Thursday, April 29, 2010

proud and thankful

This is a post I have been mulling on since last week. Then I saw Josie's writing prompts and realized she had one that was just perfect for it.

She asked

5. Pick an emotion that best represents your state of mind right now and write creatively on that theme.
- Inspired by my musings on blogging and emotional authenticity last week.

Last week I got promoted. I'm delighted at the recognition, and inordinately pleased with the rather important title I now have. In the past four and a half years I have had two children, two maternity leaves (admittedly they were short American ones), and still, I been promoted twice in that time. I'm in a very different place professionally than I was four years years ago.  I'm proud of myself. This isn't something I usually let myself feel. Most of the time I feel as if I could be doing better, and that at any given moment I should be using my time differently. When that promotion was announced, and I was congratulated by my coworkers, I decided to allow myself to bask a little. I might even say it again. Louder. I AM PROUD OF MYSELF!

Sometimes it seems there are so many negative messages out there about combining working with motherhood. "You will be overlooked, treated differently, respected less because you have children" these voices say. Many women hear these rumblings and wonder "is it worth the effort, going back to work. It feels so hard".

I by no means mean to deny the very real difficulties we women face, but I wanted to speak up, nonetheless. I want to point out that I became more effective at my job after I became a mother. I am more competent, responsible and focused. Perhaps because working is, on some level, a choice now.  I am more mindful about how I use my time. I'm a better listener and a more thoughtful person. I suppose I finally grew up. I believe that I have grown more professionally over the last four years than I would have done had I not become a mother.

This pride in my seniority comes along with thankfulness. I'm thankful that my company noticed my performance. I have a fantastic boss, who sees ideas generated and work delivered, not the occasional day off or early departure for child related activities. I'm also thankful that the company took my recommendation to promote a talented young woman in my group, a woman who just came back from her maternity leave herself. It is great to work in an environment that treats parents well.

I'm grateful for our wonderful daycare. I could not be happy and productive at work if I wasn't completely satisfied that the children were happy. And I'm grateful to the kids themselves, they are fantastic, healthy kids who almost never need to stay home sick (now that I've mentioned this they will, no doubt, all come down with the lurgy in time for my important meeting next week, but they are unusually robust, and for that I'm grateful) Mainly though, I feel thankful for Geekydaddy, a man who fundementally believes that a woman and a man are equal when it comes to careers and home, and who shares in my career achievements, and supports me through the ups and downs. I often wonder how I got so lucky, and it was on my drive home from work, remembering our first dates, that I put my finger on it.

Back when I was a flighty young thing on the San Francisco scene I met lots of lovely men. I was usually dressed to impress, in a mixture of sale price designer clothes, vintage items, and a fair amount of exposed skin. I had my belly button pierced, and sported long blonde hair with a daring platinum streak. I attracted quite a bit of attention from the boys. Until they asked what I did. Men would fall over themselves backing away from the bar when they realized the cute blonde chick had a PhD in molecular biology. Or possibly I am completely paranoid and I just had spinach stuck in my teeth. It was surprising to me though, that in this day and age (well this was 1997) so many men were disinterested in a woman because she had more education then they did.

Then I met Geekydaddy. He loved the fact that I was a science geek, and thought that having a girfriend with a PhD was the coolest. In fact it was after I showed him my PhD thesis, a scenario analgous to "Would you like to come up and see my etchings?" that I first  revealed a little more of myself to him!

More than ten years on, he is still proud of me, and that is even better than feeling proud of myself.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

portrait of the hairdog

I'm never sure how much of our family to reveal here on the blog. I vacillate between wanting to show off both my beautiful children and my budding picture taking skills on the one hand, and worrying about exposing their images to the world on the other. What I've ended up with is a hotch potch policy, depending upon the specific photo and my mood on the day of posting

I was struggling with which photo to post for Tara's gallery this week, the theme of which is "portraits". Should I indulge myself, and post some of the lovely pictures I've taken of the children? I know this wonderful audience would give kind comments and I could bask in your praise and admiration. But would that be a selfish use of very personal images? Then again, I love to look at pictures of other peoples beautiful kids on their blogs, so wouldn't it be fair to show some of mine?

Then this weekend I captured this perfect portrait of our first "child", the hairdog of the blog, our Geekyhound, and my dilemma was solved, at least for this week.

