Lee Martinez Farm in Fort Collins

Last Thursday, May 23rd, my friend Gabby, who I met at the gym, invited Ryder and I to tag along with her and her kiddos and a friend of hers (and her kids) :) We met up in the afternoon at Lee Martinez Farm. Lee Martinez Farm is a farm that you can take your kids to, to pet animals, check different ones out, ride horses, etc. I actually took Pony Camp lessons there when I was in elementary school! I was obsessed with horses and I remember I absolutely loved those lessons! We learned how to pick their hooves, give them baths, pick up poop, find your pony in the field and put a halter on them and bring them over to saddle them up, put saddles on them, and of course…ride them! Anyways, it brought back good memories! The cost for an adult is $3 and for kids under 2 years of age, it is free. You can buy seed to feed the animals for very cheap, like a quarter I think…I recommend it if you are in Fort Collins with little ones!

The first animal Ryder met was a lamb! I sat him down on the ground, gave him some seed to feed the lamb, and he was honestly more interested in the seed on the ground than seeing the lamb haha!


Ryder and a black sheep…Ryder was like “Okayyy” Haha. This just reminds me….”Ba Ba Black Sheep, have you any wool?”


I was hoping the sheep would eat from Ryder’s hands but no…Ryder wanted to feed himself! So gross haha! This cracks me up.


Ryder with sheep. // Ryder and a horse! Unfortunately, the pony rides for kids are only available on the weekends and we were there on a Thursday…I was bummed he missed out!


Some of Ryder’s new friends. // Some rooster thing ha. Honestly, I don’t even know what it is. It wouldn’t have been good if Ryder put his fingers in the openings…could have pecked at him lol.


New friends watching cows.


Ryder and a goat! If you have never heard of Bla Bla Dolls, you are missing out. Ryder has one (it is like a stuffed animal) of a goat and it is like ‘the favorite take everywhere stuffed animal and keep forever’! We call him Billy the goat! He HAD to meet a goat! // Ryder and I. LOVE his face here but bummed it was cut off.


Ryder and I had a fun time :)

What are your favorite things to do with babies/little kids out and about?

(Like random things, swimming, parks, things like this farm, etc… :) Looking for more ideas!)

Home Remodel: Ikea Adel Cabinets

Before you check out the progression of the cabinet installation, take a look at our other home renovation posts!

>> Home Remodel: The Dilemma & Decisions

>> Home Remodel: Demolition & Paint

>> Home Remodel: Flooring

Now to the good stuff! When Kevin and I decided to take on this whole main level/kitchen improvement project, we had decided that Kevin (and family & friends) would attempt the installation. This was one big area where we could save money. Plus, we live outside some radius from the Ikea Centennial location so it would cost even extra for them to install the cabinets for us…like it would cost at least half of what we paid for them! No thanks. You can see the reasoning on why we chose Ikea cabinets here. Now if you don’t know much about Ikea cabinets, you may not have realized you have to build each and every cabinet, piece by piece! Also, Ikea gives you the greatest set of directions with detailed paragraphs…not! They give you lame pictures which aren’t always the most helpful…at all! Kevin, of course, and even I learned about an Ikea Kitchen website where you can find answers to questions on building their most complex things…like cabinets! Once Kevin learned how to build the cabinets, they went a lot quicker and he was able to pound them out…for the most part. You even get to install the drawer tracks, dampers (when you close the door it stops at the end and slowly closes), handles, etc.! All of Ikea’s cabinets come with the dampers except for our butcher block.

Building the cabinets! If only they came already built…like every other cabinet company out there ;) Guess they would cost more though heh.


You may not know that Ikea cabinets are not mounted into the wall like normal cabinets but they are hung on a track! Better make sure that track is level ;) You can see the track in the photo below…and if you look closely you can see Ryder!


More Ryder!


