Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is it SprinGS, or sprINgs? Are there any other pronounciations? Can you use it in a sentence please?

Ah the smell of fresh rain & pines...with just a trace of vomit. Fiona vomited 3 times today. The first time, this morning, she made an odd-er noise and when we both turned to check on her she vomited copiously; it was a fragmentary fountain of watery-milk + curdles and stomach acid as she hadn't eaten much to begin with. SO, Gary pulled over immediately, by then she had almost finished dousing the rear of the armrest, the dvd player, not to mention her carseat, then once more outside the car and then she was done for a while. When we stopped for lunch, happened again, and then a little more when we finally got to Durango. Between expelling stomach contents poor baby managed to get down a little water & gatorade, then some saltine crackers. Good gawd, there is nothing so tortuous as watching a child, especially your own, go through something that you can do nothing about except stand by and make them as comfortable as possible. I almost cried watching her dry heave in the parking lot of the Strater Hotel, and once in the room we had to ask for a plastic bag to contain the noxious fumes pervading the room after her second sick-poop of the day. Just now, tonight, she started coming back to life after some dilute gatorade, feverish nap, bread, and she asked(signed) for milk. Gary & I both hope that the bug isn't catching, 'cause, well, you can guess.

I was happy to drive a couple of hours so Gary could get some consult work done. I drove across the great divide (although we've crossed it 4 times already I think), and through a pretty intense rainstorm. Funny thing, the property we were supposed to check out for Pop, it's not in CO Springs. What's the difference between Colorado Springs & Pagosa Springs? About 318 Miles. Yup, we got the town wrong. And because we didn't care to stay in Colorado Springs, we just switched up the plan and moseyed on down to Durango, through Pagosa Springs. The hotel is turn of the century, top notch, we're lucky we got the room. There were no rooms in Pagosa Springs, I think we got the only room left in Durango. It's stormy outside, and there train has stopped for the night, no more CHOOO-CHOOOO, WHOOOOOT WOOOOO, chugga chugga chugga spisssshhhhhhh---every few minutes.
The Durango to Silverton train is a narrow gauge steam train, maybe we'll get a chance to take a ride but not unless baby girl is feeling better. Although her complaints are minimal, it would just be mean to drag her around town while she's feeling crappy. I know I wouldn't like it if it were me!

The Jeep commander we rented is a good road trip vehicle (even has lane change blinker feature, tap the blinker handle and it goes 3 clicks and stops). We've crumbed it up, Fiona vomited in it, I think I've spilled a little milk somewhere, Gary's probably dripped coffee, and then yesterday at Garden of the Gods, Gary backed into a Navigator from New Jersey...we got out & looked, it made a clicking noise and burst into flames, I grabbed Fiona from the Jeep and we ran up the hill. HA, just kidding, that's Gary's version. He didn't look behind well enough, backed out of the parking space, knocked out our tail-lamp with their bumper. The owner wasn't around, Gary wrote a note, and later he and the gentleman had a congenial conversation and traded information. Thomas Family adventure continues!

p.s. If ever in CO Springs, go to Solo's Restaurant, it's SUPERNEATO.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Denver and Beyond

After Denver we visited Breckenridge for 3 days, and have just arrived in Colorado Springs. On the way to Breckenridge we stopped off in Central City & Idaho Springs---Gary was searching for coffee. Central city was, umm, odd. It's at the end of a branch off I70, road to nowhere. Over a mountain pass, some nice scenery, and then this cute little town. Well, seemingly cute at first glance. The architecture was all authentic turn of the century, steep narrow streets, colorful buildings. A tour bus had stopped off, it's travellers sitting in the sun, nursing their motion-sickness. 'For Rent' and 'For Sale' signs in between deceptively inviting facades of, can you guess? Casinos. There is limited gambling in areas of Colorado, and it was painfully apparent that this little town was desperately trying to survive, selling out (or into) the casino racket. I'm not a gambler. I don't have the switch in my head that says, "Oh, shoot I just lost $50, better try to win it back!" The house always wins. Central City had a seedy undergrowth, a secret sneaking cancer it seemed. It was a beautiful sunny day, yet the short time we were there Gary & I both felt as if a shadow loomed, something so dark it sticks through daylight; we were uneasy, eager to leave. When we did get back to the highway we talked about the weirdness, shivered and moved along to Idaho Springs. Ah, the gods smile on Gary, there was a Starbucks! He's always searching for good coffee.

