Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wintering in Salt Lake

I've noticed the daylight is lengthening.  The sun is peeking over the mountains earlier - filtering into our east windows as we eat breakfast.  And I'm no longer closing the blinds before I cook dinner.  There's a hopeful excitement in the recognition of more sun and longer days.  

We've had a few days warm enough to go to the park, yet it's been VERY windy. And we did see a purple crocus yesterday!  Surely more "signs of spring" are not far distant.  We're on the hunt for them as our first winter in Salt Lake was a long one!  In talking with Virginia friends, I hear the daffodils along 123 and the Beltway are coming up and the forsythias are in bloom (maybe a bit delayed after this week's Eastern snows).  We will really miss DC in the Spring!  I love the redbuds along the GW parkway, the cherry blossoms circling the tidal basin, the large bartlett pears in McLean, and the pink dogwoods.  Every few weeks something new is abloom. After all these years of wintering in comparably mild Virginia, a Wasatch winter has been a challenge.  So much time inside!

So last week I took the girls to my parents' backyard for a "noticing walk".  Since the snow had melted, we picked up anything we could find of interest.  Tennis balls, old ribbon, pine cones, snail shells, rocks, money plants, and frosted rose petals.  The girls found all kinds of "treasures." Once unleashed from our little "walk," they ran and ran and ran.  They were squealing and yelling, moving at full toddler speed.  When it was time to leave, Eliza ran around Grandma Ronda's house three times without stopping before I finally wrangled her into the car.  We are - to say the very last - anticipating Spring!  So what have we been doing indoors?  Here's a look.

Here are the girls hibernating (I mean hiding) in one of their favorite nooks.  Just up from naps.

Eliza painting with shaving cream and paints.  "Art" projects seem to be a favorite past-time...

Finding Ali's pants.  This is a common sight in our house.  Ali seems to be averse to wearing pants lately. So I find them, several times a day, coiled up in unusual spots, looking just like this - as if she somehow evaporated out of them.
Eliza eating snow off the holly bush outside our front door.  She's been sampling all kinds of snow - old, new, different colors (to my shock and horror!)  Ugh!  Hopefully after this winter she'll know what's tasty and what's not.

One January morning after snowfall.  Salt Lake was so beautiful after this storm.  The snow shimmered in the sunlight and everything from the benches to the peaks was cloaked in white.  It was stunning to me.

The large maple in front of our house.

Eliza dressing up - in all sorts of costumes and accessories - multiple times a day.  This was Sami's Halloween Costume last year (minus the pink slippers).

Eliza also started a ballet and tap class at a studio near our home.  She LOVES it!  She is taking the class with her friend Katherine (I need to get a picture of the two of them!)  and asks every few days, "Is it dance class today?"  She is particularly liking "leaping over dragons", plies and walking on her tippy toes.

Sami has developed an affinity for "my hanimals" (her animals).  Her favorites are "Neigh" (her Horse featured above - notice it is your gift Mickey), "Ruff Ruff" (poodle), "Duck", "Bug" and "Hop Hop" (Bunny).  Not sure why she has given most of them auditory names - I've tried to help her - but she seems to prefer calling them by their barnyard sounds.  They travel most places with her (all of them - monopolizing her hands), including to bed.

Ali found my socks one day and made puppets out of them.  She has quite a sense of humor, likes to tease, and can mimmic most things we say (I know - frightening!)

I often find three little monkeys jumping on my bed (they've only cracked heads once and so far no broken bones.)

This is the Amazing Sami touching her nose with her tongue.  I didn't take the photo at quite the right moment - but we've all seen her do it (Grandma and Grandpa can vouch for this).  We knew she had a long tongue, even during her NICU days when all the nurses would tell me she was constantly sticking her tongue out.  I figured it was so long it simply had no where else to go!  You can see she is miles (OK inches) ahead of the rest of the girls (below).  

Eliza's best.
Ali's best.  Not even the right direction.  (We were pretty desperate for some entertainment here!)

More dress-ups.  Sami, Eliza, Katherine (Kara's daughter - Eliza adores her), and Ali.

Blowing bubbles.  This was loads of fun.  Water, dish soap and a straw.  The trick?  Don't suck in - just blow out (we learned from experience).  Small things can yield great enjoyment!

And finally, we do our own version of "So You Think You Can Dance?"  This goes down as our favorite indoor activity.  The girls are definitely starting to perfect their own style and moves, Doug and I have the best laughs, we clap and cheer for each other, and it has gladly become the venue for some much-needed energy expenditure.  Get your groove on girls - because guess what?  It's snowing as I write.



  1. I think Maddie just watched your 1 minute video 16 times in a row. Too cute! Oh yeah, then when she was done watching she "taught" me how to make it go so I could watch it some more.

  2. Hopefully spring will be here for you soon--but in the mean time these pictures are priceless! I especially love the music video at the end. Watch out Broadway, the Arveseth singers and dancers are on their way!


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