Thursday, September 30, 2021

Wake me up when September ends

It seems like I'm doing well if I can manage to post twice during the week! 

Today I had another prenatal appointment. The nurse that I like was working and asked if I wanted my Tdap booster today or at my next visit (in two weeks...because we're into the single digits now...of weeks left) and since the nurse that I don't like is usually the one working when I come in I said, "Today, please!" to getting the shot because the other nurse had to draw my blood once and she, like, exploded my vein or something (it bled for almost an hour and took forever to heal, with plenty of bruising, pain, and a friendly scar that has yet to leave). 

The shot was fine, but my arm is a little sore. 

Not very sore. Just sore enough that when I move it I think to myself, "Huh...I wonder why my arm is...oh, yeah."

I'm trying not to be forgetful these days but there's just so much to remember.

I've been putting together The Hancock Hummer this evening and Andrew, knowing I was in project mode, came upstairs at 10:00 and sweetly reminded me that it was time for my evening snack. 

I've gotten so used to ignoring my hunger cues and cravings—eating strictly by the clock and calorie/carb count—that if I'm not keeping track of the time then I just forget to eat at all. It's fine (in case you haven't gathered: I kind of dislike gestational diabetes). So technically Andrew came up at 10:10 to remind me that it was time for my snack when he hadn't heard me come downstairs on my own. 

It's a team effort. 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Things come in threes

When church was initially—and quickly—transitioned to being home-based rather than congregation-based due to the pandemic ongoing...Andrew began making a loaf of homemade bread for the sacrament. He's still doing that since some of us (in high risk and/or unvaccinated categories) have yet to return to in-person meetings. And it's been wonderful.

Sometimes it's been sourdough. Sometimes it's been a sandwich loaf. Sometimes it's been a whole-wheat, hearty-grain kind of thing. 

Sometimes he bakes it in the oven.

Other times...he uses our trusty bread machine so he can just throw ingredients in before going to bed, set the timer, and then wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread. 

Well, a few weeks ago, he went to set up the bread machine to make a loaf of fresh bread while we slept but...he couldn't find the paddle for the bread machine. He and I tore the kitchen apart looking for it and it wasn't anywhere

So I hypothesized that we had washed it and set it to dry on the counter, but it had gotten knocked into the recycling bin (which we keep by the kitchen counter), and then had been indiscriminately carted to the outside recycling bin with all the other recycling, which in turn was collected by the big recycling truck a word, that paddle was gone.

With no other sort of bread in the house, we decided that we could have sacrament with...the pumpkin bread Rachel had baked earlier in the day. Not the maple-glazed loaf she'd made for the rest of the family, with real sugar and flour, but the keto-style pumpkin bread she'd made for me, with almond flour and substitute sweetener. 

The kids were all very surprised when we took the sacrament that week!

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Insurance. Bah...humbug.

Okay, the more I have to deal with the mess of the medical system down here, the angrier I become. The claim from my nutrition course at the hospital (which, for the record, I did virtually with 6 other people)* just came through. In order to even sign up for the class I had to give the registration lady my credit card information over the phone. And even though I had verified that my insurance covered the class 100% this lady insisted that wasn't true.

It would be the case if I had already met my deductible (which by some miracle I haven't) and my out-of-pocket maximum (haven't hit that yet, either, though I trust by the end of the year we will). However, since I haven't met either of those two requirements I was responsible to cover the cost of the class. 


Which, fine. 

I mean, it wasn't great timing to have to pay that fee because tuition had been due right around the same time (technically, my tuition has been waived as part of my compensation for working, but I was still responsible for paying fees, which are $$$), but we're solvent enough right now that while swallowing $420 for a stupid nutrition class wasn't fun, it didn't break the bank, either. 

But, as it turns insurance paid for that class in full

So, as I mentioned, the hospital has put my $420 into their "credit" account for me, which is really fine because I know we'll end up paying them much more than that amount, anyway. According to my hospital's estimated price index, we could be facing bills like the following:





LABOR HOURS $739.00 to $3,945.00

Naturally, these are just estimates and don't include what we've already paid our doctor. That's fine. Insurance will kick in 100% after we, you know, put down a couple grand. It's fine. And we're lucky to have insurance. I get that. 

But, like, here's the thing...

Admiral Boom

 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

Are sleeping positions genetic?

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! 

Babies're just going to sleep how they're comfortable, in the end.

