Wednesday, July 22, 2015


We bought our house new, which means that certain things aren't included.  Like curtains.  There are a lot of windows to cover in a new house.  Just sayin'.

We also had to finish our backyard.  And after a surprisingly, uncharacteristically, wet spring, "landscaping" is even less fun than it sounds.

I'm happy to say that as of last weekend, the yard is DONE.  Minus a bit more rock we need, and we need to paint the fence, but it's DONE.  1000 feet of sod, 20 tons of rock, sprinkler, 40-some fence posts...  We're SO glad to be able to use the yard now!  

As happy as Luke and I am, the kids are ecstatic.  It's so nice to be able to eat dinner outside and just PLAY!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Anything you can do...

Third kid syndrome- "Sure, honey- you go right on ahead and try out your sisters' bike that's too big.  I'll just sit here and take your picture."  That's cool, right?

Ended well, yes?  Cody's so awesome, though- he tries, he falls, he cries for a second, and is off trying to figure out something else to do.

He thinks he can do anything his sisters can do.

And dad.  Surely anything Dad can do, he can do too, right?  Who doesn't want to use a drill???

PS- We have pretty strict "you must wear your helmet to ride bikes" rule at our house.  He tried.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day!  It's so fun now that the girls are getting old enough to enjoy some of the fun parts of holidays.  We're about a thousand feet higher elevation than Denver, and we don't have a whole lot of neighbors yet, so we figured we'd be able to watch some of the municipalities' firework shows from our back porch.  It'll probably be the only year we'll be able to see Denver so well (next year the area will be totally built out.)  Besides, I wasn't sure that the kids would be okay with the crowds, the sounds, and being up WAY past their bedtimes, so this seemed like a good option.

The neighborhood had a bicycle parade in the morning.  The girls had a blast decorating their bikes.  And they looked awfully cute, if I do say so myself.

Some pre-bike ride sibling love.  And bickering.

Piper's new wheels.  It's a Weehoo- and she LOVES it.  It's just like the hook-on bikes, but it's recumbent and has the back for support.  We're hoping this will allow us to take longer bike rides as a family (she and Addy can trade off if we need.)  She likes to go FAST.  But when they're staying still?  Not her favorite.  (Side note: kind of majorly bummed that I didn't close the garage door.  Pardon the mess- we're in the middle of fencing and back yard finishing.  Goody.)  

Addy's bike.  There's no such thing as "too many bows" for this child.  The route was a mile long, up and down hills (because remember- we live near the foothills now and there's no such thing as "flat.")  Addy rode the WHOLE WAY.  We had a few mishaps when she'd get distracted by the other people (HUNDREDS) and forget to brake, but ya know.  

Even Cody's bike was decked out.  He was less than enthused at the whole thing, but he survived.  

By the time the fireworks were starting, the kids were exHAUSTed.  We could sneak a peak at some that were starting, but we didn't stay out too long.  Maybe next year we can see the REAL ones.  But this was a pretty awesome Fourth.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Two years, eh???

It’s been TWO YEARS since I’ve blogged.

I miss it.  A lot.

Let’s give this whole thing a go again, shall we?  The Reader’s Digest version of the past 24 months:

Piper’s now SIX.  How?  How can that be???  Her hair is long (although still as blond as can be- she calls it her Rapunzel hair), she’s tall (considering she was my kid who barely touched the Down syndrome growth chart for years, I can’t believe she’s about 60% on there now…), she’s hysterical, and she enjoys life.  She loves anything artsy- she can sit and paint for hours if I let her.  Confidence is not her strong suit, which is hard to watch.  She still won’t let us watch her work at something until she knows she can do it.  Depending on the environment, she can be fiercely independent or horrendously resistant.  We try to foster the former.  I still know of no kid who gets more attention from strangers; no one can resist her smile, wave, or “HI!”

Piper is best friends with little sister, Addy.  Addy just turned four and is a spitFIRE.  She started preschool this year at a FARM.  She has sheep, chickens, peacocks, goats, ducks, and a bunny named Jack.  Best of all, though, are the ponies that they get to ride.  How cool is that???  She just started back at gymnastics after a eight month hiatus and she’s in heaven.  Sometimes I worry that she (and us!) put too much responsibility and pressure on her.  She’s rather mature for a just-turned-four-year-old, and we have to remind ourselves that she’s still little.  In the last year or so, I’d say, she’s slowly started taking over the role of Big Sister.  She seems to hold herself accountable for the wrongdoings of others.  She gets mad- no, more than that, it hurts her heart- when she doesn’t do things to her expectations.  She seems to worry.  We’re working on it.  She is also the most genuine, loving kid I know.  Her compassion for others is far beyond her years.  She has a sparkly personality, and I’m loving watching her grow up. 