In the years before kids she was the focus of much of my photographic efforts, we joked that she was the most photographed dog in California, but I was never able to truly capture her beauty with previous tools. Black dogs are hard to photograph. Incidentally this probably plays a part in why animal shelters, who rely on pictorial adverts, find black dogs hard to place.

One of the things I love the most about my new camera is how well I can capture the texture and beauty of my big black shelter dog.

I took this one while she was sitting, sphinx like on a snow bank watching us sled. There was such an intelligence and nobility to her gaze. What was she thinking about?

If you have a dog (or seen the talking dogs in the Pixar movie "Up") you may have guessed what was on her mind. "Squirrel". Ten seconds after I took the shot she sprang away to chase the varmint that had prompted that rapt expression.

I copped out and posted a portrait of a dog, but I'm hoping you blogger friends all posted pictures of your gorgeous children!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Joy of Grandparents

I haven't posted for a little while, life seems to have gotten in the way of blogging, and part of my target audience, my parents, are here with us.  My mum and dad, in a miracle of timing, left London last Thursday morning, mere minutes before the Icelandic volcano closed the skies.

When I returned from my business trip boondoggle they were here, laden with chocolate buttons, Meg and Mog books, Charlie and Lola Underwear, and a second set of Beatrix Potter cutlery, which thankfully has solved once and for all the regular morning battle over who gets the Peter Rabbit spoon to eat their cereal.

I was finally spurred to post after I read this article on Motherlode, the NY Times blog. Reading about families who don't have Grandparents around anymore, or those who have had to exclude them from their lives makes me realize how lucky we are. My mum and dad are brilliant Grandparents. The only problem is that we live so far away from them.

Still, they are seasoned travellers, willing to hop on a ten hour flight for two weeks with us, so we are making the most of our time together.

It's hard for Mum and Dad sometimes, because though they feel they know the children well, we have reguar phone conversations,  we email photos and share video, use skype and of course they read this blog, from the children's point of view they are not all that familiar. It is a big contrast to their close relationhip with my sister's children, who my mum takes care of for two days every week.

Now though, over a week into their visit, both kids are thoroughly enjoying being with Grandma and Grandad. Geekygirl has got over her initial reserve and is sharing her opinions at every opportunity. Geekyboy is free with hugs and giggles. Cookies have been baked, movies watched, and many stories read. Each kid got a full day of undivided grandparent time, they stayed home from preschool one at a time, and this worked out wonderfully. Mum was a bit worried that Geekygirl might prove rather challenging. Not that she couldn't handle it, having been a primary school teacher for many years, but she didn't really want to have to start laying down the law in these precious few days. We needn't have worried, geekygirl was an angel. I was quite relieved!

It is funny to get insight from my mum into the differences in parenting styles between my sister and I. I read a lot of books, and treat being a mum as something that I have to learn how to do. My sister, also a primary school teacher, doesn't think so hard about how to be a parent. She just does it. Fantastically.

A classic example of our difference is that I, based upon my research, offer my children choices as often as I can.  Color of cup or plate, style of cutlery, bedtime stories, I seek the children's input as second nature now. So if Grandma just hands them a plate or cup they are taken aback not to have their opinion sought as to the color or style. If she then tries this approach with the other grandkids she is met with bemusement, the kids no doubt thinking "Just give me a plate already!"

It is interesting too, observing the kids through anothers eyes. I notice their brillliance; my parents think both the kids are very advanced for their age (completely unbiased opinions, of course!) and exclaim over their vocabulary and artistic prowess. I also notice their quirks more. Geekygirl, for example, likes to change her clothes frequently. She may wear ten or more combinations of outfit in a given day when we are at home, including pajamas. Her clothes are always all over the floor. When we go away for the weekend to Tahoe I pack as many of her clothes as I can, knowing that she gets upset without a large wardrobe to select from. I've kind of got used to it, and I'm perfectly OK with her treating her clothes like a giant dress up box, but I think my mum and dad find it quite bizzare.

Geekyboy is a peaceable kid, but when he does have a tantrum he just has to be left to get on with it. We had a funny incident this weekend where we tried to distract him by getting his trains out, and he was so mad that he put them all away, hurling them accurately into their container. I've never before witnessed a tantrum storm that resulted in a tidy room!

We have a few more days left together. A few more days of coming home from work to clean, folded laundry and dinner all ready. A few more days where we have more laps than kids, and enough hands to keep everyone happy! We're going to enjoy it.

