Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our ski trip videos

Sammy's moves

Untitled from Susan Harris on Vimeo.



Claire going down the mountain

Untitled from Susan Harris on Vimeo.



Matt's documentary of himself...haha!

Untitled from Susan Harris on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The family ski trip

So, last Saturday we flew to Denver, Colorado and drove to my Aunt Marty and Uncle Bruce's house in Evergreen.

They live on the side of a mountain and the views out their windows are amazing.

This is their balcony! Can you believe they wake up to this? It's stunning.

And Matt was very excited about all the fresh snow they kept getting while we were there for the weekend because our next stop was skiing in Winter Park.

Before we left, though, I got to spend time with my cousins and attend my cousin Calvin's wedding shower, which is great because he's getting married the week my baby will be born, so I probably won't be attending. This picture is Calvin by my cousin (his sister) Julie.

And here is Julie with Kara, Calvin's fiance. Kara was lovely and funny and will be a great addition to the family.

Sammy, meanwhile, developed a bit of a crush on Julie and was very sad when she left Sunday evening to go back to college. He kept asking me if I thought she missed him. I assured him that she did.
Our next stop was the Vintage Hotel in Winter Park...about an hour away from Evergreen. It was a great place to stay near the mountain...
....but still a gondola ride away, which the kids really got a kick out of.
We could watch the gondola from the widow of our hotel window, which Sammy did from the moment he woke up (early) every morning....
....until he could see the operators turn it on.
Then he would throw off his jammies...

...and get into his ski stuff (this is the long underwear part. Long underwear is very funny looking on anyone I realized on this trip, but especially so on a pregnant lady).

Here we are renting our skis on day #1.
And riding the magic carpet up the very tiny hill where the kids learned to start and stop and turn. Well...

...Claire learned to start and stop and turn. But Sammy was too busy trying to be like the guys he had seen on the Olympics to follow any directions on technique. He never learned to steer or slow down very well, but he taught himself how to do a wicked hockey stop (that's stopping sideways with a big wave of snow flying up) and he could jump into the air while flying down the hill.

Then it was on to the rope pull type of lift so that we could go up a slightly higher hill.

Sammy practicing his moves.
And this second hill was where he and I ended up spending the rest of the vacation because apparently my die-hard, super-daring, kamikaze kid is desperately afraid of heights and would NOT get on the chair lift to go up the actual mountain. He wasn't afraid of the mountain itself, but he couldn't even look at the chair lift without having a panic attack.

So Claire and Matt went.

And she was very proud of herself.

I think it was one of the first times that she has been "braver" than Sam and she really liked that.

She really liked telling Sammy all about her adventures on the mountain with daddy and how he really shouldn't be so afraid. Sammy just kept saying "I'll do it when I'm older."

So he and I rode up the rope tug about 150 times a day.

And one time (while refusing to take instructions on steering) he rode off the side of the hill and ended up in a big snow drift. I laughed thinking it was only about a foot deep, (and took a picture of him before rescuing him) but when I stepped off the side to get him I realized the snow was up to my waist! And when he rolled over to try to climb up he sank down another 3 feet. It took us about 10 minutes to climb out and a dear lady helped us with the last few feet.

Then, when we got tired (alright, so I was tired before we started) we headed back toward the base to have lunch.

That was a highlight of the day for everyone because we were all starving, but my favorite part of lunch was taking off my friggin' ski boots. Those things are little torture-chambers for your feet I tell you.

The kids ate a ton.
And then, after doing it all over again for the afternoon, we got on our little gondola and went back to the hotel, (can you see the top of Sammy's tiny head peaking over the side? Haha!). And after going to dinner in the little town of Winter Park, we all fell asleep pretty quickly. I told the Big Guy that I hope he enjoyed himself because, although I saw a woman skiing down the mountain with a baby strapped to her body, that is NOT my style, so I think it will be a while before we go back. But we made it and the kids loved it so it was all good!

A special thanks to my aunt and uncle who let us stay with them on the way home again for another night and for making us fabulous foods. Uncle Bruce: I still think about those breakfast sandwiches you made us every morning and I even went out to get the ingredients for them when I got home! You guys are so hospitable. Thanks again!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dining room help needed

I'm struggling with my dining room. I have these great pieces (the table and the hutch/sideboard) from my aunt, but I am not good at accessorizing them. With the tan walls and the light wood furniture, I'm afraid I've left that room to look like the inside of a paper bag.

