Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day Two of Snow

With over 2' of snow in our yard, Oliver's school was closed Thursday.

Keith is in Indianapolis for work, so it was just the three of us; Oliver, Mom and Madalyn.
Is there really any other way to start a snow day than with raisin toast on the couch and Handy Manny on TV? Oliver doesn't think so.

We ventured outside later in the morning so that Oliver could get some fresh air and I could shovel the driveway. I didn't want Keith to come home on Friday and not be able to get in the garage because there was a pile of snow in the way. It wouldn't be the first time the BMW would be stuck in our own driveway.

Oliver liked exploring in the snow. Shortly after this photo was taken he nose planted right into the snow. Ooo.... that wasn't great, but he eventually came back for more. Ahh.... A photo of my accomplishment. Half of it anyway. The other half was on the other side of the driveway. This made me laugh. Oliver has an entire house to hang out in and he chooses to sit in a teeny tiny corner. Funny kid.

During Oliver's nap, I decided to get some of the snow off our top deck. Who knows what the weight limit is up there. It was a lot harder to shovel the deck than the driveway so it isn't nearly as cleaned off. This photo is when I was half way done.
Another funny moment. Why sit in the chair when you can lay on the floor?
Ahh... Madalyn's dream come true. A nap on the couch

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

From Sunshine to Snow

We went from the sunny beaches in Mexico last week, to a winter snow storm at home this week. We are having our fist big snow storm of the season here in Denver. It has been snowing all day and is expected to continue through tomorrow. These pictures were taken at 4 PM this evening from our back deck.

It is now 9 PM and I thought I would push open the door from our master bedroom onto our top deck. Much to my suprise, the snow is light so the door pushed right open. Much to Madalyn's suprise, there was 20" of snow outside!!! I measured after I took the photos.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hola from the Mexican Riviera

Once a year we try to take time to vacation as a family. We find it to be a good time to unwind and reacquaint with each other. In the daily hub-bub and bustle of running here and there we tend to not take time to be together. Our annual vacation is a great time for us to take a moment (or eight days) and appreciate each other. It also forces Keith and I to put down our electronic leashes on work and remember that there is more to life than brewing beer and making plastics, even though plastics make it possible and beer is good fun! This year, we added a little spice and headed south of the border to the Mexican Riviera. HOLA MEXICO!!!!

You may also notice a different twist to this blog post. Usually we go day by day to capture a day in the life of our vacation. On this vacation, the days and good times melted together, so I'm taking the approach of themes instead of days. I hope you like the twist.

First thing first, we had to get out of Denver. Oliver and Keith spent quality time riding back and forth on the moving walk ways at DIA. Really? Is there anything more fun than riding on the moving walk ways just to give Mom a few high fives? I think not! Location, Location, Location

To set the stage of our vacation, here are photos of the property. We stayed at the Azul Sensatorri and it was fabulous!

The resort is about a year old and had a very modern feel. Our room had a huge jacuzzi tub that Oliver was a big fan of. It was almost like his own personal swimming pool. The room had a divider so that Oliver could have his own space and we didn't disturb his beauty rest. This also allowed us to watch the Broncos beat the Chargers in Spanish while Oliver slept. Go Broncos! The bathroom was very roomy with plenty of space for all three of us. The balcony had a nice couch where we could watch the evening entertainment in the lounge or gaze upon the ocean.

Can you tell we had just arrived in this photo. We were still in our jeans from winter weather Denver.
Ta Da!!! The view of the Caribbean and pool from our balcony.

To the right of our balcony was the main building. On the top floor was the garden view lounge where the evening entertainment played. Straight ahead was a view of additional pools and garden areas. Then there was the rain, rain and more rain. The first several days we were there it rained on and off, sometimes it gushed out of the sky. Then we remembered it was hurricane season. Oh Ya!!! At least it was just a lot of rain and not a hurricane. Here Keith is taking a picture of Oliver wearing his sunglasses. In the background you can see how thrilled I am to see the next rain storm coming in. Body language is worth a thousand words. Can you tell from my expression that I'm not too thrilled with the building clouds outside?Yet, another storm.

Luckily after a few days of rain, it moved on and the second half of the week was rain free and clear blue skies. Just on the other side of the building and over the balcony from our front door was the kids area, complete with this pool. You can see Keith and Oliver sitting on the edge of the pool. Oliver wasn't too interested in hanging out at this pool, he liked the big pool which he called "My Pool". The funniest was when we showed him the ocean for the first time. He pointed and said "My Pool". In case you are wondering, Oliver is not the proud owner of the Caribbean sea... at least until he realizes that just because he says it is "mine" doesn't mean it really is his. The whole kiddie pool with the Fisher Price building in the background. Ahhh.... what a great day this was. In case you have every wondered, I have the BEST husband EVER!!! He insisted that I go to the spa.... TWICE!!!! The first time I had the massage by the beach. I have always wanted to try this. Here is a picture of the hut that is over the beach where I had my massage. With the sound of the ocean waves and the gentle breeze, it was in the top two massages that I've ever had. The beach, complete with beach beds for free!!! I've always wanted to try one of these beach beds but usually you have to pay for them. Not here, they are first come first serve. We were fortunate enough to snag one up two separate days. Doesn't every kid need a play ground on the beach with a view like this? F triple P

Of course, there is a story behind "F triple P" We didn't happen upon this by accident. I'll warn you now, you may not want to know the story.

