Saturday, July 24, 2021
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
I had my 20 week (and 6 day) appointment today, which included an ultrasound and a glucose test. I managed to keep the glucola drink down, so that was a bonus, but my blood draw went a little horribly. There's this one nurse that I'm never sure about...and I got her today. And when she looked at my veins and said, "This will be a tough one," I thought to myself, "Maybe we should wait for someone else..." because I've often been told my veins are like plump little juice boxes.
Let's just say she did not do a great job and forty minutes later I was still bleeding. She ended up slicing my vein a little bit? It's fine now; it just hurts and is bruising.
The ultrasound took quite a long time because baby was in a tricky position. The ultrasound technician found everything she needed measurements for except for the head. Baby is already solidly "presenting vertex" and no amount of prodding was going to make it budge (although it was certainly flip-flopping all over the place). I had to get up to empty my bladder in the middle of the ultrasound so we could keep trying to measure baby's brain (because that darn bladder was in the way).
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Today was mostly a regular school day for us, which is really fine because Rachel's pretty used to having school on her birthday (from her year-round years at Easley), but we had some fun today as well. We've been watching a lot of interviews with authors lately. Today we watched a talk Minh Lê gave at BYU's Book for Young Reader's Conference and we also got to tune in to a Zoom lecture he gave with Dan Santat (who has illustrated a few of his books) at some public library in Milwaukee.
I...just happen...to have to write a paper about one of Minh Lê's books this week...
But, I mean, the kids learned plenty from these book talks as well, so we're totally counting it as their ELA time for today. And when we do this sort of thing it makes for a good break from our ordinary routine.
Our bathroom downstairs has a plain drywall ceiling up now, which is rather exciting. It still needs to be taped and painted, but we're just happy for the drywall! The upstairs bathroom is coming along nicely as well. The new door has been framed (we're putting in a pocket door since the door is in a bad location (right at the top of the stairs) and made the doorway itself a bit bigger because the old doorway was too narrow to be considered "to code") and the subfloor and shower pan are in and the walls are coming along. We might just survive this process!
Friday, July 16, 2021
With Rachel's birthday right around the corner, I thought it was probably time to take my birthday balloons down so we can get ready to put hers up. Miriam was the one who spear-headed the birthday balloon tradition for me (which I appreciate because soliciting kind remarks for someone else makes me a whole lot more comfortable than soliciting kind remarks for myself). She sat Zoë and Alexander down one afternoon when the kids were all finished with their homework and helped them cut out and write on some balloons.
Alexander's balloons, of course are all full of scribbles, but one of his scribbles turned into a beautiful butterfly, so that was nice. Miriam also took some dictation from him: "I am so happy you play with me. I love you, Mommy!"
Zoë's balloons say, "Happy birthday! I love Mom because she is having a baby. And she's nice!"
She also wrote me an acrostic:
Ya, she's the best!
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
We are redoing the hallway bathroom upstairs, a rather urgent project considering the subfloor was rotten and we were at risk of falling through it at any moment. Why was the subfloor rotting? Well, because the previous owners redid the bathroom (likely a DIY(ikes) project) and when they built the shower they installed the shower pan incorrectly. Even though the shower curb is rather shallow (another error on their part), they didn't put the shower pan over the curb. They put it under the curb. So the shower had been just...leaking under the shower curb for years (at least two because that's how long we've lived here, but probably longer because they redid the bathroom before we bought the house, obviously).
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Zoë and Benjamin were both mighty confused to wake up in their beds this morning. Apparently they had no recollection of Andrew rousing them to make them march inside the house carrying their pillows. When the kids were confusedly and excitedly telling me about how they "woke up in [their] beds!" Alexander excitedly proclaimed, "SO DID I!" (which honestly shouldn't have been very surprising for him considering that's where he went to sleep initially).
I went out and collected the snake shed this morning (after cleaning out the gutter because we had a huge rainstorm yesterday afternoon and the gutter got a bit clogged with debris). It was definitely still very fresh, so I don't know when that snake managed to wriggle free from its (old) epidermis without anyone noticing. Andrew's been out working on the back deck the past couple of days.
Side story: We only bought a few boards because lumber is super expensive right now (and we have a few other home improvement projects going on besides the deck). But also I was adamant that we couldn't really put off replacing the worst of our boards. Andrew thought I was being overly anxious about the deck...until he went around testing boards to see which lucky few get to be replaced and...plunged through the deck up to his knee! (Looks like he found a board that desperately needed replacing!) He's a little scratched up but otherwise fine.
