Friday, December 30, 2011

Birthday!

Yes I am a December baby.  My 40th Birthday was yesterday.  So I went over to my mom's for our family tradition, waffles and ice cream.  And despite the fact that she too is on the vegan diet that my husband is on, she made REAL waffles and had REAL ice cream.

if I could sing a clear high note I would and I'd insert it here.

Mom's table all set for my birthday
Sunflowers are special, I was born in Kansas

Mom was funny!  "Why are you taking pictures of the table?  It isn't even one of my pretty ones!"  It is for my blog mommy, none of your design clients will see it!  And it IS pretty!
Tim and 3 of the kids were off to ski training so it was me and the other three-

and then mom gave me my presents!  First I opened the a piece of jewelry, it is a family heirloom.  My mother's grandfather Eitelbach was a jeweler in New York City.  I think he and his brother operated as the "Eitlebach brothers."  There is mention of a Walter Eitlebach in the Jewelers' circular from 1917.  And a Harry Eitelbach is mentioned as serving in the Army in the same publication. and continueed google search reveals that Walter Eitelbach was cataloged: 2. Jewelry and Precious Stones, Jewelers' Supplies and Tools  Eitelbach, Walter, ft Co.. Inc., 182 Broadway
but it does not include the year.  More searches show Walter Eitelbach being quoted in the Milwaukee Journal, Dec 1942, as president of the Jeweler's Security Alliance (don't you love that you can sit at home and google this stuff?!?)  And finally I find Louis Eitelbach.  I believe he was my great grandfather and Walter was his older brother.  Apparently there are files on record at Selected Gedcom Records but I can't download them without specific software?  Anybody know?
So for now, I'll stop there-

Louis Eitelbach's tie tack.  It's like a mother's ring.  I know the blue topaz represents my grandfather Howard Eitelbach who was also a December baby.  I don't know who the pink stone (tourmaline?) diamonds and emeralds represent.  It is beautiful!

My other present was a set of dishes, Limoges from France, that are too darling!  She helped her friend (Aunt Kathy) clean out ther dad's house last summer and found these.  They had been in Aunt Kathy's mom's antique store at some point! And they are so fabulous!  After brunch with mom I was off to Richmond's Short Pump (about and hour drive) to meet my husband and the other kids so we could all have dinner together.  I was worried about the plates being mistreated by children's feet so I left them at mother's until next week.

me & mommy
I drove up to Richmond and met them all in the parking lot of the Whole Foods near Short Pump, and then we looked around for a good place for dinner.  M wanted Olive Garden but it wasn't open.  The other Italian place couldn't seat us for 40 minutes and then we found a Plaza Azteca that looked like it was locally owned (which is weird, I thought they were a chain?) and it was very yummu.  Mexican is always easy for vegetarians, and we just ask for our plates to come without cheese...


Dragon on a sugar high from the Sprite

So many sweet smiles.  It was very cute that the kids did not want to miss my birthday :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Scrapbook giveaway

So you all know that I'm not one to over clutter my "ongoing self absorbed story of me" with giveaways and so on.  But one of my favorite bloggers is having a giveaway.  And she didn't even ask me to repost it or leave a spammy comment.  So you know- I'm gonna have to give her a little love:

Check Out FarmChick:
It's a Small Town Life!
and her digital scrapbook giveaway

here

and here is a link to her photography book

I'm tempted to grab an image to get you to get on over there and check her out, but I will just encourage you to go on and click over.

