Friday, July 08, 2022

Celebrating stuff

On July 3rd, Phoebe "went to bed" early (this would end up being only a little evening nap, but that's okay). Rachel and Miriam were having a Stranger Things watching party at Grandpa's house, so we left Phoebe under the vigilant supervision of Daddy while the rest of us went on a "short" firefly walk (it would end up being quite a long walk, but that's okay).

Here is the condition we left Daddy in (reading his book by osmosis while he took a little evening nap himself):

We caught a few fireflies here and there as we made our way to the corner, where we found about a billion cars parked. Some teenagers were setting off little firecrackers, so we lingered at the corner while we watched them set them off. And then I told my crew it was about time to turn around and head to bed. That's when a neighbour that we sort of know/sort of don't know jogged up to us and told us that we should find a place along the curb and get cozy because another neighbour had purchased about $800 of fireworks and was getting ready to put on a big show, just as soon as it got dark enough.

So I thought to myself, "Self, you can drag your kids—who are now jumping up and down with excitement—home and put them to bed where they absolutely won't do any sleeping due to the noise that's about to go down in this can find a cozy spot on the curb to park yourself while you enjoy the show."

Obviously we chose the latter. 

I texted Andrew to tell him that we'd be...late (figured that would be courteous since he didn't even know we were gone)...and then we found a spot on the curb and sat down. 

While we were waiting for the show to begin (watching a few "appetizer" fireworks), Grandpa drove by with Rachel and Miriam, who hopped out to sit with us.

They were glad they did because it was quite the show!

And when our front-row seat fireworks were over, we walked back to the corner and watched the tail-end of another neighbour's fireworks just down the hill:

When we got home I was disappointed (but not surprised) to find Andrew and Phoebe playing together in the music room (I'd been hoping they'd both just get a good block of sleep in; sleep has been scarce in our house these days). All the booming in the neighbourhood was really bothering Phoebe, who is starting to feel sensitive about things like thunder and (evidently) fireworks. 

On July 4, Andrew and Benjamin set out to finally build a ladder golf game that Andrew picked up the supplies for early in...May. Benjamin had wanted to do some woodworking projects, see, and I found a pattern for ladder golf online that looked doable, so I floated the idea past Andrew, who quickly got on board, and then quickly got boards, and then quickly got bored...just kidding. He got the boards, but he didn't get bored. He got busy. And a vasectomy.

We'd meant to get them put together before his operation, kind of in celebration* of his operation (due to a somewhat vulgar nickname for the game, which I'm sure you can pick out of this line up, courtesy of Wikipedia: ladder toss, ladder ball, monkey ball, ladder golf, ball rope, goofy balls, testicle toss, cowboy golf, and hillbilly golf). But, again...things got busy. And then his vasectomy was...trickier...than it should have been, which lead to a prolonged recovery. He still wasn't quite recovered when we were hit with COVID. And obviously we didn't start this project while we were sick. So that meant another three weeks had gone by without us even considering putting together this game. 

* I'm still a little sad about No More Babies, but I also recognize that pregnancy is hard (and so expensive), raising kids is harder (and so expensive), our house is full, and we're getting old. is what it is.

But on Monday Andrew and Benjamin finally got to work:

They measured, cut, and sanded all the pieces. 

And then Grandpa picked the big kids up to watch Independence Day at his house, leaving Andrew and me home with the little ones. Phoebe was taking a pretty good nap (for once in her life) so we got most of the painting done (with a lot of messy help from Alexander).

And then Phoebe woke up from her nap and happily sat on the grass while we finished assembling things (which I guess technically we should have had Benjamin help with, but Andrew was in Project Mode and couldn't be stopped at this point).

Phoebe's wearing her festive Fourth of July skirt that Auntie K brought for her when she came out in February:

Our only hiccups with finishing this project were (a) the boys had forgotten to cut a second set of legs and (b) we neglected to order the golf ball bolas. So, we did those two things.

On July 5, we went for a walk and on our way back down to our house we were stopped by Little Zoey, who asked if the kids wanted to do sparklers with her. They absolutely did! They were very excited about this because we hadn't purchased any explosives for them this year. Alexander was thrilled to see that the box of sparklers said TNT on it.

They look like there's a dress code in our house (this is not entirely accidental—Zoë and Alexander meticulously planned their outfits; Benjamin just happens to be wearing a similar colour). 

It was so nice of Little Zoey's family to share their sparklers with us, and it was fun to watch the little cul-de-sac kids get so excited over something. Our poor cul-de-sac has been through the wringer! 

Our family got hit with COVID. 

And then Little Zoey's family.

And then Mr. Paul's family.

And then E got sick with not-COVID (but a raging ear infection that has had her in bed with a fever for a week now). 

