverage for our fair skinned baby boy in this super intense high altitude sun

that the canopy has a little mesh/plastic "window" that I can look down into and see him and yet still provides good shade

that it is truly a "one hand" stroller as far as folding it up and unfolding it (more on unfolding in what I don't like)

that it handles really well as far as turns, bumps, etc. (a little bit more about bumps in what I don't like)

that it's very lightweight

that the basket is among the roomiest and most accessible for throwing things into and getting stuff out of of the baskets that we saw on strollers at babies r us when we went

that it is very easy to recline and it reclines nearly 100% horizontal - David isn't really a stroller napper but he did nap in it once and if I remember correctly, I've even changed a diaper in this thing (I really despise changing diapers in public restrooms - I'm not sure how it's going to go for me when I am taking my potty training little boy into the public bathroom.)

that there is a tray in the front for David for toys/snacks with two cup holders for him for me to put toys or his cup down in

that even when we've taken David for ice cream (dairy free fruit sorbet for him with his allergy) and his stroller has gotten sticky, we have been able to just spray it off with the hose in the backyard and let it dry and it has cleaned up great!

That the strap configuration allows David a lot of freedom of movement while still keeping him secure in the stroller.

That the handle is adjustable in height.

Before I list the things I don't like as well, I have to tell you a little bit about the next several photos. The week before we moved away from Dallas, I met up with two of my other mom friends and we went stroller skating! It was an absolute blast. I really loved it and it was a great workout. Interskate in Lewisville has stroller skating on Wednesday mornings. It is very inexpensive, air conditioned and a great way to work-out, visit with your friends and have fun with your kids. David loved it!

I am *really* hoping one of the skating rinks here already does it although I haven't seen it on their websites or at least that maybe I could talk them into it!

Here's what I don't like as much:

That when I am at a place where they do not have a ramp and I have to lift the stroller and carry it up/down some stairs, I don't feel like there are very good, sturdy places to grab on easily

That the cup holder for the parent/stroller pusher is really more suited for a water bottle and not an actual cup and is kind of hard to get the bottle in and out of

That there isn't any sort of tray for the parent/stroller pusher like I was used to with the snap and go for setting my phone, sunglasses, whatever . . .

It is easy to unfold and yet at the same time, I still sometimes feel like I can't quite get the hang of unfolding it. It's like it just unfolds so super easily once it unlatches or something but sometimes it feels stuck and I'm not sure quite what combination of holding in the button and kind of flipping my arm out to try . . . (not sure if that makes good sense written out but if you could see me do it, you'd know)

When we lived in Dallas and I was mostly using the stroller inside (malls, grocery store, airport, etc.) or in parking lots it was a breeze to "drive". Here in Colorado I have used it more outdoors, walking in our neighborhood, over uneven sidewalks, on dirt trails, etc. Now I must say that I don't think any stroller that is not a jogging stroller would do better in these types of environments but sometimes now I wish I had a jogging stroller when I never thought I would ever need/want one when we were stroller shopping since I don't jog! Just something to take into consideration.

That even though overall I like the strap configuration, it is a little "fiddly" to get him buckled in making sure that you have the straps all out from underneath him and turned correctly.

David at a park in Frisco, TX March 2011
photo by Adrian

So there you have it, definitely more things I like than don't and I would probably get it again from the choices available.

Happy shopping & strolling!


Monday, August 1, 2011

"Fairest of the months! Ripe summer's queen

The hey-day of the year

With robes that gleam with sunny sheen

Sweet August doth appear."

- R. Combe Miller

photo of a shop window in Texas