Tag Archives: Lucy the Maude

The Sunday We Conquered the World and Survived the Apocalypse

Here’s what we did a few Sundays ago:

Made cinnamon rolls:

IMG_20170305_085845057

Attended Stake Conference :

(No picture. Just a lot of wonderful learning from a lot of wonderful people. It’s possible that I spent part of it in the mother’s room chatting it up with a Sister in Zion-cum-beauty pageant winner about the plight of young refugee mothers and how she can help them as part of her platform. Yes, it’s wonderful and exciting stuff).

Made a carnal mess in the kitchen with beets and boiled bones:

IMG_20170305_192540168

Conquered the world:

IMG_20170305_191904391

Built shelters in the backyard, proving the offspring are ready for the apocalypse:

IMG_20170225_171003507.jpg

Yep. We do love our sabbath.

The End.

 

Advertisements

Portrait of our Morning

Taken at approximately 9:25 am:

Jane the Austen:

IMG_20170227_084548809
She practice for 30-45 minutes each morning, often in her bathrobe because it’s cold in the wilds of Connecticut.

Clive the Staples:

IMG_20170227_084423220
While J the A practices violin, Clive the Staples and Mr. the Rogers cuddle me on the couch. We alternate who is getting in their reading with me, and who is practicing math and writing. At the moment, it’s Clive the Staple’s turn to read. He’s a major fan of Frog and Toad. Note Lucy the Maude’s hair in the corner.

Mr. the Rogers:

IMG_20170227_084417838
Mr. the Rogers found new passion for writing today, due to the content.

Katherine the Great:

IMG_20170227_084436427
K the G sleeps in. Being a toddler, we let her. So on this morning, as on many mornings besides, she breakfasts while the rest of the children are already at their lessons.

Lucy the Maude:

img_20170223_163726091
L the M spends her mornings on my lap. But I didn’t photograph her this morning, so here we are on the Fancypants University Shuttle, doing what we always do: imitating kangaroo and joey.

In conclusion:

I love my children.  9:25 am is usually our most glorious time of day.

A Few of My Favorite Things:Family Home Evening Chart

On Sunday afternoons, I try to sit down with each of my children for at least 30 minutes each, doing something with only that one child, hopefully inducing meaningful conversation.

Because, you know, relationships and whatnot.

The child gets to pick the activity.

Jane the Austen likes to write or read, discuss her favorite books, and geek out over musicals and 19th century history together.

Clive the Staples likes back rubs and feet rubs, cuddles, and drawing.

Mister the Rogers likes to make treats with me, particularly cookies or caramels.

Katherine the Great likes dramatic nonsensical conversations, singing, and dancing.

Lucy the Maude generally likes to nurse, and doesn’t really get formal one on one time. She gets her loving in by default. Thank the stars for breastfeeding, snuggles, and infantile unwavering delightful sociability.

 

One Sunday afternoon, Clive the Staples decided we needed to make a family home evening chart together. So we toddled on down to the basement, found an old 2X4, and set to work with a skilsaw, sander, woodburning pen, and drill.

And my oh my, did we ever make a family home evening chart!

Towards the end, Husband the Man busted out the router, because he’s the only one who really knows how to work that baby, and gave it a fancy beveled edge.

The tags are flipped backwards, because, you know, privacy, but you get the idea.

Now, every week as we rotate everyone’s tag to a new job, I am reminded of my sweet secondborn, and how terribly fast he’s growing up.

 

The End.

Happy Sabbath

A few Sabbaths back*, Jane the Austen and Mr. the Rogers were sick, so I stayed home from Church with them and Lucy the Maude. Husband the Man took  Clive the Staples and Katherine the Great to Church, where they were (reportedly, miraculously) well behaved in the pew while he gave a talk.

Lucy the Maude, the invalids, and I curled up on my bed and watched Sound of Music, whilst I had a theological texting conversation with a friend. Because Sunday!

Later, Mr. the Rogers wanted to build an elevated block city with me while Jane the Austen took an epsom salt bath. Lucy the Maude and I joined him on the floor for urban development (a city for dinosaurs and the occasional horse) and Jane the Austen eventually also joined us, snuggled in a blanket,. Pajamas, and bathrobe, reading Harry Potter.