Let me just say, you learn things about your house, you never knew before. For example:

The right wall where the top cabinet meets, isn’t straight. Yep. No house is built perfectly and for some reason our wall isn’t exactly straight up. So the white piece that is attached to the right cabinets had to be cut to fit the wall. How annoying, right!? Also, there were a couple of set-backs…which is very normal while remodeling your entire level. Kevin added a cover panel later on (not seen in the picture below). Let me explain. The longest cabinet hanging on the right will go right next to the fridge. So, if you want your fridge to look built in, you need to add a cover panel to hide the side of the fridge. This is a little more important for us since we bought a ‘scratch and dent’ fridge for a killer deal at Best Buy. Basically, it is the left side of the fridge that has a few scratches…other than that, it is perfect! You won’t really be able to see the flaws :) Kevin and some friends had to take down the right cabinet and newly cut piece against our not-so-straight wall to add a cover panel in. Hopefully that makes sense. Also, they had to add a filler piece in - which is basically like a shorter cover panel - so that where the microwave would go, would be perfectly above the stove…like it should haha. Something funky is going on with our left wall too, so when they put in the base cabinets the microwave and stove would have been off, if they wouldn’t have noticed it. The stove would have ended up being like half an inch to the right, so they added a filler piece in to the top cabinets to move it over a half an inch, so the top and base cabinets would match…if you followed that, congrats!


Below you can see the cover panel connecting the right top and right base cabinets.


Work in progress and hello, lazy Susan!


One thing that came as a surprise to us was that the Varde butcher block’s counter top has to be finished, somehow. We have yet to look into that but will have to figure it out sooner than later. The countertop came a little rougher than what I was expecting. But hey, I guess it is Ikea so you basically do it all! Ugh.


Can’t wait to go grocery shopping, organize, and stock up our pantry!


Another set back we had was that we had purchased 24 inch cabinets to go to the right of the stove when in reality, we should have purchased 18 inch cabinets. What happened was that Kevin did the measurements of our kitchen, like a hundred times, and he measured everything correctly. When you purchase an Ikea kitchen and also pay for a guy to come out and measure for you, they will deduct that cost off your entire kitchen cost. Basically, it is like you are getting someone to come and double check your measurements for ‘free.’ Better safe than sorry right?! Well…what happened was that somehow the measurements got entered in, incorrectly – by we think the measurement guy – so we got the wrong size cabinets. They ended up being obviously too big for the space. We had to take time and drive back down to Denver to exchange the cabinets for the right sized ones. We had originally paid for our cabinets to be delivered because they come in a hundred different parts and we didn’t have a truck to go get them all. It was annoying that we had to drive it all down there to exchange everything. Waste of gas, money, and time! It would have been nice to have them pick up the wrong-sized cabinets and deliver us the right sized ones, ESPECIALLY since it wasn’t our fault! It was the measuring companies’ fault. Anyways, we have moved past this haha. Ikea did give us each a FREE MEAL to make us ‘feel better’…what a lame compensation haha. I wanted them to give us a $100 Ikea gift-card or something! They just blamed the problems on the measuring company which is understandable but I feel like we kind of got screwed over a little in the situation.

The next step for our kitchen is putting back the baseboards and quarter-round pieces and doing a couple last minute flooring finishes. Our countertops and appliances will be coming and installed in ONE WEEK! I cannot wait!!! Oh, and we need to finish the butcher block Varde countertop and put in subway tile…and I’m sure more :) That’s it for now!


New Obsession, Ikea Trip, & Our Weekend

This post encompasses May 13-19, 2013…last week!


^^ Kevin watched Ryder at work while I got my first Remicade infusion! Still waiting on the meds to kick in full force! More on that here.  Now I can’t wait for my second infusion next week!


^^ Ryder is turning into a stomach sleeper! Today, during a nap, I noticed he was FACE DOWN literally on his face. His head wasn’t turned to the side  either way. That is so not comfortable for me haha! And I checked to make sure he was breathing…


^^ NEW OBESSION: I discovered the most amazing gelato from the grocery store…Talenti Gelato! I actually got it at Target but I’m sure it is everywhere. This stuff was amazing. The downside is that it is expensive. It is like $5-6 for a pint? But so worth it…I had heard of others loving it, so I decided to try it and boy was I glad! I was pounding this while watching Dance Moms above haha. Just canceling out my workout for the day ;)


