We went to Tahoe TWICE this winter, and I never posted about it, so it's like it never happened. To remedy that I've decided to sum up our trips in 29 photos.
1. Hot tubs are decidedly more fun in cold places than hot, tropical ones.
2. Bennett loved petting and feeding the animals on a Tahoe farm.
3. And he loved feeling like a big boy riding a pony.
4. The views were so amazing at sunset.
5. Bennett loved getting toted around on a small plastic sled.
6. Daddy loved the crazy tubing run at Squaw Valley (adrenaline junky that he is).
7. Orelia got on skis for the first time ever.
8. She loved her first ski lesson.
9. And we were so thrilled with our tutu ski girl.
10. Unfortunately, our second ski lesson was on our next trip and it was snowing and freezing and extremely windy.
11. That lesson was much less well received.
12. Thankfully lots of snow activities are very low key like this ride where the kids just sit in a tube and are pulled along by a machine. Heaven!
13. Orelia loved it too, but in a slightly more chill way.
13. Snowboarding down a teeny tiny hill was a blast with a handlebar.
14. During our first weekend in Tahoe Bennett absolutely loved the mini tubing hill and did it for an hour straight.
15. We couldn't wait to take Bennett back to his favorite tubing hill. So just to keep us on our toes, he decided he didn't like it anymore and wanted to sit and eat Doritos instead. You do you, buddy.
16. Luckily, Orelia made good use of the tubing hill the second time.
17. Being in the snow is just slightly easier for bigger kids, so Orelia was in her element stomping around in her snow boots.
18. Bennett was a bit less surefooted, but he made it work.
19. What trip to the mountains is complete without a little trampoline fun, right?
20. Both kids loved the bouncy part of our vacation.
21. We also went ice skating, which was mostly an exercise in the back-breaking work of not letting your kids crash to the ground.
22. Harper also came with us both weekends and had a great time bounding about.
23. Harper may actually be the most natural of us around snow.
24. She certainly looks the part.
25. And acted like the seven-year-old "puppy" we know her to be.
26. We got one snow storm while we were there, which was both thrilling and also a pain in the rear.
27. By the time the snow storm came, Bennett had had his fill of snow thank you very much, and decided to stay inside for the remainder of our trip. Luckily, Orelia was game for some snow flake tasting.
28. "I'M GOOD!" she yelled as she face-planted into the snow.
29. Tahoe in the winter is a blast, but I have always been a summer girl and don't mind that it's currently 88 degrees outside.
Bennett finished school for the year last week (but he doesn't quite know that yet).
I love that he sat so still with his hands in his lap on the first day of school and the last.
Who is this calm and quiet kid?
Orelia was home sick from school on Bennett's last day, so she was able to perch on the porch with him and pose for some photos.
I have always found the best way to get sibling photos is to want to only take photos of ONE child, and then the other will surely appear all eager and willing to take some shots.
Bennett likes to BE a truck these days, instead of just playing with them. Here he is pretending to be an excavator outside of school.
I worked in his class on the second to last day of school, so I also took some photos that day (because we all know it isn't a given a child will want to take photos on any given day).
Here is Bennett on his last day of school last year posing in front of the same ferns.
He is definitely my more willing photo subject (of the two kids). He gets a bit reserved in his body language, and gives the sweetest smiles (while his sister is more likely to explode into a jump and spin and give me a goofy face).
Bennett's love of trucks at school has not wavered. He always noticed when a "new" truck appeared, and that became the favorite toy for at least a week.
He and his best bud often hid under the slides with a stockpile of trucks, and he would happily wave at me to go away (until of course he desperately needed my help for something).
At Bennett's second school his love of trucks was a constant, though it was often with a bit more imaginative play. Here he is as a firefighter on the first day of school.
And I happened to work in the class on the "red" themed day where the teachers set out pretend firetrucks complete with hoses, much to Bennett's delight.
Bennett doesn't need a lot of friends, but he is very loyal to the ones he loves.
First he is drawn to the boys who share his love of trucks and all things transportation.
He is also drawn to the more mature, verbal girls in his class whom he could do puzzles with or marbles. They cold sit quietly together on their activities and never have a moment of dispute, and that always seemed to bring Bennett a sense of calm.
He absolutely loves to be silly with his other friends, though, that bring out a funnier and more active side of him.
He and Orelia were separated by a fence on the two days a week they were on the same campus. They didn't always see each other, but when they did, it was a fun two minute interlude for them to connect.
Bennett will probably be a bit confused this upcoming week when he isn't at school for his three favorite days, but hopefully he will enjoy some warm weather outside at parks.
He will be going to both of his schools again next year, and he will be up to five mornings of school per week.
I think he will love going five mornings since that will be what his sister is doing and has been what he has wanted all year.
It's so funny to see his personality show in the school setting and to see the way he is perceived by others. Because he is a September birthday, he is one of the oldest in class, which makes rules inherently easier for him to follow. He's always known for being a big eater at snack time and one to give a loud laugh if the story being read is a silly one.
I always stress about him at school since he can occasionally get aggressive and push or hit when upset, but most people never really noticed that side of him and saw him as a fun, talkative, truck-loving boy who had little interest in art or play doh tables and lots of interest in books and blocks and vehicles.
I am so glad Bennett loves school and has such a great year in two wonderful preschool programs.