For us, this has been a long, cold, isolated winter.
It started while we were still visiting Abby in the NICU. Over her first weeks home and Christmas break we stayed cooped up in our apartment to avoid germs. In January we all caught and conquered our first colds of the year, consequently cancelling a trip up North to visit our families. In February we remained in our cozy apartment while storms raged, temperatures dropped, and family members fell ill. We planned and cancelled six Carlson Christmas Celebrations and have yet to get together since before Abby came home from the hospital. (And we still haven’t wrapped the Christmas presents!)
So what have we been doing cooped up all winter?
Well, remember Abby’s quilt? I’ve been steadily working on it since Abby was born. Well, maybe not all that steadily. I decided to start with the most time consuming portion of the quilt: embroidering Psalm 23, in it’s entirety, around the border. While Abby was still in the NICU, I worked on it during all of our drives. (Just a note, as I filed our taxes this year I calculated the miles we traveled back and forth to the hospital to visit Abby: over 4500!) During good weeks I made good progress. When Abby wasn’t doing so well and after she was transferred to Mott’s, I was discouraged and didn’t work on it as much. I took a break when Abby came home, but since I had to hold her upright after night feedings to fight her reflux, I got back to embroidering then.
Right now I try to embroider four characters a day. At that rate I will finish this portion by March 23. Then I get to move on to step two!
Meanwhile I’ve been reserving half an hour on Tuesdays to organize from our move six months ago. Why Tuesdays, you ask? Well, that’s just the way it worked out. Why half an hour? Well, that’s about all the time I can spare during the girls naps! However, for the past three or four weeks I’ve been setting aside that time to organize our laundry room. Every single week something happens to throw me off my plan. Abby refuses to nap, Lydia wakes up early and needs some attention, I’m exhausted and can’t get to my own nap any earlier…who knows what will happen next. Someday I WILL get to that laundry room even if it is the week before we move out!
I’ve also been on a home schooling research kick. I have long wanted to explore home school options and now am taking some time to tackle The Three R’s, and The Well-Trained Mind. I’ve been having fun with Lydia and Abigail going through Slow and Steady Get Me Ready, which is full of fun weekly activities that take you from birth up to age five. This week Abby gets to play peek-a-boo with Mommy and a mirror, and Lydia gets to work on patterns and counting with some homemade whole wheat biscuits. She loved helping me make the biscuits, enjoys playing with them, and really likes when we get to eat them. Lydia also gets a “buncha books” from the library each week. I’ve been working my way through some recommended picture books and frequently when Dan goes to pick up the books I put on hold the Librarians ask if we are elementary school teachers. Teachers or not, Lydia loves the books and will sit on the floor eagerly looking through her new “buncha books” each week.
Meanwhile Dan and I have been prone to making spontaneous decisions lately, our common side-effect to feeling deprived in any way (from getting out, in this case). A couple of nights ago we switched meal plans at 5:30 because Dan was reading Lydia Pancakes, Pancakes and, well, pancakes sounded good. We also spent half an hour singing Abigail ridiculous silly songs from Camp days because it was the easiest way to get her to stop crying. This week we’ve been spending a little time after the girls go to bed watching a debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on the age of the earth.
We’ve been staying busy and productive, but are, nevertheless, eager for warmer days. Not long, we hope, not long.