Tuesday, October 27, 2020

American ??? day 77

2,801 steps 

Somehow I never made it outside today. It was cold and drizzly, so I didn't miss out. Ivy put on one of Eric's dress shirts and took selfies. She was going for the "beach" look. 

I took in the waist of two pairs of jeans. It's so nice to finally have jeans that fit. No more gapping or sagging! I also sewed on several more souvenir patches onto my Breech Without Borders apron. I'm trying to get one from every place I teach. I also finished editing and uploading a video on twin home birth by Dr. Stuart Fischbein. 

Zari wore her Rapunzel costume to school and got lots of compliments. One of her friends kept brushing and stroking her hair and commenting on how soft it was.

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Monday, October 26, 2020

American ??? day 76

7,271 steps 

I'm feeling a bit burdened by all of the things I'm trying to get done and keep track of: writing IRB applications for a few different projects, keeping track of clinical outcome data from providers who have taken our breech trainings, editing/encoding videos, translating documents and videos and overseeing other translations, scheduling and teaching breech workshops, keeping our online courses running, hosting live sessions, doing all of the bookkeeping/payroll/reimbursements, creating graphics and flyers, posting regular content, updating the website, responding to emails and phone calls, writing grant applications...this is all pretty typical of what I do every day. 

I love doing it. But sometimes I feel like it's too much. And keep in mind, I've been doing most of this unpaid, with the exception of getting paid to teach a few workshops over the past few weeks. 

Honestly I'm not complaining. Sometimes it helps to just say how I'm feeling and move on. 

I braved the cold and the rain and painted our French doors until my fingers and toes went numb. I'll do more tomorrow. Inga and Ivy spent much of their day making a "snack" for Zari and Dio. They shelled every sunflower seed! They also built a reading bed for Zari. 

Zari and Dio's middle school had a "beach day" theme. Zari wore sunglasses and one of Eric's flowery shirts. I kept thinking it was Eric whenever I saw her come into a room! 

This evening we went to a Halloween drive-through sponsored by our local 4-H. This is so culturally American--everyone driving in their great big cars. We had the smallest car and probably the biggest family. We got science activity bags and candy (of course) and saw a variety of farm animals.

And a random video of Ivy

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

American ??? day 75

7,435 steps 

I just got off ANOTHER video conference call. 3 in the past 2 nights. I'm brimming with ideas for our big grant application. 

We made Zari's Rapunzel costume with 3 thrifted items of clothing, a spool of ribbon, cotton cord, a frying pan spray-painted black, and Eric's motorcycle boots. I think it works! It is less historically accurate and more a modern twist on "Tangled." 

Zari really got into the photo shoot. 

Ivy discovered that squirrels had done some extra carving on her pumpkin. She was NOT HAPPY. Now our pumpkins are inside our house away from marauding squirrels and groundhogs.

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

American ??? day 74

I ran errands and fixed things today: scraped and sanded the back sides of our 4 French doors, bought furnace filters for our own house and our two apartment buildings, repaired a few storm windows on one of our apartment buildings, spray painted a thrift store sautée pan so it looks like cast iron...that sort of thing. We also baked triple chocolate almond cookies (chocolate cookies with dark chocolate chips and raw cacao nibs). 

Inga played in a soccer tournament this afternoon and scored 3 of the 4 goals. She was so excited to come home and tell us about it. But first she had to trick us by pretending to cry and be all disappointed that she had "lost." 

Ivy requested "spaghetti and eyeballs" for dinner. It's a recipe we saw in a Halloween cookbook. So here are the results from, in order, Zari, Ivy, and me. The red bell pepper is supposed to be a tongue, while the meatballs and olives are the eyes. I also made summer squash fritters with feta cheese. 

I just finished doing two back-to-back live sessions for Breech Without Borders, so I'm going to snuggle in bed with a book until I fall asleep.

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Friday, October 23, 2020

American ??? day 73

11,985 steps 

Our volunteer cherry tomato plant is still bearing fruit and putting out new blossoms as if it's mid-summer. Ivy harvested some and set a fancy table with a sign "When work is done!" Yes, she needs to work on her spelling 🙂 

Ivy and Inga carved pumpkins today. Inga's is Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon. Ivy's is a puking pumpkin, but we left the "puke" out for the night as squirrels would treat it like a banquet.

Zari is supposed to come to school on Monday dressed as a Disney character. She wanted to be Rapunzel from Tangled since she already has the long, blond hair. We brought home several items from the thrift store, and I think we can make her a decent outfit. She's adamant about having a frying pan as part of her costume. 

"Do you think this would be considered a weapon at my school?" she asked me. 

