Monday, July 30, 2007

CSU and Our First Family Vacation

So much has happened in the past 2 weeks. So very much that I haven't had time to update the blog but I plan on more than making up for it today.

We flew out for Ft. Collins on the 15th. It was Adelaide's first flight and it couldn't have gone better. We had to wake her up at 5:00 to make it in time so we were worried she'd be cranky, but she ate and slept for the entire flight. I was so glad not to be that person with the crying baby. We had great seats and there was an open place next to us so Adelaide could be in her car seat which is great cause she doesn't sleep in my arms anymore.

I was a little worried about the trip affecting Adelaide's schedule and it certainly had the potential to do so. We were in meetings pretty much from 9 am to 9:30 every night so any schedule was out the window. I decided early on that I was just gonna go with the flow. So we went to almost all the meetings and just made Adelaide be flexible as well and she did great! Sure there was times when she just wouldn't sleep in her carseat during meetings and yes there were moments in restaurants when I just wanted to leave in the middle of the meal, but all in all it went better than I imagined. One of the things that helped immensely was the nursing mother's room that was available. The room was available during all the meetings and had live feeds of the conference. It was great because it was quieter and there were comfy sofas, rocking chairs, a changing table, juice and water, toys, and pack and plays. I could go in there during the morning session (when Adelaide's nap is most crucial), put her in a pack and play, and hang out with other mom friends. Sometimes she's sleep 3 hours, all the way through the meeting. Sometimes she'd just sleep 30 minutes but that was the price I had to pay for hauling her around everywhere. The first few nights Adelaide slept between 9.5 and 11 hours. After that she got a bit mixed up, sometimes sleeping only 7 or so but still it wasn't so bad considering how crazy her days were.

The conference was good. Obviously it was sometimes hard to pay attention but there were some good talks and good times of vision casting for the organization. Surprisingly one of my favorite days was the day that I thought was going to be the cheeziest-- the women's day. This year it was put on by Women of Faith. I didn't think it was gonna be my thing but I LOVED it. I laughed, I almost cried (which isn't a real weird thing for me), and loved learning from these women that have experienced so much. I really want to go to one of the conferences now. Another thing that made it a great day is that Rocky and Jordan took Adelaide and Emma Grace (Jordan and Mandy's kiddo) so Mandy and I could enjoy the day even more.

One of my favorite things about being in Ft. Collins was hanging out with people we don't get to see very often especially getting to hang out with Jordan and Mandy. Jordan was on STINT with us in Thailand and both of them were on project with us last summer. They have a little girl, Emma Grace, that's 4 months (almost to the day) older than Adelaide. Adelaide and Emma Grace are thrilled to see each other too. On one of our free days we went up to Cheyenne, WY to a bison ranch with them. It was fun for us but a blast for Adelaide. She loves animals. Jordan and Mandy even watched Adelaide so we could go on a date. We had a great middle eastern meal and then played mini golf. I felt like we were in high school again.

We stayed with some friends of our neighbors so we could save some moola. They were really cool and easy to hang out with. We didn't get to hang out much but we did go to dinner once and attempted to go to the drive in one night. It was a true disaster. I thought we could surely get Adelaide to sleep in the car while we watched the movie but after an hour of trying we gave up and just went back home. Now I'll never know how Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ends. It was hot and loud so I can't really blame Adelaide for protesting but it was a bummer to miss out on the drive in.

Since we'd already flown to Colorado, we figured we should make the most of the trip and take a few days for our first family vacation. We stayed in Estes Park, visited Rocky Mountain National Park, drove to Canon City, rode the Royal Gorge train, and went to see the Garden of the Gods. It was so much fun. Numerous times during the trip I thought about how Adelaide at 4 months of age has now experienced more than many adults-- she's been to the mountains & the gulf, flown on a plane & ridden on a train.

Adelaide has grown up so much in the past few weeks. She's doing lots of new things:
sitting up on her own for a few seconds, rolling from her back to her side, pulling her feet up to her mouth, turning pages in books, holding her own bottle, etc. And she's making it more and more obvious that she prefers some things over others: animals of any type, books, magazines, certain toys, etc. She is ticklish and laughs so much when tickled. She loves people and new places; she's definitely an extrovert. She smiles and squeals more than any baby I've ever seen. We go for her 4 month check up next week, she'll be 4.5 months at the time. I'm looking forward to seeing if she's ready for solid food.

Of course I've got lots of photos. I had a really hard time figuring out which ones I should post since there are so many good ones. So here's our trip in pictures--

Our attempt at going to the drive in:

Adelaide and Emma Grace at the bison ranch:

Adelaide, fascinated by the bison:

Adelaide noticed her feet long ago but now has become infatuated with them:

The staff conference main meeting:
I can't resist taking pictures of every animal I see. Here's a chipmunk:

As we were walking near the visitor's center in Estes Park we spotted a bunch of elk:

Adelaide on the porch of the famous Stanley Hotel, the hotel that inspired the novel and movie, The Shining:

Us at the Stanley. I wanted to take the tour but no kiddos are allowed:

Rocky and Adelaide on the Royal Gorge Railroad:

Adelaide on the train. I think she's sitting now though Rocky totally disagrees. She can tripod for a really long time:

Rocky and Adelaide on the train. She absolutely loved it. Loved it so much she didn't sleep for 3 and a half hours:

On our way back to Estes Park from Canon City, we stopped at the Garden of the Gods. It was gorgeous and so different from the rest of the area. One of the best parts is that it is totally free. After this we had one of our best meals while on the trip at this place we found at the base of Pike's Peak, Adam's Mountain Cafe. The curried chickpea cakes were incredible:

I took a 2 hour horseback ride through Rocky Mountain National Park. It was really cool to experience the park this way. Rocky happily watched Adelaide since he really hates anything horse related.

Here's a few pictures from around Rocky Mountain National Park:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July

Adelaide and I celebrated our independence by hanging out at the Carters with the New Parents class. It was a good time as we met and began to get to know some of the folks in the class. It was a little sad that Rocky wasn't there. I can definitely not wait until he gets home; luckily there's not much more time to go. He gets back late Saturday night. Above's a pic of us at the party (thanks for Cheryl). Notice Adelaide's patriotic garb. Rocky's grandma sent it to her. The girl is well clothed that's for sure.