Tuesday, October 04, 2022

38 is great!

Andrew's birthday was just a few days after I returned home from Utah (I still have plans to finish posting about that trip, but life is moving on at a ridiculous clip). Rachel, of course, made his cake. I didn't really do much of anything, other than make the children fill out some birthday balloons for him. 

Since Andrew always makes fun of everyone for always settling on acrostics, I challenged the kids to pick a different short-form poetry. My mom will appreciate our attempts since she also has been writings some short poems

Alexander wrote:

We liv in Gorgu. You are fothor. 
[We live in Georiga. You are father.]

RLiv togethor in Gorgu Bhord thrho 4 not mozior thtim.
[I'm going to be honest; beyond "we live together in Georgia" I'm not sure what he's getting at here.]

YYoui Aare Tthe BEE Best DDad
["You are the best dad," but I think he was going for an acrostic-vibe with the extra letters in there, though I don't think he understands that acrostic poems spell something because YATBD doesn't really mean anything.]

[This doesn't really need a translation.]

Chipmunk Trap

On September 7 (or so), the kids left this trap—an open animal cracker container (our summer bug-collecting jar), with a trail of acorns leading inside—hoping to catch some sort of critter. A squirrel would be ideal. The thought was that a squirrel would follow the trail of acorns into the container and then flick the lid with its tail on the way in and the lid would somehow magically spin right around the mouth of the container, thus locking the squirrel inside.

But it didn't have to be a squirrel! It could have been anything! They just wanted to catch something.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Caterpillar details

One of the very best things about Poison Control is that they always call you back to see how things are going. That second phone call has traditionally been much calmer from my end of things. 


Apparently I have a tradition of calling Poison Control. 

But, like, despite my best efforts apparently my kids are going to do things like drink insect repellent (Zoë), eat random yard mushrooms (Alexander), know...bite a venomous caterpillar (Phoebe). 

Before that I evidently was able to keep track of my kids well enough to keep them out of such mischief. 

Or I was just plain lucky. 

The first time I called Poison Control it felt like I was some kind of human failure because...I don't know why. I'd messed up my streak of not calling Poison Control? But I learned that they are the nicest people so now I call with only a little bit of sheepishness and say, "Hey, yeah, hi. Me again. So, my kid ate a weird bug. What do I do?"

And they are always very nice. And they always make a follow-up call. And if everything could run as smoothly as poison control I think the would be in very good shape.

But this isn't really a PSA for Poison Control, though, seriously, do not hesitate to call them if you think you or a loved one may have ingested...or touched...or inhaled...something poisonous because no matter how ridiculous your story is, they will take you seriously, help calm you down, and give you excellent advice (which I assume is sometimes, "Get thee to a hospital!"). 

And then they'll call you an hour later to make sure you're no longer hyperventilating and your toddler is still alive.

Probably better to never have to call Poison Control, really. But I'm just saying that if you find yourself wondering whether you should call Poison Control, better safe than sorry. 

So, anyway...Phoebe bit a caterpillar today.

I thought it was dead. 

Cat(erpillar)s and Dogs!

I spent all day on campus, along with Miriam, Phoebe, and Grandpa (who so kindly rearranged his schedule to shuttle me down there because we were supposed to be having windows be installed today, but the windows were all finished being installed yesterday, so I realized just now at this very moment (9:45 PM) that Andrew could have done the driving, but Andrew had meetings scheduled in the morning and we just didn't think of it until right this very minute). Anyway, I had to run a booth at the Banned Book Fair. 

Here's Phoebe hanging out by Gage the UGA Dawgs mascot: 

Phoebe helped me while Miriam and Grandpa hit up the art museum, and then they came and took Phoebe for a long, long walk outside while I finished up at the fair. 

Here's Phoebe chilling with her air purifier: 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Spooky Vibes, or, While you weren't sleeping

It's just past 10:00 pm and at our house, well, various things are happening. I just got Phoebe settled. Miriam is getting caught up on some "hand" dishes (the ones that won't fit into the dishwasher at the end of the day). Rachel is...crocheting...I think. Benjamin is listening to War and Peace because he finds that having an audio book streaming through his mind helps his mind quit racing long enough to allow him to go to sleep. He's done all sorts of long books—the Bible (several times), The Lord of the Rings (all volumes, several times), you get the picture. Today he asked for War and Peace and, like, whatever. It's just background noise for him. Alexander is sleeping with an armful of owls dressed up like ghosts. He is usually the first person in the house asleep.

The other day he came to me after he'd been put to bed, while I was still nursing Phoebe, and sighed heavily. So I sighed back and then asked, "What is it, buddy?"

"I just wish I had a stuffed animal that had spookier vibes."

"Spookier vibes, eh?" I asked.

"Yeah, because you know Halloween is coming up?"


"And I'd just like spookier vibes in my bed."

"Uh-huh. I'll work on that. For sure, for sure. But, for now, why don't you hop back into bed?"

"I will," he said. "But it'd be a lot easier to fall asleep with spooky vibes."

"Mmmmhmmm...yup...I'll work on that."


"Good night, little buddy."

"But when?"

At this point Zoë interjected in my behalf, telling him that I have a lot on my plate and that I'd get around to spooky vibin' up the stuffed animals when I could get there. I had to work! I had to sleep! What did he expect? These things take time!

