Saturday, April 30, 2022
Friday, April 29, 2022
It's not that I haven't taken the kids out since Phoebe's been born, because I have. We've just...always gone the very same place, just a two minute drive from our house, with paved trails the stroller can handle, and plenty of playground areas to choose from should we stumble upon a crowded one, and...basically what I'm saying is that I've simply been repeatedly choosing the absolutely easiest outing possible for the last, oh, six months or so.
If not longer.
The past year has been a full year. I wouldn't say that it's been bad, but it has been full. Sometimes with heavy stuff, sometimes with lovely stuff. Sometimes with lovely stuff that is heavy, sometimes with heavy stuff that is lovely, sometimes with unlovely heavy stuff. That's how years seem to pass.
But today I was feeling pretty adventurous (I've more-or-less finished my final projects so have some room to breathe) so I let the kids talk me into visiting Jones Bridge Park, where I knew we'd mostly just get wet (which is okay).
When we piled out of the van and were walking through the parking lot, Benjamin said, "I can't hear the river yet, which means it can't be too full, which means it should be fine to get in!"
I told him to just cool his jets and to not run ahead and we'd decide about the river when we could see it.
As it turns out, he was right! The river was perfect for wading in!
Trout and these little crawdads seem to like the water that chilly:
Monday, April 25, 2022
Phoebe's been five months old for nearly two weeks now, so I guess she's more like five and a half months old (which is blowing my mind), so here's a little bit about her before she's six months old.
We'll start with her toes, which she found the other day. She thinks they're a whole lot of fun to grab, which works great when she's flat on her back and less well when she's sitting up (because then she ends up folding right in half). Here are a million pictures of her grabbing her feet:
Sunday, April 24, 2022
The little kids all got a new swimming suit and or sun/rash guard since pool season is just around the corner. We also got some sand toys and boogie boards for the beach. And some candy. Lots of candy, actually. When Andrew is in charge of candy we end up with a lot of candy.
Saturday, April 23, 2022
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Grandpa came over for Easter dinner on Sunday and after we finished eating we decided we'd play around of Zilch, a game of chance that requires six dice.
Not a problem; we have plenty of dice.
Andrew uses Zilch to teach his students about probability and risk-taking and things like that, so a few years ago he bought a big ol' bag of dice. We're talking a hundred pieces—ten sets of dice in ten different colours. It's a lot of dice!
We went to retrieve it from the game shelf, but...no dice. It simply wasn't where it should be, so we launched a full-house search.
We checked the downstairs game shelf (because, yes, we have one upstairs and one downstairs), we rifled through things on the credenza (that isn't supposed to have anything on it, but which tends to be a catch-all spot), we searched the music room, we looked around Andrew's office.
We retraced our steps.
Sunday, April 17, 2022
We didn't get around to dying eggs until bedtime last night. And that's just the regular ol' drop-them-in-a-pot-of-dye method. We're still working on our pysanky.
We weren't busy with anything in particular. The day was filled with Easter baskets and chores in the morning, and napping and playing and building a shelf for Zoë's bed in the afternoon. I'm really not sure how the day got away from us, but it did. And we didn't start dying eggs until around 8:00!
It was kind of a magical year for dying eggs. All the kids old enough to participate are responsible enough that I wasn't stressed out over the entire process for the first time in years. No eggs were dropped. No dye was spilled. No tears were shed.
I'd feel relieved but...I know that I have another little chaos agent in the making (it's Phoebe; she was simply too little this year to participate). I was quite surprised with how delicately Alexander handled his eggs.
I have so much that I'm behind in writing about, but also so much to do that I'm finding it difficult to find the time I would like to write here. Other muses are calling, but I don't want this one to lose its importance.
For now I'll share a brief story that I wrote up for the Hancock Hummer (the family newsletter that I do, and which has for years and years been published the first weekend in April and the first weekend in October, but which I have put aside until now, and everyone has been so wonderfully patient; it's like the family elders all took an oath not to harass me about it (in the past I've gotten emails the first Sunday of the month if I hadn't sent it out the Saturday)). Perhaps they did. One of my mom's cousins has been organizing monthly cousin meetings via Zoom.
