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I've noticed that I'm spending a lot of time teaching my daughter (7) stuff that I'm simultaneously reading about as Stuff Women Internalize That Can Cause Problems — not making waves, not kicking up a fuss about things, trying to accommodate other people, giving a lot of attention to other people's feelings, being deferential and respectful to people in authority.

On the other hand, with E it's on the level of "not making waves" = "not literally screaming loudly because you bumped your leg mildly in a way that your two-year-old sibling just did and didn't even make any noise," and "being deferential and respectful" at 7-year-old diva stage corresponds to "don't yell 'Don't say that!' to everything Mom says, and in general give Mom the courtesy of not yelling given that Mom doesn't yell at you." So… I think I am okay here. But I find myself talking a lot about how it's totally okay to scream and/or be super non-deferential and impolite if someone is trying to get you to do something that you're uncomfortable with. And I still worry: am I finding the right balance? Am I going too far in one way or another? Where's the line?

(I'm trying to raise the boy and girl more-or-less identically, but this is actually a difference — while I try very hard to make sure that I don't teach E anything about being polite and accommodating that I wouldn't also teach A, I probably will not lean so hard with him on the "but if someone harasses you, you can totally go off on them!" because I expect A to have a lot more in the way of examples for that. I mean, I think it's still important for him to know that as a little kid! But more and more I suspect I will de-stress or even work against that view as he grows up, whereas it will probably get more important to me to stress that for my daughter. I think. Who knows. This parenting thing is hard.)
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I’m still alive! Things that have taken up my time lately:

-Kiddos. For some reason two kids is much more mentally tiring than one. A. started daycare in January so we’ve all been adjusting to that. E. is probably doing Too Much Stuff, oh well, and I feel like logistics for her takes up a lot of my mental and spare time space. I can’t wait until I have to do logistics for both of them.

-After winter break which was great because we didn’t see many people (we saw D’s sister’s family and parents, which was really fun) and therefore were actually healthy for the ENTIRE WEEK following the break, we are continuing our side hobby of getting sick on a regular basis. I shouldn’t complain, because by this time we all have really great immune systems and so it’s actually not very bad much of the time (kids get cranky, I feel mildly crappy, D ranges from feeling mildly to fairly crappy, but it’s a far cry from when E started daycare and we all felt horrible with horrible cold symptoms for weeks at a stretch), but it is still annoying and takes up more time in reduced efficiency and dragging around than any actual enjoyable hobby we have.

-I have been called to be Gospel Doctrine teacher in my ward. It’s a lot more work than my previous calling (teaching in Relief Society, the women’s class) — I’ve been sinking kind of a lot of my free time into it -- and some weeks have gone much better than others, and I just really love it and feel like I’m meant to be doing this, like I can really add something to people's lives. Relatedly, I’ve also been spending a lot of time in the last week or so writing a lot of email to G., a woman in my ward who is having a lot of the issues with belief that I had about 10-15 years ago. I might post some of the stuff about faith and belief (and the rather quirky LDS theology thereof) and how I deal with flat-out contradictions.

So… one thing I haven’t been doing is reading SF published in 2016. I have So Like the Lightning, The Obelisk Gate, and Necessity on my list to read. Anything else?
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My mom and dad recently moved, and they just brought me a bunch of my junk from their house. In the bottom of one of the boxes they brought I found… yes, indeed… the MacGyver fanfic I wrote as a young teenager (I must have been in ninth grade or so). It is… I'll just say, wow. It's a look into my teenage psyche that is a little horrifying, as these things are, and is also hilariously a record of what I was reading around that time.

It's a series: two ~40-page works, and a short story (10 pages).

