Monday, January 19, 2009

One Hundred.

Last week marked the 100th day of Kindergarten for Hayden. Which is why it was a bit of a disappointment to him when we announced at the last minute that we were taking a trip to Angel Fire for a quick snow ski lesson. It meant he would miss the 100th day party… the day all the kids of were to dress up like a 100 year old (something I wasn’t too disappointed about because, really, how do you age someone by 95 years?).

After some long discussions, we were able to convince him that snow skiing is better than eating 100 pretzels and 100 goldfish and dressing up like a 100 year old. It was tough, but we accomplished it, and only on a few occasions did we catch him daydreaming of what he was missing back home.

We skied.

We played in the snow.

We made a Texas version of Frosty the Snowman.

We went sledding and we went swimming.

On the 11 hour drive to New Mexico, one of the many things Jeff and I discussed along the way was the strange things that kids remember. Reminiscing back to our own childhood family vacations, it became clear that the small things are what stick to our memories like super glue.

I don’t recall meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time, but I vividly remember standing in the Disney Gift Shop begging for a non-Disney toy parrot that repeated everything anyone said.

My one memory from my first four ski trips in life: standing in the ski rental store crying my eyes out because my younger cousin Stephen was now able to rent a bigger size boot than me.

Oh, the devastation.

Was I a stinker of a child? We’ll save that for another blog (hold your comments, Mom).

Although we won’t know for years what Hayden and Davis will retain from this trip, here’s our best guess…the top TEN most memorable moments from Angel Fire, 2009:

1.) The drive from Dallas to New Mexico is pretty entertaining if you pay close attention to the signs. Among the notable signs: “Major Peabody’s Beauty Parlor and Chainsaw Repair.” Then out to the side of Chainsaw Repair, someone had hand painted “Night Club”. It seems with the tough economy, the beauty parlor and chainsaw business just weren’t cutting it, so the owners decided to add something else to the mix. Nothing like synergy, if you ask me. Then somewhere right when we crossed over into New Mexico, we noticed a sign that said “Speed Monitored By Aircraft". We're still not sure if it was a scare tactic, but it definitely changed the way we looked at the airplanes in the sky.

2.) Upon our arrival, we checked into the hotel, brought all 6 pieces of luggage inside (2 for each day) and tested the beds (by jumping on them, of course). My philosophy: Every kid should be allowed to jump on hotel beds at the very least. Oh, and an apology for if my kids ever spend the night at your house and mistake it for a hotel.

3.) After check-in, we spent the second half of the day renting equipment, riding the magic carpet and attempting to ski. Day 1 was a valiant effort, but probably should be referred to as The Introduction to Skiing. We called it quits after the first run and headed to a small hill in town, supposedly great for sledding.

4.) The hill was a great hill for sledding…if the only criteria for a sledding hill is the slope. As long as you could avoid the mud, the protruding rocks throughout the hill, and the half frozen pond at the bottom, it was in fact, a GREAT place for sledding. Davis was asleep by the time we made the one and a half mile trek so I decided to let Jeff and Hayden do this whole sledding thing alone. I would stay in the car and let Davis catch up on his beauty sleep. A couple of minutes later I look up to see Jeff up at the top of the hill attempting to veer Hayden in the direction that would result in the least collateral damage. I got out of the car (left it running) and acted the role as goalie to prevent Hayden from flying into the pond. All was well…Hayden was quite the dare-devil, and Davis was blissfully sleeping 10 feet away. Soon enough we decided to call it quits and head back to the car. One problem: The keys were inside, and somehow the doors were locked. Jeff decided it was serious enough to call 911. The operator asked him to wake Davis while we waited for an officer and a locksmith to arrive. I can see why there were legitimate reasons for doing this, but it was a BAD idea. When he woke up, he was MAD!! He would go through phases of crying…then shift to extreme anger calling us every name in the book (his three year old version of the book, that is). We begged (begged! pleaded!) for him to just unlock his door, but he wouldn’t, couldn’t, just didn’t want to listen. Finally, about an hour later the locksmith was able to unlock the door. I couldn’t get Davis unbuckled and in my arms fast enough. And the first thing he said…"I needed you to push play!!! (on the DVD)”. I apologized profusely and began playing up the fact that a police officer had rescued him. His response after he finally was able to calm down, “yep, but he didn’t take me to jail.” I think he honestly believes he escaped the law. We have little doubt this will be in his memory book for years to come…the time he avoided going to jail.