Traveling for Oliver can be tough and often he becomes constipated. He doesn't have his usual routine and this can cause him discomfort. This time, he had three days of discomfort. This kid is like clock work, so this was a big problem. Never did we ever imagine that our vacation would be spent worrying about when Oliver would FINALLY poop. On top of this, Oliver is now very chatty and he likes to announce that he has pooped, is about to poop, is wishing he could poop or is thinking about poop. It is all with the same phrase, "me poop". Hmm.... This left a lot of to our interpretation and we found ourselves checking his pants, constantly. We also got a lot of funny looks from people, but who cares. They weren't the ones dealing with a cranky constipated kid.

On the third day of vacation, we spent one morning in the kids play house where there is a Fisher Price room. It was raining outside so we thought it would be nice to let Oliver play with toys and meet some kids. Here, we discovered his secret to pooping success. We called it "F triple P". The Fisher Price Poop Palace. Spend an hour in "F triple P" and pooping was inevitable along with comfort and a happy kid. 30-60 minutes in "F triple P" and Oliver was content with anything on the agenda for the rest of the day. Our routine became 1) breakfast, 2) F triple P, 3) beach or pool, 4) lunch and nap, 5) beach or pool, 6) shower/bath followed by dinner. Sometimes, just walking in the door did the trick. Other times, we brought a book and stayed a while. I suspect some thing don't change, hence the reason many men spend time with a favorite article of literature in the bathroom.

Oliver occasionally participated in the arts and crafts room. This is serious business not to be taken lightly, as you can tell from his expression. Of course, this could also be a look of contemplation for the next poop. In the Fisher Price room, Keith and I would pull in bean bags from the video game room. We figured we might be there a while. Occasionally Oliver would stop for a hug and snuggle. These are always my favorite moments. Just like at home, a favorite past time was pulling everything out so that Oliver was surrounded by a rainbow of plastic fisher prices toys. A King in his own Castle. On vacation I managed to read a whole book and wished I had a second one. I really didn't think I would make it through a whole book. If I would have known that we would be spending quality time in "F triple P" I would have planned better. This hour in "F triple P" became a favorite quiet time for all three of us. Sometimes, we entertain ourselves with the digital camera. This time, Keith was entertaining HIMself. I found some funny pictures when I was going through them. I figure they are fair game to public viewing. HA HA!!! Ahhh.... Keith has a new friend. Plastics really do make it possible. HA HA HA!!! Oliver LOVED the trampoline. He would say
"Jumpa Jumpa JUMP!" and then fall on his bottom.
I have video that I'll post at the end. Life is a Beach

Oliver's first frolic on the beach.
Beach Time! We quickly discovered that Oliver is NOT a beach bum.
When he would notice he had sand on his hands he would anxiously ask to "wash, wash". He REALLY didn't like the waves. Maybe beacuse when he was minding his own business, building a sand castle, a wave snuck up on him. Hmm... ever since then he was an anti-beach bum. After this run-in with the wave, Keith quickly went into action and built him a wall, complete with a drainage system. Can you say ENGINEER in ACTION?! It worked great for Oliver and got many comments from people walking by. Yes, we have an only child and we build walls for his protection and happiness.Oliver behind his wall. One day as we walked past the beach bar, we decided to get a fruity beverage for our beach stroll. Oliver wasn't about to let us forget that he was thirsty too, so we opted for his first virgin margarita (ice and fruit concentrate). This was an instant hit. Quickly, he referred to it as "Apple Juice" and we couldn't pass a bar without a request from the youngest Hamilton. Once the "Apple Juice" would arrive he would bury his head into the fruity refreshment and he literally wouldn't come up for air until it was gone. Luckily he hasn't asked me to pull out the blender since we've been home. Oliver out on the pier watching the fish swim by down below. Just because we're on vacation doesn't mean we can be lazy.
Oliver, doing pull-ups on the beach. Oooo... Big Find!!
Keith and Oliver found two crabs hiding in a puddle on the shore so they wanted to rescue them and put them back in the ocean. This was Oliver's first experience with a crab, which he called "tab". Keith put the crab in the water, and it crawled back up the beach. Funny crab! Ahhh.... Life is a Beach.
US Weekly Magazine - Check
Bottle of Water with fruity drink on the way - Check
Lounge Chair - Check
Sunshine - Check
Swim suit pulled out of my back side (I didn't realize Keith was taking a picutre) - Check
Ready to work on my tan!!!!

