Monday, July 15, 2024

Watermelon, Sunflowers, and Pollinators

Watermelon is usually pretty good on its own, I think. 

Andrew, on the other hand, doesn't ever think watermelon is good.

Everyone else in our family enjoys watermelon, though, so in the summer Andrew will often pick up a watermelon when he does the grocery shopping (because he does the grocery shopping at our house). He won't typically cut it (though he has on occasion), but he will buy it for us. 

I have never succeeded in growing one, though we had some butternut squash volunteer in our yard this year (from the one time Andrew made butternut squash soup, I guess) and it is going wild. Well, the vines are, anyway. We've got a couple of lovely butternut squashes developing, but that's all. 

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Definitely sick

Rachel and Miriam took the ACT today. When we signed them up we actually chose GSU campus for their testing center because then Andrew can take them in and just...go hang out in his office while he waits for them to finish. We know because...this is not their first time taking the ACT. In fact, the ACT company gave out a two-for-one coupon for each of the girls when they took the ACT the last time, so this was essentially a free second test.

Unfortunately, they cancelled the test at GSU for our testing date and the girls were moved to a random high school way down the the airport. 

Friday, July 12, 2024

Sick, no...healthy, no...sick, no...healthy, no...sick!

Alexander's still coughing from his pneumonia, but he's feeling just fine. But then last week Zoë got sick. And this week Phoebe has been sick. And we've been...doing very little outside of the house. 

But today? Today no one had a fever (and those who had been feverish had been fever-free for 24-hours!) and we really needed to take our glass to the recycling collection point so we (at least the youngest four) took all the glass we've been amassing the past few months (as well as our textbooks, because we're on week two of our school year) and went to the park. 

Here's Phoebe showing off her big-girl ponytail while Alexander sets out his school books in the background:

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

I can't imagine a more beautiful thing

We planted corn this year.

I don't think we've tried corn since we once tried it in North Carolina..and things didn't work out well for us. I think a big storm came through and flooded our garden and all our corn fell over and...that was the end of that.

Things went much better this year. Our stalks grew nice and tall...and then they got tassels...but I saw no silks anywhere. So I was a little worried we weren't going to get any ears of corn at all. But then my silks started appearing and I began instead to worry about pollination. We went out and did some hand pollinating, but I honestly think the tassels were simply too far spent to have that do much good. 

Still, we got a couple of lovely (little) ears of corn:

Saturday, July 06, 2024


Benjamin got his hermit crab—Poseidon—about two weeks ago and we've been meaning to pick up a friend for it ever since...but life has just been so...busy. Andrew and I have a lot of work projects and swim team was coming to a close and Alexander had pneumonia and the girls are off to FSY and...I dunno...getting to the pet store just felt a little hard.

But then yesterday we were driving home from the road race and I hopped on Facebook and saw that someone was giving away a full hermit crab set up—the tank, the crabs, everything. So I said we were interested and...the next thing I know we're bringing home a 20-gallon tank stocked with three new friends for Poseidon (they said it was four...but we only found three crabs and the, uh, remnants of a fourth).

Benjamin was over the moon!

Friday, July 05, 2024

Fourth of July Fireworks

We started our homeschool year this week so we can get some school days under our belts before the real chaos begins in the fall. Did I give my children the day off today? We didn't have any big plans, so we we hung out at home, did some schoolwork, played some games, and had a wonderful barbecue dinner. And then we headed out to watch fireworks with the neighbours. 

First we went to some friends in the ward who have kids around Phoebe's age (so the fireworks were a little bit earlier). Here are the kids enjoying some sparklers:

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

2024 Peachtree Junior

We woke up bright and early this morning—and, in fact, prior to it being bright—to head downtown for the Peachtree Junior Road Race. My neighbour sent me a link about it after she saw Benjamin and I running earlier in the year and I went ahead and signed Benjamin up...and then when I learned that the race was sponsored so fully by Microsoft (as in: the event was free)...and because I figured the littler kids would be tagging along anyway...I went ahead and signed Zoë and Alexander up as well. 

Alexander could have run the mile race, but I decided to just sign him up for the dash because he's a pretty timid kid and doesn't like to be out of sight. I wasn't sure he'd make it through the mile course on his own. And it turns out this was a doubly good call because...evidently he's getting over pneumonia. 

Anyway, backing up a little bit...

We left the house at 7:15, aiming to arrive when registration opened at 7:45 (and knowing we wouldn't be there until more like 8:00). Things really slowed to a crawl, however, and by 8:15 we were still sitting in a long line of cars waiting to turn into the parking garage. So at a red light—and a mile or so away from our final destination—the runners and I hopped out and started booking it to The Meadow in Piedmont Park (where packet pickup was). 

We speed-walked down Monroe Avenue and then jogged down Amsterdam Avenue. Our goal was to hop on The BeltLine Trail but when we got there it seemed to be completely closed for construction. Luckily there was a "gravel trail detour" that we could jog along. Unfortunately, we then had to sneak through the fence, across the trail construction, and through another fence in order to reach the meadow. 

By the time we arrived on the field we were hot, sweaty, and ready for our participation medals already. And we were still a field's length away from the registration tent! 

