Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ho ho ho...

I know, I know...I'm neglecting this thing!  We is busy, though!  Isn't everyone this time of year?  Thanksgiving came and went and we jumped head first into the Christmas season...what a wonderful and nostalgic time of year.  Having the boys around pulls the magic right back into the season, just when adulthood had almost succeeded in sucking it all away.

We spent Saturday after Turkey Day in a very festive spirit, starting with our annual trip to the tree farm to cut down our tree.  It was a beautiful day and X-man is at the age this year where he totally "gets it."  He could hardly contain himself, he was so excited.  We marched through the fields inspecting tree after tree, and when Tyler, a very helpful college kid working weekends at the family tree farm, showed up to assist us, X-man made fast friends, immediately grasping his hand and tugging him along on our journey to find THE perfect tree.  Oh to be 3 again...he makes friends with such ease!  Tyler suggested we take the tractor out to the "south field" to see if we could find something suitable.  The boys were THRILLED with the prospect, and off we went.  Upon arrival, I hopped off of the trailer, scanned the field and knew I had found our tree.  I honed in, like a heat seeking missile...our tree!  J insisted he do the cutting, though Tyler offered to do the job and the boys both "helped."  Our tree was hauled back to the shed where we enjoyed some warm apple cider as our tree was shaken...it was there we found our lovely "little" tree (it was little compared to it's friends) was 8 1/2 feet tall!  Definitely the largest tree we have ever had, but it is beautiful.

The tree-shaker was fascinating!

Daddy's little helpers

X-man's handiwork
Upon arriving home, we told the boys that we were going to eat some lunch, they were going to take naps and then when they would wake up, the tree would be up, lights would be strung and they could decorate the tree!  There were immediate protests...we won in regards to Gokey.  He was exhausted and when push came to shove there wasn't much fight left in him.  He crashed hard.  X-man reluctantly went to bed and J and I went about preparing our tree.  20 minutes later, X-man emerged from his room, "I done sweeping!"  He spotted the tree...there was no talking him down.  The battle was futile and his excitement too great.  And we learned that he is a decorating pro!  He immediately went to work hanging ornaments on the tree and was so proud of his work, that we didn't dare rearrange until he wasn't looking.  J was concerned that the 30 ornaments hanging on that 6 inch strand of lights was going to cause a short and probable fire, but we all survived the day.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...now if we could just get some of that white stuff! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for forgiveness...

...because I have failed at this daily thankfulness exercise!  And since I need to make up for the 4 days I missed, here goes!

I am oh-so-thankful for a very tolerant Stella-dog...she's such a good beast! :)

I am thankful for failed self-portraits...just means I have healthy, ornery, WIGGLY, uncooperative little boys!

I am thankful for GIANT accomplishments for my little Gokey as he made it to the top of McDonald's Playplace this week...and almost didn't come down.  The second picture is taken, yes, at the very top where I had to crawl to retrieve him after his big brother tried to pull him down by his shirt, nearly leaving him naked!

I am thankful for chilly, fall morning strolls outside which give us a good excuse to put on our knitty's and sweatshirts and then come in and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate (or coffee, as X-man likes to call it).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful for Persistence!

Today I am thankful that my lovely husband has the persistence of the sun that rises and sets EVERY day! :) Nine years ago today I woke up alone and happy.  Things were going well...I was nearing the end of college and content.  I had this nagging, lovely friend, J, however, who pestered me everyday at work to "just give him a chance."  I was really great at saying, "no!"  A protection mechanism, really.  I had convinced myself it just wouldn't work out...we were polar opposites, and though I loved our conversations and our friendship, I didn't want to break his heart...or mine.

In the several weeks leading up to this day we had been out to lunches and dinner, had long conversations and then I was offered a new job and I turned in my notice at the place of employment where J and I had met and had our daily contact for over a year.  My last day was on a Sunday and he was convinced we would never see each other again...that I would brush him off and disappear forever.  I tried to convince him otherwise, but he was skeptical...an emotion that I usually excelled at in our friendly relationship.  He made me promise that we could get together to watch "The Usual Suspects," one of J's favorite movies that he discovered I had never seen in a previous conversation.  I agreed and we set it up for Monday evening, November 19th 2001 at my place.  He was chipping away at my guard.