The cul-de-sac has been eerily quiet, but we're all slowly starting to peek out of our house. The grown-ups were all sitting around looking a little haggard while the kids ran around with their 1000°F fire sticks having a grand ol' time. It sounds a little dangerous, but handing kids fire sure does help with social distancing!

On July 6, Alexander and Phoebe(r) got their first COVID vaccination!

After they got their shots (which they took like champs, by the way), while we were sitting in the room for our 15-minute wait, Alexander and I were reading some stories together while Phoebe squirmed on my lap. I wasn't paying much attention to her because she was safely in my lap. But then she started making gagging noises and I was like, "Oh, my goodness! You're choking! What could you possibly be choking on?! I've been holding you on my lap this whole time!"

There was literally nothing for her to have grabbed (at least...not that I could think of). I went for a fishing expedition in her mouth and found...her bandaid! The one the nurse had just stuck to her leg! Gross!

That Phoebe(r)! She'll find mischief anywhere!

On July 7, our bolas arrived in the mail! So we went outside in the middle of the 95°F afternoon to play. Rachel was already feeling a little sore from her booster shot (which she and Miriam got in the morning), but she still played fine. I think she even got it in her left arm today (the first two shots she got in her right arm), so she was able to use her dominant hand to play.

Here's Phoebe enjoying the bolas:

After dinner, we went outside to play again, only this time Benjamin was watching Apollo 13 at Grandpa's house and Rachel was downstairs resting in her room (this vaccine kind of knocked her out), so it was mostly Miriam (who'd been doing schoolwork inside when we played the first time) and Andrew (who'd been doing work-work inside when we played the first time), and me playing while Zoë and Alexander rollerbladed and rode bikes.

Andrew and Miriam are once again making it look like we have some sort of dress code or family uniform, but their choice in wardrobe was completely incidental (Andrew despises wearing matchy-matchy outfits).

This last picture is just to show off my impeccable skills. See all those blue balls tied to the top rung of the ladder? Not to brag, but...those are mine. 

The evening was still pretty hot. Around bedtime, Andrew suggested we head inside for some snow cones to cool off before heading to bed. Everyone thought that sounded like a wonderful idea. And Benjamin and Grandpa showed up just as we were getting snow cone stuff out, so they got to have snow cones with us as well!

Tomorrow I'm hoping we can go to the pool—we haven't been for weeks!—and that should round out our drawn-out celebration: fireworks, sparklers, vaccinations, yard games. What could be better?


  1. I wonder if Rachel's reaction to the booster was tougher because she'd just had covid and Paxlovid. Like, her antibodies were in fightin' mode!

    Phoeber is cute. :)

    You mentioned how many in your cul-de-sac had covid or something else recently. Seems I recall not terribly long ago your kids were outside playing with some neighbors and they mentioned they'd just gotten over covid themselves. Or maybe I'm not remember correctly. I seem to recall you were a little miffed that they hadn't mentioned that before your kids started playing.

    1. I was wondering about that, myself. But my theory was more that Rachel has seemed to react more to the vaccine than Miriam (or the other kids), and also (and in spite of Paxlovid) seemed to have more serious symptoms of COVID. And perhaps those were related. But, I don't know because I didn't react very much to the vaccine but had pretty bad symptoms....

      Yup. June 2 the kids rode bikes in the cul-de-sac and were joined by a family who'd had COVID. But I don't think we got COVID from them (exposure, truly, was limited, though I was miffed that they would "expose" others while clearly in their 10-day quarantine window (the mother was responsibly masking, but still...I think if you're positive...stay home??)) considering the tail end of the virus tends to be less transmissible than the front end. And we don't often play with them (since they live a little farther away/aren't "on" the cul-de-sac).

      Little Z's family is fairly certain they picked up COVID from work (the mom had to travel to Texas for a conference and many people tested positive in the days following, including her). I'm not sure where our other neighbours got it (they don't have kidlets so it wasn't from children playing). But we all knew and disclosed our COVID-ity to each other, so felt comfortable being out together since we'd all been testing negative.

  2. Oh, and Benjamin's 10-day quarantine window ended on June 30, which also happens to be the morning he tested negative. :)

    ALSO, I will note that when this neighbour approached us (since we're in the habit of avoiding most people...for most of Alexander's life now), Alexander said, "Don't get too close because, you know, COVID."

    "I'm not too worried about COVID," said the neighbour, still getting closer. "I've had my shots."

    "Well, that's what we thought, too," I said. "But we still caught it. This is really our first time out of the house in weeks!"

    And...I've never seen anyone jump back faster. Haha! (Not that he was ever incredibly close, and we sat far away from the "action," so to speak).