Thursday, August 31, 2017

Back to school night questions...

Yesterday we went to back-to-school night, which is apparently different from the back-to-school afternoon we attended previously. The former was an orientation night and the latter was simply a meet-your-teacher event.

We all met in the gym/cafeteria/auditorium for a brief session with the PTA/principal and then had two twenty-minute break-out sessions in our children's classrooms. Andrew's in San Fransisco right now so I was left to figure out how to get to three information sessions in only two allotted time periods. The principal noted this might be a problem for some and just kind of shrugged his shoulders.

Since Miriam's teacher was out for a funeral (and Miriam had skipped back-to-school night to go on a bike ride with Grandpa), we skipped her orientation meeting and went to Benjamin and Rachel's before swinging by her classroom to pick up her handout and leave a note on her desk.

It was storming by the time we got out so the kids and I made a break for it, only to stumble upon a blue van with an Obama sticker on the back. "Huh," I thought to myself. "I wonder who else in Utah has a blue van with an Obama sticker on the back." And then it hit me: probably no one—that was my van!

Grandpa and Miriam had come to rescue us (and a good thing, too, because we'd just barely crossed the street in front of the school and were well on our way to being drenched).

As the thunder boomed (and rumbled and rolled and roared and crashed...and shook our whole house) and the children were falling asleep (kinda sorta, not really (except for Zoë who fell asleep before the thunder began)) I researched a few things that were spouted off during orientation that didn't sit quite right with me.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Benjamin's first day of kindergarten

The long-awaited day has come at last! Benjamin finally had his first day of kindergarten. Waiting for the day to come was particularly difficult this past week while his sisters were at school and he was staying home, pining for his classroom experience to begin.

He really did a pretty good job of getting up and getting ready, though I lost count of how many times I had to remind him to continue eating his breakfast. 

"Keep eating. Chew. Take another bite. You need to put all that food in your belly, bud."

"But I am eating."

"No, you are staring off into space. Take another bite."

He can be a bit of a slow poke in the mornings and making him get dressed has been the bane of my life for the past several years. And that's why I'm glad he's in AM kindergarten—this way it only takes me an hour to get the kids ready and off to school rather than taking all stinking morning, as I'm sure it would if he were to be in a PM class.

Benjamin picked out his NASA shirt and a pair of plaid shorts that he was quite proud of (though his Daddy thought his outfit was a little bit goofy (it was the NASA shirt and crocs combination that really bothered him, I think, but I don't think Benjamin will give those up very easily—he has other shoes but he always wants to wear his crocs)). I think he looked very handsome. 

He wanted his first-day-of-school pictures with the mountains behind him.

"Did you get the mountains?" he asked after I took his picture. "Make sure you get the mountains, Mom."

Monday, August 28, 2017

DUPLOS on a Sunday

On Sunday the kids were all upstairs playing with DUPLO and, most impressively, actually getting along. Zoë is grown up enough now that she can happily play alongside the big kids (when she's not in a tear-all-the-towers-down mood) and even contribute to their games.

She made a "baybo" (table) all by herself and began seating "diddo-dies" (little guys) all around the table so that they could "eat ninner" (eat dinner). Every little guy got a specially selected chair, according to their colour preference, I guess. 


Learning and loving

Benjamin had his kindergarten assessment on Thursday and the results were...interesting. He already had an assessment in Durham and they seemed satisfied with the level he was at—he can use scissors and stack LEGO and while he is by no means an expert, he is familiar with letters, numbers, colours, and shapes. They gave him a little book about starting kindergarten and sent him home excited to return at the beginning of the school year (although at that point we were 99% sure we wouldn't be there anymore).

This time the assessment was more academically rigorous: basic math, phonetics, and so forth.

He really didn't perform well. In fact, he performed fairly abysmally.

In his defense, he was highly distracted. What he really wanted to do was explore the kindergarten playground and he found the classroom itself really focus on any task he was given (I could see his little head bobbing around, trying to take everything in). On one facet of the assessment (dealing with the alphabet) he scored a 2/26. He knows more than two sounds, I assure you. And he can identify every letter, though for some (understandable) reason he often mixes up S and Z and a few other pairs like that.

