Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oliver Does the Laundry (Past & Present)

I shot a video of Oliver doing the laundry this morning. It's one of his favorite things to do! At our house, he can only reach the washer because we have a stacked washer & dryer. Here at Grandma Colleen's house, he can reach both. He is very happy to be able to do the laundry all by himself.

Here are two cute videos. The first is him at 15 months old starting the washer. The next is the video of him today, in which he uses the dryer. He's so cute, and he even has a little helper--Jo.

15 months (February 2011):

3 years, 8 months (June 2013):

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Joanna Sings "Happy Birthday" to Daddy

Joanna learned to sing a song! After we had a little birthday celebration for Andrew on Thursday, Jo started singing, "Happy Birthday to You." She was really excited to see another cake today for Andrew and started to sing again. I'm a proud mommy, and I think it's so impressive! She even pretends to blow out the candles as she sings!


Here's us making a cake for Andrew at Grandma Judy & Grandpa Larry's house. We just used a box cake mix, and I used a chocolate frosting recipe from (I doubled it). Oliver and Jo sampled the frosting and decided it was pretty good.

Oliver sprinkled a few chocolate chips on top of the first layer. 

I topped the cake with the second layer and frosted it.

Oliver added chocolate chips, sprinkles, and Heath pieces to the top.

And then he added candles.

He wanted to use the frosting bag, too, so I squeezed it while Oliver moved it around.

Here is the finished birthday cake!

Oliver got to help blow out the candles again.

In our family, I guess birthdays turn into birthday weekends! No complaints here. Yum.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy 30th Birthday, Andrew!

Andrew's birthday is today, the first day of summer! We celebrated Andrew's birthday with his parents last night because he is going camping with his buddies overnight tonight. Colleen brought home a cake, and Oliver decorated it with frosting and candles. Ever since, both kids have been obsessed with playing pretend birthday cake. Oliver makes cakes out of play dough and sticks candles in them. Jo sings (!!!) "Hah Buh to you!" Then they blow out the pretend candles. Cute!

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Toepfer Park in Highlands Ranch

We're staying with Andrew's parents in Highlands Ranch for a while as our house goes through even more showings! We've had interest and offers that have fizzled out on our home, so no contract yet! We're hoping to be under contract soon.

We decided to go check out Toepfer Park. There is a little parking lot off Venneford Ranch Road, but you can't see the playground from there. I thought we were in the wrong spot, but the playground is just down the path beyond a hilltop.

There was some shade over the swings and a nice pavilion, but the playground itself was unprotected from the harsh Colorado sun. I told the kids we could only stay a few minutes because we were there midday.

There were a few other parents and kids at the park. Most of the kids were hanging out at the swings in the shade, and most of the parents were under the pavilion. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and I had a few parents to talk to. It was nice!

The equipment is made out of good material that didn't get too hot. It was nice that Oliver could go down the slide and climb up the stairs without worrying about getting burned. Because it was tucked away from the road, it felt peaceful.

We had fun at the park and will definitely be back, but we will avoid it again midday when the sun is strongest.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Printable

I found a cute pin on Pinterest a couple months ago. It's a printable from Simply Montessori, and kids can fill out answers about their dad. Oliver is too little to write, so I wrote in the answers for him.

Here's his finished questionnaire about Andrew. The one we gave him his hand-written, and Oliver "signed" it. I don't have my scanner set up at the moment, so I just typed in the answers for my blog. Pretty cute, huh? I think I might try to do this every year and save them in a binder for Andrew.

...and, yes, Oliver got Andrew's age right! He has a good memory and understanding of numbers, just like his mama!

Father's Day 2013

...Where to begin? Today started with some grumpy kids, got better with an ice cream cone and boat ride at the park, and ended in the emergency room (everyone's OK now!).

I got up with the kiddos, and we went out to get McDonald's for Andrew. Oliver woke up on the wrong side of the bed. He was mad about everything! Unfortunately, that mood spilled into what was supposed to be a nice breakfast in bed. We took the kids to Chatfield State Park to play at the reservoir, hoping to improve the day. It was fun, but Oliver was still a Grumpy Gus!

It cost $8 to get in, which would have been worth it if we'd stayed longer. We weren't prepared for the heat and sun. Photos from Chatfield:

After a stop at the grocery store, we went home for lunch and nap time. Oliver was in a much better mood after having some quiet time. We went out to ice cream at Bonnie Brae. Their ice cream is so good! We ate it outside, which completes another item on our summer bucket list.

Oliver wanted "pink ice cream."

We were near Wash Park, so we decided to go play and explore. Oliver saw people on boats and really wanted to ride on one. We decided to go try it out without even thinking about prices. I mean, we've rented paddle boats in Evergreen before, and they are $8. We went up to rent one, only to discover the 4-person paddle boat was $30! We got a two person one for $20, and the kids sat on our laps (which was a better idea anyway).

Oliver had the time of his life! This kid is usually so timid and doesn't much like anything that involves risk. He seriously loved the boat ride, though. We got to see geese, ducks, and herons.

These pictures were taken moments before the incident. I'll tell you what happened in a moment...

So, right after these pictures were taken, Oliver ran off on that path behind us. You can see in the photo how the path winds. It winds right into a parking area on the street. When he first took off, I said, "No, no, no." He kept going, which is so unlike Oliver! I screamed bloody murder, "STOP!" Oliver froze and immediately started to cry (he hates yelling). I'm so glad he listened when I yelled, though.

I was embarrassed for yelling (even though I did the right thing) and distracted by Oliver crying. I didn't even notice when I walked into a tree limb.