When the three churchgoers got home, I left to go visiting teaching. I should know better than to leave husband alone with the kitchen, because when I came back, I found he’d been playing with the food (and the children):

img_20170226_162829531
Reason 443 of Why I am Married to Husband the Man

He took the adorable deviled eggs home teaching to feed those he serves.

Ladies and gentlemen, home teaching is hot.

So is husband the man.

I love the sabbath.

Happy, happy sabbath.

 

* I binge write this blog on weekends, so you never actually get our family’s adventures in real time.

Five quick portraits

img_20170223_145505846

Mister the Rogers: Mom! Mom, Mom! I want to drive one of those when I grow up!

Me: Don’t we all, Mister the Rogers. Don’t we all.

There are some who get excited about Fancypants University for being super famous, super old, super this or that.

We get excited about the landscaping equipment.

Katherine the Great in her happy place:

IMG_20170308_104603851_HDR

 

Lucy the Maude’s reaction when I sneeze while breastfeeding:

IMG_20170311_105439555

 

Jane the Austen’s newfound pet, discovered whilst preparing the flowerbeds:

IMG_20170307_122022547_HDR (1)

Clive the Staples, who helped me make English Muffins while listening to Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot:

IMG_20170223_120842241

 

 

Museum Training (or, potty training level 2)

What you need for a grand adventure in the wilds of Urban Connecticut:

  1. Library Card (Obviously. What true adventure doesn’t involve one?)
  2. Baby wrap (one without buckles and adjustable plastic things. Too complicated)
  3. Purse with diaper in it (I gave up on diaper bags ages ago. Viva la resistance!)
  4. Progeny (count twice to make sure you’ve got them all)
  5. Umbrella Stroller (for the short of stature do weary fast)

 

It is best to museum train the children. This is like advanced potty training–one must hold in all the joy and only let it out in non-antiquity destroying ways. It’s slightly harder than potty training, because children’s bladder and bowel capacities are finite; their capacity for joy in the beautiful is NOT.

Despite the worry associated with allowing a child within sneezing distance of a priceless piece of art, the payoff is worth it. Set low expectations and leave when they still want to stay. Ask a million speculative questions about the art, and the children end up feeling a sense of ownership. They each have “their” favorite painting at Fancypants University Art Gallery. Fred the Roger’s painting is a 50 million dollar Van Gogh. And he hasn’t sneezed on it….yet.

On one of our first visits to the Fancypants University Art Gallery, the Museum Guard demonstrated the “gallery pose.” You clasp your hands behind the back and lean towards the painting. He told the children they could get as close to the art as they wished, so long as they had their hands behind their backs and didn’t touch the painting with their faces.

On this particular field trip day, we went to the library first. So as to have something to read when Mom has to stop in the middle of cutting across Fancypants University to get to Fancypants Art Gallery in order to breastfeed Lucy the Maude. As one does.

We made it for an hour of museum time on this particular afternoon before Fred the Rogers was hungry, Katherine the Great was tired, and Lucy the Maude was done tolerating a nursing cover. She prefers to dine al fresco.

If I could do it inconspicuously enough, I’d have nursed her blanketless; but even when the children are perfect museum patrons ,they are still flashing lights and sirens, drawing disproportionate amounts of attention to our little group. Me, unceremoniously flashing the staring art professor with Undergrad art history class in tow when Lucy the Maude comes unlatched to grin and coo, is just one scene too many. Yes, I know the Fancypants galleries are rife with portrayals bared nipples and nursing infants; I’m just not prepared to join their ranks.

There are coin-operated lockers for stashing our things whilst in the museum. This is to safeguard against a 9th century Chinese vase “accidentally” ending up in the preschooler’s Spiderman backpack. I understand, Fancypants. I understand.

Upon retrieving our things at the end of our cultural excursion, we found ourselves in a hallway traffic jam with a small army of Fancypants University Caterers who were preparing a Fancypants feast. They went slack-jawed and doe-eyed at the children, and the little beggars scored to melon ball fruit skewers.

And I got a Fancypants Punch Recipe, which I am dying to make:

-Ginger Ale

-Pineapple Juice

-Orange Juice

-A bunch of “grown up drinks” than I will never be “grown up” enough to drink. Because I’m drunk on life, darnit!

