Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Marbling Mania

Monday was a rather drizzly kind of day. I taught swimming lessons in the morning and we got poured on. A little rain means little when you're planning on getting wet anyway. Just as we decided to finish swimming the rain started letting up...but then it started thundering. We were able to go to the museum on the afternoon, which was good because my arsenal of quiet indoor activities was nearly depleted and the kids needed a good romp around. When Tuesday ended up even more rainy I thought I might pull my hair out.

But then I saw a picture a friend had posted of her son marbling some paper and *presto!* a bicker-free afternoon commenced. (Thanks, April!) The method they were using seemed a lot more involved (like, they had an actual tray of liquid, which seemed less than ideal with Benjamin around) so we went with a method that I used in my childcare class in high school—shaving cream! Which, by the way, we happen to have quite a lot of.

Every time Andrew comes home from grocery shopping he seems to bring home a can or two. "They keep giving us coupons!" he claims. "Great! But, hypothetically speaking, we're moving in a year. How much shaving cream can you use in one year?" I keep asking.

As of Monday we have one less can to use. Not that I'm counting down to moving...but we seriously have so much shaving cream stored in our bathroom. It's getting a bit ridiculous.

Anyway, I guess it's technically shaving gel, which meant we had to lather it up ourselves, which the kids didn't mind thoroughly enjoyed. Ideally this project uses actual shaving cream, which I guess comes out pre-lathered. Confession: I've never exactly used shaving cream...so...

Once our shaving gel was nice and foamy we added some food colouring, swirled it around...


Happy birthday to me

My birthday request was maple doughnuts, something that we've had trouble finding down here. They probably have them somewhere and if we were more foodie I suppose we'd know where to find them (but I dunno because I just checked Monuts' menu and they don't have maple doughnuts listed, so...). Anyway, Andrew picked up some Krispy Kreme doughnuts on his way home from work/school (our first time stopping by there ever but I said that grocery store doughnuts wouldn't do for my birthday) and he made some maple glaze to dip the doughnuts in.

They turned out lovely.



Timeout for mommy

Once upon a time Zoë stayed up until three o'clock in the morning and then woke up for the day at 8:30. And then didn't take a nap until 5:30 (and not for lack of trying)! I'm not convinced she would have even settled down for a nap except that I eventually put myself in timeout, behind my closed bedroom door and she was so relieved that I came back out that she nursed to sleep (finally). 

Anyway, while I was doing some deep breathing in my room the girls went to their rooms to read (smart kids) while Benjamin entertained himself with the camera.

He took a dozen (or so) selfies:


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pine Knoll Aquarium (June 21)

Our morning started with snuggles, of course. As much as Benjamin and Zoë fight, they sure do love each other. They can't start a single day without snuggling together.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Just because it's June

Late last night, just as Zoë was finally closing her eyes, Andrew screamed.

"What?" I asked.

"There was a huge spider on me!" he said. "It was just sitting on the collar of my shirt. I looked down and there it was, right by my neck!"

"Where is it now?" I asked.

"I don't know!" he said. "I flicked it off! Oh! There it is, right there!"

It was rather large, and it was just sitting on a pillow watching us.

"That is the weirdest looking spider I've ever seen," I said.

"I don't think it's a spider," Andrew said. "It's only got six legs..."

As it turns out, it was an assassin beetle nymph (mostly likely for a wheel bug (a type of assassin beetle)). They're mostly harmless but do bite if handled roughly (and their bite can be quite nasty). The reason they're called assassin beetles is because they're hunters—they use their big proboscis to inject their prey with a toxin that dissolves their insides so they can suck it out. Delightful.



Thursday, June 23, 2016

Emerald Isle

When my dad was stationed at Camp Lejeune one of his favourite beaches to visit was Emerald Isle.

Now, our family has been to several beaches in North Carolina. We've been to Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. We've dipped our toes in at Ocracoke, danced in the spray at Cape Lookout, and chilled at a beach house in Salvo. Our favourite beach to visit though has been North Topsail—which has taken us by Camp Lejeune on several occasions. But we've never quite managed to make it to Emerald Isle (which is rather funny considering how it's sandwiched between the North Topsail and Atlantic beaches).

