01 January 2021

2020 Books

With all the running I did this year, my number of audiobooks is probably higher than ever before. I sometimes listen to music while I run, but most often I start with a talk from General Conference, and then move to an audio book.

This year I read 64 books. Of those, ten were on Kindle, two were a mix of Kindle and audio, four were on paper, and 48 were audio. I need to spend less time on my phone in the evenings and more time with my Kindle or paper books. My best month was May, with 8 books. (This corresponds with the month I decided to run a marathon, but it does not correspond with the months with my highest mileage, June and July. Those months I read six books each.)

Of the books I read, this year, here are my top ten percent:
  1. The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton and Laura Hardin. Stop everything you are doing right now and read this book. I read this for my book group, and it ended up being one of the best book group discussions I've ever head. Eric even joined in since he had also read the book at my insistence.
  2. Lovely War by Julie Berry. I loved this way more than I thought I would.
  3. Maybe You Should Talk to Somebody by Lori Gottleib. Everyone needs a therapist.
  4. The Wildlands by Abby Geni. If you liked Where the Crawdads Sing, check out Abby Geni's books. I need her to write some more.
  5. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. This author hasn't failed me yet.
  6. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This was my favorite book in 2019. It didn't fail me on the re-listen.
As an interesting note, three of the books in my top ten were for my local book group (#1, #3, and #5).

1. Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo* - This was a fun read. I thought it was a really cute story with surprising depth. I look forward to reading or listening with my kids.

2. The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton and Laura Hardin* - This was such an amazing and important read. Stop reading this blog post and go read that book.

3. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough* - I loved considering American history in the view of Americans visiting and living in Paris. It made me want to visit Paris and study more art.

4. Unnatural by Angela Armstrong* - I really liked this one. I thought some of the downsides of the post-apocalyptic world were a bit heavy-handed, but I'm eager to find out where this series is going.

5. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel* - The idea of being a hermit living in the woods is romanticized a bit, but this man's story is so interesting.

6. The Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller - Such an interesting story of a refugee family trying to reunite after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. Her wealthy family was different than so many refugees in that they had savings and personal friends and other connections to help them. Still, the difficulties and trials were real. (This was an Amazon FirstReads book.)

7. What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Marlantes* - I first became interested in this book after seeing Ken Burns's documentary about the Vietnam War. The author of this book was interviewed extensively in the series. The end of the series included a list of authors and books, so I added this to my list. This book was hard to listen to, but I think it makes so many good points about what war should be, and what we need to do for our soldiers before, during, and after combat.

8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling* - Listened with the boys, and it was so fun to watch their reactions. Also, the Priori Incantatem chapter gets me every time.

9. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow* - This is a great history book, but I prefer David McCullough. It was good for me to get the facts on Alexander Hamilton because the musical rearranges some key events.

10. Supernova by Marissa Meyer* - A very fun conclusion to this series. Again, I am impressed that this series has so much depth considering it's kind of a silly topic (superhero wars). When we read the first one for book group, most hadn't read it because it's kind of long and hard to get a hold of. When I updated my status on GoodReads for this one, I saw that a few of my book group friends have also finished the trilogy, and now I want to talk to them about it!

11. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella - I read my first Sophie Kinsella book about a year ago and described it as a perfect beach read. This one I actually managed to start reading on a beach (and finished reading in a bath). It was entertaining, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I've Got Your Number. I definitely needed something lighthearted and distracting for this last week (quarantine, home school, earthquake, moody weather).

12. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy - It took me a bit to get into this one, but once I did, I really enjoyed it.

13. A Warning by anonymous* - As one who despises President Trump, I don't think there was anything new or shocking here. There is a bit at the end about how important it is to have Trump ousted via election rather than congressional removal, and I thought that should have been at the beginning. I was tempted to bail in the book much earlier because it was just preaching to the choir for me.

14. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary* - I am just perpetually sad Beverly Cleary wasn't a part of my childhood, but I'm happy to share her with my children. We listened to this one on audio while doing a puzzle and while driving.

15. Lovely War by Julie Berry - Loved this book in so many ways. Delightful writing, great story. The end (the VERY end) surprised me. It was lovely.

16. Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist* - It's a series of essays, and it reads like one. A bit repetitive, but there was some beautiful stuff here.

17. An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage* - This book is like an anthropological look at food. It was so interesting.

18. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson* - Loved it the first time. Loved listening to it this time with Eric. It is hilarious. We listened to this while doing puzzles and going on evening walks together during quarantine.

19. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing* - Started on Kindle, then it expired, and I finished it on audio. It really is an amazing story. I probably could have used some visuals to better understand the ship, the layout of the land and the ice, etc.

20. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris* - Beautiful story. Even though the cover says it's based on a true story, I did not realize it until the notes at the end. I loved it and raced through the audio in a couple of days.

21. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill - This one was for book group, and I loved it! It was a bit tricky to follow sometimes, but I spent most of the book not knowing where it was going. I loved the idea of hope conquering sorrow.

22. Try and Make Me by Ray Levi and Bill O'Hanlon - I started this over two years ago. It's got some good stuff in it, but like a lot of parenting books it's a bit of a slog.

23. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls* - Listened to this one with the boys because Eric's parents wanted to show them the movie, but I thought they should read it first. I get why it's so popular. I'd love to read a text copy sometime.

24. The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience by Kirstin Downey* - Francis Perkins was such an incredible lady! I did get a bit bogged down in the political machinations in this book, but she is a pretty cool woman you've probably never heard of.

25. Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo* - Another sweet read by this great author.

26. Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary* - Listened this one mostly with all the kids, but then I finished it off with Trixie. The boys were bummed that they didn't get to hear the end of it.

27. The Endurance Handbook: How to Achieve Athletic Potential, Stay Healthy, and Get the Most Out of Your Body by Philip Maffetone - Way too long for the advice it gave. A mix of good, practical advice, and some kookier stuff that probably needs more evidence to support his claims.

28. The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson* - I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Bill Bryson is the best. Plus, this one resulted in me joking with Eric about castration a few times. Double win.

29. The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman by Margot Mifflin* - Such an interesting story. The author had a bit of an anti-religion agenda, but overall I thought she did a good job of sorting fact from fiction in the various records about this interesting woman and her time living with the Mojaves.

30. Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin* - I don't normally listen to suspense or mysteries, but I wanted something a little more lively than my typical history audiobooks to listen to during a really long run. I found myself being pulled into well after my run was done and will probably go on a suspense-genre spree now.

31. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles - This one really dragged for me until about the last third. Then I loved it. I'm glad I hung in there.

32. His Perfect Wife by Natasha Bell* - Meh. I'd hardly classify it as a suspense or thriller. It was rather dull for that category. It has interesting themes, but it was pretty dark.

33. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson* - Not his best. Australia is amazing and dangerous.

34. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb - I loved this book. I loved all of it. I missed my book group's discussion about it, which makes me very sad. I want to talk about this book forever. Also, you probably should talk to someone. Therapy is the best!

35. What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon - I initially started this because I got it for free from Amazon. I didn't love it, so I put it down for a while, not even realizing that it was a pick for my book group later in the year. It took so long to get into, but I really loved the way it wrapped up.

36. Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry by Mary Higgins Clark* - Continuing on my suspense-while-running kick. I liked this one. Cleaner than most. A little easy to call, though.

37. The Guest House by Abbie Clark* - Really engaging, but laughably implausible.

38. The Wildlands by Abby Geni* - I loved everything about this book. The writing, the reader, the characters, the plot. It was just so beautifully done.

39. It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump by Stuart Stevens* - I agreed with most of what this guy says, but he didn't offer much in the way of solutions. It was definitely a book for people who like to stay in the echo chamber.

40. Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl* - This is a thoughtful, well-researched book. I would like to have read more about any conflicting data or studies. Surely they are out there. Ignoring them weakens his arguments.

41. The New Jim Crow* by Michelle Alexander - Such an important book and topic. It was pretty repetitive, though. I think, to be more appealing to a broader audience, this should be done as a podcast of about 3 hours.

42. Echo by Pam Munoz-Ryan* - Such a good audiobook. I listened with my boys, and they liked it. This was for my book group, and I'm hopeful my people like it as much as I did.

43. Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey* - This audio kept me interested and engaged during my marathon. I finished it a couple of days later. I knew who the bad person was pretty early on, but I didn't identify all of the big reveals.

44. The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor - I thoroughly enjoyed this one, even though it is a historical-fiction love story. I though it would be cheesy, and of course it was a bit, but I actually really liked it.

45. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson* - Not my favorite of his. Enjoyable, but not as enjoyable as others.

46. The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni* - This author only has three novels out, and two of them are top notch. The stories are so compelling, but they aren't frantic. This one reminded me a lot of Where the Crawdads Sing. The writing about nature is just beautiful.

47. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - Just a beautiful, delightful, twisting read. I loved the history, the genealogy, and the mystery. I am looking forward to reading more by her.

48. The Split by Sharon Bolton* - Meh. It was fine. I may be getting a little tired of this genre.

49. A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh* - Loved the West Coast of New Zealand setting and the Kiwi narrator. The end was rather absurd and rushed.

50. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer - I'll be reading the second one just as soon as I can.

51. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens* - I begged Eric to listen to this one, and he did. Then I needed to listen again, and I loved it just as much as the first time, possibly more.

52. And Now She's Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall* - There were so many aspects of this one that I liked, especially the characters and their back stories. The actual plot of the missing person being investigated fell very flat for me.

53. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell* - I loved this book a few years ago and even put it in my top ten percent for 2014. I encouraged Eric to listen to it, and then I followed suit. This book is so dark and hard to read.

54. Revival by Stephen King* - This was my first Stephen King book. The writing was phenomenal. The story itself was great. The spook factor was non-existent. It just wasn't remotely scary to me.

55. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart - This one was for book group, and I liked it. I wasn't gung-ho for it, but it was fine.

56. Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card* - I read this one in 2013 and remembered it quite clearly. Still, I thought it would be a good one for a Halloween. I liked it a lot, even knowing what was going to happen. (Sometimes I can't remember what will happen, but this one was very memorable to me.)

57. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George* - I really enjoyed listening to this with my sons. They liked it a lot too.

58. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale* - I liked this one, but I didn't love it. It was fun discussing in my online book group.

59. Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey* - Such a good story about a mother's relationship with her daughters. It was a bit long, but as a mom it really resonated with me.

60. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate* - I read this exactly one year ago, so the timing of listening to it with my boys this year was kind of funny. I enjoyed listening with them and with Eric. It was over the girls' heads.

61. The Burglar by Thomas Perry* - This was a good suspense book for running. It was a good amount of plot excitement and crime-sleuthing.

62. Death Benefits by Thomas Perry* - I've hit upon an author I seem to enjoy. I like that his books are more focused on crime solving (especially financial crimes).

63. Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry* - I like this author enough that I've started a series of his. I thought this one is good. I like the protagonist, although the ending fell a bit flat for me. Nonetheless, I'll dive right into the next one.

64. Dance for the Dead by Thomas Perry* - The second in the Jane Whitefield series. Crime/suspense novels are fun to run to.

*Denotes audiobooks.

31 December 2020

2020 - In Review

Although I understand why many people are referring to 2020 as a dumpster fire, for my immediate family and me, it wasn't that terrible and actually offered many opportunities we might not have had otherwise. With that said, I recognize that we are incredibly blessed to have good health, good jobs, and good schools for our children. I fully understand that my year's success are just that: mine. Yours may be different, and that is okay. For many, this year was merely one of survival.


Places in 2020:
Same traditions as usual, but this year we added Stockington Day the Monday before the first day of school. It was such a blast, and I can't wait to do it again next year!

