Hello! We’ve had a snowy week and some exciting things going on here.
Let me go back to the beginning of the month, with a visit from my parents and aunt and some holiday activities.
With our visitors, we went to the Christmas Festival of Lights at the Grotto. It was cold and beautiful! Ari enjoyed a puppet show and seeing a camel and other animals – especially one that pooped! (He’s really into poop these days.)
That night, after the kids were in bed, we set up and decorated the Christmas tree. The next morning, Ari had an exciting surprise! He loved seeing the tree, and we had presents under it, too (from my parents and aunt).
That afternoon, we went to see Santa at Alpenrose Dairy.
I told Ari to tell Santa what he wanted, so when he rounded the corner and saw him, he stood in front of him and shouted, “I want a dinosaur!” The guy laughed and said, “Why don’t you come up here and tell me about it?”
The next day, we went to library story time and had breakfast with my parents.
After my parents left, I tried to get Sam to roll over:
The day he turned six months old, I was at work and he went to daycare, and there he rolled all the way to his tummy and straightened his arms out in front of himself for the first time! The next day, I took some pictures of him rolling around, as well as sitting up after I propped him that way, and all of us reading together:
And, six months old!
The next day…snow!
The school closed the day it snowed and the next day, but the second day it was too icy to even walk outside, so we had a loooong day inside.
I worked during the weekend, then the next week we went to baby story time:
Then I had one “daycare day” to clean the house, then…
Construction work! Actually, at this stage, it’s…excavation!
I don’t think I’ve announced this here yet: we are having an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) built in our backyard. Eeeeek!! When we lost our second tree from drought and disease, we realized we had a lot of space in the yard, including the area where the sheds were at that time. Our neighborhood has a serious housing shortage and we hope that with some extra rental income, we might be able to pay off debt faster, work less someday, and spend more time with our kids.
So, we worked with an architect who is also a friend of ours, had plans drawn up, submitted them to the city and got a permit, met with a few builders along the way and chose one who was recommended by a friend who works for him, and all of a sudden, a port-a-potty showed up in our driveway and there was an excavator digging a hole in our yard!!
Well, the first day, they took apart one of the sheds, moved the other one, took apart our planters, and cleared a space to dig. The next day, they dug all morning then went home in the afternoon because it had started snowing again.
Sam slept through the noise and Ari and I made coffee and muffins for the “instruction workers,” as Ari called them (and, no, I did not let him put that spoonful of batter he was licking into the muffin tin!):
Later that day…more snow! We walked to our friends’ house and borrowed their toddler sled:
After fighting with Ari on the way home and then looking at my kitchen, I was in a terrible mood.
A snowy, moonlit walk with just Andrew (while A. put the kids to bed) was just what I needed! I love how bright it is when there’s fresh snow on the ground.
With all the snow days with school closed, being trapped in the house with a restless 3-year-old and a baby when I was supposed to be alone, getting stuff done, and because I’ve been tired and burnt out from long shifts at work, I feel like I’ve been a terrible mother. When Ari did stuff like throwing folded laundry on the ground, mischievously running in our room and waking up Sam just as I was sitting down to eat, whining and crying about wanting to watch TV or watch videos on my phone or “play a parent game” he can’t really understand after I’d already played two of them with him…or just interrogating me about “why” I was doing every little thing I did…I just lost it sometimes and yelled at him unfairly, put things out of reach and took his stool away in a mean way, moved him roughly and shut him out of the room I was in… I just felt terrible about myself. But I guess this stuff is just hard! My job is hard and parenting young children is hard, and waking up at 4am and getting to work in the snow is hard, and A. having to stay home and try to work with the two kids home from school the past two days while I was at work was hard (although he got a teenager to help out yesterday!), and we have to be kind to ourselves. But our stress is hard on the kids, too, and I have to be kind to them when they show signs of it.
But one thing that’s helped us out the past few days? We got a king-sized bed. 😛