Monday, March 13, 2017

February 2017

February felt like a quick month. We had a lot of fun and then spent the last half of the month with sickness, infections, antibiotics, and doctor visits.

Joey loves to do what the big kids are doing. So when Tommy wanted to wear a hat, Joey found one too. Tommy is not enthusiastic about learning his letters so I've been trying to find more kinesthetic ways to incorporate letters into his learning and play. One idea is a salt tray. It feels like sand and we write in it with out fingers or toys. Only one problem.....JOEY! If I take my eyes off of him for a second, the salt ends up everywhere.
 I love that these boys have each other to play with. They are learning to love each other and play together - although Tommy gets frustrated with Joey "because he doesn't have any words yet".

 On February 3 my friend Cheryl had her 40th birthday. She invited us for a family party at a restaurant called Leo's Place. The food was nothing exciting, but the play area was fun for the kids.
 There's also an arcade, laser tag, and small ride on toys for babies and toddlers. The kids keep asking when we can go back.  It was fun, but not a place we want to visit too often, especially since the food is nothing great.
 I don't know why Jeremy took this picture of me and the kids, but I love that we're snuggled together for a quiet moment on the couch.
 I had a big breakthrough this month. I conquered my fear of skiing! I went up alone one Saturday for a lesson and had a wonderful time learning the basics. I felt so confident in my skills that we went up again the next weekend with the whole family. The girls and I had fun together on the bunny hill.
 They boys weren't too excited about the snow. Daddy and Mommy tried taking turns entertaining them. The old guy running the rope tow on the bunny hill started flirting with Mommy, so Daddy stayed on the hill with girls for a bit. The trade off didn't work too well after the first few hours. So we packed everyone up and called it a day. We will always laugh about Bob the bunny hill guy.
 The girls started up business again. For February we sold Valentine Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were a hit with customers. Tommy was very helpful this time. He would dip the cookie dough into the sprinkles while the girls were working on other things. I love that their little business has become a family affair. It brings us closer together, teaches the kids to work, teaches Mommy patience, and makes Daddy proud.
 I caught the girls reading together before bed. So sweet to hear them giggling together and enjoying one of their favorite stories. I ruined the moment when they were disturbed by the flash of the camera. Oh well.
 We had a problem with our stove top so Jeremy pulled it out to investigate. We didn't see anything amiss, but maybe all the wire jiggling put something back in place, because it has been working fine since our little inspection. Plus, once we pulled out the oven and saw the mess underneath, Jeremy volunteered to clean it. He's a keeper!
 Annie earned an award for reading every day for 20 days in January. She got a personal pan pizza as her prize. She was so proud of herself. Tommy loves wearing my rain boots. They are longer than his legs so the tops come all the way up to his bottom.
 Joey got into the chocolate milk mix and spilled an almost new container all over the kitchen floor. It was a mess. Luckily, it was dry powder so we could sweep and vacuum it up easily - and then the whole house smelled like hot cocoa for a couple of hours. Also, there was so much that ended up under the refrigerator that Annie and I pulled it out and deep cleaned under there too. I guess the cosmos was trying to get me to deep clean my kitchen this month!
 Puna and Papa came for a quick visit just before Valentine's Day. We went to Fat Cats movie theater and arcade in Rexburg to play games, try bowling, and see the LEGO Batman Movie - which was a hit with the whole family.
 We haven't bowled with the kids in years - since our first winter here. This was Tommy and Joey's first time and they loved every second. Tommy stood guard by the balls and kept a careful eye on his favorite orange ball.
 Lily tried a few different techniques to get her ball down the lane. Using the ramp was her favorite method.
 Joey liked the music and noise. He kept wandering off every time an adult set him down.
 Tommy wants to go again. He liked the heavy balls and seeing the pins fall.
 I love this picture of Lily. She has grown up so much in this past year. This image looks like the world around her is racing by and her adorable 8 year old self is frozen in time.
 Tommy never left his post next to the balls....until we told him we were going to see LEGO Batman. He couldn't wait. He laughed and laughed through the whole show.
 Puna and Papa gave us early Valentine gifts. The favorite item was a new bath towel.
 And the PEZ dispensers. Tommy ate all his candy, plus all of Joey's in the first day.
 Tommy was bitten by the Love Bug and made Valentines for his gymnastics class, music class, and his neighborhood friends. He had fun delivering the valentines and loved receiving some too.
Tommy has amazing Sunbeam teachers in Primary. They taught the children a lesson on the Holy Ghost and talked about how he feels like a warm blanket all around you. They gave each Sunbeam a little fleece blanket. Tommy takes his little elephant blanket to church every week now. It has really helped him feel more excited about Primary. He kept crying for Nursery and was being very difficult for the first few weeks of the year. Hooray for loving teachers who have persisted with love and patience. Tommy now looks forward to Primary and is a great helper for some of the other kids.
 Joey and Mommy sporting our red for Valentine's day.
 Mommy sent the boys to a babysitter and met the girls at school for a special lunch date. Then we stayed together to play and recess and enjoy Lily's class party.
 After the party Annie showed me her life cycle of a butterfly project, and her class decorations. i didn't get any pictures from Lily's class party because her teachers kept me hopping the whole two hours.
 We had a special Valentine dinner as a family. Daddy brought every child a special balloon and box of chocolates. Everyone got a chocolate covered strawberry and their Valentine from Grammy and Grampy too. We finished adding hearts to our Family Love Tree - I can't believe I never got a picture of it! Each of us wrote things we love about other family members on hearts and hung them on the tree. It was a sweet reminder of how much we love each other.
 Annie's class had their 100th day of school party. The kids could dress up like a 100 year old if they wanted to. We pulled out Daddy's costume wigs and found a good one for Annie. She even let me draw some wrinkles on her face. The crowning touch was a sun hat and sunglasses - she was ready to retire in Arizona or Florida. Such a cutie!
 Tommy is getting so strong and brave in gymnastics. He loves his teachers and is doing a great job.
 This is where we can be found twice a week. The boys are troopers while their sisters clog. Joey often stands on the sides and dances along with the girls.