"It's no more a weapon than a heavy book," I said.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

American ??? day 70

It's fall break this week for the kids. Our first two days have been cloudy and rainy. I hope to get the kids outside more once the rain stops. I have some painting that needs to get done this week. 

 Inga and Ivy watched some beginning gymnastics videos and how they're trying to learn front and back walkovers. I'm the spotter so I spend a lot of time catching them and heaving them back up again. 

 Zari has read several books in the past few days...Dio disappears and probably spends too much time on the computer whenever I'm not around to kick him off. Ah well, that's life. 

 Some random pictures and videos from this last week. Zari helped make this amazing dish of marinated chicken with a roasted garlic-jalapeno-lime-cilantro-olive oil dressing and homemade guacamole with roasted onions. So fresh and delicious! It's from Rick Bayless's cookbook Mexican Everyday.

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

American ??? day 65

8,336 steps

Whew! I've been super busy with all sorts of projects. Some yet-to-be-announced ones that will add all sorts of work onto my already-busy schedule but that might help give us additional financial stability in the long-term. (We are living on 1/2 of one salary right now, since Eric renegotiated his contract to a permanent half-time position and this week was the first time I got paid since mid-March, thanks to covid-19.) 

But anyway, that's all still in the works. Nothing finalized yet. 

A few photos that I found and forgot to post earlier.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

American ??? day 63:

6,781 steps 

Pirates took over the household today. Apparently they don't use spoons to eat their soup. 

Yesterday we picked wild persimmons from a nearby tree and turned them into fruit leather. This video shows us smashing the persimmons through a metal mesh strainer. 

Tonight was rough: we found out some friends lost their 13-year-old daughter and their son-in-law in a car accident. Zari went to church with their daughter all growing up and is reeling with the news. We have piles of tissues all over the house and kids who keep coming into our room, crying, saying they can't sleep. 

As a parent, I can't even fathom my child dying. My dreams are full of awful scenarios in which my children are in mortal danger and/or die. It's terrible enough even in my imagination.

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Sunday, October 11, 2020

American ??? day 61:

We got everyone outside in the morning, raking leaves, painting, scraping, and of course playing. I painted the exterior frames which will hold the French doors I've been working on since last year (guilty sigh...). 

I also started painting the French doors themselves but my little foam roller wouldn't roll so finally I gave up. I need to buy a new roller handle. 

Eric took everyone but Ivy to play Ultimate Frisbee in the afternoon. Ivy and I were in the garage trying to paint when we heard CRASH CRASH CRASH. I immediately knew it was a car accident at the corner stoplight. 3 cars, all totaled. One of our neighbors arrived at the same time as we did and called 911. No one was seriously injured but one of the passengers was probably 80 and wasn't feeling well. His airbags had deflated. So he went off in the ambulance. 

I get so fed up with drivers here because this was a typical case of someone simply not paying attention (as the guilty party was admitting at the accident scene). I think she either ran a red light or turned right into someone. I still don't trust cars to stop even when they have a red light.

 We watched a lovely movie tonight: "East Side Sushi" about a woman who wants to become a sushi chef. But she is not just a woman in a male-dominated field, she is also Mexican-American and a single mother. Our kids were on the edge of their seats, especially during the sushi judging competition. And of course we all wanted to eat sushi! 

We finally got a Biden/Harris yard sign. We'll see how long it lasts. Apparently Biden signs are the hottest item to steal; several of our neighbors have had theirs stolen lately, some more than once.

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Saturday, October 10, 2020

American ??? day 60

I've been busy with breech stuff the past few days. If you follow Breech Without Borders, you'll have seen all the things I've been up to (and many other projects still in the works). We also had a live session today for our Breech Pro/Breech 101 courses, which I then spent several hours editing, encoding, and uploading.

I'm glad I love what I do! 

I had plans to do some exterior painting but got caught up with breech tasks instead. Our kids were at the neighbor's house much of the day, so at least they didn't feel neglected. Inga had a soccer match this afternoon as well. 

Zari and Dio were messing around in my bedroom this evening. 

The other video is when I was working on the front porch a few days ago. Some days...well...life is pretty great.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

American ??? day 57

9,190 steps 

So much going on in the last 2 days! Nothing earth-shattering but it the days have been busy and rich and productive. Yesterday I sewed 4 slings and glazed more windows. 

Today I filmed a tutorial for how to sew stirrups for the Sophie and Her Mum simulators (pattern to be released soon.) I found strapping and slider hardware via thrift store backpacks. There's no way I can find those items locally. 

