Monday, March 30, 2015

First day of spring break

This morning was drizzly and dreary. We played board games together (the Harry Potter LEGO game, Chutes and Ladders (*shudder*), and Headbandz) and everything was peachy keen until I suggested the girls clean their room before lunch. Then, oh, boy!

Their room is mostly clean now but tempers were running high for quite some time, long enough for the sun to come out and dry up all the rain, so after lunch we took a walk to the park. I suppose Benjamin and I were the only ones who walked. Miriam and Rachel rode their bikes.

One of the swings at the park broke (a long time ago) so the girls figured out how to swing spider-style.

They were quite happy with themselves until they ended up bonking heads. Then Rachel was furious with Miriam for accidentally bonking her in the head. It's not like Miriam escaped the encounter unscathed. She had a bonk to match the one Rachel wore. And besides, I pointed out to Rachel, didn't you just kick Miriam when you were swinging solo and send her sprawling on the ground. Miriam was covered from head to toe in mud.

"That's different!" Rachel fumed. "I didn't do that on purpose."

"And neither did Miriam. That's what accidentally means."

Things were better after she calmed down again.

Things I didn't say at church

Yesterday in Sunday School we discussed Matthew 11: 28–30, among other things.

Side note: Having never really attended adult Sunday School for any length I realized that I have no idea what the adult classes are called. And I only realized that yesterday when a young woman in our ward, who recently returned from her mission, popped into the room and asked me, "Is this Gospel Doctrine?" and I said tentatively, "Ummm...yes..."

That sounded right, but really how different are the names "Gospel Doctrine" and "Gospel Essentials." Isn't doctrine essential? What class was I in? The right one, surely, whatever one that was. Why don't we have singing time? I sure miss singing time. I'm happy to not be wrangling children for once but I do miss singing time.

"Oh, there's my mom!" she said. "Looks like this is the right place."

So, it is called Gospel Doctrine.

Matthew 11:28–30 says:
28 ¶Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We were just getting to the good part when I had to go check my blood sugar (nine more weeks; who's counting?) so when I came back in I was happy to hear that Mosiah 24 had been mentioned, a beautiful story where the faithful people in bondage—Alma and his people—prayed to God for deliverance and the answer to their prayer was, essentially, "not yet." But, the Lord also promised that he would ease their burdens—not by taking them away, but by giving them strength to bear them.
 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
I find that scripture so easy to relate to because how often has a trial ever been completely vaporized before my eyes? Like, never. But I do find that I'm stronger than I think I am and that I'm able to get through trials that I didn't necessarily think I'd be able to handle, and I think that's because I'm yoked with the Lord. Or at least trying to be.

One woman mentioned that we need to be "equally yoked." When we think of that we typically think of putting two equal things together, and that was essentially what the woman said as well—you yoke two oxen of approximate size and strength together and they magically can do amazing things. I nodded because we've all heard that a billion times, but the more I thought about it, the more I found it...wrong.

I am not equal to the Lord. At all.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

That awkward moment when...

Choir was a trying experience today. My kids were not in the mood to behave. I know you all think they're perfect little angels, but punches were thrown the chapel! My sweet little girls in their matching Easter dresses were punching and kicking each other, pulling each other's hair, stepping on each other's head. They were doing it as discretely as possible, but it was happening nonetheless, and when we got into the van they got a stern talking to and cried all the way home.

Blotchy-faced and quite solemn, they filed out of the van when we got home.

"And I was so hoping to take a picture of you in your matching Easter clothes," I said.

In return I was given icy stares of death. No pictures were taken this afternoon.

Benjamin was misbehaving in a different, more regular, yet still exhausting, basic two-year-old sense. He was throwing toys around, running around screeching, and constantly escaping through the chapel doors into the corridors of the church building, which in turn give him access to the parking lot and wide, wide world.

Early on in our choir hour, my friend's husband, whose name happens to be Ben, left the chapel after speaking to her briefly. He usually takes 4/5 kids home after church, while she and one daughter stay for choir (her to sing, her daughter to hang out with my daughters). My little Benjamin followed him right out, so I got out of my seat, raced down the platform stairs, and followed him into the hall.

