And just like that, spring retreated and winter returned. And it will again (and, possibly, again) before spring comes for good in Minnesota.
On the heels of a big snow dump in February, we fled to Minneapolis for our annual winter weekend getaway. On the agenda this year: the Mall of America. My cousin and her family met us there, and we braved the crowds, stopping at the children's museum, the Lego Store and lunch at Bubba Gumps, before checking in at the hotel for a much needed break. While the babies napped, the boys swam. And then back to the mall we went for round two: Sea Life and Build-A-Bear. We ended our day back at the hotel for pizza and Chinese food with some tired kids.
We look to this weekend getaway each year to see us through the rest of the winter. And now we wait. And wait. Until the snow melts for the final time and blossoms bloom and green grass springs up from the ground.
How we're spending our waiting period:
Lots and lots of family dances in the kitchen with the music blasting. The boys have signature dance moves that Jillian tries to imitate. My personal favorite is her butt spin on the floor.
Ball pit made from an old inflatable kiddie pool that has a leak. We scoot our indoor plastic slide up to it and it becomes many, many things.
Writing superhero stories with my budding author, Ashton. His imagination is infinite.
Popcorn movie parties. The local video store (yes, we still patronize video stores) has free kid movies that we take advantage of a lot.
Embracing the cold and doing "spring activities" outside (wagon rides are Jillian's personal favorite).
Reading, reading and more reading. We've discovered a section of the public library that has superhero and Lego comic books. Game changer.
Science experiments and art. Baking soda and vinegar still reigns as the coolest "volcano" activity ever, several years running.
Forts. Lots and lots of forts.
Quarter machines. As in: those obnoxious machines strategically stationed by the doors of restaurants and stores. For a few quarters, you can get a sticky rubber creature or tattoo or any other item that eventually ends up in the trash days later when I encounter it on the floor while sweeping or vacuuming or in baby sister's mouth.
YouTube Kids. You know, the kid version of YouTube, where kids zone out for an inexplicable amount of time watching grown adults play with toys; and, suddenly, the kids know everything about the Toys R Us stock, neeeeeeeeding a "date night" there to buy the latest Imaginext Robin or Transforming Batcave.
Oh, and eating. Let's not forget our favorite pastime.
If you're like us, stuck in winter-spring limbo, how do you pass your time? We're always open to suggestions. I'm fairly certain we have a good month or two left to go anyway. Until then, you can find us hibernating in a fort reading or busting a move in the kitchen or avoiding the quarter machines at restaurants. Happy almost spring!