When we arrived in Breckenridge, a nice snow-oriented tourist town at 9,650' elevation, we suffered effects of altitude sickness. Fiona slept a lot. The following day I took her out for a bicycle ride on a rented hybrid & Burley trailer. If you rent there, go with Mountain Wave, they're much nicer than the place we rented from. We road about 8 miles total I think, and afterward I had a terrible headache, reminded me of heat stress. Gary had troubles breathing and bought O2 canisters, which I think helped a bit. I read that it takes fully 1 week to acclimate properly to that elevation, pro-sports teams try to arrive as late as possible before matches to avoid effects of altitude in Denver (5,280' elev.). Yesterday we went horseback riding on the mountain above Breckenridge, Fiona rode double with me on a horse named Cash. Larry carried Gary (tee-hee). My horse was gaseous especially up hill, Gary's horse was slow. It was a long ride for the baby girl, she loved the first 2/3 or so. At one point a few minutes before we got back to the corral, Fiona just flopped over the saddle horn, in tragic lamentation of her plight. A nice ride, unfortunately we forgot the camera, BUT there were the pro-photographers on the trail side snapping shots as we rode by, how convenient! ;) There is a website to view the shots of Fiona's first horse-ride, and mine & Gary's first ride together...but I'll have to nail down the specific address before posting it here. On the way from Breckenridge to CO Springs, there is Fairplay, Colorado, a sweet tiny town, ~10,000' elevation, with a restored 1880's museum of the entire original town (outside). The candy shoppe/soda fountain is super-neato with great coffee and huge cakey brownies. Plus the Brown Burro Cafe is a great little local place to stop for lunch.

SO, now we've arrived in Colorado Springs, rocky & red. Last time I was here, about 15 years by Pop's(Gran'pa Alton) estimation, the development was probably just beginning. We camped out on his acreage here, which we plan to recon for him as he hasn't been out here since then either. All I remember from that trip is being car-sick at one point. And the trailer/cabin we slept in, haunted by a giant mouse or small rat--maybe it was a raccoon? Alton-brother was about Fiona's age or a little older, we slept on the floor in sleeping bags. I had to pee in the middle of the night, that's when I think I saw the beady eyes of the rodent lording over his trailer-kingdom. Then there was the potato-shaped polished piece of knotted hardwood I took a great liking to, and Alton adopted a turtle-shell he found, called it Mr. Puh-Tell (at least I think it was that trip). But I digress. :)

So we are here in CO Springs for a week, and then back to California to commence The Move (again). We've secured a classic brownstone condo in Cherry Creek area of Denver, we plan to be there by early September at the latest. It feels like we should just go back to Denver, as if it's home already, Gary and I both think a good sign. Fiona has cut 2 new teeth, and has figured out the rhythm of unpack & stay, pack & move. She's handling herself really well. Sugar Chunks, Sweet Pee, Sugar Pot Pie, she's so sweet makes your eyes water & your teeth ache!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Oh, the world outside is bi-ig & wide/We're goin' for a ri-ide in the car

For some reason I think that everything in Nevada is dirty. That's not a personal affront to Nevada or the people there. Gary suggested it's the smoke in all the buildings. We stayed in Elko, NV last night...what can I say; it was barely three stars, the 'best' hotel in Elko. Maybe I'm a hotel snob now, but I'm not a drunken college girl anymore, and I have a baby that gets into everything. After we got to the room I un-shoed Fiona and she proceeded to test Bunny in all the dresser drawers. She did this for about an hour while Gary went out to hunt & gather. By the time he arrived with the food, I was nervous and had to go out for my luggage wherein the germ-kill handy-wipes were located. Once back in the room I wiped all the handles down, and asked Gary if he thought the bedspreads were clean---he replied, "Well for our purposes, tonight only, we'll assume that they have been washed." Ri-ight. After over an hour of walking around the room barefoot, I happened a gander at Fiona's iddy-biddy-piddys---BLACK I tell you! As if the baby had been wandering a coal mine...OMIGAWD yuk. I wiped her down, put her in her pj's and re-shoed her until bedtime. Then I tried to clean my feet as best I could before I went to bed. Gary & I agreed that the bed may be on par or worse than a bed we slept on in Tampico, Mexico. I think the Tampico bed had critters though, possibly the only thing that made it worse than Elko. So, if you find yourself middle Nevada needing lodging, we think the Hampton Village Inn looked much nicer, although it was rated only 2 stars.