It was almost exactly my height. It didn't hit me in the forehead but sliced right into the top of my scalp. It hurt so badly. It wasn't like a throbbing pain from when you run into something. It was a sharp, stinging pain that didn't stop. At first, I tried to hold myself together. The pain kept increasing, and I just crawled into the car and cried. After a minute, I got the courage to touch my head. My fingers were all bloody. Andrew drove a few blocks, but when the pain got worse, he stopped to assess the damage. He just saw a cut and blood and told me I'd need stitches. I started crying all over again! I felt what I thought was blood running down my head, but it was clear liquid. Andrew told me it was probably plasma.

We called his mom, who let us know of an urgent care out by her. I didn't even want to drive two extra miles, so we stopped at an urgent care I know of right by my parents' house. I called my dad. The poor guy, I swear. I tried to stay calm, but I was crying and clearly upset and hurt. I told him I'd be there in five minutes, and he said he would come right away. He's the best dad in the world. (I'm sorry for scaring you, Dad. Happy Father's Day!) My parents were already at the urgent care when we arrived. They grabbed the kids out of the car while I went into the urgent care.

The nurse at the reception took one look at my head and said they couldn't treat it there. She said I had to go to the emergency room. I have a high deductible, and so we'd be responsible for any and all hospital costs. Dang it! It sucks to be hurt and also worrying about whether or not I can afford to go get treated. Andrew told me we'll make it work, and so we went.

The people at Sky Ridge were fantastic. I had a nurse, a physician's assistant, and an MD all check on me. The pain started to finally subside after getting shown into a room. It faded from a sharp, stinging pain to a dull, throbbing pain. The bleeding stopped, too. The physician's assistant asked me if it was OK to numb the area. I was confused why she asked. Is there some reason I shouldn't be numbed? Is there a chance of allergic reaction or something? Nope, she just wanted my permission before giving me an injection. Oh, geez, I hate needles. I mean, I put up with them when I have to, but I hate them. I started to cry all over again! I told her I would rather get treated without getting numbed. She told me they could clean the wound out without numbing, but, if I needed staples, they would revisit the idea of numbing my head.

A nurse washed my head with sanitized water. She had to scrape off some of the scabbing to see how deep parts of the wound were. It started to sting again, but it wasn't as bad as before. A doctor came in and checked me out, followed again by the physician's assistant. She told me the wound was puckered open a bit, but it wasn't deep enough to require stitches or staples. I was so relieved!

...and then I realized I'm probably going to get a $500 bill for nothing! Well, not really. I know I am paying for expert opinions and for taking the time of the emergency room. But, still, I can't help but wish I'd toughed it out. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

So, that's how Andrew spent Father's Day evening, and that's how we ended up at the emergency room. We picked up the kids. My little Ollie Bear ran up to me when I walked into my parents' house and asked, "Mom, do you feel all better?" He's so sweet. My head was feeling so much better--just a slight pressure headache and swelling. We went back to his parents' house, where we're staying for a bit. His mom gave the kids a bath, and I took some ibuprofen and rested a bit. We made a quick dinner (and I helped Oliver make smoothies), and then we put the kids to bed.

What a day! Father's Day didn't go exactly as planned. Next week is Andrew's birthday, and I hope to make it up to him then! Happy Father's Day, Andrew, and thanks for taking care of me at the hospital.

Monday, June 10, 2013

100 (Attempted) Ways to Entertain a Young Toddler, Day 92: Toddler Fan Ball

Andrew invented a new game that the kids love. He set up a box fan in my parents' living room and set it on high speed (be careful of little fingers!). Oliver would drop some light-weight balls in front of the fan, and then the kids would watch them blow around the room! There's a video of the activity down at the bottom of this post to show how the game works.

It sounds odd, probably because it is. They both got a real kick out of it, though, and Jo ran after the balls and fetched them over and over again. They had the best time!

Here's Oliver setting the ball in front of the box fan:

And there goes Jo, chasing after it!

Happiest and proudest toddler ever?

Chasing after the balls is so much fun! I feel like we're playing fetch with the kids, only without having to do anything.

This next photo is unrelated but cracks me up. We brought out a taller fan for the kids to check out. Oliver covered his ears in case it was noisy. After studying him for a bit, Jo decided to cover her ears, too. You know, just in case!

Here's a video to show how this game works:

I give "Toddler Fan Ball" a grade A! It's easy to set up, takes minimal effort, leaves no mess, and gives the kids a way to run out their energy! Possible cons deal with safety: tripping over fan cords or reaching into the fan. I hope your toddler loves this as much as mine does!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Father's Day Picture Gift - 2013

We just ordered the kids' Father's Day gift to Andrew a few days ago. We did this last year from Shutterfly, and I thought it came out really cute. I bought the letters from Michael's last year and decided to save them. Cute!

That also finishes another item on our summer bucket list. Woohoo, we are making progress!

* Watch a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.
* Bake a berry stars & stripes cake with Oliver.
* Run through the sprinklers.
* Go to a splash park.
* Play in the "creek" at the Children's Mordecai Gardens at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
* Watch our first parade.
* Ride the outdoor train at Belleview Park.
* Visit a petting zoo.
* Take the kids for a swim.
* Have a real outdoor picnic on the grass with a picnic basket.
* Watch a sunrise.
* Go for a hike in the mountains.
* Go on a road trip.
* Go out for an ice cream cone, and eat it outside!
* Make our own ice cream, and let Oliver choose the flavor.
* Pick and eat vegetables out of the garden we're growing at Grandma Judy's house.
* Eat cherry tomatoes right off the vine at Aunt Bonnie & Uncle George's house.
* Throw water balloons.
* Go tent camping overnight.
* Look at stars in the sky.
* Visit Andrew at work for lunch.
* Take the train downtown to visit Grandpa Larry for lunch.
* Go to the Fireman's Museum.
* Use sidewalk chalk.
* Blow bubbles.
* Take Father's Day photos with the letters that spell out "DAD" again.