But, I promised an update, and there are other things going on that are write-worthy here and there, so here goes, a month in review:
My youngest sister Anna turned 21 early this month. Unfortunately, her birthday was a couple of days after her mom's cancer diagnosis, so she'll always have that to deal with, but we all had a nice dinner out with drinks at our new favorite local Mexican restaurant to celebrate, and everyone had as good a time as we possibly could (margaritas in gigantic glasses helped that along).Andrew is learning things at a still-incredible-for-me-to-watch rate. He's starting to write, and sometimes it's even legible. He wrote Anna's name all by himself on the outside of her birthday card.
We've been hurting financially, largely due to the cold weather and having to heat this monstrosity, so we find cheap entertainment where and when we can. We took advantage of one exceptionally warm day to take a little nature walk through our wooded lot, which is so thick with undergrowth during the warm seasons that we don't try it. Andrew was impressed and took to the woods like a champ. We also took advantage of a coupon to a local inflatable center--you know those places with the huge jumpy things. Andrew went straight for the playhouse, pirate ship, and kitchen stuff and mostly avoided the inflatables because of rowdy bigger kids whose parents were too pre-occupied to watch them. He did finally get his turn at a "batting cage" with a floating ball held up by an airstream, which was pretty cool. He hit it more than I could have.
Indoor recreation is not only free, we can stay warm too. Andrew loves to cook--his favorites are "eggies"and pancakes, but he also enjoys making pizzas, strombolis (see below), and even gourmet toast. When he's not in the kitchen working on haute cuisine, he's practicing for the professional hallway bowling circuit and getting ready for the Toddler NBA draft. And what's a good game of basketball without an audience? Last, but not least, nothing says "fun" like a good trip to the recycling center. Who knew throwing beer bottles in the dumpster one by one to hear them smash could be so much fun?
As we move into the last weekend of January, we're looking forward to more good news on the medical front for Edna, James' 40th birthday celebration this weekend, and Andrew's first professional non-daytime babysitter, which better go well, because we're actually paying for it. ---Tamara