sethrak: (Bouncing_Panda)
My adorable little sister is getting married Dec. 2nd. :D

I ordered plane tickets and a hotel room in Wausau lo these many weeks ago; at the time we didn't have a functioning printer, so I saved the email from expedia detailing my itinerary and saved the trip insurance voucher file to our desktop.

We now have a working printer. Or so I thought.

It will print the desktop file for the travel voucher, no trouble.

It gives me an error message claiming the printer cannot communicate with the computer when I try printing the itinerary. ::face-palm::

Fortunately, this is an e-ticket, so worst case scenario, I write the flight numbers and departure times down manually for my own reference, and just check in with my ID and credit card like I normally would at the airport.

Still need to make sure the dress I want to wear to the wedding fits - I had some startling surprises recently when trying on skirts I hadn't worn in a while. Losing nearly thirty pounds via IBS certainly made me look better, but it's also had a mildly alarming effect on the way my existing wardrobe fits.

Still need to double check the security rules about cross-stitch needles in one's luggage - I would LOVE to be able to take my projects along on this trip.

Aside from that, not much else needs to be done. Tom got leave so he can watch the zodlings. We're going to order something from the online wedding registry to be sent to Margaret's house for the gift, saving me from worrying about it getting lost in the luggage carrier's custody.

I can't believe my little sister is getting married. :D :D :D
sethrak: (Default)
or at least partial recon for a reduced adventure at a future date.

An old friend of mine and Tom's, from back when he was stationed at Offut AFB, is flying to Denver tomorrow with her husband and baby daughter. She invited me and my boys to come up and maybe attend the Denver Children's Museum with them, sometime Monday through Thursday. (Tom was included in the invitation, but has to work.)

The idea sounds awesome - I haven't seen Vanessa in years, and would love to meet little Caroline and introduce them to my boys.

Unfortunately there's the not so little matter of my panic attacks on freeways and finding some sort of route to the museum that avoids them.

Tom is guardedly against the concept, as he will not be able to come along and provide assistance. Understandable, and very loving of him. But I am very very tired of not being able to get as far as *Denver* without the aid of a man who only regards the place worth visiting for Bass Pro Shop, and even then hates driving the Denver freeways sufficiently we've only gone there twice since we came to Colorado. I also want to figure out some semblence of a route up there in case I have to take the boys to a medical specialist while Tom is on a deployment.

So. Potential route. Sans freeways. Sans roads that are overly busy, in case I find myself needing to make lane changes. And a nearby Burger King to feed my allergic Zodling Prime would be nice. (There's only one Culver's in all of Denver Metro, and it's not easy for even Tom to get to.)

The printer's being a pain in the neck again, so I wrote down the reference points for the turns so I can recreate the route after restarting both computer and printer. (On the upside, I discovered google maps has an option button for avoiding freeways and tool roads.)

Peterson AFB. Castlewood Canyon State Park. Bar Triple C Park. Skyridge Medical Center. Park Meadows Mall. Oak Brook Shopping Center. Brookridge Shopping Center. Columbine Shopping Center. Children's Museum. Burger King near Denver. (Which Google Maps kindly interpreted as a BK mere blocks from the museum, and which is accessible by regular roads, not the nearby freeway, huzzah!)

When I get a chance later, I will recreate this on google maps, and show it to Tom. Anybody with local experience ([profile] thenakedcat, perhaps?) who would chime in with advice would be greatly appreciated.
sethrak: (Margaritaville)
Added bonus sleep deprivation points due to Mark audibly not going to sleep until nearly 11 pm last night, and thus making it necessary for me to stay up and keep him reasonably in line and out of the downstairs bathroom. (Why he keeps bypassing the upstairs bathroom, which is RIGHT ACROSS THE HALL from his bedroom, I do not at all grok.)

So. Recap of weekend.

Sunday had strong wind gusts and my stomach was still a trifle fragile. So instead of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, we went on a little road trip to the Florissant Fossil Beds to enjoy the area and obtain a free year pass for military families to National Parks, Monuments, etc. Nice easy drive, just enough walking to give a sickly domestic goddess and her offspring some exercise, but not enough to overtire me or them.

Or so I thought.

Mark started freaking out as soon as we got out of the car at the monument. No idea why. We ended up just walking the shortest of the trail loops, the one that winds around giant petrified redwood stumps, most of which are semi-protected by permanent metal awnings and semi-held-together by large metal bands. Sigh.

Jack, on the other hand, was positively angelic during the walk, despite having some lingering diaper rash from his recent bouts of nocturnal tummy troubles.

Tom got our pass, and we loaded back in the car for some exploratory driving.

