Sunday, July 30, 2017

We didn't die of dysentery

We made it!

I thoroughly enjoyed the few days I spent at Amy's house relaxing, though I was kept somewhat busier than I anticipated with a farewell party on Wednesday and a Relief Society pool party on Thursday. I still have to write about the exciting week of socialization the kids had with friends and fun, but that will have to wait until I'm prepared to go through the pictures that are scattered on my hard drive, various cell phones, and our camera.

Benjamin, as you know, came down with a stomach bug on Monday evening, which was rather unfortunate. He threw up several times during the night and produced a lot of laundry that we weren't expecting to do, necessarily, so at the last minute I threw in a couple of extra outfits in the children's luggage...just in case...because when I had had them pack, I had them follow a list I'd made that expressly outlined how many pairs of whatever to pack. In an effort to conserve space I really didn't ask them to pack a whole lot of spare clothing.

Poor Benjamin was throwing up again on Tuesday. By Wednesday his issues had moved south, which is almost worse than throwing up because you can hold a throw up bucket in the car but what, exactly, do you do for diarrhea?

On Thursday, however, I got the message that he was "solid" again, which I was rather relieved to learn because I had been feeling rather anxious about his ailments.

At the pool party my friend Annie, knowing that he had been feeling sick, asked how things were going on the drive.

"Good," I said. "I just got word that Benjamin's 100% better, so that's a relief... Wait. No."

Two text messages popped up on the screen of my phone:

1) Rachel just threw up
2) And now it's Zoë's turn

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Happiness Ahead

On Sunday morning I had the kids dress in their reserved Sunday clothes. We'd packed everything else in their closets, except their chosen outfit for their last Sunday in this ward.

Benjamin had been playing in his room—with DUPLO, the one set of toys that we had yet to pack away—and he came out to ask me a question. I looked up at him and gasped in horror. 

He had blood smeared all over his arms and shirt sleeves (and dribbling out of his nose)!

"Benjamin!" I shrieked. "You have a bloody nose!"

"I do?" he said.

"It's all over your shirt..." I nearly cried. 

"It's fine," he sniffed, wiping his nose on his arm again. "It's not that much blood!"

"Oh, Benjamin, please stop!" I said. 

A few glitches...but we're moving!

My friend Laura took the kids on Monday again. Andrew and I worked all day; we took all the beds apart and packed up all (or much of) the miscellany left around the house. It was nice to know the kids were happy and well-cared for while we did all of that.

I picked the kids up shortly before dinnertime (not that we’d end up having dinner until much, much later) and we started scrambling to get things prepared to load the moving truck since the Elder’s Quorum was due to arrive quite soon.

Benjamin mentioned something about his tummy not feeling right, so I gave him a little sympathy but then continued with whatever I had been doing. Unfortunately his complaint had been very, very genuine.

Minutes later I found myself cleaning up a puddle of vomit from the middle of the hallway and drawing a bath for my poor little boy.

As bad as I felt for him, I also felt bad for us—having a child come down with a stomach bug on moving day is simply not ideal.

Car jobs

Growing up, I was no stranger to long car rides. We seemed to travel between BC and Alberta and Utah quite a lot. My children, who are on their fourth drive across the country (once when we moved out, once to visit Utah, once driving back from Utah, and…now), probably feel the same way.

They are well conditioned.

This, however, is Zoë’s inaugural long-distance car ride. She and I flew to Utah and back the summer everyone else drove (and I flew out with Benjamin when we moved out here and I’m flying out to Utah this time around—I’m just always hugely pregnant or have a brand-new baby when we make these trips, what can I say?). She needs to be trained in the art of sitting in the car all the livelong day.

And who better to teach this art than a big sister?

Fortune telling

I last wrote during a 1:00 AM packing break on Saturday morning. It is only Tuesday and yet I just made a list of things I need to write about an it’s about a mile long! So much has happened the past few days it’s making my head spin. But here it is the middle of the afternoon and I’m showered, relaxing with my feet up, watching bluebirds out the window, and blogging like the chaos is over because mostly…it is.

I will try to organize my posts in some fashion going forward, but for now, here’s a funny story that I honestly cannot fit into the timeline whatsoever. It happened…sometime…

We’ve been eating a lot of mismatched meals lately—anything we could pull out of the cupboards or freezer was up for grabs breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

One day, Andrew pulled out a box of fortune cookies that we’d  had in our cupboard since our Chinese New Year celebration at the beginning of the year. Everyone was very excited to read their fortunes.

