Category Archives: Family

Exploring Around Home (WooHoo – 100 Posts!!)

Today I did something a little different and decided to take Matthew out & have fun somewhere we hadn’t been yet – the Children’s Museum down in Denver. Before my crazy Googling last night, I thought that the Children’s Museum was aimed more at older kids, but oh no – there is PLENTY to do at Matthew’s age.

I don’t get too many opportunities to spend time doing fun things with Matthew, just the two of us. Not that I don’t LOVE our family time together, but it would be a lie if I said I wasn’t a little envious of all the time that Zach gets to spend with Matthew. So, understandably, I was really thrilled at my plan for the day – so much so that I packed up our backpack last night so we could leave as early as possible (the museum opens at 10am and I wanted to be there right away to beat as much of the crowd as possible). That plan was basically futile though – we got there at 10:09am and although it wasn’t completely packed, there were a lot of other people with the same thing in mind, and by 11am it really was packed. It was fun anyway though and Matthew had a blast checking out the fire trucks and really enjoyed the fact that I just let him run around without tailing 2″ behind him like normal.

Once he’d played with everything age-appropriate that he could, we went for a walk on the trail by the museum. I tried to put him in the carrier (50% because I wanted the extra cuddle time, but 50% because I needed to test a new prototype lol), but within 5-7 minutes he was screaming at me to let him down & run. So I did just that, and we played tag on a huge hill full of dead grass and bird poop (seriously, how many times a day do geese poop?).

Then we ended our little adventure with a walk over to the playground. But once Matthew got it inΒ  his mind that throwing dirt at the other children was the best thing to do, we had to leave since there was some creepy older kid standing on top of the slide pretending to cast an evil spell on Matthew and I was scared for all of our safety πŸ˜‰

The best part? Its only 12:30! We still have way more than enough time to go for a bike ride! The news on the radio this morning said snow, but I think they were looking at the wrong zip code on weather.com since it is beautiful outside.

(Matthew was too scared to go in the tunnel so he just crouched like this for a good 5 minutes lol)

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The Cell Phone Saves The Day: Christmas Eve

I left the camera at home on Christmas Eve. Along with my entire purse. Oh well I guess – thanks to Zach’s cell phone (mine was also in my purse…) we got some mediocre pics from the night. Although I must say, these photos don’t really do the evening justice.

We started the evening with a wonderful dinner followed by the ever exciting gift exchange:

Gregg & Shannan

Matthew Examining the Snowman

The Monkey Hat

Matthew's New Drum Set

Zach's New Skull Brush (lol)

Jim's Italian Cooking Bible

Papa Opening Gifts

Matthew Assisting in the Gift Opening

I wish we had gotten some more pictures but at least there are some good memories here in the ones we did get. We ended the evening eating way too many brownies – what an awesome night.

I do want to say a special THANK YOU to Jim & Terrie for the wonder gift I received. That’s the first time I’ve ever received a gift that made cry (happy tears of course) – thank you for making this holiday even more special.

Now – to end the year with a BANG – heading out to go prepare for a fun evening with friends (at home, since Matthew’s fake ID isn’t good enough to get into the bars).

 

Christmas Day Love

I know I’ve skipped Christmas Eve, but I’m still kicking myself in the butt for forgetting our camera that night. As soon as I forgive myself I will get whatever semi-decent photos we have on our cell phones and share with you all.

In the meantime…

Christmas has a lot of special memories for me, but oddly when I think back through previous years I don’t really recall many Christmas gifts. That’s not because I wasn’t grateful, but rather because there were more important memories hogging up all my brain space. For example, SPAGHETTI. Except one year when Sam & I got Bouncer & Sprocket – I’ll never forget that Christmas.

This year mom was in Singapore celebrating the holidays with my dad, so we spent Christmas day at home with Sam and had a really wonderful day. We opened gifts in the afternoon after a very lazy morning (having a baby who is too young to get excited about Christmas does have its perks…) and then enjoyed a really awesome dinner of spaghetti thanks to my MomMom’s killer spaghetti recipe that dad was so kind to hand down to me. Although I’m sure he’s regretting it now since mine has turned out far better than his ever did πŸ˜‰ (love you dad).

