Thursday, September 23, 2021
I feel like all I do is count things and record things lately.
Pregnancy: 30 weeks along. 10 weeks left until my due date. 9 weeks until my induction date. Fingers crossed we don't even hit that date because I'd prefer not to be induced. But we also want to make it to at least make it until November 11 (37 weeks).
Blood sugars: Fasting number upon waking up. Two hours after breakfast. Two hours after lunch. Two hours after dinner.
Food: Measuring carbs, measuring proteins, checking all nutrition labels.
Exercise: At least thirty minutes a day. If I can't squeeze in time on the bike or a short walk or some "Ring Fit" after eating, a few leg lifts, knee lifts, arm circles, cow pose, etc. goes a long way.
Homeschool: Which child is on what lesson in any given subject? Are we as far as we should be to rationalize taking time off when the baby gets here? I think so, given that Zoë has only a few pages left in her math curriculum...for the entire year. As she says, "I'm just rocketing through this!" I have a backup curriculum for her to do. But is everyone else keeping up? I have an excel spreadsheet and haven't been great at filling it in. Mostly I feel like, yes! Yes! We are all rocketing through our given curricula. There aren't a lot of notes to take...yet I feel obligated to fill out the spreadsheet (which no one besides myself will ever see).
Bills: How close am I to meeting my deductible? Did I pay the laboratory fees here? Did I pay the doctor's office there? Why did the hospital charge me full price for that nutrition class (that I had to take) and then give me a credit of $400 because as it turns out my insurance really does cover the class? Why is a 3-hour class over $500 in the first place?! I suppose they can just sit on that money. We'll consider it a deposit for future events.
Classes: Project due on Monday. Quiz due the Tuesday. Lecture on Wednesday. Paper due Sunday. Responses to classmates due Tuesday. Presentation due Sunday. Wash, rinse, repeat (in various iterations since there are three separate syllabi I'm juggling) weekly.
School in general: Plan next semester's coursework. What classes will I take? Figure out my advisory committee. Turn in my program of study. Fill out this paper work and that paperwork.
Work: Meeting on Wednesdays. Update social media. Remind everyone of various dates. This is due October 31. That is due November 6. This is due November 22. That is due December 6. Somewhere in there my own baby is due and I'll have to keep reminding people—hundreds of people!—to stick to these deadlines. But no pressure. It'll be fine.
We're coming up on the halfway point of the semester—suddenly, already—and so far I've felt like this is manageable, but for whatever reason this week is crushing me and I'm just so tired.
And this doesn't count piano lessons or laundry or tidying up, or any number of things.
Counting library books, for instance. Our books are due tomorrow so I've got to get those sorted out.
Oh, 10:00! Time for my prescribed evening snack.
I'd love to stay and chat but I have to go measure out my popcorn and nuts.
With how precisely I'm running my life by the clock, I feel like I'm living in Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane....I could use a Mary Poppins.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
After a lengthy labour (mentioned the other day), our newest little cousin has arrived on the scene (and she's so sweet)! David and Ruth were a little concerned about how she keeps twisting onto her side to sleep (you're supposed to put babies on their backs to sleep!) so I sent them a few pictures of our kids sleeping the very same way.
Look at these cousins sleeping virtually identically 14 years apart!
Anyway, I'm so excited for David and Ruth to be parents. They're going to have so much fun!
(I should also mention that these sweet little sleepers were also both 7 lbs. 7 ounces (and Rachel has been my only dark-haired baby) so they're alike in more than one way!)
Monday, September 20, 2021
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Drizzly weather meant that we had the park mostly to ourselves. We first went on a long walk through the woods and then stopped to play at various playgrounds on our way back to the car. While the kids played, I read articles and wrote (which honestly has been a dream of mine since starting grad school, though the dream involves a little more afternoon sunshine than afternoon showers, but I guess that doesn't matter because the dream is hardly ever realized, anyway). That's another perk to having pool season be over and playground season begin; there are more opportunities for "the dream."
Today I only had Benjamin, Zoë, and Alexander, who insisted on dressing up as an owl even though it was nearly 80°F! He had on that darling (if I do say so, myself) crochet had and his hood the entire afternoon until he got so flushed that I forced him out of it.
Friday, September 17, 2021
On Wednesday I washed all the pool towels and all the swimsuits and put them away.
I'd washed them periodically throughout the summer, of course, but never all at once, and never with the intention of putting them away until "next year."
So I guess fall is really upon us.
The pool doesn't technically close until Sunday, but knowing the weather forecast for the rest of this week ("cold" and rainy), we called Tuesday our last day of the pool season and convinced Daddy to take a couple hours off of work to come swimming with us (since he hadn't been to the pool with us since May).
Zoë and Benjamin have both finished their primer levels of piano and have moved on to level 1. We've also moved on to Christmas music (because things take time to learn and they always want to learn a lot of Christmas music). However, with Halloween coming up first, Zoë has taken to transposing her pieces into a minor key...so it sounds spooooooky.
