Thursday, December 07, 2023

Sometimes I'm hard to please

I like to think of myself as a pretty easy-going person (emphasis on the pretty), but sometimes I think my kids probably think I'm altogether unreasonable. 

This morning Zoë finished up loading the dishwasher and then went the extra mile and ran the cycle. When it finished and popped open and I got to peek inside I expressed my displeasure because it was half empty! First of all, there were still dirty dishes left on the counters (my kids have this thing where they can only see dirty dishes in the sink...the ones on the counter are invisible) and second of all, if there hadn't been more dirty dishes I would have preferred to wait to run it until after lunch (when we inevitably make more dishes). So while I appreciated her help in doing the dishes, she got a little lecture about being wise stewards and not wasting resources (of time, water, money, electricity, etc.), a lecture that she probably found confusing because...

Earlier this morning Zoë wanted to put in a load of laundry, but it turns out that that load of laundry was ginormous! She took each of the kids' laundry baskets from upstairs and emptied them all into the machine at once (which I didn't know until the cycle stopped and I went to put things in the dryer because my children, like me, have this thing where they forget about doing laundry while it's washing and sometimes leave things in the washing machine far too long). So while I appreciated her help in doing the laundry, she got a little lecture about not overloading the washing machine and...well...

I began to feel a little unreasonable.

Overload the machine? Get a lecture. Under-load the machine? Get a lecture.Overload, under-load...

Signs your baby is growing up

Today Phoebe got into a box of Kleenex, but she only pulled out enough tissues to use as blankets for each of the little dolls she was playing with. Once everyone was comfortably tucked into their makeshift beds on the couch she stopped pulling out tissues. 

Before when she'd get into a box of Kleenex it was to pull every last tissue out of the box and shred it all over the living room floor. Eventually she figured out that was a no-no and figured out they were only for noses, so she'd help herself to one every time she felt like blowing her nose (and she felt like blowing her nose as often as she got a hankering to yank a tissue out of the box, believe me).

But now? Now she's playing make-believe. 

And that's how I know my baby's growing up.

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Stake Dance

Just a note that a few nights ago in a last-ditch effort to get the kids' attention (because they were being unruly, naturally), Andrew hollered, "Yo! Listen up!"

And because sometimes my children's mother is sometimes equally unruly, I belted out: "Here's the story about a little guy that lives in a blue world, and all day and all night, and everything he sees is just blue—like him!—inside and outside."

Andrew gave up and joined in as the kids' jaws dropped open in amazement:

"Blue's his house with his blue little window, and a blue corvette, and everything is blue for him, and himself, and everybody around, cause he ain't got nobody to listen...."

This is about where the kids lost it, because by this time Andrew and I were jumping around the living room singing, "I'm blue, da ba dee da ba di, da ba dee da ba di, da ba dee da ba di..."

Rachel was like, "No way is this happening. This is not a real song. These are not my real parents..."

But alas, it was happening, it is a real song, and we are her parents. 

"Pretty impressive, really," Andrew and Rachel agreed. "Considering it's not a polka song."

My repertoire knows no bounds.

Mandela Effect re: conversions, transfers, etc.

Today Alexander chose to do his science reading with a laptop open beside him so he could verify facts because in his book he read that baby hedgehogs were called hoglets and that didn't feel very true to him because while he's heard of piglets, he hasn't really heard of hoglets before. But the internet confirmed that baby hedgehogs are often called hoglets and he felt better about verifying that fact. 

Benjamin, meanwhile, was perplexed because in a math problem he solved a few days ago it said that $1 was equal to ¥90 and today a different math problem told him that $1 was equal to ¥80. We researched a bit about how exchange rates change (usually once per day) and what factors might affect that change. 

In fact, today $1 is worth approximately ¥147.

Monday, December 04, 2023

Homemade ornaments

I didn't take many pictures while we were working on our Shrinky Dink ornaments this evening because I was so busy working on my own...and trying to keep Phoebe from wreaking havoc. Here's one of Miriam putting some Mod Podge glaze on Alexander's ornament:

Two year olds in tutus

Phoebe has discovered the joy of tutus. She has found so much joy in them, in fact, that she needed to wear one to bed last night.

She's been working on sleeping in her own bed (not last night but the night before she stayed in her bed from 10:30 PM until 8:30 AM and I have no complaints about that) but last night she woke up at midnight and then also ended up in our bed and was a little wriggly-worm.

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Making Christmas

Miriam baked cookies yesterday, experimented with flow icing last night, and this afternoon she whipped up some buttercream and allowed her siblings to finish decorating the cookies she had leftover. The cookies turned out great (I'm sure Miriam has pictures of her beautiful creations on Instagram) and the kids had a lot of fun together.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Really instructive

Well, I did it! One post per day...and then some! 

Now I really need to get cracking on our Christmas newsletter (among other writing projects). 

I got a rejection notification for a paper today. I'm getting more and more used to rejection as I put more and more things out into the world. And I'm coming to truly believe that it's more about finding the right home for your writing than it is about what you wrote (it's impossible to please everyone and there are so many different possibilities for writing regarding genre and style).

One of my papers that will be coming out soon (in theory) went through multiple rounds of editing and multiple journals before it found a home. That stung a little, but it was a co-authored paper and my mentor helped me remember to move "onwards and upwards" because she believed our paper had merit and was worthy of publication somewhere. And also our reviewers took time to offer constructive criticism. 

You know—the kind of criticism that points out specific things you might attempt to fix or change, delete or add, explain or verify. It doesn't tear down your work, but builds it up, tells you what you might do to make your project better. 

Two stories

There are a couple of funny stories that I wrote down on Facebook, which I neglected to record here, so I will put them here as well. The first is from two weeks ago when Alexander couldn't live without his emergency paperclip supply. He took a paperclip to co-op. He took a paperclip to church. He had to have paperclips on him at all times!

Alexander: See this paperclip? I can use it to unlock the bathroom door! So if it ever gets locked with nobody inside, I can be the one to let people in!

Me: Well, hopefully that won't happen *too* often.

Alexander: Yeah. 


Me: *knock, knock* Hey, who's in the bathroom? 

Bathroom: ...

Me: Nobody. Okay. 

Alexander, brandishing paperclip: I can fix that.

Me: Thanks, buddy. Hey, are *all* the bathroom doors locked?

Alexander: *looks sheepish*

Me: Okay, how about we unlock all the bathroom doors and use the paperclip only in case of actual emergencies. We don't need to fabricate emergencies, okay?


Alexander: *walking around wearing a necklace of paperclips*

Me: Huh. Nice necklace.

Alexander, patting his necklace: For emergencies.


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Christmas Trees

Andrew took Miriam to a musical rehearsal on Sunday evening, so while I was home with the rest of the kids I pulled out our new little Christmas tree (another Buy Nothing Group score) and set it up in the basement. Rachel and I also lugged the parts for the big Christmas tree upstairs (but we didn't put it all together until Monday) because I wanted to get to a box of Christmas books that was behind the Christmas tree. 

Phoebe was so excited about the Christmas tree. Zoë taught her how to be a "present" under the tree.