It has happened...

...I have surrendered to summer. After 5 weeks of trying to keep a good bedtime schedule and doing some math work, reading and writing every afternoon, I've given up. My children have gone nearly completely feral.
But here's the thing - there are only so many summers of childhood. Only so many summers when irrigation ditches are THE COOLEST way to spend a sunny afternoon. Only so many summers when fairies live in the hazelnut bush. Only so many summers of popsicles, splash pads, sunburns, sparklers. In short, there are a limited number of summers of complete freedom. They don't have to worry about making their own lunches, or budgets, or bedtimes.

In the end I guess I don't care if they are 'behind' in kindergarten, or if they are getting totally balanced meals, or even if I know exactly where they are every minute of the day. I have let go, and it feels perfect.



Adventurous Amelia...she spent all day running around outside, and this is how she absolutely insisted on going to bed. She really does remind me of her namesake sometimes!


Old Europe

When I was about 9 months old, my mother and father flew to Germany, leaving me with relatives. I think it partly explains why my whole life I've felt like I really belong in Europe, I'm just staying with relatives. That and I think most of my past lives were spent in France.
Recently my dear friend Ann and I were discussing the changes we've noticed in Europe in recent years. They feel like drastic changes, happening quickly. Of course, cultures must evolve and change or they will lose vitality and eventually disappear. But it feels like the things that have defined European culture for centuries are quickly fading. Like families living in major cities, cafe culture, or larg(er) families. Small things too, like Ann mentioned, buses smell the exact same in any major city around the world. The amount of villas in Italy that are for sale, neglected or outright abandoned is heartbreaking. Churches are empty, and while the architecture remains the same, the purpose has become depressingly mercantile...like housing Starbucks...*tears*. Globalization and instant communication have made the world smaller, but perhaps at the expense of the individuality of cultures and quirky nationalities. It makes me sad. I live for cultural quirks, art and meaningful experiences in gorgeous architecture.
Ann and I aren't the only ones mourning the older Europe, right?


17 stitches and MM

Amelia blew my socks off. Without any sedation, she held still for 2 shots in her lip, and 17 stitches. She told me she was "brave like Joan of Arc." That's my girl! When all was done, I told her she could pick a toy from the Disney Store for being so brave. She chose 3 small stuffies from the new movie 'Inside Out,' one for her, Josephine and Hazel.
Later that evening, Eloise had a blue spell, not because she was in pain or scared or had difficulty breathing, but from a classic terrible-twos-tantrum. What could possibly make her so angry? She didn't get a stuffy like her sisters...oh my.
I told the children today we had to make another trip to the Disney Store so Eloise could choose her own Inside Out stuffy. I brought her to the stand, and handed her one of the dolls. She tossed it overboard, and wriggled out of her stroller. She knew what she wanted:
Eloise loves, adores, cherishes Mickey Mouse. Her look clearly said, "I'll take two, please!" I heard Tom Hardy's voice in my head, "You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling." I convinced her that perhaps a stuffed Mickey to fit in her hand was more her size. 


5 worst trends of 2015 (so far...)

1. Rompers are not acceptable adult clothing.
2. I can tell you what my kids would do if they opened their bento lunchbox to find one of these paleo lunches...they'd pack it back up, tell me they forgot their lunchbox, and ask the cafeteria lady for a chicken patty.
3. I am obsessed with yoga. But sometimes it just looks stupid. 
4. Nail art is the single greatest waste of time womankind has ever thought of.
5. If Pinterest shoots me one more ad for a "Cheap Sexy V/O Neck," our relationship is at an end. I would never appear in public wearing anything described as "cheap." Lastly, no one actually wants to be a Kardashian. 


life, the old trickster

About 3/4 through this day I thought I had better record what a typical day for me is like during this period of my life. Because its a bit insane.

7 am: Wake up, make breakfast for everyone (waffles for the girls, steel cut oats with strawberries for Trevor and I). I clean 4 little girl faces, brush and braid hair, toothbrushes, shoes, and schoolbags. While this is happening, I let Eloise make an enormous mess "eat" some breakfast.
I do dishes, I do laundry.
I run 1.3 miles, and I listen to a lecture on Russian history 1850-1860. I want to read more Tolstoy. Then I practice 15 minutes of morning yoga while Eloise and Hazel play in the rice box.
I prepare Eloise's feeding bag and G-tube (this takes 20-30 minutes).
I take a five minute shower and blow dry my hair.

11:20 am: This is the drop-dead time I can leave the house to make it to pick up Josephine and Amelia from kindergarten in Provo on time. Getting Hazel out the door is like watching the continental drift. So. Painfully. Slow.
I do my make-up while in line waiting for the twins to get out of kindergarten.
I have a conversation with their teacher through the car window while Eloise is screaming madly at me because she dropped her toy.
During the drive I have one earbud listening to more Russian history.
We arrive home, I make Udon Miso soup with mushrooms, carrots, snow peas, and the fresh noodles I made yesterday. Eloise tries all of it, but spits out 80% of it onto her bib, lap and the floor.
I do dishes, I do laundry. Meanwhile I listen to Terry Gross interview Chris Impey about his experience teaching astronomy to Buddhist monks in Nepal, and I am engrossed.
I make slow cooker black beans and set them to cook for dinner.

2:00 pm: I do more work on Eloise's feeding bag and mix her more Nutren Junior, and put her down for a nap.
I make and knead dough for baguettes.
Story and tea time for the three older girls. I make them Little Dicken tea with cream and we eat the delicious shortbread cookies I made last night. We read poems from Now We Are Six, by A.A. Milne, and they have to listen for rhyming words.
Instead of homework today (we already turned in the last packet for the year), I give them a sewing lesson. Each girl poked their finger and got angry when they slipped the thread out of the needle, but asked to have another lesson tomorrow.
I do dishes.
The older girls have some play time on the iPad. I rest for exactly 10 minutes while the baguettes bake.

3:30 pm: My mom shows up to watch the other girls while I take Josephine to the pediatrician with an ear infection. She has a mild cold, but because her allergies are so severe the doctor suggests I take her to see an allergy specialist at Primary Children's Medical Center. I ask, "Is there anywhere else I could take her? I'd really rather not be...there."
The pharmacy doesn't have the correct dosage of antibiotic to treat Jo's ear infection. Phone calls ensue.
We come home, and I thank my parents for watching the other 3.
Dinner preparations. Trevor comes home.
I spend 20 minutes tending the rose bushes in the backyard.
I spend an hour finishing the elastic waist in the dress I'm making, and hem the skirt with gorgeous creamy lace. I listen to the next history of Russia lecture, 1860-1890. I contemplate Karl Marx.
I give Josephine her medications that miraculously we procured.
I prepare Eloise's feeding bag, read and then sing to Eloise, put her to bed.
I snuggle and pray with each girl.
I vacuum the downstairs, and do laundry.
I practice bedtime goodnight yoga.
I write this blog post.

You know, when I was in graduate school I thought I was so busy. Life is an old trickster.