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The Jacobs’ Adventures in Denver

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Photos, Travel

Last Wednesday, I woke up super early, made myself a strong cup of coffee and took the girls to the airport for a 6:50 a.m. flight to Denver.  Ryan has been working every other week in Denver, and we had decided to join him this month for a mini-vacation.

Flying with the girls by myself is getting easier with practice.  Thank goodness for a good set of headphones and “Beauty and the Beast” on my iPhone – for Katherine, of course.  I have learned to ask for and accept help wherever possible.  The most helpful person was the security guard in Denver International Airport who noticed that the laws of physics prohibited me from steering the double stroller while also pushing a heavy suitcase.

The girls and I kept active during the days while Ryan worked. We enjoyed the downtown aquarium.  Its layout reminded me of the Gatlinburg aquarium (still the best in my mind) in the sense that you simply start walking and follow a path which takes you through all of the exhibits.  We loved the shark tank and spent quite a lot of time watching the sharks watch all of us.

Sharks in the shark tank

We did the whole aquarium restaurant experience, complete with aquarium walls and girls swimming in fins and bikinis (aka the mermaid show) while we ate our lunch.

We also went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which required a cab ride.  Katherine was almost as excited about the cab ride as she was to see the dinosaur bones I had promised she would see.  When we arrived, we found out that the planetarium’s show “One World, One Sky” was not only about to begin but that it was designed for preschoolers.  This was her first experience in a theater, and she handled it well.  Angela happily napped through the whole thing.

At this display, we were allowed to touch an actual dinosaur bone

And, yes, Katherine got to see dinosaur bones and even touch one at a display.  Katherine and I both loved seeing all of the fossils.

Just some of the skeletons on display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Other highlights during the week included sipping our Shirley Temples at the lounge on the 27th floor of the Hyatt next to our hotel and repeatedly visiting the Big Blue Bear.

Katherine loved playing around the feet of the Big Blue Bear

On Saturday, we rented a car and drove the Peak to Peak scenic byway from Central City to Estes Park, Colorado.  The scenery in the mountains was breathtaking.  Angela lost a sock at the Savory Cafe in Nederland, and Katherine lost her lunch by Lily Lake.  We did not get a lot of photographs during our drive, but here is one beautiful picture Ryan took.

View of a mountain from the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway

On Sunday, we had plenty of time before our early evening flight back to Columbus.  We walked around downtown Denver and enjoyed the festive atmosphere as crowds cheered on the bikers coming through town in the USA Pro Challenge bike race.  My favorite part was playing one of the pianos sitting in the middle of the 16th Street Mall.

Katherine and I played one of the public pianos on the 16th Street Mall

I just realized that I have not posted any pictures of Angela from our trip.  Below is a picture of her sporting her Ohio State gear at Croc’s Mexican Bar and Grill.

Angela loved sitting at the table with us at Croc's

Overall, we had a fantastic time in Denver.  It was a great family vacation!


The Weekly Photograph

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Children, Photos

Every week we have been taking Angela’s picture with Geoffrey the Giraffe so that we can track her growth over time.  I recently had the bright idea to include Katherine’s magna-doodle with Angela’s age in weeks.  Here is the 10 week-old picture.

Angela is 10 weeks old

Katherine noticed that I was using her magna-doodle and pitched a fit.  I mollified her by agreeing that it would be her turn next.  I couldn’t figure out how many weeks are in 2 years and 3 months, so I went with her age by years.

Katherine is 2 and a quarter years old

And, of course, after all was finished, she only played on the magna-doodle for about 15 seconds before losing interest and finding something else to do.  But at least it gave us a great photo op!

Our Short Trip to the Columbus Zoo

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I wanted to do something outside this morning with Katherine.  According to the weather reports, we are going to get quite a bit of rain for the next week or so.  Plus, since she’s still recovering from a stomach bug, I wanted to keep her away from play areas and exposure to other children.  We went to the Columbus Zoo for a couple of hours.  Here are the highlights of our quick trip.

1. Getting to the zoo early pays off.

We arrived just a few minutes after the zoo opened at 9 a.m.  Not only did we get rock star parking, but we had a head start on the hundreds of kids who later came on their school field trips.

2. Pack an extra outfit.

As I mentioned, Katherine is recovering from a stomach bug.  I found out once we arrived that she needed a change of clothes.  Thankfully, the zoo gift shop carries clothes in toddler sizes, so we did not have to go home and make it an even shorter trip.  It was a good reminder to have an extra outfit with us on our outings, even if it just stays in the car.

3. Keep the camera handy.

I got some great video of timber wolves, a brown bear, and the manatees.  Because I did not have the video camera handy at all times, I missed most of a confrontation between the adult male lion and two of the lionesses.  We had just viewed the lions and walked down the ramp when we heard quite a commotion – extremely loud roaring and growling.  We quickly returned to see what was going on, and they finished most of their quarrel while I was fishing my iPhone out of my pocket, turning it on and getting the camera app going.  I caught the tail end of their confrontation, and once I get my short video uploaded to smugmug, I’ll post a link.