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
I'm a little exhausted today. Part of me is trying to figure out why I can hardly keep my eyes open (and why I couldn't remember where I left my glasses after I took them off to do some hip-opening exercises...which will be explained later). The other part of me knows that (1) I've been fretting about my sweet sister-in-law all day today (and all day yesterday, honestly...which may also be explained later), and (2) we had an unusually busy day today.
Unlike Sleeping Beauty, who falls asleep because she pricks her finger...I wake up in order to prick my finger at the same time...every day. So I got up at my very usual time and had my very usual breakfast and then started in on our very usual homeschool routine before leaving the kids with a list of things to accomplish while I went to my weekly zoom meeting for work (10 am).
Then I bustled downstairs to knock out some math with the little ones, who still need a bit of direct instruction before getting started on that subject (the older girls seem to do fine on their own and I'm fine with them being fine because that's largely how I got through math—reading a textbook and working through problems until I understood it (only I didn't have Khan Academy or YouTube or a father who was a statistician to fall back on when I got stuck (though I did have a mathematician uncle (but only after we moved to Utah)))).
Then I quickly made myself my usual lunch (never deviating from meals means no surprise blood sugar numbers, but also that I wish I could eat everything else under the sun, which is ironic because I know that after the baby's born, you know what I'll crave when I'm hungry? My "usual" meals, of course, no matter how sick of them I become before she gets here). Oh, I switch up vegetables and things...but the carbs and proteins remain the same.
Anyway, scarfed that, asked the older girls to help the younger kids get their lunches ready and then zipped out the door to my doctor's appointment (12:30).
It was supposed to be on Thursday, with an ultrasound for a growth check (because gestational diabetes requires it) but the ultrasound technician was going to be out that day, so my appointment was moved to today at the last minute.
Baby's doing great; they guess she's about 2 lbs. Everything's developing normally, I have a lovely amount of amniotic fluid. But...she's breech...silly kid. She had been vertex (head down) at my last scan, but she's adorably transverse, so I'm doing a number of exercises to encourage her to flip around again and drop into a more presentable position (thus the reason I took off my glasses this evening and then...like...where did I put them?! (but don't worry; I found them)).
These exercises are in addition to my post-prandial thanks-for-eating-this-life-sustaining-energy-source-now-quick-burn-it-all-off-before-it-kills-you exercises.
Good thing there's a baby at the end of this. Look at her being all adorable:
Monday, September 13, 2021
Andrew teaches in-person on Mondays, which means he *gulp* leaves the house. This has been somewhat of an adjustment for our household and poor Alexander still can't understand why Dad ever leaves to go anywhere because for most of his memory everyone has just always been home. There have only been three Mondays so far this semester so it's still a relatively new change. I'm sure we'll get used to it.
This morning all the boys were awake when it was time for Andrew to leave for campus (the girls, as far as we know, were all still sleeping, though it's also possible they simply hadn't emerged from the basement yet (Zoë for sure was still asleep)), so Andrew gathered our small group together to have a partial-family prayer before he left for the day. He asked Benjamin to say it, so Benjamin did.
"...and please help dad have a good time traveling..." Benjamin said.
"TIME TRAVELING!?!?!" Alexander exclaimed, his jaw just about dropping to the floor.
"...to work," Benjamin finished, annoyed at the interruption.
When Andrew left the house he said, "Goodbye! See you last week!" The boys thought that was funny. At least, Benjamin did. Alexander probably just played along (because there are a lot of things he doesn't get but pretends to).
Still, having a time traveling father is pretty neat, I guess.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Friday, September 10, 2021
I forced the kids outside to play last Saturday morning.
Playing outside in the summer really is uncomfortable here. It's just so hot and humid. But the weather has turned to be quite decent and I wanted them outside. And, naturally, once they were outside we couldn't convince them to come back in again...
Benjamin found a praying mantis, which he wanted to keep and observe for a while:
The weather is getting cooler, which means our pool days are rapidly coming to a close. Today I asked the kids if they wanted to go to the pool but it was only in the 70s so they opted not to. It's an understandable decision but it does make me long for just a few more summer days (which I think we'll get next week, if we're lucky).
I was especially grateful for the pool yesterday when I was in such intense pain that I could hardly walk. My lower back and my hips and my pelvis were all so sore! Being in the pool took all the weight off my poor joints and I was able to walk around a bit. I was worried that this was just what the third trimester of a geriatric pregnancy was going to feel like, but I think what really happened was that I just overdid things on the exercise bike Wednesday evening.
My one synchronous (but still online) class meets Wednesdays at 5:30, but I have to eat dinner by 5:00, but then I also have to exercise, so in an effort to cram in enough exercise I put the tension on the exercise bike a little higher than I usually do and...I think that was a bad idea.
I'm feeling much better today, with just the regular discomforts of pregnancy rather than hardly being able to move. I was wondering how I'd even survive the next couple of months without the pool, but as it turns out, I think I'll manage. Still, I'm a little sad to say goodbye to the pool.
