Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fruitcake Toss

Last weekend, I participated in an annual Lake City event and won. Yes, I threw the fruitcake the farthest. I watched Mark, fellow champion, as he packed his fruitcake into a ball, dipped it in a puddle, and rolled it in the dead grass so it would not fall part. This was a disgusting, but rewarding process. Note: the fruitcake in our mouths is not what we threw, and this was Mark's idea. Silas suffered defeat at the hands of his younger cousin Titus, who threw his little fruitcake nine feet. Next year, I'll teach him how to pack it into a ball.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

19 weeks

Quote of the Day: "Momma do you have a baby in your bottom, too?"

Cute kid, huh? So, here we are at 19 weeks. Of the 20 lbs I lost last summer, I've gained 10 back. (Apparently not all belly, according to Silas.) I've been feeling baby since 13 weeks and Christian felt some appendage wiggling around last week. I'm watching my nephew today and getting a taste of THREE. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nutty November

November 19: I had a midwife appointment in Montrose (see announcement below). Christian took the day off and went with me. We took the kids swimming. I remember learning to count by holding my breath under the water...97, 98, 99....but, now I am a mountain momma and must drive my kids two hours to the nearest pool. We spent the night in a hotel.

November 20: I caught a plane to Alabama for a wedding and to see GG.

November 22: A happy day. My dear friend Christy was joined in marriage to Chris, a guy I've known since middle school. I didn't get many photos since I was shuffling kids and wedding events. I was honored to read scripture for the ceremony. The weekend was wonderful. I was delighted to see old friends and be there for the wedding.
November 23: Mom and I took the kids to the Birmingham zoo. On our way to Alabama, Silas had said, "I think GG will let us pet an alligator." Fortunately, they had some sheep and goats for that purpose. We rode the little train around the zoo and Silas rode a zebra, on the carousel. Going on a Sunday morning is a great idea. We only saw two other families.
November 24: The trip back. If it is only 13 minutes long, is it still considered a layover? Picture me, pregnant, running through the Chicago airport, pushing a double stroller, three bags on my back, sobbing. I ran from the F gates to the C gates (involved two escalators with the double stroller). The gate attendant felt sorry for me and called, yes, the captain. They put the bridge back and opened the plane door and let me on. When I got back to Montrose, I had a flat tire, go figure. That might be my last solo airline adventure with the kiddos.

November 25: Recovery day. Kids both had colds.

November 26: Silas turns 3! And, I throw an unrelated dinner party. What? Who throws an hors d'oeuvres party for 12 adults and 4 children the night before Thanksgiving?! Crazy. Silas rides his new bike. Happy Birthday to Silas....
November 27: Thanksgiving Day. I make the bread and the sweet potatoes. After the "Turkey Trot" walk around town, we head up to  Chrisitan's parents for a late lunch. While everyone naps off pumpkin cheesecake, I whip up some Birthday cupcakes. Again, who skips the Thanksgiving nap to bake?! Last year, we invited all the two year olds in town to the Birthday bash. This year, we skipped the turkey sandwiches and ate cupcakes for dinner with the family. 

November 28: The guys don't feel like working, so Christian has an unexpected day off. We clean the house, make piles of things to get rid of, and take Silas for another bike ride.

November 29: Christmas Tree '08. Getting the tree is always an event, and has been since long before I joined this family. We went out to the woods with Christian's parents, Dan and Amy (and Titus), and the kids in search of three perfect trees. Doug and Carol always get a 20 ft tree (seriously). I was thinking we'd put one on our corner coffee table, maybe 4 or 5 ft. Well, we came home with a beautiful, full, 12ft tree. They really do look bigger out in the woods. We rearranged furniture for the sucker. Here's some photos from our adventure.
The grandparents' tree, which was much smaller this year than usual:
Luckily, the tree we found had legs...
The kids found a place to rest..
Quick, find the best tree before anyone else can, he catches on fast...