Benjamin’s fortune was, “You will soon be involved in many gatherings and parties.”

“That’s true!” Andrew said. “Everyone is so excited to see you when we get to Utah.”

Rachel’s fortune was, “A pleasant surprise is in store for you tonight.”

“That’s true!” Andrew said. I can’t remember his reasoning, but there are many pleasant surprises in store for her in the future, I’m sure.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Packing with and without "helpers"

Yesterday I managed to farm off all my children and tackled Rachel's room on my own. This afternoon I managed to farm off all my children except one (Zoë) and Andrew and I tackled Benjamin and Miriam's bedroom together.

"Working without the kids here is pretty amazing," I told Andrew. "I think I've done more the last couple of afternoons than I have the entire summer. The kids are always fighting and getting into things and unpacking as I'm packing..."

"Really?" he asked. "They do that?"

And then we heard a *CRASH*

"Zoë," I groaned.

I found her in Miriam and Benjamin's room surrounded by toys. She'd knocked over a box that I'd just packed up (and had left unattended while I went to find tape). It was pretty good timing for her to knock it over, I guess—a perfect illustration of what I've been up against all summer.

(I also had a container in the room that I'd been using as a trash receptacle (Dear children: if you can't find any of the dinky little fair toys you've collected over the past five years I have no idea what happened to them. Love, Mom) and she purposely grabbed that and emptied it all over the floor while I was helping Andrew wrangle some stretch wrap over a piece of furniture. Oi.)


Andrew's a DOCTOR!

There won't be a ceremony until next spring and he still has a list of required revisions to complete but (more or less) he's done! And I don't think I've seen him this at ease with life since 2012.

Danielle, one of the candidates in Andrew's cohort, decorated his door for him and made him cookies (she defended in May)

Rachel is TEN!

My friend Laura took all of my kids yesterday and kept them all afternoon. She picked them up around 11:15 and then Andrew went to get them after work. It was amazing! I got so much accomplished!

All three girls had pigtails in the morning (and I didn't do any of them)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Benjamin's Pool Party

Benjamin turned five at the beginning of June and with Andrew scrambling to finish his dissertation and the end of the school year and everything else, it was just kind of a crazy time for us to try to throw a party for him...so we didn't. We celebrated as a family at the pool but we didn't do anything with friends because I wanted to choose a date when Andrew would be around to help. 

Time kept slipping by and all of a sudden we we're moving in six days and Rachel's birthday is tomorrow...so we picked today!

The girls pointed out that this would be when his birthday party would have been held had he had the decency to wait until his due date. Rachel very graciously and maturely has been allowing him to be the center of attention today (even though it's her birthday-eve), though she did breathe a sigh of relief when I came out of my bedroom with a pile of freshly wrapped birthday presents labeled "To Rachel."

We, uh, didn't get anything for Benjamin this time around because we gave him presents on his actual birthday. This was hard for him to process. He though we should do the whole thing over again from start to finish. He wanted birthday cereal and presents and a cake. 

"No, no," I said. "We did cake and presents and cereal on your birthday, remember?"

"That was when I turned five," he pointed out. 

"Right," I said. "And this is your five-year-old party. But it's just a party, not your birthday..."

"But how come Rachel gets to choose birthday cereal?"

"Because it really is Rachel's birthday."

"But she doesn't get a party?"

"Right."

She's not even getting cake tomorrow. (I told you she was being gracious and mature!) 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

No brainer

While we were playing UNO we were treated to a terrific storm this evening, which was ushered in with a percussion prelude before the rains began. Benjamin wondered how there could even be thunder and lightning without rain, so I explained a bit about dry thunderstorms and then said, "Dry thunderstorms have been happening quite a lot in British Columbia recently, which has started hundreds of forest fires, and that's no bueno."

Now, I realize that "no bueno" is an Anglicized slaughtering of the Spanish language, but we fairly regularly throw in phrases from other languages at our house while we speak English. "Shall we turn or go ʿala ṭool?" while we're out walking, for example. Or "Ostorozhno, don't walk in front of the swings." Or "Ciao, bellissima! Have a nice day!"

