There is no denying it. Winters in Wisconsin are long and hard. They are even harder with 3 kids when I'm scared of the cold/flu/RSV germs and think that it is too cold outside for these skinny little kids and we have no yard. They have wonderful down snowsuits and boots and the works but we figured out early on that:
a) they really don't like to walk in the snow;
b) although the streets and sidewalks are shoveled, no one seems to take responsibility for the ramp/sidewalk to the street so there is generally just a little one-foot path surrounded by ice or a foot a snow so we can't go for a walk unless we want to walk back and forth on the same block;
c) It can get really cold here and once the cold hits I feel like all the "cold" is the same regardless if it is 5 degrees or 25 degrees. It all feels too cold to me for the kids.
So this winter was spent mostly indoors with limited activity outside of the choo-choo wagon when we were in public places like Whole Foods, MAM, or Alterra.
But the tide has turned my friends. The last few days have been in the 50's and today it may hit 60 degrees. I remember this feeling when I lived in WI before of that hopefulness and lightness that comes with the first glimpse of spring. Like a weight has been lifted.
Now don't get me wrong, the spring in Texas is just glorious with the bluebonnets and 60 and 70 degree weather. But what comes after that was just intolerable for me. The suffocating heat that follows the beautiful spring seemed to put a damper on it for me. Last summer was almost more difficult than this past winter has been. It certainly had to do with the circumstances of last summer of showing our house and getting a call that someone was going to be there in a few hours to look at the house. I would run around like a mad person cleaning, pack a diaper bag, throw the kids and dogs in the car and drive around for an hour while hopefully the realtor showed and were on time many time while the kids were crying in the stifling heat. And I would be drenched in sweat the whole time just hoping our house would sell so I wouldn't have to do that whole thing one more time. I may have mentioned it before but we did 50-60 showings in 4.5 months. It was not a fun summer. I don't think I stopped sweating for 4 months.
As hard as winters are in WI, the summers are equally beautiful and spring here is a reminder of what is to come. It may snow again and the current weather is not here to stay but it is a little taste to get you through the next few months. But it is not a pretty time of year. The remainder of the snow is super dirty and it looks like there is trash everywhere. This is what's left of the snow pile in the driveway behind our townhouse. Totally gross.
But I think I have spring fever and just antsy to get out because we have been crazy busy. In the last week we have gone out to eat a number of times, to the Milwaukee Art Museum, The Domes, The Zoo and today we walked the 6 blocks to Lake Michigan and the kids played on the playground and then we walked on the beach.
The only time that we took pictures was at the Domes because my mom was with us. I knew we were going to take pictures so I put these outfits on the girls from my Uncle Rich and Aunt Joni. They got them for Christmas and I kept looking at them in the closet thinking they were too big, my girls won't fit into these yet, they are still babies! But they look like such big girls. They didn't forget Beckett, he was wearing his Science Department sweatshirt and Team Einstein shirt which is my current favorite outfit on him.
The Domes had a train exhibit which was perfect because they were able to walk around the path and look but not touch because of the chain. I just have to say, everyone looks really washed out in the pictures because of the light and because we are really really pale!
See the castle behind Addy? Here is a close up. This is what everything looked like. It was a kid's paradise.
I'm not sure if we have a picture of Eloise without her snack trap.
She knows the beauty of a good snack.
Beckett found the little boy beauty of poking things with sticks. Which is what he did at the beach today too.
Look at this hair...
Look at those eyes...
Beckett wanted nothing to do with sitting on the bench with his sisters where he couldn't poke things.
They are all so funny when we are in a new setting. Addy looks so serious and concerned in all of the pictures. She is always a little tentative at first but slowly warms up. It seems to be worse the more people around. Eloise did great at the Domes but not so great at the Zoo yesterday. The whole thing was a disaster which I'm still recovering from. But Eloise loves the park, running around and the swings. From the living room window we can see an elementary school yard/park with swings. Poor girl stands at the window yelling at the kids on the swings a block away. Beckett had so much fun this whole week at all of the places we went. At the museum, Bambi gave each kid a book with letter of the alphabet and a picture of a piece of art in the museum which we had to then go and find. Beckett totally "got" it. He would look at the book and then at the picture on the wall pointing and chatting recognizing that they looked the same. He even remembered where the Dog painting was and kept wanting to go back. Now that he knows about sticks and poking things and making holes, I know how to keep him entertained this whole summer.
Now, we just need to find a house. We are still in the market and I'm getting a little nervous about the timing of this whole thing. I so want to be in a new house for the summer but the market is just not cooperating. We looked at a few houses last weekend but I was so disappointed. I have a theory at what is happening in this market. People don't want to believe that there was a housing bubble and don't believe they can't make a profit selling now if they bought it at the height of the housing bubble. We looked at a few houses where the current owners bought in early 2008- before the whole financial crisis. There were no updates or upgrades since then and they now think they can make a 5-6 digit profit in 3 years? Seriously? Not at our expense and not in this market. So we have to be patient even if that means extending our current lease to wait for the right house.
We started this whole process of moving one year ago next month so I'm really anxious to feel settled. It's been a long process between the showings, selling our TX house in a slumping market, the actual move, and renting through the winter with much of our stuff in storage. Today standing on the windy beach watching my kids run and play with my husband gloriously happy and healthy, it's been worth it. Totally worth it.