Is it Spring?

This weather is bizarre! This past week, I've awoke in the middle of the night several times to see snow flurries. And each morning, we've had a light dusting that melted by noon in the revel of a beautiful afternoon with sunshine and warm degrees. Then suddenly yesterday afternoon, it began snowing again!! It snowed off and on all night. We had three inches this morning. By 9 a.m., we were down to dry roads and only an inch or so of really wet snow on the ground. Now, at 10:45 a.m., it's snowing again! Kevin is shoveling off 4 inches from our driveway as I type! And there is no end in sight!

To add to the craziness, we put out our bird feeders and planted flowers two weeks ago, and I just saw our first hummingbird return! I was so excited!! But then I saw that he couldn't get to the food through the accumulated snow on the feeder!! It's nuts! Meanwhile, other birds have flocked and eaten through a whole feeder's worth of food, and I need to trek out there to refill it so they can at least keep their bellies full, if not their feathers warm. :)

Collin Quote of the Morning: (as we're looking at the healing scab from a cement burn on his foot) "It's so stylish!" HUH?!


Random Highlights

The boys are finally weaning (read, we're finally weaning the boys) off their bedtime warm milk. If you have been around the boys at bedtime, you know this is no small sacrifice. They LOVE milk. We buy at least four gallons a week. BUT, Collin has quickly learned that a little sacrifice can go a long way ~ a week into it, and Collin has had dry nights every night! Needless to say, after three dry nights, he was so proud that he quit asking for milk each night ... and Owen is so much easier to distract ... : )

Last Sunday morning, the boys and I pulled out all of their dinosaur stuff (and put on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle masks - see Collin) and had a Dino Hour. After a while we decided to tackle a Dinosaur encyclopedia. I was shocked to see them flipping through the pages and jumping from the couch, running to their pile of dinos, and matching their dinosaurs with the ones in the book! They really got into it, and it was a great morning! The dinosaur Owen is holding below is a T-Rex, and it has recently jumped into his Top 4 must-haves: #1 Mini Football (in his right hand, but you can't tell), #2 Mario Andretti "Cars" car, #3 Doggie, #4 T-Rex ~ in that order, except #2 and #3 alternate priority ranking depending on the time of day. By far and away, however, the mini football has the highest ranking and lives in his hand, his pocket, our pockets, or on the bench next to the dinner table at meal times.
Natalie and Collin enjoyed an afternoon painting (Owen is napping in the background). Notice how well they painted inside the lines? Collin ended up painting the whole page and adding blue ("Look! Yellow and Blue DO make green, Mommy!"). He also ended up painting up half his arm, while Natalie barely had a drop on herself and kept in the lines for nearly every piece of art. Natalie also worked much faster and completed two pieces for every one that Collin completed!
Collin's favorite nights are steak fajitas nights! He loves grating the cheese and rolling his own "tacos" and "burritos." He's learning to love to cook and asks to help before every meal. The best part is, he seems so pleased with his hard work that I swear he eats twice as much now!

But when it comes to some things, Owen still out-eats him! In the pic below, Owen had finished his ice cream and was asking for more, while Collin still had half a bowl remaining! Collin graciously began offering his to Owen. They both thought it was so funny that ultimately Collin spoon-fed Owen the rest of Collin's ice cream!
Now prepare yourself. What you are about to see may shock you. It shocks me each time that I dare step in front of a mirror!! ... Two days before Collin was born, we went swimming at Lake Padden, and I wore a bikini and it was so wonderfully freeing! I felt big but beautiful and somehow oddly empowered. And I wasn't the only monstrous prego on the beach either! It was great!! But I declined the photo op, and I have always regretted it. I was HUGE! It's worth documenting! So, after Collin had three dry nights, we let him pick a special family activity as his "reward." As luck would have it, he asked to go swimming. I definitely do not have a swimsuit that covers up this belly ... so, the bikini came out of the drawer, and we headed for the pool. Only this time, I stood proud for the photo!!


Family Ties

The cousins have grown so much and so close over the past 4 years! Chrissy, Tracey and the Girls visited March 7-9, and we had a BLAST!

Taylor -21 months, Owen -26 months
Marley -4 years, Collin -3 1/2 years

The mornings are always full of fun as the kids play in jammies and the parents relax over our coffee and tea. This visit there was a noticeable increase in imaginative play, and the kids built castles and ships and were royalty and pirates! In the pic below, Collin is on "the tallest tower" ("Did you know that Uncle Jared sometimes lives in a super tall tower with fire-breathing dragons?? But we can rescue him!" -Collin):

Taylor has grown so much since our last long visit with her, and Owen shouted, jumped for joy, and pointed at her nearly every time she entered the room: "Taylor!" Now, every time he sees her photo, he nearly tumbles over with excitement!

A mid-day trip to the park was a much needed outlet for energy and curious minds! Thanks to Chrissy for continuously pushing the boys and lifting Collin in and out of that darn swing!! (Turns out being this pregnant is not easy at the park with energized youth!)

Even football in hand, Owen managed to climb up the ladders and around the jungle gym over and over and over ...
Our kitchen floor was recently a much-desired feeding ground for the tiniest of ants. We learned that Owen could spot an ant from many feet away and was fascinated by their big world! Here, he apparently saw a bug jump into this hole, so he dived in after it:
Haven't seen the Cyrus Family lately? Family Portrait Time:
Thanks for a wonderful weekend!! We're looking forward to the next one already! **BTW, it'll be the weekend after Katelyn's birth ~ 20 days to go till C-Day!