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January, 2010:

Fox Food

It appears as though my little Princess picked out a Princess Cat. Yup – I believe Tonks is a Princess . . . a shy princess, but a princess nonetheless.

I moved her litter box downstairs a few days ago – didn’t want it in Princess’ room. We bought a covered one (to the tune of $25!) so Duma wouldn’t go fishing for snacks. Turns out, Tonks doesn’t like the dark. She’ll go in the litter box, but will only pee right next to the door, and she won’t take the time to cover it up or to cover up her poop. Yesterday, I decided not to have Princess clean the litter box – I wanted to see what Tonks would do.

What would Tonks do? She would choose to pee on the FLOOR next to the litter box rather than walk farther into the dark! The litter box is HUGE, yet she can apparently only pee in it once.

Let me tell you how pissed I was this morning!

And let me tell you how close I was to throwing Ms. Tonks outside as a little snack for the fox!

So am I totally screwed now that she’s pee’d outside the litter box? How do little kitty minds work?

Bass Ackward

Do you know what I get to do tonight? Take Dude shopping for a pair of jeans. Why? Because he’s the only 9 year old on the planet who doesn’t own a pair of jeans. Why? Because they are not camoflauge or black, so he doesn’t like them. So why do we need to buy him a pair? Because his music performance at school is in a couple weeks, and the dress code is not nice pants/shirts/shoes (which he already has from last year). The dress code is blue jeans and a plain t-shirt.

So ya – instead of having to go buy him nice clothes for his performance, I have to go buy him a pair of jeans for this specific occasion.

Seems pretty backwards to me!

Crackers and Cupcakes

On my typical Monday morning yesterday, I was volunteering in Princess’ 1st grade classroom. One of the things they were working on was identifying cracker (dry, boring) words and changing them to cupcake (fun, exciting) words. So the sentence “My mom is very pretty.” would end up being something like “My mom is extremely beautiful.”

Last night at dinner. . .

Me: Princess, where are you going?
Princess: I’m full.
Me: Sit down. You haven’t eaten any of your chili. You are going to be hungry and there will be no snacks.
P: Oh fine.

She eats a couple Fritos dipped into her chili and gets up again.

Me: What are you DOING?!
P: I ate some more.
Me: Um, you ate some more chips. Try 2 more big bites of chili.
P: OK – fine!

She takes two small bites of chili and starts to clear her stuff from the table.

Me: Seriously? That was not two big bites.
P: looking over her should as she walks away to the kitchen with her bowl in hand . . . Well, it WAS two bites, and you said TWO bites. Anyways – BIG is a cracker word. You should use something better like LARGE or  GINORMOUS!

Oh how I LOVE her big – er ginormous – personality :-)

I Laughed So Hard I Wiped Out

Princess and I went to Breckenridge this past Saturday  – Hubby stayed home with Dude because he didn’t feel well that morning :-( We met Queen Taunya, our friend Betta, and her coworker Eddie from California for a day on the slopes. We had a GREAT time. It was pretty chilly with the wind and driving snow – first time in a long time we’ve had cold fingers and toes up there . . . but we still had a good time.

Princess was particularly happy because Mr. Eddie skis and he can ski fast, so she followed him around all day. We just are not fast enough for her 😉 The last 3 runs of the day, they went off the run a bit to try out “the bumps” – Princess thought the moguls were fun! At the top of the run, she and Mr. Eddie would take off and bullet down the mountain until they got to the part with the moguls. Then they slowed down while Eddie showed Princess how to do the moguls – which gave me time to catch up :-) Betta and I would hang out and watch her do these little moguls that swallowed up all 44 inches and 44 pounds of her Pink Power! After they came out, Betta and I were cheering and happy for them – and they were off – cruising down the mountain while we stood there celebrating for them 😉

On the very last run of the day, it was just Me, Princess, and Mr. Eddie. They did their moguls, and I told them to take a different trail down to the bottom, so they followed me to the trail. Then they were off! The trail slopes to the side and has some large rolling hills on it – it’s tons of fun! Then it shoots you out to the main trail – a straight line to the lift. At the top of the last big hill, I saw this flash of pink straighten out her wedge and heard her squeal like nothing you’ve ever heard! Apparently she was mad that Mr. Eddie was quite a ways ahead of her . . . so she did 3 HUGE air poles to go faster (she doesn’t have real poles) and scrunched down into the smallest little ball she could get into to try to catch up with Mr. Eddie. I’m cruising down the hill behind her as this little ball of pink goes FLYING down the mountain screaming “Miiiisstterrrrrrr Eddddiiiiieeeee! Heeeeeeere I coooooooome!!!”

