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February, 2010:

Constructive Criticism

I’m annoyed. I’m all for someone telling me that my stuff isn’t right. I always acknowledge their position and welcome any suggestions.

What I can’t STAND is when someone gets all worked up about something and gets all righteous. Without details, yesterday someone suggested that maybe I hadn’t chosen the best way to do something. I acknowledged that he was correct, but also stated that we did the best we could with the resources we had and that I’d forward his email to the people who could help him.

Then he responded and BLASTED me . . . telling me how awful it was and how awful I was and how could I even think that was OK blah blah blah and if he sent his information to those people would they just put it where he didn’t want it to be anyway blah blah blah.

Um, OK . . . when that happens, I stop listening. I accept the criticism, I acknowledge it, and I welcome suggestions. But when you have no suggestions for improvement and continue to blast me, I won’t listen.

And BTW dude? I’m VOLUNTEERING for this position. We’ve asked for help a bazillion times. If you don’t want to offer your services, you can’t continue to complain. We’re doing the best we can.

Swingers For A Day

We were going up snowboarding this past Saturday, so we invited some friends along. Turns out, they already had plans to go to another mountain, so we looked for some discount tickets so we could join them. We found there was a Swinger deal, which made me giggle ūüėČ Click the link to read and watch the video – hee hee. Clever.

Anyway, we found a deal and decided to join them. We got lucky Friday afternoon when someone cancelled at the hotel we usually use points at for a free room, so we did a quick pack and left for the mountains right after the kids got out of school. We ran into some pretty nasty weather Рit took us forEVER to get to Vail from Frisco! But we made it safely AND they upgraded us from a regular room to a suite  Рwoo hoo!

We were so happy to get to sleep in and take our time getting ready on Saturday. We headed downstairs nonchalantly and¬†got ready to pack our luggage in the vehicle to head out to breakfast when our bubble was burst. The bellman told us that Vail pass was CLOSED! There had been a mini-avalanche and they were clearing the snow. CRAP! We decided there was nothing we could do about it, so we headed out to breakfast and called our friends that we were supposed to meet to tell them we were trapped on the other side of the pass. We figured that if the pass was still closed at 9:30, we’d just stay and board at Beaver Creek or Vail since we could get discounted passes with our season pass for the other mountains. We called the CDOT numbers and got an inkling that they’d opened the eastbound side of the Interstate. When we got back to the hotel, Hubby went to watch the news while I got our boards from the ski valet. Hubby saw traffic moving eastbound over the pass on the news – he couldn’t tell if they were regular vehicles or snow removable vehicles, but we decided to give it a shot. This is what the road looked like . . . not too awful . . .

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We didn’t see any cars on the westbound side, except this one CDOT pickup. When we got about half way up the pass, we saw this coming at us on the other side and just giggled . . .

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Apparently they had JUST opened up the westbound side of the Interstate – all these cars had just been waiting for them to clear the avalanche and finish the avalanche reduction.

We made it to Copper Mountain, met up with our friends, and got our swinger passes :-) Up the lift and we were ready to go! Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE where I live? I can’t imagine not getting these views every morning.

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Here are the four kiddos (ages 7, 8, 9, and 10) ready to go. The really cool part? Dude and T met when Dude was just 10 weeks old – Princess and C met when they were babies as well. Yup, all these kiddos went to the same in-home daycare as babies. I think it’s so awesome that they are still friends!

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Dude thought it was awesome that T had the same gear as he did . . . same sale at Kohl’s ūüėČ

Princess found a comfy seat while she waiting for the fam to get ready. Such a bummer being the only skier in a family of snowboarders . . . always waiting for us to strap in!

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She was very excited to go skiing with our friends because they all ski and she’d finally have some ski buddies! Mr. David was nice enough to give Princess some lessons, which she desperately needs. Her need for speed has outgrown her ability to keep her ski’es parallel so she can turn and stop fast enough. She was happy as a clam to get some lessons while the boys were excited to be let loose. Riff Raff on the mountain – watch out!

