Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Misadventures of New Mexico

We spent a few days on the road before Jay needed to start back at work for the New Year.

Four days...

Two dogs....

Two kids.....

An inch of snow....

This past summer when I took the girls for three weeks on the road there was no fighting...

There was a lot of fighting.

There were no tears this past summer, less that one time we were leaving the Grand Canyon heading to Zion and there were no gas stations open... No food... etc. and we ran out of snacks. It may have been my definition of a personal nightmare (and Lex's.)

There were a lot of tears.

The overall disaster of this trip was amazingly impressive. 

Ten years from now we will remember the tears at Chaco as we ran along a trail looking for the petroglyphs and waiting an hour in the car to regain circulation in our fingers and toes. 

The girls became the first and second Jr. Rangers at Chaco in 2015 and we really enjoyed having the park to ourselves.

A tradition made over the summer, one which would not die on an 11 degree day.

Not impressed with his interruptions while taking pics of some great kiva's.

At this point Jay had already hiked this area while I waited in the car with the girls. While excavating the ruins they discovered many macaw skeletons which had been traded up this way, the feathers have been found at Mesa Verde showing some pretty extensive trade paths.

Little doors.

The snowball queen.

Because I like our blog to be a place of honesty, I should probably mention that dad went out there because of the wind... Someone needed a little help walking to the sign. We plan on heading back to the sister parks again at some point in the future. Carlsbad had closed because there was no water going to the park... and apparently they closed the highway to the park;) We may have driven around the already knocked over sign.

The girls enjoyed Blizzards company on the trip. I'm not sure she appreciates pink flower bows... but it did stay in her hair for a few hours.

Our last stop was Capulin, A1 very much enjoys exploring geology so this was a very fun trip. She's been rather disappointed though in the past few weeks. Since visiting Volcan de Colima has erupted. Yes, silly me planned our trip to the wrong Mexico. 

Overall, I'm learning to appreciate failure and misadventure. There have been many field trips that went off without a hitch that we have few memories of... while the trips that failed, we remember. Plus, when a misadventure happens we have an excuse to go back. This trip, less Chaco- will likely be repeated. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A little update, changes for the New Year, MealFit, travel future:)

We've been pretty busy and I have been in an otherwise bad place for the past few months.

When we started the roadschool journey this past summer I was pretty determined to plan everything and organize our travel plans diligently. One thing I learned rather quickly was planning is a bad idea or that plans don't always work. Things can change quickly. It can be a case of food poisoning in the desert, an otherwise unplanned event, even weather.

In October, we planned to spend Lex's third birthday visiting Nebraska. Days before leaving our dog had her standard six month check up and had lost weight. A lot of weight though I suppose that is subjective. While we were waiting on lab results we had to cancel the trip. Thankfully, an amazing friend and mom we know locally offered to watch Blizzard so we could get away for a night to Colorado Springs. It meant a lot to us. Particularly, because we didn't realize how difficult it would be for her to merge into a new environment... This friend is a rock star.

We thought those issues would be resolved by November but they were not. We cancelled Athena's birthday trip to New Mexico. She handled it with grace and maturity. When we asked what she wanted to do for her birthday she simply asked to visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for the Whales exhibit again. Wish granted.

During December we spent time evaluating what we would like to see change in the new year... One of the things I really wanted to see change was relationships. We had been maintaining a toxic relationship for a year. Yes, a year.

The obvious choice was to cut ties but as parents, relationships we have impact our children and not always in a positive light. We opted to keep the relationship at an arms length... which had been working until this fall when circumstances made it difficult to do so. As passive aggressive e-mails increased and Athena became increasingly uncomfortable around the adult, we made the choice to "delete" the person from our lives. After all, a seven year old should not be afraid to have a birthday party because she does not want to invite one child.

Now that it is done. I feel safe. Safe is the best way to describe this. The negativity this person was creating was horrible, there were days I felt physically sick after running into her... and dreaded running into her on the other days. Athena feels safe, she is happy to see the negativity go and wants to plan a birthday party, a little late- but I'm happy knowing she isn't afraid.

Other things we plan to change this year- our health. Until Athena was five we were the organic, non processed paleo parents at all times. Adjusting to new schedules and homeschooling threw that off for us. Half of the battle for us was meal planning and grocery lists. I can't say how many times we were running to the store because we did not have basic spices or other things in the house to make meals we planned on making.

So we signed up for MealFit. So far we are liking it. The meals are 90% paleo... though I've found we need to sub out certain things because we do not eat soy ingredients or cornstarch...

Okay, confession time: I didn't know people EAT cornstarch. I didn't know it was a food.

Otherwise, we are really going to crackdown and focus on our travel goals in the long term. Where do we want to relo to? When? Will it be temp? Will it be long term? Third world or developing/ developed world? Backpacking? Biking? RVing? We have a lot of choices and I don't think either of us want to narrow the field completely so I'm excited to see what we decide.