Thursday, May 18, 2017

I am the highway

For the first four years of Derrick's and my marriage we spent anywhere from a week to a month driving around the southwest, visiting various places in the southwest, but always including the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado. The whole time we listened to music--usually Derrick's CD's. Audioslave featured prominently in the rotation, and so now when I hear tracks from the album it feels like I'm listening to the soundtrack of Derrick's and my early travels together.

It was with great sadness that I heard Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Audioslave and Soundgarden, died yesterday. We've lost quite a number of musicians I grew up listening to, and those losses have hit hard in their own ways. The soundtrack of dead musicians from my childhood is growing so long, and will inevitably consume them all.

And yet there will is new music and there will be new musicians. There will be new people to listen and sing along, and more drives to take through beautiful desert vistas and flower-draped mountain passes. There are more words to sing and more dances to dance and words to write, only now by different hands and voices and feet.

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!