Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Toddlers with Smart Phones

I'm letting you know immediately that this post is rated PG according to the "Joy needs to rate this post" rating system.
Evan loves to look at pictures on my phone. There's a series of pictures we took of him meeting "Sox the Fox" at a Sky Sox game we went to a few weeks ago that he begs me to look at on a daily basis. 
I'll admit that on occasion I've used my phone as a distraction for Evan, so that he could look at pictures, take pictures or watch a video on youtube so that I could get something done. Like eat food.
Yesterday was a super busy day. I had a ton of work to catch up on since being on vacation last week. The house was also a mess and I distinctly remember Jason telling me to "make sure all the windows are closed before you go anywhere today because it's supposed to rain" so I had small details like that running through my brain as well. When I had a minute of spare time, I gave Evan my phone and he sat in a chair downstairs and looked at pictures while I ran upstairs to take a quick shower. Dawson was in his room playing Legos.
While applying shampoo, I saw a flash of lightning and realized I needed to hurry up because I never want to die in the shower after being struck by lightning. I want to die fully clothed. I also remembered I needed to get the windows closed -Jason's orders! There was a second flash in rapid succession and I looked over to see Evan taking pictures of me while I was in the shower.
In case you were wondering, I'm not a supermodel. So I screamed. It was quite a dilemma because I had conditioner in my hair so I needed more time and I couldn't exactly jump out and grab the phone and bring it in the shower with me. Thankfully, my scream diverted Evan's attention and he ran out.
I was able to delete all the pictures before he was able to figure out how to post them on Facebook.
I'm rather grateful Evan hasn't quite mastered the art of photography:
And also grateful he most often has a very low perspective.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Estes Park, CO

We just returned from a wee mini vacation (3 nights/4days) to Estes Park, CO. 
Particularly, Jellystone campground in Estes Park, CO.
I would like to take this time to give the WARNING that this post is going to have way more pictures than is necessary for vacations in general.
Also, I need to let my sister Anita know that before we left on vacation I got my hair cut. Side swept bangs and long layers. I was going to ask the lady cutting my hair if she could put some layers in my side burns as well, because they're getting out of hand, but I didn't. Do not disown me Anita, because if you do, that will be one less gift for you on your birthday and Christmas and if you ever have surgery. 
We didn't camp. It's a campground where you can camp, but it also has cabins for those who have an aversion to being mauled by bears, eaten by snakes, or otherwise attacked and killed by mountain lions. Of which, I am one.
This is our cabin:
It has a loft where Dawson slept at night.
No air conditioning. In case you thought we were total divas. Dish Network AND a Darth Vader spatula though.
And a Selfie of me in the mirror.
The view of the campground from our cabin:
Jason is the one who researched and found this campground. It's perfect for families because it has a playground, pool, arcade, mini golf, planned activities (such as Laser Tag) and all but the planned activities are free.
We arrived on Sunday, but couldn't check in right away so we had to find some things to occupy our time while we waited. So we went downtown where Evan had a "Tour de Trash" demanding that we stop at every single trash can so he could look inside. This is not recommended. 
 Although Evan didn't tire of this excursion, we did. Soon we found a local park where we dropped off the boys and Jason and I went shopping. That's a joke. 
 Once we were finally able to check in, we played miniature golf and mostly relaxed on the first day. Sort of like what God did on the last day of creation.
We also enjoyed the wildlife: When I say "enjoy" I mean watched from a distance because the cute wildlife don't let you get close. All except for chipmunks but that's because they use you for food. 
Which is similar to what this wildlife wanted.
 I laugh at that picture because I sent it to my good friend Carol right after she sent me a text asking me to send her a picture of what I was looking at "right now" and that was it.
The mini golf view. Which sounds like a car commercial. 
 Yogi Bear comes out at 6:00 pm each night to lower the flag. Apparently Evan's panick mode is to do the double nose pick when forced to meet strangers in costume.
