Friday, September 10, 2010

Colorado Vacation - Day 2's Adventures...

So here's our adventures for our second day of vacation! Seven Falls is in Colorado Springs and we were a little misrepresented when reading the website information. However, we made it work . . . . "Batchelor-style". . .

This is where the misrepresentation comes in - here are the stairs to the top of the falls where we were led to think we would do some hiking. No problem, since there was an elevator....because taking 6 small children up those stairs would be a silly thing to do! So we went up in the elevator...
only to discover....
this was the only way up.....(see picture below!)

Here is another picture of those lovely stairs that we wouldn't dare try to take 6 small children!

Now is where the grandmas in the bunch might want to stop reading! Heart-Attack City is about to follow....

First, let me explain - Ryan and I thought we would go up the elevator and then do the 2 hikes around at the top of the falls. The kids were looking foward to it! We had brought our lunch, so it was going to be picnic-style and they were excited about this!!

Hmmm, so here's probably where we should have had better judgement as parents of the above mentioned kiddo-clan.

But a promise is a promise, right?! Let's just remember that we had promised them a picnic at the top of the waterfalls.

So the misleading information forced us to climb all 224 STEPS to the top to do our hiking. The elevator went to a ledge across the way from the stairs with only a viewing deck.

Sooooo, up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up times 224 we went!
Here was the gameplan:
Grady and Ellie went first.
Then Ryan with Anders in the backpack and holding Hudson's hand. (his theory here was that he was going to stop the bigger kids from falling if they started to go!)
Then I started in with Caylor strapped to my front (let's just make an observation here that if someone is strapped in front of you - you can't see down to make a firm step!)
And then I had a death grip - I mean, I held Ridge's hand.
Now, we all remember that I am terriried of heights and totally HATE open spaces, right?! Yeah, what I was thinking, I'll never know! I guess those 6 little faces that looked up to me and begged me to go up was what convinced me!
The above picture is halfway up at the little turn-out spot.
The picture below is all the way at the top. I am surprised I am not blurry from shaking so badly!
**Funny story - So Grady, half-way up the second set of stairs - starts yelling that he can't do it. So, I yell in my already shaky-voice, yes you can, because I am NOT turning around now! Then I started singing Jesus Loves Me and we were somewhat distracted the rest of the way up!

So we did our 2 hikes up at the top of the falls. This one was called Inspiration Point which was about a mile. It was REALLY, REALLY steep and again, not sure we made such a "Good Judgement Call of Six Young Children", but we headed further anyways! At one point, I remember thinking, that we are pretty stupid to be attempting this! I am guessing that is what some of the other people were thinking as well! One "team" with 2 ladies who spoke very little English asked to take our picture. I thought she meant with our camera, however, it was with her camera to take home! I can hear here now,"Look at these stupid people who endangered their children's lives... "

But alas, we made it to the top. We ended up hiking the other trail as well that was less steep and more calming for Mommy's nerves. It was another 1 mile hike that I actually had fun on!
However, I knew this was coming....

Yes, the dreaded trek down the 224 steps! My stomach just flips again looking at this one! The sheer fright in my body was incredible! What was really bad was that once safe and sound on solid ground, my husband mentions that he was a little nervous going down as well. WHAT?!?!?! He is a rock climber and I don't think I have EVER seen him scared of any kind of climb or what not!
Just to help the grandma's out - we did switch order:
Ryan in front with Anders again strapped to him, and holding Hudson's hand.
Then Grady and Ellie (again, Ryan was going to stop them from falling all the way to the ground!)
And then, last but not least was Mommy and her crew. I thought at one point I was going to have to sit on my bum to get all the way to the bottom. Ridge did great though and encouraged me the whole way. I kept telling him I was scared and he said that he was fine and would help me. I had to tell him several times to slow down and wait for Mommy and Caylor. He was incredible!!!

So then, on the way home we stopped at....

They were some pretty cool rock formations. Our plan was to get out and walk around the paths here looking at all of them, but the weather had other plans!

This one is called Balanced Rock - however, the picture doesn't do it justice.

We had a fun day - but less adreneline rushes would be fine with the Momma!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Making Memories - Part 1

Our Family Vacation for 2010 was to Colorado. Now, I am a beach-kinda-girl, so going to Colorado is fine, however, definately NOT my idea! However, that being honey is a mountain-loving'-man! We spent 6 weeks in FL before moving to KS, so I decided that I could throw him a bone and spend 1 week in the mountains!

We found a house that we thought would work well for our family - so the plans started coming together! We had GREAT time on our vacation spending it together as a family and just letting go some of the hard-core rules we have at our house! Yes, the kids ate candy, stayed up late, watched movies, and they even got souvineirs!

"Are we crazy or what?"
"Can we pull it off?"
"It's all about the memories Daddy!!!"
Things we kept telling ourselves throughout the trip!

First stop....

I think this is the ONLY time the kids stopped the whole day! When "hiking" with our crew - there is NOT much rest time involved. Get your shoes laced up and off you go!

The kids were attempting to get their Jr. Ranger badges - so they had a list of 3 things they had to do to earn their badge/patch. I think Daddy was secretly excited that his kiddos were being all 'Boy Scout-ish'!

Let the hiking begin! This was more of a walk - it was 1 mile loop that led us around to the large stumps.

The kids earned their badges. Here they all are swearing a pledge to keep CO parks nice and clean, etc, etc. It was a cute little booklet that kept them somewhat busy on the drive home! They loooooved their badges!!!

