March 2018

February 28

We didn’t seem to take any photos in February except for on Valentine’s Day, and those are already posted. Here’s one video (sort of) from the last day of February; I was driving the kids to school, and they were laughing. I wanted to capture it, so I turned on the video recorder on my phone at a stop sign. Feel free to ignore the video of the steering wheel and just enjoy their giggles.

Kids laughing

March 1

On the first day of March, I went on a wonderful field trip with Benjamin’s kindergarten class to the Dairy Performing Arts Center in Boulder. The whole class moved as a group, which meant I didn’t have a small group of kids to repeatedly count and keep an eye on; I could just go from station to station with them and enjoy the arts. First we heard a cellist play a traditional and then a carbon-fiber cello. Next we did an art project about drawing maps. Then we heard a guitarist sing a book called Lost Dog; he talked about the two truly American types of music, country and blues. He’d set the words of Lost Dog to those types of chords. It was really cool. Finally, we all gathered for a concert performed by the cellist and guitarist, who together make up a group called Acoustic Eidolon.

Benjamin and Alejandro on the bus to the Dairy Center.
Joe Scott from Acoustic Eidolon playing his two-necked guitar.
Joe Scott playing with his wife, cellist Hannah Elkire.
Kindergarteners (and Miss Theresa) eating lunch.

Lost Dog in the blues style

Lost Dog in the country style

March 2

The whole family passed around a stomach bug for a couple of weeks. Phoebe stayed home sick on March 2, and I fell ill later that evening.

Sick kid.

Still, she managed one important project: writing invitations to her birthday party.

Phoebe created her own birthday party invitations to mail to her friends.

We ran out to get some dinner.

Benjamin shows that he knows how to carry a pizza.

Benjamin reading us Lost Dog.

Benjamin working on sight words.

March 4

We went with Lisa and Fritz Gawenus to a really neat free concert put on by the Boulder Philharmonic at Mackey Hall at CU. It was called Reach for the Stars: “Join Michael Butterman, the Boulder Phil and guest LASP scientist Dr. David Brain for this free family-friendly concert. Featuring a space exploration theme in honor of NASA’s–and the Boulder Phil’s–60th Anniversary, the program explores concepts of history, courage, and innovation while featuring some of the most engaging orchestral music ever written. The concert will also feature an instrument petting zoo, provided by HB Woodsongs.”

The programming was terrific, and Fritz got to try out a saxophone. Watch out, Dave! I really liked the Mason Bates piece and the John Ireland march.

GUSTAV HOLST The Planets: I. Mars
MASON BATES The B-Sides: III. Gemini in the Solar Wind
GEORGE WALKER Lyric for Strings
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C minor—
I. Allegro con brio
JOHN WILLIAMS Star Wars Suite—Main Theme

Fritz trying out a saxophone before the Boulder Philharmonic Reach for the Stars concert in Macky Auditorium.

March 5

I’m publishing a really cool book called Storytime and Beyond: Having Fun with Early Literacy. I told the kids about how one of the authors, Kathy Barco, uses anything at hand to create alphabet letters, and while we were at Mom and Dad’s in December, I took some photos of the kids making letters with Jenga blocks in the hopes that they might be included in the book. It worked!

A form giving permission for the kids to have their photos included in one of the books I’m publishing!

March 8

Phoebe has been allowed to walk over to the Peak to Peak Charter School playground by herself for a while now. As I picked the kids up at Take-A-Break, she asked what she could do when she got home. I said, “why not go over to the playground?” She asked, “Can I take Ben?” I told her I’d have to think about it on the drive home. When we got home I said she could, and we set up a system in which she’d use the timer on my phone to have an alarm ring every five minutes, at which point she’d call home. I made sure Benjamin understood that Phoebe was in charge, and I reminded her that she’d have to watch him every second. As they marched off, I called out, “Phoebe, do you know how to call 911?” She shouted that she did. They were completely responsible and called home each time the timer went off. They ended up staying for 20 minutes, and I was able to cook dinner with no one else in the kitchen. It was a milestone!

Phoebe and Benjamin went to the playground together, found a piece of chalk, and wrote letters. Phoebe took photos for me.

Phoebe and Benjamin at Peak to Peak playground.

March 10

Rob and Rachel hosted a “YABS in the city.” We love their townhome, and it’s always fun to get into Denver! Plus, it was a great excuse to make “The Last Word” cocktails and catch up with Susan and Nick, who also came over.

Reading and puzzling in Rob and Rachel’s living room.

March 11

Sunday afternoon trip to the Wow! Children’s Museum.

Benjamin working on his balance at Wow! Children’s Museum.
Pretty good, little boy! (And check out the Cleveland Orchestra t-shirt he’s wearing.)
Phoebe made this neat pattern during her time at Wow!

Phoebe playing “Minuet in G” at Wow. Piano lessons are already paying off!

Phoebe playing a song on the Illumitune.

Benjamin balancing at Wow.

