Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

April 30, 2014

April 2014 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 8:53 pm

April Highlights:

Lukey Celebrates “Birthday Weekend”

Since Luke’s birthday this year landed on a Friday, he got to experience the phenomena known as the “birthday weekend,” where your special day extends well beyond your date of birth. The fun started Friday night when we took him out for pizza with his grandmy and grandpy and his cousin Sebastian. It then continued on Saturday when he went out with six school friends to see the latest Captain America movie, The Winter Soldier. I was given the task of chaperoning all the kids at the movie. The decibel level increases considerably when you roll with this type of adolescent crowd, but for the most part I was able to manage them and keep them relatively quiet in the theater. Once the show finished, Cathy met us outside the theater and took over for a bit. She took the entire group to Menchies, the frozen yogurt place, and after they were done with their yogurt she let them all cruise the mall together without any chaperons, but not before giving her speech in that authoritative style she has developed from her years of being a fitness instructor. It was cool to watch all the kids listen to her as she sternly let them know they were all to hang out together (no leaving anyone behind)…furthermore, they were all expected to behave because we did not want to get calls from the mall security letting us know about some unruly kids causing a disturbance. She then told them what time they were all expected back at our designated meeting point and only after all that, did she tell them they were free to go and have fun. Cat is definitely better than me when it comes to instructing the kids as was evident when we arrived at the meeting point and all the kids were already there — 5 minutes ahead of schedule ;-).

The next day, Luke capped off his weekend birthday activities with a trip to Golf n Stuff with his cousin Nicolas, courtesy of my sister. From what I heard Luke had a blast playing golf, video games and splashing around in the bumper boats. And, that, in a nutshell, was Luke’s birthday weekend. Out of curiosity I checked to see when my birthday lands this year and it’s on a Monday — that’s not quite the same as a Friday, but no reason why the party can’t begin before my birthday on Saturday, right?

Lilah Paints Her Room

For years, Lilah’s been telling us she wants to paint her room and for years I’ve put off the project for one reason or another. Perhaps it’s because the room color she had still held a certain nostalgia for me. It was the color we painted the room when we first moved into the house and I used the room as a home office. It was the color of the room where our old dog Joya would rest her head on my feet while I worked on projects for my former company. It was the color of the room where I read stories and sang songs in English and in Spanish to a much smaller Lilah. Then again, maybe I resisted consenting to the remodel because I knew it would take work to move all her furniture around and prep the room so that it was ready to paint. Well, that concern went away this year as Cat took over most of the details of the project (well, let me rephrase that — she took care of all the details). While the kids and I were away at Mammoth at the beginning of spring break, Cat took everything off the walls and put all of Lilah’s things in piles so that she could sort through what she wanted to keep and what could be donated. The only thing Cat needed my help for was moving the bed with attached bookcase out of the way and then, of course, putting it back in place after the painting was done. During the rest of the break from school, Cat and Lilah cleaned and prepped the walls and painted the room, giving Lilah her wish, which was to pick the color of “her room.” Ah, another rite of passage, for my Lilah as high school looms a few months off in the future.

Luke and I Experience Our First Snow Storm

Luke and I snuck in one more trip to Mammoth this month. Luke had mentioned that the only thing we hadn’t experienced this snowboard season (actually ever) was a real powder day. Not knowing if it would pan out, I began to monitor www.mammothweather.com the last week of April. Howard Shekter, the guy who runs the site, does a really great job of covering the weather in Mammoth and he is usually pretty accurate when it comes to predicting snow and the amount of snowfall the mountain is expecting to get. As luck would have it, Howard indicated that the pending Saturday storm would bring two feet of snow or more. The main decision for me to make was whether or not to pull Luke out of his recital on the weekend as both he and his sister were scheduled to perform. Again, Cat made it easy, she said to just go ahead and do it because you don’t get many chances to be at the right place at the right time.

So Friday I surprised Luke by taking him out of school early. He wondered why I was taking him out and I told him because we were heading into the eye of the snow storm so that we could wake up in the morning and experience our first power day. I let him know that if wanted to perform in his recital instead we could stay home. Obviously, he did not choose the recital option.

Other than the highlight of snowboarding our first power day together, we also had a chance to drive through our first snow storm together. The good news is that the roads were pretty clear almost all the way up to Mammoth. We didn’t have to put chains on until about 4 miles left to go. Luckily for us, there were chain installers on the side of the road. Even though I had practiced how to install the tire chains on my car in the driveway, I opted to have the installer do it as it was snowing pretty hard and it was kind of dark outside which meant I probably would have had a hell of a time putting the chains on myself. That left us free to get out of the car, as Luke wanted to do, to photograph the storm and also record it on video. We had to drive into the town slowly but that gave us more time to see all the old familiar places ensconced in a heavy layer of now.

The next morning, we got chance to walk through the light, fluffy snow as there were snow drifts everywhere — on the hand rails, on the sidewalks, the parking lot, the car, etc.. The snowfall part of the storm had stopped but not before dropping more than 3 feet of snow on the mountain and leaving us with clear blue skies which contrasted nicely with the white snow and put us in a great mood as we knew we would get a chance to snowboard in absolutely perfect conditions — a combination of bluebird skies and deep powder that snow enthusiasts dream of when the season starts.

The only damper on our power day is that Luke actually got stuck in the deep stuff when he attempted to go over a deep section of snow that wasn’t very steep. Instead of floating over the top of the section he sunk into it pretty deep and then spent about 20 minutes digging himself out and getting back onto the main trail. That seemed to suck most of the energy out of the poor little guy as he only managed to last until about an hour or so after lunch. Then he was ready to head back to the room. I recalled the story someone we met at the mountain last season told us: she said that the first time you get stuck in powder you will feel like crying. Fortunately Luke did not cry, but he did learn a lesson on how to get out of the stuff so that when we go again next year he knows exactly what to do (on a more positive note, here’s a short video clip of him hopping over some of the bumps).  So that’s it for the snow season — now it’s on to the home stretch of finishing up school for the kids, the beginning of the triathlon season for me, and eventually our annual family summer vacation. Lots to look forward to for sure.

That’s all for now…more next month!

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