I just about DIED laughing! Literally – I wasn’t paying attention to my own boarding self and hit a bump I didn’t see and totally bit it! But damn – that image will be burned into my eyeballs forever . . . it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and I’m STILL giggling about it!

So We Went To MN

It’s been almost a month, and I’ve almost thawed out enough to write this post.

We decided to go to MN for part of winter break. The plan . . . wake up on Christmas Day, open Santa gifts, get in the car and drive 14 hours to Grandma’s house. Nothing we haven’t done before, right?

So Christmas Eve Day we loaded up the Highlander . . . seriously loaded it to the top – not an inch to spare – and put the Snowboards on the rack (we wanted to show the kids how lucky they are to have the Rockies right outside our window by snowboarding down teeny tiny hills on icy snow in frigid MN). Then, we saw that the weather STILL sucked in the Midwest – that whole nasty worst blizzard in 20 years sucky weather. We watched and watched the weather. The Interstate was closed. Bah Humbug!

We get up Christmas morning and have a blast opening gifts . . . then we check the weather. Bah Humbug! The weather is better, but the Interstate is still closed between Grand Island, NE and Omaha, NE. We make an executive decision to wait until Saturday to leave, with hopes that the Interstate will open on Sunday morning. We were bummed and happy – the kids got to play with their new stuff and we got to do whatever we wanted since we had planned on being in the car all day and now had an entire free day!

December 26 – we get up, check the roads – still closed. Check the weather – nice. So we get a room in Kearney and start driving. The Interstate was EMPTY – it was so nice! I-80 was closed between the I-76/I-80 interchange and Cheyenned, and beetween Grand Island and Omaha – so if you didn’t get on from I-76 or hadn’t already been trapped in the open area, you weren’t getting on. We drove over the speed limit on clear dry roads the whole way. Got to Kearney in plenty of time to enjoy the waterpark in the hotel :-)

December 27 – the Interstate opened. We were OFF to MN! Woo hoo! Roads weren’t awful – but not clear. We made pretty good time, all things considered.

December 28-January 4th – we had planned to go sledding with friends, go snowboarding by ourselves, join family for snowboarding on another day, go ice fishing, ride the 4-wheeler, eat/drink/be merry :-)

Then every single friggin’ day we woke up, we saw this temperature . . . and no, it did NOT warm up as the days went on. They set new records for low highs.

02-brrrrrrr 

There was no snowboarding (dragged all that crap to MN to not use it!). There was no sledding. There was no ice fishing (the snow insulated the ice and made it unsafe to go out on it). There was no 4-wheeling (the snow was so friggin’ deep at Grandma and Grandpa’s that the 4-wheeler just kept getting stuck). The kids played outside in the snow for a total of 7 minutes before they came in frozen to death. You just can’t hang outside very long in those temps.

We even tried to go to the hotel my Mom is the controller for and use the hot tub to at least get out of the house for a while, but the hot tub was closed. Bah Humbug!

The bonus to all of this was that we got to spend LOTS of time with friends talking and playing inside, and we got to spend lots of time Grandma and Grandpa just playing games and having fun. We had a wonderful Christmas celebration on January 1 because it had to be posponed when we got delayed. Had 4 generations of family in the house, which is always awesome :-) Dude and Princess learned how to play Mexican Train Dominos, which is so much fun! We went bowling with Grandma. So ya – it wasn’t a total bust . . . but it was disappointing that we didn’t get to do any of the things we had really planned on doing. But, we’re good improvisors and had fun anyway.

When we left for our drive home on January 5th, the temperature was -27. Brrrrrrr! When we pulled into our driveway 13 hours later at 7:00 p.m., the temperature was 45 degrees.

It’s official. 13 years after leaving MN for the mountains of CO, the Boedies have become cold weather whimps :-)

The First Three Geocaches Have Been Found!

