Colorado vacation

The Fausaks planned a trip to Colorado Springs this year, and Mike and I tacked on a Denver trip for a couple of days prior to see some of our friends and explore the city. It was a fun trip and I’m already missing the weather!

We flew in on Thursday afternoon and settled in our hotel for a few before heading out to dinner with our friends, who moved to Denver for a job about a year ago. Louise and her friend Amelie picked right up where they left off last year, as did we! It was bittersweet seeing them because it reminded us how much we like their company.img_8390

A little screen time so the parents could chitchat in peace. 🙂img_8391

Friday morning we went to breakfast at Syrup around the corner from our hotel. We were not impressed – very slow service and the food was bland. We should have just eaten the free breakfast at our hotel!

After breakfast we grabbed the stroller and walked to the Children’s Museum. It was about a two mile walk across LoDo and down a trail along a river. The Children’s Museum was great, and we could have spent hours there…except for one thing – we lost Celine. She walked out of a play area without us noticing and ended up going downstairs and outside. After a frantic 15 minutes of searching, I found her holding hands with a staff member (who looked just about as worried as I did). Both Celine and I had a good cry…and then she promptly revised history and informed me that we walked outside and left her. Oh Celine.img_8408img_8415img_8423img_8405

We headed back to the hotel to rest, and then found a park around the corner from our hotel that had live music, mini golf and other games, and a beer garden. We had planned on spending a short while there before heading to dinner, but ended up getting brats at the beer garden and calling it a night due to Celine’s crabbiness.img_8431img_8429img_8438img_8448

Saturday rolled around and my parents drove up from Colorado Springs to pick us up. Before heading down, we hit up the Aquarium. Celine was pretty ambivalent about it (except for the otters and tiger) but Louise was super interested.img_8465

Louise and Papa spent 10+ minutes watching all of the stingrays swim around, picking up pebbles on the ground and dumping them as they swam along.img_8485img_8474img_8478

The tiger rolled out right as we walked by. Louise casually took three big steps back, but Celine was entranced. #kittyimg_8492img_8508

After a (surprisingly delicious) lunch at the Aquarium restaurant, we packed up and headed to Colorado Springs.

The original house my mom rented was further north, but between booking and our stay, they sold the house and cancelled our reservation. We were scrambling a little bit until my mom found this house – it had just been renovated and was recently added as an option. It turned out to be perfect! There was an amazing view of Pikes Peak right out the front door (and Mike and my bedroom), and it was a half mile from Garden of the Gods and super close to all the things we wanted to do (the zoo, Cave of the Winds, etc). There was an enormous park directly across the street with a playground, tennis courts, and a baseball diamond, which was great to help the kids work out some energy or when the boys wanted to throw the Frisbee. It was great!img_8503img_8538img_8618img_8694

We didn’t do much the first evening there beyond go to the grocery store and cook dinner. I managed to take a little jog around Garden of the Gods and took about 200 selfies…so pretty!!img_8536img_8527

Sunday we woke up and headed to Garden of the Gods for a nature hike. We were wondering how the girls would do on a hike. Celine was carried on various shoulders for the majority of the trip, but Louise happily hoofed it the whole time – over two miles!img_8593img_8592img_8549img_8594img_8550img_8563img_8595img_8603img_8604img_8600img_8602img_8583

Celine was all about climbing, even when she would slip down on the gravel.img_8577img_8576img_8575img_8581img_8557

I thought I was taking a picture of my two cuties strolling along together, but instead caught Louise red-handed, hitting Celine with her water bottle.img_8560

We were pretty pooped after the walk, so we took it easy the rest of the day. Mike cooked dinner again because that’s what he does, and then we utilized the fire pit in the front yard for s’more making. Celine’s first s’more!img_8605img_8615

Our big outing on Monday was to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We mobilized early in anticipation of the zoo crowds, which proved smart – it was a madhouse when we left and parking was completely full! Since it was the day before Independence Day, the girls wore spangled leggings.img_8619img_8631

We’ve decided that Louise is an aquarium girl and Celine is a zoo girl. Celine was super into the animals and kept saying she wanted to “meet” them. Sorry girlfriend, you only get to meet the giraffe and a couple of reptiles!img_8642img_8645img_8660img_8662

“It’s so SOFT!”img_8663

Because the zoo is on a mountain, it made for some pretty epic views. Not that I was very good at capturing them…img_8647

After we were done (translation: when Celine’s body language told us she was done), we headed down the mountain a bit for lunch at the Golden Bee at the Broadmoor. The food was ok and the ambiance was nice, but we were all grouchy because it took over an hour for our food to arrive. Boo!

