Saturday, March 13, 2010

February recap

So, I had those three goals for February: potty train Erik, get Char sleeping through the night, and start a co-op preschool for Ellie and her friends. How'd I do?

By the end of the month, I was two for three. Nowadays, I'm more like one-and-a-half for three. Ellie's preschool? Check (more on that later). Dry undies? Check and then uncheck. (We suspect that the awesomeness of his undies may have caused the regression. We think he enjoys getting to wear each pair of his undies every day and wetting them is the only way... ) Char sleeping through the night? Very much uncheck, despite fervent (and frenzied) efforts. Nothing is working. We three (that would be the shrieking zombie baby and his sleep-starved parents) just cope the best we can on fragmented rem cycles. Not a good way to live a life, I tell ya. Babies can only get away with this because they're so stinking cute!

Things are looking good for preschool, at least. I purchased some teaching charts and learned some cheesy welcome songs, and I thoroughly enjoyed planning lesson material for the letter A.

We listened to the Bambi song "April Showers" and made our own rainstorm, we learned about Africa and I showed off some of my Uganda souvenirs, we sang Ants Go Marching, ate ants on a log and apples with apricot dipping sauce (stunning photo of nibbled snack remains, I know),

made angel magnets using photos of their faces, cut and glued a capital A alligator, read A-themed books, etc. 'Twas jolly good fun. 'Twas so much fun that I made everything MUCH more complicated and advanced for the letter B. As you may guess, that capital B Backfired on me in a serious way. More on that in another post.

February was filled with many more festivities and fond memories than over the potty and through the night, thankfully. President's Day weekend we took that impulsive/spontaneous road trip to Sacramento to visit my parents. We met some might fine trees while we were there.

Big as they come, I hear.

We also celebrated Chinese New Year with a homemade hot pot feast (Kyle's fave), decorated Mom's family room wall with a plethora of framed family photos, made too much food in general, watched the Olympic events, the kids took a few extra bubbly baths in my parents' over-sized tub, frolicked at the nearby park, and soaked in the warm weather and fun with grandparents. It was so warm and fuzzy for me to watch my dad snuggle up with a kid under each arm and tell the same bedtime stories that I knew and loved as a child.

I took this picture as we were driving away toward home after the too short weekend. Dad was testing the stay-in-place quality of Mom's wig. It failed.

Kyle was the lucky recipient of this classy office decoration in light of Valentine's Day. I was inspired by one of our favorite songs we'd hear in the grocery store during our year in China, entitled something like, "I love you like a mouse loves rice." And I sure do, babe. Only problem is that his home office makes our bathroom feel spacious, and so this little piece of art nuzzles itself nicely on my dresser. Oh well, I tried. Men are impossible to craft for.

I was having a hard time committing to total craft-eradication during February, so I attempted a few lame heart wreaths, got two thirds through with a conversation heart topiary, cut out all the colorful hearts for a garland that never got sewed, and decorated some love note mailboxes that sat empty most of the month. One day they didn't, though! We filled them with heart people! Or, if you were Erik, heart heroes! (Yes, that would be a cape and a mask on the disgruntled purple heart.)

We also threw somewhat of a small Chinese New Year party to usher in the year of the tiger. A few days before the occasion I was pestering Kyle late at night while he sought slumber to brainstorm games and activities with me. "Can't we just talk about this tomorrow?" "Can't you just tell me what games we should play at the party?" "Pin the tail on the... China man." Ellie and I, but mostly Ellie (thus the "HAPE NOO YER"), took him up on that piece of genius. Kyle thought this might be a bit offensive, but I was the most Chinese person there and I wasn't offended.

Erik and I made some paper lanterns to decorate and Ellie contributed a few paper purses to the garland. We also used the red lanterns and fans that decorated our wedding reception. Throw in a feast of Asian proportions (okay, not nearly THAT big), some DDR, mahjong (quintessential Chinese tile game), some cell phone trinkets and violin solos, and it made for a much cooler event than any American New Year's party I've ever thrown.

Other cool stuff that happened in February:

-I bathed my children at least once, and here is the proof.

-With Kjerstin's prodding and assistance, I FINALLY covered those naaaasty kitchen chairs with cuter fabric and cute fabric-preserving plastic. The army print was still on them which actually did camouflage many of the stains, but this revamp was long overdue. The staples I bought were actually for putting up Christmas lights so were terribly ineffective, and the gun I bought was as cheap as they come (Home Depot employee: "Oh, I didn't know they make these in plastic"), but we dished out a few dollars and got the job done. Yay! One less shamefully unhygienic corner of my home.

-A mullet was born (but quickly died, don't worry), by the hand of Kyle, of course.

-Five to ten fruits and vegetables were slurped down by all members of the family on a daily basis. (Yeah, that murky looking liquid isn't very thirst-inducing, I realize. I will try to refrain from posting photographs and stick to advocating the Vitamix through impassioned claims and exhilarating anecdotes-- here comes one...) For instance, guess how many f&v I packed into this power house of yum? We've got some apple juice, orange juice, grapes, carrots, cucumber, unpeeled half of lime, uncored apple, banana, spinach, frozen peaches, frozen pineapple, and a scoop of sherbet. If you're wondering if ten fruits and vegetables can possibly taste good together without some serious sweetener, just ask our pickiest eater pictured below.

We've even gotten him chanting the Popeye song. I love my life.

-Some general scary dinosaur moments surfaced.

-A couple innovative contraptions emerged from the quirky habits of this engineer-in-the-making.

-Ellie whooped us all at Twister.

And other unphotographed fun was had, like the kids' first movie theater experience (The Princess and the Frog), the kids met the REAL Snow White while Kyle and I had a fabulous time with J & C and M & K at a Utah Jazz game (pics on both will hopefully surface sometime), and Ellie started reading short books. Very short, if she gets to choose.

Quite a bit of fun crammed into a short 28 days, I think. So we expect to step it up a notch for March.


blaine and michelle said...

That was quite the eventful month. I wish we were there to enjoy it all with you (especially the preschool part). Thanks for saying I didn't totally butcher Bims' hair, I still think I need to take her to someone who actually knows what they're doing to fix it, but probably won't. Miss you so.

Marilyn said...

You totally make me feel like the most boring person ever born. How do you do it all?

Mish said...

I love love love that picture of Erik.