The first fic contains the following things:

-a Mary Sue who is the smartest and bestest at everything and everyone is half in love with her
-on the other hand, she does not get the guy
-on the third hand, her sister does (in a not-even-slightly-disguised May-December relationship! What were you thinking, teen!me? Actually, I think I had just read Damia, is what happened)
-then the Mary Sue dies tragically but also super heroically

The sequel fic I barely remembered at all, so it was… umm… very interesting to read. In this fic and the short story is a time-traveling gigantic worldwide shadow plot/conspiracy, because those are the best conspiracies (I am rather pleased to find that this love, at least, has remained constant). …teen!me actually had a good point that Murdoc makes more sense as a time-traveling conspirator than as an assassin.

Other things I did not remember about this sequel fic:

-a multigenerational and also crossover MacGyver family tree (in pencil) that manages to work in Sherlock Holmes as an ancestor of MacGyver and Spock as a descendant

-an explanation to how MacGyver (and other characters like Spock) manage never to get shot, etc.: they have genetically-transmitted luck

-a whole lot of vaguely unhappy marriages due to the genetically-transmitted luck trying to propagate itself (yes, I'd also read Dune around this time)

-characters who are named after all my favorite names in Patricia Kennealy's hilariously OTT crackfic "Keltic" books, which I was reaaally into at the time (I love them! But they are Arthurian crackfic!)

-MacGyver dies tragically (teen!me was really into angst)

-MacGyver's daughter, Aeron, is the heroine; she is named after and is very much like one of the heroines in the Kennealy books, down to having an angsty revenge plot after MacGyver's death

-Aeron and her friends have psychic powers, because of course they do (I had clearly also just read the Anne McCaffrey Pegasus books, and also the Judith Tarr historical fantasies)

-Aeron INVENTS STARFLIGHT, because she is that sort of character (Zefram Cochrane is her pseudonym) (this was of course before First Contact)

-Then Aeron might have turned into a dolphin?? (it was, of course, one of those ~edgy ambiguous~ endings where her body's never found but there's this seemingly sentient dolphin that hangs out with her family etc etc.)

-a lot of quotations/dialogue/scenes lifted wholesale from whatever I was reading at the time, in best Cassandra Claire style; in addition to the previous works, I spotted Ender's Game and various John M. Ford works, as well as a couple which I couldn't place but know came from somewhere else...

In conclusion, I really want to pat teen!me on the head.
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(note to [personal profile] ambyr: I have also been working on a long Byzantine chain for… uh… six months now, in little bits and pieces. I'm hoping I can actually finish it up this month. I'll try to post a pic when I do.)

So as you probably all know about me by now, I get these obsessions that last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year long. They're about different things, but fairly reliably I can count on having an obsession every couple of years on some sort of jewelry-making, particularly with gemstones. Cut because apparently once I start talking about shiny things, I don't shut up. )

Pictures! )
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A: is the most charming oh-my-gosh-he's-a-toddler-now in the world. He smiles delightedly and even laughs when you play with him! He really enjoys clapping songs and tries to clap along! And doesn't cry when milk is spilled! He wants to Be Helpful and when he sees me put toys in a bin, he toddles over and tries to do it too!

More toddlering. )

E: still really likes dinosaurs, although it's not the all-consuming obsession it was several months ago.

She's doing really well. More. )

Me: I feel like the combo of waking up with A. and having this cold (again, with almost no symptoms except being tired, which is a big improvement over the early years with E., but my focus is shot to heck) has completely tanked my productivity. AND E. is finishing up the school year, which necessitates a bunch of end-of-year rituals, much of which I'm supposed to be present for. But I am hopeful this will all calm down soon. Very soon. I hope. Ideally before things heat up at work (lately they have been pretty slow, which has worked out). Not much stuff. )
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"Mike, you want to discuss nature of humor. Are two types of jokes. One sort goes on being funny forever. Other sort is funny once. Second time it's dull. This joke is second sort."
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Heinlein

I read that years ago and thought, "That's going to be a really useful distinction once I have kids."

Well… yes and no.