"Benjamin, honey!" I called out.

It was only when my friend's husband turned around in response that I realized I'd suddenly put myself in a rather awkward position. Turning a little bit red in the face, I did the only thing I could.

I raced up to my Ben, grabbed his arm, and said, "My Ben, you need to stay here."

"Gotcha," other Ben said, waving goodbye.

It wasn't too big of a deal, I suppose, but it was momentarily awkward/embarrassing and I still find it terribly, terribly funny.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Movin' and groovin'

This baby can be quite the wiggle worm. Miriam and Rachel love to feel her moving around. Benjamin's only recently begun to enjoy feeling her move, though I think he's still a little tripped out by it. If this baby is hard for me to envision, I can only imagine how weird/hard it is for him to imagine there's an actual baby inside my tummy. But then again, perhaps his imagination is better oiled than mine is.

Yesterday when I sat down to rest, Zoë started having her own personal dance party. Miriam and Benjamin—especially Benjamin—were having a grand ol' time feeling her bounce around:

Easter Egg Hunt

The primary Easter egg hunt was was this morning. I'm not sure what to say about it other than that it happened, the kids found plastic eggs full of candy, donuts and juice/milk were served.

It was an egg hunt. The kids were happy about the candy. The end.

I wish I had more to say about this activity but that's literally all that happened. It was still fun for the kids to get to run around for a minute, hunting eggs and seeing their friends.

The kids were so excited to choose their baskets this morning. Miriam chose a beautiful basket with a long handle and a floral ribbon around it, but then Rachel stepped in and said with a hint of superiority, "I'm going to use this blue basket because it will be easier to handle during the hunt, which means I'll be able to find more eggs. Your basket will be too difficult to control." Miriam promptly switched out her basket for a red one in the same style as Rachel's.

Benjamin was, perhaps, the most excited of all the kids. I asked him if he even knew what happened at an egg hunt.

"You just find eggs, Mom," he said.

I don't think he has any memory of Easter egg hunts past, but I suppose the phrase "egg hunt" is relatively self-explanatory.

I can't believe March is already over and Easter is right around the corner, but we are rather happy to be on spring break!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Happy Birth Day, Riley! (or, The Internet was Down so I Caulked the Bathtub)

This morning I was planning on working on the family newsletter after breakfast, but instead the internet went down so I decided to re-caulk the tub, a project that has been a long-time coming. There are a couple of moldy spots on the tub that I have not been able to get clean the entire time we've been here and it's been driving me fairly crazy.

A few weeks ago when I was scrubbing the tub it dawned on me that the tub wasn't moldy, rather the caulk was shriveled up and rotting and needed to be replaced.

Today was the day I tackled that.

The internet was down, it was raining, and Andrew took the car to campus.

What else was I going to do?

The first step was to remove the old caulk. We bought what I thought was magical caulk remover, but it turns out it's only magical if you apply enough elbow grease. It took me hours to get the old caulk out. When I was finished I...took a nap...and then got up and got ready to re-caulk the tub.

I got my supplies, studied some how-tos online (the internet came back on), loaded the caulking gun, snipped the tip of the caulk tube, and got to work...kind of.

I squeezed that trigger with all of my might but nothing happened and I thought to myself, "This (also) is going to be a lot more work than I bargained for if I can't even get any caulk to come out!"

And then caulk started oozing out the back of the tube because, as it turns out, you're supposed to put something long and sharp down the tip of the caulk tube to break the seal inside. I missed that step, probably causing dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of handier people than me to roll in their graves.

I found a long wood skewer in a drawer and poked a hole in the tube and then spent the next hour caulking the tub while also trying to keep caulk from oozing out the back of the gun.

It was a much messier project than I intended it to be but we ended up with a beautifully caulked tub, if I do say so myself.

The leftover caulk, as well as the caulking gun, went into the trash because there was no way to salvage them that I could see.

"That's why we got a $2 caulking gun," Andrew shrugged when I showed him the damage I'd done.