Geekyboy and his Grandma:


Friday, April 16, 2010

the joy of skiing

Here is a post for itsamummyslifes little film club.

One of things I love to do most in the world is to ski. I don't think when I ski, I don't fret about work or worry about the kids. I surrender to the rhythm of my turns, and the beauty of the mountains. Its like meditation for the body and soul. My husband calls me "the worlds happiest skier" because whenever he catches a glimpse of me heading down the mountain I have a huge beaming smile across my face.

Here I am skiing at Whistler, the most amazing resort I have ever been too. The video would have been more amusing if I had attempted the half pipe and crashed spectacularly, but I decided against it, as I want to get home to the kids in one piece. In keeping with the snowy theme of the videos I have posted to date, here I am swooshing down a gentle slope, enjoying the amazing views, and a little bit of time off (if there is such a thing) from being mummy.

The joy of skiing from geekymummy on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

a do over

Bedtime was a little late last night, the consequence of a nice bottle of wine opened and enjoyed during a surprisingly pleasant family dinner. Surprising because eating together as a family when half of that family are small children is a rather hit or miss experience. Geekydaddy and I sipped our wine as we watched the kids play after dinner, eventually deciding that one of us needed to put down the wine and start the bedtime routine while the other cleared up. I took bedtime duty.

Pyjamas on and stories read, I had one final box to check, teeth cleaning. Up here at tahoe I have a selction of kid toothbrushes. Geekygirl had a 'hello kitty' one, then when I bought a 'Dora' one for geekyboy she complained, so I had picked up a Dora and Diego one for her. This Dora and Diego brush has become the favourite. These days I always buy two of everything when possible to avoid conflict (which is why my son has rather more plastic princess toys than your average two year old boy), but I'm stuck with a selection of different, competition inducing toothbrush choices for now.

Geekygirl grabbed the Dora and Diego toothbrush, to wails of protest from Geekyboy, who wanted it too. She didn't want to relinquish it to her brother, though I suggested it would be a kind offer, but I didn't force this issue. He continued to wail and wail after teeth cleaning was over.

We were about to tuck up in bed, Geekyboy, overtired and hysterical, still wailing about the toothbrush.

"Mummy, I want to do it over" Said Geekygirl.

"Why?" I asked

"Because I want Geekyboy to be happy" she replied.

She wanted to clean teeth again, this time letting Geekyboy have the coveted brush.

It was a little lesson in realizing that getting what you want doesn't feel so good when that means someone else is miserable.

How many times in your life have you wanted to take something back, "do over' a conversation when you said something selfish or thoughtless? I know I have, many times. We don't usually get a "do over" in life, but this seemed like a good time for one. So, hygiene be damned, we went back to the bathroom and redid the teeth cleaning scene, this time Geekygirl got to be generous and give her brother the toothbrush of his desire, and everyone went to bed happy.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Guilt Trip.

Despite this still dreadful economy, my company is sending me to my favourite conference again this year to present some data. Thirty or so years ago, some genius decided that a great way to promote scientific interaction would be to hold meetings at ski resorts. The Keystone Symposia in Molecular and Cellular Biology hold several conferences every winter and spring in all of the North American ski Meccas including Keystone in Colorado, Snowbird in Utah, Lake Louise in Canada and Whistler in Vancouver. This year the symposium on Diabetes (my area of research) is at Whistler, the fantastically beautiful resort that just hosted the winter Olympics.

There are not all that many people in the world who devote themselves to the understanding and treatment of diabetes. I know quite a few of them, many from connections made at conferences like these. The meeting is a geeky science delight, everyone brings their best new research, and over dining, skiing, seminars, poster sessions, and late nights in the bar we learn, debate and share. It is wonderful for me as a scientist to join with members of my "tribe" from all over the globe. I will get to reconnect with old colleagues from my past, I have some exciting data to share myself, I will get to ski at one of the premiere resorts in the world, enjoy some nice restaurant meals and maybe even get a luxury spa treatment. I am very excited.

I'll be gone for 6 whole days, Monday though Saturday. Geekydaddy is no stranger to taking care of the kids, but a four year old and a two year old are hard work on ones own, and I consider him a superstar for taking on the challenge. He's going to have some help at least, my mum and dad arrive on Thursday to help out, and will stay on for a couple of weeks so we can all enjoy time together. I'm hoping the excitement of having the grandparents arrive will help alleviate the stress of mummy's absence. It will be easier on Geekydaddy than last year, when the kids were three and one and even more dependent than they are now, Geekyboy needing bottles and spoon feeding. This time I won't be lugging my breast pump along either, and I'm glad to be free from it. Time marches on, and when I look back from there to now I can feel the relative freedom of having slightly older children.

