Family Update and the February Crud!

Winter decided to come late this year to our little patch of earth. After a very uneventful December and January with snow, we've had a fairly active February. Super cold temperatures, a little snow, wicked wind, and rainy/icy yuck have even the winter hearty (me!) wishing for spring! To cap off our cabin fever, we've been down with the February Crud.

David had fluish symptoms for several days; Sweet Potato had/has goopy eyes, a wicked cough, and runny nose; Pickle had the toughest time with a nasty head cold that ended up as an ear infection. She has the distinctive honor of being the first child in our family to take an antibiotic! Thankfully, Kristin missed the worst of it, but is recovering from caring for everyone else! We've all been loading up on the Vitamin C, probiotics, and diffusing/applying essential oils. Our favorites have been: doTerra's Breathe (no more nasty Vicks for this Mama!) and Chestal by Boiron.

This month we also tried, quite spur of the moment, a grand experiment that has phenomenally flopped! We moved the girls into the same room. In my head this was supposed to work well. They would help each other go to sleep. They would have early morning company. They would be happy and we would all sleep! The reality is our girls need a break from each other. They play all day together. We learn and eat and explore together. Come night-time the last person they wanted to be with was each other! The dislike manifested itself not in bedtime tantrums, but naptime fiascos and daytime meanness. As soon as the weather is warm enough, I'll be painting the old nursery and Caroline will get a new room (again). My goal is to have her settled by mid-March. We'll see if the weather cooperates!

Interestingly, one outcome I did not anticipate is that keeping one bedroom clean is harder than keeping two bedrooms clean. Despite eliminating excess, our bedrooms are too small to allow for each girl to have their own space. The end result is loads of little bits being jumbled together and all of us frustrated because nothing is ever where it should be!

In other news.... Pickle's language is exploding. She's saying words and signing constantly. It's awesome to hear and see. Her favorite words to sign are "baby", "Daddy", and "cookie". Her favorite words to say are "apple", "baby", and "Poppa!". My favorite word to hear her say is "purple". It's amazing how well she says it! Pickle continues to be the "Clean-up Kid". She is regularly found throwing things away or wiping floors with paper towel or a wipe. She remains fascinated by shoes--particularly other people's.

Sweet Potato continues to prove she is a girl of extremes. She can go from extremely helpful to extremely stubborn within nanoseconds. However, whenever she chooses to be sweet and kind and loving, she exhibits these characteristics without abandon and full of enthusiasm. The same is true when she decides to be disobedient, but we'll focus on the positive, right?

We've recently discovered that Sweet Potato can read! While we are definitely encouraging this ability, we aren't pushing it. We're letting her grow into reading at her pace, which basically means we read aloud all the time but aren't "teaching" reading formally. What I currently find baffling is that she will fairly consistently read words like "clock" or "snuggle" but struggle with "the" or "not". Clearly, this area needs more practice but we are having fun with the daily delights of discovery of what she is capable of accomplishing on her own!

As for David and I, we're just trying to stay one step ahead of the girls. We're greatly enjoying sharing more experiences as the girls age, and relishing in their continued independence. David has a busy year ahead as he runs

the library single handedly and teaching a class on game strategies. Additionally, he is participating in a grant program that has him traveling nearby three times this year for almost a week each time. He's excited for this professional opportunity and we girls are excited to do super girly things while Daddy is away! Kristin is enjoying being at home and is excited to plan kindergarten for Sweet Potato! The biggest job on her horizon is helping move the yarn shop to a new location over the next month. It'll be a huge endeavor, but one that is exciting. Plus, now her commute will be cut in half, from 6 miles to 3!

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