I only took a couple of pictures at the zoo.  I was focused more on getting video.

Slightly blurry photo of the fish in the aquarium

Katherine gets excited to see the fish in the aquariums at Jack’s and PetSmart.  Imagine how intrigued she was with the large fish in the aquarium at the zoo.

Timberwolf roaming in the sunshine

Who’s Afraid of Santa Claus?

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Children, Photos

The answer to that question is easy:  our daughter Katherine.

People who have spent any time around Katherine know that right now she is friendly and unafraid of people. She lets herself be held by people she has just met.  At baby laptime last Monday, she crawled up to the library employee who led the session and demanded (in her nonverbal way) to be picked up and held.

I knew that the day would come when she would not easily greet a stranger.  Who knew that it would be jolly ole St. Nick himself?  I have never seen her cry around someone like she did when we handed her over to Santa Claus at the mall.  At least it is more memorable than if she had just grinned at the camera.

Katherine says she knows how Randy felt. Ho ho ho.

Katherine’s First Haircut

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Children, Photos

In my defense, Katherine’s hair was getting into her eyes.  If I just snipped about half an inch off of one lock of hair, it would be perfect.  One pair of scissors, one misjudged “half inch,” and one wiggly baby later, she had bangs in the shape of a lopsided V.  Off to Cookie Cutters we went, and they managed to fix the damage I had created.  Here is a picture of Katherine after her first real haircut.

Next time, leave the hair trimming to the professionals.

Halloween 2010

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Children, Photos

Katherine experienced her first Halloween tonight.  For those of you who are not in Central Ohio, you might be surprised to learn that Columbus schedules trick or treating for a Thursday night if Halloween falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  I think it is far more fun to have trick or treating on the actual Halloween day, but I have gotten accustomed to this odd Columbus practice.

Katherine wore the best type of costume – a free one!  This was thanks to her Grandma Jacobs, who passes around an adorable cow costume to her friends and family with babies.  Without further adieu, here are pictures of Katherine in her first costume.

The ears are my favorite part of the costume.

So this is where all of the candy will go.

And she's off!

If you look closely, you can see that the costume actually is a cow wearing a faux fur coat.

I just noticed how uninterested she looks in that last picture.  It certainly was cold, so we were not out for longer than 25 – 30 minutes.  I’m sure she’ll enjoy this more next year.

Edited to add, because I know her grandmothers will see this post …   The last picture does not show that she actually was wearing mittens.  This picture was taken right after we left the house, and I put them on her after the picture was taken.  I have witnesses.

A Morning at the Park

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Children, Photos

After Katherine got her flu shot from her pediatrician’s office, we headed to Homestead Park off of Cosgray Road.  I enjoyed strolling around the park, and Katherine – as always – loved the swings.

Quit taking pictures and get back to pushing the swing

How the Cat Gets Exercise

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Pets, Photos

“He needs to lose weight,” said the vet in his Hungarian accent.  Our cat Elvis has been carrying a bit too much weight on his Russian Blue frame.  The vet advised us to change his food to Science Diet Light and to make sure he got exercise.

Until mid-July, Elvis’ best form of exercise was chasing (and being chased by) our other cat Jacob.  Jacob has gone to live elsewhere, and we have a new way to make sure Elvis moves around:  Katherine in her walker.  It took her about a week or two to become proficient in her walker, but once she figured it out, she realized that she could use her newfound mobility to chase after her very favorite toy – Elvis.

Yesterday, I was able to catch a few pictures of such a chase.

Katherine is minding her own business in her walker.

Katherine spots her quarry.

Elvis is unaware that the chase is about to begin.

Game on!

I Love College Football

Football, Photos

I love college football.  This started when I first moved to Ohio and began dating Ryan.  As do so many others, we ensured that no home game was scheduled on our fall wedding day.  (It was the away game at Cincinnati in the 2002 season.)  I have been lucky enough to attend a few home and away games.

I hope Katherine will enjoy the college football festivities and games as much as we do.  My cousin Ildi passed down some Ohio State clothes which her daughter had worn.  Below are some professional photos taken of Katherine in early June, 2010 sporting her Ohio State gear.

Today’s Photo: Real or Fake Background?

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Katherine at Whetstone Park

One of the things I like about this photograph is that the hazy weather almost makes the background look fake, like one of those pull-down screens at the portrait studio with the sunflowers and rugged wooden fence.  It reminds me of my parents’ trip to Paris back around 2000.  My mom wore a beautiful bright red raincoat in most of their outdoor pictures.  Between the overcast weather and the color of the streets and buildings, it looked as though she had been green-screened into someone else’s Paris photographs.