Off to Practice

Santa brought pole guards for Christmas! Yes! and a sweet POC hat.
 Last year the family packed up on Dec 26th and drove to Wintergreen Virginia for ski team practice.  This year there isn't any snow.  Wintergreen has snow making capabilities but it has been ridiculously warm lately.  So even with snowmaking only 2 runs are open.  This leaves everybody less than enthusiastic.  However this year Tim is a coach (he started coaching midseason last year) and so he has an obligation.  And there is dry land training.  So after the flu cleared the house, Tim and the kids spent yesterday prepping to head up to Wintergreen.  We don't have our own place.  We bum off a friend.  And after the car was packed and everybody was ready to roll Tim received a text "so what are your plans now?  please don't bring us the flu :( "
I looked at my husband and said, "you've just been disinvited."  Tim was actually close to tears.  He'd pushed so hard to get ready.  He'd told the coaches he would be there on Wednesday to help out.  I was already not going, with no snow we didn't need the toddler & preschooler going cabin crazy in someone else's place.  Since I wasn't going Dragon wasn't either.  Long story. I am sure I'll get to it.
So Tim decided he'd let everybody get some sleep and then at 3:00 AM he woke up the kids to drive to the mountains to make 6:45 practice.
We really need a place.
We really want one on the side of a mountain in Colorado or Utah.
Tiger really doesn't want to leave VA.
K gets older everyday.
We could never sell our house in today's market and get our money out of it.
UGH!
But how cool is it that my kids were in the basement yesterday tuning skis with their dad?  And Wintergreen's home page reports that they are making snow overnight.  YAY!  Racing team gets out there an hour before they open up to anybody else.  So hopefully they'll get some good turns in before they come home.

Tiger learning to tune his skis.


Monday, December 26, 2011

and a Merry Christmas it was

Family Tradition
There was warfare.  Winter Break means at least one good game of RISK

baking cookies for Santa
There was baking.  MLyons is/was absolutely convinced we needed goodies to leave out for Santa, and "no dad, Santa isn't vegan."  So she was provided with real eggs and real butter and she mixed up a batch of her (and my) favorite cookie.  Toll House! YUM!

wrapping in the den
There was wrapping. Some years ago my husband and I started watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy every year around Christmas time.  And then it became a tradition of wrapping presents and watching the trilogy which is kind of hard for me.  "Oh shall we give this to MLyons or Bitsy?" to the sound of orcs being slain is just twisted.

Christmas Eve with Nana
As a we were often far away from extended family, so we opened all the gifts that had been sent on Christmas Eve.  I am 14 years older than my nearest paternal cousin, for 14 yrs my dad's kids were the only grandkids and on my mom's side I only had 3 cousins.  So we were pretty spoiled by the grandparents.  My mom carries on the Christmas Eve tradition coming to our house to open gifts and the sleeping over to watch the "Santa" mayhem in the morning.

Christmas Day we eat waffles for breakfast and then send Nana off and get ready for dinner with Tim's parents.  Tim and Tiger had a touch of stomach flu {another family tradition.  We seem to get the flu every Christmas!} so they stayed behind this year.  And the camera battery was dead so there isn't any visual proof that I went over.  But I did!




Being "Social"

When I started blogging it was an experiment.  It was supposed to help me with selling Arbonne.  Eventually I stopped selling Arbonne but I kept blogging because it was fun.  I like it.  
And then at the end of 2008 my husband's business was suffering so I took what (little) I'd learned from my blogging experiment and tried to help him out with online marketing and a social presence for his company.  That lead to an actual job, and to my husband hiring a real marketing person to start up a "for real marketing department."
In turn that lead to me finding and "following" people who make a living teaching people how to use "social" in the digital age to market.  My husband thinks I am great at it.  I think he's a little biased.  But it is something I enjoy doing.

Because I like doing it, I'm thinking about taking this year to really learn to help other people do it.  Like my mom.  She's an interior designer.  She is a really good one.  Her business is getting more and more competitive as their are fewer and fewer clients with funds to hire an expert in her field.  She needs to use the opportunities provided by the internet to find new clients and keep up with old ones.  

And I'm thinking of my friend M and trying to help her too, with real estate.  And then there are two more that come to mind.

And then today I stumbled upon this post:
I am excited to be a media partner of Social Media Strategies Summit in Las Vegas. The conference will be held between February 7 -9, 2012 and already boasts some of the most notable names in social media who will be speaking including Jeff Hayzlett and Peter Shankman. If you are at all serious about taking your understanding of social media to the next level you definitely want to attend.

and she's giving away one opportunity to attend.

I would like to attend the Social Media Strategies Summit because I enjoy using the internet to connect with partners and clients and want to learn to do it more efficiently.  I also want to begin teaching others to use these resources to grow their businesses.  And I think in the end I may have found something that I enjoy, and good at, and can make a living doing.


