Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Estes Park!

We were so lucky to be able to go back to the cabin in Estes Park this past June. We had a great time, and it was truly a relaxing vacation. We were unplugged in the cabin, with no TV, internet, or cell phone service in the cabin. I even read a book for fun (The Help)! We spent our days climbing the boulders around the cabin, hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, and looking around the shops and eating ice cream in Estes Park. Olsen loved bouldering around the cabin and called one gathering of boulders his "fort" where he would carry pine cones and sticks within the boulders.

Our cabin
our cabin!

Olsen in the boulders
Olsen, on his boulders

Olsen gets ready to shuffleboard
Olsen shuffleboarding at the cabin

Jovie baby holding her feet
strolling around Lily Lake

The only unfortunate incident was that Jovie ended up having pink-eye the entire trip! It was going around Olsen's daycare. Olsen never had it, but we are assuming he must have passed it on somehow. We went to a pediatrician in town and had drops to put in her eyes. It was like baby torture putting those drops in her eyes.

Jovie on a boulder 3
Jovie, looking cute but with slightly swollen pink-eyes!

Olsen did a great job hiking. One day, we might have pushed him a little too much. We went to the Bear Lake region of RMNP and hiked around Bear Lake, which is only about half a mile around. Then from there we hiked up to Nymph Lake, which is about 3/4 a mile uphill. Olsen got a little tired going up to Nymph Lake but was happy to run around the lake and was fine hiking back down. While we were in the Bear Lake area, since it can be an ordeal to get to due to construction, we decided to also hike to Alberta Falls, which was another mile uphill. Olsen got tired on the way to the Falls but he loved the actual falls because there are a lot of rocks to climb all around. Then we had to hike back down to catch the shuttle to our car. Overall, he did really well and we ended up hiking to four different water falls on our trip.

Hiking in the Wild Basin
Our hiker

The sleeping baby blowing a bubble
Jovie, the sleeping hiker.

Family picture - Bear Lake, RMNP
Family picture at Bear Lake

Family picture at Alberta Falls 1
Alberta Falls. Jovie is sleeping.

Family Picture at the Alluvial Fan 1
Alluvial fan

Olsen also became a junior ranger. It was fun to see that he is now old enough to participate in the junior ranger activities. We went to two ranger talks, one about beavers and the other at the Junior Ranger Headquarters about nocturnal animals. He was very cute when he tried to answer the Park Ranger's questions. He got his badge and took an oath to protect the Park from harm.

Playing the game [something] and Moth
Olsen getting blindfolded for a game with the other Junior Rangers.

Olsen was also old enough to go to the little fun park place in Estes Park, where they have huge slides and bumper cars. I thought the slides looked a little scary, but he was not afraid to go down.

Olsen and Dadda together on the slides 4
giant slides!

Olsen and Dadda get ready for Go-Karting
go-karts with Daddy!

My favorite place in  Estes Park is the Baldpate Inn. It's this really old bed and breakfast close to Lily Lake in RMNP. They have a brunch buffet that consists of soups, three different types of salads, and lots of breads. They had these peanut butter muffins that were so good.

The Baldpate has the largest collection of keys in the world!

We had a really great time. We are wishing and hoping that we might be able to use the cabin again in a few years. We had one bad incident on the drive back, where Olsen ended up throwing up everywhere all over his car seat. It was very gross, and we ended up staying the night in Rock Springs, WY because of it, blech.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Two July Birthdays!

I am really behind on my blogging and have a list of things I want to write about, but I thought I would start with our two July birthdays. Jovie turned one on the 6th and Olsen turned four on the 24th! We had a joint birthday party for them on the 7th at the park by our house. We have been looking forward to the summer Olympics (and it brought back memories of when Olsen was born and how all we did was watch the Beijing Olympics while feeding and holding him), so we had an Olympics theme. We started with the opening ceremonies with the Olympics theme song and wooden maracas.
  Begin the opening ceremonies

Then we had a series of events: the 30-yd dash, the balance beam, rhythmic gymnastics, shot put, discus, and long jump.

  Olsen and the boys do the balance beam

The kids playing Rhythmic Gymnastics

Long Jump - Olsen

We kept things really simple and ordered pizza. We did do presents this year. I was undecided for awhile if we should do them or not. Last year, at Olsen's party, we specifically requested no presents, and it was a really nice time. Olsen had a lot of fun at that party being with his friends. However, he had been going to several parties this year and has picked out gifts for his friends, and I also did not want to be too grinch-y. They are only kids once and there really is not that many years where he will be getting birthday presents, so we decided it would be okay to have them. We brought Jovie's portable chair and I thought Olsen and Jovie looked really cute sitting together and opening presents.

  Ready for cake...
Ready for cake! I bought little country flags and we placed them around the cake. There were not very many countries represented by the flags, though.

  Momma left, baby got sad
This picture makes me laugh for some reason. I was standing in front of Jovie, but I went to walk behind her to help her with her cake, and she started crying because she thought I had left.

  The other kids paint maracas
 painting their wooden maraca Olympic torches

  Jovie really likes her clothes
opening presents

I think the kids' favorite part of the party was the medal ceremony. We wrapped cookies in gold foil and hot-glued a ribbon to it. We played the anthem and called each kid to the podium.
  Medal Ceremony - Olsen

Medal Ceremony - Jovie

We had a good time and were so glad that so many of our friends could come.

For Jovie's actual birthday, we got black forest cupcakes from Sweetly Divine. The sad thing is that after I blew out her candle, she touched it and started crying because I think it must have been a little hot. Then, Olsen started crying because he was so sad that Jovie got hurt. All was better after eating cupcakes.


Jovie's birthday present, a pink ball.