Aug 30, 2011

Nick's First Day of Preschool

Nick started preschool and he loves it. He goes to the preschool program at Riverdale Elementary twice a week. He is in the fish room. School starts early at 7:45 AM. I know it's really not that early, but the kids and I are used to leaving the house at 9 at the earliest. So it's been an adjustment for me to wake up at 6 and then to have to wake the kids up and try to get them to eat breakfast and get dressed before 7:30. Not to mention the crazy parking situation around the school in the morning. Hence, not the best "first day" picture below. We barely made it in time and we were lucky to get a picture.

I'm glad that he likes school. He is always so excited to go - he just runs into his classroom and doesn't look back. I think preschool will be really good for him. And even though it is hard now, I am glad that we are getting an earlier start in the morning. Alli starts preschool in a week. She is doing an all girl co-op preschool with Lindsey and some new friends.

Aug 25, 2011

Camping at Mueller State Park

We decided early on in the summer to go on a camping trip this year. I am not the biggest fan of car camping, but with kids it's really the only option. We read an article about Mueller State Park and it sounded like a good place to visit - lots of family-friendly features (flush toilets, playground, walk-in tent campsites) and only 30 minutes from Colorado Springs. We made our reservations very far in advance because this place fills up quick.

The trip turned out way better than I expected. I hate to say that because it sounds like I have low expectations, but when it comes to car camping with kids, I guess I DO have low expectations! But, surprise - everyone had a great time and no major calamities. We all came home a little tired, but it was totally worth it to have some quality family time.

Day #1 - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
We heard wonderful things about this zoo from friends and it did not disappoint. I wouldn't say that it is better than Denver Zoo, it was just different. And different is a good thing when it comes to zoos because we go to the Denver Zoo a lot. Our favorite things at this zoo: feeding giraffes and seeing them up-close, all of the kid areas (caves, tunnels, playgrounds, petting zoo), and the amazing views of Colorado Springs.

Alli is petting a baby wallabee

Here is our campsite and our amazing camping dinner of grilled cheese and tomato soup, haha. I think that is actually one of the things that made this trip a sucess. We tried to keep things simple and easy so that we could do more with the kids. The next night we had campfire hot dogs. The campsite was nice because we walked in about 20 yard from the car. It was far from the road and gave us some distance from other campers.Day #2 - Garden of the Gods and Cave of the Winds

We drove around the Garden of the Gods and then did a short hike around the main area. The rocks are amazing and it was fun to see the rock climbers. Nick insisted that I take a picture of him and Alli in the "circle". Temperatures were in the mid 90's that day, so we weren't out hiking for too long.

We didn't get any pictures at the Cave of the Winds. Alli and Nick's favorite thing was this kid's cave maze thing. They went though it about 20 times while we waited for our turn in the cave. I think they liked the actual cave, but got a little bored about 30 minutes into the tour.The caves were big and fairly easy to navigate through. There were a few sketchy moments with me carrying a sleeping Kenna through 3'10" tunnels and very narrow and steep staircases (hence no pictures), but other than that it was a fun time.

Day #3 - Dragonfly Trail and Drive Home

We stopped at this children's trail on our way out of the park. Alli and Nick loved it. It was just the perfect trail for them. They got to read signs, see how far they could jump, go over bridges, and go through tunnels. So fun...I wish we had something like this close to our house.

This really was a fun trip. I think we will try to come back next year, maybe even with Courtney's family and my parents.