Now we are in Park City, Utah, home of 2002 Winter Olympics. Stylish, cute, art galleries, clean, close enough to Salt Lake but far enough away...did I say cute? On the way here we had to stop middle of the salt flats for an accident. A helicopter had landed on the highway, an overturned sedan nearby, we got out and made foot prints in briny earth. There are big neon yellow signs every so often "Drowsy Drivers Cause Crashes". We saw an odd art tree thing, could have been antennae, and a lots of flat, white, salt crusted earth, mountains bordering distant mirages that must have tricked many 19th & early 20th century travelers into wandering far out of their way...I forgot how big the world is.
Anyway, Westgate Park Resort & Spa, a great deal on, and it's off season. Beautiful late summer weather up here, lots of activities to do year round, maybe we'll just stop here? Just for a couple of days to break from the drive and then keep on keepin' on. Fiona is on her way to sleep in her play pen, rough night last night, though she doesn't seem to want to sleep at all. We've considered just keeping her awake until she collapses but I'm betting that would backfire on us completely. An aside, those who know me, know that I am rather old fashioned in the ideas of children watching tv/movies/gaming constantly. I must recant statements I've made in the past, because possibly the best purchase we've made for this trip has been the portable DVD player, and we've only used it once so far. A last resort today to keep the last couple hours of or our drive calm, Baby Einstein soothed the antsy, cabin-fevered baby until she slept and then we arrived. Just won't use it all the time, little girl like to move. At least now she's more interested in what's going by outside the truck, makes things more fun describing passing trucks, trains, etc. Little person! Half my DNA and half Gary's DNA combined and made a PERSON, we marveled once again during our late lunch today. We're smitten. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Summer Sabbatical Starts

Tomorrow we start our road trip to CO to search for a new place to live! It's a little scary and definitely exciting. Costa Rica was Gary's idea, Hawaii was my idea, and now CO is our idea. :) I'm going to try to blog during the trip so as to document, and entertain.

Fiona sleeps late today, she wakes up this very moment she is jet propelled, attempting take off. She actually plays now, making trips between wagon and Papa & I with objects, 'reading' books, 'talking' on her phone. I think her favorite real person to talk to is Pop, as he mimicks her babble it sounds like an actual conversation of sorts. Watching her problem solve is amazing, one can almost hear her brain growing. AND the sweetest development of late, is affection. Fiona will lean on us, reach out for hugs, give kisses, and cuddle. Most wonderful feeling in the world to have little baby arms around my neck. We just played the run-and-hug game, Fiona runs to Gary and gets a hug, then runs back to me for a hug, back and forth until she gets distracted by Papa's shoes near the door--she into shoes of all kinds, like to try them on herself, try her shoes on us, try the Lili-doll's shoes on herself and us, etc. It's prime opportunity for learning too-big & too-small. Oh, the jogging stroller? It ROCKS.

I'm not solid on strategy for the long car trip ahead, but we have music CDs, a portable DVD player for the indispensable Baby Einstein videos (although it's been recommended not to use them until the very last moment). I figure I'll bring a few favorite toys that will emerge slowly one at time during the trip (plus what oddities we pick up along the way). We plan to drive as much as possible early, so we can enjoy the stop overs the latter part of the day. Gary agreed to the Rule of Flexibility, with regards to a 14-month-old's stamina for sitting in a seat as long as adults.
Luckily it's not necessary to have much of a schedule, as we don't have to return by a specific date. We might drop into Texas, it's dependent on many factors of course, but I mentioned it last night, and since we're both TX -homesick, it's a possibility. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thust cawl me Toofee