Anyway, here are the kids resting on the side of the pool:
Tuesday, September 07, 2021
As a member of the ward activities committee responsible for ward dinners, I soon learned that after accepting an assignment some people would come through and others would not. If we were planning a dinner, it was important to know who to assign to make the main dish, who to ask to bring side dishes or desserts, and who had better be on the potato chip committee.You see, as long as you have the main dish and the desserts, you can have a successful ward social. Potato chips on the other hand are nice to have, but if they do not show up the ward social is not a disaster.When we profess to be on the Lord’s side, I suspect we need to ask ourselves “Am I on the main dish, side dish or potato chip committee?”
To borrow from D&C 84:109–110 (which in turn, of course, borrows from 1 Corinthians, but we're studying D&C this year so I'll go with that) I think a better perspective is to allow:
...every [dish to] stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the [casserole] say unto the [potato chips] it hath no need of the [potato chips]; for without the [potato chips] how shall the body be able to stand?...the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect.
Once upon a time (not too long ago), I signed up to take dinner to someone in the ward and, lo, the very day of my assignment (that, granted, I volunteered for), our breaker box essentially...died...and while we had an electrician make an emergency house call, restoring limited electricity to our house (before they came back to replace/update the breaker box the next day), we couldn't run any major appliances (so the oven, stove, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, etc. were all out of commission).
Using those appliances risked burning our entire house down (I slept well that night, let me tell you).
So we just ordered pizza and sent it to their house.
Like a lousy bag of potato chips...
Or was that a main dish effort? I honestly can't decide. Both? Neither?
I'm going to go with neither.
I was simply a human doing her best under the circumstances (which doesn't look like my best under other circumstances; and which probably doesn't look like your best at all). Ordinarily we do the whole home-cooked meal, with freshly-baked cookies, personally delivered (with hats and a handmade card because we forgot how people socialize and are we over doing this?).
But this other time (years ago now), I was going through a hard time. Our van had just been totaled and my sweet visiting teacher called and said to not worry about a thing because she was going to bring dinner over.
And she did!
She showed up at my front door...with a store-bought, frozen lasagna.
I thanked her for being so thoughtful, then closed the door and crumpled to the floor crying (with laughter and frustration) because...it wasn't just that our van that had been totaled. Our oven also was broken (along with what felt like everything else in our house/life) and we really could have done with a hot'n'ready meal that particular evening. I stuffed the lasagna into our freezer and then I think we probably had peanut butter and jam sandwiches for dinner (because we were poor, had no transportation, and no stove/oven).
So was she a main dish...or a potato chip?
Again, I'm going to go with neither.
She was simply a human doing her best under the circumstances, which I know didn't look like her best under other circumstances. When this happened she had toddler twins and was in the middle of moving. So I think she did great and still appreciate her to this day (because she's amazing). We ate the lasagna later (after we got a new oven) and were thankful for it.
But it doesn't change the fact that sometimes (always?) our best efforts fall short of what was required or expected...and, like, that's okay. In fact, I think that (our incessant failures) is what God expects from us. And I think there's a plan for that. I think God likes potato chips. He probably crunches them up and sprinkles them on top of his cheesy casserole and together they become *chef's kiss!*
So bring me your casseroles, your jello salads, your crinkly bags of potato chips yearning to be free!
Come as you are, bring what you've got, and together...let's eat.
Monday, September 06, 2021
I got my first paycheck this past week, which was kind of a surreal feeling. Like, I knew I was working before, but it just felt like...something I was doing...not like I was actually working. Getting that paycheck really drove home the point that I have an actual job.
Kinda wish I could set up direct deposit, but we'll work that out later.
For my job, I recently created a beautiful little "call for articles" advertisement, which I sent out on our listserv of a thousand or so people, which felt like kind of a big deal. Like, I've sent emails to a hundred people on the regular (I've managed our "family" listserv, so to speak, for the last decade) but never to nearly a thousand.
It felt kind of like handling a large wad of cash for the first time. Only emails.
"Imagine if it had a typo!" Rachel mused at dinner when I was sharing this recent accomplishment.
"Oh, that's the best part!" I said, laughing. "It did!"
Like, we're the department of language and literacy and I wrote the email and proofed it and sent it to my supervisor to have them read and proof it and we both missed my mistake, which is...super cool. Luckily, I was able to fix the mistake before I sent it to the department secretary to have her blast it to her even bigger listserv.
Friday, September 03, 2021
Last night Zoë begged me to put curlers in her hair, so I did. It really wasn't half as bad as I thought it was going to be because I'm used to Miriam wanting curly hair and Miriam has a lot of hair—it's long and it's dense. Like, there's just a whole lot of it. Putting it up in curlers takes ages. But although Zoë's hair is long, she doesn't have a lot of it, so it only took a few curlers.
After sleeping on those curlers all night, she was pleased as punch to have curly hair today...for the few hours she had curly hair. Curly hair during pool season isn't the best idea when your hair is hopelessly straight. So we took a few pictures before Zoë jumped in and ruined her curls:
Last week Benjamin figured out how to dive from the diving board; this week Miriam and Zoë figured out how to dive from the diving board. So the kids thought it would be great to redo their sequential diving act. You know, now that they all know how to dive!
It didn't go off as they planned, however, because Benjamin developed a little case of the yips.