But with my dad in town we figured we'd strike out for Emerald Isle—and it did not disappoint! Its beaches were beautiful, the ocean was perfect, and the public bathhouse was swoon-worthy.

You might not think it possible to swoon over a public bathhouse, but you guys! I swooned. It was clean and well-lit and not at all stinky. North Topsail has a public bathhouse, too, but it's dingy and stinky and scary.

To its credit, North Topsail beach is always free—the parking, the bathhouse, everything. Emerald Isle has a bit of a catch: it costs $10 (per car, per day) on weekends and holidays (but we visited on a Monday so it was free). But, frankly, I'd probably be willing to fork out that much just for the privilege of having such a fabulous bathhouse close by because *swoon*.

And did I mention the ocean was perfect?

Fort Macon

Our first stop of the day on Monday was Fort Macon. There's a little environmental museum in the visitors center, which we all enjoyed exploring.

Here's Miriam being harpooned:


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Asphalt Spill of '85

Eventually I'll get my posts about the rest of my parents' visit up, but for now I'll keep alluding to our excursions before you've even heard about them. 

At Fort Macon we went through the little museum at the visitors center and I found this little poster (which I vaguely remember coming across in October) about "The Asphalt Spill of '85," which just happened to occur on June 22, 1985 while my mother was busy birthing me.


In your face

My biggest birthday wish was that my kids would be cheerful and happy helpers today and while it took a while to get them motivated they eventually pitched in and we got our house mostly put back together. Sheet changing and laundry and unpacking and laundry and tidying and laundry and then some more laundry.

When we'd finished our work we settled down for some quiet time (that involved a nap for me and Zoë and a show for the older kids) and then the girls made some (interesting but not terribly intoxicating 2-ingredient banana/oatmeal cookies) and we had some lunch. Our plan was to walk to the pool after lunch (Daddy had the van today) so that we could do something fun together for my birthday...not just work the whole day.

So after lunch we started getting ready to head to the pool—the kids changed into swimming suits and started lathering each other with sunscreen on the front porch while I was gathering up things in the house (freshly laundered beach towels, for example). When they were mostly finished with their sunscreening and had started playing in the yard I brought Zoë out to them so that I could lug the stroller out of the house without her toddling right behind me.

I put her down in the grass, Rachel came over to pick her up, I went inside the house, picked up the stroller and...CHAOS erupted. All of my children were screaming at once. I dropped the stroller and ran to the door in time to meet Rachel, who handed me a screaming, bleeding Zoë.

"Benjamin hit her with a water gun!" she blurted out.

"Excuse me," I said, pushing past her through the door in time to see Benjamin duck down to hide behind the electrical box. "Yeah, you'd better hide!" I hollered and then turned around to go back inside.

"Aren't you going to punish him?" Rachel asked.

"Yes," I said. "But right now I need to focus on Zoë."

"Should I bring him to you so you can stick him in time out?" she asked.

"Naw," I said. "Let him live in fear for a little while."

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ermergersh! It's New Bern!

We spent a couple of nights at a hotel in New Bern. I realize that the city has a rich history (it was named after Bern, Switzerland (before Bern was the capitol of Switzerland) and was once the capitol of North Carolina (before Raleigh was the capitol, obviously)) but all I could think of, for whatever reason, was the ermergersh girl.

If I was in charge of marketing for the maternity ward of the hospital in New Bern this would definitely be on a billboard:


This is obviously why I'm not in marketing. You're welcome.

Swimming pool and haircuts

On Saturday we went swimming with Naanii and Bumpa at our neighbourhood pool. Bumpa hadn't been able to get into the pool earlier in the week because his swimsuit managed to avoid his suitcase. After visiting Duke Gardens on Friday, however, we stopped by the store so he could be properly outfitted with a pair of swimming trunks. My kids practically expect to go swimming every day in the summer, so swimming trunks are imperative when visiting us in the summer.

Bumpa showed the kids the art of squeezing water through your hands to squirt people.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Life and Science Museum with Naanii and Bumpa

"Do you girls want to do the lab today?" I asked.

"Uhhh...sure," they answered hesitantly.

 "Then go ahead and line up here," I instructed.

 "I don't think I want to, actually," Rachel said, squirming away from the line-up area with Miriam tailing close behind.

