Hi All. I know it’s been like forever since I’ve added a blog post. Well today I’m making amends for that. Last weekend Jess and I took Phoebe for a little hike to Lost Lake. We packed a bunch of stuff into the car and drove up above Nederland in order to avoid some of the heat down in Boulder. As we approached the trailhead, we discovered it was a little overcrowded. We grabbed a nice roadside parking spot and Jess set to feeding the bottomless pit of Phoebe. I pulled out her kid-carrier backpack and changed into my hiking boots. The last time I tried putting Phoebe into the nice backpack she got from her Grandpa and Grandma Gribble, it was comic how large the seating compartment was in comparison to her tiny body. Even with the chin rest removed, she was practically buried in a deep hole and there were a good 3 inches of space between the shoulders and the harness in it’s smallest position. Jess didn’t think there was any way Phoebe would fit into the backpack yet, but I wanted to try again anyway. The last time it was pretty close. While she still sits down a bit, she can see out pretty well, and although there’s still a bit of space in the shoulder harness, it was clear she wouldn’t fall out. And best of all, unlike the last time I tried the backpack out, she was all smiles.
It was a little awkward shouldering the pack without upsetting Phoebe, but in short order we were off and hiking. Initially there were a few low-hanging branches to worry about, but luckily Phoebe is a bit on the small side and well protected by the back and sides of her, ahem, mobile throne. Not long after leaving the trailhead, we realized that while we had a whole host of snacks and things for Phoebe, we forgot to bring any water or food for ourselves. We decided to go for a shorter hike than we’d planned in order to avoid catastrophic parent dehydration and Jess’s bigger fear, starvation.
Along the way, we passed a number of hikers, most of whom thought Phoebe looked adorable in her new backpack. I had to get Jess to frequently check on the little tyke, as it made me slightly dizzy to turn my head far enough to see 1/2 of her head and one of her eyes out of the corner of my vision. She managed to blark a few times along the hike, which is becoming somewhat common at altitude. So much for being a native! Or maybe it’s all the uncontrollable bouncing.
Up at the lake we took a few photos and pulled Phoebe out of the chair for a little fun time. Jess provided a little snack and we had fun watching a nice doggy fetch sticks from the lake. We also spotted a nice hollow log that Phoebe enjoyed posing in once dad brushed out all of the little droppings. We put on a little more sunscreen and saddled up for the hike back down to Luna (that’s right, we finally settled on an name for the new car). Since it has a moon roof, we came up with this predictable and boring name.
On the way back to the car, I came up with a terrific way to combat our growing thirsts and hungers (Phoebe excluded). We’d stop by this “new” smokehouse and microbrewery in Ned for a plate of fries and something to drink. I was going to try a nice cherry wheat, but they had just run out when we arrived. I settled on some soda and Jess happily downed some root beer. The fries were tasty and really hit the spot.
Since we were supposed to meet up with Ben, Elijah, and Christina for a little soccer and were already a bit late, we packed up and drove back down the canyon to the heat of Boulder. When we arrived at the soccer field, we discovered that our friend Jehanne and Ben and Christina’s new neighbor Claire were already playing a little two-on-two, so we joined in for a little aerobic exercise. After an hour or so, we packed up and headed home to watch the Steelers-Broncos pre-season game. All told, it was a very fun weekend.
I’ve been looking forward to the past two weeks since about six months before Phoebe was born! We wanted to wait as long as we could before putting her into daycare, and I had three months of maternity leave from work. We decided that Dave would spend two weeks of his yearly vacation at home with her once I went back to work full time. Then we recruited! Grandma and Grandpa Hazelton agreed to come out for a week during the third week of July. And Grammie and Pappy took the last week of July. That provided a weekend of overlap, which was the perfect time to baptize Phoebe.
My mom, known as Grandma Hazelton, is also known as the Reverend Elizabeth Hazelton. We wanted Mom to baptize Phoebe, her first grandchild, so we checked it out with our church and found that Mom was welcome to both preach and baptize. Our dear church friend Gladi is on the worship music team, so she helped plan the service. Dave was signed up to play his sax and our friend Katie would play clarinet.
