Monday, March 24, 2014

The last few weekends...

We hung out with Julie's family in Buena Vista a few weekends ago.  Her cousin Allen has a house out there, so when they make it from Texas we try to go visit them.  The whole family was there, and Noah got to see his cousins from that side of the family again.  Allen's three kids played really well with Noah, they shared great with him, built towers of blocks for him to knockdown, and generally had a great time with him.

Ashley took this great picture of Noah's favorite face
The boys figuring out how to build something really cool
Playing with his Texas cousins

The next weekend my Mom watched the kid for us and we had a nice date night up in Denver.  We went to a wine place in an industrial part of town called Balistreri.  The wines were excellent and we figured out that they had a few festivals during the Summer and Fall that we should come back for, including one where kids can stomp grapes!  Noah just has to be a bit bigger, and out of diapers first!  We then hit up the new Trader Joe's in town, and their new liquor store, and then went to a nice Italian dinner.  We were both a bit under dressed for that restaurant, but they served us anyway and we had a very nice time.

Enjoying our wine in the cellar
They are a small winery compared to most, so this is all of their barrels
Since we spent the last few weekends away, we took a nice weekend and spent it at home. I enjoy cooking things from time to time, so Julie found some recipes she wanted to try and we went at it.  Saturday night we had maple glazed salmon with a quinoa salad full of tomatoes, avocados, and green onions.  It was excellent.  The next day I made beef bourguignon in Julie's favorite dutch oven pot from Le Creuset.  

The beef stew, it had lots of bacon in it! 
Noah also enjoyed the weekend, we didn't go to the park this weekend because it snowed again, but we got lots of playing done inside.  Not too much to report here.

He is a silly player sometimes
Grandpa Klecker showed him this trick, one of his favorites now!
When he explores he'll get stuck sometimes and need extraction! 

An update

He had his latest checkup last week and everything went fine except he had another ear infection so we had to postpone his vaccination shots a week. He came in still in the 10% percentile for weight and he is in the 40th percentile for height. 

We expect him to start standing and walking on his own any day now.  He will stand for half a second and then slowly go into a squat and then crawl everywhere.  He loves to walk back and forth with his lion walker he got for his birthday, it is a big upgrade from his cardboard boxes.  If you hold his hands while he is walking he takes off running.  I am not sure I am ready for him to start walking, but at the same time I know he is going to love it!  Also, once he starts walking he is really going to start getting into everything he can find, he loves to take things out of anything!  And, once he starts walking, he will get to move up to the toddler class at daycare, and they are very excited to welcome him to the next class.  They move them when they start walking so they don't trample over any tiny 6 week old babies on accident.  He is eating really well and is drinking a cocktail of whole milk and formula.  We are hoping to get him off formula in the next few weeks as long as he keeps digesting it well!   

He enjoys taking things out
We have tried to take him to the park a few times, he is warming up to the slide, but he is still not a fan of swinging at all.  We even had him swinging next to a nine month old girl for a little bit and he starred at her and then started crying.  Hopefully by this summer he will love it!   


No thanks Mom! 
Enjoying the slide a bit more than the swing

His stats from his appointment were - weight - 19.6 lbs, height - 29 inches.  We still call him Noah Pants, Pumpkin, Little Guy, Kiddo, Noah Noah Noah Noah, Mister, and Pumpernickel.

All smiles here!

Hobbes helps make the Dr's office a bit easier to handle

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

TWD: Buttermilk Scones

Finally we have a computer up and running again so I get to participate in this weeks recipe!  And scones are one of my favorite things so it is a double bonus!  You can check out all the groups finished products at Tuesdays with Dorie.

This recipe was simple enough to mix up that Noah slept the whole time I made them, ate them, and wrote this blog!  It started with a basic mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Then you cut butter into the mixture, and added buttermilk and lemon or orange zest.  I picked orange because orange plus scones equals yum!  The recipe had two methods for baking them, you could cut triangles and coat them with butter and sugar on top, or you could roll out the dough coat with butter, sugar, and chopped dried fruit or just use jam, and then roll them  up and slice them.  I went with the chopped dried fruit, which was cherries!

I think these turned out great.  I think the layer of butter, sugar and fruit made them extra delicious and I ate two in about twelve seconds, dang those hot pastries.


mmm butter
orange zest

topped with butter, sugar and cherries

the finished product!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Iceland

As mentioned earlier, we were in danger of losing all of our Iceland pictures to a failed hard drive.  The lesson is to back up early and often!  Fortunately, we got them back, so here goes!

We went to Iceland!  In December!  With only 4 hours of sunlight!  Yeah, when you say it like that, it doesn't sound like a great idea, but it really was a great trip.  We found a deal online to go to Iceland to see the Northern Lights and stay in Iceland for 4 days.  Julie's parents and my parents took turns watching Noah while we were gone, he probably would have been really cold if he came!

We took off from Denver in the late afternoon on Sunday, and landed in Iceland on Monday morning.  We checked into the hotel to take a nap and eat some breakfast, and we hit the town after that.  We got a bit lost at first, but found the big church in town and walked along the main shopping street in town.

The church has a big statue of Leif Erickson outside
The Church was mostly gray except for the organ pipes
A row of houses from the Church Tower
If you look real closely, you can see the Noodle Station, where we ate
The new opera house in Iceland
That night was our Northern Lights boat cruise, and we were super lucky to catch them right before the tour was over.  It wasn't as green as it looks in pictures, they say that the camera does a better job capturing the colors than your eyes do.  Despite that, the ribbon of color stretched across the sky and danced around.  It was wonderful.  Unfortunately we were on a boat, so pictures were entirely impractical.

