Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Good things and bad things

 The good news of the day:

  • We have air conditioning! Our home warranty company sham decided that since they (a) couldn't get the part we needed to fix our HVAC system and (b) couldn't find a company willing to do the work to replace our HVAC system, they would simply "buy us out." This meant they gave us $1000. Which is...neat...because guess how much it costs to replace an HVAC system? Let me give you a hint: more than $1000! 
  • Due to COVID, supply chains are all messed up everywhere and the manufacturer didn't have enough of the cheaper units that we selected (being the frugal people that we try to be), but because they wanted to make a sale they gave us their top-of-the-line model, which costs more than twice as much as the model we selected, for the price of the fair-to-middling model we'd selected. We are still spending much, much more money than we wanted to on this "project," especially considering we just paid an arm and a leg to replace half the windows in our house. But we'd paid for the windows before our air conditioner died so we were kind of locked in on those. Not that we regret the windows; the windows are great and were a lifesaver on all these hot summer evenings we've been enduring since the beginning of June. Being able to open the windows was such a relief.
These things are ginormous

  • We've been studying India. It's Doctor Who's fault because we watched this episode on Partition and then I was like, "We should definitely learn more about this," and so we have been, which bled into learning about Bollywood and India and Pakistan in general. So Benjamin wanted Indian food for dinner tonight and I was feeling well enough to make it (thank goodness, because it's Miriam's organ lesson day (one of our only outings) and so Wednesdays are definitely my dinner night, while Andrew has basically taken charge of dinner all other days). I had a bit of a migraine the past couple of days. Last night when I went to bed I could hardly open my eyes without feeling like I was going to vomit; it was bad. But I'm feeling better today. And Benjamin helped me fix dinner. What he really wanted to do was build a mud chulha, which he'd read about in one of our books about India, so we could cook a really authentic meal. I was like, "Yeah, so...probably not today. The InstantPot will have to do. But you can peel the potatoes for the curry!" We made a lovely tomato/chickpea/potato curry to go over rice and then made a quick little pineapple chutney. And we did it all in our InstantPot and on our electric stove. So, not terribly authentic but still pretty yummy.
  • Benjamin, Miriam, and I played Scrabble this afternoon, which was really rather pleasant. It totally counts as school time because it makes Benjamin think about how words are spelled (which is something he tends not to do when he is actually writing).

The bad news of the day:

  • At the end of our Scrabble game Benjamin asked if he could clear the board. I said that would be great. Then he put his finger on the board (we took Karen's super-deluxe-turntable Scrabble board with us when we moved) and gave it a whirl. Pieces went flying everywhere. "Benjamin! Why?!" I asked. "I don't know," he shrugged. We have that exact conversation...a lot. So I made him pick up all the pieces, which was a frustrating task because they camouflaged perfectly with our carpet and then I made him make a 10x10 array with the pieces to make sure he found all 100 of them (and then I made him tell me the area and perimeter of his array since that's his new unit in math) and he found this whole "punishment" rather unfair. But I found it to be just the right amount of fair, so too bad for him.
  • After the HVAC people left I started vacuuming the stairs and Benjamin, Zoë, and Alexander started wrestling in the living room. But I couldn't hear them because I was vacuuming...until...Alexander's blood-curdling screaming overpowered the noise of the vacuum. Of course no one had done anything to him. Andrew was in there trying to get a story out of one of them and Alexander was just standing there screaming his beautiful baby head off, so I hinted to Andrew: "We can figure out what happened later, but clearly that baby needs a snuggle right now!" So Andrew lifted him up and snuggled him while I finished vacuuming the stairs and Benjamin and Zoë stewed in their guilt. Finally, one of them admitted that Benjamin had grabbed Alexander's ankles and yanked him off the couch and he had hit his "head." Poor boy. But he did stop crying. So we headed outside for our family walk, Alexander happily running outside after his siblings. He climbed up into his stroller by himself and as I approached him to buckle his seatbelt (because you should always buckle your child into their stroller so you don't, you know, dump them into oncoming traffic or eject them onto the sidewalk and knock their front teeth loose. Little things like that. (In my defense, neglecting to buckle your children in their strollers ten years apart isn't a terrible track record; with the oldest I was just figuring motherhood out and with the youngest I've learned that there is no figuring it out and you'll just be overwhelmed forever (and that's the real secret to motherhood—acceptance)))... And that was too many tangents to follow, so let me try this again: He climbed up into his stroller by himself and as I approached him to buckle his seatbelt (because you should always buckle your child into their stroller) I noticed that his nose was suh-wo-llen. Like, so swollen. Like, guys, I'm 90% sure it's broken. We'll see how it looks in the morning but it didn't look great when we put him to bed (after a dose of Tylenol to help with the pain). While we were walking I casually brought up the wrestling incident with Benjamin and asked him how Alexander landed after he had unceremoniously yanked him off the couch—like, did he hit the back of his head or... "He landed flat on his face," Benjamin told me honestly, which, sadly, is exactly the answer I expected to hear. This poor baby can't catch a break!
  • Actually, he can catch a break. That's kind of his problem, honestly. None of my other children have broken any bones and then along comes Alexander all, "Look at me! Look at me!" Snap! Crack! Crunch! I'm seriously going to have to make him a bubble wrap suit. 


  1. Yikes!! I was hoping you would post a picture of you with the air conditioning unit. I know it exists. Sorry about the migraine and the broken tiny boy. I mean, Layton boys can be accident prone...

  2. Wow! Those are some seriously nice air conditioners! Also poor baby!