The contest is nearly over, the deadline is Dec 31st.  I encourage you to stop by Mom Blog Magazine and enter. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

last week Friday

new couches, already protected with dog blankets
poinsettias everywhere!

ready for a party, thanks to local favorite "The Corner Pocket"

black balloons, in honor of my 40th


cleaning up on Saturday! Yummy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stockings were hung by the chimney with care

Back from Colorado and into the swirl of things... Bitsy has had two Christmas Programs for me to watch, the house painting project finished today (!) We've been trying to decorate for the Company Holiday Party tomorrow and I'm fried... and waiting on laundry


Bitsy's godmother LeAnn made a crossed stitched stocking for K and one for Tiger years ago.  LeAnn's son Patrick was on my husband's soccer team in Wisconsin when we were first married and we sort of adopted him as a little brother.  So when we moved back east we'd fly him out to visit.  He came a few times for Christmas break and one year his mother sent him with the stockings for K and Tiger... and then we added Dragon and LeAnn made another stocking.  (she had no idea what she was getting into with this tradition...)  And then MLyons, and then Bitsy and most recently the Little Hawk... I have come to believe we announce that we are expecting and LeAnn heads out to the store for another stocking pattern/kit.

Little Hawk's Stocking
Bitsy's Stocking

MLyons' Stocking




They are the first things we put out when we decorate.  And the last things to come down.  Aren't they amazing?  Every year these beautiful stockings remind me how lucky I am; lucky in family and lucky in friends.

Happy Christmas!

More Megan

So I did get my notes together and come up with something for "yahoo, voices" which used to be "associated content"

Megan in 2nd. Borrowed from Megan's Facebook Page


Skiing with Megan McJames

their comments:
Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, we believe this content does not match something many people would likely search for online, so we are unable to offer an Upfront Payment.



upfront payment means Yahoo Voices pays me, any where from $2 to maybe $8 depending on expected popularity (except I've never gotten more than $4.50).  I would just love to prove them wrong.  So if you have a minute please click over.  I really want to help Megan get her name out and get her sponsors lined up.  Due to lack of funds Megan had to write a check for $20,000 to be on the ski team.  Yes, you read that right.  After qualifying to race on the United States Ski team, she wrote a check.  She isn't getting paid to ski.  She isn't the only athlete to find themselves in that position.  Sponsors and Donors are hard to come by.

So if you like to ski, or if you enjoy the Winter Olympics, or if you are into it enough to like the World Cup, check out Megan.  And check out the other US Skiers.  And make some noise.  Let them know you are behind them.  Most of them have Facebook pages.  Some of them have twitter pages.

Sure, times are tight.  But these kids are chasing down their dreams.  And that is really cool.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

couple more photos from Copper

cuties at Copper Mountain
best use of a kitchen pot rack

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Packing Up

Well, yesterday Tiger sprained his knee.  So Tiger, Bitsy and the Little Hawk and I are all hanging out in the condo.  I'm letting the T.V. run with Play House Disney so I can catch up with my blog land buddies and then its off to laundry and packing.  It will be another 3 AM departure tomorrow.
(ugh)

Tiger getting X-Rayed
He got to come down in the sled with Ski Patrol.  Yeesh.  He said that was really fun.  I wish I knew the name of the guys who brought him down.  The x-ray didn't show any damage so the doctor decided he just sprained it good.  He can't take weight on it, so he isn't skiing today.  Bummer.

MLyons and Bitsy running around Copper Mtn
It has been a fun trip.  Since Alan (one of the coaches) signed my kids into ski school and day care using his connections, Day Care was 1/2 what I expected.  So I got to ski; Sat, Mon, Tues, and Thurs.  Totally rocked.  I skied with Shaun Goodwin who now owns Hope Alive Media (look it up and consider supporting the US Ski Team with Out of Bounds) but he used to coach the US Women's Ski Team. (no kidding.  I skied with him!)  So he gave me a couple of things to think about, I have a habit I need to change which will take time but once I get it I'll have way better control of my turns.  Which means I should be able to edge my turns but stay on course, which has been a bit of challenge.  I'm a great groomed steep skier, stick me on a course or in bumps or trees where I am told where to turn and I loose my confidence and my control.

