Friday, August 12, 2022

Alexander adventures

Alexander has been experiencing a recurrent fever the past little while. He's usually fine during the day, but by the time we put him to bed he'll be running a temperature. Not always. Just often. 

We put him to bed with a fever last night. He woke up still feeling feverish this morning. Evidently he knew that something was amiss because he texted me to ask me to bring him some breakfast upstairs. Now food is usually verboten upstairs...unless you happen to be quarantining in your room. There has been a lot of eating in unusual places over the course of the summer as various people have been isolating for various reasons. 

Anyway, I didn't respond to his text messages right away because I was still in bed with Phoebe, but when I did grab my phone to look at it the first few messages were from Benjamin's phone and I immediately became concerned.

I took a screen shot and sent it to Andrew (who was long-since up and working downstairs; he's got that 7 am thing going on) and asked him to verify whether Benjamin was, like, even in the house?! He has been known to sleep walk and I was just a little concerned at the nonsensical nature of this text. Why was he talking about lunch? Back out to his house? What is he even talking about?

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Garage doors, libraries, and high fives

Andrew had to be on campus super early this morning, which was weird for several reasons. First of all, the semester hasn't even started, but Andrew is participating in a data science education workshop, so away he goes. Second, Andrew is not a morning person, but he's teaching a data science seminar-thing at 7:00 am for the next several weeks. It's online, but because he had to be on campus at 8:00 am for the workshop, he had to be on campus by 7:00 am to teach his seminar class beforehand (because he couldn't very well teach while he was commuting). Traffic in Atlanta can be gnarly, so Andrew calculated that to be safe he should leave the house by 5:15 am. 

So he did. 

And at 5:23 am I was (re-)awakened by a frenzied flurry of knockings on my bedroom door. 

I peeled myself away from Phoebe and tip-toe ran across the room to open it, where the ever-polite Alexander stood waiting to be rescued.

"What's wrong?" I asked. 

"I'm so, so scared!" he blubbered.

"How come?"

"I thought I heard...I thought I heard..." he hiccuped. "I thought I heard the garage going up and down! But it can't be!!!"

"Oh, you heard correctly, little buddy. The garage door was going up and down. Daddy has to go into campus today, remember? So..."


Sunday, August 07, 2022

Someday and New Faces

After hearing about Alexander's desire to walk across the bridge on Sunday/someday, Andrew decided that we should take a little family adventure this Sunday (or, as Benjamin Freudianly portmanteaued, "An exploriance!" (exploration + experience)).

Alexander was super excited about it (much more excited than he was about posing for this picture):

Saturday, August 06, 2022

UGA and Fort Yargo

Grandpa suggested that he take the kids to UGA for a little tour to supplement their Georgia studies. UGA boasts being the first chartered public university in the United States (1785), a fact that confused me at first because UNC also claims to be the first public university in the United States (having held its first class in 1795). But UGA didn't hold classes until 1801, while UNC wasn't chartered until 1789. So obviously the idea of a public university was simply in the air.

UNC beat out UGA by ten solid years when it came to desegregating campus, however (1951 vs. 1961). There's a lovely display in the UGA library about a few Black pioneers like Charlene Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes (the first Black students to register) and Mary Frances Early (who was the first African American graduate from UGA, and is the namesake for the College of Education). We eventually made our way to the library, but it was a long hot (and bit of a meandering) walk for us. 

Phoebe can't wear a mask yet, so I brought along a little air purifier for her to use, which she loved. She insisted on holding the purifier right by her little face so she could drink up all the clean air coming out. She was rather enthusiastic about it. 

Here she is in the library:

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Vaccines and other stories

On Tuesday the big girls made it to the pool with us. They don't have their class on Tuesday evenings, so even though they were working away most of the day, they didn't feel like they had a hard and fast deadline so they could take some time out to play a little. Which is probably good.