I don't know why....just whatever comes out comes out. So, anyway, I've been saying "no bueno" for years.

Tonight, Rachel—who will be ten years old on Thursday—paused and very carefully repeated, "Wait. No bueno?"

"Yup."

"What?! I have always thought you were just saying 'no brainer' in a goofy voice! What does bueno even mean?!"

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Every Relationship

spoke in church at the end of April so I was pretty sure I was off the hook until we got to our new ward, but no. But apparently you're never safe because I was asked to give a talk this week (Andrew is speaking next week). Fortunately, I was the middle speaker so I didn't have to worry about ending the meeting on time, which made the whole ordeal a lot less stressful. I wasn't given a topic, however, which made things a little more stressful. I was told to give my "parting remarks," whatever that means, but also talk about the gospel, obviously. So this is what I ended up with (my only regret is that I didn't manage to squeeze in a lesson from Wicked—"Because I knew you/I have been changed for good"; but there's only so much one can say in 10–15 minutes):

Every Relationship

As many of you know, our time in D2 has come to an end and we’ll be heading off on a new adventure, so these are, essentially, my valedictory remarks. Taking time to introduce our family seems almost trivial at this point since next week is our last Sunday here. Those of you who know us do and those of you who don’t, unfortunately, won’t. We’ve been in Durham for about five years while my husband Andrew has been working towards a PhD in Public Policy. We moved here with our two little girls, Rachel and Miriam—then only five and two—and a brand new baby Benjamin. We’re leaving with two relatively big girls—now ten and seven—and a five-year-old Benjamin (along with a two-year-old Zoë and a half-baked baby boy)!

We feel like our family has done a lot of growing up here and it’s rather difficult to say goodbye, especially for our children since this is the only home they remember.

A few months ago, long after the children had been put to bed, I heard a sniffling sound coming from one of their rooms. After a little investigation I found the culprit—our oldest daughter, Rachel—crying in bed. She was worried about having to say goodbye to all the wonderful people she knows here and was fretting about how she’d make friends at our new place. She wondered if making new friends would even be worth the effort since, as of right now, we only have a one-year contract where we’re going and have no idea yet where we will be after that.

I assured her that of course making new friends—even short term friends—would be worth it.

People are always worth it. “Remember,” we’re told in D&C 18:10, “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” As “Latter-day Saints [we] see all people as children of God in a full and complete sense; [we] consider every person divine in origin, nature, and potential.” In Psalms 82:6, the Lord says, “Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” The Family: A Proclamation to the World teaches, “ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.” And 2 Nephi 26:33 states that “all are alike unto God.”

All people. All souls. All of you in this room. All human beings. Everyone, everywhere.

We are all children of Heavenly Parents who love us.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Benjamin's prayers

With the promise of being able to watch an episode of How to Train Your Dragon before bed, Benjamin's behaviour after dinner was on point. He cleared his dishes, he picked up the books in his room, he played dominoes and trains with Zoë while the rest of us played "Ticket to Ride," he ate his ice cream and then ran himself a bath. He got dressed and hung up his towel.

Perhaps most miraculously of all, he managed to sit still through scriptures!

"We'll have Benjamin say the prayer," Andrew said when we'd put the scriptures away. "Because he sat so nicely. But it's going to be a nice prayer, slow enough for everyone to understand."

"Okay," said Benjamin.

"And only one 'good day,'" Rachel added.

"No!" Benjamin wailed. "Seven!"

"Just one will do," Andrew said.

"Okay, okay," Benjamin agreed, and he started to pray.

"Dear Heavenly Father," he said. "We're thankful for this day. We're thankful for the good day that we could have today..."

Friday, July 14, 2017

Our last beach trip

Our little run to the beach yesterday was far too short of a trip to give the coast a proper goodbye (so we'll pretend that we haven't said our goodbyes). We went to one of our favourite beaches: North Topsail Island. It was the perfect day. It wasn't terribly windy, the water was nice and warm, and it was actually quite a lot cooler than it was in Durham so it was a great way to escape the dog days of summer that we're suffering through.

We applied sunscreen in the parking lot before hitting the sand because we're finally getting smart about these kinds of things (putting sunscreen on sandy children is...exfoliating). Even Andrew put sunscreen on willingly. He, himself, spread it on his arms and legs. I only had to do his face—and he stood still for that part. We've been married for 11.5 years and that has never happened.