Anyway, I carefully peeled the shed away from the drain pipe and brick wall of our house and then the kids and I examined it. Well, the little kids and I examined it (the older girls were off weeding, playing volleyball, and eating pizza and ice cream).
The snake shed (43 inches) is a little taller than Alexander (~38 inches (he wouldn't stand still so I measured him as he was playing)). By nature the snake shed is also a little taller than the snake that shed it (since the skin stretches as the snake wriggles free and because the shed includes skin from both sides of each scale). According to a few sources I've read, a snake shed is usually 20 to 30% larger than the actual snake, so 33–36 inches is its approximate total length (assuming I did my math correctly, which is...an assumption). That's still about as tall as Alexander!
Andrew remembers first playing Carcassonne at my cousin Heather's house in Alberta (I think technically we had gone to visit Daelene's house). I vaguely remember this (I remember more heading out to visit the lake they had in their subdivision).
I remember first playing Settlers of Catan at the Masons' apartment in Cairo. Being the helpful person that I am, I shuffled the deck (word of advice: don't do that). We both learned to really enjoy Settlers (something Andrew may have already known about himself).
We have had Settlers for quite some time now and while I still enjoy playing it, I've found that my tolerance for "long games" has been steadily decreasing with each child I have. Like...fun game...but literally you want me to sit here for 1 to 2 hours, thinking about this game while simultaneously keeping the small ones happy? No, thanks.
My patience for such games runs especially thin at the end of the game when it's already clear who the winner is and everyone is just trying to keep them from sealing the deal (thereby prolonging the game (just let it end, people (especially if I've assured the little kids that "we're almost finished" a dozen times already))).
So Andrew got Carcassonne, as a treat.
It's like Settlers, but much less complicated, and it only takes half an hour or so to play out. We've been having a lot of fun with it!
Zoë and Alexander happily draw together while the rest of us play a quick game and everyone stays happy the whole time (until someone loses and then sometimes there are tears). Tonight Zoë and Alexander drew castles because Carcassonne is, to quote Zoë, "definitely based on Medieval times."
Here's the castle she painstakingly drew (Miriam taught her a new way to draw flowers, which was thrilling):
Friday, July 09, 2021
This morning I watched a cool video about how turmeric can be used as a pH indicator. I've considered trying to use red cabbage to do pH testing, but it seems like a more involved project than I'm ever quite ready to do (at least lately). You have to boil the cabbage and strain the cabbage and have the cabbage (we don't usually have cabbage). But we do have turmeric! And this looked fairly easy!
So we got our supplies and went to work. We mixed up some turmeric, which I just learned today has two r's in it! I have always said it TOO-mer-ic (or even TYU-mer-ic) and had just...never paid much attention to the label, I guess.
Monday, July 05, 2021
Well, we've done it! We've lived in Georgia for two full years, a time period which feels at once longer and shorter than it sounds. We still feel very new here—because we haven't done much exploring and hardly know our ward at all (thanks to splitting wards, and then switching stakes, and then suspending church services for COVID)—but we also feel like we've been stuck in this house for a long time.
We moved in on July 3—two years ago now—so it's been nice to mark the day on July 4 the past couple of years. We didn't do very much to mark the day (everything feels a little unexciting lately), but at church the kids had a patriotic primary lesson and Zoë came over to me (because we're still Zooming in over here, much to everyone else's very obvious annoyance (I think we'll be cut off in the next couple of weeks and then...I don't know...we'll go to sacrament meeting and then go home? Like, am I that crazy to want my kids to be vaccinated before we jump into things with both feet again? Evidently...yes)...anyway, when the music leader asked what sorts of fun things the kids were doing for the holiday, Zoë came over to me and said, "Mom, today's a holiday?"
"Yes," I said.
"What are we doing?" she asked.
"Not much," I said.
It's only fair. We didn't do much for Canada Day, either.
"We can put up some decorations!" she suggested.
"Oh, yeah...I don't decorate for this holiday," I said.
I don't decorate for many holidays.
I wonder why holidays so often feel unexciting over here...
Couldn't be me.
Friday, July 02, 2021
"Stress?" he asked.