Sunday, March 24, 2019

Labial Frenectomy III

Poor Alexander seems doomed to have no very good stories to tell...ever.

On Tuesday when my mom stopped by to pick Miriam up for organ (which we're so grateful for because I don't know how we would have been able to have Miriam take this organ class without my mom's help), Alexander tripped while walking and landed flat on his face, partially tearing his little labial frenulum.

"My! He's a fragile little guy!" my mom remarked.

I mean, first he breaks his arm while crawling and then he trips, face plants, tears his frenulum and bloodies his lip. Sheesh. It really doesn't take much for this kid!

Today he finished the job—giving himself a full frenectomy—and still without a very cool story to tell.

He hadn't attempted to climb onto the roof of a couch cushion fort, causing it to collapse and propelling him into the organ bench, thus severing his frenulum (like Rachel). Nor did he tumble down the stairs of the deck to do so (as Benjamin did).

No, nothing quite exciting or adventurous as that.

Friday, March 22, 2019

You know it's been a long and trying semester when... pull the calendar up on your phone to see if anyone has signed up for office hours with your professor husband and tell your children, "I'm just checking to see if Daddy can come over a little earlier today."

And by over I naturally mean home because he lives here, duh.

Even if sometimes it doesn't feel like it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Guess what? Ahoy! Benjamin bikes! He's a biker! He bikes!

I've been trying to teach Benjamin how to ride a bike for quite some time. He figured out the tricycle pretty fast but lacked the patience required to learn how to ride a bike. Or a scooter. Or even to pump on a swing.

You'd think that those sorts of things would be attractive to my active little boy, but you'd be wrong because my little boy was too active to sit still long enough to learn how to do any of them!

He couldn't sit on a swing long enough to learn how to pump his legs (though he did manage to figure it out this past summer). Whenever I'd try to get him to try he'd sit for all of five seconds before popping back off the swing so he could run around.

We had the same issue with his scooter (though he did manage to figure that out earlier this year on a warm winter day). Whenever I'd try to get him to try he'd furiously pound his pumping leg against the sidewalk for five or six steps, then throw his scooter aside and start running around.

Likewise, I could not get him to sit on a bike for more than a few seconds at a time before he'd hop off and start running around like wild.

(Spoiler alert: While he was working with Benjamin today, Garrett wondered aloud how Benjamin hadn't learned to ride without training wheels "yet," but this is why—I honestly couldn't get him to sit still long enough to sit on a bike).

It was frustrating because very clearly he is a child who needs this sort of outlet, but he pushed against learning anything. He seemed to lack the coordination, the balance, the determination, the desire to learn any of it. It wasn't quite as frustrating as trying to teach him to eat was (hello, NICU days) because this wasn't a matter of his survival, but it was still rather frustrating because it was a matter of my survival (or at least my sanity).

Learning to swing was a marvelous thing for him.

Learning to ride his scooter was even better (I can't tell you how many "scooter walks" we've gone on recently (he scooters (and Zoë scooters) and I push Alexander in the stroller)).

Learning to ride his bike would make this a childhood trifecta! His summers could be carefree and glorious if he would just sit. on. his. bike. long enough to learn how to pedal.

An artsy-fartsy weekend

Growing up, f-rt was considered such a vulgar word in my home that to this day I cannot hear it without cringing. Andrew's home was the very same way. So very naturally, the word still goes largely unused in our home (though, weirdly, many of our siblings use it with reckless abandon, which, I mean, like, to each their own,! How does it not grate your ears, guys?!).

Oddly enough, however, the phrase "artsy-fartsy" does not bother me in the slightest, so that would be the one use of the word f-rt that I would consider appropriate.

And that's just the kind of weekend we had—an artsy-fartsy one! It was a long weekend because the children didn't have school on Friday and BYU had Friday off for spring break day. It felt marvelous to get to take things slow Friday morning. Rachel went to the temple with some friends. We puttered around the house. And then we headed out to the Springville Museum of Art, which we've somehow never been to even though it's amazing!

Alexander at 17 months

I missed writing about Alexander at 16 months, which is a shame because that's right when he learned how to walk! Oh, well. He's 17 months old now, which means we're just one month away from entering nursery (not that I think he'll go without a fight).

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Rachel's Cinderella

Rachel was kept hopping on Wednesday and Thursday with four performances of Cinderella! We skipped her matinee shows and instead hit her evening shows. Andrew had to work late on Wednesday so Grandpa and I took the little ones and saved seats for Naanii and Auntie Josie. On Thursday Andrew and I took the kids again (since Andrew hadn't seen it yet and I didn't want to stay at home with all the kids). 

Not Rachel

Saturday, March 16, 2019

An Eggs-tra Special Pi Day

I made quiche for dinner on Thursday—Pi Day—with Zoë's help, of course. I can't seem to do anything in the kitchen without her help (except when it comes to putting away the clean dishes, which is her actual kitchen job). 

I cracked fifteen eggs into a bowl (because our family is somewhat ginormous) and let her whisk them up. I added some spices, some milk. She kept stirring while I went to check on how the pie crust was coming along. Because we were in a rush to get dinner on—Rachel had curtain call for her school musical at 5:00—I decided we'd make mini quiches in a muffin tin (which I would refer to a as a tart: a small "open pie" (with no crust on top), but definitions of pie vary wildly, it seems, so you might not refer to it as a tart simply because it's a miniature pie). Tarts bake much faster than pies!