I couldn't resist posting these next two photos.
Oliver is thinking he has died and gone to beach lounging heaven, diaper free on a beach bed with a good magazine.

Serious sand action
Ahhh... time for a drink while we escape from a passing rain storm.
Oliver standing in as supervisor on the play ground while Keith builds a sand fish down below.
"Seriously, Dad? Do I really have to come down from my perch to supervise?"

Beach self portrait. Oliver is smiling, but the sun was in his eyes. He probably wonders why anyone would want to look into the sun for a photo. He must think we're crazy!
Yet, another drink. The kid couldn't get enough of these fruity treats. Needless to say, there was no worries about him being dehydrated.
Occasionally I would meet up with Keith and Oliver, who would already be at the pool. One time I couldn't find them. Then it dawned on me... gaze toward the swim up bar. Check out who I found bellied up... little Mr Hamilton with his fruity drink. Good thing it was all-inclusive!!! Notice who else is waiting for drinks... all of the other kids.

All tuckered out from a few hours at the pool.
Good times had by all!

Splish Splash, Taking a Bath
Oliver LOVED the big tub in our room!!!
Having Fun

The next photos are random photos of us having fun.
The shows didn't start until 9:45 PM, well past Oliver's bedtime. However, they would practice at 5 PM, so we would go watch rehearsals before dinner. Oliver really enjoyed the music and singing. I'm wondering when he'll be old enough to take to a broadway show.
Does it get any better than a snack in Mom and Dad's bed?
Just outside the lounge, with a view of the ocean (if it was daylight) were some beds to lounge upon. One night we spent some time watching a band play while we lounged in comfort. We were trying to keep Oliver up long enough to watch the evening entertainment of Disney songs. He didn't make it before becoming very sleepy.
The same location in the daytime.
Keith loves these pictures.
Oliver had two sided crayons, which came apart at one time. In a panic, he brough them to me to fix. Whew... good thing it was an easy fix. His lips were sticking out so far in an extreme pout that they may have fallen off if I wouldn't have had success at fixing it.
Oliver: Pout, Pout... My crayon is broken and the world may come to an end.
Mom: It's all good! No Worries!
Like I said before, sometimes we found entertainment in taking photos.
This is Oliver and Keith's coy flirtatious look.
The Lion look, ROAR!
The "so happy to be on vacation" look
Keith took this picture to showcase that our kid is a "little bit country".
Do you really need anything but a diaper and shoes, shoes that he insists on wearing?

A little R&R with a good book and his new wooden snake from Playa Del Carmen.
Playa Del Carmen

We didn't find any excursions that were two-year-old appropriate, so we just opted to take the shuttle to Playa Del Carmen. It was a perfect afternoon and a great little town. Is there any way to travel other than to perch upon Dad's head?
Oliver got the shopping bug at this little shop full of trinkets. After trying most of the toys, he settled on a wooden snake.
We stopped for nachos and found this great bench for a photo with Mexican flare. Oliver was the hit of the house.
Oliver taking over Play Del Carmen, or at least walking around like he owns the place. The ocean IS "his pool", ya know. He had to head down to check it out.
Family self portrait on the beach in Playa Del Carmen.
It was raining on and off during our Playa Del Carmen trip so during one rain passing we stopped into a place for a cool beverage.
Here is one of my favorite family self photos. We had such a great time!!
Mexican Beach Party

On Friday night the resort had a Mexican Beach Party. WOOHOO!!!!
Nothing puts you in the mood for a Mexican party like a Mariachi Band. YIPPEEE!!!!

Oliver and Keith having fun!
Oliver is becoming very affectionate and we love it!!!
Hello Mr President!
We think this kid might have politics in his future.
This is Oliver dancing on the stage before any of the activities started. Every time he would face the crowd he would give out a wave. So Cute!!
Here Lizard, Lizard, Lizard

On our last morning, from our balcony Keith spotted three lizards on the tennis courts. We rushed down to show Oliver and take pictures.
Love this!
Oliver pointing to another lizard, with a lizard just under his arm as well.

We're Leaving... On a Jet Plane

We had a GREAT vacation!!!!
After eight days in the Caribbean sunshine on the Mexican Riverra, it was time to head home.
We had a great time together and Oliver charmed his way through the resort. He was known on a first name basis by many and was anxious to demonstrate his new words of Hola (hello), Adios (good-bye) and Gracias (thank-you) to everyone he met.
Oliver was an angel on the flight to and from Cancun. I can't say this is always the case, but we were SO pleased that he chose this flight to be a saint, even if that meant decorating Dad with stickers from his Charlie Brown Halloween book.
I love the look on the littel girls face as she walked by. She happened to walk by just as I took the picture.

After a long day of travel, we made it home safe and sound. Oliver was SO Happy to be home!! This is our last photo, just before I put him in the car. Moments after he was in his car seat he was sound asleep. Ahh... what a great vacation!!!
I have several videos to post. Check back as I'll add them later in the week.

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