He can't count to twenty without skipping around in the teens.

He can't, he can't, he can't...

I was told a whole lot about what he "can't" and then I was told a whole bunch of things that we need to be doing at home to help get him to where he needs to be. I suppose that's the downside of half-day kindergarten.

How can we expect half-day kindergarten children to be prepared for the rigours of grade one in half the time (2.5 hours, really) as their full-day kindergarten peers? Easy: lots and lots of homework.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Grotto

Andrew had planted the idea of hiking Y Mountain with the children this morning but we neglected to remember that football season is upon us. When we realized there was a football game on campus today we decided it would be best to steer clear of the area, so we looked up some other hikes we could do in the Spanish Fork area.

We settled on hiking The Grotto on the Nebo Loop (on Mt. Nebo, if that wasn't obvious). It's an easy 0.3 mile hike so we figured even I could tag along (I was not going to hike the Y with them because I'm not supposed to do anything "strenuous," though I am supposed to exercise). The kids were in awe the entire drive up to the trailhead. 

"Look at how big the mountains are!" they exclaimed.

"These," we corrected them, "Are just the foothills."

"What??!?!" the kids said. "But they look as tall as Grandfather Mountain and that's a mountain!"

Grandfather Mountain is the tallest mountain they could think of, having climbed to the peak when Benjamin was Zoë's age. "At 5,946 feet (1,812 m), it is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains," according to Wikipedia. So, yes, it's 5,946 feet above sea level, but its prominence is a mere 2,444 feet. Mount Nebo, on the other hand has an elevation of 11,929 feet and a prominence of 5,489 feet.

That's mind-blowingly large to our little Appalachian babies. It also meant the "easy" hike was a little more strenuous for us than, say, that time we hiked Mt. Occoneechee while I was expecting Zoë. But we all survived it and had a good time.

In which I am sad

I rarely buy maternity clothes. I guess by the time I'm big enough to justify needing them I only have a few weeks left and I refuse to buy clothes to use for only a few weeks. Plus, although I've been pregnant for 182 months of my life (that's 3.5 years)...and counting...we've never actually come into any money in all that time. This means I hit a point every pregnancy where I just feel a tad bit frumpy—like I'm stretching too-small t-shirts over my belly, like I'm wearing pants I picked up at a swap meet (and sewed over a gaping hole in them), like I'm piecing together everything with 11-year-old bella-bands.

But every time I've been pregnant (except, perhaps with Miriam) I've also justified getting a couple new items. With Rachel because she was my first, with the last three because I'm medically constrained from giving into anything a pregnant lady might ever crave so I figure if we're spending $0 on whimsical cravings we can spend a few dollars on allowing me to feel cute every now and then. Also, I've tried to select things that it might be possible to wear after the baby comes (like that black dress I've been wearing over leggings—it's not from the maternity section and should fit me just fine post-baby but also fits fine now, so win-win).

When we went to Target for back-to-school shopping, though, we walked past the maternity section and everyone went a little wild over this little plaid number and insisted that I should get it. It wasn't even on sale, guys, but Andrew said to go for it because he actually has a job now and getting one shirt wasn't going to break the bank.

I wore it on eclipse day and it was great. I paired it with leggings and it covered both my belly and my bottom, which I was happy about because with my long torso I have trouble finding much of anything to pair with leggings (nothing is long enough to cover everything I think needs to be covered unless we enter into the too-short-of-dresses category). I felt cute and everything was hunky-dory.

And then I washed it and—according to the label—dried it and put it on this morning and...

I was so sad.


Last night my mom treated Rachel, Miriam, and me (and my friend Marquita and her daughter Maya (since Josie and Rosie bailed on us)) to the theatre at BYU. We went to see Brigadoon, a show we're fairly unfamiliar with, because we knew so many people performing in it. The Thomas family, Uncle David's ex-girlfriend Jess, and one of my mom's students. It was fun to see them perform and the show was really well done—the singing was phenomenal! 