So. we took the hutch off the sideboard and I got a lamp, candle sticks, and mirror for it to try to spice it up a bit. But then I got the mirror home and realized it was way too small. I found another one that's much bigger so that's what I want to try next. I'm not very good at accessories. I really liked that lamp at the store, but did you notice that the shade is the color of the wall? I can't stop buying things that are tan. Somebody stop me! My sister said that she thinks I tend to make weird decorating decisions when I'm pregnant. She might be right.

The good news is that Ms. Pneumonia is feeling better, which is good since she's supposed to be on skis in a few days!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chair decision

We need living room chairs. I bought these wicker ones at Christmas time (they are outside chairs actually) to get us through the holidays, but 1) they look ridiculous with our other furniture, and 2) they are going to be a pile of straw by the time Sammy is done sitting on them (okay, jumping off of them). So, I need help deciding on a style. We need two chairs facing the couch. Here are a few I found:


This is from overstock.


So is this.

And this one too.

Wait, so is this.

This is Ballard Designs and it's the skinniest one, which is good in this room.
And this is West Elm and it might be my favorite at the moment, (surprise...it's tan!).

And these are the two ways to lay out the room. With the couch facing the fireplace...


...and thus chairs on either side of the fireplace. Don't you love the hefty bag over the fireplace hole? Mr Tommy has finished ALMOST everything here.

Or, we can leave the couch on the window wall and have the chairs facing it on the other side of the rug. Any suggestions???? Don't be afraid to say you hate all the chairs. I don't own any of them yet. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hangin' in there


The week started out okay. It was snowing! That makes Sam-Sam very happy, which, in turn, makes the rest of us happy.

Claire and I altered the homeschool routine enough to fit in some more "fun" learning activities. We did about half the amount of regular school work and threw in some fun projects like making this multiplication clock thing. I even bought a tool that burns wood to make it!

We made the clock and told the story of Mrs Minutes and Mr Hours. Claire loved it! It's funny how much they love anything with a story, no matter how trivial the story seems.

And we hauled out her needle felting stuff from Christmas to start working on....

...a needle felted robin red-breast! We're trying to do a little bird study in preparation for a field trip to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center with our friends, the Handies.

I was kinda afraid of the project since I'm not particularly crafty, but it's super easy if you use a cookie cutter! Except, we did free-hand the nest.

We tried to e-mail the lady whose etsy shop this comes from because we want some blue to make little eggs for the nest.

We also started doing "math suns" except our version is just practicing the addition facts of the 3s family, (and, apparently, making sure our fives go forwards after this!).

Sammy was getting better from his previous weekend's sicknesses, so we were just cooking along having a fine time. I had cookie dough in the fridge again at all times, so I was happy.

The kids also hauled out mouse trap which kept them happy when they weren't playing out in the snow.

When suddenly Claire bit the dust. She had started coughing, but then it got pretty bad. Fevers of almost 104 every night for several days and a constant dry cough.
The Big Guy bit the dust too. He's not quite as bad, but has a major congestion issue as well.

So we've done a lot of laying around.

And we've been on steady drips of vitamins and cold medicines and tylenol for fevers. Of course I'm fine. Moms don't get sick.

I made some chicken soup. Raw whole chickens are sure grose looking.

But Claire still would not turn a corner. She had a fever for 3 straight days of almost 104 if she wasn't medicated. So, after doing a few more homeopathic type remedies to no avail, the doctors were finally ready to call it: poor sister bear has pneumonia.

So now we'll be hanging out on the couches a while longer while she hopefully turns a corner thanks to our super pneumonia-killing antibiotic. But at least we have the Olympics to watch!

And, for those of you (my sister) who would like a belly update (week 24): here she is. Please don't notice the toothpaste splatters on my mirror...that's not the point of this picture afterall.

Seriously, don't look at them. Look instead at how my maternity pants are about to bust off of me. I couldn't get anything in those front pockets if I had to! I'm pretty sure that it's going to be yoga-pants only from here on out. Maternity jeans are starting to cut me in half.

And I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get any less fat due to the fact that I've added another junk-food indulgence to my list. These morello cherries, which are good enough (kinda tart) to eat out of the jar, but which are pure delight eaten on top of vanilla ice cream. In fact, if you made a pie crust, crumbled it up, and put it on top of the ice cream and poured this on top, you might be the happiest lady in town. Which might be my Valentines Day treat to myself. Happy Valentines Day weekend everyone! I'll just be here being NOT slim.