Even so, I feel horribly guilty about going.

I"m worried that the children will miss me too much, will be bereft without my hugs and kisses and songs. Will Geekydaddy and the Grandparents remember that when you sing "Old MacDonald' to Geekyboy after his bath, and he suggests "apple trees" as something he has on that farm, that the apple trees must go "Juggle Juggle"? -( I have no idea why they say juggle juggle!).  I'm afraid  that they will worry that I don't care about them, and will not understand why they can't come too. I"m worried that something will happen to one of them and I won't be there. I'm worried that something will happen to me. I never finished their baby books, so if they never see me again there is little physical evidence left of how much I love them.

I confessed my guilty feelings to Geekydaddy, and he, usually quite unflappable, got mad. "You are going to have a good time. What is the point of me taking care of everyone like this if you don't even have a good time?" He said.

I took his point and promised not to feel guilty.

I will of course, but I won't tell him. Shh.

I have strategies in place to help the kids cope while I"m gone, they  have a little card to open each day containing a message from me and a sticker to put on a chart, counting down to the day I return. I will bring them a lovely present. Last night I asked Geekygirl if there was anything else we should plan. Sheepishly she asked me "can we have one of those special dinners?".  I wasn't sure what she was talking about at first, but then remembered the last time I went on this trip, over  a year ago, I had left a couple of 'ready meals' in the freezer. Horrible synthetic things, but one of them came with a side of warm chocolate pudding to which you added sprinkles. Geekygirl adored this meal. I'm stunned that she still remembers it. Maybe they put something incredibly addicting in them.

I enthused over her idea anyway,  and have bought two of the offensive items, complete with the sprinkly pudding.  I recognize that there is a certain irony in heading off to a conference about the prevention and treatment of diabetes while leaving my vulnurable children with such trash to eat, and I'm hoping that I'm not setting them up for a lifetime addiction to fatty sugary food as emotional solace.

Do you ever leave your kids? How do you and they cope?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Late breaking post for Tara's Gallery:

No baby is really ugly. But we were quite glad when Geekyboy's newborn crumples rearranged themselves into handsome baby features.

When he was very small he looked like this. A face only a mother and father could love!
 Photo courtest of my pal Steve Reel.

Monday, April 5, 2010

been there, seen that, bought the T shirt

I had a funny conversation with Geekygirl this evening. It began with her asking about breasts and the fact that I have them and she doesn't.  (The fact that she was drawn to talk about mine this evening makes me wonder if the shirts I unearthed during yesterdays closet cleanout are a bit too booblicious)

"I will grow breasts when I'm older, to feed my babies" she told me. I agreed "yes, and they will probably start to grow when you are about twelve years old".

"Then I will be grown up and I'll go away and live in a different house" she told me.

"Well, maybe when you are eighteen years old you will go away to college" I replied.

"Oh, I"m not going to college, Mummy" she said "I'm going to a different world. A world that isn't Earth".

"Really? You are going to outer space instead of college" I queried, "That is a long way away". It might even be cheaper in 2024 too.

I'm response she said "Don't worry, Mummy, I will buy you a T shirt".

I'm off on a week long business trip next week, and have been prepping the kids, so maybe that is where these musings on separation came from. I do always buy Geekydaddy a T shirt when I travel, the least I can do to compensate him for holding down the fort.

Still, sci fi geek that I am, I'm holding out hope that kids of Geekygirl's generation will actually get to visit other planets, and I look forward to the day I can walk around emblazoned with the slogan "My daughter went to Alpha Centuri, and all I got was this lousy T shirt".

Sunday, April 4, 2010

clean closets, new shoes.

That is what we got for Easter.

We don't really celebrate the holiday. English friends still ask "What are you doing for Easter?", and I always remind them that it isn't actually a holiday over here. No time off work, no ski break, no James Bond on TV, no great big chocolate eggs.

It is recognized of course, it comes after St Patricks day and before Memorial day in Target. The green banners get taken down and the yellow ones go up. The shelves fill with plastic eggs to be filled with candy (or cheerios at our preschool) and that icon of fake food, the 'marshmallow peep', so yellow that its hard to imagine its ingredients are still legal. Bizzare looking Easter Bunnies pop up in shopping malls. But it isn't a national holiday of the significance that it holds in Europe.