We decided to head back to the house for lunch since we had a time-change to adjust to and some of the kid-crew needed some serious napping time! The back "yard" - made completely of stones and a large hill - made for some great play time for the older ones not needing naps. I believe Ryan and I were able to read that afternoon without interruption! It was GREAT!!!

"Trailblazer Ridge"

Our second hike was 2.2 miles. This was my favorite hike of all the hiking we did. It was peaceful and although long - not to difficult for the kids. No large inclines to fall off of, no strenuous uphill climbs that I had to carry 2 children for. It was a peaceful hike!

Ridge became known as Trailblazer. He was ALWAYS up in front of the pack and leading the way on our hikes. He never complained once that he was tired or had sore feet. It was impressive. Usually our Ridge is somewhat of a complainer, he really surprised us on our hikes.

Ellie found an "Ellie-size" tree.

Stopping for a snack break! No, we didn't leave Caylor - she is with Daddy taking the picture! Ryan usually carried Yummy in the kid backpack and I usually carried Bunny in the Bjorn. It worked out well, however, I think we were all tired at the end of this day!

Beautiful, beautiful scenery God gave us to marvel at!

All in a hard day's work....

More to come later....

Friday, September 3, 2010

So About This Little Guy...

Don't let these cute little pictures be deceiving - because that is exactly what he wants - you eating out of the palm of his hand!

We have had quite the power struggle with this little terd, I mean, child here lately! Behavior was starting to get worse on vacation....and then we came home. I think he left his brain in Colorado somewhere because he was no conforming to the "Batchelor Way!"

Anders is a very, very strong-willed child. Ryan and I were talking that we think he is more strong-willed than Ellison....and that's saying A LOT!

He has learned that I cannot (properly for him!) discipline him in public. Soooo, we had a jammed-packed week this week after returning from vacation and we were out and about a lot. At one point, I had to stop all the children - let Anders throw his temper tantrum for AN HOUR in the library (of all places!) and let him compose himself! After dealing with that - we moved on to the next place and again - he threw another tantrum. The next day we were at the park playing while the older 3 kiddos had gym class. He decided he didn't want to eat the lunch provided - of which my usual mantra is - whatever, you will be hungry later! It just seemed to me with that tantrum that he was just set in about getting his way.

Soooo, I decided to "put on the gloves" and we were going to have it out! So we did! I told him that if he chose not to finish his lunch now - then that was what he was going to be eating that night for dinner. I am guessing you know where this is leading....

Flash forward to dinner-time...

Mom sets the table for dinner - and out she whips Anders lunch! His eyes were as big as planets! Guess he thought I was bluffin'! No-sir-ee! Chow down Mr. Big-Pants!

He sat there for 2 hours while we moved on about our business. I mowed the lawn, Ryan headed up shower rotation, etc. It came time for Hudson and Anders to take their baths and Anders still wasn't done. Not only was he not done - he hadn't touched A THING! Mr. Anders loves him some tubbie-time, so I told him that it was time to take his bath and that he was going to miss it since he was not done with his dinner. Yeah - he didn't like that one too much! Still didn't motivate him enough to eat though! So I decided to pull out "The Big Guns". I told Ryan that I was going to take his pacifiers if he still chose not to eat. Ryan was hesitant, but agreed. Grandma's don't get too upset - he wasn't going to have them long anyways, when you turn 2 - you loose all sucking devices - thumbs, paci's etc.

I explained what was going to happen with the paci's and again, wailing occurred. (always a good sign!) However, my hopes were dashed when he still didn't eat. I gave him one more warning and he started to eat. Yay, I thought, I'm winning the battle! I walked around the corner to check on bath status with Hudson and came back. In the short 1 minute Anders spit all the food out of his mouth and made a complete mess! Whew - the anger was burning inside me as I just walked away. Ryan got the seat cleaned up and I told him he was now going to have to take a bath, but it was going to be cold.

So in the cold bath he went - which again - caused lots of screaming and wailing! (one would think he would start getting the point here!) At one point, I looked back at Ryan with huge tears welled up in my eyes and he gave me an encouraging smile and said keep at it! So we got done with shivering bath and talked about what all went on.

He still ended up losing his paci's because he spit his food out, but he ended up with a much better attitude for the rest of the week so far! Anders is a tricky one! He sure is cute with those large blue eyes and loooooong eyelashes, but he sure can be a stinker too! I tell him all the time, that he got his stubborness honestly, but Ryan and I both think it will take him far in life!!!

We love you Anders William! But you are a strong one!!! Phew!

Caylor, Caylor, and more Caylor!

Little Ms. Caylor Lindy has been doing so much lately! Thought I might fill in a few grandparents that I might have forgotten to tell things to lately!
She is still such a happy baby! We are truly blessed!
These 2 little girls are going to be so close! Ellie likes to climb in Caylor's crib almost everyday after Caylor's morning nap and play with her! Ellie loves to take toys in and have some private time with Caylor before I get her up and she has to share time with her brothers! Caylor lights up when she sees Ellison! We pray for a tight bond even though they are 5 1/2 year apart!

Caylor has discovered her feet! A great built-in toy!!! She gets them all the time - in fact, her ankles have little scratches all over them from her fingernails grabbing them all the time!

We started Caylor on rice cereal! She loves it - of course, no surprise, since the chunky-monkey has to keep up her figure!

She smacks her lips and is already trying to chew it!

I like it because she stays clean while she's eating and let me tell you...she does NOT like to be wiped off! Pretty much sends her into a tail-spin when she does get wiped off! I don't think it's because she wants more - she just doesn't like the cold washcloth!

She is doing so well at it that I might increase her amount next week. And then she will be ready for some yum-yum baby food! Ugh - let the baby food frenzy begin!!!