Sunday, March 25, 2012

Leaping Lizards! We're Packing!

As I have mentioned, we are in the process or selling and buying homes.  I have a post that I have been creating to share our adventure but we are going to wait until the big reveal to post it.  Until then, I'll give you tid-bits of what we have been up to.
March has been the driest and warmest in history, and we were fortunate enough to have a Saturday with temps in the 80's.  We broke out the shorts and bore our pasty white legs to the world.  Well... maybe just to the neighbors since it was Packing Day (again!).
Packing the garage can be quite fun for two little boys.  There is a new discovery around every corner.  Kellan managed to use this random red handle thing (who knows what it could be??) to carry his ball around.  He was quite proud of himself!
Oliver found these army men that Keith used back in his single days as an experiment to mold army men himself.  I think he made it through three molds and that is as far as he got.  Kind of like the box of projects I have from my single days that are still sitting in a box.  Keith said he never imagined when he was working on his project that someday his son would be playing with the very same army men.  It's funny how life turns out.
Here is the happy packer!
The garage was one of the last locations to tackle.
Upstairs, the hallway was lined with filled boxes of all sizes.
The boxes lined the hallway and proceeded into the office.
On Sunday, most of the packing was done and the weather was cool but nice so we decided to take the boys to the zoo for a few hours.  We had a special treat when we saw the polar bear was enjoying a swim right by the glass.
We have started to ask Oliver what he would like to see so that we can prioritize our visit.  Thanks to the tube of venomous creatures that Aunt Lindsey sent to the boys, he wanted to see Alligators, Komodo Dragons and a Cobra Snake.  I'm not sure that they are all venomous, but I know the snake is.  It's one of the boys' favorite animal figurines.  (Fortunately, a cobra snake won't be crawling out of the Colorado bushes anytime soon so Mommy is safe from having one brought into the house.)
We knew that to see these creatures we would have to venture to the Tropical exhibit.
Kellan enjoyed everything that was at eye level, like these quick moving fish.
He even stopped to see the literature so that he could properly identify what he was looking at.
The alligator (or actually, I think it was a crocodile) was lazing around in plain site for us to view.  Oliver spent 5.4 seconds peering upon him before he was headed for the next exhibit.
I did manage to get him to stand still for 2 of those 5.4 seconds to take a picture of him with the alligator (that was really a crocodile).
Kellan was just happy to be at the zoo, running around with no cares in the world.
We found the Komodo dragons!  This was a baby dragon that would not stand still for a non-blurry photo.  I don't think he was happy to be on display in this cage.  The zoo keeper said that they had three babies and they rotated them through the display.

He finally stopped to peer at our handsome boy.  Maybe he was trying to send Oliver a subliminal message that he should open the door.  Too bad he picked the wrong kid.  Oliver is too much of a rule follower to follow any subliminal messages like that.

Next door was the babies uncle.  (not to be confused with a Monkey's uncle.  HA HA HA!! Couldn't resist!) We thought it might be the Mama but the zoo keeper said she died delivering the eggs.  One got lodged, she got infected and died.  So sad :(

Across the way was another Komodo dragon that was enjoying a brisk dip in the pond.
We never did find a cobra snake.  We think that there is one at the zoo somewhere but we didn't see it.  Maybe next time.  We also saw many other animals but after a bazillion trips to the zoo, we don't take pictures of all of the animals.  Until next time!

Monday, March 19, 2012

As Luck Would Have It

As St Patrick's Day arrived, we anticipated a great weekend with amazing weather, Primrose parties and the annual St Patrick's Day parade in downtown Denver.  Friday morning, March 16, the boys had on their festive green shirts for celebrating at school.  I'm not sure if you can read them but they say "Chillin' with my Peeps" with two chicks on them.  Love them!  Photos at 6:30 in the morning can be a bit of a challenge so we take what we can get.
As it would turn out we were not benefitting from the luck of the irish as a few hours later, Mommy got a call that Oliver was sick at school.  He had caught the flu that had been going around.  He ended up being on the couch for nearly four days.  This was the beginning of a rough week.  Later that week Kellan got it followed by Daddy and Mommy.  Needless to say, our St Patrick's Day was a bit green, and not in the celebratory way.

Leprechaun toes relaxing on Saturday morning.
This is how Oliver spent his weekend.
It didn't change much from Friday to Saturday to Sunday.
It didn't stop the rest of us from packing up the house.  The full story will come later once we close.  Like all Ham Fam events, there is a big story to go with this one as well.  Stay tuned.
By Sunday, Oliver had moved from one couch to the other.
(What is with boys and the natural tendency to put their hands in their pants?)
Here it is, the beginning of a box party.
Sunday afternoon, Oliver had a burst of energy and wanted to help pack some of his room.  He packed a box of toys, which is VERY important!
He had to learn a lesson about how to get everything to fit just right so that we could close the lid tight.
He even packed a box of books and then he declared he was tired again and needed to rest.
Keith and I had a very productive weekend of packing.  Due to this, Oliver had nothing to do but spend a weekend on the couch recovering.  Kellan helped pack, unpack, play, eat, nap, watch a bit of TV, you know, the usual.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Windy Weekend Away

It's been three years since Keith and I have been away without any kids in tow.  Last time, we went to Las Vegas and my Mom (Grandma) came down to stay with Oliver.  This time, Keith found himself with a work trip to Chicago on a Sunday through Tuesday so we tacked on a Friday and Saturday and made it a weekend away.  Once again, we flew Grandma down from Spokane on Thursday night and we hit the friendly skies on Friday night.  Thanks to Southwest, we had free drink coupons to kick off our weekend.
When you try to take pictures without a flash, sometimes it appears as if there is a ton of turbulence or maybe you've had too many drinks.  No... just no flash.  HA!
MMmmm Red Wine, take me Away!
On Saturday morning we didn't get up until 10:00 AM.  YES, 10:00!!  We opted to go straight to lunch across from our hotel and it was quite delicious.  From there, we went back to the hotel to add another layer. Brrrr!!!  We headed out for Michigan Avenue and ended up wandering to lake Michigan instead.
It was a gorgeous sunny day in the Windy Cindy.
It was a fun contrast to stand between the lake and the city.
From there we headed over to the Navy Pier.

