Last year we traveled to the mountains to cut down our own Christmas tree.  This year, due to travel schedules and weather (it still felt like summer), we decided to just buy a tree.  When we told the kids, they flipped.  Perhaps they thought this meant we would have no tree.  So we made a 6am call, and headed for the mountains.  Last year we headed southwest, to Fraser, so we decided to try the other farm this year, northwest past Fort Collins.  This was Smokey Bear territory, and we got a glimpse of the bear on our way out of the park.  There was snow!  And many more fir trees than spruce.  We were looking for something tall and skinny for our new living room configuration, and we found just that.

And a stop at New Belgium Brewery seemed in order.  Massive marshmallows and beer tasters!

On the way home, after an hour of driving we rolled through Loveland and passed a Christmas tree farm. Hazel & Miles: “Look! So many trees!  And already cut down and much better than the tree we got!”  Tim and I exchanged glances.  Happy Anniversary!

I still like our cut-your-own tradition.

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  • On the go!  Clyde picked up his torso and is crawling all over the place.  He has the cutest little crawl, kind of pigeon handed.  He is also adept, but cautious, about getting up a flight of stairs.  Still working on getting down.
  • If you’re happy and you know it… Clapping hands is fun!  Any time anyone sings, or says “yay!”, or when he is upset and needs to sooth himself, Clyde claps.
  • Daddy’s Boy.  Whenever Clyde sees Tim he shouts “Dada!” and reaches for him to be picked up, even when I am holding him.  He wants back to me after a minute, but he is definitely excited to spend time with Da.
  • Funny man.  Peek-a-boo, laughing and a squinty eyed stink face let me know this one may end up being the jokester in our family.
  • Player.  This guy jumps right into whatever is being played, and loves to have time with his toys.  Also, he has spent a lot of this warm fall at parks and playground and when asked if he wants to play, pumps his arms and legs and smiles so wide. He loves climbing up and sliding down, all under the close supervision of his doting big sister, of course.
  • Dishwashed.  Clyde LOVES the dishwasher, and will climb in it whenever the door is down.  Hazel and Miles have recruited him to unload the silverware.  He carefully removes each one and hands it to Hazel to put away.  Start ’em young.
  • New names.  We will never run out of nicknames for Clyde Z.  This month: Boodle.  Cloodle.  Tiny A Boo. Cock of the Rock.

Thanksgiving break we made a quick drop down to Colorado Springs to visit our outlaws (Mariel’s inlaws).  We met up at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, where the “cousins” reunited over giraffes and a slow sloth.  We then headed to their house for a day and night of playing and a big snowstorm!  We got to catch up with Grandma Sandy & Grandpa Tim too.  Next time we plan to see the Air Force Academy!

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October was filled with pumpkin patches, constant updates on our home Halloween decoration, and costume creation.  We waited until the last minute to carve and display our jack o’lanterns, to avoid giving the squirrely-dirrerlys an early trick or treat.

Our costume this year was years in coming, and I think we pulled it off pretty well.  Miles’ obsession in Tin Tin has infiltrated our lives, adding vocabulary to our speech (Kraken-Heimer! is our resident curse) and character to our persona.  On Halloween we all got to live our alter-egos.

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Trick or Treat was a huge success.  Only 2% of houses “got” our costume (1 or 2). Clyde got a bucket of candy for dad (after carefully selecting one from each house, he looked into the eyes of the giver and smiled – so so sweet. He also got ahold of a box of Nerds which he used as a rattle until he wetted the corner so that the sweet shakers emptied into his mouth, quieting him completely until we discovered the sugar intake going on).  Hazel was NOT scared, walking through an open house with deadpan indifference.  Miles loved it and outlasted us all.  And of course, Ging & Blue got dressed up too.

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This little man…he brings joy where ever he goes.

  • Army Crawler. Clyde continues to ruin the front of every outfit by army crawling everywhere.  He’s getting proficient at it though, and speed increasing past glacial.
  • Standing.  It was the month where Clyde stood up in the bed.  And stood against my leg.  And against everything.  Somehow he looks even tinier when he is standing.
  • Teeth!  What do you get when you cry all day?  Two teeth!  Right together on the bottom.  Luckily they have not yet been used to bite.
  • Aumph.  Speaking of bite, Clyde continues to chomp all kinds of people food. Favorite this month, momma’s homemade apple sauce.  He also also able to be fed by a spoon, still loves nursing, and discovered baby puffs this month.
  • Dada & Hazel. His vocabulary is booming, adding “Hazel” to his repertoire of family names. He loves his sister!
  • Mama’s Boy.  He won’t say it (I think he still considers himself one of my appendages), but Clyde needs his momma.  Coming around slightly to his Uncle G, as I’ve mentioned…
  • A-woooo! Halloween is coming up and Clyde copies Hazel and me when we see scary stuff “a-woooo!”.  Also, he started to get startled, his initial fright by a huge jack o lantern I brought into the house.  He crawled up and clung to me like cling wrap!
  • Sleeper.  I know this won’t last, so trying to enjoy the long naps (2x 2 hour/day) and long nights (5:30pm-7am or when I wake him).  This is one well-rested dude.

Miles again ran cross country this year.  It was the last year where he will race the 1km, and he did great!  His enthusiasm, endurance and pure love of running made it a joy to watch him participate and develop in the sport.  As a bonus, I was able to coach this season and see it all up close.  His first meet was about getting used to it, “that was hard” he determined after losing his breath.  On the morning of the second meet, he came into my bed early.  “How do I win the race today?” he asked.  We talked about pace, pain and doing your best.  He rocked it, finishing in the top 20% and getting a massive PR.  He was definitely happy with his effort!

Late in September, the leaves change.  Even when summer seems to go on and on and on like this year.  So we loaded up one Sunday morning and headed “to the mountains” (a phrase I still feel weird about using) to see this fabled Aspens.  What I saw exceeded every expectation I had.  The color was so vibrant, so fiery and intense, I couldn’t stop staring.  We drove up Guanella Pass and stopped on the way back down, picnicking and hiking around a streak of gold.  These gorgeous photos are courtesy of Tim.

I loved it so much that I recruited a friend and her little to join Hazel, Clyde and I for a daytime outing to Lily Lake, where we saw even more gorgeous color.  Before it inevitably faded and slipped away.