I herded them back into place. "Sure you do," I said. "You're the only ones here. It'll be interesting and fun. You'll learn something new!"

"Fine," they grumbled.

They ended up having a fine time and are excited to go back (lab attendance has been incentivized this summer). Today we learned about climate. Benjamin joined us when we were watching a demonstration involving dry ice to help us learn about carbon dioxide. My favourite part was when the kids were testing the level of acidity in their ice core samples (I guess years that saw a lot of volcanic activity means a layer of ice with a higher acidity (or something like that (obviously I was totes paying attention))).

Here they are examining their ice cores:


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Duke Gardens with Naanii and Bumpa

After spending the morning at the pool, we came home for lunch and some downtime—napping and board games and a little bit of Mako Mermaids—before heading off on our afternoon adventures.

Here's my mom ever so patiently playing Chutes and Ladders with the kids (that game is one of my least favourite games to play, so I think she's a saint):


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Stagville and spider wasps

My parents arrived late last night, after being delayed for several hours in Las Vegas (due to a damaged plane; a new one had to be flown in to replace the plane they were supposed to be on). It was like waiting for a snow storm; the children were wild with anticipation. Amazingly enough half of them were asleep by the time my parents arrived (after 11:00 PM), though I swear they were still awake ten minutes before they walked through the door.

They sure were happy to see them in the morning! By the time I woke up, Benjamin was nestled on the couch between Naanii and Bumpa. Zoë took to Bumpa right away and is always happy to let him (or make him) hold her. The girls are both over the moon.

We went swimming this morning. I taught lessons to some kids in our neighbourhood while my parents watched my little brood (it was lovely to not have to multi-task) and then we came home for lunch. In the afternoon we headed to Stagville and tagged along with an already-in-process tour. We missed touring the big house but got to see the slave houses and the barn.

My mom was amazed at how the tour guide could discuss slavery with such nonchalance, as if it were no big deal that it happened. History is hard and complicated; with hindsight we can see that certain practices and attitudes were so, so very wrong. But in the moment they seemed natural, normal, even right. I suppose it is hard to condemn slave-owners as a group; although slavery itself was an evil practice I'm not sure I'm comfortable saying all those who owned slaves were evil people. That brush is too broad. Surely, though, if they themselves looked back at history armed with what we know now they, too, would find their practices disgusting.

The sad thing is that there are wrong practices today that we accept as normal and natural, even right, that we should probably find equally disgusting. Prejudices still abound. Inequality runs rampant. There is hate and fear and a spirit of revenge... But there are also many, many good things about today, about the people of today, so I think that in spite of everything that we will be able to look back at ourselves with forgiveness.

Obviously these tours tend to get my blood boiling as well as my mother's.

Anyway, here's a picture of my dad with Zoë:


Monday, June 13, 2016

Musical Family Night

The minutes leading up to family night were fraught with melodrama (as much of the day was; welcome to summer vacation) as well as peril (which, thankfully, most of the day wasn't).

Shortly before dinner I made the kids practice the piano and ukulele, which caused a little bit of tension. I lost it completely when we were practicing a fairly easy two-chord song and the girls "couldn't figure out" how to switch between C and F and "couldn't even remember" what the F chord was. I sent them both to their rooms to "figure out" and "practice" the CFG chord progression because we've seriously been working on these chords for three solid years (give or take).

I was like, "Other chords you may ask me about. Other chords you can make a face about or refuse to play because they are too hard. But for crying out loud YOU. KNOW. THESE. CHORDS. But since you claim to not know them you can practice them in your bedrooms until dinner."

Because, so help me, you will learn these chords.

True to their individual natures, Miriam went to her room and hammered out the chords until she was jamming with them. It took her all of two minutes because (surprise!) she already knew them; Rachel, however, went to her room and pouted and raged before practicing. But practice she did. And she played beautifully, and apologized without prompting (which is a lovely thing about this girl).

During dinner we talked about why we are "making" the kids learn the piano and the ukulele—and it's not just to learn how to play the piano and ukulele! It's because music helps promote brain development in language and math, it helps with memory and movement, and while I doubt my children will ever be professional ukulele-ists, I'm hoping the ukulele (and/or piano) will act as a gateway instrument for them (so that when we can afford to give them actual lessons they'll know they want to learn (though the piano I will probably keep pushing for longer than the uke)).