With the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Bear.  Bitsy is such the little poser.
Since I had Day Care at such a good rate Bitsy went to ski school a couple of extra days.  That is crazy pricey but at the end of the week she was skiing green runs no problem and they said she was ready to take on some blues.  Her turns were under control, she can make big, little and medium size turns, she can control her speed, get her skis on and off by herself and get up when she falls down.  She is too short to be able to get onto a lift by herself for, like, ever (!) but that isn't her fault.


If only my skiing and Bitsy's skiing improved, I am thinking its been a successful trip west.  But you should see my racers.  They look awesome.  Hopefully when we get home the temperature will be a bit more wintery and Wintergreen Resort can kick in the snow making.
 

Pink Saturday - Ornaments!

I am writing this way in advance (it is actually January as I type) but I just uploaded pictures I took at my moms...

My mother has a fabulous Christmas tree.  It has ornaments from each place we've lived, lots of places we've visited, fancy ornaments, not so fancy ornaments, and it is really a wonderful memory tree

so for Pink Saturday I start with these antiques that she displays in the kitchen in her little glasses- a fun little corner-



this is her tree:


I bought this ornament for her at a "Bazaar" in Bitburg Germany.  Every year one of the airplane hangers was filled up with different vendores selling wares - all sorts of wonderful things would be in there.


this one is hard to see,  it is an egg shell, carefully cut out and inside is photo that is very faded showing my mother, my father and myself nearly 1 year old.  It is decorated with ribbon and beads.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Beaver Creek

Heading Up to Watch the Women Race the Super G
two of my cuties watching the race

helmets, signed by the fastest women in skiing

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

World Cup Skiing at Beaver Creek

Apparently there isn't snow in Europe this winter, at least, there isn't enough.
So where ever it was that the World Cup Women's Super G was supposed to be, it got canceled, and rescheduled for today, at Beaver Creek Colorado.
The guys have been racing there throughout the week, but my kids were training all week at Copper.  Except today.  Today was their day off.  So we drove over to Beaver Creek. And *live* and *in person* watched a World Cup Event.
I was excited to see Kiley Staples race.  Tim's company DataXstream is helping to sponsor her this season. (I wrote about his other skier, Megan McJames in an earlier post)
The course looked crazy hard and fast and Kiley finished further back than she'd hoped so she didn't get any World Cup points, but she looked good.
We also got to see Lindsey Vonn race (and win) which was awesome, she's a speed racer doing her thing and she rocks.  The announcers are annoying because they say her name so many times you wonder if they are getting paid. But aside from the announcer ruining it - Lindsey did rock.
AND Julia Mancuso ran too.  Okay, I only started following racing this season for obvious reason, but I think of Julia Mancuso as a technical racer so I was really excited to see that she was racing.  She ran a gorgeous course.  I love Julia.




MLyons and Tiger with Alice McKennis


Lindsey Vonn signing MLyons' helmet
I had taken the little two back to Copper as soon as the race ended.  But Tim stuck around with the kids and they got helmets signed by US racers.  Wicked Cool!  MLyons also got one of Julia Mancuso's cards which she is very proud of.  Julia signed everything "Jules" and Tim got her to sign my helmet too.  Sweet!  MLyons came back with all kinds of signatures.  She had Jules, Vonn, Kiley Staples and Alice McKennis