I don’t remember the proportions, but it will be delicious in any ratio. I’m sure of it. And it will be virgin.

And that, dear friends,

is the long story of how my children scored free melon ball skewers on field trip day.

The end.

 

 

The Morning After the Election

Was a little traumatic.

It had been a long night.

Lucy the Maude was 11 days old, and we spent the night in various levels of semi conscious nursing. Drifting in an out of sleep, but never really resting, because there’s a baby attached to me. Lucy the Maude is very, very attached.

My alarm went off at 6 am. I had set it the day before the election so I could get to the polls before the lines, so I could be home on time to care for my brood of 5, plus my friend’s brood of 5*, on that adventurous election day. Election day had been preceded by good sleep and early morning.

The early morning post election…was less than welcome.

Husband got up to silence my alarm, and crawled back into bed with my phone. He’s not the lie-around-in-bed-with-a-phone type, but this is the morning after election.

So I asked him. “Who won?”

“Trump took it.”

And then I felt sick. And a little panicked. And then sick some more.

Those three words still make me cringe. I didn’t realize how badly I didn’t want him to win until he won. I hadn’t given enough serious consideration to the possibility.

All morning, sound clips and footage I’d seen of Trump kept running through my head. And my husband’s three words, “Trump took it.” And it’s possible I cried, but I’m not admitting to that. Or I’ll blame it on being 11 days postpartum.

I looked at my daughters–newborn, toddler, preadolescent–and it was hard.

I looked at my sons–grade schoolers–and it was hard.

I thought of my new american friends, recently arrived from Africa and the middle east–mostly muslim–and it was hard.

I thought of my years on the US-Mexico border in Texas and New Mexico, of all the people there–and it was hard.

At the end of the day, it was still hard.  But at the end of the day, I was no longer in a state of panic.

Because at at the end of the day, this is what I had:

  1. a text from my husband, expressing his love for me and referring me to 2 Kings 6:16.
  2. My five beautiful children, safe and sound and growing.
  3. Health insurance that made Mr. the Roger’s dermatology appointment possible
  4. A date with Mr. the Rogers for a post-dermatology donut
  5. A text conversation with some dear (Muslim, immigrant) friends. They were frank about their disappointment, but that was dwarfed by their gratitude to live in a democracy, by their patriotism, by their support of the parts of Trump they agreed with. Their pragmatism, optimism, and confidence was an example and a blessing to me.
  6. Speeches from Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump expressing graciousness towards one another and belief in the peaceful transition of power. That they were saying these things instead of inciting violence is so rare in the course of human events that I feel blessed to witness it.
  7. Trust in God’s love for me, you, that orange haired man, and the people he doesn’t understand***

Am I happy with the outcome of the election? No.

Do I worry about what sort of damage may be done? Yes…but..

He is one man.

He is (blessedly) not my husband. Or your husband, probably.

He is a child of God. And so are the people who voted for him. And they, like the hypothetical immigrant terrorists he fears, like me, like you, can all grow.

Contrary to every pop song ever, we can choose how we feel. It’s hard, it takes practice, but it’s possible.

I can choose to love instead of fear. I can choose to love** at all times, and in all things and in all places.

Because, unlike the outcome of this election, this is something I can control.

God bless those who voted, and those who did not. God bless the president, even if he must be the orange haired man, to make wise and good choices. God bless us to not freak out and hate our neighbors and countrymen over their various feelings about the orange-haired man, or because of their fears. God bless us to choose love over fear, to choose acting over being acted upon.

God bless America.

 

*Yes, at 10 days postpartum, we spent the day with 10 kids. It’s less daunting than it sounds. Friend’s kids are ridiculously well behaved children. Also, I had my mother in law and brother in law with me, helping with cooking and cleaning and kitchen window replacement. They’re remarkable humans. Also, I had salt and vinegar chips, and lunchmeat and a plethora of other delicious, easy things to eat, also courtesy of friend. Election day was a good day. It was the last day I could fantasize over having my favorite candidate elected against all odds.

 

**See also: Stand as a witness of God

***that’s a lot of people.