It is a useful distinction! But it turns out that when you tell a slightly-ASD kindergartener that some jokes are "funny-once" and some are "funny-always" (or even "funny-more-than-once") it turns out that she immediately comes to the conclusion — and, I mean, it's a logical one! — that "funny-more-than-once" means funny again, RIGHT NOW. And right after that! And right after that!

So, we had a conversation about how the frequency of something that is funny more than once can change fairly dramatically. Some things are funny every month or so, but not any more often than that. That dinosaur joke that you look so adorable making? Is adorably funny more than once, but maybe wait an hour or so before telling it again. The bad pun that Daddy made is funny a couple of times in a row, but then after that you have to let it sit for a day before it's funny again. I know that you think how your schoolmate's calculator threw an error is the funniest thing you've ever seen, but in fact it is only funny once a day or so. (Hilariously, this happened yesterday; she then made sure to tell me the story again this morning.)

Baby laughing is adorable pretty much constantly, yes.

And we had another conversation about how Daddy might think something was always funny (e.g., stealing Mommy's food), but Mommy might think the same thing was only funny once, or maybe twice, or maybe funny several times but only once every couple of days or so. So it's person-dependent as well as frequency-sensitive.

AND this week we've been having an extended conversation on how Mommy might ordinarily find Thing X funny, but when Mommy is in a hurry and we are trying to do other tasks so we won't be late, Thing X is much, much, much, much less funny, and will be rather funnier once we are no longer in a hurry, or at least in the car.

In conclusion, humor is hard and Heinlein simplified it quite a bit :)
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By "V" I of course mean velociraptor.


(D got E a cake mix today and they had a lot of fun with it together after dinner. The design is E's, and the execution is D's.)
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I have ALL SORTS of feelings about jury duty. I was on a civil case that involved a two-car collision. The occupants of one of the cars (the Plaintiffs) were suing the driver of the other car (the Defendant) for negligence. (The driver of the Plaintiffs' car died, and the Plaintiffs suffered a lot of injuries.) The Plaintiffs' car had been turning left at a T intersection (they had the stop sign), and the Defendant (who had no stop sign) basically ran into them.

This got long. )

I do feel sorry for the Plaintiffs, who were in a terrible accident through no fault of their own, and who may or may not have even been aware of what they were signing up for. I also feel sorry for the Defendant, who got dragged through this awful thing. Be careful on the road, you guys.

Anyway, it was very interesting, I'm glad I did it, although I worried about my job a lot (thank goodness it was my own project I was stepping out on), and it was hard on our family — and if I got called again while nursing (which is very unlikely to ever happen again) I'd try to put it off until I wasn't nursing. Our court is not that friendly to nursing mothers, and only allows you to postpone three months (!) before reporting, but I could probably have reported and asked for a postponement from the judge (and repeated as necessary) until I wasn't nursing/pumping during the day any more, ugh.

[edited 1-14-16 to use the right word, thanks [personal profile] lightgetsin, blergh]
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I'm still alive. Mostly. In the last month, my life has been swallowed by the following:

a) the stomach flu that has been Going Around (fortunately, neither D nor A got it),

b) JURY DUTY, FINALLY DONE (this ate more than two weeks of my life -- and, because it was longer hours and much less flexible than my job, cast D in the role of Primary Parent for the first time since A was born, which was almost worth all the rest of it, but not really. I actually feel really good about doing my civic duty! But the case itself I have horribly mixed feelings about now),

c) our nanny being hospitalized for depression last week (I'm really, really grateful that she got help, and really concerned about her, and at the same time this has meant all my free time not in jury duty was spent either trying to figure out how A was going to be taken care of (I ended up calling in almost all the favors that I have) or looking for a new long-term child-care solution (it becoming clear that nanny's condition was serious enough that she's probably going to go back to her family in a week or two), which I think we've found, and let me just say that I don't know what I would have done before,

d) the cold that has been Going Around, which all of us got, though fortunately A had no symptoms except waking up every two hours inconsolable at night, which was quite bad enough, and

e) getting ready for vacation.

