The polar vortex and subsequent deep freeze had brought the Yem Family blog to a screeching halt. As often as we tried, we just couldn’t find a good way to type with our mittens permanently glued to our hands. With much persistence, we finally made a breakthrough, and we have a lot to share. What have we been up to these last few months? Continue reading below to find out!

Llama Llama Holiday Drama

In December, we took Carter to see the play Llama Llama Holiday Drama based on the popular children’s book. Carter really enjoys all of the Llama Llama books, so we thought this was a great choice for his first theater experience. The play was about an hour long and Carter seemed to pay attention the majority of the time. We’re not sure if he was really following the story, but it was a fun family outing.

Cookie Decorating

Grandma Kron introduced Carter to cookie decorating this past Easter, so this year around Christmas, Allison wanted to continue this Kron family tradition. One weekend, Carter had his good friend Alex over make some treats that we could all enjoy. Alex and Carter had fun taste testing the frosting, pouring sprinkles, and topping things off with a few candy mustaches. Allison and Abby do an annual Christmas tree ornament exchange, so hopefully this becomes an annual tradition as well.


We were all excited for Christmas this year, with Carter being a year older, and having a greater appreciation, or general desire, for presents. Leading up to the day, whenever we asked him what he wanted from Santa, he would rattle off the usual list of toys that he had been eyeing, but he would also make sure to throw in fruit each and every time. We weren’t sure how serious he was about that request, but we thought it would be funny to find out. On Christmas day, Grandma Kron put some fruit in Carter’s stocking and, to our surprise, it was probably Carter’s favorite gift of the holidays. I’m not sure if that speaks to our gift selections, or to Carter’s general mindset, but it only served to confirm our suspicions over the past year — the easiest way to our son’s heart is with fruit.

Potty Training

For quite a few weeks leading up to Christmas, Carter had been showing more of an interest in potty training. He would ask to wear underwear, complain about his diaper, or even take it off himself. We planned a weekend after Christmas when we knew we would be snowed in, for a “no pants” weekend. On that Friday, when Carter got home from school, the adventure began. We encouraged him to eat crackers to make him thirsty, and then offered him a new fruit juice to quench that thirst — this effort led to more trips to the potty. After the first day, we were impressed at how Carter was catching on so quickly. By Saturday afternoon, he had graduated to underwear, and by Sunday he was back in pants with underwear. We even got enough courage to leave the house to go grocery shopping! The weekend was a huge success and now deciding between Thomas the Train, Buzz Lightyear or Superman underwear is a part of our daily routine.

Bear Cub Cave

Carter transitioned to the young preschool room, the Bear Cub Cave, in mid-January. We were excited because this gave him the opportunity to go on field trips and even walk to the parks close by his school. However, we were both a little nervous about the transition, since his first few weeks were a little hard on both of us — we weren’t sure how he would handle being with the “Big Kids” all day. There were a few other kids moving up at the same time, and with a two week transition period, Carter never seemed to be bothered by the change. Each week, he has show-and-tell on Wednesdays, and it’s always fun to decide with Carter what to bring. So far, I think his duck call has been a class favorite!

Sesame Street Live

For the second year in a row, we decided to take Carter to Sesame Street Live. We headed downtown for the craziness to see Elmo and his friends in action. Last year, we let Carter get his now beloved Elmo doll and this year we added to the collection with Bert & Ernie. We think that Carter enjoyed the show, because he voluntarily got up to dance a few times and would wave to the characters when they left the stage. After the show, Carter went out for lunch with his friend Mason, so that they could exchange reviews. The story lines aren’t always strongest, but I have a feeling we will probably be seeing the show again next year.


We took Carter for his first trip to the dentist earlier this month. We didn’t know exactly what to expect, so we were both excited and nervous for the experience. They let Carter touch each one of the tools for cleaning his teeth, wear sunglasses during the exam, and pick out his own flavor of fluoride. At the end, he got to pick out a prize and received multiple stickers. When it was all said and done, he left the dentist’s office, skipping down the hallway, eager to go back again in 6 months.

Kron Winter Visit

Grandma & Grandpa Kron and Uncle Nick came to visit in February. Carter was very excited to see Grandma, exclaiming before the weekend that we would eat dinner and then eat pie together. On Friday when they arrived, Grandma and Grandpa went with Allison to pick Carter up from school. Allison and Grandma Kron were greeted with special Valentine’s Day hand massages courtesy of Carter, in the Bear Cub Cave spa. Uncle Nick arrived a little later, which Carter was equally excited about. The weekend continued with multiple tasty dinners, a trip to REI and an Iowa Basketball victory. We all enjoy when family comes to visit and we cannot wait for their next trip!

Snow Fun

On the few occasions the weather has been bearable to get outside, we have done our best to take advantage of those opportunities.

One weekend, we planned a sledding outing with Alex, at the local park we had gone sledding at last year. They had a great time going up and down the hill, and even once went down together. When they weren’t sledding, they chased each other around the playground equipment, navigating all the snow around them.

Always willing to lend a hand around the house, Carter joined me as I shoveled our way out of the first big snowfall of the year. As you can tell from the videos below, help is probably not the most accurate word to describe his participation, but at least he had a good time.

After our most recent snowfall, the amount of snow in our front yard is now bordering on ridiculous. However, with some ingenuity from Allison, the large pile became a snow slide, that Carter was more than happy to test out.

As hard as it tried, this brutal winter hasn’t kept us from being busy, and there is no shortage of fun when Carter has his way.