There was something different about that night...he showed up at my place and instead of our usual comfortable bantering, we were quiet and almost awkward.  We sat down on the futon to start the movie and I noticed the rising flutter of butterflies in my stomach.  He started out with his arm stretched out on the back of the couch behind me, but midway through the movie, my butterflies alerted me to his hand lightly resting on my shoulder.  Was I in high school?  I certainly felt like it.  The movie ended, and we casually chatted about it...and then it happened.  One perfect kiss...and then maybe a few more, but it was the first one that pushed me over the edge.  The one that said, "FINE...I give up...I'm yours!"  :)  The rest is history!  As my mom once said about my quick turn-about, "most people fall into love...you tumbled!"

So...thank you, J, for never giving up!  I can't imagine how boring the last 9 years would have been had you not persisted...

And they lived happily ever after...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Week of Thankfulness...

In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and since it seems my time to blog has been so limited recently, I am going to try my absolute hardest to post daily for the next week my thanksgivings.  It's the little things...I think it is a given that I am thankful for my family, home and the love that surrounds me.

Today I am so thankful that my boys have each other.  That they have someone to pick on, laugh with, hug, wrestle and lean on.  They are giggly sounding boards for each other and I love that their energy is contagious to each other and those around them. :)  Thank you, God...and J, for those little brother buddies!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Where did a year and a half go?

Gokey is 18 months old today.  Milestones like this bring so much nostalgia and memories come flooding back.  It is so hard to fathom all that happens from conception to birth and then from birth through the next few years.  Every day brings such change and development and it is stunning!  I revel in all my boys have accomplished in their short little lives and am sure that it is because they are so bright and strong and advanced (don't remind me that every kid goes through these same milestones)! :)  At the same time, each reminds me that time is flying by and before long I will be sending my babies off to college.  I know that's slightly irrational.  Afterall, the whole purpose of parenthood is to grow and shape these little beings into productive, respectful and loving little citizens, but, darn it...I want to snuggle with them forever! :)  I guess it is a very good thing that God has worked in that innate desire for every little toddler to push the limits and grow their own independence along the way.  If I had too much influence they would grow to be 35 years old, obese, bald (sorry, boys...this one is inevitable with your genetics) and living in my basement eating Cheetos and playing the latest version of World of Warcraft from sundown to sunup, then slumber the day away.  Good thing their own free will will hopefully prevent most of that (but, if it doesn't, my dear boys, I will always love you both no matter what).

Yesterday in the span of 10 minutes X-man made it clear to me how strong the urge for independence has gotten.  I had tied left over birthday balloons to a couple of their matchbox airplanes in the attempt to keep them from hovering to the highest point in our vaulted ceiling for me to retrieve for the 38th time yesterday.  After playing with them like that for a while, X-man requested that the balloon be removed because it is much more fun to watch mom balancing on her tiptoes on top of a chair every 30 seconds to once again return said balloon to its rightful owner.  I begrudgingly fulfilled the request, being the glutton for punishment that I am, and because those forever long eyelashes are so absolutely persuasive.  I quickly retrieved a pair of scissors from a bathroom drawer and snipped the string, setting his beloved airplane and bobbing balloon free.  He was elated.  As I was rushing about the house trying to get things tidied and the boys' shoes in their rightful places (on their feet) so we could make it to story time, I was only half-heartedly responding to Gokey's pleas to have his balloon removed from his airplane and X-man's requests for a drink of water.  Gokey was finally sitting on my lap, wrestling with me while I attempted to get his socks and shoes on and X-man proudly emerged from our bedroom with Gokey's freed balloon.  "Here, Gokey," he touted as he handed over the prize and gently patted him on the head.  It took me a minute to realize what X-man had been up to.  I rushed to the bathroom where I found the airplane that the balloon had previously been tied to, discarded in the middle of the floor.  I asked X-man if he cut the string with the scissors.  "Mmmm-hmmm," he nodded proudly, hands behind his back and chest puffed out.  I asked him if he put the scissors back where they belonged.  Again, "mmmm-hmmm," nodding with his proud little smirk.  Wow!  I couldn't really get mad at him...he had fixed Gokey's problem...a problem that I had ignored for the last 15 minutes.  It was truly sweet.  I made a mental note to move the scissors to a safer place so that next time the snipping of the shower curtain or chunk of luscious baby hair or little toddler finger would be prevented.  By the time I returned to the living room, I heard thumping around in the kitchen.  As I came around the corner, I witnessed X-man trying to keep his teetering cup steady on the edge of the towering kitchen counter as he lifted the very heavy, full pitcher of water with a grimace to attempt his first pour of water all on his own!  I quickly intervened, but not wanting to dash his little moment of independence, suggested we move his cup to the floor where it would be easier for him to reach.  I barely assisted, only because of the weight of the pitcher and once again his little chest puffed up as the water rose in his cup.  

