Monthly Archive for March, 2010

Working Hard to be Lazy

This is Spring Break! So far, the weather has been even better than the forecast we specifically ordered…sunny, warm…just incredible.

So, what are we doing on Spring Break?

Are we taking a big trip somewhere? Are we going somewhere fun every day? Have I carefully planned an activity for every minute of the day? Are we trying to squeeze as much out of our “free days” as I possibly can?

None of the above.

In fact, it’s just the opposite. My goal for the week is to hang out at home and be completely lazy.


Let me explain.

I’ve never wanted to be one of those parents who “over-schedule” their child. I do, however, want Claire to be able to do fun things that she enjoys doing, and I’m an expert at managing a calendar.

This balancing act is harder than it seems.

So, imagine my surprise when I realized that our schedule is pretty much full. Mondays and Wednesdays, we have swimming lessons. Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have school. Saturdays, we have ballet. The only free days we have are Fridays and Sundays. I fight with every fiber in my being to keep them open for us.

Granted, we only do one activity a day, and it never fills the whole day. Still…Spring Break was coming at just the right time…for me. *I* needed a break in our “we have to be somewhere almost every day” routine. Claire could care less.

We have had one playdate this week, and it worked out nicely. Other than that, we’ve been sleeping in, lounging around the house, playing outside, working on little art projects, reading books, and watching movies. So, really, it’s just a typical week around here, only we don’t have to drive anywhere.

…and it’s been absolutely awesome.

After this week of forced laziness, [I’ll] we’ll be refreshed and ready to get back into our routine. In the meantime, I’m valiantly defending our “break” with the skills of a sword-fighter and agility of a ninja.

That doesn’t sound too lazy if you ask me… 😉

Our American Girl Adventure was FANTASTIC.

Yes, I took a photo of Claire taking a photo of Baby Rose. Click to read all about our American Girl Adventure! It's featured at Mile High Mamas today!

Can you guess what our weekend adventure was?

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you already know.

Here are a couple of sneak peek photos... help you guess.

Stay tuned for a full update tomorrow!

It’s really hard to manage a preschooler’s expectations with a blizzard looming.

Unlike her parents, Claire is from Colorado, so she won’t understand how very odd it is for the weather to be near 70 one day and a foot of snow the next. She’ll think that’s normal, especially for March in Colorado.

One day, we’re playing outside without coats on, and the next day a blizzard pops up out of nowhere, and she thinks, “Oh, cool! Snow!”

What she doesn’t know is that there are some super-cool things we might do this weekend if 1) we don’t have a foot of snow on the ground and 2) if we don’t have a foot of snow on the ground.

Fingers crossed that the aftermath of the blizzard that is pounding the mountains right now (and heading right for us! Aaaaah!) melts quickly. I’ve hinted to her that we’ll do something fun this weekend, and I can only hope that it’s what we had originally planned.

Check back on Monday to find out! 🙂

I’d hate for her to strain an eyeball

While eating lunch, Claire keeps rolling her eyes.

“Is this right?” she says.

“Is what right?” I ask.

“This…” she says as she rolls her eyes again.  “I’m practicing rolling my eyes.”

“Yep, that looks right!” I say.  I mean, what can I say?  Her form looks fine.  She could work on the nostril flare and sigh, but I’m not giving her any pointers this early in the game.  Practice makes perfect, but I’m not sure that she needs to practice…I’m sure she’ll have plenty of opportunity to perfect it over the next few years.  🙂

Snow Day!

We had a fabulous Snow Day today!

Claire loved making a million little snowmen all over the yard, and then she decided to build a castle wall to protect them.  Because I was done shoveling the driveway, she’d go over to the other side to get fresh building supplies.

I tried to tell her she had plenty of fresh snow on her own side to use, but she wanted to do things her way.

I was just happy for the company while I was shoveling.

You know you’re in Colorado when you get too hot shoveling snow and have to remove layers.

More than you can carry with two hands

I love it when my daughter tries to express a large number of something.  She uses millions and fourteen interchangeably.

…completely and totally interchangeably.

I mean, who can be bothered by numerical specificity when there are so many of whatever it is?  😉

The perfect escape

This year, my husband surprised me with a birthday getaway. Well, he surprised me as much as you can with having to organize things well in advance around here.

Just because our spontaneity is planned doesn’t make it any less magical.

That being said, he did surprise me with the idea.

Leave? Escape? For my birthday? Overnight? Without Claire?

I said yes before he’d even finished asking the question.

Escape implies that there is something terrible from which to run screaming. That’s not altogether true. Yes, I have a fabulously spoiled life here. Yes, I love my daughter dearly. Yes, I chose to do the work I do from home. Yes, I’m happy with my choices.

Yes, I was ready for a break in the routine.
Yes, I was ready to welcome a little bit of guiltless selfishness.
Yes, I was ready to spend a night or two away from my daughter.

Plus, it was going to be for my birthday, and everyone knows I get to do what I want when it’s my birthday. 🙂

Things were going to work out perfectly. The grandparents, who winter in warmer climes, were going to be on their way back right around my birthday. They were going to be staying here anyway. It didn’t take too much arm-twisting to convince them to be in charge for a few days in our absence.

We decided to go to a place that wasn’t too far away, but that was going to be awesome for the both of us. My husband skis. I do not. I enjoy full massage sessions. He does not. How about we do skiing and massages on the same day? Perfect.

We decided to check out Crested Butte. My husband has been there a couple summers for hiking, and he thought I’d love it. Crested Butte boasts an awesome ski resort, which he’s been itching to try. We wanted something that would be walking distance from the main street, and there were a couple of Bed & Breakfast establishments that fit the bill. We both love outdoor hot tubs, so we opted for the one with the outdoor hot tub AND the on-site massage area/spa. Unlike our requirements for traveling WITH Claire, we were looking for an adult hideaway, and this Bed & Breakfast does not accept children under the age of 12. Perfect!