Note that the things that usually consume my December are not on that list: a) work (I have charged 6 actual work hours in the month of December, ARGH) b) music (for the first time since E was born I have actual zero music commitments in the month of December because of arranging vacation so that I couldn't be there for any of it) c) Yuletide (my assignment was done in November, and much of a treat, which I've been nibbling at during jury duty breaks, but only one treat, and at a very leisurely pace) and d) usual Christmas emotional labor-ish things like giving teachers gifts and sending Christmas cards (D and E made brownies one day and the teachers got those, whee).

...Christmas cards might be sent from my sister's house. (If I've known you for a while and you'd like a card and I don't have your address, PM it to me and I... might?... get around to sending you one before the new year, depending on exactly how overscheduled my sister wants to make Christmas :) )
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I am so tired of ants! We get sugar ants every year, when it gets hot and dry. This year has been much hotter and dryer than usual, so the ants have been worse than I've ever seen them before.

It's not that we get the ant invasions with hundreds of ants pouring into the house because they've found a small crumb on the floor, although we do. The ant invasions, I've found, can be dealt with by using Terro ant traps. (Tip: Terro ant traps are the only thing we have ever found that actually work to get rid of ants. And we have tried lots of other things: other ant traps, ant spray, flour, vinegar... At the local hardware store in the summer there is a big hole in the ant trap section where the Terro ant traps are stocked because people have made a run for them, while all the other sorts of ant traps are fully stocked because they don't work.)

But for some reason the ants just... kind of... like to hang out in our house. We'll get, like, five or ten of them just meandering around the floor on some unfathomable ant errand. These ants don't seem to care about the ant traps, either. The problem is that they are everywhere -- five or ten in the bathroom, in the kitchen, on the bookshelf, worst of all on the bed -- and they don't seem to mind crawling on people, either. It turns out that if I have to have a bug crawling on me, sugar ants set off my bug squick less than any other possible bug, so I guess that's good? But it's really annoying!
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This baby is basically the greatest thing in the world. He likes to look at me! (Less now that he's discovered The World! Sooooo many things to look at! And cram in one's mouth! But occasionally he will still look at me!) I can get him to laugh consistently by "jumping" him! (And oh boy, his sister is, as far as he's concerned, the Greatest Comedian Ever. All she has to do is laugh and he will laugh right back at her. It's amazing to watch. I wonder if he can tell that she's qualitatively different than an adult, because he definitely thinks she is way more exciting than anyone else in the world.) He likes to listen to music!

We call him "Emoticon Baby" because when he's in a good mood (i.e., when he's had enough sleep), his smile looks pretty much exactly like this: :D

He snuggles. I look back at what I wrote about E at the same age, and she did a lot of fun things and had the most adorable smile (which she still has), but she never snuggled. Several people mentioned at the time that I held E. as if she were a sack of potatoes, and I've been going along for years thinking that I was such a terrible mother that I didn't know how to hold a baby. It turns out... it's because she would go limp, in fact like a sack of potatoes, when one held her. Her nanny mentioned that to us, but I didn't realize how much easier and more natural it was to hold a baby when the baby snuggles against you. (I didn't really hold other people's babies very much because I felt very self-conscious about being deficient in holding babies.)

He needs to nap more. My mom is watching him until our babysitter can start, which is really great of her, but I think it's hard for her to let him cry, which he sometimes needs to do to sleep more. I was actually worried about him, that he was getting irritable and not doing eye contact and not smiling as much, but then he crashed and had a long nap yesterday, and afterwards he was practically a different baby, super smiley and happy.

He's at that sweet spot right now where he can lie on his tummy and prop himself up on his hands and look around interestedly, but he's NOT MOBILE YET. The best! He's gonna crawl a lot earlier than E. did, and I'm so not looking forward to having to babyproof everything. Babyproofing seems a lot harder with a five-year-old around...
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So, I keep intending to talk about this here, and I keep not doing so. About six months ago E. was diagnosed with (very mild, very-high-functioning) ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Read more... )
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Last week Baby A had a really large burp, and I laughed and called him a purple worm. E wanted to know what the joke was, so I started telling her about NetHack. She was enthralled by everything I told her, especially after I mentioned that you started with a pet, which often was a dog. (Lately she has been obsessed with doggies, mostly along the lines of saying wistfully, "I wish we had a doggie!")

So for the last three evenings D has been playing NetHack with E (maybe fifteen minutes each evening), using the Absurd Tileset (which apparently is no longer really extant? Anyway). E loves it! She especially, of course, loves the pet doggie. But she is also really excited about killing monsters and picking up gold and the different kinds of traps in the Mines!

Mostly I am posting this because last night, when they had their fifteen-minute NetHack time, E said happily, "Maybe tonight I will finish the game!"

D was all, "Umm... probably not tonight."

(It probably took both of us a... couple of months? playing a couple of hours a day, to ascend in NetHack.)
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-Happy Easter, um, three days late :) The first Easter in a number of years I have spent at one church -- D's (mine had General Conference this weekend, and I have begged off from Catholic choir for the foreseeable future) -- and doing zero choir singing. ZERO. So weird! I felt extremely decadent and a bit guilty. I had mad thoughts of running off with the baby and singing with the Catholic choir after all, but then sanity (and fatigue) prevailed.

-So, a couple of days ago I wrote (in the unposted draft of this post) that I was getting a little tired of the little milk-demanding pooping lump, even though he is a very good, very placid, very-good-napping, not-fussy milk-demanding lump. But then yesterday the eye contact achievement was unlocked, so that was pretty great! I'm waiting somewhat impatiently for smiles, though I know that's at least several weeks out.

-Last night he slept for FOUR HOURS STRAIGHT, which as far as I'm concerned is near-miraculous, his previous record being something like 2.5. Of course, he was up every hour or so after that, demanding all the food he didn't get during that time.

-So this baby is hilarious. In particular: I am continually amazed by how much he knows instinctually as regards food -- I know not every baby can manage this, but this baby, from birth, could open his mouth super wide when he's hungry, latch on pretty much instantaneously, use a quick motion to stimulate letdown and a slow one to maximize drinking volume -- it's pretty amazing. And yet, with all that, what he can't do is figure out where the nipple is. He's a little better now that I think his eyes work a little better, but he still often hares off in some other direction entirely, or, even more hilariously, angles his head backwards, as if there were some kind of milk waiting for him behind his head. It's a good thing he isn't a puppy having to root around and compete with other puppies, as I think he'd starve!
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Well, Baby A. came last week. :) So, uh, yeah, some of those weird stretchy things going on in my body turned out to be contractions. There was some excitement regarding heart arrhythmia and induction and jaundice, but everything seems to have calmed down now and he is fine as far as I know. (Of course, that is what I was saying right before we ended back up in the hospital for the jaundice. So hopefully they really have calmed down now?) May someday get around to posting a pic under f-lock, but not today because I'm going to sleeeeep as soon as I post this. He was 9 lb 10 oz. My sister, who is planning on having another kid, is rather dubious about the emerging trend here for our family's babies (9 lb 4 oz for E., 9 lb 7 oz for my sister's daughter, and now this)...

Thanks to everyone who told me that breastfeeding was easier the second time around, because it so very much is, both sheerly physically (engorgement, soreness, etc. was waaay less of a problem) and in terms of actually knowing what I was doing — I guess doing something several times a day for a year is a lot of practice, even if I haven't done it for several years now. Also it happened that I didn't get torn up nearly as much, so delivery/post-partum recovery has been about eleventy billion times better in general. Also also, I feel like I've been able to enjoy his cute little babyhood more because I haven't been so stressed out about the whole thing — I was worried about every single little thing with E., but with A. I'm mostly just enjoying what a cute baby he is. (Although I did get stressed about the jaundice until the doctor talked me down. And anyway he seems much better now.)

