Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Boulder Getaway

We had such a great time on this trip. Josh and I haven't been away, not visiting family in some capacity since Europe....wow.

Even if it was only for a long weekend getaway, it was so fun, and we so needed it! Both have such stressful jobs and feel we are time starved...sometimes we don't even get a chance to talk for more than half an hour on a given day!

We drove to Osceola Iowa, little dinky town an hour south of Des Moines. I was in a bit of a panic because I was driving back from Omaha that day, and we only had a few hours to meet up, get our luggage and head south before the train arrived. Well...little did I know how non-stressful train travel is. Show up at the station and get on!

We got there way too early, so headed to try and find something for dinner. There are about 3 restaurants in Osceola...one of which is attached to the casino. So, we had sub-par local food and drove around. Fell in LOVE with this house...built in 1897 and for sale. $285K and its yours :)

So, after dinner headed back to the station and charged our phones, took silly pictures while we waited.

The train depot was like stepping back in time. Really cool to think about who had traveled through here. Looked as if some of the information boards hadn't been updated since the 70s :)

We got on the train and it was nothing like I suspected. 20ish cars from front to back, all double decker. It was actually really nice inside with our own little sleeper car. The first few cars were "coach" with big seats, then an observation car, dining cars and then the sleeper cars on the end. We got on, loaded our bags on and checked out the dining car where I got some ice cream :)

The room wasn't spacious by any stretch. I am sitting opposite Josh. The two chairs fold into a bed, and then an upper bunk drops down. When the beds are unfolded you have about 8 inches to maneuver with the door closed. Was an adventure trying to sleep at night on a rocking train! It wasn't loud, just shaky :) We got on at 7pm and woke up at 7am in Denver, pretty cool! We watched movies, and hung out in the observation car, then got up and had breakfast...pretty cool way to travel!

I found a cute bed and breakfast near Eldora Ski Resort called Alps Boulder Mountain Inn. We took a cab to Garys and he was nice enough to lend us his truck! Then we headed to boulder and attempted to check in our room. Since it was like 9, we had no luck, so we went skiing instead!

The snow and weather were great! By the end of the day I had to remove layers because I was sweating!! I fell less than 10 times, and only had one bad one where I hurt my wrist a bit. Josh didn't fall once...stinker!

Since we were on vacation, we didn't bring lunch....josh's burger and my sandwich with chips for both of us and a drink was like $40! HOLY MONOPOLY! Oh well, we were hungry :)

By the end of the day we were pooped, and the snow was starting to get really slushy...that makes for an unfun day of falling.

We were a little worried on the drive up as there was hardly any snow! I know it was the end of march...but luckily when we reached the top the mountain had plenty.

That night we headed into Boulder and found a place for dinner. I was really tired, so we settled on a place that could actually seat us...wait times are crazy there!

I had a caprese thing, which was okay...wouldn't recommend the chophouse to anyone.

The next day we toured some of the local alcohol makers. This place makes vodka from potatoes! All done in house. The brains behind the operations is a chemist and he figured out how to do this and constructed all the distillery pieces you see.

If it were legal, I dare say that Josh would be doing this in our basement...the science behind it was quite interesting! That evening we went to the Med and had an awesome dinner! You get to order little sample plates of things for like $2, so I ordered a bunch :) It had a Mediterranean theme, so was in heaven!

After shopping, and getting our toenails done (well I tricked Josh into getting his clipped and filed and having his caluses removed cheese grater style) we saw a movie. Actually got to see two on this trip! That is just crazy as we hardly have time to even watch a TV show together.

Sunday was just a lazy day, we read, went on a 5ish mile hike, rented some bikes and rode along the river (not bad for three gear bikes!)


Even though it was easter we headed to a local pedestrian market where we saw some "artistic" types working the crowd. One guy had a fire act that was more about funny than fire. Entertaining to say the least. I enjoyed looking in the local shops, especially this AMAZING spice store.

They grind their own spices and have unique blends you can buy..we definitely brought some home!

That night we had sushi and it was quite delish!

Monday we just took it easy and drove back to Denver. We went to the Denver natural history and science museum. Luckily because we have a membership in Iowa we got in free vs. $17/person...I love a good deal! That took the better part of the day and was pretty fun. They had so many dinosaur bones, the boys would have loved it!

We got to hang out with Gary and Susanne that night for a bit. Gary took Josh for a spin in his Tesla, and gave him a tour of his extremely techy house!

Then we went to dinner at a Brazillian meat place, pretty good!

We did the train in reverse on the way home. I slept a little better as we bought earplugs, but wouldn't say it was restful by any stretch! I had an interview for JCSD the following day so was stressing the whole trip, especially if the train had been late (which it wasn't.)

So fun to spend some time with my hubby, nice to remember that putting aside all the kid activities, logistics, and work we still have a good time doing nothing together :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lots of Checkups

Zachey had his crazy run to the ER last year when we noticed one of his eyes was dilating at a different rate than the other. Apparently it is a somewhat normal condition...but is usually something you are born with and noticeable right away. We went to a long appointment a few weeks ago where they did all sorts of tests. He thought the fact that he got cool glasses after they dilated his eyes was pretty sweet. He also got to play with a train table and puzzles.

