Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Holidays from Denver...

We made it. We are officially ready to celebrate the holidays in Denver. I awoke early this morning and I was a little bit antsy. I knew with all the traveling it wouldn't be a stress-free day, so as I waited (with Steve) at the bus stop, which was 20 minutes late I could feel the anxiety rising within my body. However, I'm happy to report the anxiety build-up was really for nothing, we had a seemlessly worry-free day for the most part. Here's how the day panned out for us. It started bright and early. We were flying out of Chicago so Steve dropped us off at the bus station. Of course it was late which made me nervous for the day, but luckily I scheduled in enough buffer time to not worry too much. Hallie's first bus ride was a success. A few DVD's kept her occupied long enough.
We then walked the three blocks over to the train station which would take us to the airport. As I walked up to the station I saw the three flights of stairs, I then looked at the backpack, duffle bag stroller and Hallie and wondered how in the world I would make it to the top. As I was strategizing at the base of the stairs, two younger guys saw my dilemma and offered to carry my stuff to the top. Thank heavens, I was being watched after today. When I got to the top I bought my ticket and there was a girl who didn't have any cash to buy her ticket to the airoport, only a credit card. So, seeing as though someone just leant me a hand I figured it was the least I could do to buy her ticker. (I felt as though I was part of those Liberty Mutual Insurance commercials where one person sees a good deed which compels them to perform a good deed which is passed on person after person.) Our train comes and because I have the stroller and bag it takes me a few seconds to get out of the gate. Those few seconds make me miss the train. Even the train station worker just watched me struggle and trying to make it to the door lets the train continue on without us. This bummed me out. First of all it was freezing, Hallie was getting restless and hungry and I just wanted to get to the airport to ensure we didn't miss our flight. We made the next train which put us at the airport in plenty of time to make it through security (not without being selected for the extra special pat down) and a quick bite to eat. The plane ride was comfortable. This is the first time we've had to pay for Hallie and yet she still sat on my lap...I was debating whether to ask for a refund...I doubted anyone would listen to me plead my case. Regardless, we made it. I'm so excited to be here with my brother and his family and looking forward to a week of nonstop fun!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter Wonderland...

We had a huge storm on Tuesday...huge...inches and inches of snow....school canceled...work canceled...mass chaos and confusion. Steve plowed this just two hours prior to this picture and there is at least and additional five inches that fell by this time. It's pretty at first, grab a mug of hot chocolate and snuggle up on the couch. That's cool for the first couple hours. Then I realized I needed things from the store, and all the sudden it wasn't nearly as pretty. I got over it. The roads were finally plowed for the most part and by Wednesday it was okay. I'm starting to get a little nervous because I'm flying out Monday, and conditions like these won't make it enjoyable to travel with a toddler...I'm not sure what conditions would make it nice with a toddler. Anyway I woke up this morning to this nice display, more snow. Which means more ice, more shoveling, and more salt. I'm really hoping Monday is good to me. If I wasn't traveling I think I'd be able to enjoy it a little more, besides, who wouldn't love a fresh blanket of snow for the Christmas season!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Messy Baby, Spike...

Thursday night we had our weekly gathering at Steve's brother's house, which included food, good conversation and the most coveted TV shows for the week; Survivor, Scrubs, and 30 Rock (yes the office was on that list at one time, but since the writer's strike we've been gettin' nothin' but reruns, and I can't take it much longer, they better come back soon and they better come back with vengeance!) Anyway, Survivor is one hour of television where we are all completely enthralled with. Needless to say, it is important that we not have any distractions, which means we usually put Hallie down to bed so we can have 100% focus. Having said that...for some reason, and I'm still not sure why, we opted out of putting her down. I remember now, she had a late nap, I figured she deserved to stay up a little later. Anyway, we're all trying desperately to hear every word coming out of the television and you don't want to take your eyes off because you will surely miss the priceless face of Courtney being disgusted at something, it doesn't matter what, but something someone else has said. So we're occupying Hallie to the best of our ability, without really putting forth any effort. I have to mention, when we go over every Thursday, Hallie suddenly forgets that we're her parents and she latches on to "Grandma Gin" and "Poppy" which I have to say isn't all that bad. Anyway Hallie was occupied for a short amount of time, and before long she went to Gin and said over and over again, "Messy baby, Messy Baby Spike, Messy baby". I think I've shared before that every time she makes a mess she comes and finds me, and tells me. But it was in a really good part of Survivor, so Gin says "Thats okay, you're fine" and that was that. Ten minutes later Survivor ends and we head to another room in the house to finish our schedule of shows and then decided it was time to put Hallie down for bed. Gin heads back towards Spike the lizard to just check on Hallie's "Mess". Sure enough she'd made a nice big mess. She spilled (by spilled I mean she knocked the cup over, the lid popped off) Spike's 60+ meal worms along with their sawdust and poop on the floor. Not a big deal your thinking...think again. Any idea how fast a meal worm moves...anybody? I know I was surprised. In a matter of ten minutes they'd made it 15 feet. They were everywhere. You had to be careful walking into the room because the carpet somewhat camouflaged their existence. We had to move chests, book shelf, couch, chair and even then some made it to the corner where the burrowed beneath the carpet. We had located the final five worms and as Gin was putting them in the cup, one flinged up on her hand and she drops the cup. Resulting in a mad dash to contain the little suckers. Needless to say we got a good laugh out of the fact that Hallie was persistent in telling us she'd made a mess. The next morning I asked her about Messy Baby Spike and sure enough she goes on with this long detailed story, most of which you can't understand, except for the part that she told me the worms fell on her toes and she ran. Three days later I had her repeat the story, here it is: (You'll need to pause the music on the right hand side)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snow Glitter...

For the record, I've been sick for almost two weeks now with a cold...doctor says its nothing, but I get these awful coughing spells for minutes on end...I love this time of year. It's been snowing here this week...there's a surprisingly amount of snow on the ground still. It started Saturday afternoon. If just dumped on us. Sunday there was some freezing rain which coated the snow with a nice sheet of ice. So nice, you can run and slide across it like a skating rink. Sunday found us busy as usual, so we didn't get a chance to shovel the walks. Of course everyone else on the block did, so they had nice clear driveways, when ours was a sheet of ice. It was mild yesterday and most of today. But this evening it started snowing again. Seeing as though Steve has shoveled the last couple times, I thought I'd try my hand at it. If I ever thought I was strong before, I was proven wrong this evening. No lie, I have really, really weak arms. I was only out there for five minutes before my arms were sore, and the snow was the light, airy type. (It's pretty easy to shovel, it's the shovel that's so heavy!). It's actually my favorite type of snow which is part of the reason I volunteered to do it this evening, but Steve doesn't need to know that! It reminds of me of the fake snow you see in store fronts. It has just a hint of glitter to it. I looked up, and with the light from the house illuminating, the falling snow looked as though it was hovering in the air just glittering the sky. It was really quite beautiful. I'm glad I could enjoy it this evening, because tomorrow after the squirrels have made their tracks, as well as the neighbor dog, and with the loud snow plows combing the street the snow isn't nearly as peaceful.
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