My mom is here now, which is really great, especially for D, who took unexpected full-time paternity leave last week and has really been awesome but who was not exactly expecting this (the plan was for him to work reduced weeks after my mom left so as to spin out his paternity leave). My mom and I have, er, extremely different views on parenting five-year-olds, but she's amazingly wonderful with babies and with doing work around the house that otherwise would just not get done.

At about a week old, the big difference I've noticed between having a boy and a girl baby is that it is way easier to change massively poopy diapers :) (I haven't gotten sprayed yet, probably because he was slightly dehydrated last week, so that is a joy yet to come.)
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About two weeks to my due date, more or less. This has so far been about the easiest third trimester imaginable -- I was feeling great, and hardly like I was pregnant even, until about a week ago, when my body suddenly realized it was having a baby soon and maybe it should, like, be doing things to accommodate that. So now suddenly everything is stretching in weird ways and I can't run after E and I'm developing that attractive waddle where people in the hallways at work look at me in a concerned way because they're worried they'll have to take me to the hospital or something.

(Totally random story: Yesterday at group meeting -- this is a meeting of about 15 people -- group leader said to me, "We've never had two pregnant women at a group meeting before!" ...The other woman in our group just declared her pregnancy. The funny thing is that two women is just about the maximum we ever have at group meeting, so having two pregnant women is, yeah, kind of rare.)

Today is my last official day at work, although I have to go in next week if I'm still around and update my boss, who has been sick this entire week, poor guy. (I worry I've been getting him sick this winter, what with spreading my kiddo's germs around, but this last one was Provably Not My Fault because he'd been out of town previously.)

Other things:

-Tutoring is OVER as of late January, when C. had her exam and the semester ended. We were all hugely relieved, except for E., who loved it when C. came over and misses her. (C. has been back to babysit a couple of times, which E. really enjoys.) She got a B in the class, which... I have really mixed feelings about, because honestly she didn't deserve a B in this class and really if it hadn't been for her mom constantly worrying at the teacher she wouldn't have gotten that, but on the other hand if she'd been taking a conceptual physics class like she ought to have, she would have easily made a B. So whatever. The other interesting thing is that I've been (slowly) reading a book on developmental issues, and the ADHD chapter -- did I mention that C. has been diagnosed with ADHD? -- exactly describes C., and makes sense of things that I didn't quite understand while tutoring her. I wish I'd read it when I'd started instead of afterwards.

-I'm giving up Catholic choir when the baby comes, whee! (It has been getting more and more dire, and this is a bit of an excuse to give it up.) This Sunday is supposed to be my last one. Choir director is trying to get me to come the Sunday after. I am skeptical, but I guess if I feel okay I'll try to go.

-E. is excited about the baby, and I'm worried that the reality might not be anything like she expects... we've talked about how the baby will cry a lot, etc., but...

-I don't have nerves exactly, because pregnancy for me seems to release a lot of calming hormones, but I've been remembering those first harrowing eighteen months or so after having a baby (I told my sister that the first month after having E was the hardest month of my life, which I wish someone had said to me; but apparently I neglected to mention how the second month after having her was the second-hardest month, which I should have done), and thinking about that bit in Winterfair Gifts a lot, you know, the bit where Miles and Taura are talking:

"You know how the recruits got pre-combat nerves, before they went out on a mission the first time?"

"Oh, yes."

"Now. Do you remember how they got pre-combat nerves before they had to go out on a big drop for the
second time?"

A question

Jan. 5th, 2015 10:32 pm
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I may finally actually be entering the smartphone age, only years after everyone else!

So, the question that everyone else had to answer years ago: should I get an iPhone 5c or a Samsung Galaxy s4?

