Monday, March 18, 2013

Waiting for Spring!

So far March has brought us LOTS of snow!  Lily took pics of me shoveling off the back deck which has become the bane of my existence, and almost a daily occurrence over the past two weeks.  If it was just the back deck, it wouldn't be bad at all, but it's the  back deck & walk to the garage out back, plus the driveway (the area where the snowplow pushes up all the heavy, wet, salted snow from the street is just THE WORST!), the front walk/steps, plus the sidewalk, which is about 3x's longer than the other houses on our street because we have a curve.  I have dubbed it "my winter workout", because I am always dripping sweat by about halfway through, even though it's freezing.  Good times.  Have I mentioned I'm from ARIZONA?!  Really looking forward to spring. Any time now.
 Lily had a snow day from school, we enjoyed it, or rather the kids enjoyed it while I shoveled.  When we get deep snow it usually takes about 1.5 - 2 hours for me to shovel the front and back, so I usually do it after lunch during Kate's nap time and let Izzie and Lily come out and play while I work.  (otherwise they TRASH their room and the playroom while unsupervised in the house)

 Pretty much every time I shovel, I see my neighbors out with their snow blowers, and I do my best to think about how nice it is that I get to do manual labor and get exercise and I tell my kids that it feels good to work hard and break a sweat...and I try not to inwardly be super jealous of said snow blowers...or covet them...though I will admit to occasionally thinking "I hate this, I hate this, I hate this" with every shovelful of snow.  A couple of weeks ago one of my neighbors came out while I was shoveling and introduced herself, asked if I had a blower, then volunteered to plow my driveway while I did the walks.  This was the 2nd day in a row that we had gotten a LOT of snow and I wanted to cry with gratitude, I had some sore muscles from the day before.  I also noted that seven of my male neighbors were out plowing their drives the day before while I was shoveling, and none of them offered to help [in fact there are almost always at least a couple men out using their snow blowers while I shovel and they all politely ignore me, most days I don't really mind, but that week when the snow was deep and wet and heavy I was a little bitter...just a little.  OK I may have fantasized just a teensy bit about cutting them, but only a little :) give me a break I'm only human.  Though one man did drive by, roll down his window, and ask in his heavy accent, "Where is your husband?  This is too much work for one woman to do"  Let's just say that he gave me the motivation to shovel a little harder!], but leave it to the nice woman with a small child to come over and pitch in!
Her name is Sachi, she's Japanese and so, so sweet and fun.  Her daughter Giada played in the yard with my girls while we worked to get the plowing/shoveling done.  Then we visited in the front yard while the girls slid down the 4+ foot snowbanks over and over again.
 As soon as we went inside I started making some cupcakes for Sachi and Gia as a big THANK YOU! (And I felt VERY mid-western for making cupcakes for my neighbor)
She then brought me some homemade cannoli a few days later, putting the ball back in my court.  If she'll bake something yummy for me everytime I bake something yummy for her, I will totally keep this pattern going! :)
 We got more snow a few days later, the girls like to pretend they're helping me, which really means that they are usually moving snow into the paths I've already dug out, but they feel good for helping so I just redo it when they're done.
 The snow is too deep for Kate to walk in, so she either stays on the sidewalk or deck and plays on the edge, or I carry to to the playset.  I will admit that we usually only go out when she is sleeping, since it's a lot of work to carry her up and down everywhere.
 Izzie finally got bumped off the Headstart waiting list (she's been on since last fall).  She was SO excited to get to go to preschool!  And I was so happy for her.  She's such a smart, fun girl and I have really felt bad that she hasn't had the opportunity to go to preschool, because I knew she would thrive and enjoy it.  Plus I, personally, as parent feel guilty when I am able to give something to one child and not the other.  Lily LOVED her 2 years of preschool so much and it was so good for her, that I have felt really terrible about not being able to give that experience to Izzie.  But HOORAY!!  We got the call, filled out the necessary paperwork, met with her teacher,& arranged for her to be put on the bus route.  Then nothing was left but to start her first day!  Before she started Daddy gave her a special blessing.
 Iz sure loves her Daddy, the other day she told him, "Daddy, when I grow up I want to marry YOU!"  One day it will freak her out that she said that, but I found it absolutely adorable, and I honestly do hope that she's lucky enough to marry a guy like her Daddy one day.
 Not to be neglected Kate insisted that she get a picture with Daddy too.  Kate has gotten so funny.  She is in full "play-pretend" mode.  She learns new phrases and attempts to say new words every day and I am so delighted.  I have never had a kid at this age with out also having a newborn and I find I am appreciating/enjoying it so much.  I could watch her play pretend for hours and be thoroughly entertained.  She calls everyone "Honey", and has her toys call each other "Honey" as well.  "Hi, Honey!", "C'mon, Honey", "Are you OK, Honey?"  Not sure where she picked it up, but it sure is cute.  The other day Daddy told her what a big girl she is and she promptly said, "No, Daddy!  Sorry, Daddy.  Me no big girl, me BABY!  See, (then she proceeded to lay down on the ground and kick her arms and legs like a baby does) Goo-Goo-Gaga".  I laughed out loud.  I decided not to explain to her that just the fact that she can explain that she's a baby and say "goo-goo-gaga" is a pretty clear indicator that she is no longer a baby.  I let her have her moment.  She sure is a handful and a barrel full of unexpected laughs.
