Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A morning mystery

Last night was our church activity night, so I went to church with the three oldest (since I'm one of the activity leaders) and we ended up staying out later than we ordinarily do because the girls had to practice their song for Sunday and so forth.

By the time we got home, Andrew had Alexander and Zoë in bed. They weren't asleep, but they were in bed! I sang to them and rubbed their backs and read them a chapter from Anne of Green Gables. Then I sat in the hallway and read and crocheted until Alexander finally succumbed to sleep.

He sneaked into our room in the middle of the night and padded over to my sided of the bed and I just heaved him on in and let him nestle in between us, not giving anything a second thought. When we woke up in the morning I reached over to check if Alexander was dry and was shocked to find that he was not wearing a diaper or a pull-up (so was then extra relieved that he had, in fact, stayed dry)!

I texted Andrew: "You put the baby to bed wearing underwear?!?!?!"

To his credit, Alexander usually stays dry over night. He's not going to be a complicated nighttime wetter like some of our other children have been. But he still climbs into bed with us every night and I really don't want him having an accident in my bed, so we still put him in a diaper (we have a few sleeves left over from his diaper days) or pull up (we have some that Uncle Cory gave to us before we left that Riley didn't use). We've talked about going without, but aren't quite ready to take that leap. At least, that's what I had thought we decided.

"No...?" Andrew texted back.

"Yes," I said.

"No, I put him to bed in a pull-up."


"100% certain. A pull-up and his blue bear jammies."

"100% not in a pull-up and blue bear jammies. 100% in underwear and green moose jammies."

"????? No."

"!!!!! Yes."

By this time I had started laughing because this was all so weird!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Cavity-free club

In happier news, the kids had their first cavity-free check up ever. We have always had to go back to the dentist for one child or another. But we bit the bullet and bought electric toothbrushes for all of our children (except Alexander, but perhaps he'll get one for his birthday since they're technically only for humans ages 3+) and I think that (as expensive as it was) it was worth it. Our children are much better at brushing with an electric toothbrush than with...manual...toothbrushes (and electric toothbrushes are much more effective overall, even more cost-effective when you factor in the cost of fillings (even with decent dental insurance)). We're happy it paid off. 

All the kids went back by themselves, except for Alexander. I went back with him and he remembered what we'd practiced and talked about at home: we were going to open wide for the dentist and cooperate fully. The minute he got in that chair (in my lap, technically, but I was in the chair) his mouth popped open. And he would not close it for anything!

We waited in the chair for several minutes—no dental workers in sight—and he kept his mouth wide open, drool cascading over his lip and onto the bib they had so fortuitously put on him before leaving us there (otherwise his shirt would have been soaked. I told him he could close it but he just said, "Uh-uh!" and kept it wide open.


Yesterday the stake president came to our ward to announce that our ward is being ousted from the stake. We're not sure what's happening entirely—we'll be meeting with another stake(s?) in the next couple of weeks to hear all the juicy details—but we know that we'll no longer be part of our stake and thus that our building will no longer be in our stake so more likely than not we'll no longer be meeting at that building.

It's all speculation for now, but it's certainly not cheery speculation.

No one seems entirely thrilled by the idea of driving half an hour to get to church (even less thrilling is the thought of having to battle through rush hour traffic to get to the church on a weekday evening for church activities), but I am particularly un-thrilled.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret: I hate driving. (*gasp*)

When we were considering moving to Atlanta (which, I mean, there wasn't a whole lot to consider) the traffic kept haunting me. So we purposely looked in a less densely populated area, an area decently close to the metro, an area with what we thought would have good schools, an area where I thought I could learn to drive all the places I needed to go even if it was all terribly intimidating.

Location, location, location!

Isn't that a line realtors use?

I thought we'd picked a good place but now I feel like everything I thought I might like about it has been taken away. So why are we even here? I mean, obviously we have to live somewhere and this place is better than no place, but I'm rather disenchanted by it.

