Friday, July 31, 2015

Ice juice

Benjamin was right behind me as I headed out to meet the school bus this afternoon. I went down the front steps and he tripped after me, literally. I had just reached the sidewalk when I heard him cry, "Uh-oh! Mom!"

I turned to look at him and he was sprawled, face down, on the (brick) steps.

"Oh, Benji!" I cried, setting him upright. "What a mess! Let's get you taken care of—quick, before the bus comes!"

I tried to put Zoë down but she's feverish and cranky (she had her shots yesterday) and her screaming was stressing me out as much as Benjamin's blood so I held her while I cleaned him off. We headed out to meet the bus together with Benjamin holding a cold cloth to his forehead.

Once we were back inside I snapped this picture to send to Andrew:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Zoë at 2 months and Benjamin at 3 years

This morning I took Benjamin and Zoë to story time at the library. We were about five minutes late but it was supposed to run for about half an hour so I wasn't too worried...until it ended five minutes after we got there. Wait. What?!

Yes, we arrived in the middle of the one and only story and then we sang a few songs (accompanied by a CD), grabbed a sticker, and adios! 

Story time can be a little hit-or-miss at our library. Sometimes it's wonderful and engaging other times...not. Today was definitely a not day.

We went home for lunch and then got ready to go to the doctor for well child check ups. Benjamin was terrified he'd have to get a shot, but he didn't. Zoë, however, did and it was the worst thing that has ever happened to her (and she's been telling us all about it every waking moment since they jabbed her with those needles; the girl can yell).

Benjamin is now a whopping 28 lb.! He's way on the chart, coming in at the 11th percentile ('atta boy, Benji). He's 90.1 cm (or 2 feet 11.47 inches) tall, which—yippee!—puts him at the 5th percentile for height. I think this is the first time he's ever been on the height chart at all (I thought he'd been growing) so we're all pleased as punch over here.

Zoë is growing so well that Benjamin probably needs to step up his game a bit.

She's already 12 lb. 4.5 oz. (67th percentile) and is 23.11 inches (70th percentile).

Having had a baby who struggled to put on every single ounce, I'm happy to have a nice plump baby again (she's about on par with Miriam at this age so she's not unusually chubby for a baby of mine; it just seems like she's huge because at two months Benjamin was barely breaking in his newborn outfits (Zoë gave those up weeks ago)).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Splish! Splash!

Between the sodden branches of our crape myrtle tree, Zoë and I spied on the kids as they danced through the raindrops and splashed in the gutter. I don't know what they were playing or saying, but it sure looked like fun.

Happy Birthday, Rachel! (July 20)

Eight days ago Rachel had her eighth birthday. It was also the first day of school, if you recall, and we were busy getting ready for her baptism, which was the following day, so we were a bit busy. Hopefully she'll forgive me for writing about her birthday a week late. Oh, and for not planning her birthday party yet (it's coming, Rachel, I promise—I just need some time to breathe after all the chaos of the summer (good chaos but chaos nonetheless)).

Here she is, fresh out of bed and freshly eight-years-old, on the first day of school:

The Blessing Gown

This afternoon Benjamin and I dressed Zoë up in her blessing gown and headed outside to take some pictures because, though we took a million pictures of everyone and everything else, we neglected to get any of just her on her blessing day. She's such a beautiful baby.

Here she is with her "I'm ignoring you" face on:

Monday, July 27, 2015

School schedule

I woke up this morning (to little Miss Zoë's gruntings and groanings) and looked at the clock; it was 7:47 and the house was completely silent. Naturally, that threw me into a completely tizzy. The girls' bus comes at 8:00!

"Andrew!" I said, poking him a million times. "We've got to get up!"

So we did, but the girls completely missed their bus. Andrew drove them to school because he's a nice daddy.

It's still a little strange to have just Benjamin and Zoë at home. It would feel quiet except that Benjamin talks all the time. Today I did some homeschool preschool with him just to keep him quiet and focused while Zoë napped (ie. so that she could nap).

"Let's do something that's not flipping off the arm of the couch during rest time, okay, buddy?"

The things I find myself saying...

His activity was lining up the numbers 1 to 9 in six different colours. It was a lot of work for him to find all those numbers and put them in order. When he was finished he built a tower with the leftover tiles.

Last Utah post (July 16 and 17)

This post will bring me up—if not up to the present time—to the present state. And it will be short, sweet, and to the point. I said goodbye to my lovely family...