^^ Kevin & I took an evening trip down to Denver to visit IKEA to get reimbursed for measuring for our kitchen, do some exchanges, and get some last minute kitchen parts/supplies. We had a bunch of exchanges to do and it was a zoo. Because we had some issues with reimbursement and exchanges they gave us free meals. It is the least they could do! Honestly, they should have done a lot more. I will expound upon this in more detail in our Home Renovation: Cabinet post (which is coming soon!). For dinner, we both got their Swedish meatballs! Not going to lie, they are pretty tasty! Then Kevin ran into the Apple store at Park Meadows to meet with some guys at the Genius bar for his phone, almost when they were closing. It was a crazy evening and we didn’t have enough time! We were going to try and see my friend Emily but ran out of time. ! I wish IKEA wasn’t so far…I mean, it is only 1.5 hours, but still, we don’t go to Denver that often. We need to though!


^^ After working out, two days in a row, I took each car to get washed at Casey’s Car Wash. Sometimes we go WAY TOO LONG with not washing our cars. I often plan on getting it washed but then I look at the weather and it will snow the next day or rain in 2 days so I always wait. THEN…you realize it has been months and months of not washing your car! So finally, we got them cleaned. It was definitely much needed. Ryder was a fan of watching the cars get washed! Also, he was a big hit there! Everyone kept coming up to him trying to talk to him and asking me how old he was! I have never had that many people approach me at something like a car wash. They were busy days though so we were waiting for like an hour once. I’m sure people were really bored too! // Also, the photo of Ryder in the car ‘driving’ was after Kevin, my mom, and I took out the Sister Missionaries at Panera! It was a fun night with them. Then Kevin watched Ryder while my mom and I went to Ann Taylor Loft to help her use some gift cards she had there. I got a killer deal on an awesome skirt that was on sale (which was an additional 40% off) and then later my mom and Kevin told me it looked something like a ‘Grandma’ would wear! I beg to differ haha! I am curious what other people think…but I think I like it! I can’t wait to find the right pieces to wear with it! Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I have absolutely nothing to match it… I also got some sandals at Gap with a coupon so that was fun.


^^ While Kevin worked on the cabinets, I cleaned up around the house, did laundry, organized stuff, etc. I also got the biggest ‘newspaper’ of information about my new Remicade medicine. Guys, it covered half my body haha! I tried to read some outside so as you can see…it even looks like a blanket! Also, I had called Otterbox and got a free case from their warranty plan… It came in the mail and is the perfect hookup to my kicks! Meanwhile, Kevin finished putting the cabinets together for the most part. We are now waiting for the counter-tops to be installed…and the soonest they could do it was 2 weeks, so that is very annoying, that we have to wait that long!


^^ Ryder was the cutest clapping, rolling over baby, ever. Clapping is his fav!


^^ Ryder and I after church. I think he is a keeper!!! On a side note- this was the first time at church where he didn’t want to fall asleep! He sure spoiled me on Mother’s Day sleeping both 2nd and 3rd hour of church! Because he was tired and had skipped his morning nap (and was woken up earlier than he would normally since church is at 8 am), he was a little harder to keep happy haha.


^^ For Sunday dinner, my dad made a fun Hawaiian dinner! Kahlua Pork seasoned pork with spinach, rice, carrots, apple sauce, Hawaiian bread, and Guava nectar! It was so good!

Some other fun tidbits: + New neighbors moved in next door to us so I made brownies and we brought them over! They seem really cool! I’m excited they moved in! + Kevin worked on the kitchen and cabinets and everything all week! + My mom, Kevin, and I had a yummy dinner at Spoon’s. That place is SO good! + Ryder and I hit up Super Target. Seriously, every Monday is practically when I go to Target. I get some basic groceries there and it is definitely turning into a routine haha. + My mom & I had a lunch date and ate at CafĂ© Rio and then checked out Home Goods for the first time. They had some pretty cool stuff.

Next Up: Home Renovation: Cabinets!


