This month, like most, proved to be full of lots of activities; however, we miraculously remained in town the entire time. This is out of the ordinary for us and is a very welcome occurrence that kept us grounded. I think the cold weather causes us to hibernate just like bears, which is fine after all the exhaustive travel that accompanies each fall. Brayden had a case of strep throat, but was quite brave at the doctor and took a shot right in the behind. After some tears, she was fine and quickly got better. I braved the cold for the annual YMCA summer camp registration. This is a rite of passage that every mom or dad needs to experience at least once. Get in line on an early February morning (6:00am) to stand outside with 60 other parents waiting for the Y to open its doors, whereby you are then herded into yet another waiting room where you sit for at least another hour to have your number called. You then spend another 15-20 minutes registering your child for all of the summer camps, so you better be prepared. And that is only for registering one child…I can’t imagine registering more than one, but I know those years are rapidly approaching. The great thing (pending it works) is that I believe registration will be done completely online for next summer. Welcome to the 21st century, geez.
Brayden enjoyed some fun events this month: a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s (Hanleigh is yearning to go there and keeps asking us when she will get to go) and a Y Guides Sock Hop event with Daddy (they had a blast getting all dressed up for the theme). We went to our neighbors’ house for a Super Bowl party (it was great watching the Seahawks win…go Russell Wilson!), the girls continued gymnastics, we hung out with some neighbors we hadn’t seen in awhile and got to meet their new baby boy, I enjoyed a girls’ dinner out, and we attended the annual Valentine’s Dance at Brayden’s school. It was so cute watching her with her girlfriends dancing (jumping) around and singing/yelling the words to their favorite top hits on the radio (apparently, One Direction is quite popular among the K-5 crowd). All the kids were in their best attire and amidst all the chaos, we had a great time.
While this month kept us at home due to no out-of-town activities on the weekend, I didn’t expect February to keep us at home as much as it did. One word: SNOW! On February 11, what started as a beautiful dusting on the ground quickly accumulated over the next 24 hours to about five inches of snow. Well, in NC this means that school is obviously cancelled. People can’t drive in that mess, plus, at night, it all turns to ice, which means treacherous roads for anyone. So, what does three and a half days of no school mean for kids? Heaven on earth! This is their dream: days filled with hours of sledding, building snowmen, and overdosing on hot chocolate. What does this mean for two, full-time, working-from-home parents? Oh crap! Mastering the art of juggling countless online meetings with two children begging to go outside are the epitome of dialectical tensions and the ultimate test of patience. My way around this was to get out of bed at 6:00am while tip-toeing ever so carefully down the hallway past the kids’ rooms to work in my office quietly for two hours before they got up. During the day, we would work while they would watch TV, go outside, play with legos and playdoh, go outside, tablets, go outside, read books, etc. Then, after they went to bed, work another two hours. On day one the snow is exciting, fresh, and new. Your creative mind thinks of all kinds of wonderful things we can do together. By day three, you are praying for the weekend, for the snow to get the heck out of town, and having no patience with restaurants that take an hour to serve you food because you have no power at your house (I was ill!). I must say, though, that amidst all the chaos with that week being flipped upside down instantaneously, watching the joy on our kids’ faces when they were sledding down a hill with a gaggle of other kids made my thoughts of work wash completely away. The runny noses, red/windburnt faces, piles of clothing from bundling up, snowball fights, and permagrins made our snow daze completely worth it.
One Saturday night, Brayden, Mom and I went contra dancing. I was SO impressed by Brayden’s ability to learn the dance moves so quickly. All of the adults were very gentle and patient with her and some of the guys even lifted her off the ground as they twirled her, causing a permanent grin on her face nearly all night long. Definitely check out the video of that. I was a very proud mama watching her that night. I had a great time, too, although all the twirling and spinning didn’t completely agree with my neurocardiogenic syncope condition and I got quite dizzy and a headache for a bit of it. I always find it so amusing how everyone dances completely different: some are more forceful than others, some are graceful like a swan, and then you have the “know-it-alls” who tell you what to do (yet they screw up on subsequent moves, which is quite comical). I took turns sitting out every other dance so I could regain my composure and also enjoy watch the nonverbal activity taking place. A very good case study in social behavior. I will definitely go back because it is a great time, but could do without all the twirling. I think I’ll stick to twerking and crunking during hip-hop class. We wrapped up the month with Hanleigh attending her classmate, Derek’s, birthday party at MyGym. Watching all those little three-year olds running rampant was quite the scene.
- One day, when picking her up from school, her teachers informed me that her and her BFF, Brody, had a little tift in one of their centers. They were bickering back and forth when he said to her, “Hanleigh, you should know better! You have two choices: go to time out or stay in the center. What do you choose?” She snapped back, “Stay in the center!” Wise choice, friend.