Aquarium (July 15)

After staying up late with a hopping mad Zoë baby, we had a quiet, lazy morning at home before heading off to the aquarium, one of my mom's favourite places to visit. She loves the ocean—not going in it, necessarily, but simply being by it. That's something nearly incomprehensible to some people, like my sister Josie and my daughter Rachel (and, probably me, too), who have a hard time being near the ocean and not going in (even if it's the coldest month of the year).

And I have to say that visiting an aquarium in the middle of a desert was pretty cool.

Here's Zoë riding on the back of an orca, such a lucky baby:

And here are a few of the things we saw...

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pysanky (July 14)

Tuesday was a pretty quiet day. My niece and nephews stopped by in the afternoon for a little visit, which was nice. I hadn't gotten to talk with Andrew (my nephew) very much yet, so I was glad he came along. I can't believe how cool they all are—they're just such great people!

Here's a "selfie" I took using the big mirror in my mom's basement:

Dad, me, and Mom in the mirror
Rosie (holding Zoë), Matthew, and Andrew on the couch

Swimming with four kids

The kids have been begging to go to the pool and so after the girls got home from school I took them.

I didn't have any excuse not to. We've been quite open with the girls about how babies are born (and the recovery time involved) so they knew I wouldn't be getting in the pool for at least six weeks. While we were talking with some people at the Anderson reunion, Miriam came up and said, "How old is Zoë now?"

"She's seven weeks old," I said, thinking someone had asked her and she wanted to relay that information, but no. Her response took me (and everyone we were talking with) completely by surprise.

"Oh, good!" she said, pumping her fist in the air. "That means your bum's stopped bleeding and you can take us swimming again!"

That was a conversation stopper, that's for sure!

Now Zoë's a full two months old and I still hadn't taken the kids swimming and I really was out of excuses (the kids don't think "four kids" is an excuse) so I took them. For the most part it really wasn't too crazy. The girls have turned into fine swimmers; that isn't to say I would leave them in a pool completely unattended but Rachel can swim across the pool just fine and Miriam can dive to the bottom and float on her back for a million years. They're both little fish these days.

Benjamin does alright if he's wearing his puddle jumper. And I put Zoë in a front carrier.

Playing in the big pool was fine but eventually Benjamin wanted to go to the baby pool so we all went into the baby pool and I took the opportunity to get Zoë out of the baby carrier (because after a while my back starts aching; she's getting to be quite hefty). Rachel held her in the baby pool for a bit.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Musical FHE (July 13)

We had family night in my Aunt Judy's back yard on Monday with Aunt Judy and Uncle Wally, Mindy and her kids, Elizabeth and Bridget, me and Zoë, my mom and David and Josie, and Matthew and Rosie. It was a lot of fun!

Here are some pictures of everyone visiting:

Maren and Zoë (July 13)

On Monday morning I got up early to say goodbye to my sweet little family as they packed up and headed out on the long drive back to North Carolina. Then I got ready to go out to lunch with Emily, Morgan, and Karen. Emily's favourite restaurant is Olive Garden and there isn't one near where she lives (Shoshone, Idaho, though she just moved so she doesn't technically live there anymore, does she?) so when she comes down to Utah she likes to go.

Lunch was lovely, but before we left we took some pictures of Maren and Zoë having some kicking time together:

Zoë's blessing day (July 12)

I suppose that since I wrote about Rachel's baptism it's only fair that I write about Zoë's blessing, which happen nearly two weeks ago. We blessed Zoë on a Sunday afternoon after church, outside in Grandma and Grandpa's yard. It was a beautiful day filled with sunshine and many of my favourite people.

My dad and Grandma Layton were the first guests to arrive, aside from some of Andrew's siblings, who were mostly helping set things up (bless them). Here's Great-Grandma Layton holding her newest grandbaby:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Parenting in public is scary

I was so worried I was going to miss my flight coming home from Utah. Karen dropped me off at the curb and I walked through the doors of the airport (pushing a stroller and pulling two suitcases) straight into the line for the ticket counter. The line was so long that it was spilling out into the rest of the airport; I was lucky to walk through the doors when I did because I walked into the end of the line. More people lined up behind me. It was nuts!

I was texting Andrew, trying to hold back my tears (I cry when I get stressed out sometimes), as the line slowly inched forward. I made it to the ticket counter with less than fifteen minutes to go before boarding time and I still had to go through security, the line for which was ginormous, but there was nothing to be done except get in that ginormous line and pray that I would make it through in time.