Below are some photos from our day – in forewarning you will be witnessing a lot of visual sarcasm here since apparently my desire to record our day was comical to some… (Sam):

That last picture is our attempt at creme brulee for the first time. But since we don’t have a mini torch we were using a lighter lol. Still tasted great!

All of the photos from Christmas day are online in the Flickr Christmas collection.

Christmas Eve-Eve with Gil & Lynda

Our fourth Christmas celebration was on Friday night, which we barely made it to thanks to a nasty stomach bug that was infecting our family. Poor Matthew was so sick I honestly didn’t believe we’d make it down to Denver. But luckily we did, and when we were there he was having so much fun he must have completely forgotten he wasn’t feeling well!

As the only mini-Armijo right now Matthew got his fair share of gifts (plus enough to make all the children in the entire neighborhood happy). I know he’s still too young to appreciate all of the thought that goes behind the gifts he had fun throwing around, but it didn’t escape Zach and I, so for all of you reading this, I hope you know how much we appreciate the wonderful gifts you gave to us all and I promise that there are some photos for you in the mail this week :).

Here are a few photos from the evening, and I’m sure you’ll notice somewhat immediately that Matthew was rather generous with his love that evening – I was floored that almost everyone had a chance to hold a very willing Matthew that night!

Uncle Gregg & Matthew

The Fam

Arm wrestling after dinner

Erick & Matthew

Shannan, Gregg, Erick & Zach looking at an amazing photo album

Pimpin' his new hoodie

Matthew hugging his new sled (lol)

Opening up gifts

Examining Uncle Gregg's Nose...

Lorrie & Matthew

Erick & Zach

Matthew & Lucio

All of the photos from this evening will be uploaded to Flickr for those of you who want to see or save any of your own πŸ™‚ Everything is still uploading now, but if you wait a while here is the link to the Christmas collection.

Christmas Part III: Nona’s Play

Christmas seems to come with a crazy number of parties and events. When all is said and done I believe we’ll be at “Christmas Part VI” if not more. Just because we go all out each year doesn’t mean that each day isn’t as special as the next though. Zach’s amazing family is so large that the holiday celebrations typically span over 2-3 days alone, then we have time with my mom and brother and of course those I work with and have learned to consider family due to the insane amount of time we spend together (willingly, I might add). Lastly is Christmas Day – reserved for our own growing family to build new traditions that will one day be appreciated by Matthew when he’s old enough to care about more than all the cool ribbons in my wrapping supply boxes.

Our third Christmas celebration was with my mom and brother – a bit earlier this year than normal but only to accommodate a much needed trip to Singapore to visit my dad for the holidays. She’s arrived safe & sound today I might add. Matthew got a little tent that has become the new favorite in the house – who knows how much time he spends in there. In fact, he’s quietly organizing his collection of pipe cleaners inside his tent as I write this now. Decoration I assume.

The evening started out with a lot of delicious food and my first taste of apple cider (yes, odd I know but it’s true). We then exchanged gifts and spent some time joking and laughing before leaving to go watch mom in her (second) debut as Mistletoe Mary. I tried very hard to get some good photos but between a difficult camera and a horrible photographer behind the camera, I didn’t really get anything too great. However, for your viewing pleasure:

MISTLETOE MARY!

Again, my apologies for the poor photo quality here – but I think you get the idea lol.

Overall it was a really wonderful night. Matthew got to spend some time in a daycare for the very first time, and we drove home crammed in my little car enjoying a late dinner from Chipotle.

Some more photos for your viewing pleasure:

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Christmas Part I – The Limo Ride

I suppose technically this would be part 2 since I have already been to one other Christmas party. But since I didn’t get any photos and Zach wasn’t with me we’ll just consider this the start of the Christmas Partying Season.

This last Friday was our Boba Christmas Party – complete with a limo full of intoxicated partygoers. Having never been in a limo before, I’m not sure what my favorite part was… riding in the limo, or the actual party itself?