 We then of course couldn't leave out Lily after getting pictures of Daddy with the other two girls.  Lily is getting so big.  She loves to read, she even won an autographed copy of Five Little Monkeys at school for being the I Love To Read Winner.  She's still coming home with love notes every week, though the pool of admires has watered down to 3 persistent boys who constantly send home pictures and notes and gifts for her.  Not sure what to do with that girl.
 Here is a picture of Izzie with her teacher, Miss Amy.  She is great and Izzie is absolutely loving preschool.  I couldn't be happier for her, or more proud of her.
 Matt and I went a party for the anesthesia department for the graduating class of CRNAs (in 2 years that will be him!).  We had a bit of a struggle finding a babysitter (our 2nd time getting one here in MN), but we finally found one at the very last minute (and she ended up being GREAT, we'll definitely use her again).  I was excited to get out of the house without the kiddos, and REALLY excited to spend time with Matt.  He had his Advanced Physiology final exam the day before and his Anatomy final 3 days later, so he'd been spending all night/every night finishing assignments and studying.  I am looking forward to April not only for the warmer weather, but for all his finals to be over!!  If I am being completely honest, I wasn't completely thrilled that we were spending our super rare 'alone time', and even more rare 'babysitting time' with 100 people I didn't know.  He knew the people in his class and a few of the Anesthetists/Anesthesiologists he's worked with before, but I knew no one, and knew the night would have it's fill of awkward tag-along-spouse moments.  It did, but I actually had a lot more fun than I thought I would.  Luckily Matt has some nice, fun, cool girls in his class that were very kind to let me hang out with them, and who hit the dance floor with me.  They had a live band, but Matt refused to dance(party pooper, wha-wha-whaaaa).  He was fine standing at a table and visiting with people.  I however love to dance and was tiring of the "Hi, I'm Matt's wife" nod and smile routine, so luckily some of his friends took pity on me and we danced and were silly and had a good time.  We left before most people got too drunk, though I did meet a few girls on the dance floor by them needing to steady themselves on my shoulder.  They made me laugh, and it's kind of fun to know that some of the strangers you are meeting are too tipsy to judge anything you say or do, and probably won't even remember you in the morning. :)
Since the weather has been so snowy, we've been spending lots of time at the Library.  The Library is essentially a sacred place to me.  I always get a sense of awe, peace, and joy when surrounded by so many books.  I love to read.  It's definitely my favorite alone time activity.  Every time I walk into a good library I feel grateful that I live in a world where libraries are open to the public and where self learning is free and encouraged.  I say a little, "Thank you" to Ben Franklin for America's first library that was free and open to the public.  What a revolutionary idea, and one that I am so grateful for.  I've loved libraries since I was a very little girl and used to go to the Safford Library during the summers, before EA's library or the new safford library were built.  In fact, I had my wedding reception in the old historic safford library building, where I spent so many summer days as a kid.  Rochester's public library not only has lots of books and music and movies, but has a GREAT kids section.  The girls love to go and play, and since I can easily burn through 2-3 books in a week, I like taking them to explore, read, and play each week so I can get new books, it's just a nice bonus that they think I am going just for them. :)
Here's several pics from the Library's kids activities:

 We got more snow (surprise, surprise, right?!) And I started a ball for Lily to roll around while I shoveled, then started another, and another.  I was mostly done shoveling when she got home from school so by the time she had 3 good sized balls I was ready to help her plump them out and stack them up.  We were just putting on the finishing touches when Izzie came home, she helped us pick out rocks for our "Snowmum's" face.  !
 Around this time, Sachi and Gia pulled in to their driveway and came across the street to play. We decided to hang out with them for a while before lunch, so we made our whole family in snow. It was fun
 Yesterday was St Patrick's Day.  We wore green, had lamb stew for lunch with potatoes, onions, and carrots (because that seemed like an acceptable Irish meal, I'm not a huge fan of cabbage, and I've never made corned beef before...maybe next year).  Then for dinner we had green lemonade, asparagus, and Irish cheese stuffed ravioli, dyed green (some were left white) in the shapes of clovers.  It was yummy and fun.
 It started snowing last night and hasn't stopped, it's supposed to keep at it 'til tomorrow morning, here's a little snap out my front window, notice you can't tell where my yard, sidewalk, street, neighbor's yard begins/ends.  So I'm sure you can guess what I'll be doing this afternoon, and probably again tomorrow morning...shoveling!
Seriously.  Any time now Spring.