I managed to get T on skis at Beaver Creek last month!
As I’ve mentioned too many times, I’ve been looking forward to skiing with my kiddos since before I had a kiddo of my own. Little kids have no fear and a low center of gravity, which is a key combination for learning to ski and having fun while doing so. One could argue that at 21 months, T was way too little to drag out on a pair of little skis, and that is probably a rational argument, but I decided to give it a go and strapped some pint sized boot and pint sized skis on T and off we went.
T is quite tall for his age, but his feet are average size for a 21 month old, and the smallest boots at the rental shop were a couple inches too big for his little tootsies. Eh, I didn’t think this was a huge deal.
I pulled and pushed my little shredder, and he had fun for about 15 minutes at which point he was done and more interested in the “choo choo,” a.k.a. the gondola, that he decided we needed to ride immediately. Since we used the equipment for a total of 20 minutes and the rental guy was amused with my antics, I didn’t even have to pay for the rental. It was a brief first experience, but I was pleased because all I wanted was for him to have fun and perhaps associate skiing with a pleasant experience. I think I accomplished that, and hopefully next year, at 2 1/2, we can step it up a notch.
While in Beaver Creek, T enjoyed several other “first experiences.”
Driving a snowcat:
Roasting marshmallows on an open fire:
And eating s’mores:
And eating croissants at the bakery down the street from the condo:
The gondola was a huge hit; we rode it
a few about twenty times:
And of course, T had a blast playing with his buddies:
And with his girlfriend:
And T’s mom and dad had a blast, too, thanks to our awesome friends and some fresh powder. Doesn’t get much better than that.
T got dressed up for church and Easter brunch. He took a cue from Justin Timberlake and decided to keep it classy this Easter.
His Auntie got him this bow-tie, and it was a big hit. I have to say sometimes I think it’s pretty fun to dress up little boys.
T had a lot of fun with his Babcia and Dziadek in town for Easter. Spring showed up in full force this weekend, and the weather was gorgeous.
T learned how to skip rocks.
He showed off his drawing skills. He can draw
circles helicopters like nobody’s business!
And he mastered the art of egg hunting.
And ate way too much food.
Oh wait, no, it was T’s mom who ate way too much food. Apparently, I’m fattening up for Spring.
I hate to break the hearts of baby and toddler girls everywhere, but T has a new girlfriend. She’s adorable and has an edgy look with blond hair accented by one lowlite in her bangs. Here they are in Beaver Creek last week:
Lots of hugs!
And some hair pulling.T should not complain about this since he is a big hair puller himself. I have lost many hairs along the way, but it’s cool, I know it’s his way of showing he cares.
T even shared cars and trains with his little friend, figuring she must be bored just staring at him and her older brothers playing with all their toys.
I should add that her older bros didn’t mind T hanging out with their sister all day long. This may change in the future, but they seem cool with T for now.
Seriously, T just loves our friends’ daughter, and it’s super cute. I do hope his fascination with babies continues, and he’s as happy to hang out with a baby all day when he has a little sis or bro some day!
As I’m sure you are aware, this is Bert. He lives on Sesame Street with his buddy Earnie.
Well, this particular Bert lives at our house. He came with a set of figurines, a Sesame Street rock and roll band, given to T as part of his Christmas present from one of our good friends. He’s about 2 inches tall. Here is another photo with a sippy cup for scale.
T takes Bert and his buddies most everywhere he goes.
In the bath:
Out to dinner:
On trips. Here he is feeding Bert some lunch at the airport on our way to Houston last month.
On our way back from Houston, as we waited for the A section of our Southwest flight to board, T showed Bert and Earnie (“Yearnie”) to everyone in line. Then when it was family boarding time, we made our way down to the plane, but we had a little “uh oh” moment before we boarded. T decided to
drop throw Bert, just as I stepped onto the plane, and Bert, T’s beloved 2-inch companion, fell through the crack between the plane and the walkway down below the plane. Gasp! “Mama, Bert?” Mama shakes her head, “Bert is gone on an adventure, and he’ll be back in a couple weeks.” Ugh.. “Mama, Bert!?” Mama tries to come up with more answers, “Well, Bert decided to get on another plane. Maybe he’s meeting up with Elmo and Cookie for a guys’ weekend in Vegas? You know how crazy those three can get…?” T looks confused, “Mama, Bert?!!”
Right. You can see this going nowhere fast. T didn’t actually cry, but of course, I was worried he might start to cry when I failed to produce Bert out of thin air, and deal lord the last thing I wanted was a crying toddler on a full flight.