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We’d never been to Copper before, and we’d never had the opportunity to ride in nice powder – yup, 2 years of boarding without any good snow! We were way excited for all the snow they’d had up in the mountains the past week. Here are the boys coming out of the moguls . . .

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Where are me and Hubby? Um, we were trying to figure out how to board again. Oh we were getting all kinds of cocky thinking we were getting pretty good and knowing what we were doing. Thing is . . . we got our asses handed to us! We’re used to riding the nice smooth blue runs at Breck . . . not the bumpy runs at Copper! It was a GREAT workout, that’s for sure! We were huffing and puffing every time we got to the bottom. It was definitely a wake up call when we realized we had to turn when the bumps and terrain dictated, not when WE wanted to.

But the powder . . . oh the powder!

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We had a GREAT day. We got tons of runs in, got a wonderful workout, had a bazillion dollar lunch of pizza and soda on the mountain, and got some more runs in after lunch. The perfect boarding day was made even better because we got to spend it with good friends.

This picture of Princess and C sums up pretty well how we all felt at the end of the day.

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¬†We were looking forward to getting home and climbing in our nice soft warm beds. Turns out – the drive took FOREVER! The roads weren’t bad at all, but there was sooooo much traffic that we went between 5-20 mph all the way to Denver. ACK!

When all was said and done, we conquered the weather, we tried to conquer a new mountain, and we had a great first experience as Swingers :-)

Could You Say No?

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20 degrees. Snowing. Three little girls bundled up outside the grocery store. Smiles on their faces. Teeth missing.

“Excuth me? Would you like to buy some gool scout cookeeth?”

Movie Review – Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

My 9-year old read all the books in a weekend and said I just HAD to read them because they were so good. So I did :-) They were good . . . I tell people they are like Harry Potter for 9 year olds.

Needless to say, Dude was way excited when he saw there was going to be a movie! He and I went and saw it last weekend.

I was not impressed. I usually give a lot of leeway to movies, especially movies based on books, and even more when they’re kid movies, but this one took a few too many liberties. I’m not sure how they’ll reconcile those for future movies.

The movie was a lot darker than the books were. It’s like they tried to make the movie be better for teenagers than for the 7-9 year olds that actually read the books. They took out the fun stuff, like Percy getting his head stuck in a toilet and realizing then that he had water powers. Or the whole part about Clarisse being a big part of the books (but she’s nowhere to be seen in the movie). Annabeth not liking Percy in the book, but in the movie they have a lottle romance going. The flying shoes being a trap for Percy in the book and him having to figure out that the shouldn’t use them, but in the movie, he uses them more than once to help himself and his friends. Grover being a Seeker in the book always looking for Pan, but in the movie he’s just a protector and there’s no word of Pan. Percy being all alone in his cabin while the other demgods have their brothers and sisters in their cabins with them in the book.

So the movie was OK as far as movies go, but Dude and I were both disappointed at the liberties they took when they “Hollywoodized” the book. I understand you can’t put everything from a book into a movie or it would be 4 hours long, but I think they went too far to make this movie nothing really like the book except for using the names of the characters. It makes me wonder what they’ll do to the rest of the movies if they’ve taken out some of these necessary pieces that hold the books together and are big parts of the storylines.

Overall – OK movie. Good rental/Netflix. I wouldn’t spend the money to go to the theater, though . . . espeically with the younger kids.

He Said Swinger

We’re going to Copper Mountain on Saturday with another family. I initially said “no” to the invitation because we already have season passes to Breckenridge and the lift tickets at Copper are $92 for adults and $49 for kids (OUCH!). My friend said they had some kind of deal where if you have a pass from anywhere else in the country, you can get a lift ticket for $39. So I called Copper’s ticket office to see what the details were and he said¬† . . .