In the years between leaving my Catholic home and having kids of my own, Easter has passed by completely unnoticed. Now the requests for hard boiled eggs to dye and the paper bunny ear constructions that come home from preschool tune me in to its arrival. I'm not all that keen on secular Easter as a celebration though, and I was trying to figure out why. After all our athiesm doesn't stop us from enjoying that other Christian holiday, Christmas. But Christmas was always more about the food, traditions and presents than the religious part, even at home.

Easter is a different kettle of fish. In a Catholic household, Easter is about Jesus. There is a lot of church; Palm Sunday, complete with palms to swordfight with, Holy Thursday with its strange foot washing ritual. The drama of Good Friday, when the congragation are allowed to join in with the Gospel and shout out "Crucify him" to the reader playing Pontius Pilate (both audience and reader rather uncomfortable with their roles, it always seemed to me). Then the mysticsm of the Easter Vigil with its candles and beautiful Latin intonations, followed by the Allellulia's of Easter Sunday itself. The chocolate eggs, though much anticipated, and  fondly remembered; those big hollow eggs with their treasure trove of chocolates inside, the perfect thickness to melt slowly in your mouth as you watched "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" or "The Sound of Music" for the tenth time, were only a small part of the whole Easter experience.

Easter to me is a reminder that people who want to change the world, who have ideas that scare the establishment, get cut down, tortured and killed. I guess the Good Friday part of the Easter story is what has stuck with me. It is the most believable part, after all.

But a spirit of Spring did permeate the Geekyfamily this weekend. We took our biannual trip to Nordstroms for summer sandals. Geekygirl chose exactly the same sandals as she had last year, just in a different design. Is this brand loyalty already, at such an early age? This is the shoe that comes with a lip gloss and eye shadow kit, for four year olds! The sales assistant asked us, out of earshot of Geekygirl, if we wanted this little bagatelle.

It was nice of her to ask, since I expect some parents balk at giving make up to their preschoolers. I'm not one of them though. Make up is something that mummy has, like a purse, a car and a job, so playing with it is just that, pretend play. If I'm going to start moaning about gender stereotyping it would be to complain that they don't sell boys shoes with glittery adornments. Geekyboy was quite disappointed with his shoes, despite their nice green stripes. Of course if I was ready to put my money where my mouth is I would have bought him pink glittery ones too, but I wasn't quite ready to do that, somehow! What about you, if you have preschool aged daughters do you let them play with make up?

Undoubtedly since we had just bought brand new sandals, on Sunday the heavens opened and we were stuck indoors all day, managing  only a brief hunt around the garden for some candy filled eggs and the jewels in the crown, two cadbury creme eggs. These treasures from home are imported to the US every year, and I could not resist!

Doing the usual weekend laundry marathon, the frustration of not being able to close several of my dresser drawers, and the necessity of being house bound by the torrential rain, sent us on a cleaning frenzy. Ancient clothes were thown out ( after being dressed up in by the kids of course), and the medicine/juck cabinet was razed.

I found a chronological history of the past five years in there. An old oil lamp, silver cleaning cloths (from the days when I had time to clean silver teaspoons!), a collection of toiletries from fancy hotels, condoms, a diaphram, scented candles, ovulation predictor kits, pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins, indigestion remedies, post partum painkillers, lanolin nipple ointment, breast pads, bits of breast pump, diaper rash cream, disposable potty liners, and oddly a whole set of hair rollers I don't recall ever having purchased. The items flashed past me into the recycling bins like a movie montage as I delved deeper into the shelves.

So we ended up having quite a traditional Easter after all. We threw away the old and made way for the new. I even resurrected a couple of nice shirts that I had completely forgotten I owned.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Two is better than one

No, I haven't turned into a Taylor Swift fan overnight. Though I have been caught singing along to this rather catchy little country ballad, my music taste having deteriorated horribly as I have grown older.

I'm talking about kids, and the advantages of having more than one. I was talking this week with one of the women in my group at work, the mother of a four year old girl. We were pregnant at the same time, and while I have subsequently added Geekyboy to our family, she and her husband are still debating whether or not to have another. My friend is an only child herself, and worries that it will damage the close relationship she cherishes with her daughter to add another baby, and then on the other hand she also worries that she yells too much and is generally not a good enough mum as it is, so why have another. I think many of us have these same qualms.