So, with the promise that I'd "work" on it, he went to bed.

The next evening...he came to visit me again after he'd been put to bed.

"I'm just checking in," he started, "About those spooky vibes. You said you'd work on them,'s that going?"

Because apparently he's a tiny little project manager.

"Right," I said. "Still...thinking...about things."

And I was thinking about things. I got a lot of good ideas from more creative (or rested?) individuals on Facebook—how to turn a sock into a ghost or sew a simple bat from felt—but, like, let's be real here. Getting together costumes for my kids is enough of a challenge without factoring in costumes for their toys as well. 

Fortunately, I have some very special people in my life who appreciate the need for spooky vibes and they put together spooky vibe care packages for Alexander. Auntie Josie sent a little plush ghost (it's still in the mail) and Auntie K sent some little wind up Halloween monsters as well as a packet of plain white handkerchiefs...along with a note explaining that the handkerchiefs were meant to be used as ghost costumes for some favourite stuffed animals. 

What a brilliant idea!

And my poor sleep-deprived brain was glad she sent along suggestions because when I first opened the box I was like, "The toys I understand. But...the...hankies...?"

Ghosts. Got it.

So this evening we turned a few owls, a horse, a bear, and a doll into ghosts.

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Heiss Fam

My mom and brother drove me up to Salt Lake to visit with our Heiss relatives on Tuesday (September 13), which leaves me wondering what we did on Monday. Probably just recovered from having visited so many people on Sunday, honestly. 

Andrew asked me what we did while we weren't doing our (honestly few) social things and it left me gasping like a goldfish. 

Blub. Blub. I dunno. Blub. Blub.

I mean, I did have a couple of meetings for school/work and tried to find time to do some of my readings. But...I...dunno...we just...hung out. Went for little walks to soak up that view of the mountains, a view which is familiar and intoxicating in a way that the trees and forests surrounding our home to the east is not (although I love all the trees, and I love Appalachia, so can hardly explain the allure of the Rockies, but it's there).

Doesn't matter. I'm sure Monday was wonderful and restful. I'll look at my pictures later to see what we did that day.

Tuesday we headed up to visit with the Heisses. Everyone was so excited to meet Phoebe, of course, who in turn couldn't understand why everyone was so excited to see her and wanted only to sit on my lap. But then Grandpa Frank brought out a great big teddy bear for her to play with and she timidly slid off my lap and then darted across the floor to tackle it. 

She loves stuffed animals almost as much as she likes live animals. 

Phoebe surprised me by willingly sitting on Grandpa Frank's lap for a picture. She didn't fuss or squirm, just sat and munched on her little toy banana. Very brave, if you ask me.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Little family reunion

If Saturday at my parents' house was relaxed, Sunday was busy, busy, busy! The morning was fairly slow: we slept, we ate, we attended sacrament meeting via zoom. I texted a lot with my kids who were texting me a lot. Here's a picture I sent to Benjamin of Phoebe and Millie:

Benjamin texted back, "Is that milky on the right? Milky. Milly. Millie."

Autocorrect got him good!

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Getting there (Sept. 10)

I will slowly make my way through the week that I spent in Utah...beginning with our flight out, which was a lovely mid-afternoon flight. Grandpa drove us to the airport and dropped us off at curbside check-in, which meant I could check my luggage outside and walk through the airport with only my carry-on (plus a baby) in tow, which was nice. 

Phoebe and I made it to our gate with plenty of time to spare, even though I forgot to take my computer out of my backpack (so they had to scan my luggage twice). Phoebe loved looking out the big window at all the airport happenings (and you can see her little air filter by her feet; I was so nervous about flying it's not even funny).

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Saturday is a special day, it's the day that we arrived in Utah

One fun thing I did this trip is forget a card reader for the laptop, so I can't take any pictures off my camera. I do have several on my phone that I could use, but I've also had a very needy baby on my hands (and few reliable ways to distract her since she's a little bit...shy...around others). Still, it's been a wonderful—and rather relaxing—trip for me. Turns out that even when you have a high-maintenance baby along with you, that's still easier than managing multiple children. Go figure.

Ugh. I also just realized that Little Miss Let Me Play With Your Phone turned off the live picture now the picture that I took equals the picture that I get...and I'm a little sad about realizing that because...I'm wishing I could go in and choose the best shot. So hopefully someone out there took better pictures than I did on Saturday and Sunday (I'm looking at you, Patrick, Josie, and David, who all also had their phones "flashing," so to speak—send me all your pictures!).

Still, this picture of meeting Uncle David turned out well:

Friday, September 09, 2022

Birth certificates

I didn't think I could get more stressed out today, but then I did!

Because I'm all about stretching myself, pushing my limits. 

I'm trying to pack today while also finishing up a big chunk of my thesis proposal. And flying stresses me out anyway. And I need to, like, make sure everything is ready for the kids while I'm gone (it's not). And...just...I'm really good at stressing out about the point of hardly being able to function...

And then I decided to pull out Phoebe's birth certificate. 

Because some airlines like to see proof of age for lap infants. And also because it's a good idea to have, like, identification while traveling. So I get out our Very Important Papers and start sifting through them.