They say that official groundhog Punxsatawney Phil did not see his shadow today, and that it will be an early spring. Just based on empirical evidence (i.e., looking around at the weather here and around the nation), I'm dubious. Of course, we were lucky to have a 40-degree temperature rise last week -- it hovered around 20 degrees above zero for a while -- but this week, we've been plunged back into the deep freeze of below-zero temperatures. And we were lucky enough here in Minnesota to miss the mammoth snow and ice storm that hit much of the rest of the country. But we got another three inches or so Monday, to add to the several-feet-tall drifts on either side of our driveway and sidewalk. Know what I'm mostly tired of this winter? The constant need to kick out accumulated snow and crud from the wheel wells of my car. It never gets warm enough for these annoying appendages to melt away on their own.
During our brief warm spell, the four-year-old and I went sledding again -- many more families there this time. We also took a moment at the bottom of the hill (out of the way) to stare out at the snow, the ski trails, the trees bare of leaves and the lake covered with ice and snow, and to offer a prayer of thanks for its beauty.
Upon arriving home, she hauled out the sand buckets and shovels again for more snow play. We've also tried making and painting with snow paint -- a recipe from Let's Explore's January play suggestions , involving flour, salt and water -- which did not come out as sparkly as we'd been led to believe. Perhaps we applied it too thickly to our construction paper. I also tried introducing cutting paper snowflakes -- which did not go well. I think she needs more scissors practice, but I obviously need much more patience to deal with her frustration levels when she's doing a project that would give her that practice.
Weekends have brought visits to the soft play area at our local mall, and to an indoor park with gym and climbing structure, both for "running around" time. And, this past weekend, we took her to her first theatrical play -- a local children's theater's premier of If You Give a Moose a Muffin, based on the book by Laura Numeroff. It's a musical, about an hour long -- and the casting of Max the Moose is what makes the play. (This book series has been very popular with our four-year-old; we currently have If You Give a Cat a Cupcake checked out of the library, and own an anthology with the mouse, moose and pig stories, as well as the Christmas-themed If You Take a Mouse to the Movies.)
We also acquired the movie Secretariat and have so far watched it twice -- and listened to several household horse racing play-by-plays which culminate in an excited "Secretariat wins!"
She seems to be feeling fine after getting everyone up in the middle of Friday night to vomit. (She was fine the day before; she was fine the day after; it seems to be one of those "I am a kid and every so often I am going to throw up in the middle of the night for no reason and get everyone's schedule off track.")
I am hoping that the leftover pound cake I meant to take home after a Bible study meeting -- we're doing some Beth Moore DVDs -- last week is somewhere that I am not going to find it by smell in spring -- since that meeting was on Thursday, I remembered it Sunday, and could not find it in the likely locations.
And, also last week, we registered the kiddo for kindergarten.