Other casualties of this project were an entire roll of paper towels and my sanity, though the latter should be recuperated in time no longer spent agonizing about how to get those mold spots off the tub (because they weren't mold spots—just gnarly old caulk). I suppose the overall cleanliness of the house was yet another casualty because Benjamin and Miriam got out the trains and the blocks and the farm and books and little pet shops and...everything else we own.

I'll make them clean that up tomorrow after the egg hunt.

While I was without internet and was busy with my bathtub, more exciting things were happening in other parts of the world (if you can imagine anything more exciting than caulking a bathtub).

My friend went to the hospital to be induced (41 weeks and so ready to have this pregnancy over with) and Auntie Sarah went in the hospital to spontaneously have her baby boy (9 days early). Auntie Sarah was scheduled to be induced on Monday (at 39 weeks) because this little boy was measuring big but he decided to come on his own.

He was born this afternoon around 4:00 our time (so around 2:00 in Utah), and the doctors were right—he was big! 9 pounds, 9 ounces and 20 inches long! Way to go, Sarah!

His name is Riley William and doesn't he just look sweet?

I already put his birthday on the calendar, not that I'm great with birthdays (but I am trying). His birthday is the same day as my parents' anniversary, so his birth was a good reminder to wish my parents a happy anniversary (happy anniversary again, Mom and Dad)!

It was a pretty productive day, even if I didn't get as much done on the family newsletter as I'd hoped to. I did, however, finish reading my mom's cousin Ted's autobiography—all fifty-nine pages of it. He passed away in October so I'm trying to condense his autobiography so I can include a life sketch in the newsletter. I was also sent a "brief life sketch" of his but he had nine kids and dedicated a paragraph to each of them, so it was more a "family sketch" than a "life sketch." I hope to include a few good stories from his longer autobiography.  Once I'm done with that the rest of the newsletter should be, as Andrew would say, plug and play. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Soccer season begins!

The girls had their first day of soccer today. We rushed through dinner and then loaded everyone into the van. I dropped Andrew and Rachel off at their field (Andrew's coaching Rachel's team again) and then headed over to Miriam's field with Miriam and Benjamin. It was a rather frenetic hour, but we made it everywhere on time.

A few girls from Rachel's team last season are on her team this season again, and her friend Callin is playing as well, though he's on a different team.

Miriam didn't know anyone on her team, though her friends Rhett, Marcella, and Alden are all at the same practice location on different teams/sports (baseball is going on right now as well).

Annie, Marian, and I were all relieved to see each other at practice because we each have two kids doing different things at different places and were wondering how things were going to work out when we didn't have two parents available on any given Thursday next Thursday night when Andrew won't be around.

Annie said she'll be at that practice location next week (she's switching off with her husband when they can) so she'll keep an eye on Rachel while I take Miriam to her practice. I told her we'd be happy to take charge of either of her boys if her husband ever gets called in.

Thursdays (and Saturdays) are going to be crazy the next few weeks. Game days are going to be crazy!

It'll be worth it, though, I'm sure. Miriam had a blast today and Rachel was already in love with soccer so she had a lot of fun, too.

Benjamin had a little less fun. I made him go on a diabetes walk with me and he tripped and fell and scraped his elbow and knee. Both wounds were bleeding but he just hopped right up and took off away from me as fast as he could.

"Don't touch it, Mommy!" he cried (like, literally cried). "It's fine. Me just fine. Don't even touch it. Me just keep 'alking. Me fine. Keep going. Don't touch it."


I have been on the phone for a full hour sorting out insurance nonsense.

So, haha, one of my insurances will only cover the Abbott brand—with a $30 co-pay. And my doctor's office said that would be my cheapest option. But my other insurance will only cover the brand Accu Chek—with a $3 copay.

I'm pretty sure that $3 is cheaper than $30, but how can one tell, really? I mean, they both have threes in them, so...confusing!

Now I'm kind of upset that I opened that stupid bottle of $30 test strips when I could have gotten what's got to be practically the very same thing for $3. Not that I had any option because I have to test four times a day (and with Benjamin they only had me check fasting numbers and after one meal, so twice a day (no wonder this seems more complicated this time)) and I was all out of strips.

Guess who has two (rather large toe-)thumbs and will be switching their prescription next time they go in for an appointment? This girl.