I rushed the kids across the field and then we stood in line and got our numbers, which was ultimately a very smooth process. They didn't preassign numbers for the kids, but we got an email with a QR code for each of them, which they scanned at the desk, then pulled out a bib and scanned that number to connect it with their racer information. You can see that Benjamin's number starts with a 12 (he ran with the 12-year-olds and all his signage was navy blue) and Zoë's number starts with a 9 (she ran with the 9-year-olds and all her signage was yellow). That made it easy to find where to go and gave me peace of mind about collecting the kids after (though we made sure to also fill out the safety information on the back of the bibs and I wrote my phone number on their arms...just for good measure).

Here are the kids after getting checked in: 

Monday, July 01, 2024

In the first five minutes Phoebe was awake...

"Tan we doe to the pool?" Phoebe asked, stumbling out of bed.

"Good morning to you, too!" I said. "Unfortunately, we can't go to the pool right now because we have to take Alexander to his doctor appointment."

"Oh. How 'bout you not tan tate Alexi to dotor. Daddy tan do that."

"Daddy can't do that because he's taking the girls to FSY right now. So Mommy needs to take Alexander to his appointment. You can come, too."

"Okay. I will choose some clothes."

"Good idea."

"What are you doing!? I want shirt and pants!"

"Of course, I see that you have both a shirt and pants here and I will help you put them on, but in order to do that we have to take off your pyjamas."

"Otay. This is such a busy day! This is not a church day!"

"No, it's not. We went to church yesterday, didn't we?"

"We have Luna today. We have dotor pointments. *sigh*"

"It is a busy day, but I don't think we have Luna today."

"Me so hungry! You so hungry, too? You have not eaten breakfast yet."

"I have not eaten breakfast yet. We can go get some breakfast together. What would you like?"

"Mac-roni and cheese."

"That does sound good. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to make macaroni and cheese for breakfast so you're out of luck there. Let me give you some options. We have leftover waffles in the fridge. We have lots of leftovers in the fridge! We have watermelon that's all cut up. We have oatmeal. We have cereal. We have..."

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Last day of swim team

Thursday was a busy day! 

I took all three kids to swim practice in the morning because Benjamin wanted to be there for Alexander's mini-meet. Alexander graduated from Future Barracudas a while ago, so hasn't been attending their practices, but he was invited to show up for the mini-meet. 

So, we went to Zoë's practice. And then we stayed for Alexander's practice. 

For the past few weeks Andrew has been taking those two earlier in the morning. And then they've been coming home. And then Rachel leaves to take Benjamin to his practice. And then quite often I would take the little kids (including Phoebe) back to the's been a lot of juggling.

But on this particular morning I just took all three kids with me. Zoë practiced, Alexander practiced, then Alexander had his mini-meet.

Here he is all wet and shivery (and cute and tiny) and waiting for his event to be announced:

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Hosed etymology and other funny(?) things

Swimming has been rather all-encompassing this past month. Andrew remarked (quite humorously, in my opinion): "I had no idea swim team would involve so much swimming!" 

And it's true. There has been a lot of swimming. And a lot of driving kids to the pool (which, honestly, if they didn't have to cross 18 lanes of traffic between two very gnarly intersections, I'd let them ride their bikes to the's only 3 miles away...but unfortunately they'd have to cross eighteen lanes of traffic to do so. And, yes, there are traffic signals but I'm still just not sure how much I trust the traffic).

Anyway, tomorrow is our last meet (before county, which I doubt we'll qualify for) and the kids are very excited. They went to morning practice today, and then we stayed after to swim, and then we went to afternoon practice as well and Phoebe and I swam while they were practicing because they only use half the pool for the afternoon practice. 

Amazingly we've only had a couple of storms this entire month. It's been so dry. Humid. But dry. 

That's a thing, right?

We haven't had to cancel any swim practices or swim meets due to bad weather (knock on wood because it's supposed to storm a bit tomorrow), which feels...unusual for June. But we did have a good storm the other night when we decided we'd encourage Phoebe to stay in her own bed using a sticker chart.

9:00 PM

Me: …so if you stay in your bed all night, you can choose a sticker to put on your chart! Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Phoebe: Yes! I want a sticker!
Me: How do you get a sticker? Do you remember?
Phoebe: Stay in mine own bed!

1:30 AM

Phoebe: *tip-toes down hallway, knocks on door*
Andrew: What’s up, Phoebe?
Phoebe: I need help staying in my bed! I want a sticker!
Andrew: *tucks Phoebe back in, turns on some lullabies, sits with her until she falls asleep*

4:30 AM

Mother Nature: ⛈️⛈️⛈️
Phoebe: *runs down hall, busts through bedroom door*
Phoebe: THAT WAS THUNDER! I don’t want a sticker! I want you!
Mother Nature: ⛈️
Electricity: *goes out*
Phoebe: IT’S SO DARK!

Obviously mother nature was not on our side. And then she came in bed with us last night, too, claiming she could still hear the thunder from the previous night's storm. We'll see how tonight goes. a lot of kids swimming means that the water level in the pool has gone down a bit. Often rain will fill it up quite nicely. But today they had the hose on, filling the pool back up to the level it needs to be for the skimmer baskets and things to work properly. 

Phoebe thought the hose was great! It was about 98°F today and the pool was lukewarm, but the hose water was freezing (or felt comparatively so). She loved playing with it.

She stood around asking everyone who walked by, "Wanna get hosed?"