Dude has been wanting to go geocaching – he LOVES to hike, and ever since we found 3 caches by accident last summer, he’s been dying to try it. Lucky him, Grandma and Grandpa bought him a GPS for Christmas (yes, he’s spoiled by his grandparents – all 6 of them!), and his Godmother bought him a Geocaching log book and portable shovel.

So last weekend, he and Hubby got the GPS all ready to go, loaded 3 geocaches into it, and we headed to the park down the street. It’s a huge regional park with tons of hiking trails and trees and ponds and playgrounds. Dude and Princess had a couple friends over, so I took one two-radio and they took the other (another Christmas gift – thanks Aunt Dawn and Uncle Pat!) and off they went while I played ball with Duma. It took them one hour to find all 3 geocaches! Each time they found one they’d call me on the radio and tell me all about it – they were so excited! And I was totally excited that they had so much fun :-) It’s so great that they are such good kids that I could trust them in the park finding the caches.

Next time, we’ll put some more challenging caches in there for a family hike. I can’t wait to get out there and find some caches – I just wish we’d had the GPS last summer when we got to go on all of our awesome hikes. I see some rehikes in our future this summer :-)

How about you – do you Geocache?

Cats and Dogs

After spending her first few days in Princess’ room, Tonks decided it was OK to venture out into the living room – being carried of course 😉 Duma was happy as a clam to have Tonks out of Princess’ room . . . she’d spent the first 3 days sniffing Princess’ door wondering what the heck was in there! Tonks hung out on Princess’ lap while Duma cautiously walked up to see what she was:

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Tonks was used to little dogs at her previous home, but not big dogs. In fact, the paperwork may have even said she wasn’t real crazy about big dogs 😉 But she sat there nicely, watching the freaky 75 lb. lab puppy make some moves to see what “it” would do.

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Tonks finally had enough and let Duma know who was in charge!

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Hissing is not allowed, and we let Tonks know that. She’s been really good with Duma since then. She still listens for Duma’s collar and watches for her. And for the first week at our house, she wouldn’t even come out of Princess’ room. We started leaving the door open so Duma could go in there and check her out. At first, Tonks hid under the slide.

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But there was no hissing, which was awesome! Then she decided to hang out on Princess’ bed and check out Duma from above . . . I was kind of hoping for an ambush, but that didn’t happen.

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She finally got bored with the reindeer games and decided to eat dinner. Surprisingly, Duma just sat there and watched her!

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It’s now been 10 days since Tonks joined our family. I won’t say that she and Duma are friends, but they’re certainly learning to live with each other. Tonks ventures out of Princess’ room whenever she wants, whether or not Duma is out there. I think Tonks has even figured out that if she runs, Duma will chase her – she is a retriever after all! So Tonks just sits and and jumps from furniture to furniture. She especially likes to sit on the laps of any of us because she knows Duma is not allowed on the furniture – which is really pissing Duma off!

Princess is happy as a clam that Tonks LOVES to sleep in bed with her and that her room is Tonks’ room, too. She tells everyone that Tonks is so soft and cuddly and is just awesome. Yup – Princess did a great job picking out the perfect cat for our family. I never thought I’d see Hubby go in Princess’ room to get Tonks and have her sit on his lap while he watched the Vikings game! So much for “I don’t like cats!” :-)

The First Pinewood Derby

One of the events Dude was really looking forward to in Boy Scouts was the Pinewood Derby. A block of wood, some wheels, power tools, sandpaper, paint, decals, a huge Matchbox car track . . . what could be better? Not much when you’re 9 :-) We went to MN over Christmas break, so we took the kit with us so he could get started. Dude, Hubby, and Monster Grandpa had some great Guy Time out in the garage designing Dude’s car.

After cutting out the car and using the belt sander for the big sanding work, Dude went to work on the detail sanding.

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Putting on the finishing sanding touches . . .

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It was too cold to paint outside, so Dude and Hubby put a box in the shower in our crappy basement bathroom when we got home and spray painted it in there. Dude thought black would be awesome and very cool looking – so black it was. He chose a pretty difficult design only because the middle was very thin and could’ve easily broken. And with so much of the block of wood being cut away, they had to drill some carefully placed holes and put tungsten weights inside to get the car to place the center of gravity properly and get the car as close to the 5 oz. limit as possible. The finished product . . .

