Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Wednesday Things

I've been reading (/gazing-at) the book Dinotopia with the dudes, mostly Hadrian, the last few weeks.  It's a good one that I think too many people have forgotten.  The paintings and illustrations alone!  Hadrian takes it to his room most nights just to look at as he falls asleep. I bought the first one - we're going to check out the sequel from the library.  Might buy that one too if it's even close to the first.

Hadrian's trying out Taekwondo, starting on Monday.  He's very excited to learn about "being a ninja and kicks and stuff."  He may be sliiiiightly disappointed in what he learns at the community rec center.  But this was the thing he said he wanted to try out.  

Pic is Hadrian in my grandpa's pilot hat/goggles from the 50s/60s.

Ansel still talks like a baby?  Oh well.  He wants to practice his new pedal bike every day. We're still getting the hang of the concept of pedaling in general at this point.  

Today he came with me to find some ladybugs and we released them after dinner on one of our Box Elder trees that's become a bit overrun with aphids.  We'll see if it makes a difference.  At the very least, we've given 500 ladybugs a good chance at life.  

Also I was thinking about how he never speaks loudly - doesn't really yell either.  I wonder if his tonsils make it so he can't be loud?  Not sure.  Just an idea.  

He's very much into helping with cooking and baking.  He and I made some chocolate raspberry lava cakes in mugs last week - which were delicious.  Two thumbs up to our new kids cookbook.  It's been all winners so far.

For the first time in Paul's entire life, he had a "beginning of a cavity."  He took the news very hard.  I think part of his identity may have been "person who has perfect dental health" and was thrown into a bit of a crisis this week.  He got a filling today - was very nervous about it - and when he came home couldn't stop talking about how weird it felt to have a numbed face.  Kept trying to do simple face things and sending me pics of his attempts while I was in meetings.  Here was, "Trying to make a kissy face."  I'd just hear him out in the kitchen laughing  and then get a picture on my phone a few seconds later.  

We made Spaghetti alle Vongole tonight (aka just clam pasta).  Something we made a few times in Denmark and more in Georgia.  It was one of toddler Hadrian's, and Paul's, favorite meals, but we'd completely forgotten about it. Harmon's came through for us with a pound and a half of (as fresh as we could get in Utah) littleneck clams and we had it all made in 25 minutes.  It was just as good as we all remembered too though Ansel was unconvinced.  He stuck to his banana and buttered bread.  

Both kids had a chance to sleep over at the grandparent's new house last weekend and basically it's all they talk about right now.  While they were gone, Paul and I kind of stayed in our regular routine - which I know sounds boring, but it was kind of nice to do the same things, just slightly less harried and slightly more quiet.  We still got our Friday Night Costa Vida Salads (a habit/tradition that came out of the pandemic), watched a documentary, read, fell asleep.  In the morning we did some yardwork, went on a walk (to get some Boba Tea from University Place), took naps, read books.  I think if there was a hierarchy of who had the best weekend there it was #1 - obviously the boys, #2 - us, #3 - my exhausted parents.  We thank them for their sacrifice.

Oh yeah P.S. Hadrian got into the Chinese Program (or so they tell me but I'm still scared because it was all just over the phone and not in writing and maybe it's all a trick I don't even know but I really hope it's true it's probably true?).  So that means Ansel will almost definitely get in as well.  Which means I guess we should start saving up for a China trip in a few years.  


Sunday, May 2, 2021



Got Hadrian's passport renewed.  It came yesterday.  Apparently he's now "Adrian".  So....that's...not going to work out for us.  Now we have to figure out how to get that fixed.  I hope we can...easily.

Also please admire his whale picture with washi tape ocean.

Ansel is solidly in a "talk like a baby" phase.  It's...weird?  

Today we went on a walk, just us four, around the neighborhood.  We played Hadrian's favorite game, "Guess the Animal" (basically a form of 20 questions) as we looped around some roads they'd never been on before.  Lovely, perfect day for it.  And fun to just talk with them.  

I had a long weekend and I'm in denial about going back to work tomorrow.  I'm worried that's maybe not a good sign about my work?  Or maybe it's because I had such a nice time being with family.

This summer, our little school the boys go to has had to increase their summer camp prices to more than double the regular school-year prices.  It would mean, for both boys to go over the summer, about $2880/mo.  Which we just won't be able to do.  So we're going to wade into the world of 30 hr/week nannies.  It's a little intimidating to try and figure out how to post an ad and interview and hire someone.  But being by two very large universities, I think we'll have a good pool of student candidates?  I'm not sure.  It will be...interesting.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Nothing in Particular


Made this banner to celebrate my parents' full vaccination, but taped the second word on backwards.  We're been trotting out the Noitaniccav banner for our own vaccination milestones too.

It will soon be the best month of the year.  The month in which I basically get two parties for myself, approximately only one week apart.  And I get to plant stuff.  This year I think we're getting 9-13 different kinds of tomatoes.  Just for fun.  

Yesterday (for me) and today (for Paul), we are now, as best a family can be, officially vaccinated against COVID-19.  The first thing I did was restart my Orange Theory membership.  It was weird to be back in that little gym - but I was so glad that I wasn't so scared anymore.  Some things were different, but most was the same.  I liked seeing the old couple I remembered and feeling how the treadmills are still awesome (they have some kind of...bouncy give? to them that is really satisfying).  I absolutely lost basically...all...the tiny gains in upper body strength I had made last-last winter though.  I did one bicep curl on the weight I remembered using before and literally laughed out loud.  Oh well.  That's all to be expected.  Point is, I burned 550 calories in an hour and today I can't lift my arms over my head and I'm so happy about it.

