On February 2nd, Little A had her first ski lesson at Mountain High. Watching her on the bunny slope, I finally understood the meaning of living vicariously through your child and I have to say, it's pretty awesome! I had more enjoyment watching her go down that slight slope than I could have had if I were on the mountain myself! She stuck with it from 10-3pm, which is a long time when you're only 4 and a half! It was so amazing to see her progress and I will always remain so proud of her for doing it! It feels so good to be able to give her ski lessons. Where I grew up, only the "rich kids" went skiing. And I love that she has another challenge and experience under her belt, because it helps boost her confidence.
After we were down the mountain, we drove to meet my Mom's long-time friend Lucinda, who was visiting from New York. Mom and Dad lived in Queens, NY when she was pregnant with me and shortly after my birth. Mom worked with Lucinda in a high-rise at William Iselin in the financial district, around the corner from Wall Street. Even though I was less than 6 months old when my parents left New York and drove to California, Mom and Lucinda always remained friends; a true testament to their friendship.
Little C is interacting and understanding so much of what we're saying. For example, when we tell him it's time to brush your teeth, he will toddle himself into his bathroom and open his mouth!
Little A and I attended a play at SCR this month. We were front row for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and she was able to meet the cast after the show, bravely approaching both the dragon and the tiger, whom she was a bit frightened of on stage. We had such a great time that during intermission, I bought us tickets for the next play! Afterwards, we walked to Philz for hot chocolate like we did last time, making it a tradition!
We squeezed in a beach day on Valentine's Day with a friend after her class party, which I was able to attend. Staying out until sunset allowed my husband to nap before making the 15+ hour drive through the night to Oregon (with our three dogs). I never, ever want to forget his adorable little run:
We flew up the next day, after we celebrated my Dad's 75th birthday.
Oregon is a magical place, filled with so much adventure for the kids! Where else can you wake up in the morning and let your pony out to roam free? And let's not forget the dogs, who must log miles each day running alongside the gator as we loop the lake. They usually follow their runs with a dip in the freezing cold water, usually because they are trying to catch the swans.
I am happy to report that I ran almost every day in Oregon, logging nearly 40 miles with our daily walks. I stuck to my intermittent fasting (I haven't missed a day this year!) and returned from our trip 2 miles lighter, even though I had dessert nearly every day. I had such a great time there with my husband's family. I love the conversations that happen around the dinner and I'm always hunting for family history. Like the fact that my son's namesake was one of 12 children. Twelve! We had such a great time that I was able to talk my hubby into going back for our spring break in April!
We flew home on a Saturday, while my husband drove through the night with the three dogs. Wanting him to be able to sleep, we were looking for an activity that would keep us out of the house all day. So I activated my free teacher's pass and we went to Sea World!
We had the most amazing time! The kids spent over an hour roaming around the splash pad, laughing and giggling. My only concern was getting us to the Shamu show in time. We were in the front, in the splash zone and Little C was enthralled. Because strollers weren't allowed in, I woke him up 10 minutes into his very late nap. I was expecting him to be grumpy, but he absolutely loved it!
The cutest thing was that he faced his palms up signaling his concern and wonder every time the killer whale was under the water/not visible. He would look over at me, as if he expected me to do something about it. Not very helpful, I only added to the mystery by asking him "Where did he go??" We sat and watched all the other sections get splashed. "Is the whale going to do that to us, Mommy?" she asked. "I sure hope not" I responded, knowing that he would. And I could tell that she did want him to. We ended up soaked, and I changed the kids' into dry clothes for the second time, so they could go on a few small rides before we left. Little C was asleep before we left the parking lot.
It was such an idyllic day, full of those moments that you really try to commit to memory. But I would not be presenting an accurate picture if I didn't give the flip side of that: Me driving home just after sunset with both kids asleep in the back and so many tears streaming down my face that they blurred the tail lights in front of me. You see, Mom was my buddy for these types of activities, or would have been. Combine that with the fact that the last time I went to Sea World was with her, and my memories of being there as a child. It is in those moments when life feels so amazing and I'm basking in the warmth that is motherhood that my heart aches for her the most.
In a way, I miss her the most when things are the best. Because I know that with her, they would be even better. For her to watch these two beautiful souls laugh and giggle and run would just be a dream. And so, I tell myself that she is watching and talk to her a bit while driving, feeling a bit silly and yet also comforted. I would give almost anything for one day with her here, as the Grandma that she always wanted to be. But I can't do anything about that and so all I can do is try to remain thankful. Thankful that of all the mom's in the world, she is mine, and she always will be.
If you've stuck with the blog this far, you must find yourself wondering what new pet we acquired this month! Since we rescued the parakeet of the back trail a few months ago, I have been meaning to get him a companion. We like owning animals in pairs, apparently. Someone posted on NextDoor that they found a loose parakeet over by the airport. They were trying to find the owner, and unable to keep the bird because of their dog. I expressed interest and after the bird wasn't claimed, got a call. As soon as we introduced Izaak to Isla, she was instantly chatty and happy. Within minutes, he was sweetly grooming her, as she closed her eyes. They are chatty when awake, but when I place a blanket over the cage at night or during nap time, they quiet as a mouse (well, mice!).
The month ended with the season of Lent starting. Little A announced that she was going to give up TV. Knowing this might be a bit unrealistic, I tried to dissuade her. But she countered with "But Jesus is in the desert!" and I couldn't say no. The morning of Lent, she woke up asking for TV but with a gentle reminder, did not protest. Together, we did decide that two days a week, she could watch part of a movie. I am surprised and proud that she chose to do this on her own! Wish us luck!
Things I don't want to forget about this month: