Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Eerie itching

It was a dark and stormy night and, as is the case several times a night, I was coaxing (read: nursing) Phoebe back to sleep, drifting in and out of sleepy, myself, when I heard a distinct rap-rap-rapping that yanked me into a state of being very wide awake. 

It had sounded as if someone had been tapping the window right above my head.

It was impossible...

We're on the second floor.

Perhaps some animal...

But, no. It was a distinctly human pattern of knocking: rap, rap, rap.

It was impossible...

And yet I heard what I heard. 

I reached over, shook Andrew, and whispered, "Did you hear that?!"

"What?" he mumbled. 

"Someone was knocking on the..."

Monday, August 29, 2022


When Grandpa moved to Georgia, he arrived wearing a red polo shirt, which Alexander was excited about because he has a red polo shirt! Ever since this realization, he's been wanting to coordinate a red shirt day with Grandpa, but somehow they have never managed it! 

The first time we tried, Grandpa didn't get the text, so Alexander dressed in his red shirt and Grandpa didn't. And then the next time Grandpa came over he wore his red shirt and Alexander didn't. And it's just been months of missed opportunities and dashed hopes. It's not like something like this is even that hard to coordinate...we just struggle sometimes. And that's okay.

Yesterday, however, Alexander put on his red polo shirt and was thrilled to pieces when Grandpa arrived for dinner wearing...his red polo shirt!

In the bathroom

Believe it or not, this is a first for me...

Sunday, August 28, 2022

More psalms

The younger kids and I wrote our own psalms today during primary. Benjamin had to write his fast because a friend came to the door to see if he could play outside (we were overtime already, so this was fine); I've never seen him write so efficiently.

Oh, Lord, your majesty is proclaimed in all things, from the trees to the bugs, every life cycle you engineered to go on forever. From mosquito larva to a fetus in a mother's belly your mark on the world is everywhere.

Zoë wrote:

Oh, Jesus, you died for us. In the tomb, you rose again. At the last supper you said, 'I will give this piece of bread to the person who betrayed me.' You are the Son of God.

Alexander chose to copy out the chapter heading of Judges 15 (weird flex, but okay):

Samson burns the grain of the Philistines—They burn his wife and father-in-law—Samson slays a thousand Philistines at Lehi with the jawbone of an ass.

I am not yet satisfied with my psalm, but I'll share an early draft of it, anyway:

The tree, when cut, reveals the fingerprint of God within its core, echoing rings that match my own. My image reflects his glory, my dominion mirrors his power to succor or destroy. 

As a tree sways in the storm, I will yield my will to His hand. I will wield my own hands gently, allowing his goodness, which flows within me, to trickle through me, drip by drip, and ripple outward into the world.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Fall is in the air

I took Miriam to mutual the other night, along with all the little kids because mutual took advantage of the great outdoors, so I figured that I would let my kids play while she hung out at mutual and then we'd all go home together. But my kids wanted to participate in the activity—which was plogging (picking up trash while walking/jogging)—so we ignored the playground and helped pick up trash along the river instead (though we did our best to steer clear of Miriam and let her be with her peers...except, perhaps, for Benjamin...who will be her peer at mutual soon enough, anyway). 

Mists were rising off the river and it was quite beautiful, inspiring, really. I'm surprised Zoë didn't make a note of it. She's hit a writing block and has been hankering for some good ol' fashioned inspiration to strike her. She even took her little notebook and pen on an outing with Grandpa earlier this week—where they got chased by ducks hoping for a nibble and impeded by great geese flapping their wings—but Grandpa had made her leave her notebook in the car so apparently she wasn't too inspired. She said she'll have to just copy down poems from Charlotte's Web and other places, since sometimes writing down poetry inspires her. She's pretty smart. But I'll have to remind her that she can write from the memory of a moment; she doesn't have to feel inspired in nature and sit down to write a poem just then.

(Update: She just now (at 11:53 pm) came to show me the poem and narrative she wrote about her outing with Grandpa so it looks like her writing block is over and I can cancel the lecture.)

Like these mists. I'll save them in my head for a poem another day:

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

In Alexander's words

This morning after I gave the older kids their writing assignment, Alexander asked what he could write about. So I told him that he could write about riding his new pedal bike. Then I went upstairs to put Phoebe down for a nap, but instead ended up reading a couple of books with her and then wandering back downstairs to check on something. On our way down the stairs, we ran into Alexander, who was rushing up the stairs to show me his work.

