my mom arrived on tuesday and that day lightning struck flagstaff mountain and created a forest fire about 2-4 miles from our house. for two days we were on pre evacuation warning meaning, we packed our bags and set them by the door, ready to flee at any moment. oh baby renso….what a week.
it also happened to be record breaking heat- 5 days in a row of over 100 degree temperatures. our tiny house has no A/C so we had to buy a portable one and a few fans to make our living situation bearable for all of us.
needless to say, darra lost it. between the heat, the mother talking about the A/C situation and the husband talking about the wildfires, the stress and pressure just got to be too much!
here are some photos of the fire…pretty beautiful.
manitou springs/ garden of the gods/ happy father's day and 38 weeks
it’s been incredibly hot here….and just keeps getting hotter. i suggested to darek that we take a little car trip so i could indulge in the A/C since we don’t have any in our apt.
today i am going to look into buying fans, an A/C unit or, a swamp cooler. i can’t sleep in this record breaking heat.
our day trip yesterday was down to manitou springs which is right near colorado springs— about 2 hours south of boulder. first, we drove through the garden of the gods, which, has become quite a bit more touristy since i was last there 11 years ago. then we walked around manitou the city, which is also touristy— but a good kind of touristy…located around town are fountains that dispense a sort of soda water that is filled with powerful and healing minerals. i drank some, but did not want to get sick so, i stopped after a couple of sips…darek did the same.
2 weeks until my due date of june 29th. mmmmmm. just patiently waiting the arrival of baby renso…….mostly feeling good but the heat is definitely sucking my energy….
driving through garden of the gods….the red rock out croppings are pretty amazing. this is just one of the things we saw……
belly/ baby at 38 weeks……downtown manitou springs.
mineral water fountain in downtown manitou springs.
since it has been so hot here, i have been obsessed with making homemade ice pops or- as some of you may know them, popsicles….
so far i’ve made 2 different batches of mango, strawberry yogurt pops and one batch of avocado pops…today we have strawberry lemonade made with fresh strawberries, fresh lemon juice, and agave syrup…with a little honey thrown in…
appreciating the time, place, people and.....37 weeks= full term.
i know baby renso is about to arrive anytime in the next few weeks. as hot as it has been here, i have been trying to stay cool and keep up with my socializing….socializing during the day mostly, because i tire out pretty easily by the time 5pm comes around.
my social calendar this week included lots of great new lady friends i have been making over the past few months. i appreciate the summer so much for its long days and relaxed pace……winter can be hard. days are short and people are just doing their work/ life thing.
as a teacher, summer is a welcome respite that i wish all working people could enjoy….
sorry all you 40 hour a week year round jobbers….i am so appreciating waking up with an empty head and no daily stress. darek even commented on how much happier and relaxed i am when i am not working…aren’t we all? i love my job, but i also love having time away from my job. for me, it is the perfect balance to life.
so this week i got to hang out with all of my teacher people…pool on monday with ann marie and aliza (aliza lives in denver and teaches art at metro state, she’s also an artist), pool on wednesday with katie the Speech Language Pathologist that i work with. friday, a lunch date in lyons, colorado at my other friend katie’s house (she’s a 3rd grade teacher i work with), whose backyard is just enchanting…and her two sons are pretty adorable too. then it was on to the public pool in the afternoon where i met up with my friend ann marie again (she is a teacher looking for a job, she substitutes in my classroom). she takes her daughter to the pool almost every day so i can count on her being there….
last night darek and i went to the wedding of the occupational therapist i work with out at chatfield botanic gardens in littleton….it was her bachelorette party i attended last weekend! it was a beautiful evening and darek and i got to meet some really nice folks from places like STL and PDX, so we had a lot to talk about.
on our way home, a pack of coyotes crossed our path…there were two adults and about 5 pups….we were in our car as they crossed right in front of us..one little guy was too scared to cross and got stuck alone on the one side of the road while the others made it to the other side, it was a pretty phenomenal sight….
this morning i woke up early and went to a yoga festival http://hanumanfestival.com/ with the sister of a long time friend who now lives in denver, and her two friends. we did an hour long yoga session outside in the sun and wind (felt phenomenal- i randomly got asked by a LULU lemon employee if i wanted to test a yoga mat, i did, and then they gave it to me for free…it’s a beauty!), and then went to brunch at a vegan- organic- gluten free hippified restaurant (it’s boulder of course!)…..we then went back to the festival where the other ladies shopped and got henna tattooed and i, talked with all the new mommies i could see, about what strollers, car seats, and adapters they find work best for them!! i came away knowing exactly what we want….
tonight darek and i head out to chataqua to meet up with aliza and her husband for a picnic before they go to the indigo girls concert….
