You need a label maker or a roll of masking tape and a sharpie. Now I know, I know, you say,
"Holly - you are obsessed with labels"
but I am telling you - you don't have a prayer keeping up with all the stuff - not a prayer - I promise you.
Now there are several ways to keep up with the stuff but I have gone with the bag method. Each person has a ski bag - as their ski stuff comes out of the wash or gets dried and cleaned it can just go back into the carefully labeled ;) bag. Now I even put a little label on the tag of each child's under layers because they all have black in different sizes so that they will hand down to boy or girl. This way I just look at the tag and I don't have to think about what size fits what kid which you know can add seconds if not minutes to the process and really - who has that kind of time.
When you are skiing with just your husband or by yourself it is easy to complain about the cold and take your time getting down the mountain. The second you have a kid with a wet glove you find yourself sacrificing your nice warm gloves without thinking twice. (Now you will think a lot more than twice about this decision as your fingers turn blue but the initial reaction is pretty much instant.)
The same holds for once you begin skiing with your children. This leads me to my first point:
Little kids are crazy.
They are fearless and they go smoking smoking fast. Like tiny torpedoes heading down the mountain at breakneck speed. You wanna talk about a loss of control? Yeah - big time. Not theirs - they believe they are in total control at every moment - your loss of control is huge. There is no "let's hold hands" or "stay together" you have given them a license to speed and I promise you they will use it. Now don't let this scare you - they are like Gumby on skis - they can fall and crash in ways that would literally put you in an operating suite but they just bounce right back up again and keep going. Hence the lack of fear. The only real lesson to be learned here is - you gotta step up your skiing game in a big way.
This leads me to my second point: If you are a cautious skier like myself you go from sweeping s turns to Olympic speed (at least that is what it feels like) when you hear those dreaded words -
So here is a purely hypothetical one (because who in their right mind would admit this if it actually happened to them). Let's say you wrench your knee a little bit the day before (you know chasing the children at breakneck speed) and being a good packer you hypothetically put some Tylenol precise pain relieving cream in your pocket - again hypothetically. So you hypothetically have the cream in your pocket and you go to the bathroom and decide to put some on the poor aching knee while you pee. Hypothetically. Here we come to the hypothetical lesson - let's say you are right handed. Don't use your right hand to put the tingly ben gay like cream on your knee because then you are going to have to wipe with your left - totally awkward in a purely hypothetical way because no way that happened to me and for sure no way I blogged about it and for sure no way when it didn't happen to me did I think to myself,
"Darn it self - now you are gonna have to blog that one."
Anyway - I digress. Back to skiing with little kids...... ahem
You need to pack a bunch of food and snacks in your bag. Skiing is like swimming. Makes em hungry like bears. Mean cranky bears who should not be let loose in a concession area.
You really have to get your own skis and snowboards if you are going to live in a ski area and go on any kind of a regular basis. It is just a huge waste if you don't. There is way too much good resale out there and now that everyone in the family has all of their own equipment (purchased at rocking prices if I do say so my super savvy shopper self - alliteration - sweet!) anyway now that everyone has their own stuff things are faster, cheaper, and easier.
It is an amazing thing to do as a family because it really is a family activity that everyone can enjoy. We talk and laugh and make stories that we will have to tell forever.
Then you get to the reality check when you come home and dump tons and tons of wet, dirty stuff on the mudroom floor all waiting to be washed, cleaned and re-sorted.
The plus side of this - the children will be crumpled in little exhausted balls on the couch so you totally have time to get to it.....
oh wait - what about the little crumpled Mommy ball on the couch?
Well - you can always get to it tomorrow