 We made pudgy pies. Which I distinctly remember eating when I was little and would go camping with my family, only the pudgy pie maker was round and not square. So I felt a bit jipped that we couldn't find a round maker. 
 And the final view from Day 1:
 On Day 2 we started early and went for a hike to Emerald Lake. This is a hike we've actually done a few times before, but I thought I loved it, until we found a new hike on Day 3. Which you will be overwhelmed by with pictures in no short amount of time. I must interject here that I do not like port-a-potties for many reasons, but mostly because the people outside waiting can hear you pee. Which totally reminds me of a story my deaf friend Holly told in a blog she wrote once that still makes me laugh. All that to say, I didn't avoid them, but they only have them at the trail heads and sometimes I had to pee during the hike. One time I just couldn't hold it and I had to scurry down a hill through fauna and flora to find a spot out of view. I peed on my shoe. But I won't give up hiking. Or drinking water. So. I guess we can look at the pictures now.
 And this is Emerald Lake. Though I think it looks more hunter green than emerald. 
 I had found a bag of expired sunflower seeds at the camp ranger store before we left for the hike. They didn't have a price tag on them so we got them for free. We took them to feed the chipmunks and got reprimanded several times by strangers telling us not to feed them. But I can assure you, the chipmunks had already been fed a thousand times before we did and this one in particular had just feasted on a nutter butter that someone else had given him.
 The hike to Emerald Lake is only 2 1/2 miles long round trip. It's a bit of a rise in elevation, so it's considered to be a moderate hike but we wanted to hike a bit more before calling it a day so we took the advice of a nice ranger lady and decided to go on another 2 mile hike around a lake that would land us at the free shuttle pick-up which would take us to our car. However, the hike ended up being another 4 miles (in addition to the previous hike) and we were rather mad at the nice ranger lady. 
Evan was worn out.
 The boys had doughnuts and watched Spongebob when we got back. And that's the end of Day 2.
 On Tuesday, we started the morning with a hike to Loch Lake. It became our new favorite hike because it's so pretty. Better to overwhelm you with pictures than to explain it's beauty in pathetic words. That line should go in a book of poetry in my own opinion.
Ladies and gentlemen (or whoever is reading this) I present to you: Loch Lake.
 I don't know how Evan was always so tired when Jason and I did all the work.
 And there you have the hike to Loch Lake in pictures. You're welcome. 
We figured we ended up hiking a total of about 15 miles during our stay.
I would like to insert a word here about hiking and hygiene. I cannot tell you how much I loathe the smell of old lady perfume. Sickening. But for some reason old ladies who hike (or ride bicycles) seem to think that bathing in it is necessary to human survival. It is NOT I tell you! The perfume should be outlawed. Speaking of which, I sprayed Versace at the mall yesterday because I was a bit suspicious that it falls under the old lady perfume category. It actually falls into it's own category of stink. Expensive stink. All that to say, it's okay to shower before a hike and put on deodorant, not old lady perfume. Or Versace. 
On our way back to the cabin, we stopped at a theme park to let the boys go down this slide.
 We also got ice cream which I forgot to get a picture of because I was busy eating it. Then it was time for a dip in the pool. I literally mean dip for me because the pool heater was broken which meant the water was only 51 degrees. My big toe went into hypothermic shock.
 Later that evening we took a drive through Rocky Mountain National Park and I forgot the camera so I had to take a picture on my phone.
 Wednesday we had to check out by 11 a.m. so we took a walk through the Stanley Hotel which was not at all haunted during that 5 minute time frame.
We had planned to take the boys to Water World that afternoon because it's on our way home. But we had to pass some time because tickets are half off beginning at 1:45 pm. So we took the scenic route home.
 This area had a major flood last fall and most of the homes along the river looked like this:
 We stopped at a park to have lunch.
 Then we arrived at Water World.
 It seems to me that I might possibly have enjoyed this slide more than Evan.
 Finally, this picture explains how we all felt once we were nearly home.