It's been snowing like crazy here for the last couple days. Weird, weird, weird! When it started, the kids were so excited and Ashton was quick to point out that I was totally wrong when I said it didn't snow in St. George. The red hills all around us looked so odd and beautiful all covered with snow and capped in misty clouds and as the snow melted, the wetness brought out such beautiful colors. I took a lot of pictures. Two whole days of snow. We stayed inside mostly for the first day of snow, drank hot chocolate, ate cookies, read stories, watched the snow. Ashton didn't have school since it was a teacher improvement day and it was so nice to be all cozy in our beautiful new home, no one having to go anywhere and all the home-finishing projects on the shelf for a while. The second day of snow (yesterday), we were all a bit stir crazy so we headed out to this wildlife museum full of taxidermied animals from all over the world - not exactly the most impressive thing I've seen, but interesting and good to just do something not related to finishing our house. Our house still has a ways to go and after pushing for so long to get things done for the Parade of Homes open house a couple weeks ago, it's been nice to go at a slower pace for a while. We've still got 6 doors that need to be stained and installed, quite a few baseboards and some casing to go in, the floors downstairs need to be redone by the stamped concrete guy, some carpet and grout needs to be fixed, and there are tons of other little details still hanging. Sometimes it drives me crazy that everywhere I turn, there's something that needs to be done. But mostly, I marvel daily that we live in such a beautiful home.
Oliver and Silas are walking around like crazy. Si has this cute and very secure shuffle-walk and Ollie walks like he's constantly worried he could fall over at any moment - but when he does fall, he gets right back up and keeps going - he gets more and more confident every day. They're both so fun right now - laughing their heads off at each other and anyone else who gives them the time of day and playing contently with just about anything they find on the floor. I woke up this morning to two sweet little guys throwing open the double doors of my bedroom and coming in, arms raised, laughing their heads off, dressed in their matching fuzzy jammies. Could there be anyting cuter? Si's been giving the cutest, longest hugs lately to me and Jared, saying "Awwwww" as he hugs. Ollie makes the "Awwww" sound, but likes to grab our faces and cause some pain as his latest form of showing affection. These guys get into the kitchen garbage about 100 times a day, foraging for food and finding some disgusting thing to eat (banana peels are a favorite). Hate to put child locks on our beautiful new cabinets, but we'll have to do it, I guess! And Si has been waking up at night and although we try to let him cry it out and get back to sleep, he just doesn't give up - he'll cry for hours! We've had some really bad nights lately and it's pretty darn frustrating when it's 3am and he just won't go back to sleep and when he finally wakes up Oliver who's great about sleeping through it for a long, long time. We've given him medicine to see if he's teething and is in pain and that's why he's waking up, but it doesn't help much - he's just in a bad habit, I think. He was better last night so we'll see how tonight goes.
Sometimes I dream of a day when I could eat dinner without being interrupted 20 times or having to share my food with the bottomless pit twins, when I could sleep through a night and not be woken up by kids noises early in the morning (Jared's amazing- total morning person and happily gets up with the kids when they need attention in the morning so I'm totally grateful, but the noises wake me up no matter what), or when I could just read something or do something without 100 interruptions and questions. But this is my season for all this stuff and I'm trying to savor it as much as possible.
Eliza's been SO emotional lately - so sweet one minute, and then throwing a total tantrum about some tiny thing the next minute. She cracks us up all the time as she comes up with the most random and hilarious imaginary scenarios and is always pretenting something or other. She's always saying things like, "mom, let's pretend that I'm a cat and you're my mommy - now 'tend mom, can you give me a lick?" She calls me "tend mom" (pretend mom) more than anything else lately. And then sometimes she calls me Saren. She's taken to calling the twins Mickey Mouse and Baby Jesus. Where does she get these things? She woke up in the middle of the night the other night screaming (just after I'd gotten Si back to sleep) and both Jared and I rushed to her room because her screams were so serious-sounding. When we asked her what was wrong, she said "Nobody will give me a tomato!" Trying not to laugh to obviously, we calmed her down in her half-asleep state by telling her she could have as many tomatoes as she wanted - she snuggled back down into bed with a smile on her face and went to sleep. What a funny girl!
Our Parade of Homes open house went really well over all - probably had over 100 people come through, most of whom were very impressed with the house and many of whom picked up fliers and business cards for Avanti Design. We'll see what comes of it. Mostly, though, it was great to get feedback and find that there were a lot of people very impressed with the unusual new approaches we've used in this house and very appreciative of our color scheme, floor plan, concrete countertops, cork flooring, etc. It was stressful trying to keep the kids out of the house or under control and happily in the house and trying to keep the house as perfectly presentable as possible for a couple days, but it turned out fine. We had a couple people sending their friends back or coming back themselves on the second day, they were so impressed. It really is very satisfying to create something that we love and see that others love it as well. I've finally been able to put to use so much of my art, architecture and home design knowledge and ideas.
Ashton and I had a great parent teacher conference and his teacher loves him so much. He's just such a bright, good kid. He's reading on a "G" level (they hope most kindergartners will be on a "C" level when they leave Kindergarten) and he can read just about anything with ease and with feeling in his voice (not much of that robot-sounding early reading with this kid). Ashton's so fun to talk to about so many things and he's really great about helping out around here lately.
Isaac's got some whining problems that just won't go away - especially when he's a bit tired. He's become more interested in learning to write his name correctly and we were both SO excited when he finally could write his name really perfectly without help this last week. He's such a bright kid, but likes to learn things on his own terms. He's always so excited about everything and is such a good big brother and plays so well with Eliza lately (he just HAS to carry the twins around and they DON'T like it, but we're working on that). He's always thinking of other's feelings and his little random acts of generousity are so sweet.
More later - got to go to bed. Crossing my fingers that Silas stays asleep!