Thursday, April 17, 2014

Shredding the Greens at The Fish

[Mar 28 2014]

Friday the Kalispell kids were still in school, so the three of us took the slopes on our own. There was about a foot of recent snow and the conditions were wonderful.

Katie is getting used to riding the chair lift, but she is also happy to just cruise the magic carpets sometimes as well. While we there, the photographer got a picture of each of us. I couldn't resist Katie's cuteness, so I bought one. And how often does someone get a picture of me? I got one of each of us.

Scott found this little trail that went off behind some cabins and then through a tunnel before looping back to the lift. There were a few big bumps as you came out of the tunnel, so Katie didn't really want to do it again. Scott did it all day long. He essentially abandoned us and did his own thing, keeping track of how many laps he could do. He wouldn't even ride the chair with us if we were close to him, because he didn't want to lose any time.

Because he was always off in some tunnel through the trees, the on-slope photographer never got a picture of him. But I managed to find him at the end of the day.

On the way back from the hill we met up with our cousins to see Muppets Most Wanted, which was absolutely hilarious. It was a pretty full day.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Blue & White Motel with Dad

A weekend trip with Dad is sort of a win-win-win. Dad gets to go out and do stuff that he likes to do, the kids get to go on an adventure, and Mom gets to have a few moments to herself. Such excursions are within a reasonable driving distance, and usually take place in the summer. Last weekend, we packed up our skis and headed down to Kalispell/Whitefish to see cousins.

The trip was on a smaller scale, so we didn't rent a spot on the hill. Instead, I stumbled into the deal of the century -- a "theme" motel room for only $50, with pool and breakfast included. Whoa! Yeah, there were some negative reviews of the "Blue & White Motel" on the main drag in Kalispell, but few/none of the reviews said the place was dirty, mostly noisy. A common complaint was that the motorcycle groups that frequently stopped there in the summer were pretty loud and the BBQ patio in the public area was often loud into the night as well. It was too early in the season for motorbikes and BBQs, so I figured we were good there. The other complaint was that some of the people who stayed/lived at the motel were a bit sketchy. But how sketchy? Other places to stay were twice as much or more, which is a pretty hefty non-sketchy-premium. Plus, this motel had a Wendy's AND a Taco Bell next door. I decided to go for it.

Did I mention Theme Rooms? Yeah, there were theme rooms. We got the one with the school-room theme. Apples, ABCs, 123s. It had it all... including a few cigarette burns in the covers (wasn't this a non-smoking room?), and a sink that would only turn off if you closed the water supply valve under the basin. Still, it had a TV of sorts where we could get our March Madness updates and beds for us to sleep in.

Perched atop a short bookcase in a dark corner of the office, the breakfast spread was not fine dining, but it wasn't much different than I would have gotten, left to my own devices. They had some fruit and whatever happened to be on sale in the bakery section of the grocery store the previous day. One morning, that meant donuts and mini-danishes. Another morning, that meant devils food cake, pre-sliced into a choco-debris-pile, with the "Manager's Special" sticker clearly visible on the plastic casing. They also had a loaf of bread and some English muffins next to the toaster, and a big tub of margarine with a knife jutting out. Lots of crumbs, too. We avoided the devil and the margarine, but the fruit and donuts were great.

Enough about the motel, how about the ice cream? We met up with cousins on Thursday night to play at the indoor playground and then cool off with some 25-cent cones. Scott saw Connor buy a big bottle of flavoured water with his allotment, so he copied him at the next opportunity. I picked up some of those mini-cans of pop that we kept in our mini-fridge at the motel and Katie LOVED to make a big production of going to the fridge, opening it up, taking a sip of her pop, putting it back, and closing the door again. She would narrate the whole process and add comments like, "I love to drink my pop!" You would think that she guzzled huge quantities of pop, but don't worry mom, she barely got through 250mL over a few days. Flat pop -- mmmmm.

The motel staff were very nice. It was an adventure. Will we stay there again? Probably not. But that depends whether the James Dean theme room is already booked.

Monday, April 07, 2014


Katie doesn't have a middle name. She is a bit jealous of Scott, since he has three names and she only has two.

For generations, that's the way it's been in both my family and R's family, where the maiden name usually becomes the middle name after marriage. We didn't come up with the idea.

