A Little of This and That in January

Feb 20, 2022

I think this January recap is going to be rather short. It can be divided into three parts: post holiday/birthday, Covid, and baby. As you might guess, the two weeks that contained Covid didn't include much else that was worth mentioning. The end of the month was definitely the best part because it brought little Silas to us, but I've written quite a bit about those days already. But I love to keep a record, even when it's fairly mundane, so here we go. In January, we spent time . . . 

Seeing . . . Hamilton. Mike got me Hamilton tickets for my birthday. It was the first time we had seen it live (but not for lack of trying). We went at the beginning of the month, which was lucky since not only would we not have been able to go a few days later, but the production actually cancelled all shows for a few days. (My midwife told me, "Don't go into labor on the 12th because I have tickets to Hamilton that night." Her performance ended up being the first one to be cancelled.) We went with Mike's brother and his wife, and even though our seats were not ideal (mostly due to speaker placement), the play was still phenomenal. I enjoyed the first half immensely, but after that, my nine-months pregnant body caught up with me, and my hands and feet swelled up and the hot flashes became relentless. So that was a bit unfortunate but still worth it in my opinion.

Celebrating . . . my birthday. I turned 37 at the beginning of the month. Although I don't love having a January birthday, and it's always hard for me to turn another year older, I think I've become better about just enjoying the day and not having secret expectations that end up not being fulfilled. Mike knows that I love going out for breakfast, so he took me to Eggs in the City. Ian came with us since the other boys were at school, and I think this ended up being my favorite part of the day. I realized that it had been a long time (years!) since Ian had been in a restaurant. He loved every part of it: ordering his food, doing the activities on his menu, having our undivided attention, and eating. One of my goals this year is to plan more one-on-one (or two-on-one if both Mike and I are involved) time with my kids, and having this little breakfast date really showed me how rewarding it can be. We ended the day with my favorite fallen chocolate cake, and I went to bed feeling fine about being in my late 30's.

Being . . . monitored. Speaking of my age, I got bumped up into the "old mom" bracket with this baby. So when I hit 36 weeks, they started doing weekly non-stress tests and AFI checks to make sure the baby was safe and happy. I kind of enjoyed this extra bit of monitoring. It was relaxing to sit in a big comfy chair and listen to the rhythmic pulsing of his little heart.

Sight-reading . . . at the piano. Aaron has reached a skill level at the piano where he can sit down and play through almost anything he wants to--hymns, primary songs, jazz arrangements, etc. He goes to the piano on Sunday afternoons and just plays and plays and plays--for the sheer joy of it. I can't even tell you how happy this makes me. This is the payoff for the many days and weeks and years of practicing. I've seen so many students give up before they reach this point, and it's such a shame because when you get there . . . magic.

Finishing . . . some baby knits. I made several items for Silas. Most of them were relatively quick since they were so tiny. However, the blanket was more of a long-term project and took me well over a hundred hours of knitting. I actually started with a completely different blanket, but after 15-20 hours, I admitted the hard truth that I wasn't enjoying it at all and, because it was double knitting (essentially, knitting two blankets at the same time), the progress on it was tediously slow. So I decided to scrap the whole thing. I chose a different pattern (the Four Points Baby Blanket), purchased different yarn, and the experience was completely different. It was so fun and relaxing to knit each triangle, and the result was this amazingly squishy and warm blanket that we've already been getting so much use out of. My other favorite thing I made for him was the Skift Pullover. The colorwork was so fun, and I loved that I was able to make the whole thing from leftovers I had from other projects. Besides those two things, I also made a couple of hats, a pair of slippers, and a cardigan.

Being . . . ordained a deacon and a teacher. Maxwell is turning twelve this year, which meant he was old enough to receive the priesthood and become a deacon. He passed the sacrament for the first time, which brought out all the nerves for him, but he did really well. Aaron is turning fourteen this year, so he advanced to the office of teacher. Mike has the opportunity to work with the young men, specifically the deacons, in our ward, and I am so glad he gets to spend this time with his boys and help them grow and mature.

Winding . . . down at the end of every day. Max takes after me and has a long bedtime ritual that he observes every night. He makes himself a cup of hot chocolate (which includes a splash of milk, a peppermint candy, and a dollop of whipped cream). Then he sits down with his warm mug and a book of sudoku puzzles. Wearing a cozy robe and listening to an audiobook, he slowly sips on his hot chocolate while completing the puzzle. After about a half hour, he goes up to bed where he writes in his journal and reads his scriptures. He strikes me as an old soul.

