A Little of This and That in February

Mar 13, 2022

I always feel like hibernating in February, but add a new baby to it, and that feeling is compounded. I was quite content to stay home all day every day, but the rest of the family was not so boring. Here's a glimpse at the things we (mostly they) were up to: 

Taking . . . photos. Mike's sister, Sonja, was kind enough to come over and take some photos of Mike and me with Silas. I already featured several of them in this post about Silas' birth, but here are a couple more:

Registering . . . Aaron for (wait for it) . . . high school. I am in shock, disbelief, denial, all the things. It feels like he didn't even get the full junior high experience (maybe not a bad thing . . .) since he missed out on more than half of it due to his bone marrow transplants. As usual when we embark on new phases, I consulted my mentor (aka, Mike's sister, Sonja). She helped us navigate the choices, endorsed the good teachers, and put in a plug for summer classes. (Also, ask me how weird it is to register one kid for high school while holding a newborn in your arms. Answer: very weird.) 

Helping . . . with the set for the school play. Max is in the ensemble of his junior high's production of Peter Pan. As part of the preparation, parents were requested to donate four hours of their time. There was a work day at the beginning of the month, so Mike went and helped build several of the pieces for the set. We'll see it all come to life in a few weeks!

Remodeling . . . the bathroom. Mike took advantage of his paternity leave to tackle a house project (of course he did). When we moved into our home, it had four bathrooms, three showers, and no bathtub. Although Ian missed having a bathtub, he quickly acclimated to taking showers, so it didn't seem like a big deal. However, once we knew we were having another baby, a bathtub seemed like it would be nice to have. The shower in the main bathroom was the right dimensions for a bathtub, so it had probably been converted from a bathtub to a shower at some point. We just decided to convert it back. Mike was thorough and meticulous and took it all the way down to the subfloor. We only had one scary moment where we thought something had gone seriously wrong with the plumbing, but luckily, it turned out to be a false alarm. It took him a couple of weeks to finish, and it has been getting heavy use ever since.





Working . . . hard at gymnastics. I signed up Clark for a session at the nearby gymnastics training center (after months of him begging to do it). The class he's in is specifically for boys and highlights all of the male disciplines. He's been having fun with it so far, but I might switch him to the tumbling class after he turns eight. 

Watching . . . the Olympics. Do I dare admit that my favorite part might have been seeing what Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski were wearing each night?

Snapping . . . a million pictures of sleeping Silas. I do not regret it; there is nothing better than a sleeping baby. Here's a photo montage:

Commissioning . . . a painting of Mt. Olympus (which sounds fancier than it was). My friend, Molly, is a talented oil painter. She mostly does landscapes, and Mt. Olympus is a frequent subject of hers. I had been wanting my own Mt. Olympus painting for quite some time and asked Molly if she would recreate an autumn rendition she had previously done. It turned out beautifully, and it makes me happy every time I walk past it in our home. There's something about having real art that makes me just want more of it. For more of Molly's work, visit her here.

Showing . . . love on Valentine's Day. Aaron and Max were out the door too early on Valentine's Day for us to have a fancy breakfast, so we moved it to the evening instead. I gifted each of the boys a book per tradition. And Mike wrote me a poem, also per tradition. The poem brought a smile to my face, so I'll include it here so it has a more permanent place:

Besting the Beaus

I have six mini rivals, your love-demanding scrum,

Each with distinct advantages that I must overcome.

The first has claim on your concern, your worries, thoughts, and prayers.

The second hoards all of your chats; he talks, reports, and shares.

Boy Three is soaking up your praise, my quota isn't much,

And Four is tireless in demands of back rubs and your touch.

The fifth drains all your patience, so there's little left for me.

The last beau is the worst of all. You're smitten, obviously.

But one by one I'll best them all, outlast them with my ardor.

You'll choose me in the end for loving longer, better, harder.

Listening . . . to squeaky breathing. Silas has been a loud breather ever since he was born, but it became especially obvious a few weeks ago when he was nursing and he sounded like an obnoxious dog toy. We did a little Google diagnosing and thought he probably had something called laryngomalacia. After taking him to both our pediatrician and an ENT who put a scope down his nose (Silas and I are both still recovering from the trauma of that . . .), that diagnosis was confirmed. (I felt like a rockstar mom when I had recordings of the three different types of breathing issues for the doctor to listen to.) This is a condition that is caused by flabby vocal cords. It is usually harmless and most often resolves itself within the first six months. But in the meantime, he is a very noisy baby. 

Reading . . . aloud. To be honest, our nightly readaloud time has taken a huge hit this year. It is important to me that my younger kids are in bed by 8:30, but that makes it almost impossible to read to everyone because of homework, extracurricular and church activities, and conflicting schedules. I'm still trying to figure out a better system, but in the meantime, Aaron has taken to reading to Clark almost every night, and I think it's the cutest thing ever. They've been blazing through the Encyclopedia Brown series.

Celebrating . . . good things. My sister got engaged and both my cousin and my brother had baby boys!

Bringing . . . out the baby wrap again. I loved wearing the baby wrap when Ian was a baby, and I was looking forward to using it again with Silas. We had a few warmer days in February, and we took advantage of the sunshine and got out on some walks. 