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

Happy medium

After a couple of rough nights with Zoë and Alexander storming into our room every hour or so, I sat them down before putting them to bed last night and sternly told them that they had to stop doing that! 

It's normal to have periods of wakefulness during the night. And during those times you just say, "Self, it's still nighttime. Go back to sleep."

Do not fling Mom and Dad's bedroom door open and turn on all the lights. Just...don't

We also talked about how when they're put to bed they need to just be in bed until they fall asleep. 

If Zoë continues "needing" to go to the bathroom twenty times between 9:00 and 10:00, for example, I will be forced to make an appointment with the doctor to have her tested for Type 1 diabetes because having to pee that often is not normal

Remarkably, they stayed in their beds. 

"I don't know if they're just really tired from not sleeping themselves or if I scared them into submission," I remarked to Andrew as we were going to bed, "But I haven't seen a child all evening!"

And no one burst through our door all night, either. 

And no one came in to pounce on us in the morning. 

In fact, I was shocked when my alarm clock went off (time to check your blood sugar!) because I haven't been woken up by my alarm clock in...a long time (since I've been woken up before my alarm clock). 

I went to check on the kids and found Alexander wearing nothing but underwear and his pyjama top. 

"What happened to your pants?" I asked.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

This cake is not about you

One of the best things that I've learned about life, which I'm probably still learning, is that the world isn't about me. Life isn't about me. 

People who do things typically aren't doing them to me. 

Most people in the world haven't considered me at all. 

And...that's okay. 

Considering others and how your actions influence them is important. But at the same time...everyone is just out there living their life and no one is living their life "at" you. No one is living their life "at" me. 

I'm good at some things and those things that I'm good at? I don't do those things "at" anybody else. I typically do them because they bring me joy and fulfillment. I don't think I should have to not do those things—or talk about those things—because other people feel threatened by them. 

Right in the face

A few weeks ago, I kicked our poor cat right in the face!

Allow me to explain before you burn me at the stake. I had just been in the other room doing some preschool work with Alexander when I felt a little tickle on my foot. I looked down and there was a spider on my foot, so I shook it off and was still suffering from the heebie-jeebies a little bit when I went into the dining room to see how the older kids were getting along with their schoolwork. 

That's when I felt another little tickle on my foot.

Instinctively, I gave my foot a good shake and...nailed the cat right in the nose...for she had simply come to sniff my toes (as she's wont to do) and her whiskers were the tickle-y culprit, not a spider. 

She ran off to angrily cower somewhere and I pretty much just started crying on the spot because I had just kicked my cat (in the face, no less!), but hadn't meant to at all!

I texted Josie about it because she's a cat owner, too, (and a very sympathetic listener) and she assured me that these things happen (cats are always underfoot, it seems). She admitted that once she was trying to put something away in a cabinet but the door wouldn't close all the way, so she just kept repeatedly trying to close it. She rearranged the items she just put in the cabinet, and tried the door again. No luck. So she opened it again and made sure everything was tucked in nice and neatly and tried the door again. No luck.

And then she realized that her curious kitten had popped into the cabinet as well and had left some little body part dangling, which was propping the door...that my sister had been repeatedly trying to slam

But her kitten is fine. 

And our cat is fine.

She even seems to have forgiven me, though it did take her awhile to resume sniffing my toes.

Accidents happen.

Park Paradise

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

Pool Season is Over

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).

Spooky Christmas Songs

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 it sounds spooooooky

How she's able to just sit down a little beyond me. Miriam was the same way at Zoë's age, always transposing pieces up and down the scale, so perhaps we've got another little musically-minded person on our hands.

No complaints from me about that!

Other than the fact that she'll likely surpass my skill level sooner rather than later, requiring us to hire yet another music teacher (and those...don't come cheap...but on the other hand, maybe we can just get Miriam to teach her).

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Last woman standing

As it should be because, well, my due date isn't for a couple of months...but this has been an exciting year for babies in our family! While I've had babies overlap with babies on Andrew's side of the family, meaning they have cousins their own ages (what a concept!), I haven't managed that sort of thing with my side of the family until this year (and it was completely by accident, too!).

I got a great-niece in May and a niece early this morning, so Phoebe will be well-endowed with cousins on my side of the family, which is kind of nice since my kids have always existed as...their own little pack...on that side of the family.

