Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Modest is...

Let's face it: not a whole lot actually rhymes with the word modest. There are plenty of near rhymes but only a handful of true rhymes, none of which are really any better than the cringe-worthy slogan, "Modest is Hottest." The good news is that we don't have to have a cutesy slogan for church activities! Strange, but true. 

Alliteration is also optional. 

Still, some of modest's rhymes are fun to stick in that blank. Like bodice. "Modest is Bodice" for some reason makes me laugh. Anyway...

That was the title of Rachel's activity at church today: Modest is Hottest.

I sighed just as heavily typing that as I did when I read it because I believe there is so much wrong with teaching our little girls (she's ten years old!) about modesty this way. I believe that modesty is important, sure, but I don't believe modest has anything to do with "hotness" and I certainly don't believe that I should be introducing "hotness" as a goal/standard/ideal when my daughter—who is still a child—is considering what to wear.

So we held a preemptive family night lesson to discuss what modesty means, largely drawing from this, this, and this (we didn't do the Doctor Who paper doll adventure but we did read the talk, look at the pictures, and discussed modesty in dress and behaviour at length). To quote from one of those links, "Phrases like 'Modest is Hottest' introduce ideas about sexuality that are not appropriate for eight year olds," or ten year olds. 

Socializing

It's the last week of school and our social calendar has been booming. Yesterday we went out to the movies with Naanii and Bumpa. We watched Despicable Me 3, which was about as good as any movie with multiple sequels. Afterwards we went out for ice cream, which the kids were rather excited about. Rachel was most excited that she was tasked with making sure Zoë's cone didn't drip (she took her job very seriously and liberally). 

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's always fun for everyone...

On Sunday we had a rather ginormous family gathering, with 34 people in attendance by my count. It was mostly a Heiss affair, since Aunt Stacey was in town and it was her birthday. All of Reid's siblings were there (which was such a momentous occasion that they allowed for a picture) and all of Andrew's siblings were there, along a motley assortment of cousins and second cousins:
  • Grandpa Frank
  • Grandma Pat
    • Matt & Becky
    • Nicki
      • Leah & Greg
        • Jensen
      • Emma & boyfriend whose name escapes me
    • Reid & Karen
      • Andrew & Nancy
        • Rachel
        • Miriam
        • Benjamin
        • Zoë
      • Katharine & Todd
        • Kayl
      • Sarah
        • Riley
      • Emily (left her family up in Idaho for a little pre-baby vacation)
      • Jacob & Shayla
        • Carter
    • Stacey
    • Rod
Because we missed truly celebrating Rachel's birthday last month, we decided it was a good time to finish celebrating her as well (I did promise her a cake and we all know that you can't turn a year older without cake) so we also invited my family as well. My mom and dad came, along with Patrick and Josie, and my nephew Matthew.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Millions of peaches, [but no] peaches for me!

Zoë escaped family scripture study last night and found Grandpa, who took her outside to check on the peach tree. Soon they came back inside and Grandpa announced that we had "a tree emergency" which required all hands on deck. It was rather windy so we all figured a branch had broken or something but instead we found the poor peach tree, so overladen with fruit that its boughs were drooping to the ground. Though not broken yet they soon would be if we didn't act quickly, and so we had our first peach harvest!

The kids were rather excited about this; they've been anxiously waiting for fresh peaches and we've been sharing the few that have ripened before the rest of the crop. 

On Friday when Aunt Stacey stopped by and we were showing her the tree Benjamin grabbed a peach and said, "Can I pick this one?" and accidentally ripped it off the branch.

"Well, it's not ripe but...I guess you've already picked it," Grandpa said.

Benjamin tried to put it back on, to no avail.

But last night we were picking peaches whether sun-ripened or not (mostly not). Reid and Karen were surprised by how quickly the peaches seemed to have swollen and by just how many there were (because they'd already done quite a bit of thinning earlier in the season).

We filled bowl after bowl after bowl!


Friday, August 11, 2017

IKEA and the BYU Creamery

This afternoon we made an IKEA run with the kids for the last few things we need to finally get this place organized (ha—what we actually need is a big dose of motivation for Mommy). They were all thoroughly impressed with the store and loved walking through all the show rooms. Everyone saw a lot of things that they wanted (naturally) but we managed to walk out (more or less) with the things we had intended to buy in the first place (maybe a couple more).

While Andrew was checking out I took all the kids to the restroom and when we caught up with him he invited Benjamin to ride on the shelves we got. Rachel had been carrying Zoë but when Zoë saw Benjamin climb up on the cart she yelled, "Hey! Dad! Wait, Dad! Wait! Me on! Me on, too!" So both the little ones rode to the parking lot on top of our purchases.


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Bed switching

Yesterday we went "shopping" for furniture in Grandma Pat's basement—and high time, too! We were supposed to go last week over and over again but Andrew was still so busy with his dissertation that we kept putting it off. And then we were supposed to go on Monday but had to postpone until yesterday due to extenuating family circumstances. Yesterday might not have been the very best day to go; it certainly ended up being more complicated than we had originally planned, but it was also quite fun. Uncle Rod showed up to help move furniture and Aunt Nicki was there as well and because we showed up a little late (okay, by more than an hour) Grandma Pat ordered pizza so we could fill our bellies and avoid the worst of rush hour traffic.

We had a fun little visit, even though Grandma Pat's house is a little like a museum, full of interesting-to-look-at things that are verboten to little fingers (making it somewhat of a trial for the smallest of us (only Benjamin and Zoë came with us; Rachel and Miriam spent the afternoon/evening with Naanii and Bumpa at the movies/dinner). I think the only person to knock anything over, however, was Andrew, so...