March 12

Benjamin is doing physical therapy at KidSPOT in Lousiville once a week. He enjoys the time with Miss Lindsay, and we can already see progress. Here he’s drinking his after-therapy hot chocolate—Vics coffee shop is upstairs.

Hot chocolate after a physical therapy session with Miss Lindsay.
If there’s something better than coming home to a clean kitchen counter, I don’t know what it is.

March 13

Just happened to see this out the car window driving home from work one day. The horse and rider are right in front of Take-A-Break.

March 14

Phoebe spelled her way into the first-and-second grade spelling bee at Lafayette Elementary! I didn’t write down her round 1 word, but after that I started keeping notes. In round 2 she spelled “south,” round 3 was “hire,” round 4 “return,” round 5 “purse,” and she got out in round 6 by spelling “fauct” instead of “faucet.” We were so proud of her!

Phoebe turning around before the first-and-second-grade spelling bee. We weren’t allowed to take photos during the event.

March 17

Yes, sure, it was Saint Patrick’s Day and my birthday, but the kids had swimming lessons (I got to sit in the steam room for a while) and Whit’s karate birthday party. Plus, I had to make the cake for Phoebe’s party the next day! It was actually a very nice day.

Whitman’s karate birthday party.
Benjamin sprinting back from punching one of the dummies.
Sit in a line, kids! And…Benjamin, be Benjamin.
Green selfie on my birthday.
Phoebe working on her birthday party cake.
Lovely birthday flowers from my dear friend Karen W.

March 18

We went to church and then did some door knocking in the neighborhood to invite people to Easter worship. Phoebe’s birthday party was at the CU Museum of Natural History. She chose a bird theme (out of 4 options). It was a wonderful party. Our hostess, Sydney, was terrific, and the kids really enjoyed the hour of crafts. It was quiet enough that the grownups could chat, and we had our own room for cake and rice krispie treats.

Phoebe had a bird-themed birthday part at the CU Museum of Natural History. Her cake is a pun.
Party and photographer; we agreed to have a professional photographer from the college take photos to use in the museum’s marketing materials. Phoebe, Kylie, Isabelle, Calae, Benjamin, Sydney (leader), Tilley, Whitman, James.
Benjamin works on his owl mask.
The kids do some quiet coloring while the moms chat.

On March 19, I left for the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia. I was there all week, flying home the morning of Phoebe’s birthday.

A peek at the Pennsylvania Convention Center before the opening of PLA.
The ABC-CLIO booth being assembled.
I’d never think of this, but I’m glad someone does!
The tower is coming together. You can see my old employer (Rowman & Littlefield) in the background.
It’s so cool to have a job where you can work in the middle of a pile of boxes in another city!
The two guys working on my booth (Frank and Dominic).
Getting the computers out of the case.
I’m a big fan of this new world!
Tom and Frank from Renaissance helping the tech guy tear up the carpet to repair the Internet—at 11:00 a.m. before a noon setup closing! TV guys in the back. You can’t see the lighting guys, but they’re around.
Sally Yates gave the opening speech.
During the opening reception, a jazz band marched around the hall! It was so cool.
A lovely church near the hotel.
Elizabeth Gilbert gave one of the “Big Idea” morning talks.
A view of the Reading Terminal Market from one of the convention center hallways.
The booth looks pretty good all set up!
Really neat building out my hotel window.
Fabulous details in the architecture!
Freshly made Amish donuts. The mocha (center top) was amazing.
Signs I made to help direct librarians to our books.
The other side of the shelving.
Our books and table.
The woman in the bottom left corner drew this whole graffiti wall. I love it! (And I can’t help but think it seems really fun to try that.)
Face-on view.
Teardown begins.
I love this clever solution for keeping the screws with the brackets.
This photo was for Phoebe: sunrise at the Philadelphia airport on her birthday!

March 24

Happy, happy birthday, Phoebe! We had a wonderful day culminating in dinner at Benihana and scores of presents.

Phoebe explaining the layout of Sushi Zanmai during her birthday dinner at Benihana. (We all had a great time!)
Phoebe put up her own birthday number (equation). She didn’t want to take down my “41” after just a week. (To be frank, it was actually Dave’s 41, and it had been up since early December!)

March 26

Benjamin’s 5 1/2 birthday!

Benjamin asleep but still clutching his 5.5-year birthday book.

March 27

This is a bus, and the yellow lettering says “Ben” and “Mom.”

March 28

Building a big puzzle from Grammie. Phoebe loves these puzzles.

March 29

Frost on the car windshield.

March 30

Phoebe and I went to the Boulder Dinner Theater as a joint birthday present—two of the members of the a capella group Face were performing a show they call “Broadway, Billboard, and Beyond.” We had a lovely time! Phoebe preferred the “Broadway” half of the show, during which I heard songs from Hamilton for the first time.

Cody Qualls and Stephen Ross (2 members of the a capella group Face) singing “Lean on Me” with Hazel Miller.

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