Thursday, January 19, 2017


My children are the messiest eaters on the face of the planet. You might think yours are the messiest eaters, but you're wrong. Because mine claim that title.

I spend a good chunk of my time wiping down table tops, sweeping food off the floor, bathing children smeared head-to-toe in dinner (and so forth). And I know that mothers are supposed to be the pinnacle of patience—don't cry over spilled milk!—but sometimes the continual mess gets to me so when the fiftieth blueberry falls off their fork, bounces off their plate, skips across the table, and rolls across the floor, and the culprit smiles at me and shrugs their shoulders I growl, "You'd better go find that," instead of sweetly reminding my child to look after themselves. Because if I find one more forgotten (and smashed) blueberry (or anything else, for that matter) I'm going to lose my mind.

We must not cry over spilled milk, true. But how many times must we not cry over spilled milk? Until the seventy and seventh time? Say it ain't so.

This morning Zoë put her elbow in her cereal bowl before I'd even given her any milk (thank goodness) and dry cereal went flying across the table.

"Just sit and eat your breakfast," I reminded the kids as I scooped up the spilled cereal. "Eat and then play. Do not play and eat."

Monday, January 16, 2017

Thing I'd never thought I'd say #2239

"Rachel, there's a vertebra under the trampoline. Come take care of it."

She found a (partial) skeleton of some sort of critter while we were out picking up trash on Saturday and it was too interesting to leave alone so she brought it home (in a plastic bag) and somehow one of the vertebrae found its way out of the plastic bag and under the trampoline.

Because why shouldn't we have random animal parts scattered around the house?

When is the pool going to open?

Yesterday the kids were playing LEGO before church and Benjamin insulted Rachel's creation, which spurred on a huge fight because she took his criticism extremely personally. There was quite a bit of mud-slinging and even a little bit of physical contact and it was all completely ridiculous.

"I want you to say three nice things to each other," I instructed when I had pulled them apart. "Rachel you go first."

"Fine," she huffed before snarling, "I like your roof. The green part on top is nice. You build cool things."

Benjamin didn't think this qualified as kind because for family night last Monday we'd had a lesson about saying nice things nicely—and how if you say nice words in a mean way they don't really count as nice words. Rachel did not say her nice words nicely. But she was in too much of a snit to fix this so I asked Benjamin to let it go and take his turn saying nice things.

"Fine!" he echoed Rachel, but then said very calmly, "Your LEGO house isn't ugly."

She shot him a withering look.

"When is the pool going to open?" he said next, his words waxing saccharine.

Don't throw your trash in my backyard...

This weekend the kids and I participated in our second annual litter collection event, in honour of MLK day. As you can see from the pictures the turnout has been phenomenal (or not):

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Late Wednesday afternoon we got the news that the girls would be having a full day of school on Thursday morning. I had them pack up their backpacks so we'd be prepared in the morning. Andrew and Rachel went to church in the evening for a meeting and an activity, respectively. I stayed home with the littles, as per my usual, and gave Miriam her piano lesson.

We'd had scriptures and prayer before Andrew and Rachel left, with the hope that I'd have the other kids in bed by the time they returned—and we were right on track for that. We'd cleaned up from dinner and had story time and everything! And then Miriam got out of bed to announce that she'd forgotten to do her "Sunshine Math," an extracurricular math program (that seems to be rather widely used in the States...I dunno).

I was like, "You've had this worksheet sitting in your backpack for over three weeks and now is when you decide to do it?!"

Seriously. She'd been at home for twenty-six days in a row—and there had been several outbursts of "I'm bored!"—and she was just sitting on this worksheet the whole time?! Kids!

The girls were happy to be back at school for a couple of days before our long weekend (because, yes, that's just what we need after being home for twenty-six days and going back to school for two days—a long weekend). It's probably a good thing, really, because we need to reenter our schedule slowly. This 7:45 AM start time. Boy. I dunno.

In other news, Zoë, who suffered somewhat of a sleep regression over our month-long break (meaning she doesn't just go to bed when she's put down anymore...and has stopped napping pretty much addition to still not sleeping through the night...but that's fine), fell asleep with a soother in her mouth tonight!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Snow, snow, snow

We tried to cobble together a snowman of sorts yesterday, but our results were rather sad. How sad?

This sad:


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Snow Days in Carolina: A poem accompanied by way too many pictures

I hear the tinkle, tinkle
Of freshly falling snow
It's not composed of fluffy flakes
But ice pellets, you know.

Of course there'll be a snow day
(Or seven, eight, or nine)
While we wait, quite helpless,
For wintry-warm sunshine.

We rummage the entire house
For clothes to keep us hot,
Then run outside in rain boots—
The only sort we've got.

Thursday, January 05, 2017


The forecast calls for snow this weekend and so yesterday the city started panicking. It was 60°F outside and people were panicking—salting the roads and buying up bread and milk—because it's supposed to snow on Friday. Yes, people were panicking. Meanwhile, my little boy was crawling around—fully clothed—in the creek, pretending to be a beaver. 

Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy New Year!

After binge-watching some Fuller House* we tuned into the Fuller House New Year's Eve countdown (because it's midnight somewhere) so we could put the little kids to bed. They were quite shocked when DJ broke the fourth wall and said, "And you need to get to bed. Yes, we can see you, too!"

Then we gave them some glow sticks for our traditional First Walk of the Year. We went up and down the street and then came back home for some sparkling cider (or, as Miriam kept calling it, "Sparkling wine"). 

Here's Zoë giving Daddy a New Year kiss:

Reading, writing, spelling

A few weeks ago I was finishing up piano lessons with Miriam and decided that she didn't have quite enough to work on, but I also knew that no one in the house had patience for any more time spent on piano lessons so I said, "And just do page 59 as well. We won't go over it now; it's bedtime. You can figure it out on your own."

Miriam has a good ear for the piano. She recently taught herself how to play The First ear. She likes me to go through her songs with her so that she knows how they sound and then she'll work them until she basically has them memorized for her next lesson. Not knowing how the song sounded was frustrating for her.

"I will never get it right!" she lamented during one of her practice sessions. "How am I even supposed to know how it goes if I've never heard it before?!"

"You're supposed to read the music," I said. "You know how each note is assigned a line or gap on the staff?"

"Yes," she admitted.

"Alright. And you know how the different kinds of notes receive a different number of beats? For example," I said, pointing to a quarter note, "How many beats does this note get?"

"One," she sniffed.

"That's right. So all you have to do is put that together. It's like a secret code. It's like reading."

"I can do that!" she said, placing her hands on the piano. A little apprehensive at first, her fingers haltingly managed to get through the song. She had it memorized by her next lesson. Because that's how she rolls. (note to self: put kids in actual lessons one day because I have no idea what I'm doing)