"Complain to me now," I said, "Thank me when you're thirty, or forty, or fifty."

"If I live to be that old," Rachel glowered.

Oi.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday

We had a wild day today, starting with Trading Tables, which is usually something I enjoy putting together. No, no. Enjoy is too strong of a word. I don't mind organizing Trading Tables but it's kind of a big job. It can be enjoyable when a lot people pitch in to help with set up and clean up, but when help is sparse it just feels like a lot of work.

I realize that I volunteered to do this and, like I said, I don't mind doing it because I appreciate the merits of the activity. But this time around it was one of the "a lot of work" times. Sometimes I feel like I barely have to lift a finger because I have so many happy helpers. Today our little family lugged stuff into the gym (not just our stuff; others' stuff, too) and set up tables all on our own. My friend Emily arrived and helped put up signs and helped sort stuff, and soon other people arrived to help sort things. But that was all the help we had setting up.

Several people helped pack stuff up, but most people left without helping at all. It ended up being our family, a family from another ward (who are always so great about staying to help), and a friend from the musical (also not from our ward), who stayed until the end and volunteered to take a load to the Durham Rescue Mission. We had so much stuff left when everyone was gone that we couldn't even fit it into our van. We had to leave a bunch of stuff in a classroom and come back for it!

But, I did find some good hand-me-downs for Benjamin. He and Rachel are the two I have trouble keeping clothed in hand-me-downs, though I might have to add Miriam to that list in a couple of years because Rachel got holes in every single pair of pants this year! Every pair!

She came home from school a couple of weeks ago with a hole in the knee of her very last intact pair of jeans, saying that she tripped at recess and though her knee is fine...but her pants were not. *sigh* There goes another pair of pants.

Shampoo-poo

I debated putting writing about this because it's sort of gross. Gross as in "WARNING: the following blog post contains discussion and images of human excrement; viewer discretion is advised" gross.

Zoë frequently plays at my feet while I shower. She's such a momma's girl that if I didn't shower with her I probably would never shower. Well, the other day I was washing my hair and she was holding onto my legs, walking in circles around me, when all of a sudden she stopped and I felt a plop, plop, plop on my foot.

On my foot!

She had the whole shower at her disposal and she chose to poop on my foot!

Picture below, so prepare yourself...or just spare yourself and don't click.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Miriam's papers

Going through the girls' work has been fun but it's almost making me sad to think it's the end of the school year. This has been a fabulous year for both girls and I kind of hate to see it end!

Anyway, I need to take pictures of a few of these little essays before they get tossed...but before then, "please to enjoy" these transcriptions of Miriam's work (side rant: we send in notebooks that come home empty at the end of the year...and then they send me a jumbled mess of random paper my kids have written on...just use the notebooks, folks!).

21-10-15

Always on Christmas Eve my sister allways creeps out of our room to go to the bathroom. And when she is done she goes out of the curtin that we hang up. And it's long so no one can see santa as he is puting the presents in our stocking's. AND SHE HELPT SATA PUT STUFF IN THE STOCKINGS! And she new what she got. But I hope that I can do this Christmas!

Mr. Tree

Mr. Tree lived inside a tall red wood tree. he was an aprcot tree. what did he eat? well he was an aporcot tree so he only ate popcorn! his naibor was juliann! She ad Brinkley could get popcorn whenever they watned! Brinkley lived on straberry cornor. She lived in a cake. Langston lived in a gigantic straberry. Parker lived in a sap tree cabin! Jennifer lived in a gingerbread man! Huh. Said mr. tree what's that? Hi said mr. tall. hi said mr. small. Ohh! Said mr. tree. Hi mr. tall and small! Do you want to be frierds! Sere! OK said Mr. tall and small. And then they met Elieen. Hi Elinn. Hi mr. tree. Parker was walking ackros the street to mr. trees House to get popcorn. You prodaly know why? Becus he was haveing a movie night! The end!

8-27-15

My name is Miriam. My faivorete food is cake and banasplit's. And pizzia. My faivorete toy is my bunny pinky.

