Each year, Phoebe’s new elementary school holds a fundraiser called “Laps for Lafayette.” They set up a quarter-mile track in the back field, and the kids run laps for 45 minutes. That morning, Phoebe said “Mom, you know we have Laps for Lafayette?” “Yep.” “My teacher said parents can come and run with us. Can you come?” “Today?” I said. “Let me see if I can make it work with my meeting.”
Fortunately, it worked with my meeting, and I had a great time running 2.25 miles with Phoebe and her good friend Kylie! The girls were impressive. It was a hot day, and they walked occasionally, but they kept their energy level high. (Hearing the songs they love from the radio station “The Party” helped.)
After walking home from the coffee shop, we stopped by Alicia Sanchez to get some produce from the community garden. The kids wanted to play on the playground. Phoebe discovered the delights of shocking me each time she slid down the slide. “Mom, get charged back up!” she’d cry, and shock my nose, my forehead, my belly, the tip of my finger… The unsung joys (??) of having children.
Well, we can’t believe it either, but Benjamin turned four last week! He had a really nice super hero party on Saturday, September 24—which happened to be Phoebe’s half birthday. I found a package of super hero capes and masks, so we gave him a little present on Saturday morning. A few friends came over for the party, and those of us who didn’t come in costume (grown-ups) borrowed Benjamin’s new capes and masks. We had molasses cake with buttercream icing (a delicious but very gooey recipe) and gluten-free orange cupcakes with orange buttercream icing.
After homemade mac and cheese for dinner, Benjamin opened presents from his friends, a few relatives, and the immediate family. He had such a great day!
Monday was his actual birthday. He doesn’t have preschool on Mondays, so he spent the day at Take-A-Break. We had a few friends over for our usual YABS get-together, and Benjamin ate pounds of spaghetti. After everyone left, he opened a box that had just come from Grandma and Grandpa Hazelton. He went to sleep wearing a new pair of shoes. Then he woke up in the night and switched, in the dark, to a different new pair of shoes. Then he woke up about three more times asking if he could get dressed. Still a shoe guy! A shoe guy who loves character tee-shirts.
He had such a great birthday, he’s been asking repeatedly if he can have his birthday again. Luckily for him, Grammie and Pappy are coming to visit soon, so we’ll celebrate once more!
Phoebe is taking four days of golf lessons this week, Monday–Thursday from 8–9 a.m. They’re held at Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield, about 10 minutes from our house. The course is lovely at that time of day! There are a few moms, dads, and little brothers hanging around while the kids practice. Phoebe says her coaches are funny, and I think it’s only going to take her another day to be driving the ball farther than I can usually manage. Well, okay…maybe two days.
We planned our first camping trip of the season for Memorial Day weekend (if you don’t count the aborted trip to Moab in May). We’d never been to Collegiate Peaks Campground, so we chose a site by looking at the little map and guessing which would be nice. We’d planned to drive out to the mountains after work on Friday, but the weather report suggested very cold temperatures and the possibility of precipitation, which sounded a lot like snow. We decided to give ourselves another day to pack by leaving on Saturday morning.
We got out of town around 9:30, after our usual breakfast of Santiago’s burritos at the coffee shop. The campground is only about three hours away, so we got there for a late lunch after a stop in Buena Vista for a cup of coffee. Our campsite turned out to be really nice! We set up the tent and played around the campsite all afternoon. Phoebe and I went on a bike ride around the campground, and we went on a few little walks. Dave had the brilliant idea to turn the other direction inside our tent, which means that the kids can sleep on the outside instead of head-to-toe in the middle of the two of us. Much roomier! We’ll need a new tent next year, but with the new configuration, we should be able to make this one work all summer. Those darn kids keep growing!
I’m getting tired of having hot dogs one night and pizzas the other, so I decided we should try barbecued meatballs this time. They weren’t much of a hit, so I guess I’m still looking. After a few days of meat and starches, I’m always craving vegetables!
Saturday night was pretty cold—in the 30s. As always, Dave and the kids were plenty warm all night, while I woke up shivering too many times to count. Benjamin didn’t sleep all that well either, but Phoebe could sleep through a train wreck. She had no idea he’d woken up screaming several times.
On Sunday Dave cooked us a lovely pancake-and-bacon breakfast. Once that was cleaned up, we packed up to head into Buena Vista for a bike ride. Dave and I had ridden the Midland Trail, which used to be a railroad grade, so we knew it was pretty flat and went through a few old railroad tunnels. A very good destination for the three of us on our bikes and Benjamin in the Chariot. We brought a picnic lunch and set out. The weather wasn’t perfect; it was windy, chilly, and threatening to rain, but it wasn’t too hot! Phoebe did a great job with her new bike, even shifting a few times as we rode along. We all really enjoyed the ride. Afterward, we went to the Buena Vista History Museum, since it was too cold to play outdoors. We saw lots of historical artifacts and a wonderful model train scene that depicted many of the old mining towns in the area.
By then it was dinnertime, so we went back to camp for our pizzas and mashed potatoes. I slept better that night, and Benjamin only woke up once. In the morning, I went for a run (although the altitude was a killer, and I ended up “ralking” most of the way uphill). The run down was nice and fast!
On the way back to Lafayette (sort of), we checked out St. Elmo, a ghost town in the mountains. It was a mining community, and the last permanent residents departed in the 1950s. Phoebe has long been fascinated by ghost towns, but she found it fairly scary and didn’t want to stay long. She didn’t realize the buildings were going to be crumbling. The drive home was uneventful, and it was a fun long weekend! Nice to spend more time together than usual.