Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hikes with Tykes: Mt Falcon Park

Ever since we moved back to Denver 3 weeks ago...I've been itching to go to the mountains. Yesterday I read about some great hiking trails and the Mt Falcon Park trail caught my eye. I think I've mentioned before that I'm not good at aimless hiking...I need to have a goal.

Our destination today was the dream home of John Brisben Walker. In the early 1900's he made his fortune as the editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine, a land tycoon and an automobile entrepreneur.  In 1909 he built an elaborate home on the top of Mt. Falcon.  In 1918, it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground...leaving behind the massive stone walls and fireplaces...a unique mountain castle.

We slowly walked the Castle Trail to the home ruins.  It is 1 mile each direction from the parking lot.  Our 3 and 4 year old found it easy and enjoyable. 

Hiking with Tykes 101

 Always become familiar with the trail by checking the map at the beginning of the trail.  Find the You Are Here sticker and then consult the maps that you've printed in triplicate at home. (one for you, one for each child) This will ensure that you don't get lost and that there is no fighting among the children over who gets to hold the map. It's also fun to watch your husband run across an outcropping of rocks when they let go of the map and the wind takes it away.

When you are consulting the map on the giant board at the beginning of the trail, make sure to check the backside so that when you return from walking a mile with your precious children you don't discover that they could have been eaten by bears or mountain lions.  And never forget this bit of advice...NEVER make direct eye contact with a preschooler...I mean wild animal.
When walking along the trail always keep your eyes open for a possible Naughty Rock.  This will come in handy when your child suddenly decides that they don't like the trail you have selected and refuse to walk any further even though you've driven 30 miles and spent $25 on lunch meat and snacks for this lovely little family outing.

Even though the temperatures will reach the upper 80's on your walk, wear or tie a hoodie around your waist.  This item of clothing doubles as a baby straight jacket for children that lose their minds and threaten to run off a cliff.

An important safety measure when hiking with tykes is to teach them to hug a tree.  This is not some liberal crazy talk...this is to teach them to stay in one place and yell for help if they become separated from you during your hike.   Also tell them that some trees smell like vanilla.

The Walker Dream ruins.

Finally...our destination! 

Here's a tip to get children to pose for pictures.  Bring a little treat with you in your pocket and use it to bribe them.  I didn't take this advice and I couldn't get them to sit for a picture.

I owe the success of this picture to being at the picnic sight and promising Chips Ahoy Cookies if they'd stand next to each other and not fall off the rock and make a stupid face.

This little girl LOVES hiking! As long as she can spend half her time on her Daddy's shoulders.

A successful picnic lunch on top of a mountain contains sandwiches, chips or cheetos, cookies, juice boxes and soda.  Ignore the stares and dirty looks from the other hikers at the neighboring picnic tables who are eating sprout sandwiches, oranges, carrots and plain water.  They are just jealous.

On your way home the tykes will be complaining about being hot and tired.  Make a pit stop at Best Buy and sit in the home entertainment lounge so that everyone can cool off. Just don't let them fall asleep in the comfy chairs or they won't pass out from exhaustion at 6pm.

More tips....

  • Bring lots of water.
  • Bring a snack for on the trail so that you can fill little mouths with food so they stop complaining about being hungry.
  • Don't eat berries that you see along the trail.  They may be poisonous.
  • Teach your children to walk slowly going down hill on a gravel trail.
  • Bring some band aids in your pocket.
  • Teach your children not to approach hikers with dogs because they might try to bite their heads off.  The dogs...not the hikers.
  • Put sunscreen on yourself and your children.  Don't rub it in all the way so that people can see that they are wearing it and don't come up to you and ask you if they are wearing sunscreen because they are very white.  *she's white because she wears sunscreen...duh*

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This is not helping....

Gosh I love you guys! So much great advice and support for my freaking out post today! I have the best blog friends/readers in the whole internet land. But friends...I have Breaking News!

