Skiing – take 2

On my mother’s brilliant advice, I offered Eve the chance to go skiing today and get caught up on the lesson she missed on Thursday. She thought for a moment then decided it was a great idea. She also told me she was really embarrassed that she fell and didn’t noticed that everyone else was falling too! We decided to invite the boys and after a little convincing for the younger one, we all headed off to the slopes on this sunny 18° day.

Smiles all around! (Alan was still getting his gear on)

Eve was eager to “teach” Lex all about skiing. That made me laugh.

Lex lasted for a little while, but didn’t love it. He wasn’t thrilled with the out of control feeling, and one time Alan caught him at the bottom of the hill, but they both fell down together since Alan was also on skis. Lex said he hurt his head in that tumble. He did a few trips down, but then decided he was done with skiing and went to sit on the bench and watch the lift go around. Eve, on the other hand, LOVED it! She was up and down and up and down and at the moment is better than anyone else in her lesson group! Assuming none of them went skiing this weekend!:)

Alan in the black and Eve right behind him.

I hope we can get Lex back on skis again someday, but for now I’m just thrilled that I won’t have to fight with Eve about ski lessons for the next four weeks! Hallelujah and thank you mom!

Girl Scouts in politics

We had the best field trip today!! Eve’s Girl Scout troop (finally) got started again with their first meeting last Wednesday to hand out cookie sale sheets. (buy cookies, you want cookies, cookies, cookies, cookies) They also talked about the badges and which ones they might like to pursue. One of the badges is called “Inside Government” and it involves interviewing an elected official and attending a town meeting. We joked about how that would be an easy one! When we got home we told Alan about it and he loved the idea and readily volunteered to help out. He told the Select Board about it at their meeting the next night and one of the women on the board told him about a “women in politics” (EmergeVermont) meeting happening on Saturday. One rapid thing led to another and by Saturday morning the troop was gathered at the leader’s house and preparing to attend this event. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we knew the agenda said “Lunch with a local Girl Scout troop.” We were expecting to walk around and ask a few questions (“take a poll” is what the badge requirement says) of various women, then leave. Instead we got so much more!!

She jumped right into Alan’s chair! This girl is going places. :)

When we got there we were welcomed warmly and eagerly. The girls were invited to sit in the Select Board chairs and they held a mock meeting with conference attendees coming up to the podium and asking the girls questions. When there was an extend pause in the questioning I said that really the girls are supposed to be asking the women in politics questions, so they all swapped rolls and the girls asked the questions. We had several Select Board members there (from our town and surrounding towns) and even a woman from our town who is a Vermont State Representative and an amazing person!

Eve is the only one not making a funny face here. LOL!  Becca White, in black, ran the “meeting” and everyone loved it.

Our future town government! Holding a “mock” Select Board meeting. Discussing important issues such as banning cigarettes and rescuing puppies.

Ruth from EmergeVermont even had a presentation prepared to show the girls, all about how to get involved even if you aren’t old enough to run for public office. They gave the girls stickers and coloring sheets too.

How to be and involved citizen, even as a child.

After pointing out the humor in it, Ruth presented the Girl Scouts with some cookies her daughter had made. She said, “When I told my 12 year old daughter that Girl Scouts were coming to the meeting, she said, Oh, Can I make them Cookies??” So she did. Very sweet.

Time for a few fun pictures at the end. Ruth asked if we would be ok if they used them in promotional materials and online forums. That would be fun to see!

Your Candidacy Begins Today. #runlikeagirl

Our Girl Scouts with Becca White, VP of the Select Board, and Gabrielle Lucke, Vermont State Representative. They are hanging with a good crowd!

I am so pleased with how well the day went, how eager the women were to have our girls there, and how happy the girls were to be there! Gabrielle Lucke invited them to tour the State House too, if they wanted to Girl Scout field trip. She offered to personally give them a tour if she was available. I love our state!!

Learn to ski… or not.

Look at that face. She doesn’t entirely look happy, even before the fall.