Monday, August 07, 2017

Ph Egypt D

Andrew turned in the revised copy of his dissertation today. Judging by how good I feel about this, I think it's safe to say Andrew is feeling pretty darn relieved. That's how Ken Rogerson said he'd feel when he finished, that there wouldn't be any sense of triumph or accomplishment. Rather, it would feel like a burden had been lifted. More of a "Phew! I didn't die!" than a "Look at what I did!"

Of course, I did look at what he did before he submitted it, just to make sure there weren't any glaring errors (which, of course, there were): repeated words, omitted words, superfluous words, poorly formed lists, incorrect declensions. Common errors like that will find their way into anyone's writing.

My favourite mistake, however, was the following. I can't give it precisely in context because I don't have his draft on this computer, but it basically went like this:
In the middle of a well-crafted, erudite, complex and lengthy paragraph I found a beautiful, complete sentence that made perfect sense. Egypt. This was followed by another logical and acceptably written sentence.
I actually burst out laughing when I came to that little mistake. In his defense, he had just discussed an example of something that had happened in Tunisia and the following sentence was an example of the same thing happening in Egypt, so the little "Egypt," that found itself sandwiched between those two sentences was probably a remnant of an early outline or something. But still.

Stuff

Our truck really, truly arrived on Saturday morning—and it even had our stuff on it! A good number of people from the ward came to help as well as our families. Karen went out to get some doughnuts from Cowboy Donuts and my mom brought some Nanaimo bars. Everyone seemed to enjoy coming inside for some refreshments when they were finished unloading the truck.

Although the morning started out cool, things warmed up quickly.

My mom, Uncle Patrick, Andrew and his dad slaved away piecing together furniture for a good part of the afternoon. Karen and I helped between tending the children. Rachel, Benjamin, and Miriam went over to the bishop's house to play with the kids there so in the morning we mostly had Zoë and Riley to contend with...but two two-year-olds is plenty enough trouble for anybody! They were all home in the afternoon.

By bedtime we had beds for everybody and, let me tell you, sleeping has never felt so good.

Also, sitting. Sitting has never felt so good either. I'm so happy to have my rocking chair back. I don't know how much time I've spent rocking babies—both born and yet-to-be born—in that chair (and/or my old rocking chair) but it's been a good chunk of the last decade and it felt good to be able to collapse in it again to rest and cuddle my toddler and read stories and so forth.

We spent a good chunk of this evening furiously unpacking. My feelings about stuff has run the gamut, from "sort through everything" to "forget sorting just pack everything" to "forget packing, just burn it" to "I'm so glad to have this back" to "why in the world did we haul this across the country?" to "where the heck is this specific thing I really want to find?"

I can't wait to be finished with everything so we can relax and get ready for this baby...

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Ridiculous

Our truck was supposed to arrive today between 10 am and 2 pm, and when it didn't show Andrew called the company we booked with to see where, exactly, it was. They called their partner company in Utah to find out and then told Andrew that it would be another 2–3 hours before our truck would be delivered and that the company out here would call us to confirm delivery time.

Two soon passed and the third hour was quickly ticking by with no truck in sight. When Jacob and Shayla showed up to help I decided I should call the company to confirm, once again, that this truck was coming. Unfortunately, the number we have is based in the East Coast and they keep rather strict business hours so no one answered the phone.

Andrew looked up the number for the partner company based in Salt Lake and I called them at about 4:50 (shortly before closing) and confused the poor customer service representative on the phone so badly that she ran out to find her supervisor...who was in the parking lot getting into his car to go home. Because they also keep strict business hours.

He came back inside to help clear things up.

Turns out "our" truck was actually on its way, but after my call (and a quick review of our paperwork) they radioed out to the driver and told them to turn around because for some reason they thought we needed an empty truck delivered this afternoon. The actual truck we need—which is full of our stuff—is apparently parked in their lot, still waiting to be delivered.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Slooooowly settling in

The kids are all registered for school and are, I think, starting to get a little anxious for the school year to start. This is our first time trying to fill an entire summer break because on the year-round schedule we only had five weeks. They're pretty good about playing with each other, but they're also pining for interaction with other children.

Moving into a Utah (county) ward is weird because, whereas practically anywhere else a Mormon moves in the world their ward basically throws a party to welcome them because they're just so excited to have another family (with kids—even better!) in their ward, no one really gets excited when another Mormon family moves in next door.

I'm sure everyone in the ward is very nice. We just don't know that for sure because pretty much 0% of the ward spoke to us on Sunday. I spoke to Zoë's nursery leader for, like, two seconds to tell him her name was Zoë (and I even stayed in there the second hour but I couldn't really seem to edge in to any conversations) and Benjamin's primary teachers introduced themselves after church. Other than that we got a lot of looks sizing us up, but that's all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Stairs

Moving from a single-storey house to a three-level home has meant making some adjustments. Who needs a stair master when you're chasing your children upstairs and downstairs all day long? We are all going to be in great shape in no time (and by "we" I don't mean the children; they're fine).

The kids have been running up and down the stairs like crazy the past few days, hardly seeming to notice they're there (while I have to will myself up or down any given flight). Even Zoë took to the stairs fairly quickly. She went up and down all day Saturday without a problem, but on Sunday morning she took a tumble down the basement steps while holding a toy phone. The antenna part jabbed her pretty good right near her eye (missing her actual eye, thank goodness). She was pretty shaken up but continued to brave the stairs until Sunday afternoon when she took yet another tumble.

This time she was on her way down the stairs from the top floor of the house to the main floor when her kind and sweet older brother sent a sleeping bag rolling down the stairs after her. She went flying like a bowling pin and...that was it. She gave up on stairs. She started crawling up and down or would stand and scream for someone to "Helpo!" her walk up or down, the whole time nattering about, "Push me! Push me, fall! I fall! I fall! No push me!"