A Little of This and That in March

Apr 15, 2021


I realize that most of my posts lately have been about Aaron, but as the self-appointed memory keeper of our family, it's important to me to keep these little monthly updates going. Believe it or not, all of our days are not spent at the hospital. This month was also filled with . . .

Celebrating . . . Maxwell's eleventh birthday. We kicked off the month in a good way. Max was specific but realistic in his birthday wishes: cinnamon rolls for breakfast, salmon and mashed potatoes for dinner, and any kind of cake for dessert. He savored his presents and spaced them throughout the day. He took joy in the smallest of things and was so easy to please. I'll celebrate him any day of the year.

Finding . . . out that his wish would be granted. Aaron was nominated for Make-a-Wish way back in September of 2019. He declared his wish (a trip to New Zealand) in October, and the trip was planned for the beginning of this year. However, in 2020 all wish trips had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. We asked if it could just be postponed (Aaron was willing to wait for a long time if necessary), but they couldn't have so many backlogged wishes, so they said he would have to choose something new. He finally decided to do a shopping spree since all of his other ideas came with a lot stipulations from Make-a-Wish. At the beginning of the month, his lovely wish granters came by to give him the official news that his wish would be granted later in the summer.

Attending . . . maturation over zoom. Max is in fifth grade this year, which, in our elementary school, is the final grade before junior high. Normally, they have a maturation night at the school to talk about puberty, etc. But with Covid,  they switched it to zoom, and, as with so many other adaptations during this pandemic, I'm a fan. Because we kept ourselves on mute for pretty much the whole time, it made it possible for him to ask me questions right then, in the moment. I didn't have to wait until the whole thing was over, get in the car, and then ask, "So . . . do you have any questions?" I feel like that just puts so much pressure on the kid to articulate or sum up all of the thoughts and questions he might have had during the hour-long presentation. This just felt so much more helpful and natural. 

Continuing . . . with his animal antics. In my January post, I mentioned that Ian loves pretending to be a bird. Two months later, and he is still at it. His default is still a bird, but his transformations are many and varied. A couple of weeks ago, the kids were watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. When Mr. and Mrs. Beaver showed up, Ian's eyes suddenly lit up and he said, "I've never been a baby beaver before!!" One Saturday, he was watching the Clifford show where Clifford is a little puppy. I whispered to Mike, "We're soon going to have a little puppy," and sure enough, as soon as the show was off, Ian was a little barking puppy who followed me around for the rest of the night. 

Admitting . . . that I stink at making Rice Krispies treats. I tried to get a little bit festive on St. Patrick's Day by making green Rice Krispies. Although the finished result was edible, it wasn't on the same level as other homemade versions. It was kind of dry and crunchy--not soft and chewy. It made me realize that although I always think Rice Krispies are going to be so quick and easy (they only have three ingredients, for crying out loud), I have never in my life made a successful batch. Granted, I only make Rice Krispies very rarely, so it's not like I've had a lot of practice, but this doesn't seem to be the kind of thing that should need a lot of practice!! I readily acknowledge that I am not the baker/chef in our family, but nevertheless, I have had great success with things that are much more complicated than Rice Krispies. This is an embarrassment, and I just might have to devote some real time to conquering it.

Building . . . an epic Lego set. My mom gave Aaron a large Land Rover Defender Lego set. The timing was perfect because it coincided with one of his fever hospital stays. He saved it until Sunday, knowing that he wouldn't have as much to do on that day, but it took all of his self control not to break into it early. He started it bright and early on Sunday morning, and he didn't rest until he put in the final piece at about 10:00 that night. It had over 2500 pieces and was the perfect distraction for him. Plus, two of his doctors were as obsessed with it as he was and insisted on taking pictures of it and showing it to the nurses.

Killing . . . my fiddle-leaf plant. I do not have a good track record with houseplants, so I don't know what possessed me to think I could handle a fiddle-leaf, since they are notorious for being finicky (although, to be honest, I didn't know that at the time). I've had it for probably six months now, and it looks more pitiful with each week. It continues to put out new growth, but the leaves turn brown and splotchy, curl up on themselves, or have huge holes in them. I can't decide if I should just call it quits or keep trying. It actually makes me feel guilty every time I look at it, and I can't handle a plant making me feel guilty right now! If you know anything about fiddle leafs and would be willing to help diagnose mine, please text or message me. I'm serious. I would appreciate it so much.  

