Thursday, December 23, 2010

Free at Last

I know I've taken some days off, but here is E saying "Wha chu got?". Just a Colorado baby hanging on the floor in the house with a Smartwool hat on keeping her warm. Who needs clothes?

Kathleen is on break now, but for some reason that makes me feel more busy. Maybe there are things that I feel should be happening because I've got back up and I am just not super motivated.

Might have something to do with me getting some sort of stomach virus on the 19th- the day before my birthday- and puking/spray-painting the toilet for a few days, but I'm not sure. I do know that laying in bed on your birthday is only a good thing when you choose to do it, not because you are forced to!

This is a project I'm gonna start working on this Holiday. Notice that everything (guitars, amplifiers, chairs, patio furniture, weights, statues, and full sized Arnold Swartzeneger posters) has been moved into Hillary's bedroom? We plan on framing all the walls, insulating, hanging drywall, in the next few days so that we can have a space for watching TV/movies and a play area for the baby. Oh, K's tredmill will go somewhere too. The groundwork for a bathroom and shower has been set in the concrete, maybe before Paternity leave is over, I'll have finished that bathroom too. Guests? Hope so.

Got a text at 6:45am yesterday from a friend who was going to ski UP the mountain at 7:30. Quickly got dressed, packed, and drove to meet him. Kind of a strange thing to do the day after spending so much time in the bathroom, hanging out. But, thankfully for me, I don't think things through too much, because I got to climb through a cloud and then be on top if it in the sun looking down (over the clouds) to the mountains lit up by the early morning sun. I only had to suffer for 1 hour. Then, skiing down was probably the most fun I've ever had on Heavenly Daze and See Me. Totally soft corderoy, no one yet on the mountain, and FAST, FAST, FAST! Ended up back in the clouds, but I knew what was above them. Barely even noticed that the friend I met up with, had finished and left within a half hour. I only saw him 3 times. Once at the parking lot, once when he waited for me 1/12 of the way up, and finally when he and his dog flew past me on Heavenly Daze- um, they were going home and I was only 1/4 of the way up.


Went for a hike yesterday afternoon with E, K, and K. Just did Doc's loop, but it was so beautiful outside. I was also a little worked from the morning, so, it was a good way to get outside with the ladies and Kodi without getting too beat up. Again, Doc's loop only takes about and hour from door to door, but how great to be able to do that without driving. K and I regularly talk about how lucky we are (smart and lucky?) that we get to live here. I am standing on Emerald mountain is the foto below. It is the mountain as seen from the previous foto. I was standing on the background of this foto while I was skiing and taking the foto above this one- I just realized that.

It has been snowing for the past few days. I looked at K's dog house (Kodi, not Kathleen) the other day and there were only about 4 inches of snow on it. Now, 1.5 feet if there is an inch. So it has been beautiful, but, snowing-type beautiful. Yesterday, however, things cleared up a bit and the sun just makes everything feel so good. It's hard to imagine that that glowing orb in the sky can do bad things because it just feels so right.

I'd like to call this next foto "Jingle Balls". It's what happens to the dog when he goes out in the snow... every time!

This is what all of us wish we could be doing at the end of a hike. Unfortunately, most of us are too big, or at least don't have friends/family big enough for us to be doing it. But it looks so natural for Emerald.


Wait. How'd that foto get there? This is the one I was talking about for after the hike.


Went to a friends for "heavy apps", omg! H decided on an Asian theme, so there was (were?) pot stickers, sushi, spring rolls, wings, edamame, peanut sauce, soy sauce, ginger and wasabi! Wow what a spread, and there were only 4 of us. Also got to have a martini, something I only drink when I go to this house because when H says something is good and true, I believe it. And I've heard her say numerous times that J makes a mean martini. I think the best part of the evening, however, was E had her first non-family babysitters and she responded so well.

And they only charged candy!

Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra, Ra Ra, Ra, Ra.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sandwiches... Blitz.

Huge nap this morning- there is something good about the pain she goes through while visiting the Doctor! I was able to get more things checked off my Food Prep todo list than I had planned on. She was a lot of fun today. Very smiley and giggly with me, but also able to entertain herself. We took a long shower and she was flapping her hands and screeching with delight when I put her down in her Bumbo seat on the shower bench waiting for her next round under the water.