Soooo....I'm watching the news while eating my lunch (bread, feta and olive oil) and the top story is out of the town that I live in.

It turns out a KINDERGARTNER brought a loaded gun to school in her backpack yesterday. HER DAD left it in there by mistake.  The good news is that HE has been arrested for child abuse (DUH) and possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Hold me.

This happened in the neighborhood that we used to live in. Blocks away from where iKeith grew up. EDITED: This is the elementary school that Keith and his siblings went to.

I guess this neighborhood is off the list of possible places to move when we leave our temporary home.

Mommy Needs an Ativan

I had a little bit of a breakdown on Tuesday afternoon.

This week, as all of your children head off to school, I've been thinking about this last year with Alex at home with me and I don't know why but I decided to check and see which elementary school he would be going to next year.

And that's when I saw it.


I immediately had a panic attack and started crying (i'm still crying) because I can't imagine Alex going to school all day when he's only 5 and has never been away from me. I'm sure that he's going to be fine and that they help him do everything and show him where the lunch room is but I'm just freaking out!

I think I know why....when I was starting 2nd grade, my Mom followed my bus to school and then she drove away.  I stood outside the school crying for quite a while because I didn't know where I was supposed to go.  Finally...a teacher saw me standing outside and came out to get me and find out who the heck I was and where I belonged.

I feel terrible that I can't send Alex to preschool to prepare him for starting school, so I'm going to be preschooling him at home.  I just hope that he picks up the other things circle time and recess and stuff like that. I think I'll start making him raise his hand and ask me to go to the bathroom.  Can someone that has had a child in all day kindergarten explain what their day is like?  Do they have snacks and naps?  What do they do all day? What about do they handle that?

I need to find a way to get over this anxiety before he does start that I don't traumatize the poor kid.

In other news...I discovered why my sleep aids haven't been working.  I got the bottles mixed up and I've been taking stool softener.  This might also explain why I lost two pounds last week. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Redneck Rolling Pin

To find out why I was using a can of german beer as a rolling pin....go to my new food blog...Rookie Foodie!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Scenes from my Apartment: Kitchen

My tiny apartment kitchen....please notice that the cabinet hardware is in the MIDDLE of the doors. MIDDLE. It's ridiculous. Whoever did that work should have been fired!

Yes. I have pop tarts. Frosted Strawberry Pop tarts....they are for TOM.

Next Week...The Master Bedroom!

Apartment Tour:
The Great Room

And now Martha is sending me emails about how to make a kitchen work. I'd like to see her make this kitchen work.

Friday, August 20, 2010

If Momma Ain't Happy....

This week has flown by. iKeith has been working long hours (he got home from work at 1:30am one night) and we've been staying busy. I've done several things that I consider to be Keith's job. Bath the children, put them to bed, go to the park and then inside Burger King and let the kids play on the equipment.

I'm queen of the drive thru...because I hate to buy the kids something to drink ($$) and I hate those play things. Mallory always gets stuck in the top and one time on vacation I had to climb into it and fetch her.

Yesterday, she promised me that she was a big girl and that she wouldn't get stuck. She did great and couldn't wait to tell me 'I told you so'.

It was all fun and games until another kid taught her how to jump off one of the platforms inside the play thing and she hurt her wrist.

Then Momma wasn't happy anymore.

And I had to have the 'if your friend wants to jump off a bridge that doesn't mean you have to jump too' talk.  I had flash forwards (or sideways) to her teen years...

We've been invited to a party!  Two weeks in Denver and we're going to be social already! EDITED: We're not going. :(   I'm so excited!  What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have time...

It's amazing how much more time you have when you simplify your life.

I have more time to read blogs, tweets and books....

because it takes me 8 minutes to vacuum the entire apartment and 5 minutes to clean the kitchen.

I have more time to watch TV...

because iKeith is working 16 hour days.

I have more time to play with the kids....

because laundry only takes a couple hours when you have to process it as soon as it's done.