Suffering . . . through mastitis. I thought maybe it would go away on its own, but I gave up after a day and messaged my doctor for an antibiotic. It worked fast (I felt better within hours), but then I had to remember to take the antibiotic four times a day for ten more days.  

Missing . . . out on a lot of fun. Silas and I stayed home while Mike and the other boys were off doing all sorts of things. They went to a nephew's baptism, spent a day at the cabin with my brother's family, completed a mission at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center, and cheered at a BYU basketball game. In addition, Mike's sister took some of the boys to both the zoo and the farm. (Don't feel too bad for me though--I was quite content to have some peace and quiet to enjoy little Silas.) I don't have a lot of details to share about any of these activities since I wasn't there, but here are some pictures. 

Taking . . . initiative. Clark has always been a rather intense child. This made him a difficult toddler, but it is serving him well as a 7-year-old. I am continually amazed by the way he attacks problems, relationships, and activities with passion and enthusiasm. Here are two examples from this month: We recently had a new family move into our neighborhood. They have two boys who are the same ages as Clark and Ian. Clark had met them at church but hadn't hung out with them. But one afternoon, he decided to knock on their door to see if they wanted to play. My other kids have always been nervous to take the first (or second or third . . . ) move when it comes to friendships, but Clark just assumes that people (young and old!) will like him, so he's willing to jump in with both feet. Another day this month, Clark came home from school, and he insisted that Aaron help him make tacky glue lids on the 3-D printer. I hardly paid attention to what he was doing until I got an ecstatic email from his teacher who was so happy when Clark brought the lids to school. She said, "I couldn't believe it when Clark walked in with a baggief full!" Apparently, she had been dealing with a "tacky glue dilemma" for many years. Clark noticed and decided to do something about it. (Aaron was quick to point out, "Only a second grade teacher could get excited about tacky glue lids.") 

Catching . . . a few smiles. Silas started giving us a few hesitant smiles, and now we'll do just about anything for them. One evening, literally everyone in our family was crowded around him, begging for just one more: "Silas! Silas! Where's your smile? Come on, Silas, you can do it!" Talk about overstimulation. But Silas rewarded all of the effort, and everyone cheered. To be continued in March . . . 

Trying . . . to figure out Bradley's mystery illness. For the past four months or so, Bradley has been getting sick about once a week. Symptoms always include nausea/vomiting/stomach pains. Sometimes a headache and light sensitivity are also present. At first, we thought it was some type of stomach bug, but as it continued to happen over and over again with no one else ever getting sick, we realized it must be something specifically related to Bradley. We've considered several diagnoses: migraines, anxiety, long Covid, or food allergies (or maybe a combination?). Our pediatrician thinks it's migraines, which often present as "abdominal migraines" in kids his age. The symptoms certainly seem to line up with this, but we haven't been able to curb the frequency of the episodes yet. This is very frustrating for him, of course, but also for us as his parents. It has caused him to miss out on church, fun activities, and a fair amount of school. We've been trying to notice any patterns that would alert us to specific triggers that bring on an episode, but no luck so far. 

Feeding . . . Silas a bottle. I'm planning on resuming my piano teaching soon, and I also hope Mike and I can go out together at some point, so I knew I needed to see how Silas would do with taking a bottle. Max was an eager volunteer, and Silas didn't have any trouble with it. 

Spending . . . time with grandparents. This is our first baby that has had both sets of grandparents nearby, and we are taking full advantage of it. I'm so glad they get to see the little changes in him every few days instead of every few months. 

Speaking . . . and performing in church. On the last Sunday of the month, Maxwell gave his first-ever talk in sacrament meeting. He wrote the entire thing himself, and it was full of very Maxwellian words and phrases, such as, "rectify," "eclipsed," "solace," "strongest factor," "not doomed because of a trivial mishap," and "Christ will always be there, an extra reserve of strength for me." On that same Sunday, Aaron performed a piano solo--an arrangement of "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." He said that his leg started shaking halfway through, but I didn't hear any nervousness in his playing at all. I was very proud of both of them. 

And now, March is here, and I am very much looking forward to warm weather and flowers and spending loads of time outside.


  1. Does Bradley have zofran for his migraines? For my boy with them, if we can get zofran in when we notice the symptoms (he gets really clammy skin, and honestly looks green), it seems to make a huge difference. The zofran helps knock him out and almost always prevents the vomiting. The rest of the day is usually pretty shot, but the recovery is much quicker.

    I'm sorry he is getting them! Possible triggers are dehydration and lack of sleep, but we still have plenty that break through with no obvious cause.

  2. There can never be too many sleeping baby pictures or baby with big brother photos! 😊❤️

  3. Lovely pictures, lovely boys, lovely mom.

  4. Poor Bradley! I recently learned from a more naturally minded doctor that migraines are almost always food-related, even if it is a combination where certain foods make us more sensitive to other stimuli. It was explained much better than what I just did, lol.

    Silas is a beautiful baby and Mike's poem made me smile 😊

  5. So sweet -- thanks for sharing, especially you playlist which I put on my Spotify account. I've been searching high and low for something fun but chill to listen to this Spring, so this is perfect!


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