Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Five People 12 Times: February, 2011

This is us, in downtown D.C. walking to Chinatown for dinner after spending the afternoon at a science fair at the Convention Center. The shot took a couple tries as the first time I cut Kohler's head off. That's why his knees are bent here--he was trying to make sure his head made it in the photo!

February has been the month of the never-ending swim meet, or so it seems. High school swimming reaches it's climax this month and Kohler had Divisionals, then Counties, then Metros. He was exhausted by the end, mostly because he's had to swim the same stroke every single time. He's so good at the 50 and 100 free that he always swims those, and then swims them again for the relays. He can't wait to swim the breaststroke or fly again at a meet! Kaden also had a big swim meet this month, the IMXtreme meet, where he swam 100s of everything plus the 200 IM and 500 free. He did great and brought home a plaque as he finished in the top 16 for his age group.

The month started out with the Super Bowl. We had a party and all our neighborhood friends came. Didn't really care who won, it was just fun to have friends over and eat tons of yummy food! We were supposed to go to two concerts this month, Linkin Park and Bon Jovi. LP was canceled due to illness, but Bon Jovi was great as usual. Kaden came along this time as the concert was actually on his birthday.

Speaking of his birthday, Kaden became a teenager this month! Hard to believe, but he sure looks like one so I guess it's possible. He's grown and is becoming more muscular from swimming. He has absolutely no problem juggling all his activities: school, homework, band, guitar lessons, clarinet practice, MESA, National Young Honor Society, and swimming 6x a week. Whew! He has really gotten into electronics this month, making and taking apart things. He made a solar-powered bug that jiggles around his desk. For his birthday we got him a big box of used electronics from the thrift store for  him to cannibalize and use. His band had a gig this month, playing at a local restaurant on a Friday evening--they did great!

For Valentine's, Stoehr and I went out with our group of friends for our annual dinner at Maggiano's. We've been doing this dinner for at least 10 years now! Back at home, on Valentine's day, I made out traditional V-day meal: ravioli, salad, garlic bread, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a chocolate-chip cookie pie. Can't beat tradition!

We've been trying to plan our vacations for the year this month. Trying to fit what we want to do into a budget has been hard! We'd love to go to Budapest this summer with my parents, but airline prices are outrageous right now. I fear that vacation may never happen. I am always the vacation planner and spend hours each year researching possibilities. I get so tired of all the time spent, but it sure pays off in the end when we have amazing vacations. The annoying part is planning a vacation that doesn't end up happening. Still not sure where we are going, but I think we've at least narrowed it down.

We've been reading lots of Rick Riordan lately. We started with the Percy Jackson series last year, finished that up, then this year discovered two new series he's starting: the Heroes of Olympus series and the Kane Chronicles series. The HofO series is again set in Greek mythology, but the KC series turns to Egyptian mythology. All the boys give all three series two thumbs up, although we prefer the Greek series. We are almost done with the last book currently in print, and are anxiously waiting for May when book two of the KC series comes out. Kieran especially loves for me to read to them at night time. I've read to them each night since they were babies, and will continue as long as they'll let me. We have read so many great books together--I'll have to do a post sometime on all the books we've read as a family. Since Kieran is not a big reader himself, I'm thrilled he at least likes to be read to.

Kieran started a blog this month. I suggested it to him as a way to showcase all the drawings he makes, and he thought it was a great idea. He's drawn cartoons and characters for years and is very good at it. He currently loves to draw his own made-up Pokemon creations, which, in my opinion Pokemon, Inc. should buy from him, they are that good! So he and I spent a good amount of time scanning all his drawings and setting his blog up. He decided to call it Blind Chicken (a play on Def Leppard from a joke we had shared), which I thought was a great, random name. I'm hoping it will be something he will enjoy adding to over the years--what a great record of his art it will be for him someday!

Life was certainly crazy this month. Some other things that happened in February: I had parent-teacher conferences at Preschool, had lunch with an old college friends who's moving to the area, went to Pathfinders 1x this month, went to Kohler's high school for an evening inter-disciplinary presentation in which he and his group put on a USO show, and did yard work on a couple warm evenings.

We are so looking forward to March and spring.

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