Thursday, February 13, 2020


After today Alexander will have gone without momma's milk for a full week. Some days moments are easier than others. This morning he woke up begging for milk and he howled down the moon when I told him there was no milk left for him (there is, but somehow we've reached the point of no return...after he willingly skipped nursing on Friday (didn't ask a single time) and then went the weekend with a lot of help from Daddy (the king of distraction) and suddenly here we are...).

It was a rough start to our day, but we got through it. 

He had waffles and oatmeal for breakfast (anything you want, kid). 

Yesterday afternoon when it was far too late to take a nap, he came to me and begged for snuggles. 

"I want a nap," he said and even though it was far too late for such a thing I told him we could lie down together for a few minutes before dinner (I wasn't feeling well, anyway). 

"But you can't have any milk," I told him (he has never taken a nap without nursing, which means he hasn't taken a nap this entire week (so it's been a long week)).

"I don't want milk," he said. "I just want you."

He nestled in for some snuggles and soon fell fast asleep.  

And I think he's going to be okay. I think we're going to be okay. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Does it smell like up-dog in here?

I took the kids over to a friend's apartment complex this afternoon so they could help put up flyers for her lost cat. She has arthritis and wanted someone to help her run flyers up to the top floor so that she didn't have to. It was quite a lot of stair climbing for my little brood (and thank goodness, too, because they needed a good tuckering out).

At one point Benjamin and Zoë went scampering up a little hill and Alexander wanted me to put him down so he could follow them, so I did. He romped up the hill with them and then ran back to me. I scooped him up and caught a whiff of fecal matter in the air.

"Did you poop in your pants?!" I asked.

"No!" he said.

I verified and this was true. He had not pooped in his pants.

So we continued on our way, posting flyers here and there, and always with the lingering smell of fecal matter following us around.

"Are you sure you didn't poop?" I asked. "Do you need to go poopies?"

No and no, he insisted.

I decided to put him down on the ground this time in order to take a better gander in his pants (the first time I had him in my arms and took just a quick peek). When I put him down I noticed that I had mud all over my clothes from him kicking me with his shoes as I carted him around. It was smeared all over my pants, all over my shirt, all over my sweater...

Wait a minute, I thought. That's not mud!

Indeed, it was not.

He had been kicking me all over with his dirty shoes but he had not stepped in mud. He had stepped in doggy doo-doo...which was now all over me.

I carefully wrenched his shoe from his foot and wiped off as much of the remaining doggy doo-doo into the grass as I could but he and I were a hopeless, stinky mess (he less so than I). We continued to perfume the air around us while we worked, which I'm sure everyone appreciated.

When we got home I had Miriam give him a bath while I freshened up myself.

His shoes are still sitting on the front porch. I'll get to them eventually...

(As Andrew pointed out to me: it could have been worse).

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Library woes

This morning we headed to the library, making it just in time for story time (somewhat of a fluke for us; it's happened twice in months of weekly library visits). I turned in our books and then decided not to speak with anyone about it because the last time we managed to show up for story time (which was just a couple of weeks ago) I talked to a librarian about needing to turn in our books before we could check out books and she kind of rolled her eyes (what is with these people?) and asked if we would be staying for story time. I told her we would and she said, "Then your books will definitely be checked in by the time you go."

So today I thought, "Okay. It's story time. We'll be here for a full hour. The books will definitely be checked in by the time we're ready to check out and go."

But they definitely were not checked in.

So I found an employee and asked them about it and they again asked which book drop I'd used. So I told them and they went back there for a long time. Finally they came back out to say they'd checked some stuff in but there was so much back there that they couldn't be certain which books were mine.

Meanwhile the plumber I'd called to fix our garbage disposal had called me to say he was fifteen minutes away from our house. He'd originally told me he'd give me a half hour's head's up, which is why I decided to go to the library in the first place, figuring that when he called I could just check out and go home.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Messy efforts

This afternoon we piled our table high with paper and scissors and crayons and glue to make valentines. Oh, and a big mess. We also made one of those.