We made our reservations at Purple Mountain Bed & Breakfast well in advance and then crossed our fingers for all the pieces to fall into place: weather, our babysitters arriving on time, weather, weather, and weather.

My inlaws arrived and so did the big day. Along with it came dry roads, blue skies, and snow capped mountains. Yay!

My husband and I love roadtripping. There is just something about leaving all your cares behind you, pointing the car in the direction of your adventure, and seeing what excitement you’ll discover along the way.

It was a little weird to have an empty backseat, but I knew Claire was in good hands. I wondered if she’d even notice we were gone.

The drive to Crested Butte was incredible. The vistas in that area of the state are some of my all-time favorite. Looking out over South Park and Fairplay takes my breath away. I’ll never get tired of seeing our precious snow-capped mountains. Never.

We stopped for lunch, and it was the little things I noticed. I didn’t have to take anyone to the bathroom. I could focus on the nice woman who took my order at the Subway, without keeping a watchful eye on anyone else. I didn’t have to share my chips. My husband and I were able to finish our sandwiches and our sentences without the least interruption. Yes, by a preschooler’s standards, our lunch would have been deemed rather boring.

But, it was perfect.

We hopped back in the car and headed out. The whole trip takes 5-ish hours, which is short compared to most roadtrips we do. The weather was awesome, and it was smooth sailing the entire way.

As we got closer and closer to Crested Butte, I could tell that this was going to be an awesome getaway.

We found the Bed & Breakfast with no problems, and the owner, Chris, was out running errands. At the front desk, a welcome letter greeted us. Imagine my pure delight in discovering we’d been upgraded to The Whetstone Room. I nearly squealed out loud.

You see, Purple Mountain Bed & Breakfast has five rooms available. We’d debated whether or not to splurge on the room with the private balcony and claw-footed tub. After much deliberation, we determined that ALL the rooms were fabulous, and we were already splurging on the ski and spa days, so a more modest room would suffice.

The fact that we’d been upgraded to the room I really wanted in the first place was icing on my This Is Turning Out To Be The Best Birthday Week Ever cake.

Our stay was nothing short of superb.

Purple Mountain Bed & Breakfast was fantastic. The house and rooms were clean and well kept. It was tastefully decorated, with some quirky things thrown in. (I LOVE the garden gnome by the wood-burning fireplace.) Both my husband and I were impressed with the little details. Nothing was overlooked.  (No, this is not a paid review.  If you end up staying at Purple Mountain Bed & Breakfast and use us a referral, we get a discount on our next stay, but I was not compensated for writing this review.  We paid to stay here, and what we got in return was worth every dime and more…)

I took photos of our room, but they don’t convey how comfortable, clean, relaxing and awesome they are.  (Check out this link to see photos of the rooms.  They really are that nice in person.) Impressive, too, were the icicles hanging outside our window. As you can see, they were HUGE.  I took a photo of those before they were knocked down by Chris, the owner. He’s an innkeeper, chef, and Chief Icicle Remover.

Speaking of Chris the Chef, the breakfasts we had were incredible. Breakfast was served in the dining room from 8am to 9am, and it was well worth getting up early to enjoy. The first day, we had yogurt with granola and flax seed, with fresh berries. We also had huge belgian waffles with nuts and bananas (Chris had asked us the night before about any food allergies, etc.). This was served with sausage. Breakfast the second day was an egg and hashbrown pie, served with biscuits and bacon.  (Mmmmmm, bacon!)

It was fun to meet the other B&B guests at breakfast and chat about where we were coming from and what adventures we’d be having that day.  The food and company was great!  The fun, light-hearted atmosphere was a nice surprise.

Speaking of nice surprises, at night, we discovered fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen!  They were an awesome treat after our evening of gallivanting around Crested Butte. We’d been able to just leave the car parked at the B&B and set out on foot. It was perfect! The food we had in town, on both nights of our stay was awesome.

Taking a dip in the hot, hot, hot tub while watching the stars in the cold, crisp mountain air was the perfect end to a wonderful day.

The day of my birthday was so much fun! The on-site massage therapist was incredible, and my husband had a fabulous time skiing. At breakfast, Chris was able to show him the best way to experience the mountain (which runs to ski first because of where the sun would be on the mountain, etc.) While he was skiing, I had my complete rejuvenation session at the spa and was able to get a lot of writing done. We topped the evening off with sushi and drinks.

Needless to say, it was the best birthday I’ve had in a long time.

So, how did I do without Claire? How did she do without us?

As predicted, she barely even realized we were gone. I did great until the moment she didn’t even want to talk to us on the phone…but I recovered nicely. Daddy has been away from her before, but when he saw that her nonchalance wasn’t going to affect me too much, he was able to relax, too.

A fantabulous time was had by all.

So, if you’re ever in the area, we highly recommend Purple Mountain Bed & Breakfast. The personal attention we got was great, and it was mixed nicely with complete privacy. The food was fantastic. The room was great, and I honestly don’t remember the last time I was so relaxed. It was the perfect birthday present.

We can’t wait to go back.

Any day that involves cupcakes is a special day.

The following is a conversation Claire and I had at the dinner table last night.

Me: Claire, what was your favorite part of school today?

Claire: I got to have a cupcake! THAT was my FAVORITE part of school today!

Me: Wow! Cupcakes? Was it someone’s birthday?

Claire: No, we just got to have cupcakes because it was a special day!

Me: A special day? What special day was it?




How do you teach your child to face fear?

I wrote a piece over at Mile High Mamas today!

Click here to check it out!

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