She is really starting to pay attention to everything around her. It is shocking how she knows exactly what we don't want her to be messing with and how drawn to those things! She might have 3 toys in front of her while she sits on the counter, but she can stop grabbing the electrical cords. She sits there nicely chewing on a spoon and then you turn your back for a second and she's got a fistful of butter and a butter knife in her hand. I don't get it. Guess we need to start paying a bit more attention to what's around her.

Brought her to the annual staff vs. students basketball and volleyball games today. She freaked a bit when I first brought her into the gym because of the noise (and she was really hungry). So, I fed her in the teacher's lounge and brought her back to the thunderous gymnasium and she was totally content. She was watching and listening and was also being passed around from teacher to teacher, but was totally content.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Few Days Late



I know, its been a few days. Being a stay at home dad is tough and this week has been busy! Between Doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, walking and cooking for an art opening tomorrow, it's tough to get it all in.

Foto is Emerald's insides. Found out from orthopedic that all is well with the dysplasia so far. He wants to keep an eye on one thing he saw in the x-ray. Turns out that bone grows from the inside out. The two little "floating" specks above her femur is actually the bone forming that will create the ball/head of her femur. The dot on her right (hip without the dysplasia) is slightly more dense than the left. Surrounding that dot is cartilage that will turn to bone and he hopes that at our next visit in 4 months, the two sides will look identical. Pretty cool picture though. E wasn't too psyched about laying on a cold metal looking table naked, but she got over it.

Made some sweet pea puree. Emerald has now eaten rice cereal, yams, and peas. Definitely the rice cereal is her favorite. I actually made some of that today out of brown rice and she liked it as much as the store bought stuff, but it doesn't contain iron. Was thinking that I could mix some formula that a friend gave us into homemade cereal so that it will be fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Went to the pediatrician today for 6th month visit. Everything looks good. Would have liked to include a snapshot of her reaction to her two vaccine boosters, but I don't know if the nurse would have been too happy with my focus. Take your breath away type pain. She turns red, opens her mouth and looks like she's screaming, but nothing comes out. Stats: Height- 94th Percentile; Head Size- 90th Percentile; and Weight- 11th Percentile (pretty sure that these numbers are correct, but K has all ready hidden the sheet from me). Looks like she's got nerdy, super model statistics- combine that with her attitude (I mean strong personality) and it seems like a good fit. Scary, but good.

Yesterday we got about 5 inches of snow. I strapped E on up front facing out while I snowblew (snowblowed?) the driveway. Thought she was going to freak, but she just dangled there happy as can be- even when the wind was blowing snow back into her face. Got some funny looks from people driving by, but what are you going to do? Kathleen didn't even complain that she smelled like gasoline when she came home, I was quite surprised. I asked a few of the guys who I hiked Mt. Werner with if they thought that the fumes were bad for her. Most sort of shook their heads with a slightly concerned look on their faces, but Steve D said that he raised his kids on Diesel fumes and the oldest one is a kicker for CSU. So, if the modeling doesn't work out, maybe she could be a kicker for a football team, or a race car driver.

Mountain was gorgeous last night. When we were about 2/3 of the way up, I turned around and the sun over Craig was just setting. The color was exactly the same as the lights in town. And the sky was cloudy, but clear. Everything had a somewhat baby blue/grey look to it. Stopped and admired for a minute and then climbed for another minute and realized I was in a cloud- about 100 meters of visibility. Turned around to see town and it was gone. Crazy how quickly things can change. Almost instantly I can become lost on the mountain that I have been skiing on since I was 16.

I have three 10/11 lb pork shoulders in the oven right now. They started on the grill getting hit with some smoke at 10:45 this morning. I hope that they will be done by 10:45 this evening. They are all ready cooked through, but I want them to shred really easily for the 108 sandies I am making for tomorrow. Roughly half will be bbq pulled pork with a hit of Asian coleslaw, and the other half will be on miniature hogies, cut in half, topped with Pueblo Green Chili cream cheese.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hanging Around the House


Our big adventure today was simply going to the grocery store. Decided to put her in the Baby Bjorn facing the crowd and she seemed to enjoy it, though I couldn't see her. Picked up some things for dinner- Minestrone Soup tonight. And also did a little shopping for Friday night. I have been asked to "cater" an art opening at Vertical Arts. Catering is a loose term, as I am just bringing some delicious pork sandies. It was flattering to be asked, but makes me a little nervous at the same time.