Yesterday the kids told me we were playing a game that required me to lay on Alex's bed because I was *sick* and they were doctors. So...I lay and let them poke and prod me...for a good 30 minutes.

I never had time to play this game before...I was too busy cleaning, doing laundry and thinking about stuff that wasn't getting done.

I have time now....

And I can't help but think that this is perfect timing.  I have exactly one year until Alex goes to Kindergarten.  One year....

My baby will be a big boy soon and I need to make the most of this time.

I have the time.  Funny how something you think is a hardship can turn out to be a blessing you didn't know you needed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Teresa Needs to Downsize

Have you seen the latest from Teresa Giudice from Real Housewives of New Jersey?  Word on the street is that she went on a $60,000 spending spree while the contents of her house is currently set to go up for auction and she and her husband are filing bankruptcy on $11 Million worth of debt.

I like Teresa.  I love watching the show, her character is over the top and extravagant, her husband is chubby and irritable and her daughters are adorable.

I'm having a really hard time watching the show lately and seeing how much money she's wasting while her house is not under foreclosure.  Maybe we don't know the whole story here but shouldn't she be cutting back a little bit and cutting some coupons?

One of the reasons that I'm sitting here writing this post in a 990 sq ft apartment is because we have debt.  We could take the easy way we've been encouraged to do by iKeith's family (they are on their 2nd bankruptcy) and file for bankruptcy but we want to honor our commitments.

If that means we live with the bare minimum and live in a small apartment, then that's what we'll do.  We incurred this debt and we'll pay it off.

I'd love to see Mrs. Giudice downsizing and living within their means.....

But that doesn't make for good television now does it?

*  Those of you who are clicking on the ads.  BLESS YOUR HEARTS!  *

I love you all!  Yes, you there in your robe.  And  you...eating Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. 


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scenes From My Apartment: The Great Room

My apartment is a decorators nightmare!

I've got three rooms of furniture in one long room and it feels a little too incongruous and disorderly.  What am I's completely disorderly because I have more stuff than I have room to put things.  My entertainment center is now stuffed full of toys and the desk I'm using doesn't have any drawers. But I'm making the most of it.

The Living Room

The Office

The Dining Room

The Great Room!

This picture sits above the dining room table.  iKeith won it the year that The Colorado Rockies began...he also won season tickets and didn't go to a single game.  I find it ironic that he's owned this picture since 1993 and now he works across the street from Coors Field. 

Next Week: The Kitchen!

*Bachelor Pad*
I think I'm done with that show.  The pie eating contest made me sick and I can't stand Natalie and Elizabeth.  Watching it is giving me that icky feeling from high school.  Can someone tell me what happened before the rose ceremony that made Tenley cry?  I missed that part.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where Did The Weekend Go?

This was our first weekend in our old hometown so we went to some of our favorite places. And as if that didn't keep us busy enough...iKeith went to see The Expendables with his brothers and I went to see Eat Pray Love with my friend Denise from Eat Play Love. The movie was everything I hoped it would be and I loved every minute of it...even with a sick child sitting behind me and a woman eating left over chinese food in front of me.

Twisters is one of our favorite places from the last time we lived here.

Mallory wore her glasses all day...inside and outside.

A trip to Lowe's to buy a little air conditioner for my room...because iKeith loves me so much and wants me to be able to sleep.  

Stopped by Target to get a couple pairs of pants and shorts for Mallory because she just had a growth spurt! And new shoes...because she's outgrown those too.  Opps.  Left her shoes at the store.  We'll be going back today to re-buy them.

Then it was happy hour at The Yard House....

Onion Ring Tower! 

Yeah...this budget thing is working out great!

We need to go to money rehab.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Funnies: Dancing

Alex and Mallory love to dance...and they don't care where they are when the mood strikes. I shot this video in Forever 21.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Temporary Home

My air conditioning is broken. We figured it out on moving day and on Monday I went to sign the lease and report that we had a serious problem. The manager...who I'll call Nicky said that she would send Dick the Maintenance guy over as soon as he was done cleaning the pool.