"Aw, you're growing up," I teased.

"I am not," he said. "I just don't want to get burned this time."

"Aw, you're growing up," I repeated.

Last time he got burned and then had to fly out to BYU for interviews and was flaking dead skin everywhere, which I guess he felt was unprofessional or something. He's getting weirdly excited about dressing professionally for someone who loves flip-flops so passionately. I guess it's all part of growing up (which he's not doing; don't worry). 

Because we'd already sunscreened-up, the kids were free to run to the water when we found to our spot and they wasted no time in doing so. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Things Zoë screamed at the beach

1) More la-lo! [Lots of water!]
2) Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!
3) Shoes—off!
4) Hat—on!
5) Come!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Moving on

I spent the afternoon erasing...
Errant pencil marks
Something sticky
Tiny, grimy finger prints
Crusted-on boogers
Too many scuff marks
...off my empty walls.

They said that I would miss this,
The wise ones who came before.
They said that I would miss this:
The messes
The handprints
The toys on the floor.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Not your everyday chores

Within four hours of listing Andrew's scooter for sale it was gone. We were shocked because selling his last scooter took weeks. Of course, that one needed quite a bit of work by the time we sold it and no mechanic for miles around would agree to work on it and we were having a terrible time even finding parts for it online. 

This one, however, we've kept in pretty good shape and it has served us well. 


First call to poison control

A two-year-old, I think, should be able to play outside in the company of a group of seven children spanning the ages of two and eleven (specifically: 11, 10, 9 (but almost 10), 7, 7, 5, and 2) without me being there to supervise every moment.

I had just chastised the children about coming in and out of the house and never closing the door, not only because I don't want to have to close the door every thirty seconds but because our house was rapidly filling with insects.

The kids were in the yard (the front yard because these particular friends aren't allowed in our backyard for whatever reason) working on some corn husk dolls. Andrew made tamales yesterday and we had way too many corn husks for the amount of tamales he made, so we let the kids have at 'em.

Rachel had pulled up the instructions online (unsupervised!) but we couldn't get them to print so she was coming in and out of the house for every single step until I finally lost it and said, "You have got to stop coming in and out of the house because every time you do I have to get up to close the door because you guys can't seem to manage to do that yourselves!"

"I'm just reading the instructions," she objected.

"Surely you can read through them and remember how to do it. This isn't your first time making them. Or you can just invent a way. But you have to stop coming in and out."

"FINE!" Rachel snapped back and stormed out of the house.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Final Ukulele Choir Performance

This morning we had our final ukulele performance for family and friends at the local library. I'm not sure whether to wipe my brow and feel relieved that it's over (No more practices! We can pack up our ukuleles!) or if I should be mourning the end of an era (we've been with this little ukulele choir for 4 or 5 years now; I can't remember). Perhaps, as we explained to the girls a few weeks ago, it's perfectly legitimate to feel both feelings at the same time.

Rachel was sure she was feeling "confused" about the move but we decided to call it "conflicted." And it isn't so much that we're not sure how to feel, rather that multiple emotions—all valid—are vying for control (as in the movie Inside Out).

So our final performance was relieving and sad...and just a wee bit chaotic.

We weren't able to get a room at our usual library branch, so instead we had to head all the way out to the East Regional Library. We got there in plenty of time to set up and tune our instruments, which was good because as I was tuning up Rachel's ukulele her g-string popped off. It didn't break; it just popped off. I've never restrung an instrument before so I wasn't quite sure what to do. Fortunately, Benjamin hasn't taken to the ukulele quite yet (I've tried) but we brought his along just in case (which, honestly, Zoë plays (with) way more often than he does) so we had a backup.

Rachel wasn't thrilled about using this ukulele, however, because it doesn't stay in tune very well, on account of the hours Zoë has spent fiddling with the tuners (handing her a ukulele is one of the only ways to keep her happy during ukulele practice, but she's not a very dedicated student and more often than not simply lets her curiosity get the better of her. What can I say? She's two.).

Just then, Brother Brown, our ukulele-benefactor and amateur-luthier walked in the door.

"If only we knew someone who knows how to string an instrument," I said, winking at Brother Brown. "Oh, wait! We do!"