I explained our dire situation to the flight attendant and asked if by chance there was any way to retrieve Bert from under the plane, thinking of course this was probably not going to happen but I might as well ask. She said probably not but she will check what she can do. So we walked down the aisle and found a seat, and T told everyone we passed that Bert was missing. He still wasn’t crying but my attempts to make him forget about Bert weren’t working. As I was explaining for the fifth time that Bert was off seeing the sights and we’ll hear all about his travels when he comes back (once Mom locates another Bert at Target next week), the flight attendant announced over the loud speaker asking that the owner of the Bert doll press their call button because the pilot was able to retrieve him. Everyone on the plane started clapping since most everyone had met the little boy who showed them all Bert and Earnie when they boarded the plane, so it was a fun moment for everyone involved. Yay! Bert is saved!!
I honestly couldn’t believe that the pilot got him back for us. How nice is that?? I have always found Southwest Airlines to be extremely accommodating to families and also pregnant travelers. When I was flying on Soutthwest a lot for work while preggo with T, I never once lifted my bag to put it up in the overhead compartment. Usually one of the flight attendants would do it for me before I even had a chance to ask them for help. On this flight with T, both directions, a flight attendant took my backpack from me while I carried T and carried it to my seat for me. And my stroller was fully set up by the baggage guy when I got off the plane. AND the pilot saved Bert from certain death. What more could I possibly ask from an airline! You really can’t beat Southwest Airlines.
To the pilot and flight attendant who helped us out and to all the great Southwest employees out there, thanks for always being friendly and helpful!
We are back from a fun weekend in Houston. My sister, Auntie M, pulled out all the stops and showed T and me a great time all over town. When we arrived, T was treated to his very own pile of toys, cars, books, and other things to play with in Auntie M’s apartment. Auntie M is the best. This is just a small part of it:
We kicked off the visit by going to an amazing all wooden playground in a neighborhood called The Heights. I don’t have a great photo of the actual playground, but T was in heaven in this place. He could climb all over including some high areas on his own because it was well-made for small kids without much danger of falling off the side as the kiddo made his or her way up. We learned that this playground was paid for entirely with donations and not city or state taxes. If I lived in the area, I’d gladly pay monthly for access.
How’s my hair, ladies?
That evening, Auntie M took us out for crawfish at one of the bars she frequents. By the way, T learned many new words this past weekend, including “bar.” That was an amusing one. Another time, the wind picked up and blew his hair, and he declared, “Windy!” I’d never heard him say that before, but he now announces every time the wind blows. Back to crawfish – peeling through a big pile of crawfish poured out onto your table during “crawfish season” is a part of Houston’s culture influenced by its neighbor Louisiana. I know my sister loves to munch on these little critters, so we had to go try them out, too.
“Say what, Auntie M? You want me to eat that? You crazy!”
T thought the crawfish were pretty funny to look at, but he was not about to eat one. Well, that meant more for mom and Auntie! Good thing Auntie M ordered 3 lbs!
The next morning we headed to the Houston Zoo. I was very pleased that the zoo gave us a 50% discount with our ABQ Biopark pass. If you have an annual pass to your local zoo, chances are it includes discounts to zoos around the country, so always check when visiting other zoos during your travels.
T had lots of fun checking out zoo animals with his Auntie:
The meerkats were some of his faves. He tried to hug them through the glass. It was all kinds of cute:
We also checked out the petting zoo within the zoo, and T got to brush some goats:
And best of all, the zoo had a great little playground, which T conquered:
Now that’s what I call a successful zoo adventure!
The next day we walked to another park with two more playgrounds. (Insert T’s googley eyes popping out of his head!) T had a blast investigating both playgrounds thoroughly, and then we headed back to my sister’s place for lunch and a nap so T would be well rested for the Houston Rodeo that afternoon!
The Houston Rodeo is gigantic, the biggest in the country in fact. This was opening weekend, featuring a cook-off and a carnival the size of a small city. For T, this was all overwhelming at first, but he had a great time pointing out all the colors and rides (“choochoos!”) He was sadly two inches too short for the 36 inch height requirement for all the rides, but just watching the lights and colors and action provided plenty of entertainment.
Needless to say, T was sound asleep within five minutes after we made it back to the car, and didn’t even open his eyes when I changed his diaper and put on his PJs back at my sister’s place. It was a big day. The next day, we went back to T’s fave wooden park one more time before it was time to say good-bye to Auntie M.
It was a fabulous weekend for us both, and I’m really glad T had lots of quality time to jump all over, chase, color with, play cars with, and dance with his Auntie!
Me with some of my buddies on the slopes in Poland. Can you tell which one is me? : )
Before I had a kid, the times I was most excited about having one were the times that I watched little pint-sized skiers shredding down the mountain. Kids zooming down the slopes in their puffy snow suits and big helmets with no fear are just so darn cute to me, and I’ve been looking forward to that experience with my own kiddo ever since I found out I was preggo with T. I started skiing pretty young, and I believe it’s best to learn as a little kid when your center of gravity is low to the ground and you are fearless. Falling two feet is not as scary as falling 5+ ft as an adult. Plus adults learning to ski think too much about the worst case scenario and often can’t get past the mental challenge of pointing their skis downhill.