Most of you know now, but we are expecting a third child in early May. I waited a while to announce this because I wanted Silas to tell my mom while we were in Birmingham. So, I am about 18 weeks pregnant. Silas and Priya are very excited. In fact, they have babies in their bellies, too. The baby in Silas's belly likes lollypops, he told me.
We were not trying to get pregnant again, to answer your question. However, after the shock wore off, we were elated. So, we'll have three kids in under 3 1/2 years. For Christian's parents, that will be 7 grandkids in 3 1/2 years. Amy, my sister-in-law, is due 4 weeks before me. So, we carpool to all the midwife appointments. In our tiny town, there are 6 babies due, one a month, for 6 months (Jan-June). I am friends with all the other girls. Maybe this is contagious after all.

Friday, November 14, 2008


So, there is this cat, which was fluffy and orange and had a red satin ribbon collar when he picked it out from his aunt's pile of long lost stuffed animals when he was 9 months old. The kitty and the thumb definitely go together. His approaching third birthday has got us thinking....how long can we let this go on? 

Name that color

If her eye color were a crayon, what would the name be? At first, she had deep blue eyes...which morphed into a deep aqua. Now, I can't name this blue-green-grey-aqua-hazel color. Any ideas? She's gonna have a heck of a time choosing one for her driver's license. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Welcome, Cian Patrick

Well, my Lake City buddy Amy Jo brought forth a beautiful baby boy early last Saturday morning. Cian (pronounced Kee-an) was born at home after a long difficult labor and weighed 7 pounds. His Irish daddy, "Lucky", was a great labor partner. I was blessed to be able to attend the birth along with two midwives. What an amazing process. I'm proud of my friends for their hard work and commitment to natural birth.

Priya pics

Here's a few photos of our growing girl. She is almost 17 months, is trying to potty train, and can hold her own against a much bigger brother. I think she'll grow into her purple jacket in a month or so, but right now the hood is a little ridiculous.

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Silases are cowboys." or "Does Halloween have a potty?"

Tonight was full of hilarious one-liners from Silas, who rode his stick horse about a mile around town. Our town is the kind of place where some folks hand out hot chocolate and cookies on Halloween. We made pumpkin cookies. My attempt to make brown icing ended in a nice puke green color. So the ginger bread men became swamp monsters. My friend gave me a wonderful recipe, which included the words "until it looks right" and an unrighteous amount of food coloring.
At one stop Silas tried to give back the M&Ms, saying, "I already got some of these." Then, when kids came to our door, he wanted to hand them the candy he had collected instead of the cookies. The hot chocolate and cookie stop was the best, followed by the "take a handful" house. And, at grandma's house? Yes, folks, our little cowboy received some stickers and...a cough drop. 

I just went out to the front porch to blow out our Jack-o-lantern's candle, the deer had already found it and eaten its face off. Mr. Pumpkin Face, Jr. only lasted four hours. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin faces

Silas specified that this one needed square eyes, a triangle nose, and three teeth. Mr. Pumpkin Face did not last very long. Perhaps I burned the candle a little too long. We rested him on the porch and the deer consumed the moldy remains. 
For all you spooky people out there, here's a somewhat freaky photo of me taken while I was sitting by the fire the other night. Round eyes, triangle nose, more than three teeth. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Battle of the Mullets '08

Priya's hair has grown into a perfect "business in the front, party in the back" style. I suppose Christian was jealous, so he had me match the style for his noggin. Now, I hesitate to cut Priya's because she can pull off some nice pig tails finally, but I've asked Christian about a thousand times a day when he'll let me finish his hair cut. Unfortunately, he's received some encouragement from his friends: "It'd look better about 6 inches longer." "I think it suits you." Oh, brother! 

Tough cookie

Priya has a few years of this ahead, I'm afraid. Lucky for her, she's a tough girl. In the past week, she's been buried in the sandbox, wrestled, had her feet pulled out from her, been pushed off the bed, etc. Most of the time, she takes the abuse pleasantly enough. We're trying to help Silas connect how he feels when others are unkind to him with how they feel when he is unkind. How many days in a row until this lesson sinks in??