Slowly, slowly, we inched our way forward and I thought about having to take the baby out of her seat, collapse her stroller, take off my shoes, take out my laptop, take out my liquids, go through the metal detector and set everything up again. Every minute that passed made me feel more and more sick to my stomach (sometimes I get sick to my stomach when I'm stressed out).

When I was about halfway through the line a TSA agent opened the retractable belt barrier and waved me through.

"This is your lucky day!" he said with a smile. "You and this fine young gentleman have been chosen for pre-check. Right this way!"

I was so happy I didn't even tell him that the fine young gentleman accompanying me was a girl (and that's why I usually put a bow on her head). When Patrick and Josie met her at the airport (when we first arrived in Utah) they declared that she looks like Winston Churchill. I was like, "You guys! She's my beautiful baby!"

But, you know what?

They. Had. A. Point.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Rachel's baptism (July 21)

Rachel's baptism was a wonderful day! I'm so glad Grandma and Grandpa were here to help make it as wonderful as it was. When I told Grandma that I didn't know how I could have done it without her, she smiled and said, "You would have managed. Your friends would have stepped up to help." And that's true because we have great friends here. Still, it was nice to have Grandma helping. She adds a special touch to everything she does.

She made a beautiful remembrance book cake to help celebrate:

Genealogy of a Violin

Jean was kind of enough to share the story of the violin. These are her words, not mine:

William Lindsay lived in the small mining own of Kilmamock, Ayrshire, Scotland. Life was difficult in 1861, and William and his two young sons, Robert and Will (Jr.) all worked in the deep slate mines. When their work was done they went home to Momma Christian and their seven other siblings. William's one luxury was an old violin, and even though it was cracked it still had a nice tone that the whole family enjoyed. 

The family had heard the missionaries from the Latter-day Saint church, and had been baptized, much to the dismay of their neighbours. The persecution extended even into the mines, and some urged the foreman to fire William because of his belief in that heretic[al] American religion. But the foreman told them William was a good man and worth ten of their kind, and he could work for the company as long as he wished.

William and Christian wanted to take their family to Utah and had asked for a loan from the Perpetual Emigration Fubd.But William would never make it. On October 17th, a loosened slab of slate slipped down the wall, landing on William, killing him instantly. Both Robert and Will were working in the mine as gatekeepers, and when they heard the rumble they grabbed their candles and rushed to their father until the foreman came down to find them.

Shortly after they buried their father the funds from the PPF came through and Christian and the family prepared to leave their homeland. They knew space would be limited as they were to join a handcart company in Missouri, but Christian was adamant about bringing the violin. She declared, "I'll carry it across the plains in my arms if I have to, but its the only remembrance of my husband I have left."

So the violin was wrapped in a bag, crossed the Atlantic ocean, and rode in the handcart to Utah, and then on to Heber where the Lindsays settled. By this time Robert had developed an interest in the violin and taught himself to play. He may have taken it with him when he went to court Miss Sarah Ann Murdock in 1868. She was the daughter of Joseph Stacey Murdock and his wife, Charlotte Eliza Clark. Joseph was a wrangler for Brigham Young and in his spare time wrote poetry. One of his poems was titled, "Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice," and was put to music in the church hymn book. Robert may have given the hymn a turn or two on his fiddle.

Anderson Reunion, day 2 (July 11)

We didn't have the best sleep in the cabin, but I suppose that's to be expected. We were camping, after all. Here were our sleeping arrangements:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First day of school

We interrupt our regularly scheduled frantically-trying-to-catch-up-about-summer-break posts to bring you a very important message: the school year started yesterday!

It was a very big day for Rachel because it was also her birthday. She picked out a new shirt to wear. It's orange on top and pink on the bottom and has a butterfly on it. "I like this shirt!" she said, pulling it out of the pile. "Ew, but it has a butterfly on it. Oh, well. I'll still wear it."

Anderson Reunion, day 1 (July 10)

Five years ago I attended my first Anderson family reunion. It was fun to meet many of Andrew's aunts and uncles and cousins that I hadn't met before and to get to know better the ones I'd already met. It was also a little uncomfortable for me since I'm...well, I'm an introvert. Trying to get to know so many people (Karen comes from a family of eight children, most of whom had several children, many of which have several children of their own) at once was a little overwhelming, but it's also so very important to me to know Andrew's family.

When I think of Genesis 2:24 (Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh) and becoming "one flesh" I think part of that is not only learning to rely on each other (rather than on your parents) but also accepting your spouse's family as your own.

