Sunday, September 04, 2016

So much stuff

I feel like I've been having a hard time keeping up with...anything...lately, including but not limited to this blog. It's so rare lately that I get any time away from the clutches of my children (and a certain child in particular (it's Zoë (holy cow—all night and all day she wants 100% of my attention))) but I have a few minutes right now, so it looks like it's time for another photo dump. 

On August 21 we had a beautiful storm roll through, which left us with a very rosy sunset. It was beautiful enough that we dragged all the kids out of bed. Also, there was a rainbow. The girls were all very excited about the sky. Benjamin kept begging to go back to bed (he'd been suffering with whatever sickness Zoë had, which, thankfully, no one else got).

Miriam built this tower on August 24, which is also when she introduced Benjamin to "LEGOmore":

I think this was one of our random days off in the middle of the week (a "teacher workday" (Is it just me or is that a ridiculous name? Isn't every day at school technically a teacher workday? Here teacher workdays are when teachers go to work and children don't. When I was growing up they were called "professional development days" or "PD days" for short) because on this same day when we were building with LEGO in our pyjamas at noon, I also took the kids to the pool.

While we were swimming we spotted an upside-down rainbow in the sky, which was pretty cool. The kids wanted to know why it was upside-down (and also why it was there because it wasn't even raining)! I didn't have a great answer at the time, but now I do.

That's called a circumzenithal arc (or an upside-down rainbow) and it happens when sunlight is refracted through ice crystals, "generally in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds," no rain necessary. They aren't uncommon, necessarily, but are often "overlooked since it occurs so far overhead."

Floating on your back in the pool makes sky gazing rather easy, however, and that's how we happened to notice this circumzenithal arc. Lucky us.

August 24th was certainly a good day for nature. On the way home from the pool, Benjamin found this little squirmy wormy in the grass:

I think, though I could be mistaken, that it is a hummingbird moth caterpillar. We'll see if/when it emerges from its cocoon. We looked up host plants for hummingbird moths and the only one we recognized that is abundant in our yard was honeysuckle, so the kids ran out and picked enough honeysuckle leaves to feed a small army of caterpillars. This little guy didn't seem very interested in eating, however, and instead made himself a cozy little home.

I haven't peeled apart the leaves he "sewed" shut with his silk to see if he's in a full cocoon, but I'm assuming he is. Now I'm debating whether I need to keep him in the fridge and let him overwinter, or if he'll have enough time to live out his life as a moth this fall. It's still pretty warm, so I'm leaning toward the latter. With any luck we'll get to watch him emerge.

Speaking of caterpillars, the kids flipped out when they found this little guy on the front steps:

He's some sort of tussock caterpillar (and the hairs are very irritating), the kind we watch out for. The kids insisted that I remove him for them, so I did. We put him in a jar, but he never moved...and then he got left in the hot I'm pretty sure he was either dead when we found him or that we caused his death. Oops...or not oops...depending, you know, on the order of operations.

Let's see... Oh, this happened:

We got a package filled with packing peanuts. And instead of taking the whole thing out to the trash immediately, I left the box unattended on the table. These two were crunching them up and throwing them in the air to "make it snow," and were rolling around on the floor making snow angels.

It was a bit of an annoying mess, but not too terrible to clean up.

Here's Zoë learning the joys of a good popsicle:

She hasn't ever been handed one of her own. Instead she goes around begging for tastes from all her siblings.

Miriam accidentally pushed hers up too far one hot afternoon and it broke and fell in the grass. Zoë thought it was a pretty good find. She didn't mind a few stray blades of grass.

Here she is stuffing a big piece of popsicle into her mouth (it's cold):

We let the girls stay up to watch a movie last weekend. I can't remember what it was, but it was something we didn't feel Benjamin could handle. He's just barely getting into movies at all, truthfully. Although he's always enjoyed a "show" he hasn't ever really liked "movies." He didn't like any "bad guys" and they were always "too long." Even when we'd go on long drives (like to the beach or whatever) we could hardly get away with putting on a movie because he'd cover his ears and scream and cry about how much he didn't want a movie to be on.

Anyway, this particular night he ended up being put to bed while the girls go to stay up to watch their movie. When we went to put Miriam to bed we could hardly open the door, so we peeked around it and found...Benjamin fast asleep on the floor.

This weekend when we were discussing a potential movie night Andrew said, "We can either watch that everyone will enjoy, like one of the Star Trek movies, or we can put Benjamin to bed and watch something a little scarier, like Apollo 13."

"I vote for Apollo 13!" Rachel and Miriam said in unison.

"Well, I vote for watching!" Benjamin objected.

We ended up watching Men In Black (which was a little scary for Benjamin) as well as What About Bob? (which he thought was so funny).

Zoë, as I mentioned, has been a little needy lately. If she's not sitting on my lap or hip, she's either (a) screaming or (b) getting into mischief. Here she is doing the latter:

She climbed up on the other side of the table and was trying to get down on this side, but Benjamin had pushed the bench away, so she was a little bit stuck. I don't know why she couldn't just get down on the same side she got up on...but she insisted that I rescue her.

Usually we have both benches pushed all the way under the table and any chairs set on top of the table. But she's pretty creative and will stack almost anything in order to get into stuff we don't want her to get into.

Miriam found this cicada outside. It was still alive so she wouldn't put it in her mouth, but she did coax it onto a stick so that she could examine it. We're getting to the end of cicada season so they're feeling extra sluggish, which makes them rather easy to catch.

You might think, with her recent interest in bugs, that she'd want to be entomologist or something when she grows up. But, you would be wrong. She has her heart set on becoming The Secretary of the Treasury. To this end, she has declared mathematics to be her favourite subject and is doing her best to learn everything there is to know about money and macroeconomics.

Who knows? Perhaps she'll be the first female secretary of the treasury (though in all honesty, it would probably be good if someone else was able to break through that barrier before she does...because she still has several years to go and I'm certain there is a qualified female candidate for the job out there).

Speaking of the secretary of the treasury, my sister Josie and my mom went to a Leslie Odom Jr. concert at BYU last night. My kids were all super jealous when I showed them this picture (as was I, if we're being honest):

For those not in the know, Odom plays Burr, not Hamilton (and Hamilton was the first secretary of the treasury (and the inspiration for Miriam's career choice)).

Zoë is going to become an engineer, probably. Stacking five things is quite the feat for a 15-month-old (it's not something we'd expect to see until between 25 to 36 months), so...she's pretty advanced.* Here she has stacked animal crackers, canned tomatoes, canned green beans, canned corn, and peanut butter:

After she made her tower she looped her arms around it and then raised and lowered them, squatting and standing, while she said, "Whooooooooooooooa!" It was pretty funny. I probably should have been filming instead of snapping pictures (oh, well).

Here she is looking so proud of her precarious tower:

And that is (some of) what we have been up to. 

* I hope you realize this statement was very much tongue-in-cheek. Although we are pleased with her mad stacking skills (though I do wish she'd stick to her blocks and keep out of the pantry), I don't actually enjoy labels like "advanced."