Anyway, Rachel and Miriam were given the task of filling muffin cups with pie dough but, being the inexperienced pie makers that they are, they were taking forever to get it done. Miriam was working the dough so much in her hands it was warm and goopy by the time she pressed it into the muffin pan; Rachel was stretching her dough so paper-thin that she kept poking holes in it. So I showed them (again) how to quickly make a ball and flatten it and spread it in the muffin cup. We were all three rolling dough in our hands when I heard a slurping sound from behind us. 


Friday, March 15, 2019

Thankful Tree 2018

We put up last year's Thankful Tree on Canadian Thanksgiving—October 8, 2018—and just took it down today—March 15, 2019. We got distracted from it for a while (hello, November) so I don't think it ever got quite as full as it could have. But also it was nice to have it stay up as a reminder that we have so much to be grateful for. But considering it outlived Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and Valentine's Day (and St. Patrick's Day and Easter are right around the corner), it was high time for it to come down.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Today's schedule

I thought that it would be an interesting exercise to write out today's schedule sequentially:
  • 7:00: wake up with the baby (after working until 1:30 AM, nursing the baby at 2:00 AM, getting up with Andrew's alarm at five-oh-something, and then again at six-oh-something).
  • do Rachel's hair and make-up (she had a play performance today; this is not a typical thing)
  • 8:00: drive Rachel to school because she had to be there early and we ran out of time to have her walk.
  • 8:30: walk Benjamin to Brynn's house so he can walk to school with Brynn
  • 9:30: walk Zoë to preschool
  • 10:00: put Alexander down for a nap (daylight savings is messing with his schedule because he hasn't taken a morning nap for months...and then we switched time and he's been a mess) and squeeze in a twenty minute nap for myself.
  • 11:00: pick Zoë up from preschool
  • 11:15: check Benjamin and Rachel out from school for return dentist appointments (they had check ups last week and my children always have cavities no matter how well we brush their teeth or how much I encourage healthy eating—I was just visiting with a mom whose daughter was chugging a soda and had a bag of jellybeans in her hand (just for an after-school snack) and she bragged that her children can eat whatever they want and have just never had cavities and I just...whatever....because my children aren't allowed pop or candy on a regular basis and I'm fairly militant about dental hygiene and yet...we're always coming back in for dental work). Miriam and Zoë did not have any cavities this time around; Zoë (and Alexander) still came with me to the dentist (Miriam stayed home sick). Zoë thought this was funny because she went on a field trip to the dentist yesterday (and got a dentist goody bag with a toothbrush) and visited our own dentist last week (and got a dentist goody bag with a new toothbrush). She was a little upset when she wasn't handed a dentist goody bag with a new toothbrush when we left today!
  • 12:15: check the kids back into school (our dentist is efficient (and funny (and good at what he does))).
  • 12:30: feed the kids lunch (I forgot to mention that I helped get them breakfast; I did that) and then settle Zoë and Miriam in with a movie and wrestle with Alexander while I try to work.
  • 3:00: put Alexander down for another nap (again, he's been down to one nap for months now, but daylight savings...boy...I dunno) and squeeze in another twenty minutes for myself. 
  • 3:30: take a shower (with Alexander).
  • 3:50: redo Rachel's makeup (because she washed it off after her performance) and start some water boiling for dinner.
  • 4:30: send Rachel back to school for curtain call and eat dinner (Grandpa mercifully came upstairs to finish making (boxed) macaroni and cheese for dinner).
  • 5:00: stand in line to buy tickets for Rachel's show.
  • 6:00: watch show.
  • 7:00: begin bedtime routine—stories, jammies, teeth brushing, scriptures, prayer, lullabies, back rubs, and more stories (On the Banks of Plum Creek) while I sit on the couch to nurse Alexander and Zoë and Benjamin lie in their beds and try to settle down.
  • 8:30: the house is somewhat silent and I begin some decent uninterrupted work.
I also did a bit of laundry, changed several diapers, tidied up the living room, and did many other things I'm sure I've forgotten to mention. Thinking about today's schedule made me realize that my days are really quite full (this isn't nothing; this a lot) so I should probably stop feeling that I never accomplish anything.

Mid-mom crisis

I just finished editing the manuscript of book a couple of Andrew's colleagues wrote. They gave me about three days to turn around a 300+ page manuscript, which ended up being a rather intense deadline because—have I mentioned?—I'm also a stay-at-home parent.

Interestingly, I've been worrying a lot about the eminent collapse of my stay-at-home empire lately. I feel like I'm entering another phase of reinvention in my life and that's somewhat scary. Although I realize I have years of "at-homing" yet to do, we—I—have a lot of changes coming up in the next few years that I need to prepare myself for.

  • I have spent the past 12+ years pregnant or nursing or both, but soon (within the next six months) I'll suddenly be doing neither. 
  • After this school year Zoë will have one more year before she begins kindergarten and then I will have only one child at home during the day. That hasn't been the case for nearly ten years.
  • Alexander is going to eventually begin school as well. 
  • ...AND THEN WHAT?!