It was originally on at the Scera Shell in Orem but Education Week sponsored the show to do a run at the De Jong Concert Hall, which is where we saw it. 

I had seen the movie, featuring Gene Kelly, of Brigadoon years ago at the Torrie's house but aside from remembering the setting—a disappearing/reappearing village in Scotland—and the fact that it was a love story, the plot was basically a surprise for me. I was even quite surprised when they started singing, "Almost Like Being in Love" because I know that song! I had no idea it was from a musical, let alone this musical. It's such a familiar song to me that it almost broke the spell on stage for me, seeming to be out of place (even though it was exactly where it belonged).

Thursday, August 24, 2017

School (and pre-school) adventures

With Benjamin's free days at home ticking away, we decided to treat ourselves to an adventure today. It felt a little funny to be doing an adventure—just the three of us—while Rachel and Miriam are at school. Zoë keeps asking about where they are and when they'll be coming back. Benjamin asked if I was sure we should do this without them. I assured him that I was positive.

It wasn't a grand adventure by any means, just a little jaunt to some green space by the train tracks to watch for trains. He's been hoping to watch one go by, but we haven't been lucky enough to catch one yet. Today was no different, which was kind of disappointing (but not really because Benjamin is too optimistic of a person to remain disappointed for long). We did see several small planes, had a picnic, tossed around some frisbees, and sat in the shade for some story time—all good things, all good things.

As volatile as their relationship seems at times, I think Zoë is going to have a hard time sending This Boy off to kindergarten (even if it's only half-day). "This Boy" because she will not, will not, will not say his name. She adores him. She antagonizes him. But she will not say his name. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First day of school for the big girls

We took the kids back-to-school shopping (which is getting mighty pricey with three kids going back to school—new shoes for everyone!) last week but we still hadn't had their back-to-school day yet and had no supply lists for the teachers. 

Our back-to-school day was yesterday and I was a little worried about squeezing in a run to the store for school supplies on the eve before the first day of school, but—you guys!—we've stumbled upon one of those mythical schools that provides supplies for the students!

When we walked into Rachel's classroom, every desk had a stack of notebooks and workbooks, a pencil case full of pens, pencils, and erasers, everything they'd need was right there. It was like Christmas! Miriam's classroom was much the same, except that her supplies were already inside her desk, labeled and everything. All of Benjamin's supplies were tucked into his classroom cubby. 

All we had to do was pull off a "wish star" or two to fulfill for the teacher—things like ziplock bags and pencils and snacks and cleaning wipes (things that were also on our lists at Easley). 

The girls thought it was weird to only be loading their lunch boxes into their backpacks this morning because (a) they're used to being so laden with supplies they're almost falling over on the first day of school and (b) this is the first year we've really packed lunches. 

They were both up and dressed before either Andrew or I got up. They practiced the piano, helped unload the dishwasher, had some reading time, and were chomping at the bit to get out the door well before it was time to go. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Partial Eclipse

This was our second solar eclipse viewing as a family. The first was on May 20, 2012 in Grover, Utah. That was an annular eclipse, which is when "when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun's, blocking most of the Sun's light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring)."

All of a sudden May 20th is seeming like it's cutting it pretty close for a camping trip off in Middle-Of-Nowhere, Utah, considering Benjamin was born June 3rd. And that's why I won't be joining the family in Grover over Labour Day weekend this year—it just seems to be cutting it pretty close for a camping trip in Middle-Of-Nowhere, Utah, considering I'm at risk for preterm labour (thanks, Benjamin).

Andrew and I also watched (some of) the transit of Venus a couple of days after Benjamin was born. We were walking around the hospital (UVRMC, up on the third floor) and stumbled across a man using a welding mask to watch the eclipse and he said, "You have to see this!" so we stopped to take a little peek.* 

There wasn't all the hubbub about fake glasses and/or going blind, like there was this time around. We ordered a couple of different varieties of glasses from Amazon. One of them was later "recalled" because they couldn't produce the proper paperwork for Amazon, but the other glasses checked out and were from an official vendor so we were well-supplied. And thank goodness! People were buying flimsy cardboard glasses for upwards of $15.00 (I know this because that was the price a friend found them for a couple of days before the eclipse; she bought 25 pairs (the minimum order) and was able to sell every pair she didn't need)!

