Sunday, May 28, 2023
Sick, sick, sick
Friday, May 26, 2023
First day on the beach (May 20)
Sunday, May 21, 2023
No room at the inn
I wasn't thrilled about the idea of driving to the beach right in the middle of a stomach virus. On the day we left, I was still up with Phoebe at 3:00 in the morning, trying to settle her to sleep (without nursing). She had thrown up all over the two of us at around 9:30 and was just so miserable. I cuddled her in her bed because that's the only way she wanted to sleep—face to face, nose to nose. I don't enjoy trying to sleep like that on the best of days (being breathed on grosses me out), but on stomach flu day it's even worse. She was all full of gulpy hiccups and I was fairly sure she was going to throw up in my face at any given moment, but she didn't and we finally fell asleep.
The next morning we loaded everything up and headed out—with incontinence chucks spread underneath each child in the vehicles and emesis bags for everyone. Phoebe was worn out so slept most of the drive, which was a pleasant surprise. And no one threw up, which was an even better surprise!
When we were about a half hour away from our destination, it suddenly dawned on Alexander that we might need a hotel room or something. So he raised the issue to us.
"We might want to think about getting a hotel room or something," he told us. "Because I don't really want to sleep in the van like this. It's kind of crowded. And I just think a hotel room would be a good idea."
Evidently we should have communicated our plans better. Alexander can be a bit of a worrier.
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Nest Update II
Our little cardinals hatched right on time, as far as I can tell. Here they are about a week ago while momma bird was taking a break from incubating:
She's been busily sitting on and fussing over those eggs for about two weeks, turning them this way and that way and keeping them nice and warm. I did not see hide nor hair (beak nor feather?) of the daddy cardinal until a couple of days ago when I saw him bringing some food over to momma bird.
Mother's Day and Phoebe's 18 month stats
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
This is just to say...
Phoebe had her 18 month well-child visit at the doctor yesterday.
The doctor suggested we give her some melatonin before bed to help her wind down.
She hasn't slept through the night in...ever. Is up a billion times every night.
Before bed she likes to (a) stand up in her bed and then fall face first, like a tree trunk, onto her pillow or (b) swing from the bed slats like a monkey (she's on the bottom bunk) or (c) roll around and turn somersaults and things like that or (d) whatever else she can think of.
This she does for approximately two hours. If we leave, she screams. And she'll scream forever (trust us).
So we just sit there and say, "Lie down. Lie down. Lie down."
And she does...for all of ten seconds before she's up again...and then she'll hit the magic moment when we say "Lie down!" and she does and...falls fast asleep within those ten precious seconds.
Little Purple Pansies
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Spring Piano Recital
After a rough night with Phoebe, we spent the morning helping to clean the church building. I had been curious about whether the windows might open and, as I suspected, they do not. I don't know when we decided that schools and churches and things should not have windows that open. From my memory, all of my schools and church buildings had windows that opened...until I moved to the States. But I could be wrong about that.
To be fair, a lot of the buildings I frequented growing up in Canada legitimately did not have air conditioner systems (only furnaces), so the only way to cool off in the summer months was to strategically let the cool early morning and evening breezes inside. We'd have windows open and fans on in June when things started getting warm at school. And I know for sure that we could open the windows at church (not that we would ever climb through them).
But our church building here either has windows that doesn't have the option to open or has windows that had the option to open at one time (but has since been screwed shut).
The state of emergency has ended, and I understand that and actually back that decision. We're not flying by the seat of our pants anymore. We need to move forward. But, in my opinion, moving forward involves opening windows, bettering our air filtration, or making any sort of mitigation effort whatsoever. The CDC strongly recommends that ventilation should be a top priority. Just throwing that out there.
Anyway, Phoebe was ready for a nap by the time we came home, so she and I had a lovely nap together while Andrew took Alexander grocery shopping. And then everyone played a lot of Zelda. "Tears of the Kingdom" came out yesterday so there has been a lot of Zelda play the past couple of days.
And then it was time to get ready to go to Miriam and Zoë's piano recital! Here's Zoë sitting pretty beforehand:
Friday, May 12, 2023
Thursday, May 11, 2023
Obstruction of Correspondence
On Tuesday we put together some Mother's Day cards to mail out to some important women in our lives (because it's good to tell people you care about them and it's nice to receive something in the mail that's not a bill every once in a while). We ended up choosing nine relatives. Zoë made a picture for each one (and printed off one of her recent poems) and we also had everyone sign a card for each recipient—that's 72 signatures in total!
We got nine envelopes, put nine stamps on nine envelopes, addressed nine envelopes...licked nine envelopes. Alexander thinks that's the worst part. He's probably not wrong. And then we put those nine envelopes into the mailbox...for Wednesday (because by the time we were finished we had missed Tuesday's mail).
