The weather is FINALLY mild enough to be outdoors playing in the snow. It has been such a brutally cold winter here. Fortunately we missed some of the harsh weather while in WA. It has been only a couple degrees below freezing and not much for wind for the last couple days. And the sun is out...perfect. Nathanael pushed up a bunch of snow into a pile in the empty lot next to us with the front end loader (tractor). Instant playground!. Here is sweet little Kade taking it all in. He likes to observe for a good long time before plunging into something new. Unlike my other little maniacs.

A moment of sweetness.

The toddlers. Silas and Kade are 7 months apart in age...makes for a messy house! Here they are hamming it up in the snow. Entertaining them outside for a while was a great change from being cooped up indoors.

Roman conquering the mountain of snow. He spent all afternoon climbing up and sliding down this snow pile. Even Silas got in on the action and just loved acting like a goof the whole way down. He's really into acting lately...he's always putting on a show or pretending to be a kitty, a puppy or a baby. Yep, he's one of my kids...more personality than they know what to do with.
Silas is such a little boy now, as opposed to a baby. He is talking non stop and coming up with new phrases everyday. Not that most people can understand what he's saying. It is so cute, it cracks me up constantly. He is a silly little clown like the older two! Right now he has switched into two year old mode complete with passionate feelings and opinions on absolutely everything from what he will eat to what color socks he wears. It takes a lot of patience but I know this too will pass. I just enjoy the comedy show while it lasts. They grow up too fast anyway, even if sometimes it seems that this phase can't go by fast enough. There is so much that is absolutely adorable about this stage even if it is pretty high maitenance.
My perspective has changed so much from the first couple kids to number 3. I used to get so worried when my two year old refused to eat anything for days on end or would melt down over something ridiculous. I felt like an absolute failure as a mother everytime my two year old acted like a two year old. I had no way of knowing that anything I was trying to teach them would ever sink in or that they wouldn't be 10 years old and still throwing their food or screaming MINE! Now that I have older kids I know that eventually he will be a rational human being. The cave man phase will pass. That by no means absolves me of my responsibility to consistently guide , train and model those appropriate behaviors into him.....I just know that it will take a while to see the fruit of my labors. After all, if Roman (the worlds most hyper, impulsive and stubborn toddler) can turn into a thoughtful, charming little boy than there is hope for anyone.
Roman can still be a handfull at times and directing his energy can be a challenge but so rarely is he ever "bad" or defiant. He actually has a very active conscience..of all my kids he is the least likely to ever lie or disobey. He has a very active and almost inflated sense of honor, valor and justice. ( I giggled through most of the movie "Desperaux" because it reminded me so much of Roman.) Its so encouraging to see him becoming such a nice little boy...there were years where I really wondered what I would ever do with him. He can now go weeks at a time with out needing any more correction than reminding him of when and where his clown antics are appropriate. I'm hoping this coasting phase lasts for a long time...but I know eventually we will hit a funk and then have to work through it once again. Thats the way it goes.

We've had a really good couple days with our new foster child. He is such a sweetheart! I am thoroughly enjoying him. I had prepared myself for a difficult tranistion time and having to really put a lot of effort into loving him but so far he makes it so easy. He is quiet, reserved and shy but once he feels comfortable and comes out of his shell he is a non stop flirt. He gives Roman a run for his money in the snuggle department. ...Roman is still the reigning champion snuggler though. It seems like Kade is just soaking up any attention and affection like a dry sponge. Its been very rewarding so far to have him respond to me so favorably so soon. It doesn't always happen that easily. Its actually a little scarey how fast I am falling for this little guy. All I can do is fill his love tank up as much as possible while he is with us. Maybe the fact that he has absolutely nobody in his life that is the least bit interested in him...no one even applied for visitation..makes my heart open more to him. He is very sensitive and requires a gentle parenting style and very gentle words of correction. He really aims to please and is always the first to come help put toys away or empty the dishwasher and if he thinks he did something wrong he is just crushed. I dont' know how much is personality and how much is his neglected past. Probably a bit of both. Either way I appear to have just been handed the worlds easiest toddler. He does have some "issues" that I'm still trying to figure out and occasionally reacts very strangely to things. I'm sure we have some tougher days ahead as we get to know him better. It occured to me last night after I was marvelling at how amazing a day we had (after a really rotten night I didn't expect a very good day, crabby tired mommy with 2 tired todders) that I had asked you to pray for us during this transition. And I felt so very assured and appreciative that there is someone, maybe many people out there in cyber land praying for us. Thankyou! Now if you could PLEASE pray that our nights would improve. Kade wakes up frequently crying and I have no idea why or what he needs. Silas is still waking up as well. Either way its making for a grumpy Dad (Dads just don't cope with that kind of stuff well...he opted to sleep in the basement last night) and a tired mom. Now I'd better go get a few chores done while the boys sleep...or maybe I have time for a power nap myself.
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