Kind of an amazing day


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Skiing in Copper

Whoo Hoo
Got another day in!  The little ones have done well with ski school and day care so far and I got another day of skiing in for myself.  My  husband is working as a coach on this trip so he is out at 8:30 AM with the racers and they are on the hill by 9.  He has skied Sunday & Monday with "the little guys" so MLyons is with him.  The team officially has places for 7 year olds.  MLyons is 6 and there is some back and forth as to whether she will ski on the Wintergreen Development Team this year.
And then Alan took out the adults.  Alan has been involved with Wintergreen skiing since the mid to late 1970s.  I asked him the other day.  I was shocked, 1970s seems so "early" for Southern Skiing.  I mean, Wintergreen relies on the ability to make snow.  He was hilarious with us though, he had us working on finding our edges.  Drills that I personally need because Tim says I skid instead of turn.  Alan kept saying "anybody can turn" I want you to do ... so first it was a run through brush gates while we were "scooting" our skis back and forth, sort of walking them, and it was interesting to see what that did to your balance.  And then it was breaking turns down into a 1,2,3, exaggerated move again trying to see what that did to your balance.  I was learning a lot but the pace was driving me nuts.  There are some very slow parents.  And then after lunch we actually went over to the greens over on Timberline and really slowed down the turns and that was where I felt like I got the sensation of finding and pushing my edges.  My left leg is really "behind" and I think I'm going to have to go home and seriously get back into pilates and yoga and get my core and hips strong if I'm going to be able to ski the way I want to ski.
I get frustrated with that.  I used to be fairly good.  And then I had kids.  And between the wear and tear on my body, and allowing myself to get out of shape, and just not having the opportunity to get on the mountain myself... I'm just not skiing the way I'd like to.
All my best childhood memories seem to involve ski trips.  It was what my family did.  And then I met a guy in Virginia who skied.  And now it is what our family does.  And I want to be able to ski into my 70s.  So I need to get it together.
I also have got to get this altitude thing under control.   Several of the racers have had to take breaks due to altitude issues.  So I've been having water chugging contests with the kids in the morning.  I chugged 5 glasses of water, one after another and wasn't much in the mood for coffee.  BIG MISTAKE.  By 2 PM I had a caffeine headache.  So I made coffee at 4 PM and now I can't sleep.  Aargh!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Megan McJames

I've had some good days on the snow.  There was the day we were supposed to take a rest day in April, (after 2 days of skiing, and we are flat landers people) and Vail got 30 inches.  So we skied. And it was glorious.

There was the day in Brian Head Utah that my dad challenged me to a race, and I had him beat, flat out beat and then some lady was traversing across a narrow area and I couldn't time her passes and I yard-saled- lost my boot even- and my dad blew past me laughing.

Dating my husband and skiing...

The first day I took each of my kids skiing...

But yesterday was in its own grouping.

We got to ski with Megan McJames.  In the previous post I'd said we were looking forward to meeting her.  Her credits include being a World Cup skier, NorAm overall title in 2006, and she skied in the Olympics(!)  She is a great girl.  She comes across as very sweet and unassuming.  She seems to be grateful and hopeful for the opportunities she has as a skier but not boastful and certainly not taking anything for granted.  If you check the previous post you'll get a feel for what I mean in the video which I found at the Dream Share Project.

Megan McJames and two of my girls
It was particularly neat for my family that we were able to meet Megan because her personality was easy for us to relate to.  And so my oldest child, in the blue hat there, really opened up a lot more than I expected and asked a bunch of questions.  My daughter is 11 years younger than Megan and wanted to know about racing, and about the Winter Sport School that Megan went to in Park City and about boarding with a family and so on.  And Megan was great.  She was sweet (I keep saying sweet but honestly that is the perfect word for her) and she tried to really answer Kat's questions.

Tim, presenting Megan with her check from DataXstream LLC
We also enjoyed listening to her talk about baking this summer with her teammate and her ideas for baking more in the future.  She bakes with Chelsea and they call themselves, "Sister Sweet Tooth" Chelsea blogs at Chelsea's Cookies.  Sister Sweet Tooth can be found at the blog named, what else? Sister Sweet Tooth.

I'm still trying to understand the FIS site but if I have it correct you can follow Megan's racing season here and if I do have it correct she had two good races in Aspen last weekend in the Giant Slalom.

Now I've got to take this and pull it together into a presentable format and send it off to associated content.  Because my part of the sponsorship is to help Megan with marketing.  I am not sure what help I can offer, but I get the feeling that athletes pretty much have to market themselves, and with traveling, training and competing, that seems like a lot to keep up with.  So hopefully I can add a little boost.