My 1st Remicade Infusion


Hopefully you aren’t sick of my posts or me talking about my disease on this little blog of mine, because well, I have the disease, it affects my daily life, so…I will talk about it! Unfortunately, it is a big deal. Maybe it will be helpful for someone out there ;) Anyways, so I decided on Remicade (infusion) vs. shots (Enbrel or Humira). The infusions are less frequent (every 6-8 weeks- not sure how many weeks apart mine are actually). If I did shots, I would do them every 2 weeks. I probably, over time, would get brave and the shots wouldn’t be a big deal, but what if, they really sucked, and every 2 weeks I was begging Kevin to give me one or my parents (if he was out of town)…or random nurses that I know here. Random, but I actually know quite a few nurses here! I didn’t want to dread that day and have to deal with disposing of the medical waste/sharps, traveling with the shots and keeping them refrigerated, etc. So I decided to go for it! Kevin helped me decide to do so. I was so nervous to just decide to do it. I decided to take advantage of modern medicine since it is out there to help people and it is the only type of medicine that could prevent fusing of my spine (no brainer there). If I get lymphoma cancer or a serious disease from it, well, that really sucks, but I guess I am taking my chances…. So I was told to drink a lot of water the day before to help my veins be lovely to poke for the meds to run in…I think I did ok. Anyone have a hard time just DRINKING? I would much rather eat. I struggle with staying hydrated haha. Side note- I could NEVER be an alcoholic! By the way, I have never tried alcohol haha… Anyways, I went to bed late, also a problem I have…I have a hard time going to bed before midnight which is like 4.5 hours after Ryder has been asleep, lol. So I go to bed and then in one of my dreams was I was at my rheumatology office, was SO delusional, and couldn’t find the infusion room! I remember being lost in the office and out of it. Thank goodness I woke up and I wasn’t all delusional in there. My infusion was at 8:30 am and was supposed to go 20 minutes early, so basically, I woke up dang early. The infusion takes 2 and a half hours so Kevin took Ryder to work because I couldn’t take him there. Ryder’s first tooth literally popped up 2 days prior to this and he had a little cold so he wasn’t in the best mood. I had a feeling he may be crazier than normal for Kevin and he was. The photo above is Ryder chilling in a chair in Kevin’s office! I love my cute boy! I had my first infusion, Tuesday, May 14th, 2013. They say the meds could start working the following day or a couple of months. That is a big variance! Cyndi (who does the infusions and goes to my church) got my meds ready and gave me my IV. She was explaining how there is a thing that goes into my arm that is kind of plastic-y (sorry don’t know the names of IV parts lol) so when you move your arm the needle won’t poke you or something. Basically, I was SO nervous I was getting lightheaded. < It reminded me of when I passed out at a post surgery appointment at an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat dr.) appointment. Awhile ago, I had sinus surgery and they also fixed a deviated septum. I was at a check up and he was putting something up my nose like I swear, back into my brain haha and it made me feel so weird I passed out. >  Now back to the infusion, basically, I’m glad I didn’t pass out. I’ve never passed out giving blood or getting an IV but it was just weirding me out. I was just so nervous to get these meds because they are hardcore and the strongest drugs for my disease. Basically, after Remicade and the shots, I don’t know what else there is out there. Hopefully LOTS of options in clinical trials?! Anyways, I brought my laptop (in case I wanted to blog, shop, etc.) and an iPad with Kevin’s Bose headphones. I also brought thank you notes and random things to do. Instead, I sat there asking Cyndi lots of questions and worrying about the side affects haha. Also, I brought a Naked drink because they are yummy, oh and chocolate too :) I ended up getting calm at the end and watching a little of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and then it was all over! Basically the meds just dripped into my body and made my arm cold for a couple of hours. Also, you are allowed to go to the bathroom if you wheel your tower of meds into the restroom with you ha! All in all, it wasn’t too bad, but at the end, I started feeling like I was getting a headache but think it may have been mental haha. Afterwards, Kevin, Ryder, and I went out to lunch at Subway. I told him all about it and he said, “Let’s do lunch or dinner after every infusion to make it a good day!” I think that is a splendid idea. It sucks to have a disease and we can make the day special haha. Then I said, “And I will go shopping!!!'” Just kidding, maybe. That would be an awesome post-infusion tradition! So far, I haven’t noticed anything crazy with the drugs but a positive is that I stopped taking Vicadin 2 evenings ago. I didn’t take the pill and didn’t wake up in the middle of the night from pain! It is hard to say if it is the Remicade working (which would be pretty early) or if my flare-up is going down for a bit. I swear, every day it is something new. Last weekend and earlier this week it hurt to breathe (in the front of the rib cage) and my knees got really bad a couple of weeks ago. I think my knees have gradually gotten better and luckily I am breathing better. Now, my lower back/SI joints are achy which is annoying but definitely better than freaking limping. I am ready to hit the gym hard and not ‘take it easy’! So frustrating. Anyways, I get my 2nd infusion not this week but the following. Hopefully by then, the drugs will be working in full effect! Crossing my fingers!