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Looks like a winner to me! Dude and Hubby took the car to weigh in and got to add one more weight to get it to 4.9 oz. After weigh in and inspection, you have to leave your car there so you don’t make any illegal modifications overnight.

The next morning, we were up and ready to go to the races! Dude was so excited after Hubby showed him his old cars from cub scouts. Dude checked out all the available hardware while we waited for the race to start. A boy can dream, right?

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There were 66 cars in the race, so there were a lot of heats! Each car got to run on each of the 4 lanes. I’d never been to a Pinewood Derby before, but I had no clue it was so automated! Everything from the start button to the times to the rankings to matching similar speed cars together to make good races – it was pretty darn cool! Dude and his buddy had a good time watching all the heats while waiting for their cars to race.

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The races started – Dude was so excited to watch his car race! I mean, who wouldn’t be after working so hard on it and waiting so patiently.

The first race – he came in 4th out of 4. The 2nd race – 3rd. Third race – 4th. Fourth race – 4th. He was SOOOO disappointed! The thing was, all the cars did well and were so close. Out of 66 cars, the difference in time between the winning car and the last place car was only 1.05 seconds. Not bad! Dude ended up coming in 62 out of 66. He was quite bummed until we pointed out the times to him. And after we got his car, we noticed that the last weight they’d put in at inspection was missing! It had fallen out at some point . . . so as far as Dude knows, that weight could have been the different in some time 😉 He was pretty excited to start thinking about next year’s car already on the ride home . . . I love how he just bounces back and takes on a challenge.

After all the trophies for placing were awarded, they awarded trophies for craftsmanship. Since it was our first race, we had no clue how fun the cars could be. Maybe next year in addition to working on more speed, we’ll go for one of those craftsmanship trophies :-) There were tons of really fun cars – the boys did well – and honestly, I don’t know which car won the race or the craftsmanship award. Here were some of our favorites out of the designs:

Swiss cheese with a mouse on top:

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2 Lego guys surfing on big waves

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Cool white car that I’m sure has a name but I don’t know it

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A Wii Remote

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And my personal favorite, the roller coaster. I love how all the people have their hands up in the air :-)

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All in all, our first Pinewood Derby was a lot of fun and a great experience. We can’t wait for next year! But first, Dude is getting very excited about his overnight sledding campout in the mountains in a couple weeks – good times!

The Ear Saga Continues

My little Princess has been saying “what?” “huh?” “I didn’t hear you!” a lot in the past month. Is she having ear issues, or just a 7 year old girl with attention issues?

Given her past ear issues, I decided to take her to the ENT to get her ears checked out.

She has hearing loss in both ears, significant in the right . . . nothing that can’t be fixed – just some negative pressure on the ear drum so her ear drums aren’t vibrating. But, since we’ve only noticed the issue for about a month, doc wants to wait until March to have her retested to see if it clears up on its own. We’ve got ear popping exercises to do daily before then as well as instructions to have her sit so she hears mostly with her left ear in class and to make sure she is looking at us before we talk until this gets cleared up.

Fun – good times – NOT! If her hearing isn’t better by March, then she’ll have to get tubes put in again . . . bluck. Her first set of tubes were put in when she was 15 months old . . . I have a feeling it will be a bit more difficult this time with her 7 year old strong-willed personality that freaks herself out about stuff like this!

Wish us luck that her ears fix themselves before March 4th!

I’m Just So Happy!

The fam went snowboarding/skiing last weekend. Beautiful day. Good times were had by all. Even though Princess could get down the hill twice as fast as the rest of us, she chooses to follow me “so she doesn’t get lost.” On one of our first runs, she is squealing and whooping and hollering all the way down. At the bottom . . .

Me: That was FUN! Princess, you were squealing the whole way down!
Princess: I know. And I cried lots of the way down, too!
Hubby: Cried? How come?
Princess: Because I was just so happy!

4 Summit Passes . . . $1000
Lunch at Subway . . . $22
Hearing your 7 year old tell you she’s so happy she cried . . . Priceless