Steve sent me a link to some Beer bread, so I made a loaf of that today. Worked out well because we didn't have any beer in our house and the beer store is right next to the grocery store. Made a Newcastle, partial wheat, semi-sweet loaf that was quite tasty. Best part was that it took less than 1 hour 15 minutes from start to finish. Crunchy crust and soft inside.
video

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tubing @ Saddleback Ranch


E woke us up at 6:20, but that was okay because she slept through the night again. Even though it is a schoolnight tonight, I think I am back in my own bed. Don't know how great the sleep will be, however, because I'll probably be anticipating a kick to the back all night if she starts fussing and crying.

She was a trooper today. Went for a hike with Kathleen and the girls on Spring Creek from 11:15 until about 1:15 and then we whisked her off to Bob and Margie's afterward. We drove out to Saddleback because they had a day free of charge for tubing downhill, horseback drawn sleigh rides, and cookies/hot chocolate. All we had to do was bring a gift to donate for Children's Hospital in Denver. Emerald, we found out on our way up, was the youngest kid to ever tube at Saddleback. The guy running the tow line said that his kid (at 9 months had been the youngest to date). Looks like E's got him beat by 3 months and a week which doesn't sound like much until you realize that that is half of her total age! K launched first and screamed the entire way down. Since she was hurdling down the mountain at uncontrollable speed lacking the ability to steer, I was able to take E with me anyway because at that point, there was nothing left to do.

She screeched- most likely not a screech of pleasure- at first. I don't think the snow hitting her in the face on the steep stretch made either of us feel comfortable. But once we mellowed out a little bit and I stopped screaming, she almost enjoyed it. She wasn't even crying when we got to the bottom. Afterwards, we went for a short sleigh ride (she was sleeping), met up with some friends, and K and our peeps went for another ride down the mountain while I held the sleeping baby. She was outdoors, in winter, from 11:15 until 4:15 and handled it quite nicely, for a baby. Good to know that E could handle it, but I probably won't bring her back this season. Just some mellow downhill skiing for us until summer time and the Alpine Slide opens!

The foto is E and I being dragged up the mountainside before sliding uncontrollably down.

Had some wonderful fajitas at Bob and Margie's for dinner.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rio?

Kind of mellow day. K brought E into bed at 7 while I was still sleeping. First night I slept in our own bed in the last 5 days. It was a treat to be in bed, but after 5 days of being woken up with every little fart and grunt, it was nice to be a half a flight of steps away!

Since K has been at work all week, I let her have a little "alone" time with Emerald and went skiing- after mailing away some presents and returning some snoeshoes (thanks Brandt and Kelley). I did get a text while trying to catch my breath on Four Points lift asking why E waited until K was alone with her to have a major poop blow out. I tried to relay the message to Kathleen that E had been holding it in for the last day or two so that K could have some quality time cleaning it up and giving her a bath, but I don't think K bought that.

When I got home from skiing we got our stuff together, threw E in the carriage, and went to the pool to meet Ellis (Tom and Danielle happened to be there too). After dunking her 5 times and braving the 30ish degree temps, we packed the kids up and walked down to the Holiday parade in town. It was kind of boring, E was passed out, and then we went to the Rio for dinner. I have not had my limit in probably 3 years, so don't take grammar too seriously. Now the girl is passed out, Kathleen pumped and dumped, and there would be other pictures if the camera battery hadn't died.

By the way, Ellis didn't make her cry, she was ready to go home.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snowy Afternoon



After a rather crappy, cry-ee, whine-ee nap this morning, we went for a walk in town. 'Twas snowing quite nicely. Took E in the Bob carriage so she could see out and enjoy the scenery, also helped because the hood covers her up- mostly. By the time we finished the hour long walk, the blanket on her lap had 3/4 of an inch of snow on it. Face stayed mostly covered thanks to Uncle David and the "suit" he bought her from !Bap.

I've caught a little flack because the Blog mostly involves information about the baby, "that maybe it should include more important, worldly events", so I've been doing some thinking. And have decided to widen the scope of Time w/ E...

On the walk, Kodi took a big shit. Strange, because he waited until we were almost home- within 250 yards (not people's yards, but the things that are slightly smaller than meters). He also really likes getting out of the house, eating snow, and prancing around. Every day I walk past Bamboo Market or the Seafood Company he stops dead in his tracks while I keep moving. I end up being jerked backwards because he thinks its time to either go to the Seafood Company where it smells like elk being processed or Bamboo where he receives a treat from the girls who work behind the counter when we go there to actually buy something. He is set in his ways.

