Saturday, March 17, 2018

Leprechaun gold

Years ago, I a leprechaun decided to hide some (paper) gold coins in the backyard on St. Patrick's Day and since it occurred when my children were old enough to form memories it's become somewhat of a tradition. So this morning before my kids got up I made some gold coins and hid them around the house. And by me, I mean "the leprechaun."

When they got up they went downstairs for breakfast and spotted leprechaun gold peeking out from various places. Rachel and Miriam were less than impressed with how the gold was hidden and Rachel came upstairs to file a formal complaint.

"Is all of the leprechaun gold this easy to find?" she asked, holding up a handful of paper coins and looking severely disappointed.

"What do you mean?" Andrew asked (he'd just woken up and didn't know that any gold had been hidden).

"The leprechaun gold," Rachel repeated. "Is it all easy to find?"

"Leprechaun gold...?" Andrew repeated.

"Yes, Dad! Ugh! Mom?"


"Is all the leprechaun gold easy to find or are there some harder hiding spots? Because none of the coins are hidden very well."

"How should I know?" I asked innocently, "I'm not a leprechaun."

"Mom! I know it was you!"

"All the gold is hidden exactly as it is," I answered mystically.


DST has us all like...ugh

It's a one hour time change. One. Hour.

And yet it has us all feeling so tired!

This past week no one has been waking up for school by themselves (thank goodness for alarms (for the parents) and parents (for the children who have been consistently sleeping through their alarms)). Early morning choir practices have been a joke, but on the plus side we now know that the girls can complete their morning routine (aside from piano practicing) and be out the door in less than five minutes.

On Thursday, as mentioned, Andrew and I went to a banquet and the kids (save Alexander) went to Auntie Josie's house. Zoë was particularly excited about this and kept checking with me throughout the day that she was going to be included in this adventure. "Am I going to Auntie Josie's house, too? I'm going to Auntie Josie's house, too, right?"

Rachel had the option to go to a friend's "late night" instead, but she surprised me by choosing to go to Auntie Josie's house. Miriam was thrilled because when I told her that Rachel might go elsewhere she threw herself on the couch and lamented about how Rachel is "always choosing to spend time with her friends and when she has friends come over she never wants to play anything fun like dress ups or dollhouse anymore..."

So I had to tell her that that's because those things seem like less fun as you get older.

"But I'm getting older, too, and they're still fun for me!" Miriam objected.

Yes, but you're just-turned-eight and Rachel is going-on-elevensies. She's a budding preteen.

But in this case she chose to hang out with her family instead of her friends and Miriam was elated.

Friday, March 16, 2018

MPA Awards Banquet 2018

This evening we dropped the four big kids off at my sister Josie's house and enjoyed an evening out—with the baby in tow—at the MPA awards banquet. In complete contrast with our last MPA banquet (in 2012), Andrew only had to get out of his seat once. And that was to bounce the baby, not to accept any (or all) awards. But it was fine that way.

It's still rather surreal being "on the other side" of things.

Dr. Heiss sometimes doesn't respond to that title because, well, he's not very used to it. Some students clearly adore him, others not so much, but that's the way it is with teaching. We sat at a table with one of his TAs and a handful of students from Andrew's classes, who all seemed to like him, so that was nice. I was a little jealous that they all knew exactly what they would be doing next year (two will be starting PhD programs and three will be finishing up their MPA degrees and one will be a trailing spouse for one of the PhD students) while we're still flapping around in the breeze.

Dinner was a little awkward. We haven't been to any formal banquets recently and have apparently been out of Mormondom so long (living, as we were, in "the mission field") that when we were invited into the banquet hall and found our seats and salads, we dug in. Our entire table did. I mean, first we talked about etiquette (wait for your entire party to be seated and served) and found our salad forks (work your way outwards in, right?), and then we figured we could just go for it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pi Day

It's Pi Day and I hardly took any pictures because sometimes I forget to. My family (Naanii, Bumpa, Auntie Josie, and Uncle Patrick) came over for dinner; I made some meat pies for the main course and they brought dessert. Once again I didn't take as many pictures as I should have...anyway...

Last week we watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Andrew made a whole Harry Potter themed meal with Cornish pasties and beans and butterbeer. He had quite a bit of filling leftover from making the Cornish pasties, so that went into a "beef and barley" pie that I cobbled together. I also made a chicken a la king pie, which was a fun adventure. 

Umbrella Lady

According to the forecast it wasn't supposed to rain. Not yet anyway.