Based on the tv ads, I was expecting Cripple Creek to be a decent sized tourist town, around the size of Woodland Park, with several casinos around the size of the Ho Chunk Casino in downtown Milwaukee or the one in Council Bluffs Iowa where we went for a seafood buffet the evening after Tom and I were married. Not as big as Aspen or other major skiing destinations, but certainly not as small as Piedmont MO.

Ha!

It is TINY. The main drag is very very well-maintained and has plenty of historic buildings which house little restaurants and tourist shops and such, but it is a very very tiny main drag indeed, and the town around it is tiny as well. We barely noticed the casinos.

We did not bother getting out of the car. Mark was still in freakout mode, and it simply wasn't tempting enough a walk.

We continued on the scenic mining camp loop, through the adjacent small towns that once were mining camps. Quite a few of the mines are still active; just mechanized. The air reeks. Most of the houses in the area, both modern and historic, were well away from the active mines. The road had some really nice views in those areas, but overall, not on our list of potential places to get a post-Air Force house.

***

Both boys have been in active "velociraptor testing the fences" mode lately. We've caught both boys in what appeared to be active collusion to literally test the fences, having dragged their wooden rocking horse off the porch and into a corner of the yard not viewable from any of the windows. They both were grabbing onto the rim of the fence, one foot apiece on a cross-beam of the fence, one foot dangling and trying to decide if it wanted to rest on the horse or rise to the cross-beam. :;face-palm::

Jack on several occasions has been caught on one of the corner fence posts, perched like a tiny gargoyle, feet tight under him, knees drawn up, and hands gripping the fence rim as he debated what to do next. x_x He's also taken to throwing stuff over the fence - like his and Mark's beloved straw cups. Since neither of them are cooperating with drinking from regular cups yet, this is problematic.

Mark figured out how to remove the little rubbery plastic bits that hooked onto the adhesive mounts of the fridge and freezer locks. x_x We finally found them in the freezer under a bag of chicken nuggets.

I suggested to Tom we use some of our spare cabinet locks, the kind that hook over knob handles or through bar handles, over the existing adhesive mounts, and if they wouldn't fit, drill small holes through the mounts for the loops to feed into.

He face-palmed and told me he'd thrown the extra locks out a couple weeks back when he was cleaning out the garage, because he assumed we didn't need them and they were just taking up space.

At least he hasn't taken to holding stuff over bonfires and saying "Honey, we don't need this, right?" as he throws it in, like his dad.

So I bought a new set of locks, along with some 3M adhesive hooks in case the locks didn't fit and the drilling holes plan fell through.

Tom drilled the holes, and at least as of this morning, Mark can't circumvent them. \o/

Here's hoping he doesn't turn into a tiny Tony Stark or Bruce Banner and find a way to dissolve the extremely strong adhesive... ^_^;;;;;

Mark has also been caught on numerous occasions standing on the kitchen counters and attempting to bat at Tom's collection of shotglasses from around the world, displayed on the top of the upper cabinets. We're going to get some bubble wrap and put them into storage.

Jack's been trying to use the wooden rustic-style potato bin as a climbing tool to get onto the kitchen island. He's also been using the folding chair and the riding dumptruck as climbing tools for the backyard fence. We're running out of places to relocate things.

Zodlings! ::amused fist shake::

***

I should and eventually will do some quick reviews of my recent booksquee-ing. Not today, though. I'm close to needing an extra Dr. Pepper, and the boys are demanding to be let out into the yard. I can't let them out there unsupervised anymore, given their joint fascination with fence-climbing.
sethrak: (Bouncing_Panda)
So! Post of squee regarding recent solo mini-vacation. :D

Did not go to a B&B, as the ones around here start at 150 dollars a night and this was most unfeasible. Most of the more picturesque non-B&Bs either had no website at all, or were on the sketchy side. So I wound up at a Comfort Inn, midway between Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City. (The latter was once a separate political and economic entity from Colorado Springs, but integrated by their own vote back in the 70's, in a much more amicable manner than the Bridge Wars that Milwaukee's predecessors went through.)

Day one, I headed to Manitou's main drag/historic shopping district. (Most of the town has some sort of historic status or another, but downtown makes more of a point of it.)Wandered around for approx. four hours. :D It was glorious. I was able to enter shops that Mark and Jack would have destroyed within minutes. I was able to eat without worrying about Mark's allergies or both boys' rambunctiousness. (http://www.hellskitchenmanitou.com/) I was able to walk around without Mark alleging a need for potty that has more to do with not wanting to hold hands and behave himself than with the actual state of his bladder. I was able to walk up and down (very very gentle) hills without Jack deciding to go boneless until someone agrees to carry him.