On a more worldly note (in line with Obama's stance on tax breaks, Korean Bombing, Angelina's new Movie) etc. I've seen a couple episodes of Ellen. Now she seems like someone worth writing about. It appears that at this time of year, Ellen gives out tons of presents to everyone in her audience for Twelve days around Christmas! I love that. I also love how she stands up for the gays.

On another worldly note. Turns out Steamboat is in the running for a $250K donation from Pepsi for a new year round ski jump on Howelsen Hill. It would be a 38M jump so that younger kids can now compete year round too. Steamboat is the town that boasts the largest number of Olympic athletes in the country. We won a bunch of medals this year, first ever in Nordic Combined, and winning this grant would be great for our development program. You can vote for Steamboat to to win every day 'til the end of the month at www.refresheverything.com (search Steamboat and you can figure out the rest).

Also, hitting me a little closer to home, Matt Damen just did some filming in the town I grew up in! Turns out Tischler's Grocery, the town grocery store in Western Springs, IL that we used (and has been out of business for years) got a facelift and became venue for one or more scenes from the new thriller Contagion. He also did a little work outside of Breen's Cleaners and the former Pharmacy Scheulter's- where I used to buy my candy and gum. If all goes well, Kirschbaum's bakery will be the backdrop for one or more scenes too!

I remember going to the bakery one morning before school in 7th grade. I got a sweet roll with my buddy Todd. Walking into the building there was an old guy who didn't seem like he fit in in our small town. He started chatting me up while asking for a little change as I entered the bakery. I'm not sure how we got on the subject, but, I distinctly remember the words, "Yeah, I like cats. I love to shoot them in the ass!" and then just buckets full of laughter. I went in, got my roll, thankfully he was gone when I left. After that, it was Mrs. Axelrad's for homeroom.

Walked to Sweet Water grill this evening to meet some teachers for happy hour. Emerald was a champ. Even though she was really tired, she never really freaked and K and I were able to socialize a little bit and have a beer and snacks. Came home, put E to bed, and then through one of the quiches I made last week into the over from the freezer.

Peace.

Oh, by the way. In 1.5 days, E went from being able to sit on her own for just a tiny little bit with confidence, to today, where she could sit up on her own for over a minute numerous times. Crazy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sitting Up, Kind Of




She is starting to be able to sit up on her own without toppling over right away. This, in conjunction with her lifting her butt while on her stomach and reaching out for things in front of her, make me believe that she is growing up. Soon, crawling, walking, and running. Based on her finger position in the pic, climbing is not too far away either!

For some reason, because she only took one nap today- cried for an hour during her second one, I am totally exhausted too.

Just so everyone knows, sweet potatoes look, smell, and have the same consistency coming out as they do going in. Smell changed slightly.

For the adults, I used some leftover chicken and quinoa to make chicken potstickers for dinner tonight. Ground the chicken, added quinoa, fresh ginger, serrano chili, garlic, rice wine, hoisin sauce, cilantro, and green onions and stuffed it all into tofu eggroll wrappers before boiling them. Not bad, but the quinoa- though healthy- added a slightly strange texture. Pork next time!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Namesake


videoLoaded E up in the new/used Sherpani backpack I got from a friend. It is fantastic. Comes with a removable sunshield that also has an attached see through rain fly for inclement weather. She was only fussy when I put her in it while still in the house. It cinches her down really well and she feels very secure, but that confinement (whether clothing, backpacks, or car seats) while she is initially being secured always bothers her. Once in, however, she never made a peep. I kept checking because I thought she had fallen asleep. Turns out, she just needs a lot of action to keep her content. Wonder where she gets that from.

There are 3 main loops that we use for hiking behind our house. I took the middle one (Doc's) which takes about an hour with this amount of snow, a baby on your back, and regular stops for taking pictures/video. For future reference, the other two aren't named as personally, they are "Short Loop" = 40 min and "Long Loop" = 1.25 hours. After reading Born To Run, I have been working on my Tarahumara running/walking style, so lots of little steps and always a smile on my face. Hard not to be smiling because I feel like I am getting away with something right now not working and getting to spend this time with my girl. I am very fortunate.