Once again, we ate at the house and cooked s’mores afterward.img_8679img_8682img_8689

Tuesday was INDEPENDENCE DAY! We (well…the girls) donned our red, white, and blue, and headed out early to check out the Cave of the Winds. Celine: not impressed.img_8701img_8712img_8707img_8713

The organization of the place was not great: we were told our tour started at 8:40am but it ended up being the 9:40am tour. In any case, it was an interesting tour of the caves and both girls did a good job. There was one section where they turned off all the lights and had Louise blow out a candle to show how pitch dark it is down there. Naturally, Celine immediately shrieked out “it’s too dark! I don’t like this!” and everyone in our tour group giggled. Celine was fine once the lights came back on and enjoyed reminding everyone for the rest of the day how “her face was dark and she got scared.”img_8722

We headed home and the girls played in some water while my parents and Rusty headed to the Manitou Incline.img_8747img_8748img_8753

My grandma and her sister came over for dinner in the evening.  Louise wrote my grandma a note on the sidewalk since her birthday was the next day.img_8740img_8739img_8760img_8736img_8756img_8757

We hung out in the front yard waiting for fireworks, chatting and playing Outburst.img_8759

The next morning we packed up and headed out! My parents dropped us (and Taylor and Hillary) at the Denver airport and then started their drive back to Dallas, so we had a few hours to kill waiting for our flight. We were all pretty tired.img_8769

Louise was part of the backpack crew. 🙂img_8772

All in all, it was one of the more relaxing vacations we’ve been on in recent history – considering we travel with two young kids. It was nice to have activities every day, but no day was too jam-packed. Here’s hoping we can do it again next year (this time with the entire Fausak clan)!

Ballet camp

We needed something to occupy the girls for the first few days of the week before our trip to Colorado. I had Louise in ballet camp at Le Ballet last year, and decided to do it again with both girls. It is a cute little program and one of the least expensive options out there – plus, the girls get to dress up in ballet outfits. So: win-win!

The website said they had to wear the full getup: pink leotard, pink tights, ballet slippers. I of course had no problem with this, and sent them off on Monday in the outfit. Turns out they don’t need the whole shebang for camp. Oh well – they were adorable looking anyway!6.28.17 Ballet 1

Look at that form. Flawless.6.28.17 Ballet 26.28.17 Ballet 36.28.17 Ballet 4

I convinced Celine to wear pigtails (she’s not into ponytails of any sort) by reminding her that Tallulah – from the book Tallulah’s Tutu – has piggies.6.28.17 Ballet 5

They rounded out the camp on Wednesday in their pinkest leotards. Celine woke up on the wrong side of the bed but quickly turned her mood around.6.28.17 Ballet 66.28.17 Ballet 76.28.17 Ballet 8

Celine: 3.3

When we got back from Germany, Celine was a little feistier than usual. Her teachers noted that they saw a difference in her when we were gone. I think she was upset with us for leaving and couldn’t quite figure out how to express it. She’s been doing a lot more biting and hair pulling with Louise however, which is not great! She even bit Louise on the CHEEK the other day. Mike and I were both perplexed how Louise even let that happen…DSC_0576

She is growing up so fast but is still a toddler in a lot of ways. When she throws her fits, if you don’t pay attention to her, she’ll accept snuggles and calm down in about 5 minutes. Poor girl is just looking for some attention!DSC_0577

House needs: 2017 Update

We’ve been a little slower in making our house updates, but the last couple of pieces have had a big impact in our living room! We had an odyssey trying to set up our fireplace, but after a contractor and plumber visit to turn on the gas line, and incorrect gas logs shipped and returned, we finally have our fireplace set up with gas logs (donated from our next door neighbor) and our screen!

We also finally ordered shutters for the two windows and french door windows in our living room. I love the way they look – it “finishes” the room for me.6.5.17 Shutters 16.5.17 Shutters 26.5.17 Shutters 3

These two updates make last year’s house needs list look like this:

Dresser for Louise
Some kind of bookcase for the den
A mantle
Gas logs and a screen for the fireplace
Shutters
A console for the den that doesn’t cover the vents but has storage
An updated piece of furniture for under the TV in the living room
A bench for our bedroom
A headboard for the guest bed (really a guest room makeover)
Update the garage

Not bad, I’d say! I have added to the list since then, of course:

Big-girl room update for Celine
Desk for Michael
Desk chair for Michael
Roman shades for the French doors in the master and guest bedrooms
Roman shade for window over the sink
Fence
Windows for the four big square ones
Shutters for the four big square ones
Solid-core doors

Louise’s first sleepover

One of the “presents” Mike and I decided to give Louise for her birthday was a sleepover with a friend. She’s been pestering us about it nonstop, and although we were apprehensive because she’s still pretty young for something like that, we relented. This past Saturday, our friends the Ederas came over and we visited and ate dinner, and then Lily’s parents and baby brother went back to their house for the night and she stayed over!

We told my parents about the sleepover and they asked if we wanted to ship Celine off to their house for the evening to make it easier on us. This worked out perfectly – Celine loved the one-on-one time with Grandma and Papa (and the animals), and allowed us to focus our time and energy on Louise and Lily.

