Sunday, January 20, 2013

Holiday Recap

Like last year, we took 2 weeks off for the holidays and headed to Oregon.  Unlike last year, there was significant weather both to and from Oregon.  The good news -- our car does great with chains.  And, Kai does great on 12 hour drives on the snow.  And, of course, the best news -- no accidents of any kind despite the snow and ice.

This year we started in Bend and had a LOT of snow.  We spent a couple of nights in a yurt doing upscale winter camping.  It was really fun.  The second night while we were cooking hot dogs outside over the fire, Kai said, "at first, I was nervous about camping in the snow, but now I LOVE it!"

We built a huge snowGIRL and when we were looking for sticks for her arms, I suggested just breaking a couple off the trees.  Kai looked at me, alarmed, and said, "Mama, this is the owl's HABITAT.  If we did that, he would be sad."  We found sticks that had already fallen on the ground.

We woke up Christmas morning in the yurt.  On the drive over, Kai told us that Santa was real (even though we had previously told her there was no such thing as Santa when she asked us point blank if Santa was real).  We asked her why she thought that and she said, with a great deal of authority, "my friends told me."  Then Kai said, "I hope Santa brings ME presents for the holiday."   We didn't say anything.  She wasn't really asking us any questions -- she was telling us what she wanted to happen.  I really don't like the idea of telling Kailey things that are not true, but if she wanted to believe in Santa and not consult us on the matter... well, that was her call.  So, we spent Christmas Eve in the yurt.  We never mentioned the holiday, but after she went to bed, we filled a stocking and wrapped some presents.  The next morning, when she woke up, she noticed the gifts right away and exclaimed, "SEE!  Santa CAME!  He brought me presents!"  Again, we didn't correct her and she didn't ask us if she was right (which she almost always does when she's trying out a new theory -- so, in this case, I'm pretty sure she didn't want the answer).  I guess this means, at least for now, there really is a Santa Claus.

After we unwrapped the gifts, we headed to Portland for the annual Tamale Party with Amy and Dave.  It was a fun party.  Great food, good company.  And the following morning, we went to Nonnie and Papa's house for a few days of barbie playing (I kid... but, Kai totally associates there house with barbies which, somehow, she loves despite every effort to dissuade her). We also went to OMSI and played lots of games and cooked good food.

Then we traveled to Hillsboro to spend a few nights with Leo, Soren and Grammy.  There was a play, bowling, and general merriment. Leo, Soren and Kai get along really well and love playing with one another. It's so cool to see how close they are, even though there is a big age difference.  They always include her and are more then willing to play games she wants to play.  It's great that she has cousins she is so close to -- I love it!

 The last few nights, we headed to Timberline for our annual trip -- which I previously wrote about. I attempted skiing again this year -- and even managed to go down my first (and maybe only) blue run.  It was more adventure then I intended to have on the mountain -- but, I made it down!

We didn't take nearly enough pictures on our trip.  I need to get better about that.  But, we had a jammed packed couple of weeks with more then enough snow and adventures.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Oh my.  I've seriously neglected my poor blog.  I've been emailing myself funny things that Kai has said over the last month that I wanted to remember to blog about, and I have a bunch of hilarious videos, and regular videos, and a need to recap our holiday trip to Oregon, and a bunch of pictures.  But, given that it's been TWO months (I have not gone so long without posting since starting this journal)... let's take the easy way out, and just recap the stories I've emailed myself over the last couple of months (it's not that many... I'm not that great at even shooting myself an occasional email!)

Starting with a story from this evening -- which was actually the reason I pulled up the blog (because the story cracked me up so I was going to shoot myself another email and then realized -- hey! what about just updating the blog, genius.)

Anyway, this evening, we get home and Kai pulls a blue marble out of her lunchbox and says, "look at this BEAUTIFUL marble I got from school."  We ohhhed and ahhhed and then said, "where did you get it?"  She said, "Oh, I took it from school."

We paused and then said, "did your teacher give it to you?"