We even got the talents of Bruce Hoelter and the Halftones! Many of us staunch Lutherans love A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, so we included that along with some of the traditional baptismal hymns. One of them, Go, My Children, with My Blessing was sung at our wedding by my friend Adam. And the tune was sung to my brothers and me every night, with different words. So we were expecting a very meaningful worship service. We also had the joy of several more family members in attendance: my aunt Martha flew out for the occasion, our honorary family the Otts (Jennifer, Lee, and Alexander) were able to come, and Dave’s dad Dave and his wife Sandy (Grandma and Grandpa Gribble) drove their new car all the way here! Phoebe is a lucky little girl—well loved by our birth families as well as our Colorado church family and assorted friends.
But let me back up. Grandma and Grandpa Hazelton arrived on Friday, July 16. Dave went to the airport to get them while I put Phoebe to bed and worked on grading final papers. It was so good to see them! Grandma immediately went up to take a look at the sleeping Phoebe. Saturday morning, they were up early, ready to play.
On Saturday, I had time to finish grading my papers even though we went into town and walked around the Boulder Farmer’s Market. We picked out some vegetables for a stir-fry and ate lunch in the market. It was such a hot day! But Phoebe successfully ate some milk from a bottle, beginning a streak that would continue throughout the week. (Thank goodness! It had really stressed us out that she wouldn’t eat during Dave’s two weeks with her.) On Sunday, we went to the early service and then hung around waiting for Dave to finish playing during the second service. (It was Latin American Sunday, so he was playing his sax.) It felt great to be done with my Phoenix classes! I was actually able to enjoy the day off. Some other highlights of the week included Grandma’s sixtieth birthday. We went out for dinner at Hapa, a Japanese restaurant in downtown Boulder. Then she opened her presents: a Kindle DX and the case for it. Pretty cool! One night, we had chicken paprikash for dinner (thanks, Grandma!) and on another we had a pot roast. Grandpa, Phoebe, Dave, and I went down to open mike night on Wednesday, and we ate Chinese one night. My parents just loved spending time with Phoebe! Every morning she woke up her usual cheerful self, thrilled to swipe at Grandpa’s fuzy (moustache in Slovak) and drool all over Grandma’s shoulder.
Jennifer, Lee, and Alexander planned to come over on Friday night when they arrived in Denver, but they got caught in some bad weather in Chicago and spent three extra hours in the airport. We spent the evening grocery shopping and thinking about what we’d need to prepare for dinner on Saturday and the party on Sunday. Saturday morning we all got up and started chopping and cooking. The Otts came over in the morning and we heard from Mom and Don that they were also stuck in bad weather in Chicago, so they’d be at least a few hours late. Dad and Sandy were still on the road, and Martha was going to see the Garden of the Gods before coming over.
So we had some time to work on the food. When everybody started arriving, we hung out on the deck. We made hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner and ate the potato salad Grandma had put together. We also had strawberry rhubarb pie—thanks to Sally at work for the rhubarb, already cut up! We had fun playing with Alexander in the yard. He seemed to have the best time pushing choke cherries through the gaps in the deck floor. Everybody dispersed to their hotels for the night.
On baptism day, my dad drove Mom and Dave to church for the 8:00 a.m. service, and then came back for Phoebe and me. I actually got to sleep in for an extra hour or so! I gave Phoebe a bath and we got ready for church. I had bought myself a new outfit, which I don’t do very often, so it was fun to get dressed up. We got to church in plenty of time and put Phoebe into the baptismal gown and bonnet that Grandma Hazelton made her.
The service was exactly what I had hoped for all those months! We were surrounded by our family and our Colorado family—the kids came up to watch the baptism, so Phoebe’s friends were all nearby.
Mom’s sermon was enjoyed by the whole congregation, and we both got a bit choked up during the baptism.
(Phoebe cried until the part in which the water was splashed on her head. She’s always loved her bath, so I wasn’t too surprised that she didn’t mind having a wet head!) After church we took a bunch of photos and then headed home.
A short video of Phoebe’s baptism.
Mom, Dad, and I pulled together five quiches and a savory bread pudding in the kitchen while guests arrived. (Thanks, Susan and Marpoo, for your help with the food!) We had a fruit salad, pickles, olives, and cheese, deviled eggs, and peanut butter squares. Quite the feast! Phoebe wore a dress that Dave’s Grandma Hoot crocheted. She looks gorgeous in peach. However, she slept through much of her party. Everything wound down by evening. The Otts left for the airport and our friends for their houses. Some of the relatives headed to their hotels. We sank into the couches with relief. It had been the perfect day I had imagined!