Because Lily’s family was over until about 7pm, there wasn’t a ton of time we needed to fill with activities. Besides, Lily and Louise raced off to Louise’s room and played by themselves for over an hour. It was nice to have two kids playing with minimal fighting – unlike when Louise and Celine play!

Once Lily’s family left, we put the girls in their pajamas. I was a little excited about the sleepover and brought Louise to Old Navy to pick out matching pj’s for them both (and Celine too). Look at these two cuties!6.12.17 Sleepover 16.12.17 Sleepover 2

We set up some blankets for movie watching and let Lily pick what she wanted to watch. She selected Frozen. I thought Louise might get bored since we’ve moved on from Frozen (all Moana, all the time), but they watched Frozen like it was the first time, giggling their way through it. I popped some popcorn for them to enjoy while watching even though we just had dinner.6.12.17 Sleepover 36.12.17 Sleepover 4

There was a slight scuffle over who got to have the Elsa part of the blanket directly over their body. Understandable…Mike and I have that disagreement all the time. 🙂6.12.17 Sleepover 5

It was about 9:15 after the movie was over, so we had them brush their teeth and Mike read them a story.6.12.17 Sleepover 6

They giggled in bed for a bit, but they were asleep by around 10:15pm. I’d call that a success!6.12.17 Sleepover 76.12.17 Sleepover 86.12.17 Sleepover 9

The next morning we had donuts and played for a couple of hours before we dropped Lily off at her house on our way to pick up Celine. All in all it was a wonderful experience…looking forward to when Louise has a sleepover at someone else’s house! 🙂

DIS 2016-2017: TPS (Celine) and MS (Louise)

Louise had a great year in Pre-K, and Celine did a great job adapting to a new school this past year. We’re loving DIS!

Of course I took the obligatory first day/last day photos. There is a torrential downpour happening today so the photos are a bit different, but what are you going to do.6.9.17 Lasy day of school6.9.17 Last day 16.9.17 Last day 2

Their teachers post pictures occasionally throughout the year…here are some highlights.

Celine first:5.1.17 Celine in class 15.1.17 Celine in class 25.1.17 Celine in class 35.1.17 Celine in class 45.1.17 Celine in class 65.1.17 Celine in class 85.1.17 Celine in class 95.1.17 Celine in class 115.1.17 Celine in class 125.1.17 Celine in class 135.1.17 Celine in class 155.1.17 Celine in class 165.1.17 Celine in class 175.1.17 Celine in class 185.1.17 Celine in class 195.1.17 Celine in class 205.1.17 Celine in class 215.1.17 Celine in class 225.1.17 Celine in class 236.5.17 School 26.9.17 Celine 16.9.17 Celine 26.9.17 Celine 3

And Louise!5.1.17 Louise in class 15.1.17 Louise in class 25.1.17 Louise in class 35.1.17 Louise in class 45.1.17 Louise in class 56.5.17 School 16.5.17 School 36.5.17 School 4

Not the greatest picture since she’s hidden, but this is her class!5.1.17 Louise in class 65.1.17 Louise in class 7

May/June goals

May goals: I’m about half and half. I really need to get going on the photo books!!

  1. Not fall completely off the exercise bandwagon.
    1. I guess you could say I haven’t…I’ve worked out about 2x per week, not including our Germany trip. Still not as strong as I was earlier this year.
  2. Celine’s photo book – only five left to do (months 8-12)! I can do it!
    1. I did not do it.
  3. Louise’s photo book. This might bleed into June, considering I’m farther behind it than Celine’s.
    1. Yup…definitely bleeding into June.
  4. Declutter toys – specifically, donate all too-young toys and trash the broken/parts-missing ones.
    1. Hey! I actually did this! I pulled a bunch of infant and younger toddler toys out of their various nooks and crannies and have them boxed up for donation. We also had various bins filled with parts of toys that I just trashed.
  5. Organize the kids’ hall closet. This includes moving all linens, drapes, pillows, etc to bins in the garage, and adding designated spaces for themed toys (Play-Doh, musical instruments, etc).
    1. I didn’t really move the linens, but I DID organize the closet! It’s so much easier for the girls to grab what they want now, and it gives a home to the toys that have a lot of components. I threw away a couple of old pillows and made room for the girls’ 4,291 blankets.IMG_7962

June goals:

  1. Get back on the workout bandwagon
  2. Celine and Louise’s photo books. I only have three more months for Celine so I’m pretty confident I can at least get hers done by the end of the month.
  3. Organize the girls’ art from the past school year. I want to do two things: pare down what I’ve kept to the ones that mean the most and put them in a portfolio box, and scan them in so I can eventually create a photo book with all of their art. (What’s my deal with photo books?)
  4. Put the shower curtain up in the girls’ bathroom. Since we bathe them, we haven’t had a need for a shower curtain. However, I think it’s time that Louise start taking showers at least some of the time, so I want the curtain there for when we’re ready to make that leap!
  5. I have two Mike goals (things I want done but would rather Mike do them): change our air filters and clean our gutters.