January and February

This was a very exciting New Year’s Day! Unfortunately, Benjamin was on oxygen because of another round of bronchiolitis. However, he took it as a challenge and learned to crawl on the 1st. He was pretty speedy with an oxygen tube dragging behind. He learned how to pull himself to a stand right around the same time, so he was suddenly able to see a lot more of the world.

Benjamin pulled himself to a stand.
Benjamin pulled himself to a stand.
New pajamas from Santa.
New pajamas from Santa.
Now, that chocolate chip pancake was good!
Now, that chocolate chip pancake was good!
Climbing on Dad.
Climbing on Dad.
Whew, I'm tired!
Whew, I’m tired!

We haven’t had as much snow as the rest of the country, but we’ve had a few storms and some very cold weather. Dave and Phoebe often go out to play while Benjamin and hang out in the much warmer house.

January 4

Wearing my new hat from Aunt Erika.
Wearing my new hat from Aunt Erika.
Just enough snow for a two-sphere snowlady.
Just enough snow for a two-sphere snowlady.
Snowball fight!
Snowball fight!
Ugh, this one is heavy!
Ugh, this one is heavy!
Playing outside in the snow.
Playing outside in the snow.
Nice throw, Phoebes!
Nice throw, Phoebes!
Snuggling in for some Roald Dahl.
Snuggling in for some Roald Dahl.

Every day with a three-and-three-quarters-year-old is a learning opportunity. Here I used the side of the fridge to show Phoebe a picture of fractions. (We were baking.)

Learning about fractions.
Learning about fractions.

Benjamin is pretty pleased with his standing ability.

Look at me! I stood up by myself!
Look at me! I stood up by myself!

The second week of January, my mom and dad flew out from Ohio to go to the Ouray Ice Festival with us. That way, we were able to take the kids along. We rented an enormous SUV so we could all ride together, and Phoebe spent the whole eight-ish hours making best friends with Grandma. We drove out on Friday and planned to come back on Monday. Saturday was a bluebird day—not too cold and sunny. We all went to the ice park to see the vendor row and watch some of the climbing competition. Then we went back to the hotel for lunch and Dave and I went back to the canyon for some climbing. We had a nice time!

Rockin' the pink snowsuit in Ouray.
Rockin’ the pink snowsuit in Ouray.
We're all watching some ice climbing.
We’re all watching some ice climbing.
The Mammut.
The Mammut.
The end of this year's climbing competition. They had to break the pinata.
The end of this year’s climbing competition. They had to break the pinata.
The obligatory climbing shot from down in the canyon.
The obligatory climbing shot from down in the canyon.
This magazine is pretty interesting!
This magazine is pretty interesting!

On Saturday night, we took Phoebe to an auction and slide show that didn’t end until several hours after bedtime. When we got back to the hotel room, Benjamin suddenly threw up and had something similar to an asthma attack. I spent part of the night on the phone with the on-call nurse. We were worried enough that we decided to go home on Sunday.

When we woke up on Sunday, the weather was awful, blowing snow and freezing. It wouldn’t have been a very fun day of climbing anyway, so we drove home. Benjamin recovered, thank goodness, and we got to spend the rest of my parents’ visit at home. Not a terrible trip at all, though it was a lot of driving for one day of climbing. I think my parents enjoyed seeing Ouray.

Grandma reading to Phoebe.
Grandma reading to Phoebe.
There's always time for a book with the grandparents.
There’s always time for a book with the grandparents.

Phoebe’s friends are all turning four, so we’ve been attending some pretty great birthday parties! Here we are at Calae’s birthday party at a gym near our house. There were even indoor jumpy castles!

Calae's birthday party at the gym.
Calae’s birthday party at the gym.

January 18

Wow, that's a big tuna fish sandwich!
Wow, that’s a big tuna fish sandwich!
Happy chomper.
Happy chomper.
Feeling a bit coy.
Feeling a bit coy.
And silly.
And silly.
And excited.
And excited.
Mom, one kiddo per lap.
Mom, one kiddo per lap.
I'm tired. Benjamin is making a grab for lion.
I’m tired. Benjamin is making a grab for lion.
These kids look exhausted!
These kids look exhausted!

You won’t be surprised to hear that in the Boulder area, there’s a Winter Bike to Work Day in January. My tires were all flat (I blame my personal mechanic!), so I had to drive. But Dave and Phoebe rode their bikes; Phoebe made it all the way to daycare, about 1.5 miles!

Headed out for a bike ride.
Headed out for a bike ride.
Come on, Dad! I'm ready to go!
Come on, Dad! I’m ready to go!

The kids took swimming lessons during early February, but we didn’t take any photos. Benjamin loves to lie on his back and kick his feet, and Phoebe gets to move up to Dolphins 2 next time she takes lessons! She can put her face in the water all by herself.

At the end of February, Benjamin and I flew to Ohio to see my best friend, Elaina. We had a great time staying up late, watching movies, eating good food, and talking. We went to the Cleveland Museum of Art to see the renovation: stunning. Benjamin and I even got to see my parents a couple of times; they picked us up at the airport and drove us to Massillon, and my dad came to church with us on Sunday. Dave and Phoebe enjoyed their daddy-daughter weekend without us.

Freddie Mercury onesie. Must be at Auntie Elaina's house!
Freddie Mercury onesie. Must be at Auntie Elaina’s house!

Auntie Elaina and godson Benjamin.
Auntie Elaina and godson Benjamin.
.

And now it’s March—a very important birthday month! Here are few photos from March 1.

Reading a book.
Reading a book.
An amazing picture of a house.
An amazing picture of a house.
What a big boy!
What a big boy!
Reading a new library book before dinner.
Reading a new library book before dinner.
I'm thirsty.
I’m thirsty.
The kids' bedroom before an intervention.
The kids’ bedroom before an intervention.
The sea is choppy today!
The sea is choppy today!
Having fun before the "Mom, he's touching me!" starts.
Having fun before the “Mom, he’s touching me!” starts.
Is he laughing or crying?
Is he laughing or crying?
Mom and her baby.
Mom and her baby.
Stop the entropy!
Stop the entropy!
I'm number one!
I’m number one!

Little Artist

Jess, the kiddos, and I all received some really cool presents for Christmas. We’re very thankful for that. One of the bigger hits was a new easel that Phoebe got (along with a lot of art supplies).  She’s been having a blast making some big pictures for my new office (whenever I get one) and various relatives and friends. Don’t be too surprised if you find a big tube in your mailbox someday.

What shall I paint this time?
What shall I paint this time?
Phoebe getting ready to add some red paint to the canvas.
Phoebe getting ready to add some red paint to the canvas.
An over-the-shoulder shot of the work in progress.
An over-the-shoulder shot of the work in progress.
Sometimes you have to get into awkward positions for your art!
Sometimes you have to get into awkward positions for your art!