On Monday morning, Dave and I drove our new car (as yet nameless) to get Grammie and Pappy from the hotel.
They drove us to work and then went to the house to do the baby handoff with Grandma and Grandpa Hazelton. I got to see Mom, Dad, and Martha again for lunch, and then we said goodbye. They were headed up to NCAR and then to the airport. Monday night we had dinner and the Gribble grandparents stopped by to hang out for a while. The rest of the week was really nice. We had dinner at Tutti on Tuesday with both sets of grandparents, and then Dad and Sandy were headed home via Mount Rushmore. Grammie did some cooking for us: a yummy pasta and vegetable dish one night and marinated chicken with broccoli the next. We finally made it to Efrain’s for dinner on Friday—that’s a particular favorite! Grammie and Pappy had a ball spending time with Phoebe. They went on walks, headed to the coffee shop, and played in the farm for hours. We were sad to see them go on Saturday morning, and while they’ll certainly miss Phoebe, they’ll be glad to get back to their normal-sized bed! Dave had a rehearsal at church, so I drove them to the airport. We came home and I took a nap. (It had been kind of a hard night—Phoebe’s schedule is a bit off, due to teething and guests, we think.) We had dinner and Henry’s first ice cream cone with the Johnsons.
Today is Sunday. Dave played his sax at the African service at church and Phoebe and I took the bus home. My uncle Lee happened to be working at his Denver office this week, and he had some extra time, so he came over. It was great to see him! We don’t get to very often.
And here we are. Phoebe starts daycare tomorrow. She’s probably more ready for that than Mommy. I’ve been missing her during the day! But she’ll enjoy making friends and I’m enjoying being back at work and doing grownup stuff again. It’s amazing to think that five months ago, we’d never met Phoebe, and now she’s a chubby, happy baby, ready to start daycare! Change never ceases, so we just keep trying to keep up.
We haven’t had much chance to write this week. Dave’s mom is visiting and she’s been hanging out with Phoebe while I get a few things accomplished…none of which have been the blog!
On Tuesday of this week, Phoebe was sitting in her bouncy chair when Dave walked past behind her. She turned her head to watch him walk by! Just the beginning of a list of exciting baby developments… She can see the elephants hanging above her pack-n-play and at least one of the photos we have hanging in the living room. Most of the time, though, all she sees is the inside of her eyelids or something that is not the source of food…aaaahhh!
Wednesday morning was a little stressful. The three of us drove into Boulder to get a tire we were storing put onto Taco to replace one that was really bald. The guy at Discount Tire said that they couldn’t do it and that we’d have to buy two new tires. So we did that and Dave rushed off to catch the bus to work. Phoebe and I went over to Starbucks to wait for the car to be ready. We left a little late and Grammie was already waiting with her bag when we got to the airport. We headed home so that she could get properly acquainted with Phoebe (not in the carseat!). We hung out at home that afternoon and went to pick Dave up at work. I’d made a lasagna for dinner, which was delicious, but it didn’t seem to agree with Phoebe, who suffered through a tummy ache that night. We went over to Cannon Mine coffee shop for open mike night, which Dave and I always enjoy and Grammie really liked too.
On Thursday Grammie and I hung out at home in the morning with Phoebe and then went to the post office and to meet Dave for lunch. We ate at Serrano’s near his work and then split back up. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get some ingredients for a delicious variation on strawberry shortcake that Grammie proposed: a filling/topping made of vanilla pudding, cool whip, and pineapple chunks. Yum! I had time for a nap in the chair with Phoebe while Grammie did a bit of work.
Katie came for dinner (no-peek chicken) and we had shortbread cookies with pineapple and strawberry topping. Grammie and I had more time to chat and to go on a short walk around the neighborhood while we waited for Dave to get home. We had a couple of packages to open. Grammie sent all sorts of cool stuff…totally adorable baby clothes in bright colors for Phoebe, a fabulous care package for me (bath salts, body wash, a nice shirt, all in a great bag), a really cute organic stuffed bear for Phoebe, and this book:
Then we watched a taped episode of Bones and hit the sack. (Babies are exhausting!)