Major considerations: battery life, how well it acts as a phone, memory (Galaxy wins here!)

Medium considerations: app availability (I think Apple wins this one, plus both my parents and D's are hooked into Apple, plus I'm hooked in through my iPad), camera capability (it seems like the Galaxy has a better camera), size (Apple wins this one)

Completely minor considerations: iTunes (Android wins this one!), picking it up tomorrow vs. waiting for a week (...Galaxy wins here too!)

Anything I'm forgetting?

ETA 1-6 evening: Okay, we split the difference. I got a Galaxy S4, D (who didn't care either way) got the iPhone 5c. As far as I can tell from a couple of hours' worth of playing with them and tech support for my parents (who both got iPhone 5c's), this was absolutely the right choice on both parts, but we shall see.
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Also in the annals of Things I Never Thought Would Need To Be Said in Our House Until I Had a Kid. Two signs E has had us make for her:


Basically every plastic bag E sees has an icon and/or explicit DANGER warning that one is not supposed to put the bag on one's head, so it's something that E understands very well (if not, perhaps, exactly why not). She decided recently she wanted to make a play "store," and of course plastic bags to put one's purchases in were part of this store, and are now in a big pile in the corner. Of course, you wouldn't want to sleep in this corner, because then your head would be unacceptably near the bags, as she knows is not safe.

Hence, the sign.


D's mother gave E an Advent activity that involves moving Baby Jesus around to various locations. One of them was a chair. So E was, naturally, quite concerned that someone might sit on Baby Jesus!
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Things that have been happening at church(es):

-We walked into Lutheran church (late, as usual) and the handbells were playing "Hallelujah." That is, the Leonard Cohen song. ... What?! apparently someone made up lyrics to it that were related to Jesus and crucifixion, that were printed in the bulletin, but... I just... what?? It was a really interesting arrangement, mind you. But... what?? I dunno, this just weirded me out. The Cohen Hallelujah is one of the most... secular (ETA: okay, fine, that's clearly not the right word)... songs I know, in the sense that it uses religious imagery to make its point about being areligious (unreligious?).... I don't like repurposing something so clearly counter to the point of its existing in the first place. (As opposed to repurposing tunes in general, which I would have to be a giant hypocrite to object to. Not that this has ever stopped me from objecting to things before! Okay, maybe it occasionally has.)

(I wonder who did the arrangement. I am betting that it was the church music guy. Because I also would think it was totally strange if they granted copyright permission to do this.)

-At LDS church: choir director, after rechecking and double rechecking that people were actually going to be around to sing in Sacrament meeting [service], realized right before church that he had another commitment and couldn't be around, and his wife subbed in for him at the last minute. I did not realize this (perhaps I should have), but her degree is in conducting. He is orders of magnitude better than our last conductor, but she is FABULOUS. I had not realized how much I missed singing under a REAL CONDUCTOR. I have resorted to CAPITAL LETTERS to show how much I enjoyed this.

(She's also gonna have to watch out. She's been flying under the radar -- if I didn't know how good she was, no one else did either, and now we all know :) )

-I got released from being chorister (after asking for same) after one month straight where E flipped out in Sacrament Meeting every week. (The flip-outs range from easily-contained-and-over-quickly to have-to-take-out-for-fifteen-minutes -- it could certainly be worse, but the thing is that they usually happen during the hymns! And I feel bad for having someone else deal with it.) I felt vaguely guilty, but less so when she had a fifteen-minute meltdown about five minutes after they announced my release.

-I may, however, pick up being unofficial choir pianist instead. Not quite sure what happened to the old one, but I've been doing it unofficially for, um, a month now. (The meltdowns don't usually happen during choir practice.)

-Taught a lesson on Why LDS Women Are Awesome, without anyone exploding, yay. I wasn't exactly expecting anyone to explode, but it's a bit of a minefield of a lesson. Why, for example, don't we get a lesson about Why LDS Men Are Awesome?


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