Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Talk about your number 1 all time backfire

       Jon turned 28 on Monday (the 14th), and we wanted to do something special and budget friendly as a family. We were feeling kind of adventurous and wanted to take advantage of the warm sunny weather that Northern California had been having (we heard rumors of temps in the upper 60's-70's!). We were toying with the idea of driving down the hill about an hour and fifteen minutes to take a hike in the Nevada City area. On Thursday I got home from work to find that we received an amazing gift in the mail...a baby carrier hiking backpack. It had been something we had been planning to buy before the summer arrived and I had actually toyed with getting Jon one for his birthday. Apparently Jon's relatives read minds, because one arrived at our doorstep! Yes, we were very excited. Receiving the pack was all we needed to move forward with our hiking plans.
       So we popped out of bed on Saturday, packed up the boys and headed towards Nevada City. Things started to go array for us after about an hour of driving, when Nolan realized that he had NO interest in being in a carseat. There was crying. Pulling over. Frustrated parents. And exhaustion. 
       Finally we reached the trailhead, and couldn't wait to get the kid unstrapped from his seat.  After spending another 15 minutes trying to figure out where to park because there were "No Parking" signs everywhere.  We discovered 20 minutes into our hike that there was an actual parking lot right up from us. Figures. The only thing that was keeping me sane, was the sight of green. Yes, green! In February. I love green in February! It's almost enough to make a girl want to move out of the mountains.
Unfortunately, Nolan wasn't overly interested in being 
strapped into a backpack. He wanted to be held by 
his mama. So that's what we did.
Walked and held.
We found a seat by the river to see if he might calm down a bit.
It worked for a few moments.
Blue was 100% happy to camp out near the river.

Then we headed to the trail. 
We were greated by this old covered bridge. 

We were kind of nervous on the walk.
One minute it seemed like Nolan might cry and
one minute he was fine.
It warmed up to about 71 degrees. 
In February.
Unfortunately, it was so sunny that we needed to 
keep a hat on his head to avoid
getting burnt.
The views were nice.

And the trail would have been wonderful,
had our baby appreciated it as much as us.
That was the last somewhat-happy photo taken.
After a few more minutes of walking,
the tears came out and we had to turn ourselves around.
This is what the rest of our hike looked like. 
A brisk walk, mama holding baby, dad close behind holding our two backpacks.
Jon had also forgotten Blue's leash,
and the rope that we had him tied with kept coming undone.
Yes we were that family.
When we got back into the car, Mr. Tears fell right to sleep. 
Thank goodness!
But, mid-drive he did treat us to another 30 minutes of crying.
When we walked into the house we poured
 ourselves a couple of vodka tonics.
All better.
I'd say Jon's 28th birthday wasn't exactly what we had hoped for. 
But we tried. 
And by goodness, our kid will love hiking by this summer.

The next day we wanted to try swimming with Nolan.
We don't have a public pool in our town, 
but 30 minutes down the road there is an indoor option.
We didn't bring a camera with us, 
but captured a few shots on Jon's phone.
This is kinda how it went.
Nolan seemed quite suspicious of the pool. 
Here he is, watching swimmers while we got ready.
We should have known from the look on his face, 
that his first attempt at swimming might be a doosy.
The rest of the adventure went like this. 
Baby clinging for dear life to mom and dad. 

Let's just say that we struck out for the second time in one weekend.
We blamed it on the water being too cold for the little guy. 
Guess we'll try again in a couple more months!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Seeing White

 And I'm not referring to my skin.
Although, that's pretty white right about now too.
       In January, Tahoe only received 6" of snow. And that was on January 30th. 6" of snow around here isn't even worth mentioning. And then, the first two weeks of February were bone dry. Sunny. Upper 50's. Glorious. Everyday I returned home from work to find more and more of the snow around our house had melted. Dirt was peaking through in our side and front yards. Our porch was cleared and Blue enjoyed spending sunny afternoons out there on his dog bed. 
       We knew that this would all change. It was just a matter of when. Well, "when" arrived on Tuesday evening. The snow started, and its just now tapering off. We woke on Wednesday to about 1-2' of new snow around our house. The schools closed, which meant Nolan's daycare operated on limited hours, which meant mama had to go to work late and dad had to get off early. Oh, and of course there were lots of accidents on the roads and cars stuck in ditches. Aaah yes, I had almost forgotten this is what a storm was like. 
       Thursday and Friday got a little crazier. Jon's shifts got cancelled, the schools remained closed, there was lots of snow to be removed, ya-de-ya-de-ya. Three days and about 4'+ of snow later (8'+ on the mountains), we've been spending lots of time digging out.  I thought this called for a photo tour of our white week.
Let me introduce you to our kitchen window.
And I didn't want to leave out the view from our living room window.
Oh, and our back patio door.
Here's the sliding glass doors off our front room.
Notice the overhang of snow from the roof. 
I took this photo at around 4:00pm.
Here's the outside view of that overhang.
A few hours later, we heard a huge rumbling crashing.
The overhang gave way and crashed on to our porch.
Leaving us what looked like an avalanche
right outside of our front door.
On Saturday morning, the storm was tapering,
and we ventured outside for some snowplay
and serious shoveling.
Our porch and front door are in there somewhere.

Jon had his work cut out for him.

The view up our street...
...and down our street.
The house across the street.
The snow claimed  the lives of 3 of Blue's frisbees. 
Here are the boys trying to find one.
Blue will be very happy come Spring, 
when he re-discovers his favorite toys.
Jon spent some time working on our front deck. 
Here's the view of him looking out our front door.
A bit of shoveling later, and
our deck was passable again.
I've heard people start talking about their
Spring wishlists and the end of winter. 
Winter in Tahoe is just getting warmed up.

***Note: Sorry about the quality of some of these photos. I was running around while Nolan napped, trying to keep the camera dry between snow flurries, so I wasn't able to master the manual camera settings with all of my shots. More practice I guess.

Monday, February 14, 2011

W is for Winter

       Aside from the chaos of our normal work, daycare, and home life, our days off in the winter are pretty unexciting. They involve cups of coffee, staying indoors, weekend naps, fires, walks, tinkering with motorcycles, and hopefully seeing a friend or two. With our new camera, we tend to take more pictures of our unexcitement, which means we end up with lots more photos sitting on our hard drive. I thought I'd share some snapshots of life from our neck of the woods  from the past couple of weeks.

There's a yellow lab in there somewhere.

Apparently we didn't get the memo that the 
Bears didn't make it to the Superbowl.

Tomorrow, someone is turing 28.
I'll have a recap about Jon's wild birthday happenings next.