After our boat cruise, it was chilly! 
The next day we had scheduled a long tour of the Southern coast of Iceland. This tour included a hike on a glacier, a tour of a viking museum, a lamb stew dinner, a few waterfalls in the area and a drive around to try to find the northern lights.  We stopped at Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano that shut down Europe in 2010, and found out that the farmers at the base of the volcano didn't evacuate!  Crazy!

The glacier hike was amazing and probably one of the highlights of the trip, but we didn't get to see the Northern lights this night.  That's a shame because we had our tripod ready for pictures!

The volcano is up to the left, these farmers didn't evacuate! 
Julie geared up for the hike
The moon over the glacier
A neat tunnel in the glacier we got to hike through
Our last full day in Iceland didn't have any plans, so Julie found a nice local pool for us to go visit.  The pool has hot mineral spring water in it.  There is a main pool with a basketball hoop, a few waterslides and pool toys in it.  The side pools were all hotter, and labeled by their temperature.  The hottest ones were a bit too hot for me, but the whole trip to the pool was wonderful.  We spent the rest of night shopping, packing and ate some Icelandic dishes, like puffin and lobster.

A neat statue on the bay
The next day we flew out, but not before a stop at the outdoor hot spring called the Blue Lagoon. We had found out earlier that it was heated by waste water from the geothermal plant next door, so that kind of took the excitement out a little bit.  It was also incredibly windy the entire time we were there, which made being out of the water a bit miserable.  The Blue Lagoon was fun, but I think I liked the pool in Reykjavik better.  Unfortuantely we then boarded the plane and headed home.  On the plane we met a nice Norwegian guy named Liev (like Leif Erikson, just with a 'v') who was visiting the US for the first time.  We told him about Chipotle and the local brewery in Breckenridge!

The Blue Lagoon, it was super duper windy
We had a great time in Iceland, and wouldn't mind going back in the future...just in the Summer next time! 

Noah's 1st Birthday!

Wow, it kind of seems that we haven't posted anything to here in a while.  The main hard drive on our computer died, and we were in danger of losing all of our pictures in Iceland and most from the last half of 2013.  Fortunately I was able to work some magic and got them all back.  So we should now be able to catch up on some of the posts that we missed.

But our little guy turned 1 year old today!  We can't believe how much he has grown and this first year has really flown by.  To celebrate his big day we had a little party for him with the grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and his cousins.  We got some BBQ and baked some potatoes for lunch and we made some dipped marshmallows to snack on. 

Julie made a banner for Noah!
His favorite set of books are the Little Blue Truck books.  He will pull those out of a pile of books and sit politely until one of us reads them to him.  So Julie made some cakes in the shapes of trucks and we decorated them to look like the Little Blue Truck!  I don't know if Noah really noticed, but he seemed to like the cake once he figured out how to eat it!

One of the trays of cars
Noah's Birthday Cake
He is a bit skeptical at first...
...but then he gets after it! 
He was unsure how to open the presents, but his cousins helped him out
And he had a great time playing with his cousins and all of his new toys
One of our neighbors' cars broke down, so he had it towed.  This grabbed the attention of the cousins for several minutes.
The cousins watching the action
We had a great day and Noah had so much fun he slept for over 2 hours in the afternoon!  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Texas!

Thanksgiving meant it was time for Noah to take his first plane ride and head down to Texas to see Julie's family. Julie and I were a bit nervous taking Noah on the plane, we didn't know how he would react to the plane, the people, and everything around him.  Fortunately, he did great through it all and it gives us more hope for taking him on trips in the future.

Enjoying the United Club
Watching the clouds and sleeping soundly
We apparently picked great times to fly because both the Denver and Dallas airports were relatively slow when we went through.  In fact, there was no line at all to get through security at DFW!  Noah enjoyed looking around the airport and seeing everything going on.  He also enjoyed the planes and he took nice long naps on both flights and just played quietly the other times.  Great job kid!

The tradition of us picking up the Greenberg turkey continued this year, but the cold weather reduced the number of folks who wanted to come with us.  The weather also turned away many of the other people picking up their turkey, so there was no line to get our turkey this year!  The other tradition of Bodacious BBQ continued this year, we picked it up and ate it with the Lambs.  It was great!  It signaled the beginning of the festival of eating in Texas!

Picking it up in the rain!
The first tradition was the Tamale dinner at Uncle Gary and Aunt Donna's house.  They made soup and a very tasty Butterfinger pie, it was an awesome night.  Noah played with his cousins in the middle of the floor, and just had a great time.  We ate the Greenberg at Thanksgiving at the Lambs, along with just about every traditional Thanksgiving side you can think of.  All of it was amazingly tasty.  Thanksgiving at the Reeds was also great, Gary smoked the turkeys for hours and hours.  The turkeys made the whole house smell like wonderful BBQ, and the meal was fantastic.  

Great-Grandpa Lamb playing with Noah
Reading a book with his Grandpas
Checking the structural integrity of that doll house
After-Thanksgiving walk around the lake
There is another Tyler Thanksgiving tradition, but this one doesn't involve food!  It is the Tyler Turkey Trot and takes place on Thanksgiving morning, so you can earn that turkey!  A good group of us did it this year, including Reagan! 

The Tyler Turkey Trot group shot
We unfortunately left the next day, but Julie's cousin Rachel suggested that we get some BBQ with them before our flight took off and we could not turn that down!  They knew a place close to the airport called Hard Eight that was supposed to be great, and it certainly was.   They sell their meat by the pound, then you pick some sides and desserts and enjoy.  You walk into the place through a wall of hickory smoke and it smells great.  I think we even filled the plane with the smoke smell from our clothes!  We got some brisket, ribs, and spicy sausage, and it was all great as advertised.

A giant, open pit of meat. Yes please.
We had a wonderful time in Texas, and can't believe that it went so fast. Look forward to taking Noah back again!  We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving of your own!