Sunday, April 23, 2017

On my own

The rest of this week was far less interesting. I let the kids play lots of computer games and watch a lot of TV, since Sylvia was pretty much confined to the house all week. Paul went to OSHC Wednesday (Inflatable world), Thursday (Aquatic center), and Friday (Sports clinic), which kept him a lot happier than if he'd been forced to stay at home all week. We made a play date with an old neighbor for Thursday, but ended up not making it because Sylvia couldn't walk. When we took the dressing off her stitches on Thursday morning the wound started bleeding a leaking pus, so we spent the day trying to treat her and just couldn't make it.

Derrick got back last night, bringing with him enough food for the next week at least. I am so excited I won't have to cook this week! Sylvia's foot is doing well enough she's hobbling around, and I have high hopes she'll be back to normal in a couple of days. We did make it to see our friends today. It was stake conference, so I didn't feel bad about skipping church to go see friends. Funny how I'm not at all willing to sit through two hours of sacrament-like meeting with my kids when there's no sacrament and no promise of primary at the end. It's been a good day, though. I got a nap and the kids I think enjoyed having their dad back. Glad we don't have to do this again for a while.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter weekend

Since well before Christmas Paul has asked me to sing three songs to him before he goes to bed: Jingle bell rock, Jingle bells, and Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer. Finally, since it's Easter this weekend, he's dropped two of those (Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell Rock) and now he wants the ABC song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Rudolf.

Kip sings the ABC song about twenty times a day. I think of my three kids he's the most into singing. He likes to sing the wheels on the bus, too, but mostly he sings ABC's. It's amazing to me how quickly he's learned to talk very, very well. He's gone from

Good Friday was off (of course), and we had a pretty low-key Good Friday this year. Derrick and I took off early on Thursday so he could go shopping for his field trip this week (Monday through Saturday. Oh Joy.) and then he spent Friday and much of Saturday cooking food to take with him. That pretty much left me taking care of kids on Friday and Saturday, thought I did get shopping done for the week (I hope!) on Saturday. Friday was pretty low key all day, though we did go for a long walk around the Linear park loop in the afternoon. I was the only one of us not on a bike or scooter, which turned out surprisingly well. I didn't take my bike because usually I have to carry Kip and his bike at least part of the way, but he managed to make it almost the whole way without help. The only time I carried him was at the very end, and that was because he wanted to 'go faster' down the hill again and again. Patient as I try to be, there comes a time when I just want to go home.

Saturday was full of running necessary errands and general taking care of kids. That night, just before bed, it finally occurred to me that I was singing in church on Sunday, and Alex, who was supposed to be singing with me, wasn't texting back. She'd warned me she might go camping on Easter weekend, but I hadn't heard one way or the other. Given her lack of communication I realized I'd probably be singing a solo.

So, yes, I've sung solos before. Well, I've sung a true, singing 'till the end by myself solo once. It was okay. I made it all the way through without my voice breaking or without dissolving into a puddle in front of everyone. But it's not something I relish.

Singing a solo on the same day I'm teaching (which is also nerve-wracking for me) AND a day I need to help Paul give a talk (On 'Jesus Christ teaches me the right way to leave') was just a bit much emotionally. I woke up super early, probably 4 am, and just didn't get back to sleep. Since I actually needed the time to prepare my lesson (mostly looking up the scriptures I wanted us to discuss) my insomnia was a bit of a blessing.

At about 8 I took Rosie and the kids down to the park while the Easter bunny hid our small supply of chocolate eggs. I'm so glad I didn't go overboard on the chocolate this year. A single Chocolate bunny and about 23 Easter eggs was plenty for all of us.

I got the kids reading and went to church early (about 12:30) so I could practice. The kids ran around, as all kids should on Easter morning after consuming way too much sugar, and yet I managed to get in a decent enough practice that I felt like I could get up and not embarrass myself. Just as Heather (the pianist) and I finished practicing Alex showed up. We went through the song again with me singing the first verse, her the second, and together on the third.

My kids did remarkably well during sacrament meeting. Well, Sylvia and Kip did, anyway. Paul refused to sit most of the time, but that's kind of the norm for him anymore. Sylvia sat with another family and colored for most of the meeting and Kip was pretty entertained by the large amounts of food I'd packed (having not fed the kids an actual lunch before we left).

Immediately after the sacrament the bishop announced a Relief Society choir would be singing "Come Unto Him." Alex and I tittered as we walked up together. A choir of two is kind of a pitiful choir. The song went well--better than we'd practiced.

During Sunday school I wrote Paul's talk, which I basically made into a talk on the resurrection (it being Easter and all). I dragged him to the courtyard, where we practiced it, and then he gave it while in Relief Society Adrienne (the RS president) showed a couple of videos to stall for time for me. They had technical difficulties, so I even made it back in before the second video was over. Hooray!