It was a very grown-up span of minutes.  After listening to his and his brother's pleas for my assistance and being ignored, he went into solution mode and, without complaint, fixed the problems he saw around him.  *Sniff sniff*  Every stage my boys have gone through I think I have said, "this is my favorite age," and then they exceed my expectations with the next milestone that comes along!  The mundaneness of everyday chores...ones that I obviously ignore...are suddenly new and full of new opportunities to grow and soar!  I have the best job in the world!

My boys: then & now

Oh...and Happy Half Birthday to my littlest man! :) *smooch*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Busy busy...Boo!

My birthday, every year, seems to be the start of the "holiday season" for me.  A week after my birthday is X-man's birthday, 4 days later is Halloween, 3ish weeks later, Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  I love that it gets the season moving because I love Christmas and everything that goes with it, but the problem is...I am already exhausted!  Boy are we having fun, though! :)

Halloween was a fantastic success.  Probably one of my top 5 favorite evenings with my little family!  Last year was a big bummer because X-man ended up being off-kilter with his naps and slept too late in the day and then we could hardly drag him out of bed to get dressed up and he cried through all 3 houses we went trick-or-treating at.  Gokey did great, but he was only 6 months old and didn't know what in the heck was going on.  This year, both of them managed to pick out their own costumes, which came as a surprise to me.  As soon as the Halloween garb was on display in stores (sometime around July...Haha), X-man just knew he had to be Iron Man.  This kind of baffled me because I am not sure he even knows Iron Man, but whatever...it was cute that he was so excited.  I put off buying the costume, however, because I knew he would grow and I didn't want him to be out of the costume by the time he would be donning it.  EVERY time he came across that costume in the next 6 weeks, though, I had to battle to leave the store without it.  Gokey went shopping with me on a weekend alone one day and I ended up finding some costumes, so I started pulling some out and asking him if he approved...it was more to have conversation, as he was my only company.  I really didn't think he would answer.  However, upon pulling out a dragon costume first he adamantly refused with a, "NO."  He really liked the monkey holding the banana, so I held onto that one as I pulled out a dog, giraffe and bee, all of which he thought were rather boring as he decided to play with a broken hanger under one of the racks.  It was then that I found the shark...I almost put it back because I figured he wouldn't even know what a shark was, but suddenly heard him panting beneath me and peered down to find him reaching up in excitement.  I had him try the top on in the store and took him to a mirror where he giggled and admired his new look.  A week or two later, I finally took X-man to get his costume and as we stood in the aisle and I debated on sizes, the little man suddenly began pleading that we take the package he grasped in his grubby little hand home.  I seized it from him and found that he had dropped Iron Man like a bad habit and now wanted to join the likes of Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook.  It was official...we had ourselves a Shark and a Pirate!