It was also very exhausting. I wound up checking into my hotel as soon as they allowed, then crashing for three hours. When I revived a bit, I ordered pizza, and spent the rest of the night sprawled in mildly euphoric exhaustion nomming pizza and watching DWTS.

Next morning, instead of going to the Pioneer Museum or Miramont Castle, as originally planned, I spent more time in bed, squeeing over D.Greyman 14 and a photo book of local history I'd bought the previous day, and flipping between CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.

The results were interesting. All three networks covered the shuttle flying over DC, the GSA scandal, and the Secret Service scandal, and in a fairly comparable manner. All three covered the budget battles, the Blunt Amendment, and the presidential election, but with biases that I pretty much expected from each. CNN and MSNC covered Ted Nugent; Fox had a resounding lack of acknowledgement of any such thing.

Bottom line: I don't regret cancelling cable, but it was fun to have it back again for a couple days.

Tom and I met for lunch at the Stagecoach Inn. Excellent food; pricy, but normally our lunches out while the kids are at school involve Chinese buffets. Tom had had the boys all to himself for about a day and a half, and was very very apologetic. "Kim-chan, I swear, I had NO. IDEA. From now on, we are making a point of you going out for half an hour after I get home from work, several times a week. I don't know how you manage to not get fat, because I found myself snacking like crazy to destress." ::amused snort:: I told him that's because I know exactly what happens to women on my mom's side who aren't careful about what they eat, and would rather avoid diabetes or the kind of weight gain that makes movement painful. Admittedly, I have in recent weeks been falling off the caffeine wagon more than somewhat. But that's more a response to fatigue. (Which I am discussing with my doctor Monday.) It amuses me, because this is pretty much the same reaction he had when I was out of commission for a couple days due to dental sedation last year, or when I spend more than an hour out shopping/going to a movie by myself on weekends. I hope this time the memory sinks into deep storage.

After lunch, we walked around a little; we found a place that does henna designs and I'm probably going back to get some done Saturday; and then he had to get home to meet the schoolbus. I went back to my room to change into better walking shoes, and wound up taking another nap. Monday's exploration seriously wiped me out, and a massive lunch wiped me out more.

Got up, and went to Old Colorado City. Smaller than the main drag of Manitou, but there's more free parking, and the clothing stores suited me better. Unfortunately the clothing didn't. ;_; I do not understand why quasi-hippie stores, which tend to cater to people who venerate Mother Earth, tend to not sell clothing for women who are or look like actual mothers. :;face-palm:: I had a very hard time finding things that fit. Finally found some stuff here: http://www.barracudabazaar.com/index2.php#/home/ :D Also got lured in by the luscious smell wafting from here: http://www.myabellacupcakes.com/ I got a triple chocolate cupcake to take home to Tom, and an orange dreamcicle cupcake for myself. :D

Then I swung by Subway to pick up dinner, since I was still tired and had a decadent dessert to go with it. Then back to the hotel to watch DWTS' results show and read more. :D

Wednesday morning I woke up in a leisurely manner; nommed leftover mushroom-swiss-burger from Stagecoach; and worked on cross-stitch til nearly time to check out. Had numerous problems with the cross-stitch. I either did the panda's left ear completely wrong, or miscounted when doing the fill-in bits between the panda's jaw and ear, because parts are simply NOT adding up right when compared to the pattern grid. May have to simply rip the ear out and keep going with everything else til I have less of a gap between finished work and where the ear goes, so counts are less likely to go wrong.

The boys were excited to see me before the bus arrived. :D I snuggled them both, and resumed tuck-in responsibilities later that night.

Now Tom's off on his own mini adventure, and the boys will be getting home from school in half an hour. I'm procrastinating doing laundry, and instead catching up on missed Internet. :D
sethrak: Lil' Mittens in a sidecar (Sidecar)
Or a reasonable fascimile thereunto.

Next week Mark and Jack have an appointment with the dentist. (This practice very wisely schedules siblings back to back whenever possible.) I haven't been there before, nor has Dav, and in any event I'll be making this trip solo.

So, a'google-mapping I go.

Google's preferred route uses Powers Blvd for nearly its entire length. This is admittedly the most direct and probably the fastest route. Unfortunately Powers has very heavy traffic, and the posted limit is 55 mph. My inner Count Rugen and I dislike that.^_^;

I altered the route to go via Airport Road to Academy Blvd, and points northwestward. Not quite as direct, but I'd rather drive Academy than Powers. It'll be good practice for solo trips into new parts of town, too.

Definitely taking my cell phone, just in case. On the way back, we may hit Culver's.


Also next week, we're having Jack's hearing tested. Dav will be accompanying me on that one, mostly to supervise Mark. We're not too worried, but he's not talking at all yet, and it's a good starting point on figuring out why.

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