as i said before, i am so glad to have this time to hang out with all of these women/ friends….i truly get energized from my interactions with them and the tales of their life adventures….i just hope they stick around once i become a mamma!
this past sunday i went down to denver to celebrate the impending marriage of one of my co-workers, barb, the occupational therapist i work with.
she is a fantastic co-worker: she’s great at what she does with the kids, she is well versed and articulate when it comes to being part of the team at IEP meetings, and she is just plain, funny and down to earth.
we did one of those pedal bike, bar hopping tours. i just sat on the back while the other ladies did the pedaling. it was really fun and i got lots of mommy to be advice from all of the veteran mommies. i also got to see the five points section of denver which has changed soooooo much since i last lived here, 10 years ago. it is teeming with restaurants and roof top patios. it was a perfect, but hot, summer sunday.
i’m sitting there on the left, hunched over like a weird-o.
we finally had to break down and buy another car. so now we have two….my dear old wasubi and now meet, wasilvy!!!!
it took us a long time and a lot of deliberating about what car would work best for us.
we test drove a: VW tiguan, toyota Rav 4, and a Jeep compass….we almost got a compass…..
in the end it came down to size; we wanted something we could grow into, something that could handle the snow here and was also good on gas. we test drove the subaru and fell in love. i will forever be a subaru buyer….i love my current car and in the last 11 years have never had a single issue with it other than your basic maintenance…darek on the other hand did not like the idea of a subaru since everyone, in colorado and oregon, drives one.
the reason….because they just make sense in these elements and the quality and resale value are just hard to beat.
we can’t say the same for the compass which, felt really small when we drove it, and it does not have all wheel all the time; you have to put it in all wheel when driving in the elements. i did not like this. we also don’t know if the compass will still be running in six or seven years. the subaru on the other hand…this puppy has got at least enough in it to be our first born child’s first car…..and that’s the plan.
it’s a beauty….and to top it all off, it has A/C, which means our child will be able to safely drive around in the back seat during the hot colorado summers.
some may laugh and call it corny….but, darek and i went to crested butte this weekend and rented a cabin in the woods…it was a babymoon slash birthday present for darek whose birthday was april 29th. it was a time to convene with nature and just hang out away from the work and life stresses we deal with on a daily basis.
"it’s time to buy a car, a couch, a this, a that"….all in preparation for this new little being…
this weekend was all about celebrating just the two of us.
we played trivia and baked cookies, sat by the camp fire next to the river, napped, read, knit, went for a hike, explored crested butte, the town and the surrounding areas.
we drove (well, darek drove) through white out snow conditions over mountain passes to get us to crested butte on friday night where the sun was shining…!
crested butte is one of my favorite colorado towns, it’s secluded, and the scenery is phenomenal. darek had never been there and i was so excited for him to see it. i think he loved it more than i did……i’ll give you a teaser of some of what we did.
hoping to get more photos uploaded soon…the cabin was super cozy and quaint and since it is mud season (the season between winter and summer), the town was only inhabited by locals.
also, it’s been a while since i have shown a photo of the belly.
we are at 33 weeks and baby renso is kicking and jabbing away. it is so crazy how intense the movement feels, it is rather uncomfortable at times. i mean, the WHOLE 4lb body flips around in there.
all guesses about the sex so far are, BOY. i think it’s because of the old wives tales’ about how i am all belly in the front and; from the back i don’t look pregnant…yadda, yadda. we are getting really excited to meet the little critter. 7 weeks to go!
my clothes are really snug and, i am now only able to fit into things that were big on me prior to the basketball tummy.
darek and i went shopping today and i got a new tank top (target) and black pants (consignment shop). the pants are full panel and are super comfy. i have been wearing only demi panel pants which means i have to wear my belly band too otherwise, i’m smiling at the people standing behind me. with the full panel, i don’t have to worry about that.
between not fitting into my clothes and completely dreading going to work, darra is not a happy camper as of late. my poor husband has to deal with my dark side right now. i’m in a funk and i can’t get out. i am hoping that a little r&r in florida and then a visit with friends and family in STL next week, will help me get through these last couple of months at work. i can’t figure out if it is the hormones or just the drama of my workplace that is sending me into such a funk.
hoping to finish a sewing project this week, will post soon.
here is a commissioned piece i just finished knitting for a friend.
it’s a bandana cowl. i chose this pattern because of the cut of the pattern. the V covers the chest and stays in a zipped jacket….i find that most cowls seem to ride up the neck.
the pattern was difficult to master at first, i had to tear my work out about 3 times before i figured how how to correctly knit. once i got it though, it was easily conquered.
i am hoping to get started on a baby blanket next….yarn is super pricey though.
i have to admit, as tired as i am during the week, i really enjoy knitting more than any other project right now…i.e. painting or sewing.
