Sunday, July 24, 2011

Taos, New Mexico

The only other time that Ben & I have been in Taos together was for a ski trip several years ago with Dan & Heather Richard. Fast forward 3 ½ years, we made the same trip only during the summer AND with two 2-year-olds. Dan had a mountain bike race on Saturday morning so they thought it would be fun to invite us  along for the weekend.

Weekend Highlights

 •   Experiencing rain & feeling a 30° temperature drop as we approached the mountains.
  • Driving through Cimarron Canyon & Carson National Forest.  Landscape pictures never come close to what it looks like in real life.
Taos Pizza Outback.  Their house vinaigrette (basil-pesto… wonderfulness!) was the BEST salad dressing I’ve EVER had!  Pizza you can order by the slice (also great for Ben & my opposing pizza palates), and just one slice was more than I could handle… for 2 meals! AND we could sit outside, which was totally kid-friendly.
Taos Plaza. Fun/unique shopping and restaurants…
Very dog friendly place with a definite artsy “hippie vibe” as you’re walking around.

Dan & Ben both agreed to watch the kids (hang out at the hotel while they napped) as Heather & I seized our opportunity head downtown for a few hours. There are normally a lot of different events going on around Taos, and this weekend was no exception… There was some type of festival going on around the plaza with live music, street vendors and tons of people walking around. We had a leisurely lunch and poked around the shops. I watched a guy making pottery and I bought myself a new, handmade coffee mug to remember the weekend.

Danni "getting cozy" while Kaden bounced

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Mixed feelings on this one. It was definitely beautiful and worth the 10-minute drive outside of town, but I was in such a complete panic about Kaden being too close to the rail of the gorge and the fact that there wasn’t a guard-rail separating the edge from passing traffic that I couldn’t fully enjoy it. (This type of neuroticism truly must come with the territory of motherhood/ being completely responsible for someone else’s life.) Three minutes was about all I could handle.
 Rio Grande Gorge
 Heather, Danni and Dan Richard
 looking toward Taos
Dan with Danni & Ben with Kaden... and Heather & I trying not to completely freak out

There’s just something about going to the mountains that makes us happy.
The beach is great, but Ben & I both decided that if we HAD to choose one destination over the other, the mountains would slightly come out on top (no pun intended).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Farmers Market

Since I don't have a real garden of my own, I always enjoy going to the Farmers Market during the summer.  This may sound silly to some, but I LOVE going!  Maybe I can teach Kaden to love... like... or maybe just appreciate his vegetables... fingers crossed!
 Kaden helping me shuck corn on the back porch
My big 18-week pregnant belly

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nap Time Nest

We are counting our blessings that Kaden has transitioned so smoothly to his new big boy bed.  I am also amazed at how we will stay in his room & entertain himself until he is ready to fall asleep.

The other day I heard him playing with his "popper" and the books on his shelf for over an hour, but he never tried to leave his room.  I knew he was tired (so was I) so I just left him alone...

 ...THIS is how I found him when I poked my head back in to check on him.  Safe & secure with ALL of his stuffed animals, books and toys nearby.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Barber Shop

And the milestones just keep coming this week...
Kaden FINALLY got a real haircut with Sonia at the Wolflin barber shop with Ben.
Sonia sure knew what to do too.  She cut Ben's hair first and had Kaden sit in his lap. 
Then she preoccupied Kaden with a sucker and quickly went to town on his fine blonde hair.
Within 3 minutes, she was finished.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

BIG Boy Bed

With all of Kaden's constant climbing I've been waiting for him to scale his crib for the past 6 months, secretly hoping he'd never figure it out.  Just after I snuck out of the house this morning for my Saturday morning class, Kaden greeted Ben at the side of the bed, ready to take on the day. 

Ben had somewhat assumed that I had gotten him up but after some talking when I came home, we realized that he indeed got himself up. Our conversation went something like this:
“Kaden, did you climb out of your crib this morning?”
Blank stare.
“Kaden, show me how you got out of bed this morning.”
I placed him inside.
About the time his feet hit the matress, he had already swung a leg over, found some footing on his little rocking chair, and slid down the slats.  All in less than 5 seconds.
This afternoon Ben went to work at disassembling the crib (for a few months) and retrieving his old twin bed from the garage.  With all of the recent napping on our bed, my fingers are crossed that it will be an easy transition to his own bed.  For the time being, we left the box springs off and laid down a small pillow fortress for when he rolls off.
Kaden getting settled with "monkey" in his new BIG boy bed.
The great news is that the old crib is ready for the other bedroom, whenever we decide to tackle it. We should find out at the end of the month whether we will be painting shades of pink or blue.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gran Melia Resort • Cancún, Mexico

With the exception of the ~30 minutes we were at Wilmington Beach, NC last summer,
this was the first time Ben & I had been to a beach since our honeymoon when we stayed at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort—exactly 6 years ago.

After hours/days of searching & deliberating various vacation destinations this spring,
Shanny & I (mostly Shanny) planned a whole-family trip to Cancún, Mexico to stay at the
Gran Melia Resort.  Although there were so many places to choose from, this particular hotel seemed to cater more towards families instead of couples.
Our first glimpse of the ocean after our long day of travel.
testing the "lobster floatie" in the ocean... not sure what to think of the saltwater rinse
playing catch with auntie D
Ben & Dorothy taking the game to the water
climbing the stairs
Ben & Kaden unwinding on our hotel bed

Day 2-3: More swimming, napping, reading, eating, floating and body surfing in the waves. 
Even on the 2nd day we had a hard time getting over how clear and blue the water was, how pretty the white sand looked in addition to the green grass, palm trees and pretty flowers. 
It was truly a sight to behold.
waffles:  breakfast of champions
view of the larger pool and ocean, walking out the door from breakfast
I particularly liked this picture of me (above), as Kaden has completely blocked out my 16-week pregnant belly.  Here is what I actually looked like on the beach in my new "mom" swimsuit that was worn for 3-days straight.  Both pictures have a great view of the Cancún strip.
Kaden & papa Dow making sea stars and other sand creations
Kaden has BONDED with his daddy this summer!
3 Dow  men with a view of our hotel
Shanny & Dorothy
nonnie Shanny
Kaden's favorite spot: the pool; floating and playing near the "STAIRS!"
drying off

Family pictures on the beach on our last night.
Ben, Kristin and Kaden Dow • July 4, 2011
Shanny & David
"the kids"
you can tell Kaden is getting tired as he pulls on Ben's ear
Ben, Kristin, Kaden, Dorothy, Shanny and David Dow
Kaden & mommy
... and then we ran into Kaden's new friend, Sofia

I think everyone had a good time during our short stay in Mexico. 
I was glad that we could ALL get together for our first real FAMILY vacation.  I am optimistic that this can become more routine in years to come... 
Hasta luego Yucatán!