It was interesting to see the change of heart I've had in five years. Whereas five years ago I still felt a bit like an outsider, this summer I was excited to get to visit with cousins we hadn't seen in years. We've had so many changes to our family the past five years. Aunt Susan passed away; several cousins (including two of Andrew's siblings) have gotten married, adding new in-laws; a few cousins have gotten divorced; and many, many babies have been born (five more grandkids for Reid and Karen, alone). And I feel like I'm a part of it all.

Because I am.

Because Andrew's part of it and our children are a part of it, I'm part of it (even if I'm not flesh-and-blood Anderson). And because I'm a part of it I think I should be fully invested in it, and so I am, and I can honestly say that while I might have been shy about meeting this crew five years ago, I now love them all so much and was so happy to get together with them!

Anyway, the first day of the reunion was for George and Delsa's progeny—Karen and her siblings and their children and grandchildren. Everyone from our little family was there (except for Uncle Cory because he had to work); everyone from Uncle Clark's family was there (except for a few husbands who had to work); Aunt Linda and Uncle Trevor were there (it was Uncle Trevor's first trip after the accident that left him paralyzed); and Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Raymond were there with several of their children and their families.

Rachel found a moth while we were setting up tables and chairs. It wasn't able to fly very well so she carried it around for quite a while.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bean Museum and Canoeing at Daybreak

We headed back down to Orem on Wednesday (July 8) to spend some more time with my side of the family. Our first stop was my parents' house, where Benjamin was more than happy to set up the "roller coaster" racetrack again. The kids (including Andrew) had a lot of fun with it. At one point Benjamin was lying between the tracks and cars were jumping over him (and into him)!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Impromptu Family Reunion

When our finalized summer plans included a three-week stay in Utah, my mom started planning a family/friend gathering for us. It can be hard travelling around trying to see everybody (especially with a brand-new baby) so it was nice to get everyone all at once. People kept me so busy visiting that I didn't really get a chance to eat until we were starting to clean things up.

I felt like a bride at a wedding reception!

It was fun to get to see everybody though, even if I didn't get a lot of time with everyone I saw. I'll link to my mom's post about the evening as well because she took more pictures than I did!

Here's my sister Kelli with Zoë:

Wednesday with the Aunties

Sarah and Katharine came up to visit us at Grandma's house on Wednesday morning (last week). Rachel had a lot of fun with baby Riley because he's a bit older (and a lot less squishy) than Zoë, which makes him easier to hold (worrying about supporting that head all the time is a lot of work).

Rachel holding Riley, sitting beside Auntie Sarah

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tuesday on Temple Square

Now that it's almost two weeks ago, I'm not sure what I'll remember from the day, but I do know that my mom had to work so we headed up to Temple Square to meet my Auntie Arlene by ourselves. We parked at the Conference Centre and started heading to the Visitor's Centre, primarily so the kids could use the restrooms. While we were walking there I got a text message from my aunt with this picture attached:

That one time I forgot my password

Remember when you were a kid and your older brother would put his hands and feet against the doorframe to block you from entering the room? "What's the secret password?" he'd taunt but you never could guess the password (deep down inside you knew it was because he kept changing it every time you guessed it) and would inevitably break down in tears.

Or maybe I was the only one that ever happened to.

Anyway, the same thing happened to me this week only it was my computer, not my brother, taunting me. And, of course, I was the one who set the password in the first place.

We've been out of town so long that our neighbours collected an entire brown paper bag of mail for us. Three weeks' worth of mail. That's a lot of mail.

It also means I was away from my computer for three weeks.

The silly thing is that I remembered my password at my parents' house and blogged from there. I remembered my password from my in-laws' house and blogged from there. But then I went back to my parents' house and I could not, for the life of me, remember my password.

There were tears, folks. And a little bit of panic because do you know how much of my life is on Google? My calendar. My documents. My email. My pictures. My blog. All of it out of reach.

How does one just forget their password? How?!

I was texting Andrew like crazy trying to get it figured out while he was hauling the kids back across the country. Eventually we had to give up.

"I'll figure it out when I get home," he promised.

But then he couldn't.

My back up codes weren't in the firesafe (Where are they? I don't know.) and even with our two brains together we still couldn't crack the code. I knew basically what it was, but could only remember exactly what my password was ten months ago. We tried every variation we could think of.

Finally Andrew started asking me my passwords for other applications, probably thinking that if I could remember one password that I would remember another. But I couldn't seem to recall a single password correctly.

