Category: 2019

Skating in T-Shirts

Right after New Years, we headed back to the Gaylord Rockies to use the tickets for the things we had to miss out on over our Christmas stay. We totally lucked out and bought Cirque Dreams Holidaze tickets for a 60 degree January day. It was wonderful.

If you haven’t snow tubed or ice skated or bumper car’ed in 60 degrees, I highly recommend it. The Gaylord Rockies had a wonderful holiday fun package, and I’m already looking forward to booking it next year.

When we went back for the day to the Gaylord, the hotel was much less busy, and all of the fun things outside were totally manageable. Lines were short, and the staff made sure everyone moved through and did what they were supposed to do. While I’m bummed our Christmas stay was such a bust, we definitely wouldn’t have had as much fun doing all these outside things in the brisk 30’s.

We kept swapping between bumper cars and snow tubing, depending on which line was longer. Matilda and I took a break from the boys and did some ice skating. We heading inside for snacks and hit the pool side restaurant for the chicken nuggets I know my kids will eat.

We took a break for the Cirque show. It was incredible! But we learned that seat choices definitely matter. The seats were all on the same level, so the kids struggled to see over some heads. Next year, I’ll definitely spend more money for better seats.

We hit the s’more station at 3pm even though we weren’t staying at the hotel. Wilson tried his first s’more! And, believe it or not, he liked it. It got two sticky thumbs up.

After s’mores, we did one more round of everything awesome. We stayed until bedtime, soaking in the beautiful day and the unlimited passes of the tubing, bumper cars, and skating.

It was a wonderful day of family fun. I’m excited for a warm winter day next year to do the same.

No comments

A Weekend at the Gaylord

This year we had no Christmas plans. We knew we didn’t want to travel. I am a terrible cook. Our friends were busy. And then I found a screaming good deal at the Gaylord Rockies. I was pumped.

I planned this elaborate gift baskets that I’d set up in the room before the kids arrived. I bought snacks. I remembered swim suits and goggles and snow gear, to take advantage of the ticketed outdoor events that were going on. I was ready.

And then Matilda got the flu. Not the stomach flu, which everyone assumes you have. The legit Influenza B flu. Girl was down for the count. She missed a whole week of school, her Christmas concert, her holiday parties, her friend’s Nutcracker ballet. It was intense. But she got over it. She had 2 days to sleep and recover, everyone else was healthy. We were in the clear.

We check in. Wilson sneezes. I repress all memories of the last week and convince myself that we’re fine. It’s fine. He’s fine. We go to see ICE! It’s so fricken crowded I can’t even see the sculptures. Apparently all of Denver decided that December 23rd was the best day to stay at the Gaylord with us. Cool. (I mean, it’s like 9 degrees in there, so it was literally cool.)

We leave ICE! and Wilson is just done. Poor kid spikes a fever and just wants to go back to the hotel room. LUCKILY I had awesome swag bags waiting and a room full of snacks. SADLY I had just spent a bunch of money on this weekend and didn’t want to spend it inside our un-upgraded non-suite hotel room.

With Wilson down with what I assume was a very contagious Influenza B and us being at the hotel on what I assume is the busiest day of their year because it was packed, Matilda and I ventured down to the front desk to beg them to adjust our reservation. The only thing worse than being in a beautiful and fun hotel with a sick kid for one night was being there for 2. The staff at the hotel was amazing, she quickly adjusted our stay and offered any flu supplies we needed. We did what any other mother-daughter duo would do at a hotel with an expensive spa: we hit the pool.

The indoor pool at the Gaylord Rockies.

The pool is what I’m most looking forward to enjoying when we head back this summer! They have an outdoor pool with a lazy river, a huge indoor pool with a slide. It was pretty nuts for the holiday weekend, and a little chilly with the giant garage doors open, but it was fun while it lasted. I’m looking forward to the lazy river this summer, and the pool-side restaurant with chicken nuggets my kids both approve of, a small miracle in and of itself.

After the pool, we picked up the boys for free 3-5pm s’mores outside. Matilda had fun. Wilson ran around (the ibuprofen had kicked in by this point). It was crazy crowded, which I don’t think is the norm, but the staff was wonderful.

We had purchased tickets to snow tubing and bumper cars, but they let us reschedule them for the following week, when we were heading back for the Cirque show. Matilda and I sent the boys back to the room while we went ice skating.

Once everyone woke up, we at goldfish and animal crackers in bed until Build a Bear opened. We headed down to Mistletoe Village, made our bears, and then headed home for a lazy and quarantined Christmas Eve at home.

While we didn’t get to stay overnight, our second attempt at the holiday fun at the Gaylord, was much more successful.

Overall, I’m hoping that one day we’ll be able to go back without sick kids. Fingers crossed that the stars and room rates align for a summer stay. It’s a wonderful staycation, close to home with lots to do and a welcoming and accommodating staff to help with anything and everything you need.

One comment

We’re Waiting on Kindergarten

Wilson celebrated his 5th birthday in May. He’s five, completely eligible for kindergarten. He might even be ready, he definitely could be ready, if we pushed him. But it doesn’t matter, because he’s not going.

We’re waiting. Redshirting? Is that a thing if your kids don’t sport? If you just want to hold them back for a long list of emotional and life reasons? I’d say that it was a hard decision with a lot of thought and care, but it wasn’t. It was a really easy one.

