For nine months out of the year the province where we are from in Canada has snow, it has snowed every month of the year in Alberta even in August! It is not one of the main reasons we moved to Doha but when our family and friends are complaining about the sub zero temperatures and having to shovel their cars out of their drive ways the desert heat doesn’t seem so bad!
This past year we lost some good friends of ours in Doha, they moved back to Manchester and we decided that we would meet them in the new year at their place in Bulgaria. I was told that there would be snow, it would be cold and that there would be skiing involved. I myself am not to great on skis but Dave is determined to get the muppets out enjoying this sport. So today it was my mission to find them snowsuits which is not an easy thing to do in a country that is hell bent on forgetting that the winter ever existed!
My mother in law decided that the consignment stores in town would be the best place to look and after visiting the first one and having no luck at all we went to the second and hit the winter wear jackpot! The lady pulled out jackets, snow pants, boots and mittens from her store room and the muppets and I crowded in the change room as they tried on each item. We were in a fit of giggles as the oldest muppet cried “This jacket is too big, I feel like a marshmallow!” They all stomped around in their boots and the middle muppet exclaimed that he would be the slowest man alive because the boots were so heavy. For kids that are used to existing in shorts, t-shirts and crocs this was a totally new experience for them. We got everything home and modelled it for Dad and Bampi, they were sweating like mad as I pealed off their pants and jackets. The oldest muppet helped me pile all of the clothes together in a corner of the room. “I think it will be pretty cool to see snow again Mum” he said “but I sure hope it is not as hot out as it is today!” I laughed and assured him that it would be cooler and he would be glad for his big poofy jacket!
Bring on the snow 😉
I was lucky enough to grow up hanging around with my cousins. I would chase after my older cousins struggling to keep up. What ever they were doing I would do with out hesitation even if it was riding a bike with out breaks full speed through a farmers field. I learned to climb trees, jump fences and skate because of my cousins. As we grew in to adults, we continued to stay close and soon we had children and families of our own, some moved to different parts of Canada and we of course moved to the Middle East so we don’t get to see each other as much as we would like to but we try hard to keep in touch and see each other when we can.
This weekend we made our way to my Aunt and Uncles ranch in central Alberta to visit family. It was a family reunion of sorts, it was the first time in a long time that we had all been together! We had a new addition to the family and a milestone birthday to celebrate. The muppets were to excited to see all of their cousins, and aunts and uncles. We hadn’t even been in the house for 5 minutes and the muppets were all off running around and playing games with all their cousins! They didn’t stop running around for the rest of the day except to stop for birthday cupcakes. The oldest muppet kept saying to me through out the day that he was having the most fun ever.
My cousins and I reminisced about the trouble we used to get in to when we were younger and retold stories that we had each heard a hundred times. We laughed, danced, drank and watched our kids run around with glow sticks as we sat by the campfire. The fun continued the next day after the muppets had refuelled their energy over night. By early afternoon all three muppets were ready to head back to the city. As we drove through the country side all three muppets took turns telling me their favourite part of the weekend. They all had huge smiles on their faces as they drifted off to sleep as I drove.
Cousins are nearly always our first childhood friends and no one understands your crazy family like your cousins. I love that no matter how much time passes between our visits, things are always the same between us it is a bond that will remain for years to come and I hope that it is the same for the muppets!
Last summer my mom and I made a trip out to the West Coast to visit some family and decided that with the three muppets doing the trip in two parts was going to be best. So I decided booked us a hotel in Kamloops, B.C. I had looked for one with a water slide and a pool because I thought the muppets would LOVE to have a waterside to play on! Well I was totally wrong! None of them wanted to go on it, I finally did what any good mother would do, I dragged the oldest muppet unwilling up the stairs and sat him on my lap and we went down. We landed at the the bottom and he had loved it! I used his enthusiasm to convince the other two muppets to join in the fun… however it was not working at all. I was not strong enough to carry the middle muppet up the stairs to the slide and he was already freaking out but the youngest muppet was light at not fast enough to get away so I took him kicking and screaming down the slide, at the bottom he was not happy, he told me he hated it and I am sure he will be in therapy for years to come!
Yesterday my sister in law suggested that we take the boys to West Edmonton Malls Water Park today. Since we came to Canada this year we visited a swimming pool in Calgary with a few small slides and all three muppets enjoyed that so I decided we would give it a go.
When we arrived at the Water Park I could already sense the muppets anxiety as they looked at the massive slides reaching to the ceiling and looping every which way. We showed them the huge wave pool and after jumping in the waves we made our way over to the splash area. The oldest muppet was the first to go down the little slide, the middle one followed but the youngest one would not go down. I showed them a bigger slide that I knew was slow and landed in shallow water. The older two muppets loved it and it became their favourite slide, the youngest muppet was still completely reluctant and wanted to go home!
My sister in law took the middle and oldest on a few other slides and then we each took turns going on the slides on our own. She told the muppets that she had found a big slide that was not covered and wasn’t too fast for them to go down. The oldest was not interested in the high slides and there was no way we were getting the youngest up there, but theta middle guy seemed a bit torn. I whispered in his ear that if he tried the big slide that I would be so proud of him and that I would give him a lolly for the ride home. He decided that he was going to go with his Aunt. A few minutes later he came and joined us at one of the picnic tables, he has a smile on his face “That was so fun Mum!” He said “It was super fast, but I didn’t cry, and there was a bit of a tunnel, but I wasn’t scared and I want to go again!”
My sister in law later told me that she had to push him down the slide and she prayed as she slid down that he would not hate her when she got to the bottom. He dragged her up to that slide at least 10 more times, at the end of the day he was exhausted and very pleased with him self. He has always been my more cautious little guy and not a dare devil like the youngest but he sure surprised us today as he showed us how much he is growing up!