Thursday, January 23, 2014

MLK

Its a strange task to try and teach your young and innocent child about horrible things that took place before her time.  Horrible laws and cultural norms that I can't even begin to fathom... but, I suppose I can, because there are different horrible things happening today to different people and cultures instead.   But, because Maeve is totally and completely unaware of such evil, it is hard to introduce even a little of this to her, because I don't want to break her sweet innocent bubble.

But, I know its my responsibility to help teach my child about the hero's in this world that made brave  choices that helped create significant change.  Obviously, Martin Luther King Jr. is one of these hero's.  Two more hero's I had started teaching Maeve about were Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges.  On Monday we pulled out the books and watched a short video about MLK to start the conversation.  She's not very old, so I didn't want to bombard her -- instead, I figured I'd let the books speak for themselves and we could discuss any questions that she might have.

And, here's a dramatic 4 1/2 year old's response to the Rosa Parks story... "Well, I would take those white people and kill them!".  Ummm.... (horrified that she would even say that, and amused, slightly, at the irony of her violent outburst, since a main theme is peaceful and non-violent protest).  So, we had a little discussion about that.  I talked her off the firing squad and got her to the point where she then only wanted to "put the white people in jail and never let them out".  Well, we'll take that as a step in the right direction.

I found myself feeling guilty sharing this history to my sweet African baby.  I feel guilty because I am a white person.  I feel guilty because I am a white person who needs to share with her these dark days, and I don't want her to take what happened in the past personally.  And, I know I need to prepare her for the world.  I love her unconditionally and therefore she will obviously never experience racism from me... but, I'm not naive to think that she'll never experience it outside of our safe community of friends and family.  How can I protect her?  I think one of the most effective ways is teaching her early what value she has and how to stick up for herself.  She needs to believe in herself.  She needs to be inspired by all the hero's in this world.  Thankfully she's got some of the right personality traits... strong, stubborn, and independent.  I just hope all these things are enough.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Skiing

We have season passes for our local hill.  Last weekend we tried to use them for the first time -- snow in the mountains has been very dismal this year, but JUST enough stuck around for opening weekend to finally occur.... Woot woot.

 So, we got up early and loaded the car with our gear last Sunday (Maeve even insisted on wearing her helmet in the car... gotta be ready at a moment's notice, right?) and off we went to pick up Kathleen and Elizabeth to make our way to the pass.

And, we were denied with a capital "D".  On the way out of town we noticed some traffic advisory signs that informed us the pass was closed.  What?!  So, thankfully we were aware of this pivotal information before we got stuck in the long line of traffic that we saw via WDOT webcams.  Plan B - Head to Top Pot Doughnut and have a play date instead.  To be honest, it was wet and stormy, and I wasn't totally excited about how that was all going to pan out anyway.

Take 2.  Beautiful sunny day on the mountain today.  (The city never got out of its cloud today, so its always fun to find the good weather).  The girls were excited to get skiing.  Elizabeth did excellent on her first day of skiing.  And, Maeve did fantastic on the hill.  We warmed up our legs on a couple of magic carpet rides, but then just skied the beginner chairs all morning.

Maeve didn't want to ski too much initially due to the classic, 'my legs are too tired' line (I started skiing when I was 2, so I remember some of my own shenanigans.... I'm on to you, Maeve), so we went in and had a hot chocolate and sandwich.  Although, I thought we wouldn't have to resort to sweet tart bribes again this year (because I know she didn't get them in ski school at Big White), but it seemed to be the ticket to a turn in motivation and a super fun day was had on the slopes afterall.  Fine, I can invest in sweet tarts if it makes skiing fun.  Done. 

Such a ham.  I'm so proud of her still... she's one of those mini skiers that are just adorable to watch.  Well, at least I think so.  I may be a bit bias ;-)  Oh, and my absolute favorite thing that she does now while skiing is ski with her tongue sticking out - like a little puppy dog... I tried to capture it, but she was skiing too fast.  So cute.  Also, leave her standing or sitting in snow for longer than 30 seconds, and she will reach down and start eating the snow... every time.  I thought it worth while teaching her the importance of looking at the color of the snow first.  Ha.

So, we left the mountain early afternoon and were home in plenty of time to watch Seattle beat the 49'ers.  It was such a great and stressful game.  Congratulations, Hawks... we'll see you at the Super Bowl! (well, in a matter of speaking... from my couch, that is)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

129 Days....

...until Maeve turns 5.  She is ALREADY obsessed with having her birthday party.  She asks me everyday how soon until her birthday.  And, she has decided she wants a pool party because her good friend, Will, just had a pool party.  So.... this may be a long winter and spring.  Guess I better reserve a pool, stat.  Oh wait, I think I have time....

Up and Coming Literist...

Someone has started reading!  And, she is SO proud of herself.  And, when I say read, I mean we're in the infant stages, but she is actually reading.  I purchased some of those Bob Book series, and she keeps asking to read book after book.  She needs more assistance with the later books, but her desire is full tilt.  It is so fun helping her and hearing her read the words.  I didn't realize how fun this would be.  Maybe I'm in the honeymoon stage... ha.  She is also doing really well with her letters and word projects that she does at school.  She is just exploding into this big kid before my eyes...  Slow down, just a little, Maeve (but, keep up the good work... you're mom is proud of your effort :-))



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Maeve in 3:22

I found myself playing with iMovie last night and ended up with this...