Friday, July 07, 2017

Swimming and talking

Surprise—I took the kids to the pool after dinner! One of our neighbours brought a little ride-on chameleon floatie, which their kids didn't seem terribly interested in. My children, however, were terribly interested in it, so the neighbours kindly allowed them to play with it. 

Benjamin had a blast with it.


Thursday, July 06, 2017

Reading

Just as I was herding the children off to bed, Andrew texted me with part of his dissertation introduction. I told him that I'd get to it as soon as I had all the kids tucked in but then I walked into the hall and saw this:


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Breakfast isn't breakfast (and practicing isn't practicing)...

This morning while I was in the shower there was a big fight over the brownies leftover from yesterday, apparently. I know because multiple children came in to ask about them while I was in the shower (and I could hear the distant sounds of screaming between visits from my children). There was other evidence, which I'd find later.

I had the girls make brownies yesterday to take to our friends' house because (a) we had a brownie mix in our pantry and we're trying to empty our pantry and (b) I'm diabetic right now and brownies aren't something I would sit around wanting because chocolate isn't remotely tempting for me. Following with our Independence Day theme, they did everything from start to finish, including putting the pan in the oven and pulling it out again. It was awesome!

Anyway, we had some leftover, which they wanted to take home to consume later. Benjamin thought they'd make a good breakfast this morning but the girls insisted that brownies didn't qualify as a "decent" breakfast (which is one of their "chores") so they put them out of his reach and they all sat down for a "decent" breakfast together.

When I got out of the shower the piano was turned on, so I praised Rachel for jumping in and getting her practicing done like I'd asked her to.

"Oh, I haven't practiced yet. I started but I was too hungry so I decided to have breakfast first."

"Well, why don't you go ahead and practice now that you've had breakfast?" I suggested.

"Actually, I'm still a little hungry," she said. "I think I'll have a yogurt, too."

Independence Day

Yesterday afternoon when I got up from my nap (simply can't seem to make it through the day without one of those lately; especially since I've been staying up until the wee hours of the morning editing sections of Andrew's dissertation while he writes and writes and writes), Zoë pounced on the bed and squealed, "Pool?!"

Going to the pool in the afternoon has pretty much become routine (and we're sure going to miss having access to a pool like this when we move).

I told the kids that, yes, we could go to the pool, but because we had to walk we wouldn't be able to stay for very long since we still had to have dinner before going to our friends' house for fireworks. They agreed to this and quickly started getting ready to head to the pool—all except Rachel, who still had to practice the piano. Technically piano practicing is supposed to happen in the morning but the morning had been rushed and busy and it didn't ever happen. So while the rest of us got ready to go to the pool, Rachel practiced the piano, with the understanding that she'd start getting ready after we left and then would catch up to us (and surpass us) on her bike.

The kids all have a swim shirt to wear in the pool, not so much for modesty's sake as for skin cancer's sake. Making sure everyone gets sunscreen on their arms, legs, faces, and necks is plenty enough to worry about without having to bother with backs and tummies, too! Everyone seems to like them because no one (except, perhaps, Zoë) really likes putting on sunscreen. The only problem with them is that the tight neck holes can make them difficult for little kids to take on and off, especially if they have ginormous noggins (like, for example, Benjamin).

We were pleased to see that the line of swim shirt our local Costco sells had added snaps to the toddler sizes of their shirts. Putting Zoë's shirt on is a breeze; when Benjamin was that size the shirts didn't have snaps so we had to wrangle him in and out of his shirt. The manufacturer seems to think that by the time children are five they should be able to get in and out of shirts on their own, however, and nothing above 4T had snaps at the neck. So we're still wrangling Benjamin in and out of that shirt.

When we pull it off of him, it flips inside-out. And he hasn't yet seemed to figure out how to get it the right way out again, so he always asks for help. Yesterday was no different and when he retrieved his swim shirt from his hook in the bathroom it was inside out.

"Mom! Can you help me un-inside-out my shirt?" he asked me while I was busy getting Zoë and myself ready.

"It's Independence Day so you need to try doing it yourself," I told him (because I'm hilarious).

"WHAT?" he shrieked, quite offended that I didn't immediately jump in and fix it for him.

"Hey, I don't make the rules..." I said (that the holiday is what it is, do not blame me).

