Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Did they get a bird?

Dima and I were out walking yesterday and a neighbor has up one of those cardboard storks in their front yard with details of their son's birth. As we walked I pointed it out to him and noted that they now have 4 boys in their family and Dima was like: "Did they get a boy bird?"

Plant a sunflower / Help count bees

This seems like a fun thing to do with the kids, or for anyone for that matter I know lots of people with gardens and who like the outdoors so here ya go.


I already ordered the "welcome packet" and will probably email this out to friends after I wait a while to be sure I don't get too much spam because of it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Vermont trip

Going to the top of Stratton Mountain in the gondola, schussing down the slopes skiing all day - who? me? No way, I'm not that daring - the kids were the ski experts on this trip. They spent the week in ski school in what turned out to be private lessons since there was no one else in their age groups taking lessons at the time they were. Dima was up in the gondola as of the second day and Josh and his cousin were not far behind. They had to prove themselves on the easy stuff - sure, easy for them!- then they were allowed to proceed at their own pace. I think having the two younger boys together was probably a help at some times - they did challenge each other - and a hindrance at other times- like getting wild and silly together on the way there in the mornings and I'm sure they did when they had free time at ski school.

The house we stayed in was huge lots of space for the kids to play and a whole upstairs space with ping pong table, pool table and toys and a TV as well as a TV viewing area and nice fireplace downstairs and lots of space in the kitchen. While cooking it felt like a hike to get from the stove to the sink since the room was sooooo wide. With so many people you do need space but this was almost too much. There's a lake nearby but we couldn't hike to it since there was about two feet of real snow on the ground. It would be a nice place to visit in the summer since it's remote and has access to the lake. Things worked out well with the kids settling into their beds upstairs while the grown ups stayed down by the fire to unwind at the end of the day. It was nice to be out of touch with the rest of the world and able to relax without thinking of things that should be done around the house instead of sitting still.

The non-skiers had an agenda of our own - each day we had to drop the kids off at ski school then go do our own thing. Things like getting groceries were high on the priority list. We also made an afternoon of shopping at the Vermont Country Store http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/Shop they have interesting stuff and things that you haven't thought of for a long time: Necco wafers, Gee Your Hair Smells Terriffic, Body on Tap shampoo, and all kinds of things that make you think "wow, why didn't I think of that?". We also got spa treatments while the kids skied that was a great idea since you get all toasty warm while you're in the spa and this was on a day that the temp outside was something like 14 degrees. I needed that!

We borrowed a friend's DVD player and that made the long trips up and back more tolerable in terms of not having the boys going back and forth with "he's looking at me, he's looking out MY window" and stuff like that.

As he's telling me every day about which knee is his "down" knee I can tell Josh is already looking forward to going back next year almost as much as he's looking forward to next Christmas.