I was gone most of the day so I assumed that Dick had come to the apartment. Do you know what happens when you ASSume something? Yeah, that. It's been 90 degrees everyday...the kids are getting heat stroke and I'm getting tipsy on ice cold boxed Chardonay and getting NOTHING unpacked.

Today I went to remind Nicky about my AC and she apparently forgot. I'm starting to think she's had some kind of head injury because she didn't forget to tell me about all of the misfortune that has befallen her family. I've now learned not to talk about ANYTHING except apartment business because every time you say something she follows it with 'That's like this one time'.  Talking about traffic leads to a conversation about how her husband lost his leg and her son was in a coma. She also doesn't have any upper teeth and I have a hard time understanding her.

This is our 5th day in our new apartment and I think I'm finally ready to talk about it.  Downsizing has been surprisingly hard.  I say that because I've lived in worse places than this...I've lived in a 100 year old farm house and the well broke for 6 weeks.  I've had it worse!

Maybe it's because I now have children and had I looked at this place myself...I would have NOT rented it.  It's old and it's cheap.  As they get what you pay for.  I miss my beautiful house and large kitchen and I'd love to go to sleep without the sound of someone's bass pounding through my wall. I'd give anything to see Brother Horton at my door....

The day that we arrived...we almost hit a 10 year old girl that was riding her bike and texting.  Yesterday I saw a 2 year old wandering the sidewalk alone and a mother driving with kids NOT in seat belts.  I'd take the kids to the pool but I've seen those people and I really don't want my kids to breath cigarette smoke while they are playing in the pool, plus according to the newsletter I got of those A-holes stole one of the life jackets that was donated by the fire department.  And if they will just please return it, no one will say a word. The good news is that if I did go to the pool...I'd be the skinny one. Just sayin.

Speaking of the was a wealth of information.  I found out the pool code, that the landscapers come on Tuesday (but they were a day late and mowed the grass today) and that someone has been using the trash can in the laundry room as a restroom.  Oh...and they just installed a recycling container on the property.  This was good news to me because I was about to try to find somewhere to take my items.  Here is a list of items that they will not except:

  • Plastic Bags
  • Plastic Tops
  • Needles and Syringes
  • 6 pack holders
  • Light Bulbs 
  • Boxes of Wine 
  • Plastic Microwave Trays 
  • Stickers
  • To Go Containers

The good news is that all of their beer cans, vodka bottles and milk cartons can absolutely be recycled!

I know it sounds like I'm complaining and maybe I am...just a little bit.  I'm trying to look at the bright side...which is that iKeith loves his new job and this is not forever.  This is our temporary home...

I just saw Dooce's post about her new house...and I think her office is as big as my entire apartment.

Disclaimer: The opinions and thoughts of Connie are not necessarily the opinions and thoughts of iKeith. Also...this post is brought to you by Franzia but they did not contribute to the livelihood or bank account of Connie. Only to her happiness.

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers For Mommy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Big Love

iKeith set up my computer and desk last night so I'm back in business!

We were eating dinner Sunday night and we were trying to prepare the kids for Bobbi's departure. Alex told us that Bobbi should stay and that she should share a room with iKeith. We laughed and I asked him where Mommy will sleep. He informed me that I could sleep on the couch. LOL! I guess the First Wife gets the couch....

This morning...Mallory is confused about where Bobbi is and when I told her that Bobbi went home to her dogs in Utah she looked at me and said, 'But...WE'RE her Home-Home.'

Yes Mallory...we ARE Bobbi's Home-Home.

Here's a picture from the weekend...Bobbi was helping me unpack my bedroom and then she got tired. The light was really bright so she made a make shift eye mask.

P.S. Did you watch The Bachelor Pad last night?  Poor Tenley!  Michelle is STILL crazy!  I was happy to see that Craig is not torturing The Weatherman...yet.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm Home

The move went well...and I'm still unpacking. iKeith starts his new job today! He's really excited!