Our school offers a five-week learn-to-ski program in partnership with a local ski hill. When the paperwork came home a few months ago Eve said “thanks, but no thanks” and threw it in the recycling bin. However, the final day that forms were due she decided to join (several friends are also doing it), filled out the paperwork herself, and delivered it all to the office on her own. The school says it’s available at a discounted rate, but oh boy, it is still expensive! Especially since we had to rent everything.

Last week my boss emails me and says, “Since Eve is skiing… would you have any interest in volunteering on the slopes with them?” I double checked Volunteerspot, where the PTO posts volunteer listings, and saw that no parents had signed up! I asked Eve if she was ok with me being there (I like to check first with her), she said “yes, definitely!”, so I agreed.

Yesterday was the first day. Mass chaos (on our end AND the ski “resorts” end)! Eventually everyone ended up where they were supposed to be, fully equipped, and ready to ski. Two parents and several teachers ended up going, so we had enough adults to get the job done. Finally we were in our groups and off, learning to ski! I was with the beginner group because 1) that’s where they needed help and 2) that’s about my level these days! :) I spent most of the time picking kids up off the ground! Lots of them fell, some of them cried, but they all got back up and tried again… except mine. She was doing ok until she fell, then she fell apart. Tears streaming down her face. I got her back on her feet but she cried so hard, telling me her ankle hurt and her leg hurt. I mostly thought it was drama, but it is possible to hurt yourself in ski boots so I finally relented and let her go inside, hoping she would regroup and come back. I told her to check in with the parents in there, have them take a look at her ankle and leg, then come back. She never did. Later in the lesson I texted a parent inside asking if she could send Eve back out, but nope. Another teacher went in and later told me she had tried to encourage Eve to come back out but was shocked when Eve barked at her (not literally!) She told me she’d never seen Eve so angry before.

By the end of the lesson all of the kids were making it up and down the tiny hill and some of them could even stop themselves at the bottom. When I got everyone situated and made my way back to Eve I found her friends with her, consoling and encouraging her. It was sweet. One friend told me privately, “I feel bad for Eve, but I kind of want to tell her to just do it! Get back out there and try again!” I said “YES, please tell her that!”

At home that night Eve and I had a chat about quitting and why it isn’t an option. We talked (again!) about the importance of trying again, and how everything is hard in the beginning, and how everyone has things that come easily to them and things they have to work at, and how I paid a ton of money for this program and she’s not allowed to quit after ten minutes, and about how I’m volunteering and she’s not allowed to quit at all. Notice how I start off empathetic and compassionate, but by the end it’s down to the cold, hard facts?! :) We’ve been down this road before.

Eve was angry and sad and frustrated. I hope she is willing to put those skis back on next week though and give it a try again. It will be even harder next time because the rest of the group has a whole lesson under their belts and she is still starting from scratch. Sigh. This is why I hate volunteering for things! :)

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Happy New Year!

Happy 20117! I hope your year is off to a good start. We had an eventful night to close out 2016. My friend hosted a NYE party that was supposed to be a classy grown-up affair, but when it turned out no one had babysitters for the kids it ended up being more of a family affair. Eve and I got prettied up anyway.

All gussied up and ready to party! (we both have very tired eyes :/ I need to find the ‘awake and alert” filter! )

The kids did some night sledding, watched Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and ate their weight in Jax and snacks. The adults discussed the past year, the future, politics, the economy… ha, just kidding, the adults drank wine, talked about the kids, and ate their weight in fancy food that Bill prepared.

My bestie is so clever! We had fun identifying all of the deceased celebrities and choosing our favorite one. I went for Gene Wilder, and Alan took Alan Rickman. :)

I love this picture and I hate this picture. Maybe next NYE I can call this my “before” picture and have a much svelter “after” picture to post! Eve’s stuffies in her hand and under her arm are odd additions to the photo as well.

