Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wyoming Adventure


The past few weeks have been quite a crazy adventure. There have been some staffing changes at work so I've been trying to put in a few extra hours to help out while both James and I have been knee-deep in travel plans, recovering from colds/sinus infections and packing and as was pointed out by some loving family members, not updating the blog :-)

Sunday we sent James off on an adventure and Matthew and I tried to head to Jackson. We waited for the roads to clear (which may have been a waste of time because I'm pretty sure NE Idaho never clears) and headed out Monday instead for a Heather-Heather holiday. I was quite excited that I got my camera back from being repaired just in time . . . but it proceeded to only work intermittently so thank goodness Heather (not me) was there to act as photographer.

On Tuesday we decided to take on snowshoeing at Grand Teton. Heather (not me or not mom as it's sometimes necessary to distinguish) had called ahead to make reservations and was told no one under 8 was allowed. She made a convincing case that Matthew was WY born and bred and an experienced snowshoeing participant. The ranger called back and allowed an exception, making Matthew the youngest participant ever in one of the excursions.

I was a bit nervous as we got there and the ranger told us we'd be using super long 1940's gov't issue ash/rawhide snowshoes as Heather modeled here. The last thing I wanted was to be an exception and then screw it up by being totally awkward with Matthew in tow.

They were a bit heavy and very different from the types we've been renting and looking to buy but did a great job on the 3-4 feet of fluffy powder we headed across. All in all Matthew did really well through the snow and wind and even fell asleep at the end of the hike.

We also headed drove out to the Elk Refuge and hit the trifecta of large mammals with herds of elk, bison and big horn sheep.

The next day we decided to head out on a sleigh ride and watch as they feed the elk. It was still snowing, still windy and a bit cooler than the day before. Matthew enjoyed cruising around the visitor center while we waited for our bus to refuge. He really liked the bear and all the stuffed animals, which makes Jackson in general a great place for him.

It turns out it was a lot colder/windy down in the valley so we cuddled up (though Matthew didn't want his hands under the blankets) and headed out to the refuge.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and the tour and elk were fascinating to watch. There are about 7700 elk wintering on the refuge and there were probably around 2000 in the group near us for the feeding.

We also saw this mangy coyote with a band of 6-7 other coyotes. As we left they were scavenging a calf that had been standing as we started the tour. Hello circle of life.

That afternoon we were headed downtown to drool over the fossil/rock gallery but got distracted by a glimmer of blue sky since most of our trip the mountains looked a bit like this:

Instead of a short trip downtown we decided to chase down the Tetons and sunset and ended up taking quite a drive out to Jackson Lake. We never got a full Teton view, but the clouds moved enough that we could check out the tops and bottoms and all in all it was a gorgeous drive:


Anyway, because I hadn't really planned to be in the car for 2.5 hours with Matthew (who I later found out had a tummy ache) we needed to get a little creative keeping him entertained instead of driving me crazy. I had thrown a new toy in the car before we left and desperately found it when we pulled over for photos. Note to self: one should introduce the fun of dry erase markers unless able to supervise closely or you end up with this:

There was also marker on his legs (between his pants riding up and his socks) his hands, his carseat, his pants and his shirt. Even with all that most of the marker ended up on the board. Luckily, dry erase marker cleans up really easily and we're all back to looking new.

All in all, it was great to see Heather and even with the insanity of Matthew responding to a crazy schedule, getting sick and doing the whole single-parent travel thing, I had a ton of fun and am sooo glad that I didn't end up stuck in Ashton, ID, home of the world's largest seed potato management area as I feared would happen on Monday. Next time however, I won't mind if we have a Heather-Heather holiday someplace tropical as I'm kinda over the cold and bundling Matthew up all the time.

The roads/weather going back were even worse than my trip down with no additional help from Idaho, but at the very end of the trip, I managed to spot these two just outside Big Sky along the Gallatin River.



I think it's a far better picture than this umm, "moose" Heather and I zoomed in on and swore was moving when we were in Teton the day before :-) I think my "repaired" camera just likes the idea of moose because these two pictures are about the only time it would turn on correctly for me.




Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Exciting Weekend!

James and I have exciting (but unfortunately separate) vacations coming up next week. To prepare, James got his own small camera as a birthday present and I've been dutifully testing it out for him :-) Someone is highly interested in Daddy's new toy so I can get a lot of great up-close shots as he lunges for the camera.

On Saturday the local Symphony had their children's concert "Matthew Potter and the Tuba of Fire." I had to work so James took Matthew. According to James, Matthew was mesmerized by the whole thing the entire time, ranking it at or above Sesame Street in the hierarchy of things he finds awesome. I only wish there were more than one a year!

Afterwards James and I attempted our second movie date night this year but were thwarted by a sold out movie and then an extra long wait for a lane at the bowling alley. We skipped desert at the restaurant so we could make the movie, so we ended up just going for cake and coffee. It wasn't the night we planned but it turns out I married a very wonderful and interesting man and I really enjoy our time alone when we get it.

Unfortunately, somewhere this week, Matthew's picked up a cold or something so last night was a bit rough, leaving me even more rough this morning so we hung out in our PJs and loungewear today. Matthew and I both ended up napping through James floor hockey debut but it sounds like he had fun. Eventually I was able to coax a smile out of Matthew. . .


but I guess it's just time to say "Bye!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stuff around the house

Hey! Remember me?

Mommy and Daddy have had crazy weeks with work and life and everything inbetween, so I have mostly spent my days tearing apart the house and "hugging" the kitties which I'm learning more about each day. I got a new "toy" that mommy swears is a bed I should learn to sleep in before we travel. I disagree and think it makes a perfect play area.



It's makes swishy noises like my tunnel and is super fun.


In fact, 4 of my friends and my truck joined me in it the other day. Then most of my friends left and mommy and her friend found me hiding and pinned down by my girl friend E. Mommy's already starting to go grey just thinking about the consequences of raising such a handsome man.

And speaking of being a heartbreaker, check out my new favorite things: saying "Bye!" and blowing kisses. I'm not certain where I thought the bookshelf would take me, but I was ready to go!

Also, check out the adorable outfit grandma Dot sent. The adorable shot of me with the lego box on my head is just an added bonus :-)


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Painting, Waffles and Chores

Matthew continues to work on his thriving art career. As soon as we get past him trying to eat the paint I'm sure it'll be worth millions!

Much like the rest of the U.S. it's a lot cold and a little snowy here (or maybe everyone else got a little cold and a lot snowy). We had a very laid back weekend and tested out Matthew's new gift from grandma and grandpa Pozun.

Circus waffles were a BIG hit (you know, because Mr. Paint Eater is such a connoisseur)! I'm less fond of them because they're a pain in the butt to pour in the molds but they were the perfect size.

And here's a longer-ish video of Matthew and his chore of picking up the dog dishes in the morning. I wish I hadn't missed the "a ha!" moment when he realized June was done and he ran over for the dish. There's 20 secs. missing of Matthew just looking in the closet saying bowl. Unfortunately, much like unloading the dishwasher, Matthew has discovered the joy of clanging metal and the chore now takes longer than it used to. You can also observe the morning chaos of our house with a really noisy cat and 2-3 other pets who need to act like they are completely starved of attention. Enjoy!

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...