The highlight of the month was a Daddy-Daughter dance at school. The girls were looking forward to it for weeks. When the night finally came, Lily walked out in her usual look of a sweatshirt and ripped jeans. I told her that this was a special event and she needed to dress in a way that showed respect for Daddy and the event. She rolled her eyes, disappeared into her room and emerged again in a different pair of jeans and a tee shirt. I told her that wasn't quite what she should wear and suggested a dress. She closed herself in her room and cried for 10 minutes, finally came out in a dress with a swollen tear stained face and messy hair. We gently tried to fix her hair before Daddy came to pick the girls up. Due to the drama, we didn't get a cute picture of the girls leaving for their Daddy date. The good news is, once they arrived, Lily was all smiles and was relieved to be in a dress just like all the other girls.
 Lily dancing with her friends Nicole and Izzy - plus Nicole's big sister.
 When they came home, everyone was so happy. The girls talked non-stop about how much fun they had. Daddy was impressed with the whole event, and said the DJ did a superb job with fun music and lots of activities to get the dads and girls involved. The treats were "super yummy," their friends were "so cute," they felt like "princesses going to a ball". We can't wait until next year - and hopefully we won't have wardrobe drama again.
Annie, Daddy and Lily at their first Daddy-Daughter dance, 2017
 Once they were settled into cozy jammies, they turned into pumpkins and were ready to snuggle down for bed. It was a night they won't soon forget.
 Tommy spilled the ranch dressing all over his plate at dinner. The girls said "Oh no!" and Joey copied them. Tommy loves to eat tortilla chips with ranch on family taco night. He got about a month's worth of ranch in that one meal.
 The boys really love their hooded towels from Puna and Papa. They run around the house wearing them after baths.
 Annie's teacher decided to delay their class Valentine party a few days. That was fine with me. I got to help with both girls' parties and didn't have to do it all in one day. I was asked to bring an activity or craft for the kids. I decided to do the Heart Zap game I did for Lily's class last year. It was a roaring success - especially since both of the other moms brought basically the same activity - bracelet making. It was nice to have an active thing for the class to do and the kids couldn't get enough of it. Annie was so proud of me. After crafts and games, we had treats and passed out valentines.
 It was a crazy fun day with 24 kindergarteners. I loved it!
 We did some cat sitting for Brady so he could paint his house. Rocky was worn out by the time Brady came to pick him up. We had to get creative with the little box since all Brady brought was a disposable paint tray with a tiny bit of cat litter in it. Mommy cut an opening into a box that was exactly the right size. It helped contain the mess and give Rocky some privacy. Win-Win!
 I love finding selfies from the kids on my phone. Joey is starting to figure out the camera on his own.

Annie fell very ill for a few days. She had a high fever, was lethargic and vomiting. I thought she had a stomach bug and waited for two days, but when she didn't improve, I got concerned. Then I remembered that she had done the same thing  this summer in Washington and it was a UTI. So I scooped her up and we went to the urgent care clinic. Sure enough, another UTI. We started her on antibiotics right away. After days of illness and infection she was very weak, but refused to eat anything. The only thing that sounded good was frozen yogurt. So we packed up the entire family and went to our favorite yogurt shop. By the time we got there, Annie was so sick from the ride in the car that she didn't want to eat anything. So the other kids enjoyed a little treat, and we made our way back home.
It was a stressful few days. Annie was complaining about pain in her back and side - a concern because the infection might be spreading up into her kidneys. She didn't improve within 48 hours on the antibiotic and calls to the doctor at the clinic were not returned. Finally she started to get well and we were very relieved.

 Uncle Brady came over with Rocky so Annie could have a snuggle buddy for a night. It meant so much to her that Brady would come over just to help her feel better. After missing a week of school, she was finally well enough to go back. She had a good day at school and a fun day playing with friends. Everything was right in our world again. Until....Joey spiked a fever also. Sunday morning he was obviously very ill but had no symptoms other than a fever. He was refusing to eat - not even popsicles or go-gurts which are his favorites. Daddy bravely took all the other kids to church and Mommy and Joey stayed home to rest - Mommy needed the quiet and sleep after a week of sleepless nights caring for Annie. Daddy sent this picture from church of Tommy passed out on the family pew.
A friend sent me these cute pictures of Annie with our Primary chorister Angie Byram. Angie comes up with the cutest ideas. Annie was so excited to be chosen for this silly mustache activity, and she was disappointed that I wasn't there. Friends with cell phones to the rescue!
Joey's refusal to eat or drink was concerning so after waiting it out on Sunday, we went to urgent care again to have Joey looked at. He had a double ear infection and strep throat. Poor kiddo. Plus he was cutting four teeth - which might have left him susceptible to the infection.
 Luckily after two days on the antibiotics he was sleeping much better again and starting to eat and drink again. It was a stressful and exhausting few days having two seriously sick kiddos in the house. Mommy was totally depleted and desperate for sleep......translation....Mommy was super grouchy and couldn't keep her eyes open, the house clean, or her head on straight.
 On the last day of the month Annie received her new clogging costume for competition. They are doing a song called "Little Wooden Shoes" and one of the moms made shoe covers out of felt for each girl. They turned out so adorable. Annie can't wait for her first clogging competition in March. Mommy can't wait for a full night's sleep again.