How many injections did it take for my mouth to be numb enough to fill 9 cavities? I don't know, I lost count. Can't focus my left eye properly, my bite feels funny, my speech is impaired to the effect of least I'm not drooling. *shexxy*
SO I had fillings today. And what the doc thought would only take 1 hour took almost 3. I was frightened going in there, it's the unknown. Yup, this is the first time I've ever had fillings. Apparently I have very hard tooth enamel and deep grooves. (read:I'm naturally groovy)
After the engergetic story my sweet husband related to me last night, while I'm staring at him wide-eyed and beginning to panic, I was freaked. You must understand first, that Gary is of a very rare breed of human who ENJOYS the dentist, and anything they do to him there, masochist. So, as he's excitedly telling me his story of fillings and gum-cleaning, I'm trying to keep from screaming and running away somewhere to hide. I couldn't sleep later. BUT now it's all over with, and supposedly I won't have to do anything like this for many years, thanks to the hard enamel and great filling work that Doc did.
Must drink smoothie so as to avoid becoming angry-numbface bent on destruction.
Fiona sleeps right now, cutie-patootie.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Saga ends the day begins

Ah, the early morning. I've finally succeeded in waking before Fiona, I plan to run. The jogger has finally been retrieved from persons remaining anonymous. The cycle shop called the authorities yesterday and an officer went to the house. Cops know how to scare people, he told the wife that keeping the jogger is felony theft (over $100) and her husband could goto jail, she could goto jail, and the kids would goto foster care. Sounded to me as if the officer was pretty fired up about getting the jogger back. Maybe crime is slow in Roseville?
Anyway, it's a Burley jogger, real purdy with lots of pockets, a hand brake, a proper running jogger. We'll probably get it out for a spin tomorrow mornin' as there is a MOMS meeting this mornin' and then we have Music Together class, maybe we'll make it to the park in between. It promises to be a busy day!
We just got to the area, I'm only just getting comfortable, and now we're leaving. This weekend begins the road trip to CO to scout new place to live. I'll be more prepared for car-travel with a toddler since our foray to S. Diego in May.
Fiona is into shoes already...sort of. She likes to take shoes off of her doll, and she's getting better with the fine motor skills required to put them back on Lili (doll). It's a bit heart wrenching to watch her get SO frustrated and keep trying over and over. I want to help her, but I've got to be careful not to take too much control, reinforcing for me that there is a fine line between helping someone succeed and doing a task for them. If I want Fiona to feel she's succeeded at anything, it's best to let her figure it out as long as she's safe. Actually she's not been very open to mommy helping anyway, she'll grunt sort of and pull back what she's working on or push my hand away. Fiona wants to do things by herself---*goosebumps*, burgeoning independence. She untied my running shoes last night and tried them on. I grabbed her sandals--gifted from Great Aunt Carole--that she loves, we put them on and went for a little walk. She likes to sit on the curb outside and look up at the trees, practice walking up and down inclined grassy areas, push the wagon around & put in it rocks, leaves, and the like. There really is nothing as exciting as something on the verge of becoming, most especially a person!
Also, I've made a face book thing, partially to catch up with people, mostly 'cause there are unlimited photo uploads and prints can be ordered. I made the albums private though so one must be a 'friend' before viewing. I'm looking forward to seeing who decides to join!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Saga of the Jogger

I bought a baby jogger---apparently for someone else. This has been a 3 week trial so far, and looks as if it'll take another week or so to clear it up. When I called the bike shop after the appointed 2 week(max) delivery time they were surprised that I didn't have the jogger. Turns out that they had a digit wrong in our phone number and the person they called figured it was a gift as they just had a baby, came to pick it up, and now won't return it. Poor kid missed one digit and it's turned into a big mess. I told him that the authorities should be involved if the people won't return the jogger, essentially a theft. So I wait. I'm all geared up though, got new kicks and new sports-bras, new socks, no excuses now! Other than the snot I've been plagued with this past week, what a terrible sinus illness went through our little family!

Fiona remains cuter than cute. Yesterday I asked her to help pick up by putting a big-knob puzzle back together, she sat right down in front of it and put all 3 animals back in their rightful spots. I do help a bit by turning the base of the puzzle to a more friendly angle, but for the most part it was all her. Ah, the tiny things that make mommies proud! Still no language that we can understand, maybe my innate translator is broken? Aside is a pic of little one in her 'clubhouse', part of the bookshelf/cabinet that Gary kept saying we'd paint eventually. But it turns out that we'll be bailing out Cali and moving elsewhere. We're planning a trip to scout Colorado, since we both envisioned living there long ago. So we shall see, we shall see.