i am in the midst of another sewing project for a friend. i am super behind on it, but i just can’t seem to bring myself to sew for some reason……hoping i can finish that project and post it before i go to florida for spring break in 2 weeks.
for those of you who want to knit, if you don’t already know about it, the website, ravelry is an amazing place to search for patterns, post projects, ask questions and see what other people out there are knitting and how they solve certain knitting dilemmas….
here’s a shot of the growing gut at 22/23 weeks…..i hesitate to flash pictures of myself but this is for all you folks that live far away.
i’ve gained 15 lbs…eek. feeling great though. still swimming a mile every time i hit the pool….which is about twice a week. just bought a new suit since my old one is getting pretty tight around my belly.
here i am after a long week at work…..those kiddos keep me on my toes.
today’s post is all baby related….we just entered our 22nd week of baby making over here.
i just finished knitting my first baby sweater, although it is more like an infant/ toddler sweater since it will be too big for a newborn….
and, my friend alizah came to visit and we went thrifting in longmont and i got a gorgeous pink chair for the baby room…..not sure how crazy we are going to get in making a nursery since we are so limited on space. but, we will need to create some sort of space in our second bedroom for baby clothes storage and changing table, and a place for darek to feed it….hence, the chair……right now the plan is to have the kiddo sleep in a co sleeper in our room for the first few months..and then move s/he over to their own room later.
currently our second room is darek’s pseudo office and our extra storage area….it’s somwhat organized, but not a pretty sight….! we need to figure out where we are going to put all of my art making supplies and books that we have stored in there under a table to make room for a crib, this new chair, a garbage etc… you get the idea. it seems that those little babies require a lot of space…eek, something we are short on.
so onto the photos. this pink chair is going to be a good nursing chair i think. it rocks….what a score..it’s vintage ethan allen….i am thinking the color palette for the baby room will consist of: black, white, gray, natural wood tones, and pops of colors like pink and orange. i am aiming for gender neutral…pink can be gender neutral can’t it? oh, i think so.
check out that baby sweater. hardest project i have undertaken so far….but i think it turned out okay. the key is blocking. blocking is when you steam the garment into shape after it is completed…helps to make it appear less wonky. not sure how it will fit or if it will be comfortable but, i used a beautiful organic wool from peru. i didn’t finish until the sun went down so i apologize for the inconsistent color in the photos….
this past week our friends brian and danielle and their dog bodie, were in town visiting from STL…they intended on staying for only a day or two but, a snowstorm came to town so they ended up staying with us for about 4 days—a fantastic 4 days. nothing like having good friends stay in your home. it was a much needed house warming for us. brian and danielle are savvy road trippers so, hosting them was easy as pie….they even brought their own beds!
i got a snow day (no school) on friday and brian, danielle, and darek attempted to go snowboarding up at eldora but had to turn around because the roads were so bad. instead they went to A- basin….because of my condition, i had to stay home.
no biggie, i got to knit a baby sweater and watch season two of the Big C, and bake homemade bread. but darn, they were gone for a long time and i definitely got antsy…luckily they brought home some baeujo’s pizza and we snuggled up on the couch and watched a movie….
on saturday morning after a breakfast of eggs and homemade bread toast, we got to go snowshoeing on trails right by our house. after the hike, we made a delicious lunch of homemade ramen soup and salad, i took a nap while brian and danielle ventured out in boulder, and darek watched a movie. we then headed to avery brewing for some beer tasting…again, an activity i can only participate in in the social way.
so relaxing and so much fun….they should be coming back through town soon…..can’t wait.
danielle took WAAAY better pictures, these are just from my cel phone, so i will post those once she emails them to me.
this past saturday we put my NEW snowshoes to the test. darek wore my old ones.
actually, we have not had much snow up in the mountains this winter so we weren’t even sure if we were going to be able to snowshoe.
we drove to brainard lake on saturday morning after i finished taking another standardized test to prove the bureaucratic system we call public education that i am HIGHLY QUALIFIED.
when we arrived after an hour drive the winds were a blowing. it was cold on top of that mountain, and, there were also a ton of cars. we are not in oregon anymore. colorado is definitely more crowded than oregon. the trail was packed with people and packed down. we humored ourselves and hiked the 2.5 miles in, wearing our snowshoes. but we took them off and walked along the road on the way out. it was much faster this way and after getting knocked around by the wind for a good 1.5 hours, i was ready to get back to the car and get a hot chocolate.
it was beautiful and felt amazing to get out in the fresh air and be in the woods. even though we encountered a few hikers, the overall feeling of the hike was one of solitude and quiet.
a blurry shot of our classroom. i recently created a ‘donors choose’ account so people can donate money to our classroom and we in turn, buy much needed supplies with it.