We considered driving north to Idaho so we could view the total eclipse (and so we could visit Auntie Em!) but we didn't want to get stuck in traffic coming back because today was the kids' back-to-school afternoon and we didn't want to get stuck in traffic at all because pregnant lady and toddler. So instead we just stuck around home and watched the partial eclipse; it was about 90% totality. 

100% would have been cooler, but it looks like we'll have another shot at that in six years or so.

"Yeah, when I'm sixteen," Rachel pointed out.

I wish she'd stop doing stuff like that.

Anyway, our partial eclipse was pretty neat! We could see it from our front yard just fine but Andrew insisted it would be cooler at the park, so we walked down there.

Rachel checking out the eclipse

Thirty weeks vs. the marble

"Speaking of marbles," I said. "I think there is a marble on the bathroom floor. I just haven't bothered to bend over and investigate the matter..."

"Oh, there is!" Rachel agreed, running to retrieve it.

It's been tucked away in the corner of the bathroom the whole time we've lived here (three weeks now; I'm fairly sure the marble pre-dates our arrival) and no one has bothered to pick it up. Apparently the kids were all aware that there was a marble but none of them could be bothered to bend over to pick it up, either.

In my defence, I'm thirty weeks pregnant.

What's your excuse, everybody else?

Sometimes I am smooth

It's not our anniversary today, but it is Andrew's parents' 35th anniversary. We made tamales (and by "we" I mean that mostly Andrew did it but Karen and I helped stuff them this morning, completely justifying the "we") and Aunt Linda and Uncle Trevor came over to help eat them. Then, after we put the little ones to bed (or, more accurately, while I was putting the little ones to bed), Grandma, Grandpa, Daddy, Rachel and Miriam played a round of Hand and Foot.

Do we know how to party or what?

In spite of it not being our anniversary, I waxed a little mushy during family scripture study. We'd just finished reading the scriptures when Benjamin mentioned something about how the primary does a family spotlight, which reminded me that I still hadn't finished filling our spotlight form out.

I filled out the easy answers, like, "What are the names and ages of the people in your family?" and "Describe your family pets." But there were some difficult questions as well, such as, "What is your family's favourite hymn/primary song?"

You mean, like, as a unit? I have no idea. There are so many conflicting opinions within our brood.

"Let's have a vote," Rachel suggested. "Everyone say their favourite song and whichever song gets the most votes wins."

A funeral and some frisbee

My grandpa's oldest sister, Lois Layton Shay, passed away on August 14. Her funeral was this Saturday and my mom asked if anyone from our brood wanted to tag along with her. Since Rachel already had Saturday plans with Grandpa and I knew I didn't want to take Benjamin or Zoë, that left Miriam. She's never been to a funeral (within her recollection) so she was more than happy to accept the invitation.

I drove (yes, me) to Provo to meet up with my mom, who then drove us all into Salt Lake (because Salt Lake is definitely not within my driving bubble). We made it just in time to attend the family viewing before the funeral (Miriam was morbidly curious about seeing a dead body). 

It was fun to hear about Lois's life during the funeral. I took a few notes, since she shares quite a bit of history with my Grandpa Layton (for example, I learned was that apparently my great-grandfather, Russell Layton, did the plaster for Lucille Ball's swimming pool). Unfortunately, the poor Layton children don't seem to have many childhood memories to share, their lives being so tragically altered at such a tender age. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rachel's big bike ride

On Saturday while Miriam and I were off adventuring with Naanii, and while Andrew and the little ones went grocery shopping, Grandpa took Rachel on her first real bike ride.

