Thursday, September 30, 2010

Muriel and Her Bike Helmet

Muriel is Obsessed With the Bike Helmet

Muriel has been wearing her bike helmet constantly the past couple of days. When I try and take it off she screams like it's the end of the world.

Muriel is Obsessed With the Bike Helmet II

Nevermind that I couldn't get her to wear a sun hat all summer!

Life in Colorado

Herd of Elk Outside the House

This morning we looked out the back window of the house to see a small herd of elk wandering around in the field.



Getting Ready to Show the Others Who's Boss

Definitely not something you'd see in Morges!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weekend in Portland, OR

A few weeks ago my mom, two sisters, and I gathered in Portland to celebrate the impending arrival of the newest Winchell Sister baby. My sister Amanda and brother-in-law Mike are expecting their first baby in November and we are all SO excited! We had a great weekend sans-enfants. There was a lot of laughter, good conversation, relaxation, and of course fantastic food.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend. I'm afraid there aren't a whole lot because I wasn't really in the picture taking mood. Sometimes it's nice to just focus on being in the moment rather than recording the moment.

Googly Eyed Baby Belly
Heehee! I saw this on some photo blog (can't remember which one now), and Amanda humored me and let me try it out on her.

Paraffined Feet
pampering at The Barefoot Sage

Doughnuts in Action
donuts being made at Moody's Donuts

Moody's Doughnuts
basketful of hot donuts--the best I've ever had!

Smoked Salts at The Meadow
shelves of artisan salts at The Meadow

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Toothless Grin!

Toothless Smile!

Rowan lost his first tooth yesterday afternoon when we brushed it right out of it's spot with a toothbrush. He is both relieved and excited. It was getting pretty worrisome when during yesterday's slightly stormy and scary weather he felt like he couldn't suck on his fingers for comfort because of that extremely wiggly tooth. And he is of course very excited about the tooth fairy's visit. I hope she doesn't disappoint!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Conductor Muriel


We don't have a train layout yet, but we sometimes set up an oval the kids to play with. In this case Muriel is in control of the New York Central's 7795 steam engine.

Monday, September 13, 2010

North Fork Trail to Deserted Village

On Sunday we went hiking up near Rocky Mountain National Park on the North Fork Trail to Deserted Village. It's six miles round trip, and we weren't sure that we'd actually make it all the way to Deserted Village. Rowan cried for about the first half hour because he was scared. Of the rocks on the trail. I tried to get something more comprehensible out of him, but wasn't able to. He was of course totally fine after that, and even had a good time. Anyway, we did manage to make it to Deserted Village, in spite of the rough start.

According to Best Hikes With Children: Colorado Deserted Village, which is simply a ruined log cabin, is all that remains of the Earl of Dunraven's hunting lodge. The Earl of Dunraven was an Englishman who, over one hundred years ago, tried dishonestly to gain control of Estes Park and the Big Thompson River drainage.

It was a great hike, though definitely pushing Rowan and Niamh's limits. Luckily there was a creek, two different sets of horses to pet, and M&Ms to help power them through. I'm thinking kids only a year or two older than them would have no problem at all. We spent most of the return journey planning out our farm. Prompted by the horses the kids got to pet, our farm started out as just five horses with a barn to keep them in, but quickly evolved into a real farm with horses, cows, chickens, sheep, ducks, pigs, and a vegetable garden. I'm sure I'm forgetting something--it was quite involved. Rowan knew how many of each animal he wanted, and then we had to name them all.

At the very end, as Rowan and I were just about to reach to parking lot, Rowan told me "Mama, my favorite part of the hike was when the horse sniffed me, but my very favorite part was talking about our farm." So sweet!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


South Boulder Creek Trail

Hiking With the Metcalfs in Boulder

On Monday the Metcalfs joined us in driving to Boulder for a morning of hiking along the South Boulder Creek Trail. Other than the fairly strong winds, the weather was just about perfect for hiking.

View of the Flatirons

Smoky Sky Above Boulder

I think the wildfire must have started shortly after we began hiking. It was odd to see clear sky looking one direction, and look the other way and see the smoke piling up.

Letterboxing on the South Boulder Creek Trail

At any rate, I was excited to finally get to do some letterboxing! This is something I've been hearing about for a couple of years, but I don't think there's a whole lot of letterboxing going on in Switzerland. The day after reading this blog post on Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish, I raced out and bought all the supplies needed to do our own letterboxing. There are a bunch of letterboxes around Loveland, and I'd been meaning to get the kids out to do some hunting every weekend since Lucia's post, but it just hadn't happened.

We hadn't set out on Monday with letterboxing in mind, but I grabbed the bag on the way out the door, figuring that Boulder of all places was sure to have quite a few letterboxes scattered around. And sure enough, after consulting Clue Tracker on the drive down, I saw that there were several letterboxes on the very trail we were going to be hiking. Finding the letterboxes with their handcarved stamps was a lot of fun. And we actually found every letterbox we searched for, unlike all of our attempts at geocaching which have failed miserably.

Playing in the Creek


Amazingly Clear Water

Another highlight of the hike was playing in the creek on our way back. The water was crystal clear, and shallow enough that the kids could wade from bank to bank without worry. It seems like, in hiking with children, having a water element along the trail always helps to cut down on the whining.


What a great way to spend our first Labor Day back in the States!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Allergy Update

Niamh Sleeping

We finally got Niamh in to see an allergist. They did a skin test on her, and she had pretty strong reactions to egg white, egg yolk, whole egg, and peanut. Not too surprising, though I was hoping the peanut allergy had gone away. I don't think she's been exposed to peanuts since she was about a year old. He prescribed an epi-pen for her, just in case. But the good news is that the doctor said there's an 80% chance she will outgrow all of the allergies. Five, he thought, would be a likely age for the allergies to start fading away. So we'll be going back in about a year for more tests. And he thought it would be worth it to see if she can tolerate eggs in baked goods now. Hooray! I think today is a good cookie baking day!

Here is a National Geographic article on allergies, which I found very interesting.