Celebrating . . . Pi(e) Day. It's a favorite day of ours, and even though Aaron was in the hospital, Mike still managed to make: cherry pie (for breakfast), chicken pot pie (for dinner), and chocolate mousse (for dessert), plus our friends brought over a lemon pie that was simply to die for. Looking forward to brighter days when we can invite the whole neighborhood over again, but for now, we will hang onto this tradition as best we can.

Watching . . . All-Round Champion. We've been loving a new show on BYUtv called All-Round Champion. It takes ten teens and has them compete in ten different sports. They focus on one sport each week, learning how to do it, practicing, and then competing at the end of the week. Each person is an expert in one of the sports and gets to coach everyone else for that week. I love that it celebrates the strengths of each competitor while also expecting them to learn new things. I can't think of another show that does it like this where you get both extremes. It's just been really inspiring to watch these kids get out of their comfort zones, push through the hard and uncomfortable, and cheer each other on. We started with Season 2 because I heard that Season 1 had a horrible ending. Season 3 is currently being released.

Updating . . . our 72-hour kits. I don't even want to say how long it had been since we had cracked open our 72-hour kits, but to give you a hint, none of the clothes fit the intended people (including Mike and me), and we were short a couple of sets. So Mike spent a Friday replacing everything. We are still far underprepared for a long-term disaster, but at least we should be able to manage for a few days.

Finishing . . . a long-time knitting project. I started this blue turtleneck back in August, and I finally finished it this month. I kept putting it aside for various reasons. For one thing, the yarn I was using for it was dyed with indigo, which meant that every time I worked on it, it turned my hands blue. So I tended to only knit on it when I was at home and could easily wash my hands afterwards. I love the color of the yarn, but I had never dealt with yarn bleeding so much, and I found it pretty annoying. The other reason why this sweater took me a long time was because it was knit in pieces, and I've found that these are always slower sweaters for me since I can't try them on as I go (which is super motivating for me). So I knit lots of other things in between, but now that it's done, I love it (and we've had several chilly days when I've been able to wear it). 

Introducing . . . Ramona Quimby to Ian. I started reading Beezus and Ramona to Ian and Clark this month. Those books never get old for me, and Ian was immediately hooked (he might identify a little too easily with Ramona). How fitting it was to be right in the middle of that first book when I found out that Beverly Cleary, at nearly 105 years old, passed away. She was such a legend in children's literature, and it always made me happy to read her books and know that she was still alive. Reading this first book to little Ian made me realize that her legacy is already influencing this newest generation of children. What an immeasurable gift.

Letting . . . a cold run its course through our family. This was one of my least favorite parts of the month. Clark woke up with a cold one morning, and even though we immediately quarantined him, Ian, Maxwell, and Bradley still came down with it one at a time. Aaron was in the hospital for much of the time, which seemed to spare him (or maybe that's why he had so much trouble that week? All of his tests came back negative, but who knows). Clark and Max did Covid tests, both of which were negative, so it seems like it was just a mild, spring cold. Mike and I managed to avoid it, and we're hoping to all stay healthy for the rest of the season.

Making . . . a coordinating outfit. I recently bought some linen for a skirt. As I thought about what I'd want to wear with it, I remembered a cropped cabled sweater pattern I'd saved in my queue awhile ago. I found some forest green yarn that seemed like it would coordinate nicely with the camel color of the skirt. However, as the weather began to warm up, I realized I was making the perfect outfit for October, not necessarily April. So I decided to use some fabric I had in my stash for a T-shirt to go with the skirt. So now I have two outfits--one for the spring and the other for the fall, both using the same skirt.

Going . . . on lots of gorgeous walks. March was a mixed bag as far as the weather was concerned. We had a lot of cold, rainy/snowy days but also some really nice ones. Anytime the weather warmed up, we took advantage of it. 

That seems like a good place to wrap it up for the month. Now I'll go back to my regularly scheduled programming of medical updates.


  1. how does that turtle neck wash with the die turning your hands blue?

  2. I think I whined about this before, but I also had a trip to New Zealand planned that was sunk by the pandemic. And the friend I was hoping to see passed away...

    Lots of beautiful pictures! You guys do a great job of celebrating life. As a delicate southern flower I am always amazed by pictures of you stalwart Utahns out in the snow with barely a t-shirt.

    Happy Birthday Maxwell!

  3. Mel’s recipe has an extra step but is still easy and awesome https://www.melskitchencafe.com/perfect-rice-krispie-treats/

    Best wishes for this next week!


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