Anyway...this is what I wrote in about Andrew:
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
A rather boring package arrived today.
The delivery person drove their truck down our driveway (brave soul), dropped a box off on our front step, and then backed the truck out of our driveway (as I said, brave soul). Benjamin quickly went to bring it in.
"It's heavy," he announced, before passing it to Andrew.
"It's for Mom," Andrew said.
"What is it?" I asked. "Oh, it's from Amazon. That's for Rachel."
"For me?!" Rachel said, shocked. She went to take the package from Andrew. "What is it? Oh, wow! What is even in here?! It's so heavy!"
"Maybe it's an elephant," Benjamin suggested.
Rachel narrowed her eyes.
"You think an elephant could fit in here?" she asked. She rolled her eyes, muttered, "Please."
"Maybe it's elephant eggs."
Why would your next guess be elephant eggs?! That's so stupid!"
My mind immediately went to Horton Hatches the Egg (by Dr. Seuss, of course), but Andrew's mind went in a completely different direction.
"There is such thing as elephant eggs," he said.
Monday, April 11, 2022
Grandpa picked up the five big kids on Friday morning and took them on a field trip to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. It was their second time going (we took the kids in October of 2019...without Alexander's stroller), so they knew a bit of what to expect, but it was fun for them to go with Grandpa, who is a bit of a history buff.
He came armed with little worksheets about the Civil War that he'd typed up and printed out. He challenged the kids to fill in answers they knew on the way there and my kids, being the smart alecks that they are got a little creative with their answers. For example:
Question: What was the first battle of the Civil War?
Answer: Not Gettysburg.
Technically true, but evading the question. Silly kids.
Grandpa walked them through the museum and helped them find all the answers to the questions. And now even Zoë can tell you that the Civil War started in 1861. I was glad to have Grandpa take on this subject because there is so much about US history that I...don't know...or care...to teach my kids, so I feel like I'm often learning right along with them. For example, when they got home Grandpa quizzed the kids by saying, "Who was the president of the Confederate States?"
"Davis?" I ventured with a whisper.
"JEFFERSON DAVIS!" all the kids yelled.
And, like, I knew that...or thought I knew that...or had come across that information a time or two...but it's not really something I know know because I simply never internalized American history the way I imagine a born-and-bred American has.
Not that there's anything wrong with exploring history together with my kids (we do that all the time), but it was also kind of nice to let someone else share what they (confidently) know about history.
Rachel took pictures of their trip, which she shared with me. Here's the crew before heading up the mountain:
Sunday, April 10, 2022
"We need to get some rice cereal," I mentioned, which is a far better first food. Not that I'm opposed to giving my child food straight from the table. I'm not. But...our dinner on Wednesday (the 6th) wasn't very baby friendly. Miriam had made bowtie pasta with tomatoes, and mozzarella all tossed in pesto, which seemed far too flabourful and acidic of an inauguration meal for a baby. So, Cheerios it was, followed up with a request for rice cereal, so we can do things a little more slowly and blandly.
Wednesday, April 06, 2022
As I've mentioned, we're reading multiple translations of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin right now. We just finished chapter three, I believe. Of course, it's taking us twice as long to read it as it would otherwise since we're reading two translations at once (and sometimes listening to the original Russian, just for kicks).
In chapter one, Pushkin spends approximately five sonnets extolling ladies' feet. The kids were rolling with laughter. Here are a few excerpts from the Poetry in Translation version:
I love their little feet, confess
That, search all Russia though,
You’ll not find three lovely pair.
Ah, they made me long despair
Two slender feet…Now sad and cold
I still remember, and it seems
They yet can thrill me in my dreams.
Monday, April 04, 2022
Sunday, April 03, 2022
We are so grateful for having living prophets, seers, and revelators. We love them and we pray for them and we support them. We are so eager to learn from thee by the spirit and through the voices of those who will address us today. We pray for them to receive inspiration and great joy. We want follow thy will and we need thy help to remember those words that we will receive today, but mainly the impressions that we would receive by the Holy Ghost...