Falling . . . to Covid. We managed to dodge it for nearly two years, but it got us in the end. Bradley came down with it first, then Maxwell, Aaron, Clark, Ian, me, and finally, Mike. We fell one at a time, two to three days apart. A sore throat and headache were the most common symptoms with nausea, fever, cough, and congestion also coming into play. We were most worried about Aaron, but he ended up sailing through it, possibly because he was able to get monoclonal antibodies on the first day that he tested positive. Bradley was the sickest and seems like he might have some lingering long-Covid symptoms. Although the timing was not great for Mike and me and the arrival of Silas, I was actually grateful the boys were all done with it by the time we had the baby. I think it actually ended up relieving a lot of my anxiety. 

Welcoming . . . Silas. This was the highlight of the month, of course. I already shared quite a bit about Silas' arrival, but it bears repeating that we are all completely smitten. He is just the sweetest little guy.

Feeling . . . like prisoners at the hospital. Because of our positive Covid status during Silas' birth, we were pretty much on lockdown during the duration of our hospital stay. None of us were allowed to leave the room (including Silas), and the nurses made themselves pretty scarce. In case you're wondering what it was like, here are a few examples: 1. We had one nurse who seemed especially nervous and didn't know any of the Covid rules. I kind of wonder if she only worked one shift a month or something like that. She refused to remove anything from our room . . . including the birth certificate paper. 2. At each meal, they brought both Mike and me a tray of food. There wasn't any ordering or making requests; what they brought was what we got. You can bet that if the nurse mentioned above wouldn't remove a piece of paper, she most certainly wouldn't remove a tray of dishes after we had eaten. Two trays per meal add up quickly, and we soon ran out of room, so we ended up stacking everything together and stashing it away in an empty cupboard. Luckily, the next nurse on shift did not have any qualms and rescued us. 3. When a nurse was leaving, she would often ask, "Is there anything I can bring you next time?" Who knew when "next time" would be. 4. Rather than having to gown up and enter our room, sometimes a nurse would just yell something from the doorway: "Amy! What's your level of pain right now? I said, What's your level of pain right now?!" 5. I was a bundle of nerves during both of our nights there. They wouldn't let me have Silas in bed with me, but he kept gagging on amniotic fluid. So he wasn't sleeping and neither was I. Under normal circumstances, I would have just sent him to the nursery for a couple of hours, but I couldn't do that. Instead, I got little five-minute snatches of sleep and just prayed that daylight would come soon. It was a long 36 hours, and we were so grateful when we could finally be escorted down the elevator and out of the hospital. 

Meeting . . . brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and friends. Our boys were all at school when we got home from the hospital with Silas. Because of that, he ended up meeting them one (or two) at a time instead of being bombarded with five eager brothers all at once. It was a pretty nice way to do it actually. Over the next few days, many other people stopped by to meet Silas. 

Wrapping . . . up in lights. During Silas' first week of life, we kept a close eye on his jaundice. When we left the hospital, it was about 7. At his 3-day appointment with the pediatrician, he thought it was about 10 or 11 (but we didn't draw a level). I thought he was looking more yellow a couple of days later, so we took him back in. His level was high (17.1), so our pediatrician ordered bili lights. This is the first time we've ever had to do the lights (although all of our boys struggled with jaundice during the first few weeks of life). The lights were easy to use. Silas was quite chill about them. The hardest part for me was not getting to hold him all the time. But after about 16 hours of use, Mike took him back in for another check (which ended up being a huge ordeal because it was on a Saturday and the lab didn't have the orders they needed to be able to process the sample). His level had fallen to 13.1, which was great. We ended up using the lights a little more for the rest of the weekend before returning them. 

Calling . . . an emergency plumber. The same weekend that we were dealing with the elevated bilirubin, our main sewer line decided to back up. We had noticed that it was occasionally having trouble, but then, all of a sudden, it was completely blocked. Unable to use our sinks, toilets, or showers, Mike put out an emergency call to a couple of companies and luckily one was able to come on Saturday morning. It took them all day to clear it, and when they finished, they gave us the dire warning that it would probably need to be cleared again in a couple of months because of all the roots encroaching on it. We'll probably have to look into a more permanent (and expensive) solution soon. We were very grateful that Mike's parents and our neighbors were able to help us out with the kids so they didn't have to be home all day.

And on that exciting note, that's all I've got for this month. How about I sign off with one more photo of this cute baby?


  1. Wow, that was an eventful January -- I hope Bradley bounces back soon. My sister is still having some lingering symptoms from her New Year's Covid case. My house continues to dodge it -- I'm considering having FOMO here.

    Good luck with the plumbing issues, lovely yarn work, and congratulations to Maxwell and Aaron.

  2. I haven't read blogs very consistently in the last couple of years but I just caught up on yours! Congratulations on your precious new baby!

    I don't honestly remember if I've ever even commented before but just want to say that I always love reading your words and I'm grateful for the goodness you have put into the world all these years!

    I'm reflecting a lot now on what you'd said about the veil at birth + death and I'm very grateful for those words!


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