We’ve had a preview of the joys and challenges involved with toddlers on the slopes because our good friends have a little shredder who we’ve had the chance to watch as he basically became a ski rockstar overnight. I consider myself a pretty good skier, and this 5-year-old, our friends’ son, can kick my ass down any slope at Ski Santa Fe. It’s so fun to ski with him! He started at 2, and he pretty much mastered the entire mountain by the time he was 3. He is a truly talented kid, and I don’t know if T will get to that level that fast once we get him started (of course I assume he will because in my head he’s already a rock star!), but it’s fun to get some practice skiing with a munchkin and pretty hilarious to watch as you get schooled by a 5-year-old.
We’ve been talking about when to start T on skis. Soon after I had T, I read an article in Ski magazine written by a former US Ski team member who wrote about the key to getting your kids to love skiing as much as you do. Her recommendation was lots of patience and starting early. She suggested starting as early as the parents have patience for. What she meant was that you can get out there with your 1 1/2 year old IF you are willing to deal with everything that involves including spending two hours getting them ready for twenty minutes of “skiing,” which is more like pulling them along so they get that feeling of sliding on skis. The idea is to make the whole day, or morning or afternoon or hour you spend doing it, as much fun as possible so the kiddo wants to try more the next time you get out there.
Here I am at Mammoth Mountain skiing 4 1/2 months preggo. Had to get T started early!
It all sounds like a blast but I can also appreciate that it can all go downhill fast (no pun intended!), and it’s all good as long as you accept that the chances of that happening are significant. I can just imagine T looking at me and saying, “poo” as soon as I have him all wrapped up and strapped in some miniature skis and boots.
It will all be worth it; I just know it.
T is pretty happy at the ski daycare, so G and I have been able to ski pretty regularly since we became a family of three, but I’m pretty excited to get my little guy out on the slopes.
We skied Wolf Creek in late December, which doesn’t have a ski daycare. We just took turns skiing and hanging out at the lodge and playing in the snow with T. Luckily we had some friends with us that weekend so we didn’t ski alone. They were awesome and even stayed with T for a while so G and I could ski a few runs together, too.
Here we are at Wolf Creek in late December.
After a nap at the lodge in Wolf Creek.
In the end, I decided that when possible, we’ll stick to ski mountains with a ski daycare when going skiing with non-ski-age kiddos in the future. T was a really good sport in Wolf Creek, but it was too cold to be outside for long, and he got pretty bored in the crowded lodge where he didn’t have much space to run around. A good ski daycare is an amazing thing, and I am grateful for the friendly ladies at the Ski Santa Fe chipmunk corner.
T at Ski Santa Fe last weekend. He was running straight toward the “choo chop” (a.k.a. chair lift) when I caught up to him.
I am hoping to take T out once at the end of this season, hopefully in March. That is if I can find rental ski boots to fit his tiny feet! We’ll see how it goes. He likes being at the ski mountain and seems really interested in the skiers and snowboarders and the lift (the choo choo according to him), and he even tried to put on my ski boots, so I’m taking all that as a good sign.
He also enjoys going fast. “1, 2, 3, go go GO” is code for “go fast mom!” Next year, when he’s 2 1/2, I’m hoping to rent him some gear for the season and get him out at least on the bunny slope and go from there. Let’s see if we can make a “trial” happen this season. I hope my patience is as strong as my enthusiasm. Wish us luck, and remember to Pray For Snow! : )
This is what happens on “spaghetti and meatballs day” at daycare:
Well, it’s what happens to T’s pants. Even Cookie is embarrassed.
I was just talking about how I dress T almost exclusively in sweatpants or fleecy pants to daycare because a) I want him to be comfy when he’s playing and during nap time, and b) his clothes come back dirty, so why bother with the nice clothes?
Well, the one day I decide to put him in a “cute outfit,” I notice when I pick him up that all the kids’ cubbies have bags of dirty clothes for the parents to bring home. My first thought was, “oh god a virus gave them all the dreaded D!” Thankfully the culprit was spaghetti sauce, not the butt squirts.
Still, the one day I put him in real pants, they are completely stained? Anyone have any tricks to getting spaghetti sauce stains out? I don’t know if it’s because toddlers smear it in real good or what, but I swear this kind of stain doesn’t come out all the way on T’s clothes. I don’t remember it being so hard to get sauce stains out of my own clothes, and God knows I spill stuff on myself all the time.
Anyways, it’s back to sweatpants tomorrow morning.