Friday, October 10, 2008

Poverty lunch

All this thinking about the Great Depression...I decided to feed the kids ramen and refried beans for lunch. OK, I'm the mother I never wanted to be. I admit it, it was just convenient. All that cooking of organic vegies I did for Silas kind of went out the window once little beannie baby came along. That girl can eat some beans. Silas ate two packages of "noodle soup". I love how Silas looks like a little Oliver Twist in this shot

Great timing

About two weeks ago, I was sleepy and went to bed early. Christian picked up my old copy of Grapes of Wrath and started reading. Now, we don't really play the market, but he comes home every day and checks the financial state of the country. We've had some interesting conversations that begin, "We should get some land, that way if..." We figure at least we know about gardening and hunting and birthing babies at home, so we're a step ahead of most Americans these days. However, Lake City, as a tourist/vacation town probably isn't the best place to live if things keep crashing. (Unless, all those rich Texans decide to ditch their second homes for cheap.) Incidentally, I recall sitting at the beach somewhere, taking turns with Christy, reading Grapes of Wrath out loud to each other. It seems that the chapters that fell to me were about a turtle crossing the road.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Anniversary Hike

On Sunday, Christian and I hiked up to the spot where he proposed to me six years ago. The kids stayed with grandma; so, we camped out near tree-line and had a romantic steak and cous cous dinner (campfire style). 

The fall colors were amazing.

We passed by this avalanche site from last winter. The slide knocked trees down 1,000 feet up the slope across the valley. (For you Alabama kids, think tornado). We had to scramble across the smattered trees.
We followed the West Fork of Alpine gulch up and up. There is a particular mineral spring just below the waterfall that causes the water to appear milky, or silver. The rocks are turned a beautiful bluish-purple color.
This is the waterfall where Christian asked me to be his wife. We climbed up to the top (somewhat treacherous), and found an amazing basin above where we camped out.

Here's me cooking our gourmet sourdough toast with jelly and cheese omelette breakfast. I have that "slept-in-a-tent" look about me.
We had a wonderful time exploring the waterfall rich basin the next morning. Oh, and we spotted a large elk herd (I counted 36) on Sunday evening. Christian tried out his elk bugling and got the attention of all the bulls and cows. We saw them clearly through our binoculars, but we didn't get any photos of the beasts. 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall Hike

I took the kids on a morning hike today up Wade's Gulch, a favorite fall spot. The aspens had a light of their own. Silas was freaking out on the way down so I had to put him between my back and the backpack that held Priya. Seventy pounds of kiddos on my back was not very fun, but overall the hike was amazing. The kids are wearing orange because it is still hunting season around here. I don't think I with two kids on my back would really look like an elk, but you can never be sure.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn arrived

So, it is fall in the San Juans. We took a little drive yesterday evening to look at the golden aspens. We arrived at the Cataract gulch trailhead and took an impromptu hike. Silas was thrilled to be in the woods and ran up the trail. The light wasn't very good for photos because we didn't leave until 5:30, but we're going to try again later this week. 

Happy Hammock

We've been working on getting the grass in our side yard to grow all summer. We moved the sand-box, put up a gate to keep the dog out, and watered and fertilized for months. After much waiting, the grass filled out and we hung up our hammock. I've been reading out there for a few minutes every day while the kids nap. Silas and Priya are also fans.

Babies Babies Babies

Sorry it has been a while since I've posted. I'll try to make up for it this week. Two weeks ago, my friend Abbie, and her husband Jeff and her in-belly-baby Cora, came to visit. She is due the first week of November, as is my dear friend in Lake City, Amy Jo. We had a great time hanging out together. Abbie and Amy Jo are pictured above comparing bellies. I will be attending Amy Jo's birth and am thrilled about meeting her little one.
The day after Abbie and Jeff left, my dad and Joanne came to visit. Silas and Priya definitely enjoyed the extra attention. Christian and I loved sharing our mountain town and life with them for a few days.
BIG NEWS: I have a new nephew. Jason and Robin had their second son, River James, on September 18. Sorry, I don't have any photos yet. River was 8lbs 3 oz and was born at home in birthing tub in Ft Collins.
  In related news, my other sister-in-law, Amy, is pregnant with her second and is due in early April.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Where's Priya? There she is. 

