Ok…full disclosure. No sugar coating. January seemed like the longest month in history for us. Just one month felt more like six months. I don’t know if it’s because the last few months were so busy for us, so it made January seem slower? Or if it’s because it’s just winter and there isn’t as many opportunities for us to get out and about as much as we’d like to? Maybe it was a combination of both? Nothing bad happened…it’s not like it was a bad month. It was just long. And now I’m just so glad it’s over!
This pic below pretty much sums up our month of January.
Anyway, because it was such a long and dreary month, we all kind of struggled. It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve seen any family, even though it’s only been a month. The kids (especially my little energetic Kinsie) struggled with not being able to run around as much as they need to. The kids fought more than usual, and I was less patient than usual. (I told you…full disclosure!) It also didn’t help that Ryan had to take his Step 3 exam, which consisted of lots of studying and two full testing days one week apart. His testing days took up two of his very few days off for the month, and whenever he was home, he was studying, But somehow, we survived it. We did whatever we could to survive and did the best we could at still enjoying our time. We still did fun things, it just took a lot more energy and creativity than usual!
Kinsie started gymnastics
This was a major highlight for her. She did gymnastics when she was little and always loved it. She’s been asking to do another class ever since we moved here, it just hadn’t worked out since she was already in so many other sports and activities. Right now she only has ballet once a week, and T-ball doesn’t start back up until spring. My little energizer bunny definitely needed something else to help her get her energy out during the winter, so we signed her up. She has class once a week, and has absolutely loves every second of it! Brax usually has to come with me and he enjoys watching Kinsie’s class too. We love watching her bouncing around happily each week…and let’s be honest, the extra practice in coordination can’t hurt her either!
Brax is on the potty train!
Brax is a stubborn kid, and I fully expected potty training to be a major battle, because many things have been with him so far. Because of this, I was not in any hurry to start. I learned the hard way from Kinsie that potty training cannot be forced on a kid if they aren’t ready and willing. Over the last few months, I would randomly ask Brax if he wanted to try sitting on his potty, and usually the answer was no, so I left it alone. However, early on in the month, I knew we were going to be home for most of the weekend since we weren’t having great weather anyway. I’m not going to lie, I did not have high hopes and I assumed nothing would actually come of it…but I figured I would try anyway. We let him run around commando for the day and encouraged him to try sitting on his potty every so often. To my surprise, it actually went very well! He had a great first day and was excited to keep going. We kept going and within 3 days, he was completely potty trained while commando, so we let him try underwear. This took him a little longer, but still within 5 days or so, he was getting it. Now he is still doing great. He wears a pull-up to church just in case, but wears underwear everywhere else, and he has had minimal accidents in weeks. He even goes potty at school and in public places. Stickers and small treats worked really well for him day to day, and he loves keeping track of his dry days and earning bigger rewards, like a popcorn party, small toys, and an ice cream trip. He is so excited to be a big boy, and Kinsie has been his biggest supporter!
(Side note – Kinsie thinks his potty chart that says “Brax is on the potty train” is absolutely hilarious. I guess she will enjoy puns and plays on words when she’s older!)
Trying to stay sane indoors
Like I said before, we’ve had to get creative on how to stay busy inside. One of Kinsie’s favorite things to do lately is make recipes from her Disney Princess cookbook. So far we’ve made “Chip’s bite-size cookies” and “Rapunzel’s Towering Parfaits.”
Indiana has had a rough January with lots of snow and extremely cold temps. Kinsie was so jealous that we didn’t get snow like they did, but was THRILLED when we had some snowflakes one day. It only lasted about 10 minutes and of course none of it stuck, but the kids were excited just to see any snow at all!
We’ve also stayed busy by doing science experiments, setting up an entire community on the train table, doing lots of arts and crafts (including a birthday card for Kinsie’s favorite hippo, Fiona, from the Cincinnati Zoo), dress up, board games, and lots and lots of puzzles. No joke…when Kinsie is at school and Brax is home with me, we do puzzles all. day. long.
Ryan is in the ED this month, so he is back to his abnormal hours. He has had a lot of evening shifts (our least favorite) this month. Between his shifts, studying for his test, and his weekly conference on Wednesday mornings that he is required to attend, the kids didn’t get much daddy time. At one point, they hadn’t seen him in a couple days, and he had a small break between conference and his shift, so Brax and I met him for lunch while Kinsie was at school. Brax was SO happy to spend time with Daddy and never stopped touching him. We never did tell Kinsie about it because she would have been sad she missed it!
We’ve had very seldom days where it was nice enough to be outside, so whenever it did happen, we booked it out of the house. The zoo is still one of our favorite places to visit so we spent one of our semi-nice days visiting our favorite gorillas and petting the goats.
Rare Outside Days
The kids were giddy whenever it was nice enough to go outside (which only happened about 3-4 times). They didn’t care if the temperature was still in the 40s, they were just happy to be outside. Kinsie spent most of her outside time on her scooter and enjoyed skating with Daddy. Brax loved being pushed around in his car, and trying to keep up with Kinsie on the scooter!
Family Downtown Day
Ryan has had to work every single Sunday this month…which has been a bummer. However, he has had a couple of Saturdays off. The Saturday after his last Step 3 session, we decided we needed to celebrate by getting out of the house and exploring downtown. It was a sunny, 50 degree day and there are a lot of fun things to do in our little city. We visited the animals at the nature center, rode the trolley, played at the rock park, walked on the Junction Bridge, and had brunch at our favorite restaurant called At the Corner. It was exactly what we all needed after a long month of studying and seclusion indoors. We had a wonderful family day!
We are all so relieved that this month is over. February SHOULD be better. We always enjoy Valentines Day activities, and our parents are coming to visit near the end of the month. The weather also gets a little better in February here, so hopefully we’ll be able to spend more time outside and not cooped up in the house.
As always, here is our January 2019 1 Second Everyday video. Good riddance, January!