I thought about grabbing an umbrella as I headed out the door, but there were no umbrellas hanging there, all of them having been moved upstairs when fall gave way to winter. Now that winter is giving way to spring we'll have to move them back downstairs. But not today, not now. I'm in a hurry. (Zoë problems). Besides, it's not supposed to rain quite yet.

Speed walking being insufficient today, we sprinted a good distance to the school before I grew too tired of pushing x-number of pounds in the stroller. You go, Ashlee Eskelsen! How you managed to push three children for 13.1 miles (and that quickly) is beyond me. Obviously. I needed to take a walking break after one block.

I would say it's because I just had a baby but her youngest is a couple of weeks younger than mine (also, my baby is patient enough about being strapped in the stroller on the way to the school but he usually loses it on the way home from school, so how do you keep your little ones occupied for two-ish hours of running?). Anyway....

It started to pour on us. Of course. Even though it wasn't supposed to rain...yet.

That's cute. That's not cute.

Today my friend Gulnaz and her children stayed to play after kindergarten. Our children's ages line up quite nicely so everyone has a playmate (except Rachel and Miriam who are at school). 

Today we sat the babies in the grass wearing their cozy bodysuits and they were so cute together, little ducky and bear:

Cook out

When we went hiking on Saturday, Benjamin asked if we could sleep outside.

"Not tonight," Andrew told him.

"Why not?" he asked.

"There's still snow on the ground, friend."

"Oh," he said, rather disappointed. "But when it's Unofficial Sleep Outside Day can we?"

"Sure?" Andrew answered after a moment's hesitation because...who ever heard of Unofficial Sleep Outside Day? 

I have a feeling Unofficial Sleep Outside Day will be celebrated soon because (even though we're due for another snowstorm this weekend) it's been rather lovely out. In spite of not getting to sleep in a tent, Benjamin did get to go for a hike and then we had a little cookout on Grandma's new fire pit!

Do not be fooled by their facial expressions; they were all thrilled to be grilling their own hot dogs. I'm not sure why they all look so grumpy here:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Zoë goes to kindergarten

Yesterday was a very exciting day for Zoë because we got to visit Benjamin's class. She worried about getting ready the entire morning, primping and preening and fussing over her outfit and hair. 

Here she is brushing her hair (my favourite parts are "Fink le kids will like it?" with that proud look at the end and the way she keeps looking up to check her part):

She wore a too-small dress with a skort underneath and some "bloomers" for one of her church dresses underneath that. And she was very proud of her outfit (she was pretty sure the kids would like it).

She walked the whole way to school, pushing her baby in a little stroller:

Stage Makeup

We had crepes for dinner tonight. I made the batter and Andrew cooked them when he got home. As I was blending the flour into my mixture of eggs and milk I thought to myself, "I am making colloidal crepe batter." Now that I know what that is and all.

Rachel came home from school about the same time Andrew arrived home from work. He walked in the door and said, "Look who I found hanging around outside," and I panicked because we had sent Miriam's friend Hannah home a few minutes before—through the front door—and trying to round the kids back inside (to the backyard) was somewhat of a triumphant feat. So I was like, "Oh, no! Who?!"

We live on a busy street, by the way.

"Uh, just Rachel," he said.

"Oh! Her! Okay. Hi, Rachel. How was play practice?" I asked (because I never remember to ask her how school is anymore; her life is the play (which is totally normal, I get it)).

"Good," she said, handing me a paper detailing instructions on hair and make up and so forth.

"I have to wear make up to school," she lamented before I put her to work sweeping the floor (she owed me from last night because she (accidentally) flung a spoonful of rice across the kitchen).

Monday, March 12, 2018

Don't drink the colloid

Last night Andrew put on some special lotion with colloidal oatmeal in it to help soothe his raw, cracked hands (it's so dry here).

"Mmmm...I have oatmeal on my hands," he said, as if to rub it in (whoa—no pun intended).

"So, you used the regular lotion?" I asked.

"No. I used the special stuff."

"The regular stuff is made with oatmeal, too."

"No!" he said, shocked. "Really?!"

"I think so," I said. "Aveeno—it's made from oats."

"Well, that would explain the picture of oats on the bottle," he said.

We looked at the ingredients and found that, yes, Aveeno is made from oats (and, in fact, is named for oats: Avena sativa). So that's fun. Aveeno contains "avena sativa (oat) kernel flour" while our special lotion (Neosporin's eczema essentials) contains "colloidal oatmeal."

As soft scientists, and hobby chefs (Andrew basically worships Kenji), we're pretty confident about what flour is. But, uh, colloidal oatmeal? What is that?