Pickled Frogs...mmmmm :)
Fast forward to the big night and we had two riled little boys!  Nana came over for the festivities as the Devilish gal we all know she is and brought with her, "pickled frogs" and rice-crispie snakes.  As soon as dinner was over, X-man was bouncing off of the walls and I finally gave him the go-ahead to get arrrrghed up!  He had a very hard time sitting still for the process and we did struggle with hook etiquette as it was the perfect size to fit around Gokey's neck and yank him across the room, but he was finally transformed into our polite little pirate.  Gokey was a little easier as I'm not sure he really understood what he was in for, but as I pulled the little shark head over the top of his little head, he suddenly protested and ripped it off.  I pulled it back on and explained to him he had to be a shark and took him into the bathroom to see himself in all of his toothy glory.  He must have liked what he saw because he never touched it for the rest of the night.  Lastly came Dad's costume.  Earlier in the day, J had pondered about dressing up a little to get the boys excited.  I jokingly said, "we have a pirate and a shark...you should be the plank."  He quickly agreed.  So, we tied him up with a cedar plank on his back and we had one super-cool trio!

Our fierce little duo...
We had some very quick pictures on the front porch and then off we went.  I was so surprised at Gokey's enthusiasm and X-man could hardly contain himself.  We got to our first house and big brother performed flawlessly, saying, "trick or treat," as directed and, "thank you," after the goods had been gathered.  It was Gokey that threw me for a loop...upon hearing his brother's recitations, he chimed in, "tick er teet," patiently waited for his loot and immediately followed up with an adorable, "tankoo," which drew lots of ooohs and aaahhhs from door-answerers.  We only visited 5 or 6 houses, but every step was a blast and it was a bit of a magical evening.  Despite the few houses we raided, they came home with quite the booty.  They each blissfully slurped down a sucker (the one piece of candy they each chose from their loot) and then had a much needed bath.  We found there was no amount of scrubbing that would remove X-man's expertly applied mustache, so he went to bed clean, but a little manlier than he had awakened that day.

One tired little shark...

It never ceases to amaze me how much joy they bring to my life...our lives...I think Daddy and Nana would agree!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Birth of a Mommy...

Dear X-man,

I am having a hard time grasping that I have already been a mother for 3 years.  Or should I say, that I have  only been a mom for 3 years.  It's quite the conundrum.  It has all gone by in such a flash, but at the same time, it is hard to remember life before you!  Let's see...this day, 3 years ago was a monumental one for your daddy and me.  It was a day of anxiety, excruciating pain and the most blissful high I have ever known...all in the span of 10ish hours!  The moment you slipped into this world, there was so much commotion--nurses gasping over your lengthy eyelashes, monitors beeping, your daddy cheering to me over the feat that had just been conquered--it all faded when you took your first little breath and those first sweet, squeaky newborn cries escaped from your little body.  Your dad snipped your umbilical cord (like a pro), grinning from ear to ear with pride and they plopped your gray little self onto my chest and I watched your skin turn pink with each little breath you took as I examined each little finger and toe and double checked to make sure that the sonograms were not wrong and that you were, indeed, a little boy! :)  During my pregnancy with you I spent far too much time watching these baby shows all over television because I had this unstoppable desire to soak every tidbit of information in about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.  During one of these episodes, I remember a midwife saying something along the lines of, "in that first moment when baby opens his eyes and looks into the face of his mother as she gazes back--it's in that tiny moment that, just briefly, you see the face of God."  She must be right, because there's just no other way to describe the sheer magnitude of that moment.

So...that is how I became a mom!  It was impossible at that time to even imagine what the next 3 years (and beyond) would bring and just the mention of the future and trying to envision a "3 year old" seemed so far off!  Yet, it has flown by!  You are quite the little man and such a first child!  You love a task and are eager  to help in any way that you should be allowed, especially if it involves Dad's tools.  You have developed quite the tidy nature and truly hate to be dirty (unless, of course, getting dirty was the mission) and must always have a napkin when you are eating and are extremely bothered by messes.  Perhaps that is why, as a 1 year old, your favorite toys were a broom and child-sized vacuum cleaner.  You are a little bundle of "go" and have kept me busy from the time you started crawling at 6 months to this very day.  You have a laugh that is extremely contagious and even strangers find it difficult to stifle a smile in passing when you are having a giggle fit.  You have become so caring and empathetic in your "old" age.  If I happen to stub my toe as I tidy up the living room, you immediately ask if I am OK and are quick to hand out hugs and kisses to alleviate any lingering pain.  Though, you weren't sure about him in the beginning, you adore your little brother and are pretty great at sharing toys, dogs, parents and living space with him.  Your love for him becomes especially evident if you feel like his safety is threatened in any way.  At the mere suggestion that I take him tubing behind Papa's boat, you backed him into a corner and attempted to hold all adults at bay with an outstretched hand and pleadings of "NO!"  When that failed and he and I were in the tube behind the boat, you reminded Papa the entire time to "go really really slow."

