Ski Bunny

One of the best things about being a parent is introducing some of your favorite things to your kids, right? This is why I’m SO! EXCITED! that Matilda started ski lessons.

I grew up skiing. From age 5 (4?) through age 13 I spent just about every winter Saturday at the local ski hill. It was a family affair – we’d pack up a picnic basket for dinner, load our ski-swap-purchased skis in the station wagon and spend 6+ hours there. We met families from church on the hills and the kids would take lessons or split off to do their own thing, then meet up for dinner in the lodge, followed by more skiing and warming up while playing Miss Pac Man in the lodge. A childhood full of memories was created at that ski resort. We’d go home rosy-cheeked and tired.

I started getting really exited as I read Angella’s tweets and instagrams from her family’s ski vacation. Her Emily and my Matilda are nearly the same age and Emily was learning to ski, too. Knowing that Matilda can get anxious about new situations I asked Angella if Emily had any advice for another 5 year old skier.

Angella went on to add…

We have 2 local ski hills and we chose the smaller of the 2 – hearing that they are better for younger skiers. Plus the lesson price was much cheaper. Because of my lack of calling early in the season we ended up purchasing a private lesson package (group lessons were sold out) and they cut is a great deal on a rental package. We had the lessons, we had the advice, we had the excitement. All we needed was snow.

We finally got some snow and her lessons started a week ago.

Matilda and I got there way too early and she was anxious to try on her skis so I let her get a feel for them outside the lodge. She did pretty well navigating in the bulky equipment. When her lesson time came she scooted off without any hesitation. She spent the hour mostly upright and had a blast.

She told me later that “it was hard, mama, but Emily and her mama said it would be so I didn’t cry. I kept my legs wide. And it did get better! I love skiing!”

Yesterday, her 2nd lesson, she was much more confident … almost cocky. She just wanted to put her feet “in french fries and go fast!” I skied, too and she had fun watching me on skis. (Sidenote: OHMYHOLYHECK I am sore today.) She’s mastered the J-bar but our attempt at the rope-tow was comical. Next time, if she masters her “pizza” maybe I’ll be brave enough to take her on the chair lift with me.

I hope she continues to like it and that she forms her own fond memories of skiing. Of watching the snow swirl in the spotlights as she rides the chair lift. Of feeling the freedom of finally being able to ski on her own. Of feeling the thrill of controlling the speed that is skiing.

 

*I am linking to Alpine Valley because they really are great for young/beginner skiers. I’ve been impressed with the lessons so far and it’s really laid-back. The terrain is all very tame but enjoyable. I’m posting about my own, paid-for experience. I got nothing from them – they don’t even know I’m posting this. 

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Siblings

I always wanted 2 kids. Once I had my first child I knew right away I wanted my sweet, spunky Matilda to have a sibling in her life. I have 2 siblings and I know for a fact that growing up without them would have sucked. They taught me how to argue, were my defenders on the playground and may or may not have gotten me into bars when I was a teenager (ahem). To this day my sister is one of the first calls I make when something happens in my life. I’m lucky to have them in my life.

Ever since the Madman was born Matilda has taken her big sister job very seriously. She’s always been one to sing or dance to entertain him, let me know about his cries or fetch a toy or bottle for him.

But now, at 21 months and just over 5,  their relationship is really blossoming.  I’m a total cliché of parenting mush whenever I see their affection for each other.

 Each morning Matilda likes to climb in the Madman’s crib and they get all crazy together – laughter shattering the early-morning quiet. Yesterday when Matilda zipped her winter coat without any help (finally! That coat has been giving her trouble for months) and I praised her, the Madman ran over and gave her a big hug and clapped.

When the (still mostly non-verbal) Madman is trying to tell us he wants something Matilda is right there to interpret his needs. The end of the day at preschool pick up usually has the two running to each other for hugs. He wants to do what ever she is doing and she is generally more than happy to teach him. She willfully acts as his guardian – taking his hand while we’re out or helping him navigate a playground.

There is some rivalry, that’s for sure. One can’t sit on my lap without the other jockeying for lap space, too. Treats must be shared evenly and heaven forbid if one gets more mommy/daddy time than the other.

But oh man, I’m so happy to see this combination of affection, competition and loyalty between the two of them. They love each other fiercely and that makes me so happy. My siblings were a big part of my childhood and they helped me become the person I am now. I’m so grateful I have been able to provide that same relationship to my kids.

(Pardon the iPhone-flash glowing eyes)

(And just an FYI – there will be no 3rd child. The mere thought of 3 exhausts me.)

 

Looking back on 2011

I just read through my 2011 archive. Literally – I read the whole thing because there are only a handful of posts. I realize that I have been a terrible blogger this past year. If you can even call me a blogger anymore. Yikes. I’m not making any promises for 2012 but hopefully I’ll be able to carve out some more time to write in this space. This is truly an online journal of our lives and I value it; however this year seemed to be archived more via Twitpics & instagrams than words.

In the meantime I feel like I need to get an end-of-the-year post up, even if it is a few days late. (Read others here: 2008, 2009, 2010). So, here is a review of 2011 in no particular order:

Cheered on Mark as he ran his 1st marathon just days after turning 39.

Contributed to my daughter’s horse obsession by throwing her a pony party at a stable for her 5th birthday.

Everyone stayed more or less healthy for the entire year (despite 2 trips to the Pediatric ER and one overnight hospital stay with Madman).

Weaned my son at 16 months.

Moved Madman to a new daycare. Both kids are finally at the same place, at least for a little while.

Painted the dining room. You might think this would be an easy task, but then you don’t know old houses.

Had our first kidless night in over 2 years.

Got my first ticket in years.

Celebrated the last 1st birthday this family will see.

Watched Matilda perform on stage for the 1st time.

Mark started a new job even closer to home (and my office). We get to have lunch together once in awhile.

Found some gnomes in a garden.

Lived without a dishwasher (again) since the one we got 2 years ago broke big-time AND was recalled. Hopefully this won’t last much longer.

Made Halloween costumes for both kids.

Had some amazing conversations with my girl. That girl is smart, funny and opinionated.

Took 2 awesome trips to Hilton Head.

Discoverd that Mark isn’t the only runner in the family.

Went primal for a few months (I really, really need to hop back on this train).

Screwed up RITA (Regional Income Tax Authority) again. I’m not stupid, why does this always go wrong? (“I hate RITA” remians one of the top searches to this blog!)

Went to New York (work trip) for the 1st time since 7th grade.

Got rid of all the baby stuff.

Celebrated the 11 years of marriage.

Relished everything about having a 1 ½ year old. I love this age so much.

Started and quit running. Turns out my hate for running is stronger than the elusive runners high.

After 4 years of living in Cleveland, finally feel like this is home.

2011 was a pretty boring year as nothing major happened to any of us. I’m think I’m officially at an age that I think boring is good.

Happy 2012 everyone!