It was so nice to have Rachel watch Phoebe in the pool while I worked with Alexander on his swimming skills. I was hoping to have him out of his Puddle Jumper this summer...but then we ended up being home sick all summer instead of spending every day by the didn't really happen. But he was doing really well yesterday. He swam two lengths of the pool "chasing" me (so I was walking backwards in front of him and he was swimming towards me). He does really well swimming in the shallow end and can remember all the working parts that come together to mean "swimming." His flutter kick is fantastic, his arms make big, wide arcs in the sky, he will lift up his head to breathe and then just keep swimming...

But when we're in what he feels is "deep" water, all he can think about is how deep the water is. So he stops kicking his legs, starts doggy paddling with his arms, and essentially starts drowning. 

Once he gains a little confidence I think he'll be good to go, but he's kind of an anxious kid. Always has been! He was never one to wander away from Mommy and get into mischief. He always had to know right where I was. At all times. Even now he likes his lists, and makes up checklists for thunderstorms and zombie apocalypses and so forth. He's got to know what to do!! And he likes things to be just so!!

The other kids also had fun at the pool (they usually do). Here's a few pictures of Miriam and Phoebe making eyes at each other while I was getting Phoebe changed to go home (I remembered diapers this time):

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Rachel, Rachel, Rachel

A couple of weeks before Phoebe was born, my friend Rachel finally gave birth to her baby boy—well past her due date! She had been nervous about his size because at an earlier ultrasound the doctor warned her the baby was measuring large, about eight pounds...and there was still time to grow. Friends tried to assuage her anxiety by telling her that estimates from these scans can sometimes be off—even by a pound or two! 

And so it was...but in the wrong direction!

The baby was delivered weighing 10.935 pounds and measuring 21.64 inches. 

That's a whole lot of baby!


Another friend of mine, also named Rachel, was surprised to go into labour a couple of days ago—five weeks early. This is her sixth baby and she had never gone into labour naturally, has always been induced, so it was quite a surprise for her to find herself in labour, five weeks early. 

The baby was delivered weighing 10.9 pounds and measuring 22.25 in long.

Five weeks early! 

I'm sure he is simply incredible to behold in the NICU. I joked to my friend Rachel (who is a nurse, and who knows about my preemie, so she "gets" it and wasn't offended) that he's a macro preemie! What a whopper!


I told my kids about this sweet, gargantuan preemie on the way to the pool today, referring to my friend as Sister So-And-So, since we used to be in the same ward years and years ago. Not that the children remember her. But just in case.

So after I told this story, my Rachel asked, "How big was your friend Rachel's baby?"

I glanced at her and said, "I just told you...oh. Okay, so it just so happens that this friend is also named Rachel. But, yes, my other friend Rachel had a big baby right before Phoebe was born. I think he was about this size, but he wasn't premature. So having a premature baby weigh nearly 11 lbs. is truly impressive."

"They were both named Rachel?" Rachel gasped. "Are Rachels just doomed to have ginormous babies?! I hope not!"

"I also hope not," I told her. "For you, I wish all 7 lbs. babies. Nice and average."

It's okay to make mistakes

I took the four youngest kids to the pool this afternoon while Rachel and Miriam were stuck at home working on the tutorials for their data science course. The description says it should be about 10 hours of work per week, but I'm sure the girls put in at least 40 hours last week. They are working on that class all day, everyday, it seems. But they're learning a ton! Andrew's been quite impressed with how much they're covering (since he teaches the same sort of stuff in his data visualization course) and how well the girls are doing. Anyway, we left them home to finish their assignments and headed to the pool which was, predictably, empty. 

Public schools are back in session this week and we couldn't be happier to have public spaces to ourselves again!

We had the pool to ourselves and had a...decent...time. I gotta tell you, though. Going to the pool with the four youngest kids is a lot of work! Going to the pool with all six is, honestly, quite a lot easier...because Rachel and Miriam are such good helpers and can hold the baby without me worrying for her safety. Benjamin and Zoë try to be good helpers, know...they're just littler. 

So it was kind of an exhausting trip to the pool for me. Benjamin and Zoë insisted on pushing each other's buttons and were constantly bickering (which was rather irksome to me) and Phoebe and Alexander just...take a lot of supervision. (And it had already been a bit of an exhausting day already).

But they sure are cute little pool buddies!