You are, of course, 3 years old now, and even this preceding year has taught us that as sweet as you can be, there is a true opposite to this sweetness that you have very real possession of.  You are a tough kid, and most often seem unfazed by most bumps, falls and scrapes, but when the pain is real, you make sure that we are aware of it with a scream that any horror film starlet would be jealous of.  All in all, though, you are the first of my two greatest masterpieces and the source of more pride than any well-paying career or accomplishment could provide.  Thank you for teaching me this...before you, I always thought I wanted to juggle a career and motherhood.  It was your tiny, amazing existence that helped me discover that shaping and molding a little human being was what I wanted to do all day, every day, and there wasn't a job out there that could keep my focus from you.  I am forever thankful that we have been given the means to allow me to be with you and your little brother day in and day out for almost all of the last 3 years.

So...that brings us to this day--October 27th, 2010.  Three years old!  We celebrated with our closest family last weekend.  You got everything you ever wished for...lots of spaceships!  You have slept with the spaceship that Nana gave you every night since.  Last night you went to bed and we talked about how tomorrow you would be 3 years old and all of the fun stuff we were going to do.  You woke up a couple of hours later rather sickly.  What timing! :(  So, you slept with me on the couches in the living room pushed up next to each other to give us ample room (since you always seem to end up horizontal in your sleep).  In the middle of the night you woke up feeling so cruddy and I helped to lull you back to sleep and took an extra 30 minutes to just watch you slumber like your Dad and I used to do when you were a newborn and every gas-induced grimace was so adorable.  I haven't been able to do that in such a long time...there may have even been a tear or two from me.  Though it was a restless night, it was so fitting to be able to sleep with my arms around my little boy on the eve of his birth.  Despite your sick little self, we have had a great day.  You got your big boy bike from your Dad and me this morning and you already have it mastered after some major practicing in the basement.  We had a short trip to the zoo and then I told you we could have whatever your little heart desired for lunch...you chose peanut butter and jelly, of course!  Now you have a fever and are having a hard time making a nap happen, so you have spent the last hour bouncing back and forth from the couch to my lap in front of the computer for a quick snuggle with your hot little body.  I love you more than I could ever put into words, little man!  Thank you for the last 3 years and I cannot wait to see what the next year brings...sssslllloooowwwwlllyyy! :)  Happy Birthday!

Love you...


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Two Things...

My Birthday meal...a giant
stack of Mmmmm, courtesy
of Grill-Master J!
1).  We are celebrating my birthday (the big double 3) a few days early today since it is the weekend and we can all be together.  J has the lovely ability of insisting that a birthDAY turns into a birthWEEK.  Not that that is a bad thing, but I kinda feel a little silly with all the fuss.  Birthdays have kinda transformed into a HUGE deal for my little men, but just kind of another day for me...and I am OK with that.  It is nice to be pampered, though! :)  We got up this morning and went out for a big buffet breakfast, shopped for X-man's birthday (it's exactly a week after mine) and then had a relaxing end to our weekend.  I requested loaded burgers for dinner and my man certainly delivered!  It was a meal of awesome yumminess!  Afterward, I was serenaded by my boys with the birthday song (or "dirtday" as X-man calls it) and him singing it to me absolutely melted me from the inside out!  LOVE it! :)

My favorite three beings...responsible for some heavy
birthday spoiling this weekend! :)