Luckily the Doc says his eyes look great! We will be getting him glasses at the end of summer when he starts school as he has a hard time seeing far away. My poor children have their mothers eyes :(

We also had his 4 year checkup. Aside from two shots, it couldn't have gone better! He is healthy as a horse (are horses that healthy really?)

Weighs in at 36 pounds (51 percentile) and is almost 41" tall (57th percentile) Tall and thin this one!

He is such a joy, and I love his curious, lovey, energetic, creative and imaginative personality! Such a character!

Science Center

A few weekends ago we were enjoying the bad weather at the science center. Invested in a yearly pass this year and taking full advantage!

Touring dinosaur- Kenna was fascinated!

I LOVE this picture

 Another touring lego exhibit. The kids loved it!

They loved this fruit sorting station the best

Stone's for Dinner!

A few weekends ago we went to the stone's for dinner. SO nice to have people in our lives that are so genuine and fun! We may not see them for weeks or months at a time, but always great to just get together...its like we see eachother all everyday :)

The kids are at an age where they can all eat by themselves, so we can have a few drinks and enjoy our dinner!

They were going to miss Zachey's bday, so I made a cake and both Nathan and I had a birthday around the same time so we had an impromptu birthday celebration.

Not a serious face in this picture.

Grayson enjoyed the cake!

McKenna's Art Show

We are SOOOO Proud of McKenna. Every year the school chooses 20 pieces of art to showcase at the Ankeny Art Center. 20 Pieces from each school elementary to high school are on display this week. Out of over 700 kids, that is REALLY impressive! She was honored for her "sleepy self portrait." 

Her teacher just gushes over her and we could not have been prouder! The event was pretty unorganized, and REALLY crowded! The boys were all about the free cookies, and Gramma Rue and Chelsey made an appearance!So glad they could share in her special day!

After that we headed to Hyvee night as the proceeds of our dinner went to crocker.

Great Job McKenna! what an amazing accomplishment :)

Haircut of death

Don't let the smile fool you, this little guy was screaming for the better part of 20 minutes as I had them cut his hair. He has needed a haircut for soooo long. It was so passed the cute baby hair over the ear phased and was moving to full grown mullet.

I took him and talked to him the whole way about how he was a big boy, and he was going to sit in a chair and get a sucker. We walked in and up to the chair and he started screaming. Grayson is usually completely mellow, but for whatever reason HATES haircuts. So, I sat down and he laid his head on my chest while crying and she cut half his hair, then we switched him to the other side.

I tried to tell silly stories about Rylee hiding in the hair cut store. He seemed inquisitive asking "Where?" Or "no.....?"

Finally he took the sucker I had been trying to give him and sat facing me on the chair and she got the back of his hair. Me, his truck and Grayson were all covered in little baby hairs...not the day to wear fleece!

Oh well, he looks cute as a bug and like he grew up a whole year! I had to go through all his clothes this weekend too and weed out all the 18 month stuff! Same with Mr. Z put away all the 3T! Its all too short for him!

Sad that my babies are babies, but really enjoying this time where they are so fun!


I have had kids now for almost 7 years, never have I seen a nightmare that was so terrifying for any of them until last night!

Zachey came screaming into our room shaking from head to toe at 4am. He said a spider climbed through a hole in his ceiling and climbed down his web and was in his bed. I cuddled him and asked him if he needed to go potty while I looked.

He did and I told him I didn't see a spider in his room. He swore it came an landed on him. So I went in his room and pretended to squish it, and was bringing it to the toilet to flush it away. He hid behind the bathroom door and had his back to me as he did it.

He gave me a huge hug and said thank you over and over. We went back to his room to inspect for any other spiders and did not see any. I let him sleep with his lamp on. The only thing that I can think of is that the kids were playing spiderman last night? Poor guy and his EXTREMELY active imagination!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Zachey's Superhero Birthday

Let me start by saying this party was probably more for me than Zachey. He has been asking for a big boy birthday since Kenna's last year :) We went with a superhero theme. The Volmers all came, Lucy and Chloe, Grace and Macie from daycare, and Cody from Kindermusik.

I solicited the help from my family as "super hero" trainers. Each had a script and Baca TOTALLY got into it. He went above and beyond and even bought a costume as he was the "villain" :)

The kids came to the party and played for a bit until everyone got there.

Baca showed up and stole the cupcakes saying he hated parties!

Then Kenna took them through a series of warmups, as they were practicing to be superheros. She taught them some karate moves.

Next they went upstairs to hear the story of the villain and why he hated birthdays. Then they got their superhero capes.

Next Gona told them how to diffuse the "bombs" by sitting on the balloons with their bottom. When they were finished they were awarded with masks.

Finally the villain dropped poison on the party and they had to pick it up with tongs and place it into a vat of bubbling liquid. These were converted to bouncy balls.

Then Baca emerged from the basement and they got him with silly string, balls and noise makers. All was forgiven when he apologized and returned the cupcakes :).

Even Rylee dressed up

Cape Chels made for Zachey for Christmas