Here's a couple of things to be aware of: (1) we are always home (pretty much) and (2) we check our mail all the time because that's one of our methods to cut Phoebe's fits short.
She always wants to check the mail because it means she gets to go outside. But she also understands going into things that it's only going to be a brief visit to the mailbox (not an entire afternoon of outdoor joy) so she doesn't get upset when it's time to head back inside.
We check the mail when we know the mail hasn't been delivered. And we check the mail when we know we've already collected the mail for the day. We check the mail a lot. Specifically Phoebe checks the mail a lot...with the help of many people over the course of the day.
I was thinking Tuesday was a pretty good day to get things into the mail. Aunt Ruth's card, I knew, would be late (since that would be international mail). But I figured all the domestic mail should arrive by Sunday.
Did you know that it costs $0.63 to mail a letter these days?!
For some reason that feels outrageously expensive to me. But anyway...thank goodness for "forever" stamps.
Anyway, on Wednesday when we checked the mail, our letters were gone—off and away!—and our mail was in the box and we thought everything was right in the world.
Then this afternoon, just as I was settling down with Phoebe for a nap, I got a message on NextDoor:
Here is Phoebe trying to lick the cat:
Sprinkle, sprinkle, little hose...
Since our first little trip to the pool on May 1, it's warmed up significantly. Whatever little springtime cold snap we were experiencing was replaced with weather that is quickly turning hot and humid. We, however, have been unable to make it back to the pool due to super fun things like (1) it's the end of the semester and I had a poetry reading to give and a poetry reading to attend and a major paper due and so forth, and (2) we took our van in to get a tune-up before we try driving across the country with it.
The good news is that our mechanic felt nothing major needed to be done. Even better is that we have our van back again, which means we can go to the pool!
To make up for not being able to go to the pool, I did let the kids talk me into setting up the sprinkler for them yesterday. They had a blast!
Tuesday, May 09, 2023
Friday, May 05, 2023
A good day
Thursday, May 04, 2023
Phoebe: Potty + mouth updates
Piano Auditions for Zoë and Miriam
This afternoon, Miriam and Zoë attended their National Piano Playing Guild Auditions and they, of course, did wonderfully. These kinds of auditions are kind of like the ACT or GRE in that you can't really fail them. You simply...get the score that you get. The guild notes that "should your grade be lower than you expected" students should "not be discouraged" but "encouraged to work harder the next year! If you have a higher grade, we congratulate you but encourage you to remain humble and seek even greater goals in the next Auditions."
I think that's pretty good advice for life!
Both girls were very stressed out about their auditions, perhaps Miriam more so than Zoë. Miriam entered 10 pieces for this Audition (all of which had to be memorized; last year she played only 2 pieces) and had to review all the scales and chord sequences in existence, basically, since she would be quizzed on them at random. Originally she thought she had to play them all during her Audition, which would have been about 90 minutes of scales and things, but her teacher soothed her spirits. It would only be 10 minutes or so of scales; they were simply making sure she was comfortable with all of them so that she wouldn't falter when the judge asked her to play.
Miriam practiced every day until her fingers went numb.
Zoë was equally present at the keyboard.
And their hard work paid off! They did very well (but even if they had scored lower than expected, nothing bad would have happened (just to clarify for those of us (*ahem*Miriam*ahem*) who need clarification on that issue).
Here's Zoë in one of the practice rooms (or out in the gallery? It was held at a piano store/studio) that Andrew took before she was called in for her audition (parents aren't allowed in during the audition, but he waited around with her prior to her audition and then after the two of them went out to the car and accidentally drained the car battery and had to jump start the car after Miriam's audition):
Tuesday, May 02, 2023
Yesterday when I peeked into the nest there were two eggs inside.
Today I see that momma bird has begun incubating so my assumption is that they are going for a clutch of three:
Monday, May 01, 2023
Polar Plunge (Georgia Style)
It's really been a relatively mild spring for us. While we're usually hankering for the pool by May, this year our April has felt uncommonly cold. Today we were only in the 60°s, but the kids begged to go to the opening of the pool season, so we headed out there for a "polar plunge." It was a memorable FHE activity (that Rachel missed because she went driving with Grandpa, who was heading out to teach some temple prep lessons). Only Benjamin, Zoë, and Alexander really wanted to get in. The rest of us just stayed in our street clothes (though I did pack swimming suits for me and Phoebe, just in case we changed our minds).
Benjamin was the first to jump in. He was very happy that the diving board was back up (it was broken for most of last year). Zoë was next to go off the diving board. Benjamin really swam just fine, despite the shock of the water, but Zoë was struggling a bit to remember how to swim, with it being her first time back in the pool and having it be rather chilly.
Little birdies, little bruiser
About a month ago, we heard some wild chirping outside and stumbled into two male cardinals trying to prove to each other who was the bigger man.