Finally he said, "What's your password for xxxxxx?"

"XXX XXXX XXXX," I told him immediately.

He tried it.

"ZOMG!" he texted me. "I'm in!"

Naturally, the G there stands for 'gosh.'

Equally naturally, I suddenly felt at once incredibly stupid and completely relieved.

So I haven't done a lot of blogging this week because I was locked out of blogger, but I'm back now, and my password has returned to its happy little home in my brain. The school year is starting next week and I'm really not sure I've quite recovered from the previous school year, let alone our crazy summer break, so if I forget anything I'm totally blaming baby brain...because I just had a baby (two months ago).

Sunday, July 12, 2015

In which Zoë isn't completely unimpressed

Zoë was sitting on my lap on Saturday afternoon and decided that cooing and smiling might, in fact, be interesting. So she gave it a go.

Are you ready for way too many pictures of her not grimacing at the world? Because I took lots.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Monday on Temple Square

Upon hearing that my kids and I were going to be heading west, Auntie Arlene decided to head east (from California), dragging her granddaughter Lexi along to meet us all. That meant that my mom, her brother (who recently returned with his wife from a mission in Mauritius), and one sister would be together, so my mom sent a message to her other sister to coax her down from Canada. She took the bait.

But it gets better because upon hearing that I, my kids, and our aunts would be here, my cousin Elizabeth decided she'd come down from Idaho with her little girl. And so my cousin Mindy (also from California) decided she may as well fly out with her children, too.

So while Andrew's mom's been slaving away planning this family reunion for months and months—we had this trip our calendar since before I fell pregnant with Zoë—my family has been having spontaneous reunions all week long. The food, activities, and accommodation were all a little less well planned and executed than the Anderson reunion will be this weekend, I'm sure, but the people were just as great.

Riley's blessing day

Sunday was Riley's blessing day so we drove down to Payson to attend sacrament meeting at Auntie Sarah and Uncle Cory's ward. Our family took up a few rows—even Aunt Stacey came out (from San Diego now (she recently moved back there from New York))! We stopped by Aunt Sarah's house just before church to drop off some folding chairs and have a quick visit.

Here are the great-aunts with the babies (Aunt Nikki is holding Zoë while Aunt Stacey plays with Riley):

Monday, July 06, 2015

Independence Day

In the morning of the fourth we went to Grandma and Grandpa's ward's pancake breakfast. The kids walked from the school to the church in a parade led by a police car (which totally made Benjamin's day).

Ucky-Mucky Augie

Last night I remembered two stories about our candy bomber day that I forgot to blog about but this morning I can only remember one of them, so I guess I'll tell that one and simply mourn the loss of the other one (until it comes back to me).

We were driving down to Orem for the first time this trip and Benjamin watched as Utah Valley opened in front of us, revealing a sparkling expanse of water.

"Uh-oh!" he said. "I see Mississippi 'izzy!"

I guess when they were in Nauvoo Andrew convinced the kids he was going to drive the van right into the Mississippi River and Benjamin thought it was a funny joke. (In the following pictures of the children standing in the Mississippi River, I'm told the van is parked just out of the frame and that Daddy kept inching closer and closer and closer before he parked while the kids were screaming their heads off...)

Standing in the Mississippi River, June 30

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Candy Bomber

Back in high school I took a US history class and in that class was the grandson of Gail Halvorsen, aka Uncle Wiggly Wings, the candy bomber. Can I remember the name of the boy in my class? Nope.  I only remember that he's the candy bomber's grandson. He lives in Orem now and he's coming up on his 95th birthday so to celebrate the Fourth of July this year the city coordinated a commemorative flight over Orem and he dropped 1000 chocolate bars to a lucky few.

We went down to Orem to watch, but before we did we stopped by Naanii and Bumpa's house so that everyone else could see the kids.

Benjamin was quite excited to go to their house.

Reunited and it feels so good

On Thursday I said goodbye-for-now to my family (which is infinitely easier than goodbye-until-who-knows-when) and my mom drove Zoë and me up to Salt Lake.

Here's my dad saying goodbye to Baby Zo:

Canada Day

We didn't actually do much for Canada Day. We do live in the USA, after all, and we didn't have any children begging to do anything fun so I believe we all took lovely naps and my mom and I tried to plan a girls' night out with Josie (but her friend Theresa came into town so instead Josie had a girls' night out with her).

My mom had previously texted Josie to ask if she wanted to go see a "chick flick" that evening and then a while later I texted her to ask if she wanted to go to the movies with us.

