Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Tree Trek

After our family ski this morning, we went on another outdoor adventure -- searching for our Christmas tree. Sure, we could go downtown and quickly pick a pruned tree from a parking lot but we have a ritual of cutting a tree from the national forest. That means that we get a Charlie Brown tree. We think our trees are beautiful, but not everyone agrees.

The price is right: five bucks for a permit. We have to drive a bit to hit national forest land, but that's part of the adventure. Once we get out of the car, the girls start running to find a tree. Actually, this is the first year that I haven't had a kid in a backpack on this adventure. Best yet, the girls hauled the tree out.


Monday, November 24, 2008

First Ski, Worst Ski

My husband said "this is the worst day of my life" when we were out for our first ski. That was when we were in the moment, the moment of kids whining, of a toddler who didn't want to stay in the ski pulk and a preschooler who was experiencing her first falls of the season.

The screams aren't fun. I felt like a horrible parent pulling a screaming child in a pulk. 

But back in the car we recovered. My preschooler said that she had a good time. My toddler was tired and taking her out of the pulk to take our holiday photo and then trying to put her back in wasn't our smartest idea.

We remembered that this is how ski season starts. You have to get used to it all over again. The first skis are the ones where you have to look for the snow. They lack the comfort of the touring center. You have to start from a cold parking lot, where there are no bathrooms or hot cocoa.

Looks like we'll have to try for another holiday photo as we're squinting in this one. Maybe we'll even get Julia on some skis for the next take.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun Run

I never thought that I'd have a child running a race at the age of four. I thought that races might start around age 7 or 8 or 9. Already my preschooler has two one-mile races under her belt. She ran this one in 9.57 minutes. I'm not out to brag, frankly, I'm surprised at how excited kids get for races. 

Before a race I get anxious, shake when I put the pins on my shirt to hold my bib number, and can't wait until the thing is over. But my daughter and a host of other kids close to her age, were composed, excited, and impressive little runners. And their race was deemed a "fun run."

I used to think that getting kids into a competition at a young age was pushing a child. I have a new perspective. My preschooler loves to race, so I'll support her interests. This race was a treat in that daddy pushed little sister, Julia, alongside in the jogging stroller so that she could see the action. I was hoping for a little free time to sip coffee without kids during the race, but after taking a few photos and watching the trail of kids go by, the race was over!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mole for Supper

Tonight we had mole for supper. I had never heard of it before and frankly it doesn't sound very good. But the recipe came along with this week's CSA (community-supported agriculture) share from Pete's Greens and offered a quick way to use up many kinds of produce before I get overwhelmed with next week's delivery.

Here's what was brewing: carmelized onions, garlic, paprika, roasted squash, green tomatoes, ground almonds, kale, white beans, and quality dark chocolate -- at least 70 percent cocoa. Since the recipe called for 2 oz, I consumed the remaining 1.2 oz. I didn't feel obligated to share the chocolate with my girls since they've overdosed on Halloween candy in the last couple of weeks.

As the concoction cooked (for a long two hours at 250 F), my preschooler asked what that smell was. I admit that neither of my daughters devoured the mole, even when I disclosed that there was melted chocolate in there. Perhaps, if I'd had chiles around (as called for), my younger daughter would have demanded the "spicy food," which she has a hankering for.

Though my kids aren't gung ho for all the veggies in the CSA, they like some of them and they are always curious to see the produce spread across our kitchen table on delivery day. It's like a mini food lesson and now we all know that "mole" is a type of casserole.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Double Jogger Days Are Done

We're saying good bye to an era -- the double jogger one. With winter coming, we're getting ready to convert our basement to a ski waxing room and indoor recreation area for the kids. That double jogger takes up some space and our soon-to-be five year old has outgrown the seat. Even with her bunched up in there, it's a load to push and she is dying to get out and run.

I admit that we're a little sad at the thought of getting rid of this piece of equipment. The girls have a good time riding together and my husband and I can talk while the girls talk. But thinking of making a couple hundred bucks off of our Performance Series double jogger helps break through the nostalgia.