Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Birthday Bikes

Jack and I both got new bikes for our birthdays!

Here is Jack with his new 20" Trek bike that he has already mastered:

And me with my pink and green townie with basket that I LOVE!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Our new place

Moving is a pain so I won't even go into the hassle of what we went through to move out of our apartment. Although I have to say that two years ago when we first moved back from Switzerland all we had were 3 suitcases. Now, two years later we needed two trips with a moving truck to get everything moved. And I also have to say that I have moved at least once during every pregnancy... almost like they are connected somehow.

Moving day was on a Saturday and we hired a truck and some guys to help Luke. Meanwhile I had to take Lily to her 9am dress rehearsal for her performance that night. But the paperwork with all the information was lost somewhere in the boxes and I couldn't remember where she was performing. I figured it was at the theater right by her dance studio so we headed there and arrived 10 minutes early. After noticing the empty parking lot and locked theater doors we realized it must be the wrong theatre. After frantically searching through my emails I found out that she was to perform at a theatre in the next town over.. 30 minutes away. So we got there as fast as we could and ran in the doors just to see her little dance group walking off stage. We had just missed the dress rehearsal.

Oh well...

Then we spent the day moving with Luke and that evening we took a break from hauling boxes to enjoy Lily's recital. The next day we were able to start unpacking and at least make our place livable. Then, I had the duty of cleaning our old apartment. Lucky for Luke he was sent out of town on business that week so the kids and I spent Monday - Friday cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. We got that apartment in sparkling condition. Meanwhile our new house was barely livable and it was driving me crazy. I was so happy to finally turn in the keys to our old apartment and finally be able to spend time on our new place.

It is finally all coming together and feeling like home. Here are a few pictures:

The thing I love best about our new place is having a backyard. I love sending the kids outside to play. And they love running around!
 Here is our dining room
 And our living room with a new 50" TV that was one of the first purchases for our new place since we haven't had a TV in over two years.
 The other view of the living room
 We have a guest bedroom/playroom
 Jack and Lily share a room
 And our bedroom overlooks the backyard

I will have more to post about our new place soon. 

Birthday surprise at Elitch Gardens

The monday after Jack's official birthday we surprised him with a trip to 6 Flags Elitch Gardens in Denver. It happened to be my actual birthday that day so it was a trip for me too... although I couldn't ride any of the rides, but it was still a fun day.

 Jack and Lily are both little thrill seekers.
 Jack has no fear at all when it comes to rides. Lily is a little more cautious, but still enjoys a thrill

 Jack was happy to be tall enough to go on some of the big kid rides

 And even Lily was able to go on some pretty exciting rides too

 Jack's favorite was the viking ship that goes up and down.

 Elitch Gardens had a special offer to buy a refillable cup of beer and/or soda. Kids and I shared the soda cup and Luke was happy for his refillable beer mug

They even have a water park so we spent some time here

 But it was freezing!
 Too much fun for one little girl.

As I look back on all these pictures it looks like an amazing day. But like most of my posts, the behind the scenes look includes lots of crying and tantrums and other not so fun memories that were not photographed.

Take, for example the poop incident:
After a long day of walking Luke and I took the kids to a kid play area where we could sit down and relax and let the kids run around. We were able to sit for about 30 minutes when Jack and Lily came running to us saying that Lily had pooped. Lily has been potty trained since before she was two and never has accidents so it was quite a shock to find out she pooped. And it was a lot! I had to take her to the nearest bathroom while Luke went to check out the play area. Once in the bathroom cleanup proved much more difficult than expected. First of all, there was a lot of poop! Second, this was a bathroom with no paper towels, only air dryers. So trying to clean up the mess with just toilet paper was very frustrating. And then, we didn't pack any change of clothes for the kids so I ended up having Jack take off his underwear and just wear his shorts, while Lily wore his underwear as shorts. Once she was cleaned up, we went back to the play area which had to be shut down and sanitized as there was poop in one of the slides as well. 

Then, there was Jack's incident:
After dealing with the poop and play area, we took the kids to the bathroom to wash hands. Luke and Jack went in the boys bathroom and a couple minutes later I heard screaming. Apparently Luke had put Jack on the counter to reach the soap/water. Jack proceeded to take lots and lots of soap and then when he went to wash his hands, he slipped and fell backward off the sink onto the concrete floor. This is pretty typical of Jack and I can't even count the number of times he has cracked/bumped his head. But this time his response was exasperated by the fact he was exhausted. He screamed and screamed and screamed. We offered to get both kids ice cream as we walked out and they gave us an ice pack for Jack's head. He had a pretty nasty bruise/egg from the incident. 

After ice cream the park closed, and you couldn't imagine how we looked walking out of that park. Lily was in Jack's underwear and Jack was still crying with an ice pack on his head and both kids were covered in chocolate ice cream. I should have taken a picture. Those are the moments behind the scenes that I rarely write about but which are still a major part of daily life with these kiddos.

Monday, June 16, 2014

When it rains, it pours...