10-27-15

Yesterday Benjamin threw up eight times. When me and Rachel came home he was sleeping on the couch. After dinner he threw up 2 times can you guss how many times benjamin threw up all together? He actchaly threw up 9 times. Onets in the toylit and toytabele. And 7 times in a bowl.

Swimming and ear updates

May 28th: I take Benjamin to the pool and he screams and cries and carries on, refuses to do a single thing.

June 9th: I take Benjamin to the pool and he jumps in and swims to the side to do it all over again and again and again.

I don't know happened within the last week and a half to turn him into a swimmer. It surely wasn't all the time we spent at the pool because, truthfully, we haven't gone swimming very much yet this season due to Miriam's ear infection. Whatever it was, I'm glad for it (though now I have to keep a very close eye on him because he's not afraid of the water at all, while the Benjamin + H20 combination still makes me a little nervous).

Miriam's ear is finally feeling better. I can see that it's still infected, but she hasn't cried about it in days now. Her teacher sent me a text message on Friday afternoon to say that she was crying and holding her ear during story time, a text message I didn't get until Saturday morning when I picked up my phone to call the nurse's hotline because she was in a bad way, with a fever and a lot of pain again, and there was so much gunk in her ear that I was worried something had gotten stuck in there.

Our paediatrician has a walk-in clinic on Saturday morning, which I think is a great service (because kids always get sick on the weekend) and had no idea it existed, so Andrew took her to the clinic and the doctor decided that her ear drops weren't really helping matters. He prescribed a different one with a steroid mixed in.

It's seemed to do the trick because she's finally seeming to be on the mend, though her ear is still really gunky. I hope it clears up soon. She's had this infection for weeks now.

How does our garden grow?

One of these days I need to plan a low-maintenance garden with lots of colourful perennials that will bloom year after year for me (and that is magically weed-free). Last year I purchased a wildflower mix, but I don't think we put down enough seed because our garden was pretty sparse (not to mention completely neglected) the whole summer. So this year we used more seed, probably too much seed because our (still neglected) garden is out of control. At least we have a lot of pretty blossoms popping out!


Top row: gladiola (obviously not from the wildflower seeds), blue cornflower, some sort of daisy?
Middle row: nasturtium, vinca (not from seed), pink cornflower
Bottom row: some sort of snapdragon, Rachel with a carrot flower, and no idea

Obviously I should have kept the package so that I could have a better guess about some of the stuff that's growing, but as long as they keep being pretty I suppose I don't mind what they're called.

As for our vegetable garden... 

Well, our radishes bolted, our kale, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers are struggling, we've harvested a few pea pods, and our pepper plants are starting to get little baby peppers so I have high hopes for them. We're still enjoying a daily strawberry or two.

Mostly grass has taken over our garden bed and I just can't keep on top of it so its strangling everything. 

Zoë at the park

Here are a few pictures of Zoë playing at the park this afternoon...


Celebratory Sundaes

To celebrate the end of the school year—and more specifically the end of EOGs (end of grade testing)—the whole of third grade decided to have "Sundaes on a Tuesday." Since I'm the grade parent, I dutifully put the date on my calendar so I could start planning for the day, but then I got a note saying that it was being moved to Wednesday, so I logged into my calendar and slid the event over to the next day without changing the name of the event.

At family night on Monday Andrew was going over the calendar and he said, "Okay, Rachel has Sundaes on a Tuesday...but on Wednesday?"

"That's right," I said and explained how I had moved the event over a day without changing the name.

The story gets better, though, because yesterday when I showed up to the school to help dish out ice cream Rachel's teacher hid her face behind her hands and said sheepishly, "You're going to laugh at me! I forgot that I said I'd supply the ice cream! When Rachel brought me a package of spoons I thought, 'Gee, that's nice, but what about the ice cream?' And then I thought, 'Wait...what if I said I'd bring the ice cream?' So I checked the emails I sent you and I did say I'd bring ice cream. So we'll just do sundaes tomorrow."

Benjamin, Zoë and I spent yesterday afternoon in Miriam's classroom instead, and we headed back to Rachel's classroom this morning to have Sundaes on a Tuesday on a Wednesday on a Thursday!


Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Just so lucky

I've been going through Rachel's schoolwork and admiring how nicely she's growing up. Her handwriting has matured so much this year, as has her sense of the world around her. I'm just so lucky to have her as my daughter! 

Here is her essay about why she's "just so lucky":


I am just so lucky because I have 3 siblings to play with and help take care of, and a mom and dad to take care of me and my 3 younger siblings. I am also lucky because my dad works to make money, and that my mom can stay at home and help us with homework and edit Dad's papers, and take care of baby Zoë so Zoë doesn't have to go to day care. I am also so lucky that my dad cooks dinner, so our family can have enough food to eat. I am also lucky that my parents were sealed in the temple so that our family can be together forever. I am also lucky that I could be baptized and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. I am lucky that I have friends and a house to live in and an awesome teacher and a good president right now. (If Donal Trump becomes president, I am going to be so mad!) I am lucky we live in a free country. I am just so lucky!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

100/3

As it turns out, our new mass cane plant wasn't quite as "expensive" as I thought because Andrew surprised me by bringing home not one but three plants from Yulya (thanks, by the way). It can share its burden of guilt with its comrades: a rubber tree (ficus elastica) and some sort of unknown succulent that we've since classified as an Epiphyllum anguliger (also known as: fishbone cactus, epiphyllum ric rac, moon cactus, or queen of the night).

Our house is suddenly feeling quite jungly, having gone from five houseplants to eleven in just a couple of weeks, but I'm excited to try my hand at keeping them alive. I still have to decide where I'm going to put them all to keep them out of the reach of babies (already we have had a few fistfuls of dirt joyously flung on the floor), but hopefully they'll all find suitable homes soon enough. 

Good morning!

Let me preface this story by saying that Zoë, a terrible sleeper under the best of conditions, is currently in the process of cutting her 1-year molars. So naturally she screamed until 2 am. She has a bit of flair for the dramatic. Staying awake happily until 2 o'clock in the morning is one thing. It's tiring for me, sure, but, like, whatever. Screaming until 2 o'clock in the morning is a horse of a different colour. It's tiring and nerve frazzling, and just...yeah.

So Zoë and I were still sleeping at 10 o'clock this morning. Not that we'd slept straight through from 2 am to 10 am (ha! puh-leeze!), just that we were still asleep at 10 am after the last time we'd gotten up because we were both so exhausted from all the screaming that happened in the night that getting out of bed at 7:00 or even 7:30 seemed impossible. So we just didn't get out of bed.

Andrew put the girls on their bus, as he's been doing every day this year because—I'm not even kidding—this baby will be my undoing (I can feel my sanity peeling away). He fell asleep on the couch accidentally (when he should have been leaving for school) but that meant he was able to intercept Benjamin when he got up. So Benjamin was given breakfast and a show, which meant he had no reason to come and pounce on me.

So Zoë and I were still in bed when my phone started buzzing (at half past 10) with rapidly incoming texts.

*Buzz*

*Buzz*

*Buzz*

*Buzz*

*Buzz*

I grogily fumbled for my phone. The last text Andrew had sent was still lingering on the screen. "Good morning!" it said.

"Holy cow! We really slept in!" I thought, noting the time stamp of his message. Then I unlocked my phone to look the other messages and, suddenly wide awake, thought, "Holy cow! What happened?!"

The other four messages were pictures of Andrew's adventurous morning. He'd gone to pick up a mass cane plant from a friend who recently graduated and "backed up incorrectly" when he was leaving, completely misjudging where the driveway ended and the ditch began.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Sax-o-what?

"On the bus," the girls began their story, "Florencio kept saying the s-word over and over again."

"But not the one that rhymes with spit," Miriam clarified.

I suppose Andrew and I looked a little mystified because she added, "The one The Doctor calls the TARDIS."

"Oh!" I laughed. "Sexy?"

"Is that a swear word?" Rachel asked. "Or just a bad word?"

"Well, it's not a swear word. It's not even necessarily a bad word, but it can be an inappropriate word."

"Like, Florencio was saying sexy instead of Lexi," Miriam said.

"That would definitely be an inappropriate use of the word," I said. "It's a bit more of a grown up word, so really I don't think elementary students have a reason to say it at all."

"Except, like, sex is another word for gender," Rachel said.