Finally, a game that doesn't involve taking everything out of the cabinet. 

Thursday, September 4, 2008


This photo was taken when we went to pick cherries in July. Christian selected it for our computer screen background and I thought I would share it. Silas is compiling a list of all the things he can drive when he gets big: car, truck, jeep, ATV, motorcycle, dirtbike, airplane, helicopter, backhoe, dump truck, train, etc... He won't have to look far for a co-pilot.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Latest adventures

Silas just discovered the sprinkler. In Colorado, we actually have to water the grass several times a week. The town water is very cold (we never use ice). But, yesterday was hot, and Silas was feeling adventurous. After he discovered how much fun running through the sprinkler could be, he was sure that Priya would want to as well. She was not as sure. So, he assisted her.

Last week, after my trip to Gunnison for groceries, when it was in the 80s and my  Honda's A/C was broken, a friend and I stopped at the reservoir and jumped in the water with all our clothes on. There is something about swimming in jeans that feels wild and reckless. (I suppose not as wild as swimming without clothes.) It was the third time this summer I've jumped in the water with jeans on. The water was "warm" compared to where we normally swim in the river in Lake City.

Priya was sleeping in the car that was parked on the beach. I put a blanket over the top of the car to shade her and weighed it down with two small stones on top of the car. When we were getting back in the car, she woke up and tugged on the blanket through her window. And, POW, a rock slid down and busted the window, which was only half rolled down. Apparently we have a $0 deductible on our policy for all glass...no real harm done.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Little momma

Priya has taken to mixing up and serving invisible food to us (and occasionally to Molly the dolly). She nurtures anything fuzzy or human looking by diapering, cuddling, and always making sure they have a hat. I don't know where she gets her obsession with shoes (not from me!) 

On a related note, here's a recent commentary on the genders from Silas:

Silas: (loud squeal) That was a girl sound.
Priya: girrrr
Silas: I'm not a girl, you're a girl. And, momma's a girl. I'm a boy. And, Daddy is a man, and...a guy. Mans are guys, too. Priya, you're not a buddy. Buddies are guys...and boys are buddies, too. 

Everyone clear?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Silas hiked to the summit of Uncompahgre Mountain last weekend.  At 14, 314 feet Uncompahgre is the 6th highest mountain in Colorado, but the highest peak on the Western slope. We did not set out thinking he would hike the whole way (and half way down), but he kept trotting along the trail and up the rocky scramble to the peak. Christian held his hand some, but Silas did the walking. From the trailhead to the peak is 2.5 miles. So we think he hiked about 4 total miles. (Ok, so I'm impressed with my child.) 
We've had a couple of rocky, emotional days since last Saturday, but all in all, he enjoyed the adventure. Everyone has been congratulating him, but I don't think he understands the weight of his accomplishment as of yet. The group of fifty-year-old men, whom Silas passed on the trail, kept taking his photo while wiping their brows. 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Coast King

Not taking a "before" picture was the mistake of the summer. This thing was a rusty heap a few weeks ago. We loved it and worked it back into business. After disassembling it into several piles and ziplock bags of rusty parts, we painted it, greased it, banged on it, and bought a trumpet horn for it. We put pin stripes on the fenders, a little crown on the chain guard, and the words "Coast King" on the frame. Christian purchased this bike before I knew him in Ft. Collins, but he was just recently reunited with it. 
Now, this may look like the kind of bike your grandma would ride at Gulf Shores, but out here in Colorado, it is known as a Townie. (All the cool kids have one.) This one reminds me of the bike on a bottle of Fat Tire Amber Ale.