Since she was born, we have often called her "Katie-Baby". There was even a song that we used to sing. But now she is not a baby anymore, and she isn't sure that she likes being type-cast in the role of baby.

On our recent ski trip to Montana, we were on the ski lift with her cousins and she said that she didn't like to be called Katie-Baby. We came up with an alternate nickname for her -- Katie Cutie. From there, we had to have a nickname for everyone on the lift:
Katie Cutie
Bailey Beauty
Daddy Tootie

A few days after we got back from the trip she suddenly decided to make a change. She announced, "My middle name is Snow White."

She's never even seen the movie Snow White before, but we got a really nice Snow White dress last year in a 2nd-hand purchase. She ended up choosing it for her Halloween costume. This week she wore it several days in a row, along with a matching Snow White crown, shoes and sceptre. While washing her hands in the bathroom one evening she explained to me that she looks a lot like Snow White, except that Snow White has black hair and Katie has blond hair. But when she wore a black toque for Halloween and a red ribbon on it, then she matched Snow White.

Later in the week, Katie didn't want to go to her music class. She said she just wanted to stay in her dress. During negotiations she asked if she could go to class in her dress. R said yes, but warned her that it would attract a lot of attention if she did, so she should be ready for that. She went to the class and was a bit flushed when people in the front entrance were already commenting on her dress. She handled the notoriety better than we would have expected.

Her music teacher accidentally called her Cinderella, but the rest of the little girls straightened her out immediately.

Katie wore her dress one more place on the way home and was somewhat disappointed when nobody made any comments. When they got back to the car she told R, "Nobody even said anything about my dress!"

Well, now she has four names and Scott only has three. Although, do you hyphenate Snow-White when you use it as a middle name? If so, does it count as one or two names? I'm not sure.

Friday, April 04, 2014

March Madness Sadness

Occasionally throughout the year Scott would say, "I can't wait for March." The first few times I had to stop and think what he could be so excited about, since his birthday is in April. He was talking about March Madness.

Even though he plays more soccer than anything else, this boy LOVES basketball, so it makes sense that he gets excited. However, the thing he likes most about March is filling out his bracket and keeping track of all the results. We watched lots of live coverage, but mostly he was interested in the final few minutes of games, to find out the winner. Some nights he would have to go to bed before all the games were over, so he asked me to write out a list of the final outcomes and leave it out in the kitchen, so that he could update his bracket first thing in the morning before everyone else woke up. He knew my bracket better than I did, and he could essentially recite it back to me, along with detailed analysis of who in the family should be cheering for whom. He's got great potential for a career as a bookie.

He and Katie both picked Wichita State to win it all this year, based on the sound logic that Wichita State hadn't lost a game all year, so their fortunes should continue. The logic favoured Wichita State, but Scott still loves Duke and Louisville, based on his experience last year. He was all primed for Duke's 1st game, wearing his homemade shirt and watching the game live on R's phone while tagging along to Katie's music class. He was sad to see Duke eliminated in the first round. I thought he would be totally heartbroken, as he was with some of his other first-round losses. However, he took it all in stride when he saw that everyone else in the family had also favoured Duke, so he was not disadvantaged by the outcome.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Swimming Lessons With Cousins

Katie is lucky to have 2 cousins born the same year as her who live close enough that they can all take swimming lessons together. There are four spots in their Otter class, so I imagine that 4th kid in the class feels a little left out. On this particular day, #4 was missing, so the three Otter cousins latched onto their instructor for a few loops through the lazy river. Too cute.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pray for Blankie

Katie's blankie went missing recently. At bedtime, I looked all over for it with no success. In the end, Katie settled for her Violet pony and went to sleep.

The next day, the search continued while I was away at work. R helped Katie check all the usual places without success. Katie suggested that they could "pray to Jesus" to help find her blankie. R was delighted that Katie immediately thought to pray. At the same time, she knew that she now needed to do her best to help find this blankie.

Finally, they found it in Katie's room, tucked between a toy baby cradle and the foot of Katie's bed. Whew! R suggested that we figure out a place on each floor of the house where Katie should try to put her blankie if she's not using it. Katie agreed, saying, "Then we wouldn't have to pray to Jesus so much."