She's been riding around our [old] neighbourhood for a few years now, but we haven't really ventured beyond that. Now that we're here with wide open spaces and a new-to-her mountain bike, as well as a willing adult unencumbered by those too small to ride, however, Rachel ventured well beyond our neighbourhood.

Grandpa put her bike up on the trainer stand so she could learn how to shift gears and so forth without worrying about traffic or falling over or anything. Next they went to the church parking lot where she practiced shifting and braking while moving. And then she said, "I'm ready, let's go!"

"Are you sure?" Grandpa asked her. "Because we can go next week if you don't feel comfortable..."

"I'm ready!" she assured him.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Modest is...

Let's face it: not a whole lot actually rhymes with the word modest. There are plenty of near rhymes but only a handful of true rhymes, none of which are really any better than the cringe-worthy slogan, "Modest is Hottest." The good news is that we don't have to have a cutesy slogan for church activities! Strange, but true. 

Alliteration is also optional. 

Still, some of modest's rhymes are fun to stick in that blank. Like bodice. "Modest is Bodice" for some reason makes me laugh. Anyway...

That was the title of Rachel's activity at church today: Modest is Hottest.

I sighed just as heavily typing that as I did when I read it because I believe there is so much wrong with teaching our little girls (she's ten years old!) about modesty this way. I believe that modesty is important, sure, but I don't believe modest has anything to do with "hotness" and I certainly don't believe that I should be introducing "hotness" as a goal/standard/ideal when my daughter—who is still a child—is considering what to wear.

So we held a preemptive family night lesson to discuss what modesty means, largely drawing from this, this, and this (we didn't do the Doctor Who paper doll adventure but we did read the talk, look at the pictures, and discussed modesty in dress and behaviour at length). To quote from one of those links, "Phrases like 'Modest is Hottest' introduce ideas about sexuality that are not appropriate for eight year olds," or ten year olds. 


It's the last week of school and our social calendar has been booming. Yesterday we went out to the movies with Naanii and Bumpa. We watched Despicable Me 3, which was about as good as any movie with multiple sequels. Afterwards we went out for ice cream, which the kids were rather excited about. Rachel was most excited that she was tasked with making sure Zoë's cone didn't drip (she took her job very seriously and liberally). 

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's always fun for everyone...

On Sunday we had a rather ginormous family gathering, with 34 people in attendance by my count. It was mostly a Heiss affair, since Aunt Stacey was in town and it was her birthday. All of Reid's siblings were there (which was such a momentous occasion that they allowed for a picture) and all of Andrew's siblings were there, along a motley assortment of cousins and second cousins:
  • Grandpa Frank
  • Grandma Pat
    • Matt & Becky
    • Nicki
      • Leah & Greg
        • Jensen
      • Emma & boyfriend whose name escapes me
    • Reid & Karen
      • Andrew & Nancy
        • Rachel
        • Miriam
        • Benjamin
        • Zoë
      • Katharine & Todd
        • Kayl
      • Sarah
        • Riley
      • Emily (left her family up in Idaho for a little pre-baby vacation)
      • Jacob & Shayla
        • Carter
    • Stacey
    • Rod
Because we missed truly celebrating Rachel's birthday last month, we decided it was a good time to finish celebrating her as well (I did promise her a cake and we all know that you can't turn a year older without cake) so we also invited my family as well. My mom and dad came, along with Patrick and Josie, and my nephew Matthew.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Millions of peaches, [but no] peaches for me!

Zoë escaped family scripture study last night and found Grandpa, who took her outside to check on the peach tree. Soon they came back inside and Grandpa announced that we had "a tree emergency" which required all hands on deck. It was rather windy so we all figured a branch had broken or something but instead we found the poor peach tree, so overladen with fruit that its boughs were drooping to the ground. Though not broken yet they soon would be if we didn't act quickly, and so we had our first peach harvest!

The kids were rather excited about this; they've been anxiously waiting for fresh peaches and we've been sharing the few that have ripened before the rest of the crop. 

On Friday when Aunt Stacey stopped by and we were showing her the tree Benjamin grabbed a peach and said, "Can I pick this one?" and accidentally ripped it off the branch.