Someday, we want to bring the boys to Chicago and take them 'round on the ferris wheel.

Ta Da
We're on Vacation!
Hey Hey Hey!
Out at the end of the pier was a peaceful lighthouse 
Also at the end of the pier was the two of us and the WIND!

It was great to sit at the end of the pier and just sit.  It may sound odd but often with two boys to have two eyes on, we rarely get time to just sit and enjoy our surroundings.
Ahoy Matey!
Anchors Away and Hold On Tight.
As we left the pier, Keith stopped to talk shop with a local.
We left the pier and headed for a architectural tour on the river.  We loved it and the city was amazing to see by boat.  They told us what all of these buildings were but there is no way I can possibly remember everything.  I guess we'll have to go back and see it again.

They called these the corn cob buildings.  HA HA!!

You may remember this building from a commercial where a car over shot the parking spot and went overboard.

These town houses are built by a famous architect that built the sky scraper next to it. They are still owned by the original owners from 1990.

What a great day for a river cruise.
The Willis Tower, once known as the Sears Tower.
Hey, Hey, Hey!
Our Corporate headquarters for MillerCoors.
I loved this building but this is a terrible picture of it.  It had gold facing on the top of it and it was suppose to look like a champagne bottle.  It really stood out amongst the other buildings.
After our long walk to lake Michigan and the Pier, we headed off for Michigan Avenue for some window shopping.  It was a bit amazing and overwhelming.  We didn't go in most of the stores since we have the same stores in Denver, but we did have to take a stroll through Nordstrom.  The Nordstrom shoe department was A-Maz-ing!  However, I think there may have been as many people as shoes, so we didn't go near it.  We did ride up the four (or was it five) flights of the escalator.  Keith loved it!!  (do you think??)
Hey look, Oliver Peoples!!  Ok, I think this was an eye glass store but it didn't really matter, we were awe struck by the name.
Ahh... look Oliver, you're with us on vacation, kind of.
We basically ate our way through Chicago.  It's a good thing we walked over 10 miles in the course of two days.  For an afternoon beer and snack we went to Dublins next to our hotel.  It appeared as a dive bar amongst the big beautiful buildings but it didn't disappoint.  
Lipstick is a must when you're lips are parched and wind burned.  You also never know when the sneaky camera guy is lurking on the other side of the table.
Having fun and striking a pose.
We don't remember what this look was, but it was crazy!
Happy Times in Chicago!
Since we were kid-free, we intentionally waited to go to dinner until 8:30 PM!  We went to Lou Malnati's for pizza.  YUM!  When we got there, there was a 30 minute wait.  They offered to let us order pizza in advance since it could take over 30 minutes to cook.  We declined that offer and said that we would gladly wait.  We were in NO rush.  We did score a couple of stools at the bar for a beverage.
The next day we had to take care of some business in the process of buying our new house.  The finance people thought we needed to fax 35 documents to them so we had to search our a place to do such a task.  Fed Ex store, here we come!  $1.50 per page, here we go!  We decided they could wait to receive the documents at that price.
I took a photo of our Sunday breakfast location on our way back to our hotel.  Across from our hotel, in the shadows of the tall sky scrapers was the Original Pancake House.  Come to find out, the original Original Pancake House is in Oregon.  There was a line out the door and the wait was about 30 minutes, but it was SO worth it.  Even Keith agreed, breakfast was yummy!  (and he's not a breakfast guy)
We stopped along a bridge that we had traveled below the day before to take a few photos and enjoy the view.

Ggrrrrr!!!  Tough lady on a tough bridge.

We waited for Sue by the Chicago Theater and the Red Line train stop.  Keith caught me in action exchanging text messages with her.

A Star is Born!
(and the weather was much warmer.  Notice, no layers.)

We had a great lunch with Sue, complete with milk shake martinis.
After lunch, Sue gave us a great walking tour and we headed off to Willis Tower.  After walking across town for nearly six miles, we got to the tour and discovered that there was an hour wait.  None of us were completely convinced that we should wait for an hour so this is as far up into the tower that we made it.  I teased Keith that I was going to post that he was afraid to go up in the tower since that sounds more exciting than we didn't want to wait for an hour.
These pigeons cracked us up.  Roasted bird anyone?

On the way back to our hotel we stopped for a beer next to the river.  It was a great way to end another wonderful day of touring.
Sunday evening we met Keith's boss for dinner and the next morning they headed off to the trade show while I flew back to Denver.
We had an amazing weekend exploring Chicago.
HUGE thanks to Grandma for coming to Denver to hang with Oliver and Kellan.  It took less than 24 hours to pass after Grandma left for Oliver to ask when we were leaving again so that Grandma could come and stay with them.  Something tells us that a weekend with Grandma is a great time!
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