We told the kids that we could leave whenever they were ready and by 9:15 they were ready. However, there was still more good food coming and cats to pet and beverages to finish, so we didn’t end up leaving until closer to 10:30… only to discover the road was totally icy and our little car was going nowhere fast! They have a steep downhill driveway, then a 90° turn onto a steep uphill road. We tried backing way down the road, getting a running start, inching slowly, and everything else Alan could do, but the car just slipped, slid, spun, and refused to go up. After a few tries the kids and I got out (two full spins is enough for me and Eve was in tired tears). The other couple that was leaving at the same time as us had the same problem. At this point it was nearly 11pm. I took the kids back inside, tucked tired Eve into the guest bed with a book, and helped clean up the party with the remaining guests while the men went outside and did their best with whatever salt and kitty litter they could round up. Lex and the other boys resumed their pillow fight with “I wanna rock and roll all night,” cranking on Alistair’s CD player! :)

Eventually Alan got the car up and over the hill, one of the guys came to let us know, I rounded up the kiddos, and we made it home safe and sound. It was snowing and slick so we stuck to the side roads and took our time. We got home at about 11:50, put on PJs and brushed teeth, then found the NYE ball drop on YouTube just in time for the final 14 seconds of the countdown! We counted along, yelled Happy New Year, then didn’t know what to do withourselves because it was midnight, we were all wound up, and only barely just got home. We ended up hanging out, opening our Family Fun Jar, downing lots of water, and chatting until 12:30. The kids wanted to break out a game, which is what we usually do on NYE, but Alan and I decided NYE was over and everyone had to go to bed!

Everyone slept late this morning (yay!), then we spent a quiet day reading, playing card games, and (of course) a little screentime too. Eve and I went in to school for a little while to work on the fish tank (more on that later!) then picked up take-out for dinner. Now we are watching a Marx Brothers movie and the kids are laughing and laughing.

Here’s to many more exciting (but not too exciting!), fun-filled family days together in 2017!

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Christmas!

Hey, Christmas happened this year! With the usual trimmings and trappings and fanfare. :) We had Rosy and Barney with us, and Grandpa Don and Pat. We missed Pop Cube and Grandma though. The kids are growing up and (slightly) less exciting at Christmas (shh! don’t tell them I said so), but we had a house full of puppies to keep us all on our toes.

The fun started Christmas Eve when everyone arrived. Well, we had fun cleaning on Christmas Eve EVE (and teasing Eve, Eve, Eve), but the party started the next day with company and pizza at our house. Fortunately the pizza place is open on Christmas Eve. Fortunately for us anyway, maybe not for the pizza place employees.

After a nice dinner and family catch up time, the kids went to bed and Santa came!

I always love our living room on Christmas Eve. <3

Santa leaves two presents in for each kid in their bedrooms (in the hopes that mommy can get a little extra sleep). This year the presents were books and Legos and the kids gloriously stayed upstairs until 7am! Then they had to wake Aunt Rosy, wait for us adults to get some caffeine, then pose for pictures before finally, FINALLY, busting into the living room to examine the goods!

I love watching them look from afar. :)

A Beanie Boo!! What more could you ask for than a weird, big-eyed stuffy in your stocking!! She has dozens already, but she still loved this one too.

Even Arlo got a stocking full of treats, and even Arlo ended up with a belly ache from eating too many treats on Christmas morning!

Then it was time for breakfast (who am I kidding, more candy coming right up!) and waiting patiently (ha!) for the rest of the family to get done with church and come over. We do presents in stages around here. Bedroom presents first thing in the morning, stockings when the parents are awake, then the rest of the presents with the whole family. Good thing those early presents are strategically chosen. :)

Bodhi is getting so big! And so very tolerant. Arlo would never calmly allow this to happen to him. :)

For all the present unwrapping pictures (and all the pictures from Christmas), check out the Google album.

The kids got Ozobots for Christmas and had fun drawing paths for them to follow.

Lovely ladies.

Christmas dinner consisted of ham (honey glazed or something with pineapple and stuff, someone else could give you a much better title than I), and veggie lasagna, and salad. It was all delicious, of course. Then we washed it down with wine and cookies!

The obligatory selfie-stick pic. The crowd was small this year.

The next day we spent exploring our presents, reading lots of books, painting, and shopping with holiday gift cards. :)

Eve got face paints, which she promptly turned in to whole body paints!

Fruit Ninja on the XBox Kinect with Uncle Barney. Life is good.

Something went wrong that evening and several of us ended up throwing up all night. Not really the best way to spend a night (or the following day!), but at least it was over vacation. Poor Rosy had to drive home with a sick belly. :( Fortunately it didn’t last long and by the following day we were all feeling better again.

