A Little of This and That in February

Mar 5, 2023

February went by in a quick blink. That's always the hope with this month, right? The boys were busy with school, Mike and I went on a quick little trip, and there was lots more snow. That's February in a nutshell, but some of the other happenings included . . . 

Moving . . . Silas to Bradley's room. After more than a year of having a baby in our room, he finally got the boot. It's not that we couldn't have moved him months ago; we just couldn't figure out room arrangements. I really wanted to move Bradley to a different bedroom (he currently occupies the smallest room in the house), but he said he'd rather stay where he was and just have Silas with him. So that's what we did. So far, it's working surprisingly well. 

Going . . . to a Disney-themed birthday party. Our good friend, James, turned forty and celebrated in style with a Disney-themed party. Costumes were encouraged, so Mike and I pulled out our Emperor's New Groove costumes from a couple of years ago and went as the llama and Kronk. (Mike took his character up to the next level by bringing homemade spinach puffs.) It was a fun evening with Disney food, a trivia game, drawing activity, and virtual firework show. 

Participating . . . in the chapter Mathcounts competition. Max has been participating in Mathcounts every week at school. He and a couple of his friends qualified for the chapter competition and spent most of a Saturday working out various math problems and puzzles. It didn't sound like a whole lot of fun to me, but he had a blast and did very well. 

Preferring . . . Mike. Following in his brothers' footsteps, as soon as Silas turned one, he started to prefer Mike over me. Before then, he liked Mike a lot, but if I reached out my arms, he would still come to me. Now if I do the same, he just shakes his head and bats my hands away. However, the other night, he rejected both of us in favor of Aaron who was playing music and dancing around in the kitchen. He knows what he wants, which is both good and bad. 

Advancing . . .  to the district level of the stem fair. Remember the project from last month that Bradley completed in the dark because of procrastination? It did well enough to move on from the school level to the district. He got to go on a Friday morning with several of his classmates who also advanced and present his project to a new set of judges. Sadly, it didn't advance any further (last-minute experiments can only take you so far), but it was still a good experience. 

Beginning . . . guitar lessons. I forgot to mention this in January, but Aaron started taking guitar lessons. We gave him a guitar for his birthday last summer; he had been wanting one, and I thought he would just teach himself with YouTube videos. But after several months of only minimal tinkering around, we decided he would benefit from actual lessons. It has been great so far. From the very first lesson, his teacher had him working on real songs that Aaron loves. It's so fun to walk past him room and hear him playing along to Don't Panic by Coldplay or Island in the Sun by Weezer. (The only problem with these lessons is now Aaron is convinced he also needs an electric guitar.) 

Making . . . Valentine boxes. Valentine boxes are one of those things I feel completely fine giving my kids full ownership over. I don't have any temptation to micromanage or take over, and they always do an awesome job with their own skills and creativity. Bradley made a castle, Clark made a boat on an ocean, and Ian made a truck (although he ended up not using his because they made Valentine bags in his class). 

Celebrating . . . Valentine's Day with books and breakfast (for dinner). As is tradition, everyone received a new book (actually, two because I got carried away). We had waffles and berries for dinner. Mike didn't get the book memo and instead gave me a tray of vegetables (to help me with my 1000 vegetables goal) and a poem. 

Relaxing . . . with the bunnies. Anytime we are watching a movie or reading, the kids like to bring the bunnies inside and hold them on their laps. It is so relaxing for them to have a snuggly bunny to pet and hold. It makes me happy because this is exactly what I hoped would happen when we decided to get bunnies. 

Savoring . . . medicine. Poor Silas had an ingrown toenail that led to an infection, so he was on an antibiotic for a week to help clear it up. I have never seen a kid love medicine so much. He always got so excited when we pulled it out in the morning and evening, and he was upset every time the dose was gone. Having had to beg and plead with some kids to take medicine before, this was such a piece of cake. 

Earning . . . a new nickname. We call him: Silas the helpful destroyer. Every day, he does his "jobs": pulling things out of cupboards, transferring items to random places, mixing up card games and puzzle pieces. In the process of all this helpfulness, things often get broken. For example, he pulled a jar of salsa off the table, knocked down a vase, and stretched out one of my tape measures so that it would no longer retract. It is a very busy stage. 

Aging . . . through the first 100 days of school. Ian became an old man, seemingly overnight. So did the rest of his class. School must really be working him hard. 

Making . . . an epic trip to Costco. It is not a good thing when we let too much time elapse between Costco trips. Usually Mike does the shopping alone, but I went with him this time, and we completely filled up two carts. There was much rejoicing when we got home because we have adolescent boys, and a fully stocked pantry makes them happy. 

Traveling . . . to Austin, Texas. Mike and I (and tagalong, Silas) traded in the Utah cold for the Texas cold for a few days. We were hoping for warm weather, but it didn't work out that way. Still, it was warmer than Utah, and the food made up for anything the weather lacked. I'll share more details in another post soon.

Staying . . . home from school due to a giant snowstorm. We got hammered by snow at the end of the month. Most of it arrived in the middle of the night, so we awoke to a foot of snow and notifications that school was moved to distance learning for the day. The boys were thrilled. However, I can tell that the excitement of snow has worn off because none of them had any desire to go out in it. To be honest, I found the snow a bit discouraging; all of the old snow had finally melted enough that we could see grass, and now it feels like we've started over and somehow have to melt all of this new stuff. By the next morning, the roads were clear, and we assumed everyone would go back to school. But the district called a second snow day. I guess the cities in the west part of the district got even more snow than we did, and the snowplows hadn't been able to keep up, so many roads were still unplowed and the school busses were trapped by snow. Our second snow day was much less magical than the first. Clark, especially, had so much virtual school work that by the end of the second day, he said, "If school is cancelled tomorrow, I'm going to be so annoyed." Thankfully, it wasn't. 

Continuing . . . my reading streak. My reading has not slowed down this month. I am so happy that I finally seem to have found a system that works for me right now. Here are the books I read this month: 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (finally finished reading this one to Clark and Ian)

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (book club choice for February; fun idea, but not my favorite)

Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley (loved this graphic novel memoir about pregnancy and birth)

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede (so inspiring; now I want to go to NYC and see the musical that is based on this same story)

Goldenrod by Maggie Smith (poetry collection; more cynical than I was expecting; still found some favorites)

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (a reread; loved every word)

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (a readaloud to Ian and Clark that all of the big kids joined in on, too)

Finishing . . . a cardigan and a pair of socks. I started the cardigan back in the fall, but I always seem to stall out on sweaters that are knit from the bottom up because I get stressed that they're not going to end up fitting. However, I finally ran out of other projects to distract myself with and buckled down and finished it. And I loooooove it. 

Attending . . . a marriage date night. Mike's cousin's wife teaches marriage and family classes at BYU, and she put together a fun evening focused on strengthening marriage. We attended with some friends in our neighborhood and were so happy to see a couple of Mike's other cousins there as well. We ate dinner first, and then Jen spent the rest of the evening sharing so much good information. We were completely filled up with new ideas and motivated to improve things in our own marriage. It was such a good night. 

Hanging . . . out with a little cousin. My brother and his wife recently moved about fifteen minutes away from us. We are hoping this means we'll get to see more of Calvin who is just a month younger than Silas (and more of my brother and sister-in-law, too, of course). 

That's it for February. Hoping for sunny skies and warmer temps in the weeks ahead!

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