Monday, May 26, 2008

Bye, bye Declan....

This past week we had so many changes, but the hardest was seeing my sister Emily, her husband Bryce and their son Declan leave for Spokane. Declan's Grandma Gilman flew to Denver on Thursday to take Declan back with her. And Em & Bryce left early Saturday morning to drive their cars and the dogs and cat up to Spokane.

Since Em quit her job a few weeks ago and has been staying with my parents since they sold their house, we have been spending a lot of time together. I don't know whether that makes things harder or easier! But Connor and Declan are buddies and have perfected the art of jumping from couch to couch with each other. At one point Emily went down to the basement to check on them and they had toys stacked up on my Mom's treadmill and were playing "slip & slide" with it!

It is very hard to see them go and we will miss them VERY much, but I know they are moving toward something and not just away from us. Em & Declan will be back in July when our baby is born and we will go up after their baby is born.

We'll miss you Em & D!

Love, Auntie Melinda & Connor

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Graduate...

Get the song?? Ok, not exactly the most direct connection, but it is from "The Graduate". Anyhoo, Connor baby is no longer Connor baby, he is now a first-grader! Wednesday he finished his kindergarten career and will now move up from half day school to ALL day EVERY day next fall.

The graduation began at 10 and the gym doors were open at 9:45, when Bill & I got there at 9:40 there was a line all the way to the parking lot to get in! There were probably 250+ parents and family members to watch the class of 2020 graduate from the first year in elementary school. It was crowded and hot, but as always we sat in awe as our little man participated! They sang songs each of the 4 classes received their diplomas and were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, Mr. Cubs answered, "a baseball player"- very cool. Of course the best answer was one little boy who said he wanted to be a Jedi, I bet his Dad was beaming!

And of course I got misty while watching him walk up the aisle and stand with his classmates. He has achieved so much since I sat in the little room at Children's Hospital 3 1/2 years ago and the psychologist told me he had Autism and would need different types of therapy just to keep up with other "typical" children. And I really wish the other crackpot doctor that told me when he was four that he should be put into a school exclusively for children with Autism could have seen what Connor has achieved and maintained. We have trusted many professionals, but the people I am glad we trusted the most is ourselves. We are his parents and we know exactly what amazing things this child has and will accomplish. As his OT has told us, he will be watching Connor and will buy stock in whatever it is that he invents, because it will go far!

Ok enough of the gushing Mommy, currently my genius is watching America's Funniest Videos. I am sure he trying to figure out how the ski off the roof....

Here comes our boy!

His official moment

And now we have grown bored & are using the diploma as a telescope

The butterflies they watched change in class

Connor and his teacher Mrs. Washington
See ya, Melinda

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dave & Kristen: May 17, 2008

My "little" brother got married this past weekend! I can hardly believe it! He married his longtime love, Kristen and our family just grew one more! It was a beautiful wedding and a great weekend up in the mountains. They were married in Glenwood Springs, about 3 hours west of Denver near Aspen. Connor was the ring bearer or "pillow boy" as he referred to it. He was so very good and so sweet to the flower girl, Shelby.

We left home Friday morning after some minor trauma of having to leave Abby and Chase at the kennel. In my whole family we have 8 dogs, 6 of whom stayed at a kennel. And NONE of the 6 had ever had to stay at a kennel before! We have been so fortunate to be able to take care of each others dogs while on vacation- so this was sort of a big deal for us. But they all survived, all though I am not sure any of them ate or drank all weekend.

We left earlier on Friday so we could take our time and enjoy the mountains. We try to go up often, but since I am pregnant I am not technically "allowed" to go up much more in elevation than the 6000 ft we already live at. But we had a good time anyway. We stopped in Idaho Springs and drove part way up Mt Evans road. Most of it is still closed and it is quite a drive up to the infamous fourteener. They we had lunch at the Tommy Knocker Brewery. They were in prime brewing at the time, when you walked in you could smell the VERY strong scent of hops cooking. Took me right back to my Dad's home-brew days, he liked to torture me and decided to brew beer while I was recovering from a hangover one New Year's day- mean, mean Daddy.

We got to Glenwood around 2:30 and the weather was spectacular! The wedding was taking place at the very historic Hotel Colorado. It is a beautiful hotel full of history, many presidents have stayed there and even Al Capone would summer there! During prohibition it was said that he tipped a bellman to bring in cases of gin for his party- the bellman was able to afford college at The University of Denver shortly thereafter.

Connor and Mommy at the Storm King Mountain Fire Park

Some beautiful shots of Glenwood Springs

Shortly after we arrived the rehearsal was held in the courtyard where the wedding would be the next day. My sister Emily was a bridesmaid and brother Chris was a groomsman. And Connor got to practice with his pillow while walking down the aisle with Shelby. Both of them were so good and well behaved. The rehearsal dinner was right after on the patio.

Outside in the courtyard

Connor & his pillow

The balcony is where William Howard Taft gave a famous speech.

The wedding was held at 4:15 on Saturday and everyone looked so good. My sister is 14 weeks pregnant and didn't know that when the dress was altered. She had to suck it in for a few hours, but she looked beautiful. And how about my boy in the tux????

Connor and my Grandma or "GG"
Howard, Connor Howard

Em & Chris

The happy couple!
The wedding party

The groom and his pillow boy!

Connor was ready to hit the floor after dinner was over!

Dave & Kristen's first dance
The reception was held in the Colorado Room right after all the pictures. It was traditional mountain fair that Dave & Kristen had picked out, including bison and trout. The cake was white with raspberry filling along side a small chocolate groom's cake that was decked out in a construction motif (Dave runs a caisson drilling rig). Connor waited very patiently for the dancing to start and he did not stop until we dragged him out of there at 9pm! He fell asleep about 30 mins later. It was a FABULOUS wedding and I am so very proud of Dave and Kristen! They will leave for their honeymoon in Belize in about a week. But this week he will spend up in the mountains on a drilling project- so romantic!

Connor was sad to say goodbye to the fun weekend, but VERY happy to see his Abby again! We ended up leaving at about 6:30 am on Sunday morning. Mostly because I needed to sleep in my own bed with my big pregnant woman pillow, but it also helped that we beat all the traffic too!
Our busy May is almost over. Connor started baseball practice yesterday. This year he is doing modified t-ball or coach pitch. So far he doesn't need the 't' at all. His team is the KC Royals, (sigh) he had to move to the AL this year. And tomorrow he graduates from Kindergarten! Onto 1st grade! This weekend will be hard for us, my sister and her family are moving from Denver to Spokane and we have to say goodbye! Hopefully Em & Declan will be back for our baby's birth in July/August.
I hope you are all as happy as I am that Spring is finally here! I don't think I could really take much more winter/spring in Colorado!
See ya, Melinda

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Well, it's May!

Today is May 1st, also known as May Day. It is also my Mom's birthday, happy birthday Mom! And yesterday it was spectacular- 81 degrees. No need for a jacket and I almost had to turn the AC on in the car. I would have if I didn't have to take a small loan to put gas in the thing. It's spring, flowers are up, leaves are out, the squirrels are out again to torture Abby. Glorious... Oh did I not mention that it is SNOWING right now??? It is absolutely psychotic to live in Colorado and expect that it would not snow on May 1st. I mean pretty much all the resorts are closed and yet Connor has to wear his just-about-too-small winter coat and a hat.


Connor and my rose bush, hopefully it will still be alive tomorrow
Our neighbor's tree with leaves
That would be Chase's little face sticking out mad that I wouldn't let him out, who needs the smell of wet dog?
I am not sure Abby is completely upset by the snow...

Enjoy your day and please don't send pictures of you at the pool!