Also- if you are wondering why I Instagram random IV photos or health ones, it isn’t to gross you out. There is a whole arthritis world out there on Instagram lol. Basically, if I hashtag #Remicade or #Enbrel or #Humira I get a lot of good comments and feedback from people who are on it! I’ve also hashtagged my disease #AnkylosingSpondylitis and found people who have it as well. However, there aren’t too many since the disease is pretty rare. I have gotten good info by doing that so just in case you are wondering :)


Mother’s Day 2013

First of all, hope all of you mamas had a good Mother’s Day, especially my mom, mother-in-law, sisters-in-laws, and friends!

My mom, NiKol, & I after I got married


Kevin & Kathy


My first Mother’s Day…


This was my first Mother’s Day as a mommy! Well…last year I was one, but Ryder was in the womb, hehe. Growing a human (little Ryder), being pregnant, giving birth, and adjusting to life with a baby and all of what has happened with my disease has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. It has been hard but SO worth it. I am so thankful to be a mom and to our amazing son, Ryder. I feel like I have got the mom thing down pretty good for the most part lol. It is still harder to get things done, keep things clean, and stay on top of everything compared to before but it is ok. That is something I struggle with daily! I like things to be orderly, organized, and in control…key word, in control haha. You can’t really control another human being…lol. But having Ryder in our life and little family has been awesome! He brings so much joy to our lives. He is hysterical, sweet, precious, and I am just obsessed with him…as you can tell from my blog since I post a gazillion photos of him every blog post haha! We just LOVE him! So glad he made me a mom. Anyways, a little about the day…Kevin, Ryder, and I went to church and it was great. Ryder slept during 2nd and 3rd hour in his car seat like a champ. He has been pooped out the past few days because he is teething and has a little cold. Anyways, all of the women attended Relief Society which was fun. I remember a year ago, I was in nursery, and I hadn’t been to Relief Society for months and months and was able to on Mother’s Day since the men fill in for the women who have callings 3rd hour. It was SO weird to go to Relief Society I thought! Now I am so lucky I can go each week…depending on Ryder. After church, I watched Ryder while Kevin took a nap and then we ate chicken sandwich croissants with my family for a late lunch. Then I took a little nap while Kevin watched Ryder. My friend Amanda Johnson brought over some Doterra oil for my back (Ankylosing Spondylitis disease, whatever my immune system is deciding to attack at that time) so I will try that soon. That was so nice of her. For Mother’s Day, Kevin and Ryder got me that pink suitcase (here) so I am super excited to use that on our next trip, my in-laws got me an awesome CD, and my parents got me a manicure that I got the day prior. Not a bad day ;) My dad cooked an amazing German dinner - dumplings, goulash, cauliflower, rolls, berries! It was bomb. I love German food, so much. Oh, and my brother, Patrick came home from Boulder to celebrate this day so that was nice. Then while listening to my new CD, Kevin, Hunter, my dad, and I played a game of Rummikub. Then Kevin and Hunter played Jenga and some other game while I tried to keep Ryder happy. All in all, it was a pretty good day!