He had written an entire page!

I admit that I was initially skeptical of its quality given how little time he had spent writing (Phoebe and I read two books, but they were board books, weren't upstairs that long), but Alexander had carefully written an entire story!

Thinking caps for psalmists

Rachel and Miriam have been having their youth Sunday School lessons at Grandpa's house. This past week we were studying psalms and Grandpa told the girls to "bring your thinking caps," so before they left the house they fashioned some tinfoil hats for themselves and showed up at Grandpa's front door wearing them. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Twofer one teefies

I was afraid it was going to storm yesterday so we went to the playground instead of the pool. And then—wouldn't you know it?!—it just took forever to storm! The clouds just grew bigger and bigger and bigger while we watched them. But it took a while for them to gather so we made the most of the clear day while we could.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Night owl poetry

A while ago Zoë revealed to me that when she feels poorly about herself she makes a list of reasons why she's an absolute failure in her "hate journal." In it she had quite an extensive list of reasons why she deserved to feel poorly. She's a maniac. She's a jerk. She's selfish. She can't do anything right... was so sad. Absolutely broke my heart. And made me feel so anxious I felt nauseated.

We talked about how it might be better to write more positive things about herself because—and not to make her feel poorly for being wrong but...she was 100% wrong about herself—she's really quite wonderful and so, so lovable. Always lovable. 

I love her so much and I just...wanted her to love her, too.

We've since had several lessons on how to write through our emotions (how to capture and release our sadness and anger and grief...and joy and love and happiness). We've also read through Shannon Hale's Real Friends series and talked about it a lot. And have been working through Anxiety Relief for Teens with Miriam...but with everyone else, too (Zoë included). 

Anyway, the other night I checked on Zoë before going to bed and found her sleeping parallel to her pillow (horizontally across the bed), with a notebook and pen resting on her pillow. She'd stayed up past "lights out" to write a poem about Halloween. 

My children are already passionately excited for Halloween. 

So we've started reading Frankenstein together.

Because how else do you respond to that level of excitement about Halloween in August? Like, we're not decorating yet! I'm not a big decorator, anyway, but...we are not decorating for Halloween yet! But, fine, I'll read a spooky story with you.

Rachel's belated birthday balloons

Rachel's birthday was over a month ago, but her birthday balloons have been sitting stalely on the birthday trees waiting for Andrew to buckle down and write out a birthday message for Rachel.

The summer wasn't ideal, truly. We spent a lot of time being sick, a lot of time navigating disasters in the house (like, for example, our oven has been out of commission for about as long as Rachel has been 15), a lot of time...I don't even know what. All small stuff, really, but exhausting stuff nonetheless. And somehow Andrew didn't sit down to write a birthday balloon when everyone else did. So we waited and waited and waited. 

And tomorrow his semester starts (mine started last week) so he's been puttering around the house with first day jitters, tidying things up, and he wanted those balloons down. But first we made him fill out a balloon and Rachel posed with it to show how appreciative she is:

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Pooping Contests and Grand Pianos

Did I ever  write about the time Alexander noticed the symbol denoting the number of players for a game, in this instance "2–5 players," and interpreted it to mean "pooping contest?"

It took us quite a while to figure out what he meant, while he very frustratedly insisted that we understand what he meant when he asked if we could play the "pooping contest game," in this instance Carcassone, but I'm sure there are other examples. 

This was just last year, so he was 3 or so. 

Well, yesterday we had this beast delivered:

Tranquil Trail

Today's story is not my story because I stayed at home, somewhat sick, with Zoë, who had been up all night with a raging fever and round after round of vomit, and Phoebe, who likes to hang around me for some reason. Andrew had his faculty retreat today (they the conference room for eight solid hours). Grandpa took the rest of the kids hiking at High State Park. 

This is their story.

Zoë wishes it were her story. 

When I first took her temperature in the morning (after, you know, she finally went to bed at 5:30 after throwing up while refilling her water bottle at the fridge...and getting vomit all over the fridge and the floor...which Andrew cleaned up because I was in bed with my own fever), it was hovering around 104°F. So I gave her some ibuprofen (which is the only medicine she can take without gagging; literally I'll be like, "Time for your medicine," and she'll say, "Cherry or berry?" If the answer is "berry" (ibuprofen) she'll slurp it right up, but if the answer is "cherry" (Tylenol) then she reluctantly gags it down).

Fortunately, it was berry's turn and she happily gulped it down and then over the course of the next hour or so her fever receded. 

She asked me, just as the kids were leaving, to take her temperature again. So, thinking nothing of it, I did.

"98.7°F," I announced.

" fever?" she asked.

"No fever," I said. "But..."

She jumped up off the couch (where she was sleeping because getting out of the top bunk every time she wanted to vomit was...difficult) and started stripping off her pyjamas.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" I said. "What are you doing?"

"I want to go!" she said.

"Want to go where?"

"Hiking! With everyone else!"

"Oh, you are not well enough to go hiking!" I said. 

She collapsed on the couch sobbing and Rachel, who was just leaving, asked Grandpa to come back inside to say goodbye to Zoë, who he had missed seeing when he was in the house. He told her they'd hike to the falls another time when she wasn't sick and was able to come with everyone. 

And then they left. 

And Phoebe waved "bye bye," which I didn't know she knew how to do. 

And Zoë stewed on the couch until she recognized that she didn't actually feel better, and then she settled in for a full day of watching Bluey and Minnie Mouse...Bow Toons? Or something?

And I had a couple of meetings and our new oven got delivered and Andrew ran over something on the highway coming home and got a flat tire...again. This is his third one in three years. Ugh.

Anyway, that's not what this post is about. 

This post is about the kids and their adventure at High State Park, an adventure I was not party to and thus can't tell you very much about, except to tell you...

It was exceedingly muggy outside. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Data visualization

Not to whine, but Zoë came down with a fever last night. And then I did, too. So we've both been miserable. That "streak" of having everyone be healthy sure didn't last long. I honestly don't know what's going on with us's not super fun. 

Anyway, Rachel and Miriam finished their data visualization course and gave their final presentations today. They both did an excellent job (as did their friends whose presentations I watched). Most of our invited guests just stayed in their assigned Zoom room, but I hopped around a bit because I felt bad that our girls had so many guests in their rooms while others had...fewer. We're talking, like 11 to 3. Plus, it was fun to see what the other kids did!

And we were so grateful to have family show up for them! Grandpa and Naanii & Bumpa, as well as Uncle Patrick and Auntie Josie, plus Andrew and I were logged in on different devices. It was well-attended. And Uncle Patrick asked some fabulous questions (which the girls said they were very thankful for because other viewers weren't asking many questions at all). 

Naanii was happy that both girls chose topics that fell within her purview. 

Rachel analyzed ticket prices and attendance of major broadway shows across time, while Miriam compared the music of Taylor Swift (her favourite pop singer) to the music of Bach (her all-time favourite musician).

Not only did they learn a lot about data and coding and design and camaraderie, they also gained confidence in the trial-and-error method of learning. 

Miriam used to get so frustrated with math when she didn't get things right away, but today while she was doing math, she found a pattern her textbook hadn't pointed out to her and tested it on a number of problems to see if it consistently worked out. She wrote down pages and pages of math work, scribbled a bunch of stuff out, and kept on going. 

Without even crying!

She was treating her math the same way she's been treating her coding these past few weeks—as an experiment to do and re-do until she figures out how to make it do what she wants it to do. 

Not that this data visualization course didn't ever make her cry...because she definitely did some of that. 

But overall it was a good experience. Probably even a great experience! 

Andrew has all sorts of plans to have the girls keep their skills sharp, so I'm excited to see what they come up with!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A pool day!

Not to brag, but, for the first time in about eight weeks, everyone at our house is healthy! And the girls are at the tail end of their coding class and didn't have any tutorials due today, so they joined us at the pool as well. It was fun to have all the kids there together. 

The oldest four spent a lot of time playing in the diving tank. Zoë showed off her "unicorn dive," which from the deck looks like it's going to be a hot mess (especially since she biffed it while running on the driveway and scraped up her elbows and knees, so her hobbling on the deck was especially hobbly today), but which looks very graceful once she hits the water. 

So perhaps it's really a narwhal dive. I doubt narwhals are very graceful on land. 

(Note the hand being held up like a horn; that's integral to this dive's form).

Yummy yogurt

One of the hard truths about life is that before you can do something well, you first have to do it abysmally. Everything is learned slowly and with lots of practice and (seeming) failure. 

When you're raising children this learning process, unfortunately, leads to a lot of messes as well.