In a perfect world the plan for this summer was to stay at our current apartment until the end of July (when our lease was up), then we would move somewhere closer to Jack's school in August. But we quickly found out that the renters market in this area was insanely competitive and not much was available in the area I wanted. So I started searching early and found that the good places were only online for 1-2 days before someone took it. I had a very narrow search area as I wanted Jack to be able to walk to school and nothing was coming up for rent. I even went so far as to print out 50 flyers asking if people wanted to rent out their home and taped them on all the doors in the neighborhood I wanted to live. One person responded but they wanted way to much money to make it worth it for us. So we waited and I searched every day.

Then at the end of May a house popped up that was in exactly the area I wanted. It was even one of the homes that I had taped a note on. Only problem was that they wanted renters June 1st and we didn't want to move until August 1st. As I looked up the property online I found another ad for the same house asking for roommates. As it turned out the guy living at the house didn't want to move out, he was being evicted if he couldn't find more roommates to help him pay rent. When I talked to the property management company they said that it would be whoever could sign the lease and pay first would get the home. So we went that Monday and looked at the house and put down our deposit with our application that same day.

Then we had to deal with getting out of our current lease which wasn't supposed to end until July 31st. When all was said in done, we had to pay a $400 penalty for breaking the lease. Then, we were still responsible for giving 30 days notice so the soonest we could get out of our apartment was June 21st. This meant we had to pay double rent for half the month since the new house wanted us to sign the lease as of early June. Then things really started getting expensive.

First our renters in the Colorado Springs house moved out and we had to pay the mortgage on our home in addition to the double months rent for our apartment/rental house. And then when I took the 4runner in for an oil change it was discovered I needed all new tires ASAP...which meant another $1,000 to take care of that problem.

Talk about an expensive month! And since none of this was planned we were thrown into a wild ride of packing/cleaning/moving/budgeting that could make anyone go crazy. And doing all this while pregnant with 2 little kids was quite the challenge. But I like challenges and I'm excited to get everything settled earlier than expected and have the summer to spend at our new place.

Pictures to come soon...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's day race

Father's day weekend was very hectic for us as we moved Saturday morning and then had Lily's dance recital Saturday night. Sunday was Father's day and we were scheduled to participate in a family fun run. Jack and Lily will be participating in seven family fun runs this summer. Each is one mile long and the kids get a token at the end of each run. 

Jack did great! Luke and Jack took off running and lost us right away. Lily ran for about half of the race and then we walk/ran the rest. We met up with the boys at the finish line:

It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to more races this summer. The rest of father's day was spent unpacking our boxes. But Luke's official father's day present is 2 days of fly fishing lessons next weekend. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lily's dance recital

Lily started tap/ballet lessons in January. It is a 3-4 year old class, but Lily has done amazingly well. She loves to dance!

Her dance studio held a dance recital and it was the cutest thing ever. 

Here is Lily before the recital

 I think her favorite part was that she got to wear makeup
 Backstage with her fellow dance mates

Here is a video of the performance. Lily is 2nd girl to the right of the boy.

And after the recital with her proud brother

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Fishing frustrations and the fishing derby

Luke has been wanting to go fishing for some time. He never fished as a kid, but for some reason he decided that he wanted to take it up as a hobby. As luck has it, several guys at Luke's work are really into fishing and one of them offered to take Luke out fishing one night. They went out on his coworkers boat on Lake Boyd and fished for over 5 hours... well past midnight. They caught several fish and his coworker was generous enough to share the bounty with us. Luke cooked us a tasty meal of several kinds of fish... I think they were salmon, trout and bass (but I could be wrong). Luke was immediately hooked on fishing. 
 That weekend Luke went out and bought fishing poles for the whole family and set out to fish right in our backyard. Amazingly Jack pulled in a huge white bass. The excitement was unbelievable!

Jack's first catch
The kids were mesmerized by the fish as it sat in the sink
 And then it was time to clean the fish.
 I couldn't watch, but I heard the kids from the other room saying "eww" "oh, that is so gross" "ewww" over and over again.

Since then our luck has run out... but Luke won't give up.

We have spent countless hours and days and nights trying to catch another fish. Jack loves spending the entire day outside with his dad but it is always disappointing for Luke when nothing bites. Jack doesn't seem to mind and is always happy to try again.

 Then, we heard about the Loveland fishing derby where they stock the pond with 800 trout. We were sure to catch something! Luke and Jack headed out at 8am and Lily and I met them around noon. We fished all day... and into the evening.

 People were catching fish left and right all day long, but we caught nothing.

Well, except for Lily who caught two tiny little guys that we had to throw back

The highlight of the day was when Jack won one of the door prize raffles. The prize included a nice fishing pole, life vest and a tackle box filled with all sorts of goodies.
 For me, fishing is incredibly boring. I cannot sit around all day like Luke and Jack casting and recasting over and over and over. Lily and I usually just goof off for a while

 And finally we headed to the park for a bit
And then we went home and left Luke and Jack to keep at it well into the evening. 

Our fishing luck really needs to come back.