On Friday we did our newly established morning ritual of tea, breakfast, and coffee. Dave had decided to take half a day off, so we picked him up at 1:00 p.m. and had some lunch at ModMarket, which I’d been wanting to try. The salad and flatbread pizza were very good! We went to REI looking for the Deuter Kid Comfort III backpack and discovered that not only is it out of stock at the warehouse, they can’t back order it. So I guess we’ll have to keep our eye on it and wait for the next 20 percent off sale. We had leftover lasagna for dinner and watched an interesting movie, Surrogate, with Bruce Willis. Despite my enjoyment of it, I fell asleep near the end.
On Saturday, Dave had to rush over to the coffee shop to work on some music he needed to transpose. Grammie, Phoebe, and I met him in time for our usual Santiago’s burritos and coffee. Then we all headed over to church. Dave practiced for the memorial gospel concert he’s playing in, and we listened. I walked over to get more coffee and ran into my coworker Andrew’s mom, who was in town babysitting Tilley while Andrew and Maggie moved apartments. She stopped by to meet Phoebe and we chatted about babies for a few minutes. Tilley is already more than 10 pounds! After listening to Dave practice, we went over to the farmer’s market, but left pretty quickly because it was raining. We ended up at Amante for more coffee (I know…it’s an addiction!) and to feed Phoebe, who had slept a lot and ended up starving. We came home and she ate some more before we went to Efrain’s for dinner. (Don, we owe you dinner!) After Efrain’s, it was back to the coffee shop to hear some music. There was a group with a cello—my favorite—and we sat in the back room and had time to talk. At home, we watched some Legend of the Seeker and went to bed.
This morning we skipped church to get some extra rest. Dave was supposed to teach Sunday school, but got home early due to a scheduling mixup. I had the pleasure of making waffles for Grammie and me—Dave doesn’t like them, so I’m always looking for someone to feed them to. Then, alas, we had to take Grammie to the airport. It was so nice for me to have grown-up company during the week, and Grammie just adored Phoebe…she’s a lucky little girl, with very devoted admirers! We’re looking forward to seeing Grammie and Pappy in July when they come for a week of babysitting and Phoebe’s baptism. Now we’re at Cannon Mine again after lunch, a brief nap (for Phoebe and me), and some hockey on TV.
Here’s a video of Phoebe from this morning…she had the hiccups, which she hates, but she was in a pretty good mood anyway.
On Wednesday, Phoebe had her two-week pediatrician’s appointment. Grandma and Grandpa came along and read the literature in the waiting room while poor Phoebe was stripped naked, weighed, measured, and inspected. She had her hips rotated, eyes checked, and heel pricked. She was not too pleased. But she’s growing! She’s 20 1/4 inches long (up from 19 3/4 at birth), which is in the 75th percentile. She weighs 8 lbs, 10.5 oz (a 6-ounce gain, putting her in the 50th percentile). And her head is 35.56 cm, also in the 50th percentile. Good job eating, little girl!
Wednesday afternoon I had my own doctor’s appointment, which went well. Phoebe came with me and ate three times while I was talking to the midwife! We did a diaper change and headed home for Grandma’s spaghetti—yum!
Thursday was a busy day. We went to Pharmaca to get even more prescriptions filled and then met Dave at work to go for a walk around the lakes. We ordered Chinese for dinner and then Dave had to go to band, so Mom and Dad and I had time to sit and chat.
On Friday we headed over to Babies R Us to look at cribs. We were going to use my old crib, but Mom and Dad read some literature at the pediatrician’s office that made it sound like we should get a new one. I didn’t want one of those massive cribs, but we found and ordered something called a mini crib that won’t take up so much space and dwarf our little baby! Then we went to Lowe’s to get materials to fix our loveseat, which has been sagging almost to the floor when it’s sat upon. After that we met Dave for lunch at Cafe Blue. I had to stay behind and feed Phoebe in the car at Eltron, but when I got home I helped fix the chair. It was awfully sad to see Grandma and Grandpa go back to Ohio, but we’ll look forward to seeing them again in July.
Three minutes of Phoebe hanging out this morning (Saturday).