Paul is so excited to go back to the UVU gym too.  Apparently their treadmills have screens that make it look like you're running through various places in Germany/England/Spain/France/Switzerland.  He's excited to "travel" again.

On the information sheet I had to fill out to get my membership going again, it asked me, "When were you in your best physical condition?"  For me it had to be senior year in college when I was on the Ballroom Team (not the fancy one. The "locally-touring" one).  I was dancing 1-2 hours every day and just walking to-from classes and my apartment.  I wasn't "working out" at all.  I've never been very interested in "working out" actually.  Much better if it's built into my day - living in Boston without a car, working and going to school on a sprawling campus, only having bikes in Europe.  I miss living in places designed to make simple built-in healthy things the norm.  It's one of the main reasons we looked in this very particular neighborhood actually.  On the face of it, it's not any different than any other place.  But it's a mile away on connected sidewalks to quite a lot of things.  Parks, library, two very nice mall/commercial/entertainment complexes, schools, a ton of restaurants, Trader Joes...  I hope we can figure out how to take advantage of that more.

What else....mmm.  We think we finally have enough saved to repipe our house.  We're getting quotes this week on that.  It will be a huge pain but also a huge relief to just get it over with.

We're finally going to Oregon again - after the pandemic shut down our UVU Field Trip in 2020.  In a way, this may be better because we won't have to worry about a bunch of students too.  On this first return, I think it's good to just be us.  We've rented a little one bedroom house by Bastendorff Beach and we'll road trip there and back.  I'm looking forward to it so much.

Oh and we also did our first mini family trip over a long weekend a couple weeks ago when we were in-between vaccinations.  We went to say goodbye to my grandmother (who is fully vaccinated thanks to me and my sisters, and who is moving to AZ) in St. George.  Man.  St. George.  It's like a whole thing now.  I never thought much of St. George but this last trip we kept looking at each other and saying....maybe we this more often?  Snow Canyon was particularly great with the two boys.

Then we drove the loooooong way home through Zion, on the 12, past Bryce, through Grand Staircase, through Boulder Mountain (BOULDER MOUNTAIN!  Who knew??).  Spent the night in Torrey and did the Hickman Bridge hike with the boys the next morning in Capitol Reef. (And, of course, had some pie in Fruita.) It was kind of ridiculously idyllic.

Also?  ALSO. Grand Staircase Escalante???  Route 12??????  It's SO amazing and weird and beautiful.  That was maybe in my top 5 best drives I've ever done.  

Friday, March 26, 2021



3-year old opens the bedroom door and whisper-yells, "I need to go potty! Mom! I neeeeeed to go potty! Mom! MOM!" as he stands immediately adjacent to the hallway bathroom. 

I whisper-yell back, "Ok. Go potty." 

Him: "OK!" Exit to potty. 


Sunday, March 21, 2021

The 3-Year Wall

Sunday mornings are very therapeutic.  One of us goes downstairs and sets out a breakfast for the boys, the other sets up PBS Kids video streaming.  And then we get an entire morning - 6:00am - 9:00am to talk.

This morning I was hand-waving about how I can't quite pin it down but there's some impending mental breakdown or disturbance in the force or something that I see coming.  Something's just starting to feel weird here.  Was it all the stress and bursts of frustration and fear that came with this crazy COVID-y year?  Is it this latent problem I have of feeling that I no longer am welcome in a culture that I grew up being told was the only place I'd ever belong?  Was it because Harmon's has been completely out of Clausen's Dill Pickles for four weeks in a row?  What was it?

And Paul, in his imminently Paul way (I don't know how to describe this), responded simply, "It's the 3-Year Wall."

"The what?"

"You know.  The 3-Year Wall.  We're coming up on the wall."


And then he goes on to point out that our entire adult lives (and pretty much my entire LIFE life) we've never lived in a place longer than 3 years.  We've actually never lived at a single address for longer than 2.5 years before.  And in July, we're going to cross that 3-year line here in Utah.

And so everything feels weird because everything in us is saying that it's time to leave and try something completely new.  Time to start giving everything away and researching bike paths and "best restaurants" in wherever-we-go-next.  Time to start the emotional distancing to spare us too much pain when we have to say goodbye.  Time to go.  But instead, we're....not.  For the foreseeable future.

"Yeah, I feel it too.  Even at work." Paul went on.  "I keep thinking, 'Well, what now? What next?'  And I think it's even stronger because of tenure coming up.  I don't have a life template after that.  It was always, 'Just make it to tenure.' but I didn't think about what to do after that.  Not that it's all bad.  It means I can do anything I want really.  But it's strange.  So much time and freedom with no obvious structure."

"Yeah!  And!" I jumped in, "Like, my whole life template was basically to go to BYU, graduate/get married, and have kids.  But now, we're not having any more kids.  And so, what's the template for life...for...for I mean the majority of my life?  The rest of my life??"

We thought about all this in silence for a while.  

A very enthusiastic bird sang on our windowsill.

So! I said.  We'll make a plan.  AND here's what we need to do first: we need to figure out the distinct cultural regions of the United States...

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