Thanks so much for your awesome comments and keeping my spirits up last week. I'm hoping to have my computer hooked up tomorrow and back to visiting blogs.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Worn Out Our Welcome

Looks like we've worn out our welcome and it's time to move on. The movers are coming to load our stuff and then iKeith and his Dad will drive the truck to Denver. We'll all be home soon....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shoes for a 40 Year Old

We're picking up the UHaul Truck today and we'll start loading the many boxes that are going into storage. Downsizing to 990 square feet is not easy friends! Today I'm thinking ahead to my birthday and the Champagne Bar that my Brother Husband Robert will be taking me to. I want these shoes!

Edited: I bought the shoes. In turquoise. I love them and they are my birthday present to myself. I love Me!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Horton Hears A Wino

iKeith's last day at work was yesterday...last minute packing and trying to eat all of our TV Dinners.  Only three more days till moving day!  This is one of my favorite posts about our experiences in Utah.  I'm going to miss Brother Horton.....

P.S. I used to call iKeith Calvin on my blog...because of his important job with the space program.  

I thought it was over.

I was present when Brother Horton came over last week to retrieve his book about how a nice Jewish boy became a Mormon and I witnessed Calvin's 'we don't want to convert and we like our 'lifestyle' as heathens and yes, your religion sounds very nice but we aren't interested speech'. Brother Horton made one last appeal...I think it was to me, telling me that he had 10 kids and each time a new one came, he got a raise at work. God provided for them because they did what they were supposed to do and were good Mormons. That's great and all but Calvin gets raises whether we are Mormons or not. Nice try though.

We bid him farewell and then we had a beer. Because that is what heathens do.

Last night, I had just finished my Margarita, that I had to have because of the spider situation and was in the middle of planning our trip to Park City this weekend. I had just put the addresses for the two liquor stores into my contacts so that we could easily find them when we arrived.

Anyway....9:30pm. There is a knock at the door and it didn't even occur to me that it was Tuesday night and that it could be Brother Horton calling.

It was him.

He wanted to talk to Calvin. I went and tore him away from his World of Warcraft game and he returned with this:

He brought us a bottle of Grape Juice and asked us to replace it for one week with 'the other stuff'.

I love wine. I love it so much that I sent text messages (that Horton must be intercepting) this week, to my Sister and Brother-In-Law professing my love for wine. I don't drink it everyday....but at least once a week I like to unwind with a couple of glasses. Usually around Friday.

Wine makes me a better Mother. Sometimes, a glass of wine, enjoyed in the bathtub, at the end of a hard day of crying and changing poopy diapers is all I need to be right again. I just don't see Grape Juice having the same effect for me.

Wine has gotten me pregnant twice!! Alex and Mallory might not be here today if not for my love of the drink. Grape Juice doesn't make me Horny Baby!

I enjoy wine with food. Steak, cheese and bread, just taste better with wine.

Plus, Jesus turned Water into Wine! Jesus is a fan! Jesus must have loved wine!

Stay Tuned for my new favorite iPhone Application! Horton's going to love this one!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thong Underwear Bandits

Hey...I'm packing the truck and moving to Denver this week so I wrote some random posts and will re-publish one a couple of my favorites.  See you next week!  

Back in May in a suburb of Denver that I'm NOT moving to....two guys robbed a gas station.

The story intrigues me because I have to wonder about the conversation that happened between these two guys before they robbed the store.

Blue Shirt: Hey...I'm short on cash.  Let's rob a store.

Tattoo: Okay.  But we need a disguise.

Blue Shirt: Let's see if my sister has some panty hose.

Tattoo: Great idea.

Blue Shirt: Oh crap, all my sister has are these THONG underwear.

Tattoo: Good for us she weights 400 pounds and they fit great over our faces like this.

Blue Shirt: Let's do this thing!