You can help.  Find Megan McJames on facebook, and "like" her.  Follow her blog at Megan McJames Wordpress.  You can donate.

and if your interested this is a great article at Start Haus

Saturday, December 3, 2011

anticipation

so I'm writing this on Wednesday and I SHOULD be packing but I'm just really excited:

today we are supposed to have the opportunity to ski with Megan McJames

 

Megan is on the USA Alpine Ski Team. She went to the Olympics in Vancouver. She is skiing with my kids! My oldest, K, adores skiing. She is so stinking excited to meet an athlete that competes in our family sport. (I say that like, hah, we all race. No, we all ski. Some of them race. Not me. Only raced once, with Tiger on a parent/child course at Copper in 2008. I was 4 seconds slower than all the moms who were paying attention to times and places. Skiing is like swimming, every second is an eternity.) I believe Megan and Kiley (the two athletes DataXstream is helping sponsor this season) are still seeking donations to fulfill their $20,000 obligation of the year. Megan has a donate page on her blog. If you are into USA Skiing, and you have the ability to donate, large or small, I know she would appreciate it.

getting there...


Written Friday, in flight:

As any parent will attest, there is nothing quite like flying with children.  As I follow (via blogs and other internet sources) parents with significantly more children than I have, it is silly to make much of the number of children.
 However I do have to say that I have never had as nice as an experience as a mother, as I had this morning at Richmond International Airport in Virginia.

Imagine, we woke the kids up at 3 AM this morning, drove to the airport and arrived approximately 4:30 AM for a 5:50 flight through Pittsburgh.  Upon arriving a porter offered to help  get our things in, often we say no thank you but this morning it was worth the tip to get all our stuff (3 ski bags and 9 other bags plus two car seats) into the building.  And then my husband disappeared to park the “bus.”  All our check in information was with Tim.  I wasn’t even sure where we were connecting or exactly what time we were leaving (yes this is how my marriage operates and I have learned to live with it.)  Eventually I called Tim because it had been a while “I’ve gotten the bus stuck and I’m trying to figure it out” came a very terse answer (as in he didn’t even say hello) so I paid the porter and told him we would be a while as I can’t check in without the husband. 

*I found out later as he related the story to some of the coaches, he was so stuck that the police had to help him.*

So it was a little while – the kids are camped out in one of the sections of chairs and the two little ones are playing and the older ones are sort of spaced out.  It is 4:40 AM after all.  And finally one of the women working the counter comes to ask me if those are my bags.  “Yes” I answer.  “well I had to ask because if they sit there unattended I have to call the police.”  Yeah, that isn’t news lady.  I’m in the building, if you think it would be better if I took the kids over there and camped out in front of your line I can do that.  Only I just think that and smile at her.  “They are ours.”  “Well are you going to check in?”
“I’m waiting for my husband who is parking the car.”

She walks away.

About 10 minutes later a gentleman walks over, “ma’am which flight are you on?”  I hate this.  “Um, I’m not exactly sure, our final destination is Denver.”  So are you on the 5:30 through Charlotte?  No, we aren’t going through Charlotte.  I do know that.  “So you are on the 5:50 through Pittsburg?”  Probably.  “Well ma’am that is a lot of bags and we are getting to that time…”
And just then the husband walks through the door.

Whew.

And so the bags get checked in and we get our passes and head towards security.  Upon reaching security I remind the kids that the TSA Officer will need to ask them each their names.  So she asks Bitsy first and Bitsy won’t answer, so she asks Dragon what is Bitsy’s name.  Dragon says “Izzy” which of course is not  on a printed ticket as it isn’t her legal name.  So the officer asks Dragon what is “Izzy” short for and the kid doesn’t know… So K comes to the rescue.  And in the middle of this a flight crew comes zipping through and one of them has her pass in a plastic sleeve and the TSA officer requests that she remove the pass so that the little light can shine on it like it is supposed to.  The Crew member throws her stuff to the side and gets all huffy.  The TSA officer doesn’t skip a beat.  “Ma’am you may speak to my superior if you would like, I must request that you remover your badge from the plastic sleeve.”  And in the next breath asks MLyons  what her name is.  It is discovered that we don’t have a boarding pass for MLyons.  So the husband grabs his boarding pass, hands off his computer backpack and roll on bag filled with “crazy diet approved” snacks to Dragon and takes of with MLyons.  I am standing there with K, 13 Tiger, 11, Dragon 9, Bitsy 5, and Little Hawk 2 and two bags full of electronics (we are Yateses) and however other many bags and jackets.  And immediately I have help.  There are TSA adgents helping pull out computers and helping get kids jackets into bins and helping push things through and sweetly directing the small children and older children through security and then once cleared helping us move bins to benches and corral children and seriously I could have cried.  It is 5 AM and I haven’t had coffee yet and these kind souls are getting me through what could have been (and has been at other times in the past) a frustrating process.

