Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rainy walk

We went for a walk through our neighbourhood to see how things were. My camera was on a wonky setting but I couldn't fix it until we were made it to the playground because it was pouring rain (and I didn't want to fiddle with it until I was under the awning). I didn't take an umbrella because, frankly, I don't have enough arms to handle the umbrella, a camera, and two children, so we were just embracing the rain.

Here's the creek behind our house:


Really it's not bad, at least not compared to how things are a little farther downstream.

Rushing, rising riv'lets...

It has been raining steadily for the past three days. I wouldn't say it's pouring—though it certainly has poured at times—but it's been raining heavily. "Heavy bands of rain..." is what the news has been saying. It's hardly let up at all.

The Eno River is breeching its banks. Police have gone house-to-house in the little "sub-neighbourhood" just off of our neighbourhood to evacuate the area and the houses in our neighbourhood that back the river have been warned to be ready.

We're far enough away from the river that I'm not too worried, though I am keeping a close eye on the creek behind our house. It's been fine so far.

Andrew wants me to take the kids on a walk to see if we can see the river (though since houses line the river I'm not sure we'll be able to...)

Apparently the bridge over the creek that the kids have to cross to get to school was nearly flooded this morning when Andrew dropped them off (water was about flush with the road), so I'm not sure how they'll get home if the waters don't start receding...seriously.

Here's a picture of the mill at West Point on the Eno (so if we've taken you there, it'll give you some sort of reference to how high the water is):

From WRAL

Monday, April 24, 2017

Making scripture study count

Last night we were reading D&C 64 as a family (technically only the second half of it because sometimes we can only get through half a chapter in one sitting because when we call the kids for scripture study recently Benjamin and Zoë seem to have heard, "Time for wrestle mania!" and it's just...difficult). When we get to short verses we'll sometimes have Zoë take a turn because (when she's not wrestling Benjamin) she likes to hold her own set of scriptures and babble along.

While Benjamin is capable of repeating whole phrases at a time, and can even sound out some of the words himself, Zoë can only repeat one word at a time.

She got verse 32 last night: "But all things must come to pass in their time."

She's pretty picky about what words she'll attempt saying, so sometimes she'll repeat them and sometimes she'll stare at us like we're crazy. This is how it went down last night:

Me: But
Zoë: But
Me: All
Zoë: ...
Me: Things
Zoë: Sings
Me: Must
Zoë: Must
Me: Come
Zoë: ...
Me: To
Zoë: THREE!!!

We all started laughing. She thought I was trying to get her to count: come, to, three!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

All the conference talks

This morning I had to add a quote to my talk. 

I had promised myself the night before I wasn't going to touch it, but then I had a dream about giving my talk and in my dream I used this quote in my conclusion. It was still in my mind when I woke up. I knew it was an actual quote from one of the talks I had read this past month (there were many); it was only a question of figuring out which one it was from. 

While I was using the search command on talk after talk after talk, Rachel came up to me and said, "Huh. Where do you find those?"

"Find what?" I asked.

"Conference talks," she said.

"Oh, they're all online. You just go to lds.org and search for them."

"Cool, 'cuz I need to read some," she said.

"Which ones?" I asked.

"All of them," she said.

Good luck, I thought because there are a lot of conference talks. 

Royal Children

Zoë (re)discovered our dress-ups and has fallen in love with putting on costumes. Her favourite dress seems to be this pink one, which she would have worn to church today if I had allowed it:

Her Highness, Princess Puppybottom, with the royal puppy resting loyally at her feet

44 Times I've Prayed

I gave a talk in sacrament meeting today and while I may have made Andrew sit with me in the congregation when he gave a talk last week, I definitely sat on the stand, by myself, today. We weren't really sure it was going to work but Andrew suggested we go ahead and try it, so I positioned myself on the stand so that the pulpit was blocking me from Zoë's view. 

It worked great and she didn't even care that I wasn't there...until I was there.

Andrew had to run her out as soon I as I stood up and the two of them spent the duration of my talk wandering the hallway finding distractions. Zoë was not impressed...


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fort Fisher Aquarium (April 5)

After we finished up our hike we went to the Fort Fisher aquarium. Some of Rachel's friends at Voyager Academy (one of the schools in Durham) were on a field trip there. We were surprised to run into several people that we knew from soccer and other activities that far away from home!

It's a fairly small aquarium but we had fun.


More hiking (April 4/5)

I know we got back from camping more than two weeks ago, but in a way this is a timely post because it's all about the Kids in the Parks trail that we did (over and over again) and today we got our Kids in the Parks perk pack in the mail, which the kids were rather excited about. They each got a certificate and a little passport with a sticker for Carolina Beach State Park. They're pretty happy about it.

We ended up doing the hike five times in total. I took the kids on it one-way the first day we camped. After we got back from the beach on the second day I took them on it two-ways (out and back in) while Andrew stayed at the cabin to do some writing (when dissertation deadlines are looming there's really not such thing as a "vacation"). 

Here's a picture of Zoë as we're leaving our campsite:


She picked out that headband herself and was so proud of it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Crying it out

With my poor sleepers, I've tried just about every technique there is to get them to sleep. I've never been a fan of the cry-it-out method because the kids I've tried that on would just scream until sunrise if I let them (Zoë included). I can't handle that (going in to comfort a crying baby every ten minutes all night long just isn't fun). We've tried (many) other gentler methods and nothing ever seems to work (at least not for long). It's just the way my kids are wired, I guess.

Zoë's almost two and I'm frankly not sure how many nights she's slept through the night. Somewhere between 0 and 5 would be my guess.

She's still coming into our room in the middle of the night, which is fine....lately. I just pull her into bed and she falls right back to sleep. I can totally handle that because she's recently begun going to bed at a decent hour.

For the past few months we've been putting her to bed and sitting by her—patting her back, and reminding her to lie down—for hours every night in order to get her to go to sleep. She'd been getting progressively difficult at bedtime and started doing really annoying things like pivoting so she could kick me or reaching over to pull my hair or other ridiculous things like that.

On Tuesday night I had finally had enough. I walked out, shut the door, and let her scream and pound on her closed door to her heart's delight. And I didn't feel an ounce of guilt about it (for once) because she had been being so annoying.

Much to my surprise (I was seriously shocked), she calmed down after a good fifteen-minute tantrum and seemed to have retreated farther back in her room. She was still fussing every few minutes, but she wasn't outright screaming so I just let her be. After another half hour or so I peeked in and found her fast asleep in her bed.

Wonder of wonders!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Egg Smackdown 2017

I dyed eggs with the kids all on my own this year, as I've done a couple other times in memory. Somehow Andrew manages to be gone right around Easter quite a lot. As my eloquent friend Lindsay put so perfectly on Facebook, "...We succeeded in accomplishing the most stressful of the conventional traditions. I'm all for traditions, but anyone else wish we could do away with the small children dunking eggs in cups of dye every year?"

Seriously.

Every year I give myself a pep talk about being the happy, cheerful parent that I know I can be, but then within the first two minutes two or three eggs get smashed and a cup or two of dye nearly tip over and I'm basically hyperventilating through the process. My, but isn't this fun!?

The kids put the dye pellets into the cups and then labeled the papers with their guess of what colour it would turn out to be. They were pretty spot on, except for purple and red.