Review of 2020 Goals:
  • Run a sub-30 5K. DONE!
  • Log 400 miles of running (outdoors and treadmill). DONE times 2.5. Yes, I ran over 1000 miles in 2020.
  • Catch up on all the books I have downloaded to my Kindle. Ha! Not even close. The problem is that Amazon gives me a free book every month, and I joined a second book group this year!
  • Read the Book of Mormon as a family. We gave up on this pretty early. Our little girls just cannot do it. I did read the whole thing, and I think Ike might finish before the new year.
  • Start a social media hashtag called #forrealfriday where people take pictures and post about real-life stuff, not just the beautiful stuff. This hasn't caught on quite like I wanted, but we'll keep working on it.
  • Crochet 20 beanies for a service project run by a family in our ward. I didn't do this one, but our ward did a service project for them, so I made five and put them with entire bundles for the project.
  • Crochet 15 new snowflakes for my Christmas tree. I didn't count how many I did. It may have been 15? It may have been 10? I genuinely do not know.
2021 Goals:
  • Run another marathon (or two, or three).
  • Keep teaching my kids to cook. (Before the reinstatement of tighter lockdown (which, to be fair is hardly tight at all compared to other places), each of my kids helped me cook one night a week, and they got to have a friend over that night. It was working really well, and they were learning real skills besides just, getting food out for me.)
  • Read daily with my kids. This should be a thing we do already, but we just don't. Sometimes we will check books out from the library, and I never even crack them open.
  • Reinstate dates with our kids.
2020 focused a lot on myself, especially in regards to training. I am looking forward to being more mindful about the time I spend with my kids going into 2021.

28 December 2020

Felix is Eight!

Felix turned 8 in early October. He was baptized later in the month, which was a special day for us. It happened to be right before our state again toughened up on gathering limits. We were able to have many family members present for his baptism, and then we wore masks at our home afterwards for a lunch.

Felix's big accomplishments in the last year have been:

  • improving his reading
  • learning to ride a bike
  • beginning piano lessons
  • learning more board games
  • becoming a better hiker

He still loves to set up intricate and detailed battles with his army guys and often invites friends over to do so. Felix also enjoys playing outside with his friends in the field (usually football, but I believe other sports are in the mix), playing video games with his friends, and watching Studio C and Mark Rober. Lately he and his brother are also into Coyote Peterson. He also loves Legos and Minecraft.

Felix and Ike watch so much Studio C that they are often regale us with their own narrations of the the show's funniest sketches. I believe the Studio C cast is funnier. A few weeks ago we were telling the boys about the plot of It's A Wonderful Life when Felix informed us there is a sketch about that! (We showed them the real movie; they thought it was alright.) Then, last week Felix found me in the kitchen and started telling me about this hilarious sketch with a band singing a song called "Gary's Girl," which is a spoof of "Jesse's Girl." He was not as impressed with the actual song.

This year at Felix's annual checkup we learned he is smaller than usual. That visit has been followed up with visits with an endocrinologist, who refers to himself as Felix's "growth coach." Felix is such a fan of fruits and vegetables that it is hard to get fat on his bones! We have introduced many high-fat and high-protein items into his diet, but I still have to remind him daily to eat at least one "gain weight snack." He'd rather just eat a plain apple than have apple in a yummy dipping sauce. He still remains my least picky eater, which is lovely. He finally lost some teeth just before turning 8! This coincides with being a very late teether as a baby. (He got his first two teeth at 11 months and then nothing else until about 18 months, when he got six at once.)

For his birthday we went bowling at Fat Cats with just our family. It was a fun night out together.

I love Felix's logical and inquisitive nature. He likes to know how things work, and thinks practically. For the most part he does his household jobs quickly and efficiently so he can do the fun stuff sooner. We stared the year off with kid dates with the parents. Those fizzled somewhere along the way, but here's a photo from an early one with the two of us to the ropes course at the Museum of Natural Curiosity.

Due to Covid, our boys entered the world of babysitting much earlier than anyone would have guessed. The boys are quite good at caring for their sisters, even if their sisters are not great at being cared for. Felix loves to save his money and is so conscientious about spending it wisely. He scrimped and saved all spring and summer for a child-size kayak. They were constantly sold out. We looked at getting a used one and just couldn't luck out. Felix loved borrowing from friends when we were there with a huge group of people this summer. He was so patient to take his sister out over and over again. Luckily, we found a great deal on one on Black Friday, so he has one now! It was a big surprise for him on Christmas morning.