To be fair, my family is complicated (as is evidenced by the great-niece being the same age as my niece and daughter), so I do have some great-nephews around Alexander's age and a great-niece between Benjamin and Miriam. But that's still a tricky relationship for me to navigate (as their mom was raised in an adoptive family and only got back into contact with us in more recent history, so although we count her as family it's still feels a little more distant to me somehow (it probably would help if I'd seen Amy more than twice in my life)). And technically the twins exist; they're a year older than Rachel (but they live with their father, who doesn't allow them to have much contact with our family at all). So in essence, my children have been in what we call a "cousin hole." There just haven't been any cousins for them to associate with when my family gets together.

They can never remember if Rosie is their cousin or their aunt (they usually default to referring to her as aunt) because Rosie (my niece) is a few years younger than Josie (their aunt, who is nine years younger than me). My brother is two (and a half, as he loved to point out our entire childhood) years older than me. And their oldest babies and my youngest babies will all be the same age!

So that'll be fun!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

29 weeks-ish

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 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

Time Traveling Fathers and Banana Cobwebs

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. 

" 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

Zogre the Ogre vs. Constance Contraire

We recently finished watching Disney's The Benedict Society as a family. I read the book to the kids last November, so they were familiar with the story and were quite excited that it had been made into a television series. 

Our family is 85% certain that the character Zoë is most like is Constance Contraire. 

If you do the math, that's 6 out of 7 of us. 

Zoë is the remaining 15%.

She doesn't particularly like being compared to Constance, but the kids all want her to dress up as Constance Contraire for Halloween because "it would be perfect!" I don't know what she'll end up being for Halloween but I'm 99% positive it won't be Constance Contraire!

The thing is, though, that the character Zoë is most like is Constance Contraire.

Take this evening, for example.

Andrew asked if I would give him a haircut. I said I would, but you know what happens when you give a mouse a cookie, right?

So I started with Alexander, moved on to Benjamin, hacked my way through Miriam's mane (she took off 12 inches and I thinned her remaining hair (so brave of me) so she feels much lighter), and then got around to cutting Andrew's hair. And all the while I was cutting hair, Zoë was "doing" the dishes (because it's her week for dishes). Mostly she was being distracted, but a little bit she was doing the dishes (that's usually how she does the dishes, which reminds me that I should pop down to the kitchen to finish up for her (but, on the other hand, if I wait long enough...maybe Andrew will do it)).

Friday, September 10, 2021

Mantis vs. Jorõ

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:

Pool days

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:

This is their "bat pose"; they will sink their torsos so their backs rest against the wall of the pool (and they're completely upside down). All except Alexander, who simply thinks he does this.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Am I a potato chip?

I can't say nothing but I also can't say anything so I thought perhaps I might say something here. Today I got the following email from our Relief Society (not just me; everybody got it):
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?”
And I suppose I understand the sentiment, but it rubbed me entirely the wrong way, so to this little story, I'd like to say that people's bests look different at different times and in different situations. Andrew and I used to go to the temple every week (wow; so piety; much righteous). Now we have 5.5 kids and...guess what?! We don't go to the temple every week (shocker). But...we are doing the best that we can with the, uh, issue/s we have. Plus, righteousness is, like, well nigh impossible to measure (whether you're judging yourself or others) so good luck with that.

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) 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

Ups and Downs

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

Don't call her Curly

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:

Daring Divers

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

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Before she was Notorious

After reading Lesa Cline-Ransome's Before She was Harriet, I assigned the kids to research a historical figure of their own and write a similar poem-story. They're all at various stages of completion, but Rachel finished hers today—she wrote it, edited it, made a linocut for it, and then did a little typesetting.

I think it looks great!

I fordidn't!

Wednesdays are kind of a busy day. With a work meeting in the morning and class in the early evening (that's two—count 'em—human interactions in one day; both on Zoom, but still...), things can feel a little chaotic for me. But only, I think, because our family unit isn't used to Mom having set meetings. 

Usually I just squeeze in the stuff I need to do when I can. 

Miriam also has organ lessons on Wednesday and on this particular Wednesday we'd also signed up to take a meal to a family in our ward (who just moved here in July—and just around the corner from us) who has twins in the NICU. They were born at 24 weeks about three weeks ago...right around the time I was 24 weeks along as well. That's so early; they're just tiny little things (but are doing well). 

When Benjamin heard about it he immediately wanted to make them a set of hats, I think in part because I recently had my knifty-knitter stuff out to make Phoebe's Christmas stocking. So I taught him how to use the knifty-knitter and he worked rather diligently to finish those two hats by yesterday so we could drop them off with dinner. He did a great job!