We are home today, totally snowed in (or so the weather forecast tells me, I don’t know, it’s dark outside), eating dinner on the couch, watching a Marx Brothers movie, and enjoying our vacation to the fullest.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

For all of my Christmas photos, head on over to the Google album.

Christmas Eve 2016

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

We got a surprise visit from Grampy Don and Pat!

Aww… sharing a rawhide under the table.

Cookies for Santa. 🎅

Can’t forget Rudolph!

Smiling adorable children on Christmas Eve.

Now go to bed! Santa has work to do. 😄🎄🎁

Thanksgiving 2016

Sooo… happy Christmas Eve. I thought it would be a good day to get this Thanksgiving post done! :)

We were in Franklin for Thanksgiving and this year the family went to the dogs! We had five adults, two kids, and four dogs. It was crazy and fun!

All lined up and ready for a walk!

The usual fare for Thanksgiving. I forget what it was, but I’m sure it was delicious. :)

Who wants some cheese?!? Little beggars.

Lex made bread with me. It was awesome. He made me promise not to post pictures on Facebook, but he said one picture on the blog would be ok.

Eve and her doggies.

I put all the photos in a Google album for your viewing pleasure. :)

Now, I have some Santa duties to fulfill. Merry Christmas y’all!

Lost

Eve has somehow managed to lose her jacket, snowpants, and winter boots! Probably hat and gloves as well. She had them in school Tuesday, was home sick on Wednesday, and couldn’t find them this morning. How to do kids lose stuff so easily?! Sheesh! I posted on FB about it and a generous friend offered me her daughter’s hand-me-downs, which is awesome! I told her she is my Santa!

An evening update

With everything going on this morning I forgot to mention my sore throat and partially numb tongue. Haha. I’m falling apart!

Eve stayed home today with Alan and ended up throwing up 12 times! She is in bed now, complaining that her stomach hurts, so I suspect we are not done. She is VERY sad that she has to miss her class holiday party tomorrow. Poor girl.

Lex, on the other hand, surprised the heck out of me this morning with his bravery! He did not want to go to the dentist, but he went on his own accord, every step of the way, with no tears and no arguing or fussing. He made it all the way there and into the chair with a positive attitude and sense of humor. The dentist decided to try just using nitrous oxide and novocain, not the sedation we had planned. I agreed, with the sedation as a backup plan. I LOVE our new dentist! He bought the practice we’ve been going to all along and he is making great changes. I love how he handles Lex in such a calm, patient, understanding way. After the meds took affect he started, smartly!, with a sealant instead of going right for the pulling. Lex needed four sealants, three teeth pulled, and one preventative filling. The dentist started with the sealant, which is the least painful, but immediately ran into Lex’s gag reflex and strong sense of taste. Lex could not handle it. The dentist stopped quickly, yay!, and we decided to go with the sedation. It was excellent! :) He started with the lowest dose possible, which was perfect. Lex was calm, but could still communicate. The dentist talked to him the whole way through, checked for pain at each step, and managed to do two sealants, three extractions, and the filling. Definitely more than we were expecting to get done!! Afterwards the sedation wore off quickly, Lex was feeling good, and we headed home.

I dropped Lex off with Alan, gave him the speediest possible “after care” update, and headed off to school. I only had one class and recess duty today, so when I was done I checked in with Alan, checked in with my boss, then headed home again where I snuggled up with Miss Eve and we both took a nap.

Oh, I forgot the best part of the dentist visit. He has a new therapy dog!! It is the sweetest, softest dog ever!! He is a seven month old Goldendoodle and he feels and looks like a teddy bear. Lex spent some time with him in the waiting room, then the dentist brought him back to visit while the sedation medicine was taking effect. Lex LOVED it!

Tomorrow is our last day before Christmas vacation, or, as Lex puts it, the last day we have to go to school in 2016! Lex has a party at the ice skating rink with treats and a Yankee Swap. I have a “Ugly Sweater” day with treats and a Secret Elf thing. Eve has to be home in bed, hopefully not vomiting. Alan has to be home with her, but Alan gets to go to work on Friday. :)