Yummy things we cooked recently:
- cherry clafoutis with sour cherry syrup
- white bean soup with garlic, rosemary, and bacon

We've been sunning ourselves as much as possible in the afternoons. Today I snapped a picture of Eric, clad only in soccer shorts, grading papers in the backyard. "I have such a hard job!" he said. (I'm not sure he'd want it shared here so I will spare you all of his ginormous muscles.) 

Inga is reading a book series featuring dragons. She's in her own universe. 

The kids have been playing with our new neighbors several times a week. They run around playing games like Capture the Flag and Murder and Hide-and-Seek. Yesterday they were "dissecting" grapes. They got lots of fun slow-motion videos today but I don't have time to get them off Eric's phone.

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Monday, October 05, 2020

American ??? day 55

10,876 steps 

Today felt more balanced. I got some work done (mostly administrative and some video editing/encoding). But I didn't ignore my kids all day. Gold star for mama. 

We did some school work together in the morning, and I talked with my mom about her being the daily check-in person for Inga and Ivy. Once they're done with their Khan Academy classes at noon, they'll video chat with her and tell her what they got done that day. I think it's a great way for them to talk more with my mom and to have someone else to be accountable to. 

Our neighbors dropped off a mum plant as a thank-you for helping them move in, so we planted it today. I finished spreading most of the piles of mulch and enjoyed being out in the idyllic fall weather. 

Later in the afternoon, we sunned ourselves in the back yard: Eric, Inga, and Ivy without shirts, and me in a camisole. Inga asked, "why don't you take your shirt off, too?" I said, "well, it's probably not appropriate for me to be in my underwear in public. Maybe if I put my swimsuit on, I could." 

Honestly, I wouldn't care all that much, but it would scandalize our neighbors. 

 I broke down and ordered the one color of thread that I needed and couldn't get locally. And...now I can announce that Pele is finished! One more Goddess to go now. 

Inga and Ivy filmed this inchworm. Inchworms remind me of Muppets. So cute!

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Sunday, October 04, 2020

American ??? day 54

8,113 steps 

When Ivy was writing in her journal tonight, we reviewed the things we'd done today. She said, "Can I just write 'today was a lazy day?' It was kind of nice to be lazy and not do any work." 

"Sure, go ahead!" 

As I was tucking her into bed, she said, "I feel so happy I just feel like breaking everything in the world! I'm just so happy!" 

Happy rage? 

I felt very frustrated with my family this evening. I'm not going to lie. Why? Because I am so tired of picking up after their messes and being the one who has to remind them and remind them again. It shouldn't be my job to be the nagger-in-chief and the maid. 

Now usually my kids are pretty good, but recently the house has been a mess and it's all because of their stuff that they get out and don't put away. And having a messy house really stresses me out. 

My therapy was to tidy and vacuum all of the 2nd floor. Chaos still reigns in other parts of the house, but the bedrooms are all in order. 

What else went on today? Inga had a soccer game out of town. Oh, it rained all morning--the first good rain since we came back to the States. I did some sewing and video editing. 

Ivy and Inga got to slash the sourdough. One said "Ivy", another said "Dolly," a third was a heart, and the last one was a bass clef. (That one was mine in honor of my mom, a music teacher who gives all four of them virtual piano lessons every week.)

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Saturday, October 03, 2020

American ??? day 53

I decided to treat today like a proper Saturday: spend time with the kids and get home projects done, rather than work on breech stuff. (I confess, I've done some breech work today, but just in little bursts here and there.) 

I finished glazing the last French door. I still have to order and install 5 panes of glass and glaze them all, too. Then we have to trim the bottoms flush (they are uneven because I had to fix & repair rotted areas), paint them, and reinstall them. 

Eric, Zari, and Dio were away all day at a soccer tournament. 

As soon as they got home, we had some friends over for Smores. They are brothers from Morocco; one is a university student here in town and the other is finishing his master's degree via distance learning due to covid-19. 

These brothers stayed in our house while we were in France this past summer. They're amazing people and fun to talk with (en français, bien sûr!). We're hoping to visit their family in Morocco next year.

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Thursday, October 01, 2020

American ??? day 51

2,099 steps 

Ugh. This was last night: 🤮💩🤮💩🤮💩🤮💩and finally 😴. It felt like food poisoning. Within about 15 minutes, I went from feeling 100% normal to 100% awful. 

And I had a ton of work to get done, so I had to work without stopping all day and all evening. Inga and Ivy probably wonder where their mother has gone. I just want to lie in bed and read a brain candy book. 

Ok, enough whining. Ivy and I cooked a spinach & ricotta cheese tart, a favorite that I make frequently. I quadrupled the recipe. If I'm going to cook something, I'm going to make lots of it and freeze the extra! (See, I didn't *completely* neglect my children.)

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