And to wrap up the crazy month of February, we had to squeeze in a little birthday party for the now 10 year old. We totally chose correctly, and had it hosted at a local rock climbing gym. This was legit in that there was real rock climbing, with harnesses and ropes and the whole nine yards.
It was a total blast for the kids. I would recommend this type of easy party option, if your kid is like Kiwi and likes to be active. They were so tired at the end it was great.
It is a great feeling as a parent to see your child do a hard thing. Kiwi was very proud of herself for making it to the top.
It is always a challenge to find things to do when it is very cold outside, and the snow is so deep you can't actually play in it (who would have thunk that was possible?!). So, the kids have had to entertain themselves in their many snow days.
First up, Icicle Wars: A new hope
These little guys where right outside the front and back windows, and were only the tip of the iceberg as they say. With a little bit of sunlight, these things would grow a foot a day. It does help to have two feet of snow on the roof of course.
And the gratuitous baby picture of the day: Mr S just chillin' with the baby.
So time flies when you are having fun/a baby. Life is actually quite stable, since we are old hands at this having kids thing. Little Z is very much into sleeping, eating, and not much else. Even the cries at this point are so darn cute!
The card is from Mr S's 1st grade class. He has been so excited to tell everyone about the little brother. Right by the upper left is his signature: "Yar Brother Seth". Truly, this is priceless.
So, if you had not figured out, this Arizona transplant is a big fan of the snow. The first blizzard of '15 was totally awesome. The second, right after Z was born, was a bit on the intimidating side, since we had just had a new member of the family join us. Now, with the third straight week of blizzards, I think I am done for awhile.
Did I mention that the snow was so deep at this point (something like two feet per storm, or six feet of snow), that the kids helped me not by shoveling snow, but by jumping on the snow banks to make it possible for me to throw the snow on top.
Luckily there were no actual incidents, like power outages or the like, to contend with. Just lots and lots of snow.
After four hours of labor (my water broke at midnight), Our little Z came into the world at 4:14am on February 6th, 2015. He was 7 pounds, 9 ounces and 20.5 inches long. The cord was around his neck, so he was quite the purple little thing at first. But he got his color back really quick. We are head over heels in love with this guy and can't wait to have the whole family safe and sound back at home.
He was born two days before his due date, making him my 4th latest baby (Kiwi was the latest at 40 weeks and a day). He was right in the middle with Seth for weight. He seems to have Kiwi's coloring: dark hair and olive skinned. He reminds me of my other kids, but has his own little look. It's so amazing that they all look so different.
Just when we thought that it would be a snow-free winter, making the kids not happy at all, we get a real snow storm. This was categorized as a blizzard, and it dumped over two feet of snow. Once I cleared off the deck, it was prime jumping territory.
And of course there was plenty of snow for the sledding hill in the backyard. As it turns out, it has to be about freezing for it to be warm enough to pack it down (it was in the low 20's), so it wasn't the best sledding weather.
And since I could not even get out of the driveway in my small, rear-wheel drive car, I worked from home. And, the kids made a place just for working: a snow cave! Granted, most of the depth was because I had to shovel the snow somewhere, so it got a bit more compact, making for perfect cave-making snow.
The rest of the afternoon they finished the caves by transforming them into a snow tunnel.
Totally unlike anything I had growing up: we dug in dirt to make tunnels, my kids dig in snow, and that is soooo much cleaner.
For my current place of work, they are still small enough that they like to have an annual company kickoff in The Netherlands, the place the company started. Even with the larger worldwide staff, they fly us all in to have a big meeting. In retrospect, it was a good trip, but I missed the wife and kids. Did they forget about me while I was "working"? Nope. And sadly, I did not have time to do any tourist-y stuff, so now Luann and I will have to make a return trip.
Just the train station in Amsterdam, nothing to see here
Meanwhile, the family was having quite the time:
Riding in the Car, keeping warm
Eating out, staying full and happy
I think I would have liked to have been at home instead. Just wait till the baby comes, then I will get some time off...
So ordering online has its perks: easy to do during the night, easy to find what you want in the size/model you need, don't have to leave the warm house. But at the end of the year, check the shipping dates. I messed up and didn't get Gman's present in time for Christmas, so now he has a New Year's gift.
Better late than never I always say
And to continue the all-day party of shooting holes in paper targets, we continued with having our neighbors over. We are lucky enough to have neighbors that like to party like we do: at home with the kids locked in the basement.