We stuffed a dozen different envelopes full of a ridiculous number of valentines, some of which were lovely and some of which were, frankly, train wrecks, and will hopefully get them in the mail tomorrow.

This was a useful exercise for us because we got to make a list of our loved ones and talk about them as we made up valentines for them. It's always nice to remember why you love people, isn't it? To think about what they like, what they've done for you, and good times you've shared together.

It's even nicer to realize that you care about more people than you could possibly ever contact all in one sitting. There were many, many people that we would have loved to make a valentine envelope for but, unfortunately, could not.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Milk and bread and eggs

We had French toast for dinner.

Somehow it seemed the fitting and proper thing to do, what with all the snow this morning. But it seems—and I could be wrong since we've only had a single snowfall and it fell on a Saturday so we didn't have to deal with the chaos of schools closings and inclement weather make-up days—that Georgians are able to keep their wits about them in the snow a little better than North Carolinians. I mean, no one really overtly freaked out about things.

Andrew went grocery shopping and there were still milk and bread and eggs to be found. I noticed that several of our neighbours left their houses—and we live in a pretty hilly area—to run their Saturday errands.

Life, for the most part, carried on as usual. But this time with snow!

There were only a couple of things that made me giggle. One was a message on our neighbour app that said: "It's a veritable blizzard! The accumulation has blown past the predictions of less than 1" for the area. And it's still coming down hard and thick!"

CRAY-ZAY that we blew right on past that "less than one inch" prediction! We got a full inch, at least!

The other was a picture a friend of mine shared on Facebook, saying that after watching a car "slide to the curb and get stuck" in the snow and then watching the firetruck that had come to rescue them from being stuck in the snow also slide into the curb and get stuck, she's convinced that she should just stay home.

Now, I'm not saying it wasn't slick out there because snow and ice tend to be that way. I'm just saying...can you really be stuck in this amount of snow? And if you are, do you really need to call the fire department to get you unstuck? I mean, firemen were out in that big blizzard in Newfoundland last month digging people out of their homes and so forth. But, like...this is not remotely the same as that. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what happened and the car went, like, into a ditch, but even then it seems like they'd need a tow-truck and not a firetruck.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

The south can have some snow, as a treat

This morning was a hard morning for me and Alexander. Yesterday he didn't ask for milk a single time—he woke up wanting breakfast and didn't even think about nursing, he didn't seem to need a nap so I didn't give him one (which meant he didn't ask for milk then either), and he's been going to bed without milk for quite some time. And we were both happy and fine. 

But this morning he woke up wanting milk. 

"It's all gone," Daddy told him.

"It's NOT all gone," Alexander said, his voice tinged with the mingling emotions of fear and hope. 

"It's all gone," Daddy repeated.

"It's not all gone. You're being mean!"

Thursday, February 06, 2020


I finally got down enough words to count as a first draft for my paper. It's pretty awful, but aren't all first drafts? I tend to think so. 

I printed it out to edit it in order to give myself some separation from my writing space. Editing and writing are related processes but different enough for me that I felt that I needed a different medium entirely (at least with this first round of edits). I didn't want to edit as I wrote; I just wanted to make sure to get down enough content to actually work with, which I finally did!

This afternoon/evening I went over my paper with a red pen and found plenty of room for improvement, which you can see below (don't attempt to read the paper as it sits below; it's definitely only first-draft level (which is to say it's embarrassingly bad)):

I just wanted a record of all those red marks I gave to myself, to prove to my children (or whoever else's work I'm editing/reviewing) that I definitely believe in rewriting.

I don't really want to rewrite this paper right now (so I'll probably take a break and some other writing (I still need to write a personal statement for my application, for example) or work on some other projects (I have several going on)) but at least I can rewrite it now...