My lesson wasn't terrible, but that's about all I can say for it. We read a bunch of scriptures about Christ's interactions with women and children in the bible. I asked the sisters to summarize the story and give an idea how the story teaches us how we should live so our lives can be symbols of Christ, which was honestly a little too much. I'd picked way too many scriptures, too, so we didn't get through everything and didn't have time to sing the closing hymn.

By the end of all that I was so exhausted it took me half an hour to get my kids into the car. It's amazing how the longest, most tiring day at church can get dragged out even longer by kids. They hate going, hate being there, but as soon as it's time to go, they can't possibly get into the car.

I was pretty wasted the rest of the night, so well all just vegged while Derrick finished his prep for the field trip.

Monday was Derrick's turn for insomnia, which unfortunately meant I also didn't sleep. Derrick hadn't packed so he had to get up at like 4 to get ready and I woke up at the same time. I tried to rest, but eventually gave up and just helped Derrick, then took Rosie out for an early walk. I'd hoped to get back before Derrick left, if for no other reason than to say bye, but I was too late, and was met by a crying Paul at the door when I got home. Poor kid. He hates it when we're separated.

I felt pretty lazy, so I let the kids play on computers and tablets and watch TV for the morning, though I did make arrangements to meet a couple of church friends who live on Linear park for lunch. I took my three kids and the other two kids on a bike ride (again, me the only one not on a bike) down to a nearby playground. The playground was fun for like 5 minutes, and then the kids spent two hours playing in the river, mostly wading in the shallows and generally being kids.

At some point they started playing a following the leader kind of game, which I think would have been just fine had Sylvia not stepped on a large piece of glass. She freaked out at the blood, which was plentiful, and had a seriously hard time making her way back across the river. The other kids were unnerved by the blood and wanting to avoid also being cut by the glass. I waded in and was helping Sylvia hop across when I stepped on the glass, but I, being more prepared for it, didn't get cut as deeply. Still. Not fun.

The piece I stepped on was a big round piece of a broken wine bottle. I have nothing but swear words for the individual who tossed their empty bottle in the river instead of a dumpster.

I wrapped Sylvia's foot in a doggy bag to keep it clean and keep her from getting blood on her shoe. Then the other two kids and my oldest two high-tailed it back to my friends house, where she and her husband cleaned out Sylvia's wound. I made my way back much more slowly with Kip. As is, I think, typical of kids, when he's tired it's harder for him to go in a straight line. By the time I got there Sylvia's foot was already cleaned up and the kids were playing happily, though my friend's husband said he thought Sylvia would need stitches. I agreed. I went home to get my car and to clean up my foot with no children present to hear my screams and many swear words. It's awful having to cause yourself pain, even if in a necessary operation. My wound at least wasn't deep, and I was able to get all the dirt out with some saline and a safety pin.

I drove over, picked up my kids and took them home, and then called around to see who would be open on a holiday. There was a place up in Modbury, so I loaded the kids up, grabbed my computer since I was sure the wait would be terrible, and then we drove up. Kip fell asleep on the way up, of course, so I had to drag him around while also helping Sylvia limp from place to place, and keep up with Paul. Man, three kids is so much fun sometimes. Fortunately, there weren't many people there, and Kip slept through being transferred to three different sleeping spots (Thank goodness I have one heavy sleeper!) and so I only had to take Sylvia and Paul into the treatment room. Apparently it was a day for injuring feet. The nurse claimed we were the fifth foot injury in a row, and a little boy came in right after us with another foot injury. He was sent home after a quick inspection by the doctor, which was what I hoped for with Sylvia.

I always hope that I'm being overprotective with my kids, that I'm overreacting to a situation and that medical intervention isn't really warranted. I have never actually been sent home, though, so I think my instincts must not totally suck.

The doctor and nurse looked at it and decided it was a funny looking cut that did warrant some stitches. The doctor pulled out a syringe full of anaesthetic, at which point Paul decided Kip really did need someone to look after him. Sylvia didn't like the local, but made it through. She got three stitches, which I don't think she really noticed. I'd given her the computer while the doctor was sewing her up, and she'd decided to play Minecraft. She took one of my worlds and turned it from peaceful (no monsters) to normal (with monsters) and within seconds she had a zombie after her. Just at the moment the doctor was putting in the first stitch she yelled, "Oh my God!" and started fighting for her life. Probably a pretty good distraction for both of us, to be honest.

After being stitched up and bandaged we went home and had an easy dinner of tater tots. What a way to start a week without Derrick around!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Other side, please

Kip is just about 2 1/2 years old now and it's showing in how he communicates with me. He's been learning words left and right for a while now, but he's stringing them into sentences lately. Sorry if this is TMI, but hey, this is a record for me as much as anything.