“Oh ya – that’s our swinger deal if you want to try¬†us out for one day.”

Hee hee – call me juvenile, but them calling it there Swinger Deal made me giggle.

The Princess and The Cat

Tonks the Princess cat is finally settling in to our humble abode. She spends her days napping¬†in the sunny spot. When Duma is out of her kennel, Tonks naps on the couch while Duma takes her regular sunny spot on the floor. When Duma is outside, Tonks takes every opportunity to roll around in Duma’s sunny spot and mark the spot with her scent. Let me tell you how much Duma LOVES that – OMG has she been pouting the past week or so!

I also found a solution to the litter box issues. A $35 plastic cat door and a night light. I started by just taking the cover off the litter box and watching Duma closely so didn’t go fishing for tootsie rolls. Tonks STILL wouldn’t cover her pee or go more than once in the box! Then I bought a night light. She did a little better, but still “hurried’ herself through her business. Then I bought a cat door for the laundry room door. Apparently the Princess Cat is claustrophobic, does not like the dark, and likes her privacy. Now that she has no lid, a night light shining bright, and a shut door that the nasty terrible yellow lab puppy can’t get through, Tonks takes her time and covers up her business multiple times a day.

Dam cat.

She’s obviously living a very rough life here at the Boedie Abode, getting more love from one little girl than any cat should ever expect¬†. . .

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Rabbits Berries

OMG I’m still laughing!

In the car with Princess . . .

Me: So, did you have fun at your Valentine’s Day party today?
Princess: Totally! We had so much yummy food and we were all so full.
Me: Cool – glad you had fun.
P: And you know what else? You know how Aspen is so small? Well, she had about 6 of those breakfast treats with the rabbits berries inside!
Me: stifling a giggle You mean raspberries?
P: Ya – whatever they’re called – but she loved ’em!

I would hope that Aspen doesn’t love rabbit berries – but hey, who am I to judge!

We Boycotted The Super Bowl

The Vikings or Packers weren’t in the Super Bowl, so we headed up to the mountains on Super Bowl Sunday. We figured we’d have a double good chance of a slow day up there – the Super Bowl would take some people and it was Sunday, always slower. The bonus was that it had snowed a couple inches the previous 4 days and was supposed to snow Sunday – so we were all over it!

Turns out the weather could not have been any better . . . it was 25 degrees and¬†slightly overcast with a light flurry. Dude was way happy because he got some new duds!I’m a sucker for a sale, and we got his entire “outfit” for $60 . . . you can’t tell, but his jacket has the same pattern down the sides as his pants. The Pink Power Puff is still gushing about her blue and pink ski’es with butterflies on them :-)

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I just had to giggle again – we did a few runs, then rode Four O’Clock To Town so we could take our standard walk to Subway for lunch. The run can get pretty flat in spots, which means Princess and Dude have some trouble because they’re so light. Princess did her air pole and tuck routine again . . . I was in front of her this time, but it was just as cute from the front as it is from behind¬†:-)

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I also took the opportunity on Four O’clock to catch my first baby air! Woo hoo! You MIGHT have been able to fit a credit card between my board and the snow, but I was so excited I actually did it! Baby steps – literally . . . maybe I’ll even try a little jump next time :-)

My kiddos aren’t quite as chicken as I am . . . they went right for the little mogul field after lunch on one of our favorite runs. Hubby even did the moguls on his board! The kids are so funny because the moguls just swallow them up – it’s more like skiing/riding around hills than it is navigating moguls for them.

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At the end of the “bumps” as Princess calls them, there is a little ramp-like jump thingy right behind the lift pole. Princess decided to catch a little air after her second time through the moguls. I missed the air in the pictures, but she certainly got more air than I did!