Last year was Felix's first year to play Junior Jazz basketball. His confidence far exceeded his skills. At one game when I was shouting at him to go down court (instead of trying to play full court press) he looked at me and yelled, "I KNOW HOW TO PLAY BASKETBALL!" All the parents got a good laugh from that (and also agreed with me, that, no, he does not know how to play basketball.) There were many times that he lobbed the ball in the general direction of the net, then turned around and started celebrating what he was sure was a goal. (It usually wasn't.) Despite these challenges, I signed him up for another round for 2021.

I sure do love my Felix. I am enjoying (mostly) working with him on the piano, and I love to hear him come up with creations all on his own. He has a great ear for music, and he'd rather learn to play by memory than reading music. (He is Eric's child in this regard.) He's been cooking with me more this year, which is also a great experience. I'm excited to see how he develops and grows over the next year, but I'm pretty sure he'll stay 8 forever.

05 October 2020

Trixie is Five!

Trixie turned five at the end of August. 

At five years old, she loves to play outside, play with friends, play with her siblings, and play with her parents. She is still snuggly, especially when trying to avoid going to bed or after a volatile outburst. 

She basically taught herself to ride a bike, and she loves going on bike rides with anyone who will take her. If no big kids or adults will accompany her around the black trail (a trail by our house), she will ride up and down the sidewalk of our street for long stretches of time. On the Monday after her birthday (Labor Day) she rode eight miles!

Trixie is smart and asks a lot of good questions. Last week her pre-school teacher told me she is ready to start reading and sent Trixie home with some resources to work with. (And yes, that technically happened after her birthday, but with a post nearly six weeks late, I'm talking about it anyway.)

Technically Trixie could have started kindergarten this year, but I had decided quite a while back to hold her back a year so she'd be one of the oldest in her class rather than one of the youngest. I had a lot of reasons for that, and with 2020 being like it's been, I'm confident I made the right choice. Trixie's getting an extra year with her beloved pre-school teacher, and she's doing an online program that is going fine.

Trixie loves animals, especially horses. We still go to Thanksgiving Point to let her ride ponies. I mentioned that when she turns 8 maybe we can some riding lessons, and she has remembered this and brought it up several times. Earlier this year she and Ike pretended to be missionaries for a Family Night activity. As we asked them questions people might ask missionaries, she told us that you can get baptized when you turn 8, and you can also take horse riding lessons.

She got 11 stitches in her chin earlier this year. It went about as well as you would expect. Once the shots numbed everything up, she did okay. But eventually that numbing agent wore off. At the age of 4, she learned to swallow pills because she detested the taste of the liquid pain medicine.

My two girls are absolutely, positively, the very best of friends (when they are not fighting). They have great imaginations and can play together for extended periods of time.

Trixie also loves to play with her brothers. Felix can often be found setting up train tracks for her, and Ike can always be relied upon to rile her up. At Bear Lake this summer, he toted her all around in this borrowed kayak for long periods of time.

Trixie played QuickBall (like tee-ball, but faster-paced and more focused on essential skills), and she did fine. She finally got a hit on her last game, which was thrilling. I was one of her coaches, which was special for us. She agreed to play, in large part, because of the treats she expected after each game, but Covid put the kabosh on that, which was really disappointing. She also excelled in swim lessons this year and thinks she can swim now. (She can't.)

Trixie is brave and always willing to be a daredevil. She told me she wanted to jump off this bridge on a camping trip. Once we were actually up there, it felt quite high, and she really struggled. She finally did it, though! (After the actual experience, she thought she'd try again, but she just stood on the bridge being scared for a long time before I finally went to get her. Ike did that too on the first day he jumped.)

Like a true middle child, Trixie likes to point out the ways in which she is special, generally talking about her "broken" heart or her defective ears and how she's had surgery more than anyone in her family. At one point I'm pretty sure she told somebody she was born without a heart at all.

She actually has a great, big heart, and we are so happy she is ours.

24 August 2020

Felicia is Three!

Felicia turned three in early July. She is a fun little girl right now. At age three she is:

  • Obsessed with her father.
  • Needing a nap about every fourth day but never getting one.
  • In love with Peppa Pig.
  • Verbose.
  • Potty-trained, but has recently relapsed into having chronic accidents because she can't be bothered to go to the bathroom.
  • Irate about having to get her hair done.
  • Too skinny for a lot of her pants to stay up.
  • Interested in wearing as many patterns as possible at one time.
  • Crazy about getting her fingernails and toenails painted.
  • Capable of finding any porta-potty at any construction site while we are out for drives. (She has a bizarre fascination with them.)