5.) Day 2 started out a bit shaky as well. We woke up, made the trek up the four flights of stairs (oh, the stairs! if I somehow forget the insane number of stairs in Angel Fire, will someone please remind me?) only to notice that our two sets of rental skis were missing. The same two sets of skis that we refused to buy insurance on, you know, because it’s a waste of money. So, it turns out that all those skis that were laying around unlocked around 2:00 when we called it quits the day before, apparently get locked up around closing time. Who knew? About an hour (and 8 more flights of stairs) later, we found them resting cozy back in the ski rental shop. Still not quite sure how they got there…but we didn’t ask questions. Just grabbed them and began Day 2. It was somehow easier to spend money that day, knowing we had just *saved* $400+. This is how we could justify buying Cheetos, M&M’s, and round of hot chocolate when we got to the top of the mountain.

6.) For awhile now, Jeff and I have had the goal of becoming inventors. Coming up with that billion dollar idea…manufacturing it…and retiring at 30. Simple, you see. Well, over the course of the weekend, Jeff came up with that brilliant idea. It was on one of those brutal trips up the stairs (have I mentioned the stairs?) lugging three sets of skis and a three year old when the idea was conceived. Are you ready for it?? A backpack that you can attach skis and poles too. Anyone that has carried their own skis for more than 10 feet knows what a genius idea this is! Unfortunately, the idea was crushed the next day when he spotted someone wearing his invention. Between this, and my flip flop invention that was copied, I am starting to wonder if we are being tapped to capture our creativity.

7.) Davis learned how to pronounce his S’s. We finally enforced enunciation after one too many references during the road trip to throwing a no-ball, and making a no-man, and going no-kiing all the way to Angel Fire. On the way back, he was so proud of himself that he would randomly practice his S words. Over the muffled road noise, Disney DVD, and full blast heater we would hear him call out from the back seat, Sssssnow…. Sssstick….. Sssswampfire…. Ssssome-fing else….Finally, Hayden clearly annoyed, decided to issue him a more difficult challenge, “Great, now spell xylophone.”

8.) Hayden, showing another similarity to his Uncle Matt (in addition to his pain tolerance, lack to follow) developed a keen sense of smell during the trip. Of the things he smelled: Oatmeal Raisin, Flarp, Cow Plops, Watermelon, Pancakes, Sonic, “something great”, and Blueberry Muffins. None of which were nearby.

9.) The ski instructors. Who needs professional ski instructors when you have parents like Jeff and me? We bought some edgie wedgies (another great invention!) and concocted a makeshift leash out of an old water ski rope. Never before have I said “make a pizza” and “hands on your knees” so many times in one day. Quite honestly Jeff surprised me with how well he did skiing (he’s been a snowboarder for the last 10 years) and teaching. Typically, he’s a great do-er, but lacks on the teaching side…like if he’s directing someone to make a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich he might tell them to first, get out the ingredients...Next, make the sandwich...Then eat it! But he was a great instructor and the boys actually listened to about 80% of what we said (a slight improvement from the norm).10.) The wipeout. Anytime someone fell, we would say wa-wa-wa-wa-WIPE-OUT! Hayden and Davis both had their share of wipeouts, and I had one of my worst on this trip. I was holding Davis between my legs. We were stopped and I was trying to convince him how much better the world would be when we made it to the bottom of the mountain where we could have hot chocolate, M&M’s, and whatever else his heart desired. We had gone to the very tip top and were on the home stretch. Somehow my ski latched on to his ski and my legs began to slowly widen. In slow motion, I moved lower and lower into the middle splits position. Finally I stopped (only due to my total inflexibility), but I found myself stuck in that position. Davis somehow entangled underneath me. My skis were still on. It was like one really bad game of twister, on a mountain, with a crying three year old woven between my limbs. I stayed in that position for what felt like an eternity. Once I finally was able take off my skis and stand up, I pulled Davis up and asked him if he was okay. Tears in his eyes, he looked up at me and in the most pathetic whine said, “youuuuu forrrrgot to say ‘wiiiiipe-out’, Mooommmmm!”


Anonymous said...

Very good stories. I am so sorry that we missed, but I am looking forward to Davis teaching GrandDad and I to ski.


Anonymous said...

Were you a bad child - heavens no. Were you a headstrong child - you are definitely paying for your raising with Davis!! He is just like you and I am loving watching whose strong will wins. Fortunately most of the time it is still you. You are doing a great job parenting!!!
I love you!

kel said...

so fun!! great stories and super cute pics! After our day of 'professional pics', I can totally picture you offering up whatever they wanted just to get up and down the hill. love it! it's so me! :)

Melissa said...

i'm laughing at Jeff teaching. here would be my Jeff impersonation -- Jeff: "Hayden, what you need to do is to stand up and get your skis going downhill... so we'll start at the top and end at the bottom. You can do it, just make your skis slide over the snow without falling over and if you do fall it's probably because you weren't skiing properly"

Love you guys, glad you guys had fun