Sunday, February 28, 2010

School Vacation

We've had a surprisingly restful school vacation week with the exception of last night. Today is the much anticipated Stowe Derby race in which my husband always elects to do the Derbymeister -- two races instead of one, and the classic race, which takes off at noon, is typically a waxing nightmare causing racers to lose sleep the night before the big event. Check out the unusual race, which starts atop Mt. Mansfield and finishes down the rec path in Stowe Village at

Yes, we've had a crazy weather week -- nearly two feet of snow followed by rain and high winds and power outages, which provided us with a great opportunity for a candle-lit dinner. We've skied and shoveled paths around the house and through the yard. On an especially warm, wet day, we joined friends for swim time at a hotel pool. That was a great treat for the kids, although the recent power outage meant that the pool was cold and the hot tub was bath-tub temperature. The hot tub was huge and the kids actually swam a little in there, too.

But the best part of this vacation has been sleeping until about 7:30 a.m. every morning! My youngest daughter keeps asking where we are going -- Grampy's house, maybe? -- because she associates "vacation" with travel, a reasonable assumption. But, for once, we've focused as much on resting as doing this vacation, which is harder than it sounds.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's Day Race

Since we love to ski, it was appropriate that our whole family was at a ski race on Valentine's Day. Ava skied the 1K Lollipop race, her first race this season and Tom skied in the 10 K classic race. Julia and I were spectators. I expected that we'd watch and also ski, but when I realized that Ava's race had already started atop a big hill, I knew our only hope of seeing her was to ditch the skis and run. Good choice as we just caught her cruising up the last hill passing about four kids and finishing in second place.

Ava got a second place ribbon, but was disappointed that she did not get a lollipop. I'm not sure that she understands that the race gets its name for being a course for young kids that generally has a lollipop-shaped course.

As for Tom's race, I've never had so much fun being a spectator. The kids and I were able to watch the start and another lap from a little pond near the Nordic center. We "skated" on our boots while we watched. Then we headed back uphill to see the finish. I don't think that the girls had ever seen that much of Daddy's race. Now, Daddy probably would have been very happy with a second place ribbon, but he wasn't quite that fast. He did make the top ten, though, and he came home with a crazy hat from the prize table. He says that the spectators at the Olympic ski races are wearing them, but I've yet to spy one.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ups and Downs

We had both girls crying on our family ski this weekend. We were at a different Nordic center, it was a little cold, and though we told the girls we were headed for cocoa at a trailside yurt, I don't think they knew what the heck a yurt was.

I wanted to bail from the tears and the whining and call it a day, but we decided to trek a bit further uphill to the yurt to warm-up and refuel rather than head down a longer distance to the car. It was a good call made by Daddy because the girls were enamored with the yurt. It was only a small tent, but it had a wood stove inside, benches to sit upon, and very rich hot chocolate. The girls figured that maybe the Big, Bad Wolf could blow this yurt down. And, when we tried blowing ourselves, the sides of the tent did billow a bit.

After reviving, we cruised downhill to the Nordic center and the girls played on the giant snow pile outside the lodge. And so, we had a happy ending -- always our ultimate goal, to end on a happy note.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hot Wheels

There's nothing like cruising on classic ride-on toys. The girls got a chance to take them out of our cluttered basement and do many laps in the school gym as part of Big Toy Night. The event always takes place in the beginning of February and is a nice change of pace given that the temp tonight is ten degrees not counting the wind chill. Maybe on February break, we'll clean up our basement to make a bigger riding area for the kids. That's something that has been on our to-do list for years and, admittedly, we don't get much done during ski season other than skiing (in our free time, that is.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ice Time

Our older daughter has been asking to go ice skating and we've been reluctant to meet her request. Our thoughts fast forward to a potential hockey player and the last thing we want to do is be up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning for ice time.

At the same time, we want to let our kids try new activities. So, Tom asked another family for hand-me-down skates and when I got back from my own ski at 5:30 last night, both Ava and Tom were ready to go.

"Now. Are you kidding?" said a cold and shocked me. They were headed to the outdoor rink after all.

Apparently, Ava had been going back and forth on her new skates on our rug runner for most of the time I had been out skiing, so Daddy seized the moment of inspiration.

Hats off to an accomodating Dad and a determined first child.

Here's proof of the first skate and proof that we can do something besides ski this winter.