Ski Magazine published an editorial a while back where the writer was ticked-off about living in Boulder. Sure, it was tongue-in-cheek, but it was pretty accurate. And it’s true, Boulder doesn’t have a doughnut shop anywhere in town! That’s why it was funny. The truth is that everyone in Boulder is pretty much lame in comparison to someone else. The town, and even the county, is so full of extreme athletes, you can hardly throw a stone without hitting someone who climbs 5.14 or kayaks class V+ or holds the current U.S. pro cycling title. In general, merely competent athletes aren’t even also-rans in Boulder.
Case in point: Yesterday I had a rare day off while Jess had to work, so I decided to go for a long mountain bike ride. I’m not a big fan of driving to trailheads, but there really aren’t any trails very near the house. This is unfortunate, because there’s plenty of amenable terrain. Nevertheless, I decided to try riding the new Picture Rock trail that opened last year connecting Heil Valley Ranch to Hall Ranch in nearby Lyons. For years Super Hall Ranch has been a standard ride where you leave from Boulder and ride to Lyons before tackling Hall Ranch. Of course you ride back when it’s all finished, with perhaps a stop by Oscar Blues for beer and a burger.
My plan was a bit more ambitious because I was going to leave from Lafayette and combine Heil Valley Ranch with Hall Ranch and a lot more road. The first 15 miles went by pretty uneventfully, landing me at the Amante Coffee in North Boulder. On the weekends, this is possibly the most popular rendezvous spot for groups of cyclists (road and mountain alike), heading off into the mountain roads west of town. While I was sitting outside enjoying a mocha and some biscotti, up rode a former coworker, and current domestic pro cyclist, Tom Zirbel. You may have heard of him. We had a nice chat. He’s house shopping with his girlfriend between training and racing. Yesterday he was doing some motor pacing, where you ride fast (really fast if you’re Tom) behind a motorcycle.
Shortly thereafter, one of Tom’s teammates rode up, and since I’d finished my drink, I started up the canyon towards the trailhead. After a mile or two of riding, I was about to catch a pair of road cyclists when Tom’s teammate passed me like a bullet shot out of a gun. I looked down for a minute, and when I looked back up again he was about a mile down the road. Grant you, I was on a mountain bike with 2.4″ knobby tires, but I was still doing around 20 mph. Another minute later, I heard a motorcycle closing in on me. Tom shouted to get on (the pace line), and for a second I thought about doing just that, but there was no way. Even on the road bike it would have taken everything I had available to hang for even a mile.
After another 8 miles, I’d reached the trailhead just off Left Hand Canyon Road. From there, it’s about 2.5 miles of rocky climbing to reach the upper loops. Part way around the loop you then come to a junction with the Picture Rock trail that takes about 5.5 miles of almost exclusively downhill riding into Lyons. The new trail is a bit rocky at the top, but turns into some really fun singletrack in the latter half. There are even a few colorful bits of art (if you can call a rusted old bullet-riddled car art) to check out along the way. There are also a bunch of deer. Clearly they’re quite accustomed to people, because they weren’t the least bit fazed by my presence.
At the oposite trailhead, in Lyons, my day’s mileage was at about 34 miles (about 10 on dirt). When I packed for the day’s ride, the pantry was bare. Normally we have a few Clif Bars sitting around, but there just wasn’t anything to bring on the ride. At that point, I was super hungry, so I found a little pizza shop in Lyons and gobbled down their lunch special (2 slices and a fountain drink). My legs felt pretty good, but my butt was pretty sore. I have a long-term rant about bike shops not selling seats properly. There’s no good way to tell if a seat is going to work well for a rider unless you log some time atop it, preferably on your own bike. Therefore, my seat is less than ideal, and after a few hours and 30+ miles, so is the comfort level of my derrier.
At any rate, I needed to get home to shower and meet Jess for Good Friday service at church. Since I wasn’t wearing a watch and have no cyclometer on the mountain bike, I wasn’t sure what time it was. Nevertheless, the sun was out now, so I could tell it was well past noon, maybe 3:00. I would have to pass on Hall Ranch and just ride back to Lafayette instead. I took a slightly different route, and made it back to the house by about 5:30. In total, it was about 6 hours on the bike and about 60 miles of riding for a pathetic 10 miles per hour average. I’ll have to ride Super-Duper Heil Ranch again some day and see if I can improve my time.