"Hmmm. Maybe," she texted back. "And, yeah. I will go to chick gil a with you guys."

Silly autocorrect.

"Hmmm. Chick-Fil-A," she texted next.

"Are we going there?" I asked. "We already have dinner made. You must be talking to someone else, too...?"

"Nope. I'm confused," Josie wrote back.

"No one said Chick-Fil-A," I told her.

She sent me a screen shot of her phone, showing the conversation she'd had with our mom, and must have gone back to read it herself while I was reading it because next thing I know she texted to me, "Ohhhh! A CHICK FLICK!"

"Hahahahaha!" I said.

"I was so confused why you would want to go there."

"Don't worry; Mom and I were confused as well."

"I don't even like Chick-Fil-A," Josie admitted.

"I've never been," I told her.

"It's so greasy!" she said and then she asked if I minded if she went to hang out with her friends, which was totally fine, of course.

Uncle David came over to hang out with us instead.

Meeting Naanii and Bumpa

Zoë and I arrived in Utah early on Sunday afternoon and everyone showed up to meet us. Uncle Patrick, Auntie Josie, and Naanii were waiting for me at baggage claim while Bumpa drove around and around in the pick-up line waiting to pick us up in his new van (he was tail-ended a little while ago and the Sunfire was totaled). It was a little weird to be picked up in a car I didn't recognize. My parents had had the Sunfire for just about fifteen years on the nose. They bought it when we first moved to Utah while David and I were at ballroom dance camp (and rooming in the dorms), so when they picked us up on the last night it was in a car I didn't recognize—the Pontiac Sunfire—and now the Sunfire has gone to the big racetrack in the sky and I was again picked up in a car I didn't recognize.

The craziest part about that story—for me—is that it means my family has lived in the United States for fifteen years! That's half my life (though I did take some time off to live in Russia, Jordan, and Egypt) and I still don't feel entirely Americanized ('cuz I'm not, I suppose).

Anyway, here is Zoë being held by Bumpa Bruce for the first time. I don't know who was more excited about it (wait—yes, I do—it was Bumpa (Zoë is difficult to excite)). We had to take a picture with Naanii in it, too, because all three of them dressed in pink!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Rise and Shout

I've been in Utah for nearly a week now and I've only blogged once so chances are I'm going to write about everything all out of order...because I recently had a baby and my brain is on a red light.

Case in point: I visited BYU campus on Tuesday. Auntie Josie wanted us to come visit her at work (she works for the chemistry department (I think) and is in the building next to the Widstoe building, which is where I worked for the biology department and which is currently being torn down so Josie's office (she's a secretary) is constantly shaking), so we did and then we headed to the library to wait for my mom, who was in a meeting. While we waited I decided to visit some former coworkers but I haven't worked there for so long and so much has changed that I wasn't sure who was where (or even still there). At least the building is still there.

I knew Susan still worked there, though, and I knew where to find her, so I headed down to special collections to chat with her for a minute (I was the stacks manager for special collections right up until about two hours before Rachel was born). We chatted and then I said that I wasn't even sure who else to visit (for the reasons I listed above).

"You have a brother working here somewhere," Susan mentioned.

"No, David quit," I said. "He works for SirsiDynex now."

David also used to work in special collections. I think he was even a student while I was stacks manager (which wasn't at all awkward considering I'm his younger sister) but I can't keep track of these things.

"Nancy," Susan said gently, with a huge grin on her face. "You have another brother who works here."

"Oh, yeah! Patrick!" I said, a little embarrassed.

He's up in book repair. And that morning when he left for work I even called out, "Have fun fixing books!" So really I do know that he works there. He's worked there for years! He just never worked there while I worked there so when I thought about visiting people in the library he wasn't on my radar. He was still in high school (or had barely graduated) when Rachel was born and now he's the assistant manager in book repair. So clearly I haven't worked at the library for a long time, but at least the library is still there! (RIP Widstoe.)

We visited Patrick (because he works right there in the library!) and then met up with my mom and then met up with my niece. She had to drive her brother to work and then wanted to stop by to see me and Zoë before going on a date in the evening. We went upstairs to see my mom's students (she's in the music and dance library). She said, "This is my daughter, Nancy, and my two little granddaughters, Rosie and Zoë," and then sensing some confusion from her students added, "Nancy's not Rosie's mom."

Rosie and I are 11 years apart.

Rosie and Zoë are 18 years apart.