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Dude decided to try it, too. He caught some air, and his front edge! He did pull this out though and didn’t wipe out :-)

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After we all had a full day of fun trying new runs (oh ya – we added 3 more blue runs to our quest for the blues!), catching or first air, and trying out the moguls, we took Four O’Clock To Town again and walked across the street to check out the ice sculptures. The festival was a couple weeks ago, and it’s been pretty warm so some of the parts had fallen off a couple of them, like a guitar handle, but they were still way cool to look at!

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We got back home in the regular 2 1/2 hours, just in time for some warm soup and hot showers before bed. Winter¬†Sundays don’t get much better than that :-)

Got Cookies?

The cookie drop for Girl Scouts was yesterday – so I took an hour off work and headed to the church parking lot where there were 2 large semi-trailers filled to the brim with Girl Scout cookies. I got in line at my appointed time . . . and I ended up being a couple minutes late getting my cookies. Why? Because the lady in front of me had 217 cases to load into her vehicles! OMG! The pictures below . . . my 86 cases in my Highlander.

First, the cargo area. Filled to the brim! I could have gotten maybe 3 more cases in there if I’d taken more time to organize, but the lady THROWING the cases at me and telling me to go faster and “turn only 90 degrees instead of 180 to save time” didn’t really allow time for organization. I did appreciate the help, though!

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Next we have the back seat. I had to take Princess’ booster out!

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And finally, the front seat. Not packed full, but man, they are not kidding when they say “You have X cases to pick up. You will need the following vehicles to pick up your cases. This means an EMPTY vehicle – no car seats, no animals, no passengers.”

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And can I just say that aside from the choice of Tuesday at 9:00 to have the pickup, those Girl Scout ladies know what they are doing! To get 2 full semi-trailers completely unloaded and reloaded into vehicles in less than 90 minutes – DANG!

Hubby is gone, so Dude and Princess enlisted a couple of their friends from across the street to help us bring all the cases into the house after work yesterday. Tonight, the kids and I sorted them all out into the groups for each of the Daisies in my troop.

Surprisingly, I didn’t quite end up with the right amounts of surplus for each kind – ACK! Oh well . .¬†. what can you expect when organizing 1000+ packages of cookies with the help of a 7 and 9 year old :-)

Grounded

So my little Princess has been grounded since Wednesday. She was supposed to be grounded just until the end of today, but yesterday, she earned herself a grounding all the way through Sunday.

What did she do? She lied.  Not a huge lie or anything . . . just a bunch of little lies. We even made it very clear that we knew the answers to our questions and that it would be in her best interest not to lie, but she chose to lie anyway.

So, she’s grounded. Lying is NOT tolerated in t his house. With the grounding, she’s not allowed to have any sweets either – as part of her punishment. When she was told there would be consequences for her lying, she said “I don’t care. You can take away all my Webkinz forever!” Um – WHAT?! So Hubby took away sweets, which might not seem like a big deal, but we have about 2 dozen left over cupcakes sitting on her counter. It’s KILLING her that Dude gets to have a cupcake each day after school and she can’t (he’s only getting them every day to make a point to her).

And today – we had planned to take them to the movie The Tooth Fairy after school because they really have been really good lately – especially this past 10 days while I was playing the role of single mom. Alas . . . no movie for Princess. She gets a babysitter. And to make it sting a bit more – Queen Taunya is joining us at the movie AND I went to Walgreens and bought 4 HUGE boxes of candy for the movie. Ya I know I’m not supposed to take candy into the movie – but that’s not the point here! Stay on task . . .

The candy is sitting on the counter for all to see when they get home from school :-)

Ya – I’m a good mom like that.

I shouldn’t let her go on the Daisy field trip Saturday, but I will. That’s really important to me. Open skating on Saturday with the family is another thing – I see a little Princess sitting in the ice rink without skates on her feet, watching the rest of us skate around with our friends.

Snowboarding on Sunday – she’ll go – that’s not fair to the rest of us to not go because she made bad choices, and there is no way I’m paying a sitter for the entire day! But, she will NOT get to watch movies on the way up there.

Yes – I’m in the running for the MOTY award.