"Yes," I said. "But that's different from the word sexy."

"And sex!" Miriam said. "Like the nickname for sexophone! Instead of saying sexophone you can just say "He plays the sex!'"

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Knock, knock. Who's there? Boo. Boo who?

This morning was my second week getting all the children off to church by myself. I'm sure that as it becomes the norm I'll stop writing about it every week. But I'll go ahead and indulge myself for the second week in a row because this morning all the kids cried and I wrote about it on facebook and now everyone wants to know why all the kids cried. And by everyone I mean all two of their grandmothers...so probably 50% of my readership.



Benjamin was probably the first to cry, but he cries over everything so I expect him to cry over everything. He cried (for the first time) when I told him to get out of my bed because he was being too wild. He likes to snuggle in bed with me and Zoë in the morning, but snuggling only lasts for three seconds or so before he starts body slamming us. And then I usually say something like, "Get out of my bed!" and then he says something like, "I'm just snuggling!" and bursts into tears.

The next person to cry was Rachel.

"Is it fast Sunday?" she asked.

"It is," I said and then, seemingly out of nowhere, she erupted at me with all this emotion.

See, Benjamin got a box of "birthday cereal," the kind of cereal that's more fit for dessert than for breakfast and which we only buy for birthdays not everyday use. This year he got a box of Star-Wars-themed Lucky Charms (or something like that; it has cereal and marshmallows). He opened it on Saturday morning when she was having breakfast at a friend's house instead of at home, ergo she missed feasting on the usually-verboten cereal.

"Now I'll never get any of it!" she wailed at the end of her rant.

Book of Mormon Stories (for the laaaadies)

At the behest of my sweet son, I'm going to be brave and talk about gender-inclusivity in church songs once again. I suppose he didn't ask me to write a blog post, per se, but on the way to church we were singing Book of Mormon Stories and he requested "a verse about Mary!"

"There's no verse about Mary," I informed him.

And then I thought, "There's no verse about any woman. That's...lame."

So when I came home from church I started composing a few verses about women in the Book of Mormon. Due to historical incident (ie. men controlled the narrative), there aren't many named women in the Book of Mormon, but here are a few verses that I came up with (I admit they could still use some tweaking):

Friday, June 03, 2016

Benjamin's four!

Because Andrew is amazing he got up this morning (with Benjamin, who was so excited to be four he had to tell the world bright and early) and assembled four pans of enchiladas (one for our family and three for others) so all I had to do was stick them in the oven this afternoon (in addition to decorating a cake for Benjamin, which I'd baked the night before). With my morning much less cluttered, I decided to take Benjamin to the Museum of Life and Science, because that's one of his favourite places to go.

He was very interested in building today, so we spent quite a bit of time at the KEVA planks:


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Splash pad!

After school we did a few chores before getting ready to head to the pool. Unfortunately, the pool was in the process of being closed down just as we arrived (a fecal matter incident) so we left feeling rather dry and dejected, so I surprised the kids with a visit to our local splash pad instead of heading home. They had a great time!


An interview with Benjamin

My friends have been putting this little interview up on Facebook. Filling out things like this on Facebook is totally not my jam, but I started asking Benjamin the questions and he started answering them so I figured I would put them down here...

What's your name? Ben Thomas
How old are you? Uh, three.
When is your birthday? I can't remember it. Soon. I think when Mimi and Rachel come home.
How old is Daddy? I don't know.
How old is Mommy? I don't know.
What's your favourite colour? Rainbow
What's your favourite food? Tortillas
Who's your best friend? Luke
What's your favourite show? Octonauts
What's your favourite movie? Star Wars
What's your favourite song? Babies are in Love with Carrots* 
What's your favourite animal? Giraffes
What are you scared of? Darkness
What makes you happy? Going on a boat
What makes you sad? Babies attacking me
What do you want to be when you grow up? A long neck**
Where's your favourite place to go? Museum of Life and Science and the pool
What's your favourite thing to play with? LEGO stuff
What's your favourite job to do? Clearing the table off
What's your least favourite job? Cleaning my room

* Really it's Donkeys Are in Love with Carrots but he prefers to sing about babies rather than donkeys for whatever reason.
** Yes, like the dinosaur.