So a shout out to TSA in Richmond.  THANK YOU!  You made my day.  And as a traveler who fully remembers 9/11 thank you for making crew members follow the security procedures.  Yes they are a pain, but I still want to feel as safe as possible.

It was a bit of a rush from the first flight to the second and in making our way to the second gate I lost sight of Tiger.  Tim was at the gate showing boarding passes (I mentioned we were rushed?) and I can’t find Tiger.  I did find him in a minute, he’s walked passed the gate, but there was that one second scare and all around me men are counting my kids and shaking their heads.

[It reminds me of “No Biking in the House without a Helmet” when they were on a flight (with 9 kids) and someone asked one of the boys the name of their organization and the boy answered with the family name… and at the end of the flight the man stood up and shook her husband’s hand “sir, I just want to shake your hand.”]

Currently it is 8:54 AM and I am on my second flight. The husband, God love him, travels enough to receive an upgrade to first class.  And so he gave it to me.  Bitsy and I are sitting in first class where I was given my coffe before we took off, and we are now sipping orange juices and waiting on our complimentary French toast.  It is Bitsy’s first first class experience.  She had a moment on the ground while we were waiting to taxi, she is tired, hungry and still more of a toddler than a little kid, and she wanted her breakfast NOW.  And I said “Bitsy, you are in  a princess seat.  If you are going to act like that you can go sit in the back with daddy where there isn’t any juice and I can bring up a different princess.”  She got it.  Immediately.  And that was that.

It is a 4 hour plane ride.  After about the 3rd hour, we'd played on the ipad, watched movies, played finger games, gone to the bathroom a bizillion times, spilt our orange juice, she notices a door.
"Mommy, what is behind that door?"
"Oh, the pilots baby.  They are flying the plane."
Big black eyes look at me with concern, "but Mommy. I don't like pirates!"

It is 9:28 PM.  I’m in the condo with Bitsy and Little Hawk.  EPIC MOM FAIL!  I did not pack diapers, wipes and pull ups because we were crammed for space.  After arriving at Denver Airport we stopped at Walmart, Costco and Whole Foods and I did not think to BUY these items at any of those stores.  Little Hawk is supposed to go to day care tomorrow and I cannot pack him a proper diaper bag!  MLyons is going to pee the bed tonight. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

We're off

well, nearly

Today there was much ado about packing... I think I have everything for everybody.  Except toothbrushes, because the youngest keeps running off with them all so I think we may just buy a batch of new upon arrival.

The husband has put all the bags into the mini-bus.  Yes, he finally bought me a mercedes... bus. Seriously, it seats 12 and has a high ceiling and ridiculous bounce and takes up two parking places.  But I digress.  And after all the packing his employee/friend Blake came over and helped move the living room couch into my bedroom, rollup the rug, move the antique armoire inherited from my mother away from the wall, the two Korean table/chests out of the front hall and roll up the front rug because the house is being painted while we are away.  Brilliant, we are all gone and it needs to be done.  Not brilliant, I come home and within 6 days host the company holiday party *in my home* I shall need to unpack 8 people's things, ski gear, and decorate, all within 6 days.

The Christmas Party has been my job for the last few years with some delegation but I've had a heavy hand.  This year my husband has a new assistant and the invite list has been a bit tricky.  I am not sure exactly where the list she has came from, it looks like it merged my other evite account with my business account.  In addition to old college roommates, and old babysitters, there is a woman that used to date my husband's business partner on the list of invitees.  Um...?  So it may be interesting.

but anyway, I'm off to guzzle some water, set my alarm and try to sleep before my 3 AM wake up call.  Yes I did say 3 AM.  Welcome to the world of traveling with Tim Yates.