Here are some of the photos from our festivities, although there are more to come once I harass everyone else for copies from their cameras – at which point I will complete the Flickr album πŸ™‚

And here’s a “Cheers” in advance to the many, many more holiday plans we have already on the schedule. Including, but not limited to the 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th and 25th…

Party on!

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Matthew’s First Sled

Last Christmas Uncle Sam gave Matthew a sled, but unfortunately the combination of a) Matthew being quite young, b) my complete distaste for the cold and c) the lack of infant snow gear led us to NEVER using the sled. But, this year is different now that Matthew is old enough to appreciate the new experiences and I’m willing to take on the cold weather in small doses. This afternoon we took the sled out in the backyard for a test drive – this was Matthew’s first time on a sled AND his first time really experiencing snow:

The Champagne Cascade (aka Drizzle)

I’m a little late posting this – I’ve been meaning for some time now to upload these photos from my camera and FINALLY today cleared out the memory card.

A long time ago mom and I used to go to the Nutcracker play every year to celebrate Christmas together. However, after seeing the play SO many times, and me leaving to go to the Army (or maybe it was in my selfish highschool days – I’m drawing a blank now) we ended up cancelling our holiday tradition. But what better time to start a new tradition than now? Mom suggested we go to the Brown Palace to watch the champagne cascade – something that’s been around for a very long time, but that I’d never heard of before. The name alone sounds quite amazing though, so of course I was all for this new tradition.

Although I’m not typically a champagne drinker (or alcohol drinker), I must admit that I had my fair share. In anticipation for this huge cascade we all gathered around the (many) floors of the Brown Palace, overlooking a thousand champagne glasses neatly stacked into a pyramid. What came next, no one could have anticipated (except from those who have witnessed this before I suppose). These huge swords are used to dramatically chop off the tops of the champagne bottles, the “official pourers” are taken to the top of the pyramid using some lift decorated to look both fancy and official (this year it was Governor Hickenlooper and some man I couldn’t understand to save my life) and then everyone holds their breath for the so-called CASCADE. Imagine if you will a thousand glasses stacked up, and TWO bottles of champagne being poured from the top…. this is not something I would describe using words even listed next to “cascade” in a thesaurus. I find the words “drizzle” or “champagne pool” to be more appropriate.

And then it was over…

Needless to say, the good laugh we had afterwards made the entire day memorable in itself. I’m not sure this will be the new tradition for us, but it sure will be fun to look back and laugh about for years to come.

Step 1: Consume entirely too much champagne

Step 2: Gather in Anticipation...

Step 3: Pour 1 regular sized bottle of champagne onto the 1st glass

Step 4: And just 1 more bottle....

Step 5: Say FORGET IT and drink the rest πŸ™‚

 

Here’s to you Governor Hickenlooper, Man I can’t understand, and the enthusiastic crowd at the Brown Palace – thank you for getting our holiday season off to a great start!!

 

Matthew Loves Lady Gaga

I just can’t resist. I know so many of you have already seen this on Facebook but every time I watch it I just crack up. His little side step dance moves towards the end there are just too much.

Chilly Day

Yes, I live in Colorado. Yes, I should *technically* be accustomed to the cold weather and snow. However, I find myself miserable at the mere hint of what’s to come.

To try to combat the inevitable lethargy that usually comes between November – March, I told myself to get out fromΒ  under the warm blankets and venture outside. So, we bundled up and headed out to the park today. The sky was blue and there was no rain or snow, so it SHOULD have been fine. But no, that was not the case – the bitter cold wind made it impossible to enjoy the outdoors today. However, Matthew seems to be oblivious to the cold and instead was so consumed with the excitement of the park that we literally had to pry him away when we were both frozen to the core. Pulling a wagon with numb fingers is no easy task I might add.

Taking photos with icy fingers is challenging, but we got a few πŸ™‚

 

Now to make something hot for dinner to thaw out πŸ™‚
At least the sun is out though, and the sky is blue… it could be SOOOO much worse.