And so it was that I handed Phoebe a little bowl of yummy homemade yogurt at dinner this evening. The homemade part is important because Andrew's been making it super thick lately, so that when we mix in the fruit compotes (which Andrew also makes from scratch) it can get a little runnier without getting too runny. Anyway, the thicker yogurt is a little less scary to hand over to a baby than runny yogurt. 

Phoebe had plain yogurt with freshly sliced mangoes for dinner, which she fed to herself.

It went...well.

Her theory seemed to be that if she simply smeared yogurt on every surface, then any surface she licked would taste like yogurt. It was a flawless plan and she was happy the entire meal!

Literal bike shorts

"Help! Help! Alexander's shorts are caught on his bike!" Zoë came yelping down the driveway. 

I was just buckling Phoebe into her stroller so we could go for a walk. Zoë and Alexander were riding their bikes around while they were waiting for everyone else to get ready to leave.

Knowing that Alexander was on his balance bike (he's working on figuring out his pedal bike but is still much faster on his balance bike, so he takes that when we go for walks), I wasn't sure how his shorts could get stuck anywhere. Yesterday Zoë had tried to ride her bike with too long of a skirt and that was perilously close to getting caught in her chain. But pedal bikes don't have a chain or gears or anything. So how could Alexander's shorts get caught on his bike?!?


A few beautiful things

We see these acorn plum galls quite often and only recently did we ever take one home to cut it open. Inside it does look rather plum-like—fleshy white fruit that bleeds red when its cut. This isn't a plum at all, however, but a tumor caused by an itty baby cynipid wasp that was laid on an acorn cap. I've seen other galls before, mostly on leaves, but these acorn plums were surprising to me when Benjamin filled the cupholders of the stroller with acorns (from the same oak he found this acorn plum) and I noticed that the gall really did have the same pattern as the acorn cap. So I guess I could see how it could grow alongside an acorn.

The kids have been very interested in collecting bugs lately. The weather is starting to turn fall-ish so we're starting to find dead cicadas all over the place. Interestingly enough, we're also seeing a lot of cicada molts as well. And I can't figure out why because I feel like we usually start finding those old molts earlier in the summer and expired cicadas later. But maybe they've always been contemporaneous and I remembering wrong. 

Me? Wrong?

It could happen.

Monday, August 15, 2022


Andrew and I spoke in church on Sunday. I've only been stressing out about it since March or so. Whenever we were asked (which was March or so). Grandpa came to hang out with the kids during sacrament meeting (they zoomed in), not because Rachel and Miriam aren't capable of handling the little kids on their own (they are), but just because it's nice to not always have to be responsible for the little ones. And because Phoebe can be a handful. 

My topic was "God's Perspective is Greater Than My Own," which felt a little huge. Even with so much notice, I don't feel like the talk ended up where I wanted it to be, is what it is. 

Andrew's topic was something easy like: "Isn't the World Pretty?" but he worked the complication of stewardship into it. You can read his talk here. Mine is below:


Phoebe slept for a four-hour stretch tonight before I couldn't hack it anymore and woke her up. 

And I wonder why my children struggle to sleep.

In my defense, she's been sleeping terribly since having COVID and my milk supply is not used to such a long stretch of sleep. And also she fell down the stairs earlier today so I was stressed out about her long stretch of sleep for that reason, as well.

Before anyone gets too worried, she didn't fall down the whole flight of stairs. Only, like, three. 

And it was all Alexander's fault, which he readily admitted before she even hit the ground.

Granted, she shouldn't have been climbing the stairs in the first place.

But a whole lot of thing happened all at once...

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Phoebe is 9 months old

And she's certainly a clever, curious baby! 

Last night I was doing the dishes and Phoebe was continuously trying to climb into the dishwasher, of course. In my current phase of life the children are often on dish duty and I am merely a helper. Often my job is simply keeping Phoebe occupied while the dish-doers do the dishes (because my children are getting more and more capable as time wears on). However, I was reminded of when I was the main dishwasher of the house because my children were largely too little to be helpful so I would always wash the dishes. And I would do it after I had all the kids down for the night because there was simply too much chaos to ever do it before.

Because babies would be climbing onto the dishwasher and things...

But, the big kids were all at Grandpa's house last night, so I did the dishes after dinner and Phoebe was absolutely determined to get into the dishwasher. I plopped her into her walker to keep her at bay, which usually works. However, she's gotten pretty good at navigating that thing and, as it turns out, the walker is designed in such a way that it slides right under/over the dishwasher door. Phoebe just lined herself up and pulled in like it was her designated parking spot.

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!