Hunter’s 11th Birthday Weekend

Hunter turned 11 years old on Thursday, May 9th, 2013! While he was off at school, I went to workout. I had a feeling I wouldn’t really be able to do much at all because of my knees (AS disease) but I was stubborn. I walked into a Step class and walked out before it started. I knew it would make them worse. I then tried doing a mile on a bunch of cardio machines and my knees felt horrible so I left after 4 miles. So frustrating! Then I hurried home and got ready to meet my mom, dad, Zach, and Hunter at Larkburger for lunch.

On the way, it was pouring rain, then it started raining harder, then all of a sudden I realized cars were driving through slush, then I was like, “Is it snowing?” It was the most confusing thing ever. I then realized that it was hailing! So that was an interesting drive down College ha.


Anyone been to Larkburger? What do you think? My first time I was weirded out because they have fancy fries that stink horribly. This was my second time and it was much better. My brothers love this place.


On the way home, I printed the ward bulletins for the upcoming Sunday. Afterwards, Hunter opened some presents and here is a really bad photo of us with bad lighting lol.


Hunter wanted to eat at Mount Fuji for dinner. At this restaurant you can sit on the floor in some booths so we did that. Ryder sat right next to Kevin and I on the floor ha! It is a fun place to eat Japanese food! I got a beef, vegetable, rice bowl. Kevin got a bunch of sushi!


Also- how does one get a good photo with a crazy active baby who wants to move around so much? Seriously, it is getting harder to take photos of him because most of them are now turning out SO blurry!


Afterwards, my aunt NaNet and her kids came over and we all had angel food cake! Here is the birthday boy and Ryder! Also, I wish I had better photos from this day! I feel like the lighting is so weird in all of them!


On Friday, the 10th, my knees were feeling a little better so I went to my friend, Mindy’s yoga class! It was amazing! I love going to her classes. Also, Ryder tried bananas for a little breakfast snack and we both learned they are super slippery haha. How can I expect him to pick up little banana chunks when I can’t pick them up myself?


Hunter’s birthday kind of extended into Friday evening because he had a birthday get together with some yo-yo friends. Ryder watched them yo-yoing and enjoyed his first graham cracker! He ate a little more than 1 graham cracker and it was amazing but…BOY did it make a mess!


We had pizza and Mary’s Mountain Cookies for dessert. Seriously, my family is ADDICTED to Mary’s Mountain Cookies!!! They are heavenly and probably over 1000 calories per cookie. I should probably look into how many calories one is but I don’t even want to know. Meanwhile, Kevin was working on the house with some church friends so I brought him some food over!


We moved the high chair so Ryder could watch the yo-yoers! Also, I think a graham cracker chunk is falling out of his mouth ha!


I would say that Hunter had a good birthday! :D

Saturday, the 11th, Kevin worked on house stuff with friends and Ryder and I hit up the gym. I went to another yoga class and it wasn’t as good. I was having costochondritis (inflammation of the ribs) so it was hurting to breathe. It is SO annoying. But it was good I worked out anyway, I think ha.

Oh, and Ryder’s new thing is sleeping on his tummy?! I know this isn’t crazy at all to most people but up unti this point he really hasn’t slept like this! I think it is so cute. But sleeping on your back is better (Back is best- or whatever) so, I roll him sometimes lol.


My friend Emily Vail came in town so we went with my mom to get manicures. I actually had a really bad experience. An old lady did my nails and it was the worst manicure I had ever gotten, like only half of my nails were painted. Let me explain. Look at one of your finger nails. Now paint half. Welp, that is what happened on a lot of them. She asked at the end, if it was good and I am not usually one to complain…AT ALL. But, I was going to be pissed and not want to pay if they looked crappy, I mean, hey, I could have painted them myself like that! So I said, “Can you paint the rest of the nails?” She did and it kept getting worse and worse. She kept asking “Good?” and trying to paint a clear coat at the end and I told her “I just want my nails to look the same.” By then, each nail looked different because she put different layers on each nail and there were streaks. Then another employee noticed and told her to take it all off and have me wash my hands. Then a different employee finished my nails and they looked much better. Maybe she was in training? Oh my word, it was so bad lol.

Emily came over and hung out a little bit before she had to go and Ryder was a big fan of her.


Hope you had a great weekend and Mother’s Day!!!