Saturday, May 21, 2022


Phoebe and Zoë are working on sharing a room. Sometimes it goes wonderfully and other times it can be a little rough. 

Yesterday was a little rough.

Phoebe woke up around 4:00 in the morning (by my guess) and because Zoë left her fairy lights on when she went to sleep, the room was fairly light. So instead of immediately calling out for me, Phoebe seems to have done a little bit of playing first. 

That's normal for babies to do in the middle of the night and really would be fine, except that by the time I heard Phoebe it was around 4:30 and she was wide awake. And Zoë's music was on—"Rewrite the Stars" on repeat forever. Her volume was rather low, though, and she appeared to be sound asleep. 

I crawled into Phoebe's bed to feed her (she's on the bottom bunk—which is just about floor-level—rather than a crib) and she just...was wide awake. I mean, she was happy to nurse, but she was obviously very ready to start the day.

I also kept hearing the distinct sound of pages turning. 

So I climbed out of Phoebe's bed to peek at Zoë, who appeared to be fast asleep again, but was now suspiciously holding a book.

I climbed back into bed with Phoebe to finish giving her what was apparently going to be her breakfast. And then we got up. 

I grabbed her, I grabbed my book, and we headed downstairs to hang out quietly while the rest of the house slept. She played. I read. And then...Zoë walked downstairs to join us. 

Zoë played with Phoebe and I read until around 6:30 when Phoebe began to act like she was ready to go back to bed or take a nap or whatever. I wasn't sure what to call it, but I was happy she wanted more sleep because I did as well. 

"It looks like Phoebe's ready to go back to bed," I said. "So I'm going to go lie down with her. What are you going to do?"

"Oh, I'll figure it out!" Zoë sang out. 

And she did. By the time Andrew got up, Zoë announced she had finished her summer SLIDE. This is an acronym checklist to keep our kids feeling...accomplished...over the summer break. 

Develop talent

Spiritual things include things like prayers, scripture study, and journaling. Love involves an act of service (or being kind to someone). Intellectual includes Duolingo, reading time, or working on a course (Miriam has a music theory class she's taking; Rachel has a coding class). Developing a talent includes practicing musical instruments but also other things like wood carving or embroidery or whatever. And exercise includes swimming and biking and playing Ring Fit (which the kids did this morning because it was thunder-stormy). 

(Additionally, the kids have chores to do, but that's not part of their SLIDE).

We find that a loose structure like this keeps them from experiencing the summer blahs (and will hopefully avoid a full summer slide: the phenomenon of losing educational gains over the course of a long break from school). 

Anyway, when Andrew got up (around 8:00), he urged Zoë to do her summer slide and she reported that she had. He was skeptical—because how would she have had time to complete her summer slide so early in the morning? 

She had (S) listened to some scriptures, (L) rescued the vacuum (our little roomba had sucked up a headband and the corner of a pool towel and so stopped running; she freed the roomba and sent it on its way, a true act of service, (I) taken her Spanish workbook outside (!!) to the red bench and completed a few exercises, (D) practiced the piano and drew some pictures, (E) went to the basement and used the rowing machine. 

Even with her very detailed reports of what she'd done, he remained skeptical and had her do SLIDE all over again (which she did without putting up too much of a stink because her brothers were busy completing their SLIDE so that they could be free).

When Phoebe and I got up, Andrew started telling me how Zoë had told him that she'd finished her SLIDE quite early in the morning. 

"That's not a surprise," I said. "She got up at 4:00."

"What?" he said.

"Phoebe got up at 4:30 and Zoë was awake, too. I told Zoë to try to go back to sleep, but she came downstairs—probably around 5:00—and played with Phoebe and read. And then when Phoebe and I were going back to bed at 6:30, I asked Zoë what she was going to do and she said she was going to 'figure it out.'"

"Huh. So maybe she really did do SLIDE. I've been making her do it all over again!"

Remarkably, Zoë remained in a fairly good mood all day.

We went to the park so that I could vote. Zoë came in with me (because I was worried she'd be a stinker for her siblings) and all the other kids stayed outside. She was proud to be a "future voter." They gave her a sticker and everything.

Then we went home and she played int he sprinkler with our neighbours.

Then we had dinner and headed to the pool to meet some friends we haven't seen in forever because this pandemic is amazing. But, we're trying to loosen up a little and meet up with people outside a little bit more. Though it's still hard because the pandemic is, for the record, very much still a thing. 


Rachel had a bit of a blow this weekend. She's fine. She's drowning her sorrows in making a birthday cake for Zoë. But...

She had planning on driving up to Durham with Grandpa. Instead he went to Durham by himself.

She'd arranged things well in advance and had everything worked out. She'd get dropped off at her friend Meadow's house—Meadow's family is fully vaccinated and have been healthy—and she'd spend the night and then Grandpa would pick her up and they'd drive back to Georgia. It was going to be great!

But...on Thursday night, Meadow texted Rachel to say that her dad had come down with a fever and that they were working on getting a COVID test. 

On Friday morning, Meadow texted to say the COVID test was positive. 

Rachel's bags were already by the door. Grandpa would soon be on his way over to pick her up. 

"What do you want to do?" we asked her. 

She could still ride up with Grandpa and just...hang out with old people. We could try to contact another friend to see if she could spend time with them. She could stay home...

We decided to try her friend Carolina. So I texted Carolina's mom and we got it all worked out. They'd be at swim practice when she arrived in Durham, so she should bring her swimsuit so they could hang out at the pool after. And then...

"Oh, by the way, we had COVID last week," Laura said. "The kids were back at school on Monday so I didn't think of it until now because we're mostly back to normal, but..."

Had they had COVID a few weeks ago, it might be different, but...and that's a huge can still test positive for COVID—and be contagious—for more than a week. Another friend of ours who is sick has had positive tests for nine days in a row now (after feeling better), so she's been isolating from the rest of her family (and is getting rather sick of it). 

"You have about thirty seconds to decide what to do," Andrew said, noticing that Grandpa had just pulled into our driveway. "We can contact another friend or you can just say home..."

So, Rachel stayed home, which was kind of a bummer for her (though we love having her around).

But she got to go to the pool with us last night, so it wasn't a complete loss of a weekend. 


Now I just have to do something to myself feel better about not being in Utah this weekend with the rest of my family. Zoë feels quite sure I could simply spend the weekend wrapping presents for her...but I'm not very big on the present-front so I'm afraid that wouldn't take very long...

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