2.)  Just a funny tidbit.  Last night J and I had FINALLY gotten the boys to bed (if you have read any of my blog, you know that sleeping is not a strong suit for my kids).  We settled in for a movie, some popcorn and a couple of adult beverages.  Upon removing the popcorn from the microwave, a teensy bit of smoke escaped from the bag and our fantastic, oh-so-sensitive smoke alarm started screaming!  J and I frantically scrambled over each other to try to wave the fumes away to cut the noise off, but in no time all 3 dogs were barking up a storm and freaking out in harmony to their new alarm-friend.  We looked at each other completely defeated and began to debate which of us was going to tag which boy to try to get them back to sleep after they were so rudely shaken from their slumber.  The alarm fell silent and we both sat there...waiting...waiting...waiting.  What?  The silence ensued.  You mean to tell me that my sweet little boys that wake when the toilet across the house flushes 3 hours into their nightly sleep, continue to snooze peacefully through a blaring smoke alarm and 3 barking beasts a mere 20 minutes into dreamland???  I am baffled...happy that the smoke alarms work, I guess, not that they would do any good without me to scoop their little bodies out of their cozy, flaming beds! :)  Someone please explain to me why it has to be so complex...

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm trying...really, I am!

I have so much to say, but the boys refuse to let me sit on the computer when they are awake and it seems that sleep is no longer in their plans.  I think this was the last time they slept...it was Sunday after leaving them with Gigi and Papa for 3 days and letting them run the boys ragged (or was it the other way around).  Just for the record--it is now Friday.

I am tired and Gokey thinks that at the ripe ol' age of 17 months, he is old enough to ditch the nap.  He is screaming at me right now as I type.  And neither of them are sleeping at night...oh the woes...good thing they're cute! :)

Trouble with a big, fat capital "T"
X-man with his new friend, Mr. Fuzzy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tales from a Road Trip...

I don't even know where to start!  My blog has sat idly by the last couple of weeks because I squeezed a little road trip with my mom (Gigi) and the boys into last week.  I had intentions of updating this thing as we had our fun, but it turned out that I was occupied from sun-up to sundown (and much beyond) with two little boys who wore themselves out daily and felt pretty far from home when bedtime rolled around each night.  Our travels took us to Colorful Colorado where a little piece of my heart resides.  The main objective was to visit my Grandparents who live in itty bitty Bailey, but after living in Denver for over 2 years (and being away for more than 4) we had a lot of catching up to do there as well!  J and I have discussed making the trip on many occasions, but our uncertainty at how the boys would handle 9+ hours in the car and working around his work schedule (whether it be layoffs or overtime) had hindered the process.  I finally suggested that the boys and I go it alone, since I was starting to feel a severe Colorado tug and my momma graciously offered to join us so she could help with the munchkins.  So, our road-trip ensued...and it was the first of such trips for the boys who had never been car and seatbelt-bound for more than 2 or 3 hours up to this point.  My first discovery was that the days of one tiny bag for myself for such a trip were long gone.  We literally stacked the Buick Enclave belonging to beloved Papa (whom we left behind...thank you, Papa) to the brim with necessities of toddlerhood...it appeared we were packing for a month's worth of heavy adventures or planning on taking up residence at our planned destination!  Along the way, I also learned a lot about the two little beings that I spend so much time with on a daily basis.

Lunch on the road--McD's Playplace
I made him wear his flip flops over
his socks to the bathroom :)

Day one...Monday.  We left our house at 8:30 a.m. armed with healthy, low sugar snacks (for obvious reasons), lots of water, diapers, a bin full of toys and a bag full of treasures to surprise wiggly boys with when impatience set in...we knew it would!  The trip went much better than I expected!  X-man was phenomenal and exceptionally patient from the time we left to the time we pulled into GG'ma's and GG'pa's driveway.  He giggled his way through much of the trip, took a nap or two here and there and played his little heart out when we stopped to allow such activities.  Gokey did very well also, especially considering his difficult age.  Seventeen months is an age of very little patience and gigantic communication hurdles, and though there was a little fussing, there was more sleep than anything else and it worked for everybody.  The trip took about 2 hours longer than it would have in my single days, but that allowed for some great playtime and running along the way.  Eleven hours of happiness beats nine hours of restless crabbiness any day!