We also talked about the impact of kids on our careers. Feminist author Linda Hirshman, in her thought provoking book "Get to work", exhorts women to have just one child if they wish not to derail their career ascent, but though I consider myself quite devoted to my own career I still wanted very badly to have two children. Of course many people would love to have more than one and can't, and I'm so grateful that we were in a position even to choose. What I'm getting at in this post is that if there is a decision to be made, I come down firmly on the side of having a second child (or more; if you have the energy, more power to you!)

I think that the weight of becoming a mum bears down on us so much with the first child, and that a second lightens the emotional load.  With Geekygirl I analyzed everything, second guessed myself all the time, read so many books containing so many different opinions that I was always convinced I was doing something wrong.

For example, Geekygirl would often run away from me when I came to pick her up from her daycare, engaging me in a game of chase, making me work to get back into her affections. She was reluctant to be left with her grandparents when they visited, and was generally rather clingy, so having read all the attachment parenting books but not having put much of the philosophy into practice, I worried that my daughter was suffering from some kind of 'attachment disorder' because I sent her to daycare.

On the other had she was a wonderful sleeper, one of those mythical babies who slept through the night from about 8 weeks old (I wonder how many potential mum friends I lost by innocently sharing this information). I secretly thought that this quality was something I had instilled in her by following the strategies in my books of swaddling, nursing and rocking but always putting her down drowsy but awake.

Then I had Geekybaby. Since he first learned to self propel,  using a commando like crawl, he has only ever moved towards me. At the moment when I pick him up, he runs to me, breaking into an excited gallop, calling "muh meee, muh mee" with a joy and enthusiasm that fills my heart. He loves to meet new people, happily crawls onto laps and brings stories to strangers to read. Not a clinger at all.

Sleeping, however was a different story. He didn't sleep though until he was a year old, no matter how many sleep books I imbibed. I"m pretty much the same mum, but he is a completely different kid.

Having two is both humbling; everything you thought you were doing 'right' with the first child is revealed to be perhaps just a chance of their nature, but also reassuring for the same reason; the traits you feared were a result of some defect in your parenting are shown instead to be part of that child's intrinsic personality.

You also get to hear such gems as "Mummy, I wish I had a brother who would listen to me".

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"do it again!" A video for the little film club

The lovely itsamummyslife, who writes very amusingly about her family and work life balance, has started a video post club. This weeks themes are optimism, happiness and/or excitement. I happened to have a little clip worth sharing, so here goes.

Remember a week or so ago I was talking and worrying about a ski weekend with new friends?

Well here is a little video clip I took on that trip that about sums up how silly I was to be worried about it.

We took the kids to "Planet snow kids" at Soda Springs ski resort. Incidentally this is the oldest ski resort in California.  Back in 1931 the enterprising owners of this little mountain right by the railroad track put in a lift, and budding skiers trekked in from San Francisco and Sacramento, slept in the rail cars by night and skied by day!

Now it is a regular ski resort, but one one that caters very strongly to children. This snow play area has "carousels" with snow tubes spinning round a pole, and a kids snow tubing hill, where the little ones can ride a moving walkway up a shallow slope, and then careen down the hill in the tube, squealing with glee.

Geekygirl is learning to ski, which she loves but which also induces some frustration, she can't get the hang of the "snow plow" or "pizza wedge" position that is essential for control, and has been getting a bit disheartened. The snow tubing is pure fun, fun that she has some control over, gamely dragging her tube up and down the moving walkway lift time after time to earn the thrill of flying down. She is only just four, and we want to emphasize the fun part of snow sports, so this place is just brilliant.

We had taken Geekyboy a couple of times before, but until this weekend he had not wanted to participate. "Tooo 'cary" he decreed. I can only hope he retains a modicum of this sensible caution as he grows older, and doesn't take after Geekydaddy, who regails me with "hilarious" tales of accidentally skiing off cliffs, and of mangled knees and concussions. I'm thinking now that his mother didn't find these incidents all that funny at the time. At least these days all the kids wear helmets.

Our guest toddler, his little friend from preschool, was bolder and was keen to try the snow tubing. Geekyboy succumbed to peer pressure, and after his first run he was hooked!

What do you think? Does this represent happiness and excitement? I certainly think so!

Untitled from geekymummy on Vimeo.