A New Year...

(All dressed up and ready to take the metro bus... gotta look good at all times :-))

"Good grief...." is heard a lot around here.  Apparently Charlie Brown resonates with the little one.  And, don't fall for the innocent request for a hug or a look at your tummy or something, because you'll immediately be attacked by a raspberry to the neck, arm, stomach...  And, its funny every.single.time.

Its a new year and, although I'm not one for resolutions typically, we have a couple this year.  We have banned all electronics Monday to Friday in our house.  I was done with the meltdowns post watching something, and tired of whining and flopping around asking to watch something during the rest of the day.  I have to say, already I love these non-electronic days.  She actually plays with her toys and crafts so much more.  And, I can threaten her with no electronics on the weekend if she starts asking for it on Monday through Friday.  Its a win-win.  The only exception to the rule will be if we need to do hair mid-week as I can't imagine not having that distraction...  The second change we're implementing is less sugar and treats.  I swear everywhere we go, there is an excuse to have some sort of treat.  Although we're not a dessert family, I realized that we were indulging way too much.  I'm hoping these two changes will make some mood swings less dramatic.  Ha.  Oh, and the 'green clock' has reappeared in our life so that we don't have to get out of bed before 7:30am on our non-work/school days... although, that apparently doesn't stop the waking up earlier than that.  Maybe in time that will change.  One can always hope.

Its still so crazy to me how big Maeve is getting and the conversations we are having... she's no longer a little kid, but getting to be a big kid with questions and ideas.  She is still as dramatic as always and keeps life very interesting.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Harrison Hot Springs...

On the way back from Big White, we were treated to a couple nights at Harrison Hot Springs from my Dad and Lynn.  It is always so relaxing to stay in Harrison because it is absolutely beautiful and enjoying the hot springs are such a great perk.  Leah, Andrew, Emma, and Josh also found their way to the resort too... so, it was a nice extension to our Christmas holidays.  

















Thanks again, Dad and Lynn... it was so generous of you to treat us to this retreat and time together.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Big White!

Maeve and I ventured to Big White for eight nights to join my sister's family who had flown in from Australia for their Christmas holidays.  It was awesome to be on the ski hill for that long and spend time  with Leah, Andrew, Emma, and Josh...  It was the first time they were able to meet Maeve in person, so that was fun.

"Traveling Maeve" equipped with my iPad filled with her songs and games.  I found myself turning off my music just so I could hear her sing along to her songs...  One might say she was pitch perfect, but then they would be lying.  But, where she lacks in pitch, she makes up for in passion.  Ha. 

Our first sunset... and then we took off for a fun night of tubing...  Perfect beginning for our winter holiday.


Our view of Canadians playing their favourite sport.

 Sunrise.  Amazing location.

Our "home", per Maeve.  Oh, how I wish.... 

I decided this trip would be an investment in the future of our skiing fun.  Since Maeve wasn't willing to try skiing on her own last year, but loved screaming down the hill holding onto my pole -- and I know she wouldn't necessarily take instruction very well from me anymore, I put Maeve in a total of 5 full days of 'ski camp'.  She was a little uncertain at drop off on the first couple of days, but when I stalked her lessons from a distance, I noticed that all was well and she was totally participating and learning how to work those skis of hers!

Little skiers on the small magic carpet.  Adorable.  But, seriously, those instructors cannot get paid enough... 

My 'Ready Teddy'... Beginner Skier. 

Playing in the snow... making snow forts, snow angels, and throwing snowballs at each other... 

Maeve LOVES Emma... or "Emmie"  

Maeve's first icicle.... 

One of Maeve's favorite gifts from Christmas was a Princess Book she received.  It was the most read book of all the holidays, by everyone.  Ha.... it was read over and over and over and over and over again...   

 Warming their feet by the fire...

 We played lots of games...

...And, ate lots of food. (Leah and Andrew's Aussie friends were also staying in the condo... it was really  nice getting to know them too)...

There were some absolutely beautiful days up on the hill... 

Morning at the top of the mountain... 

More stalking.  Maeve moved up to an "Eager Elephant" and graduated to the big Magic Carpet. 

Making our way to our "home" at the end of the day... Happy skiers all round.

 Ummm... adorbs.

We did some extra curricular fun via snowmobile.   

I love how Maeve is always game to try something new... 

 Making our way up the gondola for her last ski class.  She graduated to a "Speedy Squirrel" and was skiing a real run to a chairlift the last couple of days.  So fun to watch... and stalk, of course.  

I was so proud of Maeve and how hard she tried and how willing she was to learn... in turn, she learned to love skiing even more.  

We took a  horse sleigh ride too.  Because, when in Rome.... 

Maeve was able to control the reigns for a while too...  Because the horses didn't know the route at all.  Ha. 

It was very peaceful actually... 

But the horses were stinky, thought Maeve.... 

 So much fun to ski....

Maeve's reward donut for completing all her days at ski camp.

Having a hot tub was the highlight of Maeve's day... And, well, Maeve couldn't be in the hot tub by herself... so, some of us took it for the team to join her... 

And, well, we have all done it when we were young and stupid.... so, this is Josh diving and rolling around in the snow before jumping back into the hot tub... 

Hot tub par-tay...

And, here are some video's of the evolution of Maeve's skiing...