The endings of January

Today is my brother's birthday! Happy birthday brother! His birthday is so appropriately on the last day of January; I already look forward to the last day of this month and it never seems to get. here. fast. enough.  Feels just like a birthday when I was a kid! January, you are not my favorite! Bare trees, temps below freezing for our morning walks to school, never really warming up the rest of the day, bbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!! Let's face it, I'm an Arizona/Florida girl at heart; any day closer to February (and March, and let's face it, April) is a day closer to those higher temperatures that I need to survive be happy on this planet. 
Here are some of the ways we eeked our way through the end of January.
Counting:
Oh this little fellow. He is still completely denying naps during the day (I put him in there and he plays and plays, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, etc, throwing all his blankets and pillows and books onto the floor, thud, thud, thud, etc), and has even started his middle of the night nonsense again. He's all messed up and we're just trying to survive until he works himself out. If I'm lucky, he'll fall asleep in the car on the way home from dance or swim or play date time, and we'll all get a little peace during dinner prep. 
But then, let's face it, he wakes up in a terrible state and remains that way until we can get some food in him. There are a lot of cereal-for-dinner moments happening lately! Survival mode, people!
Luckily, this third child of mine also has his delightful moments. He likes to do what the older kids do: here's he's mimicking "piano practicing." He hums along, my heart melts, I decide I can probably make it till bedtime after all, etc.
Sigh. Two year olds.
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I'm starting a new quilt project. It's quite a deliberate and measured process, this one. Sections of arrows, from one end of the color spectrum to the other. Find a print, line it up in order with its color family, decide how much of it is available, cut, place. Repeat. I'm getting to dig through and find some of my very favorite scraps, all the way back to my first Annie-inspired prints. It's been fun. Plus, it's adding much needed color to my dreary January. Double goodness. 
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One precious Annie detail to remember this month. She's continued to sew up a flurry of gifts by hand for friends and family. She also USES her own creations on a regular basis. (Take a moment now and look back at the picture of all the fabric on the table. If you look closely near the top, you'll see multiple felt mouses hanging from the chandelier. "They're sleeping!") Here is a sleep mask, worn religiously every night. It says, "Sweett Dreams."
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I started making a pseudo-healthy "snack" this month. They were originally called "no bake date nut balls," but I modified the original recipe enough that I feel comfortable renaming it "Rice Krispie Treats with dates instead of marshmallows, and a bunch of nuts, and some brown sugar too."

Recipe: Soak 8 oz chopped dates in a water for 10 minutes. Drain water. Cook dates, 1/2 stick butter, 1/4 c. brown sugar, and 1/4 c. honey on the stove top (med heat) until the butter melts and it starts to bubble. Stir frequently. Cook for 5 minutes monger. Remove from heat and add 1/2 c. chopped nuts, and 1 tsp vanilla. Fold in 3-4 cups rice krispies. Push into greased 9 x 12 pan. Let cool, eat up.
(I'm still modifying. Not sure you need all that butter, brown sugar, AND honey. These are supposedly healthy, I think. We'll see.) 
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January, I won't miss you. :) I mean, we're all for honesty around here, right? Bring on the spring!

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