Much of my communication with Kip revolves around breastfeeding (which I'm still doing with him). When he was about six months old I realized I could tell him to switch sides and he would, obligingly, let go and wait for me to give him the other breast. "Side" was one of his first words, "nurse minute" was one of his first phrases, and now he tells me in increasingly complex sentences that he's ready to for me to give him the other side to drink. This morning it was "Mommy, other side, please nurse minute." The grammar isn't quite there, but it's closer and closer.

It's a beautiful thing to see how my child is growing, especially with so many other things in the world to be depressed about. This is likely the last time I'll be so much around a child of this age, certainly the last time I'll breastfeed a child. I don't feel mystical about breastfeeding. Sometimes it's downright annoying when he's trying to get into my shirt, or whining at me for "nurse minute." And yet it's in the way we've learned to communicate together that I can, in many ways, see most clearly how he's developing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Boomers suck

Warning, there are some swears in here. My optimism is flagging today and I'm pissed.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pain and fear, but maybe hope

I want to say some very crude, very harsh words right now, but I'll refrain.

Watching Hillary Clinton lose two days ago now was dumbfounding and painful in a way that I don't think any other election has ever been. The polls said she had a high chance of winning. Everyone thought she was going to win, even conservatives. I thought that democrats would turn out in droves to vote against Trump.

And then they didn't.

In moments of bitterness I blame people being misogynist, for hating Hillary Clinton, whose biggest flaw looks to me like ambition. The people who buy the arguments about Benghazi and emails are looking for a reason to disqualify her. There's this visceral hatred of Hillary Clinton that I simply can't explain (though I remember thinking long ago that was a good reason to steer clear of her). I hope that hatred of her doesn't extend to all ambitious women. I'm not sure we'll get another chance to see for many decades, though.

In less bitter moments I can admit that Hillary, for all her experience, didn't offer much of a vision to the American people. She stood for the status quo, and while I thought preserving things like Obamacare and climate change accords would at least inspire people a little bit, it apparently didn't. She didn't actually stand for greater equality for POC (perhaps trying to not alienate the white people who didn't trust her anyway), so while they voted for her, their turnout wasn't as high as it was four years ago for Barak Obama. Republicans take some blame/credit for that as well as they did everything in their power to restrict voting for minorities and young people.

They know how to play to win.

Trump is at least being gracious in his win, which I didn't expect. I hope that he will actually govern the country for everyone in it and not just republicans. I hope the Real Donald Trump is more pragmatic and less bigoted than the one I've listened to for the last year. I hope my nation survives.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Day in the life, April edition

We left late because I insisted on finishing Sylvia's Easter bonnet for sharing time--the project she should have been involved in and yet I accomplished essentially by myself because Sylvia revealed its necessity on the drive home from OHSC and we had a visit from our Home teacher that I wasn't able to cancel before he showed up and after all that Sylvia went to bed rather than stay up and help me with the hat.

Fair enough. I was up until 1 am.

Because I was up so late I got up late and Friday is a morning that Derrick leaves early to go teach. He was nice enough to get the kids more or less ready, except Kip, who decided to poop just at the time we should have been leaving. Oh, and in the process of cleaning up I discovered that my ever so helpful husband had done a load of laundry (necessary since one of the kids wet the bed) and really, you just shouldn't leave laundry sitting all day long. It sours. I can not abide sour laundry.

Got the laundry up and we got out of the door just about the time Sylvia really needed to be at school. About halfway to school Sylvia announces her pants are wet.

Great.











I haven't packed any spares.

I take the boys to child care since I'm already so late for Sylvia and we need to go home anyway to get her some clothes. Paul insists that I finish his leaopard print juggling ball and that takes like two minutes and then we're gone. Finally, something's gone smoothly. Oh, and just before we leave Aman comes back for Bayan's kindy bag, so it's not just me who's having a morning, and while he's there Kip calls him "Baba", which is simply adorable.

I get Sylvia home, get her away from her tablet and changing, and while she's doing that I get some stuff going for dinner (potato pizza--dough and sliced potatoes). I make her watch a video about making friends since that's something she's complained about lately and then gather things together again so we can go.

Sylvia's school sandals are covered in dog pee.

I swear.

The only shoes Sylvia has are sneakers with no shoelaces. I get Sylvia in the car and we drive over to Target and hunt around for shoelaces. None in the kids department, none in the accessories, but I finally find them in the ladies shoe department. We pay and go and get Sylvia to school, only two hours late.

She's just in time for recess.

She's missed sharing.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

809 pictures later

Today is my last day in the US. I've been here for a month, visiting family and friends. I also went on a writing cruise. It's time to go home--I miss my family--but I'm going to miss being here among friends and family. I've only taken 809 pictures on this trip, which sounds like a lot, but most certainly doesn't capture the heart of the experience of visiting.

Still, here are a few of my favorites from the last month:






And from the cruise:
















Such an awesome experience. I wish I could come back every year, but of course I have responsibilities and a limited budget.