C'mon GG'pa!
After the surprise of having two relatively fabulous travelers I was extremely pleased with how quickly they settled in with GG'ma and GG'pa.  We only get to see them once or twice a year which is equivalent to decades when you are dealing with a one and two year old, so I was worried that they would be standoffish with them and clingy with me.  Instead, by the end of dinner, Gokey was tugging GG'pa's hand to accompany him into the kitchen to raid the utensil drawer and X-man eagerly crawled into GG'ma's lap after dinner so she could recite my favorite childhood story to him in fantastic GG'ma fashion! :)

Nighttime brought the monsters out, however.  Gokey is known to be a crappy sleeper at home...what did I expect after inflated naps in the car, GG'ma's sugary chocolate cake for dessert, the excitement of a new place, the strangeness of a new place and absence of Daddy?  I guess I was hoping for exhaustion.  It was a rough couple of hours trying to get them both down and Gigi was finally able to convince X-man to sleep in her room and with his absence came a little cooperation from Gokey, and finally...sleep...only to be interrupted a short hour and a half later by the altitude's nasty effects on my little X-man who, I believe, suffered from a good ol' fashioned headache.  After some tears and ibuprofen, it all worked out, though and we slept...until 4:45 a.m.  Ugh.  Darn frickin' reliable internal clocks on these boys...just not adjusted for the time change.  We survived, though and that was the start of our mountainous adventures!!!!

There is nothing like the peace of a still, crisp mountain morning...an appreciation I couldn't quite instill in my two little beasts.  They reveled in the boyness of the mountains, though.  There almost weren't enough sticks on the hillside to be broken ("just like Papa says"), rocks to be moved and pinecones to be gathered.  It was magical all over again, as it was when I was a kid.  We went to our favorite childhood picnic spot on Guanella Pass, let them wade in an ice cold stream and drove to the summit and breathed in the cool, clean mountain air, marveling at how blue the sky is when you are up that high.  And there was DIRT...a true sign of a marvelous time! :)
Love this...he was talking GG'ma's ear off!

After two too short days in our mountainous bliss we drove down into Denver and took up residence in a hotel room and visited extended family, and long lost friends from my time living there.  We had mounds of fun, lots of laughs and very little sleep, but memories were made for me and for the boys, so the trip was an immense success.  My discoveries?  They are as follows:

  • For those who wonder how to relive childhood...have a kid!  Things that I have done over and over again, places I have been to, beauty I have begun to take for granted...all was renewed in the presence of my little men.  
  • X-man continues to grow up...it's not that I didn't realize that this would happen, but it is just the pace at which it has occurred!  I am amazed at how patient he has become (sometimes), how adaptable he is and how in tune to his little brother he is.  I keep replaying moments during Gokey's giant struggles with sleep on 2 separate occasions when X-man stated so simply, "Gokey needs Daddy."  He was right...I think we all needed him.  We love you, Daddy!  And there was one moment on both the trip to and from Colorado that Gokey had a bit of a meltdown about being trapped in his seat.  X-man gladly yielded all of his treasures to his little brother in an attempt to make him happy, if only for a fleeting moment.  His maturity and sweetness left me in a bit of awe both times.  I love how he loves...
  • Gokey is exceedingly stubborn...I am sure that is a trait credited to his daddy's side (I can hear J saying, "he gets that from his momma," as I type this).  This piece of information almost comes as a surprise to me.  I guess it kind of sneaked up on me.  He was such a chill, laid-back baby and seemed to just go with the flow.  Maybe it's just that lovely toddler phase he is in right now, but after my nightly struggles with him while away (and having my mom as a witness to this stubbornness) I now know that  he will be a challenge...one that I look forward to molding! :) 

He's a natural rock-climber!

Dirt...evidence of a good time!
Didn't seem to bother them!

Breaking sticks and sword fighting with Gigi

GG'ma educating the boys on pinecones...

Svetlana (Gigi's cousin's wife) helping Gokey

Steve (another of Gigi's cousins) snagging Gokey on the way down

Uncle Bob and Aunt Karol

Gokey & X-man making a birthday cake out of woodchips with
Logan and Ilyn belonging to some of my long lost Denver friends!

Gigi teaching the boys how to roll down a hill

Unfortunately Gokey found the muck at the bottom of the hill

One of my BFF's, Becky with her momma, Barb

Gokey was a fan of Grandma Barb :)

This was waiting for us at home when we arrived...I think he missed us! :)