He wasn’t ready. We weren’t ready. I wanted to give him the gift of time. Time to be a kid. To be silly. To write his name in Robot. To play and relax and spend his afternoons playing with trucks instead of learning letters. To have one more year of freedom.

Matilda was a young five when she started kindergarten. She was petite and so young, but all of her friends who were five were going. So we sent her, without hesitation. Until we realized that we just weren’t ready.

We moved a month into 2nd grade across the country. This was the perfect opportunity for us to take a step back. To catch up. To breathe deep and gain some confidence. We enrolled Matilda in the first grade. And we never looked back. It’s been so much of the best decision we could have made.

Wilson will be a full year older than most of his classmates next year. We’re spending all sorts of money on preschool this year, instead of free all day kindergarten. But we’re getting time. We’re getting confidence. We’re letting his little brain and emotions and social skills grow just a little slower.

And we’re really darn excited about this.

Sick Days

We’ve spent more time in the last 10 days in pajamas than in all of 2019 combined. I get that we’re only 3 months in to 2019, but we’ve had a lot of sick days.

Following our stir-crazy Snowbomb, we weekend’ed hard and ended up with a stomach bug.

We spent two days on lockdown, eating saltines and popsicles. We stayed in pajamas. We watched “The Little Prince” six times. We took a bunch of baths. I did 18 loads of laundry (and yet still have laundry to do…).

It was rough, you guys. We don’t rest. We don’t stay home. We don’t have lazy days. And we certainly don’t have FOUR in SEVEN DAYS. But we did. And it was hard and lonely. On the eve of a surprise roadtrip, it was stressful.

But here we are, 36 hours in the clear. Matilda just missed the 24 hour window for school, so the two of us spent the day together while Wilson went to a preschool program. We got our nails done. We got coffee. We played Zingo.

We played monsters and watched cartoons. We spent the afternoon soaking in the gorgeous warm sun.

It was a good day. But even good days end in desperate solo trips to Target once the husband gets home.

No comments

Snowed in in Denver

We’ve been told that Denver doesn’t do snow days. But we’re 2 days in to proving otherwise. This week we were hit with a snow bomb, and it was just as ridiculous as it sounds.

All of Denver closed down Wednesday. School canceled Tuesday night. We ran to the grocery store to buy ingredients to make goodies and have a pizza party. We woke up Wednesday preparing for a lazy day stuck inside. And the weather certainly accommodated that.

We ended up with 2 snow days. Thursday everything was such a mess, school was canceled again. It was much nicer than it was on Wednesday, but we laid low, played at home, and shoveled ourselves out.

By the time Friday rolled around, Wilson was definitely ready for Matilda to head back to school. And she was pretty jazzed to go see all of her friends after such a short week.

No comments

The Week in Review – Week One

One of my goals for 2019 is to blog more. To blog our boring adventures as well as our grand ones. I want to write for 10 years from now me, for 10 years from now Matilda (I really hope she reads these with fond memories and not pangs of embarrassment…)

Here we go. 2019, week one. I’ll run my weeks Monday-Sunday

December 31. We had a super mellow day, we stayed home and played Robot Turtles and some RushHour. We don’t normally hang at home, but some days it’s more needed than others. We had friends join us later for some more board games, including Don’t Rock the Boat. We cooked food (something we don’t do terribly often…) We unpacked from Christmas traveling and did some laundry. All those life things.

Denver Mom Photographer Lifestyle

We started 2019 with a bang flying parachutes at Stanley Marketplace. We ate ice cream at Sweet Cow. We laughed, we cried, we got a photo of the kids together.

Stanley Marketplace

I really, really wanted one family photo to ring in 2019. I meant to do it on New Years Eve, along with everyone else, but we just weren’t dressed in time. And better late than never, right?

January 2nd, we made it to Nature and Science Museum. January 3rd we hit up the zoo with friends, soaking in a surprisingly warm day. We learned to bring snow boots, despite the temperature, if it’s snowed recently. A minor oversight resulting in some wet toes.

We rocked our NickiChicki and soaked in that it was warm enough to ditch our coats in January.

Denver Colorado Zoo Family Fun

We checked out our new favorite bike park. The kids rocked their second attempt, and got brave enough to try some new courses. Wilson was a little more hesitant at first, but once he was ready, he was ready, as with everything he does.

Denver Family Fun City Biking

Saturday, we checked out the First Free Saturday at the Denver Art Museum. It was so busy, I think we’re going to spring for a dual membership (since kids are FREE and Matilda loves it there.

Denver Family Fun Lifestyle Photographer Denver Art Museum Dior

We went from the Denver Art Museum to the Dillon Ice Castles, and parked just in time to make our ticket window. We picked a warm day, the weather was pretty perfect. I think next time we’d skip a weekend date and leave work early one week day. The crowds were pretty crazy.

Dillion Colorado Ice Castles
Dillon CO Ice Castles

We wrapped up our weekend soaking in another gorgeous day biking the trails and open spaces around our house. I love all of these trails and didn’t realize how accessible things were by bike from our house! We can’t do MUCH but we can hit Starbucks, Reunion Coffee House, the grocery store, an Ace Hardware – all of life’s essential stops – by bike. I can’t wait to start biking Matilda to school when it’s consistently warmer. Sunday, we just biked to a new playground.