Made the first batch of babyfood today with the device Helen gave me- BEABA steamer and food processor. Decided to go with sweet potato for her first homemade meal. Got slightly strange faces, but that's understandable because all she's eaten so far is breast milk, rice cereal, and water that runs down my chest when we shower together. She loves the shower!

For K and I, I made chicken and dumplings. Pretty tasty, but I don't think I should eat it every day or, to answer Hillary's question, I will start to look like Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom.

For those of you who are concerned with spelling and grammar... suck it (as my good friend Ellis would say- by the way, he's 2). I am not. If you feel like correcting me, that's fine, but you most likely won't be satisfied. I will rarely take the time to reread anything before I post. Sorry.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Carriage, No Car Seat





Overcast day today. E took a long (2 hour) nap this morning which gave me some time to make some Swedish Cardamon Sweet Rolls. After a rather short-lived fussy nap this afternoon, she and I went to Kelly's house to deliver some of the treats.

After mentally debating with myself for about 20 minutes, I chose to take her in the stroller without the car seat attachment for the 1st time. Worked fantastically and she was psyched about facing forward and seeing everything coming her way. Kelly reminded me, as an outsider, that Emerald has always been happier facing outward so she can check things out. I think she is going to be happy in the new position. Another added advantage was that the weather/sun shield works now without putting her in a tent. It shields her from the snow that was dumping on the way home, but she can still check it all out.

Made some broiled wild caught cod (used leftover cilantro, lime, serrano chili sauce), a garbanzo bean and cous cous salad, and an experimental tofu-egg roll wrapper ravioli (stuffed with leftover roasted fall veggies and mushrooms) topped with a shallot butter cream sauce. Was not that into the ravioli stuffing or sauce, but I like the potential of the meal.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ski Town USA


Had our staff Holiday Party last night in the Thunderhead lodge- Western BBQ. Running a little slow today. Bob was our dd.

Going to watch some classical Steamboat today- Ski Jumping at Howelsen Hill.

Turns out, E was sleeping during the jumping. So, we cleaned the house and then took her for a hike a little later. There is more jumping tomorrow. Dad will take her to watch. Mom is hiking with some other girls. Later, Dad will hit some bumps on the ski hill.

Had salmon burgers with grilled red onions and a cilantro, Serrano chili, garlic, and avocado mayo/oil with a side of roasted fall root veggies. It was basically a beta carotene and omega 3 fatty acid feast.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy B-Day Great Granny!

Today is Edna's 91st Birthday- Wow! It is pretty cool that Emerald gets to see her Granny everyday. Bob got her a new flat screen 32" TV today and his brother got her a Blue Ray player. So, during Emerald's afternoon nap, I am going to set things up while Edna is with Bob and Margie.

It's overcast and gray this morning. Tentative plan is to throw E in the truck, drive to ski area parking lot, put her in a backpack and make our way to the top of the gondola. It will give her some time in the backpack and also let me gauge what kind of time commitment it is to get her on the mountain. Will not ski today, but will hopefully get to scan her pass for the first time! We can walk around the gondy building and go outside up top, but will then ride back down. We currently have a huge framed backpack, but I've got a call into a friend who told me, by the river this summer, that he's got a great skiing backpack for kids. Hopefully I'll hear from him before next week.

Best laid plans go awry. Turns out I took her to the liquor store instead. She was cranky so I thought we'd go in the afternoon. Turns out I needed to help K's parents load and move a snowblower and then pick up Edna's present at the post office. Looks like she's gonna have to wait to get up the mountain.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Getting Started


Going for a walk downtown- want to find a copy of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'. Trying to get Emerald acclimated to the cold so that we can enjoy being outside and exercising together.

Would like to try and get her up on the ski mountain next week to use her new pass! I think the only way to do it well is to slowly increase her time outdoors and be paying attention to her napping so that everything comes together for a pleasant first experience for her.

Her first time on the mountain will probably be a ride up on the gondola and then ride in a backpack down 'Why Not' while I'm skiing. Why not is the easiest route down the mountain from the gondola. Eventually I would like to take her in the early morning on a skinning trip up the ski mountain, but I'm a little scared about carrying her weight because hiking on my own is difficult enough! I also think that she needs to have some shorter trips under her belt before venturing up Mt. Werner. Maybe her namesake, Emerald Mountain, is a better 1st skin.