The other day she wandered into our room at night and slept on the floor. When she woke up for good, she popped straight up, with no lolling about on the floor. She looked at me and said, "Mom, wake up. It's cock-a-doodle-doo."

A few weeks ago she fell asleep while leaning on a dining room chair. This episode (pictured above) followed a long string of crying about everything you could imagine, and probably some things you couldn't imagine.

She loves to sing and dance, especially if nobody is watching. She also plays elaborate make believe games by herself.

If there is a mess left in the house, Felicia probably made it. She is, hands down, my most "into stuff" child. She constantly gets into food without permission. She eats raw oatmeal from the container, takes single bites out of cucumbers and apples, and makes her own cinnamon toast, with literally tablespoons of cinnamon heaped on. She has put an entire box of bandaids on her body like stickers. She took a bite from an EOS lip balm. (Who knew that was even possible?) She has gotten into and eaten entire packages of gum from the van's glove box. It is not unusual to find a sink full of sudsy water and all the wash cloths from that bathroom in the basin.

Her speech is generally understandable, but she struggles with words that start with s followed by a consonant. "Smoothie" sounds like "movie." "Stuck" sounds like "duck." Last week she rode a pony called Penelope, and she pronounced the name, "Pennareppy."

As difficult as she can be at this age, she can also be very sweet. She is quite perceptive of other people's feelings and tried to comfort people when they are sad. She quotes her older brothers quoting their favorite lines from movies and shows.

We love our Felicia!

13 April 2020

Felicia: 2.5

Felicia turned two and a half on New Year's Day. She is such a fun little girl.

In the last six-ish months, Felicia has developed strong opinions about fashion. She is very opinionated about what she wears, often choosing very inventive combinations. If there is something with a pattern, she'll wear it. She also loves to wear anything with a picture or logo on it. She loves accessories, especially necklaces and purses. She enjoys choosing her own bows when I do her hair.

Her favorite colors are blue and orange. If she can wear something or play with something or use something with those colors as an option, she will. Until a few weeks ago, she preferred to use a bottle, if possible. (But I finally threw the bottles and sippy cups away because I am sick of finding gross containers with days-old milk in them around the house. Tantrums and general sadness ensued when Felicia realized they were "lost.")

Felicia loves her daddy. If I try to get her out of bed in the morning, she usually tells me to go away. If daddy is gone by the time she wakes up, she is very sad and often takes a while to be convinced that I am capable of getting her out of bed and getting her oatmeal. (But with quarantine happening now, Daddy is home all the time, and Felicia is one happy girl!)

Whenever we go on pre-school field trips with Trixie, Felicia lines right up and acts like she is part of the preschool class. I am considering enrolling her in a 3-year-old pre-school for next year, but I may not because she has a summer birthday. Then I think about how well she does on these field trips, and maybe I'll find one for her after all.

She loves to play with her siblings and can also be really tyrannical with them. She has loved being able to spend so much time with her siblings during this "Stay safe, stay home" time period. Usually her brothers get home from school and try to go play with friends as soon as they can. With everyone being forced to be together, Felicia is in heaven. She is also starting to play so much better with Trixie, and it is so sweet to see them play happily together.

Felicia inherited my need to be right and correct people all the time, so that's fun for everyone. Most of the time when I call her "baby," (which is a lot) she responds, "I nogga baby. Ina girl."

We potty-trained Felicia this week, and she did awesome. She wasn't our youngest to potty train, but overall, she was definitely the easiest.

Right now she can be very loving and affectionate, often saying, "I just love you." She also loves to say, "I'm happy today," followed by listing everyone else in the family who is happy at that moment and pointing out any who might be sad. She loves babies and pretends that everything is her baby. This is her with her baby cousin, who weighs almost as much as she does:

Felicia loves to dance and to sing her own made up songs, which usually involve one line repeated ad nauseam. (Example: It's a beautiful day! It's a beautiful day! It's a beautiful day!)

We sure do love our little girl (who insists she is not little).