Our life lately has revolved around our weather, unfortunately. This is the most snow and coldest weather we've ever been in, and living here makes the winters "up north" or in Utah seem so much easier and more comfortable. Remember when we used to complain about those other places? It's not all bad, just cold. Truly I am hit with an overwhelming feeling of deep appreciation for this adventure in our lives. During naps on Saturdays Buck and I sometimes have a chance to shovel the driveway together and as silly as it sounds I can't help soaking those moments up, imprinting them in my mind knowing that some day we'll be living some place warmer and able to recall these vivid winters and the adventure it has been for us. While it is extremely cold outside, our home is nearly 70 degrees and very well insulated. We don't go outside for more than 1-2 minutes at a time as we walk from the car into wherever we are going. Even though it's extremely cold I promise anyone could handle it...with enough layers and good shoes :)
The amount of snow we have received has been above average, and we honestly have run out of places to throw it while shoveling our drive way! Our mailbox is hard to spot, if you can imagine. Some areas (especially the airport, but some places around our town too) don't have the space for piles of snow this big so big trucks haul it off much like we're used to seeing sand and dirt being hauled off. They take it somewhere to be melted down and drained. Our neighboring town, St Charles, had to cancel school a few days because their town had completely run out of ice melt and sand for the trucks to spread so it wasn't safe for the buses to get around. This has been quite a learning experience for us, and although we long for warm days and time playing in the sun we really are enjoying our time here.
|Our swing in our back yard|
Because we stay at home most of the time, we have gotten pretty creative a making our days special. Millie had a "beach day" at school and even wore her swim suit over her clothes! When she got home we decided to stretch out this easy theme through lunch. We pulled out beach towels, our beach umbrella, sun hats, and Louis' bathing suit and had a little picnic on the "beach" in our living room. We even enjoyed Betsey and Jocie's company via facetime. Sweet Jocie indulged us by putting on not one but two of her bathing suits. We hope they'll have a snow day and give us a call for some pointers.
We've made many forts (or castles), obstacle courses and crafts. We've enjoyed our basement a lot, and Millie has gotten really good at her new bike. We've spent too much time on TV, Movies, and the ipads, but we're thankful for that technology. Sometimes its our only option to keep me sane. Louis loves the PBS kids app and watches Super Why and World Girl whenever he can. Really he flips through all the shows, but has shown a special love for superheros. Maybe someday he'll learn all about them from Garrett. Millie is branching out and even watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with us.
Millie's annual review was at the end of January. She didn't get dropped from the program like we were half way expecting, but we are thankful. She is still ahead for academics (showing more 5 year old skills, instead of her peers at 3-4 years old) and we're so proud of her hard work and perfectionism. She's starting to write other letters besides just her name and even wrote "Louis" on one of Louis' valentines for him. They still set a few academic goals for her (trouble with cluster counting and sequencing), but the main area she needs help catching up in is social. She's behind at staying on task in a group setting and needs verbal reminders more than an average 3-4 year old. It sounded like wimpy goals/reasons to keep her in to me but they also expressed concern for next year as a reason. In the pre-k class it's more academic, less play oriented, with many directions being given in a group settings. I walked away from the review proud of her and thankful for such loving teachers. They genuinely appreciate our Millie. They took the time to tell me what a joy she is and what personality and imagination she has. Her speech teacher even wore a polka dot shirt that day because she had Millie that same day for speech and knew Millie would love it. That's love. I still can't believe Millie had them convinced Nora was her babysitter!
Louis is a daredevil. Bet ya'll find that surprising. Although he's been hurt more times than I'd like to admit, his favorite past time is jumping from our side table or ottoman on to the couch. Sometimes he's close enough to make it, sometimes he isn't. We've had to move out the side table all together just to avoid this. In the bath he is just short of climbing up the side and jumping in to the water. The other day, before I could catch him he climbed up the side because he wanted to get out and somehow did a belly flop on to our bathroom floor, sliding across like a wet baby seal! All while smiling of course. That smile. His smile is something else. He is just adorable. Oh and he's pretty crazy about his red cowboy boots. Melts my heart when he brings them to me saying "boo, boo" for "boots." He also says "more", "bye" (with a southern accent), "cracker", "Dada", "ball" and a few others. I think he's got about 10 words down, but understands so much. He takes simple directions, and often surprises me when I ask him to do something (like "go get a book to read" and he has to go to another room and everything). He's such a picky eater these days, but thankfully his molars have broken through so he's able to eat more difficult foods.
Buck and I are doing great. Nothing exciting to mention about us, just keeping the kids happy and healthy and doing our best to try and be good parents. Buck is working a whole lot right now but hasn't had to travel lately. My brother just came to live with us for a while, and our kids love having Uncle Xan around. He's enjoying the opportunity to pull ahead on "favorite uncle" status.