i have yet to publish the project, but needed a photo of our classroom to get things started. this is a shot of the front of the classroom from my desk area. to the right is the entrance. on the bottom right of the photo you can see the “independent work area” where the students work on work baskets without (as much as possible) help or prompting from the teacher. working independently is a difficult task for many students with autism. the idea here is that the work in the work baskets is something they have mastered and can accomplish with ease and independence.
we have our calendar area up front; a computer area that is being covered by a yellow and red mat because one of our student’s is obsessed with turning them on and off; and a desk area where students work with teachers on mastering the items in their work baskets…..
i’ve been really really tired lately so i haven’t been doing much, therefore i have not been posting…
here’s a shot on a cold wintery night of darek lugging in our groceries…
we park underneath our building which is a bonus in the snow, it means no digging out or scraping off the car. but when you have a lot of groceries, it makes carrying a lot of things at once, a bit more difficult.
luckily there is a wagon left on each floor so you can load up your groceries, get on the mini elevator and bring them straight to your door.
we finally made it to one of the breweries here in boulder. avery brewing. they make a delicious IPA that you can get in various states around the US. since we were at their tap room, we got to taste beers served only there. my favorite was the old jubilation, which is a strong winter ale…the pilsner was also crisp with a little fruit. darek really liked the dry-hopped IPA……
i also had the pleasure of meeting a friend out one night at, twisted pine brewing….
so, all you pdx people, they have good beer here too….that is, if you are considering moving here and that might be something that might convince you!!!!
coffee….not so much. something we need to work on.
and p.s. those are TASTERS….look at the size of them.
it’s been a few weeks since darek and i have ventured out for a hike.
today we explored more trails right near our house. this is boulder, there are trails everywhere……..the particular entrance where we started is for the shanahan ridge trail which, leads into all sorts of other trails that go up towards the flatiron mountains. we did a loop and hiked about 3 miles. the hike up was pretty grueling and we were in and out of the sun. when we were out of the sun it was C-O-L-D-….. good thing i’m sporting new gear that my mom sent me for my birthday! the hike and the views were gorgeous; i thank the heavens everyday that we get to live in such a beautiful place like this.
after the hike we both decided that it felt like fall and we needed a mug of hot chocolate to warm us up….thank you starbucks for your seasonal gingerbread hot chocolate.
mmmm. getting excited for turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing and hopefully broccoli casserole. heading to the rensing house in st louis for a few days; we are leaving on wednesday. excited for a little road trip. gotta get a knitting project lined up for the drive.
here are some instagram pictures from our hike this afternoon.
i just finished this book, Just Kids, by Patti Smith. i had heard an NPR interview with patti while living in portland and was taken with the way she spoke of her relationship with robert mapplethorpe, the photographer.
i know mapplethorpe’s work, but not well, and had heard of their romance, but only vaguely. i am a former NYU student, and these two embody NY in the 70’s/80’s, an era i have heard referenced often. patti and robert were young artist’s trying to make it happen for themselves. they lived in the chelsea hotel for a while and befriended/ had run ins with all sorts of 60/70/80’s icons such as, janice joplin, jimmy hendrix, andy warhol. that’s just how NY was then…..everyone seemed to know everyone else.
needless to say, this was a phenomenal love story. a love story between many of the characters, not just patti and robert. it is also an inside look into how these two made it in the art world. a world that now, seems so impenetrable.
since i work during the week we have a pretty regular m-f schedule. wake up at 6:15. leave for work via bike at 7:15, work until anywhere from 4-6pm. bike home, cook, sleep.
hoping to get an exercise routine in there soon. the rec center is right by our house and as an employee of boulder valley school district i get a pretty sweet deal for our family. signing up this week.
this morning we went for a hike in eldorado springs state park which is about 10 minutes from our house and, a rock climbing mecca. check out the photos of the rattlesnake gulch trail below.
sooo……we currently live in south boulder and love where we live. i can commute to work by bike, or walk if i need to. darek starts his job this week; he will be working in lafayette which, is a small suburb of boulder. darek and i have been spending the weekends exploring the hiking trails and the surrounding suburbs with the possibility of moving to one of them because the houses in boulder are very expensive.
last week we had lunch in louisville, we both agreed that we liked it there and could definitely see living in that cute little town, it’s about a 15-20 minute drive from both of our places of employment. this weekend we visited lafayette, where darek will be working and agreed that lafayette may not be the place for us, although it has its own sort of charm. today we traveled to golden which is about 30 minutes south of boulder…it is where the coors brewery is located and it has a cute little downtown as well as sprawling new construction which is kind of an eyesore. as beautiful as it was downtown, we weren’t sold on it as far as a place to live.
we did get to visit the history park which is a recreation of an old homesteader town. it was there that we passed a family harvesting their garden plot and they gave us a bunch of home grown carrots.