Kailey said, "no, I took it."

We looked at one another and Eric asked, "did you find it at school?"  Kai said, "no, I took it.  I took it from the box of marbles.  I took it realllyyy quietly so that my teacher wouldn't hear me take it."  We sighed a collective sigh and Eric said, "well, Kai, that's not OK.  That's stealing.  And, you didn't know it was stealing..." and then he continued to explain to her what stealing is, why it isn't OK, and so forth.

We asked her how she would feel if her teacher came into her room and took one of her toys and she said that it would be "mean."  She kept trying to change the subject, as Kailey frequently does when she realizes she's in trouble.

We asked her, "OK -- so, you're not in trouble, but what can you do to make this better?"  Kai paused and then said, "Next time, I shouldn't tell you when I take something."

I nearly burst out laughing, but held it together because it occurred to me that laughing would not help instill the important life lesson.  But, still... it was really funny (and, of course, we talked to her more until she hit upon the idea of returning the marble to her teacher and apologizing for taking it; although, I am not sure that she really believes that is the best approach going forward, more like she just knows it was the right answer.  Sigh.)


Backing up a bit, when we went to Mt. Hood, we thought it would be fun if Kai took a ski lesson the first day.  Kai has been taking lessons her whole life and she LOVES classes.  Soccer, gymnastics, music, science classes.  When she was younger, she would take a class or two to get into the swing of things, but we weren't too concerned about her interest. She had skied before.  She was excited to ski again.  So, we just floated the idea... what about a lesson?  Error.  She said no.  She didn't want any lessons.  She just wanted to ski with Eric.  The problem with that is if Eric is skiing with Kailey, he isn't really getting to ski.  He's hunched over, holding onto Kailey, feeling the burn in his shoulders and back.  He loves it, because he loves being with Kai... but, he also wants the chance to ski alone.  So, we took another tack and told her the twins had taken lessons and loved it.  But, she wasn't buying it.  They weren't taking lessons that day and if they didn't need lessons that day, neither did she.  We told her she wouldn't be able to ski at all without a lesson.  She didn't care.  We were losing.  We told her she had to take a lesson.  She threw a major tantrum (we were standing right outside of ski school).  Forcing the lesson was clearly not going to work.  We regrouped.

We reminded her again about gymnastics and playing with other kids and how much she loved her classes.  She paused, and we could see the logic was appealing to her.  I asked her if she loved coach Amy and she admitted she did.  We introduced her to Coach Mandy, the ski instructor, and she was really nice.  When she left, we told her that coach Mandy seemed REALLY fun and that she would miss out if she didn't do a ski lesson.  The word "lesson" set her off, and she screamed that she would NOT take a lesson.  In a moment of parental genius, we saw our opening.  "It's not a lesson," we told her.  She narrowed her eyes at us, and asked us what we meant.  "It's not a lesson.  It's just playing.  You get to play with Mandy and the other kids... and you have to get ready really fast or you'll miss out." (the last part was necessary because the class was starting).  Kai narrowed her eyes a bit more, "it's not a lesson?" she asked.  "No, just playing."  She was game.  We had a little sidebar with the coach and told her not to use the "l" word.  She thought we were insane, but agreed to go along.  Kai headed out with the other kids and had a blast.  Later, when we saw Leo and Soren, she said, "I just PLAYED with Mandy.  No lessons."  They had been briefed not to correct her, and they agreed that playing was awesome.  Kai seemed satisfied.

The next day, we signed her up again, telling her the same thing about playing.  She went along and went to class -- and, once again, had a total blast.  After the class was over, though, Kai turned to me and said, "Mama... was that a lesson?"  Not one to lie to her, I admitted that it was.  She asked why and I explained that a lot of lessons are really fun and we didn't want her to miss out just because she was being stubborn.  She nodded and then said, "OK... but DON'T tell Leo and Soren."  It's our little secret!


OK -- I have other stories... but, that's enough typing for one evening.  Hopefully I can get back to this over the weekend and catch up some more!!