"Well, it's not ripe but...I guess you've already picked it," Grandpa said.

Benjamin tried to put it back on, to no avail.

But last night we were picking peaches whether sun-ripened or not (mostly not). Reid and Karen were surprised by how quickly the peaches seemed to have swollen and by just how many there were (because they'd already done quite a bit of thinning earlier in the season).

We filled bowl after bowl after bowl!

Friday, August 11, 2017

IKEA and the BYU Creamery

This afternoon we made an IKEA run with the kids for the last few things we need to finally get this place organized (ha—what we actually need is a big dose of motivation for Mommy). They were all thoroughly impressed with the store and loved walking through all the show rooms. Everyone saw a lot of things that they wanted (naturally) but we managed to walk out (more or less) with the things we had intended to buy in the first place (maybe a couple more).

While Andrew was checking out I took all the kids to the restroom and when we caught up with him he invited Benjamin to ride on the shelves we got. Rachel had been carrying Zoë but when Zoë saw Benjamin climb up on the cart she yelled, "Hey! Dad! Wait, Dad! Wait! Me on! Me on, too!" So both the little ones rode to the parking lot on top of our purchases.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Bed switching

Yesterday we went "shopping" for furniture in Grandma Pat's basement—and high time, too! We were supposed to go last week over and over again but Andrew was still so busy with his dissertation that we kept putting it off. And then we were supposed to go on Monday but had to postpone until yesterday due to extenuating family circumstances. Yesterday might not have been the very best day to go; it certainly ended up being more complicated than we had originally planned, but it was also quite fun. Uncle Rod showed up to help move furniture and Aunt Nicki was there as well and because we showed up a little late (okay, by more than an hour) Grandma Pat ordered pizza so we could fill our bellies and avoid the worst of rush hour traffic.

We had a fun little visit, even though Grandma Pat's house is a little like a museum, full of interesting-to-look-at things that are verboten to little fingers (making it somewhat of a trial for the smallest of us (only Benjamin and Zoë came with us; Rachel and Miriam spent the afternoon/evening with Naanii and Bumpa at the movies/dinner). I think the only person to knock anything over, however, was Andrew, so...

Monday, August 07, 2017

Ph Egypt D

Andrew turned in the revised copy of his dissertation today. Judging by how good I feel about this, I think it's safe to say Andrew is feeling pretty darn relieved. That's how Ken Rogerson said he'd feel when he finished, that there wouldn't be any sense of triumph or accomplishment. Rather, it would feel like a burden had been lifted. More of a "Phew! I didn't die!" than a "Look at what I did!"

Of course, I did look at what he did before he submitted it, just to make sure there weren't any glaring errors (which, of course, there were): repeated words, omitted words, superfluous words, poorly formed lists, incorrect declensions. Common errors like that will find their way into anyone's writing.

My favourite mistake, however, was the following. I can't give it precisely in context because I don't have his draft on this computer, but it basically went like this:
In the middle of a well-crafted, erudite, complex and lengthy paragraph I found a beautiful, complete sentence that made perfect sense. Egypt. This was followed by another logical and acceptably written sentence.
I actually burst out laughing when I came to that little mistake. In his defense, he had just discussed an example of something that had happened in Tunisia and the following sentence was an example of the same thing happening in Egypt, so the little "Egypt," that found itself sandwiched between those two sentences was probably a remnant of an early outline or something. But still.


Our truck really, truly arrived on Saturday morning—and it even had our stuff on it! A good number of people from the ward came to help as well as our families. Karen went out to get some doughnuts from Cowboy Donuts and my mom brought some Nanaimo bars. Everyone seemed to enjoy coming inside for some refreshments when they were finished unloading the truck.

Although the morning started out cool, things warmed up quickly.

My mom, Uncle Patrick, Andrew and his dad slaved away piecing together furniture for a good part of the afternoon. Karen and I helped between tending the children. Rachel, Benjamin, and Miriam went over to the bishop's house to play with the kids there so in the morning we mostly had Zoë and Riley to contend with...but two two-year-olds is plenty enough trouble for anybody! They were all home in the afternoon.