Too bad I already had my appointment for this week this morning. Not that it matters because I already opened the silly bottle of test strip gold that I'll be bleeding all over for the next 25 days.

Insurance is such a huge mess. Whose idea was it, anyway? Public market, competition, good for the economy, blah, blah, blah. Whatever.

Universal coverage for all, and for all a good night. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Learning curve

"When Zoë come?" Benjamin asked this evening.

"In a couple of months," I answered.

"Maybe open your tummy door and just get Zoë here, Mom," Benjamin suggested. "That'd be great! That's a great idea! Just open tummy, get Zoë out!"

He's a little excited to meet this mystery person, as we all are. I've reached the point of my pregnancy where it's offensive when people don't notice I'm pregnant. We had the missionaries over for dinner and for dessert we fed them a box of lemon cookies that Andrew had picked up for me pre-diabetes. The plan was actually to have strawberries for dessert. Andrew cut them all up and didn't even add any sugar (just for me)...and then he upset the bowl when he was getting it out of the fridge and the strawberries went all over the kitchen floor. Boxed cookies was our spur-of-the-moment backup plan.

"Hey—that expires on my due date!" I protested jokingly. "I could potentially eat those!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Maybe? Say maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

Last night for family night Andrew gave the kids a lesson on gestational diabetes and how they can help our home be a happier place. The essence of the lesson was that Mommy gets really possessive about food when she's "dieting" (and by dieting I mean controlling my diet, not restricting calories).

When I was pregnant with Benjamin (we were living with Andrew's parents at the time) I had a stash of high-protein snacks—nuts and beef jerky and things—to balance out my daily with something other than peanut butter. One day my bag of beef jerky went missing and with all my pregnant emotion I wailed, "Who stole my beef jerky?!"

Grandpa sheepishly brought it up from his office. The pesky Beef Jerky Thief has yet to live that moment down. That, or I have yet to live down how upset I was about my beef jerky being missing. Either way you shake it, it's a perfect illustration of how possessive I get about food when I'm pregnant and on a stricter diet than usual.

My children are snack thieves as well. I understand that I'm in charge of feeding them and I usually put them first but currently I'm (constantly) thinking about what and when I need to eat next.

The other day I got out a string cheese, opened it, and took a bite. While I was chewing, Benjamin casually walked by, slipping that string cheese from my hand as smoothly as a relay racer passing a baton.

"Thanks," he said, and then he looked at it and frowned. "It's broken."

"Yeah," I said. "Because I got it out for me and already bit it."

"Okay," he shrugged, heading out the front door to play.

I was getting a new string cheese out of the fridge when Miriam walked by and said, "Is that for me?" And then Rachel was like, "What's for her? Can I have one, too?" And I wad like, "Leave me alone! I just want a snack!!"

So after getting cheese out for everyone I finally got some cheese for myself. Not that it's really a big deal to get cheese out for everyone. But this happens every time I try to get food ready. Even if I've just fed the kids, they'll still want what I'm having for a snack. Like, "Oh, but you only gave apples to us. Why do you get apples and almonds?"

Another thing is exercising after meals. Sometimes they're good about helping with that and other times they're not. I try to go on a half-mile walk or do fifteen minutes of yoga soon after eating, but I have this entourage of underage human beings I'm responsible for. So if I want to go on a walk after a meal I have to get them to want to go on a walk as well, and like I said, sometimes they're excited to go and will get ready right away and will walk at a nice pace and be completely cooperative.

Other times it takes me an hour to convince them to get their shoes and jackets on and then they walk like snails and insist on balancing on the curb and picking every dandelion they see and I think to myself, "Well, this walk was about as taxing as sitting on the couch."

So instead of always forcing them to go on walks I'll turn on a yoga movie. Recently if I turn on a Yoga Kids movie they abandon me after five minutes and I'm left doing alphabet yoga on my own. But if I turn on my prenatal yoga they all want to do it with me. Weirdos.

Here's Rachel thinking she's funny because she followed the directions and placed "one hand over her heart and the other hand over her growing baby." Miriam and Benjamin chose to remain with their hands in namaste.