"How?" he whined.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Firework tales

We were the first to arrive for fireworks, so while we waited we kicked off the evening with some sparklers. The children were warned that this was probably the most dangerous thing they'd do today—that we were letting them play with very hot, very real fire. 

After detailing the many kinds of fireworks that are illegal in North Carolina (anything that gets air or spins on the ground, basically), sergeant Dale Gunter listed the kinds of things that are legal, which is a lot of things, including, "a thin sharp piece of wire burning at 2,000 degrees that gets hot enough to cut a ’57 Chevy in half and the No. 1 cause of injuries related to fireworks in America … TOTALLY LEGAL!"

Hoping that the children understood, we instructed them to hold their sparklers at the very end of the wire and to put them in the bucket of cold water as soon as they burned out.

Here are the girls, exercising the utmost care to not get too close to those flames while trying to pass the spark:

True patriot love

This morning we bustled out the door to attend the annual neighbourhood bicycle parade, which we forgot about until 9:45 (and which begins at 10:00). Andrew took the car this morning because there's rain in the forecast, but it was certainly hot and sunny this morning (we'll see what the afternoon brings) so that meant we had to get down to the park by foot in order to join in the parade.

Obviously that wasn't going to happen in time, so I sent the big girls off on their bikes so they could ride in the parade. I walked the little kids to the corner so we could watch the parade and join in at the end (Benjamin rode his tricycle). I wasn't sure we would make it in time, but we did! We found a nice shady spot by some neighbours and chatted while we waited for the parade to come by.

It was led by a firetruck again this year, which Zoë found rather impressive.


Monday, July 03, 2017

(Not) Sleeping

Sticking to a daily routine makes it easier to manage your blood sugar levels. This means waking up, going to bed, eating, and exercising at approximately the same time every single day, every single meal.

For the most part, I've managed to do this since I began monitoring my blood sugar levels this pregnancy. Some days I've been forced to wake up earlier than "normal" in order to get out of the house on time for appointments and things—and on those days I've noticed that my blood sugar levels really are higher than usual (like 10 mg/dL higher).

Sticking to a daily routine with a routine-averse toddler is...tricky...especially when that child is sick enough to be running a fever (but not sick enough to not run laps around the house between bites of breakfast).

I stayed home from church with Zoë yesterday. It was a pretty big Sunday for us; Andrew was released as executive secretary and I was released as a nursery leader. Because Andrew was still the executive secretary in the morning, his morning was full of meetings. He didn't have time to come home between meetings and the start of church to pick up the kids and while I could have driven the kids to church myself, and then driven home, and then gone to pick up the kids, and then come home...that sounded like a miserable idea with a sick baby in tow. (It made me look forward to living right across the street from the church building instead of right across town as we are now).

A friend of mine said she'd be happy to drive them, though, which was so nice!

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Interesting Oatmeal

Had I waited just a little longer to write about Andrew's oatmeal experience it would have been ten times funnier because yesterday Benjamin and Zoë wanted oatmeal for lunch and we had a few oatmeal adventures, ourselves.

Zoë insisted that she wanted hers uncooked. She screamed at me when I put water in her bowl and when I put it into the microwave she had a complete meltdown. "NO! NO HOT! NO HOT!"

She was fine once her oatmeal was in front of her but, man, was she ever grumpy! (The grumpiness was explained when she wilted a little later in the afternoon with a fever of 102.)

Benjamin prepared his oatmeal, put his bowl in the microwave, and said, "How long do I cook it for? 30 seconds?"

That's his go-to time for the microwave. I think we made it a rule when he first started using the microwave (usually to make quesadillas): no more than thirty seconds at a time. Oatmeal, however, needs to cook for about a minute so I gave him permission to be fancy and set the timer for one minute.

Soon, however, we started hearing a crackling noise coming from the microwave and when we opened it we were met with a billowing cloud of smoke. He'd forgotten to add water and things were just "a little bit flamey." We doused his oatmeal with water and said goodbye to our purple IKEA bowl (I have a feeling we'll be hitting IKEA for a new set of kid dishes after we move).

On Facebook, our friend Susanne joked, "Andrew, thankfully, just eats it straight from the package and saves bowls' lives, right?" to which Andrew replied, "SAVE THE BOWLS!"

Who knew instant oatmeal could be so...interesting?