Perhaps the BIGGEST news of the past two years is the addition of Cody James.  Cody was born in March of 2014.  The girls are smitten.  Just when they didn’t think it could be any more fun to have a baby brother, he’s gotten big enough to play WITH them.  Life is good.  Cody is ALL boy.  He ooo’s-and-aww’s over the fancy cars.  He loves big trucks.  Anything with wheels are awesome.  He likes to hammer.  He’s a block-stacking master.  But there is nothing cuter than Cody walking around caring for his baby dolls.  He is a sweet hugger and gives the most disgusting kisses.  

Last summer, Luke had a chance to take a job with a start-up in Boulder working on data storage.  We hadn’t planned on moving until at least this summer, but between adding another body to the mix, and Luke’s now three hours of commute each day, we decided maybe we’d start looking sooner.  Luke got his job in August.  We thought this spring would be a good time to move.  But then maybe Christmas break would be better. 

We moved in October.

We started willy-nilly looking at houses mid-August.  Found a house we loved the first week of September.  We signed a contract on Saturday morning.  We packed our house Saturday and Sunday, and had it cleaned, packed, staged, and ready for photos on Monday.  The house was on the market Wednesday night, and we had it sold on Thursday.  We closed on both houses in less than a month.  Still not entirely sure how it all worked out so quickly.  We doubled our space, added two bedrooms (and an office!) and what feels like a never-ending line of toilets to clean.  We love our house.  We’re at the base of the foothills which is awesome.  The community will have two swimming pools (one of which will be lap lanes indoors), two rec centers, a dozen parks, a community garden…  They have concerts and movies in the park, community picnics, Easter Egg Hunts and Santa Claus visits.  We feel very blessed! 

Life has certainly changed.  We’re exponentially busier.  Life is chaotic.  But it’s OUR chaos, so it’s all good.  I look at the kids and can’t figure out how they got so big so quickly.  As much as I hate to see each stage phase out, I’m always tickled to see how they grow.  I’ll never know how I got so lucky to have the three of them!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Piper, The Gymnast

Addy started gymnastics last fall in an effort to find her something school-like to do while Piper was in preschool.  She was pretty jealous of the fact that Piper got to go to “’cool,” so we called it Addy’s school for a while.  Of course, that was secondary to the fact that I had a one year old who was, literally, climbing the walls of my house and needed an outlet.  And to learn to move correctly.  And, you know, learn to fall correctly.  The first several sessions I found myself saying “There is no way Piper would have been willing to do this when she was Addy’s age…”  She has thrived in gymnastics!


As the year went on, Addy would learn a new skill and come home to practice.  Piper always wanted to take part, too, an often learned whatever it was that Addy was doing.  Because of school, I think, her willingness to try new things and stretch outside of her comfort zone was improving dramatically.  And with the end of school (Piper didn’t qualify for ESY/summer school), I needed something FUN for Piper to do this summer, too.  Addy’s class is for kids 2-3 1/2; I talked to her teachers and asked if I could bring Piper, too, even though she’s a little older.  My biggest concern was that the class for 3 1/2+ wasn’t a parent-tot class- and I wasn’t sure that Piper would be ready to try all of those new things independently.


On her first day of class, I asked the girls if they BOTH wanted to go to gymnastics.  Addy, of course, squealed with delight.  To my surprise, Piper was almost more excited.  She went into the other room, got her suit, got her backpack, and said “READY!”

She did a thousand times better than I had expected.  There were no meltdowns because it was scary.  She listened and followed directions.  She tried new things.  And she was good.  She was successful in her attempts- she was so tickled with herself!


She’s only been three times so far, but every time we go, I’m surprised at what she’s willing to do.  She’s walked across the uneven parallel bars with her feet on the bottom and her hands on the top- independently.  She bear walks across the parallel bars.  She summersaults, backward rolls, walks across the balance beam- forward and backward.  She balances on one foot on the balance beam.  She swings form the rings, and hangs like a monkey on the bars.  Like all the other kids in the class, she needs a little help and and little reassurance to complete the task, but complete she does!


Her teacher pulled me aside the other day and asked what, exactly, Piper’s diagnosis was.  She went on to say how awesome it was to see Piper working so hard, and that she even had to go home and brag to her husband about how much she’s willing to try.  I couldn’t have been happier or more proud, though, when she said “I’m just so glad she’s here!” 

Yup, it was a good choice to put Piper in the class.  I’m so proud of her!


Monday, June 24, 2013

ALL the tools

My dad has all the tools.  As in, my dad has all the tools. 

And usually not just one of each tool- at least two, and often times three or four of the same thing.

But I digress.

Dad has been up to our house a few times in the past month to help with a few things (thanks, Dad!) and in the process, the girls have seen some of Dad’s “toys.” 

You can imagine their surprise when Nana and Grandpa had a tool set they could play with!DSC_0361

Watch out, Grandpa- someone is going to want to play with wood scraps and wood glue soon!