By bedtime we had beds for everybody and, let me tell you, sleeping has never felt so good.

Also, sitting. Sitting has never felt so good either. I'm so happy to have my rocking chair back. I don't know how much time I've spent rocking babies—both born and yet-to-be born—in that chair (and/or my old rocking chair) but it's been a good chunk of the last decade and it felt good to be able to collapse in it again to rest and cuddle my toddler and read stories and so forth.

We spent a good chunk of this evening furiously unpacking. My feelings about stuff has run the gamut, from "sort through everything" to "forget sorting just pack everything" to "forget packing, just burn it" to "I'm so glad to have this back" to "why in the world did we haul this across the country?" to "where the heck is this specific thing I really want to find?"

I can't wait to be finished with everything so we can relax and get ready for this baby...

Saturday, August 05, 2017


Our truck was supposed to arrive today between 10 am and 2 pm, and when it didn't show Andrew called the company we booked with to see where, exactly, it was. They called their partner company in Utah to find out and then told Andrew that it would be another 2–3 hours before our truck would be delivered and that the company out here would call us to confirm delivery time.

Two soon passed and the third hour was quickly ticking by with no truck in sight. When Jacob and Shayla showed up to help I decided I should call the company to confirm, once again, that this truck was coming. Unfortunately, the number we have is based in the East Coast and they keep rather strict business hours so no one answered the phone.

Andrew looked up the number for the partner company based in Salt Lake and I called them at about 4:50 (shortly before closing) and confused the poor customer service representative on the phone so badly that she ran out to find her supervisor...who was in the parking lot getting into his car to go home. Because they also keep strict business hours.

He came back inside to help clear things up.

Turns out "our" truck was actually on its way, but after my call (and a quick review of our paperwork) they radioed out to the driver and told them to turn around because for some reason they thought we needed an empty truck delivered this afternoon. The actual truck we need—which is full of our stuff—is apparently parked in their lot, still waiting to be delivered.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Slooooowly settling in

The kids are all registered for school and are, I think, starting to get a little anxious for the school year to start. This is our first time trying to fill an entire summer break because on the year-round schedule we only had five weeks. They're pretty good about playing with each other, but they're also pining for interaction with other children.

Moving into a Utah (county) ward is weird because, whereas practically anywhere else a Mormon moves in the world their ward basically throws a party to welcome them because they're just so excited to have another family (with kids—even better!) in their ward, no one really gets excited when another Mormon family moves in next door.

I'm sure everyone in the ward is very nice. We just don't know that for sure because pretty much 0% of the ward spoke to us on Sunday. I spoke to Zoë's nursery leader for, like, two seconds to tell him her name was Zoë (and I even stayed in there the second hour but I couldn't really seem to edge in to any conversations) and Benjamin's primary teachers introduced themselves after church. Other than that we got a lot of looks sizing us up, but that's all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017


Moving from a single-storey house to a three-level home has meant making some adjustments. Who needs a stair master when you're chasing your children upstairs and downstairs all day long? We are all going to be in great shape in no time (and by "we" I don't mean the children; they're fine).

The kids have been running up and down the stairs like crazy the past few days, hardly seeming to notice they're there (while I have to will myself up or down any given flight). Even Zoë took to the stairs fairly quickly. She went up and down all day Saturday without a problem, but on Sunday morning she took a tumble down the basement steps while holding a toy phone. The antenna part jabbed her pretty good right near her eye (missing her actual eye, thank goodness). She was pretty shaken up but continued to brave the stairs until Sunday afternoon when she took yet another tumble.

This time she was on her way down the stairs from the top floor of the house to the main floor when her kind and sweet older brother sent a sleeping bag rolling down the stairs after her. She went flying like a bowling pin and...that was it. She gave up on stairs. She started crawling up and down or would stand and scream for someone to "Helpo!" her walk up or down, the whole time nattering about, "Push me! Push me, fall! I fall! I fall! No push me!"